Monday, September 21, 2009

Begging for Lies, Mandatory Health Care, Obesity, and "Values Voters"

* President Obama is considering the idea of requiring health care for all Americans. While there is a fun red herring of focus on whether it is a tax hike or not, we can generally call this silliness to simplify the debate rather than actually discuss the issue. However, IF there is to be a requirement of health care, there SHOULD be a public option in order to provide people with the opportunity to actually get quality coverage instead of subsidizing insurance companies.

"Tort Reform" that some states have already done have made it more expensive to take care of patients because lawyers will lose money to take on a major corporation so there is no incentive for them to act in expensive cases, so they simply ignore the insurance contract they put in place. Forcing people to accept that kind of coverage is almost criminal. We must have a public option to give people a choice to get actual coverage.

* I love the phrase "Values Voters". It speaks of the values of honesty in labeling since it is really just another phrase for the Christian Conservatives. It is no wonder Mike Huckabee, a preacher, won their straw poll. Did anyone expect anyone else to win it? It probably would have been more telling if he hadn't won it.

Remember, these are the same people who supported Representative Foley (see page scandal) and Senator Craig (anyone been near an airport bathroom lately?) and seemingly an army of people who preach to them but have their own little dirty laundry tucked away in the closet. Values my butt, power hungry theocrats, that is more accurate. I once had one of the "Values Voters" tell me that Iran has it right, just the wrong religion in power. Scary stuff.

* While in the Philippines for three weeks on vacation, I realized just how much we actually do eat compared to others and where our calories come from. Heck, a medium coke at McDonalds here is twice the size of a large there. A large fries there is a small here. A dinner plate there carries a lot less calories, and there isn't a lot of gorging other than at major events like the local fiesta. It also partially explains why almost every single grave I saw at the local graveyard was 80+ years old in spite of inferior medical care.

It is part of our responsibility to ourselves and our families and our society to work on dropping the weight. CNN's article on why we eat so much gave some possible insights, though it isn't a one size fits all answer. However, the largest problem is that we simply don't care to lose the weight. It is amazing how obese we are on average, and yet people don't see it as a problem. That is the fundamental problem itself, we don't realize our own problems.

* I was thinking about the Joe Wilson "you lie" remark and it made me start thinking about lying in politics. I thought back and wondered why so many didn't seem to care about GW's lies on the right, or Clinton's lies on the left. I started to remember the jokes about politicians and lawyers as natural liars and how we perceive them that way. But that answer was too simple.

The truth is we want to be lied to. We want to be told what we believe is true, regardless of whether it is or not. We want to be riled up against something to bring energy to an otherwise boring day. We beg to be lied to because hearing the truth isn't easy, especially if it disagrees with our preconceived notions. It is why Rush has a job. It is why Glenn Beck has a job. It is why Ann Coulter and Michael Moore have jobs. They are professional liars, making money off of telling you what you want to hear and then pushing you even farther away from the truth to keep you as a captive audience.

It is why the news is all about drama. It used to be one person sat there and told you what the facts of what happened were. Then came Crossfire, the show, the drama, the energy, the venom. Today, everything is Crossfire. Either a pundit or proclaimed interviewer tells you what they think, or they question someone in either a friendly or hostile way depending on their view of the person's statements; or a reporter tells you one or two facts, then has the rest of the segment dedicated to two others who argue about what those facts mean, as if they had no meaning without them. They spin them, they try to make a simple thing turn into a major drama.

It isn't a left wing or right wing bias, it is a ratings bias. It is about making money. But it is the same basic formula, create conflict, create energy, and have one side play to one set of biases, and the other play to another. The truth is irrelevant, the drama is all that matters. We beg to be lied to. If we didn't, we wouldn't watch the drama, we would still watch the single anchor news show. But we don't.

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