Thursday, September 3, 2009


Well, I'll give Republicans credit for this: they're nothing if not brilliant. Okay, not brilliant, in the sense of intelligent. Tactically, more like. Unrepentant and unrelenting in their willingness to manipulate public opinion with no regard to the truth. It's really very impressive. Machiavellian. Disciplined. Deception elevated to high art, if low road.

Somewhere, sometime, in an epiphany of evil, Republican planners had an insight of such depravity that one must stand in a sort of awe. Give credit. Admire the surpassing cynicism and the lack of morality; the willingness to play on the weakness of the system they profess to honor and defend. It's complicated, and simple. And if my words are a little hyperbolic, I'm completely convinced of what I say.

The Republican insight, in its satanic simplicity, is this: in America, you don't need a majority to win the debate. Beautiful, huh? It distills two important truths: 1) The media have become indifferent to careful and thoughtful reporting. It's too hard, it requires intelligent reporters, and it has no effect on ratings, which are, of course, all they really care about. 2) It's incredibly easy to manipulate people of strong religious conviction: the more fundamentalist, the better.

It doesn't take genii (which is lucky, because there are none that I can see, on the right) to develop a long-term plan. First, cozy up, flatter, nurture, and stroke the religious right. Pander to them. Take up their causes. Who cares? It's not about actually believing the stuff. It's about creating a devoted stable of the credulous and gullible. And what are religious fundamentalists if not that? Give me a young-earth creationist, and I'll give you someone who has no use for -- has a profound and proud distrust of -- fact. Someone to whom facts and reason are, very literally, anathema. Someone who considers intelligence "elitist," and who not only hates thoughtfulness in others but takes existential comfort in their own lack of it. Good. Exactly what's needed.

Next, reinforce and expand this group as much as possible (knowing, of course, that it doesn't require taking over the whole country with credulity: a handful of states is quite enough.) Get them on school boards, run them in small time offices. Do everything possible to turn public schools into hothouses of fundamentalism: because the more kids are allowed to think for themselves, the less likely is the plan to work. (Thus the current mind-blowing -- except in the context of this post -- response to the President's plan to address school kids with the message to work hard in school, have goals, listen to their teachers. What greater threat to creating credulous crowds of captured and cowering combatants than a president inspiring kids to rise above themselves? Can you imagine any other place on earth where a message of setting personal goals [not goals set for you by others] would be considered evil? Oh yeah. In the sort of fascist societies they seem to see happening here! Or theocracies. How telling it is that the reaction is not just from a few crazy people, but from actual state party leadership. Not to mention the usual RWS™. It's beyond my comprehension that people say, and others believe this crap.)

There's a certain irony, of course: you'd think the natural tendencies of followers of Jesus would be to care for the poor and the needy and the sick, to help one's fellow man, to want peace and love in the world. You'd think they'd be Democrats. (And, once upon a time, they were. Until Republicans hatched their plan.) You'd think, in particular, they'd want to reform health care so it serves the needs of everyone. So in currying these folks you have to recognize their more fundamental need: easy answers. Clarity, not charity. In the heads of religious fundamentalists is soil most fertile for felonious fooling. Fear and paranoia are part and parcel of fundamentalism, no matter the religion. It doesn't take much to use it for other purposes. Claim the the other party is godless, is against their much-needed and fact-free answers to life's most disturbing questions.

Although it was evident in the recent presidential campaign, where Sarah Palin stoked people's fears and paranoia, rallying the "us versus them" inclinations of the religiously rabid, it wasn't until this summer that it came fully into focus.

With military precision, the hoards were marched into so-called town hall meetings, outrage fanned like a Southern lady's face in August. And, predictable as Rush Limbaugh's need for oxycontin, the media put the most fact-free lunatics front and center. For a few weeks, if you wanted to get some air time -- and not just on Fox "News" but on the actual news outlets (what passes for them nowadays) as well -- all you had to do was hold up the most hate-filled sign, pack the hottest heat, weep the wettest tears for the loss of "your" country. Your views would be treated with the same seriousness, given the same credence and weight as someone who actually knew what he or she was talking about.

Better still: by following the strategy you can get elected to national office some truly insane people. Or, if not insane, people willing to say anything. (Whether they believe it, is something I have a hard time deciding. Growing up, as I did, and remaining, mostly, among people to whom fact and honesty were of actual importance, I have a hard time understanding, as a good example, when a United States Senator claims "President Obama is obsessed with turning terrorists loose in America." The statement is so far off the rails that any of the possible explanations are hard to accept: he actually believes it; he's willing to lie outrageously. He is, of course, exactly the desired result of the long-term plan; as are those who elected him. He's not the only one.

And they're the ones the media loves. ALL the media.

The result of all this is a perfect substrate for brewing paranoid discontent. Credulous and naturally frightened people, and a press wholly unconcerned for and, now, incapable of seeking and saying the truth. So the looniest and most frightened, the least accountable and the least connected to reality are given enormously disproportionate coverage, creating the illusion that they represent the wishes of "the people." And it takes hold, enough to result in our genetically cowardly and self-interested congressional "leaders" backing away from what's patently right. Needed. Indisputably.

In America, you don't need a majority to win the debate.


  1. Funny how "W" was able to get his platform enacted with smaller majorities than the Mullato In Chief has...Even Secretary of State CLinton supported the War...Speaking of which...hows that Afghanistan Invasion workin out for ya??? Maybe stealin that Leonid Breznef Playbook from 1979 wasn't such a great idea (I know you'd appreciate the Russ-kie reference)...
    How bout when those Bush Tax Cuts Expire in a few months??? How much more are YOU gonna be payin??
    Those Tobacco taxes are really kickin me in the kiester...I've had to switch to medical Marriage-wana...much cheaper...
    OK, theres some Salient Points, in about 1/5 the time you take, you know they say "Brevity is the Soul of witless Minds"


    Howcome Gitmo's still open??

  2. Salient, indeed. Assuming the word means repetition of the same points in every single comment from the beginning of time, no matter their relevance to the issues at hand; in fact, ignoring entirely the point of the current topic.

    If memory serves, this is the 798th such comment. Salient. As in drowning in the ocean. (Saline. Get it?)

  3. OK sid, Your Ronald Reagan-esque "Pretend you can't here the questions because of the noise from the Helicopter rotors that aren't even turning" is getting pretty old...
    Your Lover's the one who's pulled the rug out from under the "Pubic Option" faster than Ted Kennedy dog paddlin out of that 67'Oldsmobile...
    Not gettin his message Out? I've seen Hussein's smug mug more often than that annoying "Free Credit Report.Com" commercial...
    See thats the difference between me and you, when My guys are in power, I'm HAPPY, bannin gay marriage, invading A-rab countries, Cuttin taxes for the rich, but when its your turn you're more bitter than Barney Frank after a canceled Jonas Brothers concert...

    Hmm if my calcuations are correct, the 400th Soldier to die in Iraq/Afghanistan since Jan 20, 2009 will happen about the same time as the Bush Tax Cuts expire...and you say there's not a God...



  4. Okay, Frankie, I'll make it easy for you: the post is about Republican strategy, cynically using fundamentalists as pawns; and about the media's infatuation with controversy, no matter how unhinged from reality.


    Or not.

  5. (Waving with Broad Smile on Face)
    I can't here! I can't here! The helicopters too loud!!!

    2 can play at that game...

    1: Yes, Republicans are good at Strategy.

    2: Yes, Liberal Fundamentalists are used as pawns...

    3: Yes, the Marxist Stream Media, is infatuated with Oh!-Bama, thought I'd tuned into some Gay Porn by mistake last week, it was "Face the Nation" whatever happened to the "Family Hour" on Sunday Mornings?


  6. Dr Schwab... I'm still a fan of your eloquent writing. (I hope you won't be too annoyed at me for digressing so much. haven't been in for awhile.)

    I know this post (I did read it in it's entirety) is over what my finite little brain can process... but still... I am missing the Christian, fundamentalist connection to pulling the public option, etc. Don't even know of the connection with the indoctrination speech. ;) The latter comment was just teasing a bit.

    Seriously tho.. the problem with the speech is government involvement in telling teachers how to instruct/guide the students and having the students write back to the president what they will do.

    I think it is a good thing to inspire students. Other presidents have. But it is the control factor, i.e., the government setting the tone/requirements instead of leaving it up to the individuals.

    I don't understand why you are knocking Christians Dr S. ?

    And it is a mixture of parties at the tea parties... concerned citizens who don't like how things are going.

    And I just have to say.. I am appalled that the president and party wanted to *rush* the health care bill through without even knowing what all that was in it or long term consequences. I don't think that is using one's intelligence or just plain common sense.

    I'd be embarrassed to admit I didn't read it. It defies logic to think it is alright to pass something so expensive that will profoundly impact our futures.

    We tell our children to be aware of consequences and yet government officials who could affect the fate of an entire nation don't have to? I really do not understand.

    I heard they still withheld part of it. Why?

    Dr S.. sure..I lean conservative, but maintain..I absolutely would vote against my party if I believed the candidate was the better choice..just like so many did for President Obama during this last election... although I did not see that light.

    That being said... I have never felt more disturbed by the people surrounding this president. and that goes for all previous democrat presidents, I may not have been happy... but I never felt like our country's values were threatened.

    I will take my values any day over what some of them have. I respect the sanctity of life and the freedoms we enjoy in this *wonderful* country. (I do NOT believe that any man who aligns himself with communism belongs in the White House and receive the benefits of such a position and/or have the potential to influence policy.

    Btw..I am all for advanced directives and being allowed to die with dignity of natural causes.

    But when you try to put a value on one life over another..that is where I take issue.

    I know..way off track... I apologize for that.

  7. And something else is bothering me.

    I also found it appalling that the tea party people were being referred to as angry mobs, nazis,astro our politicians. They LIED about the people and some of those people voted for them. Then you see that they have *organizers* going in to influence the meetings and prevent the people from being heard. Being bussed in from farther away and the locals couldn't get in.

    And how about the black man that was beaten up by 4 union thugs because he dared to sell anti-Obama items outside a town hall meeting? All caught on film and they were arrested.

    I watched the barney Frank town hall meeting on C-span. Talk about a disingenuous man!

    But what really irked the heck out of me was that woman holding up the Obama like Hitler sign and they kept filming her!
    Ugh! If she was a conservative... she was an idiot! Our president is NOT like Hitler!

    If she is a conservative and that is her genuine belief..she is ill informed and just plain ignorant. Ignorant of the facts and ignorant of how she plays into the opposition's hands because they then seize that as an example of what the tea partiers are... which of course is LUDICROUS.

    And she also could've been a plant and not at all conservative but merely trying to cause them to look bad.

    Who knows.

    But when I watch the tea party people..I see a diversified crowd of people who are speaking up for what they believe is right. Black, white,etc., and all ages of varying political persuasions. It is refreshing for a change to see the average citizen get off their sofas and speak out. Politicians have stated that they have never seen such large attendances at the town hall meetings.

    And one last thing. The politicians who keep playing the race card are really getting tiresome!

    And how insulting to be considered racist because one doesn't agree with the president. When will they ever stop doing this???

    "CHRIS MATTHEWS: Put 100 of these people in a room. Strap them into gurneys. Inject them with sodium pentathol. How many of them would say "I don't like the idea of having a black president"? What percentage?

    CYNTHIA TUCKER: Oh, I'm just guessing. This is just off the cuff. I think 45 to 65% of the people who appear at these groups are people who will never be comfortable with the idea of a black president."

    Oh..and the worst thing of all...DISGUSTINGLY so... the news commentators (liberals) who suggest that someone will hurt the president and yet I repeatedly hear the conservative commentators urging people to be respectful and come out against any violence of any kind.

    What is wrong with the commentators who say this? Are they trying to give people ideas? There's enough nuts out there to go around from all walks of life and political/religious or anti- establishment backgrounds.

    I don't know anyone who want to see harm come to our president. And.. I disagree with him.. not because of color.. but because I don't like his ideas. But there are things I do like about him and I do want to believe he will be good for our country but right now my faith in him is seriously challenged. But a lot can happen in 38 months.

  8. Not off track, Seaspray. Just parroting the distortions that one hears regularly from the right wing talking heads. "Hasn't read," (there is NO BILL yet, "rush the bill," (sixty years), etc etc ad nauseum. People surrounding this president????? Cheney, Addington, Wolfowitz, Gonzales, Rove??? They didn't bother you??? C'mon! You criticize Barney Frank. How about Ensign, Boehner, Bachmann, Inhofe? Absolute and undisputed liars and wingnuts.

    I could go on and on in response, but really there's no common ground on any of this. You buy everything the right wing talkers are selling, and I see it as completely disingenuous (to use the kindest word possible).

    Maybe we'll live long enough to see who's right.

  9. PS, Seaspray: As an aside, I'd be willing to bet you can't really specify what of Obama's "ideas" you don't like, and if you do, I'd guess they'll be based on the willful misinformation that's out there. I could be wrong.

    But the real reason for the PS is this: if you read what I wrote, it's not about "Christians," but fundamentalist Christians, young earth creationists and the like, deniers of fact. Fertile soil for the sort of lies that the leaders of the R party like to foist upon us, expecting that the fundamentalists, who desire no facts to rock their boats of imagination, to swallow it whole. You may also note I referred to fundamentalists of any religion. I have no doubt that if there were enough of them, the R leaders would try to find a way to appeal to Wahhabists, too.

  10. Seaspray,
    I assume your outrage at presidents talking to kids to politic them began here.

  11. C'mon Sid, how do you KNOW the earth wasn't created 5,000 yrs ago??(It was more like 7,800 BTW) WERE YOU THERE!?!?!?!?!?!?!
    And I'll omit the crack about how you're old enough you probably were....
    I mean who gives a rat's behind if the earths 5,000 years or 50 gazillion years?

    And here's one of O'bombers Ideas I don't like, "Enlarging the War in Afghanistan"
    Put that in your atheist pipe and smoke it...Checked the Casualty Lists lately?? Probably not, cause you won't find it on CNN or PMSNBC,or your Sunday New York Times...You know where you WILL see it? My Blog right at the top below the Pic of Mary Jo Kopechne's Grave...

    263 and counting...


  12. Actually, Frank, the numbers are everywhere. And it's one of the many areas in which you and I agree: I think Afganistan is a mistake at this point. I've said so. It was right to do what Bush did initially, and criminally bad to ignore it in favor of Iraq. At this point, because of Bush's huge mistake, it's been allowed to become unsolvable. It might have, anyway, but we'll never know.

    And you're right that I don't give a rodential rectum about the true age of the earth, whatever the factual number is; what I DO care about is people who need to deny whatever that number is, in order to hold to patently false beliefs. If it only affected them in their stupidity, no big deal. But, as we see everywhere, that kind of thinking affects us all. Even you.

  13. Just curious. Are there not more liberal leaning bradcast and cable news networks and newspapers. Didn't the liberals work hard to make sure that the public schools lean to the left. I think the Republicans are learning from the Democrats.

    Just curious, how do you deal with it when you have a very sick patient and Medicare will no longer pay for them to be in the hospital, they cant go to a nursing home and don't qualify for rehab. For us we are fortuante enough to have several Catholic, Baptist, Methodist and Jewish hospitals who accept these patients that the Government wants back on the streets.

  14. Throckmorton: I made no distinction in the desire of ALL media to get the most noisy stuff on, and to avoid real reporting. MSNBC is the only obviously lefty outlet in my view, and even they have a strong conservative with his own show, and keep Hitler-loving Pat Buchanan on all the time. In addition, it has very thoughtful lefties, like Rachel Maddow, who takes liberals to task, including the president, very often.

    There's no one on the left which is as much of an admitted propaganda mouthpiece as Fox is for the right. No one. And no one who regularly features people who lie, distort, or just mouth total crazy. Still, my point is directed at them all.

    As to liberals and schools: I'm not aware of liberals trying to get facts out of classrooms, in the way that Christian conservatives are (and facts, as we know, have a well-known liberal bias); nor have they made efforts to include religious indoctrination. Quite the opposite. I suppose that's what you find objectionable. I don't.

    I've never had the problem with medicare that you describe. I assume that's because as a surgeon my patients were rarely in very long and if they were it was for very clear reasons. I don't doubt it happens. It most certainly happens routinely with private insurers; more often, I'd say, than with medicare.

    And, as I've written, I've NEVER had medicare deny coverage for a requested treatment, whereas I've had it happen repeatedly with insurers. We most surely already have "death panels." They're the bureaucrats at private insurance companies that routinely deny coverage, get rid of patients, cut off payments.

    For all its imperfections, medicare is FAR better for patients than any private insurer. Of that, I think, there's no doubt. Strangely, efforts by Obama to try to address those imperfections have been turned into some sort of fascist nightmare by the right wing crazies. Ironic, isn't it?

  15. And I suppose this sort of thing gets Throk's and Frank's and Seaspray's blood all a'boiling...

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  17. You two are hilarious! LOL!

    Entertaining actually and I mean that as a compliment.

    I'd love to see you both as talking heads at night... on any station... something like Crossfire. :)

    Now... using your logic Dr S...I can say the same about you parroting the left.

    It was Senator Spector(sp?) who admitted to not reading the bill and said he'd have to get two (or was it more?) lawyers to help him read it. It is known. that is one of the things that has people all riled up in both parties and is one of the reasons they are showing up.

    I guess..we the public are just waking up to this. And you know what? I'll bet republicans have done it too. I'll bet this has been going on for a long time.

    Do you approve of that? That *any* politician is willing to put any legislation through with out reading, comprehending and being aware of the long term consequences? And as if that's not bad enough (egregious actually), the health care bill also has additional expenses that have no business being in there but makes someone happy. No I don't remember what it was but it was pork in a *health care* bill.

    I don't know who Addington is, nor do I know who the latter 3 are.

    No matter what you think of them...
    2 words... Van Jones! No comparison Dr S. Please correct me if I am wrong... but I don't know of anyone in the president's cabinets or anyone dems or reps that stated they were communists.

    Nor do I know of any politician who has publicly stated that white people are poisoning the water.

    I will give him a pass on calling reps a_ _ _ _ _ _s... because lots of people think that about people but usually aren't dumb enough to espouse it to a group publicly. And everyone trashed Bush because he wasn't an eloquent speaker... but have you listened to how Van Jones speaks? UGH! He may be educated but definitely without class.

    And I believe Bush was heard muttering something derogatory under his breath back stage..or was it McCain or Cheney..sorry don't recall. But that is a whole lot different then addressing people publicly.

    Dr S...I hope we both live long enough to see the parties working together for the good of the country and not self gain.

    I was heartened by many things said at Ted Kennedy's memorial.. by his republican adversaries. And my heart was warmed with the knowledge they'd go after each other tooth and nail when working..but put their differences aside off hours. Oh..i loved the senator from Iowa's boat story with TED... that was great! :)

    Not that this means anything... but I was pained watching Joe Biden. he seemed disingenuous in the beginning but then picked up the pace midway. Plus I'd feel bad for him if he made a mistake. He seems like an outsider compared to everything else on the president's team. I am not saying I am right.. just my take on it.

  18. Okay... if I have any kind of credibility at all with you..I know it will vanish with this next paragraph. And just so you know..i am far from a holier than thou person and and so very much a work in progress... as imperfect as they come...just in case you haven't noticed. ;)

    We must have a different definition of a fundamentalists because I consider myself a fundamentalists Christian. i think I've already explained this but by that I mean I see the Bible as the inerrant word of God.. (yes I know written by man... but that's a whole other direction) and so I believe the old testament stories and new testament... but basically the traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs. i believe Jesus was born of a virgin, that God is his father, that he lived a good life with out sin, that he surrendered his life on the Cross to defeat sin and death once and for all and that he died, spent 3 days in hell, rose again on the 3rd day, met with the disciples and others.. before he ascended into heaven and I believe him when he said he would return. I believe in the trinity. I believe the prophesies about the anti-christ. (really interesting stuff when you know the old testament predictions and revelations and see the news today... but I digress... again. I don't believe the earth is 6 thousand years old and science disproves that.. etc. Could get into interesting discussions here. :) Anyway..there are Christians who discount some of those things and so that is why I think of myself as a fundamentalist. I believe the basics..heaven - hell all that. Maybe I am wrong to call myself that.. but that's what I thought it was in terms of being a Christian. Just my interpretation of scriptures and how I understood them when taught. I would n-e-v-e-r try to force my faith on anyone. Shoot! sometimes I don't even do what I know I should. if anyone asks questions..i am always up for a theological discussion because such a deep, inexhaustible topic... and I think very interesting. Some people probably don't even know I am a Christian. i don't know if that is good or bad.

    I'm not a crazy person and certainly not an automaton nor do I follow like a lemming. i may not be in the intellectual circles that you are but I am an independent, discerning woman and do not make my decisions based on which way the wind is blowing or partisan politics, etc.

    Obviously Ted Kennedy had a strong faith in God..even though he didn't always live the faith. who does 100%? i know I don't.

    Sorry digressing greatly again. I do not think it is fair to lump people of faith on the right in together as the bible thumping, gun totin illiterates the left would have people believe.

    Now.. the terrorists are fundamentalists too. so..i see where you are going with that... but I guarantee you the majority of those people you see who may believe in God at these things..are not the crazy fundamentalists you are referring too and I am sure they are in a minority.. just like the Van Jones types must be.

  19. I will have to look at your kids link later.

    Dr S...what do you think of pelosi calling the people astroturf and nazis? These are Americans ..mostly like you and me. seems to be quite a mixture in race, age and political persuasions.

    And what do you think of the people who say if you disagree with the president's're racist? Why does the left continually play the race card? Do you think that is healing to our country or divisive? Why do they go bact to the race card so often?

    I find that *insulting*! I like the man..I want him to be good for this country and I hope he and his family will be safe and blessed. he is our president. he deserves respect..regardless of color. All human beings deserve respect..regardless of color.

    And if these so called leaders keep crying race because people disagree with the president..what is that teaching the younger generations? How will we ever heal racially when people promote this garbage?

    And wasn't it Martin Luther King who said that a man shouldn't be judged by their color... and yet the left conveniently finds ways to do that. White people poising the water. That's healing to a nation.

    How about the people that said how wonderful the dictator Castro was? Give me a break! i suppose that's why my neighbors son..on a coastguard boat just picked up 17 boat people from Cuba headed to the US. because they loved how wonderful Castro is and the spectacular health Care plan they have. The coast guard brings those people back so they can be re-patriotized and keeps the smugglers for prosecution.

    What do you think of liberal politicians calling the tea party people those awful things,(lies), Van Jones statements and the race card being played ad nauseam by politicians...on the left?

    And what about Charlie wrangle and now Pelosi who promised to clean up the pool or something like looking the other way?

    i have a sincere question for you. And I will preface it with there is corruption on both sides.

    What do you *honestly* think would be going on with the news media..all mediums right now..if a republican cheated with finances like Wrangle or if Bush sent out a specific memo for all students and educators to follow before, during and after his personal broadcast in which every student was to commit to the president what they would do?

    Oh..and a big ..I do not like that Obama went back on his word and is now allowing the intelligence people to be investigated and they even have to pay for their own lawyers to defend themselves. Everyone acted on the info they had at the time.

    It is wrong.

    And we have this huge financial crisis and so I do not think extra money need to be spent on what will be long, expensive investigations.

  20. I am really sorry this is so long. I just typed away. Of course delete if you wish to. :)

    And what do you think about the news commentators on the left continually trying to say that the right is violent and that President Obama could be hurt by these people? is it wise to do that? Do they WANT to see someone attempt to hurt him? I think they do... so they can blame the right.

    And that is sick.

    And..I as I have previously stated... I have heard many right wing talking heads say *Do NOT cause harm to anyone. Be civil. be polite.* and encourage people to behave.

    What are your thoughts on these concerns I have raised.

    Oh..and what do you think of boycotting the CEO of that store. he is a liberal who wrote something for the NY times and came out against the president's health plan. because he had a dissenting idea.. people on the left were urging a boycott. ironically.. the guy is a liberal and takes excellent care of his employees. If they hurt would've been the people who lost their jobs if sales went down. fortunately..more people went out..even 1st time shoppers to his store to buy food in support of him.

    I am so encouraged that people that never voiced their opinions in this country are finally doing so. If we ever have a Tea party in NJ.. I will go to it. ha! I
    I hope everyone has a beautiful Labor day weekend! :)

  21. Mike: don't know why you deleted. To respond: maybe it is semantics. But the process requires that the senate pass a bill, which hasn't happened, and that it be reconciled with the house bill. There's a house bill, but it's not in any way THE bill.

    So all the sturm and drang is premature. I've said it before, and I'll say it as long as people seem to misunderstand the process.

    Compared to all the other heat out there, I agree it's a fine point. But not, in my mind, entirely irrelevant.

    And if anyone would like to see about "reading" the bill and knowing what they're talking about, watch this. If it doesn't prove my point, I don't know what does.

  22. Seaspray, I really don't know where to begin. It's like listening to Glenn Beck, only not ravingly crazy. There is simply no way you and I will ever look at facts and see the same thing, or measure them against an agreed yardstick.

    Is Obama perfect? Are the dems, the media? Hell no, and I've said so. But you continue to compare apples with orange crates and there's just no point in arguing. Where you see dire conspiracy, I see an attempt to right the wrongs of the previous eight years, about which you see nothing but fairies and lovers. Where you point to a couple of people on the left having said a few stupid and sometimes reprehensible things, I point to people on the right who do NOTHING but distort and lie and frighten. Their dishonesty and anti americanism (you know: the electoral process, seeing all Americans as in it together, willingness to give a little) is simply so huge that everything else is nearly meaningless.

    Watch the video I linked above. Then join the teabaggers and be proud.

  23. As far as the school speech "controversy" goes, we should all remember, "Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?" George W. Bush, Jan. 2000. Apparently, a lot of them isn't going to be watching President Obama.

  24. "PS, Seaspray: As an aside, I'd be willing to bet you can't really specify what of Obama's "ideas" you don't like, and if you do, I'd guess they'll be based on the willful misinformation that's out there. I could be wrong."

    I just responded *somewhat*... ;)

    But it's not fair to state that if I could specify... that it's misinformation. I feel you generalize, label and dismiss if you don't agree.

    Logically speaking... no one is always 100% right. Isn't the truth often somewhere in the middle? and then of course there are exceptions.

    And Fox is not propaganda. I only see the night shows... and the only one that is usually in almost always totally right leaning is hannity.

    But..Dr that I do watch them I an tell you that O'reilly (he does annoy me)and Greta oh and you're gonna love this...Beck do criticize republicans and are fair. I've seen it with my own eyes. beck asks a lot of questions and wants people to research for themselves. Greta is polite..respectful and gives good interview with both parties. She lets them talk..shows clips in their entirety when controversial.

    I challenge you to watch and tell me differently instead of parroting the usual left propaganda statements regarding FOX. we can compare notes on what we heard on the programs. I'm serious.

  25. Seaspray: I don't know if you're included in my complaint against Christian fundamentalists or not. If you believe the earth is a few thousand years old, and if you deny evolution, you are.

    If you think Fox news is not propaganda, despite Rupert's own admissions, and those of the previous administration, you are, too, although not for the same reasons.

    If you think Glenn Beck is not crazy, you most certainly are, again, not for religious reasons but for thinking ones. (Amusing story: he's from a city near mine. The mayor is having Glenn Beck day in which he's to get the "keys to the city." There's a movement afoot to demand they "change the locks." His imaginary concentration camps, his recent rant on the artwork at 30 Rock, his "exhale" to prove carbon dioxide is not harmful. He's a total fool. And you complain about Pelosi calling protesters Nazis (which was in response to the ones at the meetings holding pictures of Obama as a Nazi, and shouting down free speech). Yet Beck has seen Nazis everywhere.

    But it's a perfect example. There are people who, for very needy reasons including the mindset that makes one very religious, see Beck as a prophet. He confirms their needed fears, he tells them it's okay to ignore reality, he stokes the paranoia that is part and parcel of religious fundamentalism.

    To expect the two of us to agree on that is like believing the sun circles the earth. Which, coincidentally, is what a high number of religious fundamentalists believe.

    Watched the video yet? They speak with the certainty of those who get their info from Fox and its similars, while being completely wrong. (By the way, I HAVE read the house health bill, and already knew the falsity of those and many other hysterical beliefs, promoted heavily by the crazies.)

  26. Dr S -I stated in comments above that I do not agree with the earth being 5000 yrs old. is it millions or billions of years old..sorry not my strong suit. :) First off... even from Biblical accounts... people have existed for 6 thousand years. And science proves that humans existed before that. So..i know that is not true.

    Now... evolution. No. I do believe that God created man separate from the animals and higher and to rule over them.

    But..There are scientists who don't buy into evolution either and I think one of the reasons is because there are species that have stopped evolving. But I honestly don't know the specifics and I really don't care.

    Regardless of how we got here..I believe There is a creator and his capabilities for all of creation are far beyond what our finite brains can comprehend. I believe there is so much more beyond what we can appreciate in our 3 1/2 dimension limitations. The last I knew..scientists discovered that there is something like 12 or 15 dimensions.

    We will all find out someday. Personally.. my inquiring mind wants to know where God came from. :) But through faith (based on what I've read, studied).. I am confident he exists. Seems the Kennedy's think so too. I only say that because people from all political spectrums believe in God.. the political right doesn't have a corner on faith and all things holy.

    "only not ravingly crazy" Well..thank you for the compliment! ;)

    Glenn Beck is also a comedian. He gets a bit wild sometimes... but he also brings up a lot of good points and ENCOURAGES people to research everything he writes on that board for themselves. he encourages people to ask questions.

    He did an excellent job in explaining the backgrounds of the czars. You wouldn't hear these things otherwise.

    I just heard Van Jones is probably on his way well he should be. Someone with his ideologies does not belong in a czar position and with no oversight. That is frightening!

    Yes that keys to the city story is amusing. Glenn played the segment where a liberal station reported the protesters and so they went out to check out the protesters in his home town.

    There were 4 protesters..3 people and a camera man. yet the protesters were reported as being a big deal. Amusing! :)

    He goes after republicans too..including Bush.

    Don't forget the show where they smashed energy saver bulbs on the street and they cleared the area and the cleanup guy was practically wearing a hazmat suit to sweep it up because of the mercury in them. Glenn was reading the directions for how to dispose of them and how to safely clean them up in the event they break.

  27. Yes I complain about Pelosi saying the protesters were nazis. C'mon! She's the Speaker of the House and a representative of the people.

    And a *random* nazi sign is not exactly a Hitler rally. And that person is either misguided, stupid or a plant from the other side.

    Oh Dr S..for Pete's sake! (I say respectfully)..Glenn Beck a prophet? that is ludicrous! What???

    You said "He confirms their needed fears, he tells them it's okay to ignore reality, he stokes the paranoia that is part and parcel of religious fundamentalism."

    People have *valid* concerns. They don't want or need to fear and having valid concerns does not mean one is paranoid or a fundamentalist. Are some misguided as in the video you wanted me to watch..sure.. but that is not the majority.

    I don't know of this sun thing you speak of and we have agreed on occasion.

    I watched the video.. lame and amusing.

    Those people are not representative of the masses that have been protesting. Do you ever listen to the questions and concerns expressed?

    That video reminded me of Michael Moore's health care film.. funny but hardly an accurate portrayal.

    But since you use that for an example..there were people during the presidential election season who could not give any educated reasons for why they were voting for Obama.. couldn't list his qualifications... couldn't say anything but we want change. He'll bring change. Well..they are getting what they voted for alright.. there's change.

    And..did you see the California woman on Greta tonight who confronted her congress woman with *valid* concerns for small businesses and insurances?

    She wants tort reform and the availability to shop for insurance and not be limited to the 6 in her state. She went on to say that opening up the state would allow competition and thus more affordable. She does not have insurance. Pays about a thousand out of pocket a year. Would like to be able to afford catastrophic.

    She explained that some kind of tort reform that occurred helped her business and she was able to afford to hire more people in her bakery. (Sorry don't remember it all)

    She expressed her frustration with the congress woman's office because they did not respond to her letters for help to vote for certain things and was told to trust the congress woman knew what she was doing and thanked her for her support. She was articulate and lambasted the congresswoman for not responding. She said a lot of important things and even though San Francisco is liberal..she got huge cheers from the crowd.

    Dr S..these concerned people are *not* only R wing people... but diversified crowds who do not like what they are seeing and hearing.

    Anyone can go out and pick out random people who will represent poorly. I believe the average American is fed up with the BS that is coming out of Washington. The elections are gonna be some kind of interesting if things continue this way.

    Even in my very blue state of NJ..dems are behind reps by 10% (last I knew) which is unheard of normally.

    I'm impressed that you read the health bill. But don't you think the president, congress and the senate should have? before voting for something that will profoundly affect all of us financially and medically? It won't be free. We will pay in other ways.

    You know there are physicians who disagree with the bill too.

    * In your previous comment you said "Where you see dire conspiracy, I see an attempt to right the wrongs of the previous eight years, about which you see nothing but fairies and lovers."

    I do not see conspiracies and never said that.

    Van Jones apparently subscribes to conspiracy theories though (White people putting poison in the drinking water, signed the list where people believe Bush was in on a conspiracy to let 3000 Americans die on 9/11 and who knows what else?) and I can only conclude those that embrace his ideology do as well.

    Okay..I'll stop now but wanted to address your comments.

  28. SeaSpray,
    Rushing through you said? For sixteen years Democrats have been trying to do something about Insurance denial for just about any reason that can be formulated into a sentence trying to stop insurance companies from sifting through policy holders applications for any error (however unrelated to a claim in question) so that their insurance can be canceled - canceling coverage for whole small business' because one employee got really sick.

    Here are claim denial rates listed by major insurers.

    Claims denial rates by leading California insurers, first six months of 2009:

    • PacifiCare -- 39.6 percent
    • Cigna -- 32.7 percent
    • HealthNet -- 30 percent
    • Kaiser Permanente -- 28.3 percent
    • Blue Cross -- 27.9 percent
    • Aetna -- 6.4 percent

    See Full article at:

    The above is why insurers get a obscene 40% return on investment and, as even you must be aware, they let people die all the time.

    You complain about the cost? We are the only industrialized country that allows the insurance industry to make such profits - well that's the American way right?

    I am dead certain that you never complained about the cost of Bush's war, where the army flew planeloads of cash to the war zone and threw it off the tailgates of trucks - no receipts, no accountability. The army trained thousands of Iraqis, who then deserted with their training, uniforms and weapons; tons of explosives, thousands of weapons issued and lost, thousands of American live lost, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives lost did you count the cost? Did you ever question? Of course not, because even though you say "I hate war, but we must speak quietly and carry a big stick." It was all AOK though , because Bush said God told him to do it, and that was good enough for people like you.

    In the 64 years since WWll we have been thrashing the entire third world with that big stick you love so much. Basically, the Western Romans fell because they could not control the military and the costs that come with empire. That's where we are headed now; it is war that is destroying our once great republic, not healing sick people.

    You fill these pages with Christianinanity word salads in defense of all of that, never asking "Who did Jesus charge for healing and do insurers really need a 40% return?"

    Takes a lot of noise to drown out the voice of conscience, doesn't it?

    Frank: Get some better stuff, you could use a good rush!



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