Sunday, August 30, 2009

Facts don't matter

If I told you that Jews kidnap Christian children every year before Passover so they can kill them and mix their blood with their matzah would you believe me?

Sadly it seems that a lot of people would. You see the very falsehood mentioned above was widely believed by people in Germany when the Nazis spread this viscious lie as part of a propaganda campaign designed to turn the average person, or enough average persons, against the Jews. How could such a rediculous lie be accepted as fact by so many people? A combination of laziness, fear, and an unwillingness to accept responsibility for one's own actions. Upon hearing lies such as this many of the German people were too lazy to investigate the veracity of such claims, and even if they did doubt the claims it didn't matter, the desire to have someone else to blame for their problems besided themselves was too much to resist. A scapegoat had been identified and no one was going to miss the chance to make the most of it.

Of course we would never fall for such outrageous lies, Americans would never believe claims that had no evidence behind them and that were so obviously crazy as to be laughable. Claims like the House health care reform bill will create death panels that will decide when senior citizens have become too much of a drain and should have the plug pulled on them. Claims that Democrate controlled health care reform will use voter registration information to identify which political party a person belongs to and then deny health care to Republicans. Of course we would never believe claims that people who live in countries like The United Kingdom all unanimously hate their health care systems and that we should base a rejection of a "government take-over" of health care on their dissatisfaction.

All of these lies are over the top crazy and are not backed up by any facts and yet it looks like millions of Americans believe them. Why would they do this? Once again we see laaziness rear its ugly head. Anyone with an internet connection could spend 15 seconds with Google and find that all of these claims are without merit. But we don't, we believe whatever talking head on TV or whatever voice coming out of the radio we hear first and never think about doing a little bit of research for ourselves. On top of being lazy we are also concerned that maybe, just maybe the United States is no longer the greatest country on Earth. Of course this has nothing to do with anything we have done or haven't done and so we must find someone to blame for it. We have chosen our own government to lay the blame on, the government that we elected, if we even took the time to vote. The government is incapable of doing anything right, which would make you think the "death panels" wouldn't be considered a threat, and the government is out to get us and so we must try our best to make sure they can nevr get anything done.

Our hatred of the government is so deep that any conversation about an issue like health care reform will morph into how exceptionally inept the government is (so why do we keep reelecting the same people over and over again?) and other government programs will be offered up as evidence. For example in a recent discussion I was having about health care reform someone brought up what a failure the "Cash for Clunkers" program had been and stated that every car traded in cost us $20,000.00. Well this interested me since almost 700,000 cars were traded in and at $20k each we would have spent a lot more than the 3 billion dollars that had been allocated for the program. I asked where they had found this $20k number and they offered up an article from The article was based on the initial billion dollars allocated for the program and states that on average 200,000 cars worth less than $4,500.00 are traded in on new cars every three months. The billion dollars allocated would only cover 250,000 cars and therefore we would spend a billion dollars to get a net increase of only 50,000 cars traded in and therefore we would be spending $20,000.00 per car.

Interestingly the article leaves out some important information. First of all over what time period was the 200,000 car per three month average based on? Was it over the last 12 months when car sales have been dramatically down or was it from 2 years ago when sales figures were vastly higher? The article also seems to assume that the 200,000 cars on average traded in would be the same 200,000 of 250,000 cars traded in durring the program not allowing for the fact that 300,000 or 400,000 or 500,000 cars might actually be traded in. It seems that the writers of this article were most concerned with arriving at a frightening number that would make the program look bad instead of doing good, balanced, research.

Of course we know now that in the first week of the program we reached the 250,000 car mark, not in three month, no, one week. We also now know that instead of 250,000 cars being traded in almost 700,000 cars were traded in and not in three months, no, in 29 days. Anyone looking at this article could see this, but to the person that brought it up facts didn't matter, promoting hatered of the government did.

Will anyone be surprised, with all of the shouting and guns showing up at the recent town hall meetings, if we see acts of violence against our elected officials or government employees? Of course not, we have accepted the propaganda promoted by the health industry and then voiced over and over again by elected officials and everyday people. We will be surprised when the government finally steps aside and is no longer needed as the figurehead for big business it has become over the past few decades? Somehow I doubt it, and even if we are shocked it will be to late.

Of course some will say that it is too much of a stretch to compare our current situation to Nazi Germany. It is estimated that 18,000 people die in the United States every year because they don't have access to health care. This means that since 1993, the last time we attempted to get meaningful health care reform, 288,000 Americans have been killed because they are poor or have been denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. No, it isn't 6,000,000 but no one with an ounce of humanity in them could think that it isn't a vastly larger number than it should be.

First post

Ok, so I don't know if anyone will ever read this, which may be good or bad, but I am going to use this space to talk about things that interest and concern me. You probably won't agree with a lot of what I say, I know this because I am a walking contradiction, so feel free to comment and let me know how much of an idiot or genius you think I am. 
You will see ads in my blog, yes, if I can make a buck off of this I won't turn it down. I don't control what ads show up so if you don't like them don't tell me, I am just here to collect the checks. Anyway this post was mainly just to see how the lay out looks, I'll leave all of you to go back to your regularly scheduled lives.