My hometown newspaper, The Intelligencer, ran a full page advertisement (image here) paid for by one Joe Gallagher. He paid good money to put up information he had received via email. Without fact checking it. The paper took his money and ran his ad. Without fact checking it.
Yeah. People are a little upset. Take this email for example written by someone I know back east. This message was sent to many people in the Doylestown area, as well as folks like me way out here in Arizona. Definitely worth sharing.
You probably all saw the full page ad on page 8 of the Intell on Tuesday about the Healthcare bill. Just to let you know that it is part of an organized scare campaign that has been circulating the internet recently. You may have heard also about the screaming and disruptive and aggressive behavior that has recently gone on during town meetings and a recent meeting at the Constitution Center in Philly.
On July 30th the award winning St Petersburg Times published a factcheck on this internet misinformation that ended up as a published ad in the Intel yesterday 8/4. It is the journalistic responsibility of the newspaper to clarify misinformation that is being circulated with the clear intent of scaring/shocking people and also adhere to truth in advertising by not to publish blatant misinformation ads like this.
No matter what your thoughts are on health care reform, please check out this website, copy and paste if you need to, so you can be informed about this important issue.
There are actually two important issues here. One is the misinformation that is circulating and is causing my generation, but especially older folks, much confusion and fear about health care reform. The WWII generation is especially scared about this and is getting bombarded by those who know how to work this sort of strategy on their fear very well……does that sound familiar?! Voices from the past, perhaps? So maybe tell your peers that they really need to talk to their parents and grandparents to let them know that they need to step back from all this noise, really listen and demand factual information before coming in any conclusions. Resist getting caught in this environment of fear.
The other problem is that very loud and aggressive, and very well organized, groups of people are going to town meetings, etc, and disrupting the events by shouting down anyone who wants to speak. They seem to forget that this is a Democracy and we ALL have the right to free speech, not just the shrill. Not surprisingly our elected officials are getting hundreds, many hundreds, of emails each day from those oppose any kind of health care reform. So maybe tell your peers that they need to let their elected officials know that there are people out there, too, that are not happy with the status quo, want some answers to their questions and expect hard work to get something accomplished on Washington.
End of soap box!
Full page advertisement full of falsehoods. Just bending the truth a little with a couple of emails. What’s the harm?
There’s an old proverb that says a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on. That’s surely true when the lie instills deep personal fears, and lies appear to be in full sprint as the nation’s health care debate goes local.
I’ll tell you what the harm is: people are going full blown crazy out there. Take the other night, Friday, I met a guy while I was picking up a pizza for the family. He had one hell of a car parked out front. It was just he and I in the place, the only two customers. And I drummed up a conversation with him to inquire if I might take a photo of his Firebird. It really was one of those cars you had to see to believe. How can you discribe such a beast with mere words? It would never do it justice. The hood reads “GOD” in huge white letters sweeping up and over the intakes. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
He followed me out and even popped up the hood. That’s four hundred and fifty four cubic inches of American Muscle right there, people. Makes that chromed air cleaner look tiny, don’t it?
We started bullshitting about this and that while we waited. Light stuff mostly, the weather, summer, traffic. Then he goes right in to health care. Tells me “if we can’t stop him, the government is going to have access to our checking accounts. Our checking accounts!”
I said one word. That word was “what”?
“Oh, you’re naive. You’re naive if you think that’s not what he wants to do!” He was getting loud now. The guy behind the counter was staring at us and he did not look happy. Rule number one: don’t piss off the people who are making your dinner. It’s just a bad idea.
Checking account? What? The government (“him” being, assumedly, Obama) isn’t going to, you know, tax the money out of me anymore? Now they’ll just automatically deduct whatever they think I should pay from my account without any warning?
“Yeah. That’s what they’re gonna do. He wants your money. It’s un-American. I work.”
Thank god my pizza showed up about this time in our downward spiral of a conversation. I wished him well and went on my merry way with an armful of goodness and anywhere to be in a hurry. So this guy doesn’t want the government to take money (his money) out of his bank account without his permission… Nobody would want that. It would be completely unreasonable. But, that isn’t what’s on the table. It’s unreasonableness is, well, essentially meaningless. Health care is what is on the table. Taking your money without your permission is not. It has, quite simply, nothing to do with it.
Well, aside from giving this poor bastard something to worry about. And something to fight against. Even if he is battling a ghost.
I cannot follow the argument anymore. It all makes zero sense to me. For example, people with government run health care (Medicare and Medicaid) scream that they don’t want government run heath care. And, in the same breath, demand that the government leave their existing (government run) health care coverage alone. People actually think the government will decide who lives and who dies. The old and infirm are out of luck under the Obama plan. We’re just going to abandon the helpless out on the rocks and let the wolves devour them as night falls. The Democrats will kill Sarah Palin’s baby! The Democrats will euthanize the elderly!
The conversation, or what passes for one, has become completely insane.
We are going to have universal health care coverage in this country. It may not happen now; it may not happen with Obama. But, mark my words, it will happen. It will come. It is inevitable. You’d sooner hold back the tide than avoid every citizen in this country being guaranteed a basic level of health care.by