Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boston Herald soils its already soiled reputaion

In yet another startlingly biased and misguided editorial, columnist Cal Thomas rails about disingenuous statements he alleges are made by the president, all the while peppering his column with his own, demonstrably disingenuous arguments.

If we believe the president when he promises there will be no “death panels,” does he lose honesty points when instead the government sends doctors who “counsel” the elderly about their “end of life options”?- Cal Thomas, Boston Herald 09/15/2009
Lets gloss over the fact that "death panels" were the invention of... let's just say a certain group of people who oppose health-care reform- I'll address it later.

What if the administration plans to bar illegal immigrants from purchasing health care coverage, but, as The New York Times [NYT] reported, continues to require hospitals to provide emergency treatment to illegal immigrants at taxpayer expense? -Cal Thomas, Boston Herald 09/15/2009
Apparently, despite the very humanitarian idea that hospitals must render emergency aid to whomever needs it, Mr. Thomas would rather all emergency patients have proof of citizenship before a nurse will let them through the door. You can read the whole disingenuous op-ed piece "No truth to set us free" here.

Well, I'd read about as much as I could stomach when I had to close the paper, until I realized that not only were other people reading it, but that there was a way to comment back to Mr. Thomas- online.

So I posted the following response in the comments section:

It's shocking to me that in an article about trust and disingenuous statements, Mr. Thomas makes so many disingenuous statements himself. Are "death panels" (which are solely the invention of opponents to health-care reform) the same thing as "providing counseling" to people who need it? They are not. The American Medical Association seems to think such counseling is good for people, so a specific benefit was to be included so people could get the counseling.

Is granting illegal immigrants health-care coverage the same as granting them emergency room care? It is not. Do Herald readers really want *anyone* bleeding to death on the doorstep of a hospital because they can't provide ID? So much for Americans being humanitarians.

Lastly, is Mr. Thomas *really* suggesting that the majority of Herald readers are too stupid to see these faults in his disingenuous arguments?

I'm afraid he is. But don't worry, Mr. Thomas, and Boston Herald; those of us who aren't that stupid will be ashamed not only of you, but *for* you.

I know he may never read it, but I do hope someone will, and realize what a bogus opinion Mr Thomas has foisted upon his unsuspecting, and apparently naive, readership. I urge you all reading this to add comments in whatever local paper Mr. Thomas' op-ed piece appears, has he is, for reasons passing understanding, a syndicated columnist.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A New Kind of Ignorance?

Back in the late 1970's, when I was all of eight years old, or so, President Jimmy Carter addressed the nation to discuss the oil crisis, and, specifically, ways we could conserve. Among his suggestions was the idea that we should delay turning on our furnaces until it actually got cold, (Mid October?) and turning them off as early as possible in the spring.

To this day, our family practices these, because the president asked us to.

Today, President Obama will give a speech to almost all of our nation's school children, calling on them to work hard, and take responsibility for their own education. In the speech, he cites his own and Michelle Obama's struggles to get ahead, and an education.

"Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in."

He specifically names three students who, against tough odds and in a backdrop of difficult circumstances, have persevered through nothing less than willpower.

"Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same. "

And he gives encouragement as well:
"Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide. "

And all we've heard for days, is that Republicans have been decrying the speech. They've beens saying everything from "Obama is going to indoctrinate our children in his socialist agenda" to "Obama is abusing his authority in speaking to students."

So the President has posted his prepared remarks for all to read on the White House Website, and there are still people, and worse, schools, who don't want the president to make the speech, or don't think he should be allowed to speak to kids.

What, exactly, do Republicans have against an authority figure like the President urging kids to stay in school and take responsibility for their education? What, exactly, do they have against a presidential address at all? Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan also made similar addresses in their time.

I think they have two objections:
  1. They object to students actually studying, because if they do, they'll be far less likely to support the obviously morally bankrupt policies of the conservatives and
  2. They object to a black man speaking to their white kids about education.
Go on- read the speech, and try to come up with another objection. I dare you. In the meantime, those of us who, you know, studied in school, and are free of racism, will quietly record this speech, and show it to our children.