No More Apples
"Adam ate an apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It's a shame we ran out of apples." -- The Sage.
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." -- John Kenneth Galbraith
"Reality has a liberal bias." -- Stephen Colbert
We are proud members of the resistance.
Wednesday, August 26
Health Care Debate Based on Total Lack of Logic
Heated partisan debate over President Obama's health care plan, erupting at town hall meetings and in the blogosphere, has more to do with our illogical thought processes than reality, sociologists are finding.
The problem: People on both sides of the political aisle often work backward from a firm conclusion to find supporting facts, rather than letting evidence inform their views.
The result: A survey out this week finds voters split strongly along party lines regarding their beliefs about key parts of the plan. Example: About 91 percent of Republicans think the proposal would increase wait times for surgeries and other health services, while only 37 percent of Democrats think so.
A totally rational person would lay out - and evaluate objectively - the pros and cons of a health care overhaul before choosing to support or oppose a plan. But we humans are not so rational, according to Steve Hoffman, a visiting professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo.
"People get deeply attached to their beliefs," Hoffman said. "We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter."
And to keep our sense of personal and social identity, Hoffman said, we tend to use a backward type of reasoning in order to justify such beliefs.
Similarly, past research by Dolores Albarracin, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has shown in particular that people who are less confident in their beliefs are more reluctant than others to seek out opposing perspectives. So these people avoid counter evidence all together. The same could apply to the health care debate, Albarracin said.
"Even if you have free press, freedom of speech, it doesn't make people listen to all points of view," she said.
Just about everybody is vulnerable to the phenomenon of holding onto our beliefs even in the face of iron-clad evidence to the contrary, Hoffman said. Why? Because it's hard to do otherwise. "It's an amazing challenge to constantly break out the Nietzschean hammer and destroy your world view and belief system and evaluate others," Hoffman said.
Just the facts you need
Hoffman's idea is based on a study he and colleagues did of nearly 50 participants, who were all Republican and reported believing in the link between the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Saddam Hussein. Participants were given the mounting evidence that no link existed and then asked to justify their belief.
(The findings should apply to any political bent. "We're not making the claim that Democratic or liberal partisans don't do the same thing. They do," Hoffman said.)
More Coverage of Senator Kennedy's Passing
Mass. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy dies at age 77
By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Glen Johnson, Associated Press Writer –
BOSTON – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.
In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more.
His only run for the White House ended in defeat in 1980. More than a quarter-century later, he handed then-Sen. Barack Obama an endorsement at a critical point in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, explicitly likening the young contender to President Kennedy.
To the American public, Kennedy was best known as the last surviving son of America's most glamorous political family, father figure and, memorably, eulogist of an Irish-American clan plagued again and again by tragedy.
Kennedy's death triggered an outpouring of superlatives, from Democrats and Republicans as well as foreign leaders.
"An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States senator of our time," Obama said in a written statement.
"For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts," said Obama, vacationing at Martha's Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast.
Kennedy's family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.
"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," the statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada issued a statement that said, "It was the thrill of my lifetime to work with Ted Kennedy.....The liberal lion's mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die." READ MORE
Tuesday, August 25
The Truth About Record-Setting U.S. Life Expectancy
The following from livescience.com:
By Robert Roy Britt, Editorial Director
posted: 19 August 2009 03:16 pm ET
Life expectancy in the United States rose to an all-time high, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. But that's only half the story.
The country is behind about 30 others on this measure.
Though the United States has by far the highest level of health care spending per capita in the world, we have one of the lowest life expectancies among developed nations — lower than Italy, Spain and Cuba and just a smidgeon ahead of Chile, Costa Rica and Slovenia, according to the United Nations. China does almost as well as we do. Japan tops the list at 83 years. READ MORE
Stand Up For Your Neighbor!
If you want to know who among Democrats, obviously no Republicans are to be found supporting the 47 plus million American citizens without healthcare, is standing up for the public option and who isn't please visit the following website: http://standwithdrdean.com/whipcount-results
(You can just click the picture)
Good on the Democrats that have already agreed that they support the public option bar none but we had better let those other, "Democrats" who have failed to stand up for what is right know that they are being counted and we will remember them well. They will have no chance for national office if they do not stand with the better women and men among their colleagues and say without reservation, "I care about the health of the uninsured. I support the widows, the orphans, and the poor! I will not fail them in the greatest and most righteous struggle facing this nation since the struggle for Civil Rights! I believe that without the inalienable right to life, the inalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness become irrelevant. Thus are over 47 million Americans stripped of their citizenship and become aliens in their own land. Thus is the Declaration of Independence burned. Thus falls our country from it's place on high into a depth from whence it will only be resurrected after the failure is universally recognized by the mass of men to be a blight on our proud history and an ugly reminder that though we believed we were past the great and shameful struggles, such as the prolonged delay of Civil Rights, and could once again hold our heads high- That in the year 2009 we failed of the promise again- to make this a country of the people, by the people, and for ALL of the people."
I urge you all to write to those who have not declared their support for this measure and tell them what you think. You are called to act. Do not fail. Tell them to say YES!
ps: all you need do is do a google search with the name of the "Democrat" and the word: email and you can tell them all your heartfelt thoughts. Do as many as you are willing and then do ten more. Again, You have been called. Stand with me. Stand with your neighbors. Do your best.