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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Blanket statements

I am really opposed to blanket statements.  A friend (you know who you are) posted last week about how Democrats had launched many "public benefit" programs.  He did not list what they were (although he did post a meme that listed a few- which we are not here to debate), and then followed with the "question" of what have Republicans ever done of a same nature?

Now, I have no problem if you would like to use the comments to inform him of what you feel on the subject- I already did on his blog.  But the thing I would like to address here is, here we are again with the same old same old of, "My team likes this, your team stinks."  Facebook and other social media are buried in such garbage.

Last week, Mad Jack had an excellent post on this very subject, based around the then-current story of the Kathy Griffin debacle.  In it he referenced a very pertinent comment made by Dilbert creator Scott Adams:

The takeaway here should not be so much about Griffin. The takeaway is that a room full of people involved in the photoshoot did not see this as a huge problem from the start. They were living a different movie. If you judge this situation to be an error of taste, judgement, intelligence, or morality, you are missing the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that the country is living two movies at the same time, and Griffin was acting “normal” in one of them.

I would certainly like to have a conversation with people not involved in a "movie", but with people who can actually accept that they have reasons for an opposing view.  Though he doesn't always show it, the original poster in my story does have this ability.  His buddy however, does not.  And I would like to share two things that this person said to me in comments that show that better than anything else I could show.

 Comment one:  "The Affordable Care Act is collapsing because the GOP doesn't have a plan!"

Here, we ignore the fact that a) the ACA was a DEMOCRAT plan, and b) the GOP having a plan doesn't matter because they haven't pulled their collective heads out long enough to do anything about it.  If the ACA was the great thing he thinks it is, why would/should the GOP NEED a plan?

Comment two: "You, CW, are the one who does not want to leave the smooth waters of your own site and deal with rational people who have differing views."

Ignoring the fact that we were having the discussion on HIS FRIEND'S blog.    Ignoring the fact that I pointed out his credibility issues based on and starting with comment one, and HE never replied to them, only bringing out his innumerable tables and links that explain how were were better off when etc, etc.

Lately, I have been reading Iron Curtain: The Crushing Of Eastern Europe 1944-56 by Anne Applebaum.  In it, I am seeing so many examples of traits the left are using to attack Trump and the right, up to and including control of the media, the schools, overwhelming propaganda, and shouting down speakers at meetings.  I have two observations about that.

Observation one:  In the end, precious little of the Eastern European populations swallowed the Soviet BS back then- and it surprised a lot of Communists that figured that they would be an acceptable alternative to Fascism.  Stunned by their losses, they turned bitter, drove the alternatives out by force.  My question is, why did they think their way was so right if NOBODY wanted it?

Observation two:  This would be an excellent excuse to play tit for tat with those who wanted to lately compare Trump to Hitler, by saying the left is using Stalinist tactics.  Now, you can compare Fascism to Communism- one is brutalizing the downtrodden by a party with a charismatic if evil leader, the other is brutalizing the downtrodden by a party with a grey monolithic and evil bureaucracy.  But for me to say we are watching the left use Stalinist ideology and tactics would beg that I am expecting the NKVD to knock on my door any minute and take me to the Gulag- or worse.  And folks, that ain't happening either.

Nor do I feel like playing tit for tat with this- which is why, after a few replies, I deleted buddy's last comment without looking at it.  As the original poster might say, he had descended into the use of "straw man arguments" to make points that were having increasingly less to do with the subject.  And it's a damn shame, because we DO have some common ground areas that he won't see because he is so blinded by his hate of the other side.  A hate which was birthed by blanket statements on both sides, which are all we hear anymore.

"The main reason for division between people is lack of communication." - Robert Jeffres


  1. Yeah, it's a good thing that I don't label myself a conservative or a liberal, or there's all of these things I'd have to do to be part of the group. Like if I'm conservative, I have to hate women and minorities and poor people. And if I'm a liberal, I have to be a naive hippie that makes every decision with snowflake feelings and not with facts or logic.

    Those are the rules of the club. No exceptions. Oh, and the other club is always wrong. Always.

    1. THAT is exactly the rule some people live by. And it's tempting to just let your side do all your thinking for you. Always remember the immortal words of Captain America: "You have your definition of a hero, and I have mine. But mine includes being a little more aware."

  2. Chris:
    You have delved into a place I haven't really gone into (but have danced around the edge of this societal crater)...
    To me, blanket statements beget all those nasty double-standards we have in THIS country (and really need to get a handle on and do away with).
    Your observations of history serve you well, because they are FACT (funny how that works).
    Fascism and Communism are basically two different sides of the same coin.
    One comes from the extreme left, while the other from the extreme right.
    One curious thing that I find in every blanket statement...a lack of proper CONTEXT.
    When it comes to such ambiguities, one size rarely (if ever) fits all.

    Very good commentary.

    Stay safe (and stay cool) up there, brother.

    1. And another great comment that hits the core of the problem: "To me, blanket statements beget all those nasty double-standards we have in THIS country (and really need to get a handle on and do away with)."

      And as true as that is, I'll bet somewhere someone call you just one of my sycophants on my smooth-watered site.

    2. No doubt...and you know what?
      I really don't give a flying (you-know-what).
      My choice of friends is MINE and mine alone.


  3. Pollies are full of crap just my thought they either say they will do this or that and do nothing or they do things that we would rather they didn't do at all

    1. Boy, you guys today could have wrote this post for me in just your comments. If their are main points to the whole thing, you all have just hit 1, 2, and 3.

  4. CW -- So glad that you're back in the safe waters of your own site again. Here you can control everything, including which comments you allow, and which you do not.
    The ACA was, in fact, a Republican idea! It was based upon the law in Massachusetts, championed by then-Governor Romney! The original Democratic plan was proffered by the Clintons in the early 1990s, and was killed by the insurance companies and their political friends, both Republican and Democrat, in Congress. Nothing devised by the mind of man is perfect. Romney-care in Massachusetts is not perfect. The ACA is not perfect. The Republicans have had over SEVEN YEARS to come up with an alternative. So far, the only "alternative" they have would eliminate healthcare coverage for over 20,000,000 Americans! Instead, the only Republican strategy in the field of healthcare has been to undermine the ACA and then call it a failure. More millions of Americans with no healthcare; millions of dollars more for billionaires!
    CW, here are some more facts, even though I know you hate facts: most Republicans opposed Social Security when it was first proposed. Most Republicans opposed Medicare when it was first proposed. Most Republicans opposed the ACA even though it was based upon Republican-sponsored Romney-care in Massachusetts. The only way Republican POTUS Eisenhower could get enough votes in Congress to build the interstate highway system, was by referring to the importance of having these highways, with lengths of it remaining straight, for emergency landing strips for military purposes. Heaven forbid, Republicans wanting the government to invest in infrastructure (which private companies do not have the will to do), just for economic development to create jobs for common folks like us!
    CW -- I think that you and I agree that government governs best from the political center. Extremes of both the right and the left have some good ideas, but are rigid and wrong too often.

    1. Ok Dale, this is your freebie. The last time we played this game, I told you you were free to comment as long as you stayed on point. You failed to, and thus I cut off your comments. The comment string on this latest debacle was going the same way, thus I unsubscribed without reading your last post. So then you come here and insult me by insinuating I wouldn't allow any reasonable comment. Then you accuse me of your "straw man" safe water comment- which I already made afool of you on above. And now you expect me to give a fair hearing to your pseudo-facts which I see are little more than an ingenuous blame shifting for a Democrat plan to a Republican Party that wanted nothing ever to do with it. And you keep trotting out your "20 million people losing coverage" stat. which is at best suspect, since most of those losing coverage are losing it because of insurers pulling out of the exchange because ACA has made it impossible to do business. And please tell me which Democrat billionaire is losing any money. I don't see Soros, Kerry, et al, losing any sleep. Before you bitch about the splinter in one party's eye, you ought to remove the plank from your own.

      HOWever, I will agree with your last paragraph. Be damn nice to see you actually live it, since all you do is constantly parrot the party line.

      Also, I am damn tired of you always saying I "hate facts", just because they aren't the party-provided facts you like. But I am trying not to get upset, since I have been as big a dick at times as you have been these last couple of visits. Your problem, you can't be even slightly wrong, and you can't let something go.

      So, if you would like further comments to be published here, DON'T jump off topic. DON'T Impugn my integrity. And DON'T act like you're the only one in the room that has a brain. You need to accept that some people don't see the world the way you do. And in a lot of cases, they might just be right. And if you can't do that, I at least thank you for so verbosely proving the point of my post.

    2. No, Dale, I'm not happy, and let me tell you why. The ACA was a pyramid scheme that is failing because the base that was supposed to hold it up- young millennials- failed to do so. Those older than 26 had jobs with insurance and didn't need to join the exchanges; those under stayed on mommy and daddy's plan. So along comes someone like Laurie, rapidly approaching 50, and her job goes out from under her. With no skills marketable anymore (since other similar jobs were tanking as well, or moving), she takes a job at a mass retailer. Too cheap to pay insurance, they keep their staff on part time hours so they don't have to. So now she can't get work based insurance, can't begin to afford the exchanges (since the millennials didn't all join up to lower the costs), and on top has to pay several hundred bucks at tax time which could be better spent keeping a roof over her head. That's not a billionaire who doesn't like it, that's someone bareley scraping by who finds the word "affordable to be a big joke.

      The one thing you are right on, is nobody is fixing it- everyone is doing just like you and I did, running their mouths about Trump, or Cruz, or Obama, or Pelosi, running out stats to prove that this and that doesn't work. Well, guess what? We all know it doesn't work, and it don't matter whose idea it was. And you are right, the offered GOP solution is a joke too, because not only doesn't it address the problem, they haven't even tried to figure out what the problem IS.

      Me? I can't dial it all in either, but I do know a couple of things. A few miles north of me is a palatial hospital in a constant state of building on. It has electronic billboards everywhere, and a few years back could eat my uninsured 75K plus bill as a tax writeoff without breaking a sweat. Another thing I know is that I am on a medicine that I COULD be paying 3 figures every month or so for- EXCEPT that the manufacturer can afford to give it to you free in perpetuity just for answering a few simple questions. Everywhere you look- except for the bank accounts of the RNs and other lower-tier workers- medicine is making money.

      Everyone SHOULD have affordable health care. The whole system is horseshit. And we sit here wasting time playing tug of war with politicians who give a rat's ass about us. And that's why I'M not happy.

    3. CW -- We have a LOT of agreement here. The ones who are still getting rich in the field of medicine are the insurance executives! I once asked about the cost of insurance coverage to physicians. I was told that what used to be a relatively simple process back in the 1960s and 1970s, has turned into a nightmare for physicians. At that time, about 10 years ago, there were over 100 different insurance plans with which doctors had to comply. No wonder, there are almost NO independent physicians any more. Almost all of them are working for hospital and/or insurance conglomerates. Add to the health insurance mess, the cost of malpractice insurance, and one can easily see how physicians are seduced into joining large organizations which take care of these insurance and malpractice problems for them! In the Toledo area, almost every single doctor is part of either the Promedica system. the Mercy system, or the Toledo Clinic!
      Now, I know that people fear government bureaucracy. But, what about private bureaucracy? I had a friend that died, yes died, because his insurance company made him go through an appeal process that took a few weeks, because they claimed that a bone marrow procedure that was decades old, was, indeed, "experimental." During those weeks awaiting approval, his overall health deteriorated so much that he did not recover from what his surgeon described as a successful operation. Some call it "the breaks." I call it manslaughter!
      While government fiddles around, people die. And people die because those who make the decisions about health care are NOT the doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, most of whom care deeply about their patients. Instead insurance bureaucrats dictate treatment for us to your physician and mine! The system stinks...unless, of course, one has enough money to get treatment at any price!

    4. Agreed there, but I'm not sure on whether insurance holds all the blame. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on the Lutheran Health Network mess in Fort wayne.