Things In Common

Sometimes things happen that seem totally unrelated until a common theme emerges. When that happens, there is a golden moment when progress can be made. Alas, all too often the rush of life causes us to take the path most traveled and the enlightening that could have taken place is lost. Consider:

  • Detroit bound suicide bomber and increased airport security of everyday Americans returning from Florida beaches. From gross profile to common procedures differences (like already having a ticket that was paid for months ago by credit card), there is nothing remotely similar to the suicide bomber and 99% of Americans who fly.
  • Obama’s taxes are killing the average American, no wonder we can’t get ahead. This is the refrain of the T-baggers and “I hate Government crowd”, and simply does not reflect the facts about taxes. Simply stated, up to this point, they have not been increased.
  • I’m against this health care reform bill because it contains “death panel” provisions and is not strong enough on abortion. Once again, the health care reform bill does not and did not contain any provisions that would limit “Grandma’s end of life options, and the Hyde Amendment already precludes Government financing of abortions.
  • Moving Guantanamo prisoners to Northwest Illinois will introduce very dangerous people and attract terrorists to our shores. With a hand full of exceptions, Federal maximum security prisons already hold convicts who have been responsible for more killings than 95% of the Guantanamo detainees. Not to be overlooked is that maximum security prisons are just that and escapes are generally unheard of. With regards to attracting terrorists, what is keeping them from coming now?

So what do these situations have in common?

They all reflect a “non-thinking” response to an issue. (1) Rather than look to what did not work in today’s airport security procedures (people or process) and tighten up these deficiencies, the TSA opted for a political spin and imposed new broader restriction on the general flying public. They made no one safer. They did not think. (2) Taxes are at an historic low (post world war II) and since the Bush tax cuts, the US has not balanced a budget. Hello, maybe the tax rates are too low already. With respect to President Obama, he simply has not raised anyones taxes to day. People who say he has are flat out wrong. (3) Health care in the US is a joke compared to the rest of the modern world. While those who receive health care find it satisfactory (and it is good quality for them), the cost of health care is the highest in the world without being the best. Most depressing is that those who currently have health care, could be dropped and be denied new coverage by the whims of private for profit insurance companies. Those without insurance may find it prohibitively too expensive to buy coverage or may be denied coverage due to some pre-existing condition. This is the problem with US health care, not death panels or abortion. (4) Guamtanamo was a mistake third only to the invasion of Iraq and the adoption of enhanced interrogation methods (read violation of Geneva Convention including Abu Ghraib). Holding the detainees without charges or trial is against everything that America has stood for. The military commissions concept produced a sham of justice and is not worth fixing. US courts can do the job and Federal Prisons are already a proven method of holding dangerous prisoners.

At the end of this is simply the idea of using data and thinking. You cannot stop some people who have their own motives from spinning any issue in a way that supports their position. You can expect the news media to report facts and not half baked opinions, but don’t get your hopes too high. But in all case, each of us as individuals can think and ask question about facts. We can stop supporting politicians who pass out spin or say simply the politically correct thing. We can insist in town meetings that politicians explain why, with supporting facts, they have voted or acted in a certain way. This will be infectious and could lead to a step change in government.

Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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