Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fox News Sunday Show comments

It is amazing to me how many times in this discussion you hear the argument "well, you don't mind when some private organization makes these decisions so why would you mind if the government makes them?  Well, because it is THE GOVERNMENT????!!!!!

Again, this is obvious if you just transfer the discussion to another context.  My credit card company knows a lot about what I purchase, what is wrong with the government having the same information?  Colleges make a lot of decisions about what students can have in their dorm room and what courses they can take, why not the government?  Because it is the government!  Of course the credit card company or the college may not have my best interests at heart.  But if I don't like them I can leave. Before I join them I can observe how they have treated others.  The government is THE Government.  The idea that people who are worried about the government taking over some power, information or decision making function that is presently in the hands of a large and powerful private entity are being irrational or worse must be shills or dupes of those organizations is extraordinary.  Do IQs drop when healthcare is the topic?

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The Death Panels.  If Sarah Palin is so dumb......

It turns out that you don't have to be an incumbent office holder to influence the debate.  Or, indeed, to win it.

Is it hyperbole? I am not so sure. 

Leaving aside the content of the proposal there is a real question of who is doing it.  Several commentators have commented on how similar proposals have been advanced by Republicans without controversy.  Even if one accepts, arguendo, that the proposals are the same it does matter who is making the proposal. There is a difference between Nixon going to China and McGovern.  It is not irrational to accept one and oppose the other.  Even if the words of the proposal were exactly the same it might well be that their authors "mean something different," as Churchill said explaining his break with Bonar Law.

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This Vic character coming back to the NFL is on the panel too.  It is amazing that they are all more or less ok with it.  Krauthammer makes the argument that sports stars being role models is so 1950s.  Well, perhaps it is, but perhaps the 1950s were on to something.  Their crazy idea the people you allow to be held up for admiration by young people might have some consequences for the kind of adults they become might have had something to do with the fact that those were better, safer times.  It might have some role in explaining why the level of civility and decency that one used to be able to expect just for being gainfully employed is now available only in gated communities. 

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