Thursday 20 September 2012

Mitt Romney, Lung Cancer, and Common Knowledge

My mother died at the age of 66 in 1997 from lung cancer. She had smoked since she was 14 years old. After the funeral, the family had dinner together at my brother's and at some point in the evening; I invited my sister, my brother, and my sister-in-law into the backyard for a private discussion. All three of them were smokers and I wanted to remind each one of them that while it was their choice to smoke or not to smoke, I wanted them to understand that the death of our mother couldn't be a clearer indication of the dangers of cigarettes.

It is now 16 years later and all three of them continue to smoke. In fact my brother is a chain smoker and I have absolutely no doubt I am going to be attending his funeral just like my mother's. Of course you could reasonably bring up the question of addiction but my point is rationalization and the persistence in doing what experts say is wrong. When I grew up, smoking was the norm. It was socially acceptable. I am surprised to have lived long enough to see the entire situation do a one eighty where now smoking is no longer the norm and is frowned upon. In fact, it is banned in many places and those inveterate addicts who continue to defy common sense are banished outside to some specially designated zone of shame.

My point is this. In the 1950s, or the 1960s if you prefer to think of the television series Mad Men, we collectively thought smoking was okay. Today we do not. What we refer to as "common knowledge" has changed. Oh I think if we dug hard enough, we'd realise that today's common knowledge has always around. After all, why have insurance companies always made smokers pay higher premiums? But it has taken a major shift in society and what we call common knowledge to change our collective thinking so that now the norm is to not smoke.

The truth is that smoking is bad for your health. However for decades, no centuries, we collectively practised this activity despite it being bad. If you know something is bad, why would you do it anyways? Okay, I'll give you one by putting your hand on the hot burner of a stove. We all make mistakes out of ignorance. But if you keep doing it over and over again and repeatedly burn your hand, I'm going to think you have a screw loose.

How is this idea applicable elsewhere?

47% of Americans pay no income tax
You're not going to stop saying this, are you? Okay, the first time you said it, I gave you a break. The second time, I rolled my eyes. Times number three through seventeen had me glare at you. But now? Not only are you pissin' on the poor, the poorest of the poor, you are pissin' on the elderly, people with kids in college, soldiers and veterans all without delving into some of the rich who manage to get into this category due to extraordinary tax planning.

Facts are not decided by how many people believe them. Truth is not determined by how loudly it is shouted.
- sign at the Rally to Restore Sanity, October 30, 2010, Washington DC

Stop it. Stop it right now. Stop it Mitt Romney, the Republican Party and Conservatives everywhere. This statement is so misleading, I classify it as pure unadulterated horse manure. You are doing nothing to contribute to a sane rational political debate.

Want more proof?

See my blog: Romney caught on video: 47% of Americans are Losers

Obamacare is bad. Get rid of it ASAP!
Fifty million Americans are uninsured and the nation will go bankrupt insuring them. A few points if you will.

The United States is the only advanced industrialized nation which does NOT provide universal health care to its citizens. Would you explain to me why Canada, France, England and numerous other countries can do this but you, the biggest economy in the world cannot?

Not insuring those fifty million is not free. Yep, you are already paying for it but you seem to not know it. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) of 1986 means that anybody, any citizen can walk into emergency in any hospital and get care even if they can't pay. It's the law. Who's paying then? You are. The hospitals write it off and charge you the paying customer or get support from the government. In other words, the "system" pays for it.

If Americans feel that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights, inalienable rights, shouldn't that include health, good health? If your citizens are sick, you have to take care of them. If your citizens are incapacitated, they can't work. Any way you slice it; these citizens cost you and cost the "system" money. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you did more to ensure people remained healthy, society would be far more productive.

Out of the fifty million uninsured, it is estimated that 18,000 die unnecessarily each year due to lack of proper care or lack of timely care. The "system" supposedly charged with the task of ensuring life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness cannot or will not do anything to save 18,000 people.

Want more proof?

See my blog: Obamacare: Congratulations on doing the right thing, America!

Cutting taxes for the wealthy creates jobs
Bulls**t. Are you an expert in economics? Do you hold a Ph.D. from an accredited university with decades of experience in the real world of banking and government? No? Then why do you keep repeating this ad infinitum (Or is it ad nauseum?) when you haven't got a clue of what you're talking about? Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning economist, says trickledown economics is a bunch of crap. Where's your Nobel Prize? Experts have stated that all the massive tax cuts done under Reagan did nothing for the average worker. They did however put more money in the pockets of the rich. Just imagine how Warren Buffet, one of the richest guys in the U.S., points out the absurdity of how his tax rate is less than his secretary's. What?

Want more proof?

See my blog: Is the right answer counter-intuitive? (Part Deux)

See my blog: All the rich are not billionaires

Abstinence is the only solution
This is the moment where I do a facepalm. You have drunk the Kool-Aid. You have officially crossed the line between reality and the Twilight Zone. Those states which promote abstinence only programs instead of proper sex education, like Texas under Rick Perry, demonstrate higher rates of unwanted pregnancies. Yes, it's true. Now listen carefully. Those states which provide sex education and birth control have a lower incidence of abortion. You heard me. You keep running around yelling that abortion is murder but you enact policies which cause this rate of so-called murder to go up. Yes, you. You Mr. and Mrs. I-want-to-save-the-baby are making matters worse!!!

Want more proof?

See my blog: Abortion: Rick Perry and Sex Education: Abstinence works!

See my blog: Abortion: If we make it illegal, the problem will go away

See my blog: Abortion: My final word on unwanted pregnancies

I'm wasting my breath
As I browse around the news, Facebook, and Twitter during these last weeks running up to the election, I get a sense that people have made up their mind. And in making up their mind, they determinedly shut out anything which contradicts their decision. Romney makes the Mother of all gaffes with his 47% remark, and I see the diehard Republicans telling him to stick to his guns. Wait, he just insulted half the nation and you still defend him?

Metro David ‏@MetroDavid13 9:14 AM - 19 Sep 12
Its truly sad the most of #America have NO clue whats going on with our #Gov or #Obama agenda #WAKEUPAMERICA before its too late #MittRomney

Hannah Cook ‏@Hanner612 9:52 AM - 19 Sep 12
You're a freaking idiot if you vote for Obama #Nobama #TeamRomney

Final Word
I have read numerous comments from people like the above @MetroDavid13 and @Hammer612 which show an unflinching determination to vote Republican in the election. Like the members of my own family who continue to smoke in the face of all the evidence and even in the face of the death of their own mother from lung cancer, the Republican adherents and the Tea Party fanatics continue with their ideology saying to themselves that the bad stuff the experts talk about is not going to happen to them. They cling to their version of "common knowledge".

In the 1950s people smoked even though it was known then to be bad for you. Today, we are seeing the tide reversed and smoking is no longer the accepted norm. In the 1950s, nobody wore seatbelts in cars even though it was known then that safety belts could save lives. Today, it is not just the norm but it is the law to wear a safety belt. (Although some states do not fully enforce this.)

Mitt Romney states that he wants an America where everyone can pursue their dreams. I fully concur with that statement. I think it is a wonderful goal. Unfortunately, you can't pursue your dreams if you're not healthy. You can't pursue your dreams if you can't afford the education which will open the doors to a better and brighter future. You can't pursue your dreams if you make a mistake and get pregnant or contract a fatal disease.

Americans are a tough breed. They have achieved a lot and they will achieve more. However they must come to learn that while individualism is laudable, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By helping one another, by providing one another with opportunities, by taking a little less personally and giving a little more to the collective we, Americans can continue to be that beacon of hope in the world for democracy and liberty. America: "I" didn't build it; "we" built it.


my blog: Barb Tarbox (and my mother): bigger warnings on cigarettes
My mother died in 1996 at the age of 66. She had smoked from the age of 14, a span of 52 years. Her cancer started in her lungs, spread to her brain then ended up in her liver. A vibrant woman in life, she had wasted to a scant 84 pounds (38 kg). She had but 6 months from the first diagnosis to her death.

Published on Sep 18, 2012 by HuffingtonPost
What Makes Mitt Romney Happy
Mitt Romney: "When I was a boy, I used to think that becoming rich and becoming famous would make me happy. Boy was I right."


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Cuckoo Momma said...

I'm kind of in love with you. Just sayin.

BigLittleWolf said...

Cuckoo Momma knows a good man when she reads one.

Just sayin.