Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Closer Look at Textbook Controversy

The Texas State Board of Education recently imposed controversial new standards for textbooks that some say are too heavily tilted toward conservative thought. What are some of the changes in the new textbooks?

1) In cost-saving move, list of presidents already includes Sarah Palin.

2) Fifteen pages devoted to civil-rights struggles replaced with tasty but historically irrelevant barbecue-sauce recipes.

3) Book asserts that founders meant most constitutional amendments sarcastically, "like when you write 'Hope we hang out soon!' in a fat kid's yearbook."

4) Section devoted to Ronald Reagan accompanied by Photoshopped image of Reagan performing the Moonwalk at the Motown 25 show in 1983.

5) Loss of Vietnam war blamed primarily on premarital sex by Billy Thomas and Suzie Watkins on Nov. 21, 1971 in Thomas' parents' basement.

6) Every scientific achievement mentioned illustrated with a photo of characters from "Revenge of the Nerds."

7) Claims that Joseph McCarthy was vindicated; also claims that he wrote the "Twilight" series.

8) Free-market economy is championed, but note in back claims that book "can be burned for warmth."

9) Portion devoted to George W. Bush's presidency to be blacked out in each book with Magic Marker.

10) Al Gore sarcastically listed in index as "inventor of the internet."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seattle Times Readers are Inhuman Monsters

The Seattle Times recently ran a story about a boy who has become a health-care advocate after the death of his mother. Leaving aside the fact that the story raises some unanswered questions, I'd like to point out that it has spawned a crazy, mean-spirited host of comments clinging to the story's belly like a parasite to a host. Let's dive in, shall we?

I'm sorry, but I'm no more responsible for this family's healthcare than Bill Gates is responsible for my retirement.

Bill Gates presumably pays social security taxes, so he is kind of responsible for your retirement, unless you plan on turning down that money. Oh, and he's also helped pay for the roads you drive on, the public schools you or your children attended, the fire department you call when your house catches on fire, and ... well, you get the idea.

What did the woman weigh when she fell ill? Was this not a contributing factor? Senator Murray's webpage said she died because "she didn't have insurance". I suspect she died because of more than that. But that would speak to personal responsibility and that - of course - is anathema to those who want more government, more taxes.

Shorter version of that comment: Fat people deserve to die! Oh, and I like how this commentator "suspects" she died of "more of that." Tell me more, Dr. House.

the deceased made some seriously fatal errors in judgement that had little to do with whether she was insured. if she was a smoker as some have suggested, it changes the story even more.

First of all, there is no evidence whatsoever whether this woman smoked, and there seems to be no evidence that if she did, it was a risk factor for her condition. But, putting that aside, this author seems to imply that someone whose condition is caused by their own actions does not deserve health care, which is both mean and stupid. If you cut your thumb off while slicing vegetables, don't call 911! It's your fault, one-thumb!

Oh, and here's another thing: The Seattle Times doesn't specify if this family is American-born. Are they truly American citizens, or are they illegal aliens??


I don't mean to appear harsh, but a part of life is death.

If a burglar breaks into your house and starts stabbing you, don't fight back! After all, death is a part of life!

this kid is being used patty to promote her socialism-how sad!

Hey, you know what else is sad? Having your mom die of complications from pulmonary hypertension.

Let Obama have the 13,000 insurance companies compete across state lines, and go after the Tort lawyers, and you'd have at least a 50-75% reduction in cost.

I would really, really like to know where the author came up with that 50-75 percent number. I'm guessing he pulled it right out of his ass. On a related note, studies have repeatedly shown that tort reform will have little to no effect on health care costs.

Allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, let the market drive down prices.

Currently, one of the largest problems with this country's health care system is that insurance companies will not insure people if they are at risk to get sick. (Or they kick them off the insurance if they do get sick.) Nobody has ever explained how allowing insurance companies to sell policies across state lines will fix this. If a company based in California won't insure you because you had leukemia, why would a company in Ohio be willing to take you on? Oh, and even if you are able to fix that part of the problem, letting companies sell insurance in different states remains a questionable proposition.