Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Facts, Truth & other Things

It seems that there are two versions of the facts about Health Care Reform. The Democrats' version and the Republicans' version. Recent research has shown that these versions are strongly held. Unfortunately, while people may hold their own opinions, they can not make up their own facts.
The other day a friend was told that she had her facts wrong, because she only listened to mainstream media. And her friend knows the truth about health care reform because "[she] think[s] Glenn Beck is the ONLY middle of the road libertarian that is right on. I am NOT liking what Obama is doing .. the health care issue sucks.. How can these fools vote if they don't read the damn bill.. and we hire them to do it.. It's their job to read it. It takes 10 professionals just to interpret it.. The seniors are not organized.. they are reading the bill and siting [sic] specifics."

So, I suggest that we all read the bill for ourselves, and not rely on second hand sources...and, surprise we might find that there are no "death panels," for instance. We might not like the bill, for any number of reasons, but we do not have to make up lies and "sell" them as facts.

HR 3200:

We should also ask the media and politicians from both sides of the aisle to be responsible, and promote truth. Call people on lies, correct misinformation.
While we can disagree about the role of government in health care, for instance, facts are facts. Medicare is a government health care program.

Bill Maher on Rachel Maddow

NBC Survey

Daily Kos /Research 2000 poll

And, from Campus Progressives how we can civilly counter some of the tactics:


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reality Check

Since when is a family earning under $250,000 or even $200,000 considered middle class? Those are the numbers that Obama and others are batting around saying there will be no tax increase for those earning below those lofty threshholds....
Let's take a look at some real earning numbers--in 2007 the national median* income for families was $50,233. Single men earned $45,113, and women earned $35,102. [The May 2008 figures for NY state were mean** income $49,590 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics].
Only 1.93% of households earn over $250,000. The bottom 20% earned less than $19,178 --12.3% of the households fell below the federal poverty level (for a family of four that's $22,050, for a single pers on its $10,830--for additional persons in household add roughly $3700).

So, I would like our politicians to get realistic when talking about middle income households. Use figures that actually reflect middle income earnings say $35,000-90,000. And tax those who earn over $10,000 more.
Also, I would suggest raising the bar for social security pay-ins (FICA); at this point, one pays 6.2% to Social Security (FICA) on earnings up to $106800, and nothing thereafter. Raise that limit to $250,000 or more, those who earn more can afford to pay more. 6.2% of 50,233 is $3114.45 which before other taxes leaves the family with less than $47,000 to live on....
A household earning $200,000 would pay FICA $12,400, which would still leave them $187,600 before other taxes to live on . . .

[And, we are not even touching those who are unemployed--June's figures were 9.7% is the national figure, 8.6% is NYS and for Ulster County , 8.2%-- note that these numbers do not reflect those who are under-ewmployed, working part time, undert he table or have just given up looking for a job. I have heard some economists say to find the real number, just double the reported number. . .]

* median = the actual number that separates the top half from the bottom half
**mean= the average (add up all the wages and divide equally by number of wage earners)


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Targeting Women

Bob Herbert's column today "Women at Risk" is about the prevalent misogyny in our society--not only the mass shootings but the pornography industry, wife and girlfriend battering, violence against women serving in our armed services (by their colleagues).(
He equates our misogynistic mainstream culture, men trying to prove their manhood and the easy access to guns as not only a deadly mix but "a toxic mix of tragic proportions."

See also my two recent posts on regarding misogyny in our society (Targeting Women, and Targeting Women II).


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Advice Column (part one)

In the USA change happens when we persuade others to our way of thinking, our candidate, our brand of soap. But, over the course of the past few years I have seen the destruction of discourse (oral and written) by people who hold strong opinions but ignore facts, cherry pick facts,, take facts out of context or even make up their own "facts" to support their opinions, who shout over those who disagree with them, who lob names and epithets. This is not persuasive speech, this is browbeating.
Advice: Think before you speak!

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