Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Friday, July 13, 2007

OK if You Know

The other day I happened to tune in to Rush Limbaugh for a little while. His twisted upside-down reasoning is so distasteful that I rarely have tolerance enough to listen to his radio show, but for some reason I listened. Rush was acting as an apologist for Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter whose phone number showed up on a list of client phone numbers for a DC "escort" service during a time period in which Vitter was a US Representative from Louisiana.
Vitter himself has confessed that he did indeed use the service and regretted his choices.
Limbaugh seemed to be arguing that Vitter is just human, subject to temptation like the rest of us. This shouldn't be seen as a reason to resign. Instead, what this situation shows is that Vitter knows right from wrong. Vitter admitted that what he did was wrong. While some might argue that Vitter's activity demonstrates that he is hypocritical to push for "family values" legislation while himself engaging the services of prostitutes, Limbaugh argued that Vitter's confession demonstrates that he has the truly conservative virtue of knowing what is right and what is wrong.
Thinking about this, I realized that what Limbaugh was saying is that when liberals find that their actions are in conflict with their values, they are inclined to change their values. When conservatives find that their actions are in conflict with their values, the only thing that really matters is their values. They are human so we can forgive them for not acting in accord with their values. We all do that. What we can't forgive is when people try to change our common values.
Somehow conservatives don't see the hypocrisy in saying that as long as you know what is right and what is wrong you can do whatever you feel like doing. We are human and humans make bad choices sometimes. Conservatives seem to think there's nothing hypocritical about that.

Fox Gives In to Terror

Last week I went to see the Michael Moore movie Sicko which is playing in Waterville at Railroad Square. As far as I know, that was the only theater in central Maine playing the film. Moore's primary thesis is that the US form of healthcare financing through private insurance companies whose purpose is to maximize profits compares poorly to socialized medicine in other countries such as Canada, England, France, and even Cuba.
Naturally this film is causing a stir, or more like an undertow, in the US political realm. Conservatives in the US oppose socializing healthcare. Moore makes England's and France's public healthcare systems look so good that conservatives are now finding the need to attack those systems.
To support this argument Fox News has chosen the "doctor terrorists" who tried to bomb London using black Mercedes and who ran a loaded Jeep wagon into the front of an airline terminal in Scotland causing a fire that terrorized the entire free world. Fox is claiming that it was England's socialized medicine system that caused the doctor shortages that resulted in these radical Islamists being hired as doctors in England.
TPM has put together a video of clips from Fox News that shows this argument quite clearly.
It dawned on me that if these doctors were al Qaeda as Fox seems to be claiming, then al Qaeda itself was attacking England's socialized healthcare system. Al Qaeda must have known that using Muslim doctors employed in England as terrorists would harm the reputation of England's healthcare system. Reactionary politics is a given. Terrorism works because of reactionary politics.
So it dawned on me last night that what Fox News is suggesting is that the British give in to the terrorists. In fact, Fox's main target is the US, so they are suggesting that the US give in to al Qaeda terrorism and oppose socialized medicine.
Conservative politics makes very little sense but this little argument, that socialized medicine makes countries vulnerable to terrorism makes no sense at all unless what Fox is doing is to suggest that we start giving in to al Qaeda and base our politics on our irrational reaction to terrorist attacks.