Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekly Wrap

It is heartening to see that the town hall meetings the president has taken part in seem to have been of a more constructive bent than those that received coverage at the early part of the week. Perhaps people have decided that the whole "disrupt the proceedings" strategy is doing more harm than good. It is really too early to deploy such a vitriolic approach anyway. There is no single bill to get so riled-up against anyway. We still don't know what the plan will be so how can you be so worked-up about it.

On the "talking heads" shows this morning I heard a number of the republican spokespeople trying to play-down the protests by pointing out that the left had also been calling for people to attend these town hall meetings. While that may be true, there is a huge difference between getting your base motivated to turn-out at a town hall meeting and having to bus people from venue-to-venue.

There has also been coverage this week about the upsurge in these self-styled militias all over the country. What is up with that? When the left opposes you they demonstrate, they protest, they organize to turn-out the vote. When the right opposes you they arm themselves and form covert paramilitary organizations. Has anyone ever heard of a liberal militia? Though politically a centrist I have to say that of the two styles of dissent, I prefer the left!

I do not want to let this one slip by, it is worth a note. This week, a right-wing web rag called The Investor Business Daily was called to task for a slight misstatement:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

Many papers around the country made a point of correcting this by pointing out that Dr. Hawking was born and raised in Oxford (last time I was there, I do not remember having left the UK to get there) and teaches at Cambridge (which is also located in the UK). For his part, upon hearing of the report, Dr. Hawking reportedly answered that without the NHS he would not be alive to day; the way I read this it is not only a repudiation of the Investor Business Daily report, but a rather clear statement that the opposite of what they reported was true.

By the time I had located the article on their website they had issued a "correction" to the affect that they had removed any reference of Dr. Hawking from the article (as well as negative coverage of the UK's NHS) and added a the following editor's note:

This version corrects the original editorial which implied that physicist Stephen Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, did not live in the UK.

Ah! Nice clarification! A "correction" worthy of Glenn Beck!

Wherever you are today, I hope you're having a great weekend!

Don Bergquist – August 16, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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