'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrity

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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 10th, 2017, 4:24 am 

Paul Anthony » February 10th, 2017, 2:19 pm wrote:Really? I have to provide documentation? You may be the only person in the US and possibly the world that is unaware of Obama's statement.

But I doubt that. I think you are lying.

I am also unaware of that claim by Obama.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby TheVat on February 10th, 2017, 11:17 am 

I would also like to see that quote, in context. Did he say that was definitely what we were getting, or did he say that's what he wanted the plan to have and hoped Congress would pass it in that form? Was it an outright lie, i.e. an attempt to deceive us, or was he genuinely believing he could push it through in that form? Details make a big difference. Context makes a big difference. That's what's needed here.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 10th, 2017, 1:31 pm 

I am astounded that a group of intelligent people who claim to be aware of the issues - in fact, speak as if they are - could manage to avoid hearing what the President had to say. Especially since he said it so many times.

http://www.politifact.com/obama-like-health-care-keep/
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Forest_Dump on February 10th, 2017, 3:10 pm 

It seems to me that the OP of this thread and the most recent comments have ultimately been variations on the question of what it means when someone, whether it be a scientist, poet, newpaper, politican or philosopher says something and when and how much you should trust that. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to review what each of these kinds of "appeal to authority" or "ad hominum attacks" can or should mean to use and how we coul or should accept or reject them.

I try to directly cite people most often under three kinds of circumstances. One way is when I think someone said something memorale or important in a really good way. Poets and song writers are a common case of this when I cite a character in a movie or play (hense Shakespeare) or perhaps a phrase in a song (e.g., Pearl Jam lyrics) in a way that I think best expresses a thought or sentiment. That alone doesn't mean I agree or disagree with everything that author or character says, merely that that particular and unique grouping of words expresses my thoughts best and I should acknowledge whoever or as best I can, where I got that arrangemet of bunch of words from.

Sometimes I will cite someone who first invented some thought whether that thought be any kind of subjectivity, such as perhaps "slaves should be made free". Perhaps for the sake of convenience and the best of my knowledge at the moment, I might reference that to Lincoln or Darwin. That I might cite one of those people for originating or popularizing the thought pretty much only acknowledges that the thought isn't an original one of mine. Citing something from the past does often appear to give some legitimacy to the idea but really shouldn't. Past people (e.g., Darwin, Lincoln, founding fathers, writers of religious books whether the Gospels the Koran or Torah, etc., gaet past philosophers such as Plato or Aristotle) could easily be wrong and often we learn that they were often wrong in some ways just as I could be following some ideas that eventually will be found to be wrong. But referencing these people might also lead someone into a bigger and broader body of literature, particularly data, logic and reasoning, that can be learned from, critiques or used for further thought and debate to support or reject my current beliefs.

And then there are citations I might use that give me data or more certain kinds of knowledge that allow me to base my thoughts and actions on a safer or more productive basis. Ideas, etc., that give me some kind of advantage or gain (although granted, I might be called upon to clarify or even defend exactly what my gain is, whether it be a tax cut or gain in "real" income, greater measure of health care, greater measure of safety from criminals or terrorists, etc.). But then I might cite someone from the long past (e.g. Galileo) or much more recent and the product of a long tradition of critique or refinement and development (e.g., NASA on space travel or some astronomer in an observatory).

I sould be able to defend all of my choices here but while I may be out of date on my knowledge of the latest from NASA, that doesn't necessarily mean that Floyd from doen the street has a better ilevel of knowledge - he might if he happens to work at NASA or in a university but maybe he is not if he gets his insights from chicken guts. But then again, if the knowledge has no practical value maybe it doesn't matter what Floyd says.

In some of the recent arguments about citing the news media, scientists, politicians past or present, etc. it might help the arguments if at times people clarified why they thought the citation is important and what the next step is or should be. Perhaps it may appear obvious why I should care if Lincoln or Darwin thought slaves should be free, if Kennedy believed in some consporacy, if Obama made those promises, etc., but maybe I don't see the same significance. Some or many opinions might well be accepted differently but those are not the same kinds of knowledge as what we might call scientific facts, theories, statistics, etc. and I think need to be thought about differently.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby d30 on February 11th, 2017, 12:05 am 

Paul Anthony » February 9th, 2017, 9:19 pm wrote:
Really? I have to provide documentation? You may be the only person in the US and possibly the world that is unaware of Obama's statement.

But I doubt that. I think you are lying.

I did the verification work myself and found it. Obama sure did say that, many many times ("If you like your doctor and your plan you can keep them, no matter what." I wasn't lying, though, Paul. When making that post, I just didn't remember it. I was not following daily news at that time, not for decades in fact, only doing so again on a frequent basis since the political conventions last summer.

Now, the source of the verification of that statement by him many times - politifact, even made it their "Lie of the year" in 2013 http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/dec/12/lie-year-if-you-like-your-health-care-plan-keep-it/.

We should note, though, that that politifact article shows Obama publicly apologized more than once. Small comfort for people who went through the disruption he caused. Point is such an apology is something I don't see a Bush, Trump, Sen. McConnell or House Speaker Paul Ryan, Hannity, Limbaugh O'Reilly, or that whole ilk ever doing.

In resonance with Braininvat's observation above about context, in Obama's defense I'd say it is very hard to govern and achieve anything with the wealthy/corporate world including its bought Congress powerfully stonewalling everything you try to do. They dwindled his health care intentions, e.g., to a faint shadow of what he envisioned, leaving it still in the hands of the health-insurance vultures. As Braininvat I think might concur, it's easy to see how an Obama, helplessly up against all that, might be powerfully tempted to fudge this or that in desperation to achieve something.

Also acknowledge your other point, PA: you said if I discard Dru story news site as an information source because of one inaccuracy (using the ostensibly false JFK quote) because of the magnitude of it, then I should discard Obama as an information source because of his inaccuracy (arguably of far greater magnitude). Point taken.

After all this, we're still left in a "post-truth" America where it's hard to know who/what to trust. At least we have politifact and snopes.com to verify at least some stuff. Wish the media had way more scientists on all the time.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 11th, 2017, 12:50 am 

Thanks, d30, you almost apologized. But you still can't resist defending Obama.

In resonance with Braininvat's observation above about context, in Obama's defense I'd say it is very hard to govern and achieve anything with the wealthy/corporate world including its bought Congress powerfully stonewalling everything you try to do. They dwindled his health care intentions, e.g., to a faint shadow of what he envisioned, leaving it still in the hands of the health-insurance vultures. As Braininvat I think might concur, it's easy to see how an Obama, helplessly up against all that, might be powerfully tempted to fudge this or that in desperation to achieve something.


The ACA was passed exclusively by Democrats, Pres. Obama's party, which held the majority in the Senate at the time. Republicans were not given the opportunity to offer any amendments. What was passed was precisely what Obama and his party wanted.

Also acknowledge your other point, PA: you said if I discard Dru story news site as an information source because of one inaccuracy (using the ostensibly false JFK quote) because of the magnitude of it, then I should discard Obama as an information source because of his inaccuracy (arguably of far greater magnitude). Point taken.


Again, thanks. But to be clear, I don't condone dismissing everything uttered by sites like Drustory OR Pres. Obama. If we are truly capable of critical thinking we should be able to judge each statement on its own merits. Don't shoot the messenger, analyze the message.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby wolfhnd on February 11th, 2017, 1:11 am 

Obama is gone I really don't care anymore what he may have lied about.

The problem is the hyperbole, I can see why people who voted for Obama may want to defend him even if he was wrong. I can also see why people are defending Trump when he is wrong. If you give an inch they will take a mile.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 11th, 2017, 2:25 am 

Paul Anthony » February 11th, 2017, 1:50 pm wrote:The ACA was passed exclusively by Democrats, Pres. Obama's party, which held the majority in the Senate at the time. Republicans were not given the opportunity to offer any amendments. What was passed was precisely what Obama and his party wanted.

Are we so sure that it was a lie, though? For example: "On closer inspection, the claim that President Obama lied in saying that people could keep their insurance looks like another Fox News special. In the only way that the pledge could be interpreted as being meaningful, the pledge is true. The ACA does not eliminate plans that were in existence at the time the bill was approved." - alternet.org.

Again, thanks. But to be clear, I don't condone dismissing everything uttered by sites like Drustory OR Pres. Obama. If we are truly capable of critical thinking we should be able to judge each statement on its own merits. Don't shoot the messenger, analyze the message.

Isn't this more about scientific rigour than different kinds of messengers, though? There is missing facts - accidentally believing something, and then there is complete disrespect for the necessary presence of trustworthy facts in a society. Post-truth apparently revolves around the latter. I am not so sure Obama was interested in such a post-truth world, but Trump most definitely appears to be:

* His inauguration crowds
* Travel Ban "that is not a ban"
* Journalists not reporting terrorism

And so on and so forth - this is not anywhere near the level of Obama's promise to not eliminate existing health-care plans and future plans that had been created knowing that they needed to comply with minimum standards. The insurance salespeople had apparently designed and introduced inappropriate plans after the passage of the ACA - beyond any federal control, and so it was the insurance companies that failed their clients, not Obama failing on his promise. That insurance companies were crafty and cheated their clients does not reflect on Obama, it reflects on those companies.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 11th, 2017, 1:20 pm 

Mossling » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:25 pm wrote:
Are we so sure that it was a lie, though? For example: "On closer inspection, the claim that President Obama lied in saying that people could keep their insurance looks like another Fox News special. In the only way that the pledge could be interpreted as being meaningful, the pledge is true. The ACA does not eliminate plans that were in existence at the time the bill was approved." - alternet.org.

Isn't this more about scientific rigour than different kinds of messengers, though? There is missing facts - accidentally believing something, and then there is complete disrespect for the necessary presence of trustworthy facts in a society. Post-truth apparently revolves around the latter.

...this is not anywhere near the level of Obama's promise to not eliminate existing health-care plans and future plans that had been created knowing that they needed to comply with minimum standards. The insurance salespeople had apparently designed and introduced inappropriate plans after the passage of thefailing on his promise. That insurance companies were crafty and cheated their clients does not reflect on ACA - beyond any federal control, and so it was the insurance companies that failed their clients, not Obama Obama, it reflects on those companies.


Where is the "scientific rigor" in your explanation? Who told you "insurance salespeople had apparently designed and introduced inappropriate plans after the passage of the ACA - beyond any federal control, and so it was the insurance companies that failed their clients, not Obama failing on his promise. That insurance companies were crafty and cheated their clients does not reflect on Obama, it reflects on those companies." Did you investigate that claim, or did you accept it because it was what you wanted to believe?

We all have our own bias. It is difficult to accept facts that contradict our beliefs and even harder to disregard statements that confirm our bias.

The insurance policies that so many people lost were not new plans devised at the last minute by shady insurance salesmen. They were plans people had owned for years - that they had freely chosen because they met their needs. Many people chose to buy insurance that covered major illnesses but did not cover minor costs like visiting their doctors for routine exams. The ACA required all insurance policies to cover free preventative care, which raised the premiums compared to the policies some people preferred. Insurance companies were required to cancel those types of policies because of the passage of the ACA. That's just one "missing fact" you failed to discover.

Obama knew his program would make such policies illegal. Saying "you can keep your insurance" was certainly a lie.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 11th, 2017, 3:05 pm 

Outright lies as well as lies of omission are not new. Both political parties have employed such tactics for a very long time. The media has contributed, with left-leaning media repeating the Democrat's version and right-leaning media promoting the Republican agenda.

What is new about "post-truth politics" is the attention it is getting. Shining a light on hypocrisy is always a good thing. If only we could set aside our partisan attitudes and let the light shine equally on the actions of both sides.

Here is an opinion piece that attempts to do that:

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cnn-says-calling-fake-news-using-n-word/
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby d30 on February 11th, 2017, 6:09 pm 

Paul Anthony » February 10th, 2017, 8:50 pm wrote:The ACA was passed exclusively by Democrats, Pres. Obama's party, which held the majority in the Senate at the time. Republicans were not given the opportunity to offer any amendments. What was passed was precisely what Obama and his party wanted.

"Half the Democrats are bought too." Longtime [Democratic Congressman, Bob Filner, 2010 (I was at the meeting he said this at). The Senator who was Obama's front man for the ACA (Affordable Care Act), Max Baucus (Montana) e.g., had taken significant contributions from the health insurance industry. Obama was forced to use him because original choice Ted Kennedy died of brain cancer, and his second choice, Tom Daschle was derailed by a corruption charge (unrelated to ACA, as recall). So, repeating, Obama had to give up part after part of his original plan such as even the public option, until the bill that passed was a shadow of what he originally wanted.

I don't condone dismissing everything uttered by sites like Drustory OR Pres. Obama. If we are truly capable of critical thinking we should be able to judge each statement on its own merits. Don't shoot the messenger, analyze the message.

Why not just go to journalistically reputable sources, e.g., say, the Guardian or Associated Press, instead of going to a Drustory where you're going to have to spend extra time on everything you read there because you have to take the time to go to a snopes.com, politifact.com or other places to try to verify everything it says that has not also appeared generally in many other outlets? Also, you often won't be able to find verification.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 11th, 2017, 6:36 pm 

d30 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:09 pm wrote: Obama had to give up part after part of his original plan such as even the public option, until the bill that passed was a shadow of what he originally wanted.


It does not shock me that Democrats who would have preferred a single payer system ala Canada and most European nations settled for something less, since that was politically unlikely to pass. The "public option" was an effort to compromise, but the public wasn't buying it either, and even Democrat congressmen heard it from their constituents. The ACA was a compromise that Obama and the DNC believed to be palatable to the American public. You want me to pity poor Obama for not getting his way? Do you realize that if a single payer system or even the public option had been instituted, Obama's statement would have been an even bigger lie? For a taste of what that would have been, consider how many people who were forced into Medicaid got to keep their doctors.

We are beating a dead horse. You can't accept the possibility that Obama lied in order to sell his ACA, and I'm not buying the excuses you insist on offering on his behalf. Let's move on.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 11th, 2017, 6:52 pm 

d30 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:09 pm wrote:
Why not just go to still journalistically reliable sources, e.g., say, the Guardian or Associated Press, instead of going to a Drustory where you're going to have to spend extra time on everything you read there because you have to take the time to go to a snopes.com, politifact.com or other places to try to verify everything it says that has not also appeared generally in many other outlets? Also, you often won't be able to find verification.


I'm responding to your post in two parts because you have included two different topics.

On this one, I'm inclined to agree with you - for the most part.

I don't watch CNN or FOX. I stopped subscribing to newspapers many years ago, despite having worked for one in the past. I do, however, read articles from most of the major news outlets and many minor ones because they appear in my news feeds. Whenever a topic interests me, I seek out the source of the story, which is usually AP, UPI or Reuters. There, I am more likely to hear the facts untainted by the bias many journalists seem to think is their responsibility to add. It's a little like watching a sporting event with two commentators. One gives the play-by-play while the other provides colorful anecdotes. :)

But sometimes I provide a link to an unknown source because the major outlets simply haven't reported on the subject. As with all sources, the reader is advised to be critical of the content without dismissing it because of the source.

As far as going to Politifacts or Snopes to verify everything, I am not so complacent as to ignore the need for that scrutiny when reading anything from the so-called "reliable sources".
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby TheVat on February 11th, 2017, 6:59 pm 

I feel sort of in the middle on this one. I would say Obama overpromised and then, by failing to correct himself and be open about the problems with those who had "crisis plans" and were forced to scrap those policies for ACA, he firmed up the status of his promise as a lie. I don't think he intended to lie, or con the public, I think rather he slipped down the slippery slope into a lie as he failed to make clear that his original promise was a speculative "best case scenario" statement. Politicians, on both sides, do this fairly frequently - for reasons of ego, they really don't want to acknowledge when they are dropping the ball. And, if he had said, "I'm failing on that promise, because Republicans and business interests are gridlocking me," well, that sounds like weakness and passing the buck. Obama always tried to sell a lot blue sky and sunshine, so he wasn't too good at saying that government was breaking down.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby d30 on February 11th, 2017, 7:27 pm 

Paul Anthony » February 11th, 2017, 2:36 pm wrote:It does not shock me that Democrats who would have preferred a single payer system ala Canada and most European nations settled for something less, since that was politically unlikely to pass. The "public option" was an effort to compromise, but the public wasn't buying it either, and even Democrat congressmen heard it from their constituents.

You say "the public wasn't buying it either," the "either" meaning not single-payer either, and Gallup indicates you're spreading misinformation. You spoke above of using critical thinking but haven't checked your own recall about what the public favors or doesn't in this healthcare matter.

Gallup's 5/16/16 survey found a sizable majority, 58% of U.S. adults favor replacing Obama's Affordable Care Act with a federally funded (single payer) healthcare system. Here's the link:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/191504/majority-support-idea-fed-funded-healthcare-system.aspx
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 11th, 2017, 8:22 pm 

d30 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:27 pm wrote:
You say "the public wasn't buying it either," the "either" meaning not single-payer either, and Gallup indicates you're spreading misinformation. You spoke above of using critical thinking but haven't checked your own recall about what the public favors or doesn't in this healthcare matter.

Gallup's 5/16/16 survey found a sizable majority, 58% of U.S. adults favor replacing Obama's Affordable Care Act with a federally funded (single payer) healthcare system. Here's the link:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/191504/majority-support-idea-fed-funded-healthcare-system.aspx


You might also want to read this http://www.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/189902/american-public-opinion-sanders-proposal-single-payer-healthcare-system.aspx?g_source=healthcare&g_medium=search&g_campaign=tiles which I reached through a link in the article you provided.

Why the discrepancy? Perhaps a closer look at the wording of the two surveys will provide a clue.

In the first one, the popular option was "Replacing the ACA with a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans". The survey in the second link asked about a "government-run" plan.

You (and others) may read them as if they are the same, but others might not. For many people who qualify for assistance with reduced rates, the ACA is a partially "federally funded" plan. People are pretty happy with the government paying part of their premiums. They might be even happier if the government paid all of their premiums through a 100% federally funded plan. But paying the premiums - i.e. government funded - is different than government-run - like the VA, with which few are pleased.

Am I spreading misinformation, or are you cherry-picking data?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 11th, 2017, 9:05 pm 

Paul Anthony » February 12th, 2017, 2:20 am wrote: Where is the "scientific rigor" in your explanation?
In my open-ness to the most emprical truth settling matters - beyond any personal bias. Where do you see evidence to the contrary?
Did you investigate that claim, or did you accept it because it was what you wanted to believe?

Acceptance is not bringing forth apparent evidence. I haven't accepted anything yet.

It is difficult to accept facts that contradict our beliefs and even harder to disregard statements that confirm our bias.

So it seems.

The insurance policies that so many people lost were not new plans devised at the last minute by shady insurance salesmen. They were plans people had owned for years - that they had freely chosen because they met their needs. Many people chose to buy insurance that covered major illnesses but did not cover minor costs like visiting their doctors for routine exams. The ACA required all insurance policies to cover free preventative care, which raised the premiums compared to the policies some people preferred. Insurance companies were required to cancel those types of policies because of the passage of the ACA. That's just one "missing fact" you failed to discover.

What is the best source that you can provide for this fact of yours?

Obama knew his program would make such policies illegal. Saying "you can keep your insurance" was certainly a lie.

So you have accepted a truth in all certainty, now let us see the rigour of the empirical science behind your grasp on truth.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 11th, 2017, 9:32 pm 

Mossling » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:05 pm wrote:

So you have accepted a truth in all certainty, now let us see the rigour of the empirical science behind your grasp on truth.


No, mossling. You are not seeking truth. I've already provided truth. Many people lost their insurance because the ACA set new standards that required compliance from all policies going forward. Policies that had been in force for many years were no longer allowed, therefore people could not renew those policies and had to change their plans. "You can keep your plan" was a lie.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Forest_Dump on February 11th, 2017, 9:45 pm 

I have to admit that I find a lot of this kind of surreal. In thinking about it, in Canada we do have three components to health care in a way. What might be called direct health care is everything from emergency services to routine visits to the Dr, surgery, visits to specialists, etc. That is paid for by taxes on employers and citizens don't pay anything and everyone gets the same access to necessary services. Doctors decide what is necessary although patients of course have input. The only complaints seem to come from people with more money who want to jump the head of the lines, as it were, to get service before anyone else and Conservatives who want it all provatized claiming Drs will make more and taxes will be lower. And, of course, they point out the problems that arise when the system is under-funded (from tax cuts). You would think the businesses that pay the tax would be against the public health care system but everything I have heard indicates businesses (except insurance companies of course) seem to say that the Canadian system is better than the aggravation of the US system. I know many Doctors inclusing some who have worked both sides of the border but all that I know prefer the Canadian system. For at least the last 10 years privatizing health care in Canada simply has not been a topic in politics although of course there are things that can always be improved.

Of course I mentioned three components and the other two are dental and prescritpion drugs. Both are more like the American system in that most people either get private insurance or insurance through work, some get coverage through government (First Nations or the very poor who qualify) or you just pay yurself if you can afford it. Or go without.

To me there is absolutely no question what works best.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 11th, 2017, 10:32 pm 

Forest_Dump » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:45 pm wrote:

Of course I mentioned three components and the other two are dental and prescritpion drugs. Both are more like the American system in that most people either get private insurance or insurance through work, some get coverage through government (First Nations or the very poor who qualify) or you just pay yurself if you can afford it. Or go without.

To me there is absolutely no question what works best.


If properly managed and funded, I agree. The problem in the US may be the level of mistrust of the government's ability to do both. I don't know if you in Canada have been following the Veteran's Administration debacle, but it is our experience with a government-run medical program. It has not gone well.

Also, there is the matter of choice. Americans like to believe they are in control of their lives, even if they're not. That's the reason there was so much fuss over Obama's promise and failure to deliver the ability to keep our plans and our doctors.

Of course, people who can't afford insurance are in favor of a government funded program. They don't have many choices as it is, and they don't fear an increase in taxes to pay for it because they don't make enough to owe income tax. For them, it would truly be free.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Forest_Dump on February 11th, 2017, 11:25 pm 

Paul Anthony wrote:If properly managed and funded, I agree. The problem in the US may be the level of mistrust of the government's ability to do both. I don't know if you in Canada have been following the Veteran's Administration debacle, but it is our experience with a government-run medical program. It has not gone well.


I think the under-funded part is the key. Tax cuts inevitably end up under-funding health care, education, pay and benefits for vets (a problem up here too although they don't seem to mind spending billions on expensive toys, made by foreign companies to fight wars that will never be fought), environmental protection, etc. Better funding from tax dollars might even allow the hiring of better managers. Personally when someone is running for office on the platform of tax cuts, I vote for the other guy.

Paul Anthony wrote:Of course, people who can't afford insurance are in favor of a government funded program. They don't have many choices as it is, and they don't fear an increase in taxes to pay for it because they don't make enough to owe income tax. For them, it would truly be free.


I don't have a problem with that but I don't like the idea of putting a price on people's lives. But then again, I think our health care system is a lot cheaper. The best doctors here probably make 2-500,000 (not sure mostly a guess, particularly for the high end based on a high class surgeon I knew who was also a professor at the top university in the country) while they can make millions in the US (is that necessary?). Insurance companies definitely are the biggest and, IMHO, most unnecessary part of the cost in privatization. You guys just like to see billionaire insurance company execs for some reason. I suspect that that is because everyone in the US thinks it is possible for them to become that rich. Personally I have more faith in lotteries.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 12th, 2017, 12:11 am 

Paul Anthony » February 12th, 2017, 10:32 am wrote:
Mossling » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:05 pm wrote:

So you have accepted a truth in all certainty, now let us see the rigour of the empirical science behind your grasp on truth.


No, mossling. You are not seeking truth. I've already provided truth. Many people lost their insurance because the ACA set new standards that required compliance from all policies going forward. Policies that had been in force for many years were no longer allowed, therefore people could not renew those policies and had to change their plans. "You can keep your plan" was a lie.

At the moment all I have are "alternative facts" provided by a 'Paul Anthony' and a journalist on alternet.org. These so-called "facts" are currently in conflict. I am open to any or all of them being false - this is called being scientifically rigorous - I value the actual truth above my own whimsical wishes.

Please show me what credible empirical data is giving you your certainty about your "provided truth". This is all that I am asking. For I have not expressed such certainty - you are the one who has raised the empirical stakes here - you are the self-appointed voice of the absolute, certain, factual truth on a science chat forum, so please honour your position.

As braininavat said: "Details make a big difference. Context makes a big difference. That's what's needed here."

For example, here are some 'facts' to counter with another source, if you would be so kind (and it's via fox news opinion this time):

Insurance cancelled? Don't blame Obama or the ACA, blame America's insurance companies
Fox News, November 05, 2013
The fact is if you are one of the estimated 2 million Americans whose health insurance plans may have been cancelled this month, you should not be blaming President Obama or the Affordable Care Act.

You should be blaming your insurance company because they have not been providing you with coverage that meets the minimum basic standards for health care.

Let me put it more bluntly: your insurance companies have been taking advantage of you and the Affordable Care Act puts in place consumer protection and tells them to stop abusing people.

The government did not “force” insurance companies to cancel their own substandard policies.The insurance companies chose to do that rather than do what is right and bring the policies up to code.

This would be like saying the government “forces” chemical companies to dispose of toxic waste safely rather than dumping it in the river.

Or the government “forces” people to drive with intact windshields and working brake lights.

How dare they “force” drivers to pay money to get those things fixed if they are broken?

One of the most popular and important provisions of the Affordable Care Act is setting basic minimum standards of medical insurance coverage.
Last edited by Mossling on February 12th, 2017, 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 12th, 2017, 12:28 am 

Forest_Dump » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:25 pm wrote:
I don't have a problem with that but I don't like the idea of putting a price on people's lives. But then again, I think our health care system is a lot cheaper. The best doctors here probably make 2-500,000 (not sure mostly a guess, particularly for the high end based on a high class surgeon I knew who was also a professor at the top university in the country) while they can make millions in the US (is that necessary?). Insurance companies definitely are the biggest and, IMHO, most unnecessary part of the cost in privatization. You guys just like to see billionaire insurance company execs for some reason. I suspect that that is because everyone in the US thinks it is possible for them to become that rich. Personally I have more faith in lotteries.


Part of the reason your medical costs are lower is the lower price you folks pay for prescription drugs. Thanks to Big Pharma's lobbyists and a weak-kneed congress, even Medicare (a quasi-government run health plan) is not allowed to negotiate for lower drug prices.

Speaking of Medicare, which is the health plan for people over 65 who paid into it with involuntary payroll deductions all the years they worked, the basic plan provided by government is inadequate. Because of that, people are allowed to purchase private supplemental insurance (but only plans approved by Medicare). Another option, the one I have chosen, is called Medicare Advantage. It is private insurance provided in the form of HMO's (Health Maintenance Organizations). The government pays the HMO the monthly premium I pay to Medicare and in exchange the HMO gives me far superior coverage, including drug coverage which is an additional cost to people with traditional Medicare. Another example of privatization being more efficient?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 12th, 2017, 12:41 am 

Paul Anthony, please see previous post above - so it seems that Obama did not lie about keeping your existing legal health care plan, he just did not go so far as saying that if your current plan was sold to you on illegal premises (it did not meet pre-existing necessary minimum legal requirements), then the legal pressure put on insurance companies who are cheating customers may cause those companies to choose to cancel the plans/policiesrather than upgrade them.

The cancellation choice was not apparently even in Obama's hands - the companies could have upgraded instead of cancelling. Are you assuming that Obama was condoning the continued maintenance of any then unidentified illegal healthcare plans when he said you could keep your plan? Of course he was talking about the existing legal plans, not any existing dodgy deals that were in violation of laws before the act.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 12th, 2017, 1:48 am 

Mossling » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:41 pm wrote:Paul Anthony, please see previous post above - so it seems that Obama did not lie about keeping your existing legal health care plan, he just did not go so far as saying that if your current plan was sold to you on illegal premises (it did not meet pre-existing necessary minimum legal requirements), then the legal pressure put on insurance companies who are cheating customers may cause those companies to choose to cancel the plans/policiesrather than upgrade them.

The cancellation choice was not apparently even in Obama's hands - the companies could have upgraded instead of cancelling. Are you assuming that Obama was condoning the continued maintenance of any then unidentified illegal healthcare plans when he said you could keep your plan? Of course he was talking about the existing legal plans, not any existing dodgy deals that were in violation of laws before the act.


You use the term legal as if it were synonymous with better. The plans were not illegal when they were issued. Insurance companies who offered them were not cheating people, they were offering choice -what some people wanted. The ACA took away that choice. For that reason, what became the only legal alternatives were not better. Of course, insurance companies offered the new "legal" plans to the customers who were no longer able to buy what they wanted, but they are more expensive...and this is the part you just can't seem to understand...they were not what people wanted.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby wolfhnd on February 12th, 2017, 1:53 am 

Comparing Canada and the U.S. is a bit of apples and oranges. Unfunded government liabilities in Canada are around $240,000 per person in the U.S. that number is $1,200,000 million. The U.S. is simply more bankrupt than Canada and less able to fund social welfare programs. You could blame the neo cons and their fascist foreign wars but I suspect that the problem is a lot more complex than that.

Here is an off the cuff hypothesis on national wealth and climate, it is not meant to be explanatory I'm just throwing it out there. Disorganized, and irresponsible people may simply move south or more likely climate imposes a sort of discipline on people in that if you have to plan for a long long winter you may be more responsible. We could look at mexico and it's beautiful climate or Italy and Greece and their economic problems compared to Germany, Japan and tropical pacific islands. A good counter argument would be Russia of course but it is an interesting idea none the less.

A more orthodox explanation of Canada's relative economic health is the large contribution of natural resource export as a percent of total exports. 94 billion dollars of Canada's 390 billion dollars in exports were natural resource or 24 percent. The U.S. exported 152 billion dollars in natural resource with a total of 1.454 trillion dollars or 8.5 percent. Norway the worlds richest country exported 63 billion in natural resources and had total exports of 89 billion or 71 percent. Of course there are African and South American countries with large resource exports and failing economies but all things being equal exports of natural resources is an advantage.

We should explore this issue in depth but I'm tired and will leave it here for now.

Whatever the causes the U.S. is in worse economic condition than Canada and will need a long time to even reduce it debts to the horrendous level Canada is experiencing. U.S. conservatives and liberals alike are simply not dealing with the relative poverty of the U.S. because they only look at the relative size of economies.


Here are few ideas from one of my favorite people Jared Diamond on why some countries are rich and others poor.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2012/06 ... h-or-poor/
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 12th, 2017, 3:24 am 

Paul Anthony » February 12th, 2017, 2:48 pm wrote:You use the term legal as if it were synonymous with better. The plans were not illegal when they were issued. Insurance companies who offered them were not cheating people, they were offering choice -what some people wanted.

I have no doubt some people want to drive home drunk - the fact is the state does not allow it when it knows that it's happening.

There was apparently relatively little insurance regulation in many states before ACA, so just because some people had taken out health care plans that were the equivalent of driving drunk where there is no highway patrol, does this mean that once highway patrol is rolled out that they should be allowed to continue because their drunk driving had never been stopped before?

So far I don't think that Obama had been talking about these health insurance 'drunk drivers' when he promised no cancellations - it seems that he was talking about health care plans that were operating within what would be considered socially responsible boundaries. It was not his fault that he was optimistic about the moral integrity of the insurance companies, for the alternative would have been to allege guilt before identifying any crime.

So it seems to me that what really happened was that immoral policies became identifed by ACA and were given the opportunity to be upgraded. Companies instead chose to cancel. So Obama did not make the choice that cancelled those plans, the companies did. Just as Obama had said everyone could keep their existing policy - as it was, or upgraded from 'drunk driver' status in accordance with legal norms. If anyone complains that an upgrade from 'drunk driver' to 'safe driver' is not what they want, then they are a criminal. Of course Obama was not making promises to criminals that they could continue breaking the law - he was speaking to the average law-abiding citizen.

Thus, I still cannot see how Obama indulged in post-truth according to your example - he was optimistic and was concerned with existing morally-sound health plans, which appeared to be all of them at that time, since 'innocent until proven guilty'. After rollout of ACA, many guilty plans were discovered, however, and so they were given the chance - the choice - to rehabilitate, or otherwise be sentenced to death. The death sentences that were rolled out were not Obama's choice.

Imagine Trump saying "All Christians are allowed in from the 7 travel banned countries", and then some Christians are identified as known criminals during the vetting procedure and thus prevented from travelling into the US. Your rhetoric seems to be that in this situation Trump lied - that not all Christians were allowed in, after all. Of course there are always legally-driven beaurocratic procedures that cannot be predicted as to whether they will need to be implemented. But if some US Christians were to start shouting about wanting convicted criminal Christian immigrants to come into the US because Trump 'promised' that they could, then do they really have a relevant moral point to make? As if the legal status of the individuals concerned had not been a background factor when Trump made his promise? C'mon man, this is ridiculous - of course Trump was talking about people without a criminal history as is the normal case regarding those who are considered safe for greencards, etc. And the same goes for Obama - he was talking about the standard legal health care plans.

Or do you still disagree?

As it was, as far as I am aware, the cancelled plans, as a percentage of existing plans when ACA went ahead, were not even double figures. So vocal wannabe-drunk-driver health insurance plan holders are a considerable minority.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 12th, 2017, 3:49 am 

Mossling » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:24 am wrote:

Or do you still disagree?


Of course I still disagree. What you have offered is conjecture. Using drunk drivers as an analogy is off the mark. People who don't want coverage for maternity, mental health treatment, drug addiction therapy and a long list of other things that the ACA declared to be vital used to have a choice. A man who doesn't use drugs and has no history of mental illness does not need such coverage. All of those benefits add to the cost of coverage. Someone who is highly unlikely to ever need those benefits shouldn't have to pay for them. Rather than equating such a person as a drunk driver, you should realize that such a person is more likely to be a tea-totaller.

We have drifted much too far off-topic. Let it go!
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Paul Anthony on February 12th, 2017, 4:04 am 

Back on topic...

Trump's 90 day ban on immigration from 7 countries is in the news. Thanks to demonstrations, it's likely to stay in the news for awhile.

I happened across a right-wing news source on-line that referred to the nations involved in the ban as "Seven war-torn countries". That caught my attention because every other news source (even FOX) seemed to refer to them as "Seven mostly-Muslim countries".

Both statements are true.

Why don't most media mention that these are "war-torn" countries? Well, saying that might be biased toward Trump's argument that the ban is about terrorists.

But isn't saying "mostly-Muslim" countries biased toward the argument that it is a ban on Muslims?

If journalism means reporting the news without bias, isn't it sufficient to just name the seven countries? Adding additional - although true - information leads us to think about the news differently.

Regardless of which side of the debate you prefer, we should all be upset that the media is not just telling us what's happening. They are telling us how we should think about what's happening.

And that's not journalism.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on February 12th, 2017, 4:09 am 

Paul Anthony » February 12th, 2017, 4:49 pm wrote:
Mossling » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:24 am wrote:

Or do you still disagree?


Of course I still disagree. What you have offered is conjecture. Using drunk drivers as an analogy is off the mark. People who don't want coverage for maternity, mental health treatment, drug addiction therapy and a long list of other things that the ACA declared to be vital used to have a choice. A man who doesn't use drugs and has no history of mental illness does not need such coverage. All of those benefits add to the cost of coverage. Someone who is highly unlikely to ever need those benefits shouldn't have to pay for them. Rather than equating such a person as a drunk driver, you should realize that such a person is more likely to be a tea-totaller.

We have drifted much too far off-topic. Let it go!

You seem to want to drag the topic in that direction - I have been discussing whether Obama did indeed knowingly and willingly lie to the public regarding his promise that upon ACA rollout people could keep their existing plans. This is on-topic because it concerns the onset of this 'post-truth' political situation. Our very discussion - involving scientific rigour and words used in logical debate, is, I believe, an interesting investigation of how truths can be 'spun' for political gain.

Now you are saying that health care plan choices were made more limited by ACA. Are you saying that there is a link between the cancelled 'drunk driver' policies and the reduction in choices? Please provide some evidence. Otherwise, it seems that you have conceded your point regarding Obama's alleged lie, with your silence on the unregulated 'toxic' policies speaking for itself.
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