Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wilkow Arguments

Yes, still more on Andrew Wilkow.

I originally wrote, after getting Sirius Radio, about someone I'd never heard about before: Andrew Wilkow. Why? He's a right-wing nutter and drives me insane some days. What do I mean by "some days?" I listen to him as long as I can stand because he's got a unique perspective, bases his many arguments in the founding documents of our country, and I respect his opinion even if I don't agree with it. Most of the time.

I'm still getting comments on my original post (most anonymous right-wing cowards with bad grammar skills), and one came through the other day that needed notice:

"How can you say Rush or Wilkow make things up?"

Rush Limbaugh makes shit up all the damned time, misappropriates stats to bounce his opinions, and cherry-picks quotes with inferences designed to fire up his ignorant, worshipful base. Talk about messianic. There are dozens of sites that'll give you a rundown; this isn't one of them.

But I figured Andrew deserved a little more. So I specifically listened to see if anything didn't quite jive. And, damn, shit just didn't jive.

It started with Andrew stating that the top three leading causes of death in America were smoking-related cancer, obesity, and promiscuous sex ("AIDS-related death" is what he said). While I have no reason to argue with the smoking-related cancer (and other problems associated with it) and obesity (and problems associated with it), but promiscuous sex?

I looked at the primary avoidable causes of death in America and compiled a list of references from the CDC, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and The Mayo Clinic.

They all list things like heart disease, cancer, stroke, accidents, flu, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and septicemia.

Where does that gay AIDS sex come in? It doesn't. If he was citing something, I could not find it, and everything that could be found wasn't even close. This would be one of those "made up" things, skewered truth to twist his argument.

But what was the argument? It was an argument against Universal, socialized medicine. Unfortunately for Andrew, Barack Obama's health care plan is not "Universal health care" as he repeatedly claimed.

The argument itself centered around how wrong the socialism aspect of health care is if someone who smokes or is obese or has promiscuous sex and taxes the system unfairly because everyone is paying into the same system but some people are getting more out of it. That, encapsulated, makes a bit of sense.

But where does the argument end when it comes to practical applications in a "perfect," capitalist-driven medical society? Well, kind of in the suck state it's in now: controlled by an insurance collusion where competition is not defined by gaining the most customers, but by cutting costs, dropping risk, and leaving even those with insurance unable to get the treatment they may need. We've got differences in cost for people who smoke and some creeping up for obesity. Next comes labs - high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. Then DNA. And then the insurance companies raise and raise and raise rates at will, cite whatever they want, and are unaccountable to anyone. Why? The Great Right Wing Deregulation Machine.

That's no way to keep people healthy. Our form of health care in America is a collapsing disaster. And socializing it could only be a good thing.

Why not? Every government employee is currently receiving socialized, government-controlled health care. Personally, I pay property taxes based on the value of my home and have equal access to services such as fire and police. Do they take into account whether or not I don't lock my doors or have a gas stove or an open fireplace or smoke in my house, all things that increase the chances of me requiring those services? Nope. Why? We live in a society where parts of it are already socialized. And those parts work pretty damned well.

And as for socialism, The Republican Vice Presidential candidate is governor of a state that holds socialized, collective control of the oil in the state and every resident gets a check cut by the state. Now that's socialism.

One final note on the show. Andrew Wilkow, railing against the red herring that is conservative ACORN scare tactics, asked "Why would you have to file one fake ballot?" What follows are actual facts:
- No one is committing voting fraud. That happens when you vote. Hence the name.
- No one is submitting fake ballots. See above.
- Employees of ACORN are not perpetuating an organized attack at the heart of democracy; they are idiots trying to pad their pockets, making this employee fraud.
- ACORN is the victim of this fraud.
- Not one fictional person, including Mickey Mouse, will show up to vote on November 4th because they do not exist in this reality, nor would they have a valid ID to match their fictional address.
- Federal law states that every voter registration collected must be submitted, even if it appears fraudulent.

This is a non-issue, and the fact that Andrew Wilkow took this tack, wielded the purposefully-confused righty rhetoric designed to grow fear, well that makes him nothing more than a tool on this topic, an appendage of the Republican Terror Machine. And while this example - mixing up the language, turning a non-issue into a scare tactic - is not him making things up, if he's as smart and "intellectual" as he says he is, he should know better. And if he does, then he's purposefully lying. And that's even worse.


Anonymous said...

Heart attacks are less likely for non-smokers as compared to the smokers. According to WHO, individuals who quit smoking decrease their risk of CAD one year later by 50 %. If you have quit smoking, for 15 years, your risk of dying from CAD is almost as low as a life time non-smoker. http://www.chantixhome.com/

Ricky Shambles said...

I completely agree, which is why I have no problem with his claim that smoking-related illness is a problem in our current health care system and would continue to be in a universal health care system.

It's the promiscuous sex/AIDS-related stuff that holds the homophobic subtlety of a wrecking ball in the face.

Jay Stewart said...

Andrew Wilkow is a nazi, Its a good thing we liberals and progressives are gracious winners. Because if we weren't we would sending troops to Sirius and Fox to arrest Andrew Wilkow and Sean Hannity.