#ProtestNIPS

This has got to be a parody. But if it isn’t, there is something not together right with the petitioners because it took me quite a while to figure out what they thought “NIPS” alluded to.

How old are these folks to react in such a way?

Toddler Arguments

The great thing about 2,5-year-olds is that they talk. The bad thing about them is that they talk. Including to each other.

“Tomorrow I’m taking you to get your flu shot,” I told Klara.

“My friend Maxwell had a flu shot. He says it hurts!”

“Well, it hurts a bit but then it doesn’t.”

“My friend Maxwell says it hurt a lot. He cried! Did you get a flu shot, Mommy?”

“Uhm, no, not yet. But I’m going to. . .”

“My friend Maxwell had a flu shot! He says it hurts. You made a mistake, Mommy!”

Caravan vs Healthcare

the caravan hysteria is no accident: creating a climate of hatred is how Republicans avoid talking about health care. What we’re seeing in this election is a kind of culmination of the strategy the right has been using for decades: distract working-class voters from policies that hurt them by promoting culture war….

The caravan is the last thing I fret about these days but I like to stay informed, so I went on Fox News yesterday on purpose to see how the caravan was covered.

It’s true that Fox covers it relentlessly, obsessively, and hysterically. It’s also obvious that it’s a ploy to rile up the voters before the midterm. But that’s not the whole truth. What Krugman says in the quote above is either uninformed or dishonest, and I believe it’s the latter since I found out what’s really going on by simply switching the channel.

The caravan is being discussed on Fox News first and foremost in terms of what it (and similar movements) represents for healthcare. The question that is being asked regarding the caravan, obsessively and relentlessly, is what a massive influx of illegal immigrants will do to Medicaid and how it’s possible even to begin to talk about single-payer when you haven’t decided who is entitled to free medical care. Only citizens? And then what, you just stare at people who are sick and let them die? That doesn’t sound like a great idea. Everybody? And who’s going to pay for that exactly?

One could argue that the Fox reporters don’t care a blip about healthcare for illegal immigrants, and I’m sure one would be right. But that’s beyond the point. Those who pretend that these questions don’t exist or don’t matter can just as easily be accused of distracting voters from relevant questions surrounding healthcare.

P.S. And I just found a good article on the caravan on – of all places – The National Review.

Rhetorical Weapons

What I hate is the habit of avoiding a debate by condemning as evil and beyond the pale the person who expresses views contrary to yours. The discussion is never about the arguments and the evidence. It’s always, “You are such a horrible person that you shouldn’t express any opinions at all.”

Once you’ve got your opponent to try to argue weakly and pathetically, “No, I’m not evil! I’m actually a good person!” you have won the debate. And it doesn’t matter how weak your arguments were.

Narcissistic Woundedness

If Hitler’s Holocaustis just like Trump, it is no longer a uniquely barbarous episode in history. It diminishes it, it makes it mundane and normal.

Few things compare in intensity with the suffering of a narcissist in whose presence somebody shares a story of personal misfortune.

“But me too! Me! I also had this happen to me! But it was even worse!” the narcissist frets.