Sunday, September 27, 2009

When is Debate Not Truly Debate?

Intellectual Conservative is a blog I'm getting really quite fond of. I don't always agree with the posts; that's true of many blogs. Non-liberals, like myself, do NOT always walk in lockstep with other non-liberals. The notion that we are all Dittoheads (mindlessly agreeing followers of Rush Limbaugh) is a fallacious one. I've only heard his show one time, when traveling a long distance. DH turned to that station in an effort to find some non-country music. I listened for a few minutes, until he turned to another channel.

So, where do I get my "strange" ideas? Well, I don't usually get them from TV. Anyone knowing me knows that I don't watch all that much TV. I don't subscribe to a daily paper anymore; unreliable delivery times have caused me to break a lifelong habit. So, it's fair to say that the Internet is my main source of news.

Aha! my critics will say - you must get all your information from gossip and rumor, which the web is so well know to be filled with! (Sometimes, it's really hard to avoid ending with a preposition)

Well, no. I subscribe to an RSS newsreader (the Google Reader), but I mostly use that as a way to grab interesting stories. I always check on the original sources for those stories - in most cases, the online version of newspapers and broadcast news (sometimes, official government sources, like Thomas).

But, sometimes I enjoy reading extended analysis of current issues - for that, I do often turn to the blogs, particularly Intellectual Conservative, which has some thought-provoking words about the nature of debate in modern times. Here Phillip Jackson explains why the lack of specific language in the Health Care bill doesn't ease his mind:
My take is somewhat less complicated. I'm old, but not stupid. If it's charged that a proposed piece of legislation will, say, allow illegal aliens to be covered the same way U.S. citizens are covered, I first look for that language in the bill. When I find that precisely the opposite exists — that illegals are expressly excluded —I'm heartened. Heartened, but not satisfied, if other language exists that forbids anyone from checking on the legal status of an individual receiving these services.

Like I said, I'm old, not stupid. A non-enforceable restriction is not a real restriction. My spidey-sense is further heightened when several amendments aimed at clarifying this issue are defeated (whether it's illegals, abortion, end of life care, etc.). Assurances that the provision does/doesn't really exist mean little when attempts to clarify the matter are expressly rejected.

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