Palin – FaceBook Prophet? Or Just an Orwell and P.T. Barnum Fan?

It isn’t always easy but the only cure for relying on other people to think for you is to think for yourself – jm.

Former (Resigned) Governor Palin caused quite a stir with her “death panels” comment but what supporters ignore (besides actual facts) was that living-will and DNR counseling (what was actually proposed) was being touted to Alaskans just last year by none other than, wait for it – Gov. Sarah Palin. Doctors do this all the time, so do ministers and lawyers.

Death Panels, or counseling about “living wills” (the way people on the planet Earth used to describe the process) is nothing more than creating a legal directive so the way you want to be treated if you are incapacitated is what happens.

If you want to live out your final days in a hospital bed with tubes going in and out of every orifice, that is your option and you need to counsel with your primary care physician to make this clear.

Ms. Palin stated “Seniors and the disabled “will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.”

I would ask instead whether you prefer to have this done for everyone under 65 by insurance company drones who get paid based on how many claims they reject?

Again and again the former (resigned) Governor shows flashes of political brilliance (or a cursory knowledge of history) – this time that telling a big scary lie gets lots of attention.

Tell a big enough lie over and over and some people will believe it – sort of a political take on P.T. Barnum, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” Or, perhaps his “Never give a sucker an even break,” is the more appropriate quote because giving people an “even break” would probably involve attacking political ideas based on the truth.

There was someone else back in the last century who made use of the “big lie” theory for political advancement, but, for the life of me I can’t recall just know who that was, I think he was Austrian but I might be mistaken.

But, back to the “death panels” – they only exist in dystopian (the opposite of Utopian) science fiction novels, perhaps she has been reading them along with “all” the news magazines and newspapers.

Let me ask a rhetorical question (one designed to make you think, as opposed to a political question which is designed to stop you from thinking) – do you know what the word “triage” means?

Basically, triage says when you only have two pair of hands you tackle the most important problem first. In an ER you treat the sucking chest wound or compound fracture before the child with the sniffles.

Applying triage to political economics – for example, before paying for new jets for Congressional junkets, perhaps we should pay for sick people to see doctors.

Tens of thousands are lined up at free clinics as I write this – some are too busy dying to go to town meetings to shout slogans.

Is it Sara Palin or the Republicans doing this? No, actually it is a British third world aid worker.

Lots of people are faced with choices every day, although many Americans have been led to ignore this basic fact by heavy advertising.

Many people are afraid to make a choice for themselves because that would make them responsible for their own lives.

But sometimes the only thing you can do with a choice is to actually grow up and make it.

And, speaking of Palin’s idea of deciding whether people are “worthy” of health care, do you know how hospital transplant panels decide who gets scarce replacement organs?

The “death panel” label was great political theater, NEWSPEAK right out of George Orwell, “Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

If you aren’t familiar with newspeak, it is using different words to express unpleasant concepts – for example, urban pacification vs. riot control; strategic withdrawal vs. cut-and-run, collateral damage vs. killing children, unintended consequences vs. dumb mistake, and so forth.

It is important to remember that they work just as well if you read them in reverse, they just change meanings – everyone can play!

Don’t believe me? How would you react to being told you should buy “death insurance?”

I bet you have a very different feeling about “life insurance” don’t you?

Buying “life” insurance means you are betting you will die before the insurance actuary thinks you will die. So, isn’t that really “death” insurance? Yet people buy it because it is a good idea to have it if you have a family.

More for you to consider:

Political contribution, or bribe?

War on drugs, or a way to put more poor people in prison?

Hygienic urban renewal, or arson? (Terry Pratchett)

Death panel, or living will discussion?

All this is nothing new; this is “old magic” – once you name something you control how people think about it.

No matter which side of the debate you are on, my advice is to remember that, just as with a teenager, you can often tell if a politician is lying by looking to see if their lips are moving.

But, pity the poor politician, telling the truth won’t get you re-elected and, after all, they are doing it for your own good.

As I’ve often said in the past, the only cure for relying on other people to think for you is to think for yourself.

Repeating a slogan isn’t the same thing as actually thinking – a smart parrot or tape recorder can do it too.