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In the process of googling various symbols that might be developed into a logo for my medical practice (I was studying on the rod of Aesclepius vs the rampant American confusion with the Caduceus) I ran across a blog that is distinctly American right wing Christian conservative in nature. The image that drew me in was this so-called "Obama Screw-U", which is derived from the Caduceus symbolizing treachery and profiteering:

That was humorous, but not exactly fair or kind. After a bit more surfing I found an article on Leftwing Pathology that posits that left wingers are essentially psychopathic. I will bypass the commentary on this page because in general it is name calling and not productive. But I do see how this is completely true from the conservative perspective.

Conservatism, most basically, is a limbic or mammalian mindedness emphasizing deep emotional connections, visceral aversions, and a strong instinctive sense of rightness vs wrongness. Liberalism is neocortical, involving the ability to weigh conflicting theories and integrate disparate data. To conservatives, liberals are immoral, or even psychopathic because they don't act from their hearts and guts. Liberals think about it, and make decisions based on information. The liberal method doesn't appreciate the power of people's personal attachments and belief systems. It hurts people's feelings. To the liberal, conservatives are dimwits who can't think rationally about anything. Of course the conservatives feel that they are the rational ones, they just consider different things to constitute "information".

It's about as bad as trying to get Israelis and Palestinians to talk to each other.

Conservatives feel a great deal more emotional pain when they are asked to act contrary to their own values. Liberals are expert at rationalizing--or neocorticalizing, if you will. Liberals are capable of acting more like a psychopath and being indifferent to pain both inside and around them.

But there's a spectrum. Some people are nearer the middle between emotional/instinctive/believing and intellectual/rationalizing/skeptical. Some can see both sides. Our limbic systems are intact and we can love deeply and hold values that matter, at the same time that our neocortices are developed enough to see that sometimes fairness that hurts is better in the long run than unfairness that feels safe and good. Maybe we could spend a little more time and energy trying to understand and be human to each other. We may not be able to develop policy that satisfies the deeply held attachments of conservatives, but we can at least acknowledge when the situation calls for deeply painful compromise, and try to be kind. The liberal who can't understand conservatives is more foolish than the conservative that can't understand liberals.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 29th, 2012 03:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, no.

Here's the thing. All the "liberal facts" are outright lies. All of them. So it isn't that liberals are basing things on facts and conservatives on emotions, it's, in point of fact, that liberals are basing everything on lies, and conservatives are basing everything on facts.

Challenge me, I can *prove* it.
Nov. 29th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
LOL you are proving MY point. Thanks.
Nov. 29th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
I was a little drunk and quite irritable when I wrote that one.

Here's the thing. *your* liberalism, much like my conservatism, is a neocortical thing. Because both of us are neocortical people.

The liberalsim of most people, like the conservatism of most people, is amygdala based. The liberalism of most people is the incredibly childish and *poorly* thought out "It's not FAIIRR". The conservatism of most people is the similarly ignorant and poorly thought through my pastor said X.

However, when you get to what the things fundamentally *are*, neither one is the slightest bit more "thoughtful" than the other.

Now, I will reiterate that virtually all of the liberal "talking points" are outright fabrications. Or at least incredibly skewed versions of reality.

Examples: The comparisons of the US healthcare system to the healthcare systems of other countries performed by the UN. *everyone* cites that one. But here's the problem, it rates the healthcare systems on 4 metrics, 1 of them is actually quality related (responsiveness), 2 are measuring *purely* the degree of socialization (fairness of financial contribution, and evenness of distribution), and 1 has only a loose connection to the healthcare system at all (life expectancy is more governed by lifestyle than medical care). So what would you call that if not a "lie"?
Nov. 29th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
Well I am relieved to see that we come around again to fundamental agreement. The talking points on both sides have absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate goal of governing by compromise for the best interests of all. Our system is broken.

As for the usual comparisons of healthcare systems...there are faults, and lessons to be learned. At what point do you notice that a person may have good intentions, and hence any mistakes or oversights in their process are not LIES but rather inaccuracies and incompleteness? When you call it all LIES you make it impossible to have reasonable discourse. I really just want both sides, and those oddballs like you and me that don't exactly fall in with any sides, to stop the incendiary accusations and start working on actual practical solutions. That's all. I can understand being a bit belligerent when you're drunk AND irritated, but I'm hoping that you will help me lead the way toward talking with everybody and showing respect, even to those we disagree with.
Nov. 30th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
Here's the thing. That isn't the only time that the WHO has done that. Nor is it the only example of some rather vastly misleading statements coming from the left. A second example is the hunger statistics. You've heard the "1 in 6" stat, right? That comes from a ag department study. To qualify to be in that statistic, all you have to do is say that at some point during the year, you have to have wondered if you were going to have enough money for food. That's it. And there's an entire ad campaign pretending that people are starving to death all over the country.

And then there's the "the poor are fat because they can't afford healthy foods", which runs afoul of the fact that *healthy* foods, such as rice, beans, etcetera, are the *cheapest* source of calories out there.

And then there's the "war on women" advertised by so many high ranking liberals. Except for the one small problem. It doesn't *exist*. Yes, the right is anti-abortion. Their reasoning for that position is logically *far* superior to the logic I have heard espoused by the pro abortion groups (I am pro abortion for the record). Other than that, the only thing the right has done in that respect is try to reduce *subsidies* and try to not force people to pay for things for other people.

Why would I trust that they actually *have* good intentions when there's such a consistent pattern of dishonesty, and dishonesty in the *exact* same way? I suspect that it's a case of "agenda uber alles". Consider "gonzo journalism", which is where a "reporter" deliliberately fabricates an event in order to pretend that a person, group, or other disliked agency is *bad*. And reports on it as though it were fact. Popularized by communist hunter S thompson, and accepted practice by a number of leftist media outlets.

It's *hard* to maintain a reasonable dialogue with a group that repeats such dishonest statements so frequently. It's hard to want to compromise when it so often happens that... In *every* previous case, cases where compromise *has* happened, such as the original deal that put us here, the tax increases happened, and the cuts did not. Take the fiscal cliff negotiations, not the present ones, the ones that *created* the fiscal cliff earlier this year, it was *supposed* to include a fair number of spending cuts that were to happen before now. They didn't. So, why compromise when what one side is *really* offeing is *nothing*?

There's a large russian community in this area. And the nonrussian people have noticed a propensity. When you sit down to negotiate with a russian, they take their share, and put it in their pocket. Then they start looking at your pile. That's how it feels to be a conservative. The liberals *never* live up to their end of any bargain you reach.
Dec. 1st, 2012 05:17 am (UTC)
I can't argue with you about the liberals slanting and misleading. But I do have to say that I have the impression that the conservatives do the same damn thing, only they do it better than the liberals. I don't trust anything that comes via the media or a politician. I have to see the science and evaluate it for myself, or talk to enough people who are highly educated in their area to start to get a full picture of what is going on. So I won't engage in a battle over talking points which we both know are nonsense.

I obviously don't follow the news as much as you. And I obviously haven't been as mistreated by liberals. I do remember the negotiations that led to the fiscal cliff way to not deciding. It appeared to me that neither side was willing to give any ground, and the Republicans got outsmarted by Obama.

Mind you when I say liberals I do not mean democrats, and when I say conservatives I do not mean republicans.
Dec. 1st, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
Well, Generally, I haven't seen the *falsehoods* from the conservative orgs or talking points. My problem there is directly with policy. The anti-abortion and anti-gay people are not exactly ideal. And those particular people do provide the media with *ample* soundbytes.

I hear you with the republican/conservative, and democrat/liberal thing.

I wouldn't say they got "outsmarted", I would say that they had little leverage. There's very little that a party in control of one part of a bicameral legislature can do. Basically, they had the options of: Hold the line and crash all the everything, or agree to bend over. They bent over.
Dec. 1st, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
It's further true that there are conservatives who are intellectuals with fully developed neocorticies, and who choose a conservative stance for damned good reason and not instinctive aversion. You may well fall into this category, but for your not seeing falsehoods coming out of conservative orgs. The social conservatism is crippling, and the policy has it's problems, but that's clearly not the whole problem. Some would say that the apparent lies are attributable to differences in language and culture. I don't buy that. Those who call themselves conservative in our media and congress perpetuate their share of mistakes and distortions, and the liberals consider their every word to be a lie, just as you said of the liberals. I look forward to the day that you apply an equal amount of your considerable intellect and energy to picking reputed conservatives apart. Mind you, I don't want you to stop hammering the liberals; it's awesome.
Dec. 2nd, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
I have heard the accusation levelled at conservatives. I have heard *zero* examples of actual falsehoods, or even misrepresentations.

The social conservatives are a rather "strange bedfellows" thing. Kind of like, on the liberal side, you have the welfare statists and poverty pimps standing next to the equalitarians. Most people are not well represented by either party, and there's *always* a sound byte.

I would *like* to see some examples of conservative lies comparable to the ones I used as examples. Thing is, no one has ever trotted any out. Try them, and they'll bring up glenn beck, who is, granted, not a particularly reliable source of information, but whose position is *wildly* different from that of, for example, the WHO.
Dec. 2nd, 2012 04:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, wish I could get some of my liberal buddies to get on here and go off at you. I'm not going to do it, but it would be interesting. =-]
Dec. 2nd, 2012 04:55 pm (UTC)
Have you used several health systems? There's not another health system in the western world that will let you die because you don't have insurance. People here think of their health insurance as some sort of piggy bank where they pay in all their fit and healthy life and it will look after them. The fact is that it is a commercial system, so they want your money while you don't need health care but they don't want to know you once you start needing more out than you are putting in. The conservative description of European health care is almost entirely lies.

So how do you measure a health care system? Longevity. Does it keep most people alive. The US is 51st, if you believe the CIA. Canada is probably the best comparison on lifestyle and geography, they are 12th. The vast difference, old people in Canada don't go in to medical bankruptcy which is common here.

I have good income and can always run off to Europe if things get bad. Most people in the poor states who vote for Republicans and are less likely to have decent health care can't do that. My health benefits in the US are valued at $18k per year, in the UK, France or Japan that would keep six people. Am I lying to you? The problem is that Republicans don't check their facts against proper sources, so they believe their facts are true because their talk radio hosts agree with their right wing news papers. If you check the 'facts' your lies are exposed.
Dec. 2nd, 2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
And, you start off with a baldfaced lie. People do not die for lack of treatment on the us. It does not happen. That's not a good way to begin if you wanted to have a conversation.

Posti.g from my droid, will give more later.
Dec. 2nd, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
Okay, addressing first the life expectancy issue. Healthcare is *one* component that factors into that, but by no means the biggest one. America is more violent, and violent deaths skew to younger victims, far far more obese, which is a bigger risk factor for early death than virtually any other. Americans have the highest rate of type 2 diabetes, and *hordes* of other diseases of affluence. Those are "preventable" for the purposes of preventable disease stats, but in no way are they applicable to the healthcare system.

For those reasons, life expectancy is a *wildly* inappropriate metric for the quality of a nation's healthcare system.

So, let's have a look at some metrics that *do* make sense.

Let's have a look at cervical cancer rates. Those should be a good indication of the real quality of healthcare since the *only* methods of prevention are abstinence (societal) and screening (healthcare).


Look at the US, we're *right* down there both for incidence and mortality. Below, in both respects, both the UK and Canada. Some nations do better, but not many.

Or we could look at the survival rates *after* diagnosis of various types of condition, for instance "all cancers".

Here's a study from the lancet on the topic of cancer survival rates. America places at or near the top in every category. Now, since the *key*, the single biggest, most critical important factor in cancer survival is *catching it early*, there is exactly *one* way you get to the top of that list. You have a top shelf medical system that treats *everyone*. You can't get there if you let the bottom quintile die. You can't get there any other way than having an excellent medical system.

While I will agree that there have been a *shitload* of right wing chain letters that contain wild untruths about the US healthcare system, and that, in many cases, those lies have been repeated by media figures, absolutely *nothing* that has come out of the left, and come out from the very *highest* levels has fact checked. You're reviewing the probitive value of a chain letter from uncle bubba and finding it poor. Fair enough, I agree that they are. I am saying that the *WHO* is even less reliable than him. That the leftist talking points from the *top* leadership are less reliable than the crap that makes the rounds on the internet on the right.

And yes, *please* go to europe. Use their medicine, do whatever. But leave it there. Pleases don't bring thta poison here, to the *one* country that was founded on *limited* government. You *have* places to go where your philosophies are respected and practiced. Why must you ruin the *one* place in all the world where mine are?

Edited at 2012-12-02 07:59 pm (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2012 04:46 am (UTC)
Alternatively, we could look, for a direct metric of the quality of a healthcare system, for example, the rate of nosocomial infection. I mean, hypocratic oath amd all that, first do no harm.

But there again, the US system outperforms.

Frankly, there are 3 categories in which the us system underperforms.

1) It is, honestly, legitimately, expensive. There are reasons for that, but none of them are solved by socializing the medical system. They are solved in 1 of 3 ways, first, you can eliminate malpractice. second, you can eliminate patents, and third, you can reduce the quality of care. Most socializad countries do all 3.

2) We are, legitimately, less socialized. Which is fine in the mind of anyone particularly reasonable, and nothing to be ashamed of.

3)Our system is *percieved* as being worse. That's due to a constant stream of lies coming from proponents of a particular political philosophy, and has nothing to do with the *actual* quality of our healthcare system.
Dec. 3rd, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for piping up. Medical bankruptcy is a uniquely American problem...
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )



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