Friday, November 20, 2009

Welcome to Idiot-Ville. Population: NPR

I heard this little gem last night on NPR when I was driving home. During a discussion of attacks on illegal immigration in Long Island, one of the interviewees claimed that using the phrase 'illegal immigrant' caused violence.

The story explains that Steven Levy, the Suffolk county chief executive is against illegal immigration.
Levy has taken a strong stance against illegal immigration, but he rejects efforts to connect those policy positions with acts of violence against Hispanics.

"It's a real disservice to try to say these things only happen in those areas where there might be a debate over the issue of illegal immigration," says Levy. "It's dangerous, because it gives the impression that if you don't have a debate over illegal immigration, Latinos are safe. That's not necessarily true."

Levy points out that even cities that welcome illegal immigrants struggle with crimes of racial hatred.

But Phil Ramos, who represents eastern Long Island in the New York State Assembly, says Levy does not appreciate that his words have violent consequences.

"If you say the word 'illegal' enough times as buzzwords in your speeches, these people cease to be human beings," says Ramos. "And that's what leads a group of six or seven young men to hunt an Ecuadorean man on the street like an animal, and just stab him and kill him."

Ramos was a police officer here for 20 years before he retired and ran for public office.
 Yeah, this makes sense -- there's now no difference between a man who claims "Illegal immigration is a violation of our laws and causes severe problems in our society" and a guy who says "lets beat illegal immigrants to death."

For what its worth, I'm against both illegal immigration AND beating innocent people to death.

Only a few moments later, the same program did a story on new breast cancer screening recommendations from a US Government task force. 

The message that breast cancer screening saves lives has taken root, and powerful breast cancer advocates who promote this message have earned women's trust. Perhaps that's why there's such a backlash against new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that advise against routine screening for women under age 50.

The task force recommendations were based on science studies that evaluated the effectiveness of mammograms. In one study, researchers determined that for every 1,900 women in their 30s and 40s who are invited to have a mammogram, one death from breast cancer was prevented.
When public health types look at these numbers, they conclude that it's not necessary to test every woman, every year — given the risks that accompany testing, including false positives, anxiety and scar tissue from biopsies.
But here's the rub: Individual women don't tend to think like public health folks. The 1 in 1,900 figure means little to a woman who has a sister, cousin or friend with the disease.

Nearly every woman interviewed for this story was profoundly hacked off, and I bet you that every single one would also be in favor of government run healthcare. Of course, nobody made the (to me) blindingly obvious connection that THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE GOVERNMENT RUNS HEALTHCARE.


Anonymous said...

If using the phrase "illegal immigrants" causes violence, then I guess that using the phrase "tea baggers" also causes violence...right?

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