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Pepe Lepew On November - 4 - 2009

crazy-guyToday, we went out to eat at our favourite Mexican restaurant and watch a few innings of the [shudder] Yankees winning the World Series. For a little while there was at the bar a rather loud person, someone who obviously has some … well, issues.

He railed about how people in his neighbourhood wanted to kill him and how in the military, you only have one minute to take a shit. Not exactly dinner conversation. Well, in the midst of his ramblings, he was also spouting off about government-funded health care reform and “lazy liberals” who just want the government to hold their hand and take care of them and who don’t want to work hard. It was kind of annoying, but we did our best to ignore him.

Moments later, with other people at the bar giving him his due grief about his obnoxious views, he blurted out that he is on disability.

So, here was someone … on disability … railing in a bar about government assistance to the poor. When he’s receiving public government-issued, taxpayer-funded assistance for his basic sustenance.

I-I was flabbergasted that he appeared simply unable to make the connection. Now, granted this person’s disability was likely a mental health issue, so perhaps it’s a really poor analogy. That being said, I couldn’t help but be struck by how the Teabaggers, many of them elderly, many of them likely lower income, railing about “government assistance” when many of them are likely receiving Medicare and/or Social Security benefits, or will someday be utterly dependent on those benefits.

It reminded me of a woman on the local news a few weeks ago railing about public health care, then she talked about how her and her husband have excellent medical benefits because he is a retired military officer … but she thought poor people just needed to learn how to do a better job of saving their money to pay for their health care.

Is this what we call cognitive dissonance?

Categories: Featured, Humor

384 Responses so far.

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  1. whisperingn woods says:

    I can never understand what righties mean by ‘the big government’?

  2. Questinia says:

    Are you serious? 374 responses?


    Congratulations Adlib!

    et al., of course.

  3. FeloniousMonk says:

    @nellie: I could have spent several hours developing iron-clad documentation of my point on the budgets but it would have been a waste of time for him. There is a simple but good chart at the Concord Coalition website covering debt over the years. http://www.concordcoalition.org/issues/debt/chart-levels-federal-debt-over-time. But I personally am not his research tool and have a life of my own.

  4. Questinia says:

    This is cognitive consonance. Dissonance would mean the individual felt an internal conflict.

    These people who make such mouth-dropping disconnects operate with a lot of denial.

    They may know what the conflict/truth is but they are so able to rationalize and deny, they don’t experience any discomfort at all

    These are very strong defense mechanisms, not susceptible to change.

  5. FeloniousMonk says:

    Pepe: You’re a good soul with compassion and maturity. Those of us who have grown up with adversity often gain a better understanding of life and people, if we have the ability to feel and learn.

  6. Kalima says:

    Just wanted to share this with the folks who complain about government interference. It was posted on another blog at the beginning of October this year by DFH and makes everything perfectly clear in my opinion. Sorry to take up so much space.

    ” I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:

    Social Security


    State Children

    • HITO says:

      Kalima and DFH,

      There are those that take many things in life for granted everyday. They are also oblivious to the fact that certain services they enjoy are provided by government entities via taxpayer dollars, as you defined.

      For some reason, it always seems to be the ones that cry the loudest while insisting government needs to be pared down, but may well receive the most in government related benefits.

      • Kalima says:

        Yes I agree but believe from personal experiences in my life, that nothing and no one should ever be taken for granted. They will never learn that unless they experience something earth -shattering in their lives and maybe not even then.

        If you notice the HP posters against the Healthcare reform and the public option, I guarantee that every single one of them have adequate health insurance themselves and are hypocritical and selfish enough to complain about the millions that don’t. Still they call themselves “good” Christians, amazing.

        • SeeknDestroy says:

          There is nothing Christian in their view of this subject, or most others. My belief is that the GOP uses the God card to get votes, not actually show Christian values.

          • Kalima says:

            As far as I’ve seen on cable and video clips, they scream out loud in their Churches on Sundays and behave like someone possessed by the devil during the other 6 days. I’m a Christian and I have never behaved like this or hurt anything living intentionally. What do you expect from people who rewrite their own Bible?

    • Will T says:

      Once you build it up you have to tear it down.

      But that isn’t the argument.

      Limited government is.

  7. bitohistory says:

    More fodder for your post, Pepe,
    This part goes over my head also. Are these people saying “I want corporations to control my life, and Government needs to stay out of my life!”? Does the realization enter their minds that one may at least vote who represents them,and that they do not have any say about the corporate structure? Hey kids, I hate to break the news to you but the people you are screaming for are in it just for the money. Just a clue for ya.

    • Will T says:

      And so are the politicians. They are in it for the money and the power.

      Remember this, when you get screwed by a corporation you have the power of the government to help you get it resolved. When you get screwed by the government you have no help.

      • KQuark says:

        Not every politician goes into it for money and power. EVERY corporate officer wants money and power.

        There is zero mechanism for the public to pick who runs corporations save for a few rich shareholders.

        It’s the people’s fault we vote bad people into office not the system or purpose of government.

      • bitohistory says:

        They was a time (when I was a youngster) That I was a complete cynic of government. I later realized that that attitude did not get my road plowed, my zoning changed, the corporation clear cutting next to me. Just as you don’t like generalizations, I choose not to lump all “politicians” into the pile you describe.
        I have met some champions for the people.

        • nellie says:

          The thing the media would like us to believe — and the GOP pushes this idea as well — is that the government is some exclusive entity completely removed from the population. We ARE the government. We elect people to run it, we pressure them to put through legislation that we want. That’s what’s happening right now with health care. That’s what happened last November when we elected Mr. Obama.

          It’s so ironic to hear people claim to be uber-pro-America, and then bash our system of government — the amazing constitutional creation that makes this country unique in the world, that makes us who we are.

        • Will T says:

          The roads and zoning argument again. You should have brought up the cops and the fire department instead. Much better use of government services.

          Somebody remind me how those are comparable to health care? How they make up 1/6th of our economy?

      • AdLib says:

        Yes you do, they have these things called elections.

        We were screwed by the Bush Admin and the Repubs who marched lockstep with him.

        What happened to them?

        • Will T says:

          Sure. So you have to wait 4 or 6 or however many years and even then it may not return to your favor.

          How is that any different then what is going on now?

          The problem with depending on the government is you are now putting the control of resources into the hands of a small few whereas with having corporations that control is spread across a larger group. Not one corporation can dominate another.

          What competing power is going to keep the government in check?

          • bitohistory says:

            What keeps the corporations “in check”?
            Oh, that’s right our governance over them. Or is it you choose to not enforce any regulations, or reduce regulations? Would, not enforcing laws against monopolies and collusion suit you better? I am having difficulty with your discussions. You seem quite capable being against any and all but I fail to see any thing you may support.

            • nicole473 says:

              He does support the corporations.

            • Will T says:

              Thank you for making my point. Exactly, the government is there to act as a referee not to get in the game.

              If a corp gets to big then the government has to break it up to prevent a monopoly. Remember the bell?

              Who is going to break up the government?

            • bitohistory says:

              I did not make your point. You chose to ignore mine.
              Perhaps you should read some history on the formation of corporations. Governments (we)make the rules for corporation and their very existence. They are not a “creature of god bequeathed with inalienable rights”

            • nellie says:

              Of course we are, Will. And if you don’t believe that we live in a country where the people govern themselves, that we have a unique and magnificent system of checks and balances, self governance, and representative government, then you and I are so far apart in our beliefs that there really is no common ground.

            • Will T says:

              We aren’t the government.

              535 people in Washington are the government. You just get your say in who gets to play every so often.

              If you were the government then the HC reforms you want passed would already be done.

            • nellie says:

              WE do. We’re the government. When it is not operating the way we want it to, we change the people running it.

          • FeloniousMonk says:

            So underneath it all you are an anarchist, is that it? Government is the cooperative effort of the people to get things done they cannot get done alone. You like getting your goods delivered on time? Had it not been for the federal road systems, it wouldn’t have happened. If it hadn’t been for the government gifts of land, payments and subsidies, we wouldn’t have the railroads. If it wasn’t for a strong federal law enforcement, the organized crime of the 1920s and 30s would still control much of the “vice” market. Not to mention national defense. The libertarian concept of “governing” might have worked in the early 1800’s but it is totally oblivious to the realities of today’s world. Of course, we could be 50 little countries easily defeated and controlled by outside forces.

            • nicole473 says:

              He doesn’t understand what an anarchist is, Monk. 😆

            • bitohistory says:

              Beat me to it (again), Monk. the word anarchist has been looming in my mind.

            • Will T says:

              Really? Somehow you came to the conclusion that I am an anarchist?

              I thought it was about the debate and not the person? Didn’t you say that?

              Anyway, it is the idea of limited government not no government.

            • Will T says:

              No, I am for limited government involvement and dependency.

              As limited as possible.

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              IT is about the debate. All of your limited government arguements eventually come back to an absolute belief in no government, and that is anarchy. Or you are against a federal government, which means you are against the existence of the country, but instead a series of little countries not unlike pre- European Union Europe was. Either way, we would not survive which is not good.

  8. bitohistory says:

    Ah, gotta love those “REAL Patriots”
    Rep. Aiken screws up the “Pledge of Allegiance” and Rep. Boehner can’t keep the Constitution and the Declaration striaght at their gathering today.
    Heard a Dem Rep on the radio today saying That the demonstrators were just out in the hallways yelling an disrupting traffic. She says they aren’t coming to her office and having a rational discussion with her about what is or isn’t in the bill. (sorry, missed her name)

  9. Kalima says:

    I just received this Beeb email alert about the shootings in Texas.


  10. AdLib says:

    OT but just saw this in the news widget to the right:

    FORT HOOD, Texas

  11. KQuark says:

    There are faux populist teabaggers and populist teabaggers. But I still disagree with the whole government should do nothing aspect of populist teabaggers. Their are just times, like now and essential needs like healthcare that right wing populists are wrong about. Government is the only entity we have in so many areas to keep a modicum of fairness in our society. The basic problem is not government, it’s government being run by corporations. Ru Paul teabaggers are the worse and most of them don’t have a clue what he really stands for anyway. There are little civil liberties in Ron Paul’s views.


    • javaz says:

      If it were not for government interference in business there would still be child laborers, no minimum wage, blatant discrimination -- even in the housing industry -- no safety standards or bare minimum standards, twelve or more hours per day without overtime pay, no vacation time, no sick days, no leaves for pregnancy, no leaves for family emergencies, etc.
      The government is needed to regulate and hopefully they will begin regulating the health insurance companies to stop the greed and corruption.
      History is repeating itself and not just in the insurance industry.

  12. javaz says:

    Holocaust Imagery at Protest Organized by Michele Bachmann

    This image of Holocaust victims was on display at today’s “House Call” protest organized by Bachmann and the Republican House Leadership.


    This is very troubling and truly insulting.
    Talk about cognitive dissonance.

  13. KQuark says:

    LITU their are only a few problems with Medicare and dozens and dozens with private insurance. The problem that causes fraud in Medicare is the “fee for service” concept where providers make money just by doing tests and procedures that don’t necessarily lead to better care and do lead to fraud. The other reasons Medicare is fiscally in trouble is because it still has to compete with huge private care provider rates so even though it can set it’s own rates it sets those rates in a bloated system and because of politics government just cannot increase payroll taxes like private insurers can raise premiums when they need more money. But Medicare with it’s low overhead costs and no profits is 100X better than private insurance.

    • LITU says:

      You are absolutely correct re the fraud problem. Here’s the point I was trying to make, though. (And I need to say that when I write “free” I mean after the fact, as I realize “free” is supported by taxes.) BTW, fraud is evident everywhere in the world, and it is a bogus argument against something, as the continued goal of all is to limit it, knowing it can’t be eliminated entirely. Humans are clever.

      Medicare is about as far removed from “free” as one can get. We pay into the system when we work, and we pay premiums when we partake, we pay residuals the program doesn’t cover, and we often purchase private insurance to cover the differences. Is it better than private? Absolutely. You won’t get an argument out of me there.

      Socialized medicine, be it the European model, Canadian, or any of a number of worldwide programs, generally provides for comprehensive coverage at little to no cost to the recipient. That’s because everyone working pays into the system, and the tax structure is (universally) designed to tap into the wealthiest members of that society. This is the inherent failure of our Medicare system. It does the opposite.

      These models offer us the framework to restructure our healthcare system, without having to start from square one. I do not support the private health insurance industry. It’s oxymoronic. It’s designed to fail the individual. It is anathema to a healthy society. Etc, etc.

      When you include the millions of healthy persons in a national healthcare program (revenue), the cost of administration is lowered. When that system only includes the aged and sick, the costs become excessive and wasteful. Another argument FOR nationalized medicine.

      So I hope I’ve explained why I am also opposed to single payer in the Medicare format, notwithstanding it’s the best we have.

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