Frank Luntz Bingo

Conservatives have been fighting health care reform by using the same technitues they typically use to fight the modern world–misinformation and propaganda. I’ve recently discussed how they are once again using Frank Luntz to pick the right words to use in their scare tactics. Media Matters has responded with Frank Luntz Bingo. When you hear five of their buzz words along one row, you win.

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  1. 1
    Mike says:

    Let see if I can hit bingo in my own response called: “The government always knows best.”   13 year old boy has cancer. Mom doesn’t want chemo, judge orders mom to obey doctor.  How did this case get to a judge? Was this a doctor taking on the role of dictactor? You must obey me or I’ll go to a judge and take your kid away from you.  Oh, judge, I’m just bound by duty and/or law to report that what I “recommend”  gives this boy 99.9% chance of living, and the mother’s suggested treatment has no measurable effect to help at all.  But you decide judge, given I’m sure, your vast knowledge of medicine, you decide between an expert like myself and this religious nut of a mother.   No imposing of religion by the government here, just imposing science, and science is always correct.   Wait a minute, what scientific experiment proved that science trumps religion?   I know chemo therapy is oh so very wonderful, what with no side effects, or collateral damage of any kind.  But if a mom doesn’t want to have it done done to her child and wants to use just prayer, or any other kind of remedy, wacky or not,  how about not only keeping judges out of our sexual practices, let us keep judges out of our bodies too.  And if anyone thinks this particular writer, who believes in religion over science (and I do), and believes in lower taxes and lower government involvement across the board (which I also believe), is one who believes in the government prohibiting abortion, nope,  I have to say I’m pro choice.  Ironic in some ways, as I’ve heard radio host Mark Levine say pro-choice is absolutely incompatible with conservatism.  Ok, fine, I still agree with virtually all of Mark Levine’s positions yet I’m still pro choice. 

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    That has nothing to do with health care reform–the case involves something which occurred under the current system.

    It is cases like this which make me glad I don’t deal with pediatrics. With adults it is straight forward. An adult can refuse treatment for any reason (or without giving a reason) including religious grounds and there is rarely grounds for getting the court involved.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Philosophically I don’t see that being pro-choice should be incompatible with conservatism. It is actually more compatible with much of their anti-government rhetoric.

    If being pro-choice is incompatible with conservatism it is because many of those influential in the conservative movement choose to drive away people who are pro-choice, not because of anything inherent to the viewpoint.

  4. 4
    Mike says:

    I confess, I knew my post didn’t really fit the topic, but I had just read an article about that Minnesota story and was dying to comment on it.  Is there a spot on this blog for comments that don’t fit under a particular story.  I don’t want to fix what isn’t broken, because this sight is great!  One thing in particular, I like how there is a sharing of ideas, even if it is heated.  There is nothing wrong with being passionate, I see that as usually a good thing, but too many places on the net where I’ve looked to discuss things are all this name calling garbage.  I know that is from vigilant, yet tolerant monitoring by you Dr.  Thanks for all your work, I love this site.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    “Is there a spot on this blog for comments that don’t fit under a particular story”

    No, but comments sections do go off topic. Larger blogs often do have open threads but there aren’t enough comments here for that to be worthwhile.

  6. 6
    Rob Hensley says:

    I would like to respond to Mike. He raises an scenario that is a bit strained, but nonetheless interesting. However, as I read, there was one phrase that I found particularly interesting. He said, “No imposing of religion by the government here, just imposing science, and science is always correct.” I find that interesting and confusing. My interest lies not in the imposition of religion by government but rather with the supposition that science is always right. It was only a few hundred years ago that science held that mice came from soiled rags left in the corners of homes and that flies and fly larva comes from rotting meat. Yesterday, the news broke that scientists have found trace amounts of water on the moon. The day before yesterday, the science community understood that there was no water on the moon. As a kid, I remember in the 70s that we were going to enter another ice age because of man’s abuse of the enviornment. Now, of course, we are on the brink of global warming which threatens our capacity to thrive on the planet for pretty much the same reasons. When I was a kid, Pluto was a planet. As we get closer looks with Voyager it seems to be more of an ice-ball asteroid. Also, it seems that about every six months scientific studies declare alcohol to be first a detriment to our health and then after another six months a new study declares it a necessary part of our on-going good health. My favorite was an article that I remember reading in the late 80s that declared laboratory “rat-food” to be cancerous. All of this is without even beginning to untangle the incredible discoveries in quantum physics. String theory and quantum mechanics turn upside-down and inside-out our traditional understanding of how the universe operates.
    To my understanding and experience, science has done nothing but change. Unless of course we talk about the process of science – the process of science constantly corrects itself as it gets clearer, or closer inspection of our universe. However, even with this self correction, how can we know what we know at any one point in time? How can science be an unfailable arbiter of truth when the things we know to be true today may be changed tomorrow? For me this is more than an epistemological exercise. It takes a certain type of faith to say that science is always right. At what point in time is it right? Faith seems to me to be more the realm of theology.
    What things are we looking at today that will be tomorrow’s “mice from rags”. How will tomorrow’s science laugh at today’s positions? Is this always right?

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, science is not always right, but the scientific method is to a considerable degree self-correcting. To continue to be considered true, scientific claims must constantly survive tests of their validity. That is why we do not need faith to say science is right. While religion might always say the same thing, regardless of the evidence, science will correct itself when wrong as more evidence comes in.

  8. 8
    Eclectic Radical says:

    ‘All of this is without even beginning to untangle the incredible discoveries in quantum physics. String theory and quantum mechanics turn upside-down and inside-out our traditional understanding of how the universe operates.’
    I’m a big fan of quantum physics and find it all terribly interesting. It’s important, however, to understand what it is and what it isn’t. As of this point there have been no quantum physics ‘discoveries.’ Nor are there proper quantum physics ‘theories’ in the proper scientific term.
    In scientific jargon, a ‘theory’ is a provable hypothesis. Most theories have been proven to the best of scientific ability to do so, before they become public domain.
    Quantum physics is a collection of unprovable concepts that give scientists more options to explain aspects of the universe that pure physics is not yet able to explain in genuine scientific language. Once something becomes provable and a true theory, it slides from the domain of quantum physics to pure physics.
    String theory has the potential to become a real theory, hence the optimistic name. However, at this time, the scientific technology to prove or disprove the hypotheses of string theory still do not exist. So it is still a set of conceptual hypotheses rather than proven theory. The same is largely true of quantum mechanics, what has been proven about quantum mechanics is no longer properly quantum physics.
    None of this is meant to denigrate quantum physics, which I believe to be one of the most interesting and potentially enlightening aspects of scientific thought. However, it is important to understand what quantum physics is.
    Physics is the proven explanation of what we know and the discovery of what we can know.
    Quantum physics is the conceptual exploration of what we not only do not know, but are not yet capable of truly discovering. There are even ‘pure’ physicists who have a certain disregard for many aspects of quantum physics, particularly string theory.
    Comparing it to biology is inaccurate.

  9. 9
    Fritz says:

    Eclectic, I disagree with your delineation of “quantum physics” as things that cannot be tested.
    The most brutal objection to string theory is that it is not testable — as the book title “Not Even Wrong” drives home.    And this objection is made by people who work in quantum physics.
    Besides, I’m rooting for Loop Quantum Gravity.   🙂

  10. 10
    Eclectic Radical says:

    ‘And this objection is made by people who work in quantum physics.’
    Most people working in quantum physics are seeking to find ways to move from conceptualiztion to testable theory. String theory (at least for the foreseeable future) can’t be moved from the one to the other. It’s pure concept.
    Even the people who object to string theory on such grounds, within quantum physics, would admit that msot of quantum theory is not testable YET. They would argue that string theory will never be testable for as far as we can see, while advances in pure physics will make quantum theory testable much as advances in pure physics began to show the flaws in relativity theory that necessitated quantum theory.

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