Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Get your facts straight

The other day  I received a long email from some long-time friends.  It was a forwarded message that had been viewed by many other people including other mutual friends.

It apparently originated from an ER doctor down south somewhere-I think North Carolina.  In essence the message reported an incident this doctor supposedly had wherein she was treating undocumented workers for something.  She went on to explain how even though the patients were illegal immigrants,  they were fully entitled to Medicare and full Social Security.  It then went on to say how awful this is and it's just plain wrong, etc etc.

After reading the message, I confess to being a little angry myself and wondered  how this could be allowed to happen so I  decided to dig into it a little more.  Guess what?  It's totally bogus.  After just ten minutes of looking at fact-checker type web sites, I learned that this thing has made the rounds over and over and the truth is that undocumented workers  absolutely are not entitled to medicare or social security.  If they obtained it fraudulently, that's another story and they should be subject to arrest but they certainly didn't get it legally.

The fact that the information contained in this message was blatantly false  epitomizes the lengths to which some will go to make an otherwise valid point.  It’s one thing to have legitimate concerns about important issues like undocumented immigrants.  It’s quite another to spread false information to make a point.  To do so diminishes the basic idea.

I realize that this being an especially heated political season there will be many people-on both sides-prone to exaggeration.  But out and out lies are another matter.

My anger regarding the folks-whoever they were-receiving free treatment was transferred to the people who blindly forward this garbage.   It's one thing if you're just plain stupid but there's no excuse for otherwise intelligent people to accept as an article of faith some of the crap floating around on the internet or in emails. 

I know it's just going to get worse.  If you don't believe me, simply watch any network morning show on any given day of the week.  It's pathetic.

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