You want the truth? You can’t han­dle the truth!

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FYI -

WE sit, us Cana­di­ans, scratch­ing our heads at the to-do south of the bor­der over health-care re­form. Th­ese peo­ple fling­ing about signs and in­sults at ral­lies look like us. Some of them talk like us. It’s what they talk about that’s con­fus­ing to Cana­di­ans. Pub­lic health care is bad? Obama is a so­cial­ist? Death pan­els are com­ing? And the dreaded abor­tion fund­ing mat­ter, which makes them foam at the mouth. So it should be no sur­prise that it’s mu­sic to our Cana­dian ears to hear Obama and oth­ers re­as­sure that the myths about U.S. health-care re­form will all go away now that the leg­is­la­tion has been signed into law. But just as all looks rosy, along comes a study to say hu­mans — Amer­i­cans, Cana­di­ans, Kuala Lumpo­ri­ans — cling un­rea­son­ably to com­fort­ing old be­liefs. And, say the stud­ies by po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tists at Ge­or­gia State Uni­ver­sity, in the face of strong ev­i­dence chal­leng­ing those com­fort­ing old be­liefs — say, that death pan­els won’t roam the Great Plains of Amer­ica just looking to off Grandma — hu­mans will cling ever tighter. Hor­ror of hor­rors, the stud­ies show that even jour­nal­ism won’t budge true be­liev­ers. In fact, when news sto­ries cor­rect­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion about Bush II’s claim that cut­ting taxes in­creased fed­eral rev­enue were shown to con­ser­va­tives, the pro­por­tion who be­lieved Ge­orge W.’s fan­tasy rose to 67 per cent from 36 per cent. So Cana­di­ans hop­ing to see some rea­soned de­bate from our neigh­bours to the south can set­tle in for a long wait — some­thing we’re used to with our health-care sys­tem.

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