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Sicko Sheds Light on What’s Wrong With American Health Care

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My wife, son, and I went to see Michael Moore's Sicko last weekend. While I have generally agreed with most of Moore's positions over the years, I have not been a fan of his modus operandi. His prior films have depended largely on cheap shot humor and guerrilla or predatory journalism. While Sicko includes some of that, overall it depends far less on those tactics than Moore's prior work.

I liked this film. Some of it is funny. Some of it is poignant. Approximately the first half of the picture is spent illustrating the limits and shortcomings of the current American health care system. Much of the remainder of the film focuses on health care systems in other countries including Canada, England, France, and Cuba. Yes, Cuba.

I have read a number of the reviews and other discussions of this film. Detractors are quick to point out how the film tells only partial truths, ignoring good things about American health care and passing over the bad aspects of the systems in the countries noted above. I don't doubt the truth of many of these charges. As with his previous works, Moore doesn't claim to be unbiased. He doesn't even claim to be fair.

The fact is that no health care system anywhere, especially those of countries having relatively large populations, is perfect. Not even close. However, the question remains: Which system or systems are the most equitable, the most workable, resulting in the optimum health care for its citizens?

I am certainly not prepared to answer such a question. But it is impossible to ignore the glaring shortcomings of the American system which for the most part remains a "for profit" industry. Therein lies the core of the problem. As long as medicine and medical care — all aspects of it from individual medical practices, outpatient and emergency care, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, drug manufacturers, and purveyors — remain in the private sector, with pretty much all of it concomitantly under the thumb of  insurance companies and HMOs, with the primary focus of their efforts being a positive bottom line and paying dividends to shareholders, medical care in this country will continue to be second rate for many, and effectively unavailable to many more. As with so much in this country, profit is the holy grail. Everything else is secondary — even life and health.

I know this is an old but nevertheless ongoing argument. To suggest that all or any of the medical industry be nationalized is anathema to most hard core, and even not so hard core, capitalists. Just the thought of — dare I say it — "socialized medicine" is enough to send these folks into apoplexy, wildly gesticulating as they drop, spittle spewing from their contorted lips, veins popping on their crimsoned brows.

I've no doubt that there are gaps and failures in the best of the nationalized health care systems. The drawback most often cited is protracted waits for care, especially non-emergency surgery and other specialized care. I don't know if that problem is ubiquitous with all nationalized health care.  Perhaps it is. Of course, another and larger complaint is the resultant increase in the tax burden. Given the often incredible costs for even routine medical care today, a significant hit from the tax man is probably unavoidable.

However, if there is to be any significant improvement in the quality and availability of health care in this country, hard decisions must be made. What is of most importance to us? Wealth or health? How many of us might be willing to give up, or at least downsize  gargantuan trophy houses, forgo having all the latest expensive "toys," and otherwise living lavishly to help enable the greatest number of our country's men, women, and children to have access to the best medical care? So far, and sadly, it is apparent that not many are so inclined. It's not a pretty picture if you think about it.

I am not a glutton for punishment. I don't wish to be taxed out of existence. My son in Germany pays taxes at around 41% of his gross income. Some European countries have much higher tax rates. It's a hard nut to swallow. However, the populations of these countries seem to have adjusted to it, some perhaps kicking and screaming, but most in relative quiet, in the knowledge that they can obtain health care, along with other services and benefits with little or no additional cost. As an example, in Germany if someone, owing to the effects of aging or poor health, is forced into a nursing home or some other type of long term care facility, they are not required to divest themselves of everything they own in order to qualify for government aid. It is all simply paid for by the government through taxation. Such people are not required to sell hearth and home, their other worldly goods, and empty their bank accounts. They can actually retain their estates.

I hear people in the U.S. complain that they don't want to pay for someone else's medical care. Others complain about paying taxes that support public education if they have no children or no school aged children. The fact is, though, that we all pay for any number of government services that we never use, and/or from which we receive no benefit. Why not education? Why not health care? The better educated and healthier our population, the more productive we will be as a nation.

While I don't for a moment imagine that designing an efficient, responsive, and equitable national health care system for a country the size of the U.S. would be easy, I find it hard to believe and, frankly, disingenuous of people to claim that it can't be done. Of course it can, and it has in other relatively large countries. Is it beyond the possible for the best minds in medicine, business, industry, and government to come together and study the world's many and varied medical systems and come up with a workable solution for the U.S.? Pick and choose what works, dispose of what doesn't. At the outset, there would no doubt be problems. Complaints would run rampant. Some heads would probably roll. There would be significant growing pains. It would never be perfect nor cover all the bases. But the status quo just can't be allowed to continue.

Far too many people are falling through the ever widening cracks in the current system. The primary purpose of health care should not be to line the pockets of insurance company CEOs or their share holders. Its purpose should not be to enable doctors to join the best country clubs. The primary purpose of health care should be the improvement and maintenance of our citizens' health. Period.

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About Baritone

  • Arch Conservative

    I haven’t seen the film so I’m just curious……

    Did Moore give any real attention to the fact that illegal aliens cost the American healthcare system billions of dollars every year?

    Did Moore mention the problems that other nations have with their systems such as the long waiting lists and limited resources they have in Canada or did he just paint every system but our own as the ideal model?

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Arch,

    Moore did none of those things. As I noted in the article, the film was, as all Moore’s films have been, totally biased and unbalanced.

    But the point of my article was not so much to discuss Sicko as to use it as a launch point for a discussion of the health care problems in this country.

    I see damn few comments supporting our system from people who have inadequate or no medical insurance or some alternative means to gain access to health care for themselves and/or their families.

    Many supporters of the status quo are those who have such access and/or are connected to the medical industry professionally and/or have a stake in the industry via stock holdings and the like. There are also those who may not fall under the above categories, but nevertheless harbour the fear that if the hated liberals successfully alter our health care system, they just might turn their attentions elsewhere in a sort of domino effect reigning socialist evil across the land.

    I wrote and submitted this article prior to reading Don Hall’s fine piece also concerned with the health care with references to Sicko.
    His is a superior work to mine I must admit. But in reading many of the often angry comments to his article, I found they illustrate my predictions regarding typical conservative response.

    We all know the shortcomings of many of the various nationalized health care systems. However, that is no excuse for the intransigence of those who support the status quo here. It demonstrates the highest regard for profit coupled with a contempt for those who are victimized by the current system. Just the fact that we refer to medicine as an “industry” pretty much tells the tale.

    I do believe that in what is supposed to be the greatest and richest country in the world that good health care should in fact be a right, not a privilege. The farther you push the have nots down, the more likely they will eventually rise up and bite you in the ass. But at least you can go to the doctor and get it stitched up.

    Baritone

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    You can oppose the status quo and still not support nationalized healthcare. There are alternatives to the corruption, inefficiency and expense of a single-payer system which would work perfectly well, including systems which would continue to be reasonably profitable for the insurance companies.

    I haven’t seen sicko yet – no way I’m getting the kids to go. But I suspect that Moore found it difficult to go into detail on practical solutions customized to the American market. It would have been much easier for him to just present examples from other countries. He’s nothing if not a lazy filmmaker and always goes for the easy, cheap shot, and I doubt that’s changed with this film.

    Solving the problems with American healthcare starts with better regulation and should primarilyu focus on providing service to the uninsured without reducing the quality of care for the majority who are currently insured. We need to preserve the best of the current system while filling in the gaps.

    Dave

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    The high taxes of more socialistic countries include other benefits besides UHC, such as pensions.

    I argued, successfully, apparently, since no one has yet refuted it, that the net burden to US society under the current for profit system is higher than it would be under UHC. We are paying a premium for the privilege of punishing 40 million US citizens with poor health and death. We spend billions every year just so that those people can suffer. What’s the point?

    Consider this: gross operating margins of for-profit health insurance cos. is about 40%. For gov medicare it’s about 3%. Therefore, there is a 37% premium margin to private ins. cos. About 40 million US citizens are uninsured, about 15% of the population. therefore the 37% of unnecessary premium can easily cover 15% more people, all things being equal, and still leave , say, 22%, which would result in a net reduction in healthcare costs to the US public.

    We pay a lot of money every year just for the joy of seeing poor people get sick and die.

    Of course the drug scams are another burden on US citizens, operated for the benefit of a peculiar congeries of beneficiaries starting with the pharmas (and the politicians who greedily suck at that teat), the insurance companies and even foreigners like those damned canadians and even Frenchmen! Yes, folks, US citizens subsidize the drug benefits of foreign nations. Those foreign governments only allow pharmas to take a fair profit markup for drugs, but US citizens must pay whatever markup the pharmas choose because they have an extraordinary monopoly enforced by the US government. So we pay much higher prices for drugs, even though they were developed with taxpayers dollars at, say, the NIH.

    Yes, next time you hobble down a Toronto street, bent over, coughing and spluttering, unable to afford the expensive US drugs you require, just be happy when you see canadians happy, smiling, perhaps speaking French, healthy because of the cheap availability of the same drugs. Your tax dollars at work.

    Just don’t try to buy any of those drugs at cheap canadian prices while you’re there, because that’s a crime, and you know how hard the current administration is on law breakers! Why, I bet that if Scooter Libby had done something Really Serious like buy a months supply of Lipitor to save himself $50 while on a trip to Toronto he’d be in jail right now, filled with regret for his transgressions against the US drug monopoly.

    Of course you could signup for one of these fancy new drug benefit insurance plans, as this scrivener did, and then see that you can reduce your drug prices and send the saved (or more) money to an insurance company! Ah, it’s wonderful to have a choice!

    For a moment I imagined myself in Olde Englande riding my horse down a road in the country. I was on this road because His Majesty the King declared that we could not use the other roads because it would be unfair to his friends.

    Suddenly, a gang of highwaymen leap from the shadows demanding “your money or your life!” Let’s call this gang, just to pick a random name, The Pfizer Gang.

    But, being a prudent person, I had purchased in town a “protection” policy from a rough looking gang who came into my shop last week, breaking things and punching me in the shoulder. Let’s call them, just to pick a random name, The Aetna Gang.

    So I had a choice! I was Free To Choose which gang to surrender my fortune to: the Pfizer Gang or The Aetna Gang. Ain’t it great!

    Uh oh. But now the Aetna Gang tells me they no longer protect against Pfizer (for undisclosed reasons of their own) and I can’t buy protection from, say, The Travelers Gang for a year when they allow Open Enrollment.

  • http://www.thepresidentialcandidates.us/2007/07/sicko_12.html Watch Entire Sicko Online

    You can click on my name to see the entire SiCKO online.

    The movie is incredible and should be viewed by all Americans. We can no longer accept the absolute disgrace that is our system. If you think it’s anything other than a disgrace then you have absolutely been brainwashed. Insurance companies have NO place in a healthy health care system.

    To some of the rebuttals brought up by people (whether they be confused citizens or insurance company shills)

    1. As Moore mentions with over 40 million people OUT OF THE LINE – It makes sense that our lines would be shorter. But that’s not even the case – A recent study of 6 major western countries on wait time and America is 5th… (ahead of only Canada)

    2. Wait time seems like such a small issue compared to the other side of things. Again there are over 40 million people in America with no health care coverage and another 40 million with little health care coverage. I mean… that’s just insane. On top of that, many of the people who think they are well covered are actually not. Many people have to fight with insurance companies to have their services paid for as they look for ANY reason to stop your service. When you get sick, the insurance company is not on your side – they become your enemy. Think about that!

    3. People talk about how people come to America for some high end operations – Elton John’s boyfriend for example came out against Sicko because he flew his father to some American clinic for care. OK, so if you are RICH the American system isn’t so bad. That’s right in America health care is only for the rich. The only people the current system serves are the rich and the people who work for health insurance companies. The rest of us? Out of luck! Completely!

    4. Some people say that Moore cherry picks the worst stories from America and the best from Europe/Canada – maybe so… but on top of these anecdotal stories (and notice the anecdotal stories pro Universal Health Care are always much much much much much much much stronger than those for the other side…) there are also the numbers. America pays the most (by DOUBLE) per person of any western country yet America ranks 37th in overall health care. … Are you going to look at those numbers and tell me that America’s system is fine and dandy? COME ON. Open your eyes!

    5. Taxes would be higher. Of course they would. But so what? As mentioned previously America spends the most by 2 times on health care. Yes there would need to be a tax increase to cover universal health care but guess what… then you wouldn’t have to pay for health insurance!!! For almost all Americans this would mean paying out LESS money. Think about it – you no longer would have to pay for the insurance companies PROFITS and their disgusting advertising.

    6. GET RID OF ALL HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES! They are the enemy of all Americans.

  • http://eatsnetgallery.wordpress.com High Heels

    I pay high taxation compared with my counterparts in the US. I still consider myself better off – much, much, better off – because I have access to free healthcare. I pay for my prescriptions; apart from that if I fall ill, or have a medical emergency, I’m equal to everyone else, in having emergency and non-emergency care available. I don’t mind contributing to that at all, even if I don’t use it much. I couldn’t stand to think that anyone else could remain sick or die because of financial restrictions, and I like the peace of mind the system provides me with. It isn’t perfect – but its imperfections are matters of democratic lobby.

  • http://www.whats-thebigidea.com Jeff Friedberg

    Moore never had a chance for credibility with me—not after I saw him corner and hound an elderly, sick, arthritic, and all-alone Charlton Heston who was obviously crippled and in the early stages of his acknowledged Alzheimer’s disease. That wasn’t “journalism” or “documentaryism” or any “ism” except hooliganism, cowardice, and utter cruelty. It made me want to see something “happen” to Moore. I predict he will implode from some natural grave medical problem, and, of course, he’ll flee to Cuba for the cure (Not, on both counts). Did you see his melt down on CNN? Did you ever see an uglier, meaner, more viscious, evil, ratlike face. …thirty-two years of detectiving, and I never have.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Re. #5. Nice to know the film can be viewed online. Makes it easier for me what with the kids and all.

    However, at least one of your points is dead wrong. The spurious claim that the US pays double for health insurance per capita compared to other nations is pure hogwash and has been floating around the net for quite a while, despite having been well rebutted. That erroneous estimate comes from failing to take into account all of the costs of healthcare under a single-payer system and essentially comparing apples and oranges. It’s based on figures from the OECD which are skewed towards minimizing the costs associated with single-payer systems.

    Dave

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I agree with bliffle. This “fill in the gaps” notion of Dave’s is not an adequate solution. Something of that nature would haphazard at best.

    It really comes down to a basic philosophy of whether health care should be a “business” at all. In Indiana the current governor is on a privatizing binge. He has or is attempting to privatize everything from toll roads, to the lottery to the welfare system. It’s been suggested by some of his detractors that perhaps he should “privatize” the governor’s office – turn the state’s administration over to Halliburten or some such.

    The notion that medical care is a privilege and not a right illustrates the difference between the right wing and left wing mind set. It’s been said in one or more of the comments to Don Hall’s piece that there is no precident for a “right” to health care. If that be the case, so what?

    We should be looking to the future, not simply finding justifications from the past. Shouldn’t we be attempting to make life better for all of our citizens, and not just those who can afford it? Isn’t it a utopian notion that life should be good for all? Is part of the picture of a “more perfect union” having the masses grasping for the crumbs allowed to “trickle down” to them from the marbled manses of the rich?

    I doubt that any well heeled son of a bitch in this country would quietly and patiently sit for hours in the average urban American emergency waiting room for service. But it’s all right for the poor to do so. They’ve got nothing better to do, anyhow, right?

    The entire system must be overhauled in the near future or it will all come crashing down of its own dead weight. If that means nationalizing the entire system, so be it. I doubt strongly that will ever happen, though. The medical industry lobby is far too strong to allow such a thing to happen. Too many people both in and out of government make far too much money off of the sick and dying. It’s just too good a cash cow to let go of.

    Baritone

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Medical care may be something we want to provide to people for the good of society, but that doesn’t make it a ‘right’. You don’t have a right to take force others to provide you with their labor against their will, and that’s what a ‘right’ to medical care implies.

    As for my ‘fill in the gaps’ plan, don’t knock it until you’ve heard the details. And there’s more than one way to deal with healthcare needs. Other countries have tried a bunch of different approaches and many different approaches have produced acceptable results.

    Dave

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dave,

    I don’t follow your logic regarding the implications of having a “right” to health care. You assume conscription of people into being health care providers. No one is going to escort a patient into a doctor’s office and point a gun at the doctor and order him or her to treat that person. Do you believe that all medical people in Canada, France or England are forced to do their jobs against their will?

    If you have a great plan to fill in those gaps, let’s hear it.

    Baritone

  • moonraven

    Since this appears to be a thread about film criticism, I am obliged to join in. Even though I am not getting paid for it. A freebie because it’s Saturday, or because Mexico is having to playoff for third place in the Copa America in Caracas….

    This is probably one of the few sites quasi-seriously treating film where the (self-)acknowledged dictators–er, experts–are the folks who have not seen the film. And do not intend to see it, either, by damn. After all, their hero, Ronald Reagan (RIP) said Facts are stupid things–or maybe it was silly things–he couldn’t remember since he belonged to the Charlton Heston Mail Order Acting School and had Alzheimers anyway.

    Nalle feels more than justified in reviewing SICKO, despite not having seen it. I guess Michael Moore is yet another guy on Nalle’s Green List (the folks he envies).

    And since this is a thread about film–and hence, about actors, I have to take umbrage at the lowbrow who complained about Michael Moore’s hounding of Charlton Heston. I am old enough to remember those flatulent fifties big-budget fiascos flagellating Christianity in which Heston parted the Red Sea and won chariot races against bad guys and was politically correct for the time by having a mother and sister who were lepers.

    Let me tell you, the guy may not have been the Roman with the rotating chain saws on his chariot wheels, but he sure chewed the hell out of the scenery in every one of those close-ups Mr. DeMille aimed his way.

    A worse actor? Hmmmm, maybe John Derek was worse, but he had the good sense to stop acting and start marrying his way through several generations of great-looking women: Ursula Andress, Linda Evans, and Bo.

    No, old Charlton clearly had it coming. It’s just too bad that he wasn’t hounded BEFORE he got Alzheimer’s so that he would at least have known why he was being given The Big Thumbs Down….

  • Egbert Sousé

    “an elderly, sick, arthritic, and all-alone Charlton Heston who was obviously crippled and in the early stages of his acknowledged Alzheimer’s disease.”

    Then you must also be upset and aghast at the NRA for using such an old feeble man as their president and spokesman. Right?

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Good job Moon,

    Heston, otherwise known as the “super-armed, super christian” and ham actor to boot did have it coming. Moreso though, for his actions on behalf of the NRA. It was unfortunate that he was only partly aware of the gist of Moore’s intent.
    Had he been otherwise, though, I doubt that he would have ever let Moore into his house, let alone film an interview.

    Condemning films, books, plays and other works of art without seeing or reading them is often par for the course for many, usually of the conservative bent. Certainly, Moore’s reputataion precedes him, but each of his films should be judged on their own merit after having seen them.

    As an example. I liked Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and Dances With Wolves. Then came Robin Hood, Water World and The Postman. What can I say? I saw them all.

    Baritone

  • moonraven

    He couldn’t care less about Charlton–dead or alive.

    He’s just envious because Michael Moore has made big bucks tying the can to US sacred cows (like Bush, guns and doctors) and just being himself.

  • Clavos

    “Condemning films, books, plays and other works of art without seeing or reading them is often par for the course for many, usually of the conservative bent.” (emphasis added)

    Oh, please, Baritone.

    I’m surprised at you. You’re a very intelligent person, and usually not that blatantly partisan.

  • moonraven

    Baritone:

    Some of those Kevin Costners are after my long stint as a film critic.

    I bailed right after Robin Hood (yep, a stinker, and I voted with my feet).

    Bull Durham was the best of the lot–but Costner had a lot of help from Sarandon and Robbins.

    Field of Dreams was pretty good, too.

    Or maybe I just like baseball–since I also wrote about it and had a long, intense friendship with a Hall of Famer.

    Hell, I even sat through A League of Their Own….

  • john

    Michael Moore has it half right with his movie. The insurance industry is motivated by profit making and this can be contrary to a patients well being. However the answer is not to replace one middle man with another middle man run by the government. The answer would be to cut out the middle men altogether. Things like regular doctors checkups don’t need to be included in health insurance. I don’t pay an insurance company to buy gas for my car. My car insurance company doesn’t pay for new tires, oil changes and tire rotation either. Car insurance is only for MAJOR ACCIDENTS. Likewise, a health insurance company should not be paying for dental visits, doctors checkups and cheap medications. It would be better to pay for these things out of pocket since you are cutting out the middle men. People would become more responsible about their health since they are paying for things out of pocket. Their would also be more competition to get prices to come down. With insurance and universal healthcare, nobody cares what the cost of things are since they don’t directly have to pay for it. Capitalism does wonders for reducing prices. I remember 5-10 years ago it would cost you 20,000 dollars to buy a flatscreen television. Now you can get one for under 2,000. This is due to increased competition and better technology. Would socializing television production reduce the price of a television set? Not likely.

    With universal healthcare the american taxpayer will be forced to pick up the tax bill for people who don’t properly take care of themselves. Since the healthcare is free, nobody will have any incentive to lose weight or quit smoking or eat healthy. Personal responsability is key. If you smoke, don’t exercise or drink alcohol and then you get cancer, heart disease or diabetes that is your own fault. A majority of disease are preventable with the proper lifestyle changes. People who don’t take care of themselves shouldn’t expect other people to pay for their medical costs.

    Finally universal healthcare will reduce innovation in the creation of new medical technologies. The United States has created most medical technologies because of the free market. The human genome project is ushering in a period when it may be possible to elimate any disease currently afflicting humanity. It is quite possible that even the aging process could be eliminated in the near future if we so desire. However this will only occur in an environment that allows biotechnology companies to make a profit. If universal healthcare system was instituted, these profits would be greatly curtailed. So if aging could be eliminated in 20 years in a free market, in could take 30 years or more in a more socialist environment. This would mean the deaths of millions of people that could have been otherwise saved under a freer market. This contrasts with the the thousands of people who die yearly because they don’t have insurance.

  • moonraven

    Well, you lost me with the 30 years for socialist countries.

    Cuba is one of the most advanced countries in regard to biotechnology.

    You know, it’s errors like that that blow your whole post out of the waters of credibility.

    Do some research next time.

  • john

    “Cuba is one of the most advanced countries in regard to biotechnology.”

    Communist governments tend to LIE about their health statistics. They LIE about everything. The Soviet Union did it. Why would you believe the Cuban government when they don’t allow their citizens to have any freedoms.

    Fidel Castro’s initial surgury was botched by his personal Cuban doctors. So after this he imported a specialist from SPAIN to treat his recent medical problem. He couldn’t find anyone in his OWN country to treat him properly even though he’s the LEADER. Why would he be importing doctors if Cuba supposedly has such a great system?

    “Do some research next time.”

    Yes you should do some research because you are ignorant about Cuba. Foreigners and the communist upper echelions may be treated well in Cuba’s healthcare system, however the average Cuban does not get very good treatment. This is not necessarily due to the embargo but inefficiencies in the communist system. Plus Cuba only has a gdp of “4,000 compared to $44,000 for the U.S. That’s an 11 fold difference. United States does have the best healthcare in the world assuming you have insurance. A large portion who don’t have insurance in the U.S. could afford it but they choose not to get it. Many others could enroll in medicare but they don’t. So the actual amount of uninsured who can’t afford insurance and don’t qualify for medicare is only about 11 million vs. the 40 million that they give in statistics.

    Here are a few articles on the myths of cuban healthcare.

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    John, you mean feeling good and living longer isn’t incentive to people to be healthy?

    “Since the healthcare is free, nobody will have any incentive to lose weight or quit smoking or eat healthy. ”

    NO incentive? The only incentive anyone has is to screw others out of money by being sick and dieing?

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    John, most medical innovation occurs at public universities and the NIH.

  • http://www.draftresistance.org Scott Kohlhaas

    Hello.

    Believe it or not, selective service has a plan to draft health care personel.

    Would you be willing to spread the word about draftresistance.org? It’s a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts.

    Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.

    Thanks!

    Scott Kohlhaas

    PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

  • Clavos

    bliffle, a hell of a lot of young healthy people DO choose not to have health insurance.

    I did it myself until I reached my late forties.

    People still are doing it when they’re young, especially now that fewer and fewer employers are paying for it.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I didn’t hold out until my 40s, but i certainly went without health insurance by choice through my 20s and early 30s. i found it more worthwhile to spend the money on travel and entertainment at that age than on health insurance. and apparently i gambled right, since i wasn’t sick a day during that period, and now that i do have health insurance, i’m still pretty healthy, but my priorities are different.

    dave

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clavos,

    A comment I wrote last night apparently get lost cause it’s not here now. What I said (more or less) was:

    I believe that most people, young or old would carry medical insurance if they could afford it. Obviously, young people are perhaps less likely to see it as important to them as older folks do, but it’s also true that generally, younger people just don’t have enough income to support having coverage of any kind beyond the obligatory auto insurance.

    By the way I don’t believe my comment regarding conservatives casting judgement on films, books and other artwork without the advantage of having read or seen it was so out there. Consider all of the christian fundamentalists who condemned the Harry Potter books and movies. Historically, various types of art and literature have been banned most often by religious conservatives through the years, and usually without having been seen or read by the respective “banners.”

    Baritone

  • Les Slater

    Bariton,

    I grew up in Catholic Massachusetts. The church used to come up with a list of movies and books that should not be seen or read. It was used as a guide as to what was hot at the movies, bookstore or library.

    Les

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Les,

    Oh, no doubt. No better way to impell people to see or do something than telling them they can’t. Since my kids went to a catholic high school, we receive The Criterion in the mail a monthly catholic magazine. They include reviews of films, TV shows and books and notes whether they should be seen or read by good catholics.

    Baritone

  • john

    “John, you mean feeling good and living longer isn’t incentive to people to be healthy?”

    Obviously it isn’t incentive enough if 64 percent of americans are overweight or obese and near 20% are smokers. If the government is taking my tax money to pay for their health issues, then I should have a say in what they can eat and wheter they can smoke or not.

    “John, most medical innovation occurs at public universities and the NIH.”

    This is very true. However many universities sell the medical technologies to companies and many proffessors even start their own company in order to make a PROFIT. It costs MONEY to bring things to the market. For a single drug it can cost close to 800 million dollars. Just recently Pfizer lost a BILLION (yes thats with a “B”) dollars on its drug that raised HDL (the good cholesterol) when clinical trials didn’t pan out.

    The reason it costs money to bring medical technologies to market is that they have to go through clinical trials to PROVE efficacy. These trials are what cost the MILLIONS of dollars. So even if the universities had created every single medical technology (which they haven’t), they would still need to make a profit because of the cost associated with bringing the technology to the market.

  • Clavos

    Baritone,

    Well, at least you qualified as to WHICH conservatives you meant.

    I took exception because I call myself a conservative, yet I’m totally opposed to censoring anyone but child pornographers. I’m opposed to censoring pretty much anyone else, including purveyors of racial and other kinds of hatred, pornography, seditious literature, etc. I’m also opposed to the censorship already in place (and accepted by pretty much everybody) on the public airwaves; TVs and radios have “off” buttons, and even parental control chips, these days.

    Adults should be allowed access to anything they can stomach.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clavos,

    I certainly agree with you regarding censorship. When I think of the hoopla that surrounded the exposure of Janet Jackson’s boob it seems unfathomably ludicrous. I was watching it and didn’t see it because it totaled less than 2 seconds of exposure as I recall. Oh, the humanity!

    Baritone

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    John,

    Is it impossible to consider that the costs of R&D and clinical trials for new drugs could be provided for under the umbrella of a national health care system?

    Baritone

  • Arch Conservative

    “So I had a choice! I was Free To Choose which gang to surrender my fortune to: the Pfizer Gang or The Aetna Gang. Ain’t it great!”

    Typical. Everything wrong with the health care system in this nation is the fault of the drug companies and the insurance comapnies.

    Maybe you have heard of these gangs too Bliffle…..

    How about the “I snuck into your contry and go to the emergency room and ring up huge medical bills but never pay for it so the cost gets passed onto you legal citizens because I am an illegal who screws you over six ways from Sunday with a smile on my face” gang? You ever heard of that one Bliffle? At least with the Pfizer and Aetna gangs you do get something for your money in the end. With the gang I just mentioned, you get nothing in return.

    Or how about the ” I eat tons of junk food all day long and never exercise so I’ve become obese and now have all kinds of medical bills I can’t afford to pay so I became an advocate of socialized medicine” gang. That’s a good one too.

    It is completely valid and worthwhile to suggest that we scrutinize the practice insurance and drug companies. However, to suggest that they are the only parties deserving of blame in hurting the system is ludicrous.

  • moonraven

    The professional pipsqueak John has the nerve to say that it’s communist countries that lie about everything!

    If The US government were not the biggest liar and the biggest threat to survival of the planet I would have fallen on the floor laughing.

    But I didn’t because it’s serious business that YOUR government lies to everybody–but especially to folks in the US to keep it in power–and you sit and pick your zits happy as a clam.

    Babalu Blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that IS funny for a source of supposed FACTS about Cuba’s health care system!!!!!!!! I see John has caught the disease of blogcritics of quoting somebody else’s OPINION to support one’s own.

    Sorry, kid–it won’t wash. Nor will telling a longtime resident of Latin America who makes damn sure she is educated about the region she lives in that she is ignorant about Cuba.

    Ignorance Is Strenth (pax, Orwell) is the battle cry of the folks in the US–not for those of us who choose NOT to be ignorant nor tarred and feathered with the brush of being stupid gringos.

    But since you have shown, John, that you can selectively use the google search engine, try again–and this time instead of reading the blogs of crackpot gusanos read the United Nations studies on Cuban biotechnology–as just a START towrd finding out something about the world you claim to live in.

  • moonraven

    John wants a say in what other people eat–but he doesn’t mind a bit that his tax dollars are MOSTLY spent on weapons and other military apparatus to invade other countries and kill their citizens.

    That’s a fascist for you!

    And a really stupid one, too.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Arch,

    There is far more evil afoot in corporate board rooms than in the bario.

    Baritone

  • moonraven

    Considering that 66%–not 64% as someone on this thread indicated–of folks in the US are obese, I find it interesting and dreadfully hard to believe that ALL THE THIN ONES are posting on blogcritics.

    As for the great undocumented Mexican immigrant conspiracy to make you pay for their health care–I say, if they can pull that off, more power to them!

    Personally, all I do is I go to a Colombian doctor who trained in China for acupuncture treatments two or three times a year and reluctantly take beta blockers to lower my BP–and that’s from someone who has had systemic lupus since early childhood!

    You folks are a bunch of whiners who have no idea how to take care of yourselves, but you are still entitled to health care.

  • moonraven

    Have the balls to read An Open Letter to CNN on http://www.michaelmoore.com

    Go on–it won’t hurt your fat fingers to mouse over there.

  • Doug Hunter

    “If the government is taking my tax money to pay for their health issues, then I should have a say in what they can eat and wheter they can smoke or not.”

    Exactly the point. Once the government owns your body they own you (which is the point of the leftist ideology anyway). If the precedent is set that the government owns your health and that carbon is a pollutant literally every single facet of your life will be at the whim of some power hungry sadistic bureacrat. Most sheeple like that though. Most value security, or the illusion thereof, far more than freedom.

  • john

    Moonraven I don’t know where you get the idea that I am somehow in love with the U.S. government. No where in any of my posts do I say I am for the war or pro-Bush.

    Doug Hunter, thank you, I think you understood my point. Do we really want to give the government all our medical records? Our government is the problem not the solution. If anything we should be diminishing the governments power over our lives not increasing its power.

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    BC cleaned of Iraq talk!

    It’s a clean sweep folks. ‘Iraq’ no longer appears on the BC Politics page nor on the “Fresh comments” page. Not at all. And the Politics page goes back 2 weeks.

    What can account for that?

    Is the Iraq war over? Did GWB win his private war? Have the troops returned home? Was the ‘surge’ a huge success? Is Petraeus the greatest general since Alexander The Great? Is the fabulous Victory being celebrated on Fox news by Krauthammer, Kristol, Kagan and all the other KKK guys?

    It must be so, for what other reason can there be for all news and comment on Iraq to disappear from BC?

    I’ve noticed that recent BC political threads have turned to discussions of vacations in Portugal, the red double-decker buses in Baghdad and even disposable diapers!

    When do we have the victory parades?

    Or is it all a ruse? Does the war continue? Was it all a concerted effort to take an uncomfortable subject off the BC political site? To what end, to salve the damaged egos of the BC staff editors and Bush supporters?

    Will people soon be saying about BC:

    “A sinister cabal of superior blog cleaners”

    Gloom.

    Have we been suckered by propagandists?

    And those of you who are not privileged to be BC Political editors: what does it feel like to you? And how does it feel? Good?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Moore, as usual, ignores logic and the construction of a real argument with actual, you know, history and facts. Instead he gives us slanted, sentimentalized/joked-up anecdotes.

    But he does make his one big point extremely effectively: The US is the only rich country not to have universal health care. We are willing to let a certain percentage of our fellow citizens suffer.

    No one in France or Britain will go bankrupt because of medical bills. They may have to wait 3 or 4 years in line to get a hip replaced, but they won’t have to worry financially about their health.

    This will be a huge issue in next year’s presidential race.

  • Les Slater

    All health care in the U.S. is paid for by the corporations and their owners. It’s a cost that they do not want to continue to pay.

  • Clavos

    “All health care in the U.S. is paid for by the corporations and their owners. It’s a cost that they do not want to continue to pay.”

    Except for Medicare/Aid, true.

    Which means that UHC is a given. Only the timing’s in question, but my money’s on it becoming a reality during the next administration, no later.

  • Les Slater

    “Except for Medicare/Aid, true.”

    I didn’t think anyone would take my statement at face value, but I said all, and I meant, including Medicare and Medicaid.

    The healthcare of a worker building cars actually increases the cost of producing the car. Whether it’s the corporation directly paying for the healthcare, or through the government taxes directly from the corporation or the worker. Even if it is the worker himself totally paying for his healthcare.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    If we assume a democratic win in the presidential race, most certainly efforts will be made to radically change our health care system. I doubt, though, that it will succeed. Even assuming the dems achieve greater control of Congress, the powers that be amongst the health care providers, insurance companies and HMOs are so heavily entrenched in Washington – many dems receive heavy bread from the drug companies, HMOs & the like just as do the reps – they will fight change tooth and nail.

    Some changes will doubtless ensue, but they will be hit and miss, probably more along the lines of Dave’s “fill in the gaps” measures, rather than any wholesale rebuilding of the system. Congress will likely botch it up so badly, that the system won’t work at all. I would love to see a well considered and constructed UHC here, but I don’t hold out much hope for it. Instead it will likely be batted about and transmogrified into a monster that no one will benefit from except for those who figure out how squeeze tons of money out of it.

    But perhaps down the road, probably long after it will no longer matter to me, a properly equitable health care system may one day emerge from all the sturm und drang that will have spewed forth from Congress and the various and sundry administrations that rise and fall between now and then.

    By the way. I don’t think anyone has forgotten Iraq. But it is largely the same old, same old everyday. All of us on all sides probably need to reload our political rhetoric scatter guns with venom pellets. We will soon rise up and take aim at each other soon. Fret not.

    Baritone

  • STM

    The government won’t own your medical recods. There’ll be a record of a fee for a certain service (which might indicate numerous proceedures). That’s all. Doctors and hospitals keep your records, same as they do now.

    Wake up to yourselves and smell the hospital-grade disinfectant.

    None of you have ever lived with a decent single-payer healthcare service, so how can you make judgments. The term government-funded is a misnomer, BTW. It just operates it – you pay for it. You pay taxes, don’t you?

    But you are all guessing at best, and panicking about what it might mean. I’m not, and I can tell you it’s really bloody good – and adds the option of taking private cover as well.

    I’d even go so far as to say that in a country I think is the best in the world in terms of overall lifestyle and standard of living (and that includes the US), this system (which has been operating since the early ’70s in various forms) is really the icing on a very nice cake.

  • STM

    OK, Blif, I haven’t fogotten Iraq. Two Aussies killed in Baghdad overnight.

    But as Baritone says, same old, same old. There are other things to talk about as well.

  • Dr Dreadful

    bliffle #41:

    Could it be that everything that could be said about Iraq, on both sides, has been done to death on BC?

    With Bush intransigent and Congress seemingly impotent on the matter, not much is going to change in the foreseeable future.

    I would like to make one comment on the subject, however. Newshour on PBS regularly shows, at the end of its broadcasts, the names and photos of the newly fallen. The last time I watched, I couldn’t help but notice that every soldier shown – and I mean every single one – was a sergeant or equivalent rank. I wonder why this is? Only theory I could come up with was that perhaps the insurgents are adopting Indian tactics and aiming for the officers first…

    I realize that sergeants are NCOs, not officers, but they do command squads. Also, I’m not sure how easily identifiable by rank the modern sergeant is in a battle situation. Any of our military commenters have any thoughts on this?

  • Clavos

    “Doctors and hospitals keep your records, same as they do now.”

    Wrong, mate. the insurance companies keep detailed records already, and share them with each other. It’s a sure bet those records will be passed over to the designated “single payer” when the time comes, and the practice will continue.

    Actually, Stan, after reading your comments and articles here on BC over the past year or so, I’ve concluded that Australia’s evolution from the common system of representative government and set of laws from which we both sprang is significantly superior to that of today’s USA.

    How do I get a resident visa?

  • STM

    Clav: “How do I get a resident visa?”

    Lol. Just keep saying stuff like, “I’ve concluded that Australia’s evolution from the common system of representative government and set of laws from which we both sprang is significantly superior to that of today’s USA.”

    I think you’ll get in pretty quick. We are worse than you guys with this stuff – we like people to like us.

    Seriously though, you probably could get in. Your wife would have a good case to mount as well, despite her illness. A good knowledge of pleasure boats would be considered “skilled migration” down this neck of the woods.

    And these days, you can be a dual US/Australian citizen.

  • STM

    The only drawback is that you’d have to learn a new language.

  • Clavos

    Yeah, but languages is one of my strong suits, fortunately.

    And yours does bear some resemblance to English.

    BTW, I saw the the APC running through the SYD suburb on the telly last night.

    What was the guy’s beef?

  • STM

    Doc, re #49 … the Poms have a good system. They wear a little pocket flap or shoulder flap with the badge of rank on it. You have to look really hard to see it. From a distance, you couldn’t even notice it. I think they do it here too, as I know I’ve seen the pocket ones. I don’t know what the Yanks do, but maybe they are displaying their ranks prominently. Either that, or all the non-coms are actually the ones leading the troops on these patrols and can be picked out by that.

  • STM

    Clav: “What was the guy’s beef?”

    A former employee of the owner of the vehicle, who just keeps it in his workshop because he likes it. A few too many beers, and thought it would be a good idea at the time, most likely.

    He’s been described in the papers here as “troubled” and was refused bail in court yesterday and ordered remanded in hospital for a psychiatric assessment.

    The Cops were scratching their heads trying to work out how to stop him, as he was smashing into mobile phone towers out in the western suburbs. Perhaps he needed a tinfoil helmet.

    Makes my effort on the golf cart in Miami look a bit sick in comparison.

  • Clavos

    “Perhaps he needed a tinfoil helmet.”

    He might have had one. I’ve heard they don’t work inside armored vehicles.

  • Clavos

    “Makes my effort on the golf cart in Miami look a bit sick in comparison.”

    S’OK, mate. Next time you come, I’ll get my mate here to lend us his Hummer.

  • STM

    “He might have had one. I’ve heard they don’t work inside armoured vehicles”

    LOL. Nice one …

  • Noah

    Okay, I am 26 years old. I can not affored health insurance. I have not seen a Doctor or a Dentist in almost 10 years. Don’t tell me this crap is working. I work my butt of every day so 1/4 of the money I make goes to the elderly, minorities, unwed mothers… everyone but me.

    This stopped being America along time ago.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Noah, if your income is low enough that you genuinely can’t afford health insurance of any kind, then you ought to be way below the income level where you’d be paying 25% of your income in taxes – which is what I assume you were saying.

    To be in the 25% tax bracket you have to earn a minimum of $39,000 a year, assuming you’re single. At that level of income you ought to be able to afford insurance fairly easily, if it’s a real priority for you.

    But frankly, at 26 I didn’t have health insurance by choice. At that age it was more cost effective to just pay for my dental care and an emergency room visit every few years than to have insurance.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    In the case of Iraq’s having disappeared from blogcritics–although it is certanly going strong with stories and pics in the papers here in Latin America–I suspect it has something to do with the callousness of folks in the US.

    The Banality of Bloodshed. Hannah Arendt would be proud….

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave, I assume Noah is including Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes as part of his tax burden…not sure about the math.

    And you make it sound awfully easy to get health insurance. But insurance companies are given wide leeway to deny coverage or charge very high rates to people with “pre-existing conditions.” This is one of the points Michael Moore makes skillfully [as opposed to some other points he cheats on a bit, or a lot].

    Or even after you get and pay for insurance, you may have to deal with the fact that the insurance company is compensating its managers on how good they are at avoiding the payment of claims. This is the ugly side of a market-based system.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    Your characterization of Americans being callous is, I think, overstated. However, when the news is, as I noted, “same old, same old,” even including mass killings of Iraqis by Iraqis, the killing of American and other countries’ military personnel, ad nauseam, I suppose there is a tolerance level to repetitive news. What else can be said? Even those who support our incursion into Iraq are hardly disinterested parties. Many of those for and against the Iraq war have relatives and/or friends who are over there, or perhaps in Afghanistan in harms way everyday. I think few of us are complacent about the loss of life.

    Isn’t it a bit disingenuine for someone from South America (Columbia?) to be criticising other countries regarding killing and violence? Seems to me that one or two people have succumbed to violence in that part of the world over the years. Many Central and South American countries have a long history of political instability and violence against there own citizens and those of other countries around them. I don’t think any country has the corner on the piety market.

    Personally, I hate our involvement in Iraq. I detest GWB and his administration. Even the current Democratically controlled American Congress is rather despicable owing to its being weak kneed and politically unwilling and unable to counter Bush’s agenda.

    And while I am an atheist, I will here resort to a biblical reference: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” The fact is that war and killing is not simply an American or radical muslim trait. It is a human trait we all share – our collective dark side, if you will. Until and unless we get beyond religious and/or nationalistic fanatacism, racial bigotry, ignorance and greed, we will continue to wage war and find other rationale to plunder and kill others. At our worst, humanity sucks.

    Baritone

  • moonraven

    I was not aware that there was a poster on this thread from Colombia(!?)

    Certainly not this poster, who is a Native American US citizen living for the past 15 years in Mexico.

    Given that the US was founded on genocide committed against MY people, I clearly have a different perception of you folks than you do–a
    singularly negative one, in fact–which most everyone who posts on this site regularly shows to be absolutely true.

    As for the collective shadow of the species, in Jungian psychology the premise for integrating the shadow is ACCEPTING it. The Germans DENIED their shadow in the 20th century, passing themselves off as sweet, high-minded lovers of umpapa bands and philosophy.

    I think most of us know what the results were.

  • moonraven

    Just for the record, so that you have a faint grasp of history: Most of the violence in Central and South America is directly traceable to US interventions.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, I assume Noah is including Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes as part of his tax burden…not sure about the math.

    Without more info we can’t be certain of anything. But even at the bottom of the 25% bracket you only pay a real tax rate of about 12% of your income. It goes up as you go higher in the bracket until it hits about 22% real tax at an income of $84K a year. There’s no bracket where the combination of SS and tax adds up to 25% either on paper or as a real percentage of tax.

    And you make it sound awfully easy to get health insurance. But insurance companies are given wide leeway to deny coverage or charge very high rates to people with “pre-existing conditions.” This is one of the points Michael Moore makes skillfully [as opposed to some other points he cheats on a bit, or a lot].

    Yes, that’s one of the big problems with the system. But Noah said he was 26 and didn’t mention pre-existing conditions. That should mean relatively low rates and no problems getting insured.

    Or even after you get and pay for insurance, you may have to deal with the fact that the insurance company is compensating its managers on how good they are at avoiding the payment of claims. This is the ugly side of a market-based system.

    This is why consummer reports exists. There ARE good, honest insurers out there.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Right.

    And about that swampland you are so eager to buy….

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    Sorry if I misunderstood where you reside in the world. It was your reference to a “Columbian doctor” that threw me.

    And, happily, there has never been any violence amongst Mexicans, so I am totally humbled.

    It is absolutely and undeniably true that Americans have been the source of every act of human violence perpetrated throughout the world since before the Declaration was penned. We are a bunch of rat bastards who should be annihilated from the face of the earth so that the remaining always and ever peace loving citizens of the world can go about their lives in eternal harmony with sweet, unassuming, but pious smiles on their unblemished, unlined faces.

    It of course undoubtably follows that the US has been responsible for ALL violence in Central and South America for which the native populations carry absolutely NO responsibility. They are all fucking saints. Americans were responsible for all of the “desaparecidos” over the years.

    Again, I am not a great fan of US actions abroad. We have been the 500 pound gorilla, and have not accounted very well for ourselves. However, yours is a supercilious attitude. Your 14 years away from your original homeland has made you cynical, out of touch and, frankly, a self-righteous prig.

    Believe it or not, most Americans are pretty good people – no better, but certainly no worse than the average Mexican or Bulgarian or Javanese, or whoever.

    Why can’t we all just get along? Oh, yeah. It’s those damnable evil ompa bands (which were secretly developed by American sabateurs in Germany shortly after WWI.)

    Baritone

  • Rick

    I think every person alive today on this planet has had an ancestor who was a murderer. Whether your white, yellow or brown. Indians killed other indians, whites killed other whites, then whites killed indians. This is the legacy of evolution and our selfish genes. We are alive today because our ancestors were the most ruthless, most cunning, most dastardly. If they didn’t cut it in the world, we wouldn’t be here discussing about it. The world is a cruel place and will continue to be so unless you understand this basic fact of nature. Luckily we are close to the point when we can control our genes, instead of letting them control us. Until that time comes however, racism, hatred and murder will continue in the world unabated.

  • STM

    Baritone, I’d take that even further.

    It should read BEFORE the Declaration of Independence, because everyone knows the British have always been a peace-loving people who were only trying to look after the interests of Americans, and look where that got them …

    You pack of ingrates.

  • STM

    And bite the bullet on free health care. It’s got more good points than bad. You’ll all be fine, and once you’ve got it, you’ll be scratching your heads wondering why you didn’t wake up to it earlier.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Rick,

    I don’t think it’s as bad as all that. Most people pretty much get along day to day in relative harmony.

    We have a precarious future before us owing to the instability mainly in the middle east and particularly in Iraq. But in the meantime I think I’m relatively safe to go to bed tonite.

    Baritone

  • Clavos

    “And bite the bullet on free health care. It’s got more good points than bad. You’ll all be fine, and once you’ve got it, you’ll be scratching your heads wondering why you didn’t wake up to it earlier.”

    Only if we can get the Australian government to run it for us, because if ours runs it, it WILL be fucked up.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    STM,

    We are a cantankerous lot, aren’t we? Never happy until we poke our nose into everybody’s business to make sure we get a piece of it.

    And yes! The national health care bullet should be bitten. Them’s is good eatin’ with a little balsamic vinegar, sulphur and salt peter.

    Baritone

  • troll

    if we go with a plan that actually works how will we ever get the human population down to 500 million and bring the infestation into harmony with nature – ?

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    OK, back in the mid 70s I was I high-schooler very interested in a medical profession. With the skills I learned in some specialized classes in my public school I was able to land a job at a major hospital in the University of Washington Hospital system. A good summer job to have to start paying for my pre-med desires.

    In this environment I could see it coming. Drug manufacturers putting the heavy hype on the health care system and insurance not quite providing needed coverage, etc. Sure, I worked there a couple more years but the industry did not have an appealing future in my eyes.

    In hindsite, I am glad I am not in the profession today. Some of the work I have seen as standard procedure is way out of line. don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing doctors out there but not available to everyone. And great doctors are trapped by a system not allowing them to excel.

    Some may question Michael Moore’s approach but that doesn’t matter. He posed the question in a grand manner. Kudos!

    best,
    DM

  • http://www.none.org ed jones

    I wouldn’t be surprised if those who made negative comments about SICKO or simply said they opposed the necessary changes our health care system needs ARE working for the insurance and pharma mafias.

  • STM

    I reckon Michael Moore often comes across as a prize dick, but a lot of what he says has more than a grain of truth, despite the delivery as the writer points out.

    No matter your political persuasion, what I’ve never been able to understand is this: why in the US having universal health care is regarded as some kind of bizarre socialist experiment, when other governments with far less resources (and similar free-market principles) have managed to provide good systems for their people. I believe the US is now the only government in the civilised world that doesn’t provide some form of UHC – whilst mantaining military spending in a vastly changed world at a whopping 4.5 per cent of its national budget.

    There is a big difference between socialism and community, and it’s within the context of the concept of community that Americans need to look at this idea.

    It is not far fetched, nor is it radical. And just because you’ve never had it there, it doesn’t mean a) that it doesn’t work, or b) that if it’s done properly, it won’t be a good thing for everyone.

    Rather than navel-gazing about what your rights are (and really, they aren’t set in stone beyond a certain point), maybe it’s better just to think about what’s right. My idea of what that constitutes – for what it’s worth – is to live in a society where it’s not just about my well-being, but that of my fellow citizens as well – whilst also recognising that the harder I work, or the cleverer I am, the more money I can earn.

    That’s what a mature nation is all about, IMO, and in a country that set the stage for democratic principles in the modern world, why is the US lagging in this regard?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Stan,

    My wife spent an hour on the phone last Friday settling medical bills related to an emergency room visit she had a few months ago and some subsequent tests and checkups. There’ve been at least nine bills so far from three separate entities (representing the hospital, the radiologist and the cardiologist), even though all her treatment has taken place at the same hospital – and they’re still arriving in the mail every few days. Upwards of a thousand bucks left our bank account during those sixty minutes, and that was with insurance.

    I’d be interested to know how all that pallaver might have gone had she been treated under the Australian system.

  • STM

    If she chose to be treated as a Medicare patient, she’d have paid nothing at all. If she chose additional private cover, some of it would have been covered by medicare and the rest by the health insurance company.

    However, the hospitals and medicos have it all down to a fine art. They submit all the forms for you, and you just sign them.

    My wife had to have a suspected melanoma removed from her lip last week. She went to a private hospital because it’s nearby, and the doctor charged the scheduled fee. She paid him, and on the way home she stopped in at Medicare (their offices are everywhere) and picked up the exact amount (in cash) that she’d just paid.

    The forms are really simple, and take a minute to fill out. The doctor has a provider number and a code for what kind of service they’ve provided. You just write that in, give your receipt over the counter and voila! you gets all yer money back.

    Simple stuff. It’s sad I reckon that so many people in the US are so against this kind of idea. They just fear what they don’t know, is all.

    And as Clav says, they fear that it won’t be done properly. However, there are plenty of models around the world they can draw on for ideas.

    Let’s hope they get it right.

  • Dr Dreadful

    You’re lucky Australia is such a bloody long way away, Stan. As always, you make it sound like Paradise. (Having been there, I can testify that while Australia isn’t Paradise, it is twinned with it…)

    It is one aspect of the American mindset (perhaps I should say the mindset of a certain highly vocal ideological segment of Americans) which I really can’t get my head around: these howls of outrage about the ‘nanny state’ any time a law or measure is brought in with the intent to help people or make their lives (and those of others) safer.

    Healthcare… welfare… gun controls… cigarette health warnings… seatbelts… motorbike helmets… full-face motorbike helmets… speed limits… blood/alcohol limits… The list goes on.

  • STM

    It’s funny how different countries have different national psyches.

    I think while you are right that Australia ISN’T quite paradise, it is a good place because no one worries too much about anything, even in regard what the government’s up to.

    I was thinking about it this morning (when the whole city went into a minor mixture of panic and bewilderment because of a frost that left a thin film of ice on our grass and our car windows, and which my daughter gleefully assumed to be snow).

    I look at Americans on this site freaking out about stuff, and worrying about their rights being taken away and the government exercising controls, and just wonder why I don’t have the same level of fear.

    I have no doubts that the democratic process will always work (which would be true of the US too, if I lived there, if the past 200 years is any indication).

    So my conclusion: the average Aussie thinks, “if I don’t like the government, I’ll jump up and down, write letters to newspapers, go and see my local state and federal MPs, ring the council, complain to the water board, the energy mob, the public transport people, the roads and traffic authority – and if I getb the run around, when the next federal/state/local election rolls around, I’ll stick my vote on my bit of paper and vote the bastards out”.

    That’s the best message they can ever get … because ultimately, that’s all they really understand. No government wants to be out of government, and that’s where it ends up if it doesn’t listen.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I am happy that the thread of this article has survived and been so thoroughly discussed. The last several posts have been informative and entertaining.

    I suppose the American loathing of government goes back to our colonial days. But that just serves as an excuse to attack it at every turn, especially whenever there is danger of it sticking a hand in our pockets. We are a greedy bunch.

    Most of the people who oppose government involvement in just about everything are, by and large conservative and live well above the poverty line. Except for religious nuts, there are few political conservatives buying their groceries with food stamps.

    Certainly, the crowd wearing the little blue vests at Wal Mart are largely republicans, but again many of them have been brainwashed at their local mega-church. They are more “social” than “political” conservatives. By and large they bought into Carl Rove’s bullshit and voted Bush into office because, as my fundamentalist niece says, “Well, he (Bush) is a christian.” as if John Kerry or Al Gore, for that matter were not. (They just weren’t the right kind of christian.)

    It’s a relatively safe bet that many of them have little idea of just what the right wing of government is doing from a political standpoint outside of the socio-moral issues that impelled them to the voting booth. (By the same token, and to be fair, I don’t suppose the average welfare mother [or father, for that matter] sitting hours on end waiting to see their government social worker has much of a grasp of the finer points of liberal vs conservative politics either.)

    In any event, the current mind set of this country must change if our health care system is to have any chance of becoming more equitable for ALL of our citizens.

    Baritone

  • Clavos

    “It is one aspect of the American mindset (perhaps I should say the mindset of a certain highly vocal ideological segment of Americans) which I really can’t get my head around: these howls of outrage about the ‘nanny state’ any time a law or measure is brought in with the intent to help people or make their lives (and those of others) safer.

    Healthcare… welfare… gun controls… cigarette health warnings… seatbelts… motorbike helmets… full-face motorbike helmets… speed limits… blood/alcohol limits… The list goes on.”

    Doc, as you well know (I make no secret of it) I’m one of those Americans.

    You mixed a lot of unlike government “helping” us in your litany above; by that I mean there’s a difference between UHC and motorcycle helmets, a difference between welfare and outlawing smoking outdoors.

    I’m not opposed to either UHC or welfare, though, as I’ve pointed out before, the ability of the government to successfully administer those programs is arguably tenuous at best.

    But I AM opposed to the government forcibly “helping” by prohibiting anything that is a purely personal choice, such as smoking outdoors or the wearing of a helmet while motorcycling.

    One reason I’m opposed to these things is that they set precedents. For example: if it’s for the good of society to make people wear motorcycle helmets because if injured they will be a burden on society for their medical care (an argument that’s already been used), then, the next logical step is to prohibit motorcycle riding altogether, because it’s arguably one of the most dangerous activities we can engae in, even while helmeted.

    Once that’s done, next would come snowmobiles ATVs, personal watercraft, mountain climbing – you get the idea.

    And don’t kid yourself; that progression (or one like it) will happen, because there are always people who want to show the rest of us the “correct” (and healthy) way to lead our lives, and right now, those people are in the ascendancy.

    And its not only onerous, but scary.

    Orwell and Huxley are spinning in their graves.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clavos,

    While I think it’s unconscionably dumb NOT to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle (one that’s moving, anyhow,) just as I think it’s not wise to forego the wearing of seat belts in autos, perhaps mandating such use through legislation is representative of the “nanny state.” However, I think the “burden on society” argument, though old and weatherworn, is apt. The notion that a person who eschews the use of a helmet just so he or she can feel the wind in their hair is rather doltish. Presumably few people would board and ride a roller coaster or many of the other thrill rides at amusement parks without engaging the restraints. The physics are pretty much the same. Hell, they make you wear a seat belt on a plane, and how much good can they do, if you make a sudden stop like against a mountain?

    As much as I despise insurance companies, I’m frankly surprised they haven’t stepped in and refused coverage to anyone injured or killed who wasn’t wearing a helmet or belted up in their cars.

    As to your domino theory about where such restrictions can go, I suppose it could follow as you describe, but just as many think I’m unduly alarmed by the efforts of theocrats, you may be over reaching in your dire expectations.

    Baritone

  • Dr Dreadful

    Clav, I’m not saying I necessarily agree with all of those laws. (I’ve previously expressed my position on the absurd ‘War on Drugs’ here, for example – something I know we agree on.) I’m trying to make the point that some Americans overreact to their meaning or intent.

    Snowmobiling (is that a word?), mountaineering etc are minority activities and as such, don’t present enough of a statistical problem (or a vote-winning political issue, which is probably more germane) in themselves to justify legislation.

    Seatbelt, helmet and speed limit laws have been effective in reducing the numbers of casualties from traffic accidents. My major beef with the drug laws is that they manifestly don’t work – in fact they’ve made the drug problem a thousand times worse.

    (I disagree with your diagnosis re George and Aldous – especially George, as he was a socialist and probably wouldn’t have been averse to a bit of nannying…!

    However, if you are right, perhaps we should hook their spinning corpses up to a couple of turbines and get some free electricity?)

  • Clavos

    Baritone,

    I completely agree with your assessment as to the doltishness of some of those activities (and I’d go further: riding a motorcycle on a highway, even WITH a helmet is exceedingly dangerous; almost a suicidal act), but, believe it or not, I think the right to be stupid when the actor is the only person at risk is important. Being a dolt should not be within the purview of the government to attempt to control.

    I frequently venture pretty far out to sea in very small boats; an activity which, even though I do it in as safe a manner as possible, is nonetheless inherently dangerous, as anyone who knows the sea well can attest to.

    Should I be barred from doing this, because I’m endangering myself?

    I vehemently do not think so.

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    I enjoy “talking” with you here; you’re always amusing and one of the more reasonable voices on BC.

    You’re point about certain activities not being vote-getting issues is a good one; it does shed some light on the motivations for some of these laws.

    Again, when I rode (which my wife made me outgrow years ago) I wore a helmet, even though there were NO laws requiring it back then.

    I don’t argue the righteousness of the laws, just my freedom to be a dolt if I want to be.

    And, as a libertarian-leaning (small “l”) conservative (small “c”), I believe less is more where government intrusion in our lives is concerned.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: How do you feel about car seat belts?

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clavos,

    One caveat I’d add, though. When one does incur injury while being said “dolt,” the result may not only be the burden to society at large, but also on the dolt’s family, friends, employer, co-workers, etc. Pretty damn inconsiderate.

    I drive a good deal in my job. The first year or so I only rarely used a seat belt. But after a few close calls and realizing just how much time I was spending on the road, it occured to me that the odds were not in my favor, that I was, perhaps more at risk than many others just owing to the greater time spent behind the wheel. Fortunately, after more than 20 years of it, I have yet to have any type of accident (crossing my fingers, knocking on wood – er, well veneer at least, etc. No superstitions here.) But I ain’t done yet. There’s more driving to come.

    Indiana is a bit odd in this regard. We have fairly stringent seat belt laws in place – anyone driving or riding in an auto, van, truck, etc. must be belted up. However, the state legislature rescinded a helmet law several years ago, and no serious attempts to revive it have been brought up. Go figure.

    Baritone

  • Clavos

    Baritone,

    “One caveat I’d add, though. When one does incur injury while being said “dolt,” the result may not only be the burden to society at large, but also on the dolt’s family, friends, employer, co-workers, etc. Pretty damn inconsiderate.”

    Inconsiderate, certainly, but not the point. Do you agree that that is the responsibility of the government to legislate against inconsiderateness? If you do, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    Being a jerk shouldn’t be against the law.

    As far as the “burden to society” argument: this is exactly one of the foreseeable negative aspects of UHC. What will we do with alcoholics? Those who can’t or won’t stop drinking on their own, and eventually become very sick. Do we withhold treatment, let them die? Do we treat and punish? How?

    Let’s carry it a little farther and say that being on welfare is a burden to society and start legislating against welfare moms. Some of them, at least, are in that predicament because of their own actions. Not fair? Agreed.

    BTW, Florida’s pretty similar to Indiana in what you mention: stringent enforcement of seat belt laws (unlike some states, you CAN be stopped here for just a seat belt violation), but no helmet law.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clavos,

    Maybe not the point, but the cure for the helmet or seat belt thing is so simple. Just put ‘em on, hook ‘em up. The “cure” for welfare moms, alcoholics, druggies, etc. is not so easy. How they got there and how to get them out of it is far more complex.

    Again, I am surprised that the insurance companies pay on injury and death claims for people not wearing seat belts or helmets. Especially considering how niggardly they are about other types of medical claims and the lengths they go to NOT to pay.

    Just a note appropos of nothing. My son has been home for a couple of weeks and is heading out back to UF for the fall semester after a brief stay in Tennessee. Having him home was great. Having him leave is kind of a heartbreaker. I won’t say that to him. He doesn’t need the emotional baggage. So I just laid it on all of you.

    Baritone

  • Clavos

    Baritone,

    What’s a youngster from IN doing going to UF? Is he studying something for which they’re noted? Or is it the climate? :>)

  • Clavos

    Chris #89,

    I use ‘em.

    I even posted on one of these threads that, LOOONG before they were law or even available in cars, when I was a kid, my father put military surplus aircraft belts in our family cars, and made sure we all used ‘em.

    Do I think their use should be legislated? NO>

  • moonraven

    The truth is: The majority of folks in the US do not want universal health care.

    Because those who have insurance want to be able to feel superior to folks who don’t have it.

    Let the poor die is their motto–and dancing on their graves probably the only exercise you fat fatuous farts are willing to do.

    As someone said on another thread: A pox on all of you!

  • zingzing

    “Because those who have insurance want to be able to feel superior to folks who don’t have it.”

    ha! and they hate us for our freedom.

    that’s certainly not the reason why u.s. citizens don’t want universal health care. i’m sure it has something to do with money and taxes and stuff like that.

    i’m of the opinion that health care in the united states isn’t ever going to straighten itself out until something is done about malpractice lawsuits and the price of pills.

    universal health care has its good points and its bad. and our current system is so chaotic and entrenched that changing it could be disastrous… or difficult at the best. of course, i say that with full benefits in my wallet. i’m sure someone without health benefits would be more adamant about immediate change.

  • Clavos

    “i’m of the opinion that health care in the united states isn’t ever going to straighten itself out until something is done about malpractice lawsuits and the price of pills.”

    Excellent point, zingzing!

    Both problems are huge defects in our present system, and both have the potential of being impediments to whatever alternate plans are eventually proposed.

  • Lumpy

    US citizens don’t want universal healthcare because then they would no longer be able to control what kind of coverage they have or choose not to have. Simple as that. If we have to pay we want control as well.

  • moonraven

    You and the rest of the gringos do not give a fuck, lumpy, about having control over what the government spends your tax dollars on!

    Or do you really believe in all those hundreds of billions of dollars spent on killing the Iraquis and Afghanis?

    If ytou have to pay you want control–what a complete crock!

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I think moon has been knocked out of (her?) orbit.

    US citizens don’t want UHC? Well, that’s just wrong. Again, people who are fortunate enough to have adequate coverage without spending a fortune every month probably wonder what all the fuss is about. I can’t give you numbers, but my guess is that represents a relatively small percentage of our population.

    I am self employed. Our last health insurance policy was costing us (going back about 10 years) around $950 a month. We maintained the policy for about 6 years. During that time, of all the claims we made, they paid us a total of $23.57. We wound up paying around $5000 in uncovered medical costs out of pocket. They dropped us when they discovered my wife was diabetic. We hadn’t even made any claims for it. We just got a letter saying that we were no longer qualified under their policy guidelines.

    Since then my wife has had other medical problems. She is effectively uninsurable. Anthem told us they would provide coverage for her alone for around $2300 per month. What a deal! All others we made application to simply turned us down.

    Being a Vietnam era veteran, I am able to use the VA for my medical needs. But we are hoping that nothing disastrous happens with my wife between now and our medicaid years.

    No, we wouldn’t want any of that UHC. Total waste.
    Let the poor eat cake!

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clavos,

    My son is in grad school at UF. Creative writing, oh, and ‘gater wrestlin’.

    B-tone

  • moonraven

    Let the poor eat cake!

    Precisely. And if they are poor, folks in the US deny it and vote republican.

    What can I say?

    You people are simply idiots.

  • Lumpy

    Clavos. Your wife sounds like the perfect person for a tax-free medical savings account.

  • Clavos

    Lumpy,

    My wife’s a Medicare patient, and is pretty well covered by it and our private group insurance, though we have to battle almost every bill with Medicare; not because they’re trying to cheat her, but because they all have their heads up their asses.

    From what I can glean from the comments on this thread, I think you might have been thinking of Dr. D’s wife.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    You know, in the 2000 presidential election as I’m sure you know, a majority of voters opted for Al Gore, a democrat if I’m not mistaken. In 2004 Bush won by about 1.5 million votes, not exactly a landslide.

    Maybe you should stop being so smug, get out of the attack mode and offer something usefull or go have a long siesta.

    Baritone

  • STM

    Clav: “As far as the “burden to society” argument: this is exactly one of the foreseeable negative aspects of UHC. What will we do with alcoholics? Those who can’t or won’t stop drinking on their own, and eventually become very sick. Do we withhold treatment, let them die? Do we treat and punish? How?”

    Clav, none of that stuff happened here, despite the same fears being raised. So why would it happen there?

    I can’t see it mate. You are worrying unduly.

    You WILL get it, if it’s done as I suspect as a result of Hillary’s study here, it will be like ours, and I’ll repeat: you’ll be wondering why the fuck you haven’t had it for the past 50 years.

    It’s all good …

  • STM

    Clav writes: “But I AM opposed to the government forcibly “helping” by prohibiting anything that is a purely personal choice, such as smoking outdoors or the wearing of a helmet while motorcycling.”

    One thing I do find bizarre mate. You can be fined, what $500?, for smoking outdoors in some places, but you can walk 50 yards up the street and buy 50 guns.

    Go figure, as they say up your way. Don’t make any sense. Priorities seem all wrong. I hate whinging, whining histrionic anti-smokers, BTW, who complain when you light up 20 years downwind of them and start coughing and hacking and holding their throats. Idiots.

  • Clavos

    Stan,

    I know we will get UHC of some kind, soon. As I said on one of these threads, I think it’ll happen in the next administration, and I’m actually not opposed to it.

    But, I guarantee you that ours will NOT be as good as yours. First, too much politics will enter into the planning, and second, all those government people with their heads up their arses will be given the job of administering it.

    As sure as the sun will come up in the morning, they will fuck it up. They are already fucking up Medicare, and it’s a MUCH smaller program than UHC will have to be.

  • moonraven

    Baritone:

    Sorry, but I write what I choose to write–not the pats on the back of the gringo gutbombs that you would like me to write.

    [Edited]

    Have a nice day.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    I have no problem with you being critical, but your rhetoric is so yellow, and your attacks so broad as to be rendered meaningless. It may be your own ignorance of history and lack of understanding that makes you paint everything and everyone American with the same brush. I guess things tend to blur when looked at from your lofty tower of assumed superiority. All gringos look alike to you. Too bad.

    I have actually agreed with a number of your positions at other times, but your vitriole kills your credibility. Have you any interest in people considering your view point, or are you simply content with being in attack mode?

    Baritone

  • moonraven

    I am simply content with being in attack mode ON THIS SITE. I thought I had made that perfectly clear.

  • moonraven

    Incidentally, something is either true or it is not.

    Credibility should not be dependent on the packaging. If you are foolish enough to decide on that basis than I am happy not to have you in my corner.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    moonraven, if you indeed get your dial permanently stuck in attack mode, then your days here are numbered – and it’s not a big number.

    Should it come to pass, I for one will briefly lament your passing for, beneath the sneering and the rancour we occasionally see comments of potential interest. Of course, I’ll also be the one that reluctantly but firmly opens the trapdoor beneath your feet too!

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Well, I guess mr’s days are numbered because he hasn’t got the ability to do anything else but scream and shout obscenities and insults. Putting forth a tempered, constructive counter-argument is a completely alien concept to him.

    Reminds me a lot of Shark — he never knew when to cool it either. Not that he had the ability to.

  • moonraven

    moonraven is not a man.

    Because only one other female occasionally posts on this site–as you have driven all the rest away by blatantly jerking each other off–you just assume that I must be male.

    That in itself shows ONE of things that is very wrong with this site.

    And Chris, feel free to open that trapdoor at any time. I could not possibly care less.

  • moonraven

    Just be sure to put up in BIG letters:

    STUPID WHITE RIGHTWING MALES ONLY!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “Because only one other female occasionally posts on this site–as you have driven all the rest away by blatantly jerking each other off”

    We have always encouraged open diddling.

  • moonraven

    In fact, that’s ALL you do.

    I have yet to read a single reasoned commentary on this site.

  • REMF

    “Reminds me a lot of Shark — he never knew when to cool it either. Not that he had the ability to.”
    – Mark Edward Manning

    As I recall, Shark used to chew you up and spit you out on a regular basis, Manning, in addition to writing circles around you.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    If by “reasoned” commentary you mean one that totally agrees with you, I suppose your are correct. Not many people look at the world through the distorted prism that you apparently do.

    You also appear to have confused the left wing with vituperative hatred. We are actually a gentle folk, mostly shepherds and the like. I think what you are looking for is so far left – it’s right – probably out living in the woods wearing full camouflage gear brandishing automatic weapons in anticipation of the revolution.

    Baritone

  • moonraven

    B: Sorry, but you have no idea whatsoever of what I am LOOKING for. Or if, by the way, I AM looking for something (which I am not).

    By reasoned commentary I mean commentary that:

    1. follows the grammatical and syntactical rules of the language in which it is written;

    2. includes sources for material that supposedly is being cited (and when one activates the links they actually DO relate to the claims made by the writer, rather than being completely tangential or overtly contradicting the claims of the writer);

    3. does NOT present opinion and/or ideological propaganda as being information and facts;

    4. does not attack readers or other writers on the basis of age and gender and race and country of residence (I have been doing that to an exaggerated degree since last September when two habitual users of this site immediately attacked me on that basis when I first posted on this site last September; apparently you folks are too dense to get the point);

    5. uses logic as a reasoning tool, rather than shouting: You must be wrong because you are a commie pinko fag.

    I think I will just stay with those 5 for now, as none of you posters have consistently adhered to even ONE.

    I look at the world from the prism of someone who lives, very comfortably, in the BIG world–not in the US. That prism might be called “having a perspective” on what takes place there. You may considered it to be distorted–I consider it to be amplified by experience and knowledge and reason. I call things the way they appear to me–and if it walks like a rightwing bush-loving genocidal ideologue, shits all over this shared planet like one–I assume that it most likely IS one.

    And to date I have not been given any reason to assume otherwise.

  • moonraven

    has adhered, sorry. Hastily broke requirement number 1.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    moon,

    We must all bow our heads in shame for not living up to your standards of discourse.

    But, you know what? I’m willing to risk it. Hit me.

    Give examples from my posts and/or commentary wherein I have failed to meet your discursive standards. Be prepared, though, to have your work judged by the same standards as well.

    Additionally, perhaps we could urge Eric Olsen and other editors to post your Standards as a manifesto on the BC home page and tie it to all articles as they are being published, screening them through an auto review process which will cause an electric shock to be sent through the offending writer’s keyboard repeatedly until and unless all noted failings are either corrected or the hapless author finally is sent howling in the agony of his charred finger tips, thoroughly and properly humbled before your editorial mastery. As per your stated assumptions – only guys would be targeted thus as male is the only gender posting here.

    B-tone

  • Zedd

    I miss Shark. What a smartly funny person.

  • Rick

    MOONRAVEN if someone called you a “commie pinko fag” well that is obviously immature, but now you are basically just doing the same thing to people who you attack as “right wing”. You can call americans gringos all you want, but I hate to burst your bubble but using gringo isn’t going to be hurting many white peoples feelings. It has no real negative connotation that is going to make a “white” person recoil in horror. Using the n-word towards a black person has power, gringo as a word has no such power. Basically any abuse that you direct towards a “white” person is not going to hurt them as much as they could hurt you. That is the fact of you being a “repressed” minority. A black person can call me honkey all he wants, but the word has no history behind and thus no real weight. The n-word has a history of being associated with lyncing, segregation etc. while honkey does not. Obviously native americans were on the losing side as well and they are in a similar position to blacks. I don’t know offhand of any disparaging remark for native americans but I’m sure it has much more negative connotation than gringo.

    My point being is that either you can have constructive criticism on this forum or you can randomly attack people. Your verbal abuse isn’t hurting “white” peoples feelings if that is somehow your intent. It just makes you look like ranting lunatic.

  • cheney

    Erm, basically, we don’t want “socialized” fire,police, social security, postal etc? This will lead us to become commies? Are we?

    So, we don’t want to maybe pay higher taxes of perhaps 10~20% more, but willing to pay another form of “taxes” in the form of premium, copay etc.

    So we don’t want to give our money to Uncle SAM, but we’re willing to give them to few greedy CEOs which make billions each year.

    In fact paying to Uncle SAM will have minimum adminstrations cost or overhead maybe 2~5%? as oppose the premiums, copays etc for 30% adminstrations cost overhead etc where 29.9% goes to profit etc and 0.1 % to actually use for our health and deny us with pre-existing condition, experimentals, etc

    So, when seeing doctors, we want our doctors to check with some guy sitting in a cubicle somewhere far away whether we “AFFORD” and fight for maybe 15 dollars over the phone for a lousy/simple treatment payment….at least with uncle SAM…we’re confident uncle SAM they write their cheques RIGHT ON time deliver to you using our socialized postal.

    You can find the money to kill people, you can find money to help people.

    They’re in this business to give less CARE to you to make MORE profits? Isn’t the notion of that idea OBSCENE!!!

    What drugs cost 5 cent in CUBA cost 120 dollars here? They’re only cost 6.69 pound or 10 dollars in UK….all time, standard. Yep, you’ve paid in “premiums” (in the form of tax) to Uncle SAM.

    1. No middle man…why need a middle men in between your health? You, your doctor and good ol Uncle SAM or Greedy Bastard CEOS with 7 cars(exclusive clubs etc)..Your choice.

    2. Regulate the hell out of those pharmies!!! the cost is up our NOSE…5 cents in Cuba? 10 dollars in UK?

    3. Doctor who really CARE for you, and want to treat YOU of your disease..as oppose to milk you all you can afford

    4. Ration…ration base on health need? or ration based on HOW MUCH YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY!!!!

    5. Willing to wait a little…maybe longer or SHORTER….we’re only ahead on Canada. Btw, we’re 5th in the waiting game….yes Canada is 6th…so a little longer. But hey, who’s NO 1??? yes…another country with commies health care..

    Whatever “facts-checking” by Sanjay GUPPTAAAA, the complicit ad funded “mainstream” media, bought for policticans…lousy asshole government that we have now, want to brainwash us or propagandized stupid, incredible STUPID FACTS!!!! about how great privatised medcine is??? We can RIP IT APART!!! Medicine is a RIGHT!!!! it is our RIGHT!!!!

    The point is, it is easier to govern people who are demoralize, in debt, and sickness…over healthy, educated & confident people.

    That’s the power of democracy!! We take the power from the wallet to the people!!!

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    It all comes down to the basics of whether we want our health care to be a business or a government service. Another question: Does it have to be “either/or?”

    As cheney noted we have government postal service. Complaints notwithstanding the US Post Office delivers millions of letters and packages everyday. Concomitantly, a number of private carriers – UPS, Fedex, DHL, etc., provide similar services and appear to be thriving.

    Should fire protection be privatized? Should it be available only to subscribers? Should such a firm have the option to refuse service to even its subscribers under a myraid of rules, regulations, stipulations or exclusions that disqualify your particular property, or your particular fire? (“We have determined that the construction of your home is “experimental” and, therefore, not eligible for our service. Thank you, and have a nice day.”)

    What about police protection?

    B-tone

  • moonraven

    Rick–I suggest you read my last post again. You clearly did not understand it. It should have given you a clue that you were off the rack when you read: “apparently you folks are too dense to get the point”!

    Read it again and perhaps this time you will see that all I have done since I started posting under the moniker moonraven–after having been attacked personally in the manner referred to point number 4–is that I have turned a mirror on your behavior.

    If you don’t get it, even though I have stated clearly on numerous occasions that thatis what I was doing–and even Ruvy seems to have gotten the picture–then you simply need to go back to school, because you didn’t learn anything the first pass through.

  • moonraven

    Baritone:

    Sorry, but I the five points I listed for acceptable–and ACCEPTED (after all I TEACH writing at the university level and have since 1968)–discourse are absolutely ordinary. Nothing the least bit idiosyncratic about them.

    If you believe that one or more of your posts meets that criteria, feel free to reference it.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    No, the onus is on you. It is YOU who have made the accusations. I’d say it is also people such as you who give college professors a bad reputation. You are haughty and condescending, convinced that you provide the only ray of light and hope in this dark, desolate world. What a crock!

    B-tone

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Oh, and Moon, you might check the first sentence of your last post. Seems to be a grammatical error there. (Noooo, it couldn’t be. Not from Moonraven, our literary goddess!) Would that be considered “unacceptable?”

    B-tone

  • moonraven

    No onus on ME whatsoever.

    You don’t meet my standards, nor are you in a position to tell me what to do.

    It’s folks like me who give university professors a GOOD name. We don’t buy the bullshit and we teach our students the difference between information and propaganda.

    Too bad you were never my student. You would be a whole lot more articulate–and would have better manners, too.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I have little difficulty with articulation. However, were I to walk into a classroom and see you standing at the dais, I would be the first person in the drop/add line. Were I in school, my intent would be to obtain an education, not be the captive audience of a “professor” spewing a paranoid diatribe regarding the imagined evil doings of the gringo nation.

    Believe it or not, you are likely not the only one posting or commenting here with a college education and a professional connection to a college or university. That you hold yourself in higher esteem for it is unseemly, and frankly, rude.

    If you find this site and everyone commenting here so far beneath you, why do you even bother? Surely you could find loftier, more esoteric pursuits than wasting your valued time and talents here.

    Oh, and I have excellent manners, but I am far too humble to make an issue of it.

    B-tone

  • Wargel83

    Hey Moonraven. This is what I always heard about University professors.

    Those who can…do.

    Those who cant…teach.

    I graduated in the early 80’s when there were phd’s who would openly state that they only got the advanced degree to stay out of Nam.

    Would you be one of those?

  • moonraven

    Would I be one of those profs who was teaching to avoid serving in the army in Viet Nam? Is that your question?

    Since when did they draft women into the military and send them to Viet Nam?

    News to me.

    However, I do have an honorable discharge for my 11 days as an E-5 in the US Army Reserve in 1976–it used to hang over my toilet.

    (PS, You are lying. Nobody as unaware as you actually graduated from university–not even in the US.)

  • moonraven

    Baritone:

    What is really lovable about you in your open mind, free of prejudice and assumptions about the teaching methods of others.

    I don’t feel superior to you because of my education or my university connections.

    I am simply a better specimen of my species.

  • Clavos

    “Specimen.”

    Good word, that.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    No assumptions being made there, huh? You know nothing about me. You assume a great deal more than I would even dare.

    Actually you fit a description once proffered by our former VP everone loved to hate, good old Spiro Agnew, when he described the Nixon administrations detractors as “nattering nabobs of negativity.” except I have no knowledge of your relative wealth so I don’t know if you qualify as a true “nabob.” However, you certainly chatter, and are most certainly negative. Your vitriole could kill a nest of cockroaches.

    What is it, would you say that makes you such a superior “specimen?” Natural selection? Environment? Better enchiladas?

    You must believe that the more obnoxious you are, the more “rewards” points you get. Hope you get a chance to redeem them. Maybe you could get a new ice crusher, a set of barbecue tongs or a discount for an Andrew Carnegie course.

    B-tone

  • moonraven

    One obvious attribute of my superiority is being female on an all-male beatoff site.

  • moonraven

    Another obvious attribute of my superiority is that the comments editor (who always capitalizes his unpaid job title) has spent the past couple of days threatening once again to ban me so that you guys can continue the “brotherly love” (euphemism for all males jerking each other off) policy of the site.

  • zingzing

    “One obvious attribute of my superiority is being female on an all-male beatoff site.”

    and what a stunning example of female beauty you are, moonie.

    and chris constantly threatens you because you constantly attack people. you make him do his job (being comments editor), and since he isn’t paid to do his job, he doesn’t like to actually have to do it.

    i think it would be a shame if you were banned, but i also think it might be interesting to see what’s actually in your brain other than a sniping, arrogant, masturbation-obsessed nutjob.

  • moonraven

    zing,

    unless you are a long-distance–and I mean LOOOOOONG distance–peeping tom, you would have no idea of whether I am beautiful or not.

    which is really academic, as there is nobody on this site who is sexually interested in women.

    feel free to start sputtering out poo poo and caca and the rest of your other stupendously articulate vocabularly. i am off for a swim.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Well, I can’t ban the woman for having a go at me, that would be a tad unchivalrous!

    zing, I’m not threatening her and don’t want to ban her. Underneath all the bile moonraven makes the occasional interesting remark and I’d like to see more of that without the constant stream of invective. There is an increasing number of complaints though, not all of them from her political adversaries and not all of them from men.

    It’s got nothing to do with not liking to ban people, other than in the general sense that it is always a sad thing when it has to be done. It just means that someone can’t or won’t conduct themself with a modicum of manners.

  • zingzing

    “unless you are a long-distance–and I mean LOOOOOONG distance–peeping tom, you would have no idea of whether I am beautiful or not.”

    i was talking about your insides, not your outsides.

    “which is really academic, as there is nobody on this site who is sexually interested in women.”

    and how would you know that? now you’re judging everyone’s sexuality. can’t you stop even for an instant? i know you’re getting a kick out of this.

    “feel free to start sputtering out poo poo and caca and the rest of your other stupendously articulate vocabularly. i am off for a swim.”

    good. if you stop with the semen, i’ll stop with the shit.

  • zingzing

    chris, maybe you take my use of the word “threatening” too… violently? maybe “informing of imminent banishment” would be a better phrase? whatever.

    i’m of the same opinion as you on banning. don’t like to see it done, especially because moonie can be so entertaining when all one wants to do is send out a little abuse. no one takes her too seriously.

  • zingzing

    and you can tell she enjoys it. i love pleasing women.

  • Clavos

    “i also think it might be interesting to see what’s actually in your brain other than a sniping, arrogant, masturbation-obsessed nutjob.”

    Battery acid.

  • moonraven

    Just ban me, for fuck’s sake!

    Why all the shitting around?

    Don’t hesitate for a moment to prove my point….

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I guess I’m guilty of prolonging this mess of invective. I prefered it when we were on topic. It’s far too easy to get caught up in these personal sniping jousts, and gets us nowhere.

    I agree with Christopher regarding Moon. I’m fairly certain that I have, in fact, agreed with and supported a number of her comments on other articles. She is apparently uninterested in that, though. It seems she would rather do battle on a personal level, making blanket accusations against people about whom she knows nothing. She makes a huge issue regarding her gender. I have never felt that most of the commentary here hinged upon the commenter’s sex. I personally think that in general, women are superior to men in most regards. Most of the bloggers I communicate with at my site are women. While I can’t speak for them, I seriously doubt that any of them think of me as being sexist. What’s a feller to do?

    B-tone

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Zingzing,

    Although, I would say that your last couple of comments have a sexist, condescending tone to them. Perhaps you don’t mean them that way, but that’s the way they read.

    B-tone

  • zingzing

    baritone–nope, not a bit of it. the “i love pleasing women” comment you could possibly take as sexist, if you want, if you stretched real, real far… i read it as comedic. (or something for her to latch on to.)

    nothing i write about moonraven applies to other women. she’s in a class of her own. i mean what i write about her personally, for her.

    in fact, the only words i would agree with her on completely would be that women are superior to men. that’s not to say i would like to be a woman or anything. being a woman would take away part of the fun of loving women.

    as for where else you might read a bit of sexism into my comments, i have no clue.

  • zingzing

    but, yeah, they may be condescending. my view of moonraven is pretty low right now.

  • moonraven

    Cheer up, no matter how low, it could not possibly be lower than my opinion of you, and the sexist pig racist ageist misognist genocidal grammar-fracturing horse you rode in on–which, if I am not mistaken, is the very dead horse that’s still being flagellated–or is that felated?–on another stellar thread.

  • moonraven

    Baritone,

    This is not a site of sexist commentary?

    Why do you think there are only two women who post here? And why one of them very seldom does?

    Women, I believe, are more than 50% of the planet’s population–and many of them have an active and avid interest in politics.

    Some are very intelligent, and have a wealth of EXAMINED life experience–even in parts of the globe that are considered enemies of the US’s predatory interests(such as Latin America).

    Yet what happens when they post on blogcritics?

    I first encountered this site last September, when I came across a completely unfactual and blatantly propagandistic opinion piece by The Decider of blogcritics political threads, Dave Nalle.

    I posted a refutation of Nalle’s piece about Hugo Chavez’ UN speech–a speech which received several MINUTES of approbatory applause BTW from countries that make up the majority of this planet. I pointed out that he had no experience of Venezuela and that he didn’t know what he was talking about, but that his intentions were clearly to disinform.

    I posted under my own name.

    What happened? I was immediately heckled by Nalle and his suckballs clavos accused me of living the high life in Mexico and spending the day slopping down margaritas. Over the course of posting INFORMATION and facts on this site in regard to Latin America–a region of the planet about which I am PAID to speak at universities and churches including the US–I received a host of sexist and ageist comments, had my personal information posted by clavos–including the place from which I was posting, was accused of being paid by the Cuban and Venezuelan governments to post here, as well as of being a Chinese government operative posting from Beijing (get real!) and was even told by Nalle that his info on venezuela from when he was a wee lad was more eyewitness than mine–and some nasty australian twit inidcated that because his grandfather visited Caracas in the late 1940s he was an expert on the country and I clearly knew nothing. And on and on and on.

    In I believe December I began posting under the persona moonraven and beating you guys at your own dirty game.

    Since then there have whining and puling and sobbing cries demanding that I be banned from the site and the old classic Wonderland order: Off with HER head reigns Red Queen supreme.

    And the ball-less brit comments editor–who clearly takes his cue from clavos–insists on calling me abuelita–despite the fact that I am not a grandmother and consider grandmother to be inconsistent with my self-image–to the point where mny daughter has been put onnotice that if she produces an offspring I am off to what is left of the rainforests of the Amazon Basin.

    Is you are not ageist and sexist and not just here to jerk each other off, then WHAT, precisely, are you–and WHAT, precisely, are you here for?

  • zingzing

    see? gawd, she’s fun. now i’m sucking on a grammar-challenged horsey dick! never thought i’d do that!

    of course, i think of you as a “sexist pig racist ageist misognist genocidal grammar-fracturing” horse as well. funny how you can point out my grammar issues whilst you just forget about the existence of commas, but that’s beside the point. and i guess you’re not a misogYnist, but you sure do a lot for misogyny. you’re are, however, quite the misandrist, or maybe just a plain old misanthrope. i dunno.

  • moonraven

    Keep it up. You have made my case many times over.

    But excess is a gringo habit.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Well Moon, at least you said something through all of your anger.

    I’m relatively new to BC. Perhaps it is a boys’ club. I just haven’t seen it that way. I’ve had people tell me I’m full of liberal crap and that I should do myself in any number of ways, and I’ve given it back in some cases. I’ve had a few comments deleted. Boys will be boys, I guess.

    But you have, by your consistently commenting in attack mode, and making blatent, blanket and, ultimately meaningless, inaccurate and unprovable accusations against virtually everyone else here indescriminantly, frankly makes you a joke to others.

    If your claims about your experiences while posting under your real name are true, then that sucks. I have no knowledge of all that beyond your accusations above, and of course, there’s not much I could do about it in any case.

    But I do think you unfairly cast the same net over everyone who posts here. You’re using a scatter gun approach (sorry for the mixed metaphor) when you should be picking the offenders off one by one. It’s all right with me if you start with Dave and work your way down.

    B-tone

  • Clavos

    For the record:

    Her claims about her experiences while posting under her real name are only partially true.

    It was not I who “outed” her nor was it I who disclosed the location from which she was posting.

    The “outing” AND the posting of her location were done by others.

    And, in any case, the so-called “outing” was done from Googled information, according to the person who did it; so she’s no Valerie Plame (in more ways than one).

    All the relevant comments are still on the site; and anyone who cares to, can check them out.

  • moonraven

    Clavos DID post the geographical coordinates of where I was posting from. He is, in fact, lying again.

    That was not only a violation of my privacy but an abuse of his idol nalle’s editorial privilege, since clavos is not supposed to have that info available to him.

    It was nalle who–after I indicated I would no longer post on this site because of the obnoxious sexist ageist racist verbal violence against me–posted that I was actually posting from Beijing and said that I was working for the Chinese government posting pro-commie propaganda on blogcritics. Ralk about delusions of grandeur….

    Probably everything that starts with B–as in The State of Bontana short story by James Thurber–is Beijing.

    I was in Bahrain at the time.

    And clavos is right that the thread, Hugo Chavez One Man Axis of Crazy, by Dave Nalle is in the archives from last September 21.

    I posted under my own name post 21, to which Nalle responded in his churlish fashion, then post 64–after which JustOneMan began a string of insults calling me a liar and a fascist. And it was off to the races with dogpacking. It’s a very long thread, but those who choose to read it will see that I am called among other things a marxist stooge by nalle and a niña–little girl–by sexist clavos. I see zing and troll posted on the thread in a fairly neitral fashion. Insults from Franco.

    And guess what: several WOMEN posted on the thread, too! Boy, those were the days.

    I rest my case on this.

    I could not care less if I am banned or not–as far as I can see from your behavior on this site almost every one of you is a misogynist ageist racist redneck who delights in driving away women from posting so that you can talk about drinking beer and screwing broads and other “man stuff”.

    I have held up a mirror to your disgusting behavior–and you were too stupid even to recognize yourselves.

  • Clavos

    “Clavos DID post the geographical coordinates of where I was posting from. He is, in fact, lying again.”

    You are lying, mr. I don’t have the ability to do that on this site; I am not an editor, and don’t have access to any one’s location.

    Pure bullshit, and par for your comments, mr.

    “almost every one of you is a misogynist ageist racist redneck who delights in driving away women from posting so that you can talk about drinking beer and screwing broads and other “man stuff”.”

    I do all my talking about drinking beer and screwing broads to the broads themselves, mr, and NONE of ‘em has ever been offended, either.

  • Clavos

    HERE is the comment with mr’s geographic coordinates, as well as its date and time stamp:

    “#287 — September 30, 2006 @ 23:45PM —

    Opperation Running Wolfe

    S of —-
    N of —-
    —-N —-W, 1220 meters”

    I have removed the actual poster’s handle from the message (and of course, the coordinates – I don’t want mr accusing me AGAIN of revealing them), but once more: IT IS NOT I.

  • Clavos

    You’re a fucking liar, mr, and I just PROVED it.

  • moonraven

    Sorry clavos, I was wrong:

    After a long string of insults against me, my politics, my gender, my genus and species, and so fotth on the thread referenced above from 21 Sept. 2006, it was nalle’s other clones, “franco” who abused nalle’s editorial privilege:

    Here’s just a tiny sample of that:

    286 — September 30, 2006 @ 22:41PM — Franco [URL]
    Dave,

    Concerning your comments on Marthe’s referance to a SWP front group link, it gets better then that. Not only does she link to this SWP front group, she is one of the active participants in this very group “Common Dreams”.

    In an “Open Letter to President Hugo Chavez, and to the People of Venezuela” with text of the letter, signers, and background information attached. You will find her name as a listed signer towards the bottom of the list.

    #287 — September 30, 2006 @ 23:45PM — Franco [URL]
    Opperation Running Wolfe

    S of Anenecuilco
    N of Nueva Olintepec
    18°46′N 98°59′W, 1220 meters

    #288 — October 1, 2006 @ 00:06AM — Clavos
    The same letter (with Marte’s name) also appears on this site:

    Venezuelanalysis

    As does an article entitled:

    “The Meaning of 21st Century Socialism for Venezuela”

    But then, she never said she was a socialist.

    #289 — October 1, 2006 @ 03:16AM — Dave Nalle [URL]
    That’s a fascinating letter, Franco. Who would have thought so many people would be opposed to the promotion of democracy in central America.

    Venezuelanalysis also appears to be a hardcore socialist site. What a surprise.

    Dave

    And then a little further down, again from the Franco clone:

    Dave & Clavo

    If Marthe carries any weight with in this SWP front group and its very long list of members, then they my try to remove this letter from the internet to protect their identitis. It would not be the first or the last time a SWP front groups tried to conceal individual membership identies when it has backfired on them.

    It might not be a bad idea to make a PDF file copy of all of it for futher use should the need arrise.

    OH my, aren’t we paranoid?

    This is really revealing to read that thread again, as it captures the entire sick dynamic of this site. Here we have the franco clone again, referrinjg to a POLITE request fromChris:
    300 — October 2, 2006 @ 01:06AM — Franco [URL]
    Christopher Rose

    Sence you posted:

    FRANCO: Please follow the Blogcritics convention of using active links when posting URLs. If you’re not sure how, there is a very clear explanation on HTML Code Tutorial. Thank you. Comments Editor]

    Thank you for this assistance. I have spent condiserable time on the Turorial and I under stand now how to write the HTML now but I can not for the life of me figure out how to get it into my post. Do I need to do this from an HTML Editor, save my pre-writtn post to file and then use the ULR window to seek the file. Addionally how do the other posters get italisied sentences when posting. Can you proved any additional assistance. Thank you.

    Franco

    Ah, a luddite being treated NICELY by misogynist ageist comments editor!

    And,speaking of ageism:

    375 — October 3, 2006 @ 19:59PM — Clavos
    I submit, you are like a 14 year old cheerleader trying to get the attention of the Senior Football Captain.

    She’s a hell of a lot older than 14, Jerry.

    In fact, she’s about 62.

    And then another sweet comment:
    393 — October 4, 2006 @ 10:20AM — Clavos
    Gee based upon the lack of response from “you know who” they must be taking a long siesta down there or maybe it was too much Tequila and an encore at the “Donkey Show”!

    She’s posting out of an internet cafe, and usually posts somewhere between 1200 and 1800 EDT.

    And here is another woman being attacked by a pack of dogs:

    #403 — October 4, 2006 @ 12:32PM — McNab
    The real answer is it’s Dubya Bush’s blood bath. Not only is Dubya an insane murdering punk he’s also a babbling smirking idiot. Hugo Chavez makes Bush look like a demented clown. Wait, that should be, Bush makes himself look like a demented clown. Chavez merely points it out.

    #404 — October 4, 2006 @ 12:46PM — JustOneMan
    Warning 404 -Warning 404 -Warning 404

    Please call adjust her medication and call Bellvue hospital immediately…

    Gee is it a full moon?

    #405 — October 4, 2006 @ 13:02PM — McNab
    For almost half a century Fidel Castro has stood up to the thuggery of the USA and told it where to shove it. He’s still telling the US where to shove it despite all the trade sanctions it imposes on such a small island. Cuba’s struggle for survival and independence against the bloated neighborhood bully will be celebrated by the common people for centuries to come. And the life and times of Che Guevara will be celebrated by decent human beings for centuries to come, while the likes of Dubya Bush and his gang of thugs will be scorned and ridiculed.

    #406 — October 4, 2006 @ 13:22PM — JustOneMan
    Gee he showed us…as his people live in sqauler and dipair…people risking life and limb to to leave that cess pool of a society…isnt he a hero for the world….great people fucked up country…I almost forgot all the humaintarian aid and services Cuba spreads through out the world..

    #407 — October 4, 2006 @ 13:28PM — Dave Nalle [URL]
    Apparently we don’t need Marthe anymore, we have McNab to be our token socialist loon.

    Evo Morales, who is very similar to Chávez philosophically and politically, presents an almost Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera persona

    This is EXACTLY the way people were describing Mussolini in 1936.

    Dave

    And this jewel:

    #438 — October 4, 2006 @ 19:38PM — Clavos
    Re #438:

    Opinion piece, Martita–just hearsay and anecdote. Documents nothing–you said so yourself:

    Dave, newspaper articles giving someone’s OPINION are NOT documentation.

    And:

    If you really believe the articles you posted links to are documentaion and proof of something

    So, Martita, what’s the Bill Moyers opinion piece proof of?

    Otra pendejada por parte de la guera.

    And here’s a REALLY revealing theorist:

    522 — October 6, 2006 @ 22:29PM — Franco
    I think Marthe maybe a plant working for the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez in international damage control.

    We all know she is vulgar and insulting to try and get us riled up and prove our points. Whenever anyone as made a direct alligation against Chaves, she gets very short and to the point. She stops her insults and states clearly, “so us the documents of proff.

    Here are some examples.

    #74 – These well-documented facts–show us the documentation.

    #88 – Show us the name of one jailed opposition journalist or publisher–and the source for that name.

    #322 – If the Southern Command couldn’t present any evidence to support those claims, when they made them, where is yours? Show us. Right here. Now.

    #431 – Dave, Still no proof. Telling ME to look up articles to prove your points is just ridiculous!!!!!! SHOW US THE F-ING PROOF.

    #511 – Chavez has not threatened to invade Colombia. That’s a blatant lie. Show us where he said that.

    Notice the word “show us”. She could claim it is those in this thread, but then she never uses “us” in any other contexts, its always “I”. Who is us?

    And note too that at these times she does not personally attack, she zeros in on wanting to see “documentation”. Finding true documentation against Chavez is her boiled down MO. Damage control for the up and coming communist government of Venezuela.

    At least it’s a fun theory………….

    And then Dave, practising for his Vox Populi caper:
    #524 — October 6, 2006 @ 22:42PM — Dave Nalle [URL]
    Re: 523

    What makes it weirder is that we’ve all shown her massive documentation from neutral sources and yet she keeps saying ‘show us the documentation’ and either dismisses or completely ignores us when we do. That makes her demand to show documentation more than a little hypocritical. Why does she ask for it if she isn’t going to pay any attention to it?

    Dave

    And this little paranoid dance:

    #529 — October 6, 2006 @ 23:33PM — Clavos
    Dave 525,

    One possible answer:

    If Franco’s right, she’s got us doing her homework for her. She prods us, then we go out and find and cite and link these sites. Meanwhile, Caracas is monitoring and taking notes, then they do whatever it is they do with the info?

    I bailed out reading at this point as I no longer posted on this site, and the rest of the thread wasmostly beating up on the other woman who was posting.

    It’s all there–the madness, the meanness, thelies and the hattassment of women.

    If you think you have the stomach for it, give it a shot.

  • moonraven

    That’s it for my take on blogcritics and its brotherly love: Have fun jerking each other off, now–and make damn sure that no woman gets in the blogcritcs door.

    Make less noise licking your…wounds, okay?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx
  • moonraven

    All of my body and feathers are completely intact–but I have had a lot of practice at playing the Roadrunner to a bunch of hapless halfwit Wile E. Coyote wannabees.

    May be just a coincidence, but Chuck Jones (RIP), the creator of The Roadrunner and Wile E., was a good friend of mine….

  • STM

    Bloody hell, MR, is there any bastard you don’t know??

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Sorry, I don’t see the sexism in any of what she posted. Is it sexist merely to disagree with a woman?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    it would appear that mr thinks so.

    She has accused all of us of misogyny and worse every time we’ve either disagreed with her OR defended ourselves against her foul-mouthed imprecations.

  • STM

    “imprecations”

    You’ve been on that word site again haven’t you??

  • Clavos

    Geez, mate. You don’t let a bloke get away with anything, do you? :>)

  • moonraven

    Nalle, It’s true that none of what I posted is sexist–only what the rest of you GUYS posted.

    The intent of almost all the men who regularly post on this site is to abuse and degrade women.

    There is no other reason for you to be here, as politics is not something you participate in, nor even care about.

  • moonraven

    STM,

    I do not have any bastards as friends. My standards are higher than that.

    And I fail to see why you are speaking ill of a dead genius.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    “Nalle, It’s true that none of what I posted is sexist-“

    and then….

    “The intent of almost all the men who regularly post on this site is to abuse and degrade women.”

    “isn’t it ironic?…”

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    Heh.

    ‘nother good ‘un, gm…

  • vivian

    I’m Canadian and we have in our family made extensive use of the Canadian health care and it is BETTER than portrayed in the Sicko film. A lot better. The cardiologist still calls my husband two years after his heart attack to see how he is doing. The oncologist who treated his cancer 3 years ago still sees him every 6 months free of charge.
    But after seeing the film, I would like to be in France where not only is dental and health care socialized, but the bachelor degree is paid by the state. We paid in Canada over $400,000 to bring our child to the Ph.D. level.
    Moore is right. We live in fear because of Bush and his gang.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Vivian,

    Sorry I didn’t respond to your comment. I didn’t know you had made it.

    It’s good to hear from someone having first hand knowledge of a national health care system. It’s great to hear that your husband has received good and timely care.

    Yes, I agree with you about France. Personally, I agreed with the French concerning our incursion into Iraq. I’m sure there is a downside to living there. Nothing we humans endeavor to accomplish is ever perfect.

    My wife and I have 2 boys who went through college. Fortunately, they both got good scholarships and other financial aid which didn’t cover all of their expenses, but at least it reduced the amount that we had to contribute. Unfortunately, a significant portion of their financial aid was in the form of various loans, and they are still looming out there on the horizon.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    Baritone

  • bosco62a

    What’s wrong with American Healthcare is that you have one for the rich, and one for everybody else. The rich have the option of alternative medicine. Alternative doctors can be licensed just like allopathic doctors. The problem with alternative doctors is that they don’t ALWAYS try to solve problems with prescription medicines. This means that the pharmaceutical industry can’t make as much money. Alternative medicine can solve many problems by a change in diet or herbal medicines. Herbal medicines are far cheaper than prescription medicines because they can’t be patented. I am not talking about prescription medicine co-pay. I am talking about the full cost, of meds, to the insurance companies. Allopathic medicine will use any lame excuse to persuade people that alternative medicine must work because of the placebo effect. If your health problems disappear, without side effects, in a safe manner (like diet), is it always crucial, that it is proven, that certain alternative practices are not placebo? It is always important to the pharmaceutical industry because they can lose money. American healthcare is mostly about managing sicknesses and suppressing symptoms. If they got rid of the root causes of sicknesses, there wouldn’t be any more money to be made. They don’t care about giving you the BEST healthcare, only healthcare that is “good enough” and makes money.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    bosco,

    First, thanks for the comment. I’m surprised you found this post buried as it must have been by time.

    I think you struck on a very important point – that of the kind of health care that the system really wants to provide. They don’t want it to be too good. Sick people are money in the health care system’s pocket. It we didn’t become ill, what would happen to their jobs? Where would be the profit in creating drugs or other therapies that prevented or absolutely cured disease? This view is very cynical, but not, perhaps, without merit.

    As I and some others commenting here have noted, money is the root of most of the evils of the current U.S. health care system. Take profit out of the equation, and perhaps the result would ultimately be better, more ethical and accessable health care for all.

    B-tone

  • cj and family

    I watched the movie tonight, and feel really humbled by it. This feeling is also accompanied by a bit of anger, disappointment, a bit of feeling duped, let down, and kind of an expected sadness, if you will. I have been fortunate to have health care, and have been fortunate to not have any serious ailments or illnesses. I hope to not have to ever experience anything like any of the stories on this film.

    I have heard a few bad stories, one being a friend’s roommate/landlord. She apparently has had a bit of terrible luck with a huge, and unexpected, hospital bill. I don’t know if she had “good health care”, or if she just had “bad luck”. Either way she has had difficulty paying rent due to paying some pretty intense hospital bills.

    The one thing I will have to disagree with you on is your place of relocation – I would much rather prefer the UK, than Canada. I am not leaving anytime soon, nor turning my back on this country, but have always enjoyed the country and it’s people, and the health care benefit is another great quality of the country. Also, I have witnessed the beauty of their health care first hand. Me, my friend, and another friend were in our hotel room, in London, and our friend seemed to break her foot. We called down to the front desk, and they called an ambulance, which was there in like 10 minutes. They were helpful, and took her to the hospital, where we met up with her. She had x-rays taken and an initial cast applied to her foot and lower leg, and she went back a few days later to get a new cast put on. We were shocked/surprised to hear that there was no cost to her at all. A foreigner who, by her own stupidness, received timely medical treatment – for free.

    So, I am definitely glad that I got to see this film, and will make sure to pass it along to a few friends who I know would enjoy it.