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Evil Dead Junkie
06-25-2007, 11:41 PM
Got to see an early screening.

It's really terrifying. It doesn't matter if you don't like Michael Moore there is shit in here that cannot be denied.

Anyone else watch it?

nadia
06-25-2007, 11:46 PM
I hate and detest the American health care system like papercuts between my fingers, but I haven't yet decided if I hate Moore any less.

Lumber Baron
06-26-2007, 01:43 AM
I want nothing more in life that to meet Michael Moore so I can tell him I loved "Canadian Bacon".

Merus
06-26-2007, 02:02 AM
I want nothing more in life that to meet Michael Moore so I can tell him I loved "Canadian Bacon".
Probably so does he.

CHEAP SHOT

Maggie
06-26-2007, 02:54 AM
Probably so does he.

CHEAP SHOT

I think I looked at that for about three seconds, then burst into a loud giggle. I'm not sure what that says about me.

Anyway, I haven't seen this because, well, it's not playing here and while I know Moore will probably fudge the facts a bit, I still also know that our health system sucks and since I don't know how to change it or if I could even play a part in that, it just seems like I'd be getting irritated for no reason.

ArugulaZ
06-26-2007, 03:17 AM
Michael Moore can take the most rational, reasonable opinions and instantly make me turn against them. True story... when Bush said he was going to invade Iraq to route out Saddam Hussein, I thought it was a lousy idea, with no real purpose. Then Moore went on the Oscars and did his whole "shame shame" routine, to the extreme disgust of the audience. Suddenly, the Iraq invasion didn't seem like such a bad idea, if only to piss off the not-so-pleasingly plump douchebag.

Back in the 1990s, when I was a hardcore conservative, I had an instant contempt for Michael Moore and all he stood for. I would rather have passed a kidney stone than watch his short-lived NBC series TV Nation. These days, I'm not so conservative, but my contempt for Moore remains. He's STILL a whining, self-righteous, manipulative ideological tyrant, and I'd STILL rather lick the backside of a porcupine than watch anything he's created. I have infinitely more respect for Morgan Spurlock... he's a left-leaning documentary maker too, but at least he makes some attempt to reign in his ego and present a somewhat balanced view of the world around him. Whenever Moore interviews someone he doesn't agree with, you can't help but imagine the interviewee saying "Sweet can... s-s-sweet can" while the hands of a clock in the background wildly shift back and forth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoj8QRjIo-A

JR

Torgo
06-26-2007, 07:30 AM
My only Moore experience was about half of Bowling for Columbine. It was part of a political science course I was taking in college (haha). I got about halfway through it before I felt my intelligence was sufficiently insulted and left the classroom.

When the drug store I worked at still did video rentals, we (not me) put Fahrenheit 9/11 on once or twice. The most profound thing I could glean out if it was that if Michael Moore instead channeled his talent into writing straight comedy he'd probably be way more successful. The rest of what I heard I laughed off. The priceless part of the whole thing was my bosses reaction to when she saw her country mocked in the 'Coalition of the Willing' montage.

The whole thing really makes me wonder why Moore is making a sequel. Doesn't he feel bad enough that he already tipped one election in the direction he didn't intend?

nadia
06-26-2007, 07:35 AM
These days, I'm not so conservative, but my contempt for Moore remains.

I think Moore transcends political affiliation. I'm pretty Liberal, but I just don't have any patience for directors, radio hosts, anyone who won't let me think for myself.

djSyndrome
06-26-2007, 07:42 AM
Nothing in this film will shock me one bit. Spending five years working for an HMO - and ruining people's lives in the process - will do that to you.

Maggie
06-26-2007, 07:45 AM
The whole thing really makes me wonder why Moore is making a sequel. Doesn't he feel bad enough that he already tipped one election in the direction he didn't intend?


I don't know if it would ever even occur to him to think that maybe he had a hand in that. He strikes me as roughly as delusional and crazy as the God Warrior (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCODIhAXbQM), just with more teeth.

Excitemike
06-26-2007, 08:02 AM
I'm hesitant to see this because a) Moore's style is overbearing and b) I'm ridiculously squeamish and don't want to see anybody's guts or anything. But I will definitely go see it because the issue is important and it's not like anyone else is doing a documentary on this subject. I don't like being put in the position where I'm the one who has to defend Michael Moore, guys. I don't like being hit over the head when he tries to make a point, but the guy has to play it to the back of the room, if you know what I'm saying.

Anyway, I haven't seen this because, well, it's not playing here and while I know Moore will probably fudge the facts a bit, I still also know that our health system sucks and since I don't know how to change it or if I could even play a part in that, it just seems like I'd be getting irritated for no reason.

Moore aside, that's just a crummy attitude. Being informed and discussing the issue can make a difference. Knowing really is half the battle.

Maggie
06-26-2007, 08:04 AM
Moore aside, that's just a crummy attitude. Being informed and discussing the issue can make a difference. Knowing really is half the battle.

Yeah, I've been told that before and I don't really disagree with you, I just keep coming back to that feeling of "Well, what can I do about it?" So I don't really know. Sort of a "I'll leave it to the smarter people" sort of feeling.

djSyndrome
06-26-2007, 08:12 AM
Yeah, I've been told that before and I don't really disagree with you, I just keep coming back to that feeling of "Well, what can I do about it?" So I don't really know. Sort of a "I'll leave it to the smarter people" sort of feeling.

You can't do much about anything that you see on the news either. Does that make you want to stop watching CNN?

Maggie
06-26-2007, 08:24 AM
Does anyone still watch CNN? I actually don't think I ever have. Not even sure if I HAVE CNN. I could look, but then I'd want to see what other channels I have.

Like maybe that Playboy channel. I'd only watch it for the commercials, though.

Excitemike
06-26-2007, 08:33 AM
I watch CNN and even I don't want to watch it. Being the most palatable news network isn't much of a compliment when you consider the competition.

Still, a little Dobbs will do ya'.

reibeatall
06-26-2007, 08:43 AM
I'm probably going to end up seeing this when it comes to my local theater. However, I'd rather that Penn and Teller did the movie, because I'm starting to really enjoy watching Bullshit, and I know I'm only 4 years behind on that.

Makkara
06-26-2007, 09:12 AM
I very much doubt Penn and Teller would be interested in covering the subject. The only reasonable solutions to the HMO debacle are stricter regulations or tax-funded universal healthcare. As libertarians, Penn and Teller are ideologically opposed to both.

nadia
06-26-2007, 09:43 AM
That, and I find Penn and Teller no less annoying and biased (with their own opinions, not necessarily liberal or conservative) than Moore.

PHATTOM
06-26-2007, 10:00 AM
Does anyone still watch CNN?

I think he meant news in general.

The movie, or at least the idea/motivation behind the movie, is great simply because its something everybody can agree needs a lot of work here. There are some moments when, yeah, Moore turns on the lame sopometer, and its comedy can fall flat, but its definitely something that at least can get people talking. What needs to be done is something else entirely, and opinions vary radically, of course, but its ridiculous how bad it is.

Anyways, just download it or watch it streamed if you don't wanna pay. I can PM anybody a link if they want a stream.

ozacrot
06-26-2007, 10:24 AM
I don't like being put in the position where I'm the one who has to defend Michael Moore, guys. I don't like being hit over the head when he tries to make a point, but the guy has to play it to the back of the room, if you know what I'm saying.

I pretty much agree with this.

It's a shame - when it comes down to it, he kind of fails at being a documentary maker. He'll make a movie about something worthwhile of discussion, and is actually pretty good at getting at underlying problems (see: Bowling For Columbine actually being about violence in society rather than guns), but due to pretty much everything about Michael Moore The Filmmaker (his personal obnoxiousness, the beat-you-over-the-head message jokes, etc.), he ends up polarizing the populace, and the discussion isn't over the movie's message but Michael Moore's bad influence on the polity.

ringworm
06-26-2007, 10:46 AM
What a lot of people fail to remember, specifically about Farenheit 9/11, is that the movie was made solely because the actual media (and our own legislature) was not doing its job in questioning our motivations in the run up to the war.

Now, it turns out that a lot of Moore's facts were fudged and conclusions were tenuous at best, but at least he got this country talking about the issue. While the specifics may have been wrong, the idea was right, and its sad that it takes an admittedly propagandist documentary filmmaker to force this country to start questioning whether or not we should start a war.

thomp538
06-26-2007, 10:50 AM
Talking about an issue isn't necessarily a good thing when the facts become so muddled and obscured so as to make an intelligent discourse nearly impossible. Moore doesn't usually help in this regard.

ringworm
06-26-2007, 10:53 AM
I don't think I could disagree more. Talking about an issue is important especially when the facts are muddled. Even if the person muddling the facts is sparking the conversation. Stirring the public to discourse is never bad.

Excitemike
06-26-2007, 11:08 AM
I remember Farenheit 911 making some pretty outrageous assumptions, but what was 'fudged'? (not picking a fight, I just want to know how much salt I should bring)

Calorie Mate
06-26-2007, 11:18 AM
As opposed to Moore's other documentaries, I'm actually interested in this one, because I think it's a huge issue for everyone. Not to say his other stuff weren't touching on issues important to everyone else, but...I dunno, I think this issue is only going to be a bigger and bigger deal, so it's really important that we get people talking about it, even if we need Moore to do it.

Evil Dead Junkie
06-26-2007, 11:36 AM
It honestly isn't a partisan issue. Moore lets the democrats have it pretty hard.

There are just some moments where you watch and go, "Well that's just fucking common sense."

BEAT
06-26-2007, 12:41 PM
I remember Farenheit 911 making some pretty outrageous assumptions, but what was 'fudged'? (not picking a fight, I just want to know how much salt I should bring)

http://http://matzkecompany.com/images/salt.jpg
http://http://matzkecompany.com/images/salt.jpg
http://http://matzkecompany.com/images/salt.jpg

That oughta do it.

Excitemike
06-26-2007, 12:46 PM
(hotlinked salt is not allowed to be hotlinked)

nadia
06-26-2007, 12:51 PM
Now, it turns out that a lot of Moore's facts were fudged and conclusions were tenuous at best, but at least he got this country talking about the issue.

The problem is, I don't often see people sit down and say, "Regardless of how I feel about Moore, I think this is an important issue." His name immediately ignites a too-doo about him either being a burger-scarfing blob who makes up facts and hates America, or else he's Jesus come to Earth.

BEAT
06-26-2007, 01:41 PM
It is an important issue.

I'd just like to think we can find better incentives to talk about important issues than Moore.

ringworm
06-26-2007, 02:36 PM
The problem is, I don't often see people sit down and say, "Regardless of how I feel about Moore, I think this is an important issue." His name immediately ignites a too-doo about him either being a burger-scarfing blob who makes up facts and hates America, or else he's Jesus come to Earth.
I think that's true if you look only at the discussion directly around Moore, which usually turns out to be shallow at best. However, he tends to have a ripple effect, although sometimes that ripple is larger than others. I really think people tend to forget how completely unaware we were with what was going on in Iraq before Moore did Fahrenheit 9/11. While nobody really took of the task of discussion his film seriously, the media suddenly started asking actual questions of the Administration. His film Roger & Me had a similar effect.

He's a propagandist and his films are very often manipulative, but whether or not you like the movies he gets people talking, and we need to start talking about why the richest country on earth can't afford to take care of its citizens when countries that are significantly worse off can.

Also, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a whole lot of liberals who consider him to be a messiah. I think for the most part we all recognize him for what he is now.

It is an important issue.

I'd just like to think we can find better incentives to talk about important issues than Moore.

Yeah, you'd think so, wouldn't you? However, America is constantly lowering the bar on its ability to even talk about, let alone solve, complex issues.

In any case I really don't want to come off like I'm defending Moore too much, I have a lot of issues with him and his films, mostly echoed in this thread. I just think he serves an important purpose. He's a shot of adrenaline to in an increasingly somnambulist country. I don't even care if he's right or wrong anymore, just as long as we start realizing that there is a problem that requires a solution, and if he helps in any way to get that to happen, then kudos to him.

Maggie
06-26-2007, 03:37 PM
http://www.cybercandy.co.uk/acatalog/1445.jpg

Tee hee! Cuz, you know... Ah, nevermind.

Red Hedgehog
06-26-2007, 04:19 PM
My feelings on Moore are that I like what he tries to do, but not necessarily how he does it. I think, as he's become more well-known, he's also become more over-the-top and bombastic. I really liked Roger and Me and have progressively liked each of his films less and less. By the time he made Fahrenheit 9/11, it seemed he was aiming much more for entertainment (cheap jokes and big reveals) than instruction (such that the only thing that redeemed the movie for me was the part with the woman who had lost her son).

All that said, I'll be seeing Sicko in its opening weekend because its success and notoriety may get people talking about the country's healthcare system which would be great.

Or it could degenerate into talking about Michael Moore the person or the filmmaker or (even worse) the writer, which would suck.

Then Moore went on the Oscars and did his whole "shame shame" routine, to the extreme disgust of the audience.

Well, the television audience. The Hollywood liberal sterotype pretty much held up.

That actually makes me wonder how much of an effect Moore has with people. I mean, he came from a factory town and has a blue collar background and always tries to play to that audience, but I'm just not sure if it has ever been effective. I mean, saying Moore tipped an election in a direction he didn't intend is clearly giving him too much credit. I'd be curious if he ever really has had an effect on people's beliefs.

mr_bungle700
06-27-2007, 03:19 AM
Alright, so here's the deal with Sicko. It's emotionally manipulative and paints its arguments with an extremely broad brush (i.e. not mentioning any of the downsides of socialized health care), but it does a great job of really hammering home how seriously messed up the American medical system is. It aims to get people thinking about what's wrong with the system and makes a point of showing that this isn't how things have to be. I liked it. I'm not sure how other people are going to react to it, seeing as how it has some not nice things to say about politicians from both major parties, but if it at least gets them thinking about alternatives to the way things are now that would be nice.

Is this move going to change anyone's minds about Moore as a filmmaker or as a person? Probably not. I've never seen any other Moore film and I don't have any strong feelings about him one way or the other, but from what people say about him I think Sicko isn't really a whole lot different from the other stuff he's done. On the other hand, the issue of health care is probably a lot less divisive than, say, 9/11 conspiracy theories, so maybe this movie will spark some valuable discussion instead of just working people up into a blind rage. I certainly hope so.

Merus
06-27-2007, 08:31 AM
I've got to go back and read the Slashdot posts that admonished me for thinking universal healthcare was a pretty decent idea. I can never quite remember the logic, but I believe it has something to do with 'paying more taxes'.

Yes, that happens in my country as well. We pay $10 a month, and if we take out private health insurance we can claim that back. Clearly the wheels of industry are going to grind to a halt because people have to spend $10 of their McDonald's money on treating them when the McDonald's catches up with them.

Torgo
06-27-2007, 08:46 AM
Universal health care is a much less realistic idea when the country you live in is one of the world's most populous. And also a country that has enough of its taxed money going towards societal leeches.

I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying that its not so cut and dry as that. There are other domestic problems that need to be addressed before this one can be.

Makkara
06-27-2007, 09:33 AM
Universal health care is a much less realistic idea when the country you live in is one of the world's most populous. And also a country that has enough of its taxed money going towards societal leeches.

I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying that its not so cut and dry as that. There are other domestic problems that need to be addressed before this one can be.

USA is also the country with the highest GDP in the world, (and one of the highest per capita) so money certainly isn't the problem. You say there are other domestic problems that need to be addressed first, but what could be more important than health? Furthermore, why must this problem wait, just because there are others?

djSyndrome
06-27-2007, 09:57 AM
USA is also the country with the highest GDP in the world, (and one of the highest per capita) so money certainly isn't the problem. You say there are other domestic problems that need to be addressed first, but what could be more important than health? Furthermore, why must this problem wait, just because there are others?

Because Americans are Scared to Death of taxes. Even if you tell the average citizen here that they will pay less in taxes than they're paying for their managed care plan now, they'll still revolt at the thought of the government taking money out of their pockets. Then again, I wouldn't trust the American Government to manage any of my funds either - Social Security as we know it today is going to be gone in thirty years.

We could make a dent in health care costs now by simply reducing the number of times Americans need to obtain it. If people would simply stop smoking, quit eating McDonalds, and start walking instead of driving everywhere, there wouldn't be so much diabetes, and obesity and pulmonary disease running rampant. Hell, I stopped eating fast food and drinking soda cold turkey in April, and I've already lost fifteen pounds.

Torgo
06-27-2007, 10:10 AM
I personally was referring to people, both citizen and non-citizen, who leech off the goodwill and tax dollars of the rest of us without paying into any system themselves. We need to fix where those millions of tax dollars are going before we talk about health care.

Yeah, the social security thing too. Outdated system made for a shorter life expectancy and a smaller population.

djSyndrome
06-27-2007, 10:16 AM
Illegal immigrants shouldn't be allowed healthcare. Period. No, I don't care that it's unethical.

Makkara
06-27-2007, 10:17 AM
I personally was referring to people, both citizen and non-citizen, who leech off the goodwill and tax dollars of the rest of us without paying into any system themselves. We need to fix where those millions of tax dollars are going before we talk about health care.

Why?

In any case, that money is a pittance compared to the cost of the military-industrial complex. There's the leech you should be worried about.

Excitemike
06-27-2007, 10:53 AM
Illegal immigrants shouldn't be allowed healthcare. Period. No, I don't care that it's unethical.

Doctors have to take an oath to provide health care to anyone who needs it.

I really don't even know how to respond to this. Major frown lines, dj.

alexb
06-27-2007, 11:03 AM
Why?

In any case, that money is a pittance compared to the cost of the military-industrial complex. There's the leech you should be worried about.

Are you serious? With all the enemies we've made lately? But seriously, what we're dealing with in America are widely disparate levels of wealth and different systems of governance at the state level (not to mention all the hooks the medical and insurance industries have in our government), which makes it very, very hard to move in any direction other than the one we're currently moving in. The inertia is staggering.

Excitemike
06-27-2007, 11:05 AM
Are you serious? With all the enemies we've made lately?

Do you see the irony in that response?

Calorie Mate
06-27-2007, 11:05 AM
Illegal immigrants shouldn't be allowed healthcare. Period. No, I don't care that it's unethical.

Not if it's a government-provided healthcare system, no (because, obviously, if you're not paying taxes, why should you get coverage?). Paying for private healthcare out of pocket seems fine to me, though.

Anyway, I honestly wouldn't mind paying higher taxes if it provided great national healthcare...but sadly, I think national healthcare leads to increased wait times for doctors, and would lower the overall average quality of healthcare. Not to mention the same cost-cutting methods healthcare providers are criticized for would be equally present coming from our government. Trust me, the US Government loves to cut costs whenever possible.

alexb
06-27-2007, 11:09 AM
Do you see the irony in that response?

Yes, and it was intentional.

Excitemike
06-27-2007, 11:14 AM
Yes, and it was intentional.

Pardon my dense-ness. Would you accept a belated "I lol'd" as penance?

djSyndrome
06-27-2007, 11:21 AM
Not if it's a government-provided healthcare system, no (because, obviously, if you're not paying taxes, why should you get coverage?). Paying for private healthcare out of pocket seems fine to me, though.

Well, I was referring to subsidized healthcare. Which is really all that most illegal immigrants can afford - it would take two weeks at five bucks an hour just to afford a standard doctor's visit and a blood panel.

Red Hedgehog
06-27-2007, 11:58 AM
Because Americans are Scared to Death of taxes. Even if you tell the average citizen here that they will pay less in taxes than they're paying for their managed care plan now, they'll still revolt at the thought of the government taking money out of their pockets.

Maybe, though I've seen plenty of polls saying that a majority of people are willing to pay more in taxes if it means they will have decent health insurance. Americans are weird about taxes, but if they see that programs really do benefit them (social security) they will pay them.

Then again, I wouldn't trust the American Government to manage any of my funds either - Social Security as we know it today is going to be gone in thirty years.

While the US government certainly has made some mistakes in policies and programs, Social Security isn't a particularly good example. The most pessimistic estimates say that in about thirty years, Social Security will not be able to pay out benefits at the same rate they are paid out today (I believe the number is that it would have to go down to 80 or 85% of current rates). Certainly tweaks need to be made to ensure social security can stay at its current rates in the future, but it is not an imminent crisis nor does a substantial overhaul need to be made. So long as the economy remains decent, Social Security produces modest surpluses that can be used to keep it solvent for a long time.

Medicare is in more danger of becoming insolvent due to costs that are rapidly spiraling upwards, but the funny thing is that it is still more efficient than the average private health care plan in the US (and at least as efficient as the most efficient ones). So basically, the US has a decent model for socialized healthcare (medicare) that is facing the same cost increases that all other healthcare is. Obviously, something needs to be done about cost increases in healthcare, but those are not due to government inefficiency/incompetence.

nadia
06-27-2007, 01:17 PM
Universal health care is a much less realistic idea when the country you live in is one of the world's most populous. And also a country that has enough of its taxed money going towards societal leeches.

There are countries more populous than America that have made a success of universal health care to some degree. It doesn't necessarily mean America's hospitals have to be 100% Government funded like Canada's, but there's just no reason for people in a country as rich as the US to die of tuberculosis.

Torgo
06-27-2007, 01:35 PM
In any case, that money is a pittance compared to the cost of the military-industrial complex. There's the leech you should be worried about.
Hence why I said 'domestic issues' a few posts back. Military spending is a whole other discussion. That being said, I would rather see a tax dollar used to hunt down the nebulous terrorist boogieman then I would see it go to Joe Welfare and Jim Illegal so they can sit on their rear and not work. (This is of course keeping in mind that welfare systems do have their proper purpose and place).

Illegal immigrants shouldn't be allowed healthcare. Period. No, I don't care that it's unethical.
Yes. No, I don't care either. The tradeoff I would accept is, "Okay, we'll treat you, but we're sending you home afterward."

Red Hedgehog
06-27-2007, 06:18 PM
Hence why I said 'domestic issues' a few posts back. Military spending is a whole other discussion. That being said, I would rather see a tax dollar used to hunt down the nebulous terrorist boogieman then I would see it go to Joe Welfare and Jim Illegal so they can sit on their rear and not work. (This is of course keeping in mind that welfare systems do have their proper purpose and place).

While the "welfare queen" sterotype may have had some validity in the past, with the welfare "reforms" of the Clinton and Bush administrations, the only people for whom it is really easy to sit on their butts and not work now are farmers.

And I'm not not even sure what you mean by Jim Illegal. Is there some epidemic of illegal immigrants on welfare that I don't know about? I was pretty sure they couldn't get welfare because of their whole illegal status.

Torgo
06-27-2007, 06:24 PM
When I mention illegals I'm mainly referring to the aforementioned health care leeching. The money to pay for that care is coming from somewhere. Hospitals ain't doing that crap for free.

I have heard of illegals getting, or at least attempting to get, some sort of welfare compensation or equivalent, but everything I've heard is admittedly third hand and I can't confirm it. The bottom line is that I still pay for their health care because they aren't eligible for insurance programs. Because they're here illegally.

Red Hedgehog
06-27-2007, 06:28 PM
Anyway, I honestly wouldn't mind paying higher taxes if it provided great national healthcare...but sadly, I think national healthcare leads to increased wait times for doctors, and would lower the overall average quality of healthcare. Not to mention the same cost-cutting methods healthcare providers are criticized for would be equally present coming from our government. Trust me, the US Government loves to cut costs whenever possible.

One of the things (so far) that Moore has been criticized about in Sicko is that he portrays that Canadian system of socialized health care as a panacea. Canada's system certainly has issues with wait times for doctors and lack of doctor choice. I think those negatives are fair trade-offs so that everyone is covered. People can see a doctor at the first sign of illness, instead of waiting until it is most dire because of lack of money. People don't have to rely on the emergency room for treatment. People don't have to stress over paying high hospital bills if they get sick between jobs.

Plenty of countries have socialized medicine systems that work. I don't see why the US can't be one of them.

Red Hedgehog
06-27-2007, 06:42 PM
When I mention illegals I'm mainly referring to the aforementioned health care leeching. The money to pay for that care is coming from somewhere. Hospitals ain't doing that crap for free.

Fair enough. I can certainly understand that point on a philosphical basis. From an economic standpoint, though, the burden placed on the health system by illegal immigrants pales in comparison to that placed on it by the 45 million uninsured Americans.

nadia
06-27-2007, 07:20 PM
One of the things (so far) that Moore has been criticized about in Sicko is that he portrays that Canadian system of socialized health care as a panacea. Canada's system certainly has issues with wait times for doctors and lack of doctor choice.

I'm not sure who started the rumour about Canadians being unable to choose their own doctors, but it's a big pile of lol. I've switched doctors--specialists, no less--on a couple of occassions when one was being a dick.

No, the system isn't perfect by far (part of the reason I do have a choice is because I live in a city and doctors/hospitals are plentiful. Rural areas can be another story altogether), but the American system is no less messy. There are still enormous wait times in emergency rooms, for one thing. LBD and his relations have suffered wait times in NC far worse than any I've endured. His employer also screwed him out of health insurance by giving him 39 hours a week instead of the "full time" 40. Maybe this is a strong word for the occasion, but I think that's disgusting. It seems to happen a lot to my American acquaintences.

There's also the stereotype of Canadian hospitals being run-down Houses of Indifferent Squalour, yet the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is incredible. The staff is friendly, the playrooms are equipped with the latest toys and electronics, and there's a movie theatre with new releases (and bedridden children can have the movies fed into their rooms). Of course, none of it's going to cheer you up if your kid is dying of cancer. But it sure beats cockroaches running up the wall.

Across the street is Mount Sinai Hospital, another excellent facility. And some years ago I had two jaw-related surgeries done in a hospital outside the city that was more like a hotel. They even gave me a private room at no charge (health care covers wards, whereas employer insurance generally covers semi-private and private rooms).

Health care here isn't "free", at least not in Ontario. Depending on your income, you pay a yearly flat rate for it. You're not denied if you don't pay, however, and if you make under $20,000, you don't pay anything.

There can be a long wait to see a specialist ... but if your doctor thinks you're in trouble, you're generally bumped up ahead in the queue.

Either way, I know which system I prefer.

Merus
06-27-2007, 07:23 PM
One of the things (so far) that Moore has been criticized about in Sicko is that he portrays that Canadian system of socialized health care as a panacea.

Moore seems to do that a lot. It's amazing how close Canadia is to Detroit (and, incidentally, Flint, Michigan), so it's not really surprising that he sees the grass as being greener in Canadia. It's pretty much right over the fence.

It strikes me that universal healthcare that requires one to be paying taxes is not exactly universal. I believe the idea is that, merely by virtue of the fact that you are a US citizen, you would get subsidized healthcare. This would, by definition, exclude non-US citizens, and so illegal immigrants wouldn't be covered. Other than stopping illegal immigrants from going to hospitals in the first place (and there ain't no way to do that without stopping illegal immigrants at all), I doubt that illegal immigrants are going to be any more of a problem under a universal healthcare system.

Yes, there will probably be people who will abuse this system. This is why the healthcare is not free. The money that they would have leeched off the American people that would go to healthcare would take a more circuitous route, but it will still end up in the doctor's wallet.

I think national healthcare leads to increased wait times for doctors, and would lower the overall average quality of healthcare.

Because... people will suddenly start getting sicker more often? Or perhaps you suggest that people will go to the doctor more because it's cheaper, despite the fact that doctors and hospitals are terrible places to visit and you still have to wait an hour anyway because they get behind. (I'm really trying to work out what sort of person would go to the doctor when they don't need a checkup and there's nothing that the doctor would see as a problem. I mean, if you've got hypochondria the doctor would send you off to a shrink, right?) And there's all this government money flowing into the doctors' offices, which is going to inspire more doctors to attempt to get a piece of that action, in the way that government money does.

Anyway, the average quality of healthcare includes all those people who need it but don't get it. You throw in all those zeros, and the average goes down a bit.

Hey guys, we should totally argue about how Americans should use the metric system.

Red Hedgehog
06-27-2007, 08:19 PM
Either way, I know which system I prefer.

At a press conference after a screening at Cannes, two Canadian critics complained about how positive the Canadian health system was portrayed. Moore's response was to ask whether they would rather have their health system or the American one and they gave the same response you did.

Hey guys, we should totally argue about how Americans should use the metric system.

So yes. That's an embarrassment to my country almost as bad as our healthcare system, or our ill-conceived wars, or our erosion of liberties, or...

Merus
06-27-2007, 08:49 PM
So yes. That's an embarrassment to my country almost as bad as our healthcare system, or our ill-conceived wars, or our erosion of liberties, or...

I was more being sly about how easily discussions can go into 'what the US is doing wrong', 'right' being defined by what the rest of the world does. But yeah, actually there's a lot of parallels here: there's certainly some good reasons why America shouldn't do universal healthcare/swap over to metric (the best I've heard, and in fact the only one that isn't insane, is that 12 has 3 as a factor and that this is exceedingly handy for a measurement system) but a lot of really good reasons why they should.

(Someone tried to convince me that if America changed over to metric, people would have to start asking for .361kg of meat at the supermarket. For serious.

Besides, it's usually the least capable members of society that have the most problem with change, and it just so happens all the crackheads already deal in metric. Problem solved!)

nadia
06-27-2007, 08:52 PM
I was more being sly about how easily discussions can go into 'what the US is doing wrong', 'right' being defined by what the rest of the world does.

I'm usually not prone to taking one side in such discussions (see the "Censorship" topic that's breeding somewhere around here), but health care is an exception because the rest of the world is doing the right thing by offering their citizens some kind of Government-funded option. People can argue all they like about how far they want that option to go, but being able to talk about socialised medicine without fear and awe would be a good start for the average US citizen.

Mightyblue
06-27-2007, 09:00 PM
USA is also the country with the highest GDP in the world, (and one of the highest per capita) so money certainly isn't the problem. You say there are other domestic problems that need to be addressed first, but what could be more important than health? Furthermore, why must this problem wait, just because there are others?You do take into account things like cost of living and tax rates, right? Most states + the Feds take about 50% of the average American's income in taxes, unless they've got a godly accountant to help them out. America's cost of living is also one of the highest in the world, due to the fact we're a highly advanced and technology based society, and that doesn't come cheap. So sure, making 50~60k a year is pretty good considering 2/3 of the world's average yearly income, but when you pay out 25~30k of that in taxes, then have to spend at least 10k more for room/board (assuming around 600 a month for rent/mortgage [extremely cheap for most settled areas] and maybe 100 a week on food [this is extremely cheap, especially considering families]). That's not counting medical expenses, varying kinds of insurance, car payments, paying off loans/bills, gas, etc...

You do see how that disappears quickly, right? And that's an average income for a single person working in a city/suburban environment with a decent white collar job. Depressed/rural areas are going to have lower costs of living and lower average incomes.

So the whole "Americans are rich SOBs, and aren't willing to pay" bit is patently untrue. We pay out the ass already for a broken welfare and social security system. We need to fix that first and kill the gravy train before we boldly go into another fracas.

I'm sorry, but health insurance isn't something you're "guaranteed" just by virtue of breathing. If most of the people who have it, have to pay for it, then everyone else who's just trying to get freebies at my expense without my tacit approval should too. If you really want to help people, fund pro bono clinics and doctors not the rather insane medical insurance industry. You're still going to end up paying for it anyway when they raise their premiums to cover the rising costs of medical care because of fraudulent malpractice suits and not enough money flowing into the actual healthcare industry to adequately support hospitals and doctors.

Eddie
06-27-2007, 10:51 PM
I don't know if you checked Wikipedia, or wherever you get your information but you know, us Canadians pay quite a bit of those 'taxes,' just like you do. In fact, here are some stats for you (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Canada):

Country / Single, no kids / Married, 2 kids
Canada / 31.6% / 21.5%
United States / 29.1% / 11.9%

So don't complain about taxes; Canadians pay more on average, and health care is probably a decent chunk of that.

You can cry a river about the costs of X or the costs of Y, and try and explain that the problem is that there are too many people / too many abusers / not enough guns or whatever, but the bottom line is that health care is expensive, and more importantly, health care is not profitable.

If most of the people who have it, have to pay for it, then everyone else who's just trying to get freebies at my expense without my tacit approval should too.

And what's with this selfishness? Why is it such a HORRIBLE thing to help another human being all of a sudden? And don't give me that illegal immigrant crap; a small section of the population POSSIBLY (i.e. not a given) abusing the system cannot be held on equal groud next to the potential to save the lives of so many deserving people.

- Eddie

Disposable Ninja
06-27-2007, 11:18 PM
Illegal immigrants abusing social services isn't a possibility, Eddie. It's actually a flat-out non-issue. Taken from this article (http://www.cato-unbound.org/2006/08/20/douglas-s-massey/seeing-mexican-immigration-clearly/):

Mexican immigrants do not migrate to take advantage of U.S. social services. Their service usage rates are well below those of other immigrant groups and have fallen sharply since the mid-1990s. Undocumented migrants, in particular, are more likely to pay taxes than to use public services, and even those they do use—mainly education and medical care—are consumed at rates well below what one would expect given their socioeconomic characteristics.

Canada's system certainly has issues with wait times for doctors and lack of doctor choice.

That's most likely because most Canadian doctors move to the States because they can make more money off of our screwed-up health care system.

I remember Farenheit 911 making some pretty outrageous assumptions, but what was 'fudged'? (not picking a fight, I just want to know how much salt I should bring)

So, like... is anybody ever going to respond to this? I'd kind of like to know, too.

Mightyblue
06-27-2007, 11:21 PM
So don't complain about taxes; Canadians pay more on average, and health care is probably a decent chunk of that.

You can cry a river about the costs of X or the costs of Y, and try and explain that the problem is that there are too many people / too many abusers / not enough guns or whatever, but the bottom line is that health care is expensive, and more importantly, health care is not profitable.For one, I don't think I ever said that health care was profitable. Quite the opposite really with my comment about the health insurance industry and frivolous lawsuits and all that. You'll also notice I didn't say anything about people not having a right for medical treatment. You'll notice I said fund the clinics and doctors, not the insurance industry. I like people, and I like to help them, however...

This has less to do with me being selfish than me deciding where to put my charity money. It should be exactly that, charity money. I don't want my government deciding how to spend my money on some half baked pork project, which is where most of our money goes apparently. Last time I checked I still could choose who to help and why. I'd much rather pay the hospitals/clinics and doctors to do their job for the people who can't pay instead of paying the medical insurance people extra money they really don't need.

As for the taxes bit: My dad makes a bit more than what I listed, yet he still pays about forty to fifty percent of his paycheck in various taxes. I'm going to guess that your US figure is just for the Federal government and doesn't include State figures, which can vary quite widely. Minnesota, where I live, has some of the highest tax rates in the country, and people still complain that the government doesn't do enough to "pay for public services." That's irrespective of the fact that it shouldn't really be the government's job to ensure cheap health services.

ArugulaZ
06-27-2007, 11:32 PM
http://www.davekopel.com/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-Fahrenheit-911.htm

Does this help at all?

JR

alexb
06-28-2007, 12:04 AM
You're expecting me to take the word of Anne Coulter and Zell Miller, amongst others? What makes one crazy blowhard more trustworthy than another?

ArugulaZ
06-28-2007, 12:54 AM
Funny, I didn't notice either of them mentioned in the article.

JR

Torgo
06-28-2007, 06:13 AM
The banner at the top.

That's just an advert for a counter documentary, alex. The entire article below is written by Dave Kopel. It's a little disorganized, but he sources pretty much all of his assertions.

ringworm
06-28-2007, 09:11 AM
This has less to do with me being selfish than me deciding where to put my charity money. It should be exactly that, charity money. I don't want my government deciding how to spend my money on some half baked pork project, which is where most of our money goes apparently. Last time I checked I still could choose who to help and why. I'd much rather pay the hospitals/clinics and doctors to do their job for the people who can't pay instead of paying the medical insurance people extra money they really don't need.

As for the taxes bit: My dad makes a bit more than what I listed, yet he still pays about forty to fifty percent of his paycheck in various taxes. I'm going to guess that your US figure is just for the Federal government and doesn't include State figures, which can vary quite widely. Minnesota, where I live, has some of the highest tax rates in the country, and people still complain that the government doesn't do enough to "pay for public services." That's irrespective of the fact that it shouldn't really be the government's job to ensure cheap health services.

And this is essentially the fundamental idealogical difference between fiscal liberals and conservatives. My personal belief, and pardon me if I sound too "rainbows and hugs and butterflies", is that the single greatest faculty of humankind is its ability to work together. I truly believe that there is little humans cannot do if enough of them come together to solve a problem. I also believe that government has the potential to be the single greatest expression of that faculty. I believe that it is the government's job to care for the least of its citizens, in fact, I believe that even having a government is pointless unless you utilize it to this extent. I would rather everyone pay taxes and the government, through honest discourse and debate, decides where and to whom the money goes than some billionaire corporate mogul giving millions of dollars in taxes for some pet charity and thus avoiding his fair share of taxes. I believe in the idea of shared sacrifice and shared burdens, and I believe that a culture is only as good as the least of its citizens.

Unfortunately however, for all of these things to be a reality, the people, the average citizenry, have to start believing in government too. They have to start actually holding their elected officials accountable on what they do, not just on what they say. If your Senator slips in unnecessary pork into a bill, you need to not vote for him. The people of this country are just as responsible for the state of politics today as the politicians, if not more so.

In any case, I also live in Minnesota (heya), and while its not factually incorrect to say we pay some of the highest taxes in the country (I believe we usually sit somewhere between 10 and 15) that's something of a misleading statement since all states except the ones at the extremes (New York at the top and Alaska at the bottom) tend to be relatively close, seperated by usually only a couple of tenths of % points, on average. Even so, that's not really the issue with our state. The issue is not with how much money is being charged, but with how that money is being spent, which goes back to the whole "holding your representatives responsible for irresponsible spending" deal.

I would gladly spend 60% of my paycheck on taxes if it meant that I, and every other single citizen of the United States, would never, ever, ever have to think about how they would pay for it if they got sick. Although in reality it wouldn't cost that much. American as a country already spends more on health care than most other countries and get the least out of it. Its interesting to note that in my field (Software Engineering) a lot of jobs are going to India. One of them main reasons is that whenever a company of a certain size hires a worker in the US, the responsibility for providing health care is on them, making a US worker a lot more expensive.

You know what would be a start? If instead of funding health care carte blanche, the government simply funded check-up style visits. Regular physicals and such. One of the reasons the US pays so much in health care is because we never go to the doctor until its too late (because its too expensive for poor families to get check ups). Prevention is orders of magnitude cheaper than the alternative...

nadia
06-28-2007, 10:40 AM
And this is essentially the fundamental idealogical difference between fiscal liberals and conservatives. My personal belief, and pardon me if I sound too "rainbows and hugs and butterflies", is that the single greatest faculty of humankind is its ability to work together.

I'm going to join you in the hippie corner because I very much feel the same way. It's easy to say "Everyone needs to take care of themselves," but I know from previous experience it's also damn hard to get on your own two feet when society thinks you're worthless.

I firmly believe in personal responsibility, but let's face it, shit happens. When I had TB a few years ago, I got into a discussion about health care with an ultra-conservative American. Basically, my testing, treatment and even my nine month antibiotic regiment were all paid for. Opponent tried every angle to make it seem like catching TB was my fault and I had no right using taxpayer money to get better: "You smoke, right? Or your diet is bad?" No, it's a bacterial infection. Germs don't care who the hell you voted for.

The truth is, I rarely catch colds or minor infections, but once in a while I will get whalloped with something completely strange. Hell, when I was three, I had to be isolated for an unknown disease that eventually vanished of its own accord. It's good to know I didn't bankrupt my parents. They were poor enough.

There's definitely a divide here that will never meet in the middle, seeing as how the liberal and conservative mindsets are so different on the matter. Personally, I like the fact that a single mother in Canada doesn't have to panic if her kid catches bronchitis, and I will pay taxes for that security. At the same time, I can understand the mindset of, "I worked for this money, hence it is my money." It's not being selfish to be concerned about how your taxes are being spent. I can't speak for anyone else's point of view, just my own.

thomp538
06-28-2007, 10:44 AM
I believe in a helping hand, but I also believe that once you're up then its your responsibility to stay there.

alexb
06-28-2007, 10:54 AM
Healthcare really should be a birthright.

Calorie Mate
06-28-2007, 11:20 AM
Because... people will suddenly start getting sicker more often? Or perhaps you suggest that people will go to the doctor more because it's cheaper, despite the fact that doctors and hospitals are terrible places to visit and you still have to wait an hour anyway because they get behind. (I'm really trying to work out what sort of person would go to the doctor when they don't need a checkup and there's nothing that the doctor would see as a problem. I mean, if you've got hypochondria the doctor would send you off to a shrink, right?) And there's all this government money flowing into the doctors' offices, which is going to inspire more doctors to attempt to get a piece of that action, in the way that government money does.

I'm just sayin' what I've heard. I agree with your reasoning, but everything I've heard is contrary to this logic.

Red Hedgehog
06-29-2007, 02:05 PM
http://www.davekopel.com/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-Fahrenheit-911.htm

Does this help at all?

JR

I remember reading something similar and the only salient falsehoods I took away were

A) Moore disguised an op-ed to look like a news article (which is bad, but he was just using it as a random graphic and didn't actually discuss it).

B) Moore claimed a congressmen responsible for the Patriot Act did not have an 800 number. The congressmen did, in fact, have a toll-free 877 number.

After skimming the beginning, it has a good point about Moore's claim that "under any scenario" Gore would have won Florida, when only a statewide recount would have given him victory (and that wasn't the recount scenario that was before the courts).

There's no denying that Moore chooses cuts and excerpts to enforce his point of view and leave others out - he's a propagandist. It really depends on how how define a lie or deceit. Moore hires lawyers to vet his movies to ensure that, at least, he stays on the correct legal side of any claim he might make. (Which probably just serves to make him look like more of a douchebag.)

Red Hedgehog
07-04-2007, 01:39 AM
So I saw this film last weekend and I have to say it is possibly Moore's best work, though I still have a soft spot for Roger and Me. It is much more straight-laced and more of what you expect a documentary to be than either of his last films were. Mostly the film is about people's stories, both in the US and abroad. The only real gimmicky Michael Moore moment is when he rounds up 9/11 rescue workers who are having health problems not fully covered by their health insurance and tries to take them to Guantanamo Bay to get the same health treatment that Al Qaeda members are getting. That's a small part, and it really doesn't take away significantly from what is a good documentary (and leads into a great section in Cuba itself).

I knew how screwed up health care in the US and health care companies were before I saw this film, but this film totally put a face on the health care problem in this country and did a good job about it. And it gave four good examples (Canada, UK, France, and Cuba) of why people shouldn't be afraid of government-run health care. In fact, the interviews with officials in UK and France really served to show what the main inertia (besides health care industry lobbying) are in the US to doing this. The French comment that in America people fear the government while in France the government fears that people and the British comment (which served as an answer for why this is) about the reason people don't get as involved in politics here as being fear and oppression.

JohnB
07-04-2007, 03:58 AM
I agree with your first paragraph, Mr. Hedgehog, but I think the second paragraph reveals that you just fell for the hype machine that is Mr. Moore. I too enjoyed the first part of the movie, seeing actual folks given their raw deal by the insurance fascists. This review over at Reason explains it better than I could: http://www.reason.com/news/show/120998.html

I'm a physician myself (yeah, yeah, just graduated from med school, but it's July now and I have people who call me Doctor), and part of my residency training is going to be learning to navigate this damn system of moneymaking that the Insurance guys and Big Pharma have all but wrested from the docs and the hospitals. It IS a mess. Even after watching this movie, though, I still am libertarian enough to believe that the government stepping its massive footprint into ANYTHING is probably a worse scenario than what we already have.

Makkara
07-04-2007, 04:27 AM
Even after watching this movie, though, I still am libertarian enough to believe that the government stepping its massive footprint into ANYTHING is probably a worse scenario than what we already have.

The actual reality of that not being the case isn't enough to sway you, huh? Is there something about the American government in particular that I don't know about? Because universal governmentally funded health care seems to work pretty well in Europe, Canada and even Cuba.

mr_bungle700
07-04-2007, 05:08 AM
Moore's biggest folly in this film is that he completely glosses over any of the problems with government run health care and presents the systems in Britain, Canada, Cuba, and France as being entirely perfect when in fact they are not. But of course they're not perfect. Are we supposed to expect them to be? Insufficient funding and long waits for treatment seem to be the most common complaints from people who live in these countries, but I'm sure there are plenty of other issues as well. Though I do have to say my research has shown that the French do seem to have it pretty good. Their system (http://www.ambafrance-us.org/atoz/health.asp) is partly socialized and partly privatized and appears to be fairly effective.

Anyway, just because socialized medicine is not perfect that doesn't mean we should completely throw out the whole idea. I mean, what else are we going to do, stick with what we have now? No thanks. The clearest, strongest points that the film makes are that our system sucks (which is true) and that our way isn't the only way to do things (which is also true). Even if nobody else has put together a perfect health care system, at least they've tried things that we haven't. Shouldn't we at least consider looking at their systems and figuring out what works, what doesn't, and how we could improve upon them?

That's pretty much what I think Moore is trying to say. It's unfortunate that the way in which he chooses to say it will give his critics lots of fuel to attack his film and his arguments, because this is a discussion we need to be having in this country and I would rather it not get mucked up by people who just hate the way Moore approaches the subject.

As for the issue of letting our government control our health care... I dunno. I understand not trusting the government, but like Hedgehog said, we're in a sad state when we're afraid of our government and not the other way around. They should work for us, and they should do what we want them to. If we want them to instate universal health care so that we don't get completely screwed over by companies who would rather save money than save lives, then they should do that. I respect the "small government" model and I understand that lots of people don't want the government interfering with their lives, but honestly in this situation it's either them or huge corporations. If that's going to be the case then I'm going to choose the government, which I at least have some control over.

Makkara
07-04-2007, 05:42 AM
Moore's biggest folly in this film is that he completely glosses over any of the problems with government run health care and presents the systems in Britain, Canada, Cuba, and France as being entirely perfect when in fact they are not. But of course they're not perfect. Are we supposed to expect them to be? Insufficient funding and long waits for treatment seem to be the most common complaints from people who live in these countries, but I'm sure there are plenty of other issues as well.

Of course our system isn't perfect, but all the problems we have, you have too. But you guys have that extra hurdle to overcome: the HMO. They make money by not helping people, so of course they'll jump at any chance to weasel their way out of paying. They have people whose job it is to find excuses for denying your treatment, even at the cost of your life. That just isn't the case for us. If there's a treatment that can help you, you get it. No questions asked, no bureaucracy to fight.

mr_bungle700
07-04-2007, 06:14 AM
Yes, I would most certainly like to see the death of HMOs. I'm just not comfortable with peoples' lives being treated as financial losses for some big ass company. It's pretty disgusting.

Red Hedgehog
07-04-2007, 09:16 AM
I agree with your first paragraph, Mr. Hedgehog, but I think the second paragraph reveals that you just fell for the hype machine that is Mr. Moore. I too enjoyed the first part of the movie, seeing actual folks given their raw deal by the insurance fascists. This review over at Reason explains it better than I could: http://www.reason.com/news/show/120998.html

You know, I can definitely understand the crticism that Moore showed only the positive side of other state-run health care plans. The documentary certainly would have been stronger with some discussion of their shortcomings. But I think you misread me and indeed the point the film makes if you see them as being presented as a panacea. What the movie showed, in showing health care in other countries, is that despite the perceived evils of socialized medicine, these countries have better health care systems as measured by numbers that he brings up (lower infant mortality, less rates of cancer, etc.)

And I think the secondary points stands well, anecdotally supported by others in this thread, that Americans (everyday Americans, not just HMOs or big pharma) have an unreasonable fear of socialized medicine. That, despite it being used in every other western democracy and despite them having better measurable citizen health than the United States (for less spending), people here still are wary of it for either its real or imagined shortcomings.

Merus
07-04-2007, 06:40 PM
Americans (everyday Americans, not just HMOs or big pharma) have an unreasonable fear of socialized medicine.

America's relationship with its government is a source of endless fascination for me. They seem to think that the government meddling in its affairs is a bad thing, but when the government actually does it there's basically a shrug and prevarication as to how it's actually good for them. I would have expected Americans to take to the streets and start tearing government officials apart with their teeth or something. And they seem to be happy abdicating things that, in other countries, the government takes care of to private corporations, which are certainly more efficient but are far less interested in spending money.

America's government itself is also fascinating, in how much power is concentrated in the executive branch. No wonder the presidential race is such a circus.

mr_bungle700
07-04-2007, 08:45 PM
The American political system seems to be an entertaining spectator sport for the people who have the advantage of looking in from the outside. For those of us who have to deal with it from inside it's basically ARGH ARGH WHY WHY WHY most of the time. I think that to many Americans the system seems so messed up that trying to change it for the better would be impossible. I hate that attitude, but that's the way it is. So we get politicians buying votes and government officials working for themselves rather than the people and very freaking important decisions being put in the hands of corporations rather than elected officials or, you know, the public.

And meanwhile people just bend over and take it because even though the system is completely messed up it has to be the best one in the world because it's ours dammit and if you complain about it at all terrorists will blow up Texas and poison all the birds with nuclear communism or whatever.

But I'm not bitter! Not at all.

The real problem is that I love this country and I know that we could do better than this, but we don't. And because I expect more from all of us I get labeled as being "unpatriotic." Sigh.

valhalladeath
07-05-2007, 08:40 AM
I was going to comment in this thread, but am using some restraint. Nothing makes me angrier or rant harder than the current state of politics in the USA and I would probably offend. I shall abstain.