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Well, I just watched Sicko.  It was quite interesting.  The premise is that Michael Moore creates a documentary on healthcare in the United States, comparing it to other countries with socialized healthcare such as France, Great Britain, Canada, and even Cuba.  Conclusion: Michael Moore hates American healthcare.

I often don’t agree with the things Michael Moore has to say, but he still managed to get a few good points in.  The part where he was extolling the virtues of Hillary Rodham Clinton did make me barf a little, but that’s alright.  I believe the part when he described her as “sexy” was really the clincher there.  It’s hard to take the rest of the movie seriously after that.

But seriously, he does inadvertently strike on a few good ideas.  It’s too bad he only does research for one side of the issue and either completely neglects or glosses over things that don’t fit with his agenda.

For example, he spends a great deal of time comparing healthcare in the U.S. with other countries like France.  Healthcare in France is free, you get long paid vacations, you can get a government nanny to your house for free to help take care of your baby, etc.  And he does point out that taxes must be very high to be able to pay for all this.

Then he finds a family with a nice flat and asks them how much they earn.  About a thousand dollars a month, is the reply.  They have a quite a nice apartment; it’s standard middle class.  The happy couple talk about the vacations they go on–and not once do they mention what kind of taxes they pay.  Avoiding the question, Mr. Moore.

This pattern was repeated several times in the course of the documentary, which rather bothered me.  If I’m going to watch something like this, I would like an unbiased report, or at least one who explores fully both sides of the issue.  He can have an opinion, but give the rest of us the chance to form our own.

It is very true that healthcare in many other countries is paid for through your taxes and not at the time of your visit.  I was rather struck by the Canadian golfer’s explanation that everyone needs to help others, that he willingly pays his taxes which go toward other people because they would do the same for him.

Now, I don’t know how prevalent this feeling is, but it is a nice one to have.  It almost made me want to pack up my bags and head across the border…

But here’s the other issue with this documentary.  These “case studies” of people in the U.S. who haven’t received healthcare or who have been denied by their insurance companies–these American healthcare horror stories–how prevalent is this overall?  I know for one that my insurance company paid for everything after I got on my car accident and had fractured ribs.  My grandfather’s insurance covered everything relating to his heart attack and associated medical problems.  Now why, Mr. Moore, didn’t I see even one story of a person whose healthcare request was approved?  Because Michael Moore didn’t want me to.

And what about these happy people in France, Great Britain, Cuba, and Canada?  I’m sure there are stories of people who ended up paying for healthcare.  I’m not entirely sure, and I certainly didn’t find out from Sicko, but I can make that assumption.  One lady said, at a restaurant in France when asked what they paid for their healthcare, “We get reimbursed.”  Now, the documentary made it sound as though they never paid a cent.  

And in an interview, a man (I don’t remember if he was from Canada or Great Britain) said that things were covered–with some exceptions.  Unfortunately, I never got to find out what those exceptions were.

So, overall, this documentary was food for thought, but it brought up more questions than it answered and left huge, gaping, bleeding holes in the logic and research in some areas.

Watch it, but watch it skeptically.  And skip through the part where he extolls Hillary Clinton’s numerous virtues.  They will make you violently ill.  I wonder how much he was paid to say those things…

Now, my duckies, don’t think I looooove the American healthcare system.  I don’t.  It has major, major issues.  However, I’m just trying to point out the flaws that I noticed in Moore’s logic.  There are probably flaws in my logic too, inadvertently.  

Final conclusion: don’t let yourself get brainwashed!  Think for yourself and research both sides of an issue.  Remember that everyone has an agenda.  

And that, I think, is a good thing to remember in this tumultuous election time.

I’m leaving it. 

I decided that a couple of years ago.

I haven’t changed my mind. 

What happened to the Constitution?  Aren’t we supposed to represent everything good and noble in this world?  I think poor George Washington would be figuratively turning over in his grave right now.  After the immense amount of effort our founding fathers put into this country, it’s already falling apart after only 200 years. 

Historians always compare us to the Roman Empire.

Well, there is one major difference here.

They lasted for over a thousand years. 

We’re dying after only two hundred.

Don’t get me wrong.  We’ll last a lot longer, gas prices notwithstanding.  They just went up last week in my area to an average of $3.35 a gallon, btw.  It’s just that everything we stand for— freedom, equality, justice for all, the right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines–you know, the things we take for granted–are being twisted and corrupted and killed by our lovely “representatives” in Washington D.C.  They say we have freedom of speech, but why do we keep hearing stories of people being arrested–like the story of the schoolteacher being arrested for wearing a Kerry pin? 

Equality?  Don’t even go there.  How many people can you actually name that went from rags-to-riches?  Bill Gates doesn’t count.  His family was already rich.  He dropped out of school because he had something better going on, not because he was a slacker. 

Enough of my ranting.  The point is, I can’t live in this country with a clear conscience while our President vetoes a ban on waterboarding, takes money away from schools to give it to the “War on Terrorism,” and sinks this country further and further into debt and the big “R” word–recession.  It’s going to happen, people.  Home foreclosures?   Interest rates?  Gas prices?  Plummeting stock market?  National debt? Corrupt government officials?

And look at who wants to play the President game for the next four-eight years.  They’re all the same.  It doesn’t matter who you vote for.  One might be more annoying to listen to than another.  Maybe we should vote on how nice their voices are; after all, we have to listen to it for the next four years.  We might as well make things a little easier on ourselves. 

So don’t vote for Hilary.  She’s got the most annoying voice I’ve ever heard.  On the other hand, we could get makeup advice from her during the State of the Union address.  “State of the Union Address 2009: How to Apply Mascara.”

Huh.  Sorry if I’ve offended anyone.  Just had to get my point out there.  Everyone should be entitled to their opinion, no matter how stupid it is.  So thanks for listening.  Tell me what you think.  Are we turning corrupt?  Are we undermining the Constitution?  I’m not talking about just George Bush, but the entire government, the entire nation.  What is happening to us?


Apparently just because he only has a few months left in office, our very own President Bush has decided that he can do whatever the hell he wants.  Not that anything has ever really slowed him down, but this in particular pisses me off.

He has openly declared, by vetoing this bill, that he condones torture.  this is America!  Aren’t we supposed to stand against that kind of thing?  What kind of image is he projecting to the world by doing this?  It’s been on the news all day.

My father and I got into a bit of a tiff earlier about this, in fact.  He said, “Good.  At least they’re doing something.  If they get information from those people it’s worth it.”
I was a little upset.  First, torture doesn’t mean that the people that they’re interrogating are telling the truth.  Think about it.  If you’re under torture, are you going to tell the truth, or are you going to tell your torturers what they want to hear?

Secondly, a lot of people that they interrogate don’t have anything to do with terrorist activities.  They can just pick someone up out of the countryside in Iraq and label hi ma terrorist if they so feel like it.  Not that that is particularly happening, although I’m sure it has, but it’s possible.

Third, torture is just wrong.  How can you do something like that to another living being?  No matter what someone’s done, they shouldn’t be tortured.  Other human beings don’t have any kind of a right to do that to anyone.  Who’s judgement call is it?  On who’s shoulders does the blame lie?

If you think waterboarding isn’t torture, think again.  Go look it up online.  Heck, go try it if you’re so sure that it isn’t torture.  Maybe you’ll change your opinion .

Well, there are my thoughts on the matter.  This was a despicable action on Bush’s part, and although over these eight years I’ve done my best to be fair-minded and give him a fighting chance, this is the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.  It’s a bad political move, a bad move for the morale of our country, and a bad personal move.  He couldn’t have made a worse decision if he’d tried.


August 2020


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