The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Michael Moore, "Sicko" and the Right Wing Attack Machine


On Wednesday, MSNBC talking-head (and man, what a big head it is) Joe Scarborough was discussing Michael Moore’s new documentary “Sicko” on his morning program. After viewing the film, Scarborough’s only socially-redeeming take-away was that Moore is fat, and as a fat person he therefore should not have the right to call attention to the glaring inefficiencies, amoral behavior and illegal activity of the health care industry. And why, according to Scarborough? Because obesity is rampant in the U.S. and it’s a drain on the system. If Moore cares so much about the health care industry, Scarborough ignorantly railed, then he should lose weight. Am I missing something here? Is this the best the right-wing has to offer as it desperately attempts to defend itself against the shameful cronyism that’s made its pals in the hospital, insurance and pharmaceutical industries disgustingly filthy rich?

But wait, that same day CNN health correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta split hairs with Moore on the Larry King show over their differing claims of how much Cuba spends for health care on each of its citizens. The difference, according to the good Republican doctor, was a whopping $20, the fact of which now proves, of course, that everything in “Sicko” according to the truth-averse right wing, is false. So much so that Gupta had dedicated an entire CNN segment this week to fact-checking the documentary’s overall claims. I guess he felt investigating the health care industry itself was not worth his time.

The reality is, “Sicko” was not presented in any partisan manner. It is unbiased and objective in its indictment of Congress—including both Republicans and Democrats (Hillary Clinton is #2 on the list of Senate recipients of health care industry payoffs)—over its inability to provide universal health coverage and a socialized medicine program like those that exist in every other Western nation. The state of health care in this country is a huge embarrassment, and Moore’s film shines a spotlight on the problem.

As Moore told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer this week, history has proven that he was right about the claims he made in his previous film, “Fahrenheit 911,” which was a scathing expose of the Bushevik lies, deception and corruption. And he says he’s right about those made in “Sicko” as well. We should all believe him.

Moore is a true American hero. A modern-day Tom Paine. Our country needs independent watchdogs like him, especially when our elected leaders have shamefully neglected to carry out their responsibilities to protect and provide for our citizens. Of course ring-wingers hate Moore and his new film. They know he’s right about how they’ve allowed their insurance and pharmaceutical cronies to screw Americans out of their health coverage. They know they are guilty of putting the terrorism-fear-of-God into our citizens to keep them down and controlled. They know they are guilty of diverting their attention away with non-issue distractions such as gay-marriage. And they know Americans are much smarter today, and angrier with Washington, than ever before…and that scares the bejesus out of them as the ’08 election rapidly approaches.

Hopefully, “Sicko” will do for health care what “Fahrenheit-911” did to expose the Bush crimes and start the GOP house of cards falling. I suspect 3-4 years from now we’ll look back on “Sicko” and credit it, at least in part, with finally forcing politicians to improve our nation’s ailing health care system.


On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, the Independent Feature Project, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to incredible rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and more. Since then, it's been playing to packed audiences across America. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/waitress/trailer/

37 Comments:

  • At 7:26 PM, Blogger VJ said…

    It was a good movie.

    I don't quite recall leaving FRIDAY THE 13TH with such a chill going down my spine.

    The movie may not have been partisan, but it really was tilted in one direction. Not that I blame Mike. It's about time the Left went forward no-holds-barred style.

    You know, Andy... If you're reading this... You should make it a point to meet up with him. He's a NYC local. And, incidentally, he's supposedly an avid AIM user.

    Oh, and since you're a blog-writer...

    =)

    I think you're going to LOOOVE how Mike was able to make the webmaster of WWWdotMOOREWATCHdotCOM eat crow to the tune of $11,000.

    --VJ Jetley

     
  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger BALLS AND MY WORD™ said…

    Joe will never come close to Michael Moore destroying Wolf (Real name ?) Blitzer.
    Way to go Michael.
    Fuck these right wing douchebags/traitors.
    It will be interesting to see what the average American does when the next 9-11 happens. Will they blindly wave their flags again and want to nuke the boogeyman or will they root out the real menace destroying their country from within.
    either way a shitsandwich is about to get force fed to all of us
    Fuck these cunts.
    Good job andy love the blog

     
  • At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Andy, your articles are great and I agree with most of them, but one problem with people like you, Bill Maher and Michael Moore is, you run the race 90% of the way, but dont finish it, or strive to. You said people should expose these bastards and America should know the truth-----just as long as we dont say 9-11 was an inside job huh? If we say that, we are nutjobs right?

     
  • At 1:20 AM, Blogger Colin said…

    Have you seen Malcolm Gladwell’s criticism of “Sicko”? A description is on my “Arts of Innovation” blog (artsofinnovation.wordpress.com) Also there: my critique of Gladwell’s flawed argument.
    -- Colin Stewart

     
  • At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    47 million in the US without basic health care. Immoral. There by the grace of God, go I.

    Please google "1934 Inherent Contempt". It is a tool that the Dems can use to bypass the DOJ and hold those refusing to appear before congress per subpoena accountable. Write your senators and congress person today. They need to know that all is not lost.

     
  • At 8:53 AM, Anonymous chuck stout said…

    Another great posting, Andy! An intellectually shabby argument is the ad hominem argument, where one attacks the man instead of the points he makes. Mr. Scarborough should be ashamed of using these cheap, intellectually bankupt tactics instead of addressing the points Mr. Moore makes in "Sicko."

    I agree with you that this is most definitely a non-partisan issue, and that Mr. Moore was evenhanded in his condemnation of both Republicans and Democrats in their acceptance of drug companies' money and their desire to do the companies' bidding. The saddest scenes I found in the movie were those of the Congress, congratulating themselves after passing the mediocre, poorly-conceived, and even more poorly-executed Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, an execrable piece of legislation if ever one existed.

     
  • At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here is a tool open to the Dems as discussed on progressive talk radio. I have written both my senators and rep on this issue.

    "A few astute commenters observed that Congress has another weapon in its arsenal for backing up the subpoena power: the long-dormant "inherent contempt" process, described below in the Congressional Research Service's "Congressional Oversight Manual" (PDF):
    Under the inherent contempt power, the individual is brought before the House or Senate by the Sergeant-at-Arms, tried at the bar of the body, and can be imprisoned. The purpose of the imprisonment or other sanction may be either punitive or coercive. Thus, the witness can be imprisoned for a specified period of time as punishment, or for an indefinite period (but not, at least in the case of the House, beyond the adjournment of a session of the Congress) until he agrees to comply. The inherent contempt power has been recognized by the Supreme Court as inextricably related to Congress’s constitutionally-based power to investigate.
    The most obvious benefit of inherent contempt is that it's conducted entirely "in-house," that is, entirely on the authority of the legislative branch. The most obvious drawback? Spending time on a trial. Well, that and the scene of having the Sergeant at Arms and the Capitol Police physically barred from entering the White House to arrest those who've defied subpoenas.
    But is there another choice? What other power, besides impeachment, does the Congress have in its arsenal to enforce the "subpoena power" we were all told this election was about? There are no other direct options, only oblique approaches to using indirect leverage.
    The next question, then, is whether or not anybody in Congress has bothered to think things through to this point, and begin preparing for this possibility".

     
  • At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Go Andy! Someone should pay for my healthcare. I'm 100 lbs overweight because I don't exercise. I never eat good food. I smoke a pack of Marlboro a day, and I drink like a fish.

    It's a crime I have to pay for my health care, when some evil rich bastard could be paying for my health.

     
  • At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    9:35 God bless you, I know you won't understand this. But, yes, you who are retarded would be given the same right to live as anyone else in this country and what is now getting to be true for all in the civilized world.

     
  • At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    10:34 AM,
    Right on! We need to take all the profit out of medical science and practices.

    Doctors should study hard, then work at sub-prime rates. They are bastards for expecting money for working 80 hour weeks.

    Companies should invest in medical research for good will, not for money!

    People who eat right, exercise, and make wise business decisions should pay for all the slackers who are victims of the successful people in this country.

     
  • At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The wonders of universal health care

    In March 2006, Mary Lou Frye had a seizure and drove off the Fraser Highway into a ditch.

    A CAT scan revealed a golf ball-sized tumour behind her left eye. She had surgery in May 2006, but bleeding cut the operation short, leaving part of the tumour.

    She now has two tumours in her brain, but since January Frye has had her surgery postponed six times, the latest last Friday when four other neurosurgery cases were also postponed.

    The previous day, four neurosurgery cases were postponed due to a lack of beds.

    Meanwhile, Frye, 64, who raised three kids as a single mom, is failing. Doctors have declared her urgent because of headaches, loss of balance and walking difficulty. She's slated for surgery this Friday.

    She must stop her medication a week in advance each time surgery is set, which means pain and discomfort. Then comes fear and a major mental letdown after another postponement.

    "We've talked to hospital administrators, but it [being passed from one official to another] just gets ridiculous," said son Joe Frye.

    Health Minister George Abbott said he regrets elective-surgery postponements, but said there are more urgent cases.

    "There are periodically occasions when there will be a rash of serious injuries or illnesses that have to be given precedence within the surgical slate," he said.

    But Frye, noting the power that Abbott and health bureaucrats wield, said: "Should I be able to sit behind a desk and decide who lives or dies?"

    Last week, the chief of surgery at Royal Columbian said he had cancelled more than 70 elective surgeries this month.

    A capacity crisis was predicted in 2004 by such diverse groups as health unions, the New West Chamber of Commerce and the St. Peter's Catholic Women's League after the Liberals closed nearby St. Mary's Hospital.

    Dr. Irwin Stewart, the former chief of surgical staff at St. Mary's and a recipient of the Order of Canada, said the hospital had "the most efficient operating theatre in B.C. We should be cloning it, not shutting it down."

    Colin Hansen, who was health minister at the time, said the decision to kill St. Mary's, with its 200-acute-bed capacity and emergency ward, was to "protect patients' interests."

    donharrison@png.canwest.com

    source
    Don Harrison, with a file from John Bermingham, The Province
    Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2007
    © The Vancouver Province 2007

     
  • At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The doctor in London who was interviewed by Michael Morre proved that doctors there are not at a financial disadvantage because of the universal healthcare program. In fact, the doctor here in my small town has nowhere near the 500,000 dollar house the London doctor has nor a car so grand.

    However, the doctors in American do have an advantage unknown to doctors in countries with univerasl healthcare. The doctors here each receive at least 30,000 dollars a year in payment by drug companies for prescribing their drugs.

     
  • At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi everyone. In the interest of full disclosure, I'd like to state that I am not rich, pay a lot of taxes, and am against universal healthcare because I believe it gives people with make a habit of poor decision making access to more of my money when taxes go up due to universal healthcare. I'd like to have an open discussion without getting called names, if that is possible.

    Should a person who does not pay taxes, but receives universal healthcare have the ability to purchase cigarettes?

    The purchase of cigarettes by this person in this situation is going to cost an innocent tax payer more money due to increased health problems that are directly related to cigarette smoking.

    Do proponents of universal healthcare consider this or even have an opinion on this ?

     
  • At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "...because I believe it gives people with make a habit of poor decision making access to more of my money..."

    should read

    "...because I believe it gives people with a history of poor decision making abilities access to more of my money..."

    sorry! :-)

     
  • At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    4:20 is right. He should not have to pay for the consequences of cigarettes. All tobacco companies should be shut down and also any other industries that harm the health of Americans who so harmed, would then use the money 4:20 pays in his taxes for universal healthcare. That would of course include alcohol, fast food companies (thank God Bloomberg has banned transfats), companies which pollute the air through their manufacturing procedures as well as the toxic products some produce like insect sprays. It would also be wise if children and adults weren't allowed to indulge in dangerous sports that often require bones to be reset and the like. And just to cover those who do not make poor decisions but get sick anyway, we should protect 4:20's money by not alloiwng people with genes that carry diseases to reproduce.

     
  • At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To Anon @2:13. There is nothing inherent in Universal Health Care that causes these problems.

    Waiting time stories from Canada, or anywhere else that spends 1/2 of what we do, are just an irrelevant distraction. As are horror stories about Castro, Chavez, etc. UHC does not make you jail dissedents.

    We have a vastly larger medical infrastructure than either Canada or the U.K. We also spend almost twice as much per person as Canada. We have far more resources to put towards this problem than any other country. And we can spend more than they do, while still spending less than we do now under our parasite infested system.

    Most of the problems with Canada's system (and BTW, our own VA), is due to the active efforts to sabotage it by underfunding.

    Canada and the U.K. are under assault by the conservative technique to restore feudalism to the world. It works like this:

    1- Elect cons that hate govt. for anything but waging wars.
    2- Staff gov.t departments with former corporate lobbyists and other cronies and incompetents in order to destroy these gov't. agencies from the inside by making them ineffective, expensive, intrusive, corrupt and politicized. The public will notice this and attribute it to "government can't do anything right".
    3-Crank up the right wing think tanks and noise machine and bitch about all these inefficiencies and underperformance until privatization starts looking like a viable solution.
    4-Lobby for legislation to underfund, shrink and then outsource said gov't. function.
    5-Get big contract.
    6-Now, you can provide crappy service too, but charge more for it. Then, when people forget what competency looks like, you can lobby to increase the size of your contract, eliminate oversight and regulation, lower the level of service, or anything else it takes to achieve increasing corporate share prices; which, after all, are your first priority by law.

    This will work because there will be no one left in gov't. with the experience and competency to regulate or otherwise make sure that the corporations contracted to provide said public services are not robbing us blind.

    And the sweet part is; the public has no say so about any of it. The public cannot vote the CEO out of office. Up to a point, the worse job the corp. does, the more money it makes, which again is it's legally binding first obligation.

    This is the fate that conservatives have in mind for everything from FEMA to the schools system, to the highway system, to NASA, to NOAA, to the Parks System, libraries, police, fire depts., infrastructure security. Right down to the military.

    Welcome to US, Inc.

     
  • At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    4:20

    You probably are a kid who is covered under daddy's ins. policy.

    Or maybe you are a 20 something who never knew anyone destroyed by MS or cancer, through no fault of their own, when they were no more than your age. Maybe you don't know anyone who lost their home and their kid's college fund and went bankrupt due to medical costs.

    I can't imagine you are someone who has any real life experience yet. You can parrot rightwing bloviators pretty good though.

    You probably think you are some kind of self-reliant individualist, or a responsible paragon of virtue and moderation.

    But in fact, your post is a perfect textbook example of the thought processes of a sociopath.

    Please ask you daddy if his insurance covers mental health treatment for this problem.

     
  • At 7:44 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Hey 4:20. If you don't want to be called names don't post stupid things.
    How do you like the history of bad decision making of GW Bush? How much money has his bad decisions cost us?
    Whether you know it or not, that's the nature of insurance regardless of whether it's private or socialized. Everyone pays a little bit toward the expenses caused by each others "bad habits". In the grand scheme of things, the extra costs are usually negligible.

    If you want to see bad habits that cost us a lot money for medical care, try looking at the habits of health care CEO's. Habits like driving exotic cars, yachting, flying personal jets, collecting mansions, etc.

    These are the habits that REALLY cost us our healthcare dollars.

     
  • At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    7:21 I think your clear presentation of the the six-point technique being used by the conservatives to restore feudalism should be required reading for every American in this country.

    Would you consider running for president?

     
  • At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are many words that can be used to describe Michael Moore. Those who seek to ve viewed as credible commentators will NEVER use the words "fair and unbiased".

    Moore is a polemic. His movies are propaganda in the service of his extreme left wing liberal views.

    What's interesting in his films are what he leaves out. For example, no mention is made of the extreme rationing of health care in many European and the Canadian government run systems. That much of the border state medical systems have a heavy burden of Canadians denied timely care under their national system.

    Nor does he spend much if any time on why health care is so expensive in this system - the high costs added due to the cost of litigation against doctors and drug companies by the trial attorneys that are amongs the most loyal contributors to candidates in his liberal base. Just look at the silly channeling that Edwards did of dead babies in law suits later shown to be won based upon junk science.

    Or the high cost of medical care arising from the waste that comes when Americans spend "other people's money" whether it be the traditional insurance coverage or Medicare/caid. When you spend other people's money, the patient is not as concerned about cost and the provider is not as careful about billing.

    None of these crucial contributors are included in Moore's screed.

    And those who consider themselves smart bloggers with above average intelligence who defend Moore's work as honest, fair and balanced need to do an integrity check.

    The end doesn't always justify the means.

     
  • At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    MM is under no obligation to be "fair and balanced". He is not a journalist and doesn't pretend to be one.

    Again, rationing in Europe or Canada is an irrelevant red herring. We also ration, but not for medical reasons.

    The U.S. has plenty of resources to avoid things like long wait times and "rationing". We have more hospitals and doctors than anyone. And if we could stop the AMA from imposing limits on the number of docs, we'd have even more of them. Same goes for hospitals and clinics.

    Any National health plan will require cost containment measures and policies regarding provider compensation. What's so daunting about that? Now, the HMO's are doing exactly that.

    Re. lawsuits. Many lawsuits involve denial of care by ins. companies. A NHP will eliminate that problem. And the rise in malpractice premiums is due more to bad investment and predatory pricing policies by the ins. companies than it is to "frivolous lawsuits". And most frivolous lawsuits can be avoided by proper pre-trial screening and other administrative measures.

    None of the problems the free-market fundamentalists continually bring up with National health care are worse than what we have now, and none of them are insurmountable.

    We spend more money than anywhere else and we have hundreds of cumulative years of their experiences to draw on.

    Are you afraid we are not smart enough to design the best NHP in the world? You must be anti-American!! :-)

    And it's funny that in all these horror stories about nationalized health care, you always hear about Canada and the U.K. Let's hear about the German, Italian, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Swiss, etc.

    No one say's this will be cheap. But we cannot allow people to go uninsured until they have an emergency and are forced onto the public dole.

    Add up the amounts of co-pays, premiums, deductibles, public financed emergency care, lost industry, lost productivity, bankruptcies, job paralysis, etc., etc. that are an unavoidable side effect of our present system.

    Compare that amount to the potential tax bite a decent NHP would take. I predict a NHP would, in effect, be cheaper for everyone except those that choose to go uninsured. And like I said, you have no more right to "choose" to go without health ins. as you do to "choose" to drive without auto ins.

     
  • At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    9:59 The blogger 11:01 said it all. However to the point you make about "other people's money", when you drive on a highway do you believe that your taxes alone built it? And of course there is truly nothing you benefit from that you paid for without the money from "others." All the benefits you have in this country were povided by taxes paid by "other people's money" since you could not possible afford it with your tax payments alone. You are so dependent on "other people's money" for your very life, as are we all.

     
  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger mgreatscott said…

    Gupta wrongfully asserted many times that he was quoting the BBC on those statistics.

    No journalist worth his salt would quote another journalist organization. It's simply not done. Plus, the numbers he had were wrong. All economists cite the Michael Moore figure.

     
  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Gupta got the statistics wrong; his guest was a representative of the pharmaceutical companies; and Gupta openly declared on Larry King that he was against universal healthcare. Not only that, Gupta's hour long "documentary" on food safety and the e-coli deaths did not mention at all the contamination from China and other countries; the failure of the FDA and the disastrous results for us and our pets our trade arrangements have caused. Is he another paid source of propaganda a la Armstrong Williams?
    And where does CNN's point of view fit in in all of this? Is a Murdock mole on the board of CNN?

     
  • At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    \O/

    KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY

    The big, fat, bloated, imperial federal government will have total control of YOU once they obtain control of your health.

    SAY NO TO UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

     
  • At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    11:16 I'm sure all would be happy not to touch your body.

    However, it's not the government that is at fault, as Michael Moore pointed out on "Larry King,' It is the "would be king" and his knaves running this government that have made it so ineffective . But even so, the government does well enough that even they have not been able to totally disrupt the well-run Medicare program. Our government did gloriously well under some of our good Presidents and Legislatures and Supreme Court members. Or are you a mole here in our country to undermine our magnificent history?

     
  • At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    3:15 pm,
    Are you delirious enough to actually believe that the government under Bill Clinton would have efficiently run Universal Healthcare ? I guess you don't remember the Hillary Care proposal.

    The overstretching imperial federal government will destroy America even more than it currently is once they have control of your healthcare.

    KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY, SAY "NO" TO UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

     
  • At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Universal Healthcare is a scam to take control from the people and to give it to the most corrupt political parties to ever run America - the Democrats and Republicans.

    Once you give politicians control over your health plan, you have given them decision making abilities about your lifestyle.

    Politicians will decide if your health issues are urgent, required, electable, or optional.

    Politicans will decide which doctor you will have access to, and which doctors you cannot go to.

    Politicians will make it illegal to use your own money to go to a doctor of your choice, even if you defer coverage.

    Politicians will manager your health and tell you what foods you can have access to, and which foods you cannot have.

    Politicians will make new legislation to prevent you from doing activities that may risk unnecessary doctor visits.

    SAY NO TO UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

     
  • At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Now the Repubican "man on the street" is using the same "scare 'em and defeat 'em" tactics that his King George and his Court used to scare us into invading Iraq and are now using it to keep us there. None of the horrible things 4:37 lists happens in the civilized countires in the world that have universal healthcare. It doesn't happen under the Medicare program either. And as for regulating food -- the Republican Bloomberg has already stopped trans fats from being served and stopped smoking in buildings. Republicans don't need the excuse of universal healthcare to
    suppress us.

    And Hillary's plan was fair, pragmatic and affordable. The Repubicans killed the plan then as they're trying to do now.

     
  • At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    10:48 PM,
    If the government controls your health care, and politicians make up the government, how can you deduce that politicians will not manager your health and thus your lifestyle ?

    The government uses taxpayer money for everything it does. If taxpayers must pay more because some people eat too many fried foods, and others drink too much alcohol, and others smoke or do not exercise; how can you claim that politicians won't want to change your lifestyle for the benefit of taxpayers and the Healthcare system?

    It does not matter if Republicans banning trans fats in New York or if Democrats are banning candy machines in San Francisco. They are both encroaching on the individual.

    KEEP YOUR BIG, FAT, BLOATED, IMPERIAL, INEFFICIENT, BUREAUCRATIC GOVERNMENT OFF MY BODY!!

    SAY NO TO UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

     
  • At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here's a peak into the future of where Democrats want to take America. How else will they pay for 'universal healthcare' ??

    Irritation grows over taxes
    Norwegians have long accepted high taxes to finance their social welfare state, but a new survey indicates rising dissatisfaction and, in some cases, outright hatred of some taxes that are viewed as way too high and unfair.

    Norwegians are among the most heavily taxed people in the world, and that in turn has made Norway one of the most expensive countries in which to live. Most accept the taxes they're ordered to pay on income and even net worth and property, but growing numbers are publicly complaining about sky-high taxes on everything from cars to fuel to consumer goods.

    Norwegians differentiate between skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes) and the latter is the most hated. They're what causes a glass of house wine at an Oslo restaurant to cost the equivalent of nearly USD 16, or a gallon of gas to cost nearly USD 9 at current exchange rates.

    "It's clear that taxes are much too high in oil-rich Norway," Oslo resident Gro Pettersen told newspaper Aftenposten. "It's sick!"

    The taxes placed on new cars, which can more than double the price of the car itself, are another bone of contention, even though most Norwegians support measures to protect the environment. "The car tax is much too high, but so are most all the other avgifter also," said Ernst Bendiksen of the northern city of Vadsø, where Norwegians are far more dependent on their cars than those living in cities with good public transit systems. "We certainly don't get anything in return for them."

    A study conducted by research firm MMI for the Norwegian Tax Payers Association (Skattebetalerforeningen) showed that the most hated taxes are those on new cars and a transfer tax levied when real estate changes hands. The so-called dokumentavgift on real estate transactions, which implies that it's meant to cover the costs of property registration, costs homebuyers around 2.5 percent of the purchase price.

    Three of four Norwegians believe that's too high, according to the MMI study, and absolutely no one believed it was too low. With even a modest flat in Oslo costing a few million kroner these days, the tax amounts to a fair bit of change.

    Regressive inequality
    The study also showed that 67 percent of the population think Norway's inheritance taxes are too high, while 63 percent think fuel taxes are too high. Norway's hefty 25 percent VAT (like a sales tax) on nearly all consumer items is considered too high by 53 percent of the population.

    Only 32 percent, meanwhile, believed tobacco taxes are too high, while 44 percent believed liquor taxes are too high.

    The user taxes, or avgifter, are also unpopular because they're largely regressive taxes that hit people with low incomes much harder than those with high incomes. Filling the car's gas tank, and paying the taxes that requires, is much more expensive for someone earning NOK 300,000 than it is for a car owner earning NOK 900,000.

    The head of the tax payers' association, Jon Stordrange, said he thinks user taxes should be adjusted to reflect actual costs inflicted on society. "Then I think people would have more respect for the system," he said.

     
  • At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another reason to SAY NO TO UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

    75 percent of Americans overweight by 2015
    Two-thirds considered heavy or obese now; rate still increasing, study finds


    source: Reuters
    7:11 a.m. CT July 19, 2007

    WASHINGTON - If people keep gaining weight at the current rate, fat will be the norm by 2015, with 75 percent of U.S. adults overweight and 41 percent obese, U.S. researchers predicted on Wednesday.

    A team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore examined 20 studies published in journals and looked at national surveys of weight and behavior for their analysis, published in the journal Epidemiologic Reviews.

    “Obesity is a public health crisis. If the rate of obesity and overweight continues at this pace, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese,” Dr. Youfa Wang, who led the study, said in a statement.

     
  • At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks 9:41 for sharing that bit of insight into the human psyche. People don't like to pay taxes. What a break thorugh in knowledge. Of course Americans will never get to that point, however, since the rich here like to reflect their Christian devotion by helping the poor as Jesus taught Christians to do. In fact, most religions teach helping those less fortunate. The Republicans fervently point out that we are a Chrisitan country and they want Christian symbols everywhere to remind us all. So, there is not doubt they are willing to pay more taxes to help the poor.

    As for obesity, 11:42. These growing number of people who are getting fatter and fatter are getting fatter because they are poor. They can't afford restaurants that serve healthful food so they must eat at fast food places. They usually do that often because they work two jobs and have no time to go home and cook or feed the children who also eat in fast food places, many times alone. They are poor because because their jobs have been sent overseas; the corporations have destroyed the unions and there are no wage increases to keep up with inflation; or, they have been washed out financially because of a medical emergency in the family or they have no car to travel to the sites where illegal immigrants are getting the jobs; or -- any number of other reasons why they are poor. Remember: "Feed the poor. If you do it to the least of them you do it unto me."

    Now I wonder who among you will say if they can't afford meat "let them eat cake." Bush was reminiscent of Marie Antionette when he said if the poor needed a doctor to attend to an illness, they could go to the emergency room.

     
  • At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    12:30,
    A response to your Christian bashing is simple: separation of church and state. American's give more to charity than anyone. Conservatives give more to charity than liberals. Liberals prefer using other people's money for their charitable causes. Universal Healthcare is a political attempt to take control from American citizens and give it to the political elite.

    Your insight to the obesity problem is typical class warfare conducted by Democrats. You not only have a flawed illusion of America's fat people, but you are not living in reality. You are trying to link obesity to the outsourcing of jobs. More typical liberal attempts to point blame at anyone but yourself.

    Obesity and the lack of job skills are the result of the person having poor decision making abilities, possibly as a result of a public school education system that cares more about protecting the teacher and teacher union, than it cares about teaching the children.

    I'm sure you will attack me with some fringe case scenario of the person who can't help being fat because of a health issue, but this does not represent the scenario for most of the 2/3 of Americans who are obese today.

     
  • At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    2:12 Neal -- And if you're not he, you are his double. You never change your party's tired old talking points. This is the stuff you spew out time and time again.

    What's new is the separation of church and state. Just how do you think that could be arranged with the hold the Republican religious hypocrits have in three bodies of government. The Liberals pray yes pray for separation of church and state. What's really tiresome is your old song about how much the Republicans give to charity - not mentioning the tax write-offs and the credit they get from on-lookers. And you forget that the tax money collected IS OUR money - not somebody elses.

    And, if you thugs are so worried about the schools, put some money and intelligence into solving that problem. No Child Left Behind is a tragedy.

    The political elite are Republicans who are trying to take away the right of women to determine what they will do with their bodies. How can you possibly suggest that it's the Democratic party trying to get the power to tell us what to do or not do. You even try to decide who can get married. Everytime you mention our wanting big government to interfere with our personal lives a huge laugh roars from the Democratic Party.

     
  • At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    2:12 How can you call it bashing to ask declared Chrisitians to act like Christians and follow the teachings of Jesus. As the blogger said Jesus said" Feed the poor." and He also said "if ye do it unto the least of them ye do it unto me." Don't you get that?

     
  • At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    7:31 PM,
    You would take the right of all American citizens to determine what they will do with their bodies with Universal Healthcare, so what's your complaint?

     

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