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Michael Moore, Oprah and ‘Sicko’

Posted on Jun 11, 2007
Moore and Oprah

Documentarian Michael Moore takes clips from his latest to Oprah for a discussion of the healthcare crisis and why even Republicans are responding warmly to the film: “I don’t want this to be a political issue. ... When you get sick, you get sick. The illness doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.”

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By Yelwrose, June 19, 2007 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

Please don’t feed the trolls.

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By cann4ing, June 19, 2007 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

Michael Moore was interviewed at length by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! on June 18.  My only problem with that interview is that it revealed that Moore, who intends to inject this issue into the New Hampshire Democratic primary, does not realize that Conyers/Kucinich proposes the same health care solutions as he does.  Fixated on Kucinich’s criticism of “for-profit” healthcare insurance, Moore mistakenly expressed the belief that Conyers-Kucinich would leave room for HMOs.  That’s not true.  Conyers-Kucinich is a single payer plan that would eliminate all private healthcare insurance, which Kucinich sees as an unnecessary, expensive and corrupt middle man.

There were two segments from the June 14, 2007 Democracy Now broadcast entailing testimony by Michael Moore and others before the California legislature that are a must-see.


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By Marshall, June 18, 2007 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

#78877 by cyrena on 6/18 at 2:09 am

Cyrena - Michael Moore is far from career busted or financially ruined.  And I don’t know exactly what you think I’m in denial of - perhaps you missed my post discussing healthcare and my belief that it’s a serious issue that needs a solution.

My comments about Moore - far from “demonizing” him - were based on some of his earlier films; the response to your post claiming that most people don’t know why they dislike him.  Whatever good he does in his latest film, I’m in full support and will welcome the viewpoint.  FYI: the clips above are no longer available & I couldn’t find them on YouTube… but I have seen the film’s trailers and other interviews with Moore on this subject (on Bill Maher’s show, for example).  Regardless, I wouldn’t attempt to judge the film from clips and trailers alone.

<<The biggest irony is that he accuses Michael Moore of doing EXACTLY the same thing as the Gangster Cabal has been doing for 7 years, ‘cherry picking”...>>

I don’t know how changing the subject to Bush serves this discussion.  That doesn’t make it right for Moore to do it.

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By cann4ing, June 18, 2007 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, your critique of individuals who criticize a Michael Moore film without first seeing it is on the money.  What made Fahrenheit 911 such an effective film was not the tidbits of Moore’s ascerbic humor but the fact that he conveyed the war from a point of view that was at odds with the administration’s master narrative.  Instead of portraying the impact of massive aerial bombing as a piece of infotainment, a colorful light show available at CNN and Fox displayed over the caption TARGET IRAQ, Moore displayed the event not from the point of view of the targeted.  That was the aspect of Fahrenheit that this image conscious administration did not want the American people to see and which drove the hard-right to viciously disparage the film in the hope that it could dissuade Americans from watching it. 

While none of us have seen “Sicko,” the powerful testimony of Michael Moore and others before the California State Legislature can be seen at Democracy Now!  For-profit healthcare insurance companies and the unregulated, giant pharmaceutical corporations are the problem.  The Sheila Kuehls single-payer California healthcare plan and the Conyers/Kucinich single-payer plan are the solutions at the state and national levels.

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By cyrena, June 18, 2007 at 3:09 am Link to this comment

Ron wrote this, way back last week:

“It has been an historical fact that fear and denial pervades the masses when a truth teller decides to publicly expose an issue. Michael Moore has been under such scrutiny since “Roger and Me.”

And, truer words are rarely spoken. It took me a long time to figure this out, as I tried my best, to understand the psychology of racism, and social/political hate in general. There are multiple examples of it in our own, as well as world history, and presents itself in multiple actions from character assassination, to literal assassination. It includes career busting and financial ruin. Whatever it takes to try and deflect the legitimacy of the truth-teller, whom ever it might be. These days, we are as weak as any other population living under tyranny and corruption. Another 3rd world country whose dictatorship cannot survive unless the masses are kept in the dark and ignorant to the injustices perpetrated against them.

The denial is embraced at one level, by those whom are emotionally and/or psychology unable to accept that they have lost loved ones to a war based on lies, realizing now that their loved ones have died for no reason, other than the enormous greed of a few.

There is something different about Marshall’s denial, because he works at it so hard. I only just noticed something I apparently missed in previous posts. We started off the “demonizing of Michael Moore” again, because of the horrible shape of our health care system, and the greater or lesser “political content” of ALL of his films. I suggested that ANYTHING that concerns the business of “we the people” is POLITICAL, because that’s what politics is. Marshalls original complaint, was that Moore wrapped his agenda in a flag, and that he didn’t present factual information in the films, or that he included “snippets” of things that weren’t connected, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, we have since asked Marshall to come up with something besides this asymmetrical network of his cognitive capabilities, and provide some sources and such, for disputing the facts of the documentary. Apparently he offered up an article in Slate, debunking Moore’s 2 previous docs, which have nothing to do with the health care system.

Meantime, I was flabbergasted when I read from Marshall himself, AFTER ALL OF THIS DEBATE, that he hasn’t even SEEN the film that we’re TALKING ABOUT. “Sicko”. Well, OF COURSE he hasn’t seen it, since it won’t be available for public/commercial viewing until the end of the month. But, we presumed he had at least viewed the clips. Here WE all are, talking about this dire health care crisis, that is effecting the vast MAJORITY of our population, and THIS guy apparently hasn’t even viewed the damn CLIPS of the film that are available with this posting! Rather, Marshall has been pretending to have an objective discussion on the merits of….WHAT?

The biggest irony is that he accuses Michael Moore of doing EXACTLY the same thing as the Gangster Cabal has been doing for 7 years, ‘cherry picking” facts and evidence out of context, and creating an obscured picture of history and facts. In the case of the current Cabal, it’s been forged papers, made-up intelligence, and lie after lie, smear after smear, destroying careers and lives here, and jillions more abroad.

The public is finally becoming aware. The truth is coming out, and like anything else, we know how desperate that makes those whose deeds have finally been exposed to light. Crooks and thieves don’t like to have their deeds uncovered, at least not until they’ve had time to finish the heist, and escape. My guess is that the truthfulness of this is what has Marshall in such strong denial. He might not have known before, and now he’s really pissed off that he was tricked himself. He probably doesn’t have a seat on that escape boat either.

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By Marshall, June 18, 2007 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

#78840 by Ernest Canning on 6/17 at 7:51 pm

“Hitchens has “zero” credibility, and, frankly, my right-wing friend, so do you.”

Why does our friendship not feel fulfilling to me?

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By cann4ing, June 17, 2007 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

I, for one, Marshall, subscribe to Howard Zinn’s view.  “It’s difficult to remain neutral when you’re on a moving train.” 

As to point-by-point rebuttals, I’ve done that with you, repeatedly, elsewhere on this site.  You rely on so many series of right-wing canards that you advance as gospel, that I have grown weary of dispelling them.  Certainly, there is no fact that you have ever posted that borders on a valid defense of America’s utterly corrupt and inefficient, for-profit healthcare insurance system, which is what the topic of this particular post is all about.

I do not regard you, or the disingenuous Hitchens, as worthy of that much time and effort.  Everything Hitchens, and his pals in the Bush administration, said about Iraq in advance of the war proved to be false. 

Hitchens has “zero” credibility, and, frankly, my right-wing friend, so do you.

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By Marshall, June 17, 2007 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

#78796 by Billy the Dik on 6/17 at 3:58 pm

You know Billy, you say you’re not going to respond to me, then you keep responding to me indirectly.  Don’t you think it’s time you make good on your promise and stop responding to me altogether?

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By Marshall, June 17, 2007 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

#78788 by Ernest Canning on 6/17 at 3:31 pm

Everyone’s got their bias Ernest.  But Moore makes no pretensions to objectivity.  Do you really maintain that he presents more than one side of an issue?  Seriously?

While you discount Hitchens entirely because of his stance on one issue, this doesn’t do much to discredit his point by point dissection of Moore’s inaccuracies.  I don’t expect anyone here to address Hitchens points because that would require getting a little down and dirty, and its far easier to dismiss the entire person instead, thus avoiding having to respond to those nasty little details.

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By cann4ing, June 17, 2007 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

The fact that one assembles supporting evidence in support of a position they believe is valid does not make them “biased”—that is, unless the position you believe is supported by the facts is at odds with Marshall’s hard-right worldview.  As to Christopher Hitchens, he lost all semblance of credibility when he backed George Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.

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By Marshall, June 17, 2007 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

#78765 by Yelwrose on 6/17 at 1:44 pm

No - I’m saying that Michael Moore is extremely biased and that Hitchens does a good job of illustrating some of his inaccuracies. 

Funny that I’m happy to have a civil discussion of Moore but you exit as soon as I mention the name of someone who disagrees with him.  Oh well - on to the next one.

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By Yelwrose, June 17, 2007 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Are you saying the Christopher Hitchens is unbiased?  ROFL.  I’ve got better things to do today.

Happy Father’s Day

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By Marshall, June 17, 2007 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

#78728 by Yelwrose on 6/17 at 9:36 am

Yes - I’ve seen all the Moore films you mentioned.  Moore approaches all his films with a strong point of view - there’s little in the way of objective criticism.  Often, the “facts” he brings to light are completely out of context, or omit other facts that would conflict with his premise.  Few would call his hack job on Bush, for example, an unbiased look at the facts.  A competant filmmaker (which he is) can assemble footage that would make any public figure look bad and Moore specializes in this.  At least with Columbine, he ackowledged the falacy of his (apparent) original belief that Canada’s low level of gun violence was the result of a lack of guns.

Moore’s main problem, IMHO, is that there’s always a clear villan in his films; and real life rarely lines up so nicely in black and white.  He chooses sides, then cherry picks footage, facts, and ommissions that reinforce his bias.  He adds comedy to make it a) fun to watch, and b) seem as though the subjects of his film are witless and ignorant.  But he often gets things wrong and invents far-fetched conspiracy theories to fill in the blanks.  A look at the refutations of the “facts” he presents in Farenheit makes that clear (for example, see Christopher Hitches 2004 response to Moore’s film in Slate).

Again - I haven’t seen his latest film and I’m not asking Moore to “solve” the problems he addresses.  But by severely slanting the presentation to substantiate his bias, the positives he brings to a debate are often overpowered by the misinformation he uses to get there.  He’s one voice that needs to be taken with several grains of salt and, unfortunately, he’s all the information many of his followers ever need.

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By Yelwrose, June 17, 2007 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

From Marshall:

>> I don’t know if Moore takes a position in his film, other than lambasting the current system - he’s not usually one to provide constructive criticism.  But I’ll wait and see on that.<<

First, I’m going to assume you and yours are healthy and have not had reason to seek serious medical care in recent times.  Wonderful.  May you STAY healthy.  Secondly, have you actually SEEN Michael Moore’s films?  You seem to dismiss his works as “lambasting” only.  Moore has brought facts and issues to light, i n a sometimes comedic way (a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down?) that is effective in reaching a large number of people.  Yeah, Mike can get on your nerves, but I thank him deeply for Roger & Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Bowling for Columbine. Perhaps Sicko will provide the tipping point we need to finally solve this problem.  He has chosen to shine light on difficult, often painful, subjects.  You also want him to solve the problem for us?  Now, whose being lazy?

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By Marshall, June 16, 2007 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

#78534 by Ron on 6/16 at 9:29 am

Ron - despite Ernest Canning’s low opinion of me, I appreciate your reply.  You and I most likely differ quite a bit on many issues.  Although you don’t characterize your beliefs as “right” or “left”, we all fall somewhere into a spectrum because beliefs have, at their root, a philosophy of how best to serve the people.  I believe that philosophy is what differentiates right from left.

My opinions about health care are still developing as I gather more information on the topic.  I look at the experiences of other countries, like Canada and western Europeean states, and try and extrapolate from those.  This is an issue for which i believe there’s no easy solution - and perhaps no good solution at all.  Our current system is an entirely private approach to the problem - as you might expect in the US.  It has its faults: it provides good health care to those that are covered, but leaves millions not covered.  The single-payer, fully socialized Canadian system often fails to provide timely care and leaves many without access to the latest technology.  The three-payer system used in France and most other western European contries appears to work best and may be the model the US should adopt.  This is my current thinking but is subject to revision.

I don’t know if Moore takes a position in his film, other than lambasting the current system - he’s not usually one to provide constructive criticism.  But I’ll wait and see on that.

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By cann4ing, June 16, 2007 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Ron, no need to apologize to Marshall.  The guy is to the right of Dick Cheney.

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By Ron, June 16, 2007 at 10:29 am Link to this comment


Perhaps you are right in the sense that I might have used the same technique, and no I do not know you. I have no idea what your political stance is. What I thought I was hearing was, like many people who have problems with Michael Moore, a person who defends the corporate establishment. If you do not, I apologize.

If you do have evidence and resources, please share them with everyone. The only way we can grow is for there to be information from which all of us can glean. I would urge you to do this on this forum.

I know first hand what this system is like. I am a person who has been well insured, under insured, and uninsured. This system is absolutely corrupt. It does not invest in people. It only serves to take from people and invest it in corporate wealth.

Those who do defend the corporate establishment I firmly believe are either blind, or are in collusion with them to fleece the public. That I will not back down on. I am diametrically opposed to those people, and no, I have no tolerance for them. I do not tolerate people who screw others, and I do not tolerate their point of view. Opinions do not matter when it comes to suffering and death. The only thing that matters is that we stop it.

Why, because Marshall, my friend, I am not on the left. As a dear friend and collegue would say, I am what’s left. I am neither a democrat nor a republican, liberal or conservative. I believe in right and wrong. I believe the system is corrupt, and we must, as Dr. King said, have a radical redistribution of the wealth.

Furthermore, we need to recreate the system, so it truly works for the people and by the people. It needs to start over, so that the head start that the rich white men who raped and pillaged to get theirs, will be eliminated. If you’re with me on this, then we are in solidarity.

I do not prefer safety in numbers, in fact, because of my work as an activist, artist and teacher, the FBI may have a file on me. I am very outspoken on my views, and I work for the causes of the people. I only entered into this blogsite to share information and to invite people to my blogsite so they can get connected to organizations for the purposes of building, because we all need to be organized. If you are doing similar work, let us know.

I’m finished with this topic, so I will not be making any more comments. I know you did not mean what you said about my blog, since you know nothing about it. I still invite you to check it out. It’s up to you.

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By cann4ing, June 15, 2007 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Billy the Dik:  You don’t have to go to public access stations to get Democracy Now!  You can link to it.  Goggle Democracy  Anyone who wants to intelligibly discuss the issue of single-payer health should watch the testimony presented by Moore and others that was broadcast on Democracy Now on June 14 and can be retrieved at Democracy Now from its archives.

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By cyrena, June 15, 2007 at 3:19 am Link to this comment

Marshall, on this part that you wrote:

....Billy the Dik even admonishes a poster (euni84) for saying that he’s not a Michael Moore fan….

Actually, that was me, not Billy the Dik, and I wasn’t admonishing the poster, (euni84)I was just postulytizing on the mentality of the HUGE numbers of people I know and interact with, who would think in the same vein. When they say that they “aren’t big fans” of Michael, it’s kinda of a lingo for people who have generally made that determination based on the political environment that they are immersed in. And…in my personal experience and research, (because I now have the disabled “leisure” to satisfy my curiosity about these things, have discovered that there is a large percentage of the Oprah watching public, who pretty much follow along with whatever HER take is on things, and Oprah’s take is confused sometimes.

What I typically find among this population, are people who have been “told” all of these “bad things” about Michael Moore’s work, (and in some cases - MANY cases actually, they are advised by their EMPLOYERS, CHURCHES, SCHOOLS, etc) NOT to even SEE the film!!! So that means that these people are generally making these comments, NOT on the actual work, or the political content of it, because they haven’t even seen it.

Now I know all of this sounds very dramatic and hysterical to people who are more independent in their thinking, and have not been subjected to the type of environment that carries out these subtle brain washing tactics.

HOWEVER, it IS a mentality that exists broadly throughtout the masses of our population, thoughout the states. And in the Bible belt, it is REALLY BAD!!

So, that was my basic rant, and had far more to do with the connection that Oprah has, to encouraging this ‘Stepford Syndrome” across our country. So, blame that part on me, even though it was not intended as an “admonishment”, but rather as an observation.

If I read the tread correctly, the only thing Billy the Dik said in response to her, was that he didn’t see how her not being a “Big fan of Michael Moore” was relevant to the discussion. And, in all honesty, it wasn’t. Because, the issue is the drastic condition of our health care system, having been hijacked by the Oligarchy.

The film was simply pointing out that this is an issue for MORE than just the poor and disenfranchised, who’ve been neglected all along, and dying off because they never had any access to health care or insurance to begin with. Rather, it was to capture the attention of those millions of people who are still walking around feeling very secure in their assumptions about what they can expect from their own insurance, should the need ever arise.

The point was….listen up, you could be next. It’s not like this hasn’t been happening a long time, and that there aren’t multiple horror stories out there. But, since he’d put them together, to get this message out to others….“you could be severely shafted at any moment in time” unless you happen to be Oprah or some other very wealthy person.

And, that’s the part that Oprah didn’t pick up on either. The film clips that we saw were NOT addressing the millions of people that have no access to insurance AT ALL, because it’s either totally out priced, or because the Oligarchy won’t insure them as a potential loss, but rather the 250 some-odd million people that ARE supposedly insured, and paying premiums, and who are refused treatment when it will mean a loss of a single dime of their outrageous profits. The problem is widespread, affecting more people than we generally hear about in the mainline media. Based on that, it was totally irrelevant whether or not the poster (and you said he, but euni could be a she as well) was a “fan” of Michael Moore.

So, I take all of the blame. And now that my exams are done for the moment, I’ll even check out the website that Billy the Dik has going.

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By Nadine, June 14, 2007 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We still have to do something about the incompetency and destructiveness of the medical establishment. Even if the insurance industry is taken out of it,I do not want to give the medical-industrial complex a blank check. Perhaps people enter allopathic medical training with some sense of genuine compassion and wanting to do healing,then people become ingrained with the God-complex.  “Alternative Medicine” has started pandering to the mainstream too.Acupunturists and massage therapists becoming technocrats.
I am not a nihilist,however I am hoping for a collapse of the whole “industry”.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield was started by surgeons,and they have certainly protected their interests.Even with “universal health care” I would still hesitate going to a hospital in the US. At least in the UK there is a choice between allopathic and homepathic approaches. In the Indian Health Service Hospitals
(that are not being shut down) there is a choice of using herbs and natural healing methods. In the mainstream,the MDs are looking for ways to co-opt these approaches too. It’s not just about money—it’s about ego and power too.

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By Marshall, June 14, 2007 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

#77827 by Ron on 6/13 at 7:45 pm

Amazing to me that you Ron and Billy the Dik who apparently align yourselves with the American left which prides itself on tolerance and discourse are so casually dismissive of those that are critical of, in this case, Michael Moore’s work; practicing the very same “discredit the speaker” technique that you accuse the administration of.  I see you’ve invited the other posters who agreed with you to comment on your blog… that’s fine if you prefer safety in numbers, but useless if you’re after truth.

I back up virtually all my factual statements with sources (my opinions are my own), but you wouldn’t know that because your reaction to me was based entirely on a single post describing Moore as a creator of docu-tainment pieces (which he’s essentially admitted to publicly).  You have no idea my stance on health care, which I specifically cited as a serious topic that needs serious discussion.

Billy the Dik even admonishes a poster (euni84) for saying that he’s not a Michael Moore fan - as though that’s not a serious thought and shouldn’t be expressed publicly.  Wow.  Guess we all need to watch what we say here lest we blaspheme.  But hey, maybe when I’m bored I’ll head on over to your blog at to make sure everyone’s still getting along.

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By cyrena, June 14, 2007 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

Nope….Can’t fool all of the people, all of the time. That’s pretty much what it boils down to. What’s the old adage?....You can fool some of the people some of the time, and you can even fool ALL of the people some of the time, but you can never fool ALL of the people, ALL of the time.

Something like that. Basically it means that the stuff comes back to bite you in the butt when you don’t learn the lessons any other way. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Earnest, good stats. Thanks. They sound about right, and believe it or not, there were probably some Oprah viewers who responded. These are basically the same things that most Americans want. But, until they’ve experienced themselves, (the horrors of the health care/insurance scam) they have no reason to know. As long as people keep going to work, keep making their insurance premiums, and never need anything more than routine checkups, they have no reason to know. It’s when they find themselves very ill, (like these people in the film, as well as other films that have done the same thing with the same disenfranchised people) that they find out that they either aren’t covered for whatever it is, or they are immediately dropped as soon as a problem appears that could cost them some money.

That is NOT exclusive to health care, because the entire insurance racket works the same way. It’s that way with auto insurance, it’s that way with home insurance, (as the life long residents of New Orleans have found out, after paying premiums for years and years). So, it’s not JUST the health insurance industry, but arguably, that’s the most important, because EVERYBODY needs and deserves health care, and because we DO have dedicated medical professionals that aren’t looking to make a trillion dollars, but just to serve the public at a fair wage. And, in the system that we have now, even these trained and experience medical professionals are not earning what they should, because the insurance companies are taking it all.

Short examples…what Blue Shield or any of the other biggies used to pay on a procedure like a colonoscopy, (recommended for everyone at least at age 50, but for some people, end up needing it sooner)there is a 63% DECREASE now, in what the insurance company (or medicare) will pay. So, you have a procedure like that, (or any number of other surgeries or treatments) and while they will generally pay on those things, IF all of the “demograhics” are in order, they only pay a sliver of what they used to pay. The balance falls on the patient, (generally after a large deductible) and if the patient can’t pay it, the docs take the loss. (unless of course it’s a doc that simply refuses to treat you until he or she has been paid, and then you should run like hell to find another).

But, this is all very routine. It happens all the time. The most ridiculous part of it though, is that these SAME insurance companies will spend thousands of dollars to send us from one of their own corporate doctors to another, just to get an opinion that says “nothing’s wrong with you”, even if you’re standing there with your liver hanging out. The amounts of money that they are willing to pay, just to PREVENT people from getting their care, is frequently more than if they just paid the damn thing to begin with. And these are the things that the average person is unaware of, until it happens to them, or someone they know.

It’s happening a LOT now.

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By cann4ing, June 13, 2007 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

After posting about the “democracy deficit,” I received an e-mail from David Brock of Media Matters—a report entitled “The Progessive Majority:  Why a Conservative America is a Myth.”  Here are some of Brock’s salient points:

The role of government—69% of Americans believe government “should care for those who can’t care for themselves;” twice as many people (43% vs. 20%) want “government to provide more services even if it means an increase in spending…”

The economy—77% of Americans think Congress should increase the minimum wage; 66% believe “upper income people” pay too little in taxes; 53% fell the Bush tax cuts have failed because they have increased the deficit and caused cuts in government programs. 

My note: [Those of us more familiar with the ultra-right agenda, understand that this was not a failure but the Grover Norquist led goal of the tax cuts].

Social issues:  61% support embryonic stem cell research; 62% want to protect Roe v. Wade; only 3% rank gay marraige as the “most important” social issue.

The environment:  75% would be willing to pay more for electricity if it were generated by renewable resources to help reduce global warming; 79% want higher emissions standards for automobiles.

Immigration:  69% feel “most recent immigrants to the US contribute to this country” rather than “cause problems.

Health care:  69% think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have access to health coverage; 76% find access to health care more important than maintaining the Bush tax cuts, three in five would be willing to have their own taxes increased to achieve universal coverage.

Hmmm!  Seems like our friend Marshall, aside from being perennially wrong on the facts, is in a distinct minority.

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By Ron, June 13, 2007 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Chaseme and Billy the Dick, I appreciate your feedback on my comments. I hope the both of you comment on my blog, so we can continue to have solid dialogues.

It is nothing new that people like Marshall will attack the person to discredit the argument, or to refute facts. Many times they have no hard evidence to engage in any serious refutations.

Their claims of bias is normally based on information they gleaned from the mainstream media spin doctors, whom of course, are financed by the same corporations who are fleecing the public i.e. General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Exxon, BP, etc.

Blind patriotism is the most dangerous element in this nation today. We cannot go on emotion. Things must make common sense. We must be vigilant, and immerse ourselves in critical thinking and analysis. And always, we must follow the money trail.

However, to reference the Matrix, people like Marshall would rather eat the steak, than to find out how far the rabbit hole goes.

The polar ice caps are melting, and as a consequence the polar bears are drowning. Hurricanes are getting worse because the waters are warming. More species are becoming extinct. Weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable. Global warming is here.

However, the Bush administration does not have a sense of urgency, because they refuse to acknowledge our major contribution with global warming, refuses to adhere to the Kyoto protocol and other measures like the rest of the world.

But this administration has duped many like Marshall to take their side, who commit the number one no-no: you never ask the devil if he is the devil. He will always lie. Translation, you never ask a corrupt administration if they are corrupt. In fact, they will call you unpatriotic for asking the question.

There are universal principles that occur whether we believe them or not. For every action there is a reaction, for example. So we can lie, deny or justify our actions, but there will be a reaction. We will pay for our actions, one way or the other. It is inevitable. We determine whether we will be blessed or cursed.

In the end, I think we all must be forgiven once the blinders are either removed by us, or yanked by reality. Perhaps one day when Marshall finds himself on the short end of the health insurance stick, he will remember this, and have the humility to seek forgiveness.

And I’m quite sure Michael Moore would be right there to lend him a helping hand.

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By cann4ing, June 13, 2007 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

On June 12 Moore addressed the California State Legislature where a bill by State Senator Sheila Kuehl (D. Santa Monica) which is the state version of the Conyers-Kucinich single-payer plan has sparked rave reviews, even within my local newspaper in Republican-dominated Ventura County.  Moore told the state legislature that he believed “these insurance companies are a criminal racket.”  Moore scoffed at the “socialized medicine” bugaboo.  “Isn’t that what our police departments are—socialized?  Would we allow our fire departments to refuse to respond if they couldn’t turn a profit?”

Oprah and Moore spent a great deal of time telling us that “Sicko” is not political.  They site widespread support that cuts across party lines.  Oprah and Moore are flat-out wrong.  What makes this topic, and many others, “political” is the existence of what Noam Chomsky calls a “democracy deficit.”

There are 17 Democratic and Republican candidates running for President.  There is only one (1) candidate who is advocating what Moore advocates in “Sicko”—a single-payer system that would eliminate once and for all the parasitic role of for-profit healthcare insurance.  “All” of the others, when they speak of universal healthcare coverage are, at best, offering variable insurance company subsidy schemes.

What makes this topic “political” is the conglomerated corporate media which sells the vast majority of the American public that it must limit its choice to those candidates they deem as “leading” and worthy of coverage—that is, the candidates whose campaign coffers have swelled with the dollars necessary to feed the media noise machine, purchasing deceptive advertising.  Neither the corporate media nor the bought and paid for ads will discuss the distinction between the Conyers-Kucinich single-payer system and these scams—not when the pharmaceutical industries and insurance companies are a major source of media advertising revenue.

I have said elsewhere, and I will say it again, if you go to, examine where he stands on issue-after-issue, you will find that his positions are indeed the positions of the vast majority of the electorate.  If the electorate were aware of that, Kucinich would not merely win, he’d win in a landslide.  But that is a very big “IF.”  Unless we find a way to pierce the corporate media veil that obscures where candidates stand on issues that matter, there will never be meaningful reform on this or any other issue.  That’s why “Sicko” is political!

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By cyrena, June 13, 2007 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Well Marshall, I disagree with you, because I take Michael Moore REAL seriously, and I know the difference between documentaries and entertainment.

Admittedly, he does frame the films in a way that makes the point….MILLIONS upon MILLIONS die needlessly everyday, because of the Corporate Mafia. And, people DON’T know that, because it’s the very LAST thing that the corporations want anybody to know.

I’ve lived many places as a public servant. People in Corporations (especially all of the ones tied to the Mafia) are prevented from ever hearing these “inconvenient facts” about 9-11, or even WHY we were ever attacked on 9-11. Yes, there WERE 117 some-odd members of the BIN LADEN Family spirited out of the US by private and commercial aircraft in the days immediately following those attacks, courtesy of Dick Bush, when absolutely ALL the rest of us were “grounded”. Now don’t you think that the American people would have wanted to KNOW that? Wouldn’t the FBI have wanted to at least QUESTION them? I think they DID. But no, they were immediately wisked away, and out of danger.

So, I’m sorry you don’t like Mr. Moore’s “style” of delivering the truth, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the truth, whether you wanna believe it or not.

But yeah, I agree with you on the part in Far-9/11 when he had those animated pictures of the Native Americans that were “ethnically cleansed” by the foundation of this US government, because a few of my ancestors survived, and we’re not all that happy about it. But ya know, life goes on, and we either adjust to current circumstances of reality on the ground, or we don’t. When it’s a personal choice that we can’t or won’t adjust, that’s one thing. When it’s because we are lied to emasse, and don’t have factual information to MAKE good choices, that’s a far more frightening existence for all of us.

And, most folks STILL don’t know why they don’t like him. You obviously know why YOU don’t like him, so let that be your loss, but I think people should have the opportunity to decide that for themselves, minus all the spin that preceeds it.

Truth telling is a very dangerous occupation these days, so I’m just real grateful that Mr. Moore and others have the courage and stomach for it. If he’s pushing an agenda, so the hell what? It doesn’t change the truth.

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By Marshall, June 13, 2007 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

#77196 by cyrena on 6/11 at 8:31 pm

Responding to your earlier post about most people not knowing why they don’t like Michael Moore…

I completely disagree.  Most people don’t like him because they believe he wraps his agenda in a “documentary” film style that’s heavily biased and literally omits contrary evidence.

I appreciate him as a form of “Docu-tainment” (with the emphasis on “tainment”), but not as a serious illuminator.

Moore has undermined his credibility with movies like Fahrenheit and it makes it far more difficult to take him seriously when he tackles a subject, like health care, that could use some serious debate.

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By kclaf, June 13, 2007 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Healthcare is really misnamed, it should read Wealthcare USA, Inc.  They do not care if you do not, or cannot afford to have even bad insurance coverage.  Socialized medicine, and alternative therapies have been demonized because the rich won’t get richer from them.  This is a very ‘sick’ country and we are in deep trouble here.  Wake up america, cut through the b.s. and the bank accounts, and hound the media until they ARE talking about it.  Be persistant and we will win.

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By cyrena, June 13, 2007 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

For Chaseme
Excellent post, and specifically this:

Was Oprah being extremely careful during this interview, because she understands full well her power of influence? If she had directed her audience to, what would have happened?

I believe your question hit the nail on the head.YEP…it’s HIGHLY LIKELY that Oprah was “being extremely careful”, not because she’s totally dumb, because she obviously isn’t.

But, I don’t think this particular “carefulness” was her “awareness” of how influential she is. She OBVOIUSLY has ENORMOUS influence, but she’s still connected to Big Media at the spine, because that’s how she got there. And that’s all fine, and well, and good I too, have no doubts that her intentions are decent, when she starts schools for kids in Africa, or whatever other stuff she does. But there are entire organizations devoted to that suff, and she never talks to anybody from them. She virtually shuns the academic community, as well as many other practical things that the average viewer should be aware of. Instead, you get various and sundry gurus’, on every subject from self-mind control, to diets, to bra fitting, to even Mark Furhman back in the days of O.J.

On the other hand, she certainly does HAVE that agenda, and it requires this “careful” talking around issues that might ruffle the feathers of her money bags. So, that’s where the dichotomy exists. Oprah’s kind of platform simply has stopped addressing any possible connection to the reality of most viewers, and yes, it HAS “dumbed them down” because she’s been around forever, and so these viewers have become accustomed to believing her, and running right out and buying or trying whatever it is that she’s selling or promoting on any given day. And while this will ALWAYS satisfy the Corporate entity to which she belongs, and even sometimes is very helpful to the viewers (like the bra fitting tips) it has been known, (in very recent times) to be a seriously NEGATIVE impact as well!

That is particular true of this book/video “The Secret” stuff that she has been pushing. It’s like some sort of cult ideology that tells people they can just “think” themselves into wealth, power, good health, and a divine sense of blah, blah, blah. And, that just doesn’t cut it in the 21st Century. It’s isn’t real, and people are dying here and everyplace else on the globe, huge numbers. So, it just sends that many more valuable minds right down the rabbit hole.

So yeah, I’m sure Oprah was being very careful, but she was obviously being careful of her OWN ass as well. I’m not saying that I blame her or don’t understand the possible conflict, since many of us have suffered it. There have been countless careers lost and/or ruined by the nasty politics of a corporate and politically driven “system” here. We have only to look at the 9 U.S. Attorneys that have been fired, and Joseph and Valerie Wilson, and all of the hassles that the Feds give Michael Moore and others, every time they start speaking some truths. We’ve seen the SAME thugs destroy the entire economies of other NATIONS, so why we wouldn’t we expect Oprah to get tossed out on her ass if she did the same thing? Dan Rather is gone. And quite honestly, all of these people are in far more influential positions than Oprah.

So, we wish her continued success, but not at the expense of dumming down the population that feeds and houses her. Because for now, her “carefulness” shows her hypocrisy. The mood of the country now is simply less accepting of it. They don’t have any lip gloss money. It’s all gone…like all of the factory jobs, and all of the manufacturing, (unless it’s weapons) and things just aren’t the way they used to be in those living rooms across the nations watching the Oprah show. So, if she wants to stay in the loop, she needs to start fishing, and stop cutting bait.

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By Brad, June 13, 2007 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Looks like I need to read the comments in more detail as someone else already found the Youtube feature.  Anyway, sorry for the duplicate and apparently Sicko is quite good, at least according to this review from someone who just saw it.

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By Brad, June 13, 2007 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Honorable people can disagree on the methods, but improvements in efficiency and other areas seem long overdue.

Steve, I agree completely.  That is why I’m looking forward to Sicko and the likely momentum it will create coming up on the ‘08 election cycle.  As the wealthiest country on earth, we can and must provide better quality healthcare.

Also, I saw this over on Youtube, a group where Michael Moore is asking people to send int their own horror healthcare stories. If anyone had any doubts the system needs to be fixed, watch a few of these, and go see the movie.

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By Hammo, June 13, 2007 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Somehow we are going to need to make improvements to our health care system.

Honorable people can disagree on the methods, but improvements in efficiency and other areas seem long overdue.

Americans now realize this and are getting wise to many of the issues involved.

Related to this is the article . . .

“‘Dumbing down’ of Americans may not be working: More intelligence emerges”

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By Chaseme, June 13, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ron, it’s frightening to imagine a world without the folks you mentioned in your comment.

In fact, Alice Walker said this of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Martin Luther King, Jr., had asked us to do something really hard. Many people felt he had asked us to do something impossible. He had asked us to embrace nonviolence as a way of life.

When he died by the gun, for many, many people, in the Movement and out of it, there was a feeling of release. We can’t do it, many felt; we can’t live as nonviolently as Martin Luther King, Jr., did (and once again the white man—in the person of King’s assassin—has demonstrated why).”-Alice Walker, ‘We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For’

Thanks Ron. I will surely take lots of time viewing your site.

So, I’m wondering if the people who are afraid of socialized medicine, aside from those who profit now, are afraid for the same reasons “King’s assassin—demonstrated”?

Was Oprah being extremely careful during this interview, because she understands full well her power of influence? If she had directed her audience to, what would have happened?

Or, was she being unassuming during the interview, to connect more with her “privileged” viewers who really don’t’ know about Health Insurance, because they pay out of pocket for any care they receive?

If Oprah says, “I want everyone to go out and see this movie.” Consider the consequences for the theatres?

I don’t know much about Oprah, but I do know that she has the power to make things happen.

So, if Oprah were not careful with the things she said during this interview, and made the demand for “everyone to embrace socialized medicine as a way of life.” Do you think the insurance companies and their stockholders would be okay with that?

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By G.Anderson, June 12, 2007 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Hey look, Michael Moore wouldn’t even exist if the Media were doing their job.

But now all we get, are worhless gossip about Paris Hilton.

Look what happens when someone tries to tell the news, the smear him, like they did Dan Rather, and yank him.

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By Ron, June 12, 2007 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

It has been an historical fact that fear and denial pervades the masses when a truth teller decides to publicly expose an issue. Michael Moore has been under such scrutiny since “Roger and Me.”

Moore comes from a tradition of those who have been vilified but continue the fight for peace and justice, from those who fought against the Native American genocide, the transatlantic slave trade, the Irish oppression, the ill conditions of the Chinese railroad workers, the miners, to the present.

It is extremely easy for couch potatoes and armchair revolutionaries to engage in destructive criticism of those who risk health and freedom to confront a system everyone knows is corrupt.

The question I would pose for those who engage in futility talk is, where do you think this nation would be if Thomas Paine, Harriet Tubman, John Brown, Dr. King, Malcolm X, Emma Goldman, John Parsons and many others gave up?

Let us not forget that it was the labor movement during the time of the Haymarket Rebellion in 1886 that forced the government to change its labor laws and create the 8 hour work day, and other such reforms.

Let us not forget it was student activists who helped to end the Vietnam War and form organizations like the Black Panther Party who instituted free breakfast programs and free clinics.

Let us not forget it was independent media organizations and journalists who were on the forefront of the movement which at first was demonized by the mainstream but was instrumental in reversing public opinion on the Iraqi occupation.

I encourage everyone to get involved in grassroots organizing and community building to create systems that counteract this current current one. There are many resources out there. Check out my blogsite at for information and links to organizations that can help get you started.

Everything changes. We must decide will we act on positive change, or be acted upon for negative change. We must ask ourselves, how willing are we to be active participants in the design of our lives, to benefit ourselves and our communities?

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By cyrena, June 12, 2007 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Dale, you wrote:

‘Michael Moore, bless him, and Oprah are dreaming.’

I would disagree. OPRAH….YES, She’s dreaming. She exists in an alternative reality and a parallel universe wrapped in jillions of dollars, making her nothing of the same class that she prattles to on TV. She used to be harmless, and now she’s not, because she (as much a part of the CORPORATE Machine as the rest of them), has been known to feed a non-reality dream to her audiences. Anytime somebody endorses something like “The Secret”, which basically encourages people to “think” their way into a “happier” life, or a more “fullfilling” life, by just “thinking positive” despite the rubble and ruin around them, despite major health problems, despite a lack of food or shelter, despite a lack of education, and on and on, has simply become a menace to society.

So, don’t even PUT Oprah on the same level as Michael Moore. They are not. It’s admirable that Oprah had him on her show, (although I could be wrong, because I’ve rarely watched her show over the years, I don’t think she’s ever hosted him before) but even in this interview, we see that Oprah still “doesn’t get it”. So, don’t compare them. SHE might be “dreaming”, and obviously she is, but Mr. Moore has been hard at work, using his own talents and resources to bring us some knowledge.

So, we’re gonna stick with that part of the “dream”. If ignorant people are frightened by the term “socialized medicine” or socialized health care, or anything else, then we’ll have to educate them, about what these terms actually mean to them, individually and collectively.

THAT is what Michael Moore attempted to do with this film, as well as in the interview with Oprah. But, as usual, Oprah didn’t quite “get it”. Still, for anyone able to look past her own ignorance, and actually LISTEN to what Michael Moore was saying, they DO get it. Or, at least they have a clue to the fact that there may be something to this.

So, we aren’t giving up.

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By Dale Headley, June 12, 2007 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Michael Moore, bless him, and Oprah are dreaming. The pharmaceutical and health insurance industries in this country are way too powerful and are making way too much profit to allow heroes lke Moore to interfere. They own the government, lock, stock, and barrel.  One way or another, they’ll take care of Moore, even if they have to order their lackeys in the Bush Administration to prosecute him.  Then they’ll have to decide what to do about Oprah.  One thing they don’t have to worry about is the general public; because their propaganda machine will, as they have long done, scare them with the evil of “socialized medicine”.

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By dp, June 12, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I live in the Gulf South where I am witnessing the rape and pillage carried on by insurance companies after a natural disaster.  Insurance is nothing more than the mob under government protection.  It has become so ingrained in our society, however, to fear anything resembling “socialism” and to truly believe we need to give our money to insurance under various guises to “protect” us from life. 
We’re finding out down here that there is no protection, really.  You can pay premiums for years and when you need them to pay, they’ll come up with some way of getting out of it.  And the government turns a deaf ear, because insurance is the biggest industry in the country and has lobbying power like no other.
The old argument that the US might have it’s problems, but it’s still the best country in the world to live in, long ago lost that distinction.  And until our government “of the people, for the people,” starts to really be just that, instead of “of the corporations, for the corporations”, it will get no better.
Americans needs to get their collective heads out of the sand and start voting for people who truly represent them, instead of voting tired issues like abortion and gay marriage.  Continuously putting the party of big business into power under the erroneous assumption that they believe in stopping abortions is assinine.  I’d say they’re getting what they asked for, except they’re dragging the rest of us down as well.
The elitists are succeeding in dumbing down America in every aspect and we just keep taking it.

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By Yelwrose, June 12, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Tim Ed said

>>What really upsets me is the Democrats. They do NOTHING to stop this. Just like the credit card and bankruptcy laws, when push comes to shove from the giant corporations, be they financial or health care or whatever, the Dems fold like a lawn chair (not ever last one, but Kennedy can’t do it by himself!). So when it comes to those Dems who hem and haw and continue to bow to the corporate masters<<

And the reason is FUNDING. The Dems have no cojones because they are scared of losing big corporate contributors…just like the Republicans.  99% of politicians are in the pockets of the corporations because WE THE PEOPLE have allowed this to happen by not DEMANDING true campaign finance reform.  Nothing will appreciably change until we institute publicly funded elections and send the PACS packing.

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By Bates, June 12, 2007 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It will be tough to get things changed in the US. So many industries are involved. Doctors should get paid based on results. Here’s Moore inviting everyone to share their horror stories via video. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

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By G.Anderson, June 12, 2007 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Years, ago Doctors practised medicine. Now, they “manage”. The American system no longer works, our food is filled with poison and filth, as is our prescription medicine. This is done by corporate crooks that have fed on the blood of this country, like parasites. These are the same “companies” that outsource our jobs to third world nations, and want 20 million immigrants to have the right to work in America, as wage slaves for seven years before they can become citizens. The same companies who we are fighting for in Iraq. The same one’s that have bought the Republican party, and are in the process of buying the Democratic party in time for the next election.

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By cyrena, June 11, 2007 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Grins Dik…no offense taken. I’m delighted that anybody even paid attention.

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By Tim Ed Anshabby, June 11, 2007 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I understand and respect Moore’s desire to try to tone down the partisanship on this issue (although the Gitmo stuff in the second clip above does seem to lean that way a bit, I think it’s legit to criticize the government in power that allowed that insane imbalance, which ever party it is). But, I don’t have the same desire.
It doesn’t really surprise me that Republicans would allow the deplorable situation we are in regarding our entire health care system. They reap (usually hand over fist) what they sow. I wish them luck at the Pearly Gates.
  What really upsets me is the Democrats. They do NOTHING to stop this. Just like the credit card and bankruptcy laws, when push comes to shove from the giant corporations, be they financial or health care or whatever, the Dems fold like a lawn chair (not ever last one, but Kennedy can’t do it by himself!). So when it comes to those Dems who hem and haw and continue to bow to the corporate masters, I DON’T wish them luck at the Pearly Gates. I blame they greatly for bad stuff Moore is showing us with this flick.

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By cyrena, June 11, 2007 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

To Euni84 and All: It was to you and thinkers like you, (people who are not “big Michael Moore fans”) that Oprah was specifically directing her attention. Because most people who are not “big fans of Michael Moore” don’t even know WHY they aren’t.

There was much ado from Oprah about the “non-political” nature of this film, when in fact it’s no more or less political than any of the documentaries that he has done. In “Bowling for Columbine,” he exposed the huge Corporate Weapons Industry, and how enormous its profits are, and how closely connected that industry is to the Oligarchy. Since that industry is supported by the same basic threads that weave the Oil, the Pharmies, the Insurance, and various other components of the network.

In short, it pissed off a whole bunch of the Oligarchy, most of whom are republican, and gun lovers. Thn little guy on the farm and/or street wants to maintain his “right to bear arms”, and the Gun Corps love the money. (The U.S. is the LARGEST exporter of small arms on the planet). So you see, that’s what Michael Moore was pointing out in Columbine, (along with the fact that these guns inevitably fall into the hands of people who should not have them) and many people have needlessly died as a result.

None of this was well received by the Oligarchy, not with all of the profit involved in selling arms of all sorts. So, it took on a “political smear” of Michael Moore pretty much immediately. So, some people who claim the “political” connection to the movie aren’t really understanding the meaning of the word “political”. Political isn’t the same as “partisan”. ALL of it is “political” in the sense that it is the business of “we the people”. Health care should be a political matter in that sense. So should gun control. “We the people” should KNOW this stuff, and for the most part, we DON’T.

We don’t until somebody like Michael Moore goes out and finds it for us, and then goes though all sorts of hassles that nobody else would go through just to put together a simple documentary, (nobody else would be “hassled” the same way, and if they were, they just wouldn’t bother). And even THEN, a lot of people STILL don’t know about these issues until Oprah finds out, and then tells everybody on the TV. But by THEN, (because Oprah is really pretty much slow catching on to things) the Oligarchy’s smear machine has already gone to work, and the average Oprah watcher has already made a decision that they aren’t “big fans of Michael Moore”.

It was the same with Farah height 9-11. The only thing Michael Moore did, was the same investigative journalism that investigative journalists DO. And, it WAS a “national matter” to –we the people- when we were attacked. The Government did eventually provide an “Official Report”, and that’s the LEAST of what we should have expected. However, the “Official Report” is certainly not complete, and it might even be WRONG. So, it isn’t a “bad” thing for the population to be “informed” about the issues that affect ALL of us, collectively. Then, when folks start receiving ALL information, they can make their own educated opinions on what is best. THAT….is “democracy”. An informed public is one of the best gifts we can give each other.

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By DMK, June 11, 2007 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

The insurance companies highjacked the health care system when the “DRG’s” were instituted. This means that for a certain diagnosis a hospital gets a flat rate of money. The hospital wants to get you discharged before it uses up all of that money so they discharge patients “sicker and quicker.” Healthcare has only gone downhill since. This is what happens when you let corporations make the decisions on how this country will run. Until you put a stop to “kickbacks” and the corporate culture, nothing will change.

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By RAE, June 11, 2007 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

“We need to urge our leaders to support issues that will make a positive impact.”

What you need urgently is a revamping of your constitution to expressly prohibit those elected to serve the people from hijacking the system to serve themselves (and their friends in high places.)

As it stands, you (the people) can “urge” your leaders until you turn blue in the face. These “leaders” simply do not have to pay any attention to your urgings! It is that loophole you must fix… and fast… before it’s too late.

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By euni84, June 11, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

While I am not a big Michael Moore fan, I really am supportive of this latest project. A simple reworking of the budget could easily propel a niversal health program, people just have to want to provide health care for everyone. The US is really lacking in humanitarian policies, such as health care, foreign polict and ending global poverty by supporting the UN Millennium Development Goals. According to the Borgen Project, we have spent $340 billion on the war to end terror and nothing has come of it. We need to urge our leaders to support issues that will make a positive impact.

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