Friday, May 18, 2007

Michael Moore Goes to France

Michael Moore is a national treasure. The man has single-handedly taken on the responsibility that most of the so-called "serious journalists" in the American main-stream media abandoned a long time ago; which is, as Upton Sinclair eloquently phrased it one-hundred years ago: "to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable". I seriously believe that two-hundred years from now, his films will be studied in civics classes much in the same way Thomas Paine's writings are studied today (that's assuming that the American republic survives that long - a big and depressing "if" any way you slice it). He is truly one of the great patriots of the era. God bless 'im!

As it always has, controversy has dogged the making and completion of his latest offering, SICKO, a film that, according to its producer, Meghan O'Hara, "will rip the band-aid off America's health care industry". The rescue workers who labored heroically to clean up the rubble of ground zero following the hideous attacks of September 11, 2001, were exposed to toxic substances that have subsequently impaired the health of many of them. Although the Bush administration knew that the people doing the clean up were in danger of exposure, they not only didn't bother to issue a warning to that effect, they publicly stated that the air was perfectly safe. One year later they would be claiming that Saddam Hussein had a serious weapons of mass destruction program - but that's another story for another day.
In the five and a half years since, the very people who cleared the area where the World Trade Center once stood - some of whom have died because of their injuries - have been all but abandoned by their once-great country's sick and dysfunctional health care system. To make a point, Michael Moore brought them to Fidel Castro's Cuba (WOOOOOOOOOHHHH!!!) where they received the needed treatment they were unable to obtain here. To put it bluntly: Moore has put America's way of dealing with the sick and infirm to utter shame.
And now the Bush White House has made veiled threats to prosecute Michael Moore for violating the U.S. embargo that prevents American citizens from traveling to Cuba to conduct business. OFAC chief, Dale Thompson, in a letter to Moore, said, "This office has no record that a specific license was issued authorizing you to engage in travel-related transactions involving Cuba". The problem with this argument is the fact that Moore wasn't there to "conduct business", so to speak, he was there to film a documentary! Documentaries - American documentaries - are made in Cuba all the time. In fact, come to think of it, even Fox News has gone into the place a time or two. Usually, however, the reports that come out of Cuba tend to focus on the negative aspects of the country. Moore was focusing on its positives. Therein lies the problem. The threat coming from the Feds was real enough to force Moore and his production team to make two master negatives of the film and spirit (alright, "smuggled") it out of the country as carefully and as quietly as possible. You'll be happy to know that a positive print of SICKO has arrived safe and sound in Cannes and is ready for its premiere there next week.
The right wing smear machine is going into overdrive. "I have no expectation that Moore is going to tell the truth about Cuba or health care" said possible presidential hopeful and failed actor, Fred Thompson, "I defend his right to do what he does, but Moore's talent for clever falsehoods has been too well documented". Thompson was unable to offer one example of any of those "clever falsehoods". Is it possible that he has Michael Moore confused with Karl Rove? Intriguing thought. In a short video on his website, Thompson then stooped to the GOP's tried and true tactic of questioning Moore's sanity. My goodness! What these assholes won't do!
The Bush Mob has every reason to be frightened - seriously frightened - by the release of a new Michael Moore film. Immediately after the American people were able to view his last work, Fahrenheit 9/11, Bush's poll ratings began to fall drastically - and this was a year before Hurricane Katrina! SICKO will be opening in theaters all around the country next month and of this you may be certain: this summer will see the dawn of the pharmaceutical industry's day of reckoning. We the people will start to ask some serious questions. We're going to demand some answers.
Pray for peace.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Tell George W. Bush and his geeky little sycophants in the Justice Department to FUCK OFF!!! politely as possible, of course.... Tell them to leave Michael Moore alone! Send your comments here:
Here is the text of the e-mail I sent this morning to the White House:
Hey George!
Tell your goons to leave Michael Moore alone. The film is out and there is not a thing you can do to stop it. You might as well try to stop the sun from rising.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY.
They immediately sent me this reply:
"On behalf of President Bush, thank you for your correspondence. We appreciate hearing your views and welcome your suggestions [OH, BULLSHIT!] Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to every message. Thank you again for taking the time to write".
Well, wasn't that sweet of them?


At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is the issue I write on as you know- US Health Care Reform

The Bush goon squad and admin needs to-

- lay off of Mike Moore
- more shamefully actually do something about our very broken US Health Care System

The failures are too numerous to count!

Be Well;

Dr. Rick Lippin

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had the same result with the White House and also with my 2 illustrious Kansas Senators,Roberts and Brownback.
It is an indictment of everything wrong with our country and the miserable crowd of criminals masquarading as an administration that victims of the tragedy that same miserable administration milked for all the pr they could garner that have to go to Cuba of all places to get the help that they can't get here in the richest used to be most advanced country in the world until we shipped most of our resources to China and India.
Micheal Moore deserves a statue on every courthouse lawn in this used to be great country.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tom,

If Michael Moore can loosen the grip the pharmaceutical industry holds over us all in this country, he'll become my hero.

Our choices regarding health are becoming so limited that soon families will have to start growing their own food and herbs just to keep from being poisoned by what the market offers.

The pharmaceutical and food industries are in cahoots to make us so sick in body and mind that we lose the ability to do anything other than what they want: generate huge profits for themselves and keep us in a state of helpless misery and poverty.

Our government is hiding a huge truth from us and that is: our food supply is killing us with its declining nutrient content and increasing load of toxic additives. This suits the pharmaceutical industry just fine because it guarantees an ever increasing number of suffering Americans to seek relief in the form of drugs.
Did you know the FDA got a law passed that says "Only a drug can prevent or cure disease?" It is illegal for anyone to claim that foods or supplements have anything to do with curing anything.

The only reason any alternatives to this insanity exist is because they are small businesses for whom it is not worth the effort for the big guns of government to go after them. Just let them start to make a decent amount of profit from their work and watch what happens.

And doctors nowadays! I swear they are coming out of medical schools dumber every year. The American Medical Establishment ADMITS to killing 100,000 of us EVERY YEAR due to physician and hospital errors. I personally know of three cases where people suspect or know that a loved one died due to a doctor's incompetence but could get no admission of wrongdoing. One of these is a nurse. The actual number killed must be much greater. With a track record like this, you'd think the medical establishment would have a little humility in front of the traditional healing arts that rarely, if ever, cause anyone any harm. Just go to your doctor and say you don't want to take drugs for any disease but want to use herbs or nutrition instead and see what they say to you.

I hope Michael Moore will turn out to be a knight in shining armor who can take on the dragon of this psychotically corrupt industry. I'll give him whatever support I can.

If you get to preview his movie let us know how you like it!

At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom.

Of course the pharmaceutical establishment and the FDA have no scruples and are driven only by big bucks. Another irony of this situation is to review the miserable job the FDA is doing in approving new drugs that are questionable while they adamantly refuse to let people reimport drugs from Canada because they can't vouch for the purity of them.

While I am not a conspiracy advocate to suggest that Bush was behind 9/11, my biggest fear is that as more and more faults of this failed Bush administration are exposed, they are going to strike out like a cornered rat and do something really terrible to this country simply to try and cover their behinds. I am sure that Michael Moore must be causing some of them some sleepless nights and they will do anything to stop him.

Wilma is completely right in her statement that our food is also a great source of our health problems. Witness the recent uproar of tainted pet food and the revelations that human food was also contaminated.

As far your response from the White House, I write and harass every day and get the same canned reply almost immediately after posting. But what else can you do? Keep trying.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Wilma, it was fearless Flower who brought up the food issue, but I am sure that almost all regular readers of Tom's Rant would agree.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles, no apology necessary: I agree completely with the statement; let my add with this crowd of greedheads in charge, our water is not fit to drink, our food is not fit to eat nor is our air fit to breathe.
Our country is no longer ours, they are raping our public lands for profit.
I hope MM can rally the country behind him and we can fix our broken health care system.
Add that the side effects of some of the drugs foisted on an unsuspecting public are worse than the disease because they are being put on the market before full testing is complete.
Added is there is such a shortage of nurses they are workin 12 hour shifts, 3 days on 4 off, leading to fatigue and medical errors.

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to add this one thing, FYI for everyone here: the government is hiding the true cause of the pet food deaths that have been in the news. First it was said to be rat poison. Well, one of our cats ate a mouse once that was dying of this poison and it only got a little sick. The traces found in the food were not enough to kill a bigger animal. Rat poison has to be ingested in a one time big dose or the animal just developes a tolerance to it. Then as additive called melamine was blamed, but the same thing applies: the amounts are just not enough to cause death.

Apparently PETA has information on their website that is quite enlightening. PETA did their own analysis and found toxic levels of synthetic vitamin D. Symptoms of an overdose of this stuff exactly match the symptoms of the pets who died, with diarrea, extreme thirst and vomiting, and death by kidney failure. The damage is cumulative. How it got there is still a mystery.

Now, it gets even more interesting. This fake Vitamin D is the same stuff the government is using to fortify our milk and butter and other foods. Vitamin D in a natural form in the right amount is hugely beneficial, a cure (are you listening, FDA?) for everything from depression to osteoporosis to migraine to dizziness (in the elderly) and a preventer of almost every cancer and many diseases. The government was just about to raise the daily recommendation for Vitamin D (Of course, they make no distinction between natural and synthetic). It will be very interesting to watch what happens now. I'm betting they will just quietly withdraw this recommendation.

The sun is the best source of natural vitamin D and it is nearly impossible to overdose on it.You only need to be careful not to get a sunburn. It's God's gift to us all to keep us healthy.

If I've gotten a little wordy, I apologize! I own and manage a health food store and am very passionate about the subject of health.

Also, Dr. Rick, I did not mean to lump you with all the doctors for whom I hold so much contempt. You are a diamond in the rubble and we need more like you!

At 3:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our healthcare system is a trainwreck. "The U.S. healthcare system ranks last among other major rich countries for quality, access and efficiency. The studies by the Commonwealth Fund found that the Untied States, which has the most expensive health system in the world, underperforms consistently relative to other countries and differs most notably in the fact that Americans have no universal health insurance coverage." Agence France-Presse
Sicko will expand on this well-known fact. Thank God for Michael Moore. I wrote to him to thank him for his courage and his activism. He also needs to watch his back. Bush and the Pharmaceutical Industry are joined at the hip. Bush has the CEO of Lilly Pharmaceuticals read his State of the Union addresses to be sure there is nothing offensive to the drug industry therein. This was reported by that bastion of right-wing conservatism, The Indianapolis Star. They were applauding these disgusting shenanigans. Hve you read John LeCarre's 'The Constant Gardener'? If not, you should. LeCarre does in-depth research on his books. It showed the pure evil of the pharmaceutical industry. When I worked as a research nurse, I saw this firsthand. Couldn't stomach it and quit. Let me just say, the results of drug investigations are skewed to insure that the drug companies get a return on their investment. That is the bottom line for our healthcare industry as a whole. It is all about making a profit. Patient care is an afterthought, at best. Insurance companies, hospitals (both profit and not-for-profit), most doctors, drug companies, medical supply companies and all other related fields consider profit first. The CEO's get extravagant salaries. The doctors and the insurance companies fight about who should suck the most blood out of the patient. Forget continuity of care. If the doctors dont like your insurance, you are dropped. If the insurance doesnt like your doctor, you must go elsewhere. And so it goes. Greed runs the healthcare industry. It is one of the most inflationary in this country. Because I worked for 25 yr. as an R.N., I can tell you stories that would frizz your hair. I was not considered a "Team Player", because I had a set of ethics. In our society today, that is seen as passe'. It comes from the top down. Ethics and morals are anathaema to the Bush Administration. It is a dirty word in their vocabulary.
The Daughters of Charity, Ascension Healthcare, the largest Catholic healthcare system in the country, has decided to try to shove it's Long-Term Disability employees off the healthcare insurance rolls. They got rid of their LTD plan about 10 yr. ago at St. Vincent Hospital, Indpls. They may have gotten rid of it system-wide. However, those of us who were on the old plan, signed contracts. It clearly stated we would have healthcare benefits until age 65,(Or drop dead, whichever comes first.) There are only 41 of us left. Most are senior citizens, disabled, on fixed incomes, with chronic health problems. Many of us are close to 65, as it is. Nevertheless, the lawyers are hard at work, trying to figure out how to dump us. And, St. Vincent has 'Core Values'! They are rotten to the core. Other corporations are pulling the same stunt on their retirees, while Congress turns a blind eye to it. I am sure the Bush Administration applauds it. The Buck is the Bottom Line for the Bushies. Thus, I say "Three Cheers" to Michael Moore. Let the truth come out, let the light shine in dark places,and let the fat-cats sweat bullets!!!

At 5:40 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Wow! Great postings, folks! Maybe you people ought to be writing this blog....FANTASTIC!
Tom Degan

At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The next biggest mistake this country has made after letting GWB move into the White House is letting all our medical facilities "privatize".
Healthcare has gone to Hell in a handbasket ever since and if possible worsens daily.
It is telling of our society when we have to go to CUBA to get the treatment we can't get here in our own country.
Deja vu all over again, given the administration's penchant for lies, I wonder what REALLY happened with the pretzel in the Oval Office?


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