At 5:02 PM +0100 7/4/07, Michael Balter wrote:
>Just one more comment from me today, as this is my third post. My
>main interest in this Truthdig article, and the main reason I posted
>it, was for the points it made about how effective Moore's film
>would end up being in the health care debate. I have not seen the
>film yet, but I did have serious reservations about Fahrenheit 9/11,
>which I felt strongly preached to the choir. A lot of good folks
>desperate for Kerry to win the 2004 election fantasized that the
>film would make the difference; sadly it did not. (On the other hand
>I thought Bowling for Columbine was a great film that made its
>points very well.) As people here know, the effectiveness of the
>left and how we go about winning friends and influencing people is
>one of my main issues and concerns.
I have various criticisms of Fahrenheit 9/11 too, but if it was just
"preaching to the choir," it was a pretty big choir, since it became
the biggest grossing documentary of all time by far, pulling in
something like 6x as much money as Bowling for Columbine, for
I haven't seen SiCKO yet, but my wife has seen it twice, and there is
an enormous amount of political organizing taking place at the
theatres. At the second showing she went to, the group she was with
was invited by theatre management to come to the front and make an
announcement about an upcoming health care forum and to circulate a
petition supporting single-payer.
For numerous news stories from around the country reporting similar
events, see Moore's web site:
If genuine, this item is particularly noteworthy:
The California Nurses Association has mobilized its members around
the movie, and says it has signed up 20,000 nurses nationwide to
build a grassroots campaign for single payer.
I could go on.
>For me the issue of health care in Cuba was secondary, although it
>is very interesting to see the responses of list members to that
>aspect. Jonathan, Herb and Phil all posted very relevant material,
>even if I personally think that there is a tendency on the left to
>romanticize the Cuban revolution and to forgive the strong
>authoritarian streak in its leadership that has resulted in the same
>guy being the leader for more than half a century. This extends to
>Cuba's institutions, which are far from perfect for reasons that in
>my humble opinion go far beyond the pressures of the American
>embargo or the Russian withdrawal of aid.
As some people on this list know, I am not a political supporter of
the Castro regime (and neither, for that matter, is Michael Moore),
but that doesn't blind me to the fact that Cuban health care puts the
US system to shame. Of course, pretty much every industrialized
country puts the US to shame in this respect too, but what is
remarkable about Cuba is that it is extremely poor and under a
permanent US economic embargo.