Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Conversation from the Break-Room (Part 1)

The Lemon Test ~ Michael Moore’s Sicko
Socialized Health-Care

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This drawing is taken from a political prisoner in Cuba which can be found at a blog about the recent taking of political prisoners. The following is from the first anniversary of their imprisonment:

Today marks one year that the Castro regime encarcerated at least 75 political prisoners in what can only be understood as a means of stifling opinion and information on the island. These prisoners of conscience, through mock trials - guilty without the regime's need to prove their guilt - have been sentenced to in some cases over 20 years merely for bringing the Cuban people information about the world outside their Elba.

Independent journalists, doctors, librarians, all thrown in jails with the common prison population and subjected to arduous humility, pain and suffering.

There are some organizations and governments that have blasted the Castro regime for these encarcerations, but, for the most part, the world remains either unaware or uncaring.

This quote from Manuel Cuesta Morua, a spokesman for a coalition of moderate dissident groups known as the Progressive Arc sums up the frustration of those working for a change within the island:

  • "(Cuban)People now ask, what sense is there in working in this direction if we can be jailed? The [Cuban] government has clearly said, both here and to the world, that it will not tolerate the opposition."

I overheard a conversation at work about Michael Moore’s movie, “Sicko,” and I wanted to respond to it here with some video examples from a wealthier nation (than Cuba) to our north that has universal health care, Canada; as well as some pertinent info from Cuba. The reasoning behind why I didn’t refute the wrongly placed assumptions and “facts” I overheard is because most people do not have the time or “gumption” to test their pet-theories against the truth of the matter. In-other-words, if I went around refuting every little misnomer people have, I wouldn’t be able to eat lunch or check my e-mail… which is what I was doing at the time. But I must say, it took a lot of will-power not to get involved in this public conversation.

Healthy Diets
I want people reading this and watching the videos below to also keep in mind Britain is having the same problems, as is Cuba… but since the government completely controls the news in Cuba you will not hear about their horrible system unless you talk to ex-Cubans. I first want to mention diet, when the Spaniards controlled Cuba (1842) as, well, a slave class; this was the allowance of rations for the slaves to eat:

  • Meat, Chicken, Fish: 8 oz.
  • Rice: 4 oz.
  • Starches: 16 oz.
  • Beans: 4 oz.
This is what it is under Stalinism:
  • Meat, Chicken, Fish: 2 oz.
  • Rice: 3 oz.
  • Starches: 6.5 oz.
  • Beans: 1 oz.
(Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him, by Humberto Fonova. The above and below stats are from pp. 153-154 of his book)

Infant Mortality Rates

In 1958, Cuba’s infant mortality rate was ranked thirteenth lowest in the world. This was better than France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy and Spain. Keep in mind that this is dependant on if you believe the figures coming from Castro’s propaganda ministry… which means they are really worse most probably. Today Cuba ranks twenty-fifth in the world. So after 40 years of “universal health-care” (e.g., Stalinism), the health-care system in Cuba has worsened. One must also consider Cuba’s staggering abortion rate of 0.71 abortions per live birth, which makes Cuba – by far – the highest in the hemisphere and among the highest in the world. This reduces infant mortality by “terminating” high-risk pregnancies. Of course your infant mortality rate will be low if you abort 6 to 7 out of ten babies born.

Dissidents versus Marxist Propaganda
A recent report snuck out by a dissident reporter reveals that tuberculosis, leprosy, and dengue – diseases long gone from Cuba in 1958 – are making a strong comeback in the Cuba of 2005.

Republican Candidate for 2008
Fred Thompson even joined in the ludicrously of thinking that Stalinized health care in Cuba was top-notch. In a blog by Thompson he says: “...According to Forbes magazine, by the way, Castro is now personally worth approximately $900 million. So when he desperately needed medical treatment recently, he could afford to fly a Spanish surgeon, with equipment, on a chartered jet to Cuba. What does that say about free Cuban health care?...”

Cleanliness is Next to Staliness
One web-site I recommend people to visit is , it has some interesting input into the health care system there, with photos to boot. This is an area where patients are actually operated on in a Cuban hospital:

This is the common area/entryway:

Actual Cockroaches killed by a patient:

Maybe this is why Fidel went to Spain? (Article where photo’s came from.)

Some Links
Here are a couple of other Cuban healthcare related posts:
- Doctor shortage at AIDS facility. - Doctor shortage at El Cerro. - Shipment of Doctors to Venezuela causes doctor shortage. - Maternity ward closes because of nurse shortage. - Pneumonia outbreak. - Car headlights used to light polyclinic during medical procedure. - High infant mortality rate, yes, but 6 out of 10 babies aborted. - Doctor fired after complaining about lack of sterilized equipment.
Michael Moore’s Propaganda Machine -- Goebbels and Stalin Would Be Proud!
You see, Michael Moore is a propagandist himself, one of my favorite examples to show in regards to how Michael Moore uses “facts” is the following:

According to Moore in his book Stupid White Men, “the entire nation is composed of morons”. He writes: “There are forty-four million Americans who cannot read and write above a fourth-grade level – in other words, who are functional illiterates. How did I learn this statistic? Well, I read it.”

Moore should have read better. His endnotes attribute the figure to the U.S. Deptpartment of Education’s national Adult Literacy Survey. Yes, that survey found that 40-44 million Americans performed in the lowest level of literacy. But the survey doesn’t end there. In the next paragraph, it goes on to note that 25% of the people who scored in the lowest literacy category were immigrants who have learned little or no English. And in classic Moore fashion, he also fails to disclose that nearly 19% of the group he includes in the uneducated masses are actually people who have “visual difficulties that affect their ability to read print.”

Surprise: Functional English literacy is not high among the blind, and people learning to speak English may be highly educated, but only able to read their native language. This hardly makes the United States a nation that, writes Moore, “GOES OUT OF ITS WAY TO REMASIN IGNORANT AND STUPID” (capitalization in the original).

(From the book Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man, by Hardy and Clarke.)

Toothpaste versus Bleach
What the person’s I overheard talking don’t realize is that when Michael Moore was trying to bring patients to the hospitals in Cuba in his film Sicko that the hospitals tending to foreigners had the supplies they needed, whereas the hospitals tending to the Cuban citizens do not have even basic provisions. This may be some of the profiteering that has amassed Fidel 900-million dollars. Bilking foreigners that is.

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, July 9 (Juan Carlos Garcell, APLO) – A hospital laundry in Sagua de Tánamo, Holguín province, has been using toothpaste to wash linens for the past two weeks instead of chlorine and detergent.

Hospital employees who wouldn’t be identified said that as a result clothing smells foul and shows blood stains. Most patients are refusing to wear hospital supplied clothing.

"It’s nauseating," said one doctor about the clothing.

The situation places even the health of hospital personnel at risk due to poor disinfection.

By way of contrast, hospitals in the area attending to foreign patients have all the necessary resources to properly wash and disinfect linens.

Okay, here are some short videos to watch, they are about 5-minutes to 7-minutes long, except for the last one which is 25-minutes long, enjoy.

THE LEMON – Socialized Medicine/Car Making
DEAD MEAT – Health-Care (25-minutes of Common Sense)