Friday, June 22, 2007

Michael Moore Compares What Cuba and America Now Export

Steve Clemons

Michael Moore is making quite a splash in Washington with his new film, Sicko. I have yet to see the film, but I think that one of the key takeaways from the documentary on the sorry state of American health care is that in Cuba, comprehensive quality health care is considered a human right.

Cuba gets much wrong -- but after Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Haditha, and frankly 47 million uninsured Americans with no health care -- America has a diminished level of moral credibility to stand on when criticizing illiberal regimes. Today, Cuba is exporting doctors whereas it used to export revolution and weaponry. Without getting too deep for the moment, just ask yourself which country in the world tops the charts on exporting armaments and revolution.

friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

Live Edition

1. "Breathe" - Loop [Edizione Limitada Di 1000 Copie (1992)] (mp3)

2. "N.W.O." - Ministry [Jesus Built My What? (1992)] (mp3)

3. "To Hell With Good Intentions (Live at ULU)" - Mclusky [Mcluskyism - C sides (2006)] (mp3)

4. "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" - Blondie [Parallel Lines [Expanded] (2001)] (mp3)

5. "Black Metallic" - Catherine Wheel [BBC 8-9-1995] (mp3)

6. "Strings" - Asobi Seksu [At the Echo - October 6, 2006] (mp3)

7. "Bomber" - Motörhead [No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith (1981)] (mp3)

8. "24 Hours" - Joy Division [Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979 (2001)] (mp3)

9. "Papa Won't Leave You Henry" - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds [Live Seeds (1993)] (mp3)

10. "Friendly Advice" - Luna [Live (2001)] (mp3)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

one of 1.8 million

Study Finds 1.8 Million Veterans Are Uninsured

As the nation struggles to improve medical and mental health care for military personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, about 1.8 million U.S. veterans under age 65 lack even basic health insurance or access to care at Veterans Affairs hospitals, a new study has found.

The ranks of uninsured veterans have increased by 290,000 since 2000, said Stephanie J. Woolhandler, the Harvard Medical School professor who presented her findings yesterday before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. About 12.7 percent of non-elderly veterans -- or one in eight -- lacked health coverage in 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, she said, up from 9.9 percent in 2000. Veterans 65 and older are eligible for Medicare.

About 45 million Americans, or 15 percent of the population, were uninsured in 2005, the Census Bureau reports.

"The data is showing that many veterans have no coverage and they're sick and need care and can't get it," Woolhandler said.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Swedish man gets benefits for Black Sabbath addiction

The Registar

A Swedish man is to receive sickness benefits for his addiction to heavy metal music.

The lifestyle of 42-year-old dishwasher Roger Tullgren from Hässleholm in southern Sweden has been classified as a disability by the Swedish Employment Service, which has agreed to pay part of Tullgren's salary, and his new boss has given him special dispensation to play loud music at work.

According to Swedish online newspaper The Local, Tullgren first developed an interest in heavy metal when his older brother bought a Black Sabbath album in 1971. Since then, Tullgren is a classic (albeit softly spoken) heavy metal head with tattoos and skull and crossbones jewellery. Last year he attended almost 300 heavy metal shows, while playing bass and guitar in two rock bands, including Silverland.

what digby said

Video from the Gala Dinner at Take Back America 2007 in Washington, DC - June 19, 2007. The blogosphere's most famous unknown makes herself known, and accepts the Paul Wellstone Citizen Leadership Award on behalf of the entire progressive blogosphere.

Take Back America


The excellent PBS Frontline documentary ENDGAME: What went wrong and why in America's tragically failed effort to find a strategy for success in Iraq.

Watch ii online.

Monday, June 18, 2007

this land was made for you and me

This Land Is Your Land

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

sunday's must reads

"Troops Are Returning From the Battlefield With Psychological Wounds, But the Mental-Health System That Serves Them Makes Healing Difficult". Dana Priest and Anne Hull in WaPo - The War Inside

In public, the former Army scout stood tall for the cameras and marched in the parades. In private, he slashed his forearms to provoke the pain and adrenaline of combat. He heard voices and smelled stale blood. Soon the offers of help evaporated and he found himself estranged and alone, struggling with financial collapse and a darkening depression.

At a low point, he went to the local Department of Veterans Affairs medical center for help. One VA psychologist diagnosed Cruz with post-traumatic stress disorder. His condition was labeled "severe and chronic." In a letter supporting his request for PTSD-related disability pay, the psychologist wrote that Cruz was "in need of major help" and that he had provided "more than enough evidence" to back up his PTSD claim. His combat experiences, the letter said, "have been well documented."

None of that seemed to matter when his case reached VA disability evaluators. They turned him down flat, ruling that he deserved no compensation because his psychological problems existed before he joined the Army. They also said that Cruz had not proved he was ever in combat. "The available evidence is insufficient to confirm that you actually engaged in combat," his rejection letter stated.

Sy Hersh in The New Yorker: How Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties.