follow us in feedly
‘Die-hard conservative Republican’: How I Lost My Fear of Universal Health Care
07.20.2012
03:52 pm

Topics:
Class War
Politics
The wrong side of history

Tags:

image
 
American Vyckie Garrison, a self-described “die-hard conservative Republican,” moved to Canada in 2008 and was “disgusted” at the prospect of universal health care. Garrison was so far right, she writes at RH Reality Check, that “I believed based on my politics that government mandated health care was a violation of my freedom.”

Until she actually used universal health care, then she dramatically changed her tune:

I started to feel differently about Universal government mandated and regulated Health care. I realized how many times my family had avoided hospital care because of our lack of coverage. When I mentioned to Canadians that I had been in a car accident as a teen and hadn’t gone into the hospital, they were shocked! Here, you always went to the hospital, just in case. And the back issue I had since the accident would have been helped by prescribed chiropractic care which would have been at no cost to me. When I asked for prayers for my little brother who had been burned in a camping accident, they were all puzzled why the story did not include immediately rushing him to the hospital. When they asked me to clarify and I explained that many people in the States are not insured and they try to put off medical care unless absolutely needed, they literally could not comprehend such a thing.

I started to wonder why I had been so opposed to government mandated Universal Health care. Here in Canada, everyone was covered. If they worked full-time, if they worked part-time, or if they were homeless and lived on the street, they were all entitled to the same level of care if they had a medical need. People actually went in for routine check-ups and caught many of their illnesses early, before they were too advanced to treat. People were free to quit a job they hated, or even start their own business without fear of losing their medical coverage. In fact, the only real complaint I heard about the universal health care from the Canadians themselves, was that sometimes there could be a wait time before a particular medical service could be provided. But even that didn’t seem to be that bad to me, in the States most people had to wait for medical care, or even be denied based on their coverage. The only people guaranteed immediate and full service in the USA, were those with the best (and most expensive) health coverage or wads of cash they could blow. In Canada, the wait times were usually short, and applied to everyone regardless of wealth. If you were discontent with the wait time (and had the money to cover it) you could always travel out of the country to someplace where you could demand a particular service for a price. Personally, I never experienced excessive wait times, I was accepted for maternity care within a few days or weeks, I was able to find a family care provider nearby easily and quickly, and when a child needed to be brought in for a health concern I was always able to get an appointment within that week.

—snip—

I also discovered that the Canadian government looked out for its families in other ways. The country mandates one year of paid maternity leave, meaning a woman having a baby gets an entire year after the birth of her baby to recover and parent her new baby full-time, while still receiving 55% of her salary and their job back at the end of that year. Either parent can use the leave, so some split it, with one parent staying at home for 6 months and the other staying at home for 6 months. I could hardly believe my ears when I first heard it. In America, women routinely had to return to work after 6 weeks leave, many times unpaid. Many American women lost their jobs when becoming pregnant or having a baby. I knew people who had to go back to work 2 weeks after giving birth just to hang onto their job and continue making enough money to pay the bills. Also every child in Canada gets a monthly cash tax benefit. The wealthier families can put theirs into a savings account to pay for college someday (which also costs far less money in Canada by the way), the not so wealthy can use theirs to buy that car seat or even groceries. In the province we lived in, we also received a monthly day care supplement check for every child under school age. I made more money being a stay at home mom in Canada than I do in the States working a close to a minimum wage job. And none of the things I listed here are considered “welfare” they are available to every Canadian regardless of income. For those with lower incomes than we had there are other supports in place as well.

If a woman gets pregnant unexpectedly in America, she has to worry about how she will get her own prenatal care, medical care for her child, whether or not she will be able to keep her job and how she will pay for daycare for her child so she can continue to support her family. In Canada those problems are eliminated or at least reduced. Where do you think a woman is more likely to feel supported in her decision to keep her baby, and therefore reduce abortions?

I should probably mention here that one of Vyckie Garrison’s main problems with universal healthcare (edited out by me, it’s information less relevant to DM readers) was that it would make getting abortions easier. She’s a former adherent to the Quiverfull philosophy of patriarchal Christianity. Re-read the last two paragraphs, with this in mind. She’s not whistling “Dixie” here: She’s a conservative, Bible-believing American who, when confronted with FACTS about socialized medicine and the evidence right in front of her own eyes, came to some very logical conclusions.

Since all of these benefits are available to everyone, I never heard Canadians talking about capping their incomes to remain lower income and not lose their government provided health coverage. Older people in Canada don’t have to clean out their assets to qualify for some Medicare or Social Security programs, I heard of inheritances being left even amongst the middle classes. Something I had only heard about in wealthy families in the USA.

And lest you think that the Canada system is draining the government resources, their budget is very close to balanced every year. They’ve had these programs for decades. Last year Canada’s national debt was 586 billion dollars, the USA has 15.5 trillion dollars in national debt. Canada has about one 10th the population of the US, so even accounting for size, the USA is almost 3 times more indebted. And lest you think that taxes are astronomical, our median income taxes each year were only slightly higher than they had been in the States, and we still got a large chunk of it back each year at tax time.

Canadians are also, on average, now WEALTHIER than Americans are, but if you watch Fox News, you might never be exposed to THAT salient lil’ factoid!

Here’s to open minds! Thank you kindly, Vyckie Garrison!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Choose your own adventure as Can’s Damo Suzuki
07.20.2012
01:57 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Books
Music

Tags:

image
 
Hilarious ‘shopped image of You Are Damo Suzuki book, appropriately “penned” by Mark E. Smith.

Below, The Fall performing “I am Damo Suzuki” live at The Hacienda in 1985:
 

 
Via Post Punk Tumblr

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Mitt Gets Worse: It’s hard to imagine even George Bush saying something this dumb!

image
 
Julie Goodridge, who was one of the two lead plaintiffs in Goodridge v. Dept of Public Health—the lawsuit that brought same-sex marriage to Massachusetts—describes her personal meeting with then governor Mitt Romney and the shockingly cold thing he said to her about her child.

Goodridge (powerfully) describes her encounter with Thurston Howell III Mitt Romney as “the most frustrating experience in the entire marriage case.”

More at the Mitt Gets Worse Project.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
A 6-year-old judges classic novels based on their covers, hilarity ensues!
07.20.2012
01:11 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Books

Tags:

image
 
Sunny Chanel over at Babble hands over the blogging mic to her 6-year-old daughter and lets her judge classic novels by their covers.

Atlas Shrugged:

This is about Daydis (her spelling it’s actually – Daedalus). He is an ancient god guy who prays a lot. This book is about him crying. He is crying because he doesn’t like himself at all, because he hates himself. It looks like a saddy, saddy, saddy bookie.”

Note: she loves Greek Mythology at bedtime hence the Daedalus reference. And really, who doesn’t?

 

image

 

Animal Farm:

It looks like a book for kids. I think it’s about a donkey and a pig that do not like each other and they both live on a farm for animals. The same farm. It looks like it would be a funny book with a good really nice ending.

 

image

 

On the Road:

I think it’s about a car. A car that goes to Mexico, Indonesia and other places. It’s about a car that goes on all sorts of adventures. The guy on the cover is a teen, he likes to drive people places a lot. And he’s French.

 

image

 

Fahrenheit 451:

I think this is about a gigantic robot who goes on fire and he doesn’t like himself. It has a sad ending. It looks like a book for teens. The title means fire, a really really really big fire since the number is 451, that would mean it was really hot. So the robot must get really hot. Maybe that is why he is so sad.

 

Read more of Judging a Book by Its Cover: A 6-year-old Guesses What Classic Novels Are All About

Via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
One of SNL’s best and brightest: Tom Davis has died
07.19.2012
06:57 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Drugs
Television

Tags:

image
Jane Curtin, Al Franken, Tom Davis and Gilda Radner.
 
Comedian and writer Tom Davis of Saturday Night Live fame has died of throat and neck cancer at the age of 59.

Davis, along with his partner Al Franken, was responsible for some of the funniest and weirdest routines during SNL’s glory days, including the hugely popular running skit The Coneheads, which Davis said was inspired by one of the many LSD trips he took as a teenager in the late-1960s and early ‘70s. It should come as no surprise that Davis was into psychedelics. His humor was often laced with the kind of down-the-rabbit hole surrealism that arises from seeing things through a lysergic lens. Having Jerry Garcia as a friend also provided him with access to all kinds of cool shit, including an introduction to Stanley Owsley.

Davis retired from being a performer in the mid-1990s - although he briefly returned to SNL as a writer in 2003 - and focused on the writing of his memoirs, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL From Someone Who Was There, and a book he was co-authoring on Owsley. Davis, an unrepentant psychonaut to the end, continued to embrace life even as he was leaving it. I hope his last trip was/is a good one.

I wake up in the morning, delighted to be waking up, read, write, feed the birds, watch sports on TV, accepting the fact that in the foreseeable future I will be a dead person. I want to remind you that dead people are people too.”

Here’s a fun clip of Davis as Keith Richards and Franken as Mick Jagger doing “Under My Thumb” at Stockton State College in New Jersey, 1983.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Pennie Smith’s historic Clash photo: The greatest rock ‘n’ roll image of all time?
07.19.2012
05:32 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:

image
 
Working in striking black and white, British photographer Pennie Smith has captured some great moments in rock ‘n’ roll history. Among her subjects are The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Jam, The Smiths, to name a few. But she is probably best known for the iconic photo of Paul Simonon smashing his guitar to The Palladium stage during a show in New York City in 1979. The shot distills the power, energy, fury and excitement of rock ‘n’ roll in one image captured at the speed of light.

I could argue that this is the greatest rock ‘n’ roll photo of all time and I’m sure it would be a very lively discussion. These things are highly subjective. I remember first seeing this photo on the cover of London Calling the day the record came out. And I, like many folks back then and now, found the image as exhilarating as the album itself and a perfect example of form being an extension of content. Simonon is stamping out the flames of a city on fire with the only weapon he has: his guitar.

Like Bob Gruen, Smith is less concerned with technique than capturing a moment that communicates something essential about what is being photographed. In this case, Smith was also so close to the action she was in jeopardy of becoming a part of it:

“I remember thinking something was wrong, realising Paul was going to crack - and waited. The shot is out of focus because I ducked - he was closer than it looks”

Here’s a short but sweet film on Pennie Smith. (I have no idea from what larger documentary this clip has been excerpted from and would appreciate feedback from our readers who might know.)

The narration in the video begins in French but the rest is in English.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Flea releases solo EP ‘Helen Burns’: Featuring Patti Smith
07.19.2012
05:30 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Music

Tags:

image
 
Over the past couple of days, Flea has caused a major tremor of excitement as he announced news of his first solo EP Helen Burns.

Described as unlike anything he has created with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flea tweeted that:

i recorded most of the ep when we finished our tour for stadium arcadium. it is not rhcp music or even close to it. it is a trippy freakout.

on helen burns, i play trumpet, bass, synthesizers, drum machine, piano, and a bunch of other shit

all proceeds from my helen burns ep will go towards the silverlake conservatory of music

it will be available for down load at any price you want to pay, it will be a donation to the silverlake conservatory of music

Patti Smith also sings on the EP, along with the Conservatory Choir, and a vinyl copy is also available which “is autographed and contains a piece of a bass string” which Flea has played live.

Over at the download page, Flea added:

Hi people who like The Red Hot Chili Peppers! I love you a lot! Mucho! Just wanted to give you a heads up about this little record “Helen Burns” I am putting out on the Silverlake Conservatory website.

Warning! It is not a Chili Peppers record. It does not have songs that are like the Chili Peppers at all. It is a mostly instrumental, weird and arty record, the music is mostly just me creating soundscapes that are very emotional for me, but certainly not for everyone! Just me tripping out at home. I am putting it out to raise money for The Silverlake Conservatory of Music a community based non profit music school that i am an integral part of. There you have it. See you all soon i hope! and all proceeds from the Helen Burns will go to the Silverlake Conservatory of Music.

I reckon most of our DM readers will love Flea’s excellent Helen Burns EP, which you can Download here, and follow the great man on twitter here.
 
Now, as a bonus here’s an early RHCP interview with Flea and Anthony Kiedis from 1986.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Harpo Marx and Amelia Earhart, 1932
07.19.2012
04:43 pm

Topics:
History
Movies

Tags:

image
 
Two lovely photographs of Harpo Marx and Amelia Earhart on the set of the 1932 Marx Brothers film Horse Feathers.
 
image
 
With thanks to Brian Tibbetts!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Their America, we just live here: Wal-Mart family has more $$$ than 48.8 million families combined

image
Wrong Waltons

This is so fucked up, I actually swooned when I read it.

THIS is exactly what Karl Marx warned us would happen…

From Working Economics:

Concretely, between 2007 and 2010, while median family wealth fell by 38.8 percent, the wealth of the Walton family members rose from $73.3 billion to $89.5 billion…In 2007, it was reported that the Walton family wealth was as large as the bottom 35 million families in the wealth distribution combined, or 30.5 percent of all American families.

And in 2010, as the Walton’s wealth has risen and most other Americans’ wealth declined, it is now the case that the Walton family wealth is as large as the bottom 48.8 million families in the wealth distribution (constituting 41.5 percent of all American families) combined.

Let’s deregulate the economy! YEAH! Let’s cut the estate tax EVEN MORE so THESE FUCKING PARASITES can, you know, buy more politicians to protect their wealth for generations of worthless heirs to come!

These are the folks who are going to benefit more than practically ANYONE IN AMERICA if Mitt Romney gets elected.

Romney’s own immediate family and their heirs and their heirs and beyond—not to mention his election-buying buddies the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson—would also be on that same list, natch.

Yes, let’s elect HIM and let the FREE MARKET TAKE OVER!

HOORAY FOR AMERICA!

HOORAY FOR CAPITALISM!

HOORAY FOR DEMOCRACY!

If this information doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, you’re an idiot.

This IS a fucking IQ test!

The 50th anniversary of the opening of the first Wal-Mart was two weeks ago. If more wealth than the bottom 40% of the country has, combined, equals what these fucks have got, it stands to reason, does it not, that if this ONE FAMILY has more wealth than that of 48.8 MILLION American families combined, that they got it by placing a TAX—hidden in the price—on absolutely every single item sold in a Wal-Mart. It’s one of the largest, most pervasive cons ever perpetrated, all legal of course.

What have the Walton heirs done to deserve this bounty other than being BORN to the right family? Nothing? Talk about winning the lottery, eh?

AND IT TOOK LESS THAN 50 YEARS TO ACHIEVE THIS TRANSFER OF WEALTH.  Don’t call it wealth creation. Being born worth the same as TWO FIFTHS of your fellow Americans COMBINED isn’t wealth creation!

It’s an absurdity. If the Walton heirs collectively possesed more wealth than just 48 American families combined it would still be fucked up!

Think about it: Every item for sale at the largest retailer in the world basically has a TARIFF factored into the price which is paid to the stockholders of Wal-Mart, which is chiefly owned by the members of the Walton family. It’s not like you have to slog through 1000+ pages of Das Kapital to understand how this works. It’s not a complex equation.

If you’re okay with this and you want to continue to give your own hard-earned money to the queen bees of the Walton family, please continue to do so, mentally deficient fool. It’s your dignity!

However, if you think this is totally insane, and if you do not wish to slip a few bucks out of your grocery bill each week to the WEALTHY PARASITES pictured below, then all you have to do in protest is not spend your money in a Wal-Mart ever again.

As in NEVER.

Read more:
Inequality, exhibit A: Walmart and the wealth of American families

Half Of American Households Hold 1 Percent Of Wealth
 
image
 
Via Think Progress

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
A tale of two cities: Fran Lebowitz rips Mayor Bloomberg a new one
07.19.2012
02:14 pm

Topics:
Environment
Politics
Stupid or Evil?

Tags:

image
Greenwich Village or Logan’s Run?

The mighty Fran Lebowitz takes on Mayor Bloomberg and New York University with the righteous indignation of someone who loves the city passionately and hates the steady shift away from a metropolis known for its cultural, racial and architectural diversity to one of homogeneity, privilege and wealth. She kicks ass and I think she’s absolutely brilliant. Lebowitz IS New York. She’d make a great mayor.

What Lebowitz and many New Yorkers are specifically upset about is NYU’s plan to construct four new buildings in Greenwich Village which will radically alter the area’s landscape by creating six city blocks (1.6 million square feet) comprised of massive concrete structures. The Village is one of the last neighborhoods in Manhattan that has maintained its human scale and these “superblocks” would destroy one of the great cultural communities on the planet, replacing gardens with stone and flooding the area with more people, more bars and more noise - an urban Disneyland for academics and alcoholics.

Anyone who has recently visited the East Village knows just how bad things can get when a neighborhood is overrun by suburban asswipes whose idea of a groovy night out is finding the bar with the cheapest Jagermeister shots. The site of puke-slathered Lana Del Rays wobbling down Avenue B on their Jimmy Choo’s will make you long for the days of garbage strikes and man-eating rats.

You can read more about the struggle to keep the Village safe from the marauding armies of greed who are so arrogantly and wantonly hellbent on turning an historic neighborhood into a Bloombergian hellpit here.

Bravo Fran!
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Page 965 of 1975 ‹ First  < 963 964 965 966 967 >  Last ›