Monday, April 16, 2007

Michael Moore to GOP: "Did Ya Miss Me?"

Cross-posted at Diatribune, My Left Wing and BlueSunbelt

Heeee's baccckkkk!

Yep, it’s time, folks. In fact, it’s past time, in my humble opinion.

Just when everyone could use a little break from all the perennial lies, obfuscation and hypocrisy doled out from the White House and their agents of doom, everyone’s favorite flaming liberal, (and super-scourge of the Bush administration) Michael Moore, is set to release his new film, “Sicko” at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Theatregoers and DVD buyers everywhere, don’t let the sophomoric title fool you. After two-years in the making, “Sicko” promises to be every bit as provocative -- every bit as real -- every bit as offensive to the rapture-seeking/conservative/fundamentalist/fascist wannabe Republicans and their benefactors as was Moore’s 2004 unexpected mega-hit, “Fahrenheit 9-11,” the biggest moneymaker of all time for a documentary film.

This time, however, instead of taking on the Bush administration head on, Moore takes aim at some of its biggest enablers, namely, HMO’s and big drug companies. In what the New York Post deems a “stunt,” Moore takes ailing Ground Zero responders from New York to Cuba to show Castro’s socialized medicine is superior to the U.S. health-care system.

I happened to come across this article in Sunday’s New York Post. Being of the progressive persuasion, the Post’s not one of my regular reads, but I do enjoy an occasional dose of sheer rightwing tomfoolery, and for that, the NYP is all too culpable. (where do these people come from anyway?)

But the sick sojourn, which some say uses ill 9/11 workers as pawns, has angered many in the responder community.

"He's using people that are in a bad situation and that's wrong, that's morally wrong," railed Jeff Endean, a former SWAT commander from Morris County, N.J., who spent a month at Ground Zero and suffers from respiratory problems.

A spokeswoman for the Weinstein Co., the film's distributor, would not say when the director's latest expose would hit cinemas or provide details about the film or the trip.

Responders were told Cuban doctors had developed new techniques for treating lung cancer and other respiratory illness, and that health care in the communist country was free, according to those offered the two-week February trip.

Ok, let’s review. Michael Moore offers to give a group of New Yorkers -- suffering for years from cancer and various respiratory maladies and are experiencing little or no relief from their own government -- a two-week, all expense paid trip to Cuba in search of decent, low cost health-care, and rightwing news rags like the New York Post try to make it sound like some kind of an overblown publicity stunt.

Is there anything these guys won’t try to spin into anti-left rhetoric?

Apparently, Castro’s Cuba has made great strides in the advancement of biotechnology, and has recently started to export its cancer treatments to 40-countries around the world. As a result, according to the AP, even the anti-Castro U.S. government granted an exception to its economic embargo against Cuba, allowing a California drug company to test three cancer vaccines developed in Havana, in 2004.

Of course, the Post just had to head out to the streets of the big apple and find ill 9-11 workers who rejected Moore’s offer.

Regardless, some ill 9/11 workers balked at Moore's idea.

"I would rather die in America than go to Cuba," said Joe Picurro, a Toms River, N.J., ironworker approached by the filmmaker via an e-mail that read, "Joe and Mike in Cuba."

After helping remove debris from Ground Zero, Picurro has a laundry list of respiratory and other ailments so bad that he relies on fund-raisers to help pay his expenses.
He said, "I just laughed. I couldn't do it."

Another ill worker who said he was willing to take the trip ended up being stiffed by Moore.

“Stiffed by Moore? Yeah right, I bet that’s just how it all went down. I almost believe it… NOT!

Again, I ask: where do these guys come from?

And, I say this to Michael Moore: “Rock on, Michael! Keep on exposing the lies, hypocrisy and greed of this administration and their corporate cronies.”

As for “Sicko,” so far, the Weinstein’s, distributors of the film, are hush-hush about the U.S. release date for the film.

I’ll admit I don’t know much about it and I’ll wait for the movie before I pass judgment on Cuba’s social medicine program, but in case you’re looking for more information, here’s a few links: