Friday, September 18, 2009

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Well, here I am on another rant. "Goodness gracious", you're saying, "Doesn't the woman ever give up?" Well, no, not when I'm p*ssed off a little bit angry, as I am now. What does Canada have to do with the U.S. Health Care Reform, and why do so many Americans seem to dislike us so much? A few days ago an individual posted an article by Dick Morris who rebutted Obama's Health care speech. In his rebuttal, Morris said:

"For example, in Canada, the drug Avastin is barred by just such a panel despite its proven track record as the most effective anti-colon cancer drug on the market. The ban is not because of any safety concerns, but solely due to its $50,000 annual cost. As a direct result, 41% of Canadians with colon cancer die as opposed to 32% of Americans. It is just these kinds of “best practices” that the panel will have to impose to pay for Obama’s plan."

Well, the only problem with that is, Avastin was approved for use in Canada several years ago. Take that, Dick Morris.

In an earlier post, the individual at the above-named blog claimed that people with leukemias and lymphomas were basically out of luck in Canada, as we had no treatment program for these folks. The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program in British Columbia is one of the best in the world, and the other day at work we received the following bulletin:

BC Cancer Agency researcher receives award from the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Connie Eaves, vice president, research at the BC Cancer Agency, has been awarded the Henry M. Stratton Medal by the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. The award honours an individual whose well-recognized contributions to hematology have taken place over a period of several years. Dr. Eaves will receive this award for her remarkable achievements in the area of stem cell biology, especially her ground-breaking techniques of using the long-term culture system as means of understanding the reproductive and renewal properties of normal and malignant human hematopoietic stem cells. These stem cells give rise to all the blood cell types.

I cannot tolerate ignorance, which is defined as "the state in which one lacks knowledge, is unaware of something or chooses to subjectively ignore information." Ignorance is like a virus, once it starts to spread it produces more ignorance. In the 21st Century, when information is readily available, there is no need to perpetuate ignorance. It is only when one chooses to ignore the truth that one creates more ignorance. And note the word "ignore" is the root of the word ignorance.

Incidentally, there is a headline on CNN today, from a study done by Harvard Medical School, that 45,000 Americans a year die from treatable diseases such as appendicitis, because they don't have health insurance. That does not happen in Canada, so what am I missing here? Does that go back to the old Cold War principle of, "Better dead than Red?"

One of my favorite lines is from the movie "Bambi", when Bambi is first learning to walk.

Thumper: "He doesn't walk very good, does he?"
Mrs. Rabbit: "Thumper!"
Thumper: "Yes, Mama?"
Mrs. Rabbit: "What did your father tell you this morning?"
Thumper: "If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all."

I wish some folks would keep that in mind.


Land of shimp said...

Now this is the kind of misinformation that bothers me tremendously. When a single individual, belonging to the fringe element, starts spouting off about what medicine is like in other countries, I just ignore them. I find it pitiable. They don't represent a larger percentage of the population, or heck, even a small percentage, they're a tiny percentage. We give them nicknames like Birthers, Deathers, Twelvers to encapsulate the insanity, and ignore them for the most part.

When the media participates, it makes me furious. Even in the world of op-ed the media has the responsibility to not allow anyone to present opinion as fact.

If that jerk wants to say, "I do not like Canada's medical system." Well, fine. I disagree with him but in an opinion editorial, that's fair game.

Presenting an opinion as fact, is not fair game. Using outdated information as fact is not to be tolerated.

If anything, even in editorial, contains a statistic, or a fact to back up an opinion, then the media has the responsibility of fact checking.

When the hell did this become an option instead of a responsibility? Because it is in an Op-Ed section?? That's ludicrous. The moment so-called facts are being thrown around, that has surpassed the realm of the Op-Ed piece, and is under the same standard of proof as journalism. GAH.

I'm sorry that Canada has once more been insulted Jo, I really am. You and I have discussed this at length, and it is infuriating.

The other part of this is why media dares participate in what is the realm of blogs. If I want to hang my opinion out there on a blog, no matter how silly, then that's fine. The second, the microsecond, I start talking about anything with data behind it, I have a personal responsibility to check it as fact.

What a sorry state of affairs we are in, when we can't trust our media to have a standard of burden of proof.

We might as well start dropping pamphlets from the damn sky because that crap is sheer propaganda.

Sorry for the swearing Jo, but this makes me see red, and not just for the sake of common freaking decency. Although it is indecent to drag another country into our damn problem.

This kind of misinformation being spread by any reputable source is a cause for not merely outrage, but alarm, and action.

Jo said...

Alane, swear away! It makes me swear too. The American folks are going through a stressful time in their history and a lot of folks are filled with mixed emotions -- fear, hope, anxiety, anticipation -- you name it. It doesn't help that they are being fed such outrageous lies.

I hope people don't mind, but I just have to vent. What the hell do they think Canada is, some sort of backwater!? Ignorance!!

Land of shimp said...

I apologize for the rant, by the way.

But this is [i]Time[/i] magazine that is being linked to. [i]Time[/i]! Not some Gawker gossip site, but mainstream, established print media.

How [i]dare[/i] they allow misinformation to be printed under the guise of offering opinion? Have some bloody standards along with your desire to sell copy.

Land of shimp said...

And I messed up my codes again. I'm sorry Jo, I'm really, really upset about this.

As for the perception that Canada is some backward, rustic country that just recently discovered indoor plumbing, I personally cannot think of a better example of how the United States of America, the country in which I was born, encourages Xenophobia as a means to promoting patriotism.

We are talking about our longtime ally in many, many areas, and one of our closest geographical neighbors. Yet we blatantly engage in the perpetration of ignorance about a country poised, make no freaking mistake about it, to kick our collective asses in every conceivable way, and why? So we can prop up our fading glory that has begun to exist solely in our minds? For some jingoistic standard of pride that is in the realm of the Easter Bunny in terms of actuality?

Ay yi yi. Jo, fear not, living well is the best revenge.

At present, all signs point towards Canada having the last laugh.

But Jebus, we're starting to sound like Russians during the Soviet era in our perceptions of other countries. They are inaccurate, ignorant, offensive and in the long run, informs the globe of what to think of us, as a people.

Fasten your seatbelts, and prepare to be accurately termed the backwater.

Man, this would not get to me so much if it weren't for the fact that I do love my country, even though it makes me cringe at times, the blatant ignorance we are willing to embrace.

[i]Time[/i] magazine lying to us this badly? Folks, this is one of our better established journalistic sources. This is not Rolling Stone, a music industry magazine, dipping into something other than its proclaimed area of interest.

This is supposed to be a news source.

Wow, I need to go take a walk before returning, and blazing the hell out of Time's response department.

SparkleFarkle said...

Well-informed: good, ignorance in action: BAD! Seriously, you must be ready to pull your hair out. I DO like the flag and think it should become a permanent fixture on your blog page, displayed proudly in a prominent place. I am always impressed with your step-up-to-the-plateness. BRAVO to A Majority of Two! I hear ya!

greenpanda said...

I'm not really clued into the Canada healthcare debate thing, but I agree. :)

The Bug said...

Go Jo & Alane!!! LOVE the angry maple-leaf.

Judi said...

Consider the source - it's Dick Morris.

Stimpson said...

It's the willful ignorance that gets my goat. Dick Morris should know better, but he doesn't wanna. Or he does know better and he's just lying. He's not known for his honesty, you know.

Stimpson said...

Nice blog, BTW.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

(Couldn't think of anything nice....)

houndstooth said...

Most Americans want health care reform, I believe. Otherwise, we'd have voted differently. However, a lot of the good old boys in politics don't want to give up stirring the pot. They'd rather see Obama fail than see us get decent health care.

Kimberly said...

Regardless of what your healthcare plan is like - socialized, unsociable - whatever...I don't think the government has any right to swirl their hands into my health benefits. My healthcare policy, benefits & funding is just fine, just as it is. Sure I am fortunate to have wonderful coverage & at a very wonderful price - and I work for a wonderful company that offers it.

DUTA said...

"Ignorance is like a virus. Once it starts to spread it produces more ignorance"
I like that analogy.

PhilipH said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a racist movement against Obama going on. I've had a few emails forwarded to me showing that President Obama is being ridiculed to a worrying degree.

And his healthcare project is one of the slings and arrows being aimed at him.

I hope he wins through. He is, in my book, a thousand times better than the George Dubya bloke who ... (say no more Phil...).

TomCat said...

Here's another good one, Josie. Recently a right wing magazine published an article stating that Nobel Prize winning physicist, Steven Hawking, would be out of luck, if he had to depend on European style socialized medicine, such as in Great Britain. Duh! Hawking lives in Great Britain, has gotten his health care through that plan, and says that is the only reason he is still alive.

Here in the US, we have a disadvantage because most of the mainstream media parrot GOP special interest misrepresentations, such as the ones you described, without challenging their factuality.

Alissa said...

I really can't handle the ignorance. Instead of quibbling over specific drugs let's look at the big picture. Who is doing a better job at providing health care for its citizens? Canada wins hands down.

Why do some pig-headed Americans feel that only certain people are entitled to health care? We believe everyone is entitled to an education. So, why this stinginess about something else that seems like a basic right?

Also, I would like to know why I am paying for health care coverage for members of congress who are opposed to having a public option for health care.

Lay said...

I am embarassed for the ignorance shown by us here in the US... I honestly thank you, because you have been where I get my "stand corrected" information. Whenever I hear something now negatively about Canda's health care, I think BULL$hit & I wait to hear you tell it how it really is. Then I pass the correct & proper information onto to anyone that will let me speak... Thanks Jo, you have been a real eye opener...

Owen said...

Bravo Jo ! Bravo Bravo Bravo !

I think we should all swear out loud when confronted with such profound and cynical ignorance.

Gimmee an F ! Gimmee a U !...

And in the meanwhile people are dying because they fear to go get medical care because they have no insurance... doesn't matter what party one belongs to once one's dead...

Jo said...

Alane, rant away...! I enjoy it...!!! Yes, I think the whole world is very patient with Americans, because for some reason Americans have bought into the notion that theirs is the greatest country on earth. And it's okay to think that way. I happen to think that way about Canada. But so many other countries have contributed to the global community. The radio, the telephone and telvision were all invented somewhere else not in the US, but American take credit for them.

I couldn't open the link to the Time Magazine article. :-(

Sparkle, good idea! I think I will put the flag on my side bar. And yes, I get really angry when I hear all the inaccuries and lies about Canada. Argh.

Stephen, it's actually the US health care debate, so Canada is not involved.

The Bug, yes, so do I!!!

Judi, I know. What a creepy man!!!

Stimpson, yes, he knows he's lying. What a creep.

And thank you...! :-)

LGS, *heh* I know you love Canada too. :-)

Houndstooth, you know, I don't understand that mentality. It doesn't make sense to me!

Kimberly, I guess the problem in the US is that 47,000,000 people don't have coverage like yours, and that's a lot of people. However, it's not Canada's concern, so I don't know how we always get dragged into it.

DUTA, oh, yes, and unfortunately it seems to be spreading throughout the media.

Philips, yes, I think I agree that racism seems to play a large part in the anti-Obama campaigns, even though most people would not admit it.

TomCat, you're kidding right!!?? Someone actually wrote that article? Egads, now there is ignorance personified...!

Alissa, that is what I don't understand. You have more people in the US who don't have health care, than the whole population of Canada!

Lay, thank you...!!! I hope I am able to enlighten a few folks about Canada. We are not some undeveloped backwater, and I will keep posting to keep people informed.

Owen, thank you! :::bowing, bowing::: There was an interesting article on CNN today that 45,000 people a year die because they don't have health insurance. Egads...!

Rajlakshmi said...

the last line said it all... if we can't say anything nice ... better not say anything... ya really wish some people followed that...

Mary said...

It's very important for you to know that the people who sound so critical of Canada are usually politicians or right wing commentators who don't do their own research and have an ax to grind. I say this with all DUE respect---Dick Morris is a horses ass and would sell his mother's gold teeth if it suited his purposes. I don't know when our (US) newspapers are going to start fact checking the numbers folks like Morris toss around. I make it a point to only apologize for my own behavior and words, but you are certainly entitled to your anger and would find it's shared by many south of the border.

Country Girl said...

I don't blame you for being angry.

The Clever Pup said...

yeah, the mind boggles at the ignorance of some folks.

I did a brief blog about this last week.

If the Conservatives decided to ditch the Canada Health Act for the American system, how many would get re-elected. None.

Medicare has its problems, but it's a way of life up here and we're better for it.


Intelligent people don't listen to the media lies; we know way too many 'jerks' love to spread fear and lies.

America should only worry about what's going on in America, and forget what other countries have decided is best for their people.

It's just propaganda......

Miranda said...

So my "boyfriend" Jesse just had to go to the ER the other day because he split his leg open while at work, on his shin, don't worry not a bad thing. Anyway they made him go and get stitches. It took over 3 hours to get in at the ER. 3 HOURS! I was on the phone with him and asked him if he had bled out yet while waiting, but no the bleeding had stopped by then. He did have a chance to ask his nurse what she thought about the Heath Care debate and she said she was from a country that used to be communist(sp?) and she was very concerned that America was going to turn into a communist country. This is supposed to be an EDUCATED person, I mean a NURSE! You see what propaganda does to people?! Unfortunatly people in America are lead to believe everything they read or hear and that's how propaganda works.

Jo said...

Rajlakshmi, yes, and the worst thing of all is to publish lies. Oh, goodness!

Mary, thank you. Some of the stuff I read is really, really (!!) frustrating, it's so dishonest.

Kate, thank you. And I'm puzzled too. I just don't get it!

The Clever Pup, yes, and statistics don't lie. Republicans, however, seem to do a lot of it. :-)

Diane, "America should only worry about what's going on in America, and forget what other countries have decided is best for their people." Hear! Hear!

Miranda, omigosh! Are you joking!? How could that woman have even possible thought such a stupid thing! America become a communist country, simply because everyone would have health care? Where's their humanity?

Nancy said...

This kind of information is not only wrong - it's insidious.

And everything Land of shimp said.

John said...

I don't blame you one bit for ranting about this. As for Dick Morris, well he was kicked to the curb by the Clintons a long time ago and has been spewing lies and misinformation (and getting paid for it) ever since. He thinks he's now an expert on everything. He's a Fox Noise wingnut.

Frankly, I haven't been following all this healthcare talk. It was my understanding that we would get a healthcare overhaul should we elect Obama. I am so over it.

Obama campaigned to do it his way and then gets in office and turns it over to the House of Representatives to write the bill "their way" and that was so dumb! His party controls the house and senate and he should've just ran it through early on. One of his many mistakes.

Even a few years ago the some in the U.S. tried to make it legal to import prescriptions from Canada, because they were so much cheaper and our big govt. said no. They said things like the drugs may not be safe! That was a major insult, as if Canada was a 3rd world country.

My state (Illinois) not only said that was nonsense, but also made a state sponsored Canadian prescription drug purchasing program. That was a positive thing! I wish there were more good things like that going on.

And have you ever heard of South Park (a cartoon). Watch the uncensored video 1 1/2 minutes long on youTube called "Blame Canada." That show has like a cult following, and that song is from like ten years ago. I'm just saying people are ignorant! Of course you know that.

the walking man said...

If you follow the money you will see why the Canadian system is being turned in a negative light. There are individuals in the American pharma/medical industry that makes tens of millions of dollars per year. This is personal wealth and not corporate profit.

Of course they are going to loose whatever dog they can (quite a few of them who also make tens of millions of dollars per year) to discredit any move towards a single payer health care system.

Personally Jo I think your getting to heated up about American political thunders. Although I like coming here and seeing you are trying to wake up some of your American readers, it really is a lot like preaching to the choir.

This is a fight over money for executives and profits for corporations and not a fight about which system of medical care delivery is best.

Brenda said...

I wish people would think before they speak sometimes, and check their facts first before gettting up in front of a camera, or computer to spread the stupidity. In our new age of instant information false information travels faster than the speed of light. Sadly.

TomCat said...

TomCat, you're kidding right!!??

Not at all, Josie. The magazine is Investors Business Daily.

Jo said...

Nancy, yes, and it makes me angry.

John, yes, I have seen the uncensored "Blame Canada" and I love it. *heh*

I had no idea Americans had such animosity against Canadians. Unsafe drugs? My God, we invented insulin for diabetes...!

Mark, "Personally Jo I think your getting too heated up about American political thunders." No, I really don't care about American politics. I am fired up over American politicans bad-mouthing my country -- Canada. That's dirty politics, and it makes me really angry.

Brenda, I guess they think we Canadians are too stupid to dispute their misinformation, :-)

TomCat, oh, I get it now...! *heh*

the walking man said...

This is a fight over money for executives and profits for corporations and not a fight about which system of medical care delivery is best.

Jo said...

Mark, I know, but why can't they leave Canada out of it? How would Americans feel if we kept slamming them!? Not nice!

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

since these facists don't have facts on their side, they make up stuff.

Jo said...

Tinkerbell, fascists is right...!