June 18, 2007

Is Michael Moore's next movie going to be an attack on copyright?

Watch this -- where he approves of the supposedly unauthorized release of his movie "Sicko" onto the internet. [CORRECTION: That interview with Moore probably predates the current distribution of the film.]
I don't agree with the copyright laws, and I don't have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it....

I make these movies and TV shows because I want things to change and so the more people that get to see them, the better....

You share things with people. I think information and art and ideas should be shared.
Something mischievous about the way he gestures and touches his hat at the end made me suspect suspect that he's behind the release of the movie. And isn't the movie a big political ad, arguing for nationalized heath care insurance? Normally, all you want for an ad is eyes, not money. That makes it particularly easy for him to knock copyright law. We'll see where this goes.

ADDED: Even if the linked clip -- to an interview with Moore (not to the movie!) -- was made before the current apparent pirating of the film, I still suspect that Moore intended for the movie to go out the way it did, for the reasons stated above. One more thing: the problem of the supposedly unauthorized film's release onto the internet is garnering publicity, which I know I'm contributing to. And it will get even more if and when Moore comes out and tells us he did it on purpose. A key question I have is: Did Moore finance his own movie? If yes, it makes it more likely that he's choosing to give it away, in pursuit of publicity and political effect.

116 comments:

Jennifer said...

Now that he's held copyright control over a few movies that have made him a bundle, he's against copyright laws (and probably right before he makes a movie about them, I agree). Oy.

He puts important issues in front of people who previously may not have known or cared about them, and that's a good thing. But, unfortunately he presents those issues in such a ridiculously slanted way that he is really in the business of quelching debate, not stimulating it. Too bad.

Sloanasaurus said...
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Zeb Quinn said...

Ray Bradbury held his feet to the fire on this issue, and I understand that Moore supposedly somewhat apologized to Bradbury.

Adam said...

My problem with Michael Moore movies is that he inserts himself into evewry scene, so the movie is just as much about him as it is about fill-in-the-blank. We didn't get to see Charleton Heston talk about the 2nd Amendment and gun control in "Bowling for Columbine" - we saw Michael Moore walk to his house, buzz in the intercom, etc. In Farenheiht (sp?) 9/11, it was always "I found this document," "I visited here," etc. And he's always, always in the video, even when interviewing that poor Flint, MI mother who's son had died.

It's a shame that he's such a fame whore, because he is a good film-maker - he's just entirely too in love with himself.

And I agree wholeheartedly with Jennifer re: Moore's pooh poohing of copyright law.

Roost on the Moon said...

It's an important issue that most people don't have strong feelings about yet. I'd hate for Moore to come crashing in and crack the egg along predictable partisan fault-lines.

The interests of the rich and powerful (not to get all neo-marxist on you) have immense interest in making sure that copyright stays broken. Michael Moore would give them a ready-made target for caricature. I think Lawrence Lessig could make a pretty good primer (in "documentary" film form) to the issues. Free Culture the movie, anyone?

AlphaLiberal said...

"omething mischievous about the way he gestures and touches his hat at the end made me suspect suspect that he's behind the release of the movie. "

Something about the way you read an elaborate act into a simple gesture makes me hope you never become a detective.

Copyright laws were extended a few years back, in a move led by the Disney corporation.It's really gotten to ridiculous extremes.

BJK said...

It's nice that Michael Moore approves of the "unauthorized" distribution of this film over the Internet...

...but what do the people who finance his movies think about it.

Movie Studios don't like filmmakers who don't make money.

Mr.Murder said...

You admit to downloading his movie in violation of copyright?

The Schadenfreude, it stings!

AJ Lynch said...

Moore said:

"You share things with people. I think information and art and ideas should be shared.... BUT KEEP YOUR DAMN HANDS OFF OF MY FOOD AND STAY OUT OF MY FRIDGE"

SteveR said...

You admit to downloading his movie in violation of copyright?

??

halojones-fan said...

I think it's important to mention that Michael Moore already got paid for this movie, in the form of advances on his contract. He doesn't care, at this point, whether the movie makes money or not; he's already made his pile.

"Oh, well, that's an ad hominem attack, it doesn't prove anything!" Maybe. But it's worth mentioning that he's calling for sacrifices by others, sacrifices the he isn't going to need to make--and in fact he's already past the point of making them.

Bruce Hayden said...

One slightly different way to look at this is that he is effectively licensing the free distribution of the work.

A copyright owner has the right to determine who can exercise the various exclusive rights of a copyright holder. He may wish to be compensated for such, or he may not.
And if he doesn't want to get paid, then that is his right as the copyright owner?

Now, what happens if Moore isn't the copyright owner? It depends, of course, but I think that you could make a decent argument in court that if he isn't the actual owner, he would at least be an agent of the owner and would have the implied authority to grant this license in the name of actual owners. And, thus, the actual owners would only have a cause of action against him, instead of those who copied (etc.) the work.

jane said...

Moore doesn’t seem to care for rules or law so much, other than wanting to remake them for you and me. He illegally traveled to Cuba for the making of this film and, now, we suddenly have this “unauthorized” release. Larger than life Moore’s all about the finger in the eye, because he cares so much about, not the little man, but about appearing to care for the little man, and about being his unelected spokesman to give Moore license to be a grossly over-compensated agitator (by his own anti-"obscene" profit standards).

Moore needn’t actually care about fact and truth, when fiction, decontexualized fact and misleading editing serve his agenda purposes better. And now that he’s made his wealth in the envy and resentment industry, why should he care about business contracts and other people’s investment in his work? Moore needs to keep his carefully cultivated image as a socialist maverick. He knows the shock value of (a soft, fat, rich) American telling us that terrorists who kill our soldiers are Minutemen is gone, and that his preaching that Fidel is a compassionate Utopian whole little people are healthy and happy is old librel boilerplate and not the least bit edgy. This copyright flap over *someone* providing the masses something of value for free that was made by greedy business gives him back some needed people-power cachet. It’s trademark Moore to use manufactured controversy in a tussle with the System and especially conservatives to gin up his filmmaker cred and eventual film sales. Perhaps this latest one will be bought and distributed by Chavez, Ahmadinejad and Hez.

But Moore is also building his political cred as Democratic broker. Recently he’s been timing his fockumentaries to influence our election season, the Dem platform and candidates, and it’s only a matter of time before Pelosi’s Congress adjourns from the people’s business early one day in order to attend Sicko’s premiere and give the anti-American socialist agitprop a standing ovation.

Glenn Kenny said...

Just a couple of points. You say that in the clip Moore "approves of the supposedly unauthorized release of his movie 'Sicko' onto the internet." ONly in the clip, Sicko is not mentioned by name once. Also, in the caption for the clip, Breitbart says "In the past, Moore has said pirating movies for private use is fine by him." Additionally, the clip is part of a Breitbart TV feature called Rewind. Hence, my Holmes-like powers of deduction lead me to believe this is a clip from an older press conference, from before the making of "Sicko." (Also, in "Sicko" itself and at the Cannes FIlm Festival, Moore is beardless.) I'm not saying Moore has changed his mind about copyright law, but I do believe the clip you linked to is in a context unrelated to 'Sicko,' for what it's worth.

dave™© said...

You forgot to mention how "fat" he is.

You should read your blastfaxes more carefully in the morning.

jane said...

If Moore can title a book and go on endlessly about Stupid, White Men, which is condescending, racist and genderist, some of us, in return, can mention Fat-cat, Pasty Liberals and be aestheticist and ironist. It's about the Fairness.

AJD said...

Something mischievous about the way he gestures and touches his hat at the end made me suspect suspect that he's behind the release of the movie.

Very savvy, A-House!!

Except for one tiny little fact: that clip was filmed BEFORE he made the movie.

Gawd your relationship to facts is lame. I guess that facts get in the way of "performance art."

LAMENESS!!

jane said...
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froggyprager said...
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froggyprager said...

I don't think that anyone from the left or the right can deny that there are some serious problems with our health care system that are highlighted in the film (watch the trailer). It is an important public dialogue to have.

Regarding Moore having himself show up too much in his movies, supposedly he is not in the new movie very much at all. He has gotten the message.

Regarding the copyright issues, beyond the legal issues, from a business case, I think artists have legitimate disagreements about whether this type of thing hurts or helps. If the buzz begins on the Internet, more people may go to the movie and pay for tickets. Same with music, some argue that free distribution of music online sells more concert tickets and albums.

Adrian said...

I'm thoroughly enjoying the build-up to his new movie here up north. Lots of Canadians adore Michael Moore, as he plays perfectly to their anti-Americanism, except lots of Canadians are also fully aware of how awful our healthcare system is. So when they hear that his new movie portrays Canadian hospitals as a sort of paradise on earth, the confused reaction is a pleasure to watch.
If anyone's interested, I link to a good rebuttal of his claims in a post here.

PatCA said...

"And isn't the movie a big political ad, arguing for nationalized heath care insurance?"

Yes, this is soft money at its softest and spongiest, paying for politial ads to convince us that terrorism is not an issue and that health care and global warming are. Every movie Moore makes, every appearance by Al Gore or Moore or DiCaprio for his enviro cause on fellow liberal Oprah's show, is worth millions that these stars would be barred from donating in cash.

In the famous conspiracy catch phrase, I question the timing. Of course these issues will be the Democratic platform in 08! The only question is whether the Divine Messenger will be HRC, Obama or Gore.

Ann Althouse said...

Mr.Murder said..."You admit to downloading his movie in violation of copyright?"

Where do you think I did that? "Watch this" refers to a video clip of Moore talking about his movie.

As to financing of the movie: are you sure he doesn't finance his own movies at this point?

Glenn: Thanks. I'll do a correction.

jane said...

No conspiracy, PatCA, just fact:

"Moore said he hoped the documentary would shape the debate ahead of the 2008 presidential election, saying he thought most Americans were ready to accept sacrifices now to provide coverage for the 47 million Americans without insurance.

"If that means I have to wait four weeks for a knee replacement, I'll wait," he said. "I believe that the majority of Americans would agree with that."

Apparently, most of us want to be like Canadians, French and Cubans for a government-rationed future.

Fen said...

Apparently, most of us want to be like Canadians, French and Cubans for a government-rationed future.

Yup, its hypocrisy typical of the Climate Change preists. Moore will preach about government healthcare [VA anyone?] but when its his turn, he'll buy the best care available.

AlphaLiberal said...

Fen:

Actually the VA health care has improved since the 1990s.

It's the military hospitals that are the abysmal failure for our returning veterans.

Fen, facts. Facts, fen.

Thorley Winston said...

Yes, this is soft money at its softest and spongiest, paying for politial ads to convince us that terrorism is not an issue and that health care and global warming are. Every movie Moore makes, every appearance by Al Gore or Moore or DiCaprio for his enviro cause on fellow liberal Oprah's show, is worth millions that these stars would be barred from donating in cash.

That’s a good point and (yet) another reason to be against spending or contribution limits for political campaigns. Most of what campaigns spend their funds on is getting out their message (e.g. mailings, television and radio spots, etc.) or functions that support getting out the candidate’s message. Favorable/slanted media coverage and fictional polemics like Moore’s basically does the same thing except that it isn’t counted as a contribution for campaign finance purposes even when though it probably has as significant an impact as soft money and independent expenditures.

Jennifer said...

I don't know about VA healthcare but the centralized healthcare offered to military dependents is pretty bad in a lot of ways. At the same time, I think it's unconscionable that there are children and families in this country that are entirely without healthcare coverage. Too bad it's unlikely I'll get any insight into the real facts and possible solutions from "Sicko".

PatCA said...

Thanks, Jane, bingo!

Adrian, for a movie with a less salutary view of Canadian health care, see Barbarian Invasions. Excellent movie, besides the health angle.

Seems to me that universal health care means only that we ration health care according to government whims, not according to who can afford it. Is that "morally" better?

FWIW on rationing, the obese Moore would probably not be allowed a knee replacement under socialized health care, no matter how long he waited.

Luckyoldson said...

sloan: "Oh the evil work that frauds like Moore do! "

"Sicko" gets rave reviews...even from your buddies at Fox.

Is "evil" seeping into Fox?

Luckyoldson said...

adam
moore makes documentaries.

people who make documentaries have to be part of the production...or they wouldn't be documentaries.

duh.

XWL said...

According to IMDB, the film was co-produced by Moore (as Dog Eat Dog Films) and the Weinstein Company.

Funding came from Comerica Bank and Hakuhodo DY Media Partners (their only foray into American films, so far).

There was an article in AdAge last week about this which detailed some of the particulars (and their reporter freely admitted to violating copyright law) of the leak.

Given Moore's grandstanding about how he fears the Eeeevil Boooosh Regime will snatch his film and prevent its distribution (over his illegal trip to Cuba), this leak being a deliberate act isn't an unreasonable assumption.

From the AdAge article, "Last week, the Oscar winning director announced that he'd decided to stash a copy of "Sicko" in Canada, in case the federal government decided to impound it over an apparently unauthorized trip to Cuba made during its filming".

I don't think this film's B.O. will be adversely effected (***insert here quip about how nothing could ever help Moore with his personal B.O.***). Paying to see this film will be an act of faith in all that is good and wonderful about thinking liberally. This movie will make $100M within the first 4 weeks of release, nearly all of it in metro areas and college towns. Next year (and for many years after) this film will be required viewing for high school students across America in all sorts of classes in unrelated subjects (if last year's "important" doc is an indicator).

Also, just as his last film helped to elect President Bush, I think this film will hurt whichever strong advocate of an American NHS the Democrats choose to nominate. Expect to see another billboard like this one in early '09.

For an insiders perspective on the joys of an NHS like system, this is a good place to start.

Luckyoldson said...

AlphaLiberal said..."Fen, facts. Facts, fen."

that'll be the day.

*oh, and shouldn't everybody, being the "fair-minded" people that are posting here say they are...wait until the actually SEE THE DOCUMENTARY...before they rail against it?

killing the messenger doesn't invalidate the importance of the message.

*and i think most of you are still upset over that 7 minute sequence with bushie reading "my pet goat."

Hoosier Daddy said...

I’m not quite as in a tizzy over a single payer system as some other conservatives, however, what I would support probably would not be accepted by the left. The one thing that needs to be understood is there is health insurance and there is health coverage. Health coverage is what I and most people under a group policy have. I can go to the doc for a wart on my foot, pay my $20 co-pay and that’s it. Health insurance on the other hand is coverage for the unexpected high cost incident; chronic disease, accident, broken bones, etc. I would support a major medical insurance plan in which people are covered for catastrophic coverage. That way, the excuse of ‘a broken leg could bankrupt someone is a thing of the past’. I would also throw in well baby coverage up to 4 years old and then they too go on the major medical insurance plan. If people want more, buy a supplemental.

Sloanasaurus said...
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Luckyoldson said...

fen says this of moore: "he'll buy the best care available..."

uh, that's the point, fen-fen...one must be able to afford the coverage...to buy the coverage...unlike the 45,000,000 americans who can't.

*those who can...should consider the fate of those who can't.

duh.

Freeman Hunt said...

Companies involved in funding and production here.

I don't think Moore leaked the movie himself. If he did, he'd certainly be funding his own movies from now on (after being sued into the ground).

Sloanasaurus said...
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Luckyoldson said...

sloan,
when you're young (in law school) insurance is very affordable.

as you age, the price goes UP...and becomes less and less affordable.

you must be one hell of a lawyer.

Hoosier Daddy said...

When I was in law school, I spent $700 a year buying a high deductible policy for myself through the University. I know many who did not, they spent their money on more tangible items

High deductible health plans tied to an HSA were meant to be a step in the right direction in terms of reducing the out of pocket premiums paid by insureds. The only problem is when people saw that $1050 - $3000 deductible, most balked, despite the clear cut savings in premium. No one want to be subject to a deductible, just pay the co-pay and thats it.

Mike said...

Hoosier Daddy said: "The one thing that needs to be understood is there is health insurance and there is health coverage."

Yep. You can't have a rational discussion on this topic until this point is understood.

Sloanasaurus said...
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Luckyoldson said...

sloan says this of the poor who have no insurance: "You mean they can't (buy it).... or they won't?"

yeah, that must be it.

they can ALL afford it, but as a protest against actually having to BUY it...they go without coverage for themselves and their families.

what a strategy.

Sloanasaurus said...
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Luckyoldson said...

sloan,
your silly anecdotal examples of people who don't buy insurance because "they would rather smoke, or have a cell phone or take a trip" is beyond the pale and illustrates a total lack of experience in the real world. (not that there aren't those who fritter away their money, etc., but in a vast majority of cases, it's the affordability of insurance that creates the problem.)

i would venture to guess we are the only industrialized country (and by far the wealthiest) in the world that does not provide government sponsored health care to our citizens.

if you are in fact an attorney, i feel for your clients.

Glenn Kenny said...

The movie is being distributed, and was at least partially bankrolled, by the Weinstein Company, which is looking for a hit right now. Hence, I can't imagine they're particularly sanguine about Moore's attitudes on copyright. However, I think too little attention has been paid to Moore's proviso that his relaxed attitude toward piracy ends when it's done for profit. A free internet download's one thing, copied DVDs on Canal Street another.
This has all been very civil, for which I'm glad. A bientot.

knoxwhirled said...

people who make documentaries have to be part of the production...or they wouldn't be documentaries.

This makes no sense--I will assume you just haven't seen many documentaries?

There are plenty that are not filmed interview-style, and plenty in which the director, narrator, writer, producer--(not sure what you mean by "people who make documentaries")--never appear onscreen. And appearing onscreen is certainly not a necessary "part of production."

far as I can tell Adam was simply objecting to how much face time Moore usually gives himself.

Pogo said...

Michael Moore is, at a minimum, a dishonest filmmaker. He does not make documentaries, but socialist and populist propaganda.

It's unnecessary to see his film. Anyone stupid enough to think that the Cuban people, who are forbidden access to the healthcare available to government officials (and US tourists like the ones Moore brings there), who are forbidden to travel and forbidden to complain, and whose monthly food ration is below nutritional sufficiency

...anyone dumb enough to believe that Cuba is a healthcare paradise is a useful idiot at best, and a mendacious propagandist of Riefenstahlian proportions at worst.

Read some facts, not anecdotes, about problems in the Canadian and UK healthcare systems. Yes, I wrote it.

AlphaLiberal said...

Pogo hyperventilated:
"anyone dumb enough to believe that Cuba is a healthcare paradise"

Moore went to Cuba to visit Gitmo, where the suspects held in that modern American gulag are given better health care the the first responders from 9/11 who suffer to this day.

And they suffer because the Bush Administration purposely lied about the air quality in the area.

And, Pogo, you've got some foam on your lip.

Luckyoldson said...

knox,
i didn't mean that every single documentary ever made had an on-screen producer, or voice-over by the creator....but...moore's documentaries, like may others (i just watched one yesterday relating to murders in mississipi by the klan) involve the creator or producter of the film.

methinks most of the debate here relates to a general dislike or hatred of moore and his message.

knoxwhirled said...

I live in TN, and TennCare--the state's universal health plan--absorbs more and more of the state's budget every year. Prescription fraud is rampant, and there are dead people--and people who live in other states--on the rolls. It has been a disaster from the start and only seems to be gaining momentum in its suckiness.

As bad as it gets, it's likely we are stuck with it. I can't think of a bigger disaster than a nationalized version.

Luckyoldson said...

pogo says: "Michael Moore is, at a minimum, a dishonest filmmaker. He does not make documentaries, but socialist and populist propaganda."

now that's what i call an honest, objective and fair observation.

what a hoot.

AJ Lynch said...

Lucky why don't you hit the bricks?

You turn every discussion into a political beanbag contest. Sloan's point was he elected to dig into his own pocket (in law school) to buy health insurance but most other young people would choose (I bet you hate that word don't you!) to spend their money on a cell phone or case of beer or blackberry.

Sloan was asking why subsidize them since they are not destitute even though you of course believe the man is holding them down.

Just take a hike and do us all a favor. Maybe we should start a fund to pay idiots like to you to stay away? What would it take?? $1 a day?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Lucky:

The problem people like Sloan have with universal health care is that he, justifiably, sees more of his tax dollars being spent on yet another entitlement. I can share that sentiment although I think a safety net such as a Part A type insurance to cover catastrophic losses is not a bad idea. That said, when it comes to our tax dollars being spent on an entitlement, I like Sloan and others, want to see some accountability and responsibility by those who benefit from it. That is why there was such a national movement for welfare reform. People simply got tired of watching people get a taxpayer funded paycheck for irresponsible behavior. If you can’t afford one kid, don’t have 3 more. A benefit provided with no expectation of accountability on the part of the recipient is simply a disaster waiting to happen. You see 45 million poor souls who through no fault of their own are outside the system. Sloan (forgive me for being presumptuous) probably sees 45 million people who made a conscious choice somewhere along their lives to cause them to be outside the system. I for one think it’s probably somewhere down the middle.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And they suffer because the Bush Administration purposely lied about the air quality in the area.

Actually they suffer because 17 Islamic terrorists slammed two airplanes into the Twin Towers.

Just to clarify.

Sloanasaurus said...
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Roger said...

Fen__Alpha liberal is correct when he says the VA system has improved dramatically over the past ten years--They have invested heavily in automated records, and more important, the resources to keep data entry current--That is a key process in freeing up docs to be docs rather than record keepers.

As to military hospitals, there is another side to the story and the extrapolating the condition at the notorious outpatient facility in Walter Reed to all military hospitals is a bit over the top; moreover, many of the problems that surfaced at Walter Reed were a function of its status on BRAC--I am sure there would have been outcries had the government put a lot of money into a facility that was about to be closed--bad story "A" just beat bad story "B" to the headline, IMO.

Luckyoldson said...

speaking of health care:

Army Spec. Jeans Cruz helped capture Saddam Hussein.

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.

Yet abundant evidence of his year in combat with the 4th Infantry Division covers his family's living-room wall. The Army Commendation Medal With Valor for "meritorious actions . . . during strategic combat operations" to capture Hussein hangs not far from the combat spurs awarded for his work with the 10th Cavalry "Eye Deep" scouts, attached to an elite unit that caught the Iraqi leader on Dec. 13, 2003, at Ad Dawr.

Luckyoldson said...

speaking of veteran's hospitals:

"The Army said Friday that it has opened an investigation into the recent discovery of 4,500 letters and parcels, some dating to May 2006, at Walter Reed that were never delivered to soldiers..."

Pogo said...

Re: "honest, objective and fair observation"

Thanks, Lucky. Moore did in fact interview Roger Smith, then-chairman of General Motors Corp. and the subject of Moore's 1989 debut Roger & Me, but left the footage on the cutting room floor.

His Columbine piece was full of editing tricks (like getting the gun at the bank); wholly fictitious contrivances.

Sicko will almost certainly be in the same vein. He doesn't deserve to get slack cut by waiting until it's released. It's crap and lies until he proves otherwise.

Pogo said...

Re: "One VA psychologist diagnosed Cruz with post-traumatic stress disorder. ...None of that seemed to matter when his case reached VA disability evaluators."

Exactl. And this is what national health care will be like. Lucky, that case doesn't strengthen your point (or Moore's) it substantially weakens it.

Luckyoldson said...

sloan says: "I lived for many years in the world where people made these "stupid" choices."

again...this fool thinks most americans who do not have health care coverage see it as some kind of "choice."

and keep in mind, this from someone who probably has full coverage...provided by his employer...or...can afford to pay for it himself.

*of course he says he's a lawyer...so what can we expect? (i've often wondered how he represents his clients...being here so much of the time. does the "billing" continue while he's here?)

Roger said...

Interesting point on insurance as choice. I have been fortunate in my life to not have to worry much about health insurance; now that I am on medicare, you young pups can continue to support my bad habits--so work hard out there, you guys.

I don't know about health insurance, but I do believe that buying insurance has a lot to do with one's ability to accept risk. I dropped all of my life insurance, for example, after my kids turned 21. When you are an old guy, it doesnt make any financial sense to continue to carry life insurance--esp if your burial expenses are covered by the VA.

Luckyoldson said...

pogo,
no it illustrates how the "current" situation impacts even our iraqi vets.

do you think cruz should do as sloan says: pay his own way??

as for the "government" providing benefits and how horrible a job they would do...do you yourself take advantage of any "government" provided services available right now?

Sloanasaurus said...
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Luckyoldson said...

roger,
you are absolutely right about how "choice" depends on circumstance.

people with no heairs needn't carry life insurance.

people who are young and healthy can take a chance and carry no insurance or high deductibles.

but...those with health problems from birth, those who develop health problems over time or those who have problems as a result of accidents, environmental and work situations...must have affordable coverage.

unfortuantely, "choice" doesn't provide the necessary funding to pay for such coverage.

Cedarford said...

Sloanasaurus said...
Oh the evil work that frauds like Moore do! He is willing to spend his life's fortune convincing the government that it should take all the fortunes of the rest of America's hard workers away and flush it down the toilet. By that time Moore's fortune will be spent (or maybe he will get an exception from the governmant for his dacha on Lake Michigan).

Government health care doesn't mean more health care for some, it means less health care for all. What a sham.


As a conservative, I think Moore is a good propagandist who achieves moments of crystal cogent exposure of the truth more than his detractors care to admit. Admittedly he screws it up with his tricks and fake ernestness and manipulating subjects and interviewees to fit his agenda. But "Roger & Me", Bowling, Fahrenheit 911", and likely "Sicko" will contain deeply telling and insightful moments.

Bush will be defined more as the confused fool Moore featured reading "My Pet Goat" for 7 extra minutes because his handlers hadn't told him yet what to do in an enemy attack. Than the American Churchill in flight suit arriving on a carrier like Poppy used to do..

Some conservatives fail on public health because they could care less that America is the only country with massive medical bankruptcy filings (over 1 million a year). Close to 1/6th of the public now lack health coverage, almost 1/3 of the population now lacks dental coverage. Worse, such working poor Americans exposure to bankruptcy is accelerated because doctors and hospitals charge them "full premium rates" which can be as much as 4X the "negotiated discount rates" health care does with insurers, Gov't employees, VA outservices, rates we agree to for foreign visitors, and Medicare.

As Jennifer said, that is unconscionable.

(Particularly when prisoners and illegal aliens, elderly legal aliens brought in on chain migration, and 100% welfare parasites get free care denied lower class working Americans).

Other conservatives have this situational bias - their government military system is great and full of "heroes", their Coast Guard and agriculture payout system is near-perfect, they local school is "great" - but "dang gummint" is incapable of doing anything else right. Meaning I guess, governments like France, Germany, Japan, Israel,even Cuba - having health and dental care for all at 1/3 to 4/7ths the cost per capita of US healthcare with higher life expectancy and lower child mortality.
Gummint is Bad, bad, unless it is military or paying you not to grow cotton!

Later Sloanasoarus says that health care is as simple as paying 700 a year for coverage.
I don't know what planet he is on. A policy for a family of 6 runs 900 a MONTH! With a high deductable. And no tax deduction.
A single woman in her 50s can pay 700 a month just on herself, whether she is rich or barely getting by, it is not means tested. But if the woman is a lifelong parasite with no assets, it is all free and those sort flood our emergency rooms for trivial problems..and if the woman is a wealthy business owner, she can write it all off thanks to "conservative pro-business values".

As a conservative, I didn't used to believe in universal health care. I became a believer after my uncle was nearly wiped out financially by a cancer and the US health system.

I became a believer after a black carpenter who had been in business for 15 years in our small city and does great work showed up so happy he was in tears. His wife had gotten a BS federal job courtesy of Bush's great expansion in "dang gummint" and he explained he could finally have someone look at his smashed knee that left him in constant pain and his three kids could finally see a dentist after 4 years of doing without.

That should not be what America is. If Germany can care for all it's citizens, if Cuba can, we should, too.

Hope "Sicko" makes an impact.
And recognizes that many Republicans like Romney, Newt and most the Democrats recognize the urgent need to fix US heathcare.

Luckyoldson said...

now sloan wants us to forget about PTSD...because it was "something our World War II veterans dealt with in private."

is this guy for real??

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

Wow--I find myself in agreement with LOS!! Those with chronic conditions and others in the categories you identify are the ideal candidates for some type of government subsidized insurance.

If I were king, I would establish a government health insurance system that would provide subsidized prenatal care, all physical examinations and immunizations through puberty, for those wishing to opt into the system. All AMA recommended screening exams would be subsidized until the patient went on medicare. The emphasis would be on prevention. Based on health risks, genetic factors, and employment, subsidized insurance could be made available based on the patients medical risk profile.It would be optional and on a sliding scale based on income.

But alas, I am not king and not, last I heard, even a presidential candidate.

Sloanasaurus said...

now sloan wants us to forget about PTSD...

PTSD is an over diagnosed ailment. There were many anti-war types in the VA system in the 1970s who saw veterans as victims of the government. They went on a crusade to assist people regardless if their ailments were real. If you hear about someone being "diagnosed" with PTSD you should be skeptical.

Autism and ADD are now also overdiagnosed ailments brought to you by the teachers union. Anyone with kids knows this.

Luckyoldson said...

cedar,
right on all points, and i'm glad you can find insurance for a family of 6 for $900 a month.

ask anybody who has diabetes what they pay.
(i have a friend who is in good health, about 50, with hereditary diabetes who pays $1,200 a month for himself.)

dave™© said...

Omigod! Someone with a movie coming out in a couple of weeks is trying to get publicity for it!!

IT'S NOT RIGHT!!!

Luckyoldson said...

sloan says: "PTSD is an over diagnosed ailment."

and you know this...because?

dave™© said...

Maybe we should discuss the PTSD scam that came out of Vietnam.

Where were you posted, soldier?

Luckyoldson said...

dave™© said of sloan's comments about PTSD being "overblown":

..."Maybe we should discuss the PTSD scam that came out of Vietnam. Where were you posted, soldier?"

well, he says he's 39...so do the math...in 1968 mommy was just introducing this genius into the real world...

Luckyoldson said...

one of the key elements to national health care is...PREVENTIVE MEDICAL ATTENTION.

period.

Palladian said...

Lucky, stick around and you probably won't end up liking Cedarford all that much. I'm amazed he managed to post all that anecdotal drivel and failed to even once blame the Jews. Come on, Cedarford, the Jews have to be behind the health care "crisis" somehow. Pull out your back issues of "American Conservative" and do some research.

Hypothetical question for those supporting nationalized health care: why does one person owe another person that level of financial support? What is the moral framework behind the idea that humans should be forced to toil for the benefit of strangers that they don't choose to help? Without some underlying religious structure, I can't understand what philosophically supports such an idea.

Sloanasaurus said...

You guys are right! I deleted my posts just to prove it! Please no more personal emails....

Roger said...

Palladian: Great question; let me take a shot at it. My support of plan such as I described above which emphasizes prevention is predicated on my own self interest. That is, prevention lowers the price of medicine for a population over all. Providing some degree of subsidized insurance may keep people out of ERs for routine care because they can't afford other care. It is the unreimbursed expenses that really pass on costs to other consumers. Finally, providing these opt in services may result in lower employer health insurance costs thereby resulting in more real income for the employee. In short no moral case--strictly my economic self interest.

Luckyoldson said...

sloan:

regarding your claim that autism is an "overdiagnosed ailment"...the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) stated the "best conservative estimate" is that the incidence of autism as of 2007, was 2-6 in every 1000.

got any kids?

Luckyoldson said...

Palladian said..."why does one person owe another person that level of financial support?"

it's not really "one person," it's society as a whole...caring for those who cannot care for themselves. we ALL chip in to help others, and by doing so...ourselves.

*if you pay taxes, you're funding highways, etc. in areas where you yourself do not live or travel. would you recommend only funding what you yourself use?

Pogo said...

"affordable coverage"

Did you ever think about how the kudzu of governemnt involvement in US health care, now accounting for 60% of health spending, might be causing the unavailability you decry?

From 1970 to 1996, state and federal mandates increased 25-fold, an annual growth rate of 15%However, cost estimates in the regulatory process are not only
difficult to measure, they are also virtually impossible to attach to individual
regulations. Nevertheless, it is estimated that 15% of the total increase in health care costs (representing $10 billion in 2001) is attributed to government mandates and regulations.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers, "The Factors Fueling Rising Healthcare Costs," April 2002; pp.1-13.

A recent analysis estimates that the 12 most common mandates (such as mandatory coverage of pregnancies) together increase the cost of insurance by as much as 30%. Moreover, individual state insurance regulations serve to restrict the number of providers able to operate in their States, further limiting competition. Not surprisingly, as many as one in four Americans lack health insurance because of benefit mandates. Each additional mandate significantly lowers the probability that a firm or an individual will have health insurance.

National Center for Policy Analysis, The Cost of Health Insurance Mandates, Brief Analysis, No. 237; August 13, 1997.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Lucky said:
one of the key elements to national health care is...PREVENTIVE MEDICAL ATTENTION.

Indeed but also ranking right up there is the lack of responsibility people take with respect to their own health care. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the biggest beef a lot of people have is that this will be viewed as yet another entitlement program. While we all like to say Germany can provide for their people, is anyone here prepared to start paying German tax rates? How about French ones? If we want to provide everyone with the Anthem version of a PPO plan, watch your paycheck shrink. Think I’m kidding? Look at what you pay right now for Medicare. Now imagine adding another 255 million people to that plan.

Again, I would support a very basic bare bones catastrophic medical plan but after that, you’re on your own. Palladin is quite correct in that outside of my Christian belief in helping my fellow man, I have no obligation to toil away and provide benefits for someone. Lucky and others may want to believe that 45 million people simply are on hard times, yet do not acknowledge that personal choices in most cases put us where we are. I want to see the exercise of personal responsibility and accountability on the part of those who I am expected to be a ward for.

Humor me this question: Should parents continue to add more kids to the universal health care rolls? If she can’t afford private coverage, should the taxpayer have to kick in more to make sure the kids they can’t afford are covered?

Roger said...

Palladian and Hoosier, let me return your question with this one: How is health care as a common good different from social security or medicare. It seems to me that consistency would require you reject social security and medicare if you don't think health insurance is in that category.

To be clear, I do not regard health insurance (or medicare and SS) in the same category as physical infrastructure such as waterways or interstates. It falls into a category of what I would call social infrastructure.

Luckyoldson said...

hoosier says: "Lucky and others may want to believe that 45 million people simply are on hard times, yet do not acknowledge that personal choices in most cases put us where we are."

i've never said or implied that.

health coverage in america is not affordable to people who work full-time, too.

let me ask you this: do you have insurance? who provides the coverage fees? if it's a company, make a call to day and see what the exact coverage (same deductibles) would cost YOU, if YOU had to pick up the tab.

then ask yourself this: could an average american afford to pay?

Luckyoldson said...

1.america has the highest health care costs in the world

2. the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world

3.we rank #29 in life expectancy

does this seem right?

Pogo said...

"does this seem right?"

No, but since the numbers in #2 and #3 are bullshit, I don't advise you worry about it all that much.

Revenant said...

america has the highest health care costs in the world

2. the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world

3.we rank #29 in life expectancy

Item (2) is false. The United States has the second highest *reported* rate of newborn fatalities, but that is because we have the strictest reporting criteria.

As for the other two items -- when you exclude foreigners and the people who don't have health coverage, the United States has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. In other words, the Americans who are actually *paying* the highest costs are getting great benefits from it. The ones who aren't, aren't. Under a national health care system I would pay more money and get less health care.

Pogo said...

Re: "that consistency would require you reject social security and medicare"

I do reject it, at least for the non-poor. All such programs should be means-tested. No reason to have G. Bush senior, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Ted Turner fully funded in Medicare and getting SSI checks, is there?

Roger said...

Pogo: I rather figured you would :) And yes, I am a big proponent of means testing for many benefits.

LOS: other posters have covered the Infant Mortality rate, but ANY live birth in the US all the way from 23-24 week gestation are counted as live births; most countries only use full gestation births before even considering them as births. The devil, as always, is in the details.

Roger said...

Sorry--should have added that even though the UN agency collecting the stats goes with the any live birth definition, the US is one of the few countries that actually uses it.

Meade said...

Adam said...
"It's a shame that he's such a fame whore, because he is a good film-maker - he's just entirely too in love with himself."

It does seem that all of Moore's work is primarily about himself which is probably why I misheard the title of this recent movie as "Thicko" and figured it must just be another self-portrait.

Jeff said...

Jesus, Lucky, do you do anything besides post a reply to every single comment? Get a life.

Others have pointed out the stupidity in your second claim, but I want to add one more angle:

2. the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world

This is also related to the fact that we have a much lower abortion rate than Europe. There, if a fetus is found to have any problems, they simply destroy it. Hell, if they're only supposed to have one kid, they'll want it to a picture-perfect specimen anyway.

You know what else, Lucky? There's a LOT more kids in the US born with downs syndrome than in the EU. Is this because we have inferior genes? No, because over there, if a test shows the slightest chance of it happening, they kill it right away. Unlike your lovely socialist friends, we don't think merely being retarded deserves the death penalty.

Sheesh, there's a creepy stench of eugenics coming from the pseudo-intellectual left these days...

Fen said...

Lucky: oh, and shouldn't everybody, being the "fair-minded" people that are posting here say they are...wait until the actually SEE THE DOCUMENTARY...before they rail against it?

Nope. Micheal Moore is a known propagandists acting in bad faith, distorting facts, etc. You might as well claim we should all be forced to sit and watch Triumph of Will before we can complain about its anti-semitism.

You want to lap up Moore's bs, be my guest.

Bruce Hayden said...

it's not really "one person," it's society as a whole...caring for those who cannot care for themselves.

This is a grossly overgenerous description of the problem. Yes, some who go without health insurance cannot afford it. But many who don't can. It is a question of allocation of resources.

I work part time at a ski area with a lot of 20 somethings, mostly male. They are offered accident insurance for $10 a month. Several years ago, one of them tried to do a flip on his day off, landed on his neck, and needed a CAT scan to be released for work. He had been spending the $10 a month on beer, etc., and so spent the rest of the season as our non-skiing dispatcher. But when I polled the other young guys, almost none of them were paying the $10 a month premium - which was about what they made an hour when working.

The reality is that young adult males rarely need health care except for accidents, and so many of them just don't bother with health insurance, even when they can afford it, which given the rates, they often can.

This is not to say that all of the uninsured are intentionally in that situation, but rather that there is a large segment of that group that is, and that is never acknowledged in order to drive up the reported numbers of uninsured.

we ALL chip in to help others, and by doing so...ourselves.

You want to contribute to someone else's health care costs, that is fine. But that isn't what you are proposing.

*if you pay taxes, you're funding highways, etc. in areas where you yourself do not live or travel. would you recommend only funding what you yourself use?

I suppose that it would be possible to never use the highways and to never use products shipped that way, but if you do, you would be in a small minority in this country, maybe .01% or less.

Besides much, if not most, of the money spent on highways comes from fuel taxes, which have some relationship with the amount of highway travel involved.

I do suspect that you aren't suggesting some method of charging the most those who use health care the most. So, unless you are, the analogy with highways would seem inappropriate.

Palladian said...

"You might as well claim we should all be forced to sit and watch Triumph of Will before we can complain about its anti-semitism."

At least "Triumph of the Will" is beautiful. Moore has the aesthetics of a late-Stalin era Soviet prison decorator.

Palladian said...

"we ALL chip in to help others, and by doing so...ourselves."

It's not "chipping in" when you are compelled to do so on the threat of forfeiture of your liberty and fortune. It is using the power and implicit violence of the State to force people to fund someone else's idea of the moral value of charity. Tithe, brother, or be imprisoned.

jane said...

I, for one, love the exquisite irony of how most of the cynical Left (who see plot and scandal everywhere and who are suspicious of Government intentions, policy and elected officials when they put up a Christmas tree or wage war against those who attack us and who *know* Big Biz buys off pols no matter what) and some of the Right (who hate Big Gov and disdain both pols and bureaucrats as venally corrupt and lazy), now tell us a virtuous WH, Congress and Federal bureaucracy will save the day on a brilliant multi-trillion dollar tax-funded government administered health insurance and care-rationing program, and that it won’t contribute to dependency, a sense of entitlement, to hyper-corruption wrt billing and reimbursement, and won’t pave the way for more government-mandated/government-controlled/ and government-apportioned “fairness” income-redistributive Really Humane programs based on constituency, party and clout.

Hey, impossible, run-on sentences are an apt metaphor for what will come, if Moore and Hillary have their way and we "sacrifice" (their favorite word) our choices, remaining self-responsibilities and freedoms for their idea of Fairness and the Collective. Go SuperNanny USA!

Next on the agenda- that US of A is retro-nationalistic and needs to be updated with a more globally progressive and inclusive idea of polity...

Thorley Winston said...

Palladian and Hoosier, let me return your question with this one: How is health care as a common good different from social security or medicare. It seems to me that consistency would require you reject social security and medicare if you don't think health insurance is in that category.

Consider them both rejected for the same reason and with the additional grounds that they’re largely a redistribution of wealth from comparatively poorer younger working people to relatively wealthier retirees.

Thorley Winston said...

america has the highest health care costs in the world

And the most advanced technologically and productive in the area of disease treatment.

the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world

Because we include stillborns (about 45% of our overall numbers according to the March of Dimes) and most other countries do not report them in their infant mortality numbers. And even then the difference is a fraction of a percent (about 0.25% IIRC) between the United States and the nation with the lowest reported infant mortality rate.

we rank #29 in life expectancy

Yes the average American can expect to live to be about 78 compared to the average Japanese who can expect to live to be about 82. But if you can avoid smoking, keep off the extra weight and not get infected with HIV then the difference pretty much disappears. What this tells us is that at a certain point life expectancy is driven by lifestyle choices rather than just the availability of health care.

Eli Blake said...

Thorley,

Actually, the Japanese smoke a heck of a lot more than Americans. A lot of them only use one match for the whole day, then chain-smoke their way through it (and over the past generation that has come to include women as well as men).

So you'll have to look someplace else to explain it.

Actually, the Japanese health care system is a model that might work for the U.S. It isn't a 'single payor' government system like most people think about when they discuss universal health care.

The Japanese model involves essentially a three way agreement between the government, the individual and a consortium of six major health care providers. People pay premiums, copays and deductibles as they do here. The government pays the insurance companies to keep rates affordable and to provide it to even the neediest/riskiest of patients.

Who isn't involved in the three way agreement between the individual, the government and the private insurance companies? Toyota, Nissan, Sony, Nokia,...

Plus it greatly simplifies union negotiations where there is a union, because health care isn't even a topic of discussion.

And we wonder why they are still kicking GM's ass.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Palladian and Hoosier, let me return your question with this one: How is health care as a common good different from social security or medicare. It seems to me that consistency would require you reject social security and medicare if you don't think health insurance is in that category.

Roger

Actually I am a proponent of a privatized savings account, deducted from my pay as opposed to the SS system. Medicare in part is paid by the beneficiary and also is not a full blown health plan ala, a company PPO. Part B and D are optional plans which are paid in part by the beneficiary and the beneficiary is still required to make out of pocket deductions. It isn't full coverage, hence, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans. Not the same as mandated health coverage.

let me ask you this: do you have insurance? who provides the coverage fees? if it's a company, make a call to day and see what the exact coverage (same deductibles) would cost YOU, if YOU had to pick up the tab. then ask yourself this: could an average american afford to pay?

I know exactly what that coverage is. I work in the insurance industry Lucky so I have a good handle on it thank you very much.

Again and I have said it before, High deductible health plans tied
to an HSA dramatically reduce the out of pocket premium expense. The savings can be put into the HSA, tax free growth, used for first dollar coverage and are portable. Most people balked cause they want the $20 copay and thats all. No deductible, no more out of pocket.

So are health care costs high? You bet. Think that's somehow going to miraculously change once Uncle Sam pays the bill? The only difference is that amount from my paycheck that goes to the insurance company will then go to the Feds.

Again, lets put some accountability and personal responsibility into the program, something you have yet to answer to. How much in taxes are YOU prepared to pay for covering the health care for me and mine?

I'm not opposed to the idea, but there has to be more emphasis placed on people taking care of themselves and DOING the preventative care. Something few who HAVE coverage do now.

Revenant said...

And we wonder why they are still kicking GM's ass.

Megan McArdle debunked the Japanese health care market advantage myth last year.

On top of that, there's yet another glaringly obvious hole in the argument, which is that the Japanese are "kicking GM's ass" with cars that are made in America by American workers -- who, in case you weren't aware, don't receive health coverage from the Japanese government.

The reason why GM is inferior to the Japanese brands has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with the fact that GM is a much less-efficient corporation, due primarily to (a) internal problems remaining from its days as a near-monopoly and (b) union agreements made back when GM profits were high and unions were strong.

Luckyoldson said...

Pogo said...

"does this seem right?"

No, but since the numbers in #2 and #3 are bullshit, I don't advise you worry about it all that much.


want to bet?

Luckyoldson said...

thanks...thorley.

and your point being?

Luckyoldson said...

eli,
don't waste your breath on thorley.

first of all, think of having a name like thorley.

second, he or she could care less about health coverage...he or she has it.

Luckyoldson said...

jane says..."I, for one, love the exquisite irony of how most of the cynical Left (who see plot and scandal everywhere and who are suspicious of Government intentions, policy and elected officials when they put up a Christmas tree or wage war against those who attack us...etc., (rush/sean/bill/ann/michael)...is a complete right wing nutcase.

*and keep in mind, this from one who fully supported the "plot and scandal" of clinton getting blojobs...hillary killing vince and anything else that rush/sean/bill/ann/michael tell her to believe.

dumb as a stump.

jane said...

Dear Luckyoldson,

You’re a complete ass. Show me where I said such things. Show me specifically. I wanna see it real bad.

Fondly, Jane

jane said...

'Course it's enlightening to finally find out that there were no "blojobs," or at least there wuz no effort to hide the fact of 'em to the Special Prosecutor or the Merican sheeple that Clinton pointed his finger at so convincingly and Hillary damned when she, festooned in pink angora sweater, told America's sweetheart Katie on mornin' teevee how the hateful right wing was trying to frame her po' Bill with BJ lies and so forth.

I don't watch Fox but twice a month, and two hours total, but just might give it a look each day now, seeing how its network threatens a little man who lies and insults other people with made-up stuff. Oh, and am going to try to find a creation museum so that I can pet the dinosaurs just like you say i want to cuz I is ignert and like to fondle really old things.

Sweet dreams,
Jane

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Lucky:

Dittos to what Jane said. I would add I bet you are big humongous sloppy fat ass.

Pogo said...

Jane is a goddess.

Seven Machos said...

1. On the infant mortality rate -- perhaps this has been addressed already, but, people, get your heads out of your asses. The United States does two things that raise its infant mortality rate:

a. We report it honestly.

b. Our technology is so freaking good that we are able to give babies a chance to live who would never have a chance in, say, just for example, Cuba. A lot of these babies die. But at least we give them a chance.

2. Once again, our leftist posters show a fundamental misundertanding of economics. Direct and indirect goverment subsidies to healthcare are, obviously, subsidies. Subsidies to any good or service make the price go up. This is an undeniable economic fact.

In countries that choose to provide healthcare paid for by taxes, costs are, again obviously, lower. There are simply longer queues, which make people suffer longer and sometimes die, and shortages, which make people suffer longer and sometimes die.

No one in this country who needs immediate medical assistance is denied that assistance. Old people have substantially free healthcare. Poor people have substantially free healthcare. People who go to the emergency room can get free healtchare. Thousands of these people who don't have insurance who the left laments are sturdy 20-somethings who have never been healthier in their lives and have no need for healthcare.

Luckyoldson said...

Pogo said..."Jane is a goddess."

You and Fen-Fen having a spat?

Luckyoldson said...

jane says: "I is ignert and like to fondle really old things."

tell us something we DON'T know.

*still waiting for those "liberal views" you espouse...and please...you're still using way too many words to say absolutely nothing.

maybe it's the meds.

jane said...

Luckyoldsonny,

You sling your excrement around and expose yourself like a monkey. We're still waiting for you to attempt to back up your lies.

P.S. You're right about something, though. I used 23 words when I could have just said "ass."