Monday, August 31, 2009

whippin' post

I have no doubt that the nation has suffered more from undue secrecy than from undue disclosure. The government takes good care of itself.
Daniel Schorr (b. 31 august 1916)

today is the 93rd birthday of journalist daniel schorr. schorr got his start in journalism soon after wwII and is considered one of edward r. murrow's second generation 'murrow's boys'.

at the youthful age of 93, schorr is still going strong. schorr currently interprets national and international news as a senior news analyst for npr. in 1970 schorr wrote a book entitled don't get sick in america, he referenced the book the other day when he paid tribute to teddy kennedy. although written almost 40 years ago, the admonition of schorr's book title (and accompanying cbs documentary) to not get sick in america is as true today as it was back then at least for the more than 47 million americans who are currently uninsured (and the millions more that are underinsured).

speaking of books and health care, last monday I heard a fascinating and highly informative interview with journalist t.r. reid on fresh air. the interview focused on reid's latest book the healing of america: a global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care. if you have 39 minutes to spare you can listen to terry's interview with reid. I can't wait to read the book, needless to say I ordered a copy to read and share soon after the interview ended! here's a fairly succinct description of the book:
Reid shares evidence from doctors, government officials, health care experts, and patients the world over, finding that foreign health care systems give everybody quality care at an affordable cost. And that dreaded monster “socialized medicine” turns out to be a myth. Many developed countries provide universal coverage with private doctors, private hospitals, and private insurance.

... Reid also studies countries that have carried out major health care reform. The first question facing these countries—and the United States, for that matter—is an ethical issue: Is health care a human right? Most countries have already answered with a resolute yes, leaving the United States in the murky moral backwater with nations we typically think of as far less just than our own.

The Healing of America lays bare the moral question at the heart of our troubled system, dissecting the misleading rhetoric surrounding the health care debate. Reid sees problems elsewhere, too: He finds poorly paid doctors in Japan, endless lines in Canada, mistreated patients in Britain, spartan facilities in France. Still, all the other rich countries operate at a lower cost, produce better health statistics, and cover everybody. In the end, The Healing of America is a good news book: It finds models around the world that Americans can borrow to guarantee health care for everybody who needs it.

today's song whipping post, and on guitar none other than schorr's friend and fellow free speech advocate the late great frank zappa.

photo: a nosy eggplant - perhaps the newsman of the garden patch? cleveland august 2009.

the eggplant reminds me of a wonderful children's book, how are you peeling by saxton freymann and joost elffers - one of many books by freymann and elffers which utilize food to teach kids and stimulate the joy of reading.


Merle Sneed said...

Zappa left us much to early.

Anonymous said...

What Merle said, 'tis true. kimy, YOU...ROCK! I'll be on the look-out for this book. The biggest problem with it( healthcare ), is that it's too profit driven...

mum said...

And here's to Mary Marvin Breckinridge, the only woman to make it into the 'Murrow's boys club'.

(In this house, that eggplant would not get whipped. It would get grilled until it collapsed, peeled, then pureed with garlic, olive oil and a bit of lemon juice.)

As for Zappa, the older I get, the more I like him.

cheers from Graulhet.

ArtSparker said...

It always comes back to the assertion by the United states on its moral if to deny any defect in the system was to eliminate it. Across the board.

Tom said...

rockin' Zap!
it's sad how all the well off here believe the health care system is groovy...we have plenty all around us living in near third world conditions, suffering daily for want of a little simple compassion. Nothing is perfect, anything can be improved upon...let's take that next baby step, maybe it will lead somewhere.

Kate Hanley said...

Great post! I love Daniel Schorr and I heard that same interview on Fresh Air with TR Reid. Everyone pooh-poohs the French and yet their health care system is rated the best in the world. Go figure.

Megan said...

As one of the underinsured, I try not to think about what getting sick might mean. It scares me.

Baino said...

I live with two-tiered socialised medicine and it works. It has flaws, it's expensive for private insurance but if you're in dire need, medical attention and follow up care is totally free. My Dad for instance, died of liver cancer and had home nursing for six weeks. It didn't cost a cent because it was part of the local health area palliative care program. I am convinced that Government needs to change its syntax. The minute you say 'socialised' to those against it, they think it's going to turn America into a Stalinist country. Pish posh! Take a look at the French, Canadian, British and Australian models America . .they're a damn site better than you have right now!

Roy said...

What Megan said, only file me under outright uninsured.

I love that eggplant, but with looks like that I'd be more inclined to varnish it just like that than cut it up and eat it.

I hadn't realized Frank covered "Whipping Post". What a nice, dirty, bluesy take on a great song!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

zappa will always live in our hearts!!

subby - you nailed it we HAVE to take the profit out to hc...the u.s. insurance industry has to be reformed along with the hc system. reid discussed at length how other countries with private insurance which covers the population do not make a profit like here in the u.s. of course everywhere else (in the industrialized world) hc is viewed as a right and not a privilege

mum, sounds like baba ganoush! I love eggplant - this time of year I generally grill eggplant (that has been swiped with olive oil, balsamic and garlic) but a few days ago since the heat broke I decide to do eggplant parmigiana but made a puttanesca sauce - OMG! was the best!

as - unfortunately another case of an assertion made without supporting documentation.

tom - you said it regarding too many w/o the benefit of compassion and living in 3rd wld conditions... striving & working towards trying to achieve perfection is a good thing to do.

kate - and the french, like the british share their hc system with people who are living there that aren't even citizens! the french model sounded like a very compatible system for the u.s. (since it is dependent on an array of PRIVATE insurance co) didn't you love how streamlined it is! who would have guessed!

megan - it is awful. I wish you and all of yours good health!!

baino - pish posh indeed.... according to the w.h.o there are 36 countries that have better health care systems....maybe tomorrow I will post the list!!!

roy -double blessings of good health to you! I do like frank's take!

good health to us all!

Anonymous said...

kimy, I'm in the same boat with Roy, only in Massachusetts it's agin' th' law NOT to have health care!If you're over 18 you have to have it( by a credited source, of course ); or the state's "connector" will be more than happy to sign you up at reduced cost( and the more on it allows the state more gov't $$$ ). Oh yes, we are the "Animal Farm"!

And yes, we do get penalised for it on our taxes!!! GAAAAAH!