CNN’s Cuban Healthcare Fantasies

11 Aug

Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center provides an indispensable service that would make most people cringe; he actually watches CNN so we don’t have to. CNN, like so many major news media outlets, is starting become less and less relevant in the revolutionary age of blogging, Twitter, and lightning quick updates. These graying media outlets have consistently been mouthpieces for the State, and it’s hard to find a foreign war or government program that they haven’t cheered on.

So it wasn’t a surprise to see this 17th ranked program’s outright Cuban propaganda. Last week, Ted “Castro’s a helluva guy” Turner’s CNN broadcasted a special on how Cuba’s healthcare system should be a model for the US. The report included clips from Michael Moore’s sickening Sicko, raving about Cuba’s “impressive healthcare statistics.” Did you know, for example, that according to UN figures, Cuba’s infant mortality rate is the 44th highest in the world, right next to Canada!?

The anchors gushed and gushed about Cuban healthcare; it’s supposed “efficiency,” high life expectancy, the “best in the hemisphere.” And…it’s all free!

Well, not exactly. CNN’s sloppy reporting blatantly ignores the fact that any news that comes out of the island is heavily monitored and controlled by the Cuban government. A Media Research Study found that during the first five years of CNN’s operations in its Havana bureau, news feeds that they were given were nearly all slanted in favor of the Castro regime. Luckily, the truth tends to see the light of day even in the darkest depths of tyranny.

CNN conveniently leaves out some important numbers in those same UN figures. In 1958, a year before Castro took over, the semi-capitalist Cuba had the 13th highest infant mortality rate in the world, ahead of France, Belgium, Israel, Japan,  Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Fifty years later, all of these countries far surpass Communist Cuba.

Cuba’s famed low infant mortality rate is also blurred by more troubling statistics. The abortion rate in Cuba is 0.71 abortions per live birth, one of the highest in the world. Any Cuban pregnancy that might gives doctors some trouble is simply taken care of.  According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Cuban children between the ages of one and four also have a 34% lower survival rate than US children of the same age, and Cuban mothers are four times more likely to die during childbirth than US women.

Yet, somehow their infant mortality rate is reported to be so low. How can that be? It’s not like the Cubans are enslaved under the iron fist of a mass-murdering dictator.

Cuba’s healthcare system is a disaster infused with corruption, a top-heavy bureaucratic nightmare whose quality worsens with every dollar thrown its way. This is the essence of government: wasteful, inefficient, slow, and monopolistic. The frustration of the DMV, the mediocrity of public schools, cops tasing at will, the Imperial Pentagon; these are all of examples of the ugly and coercive power of the State, Nietzsche’s cold, cruel monster.

The complete nationalization of the 70% government run US healthcare system will likely come, since nearly every aspect of our economy and personal lives has already been swallowed by the State. It won’t collapse all at once, but government’s inherent inefficiency will reduce quality while bankrupting it, and, like Canada’s crumbling system, fall apart.

US intervention backfires in Congo

11 Aug

The US preoccupation with policing the world has had a terrible history of counterprodutive consequences, blowback, and has often times made global problems far worse. US intervention in Congo is no different:

For the women of eastern Congo, a U.S.-backed Congolese military operation meant to save them from abusive rebels has turned into a nightmare of its own.

An already staggering epidemic of rape has become markedly worse since the January deployment of tens of thousands of poorly trained, poorly paid Congolese soldiers, with people in front-line villages such as this one saying the soldiers are not so much hunting rebels as hunting women.

Congo is in the middle of a bitter and bloody 15 year civil war, where rape has been an all too frequent tool used by all sides in the conflict. Congolese militias, now backed with American guns and money, are increasing their hideous assaults.

The US  is justifying its continued intervention with hopes that it will mend the rocky relationship between Congo and Rwanda. Unfortunately for the starving Congolese women, the rapes have nearly tripled since the US-led operations began in January.

For some reason, the US thinks its in our interest to entangle ourselves in foreign, distant, and historically complex ethnic conflicts around the globe. Plus, US intervention usually makes these problems much, much worse until they grow and fester even more, thus justifying even more US policing.

How about minding our own business for once? The world would be a far safer and more peaceful place without the US constantly meddling militarily into every corner of the globe.

Imitating the Soviets in Afghanistan

10 Aug

Obama’s healthcare plans have been dominating the media for the last month, so it’s no surprise that this little piece of news went nearly unnoticed here in the US. According to the UK Times Online, 45,000 more US Marines will be sent to Afghanistan. Anthony Cordesman, “an influential American academic,” says

The United States should send up to 45,000 extra troops to Afghanistan…

If Mr Cordesman’s recommendation reflects the view of General McChrystal, who recently presented the findings of a 60-day review of Afghanistan strategy to Washington, it would mean sending another nine combat brigades, comprising 45,000 American troops, in addition to the 21,000 already approved by President Obama. This would bring the total American military presence in Afghanistan to about 100,000, considerably closer to the force that was deployed for the counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq.

Not a word in the American press about this possible “surge” in Afghanistan, a war that ia costing the US $200 million every day, destablizing the entire region, strengthening the Taliban, and killing hundreds of civilians a day. Obama may be drawing down troop strength in Iraq, but his offensives in Afghanistan are dangerously counterproductive, creating and an endless list of new enemies with every bomb and drone missile.

100,000 Soviets and thousands of helicopters couldn’t tame the Afghan countryside. Two decades later, the sons of those Afghans who whipped the Soviets have been bleeding the US since since October 2001. What makes these war planners think that they ignore history and keep digging hole after hole in Central Asia?

If Cordesman and McChrystal are going to be giving orders in Afghanistan, then it is very likely that the US won’t be leaving anytime soon. General McChrystal was the top torturer in Iraq before Obama promoted him; Cordesman criticized Bush for not escalating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan enough and publicly praised Israel’s air and ground bombardment of the Gaza Strip last December.

These are some of the top minds running the US Empire, and they all have Obama’ ear.

There is also another possible war on the horizon as Israeli hawks continue to pressure the US to pre-emptively strike the Iranians. In the midst of a crippling depression, inflation, and debt, how long can the US maintain these desert killing-fields?

We’re all soldiers now

8 Aug

The militarization of the US continues:

Suburban areas like Collin County are being invaded by the armed forces, which are seeing a new kind of recruit – middle-class kids with high school and even college educations.

Steady income, college funding and heightened recruiting efforts during an economic downturn are attracting more affluent youth in Texas and across the country to the military.

The Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media-Complex won’t stop until every last one of us are draped in government uniforms, employed to shoot foreigners for the government flag.

Support our troops, and get them out of the largest and most destructive government program in history.

No legalized pot in California’s near future

8 Aug

Cynicism is the result of many factors, and in the political world, it is the product of our representatives consistent refusal to heed the voters demands. Even though a majority of Californians support the legalization of marijuana, not one of the candidates who is eyeing the Governor’s seat in 2010 supports it:

“If the whole society starts getting stoned, we’re going to be even less competitive,” Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown – who as governor signed a 1975 law reducing possession of small amounts of pot to a $100 misdemeanor – said on a recent radio show.

“Like electing Jerry Brown as governor, the idea of legalizing drugs is one more bad idea from a bygone era,” said Jarrod Ag en, spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner, the state insurance commissioner.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says the state needs “a new direction in drug policy,” but opposes legalizing marijuana -though he welcomes an “open dialog” on the subject as he seeks the Democratic nomination.

The legalizing and taxation of marijuana could bring the state an estimated $1.4 billion annually, which would be a nice little dent in the state’s budget deficit. It would also move California in the direction of individual freedom and responsibility and away from the terribly tyrannical concept that the government owns your body and can therefore regulate and control what you can put into it.

It’s not surprising to see the GOP against legalizing marijuana, but it is disappointing to see the “liberal” Democratic candidates also opposing it.

Throwing punches at Obamacare opposition

8 Aug

Like a fighter backed up against the ropes, Obama is starting to throw punches at the enemies of his healthcare reform proposals. Calling his opponents “outlandish” who are armed with “misleading information,” the President is surveying the political landscape, seeing more and more dissent arise from a continuously frustrated American public, and is lashing out like the great demagogue that he is:

“Some have been using misleading information to defeat what they know is the best chance of reform we have ever had,” Obama said, adding it was critical for Americans to have all the facts as they meet their lawmakers in home districts.

Obama’s aides and fellow Democrats have charged that protests staged at some “town hall”-style meetings held by congressional Democrats have been orchestrated by Republican- and industry-backed groups and conservative talk-show hosts, and are calling for a more civil dialogue.

Why is is that whenever the current US regime finds opposition to statist policies, it is always the work of some “conspiracy?” Two decades ago, the Clinton gang thought a “right-wing conspiracy” was stifling their agenda, and the Bush junta and its allies smeared anyone who opposed the invasion of a defenseless, starving Iraq as “unpatriotic?”

The opposition to Obama’s dangerous healthcare initiatives are growing, and the failures of government-run industries (especially healthcare) are beginning to be exposed.

Stefan Molyneux has a great critique of socialized medicine at his excellent internet radio show at Freedomainradio. He reveals how ever since the US government began meddling in the medicine market in the 1960s, costs have gone up, quality has been lowered, and that any bureaucratic system based on the use of state violence is not the answer for our healthcare problems:

In the second part, he exposes the disastrous failures of Canadian’s healthcare system:

Opponents of state-controlled healthcare don’t seem so “outlandish” to me.

Clinton’s lecturing tour continues

8 Aug

Hillary the Hawk has been really busy lately, from threatening the Iranians with an invasion to scolding the Chinese. Her embarassing lecture tour continues, this time in Africa. The Secretary of State is urging South Africa to press the corrupt Zimbabwe regime, run by the thug Robert Mugabe, for reform:

The United States, troubled by what it sees as an absence of reform in Zimbabwe, has no plans either to offer major aid or to lift sanctions against Mugabe and some of his supporters.

Before any of that can happen, Washington wants more evidence of political, social and economic reforms, a U.S. official told Reuters before Clinton began her seven-nation trip to Africa.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, is blamed for plunging Zimbabwe into economic ruin. He argues that hyperinflation and a collapsed infrastructure* are caused by sanctions imposed by the United States and others.

It is embarassing to see Clinton circumventing around the globe, lecturing other countries like a schoolteacher. Yes, Zimbabwe is corrupt and Mugabe is a mass-murdering thug, but so are about 80% of the countries in the world, so it looks like Clinton’s got a long list of regimes to scold.

This foreign meddling is not only an example of American arrogance, but hyprocritical as well. Before the US publicly criticizes other nations for their faults, how about taking a good, hard look in the mirror?

The US has massive inflation, collapsing infrastructure, a military regime that occupies every continent, trillions in debt, and a government that robs half of Americans’ wealth every year.

After Clinton said the North Koreans were acting “like unruly children,” they must be laughing as well. It is a major relief to see our journalist home and safe, but they were actually tried, convicted, and sentenced. Can we say the same for the 600 detainees at Gitmo? Or the hundreds at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan? Or the millions rotting away in government cages for drug “crimes?”

I’d like to see the US for once, just once, mind its own business and stop chastising other countries for the exact same things that happen here.