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Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only an error to be exposed. -- H.L. Menken

The Rating System

Kex Liked It:
It Sucked:
It Really Sucked:
It Sucked as bad as Eyes Wide Shut:

It Sucked badly enough to bring the world to the brink of apocalypse:


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Last Week: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon:

Now this is a real opportunity. How often does Kex get the chance to bag a movie, piss off about a billion and a half people and increase international tensions all with one review? I'm not sure whether I will pull it off or not, but I can sure as hell give it a try, and this movie just might be worth the effort.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is an English subtitled Chinese movie. We all know that foreign produced films are released in one of two formats: The first is English language dubbed, which involves hiring actors who are mostly busboys at Denny's to do voice-overs that always come off more comical than credible. The first problem is that the voices never match the characters, so that you always have a guy with a voice like PeeWee Herman doing the voiceover for a Summo Wrestler type. Further, the translations are invariably preposterous to the point of absurdity.

The second format for foreign films is English subtitles, which generally is a superior method but has the downfall of distracting from the action on the screen while you have to deal with reading along. Generally by the end of a subtitled movie I wander into the parking lot pondering why I just didn't walk up the hill to the mall instead of down the hill to the theater, and buy the book instead. Afterall, I could stick my own popcorn in the microwave and pop open a can of Pepsi at home while reading the book, without having to take out a loan to finance movie tickets and refreshments. I'm not buying for one anymore. A good paperback is still less than a movie ticket.

I've seen a lot of subtitled films, and I generally regard them with the same disdain I feel for eating broccoli. I know its good for me somehow, but unless you smother it in so much melted cheese that it doesn't taste like broccoli anymore anyway, and the cheese is probably destroying all the health benefits, its just not really something I can enjoy. I'm not sure what the movie-going equivalent of smothering broccoli in cheese is. I haven't found it yet anyway. I know what it isn't though: Taking a 5 year-old, an infant and a small dog to the movies.

Okay, lets be fair: The infant slept through this film, and as I said last week, taking babies to the movies is really a good thing ;-). The dog was also really good. Of course the coolest part of the whole movie was watching him freak out during that THX sound thingy at the beginning. He also reacted in a humorous way during the Century Theatres spotlight promo. Now some of the Kexkateers may be wondering just how and why I took the dog to the movies. Well, he is just a chihuahua, so he fits nicely into the diaper bag we take him with us everywhere fosters good neighbor relations. The damned dog is so attached to the other adult member of Kex's Amazing Family (see page link above) that he cries continuously if we leave him home.

The five year-old is a bit more of a dramatic situation, since typically a subtitled movie isn't something one will deal well with. Further, after quickly downing one of those Pepsi bottles I snuck in that is large enough to find something a Kennedy once drove or piloted at the bottom, the typical 5 year-old bladder fills up. Its a real drag to have to cart a young'un to the convienance room during the middle of a subtitled movie...

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon suffers from a title that is not only imminently forgetable, but also grossly inappropriate. If there was a tiger in this movie anywhere, it must have been crouched behind scenery during the course of the entire film, because we never saw it. The Dragon was pretty well hidden too, because I never saw it even once either. What I did see was women fighting. There was lots of that, too the point that I began wondering why I didn't just break down and subscribe to cable so I could have stayed home and watch Chyna and Leta go at it on one of Vince McMahon's productions.

The other thing this film had lots of, during the course of fight scenes, was absurd shots of people flying. Yes you read that correctly; people flew. They ran up the sides of buildings, made impossible leaps over rooftops, ran on air, walked on water, and just plain took off and flew. For a time I got the feeling I was watching some sort of weird Chinese adaption of Peter Pan with a major attitude. I'm used to this sort of thing in some of the anime cartoons I'm becoming fascinated with, but I just don't want to see it in a movie like this. Some of these movies have already done scenes like this to the point where they have been parodied to death in numerous comedy films, and the use of the ploy in this movie went fathoms beyond the parodies: It actually looked downright silly.

I know I am going to be in a very small minority here giving this film a generally unfavorable review. It won two Golden Globe awards, once of which was Best Director, and I don't have clue one what the other one was. Joel Seigel raved to the point of saying, "This isn't just one of the best movies of the year, its one of the greatest movies ever made."

I sort of get the feeling here that somebody associated with this movie has some pretty embarrassing pictures of old Joel locked away in a vault somewhere. I mean, Seigel is a professional film critic who has had to have seen a lot of movies, and if in fact this was one of the greatest movies ever made, it would go without saying that it was far and away the best movie of the year. Just about everything released in 2000 was crap, to the point that this year's Best Picture category is going to have to really scrape to come up with 5 nominees.

The alternative is that Joel wandered into some other movie thinking he was seeing this one, and just made and understandable mistake. However, for the life of me I can't figure out what the hell he was watching. This is just a wild guess, but I'm thinking it wasn't Miss Congeniality, although the title probably would have had about as much to do with the action in that film as it did with this one.

Okay, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a fighting action/tragic love story which is kind of a weird combination anyway when you stop to think about it. Maybe this was all sort of a weird expression of women's empowerment in modern day China: I'm open to feedback from the readers on this once, since just about everyone I've talked to seemed to like this movie more than I did. I will say one thing for it however: If it hadn't been for the necessity of those subtitles, this is another one of those films that actually could be edited down into a pretty spectacular 30 minute IMAX presentation.

NO! I'm not referring to the chicks fighting sequences! (Kex knows his readership, and frankly, some of you guys are perverts.) I am referring to the spectacular scenerly. But then again, I could just subscribe to cable and watch the travel channel. The good news for K.A.W. review readers is that with the financial burden of the parrots looming in the near future, Kex does not have inclinations toward cable.

Last Week: Rollerball:

So, Director/Producer John McTiernan took a look at the world around him and saw poverty, pestilence, greed, hunger and terrorism. And what did he decide to do to help ease the plague of human suffering in the world around him? He came to the sane and calculated decision that what the world needed was a remake of Rollerball. No, I don't think it was a particularly bright decision either.

Once upon a time, a promising young star named James Caan burst into the public consciousness co-starring in an excellent TV movie called Brian's Song. He followed that up with a worthy supporting role in the Oscar winning film The Godfather and appeared to be ready to make Hollywood his very own private little kingdom. Then he made the unspeakable mistake of starring in the original Rollerball. The sound of a promising career doing the sloshing spiral down the toidy echoed through tinseltown for a decade.

Perhaps I should give McTiernan a little credit. After suffering whatever brainfart that inspired him to remake one of the worst movies of the 70's, he at least managed to bungle it even worse. I really didn't think it was possible to remake this film and come out with something so magnificently inferior, but he pulled it off.

The single biggest problem with this movie is that it's little more than a bevy of disjointed images strung together in desperate search of a plot. One could easily cut all the scenes out of this movie, toss them into the air and splice them back together in whatever order they land on the ground and the end product wouldn't be one iota less a jumbled, disjointed mess than the finished product in question.

Rollerball is apparently set in the not-to-distant future. A young athelete named Jonathon (Chris Klein) is introduced to us when he is doing some sort of daredevil skateboard run down the hilly streets of San Francisco. Apparently this act of idiocy is sufficent to get him more or less booted out of the U.S., thus destroying his shot at an NHL career. So he takes off for Central Asia, where a start-up sport called Rollerball is being played.

Jonathon is introduced to Rollerball by his friend (L.L. Cool J). This is another one of those movies where a rap star gets the opportunity to find another dishonest way to make a living. But anyway, the owners of the various Rollerball teams are discovering that their sport has enormous potential in the cable TV market, and the more violent the games, the better the ratings.

It seems that in the near future, cable networks will have the technology to instantly moniter ratings points. Curiously, everytime something exciting happens in a Rollerball contest, ratings instantly soar to magnificent heights. I guess that the population is going to gain universal prescience sometime in the next few years, so we'll all know exactly when to tune into a televised sporting event. I guess that will save us a lot of time, as we won't have to watch the entire game anymore.

Jonathan and pal begin to fear the rising tide of violence in the game, and attempt to escape. Unfortunately the owner of their team is having the duo watched, and thwart their escape about 6 inches from the Russian border. Jonathon's friend is killed, and he is returned to his team where he will have to compete in the playoffs. If this movie had any discernable rationality up to this point, and it didn't, it would have utterly vanished at this point anyway.

In the first place, the playoffs were beginning after a season that was about 4 games long, as far as I could determine. Then there was the problem that the announcer of the playoff contest announced that it was the quarterfinal round, with 4 teams remaining. How the hell do the mathematics work there? Are two of the remaining teams automatically seeded into the semifinal and final rounds respectively? But even those points made a little sense compared to the game we were to see at that point.

Essentially the owners disband all the rules for the playoff game, so in effect, the playoff games will be live, televised snuff films. I wasn't able to determine that the contests had a hell of a lot of rules anyway, but apparently the suspension of the rules had some unrecognized significance. The contest becomes out of control to the point that neither the contestants or the fans can stomach what is occuring, and chaos ensues.

The contest leads to a riot in the stands, and apparently the nation of Kickassastan or something like that, where the games are held, disolves into revolution. The corrupt rulers are overthrown, and Jonathon kills the owner of his team with the metal Rollerball. Somehow their world ends up being a better place, although ours can't have improved any since we have to live with the reality that this piece of crap movie has been made twice now.

Last Week: Catch Me If You Can:

We figure out within the first couple of minutes in this movie why All-American boy, Frank Abagrale Jr. (Leo DiCaprio), spirals downward into a life of crime. The poor guy simply never had a chance. In the great crap game of life, some guys throw a series of sevens, and some poor suckers toss snake-eyes at every turn. Franky junior was playing with some seriously loaded dice.

First of all, his dad was Christopher Walken. This is the second time in the past three weeks that I've seen Walken screw up a movie character's life by playing a father figure. Its about the 170th time in my life I have seen Walken screw up some movie character's life just by being his father figure. So if you see Walken in a movie as somebody's dad, you know right away its trouble. The character in question might as well be wearing a sandwich board that screams "I'm screwed up."

If its not bad enough that poor Franky Jr has to have Walken as his dad, he also has to endure the abject embarrassment of hearing dear old dad tell the lamest story I've ever heard at an honorary Rotary Club dinner. It had something to do with mice falling into a bucket of cream. At this point I was ready to forgive Frank Jr for whatever future transgressions might be revealed in the movie. Hell, anything short of canabilistic serial killer could easily be understood.

All of the above would have driven any mere mortal over the edge, but I haven't even played my trump card yet. Poor Frank's mom was French. Forget canabilistic serial killer. I could have forgiven the guy for becoming Fuhrer II. If anything, the man actually showed remarkable restraint in limiting himself to a brief career of impersonation and paper hanging.

So, Frank Jr. discovers that he can pass himself off as an airline pilot, doctor and attorney. He also discovers the remarkable ability to forge checks. In essense, what he really discovers is that during the early 60's, America was chuck full of morons. Pretty girls holding the job of bank teller would swoon over a man in an airline uniform, so he could simply take advantage of the system. He played the game to the tune of about 4 million bucks.

Its not that anyone didn't notice. FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) caught on pretty early in the game, and apparently chased Frank all over the country, and even the world. This is one of those movies that is "based on a true story" so one immediately wonders how much of what we are watching is actually factual, and how much is dramatic license (read fictional bullshit). I suspect that about 90% falls into the latter category.

Tom Hanks turns in his most uninspired performance in several outings. I'm not sure if he was prodded into attempting an accent, or if it was his own idea. But the guilty party should be severly punished. Hank's accent came off as a cross between Bugs Bunny and the horrifyingly lame Boston accent Kevin Costner gagged out in 13 Days.

Probably the worst aspect of this movie was that significant portions of it were told in flashback. When a director resorts to flashback to relate the story, you know that at some point he realized his writers couldn't coherently relate the tale of Humpty Dumpty to a group of preschoolers. Flashback is ever the last resort of incompetent filmmaking.

I'm also kind of surprised that the real life Carl Hanratty didn't sue somebody's ass off the second this movie hit the theaters. He is portrayed as sort of an incompetent dolt who suddenly becomes capable when Frank's luck finally runs out, and Carl manages to corner him. The guess here is that Hanratty was probably a pretty capable agent, trying to track down a clever forger working all over the country, while his own resources were severly limited. Its not like Hanratty was head of the Keystone Cops.

Just in case anyone is wondering why I backtracked and reviewed this movie, just take a look at the new releases this week. I was hoping to review the new comedy The Guru, but its opening was set back. I didn't think I could stomach The Recruit. When a movie released in January is billed as a "must see" movie, you can bet sure as hell its worth missing. If it weren't a piece of crap, it wouldn't be buried as a January release. Besides, how much more stuff do I want to see getting blown up lately?

Last Week: The Triplets of Belleville:

The French should know better than to make movies like this. Maybe the French should know better than to make movies at all. True, they essentially invented the craft, but like most everything else they do, they have never become good at it. All that movies like The Triplets of Belleville acomplish is to make a strong point for the people who contend that we wasted our time saving France's collective butt from the Nazis.

It is somewhat difficult to believe, but this is one of three films nominated for this year's Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. I think the primary reason this movie was nominated was because the filmmaking industry basically wanted to avoid the embarassment of having only two nominated films, making it seem like somewhat of a race. Since Triplets of Belleville is getting a pretty limited and very late American release, there is something of an aura of mystery around it, and maybe it won't seem like Finding Nemo is such a hand's down shoe-in. (Believe me, it is.)

For the first time in the history of the K.A.W. movie reviews, I think it very safe to predict that I am mostly going to get email from people who hated this movie even more than I did. I'm not expecting all that significant of a volume this week, however, since almost nobody is going to end up seeing this film anyway.

I might as well jump right in and start listing a series of the reasons that the dozen or so of you out there that see this film are going to email me to tell you why you hate it more than I do. That might save you the time and trouble, and I am just the kind of guy who likes to help out whenever I can. Sometimes I even load the gross, week-old dishes in the dishwasher for my wife, so why wouldn't I do this?

First of all, the film is French. That is reason enough for most of you right there. I know that France has been getting kicked around a lot by Americans lately, inspiring me to mostly lay off. You see, the rest of you are just bandwagon jumpers who got on board for mostly the wrong reasons. I take full credit for being with the trend before a lot of you could confidently point out France on a globe. Nonetheless, I don't do dumb things like order "freedom fries" with my "Freedom Dip" at a restaurant. That is just retarded pandering.

Second, the principle focus of this film is the Tour de France. About 99% of the populace of the United States pay as much attention to bicycle racing as they do to cow dung futures. The Tour de France is pretty big in France, though, even though the French suck at bicycle racing. The list of things the French suck at could fill a series of volumes the size of the 1988 World Book Encyclopedia set. But they have to have something to point to as a claim to fame. If they actually were to choose something they excel at, the biggest event in France might well be the Internation Festival of Body Odor.

Third, early in the film, there is an animated rendition of a woman baring her breasts. That is unpopular as hell in the U.S. these days. Ever since that damned Super Bowl halftime show, we've apparently become a nation of mammophobes. Okay, I can understand that to a degree. I think the whole incident was pretty tasteless and unnecessary myself, but lets not get carried away folks. I think as a nation, we've got better things to worry about, and better things to spend our tax money on than an F.C.C. investigation of Janet Jackson showing off one of the girls for a millisecond.

Not to belabor a point, but I think we ought to be a little bit greatful. I'm not exactly enthusiastic about having to look at the bare chest of any member of the Jackson family. But things could have been a whole lot worse. At least it wasn't Michael or LaToya. The assumption here, of course, is that I didn't just repeat myself, and the jury is still decidedly out; at least until I actually see the two of them together once, hopefully with their shirts ON.

Then there is the fact that the total number of spoken words in this entire movie could be comfortably counted on one hand. In effect, this is a silent film. Most Americans want some dialog, because they can't focus on the action on the screen for more than 15 seconds unless there are endless displays of martial arts violence and car crashes. This film has one or two animated car crashes, but they are well at the end.

I didn't care much for this film on the whole, but I have to admit there was one very beautifully done scene. It involved the old lady character sailing across the ocean with the family dog in search of her kidnapped grandson. The animation was beautiful, and was scored to Mozart's Kyrie, which I personally regard as the most perfect piece of music ever written. Well, I'll qualify that slightly. I regard Kyrie as the most perfect piece of music ever written unless I happen to be listening to Mozart's Requiem, in which case I am prone to vacillate a bit.

Triplets of Bellville might have made for a rather entertaining short subject. But at a running time of 80 minutes, it was probably a good 60 minutes too long. And I never thought I would find myself criticizing a full length movie with a running time of less than 90 minutes for being too long.

Last Week: Man of the House:

Stephen Herek has a proven track record of directing hideous movies even when he is handed decent material. Consider the assaults on the movie going public's intelligence that might never have seen the light of day had this man never been allowed behind a camera: Critters, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Life or Something Like It, The Mighty Ducks, Holy Man, 101 Dalmations, Don't Tell Mom The Baby Sitters Dead. I think you get the point.

If you ordered this man to make a movie and gave him the script to King Kong, He'd bring you back Lance Link, Super Chimp: The Motion Picture. Its not like the people at Revolution thought that they had something worth dumping into the theaters here either. Man of the House has reportedly been sitting on the studio shelves gathering dust for 2 years, just waiting for someone to decide, once and for all, whether to send it into distribution or send it to a California landfill. Somebody made the wrong choice.

The really baffling thing here is, what the hell was Tommy Lee Jones thinking when he signed on to do this project? Presumably, he read the script. Its one thing to see Ann Archer, who hasn't made a movie in recent memory, trying to get some face time in a dog like this. But what kind of desperation could lure Tommy Lee Jones to sink this low?

Our movie opens with bad ass Texas Ranger Tommy Lee Jones and his female partner chasing down a suspect who they need to bring to justice so that he can testify against another big time drug lord. They catch their man, but things go awry when a sniper attempts to kill their witness, and wounds Jones' partner. The witness then escapes, only to be gunned down in an alley. The only witnesses are a group of 5 of U. of Texas cheerleaders.

It becomes pretty clear that this group of girls couldn't pick out who actually killed the man if they had watched him do it from 5 feet away. Still, Jones is sent to live with the girls in order to protect their lives. Thus the "comic" setup: Stick-up-the-ass Jones in the same house as five beautiful young cheerleaders who disdain wearing much clothing.

The movie makes a lame attempt to establish that Jones really is a caring guy who just doesn't know how to express himself. For example, we find out that he really does care deeply about his partner, although we never actually find out what happened to her. After the first 15 minutes of the film, she is never mentioned again.

Jones also has an estranged wife and daughter, and considerable dialog in the film is wasted as the cheerleaders attempt to teach him how to better communicate with his daughter. But Jones couldn't catch a clue in a rainbarrel. So with the film dragging along and desperately in search of somewhere to go plotwise, and no real threat to the safety of the girls emerging, Herek decides the movie needs a love interest.

This is exactly the plot turn we've all been dreading since ten minutes into the film. Afterall, the only truly apparent possibility is for Jones to get involved with one of the Cheerleaders, all of which are, in actuality, young enough to be his grandaughters.

Fortunately, even a hack director like Herek resists the temptation to drag the movie that deeply into the toilet, and he finds a different avenue to pursue a love story. Jones attends and english class with one of the cheerleaders, and he falls for her teacher. Since there apparently aren't any eligible 50 something men with personalities in Austin, Texas, she falls for him too.

The movie slogs along for 100 minutes with nothing really interesting happening, until at long last, the awaited attempt is made on the girls' lives, and Jones' daughter is kidnapped. Then a really boring movie degenerates into an equally boring chase scene, and all ends happily: The final credits roll and we get to go home.

In reality, the tone for this entire movie is set in the first couple of minutes, when Jones shoves his arm elbow deep into a cow's nether oriface to retrieve a cell phone. Its almost a wonder that he wasn't able to pull a better plot out at the same time.

Last Week: Take the Lead:

I have a feeling that we experienced something very unique in screening this movie. I haven't read any other reviews that make note of what I'm about to tell you. Either the projection we watched was seriously out of frame, or we viewed a print that was never intended to be distributed.

One way or another, I came away with the feeling that the movie title should have been changed. Instead of Take the Lead, it should have been titled Take the Microphone Boom Off the Screen. The microphones and boom to which they were attached spent so much time on camera that they should have received a major co-starring credit. It was the most hilarious thing I have ever witnessed in a movie theater.

Unfortunately, it was going on during the opening sequences of the film, when the dramatic plot line was being established. Its a little difficult to convince yourself that Pierre Dulaine (Antonio Banderas) is really a Good Samaritan who is out to reform at-risk inner city kids by teaching them ballroom dance when he is making speeches to skeptical and cynical high school administrators with a microphone hanging over his head.

Even ignoring the comical boom work which seriously distracted attention fromt the main action, this film should have been about 10 minutes along. It opens with a shot of rich kids learning ballroom dance in Dulaine's studio, contrasted against inner city kids holding a dance in the streets of New York.

That latter scene should have brought the movie to a quick conclusion. In all likelyhood, some low-rider with firearms blazing would have cut a swath through the street dance, leaving us with not a movie but a body count. Meanwhile, the rich kids dance on. Instead, upon leaving his studio one evening, Dulaine witnesses a young man bashing somebody's car. "Hmmm," thinks Dulaine. "All these brutal thugs need to straighten their lives out is a few lessons in ballroom dance."

Or so we gather. His motives for volunteering his services to a group of habitual detention students is never really spelled out. Still, the high school principal reluctantly agrees to Dulaine's plan, and introduces him to some of the schools most incorrigable students.

Once again, the movie should have come to a quick and dramatic ending right there. The principal leaves Dulaine alone with this chapter of Future Convicts of America, they beat the crap out of him, lift his wallet and take off. End of dance program, end of film. But that isn't what happened.

Instead, Dulaine manages to convince them how cool ballroom dance can be, and gets them all fired up to enter a dance competition against the vastly more experienced, spoiled rich brats that he tutors in his studio.

As you might guess, the street thugs become accomplished dancers, and win the respect and friendship of the rich kids. B.S. What really happens is that the poor kids show up at the competition, one of the rich kids makes some snotty remark, which is answered by a reply like, "Yo mamma!" followed by slashing knives, flying fists, screaming and wounded rich brats and yet another body count.

It isn't a terrible film, just an implausible one. And those microphones constantly appearing in frame certainly didn't help with the necessary suspension of disbelief that was required for a film like this. According to the opening tagline, it was inspired by a true story. Maybe. But I'll bet the real Pierre Dulaine didn't have a microphone hovering over his head everywhere he went.

Last Week: Sicko:

So, there is good news, and bad news. The good news is that if you live here in the good old U.S. of A, you will probably end up living about 75.5 years. That isn't bad. The authors of the Old Testament offered that the days of your years would be "three score and ten, and if, by reason of strength four score." That was actually a pretty remarkable statement considering that in those days, a huge percentage of the population never saw their fortieth birthday. So we are probably doing okay. Or are we?

How long could you expect to live if you happen to reside just about anywhere else in the civilized world. By that, I mean places that have a life style at least somewhat comparable to ours. I hate to break this to you, but now we are coming to the bad news part of the discussion. Here is the chart:

Canada 77
Greece 77
Switzerland 81
Sweden 81
Israel 76
United Kingdom 79
Spain 80
Slovenia 77
Singapore 80
San Marino 81
Portugal 77
Norway 79
New Zealand 79
Monaco 81
Malta 79
Kuwait 77
Japan 82
Italy 80
Germany 79
Finland 79
France 80
Australia 81

Of course, these are aggregate averages. If you are a male in the U.S., your life expectancy is a couple years shorter. Females live a little longer. But the bottom line point is pretty clear. If you lived in just about any other decent country on the planet, you'd live longer than you are going to live here in the U.S. Why?

Ok, you might say, but the U.S. makes up for our shorter life expectancy by giving us a firmer start in life. Our babies are almost always born healthy and strong. Or are they? Again, I am going to have to disappoint you. According to statistics compiled by the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranks #41 in infant mortality rates. All but 3 of the countries listed above beat us in that statistic too, along with places like Cuba, Isle of Man, South Korea and the Faroe Islands where, presumably not a lot of babies are born, but if one happens to come along, it evidently has a better chance of seeing it's fifth birthday than a child born at one of our finer hospitals.

Just what is going on here? Well, one common demoninator is that just about every country listed above has some sort of socialized, cradle to grave medical coverage for all of its citizens, not dependant on your employer. In the U.S., 50 million of our citizens have no health care whatsoever, and well over half do not have anything close to adequate coverage.

"WHOA NELLY!" Some of you are now shouting. We don't want any of that natiionalized health care that makes you wait months to see doctors and all those other horror stories we have heard. And just who is telling you those stories? Our politicans, who are bought and paid for by a multi multi multi billion dollar a year industry.

The truth of the matter is that some of those horror stories you have heard are probably true. But take a look around you. We have plenty of our own to go around, and frankly ours are a lot worse. There has got to be a better system than the one we are using. In fact, if we would just take a look around the world, we would find dozens of them.

Will it be expensive? Probably, but what we are doing now is likely far more expensive, especially when we have to foot the bill for those 50 million folks that currently aren't contributing anything to the system. And if you don't believe my contention that Canada's system really is better than ours, read the words of Diane Francis in an article written for the W.H.O. about a decade ago:

Among the health care systems of the world’s wealthiest industrialized countries, the United States’ is the most expensive; even worse, it fails to provide health care for all Americans. Canada, on the other hand, provides excellent, comprehensive coverage to all of its citizens.

We just aren't doing a very good job of taking care of each other. Now, I've tossed out some facts and figures at you today. These were compiled by me, and not Michael Moore. But his latest film, Sicko presents a much more detailed look at the appalling inadequacies, even horror stories of the current health care system. We ought to make it as big an issue in the 2008 elections as the war in Iraq.

In fact, do you want to scare the crap out of some of the candidates in the next election? Here is how you do it. Write them letters, or better yet, go to their town meetings, and get in line for the Q&A session. When it is your turn to speak, make it clear that you are there to issue a demand, not a suggestion. You tell them that the next candidate elected is going to go to Washington, get sweared in, then we are going to put them in the halls of Congress and lock the doors. No one, I repeat, NO ONE is coming out until every American has health care coverage as good as they have.

Now, they are going to hem and haw and tell try to tell you why it can't be done. At that point you shout them down. Remember, we aren't issuing a suggestion, It is a demand. This goes for every issue in 2008. We aren't going to take our country back until we start sending our politicans to Washington to represent us, and not the special interests and its time we make that crystal clear to them. But it's going to require effort on our part.

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