Saturday, July 14, 2007
Open Letter to Michael Moore. My friend Gaetano forwarded to me an open letter Michael Moore sent to CNN about its refusal/failure to date to correct inaccuracies it broadcast in a supposed 'fact check' of Moore's documentary Sicko. At the end of that open letter was an email address for Moore, so I sent him this email, which I am now opening to you, since I don't know if he himself will ever see it.
Subject: Don't let up on universal healthcare(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 3,613 — for Israel.)
Warren Buffett recently remarked that he pays Federal income tax at a lower rate than his secretary. Did that make the Nation recoil in horror at the unfairness of a tax system that favors the rich? It did not. His observation sank almost instantly out of public view, while some conservatives made excuses (the corporations from which he derived his income already paid taxes — as tho the corporations ordinary people work for don't) and recalculated his secretary's tax rate to show it should be lower than Buffett said (tho still higher than Buffett's). Your film Sicko (which I have said should instead have been titled Shame: http://antipost.blogspot.com/2007/07/sicko.html) is the most powerful force to move the Nation toward universal healthcare ever to have been put forward. But you can't let up. I chanced to see only a few hours ago a documentary about the Clearwater environmental group (Hudson River cleanup) in which folk singer/activist Pete Seeger says, more than once (aptly): "The price of liberty is eternal publicity."
Pete Seeger and the tens of thousands of people he helped to mobilize made a huge difference in the cleanup of one of this Nation's great rivers, whether he be remembered into the future for that or only for writing "If I Had a Hammer". YOU have a hammer, your celebrity, with which to get the endless publicity we will need in order to smash resistance to universal healthcare in the United States. Please do not be distracted, by relatively petty corrections to Sanjay Gupta's report or anything else, from the need to hammer home to all Americans that we MUST enact universal healthcare, and anyone who resists that is un-American, an enemy of everything this country stands for. This is the Nation of barn-raisings and quilting-bees, of volunteer fire departments and 999 other Points of Lite. We need to be reminded of our tradition of caring for each other, of cheering for the underdog and fiting for the little guy against The Powers That Be. You can make universal healthcare as American as sandlot baseball or a pickup game of touch football. You must not move on to your next project until you have seen this project thru to completion (even if you must run for President to force all the other candidates to embrace that cause). "The price of liberty is eternal publicity" — well, if not eternal, then at least until the job is done — but few of us can get the publicity you can. Take that to heart. Please.
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