sicko, and the american way

Posted on July 4, 2007. Filed under: Movies, Politics |

Brian and I saw Sicko last night and while I was aware of the Health Care and Insurance situation in the US, I wasn’t aware of some of the ludicrous denial statements (like you’re too young to have cervical cancer — are you kidding me?), or the doctor pay-offs, but I’m not surprised.

What shocked me, and what was I’m sure a very deliberate parallel within the film was meeting the parents of a family of four who had lost everything because they got sick. They certainly didn’t ask to become ill, nor did they expect to be living out their days in their daughter’s basement (in one room that wasn’t even cleaned out for them) but, even after watching the film in its entirety I’m most angry and frustrated with the children of this couple. I’m still angry with them.

Their son and daughter both made it quite clear that their parents were a burden and that they frankly could care less what happened to them so long as they didn’t have to take care of them. They were lazy and selfish and an apt representation of much of America. This family was a microcosm of American society and is so indicative of the overarching Health Care and Insurance industry’s mentality of “we don’t want to take care of you”. If your own children don’t want to take care of you and an HMO doesn’t want to take care of you then you are left on your own.

The rest of the countries depicted — the social welfare countries such as Canada, France and England have engraved into their psyche that you care for those who cannot care for themselves. It is imperative to act as a country to ensure health, safety and happiness of the greatest number of people, not to secure the wealth of the few elite at the top or the unethical drug and insurance companies. Even Cuba’s Health Care was represented in a fashionable manner — though you have to think that an inhaler costs only 5 cents in a country like Cuba because of communism. Capitalism — the American way is really what there is to blame for the lack of Universal Health care.

As a Canadian, despite my frustrations with the doctors that I have encountered (and that naturopathy isn’t covered under OHIP — well, not really, though it would be nice) I would gladly pay taxes into the system to ensure that we have a healthy nation and that if you’re sick the only thing you have to worry about is getting better not about whether you’re in the right hospital as you’re child dies, or if you should have had your illness pre-approved.

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breast cancer charity turned down $6000 in Vancouver

Posted on February 16, 2007. Filed under: Politics, randomness |

Have a look at what happened in Vancouver and let me know if you agree with the decision of the charity or if you would side with them? And why?

I for one, would have accepted the money and think it was a very innovative way to raise a lot of cash in a short amount of time. Quite altruistic actually.

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little mosque on the prairie

Posted on January 10, 2007. Filed under: Politics, randomness, religion, TV |

I just watched the new CBC show, Little Mosque on the Prairie and I must say that I enjoyed the show overall. It was quite funny in parts and I loved the sarcasm (definitely my kind of humour).

The only downsides are:
1) they are advertising it so freakin’ much on CBC that it made me feel like I had seen the entire show before it aired AND nearly turned me off watching it and
2) the premiere night is not the regular night (it will be on Wednesdays, not Tuesdays) and I have class on Wednesdays. Damn. So that will be the last episode I get to see. Another check in the list of reasons why I should drop that course for this semester…okay, maybe not. BUT you should definitely tune in. Tonight’s show will be re-aired on CBC tomorrow and, if you’re in the western part of the country where 8:30 hasn’t rolled around yet…tune in and let me know what you think!

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no more tri phasil – and sugar on birth control pills?

Posted on December 13, 2006. Filed under: Candida, Politics, randomness, The boy(s), The Dyingness |

I went to get my pill renewed a few weeks ago and, to my surprise they didn’t have any tri phasil.


Now, I’m usually on the ball and get things like this early, but not this time. I needed it that day.

I recalled vaguely reading about this shortage due to some manufacturing problem months ago, in the free 24 hour newspaper that is usually full of errors and misinformation,  but thought I had heard that this had been fixed and they were back in business.

Not in actuality.

Not only has this happened, but no one seems to know what the problem is or when it might be solved (if ever). There doesn’t seem to be reference to this anywhere online (at least no where google can find). So I had to wait while the pharmacist called my doctor and switched me to something that is supposedly the same and is called TriQuilar.

This seemed fine until I got the package of pills.

Now, I don’t know if anyone from Berlex Canada is reading this, but the packaging alone of these pills makes me feel like I’m ingesting something that was concocted in 1972 and will lead to my untimely death. I already feel guilty enough that I’m hurting my body so much with these seemingly innocent pills, do you have to make it seem so apparent.

Secondarily, these pills have sucrose on them! Now, for those of us who can’t have sugar, this is not a good thing. My tongue is already starting to spiral out of control which doesn’t make me overly happy. Is it really necessary to put sugar in these? Come on — what purpose can that possibly serve?

As if not having the pills in stock wasn’t bad enough but I also can’t find any reference to Tri Phasil anywhere online — I mean the official company website. Can you? If so, please let me know. I feel like, since I have no clue why these are back-ordered and not in production, there is some fatal flaw with the product and I will (regardless of the better packaging) die an untimely death.

Okay, so I don’t think I’ll die, but I do think that the information on this shortage or ban or whatever it may be that created back orders (and possibly as a result of women not knowing has also created many unplanned pregnancies) be more forthcoming.

In short:

-TriQuilar — please update your packaging and remove sucrose from your pills
-TriPhasil — please let the world know why your product has disappeared

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shooting, downtown toronto tonight

Posted on November 22, 2006. Filed under: Politics, randomness |

I got home from class in time to turn on the news and see that there was a shooting in the exact place that I had just been and, that if we hadn’t been let out an hour early, I likely would have been close to where the shooting occurred. The last time this happened was when the girl was taken hostage at Union Station and I was actually in the station, but went out the side door and didn’t know it was taking place until I got to work.

So, I am left to wonder, what does one do when you actually do end up in the exact place at the exact time? How are you supposed to react? Hit the ground like in the movies?

A couple of years ago a friend and I were walking down Front St on our lunch and there was the loud sound of gunshots. We did not hit the ground. We looked at each other in disbelief because, well, that doesn’t happen in Toronto, especially in the middle of the day, right?

Again the shots.

Again, no reaction.

No movement.

I look up the street to see a bank surrounded by police cars.

As we kept walking closer (because, of course there must be a logical explanation for this) I ask:

“Do you think it’s a film shoot?”

“Must be.”

“But I don’t see any film trucks…”

My disbelief started to turn to slight anxiousness and a twinge of fear.

We continued to walk to the next block, turned and there, right in front of us…

Was an entire street full of white vans from the film company.

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do you vote?

Posted on November 15, 2006. Filed under: Politics, The boy(s) |

I was brought up to believe that voting is important. Brian was not. We argue about the importance of voting and how the lack of doing so really is sheer laziness on the behalf of those non-voters out there.

So please, can you shed some light you non-voters…why don’t you vote?

Voters — why do you? Is it important to you? Why?

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sarah harmer’s escarpment tour

Posted on November 5, 2006. Filed under: Climate Change, Environment, Friends, Politics, The boy(s), Weather |

Last year Brent and I went to see Sarah Harmer play in Georgetown. Brian and Alex came too — but got seats after us, so sat behind us somewhere. I could still drink beer at this time and I was a little drunk before the show…but it was fantastic, especially because it was so close to home.

She is working with a group called PERL to help raise awareness and to protect the Niagara Escarpment. She was back yesterday to wrap up with a docu-concert that she had created with Andy Keen about the tour, which started up in Tobermory and ended in Burlington last year. The DVD is called The Escarpment Blues and I’d say it’s a must-see, especially for people living anywhere along the escarpment. It opened my eyes to a few things and by the sounds of it, it’s also really opening Sarah’s eyes to a whole new world and process of getting things done. I hope that she sticks with it and that more people become involved with her organization, PERL. Their main opponent right now, Nelson Aggregates was charged with transplanting an endangered tree (the butternut tree) and altering a waterway. You can read more about this on their site, and sign the petition too while you’re there.

Brian and I went to see this docu-concert yesterday as part of our date for our 10-month anniversary. Then we went to the new Thai place down the street and ended the night with Kinsey (the only previously-viewed VHS tape at the store that we could purchase for less than $4 — no, I don’t own a DVD player yet, and the fam was watching hockey, so we were banned to my room).

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thailand coup makes trip a no-go?

Posted on September 19, 2006. Filed under: Politics, Travelling |

On my way home from work tonight, listening to Jazz FM as always, there was the regular financial report which I usually don’t understand much of (but I’m hoping will rub off in some way) except tonight it sparked my interest.

A coup in Thailand? Martial law enforced?

The message I left for Brian went something like this:

“Um, hi hon. You may have already heard this, but I just thought you should know that there’s been a coup in Thailand and there are tanks and stuff in Bangkok… And, well, you might want to call your friends in the off chance that they haven’t heard and maybe mention that they might not want to have their wedding in a war zone…”

Now, there is an unlikely chance that this could all be resolved and the country will be in perfect harmony with no chance of political unrest, upheaval or violence by the time we were supposed to go next August, but I will say this, while some people enjoy going to countries that are in these sorts of situations, I more like to stay away from them. I have no problem flying to the UK after a supposed terrorist attack because, well, if your plane’s going to blow up, your plane’s going to blow up and there isn’t much you can do about it, but I do not really feel comfortable vacationing with tanks.

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bans lifting

Posted on August 15, 2006. Filed under: Politics, Travelling |

It looks as though they are starting to lift bans on hand luggage, and to restore flights to normal (not cancel any more) starting tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

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Wal-mart fails in one market (a minor victory?)

Posted on August 15, 2006. Filed under: Politics, Quotes |

The August 5th edition of The Economist also has an article about the failure of Wal-Mart to succeed in the German market. I laughed at this part:

“Wal-mart went on to get nearly everything wrong in what the Bremen boffins called “a textbook case of how not to enter a foreign market.

The first error was to appoint a boss for Germany who spoke no German. Not only that, he insisted that his managers work in English. The next boss, an Englishman, tried to run the show from England.”

I read with a smug satisfaction that lack of research and “the American way” doesn’t work all the time — kudos to the Germans.

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