Politics, pageantry collide

Olympic opening ceremony became puzzling free ad for socialized medicine

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Confronted with one of the largest television audiences in history, Olympic organizers could’ve made a statement for peace.

They chose politics instead.

We appreciate NBC Olympics host Bob Costas’ indignation at the Olympics’ bizarre decision to ignore the 40th anniversary of the 1972 terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics that killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches.

The conscious, unrelenting decision to dishonor the dead by refusing to acknowledge them on a milestone anniversary speaks volumes – about the continued sad state of anti-Semitism and the Olympics’ inability to rise above it.

The Olympics should not just be about athletics; they should be about world peace as well.

As much as any event, the Munich massacre was the beginning salvo in a decades-long torrent of terror by Muslim extremists against nearly the entirety of the rest of the human population. This year’s Olympics opening ceremony could have used the anniversary to make a historic, healing statement about hatred and racism and peace. Nope.

Instead, we got a peculiar bit of propaganda about the British National Health Service – socialized medicine. One sports website called it the “most political Olympics opening ceremony since Berlin 1936.”

And maybe a bit delusional too. British political commentator Iain Martin opined, “Most Britons will not accept the truth about the NHS. It is not that it produces uniformly terrible results, as its harshest critics say. The truth is that its performance, in terms of comparison with sophisticated mature economies, is middling. Yet, just as the minority of critics tend to overdo it, so its defenders sound completely barmy when they hail it as the best and the envy of the world. It isn’t. ...”

The likely effect of the ceremony, Martin laments, is that “Anyone attempting to make the system more responsive to consumer demand – to drive improvement, innovation and productivity and thus deliver better health care for patients – can forget it for another 20 years.”

Just like the Israeli athletes, one supposes.

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fedex227
11187
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fedex227 07/30/12 - 11:24 pm
4
5
I remember the 2008 opening ceremonies ...
Unpublished

in Beijing when they did that thing with all the people marching and ... or was that the 2004 opening ceremonies in Athens when all of the Armenian athletes caused all that controversy by ... my bad, it was the 2000 Olympic ceremonies in Sydney when that guy did that thing that caused such an uproar. Can't remember exactly what it was, but it was pretty bad.

It's their Olympics ACES- get over it. In the grand scheme of things, who's gonna remember the opening ceremonies six months from now? Worthy of a whole editorial? Think not. Although, thanks for reminding me about them - gotta love Mr. Bean.

faithson
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faithson 07/30/12 - 11:44 pm
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8
how 'bout 'mittens

a more appropriate editorial would be about 'mitt's' open mouth, insert foot comments. A comment on his participation (actually his wife's) in the Olympics in the MOST expensive event would also be appropriate. But hey, today we are complaining about the English health care system.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/31/12 - 03:44 am
1
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Every Brit that I've ever

Every Brit that I've ever talked to thinks we're nuts for having our health care system (actually, most say balmy). They love the NHS. What they hate are the proposed changes by the conservative Cameron.

Riverman1
86855
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Riverman1 07/31/12 - 05:06 am
9
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Europe is falling apart.

Europe is falling apart. They're broke. We'll be paying for THEIR healthcare next.

carcraft
27005
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carcraft 07/31/12 - 05:47 am
9
1
Ever Nurse from Britain my

Ever Nurse from Britain my wife and I have talked to thinks we are crazy to even think about changing our health care system! Yes the Brits love the delays for cancer treatment. Delays of months to year waits for scans to find the tumors then months to year wait to get the surgery and chemo or radiation for cancer. Wonderful system. Same for total joints etc.! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/1590055.stm Now I know this is from the extemely biased BBC a true right wing organization if I ever saw one!

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 07/31/12 - 06:02 am
1
8
well said techfan. my friends

well said techfan. my friends in the united kingdom have good things to say about the responsiveness and outcomes with the services offered by the nhs. and does anyone seriously think the usa will be paying for the healthcare of those in the united kingdom?

and finally, bob costas wonders why the munich massacre wasn't highlighted? how insulting...in light of the fact that nbc chose not to air the opening ceremonies segment paying homage to the victims of the uk terrorist attacks of 7/7.

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 07/31/12 - 06:23 am
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that bbc article is 11 years

that bbc article is 11 years old! if that's the best that can be dredged up to criticize the nhs then i do believe things have changed for the better. i have a close friend and longtime smoker from the isle of man that was treated with stage 4 small cell lung cancer nearly five years ago and he has nothing but praise for the nhs. a successful outcome is never guaranteed, regardless of the timeliness and level of care presented. but my friend is grateful for the professionalism of his salaried caregivers. of course, your results may vary.

Riverman1
86855
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Riverman1 07/31/12 - 06:43 am
9
3
If I had to have an operation

If I had to have an operation I would rather have it performed in the USA by filthy rich Republican surgeons who knew I was a paying customer. (Reminds me of when Ronald Reagan was shot and he asked the surgeons if they were Republicans)

Riverman1
86855
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Riverman1 07/31/12 - 07:16 am
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I mean no offense to my

I mean no offense to my Democratic friends, but there are certain jobs that I want to make sure a Republican is doing. Surgeon and pilot, for instance. I don't want anyone who got in because of a quota system for pacific islanders or something. On the other hand, I enjoy Democrats acting, singing and doing all kinds of performing.

itsanotherday1
45338
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itsanotherday1 07/31/12 - 08:45 am
3
1
"I enjoy Democrats acting,

"I enjoy Democrats acting, singing and doing all kinds of performing."

You get to see that every day, right here on these comments sections.

onlysane1left
216
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onlysane1left 07/31/12 - 08:52 am
2
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Nice way to use the Olympics

Nice way to use the Olympics to slam on AHCA! Never thought you could connect the two, but here it is. First, quoting Martin is brilliant. The guy is a Gerogia conservative in British clothing. He blindly supports Romney, because it is the right thing to do for his favorite party, the Conservatives or Tories, since Reagan and Thatcher were so close, as well as Blair and Bush. (By the way, how did those alliances work out for both of those UK PM's? I remember BOTH having to resign....) Yet, what I find funny is, conservatives have been for the British NHS. In a free speech society, there will be critics of everything, but with the system always reforming to make itself better, the NHS isn't as bad as it hardest critics or Mr. Martin make it out to be.

Lastly, I think an article about the tragedy in Munich, not being the highlighted in these Olympics would have made a much better read as an editorial piece. The story was horrific and it changed the world's view on things. The damage is still affecting us today. My hat tips to Costas for being aware and making that point be known.

That episode was the most evil showing of politics for an Olympics, yet, some would make the Smith-Carlos fist raise an equivalent statement. Personally, the Olympics and politics have been hand and hand. Jesse Owens and the Third Reich was highly charged as well as the foremention Smith-Carlos incident, the boycott of the USSR as well as the USA from consequent Olympics. The Olympics, since ancient times, is about the pageantry of sport and spirit of man, which is political at times, both will show while the games are is being played.....

itsanotherday1
45338
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itsanotherday1 07/31/12 - 08:57 am
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fi

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/pharmaceuticalsandchemic...

NHS is struggling and looking to private sector for help. (and this article ain't 11 years old)

\\

onlysane1left
216
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onlysane1left 07/31/12 - 09:19 am
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itsanotherday1

This article is about a private healthcare provider, not NHS. A private provider can't survive because of aging clients and the fact that most people are with the public option, the NHS! According to the article, only 8,000,000 of 70,000,000 people in the UK pay a private company for healthcare insurance. General Healthcare Group and Advent International are competitors of the NHS and can not afford to cover healthcare cost and fees, that is why they are struggling.

carcraft
27005
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carcraft 07/31/12 - 10:14 am
3
1
Here is another great

Here is another great article, maybe you would really like to Opt for the British system Techfan. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26794291/ns/health-health_care/t/tale-sickbe...

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 07/31/12 - 10:24 am
6
1
Techfan, exactly how many

Techfan, exactly how many Brits have you talked to?

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 07/31/12 - 11:38 am
0
0
TECH...REALLY?
Unpublished

Every Brit you've talked to loves their NHS? I'm betting you haven't talked to many of the THOUSANDS of British physicians who are now practicing in this country. Ask them what they think of British healthcare.

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 07/31/12 - 11:59 am
1
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I can't answer for TechFan...

but for me personally, I speak with Brits, Scots and folks from the IOM and Ireland more than a few times a quarter. I have no friends from Wales. :-) The topic of healthcare rarely comes up, unless the person I'm speaking with cares to comment on some healthcare issue they are dealing with. I can only assume they are being candid and forthright when they all say they are getting the care they "need". I recall how uncomfortable I was initially upon admittance to a ward in old University Hospital there in Augusta in 1965 for a ruptured appendix. I will admit to being spoiled and asking for a private room forty years later when awaiting surgery for a badly broken leg, that unfortunately wasn't repaired to my satisfaction, is uncomfortable to this day and cost my insurance carrier $31,000.

To quote the article, itsanotherday1 sited, I direct your attention to the quote: "Americans are hemorrhaging money into the health care system. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. spent 16 percent of its gross domestic product on health care in 2005, almost two times that spent in the United Kingdom and other wealthy nations. And Americans are not healthier for it." And even the author concludes with her offering her appreciation for the efforts of the National Healthcare Service to serve the needs of everyone. The article was clear, at least to me, in it's message that in a system such as ours, many folks wait until their health issue is exacerbated requiring intervention well beyond what would have been needed if the patient had not feared the costs and had sought treatment earlier in the disease process, thus requiring more resources and adding to the total expenditures needed for treatment.

I admit that there is a great deal of fear by those that can pay for private healthcare that we will not get the care we need, in the setting we desire, in the timeframe we expect. But this issue is about so much more than the expectations of the majority that, along with their employers or retirement plans of government subsidized partners for medicare, veterans or county, federal, state and city employees can access healthcare. It's about those 40,000,000 children, men and women among us that have no access to the level of healthcare that many of us currently enjoy.

harley_52
23959
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harley_52 07/31/12 - 12:03 pm
2
0
Is Society..

...morally obliged to provide free health care to everybody?

Think before you answer, please.

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 07/31/12 - 12:03 pm
2
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How many Americans flock to

How many Americans flock to Europe for needed care?

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 07/31/12 - 12:08 pm
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Harley....NO. In order to say

Harley....NO.

In order to say that health care is a RIGHT, you must first say that people don't have the right to NOT be doctors if they so choose.

harley_52
23959
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harley_52 07/31/12 - 12:38 pm
1
0
Good Point....

....Angie H but, for the sake of this discussion, let's free everybody of the requirement to actually devote their life to being an unpaid health care worker and allow them to pursue whatever enterprise/employment they choose and just pay from their income whatever it costs to provide free healthcare to everybody.

Is there a moral imperative to do that?

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 07/31/12 - 12:47 pm
1
0
I still say no. You only

I still say no. You only have a moral obligation to be given what you worked to receive.

harley_52
23959
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harley_52 07/31/12 - 01:15 pm
2
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Others May Disagree....

...but I think this is the fundamental question to be considered before going any further with the "free" health care discussion. I'm trying to leave the politics aside, for now, and understand whether people believe they have some sort of moral obligation to pay for other peoples' health care and, if so, for which other people are they obliged to pay? Their family? Their neighborhood? Their city? Their state? Everybody in the USA? Everybody in the world?

If we have a moral obligation to pay for others, is there a limit on that obligation?

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 07/31/12 - 01:30 pm
1
1
Are we morally obligated to

Are we morally obligated to provide everyone free food?

harley_52
23959
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harley_52 07/31/12 - 01:43 pm
3
0
It's The Same....

....logic that brings us to the same intellectual quandry, isn't it? Am I morally responsible for your food? Your health care? Your cell phone? If I am, for whom else am I responsible and what are the limits of that responsibility, if any?

Angie H
4300
Points
Angie H 07/31/12 - 01:56 pm
1
1
Apparently you are not only

Apparently you are not only responsible for those who CAN'T help themselves, but also for those who WON'T help themselves. That is why the President scrapped the work requirment for welfare.

justthefacts
22681
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justthefacts 07/31/12 - 03:10 pm
1
1
Bantana

"It's about those 40,000,000 children, men and women among us that have no access to the level of healthcare that many of us currently enjoy." Fine, come up with a solution for that bunch and leave the other 300 million who are happy with their Heathcare alone. Talk about the tail wagging the dog...there it is.

Riverman1
86855
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Riverman1 07/31/12 - 05:00 pm
0
0
JTF, you have a way with words

Heh, heh, heh, succinct. Love it.

harley_52
23959
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harley_52 07/31/12 - 06:08 pm
0
0
Angie H.....

It's interesting and instructive that nobody else is willing (or capable) of addressing the morality of whether or not there is any moral basis for society providing "free" food, health care, or anything else to others. The fair (and appropriate) conclusion is that people are more willing to deal with these issues at the political level.

Pity.......

carcraft
27005
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carcraft 07/31/12 - 07:24 pm
0
0
Ple are provided a free

Ple are provided a free education so they can get things like health care food and clothing byut that isn't wuite enough is it. We must not only provide them with the means to secure thoe items, but after they ignore the opertunity and their parents don't indoctronate the necessity to obtain those skills we are supposed to provide them for FREE. Of course if you look at how willing the democrates are to pay their fair share you quickly run into the likes of John Kerry, Charlie Rangle, Tommy Daschle, Tim Guitner etc. who all cheated on their taxes...BWAHAHAHAHAHA

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