Monday, May 08, 2006
Coletti's New Books/"Greatest Nation?"/Advice From My Grandma
New Books by Edward Coletti
Between Trellis and Glass
(dPress - Sebastopol - May 2006)
Chapbook of animal poems.
Bringing Home the Bones
(dPress - Sebastopol - June 2006)
Epic length multimedia poetry book about war, death, closure, superstition, and families.
Copiously illustrated by Jonathan Allen
thawts - Selected Poems of Edward Coletti (second edition May 2006)
(PoetWorks Press - May 2006)
This is the second edition of Coletti's 2000 book of selected poems.
Order any or all now online either by comment below or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll inscribe a copy for you and trust you for your check.
Regarding "The Greatest Nation on Earth"
I believe it was conservative snot nosed commentator Tucker Carlson, who, after the usual "America's the greatest country in the world," asked "Have you been to Europe lately?"
How many of you have been to Europe or Japan recently? How did you feel about the Autostrade of Italy or the Autobahns of Germany? Were you surprised with the upkeep, the lack of potholes, the roadworthiness allowing speed? Did you enjoy being able to pay at machines with credit cards and have the machines say "Grazie?" What of the food, the design, the art, the fashion, the way of life? And above all, how about that healthcare! So when we glibly refer to ourselves as "the greatest nation on earth," let's also do some thinking about it before we lapse into the mere jingoism of certain fundamentalist religions that believe the United States is foreordained by God to do no wrong. Let's not even consider the greatest present obvious wrong - the Iraq war lie - that even the Reverend Moon - who encouraged "divine deception" in the interest of his cult - might blush at.
No, let's look at the state of our healthcare. Here are a few interesting blurbs from Paul Krugman's May 7th column:
"Is being an American bad for your health? That's the apparent implication of a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"It's not news that something is very wrong with the state of America's health. International comparisons show that the United States has achieved a sort of inverse miracle: We spend much more per person on health care than any other nation, yet we have lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than Canada, Japan and most of Europe...
"...the study concludes that 'Americans are much sicker than the English.' For example, middle -age Americans are twice as likely to suffer from diabetes as their English counterparts. That's a striking finding in itself.
"What's even more striking is that being American seems to damage your health regardless of your race and social class...
"...other possibility is that Americans work too hard and experience too much stress. Full-time American workers work, on average, about 46 weeks per year; full time British, French and German workers work only 41 weeks a year...our workaholic economy is actually more destructive of the 'family values' we claim to honor than the European economies in which regulations and union power have led to shorter working hours.
"Maybe overwork, together with the stress of living in an economy with a minimal social safety net, damages our health as well as our families. These are just suggestions. What we know for sure is that although the American way of life may be, as Ari Fleischer famously proclaimed back in 2001, 'a blessed one,' there's something about that way of life that is seriously bad for our health."
Better Than the Alternative
My sister just reminded me that, in the midst of trouble, our mother and her mother used to maintain, "But you know, it only happens to the living."
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