Thursday, May 10, 2007

Michael Moore and the Feds: So what?

Actually, Michael Moore might have two different words for the Treasury Department agents threatening to fine him for traveling to Cuba: Thank you.

No, make that four words: Thank you very much.

The left-wing buffoon has made a film, Sicko, about the U.S. health care system. It involved taking ten Americans to Cuba for medical treatment. He applied to Treasury for permission to take that trip, got no response, and traveled anyway.

A May 2 letter from the Office of Foreign Assets Control demands information on the trip, its participants, and their reasons for going. He has 20 days to respond.

So now, a health care documentary by an economic illiterate has been converted into The Film the Bush Administration Wants to Stop.

Thank you very, very, very much.

Moore is playing the feds like a violin to feed his pre-release publicity. He released the letter. According to AP, he has placed a print of the film in a “safe house” outside U.S. territory to protect his oeuvre from oncoming government goons.

If he is smart, he will refuse to pay a fine, which he surely could afford, and instead demand a hearing before a U.S. administrative law judge. With cameras, he could appear with the patients who were treated in Cuba. The judge will grill him as to how much he spent on meals, lodging, and transportation, and why he didn’t have a license.

Martyrdom, anyone?

If he is really smart, he could go to Miami to confront those who are already pining for him to be incarcerated (example here, with salty language). He can count on being attacked for his views, which will create a public impression that the government and his critics are trying to regulate free speech.

Which would not be accurate: The travel ban, and the action against Moore, are part of our government's policy to “hasten the demise of the dictatorship” in Cuba.


leftside said...

"Buffoon," "economic illiterate"???

I take it you aren't a fan of our academy award and cannes winning filmaker? I'llnever forget watching Roger & Me in Sociology 101. It is one of the things that led me to my eventual major and career... growing up in Flint, Michigan would have radicalized anyone with a conscious.

Nevertheless your analysis is spot on again. This could be the big one - the case that opens Ameican's eyes to the idiocy that is US policy on Cuba. One has to hope. Moore seems ready to milk this for all it's worth.

Anonymous said...

Great points!

Karamchand said...

Lo que me llamó la atención de Michael Moore, sobre todo lo demás, es el cambio de imagen entre quien era y quien es. Al parecer acude a los mismos consejeros y maquillistas de G.W.B.
Quien sabe, eso es parte de la democracia que vive EEUU. Otra vez veremos ataques con virulentas acusaciones y actos melodramáticos, sin soluciones, claro, como los payasos que toman gags y piruetas de otros y no hacen los suyos. El mundo está lleno de personas dispuestas a criticar al prójimo, pero no a dar soluciones a lo que critican, a lo sumo, proponen ideas de poco fundamento, como un compromiso para no ser mal vistos o vistos como extremistas.
Si critico algo y se supone que he pensado y meditado sobre el tópico, debo tener soluciones también o posibles soluciones. Sin esas propuestas, las criticas no pasan de ser reflejo del defecto de quien critica.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the "A" team isn't running OFAC, either. Idiots.

leftside said...

Karamchand, Michael Moore does offer plenty of solutions in his books. I don't consisder him much more than a populist agitator, but we desperately need some of those in the US... He will milk this for all it's worth.

Anonymous said...

Time is ripe for direct legal attack on legality in present context of Cuban Travel Ban.

Moore is ideal plaintiff, joined by Oliver Stone and Promoter of Buena Vista Social Club --persons previously fi8ned? -- Cuban-American offended by 1/3 year rule,etc..

Venue? S.F. northern dist of Calif.