Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Universal Health Care Comment

By John Ballard

The health care reform beat is making me tired. Same old stuff all the time. 
But this was left in a comment thread at The Health Care Blog and it's worth keeping. Readers can check out the post, of course, but most readers here are already on the same side of the issue. But this comment is broader than the content of the post and deserves more prominence than it will receive lost in a bunch of other comments.

Probably the only way to really understand another country is to live there. Everything you say squares with what a friend who has lived in Canada for many years tells me. Another friend, who lived in France for a number of years, told similar stories about care there. My step-son and his wife had their first baby in Germany. Great, patient-centered care in a hospital that didn't look like a resort, but provided excellent care.

My friend who lived in France said that there health care system is so good because "The French feel that nothing is too good for another Frenchman."
Unfortunately, Americans do not feel that way about each other.

This helps explain America's poor being caught in a cycle of poverty. We don't put the money into public education that would help many people break out of the cycle. Our classrooms are too crowded, particularly in schools located in low-income areas. A high student-teacher ratio means that students who learn at different rates don't get the attention they need.

When it comes to special ed, children with emotional problems (anxiety, rage, ADD) are thrown into special ed classes with children who are mentally retarded. The angry children bully the retarded children.

Often, the schools themselves are old, dirty and crumbling. Windows that don't open haven't been washed in years. Even in NYC, (where school lasts until the end of June) many classrooms don't have air-conditioning.

Imagine trying to learn (or teach) in a stifling 94 degree classroom packed with 26 sweaty bodies?

Visit public schools in Canada, or France, and you will see the difference.


  1. "The French feel that nothing is too good for another Frenchman."
    actually the Americans think that nothing IS to good for a Frenchman!

  2. Tweet:
    "Bet Romney really wishes the Olympics were being held in France this year. No one cares if you offend the French."