Letters from Americans are kept on the American Perspectives page.
I'll limit my letter to you to one tiny topic - the availability of nitrous oxide gas to labouring women in the U.S. You might think this is an odd topic on which to focus...but it's indicative of the insanity of the U.S. health care system.
From up here in Canada, it is shocking to discover that hardly any U.S. women have access to something that we take for granted. It's simple, cost-effective, and makes sense.
So, here's the stats:
In 2004, there were 4,115,590 births in the U.S.
The epidural rate in most U.S. hospitals range between 60 and 90%.
Each epidural, including the anethesiologist, costs between $700 and $1200.
If you calculate the cost, using the lowest rate and cost...that’s $1,728,547,800 spent on epidurals in the U.S.
Why? Because certain people (doctors, insurance companies, hospital administrators - take your pick...) made sure there was no alternative.
In Canada, and many other countries, nitrous oxide gas is available for pain relief in labour. No doctors orders are required for its use. No anesthesiologist is required for its use. There is no waiting period necessary. Its effects start immediately. It is cheap and simple.
With a portable system, a woman can remain mobile, even in the shower, and use the nitrous oxide gas, thus making her labour faster and easier.
In Canada, 70% of my own clients use nitrous oxide gas in labour and require no other pain relief. We save the medical system a lot of money this way. It just makes sense.
Now, tell me...why does the United States only have nitrous oxide available to labouring women in ONLY 2 birthing centres? That's maybe a few hundred, or even a few thousand women, who are given this alternative.
Why do the women in the U.S. get epidurals...or nothing? I think that's easy to answer.
It’s just one tiny example of a health system gone wrong.
Sorry, I can’t admire a country that places greed before logic.
Occupation: Birth Consultant
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Soo good old America, growing up I saw you all around. Being from Panama I got used to seeing your green(go) uniform. I have good memories about your soldiers coming in to take out an out of control Dictator to be. You made it possible for our economy to be one of the best in central and south america. You made it possible for there to be elections and us have a democracy. You were truthful to your word and when 1999 came around you and your troops left our BEAUTIFUL country. When in need of help you assisted us and helped us soo much. I don`t understand why the rest of the world is going crazy about you wanting to help Iraq become a for real country. You did the same in a smaller scale in my country and man the outcome has been in a MAJOR SCALE for us!. Many people has died that true but unfortunally that`s what happens when there is a war. In Panama people died but a reason, and I know many people who feel proud of their loved one`s deaths, they did something for their country.
I think people think you are arrogant but I think you are a strong leader. I want to have a leader that can lead and not a leader that tries to please everyone and in the process do a half done job, finish what you started, just hurry up!
I have been able to make some of my dreams come true in your beautiful land, dreams that would have been much much harder to accomplish anywhere else.
I only have one thing that dislike about you. You are not God and I can understand why your definition of freedom is twisted like it is. You allow way too many things in the name of freedom that really just keep people as slaves. I think what I mean is too deep for you to understand and the rest of the people that live in here but that I will have to live with.
America you are a bad ass with a kind heart for all I know and I like bad asses with kind hearts over weak "revolutionary" countries.
Fidel where you at? Hitler where you at? Noriega where you at? and Saddam where YOU AT? thats right no where. Oh what`s up America!
About the Author
Name: Jonathan Julca
Experience With US: Currently Live in the United States
As a Canadian, I realize that you are our protectors. Not that we've needed you lately, but we know you are there.
America is most criticized because it is the chief of police of the world. One country had to take that role, and it was you.
Even though I find it annoying that you have such a high percentage of people who deny evolution and even an ancient earth, I realize that your approach will lead to the availability of the truth. It is there at least, and nobody is prevented from getting to it.
You realize that radical Islam must be reformed, and learned a lesson about trying to make it happen so fast in Iraq. It was inevitable that a middle eastern Muslim majority country had to be taken to task, and Iraq made sense.
We have seen a step forward in many of the Arab Muslim countries because of it. It will take more time than you thought, but at least now, the groundwork for reform is there.
You realize that the Palestinians are the true aggressors in the Israeli conflict. You realize that if the Arabs dropped their guns there would be peace. You realize that it is the Palestinian's fault for the mess they put themselves in. Arab Muslim intolerance must disappear before the world will peaceful.
America, you get it. Don't worry what idiots think of you. In the morning they will still be idiots.
History will salute what America is doing today.
About the Author
Name: The Atheist Jew
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Just to say THANK YOU.
Thank you for giving me and and billions of other people freedom. Freedom from Nazism. Freedom from Communism. Freedom to say what we want. Freedom to castigate you.
Mistakes happen. Still, throughout the 20th century and beyond America has been a force for good.
About the Author
Experience With US: Visited the United States
When I am asked about what I don’t like about you, I could recite a litany of attitudes, people and things that I do not like. But when faced with a white piece of paper and a blank cheque (yes, with a que) to write about this topic, it becomes much harder to do it because the answer cannot come from a moment of irrationality; it has to be thought out.
A few months ago a teacher asked us during a class what we thought of you. Some said they admired your power, your will, your way of life, some others said they didn’t like you, largely for the same reasons. I was the only one who actually said I couldn’t understand you, and I still think, after almost two semesters of teachers trying to explain to me what you are, and how you behave, that you have this aura of mystery that will never be broken.
I will not say that I hate your policies, even though I am Mexican and thus on the losing side of a wall that your leaders have decided to set up, but the truth is, sometimes my country has taken advantage of your weakness. I will not say that I admire you in absolute terms because I believe that some things can never be absolute. But I will say that I think you must have something other than a special permission from God to become what you are. You have people that take the world situation, analyze it, and work to your advantage (at least most of the time). You are a country where the majority of people wouldn’t be able to pin point Montana, let alone
So if it is a special deal you have with God, enjoy it. If it is a cultural thing we could all learn a bit from you. I am not saying you haven’t made any mistakes, or that we should learn everything from you. Nobody is perfect, but while the rest of the world laughs about the stereotype of the big-blond-burger eating American, you are still racing far ahead of us. I still don’t agree with the way you have treated my country, and a lot of others, for that matter. And I do believe that your biggest mistakes in foreign policy have come back at you, a boomerang with a vengeance. But through it all, you have found strength, and your people are slowly realizing that mistakes can be corrected, that leaders aren’t always right.
So your society shouldn’t be despised, since we could learn quite a few things from it. Being your neighbour by a long border makes everything that happens to you important to me, at a very personal level. And while I cannot say that I admire you in your true glory, I can say that if we only stopped to think about why you are “so great”, we would find many, many reasons to either prove or disprove your greatness. I am sitting on the fence for this discussion, but not before I say that perhaps we always make fun of the stereotype I mentioned above because that is exactly what we are becoming ourselves.Alba
About the Author
Occupation International Relations Student
I have your answers : why Americans do nothing about their government:
The reasons why Americans are not doing anything is because they are complacent. They need a real tragedy to directly create change in their lives. They need to be physically hurt or their families before any action will be taken.
To be in-convenienced for a long period of time.
Things first need to become inconvenient, Americans thrive on convenience. If for a longer period of time their personal lives, daily commute to work, gas prices, prices of beef go up and become problematic then they will start being inquisitive and seek guidance.
Until then Americans will do nothing. There is no real risk for them, their lives won't change dramatically, the corporations protect their gas prices making sure that they remain complacent about global warming by making their beloved SUV's still affordable enough to drive around in. SUV's make Americans feel big protected and important and powerful. Also buying American trucks makes them feel patriotic.
Also as long as the oil and corn industry in the US remains strong so will factory farming remain strong and global warming will become worse. Factory farming is subsidized by corn, corn in return is subsidized by the government which in turn is run by the oil corporations of the world.
As long as beef and meat products full of hormones are cheap, Americans have nothing to complain about, and you bet the US government will make sure that their complacent citizens will not know or hear or really care about what is going on in the rest of the world as long as:
Gas prices don't go up too high, beef and meat remains cheap, Walmart remains cheap (Americans don't care that stuff is made in china) as long that it remains affordable and convenient.
Also young people just want to go about their lives, if you want to make Americans care you have to re-instate a draft (not going to happen because the US does not want people to wake up).
That is why nothing is ever going to change this government, because it will make sure that the people of the US can keep living their convenient lives without much change.
People do care but it takes time and effort something most people don't want to invest their spare time into and until their lives are totally impacted and given a detour they will not make an effort, it has to impact them directly.
Generally people who have family members who die of strange diseases eventually set up charities or start creating organizations to help others suffering from what their loved one died from, the same goes for people who start animal shelters and rehab facilities for drug addicts, in one way or another they were personally affected.
We Americans do care but your life is not our life, yes some of us have relatives over there in the military, but they are only over there because they hope to come back alive and get $40,000 in US government grants to maybe be able to go to college and forget about their wasted time in Iraq or where ever they are sent to. Most of the men/woman in the military are just 18, are too lazy to really get a decent job, going to the military forces them to just follow orders and not be in control of their lives, it's again finding a convenient escape to the harder life of writing resumes back home to work at McDonald's or Pizza Hut.
By joining they feel they are doing something patriotic and that they won't be made fun of by their friends and family, because if they do join; their families and friends can't really make fun of them because then they in turn would be unpatriotic. So it's a temporary escape for most of them, it's not serious for them it's a short stop in life for them being in a foreign place. As long as they have a base nearby that are ok.
WE care but we're too lazy to do anything about it, except better our own lives, like the rest of the people in the world.
About the Author
Experience With America: Currently Live in the United States
A lot of people are angry with you right now, and I think you may have trouble understanding why.
It's not just that you lie, cheat and steal. And it's not only that you don't care what the rest of us think, or even if we exist. It's not just that you're always at war and telling us to jump in. It's more than the fact that you never admit to being wrong, ever.
It is indeed all of these things, and plenty more, because let's face it; you've banged into everybody over the years, with varying damages. There isn't one nation most of us can name that you haven't invaded, exploited, threatened, tried to intimidate, or disenfranchise at one time or another, and let me tell you, the ones we can't name have seen for themselves or heard us all talk. But the reason I am angry is one I believe is buried underneath the surface of a lot of frustration toward you in the world, because, as you often tell us, you're not all bad.
The things you have bragged about for so long, your courage, conviction, willingness to stand up and fight for what's right, for the rights and freedoms you claim to have introduced to the world, we are not seeing; it is clearer than ever at this moment that you have been resting on your laurels. You have really accomplished many things to be proud of, and if you could sit upon your feats humbly, perhaps much respect would flow your way. However, it seems that for years you have pointed at the will of your forefathers and demanded respect for their integrity, yet these are men who would have looked at your last two elections and picked up guns. Not only are you resting, your accomplishments are being erased.
A large part of you realizes what's wrong, but we the world see no significant effort on your part to take control while crimes are being committed in your name, and so sympathy is fading fast. It is not enough to say that your vote went the other way when you know that the process is damaged. It is not enough to say that it is out of your hands when you have not attempted to grasp it. When your system has run away from you, and is taking drastic measures throughout the world for its self-preservation, it may take drastic measures to halt it and set it right. If this is not done before it is too late, eventually you will have to recover what was lost by inaction.
We are frustrated because something has to be done, only you can do it, but you're not. And quite possibly over two billion people in the world are behind you.
This is not a left or right issue. It is right or wrong, do or don't. You don't blame the left arm for letting the right arm smack when they share the same head. You who understand what is happening are already more capable than the rest in this tug of war, because your fight is on the side of truth. History shows that truth eventually conquers, but not by itself. It has to be spoken loudly, shouted when necessary, and defended at all costs. If there is one ultimate purpose we as a species can reasonably point to in response to "why?" it is truth.
You have been taught to take criticism of your country personally, and respond defensively, but the America I am speaking to should be hearing encouragement. The truth is, led by you, your nation has the influence and wealth to steer the world in the curing of many of humanity's ails, thereby greatly reducing angst, conflict and the "need" for exorbitant defenses, and vastly increasing the wealth and standard of living for everyone. We have reached a place in time when we can either create huge problems or solve huge problems, and you just happen to be at the helm, holding the responsibility that goes with it. Is America a place where you sit back and see what happens? The destructive force that smears your name represents you only with your consent.
About the author:
Experience with America: Visited the United States