Category Archives: Progressives

SiCKO

Yesterday, to celebrate our nation’s birthday, I went to see Michael Moore’s latest film, SiCKO. It seems that a lot of people had the same idea, because even though it was the first screening of the day at the Arbor, it was an almost full house.

I’m recommending the film to everyone. It isn’t as political as his past films, since health care is more of a social justice issue. The main thing I took away from the film is the ridiculousness of the fact that we are the only country in the Western world that doesn’t provide decent and affordable (or FREE) health care for all our citizens. The film as a whole bounds from moments of honest anger, terrible sadness*, and still includes touches of humor. I thought the storyline of the 911 workers going to Cuba would be more heavy-handed, but it didn’t come across that way to me. If this small, poor nation can care for our citizens, why can’t we?

The film made me wish I had more seriously considered my resolution to move to Canada if Bush won the first election. I mean, I love America, but free health care for all? That is a huge selling-point.

*I got choked up at least 3 times during the film.

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Filed under film, Progressives, World

Obama at the gym

I was at the gym working out on Saturday morning when Obama made his official announcement. I had brought a “Cooking Light” magazine to read, but ended up reading the closed captioning on the TV instead. If you missed it, I strongly recommend taking the time to read it (here it is). I think it is one of the strongest speeches I’ve heard/read in recent years, perhaps even better than his famous convention speech. I might even put it up there with Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you” speech.

My favorite quotes from it:

The genius of our founders is that they designed a system of government that can be changed. And we should take heart, because we’ve changed this country before. In the face of tyranny, a band of patriots brought an Empire to its knees. In the face of secession, we unified a nation and set the captives free. In the face of Depression, we put people back to work and lifted millions out of poverty. We welcomed immigrants to our shores, we opened railroads to the west, we landed a man on the moon, and we heard a King’s call to let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what’s needed to be done. Today we are called once more – and it is time for our generation to answer that call.

For that is our unyielding faith – that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.

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For the last six years we’ve been told that our mounting debts don’t matter, we’ve been told that the anxiety Americans feel about rising health care costs and stagnant wages are an illusion, we’ve been told that climate change is a hoax, and that tough talk and an ill-conceived war can replace diplomacy, and strategy, and foresight. And when all else fails, when Katrina happens, or the death toll in Iraq mounts, we’ve been told that our crises are somebody else’s fault. We’re distracted from our real failures, and told to blame the other party, or gay people, or immigrants.

And as people have looked away in disillusionment and frustration, we know what’s filled the void. The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we’re here today to take it back. The time for that politics is over. It’s time to turn the page.
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. . . [T]his campaign can’t only be about me. It must be about us – it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. It will take your time, your energy, and your advice – to push us forward when we’re doing right, and to let us know when we’re not. This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.

By ourselves, this change will not happen. Divided, we are bound to fail.

Like I said, it’s all good, and you should go read it. Supposedly the video is up on his site, but I can’t get it to work.

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Filed under political, Progressives, writing

I hope I haven’t jinxed anything

So far no candidate I’ve donated money to has won an election. Here’s the list:

  • Bill Bradley (Pres.)
  • Howard Dean (Pres.)
  • Chris Bell (Gov.)

My mom tells me it’s my “magical thinking” to assume that I cause their loss.

This is all leading to say that I just donated money to both Obama and Bill Richardson after seeing this item about Hillary’s fundraising prowess.

In the back of mind I have a nugget of hope for a Richardson/Obama ticket in 2008 (or Obama/Richardson, I’m not picky).

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Filed under family, personal, political, Progressives

Shut Up and Sing

Last night Leah and I went to a special showing of Shut Up and Sing that was shown to benefit People for the American Way. What a great movie! Not only does it have a great story and great music, but it is also really funny. Those Chicks have a great sense of humor. They are so personable, they seem like women we would be friends with.

But I’m still not willing to pay $70 to barely be able to view them at the Erwin Center on Monday. I’m sure it will be a good show, especially since Pete Yorn is opening for them. I’m thinking he’ll be doing his duet with Natalie.

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Filed under favorites, film, music, pop culture, Progressives

yes, I’m still up

Just got back from the Pink party at the SFA. I’m so excited that the Dems won the House (or so they are saying now). I’d write more but my brain hurts. I still feel sick and I drank free champagne that probably didn’t mix well with my decongestant.

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Filed under personal, political, Progressives, Random

one of my favorite Bible verses

Sojourners has started a new daily newsletter with a Bible verse and quote for the day. The first one if one of my favorites:

[God] has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
– Micah 6:8

My favorite part is bolded. How best can we show our faith but to help others? Forcing our beliefs on others does nothing to help anyone. This verse is kinda like my faith in a nutshell. You know, if it could be put that simply.

Oh, Jim Wallis now has a blog! He’s currently posting a debate with petite right-winger Ralph Reed.

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Filed under faith, Progressives, reading

I miss Ann already

annerichards.jpg

Listening to her 1998 speech here, her death really hit me. It’s so hard to believe that such a smart, sassy, and honest mind is now gone.

I never got to meet her, but she’s been a favorite of mine for a long time. She’s definitely one of my favorite women in Texas history.

My 2004 Women’s History Month post on Ann Richards

Photo from Texas State Library and Archives Commission

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Filed under feminism, political, Progressives