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Woody Allen, a True American Master

November 22, 2011 Comments off

Am watching PBS American Master series on writer, filmmaker, musician, and observer of life – Woody Allen. Enjoy the opening of one of his best films, Manhattan.

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NPR: Jeff Bridges: An Actor Who Can Actually Sing

August 17, 2011 Comments off

Big fan of Jeff Bridges. Saw him in the heart wrenching film, Crazy Heart, about a broken down country singer. Bridges impresses with his ease in the role, but his playing and singing was downright unforgettable.

Check out this NPR interview with Jeff about his to be released new album.

May 13th: Crossing the American Crises: From Collapse to Action

May 10, 2011 Comments off


From the makers of Beyond Elections, this new feature-length documentary FILM: Crossing the American Crises: From Collapse to Action takes us across the country amidst the economic collapse, to the grassroots solutions in the hands of the people.

Join us for the DC premier screening of this new film, followed by an interactive panel discussion that will include the filmmakers, Silvia, Michael, and John Schmitt, senior economist with CEPR (who appears in the film).

We will appreciate a suggested donation of $5 help us cover the cost of the event but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Co-sponsors: IPS’ Inequality and the Common Good project, Faith & Money Network, Code Pink, Center for Economic Policy Research, Empower DC, and Common Security DC.

For location information, click here

On September 15, 2008, the United States fell into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The same day filmmakers Sílvia Leindecker and Michael Fox set out on a trip around the country to ask the American people what they had to say about it. In 2010, they went back to see how things had changed. While financial forecasters say the recession is over, Leindecker’s and Fox’s Crossing the American Crises: From Collapse to Action shows that the reality is otherwise.

The featured stories reveal desperation, indignation, hope, dreams and a disastrous economic breakdown; chaos generated by a system of inequality. The film also shows that the financial meltdown is just one of several human rights crises now shaking the United States—in housing, education, health care, etc. and that the solutions to “Crossing the American Crises” are in the hands of the people.

Source: Institute for Policy Studies

Legacy: Taylor Helped Raise $300 Million and Awareness for AIDS

March 27, 2011 Comments off

What it comes down to, ultimately, is love. How can anything bad come out of love? The bad stuff comes out of mistrust, misunderstanding and, God knows, from hate and from ignorance.

– Elizabeth Taylor

I am of the age where I am working continually on my legacy. I do not want to be a human being who simply took up space. I believe in random acts of kindness. I believe in sharing what little I have with others. I believe in imparting knowledge that is helpful. I believe in fighting injustice and exploitation. I believe compassion will be the salvation of the human species. When we work from a place of compassion, many things become possible.

I read a good article about Elizabeth Taylor’s legacy on the Huffington Post. I wanted to share this short piece with my readers. This is dedicated to my friends Dennis and Adam.

She got involved with AIDS activism in 1985 and worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness for the rest of her life, said Craig Thompson, executive director of AIDS Project Los Angeles, where Taylor held early fundraisers for AIDS research.

“There have been a lot of incredible warriors in the fight, but she will stand for history on a podium above everyone else,” he said, adding that Taylor had seen firsthand how her friend, Rock Hudson, had lost his battle with AIDS.

In 1985, when the government had done little to educate people about the disease and nurses were afraid to deliver food trays to AIDS patients in hospitals, Taylor, along with a group of physicians, helped establish the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).

“This was long before celebrities routinely performed or worked with charities… and the cause she selected was a disease Americans were frightened about,” Thompson said. “It wasn’t just as if she took the risk of attaching her celebrity status to a cause. She picked the most controversial cause at the time. But she was like, ‘I have friends who are dying and I have to do something, and what I can do is help raise money and help raise awareness.”

Taylor, as chairwoman of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, visited Capitol Hill to demand that the government live up to its promise to spend nearly $1 billion a year to help people with AIDS with the Ryan White Care Act. She and other stars befriended Ryan White, a teenager from Indiana who, as a hemophiliac, got HIV through a contaminated blood transfusion, was expelled from school because of his infection and became one of the disease’s most prominent early victims.

AmfAR leaders on Wednesday called Taylor “one of the most inspirational figures in the fight against AIDS.”

Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79 – Her Place in the Sun

March 23, 2011 Comments off

More than anyone else I can think of, Elizabeth Taylor represents the complete movie phenomenon — what movies are as an art and an industry and what they have meant to those of us who have grown up watching them in the dark.

Vincent Canby, New York Times

I am moved by the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, an iconoclast, a great actress, artist, and philanthropist. A great fan of Taylor’s, my mother named me after her. I am by no stretch of the imagination a beauty such as Ms. Taylor, but I do aspire to the arts and believe in noble causes, especially Ms. Taylor’s legacy work supporting research and cures for AIDS, a disease which has taken friends of mine as it did for Ms. Taylor.

Watching Elizabeth in her early films one sees the generosity of spirit in her that will carry over into her adult work. National Velvet is a film I own on DVD and watch on TMC whenever it is shown. She was a person when on screen you could not keep your eyes off of; she was not only beautiful, but engaging, powerful, and oftentimes electric. One of my favorite films is the romantic tragedy, A Place In the Sun, with her good friend, Montgomery Clift:

House Bill Puts NPR on the Firing Line

March 16, 2011 Comments off

My comments first. It is important that other pressing issues are not over shadowed by the Japan disaster. NPR has found itself in a heck of a fix since being caught in a sting by right-wing wonk James O’Keefe. I have expressed my own views on the comments made by Ron Schiller: it’s a free country and he has every right guaranteed by our First Amendment to say whatever he wants to say. If he does not like the Tea Party – so what. If he expresses an opinion about whether NPR needs Federal funds – so what. No one on NPR’s staff is advocating against the Tea Party on the air. There is no propaganda going on. I have listened to NPR for decades and it is one the premier journalistic radio broadcasts. They often cover stories not heard elsewhere. They have a tremendous line up of shows: The World, PRI, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, etc. My world is expanded each time i listen to any of these shows. I would rather my tax dollars go to NPR than another war — like the one being cooked up right now against Libya that will undoubtedly cost billions. That is not my choice as a taxpaying citizen. I want to go on the record that i support NPR, and if my readers — a few thousand ‘these days’ (get the pun) — want to weigh in, please do so, BUT i encourage you to direct your comments to House Republicans if you support NPR. It is after all YOUR country and they are PUBLIC SERVANTS.

Sign the petition – see the banner to the right here and click the link.

The Hill reports: The House Rules Committee on Wednesday will consider a bill to defund NPR.

The move could set up a floor vote on the issue and comes after a video sting led to the resignation of NPR’s top executive. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who controls the House calendar, would have to decide to bring the measure to the floor.

A number of House Republican leaders, including Cantor, have called for cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the entity that funds NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service, after conservative activist James O’Keefe released video footage of an NPR fundraiser criticizing conservatives and claiming that the public radio conglomerate does not need federal funds to operate.

The incident led to that executive’s resignation, and to the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller.

Republicans say the episode demonstrated that NPR shows a left-wing bias and does not deserve federal funding, especially with the nation facing a $1.6 trillion budget deficit. The CPB received $420 million from the federal government last year.

Advocates for NPR have argued that it needs the funds, and that public television and radio stations across the country would be hurt if the GOP blocks funding.

The GOP has already tried to defund NPR, attaching language to their long-term continuing resolution that would have stripped money for CPB. That bill failed to clear the Senate.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has introduced legislation in the Senate, and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) has done the same in the House.

Even if the House were to pass a bill, the Democratic-controlled Senate could block it. President Obama has also defended federal funds for public broadcasting.

Some liberal groups and news outlets have criticized the O’Keefe videos, saying they were selectively edited to make executive Ron Schiller’s comments more inflammatory. Schiller is not related to Vivian Schiller.

Daily Thought: Healing Through Kindness

March 11, 2011 Comments off

“And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.” ~ Black Elk

for we are all sentient beings….

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