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How my district got Bart Stupak to change his mind – and thus saved the Health Care Bill

A letter from filmmaker Michael Moore

Friends,

Well, our full-court press on my congressman, Bart Stupak, worked! Hundreds of my neighbors here in his Michigan district spent the weekend organizing thousands of voters to get busy and save the health care bill. We called Stupak’s congressional office non-stop and we got thousands of people up here to flood his email box.

And then a rare thing happened: An elected representative did what the people told him to do. It was nothing short of amazing.

Stupak, and his seven “right to life” Democrats who had said they would vote against the bill, reversed themselves after what Stupak said Sunday afternoon was a week of his staff having “really taken a pounding.” Hey, all we did here in northern Michigan was let him know that we would be unceremoniously tossing him out of Congress in this August’s Democratic primary. One of our group announced she would oppose him in the Dem primary. That seemed to register with him. Continue reading How my district got Bart Stupak to change his mind – and thus saved the Health Care Bill

The green they steal, the greed they wear

By filmmaker Michael Moore

It was amazing. Every story on the front page of last Tuesday’s New York Times told the story of the Age of Greed during which a system known as capitalism is slowly, but surely, killing us:

Insurance company greed: “Millions Spent to Sway Democrats on Health Care”

War profiteers: “Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants”

There’s no profit in repairing our infrastructure: “Repair Costs Daunting as Water Lines Crumble”

China, the bank: “China Uses Rules on Global Trade to Its Advantage”

You mean NAFTA didn’t improve life in Mexico: “Two Drug Slayings in Mexico Rock US Consulate” Continue reading The green they steal, the greed they wear

I love a parade!

editor’s note: My dog Bailey passed away a month ago. Every year the boyfriend and I created a kind of St. Patrick’s Day tradition for the three of us: dressing Bailey up in a green necklace or scarf and then walking down to a slice of Park Ave sidewalk to watch the parade. More important, we got to watch Bailey watch the parade! and : 1. get oodles of attention from little kids and adults who thought he was beautiful (he was!) and 2. see Bailey get excited over the other dogs in the parade and the Shriners. Horses were not of his world (too big?), so Bailey ignored them. But the Shriners, zipping along on their mini motorcyles and toy cars, just set him off! As soon as we saw the Shriners brigade of teeny cars and trucks, etc making thier way toward us, we knew Bailey would bark his head off and try to persue these most unusual critters. Bailey had no prey drive – just Shriner drive.

So I reprint an InCity Times column I wrote a few year ago, in remembrance of my Bailey Boy, whom I loved dearly and miss like you wouldn’t believe.

I love a parade!

By Rosalie Tirella

So there I was at Worcester’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with the boyfriend and trusty dog, Bailey, when it hit me: this is the real Worcester, the Worcester I love. Worcester, the place where I was born; Worcester the place where I will most likely die. Home, sweet home! Home to me and the people I’ve met and known throughout the years. People who will pass before my mind’s eye when I am 85 years old and sweetly reminiscing in my Lazy Boy, (somewhere in one of the Webster Square “tower” apartments): my neighbors, my friends’ children, former colleagues at old jobs, community volunteers, even a nemesis or two. They are all part of my life – part of me! To honor, love, respect (and sometimes diss). To have and to hold (sometimes a tad too tightly). ‘Till death do us part!

My life felt perfect on that brittle sunny day, the day we Worcesterites choose to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day (always a week before the real date, in deference to Worcester politicians who want to schmooze in/be a part of the Boston celebration). There was a melding of my heart and aluminum-sided three-deckers, stalwart small businesses and restaurants. Because on parade were a city’s – my city’s! – aspirations and history. All decked out in Kelley green boas, bow ties, beads and baubles! Continue reading I love a parade!

Is it something in the water cooler at Worcester Magazine? (OR: WTF!? They’ve gone through five reporters/editors in two years – not to mention about a dozen staffers!)

By Rosalie Tirella

So about two years ago millionaire/Worcester old money-man Allen Fletcher sells “his” Worcester Magazine to the Kirk Davis/Gareth Charter/Holden Landmark crowd. All Worcester Magazine staffers interviewed. All editorial folks told they would be retained. In fact, each person is interviewed for a half hour, asked about his/her job, etc. People feel good; people feel secure and safe. Allen Fletcher writes a happy pappy farewell editorial assuring THE WORLD they are all in good hands with the Kirk Davis/Gareth Charter/Holden Ladmark pukes.

 Next week everyone is fired, except one reporter and sales reps. Bad feelings all the way around.

 Sales reps eventually say Fuck you Kirk Davis! and move on, too. This takes about eight months.

Next … Worcester Magazine cartoonist Doug Chapel, an artist/graphic designer who creates/draws “Action Geek,” a cartoon that had been running in Worcester Magazine for four or so years (for a whopping $50 per ‘toon – how cheap is rich boy Allen Fletcher?) receives an email from the new Worcester Magazine editor, Jim Keogh. Keogh was editor of the Holden Landmark for about 100 years and seems to have experience in running a paper, working with reporters. In his email Keogh tells Chapel he is fired.

Not very classy. Continue reading Is it something in the water cooler at Worcester Magazine? (OR: WTF!? They’ve gone through five reporters/editors in two years – not to mention about a dozen staffers!)

Revenge of the empire

By Cheez Whiz

In Massachusetts you might actually call it a “Coming Out Party.” I am talking about previously unknown folks (all white males natch) announcing themselves as candidates for U.S. Congressional seats. I am talking about all the new challengers to the once (still) dominant Democratic party here. While the challengers are going for seats in the U.S. Congress, the domination of one party rule is still happening at the state house level. That is why it has been so difficul;t for any governor in the last six decades to make meaningful things happen
 
Watching a guy like Bob Spellane position this past year has been about as interesting and gutwrenching as watching a Christian thrown to the Roman lions. About 6 months aga he wrote a piece in the Telegram and chose to call his union supporters “working families”. That’s wrong, Bob, because “working families” are the type who have total household income in the $40-80K range. Almost any one of your supports has at least one member making that much. At the very least, it’s misleading. Continue reading Revenge of the empire

Book review: The Battle for America 2008

The Battle for America 2008 By Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

“It’s a pretty fascinating slice of Americana” – Barack Obama on the 2008 election.

The 2008 Presidential election will fascinate historians for generations to come. And the aptly titled “The Battle for America 2008” by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson will be great resource for historians writing about that drama. It is a great first draft of history.

Non-partisan

This book is unusually impartial. This is because the authors used the journalistic device of letting the primary actors – candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Sarah Pallin – speak for themselves. Throughout the book, at key historical moments, the major players are quoted in conversations with campaign aides, coming to a decision or explaining an event. Continue reading Book review: The Battle for America 2008

Protecting yourself from the H1N1 flu (just because it’s spring, doesn’t mean it’s over)

By Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo

“Be concerned but do not panic,” stated City of Worcester’s Public Health Commissioner Dr. Leonard Morse.

Throughout the country there is apprehension among the public about the danger of this particular kind of flu, H1N1. President Obama has declared the H1N1 flu outbreak a national emergency, allowing hospitals and local governments to speedily set up alternate sites for treatment and triage procedures if needed to handle any surge of an outbreak.

This year in Massachusetts there have been more than 1,500 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu, with 13% of those cases hospitalized. Across the nation 36 children’s deaths have been attributed to the H1N1 virus. In the Town of Grafton, schools were closed for a few days due to high absences with students and staff.

We all have experienced the seasonal flu in past years, so what’s so different about the H1N1 flu? Although seasonal flu is most dangerous to those with weak immune systems, such as young children and the elderly, the H1N1 virus appears to be a threat to healthy, young adults. Continue reading Protecting yourself from the H1N1 flu (just because it’s spring, doesn’t mean it’s over)

NASA’s cruel monkey experiments should be grounded

By Ian Smith

To many people, the image of a monkey’s face peering out from an astronaut’s helmet is comically absurd and more suitable for the cover of MAD magazine than any reputable academic journal or serious government publication. To others, pictures of terrified monkeys and chimpanzees strapped into spaceships are tragic artifacts of a less enlightened time.

But just when we think that we’ve left science fiction behind, it sneaks up from behind and bites us.

While the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is no longer going to the bizarre lengths of actually sending monkeys into space, it is currently planning to fund another cruel and pointless experiment on this planet. The agency has announced that it will spend $1.75 million to fund an experiment in which up to 30 squirrel monkeys will be exposed to dangerous levels of space radiation. Continue reading NASA’s cruel monkey experiments should be grounded

It’s all over

By Jack Hoffman

Three things recently happened that may have put the final nail in the coffin of what was once known as America’s democracy.

It involved a Supreme Court case brought by an obscure conservative political group. The group versus The Federal Election Commission. Ironically, it involved the use of raising corporate money by showing a documentary that highlights Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run. The conservative group believed that the use of corporate money fell within their First Amendment rights and freedom of speech.

The Supreme Court’s majority decision of 5 to 4 is easy to figure out. To quote the majority: “A corporation has the same rights as an individual.”

Wait a sec! Did I miss something in my reading of the First Amendment? A separate entity, yes, but the same rights as an individual?! You have got to be kidding me!!! Continue reading It’s all over

A failed bombing and: What are we doing in Afghanistan? Plus: My health-care crisis!

By Jack Hoffman

In just days since the abortive attempt by the 23-year-old Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate an explosive device onboard Northwest Flight 253, information surfaced that indicated a quintessential, breakdown of our intelligence and security network. Evidence has shown it to be extraordinary and shocking but not surprising in both its character and scale – especially after the 9/11 debacle.

Should we be shocked?

So what has happened with the preliminary findings from the time of the bombing attempt and now? How Umar put this all together. The dildo detonator and explosive powder stitched in his underwear. A powder that should have been detected by the Amsterdam security police, what with the new body scanners supplied by the United States. And the frightening news Umar trained with another twenty jihadist ready to go. Continue reading A failed bombing and: What are we doing in Afghanistan? Plus: My health-care crisis!