Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why You Shouldn’t Succumb to Defeatism About the Affordable Care Act

This is another excellent post titled, Why You Shouldn't Succumb to Defeatism About the Affordable Care Act, by Robert Reich from his blog.

Like any change we need to give this time to succeed rather than listening to those that want to see it fail. All the nay-saying is mostly for political reasons anyhow! If we look back in history all of these programs have needed some tweaking.

While I don't agree with the Affordable Care Act, it is the best thing we can do to cover those that were unable to obtain insurance in the past and to hold insurance companies accountable. Press on!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Joyeux Noel

I saw an excellent movie last night called Joyeux Noel, which is a French film from 2005. It is set in the trenches along the French and German border during World War I on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1914.

This is a true story of humanity that follows the stories of the men fighting the war from Scotland, France, and Germany that lay down their arms and celebrate Christmas together. There are many themes and layers to the film, not only with the various characters, but with war itself and how religion is used as a unifying force but also one that dehumanizes the enemy.

The message is as true today as it was in this most brutal war in which 20 million men were lost. To see the magnitude of those killed by machine guns, gas, and disease visit the World War I History Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. I thank the Minneapolis Conscious Cinema group for showing the film last evening. You can see the trailer of Joyeux Noel on YouTube.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How the Republican Tempest Over the Affordable Care Act Diverts Attention from Three Large Truths

This is one of the best and most concise articles I have read on what the Republicans have been doing to try and destroy the implementation of the Affordable Care Act from Robert Reich's blog.

This blog entry titled, How the Republican Tempest Over the Affordable Care Act Diverts Attention from Three Large Truths, and the large truths are the wreck of private insurance, the Affordable Care Act is a modest solution, and the moral imperative.

Robert Reich is someone we should all be listening to on this subject and many others. I follow all his blog entries.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bill Moyers Essay: On the Sabotage of Democracy

This is one of the best summaries that I have heard about the shutdown of our American Democracy. It is titled, Bill Moyers Essay: On the Sabotage of Democracy.

While this "ransom", as Bill calls it, is currently being carried out by the Republican Right, it could just as easily be by any extreme interest with enough funding.
I believe that as citizens, it is time that we take back our country from special interests and call for a constitutional convention. Our democracy is not working and it is time to heed the words of one of our great Republican Presidents, Abraham Lincoln. He said in his Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 "...that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth".

We have a lot of work to do!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

17 Stunning Seconds Give Blackhawks The NHL's Stanley Cup

Ok I have to admit that I watched no hockey on TV this year preferring instead to participate in sports rather than being a couch potato. Even harder to admit because I have been a Detroit Red Wings fan since my childhood and remembering going to games at the old Olympia Stadium in Detroit with my father.
Last night I was talking to my son Alex after my yoga class and with him at the gym working out. He said, "Dad, you have to turn on the Stanley Cup as Chicago could take it all if they win." So I did turn on the TV to find out there are 2 minutes left with Boston up 2-1.

Low in behold the Blackhawks scored twice in the span of 17 seconds then proceeded to take the game and the Stanley Cup. All I can say is Wow, and glad I was talking to Alex and turned on the game. Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks!

See the story and highlight video on this NPR story titled, 17 Stunning Seconds Give Blackhawks The NHL's Stanley Cup.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Group rates Minneapolis as top U.S. city park system

Well Minneapolis is Number One in yet another category! This time in the Trust for Public Land's second annual ParkScore index where Minneapolis was rated has having the top city park system in the United States.

My last blog post was on how the Twin Cities were the fittest in the United States and perhaps the two are linked because people have several place to go and be active.
The article says that the Minneapolis system, which includes 197 parks covering 6,744 acres, is visited annually by 20 million people. ParkScore does their rating on three factors.
1. Park Access - Measures the percentage of residents living within about a half-mile of a park.

2. Park Size - Based on a city's median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks.

3. Services and Investment - a combination of the number of playgrounds per 10,000 city residents and per capita spending.

Minneapolis scored strongly in all three categories as this article titled, Group rates Minneapolis as top U.S. city park system, from USA Today details.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And America's Fittest City Is...

The Twin Cities is the answer! Yes, for the third year in a row the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area is the fittest city in the United States.

From living here for a year and a half now I can understand why! We have great bicycle trails and marked street bike-ways, wonderful kayaking and canoeing with all the lakes, and incredible Nordic skiing on groomed trails right within the city limits.

It just seems like people are out doing things all the time. For me the Twin Cities is by far the best area of the country that I have lived in. The full article is titled, And America's Fittest City Is..., from US News & World Report.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bald Eagles Make Strong Comeback Along Mississippi

It is great to see that bald eagles, who were nearing extinction, have made a strong comeback along the Mississippi River here in Northern Minnesota.

I don't know if I quite agree with this story that I can see a bald eagle every day here in Minneapolis, but I can say that seeing an eagle is not as rare as it once was, even a few years ago.

We first started seeing them more frequently further north when Nordic skiing in Northern Wisconsin at the American Birkebeiner ski race and I saw my first swarm of them fishing over an area of the Mississippi River south of La Crosse, Wisconsin two winters ago. This story titled, Bald Eagles Make Strong Comeback Along Mississippi, from WCCO CBS Minnesota is a nice read.