Saturday, December 19, 2020

It's A Wonderful Life!


It's A Wonderful Life, the 1946 classic movie with James Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore directed by Frank Capra, is one of my favorite, if not my favorite!

The film is considered one of the greatest films of all time. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The American Film Institute ranks It's A Wonderful Life as its Number 1 inspirational film of all time. It was met initially with mixed reviews and was financially unsuccessful but did become a classic Christmas film after it was put in the public domain in the 1970's. For more information go to the It's A Wonderful Life Wikipedia page.

In an article by Rachael Scott on December 19, 2020 titled How World War II shaped It's A Wonderful Life on CNN Entertainment, I learned something I never knew about the movie. Rachel says in the article:

"The movie captures a period of American life packed with some of the most landmark historical events in the 20th century, including the Great Depression and World War II.

After serving in the Army Air Corps, Stewart had been absent from Hollywood for five years when he was offered the role in It's a Wonderful Life. He was initially hesitant to do the film, according to biographer Robert Matzen, but it was his only offer except for a film featuring his war service.

'It's a Wonderful Life was a result of Jim's war experiences because it unlocked this depth of soul in Jimmy ... He had to learn to act again and that's what you're seeing on screen. It's like lightning that just got captured in a bottle,' biographer Robert Matzen told CNN.

This is seen in one of the film's most iconic, unscripted scenes, when George Bailey finds himself at the end of his rope: 'I'm not a praying man but if you're up there and you can hear me, show me the way.'

George Bailey wasn't scripted to cry, but Jimmy Stewart did.

'As I said those words, I felt the loneliness, the hopelessness of people who had nowhere to turn, and my eyes filled with tears. I broke down sobbing,' Stewart said in an interview in 1987."

I did not know this about the scene until reading Scott's article. It shows the empathy that Stewart had and was able to convey. The film speaks to us today during this terrible pandemic. So many are out of work, have lost loved ones to COVID-19, are suffering themselves from the virus, and are experiencing mental health issues including even thinking about committing suicide. Much like Jimmy did in the movie.

The Guardian Angel Clarence showed George Bailey how different the world would be if he no longer existed and what an impact we all make in the world. Clarence was the symbol of hope and while we may not have a guardian angel the movie shows that success is not about materialism but how much each of us give back. Today that includes everyone on the front line during the pandemic, most importantly healthcare workers but all others that allow us to obtain food and stay warm. Let's hope congress can do it's part by assisting those out of work and not playing politics with people's lives.

With vaccine now becoming available and a new administration about to be inaugurated there is hope again. Mr. Potter did not succeed and neither will Trumpism. Empathy and caring for everyone is back with a Biden Administration.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Former President Barack Obama Talks about His New Book, George Floyd, President Trump, and the Divisions in Our Country


This is an excellent interview of Former President Barack Obama by CBS Correspondent, Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes this past Sunday, November 15, 2020.

In the interview Obama talks about his new book, George Floyd, President Trump, and the divisions in our country. I highly encourage all my friends to see this interview. You can view it on the CBS 60 Minutes website.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Inspiring Words from President-Elect Joe Biden

President-Elect Joe Biden
These are some very inspiring words from President-Elect Joe Biden's Victory Speech on Saturday evening, November 7, 2020.

It was so refreshing to hear a president that wants to pull our country together to face the many issues we have, including this terrible COVID-19 Pandemic!

For all my friends, no matter how they voted it is time to stop the divisiveness and work together. Joe Biden has the experience, skills, and empathy to bridge the divide and lead us down this path. Here are Joe's words:

My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken. 

They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory. A victory for “We the People.” 

We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation -- 74 million. 

I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me. 

I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who doesn’t see Red and Blue states, but a United States. And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people. 

For that is what America is about: The people. And that is what our Administration will be about. 

I sought this office to restore the soul of America. To rebuild the backbone of the nation -- the middle class. To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home. 

It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision. And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time. 

As I said many times before, I’m Jill’s husband. I would not be here without the love and tireless support of my wife, Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and all our family. They are my heart. 

Jill’s a mom -- a military mom -- and an educator. She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn’t just what she does -- it’s who she is. For America’s educators, this is a great day: You’re going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady. 

And I will be honored to be serving with a fantastic vice president -- Kamala Harris -- who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country. 

It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice. 

Kamala, Doug -- like it or not -- you’re family. You’ve become honorary Bidens. 

To all those who volunteered, worked the polls, local election officials -- you deserve a special thanks from this nation. To my campaign team, to all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I thank you for everything. And to all those who supported us: I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we built, the broadest and most diverse in history. 

Democrats and Republicans and Independents. Progressives, moderates and conservatives. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Gay, straight, transgender. White. Latino. Asian. Native American. 

And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest -- the African American community. 

I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. 

And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. 

But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans. 

The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season -- a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal. 

This is that time for America. A time to heal. 

Now that the campaign is over -- what is the people’s will? What is our mandate? 

I believe it is this: Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time. 

The battle to control the virus. The battle to build prosperity. The battle to secure your family’s health care. The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country. The battle to save the climate. The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot. 

Our work begins with getting COVID under control. 

We cannot repair our economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments -- hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us -- until we get this virus under control. 

On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021. 

That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern. I will spare no effort -- or commitment -- to turn this pandemic around. 

I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me -- as I will for those who did. 

Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end -- here and now. 

The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make. 

And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate. 

That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- to make that choice with me. 

America’s story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity. Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long. We must make the promise of the country real for everybody -- no matter their race, their identity, their ethnicity, their faith. 

America has always been shaped by inflection points -- by moments in time where we’ve made hard decisions about who we are and what we want to be. 

Lincoln in 1860 -- coming to save the Union. FDR in 1932 -- promising a beleaguered country a New Deal. JFK in 1960 -- pledging a New Frontier. 

And twelve years ago -- when Barack Obama made history -- and told us, “Yes, we can.” 

We stand again at an inflection point. We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose. We can do it. I know we can. 

I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America. Now we must restore the soul of America. 

Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses. It is time for our better angels to prevail. 

Tonight, the whole world is watching. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe. And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. 

I’ve always believed we can define America in one word: Possibilities. 

That in America everyone should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them. 

You see, I believe in the possibility of this country. We’re always looking ahead. Ahead to an America that’s freer and more just. Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect. Ahead to an America that cures disease -- like cancer and Alzheimers. Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind. Ahead to an America that never gives up. 

This is a great nation. And we are a good people. This is the United States of America. And there has never been anything we haven’t been able to do when we’ve done it together. 

In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America. 

And I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. 

“And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

And now, together -- on eagle’s wings -- we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do. 

With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country -- and a thirst for justice -- let us be the nation that we know we can be. 

A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed. 

God bless you. And may God protect our troops. 

Joe Biden

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Covid-19 has unmasked the true nature of Donald Trump and Trumpism - Jonathan Freedland


This is an excellent opinion piece by Jonathan Freedland that was published in The Guardian on October 9, 2020.

Donald Trump is not only a useful idiot to Vladimir Putin but is dangerous to the health of Americans and our democracy. He has so mismanaged the COVID-19 Pandemic and it did not have to be this way. Other countries were able to contain the virus and open their economies and due to his misinformation we have had the most deaths per capita than any other major developed country. Donald Trump also received the best care for COVID-19 in the totally government run Walter Reed hospital at no cost but still wants to take healthcare away from millions of Americans they get through the Affordable Care Act. And, he only paid $750 in taxes!

I know some of my friends will agree whole heartily with this article and others will dismiss it. To those that dismiss it I hope you have read it and that you understand how dangerous this man is to our American values. Donald Trump cares only about himself and nobody else. He is destroying the Republican Party and our country. I hope my Republican friends will wake up to this fact. It is time to put an end to Trump and Trumpism. The real "Fake News" is just about everything Donald Trump says and has ever said. Don't be conned again in this election.

The link to this piece Covid-19 has unmasked the true nature of Donald Trump and Trumpism - Jonathan Freedland is here.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci Cold Open - SNL

This is one of the best Saturday Night Live opening segments titled, Dr. Anthony Fauci Cold Open, for many reasons!

Brad Pitt plays Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID and who has been providing factual information during the White House COVID-19 Briefings. When interviewed by CNN on April 10, 2020, Dr. Fauci was asked by Alisyn Camerota who he would like to have play him in a possible upcoming SNL episode on the White House briefings, and he said Brad Pitt in a joking way.

Well, Brad Pitt not only did a great job of playing Anthony Fauci on April 25, 2020, it was what he said at the end of the segment that really was heartfelt and touching. Way to go Brad!

Thank you Dr. Fauci, along with Dr. Deborah Birx the United States AIDS Coordinator, for your thoughtful and factual leadership through this horrible COVID-19 Pandemic.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Conservative activist family behind 'grassroots' anti-quarantine Facebook events

This story, titled Conservative activist family behind 'grassroots' anti-quarantine Facebook events by NBC News reporters, Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins is very concerning for our country since we are in the middle of fighting this terrible COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of protests against "Shelter at Home" initiatives that have been put in place in most of our states is now being challenged for unfounded political reasons by right-wing groups. These protests also do make any sense because we all want things to get back to normal, if there is ever to be a normal again. Opening things up too early will only exacerbate the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and thus deaths. All of which will keep us from getting to at least a new normal in hopefully the near future.

I realize that there are many people hurting and out of work as well as the incredible pressure on our health system in fighting this pandemic. It brings to light that with so many unemployed now how flawed our system is in basing health insurance coverage on employment. Perhaps we do need a national health system or at least a public option that all citizens can obtain. People need not worry about getting the care that they may desperately need.

It is my hope that people will not follow these faux groups and obtain the real facts rather than these made up issues that, I am sure the ones propagating, would not follow themselves. We must work together. This is going to take time, so we all need to be patient in protecting ourselves, our families, our friends, and the citizens of this country.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

America Doesn’t Have a Public Health System

Once again Robert Reich hits the nail on the head with this post from his blog, titled America Doesn't Have a Public Health System.

As a graduate of a public health school in healthcare administration, I have been saying this for years. Yes, the United States has a great healthcare system but we don’t have a public health system. The COVID-19 virus is exposing our weaknesses in a glaring way.