Tag Archives: Capitalism a Love Story

Michael Moore CAPITALISM postscript

From Michael Moore: “15 Things Every American Can Do Right Now:”
> Friends, It’s the #1 question I’m constantly asked after people see my movie: “OK — so NOW what can I DO?!” You want something to do? Well, you’ve come to the right place! ‘Cause I got 15 things you and I can do right now to fight back and try to fix this very broken system. Here they are:

FIVE THINGS WE DEMAND THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS DO IMMEDIATELY:

1. Declare a moratorium on all home evictions. Not one more family should be thrown out of their home. The banks must adjust their monthly mortgage payments to be in line with what people’s homes are now truly worth — and what they can afford. Also, it must be stated by law: If you lose your job, you cannot be tossed out of your home.

2. Congress must join the civilized world and expand Medicare For All Americans. A single, nonprofit source must run a universal health care system that covers everyone. Medical bills are now the #1 cause of bankruptcies and evictions in this country. Medicare For All will end this misery. The bill to make this happen is called H.R. 3200. You must call AND write your members of Congress and demand its passage, no compromises allowed.

3. Demand publicly-funded elections and a prohibition on elected officials leaving office and becoming lobbyists. Yes, those very members of Congress who solicit and receive millions of dollars from wealthy interests must vote to remove ALL money from our electoral and legislative process. Tell your members of Congress they must support campaign finance bill H.R.1826.

4. Each of the 50 states must create a state-owned public bank like they have in North Dakota. Then congress MUST reinstate all the strict pre-Reagan regulations on all commercial banks, investment firms, insurance companies — and all the other industries that have been savaged by deregulation: Airlines, the food industry, pharmaceutical companies — you name it. If a company’s primary motive to exist is to make a profit, then it needs a set of stringent rules to live by — and the first rule is “Do no harm.” The second rule: The question must always be asked — “Is this for the common good?” (Click here for some info about the state-owned Bank of North Dakota.)

5. Save this fragile planet and declare that all the energy resources above and beneath the ground are owned collectively by all of us. Just like they do it in Sarah Palin’s socialist Alaska. We only have a few decades of oil left. The public must be the owners and landlords of the natural resources and energy that exists within our borders or we will descend further into corporate anarchy. And when it comes to burning fossil fuels to transport ourselves, we must cease using the internal combustion engine and instruct our auto/transportation companies to rehire our skilled workforce and build mass transit (clean buses, light rail, subways, bullet trains, etc.) and new cars that don’t contribute to climate change. (For more on this, here’s a proposal I wrote in December.) Demand that General Motors’ de facto chairman, Barack Obama, issue a JFK man-on-the-moon-style challenge to turn our country into a nation of trains and buses and subways. For Pete’s sake, people, we were the ones who invented (or perfected) these damn things in the first place!!

FIVE THINGS WE CAN DO TO MAKE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT LISTEN TO US:

1. Each of us must get into the daily habit of taking 5 minutes to make four brief calls: One to the President (202-456-1414), one to your Congressperson (202-224-3121) and one to each of your two Senators (202-224-3121). To find out who represents you, click here. Take just one minute on each of these calls to let them know how you expect them to vote on a particular issue. Let them know you will have no hesitation voting for a primary opponent — or even a candidate from another party — if they don’t do our bidding. Trust me, they will listen. If you have another five minutes, click here to send them each an email. And if you really want to drop an anvil on them, send them a snail mail letter!

2. Take over your local Democratic Party. Remember how much fun you had with all those friends and neighbors working together to get Barack Obama elected? YOU DID THE IMPOSSIBLE. It’s time to re-up! Get everyone back together and go to the monthly meeting of your town or county Democratic Party — and become the majority that runs it! There will not be many in attendance and they will either be happy or in shock that you and the Obama Revolution have entered the room looking like you mean business. President Obama’s agenda will never happen without mass grass roots action — and he won’t feel encouraged to do the right thing if no one has his back, whether it’s to stand with him, or push him in the right direction. When you all become the local Democratic Party, send me a photo of the group and I’ll post it on my website.

3. Recruit someone to run for office who can win in your local elections next year — or, better yet, consider running for office yourself! You don’t have to settle for the incumbent who always expects to win. You can be our next representative! Don’t believe it can happen? Check out these examples of regular citizens who got elected: State Senator Deb Simpson, California State Assemblyman Isadore Hall, Tempe, Arizona City Councilman Corey Woods, Wisconsin State Assemblyman Chris Danou, and Washington State Representative Larry Seaquist. The list goes on and on — and you should be on it!

4. Show up. Picket the local branch of a big bank that took the bailout money. Hold vigils and marches. Consider civil disobedience. Those town hall meetings are open to you, too (and there’s more of us than there are of them!). Make some noise, have some fun, get on the local news. Place “Capitalism Did This” signs on empty foreclosed homes, closed down businesses, crumbling schools and infrastructure. (You can download them from my website.)

5. Start your own media. You. Just you (or you and a couple friends). The mainstream media is owned by corporate America and, with few exceptions, it will never tell the whole truth — so you have to do it! Start a blog! Start a website of real local news (here’s an example: The Michigan Messenger). Tweet your friends and use Facebook to let them know what they need to do politically. The daily papers are dying. If you don’t fill that void, who will?

FIVE THINGS WE SHOULD DO TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND OUR LOVED ONES UNTIL WE GET THROUGH THIS MESS:

1. Take your money out of your bank if it took bailout money and place it in a locally-owned bank or, preferably, a credit union.

2. Get rid of all your credit cards but one — the kind where you have to pay up at the end of the month or you lose your card.

3. Do not invest in the stock market. If you have any extra cash, put it away in a savings account or, if you can, pay down on your mortgage so you can own your home as soon as possible. You can also buy very safe government savings bonds or T-bills. Or just buy your mother some flowers.

4. Unionize your workplace so that you and your coworkers have a say in how your business is run. Here’s how to do it (more info here). Nothing is more American than democracy, and democracy shouldn’t be checked at the door when you enter your workplace. Another way to Americanize your workplace is to turn your business into a worker-owned cooperative. You are not a wage slave. You are a free person, and you giving up eight hours of your life every day to someone else is to be properly compensated and respected.

5. Take care of yourself and your family. Sorry to go all Oprah on you, but she’s right: Find a place of peace in your life and make the choice to be around people who are not full of negativity and cynicism. Look for those who nurture and love. Turn off the TV and the Blackberry and go for a 30-minute walk every day. Eat fruits and vegetables and cut down on anything that has sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour or too much sodium (salt) in it (and, as Michael Pollan says, “Eat (real) food, not too much, mostly plants”). Get seven hours of sleep each night and take the time to read a book a month. I know this sounds like I’ve turned into your grandma, but, dammit, take a good hard look at Granny — she’s fit, she’s rested and she knows the names of both of her U.S. Senators without having to Google them. We might do well to listen to her. If we don’t put our own “oxygen mask” on first (as they say on the airplane), we will be of no use to the rest of the nation in enacting any of this action plan!

I’m sure there are many other ideas you can come up with on how we can build this movement. Get creative. Think outside the politics-as-usual box. BE SUBVERSIVE! Think of that local action no one else has tried. Behave as if your life depended on it. Be bold! Try doing something with reckless abandon. It may just liberate you and your community and your nation.

FDR wanted an Economic Bill of Rights

You think Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address was a zinger, you should see FDR’s. Unearthed by Michael Moore for his new movie, the footage records Roosevelt declaring his intention to pursue a Second Bill of Rights. FDR died before he could make it happen, and you’ll never feel more sorry for yourself. FDR proposed these economic rights because our “political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” They were: equal rights to a job, fair pay, a home, medical care, retirement, and education. All these would have been affordable to the prospering industrial superpower, before the richest 1% took ownership of 90% of America’s wealth.

Curiously, as revealed in the film, FDR’s diplomats sent to rebuild Europe and Japan, did survive the president, and were able to draft new constitutions which guaranteed those rights. As a result, our former enemies, the refashioned Germans, Italians and Japanese, have all these protections. Theirs are now the most prosperous economies on Earth.

FDR in 1944: Read it and weep.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.

Capitalism Love Story at 3 COS screens

Michael Moore’s CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY opens today in Colorado Springs, at Tinseltown, Cinemark Carefree and Hollywood Interquest. Showtimes and a note from Moore below.

Tinseltown at 1pm, 3:55pm, 6:50pm, and 9:45pm; Cinemark at 11:40am, 1:15pm, 2:50pm, 4:25pm, 6:00pm, 7:35pm, 9:10pm, and 10:30pm; and Interquest at 1:20pm, 4:10pm, 7pm, and 9:50pm.

Moore sent out this encouragement:

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Friends,
For two months, we’ve sat and watched the rabid right achieve the unimaginable: Derail universal health care and send the Democrats in Congress running for cover. Many have asked, “How did this happen? How could a small minority of angry people control the public agenda? Where is the majority’s response? Why the silence?”

I don’t have the answers to all these questions. But I do know this: I’ve had enough. As far as I’m concerned, Tea Bag Nation ends today — at noon to be precise. For that’s when I set loose, on a thousand screens across this great land, a movie I’ve made that’s so relentless, so dangerous, so damning in its humor, that it will — I can only hope — do what no movie has done before: Take them down, take them all down, once and for all.

The days of the majority of Americans being ignored and played for chumps are over as of right now. This weekend, consider your local cinema the REAL town hall meetings! Come and spend two hours with hundreds of other people who are fed up and in need of a bit of inspiration — and a good hearty laugh at the expense of all the S.O.B.s who’ve wrecked our economy and laid ruin to our democracy.

I’m personally inviting you to come see what many critics are saying is my best film yet: “Capitalism: A Love Story.” You will not be disappointed. I will show you things and tell you things about how the captains of corporate America have stolen our country from us. No one on the nightly news is bringing these truths to you. Beginning at noon today, I pull back the curtain and reveal who’s responsible for the calamity we’re in. That’s right — I name names and I explain why this economic system we have is nothing more than legalized greed, and Wall Street is nothing more than a crime syndicate in suits. You will be blown away by what you see, but you will not leave the theater in a pit of despair. I’m counting on your response to be one of exhilaration and determination. I’ve watched this movie in sneak previews with audiences from Pittsburgh to L.A. and I’ve never seen more hooting and hollering during a documentary in my life. There are actually standing O’s during the movie! Weird. Cool. Down in front!

Please see “Capitalism: A Love Story” this weekend. Take a bunch of friends and make it an event. Last weekend in New York and L.A. many shows sold out (making “Capitalism” the biggest per screen average at the box office for 2009), so get your tickets early. And if you get a chance, send me a photo of what opening night looks like in your city and I’ll post it on my website.

C’mon, friends — RISE UP! This is our moment. And it comes with popcorn! Not bad!

Thank you so very much for all your support and encouragement over the years.

Yours,
?Michael Moore

Capitalism, a Love Story, out OCT 2

michael moore 2009 documentaryMichael Moore’s documentary about the bank robber barons behind America’s financial collapse will hit the theaters on October 2. Though the Venice Film Festival gave its premier four screenings, and a ten minute standing ovation, American editorials have of course begun to cut Moore down. The fimmaker’s tweets that the LA audience rose from their seats with torches and pitchforks, were quickly doused as hyperbole. Really? The celebrity theatergoers were really just rushing the catering tables. REALLY? That’s less probable.