Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video serves as inspiration for this parody honoring Alice Paul and the Women's Suffrage movement. Soomo Publishing has also created teaching resources to help students understand how women fought for the vote nearly a century ago.
Perhaps some of the men speaking on today's politics should remember that it's too late to pretend women don't matter, or that they can dictate to us about how to live and be. Thanks to those brave women and those who have come after them, our voices will matter in 2012. That's a fact some Republican candidates seem to have forgotten. But we haven't.
Michael Moore's pointing out something no one in the media seems to want to discuss: How little money the people who are flying commercial planes are getting paid. As he says, these are not the people you want working a second job:
We're on the descent from 20,000 feet in the air when the flight attendant leans over the elderly woman next to me and taps me on the shoulder.
"I'm listening to Lady Gaga," I say as I remove just one of the ear buds. I know not this Lady Gaga, but her performance last week on SNL was fascinating.
"The pilots would like to see you in the cockpit when we land," she says with a southern drawl.
"Did I do something wrong?"
"No. They have something to show you." (The last time an employee of an airline wanted to show me something it was her written reprimand for eating an in-flight meal without paying for it. "Yes," she said, "we have to pay for our own meals on board now.")
The plane landed and I stepped into the cockpit. "Read this," the first officer said. He handed me a letter from the airline to him. It was headlined "LETTER OF CONCERN." It seems this poor fellow had taken three sick days in the past year. The letter was a warning not to take another one -- or else.
"Great," I said. "Just what I want -- you coming to work sick, flying me up in the air and asking to borrow the barf bag from my seatback pocket."
He then showed me his pay stub. He took home $405 this week. My life was completely and totally in his hands for the past hour and he's paid less than the kid who delivers my pizza.
I told the guys that I have a whole section in my new movie about how pilots are treated (using pilots as only one example of how people's wages have been slashed and the middle class decimated). In the movie I interview a pilot for a major airline who made $17,000 last year. For four months he was eligible -- and received -- food stamps. Another pilot in the film has a second job as a dog walker.
"I have a second job!," the two pilots said in unison. One is a substitute teacher. The other works in a coffee shop. You know, maybe it's just me, but the two occupations whose workers shouldn't be humpin' a second job are brain surgeons and airline pilots. Call me crazy.
I told them about how Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger (the pilot who safely landed the jet in the Hudson River) had testified in Congress that no pilot he knows wants any of their children to become a pilot. Pilots, he said, are completely demoralized. He spoke of how his pay has been cut 40% and his own pension eliminated. Most of the TV news didn't cover his remarks and the congressmen quickly forgot them. They just wanted him to play the role of "HERO," but he was on a more important mission. He's in my movie.
"I hadn't heard anywhere that this stuff about the airlines is in this new movie," the pilot said.
"No, you wouldn't," I replied. "The press likes to talk about me, not the movie."
And it's true. I've been surprised (and slightly annoyed) that, with all that's been written and talked about "Capitalism: A Love Story," very little attention has been paid the mind-blowing stuff in the film: pilots on food stamps, companies secretly taking out life insurance policies on employees and hoping they die young so the company can collect, judges getting kickbacks from the private prison industry for sending innocent people (kids) to be locked up. The profit motive -- it's a killer.
Especially when your pilot started his day at 6am working at the local Starbucks.
The fate of almost a million lives could be decided in the next six hours. As a voter, as a millenial, as a migrant, as a Guatemalan, I'm writing to say that I will be watching along with the vast majority of those who will determine the future of the United States of America.
If you haven't heard about the DREAM Act yet I wouldn't be surprised. The media has largely been focused on the train wreck that is Christine O'Donnell's campaign. But the mainstream media is missing out on one of the most suspenseful political dramas I've ever witnessed. No one knows if we have the votes to beat the filibuster in the Senate, today. If we don't beat it, the National Defense Authorization Act will likely have to wait until after the elections. At that point, all bets are off.
One of the most compelling elements of this political drama has been the interaction between The LGBT movement and the migrant youth movement. What to an outsider might be perceived as two unrelated constituencies, perhaps even hostile to each other, have been working long before this moment to build unity and solidarity. It is one thing to believe in the truth that we are all woven into a "single garment of destiny." It is another to live that truth and act on it. The migrant youth movement and the LGBT movement having been living and acting on that truth, as we all should. My freedom is tied up with the freedom of everyone else in the universe, and tomorrow we have a chance to set close to a million people free.
Again, the media hasn't been watching but everyone who matters everyone who will decide the future of this country is watching. The DREAM Act has been front-page news on major Spanish language newspapers all week, and featured heavily on Spanish language television. The U.S.'s largest and fastest growing minority, Latinos, is watching, today. Educators and students from around the country have organized for and come out in support of the DREAM Act. The next generation is watching, today. Facebook and twitter have blown up with mentions of the DREAM Act, and traffic on the sites covering the DREAM Act is through the roof. Business leaders, religious leaders, and military leaders have all come out strong in support of the DREAM Act. If the Senate fails to move the DREAM Act forward today, we will all be watching and we won't just remember this November, but for the rest of our lives.
According to a poll commissioned by First Focus, 70% of the U.S. public supports the DREAM Act. Multiple polls show that a majority of the U.S. public supports the repeal of DADT. Republicans, for the most part, are floating arguments about procedure. They are saying that Democrats are playing politics with the National Defense Authorization Act. Republicans are playing politics, too, and have used the procedure of the filibuster to grind the Senate to a halt for two years. Playing politics is what politicians do. The public doesn't care about politicians playing politics or what procedures are used as long as Congress does their job and gets things done. It's time for Congress to get two things done that the majority of Americans support.
Republicans, especially, face an important choice, today. They can please their increasingly regional extremist base and relegate themselves to irrelevancy for a generation, or they can do the right thing and be competitive with the next generation of voters.
If we win, today, we will face an even steeper uphill battle, but we will all be watching. Failure has not entered into my mind. We will pass the DREAM Act and DADT will be repealed. It is no longer a question of if, but a question of when. The time is now and whomever stands in the way will regret it for a long time.