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Here’s hoping Tony Taylor’s guilty plea might be the nail in the coffin needed to put Vick away. Hey, a gal can dream, right? Of course the flip side would be if his other co-defendants follow suit and plead guilty, somehow hoping this might make it look like Vick had no awareness of what was taking place on his property. I think we’ve all seen such deviousness take place in the legal system before, so who really knows how it will turn out. Here’s hoping the truth prevails and there is some (belated) justice for the innocent dogs involved in all of this disgusting mess.
- Toobin: Vick Case Plea Deal Could Lead To More Charges-cnn.com
- “According to the summary of facts filed with the court on Monday, Taylor said that he and the other three co-defendants, including Vick, decided to start a dogfighting venture in early 2001 and that Vick paid for the property in Smithfield, Virginia, used for the operations.”
- C0-defendant In Vick Case Pleads Guilty-sportsnetwork.com
- Vick Dogfighting Case Co-defendant Pleads Guilty-cbs4denver.com
And how disappointing to read about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s stance on the issue.
“SCLC President Charles Steele Jr. said his organization prefers to focus on Vick’s redemption and plans to honor him for his community contributions at its convention next month in Atlanta. “We need to support him no matter what the evidence reveals,” Steele said.“
I have had nothing but respect for the work the SCLC has done on the civil rights front over the past decades, and respect the right of folks to support the good that Vick has done in the past, but to give so little regard to the possible outcome of the dogfighting charges is something I don’t get, never mind it sends a message to others who condone dogfighting that it’s okay to do so. Yes, people make mistakes in life and should be given a second chance, but be honest about what you’ve done. When Vick admits his wrongdoing and makes redemption, then we’ll talk about support. (***8/7/07 UPDATE: SCLC backtracks regarding “support” of Vick.***)
And this train of thought just blows me away:
““We Support Vick a Human Being Over Dogs,” was the message of one placard to honking passing cars on Northside Drive.”“
Say what?!?! You mean to tell me folks will ACTUALLY blindly support someone involved in dog fighting just because that person is a “human being” (a term I’d use very loosely for dog fighters), and TOTALLY disregard the actions of that “human being” because the victims are dogs?? Then again, these are the same folks in the article who think the NFL should be supporting Vick and attacking PETA and the HSUS. Ah, the mentality of some folks is such a continuous disappointment.
As I’ve said before, if Vick is shown to be innocent of the vile crimes the federal grand jury indictment states he took part in, then I will admit to being wrong. But until that time I am going with the evidence put forth, and the common sense notion (especially in light of Tony Taylor’s guilty plea) that there is virtually no way possible that Vick had NO CLUE, let alone no voluntary action in, the barbaric treatment of animals on his property. Guess we’ll have to wait for the trial on November 26th to find out, unless Vick and his cohorts decided to come clean and tell the truth before then–won’t hold my breath.
Following PETA protests outside Niketown stores and countless calls and emails to the company asking that they cut ties with Michael Vick in light of horrific allegations of his involvement with dogfighting rings, Nike has released the following statement:
“Nike has suspended Michael Vick’s contract without pay, and will not sell any more Michael Vick product at Nike-owned retail at this time.”
As a result, we have called off our planned protests outside Nike stores around the country. Thanks to everyone who wrote to the company about this issue or attended the demonstrations, and thanks to Nike for doing the right thing by ending its association with someone accused of torture.
Reebok has also made the decision to stop sales of Michael Vick apparel, stating:
“While we respect the legal process we find the allegations against Mr. Vick too disturbing to ignore, therefore, we have decided to immediately suspend selling Vick NFL product, both at retail and online through the Reebok website.”
This is great news for anyone who is concerned about cruelty to animals, and we hope that it sends a strong message to the NFL that they need to do the same thing and suspend Michael Vick immediately, pending the outcome of this case. To send a message to the NFL asking them to get on with that, please click here.
Thank you for all you do for animals,
Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
No big surprise that Michael Vick and his three cruelty-driven cohorts, Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips, and Tony Taylor (***UPDATE on Tony Taylor: guilty***), pleaded not guilty in a Richmond, VA., courtroom to federal dogfighting charges today. (Trial date set for November 26th.) Did anyone REALLY think any of these four miserable excuses for human beings would have enough cajones to admit to the atrocities they have committed? Of course not! Here’s my previous blog entry on the subject, which includes a link to a copy of the 18 page indictment. (And yes, defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but can you honestly read that indictment and NOT believe they are guilty? If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it, but until then I’m going against what I usually believe-innocent until proven guilty- and WILL consider these four guilty as hell…so sue me.)
While none of us can bring back the dogs Vick, Peace, Phillips, or Taylor, killed by their own hands on the property or via the incredibly vicious fighting they subjected dogs to, nor undo the damage done mentally and physically to those dogs who survived, we CAN let big business know that we will NOT tolerate such abuses, nor will we give money to companies who continue to support athletes (or anyone guilty of these crimes) with lucrative contracts. (Namely the Atlanta Falcons and Nike). You can follow the links I’m providing below to voice your displeasure OR you can take part in various demonstrations around the country, or start your own. This Monday, July 30th, I’ll be joining what will hopefully be MANY other outraged animal lovers, in a PETA demonstration outside Niketown in Los Angeles. (***Protests canceled. Read more here.***) If you are in the area (and I’m really not since I’ll be driving about 1 1/2 hours to get there), please consider joining us. But if you are not, here’s some information in an email today from Ingrid Newkirk of PETA:
“On Monday, July 30, PETA will hold demonstrations in front of every Niketown store from New York to Los Angeles to call on Nike—which employs Vick as a promotional spokesperson—to sack him.
Already, the pressure is working. Both the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons have taken important “first steps” to discipline Vick by keeping him away from the Falcons’ training camp pending their own investigation of the case. In my view, this is the beginning of the end for Vick’s career.”
So come on folks, let’s get active, get vocal, and NOT let this situation be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Thanks!
NFL quarterback Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons was recently indicted on charges of sponsoring a large dogfighting operation. The indictment alleges that dogs were housed, trained, and fought at a property owned by Vick and that those who did not perform well were executed by “hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground.” PETA will be at Niketown in Los Angeles on Monday, July 30, to demand that the company immediately break all ties with Michael Vick.
Please join PETA campaigner Matt Rice for a demonstration outside Niketown in Los Angeles. All materials will be provided, and we need activists to hold posters. Please contact me at LindseyT@peta.org if you can help or if you have any questions.
What: Michael Vick dogfighting demonstration
The professional sports world is plagued with players who have been accused, charged, or convicted of cruelty to animals, abusing pit bulls, and dogfighting. We need to send a clear message to players and Nike that being a celebrity is not a sufficient excuse for breaking the law and that animal abuse should never be tolerated under any circumstances. Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know!
Thanks for being on PETA’s Activist Network and for everything you do to help animals!
Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
Links to send messages to Nike and the Atlanta Falcons
- “Vick Pleads Not Guilty”-cnn.com
- “Vick Pleads Not Guilty in Dogfighting Case”-nytimes.com
- “Michael Vick Pleads Not Guilty in Dogfighting Case”-USAtoday.com
- “Activists Ready to Swarm Court for Vick’s Appearance”-USAtoday.com
- HSUS response to NFL keeping Vick from training camp
- Wayne Pacelle (HSUS) on NFL Following Through
- “Vick a ‘Person of Interest’ regarding pit bull fighting in AZ“-azcentral.com
- “Nike Is Urged to Drop Vick”-latimes.com
- Pit Bull Gear (t-shirt in picture I used above can be purchased at this link!)
- “Dogfighters Are Cowardly Scum” t-shirts at PETA Store at Cafe Press
- “Real Men Love Their Pit Bulls/Ban Mike Vick from the NFL” at Cafe Press
- “conVICKt 7” at moeschwag.com
- “sack Vick” at moeschwag.com
- Michael Vick Chew Toy (article and link)
Here is the code (just copy it all, then paste in your own site) for each of the Humane Society of the United States web badges you can place on your own web site or blog to help spread the word.
<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nfl2?source=gaba7m” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nfl.gif” border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety” target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html” target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>
<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nike?source=gaba7l” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nike.gif” border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety” target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html” target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>
At long last it looks as though those who condone and perpetuate the horrendous, vicious, and cruel practice of illegal dogfighting may finally be held accountable for their actions. Today Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons) and three counterparts (Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips, Tony Taylor) were indicted by a federal grand jury and will hopefully have the book thrown at them. This news goes directly against this news article stating it was unlikely Vick would face any charges. (***Update 7/26/07.***)
The “training facility” for over 50 pit bulls seized by officials back in April included drugs, an electronic treadmill, and a rape stand used for forced breeding.
“Fights would end when one dog died or with the surrender of the losing dog, which was sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot, electrocution or some other method, according to the documents.”–CBS News
Disgusting! How people can live with themselves while committing such atrocities, I will never know. And those who take part in watching these bloody, “to the death” dog fights; well, in my opinion they should be held as accomplices. I’m thinking that the rape stand Michael and his cohorts had no problem putting to use ought to come into play when decisions are being made about how restitution for their reviling crimes might be met. I mean they can adjust that stand to fit someone of Michael’s size, right?
Here are some links to various stories regarding today’s indictment:
- Here’s the response from the Humane Society of the United States
- AP report
- A very brief Reuters story
- Sports Network coverage
- Pilot Online has the story, along with a link to a PDF file of the grand jury’s indictment.
- My previous blog entry relating to the case (includes video and pictures):5/22/07:Hey Clinton Portis, your ignorance is showing (Yours too, Chris Samuels)
- 7/26/07:Vick and three coconspirators plead NOT GUILTY/Links to what YOU can do to express your outrage over it all
- 7/27/07:Nike suspends Vick’s contract/Reebok stops selling Vick jerseys/PETA protests canceled
- 7/30/07:Vick co-defendant (Tony Taylor) pleads guilty/SCLC supports Vick
- 8/17/07:“Vick participated in executions” says co-defendant
- 8/20/07:Breaking News: Michael Vick ACCEPTS plea deal
WTF, John Mayer?!?!
While searching for a Michael Vick photo for this blog entry I found the “red slash through Michael’s face” picture on Photobucket. I saw the MySpace address at the bottom of it and went to check it out. While there I read “Dog Fighting Idiots List” which had a John Mayer video embedded, and I have to say I was totally shocked and surprised that John would have such an enormous lapse in common sense, judgment, and humor. Did he really think the video was the least bit amusing?! Did he assume everyone would get that he was trying to poke fun at Vick? (Which is the ONLY excuse I can think of for even thinking of making the video, let alone actually following through with it!) Did he think there was even one shred of humor in anything related to dog fighting? Shame on you, John Mayer, shame on you. What a total and complete disappointment.
I think Michael’s most recent email is one of my favorite emails from him (click here for other Michael-related posts) since it points out the ability the man has to show the “bigger picture” and how one thing does lead to another. Prime example is how he shows the effects downsizing can have on an industry such as the news media, in this case CNN. I love that he stays true to his determination of showcasing the inequities in not only his most recent topic, the health care industry, but also in the work force. His discussion of the semantics of the word “free” is dead-on and points out how opponents to “anything Michael Moore”, choose to attack and dissect the tiniest of points while completely missing the bigger picture/message.
Look for Michael to return to The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer tomorrow, Wednesday, July 18th, for what will hopefully be an actual intelligent, cat fight-free discussion of the important issue of health care reform. Btw, Michael said he’s not expecting roses or make-up sex from Wolf, but I’ll definitely be looking for a telltale twinkle in their eyes. 😉
7/17/07 email from Michael Moore:
July 17th, 2007
The mighty CNN, in a lengthy and sad online defense of their woe-begotten ‘Sicko’ story of last Monday, has admitted that they did indeed fudge at least two of the facts in their coverage of my film and have apologized for it:
1. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN: “To be clear, I got a number wrong in my original report, substituting the number 25, instead of 251.” — My Conversation with Michael Moore, July 11th, 2007; and
2. CNN: “Moore is correct. Paul Keckley left Vanderbilt in late 2006.” — CNN’s Response to Michael Moore, July 15th, 2007.
Furthermore, CNN confirmed that all of our statistics in “Sicko” are the correct numbers from the sources we cited. Although CNN still prefers to use older World Health Organization statistics, we will stick to using this year’s Bush administration stats and more recent U.N. data. (In “Sicko,” we consistently use only U.N. Human Development Statistics unless it’s for studies they don’t do or have recent numbers for.) CNN did apologize for these two factual errors, but no apology seems to be coming for the rest of their errors. These days, to get the mainstream media to admit they were wrong is rare; to get them to admit it twice, as they have with “Sicko,” I guess should be considered a whopping victory. Will they eventually apologize for the rest, or for their reporting on the war? Will the Cubs win the World Series this year?
So the truce has been signed, the peace pipe has been smoked. And the public is left with a much more cautious and wary eye when it comes to CNN. To be fair, this is what happens when you have to grind out “news” 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a staff you have shrunk through layoffs over the years (like all the broadcast networks have done). You end up rushed and having interns do your research. You have robots replace live camera operators. And, if you’re CNN, you are constantly dodging the accusation that you are “too liberal.” So when you do a piece on someone like me, you have to make sure you add superfluous and standard ad hominems attacking me simply to prove that you are NOT too liberal. I get it.
Until the last month or so, I have not appeared on a single national TV show for nearly 2 and 1/2 years. After the attacks I had to endure three years ago, from a media intent on questioning my patriotism because I dared to speak out against the war when none in the media would, I decided I had had enough and would simply concentrate on making my next film. I had no desire to participate in networks that were complicit in the war because of their refusal the challenge the commander in chief.
I have to admit, though, I do feel kinda bad taking it all out on Wolf Blitzer. It’s not like he’s the official representative of the mainstream media. I mean, he’s from Buffalo, for crying out loud! He said to me at the end of the show last week to please come back on “anytime you want.” I will take him up on that offer and appear again with him tomorrow (Wednesday). I’m not expecting a dozen roses or make-up sex — I only want a promise that there will be no more distorted distractions so we can have a decent discussion about the REAL issues like why 18,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have a health insurance card. More than 300 of them died this week. As Ehrlichman said to Nixon in “Sicko”: “The less care they give ’em, the more money they (the insurance companies) make.”
THAT’S the only thing we should be talking about. How profit and greed are killing our fellow Americans. How profit and private insurance have to be removed from our health care system. CNN should join me in asking why our 9/11 rescue workers aren’t receiving medical care. Somebody should send a crew to Canada to find out why they live longer than we do, and why no Canadian has ever gone bankrupt because of medical bills. And all of the media should start saying how much it costs to go to a doctor in these other top industrialized countries: Nothing. Zip. It’s FREE. Don’t patronize Americans by saying, “Well, it’s not free — they pay for it with taxes!” Yes, we know that. Just like we know that we drive down a city street for FREE — even though we paid for that street with our taxes. The street is FREE, the book at the library is FREE, if your house catches on fire, the fire department will come and put it out for FREE, and if someone snatches your purse, the police officer will chase down the culprit and bring your purse back to you — AND HE WON’T CHARGE YOU A DIME FROM THAT PURSE!
These are all free services, collectively socialized and paid for with our tax dollars. To argue that health care — a life and death issue for many — should not be considered in the same league is ludicrous and archaic. And trust me, once you add up what you pay for out-of-pocket in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, overpriced medicines, and treatments that aren’t covered (not to mention all the other things we pay for like college education, day care and other services that many countries provide for at little or no cost), we, as Americans, are paying far more than the Canadians or Brits or French are paying in taxes. We just don’t call these things taxes, but that’s exactly what they are.
See you all when I’m back on CNN tomorrow — where the discussion will be not be about whose statistics are right, but rather about the guy without insurance who died while I was writing this letter.
P.S. Oh… I forgot to tell you about Paris Hilton. Apparently cooped up for too long at home since getting out of jail, she decided to head out for a night on the town. But where does she go? Clubbing? Cruising down the Strip? No! She and her sister decide to go see “Sicko.” Now THAT’S news! So, no more bad words about Paris Hilton!
No, not any of those other Rudys…MY Rudy, my poochie, my goofball, and the being that cracks me up each day. Yes, I am one of those folks that celebrates her dog’s birthday (bite your tongue, Jackson!), albeit one that was created based on the best judgment of shelter workers since Rudy was adopted from a Humane Society in SoCal. So approximately two years before I adopted Rudy on July 14th, 2002, my crazy, recently diagnosed with diabetes boy was born.
Happy Birthday Rudy, and thanks for all the happiness you bring to me and to everyone who meets you. 🙂 (And yes, Rudy can read. ;))
(***Added 7/11/07: Click here for videos of Michael on Larry King Live and The Situation Room on 7/10/07. Added 7/10/07: Scroll down past the video below to read an email notice sent out this morning about Michael being on CNN and other shows today/Tuesday!***)
Shout-out to Health Care For All for sending out a bulletin which alerted me to this GREAT video of Michael Moore unloading (as many of us would LOVE to!) about many things (not just the health care system in the U.S.) while on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Watch the fireworks between Michael and Wolf below, then click on this link to read more on Michael’s web site, especially this link which sets the record straight on some of the misinformation in the Gupta story shown prior to Michael’s interview.
As a side note and in regard to Lou Dobbs’ comment regarding Michael Moore in the last 5 seconds of the video, you can kiss my “left wing promoting” lily white fanny, Lou! Nice journalistic objectivity…not!
Added 7/10/07: Just got following email this morning from Michael’s webmaster. I also added the Michael Moore/Jon Stewart clip (mentioned in the email) to my VodPod on this blog.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Today, Michael Moore will be on CNN again for Part Two with Wolf Blitzer, (Did you see Part One? And our response?), a new appearance on Larry King Live with Dr. Sanjay Gupta (appearing, we assume, to apologize for his factual errors), and a rerun of Mike’s appearance on Jon Stewart from 13 days ago.
Those of us who maintain Michael’s website have started a truth squad. Watch for our daily reports on how the media lies, distorts and carries the water for Big Pharma and Big Insurance.
We’ll leave you with this analysis of how the mainstream media deals with Michael Moore.
Last night I read an incredible, thought-provoking, straight-from-the-heart blog entry by Candye Kane and just knew I had to share it with all of you this 4th of July. I immediately sent off an email asking for her permission to repost it here and was very pleased when she graciously responded with permission to do so. The thoughts she shares, the feelings she expresses, and the desires she has, are those which I hope speak to as many of you as they did to me. As much as I abhor this current administration and the horrific choices GWB and his right-wing, closed-minded, power-hungry cronies have made, I DO love my country and all that it CAN be. I think Candye has put into words the hopes and dreams we would all like to see come true.
And for those of you who haven’t heard of Candye Kane, tsk-tsk-tsk. Okay, I’ll cut you a little bit of slack since she’s a local talent I’ve had the good fortune of knowing about for some time, but Candye’s reach goes far beyond her SoCal background with worldwide fans of her distinctive, enjoying-the-heck-out-of-life persona and musical abilities. I HIGHLY advise you to click on her MySpace page, hit up her web site, catch her on her current “Guitar’d and Feathered” tour, Google her if you’d like, then hightail it over to iTunes, Amazon.com, or Ruf Records, and buy, buy, BUY all the Candye Kane music you can afford! I’ve got “White Trash Girl” playing on the computer right now and am enjoying the heck out of Candye’s powerful voice, the fun lyrics (track #13…enough said! ;)), and the energized mood her music puts me in. It’s admittedly hard to actually sit still at the computer to type this out when her music is infusing my body with the desire to get up and dance around!
Candye’s life story is one I think even the most imaginative of authors would have a hard time coming up with, and her music can’t really be pigeonholed into any one category, so check her out for yourself. You can thank me later! 😉 Happy and safe 4th of July, everyone!
Here’s her fantastic blog entry, reprinted with her permission. Thanks, Candye!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Happy no more war, light up the smog free sky w/fireworks 4th!
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and I am here in Lincoln, Nebraska. This is corn field country where people actually stop for you when you get a flat tire, drive you through the Mcdonalds on the way to pick up the new tire, pay for lunch and then insist on changing your tire for you on the side of the freeway while the whole band stands aghast, watching. (This actually happened!) This is plain-spoken people country where they look you in the eye, with a firm handshake that they mean, and do what they say they will do. This is the heartland part of the US where young boys and girls go off to war because they really believe in our Grandparents vision of a democratic, honest country that would never condone torture. This is the part of the country where young soldiers go off to war not only because they want to see the world and get a shot at a good education but because they were brought up to respect the flag and the people whose blood spilt for it.
I am not a real patriot. There are a lot of problems in this great country of ours. We are stuck in the quagmire of this losing war in Iraq; we will leave our huge deficit to our kids and grandkids; The President has an imaginary friend who gives him advice (that, or he hears voices in his head.) Our government seems to virtually ignore global warming and is so gluttonous from the big money they get from oil lobbies that they spend zip on research for new energy resources. They would rather worry about keeping hard working Mexicans out of the USA and worry about whether two men might choose to marry and live in a committed relationship. The health insurance problem is vast, not only because we poor people have to choose between paying our phone bill or getting a check up, but because a woman of my size can be denied health insurance even with low blood pressure and low cholesterol, just based on my weight. Yes, it’s a mess here, my friends.
Still, I am happy to be an American. Why? Because in my neighborhood growing up, there were black people, Mexicans and white kids. There were Catholics, Jews and Mormons. (I have been all three!) We didn’t all agree about everything and we spent a lot of time fighting with each other but I learned early that people come in all sizes and colors. Here in America, there are mosques and churches of all kinds, synagogues and Krishna temples. There is Eckankar and Paganism, self-realization and even the dreaded scientology. There are women who walk around in cut offs and halter-tops, butches with beards and rings in their noses, women wearing Islamic head coverings and Amish dresses and bonnets at the same rest stop. There are hookers who hang out on my street and sell their wares to men who drive by in their souped up Toyotas with their stereo so loud it makes my I,U.D. vibrate. There are surfer boys, retired Marines, lesbians, Jehovahs witnesses, Rastafarians and Samoan Christians all on the block where I live.
I love America because my government sucks, but I have the right to write about it and talk about it and write letters to my congressperson and my local paper. I have the right to protest and hold up signs and yell and scream at rallies. I don’t have every right that I should have. I should have the right to marry whomever I want and I should have the right to be treated the same way under the law as any married couple, heterosexual or otherwise. Poor people and regular folks should have the right to run for office and it shouldn’t be about money. But I still believe in an America that will eventually try to right its wrongs. (Not the ones that can’t be righted; we can’t bring back the buffalo or give the Native Americans back all their land. We can’t take back our historic mistakes like slavery, refusing shiploads of Jewish children and women during WW II and Japanese interment camps. Some wrongs are so horrific they cannot be reversed or fixed.)
However, just like women fought for the right to vote, and people fought in the 60’s for freedom and civil liberties for every American regardless of skin color, I believe someday we will get back to the noble American ideals of our forefathers and mothers. The America that our Grandparents loved and fought for; The America that valued honor and believed diversity made a country stronger just like the statue of liberty inscription said. An America that really does take care of its poor and its meek and huddled masses; An America that doesn’t just fill us with fear while lining their pockets but cares about each citizen, poor and rich, gay and straight and strives to protect each of us. That’s the America that I am reminded of when I am here with the good people of the Midwest.
There are good and bad people in every city in the world and I am not naïve enough to think otherwise. But I want to be the kind of American who helps my neighbor fix a flat and pays for lunch while doing it. I want to be the American that holds out a hand to someone who is suffering. I want to get my childhood vision back of an America that was good and noble, honest and true. A country where your vote counted and you didn’t just have to vote for the evil guy or the other evil guy. A country where we would never hold people in prisons without due process or overthrow the Geneva Convention as antiquated and out of date. I believe in an America that is compassionate and cares about our planet and all its inhabitants, realizing that we are all one in the great cosmic universe. So, when I sing that National anthem tonight at my show in Lincoln, I will envision that America and these salt of the earth American kids who are dying to defend her. I will envision us all as one human family protecting and caring about each other in a pollution free, peaceful world with polar bears and hybrid cars and health insurance affordable to us all!
Happy no more war, light up the smog free sky with fireworks 4th of July!
One movie I am surprised I’m finding myself saying to skip (or at least wait for it to come out on DVD), is Evening. With such a stellar cast (Vanessa Redgrave, Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Natasha Richardson) one would expect much more–but don’t! What an ABSOLUTE disappointment this movie was. There was definitely fantastic potential on so many fronts, but the movie sorely missed the mark with such things as overacting, forced drama, incredibly bad dialogue on far too many occasions, characters I was never made to care for, and camera shots that had no rhyme or reason. I think if I tried really, really, really hard, I “might” be able to string together 10 decent minutes of the nearly 120 minute film.
I won’t spend time explaining the crux of the movie to you (it’s just not humane treatment to be that bored twice in less than 24 hours!), so if you want the studio’s low-down on the flick click here. I will say that the scene between the Meryl Streep (older Lila) and Vanessa Redgrave (older Ann) characters was one of the better, as was the acting on the part of Hugh Dancy (Buddy) when he finally unburdens his heart with the younger Ann, played by a way-too-thin Claire Danes. Mind you, there was some incredibly ridiculous, superfluous dialogue during that encounter, but the acting by Dancy during that scene (and unfortunately that scene only) was one of few times I felt any emotion during the film. And trust me, certain times of the month I can cry at the drop of a hat (Yes, more info than you ever wanted to know, but hey. ;)), however this movie couldn’t even come close to tapping into that enormous reserve of female hormone-induced emotions…tsk-tsk…not even the hint of a watery eye.
One utterly ridiculous scene during the movie actually sums up the entire experience perfectly for me. The scene had the incomparable Vanessa Redgrave traipsing through her house in her delusional state, chasing down a butterfly (sorry, but I was actually embarrassed for Ms Redgrave!), and all I could think of was the Lunesta commercial where the butterfly lands on your face, thereby somehow, miraculously aiding you with your sleeping issues. Well folks, I’m here to tell you that you can skip the drugs and just head out to see Evening–you’ll be lulled into a nice, restful sleep within minutes.
SiCKO finally opens in my neighborhood today, so I plan on hitting a showing. (And yes, escaping triple-digit temperatures during this miserable heat wave by spending some time in an air-conditioned theater DOES help sway my decision! ;)) According to Michael’s most recent email, it’s CRUCIAL to give SiCKO your support in the theaters this week, so with the additional 200 cities added I’m sure there is a screen with SiCKO on it near you–please do YOUR best to attend! Click here to find a location near you.
Here’s a link to previous Michael Moore/SiCKO entries, and below are the most recent emails from Mr. Moore:
- Today is the Day for “Sicko” June 29, 2007
This is it! Two years in the making! The day that our new film, “Sicko,” arrives in theaters all across North America! Click here to see where the nearest one is to you.
After you go, let me know what you think. Oh, and send us a photo or a video from your cell phone to show us what it looked like at your theater. We’d love to post a photo from each of the 440 movie theaters showing “Sicko.”
To read more about the movie, you can go to www.michaelmoore.com.
Here’s what this morning’s review in the L.A. Times said: “It’s likely his most important, most impressive, and most provocative film.” Okay, what do they know? I prefer to trust the assessment of E! Television Online: ” ‘Sicko’ – the best movie ever? Maybe.” Maybe? MAYBE?! When will they ever give me a break?
It’s been a weirdly funny week. First Larry King bumped me for Paris Hilton. Then today, when CNBC invited me to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for an interview, the stock exchange said I was barred from the building. On top of that, Tony Blair is gone, Cheney says he’s no longer answerable to anyone’s elected government, and I simply don’t want an iPhone. Just another week in America.
Hope you enjoy the movie!
- An Awesome First Night for “Sicko” Saturday, June 30th, 2007
Thank you so much to the hundreds of thousands of you who went to see my movie last night and this afternoon. The studio tells me that we are on track to have the second largest opening weekend for a documentary in the history of the movies! (“Fahrenheit 9/11” was first.) Many theaters have been selling out. The Bush administration’s investigation of this movie is certainly not keeping people away. Thanks for all the pictures you sent me of people packing in to see “Sicko!”
The movie is making impact big and small. I thought you would enjoy this story about a family that Aetna was forcing to pay a $65,000 hospital bill that the insurance company was supposed to cover! Check it out.
The critics, too, have been more than kind. Can I show you what a few of them said?
“It’s as uplifting and heart-rending a thing as you will see at the movies all year. And it speaks of Moore’s enduring faith — his angry, nettled, exasperated belief that ‘despite all our differences, we sink or swim together.’ ” — Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle
“The weight of evidence Moore marshals for taking the profit motive out of medicine is overwhelming. In a summer of dumb, shameless drivel, Moore delivers a movie of robust mind and heart. You’ll laugh till it hurts.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“‘Sicko’ is a beyond brilliant, nonpartisan expose’ on American politics that should be mandatory for every student in America. Some rich person — like maybe Angelina Jolie — should sponsor a program where DVDs are sent to families or free screenings are held at local churches.” — Caroline Kepnes, E!
For more of this, click here.
There’s a moment in “Sicko” when the former British MP, Tony Benn, says, “If we have the money to kill people (with war), we’ve got the money to help people.” That line always gets the loudest applause in the theater. It is estimated that, before Bush’s War is over, we will have spent two trillion dollars on it. Let me say this: I NEVER want to hear again from ANY politician that we “don’t have the money” to fix our schools, to take care of the poor, to provide health care for every American. Clearly, the money IS there when we want to illegally invade another country and then prolong a disastrous occupation. From now on, we have to demand that our tax dollars be there for the things we need, not the things that make us one of the most detested countries on earth.
If you haven’t seen “Sicko,” go see it tonight. I want this film to have as much impact as it can. How well it does in terms of attendance this first weekend will determine how many other towns get to see it. It’s all about the “first weekend box office” with the studios these days. If it does well in the 400 theaters it’s in, they will put it in more theaters next weekend. And trust me, the White House and their friends in the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries know this, too. It’s no surprise to me that an original master of “Sicko” was stolen and widely distributed on the internet before the film’s release. I’m one of the few people in the movie business who doesn’t believe in prosecuting teenagers who want to share music or films (although I make my movies to be seen on a big screen and that’s how I hope people see them!). I called up Mr. Bush’s FBI last week. I wanted to know if they had asked themselves the first question any cop would ask about this particularly unique theft:
“Who has a vested interest in destroying the first weekend of Michael Moore’s new film by stealing his movie’s master copy and placing it on the internet?”
Needless to say, they showed little interest in investigating who’s behind this. That’s ok. I realize what’s at stake for them and I accept that this is a battle with serious consequences. The drug and insurance companies have dumped over a half billion dollars in the pockets of Congress and the White House in the last 10 years. This movie may end up being their worst nightmare.
But here’s the good news: There’s more of us than there are of them. So, it’s up to the rest of you to help me help this movie have a great opening weekend. If over a half million people come out to see it by tomorrow night, the studio will take that to mean it should be in more cities and more theaters. Let’s make that happen. And I promise you, if you go, you’ll see a movie unlike any other you’ve seen this year. Last night, the industry polled the people coming out of “Sicko.” 93% said they would “strongly recommend ‘Sicko'” to their friends and family. The pollster said he’d never seen a number that high (the norm for most movies is about 45%). It was a heartening piece of news.
Thanks again and see ya tonight at the movies!
- “Sicko’s” Successful Weekend Puts My Movie in 200 More Cities Beginning Today! Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
The results are in from the weekend — and they are amazing! “Sicko” more than doubled what industry insiders had predicted it would do for the weekend and, as I predicted, it did indeed have the second largest opening weekend in film history for a documentary (after F911). It also had the second highest per screen average for the weekend (after the Pixar animated film, “Ratatouille”). All this in spite of the fact, as Variety wrote, it’s not been a very good year for documentaries at the box office. According to Variety, there have been 29 docs released in theaters in 2007, and they have grossed less than two million combined. What does it say about the state of affairs for non-fiction films if, in just three days, one film more than doubles what all 29 of them did together? I’ve decided I want to do something about this. I see so many great documentaries and it’s a shame that most of you don’t get to see them. Later this year, I will announce a new project that will help other filmmakers get the distribution they deserve.
Of course, if you live in Lincoln, NE; Bangor, ME; Reno, NV; New Haven, CT; Columbia, SC; or Oklahoma City, you didn’t get to see “Sicko” this weekend either. But thanks to the massive turnout in the 440 theaters who had it, the studio has decided to expand “Sicko,” TODAY (Tuesday, July 3) to 200 more theaters! And this Friday, they will add another 100 cities. Those of you who went to see it in the last few days have made it possible for others around the country to see my movie. Thank you.
So this will become the make-it-or-break-it week for “Sicko.” Will you help me? Here’s something you can do right now. Go to your address book icon on your computer and send a brief note to all your friends and associates about why they should see “Sicko.” Then organize a group of your friends to go see “Sicko” some night this week. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed. After all, what’s the worst that could happen — a pardon or a commutation from the President of the United States?
On Sunday, Canada celebrated the 45th anniversary of its free, universal health care system — with its built-in bonus of living longer than we do. Why do they have this and not us? We’ve already taken their Stanley Cup from them for good. Let’s demand we get to live as long as they do, too! What good is a dumb ol’ Cup if we aren’t around long enough to use it?
The letters you are sending me are powerful and profound. Thank you for sharing with me thousands of more stories about the criminal way our system operates. One woman wrote to say her dentist just gave her this choice: have all her teeth pulled, or pay him $30,000 to fix and rebuild them. She told me she’s made the choice to give up her teeth — a choice she was forced to make only because she lives from paycheck to paycheck in middle class America. This is a crime.
Go to your address book on your computer now and send out that e-mail to everyone you know and tell them to find their way to the theater this week. This film stands the chance of igniting a movement. Let’s not let this moment pass.