Oil Runs the Roundhouse, Plus a Bedtime Story from the Virus

The video at the bottom of the post is especially touching, a Covid bedtime story about how Covid led to The Great Turning. Plus info on how you can view from home Thomas Picketty’s new film, Capital.

Today we also share last week’s posts AND info on our Zoominars and Retake on the Radio Conversations. And below the Bedtime Story video, a clever REM spoof on their hit “Losing My Religion” — “Losing My Civilians” featuring Donald Trump. Read on.

Our Next Zoominar

Tuesday, May 19, 6:30-8:00 pm, Conversation About Gas & Oil Influence in NM Legislature featuring Heather Ferguson, Executive Director, Common Cause NM; Dede Feldman, former NM State Senator and author; and Kathleen Sabo, NM Ethics Watch. Common Cause NM and NM Ethics Watch just published a detailed study of the influence of gas and oil industry contributions and lobbying on the NM State Legislature. It examines patterns in campaign donations, dinners and other perks, as well as the concentration of gas and oil industry lobbyists in NM. It also examines specific legislators and legislation that were significantly influenced by the industry, such as the Produced Water bill, and the failure to pass any meaningful regulatory legislation or initiate steps toward a just transition.We will discuss how this influence unfolds and what concerned New Mexicans can do about it. You must pre-register for this Zoominar. Click here to register.

Retake Conversations with Maya Van Rossum, The Green Amendment

A new feature of Retake Our Democracy is that we now record both audio and video of our KSFR radio show every Saturday from 8:30 – 9:00 am. Retake Conversations will be posted each Saturday after the radio show airs. The interviews often exceed what is aired live, so even those who heard the show live will enjoy listening to and watching the full conversation.

You can listen and watch our interview with Maya Van Rossum, who has been advocating for states throughout the nation to implement the kind of amendment found only in Pennsylvania and Montana. And she is a wonderful combination of passionate and knowledgeable. She has initiated an effort in NM and will have a Facebook conference with Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez on May 21 at 6pm. We’ll keep you posted on that. You will also find our Retake Conversation with Cylvia Hayes, where we discussed how the old “normal” is killing us and how it is time to re-set and create a new normal. Click Retake Conversations to reach these compelling conversations.

Zoominars Past & Future

We have three recorded Zoominars to be viewed at your leisure: the CD-3 PRC Commissioner Candidate Forum; the NM State Land Commission Conversation; and the conversation with Dahr Jamail and Greg Rogers. All three Zoominars have received exceedingly high marks from attendees, especially the last two with the Land Commissioner and Jamail and Rogers. Click here to review any of the old Zoominars.

Thomas Picketty’s New Documentary Available for Home Viewing: Let’s Watch It & Talk About It

Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a film based on the international bestselling book by rock-star economist Thomas Piketty (which sold over three million copies worldwide and landed Piketty on Time’s list of most influential people). Capital is a captivating documentary is an eye-opening journey through wealth and power, a film that breaks the popular assumption that the accumulation of capital runs hand in hand with social progress, and shines a new light on today’s growing inequalities. Traveling through time, the film assembles accessible pop-culture references coupled with interviews of some of the world’s most influential experts delivering an insightful and empowering journey through the past and into our future. Click here to get your ticket for home viewing. $12 gets you a license to watch it for five days. Let me know if you watch this and want to get a Zoom discussion going. It should be very informative. Official trailer below, along with a quote from a review from Intercept.

“There are many other documentaries about the same subject as “Capital in the 21st Century” — i.e., the rise of the 1 percent and the fall of everyone else. They’re mostly a barrage of graphs and numbers that make you feel like you drank three Heinekens at lunch and want to take a nap. “Capital” doesn’t do this. Instead it just tells a story, the centuries long story of capitalism.”

The Intercept

A Look Back at Another Week In Covid-Hell & Covid-Reinvisioning

This past week, the blog, the Zoominar and the Retake Conversation focused less on Trump and more on what we can learn from our Covid experience. We explored our opportunity to reinvent a new normal and emerge with priorities, policies, and politicians that advance a new set of values more in harmony with our natural rhythms and the rhythms of the wind and the rain.

Covid-19 Exposes NM’s Need for the Health Security Act

Tuesday, May 5. Written by Dana Schultz Millen, Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign and Troy Weeldreyer, MPH, New Mexico Public Health Association, this post lays out how vulnerable New Mexicans are to an employer-based health care system and how advancing the Health Security Act in New Mexico would ensure that all New Mexicans can enjoy health security. The post also includes a truly moving reading of Kristin Flyntz’s poem “What We Might Learn from Covid,” or as I like to think of it: Stop. Just Stop. Her voice reading slowly while a sequence of powerful images cross the screen is a moving experience. Click here to read the post and/or watch this video.

American Individualism: A False, Dangerous Myth

Thursday, May 7. After using two graphics to project how absolutely important continued social distancing is to preventing a catastrophic spike in Covid, we use the writings of Kim Stanley Robinson and Heather Cox Richardson to examine the degree to which public policy is favoring corporate profit over public health and how the underpinning of these policies is America’s steadfast belief in “individualism” over collective well-being. We end with a great video from Playing for Change. Click here to read the full post.

George Saunders: Let’s Give the Nobel Peace Prize to Our Essential Workers

Saturday, May 9. Saunders is one of Roxanne and my favorite authors. His writing is intelligent, witty, and incisive and his latest newsletter is no exception. I love that Saunders calls for our first responders to be honored collectively with a Nobel Peace Prize. They have certainly earned it…and more. Saunders also explores how the immediacy of the possibility of death imposed by the virus, combined with our forced isolation and pause, have caused many to reflect that whatever “next normal” may emerge, it can’t be the “normal” we’ve just left. Saunders takes precise aim at the “Patriot” protesters who demand that their freedom to do whatever they want trumps the public need for social distancing. With just three excerpts from his newsletter, we give an excellent sampling of what Saunders does with words. The post also includes three videos: 1) six Trump voters who will vote Democratic in this election; 2) a six-minute set of sequenced comments from Trump speaking in his own words juxtaposed with the death totals in the US and the world on the right of the screen. It is a pretty compelling commentary on just how self-absorbed our president is. 3) A video focused on how a Green Amendment could be a powerful tool for NM legislators and advocates. Click here to read the full post and to watch the video.

And enjoy the two videos below.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

A Moving Covid Bedtime Story with a Happy Ending

REM Spoof on Losing My Religion: Losing My Civilians

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1 reply

  1. Thanks for the bedtime story video. Sent it to all I know who have kids or grandkids.

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