Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Perfect Storm

by Gregg Chadwick

President Barack Obama comforts Donna Vanzant today in Brigatine, New Jersey
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
 


The Megastorm Sandy roared into the Atlantic Coast on Monday night.  A thousand mile wide swath of destruction marked its path. The storm raged from the Carolinas to New England,  dumped a massive freak snowfall on West Virginia and flooded much of coastal New Jersey and New York City. Hundreds of thousands lost electricity, buildings were washed away, homes burned to the ground, and many died. But it could have been so much worse. As the night of Sandy wore on, many of us were reminded of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the feeble efforts to save the city of New Orleans. I was on twitter most of the night, communicating via 140 character messages what we knew and how to reach help. People were scared, information was spotty and at times poisoned with fake news from a now disgraced  Republican campaign manager who cruelly spread dangerous rumors of trapped emergency personnel. But arching over the discord and disinformation was the understanding that President Obama, via the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and his own personal courage, had our backs. 



Belle Ville

Gregg Chadwick
Belle Ville
11"x11" oil on linen 2005
Private Collection Los Angeles




As Sandy raged, I thought of my painting, Belle Ville, inspired by images flooding through the media of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It struck me that this strong woman carrying her child away from the storm, could in many ways be seen as Michelle Obama. And I knew that the man who married this heroic woman would carry us as well. Today  President Obama inspected the damage that Sandy brought and determined the continuing course of action with the head of FEMA, Craig Fugate, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. President Obama spoke to the American public across from a damaged marina in Brigatine, New Jersey. Barack's words were purposeful, calming, and filled with effusive praise for those working hard to take care of the people of New Jersey, in particular Governor Christie. Those words will be noted. But what will be deeply remembered is President Obama's comforting embrace of Donna Vanzant - who lost her livelihood, the marina from which the President spoke, in the storm's wrath. 
Pablo Martinez Monsivais captured a stirring photograph of that moment. This is how Hurricane Sandy will be remembered. A simple image of one man helping another in need. The question is answered. We do take care of our own. 

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Time Lapse Video of Hurricane Sandy Hitting New York City

Incredible time lapse video made by Richard Shepherd from stills grabbed from the New York Times webcam during Hurricane Sandy. I had the New York Times webcam on all day yesterday as well. My thoughts go out to the brave responders and all those dealing with this frightening, unprecedented storm. Climate change is real my friends. Props to President Obama, FEMA, the Coast Guard, the National Guard, and all the courageous nurses, firefighters, police officers, EMT's and union workers of all stripes who kept so many safe.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Provocative Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Creates His Own Gangnam Style Video

Provocative Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Creates His Own Gangnam Style Video

Here's Ai Weiwei's twitter announcement:

 
艾未未 Ai Weiwei
给债主的礼物。。疯转吧!!!RT : 草泥马style 来自 

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Wear Purple Today to Show Support for LGBTQ Youth

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Springsteen Performs at Ohio Rally for President Obama

Springsteen Campaigns for President Barack Obama in Ohio
 Thursday, October 18, 2012
(Complete Show on Video With Introduction by President Bill Clinton)

 1. No Surrender
2. The Promised Land
3. Obama Rally Song: Forward
 4. Youngstown
5. We Take Care Of Our Own
 6. This Land Is Your Land
7. Thunder Road

Springsteen's Poignant Words to the Crowd:


"I'm here today for Ohio, and for President Obama, and because for 30 years I've been writing about the distance between the American dream and American reality. I've been gauging that distance through a big part of my life. I've seen it from inside and outside: as a blue-collar kid from a working-class home in New Jersey — where my parents struggled, not always successfully, to make ends meet — to the Ninth Ward in New Orleans after Katrina, to meeting folks from food pantries all around the United States, working daily to help our struggling citizens through the hard times we've been suffering through.

Our vote — our vote is the one principal way we get to determine that distance in that equation. Voting matters. Elections matter. Think of the events of the last 12 years and try to convince yourself they don't. We get an individual hand in shaping the kind of America we want our kids to grow up in.

I'm a dad, I've got three kids, I'm 63... and I've lived through some galvanizing moments in American history: the Civil Rights struggle, the peace movement, times when you could feel the world shifting under your feet. I remember President Obama's election night was an evening when you could feel the locked doors of the past finally being blown open to new possibilities.

But then comes a hard, daily struggle to make those possibilities real in a world that is brutally resistant to change. We've seen that over the past four years; the forces of our opposition have been tireless.

But I came here today because I'm thankful for universal health care, the lack of which was for so long an embarrassment to our country. I'm thankful for a more regulated Wall Street. I'm thankful GM is still making cars. What else would I write about?! I'd have no job without that!

I'm here today because I'm concerned about women's rights. I don't have to tell you about the dangers to Roe v. Wade under our opponent's policies.

I'm also here today because of the continuing disparity in wealth between our best-off citizens and our everday citizens. That's a disparity that I believe our honorable opponents' policies will only increase and that threatens to divide us into two distinct and foreign nations, until many of us are going to end up like a song I wrote in the 1980s, "Jackson Cage": "just the scenery in another man's play." If we marginalize so many of our citizens, their talents, their energies, their voices will go unfound and unheard. We will lose their contributions to this great land of ours; we will impoverish ourselves and set ourselves on the road to decline. So their opportunities must be protected, and I think President Obama understands this.

And I'm here today because I've lived long enough to know that despite those galvanizing moments in history, the future is rarely a tide rushing in. It's often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day, and I believe we are in the midst of those long days right now. And I'm here because I believe President Obama feels those days in his bone, for all 100 percent of us. I believe he's got the strength, the commitment, and the vision to live these days with us, and to carry the standard forward toward a country where, as I've written, "nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone."



 

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bruce Springsteen's Powerful Endorsement of President Obama


Dear Friends:
The election is coming up on all of us and we all have strong feelings about it. I’ve been getting asked a lot about where I stand, so for those who are interested, here goes.
This presidential election is different than the last one because President Obama has a four year record to run on. Last time around, he carried with him a tremendous amount of hope and expectations. Unfortunately, due to the economic chaos the previous administration left him with, and the extraordinary intensity of the opposition, it turned into a really rough ride. But through grit, determination, and focus, the President has been able to do a great many things that many of us deeply support.
Domestically, that record includes working to increase and expand employment for all, protecting our all important social safety net, passing guaranteed health care for most of our citizens, with important new protections for all of the insured, rescuing the auto industry and so many of the American jobs that go with it, protecting and enhancing the rights of women, and bringing us closer to full acceptance of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
In foreign affairs, that record includes following through on the removal of troops from the misguided and deceptive war in Iraq, and vigorously pursuing our real foreign enemies, especially the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Right now the opposition’s resort to voter suppression in so many states is not receiving as much attention as it deserves. I believe that all of us, of whatever views, should be opposing these anti-voter, anti-citizen efforts.
Right now, for the President to be effective in his next term he needs our increased support and he needs support in the Congress, where some sterling candidates, such as current Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, challenger Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and so many others, are fighting to make their constructive voices heard.
Right now, there is an ever increasing division of wealth in this country, with the benefits going more and more to the 1 percent. For me, President Obama is our best choice to begin to reverse this harmful development.
Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction.
Right now, we need a President who has a vision that includes all of our citizens, not just some, whether they are our devastated poor, our pressured middle class, and yes, the wealthy too; whether they are male or female, black, white, brown, or yellow, straight or gay, civilian or military.
Right now, there is a choice going on in America, and I’m happy that we live in a country where we all participate in that process. For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together. We’re still living through very hard times but justice, equality and real freedom are not always a tide rushing in. They are more often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. I believe President Obama feels these days in his bones and has the strength to live them with us and to lead us to a country “where no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.”
That’s why I plan to be in Ohio and Iowa supporting the re-election of President Obama to lead our country for the next four years.
Bruce Springsteen

More at:

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President Obama Campaigns in Mount Vernon, Iowa (Live Video)





 
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 President Obama Campaigns in Mount Vernon, Iowa (Live Video)

After last night's stirring debate by President Obama, I am excited to watch Barack back out on the campaign trail. Watch with me as the president speaks in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Enjoy!
Fired Up! Ready to Go!

Gregg Chadwick
Campaign 2012: President Barack Obama
oil on linen 2012

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Santa Monica Art Studios Holds 8th Anniversary Celebration This Weekend @ Santa Monica Airport



Gregg Chadwick
Occupy
40"x30" oil on linen 2012

I am pleased to invite you to the 8th Anniversary Celebration of the Santa Monica Art Studios at the Santa Monica Airport. Come by this weekend - Saturday, October 13th from 6-9PM and Sunday, October 14th from 1-5 PM for a sneak peek at my new work in Studio #15 and the other amazing artists in our 22,000 square foot art laboratory.

Gregg Chadwick
Studio #15
3026 Airport Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90405

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

PBS Blasts Romney's Snide Threat To Defund Public Broadcasting, Eliminate Big Bird and Fire Jim Lehrer

by Gregg Chadwick

Graphic by Txvoodoo


Last night's Presidential Debate revealed a new Romney style to the public: a smirking, manipulative and untruthful Mitt whose only strategy seemed to be lying baldfacedly about his policy ideas. Already, Romney has had to admit that he pushed misinformation in the debate to , the author of the brilliant new book - The New New Deal 

I agree with Paul Krugman and Tyler Green: Most of the commentary about last night's debate seems to be "theater criticism." MSNBC even pulled James Lipton on-screen, host of Inside The Actors Studio, to critique the debate as if it were simply a theatrical romp. Romney, admittedly. delivered his lines forcefully and often condescendingly, but his words were full of evasion, hesitation, mis-truth, and outright lies. Romney came across as an infomercial huckster. 

In contrast President Obama was calm, empathetic, often bemused, professorial, a bit wonky at times,  and presidential.    

The take away from the debate seems to be Romney's snide threat to defund PBS, eliminate Big Bird, and fire Jim Lehrer. Responding to Mitt's comments and public shock at the casual way Romney proposed to off a beloved children's icon, PBS released a statement this morning. (Full Text Below) 

Romney's comment is so revealing because it is one of the few times that Mitt has actually presented a target of his proposed budget cuts. Romney is extremely vague on policy details and usually fails to describe clearly the vast and unpopular cuts that his style of governing would necessitate. The PBS statement released today reveals that "The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating." 

There is no real fiscal argument to make for the elimination of PBS from the federal budget. Instead, it is the first volley in a proposed culture war that Romney's moneyed and bigoted right-wing backers want to wage against our increasingly open-minded and inclusive society. Most reactionary movements begin with huge doses of anti-intellectualism and a purge of educators, authors and artists. By threatening to kill off Big Bird, Romney unwittingly drew a line in the sand that he deftly attempted to sidestep during last night's debate. Romney and his anti 47% cronies are coming after all of us and they want to start with our children.

I'll let Samuel L. Jackson have the last word today: 

PBS Statement Regarding October 3 Presidential Debate
ARLINGTON, VA – October 4, 2012 – We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.

The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.

A national survey by the bipartisan research firms of Hart Research and American Viewpoint in 2011 found that over two-thirds of American voters (69%) oppose proposals to eliminate government funding of public broadcasting, with Americans across the political spectrum against such a cut.

As a stated supporter of education, Governor Romney should be a champion of public broadcasting, yet he is willing to wipe out services that reach the vast majority of Americans, including underserved audiences, such as children who cannot attend preschool and citizens living in rural areas.

For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission – harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.

Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune in to their local PBS station. In fact, our service is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8.

Each day, the American public receives an enduring and daily return on investment that is heard, seen, read and experienced in public media broadcasts, apps, podcasts and online – all for the cost of about $1.35 per person per year.

Earlier in 2012, a Harris Interactive poll confirmed that Americans consider PBS the most trusted public institution and the second most valuable use of public funds, behind only national defense, for the 9th consecutive year.

A key thing to remember is that public television and radio stations are locally owned and community focused and they are experts in working efficiently to make limited resources produce results. In fact, for every $1.00 of federal funding invested, they raise an additional $6.00 on their own – a highly effective public-private partnership.

Numerous studies -- including one requested by Congress earlier this year -- have stated categorically that while the federal investment in public broadcasting is relatively modest, the absence of this critical seed money would cripple the system and bring its services to an end.

Learn more at: http://valuepbs.org/.
and at http://www.pbs.org/about/news/archive/2012/statement-presidential-debate/

About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available atwww.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

CONTACT:

Anne Bentley, awbentley@pbs.org, 703-739-5021
Jan McNamara, jmcnamara@pbs.org, 703-739-5028


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