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Coffee Party USA invites you to watch these political movies while staying safe at home

Part one of your activity is to watch the following fourteen feature films about politics and government released during 2019 that were nominated at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes by April 30, 2020. I labeled them with their genres and arranged them by total nominations at both awards shows (both in parentheses).

1917 (Drama/Action) (13) Jojo Rabbit (Comedy) (8) The Two Popes (Comedy/Drama) (7) Bombshell (Drama) (5) Harriet (Drama/Action) (4) Frozen II (Fantasy/Animation) (3) Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (Science Fiction) (3) The Lion King (Fantasy/Animation) (3) How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Fantasy/Animation) (2) Les Misérables (Drama/Action) (2) Richard Jewell (Drama) (2) Ad Astra (Science Fiction) (1) Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Fantasy) (1) The Report (Drama) (1)

In case these fourteen films aren't enough to watch while staying safe at home until the end of April, I'm sharing a selection of the rest of the scripted movies about politics and government released during 2019 in order by domestic (North American) box office from Box Office Mojo along with their genre.

Captain Marvel (Science Fiction/Superhero) Aladdin (Fantasy/Animation) Downton Abbey (Drama) Men in Black: International (Science Fiction/Comedy) Angel Has Fallen (Drama/Action) Midway (Drama/Action) Queen & Slim (Drama/Action) Just Mercy (Drama) Long Shot (Comedy) 21 Bridges (Drama/Action) Black and Blue (Drama/Action) Unplanned (Drama) Dark Waters (Drama) The Best of Enemies (Drama) Hotel Mumbai (Drama/Action) Anna (Drama/Action) The Dead Don't Die (Horror/Comedy) Captive State (Science Fiction) The Mustang (Drama) Brian Banks (Drama) Mission Mangal (Drama) Clemency (Drama)

Who knows, some of you might think one of them is better than the films on the shortlist!

Part two is to watch the following documentaries about politics and government released during 2019 that were nominated at Academy Awards and Critics' Choice Documentary Awards, again arranged by numbers of nominations at the two awards shows.

Apollo 11 (6) The Cave (6) American Factory (5) One Child Nation (5) The Kingmaker (4) Knock Down the House (3) (I wrote about this on my personal blog.) The Edge of Democracy (3) Brotherhood (1) For Sama (1) Hail Satan? (1) Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl) (1) Life Overtakes Me (1) St. Louis Superman (1) The Chapel at the Border (1)

In addition to the above award-nominated films, I recommend my readers watch three other documentaries that I've written about on my personal blog, Free Trip to Egypt, Slay the Dragon and The Great Hack. I think it's entirely possible that one or more of these will be nominated and might even win. After all, Saving Capitalism won Best Documentary about Politics or Government at the very first Golden Coffee Cups before it had been nominated for any other awards!

Part three is to become a member of Coffee Party USA by April 30, 2020, which you can do for as little as $30.00 per year. That's because the members will also vote on the nominees and winners this year, unlike in years past when just the volunteers voted.

That's your three-part activity. Now, have fun watching movies while supporting the work of Coffee Party USA, whose core values include continuous learning on behalf of an informed citizenry.

Vince Lamb

Coffee Party USA Board Secretary

Cross-posted at Vince's personal blog, Crazy Eddie's Motie News.


Celebrate 10 years of Coffee Party USA

Ten years later, our work is more vital than ever.  The war between the political establishments is on the rise, and it neglects those the parties should be fighting for.  With your help, we've marched on Washington, we've engaged in a national conversation, and we've fought for transparency and accountability in government.  We've fought money in politics through unleashing the Stamp Stampede. And we've encouraged electoral engagement by being your Voter Buddy.

This is a movement a million strong and driven by the passion of our volunteers.  The reasons why we volunteer are as diverse as our perspectives. As Amy puts it:

The Coffee Party gives me the opportunity to learn from people with different perspectives who prioritize respectful discussion. And we have fun doing it!

For Jeanne, the benefits are threefold.

First, it has helped to clarify the worldwide extent of the changes, fears, and threats some of our fellow citizens are experiencing.  Second, with a political perspective welcoming of change, Coffee Party provides a venue to meet a more diverse political perspective. Third, it provides an opportunity to work to provide more political cooperation and shared problem solving.

These diverse experiences enrich our consensus government and help us all realize the bonds we share in this great national experiment.  Self-governance is hard, and the fear of changing culture provides a strong yearning for the factionalism and tribalism that concerned our framers in the early days of our union.  This has been brought into sharp clarity in recent years, prompting Outi to write:

A year ago, I was getting increasingly frustrated with the divisive rhetoric and attacks on the democratic institutions in our country. I didn't want to be a silent accomplice to what was happening and so, for the first time in my life, I looked for a team with whom I could "do my bit" of political work to help make things "right-er." I liked the Coffee Party's commitment to civility, unity, and integrity while working to improve things in our country, and I've been a Coffee Party volunteer since.

Through common appreciation of our diverse perspectives, a recognition of the sanctity of our different paths towards political engagement, and a profound desire to discuss the best policies for our country over a friendly cup of coffee, Coffee Party USA continues to build bridges to heal our nation.  As long-time volunteer and director, J'nene, describes:

Life is a team sport. I am a team player.

I first ran in to Coffee Party at the Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear in Washington, DC in October 2010. I was there out of my upset and frustration over far-right vitriol that appeared to be nurtured by some kind of sinister strategy to divide us, thwarting the very American ingenuity that could solve the problems we all faced.

What I learned that day was that Coffee Party, less than a year old then, was formed by folks that felt the same way I did. And they had a strategy to support all of us in our quest to understand and confront the challenges we face in the American political process today. Within months I became a member and within a few more months I was, and remain, a volunteer.

I found my team.

Although we're ten years in, there's still so much to do.  We need your voice. Our country needs your voice. Are you ready to join the team?  Consider volunteering today!  While you're at it, support our work by becoming a member of Coffee Party USA and help us mend the divides that poison our political system.  We need your help more than ever.


Celebrate Coffee Party USA's 10th birthday by giving a gift of $10.00

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Happy Birthday!

If it's a birthday, then there must be presents! I am asking my readers give a gift to Coffee Party USA by making a donation of $10.00 (or more) to match either my monthly dues of $10.00 that I paid three days ago or the $10.00 I donated today for the organization's birthday. Click on the link, fill in the "other" box with 10.00, click continue to fill in your contact information, then proceed to payment. Coffee Party USA will thank you for donating.

Your donation will allow you to be a part of the important work of Coffee Party USA, a 501c(4) nonprofit social welfare organization dedicated to empowering and connecting communities to reclaim our government for the people. Our efforts include educating the public on our website and on our Facebook page, registering people to vote with our partners TurboVote and National Voter Registration Day, and reminding them to vote through our Voter Buddy program. This is an election year, so our work with TurboVote and National Voter Registration Day is especially important. Americans need to be registered and reminded to vote in this year's elections, both primary and local.

For those who wish to give at a higher level of support and be more involved in the organization, please consider becoming a member. Beginning this year, members will get to nominate and vote for the Golden Coffee Cups for Movies and Television, so there is an extra incentive to become a member, not just a contributor. To become more personally involved with the valuable work of the Coffee Party, volunteer. Not only will Coffee Party USA thank you for it, so will the country!

Thanks for donating. Let's get to work inciting civility and reason!

Now that you've donated, treat yourself. In addition to today being National Irish Coffee Day, National Day Calendar lists yesterday as National Peanut Butter Day, tomorrow as National Peanut Brittle Day, and Monday as National Chocolate Cake Day. Pick one, or enjoy them all. In the meantime, Coffee Party on!

Vince Lamb

Coffee Party USA Secretary


Show your support for democracy by donating $10 for 10 years of Coffee Party USA on Giving Tuesday

National Day of Giving encourages giving back. It takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

...

Quite simply, take advantage of all the holiday deals to add to your charitable giving. Combined with your family, friends, local and national organizations and through the power of social media, Day of Giving can become a tradition worth passing on.

My tradition for the day, which I began On Giving Tuesday 2017 and continued last year, is to donate to my favorite non-profit, Coffee Party USA. I am a director and officer of the organization and I just donated $10.00 to it for Giving Tuesday. In addition, I'm asking my readers to match my donation.

As for what my donation and yours will do for Coffee Party USA, our supporters, and our country, I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle what I wrote orginally in Happy National Coffee Ice Cream Day from Coffee Party USA! and reused in Celebrate National Coffee Day 2019 by donating to Coffee Party USA.

Coffee Party USA ia a 501c(4) nonprofit social welfare organization dedicated to empowering and connecting communities to reclaim our government for the people. To support its efforts, which include educating the public on our website and on our Facebook page, registering people to vote with our partners TurboVote and National Voter Registration Day, and reminding them to vote through our Voter Buddy program, please consider donating. A donation of $10.00 for ten years of Coffee Party USA is recommended. For those who wish to give at a higher level of support and be more involved in the organization, please consider becoming a member. To do the valuable work of the Coffee Party, as well as vote for future Golden Coffee Cup nominees and winners, volunteer. Not only will Coffee Party USA thank you for it, so will the country!

Thanks for donating. Now treat yourself. Since tomorrow is National Cookie Day, I recommend a cookie.

Vince Lamb

Coffee Party USA Secretary

Cross-posted from Vince's blog, Crazy Eddie's Motie News.


Democracy is Hard

"America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say, 'You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.'"
Wow. That's exactly how I've been feeling lately, especially in the three years since Donald Trump was elected president. And I'm sure I have a lot of company—on both sides of our highly polarized political divide.

As we know, democracy is based on the idea that no single person or group has a monopoly on truth in public life but that this power belongs to everyone. By design, then, in a democracy we can expect to hear competing voices between different people and their ideas. 

Moreover, in a well-functioning democracy, everyone would voice their opinion—and do so in a constructive manner, seeking common ground and solutions, keeping in mind that some things they might say may be unethical or even sanctionable by law, for example discriminatory, extortionary, or libelous.

Nonetheless, our privilege to speak our minds comes with the responsibility to allow others to speak theirs—even when it makes our blood boil, as Michael Douglas puts it.

Democracy is a utopia that we're unlikely to ever implement to everyone's satisfaction. It remains, however, the most equitable and balanced approach to governance, and therefore one that I believe we should continue to work on. We need to keep on talking about the issues that divide us, genuinely listen to others—especially those whose views disagree with ours—and work for reforms that will improve our democracy.

Outi Papamarcos is an engineer, a sociolinguist, and a grandmother. She believes that democracy, with all its flaws, is better than any form of totalitarian government.


An Open Letter To Congress

I am writing to you as my representative in Congress, that body enshrined in the first article of our Constitution, to speak to you on the historic role you will soon play and the impact it has to our republic.  Impeachment is a rare occurrence in the history of our country, especially when the impeachment is on the chief of the Executive, similarly enshrined in our second article. Because it is so rarely used, your actions and your vote in this impeachment will leave an impact for future generations to judge.

I have heard the complaints from you and your colleagues of the partisan rancor in Washington and across the country.  Partisanship begins when you cast a vote because the vote aligns with those you caucus. Partisanship perpetuates when your actions are driven first by loyalty to party, and second to the oath of your office to protect and defend the Constitution.  In this historic moment, now is not the time for partisanship.

I am not here to state my opinion on this administration, or the process, or whether impeachment should or shouldn’t be pursued.  The country is undergoing this process regardless. I am here to encourage you to look at the facts that are being relayed by the witnesses, under oath, in these hearings and consider the larger picture being displayed.

Our founders crafted a constitution from well-earned concern that those in power may try to test the limits of their power.  They provided a means for other, co-equal, branches to check those excesses. In the end, the fundamental question surrounding this impeachment hearing is whether the actions of this administration were an appropriate use of executive power, or an abuse of that power.  This has ramifications well beyond this president – and will decide the bounds of executive power for Democratic and Republican presidents going forward. The decision you will have to make is: Do you consider these actions acceptable for all presidents, or an abuse of their power.  I am watching closely your decision on this, and will evaluate whether it matches my view on the limits of executive power. I am not alone in this – your country is watching.

History is watching.

If you are inspired to send a similar letter to your representatives in Congress, you can find a template of the above letter here.

Werner Hager is a scientist, author, and a volunteer and board member of Coffee Party USA.  As a mentor for high school robotics students, he is actively building a new generation of engaged, thoughtful, and passionate members of the body politic.  This post appeared originally on his blog - www.creating-tomorrow.org


Want to Get Together For Coffee?

But I digress.  I was trying to point out that when we say “incite civility and reason” we don’t mean commiserating in a bubble of like-minded people or trying to convince other people that you are on the right side of justice.  Incite civility and justice by being compassionate and honest. Incite civility and reason by having a cup of coffee and discussing the events around you with other people. You don’t need to seek out a person with a certain profile.  You simply need to find another human being who enjoys having a drink with you (I recommend coffee, but it could be any beverage) and talk to each other.

To that end, Coffee Party USA wants to start hosting coffee parties in your community.  For every $10,000 we raise, we will be able to host a coffee party in-person. The more we raise, the more coffee parties we can host.

Donating is easy, just click .

If you happen to work for one of those big corporate coffee companies and that company wants to donate coffee, space, or money, please let us know.

In the meantime, please email pictures of you having a cup of coffee with other people.  Send your photos to [email protected] and we will post them on our Instagram page. Feel free to share your photos in our Facebook members-only group and use #coffeepartyusa.

Coffee Party On, my friends!

Heather Prabish, Coffee Party USA President


Facts and Views - Served With Humility

I recently had a conversation with my friend, a young woman who feels strongly about people needing to reduce their air travel in order to slow down climate change. “Anna” is intelligent and well-informed, and she laid down a barrage of impassioned, fact-based arguments to make the case that it was imperative for everyone, including me, to change my flight habits. Air travel, it turns out, is a major producer of carbon emissions. She additionally argued that reducing flying was the most important and, moreover, the only meaningful action that an individual could take; everything else, including recycling, was a waste of effort.

The absoluteness of her views and her single focus on flying troubled me—it seems to me that there are many ways in which individuals, depending on their life situations and interests, could fight climate change. For example, influencing political decision makers is an avenue with potentially huge leverage for stopping climate change through legislation on industries and individuals. Also, I'm not ready to consign reusing, reducing, and recycling to the wastebasket—the combined efforts of hundreds of millions of consumers make a difference both in reducing carbon emissions and conserving natural resources. In short, I believe that attacking the problem in multiple ways is the best strategy.

Besides, I need to fly—my sons live across the country and my mom across the pond.

During our conversation, Anna didn't stop to ask me what I thought, and when I managed to get a word in edgewise she didn't ask me clarifying questions, and so her thrust seemed to be to prove me wrong without hearing me out. I felt that my views were being disrespected and, as a result, I ended up defending mine against hers—even though I fundamentally agree with her about the need to reduce air travel!

Tempest in a teapot?

Maybe. But the fact that our potentially compatible views became strongly polarized over a 30-minute conversation and that we've been wary of each other ever since gives me pause. Also—how did I so easily entangle myself in an emotional debate? Like Anna, I was absolute and impassioned in my youth but nowadays I'm a calm and deliberate person—right?

Looking back at our conversation, I remembered something I heard a long time ago: Humility is a prerequisite for learning. If you go into a conversation thinking that you already have all the relevant facts and that your view is the right one, you won't learn anything new; you've closed your mind to that possibility. Perhaps worse, by not seeking or even being open to hear other information and interpretations, you signal to the other person that they and their views are wrong. And if the conversation takes on the tone of one person trying to convince the other—as it often does—both people end up feeling under attack and, amidst their efforts to defend themselves, closing their ears and their minds.

In my conversation with Anna I learned a lot of valuable information about aviation and carbon emissions. I witnessed an impassioned defense of the Earth, which makes me hopeful about  the future custody of our planet. In addition, I was reminded of the importance of humility when approaching a person whose views are different from mine: If I approach the conversation with humility and an open mind, I may learn something—and, importantly, my humility is critical for the other person to see things differently, too.

Humility, then, is key to building common ground and achieving unity.

Outi Papamarcos is an engineer, a sociolinguist, and a grandmother. She believes that humility is essential to respectful treatment of others but has also come to see that she must continually remind herself of this basic fact.


Let's Get This Coffee Party Started

The Coffee Party USA Board just wrapped up its Annual Board Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah this year.  I am proud of the work we accomplished and the work we have planned for the year ahead. 

As I sat in the airport, sipping my cup of coffee and waiting to board my flight, I noticed the “Coffee is our Passion” written on the sleeve. Coffee Party USA is our passion.  I ruminated on what Coffee Party USA means to me. I logged into Facebook and Coffee Party USA had a post reminding me that it is National Coffee Day. Coffee is our passion, too.

I love that I can go to Coffee Party USA for a break.  I love the coffee celebrations. I love the humor and wit. I also enjoy reading the comments.  Our team of volunteers is an incredible powerhouse of individuals working to “incite civility and reason”. 

I want to see our intelligent, witty, compassionate, and diverse community thrive.  If you also value the work Coffee Party USA does, please support us. With your help, we can continue to create informed, empowered, civically engaged communities.

Anyone can become a member of Coffee Party USA.  You choose the level of support that is comfortable for you.  Think about the value you get from visiting our website or Facebook page.  What is it worth to you to have a community that takes its coffee seriously and its politics with a dash of wit?

With Coffee Party USA, you will find many points of view, but more importantly, you will find differing opinions expressed passionately and civilly.  You will find common ground, not only through discussion of current events but through a joyful love of coffee. We sip our cup of coffee and engage with people who think critically and listen to each other.  Maybe it’s worth $1,000 a year to you. Maybe it’s worth $25 a month. Maybe it is worth one hour a week of your time. I encourage you to think about its value to you and then support Coffee Party USA at the level most comfortable for you.

We’ve now made it easier for you to support us.  Visit our website to become a member, give a donation, or volunteer.  No amount of support is too small or too big. 

To our current members and volunteers, you are the heart and soul of our organization.  With sincerest and deepest gratitude, I appreciate everything you do. To those not yet members, I look forward to you joining us.  Let’s keep this soiree going! 

Coffee Party On, my friends!

Sincerely,

Heather Prabish, Coffee Party USA President


September was Suicide Prevention Month and Chronic Pain Awareness Month

By Amy Harth, Coffee Party Member and Volunteer

Some thoughts as we close out September, which is both suicide prevention month and chronic pain awareness month.

  1. It’s lovely to make generic posts about listening to people who have suicidal ideation. Please know that people with depression and other mental illnesses struggle with asking for help. If you know someone is dealing with these things, reach out regularly.

  1. People who do not have or do not appear to have suicidal ideation need you to reach out to them and offer support too. Support shouldn’t require worst case scenarios to offer or ask for help. People are often reluctant to ask for help until the situation is desperate. Your proactive contact can help people avoid some desperation and despair.

  1. What does reaching out look like? It’s sending a text to say hi. It’s inviting someone to an event. It’s telling someone why you are glad they are in your life. It’s the acts of friendship and being in relation to each other. You don’t need to be a therapist to be there for your friends.

  1. You can be a valuable supportive person to your friends and family. At the same time, you are not in control of how they feel or their decisions. Your love cannot eliminate mental illness. It’s not helpful to anyone to place that kind of pressure on yourself. Make sure you are getting support too. We all need it. People with mental Illness (and chronic pain) are more likely to find community together so it’s especially important to work toward sustainable supportive relationships.

 



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