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Both-And American Realities

I looked around me in awe at the diverse group of citizens there to cast their political opinions. Those with different colors and shades of skin and features, with varying faiths, from any number of occupations and education and economic situations, first time voters and life time voters, mothers with their children, adults honoring elderly parents; all smiling and chatting, all of us knowing that different votes would be cast by those around us. I was so proud to be under the same roof with these remarkable neighbors to exercise this incredible freedom!

This is my experience as well. I am proud of this American diversity and grateful that our Founders created and crafted this experiment so that the American family could build on their vision. We have the ability to expand our shared reality far beyond what they ever could have imagined.

When they signed that Declaration declaring Independence, many of their Black brothers were slaves. When they signed the Constitution, none of their female sisters could vote. Could they have grasped that the nation to which they gave birth would one day see a Black president? Would some day see a woman president?

I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not.

But I do believe they knew they were doing something Big and Beautiful and Courageous.

They laid the groundwork for subsequent generations to follow their lead and continue to create and recreate an America that lived up to those big, beautiful, courageous ideals. They entrusted the promise to us, trusting us to make sure it would one day come true.

My friend told me about another encounter at her polling place. As she was leaving, she greeting an acquaintance who was helping her elderly mother back into the car. As the older woman settled herself into the front seat, she shook her head in disbelief: “Never in my life have I seen so many foreigners voting.”

My friend’s good mood shifted as she was confronted with the other American reality.

There it is: our very different visions, our different understandings about what America is supposed to be. We look at the same crowd of people and see such different realities. We look at our neighbors and have such different reactions:

“Look at us! Aren’t we remarkable!”


“Look at all those foreigners.”

We are Both-And, America. We are both courageous and afraid. We are uncomfortable with the rapid social changes and we are glad we keep growing and changing. We are fascinated by our vast diversity and afraid of our many differences.

Our national schizophrenia is making us ill.

But I refuse to despair because I believe in this grand experiment called America....

Finish reading here at Charlotte's Intersections website.


Charlotte Coyle blogs about intersections of faith culture and politics. She also maintains a popular Intersections Facebook page and volunteers at Coffee Party USA.













Have you Heard about the Stamp Stampede?

Simply order the Coffee Party USA custom stamp from our partners at Stamp Stampede by clicking on the link.  When your stamp arrives, start stamping your dollar bills.  As Stamp Stampede says on its website, "Every dollar you stamp will reach 875 people, if you stamp 5 dollars a day for a year, that's over a million. Together, we can create a stampede that Congress can't ignore."

By the way, this is all perfectly legal.  As our partners at Stamp Stampede have written, "it’s illegal to destroy paper currency or deface it so much that it’s no longer recognizable and has to be taken out of circulation. But that’s definitely not what we’re up to... Because we all want these bills to stay in circulation and we're stamping to send a message about an issue that's important to us, it's legal!"

What do our partners at Stamp Stampede expect once the people get the attention of Congress?  They want "a constitutional amendment declaring that: 1) Money is not speech; 2) Corporations are not people."  Coffee Party USA supports these goals and asks that you, our members and supporters, get the message out through stamping your money.  The results will be a lot more concrete and enduring than sharing one of our posts on Facebook, which we still want you to do, too.

Once we limit the power of special interest groups to influence our elections, we can work on making the rest of our vision true, that of "empower and connect communities to reclaim our government for the people" and making America "a nation of diverse communities sharing a culture of informed public engagement where our our solemn duty to vote is the only currency of our representative democracy..."

Finish reading at Vince Lamb's Crazy Eddie's Motie News blogspot.


Vince is a long time Coffee Party volunteer who blogs "about societal, cultural, and civilizational collapse, and how to stave it off or survive it."

Coffee Party Golden Coffee Cup Awards for 2018

Movies are not the only type of entertainment Coffee Party USA recognizes.  The volunteers will also be voting on the nominees and winners of the Golden Coffee Cup for television programs and their performers that demonstrate the best in politics and government.  Watch for an announcement of the nominees from the 2017-2018 television season next month followed by the nominees of the 2018-2019 season in the summer.

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!

Follow over the jump for the nominees plus my commentary about the winners....


Long time Coffee Party USA volunteer and PhD scientist, Vince Lamb, blogs about "societal, cultural, and civilizational collapse, and how to stave it off or survive it."

Common Ground with our Coffee Party president: April

Coffee Party USA requires the involvement of people to volunteer time and donate money.  We operate on a shoestring budget of $25,000 annually. While we can do a lot with volunteered time and services, we also need funding to support our operations.  In order to create new programs and campaigns to promote civic engagement, we need more than bare minimum operating costs. Each month we need to raise $2,000 through donations and membership fees.  If you prefer to support Coffee Party USA commercially, you can purchase coffee or merchandise and a small percentage of the sales goes to Coffee Party USA.

Coffee Party USA requires our members to rise to leadership.  Wishing and hoping for change won’t bring about change. We need activity.  We need new members on our board to continue innovate, to lead our organization in achieving our mission to empower and connect communities to reclaim our government for the people.

Coffee Party USA depends on our members to gather together and create local communities.  You need not have any great utopian vision for a local chapter. You need simply a willingness to get together with a group of people - familiar or stranger - and openly discuss the challenges facing your community or our nation.

  • Perhaps you get a group of people and discuss the ballot and candidates.
  • Perhaps you get a group of people and discuss how your community votes and what changes could be made to ensure eligible voters vote.
  • Perhaps you get a group of people and discuss life and how you can support each other.

I urge you to get involved.

Get involved and stay involved.

Heather Prabish began her term as our Coffee Party USA president in January 2019. Not only is Heather a Coffee Party volunteer, she is also a mom, a wife, a recent college graduate and career woman.

Common Ground with our Coffee Party president: March

I’ve been watching various people announce their candidacy for president. My thoughts have ranged from “Interesting” to “Oh for pete’s sake, sit down...we don’t need any more old white men running for president” to “I really hope so and so runs”.  It seems like there is not shortage of political candidates. But one national office is not an indicator of the political vibrancy of the nation.

A few days ago, I got my local sample ballot.  Nearly half of the elected positions had only one candidate on the ballot.  One had zero candidates. We do have a shortage of candidates.

What happens if the number of candidates running for office continues to dwindle?  Is it really an election if most of the offices only have one candidate? Where are the people willing to run for school boards, library boards, city clerks, roads commissioners, mayors, city council members?  Our government requires participation of of the people - both to be candidates and to be voters.

Beyond politics, our communities need participation. Our organizations need participation. Specifically, Coffee Party USA needs your participation.

To achieve our mission of empowering and connecting communities to reclaim our government for the people, Coffee Party needs people who are willing to participate in their communities.  We need people willing to run for local offices, state offices, national offices. We need people willing to vote. We need people willing to volunteer. We need people willing to lead.  We need you.

So I ask: how will you participate?  I invite you to post your ideas about civic participation in the comments section.  I dare you to encourage and engage civilly.

Coffee Party on, my friends!


Who Will Be The Neighbor?

But somewhere in the process of clarifying that age-old “who is my neighbor� question, we think we need to decide who is in our circle and who is not. Tribal tendencies demand specification: we want to know exactly where we stand in the various social hierarchies we invent for ourselves.

Of course there is another definition for the word “enemy� and we humans quickly learn not to trust those who do harm. But the act of doing harm to another begins in the mind; there is a cognitive shift in basic understandings about what it means to be human. Someone who acts as an enemy to another has already placed them outside their circle and named them as “other.� They justify their actions based on contrived categories of who is in and who is out. Then the one who has been hurt responds to that mistreatment by doing the same thing: if we have been damaged by X or Y or Z, then everyone who is like them must also be our enemy.

It is a vicious cycle. Not at all neat or logical. We humans can be a complex mess.

Nelson Mandela was honored recently at a 100th birth day celebration in South Africa. Here is someone who taught himself how to break free of the vicious cycle and his life still serves as an example to all of us want to learn a better way.

President Obama spoke at the event in Johannesburg and reminded us what a whole and wholesome human looks like. President Obama said this:

Mandela lived with complexity.

In prison, he studied Afrikaans so that he could better understand the people who were jailing him. And when he got out of prison, he extended a hand to those who had jailed him, because he knew that they had to be a part of the democratic South Africa that he wanted to build.

“To make peace with an enemy,� he wrote, “one must work with that enemy, and that enemy becomes one’s partner.�

Nelson Mandela’s work for reconciliation was genius...

Continue reading here at Intersections: Faith Culture Politics website.


Charlotte Coyle is a past president of Coffee Party USA and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.

Crazy Eddie ponders how politics influence our movies: 2019 Oscars

I begin by sharing Oscars 2019 Winners - Rami Malek, Black Panther, Spike Lee vs Green Book from Grace Randolph of Beyond the Trailer.
Oscars 2019 reaction & review today! Beyond The Trailer host Grace Randolph's reaction & review of the full show, from the monologue to the winners Rami Malek, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Mahershala Ali, Black Panther and Into the Spider-Verse plus Spike Lee vs Green Book over Best Picture!

Watching Grace's response reminded me that, while I wrote about "BlacKkKlansman" and "First Man" in The Academy Awards got political without mentioning Trump, a recycled comment, I only mentioned "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Roma" in passing, while completely ignoring "Skin" in How do I think the political drama nominees will fare at tonight's Oscars?  That was a mistake, as "Bohemian Rhapsody" featured an acting winner who added to diversity and representation in the movies, Rami Malek, as Grace pointed out.  In addition, it won three more Oscars, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, for a total of four, the most of any film this year.  Congratulations!

As for "Roma," it actually is a political film, just about Mexican politics and history, not U.S. politics.  It made its own points about diversity, in addition to Alfonso Cuaron counting as adding to diversity and representation in Hollywood.  After all, if I counted Guillermo del Toro's Oscars as wins for diversity, representation, and inclusion last year, I have to consider Cuaron's two Oscars for Best Director and Best Cinematography and a third for Mexico as its official submission for Best Foreign Language Film as well.  Still, the three Oscars for "Roma" did not set an record for Foreign Language Films; as best as I can tell, that honor is shared between "Fanny and Alexander" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" with four Oscars each.  Still, congratulations to Cuaron, Mexico, and Netflix!

I completely missed "Skin," as I did not mention the nominees for Short Subject at all.  Even so, it made important points about racism, as both of the film's producer-directors mentioned when they accepted the Oscar for Short Film.

Watch Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman accept the Oscar for Short Film (Live Action) for SKIN at Oscars 2019.


I have two more drama winners to mention before I switch to comedies....

Continue reading HERE at Crazy Eddie's Motie News blogspot.


Crazy Eddie (aka Vince Lamb) is a long time Coffee Party USA volunteer and serves on the Board of Directors.

Why Bother with Civility? Because It Works!

I can’t tell you how many times someone has kicked off a “conversation� by mocking, criticizing or demeaning me. When it happens, that little voice inside my head is screaming what I should say back so loud I cannot hear anything else. I certainly can’t hear what it is they actually want me to know.

Sound familiar?

The irony is that NOT calling me a name or telling me I should educate myself would have given me a chance to actually hear. And if I didn’t understand what was said, I would have been able to formulate a question that might help them help me to understand.

But once verbally slapped, the smart part of my brain (the part that can reason) checks out and the fight or flight part of my brain goes on the attack (or the defensive) in order to keep me “safe�.

Long story short: if you want me to hear your point of view, don’t start by insulting me.

I promise to do the same.

Coffee Party USA Board Member Jeanene Louden

Crazy Eddie spotlights the "wins" for diversity at 2019 Academy Awards

Just the same, the Academy voters had some chances to score political points with the winners of the documentary awards and chose not to.  It would have been easy for the members of the Motion Picture Academy to make a statement by voting for "RBG"; instead, they gave the award to "Free Solo."  In this case, they bowed to popular taste as "Free Solo" earned $2 million more at the box office than "RBG," making it the most lucrative nominated documentary ("Won't You Be My Neighbor?" was the highest earning documentary released during 2018, but wasn't nominated).
Box Office Mojo shows that "Free Solo" has earned $16,495,602 so far during its theatrical run while "RBG" ended up with $14,017,361 at the box office and "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" topped last year's documentaries with $22,835,787.

While I was rooting for "RBG" to win, I had an inkling that "Free Solo" could pull off an upset.

I think "Free Solo" is the better movie, but "Minding the Gap" has more social commentary.  If one wanted a non-political choice, "Free Solo" is the one I'd pick and the movie I expect has the best, if not good, chance against "RBG."

Therefore, I was not surprised to see FREE SOLO Accept the Oscar for Documentary (Feature).  Neither, it seems, was Jason Momoa.

Watch Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill accept the Oscar for Documentary (Feature) for FREE SOLO at Oscars 2019.

In FREE SOLO Thank You Cam Speech: Documentary (Feature), Jimmy Chin made an environmental point, mentioning that the film shows the importance of protecting and preserving wild places.

Watch Oscars 2019 winner Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill's Thank You Cam Oscar acceptance speech for Documentary (Feature) for FREE SOLO.

As someone who spent his youth vactioning in Yosemite National Park and praised the cinematography of the Emmy-nominated "Nature" episode "Yosemite," I agree with Chin.

Continue reading HERE at Crazy Eddie's Motie News blogspot


Crazy Eddie (aka Vince Lamb) is a long time Coffee Party USA volunteer. Other Coffee Party volunteers vote for their favorites.

Crazy Eddie blogs about the non-political, political Academy Awards

As for the lack of the mention of Trump, that didn't stop the presenters and awardees from being political and criticizing him indirectly.  Barbra Streisand spoke about truth being under attack and Spike Lee implored the audience to "do the right thing" and go to the polls next year.  The entertainment professionals in the hall and many of the viewers at home knew exactly who they were referring to and what to do about it.

Now it's time for me to write Watch Spike Lee’s Oscars 2019 Speech for BLACKkKLANSMAN.

Despite not mentioning Trump by name, the president reacted, as Deadline Hollywood reported.

Trump certainly understood that Lee was talking about him, even if Lee never mentioned him by name.  As for Trump calling Lee racist, I think he's projecting....

Continue reading at Crazy Eddie's Motie News ...

A blog about societal, cultural, and civilizational collapse, and how to stave it off or survive it. Named after the legendary character "Crazy Eddie" in Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's "The Mote in God's Eye." Expect news and views about culture, politics, economics, technology, and science fiction.

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