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Moore writes: "Back on that November day in 1989 when I sold my first film, a good friend of mine said this to me: 'They have made a huge mistake giving someone like you a big check. This will make you a very dangerous man. And it proves that old saying right: 'The capitalist will sell you the rope to hang himself with if he thinks he can make a buck off it.'"

Portrait, Michael Moore, 04/03/09. (photo: Ann-Christine Poujoulat/Getty)
Portrait, Michael Moore, 04/03/09. (photo: Ann-Christine Poujoulat/Getty)



Life Among the 1%

By Michael Moore, Open Mike Blog

27 October 11

 

wenty-two years ago this coming Tuesday, I stood with a group of factory workers, students and the unemployed in the middle of the downtown of my birthplace, Flint, Michigan, to announce that the Hollywood studio, Warner Bros., had purchased the world rights to distribute my first movie, 'Roger & Me.' A reporter asked me, "How much did you sell it for?"

"Three million dollars!" I proudly exclaimed. A cheer went up from the union guys surrounding me. It was absolutely unheard of for one of us in the working class of Flint (or anywhere) to receive such a sum of money unless one of us had either robbed a bank or, by luck, won the Michigan lottery. On that sunny November day in 1989, it was like I had won the lottery - and the people I had lived and struggled with in Michigan were thrilled with my success. It was like, one of us had made it, one of us finally had good fortune smile upon us. The day was filled with high-fives and "Way-ta-go Mike!"s. When you are from the working class you root for each other, and when one of you does well, the others are beaming with pride - not just for that one person's success, but for the fact that the team had somehow won, beating the system that was brutal and unforgiving and which ran a game that was rigged against us. We knew the rules, and those rules said that we factory town rats do not get to make movies or be on TV talk shows or have our voice heard on any national stage. We were to shut up, keep our heads down, and get back to work. If by some miracle one of us escaped and commandeered a mass audience and some loot to boot - well, holy mother of God, watch out! A bully pulpit and enough cash to raise a ruckus - that was an incendiary combination, and it only spelled trouble for those at the top.

Until that point I had been barely getting by on unemployment, collecting $98 a week. Welfare. The dole. My car had died back in April so I had gone seven months with no vehicle. Friends would take me out to dinner, always coming up with an excuse to celebrate or commemorate something and then picking up the check so I would not have to feel the shame of not being able to afford it.

And now, all of a sudden, I had three million bucks! What would I do with it? There were men in suits making many suggestions to me, and I could see how those without a strong moral sense of social responsibility could be easily lead down the "ME" path and quickly forget about the "WE."

So I made some easy decisions back in 1989:

  1. I would first pay all my taxes. I told the guy who did my 1040 not to declare any deductions other than the mortgage and to pay the full federal, state and city tax rate. I proudly contributed nearly 1 million dollars for the privilege of being a citizen of this great country.


  2. Of the remaining $2 million, I decided to divide it up the way I once heard the folksinger/activist Harry Chapin tell me how he lived: "One for me, one for the other guy." So I took half the money - $1 million - and established a foundation to give it all away.


  3. The remaining million went like this: I paid off all my debts, paid off the debts of some friends and family members, bought my parents a new refrigerator, set up college funds for our nieces and nephews, helped rebuild a black church that had been burned down in Flint, gave out a thousand turkeys at Thanksgiving, bought filmmaking equipment to send to the Vietnamese (my own personal reparations for a country we had ravaged), annually bought 10,000 toys to give to Toys for Tots at Christmas, got myself a new American-made Honda, and took out a mortgage on an apartment above a Baby Gap in New York City.


  4. What remained went into a simple, low-interest savings account. I made the decision that I would never buy a share of stock (I didn't understand the casino known as the New York Stock Exchange and I did not believe in investing in a system I did not agree with).


  5. Finally, I believed the concept of making money off your money had created a greedy, lazy class who didn't produce any product, just misery and fear among the populace. They invented ways to buy out companies and then shut them down. They dreamed up schemes to play with people's pension funds as if it were their own money. They demanded companies keep posting record profits (which was accomplished by firing thousands and eliminating health benefits for those who remained). I made the decision that if I was going to earn a living, it would be done from my own sweat and ideas and creativity. I would produce something tangible, something others could own or be entertained by or learn from. My work would create employment for others, good employment with middle class wages and full health benefits.

I went on to make more movies, produce TV series and write books. I never started a project with the thought, "I wonder how much money I can make at this?" And by never letting money be the motivating force for anything, I simply did exactly what I wanted to do. That attitude kept the work honest and unflinching - and that, in turn I believe, resulted in millions of people buying tickets to these films, tuning in to my TV shows, and buying my books.

Which is exactly what has driven the Right crazy when it comes to me. How did someone from the left get such a wide mainstream audience?! This just isn't supposed to happen (Noam Chomsky, sadly, will not be booked on The View today, and Howard Zinn, shockingly, didn't make the New York Times bestseller list until after he died). That's how the media machine is rigged - you are not supposed to hear from those who would completely change the system to something much better. Only wimpy liberals who urge caution and compromise and mild reforms get to have their say on the op-ed pages or Sunday morning chat shows.

Somehow, I found a crack through the wall and made it through. I feel very blessed that I have this life - and I take none of it for granted. I believe in the lessons I was taught back in Catholic school - that if you end up doing well, you have an even greater responsibility to those who don't fare the same. "The last shall be first and the first shall be last." Kinda commie, I know, but the idea was that the human family was supposed to divide up the earth's riches in a fair manner so that all of God's children would have a life with less suffering.

I do very well - and for a documentary filmmaker, I do extremely well. That, too, drives conservatives bonkers. "You're rich because of capitalism!" they scream at me. Um, no. Didn't you take Econ 101? Capitalism is a system, a pyramid scheme of sorts, that exploits the vast majority so that the few at the top can enrich themselves more. I make my money the old school, honest way by making things. Some years I earn a boatload of cash. Other years, like last year, I don't have a job (no movie, no book) and so I make a lot less. "How can you claim to be for the poor when you are the opposite of poor?!" It's like asking: "You've never had sex with another man - how can you be for gay marriage?!" I guess the same way that an all-male Congress voted to give women the vote, or scores of white people marched with Martin Luther Ling, Jr. (I can hear these righties yelling back through history: "Hey! You're not black! You're not being lynched! Why are you with the blacks?!"). It is precisely this disconnect that prevents Republicans from understanding why anyone would give of their time or money to help out those less fortunate. It is simply something their brain cannot process. "Kanye West makes millions! What's he doing at Occupy Wall Street?!" Exactly - he's down there demanding that his taxes be raised. That, to a right-winger, is the definition of insanity. To everyone else, we are grateful that people like him stand up, even if and especially because it is against his own personal financial interest. It is specifically what that Bible those conservatives wave around demands of those who are well off.

Back on that November day in 1989 when I sold my first film, a good friend of mine said this to me: "They have made a huge mistake giving someone like you a big check. This will make you a very dangerous man. And it proves that old saying right: 'The capitalist will sell you the rope to hang himself with if he thinks he can make a buck off it.'"

P.S. I will go to Oakland tomorrow afternoon to stand with Occupy Oakland against the out-of-control police.

 

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+86 # fredboy 2011-10-27 13:07
Michael, I hope one day you and the good souls in OWS will investigate and protest the nation's MBA programs, aka our Greed Factories. They are vomiting thousands of Milton Friedman-progra mmed economic vampires annually, most seeing workers only as "expendable human capital." It is disgraceful. Many courses, including the new healthcare focus, teach basic exploitation. And zero ethics. Zero ethics.
 
 
0 # readerz 2011-10-27 18:12
I hate to say it, but look up Milton Friedman and his family. I hate to say it because many poor folks enjoy Medieval activities with them, but a star-chamber system with no Magna Carta and no due process.
 
 
+19 # NanFan 2011-10-28 05:21
I hope when you arrive at Occupy Oakland, it is, as Mayor Quan has demanded as a result of her alignment with Occupy Oakland just yesterday, that the police are minimal and quiet, allowing the encampment and marches to go on.

Stay safe! We need you.

N.
 
 
-38 # Martintfre 2011-10-28 07:28
The ethics of capitalism is private property - starting with you own your mind, your body, your labor, you own your self.

Ethics of collectivism - you do not own your mind, body or labor - the collective does, you are their property.

Falsely labeling capitalism so the failures of collectivism can be heaped upon it is a typical strategy: For example the Bank Bail outs are blamed on capitalism - yet in capitalism government bail outs do not exist - Larry the liquidator does.
In fascism/sociali sm Bail outs are the norm.
 
 
+17 # mebemo 2011-10-28 11:41
"The ethics of capitalism is private property - starting with you own your mind, your body, your labor, you own your self."

Dear fellow, I wonder if you are capable of recognizing the false premises you argue from. Do you actually imagine that you "own" either your mind or your body? Can your supposed ownership rights cure cancer, or aging, or even a toothache? Can they help you to spend even sixty waking seconds without thinking a thought? What if both mind and body are a temporary loan? What if they are gifts from a source much more powerful and enduring than your little self? What if we are allowed our brief sojourns on earth to investigate the purpose of the gift?

Instead of operating from a shallow ideological dichotomy of one ism against another, what would happen if you actually looked at the consequences of how we treat one another, both individually and systemically, and resolved to create a human culture that alleviates suffering instead of perpetuating it?

Might that not be an interesting project?
 
 
-2 # Martintfre 2011-11-01 09:43
//Do you actually imagine that you "own" either your mind or your body? //

If that premise is wrong - then whos permission is required for me to use my own mind?
 
 
+12 # ABen 2011-10-28 13:08
Martinfre; I sense an Ayn Rand devotee here. Do you really buy the notion of the "morality of the free market?" Perhaps you should explore the meaning of the word "society."
 
 
0 # Martintfre 2011-11-01 13:39
Is your society one of voluntary interactions - where both sides trade for value for value
OR
is your society one of force a society of master/slave where the master holds a gun over the slave and issues demands?
 
 
+81 # xmascarol 2011-10-27 13:18
I am so proud of you, Michael! You are a true American as well as a citizen of the world!
 
 
+14 # readerz 2011-10-27 18:13
We all want to be you, could I have a brain-change? I'm talking about your courage and integrity. Thank you so much.
 
 
+43 # bubbiesue 2011-10-27 13:37
Be sure to take your video camera. This should be good.
 
 
+45 # msleepyhead 2011-10-27 13:42
one of your best articles. i've been wrangling with myself about taking my now meager investments in mutual funds and putting them in a high interest credit union account. it will be done.

also, capitalists wait for the misfortune of others to make a buck. i worked for medical device company. they'd get positively giddy when the flu season would arrive. and if the report were for a particularly bad flu season, they were delirious.
 
 
+30 # gentle 2011-10-27 13:58
You were talking of disconnects, please ponder the fact that these officers have been suffering cut backs at the hands of the same "machine" that has been "doing" us all. Why don't (can't) the officers understand this simple concept. Perhaps leveling a tear gas gun -point blank- at a vets head is an act of a madman, but his partners can not stand with him in this perversion. Oakland's officers need to serve their Oath and do the right thing. Take this dog off of their streets now. Thanks
 
 
+5 # Capn Canard 2011-10-28 06:36
gentle, agreed... but how do the People make this known? From what I can tell Police departments across the country have a routine policy to insist that people turn off their camera's and recording devices when in confrontation, they also seize such items... and that appears to be illegal! Clearly such a policy is not for the protection of the non-police officer but for the police in general. This arrogant attitude of police is disturbing, and in my opinion it sheds light on the fact that we live in a POLICE STATE. I like what OWS has done with being very nice to NYPD, but it will take more time for NYPD to realize the NYPD is enforcing policy that is against their own interests. I don't know about you but I am getting impatient...
 
 
+29 # DLT888 2011-10-27 14:05
Love it! God bless you, Michael!
 
 
+49 # Patch 2011-10-27 14:11
This country is fortunate to have a man like Michael Moore speaking up and speaking out for We The People. He's smart, he's down to earth, he's courageous, and he's not a hypocrite because he practices what he preaches.
 
 
+40 # Nawana 2011-10-27 14:13
It's certainly not world-weary cool to say so, but I admire Michael Moore tremendously. Sometimes, when I see what he is trying (and often succeeding) to do, I'm proud that Americans have a voice and the right to say the things that MIchael says. I'm pretty sure Michael Moore's brand of outspoken genuine outrage would get you in big life-threatenin g trouble in some other countries. Moore is absolutely right, our government is not dealing with the problems of everyday Americans very well and we have a right and responsibility to say so--very loudly.
 
 
+33 # Mouna 2011-10-27 14:15
Thank you, Michael. You're real, compassionate, intelligent, and a powerful advocate for those of us who, like you, want the world to be a fair place in which to live--for everyone. You are a hero in my book.
 
 
+32 # VSweet 2011-10-27 14:30
I just love Michael Moore ideas, philosophy and humbleness.
 
 
+34 # lincolnimp 2011-10-27 14:32
I haven't many heroes .... Michael Moore is the only one I trust. Stay safe, Michael...I, WE need you alive.
 
 
+57 # stonecutter 2011-10-27 14:36
What a great piece. You can "feel the real" coming through the entire narrative.

As someone who's recently dealt with some scary cardio issues, and is 7 years older than Michael, I urge him to do something positive about his fitness, if only so the risk of losing him the way we lost George Carlin is decreased (although Carlin was much older, he too had serious cardio issues for most of his adult life).

Despite his signature corpulence, Michael is a modern "John of Arc", an honest, wholly human voice that can't be silenced or even muffled by the vapid, corrupt drones in Congress (Cantor, Boehner, Ryan and their despicable ilk) or the hard-right media clowns that look upon him with fatuous contempt.

Five minutes of "Fahrenheit 9/11" is more illuminating than all of FOX "News" since it sprung from under a rock in 1996, but the tragic reality since then is it's grown from 17 million to 102 million households, and is the predominant cable "news" channel. A massive, gullible audience has tuned out the secular morality, aspirations, social justice, fairness, due process and "common ground" that infused shared American values during the 20th century, and replaced them with Murdoch's and Ailes' cynical propaganda and ill-informed reactionary ignorance.

Moore is THE "voice in the wilderness" of the 1%. Our voice.
 
 
-19 # forparity 2011-10-28 18:11
But Fahrenheit 9/11 is based upon nifty little lies and misrepresentati ons.

Michael has a story to tell, but he's unable to do it via truth.
 
 
+8 # karenvista 2011-10-28 23:27
Quoting forparity:
But Fahrenheit 9/11 is based upon nifty little lies and misrepresentations.

Michael has a story to tell, but he's unable to do it via truth.


If your only source of information is Fox you'd be likely to think that Fahrenheit 9/11 couldn't be true-But It Was!

What got you people so upset-seeing the kids playing in the park in Baghdad, or modern highways, or hospitals and schools? I remember some right-wingers grouching and groaning during those scenes and complaining that none of that films was really from Iraq. You people are so dense. You've apparently never been out of the country, don't read, don't watch foreign news and believe everything the neocons tell you. Get a brain!

Enumerate the lies you complain about and give us the links to prove them-Or they don't exist!
 
 
-11 # forparity 2011-10-29 13:09
Tell you what - you proove the points Moore makes in the film.

I confess I don't remember much about Fox's coverage. Iv'e seen clips from the movie. I intently read the script (every word said in the movie).

2nd. Your statement about what got me upset.. kids in parks, infrastructure? What is going on in your little head. A lot of things get me upset. That this tyrant was in power for 2 decades causing close to 2 million deaths. Saddam's invasion of Iran should not go unnoticed - the world yawned. The hundreds of thousands that he tortured, abused, and/or murdered. He was truely a genocidal maniac.

I'm upset about the conduct - of the Iraq War. I'm upset that the world stood by for two decades - and couldn't do this convertly - perhaps Libya is a model - a poor one - but a thought. Iraq was a tougher challenge, for sure. I don't recall any SaveIraq.Org movement. Rather sick, isn't it?

Same for Afghanistan. Carter and Reagan did do their thing - but where's the rest of the world, in protecting a people against the imperialist invasion (Soviets, not temporay occupation) and then were were we, and the UN, in the aftermath. Where were we all, in the mid 90's, when the final nail was put in the future of the once proud and wild country of Afghanistan?
 
 
+13 # fcvnyc 2011-10-27 14:48
Michael, NYC Oct 27

YOU want to do something really transformationa l in respect to OWS protests? Do a show or film on monetary justice as proposed in the Tierra Fee and Dividend system which is based on a carbon-based international monetary system, a credit rather than a debt based financial system on banks that have become utilities, i.e. unable to create and control money. For more information, see www.timun.net.
 
 
+15 # noitall 2011-10-27 14:49
Wise words, words that I try to follow in my life. Unless one lives this way, he is like a republican, probably, and can't understand the rational. "You won, you can go live with 'them' now, the good life". 1. it isn't a 'good' life, 2. I'm not made that way. If you live OUR way, you learn the magic of the Potlatch, when one's wealth is shared to the point of giving most of it away. The magic is in what is received in the days, months ahead. One gets hooked on giving just to watch it return. It is magic. Karma? possibly. Whatever it is, it works. If many republicans and the 1% were to subscribe to this, we would live in an idealic world. This is the sort of faith that I believe in. Try it, you'll like it. All it takes is courage and faith. The immediate gratification is the feeling you sense in your heart. It builds from there.
 
 
+24 # shjlaw 2011-10-27 15:12
Dear Michael: Thank you for staying true to your working class roots and for having the courage and conviction to point the finger and stir the pot. Keep stirring, Brother, we may be reaching a boiling point.
 
 
-23 # Martintfre 2011-10-27 15:19
//You're rich because of capitalism!"//
True - you make a product and people choose to buy it. No pyramid scheme required.
 
 
-48 # Martintfre 2011-10-27 15:20
//'The capitalist will sell you the rope to hang himself with if he thinks he can make a buck off it.'"//

When you buy or sell the rope - you are a capitalist.
 
 
+12 # mebemo 2011-10-28 15:39
Quoting Martintfre:
//

When you buy or sell the rope - you are a capitalist.


Are you even slightly embarrassed to display such ignorance, comment after comment? Buying and selling existed for millennia before capitalism appeared. Capitalism is a relatively modern method of social organization which prioritizes profit-making above all other endeavors and values. It's the religion of never enough. Wake up and educate yourself.
 
 
+6 # pernsey 2011-10-28 17:22
Ignorance is what right wingers do best!!
 
 
-1 # Martintfre 2011-11-01 15:13
//Capitalism is a relatively modern method of social organization which prioritizes profit-making above all other endeavors//

Ya have it part right - and part wrong.

Yes Capitalism is relatively new - Capitalism is PRIVATE PROPERTY rights - Not the King's, Not the Government's, Not the Tyrants, not a democratic gang ... but the individual has private property rights - a right to their mind, their life, their labor, their property - a right to voluntarily trade with others - or not to trade with others if they see fit.

Along with that new idea - the global wealth has skyrocketed. The common man now lives better then any king or dictator of per-capitalist days. The fact that I am typing this and you are reading it demonstrates that fact. Massive advantage to the both of us made possible by millions of people voluntarily working for their own self interest - some we know like Bill Gates, Steve Jobes and millions are relatively unknown like my self - each filling in a piece some larger some smaller here or there.

Everything else politically is the same old dictatorship/ol igarchy that has plagued humanity till the rights of the individual was clearly defined - and defended at Americas founding -- lets not piss it away because we are stupid and greedy for what others has earned.
 
 
+26 # Trade Unionist 2011-10-27 15:32
Mike,
It is great to have you engaged and involved. When I was down at 'Occupy Wall St.' and saw you there, I was glad to see how you use the media to bring attention to the cause of the '99 Percent' by stressing that it is not you that the media should be focusing on.
Keep it up!!
How about a documentary about the 'Occupations' that are happening all over our country and the world, especially if the freezing winters force some into hibernation or elimination?
Mike
 
 
+15 # pazyluz 2011-10-27 15:39
yeh, I'd like to see 1%rs the movie, how'd they get it-- particularly the warmongers - how many bodies a buck, what kind of toys do they buy with it, how much do they hide in Cayman Is, it would be like clockwork orange and alex & poor US would gag on wasting that much money selfishly, why don't they.
 
 
+5 # readerz 2011-10-27 18:20
It really needs to be done. It isn't the homes or art that are the problem, it is their willingness to step on others and see people starve or get sick just for fun. People need to see it, and know it, or they won't try to stop it.
 
 
-34 # Martintfre 2011-10-27 16:26
Capitalism = Freedom.

you like a product - for example the 9/11 movie then You buy it or rent it. If you do not, you don't pay for it. Freedom of choice.



Collectivism = Slavery

It matters not if you like goods or services you are forced to pay for it at the end of the tax collectors gun. No Freedom of choice.

(edited 10/28 10:16pm)
 
 
+13 # reiverpacific 2011-10-27 20:02
Quoting Martintfre:
Capitalism = Freedom.

you like a product - Like the 9/11 movie you buy it or rent it. If you do not you dont pay for it.

Collectivism = Slavery

It matters not if you like goods or services you are forced to pay for it at the end of the tax collectors gun.


Au contraire mate;
Capitalism = Freedom for some, subjugation and exploitation for the rest!
Collectivism = Shared responsibility, and accountability to the group (and not just human) in abundance OR hard times and freedom to create and produce in wide-ranging and original ways not dictated by profit, greed or "trends" -and most importantly, mutual respect for all things which make up the great circle of life.

I mean, you DID read Moore's article didn't you, or did you have Milton Friedman's "Destroy community and traditions to build profitability" version of economic "Mein Kampf" at y'r elbow with Glen Beck as personal interpreter, what!?
 
 
-8 # Martintfre 2011-10-28 06:45
Just a historical correction

Mein Kampf was written by an ardent socialist who despised individual freedom

And a moral correction:
When you buy or rent a copy of "Fahrenheit 9/11" or "Love affair with capitalism" or what ever it is capitalism it is freedom YOU decide to buy what some one else made - that is freedom of choice - zero exploitation.

When the socialist collective decides that some one has too much and that gang then relieves them of their life and or property - that is exploitation and anti freedom.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2011-10-28 15:25
Quoting Martintfre:
Just a historical correction

Mein Kampf was written by an ardent socialist who despised individual freedom

And a moral correction:
When you buy or rent a copy of "Fahrenheit 9/11" or "Love affair with capitalism" or what ever it is capitalism it is freedom YOU decide to buy what some one else made - that is freedom of choice - zero exploitation.

When the socialist collective decides that some one has too much and that gang then relieves them of their life and or property - that is exploitation and anti freedom.

Correction again mate (where DO you get y'r facts -or do you like to just twist them for fun or plain old annoying WANTON ignorance?).
The Fuhrer of the 1,000-year Reich was a NATIONAL SOCIALIST "Ein Volk, Ein reich, Ein Fuhrer!", one "pure race dominating all others, which is the direct opposite of international socialism embracing all kinds of people and classes.
You definition of freedom is that of "just for a few and exploitation of the rest; you can't have it both ways -so whose side are you on, what?
 
 
0 # jon 2011-10-27 23:07
Go back and read (again) Ayn Rand
 
 
+10 # 666 2011-10-28 06:45
sorry friend Martintfre, the "freedom" you're pedaling is exactly what Orwell meant by "Freedom is Slavery"

The plutocratic monopoly "capitalism" we have today is already collectivist (BTW it's NOT capitalism, especially not free market capitalism, just like the US is NOT a democracy): the collective (99%) is made to pay for the 1%. Otherwise, wall st would have been flushed years ago.

The very root of the true collectivist idea is democratic social justice and freedom. The choice is ultimately between a rigged system that provides wealth, power and freedom to the 1% on the backs of the 99% -- or a system that provides a level playing field for 100%

I happily pay my taxes (I'm not happy about the share that funds defense, bailouts, and debt) because I believe that is the right and obligation of a citizen.
 
 
+6 # Capn Canard 2011-10-28 07:08
Martinfre, I believe that you're baffled by the cult of personality of Milton Friedman. It is not encouraging when people are in complete denial of full effects(both positive and negatives) of capitalism and the myriad of unintended consequences that extend far into the costs unaccounted for on the bottom-line. This denial looks more like Social Pathology than a trait worthy of admiration and respect, let alone promotion/repli cation! Externalities and hidden long term costs which are routinely ignored and kicked down the road. Such apathy is incredibly destructive to future generations. The capitalist matrix is a fuster cluck of stupidity and masochistic success(?). BTW freedom is not equal to Capitalism. Is it possible to really be that intellectually dull? Slavery is merely a methodology that is sometimes employed by Capitalists, though it is not a given, GREED is the driver of your ideal economy and it is a cancerous growth. We need the paradigm to flip so that our motivation is driven by Quality. Do good work, instead of work that is, as the saying goes, "good enough for the government".
 
 
+25 # Aussieken 2011-10-27 17:08
When I was growing up I had very few heroes. Jesus, Martin L King, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohamed Ali and later Nelson Mandela. All of them you may notice were or are men who fought rotten and corrupt systems and the authorities that ran the system. Before I first watched 'Bowling for Columbine' I never knew that finally I would have a hero of my own skin hue (well not quite- Michael you need to get out in the sun more mate!)Good on you Mike - you care and are doing a great job.
 
 
+9 # Lolanne 2011-10-27 17:19
I hope you've got cameras running all over OWS, Michael. I'd like to someday see a documentary showing exactly what is happening across the nation -- the peaceful outcry of thousands and thousands of citizens standing up for justice for ALL, including the police, and the unprovoked violence of those same police against them.
 
 
+10 # Paul Scott 2011-10-27 17:41
Jesus kept telling the truth right up until he gave up the ghost. Never was there a finer example of compassion for mankind to mankind.

Keep showing the injustice's and I'll keep watching your work Mike.
 
 
+6 # jon 2011-10-27 23:09
Jesus was indeed, a Liberal!
 
 
+16 # wfalco 2011-10-27 19:00
Mike is the definition of a true patriot-somethi ng the right wing can only define with dated militaristic cliches and meaningless slogans.
Mike's patriotism is taking action not just for oneself-but for fellow citizens.
Michael has always been about acting locally first and creating an art form to educate as many people as possible. It is very important work because his intent is not just educational-but to enlighten.
We can all take action against the corporate hooligans. I even got off my lazy but recently and got the hell out of my account with Bank of America and joined a Credit Union. Not alot but something. We all have to DO SOMETHING!
 
 
+7 # Capn Canard 2011-10-28 07:13
wflaco, NICE! ... conservatives' true patriot? LOL! They have no patriots, they have icons of industrial mayhem that walk away with billions while we pick up the check! BANK TRANSFER DAY: Saturday Nov. 5th. 2011
 
 
+9 # raphaelschild 2011-10-27 19:21
Great smear control, Michael. I knew when I read an accusatory article last night (re: Michael Moore is one of the 1%) that we'd be hearing from you in response very soon. Good job and even greater ones on your work. Love ya.

Oh....BTW....since you're all about creating jobs with your work, I'm a great frelance editor and writer looking for work. ;-)
 
 
+18 # sandyboy 2011-10-27 19:25
By Martinfire's logic a starving man who buys food with $ is a capitalist, which is nonsense. We have no other way to eat/live except buy/sell in this system - doesn't make us all capitalists. Viva Mike Moore. I'm a hack/author in ill health, on disability, poor, but after my mom died I took a decision to try to do something for others whenever I had a chance, even if it's only giving a homeless guy some money or helping an old lady carry her luggage down subway steps. We can ALL do things for others if we simply make the decision.
 
 
-23 # Martintfre 2011-10-28 06:53
The starving man cleans up and make him self useful for those who provided his meal - because the food they had did not magically appear. They also had to apply their minds and labor to more raw materials to make that meal possible.

socialism works only in two places: Heaven where is it not needed and hell where they already have it. Winston Churchill
 
 
+6 # reiverpacific 2011-10-29 11:15
Quoting Martintfre:
The starving man cleans up and make him self useful for those who provided his meal - because the food they had did not magically appear. They also had to apply their minds and labor to more raw materials to make that meal possible.

socialism works only in two places: Heaven where is it not needed and hell where they already have it. Winston Churchill

-Who was one of the entrenched British upper classes from birth and also said during the planning and run-up to the BP/US coup directed at Mohammed Mossadeq when he nationalized the country's oil for the good of his own people " "What's lives of these "wogs" to the retention of Iran's oil?" -or words to that general effect. Just 'cause the likes of that old privileged gentleman (And yes, he was great war leader in a different age) says it, don' make it so.
Socialism has NEVER been given a fair shot in the "Fragmented States", ever and most people -including yourself it seems- don't even know the definition of't and just look on it as a dirty word uttered by talkin' heads and opportunist politicians to anybody who'll listen to them.
And by the way, I'm as individualistic and freedom-lovin' cove that you'll ever meet including some so-called Libertarians. I consider myself a "Small Business Socialist"; wrap y'r tiny mind around that!
 
 
+6 # Gary Nelson 2011-10-27 19:53
Michael,
Thanks for letting us know what you did with your 3 million dollars. It comfirms what I have hoped for, that sombody else gets it too. We seem to be individual cells in the body of the human being and if the brain takes all the nutrients, the body will become weak and die and so will the brain. Thank you for all your good work. I love you brother/
Gary
 
 
+9 # Michael D. 2011-10-27 20:14
Superb, Michael. Thanks for putting yourself out there despite the threats, and weird, fraudulent, non-substative criticisms - from right and left. This Flint guy salutes you! Make sure you get enough rest and time to yourself.
 
 
+5 # LegacyCost 2011-10-27 22:40
Michael,
I read your friend Ben Hamper's book Rivethead and it was my life. I hired into a Fisher Body Plant in 1977. I met you breifly at Ohio State University when you toured to promote Downsize This. Sicko was part of the inspiration for my advocacy of single payer healthcare now. Today I'm a retired (too early) former auto worker organizing with our mutual friend Donna Smith for our cause. Keep staying in their face the never back down! I don't plan to. SOLIDARITY!
 
 
+8 # badbenski 2011-10-27 23:47
Michael's been well off long enough to not walk the same ground or breathe the same air as the common herd. However, this is a matter of choice... to insulate one's self from the majority of humanity and indulge the whim of the moment. Mr. Moore has obviously chosen not to fall into that trap and more power to him. Further, he's likely saved his immortal soul from being captured by whatever it is that has a hold on most of what we've come to call the top 1%. It's a kind of let-them-eat-ca ke insensitivity that has it's own rules and philosophy. I'm sure he's grateful to God that he's no longer on welfare, has a decent car, can afford to attend to his health, no longer living in squalor and a whole host of other things that plague those who are broke. He knows what it like to be broke and instead of saying to himself "aha, I have the whip hand now, it's my turn to rule," as so many do. He tries to share what he has and continues to indentify with the poor working stiff who is fighting to keep his head above water. Kudos to my homeboy! I enjoy his work and I always incline an ear to his hard won wisdom and common sense. I'd like to meet the dude one day, shake his hand and wish him nothing but the best because he's kept his eye on the ball and maintained a sense of what's important. Keep twisting the tails of the idle rich Michael Moore, they have it coming, in spades!
 
 
+4 # futhark 2011-10-28 03:30
The best thing you can do with the excesses of wealth that would be impossible to enjoy "having fun" is to give it away to those in need. You will enjoy far more satisfaction from it than by hording it up.
 
 
+5 # suggs 2011-10-28 03:54
Micheal, please film some of the actions at any of the occupancies throughout the United States and have Tyler Perry to produce it. Great work on your part. Thanks for not selling out to the greedy wealthy ones. They will have to pay ffor robbing the poor and working class.
 
 
-18 # Martintfre 2011-10-28 06:40
"Underlying most arguements against the free market, is the lack of belief in freedom itself." Milton Friedman
 
 
+11 # reiverpacific 2011-10-28 12:29
Quoting Martintfre:
"Underlying most arguements against the free market, is the lack of belief in freedom itself." Milton Friedman

Ah, Milton Freidman; the Chicago School of Economic's guru, wrecking ball of the world. and hero of the IMF, NAFTA, Gatt's etc. tactics of burn down community to clear out and start anew for the favored few and ransom their resources!
If this is y'r idea of "freedom" it's very selective -a.k.a, "freedom for a few, screw the rest" A bit like Thatcher's "individuality" theorem and community-busti ng practices -but even she was a self-confessed Keynseyan (sp?).
A wee bit confused, are ya?!
 
 
+4 # karenvista 2011-10-29 00:54
Quoting reiverpacific:
Quoting Martintfre:
"Underlying most arguements against the free market, is the lack of belief in freedom itself." Milton Friedman
-but even she was a self-confessed Keynseyan (sp?).
A wee bit confused, are ya?!


Margaret Thatcher was also a liar. She carried on a correspondence with Friedman wherein she said she would like to institute his ideas but didn't think Britain would accept it. He encouraged her.

Funny thing about the Falklands War. Nobody really cared about the islands. One observer astutely said "it was like two bald men fighting over a comb." But when Britain left the Falklands unprotected and Argentina stumbled into the trap it gave her the cover to institute a lot of "Chicago School" policies.
 
 
+8 # mebemo 2011-10-28 15:24
Friedman and Martintfree suffer from an extremely limited understanding of freedom. Too bad it's so widely shared.

Freedom to exploit isn't freedom.

Freedom to pollute isn't freedom

Freedom to hate isn'r freedom.

They represent the ego's warped understanding of reality.
 
 
+4 # fredboy 2011-10-28 06:56
Look also at the MBA diploma mills, the ones that graduate almost every student who enters the program and admit Asian students to boost their GMAT scores for the rankings. Again, these schools are shoveling greed into and threatening the heart of the American and world economies.
 
 
+3 # Cassandra2012 2011-10-28 13:10
Quoting fredboy:
Look also at the MBA diploma mills, the ones that graduate almost every student who enters the program and admit Asian students to boost their GMAT scores for the rankings. Again, these schools are shoveling greed into and threatening the heart of the American and world economies.

Yes, this is a very important point. Wherever MBAs insinuate themselves into the tops of organizations and services they really do not understand (or feel they don't need to understand to run), they destroy the purpose of those organizations. MBAs in healthcare, education etc. load administrators at the top and profit-making for the sake of profit-making without regard for the consequences to students (who they rename 'customers') or patients to the great detriment of those services.
 
 
+6 # treehugger 2011-10-28 10:55
Michael, I stood up and cheered at your Oscar speech. You were the only one in the media at that time to lift the vibration. Like you don't already have a lot on your mind, could you please look into the Natural Gas Industry boom? Fracking is scaring the bejeesus out of me! I will always be your fan, and look forward to your next adventure.
 
 
+2 # sandyboy 2011-10-28 12:59
I believe in individuality and was often accused of being a right winger. But my version isn't Thatcher's, it's Colin Wilson's, a much misunerstood man. Mike Moore took the individual decision to share his money, just as I took the decision mentioned earlier to try to be a better guy within my limited means.
 
 
+5 # pernsey 2011-10-28 17:25
Michael I love all your work, please keep on keeping on!!

NEVER EVER VOTE REPUBLICAN!!
 
 
-11 # forparity 2011-10-28 18:08
Did you sell your Haliburton stock yet Mr. $50 million man who busted your own union workers?

There's a part of me that actually believes that Moore is more than just full of himself, and I could forgive the fact that sometimes he doesn't lie . .

. . but I'm an optimist.
 
 
+2 # karenvista 2011-10-29 01:03
Your "facts?" come from Newsmax? You can't do better than that?
 
 
+4 # mary227 2011-10-29 12:21
Thank you Michael Moore. I was blown away with your bravery starting with Roger and Me, and thank you for continuing to tell truth to power.

I remember Wendell Potter, former VP of communications for Cigma saying that despite their trying to do everything they could to vilify and nullify what you were saying in Sicko, that it was all true and that they were really scared to death of you.

Keep it up Michael!
Too bad our administration is not showing like courage.
 
 
+2 # futhark 2011-10-29 18:11
I'm looking forward to seeing Mr. Moore's next documentary, whatever the topic may be, though I'm hoping he will address issues related to militarism and the "economic draft" of unemployed youth to be used as instruments of violent exploitation.

In a restaurant at lunch a few days ago I overheard parts of a conversation among a group of women. One woman was boasting about how her son had become a much more responsible, mature person thanks to military training. Her son had even been elected by his peers as platoon leader, so the training he was receiving must have had some positive value! As a (now retired) high school teacher I heard this same thing very frequently, especially from our quasi-recruiter of a counselor.

OK, I'm a bit off topic, but I'd really like to see some kind of in-depth reporting on the use of underemployed youth as instruments of neo-imperialism and how that is not necessarily either a noble thing to do nor is it necessarily good training for a successful life.
 
 
+3 # cypress72 2011-10-29 22:26
Mr. Moore should stuff his "working class" jacket with hundred dollar bills and pass them out to those at Occupy Oakland. It's refreshing to hear that he has a Foundation. By now it should have tens of millions of dollars do to the success of all his films and books. That's real serious money that can make a difference to the homeless and unemployed. He should talk more about his Foundation. That would really drive the Right nuts!! Where's the Bush Foundation by the way !!!
 
 
+5 # LizR 2011-10-30 01:56
It's so nice to read that I have the freedom to do what i like under capitalism. Freedom to be born into the upper class, so I learn how to enrich myself at others' expense. Freedom to decide what a load of narcissists in suits do to the environment - they want everyone to consume, consume, consume, as though the world is an infinite teat.
Freedom to not exploit the third world, freedom to not destroy the world... Freedom to not have to participate in this stupid system, this "suicide machine" as Ronald Wright calls it.

Damn, I'm starting to sound like Tom Robinson.

"Freedom from the niggers and the Pakis and the unions. Freedom from the gypsies and the Jews. Freedom from left wing layabouts and liberals. Freedom from the likes of you"

Freedom not to be brainwashed into believing this is the best or only way to run the world...
 
 
+2 # lark3650 2011-10-31 07:57
I once heard Harry Chapin say that the best thing about being involved in good causes is that you are involved with the "good" people.....the people with the live hearts and minds....and no matter how long it takes to make a difference, I want to be involved with the "GOOD PEOPLE." ....Pete Seeger is a perfect example of someone who has for years...fought the good fight.
 

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