Healthcare Rally in Boston

rally for healthcare - warrenI attended the #OurFirstStand rally to save healthcare in Boston this past Sunday, put on by Bernie Sanders group Our Revolution featuring Mayor Marty Walsh, and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey. That’s a photo of Senator Warren speaking to the crowd, one of the two pictures I took before my camera died.

Some quick notes:

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The view from above

– As the photo might indicate, turnout was strong especially considering how cold it was. I was also impressed with how well run it was – everything went off on time and with good support in place. I’ve worked campaign events before and they can be so chaotic. This one was totally professional.

– The overall mood of the crowd was subdued, not so much angry as looking for answers and direction. The question seemed to be, “What should we do?”

– Warren is effective as a litigator and a fighter. Senator Markey described her well when he said, “When Republicans see Elizabeth coming for them, they usually hide under their desk.” That said, I am not wowed with her public speaking skills. She’s more a lawyer than a Martin Luther King type, inspiring people with high flying rhetoric. She probably knows this and that’s why she spoke before Markey.

She also has a lot of public recognition. In back of me passerby were saying, “Hey, that’s Elizabeth Warren” and stopping to listen.

– I was impressed with Ed Markey’s speaking. I had never seen or heard from him before. He’s forceful like Biden or Teddy Kennedy, an old school Irish Catholic Democrat. When he speaks, people stand up and cheer. He’s the emotional counterpoint to Warren’s more cerebral approach.

– Healthcare is hard to rally around as it’s so abstract. In terms of messaging, Democrats need to simplify their language. “Medicare for All” is easy to understand, “single payer” less so. Complexity is bad.

The rally featured one woman whose mother was diagnosed with cancer and was saddled with thousands of dollars of bills. Stories like that are effective because they show how healthcare polices affect people as people, not as abstract statistics. That was solid and we need more of that.

– It was uplifting was seeing Democratic leaders getting back in touch with their grassroots supporters. That way they can see what resonates with voters and create a feedback loop with them rather than relying on consultants to provide interpretation.

More rallies like this one please. It is the way forward.

Movie Reviews of Movies I Haven’t Seen – The Witch

This is a super scary movie. In fact, it is so frightening and disturbing that I will never see it.


Yup, I’m good, thanks.

The Witch is filled with deeply unsettling, haunting imagery that you will not shake for at least a week, possibly a month. Even then, some scenes probably achieve The Shining-level and you will  retain them in your head for the rest of your life.

In this movie, a lot of bad things happen to children which is upsetting but it goes up to 11 when you have kids and you already worry enough about them, thanks. I don’t need to add “Captured and killed by a demonic presence living in the woods” to my worry list.

The Witch is set during the Pilgrim times and it’s about a family that establishes a house outside of the village on the edge of the woods. The woods in the opening shot of the trailer look like where I grew up in New Hampshire so that kind of freaks me out.

photo-0050It’s a great concept for a movie. For those of you who were not raised there, the woods in New England are so dark and deep that they drove the people in Salem into madness and they started hanging each other. Later these same woods produced writers like HP Lovecraft and Stephen King. New Englanders have a long tradition of scaring the shit out of each other. So, good job, director of The Witch, who apparently hails from New Hampshire.

I couldn’t figure out why the family left the village to live on the edge of some scary woods from the trailer but, whatever. It’s a good plot device because a bunch of horrifying stuff happens afterwards. The baby disappears and the mother goes bonkers. Then some of the kids start talking to the black goat in their yard (symbolism?) and then something horrible happens to their son when he gets lost in the woods.

Then there are a bunch of clips that are extremely unsettling, again, a lot of them involving kids. This movie is an expertly made horror movie and I give it four stars and there is no need for me to see it.