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By Angelo Lopez on January 30, 2010

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By Angelo Lopez on January 29, 2010

I'm not sure how I got on their email list, but over the past couple of months I've been receiving emails from MoveOn, a progressive Democratic web organization that was started by Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, in 1998. I'm grateful for the emails, for it has given a concise argument of progressive views of various aspects of the health care reform bill as it has gone through the House and the Senate. What I most appreciated were the links to periodicals like the New York Times and the Washington Post that gave longer explanations as to why Move On held on certain positions on health care reform. Often these emails would come with invitations to rallies or vigils to show support for a more progressive health care reform. After the recent victory by Scott Brown in the Massachussetts Senate elections, Move On invited several people in the local southern Bay Area for an emergency health care reform rally in front of Congressman Mike Honda's office in Campbell, California. I decided to take 2 hours off of work to attend, and was glad I did. In spite of the rain, quite a crowd of people showed up to show their support. The people inspired me with their passion for true reform and their persistence in fighting for what they believe.

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By Angelo Lopez on January 23, 2010

Ever since the special elections where Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, I've been disappointed and a bit angry at the results. As a Democrat, though, I have to admit that we Democrats have only ourselves to blame. Ever since conservative activists made a lot of noise at the town hall meetings in August, these conservatives have been able to control the terms of the debate. I think the anger that the conservative activists showed last August spooked the politicians who faced them and pushed them towards a more centrist path. Progressives have not been able to mount a strong and loud enough grassroots campaign to counter the tea party activists and pressure Congress to keep the public option.

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By Angelo Lopez on January 21, 2010

In San Francisco this January, a federal trial is taking place to argue the legality of Proposition 8, a proposition that was passed in the California election in 2008 to ban gay marriage. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, the presiding judge in the case, had originally wanted court employees to record the trial for delayed broadcast on the YouTube Web site. Gay rights activists hoped that broadcasting the trial would expose the public to the arguments for gay marriage and act as an education tool. On January 13, 2010, however, the Supreme Court banned the use of cameras to broadcast the trial.

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By Angelo Lopez on January 16, 2010

In the library in my city, one can check out a wide selection of DVDs, from feature films, to documentaries, to foreign films, and whole seasons of a television series. One day I noticed a few DVDs of the series All In The Family. I vaguely remember watching the show as a kid, and I've heard a lot about how great a series it is, so I decided to check out a few seasons worth of shows. During this past week I've been on an "All In the Family" binge. I found it to be a very funny, very touching, and very socially conscience show. I looked up youtube and found that you could find whole episodes of the show in that site. I've always heard it said that television is just a vast wasteland with no redeeming value, but a show like "All In the Family" challenges that notion. For a show that first aired over thirty years ago, All In The Family is still a very relevant and entertaining show and it still challenges us with problems that remain thirty years later.

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By Angelo Lopez on January 15, 2010

A few months ago I decided to reread Henry David Thoreau's essay, On Civil Disobedience. I hadn't read it since college twenty something years ago, and kept running into references from people on how much this essay influenced them. Reading it, many years later, Thoreau's essay is a lot more subversive than I remember it being. It is still very timely, as a guide and inspiration for activists and progressives.

Henry David Thoreau was an essayist and poet who kept company with leading transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Thoreau was a passionate abolitionist who delivered lectures attacking the Fugitive Slave Law and was active in the underground railroad in Concord. In July 1846, Thoreau spent a day in prison because of his refusal to pay 6 years of poll taxes. He wouldn't pay the taxes because of his opposition of the Mexican American War and of slavery, and he didn't want his money supporting the government because of those policies. That experience inspired Thoreau do a lecture at the Concord Lyceum on January 26, 1848, and that lecture became the basis of the essay of "On Civil Disobedience".

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By Angelo Lopez on January 6, 2010

On November of 1830, John Quincy Adams won the elections to be the representative of Massachusetts's Plymouth District in Congress, receiving 1,817 votes to his nearest rival's 373 votes. This 64 year old freshman Congressman was no ordinary freshman. John Quincy Adams was the son of John and Abigail Adams, and he had served as the minister to the Netherlands, Prussia, Russia and England; negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812; served as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State; and was President of the United States from 1824 to 1828. When the people of the Plymouth District had asked John Quincy Adams to represent their district, Adams expected his time in office to be a relatively quiet and brief service. Instead, Adams would serve for 17 years in the House of Representatives, and he would become the Congress's most influential and outspoken critic of slavery, as well as a critic of the government's policies for the removal of eastern Indian tribes, a defender of the right of women to petition for political rights, and a critic of the war to obtain land from Mexico. Until a few years ago, I didn't know very much about John Quincy Adams, but the movie Amistad and two wonderful books, Arguing about Slavery by William Lee Miller and Mr. Adams's Last Crusade by Joseph Wheelan, helped me to learn more about this extraordinary American and his time as a U.S. Congressman.

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By Angelo Lopez on January 2, 2010

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More blog posts by this author:

Want to read more pieces written by Angelo Lopez? We have more here! This page you are on right now is an archive of entries written by Angelo Lopez in January 2010. This author's preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: December 2009.

The next monthly archive, after this one, is Angelo Lopez: February 2010.

To see all entries ever written by Angelo Lopez, see the complete blog archives for Angelo Lopez.

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This is an archive of blog entries written by Angelo Lopez in January 2010.

The preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: December 2009.

The next one in chronological order is Angelo Lopez: February 2010.

If you'd like to see all the blog entries by this author, you can go to the Complete Archives for Angelo Lopez here.

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