A Letter to Michael Moore

Mr. Moore,

You are certainly wrong about the Shah of Iran: “Shah” means king in the Farsi language.

First, the USA did not give this title to him (as you were mentioning to Ali Velshi in the MSNBC conversation about Iran recently.

The Shah earned this title as a second (2) king of dynasty Phalavi.

95% of your information about Iran’s history is wrong. The Shah was very a peaceful king, not just in Iran but towards all the Countries of the world, including the USA. 

Being a peaceful king does not mean he was a puppet. You are very wrong. 

The Mullahs’ ( Ayatollas) current administration in Iran try to be the same, good and peaceful too. But the war mongers’ agendas would never allow that to happen.

Mr. Moore, tell me which side are you on? 

From the management of faceactivities .com

Photo: nicolas genin from Paris, France • CC BY-SA 2.0

Thoughts on Civics Education

Thoughts on Civics Education

Our latest volunteer, Jenny, is a lover of the arts, especially music, a hopeless liberal, existentialist, wife and Mom. Here’s her take on the importance of bringing back Civics Education in our schools. 


“For every generation democracy must be born anew, and education is its midwife!” John Dewey believed this and he was right!  When our generation attended public schools, we were assigned mandatory courses in civics and government. A student could not earn their high school diploma without passing a class called “Problems of Democracy.

We knew the three branches of government and how our Founding Fathers envisioned the separation of power. The importance of Supreme Court cases like “Brown versus the Board of Education” gave us insight as to how “separate but equal” was NOT equal. We knew the importance of the Bill of Rights including the amendments requiring the separation of Church and State, the freedom to protest and express one’s opinion and the abolishment of slavery.

The truth that our Founders fled Europe to escape kings, dictators and state religions was made plain. Those same teachers who worked so hard to prepare us to be well-informed citizens in a vibrant democracy would be saddened to discover curriculums with no courses in these vital areas. Students today are very well-versed in technology and science. They are fortunate to live in a land of such abundance where there are so many opportunities to be productive and  creative in a host of new fields.

If they do not learn of the social contract which our founders created in which each citizen is responsible for participating in a government “of  the people, by the people and for the people”, we will lose our great country to billionaires, bankers and boors who rule over us for their own personal profit and not for the good of all people. Make America GREAT AGAIN and bring back mandatory Civics Education!!!

Photo: John Dewey – Eva Watson-Schütze [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

UPDATE: DeVos Confirmed! (Senators vote on Betsy Devos nomination today)

Senators vote on Betsy Devos nomination today

UPDATE: Betsy Devos was confirmed by the Senate in a 50-51 vote, with Vice Presdient Pence stepping in to cast the tie-breaking vote. The controversial Philanthropist and multi-billionaire will head the Department of Education in President Trump’s administration, heading a department with 4,400 employees and an annual budget of $68 billion. Face Activities will post more on the implications of Betsy Devos’s confirmation later today.


Will Betsy DeVos be the next Secretary of Education in President Trump’s Administration? Today her fate hangs in the balance. The U.S. Senate will vote on her confirmation to the important cabinet post, amidst strong opposition from both Congressional Democrats and concerned citizen’s protesting her nomination.

Opposition is actually so fierce that Democratic Senators launched an all-night protest on the floor of the Senate, during which they took turns throughout the night speaking out against the DeVos nomination. Their efforts were matched by passionate protests on the streets of Washington, D.C., and a vigorous nation-wide call-in effort by concerned citizens across the nation.

In the last week there have been notable republican defections to the anti-DeVos camp, giving the opposition hope. Republican law-makers still predict victory, but expect the margin to be extremely close, probably a 50-50 tie between Senators, that Vice President Mike Pence will step in to break in favor of the Trump nominee.

Devos is one of the most controversial Trump picks, perhaps second only to Bannon, who is a white nationalist extremist, loathed by the left, and many on the right as well. Devos is considered particularly unqualified for the top education administration job by most of her detractors, so the differences aren’t limited to ideological disputes. She has never held a paying job in the field of education, nor has she earned a University degree in the field of education. Many insist America’s top educator should actually be an educator, not merely a political hack.

And to make matters worse, she performed poorly during her confirmation hearings, revealing an inadequate understanding of important issues and controversies in the field of education. During a series of questions on the role of guns in schools, she was widely derided for suggesting that a school might need to keep a gun around to ward off grizzly bears.

In fact, it appears her main qualifications for the high profile cabinet position are loyalty to Donald Trump, a strong record of monetary donations to Trump and other conservative candidates and causes, strong support for extreme right wing views on education (that are pleasing to the alt right crowd,) and membership in the billionaire’s club, from which President Trump prefers to draw his cabinet picks.

It’s likely that her republican supporters recognize she’s not really qualified for the position, but hope to parlay their support for President Trump into concrete political victories, like hisupport for their conservative economic policies and legislative agenda. This is, of course, a sad and pessimistic view of American Politics. It’s always unconscionable to select unqualified candidates for important cabinet positions, especially positions that affect the welfare of children, and the future of the nation. Clearly the Secretary of Education is such a vital position.

For those Face Activities members who are concerned about the DeVos nomination and the direction the Trump Administration has taken, it’s not too late to do something about it. Call your Senator and let your voice be heard. And even if DeVos wins the nomination, the strong opposition she has received to date will be noted in Washington’s corridors of power.

Learn more about the DeVos confirmation vote today in the Senate (CNN)



Photo: By Keith A. Almli (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Betsy_Devos.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you support Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act?

Do you support Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act?

In 2013, Jimmy Kimmel first sent his crew into the streets to ask ordinary Americans if they preferred Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. The results were both hilarious, and sad. After all, they are the same exact thing. Surely most Americans know that one is merely a nickname for the other? No, they didn’t. And it makes for a funny video segment. But it’s also scary.

Well, Jimmy Kimmel just did it again, sending a fresh crew out in 2017 to ask the same ridiculous leading question. Apparently the American People haven’t learned much. Person after person appeared to actually think they were separate, mutually exclusive plans. Watching the clip is a forward slapping experience, to be sure. What’s up with Americans? Is it a lack of education, or just a kind of apathy? Does it perhaps show that an over reliance on social media, fake news and flimsy websites for information is actually turning out to be the disaster we always feared?

It’s not clear how many people Kimmel’s crew asked in order to glean these comic gems. Perhaps most people really do know the score, and Kimmel just edited his footage to showcase the few uninformed who walk among us? Maybe so, but it’s still a sobering clip to watch, for sure.

We need to redouble our efforts to teach history, civics, and current events to our students, and to get quality news to our adult citizens. Fake news, biased sources, and unadulterated fluff may in fact be hurting our nation. We face many threats, from global warming to ISIS that require quality information, and a mature understanding, to properly address. A poorly informed citizenry is a chink in our defensive armor that we can’t afford. After all, Citizens vote. Won’t poorly informed citizens vote poorly?

President Obama deserves more respect

Obama town hall on race and reconciliation (picture: an earlier town hall discussion)

President Obama has been in office for almost eight years, and his administration is drawing to a close. But even after all this time, he’s still addressed with great disrespect by his critics, and many who are neutral about his leadership as well. Despite our differences, and there are many, we must maintain civility in public life. Unfortunately this ideal is sorely lacking in the current political environment.

President Obama has earned the right, as Head of State and the duly elected leader of the U.S. Government’s Executive Branch, to use the title “President.” For this reason, the media and other politicians should refer to him as “President Obama,” and address him directly as “Mr. President.” Unfortunately, many republicans, and ordinary Americans alike, refer to him as merely “Obama,” over and over again. It gets even worse, since many recite his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, with an emphasis on his middle name, as if to imply he isn’t really an American, but some foreign miscreant who isn’t worthy of true respect.

There’s no greater example of this disrespectful trend than the agonizingly arrogant birther movement, sadly championed by Donald Trump and embraced by millions of Americans. The level of disrespect, not only of President Obama as a leader, but of the truth, not to mention basic logic and accurate facts, is staggering. Their insistence, over and over again, that President Obama isn’t an American citizen, against all evidence, even when the state of Hawaii verifies and attests to his birth in that state, is absurd. Yet they persisted for years, regardless of the facts, and fairness.

President Obama’s mother was a highly educated American citizen, an anthropologist who’s job it was to study other cultures, specifically Indonesia. This is a noble calling, and living abroad for a time was a wonderful opportunity for learning and growth for a young Barack Obama, who went far, ultimately attending Harvard Law School. Sadly, though, it’s been twisted around by critics to trigger negative fear-based reactions, of xenophobia and islamophobia, that are used against him to this day.

And saddest of all, traditionally it’s long been anathema in many circles for white American women to marry African-descended men, so her marriage to an educated Kenyan triggered deep concerns and distrust among large segments of the American population, which lingers to this day. They express their fears and loathing with vitriolic comments, racist internet memes, and shameful attacks on the President’s family.

There can be no other explanation for the profound level disrespect shown to the President, and the entire First Family, other than racism. The First Lady Michelle Obama should be addressed as such. Just as with the President himself, it’s entirely appropriate to address her with her correct title, “First Lady,” not merely “Michelle Obama.” In addition, it’s clear that she is the victim of countless inappropriate and unfair jabs and comments, about her appearance, and many are racial.

What other President and First Lady have faced such open disrespect? Despite political and ideological differences the U.S. Congress has treated visiting Presidents, and their families, with basic courtesy for centuries. But even early on, during an address on health care, President Obama received that astoundingly shocking shout from the floor, “You lie!”

And what other President has faced such obstructionism from Congress throughout his term? Even though clear differences between the parties exist, surely there are many vital projects that cry out for bipartisan support, like improving the Veteran’s Administration, fixing roads and bridges and other much needed repairs to our crumbling infrastructure, and much more. But the President has been blocked and shunned at every turn.

It’s time for the nation to lay aside antiquated notions about race, and to step up to the plate. It’s time for the media, including Fox News, and the U.S. Congress to give the President what he deserves–respect. It is the patriotic thing to do. It is the right thing to do. It is the American thing to do.

Saudis threaten reprisals over 9/11 bill

Saudis threaten reprisals over 9/11 bill

Congressional lawmakers are debating a law that would permit U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, like 9/11. Saudi Arabia, the nation of origin for the majority of 9/11 conspirators, opposes the bill, and is threatening to sell off American assets if the bill passes.

The Obama Administration opposes the bill, claiming it could lead to economic risks for the U.S., and clearly Saudi Arabia is a key strategic ally in the middle east. Obviously the Saudis are protecting their own economic interests: there are about three thousand 9/11 victims, so lawsuits could prove costly.

Though the government of Saudi Arabia was never officially linked to the terrorist attacks, one of the 9/11 conspirators, Zacarias Moussaoui, claimed members of the Saudi Royal Family were Al Qaeda supporters. (CNN)

Learn more about Saudi opposition to the 9/11 Bill (CNN)

Photo: CNN