Thursday, September 25, 2003

WMD still MIA

Still no WMD found in Iraq an early draft of a new report reveals. The White House immediately released a statement, assuring us that the report is only an interim report. In other words, them weapons will show up sooner or later. Come out, come out wherever you are!

But they are finding traces of weapons-grade uranium in Iran. Guess we're headed there next.
Fox "News": Lapdogs for Hollywood Conservatives

Sean Hannity's on a pre-recorded Fox News segment right now, tossing Anold Schwarzenegger softballs, while the crowd (members of Hannity's radio audience) cheer along. "Liberal" counterpoint Alan Colmes is nowhere to be seen. Now, that's fair and balanced reporting! Go Fox.

Schwarzenegger declared himself socially "moderate" and disdained "liberal" as a 60's-kinda word.

Poor, poor California.

. . . Then back to the live Hannity & Colmes show and political and intellectual heavyweight Chuck Norris shows up to throw his support begind the Terminator. And they say Hollywood is full of liberals! You'd never guess it from watching Fox's balanced coverage.

Even as I type, Norris is now agreeing with Hannity that liberals are very vocal and conservative are not. What friggin' planet are these guys living on?

And who's on next? Ted Nugent?
Israeli Heroes

A heartening development in Israel: 27 reserve fighter pilots signed a petition, saying they would not participate in air strikes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The pilots believe the right-wing Israeli government has been using the military to advance its political agenda at the expense of innocent Palestinian lives. As reported by NPR, for example, jets dropped a one-ton bomb on a house last year in an effort to take out a single Palestinian terrorist; it did kill him, along with 14 civilians, most of them children. Furthermore, according to Palestinian medical officals, in the past three years, Israel has assassinated about 140 Palestinian militants and killed about 100 by-standers as well.

The pilots, nine of whom were still on active duty, declared the attacks "illegal" and "immoral." The Israeli government has grounded them, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the nation that, ""Everyone has the right to voice their opinion, but it is unacceptable that a group of military men interfere in such a issue, an issue decided on by the political echelon after great deliberation." So, it's OK for Sharon to use the miltary to political ends but not the reverse.

These guys are heroes. They should be celebrated for taking a stand. And hopefully their heroic move will inspire others to do the same.

Apparently, hundreds of reserve soldiers had already signed a similar petition, saying they won't serve in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Friendly Fox News mouthpiece Bill O'Reilly wrote this column entitled "The Clooney Factor" to condemn remarks George Clooney apparently made about Charlton Heston.

I emailed him the following to correct his English:

"From your column on George Clooney - 'Clooney's remarks about Charlton Heston were cruel, and, I predict, may well cause a vocational perfect storm, pun intended.' - that's not a pun; it's an allusion."

Just doing my part to keep the ol' boy in line, though I may have been generous in referring to his reference to the Clooney movie as an allusion,

In case you don't feel like reading O'Reilly's stimulating column to find out what Clooney said, I'll reprint Clooney's remark here:

"Charlton Heston announced again today that he is suffering from Alzheimer's."

Now, that's not funny at all, is it?
Jesus said, "Turn the other cheek." The compassionately conservative Bush administration believes in "smack 'em before they smack you."

CCN reports that UN Secretary Kofi Annan will criticize the policy of pre-emptive strikes today, saying the following:

"My concern is that, if it were to be adopted, it could set precedents that resulted in a proliferation of the unilateral and lawless use of force, with or without credible justification.

"Until now it has been understood that when states go beyond that and decide to use force to deal with broader threats to international peace and security, they need the unique legitimacy provided by the United Nations.

"Now some say this understanding is no longer tenable since an 'armed attack' with weapons of mass destruction could be launched at any time.

"This logic represents a fundamental challenge to the principles, on which, however imperfectly, world peace and stability have rested for the last 58 years."

CNN excerpted these quotations from Annan's prepared address to the United Nations. Bush will also speak there today in an effort to earn support for for the United States occupation of Iraq.

Monday, September 22, 2003

"Thank goodness Nazi filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl lived long enough to see Karl Rove's lush footage of W on the aircraft carrier." Barry Crimmins, political satirist

A couple more from this guy. Apparently, an angry audience member asked him, "If you don't love this country, why don't you get out?" He replied, "Because I don't want to be victimized by its foreign policy."

And: "The Pentagon's so greedy it has an extra side on its building."
Good Bye Johnny

I shoulda bid Johnny Cash a fond goodbye last week. In his departure, we've lost a worthy icon.

Here's one tribute left on the New York Times site by one fan.

"I always enjoyed Johnny Cash's music; but I didn't fully appreciate the man until sometime in the early 70's when he was invited to perform at the White House by Nixon, who also requested that Cash sing 'Welfare Cadillac.' Cash respectfully declined because he thought it was uncharitable towards the poor. I believed then, and now, that it took an extraordinarily principled and courageous man, in the face of an invitation any artist would die for, to just say NO. Thank you Johnny." - Abruzzi

I think that sums up a lot of what was great about Johnny. A bold idiosyncratic artist and a deeply religious man, but also a thoughtful, considerate human.
This Season: God Is *So* In!

First, there's the Bible (or the New Testament anyway) disguised as a girls' magazine, called Revolve. Why Revolve, I wonder? So young teen girls can read it in public and folks won't realize they're reading *the Bible*!?

The New York Times interviewed Laurie Whaley from Thomas Nelson, the publishers of the mag. Ms. Whaley explains that the mag uses the New Century Version of the Bible rather than the more traditional King James Version since "It is Shakespearic! That's the problem. All those thous. I can honestly say my heart breaks because the church has made it so difficult for people to grasp the concepts of the Bible. "

Also a bumper crop of TV shows featuring God as a character are coming to network telly. In this article, the NYT points out that "the last time God spoke regularly to a girl on television was on the 1967 sitcom 'The Flying Nun.'" Now on three new shows, Our Heavenly Father will be revealing himself (if you'll pardon the expression) to three young girls on a regular basis.

Friday, September 19, 2003

This prophetic essay on the future of the United States appeared on September 12th, 2001 on - of all places - and was written by - of all people - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

An excerpt:

"This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed -- for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now."

Doc Thompson wrote that the day after 9/11.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Yeah, let's face it: despite all the spluttering and the outraged stammering by your Sean Hannities and Bill O'Reillys about the liberal media, Bush really is getting a free ride. I wouldn't call them the fawning press, per se, as they we accused of being under Clinton. No, now they're more like the *obedient* press. Hence, the following resonates:

Snagged from, a good source for a fiery, satirical take on the Bush administration.

Writing in The Nation, Katha Pollitt pretty much demolishes the idea that it makes any sense at all to display the 10 Commandments at a United States (or specifically, Alabama) court house.