Episode #432: 9 Out Of 10
First Broadcast: 12/25/06
Even though the official line of the current federal government is to emphasize abstinence over contraception in sex education in public schools, particularly emphasizing abstinence until marriage, 9 out of 10 Americans born since the 1940's have had premarital sex. Even though the federal government has been engaged in a "war on drugs" for over 20 years, the largest cash crop in the United States is marijuana, the annual sale of which in this country earns more money than the annual sale of corn and wheat combined. Even though George W. Bush, in making his case for going to war with Iraq in 2002, said that "Every chemical and biological weapon that Iraq has or makes is a direct violation of the truce that ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991," Sherwood Ross reports that today, "In violation of the US Code and international law, the Bush administration is spending more money (in inflation-adjusted dollars) to develop illegal, offensive germ warfare than the $2 billion spent in World War II on the Manhattan Project to make the atomic bomb." Even though Condoleezza Rice said in 2005 that "this notion that women had certain rights under Saddam Hussein... I don't think it is right to talk about rights of anyone, male or female, in Saddam Hussein's Iraq," and Vice President Dick Cheney said in September that "The fact is, the world is better off today with Saddam Hussein out of power," United Nations Special Investigator Manfred Nowak said as of December, "The situation [in Iraq] is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein," and Kavita N. Ramdas reports that today "Iraqi women are worse off than they were under the Baathist regime in a country where, for decades, the freedoms and rights enjoyed by Iraqi women were the envy of women in most other countries of the Middle East." Even though the majority of people in the United States and Iraq think that U.S. troops should leave Iraq sometime between now and the end of next year, George W. Bush and other politicians want to increase the amount of U.S. troops in Iraq, in the vain hope that somehow a "surge" of American troops will somehow end the civil war there. And even though the U.S. Constitution plainly states that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States," Representative Virgil Goode of Virginia's 5th Congressional District recently said that "The Muslim Representative from Minnesota [Keith Ellison] was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens donít wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. ... I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped." Do you think it's at all possible that we could all get a little less hypocrisy as a Christmas present for this year? As John Lennon said, "Gimme some truth!"
Episode #433: I'm Not Afraid To Say It
First Broadcast: 1/1/07
Happy New Year! Did you enjoy your drinks? Was it only virgin beverages for you? Do you need some caffeine for later on today? Did you say goodbye to James Brown? In any event, one thing I hope for the New Year is that U.S. troops finally get the fuck out of Iraq, because 3000 American deaths and 600,000 Iraqi deaths are 603,000 deaths too many if you ask me. Even the late Gerald Ford thought the 2003 invasion was a mistake. Besides, many of the troops who are there don't think they're doing any good at this point anyway. As Sgt. Josh Keim told the A.P., "It's hard to be somewhere where there's no mission and we just drive around." Do me a favor, everybody: drive the troops back home where they actually stand a decent chance of surviving? Thank you.
Episode #434: Where Have I Heard That Before?
First Broadcast: 1/15/07 Opening animation and "Free New York" title cut off.
This week, we discuss my immediate reaction to George W. Bush's speech to the nation on January 10, 2007, where he tried to rally support for his misguided plan to increase the amount of U.S. troops in Iraq by 20,000 soldiers, instead of beginning a withdrawl of troops which is favored by majorities of Americans, U.S. troops, and Iraqis alike. An increase in troop levels which Bush wants everyone to accept, even though--by Bush's own admission--the mission there (whatever it is) has not been accomplished, past efforts did not "succeed", previous strategies did not work, "mistakes" have been made, and violence increased, despite many, many White House statements to the contrary. A strategy which Bush insists is a necessary alternative to withdrawing troops, because, according to Bush:
...to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale. Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the American invasion of 2003 collapse the Iraqi government, result in the civil war that's currently tearing the country apart, and cause anywhere between 53,000 and 600,000 civilian deaths, which, in a country with a population of 28 million people, is comparable to between 553,000 and 6.2 million civilians being killed in the United States? Wouldn't 6 million civilian deaths as a result of a foreign invasion of the U.S. be "killings on an unimaginable scale", since it would be greater than the total of all the American battle deaths from every war in American history combined? Can you now imagine how Iraqis feel when confronted with those numbers? Can we all hurry up and stop this nonsense already?
Episode #435: This Game Is A Danger
First Broadcast: 1/29/07
This week, we discuss George W. Bush's latest State of the Union address; this year's drinking game about that same address; how following the game as written would have meant drinking the equivalent of 131 shots, or over 5 bottles of hard liquor in the space of 49 minutes, which would have caused certain death by alcohol poisoning 8 times over; other drinking games for The Bob Newhart Show, Bewitched, and Star Trek; Trek 2.0 on the G4 Network; Wil Wheaton's Star Trek episode summaries; the woman who died from drinking too much water at a radio station in an attempt to win a Wii; the student at California State University Chico who died from drinking too much water two years earlier; and finally coming back to the Bush address and a New York Times article that graphically demonstrates the number of times certain words have appeared in all of Bush's State of the Union addresses (and one equally important address given a month after he took office) from 2001 to the present. The most times "Iraq" was mentioned? This year, oddly enough. Do you think we can all get together and finally get the troops out of Iraq already? Maybe even an impeachment resolution? Anyone?
Episode #436: Various Degrees of Watered-Downness
First Broadcast: 2/12/07
First off, Anna Nicole Smith is still dead; The Pentagon is preparing right now for what to do when George W. Bush's surge goes wrong (since the military seems to have about as much confidence in that idea as the rest of country); Ehren Watada might be off the hook for not deploying to Iraq, due to a mistrial; Local draft boards are being kept in shape, even though the draft technically doesn't exist; Howard Zinn calls for the people to impeach Bush in case Congress doesn't get around to it; and The World Can't Wait is organizing an emergency meeting to get Bush impeached for his war crimes against Iraq. Can people take action quick enough before Bush attacks Iran? I certainly hope so!
Episode #437: Way Too Literally
First Broadcast: 2/19/07
A whole planeload of passengers are held hostage by JetBlue for 11 hours at JFK airport; Drivers were trapped on a 50-mile stretch of highway through Pennsylvania that the state took 24 hours to close; and New Orleans residents who are still living in mobile homes over a year after Hurricane Katrina are getting sick from formaldehyde being emitted from the wood inside FEMA-supplied trailers. What do all these situations have in common? A lack of government oversight so severe that those at the federal, state, and local levels no longer know how to help the people their agencies affect when people need their help the most. Is this the result of over 25 years of propaganda pushing the idea that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem" onto the American public? Could be, Doc.
Episode #438: Equal Time
First Broadcast: 2/26/07
Even though the U.N. now says 33% of Iraqis are living in poverty, and even though people want to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney for his role in deceiving the American public and taking the United States into war with Iraq, Hillary Clinton still won't apologize for her vote that authorized George W. Bush to start his war with Iraq back in 2003. John McCain, meanwhile, is busy sucking up to Jerry Falwell, and going back on his position on abortion, now saying that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. In the background, the U.S. is going full speed ahead with its plans to attack Iran, an idea that even President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, thinks is a horrendous idea; and Brzezinski should know, since he was responsible for destabilizing the Soviet-backed Afghanistan government that collapsed and allowed the Taliban to take over that country (not to mention his urging Iraq's Saddam Hussein to invade Iran in order to defeat Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic fundamentalist forces who overthrew the U.S.-backed authoritarian Shah). Do you suppose some of this history is the reason why the White House concealed its knowledge of an overture made by Iran to the U.S. in 2003 to reach a peace agreement between the two countries? How big is this empire going to get?
Episode #439: Angry Hornets
First Broadcast: 3/5/07
According to a study organized in part by Mother Jones, more terrorist attacks have occured worldwide in the years since the 2003 invasion of Iraq than in the years between the events of September 11, 2001, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In other words, the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has not made the world any safer, despite the insistence of the Bush adminstration of the contrary. As one commenter on Alternet suggested, you might say to George W. Bush that "This is another nice mess you've gotten us into!" In addition, according to the Guardian:
An elite team of officers advising the US commander, General David Petraeus, in Baghdad has concluded that they have six months to win the war in Iraq - or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat.
Do you suppose that's the reason why Democrats in the House are authoring a bill that would require American troops to leave Iraq in six months if certain goals aren't met by the Iraqi government? Is it because Democrats are well aware that Iraq is going downhill fast, which would force the troops to be brought home if the bill passes without a veto? And if that's the case, why not bring all the troops home now before any more get killed for this stupid, senseless policy? "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" It was a good question 36 years ago, and it's still a good question today. (P.S.: Was Kurt Loder really fired from MTV without so much as a "thank you" or a "goodbye"? Somebody clue us in!)