Note: The first episode of this quarter was transmitted on December 17, 2007.
Episode #464: Lead-Lined Cat Food
First Broadcast: 12/17/07
The NYPD leads off tonight by arresting and criminally charging people who haven't broken the law--namely people who pick up a police-planted wallet filled with credit cards and don't immediately turn it over to the first cop they see, even though they legally have up to ten days to do so. This is apparently a continuation of a similar entrapment operation the police ran at the beginning of the year, only instead of facing misdemeanor convictions due to "theft" of merchandise, the arrestees now face felony convictions due to the "theft" of credit cards. Between city money being spent on this, and the police handcuffing people for taking pictures of subway stations--another completely legal activity--how am I supposed to have any sympathy when cops claim to be unperpaid? Additionally, Dennis Kucinich, the man who submitted a bill to impeach "Vice President" Dick Cheney, says he is now working on a bill to impeach "President" George W. Bush. My reaction? What took so damn long?
Episode #465: Great White Bastard
First Broadcast: 12/31/07
Repeated: 6/23/08 Episode played back with overmodulated audio.
This week, we mostly discuss the Lakota nation's withdrawal from all treaties with the United States, effectively reasserting their status as an independent nation, and facing potential diplomatic recognition from Russia, of all places. We then briefly touch on how J. Edgar Hoover, former F.B.I. director "for life" (i.e., no retirement required), once wanted to arrest 12,000 people who hadn't committed any crimes, but were viewed by Hoover to be "potentially dangerous." And, to wrap up, we refer to someone's personal experience with waterboarding, described thusly:
So, is it torture? I'll put it this way. If I had the choice of being waterboarded by a third party or having my fingers smashed one at a time by a sledgehammer, I'd take the fingers, no question. It's horrible, terrible, inhuman torture. I can hardly imagine worse. I'd prefer permanent damage and disability to experiencing it again. I'd give up anything, say anything, do anything. The Spanish Inquisition knew this. It was one of their favorite methods. It's torture. No question. Terrible terrible torture. To experience it and understand it and then do it to another human being is to leave the realm of sanity and humanity forever. No question in my mind.Now, can someone convince everyone else in Washington D.C. to share this opinion?
Episode #466: Gold Farmer Standard
First Broadcast: 1/14/08
According to statistics compiled at legitgov.org and checkthevotes.com, there is a noticable discrepancy between the votes in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary that were counted by machine, and the paper votes that were counted by hand. Specifically, in the hand-counted votes, Senator Barack Obama received more votes than Senator Hillary Clinton; but in the machine-counted votes, Hillary Clinton received more votes than Barack Obama. Does this mean something funny went on with the vote count in New Hampshire? We weren't sure during the taping, but since then Representative Dennis Kucinich has requested and received permission to have a full recount of the votes, in the (well-justified) interest of making sure everyone's vote gets accurately counted. Good for you, Dennis! In other news: Around 240 avatars held a rally for Ron Paul within World of Warcraft on the first of the year, proving that Dr. Paul's reach seems to know no bounds. Whether that reach will make any difference in the end, only time will tell.
Episode #467: Manipulate The System
First Attempted Broadcast: 1/21/08 Episode #466 shown for some reason.
First Actual Broadcast: 1/28/08
MSNBC decided to exclude Dennis Kucinich from a televised debate among Democratic Presidential candidates a few days before the Nevada caucuses, even though he had initially been invited when the debate had first been organized. "The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the detainees captured in Afghanistan aren't recognized as 'persons' under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because they were aliens held outside the United States." And Mark Siljander, a Republican Congressman who once wanted to define a "person" to mean "unborn children from the moment of conception," has recently been "charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists." Once again, truth is stranger than fiction.
Episode #468: Zombie President
First Broadcast: 2/4/08
Since our last program, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, and (most thankfully) Rudy Giuliani have all dropped out of this year's Presidential campaign. Since Mike Gravel's campaign does not seem to be gaining enough traction with either the general public or the delegates, the choice for the Democratic nomination is, for all practical purposes, down to two people: Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama. I appeared to have more reasons to not vote for Ms. Clinton than to not vote for Mr. Obama in the coming primary this Tuesday, Obama's endorsement by the New York Post notwithstanding. Clinton's victory party in a state where she wasn't supposed to campaign, along with her denigrating statements about Obama "ignoring" that same state didn't win me over either. That, and her vote that enabled George W. Bush to go to war with Iraq. So, where does that leave me? Well, I was fairly up in the air at the end of the program. However, since that time, Senator Obama has received endorsements from both MoveOn.org and The Nation, so maybe he's not such a bad choice for change after all.
Episode #469: Chill Out, Dude
First Broadcast: 2/18/08
Attempted Repeat: 5/26/08 Episode #477 shown by MNN instead.
Whatever possessed Salvatore Rivieri, a Baltimore police officer, to verbally abuse and attack a group of teenagers who had the temerity to skateboard in the wrong place at the wrong time? What made him think that a chokehold, shoving, several minutes of screaming, a death threat, advocation of child abuse, a questionable confiscation of a skateboard, and an absolute intolerance to being addressed as "dude" could be construed as anything other than an abuse of power against those who are powerless to defend themselves? Maybe he received the wrong message from a fictional account of other police abuse of teenagers? Who knows. On the positive side, the enormous amount of coverage that this incident has received has thrown a huge spotlight onto other potential accounts of police abuse, and can only lead to less abuse in the long run (assuming that people really do want less police abuse in the long run).
Episode #470: Sympathetic Reception
First Broadcast: 3/3/08
This week, we discuss the death of William F. Buckley (I don't think I'll miss him too much), the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which is prompting the FDIC to bring back retirees who gained experience during the S & L crisis, and how Indiana Jones IV is only going to be projected with film and not digitally. That's enough for one week, don't you think?
Episode #471: Möbius Strip
First Broadcast: 3/10/08
A video is circulating on the Internet that apparently shows a U.S. soldier in Iraq throwing a puppy off a cliff to its death. Is this the last straw? The last abomination in a long line of atrocities committed by American soldiers in Iraq since the 2003 invasion? And why is Hillary Clinton now pushing the lie that Ralph Nader is to blame for George W. Bush entering the White House in 2001, when she herself acknowleged in 2002 that Bush was "installed" in the White House by the Supreme Court? Is she so desparate to win that she'd even endorse John McCain over Barack Obama? Shame on you Hillary; it's not attracting my vote.