Episode #440: Nixonesque
First Broadcast: 3/19/07 Opening animation and "Free New York" title cut off.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy wants to subpeona members of the Justice Department to find out just how much he was misled by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales over how alleged loyalty to the George W. Bush played a roll in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys this past December. E-mails leaked to the press reveal that Karl Rove first came up with the idea of firing every U.S. attorney in 2005, contradicting what the White House said about it being Harriet Meyers' idea. The National Journal says that George W. Bush personally stopped the Justice Department from investigating Alberto Gonzales for potential ethics violations. Does all this remind you of another scandal that took place years ago, also involving a Republican President who abused his office to protect himself and his staff while an unjustified and illegal war was being waged against a country that never attacked us? If a word stronger than Nixonesque exists to describe how this adminstration does business, I don't think it's been invented yet.
Episode #441: Peace Now
First Broadcast: 4/2/07
This week, we change the format a bit, showing photographs we took at the "NYC March to End the War" on March 18, 2007, organized by United for Peace and Justice, commemorating the 4th Anniversary of the start of the current war in Iraq by demanding that the Congress stand up to the Bush White House and end the war now. Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, Code Pink, The World Can't Wait, and the Missile Dick Chicks showed up, among many thousands of others. Maybe you'll see yourself there if you take a look! P.S.: I know I said something at the end about a book containing the very same photos used in this episode being available at some point, but it's not available yet, as there are still some publishing kinks to be worked out. When it's ready for sale, you'll be among the first to know!
Episode #442: It's A Mini-Series, Really
First Broadcast: 4/16/07
We're referring primarily to the four-day saga that involved radio "personality" Don Imus calling the Rutger's women's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's" on the air, a remark that triggered the subsequent cancellation of his TV show on MSNBC and his ultimate firing and dismissal from CBS radio altogether. An even smaller mini-series developed involving three four-star U.S. generals who declined the invitation to become the "War Czar" at the White House in charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. An even longer mini-series is the American occupation of Iraq itself, which still isn't over yet! Can't someone end this damn thing already? P.S.: It's not to late to read this book, even though its author has passed away.
Episode #443: You Want To Try And Understand
First Broadcast: 4/23/07
This week, we ponder why the young man who killed over 30 people and himself at Virginia Tech did what he did. In his "manifesto" that he sent to NBC, why did he say what he said? Why did he take the pictures that he took? Were the plays that he wrote in one of his classes symbolic of something that happened to him when he was younger? Did he really have that much in common with the two students at Columbine who shot and killed 12 people and then themselves? Or was he just so seriously mentally ill (apparently suffering from whatever his condition was his entire life) that he should never have been allowed to buy a gun in the first place? One thing's for sure: video games weren't responsible, no matter what that quack Dr. Phil says. I think the crucial difference is that the killers at Columbine appeared to be just consumed with hate, based on their writings; but I think the man at Virginia Tech may have been suffering from some form of schizophrenia, if not something awfully close. It may not seem like much difference from a distance, but blind rage and mental sickness are certainly not the same to anyone experiencing it. Food for thought if anyone is going to try and figure out what to look for to prevent future killings like this from taking place.
Episode #444: Resolved
First Broadcast: 5/7/07 Opening animation and "Free New York" title cut off. Final end animation cut off.
We spend the bulk of this episode discussing Alec Baldwin's now notorious voicemail left for his daughter, and his apologetic-sounding interview on The View with Barbara Walters and Rosie O'Donnell, in which he sounds--in our opinion--like he resembles some of the more manipulative personalities we've met before in previous years. To get to the bottom of this, we extend an invitation for Ireland Baldwin (and her official representatives) to appear on our program and give her side of the entire story, since she appears to be the one person whom no one has heard from yet. Of course, the likelihood of this happening is incredibly slim, but we might as well give it a shot. After that, we spend the remainder of the show congratulating Representative Dennis Kucinich for introducing a bill in Congress that calls for Vice President Dick Cheney to be impeached for his various high crimes and misdemeanors, an effort which Free New York completely supports. The sooner the veep and the creep are impeached, the better off we'll all be.
Episode #445: Because They're Civilized
First Broadcast: 5/14/07
First: Happy Birthday to Helvetica, the font first invented in 1957 which has become almost ubiquitous to New Yorkers who see it every day on the subway, among other places. Second, a majority of the members of the Iraqi parliament now favor a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq--something the majority of Americans also now favor, according to polls taken by USA Today, Quinnipiac University, and CBS News / The New York Times. Third, Senator Hillary Clinton's proposal to revoke the authorization given to George W. Bush to go to war in Iraq (without stopping the war itself) is yet another "Clintonesque" example of her trying to appear to be all things to all people, while not really taking a position on anything. Fourth, we agree with the people of Vincenza, Italy, that the U.S. military should not build the super-sized Dal Molin base there without the townspeople's permission. Now, all we need is a presidential candidate who we know for certain will do the right thing and cease all military involvement in Iraq (and the Dal Molin expansion)--I wonder who that could be...
Episode #446: It's Not Fixed
First Broadcast: 5/28/07 Transmission began at 2:03 AM with episode already in progress, cutting off all our opening credits and titles. Chroma also appeared to be below 100%. Transmission ended at 2:28 AM while episode was still in progress, cutting off all end credits.
Are we talking about the sorry state of affairs in Iraq? The sorry Democrats in Congress who continue to approve funds for the American occupation of Iraq? The junior Senator from New York who still won't apologize for her vote that George W. Bush used as an excuse to invade Iraq? The federal minimum wage increase tied to the additional spending approved for the war in Iraq? The strange abundance of vacant buildings in a city with a vacancy rate lower than the low percentage of people who still want U.S. troops to stay in Iraq? Yeah, all that and then some, just like every other episode.
Episode #447: Tolerant of a Woman in a Swimsuit
First Broadcast: 6/4/07 "Free New York" title cut off.
So, the plans for the new American embassy/super-fortress in Baghdad were being publicly displayed on the web site of the Kansas City-based architectural firm that designed it, until the State Department asked for them to be removed. For those of you who got a look at the $592 million, 104-acre monstrosity, which is supposed to contain "the embassy building, housing, a PX, commissary, cinema, retail and shopping areas, restaurants, schools, a fire station, power and water treatment plants as well as telecommunications and wastewater treatment facilities," for the "over 380 families" who are supposed to live there, I think you'll agree with me that this completely insulated permanent base on Iraqi soil is not going to endear Americans to the 65% of Iraqis who want American troops to leave immediately. George W. Bush's idea of turning Iraq into a Korea-style garrison lasting 50 years or more isn't helping anything either. What does it say when the Soviet Union spent tons of cash building roads and enforcing a more-or-less equal ratio of women to men in various professions during their occupation of Afghanistan, while the United States is spending a ton of cash on itself and turning a blind eye to the undeclared war against women in Iraq (and in Afghanistan)? I can only think of one solution: Get the U.S. out of Iraq now, before it can do any more harm there!