Episode #448: Spoiler Alert
First Broadcast: 6/18/07
Alien, Star Wars, Star Trek, Psycho, pop culture osmosis, and the question of why Americans were apparently more knowledgeable about Iraq during World War II than they are today all occupy our thoughts in this episode. It would have been nice if the idiots in Washington had paid attention to passages like this about Iraq:
There are also political differences in Iraq that have puzzled diplomats and statesmen. You won't help matters any by getting mixed up in them.
Maybe then we could have all avoided the current mess there. Then again, maybe not.
Episode #449: Day-for-Night vs. Night-for-Night
First Broadcast: 6/25/07
Dick Cheney is such a secrecy freak that he claims an Executive Order signed by George W. Bush requiring oversight of Executive branch documents by the National Archives does not apply to him because he believes he is not an “entity within the executive branch” because the Vice President can vote in the Senate in the case of a tie. Sheesh, Cheney could sell real estate with brass balls like that. That, and once again the AFI's latest list of Top 100 films irritates me in ways that the BFI's Sight & Sound Top 10 never could because the BFI's lists are never restricted to solely American films (even if the Top 10 films in both lists have a lot of selections in common). Will the creepy veep be impeached? Will I ever find a list of films I agree with? Only time will tell.
Episode #450: Victory Was Far From Certain
First Broadcast: 7/9/07
After a brief recap of some of the most salient points regarding the mess that is U.S. military involvement in Iraq, we mention how George W. Bush, in a recent Independence Day speech, described the American Revolutionaries who fought the British thusly:
We were a small band of freedom-loving patriots taking on the most powerful empire in the world.
I guess if he was looking for an inspirational message to give to all those Iraqis who are violently trying to expell the American soldiers there from their country, he couldn't have picked a better one if he tried. Heck of a job, Bushie! P.S.: What does it mean when a Director of the National Security Agency during Ronald Reagan's presidency says that Bush ought to be impeached if he doesn't withdraw troops from Iraq? Perhaps that he's part of the 45% of the population who agrees with him? Impeach Bush & Cheney, already!
Episode #451: Military Misadventures
First Broadcast: 7/23/07
Bicyclists and protestors (soon to be joined by videographers?) share a history of harassment by police in New York City. The House of Representatives stopped the Bush adminstration from removing $420 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Marine Corporal Saul H. Lopezromo testified in the murder trial of Marine Corporal Trent D. Thomas that "Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency," and it's common for Marines to shoot the wounded in Iraq in order to kill them, because "If somebody is worth shooting once, they're worth shooting twice." This reminds us of the line from Full Metal Jacket: "Anyone that runs, is a VC. Anyone that stands still, is a well-disciplined VC!" This reminds me of--strange as it sounds--an actual Bible verse, specifically Matthew 2:16, where Herod kills everyone 2 years old and under in Bethlehem in an effort to kill Jesus. And this reminds me of something from the old testament: the tenth plague of Egypt, where God kills every first-born son in Egypt to persuade the Pharaoh in charge to let the Israelites exit stage right. The moral of the story: if the end result of your foreign policy is that your soldiers decide to collectively punish and kill the citizens of other nations on a biblical scale, then you're doing something very, very, very wrong. Will someone impeach Bush and Cheney already?
Episode #452: Take Some Still Photos
First Broadcast: 8/6/07
Why the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting tried to modify their rules to require amateur photographers and videographers to obtain permits and $1 million worth of insurance is something I cannot fathom. Fortunately, the NYCLU and an ad-hoc coalition of artists gathered together to protest these proposed rules, including a petition that now has over 34,000 signatures from people registering their opposition to them--including yours truly. Even Keith Olbermann got pissed off! I think the idea of requiring everyone to have permits and insurance is ridiculous. Would Henri Cartier-Bresson or Weegee have been able to get such candid photos of Paris and New York if they had to get million-dollar policies first? I sincerely doubt it--just as I sincerely doubt that Barack Obama can any longer criticize Hillary Clinton for being "Bush-Cheney Light" if he's going to propose an unprovoked attack against a nuclear-armed nation in a way that makes him "Bush on steroids," according to the Daily News. Can't we have a decent Presidential candidate for a change?
Episode #453: 1.7 Inches Of Water
First Broadcast: 8/13/07
According to the New York Times, that's how much rain fell in one hour on the morning of August 8, 2007, and that's all it took to foul up the subway system for most of the day. I relate my personal odyssey dealing with trains at the 2nd Avenue station, and the MTA scores no points with me because of its total inability to keep its customers informed about what exactly was going on with its operation. Later, we briefly discuss how China is threatening to sell off its $900 billion worth of U.S. bonds if the United States establishes any trade sanctions on Chinese goods. Does that mean Ron Paul is one of the few Presidential candidates who knows what they're talking about on that issue? Well, not the only candidate at any rate.
Episode #454: All Downhill From There
First Broadcast: 8/20/07 "Free New York" title cut off.
Unintended Repeat: 8/27/07
Iraq is a complete mess, Bush's approval rating is almost as low as Richard Nixon's, rumors abound about possible "false flag operations" coming soon to initiate a U.S. war against Iran, the Democratic Congress isn't doing enough to stop all this nonsense, and I can think of only one Presidential candidate who I'd trust to do the right thing and turn this country around. Or something like that.
Episode #455: Doomed To Repeat It
First Attempted Broadcast: 8/27/07 MNN aired episode #454 that week due to a mistake on our part.
First Actual Broadcast: 9/3/07 "Free New York" title cut off.
As in, "Those who don't study history are..." which certainly applies to George W. Bush this week, after he had the audacity to suggest that the United States would have been better off continuing the Vietnam War instead of withdrawing troops when it did, and giving that as a reason why U.S. troops should remain in Iraq. Witness:
Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left. There's no debate in my mind that the veterans from Vietnam deserve the high praise of the United States of America. (Applause.) Whatever your position is on that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like "boat people," "re-education camps," and "killing fields."Of course, this conveniently neglects the agonies inflicted on the (at least) 2 million Vietnamese who were killed by Americans during the War (about 5% of the population of Vietnam at the time--which would have been comparable to killing 10 million Americans back then), and how the secret and illegal bombing of Cambodia made it easier for the Khmer Rouge (the architects of the "killing fields") to seize power there, and how--oh yes!--the excuse for Lyndon Johnson's massive escalation of American troops in Vietnam was based on a completely fictional threat, much in the same way that the American war against Iraq was based on a completely fictional threat. To paraphrase Casey Kasem: Can someone out there use his fuckin' brain and IMPEACH Bush and Cheney already!