Episode #480: In Case You Didn't Hear Them The First Time
First Broadcast: 6/30/08
The Supreme Court did the right thing (for once) and ruled 5-4 that the prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay have the constitutionally protected right of habeas corpus, meaning that even they have the right to challenge their detention status in court. Justice Antonin Scalia was not in the majority, and had the nerve to say that this decision will "certainly cause more Americans to be killed," even though he based his dissent on outdated and false information that the Defense Department knew about as early as last year. Apparently, the idea of letting ten guilty men go free than have one innocent person suffer hasn't crossed his mind (or maybe he thinks Chief Wiggum is in charge of Guantanamo). Too bad George Carlin is no longer around to comment on absurdities like this. At least we can still thank him for forever searing seven special words into our social and legal consciousness: shit, fuck, piss, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Ours was the only program I know of to exhibit them all uncensored, by the way. It proves we still have a reason to exist!
Episode #481: Norton Strikes Up The Drums
First Broadcast: 7/7/08 Audio overmodulated by MNN
The idea being that Ed Norton banging on a bass drum in order to mask Ralph Kramden's deficiencies as a candidate for public office is analagous to the feigned outrage over Wes Clark's observation about John McCain's service record, to wit: "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." John McCain was not above dodging the fundamental question behind Clark's remark, as the following exchange between McCain and ABC News reporter David Wright shows:
McCain became visibly angry when I asked him to explain how his Vietnam experience prepared him for the Presidency.Then again, should any of us be surprised at this reaction, considering how the mainstream media have been bending over backwards to insulate John McCain from any serious criticism of his record ever since McCain's first run for the White House in 2000? No, I didn't think so either.
"Please," he said, recoiling back in his seat in distaste at the very question. ...
McCain then collected himself and apologized for his initial reaction.
"I kind of reacted the way I did because I have a reluctance to talk about my experiences," he said, noting that he has huge admiration for the "heroes" who served with him in the POW camp and said the experience taught him to love the U.S. because he missed it so much.
Episode #482: Different Kinds Of Accidents
First Broadcast: 7/14/08
So, not only are the "techniques" used by the United States against the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay considered torture (and illegal) by any stretch of the imagination, but they are also the exact same techniques that were used by Chinese communists against American prisoners during the Korean War, and were considered torture in no uncertain terms by the United States at the time. With this in mind, can't we just impeach Bush already and get it overwith before he leaves office?
Episode #483: What Are We Going To Do With This Torch?
First Broadcast: 7/21/08
What possible good can come from imprisoning a 15-year-old boy in Guantanamo Bay for six years without anything resembling due process? Ask the Pentagon, who has been keeping Canadian citizen Omar Khadr behind bars in Cuba since 2002--circumstances which were apparently enough to drive him to a nervous breakdown by 2003, if a video recording of one of his interrogations (a.k.a. "interviews") is any indication. Of course, the released videos "do not show Omar Khadr being tortured or mistreated during the interrogations," according to the now 21-year-old Khadr's lawyer, Nathan Whitling--an assesment which strikingly resembles even more techniques used by Chinese Communists during the Korean War that the U.S. has appropriated for itself. As the Air Force determined way back in 1957, the use of a technique that does not involve physically touching a prisoner...
...is consistent with formal adherence to inythical principles of legality and humaneness important to the Communists. These principles are important in the interrogation-particularly in facilitating the adoption of a positive attitude by the prisoner toward the interrogator and the forces he represents. Adherence to these mythical principles also protects the interrogator from potential punishment at some future time for mistreating prisoners. The Communists, furthermore, can gain a considerable propaganda advantage when victims who are released truthfully state that no one ever laid a hand on them.
Nice to know we're being just as humane now as the Communists this country so roundly vilified over 50 years ago. That's just swell. Wake me when Guantanamo Bay is closed, will you?
Episode #484: Leave The Bicyclists Alone
First Broadcast: 8/4/08
Repeated: 8/31/09 Volume lowered by several dB relative to MNN bumper and previous episodes.
A bicyclist in a Critical Mass ride through Manhattan on July 25 is body-checked by a NYPD officer so hard that the cyclist is knocked off his bike and onto the ground, and yet the officer claims in his police report that the bicyclist assaulted him, requiring the bicyclist to be arrested. Luckily, the police assault was captured on video, showing the police report to be a complete pack of lies, and illustrating that the NYPD's vendetta against Critical Mass rides is apparently far from over. If even Mayor Bloomberg calls the officer's behavior "inappropriate" and "over the top," how can anyone take seriously people like PBA spokesman Pat Lynch, who insists that the bicyclist was a "reckless" "hazardous" "anarchist" guilty of "plowing into the officer's chest"? The bicyclist allegedly said, during his arrest, to the officer "I'm gonna have your job." As The Smoking Gun put it, "The bicycle enthusiast's second statement may prove prophetic."
Episode #485: Elephant Road Kill
First Broadcast: 8/18/08 Opening animation and "Free New York" title cut off.
So, what good does it do for Attorney General Michael Mukasey to announce that Justice Department employees purposefully discriminated against hiring any applicant who was even remotely linked to causes that Republicans disliked, when no one gets fired, or censured, or otherwise punished as a result? Does the logo for this year's Republican National Convention look dead, confused, or what? If the Democrats manage to not fuck up and win a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, along with an increased majority in the House and the actual White House itself, will they enact a so-called "Apollo Project" to develop an alternative energy program, especially now that scientists at M.I.T. have announced a method of harnessing solar energy that can help everyone on earth achieve complete energy independence within 10 years? And will John McCain continue to spout hypocritical nonsense like this between now and the election in November:
In the 21st Century, nations don't invade other nations.If McCain really believes that, then I have a bridge in Baghdad I'd like to sell him, for cheap.
Episode #486: Children of Corporate Parents
First Broadcast: 9/1/08
Would it be fair to say that, even though there are more hours of televised news today than there were 40 years ago, the amount of news coverage of protests today is much less than it was in the 1960's? How will the apparent unity of the Democratic delegates compare to the Republicans when their convention begins this week? Did anyone notice how Fox "News" got completely dismissed by some protestors nearby this year's Democratic National Convention, and how Fox tried to slant both these protestors (a.k.a. "Recreate 68") and the protestors at the 1968 DNC as instigators of riots, even though Recreate 68's web site includes a "Statement of Non-Violence," and a federal investigation under President Lyndon Johnson found that the police were the ones rioting in Chicago 40 years ago? Maybe I'm the only one paying attention.
Episode #487: Cosmopolitan
First Broadcast: 9/8/08
Does Joe Lieberman really think he has a future in the Democratic party, now that he's spoken at the Republican National Convention to endorse John McCain for President? What does Rudy Giuliani have against community organizers? What does Sarah Palin have against community organizers? Why do the Republicans think that being mean and stupid is a winning election strategy? Why were journalists arrested at the RNC? More questions next week, I think.