Episode #392: Stay Dry
First Broadcast: 9/26/05 Opening animation cut off.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we at Free New York can't help but wonder if the neglect of the levees in New Orleans and the lack of an efficient way out of Houston are part of the same long-range pattern of neglect that led to the destruction of public transportation and over-dependence on cars in this country that is now causing so many people to feel the effects of jacked-up gas prices in the aftermath of... uh, well, you can see where this is going. And by the way: is it us, or is George W. Bush and the rest of the country more and more treating Iraq like another Vietnam? People are certainly protesting like it.
Episode #393: Clearly A Majority
First Broadcast: 10/3/05 Episode began at about 2:00:13 AM, and was cut off at 2:27:58 AM.
Clearly, a majority of the American public is now against the war in Iraq, as shown by nationwide polls and the recent turnout of over 100,000 people at the anti-war march in Washington, D.C., on September 24, 2005. A majority of Americans does not approve of what George W. Bush is doing in Iraq, a majority of Americans thinks that it was a mistake to go to war in Iraq, and a majority of Americans thinks that some or all of the troops currently there need to be withdrawn from Iraq. When over 50% of Americans hold these opinions, they cannot be considered minority viewpoints. Why, then, was the appearance of 100,000 anti-war protestors in D.C. virtually ignored by the mainstream media? Why, for that matter, were black residents of New Orleans referred to as a "minority" more than once during coverage of Hurricane Katrina, when 67% of New Orleans residents are black? These are all good questions. I'd love to hear some good answers soon.
Episode #394: Culture of Fear
First Broadcast: 10/17/05
Was there really a drought in New York City recently? Did New York City get more rain in one week in October than it did in the entire two months previous? Was New York City the victim of a hoax, aided and abetted by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly, to frighten its citizens into thinking that the subway was about to be bombed, in order to distract everyone from Bloomberg's absence from a scheduled debate with other mayoral candidates in Harlem the same day the alleged threat was announced? Is it really that difficult to get fresh-squeezed orange juice in this country? Who knows, yes, maybe, and I've got a good guess, all in this single half-hour.
Episode #395: Very Problematic
First Broadcast: 10/24/05 Program began at 1:59:52 AM, with volume several db below that of other channels on Time Warner Cable.
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has now been indicted for criminal conspiracy and money laundering, fingerprinted, and photographed for his mugshot, but that's not even the worst of it. I don't think I exaggerate when I say that the current Bush White House is shaping up to be the most corrupt Presidential administration since Richard Nixon's. Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove gave reporters the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame, despite White House spokesman Scott McClellan's insistence that Rove wasn't involved; Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff "Scooter" Libby also gave Plame's identity to reporters, again despite McClellan's past denials; Rove and Libby apparently discussed Plame's identity with each other before her name was first made public, despite Rove's previous statements that he had first learned of Plame's name from a journalist after the fact; Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wants to know if Cheney and Libby discussed this together; Libby was apparently obsessed with discrediting Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, scrutinizing Wilson much more closely than he ever scrutinized his bosses statements regarding Iraq's nonexistant "weapons of mass destruction"; and Bush himself apparently was more upset with Karl Rove's "clumsy" handling of the leaking of Plame's name, than the leaking of Plame's name itself. Now, if Bush knew from the beginning that members of his staff broke the law by divulging the name of a CIA agent, and if Bush hid this fact from both the public and the grand jury investigation into this incident, doesn't this mean that Bush obstructed justice by not aiding the investigation, and that Bush should be impeached just as Nixon should have been impeached for his involvement in obstructing justice over 30 years ago? Fascinating questions, and I hope Chuck Schumer isn't the only one who gets some answers.
Episode #396: Upset The Base
First Broadcast: 10/31/05
The floor crumbles out from underneath George W. Bush and his assorted henchmen this week as Harriet Meiers withdraws from her Supreme Court nomination, and corruption is exposed at several levels of Republican government. Thomas Noe, a GOP fund-raiser from Ohio, is indicted for illegally raising money for Bush's re-election; Tom DeLay, former House majority leader, has been indicted on charges of conspiracy and money laundering; Bill Frist, current Senate majority leader, is under investigation for allegations of insider trading; and--though it happened after our episode was taped, we could tell it was about to take place--"Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, was indicted on Friday for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements, and he resigned the same day. On top of that, the 2000th American soldier was killed in Iraq this week, joining the over 15,000 wounded Americans, and 25,000 dead and 42,000 wounded Iraqis since Bush's invasion began in 2003; and 82% of Iraqis in a recent poll "strongly oppose" foreign troops occupying their country. Will all this nonsense mean a dramatic turnaround for the Democrats in the 2006 elections? Not if they all keep supporting the war like Hillary Clinton, I say.
Episode #397: Fire His Ass
First Broadcast: 11/7/05
Why is Michael Bloomberg spending $75 million to get re-elected to a job that pays only $195,000 a year? Why does the "Rent Is Too Damn High" candidate for Mayor have such a poorly-designed (and vaguely anti-semetic sounding) web site? Why isn't Anthony Gronowicz, the Green candidate, receiving more attention from the local press? Who, exactly, is the Socialist Worker's candidate for Mayor? What are the two State and two City ballot proposals up for a vote this year? Who says "The World Can't Wait" for 2009 to get George W. Bush out of the White House, and what should people do to hasten his exit from the Oval Office? (Hint: The answer is "Fire His Ass.") I'd to hear some answers, wouldn't you?
Episode #398: A Little Irresponsible
NOTE: This program was originally intended to air on November 21, 2005, but its airdate was postponed due to the possibility of a building collapse at a building next to MNN's facility.
First Broadcast: 11/28/05 Transmission was broken up at the start, and appeared to freeze for several minutes, even though it might have been frozen for only a few seconds. The digital signal seemed to clear up when reviewing it on a DVR, so it's unclear what the problem was.
The following assertions were made by members of the Bush administration as reasons why the U.S. should invade Iraq: 1) Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; 2) Iraq somehow had a connection with the events of September 11, 2001; 3) Therefore, Iraq was somehow an imminent threat to the United States, even though none of Iraq's neighbors--including Kuwait--thought Iraq was a threat to anyone else. The following facts are now undisputed by almost everyone who has bothered to investigate them: 1) Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction--biological, nuclear, or otherwise; 2) Iraq had no connection with the events of September 11, 2001, and certainly had no hand in planning them or carrying them out; 3) Therefore, Iraq was no imminent threat to any state, especially the United States. Since the Bush administration's assertions were clearly not true, they must be judged as false; and since the Bush administration was making those assertions without any proof (proof that couldn't have existed because the assertions were false), and because other people were publicly questioning that lack of proof at the time those assertions were made, the Bush administration cannot excuse its actions by saying that it did not know those assertions were false. And making assertions and declarations such as the baseless ones above while maintaining that they are true, despite all the evidence or lack thereof, is the very definition of misleading people. With that in mind, it is completely accurate to say that the Bush administration misled the American people and the rest of the world with regard to its false claims about Iraq prior to the American invasion in 2003. Yet, Vice President Dick Cheney claims that the opposite is true:
...the suggestion that's been made by some US senators that the president of the United States or any member of this administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city. Some of the most irresponsible comments have, of course, come from politicians who actually voted in favor of authorizing force against Saddam Hussein.
I see. Telling lies in order to presuade a nation to invade and conquer another nation, killing at least 2,100 troops, 27,000 civilians, and wounding thousands of Iraqis and Americans while destroying an entire country and violating international law is totally acceptable, while pointing out that lies have been told is irresponsible. As I keep saying, irony is totally lost on these people.
Additionally, 9% of the population of New York City decided the fate of the other 91% in this past election; Cindy Sheehan has written a book; and John Murtha, a Democratic Representative in the House with a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, and a 37-year career in the Marines, said that American troops should leave Iraq immediately. Will other Democrats step up to the plate to back him up? They should if they want to win any more elections in the future.
Episode #399: Hang Out Until the Coast is Clear
First Broadcast: 12/12/05
Today, we talk about Cindy Sheehan's book, and how nice it was to be at her signing at Coliseum Books on November 30. We follow that by examining a New York Post article that ridiculed Howard Dean for saying that "The idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong," a quote that we at Free New York agree with completely. Get the troops out! Take action! And on to Episode #400!