Episode #285: Acting In Self Defense
First Broadcast: 6/24/02
Repeated: 9/23/02 Episode didn't begin until 2:02 AM, cutting off our opening animation and our "Free New York" title.
We begin by revisiting Episode #143 from our vaults, and find out that the issues I talked about then are still relevant over four years later; namely, that it's wrong for any government--especially our government--to either openly or covertly discuss and plan the assassination of another head of state, even if it is Saddam Hussein. And how ludicrous is it that George Bush is authorizing military strike teams to use lethal force against Hussein "in self defense"? If someone broke into your house and killed you, would that murderer be able to claim that it was in self defense? Likewise, if some Iraqi team of agents snuck into the United States to bump off that guy in the Oval Office, would they be able to legitimately claim that they had the right to do so because it was "self defense"? No, of course not. I don't like Hussein, and I don't like Bush, but it is wrong to murder someone just because you don't like them, and it's wrong to murder someone because you disagree with their politics. Only the people of Iraq have the right to determine the path of their country, and only the United Nations has the right to intervene if its members determine it's necessary. No nation has the right to kill another's head of state--it violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the U.N. Charter! Am I the only who realizes this, even when both houses of Congress don't?
Episode #286: Thanks For Recycling, New York: Screw You
First Broadcast: 7/1/02 Opening animation cut off.
One: For a judge of the New York State Supreme Court to say that no one is entitled to more than a 9th Grade education because that's good enough to work, vote and sit on a jury should be insulting to everyone's intelligence (and it probably says a lot about what kind of people that particular judge would like to sit on a jury). I mean, how can one be able to know enough to vote or judge at age 14 or 15, yet not legally be able to vote or judge until at least age 18? How many employers would hire someone with only an 8th or 9th grade education, no matter what the job is? How many people in that courtroom had only a 9th grade education? I'll bet that judge went to college. And why is the debate only being framed in terms of what kinds of workers public education can produce? Shouldn't the goal of education be to better oneself as a person, instead of just reducing it down to whatever makes one the most marketable? So annoying.
Two: How sad is it that the largest city in the United States can't even get its act together to continue the recycling program it's had for the past 10 years? Why isn't the Department of Sanitation doing more to publicize this change in policy? Is the Mayor merely unconcerned with the mounting pile of trash this city generates every day, or is he in bed with the aluminum lobby (since cans are still in, but glass, plastic, and cartons are all out)? Why did the city council overwhelmingly cave in to Bloomberg's desires? Why is it only one councilmember stood up to the Mayor's destructive policy? Damned if I know, but those are good questions as far as I'm concerned.
Episode #287: A Nation Under Zeus
First Broadcast: 7/8/02 Opening animation cut off.
This episode is dedicated to the extreme overreaction to a recent decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the addition of the phrase "under god" to the pledge of allegiance in 1954 was Unconstitutional, thereby invalidating a California law which mandated that the pledge be recited every morning in public schools in a particular district (or at least that's how I read it). We here at Free New York think the decision was acceptable, and feel that no one ought to be subjected to a daily endorsement of monotheism--or any other theism or atheism, for that matter--in a public school environment. Unfortunately, the reactionaries running the government lately would rather force people to accept their one god über alles once a day, as opposed to discussing tolerance and acceptance of people of all faiths, and so forth. But what else did you expect from that crowd?
Episode #288: Out Of Many, One
First Broadcast: 7/15/02
The title this week refers to the English translation of the Latin E Pluribus Unum, which was the national motto of the United States until 1956, when Congress--deathly frightened of so-called athiest communists--changed it to "In God We Trust", presumably to show the world that by injecting religion into public life wherever it could, the United States was somehow better than everyplace else. Adding "under God" to the pledge of allegience in 1954 was part of the same movement. Personally, I think the old motto was a lot better, not for the least because in only three words it summed up the history of how the U.S. came into being--without being unnecessarily religious in any way. Also: Is the United States a rogue state if it allies with China in opposition to the 139 nations who have already signed the treaty to create the International Criminal Court (despite the fact that the U.S. is a signatory as well)? And: Is it a coincidence that the stock market began to plummet the moment Bush started speaking about combating corporate crime? Answers: Probably, and probably not.
Episode #289: Corporate Crime Follies
First Broadcast: 8/5/02 Opening animation and "Free New York" title cut off.
Though the title might make you think I spend the whole episode talking about things like, say, Bush's double-dealing with Harken Energy, the bulk of the show is concerned with Senator Hillary Clinton's assertion that George W. Bush was "installed" in the White House by the Supreme Court. Now, my question is this: If Ms. Clinton, by use of the word "install," feels that Bush was not democratically elected to his office (and believe me, he wasn't), why didn't she do anything about it when she had the chance? Why didn't she raise an objection during the counting of the electoral votes in the joint session of Congress in January, 2001, when it would have taken only one Senator to object and trigger a formal investigation into all the irregularities of that entire election? Why, for that matter, didn't Senator Wellstone object? Or Kennedy, Schumer, or even Lieberman? Why, out of all 100 members of the Senate (who are supposedly there to represent the 260 million Americans in this country), did not one of them object to the results on behalf of all the Americans who do not think Bush legitimately won the 2000 election? Huh? Once again, proof that talk is cheap, and actions speak a hell of a lot louder than words. (Oh, yeah: I also talked about The Alamo.)
Episode #290: Eliminate The Middle Cow
First Broadcast: 8/12/02 Opening animation cut off.
I don't quite remember everything I talked about in this one; probably the usual suspects: Bush and his idiotic policies, corporate crime, avoiding an unjustifiable and illegal war with Iraq, the so-called "war on terror", etc. What I do remember is coming back to meat a few times, so that's why the title stuck. Hey, vegetarians are fine with me, but I like meat; that's all I'm saying.
Episode #291: In Jail
First Broadcast: 8/19/02 Transmission began at 2:00 AM, but program itself did not start until a little before 2:02 AM.
This could refer to the homeless families which New York City is now storing in the former Bronx House Of Detention, criminalizing the homeless in actions if not in words; or it could refer to the indefinite jailing of Jose Padilla, violating his Constitutional rights to a fair hearing and a trial, even though the government itself now admits that its accusations are lacking in substance; or it could refer to the 752 men arrested by the Justice Department and held in jail until the DOJ was convinced they weren't linked to terrorism (none of them were charged with committing any crimes, by the way)-- presuming guilt until their innocence could be proven, something that seems to be endemic to the Bush administration, since they're publicly saying the same thing with regard to Iraq as well. Maybe George W. Bush never served on a jury, otherwise he might have heard of the presumption of innocence, which, according to the State of New York, is one of "the fundamental principles of our law". Then again, that hasn't stopped some cops from turning into executioners either. Nor-- if you believe some web sites--has it stopped the U.S. military from shooting first and asking permission later, if it ever asks at all. (Oh, and here's that L.A. Times article I mentioned about Attorney General Ashcroft wanting to round up citizens and put them into camps, by the way.)
Episode #292: Process Of Government At Work
First Attempted Broadcast: 9/9/02 Program began at 2:00 AM with color bars for a few seconds, then changed to MNN "Coming Up..." graphic, then changed to program in progress at 2:01 AM, cutting off opening animation and "Free New York" title. Episode ran until 2:05 AM, when it was replaced by a MNN still graphic until 2:08 AM, when the program was replaced by some sort of bilingual documentary on the 1199 SEIU union, which lasted until 2:27 AM. At 2:27 AM, MNN's "Coming Up at..." graphic returned, and our episode was not heard from again.
First Actual Broadcast: 9/16/02 Opening animation and "Free New York" title cut off.
This week: the nonsense politicians go through when they attack each other before an election, then kiss each other's ass once it's over (or, in the case of Andrew Cuomo and Carl McCall, before the election even takes place); the total lack of investigation by most media outlets over the content of the oil McDonald's claims to have changed in their press release; and the preposterous claim by the Bush administration that the President doesn't need Congressional approval at all in order to wage war someplace. This is how governments operate in the so-called terrorist nations, guys! The executive misusing the military regardless of the wishes of the people! What crap!