4th Quarter 2002
Episodes 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300

Episode #293: All 8 Parties On One Ballot
First Broadcast: 9/30/02 At 2:00 AM, there was 1 minute of black, followed by the "Coming Up at..." graphic for 1 minute, then the episode began at 2:02 AM, cutting off our opening animation and our "Free New York" title. Transmission ended at 2:28 AM, cutting off all our end credits.
Attempted Repeat: 10/7/02 Program not shown. The "Coming Up at... 2:00am" bumper remained on instead, showing Ch.67/110 as being "Off Air," instead of our program.
This week, we talk about why Governor Pataki is a hypocrite, why Tom Daschle was pissed off, why Robert Byrd is on target, why Tony Blair thinks George Bush has the right to attack Iraq, and why Dick Cheney has conveniently forgotten his Anerican history. "Americans are not a people who seek vengeance or conquest." Yeah, right.

Episode #294: Information That People Want
First Broadcast: 10/14/02 Transmission began with 1 minute of black, followed by 28 seconds of the "Coming Up at..." graphic, 1 second of color bars, the "Coming Up at..." graphic again, then finally our episode, cutting off our opening animation and beginning with the "Free New York" title shortly before 2:04 AM. Transmission ended at 2:28 AM, cutting off our end credits.
Repeated: 12/2/02 Transmission began late, a few seconds before 2:01 AM. Opening animation and most of "Free New York" title cut off. Transmission ended at about 16 seconds past 2:28 AM, cutting off the end of the program.
Simply put: George W. Bush is fundamentally misleading the American public, effectively tricking people into thinking that they need to bomb the shit out of Iraq immediately or else all hell will break loose. Consider this:

Bush on October 7, 2002: "Before being barred from Iraq in 1998, the International Atomic Energy Agency dismantled extensive nuclear weapons-related facilities, including three uranium enrichment sites. That same year, information from a high-ranking Iraqi nuclear engineer who had defected revealed that, despite his public promises, Saddam Hussein had ordered his nuclear program to continue."

Scott Ritter, UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq 1991-98, in the October 21, 2002, The Nation, published October 2: "When I left Iraq in 1998, when the UN inspection program ended, the infrastructure and facilities had been 100 percent eliminated. There's no debate about that. All of their instruments and facilities had been destroyed. The weapons design facility had been destroyed. The production equipment had been hunted down and destroyed. And we had in place the means to monitor--both from vehicles and from the air--the gamma rays that accompany attempts to enrich uranium and plutonium. We never found anything. We can say unequivocally that the industrial infrastructure needed by Iraq to produce nuclear weapons had been eliminated."

Not only that, but The Washington Times reported on September 27, 2002: The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a report cited by President Bush as evidence that Iraq in 1998 was "six months away" from developing a nuclear weapon does not exist. "There's never been a report like that issued from this agency," Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA's chief spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview from the agency's headquarters in Vienna, Austria. ... "There is no evidence in our view that can be substantiated on Iraq's nuclear-weapons program. If anybody tells you they know the nuclear situation in Iraq right now, in the absence of four years of inspections, I would say that they're misleading you because there isn't solid evidence out there," Mr. Gwozdecky said. "I don't know where they have determined that Iraq has retained this much weaponization capability because when we left in December '98 we had concluded that we had neutralized their nuclear-weapons program. We had confiscated their fissile material. We had destroyed all their key buildings and equipment," he said. Mr. Gwozdecky said there is no evidence about Saddam's nuclear capability right now -- either through his organization, other agencies or any government.

On top of that, Bush's employees feel especially cavalier about endorsing the assassination of Saddam Hussein. Yet, when Hussein's employees suggest something equally violent, suddenly they're the ones being "irresponsible."

White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer on October 1, 2002, suggesting that the citizens of Iraq kill Saddam Hussein on their own: "Again, the President has not made any decisions about military action or what military option he might pursue. And so I think it's impossible to speculate. I can only say that the cost of a one-way ticket is substantially less than that. The cost of one bullet, if the Iraqi people take it on themselves, is substantially less than that. The cost of war is more than that."

Ari Fleischer on October 3, 2002, responding to a reporter's statement that "the Iraqi Vice President has said a way to resolve this would be a duel between President Bush and Saddam Hussein": "Yes, there can be no serious response to an irresponsible statement like that."

And a special No-Prize to my Representative and both my Senators, all three of who voted in favor of HJ Res 114, which authorizes Bush to attack Iraq whenever he feels like it. Don't be fooled by language which authorizes Bush to use military force to "defend the national security of the United States"; he'll make his "pre-emptive" attack first and call it a defense. And even though that military force can also be used to "enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq," I doubt Bush will start bombing Tel Aviv to enforce all relevant UNSC resolutions regarding Israel anytime soon. Can anyone say "double standard"?

Episode #295: The Warheads Aren't Ready Now
First Broadcast: 10/21/02 Opening Animation cut off.
Here's something that needs to be repeated: Israel has nuclear weapons. People in the United States government know this; People in the Russian government know this; People in the French government know this (and they ought to, because they gave Israel the tools to build them); People in the South African government know this (because they are suspected of having helped Israel test a nuclear weapon in 1979); and many, many other people around the world know this. Why, then, does this fact receive next to no attention in the U.S. mainstream media, and is considered a non-event by the White House, but a hypothetical Iraqi nuclear weapons program is supposed to be reason enough to justify an all-out conventional war? And, if George W. Bush says "I hope the use of force will not become necessary," why is he demanding Congressional and U.N. authorization of force, and why did his lawyer say permission from either body wasn't necessary (even though Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives only Congress the right to declare war)? If he really didn't want to use force against Iraq, he wouldn't be mobilizing to use force, end of story. A kid doesn't ask for a cookie if they don't want a cookie. A so-called president doesn't ask for permission to wage war if they don't want to wage war. I'm sure I talked about other stuff, but this is all I remember at the moment.

Episode #296: Both These Parties Leave Me Cold
First Broadcast: 10/28/02 Transmission began at 2:00 AM in black, then switched to a few seconds of color bars, then to the "Coming Up at..." graphic at 2:01 AM, then joined program in progress at 2:02 AM, cutting off our opening animation and our "Free New York" title. Program ended at 2:28 AM, cutting off all our end credits.
Repeated: 11/4/02 Program joined in progress at 2:00 AM, cutting off all our opening credits, including our opening animation, our "Free New York" title, and our episode title.
Both parties, of course, meaning the Republicans and the Democrats. Why? Well, for the G.O.P., look no further than their Emperor-In-Chief and his illegal occupation of the White House. For the Democrats, I give you Joe Lieberman, who had the gall to suggest that "the future of Western Civilization is at stake" if the Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress (in addition to the Oval Office and the Supreme Court), which is ludicrous since Democrats like him are already rolling over and supporting all the measures the Republicans want already, so I don't see how it can get much worse. One thing you can do, however, is read War On Iraq by William Rivers Pitt and Scott Ritter, which will educate you on exactly why Iraq is no threat at all to the U.S., and how an attack on Iraq now may be the stupidest decision ever made by the United States government. So, Protest!

Episode #297: Not A Whole Lot's Changed
First Broadcast: 11/11/02
What can I say? That I'm surprised that the Republicans were able to acquire all three branches of government? I'm not. That I'm surprised more people didn't choose to vote for actual progressive candidates when they were on the ballot, like in New York, where the Right-To-Life party got more votes than the Greens? Yeah, that's a little surprising. Am I surprised that the voter turnout on November 5 was so damn low, that the political future of the state and the nation is effectively being decided by only 10% of the population, and that about 98% of all the incumbents in Congress got re-elected? No, but I am very surprised that more media outlets don't report on just how low the numbers really are. That, and I'm not looking forward to the coming war with Iraq, which George W., et. al. keep saying they don't want. Unfortunately, actions speak a lot louder than words.

Episode #298: How Much Urban Is There?
First Broadcast: 11/18/02 Transmission began at 2:00 AM with a garbled image on a black background, then back to MNN's "Coming Up at..." graphic, then our program, which began at a little before 2:01 AM. The garbled image appeared sporadically in the background (almost like a faint dissolve) during the first minute of the actual program. Transmission ended at 2:28 AM, cutting off the end of our program and our last end credit.
It's a question Kim had about Iraq. If we have so many members of the military training to fight in urban warfare, and Iraq is hardly the most urban country out there, then where exactly are all those troops planning to fight next? Oh, and I go on again about how low the voter turnout is in the United States compared to all the other nations out there where elections are held. Or elections where you have more than one choice, at least. (I often think a better choice would be "None Of The Above," but that's nothing new.) And by the way: If you don't like the idea of bringing back the commuter tax, you're more than welcome to not work in the city. More jobs for the rest of us here, then.

Episode #299: Or You Could Have My Spin
First Broadcast: 11/25/02 Episode started at 2:00 AM, but our opening animation and "Free New York" title were cut off.
Referring this week to the 90-9 vote in the Senate to create the Ministry of Love--I mean, "Department of Homeland Security." (As I've said before, I have an intense dislike for the word "homeland"; it sounds too much like "fatherland" to me.) Some, I'm sure, will say this is an excellent example of "bipartisanship." I, however, consider this an excellent example of how the Democrats are currently indistinguishable from the Republicans on so many issues. I mean, if this is a Senate that's supposed to be controlled by the Democrats, why have the majority of Democrats rolled over and embraced all these Republican issues without even so much as a debate? Anyway, one of the few Democrats who bucked the trend was Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who had more than a few choice words to say about his cowardly co-workers who voted for "this monstrosity" without having even read it. Why can't more politicians speak out like him? What's it gonna take?

Episode #300: New York Herald Tribune
First Broadcast: 12/9/02 Episode began about 20 seconds past 2:00 AM, about 1:30 (a minute and a half) in progress, cutting off all our opening credits. Program ran until end, but ended early at 2:26:15 AM.
Special Repeat: 12/12/02 2:00 AM, Ch. 56 (not monitored)
First Regular Repeat: 12/16/02 Transmission began at about 30 seconds past 2:00 AM. Episode started at the beginning, but transmission was marked by sporadic dropouts and video interference across the middle 3rd of the picture for the first 1-2 minutes. Episode finished on time at about 30 seconds past 2:28 AM.
Repeated again: 3/31/03, 11/3/03, 2/9/09
This week, we celebrate the milestone of our 300th episode with a narrative--influenced in no small part by one of my favorite New Wave films. Our friend Erin Hurson assists us in several scenes around Manhattan, including the 26th Street Flea Market, Crif Dogs, and elsewhere. Special Thanks to Douglass vmr Ridgeway at blindphoto.com for use of his photograph, which played a crucial part in our story. Will there be more fiction in Free New York's future? Yeah, why not. We'll see how it goes.

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