4th Quarter 2004
Episodes 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367

Episode #360: It's About Peace
First Broadcast: 9/27/04 Transmission started at 2:00:12 AM with black and silence for 10 seconds; then back to MNN's "Coming Up..." graphic until 2:01:15 AM, when the program actually started. Treble on MNN's end was cranked up too much, making the "Ring Out" segment (and sporadic portions of other segments) of our episode sound like static instead of bells. Transmission of the episode ended at 2:28:11 AM, cutting off all of our end credits and contact information.
Repeated: 10/4/04; 2/28/05 Opening animation cut off; 5/29/06; 3/26/07; 8/11/08; 9/21/09; 9/15/14
This week, we begin the first part of our multi-episode extravaganza of coverage of the protests around this year's Republican National Convention in New York City. We start with the Ring Out at the World Trade Center site, featuring a brief interview with Reverend Billy. We follow with a union rally in front of a Starbucks in midtown; and we conclude with the Billionaires for Bush, as they parambulate with their Million Billionaire March and merge with the United For Peace and Justice March, which we follow down to Union Square. More to come in Episode #361!

Episode #361: Right To Protest
First Broadcast: 10/11/04
Repeated: 3/7/05 Transmission began at 2:00:39 AM, cutting off all our opening animation and all but a fraction of our "Free New York" title. Transmission ended exactly at 2:28:00 AM, cutting off a portion of our end credits.
Repeated: 6/12/06; 4/9/07;
Repeated: 8/25/08 Audio was overmodulated during playback; 10/12/09; 9/22/14
Our coverage of the counter-convention (counter to the Republican National Convention, of course) continues this week. We start with a look at some of the goings-on of the "Mouse Bloc" in front of The Lion King on 42nd Street; stop for a brief chat with some protesting police officers; get a personal one-on-one interview with Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union; and wind up with the "Men In Black Bloc" defending the honor of Johnny Cash in front of Sotheby's on York Avenue, where we run into both Triumph (the Insult Comic Dog) and Jello Biafra in between the barricades. More to come in Episode #362!

Episode #362: The Battle of New Yorktown
First Broadcast: 10/18/04
Repeated: 3/21/05 Transmission began at 2:00:14 AM, cutting off some of our opening animation. Transmission interrupted briefly at 2:00:40 AM by a snippet of some program with hip-hop music in the background, and a flash of a MNN graphic. Transmission ended at 2:27:59 AM, cutting off the end of our program.
Repeated: 6/19/06; 4/30/07; 9/15/08;
Repeated: 11/09/09 Lots of tiny dropouts in the video; hiss, noise, and dropouts in the audio. Dropouts were present in MNN's signal during previous program and during MNN bumper also.
Repeated: 3/25/13; 11/10/14
The third part of our coverage of Republican National Convention protests begins with a Declaration of Independence in Union Square, organized by Greene Dragon. Meanwhile, the Vigil for the Fallen was taking place nearby, and we interviewed Vietnam veterans who are members of Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against The War, listening to their views about the current occupant of the White House. Finally, we ran into what appeared to be an alien from outer space, whose spokesperson told us that Iraq's missing WMD's were actually on the Moon. I guess that makes about as much sense as any explanation Bush or Cheney has come up with . . .

Episode #363: We'll See You In November
First Broadcast: 10/25/04
Repeated: 5/23/05; 7/10/06; 5/21/07;
Repeated: 9/29/08 Audio slightly overmodulated
Repeated: 11/30/09; 11/24/14
The last part of our coverage of the protests of the Republican National Convention starts off with a look at the security around Madison Square Garden itself. We then follow the World's Longest Unemployment Line down Broadway all the way to Wall Street, and later end up at Operation Expose and Depose performed by Axis of Eve. The grand finale is at Union Square Park on the last night of the convention, where thousands of people turned up to vent their collective frustration at George W. Bush. Will the rest of the country tell him "You're Fired" the same way New York told him while the GOP was in town? We'll all find out on November 2nd!
Postscript: Well, you can't win 'em all...

Episode #364: Now You Know
First Broadcast: 11/1/04 Episode began 1 minute late at 2:01 AM; transmission cut off at 2:28 AM, cutting off the last minute of our program.
Repeated: 2/14/05 Episode began at 2:00:34 AM, and ended at 2:28:04 AM, cutting off the last 30 seconds of our program.
Repeated: 12/5/05; 6/11/07 "Free New York" title cut off at the beginning.
Repeated: 10/27/08 MNN showed our episode at 3:00 AM instead of 2:00 AM. A program named "Videowave" was shown in our timeslot for an as yet unknown reason.
This collage of an episode features some odds and ends not included in our four-part "counter-convention" series, featuring speeches by Reverend Billy, interview segments with Jello Biafra and Donna Lieberman, a music video about Unknown Soldiers, and a 30-second piece that summarizes all the things we don't like about George W. Bush (that's not us sitting on the bench, in case you were wondering). Don't forget to VOTE on November 2, by the way. The stakes are higher than you think!
Postscript: I guess I didn't have to worry about Manhattan, since it went 8-1 against Bush. It's all those red and purple places that I didn't count on.
Post-Postscript: Remember that November 4 is election day in 2008!

Episode #365: It's Not Final Yet
First Broadcast: 11/15/04 Program started at about 2:00:20 AM; transmission ended at 2:28:00 AM, cutting off some of our end credits.
So, like over 8 out of every 10 Manhattan residents, I'm still letting the results of the 2004 Presidential Election sink in. Has the nation sunk into a new dark age, willingly electing a man who has already shown himself to be the most deceiptful occupant of the White House in a generation? Or, has the nation just never recovered from the Civil War, having reverted back to the battle lines drawn between the free states and slave states? Or, was George W. Bush's victory much more marginal, the result of a fractured electorate which is much more divided than a simple count of electoral votes would imply? I strongly suspect the latter, though I admit that I have over 60 million reasons to think the former. The matter of Ohio is still in doubt, though; and I wonder if the voting irregularities there are much more widespread than the mainstream media is reporting. I wonder if more people are confusing blind faith in the current administration with genuine respect for veterans. And I wonder if John Ashcroft's replacement is going to be just as much of a foe of civil liberties and human rights just as much as the outgoing Attorney General was. Lots to think about!

Episode #366: Blackwhite
First Broadcast: 11/22/04
Repeated: 11/27/06
The title comes from George Orwell's novel, 1984, meaning the abilty to say that black is white, to believe that black is white, and to be able to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This is also related to doublethink, again from 1984, which means "the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them." I think these concepts accurately describe the current state of mind of the American government, as completely contrasting and upside-down attitudes are given towards various situations. For example: The killing of an unarmed wounded Iraqi man inside a mosque in Fallujah by a U.S. Marine is considered "justified" "self-defense" by military experts cited by the Associated Press (such as Charles Heyman of Jane's Consultancy Group); but the U.S. Army said that troops who "refused orders to drive a fuel convoy because they believed it was too dangerous" ought to be punished because "their refusal to obey orders was deemed to be detrimental to good order and discipline." So, killing an unarmed man is justified, but preventing yourself from being killed is a crime? (Residents in Baghdad aren't taking the news of the shooting nearly as calmly as residents here, for obvious reasons.)

In the same vein, George W. Bush had this to say about some brown-skinned enemies on March 18, 2002:

First of all, you've got to know that we're fighting against Taliban determined group of killers. These are people who would rather die than surrender. These are people who hate America. They hate our freedom. They hate our freedom to worship. They hate our freedom to vote. They hate our freedom of the press. They hate our freedom to say what you want to say. They can't stand what we stand for. And, therefore, we have no choice but to hunt 'em down one by one to defend the very freedom we hold dear in America.

And John Kerry had this to say on September 30:

I believe in being strong and resolute and determined. And I will hunt down and kill the terrorists, wherever they are.

And yet, Lt. Col. Herbert R. Sladek of Fort Benning, Georgia, had this to say about some white-skinned enemies of 60 years ago, specifically German Nazi prisoners of war from World War II:

The minimum you can do is honor these soldiers who sacrificed . . . They were educated in another time period, with another political guideline. In their opinion, they also fought for freedom, liberty and for their fatherland. That's why these people gave all they had -- their own lives.

Why is it that Nazis are considered to be freedom-fighters (people who "fought for freedom"), but people in Afghanistan and Iraq are considered to be only worthy of death? Why is the U.S. bending over backwards to justify the efforts of a white opponent, while refusing to understand any rationale that a brown opponent may have? Is this just one more example in a long list of examples of making exceptions for whites and none for non-whites when it comes to violence, from the Native Americans to present-day Iraq? Maybe so. Think about that this Thanksgiving, Pilgrim!

Episode #367: I'll Show Myself Out
First Broadcast: 12/6/04
So, even though George W. Bush said, through his spokesman, that he "will not ask his appointees for the mass resignation letters that sometimes have been requested with a change of term" (or, more specifically, "It's not going to be the Nixon model where everybody submits a resignation and then waits to see if they're rehired"), over half his cabinet has now resigned since Election Day! So far, the resignees are:

John Ashcroft, Attorney General, November 2
Don Evans, Secretary of Commerce, November 9
Colin Powell, Secretary of State, November 12
Rod Paige, Secretary of Education, November 15
Ann Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture, November 15
Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Energy, November 15
Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security, November 30
Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, December 3
Anthony Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, December 8*
(* Secretary Principi resigned after the episode aired.)

Of course, the one person who really should resign more than anyone else--Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld--is still in office. I guess over 14,000 dead civilians isn't enough to get booted off the payroll. We also touch on Budweiser with caffeine, and an Alabama Republican (Gerald Allen from Cottondale) who wants to ban books that contain gay characters--specifically, he wants to "dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them." And people wonder why the Blue states and Red states can't get along? We're living in two different centuries, that's why!

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