Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Sarah Palin Prayer

Ok, I'm not a pray-er. Some might say I don't have a prayer. But I just saw the Greta Van Susteren interview with Palin and it made me pray the most fervent prayer I have ever prayed in my life. Palin says, in essence, God will open the door for her to the White House (see end of video, Part 3, below and here). We've got to ask God please not to do that. Please pray with me.
Jesus, Lord God Almighty, I beseech thee in the name of all that is holy, please close that door to this imbecilic, unqualified woman. Please don't leave a crack in the door for her. Seal that door shut Lord. Guard that door, O Lord, with your mighty army of angels. Roll the heaviest stone, a stone that cannot be moved by mere mortals Lord, in front of that door to protect this great nation of ours from the showy pretentious religiousity of this woman who would lead our nation down a path of ruin. I humble ask this in the name of your son, our one and only savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Greta Van Susteren Interview of Sarah Palin - Part 3

This from a blogger in my PJs in my parent's basement. And while I'm praying, will somebody tell Keith Olbermann he needs to vote. I'm a big Keith fan, but not voting makes him look like a hypocrite. Other parts of the interview below.

Greta Van Susteren Interview of Sarah Palin - Part 1

Greta Van Susteren Interview of Sarah Palin - Part 2

Happy Veteran's Day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Media Turns Old School Politics Upside Down

A Revolution of One is host of Carnival of the Liberals #62, posted yesterday, without my contribution, which is a little late, but better late than never. For readers unfamiliar with it, CotL is a by-weekly carnival of liberal bloggers. Every issue the host blog selects and features the ten best posts from all posts submitted. Their badge is in the lower part of the right-hand column of this blog. There's info on who is hosting future carnivals and the designated theme, if the host decides to have a one.

The theme for CotL #62 is New Media. We asked all participants to post on the topic of, or to include, some type of new media. The video above is of a presentation by Lawrence Lessig, Sanford Law professor and CEO of the Creative Commons given at the University of Pennsylvania. Lessig, through Creative Commons is the champion of changes in copyright law that make it easier for new media to be created without breaking the law, topic of the video below. In the first video Lessig gives his reasons for supporting Barack Obama, beyond the fact that they were colleagues at the University of Chicago.

Beyond being an example of how new media is a major factor in this Presidential primary, and the future general election race, it is about the candidate that is entirely, IMAO, a phenomenon of new media. Without it I doubt that this most unlikely candidate for president would be the almost certain nominee of the party. All of the candidates understand and use new media in their campaigns. They all have web sites and blogs and Youtube videos of their speeches, campaign ads, and the ability to contribute to their campaigns online.

But for the Obama campaign a new media political strategy has been key. Before the existence of new media it would have been nearly impossible for someone like Obama to overcome the war chest and old guard party organization of a candidate like Hillary Clinton. But for the other campaigns, their use of new media seems more an adjunct, or add on to the old strategies, more than the essence of their strategy. An article in Rolling Stone in late March describes how the Obama campaign combined techniques of new media, social networking using technology from sites like Facebook, with old school community organizing to outflank the traditional top-down approach of the Clinton campaign.
"They have taken the bottom-up campaign and absolutely perfected it," says Joe Trippi, who masterminded Dean's Internet campaign in 2004. "It's light-years ahead of where we were four years ago. They'll have 100,000 people in a state who have signed up on their Web site and put in their zip code. Now, paid organizers can get in touch with people at the precinct level and help them build the organization bottom up. That's never happened before. It never was possible before...."

"....We're seeing the last time a top-down campaign has a chance to win it," says Trippi. "There won't be another campaign that makes the same mistake the Clintons made of being dependent on big donors and insiders. It's not going to work ever again."
A regular part of Obama's stump speech is to say that change happens from the bottom up and not the top down. New media, created and controlled by the average citizen is inherently grass roots. What the Obama campaign has built is unprecedented. An entirely new type of campaign which will shape every political campaign for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Carnival of the Liberals at A Revolution of One

Welcome to A Revolution of One and the April 11, 2008 edition of Carnival of the Liberals. First I'd like to thank everyone for great submissions. Thanks for making it difficult to pick 10 out of a group of great posts, and for participating in our theme which is New Media. If you haven't hosted yet, eliminating posts is harder than you may think. In some cases it just came down to being on topic, because it was the only way to judge. I'm posting the submissions now, but I haven't quite finished my own post, which will follow shortly.

Also I'm going to submit this post on Digg.com and I'd like to ask you all to digg it to help bring more readers and bloggers to CotL. I apologize to those of you who I didn't get back to about your submission. For some reason I didn't get all the submissions in email. I replied to every one I received, but when I picked them up from the CotL site I found I had twice as many as I got in email. Which was a pleasant surprise.

One quick plug for this site, I am in the middle of an extreme makeover the blog, so please come back in a few days and check it out. Something I probably should not have tried to roll out at the same time as the carnival. But enough of the preliminaries, the posts chosen for this edition are:

In Current Events:

Allen in Fort Worth
presents Hillary Clinton, Bosnia, Serbia, Sniper Fire, My Friend Igor, Taking Your Daughter To War Zones, and other stuff like that posted at The Whited Sepulchre, saying, "Youtube videos and blogs are making Hillary Clinton's claims of combat zone experience look ridiculous."Shan Siddiqi presents Perceptions, misconceptions posted at The Optimist's World, saying, "Misconceptions cause wars. To fight war, we must fight these misconceptions and the false perceptions that they create."

presents Oh Bless Us, Everyone! posted at Home of the Brave, saying, "Journalism, campaign reporting and campaign messaging trainwreck. Meanwhile the gist - preventable deaths continue unabated, under-resourced health facilities struggle, and everyone loses."

On Liberalism:
presents The Keyhole posted at Daylight Atheism, saying, "The explosion of new media has given us access to a vast wealth of information, but sorting through it has for the reliable sources has become ever more difficult."

greensmile presents Re-electing war 2008: tragedy vs pathos posted at The Executioners Thong, saying, "Are you really liberal? That would, I believe, mean you could put aside your ire at obtuse war supporters to understand where they are coming from...and thereby start to rescue them."

In Opinion:

Carole G. McKay
presents Hilary, Bill and Noah Webster posted at McKay Today, saying, "Can we take a candid look at how lying to ourselves and others costs us a price we cannot afford?"

presents Blaming Muslims for Terrorism: Blood Sport for the Cheesecake Crowd posted at thinkbridge.

Mike Haubrich
presents Early Morning April 4 posted at Tangled Up in Blue Guy, saying, "Forty years after the murder of MLK, the US still has to push for equality."

reallywrong presents Crashing the Gate posted at keep it really wrong.

In Politics:
DWSUWF presents Lets Play Oddball! Televison personality shoots self in head. Reloads. Shoots Obama Campaign. Reloads. Shoots self in head again. posted at Divided We Stand United We Fall, saying, "What do I know? I am just a pissant blogger and Keith Olbermann is a cable news giant. Let me be clear so there is no confusion about the point of this post. Keith Olbermann is not an Obama cheerleader and a sexist pig. He just talks like one."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the liberals using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.


, .

I enjoyed every single post and look forward to hosting again sometime in the future. Check back for my post on New Media. Thanks again and....

-Fight the Powers.

Monday, April 07, 2008

China's Rep Being Torched in Olympic Flames

I'm glad to see the Olympic games become a lesson in human rights and their reputation in the world for China. The Bush administration could use the same lesson in foreign policy, but their time is up soon. But I'd like to see more in the headlines about Darfur as well. It seems that the Tibetan monks controversy, which is no less relevant and deserving of headlines than Darfur, is getting all the attention. I hate to see this opportunity to send a message to China about their influence with the Sudanese government and the Darfur crisis pass all the attention going to Tibet and little to Darfur.

The video below is a wide ranging religious one that starts with the Dalai Lama, goes through the spread of Buddhism and Islam, and ends with Barack Obama's church Black
Liberation Theology on Morning Joe. I don't watch Joe in the morning, but if this kind of discussion happens often I may start. What's not surprising to me is Tucker Carslon's admission that he can't wrap his mind around the mix of his own religion and Buddhism.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

MLK Disappointed with Civil Rights Bill

In this clip Dr. King expresses his dissatisfaction with the Civil Rights Act of 1960 in an interview with Meet the Press on NBC. Check out the chick in the hat and rhinestone specks, Ms. May Craig. She's questioning the tactic of civil disobedience, equating it with randomly deciding which laws to follow and which to break. In doing so she's arguing against breaking laws that are unjust, when the goal of society should be justice. Not blind obedience to any law, just or unjust.

What is actually being said is don't push it. Wait. Justice will come. Don't fight. Don't break laws to get there. The law will get around to you eventually. Your chance at equality will come. But it never comes. You have to push it. British Prime Minister William E. Gladstone said, "Justice delayed is justice denied."

What's ironic is the fact that she was a female journalist, a member of the
National American Woman Suffrage Association, and must have been the victim of the same kinds of efforts to slow her progress into the male dominated world of journalism. In fact some of the same protest methods were used in the Women's Suffrage Movement. It's an irony that stands out as starkly as the hat on her head.

The Colbert Report: Let the Games Begin

Again Stephen Colbert displays his mastery of the magnification of the absurd. What would be reductio ad absurdum except that he is mocking the absurd. This time he skewers both the idea of a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing China this summer and it's critics. A boycott is not likely, but the leaders of several nations are skipping the opening ceremonies or not attending at all and I think it's a good way to send a message to China. Not only about their civil rights abuses of monks in Tibet, but of their support for the Sudanese government responsible for the genocide in Darfur.

Yes They Can

What's amazing to me is how many hours of cable news coverage of the election you can watch and not hear as much intelligent and thoughtful analysis of what this election means as you did in just a few minutes with these kids. Their opinions of media and what their angle is are already forming. Witnessed in statements like, "the media is trying to take this race thing and turn it to something else." You see they have the impression that the media is focusing on race in a way the candidate is not.

I think it's been a long time since there's been a politician anywhere that has been this inspiring to young people. The other important thing about the video is that it isn't anything any of the campaigns could stage. It is not one of those scripted moments we see constantly. It is real people expressing real feelings because they felt inspired to, not because it's what someone asked them to say. I could say that I hate to repeat a campaign slogan, but I don't when it's real. That's what's meant when Barack says that real change comes from the bottom up. It's true whether the candidate believes it or not. Whether or not it is a slogan.

That's the part of this that the other campaigns don't get. They go on and on about experience and their years in Washington. They try to instill fear that the country might not be safe with someone who isn't the same as what we've always had. Americans have seen the results of what years of experience in the White House brings. It's what they have now and they are tired of it. They want something different. That's why people are registering to vote and contributing to the Obama campaign in unprecedented numbers. Even if the highly unlikely happens and Obama is not the
nominee and not our next president, this is a phenomenon like we have never seen before on the political landscape. And the Clinton campaign and a couple Saturday Night Live skits have practically brow beaten the press out of saying so. That doesn't matter because the people know it. Even the children know it. No matter what the press says.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Politicians of Comedy Tour

I have to give John McCain credit. Comically he comes across better than Hillary Clinton. That's not saying much. For all the actual time spent on issues in these campaigns we could crap can the entire election process and send them on a national comedy tour. Funniest candidate wins.

Or we could go the reality show route, the Political World — Washington DC. Find out what happens when people stop being real,
and start acting political. There's Big Brother, no wait, the Bush administration's already has that one. We could do Dancing with the Pols. Barack may have a slight advantage there. Very slight. There's American Political Idol. And finally there's Bowling for Leader of the Free World!

Hillary at the Improv

I hate to admit it, but I find Hillary Clinton so much more human and engaging when she's joking about how big a liar she is. I find it so disarming. Who is advising this campaign, John Lovitz? "Senator, we can neutralize this whole sniper fire controversy very easily. You'll go on Leno and first thing you'll make a joke about it."

It's Hillary Clinton at the Improv. "You know a funny thing happened to me on the way to the Democratic Convention. I lost all my integrity. Isn't that funny?" It's to the point where I'm starting to feel sorry for Clinton supporters. They must spend a lot of time and energy in daily rationalization. It must be exhausting bridging the cognitive dissonance every single day. I'm posting this before I've even watched all of it. I'm finding it hard to even look at her and listen to her.

How Far We've Come: MLK on Speaks on Non-Violent Reistance

Sometimes you when you're in the middle of the crapstorm of all the stuff that is happening today, it is very easy to forget just how far we've come. Sometimes it takes sitting down and taking a good look at what happened then just to appreciate it. I think in truth it gives you both perspectives. It also shows you how far we haven't come, and that's not in any way to minimize the gains we have made, but to remind us we still have far to go. When you see that many of the situations we are dealing with today are, if not the same in actual substance, are similar in the way we deal with them.

There are still those who will use every rationalization and every other means possible to prevent change and hinder progress. They use the same methods they did then. Focusing on the divisions between peoples of different races, ethnic origins, religions, or economic status and using them to divide us. The struggle is the same, but it has moved to different fronts, which proves there has been progress. Much still needs to be done. On this the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr.
Martin Luther King, is a good time to remember both.

has posted a number of these historical clips on their site and I'll try to post a few more today and over the next couple days.


From the start of the Iraq war whenever I got into a discussion, I won't call them arguments, with a war supporter we obviously never agreed. But the talk would always end with, "but you do support the troops don't you?" They'd tell me, "It's important to support the troops even if you don't support the war." They were parroting politicians, but I always had my suspicions that when Republican chickenhawks used the phrase it was code for, "don't criticize the war for the sake of the troops."

It was their way of blunting criticism with guilt. If you criticize what we're doing the troops will feel bad about their mission and you will be the cause of their failure. Now in retrospect, maybe it was me that undermined the entire war effort. Seriously, I never bought the argument, but I always felt that they meant what they said about supporting the troops. That any obvious lack of support for the needs of the people who put themselves in harms way to protect us would be seen as such hypocrisy it would beggar belief to the point it would undermine all the rest of their arguments.

That was before we found no weapons of mass destruction and no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. It was also before we found out that many troops didn't have body armor, or armored vehicles, and people were buying their own body armor and sending it to Iraq for family members serving there. Before Rumsfeld made the callous statement that we go to war with the army we have. And I could fill 100 blog posts with the billions in profits made by Halliburton and other contractors, friends of Dick Cheney's who failed to serve the needs of those who serve us. And then there are the stories of vets having to pay for their own phone calls from veterans hospitals that Barack Obama related in one of the Democratic debates. And stories of horrible conditions in veterans hospitals, and of homeless vets and the list goes on and on.

And now this, that John McCain, veteran and former POW, who claims to hate war, while he sounds the drumbeat for war with Iran, has not signed on to this bill that would correct some of the past lack of support for our troops and take care of them into the future. While he makes a case for war with Iran that is flawed and so full of holes you could fly a C-130 airplane through it. The biggest flaw in his argument is lack of understanding, or purposeful confusion, of the difference between Sunni and Shia. That Shia Iran and Sunni Al Qaeda, who hate each other and want to destroy each other, are working together in Iraq against the US. There is simply zero evidence to support that proposition, and zero evidence for the argument that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Either McCain knows this and is doing the same thing the Bush administration did in the lead up to
the war in Iraq, or he doesn't know it. Either situation is equally, as put by Pepe Escobar of The Real News in the video below, scary. And together with his lack of support so far for this new GI Bill, is the ultimate in McHypocrisy.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Randi Rhodes On Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton

Warning: Language
Well I mean, at least she didn't call her a monster. Randi's been suspended by Air America. Their site says this:
New York - Air America has suspended on-air host Randi Rhodes for making inappropriate statements about prominent figures, including Senator Hillary Clinton, at a recent public appearance on behalf of Air America in San Francisco which was sponsored by an Air America affiliate station.

"Air America encourages strong opinions about public affairs but does not condone such abusive, ad hominem language by our Hosts," said chair Charlie Kireker.
Personally, I would have given her a raise. Somebody might actually start listening to Air America again. I will when Randi comes off suspension. Well, if she does. I hope they don't fire her. The comments are over the top, granted. But the right gets away with so much more than the left is allowed to. We are such wimps and we're supposed to be the radicals. Back in the olden days, the 60's and 70's, when I was a youngster, being a radical meant you could say radical things.

Ok, maybe I'm romanticizing it. Hell, she'd probably have been fired back then too. Still I think the Rush Limbaughs, BillO's and Coultergeists get away with a lot more than the left does without their bosses freaking out. Not so long ago O'Reilly said something about going on a "lynching party" against Michelle Obama and not a peep out of his bosses at Faux. No suspension. Nothing. Maher gets away with quite a bit on HBO, but I don't know if he'd get away with something like this. It was pretty harsh.

But I understand Randi's frustration. Clinton's been running a nasty campaign that is fracturing the party at a time when Democrats should be a shoe in for the White House. Nobody would really be against Hillary Clinton staying in the race to this point and beyond if it hadn't been for the negativity, dirty tactics, race baiting, and intimating that John McCain might make a better president than Barack Obama. In fact, several months ago I thought it might be a good thing for them both to run until the convention. But the Clintons' win at all costs tactics are making me wish she'd go away. And making me feel about her pretty much the way Randi expressed. And Bill too. Nobody wants to say things like this. But when you play dirty, that's the way people start to feel. Nobody wants to say it and nobody should. And then again I thank god there's someone with the guts to say it.

In My Language: An Alternative View of Autism

This is an amazing video. Made by a woman with severe autism, it questions the very foundations of the understanding of this "disease." In fact she questions whether it should be considered a disease at all. She is part of a group of autistic persons who question the standard diagnosis. They are aided by new communication technologies, new media and the internet, and it is doubtful whether, before these innovations were available, anyone would have had any clue that they were able to communicate intelligently (that is intelligently according to our interpretation) at all. Amanda would probably say, and I hesitate to put words in her mouth because she's fully capable of saying what she means, no one would have known she could communicate in our language or mode of communication.

She is at the center of a controversy over how intelligence should be measured in autistic persons, and in that way, possibly just what it means to be intelligent. An article in Wired magazine discusses the competing methodologies and theories for measuring intelligence in people with autism. I find two aspects of Amanda's story intriguing. First as mentioned briefly above, that this technology has made it possible for her to express something people like her have been unable to express. And as importantly that new media has become the vehicle for a nascent liberation movement among people like Amanda. A way for them to express the idea that their way of communicating and interacting with the world is as legitimate as ours and not an aberration to be cured.

Also I find intriguing an aspect that I have not yet seen discussed in relation to her in my half an hours worth of googling the topic, that is whether it has significance in regard to other modes of human perception. Whether you want to refer to those modes as mystic, altered states of consciousness, or alternative means of perception. Could it have any relationship to states of consciousness reported in mystics, medicine men, and shaman around the world? Could it have any significance in regard to psychedelic drug states? It is certainly another way of seeing the world. Autism may not have any relation to those states at all, and I may be talking out my keister here. But I think at least the question is a valid one and something to be explored. Perhaps. Maybe.

Anyway, Amanda has a "non-site" here, expressing her frustration with the number and types of inquiries she's been getting since she became famous. And she became famous via Youtube. She was also interviewed by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It Ain't Easy Being Green

But it's easier than explaining the green collar economy when your interviewer is Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report. Van Jones tries to tell America how green collar jobs can save both the economy and the environment while Colbert points out that he's got a dome that's a solar cell for a love machine.

Black Men Can't Bowl - White Men Can't Dance

Jon Stewart reinforces some of America's most ingrained stereotypes in this episode of The Daily Show with help from presidential candidate Barack Obama and current president George W. Bush. And it's all because your president can't dance but your candidate Barack and rolls. Ok, I'm sorry for that. Only people my age or older will get that anyway. A testament to the strength of stereotypes that even in someone so far from stereotypical, Barack Obama, we will strive to find at least one or two. Can play basketball, can't bowl.

But people, it's my job to shatter those stereotypes. I give you the example of my uncle Lorenzo, who is an excellent bowler. When I was a kid he had literally a hundred plus bowling trophies. I can't prove that. I don't have any video, but I'm sure there's a photo. Somewhere. But it's true. He lives in Chicago and he could give Barack a lesson or two. That was really sad.

Flying Penguins?

Ok, it's the evening of April 2, and I swear this is the last April Fools hoax I will post. But this is a really good one from the BBC. Your first clue that it's a hoax, the narrator is Terry Jones from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Wal-Mart Relents in Law Suit Against Disabled Worker

This is a follow-up to this post. I'd like to give Wal-Mart credit. They deserve at least some. They didn't have to do this. But there's some things you shouldn't have to be forced to do. And when you are forced to do them, you could admit to being just a little bit of a jerk. In their case, a corporate bureaucracy of jerks. Not everyone in the company, but the ones making the important decisions. Nobody's perfect. Least of all me. I am, have been, and probably at some point in the future will be a jerk. I admit it. They should too.

Bush Library Looses Domain Name on the Internets

You'd think a guy who regularly uses the google on the internets would be savvy enough to secure and renew his domain names. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to be the squatter sitting on their domain name. I can see an IRS audit possibly, an NSA phone tap, and maybe a free trip to Gitmo with waterboarding included in their future.

Gmail Custom Time

Gmail's April Fools joke was pretty good. Didn't see it before I posted yesterday. In fact not until I was on Miller Time and too chill to post it. Also saw some on CNN from the BBC which were good. Flying penguins and a couple others. The Brit press has a tradition of printing hoaxes on April Fools day and they have some great ones. The spaghetti tree is a classic.

Bad! Bad! Big Oil!

It's an election year and it's time once again for the congressional Big Oil Executives show. Congress hauls a group of big oil executives in front of them, yells at them, makes faces and wags their fingers at them. The executives leave and laugh all the way to the bank. The last show was two years ago, ironically also an election year. They were called before congress due to record prices and oil company mergers and what happened afterward? Two years later they are being called in again because of record profits and because they got 18 billion in tax breaks given to them by a Republican congress and they are giving the consumer no kind of break at all.

It puts me in mind of how, when cops are on the take from drug dealers, they have to occasionally bust somebody or it looks suspicious. So they bust a small fry, or do a big publicity raid and it looks like they're doing their jobs and trying to control drugs. It's all done with a wink and a nod and made into a big production for the media and the TV cameras, but in the end there are just as many drugs on the streets as before.

And this is what will continue to happen as oil companies make obscene profits as the rest of the country faces recession. While we're in a war as the Bush administration and Republicans like to remind us when they want us to make sacrifices, but not when it comes to making their fat cat buddies in the oil industry make equal sacrifices. It's really funny how the conservative mythology revolves around the self-sufficient, pull yourself up by your bootstraps philosophy when it comes to poor people, but the rich are gladly given tax breaks and bailouts.

John McCain is talking tough about what we shouldn't do for "bad actors" (is he talking about She Who Must Not Be Named?) in the current home mortgage crisis which is due to plunge us into the worst recession ever, if not depression. So while Bear Stearns and the rest of the banking industry gets bailed out, the people with the least to start with, and with families to support, get thrown out of their homes and onto the streets. How is that for Republican family values? He's still in favor of those tax breaks for the rich.

And even when these guys have something bad to say about a rich corporate abuser of the public trust, their major focus, their ire and their scorn is always reserved for the little guy who they see as the cause of all our ills. The people who got duped by subprime mortgage lenders, the undocumented worker, the victims of hurricane Katrina who had to find food and clothing the government didn't provide in a time of disaster and were then called looters. They have a blind spot when it comes people like the group of oil executives before congress now.

The last thing I have to say on the subject is amen, right on and you go boooyeee to the truckers who are protesting these obscene prices. The thing is, they really have no choice. As the gentleman said, they will be out of business in a few months if things continue to go they way they are. My cousin is a trucker and we talked just a couple weeks ago about everything I am seeing on the news now. How the gas prices are literally killing these guys. The rates they get paid don't go up as the price of fuel eats into the profits of independent truck drivers.

He's just gotten into the position where he is buying his own truck and working for himself. The real pull yourself up by your bootstraps story. That's what all these independent truckers are. So while congress plays wink and nod with fat cat oil
executives and does absolutely nothing, these guys go out of business. What they should do is all get together by the thousands and blockade Washington DC. Just make a big ring around it so nothing goes in or out. The million trucker blockade of Washington. Then something might happen.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Michael Mukasey's Bull Pucky

Did Rachel Maddow say bull pucky on air? Twice? I mean I know it's got to make your blood boil to hear the Bush administration blatantly use 9/11 to justify "shredding the constitution" with rationalizations that are either the most palpable lies imaginable, or a stupefying admission of guilt in the lead up to that tragedy. But to have to listen to language like this in explaining it. Rachel, clean it up.

When I Am King of the Fantasy Blogosphere

First there was fantasy football, and now there's, fantasy investing. The site Updown.com launched in September last year. It gives anyone who wants to join one million dollars in fantasy cash and allows them to play the stock market online, measuring their success against the S&P 500. Anyone out performing the S&P can earn real cash. The idea puts me in mind of what Jerry Seinfeld said when he heard Kramer was attending a fantasy camp. Remarking that Kramer's whole life is a fantasy camp, he said, "People should plunk down two thousand dollars to live like him for a week: Do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbors, and have sex without dating! That's a fantasy camp!"

The stock market is in essence business gaming. Gaming is what we used to call gambling. The term gaming can also refer to computer gaming, which means playing actual computer games. And now you can play the real stock market online with fake money and win real money. Which in essence is computer gaming. Hope that wasn't too convoluted. The genius of the site is that it will make real money by harnessing the power of potentially millions of minds to create unbeatable investment advice. Glenn Reynold's Army of Davids applied to the financial world. The theory is, a million heads are better than any one expert's. They share part of the money they make as incentive for people to participate.

In sports progress has taken us from actually physically playing games, to watching other people playing games from the stands, to watching other people watch people playing games on our TV screens, to group fantasizing about playing games on computers. Makes you wonder if one day in the future will we'll evolve into disembodied brains in glass enclosures as depicted in futuristic science fiction movies.

If the trend continues, and it no doubt will, I can't wait for the day I won't actually have to write this blog, because I can make money creating a fantasy blog.
I'll create a massively viral concept like Virtual People Love Us, or Stuff Imaginary People Like, and I'll rise to the top rank in a fantasy Technorati.com. I'll get a virtual book deal and I'll retire rich. Yes, one day all my dreams will come true. In a fantasy world.

April Fools!

Instead of using April Fool's Day as an excuse to play juvenile tricks on you, I'm going to instead give you the complete history of the day. The result of my exhaustive research into the topic. In other words googling, watching some Youtube videos, and reading a Wikipedia article. Ok, I couldn't think of anything really good in time. Here's a couple excerpts from Wikipedia, which also includes a list of pranks daunting to the most dedicated of time wasters. It would be like work to read the whole list, which pretty much defeats the purpose of wasting time.

It does have one of my favorite public hoaxes, the Taco Liberty Bell. It also includes a couple of my favorite nerdy hoaxes including one that Alabama changed the value of Pi, and that a company called Signetics developed Write Only Memory. If you're not a nerd you may not get that last one. From Wikipedia.
Europe may have derived its April-fooling from the French. French and Dutch references from 1508 and 1539 respectively describe April Fools' Day jokes and the custom of making them on the first of April. France was one of the first nations to make January 1 officially New Year's Day (which was already celebrated by many), by decree of Charles IX. This was in 1564, even before the 1582 adoption of the Gregorian calendar (See Julian start of the year). Thus the New Year's gifts and visits of felicitation which had been the feature of 1 April became associated with the first day of January, and those who disliked or did not hear about the change were fair game for those wits who amused themselves by sending mock presents and paying calls of pretended ceremony on 1 April. In France the person fooled is known as poisson d'avril (April fish). This has been explained as arising from the fact that in April the sun quits the zodiacal sign of the fish. The French traditionally celebrated this holiday by placing dead fish on the backs of friends. Today, real fish have been replaced with sticky, fish-shaped paper cut-outs that children try to sneak onto the back of their friends' shirts. Candy shops and bakeries also offer fish-shaped sweets for the holiday.
Favorite hoaxes from Wikipedia:
Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

Alabama Changes the Value of Pi: The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article written by physicist Mark Boslough claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi to the "Biblical value" of 3.0. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.

Write Only Memory: Signetics advertised Write Only Memory IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Oh No He Did'N!

Did Lou almost call a black woman, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice no less, a cotton picker? Lou Dobbs is trying to put the Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, and Colbert Report out of business by becoming his own satire of himself. Rendering them redundant. In the middle of bloviating about being afraid of addressing the issue of race because you may be accused of saying something insensitive, he almost said something insensitive.

And I used to think Olbermann was only half serious when he called people like Rush Limbaugh and his ilk comedians. And whether they write this stuff themselves, or it's improv, if they are doing this for laughs then it is absolute comic genius. Found this posted on Daily Kos. And one of he comedians there, Deoliver47 posted the video below in the comments. Interesting mash up if you play them both at the same time.

Happy Cesar Chavez Day

Video description from Youtube:
Cesar Chavez Day: United Farm Workers Co-Founder Dolores Huerta Reflects on the Life and Legacy of the Legendary Labor Activist

"Cesar Estrada Chavez, legendary labor activist, civil rights leader, and founder of the first successful farm workers union would have been 81 years old today. Events are planned across the country to honor his life and legacy. Thousands marched in his memory over the weekend and nine states recognize March 31st as an official holiday. We speak with Dolores Huerta."

More at Democracy Now.

Stuff Black People Hate

At first it may seem derivative of Stuff White People Like (SWPL). The concept certainly is. Frankly, the author, in his own words, does not give a sh*t. Before you dismiss Stuff Black People Hate (SBPH), expecting a clone of other sites of its ilk, check it out. The site is smart, funny, much angrier and a lot less politically correct than SWPL. This post is not in any way an attempt to give black people equal time. A friend forwarded it to me after I posted SWPL and I read it and it was damn funny. So now I'm posting it. That's my criterion period. Not white, black, yellow, brown, green or purple, just funny. Examples of SBPH:
Clubbing - The Bouncer: a bouncer is a large man whose life is utterly meaningless between Sunday and Thursday. But for two glorious nights, this meat popsicle holds the keys to your very soul. He controls your ability to enter the club, and he can ‘bounce’ you out of the club at any time and for virtually any reason. He feels cool because he gets to wear one of those little earpieces like Secret Service agents. If he wants to impress a girl by looking important, he’ll put his finger up to his ear and assume a concerned facial expression so it looks like he’s receiving critical information from a very important person - e.g. “drunk chick vomiting in the third floor bathroom, please respond” from the busboy with questionable immigration status.

Europe - Here are some of the things that suck, with teeth and dry tongue, about various European countries:

1. Spain: pickpockets, pickpockets, and more pickpockets.
2. France: Socialism. Ew.
3. England: bad teeth, bad food, and the constant threat of rain. And Hugh Grant
4. Czech Republic: they will throw you out a window, and they will not give a fuck
5. Portugal: a country full of dudes whining about their lost empire
6. Italy: the mob is their fault
7. Germany: Too easy.
8. Netherlands: for some reason, the Dutch have declared war on Islam

Abraham Lincoln - I’ve met a lot of white people who get pissed off when blacks seem ‘ungrateful’ for the things some of them have done for us. Now, these white people know they can blame Abraham Lincoln. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the things you do, it’s that we don’t trust you. It’s the same sentiment that a girl in a bar has toward a guy that buys her a drink. She appreciates the drink, but she’s pretty sure that his sneaky ass is up to something (and he almost always is).

Spelling and Grammatical Errors - You’d think that when debating some topic, the first thing you’d do in response to getting someone else’s opinion is to examine it for logical errors, invalid assumptions, lies, disingenuous or misleading statements, and other things that actually matter.

This is not the process we black people follow.

Instead, we will read your argument carefully - but the first time we go through it, all we’re doing is looking for is mistakes in your writing. We’re looking for spelling errors, dangling prepositions, sentence fragments, improper semicolon use, and other things that are extremely relevant to your argument. We don’t care that, after observing chimps in the wild for 30 years, you’ve discovered that some have learned to cultivate their own food: you spelled banana ‘bannana’ in your research paper, and therefore, you are only slightly more intelligent than the very creatures you study.
The last one is me at a much younger age. After years
of working with and around nerds, you learn that intelligence can't be measured purely in language skills, if at all. Though in some cases, such as a certain current president of the United States who shall remain nameless, it can be an indicator.

Al Gore Saves the Planet!

He's on a renewed campaign to save the planet. The Democratic Party, however, is on it's own. At least for now. Big Al has bigger fish to fry. In this interview with Leslie Stahl on CBS's 60 Minutes, Al, for the 100th time tells the media he's through with politics, and doesn't see himself running for President again. He's still an uncommitted superdelegate and won't say who he's for in the Democratic Primary. More importantly, he and Tipper have donated all the profits from An Inconvenient Truth and his Nobel Peace Prize toward an advertising campaign to stress the importance of doing something now about Global Warming.

If you listen carefully, it's an almost political answer when asked to confirm what one of his lawyers said about the Supreme Court's Decision regarding the 2000 election. He says "it doesn't feel right" to ascribe political motives to the five judges in the majority. I leave you to draw your own conclusion. One of the best quotes of the interview, he chuckles when Stahl tells him that one of the people who don't believe humans are the cause of global warming is the current Vice-President. He asks, "Dick Cheney?" And then goes on to say:
"I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view. They’re almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the earth is flat. That demeans them a little bit, but it’s not that far off."
I'm glad he's saving the planet, but it's too bad we don't have an Al Gore helping to save the Democratic Party from itself. Maybe things will work out and he won't be needed, and that's a good thing because he's busy.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bill Maher: Hillary Clinton, Get Elected or Lie Trying

Gotta love Bill. And HBO for having him on and not firing him for what he says the way ABC did. The Hillary comments are just plan harsh, but really funny and true.

Bad Moon Rising: The King of America

Beyond the pure insanity of a nutty cult leader having the influence that Reverend Moon has, there are so many things so very wrong here I hardly know where to begin. But I'll force myself to start with what's been in the news recently. And I'll do it briefly because, as I've said before, this topic has been discussed to death in the corporate media. And now that I think about it, it's not that it's been discussed so much, but how it's been discussed, as an endless 20 second loop, that's the problem.

If you go back as far as I do, ask yourself when the last time was, or if you don't go back that far, ask yourself if you've ever, heard the Reverend Sun Myung Moon mentioned in the corporate media. I go back far enough to remember the John Belushi skit from the documentary when it first aired on Saturday Night Live. While Reverend Wright sound bites play on and endless loop in the corporate media, a man who has more political influence and is more dangerous than all the religious nut cases you can name combined, and I don't include Wright in that group, is rarely, if ever brought up. In fact, he's only been mentioned recently in the blogosphere from what I've seen, and I watch a lot of CNN and MSNBC. And while that might not be exhaustive coverage of what the media is reporting, googling his name for news stories on him finds only a handful. One by AlterNet, none by major media outlets.

It took a blogger to break the story of his "coronation" by congressmen in a federal building and 3 months for the corporate media to catch up. And that's the other part of this story. It's why what we have right here is so important. Without it all we would have are the sensationalist stories deemed worthy of the attention by the corporate media. The same nonsense, every day, over and over again until we are sick of it. Sandwiched between stories of She Who Must Not be Named (SWMNBN) and Britney freaking Spears.

While a multi-billionaire with the not at all secret goal of undermining democracy and Christianity, buys major influence in the party of the Christian Right and with an ex-president, the media is fixated on the racially incendiary and sensational. These are the kinds of stories and the people who expose them are the people who will have little if any exposure if net neutrality is not protected. And if giant media conglomerates are allowed to continue gobble up local and smaller media outlets as they have been by the FCC. The chances that we will know that the Reverend Sun Myung Moons of the world exist, and that we will be able to force the corporate media to cover them, will be almost nil.

The mainstream media don't deserve even courtesy of the "corporate" qualifier on their name. It gives them too much credit. They should be called, and I'll have to make an exception and name she who must not be named, the Paris Hilton Media, or the Britney Spears Media. Because it characterizes, if not all the content they cover, the style of their coverage, which is anything that can be sensationalized. When they aren't protesting that they hate the fact that they have to cover the latest Britney drama, and they wish they didn't, they are putting a dramatic spin on anything else they cover. Because their goal is to sell soap, and by soap I mean anything that advertisers will pay them to sell. And it's not the selling of soap, but that it is more important to them than informing the public, that makes them no different than a soap opera. Just because they call it news, doesn't make it so.

Yet another aspect of the documentary which touches on recent "news" is the origin of stories, complete propaganda or otherwise totally false, that start with the Moon owned Washington Post and move from there straight into the mouths of Fox News and other right-wing pundits. From there into the Paris Hilton Media (PHM) or if they are don't meet the low standards of credibility to make it that far, they end up as email forwards that at least 10% to 15% of Americans actually believe.

That is why it is important now, essential in fact, that people spread this story. Spread this documentary. That they force it into the PHM. So that we are seeing endless loops of Bush 41 endorsing the Washington Times and that people know that it is owned by Moon. People need to Digg stories about it to the front page of Digg.com, if not this one then the video itself.
They should forward it to their friends and send links to it to the PHM. Reverend Wright and the preachers who've endorsed John McCain have been held up to much public scrutiny yet are harmless in comparison to Reverend Moon. Moon is actually dangerous and people should know who he is and the power he wields.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Net Neutrality's Quiet Crusader

There's an article in the Washington Post about Free Press' Ben Scott. Scott is described as "a driving force for 'net neutrality,' a concept that in policy terms has come to mean enforcement of open access online, so cable and telecom operators cannot block or delay content that travels over their networks." Free Press sent out a newsletter yesterday to let people know about the article, and also to tell us how hard it is for an organization that fights for our rights against corporate media, to get this kind of exposure on the front page of the business section of the Washington Post.

So check it out and learn something about the unlikely people who fight to keep the internet open and accessible to everyone equally. And who also fight against media consolidation that squeezes out diversity and competition, so that individuals, small organizations and small companies have access to media that is not filtered or censored by large corporations. The video gives a pretty good synopsis of why net neutrality is important. Monopolistic phone companies, without regulation, would have prevented the internet from happening. If they weren't regulated after the internet started, companies like Google, Facebook and Myspace would never have gotten off the ground. Now we need to continue those protections to make it possible for the next Google or Myspace to develop. Giant corporations like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, stifle innovation and competition that benefits all of us, in order to keep more profit for themselves.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Stuff White People Like

First there was Black People Love Us!, then Rent-a-Negro, and now there is Stuff White People Like. Viral blogs satirizing political correctness/incorrectness. And it's hilarious. My son forwarded the link to me and I've only read a few posts so far, but it is really funny and I will be a regular reader. Stuff White People Like says this about San Francisco.
The City of San Francisco has a very multicultural population that ranges from white to gay to Asian. Within white culture this known as “ideal diversity” for its provision of exotic restaurants while simultaneously preserving property values.
It has a regular feature, White People in the News, where readers email in news stories with stuff white people like in them. Like this one.
By Michelle Quinn
The Los Angeles, Times, March 22, 2008

“Wil Shipley, a Seattle software developer, uses his iPhone at the Whole Foods fish counter to check websites for updates on which seafood is the most environmentally correct to purchase. He quizzes the staff on where and how a fish was caught. Because he carries the Internet with him, “I can be super-picky,” he said.”

Sent in by Stephen, an English grad student living in Florida, who likes the British site BeThinking.
They get a shout out and a link to their blog for their troubles. And congratulations to blogger Christian Lander, because he just landed a book deal. There is one thing I find disturbing about the blog, there's a list of 92 things white people like and there's a lot of things I like on the list.
  • coffee
  • microbreweries
  • hating corporations
  • religions their parents don't belong to
  • wine
  • St. Patrick's Day
  • organic foods
  • San Francisco
  • Barack Obama....
The list goes on. I'm not sure what it means, but I'm concerned.

Battle of the Party Religious Nut Cases

Personally, I think the GOP is winning, thank god (pun intended). But then I may be biased. As I've said here before, I'm not one for quoting scripture. But there is one that is o-so apropos.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Matthew 7:3
New International Version
The Republicans, Ok, let's be fair, the Fox News wing of the party started this spitting match. But to me, again, a partial observer, they have a lot more to loose in a head to head comparison of just who has the kookiest religious support. I have said before, this is an aside from the real issues that we should be addressing in this campaign. One is literally blowing up before our eyes as we speak. The surge that was working about a week ago, now isn't.

And there are stories like this one, about a wave of murders, 20 so far, in one of our largest urban areas among African American students. A story which isn't even on the radar this political season for two obvious reasons. Guns and race. You see if you start talking about things like this then Obama supporters will whisper that you are talking about things that will hurt his chances in the fall. If you mention gun control or focus too much on race, we'll lose the red states. So forget I mentioned it. We'll talk again in November.

Now I am not so sure, after the revelations previewed in the new book Bad Moon Rising, by Author John Gorenfeld, that this story is not just as important as some of the others I just mentioned above. And all of this stuff isn't new. There's a post on Daily Kos in which this quote is excerpted from the book:
...the [Unification] church has established a network of affiliated organizations and connections in almost every conservative organization in Washington, including the Heritage Foundation, the largest of the conservative think tanks and an important source of government personnel during the Reagan administration... "Most people are afraid to address the issue because they don't want to publicize the extent of the church's involvement," says Amy Moritz of the Conservative National Center for Public Policy Research. (Source -- U.S. News & World Report, 3/27/89)
This is about a religious cult that has infiltrated a major political party in our country. One that owns a major influential conservative newspaper. And one with the "oft stated goal of destroying both Christianity and representative government." The comments in the Daily Kos post are informative as well.

Moon is a multi-billionaire who pays millions to W's daddy to speak at Unification Church events as well as other Bush family members. His influence reaches far into the Republican Party and conservative movement. The video below is of Moon in the Dirksen Federal building being crowned King of Peace by two congressmen. One of them Democrat Danny Davis of Illinois??? To me Moon is far scarier than the words of Reverend Wright because he is truly
dangerous to our entire way of life. But then this kind of thing is emotionally driven for a lot of people and as much as I hate to bring it back to race, video of a shouting black man is a lot more dramatic and scary to a certain segment of the American people. Maybe I should let you draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wal-Mart Seeks Worst Public Image Ever

Wal-Mart made Keith's Worst Persons list again today, that clip is not yet available. This one's from yesterday. Keith is threatening to put them on the list every day until they relent. The clip below is a little fairer to Wal-Mart and gives their side of the story, such as it is. I can't see much good coming out of this for them no matter how they spin it unless they decide to change their minds. They'll get more than $400k worth of ill-will and bad PR from this move. And it isn't as if they didn't already have some PR problems to start with. Makes you wonder what goes on in the legal departments and board rooms of companies like this. Are there people there who are like cartoon evil villains? Scrooge, the Grinch and Cruella De Vil all wrapped into one. Or are they that disconnected from the public perception of their companies? It's hard to fathom how they rationalize this to themselves. One more reason to hate them and a good reason not to buy anything from them.

Breaking News: Siegelman Free Pending Appeal

Dan Abrams of MSNBC and Crooks and Liars are reporting that former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman will be freed tomorrow pending appeal. The initial 60 Minutes story is here. An indication that the judge in the case believes there were some irregularities in the bribery case that landed the governor in jail. Those irregularities point squarely in the direction of Karl Rove and the US Attorneys scandal. The scandal involves the politicization of the US Attorney General's office and lead to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The Politico is calling it a victory for the blogosphere.

Tables Turned on Hannity: Association with Neo-Nazi Exposed

I just watched about as much of Sean Hannity and I can stomach in one sitting. In fact I'd be glad never to have to watch another minute. Except that the Fox News commentator and host of Hannity & Colmes, has been one the most vocal stirrers of controversy over Barack Obama's association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright. From what I read, and I don't watch so I admit I wouldn't know, the Wright video clips have essentially run on a constant loop on Hannity's show. In an interview recently he was called out by Malik Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party for his own past association with known Neo-Nazi Hal Turner.

I hate to give too much focus to this stuff here. I think it is a distraction and takes attention away from much more important issues like the war, the economy, health care, Darfur, and many others. Almost every other issue is more important than this stuff. Unfortunately it's the stuff that gets the most attention. I've posted quite a bit Wright stuff lately and I need to balance it out. I'm not going to post the Hannity video, because it focuses on too much that is negative in my opinion and frankly I think this stuff only hurts Barack Obama's campaign. But I couldn't resist posting because Hannity gets bitten by his own guilt by association rhetoric. The video is here if you can stomach it. There's a post at HuffPo with more links. And there's the complete story of Hannity's Soul-Mate of Hate Neo-Nazi Hal Turner at the Nation.

PBS' Frontline: Bush's War

This PBS Frontline special aired on March 24 and 25. So why am I telling you now? I may be a day late and a dollar short, but through the magic of the Internets, or when it's rerun, the magic of DVR technology, you can see it anytime. It's available anytime online here. Here's the video description from Youtube:
Watch FRONTLINE Bush's War online right now at http://www.pbs.org/frontline/bushswar/

On the 5th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, FRONTLINE presents the definitive documentary analysis of "Bush's War" http://www.pbs.org/frontline/bushswar/

From the horror of 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq; the truth about WMD to the rise of an insurgency; the scandal of Abu Ghraib to the strategy of the surge—for six years, FRONTLINE has revealed the defining stories of the war on terror in meticulous detail, and the political dramas that played out at the highest levels of power and influence.

Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga unfolds in the two-part FRONTLINE special Bush's War, airing Monday, March 24, from 9 to 11:30 P.M. and Tuesday, March 25, 2008, from 9 to 11 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings). Veteran producer Michael Kirk ("The Torture Question," "The Dark Side") draws on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism—more than 40 FRONTLINE reports on the war on terror. Combined with fresh reporting and new interviews, "Bush's War" will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the nation's history.

Following the broadcast: a new TV/Web experience. View the entire "Bush's War" online, integrated with more than 100 video clips of key moments since 9/11, drawn from FRONTLINE's robust online video archive and integrated into a master annotated chronology of the war.
I wish they'd make the whole video available on Youtube, but they only post previews there. It would be nice to be able to embed them here and I think it would increase their exposure. They don't possibly because they want you to visit their site. I think people still would if they could watch the videos on blogs and other sites. I think it would increase their visibility not decrease it. But so far, they don't.

In any case it's an important documentary of one of the most important issues of this election year. Focus on the war is being lost to the economy, except that the war is a major factor in the coming economic recession. And focus is being lost to the nastiness of the Democratic Primary, which is theater and not really important at all. This may be a good time to refocus on it especially in view of John McCain's plans to keep our troops there for 100 years and the drumbeat for war in Iran. And especially today when it looks like the surge strategy that was "working" is threatening to unravel. It looks as if all hell is about to break loose and it won't be good.

NCMR 2008: Media Reform Starts Here

Video description from Youtube.
The next National Conference for Media Reform will be held in Minneapolis, June 6--8, 2008. Join fellow activists, media makers, educators, journalists, policymakers and concerned citizens in calling for real and lasting changes to our nation's media system.
One of the ways we can help change corporate media, and create and grow new media that informs and empowers us. The Wright controversy is a perfect example of why this kind of reform is needed. More info on the conference at freepress.net.

Bill Moyers Journal: Body of War

Video description from Youtube:
Bill Moyers interviews former talk show host Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro on the true cost of war and their documentary, Body of War, depicting the moving story of one veteran dealing with the aftermath of war.

With extensive excerpts from the film, the filmmakers talk about Iraq war veteran Tomas Young, who was shot and paralyzed less than a week into his tour of duty. Three years in the making, Body of War tells the poignant tale of the young man's journey from joining the service after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan, to living with devastating wounds after being deployed to Iraq instead.
The complete Bill Moyers Journal program can be seen on the PBS site. Beyond this young man's both painful and uplifting story, it is an apt story for this election year. The footage of the Bush administration and congress sounding the drumbeat for war in Iraq, and the Republican talking points are going to sound eerily familiar. You could almost loop Iran and Ahmadinejad into the sound in place of Iraq and Saddam and apart from a few younger looking faces, you'd have news footage that could pass for something taped very recently. Especially for one presidential candidate. For another a short clip she'd rather not be reminded of.