August 31, 2006
A week ago, last Tuesday, I happened to catch Michael Medved in a debate with guest Ruth Rosen. Here are her credentials:
Historian and journalist Ruth Rosen, a former columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a senior fellow at the Longview Institute. A new edition of her most recent book, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America (Penguin, 2001), will be published with an updated epilogue in 2007.She wrote the following article, which Medved took her to task on. Actually, he raked her over the coals and made her look intellectually foolish. Well...at least she was polite. You can listen to his interview here. Thank goodness for Townhall.com. I miss a lot of programs and it is nice to be able to re-listen to some of the best in talk radio. I implore people to go listen to the interview. Aside from him getting a bit excitable (Rosen took his exasperation as his shouting at her- he was not; I think she was just looking for an easy exit), it shows Medved at his best; and a university professor who clearly wrote an influential piece on a matter in which she is pathetically ill-informed.
Published on Wednesday, August 16, 2006Ok...now this is one of those "big lies" that the mainstream media pushes....kind of like the 16 words in the President's State of the Union Address. I have never been led to believe that Iraq/Saddam attacked us on 9/11 by the Bush Administration. And yet, this is what many of the critics keep telling us.
Oliver Stone, 9/11, and the Big Lie
by Ruth Rosen
When World Trade Center ended, I left the theater tense, my muscles aching. The superb directing and acting, coupled with still hardly imaginable scenes of death and destruction, had sent painful muscle spasms up my back, evoked tears, and left me, yet again, with searing and indelible images of that hellish morning.
I felt disoriented in the bright sunlight of a Northern Californian afternoon. As my mind regained its critical faculties, however, another kind of shock set in. I suddenly realized that Oliver Stone's movie reinforces the Big Lie -- endlessly repeated by Dick Cheney, echoed and amplified by the right-wing media -- that 9/11 was somehow linked to Iraq or supported by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
With a subtle touch, Stone shows us people all over the planet horrified by television images of the airplanes crashing into the towers. He reminds us that the people of the world expressed an outpouring of sympathy (since been squandered by the Bush administration).Hmm....I also recall the cheering in the streets and the Osama T-shirts; and people who were sympathetic on the surface, but underneath, snickering that America finally received a "bloodied nose" in experiencing some of the harsh violence that happens in other parts of the world. Michael Medved also recently wrote a column on "Anti-Americanism", which has been around long before the Bush Administration took office, and touches upon the envy felt by others in the world.
Meanwhile, Stone introduces us to one ex-Marine who feels called by God to help rescue those buried alive. He gets his hair cut short, puts on his old uniform, and with all the authority of a former staff sergeant, does what he knows best -- uses his military skills to save people's lives. Determined and angry, he insists that we must avenge this horrendous attack.The problem here, is that Rosen jumps ahead of herself to her own agenda and pet peeve. The movie is recreating history unfolding, and at the point in time, after the 2nd plane hit, we knew we were under attack, and we wanted to pay back those responsible for it.
We also watch a group of Wisconsin policemen viewing the terrorist attacks on television. One screams out, "The bastards!" Stone, in other words, captures the desire for revenge already in the air.
And yet, in none of these profoundly moving scenes is there even a mention of who might have committed this atrocity. Neither the name al-Qaeda, nor Osama Bin Laden, is so much as whispered.
You might say, "But everyone knows it was al-Qaeda."
And you'd be right, but do most Americans really know just who those terrorists were or that they had no connection to Iraq -- that not a single one of them even came from that country?Okay...15 out of the 19 villains on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. What's her point? Abdul Rahman Yasin, involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is Iraqi. Al Qaeda operatives come from many nationalities, training outside of their native countries.
It doesn't sound very important until you realize that various polls over the last five years have reported from 20% to 50% of Americans still believe Iraqis were on those planes. (They were not.) As of early 2005, according to a Harris poll, 47% of Americans were convinced that Saddam Hussein actually helped plan the attack and supported the hijackers. And in February, 2006, according to a unique Zogby poll of American troops serving in Iraq, "85% said the U.S. mission is mainly Â‘to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks'; 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was Â‘to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.'"Many of these pollings are bogus; and Zogby has become rather partisan in recent times (remember his polling during Election 2004?)- something that Michael Medved also points out. I'm too lazy to dig up old links; but remember: Google is your best friend (well....sorta).
The Big Lie, first coined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf,was made famous by Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister for the Third Reich. The idea was simple enough: Tell a whopper (the larger the better) often enough and most people will come to accept it as the truth.Uh yeah...kinda like how the Left has repeated the mantra-phrase "Iraq and Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11" so often enough, that it's misled the general public into the false belief that this Administration has ever claimed that Saddam was responsible for 9/11. This is one of those insidious lies.
During World War II, the predecessor of the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services, described how the Germans used the Big Lie: "[They] never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."Yup. That pretty well sums up the liberal lamestream and agenda-driven, Bush-hating propagandistic media. Whatever happens in the world- must be Bush's fault.
This is, in fact, just what the Bush administration has been doing ever since 9/11. As a result, in 2005, an ABC/Washington Post poll found that 56% of Americans still thought Iraq had possessed weapons of mass destruction "shortly before the war," and 60% still believed Iraq had provided "direct support" to al-Qaeda prior to the war.I see part of the problem as being the mainstream media misreporting and misrepresenting what the Bush Administration's statements and positions are. The other part may be that those being polled are actually a bit better informed than the dinosaur media and liberal professors who read from it. Intellectuals such as Professor Rosen have never heard of such things as the "Saddam documents", or read Stephen Hayes pieces, to know that some of us are several steps ahead of them.
In June 2006, Fox News ran a story once again dramatizing the supposed links between 9/11 and Iraq. And, as recently as July, 2006, a Harris poll found that 64% of those polled "say it is true that Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Qaeda."*Yawn*
The Bush administration's Big Lie has worked very well. Dick Cheney, the point man on this particular lie, has repeated it year after year. In a similar way, George Bush has repeatedly explained his 2003 invasion of Iraq, which had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, by insisting that we must fight terrorists in that country so that we don't have to fight them here. (It turned out to be something of a self-fulfilling prophesy.)One of the things that Michael Medved did on-air, was corner Rosen to cite him specific examples rather than vague references and innuendos. She could not. She knew she was coming on a right-wing talk show to defend her article, and she did not have one specific example of where Vice President Cheney mispoke or told a lie. A caller brought up Cheney appearances on Meet the Press; often cited by those on the Left. What was brilliant, was during the commercial breaks, Medved dug up transcripts of the interviews Cheney gave in 2001 and 2003 with Tim Russert, and just like President Bush's 2003 SotU Address, what was actually said, and what the Bush-haters want to believe was said, are two different things.
What is so remarkably insidious, is the NYTimes will misrepresent what President Bush said; then others will pick up on it; and pretty soon a whole mythology is developed around something that never took place; but everyone believes it did, because they all end up citing from each other, never examining the actual source. The perception, however far from the truth, becomes "Bush lied". Or, for those on the Left who do examine and probe deeper, the excuse becomes, "It's cleverly worded, so as to cover themselves." Why can't they just flat-out admit, that something alleged to have been said, never was said?
Neither these, nor so many other administration statements had a shred of truth to them."not a shred" is pretty bold and sweeping. It would be nice to be given specific citations- and not "gotcha" moments of mistatements, but real, honest-to-goodness deliberate bold-faced lies!
Even the President, who repeatedly linked Saddam Hussein to the terrorist organization behind the September 11th attacks, admitted on September 18, 2003 that there was no evidence the deposed Iraqi dictator had had a hand in them.One of the most frustrating things when arguing with those on the Left of this argument, is that so many of them can't seem to distinguish the difference between "Saddam and 9/11= no direct causal link" and "Iraq and al Qaeda= evidence of links". To what degree of operational links is not fully known. But believing there are links between al Qaeda and Iraq does not mean the same thing as Saddam masterminded or had a hand in bringing about 9/11. If liberals are such airheads as to confuse and conflate the two, that's their problem. I just don't get what is so hard to understand. I have never once felt misled about this war and the several cases made for going to war- which was more than just the w(s)md (weapons of mass destruction).
One of the dishonest arguments from some on the Left who believed along with the many of us that Saddam had wmd capabilities; and yet were still strongly against The War. And now they use the argument "no wmds" as a justification that they were right in opposing the war. That's dishonest since even if the mass stockpiles were there and Saddam unleashed chemical and biological weapons on our troops during the War, these peace fascists still would not have endorsed justification for war.
But that didn't stopped the Vice President from endlessly repeating the Big Lie that justifies this country's invasion and occupation of Iraq.Again, Medved handled this beautifully by going through the transcripts. Here is an excerpt of what he wrote on his blog at Townhall.com:
I played her an excerpt of the President's Monday press conference in which he specifically, unequivocally acknowledged that Sadam had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks so she quickly retreated to claiming that it was Cheney, not Bush, who promoted this "Big Lie" (which she explicitly compared to the techniques of Goebbels and Hitler). Amazingly, this "distinguished academic" provided not a single citation -- not one! -- for her insistence that Cheney "often" misled people about Iraq's involvement in attacking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A caller, hoping to rescue Professor Rosen, mentioned a 2005 appearance by Cheney on "Meet the Press." While the Vice President certainly discussed Iraq's long-standing support for terrorism, and many contacts with Al Qaeda (also cited by the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission) he never came close to claiming Saddam's direct involvement in 9/11--- saying twice, "We just don't know."I'm cutting down some of the other whiny drivel in Ruthen's article. Here's the conclusion:
That evening, I wrote the words that should have appeared in the postscript: "Government officials later confirmed that the organization which plotted the destruction of the World Trade Center was al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian, and Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian. Nineteen men executed the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Fifteen of them came from Saudi Arabia; the remaining four from Egypt, The United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon. None of them came from Iraq."You mean: "Why isn't this film laced with his Leftist viewpoints", don't you?
What happened to Oliver Stone, the filmmaker who gave us Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street, and Nixon? Despite his conspiratorial foibles in JFK, he has long been a movie-maker dedicated to raising tough questions about our American past. Where did his commitment to opening historical subjects for debate go?
He was right not to politicize this film, but truth-telling required that he identify the terrorists. Truth-telling would have resulted in his helping to dismantle the Big Lie that has resulted in the deaths of so many American soldiers and Iraqi civilians, and has plunged Iraq into chaos and civil war.In other words, "Why didn't he politicize the hell out of it?", is what you'd really like to ask.
How could Oliver Stone leave it up to viewers to discover for themselves who committed this crime? And how could he leave the audience with the impression that there was a connection, as Dick Cheney has never stopped saying, between 9/11 and Iraq?*Groan*....please go listen to Michael Medved's interview and his reading of the Meet the Press transcripts. It is quite entertaining. Unless, that is, if you are a liberal moonbat kool-aid-drinker.
This is the tragic failure of Stone's World Trade Center. It undercuts the historical value of the film and reinforces the Biggest Lie of the last five years, still believed by far too many Americans -- that in Iraq, we are fighting those who attacked our country.
August 30, 2006
Also check out Flopping Aces' inditement.
First of all, dashing prince? I think not. Have you seen the picture on one of the scandal rags of Captain HighPants in the '80's? Waaaaay too much black eyeliner. Startling, to say the least.
And I really don't think Depp would go from being known as Captain Jack Sparrow to Captain HighPants.
The DNA didn't match, this guy got a free ride over from Thailand, he still faces child pern charges in CA...and he was teaching children?
Lock this freak up...in Neverland for crying out loud, but get him out of society!
(Cross posted at Fiddle Dee Dee)
August 29, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO -- As many as 14 people were injured this afternoon by a motorist who drove around San Francisco running them down before he was arrested, authorities said.
Seven of those injured were in critical condition, police and firefighters said.
Authorities have identified the man who was arrested as Omeed Aziz Popal, who has addresses in Ceres (Stanislaus County) and Fremont.
Authorities said they believe Popal was the same driver who ran over and killed a 55-year-old man walking in a bicycle lane in Fremont, at Fremont Boulevard near Ferry Lane, just after noon. That crash scene is just blocks from Popal's Fremont address, where he had most recently been living.
Popal was arrested at a Walgreens at Spruce and California streets.
Read the rest of the story HERE
In wake of the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, there have been many who have perceived agreement to the cease-fire as a kind of defeat for Israel. Certainly, my own concern is that a cease-fire only returns us back to the status-quo, giving Hezbollah time to regroup and reinvigorate itself, for the next battle.
One thing that drives me ill, is how Israel was accused of reacting with a "disproportionate response"; how popular "world" opinion that might have been sympathetic at first, turned against them, and pressured Israel into this cease-fire. And when Israel apparently caved to the political will of the world, the world declares it a victory for Hezbollah.
At least that's my perception, if not the actual reality. I admit I haven't followed every single news and blog story on the conflict. (What do y'all make of the Palestinian boy band (s)hit single, "Hawk of Lebanon"? Go to Newsbusters for the MP3 of the smash anti-semitic single, praising Hezbollah, Nasrallah, and Allah).
Not everyone has seen this month-long war as a defeat for Israel. But the last person I expected to hear label the abduction of 2 Israeli soldiers as "a mistake" even as he declares victory, is ol' Nasrallah himself.
BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Had Hezbollah known how Israel was going to respond, the group would not have captured two Israeli soldiers last month in northern Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday.I've often wondered, even knowing that bin Laden wanted this war with the West, if he has ever thought, "Maybe the U.S. isn't such a paper tiger after all...perhaps bringing down the Towers wasn't such a great idea." After all, he cannot possibly be living up the high life in a cave...nor is he enjoying the 72 virgins promised for martyrdom.
If someone had said July 11 that there was "a one percent possibility" Israel's military response would be as extensive as it turned out to be, "I would say no, I would not have entered this for many reasons -- military, social, political, economic," said Nasrallah, speaking in Arabic."One percent" probability?! Did the possibility not even come close to entering their "sheet-for-brains" turban-wearing heads? The blood of innocents is on their hands.
Not even the families of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel would have wanted to bring on such action, he said.
"If there was a one percent possibility, we would not have done that. We would not have done any capturing."
August 28, 2006
GAZA (Reuters) - The missile struck the "P" of the bright red "PRESS" sign on the roof of the armor-plated Reuters car as Gaza cameraman Fadel Shana hurried to film an Israeli raid.
Shana saw only a sheet of flame and the doors of the vehicle fly open.
He regained consciousness in hospital on Sunday, hours after the missile strike, with shrapnel wounds in his right hand and leg. He could not hear in one ear because of the explosion. His eyes were swollen and red.
Let's look at some of the pictures that accompanied this story. Here is an AP photo of Fadel Shana/Shama'a arriving at the hospital.
I'm curious about the rather unaffected appearance of this individual who claims to have been a victim of this alleged attack. Not one inch of him or his clothing looks singed from the sheet of flames he described. Looking more closely, his eyes and the area around his eyes do not appear to show any type of burn or laceration that would cause the swelling described in the Reuters dispatch. Another detail that caught my attention: This cameraman, who has been bloodied and exposed to a sheet of flames from a missle attack, has remarkably managed to keep his t-shirt an immaculate shade of pure white.
Another picture of the Fadel Shana/Shama'a in the emergency room:
Notice the copious amount of blood on his right hand and the pristine white t-shirt. Now look again at the above picture of Fadel.......the bloody limb seems quite clean. Hmmm..shades of Pallywood?
Here is a photo of the Press vehicle after sustaining two missle strikes according to the caption provided by Reuters:
Residents look at a press armored jeep after it was hit, according to witnesses, by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City early Sunday Aug. 27, 2006. Two missiles fired by Israeli aircraft early Sunday morning hit an armored car belonging to the Reuters news agency, injuring two television cameramen and three bystanders, Palestinian witnesses and hospital officials said. According to witnesses, the crew arrived to the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza cover a nearby Israeli raid when the missiles hit the car. The Israeli army said it was checking the report.(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Here is another view of the damage to the same press vehicle:
Compare the above pictures to this picture, curtesy of Zombie, depicting the remains a of car after a missle strike in Gaza:
Hmmm..I'm no ordinance expert by any means, but one can't help to notice the startling difference in amount of damage sustained between the two vehicles, both of which were allegedly struck by missles.
Naturally, Reuters is demanding a full investigation of what they label an "outrageous targeting" of their vehicle.
Michael Lawrence, Reuters Managing Editor for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "We are deeply concerned at this attack on a clearly marked press vehicle as journalists were doing their job to report the story from Gaza.
"We understand that the army says it had no intention of targeting the media, but this incident is totally unacceptable and we urge a careful examination of how this happened to ensure there is no repeat."
The Foreign Press Association described the attack as "outrageous targeting" of the vehicle and rejected the army's "excuses." It also demanded a full and transparent investigation.
I'm not sure the truth Reuters is looking for will be to their liking regarding this incident.
The following bloggers are weighing in on this latest 'story' from Reuters:
Comments? Questions? Leave me a message at MidnightBlue
If you thought Lamont leaned further to the left than Lieberman, wait until you meet Ferrucci.
Ferrucci, a 34-year-old independent delivery truck driver who qualified last week to appear on the November ballot, said United Nations peacekeepers should immediately replace U.S. troops in Iraq.
Lamont, he said, only wants to pull front-line troops to the periphery.
"He supports a one-year leave date, send troops to Kuwait," Ferrucci said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "Basically his plan is more redeployment and then bring them home."
Here's more on his platform:
Ferrucci said he believes voters will relate to his proposal for a single-payer, universal health care system. Since he is an independent driver for Pepperidge Farms, he has to buy his own health insurance. He currently has none.
Asked how much it will cost, he said, "I don't even know. I don't want to know."
Ferrucci's proposal calls for setting up a nonprofit agency to run a universal health system instead of the federal government. The program would be funded mostly by business taxes.
Ferrucci also wants a per-gallon cap on the profits oil companies receive from gasoline and home-heating oil sales. He said voters he has spoken with are very concerned about the economy and issues like fuel prices that make it difficult to make ends meet.
Frankly, I'm surprised Kos and his pals supported Lamont. Ferrucci sounds more like their cup of tea. But then, for all the nonsense you hear from the left about being against individuals with lots of money, it seems that only pols with wads of cash in their pockets are the ones who get the attention.
In my opinion, the few votes Ferrucci gets will siphon off those that might vote for Lamont, leaving the field more open for a win by Lieberman. I don't think Schlesinger has much of a chance...while Connecticut has a few Republican representatives in the House and a Republican governor, there has not been a Republican senator in years. I don't foresee that changing during this election; especially since the Connecticut Republicans can't seem to find a red-hot candidate.
Crossposted to Blogmeister USA
August 27, 2006
Pic Curtesy of Zombie
Russell Shaw over at Hufflepuff daydreams of a Democratic victory on election day brought to them by the mass murder expertise of a terrorist organization.
What if another terror attack just before this fall's elections could save many thousand-times the lives lost?
I start from the premise that there is already a substantial portion of the electorate that tends to vote GOP because they feel that Bush has "kept us safe," and that the Republicans do a better job combating terrorism.
If an attack occurred just before the elections, I have to think that at least a few of the voters who persist in this "Bush has kept us safe" thinking would realize the fallacy they have been under.
I am not proud of myself for even considering the notion that another terror attack that costs even one American life could ever be considered anything else but evil and hurtful. And I know that when I weigh the possibility that such an attack- that might, say, kill 100- would prevent hundreds of thousands of Americans from dying who otherwise would- I am exhibiting a calculating cold heart diametrically opposed to everything I stand for as a human being. A human being, who, just so you know, is opposed to most wars and to capital punishment.
But in light of the very real potential of the next two American elections to solidify our growing American persona as a warlike, polluter-friendly nation with repressive domestic tendencies and inadequate health care for so many tens of millions, let me ask you this. Even if only from the standpoint of a purely intellectual exercise in alternative future history:
If you knew us getting hit again would launch a chain of transformative, cascading events that would enable a better nation where millions who would have died will live longer, would such a calculus have any moral validity?
Why do I believe that most Democrats on the Hill and those around the nation believe this philosophy? To read it in a public forum says much about the author - he has the guts to speak the truth about Democratic philosophy without hiding behind a false sense of patriotism. Democrats and Liberals hate America as it is and would welcome, if not encourage, a violent event to be the catalyst of change - hoping it would be in their favor.
Correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, of Washington, D.C., and cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, of New Zealand, were dropped off at Gaza City's Beach Hotel by Palestinian security officials. A tearful Centanni briefly embraced a Palestinian journalist in the lobby, then rushed upstairs with Wiig behind him.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Militants freed two Fox News journalists on Sunday in theGaza Strip, ending a nearly two week hostage drama in which one of the former captives said they were forced at gunpoint to make statements, including that they had converted to Islam.
Correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, of Washington, D.C., and cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, of New Zealand, were dropped off at Gaza City's Beach Hotel by Palestinian security officials. A tearful Centanni briefly embraced a Palestinian journalist in the lobby, then rushed upstairs with Wiig behind him.
So, these victims were forced to convert to Islam - a foreshadow for the rest of us?
The Palestinian government said they knew who kidnapped these Fox journalists before stating that they did not know the identity of the kidnappers.
Of course, the obligatory coerced anti-western statements made by Wiig were video taped by the kidnappers. I wonder how closely the statements match DNC talking points?
Read the rest of this bewildering story HERE
This didn't take long - Kidnapped Fox Journalists Convert to Islam on Video brought to you from the vaults of the DU. It's all a conspiracy by the neocons and their Zionist masters - Doh!
As the 5th anniversary of 9/11 looms on the horizon, we are approaching the goal of achieving 2,296 blogposts per each victim of that terrible day.
For those unaware, I will be posting at Sparks from the Anvil, about David Gamboa-Brandhorst, the 3 year old son of a man who was my boss. David and his two fathers were aboard the 2nd airliner that was crashed into the World Trade Center.
If you have not yet signed up, you are needed.
August 26, 2006
They are the Kung-Funniest creatures on earth.....
They can karate chop yo' bad ass without warning...
..................and they've just been unleashed...
..............................................30,000 feet in the air
Hat tip: The Conservative UAW Guy (another way to get you to click to the source of my inspiration; check out his own creative photos).
Thanks Sparky for taking the time to create such an eye-popping salute to "Coconuts and Puppies".
For those of you who might be inclined to spend too much time viewing Wordsmith's clever video and perhaps garnering the wrath of the wife or girlfriend - - I've found the perfect website to help get you out of trouble:
If you have found nothing on the website to help your predictament - there is always Tiffany's. I'm always amazed at how a little blue box can heal so many rifts in a relationship.
Enjoy, Skye and Ex-Donkey readers! And have a wonderful Saturday morning.
August 25, 2006
A note from the illustrator:
The point of the poster isnÂ’t to bring humor from a dead baby - quite the opposite actually. ItÂ’s intended to use the same means and exploitation that the MSM use when Â‘reportingÂ’ on their stories - mainly photoshopped images and staged scenes.
Again, I have nothing but grief for the innocent lives lost in Qana. That said, I do have a problem with paraded corpses and false photography. Hezbollah has shown nothing but deceit in these recent events and I just thought it would be suitable to throw a little photoshop back in their faces.
Definitely a winner for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Picture. Don't you agree?
The first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica werenÂ’t exactly lighthearted affairs, but according to executive producer Ron Moore and star Edward James Olmos, the upcoming third year will be its darkest yet. In separate interviews, the two recently spoke to Now Playing about where the show is going and whatÂ’s in store for both the human and Cylon factions (Hint: ItÂ’s not going to be pretty for either side).
Â“The writing, the story, the character development is devastating,Â” Olmos says. Â“I cannot tell you. I worked last week and IÂ’ve never had a week like that in my life, because everything thatÂ’s happening to the human species is into the final steps of its annihilation. So every single moment becomes the end of the existence of the human species, and itÂ’s deadly when you are working at that level constantly. The attention is overwhelming. Both Mary [McDonnell] and I are sitting there going, Â‘My God. This is too much.Â’Â”
Olmos revealed that the humans will use a pandemic to try and annihilate Â“a raceÂ” (he didnÂ’t say which one, but itÂ’s not difficult to guess) by infecting them with a deadly virus. He also talked about returning to the directorÂ’s chair for the 12th episode, which will be the first to air after the mid-season hiatus. The tone of the episode will be quite different from his previous effort, last seasonÂ’s Â“Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down.Â”
Â“This one will be more connected to the main body,Â” he says. Â“The other one was a comedy. We decided to try one in the first season just to lighten things up. And it worked well. I thought it worked very, very well. It was very different, and it introduced some very strong characters. And in turn, those characters now are going to devastate you. What happens to them is brutal. ItÂ’s very sad.Â”
For executive producer Ron Moore, the turn to the dark side is something that was always part of the showÂ’s natural progression. Â“I think we deal with some dark material in the third season,Â” Moore agrees. Â“I donÂ’t know that itÂ’s any darker than anything weÂ’ve dealt with previously, but the show continues to sort of take risks and be provocative and do challenging stuff. IÂ’m happy about that. But the show is not nihilistic. The show is not a bleak show about really depressing things. I think itÂ’s really just about how people react and how people are and how people behave in situations and thatÂ’s what youÂ’re tuning in to see.Â”
Moore adds that heÂ’s not worried about the series getting too serious. ThereÂ’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Â“The showÂ’s always had a dark premise at its heart, [but] the showÂ’s also always been about hope and the human condition and the fact that these people struggle on in spite of everything that happens to them.Â”
By IRSHAD MANJI
Published: August 16, 2006
LAST week, the luminaries of the British Muslim mainstream Â— lobbyists, lords and members of Parliament Â— published an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair, telling him that the Â“debacleÂ” of both Iraq and Lebanon provides Â“ammunition to extremists who threaten us all.Â” In increasingly antiwar America, a similar argument is gaining traction: The United States brutalizes Muslims, which in turn foments Islamist terror.
But violent jihadists have rarely needed foreign policy grievances to justify their hot heads. There was no equivalent to the Iraq debacle in 1993, when Islamists first tried to blow up the World Trade Center, or in 2000, when they attacked the American destroyer Cole. Indeed, that assault took place after United States-led military intervention saved thousands of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo.
If Islamists cared about changing Iraq policy, they would not have bothered to abduct two journalists from France Â— probably the most antiwar, anti-Bush nation in the West. Even overt solidarity with Iraqi suffering did not prevent Margaret Hassan, who ran a world-renowned relief agency in Baghdad, from being executed by insurgents.
Meanwhile, at least as many Muslims are dying at the hands of other Muslims as under the boots of any foreign imperial power. In Sudan, black Muslims are starved, raped, enslaved and slaughtered by Arab militias, with the consent of an Islamic government. Where is the Â“officialÂ” Muslim fury against that genocide? Do Muslim lives count only when snuffed out by non-Muslims? If not, then here is an idea for Muslim representatives in the West: Go ahead and lecture the politicians that their foreign policies give succor to radicals. At the same time, however, challenge the educated and angry young Muslims to hold their own accountable, too.
This means reminding them that in Pakistan, Sunnis hunt down Shiites every day; that in northern Israel, Katuysha rockets launched by Hezbollah have ripped through the homes of Arab Muslims as well as Jews; that in Egypt, the riot police of President Hosni Mubarak routinely club, rape, torture and murder Muslim activists promoting democracy; and, above all, that civil wars have become hallmarks of the Islamic world.
Muslim figureheads will not dare be so honest. They would sooner replicate the very sins for which they castigate the Bush and Blair governments Â— namely, switching rationales and pretending integrity.
In the wake of the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Iqbal Sacranie, then the head of the influential Muslim Council of Britain, insisted that economic discrimination lay at the root of Islamist radicalism in his country. When it came to light that some of the suspects enjoyed middle-class upbringings, university educations, jobs and cars, Mr. Sacranie found a new culprit: foreign policy. In so doing, he boarded the groupthink express steered by Muslim elites.
The good news is that ordinary people of faith are capable of self-criticism. Two months ago, 65 percent of British Muslims polled believed that their communities should increase efforts to integrate. The same poll also produced troubling results: 13 percent lionized the July 7 terrorists, and 16 percent sympathized. Still, these figures total 29 percent Â— less than half the number who sought to belong more fully to British society.
Whether in Britain or America, those who claim to speak for Muslims have a responsibility to the majority, which wants to reconcile Islam with pluralism. Whatever their imperial urges, it is not for Tony Blair or George W. Bush to restore IslamÂ’s better angels. That duty Â— and glory Â— goes to Muslims.
Irshad Manji, a fellow at Yale University, is the author of Â“The Trouble with Islam Today: A MuslimÂ’s Call for Reform in Her Faith.Â”
August 24, 2006
The purported kidnappers spoke out as well. A heretofore unknown group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades claimed responsibility for the abduction and demanded the release of all Muslim prisoners held by the United States Â— "everybody without exception" Â— within 72 hours.Not to devalue the lives of the two kidnapped victims, but how does any terrorist group realistically expect such demands to be met?
"Release what you have, and we will release what we have," the group said in a statement to reporters. "If you implement our conditions, we will implement our promise; otherwise, you will have to wait, and God will be the judge."
The statement, in elaborately religious language, included references to several Koranic verses, one of which alludes to the exchange of prisoners in wartime. It was not immediately clear whether the statement referred to prisoners in the U.S. or in American facilities in Iraq; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Afghanistan.
I pray for the safe release of Centanni and Wiig, and that they are reunited with their families.
I'll tell you just "what the hell" a buckeye is, Jon Stewart.
Come talk to me, I'll give you a "unique perspective." The old one finger salute!
(Cross-posted at Fiddle Dee Dee)
August 23, 2006
AbdulSalam Sabbar, 6, waits patiently in his new pediatric wheelchair as CPT Charles Roberts, physician's assistant, 4th Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, shows his father how to make adjustments to it. Pic: SGT Rachel A. Brune
Picture curtesy of IraqiPictures
What a selfless act of good will these US soldiers are pictured bestowing to an Iraqi child and his father. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of similar photos and stories chronicling the interaction between Iraqi civilians and Coalition forces. In a striking contrast, there is not ONE picture or report of an
insurgent terrorist group reaching out to the Iraqi population in such a manner.
It makes one wonder what inspires liberals in their staunch support of the Iraqi resistance? The picture below certainly begs the question "Where are good liberals dead? In the heart or in the head?
Picture curtesy of Zombie
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