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A New Earth And Patriotic News In America
Monthly Column by Marina Rundell
April 2008

A New Earth:

 

Once in a while, something tells me to turn on the TV or change the channel and watch Oprah so I did on Monday, March 31, 2008 and there was Oprah and Suze Orman and the show directed me to the online class based on Tolle's book, A New Earth.  I started watching online and I'm glad I did!  Click here to watch the shows:

http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/archive/archive_watchnow.jsp

 

___________________________

Patriotic News:

On Wednesday, March 26, 2008, The Newshour With Jim Lehrer on PBS had a segment on the Iraq War and reported on the financial and social costs of the war.  This was supported by a breakdown of running and long-term costs that includes equipment, soldiers’ compensation, more troops, bases being built, recruitment packages, because no one is volunteering for the war, and many other expenses. 

There are also the emotional and psychological costs.  In VA hospitals soldiers are shown recuperating with lost limbs, lifetime physical pain, and many, similar situations.  Costs included with this are family compensations for injured soldiers and life insurance for the soldiers who died.  The soldiers and families thankfully are at least being compensated for their suffering.  Imagine if a country got so cynical and calloused that the injured soldiers are left on their own upon their return.  That is, if the leader of a country is asked, “What do you think about the American People’s disgust of government leadership not helping out the soldiers when they return home?”  And the leader answers, “So?”

Other costs of the war include the deaths and injuries of the people in Iraq as well as the continued instability.

Finally, the segment on Iraq asks the question about all this money being spent over there and how that same money could have been spent here for the benefit of American citizens.  

So a slogan comes to mind:

“Spend the Money Over There So We Don’t Have to Spend the Money Over Here.” 

“There” means no-bid contracts and such.

The Newshour also reported on the U.S. economy.  

Remember the phrase, “The Economy, Stupid?”  

It seems a similar phrase applies to today also:  “The Economy, Part II, Stupid?”

_________________________

AFTER 911

Cut and Run

from Bin Laden

 

Cut and Bleed

in Iraq

__________________________

A Talk-Show Folk Tale

Once upon a time, a man named Demander Chief called-in to the Kelly Noyes Show, during the “Can I Afford It” segment and asked, “Kelly, I want to start a war.  Can I afford it?”

Kelly answers, “A war?  Why?  For what?  I wouldn’t if I were you, but as you know this segment is to let you know if you can afford it or not.  Show me the money.”

Demander Chief replies, “I don’t want to use my own money.”

Kelly asks, “How will you pay for this war?”

“Money from working citizens,” Demander Chief answers.

Kelly’s intuition forces her to ask more questions.  “Is there more to this war you’re not telling me?  Since you don’t have the money and must use the paychecks of regular citizens?”

“I’ll also have to pay with soldiers’ blood and the lives of the innocent,” Demander Chief adds. 

“DENIED!  DENIED!  You cannot afford it!” Kelly immediately tells Demander Chief.

_____________________________

GLADIATOR’S REPORT

The General speaks

in chains

 

Because the Emperor

is always right.

_____________________________

It seems some news networks are in the same chains as broadcast journalists repeat the same things as displayed on The Daily Show.

_____________________________

A man and a woman are talking.  The woman says, “I don’t watch those news networks anymore.”

The man replies, “You mean the Communist News Network?”

The woman laughs.

_______________________________

It’s good to see shows like The Daily Show, Real Time With Bill Maher and The Newshour With Jim Lehrer.  They are some of the voices that continue dialogue about the government.  

For example, on Friday, March 28, 2008, Bill Maher had John Cusack as guest via satellite and Cusack impressively expressed his views about the current administration.

This ties-in with one of the panelists, Tavis Smiley, who quoted Frederick Douglass:  “A true patriot is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins.”

_____________________________ 

Bill Maher interview with John Cusack on Real Time With Bill Maher on Friday, March 28, 2008 on HBO.

Maher begins by asking Cusack about making a movie and adds how Iraq movies have not done well.

Cusack:  “Grace is Gone – more somber drama about the cost and grief of this whole fiasco.”

War, Inc. – much more absurdist take on it.  Some things are so vicious that if you didn’t look at them through a different lense you couldn’t get out of bed.  Certainly the war profiteering and immorality and illegality of this disastrous free market utopian enterprise out there is certainly well documented.”

Maher:  “Shock Doctrine—more a plan about making money.  Is that not right?”

Cusack:  “Yeah I think so.  When we were writing it.  I’ve always greatly admired Naomi and she wrote I think a wonderful piece called Baghdad Year Zero that I think she later expanded into that groundbreaking book that you mentioned The Shock Doctrine.  It talks about what all this privatization means and I think the film tries to address that in an interesting way, too.  But what that sort of means is that the very core things that you think make-up a government like wars, or interrogation, border patrol, jailing, any of those types of things, you’d think would be sacred things that would happen with the state are now being turned into for-profit enterprises.  And if you want all these things, corporate ethics to be our national interest, I think then you have a situation we’re in now.  But right now when you really think we’ve outsourced everything into interrogation which means torture is a cost plus enterprise I think you can see the complete spiritual bankruptcy of this whole neocon movement.  It’s a nightmare beyond you can really imagine.”

Maher – “Play devil’s advocate.  Is it really just the Bush Administration or is there a rot in America?  The rot is a little deeper than just the Bush Administration.”

Cusack:  “What’s better than a hollowed out guy like Bush to lead a movement that would hollow out the core functions of government and reduce governing to basically giving an ATM machine to its favorite corporations.  I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.  But I think that the issue goes a lot deeper.  I don’t think people really know for example that there are as many contractors as there are soldiers in Iraq.  I don’t think people know for example or maybe they do based on the brilliant work of investigative journalists and even people like Jeremy Scahill on your show that Blackwater was granted immunity of state, federal, and international law.  Who gave these mercenary, roving, corporate armies a license to kill, on our dime?

Maher:  “When you say people don’t know isn’t that indicting the country at large?”

Cusack:  “On the larger point, yeah.”

Maher:  “If people really cared, they would care to find out.”

Cusack:  “But I think they’re getting more and more information about it and I think that some of these truths are so horrible that you really don’t want to think about that.  The gig’s up.  If guys who are statesmen on CNN are also sitting on the boards and are shareholders in some of the most profitable defense contractors in the world and they publicly make a case to go to war.  And then they go to war, right?  And they create a new market with the war.  They bar the competitors from the aftermath.  Then they come back and speak evangelically about free markets that aren’t even free when it’s a vast protectionist racket.  These aren’t particularly subtle facts.  Stock prices jumped 145% where their companies are awarded 2.3 billion dollar contracts.  I mean, after a while, you have to just expose and shame and indict and hopefully convict the participants in this illegal, immoral ideology.  So yeah, are Americans complacent?  Yeah, but I’m not ready to give up or see the Constitution of the United State to these bunch of hoodlums.”

Maher:  “I’m guessing that’s who you’re for?” (Obama)

Cusack:  “I’m for literally anybody who talks about this new economy.  I’ll vote for either one of the candidates if they say they are going to take out all the private contractors of Iraq and close down an embassy that’s probably the size of Atlanta.”

Maher:  “But neither one of them is saying that.”

Cusack:  “I know.  But this is beyond the military industrial complex.  This is an economy that’s got the dot com size money going around and there’s a feeding frenzy from these corporations.  Not all corporations are bad.  I own a Frigidaire but it’s not subsidized by the government and it doesn’t get anybody killed unless there’s stuff I don’t know about refrigerators.  So it’s not anti-corporate in any way.  Naomi Klein says in her book, it’s impossible to know where Lockheed Martin stops and the government begins.”

Maher:  “Right.  I’m not sure if Barack Obama gets elected that’s gonna change.”

Cusack:  “I think all the politicians are gonna be incrementalists and they’re going to say I have to do what I have to do to get elected but it’s up to the public to put pressure on them to make that an issue in the Democratic race.  I have a certain amount of sympathy for them both.”

 

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