Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton Blows A Gasket

"Methinks the lady doth protest too much." ~ from "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare

When I first saw the interview of former President Bill Clinton, the first thing I thought was, "Here he goes again, trying to salvage his legacy."

Then I gave it some more thought and it struck me how much like a child he was behaving. Children tend to refuse to take responsibility for their actions, too. And then they blame everyone but themselves, sometimes even constructing elaborate conspiracies. I was reminded of Bill Cosby's comedy routine, "Russell, my brother, who I slept with."

I don't remember the routine word for word, but in his routine, he discussed how he and his brother would jump on the bed at night instead of going to sleep, hoping in vain that they wouldn't get caught by their father, who promised to produce "The Belt" if they didn't settle down.

In this particular routine, they broke the bed, and just as they feared, their father came in and demanded to know who broke the bed. The kids made up a mysterious man, who came in through the window, and jumped on the bed till it broke and then ran out, laughing.

Yep. Sounds like 'ole Bill. Someone else is to blame.


I don't want to leave this subject without giving Mr Clinton his due.

I don't see what else he could have said in response to Mr. Wallace's question. Clearly, he couldn't sit there and tell the world that he didn't do everything he could to get bin Laden. Even if he had to lie.

I just think, as a former President, one who should be unflappable, he showed surprising lack of control, which is the problem he had as President, as well, in my humble opinion.

It has always been my contention that the Lewinsky scandal showed him to have an amazing lack of self control, which, in my opinion, made him suspect as an effective Commander in Chief.

Think about it.

How can we expect the most powerful man in the world, a man who has the power to push a button and end the world, to be able to refrain from pushing that button in a fit of rage, if he can't even control his own base sexual urges?

And now, we have seen his lack of control again. Anyway, that's my opinion.

I don't blame him for defending himself. Any of us would do the same.

And it really was a pretty stupid question. Did Mr. Wallace expect him to say he didn't do all he could to find bin Laden?

Still, although it was a stupid question, it was a simple question, and one that should have not engendered such an impassioned response.

Perhaps Mr. Clinton protests too much?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Should Chavez Go Unpunished?

"Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men." ~ Jane Addams

I am outraged over Venezuela's El Presidente Hugo Chavez's remarks before the UN on Wednesday. How incredibly disrespectful to the president of the most powerful nation in the world!

I think something should be done about this. I don't know what, but it would seem that some sort of sanction or censure is certainly in order here. Perhaps Mr. Chavez should be banned from ever entering the United States again.

It would be a travesty if nothing is done to Mr. Chavez for this grievous affront to our President and to our country.

This is so outrageous, in fact, that even New York Congressman Charlie Rangel took offense, as well he should have. Although his outrage is probably feigned in an effort to boost his political profile, he nevertheless expressed the sentiments the average American no doubt feels. I give him credit for saying out loud what other Democrats probably think, but are so bent on undermining George W. Bush and his administrations policies, that they will keep quiet.

In addition to the incredible rudeness of Mr. Chavez's remarks, I find it incredible that he would abuse the privilege that this country afforded him, in inviting him to speak before the UN, by flinging our graciousness to him back in our collective faces.

I cannot believe that any American would not see this as an incredible insult to our President, and to our country, and to all Americans, Republican and Democrat.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Democrats And Free Speech

"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do." ~ Dale Carnegie

The following letter was sent to Disney CEO Robert Iger:

September 7, 2006

Mr. Robert A. Iger

President and CEO

The Walt Disney Company

We write with serious concerns about the planned upcoming broadcast of The Path to 9/11 mini-series on September 10 and 11. Countless reports from experts on 9/11 who have viewed the program indicate numerous and serious inaccuracies that will undoubtedly serve to misinform the American people about the tragic events surrounding the terrible attacks of that day. Furthermore, the manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well respected news organization like ABC. We therefore urge you to cancel this broadcast to cease Disney’s plans to use it as a teaching tool in schools across America through Scholastic. Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events.

Disney and ABC claim this program to be based on the 9/11 Commission Report and are using that assertion as part of the promotional campaign for it. The 9/11 Commission is the most respected American authority on the 9/11 attacks, and association with it carries a special responsibility. Indeed, the very events themselves on 9/11, so tragic as they were, demand extreme care by any who attempt to use those events as part of an entertainment or educational program. To quote Steve McPhereson, president of ABC Entertainment, "When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”

Unfortunately, it appears Disney and ABC got it totally wrong.

Despite claims by your network’s representatives that The Path to 9/11 is based on the report of the 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Commissioners themselves, as well as other experts on the issues, disagree.

Richard Ben-Veniste, speaking for himself and fellow 9/11 Commissioners who recently viewed the program, said, "As we were watching, we were trying to think how they could have misinterpreted the 9/11 Commission’s findings the way that they had.” ["9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism czar, and a national security advisor to ABC has described the program as "deeply flawed” and said of the program’s depiction of a Clinton official hanging up on an intelligence agent, "It’s 180 degrees from what happened.” ["9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

Reports suggest that an FBI agent who worked on 9/11 and served as a consultant to ABC on this program quit halfway through because, "he thought they were making things up.” [MSNBC, September 7, 2006]

Even Thomas Kean, who serves as a paid consultant to the miniseries, has admitted that scenes in the film are fictionalized. ["9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

That Disney would seek to broadcast an admittedly and proven false recounting of the events of 9/11 raises serious questions about the motivations of its creators and those who approved the deeply flawed program. Finally, that Disney plans to air commercial-free a program that reportedly cost it $40 million to produce serves to add fuel to these concerns.

These concerns are made all the more pressing by the political leaning of and the public statements made by the writer/producer of this miniseries, Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, in promoting this miniseries across conservative blogs and talk shows.

Frankly, that ABC and Disney would consider airing a program that could be construed as right-wing political propaganda on such a grave and important event involving the security of our nation is a discredit both to the Disney brand and to the legacy of honesty built at ABC by honorable individuals from David Brinkley to Peter Jennings. Furthermore, that Disney would seek to use Scholastic to promote this misguided programming to American children as a substitute for factual information is a disgrace.

As 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick said, "It is critically important to the safety of our nation that our citizens, and particularly our school children, understand what actually happened and why – so that we can proceed from a common understanding of what went wrong and act with unity to make our country safer.”

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.


Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid

Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Senator Charles Schumer

Senator Byron Dorgan

Funny. I don't recall Senate Republicans sending ;etters to Michael Moore demanding
he not release his so-called documentary, Farenheit: 9/11.

Why aren't Liberals complaining about Nazi book burning now?