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November 11, 2004

Veterans Day: Violence and Profanity

Today is Veterans Day. My dad was a Captain in the Army in WWII, and his brother also served, both stationed in England. My dad saw Saving Private Ryan when it came out in 1998, and urged his children to see it. We did.

On Veterans Day 2004, ABC and its affiliates have withdrawn its showing of this important movie about the landing at Normandy 60 years ago. The reason: Saving Private Ryan has profanity and violence ... apparently not suitable for viewing ... on Veterans Day ... while we are losing lives in Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah.

A showing of this movie would have to reasonably begin at 9 PM and "violence and profanity" can only be shown after 10 PM. Ask the Fox Network, the bastion of morality. Its Jerry Springer Show, where unspeakable acts are discussed to the taunts of "fight naked," and Fear Factor, where people apparently eat live snails, are shown after 10 PM.

My dad and uncle were very proud of their service to this country, and although probably shy about the title, both were born of the "greatest generation." They would be the first to tell you war is violent and it is profane.

ABC has placed this important movie on the same plane as Janet Jackson's exposure during the Super Bowl. If ABC were fined by the FCC $550,000 for showing Saving Private Ryan, it should be proud to pay the price.

Posted by Gadflygirl at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2004

Involuntary drafts

I could relate to Maureen Dowd's Sunday, November 7th, NYT column about looking forward to the "New Frontier" when JFK was elected. On election day, I was as excited as she must have been back then, so sure was I that Kerry would be elected. I wore my dad's raincoat to the polls (it was the third anniversary of my dad's death), and whenever someone appeared nervous about the outcome of the election, I said, "I've got a good feeling!" Around 5 PM, I sat alone in my yard, grinning from ear to ear, feeling silly about the expression on my face since no one else was a witness, and remembered too when JFK was elected. My parents went out on the front porch in the early morning hours, while it was still dark, and banged pots and pans with wooden spoons!

Maureen Dowd says what we are now offered is the "New Backtier."

I talked to a friend of mine today, from a blue state, who asked me what I thought of the reservist who had served in the Gulf War and then served six more years, honorably discharged from his term of duty, who has now been called to active duty in Iraq. He is suing the Federal government. My friend labeled his callback the "new draft." What else could it be? Last year, the Army decided to involuntarily call back 5,600 troops from those discharged from the Army, the Reserves, and the National Guard ... to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. I can only think of Bush on one of his campaign stops emphatically assuring his audience there would be no draft ... we would only have an "involuntary army." His audience had to correct him after several unsettling seconds.

My friend and I also recalled how the Viet Nam War was a nightly news story. Where is the news on Iraq really? Our media is "embedded," and we never know how many have been injured and only know how many have died from maybe one or two sources (The PBS News Hour and This Week with George Stephanopolis are the only two I am aware of which have a roll call of our dead soldiers). A photographer has been in trouble for taking photos of the flag-draped caskets as they are returned to this country. And as far as Iraqi civilians killed, the number exceeds 14,000 according to Iraq Body Count. Maybe when there is nightly reporting on lives lost, and by this I mean our soldiers and civilians ...

Posted by Gadflygirl at 06:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2004

It's been a tough day

Okay, I cried during Kerry's "concession" speech, and now it is time for me to spew.

To all of those who believe that the war in Iraq is justified, I can only recommend you get a copy of the McNamara documentary called "The Fog of War - Eleven Lessons Learned." Substitute Iraq for Viet Nam and become afraid, very afraid.

Tell me McNamara isn't a tortured soul today.

To all those in Ohio who have lost their jobs and are about to lose their jobs to India and elsewhere, you reap what you sow.

To all those young people in the 18-28 age bracket who didn't vote this year, anxious as you were to get to the bar to shoot some pool, drink some beer and smoke some cigarettes, maybe when you don't get the job you are looking for, when you don't get health coverage, when you can't afford to buy a house, or car, don't ever tell me how tough it is out there.

To those of you who are struggling with two jobs, some kids, and no health insurance, who voted for Bush nonetheless because you were either swayed by the number of yard signs you saw, or because you think you will be saved from a terrorist attack, I hope you remember that you have helped no one but the wealthy. You certainly haven't helped yourselves.

To those of you who are struggling with two jobs, some kids, and do have health insurance ...if it is paid by your employer, get ready for a cut-back, and if you must pay for it yourself, brace yourself for a big increase in your premium come January.

To those of you who don't have prescription coverage, and I'm one of them, and the elderly who are cutting your pills in half and taking them every other day because of the cost of your medication, if you voted for Bush, keep slicing those pills.

To the Catholic Church, my church, it just seems reprehensible that while you were engaging in your own massive cover-up of your own insidious sex scandal, you had the audacity to enter into the political fray over a woman's right to choose. Does it not occur to you that in the meantime, thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children, and yes, babies, have been killed? Where is your outrage over this?

And yes, to the young women out there who didn't vote or who voted for Bush, the hard work (and it was hard work, and the work was hard) done by women over a generation to put women on an equal playing field and to have control over their own bodies, I feel sorry for you.

To those of you who care about the environment and what will be left for your children and grandchildren, who voted for Bush ... never mind, I forgot that if you voted for Bush, you don't care about the environment.

To the media, and never would I have thought this twenty years ago, try becoming what you were meant to be ... a watchdog, an investigative body, a truth teller, a totem of a free society and free speech. Instead, you have become parrots of your corporate owners, and are a joke.

To the dirty tricksters, and by this I mean Karl Rove, Swift Boat Veterans, and others, who lied over and over again about Kerry, his record, and his patriotism, do you not feel the least bit of chagrin that you had to stoop so low in order to get your man re-elected?

Locally, to the people who voted to amend the state constitution to specify that a union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or any similar union for any purpose ... remember, Lynn and Dick Cheney's daughter is gay and has a partner. And many in traditional marriages, who voted to amend the constitution, have cheated on their spouses. I know so many of you myself.

That's it. It's been a tough day.

Posted by Gadflygirl at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)