Thanks, again, Tim!
Baron Dave Romm
Hussein as Noriega
By Baron Dave Romm
Adolph Hitler is the epitome of evil, and it's become standard to invoke the Nazis whenever you rhetorically need an absolute position. (Interestingly, a lot of the rabid right used to invoke Stalin and Communism, but they seem to be letting that slide...) Currently, the person being compared to Hitler is Saddam Hussein. Saddam is certainly a bad guy, but is this a fair comparison?
Hitler and Saddam similarities: Both are ruthless dictators who murder their own people for political and monetary gain. Both hate the US, Jews (or anyone not of their own religion), and have territorial ambitions. Both were helped by the Bush family; Hitler by W's great grand dad George Herbert Walker and grand dad Prescott Bush, Saddam by the Reagan/Bush administration and Dick Cheney's Haliburton.
Hitler and Saddam dissimilarities: Hitler, like Osama bin Laden (or George W. Bush...), was a religious fanatic who felt his calling was from God, and regularly invoked religion to win support and bash enemies. Saddam makes appeals to Islam, but is not terribly religious and is considered an "infidel" by bin Laden (8th paragraph from bottom). Hitler rose to power in a large nation on a wave of hate after WWI and, for better or worse, won elections and his Nazi party took control through the manipulation of a democratic process. Saddam rose to power when the head of the ruling Baath Party resigned, and he had several members of his fellow Ruling Command Council executed for treason. Hitler had a growing army and the support (or toleration) of most of his people. Saddam has a shrinking, dispirited army and still needs to suppress huge groups of people such as the Kurds or the Shi'ites. Hitler went out of his way to break the Versaille Treaty and rebuild the German military machine. Saddam is complying, reluctantly, with the inspectors and his country regularly gets bombed and planes shot down over the No Fly Zone. Hitler rose to power in 1933 and committed suicide in 1945; a bare 12 years as head of state, half while he was at war with much of the world. Saddam rose to power in 1963 and became dictator in 1979 and is still firmly ensconsed nearly 25 years later, with a few regional wars to his name. Hitler was mad enough to declare war on the US. Saddam blusters a lot hasn't been crazy enough to initiate a world war.
Saddam Hussein is a ruthless dictator and the world -- and Iraq -- would be better off without him. But he is not Hitler, and doesn't have world-conquering ambitions and is hated by the terrorists behind 9/11. Bush -- and, sadly, Powell -- are lying. Again. They are covering their own asses to distract a frightened US from the miserable failure of the oily Bush administration in the economy and the War on Terror so their extremist agenda doesn't make the front page.This just in for Monday Feb. 17: The conservative news media seems to be making a great deal of effort to point out that Saddam Hussein is happy that there are people protesting the upcoming war against him. Why is this news? What did anyone expect him to say? It would be news if he said "no thanks". The reports are making patriots look like sympathizers, which is not merely wrong but evil. I'm not anti-war, I'm anti this war because it's the wrong thing to do at the wrong time and it isn't responding to 9/11.
Noriega and Saddam similarities: Noriega was a ruthless dictator who came to power and held on to it with the direct aid and support of the Reagan/Bush administration, a graduate of the School of the Americas and on the CIA payroll while Poppy Bush was head of the CIA because he was not a commie and therefore better than the commies around him. Saddam held on to power with the direct aid of the Reagan/Bush administration, and was supplied chemical weapons by the US, because he was not Khomeini and therefore better than Iran. (There is a lot of evidence that the conservative news media isn't paying attention to, but you can find one book about the CIA's support of dictators here). Our invasion of Panama was a disaster, resulting in many civilian deaths and the regime that replaced Noriega was even worse than Noriega. Saddam is a ruthless dictator who came to power in the Baath coup of 1963, funded by the CIA claim the Muslims. Our invasion of Iraq during the Gulf War kicked them out of Kuwait but left Saddam in power and the Iraqi people suffering worse. The Gulf War's civilian deaths are given not mentioned much, much like we've ignored the friendly fire US casualties (this well-researched Canadian article on friendly fire mentions that "In the Persian Gulf War, 35 of the 146 combat deaths among U.S. soldiers have been blamed on friendly fire").
And the mere fact that we're talking about Saddam Hussein as if he were a threat to the US -- the only argument that the right uses is "Are you sure he isn't a threat? Are you sure?" as if the need to prove a negative is the only way to stave off an invasion -- is a feint. The oily Bush administration has lost the War on Terror and they can't admit it. Osama bin Laden has won, and the only thing the mightiest nation on earth can do is threaten old enemies that had nothing to do with 9/11.
Americans should stop the religious fanatic with weapons of mass distruction who is threatening war and thumbing his nose at the rest of the world while suppressing his own people. We should also do something about Saddam Hussein.
Baron Dave Romm is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia with a radio show, a very weird CD collection and an ever growing list of political links. He reviews things at random for obscure web sites. You can read all his music recommendations from Bartcop-E here. Thanks to everyone who has sent me music to play on the air, and I'm collecting extra-weird stuff for a possible CD compilation.
He's Been Busy - Again!
The Worried Shrimp
In The Chaos Household
Another overcast day.
Saw a promo for this week's 'Twilight Zone' on UPN, and it seems to have great potential. One of the most memorable episodes of the original series was 'It's A Good Life', with a young Bill Mumy as 'Anthony', and Cloris Leachman as his mom, set in Peaksville, Ohio. 6-year old Anthony can read minds, has a terrible temper, and likes putting things in the cornfield. Both Bill Mumy and Cloris Leachman are in the updated episode.
The kid has no school today.
Tonight, Monday, CBS opens the night with a FRESH 'King Of Queens', then a FRESH 'Yes, Dear', followed by a FRESH 'Raymond', then a FRESH 'Still Standing', and finally, a FRESH 'CSI: Miami'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Dave is Dr. Phil McGraw.
Scheduled on a FRESH Craiggers are Will Ferrell, Khandi Alexander, and Supergrass.
NBC opens with a FRESH 'Fear Factor', then a FRESH 'Third Watch', followed by the FRESH 'special' 'Michael Jackson Unmasked'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jay are Kathleen Edwards, Bill Maher, and "American Fido" competition.
On a traditional Monday-night RERUN Conan are Sen. John McCain, Katie Holmes.
On a traditional Monday-night RERUN Carson Daly (from 1/18/03), are Ray Liotta, Vivian Green.
ABC has dumped it's scheduled lineup to wallow in the RERUN 'Michael 'sleeps with children' Jackson' show from last week.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel, is Guttermouth - this week's guest co-host is Janeane Garofalo.
The WB offers a FRESH '7th Heaven', and a FRESH 'Everwood'.
Faux has the Series Finale of 'Joe Millionaire'.
UPN offers a FRESH 'The Parkers', a FRESH 'One On One', a FRESH 'Girlfriends', and a FRESH 'Half & Half'.
Anyone have any opinions?
(See below for addresses)
Shira Keyes of the Code Pink Women for Peace protests in front of the White House in Washington February 16, 2003. The United States and Britain considered giving diplomacy more time Sunday in the face
of resistance at the United Nations to their plans for war to disarm Iraq and vast weekend peace protests around the world. The Washington, D.C. area is currently under blizzard conditions with more snow expected tomorrow as well.
Photo by William Philpott
Reflects on Beatles' Demise
More than 30 years after the breakup of the Beatles and on the brink of her 70th birthday, Yoko Ono has become philosophical about the days when many Beatles fans hated her and blamed her for the band's demise.
"I think that through that kind of incredible, strange confrontation, people started to understand me," the widow of John Lennon told the New York Post for a story in Sunday's editions.
Ono keep busy these days managing the legacy of her late husband and producing dance mixes of his music and her own. She is about to release a dance mix of Lennon's "Walking on Thin Ice" — the song Lennon was working on the night he was murdered in 1980.
The Information One-Stop
Moose & Squirrel
Protested Postponed White House Event
Poet Jay Parini said he was disgusted when the White House indefinitely postponed a literary symposium after learning some poets planned to express their opposition to a war with Iraq.
It was naive for organizers to think he and other poets would check their politics at the door of the event sponsored by first lady Laura 'Pickles' Bush, he said.
Before an overflow crowd of about 600, poets read works of their own and other poets who were to be featured at the White House event. Organizers said the Bushes were invited, but did not respond.
"Why be afraid of us, Mrs. Bush?" said Julia Alvarez, reciting a poem she wrote about the "disinvitation." "You're married to a scarier fellow."
Sunday's lineup included Pulitzer Prize winner Galway Kinnell and incoming state poet laureate Grace Paley, both Vermonters and longtime peace activists.
The poetry read Sunday will be published, with the proceeds going to charity.
Helen Maxwell carries a sign mocking the U.S. government's recent homeland security measures during an anti-war rally in downtown San Francisco, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2003.
Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez
At Benefit Despite Injury
A nasty cold and a broken foot that put her in a wheelchair couldn't keep Elizabeth Taylor from at a benefit for AIDS research. After all, Gov. Gray Davis had declared it Elizabeth Taylor Day for her work in support of the cause.
The actress made her planned address at the Feb. 8 gala, although she missed a dinner preceding it — disappointing some 70 partygoers who'd paid $2,000 each to dine with her and other celebrities including Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Carrie Fisher, Penny Marshall and Tom Petty.
The benefit raised $230,000 for AIDS Services Foundation Orange County and the Laguna Art Museum.
Aerosmith Drummer Bulldozed Mansion
Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer has taken the bulldozer to his 15-room mansion south of Boston to build cozier quarters in its place.
Kramer had put the 1910 Georgian colonial on the market in 2001 for $3.75 million but opted to downsize the residence instead after it failed to sell, The Patriot Ledger of Quincy reported.
Kramer's new seven-room home is half the size of the old one, but he and his wife, April, will be able to host friends at a new pool house and offer plenty of parking in two garages that can hold 10 cars.
Surprisd Wife on Valentine's Day
Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal transcended the typical chocolates and roses for Valentine's Day presents, surprising his newlywed wife with a private, six-course dinner he helped cook at a swanky restaurant.
A friend of the Los Angeles Lakers center bought out Avenue restaurant so that O'Neal could help prepare steamed Alaskan King crab legs, rib-eyed steak, roasted lamb and chicken for new bride Shaunie Nelson, chef Andrew DeGroot said Saturday.
"Candles were everywhere, red rose petals were scattered on the floor and music was playing. ... It was a really romantic moment," DeGroot said.
In The Kitchen With BartCop & Friends
Turning Propaganda Organ
Following its tradition of exploring the political landscape, MTV News is developing a number of programs on Iraq.
The music cable network noted Thursday that a recent survey shows America's young people are greatly alarmed about a potential war -- more alarmed, in fact, than about terrorism.
Next Thursday, the network will premiere an MTV NewsNow Special Report on what a war could mean for young people. Should a war start before then, MTV will return to the field and contact people previously interviewed.
MTV Daily News will produce a series of story packages, domestically and internationally. The net intends to cover the reaction on various campuses around the country as well as war protests and counterprotests. The news division also will develop an "Iraq 101" primer on why the U.S. could go to war with Iraq.
Protestors carry signs during an anti-war protest in Halifax on Saturday Feb. 15, 2003. The city joined similar protests in cities around the world.
Photo by Eric Wynne
"The Bachelorette" isn't so good at keeping secrets. Trista Rehn was shopping for a dress the other day in Saks Fifth Avenue with style commentator Steven Cojocaru. When they got to the cashier,
Cojocaru exclaimed: "Charlie's paying for it!" He turned to Rehn and said, "Charlie's going to have to get used to buying you expensive presents!" The final segment of "The Bachelorette" has yet
to air, and it's supposed to be a secret whether she picks Charlie or Ryan, though lots of viewers have already learned she's pregnant with Charlie's baby.
Boy-Band Mogul Faces Florida Probe
Boy-band hitmaker Lou Pearlman is the target of a state probe into complaints that hundreds of aspiring models and actors were duped into paying up to $1,500 each for spots on his company's Web site.
Clients say they were led to believe that Pearlman's company, Trans Continental Talent Inc., would help them find work — not just post their pictures online.
The investigation, which began in August, has turned up "hundreds of potential violations" but no one who actually landed a job through the company, Assistant Attorney General Jackie Dowd said.
Pearlman, best known for launching the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, issued a statement Friday saying he was unaware of the investigation.
Formerly 'The Vidiot'
Seeks GOP Action
Michael M. Honda
A Japanese-American congressman stepped up the pressure on a North Carolina colleague, calling for Republican leaders to condemn comments made by Rep. Howard Coble that suggest Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II for their own protection.
Rep. Michael M. Honda, D-San Jose, on Saturday compared the statements made by Coble with those made by Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who was forced to resign in December as Senate majority leader after praising a 1948 presidential campaign that promoted racial segregation.
Speaking at a news conference Saturday in Los Angeles, Honda said calls by the Asian-American congressional caucus and Japanese-American groups for Coble to step down from his chairmanship of the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security have been ignored by Republican political leaders.
"They're notably silent on this," said Honda, who was interned along with his family during World War II.
A U.S. government study after the war called the internment "a grave personal injustice" to people of Japanese ancestry that was the result of "race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership." Starting in 1990, the government began paying survivors $20,000.
"Since 9/11, there have been many, many civil liberties eroded away," Honda said. "Howard Coble has not learned the lesson. ... When you set aside the Constitution, bad things happen."
Michael M. Honda
Protesters carry effigys of U.S. President George W Bush (R) leading Australian Prime Minister John Howard by a dog leash during a demonstration against U.S.-led threats of military action in Iraq, in
Sydney, February 16, 2003. Up to half a million people marched peacefully in Australia's largest city on Sunday, part of a weekend of protests.
Photo by Tim Wimborne
Built In Japan
A Japanese civic committee has claimed a world record for a cool 12,379 snowmen built by tourists and residents of the northern Japanese city of Sapporo and it will seek to register it with Guinness World Records.
Sapporo is the capital of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, 800km north of Tokyo, which hosts an annual Snow Festival of ice sculptures by private groups and government agencies.
The record-holder with 6,300 snowmen is another Japanese city, Tokamachi in the heart of Japan's "snow country" in Niigata Prefecture, 200km north-west of Tokyo, according to the organisers of the Sapporo event.
The organising committee for the snowmen-making record attempt collected photos of all the snowmen as evidence for the Guinness Book of Records, Morita said.
Joe Bob's Drive-In: Porn Star By Joe Bob Briggs
The first time I realized just how famous Ron Jeremy had become was while reading the sports section one day. I came to the section where all the topless bars advertise. Normally the adds say, "Meet Pandora Peaks! One Week Only! 56EEE-24-34!"
But one of the clubs, a place called Legz Diamondz, had an ad announcing "Meet Ron Jeremy! In Person! Live on stage!"
Do you know HOW popular you have to be to interrupt the nude flesh parade at a strip bar to stand on stage telling jokes for a half hour? He may be the ONLY guy in the history of movies -- ANY movies, not just porn -- who could do that. Robert DeNiro could not stand onstage at a strip club without getting booed off by the rowdy frustrated crowd.
And, man, do they turn out when Ron shows up. He's not just a porn star, he's THE porn star, a phenomenon examined in an excellent new documentary called "Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy," now playing on the west coast and soon to open in the east. To give you just one example: When Ron appears at the Consumer Electronics Show, among hundreds of scantily clad porn women, he has the longest autograph line in the building. People are fanatic about the guy. They feel like they know him.
For the rest, Joe Bob's Drive-In: Porn Star By Joe Bob Briggs
Porn Star - The Legend of Ron Jeremy
Performing In London
The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra
Mozart will be turning in his grave next week when a Viennese orchestra descends on London to make a meal out of playing the carrot.
The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra says it will cook up a storm with its carrot flutes, leek violins, celery bongos and aubergine cymbals.
Supported by the occasional use of kitchen utensils such as spoons and food processors, the orchestra has been a hit in its hometown Vienna.
Before each performance, the band tours local markets to find fresh vegetables of just the right calibre and quality.
Once the instruments are worn out, the musicians, and a conductor who doubles as cook, toss each one into a stewpot to make soup -- to be enjoyed by the audience after the concert.
The orchestra is due to play at the Purcell Room at London's South Bank arts complex on Tuesday and Wednesday. A taste of their music is on website www.gemueseorchester.org.
The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra
Vera Hruba Ralston
Czech-born ice skater Vera Hruba Ralston, star of America's "Ice Capades" and Republic Pictures
B-movies, died Feb. 9 of cancer at her Santa Barbara home. She was 79.
In 1941, Herbert J. Yates, head of Republic Pictures featured Ralston in "Ice-Capades," and followed up in 1942 with "Ice-Capades Revue."
In 1943, Ralston signed a long-term contract with Republic, where she became a Yates' protegee and later his wife.
20th Century Fox had signed Norwegian Olympic gold medalist-turned actress Sonja Henie. Ralston was billed as Republic Pictures' star who "skated out of Czechoslovakia into the hearts of America."
Her first leading role was in "The Lady and the Monster," a 1944 thriller costarring Erich von Stroheim and Richard Arlen. Over the next 14 years, she appeared in 23 other Republic films.
She added the surname Ralston - taken from the name of a popular breakfast cereal - because Americans had difficulty pronouncing Hruba.
Ralston was born in Prague in 1923, the daughter of a wealthy jeweler.
Around age 10, she turned her attention from studying ballet to figure skating. She skated in the 1936 Olympics.
Ralston, who married Yates in 1952, retired from the screen in 1958, the year he was deposed from the studio in a proxy fight.
Yates died in 1966 at 85. Ralston married Charles Alva in 1973.
Vera Hruba Ralston
Former first lady Nancy Reagan (R) and Dolores Hope, wife of entertainer Bob Hope, attend an exhibit in honor of Bob Hope's 100th birthday at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on
February 15, 2003 in Simi Valley, California. The exhibit, 'Bob Hope: American Patriot' showcases his work from World War II to Desert Storm.
Photo by Adrees Latif
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