Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A moment of truth on the House floor - it's about the oil, always has been

(Thank you to my friend, Brian, for sending me this story to post here.)

Representative Confronts American Empire on House Floor
By Jim McDermott, AlterNet. Posted May 26, 2007.

Rep. Jim McDermott rescues some history from the memory hole and puts Iraq into context: It's always been all about the oil.

Editor's note: After a week that saw Democrats cave to the White House in the worst possible way on Iraq, we thought this speech, offered on the House floor by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wa., last Wednesday, was worth highlighting. In a brief, five-minute commentary, McDermott does something almost unheard of in Washington: He looks at an issue in its larger historical context instead of pretending it just sprung up overnight like mushrooms after a rainfall.

Mr. Speaker:

This president and vice president have vowed to repeat the mistakes of history, and they have put into motion a plan to do just that in Iran, even as the House is about to send the president a box of blank checks for Iraq, against the will of the American people.

The history is worth knowing.

In 1953, the United States and United Kingdom launched Operation Ajax, a covert CIA operation to destabilize and remove the democratically elected government of Iran, including then Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.

Why? Oil.

Under Mossadegh, the Iranian government decided to reclaim Iran's rightful ownership of its national oil treasure, which had been exclusively controlled by the British who were taking 85 percent of the profits.

Oh, and by the way, the U.K. also kept the books secret, merely telling Iran what its 15 percent take was.

As soon as Mossadegh began to reclaim Iran's oil treasure, it was all over. Operation Ajax was set into motion.

The U.S. embassy in Tehran provoked phony internal Iranian dissent, while the Brits engineered an Iranian financial crisis by orchestrating a global boycott of Iranian oil. We brought down the Iranian government and installed the Shah.

For two decades, we propped up the Shah against the will of the Iranian people. It was all about controlling Iran. It still is. Today, ABC News is reporting exclusively that this president has authorized a new covert CIA plot to bring down the Iranian government.

I ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the journalism produced by chief investigative reporter Brian Ross and Richard Esposito of ABC News.

This is their lead sentence in the story.

"The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert 'black' operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on"

We’re back in 1953, and that worked out so well.

Of course, the vice president wanted to invade Iran, so we can be sure he will spin new tales of fear in coming days to keep his preferred option, invasion, very much alive.

The president knows only one way -- my way or the highway.

His vice president knows only one way -- invade and seize control of what you want -- and he wants the oil treasure of Iraq and Iran to become wholly owned subsidiaries of the western oil companies he so favors.

With Iraq in civil war, the president has authorized a secret plan to repeat the doomed mistakes of history in Iran.

How many billions of reconstruction money for Iraq will be siphoned off for the deconstruction of Iran?

The American people are virtually shouting at us to pay attention and get our soldiers out of Iraq, now.

Vast sums of U.S. taxpayer money are flowing into Iraq and billions of U.S. dollars are missing.
The special inspector for Iraq reconstruction told a San Antonio newspaper last week that corruption in Iraq is endemic and debilitating.

But, Prime Minister al-Maliki has granted ministers and former ministers immunity from prosecution by Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity.

And, in turn, the ministers can shield their own employees from prosecution.

And, a government that has been told by this president and vice president to pass an oil law that transfers control -- and profits -- to Western oil companies, just like the good old days in Iran.

Overthrowing Iran in 1953 was all about oil. Invading Iraq was all about oil. And the new secret plot against Iran is all about oil.

Oil is the only benchmark this president and vice president want, and they will keep American soldiers fighting and dying until an oil law is passed in Iraq that gives Western oil companies control of the spigot.

It is time to unmask the latest doomed plot to overthrow Iran and past time to get out soldiers out of Iraq.

Nothing less than protecting our troops is acceptable.

Thank you.

Note from Lizzy:

Of course we knew it's been about the oil all along, but does the rest of the country care? Apparently not.

Moments of truth like this one are hard to come by in politics. The problem is that nothing ever seems to come from it. This administration is nothing more than a bunch of sociopathic mob-like criminals, and the Democrats are a bunch of spineless wimps for not taking the necessary steps to remove them from office.

Frankly, I've had enough of both parties. Cindy Sheehan recently gave up. I'm almost to that point myself.

In the meantime, I am backing Ron Paul for President. Fuck 'em.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Conversion to atheism

I'm not (quite) an atheist, but I did find this interesting.

Like Lennon said, "Imagine no religion..."

A lovely day at the dogpark

Me & Norman

Tom, Norman & Stella

a good time was had by all

(French bulldog Meetup group - Minneapolis)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ron Paul - a worthwhile Republican

(I posted this for about an hour a couple days ago, but took it down. However, after watching with horror as the Democrats caved in to Bush today on the war, I decided to put it back up.)

I never thought it would happen, and you may think this is a joke, but I am considering throwing my support behind a Republican.

While I do not agree with Ron Paul on everything, (especially his pro-life/anti-choice stance) he is a straight-shooter, and doesn't talk from both sides of his Hillary & Obama.

Brief Overview of Congressman Paul’s Record

He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.

He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

Congressman Paul introduces numerous pieces of substantive legislation each year, probably more than any single member of Congress.


A true-blue liberal endorsing a Republican? Maybe.

Watch the video.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Catch 22

Every week in film school, our instructor assigns us to watch a film from a specific time period and then write a paper on it. The first assignment was to watch a film made before 1955. I watched Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt." The next week we had to watch a foreign film pre-1955, so I watched Nosferatu. From there was Jaws, The Sting, LA Confidential, Hitchcock's Notorious, Fellini's 8 1/2, and even Hudson Hawk (my instructor picked that last one.)

When he assigned us a film between 1955 - 1974, I took the opportunity to watch 1970's Catch 22. Tom had always said that I should see it, and he was right.

If you haven't seen the film, or read the book, do yourself a favor and rent it. The film is more relevant today than ever. I swear, the Bush administration must have watched it before planning the war. Catch 22 has it all -- war profiteering, maniacal leadership, extended never-ending tours of duty, descents into madness, and then there's the scene where the Americans bomb themselves.

Sound familiar?

Friday, May 18, 2007

"Sicko" Is Completed and We're Off to Cannes!

Latest letter from Michael Moore:

"Sicko" Is Completed and We're Off to Cannes!


It's a wrap! My new film, "Sicko," is all done and will have its world premiere this Saturday night at the Cannes Film Festival. As with "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," we are honored to have been chosen by this prestigious festival to screen our work there.

My intention was to keep "Sicko" under wraps and show it to virtually no one before its premiere in Cannes. That is what I have done and, as you may have noticed if you are a recipient of my infrequent Internet letters, I have been very silent about what I've been up to. In part, that's because I was working very hard to complete the film. But my silence was also because I knew that the health care industry -- an industry which makes up more than 15 percent of our GDP -- was not going to like much of what they were going to see in this movie and I thought it best not to upset them any sooner than need be.

Well, going quietly to Cannes, I guess, was not to be. For some strange reason, on May 2nd the Bush administration initiated an action against me over how I obtained some of the content they believe is in my film. As none of them have actually seen the film (or so I hope!), they decided, unlike with "Fahrenheit 9/11," not to wait until the film was out of the gate and too far down the road to begin their attack.

Bush's Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, launched an investigation of a trip I took to Cuba to film scenes for the movie. These scenes involve a group of 9/11 rescue workers who are suffering from illnesses obtained from working down at Ground Zero. They have received little or no help with their health care from the government. I do not want to give away what actually happens in the movie because I don't want to spoil it for you (although I'm sure you'll hear much about it after it unspools Saturday). Plus, our lawyers have advised me to say little at this point, as the film goes somewhere far scarier than "Cuba." Rest assured of one thing: no laws were broken. All I've done is violate the modern-day rule of journalism that says, "ask no questions of those in power or your luncheon privileges will be revoked."

This preemptive action taken by the Bush administration on the eve of the "Sicko" premiere in Cannes led our attorneys to fear for the safety of our film, noting that Secretary Paulson may try to claim that the content of the movie was obtained through a violation of the trade embargo that our country has against Cuba and the travel laws that prohibit average citizens of our free country from traveling to Cuba. (The law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their first amendment right of a free press and documentaries are protected works of journalism.)

I was floored when our lawyers told me this. "Are you saying they might actually confiscate our movie?" "Yes," was the answer. "These days, anything is possible. Even if there is just a 20 percent chance the government would seize our movie before Cannes, does anyone want to take that risk?"

Certainly not. So there we were last week, spiriting a duplicate master negative out of the country just so no one from the government would take it from us. (Seriously, I can't believe I just typed those words! Did I mention that I'm an American, and this is America and NO ONE should ever have to say they had to do such a thing?)

I mean, folks, I have just about had it. Investigating ME because I'm trying to help some 9/11 rescue workers our government has abandoned? Once again, up is down and black is white. There are only two people in need of an investigation and a trial, and the desire for this across America is so widespread you don't even need to see the one's smirk or hear the other's sneer to know who I am talking about.

But no, I'm the one who now has to hire lawyers and sneak my documentary out of the country just so people can see a friggin' movie. I mean, it's just a movie! What on earth could I have placed on celluloid that would require such a nonsensical action against me?

Ok. Scratch that.

Well, I'm on my way to Cannes right now, a copy of the movie in my bag. Don't feel too bad for me, I'll be in the south of France for a week! But then it's back to the U.S. for a number of premieres and benefits and then, finally, a chance for all of you to see this film that I have made. Circle June 29th on your calendar because that's when it opens in theaters everywhere across the country and Canada (for the rest of the world, it opens in the fall).

I can't wait for you to see it.

Michael Moore

P.S. I will write more about what happens from Cannes. Stay tuned on my website,

Note from Lizzy: I can't wait to see this. I've been checking IMDb once a month for the past year for info on this film. Moore is my favorite documentary filmmaker, by far. He was one of my inspirations for going to film school.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Killers in St. Paul, tonight

Oh, the big rock concerts of my youth. Queen, Kiss, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Clash, ELO, Cheap Trick, The Cars, The Police, and even the Bee Gees -- those were good times.

The concerts were always a blast, and going to school the next day in your concert t-shirt was the thing to do.

I was racking my brain to figure out the last arena rock show that I attended. I believe it was The Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels" tour in 1989.

Tonight I'm seeing The Killers in St. Paul. Me & my niece are big fans.

I think I'll get a t-shirt.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Instant karma got me

My karma is all out of whack due to some personal issues I'm dealing with. I never thought that I would turn out to be the bad guy, but I am now.

I'm trying to turn things around and make things right, but it isn't easy. I'm being pulled in many directions.

Maybe, I should just chuck it all and run away with PoliShifter. Nah, that wouldn't be right, either.

Have any of you ever dealt with bad karma?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Echoes of Nixon targeting John Lennon

I knew it was only a matter of time until BushCo went after Moore.

Read the full story here

From Michael
May 10th, 2007 9:34 am
Statement in Response to Bush Administration's Investigation of 'SiCKO'

'SiCKO,' Michael Moore's new movie, will rip the band-aid off America's health care industry. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in just one week and opening across the U.S. on June 29th, 'SiCKO' will expose the corporations that place profit before care and the politicians who care only about money. Our health care system is broken and, all too often, deadly. The efforts of the Bush Administration to conduct a politically motivated investigation of Michael Moore and 'SiCKO' will not stop us from making sure the American people see this film.

On September 11, 2001 this country was attacked. Thousands of Americans responded with heroism and courage, toiling for days, weeks and months in the ruins at Ground Zero. These 9/11 first responders risked their lives searching for survivors, recovering bodies, and clearing away toxic rubble. Now, many of these heroes face serious health issues -- and far too many of them are not receiving the care they need and deserve. President Bush and the Bush Administration should be spending their time trying to help these heroes get health care instead of abusing the legal process to advance a political agenda.

-- Meghan O'Hara,
Producer, SiCKO

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Buckling down

I'll be blogging lite for the next couple of days. I'm studying for the mid-term exam in my film storyboarding class. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sean Penn should run for office

I love Sean Penn. Always have.

From Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Falcon & the Snowman to Dead Man Walking to Mystic River, and all the films in between, he is one of the best actors of our generation.

And now that he's speaking his mind about politics and the criminal Bush administration, I think he should run for office.

Here's a clip of what he said last night on Real Time, and following that is New Rules. I tried to post the video, but once again, Blogger is acting shitty.

Sean Penn Clip / New Rules 05/04/2007

As far as the rest of the show, Garry Shandling monopolized at times, but his one-liners were killer.

I found Harold Ford Jr's middle-of-the road stance on issues to be irritating. Plus, he still talks like he's running for office. Get real, man.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

IMPORTANT! Pelosi is taking tally for IMPEACHMENT. ACT NOW!!

Call from your cell after work if need be.

IMPORTANT! Pelosi is taking tally for IMPEACHMENT. ACT NOW!!

PLEASE CALL Nancy Pelosi's office right now. Here's the deal as forwarded to me:

**1ST call - House Speaker Pelosi's office is taking calls voting for Impeachment of Bush/Cheney at 202-225-0100.

Folks, each of you who have been wanting Impeachment, need to commit right now to ask at least 10 others to call and ask each person to commit to asking 10 others to call and so on. It needs to happen fast and NOW. Let's BLITZKREIG the Speaker's office with demands for Impeachment of Bush AND Cheney.

Please make a call, and thanks so very much."


1 (800) 828 - 0498
1 (800) 459 - 1887
1 (800) 614 - 2803
1 (866) 340 - 9281
1 (866) 338 - 1015
1 (877) 851 - 6437

Temporary endorsement

Last week, I watched the first Democratic National Presidential Debate. I thought many of them did a good job, however one of them consistently represented my views.

He's also the only one to have the balls to bring up articles of impeachment against Cheney. That alone, is a huge factor for me.

I know that Dennis Kucinich doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being the candidate, but until he drops out, he's my guy.