Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

George Carlin is gone now. His heart finally gave out. Considering he survived a number of heart attacks, we’ve been lucky to see him make it to 71 years.

George Carlin was one of America’s greatest voices for freedom. His famous seven words you can’t say on TV illuminated the hypocrisy of the American media’s Puritanism. Violence, blood and gore were ok, but not those naughty words.

George was one to call ‘em as he saw ‘em. He called ‘em when it wasn’t pretty. He faced the ugliness, the madness and dark seediness lurking in our politics and culture. He could get us to laugh at the kind of stories that should make us cry.

His last TV special was one of his best. See “It's Bad for Ya” and you’ll agree he was in top form.

Last October George was a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Keith was kind enough to re-broadcast that interview on tonight’s show. I’d like to share the post I wrote about that event back then.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What George Carlin REALLY Said

“Nothing you see on the internet is mine unless it came from one of my albums, books, HBO shows, or appeared on my website.” – George Carlin

Most of us have received the e-mail forwards. They usually feature someone ranting about taxes, welfare, social issues, and such. Some of the most popular of these were credited to George Carlin and were titled, “Gas Prices Solution,” “Paradox in our Time in History”, “Bad Republican,” or “Bad American.” It might start out saying, “I like big cars, big cigars…” Then it would usually go on with typical right-wing complaints like, “I don’t celebrate Kwanza, I think I’m better than the homeless, I am not tolerant of others because they are different, I think global warming is junk science,” and something about Ronald Reagan being his hero.

You get the idea. It just feels good for people to have someone famous; someone they want to believe who sees things as they do.

Not all are specifically or politically conservative. There is one that reads like a sentimental little sermon. The one titled “Paradox in our Time” contains bits like, “We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We've learned to rush, but not to wait.” When the piece gets to, “…watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.” Those of us who know Carlin is an atheist get suspicious.

With only a little investigation, we learn that none of these were actually written by Mr. Carlin. I am still a fan of the guy, even though his material seems to be getting a little too morbid and depressing. As such are the times, I must admit.

I was happy to see George featured as a guest on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” last Tuesday, October 23rd. So, for the curious, here is what George Carlin REALLY had to say.

After his introduction by Olbermann, Carlin noted appreciatively, “This is the best news show ever…unparalleled.”

Referring to George Bush, he said, ”He’s Governor Bush, because that’s the last elected office he held legally in this country.”

Expanding his observations, he commented about the illegal wiretapping by the Bush Administration.” Power does what it wants, and now they’re just more naked about it. Now they just put it right out front and say, ‘This is what we’re doing to you folks’. It’s, you know, this country is finished. It’s been sliding downhill a long time. And everybody’s got a cell phone that makes pancakes, so they don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to make any trouble. The people have been bought off by gizmos and toys in this country, and no one questions things anymore.”

He concluded with, “Seriously, that’s what I love about your show. I mean you bring the thing right to them, and that’s the only way to do it.’

There you have it. George Carlin wants us to watch “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”


Thursday, June 12, 2008


Hey, did you hear this stuff? It's all over the "internets".

Right Wingers are fervently passing along juicy tidbits of shocking, just shocking, examples of liberal evil committed by Barack Obama. The big conservative corporate media goons and their kindred bloggers are out in force with a concerted effort to smear Obama.

Gosh, those sanctimonious, self proclaimed God-fearing conservative types would never lie, would they? Isn't that against some rule in a book somewhere? Isn't there something about lying in that dusty book they rarely read because it doesn't have pictures in it? There's also some crazy stuff about loving your fellow human beings, but that part isn't worth their trouble reading. Yet they love to whip it out and thump it on the table when they want to demonize some liberal.

Well, maybe they are liars as well as hypocrites. Let's see if we can get to the truth. To borrow a phrase from the book they use for their persecutory and political ends, perhaps they can be judged by the fruit they bear.

Here's a few samples of some of the fruits they offer.

Barack Obama is a Muslim. Barack Obama attended a radical madrassa. Senator Obama was sworn into the US Senate using the Koran.

Barack Obama won't put his hand over this heart during the pledge of allegiance. Barack Obama won't say the pledge.

And what about his wife, Michelle? According to Rush Limbaugh a tape exists of Michelle Obama using the word “whitey” from the pulpit of Trinity United.

So, the simple equation we face is this. If these statements are not true, then somebody's sinning against their own professed theology.

I'd like to share a link to a site that takes these accusations and holds them to the light.

It's all here at

I guess that would make our Righties gone wrong not only liars and hypocrites, but sinners as well. And here we thought only those darn liberals were the sinners!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Next On Bill Moyers

Thank God for Bill Moyers. If anyone deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it is this guy. Alas, only corporatists, liars, and war mongers actually receive the medal from this twisted and perverse excuse for an administration.

Far too few in the media world care to address this topic. Corporate Media propaganda is used to cover up Corporate Media propaganda. It's the same closed circuit thinking that promotes the reason for war in Iraq is to have a war in Iraq. That IS the reason we're there, right?

Here's the heads up notice from Media Matters about the upcoming Bill Moyers Journal this weekend.

This week on Moyers:

There's nothing new in Scott McClellan's book about the propaganda campaign or the role of the press in selling the war, so why is it such big news? Journalists Jonathan Landay and John Walcott of McClatchy Newspapers and Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher analyze the reaction of the administration and the media to McClellan's book. Landay and Walcott were part of an award-winning team of journalists at Knight Ridder (now McClatchy) that consistently challenged the administration's case for war, and Mitchell is the author of So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits-and the President-failed on Iraq. The program reviews how the press is handling other important stories today.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Good Advice

Like many of you, I am pleased that Scott McClellan has written a book of memoirs about his days in the White House. It's a good thing when a man can face the darkness of his past, and his association with sociopaths, liars and war criminals. It is reassuring that a man can turn back towards the light of day and tell the truth about the evil he has left behind. I am happy that Bush's former media mouthpiece has stopped drinking the Reich's Bloody Red Kool-Aid, and found enough conscience to admit that lies and deceptions were the stock in trade of his former cronies.

However, we are left disappointed that most of his words come too late to be anything more than validation of what we already know.

At any rate, let's move on and pretend that this is really, what republicans are fond of dismissing as, "old news". Never mind that the suffering continues, and new blood is spilled every day as the fetid fruit of his old lies.

Let's take a look at the newest oral excrement from our Dear Leader.

He was invited by the governor and republicans at Furman University to deliver the commencement address to the new graduates. I'll bet he has a bucketful of personal insight and wisdom to guide the young adults into their uncertain future. A future in the splendid new world full of opportunities made possible by his administration's policies. I don't know what those who can't get a job at Blackwater, Halliburton, or Exxon will do, though.

After the usual banalities, his speech soon went into lecture mode. He brought up responsibility.

"As you move ahead in life, you will find temptations and distractions that can take you off course. You might also find that years may pass before you learn some important truths: that who you are is more important than what you have. And that you have responsibilities to your fellow citizens, your country, your family, and yourself."

I doubt he meant the temptation of launching an unprovoked war for re-election and crony war profiteering. He couldn't have been referring to distraction from the efforts at dealing with Al-Qaeda. Maybe the gigantic deficits and debts he ran up were his responsibilities to his fellow citizens and country. It's probably for our own good. We just don't see it the same way as the Decider sees it.

"A culture of responsibility means serving others. Through the toil of generations and the grace of God, our Nation has been given much, and more and more Americans are recognizing our obligation to help those who have little."

Yes, as long as that obligation isn't in the form of taxes for quality public education, or safety nets like health care and social security.

"You can strengthen our country by showing fiscal discipline in your lives."

I can only imagine the hoots of scorn and laughter erupting at that one.

"... My advice to you is to not dig a financial hole you cannot get out of. Try your best to live within your means. And bear in mind that there are no shortcuts to the American dream."

Good advice if you're not George Bush.

"So my call to those of you entering the business world is to be honest with your shareholders, be truthful with your customers, and give back to the communities in which you live. And all of us have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment."

And just what does he know about being honest and truthful? This man has cut every government program and regulation that would benefit communities and the environment.

"If you choose a career in public service, maintain the highest ethical standards, bring honor to whatever position you hold, and always put the people you serve ahead of yourself."

This is getting way past knee deep.

"My wish is that you find a partner in life who loves you, challenges you, comforts you, and gives your life meaning."

I'm sure the gay students were heartened by the conservative compassion of the President on this point.

And finally we arrive at George's life experiences that will provide the guidance and inspiration for the new grads.

"In life, there will be many temptations to distract you from your responsibilities. Popular culture can give you the impression that alcohol, drugs, or promiscuity can lead to fulfillment in life. That is an illusion, and I urge you to reject it.

"If you do fall short, know that it is never too late to recover and get back on the right track. There was a time in my life when alcohol competed for my affections, but I found salvation in my family and in my faith. There is no shame in recognizing your failings or getting help if you need it."

So far, so good. I might add power, materialism and wealth to the list of illusions of fulfillment, though. But what do I know?

"The tragedy comes when we fail to take responsibility for our weaknesses and surrender to them."

It would seem that he believes that giving up the bottle eliminated all those pesky weaknesses. He must have seen near perfection in the mirror. His self image was now free from such human failings as hubris, arrogance, calumny, treachery, vanity, selfishness, and a massive bloated ego.

Or could this be the man McClellan saw? "...a leader unable to acknowledge that he got it wrong, and unwilling to grow in office by learning from his mistake -- too stubborn to change and grow."

And, oh yes, there's the little anecdote about Bush's cloak of self deception that kept him so ethically and morally upstanding. Bush was explaining his alleged cocaine use to someone on the phone. “We had some pretty wild parties back in the day,” Mr. McClellan wrote, recounting Mr. Bush’s words, “and I just don’t remember.”

"How can that be? How can someone simply not remember whether or not they used an illegal substance like cocaine?" McClellan says, "the first time when I felt I was witnessing Bush convincing himself to believe something that probably was not true and that, deep down, he knew was not true. . . . In the years to come, as I worked closely with President Bush, I would come to believe that sometimes he convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment."

But, hey, nobody's perfect.