Green Voicemail

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Please read the following link .

Afterwards, please answer the following questions:

1. a) ex-Mayor Marion Barry: con artist, or conned?
b) Dick Gregory: con artist, or conned?
c) Simon Romana: is that he real name, or not?

2. If you really had a machine that could transform solid waste into gas, electricity, and clean air, to whom would you demonstrate it?

a) to a board of renouned scientists?
b) to two seedy figures like Barry and Gregory?

posted by Green Voicemail 11/13/2005 12:45:00 PM

"Good Night, and Good Luck"

My wife and I saw "Good Night, and Good Luck", the movie about Edward R. Murrow and his fight against Senator Joe McCarthy. (I'm not going to give you any background. You should look up these things for yourself if you've not heard of either man.)

The movie chooses an interesting set of bookends as its message -- before the story starts, and after the story concludes, we are treated to a speech Edward R. Murrow gave a group of broadcasters in 1958. What Murrow said applies to the Internet as much as it applies to "big media". The speech, in part:

It may be that the present system, with no modifications and no experiments, can survive. Perhaps the money-making machine has some kind of built-in perpetual motion, but I do not think so. To a very considerable extent the media of mass communications in a given country reflect the political, economic and social climate in which they flourish. That is the reason ours differ from the British and French, or the Russian and Chinese. We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.

I do not advocate that we turn television into a 27-inch wailing wall, where longhairs constantly moan about the state of our culture and our defense. But I would just like to see it reflect occasionally the hard, unyielding realities of the world in which we live. I would like to see it done inside the existing framework, and I would like to see the doing of it redound to the credit of those who finance and program it. Measure the results by Nielsen, Trendex or Silex-it doesn't matter. The main thing is to try. The responsibility can be easily placed, in spite of all the mouthings about giving the public what it wants. It rests on big business, and on big television, and it rests at the top. Responsibility is not something that can be assigned or delegated. And it promises its own reward: good business and good television.

Perhaps no one will do anything about it. I have ventured to outline it against a background of criticism that may have been too harsh only because I could think of nothing better. Someone once said--I think it was Max Eastman--that "that publisher serves his advertiser best who best serves his readers." I cannot believe that radio and television, or the corporation that finance the programs, are serving well or truly their viewers or listeners, or themselves.

I began by saying that our history will be what we make it. If we go on as we are, then history will take its revenge, and retribution will not limp in catching up with us.

We are to a large extent an imitative society. If one or two or three corporations would undertake to devote just a small traction of their advertising appropriation along the lines that I have suggested, the procedure would grow by contagion; the economic burden would be bearable, and there might ensue a most exciting adventure--exposure to ideas and the bringing of reality into the homes of the nation.

To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost.

posted by Green Voicemail 11/13/2005 02:21:00 AM

Friday, October 14, 2005

Acting Lessons

I have a question.

We know that Bush's recent chat with the troops was stagemanaged, a nice piece of manufactured reality.

I just have one question: with such care taken with the script, how come George W. Bush comes off as such a complete ignoramus, even with coaching?

Maybe acting can't be taught.

posted by Green Voicemail 10/14/2005 03:53:00 PM

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Big Swoop

With all the talk about whether or not Harriet Miers is qualified to be the next Supreme Court justice, The Smoking Gun jumps to the head of the press pack and finds what many in Washington are unable to find...a paper trail of correspondence between Harriet Miers and the man she loves (or at least, likes a lot ), George W. Bush.

Reading this reminds me of the faux pas that Condoleeza Rice made when she accidentally referred to the President as "my husband". I figured it was just one of those mistakes you made when you don't have enough glucose in your brain.

However, reading the correspondence makes me believe that George W. must be The Mack to have all these women lining up after him. Some of these notes read like a 12-year old signing the quarterback's yearbook.

1. A belated birthday card, complete with picture of cute dog. "I'm Sorry I Missed Your Birthday" the note reads. Miers writes, "Dear Governor GWB, you are the best Governor ever -- deserving of great respect!"

Myself, I'd be wary about someone proclaiming me the "Best X Ever". The 12-year old Miers is slipping in, and I wonder if she'll be passing notes to Chief Justice Roberts proclaiming "you roXXorz!!"

2. Bush writes back. Or I think he does. His handwriting is more of a scrawl. He must have been tired. However, it clears up when he finishes the card. "P. S. No more public scatology" he advises. It either means the study of excrement or obscene language. Then again, who knows what Bush might have meant. This could be another Inigo Montoya moment for Bush -- "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

3. Bush sends back a typed letter to Miers wishing her a happy birthday. At the bottom, he handwrites, "and many more!"

4. Another card from Miers, this time without the cute puppy. "Hopefully Jenna and Barbara recognize that their parents are cool -- as do the rest of us." Apparently, Bush had written a letter for Miers and she wanted to convey her thanks.

The odd comment is that this letter is detailed to the "Harriet File" by someone. I wonder if the Harriet file is a large black Hefty bag.

5. Another classy card from Miers, thanking President Bush for the invitation to the Juneteenth celebration. She tells Bush that if she ever starts cooking again, she'll try some of the recipes. (Although I'm sure Bush is rolling his eyes. "It's not like I cooked it or anything.")

6. Miers, using her law office stationary, thanks Bush for two visits he made - one to her law office and one "on the plane". "Keep up all the great work. The State is in great hands. Thanks for you and your family's personal sacrifice". I chuckle at that "personal sacrifice" part.

7. On her personal stationary: "HEM". "Thank you for allowing me to travel back to Dallas and for all else you do." I suggest that if he had left her behind, she would have written, "Thank you for allowing me to stay in Dallas!"

This goes on. Tediously. I'm getting bored with it, so I'll stop.

Whether this says anything about Miers's qualifications to serve as one of the nine highest judges in America is beyond me. What I do suggest is that the law clerks at the Supreme Court had better buy a lot of Hallmark cards. And maybe some colored ink to go with them.

posted by Green Voicemail 10/13/2005 07:45:00 AM

Monday, October 10, 2005

Small Government

Bush Administration officials rapidly get to work after Avian Flu outbreak.

From The Times of London (that left-wing rag that Rupert Murdoch owns):

A PLAN drawn up by the Bush Administration to combat a pandemic bird flu outbreak reveals that America is grossly unprepared to deal with what would likely be the worst disaster in US history.

The 381-page draft plan, leaked by health officials who claim that it contains fundamental failures, predicts that a full-scale outbreak could kill as many as 1.9 million Americans and put 8.5 million in hospital at a cost of more than $450 billion (£256 billion).

Hospitals would quickly become overwhelmed, riots would break out at vaccine clinics, civil unrest would sweep the country, and power and food would be in short supply, according to the plan, which has been years in the making. It calls for quarantine and travel restrictions but concedes that those measures “are unlikely to delay introduction of pandemic disease into the US by more than a month or two”.

Supposely a new alternate plan has come out that solves many of the problems of this earlier one. The new plan is exactly one page long:


George oughta be happy. After New Orleans, he's got me believing in Small Government. Of course, there is the danger that he hasn't read the new plan.

posted by Green Voicemail 10/10/2005 09:30:00 AM

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Historical Magnitude

National Women's Hall of Fame Member 2005

National Women's Hall of Fame Member 2006

Senator Hillary Clinton has just been named as a member of the National Women's Hall of Fame. She will be inducted along with nine other women of renown.

It looks like the membership of the NWHOF is split into three groups:

a) women who actually DID something, and
b) women who were fortunate enough to be "the first (fill in the blank) ever"
c) people who would never have gotten the chance to do anything if they hadn't been the wife of someone important.

In category "c" I'd put Rosalynn Carter and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Mrs. Carter would have been a relatively unknown wife of a Georgia governor and Mrs. Lindbergh would have been a writer of some small renown. But the only way either would be in the National Women's Hall of Fame would be to buy a ticket.

As for Mrs. Clinton, if she hadn't met Bill, she'd probably still be in national politics -- but she would have been some advisor or working on staff in the White House for a Democratic administration. Was she a good lawyer? I can't say. But aside from being the Senator from New York, you'd be hard pressed to come up with some OUTSTANDING accomplishment that deserves national attention.

As for the idea that Hillary Clinton is the equal (in some sense) of Dr. Virginia Apgar, or Admiral Grace Hopper, or Sacajawea is nothing short of ridiculous. Maybe she belongs in the same category as Oprah Winfrey or Lucille Ball -- but even Ball was a television executive and Winfrey is the master of a billion dollar empire.

Frankly, Hillary is one of the weakest candidates for a Hall of Fame. (If she becomes President, then she's a shoo-in and she would DESERVE to be there.) Certainly, she was elected senator but so have other women. She was the wife of a president but Eleanor Roosevelt deserves more acclaim. Aside from the "two-fer" I can't think of other reason why she's there.

So why is she there? Probably because the NWHOF needs some publicity and attention. It's whoring out, pure and simple. I expect them to nominate Courtney Love next year, or Angelina Jolie for having "cans of historical magnitude".

posted by Green Voicemail 10/09/2005 02:40:00 PM

Friday, October 07, 2005

New and Improved!

I'm lucky enough to go to the public university of a large southern state, which means that I get free reading material in the form of the university's weekly paper. Most of the material is "Student Council Buys Three New Folding Tables for International Club" type of stuff. Not exactly the hard-hitting news of the day.

In the back section, the future journalism majors practice their op-ed skills with long, usually thoughtful columns. One young man's column is called "What You're Afraid to Say". For a minute, I thought I'd get Seanbaby, but instead, what I got was rather pedestrian. To wit:

The AARP is fighting a winning battle against us with Social Security and we have yet to challenge them. The democrats are looking for more ways to tax us but yet we continue to support them regardless.


So, a letter that I might or might not send to the young man:

Dear Mr. Huff,

I read your column of October 4, "I Say What You're Afraid to Say", with some interest. However, I must point out that no where in the column did you, at any time, say anything that anyone would be afraid to say.

I point out the following example:

The AARP is fighting a winning battle against us with Social Security and we have yet to challenge them. The democrats are looking for more ways to tax us but yet we continue to support them regardless.

Aside from the comments about how recall votes fail, these are probably the two most "controversial" statements in the entire article. Myself, a lifelong leftist, was not even so much as provoked. Therefore, I felt that I should give you some advice as you continue your journalistic career. (Before you moan, I must warn you that as a journalist, you will be getting unwanted advice from all corners, so you should probably get comfortable with the idea.)

I find the column title, "I Say What You're Afraid to Say", highly misleading. I expected no-holds-barred opinion making, and what do I get? The sad attempt at provocation in italics, above.

The first sentence hasn't been anything that people have been afraid to say for at least a year now, or at least since President Bush introduced the concept of changing Social Security. The President has a veritable legion of defenders, many of whom mark up the conflict in terms of "AARP vs. the Young" as you yourself have done. Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, the list goes on. And for those three there must be thousands of lesser commenters and millions of conservatives who agree with them and repeat these points to their friends. The idea that the young are going to end up on the short end of the stick when it comes to Social Security reform is not a claim that anyone on the right side of the spectrum is afraid to make in public.

The second sentence is even weaker than the first. The idea that the Democratic Party is the "tax and spend" party has been parroted by politicians of all stripes on the right side of the spectrum since the days of Ronald Reagan, and I doubt that you were even alive when Mr. Reagan took office. People are actually proud of that statement on the right -- they certainly don't fear it and they're not afraid to say it.

(I also point out that "Democratic" should be in upper case. If you are the managing editor, you bear some responsibility for the oversight. Using the lower case "d" leaves the impression that democracy is the wrong form of government and we should covert to maybe an oligarchy or a meritocracy.)

So for free, I'm going to give you some things that people are REALLY afraid to say. I'll try not to speak from one side of the fence.

1. All laws regarding drug use should be rolled back. Marijuana, heroin, LSD - people should be allowed to put into their bodies any substance they choose.

2. The homeless should be rounded up and put into work camps. This gets the homeless off the street, teaches them a useful trade, and puts money back into the local economy. The 19th century workhouse should be brought back.

3. Doctors who perform abortions should be shot.

4. Religion is a sham. Anyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the savior of mankind should be disqualified from public office, and churches should be taxed at confiscatory rates.

5. Prostitution should be made legal. Let women sell their bodies, it's the American way!

6. The public stockade should be brought back. We could put up three stocks at Five Points, and the scofflaws imprisoned there should be pelted with garbage and face the verbal abuse of the public.

7. The only people who watch pro football on television are repressed homosexuals.

8. Those who support the homosexual agenda should have their homes firebombed.

9. Single parents should not be attending classes at Georgia State. They should spend time at home with their neglected children.

10. The Iraqi "insurgents" are actually defending their country, and I don't weep any tears for American soldiers who die.

(* * *)

Certainly, any of the above statements would be things that people would think twice about saying in public. (Except, maybe, number one.) I think that if you were take any of these ideas from either side of the fence - I get the impression that you're a conservative, so you could save the liberal ideas for some future editor - that your readership would pick up, and the column's name would be more appropriate.

Hoping for better things,


posted by Green Voicemail 10/07/2005 11:30:00 AM

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Cue the Imperial March!!

I suppose that Satan's poll ratings are now so low that he could put anyone up for a nomination for the Supreme Court. As Seanbaby said, "the only thing that could keep President Bush's approval ratings from dipping below 30 is a law making all numbers under 30 illegal."

You almost get the conclusion that he's joking. "Hey, Dick, watch me nominate this nuthatch for Supreme Court. Tomorrow, O'Reilly will be telling everyone what a great choice this is! I tell you, Dick, I could put Mengele up there tomorrow and my good friend Rush will tell everyone that he's an honored physician who has worked in government for years. Now, where's my bottle?"

I remember I visited the Berlin Wall in 1988. I saw an English couple, a mother and a little boy. The little boy asked, "Why did they build the wall?" and the mother answered, in all honesty, "they just want to show their bum to the world."

That's Bush. Showing his bum to the world, ready to take a fiery dump over us all.

Guess what, ladies, who voted for Bush? When your right to an abortion disappears in a cloud of sulphur, don't come bitching to me. Anakin Skywalker thought serving the Emperor would give him the secret to eternal life, but all he got for his troubles was Obi-Wan Kenobi kicking his ass and a plastic bucket for a head, forever. So when Satan is using your mouth for the mopbucket of Hell's floor, well, it's just the cost of doing business with The Dark One.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid tells us that this is -- guess what -- a good choice. Or that it could be worse. Bush could have nominated Carrot Top, for example. Or Gallagher. Imagine Gallagher, smashing melons at the Supreme Court.

As for me, I'm going back to watching baseball and not reading the news. The Left will just have to carry the burden of saving humanity in my absence. With the Democrats you've got in Congress, good luck is all I have to say.

posted by Green Voicemail 10/05/2005 03:00:00 PM

Powered by Blogger


"You know three facts, now start a blog!"

Bloggers Who Blog Good

Bark Bark Woof Woof
Collective Sigh
The CultureGhost
Dancing With Myself
Dohiyi Mir
The Fulcrum
Island Dave's View
Loaded Mouth
My Side of the Screen
Republican Sinners
Rook's Rant
Why Now?
Words on a Page
The Yellow Doggerel Democrat

Listed on BlogShares

12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 04/11/2004 - 04/18/2004 04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 10/17/2004 - 10/24/2004 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004 12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004 12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004 12/19/2004 - 12/26/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005 03/06/2005 - 03/13/2005 03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005 03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005 04/17/2005 - 04/24/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005 10/02/2005 - 10/09/2005 10/09/2005 - 10/16/2005 11/13/2005 - 11/20/2005 current