The Left Abandons Free Speech
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Can you imagine what the world would say if before a Michael Moore film was released a President, an entire political party and a left happy to drudge up minutia were allowed to bully the distributors into editing their work?  
 
Can you imagine the outrage?  
 
Well it happened. Only it wasn't a Michael Moore film. It was a film about 911.  
 
And they didn't notice what they had done.
Psychomike Battles The Name Callers
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
There has been a turn of late of moderators attacking my posts by simply declaring them to be lies and other defamations aimed at my character. While my anecdotes may seem impossible to believe, I decided to post this article about me that appeared in the Chicago Tribune. So when my veracity is called into question you can read this over and decide if its possible- I have the life experience and could be telling the truth.  
 
Mike Flores puts improv technique to the acid test  
By Robert K. Elder  
Tribune staff reporter  
May 19, 2004  
 
If Mike Flores had a resume, which he doesn't, the "experience" portion would look something like this:  
 
Movie director, scriptwriter, disc jockey, playwright, actor, improv comedy troupe leader, Vietnam War protester, underground journalist, hippie and founder and president of Chicago's Psychotronic Film Society.  
 
This week, he's adding "improv dramatist" to the list with "The Acid Test 1966," a psychedelic ensemble theater piece performed by The Wrecking Crew, Flores' improv comedy troupe.  
 
Film composer Mark Mothersbaugh, the former frontman of post-punk icons Devo, provides recorded music for Flores' loony vision, which takes its name from Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' 1966 trip across the U.S. exposing the populace to psychedelic culture and LSD.  
 
"I was fortunate enough to make friends years ago with an older, more mature [acid guru] Tim Leary," Mothersbaugh says. "Although my days of dropping acid had long been over, I associated the era with a lot of positive change and spontaneity. It always fit into my life in a positive way, and to create music for [Flores'] project -- it's a chance to work muscles that were already there."  
 
From 1966 to 1967, Flores says, the whole country went through a major cultural shift. Students were protesting the war in Vietnam, "the pill" ushered in the era of free love, and politics became a powder keg sitting in the middle of many family dinner tables.  
 
Flores, who turned his 43-week run of "Bettie Page Uncensored: The Unauthorized Story" at Lakeview's Playground Theater into an independent movie last year, says he wants to explore the significance of those few mid-'60s months.  
 
"I'm interested in that moment when things began to change, and the versions I've seen of that moment so far [have been lacking]," he says.  
 
"The stuff that's left over from the era really doesn't capture what happened to the people, what was on our minds and what started the ripple that would change society."  
 
Flores' "The Acid Test 1966" revolves around a party and a sextet of youths from different walks of life. One character has run away from the home of her Navy officer father, which reflects Flores' own biography.  
 
"All of the characters probably represent some part of me," concedes Flores, a frenetic, motor-lipped raconteur. "Many of the experiences the characters have, I had at some point."  
 
Friction on home front  
 
A former military brat, Flores was born in San Diego, then raised in Osaka, Japan, and Atlanta. He says he left home because of friction with his parents over Vietnam.  
 
"I was being groomed for military school, then a second lieutenant [position] in Vietnam," he recalls.  
 
The turning point came, he says, in 1966 when his father, a lifetime Navy man, was visited by a friend, just back from a tour of Vietnam. The visitor brought along a slideshow, Flores remembers.  
 
"The first slide was of him on top of a pile of bodies and the second was guys with enemy ears strung around their necks," Flores says. "I think it was those slides that shook me up."  
 
So, he left home, hitchhiked through 36 states looking like "a stalk of broccoli," rail-thin with a large Afro. He survived by writing for underground newspapers, and in 1971 got an offer from the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in Chicago to write and organize demonstrations against the war. After the SDS gig ended, Flores hung around Chicago floating from job to job, watching bootlegged Japanese animation. In 1979, friend Del Close, legendary Second City personality and founder of the ImprovOlympic, turned him on to improv.  
 
"I also got excited by what Del was trying to do with it," Flores says. "Del's vision was the long-form improv method could be used to create shows, movies, TV shows -- and then when you have something you feel comfortable with, you keep it."  
 
From 1979 to 1985, the pair performed as "Pope Michael Flores and Rev. Del Close" on television, radio and nightclubs, Flores says.  
 
Close died five years ago of complications from emphysema. People still misunderstand his long-form improv methods, Flores says, which is basically using improv to create characters and plots spontaneously, then honing the end result into a cohesive narrative structure.  
 
"Unfortunately, it got labeled as an improv exercise and no one tried to carry it to the next step," Flores says. "The Acid Test 1966" is his attempt to demonstrate Close's vision.  
 
"I liked the idea of characters creating themselves," Flores says. "I have a skeleton of where we're going, where the dance numbers come in, but everything else is created by the actors themselves."  
 
George Dickson, 28, plays Wild Bill in the play, host of the "acid test." He says he joined The Wrecking Crew after answering Flores' ad in the theater magazine Performink.  
 
"He's either crazy or a genius, or maybe both," Dickson says of Flores. "He has big plans and ideas and unorthodox methods. I like the freedom that he gives you. He's the only director I've had who shows up with a 12-pack of beer."  
 
Championing cult movies  
 
Flores hasn't had a day job in 10 years and spends most of his time working on plays, movies and projects with the Psychotronic Film Society, which champions cult movies. An Internet enthusiast, Flores showers his cast, friends and colleagues with multiple daily e-mails about new music, politics and conspiracy theories.  
 
Starlet photos and autographs, including signed glossies of Sean Connery, Johnny Carson and Kate Moss, decorate an entire wall of the Rogers Park apartment he shares with wife Kat Southerland, "Acid Test's" executive producer.  
 
In a gravelly voice with a vague Southern accent, Flores recounts the time he dropped acid with rocker Duane Allman, the time he dated actress Kim Cattrall (a signed cast photo of "Sex and the City" hangs on the wall), the time his wife proposed to him "over hot wings at Hooters" and the tale of turning 16 in a New Mexico jail -- all stories his cast has heard, some more than once.  
 
"He has a story for everything; he's done just about everything," says Kai Collins, 27, an Uma Thurman lookalike who plays free spirit Eve in the show.  
 
During their first, hour-long, phone conversation, Collins remembers, "I doodle when I talk on the phone, so when we were done talking, I had about 10 pages and at the bottom, I wrote, `This guy is totally nuts.'" Collins has since, affectionately, upgraded her assessment of Flores to "functionally insane."  
 
Ever the non-conformist, Flores isn't moving his production into traditional venues.  
 
"I'm moving it into nightclubs, movie houses, art galleries -- places where people don't expect to see improv anything," Flores says. "We do shows like a rock group."Part of the reason is the form of the show. There's no stage, and audiences are encouraged to mingle and interact with the characters at "the party." Non-traditional venues also have economic benefits.  
 
"Theater people wait for the critic to show up," Flores says. "Then they hope it's a good review and they hope they can sell enough tickets to at least cover the rent. This is unacceptable for me. If I did that, I'd have to take a job."  
 
He is convinced Chicagoans want to see something new.  
 
"There's about 200 theaters and about 700 theater groups in Chicago and they all pretty much battle for the same 2,500 people. So they end up running for four weeks, six weeks. They spend a year developing a show, they don't have a chance of getting back any of what they've invested," Flores says. "My shows tend to run so long -- they've gone 33 weeks to a year and a half. They appeal to people who are experience-oriented. They want to experience something new, want to feel like they are involved in something exciting."  
 
Connection to the fringe  
 
Mothersbaugh says this passionate point of view helped draw him to the project.  
 
"I've always been connected, through Devo, to the more interesting fringe artists, so I meet a lot of madmen and really talented visionaries," Mothersbaugh says. "I think of [Flores] as somebody who is very enthusiastic about . . . all the little bits of shrapnel that influence and make up culture."  
 
The pair had tried to team up before, but something always got in the way, Flores says. "But when I told him I was going to basically re-create an acid trip [in the performance], his reaction was immediate. He volunteered to do the music."  
 
Flores wants to take the experience from "The Acid Test 1966" and create an unrelated improv indie movie. There are also plans in June to do a comedy concept CD with The Wrecking Crew, produced by Joe Cassidy of local band Assassins.  
 
"I call myself an entertainer, as opposed to being a theater person. I don't hang out at actor bars, I don't talk about the family of theater," Flores says. "I'm easy to miss in the theater community until you look in the paper and say, `Damn, that show is still running?'"  
How Psychomike went from the left- to become a libertarian conservative
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Ever wonder what event changed my politics?  
 
Check out my comments in red here:  
 
Iran 1979
Psychomike To Speak- Come Up And Say Hello
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Learning About and From Latin America  
 
3 Programs Open to the Public  
 
 
The College of Complexes, The Playground for People Who Think, will be presenting three (3) programs on Latin American, on September 9, September 23, and October 7th, each two weeks apart. The first program will present a background or historical perspective, followed by one pro, and one con, concerning the current political and economic situation. The programs are intended to improve the general level of conversation concerning individuals such as Fidel Castro of Cuba, and Hugo Chevez, President of Venezuela, who offered CTA diesel fuel at a 40% discount, a savings of $15 million, on condition that low-income families get discounted or free transit cards.  
 
 
The programs are: Sept. 9th Latin American – History and Analysis of the Region -  
 
based upon the speaker’s recent tour of the region  
 
J. Quinn Brisben  
 
 
Sept 23rd Che, Castro and Chavez: The Myth of the Revolutionary -  
 
myths and realities of Socialism’s last three icons  
 
Michel Flores  
 
 
Oct. 7th Learning from Latin America – lessons for the USA in  
 
regard to mass transit, public housing, and even developing business enterprises  
 
Peter Pero  
 
 
The College of Complexes, a weekly free speech forum on social issues and current events, meets at 8:00 PM every Saturday at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln Avenue (intersection of Irving Park and Damen), one block from the CTA Brown Line. Free parking is available. Tuition is $3.00 to help defray costs, with a request by the restaurant for a $5.00 food or drink purchase. The college maintains no membership, and all meetings are open to the public. For a complete listing of upcoming speakers and topics see the group’s website at www.collegeofcomplexes.org, or call (312) 327-6611 for weekly program announcements.  
Of Nuclear Options and stuff....
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
QUESTION: Do you still think we are in World War 3, and at risk for nuclear war? Things look fairly calm to me.  
 
ANSWER: Fair enough. I actually think we have been in World War 3 since at least 1992, the argument could be made 1979 when our hostages were taken in Iran. I wouldn't argue against that theory, but just getting Americans to realize this has been going on since the first attack on the World Trade Center is a daunting task.  
 
Now, for once I won't just point to articles that may hold keys to understanding what we are up against, but my own opinions. For whatever it is worth.  
 
When Bush opponents look at the Middle East, they see Iraq.  
 
I on the other hand see Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ethiopia in Somalia, part of Lebanon. All aimed at Iran and Syria.  
 
We are in alot of places.  
 
But the American public sees Iraq.  
 
Because they don't see us in a World War.  
 
WHAT CAN WE DO?  
 
We need the concept of "Theatres of War" to be put in place. There should be a Latin American Theatre. A Middle East Theatre. You get the idea. All should report to one person/ agency head.  
 
There should be a serious academic study done of the role of British Intel in World War 2. Whatever they were doing that worked, we should emulate.  
 
Speaking a foreign language should not be enough to get into a military Intel group. In the UK, you can't even get into military Intel until you've been in the military for five years. Anyone who sticks around in the U.S. military that long today should get some serious pay and reward systems to encourage people to stay in.  
 
The saddest thing about my research into the McCarthy era- was the discovery that we had lost our military history. The CIA had no record of a group within it, The Pond. Even though this group gave the names to Joe McCarthy.  
 
The CIA had to send people out to find people to explain its own past. What if those people had died?  
 
My god. My god.  
 
Part of the reason I have begged that the CIA history department keep releasing files on how and why things happened- is so the information can be quickly discovered. We are constantly having to re-invent the wheel. Every time a war ends and we move as a nation to wanting the peace dividend, we get hurt. And our history of how things were done previously disappear! Sadly because of manpower shortages, I have a sad feeling the history section of CIA has been all but dissolved.  
 
This must stop. If we are fighting a war that will last for decades- someone must keep track.  
 
Knowledge really is power.  
 
Finally, this brings us to civil defense vs. FEMA. It shouldn't in an ideal universe, but we don't live in a ideal universe.  
 
People need to feel involved. They need to know how to evacuate their city, how to leave their buildings. Do colleges do building evacuations anymore?  
How to do first aid. They should learn defense tactics.  
 
If we can't get FEMA to go away, why can't we get it at least to allow people to take control of their own neighborhoods.?  
 
This war is like our attitudes in the late 1930's here. We have tried appeasement with the Camp David Accords and the like, many people don't believe the terrorists mean what they say, our military and Intel is playing catch up.  
 
We will lose some cities I wrote several years ago, before this is all over. Because the world knows we can now be attacked, we will be.  
 
Some countries who were once our allies won't be, countries and groups will go back and forth over time.  
 
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. When Islamists kill hundreds of kids in Russia- it is an attack against us all. When bombs go off in a UK subway, it might as well be here. When Venezuela President Chavez gives oil and funds to Hezbollah, we had better understand what that means.  
 
As for nuclear war- Israel has three choices that I can see for Iran. Bomb key places and hope you take it out. Have a land invasion. Or one nuke in the atmosphere to take out Iran's electrical system.  
 
Frankly, I hope I'm wrong. But strategy wise, the nuclear option makes the most sense.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here comes the food police
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Food Police To Starving People: At Least You're Not Fat  
Alarmist professor Barry Popkin, previously seen touting a report that even top food cop Michael Jacobson considered spurious, unveiled the results of his latest study at the International Association of Agricultural Economists conference in Australia yesterday. The news is very good for the world's hundreds of millions of starving and malnourished people: Obesity is now the bigger problem (no pun intended).  
 
Even if Popkin's calculations stand, there's still something seriously wrong with his picture. Are overeating and starving really comparable problems? Can they really be (sorry) weighted equally? Does a Des Moines factory worker who is ten pounds overweight have a like interest in correcting his health as a chronically undernourished Sudanese child?  
 
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have officially lost all perspective. Welcome to the ranks of the food cops.  
 
The Food Police  
 
HOW THE DEMOCRATS SNATCHED DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Excerpts from SALON  
Political analysts tend to overinterpret the results of isolated elections. But you can hardly read too much into Ned Lamont's defeat of Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Aug. 8 primary. This is a signal event that will have a huge and lasting negative impact on the Democratic Party. The result suggests that instead of capitalizing on the massive failures of the Bush administration, Democrats are poised to re-enact a version of the Vietnam-era drama that helped them lose five out six presidential elections between 1968 and the end of the Cold War.  
 
The problem for the Democrats is that the anti-Lieberman insurgents go far beyond simply opposing Bush's faulty rationale for the war, his dishonest argumentation for it, and his incompetent execution of it. Many of them appear not to take the wider, global battle against Islamic fanaticism seriously. They see Iraq purely as a symptom of a cynical and politicized right-wing response to Sept. 11, as opposed to a tragic misstep in a bigger conflict. Substantively, this view indicates a fundamental misapprehension of the problem of terrorism. Politically, it points the way to perpetual Democratic defeat.  
 
We know this because we have been here before. The Lamont-Lieberman battle was filled with echoes and parallels from the Vietnam era. Democratic reformers and anti-establishment insurgents weren't wrong about that conflict, either. Vietnam was a terrible mistake for the United States. But like Iraq, Vietnam was a badly chosen battlefield in a larger conflict with totalitarianism that America had no choice but to pursue. In turning viciously on stalwarts of the Cold War era like Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, and Scoop Jackson, anti-war insurgents called into question the Democratic Party's underlying commitment to challenging Communist expansion. The party's Vietnam-era drift away from issues of security and defense—and its association with a radical left hostile to the military and neutral in the fight between liberalism and communism—helped push a lot of Americans who didn't much like the Vietnam War into the arms of Richard Nixon.  
 
Whether Democrats can avoid playing their Vietnam video to the end depends on their ability to project military and diplomatic toughness in place of the elitism and anti-war purity represented in 2004 by Howard Dean and now by Ned Lamont. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for 2008, is trying to walk this difficult line, continuing to express support for the war in principle while becoming increasingly strident in her criticism of its execution. As the congressional elections approach, many Republican candidates are fleeing Bush's embrace because of his Iraq-induced unpopularity. But Lamont's victory points to a way in which Bush's disastrous war could turn into an even bigger liability for the Democrats.  
 
Full article here:  
 
Salon Realizes The Truth  
WAL-MART, GIBSON, CASTRO, RUDY, PERSONAL CHOICE AND THE NANNY GOVERNMENT
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
WAL-MART, MEL GIBSON, CASTRO, RUDY, PERSONAL CHOICE AND THE NANNY GOVERNMENT  
 
When Wal-mart announced they were going to Germany we were told by those that hate Wal-mart this was only the start. Soon Wal-mart would go worldwide, and would be inescapable. So seductive were their stores and promise of employment for long time unemployed, country after country would be seduced into mindless consumerism. What both the Wal-mart protest movement and Wal-mart missed was that the many freedoms we have surrendered to the government and left wing fads here they simply will not surrender.  
 
The problems started with the employee manual. In America years ago as a result of the Clarence Thomas hearings it was decided to toughen up laws and rules on sexual harassment. The futility of this movement was known by all at the start, Thomas was after all working at the time for a government organization in charge of examining charges of sexual harassment! Add to that the fact almost 90% of such cases are thrown out because they boil down to "he said, she said", but it was popular to "take a stand". Soon mere requests to go to lunch or telling an off color joke were cause to send someone to "sensitivity classes". Businesses fearful of bad press settled on fraudulent claims and soon the word got around- after fake injuries from car wrecks the next best racket was charging sexual harassment. Nowhere in the Constitution is there anything that says you have a right to not be offended. Nowhere. But gradually professors spoke to the college women that being offended was a form of harassment. They were also taught by leftists like Andrea Dworkin that all forms of consensual sex were rape, that all men were waiting to put a knock out pill in their drink, that dating itself was a flimsy excuse for male rape, that AIDS was a threat to heterosexuals just like gays. ( Which is odd because since the 80's we have been waiting for the flood of heteros with the disease. By now every family should have lost straight members to the disease in the States. How many have you lost?).  
 
None of this, absolutely none, caught on in Europe. In fact, sending a person to special classes for telling a joke, instead of just telling them to act correctly in a work environment, would cause the company to be sued!  
 
(When a Chicago bank brought in a UK woman executive, she asked out one of her department employees. She hadn't read the employment manual all the way apparently, because this bank had taken on itself the task of telling the people that work for it who they can date and who they can't. So she was sent to "sensitivity classes". You have got to be kidding me. Can you imagine what would happen if the manual had said instead of fellow employees, a white couldn't date a Black?).  
 
So Germans opened their employee manuals and discovered they couldn't date each other.  
 
Instead of behaving like Americans, bowing to fads, they proclaimed that it was none of Wal-marts business who the bosses or workers asked out.  
 
They openly began dating each other, just to spite the Americans. The German courts told Wal-mart to shut up and stay out of peoples lives. That all people had freedom of choice, and if a boss fired a worker for not sleeping with them that was worthy of a suit, but for just asking the other person out that person has the right to say yes or no. A right many of us have already surrendered.  
 
That threw Wal-mart for a loop!  
 
That was just the start of problems. Now Wal-Mart is shutting down all the Wal-marts in Germany, and the other countries the stores are in are doing poorly. Because people chose not to go to them. No demonstrations had any effect. People just didn't want the stuff they sell. Personal choice.  
 
Mel Gibson revealed himself to be an anti-Semite that some felt he was when he released THE PASSION. Frankly I didn't see it, if I'm going to sit through three hours of a guy being whipped I want a hot babe to do it. Even then- three hours? The guy made 400 million, which he is currently suing the production company for, so he should have no problem continuing to work. There have been some half hearted cries for a boycott, but ultimately since he has (or sooner or later will have) enough to make his own movies, ultimately it will be up to the consumer to decide whether he is overlooked from now on. Will they overlook his anti-Semitics the way they overlook Tom Cruise and Scientology? Beats me, but I'm starting to boost Keanu Reeves as our greatest action star. But that's my personal choice.  
 
Castro is someone who has eliminated personal choice. How he deals with those who protest him is often overlooked by his many supporters.  
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,430038,00.html The fact that he puts AIDS patients in work camps and does not allow anyone in to see the conditions is also overlooked by his supporters, who proclaim how great the free education and medical care is.  
 
Don't tell that to the leftist Venezuela doctors who worked with Cuban doctors in an exchange program and then signed in mass a protest letter asking Chavez to end the trade. The doctors knew nothing of medicine after 1961, and the patients they were seeing were needlessly dying.  
 
As for the free education, since they teach Marxism in economics and history, what good is it? They all can't get jobs at U.S. colleges.  
 
So we wait to see if he is dead. And what happens to those that want free elections may just lift the veil of romanticism the regime has long hid behind. By the way, I will be doing a talk on Che, Castro and Chavez and the myth of the revolutionary on September 23 at the Lincoln Restaurant. More info later.  
 
It's out that Rudy Giuliani is going to run for President.  
 
Not only does he have ties to 911, not only can people measure the way he reacted to the WTC attack as opposed to the officials in New Orleans over Katrina, but 30% of all registered Democrats say they would vote for him.  
 
This could produce the biggest cross over- since Eisenhower ran.  
 
And he hasn't started running yet! Can Democrats get over Bush enough to figure out how to run against Rudy? That will be there personal choice, but first they have to stop 30% of their own party from crossing over!  
 
Here in Chicago alderman who should be aiding development, finding jobs and dealing with responses to terrorism are instead battling the oil fast food chains use to cook, they have banned chopped liver (foie gras), smoking in bars, they want to ban cars in the loop and have us ride bikes in during winter, anything at all but how to deal with terror.  
 
Because more and more leftists believe there is no terror threat. The guy who did COLUMBINE says there isn't one. Left wing websites are flooded with denials that the Pentagon was attacked, that Bush was behind 911.  
 
They are basing their entire campaign on taking away our personal choice. There is even a book out now, NO ONE MAKES YOU SHOP AT WAL-MART: THE DECEPTION OF PERSONAL CHOICE. It's by Tom Slee, and it has become the rallying cry for liberal city councils all over the nation. The fact that people have free choice to live, work and love as they please, is a major threat to those that feel people can't make the right choices.  
 
What will undo this movement is simple. Government can't do everything for everyone. We saw the people dying on their rooftops, waiting for the government to rescue them. The lawless running wild because law enforcement had split to take care of their families- something that had better be worked into any plan for terror response. Not too long ago a fire broke out in a government building here in Chicago. The elevators were cut off, as by the city rules. Everyone took the stairs as instructed. The stairways became filled with smoke so people tried to exit the stairway. The doors were all locked. They died of smoke inhalation.  
 
How, after 911, government workers can have no idea how to exit a building while they fight tooth and nail to stop chopped liver is something that will eventually come back to haunt them.  
 
While Chicago worries about chopped liver, no one knows how to exit the city. The Police department refuses to enforce weight requirements, police only need to go to target practice once a year! Recently several female cops fled the scene of a shooting after hearing a gunshot. Now when a biological or chemical attack occurs those in the area will have to be quarantined. Anyone trying to leave will have to be shot. Even fellow police officers. Do you think the police here are psychologically ready for this? Or know its coming?  
 
When we realize the police can't do everything, we may just remember we have the right to bear arms and protect ourselves.  
 
There will be more attacks. Three that have been stopped that we have been told of (there are others we haven't) have been aimed at Chicago.  
 
Republicans wake up. One more attack, and the phrase "Don't let them eat fois gras" could go down in history with the line "Let them eat cake".  
 
All Republicans have to do is , speak up in support of personal choice. And urge a return to Civil Defense- and community militias to maintain order and help with overwhelmed fire and medical workers. Urge that we decide how to exit cities, deal with masses without homes.  
 
The battleground of personal choice exists only until the next attack. Then people want to know how to survive.  
 
Not who they can ask out for lunch! Or what they eat when they get there!  
 
Michael Flores  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Cuban Powderkeg
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
It will probably be several days before the Cuban people learn of what has happened to Castro.  
 
Security forces will be sent out to arrest dissendents, etc, beforehand.  
 
Unless Raul has fled. Or changed course.  
 
There is no telling what is going on in Cuba right now. Once Castro is gone, by retirement or death, one presumes dissenters will march in the streets.  
 
The response could open doors to Cuba. Or turn the nations of the world against Cuba.
President Bush, The Democrats and Us- The Sitting Ducks
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Political debate around here seems to usually degenerate into "Dems bad/good", " Bush bad/good".  
 
What if the problems we face are at this moment are beyond the capabilities of both parties?  
 
Grab a beer or bong and get ready for a view you may have never heard before.  
 
The Chinese say that the Dragon represents change. Society hates change. We have three responses to it.  
 
One is to ignore it. When the USS Cole was bombed, our embassy in Africa, and hundreds died there were no parades. There were no fundraisers. There was no monument. No speeches were made at the bombed sites. Clinton ignored the declaration of war against us, save to turn Laden's arrest down four times and to shoot a missile into the middle of the empty desert. When we discovered they were planning attacks for New Years Eve of 2000, it was decided that the best action to take was to claim our computers would all go down - Y2K.  
 
If more of us had understood computers then, we could have just asked the government to set a computers clock ahead and see what happened. Instead we were urged to get bottled water and canned goods and the like. Luckily, through luck, we caught the terrorists in their van on the way to Seattle. Yet most Americans do not know this occurred. If you ignore the dragon, it will eventually bite you on the ass. That happened on 911.  
 
One is to fight it. President Bush did not take a year to do an investigation as Clinton did to launch attacks on the training camps in Afghanistan. We also took control of Pakistan's nukes which were secured by Pakistani Intel who remain loyal to Osama bin Laden. Following faulty Intel, we also went into Iraq searching for WMD. Now- many think this was a lie and Bush knew it. I don't think so. Faulty Intel continues to plague all of us. Israel has been met with missiles neither their Intel or our CIA knew Hezbollah had. In fact, we didn't even know the size of the arsenal. To make matters worse Hezbollah's fighters are putting up a fiercer battle mode than any nation we've seen in the Middle East. Our Intel is broken, Israel's Intel missed all this, this is the real problem. When you fight eventually people get tired. And the dragon bites you on the ass again.  
 
One is to ride the Dragon. To guide it. When the IRA was formed a woman sat by Michael Collins side. She was revealed last month to have been in British Intel. A few months ago it was revealed that the British negotiated with the IRA directly but secretly from the 1970's on. The 1970's were the most violent period of the IRA. This means that the British knew when almost every bombing, assassination and extortion attempt was being done- and allowed some to happen. But they were able to guide the group into a legal party. Yeah it took 70 years but they did. Israel says it doesn't negotiate but it does and has done prisoner swaps in the past.  
 
When John Kerry ran he promised to send a quarter of a million more troops to Iraq. Rangel, the Democratic whip, put forward a bill to start a draft.  
 
Why would a quarter of a million more U.S. soldiers stop the Civil War in Iraq? Why would Islamists throw up their arms and say, no more bombings?  
 
Before we had Homeland Security we had FEMA. Before that we had Civil Defense. Civil Defense was local. People knew folks on the block that had CPR, citizens helped patrol military and nuke installations. People knew how to exit a building. How to deal with floods, fires, electrical outages.  
 
We saw the result of taking it out of people's hands and the result we saw in New Orleans after Katrina hit.  
 
Here in Chicago a fire broke out in a government building. To the horror of the people on one floor, the city code mandates elevators be cut off during a fire and all the doors in the stairway were locked. Government workers, years after 911, with no way to exit their building.  
 
Are you kidding me?  
 
Yet the Democratic Party has had time in Chicago to ban foie gras, smoking in bars, chase away department stores by telling employers what to pay, everything- but what to do if Chicago is attacked.  
 
Why can't I get one Democrat in the city to understand that three conspiracies that we have been told of since 911 targeted Chicago? Now they want to make mandatory sections of restaurants that people can take their dogs to. They want to ban cooking oil used by fast food chains. You have got to be kidding me.  
 
If the Dems can't teach people how to exit the city, their buildings, protect their neighborhoods should police be elsewhere, why should I believe they will do these things nationally?  
 
To be fair, the Republicans aren't asking for civil defense either. And before you laugh and say "Duck and cover was stupid", it taught kids to get away from flying glass, and out of a building. Nothing wrong with that.  
 
So our Intel has not re-organized to fight this new war.  
 
Cities have no idea how they should react to attack, and people are left out of the equation so they "wait for the government to come".  
 
We have severe problems. And the Democrats are banning liver. And the Republicans are saying there are no problems.  
 
It is past time to "pick a team".  
 
Its time to find a new way to deal with the dragon.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jack The Ripper Has Finally Been Identified
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
It's official. Jack the Ripper has been named. Thus dies one of the largest and longest running pre-JFK conspiracy theories- and no one guessed right.  
 
It Wasn't The Masons Or British Royalty  
 
Kind of tells you something about conspiracy theories and the prejudices they hide....
Syria Threatens: Palestinians!!!!
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
Syria Threatens Israel With Radiation!  
 
 
 
Time Magazine has been told by Syria's UN Ambassador that Hezbollah is prepared to attack Israels' nuclear sites even at the cost of losing the people of Palestine.  
 
DEVELOPING!  
 
World War 3 Has Begun
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
FROM THE BLOG: Civil Defense Keep up with the latest events by signing up for updates at the site!  
world war 3 has begun  
 
There were two reasons to go into Iraq. One was WMD. But the other forgotten reason- was to sit on top of Iran and Syria.  
 
Within a week, we will find out if that second reason was correct.  
 
Iran has thrown in with Lebanon, thus giving Israel the reason it needed to attack Iran. They are already hitting targets near Syria.  
 
This is no longer about a captured soldier.  
 
It's about a region that has allowed this to escalate because they simply don't want a democracy in the area.  
 
My guesses are: troops in Lebanon within days, Iran to be hit if it accepts hostage Israeli soldiers or if Iran sends troops into Lebanon.  
 
Oh yeah and by the way we finally got to try Reagans Star Wars defense. It worked. See below. So why were liberals against this?  
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE — It was a picture-perfect pre-dawn Wednesday and a picture-perfect launch at White Sands Missile Range.  
 
Hundreds of miles above southern New Mexico, it was a picture-perfect impact between two missiles.  
 
The morning sky above the Tularosa Basin was painted in every color of the rainbow — hues ranging from iridescent purples to emerald greens and pastel blues, pinks and electric whites against the darkness of space.  
 
The pre-dawn art show was the result of the third of five tests planned at White Sands Missile Range to determine the effectiveness of THAAD — Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile. And military officials said the test went better than they could have hoped.  
 
"This was phenomenal," said U.S. Army Col. Charles Driessnack, the project manager for the Missile Defense Agency's THAAD program. "It performed as expected." http://www.lcsun-news.com/news/ci_4044160  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here is the latest:  
 
Israel has hit hundreds of targets in Lebanon since last night, as part of its effort to force the release of two soldiers captured by Hezbollah guerrillas, a top Israeli general said today.  
 
Maj Gen Udi Adam, the chief of Israel's northern command, said Israel was targeting infrastructure in Lebanon that held rockets and other arsenals belong to Hezbollah.  
 
Hezbollah guerrillas launched more than 80 rockets and mortars into Israel as well today.  
 
"I imagine over time that we will be able to rid ourselves of this threat entirely," he said.  
 
He also said the army was not ruling out sending ground troops into Lebanon, but was not planning a massive call up of reserves.  
 
He also did not rule out targeting Hezbollah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. "All operations are legitimate to wipe out terror," he said.  
 
Israel has information that Lebanese guerrillas who captured two Israeli soldiers are trying to transfer them to Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.  
 
Regev did not disclose the source of his information. Hezbollah guerrillas seized the soldiers yesterday in a cross-border raid. Israel has since attacked Lebanon by air and sea, and has sent in troops to look for the captured soldiers.  
 
Israel's Cabinet held an emergency meeting that decided to respond forcefully to Hezbollah's cross-border raid yesterday when its guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers and demanded a prisoner exchange.  
http://www.eecho.ie/news/bstory.asp?j=188975020&p=y889757z6&n=188975780  
Give Me Liberty Or Kill Me
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
GIVE ME LIBERTY OR KILL ME?  
 
While some would like to think of themselves as superheroes saving the planet from extinction in 100,000 years, I believe the next level of national debate is getting clear.  
 
I spoke to one of the heads of THONG, an anti- science group against "frankenfood", a group which has grown from Chicago and become an international protest group. I was told about America being a nation of immigrants, and that Moslems would have a big impact on our society.  
 
I was told how the laws could be used to protect our environment and control our eating habits.  
 
About this new world of regulation and religion dominating our state. I wondered if he realized that millions would die for lack of food but the food would be "pure", where tax subsidies for corn are funded by our tax dollars and the corn is then used to make fast food product which is again to be taxed, where the earths health in centuries is more important- than freedom. This is one side of the debate.  
 
Without freedom, to return to the world before church and state were seperated and man's birth sealed his fate for life. Where women were not allowed to have opinions let alone sex drives, is a fate worse than death. This is the other side of the debate.  
 
And though the words GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH have no meaning to most anymore, this debate only proves we are a fragile on- going experiment. We are under attack- now. Not in 100,000 years. Now. All that is about to be spent "protecting earth" should be spent on practice evacutions, to rebuild cities which are attacked by nature or terror, to defend ourselves from those that despise our music, films and culture.  
 
In Europe Moslems have forced nudity from ads, in America some cities have already surrendered their identity by allowing public calls to public prayers. Wait until people find out that will eventually include setting off cannons at 4am on a Saturday morning.  
 
Save the planet at any cost, versus give me liberty or kill me.  
 
There is no third path here.  
 
This July 4th ask yourself. Which side are you on?  
 
Michael Flores
The Ten Assumptions Of Tech Support
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
The Ten Assumptions of Tech Support  
by Gary North  
by Gary North  
 
 
 
I launched my first Website, www.freebooks.com, in 1996. So, I have had a lot of experience with Web hosting services, customer support technicians, and arcane commands.  
 
Over the years, I began to detect a pattern in tech support responses. If a problem could be solved with one e-mail or phone call, then there was no pattern. But in second, third, and additional contacts, a pattern began to emerge.  
 
I believe that this pattern is in some way genetic. It has to do with synapses and stuff in people's brains. Technicians do not think in the same way that non-technical users do. They have a specific mindset and a specific way of dealing with problems. We users have a different way and a different mindset.  
 
These rival ways have led to different roles in the economy: the division of labor.  
 
Technicians in all fields believe that users ought to be interested in technology and explanations. They become frustrated when they discover that users are interested only in user-friendly results. Technicians cannot guarantee user-friendly results, but they can explain in user-incomprehensible detail why things used to work but then ceased working, and why things will be working Real Soon Now.  
 
THE TEN ASSUMPTIONS  
 
After years of experience, I have concluded that the pattern of response by technical support staff is based on ten assumptions.  
 
 
If a procedure works at this end, it has to work at the user's end.  
 
If it doesn't work at the user's end, the user must not be following my inherently clear instructions.  
 
When the user insists that he is following my instructions to the letter but the procedure still doesn't work, he thereby proves that he has not understood my instructions, which were clear.  
 
It would do no good to call the user and take him through the procedure, since no matter what I tell him, he will not be able to follow my clear instructions.  
 
It would waste my supervisor's time for me to call and ask if there is a technical problem in between my work station and on-line public access.  
 
A single failed procedure is not an early warning signal of systemic trouble, but is instead a random event that will waste corporate money and my time to investigate further.  
 
A user's repeated complaints about a failed procedure reveal obstinacy on his part.  
 
An individual user has nowhere else to go, and can therefore safely be delayed indefinitely.  
 
The sales staff is peripheral to the support staff.  
 
My salary will continue to be paid irrespective of users' satisfaction with service.  
 
What is missing is the number-one presupposition of the free market: The consumer is sovereign. The consumer possesses money, which is the most marketable commodity. He can more easily find a replacement seller than the sales department can find a replacement customer.  
 
It is said that every high-technology firm requires three people: a salesman, a technician, and a manager who can get the first two even to speak to each other, let alone actually cooperate.  
 
The salesman is on commission. He wants to move the potential user to "yes" as fast as possible.  
 
The technician is on salary. He wants to delay dealing with any user until the technology is perfect.  
 
The sales force wants to move on to find a new user as soon as possible.  
 
The support staff wants to get the user off the phone as soon as possible.  
 
The user just wants the system to work as promised by the salesman.  
 
A RECENT EXPERIENCE  
 
Years ago, I went to a Web hosting company to host my autoresponders. Autoresponders are instant-reply e-letters that go out as soon as someone sends an e-mail to an address. They are great for delivering information cheap and fast. I have written a free course on how to use them in business, which is itself delivered by a sequential autoresponder program.  
 
Recently, the host company joined with another company. My autoresponders still worked the same. No problem.  
 
But then I went on-line to edit an autoresponder letter. Lo and behold, I could not gain access to the Control Panel. I was locked out of my site.  
 
So, I sent an e-letter explaining my problem to the first company's address. No response. No returned letter. I waited a couple of days. I sent a follow-up letter. No response. No returned letter.  
 
Then I sent a letter to the second company's address. I got a response. The language was a bit odd. "We are looking into the matter and will revert back to you ASAP." Revert back?  
 
There was no follow-up.  
 
Two days later, I sent another letter, reminding them. This time, I got a response. I was directed to go to the Control Panel's access address. I was told to type in my new user's ID (8 characters) and a new password (8 characters). I did. No access. I tried again. No access. I used cut-and-paste to make sure that I was entering the information correctly. No access.  
 
I sent back a letter saying I could not get access. I received a reply. The reply said: "The [site address]cpanel is working very fine at our end with the username & password given below." Again, "working very fine" sounded odd. Listed were the same two non- functioning access codes. I tried again. No access.  
 
The technical support staff is located in India. The language was not quite standard English, but the response was standard technician.  
 
I wrote back, explaining that what was "working very fine" at their end was still not working at my end. I asked for a phone call.  
 
A few hours later, I received a call – about an hour after I had sent a copy of the first draft of this essay to the company's American office. I had named names in the first draft. The technician took me through the same steps as before. This time, I was able to log into my control panel.  
 
He insisted that he had done nothing different. I made the same claim.  
 
Anyway, I can now get access. This is good.  
 
If all this sounds familiar, there is a reason.  
 
CONCLUSION  
 
The structure of rewards determines the nature of the performance. When you pay people a commission to sell, this attracts salesmen. When you pay people a salary to deal with problems, you attract technicians.  
 
The negative institutional sanctions must be consistent with the positive sanctions if the plans for the organization are to be reached. It is usually more difficult to design and impose negative sanctions than positive sanctions. Negative feedback is crucial but is resisted at all levels.  
 
Salesmen must be both encouraged and threatened to sell what the company is selling, not a figment of their imaginations. Technical support staff members also require a two-fold system of sanctions. But the systems of rewards and punishments must be different in both branches of the organization.  
 
The goals are the same: (1) customer satisfaction; (2) minimizing costs. The solutions are different.  
 
Those firms that solve the problem of sanctions are more likely to survive in a world of consumer sovereignty.  
 
The solutions for customer service should begin with a full-scale training program to overcome the ten assumptions of tech support.  
 
June 29, 2006  
 
Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 17-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.  
 
Save the planet or......
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Recently a friend of mine sent me an email about the conservative YAF group from the 60's. They were the Young Americans For Freedom, and were supposed to be the answer to SDS. He asked me my opinions so:  
 
YAF! Damn I hadn't heard that group in years! When I was in SDS we use to go to their parties because they drank like fish! Lots of free booze.  
 
We had an office at 1225 S. Wabash, skid row then but yuppie heaven now. ( By the way, if you haven't eaten at GIOCCO or OPERA down there we should go have dinner- you can cover tax and tip I'll cover the meal. Damn I love those restaurants).  
Because all the people I work with are younger than me the subject of YAF hardly ever comes up!  
 
When the Weathermen split from SDS there was a break in at the office and money and a subscribers list was stolen. It was presumed to be the work of the Weathermen.  
 
Years later I discvovered that the Red Squad and YAF had done the breakin! How? One of the organizers of the break in is now one of my best friends (though he opposes Bush and the Iraq war now).  
 
Small world.  
 
If you type in the words "American Hiroshima Osama" in the great Google search engine you will discover world wide reports that a nuke has already been smuggled into the country. This country.  
 
So- Homeland Security is a waste of money.  
 
Our cities, schools, nuclear power plants are unprotected.  
 
We saw how well the government did with evacations and police protection in New Orleans.  
 
The entire world before the age of reason was a dark place. The last few centurys are bright and shiny compared to all that came before.  
 
Yet I am told rather than do anything about the terror threat it would be better to spend trillions on "saving the planet".  
 
The planet isn't worth saving. We are.  
 
If science and reason gives way to Islam, we will be smack dab in the middle of the 14th century again.  
 
We look to both political parties and one's answer to the terror threat is to build additions to stadiums for hundreds of millions (yet there is no money to try a practice evacuation). The other parties answer is colored warning codes.  
 
Oh yeah, and a film about the "global warming". Osama must be quivering in his boots!  
 
It is clear to me neither political party can handle the 21st century.  
 
I believe the time for a third party is coming. Right now favors, jobs and money are doled out and keep people in the parties. One dirty bomb taking out an airport, one nuke wiping out a city and guess what?  
 
The bribes won't work anymore. We don't need a new system. We need some party that will stand up and say that worrying about the environment in 100,000 years is ok, but we better make sure we survive.  
 
Give me liberty- or fucking kill me!  
Moving
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Getting ready to move so taking a break.  
 
Cheers!
Murdoch, NeoCons Back Hillary!
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
This is on Drudge tonight, my comments follow:  
MURDOCH TO HOST FUNDRAISER FOR HILLARY CLINTON  
Mon May 08 2006 18:25:16 ET  
 
Rupert Murdoch has agreed to host a political fundraiser for Hillary Clinton this summer!  
 
Murdoch's surprise decision to raise money for Clinton in July, on behalf of NEWS CORP., parent company of FOXNEWS and the NEW YORK POST, underlines a dramatic turn of relations between Murdoch and Clinton, who in 1998 coined the phrase “vast rightwing conspiracy” to denounce critics of her husband.  
 
Some say the move by Murdoch reflects approval of her Senate career. Others note his record for picking future national leaders. Last century, he threw over the British conservatism he'd long supported to back longshot Tony Blair.  
 
Clinton surprised Washington and media watchers recently by attending a FOX NEWS anniversary party, where she toasted Murdoch.  
 
Political powerbroker and studio head Harvey Weinstein is said to have convinced Hillary that Murdoch could be a friend, not a foe, in her ongoing political maneuvers.  
 
Hillary has now cornered the NY media market, by winning support from the NEW YORK TIMES, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS owner Mort Zuckerman -- and now Murdoch and the NY POST.  
 
Developing...  
 
Now, a woman that has already raised almost $30 million dollars- needs more fundraisers?  
 
Since Dean has been unable to raise anywhere near that amount for the entire party that makes Hillary a powerhouse and powerbroker.  
 
With the people who were called "neocons" gathering around her this raises a real dilemma with the left. If Murdoch was a "leader of the neocons" and "Fox news" the neocons mouthpiece, what happens when these folks back Hillary? She says she is tired of Bush dragging his feet on Iran. How does the left now say Fox is cool, Murdoch ok and Hillary's move to the right- and faster wars in the region, ok?  
 
 
 
http://drudgereport.com/flash8.htm
Don't Forget.....
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear.  
We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."  
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998-Truth!  
Bill Clinton went to the Pentagon on this occasion to be briefed by top military officials about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.  
His remarks followed that briefing.  
 
"Iraq is a long way from USA but, what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."  
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998-Truth!  
This is a quote from Albright during an appearance at Ohio State University by Albright, who was Secretary of State for Bill Clinton.  
 
"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."  
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998-Truth!  
This was at the same Ohio State University appearance as Madeline Albright.  
"We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S.Constitution and Laws, to take necessary actions, (including, if appropriate,  
air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction  
programs."  
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998-Truth!  
According to the U.S. Senate website, the text of this letter was signed by several Senators, both Democrat and Republican, including Senator John McCain and Joseph Lieberman.  
 
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."  
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998-Truth!  
The text of this statement by Nancy Pelosi is posted on her congressional website.  
 
"Hussein has .. chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."  
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999-Truth!  
This was from an appearance Albright made in Chicago.  
She was addressing the embargo of Iraq that was in effect at the time and criticism that it may have prevented needed medical supplies from getting into the country. Albright said, "There has never been an embargo against food and medicine. It's just that Hussein has just not chosen to spend his money on that. Instead, he has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction, and palaces for his cronies."  
 
"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs  
continue a pace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."  
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, December 5, 2001Truth!  
The only letter with this quote from December 5, 2001 that we could find did not include the participation of Senator Bob Graham, but it was signed nine other senators including Democrat Joe Lieberman.  
It urged President Bush to take quicker action against Iraq.  
 
"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."  
Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002-Truth!  
These were remarks from Senator Levin to a Senate committee on that date.  
 
"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."  
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002-Truth!  
This and the quote below was part of prepared remarks for a speech in San Francisco to The Commonwealth Club.  
 
"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."  
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002-Truth!  
 
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."  
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002-Truth!  
Part of a speech he gave at Johns Hopkins.  
 
"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998.  
We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities.  
Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."  
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002-Truth!  
On the floor of the Senate during debate over the resolution that would authorize using force against Iraq.  
He was urging caution about going to war and commented that even though there was confidence about the weapons in Iraq, there had not been the need to take military action for a number of years and he asked why there would be the need at that point.  
 
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."  
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002-Truth!  
Senator Kerry's comments were made to the Senate as part of the same debate over the resolution to use force against Saddam Hussein.  
 
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated  
the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."  
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002-Truth!  
Senator Rockefeller's statements were a part of the debate over using force against Saddam Hussein.  
 
"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his  
chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002-Truth!  
Senator Waxman's contribution to the Senate debate over going to war.  
 
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological  
weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program.  
He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."  
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002-Truth!  
Senator Clinton acknowledged the threat of Saddam Hussein but said she did not feel that using force at that time was a good option.  
 
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime He presents a  
particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his  
continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction  
So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..."  
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan.23.2003-Truth!  
In a speech to Georgetown University.  
 
My Controversial Speech On The Civil War
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Hi folks- this is the talk I gave on April 8, 2006 in Chicago at the The College Of Complexes. First- here is a posting I did explaining what happened- followed by the controversial speech.  
 
The talk on the Civil War Saturday night I gave to a two room packed audience actually became an emotional roller coaster. There were people who rose from their seats in shock yelling as I spoke of Lincoln's policies. Others who cheered as I went on. By the end of the night, three hours had passed, the restaurant was closing, it took me twenty more minutes to leave from the people standing around - some still in shock. I was actually surprised the response was far more emotional than the Joe McCarthy speech I gave some months back.  
 
The first thing I said that caused some people to yell BS and a few to walk out, was that historians and the press had long ago wiped out the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves. Here by the way, is what I was talking about-  
 
The Emancipation Proclamation is often mistakenly praised as the legal instrument that ended slavery—actually, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in December 1865, outlawed slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was actually the SECOND paper to free the slaves in the south! The southern slaves had already been freed- on a document called the CONFISCATION ACT OF 1862. This first document was hidden over the years by Lincoln cultists because it also outlined rules for seizing property and shutting down newspapers that questioned the war. Hiding the first act keeps the public over time from finding out about the ten thousand people held without charges in the U.S.! ( If you missed this talk, you not only missed the fireworks- but many facts deliberately hidden in the history of the war.) Here's my proof:  
http://www.answers.com/topic/emancipation-proclamation  
 
 
Now- the speech!  
 
 
 
OPENING STATEMENT  
 
 
 
My name’s Mike Flores and I do many things. I am the 20 some odd year head of the Chicago Psychotronic Film Society. Our events have included a party for the late Russ Meyer, director of films such as SUPERVIXEN and FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL, KILL, hosted an event with John Cleese of Monty Python fame, held parties for Kenneth Anger the underground filmmaker, Penn and Teller hosted a Halloween party for us at Excalibur, Bill Murray hosted a party for our members at his home, and much more. The society was created by myself and the late Del Close of Second City and Improv Olympic fame.  
 
 
 
I DJ a new form of music called mashups in the Chicago area under the name DJ Psychomike. I’ve done this about 4 or 5 years at places like THE LIAR’S CLUB and SONOTHEQUE.  
 
 
 
I work as an entertainer, writer, producer, and director and writer. My shows have included BETTIE PAGE UNCENSORED which ran for 43 weeks and was made into a movie, THE ACID TEST 1966, CUBS WIN!, BRING ME THE HEAD OF DEL CLOSE which ran for 33 weeks and played two theatre festivals.  
 
 
 
I also did comedy with Del Close for about 6 years as the Pope of the Church of Subgenius on radio, TV and live appearances.  
 
 
 
I am strictly an amateur at history, but as Stan Brakhage the underground filmmaker told me, the word amateur when broken down, means with love.  
 
 
 
Because I did spend years in the south, tonight’s talk will be a bit more personal, and different. I will be floating through time on this one, from what I saw as a kid, to our present illusions. The hidden truths, the illusions and just maybe, the why.  
 
 
 
 
I was last here some months back and talked to you about revelations about the CIA in recently declassified files on the McCarthy era. Since that time, in the last month I was surprised to discover that many of those materials have been re-classified. For the first time, unclassified documents that have been available for in some cases years and some only months, were quietly being re-classified. So what we discussed last time may become illegal to discuss in coming months. The New York Times reported that historians and authors had protested these actions and that they have been halted pending a review. What is interesting about this is that we are able to watch right out in the open the mechanizations of creating our history. Usually this happens over time, and not with the wave of a hand of a bureaucrat. Don’t like discovering the truth of what happened during the McCarthy era that doesn’t fit the “Red Scare” spin? Don’t worry. If they continue on the present censorship you will be able to relax in knowing “what everyone knows” about McCarthy.  
 
 
 
War is part of diplomacy. We like to see wars end and big parades. Wars, or rather, diplomacy doesn’t end. There isn’t really an end. Woodrow Wilson had a stroke and for over two years while he lay fading in and out and partially paralyzed his wife, now in effect our first woman President, authorized the Versailles Treaty as punishment on Germany. To the average person, the war was over. The anger Germany felt, the economic depression that made some turn to cannibalism, the effect of that treaty would lead to the National Socialists and finally Hitler. So, did the war really end?  
 
 
 
Everything Hitler wanted to stop, the reds in Europe, Jews in the Middle East, the British in the Middle East, happened. After the war. Now look at Iraq, Iran, Israel and changing rules in Russia and ask yourself if the war really ended. Because diplomacy we never know 80% of what has taken place, it is hard to know our history.  
 
 
 
History can also be lost. Did you know the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of the end of the communal farming the first colonists tried here? We had 7 Presidents before George Washington, the first was named Hanson. How did we lose this information? What was life like before the Boston Tea Party? All lost. The Indian wars between Puritans and Native Americans- replaced by school observations that have the Indian share food with the Pilgrims. The reality? Lost. And we aren’t even an old nation!  
 
 
 
The War Between The States is not immune to time fashioning what happened. In many ways, the war has not ended. The perception of the war, almost always obscuring the realities, keeps the war ongoing.  
 
 
 
I was born in California. My father was Mexican. His parents came across the border in Texas and had him here. So he was by birth a citizen as the rules were then. My mom was from Irish stock her family had come here as a result of British policies. That they paired up after meeting in the Navy (both served) how a woman from the deep south at the height of segregation ended up with a Mexican baffles me. And they got away with it. I LOVE LUCY was huge so maybe that explains it. The only celebrity I know of that was an Irish Mexican was Anthony Quinn. Famous for playing ZORBA THE GREEK. I bet there aren’t many Irish Mexicans in Ireland.  
 
 
 
I grew up in Japan raised by a Japanese nanny, much the same way white children on the plantation I suppose were raised by the female slaves. From Japan we moved to the American South. Virginia, followed by South Carolina and then Georgia. The generation I grew up with had to get out of the house. There were no video games and endless cable channels. Kids on the block would form baseball teams and fight pretend war games. Armed with toy guns we would re-enact Combat episodes in the woods nearby. Sometimes in the dirt coming up with arrowheads on the ground or old musket balls.  
 
 
 
Everywhere then was the Civil War.  
 
 
 
There were trading cards that came with bubble gum that showed in gruesome detail the violent horrors of the war. There were monuments to the Confederate Generals everywhere. Places that battles took place at had placards explaining the battles that happened there. The big store chain was Winn Dixie. As in Win- Dixie. Rebel Yell whiskey had a Confederate general on the label and was not for sale in the North. The billboards the whiskey had showed the General on raised horse holding a sword, and the tag line was something like IF YOU SEE IT FOR SALE IN THE NORTH, TELL US. WE’LL STOP THEM!  
 
 
 
GONE WITH THE WIND was only released every seven years and never shown on TV. The near hysteria over the re-release would go on for a year before the actual date.  
 
 
 
I watched COMBAT one night and a southerner was shown on the program. The episode was written and directed by Robert Altman who would later do MASH, and in the episode the soldier carries a southern flag and makes jokes about the north throughout the episode “ My granddaddy would never let a car named Lincoln at his home” and jokes like that. We as kids tried to play Civil War battles, but no kid wanted to be a Yankee.  
 
 
 
There was Aunt Fanny’s Cabin. Located in Smyrna Georgia on Campbell Road it was the most astonishing restaurant I had ever been to. It was huge and always packed, with rows of tables so you were really eating picnic style. A pre-teen black boy would come out in rags with a chalkboard around his neck He would recite what was on the board:  
 
 
 
HOWDY FOLKS!  
 
WHAT’LL IT BE?  
 
ALL COMPLETE DINNERS  
 
OUR FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN  
 
GEN-U-INE SMITHFIELD HAM  
 
CHARCOAL BROILED STEAK  
 
FRESH RAINBOWN TROUT  
 
 
 
Then the little boy would take off for the next table. Thing is, the chicken really was the best I ever had. Soaked in buttermilk, crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Stone Mountain had carved on one side Confederate Generals. My first time there some branch of the Ku Klux Klan was having a family picnic. No one wore the robes; there were no confederate flags only the stars and stripes. About 100 feet away was an all Black church group having a picnic. No one yelled at the other. No one threw rocks. It was the south.  
 
 
 
The schoolbooks I had, here’s one called ROBERT E. LEE AND THE ROAD OF HONOR printed by Random House had lines like this:  
 
 
 
THIS BOOK IS ABOUT A GREAT AMERICAN WHO WAS GUIDED BY SOMETHING HE BELIEVED TO BE THE MOST PRECIOUS QUALITY IN LIFE. IT IS CALLED A SENSE OF HONOR, A FORCE INSIDE US WHICH NOT ONLY TELLS US WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING FOR US TO DO BUT ALSO IMPELS US TO DO IT. ROBERT EDWARD LEE OF VIRGINIA, WHO LED THE ARMIES OF THE SECEDING SOUTH IN THE WAR FOR SOUTHERN INDEPENDENCE, WALKED STRAIGHT ON HONOR’S ROAD ALL HIS LIFE.  
 
 
 
BUT THE STORY OF LEE OF VIRGINIA DOES NOT HAVE AN END, NOT SO LONG AS MEN RESPECT AND REMEMBER COURAGE AND HIGH PURPOSE AND A SENSE OF DUTY AND HONOR.  
 
 
 
My mom was no fan of the old south. She loved GONE WITH THE WIND but for the wrong reasons. I have always suspected that Southern women see in Scarlet O’Hara the Irish spirit in love with the land who kept the towns running when the men were gone to war and then rebuilt it from the ashes. Which is what southern women actually did? For men, GONE WITH THE WIND is the story of men dealing with war and fickle women. For women I suspect there is much more.  
 
 
 
At least, back then. As a child thinking about GONE WITH THE WIND…..  
 
 
 
The Irish that went north took their love of the land in Ireland and kept it with them over the generations. Northern Irish Americans have a point of view and are vocal about it when it comes to Ireland.  
 
 
 
The Irish in the south however saw the hills and mountains, the cliffs and lakes, and fell in love with the south.  
 
 
 
Recently I watched on the news as about a dozen people from hate groups had united to march through a neighborhood they didn’t live to protest black crime. I watched as the hate group carried southern battle flags, and the hundreds who had shown up organized by the Progressive Labor Party, a pro Stalin group, threw rocks- at police. Then in order to teach the hate groups a lesson that frankly eludes me, the anti-hate crowd broke into and looted nearby homes, attacked cars and more. So angered they were by the rebel flag. The tiny hate group didn’t even live in the neighborhood! One looter explained the hatred she had for the stars and bars, a flag that to her stood for treason and slavery. States remove their battle flags from their state seals, colleges are pressured to ban confederate flags.  
 
 
 
Long gone from TV and film are references to the southerner who still talks bad about the north, but would die for it. Gone is Fanny’s. You can travel all over Atlanta and only hear northern accents. I have seen the history change twice in my life about a period that was over 100 years ago.  
 
 
 
My mother tried to instill in me a dislike for the old south and for segregation. I was raised in Japan during my formative years and born in California. This isn’t my war.  
 
So, where to start?  
 
 
 
Let’s begin with the first war on this soil over slavery.  
 
 
 
The abolitionist and religious movements that hated slavery had painted a picture of constant whippings, brandings and sexual abuse. In fact, according to their propaganda, there was little time for actual work. Dunmore suggested to the secretary of state in 1772 using slaves to quell war with foreign powers believing the slaves would rise up and seek revenge on their masters for the daily abuse.  
 
 
 
In 1775 Dunmore’s Proclamation placed Virginia into a state of martial law. It offered freedom to slaves and bonded servants and families if they would fight for the British. Thousands fled the plantations and signed up. It wasn’t however motivations of revenge that they fled to the British side for. It was the promise of liberty. Whoever offered the best concrete offer of freedom would get their support.  
 
 
 
George Washington urged for Dunmore to be crushed.  
 
 
 
At the Boston Massacre of 1770 when Crispus Attucks, a freed black was killed, slaves must have asked “Whose freedom did he die for?”  
 
 
 
As the war moved south the former slaves found themselves in Florida when the end came. The British took off on their ships and advised the blacks to head to Canada. It is a long walk from Florida to Canada.  
 
 
 
Some tried to swim out to the boats to leave with the British. The sailors were ordered to use their machetes to chop the arms off the slaves to keep them from boarding. Yet they kept coming. Because on the beach, angry former colonists were killing them as they swam in.  
 
 
 
The tortures, lynching and murders that befell these blacks as they journeyed north have never been made into a movie or novel. The industrialized states barred entry by blacks (that’s why the Underground Railroad ended in Canada, not Illinois). It is unknown how many made it to Canada. Until recently it was thought less than 800 blacks joined the British, now we know through records it was in the thousands. It is safe to say that thousands were murdered in gruesome fashion on the journey to Canada.  
 
The British would end all slavery in 1832 in all their territories. If the slave owners had lost the Revolution, they still would have lost all their slaves without question almost 30 years before our civil war, without firing a shot or losing one life.  
 
 
 
The stories that were told in the slave’s quarters were that the tortures and murders were longer and more chilling in the north. Those that had fled with families faced horrors so bad, that the record was until recently, “forgotten”.  
 
 
 
Right about now you should strap on your seat belts and buy me a beer because we are getting to the second war about slavery in this country.  
 
 
 
Civil War buffs all know the Robert E. Lee quote, ‘IT IS WELL THAT WAR IS SO TERRIBLE, ELSE WE SHOULD GROW TOO FOND OF IT`  
 
 
 
But here’s one you may have missed: WHEN YOU ELIMINATE THE BLACK CONFEDERATE SOLDIER, YOU’VE ELIMINATED THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTH.  
 
 
 
So I read these words over. When you eliminate the black confederate soldier- what black confederate soldier? What is Robert E. Lee talking about? What did the north and the south tell themselves were the reasons for war in the first place? What really happened?  
 
 
 
When I lived down south I had daily reminders of the War Between the States. Bumper stickers that had a rebel flag and the words, DON’T BLAME ME I VOTED FOR JEFF DAVIS, license plates with confederate battle flags and some cutesy rebel soldier with a leg in a cast and the words HELL NO I AIN’T FERGETIN’. When I moved up north I had discovered that the north had no interest in the war. Though a great deal of interest in Lincoln. Note the name of this restaurant. The Lincoln Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue in the Land of Lincoln!  
 
 
 
It was a let down that the battles I had memorized and day dreamed about were ignored up here, but all that would change with Ken Burns and his PBS show. Suddenly restaurants with southern themes and food swept the big cities of the north. Krispy Kreme donuts suddenly appeared. And horror of all horrors, today you can buy REBEL YELL whiskey in finer liquor and wine stores in the north. I highly recommend the whiskey by the way. I began to find people interested in the war that continues to define us, even though the message long ago replaced the facts. This is knowledge that can’t fit on a bumper sticker or a license plate. Much of it will be new. And yes we will find out why what happened to the runaway slaves of the south during the first war over slavery would play a role in the second.  
 
 
 
What started this argument between slaves, freedmen, families and everyone alive at the time on earth that read papers?  
 
 
 
The Constitution is the first player in this family squabble. The South believed that the Union formed under the Constitution was of consent and not force. The states were not beholden to the government, it was the reverse. The government must always answer to the people. No war without the consent of the states, because the states were the creators of government, not its creatures. The South felt it had earned its independence from England, were granted by England their freedom and sovereignty and had not surrendered these on entering the union. They stated that there was nothing in the Constitution that gave anyone the power to invade a state or use force of any kind against it.  
 
 
 
For Lincoln and the federalists, the union was perpetual. The unit could not be divided. The right of self preservation that every nation on earth had so did the union.  
 
 
 
Period.  
 
 
 
When I say the name Abraham Lincoln you have an image in your mind. That image looms large over our terrain and remains a potent image for everything from restaurant signs to poetry to paintings to furniture sales, statues in the park, his face on our coins and bills.  
 
 
 
There is no such image when I say Jefferson Davis. You can’t get more erased out of history. So let me tell you about him and the times he lived so that I when I mention his name you’ll have an idea of the man who doesn’t have hundreds of books, TV shows, statues and mythology.  
 
 
 
The south itself in the 1850’s had a period of unprecedented prosperity. The laws of how long a slave could be a slave before being freed were in effect, and more and more blacks were becoming free. In Charleston homes in white neighborhoods were bought by blacks and rented to whites. One group of black speculators held properties worth $500,000 in 1850’s money- a mind boggling amount today. About 25% of freed blacks owned slaves in the south- some to free other family members, some to make money and some did both. Freed slaves could open bank accounts, run stores and shops and in the case of New Orleans, actually participate in the local government.  
 
 
 
The north has a different story. The north was being hurt- industrialization was expensive. So was building homes and buildings to grow. It was running out of money to change itself, and higher tariffs on the south were used to get that money. There was another way. Cheap labor could have been brought in. But blacks were barred from the states that were trying to grow, Irish tradesmen in the north kept the cheaper labor force out. So the North needed more money and the south felt angry as the tariffs rose.  
 
 
 
Jefferson Davis is among the names of the somewhat eccentric or colorful people who make up the story. There was also Judah Benjamin the Jew in charge of the treasury, Colonel Benavides from Mexico and General Standwaite- a Native American who was actually the last southern general to surrender at the end of the war- whom Southern mythmakers would replace with Lee and Grant- even though that Appomattox surrender document was reversed and dropped later.  
 
 
 
Davis had told states that wanted to re-introduce slavery no way. He adopted a black child that he raised as his own. Taken prisoner by Union soldiers who beat and clubbed him with their rifles when they arrested him, his child ran out and lay on top of him, absorbing the blows from the soldiers. Yelling for them not to hit his daddy. Which, by the way stunned the soldiers?  
 
 
 
Held in prison without charges for two and a half years after the war, he was kept in solitary confinement and was not allowed visits from family or lawyers. The Pope made a crown of thorns with his own hands, cutting himself in the process, and sent it to President Johnson urging him to either charge Davis or let him go. Davis was finally freed after the President received the bloodied crown.  
 
 
 
The issue of slavery was a cloud over tariffs and the Constitution. Yet it would eventually replace all the original reasons for the war.  
 
 
 
The north killed more slaves in inhuman conditions than the south. It brought the slaves here to New York and New England and did not start selling them in the south until the market in the north was saturated. The slaves built New York City and were instantly forgotten for having done so.  
 
 
 
Lincoln let it be known he opposed citizenship for Blacks. He wanted to gather them together, and we are talking about people who had been here a few generations, and send  
 
them back to Africa. He did not bar slave states from entering the union; he did nothing to free slaves in northern states still mostly agricultural. The companies trafficking in slaves during the war staid in New England, and their offices paid tariffs all through the war!  
 
 
 
Davis argued that slavery was winding down everywhere. He argued that only by welcoming the freed slaves into the community could the south survive. That played a role in his legal adoption. Robert E. Lee freed his family slaves before the war because he said, “he wanted no one to say he fought for slavery instead of the right for a state to leave the union.” Article 1 section 9 of the Confederate Constitution outlawed the slavery trade. No more buying and selling.  
 
 
 
Blacks could not open bank accounts, own property or work in most of the states in the north. They could in the south. Alex deTocqueville had earlier expressed shock after seeing all white builders and tradesmen in the north when he saw black and white tradesmen working side by side in the south!  
 
 
 
South Carolina was the first to leave the Union after Lincoln’s election, half dozen states followed suit. Which at the time included Mississippi, the number one cash making state in the country? And the highest tariff payer.  
 
 
 
West Virginia in an irony lost in time. It was created illegally by Lincoln by succeeding it from Virginia. That’s right. The man who argued the South had no right to leave the union, he could divide up states if he wanted. West Virginia was allowed to keep their slaves! General Grant took some of his slaves with him into battle, as did his troops. So succession was wrong unless it was done by the government!  
 
 
 
 
 
For decades southern racists have insisted that the south’s black soldiers saw little combat, and are insignificant. The truth of the matter is that years before the south called up Blacks to fight for the cause and before slavery had become the issue, many blacks served unofficially. Dr. Lewis Steiner was a Yankee that was in Frederick Maryland when he saw the rebel troops on their way to Sharpsburg. Here is the message he sent to the union forces:  
 
 
 
THE MOVEMENT (OF TROOPS) CONTINUED UNTIL 8:00 PM, OCCUPYING 16 HOURS. THE MOST LIBERAL CALCULATION COULD NOT GIVE THEM NORE THAN 65,000 MEN. OVER 5000 NEGROES MUST BE INCLUDED IN THAT NUMBER BRANDISHING ARMS, RIFLES, MUSKETS, SABERS, BOWIE KNIVES. THEY CARRY KNAPSACKS, WATER CANTEENS AND SLEEPING MATERIALS ISSUED BY THE CSA. MORE NEGROES COULD BE SEEN DRIVING WAGONS, RIDING ON CAISONS, IN AMBULANCES, WITH THE STAFF OF GENERALS AND PROMISCUOSILY MIXED IN WITH THE WHITE TROOPS.  
 
 
 
In all the decades of civil war art, not one painting has ever included the black troops that fought the north at Sharpsburg. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised that we have changed out attitudes so radically over time about the war, when the attitudes and meaning of the war were changed half way through the war as well.  
 
 
 
That happened with a failed propaganda piece called the EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION.  
 
 
 
First, hidden from us, is the fact that the 1862 Confiscation Act had already freed the slaves in the southern states by declaring them “forever free”! The Confiscation Act also authorized the seizure of land, homes and businesses that assisted the rebellion. It led to shutting down newspapers, jailing reporters without charges, and abuses far beyond anything done with our Patriot Act.  
 
 
 
Lincoln never mentioned or wrote on the First Amendment. He is in fact the only President we ever had that never mentioned it. In all his speeches on liberty, you will find no mention of free speech or a free press.  
 
 
 
Lincoln suspended habeus corpus. The confiscation act was used to silence any newspaper that called on the North to use the courts against the south. In fact, if you even told a joke about Lincoln you would lose your home and go to jail.  
 
 
 
More than 10,000 were arrested and held without trial or charges. He secretly paid newspaper publishers, and wrote articles praising his actions under assumed names.  
 
 
 
There is far more to Lincoln than “Honest Abe”.  
 
 
 
The Proclamation itself was meant to encourage the slaves in the slave states to rebel. They didn’t. They remembered what happened to the slaves that had joined the British, and decided to just sit it out. The proclamation however, was a much cleaner paper than the Confiscation Act which freed the same slaves, yet left embarrassing questions about Constitutional abuse away from the prying eyes of historians.  
 
 
 
Here in Chicago the Sun Times was shut down. Camp Douglas was a prison for southerners in Chicago. Black confederates were shot on the spot upon entry to the camp. The guards would actually fire into the crowd of prisoners to hit the Blacks. If they had to take down white Confederates to get them, well that just added to the fun. Food for the prisoners was allowed to rot to “punish them”. When some Chicagoans signed a petition to allow doctors and food into the camp, all that signed it were arrested and sent to Camp Douglas without a trial.  
 
 
 
Southerners began re-writing the war in the 1870’s. To explain the loss of life, the confederate soldier was praised. Duty and honor was what the south came to see as the reasons for fighting the war.  
 
 
 
By the war of 1896 the Spanish- American War the courage of southerners in battle was praised, and soon even the North looked with delight at these folks who couldn’t let the old south, which never existed, go. Lee became a national hero, blue and grey re-unions would become the order of the day.  
 
 
 
The absence of concern for Black people made it easy for the entire nation to romanticize the old south. Interesting that blacks stopped going to the re-unions after the first one.  
 
 
 
Today we are just as wrong in our analysis of the war. A great northern migration to the south is currently happening, and northern blacks get angry when they see the Confederate flags and monuments. Yet as long as the story of the period ignores all the other issues save one, as long as the role of Blacks and Indians in the war is ignored, the wounds will remain open, the quest for what happened, unending.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My Controversial Speech On The Civil War
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
Hi folks- this is the talk I gave on April 8, 2006 in Chicago at the The College Of Complexes. First- here is a posting I did explaining what happened- followed by the controversial speech.  
 
The talk on the Civil War Saturday night I gave to a two room packed audience actually became an emotional roller coaster. There were people who rose from their seats in shock yelling as I spoke of Lincoln's policies. Others who cheered as I went on. By the end of the night, three hours had passed, the restaurant was closing, it took me twenty more minutes to leave from the people standing around - some still in shock. I was actually surprised the response was far more emotional than the Joe McCarthy speech I gave some months back.  
 
The first thing I said that caused some people to yell BS and a few to walk out, was that historians and the press had long ago wiped out the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves. Here by the way, is what I was talking about-  
 
The Emancipation Proclamation is often mistakenly praised as the legal instrument that ended slavery—actually, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in December 1865, outlawed slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was actually the SECOND paper to free the slaves in the south! The southern slaves had already been freed- on a document called the CONFISCATION ACT OF 1862. This first document was hidden over the years by Lincoln cultists because it also outlined rules for seizing property and shutting down newspapers that questioned the war. Hiding the first act keeps the public over time from finding out about the ten thousand people held without charges in the U.S.! ( If you missed this talk, you not only missed the fireworks- but many facts deliberately hidden in the history of the war.) Here's my proof:  
http://www.answers.com/topic/emancipation-proclamation  
 
 
Now- the speech!  
 
 
 
OPENING STATEMENT  
 
 
 
My name’s Mike Flores and I do many things. I am the 20 some odd year head of the Chicago Psychotronic Film Society. Our events have included a party for the late Russ Meyer, director of films such as SUPERVIXEN and FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL, KILL, hosted an event with John Cleese of Monty Python fame, held parties for Kenneth Anger the underground filmmaker, Penn and Teller hosted a Halloween party for us at Excalibur, Bill Murray hosted a party for our members at his home, and much more. The society was created by myself and the late Del Close of Second City and Improv Olympic fame.  
 
 
 
I DJ a new form of music called mashups in the Chicago area under the name DJ Psychomike. I’ve done this about 4 or 5 years at places like THE LIAR’S CLUB and SONOTHEQUE.  
 
 
 
I work as an entertainer, writer, producer, and director and writer. My shows have included BETTIE PAGE UNCENSORED which ran for 43 weeks and was made into a movie, THE ACID TEST 1966, CUBS WIN!, BRING ME THE HEAD OF DEL CLOSE which ran for 33 weeks and played two theatre festivals.  
 
 
 
I also did comedy with Del Close for about 6 years as the Pope of the Church of Subgenius on radio, TV and live appearances.  
 
 
 
I am strictly an amateur at history, but as Stan Brakhage the underground filmmaker told me, the word amateur when broken down, means with love.  
 
 
 
Because I did spend years in the south, tonight’s talk will be a bit more personal, and different. I will be floating through time on this one, from what I saw as a kid, to our present illusions. The hidden truths, the illusions and just maybe, the why.  
 
 
 
 
I was last here some months back and talked to you about revelations about the CIA in recently declassified files on the McCarthy era. Since that time, in the last month I was surprised to discover that many of those materials have been re-classified. For the first time, unclassified documents that have been available for in some cases years and some only months, were quietly being re-classified. So what we discussed last time may become illegal to discuss in coming months. The New York Times reported that historians and authors had protested these actions and that they have been halted pending a review. What is interesting about this is that we are able to watch right out in the open the mechanizations of creating our history. Usually this happens over time, and not with the wave of a hand of a bureaucrat. Don’t like discovering the truth of what happened during the McCarthy era that doesn’t fit the “Red Scare” spin? Don’t worry. If they continue on the present censorship you will be able to relax in knowing “what everyone knows” about McCarthy.  
 
 
 
War is part of diplomacy. We like to see wars end and big parades. Wars, or rather, diplomacy doesn’t end. There isn’t really an end. Woodrow Wilson had a stroke and for over two years while he lay fading in and out and partially paralyzed his wife, now in effect our first woman President, authorized the Versailles Treaty as punishment on Germany. To the average person, the war was over. The anger Germany felt, the economic depression that made some turn to cannibalism, the effect of that treaty would lead to the National Socialists and finally Hitler. So, did the war really end?  
 
 
 
Everything Hitler wanted to stop, the reds in Europe, Jews in the Middle East, the British in the Middle East, happened. After the war. Now look at Iraq, Iran, Israel and changing rules in Russia and ask yourself if the war really ended. Because diplomacy we never know 80% of what has taken place, it is hard to know our history.  
 
 
 
History can also be lost. Did you know the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of the end of the communal farming the first colonists tried here? We had 7 Presidents before George Washington, the first was named Hanson. How did we lose this information? What was life like before the Boston Tea Party? All lost. The Indian wars between Puritans and Native Americans- replaced by school observations that have the Indian share food with the Pilgrims. The reality? Lost. And we aren’t even an old nation!  
 
 
 
The War Between The States is not immune to time fashioning what happened. In many ways, the war has not ended. The perception of the war, almost always obscuring the realities, keeps the war ongoing.  
 
 
 
I was born in California. My father was Mexican. His parents came across the border in Texas and had him here. So he was by birth a citizen as the rules were then. My mom was from Irish stock her family had come here as a result of British policies. That they paired up after meeting in the Navy (both served) how a woman from the deep south at the height of segregation ended up with a Mexican baffles me. And they got away with it. I LOVE LUCY was huge so maybe that explains it. The only celebrity I know of that was an Irish Mexican was Anthony Quinn. Famous for playing ZORBA THE GREEK. I bet there aren’t many Irish Mexicans in Ireland.  
 
 
 
I grew up in Japan raised by a Japanese nanny, much the same way white children on the plantation I suppose were raised by the female slaves. From Japan we moved to the American South. Virginia, followed by South Carolina and then Georgia. The generation I grew up with had to get out of the house. There were no video games and endless cable channels. Kids on the block would form baseball teams and fight pretend war games. Armed with toy guns we would re-enact Combat episodes in the woods nearby. Sometimes in the dirt coming up with arrowheads on the ground or old musket balls.  
 
 
 
Everywhere then was the Civil War.  
 
 
 
There were trading cards that came with bubble gum that showed in gruesome detail the violent horrors of the war. There were monuments to the Confederate Generals everywhere. Places that battles took place at had placards explaining the battles that happened there. The big store chain was Winn Dixie. As in Win- Dixie. Rebel Yell whiskey had a Confederate general on the label and was not for sale in the North. The billboards the whiskey had showed the General on raised horse holding a sword, and the tag line was something like IF YOU SEE IT FOR SALE IN THE NORTH, TELL US. WE’LL STOP THEM!  
 
 
 
GONE WITH THE WIND was only released every seven years and never shown on TV. The near hysteria over the re-release would go on for a year before the actual date.  
 
 
 
I watched COMBAT one night and a southerner was shown on the program. The episode was written and directed by Robert Altman who would later do MASH, and in the episode the soldier carries a southern flag and makes jokes about the north throughout the episode “ My granddaddy would never let a car named Lincoln at his home” and jokes like that. We as kids tried to play Civil War battles, but no kid wanted to be a Yankee.  
 
 
 
There was Aunt Fanny’s Cabin. Located in Smyrna Georgia on Campbell Road it was the most astonishing restaurant I had ever been to. It was huge and always packed, with rows of tables so you were really eating picnic style. A pre-teen black boy would come out in rags with a chalkboard around his neck He would recite what was on the board:  
 
 
 
HOWDY FOLKS!  
 
WHAT’LL IT BE?  
 
ALL COMPLETE DINNERS  
 
OUR FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN  
 
GEN-U-INE SMITHFIELD HAM  
 
CHARCOAL BROILED STEAK  
 
FRESH RAINBOWN TROUT  
 
 
 
Then the little boy would take off for the next table. Thing is, the chicken really was the best I ever had. Soaked in buttermilk, crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Stone Mountain had carved on one side Confederate Generals. My first time there some branch of the Ku Klux Klan was having a family picnic. No one wore the robes; there were no confederate flags only the stars and stripes. About 100 feet away was an all Black church group having a picnic. No one yelled at the other. No one threw rocks. It was the south.  
 
 
 
The schoolbooks I had, here’s one called ROBERT E. LEE AND THE ROAD OF HONOR printed by Random House had lines like this:  
 
 
 
THIS BOOK IS ABOUT A GREAT AMERICAN WHO WAS GUIDED BY SOMETHING HE BELIEVED TO BE THE MOST PRECIOUS QUALITY IN LIFE. IT IS CALLED A SENSE OF HONOR, A FORCE INSIDE US WHICH NOT ONLY TELLS US WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING FOR US TO DO BUT ALSO IMPELS US TO DO IT. ROBERT EDWARD LEE OF VIRGINIA, WHO LED THE ARMIES OF THE SECEDING SOUTH IN THE WAR FOR SOUTHERN INDEPENDENCE, WALKED STRAIGHT ON HONOR’S ROAD ALL HIS LIFE.  
 
 
 
BUT THE STORY OF LEE OF VIRGINIA DOES NOT HAVE AN END, NOT SO LONG AS MEN RESPECT AND REMEMBER COURAGE AND HIGH PURPOSE AND A SENSE OF DUTY AND HONOR.  
 
 
 
My mom was no fan of the old south. She loved GONE WITH THE WIND but for the wrong reasons. I have always suspected that Southern women see in Scarlet O’Hara the Irish spirit in love with the land who kept the towns running when the men were gone to war and then rebuilt it from the ashes. Which is what southern women actually did? For men, GONE WITH THE WIND is the story of men dealing with war and fickle women. For women I suspect there is much more.  
 
 
 
At least, back then. As a child thinking about GONE WITH THE WIND…..  
 
 
 
The Irish that went north took their love of the land in Ireland and kept it with them over the generations. Northern Irish Americans have a point of view and are vocal about it when it comes to Ireland.  
 
 
 
The Irish in the south however saw the hills and mountains, the cliffs and lakes, and fell in love with the south.  
 
 
 
Recently I watched on the news as about a dozen people from hate groups had united to march through a neighborhood they didn’t live to protest black crime. I watched as the hate group carried southern battle flags, and the hundreds who had shown up organized by the Progressive Labor Party, a pro Stalin group, threw rocks- at police. Then in order to teach the hate groups a lesson that frankly eludes me, the anti-hate crowd broke into and looted nearby homes, attacked cars and more. So angered they were by the rebel flag. The tiny hate group didn’t even live in the neighborhood! One looter explained the hatred she had for the stars and bars, a flag that to her stood for treason and slavery. States remove their battle flags from their state seals, colleges are pressured to ban confederate flags.  
 
 
 
Long gone from TV and film are references to the southerner who still talks bad about the north, but would die for it. Gone is Fanny’s. You can travel all over Atlanta and only hear northern accents. I have seen the history change twice in my life about a period that was over 100 years ago.  
 
 
 
My mother tried to instill in me a dislike for the old south and for segregation. I was raised in Japan during my formative years and born in California. This isn’t my war.  
 
So, where to start?  
 
 
 
Let’s begin with the first war on this soil over slavery.  
 
 
 
The abolitionist and religious movements that hated slavery had painted a picture of constant whippings, brandings and sexual abuse. In fact, according to their propaganda, there was little time for actual work. Dunmore suggested to the secretary of state in 1772 using slaves to quell war with foreign powers believing the slaves would rise up and seek revenge on their masters for the daily abuse.  
 
 
 
In 1775 Dunmore’s Proclamation placed Virginia into a state of martial law. It offered freedom to slaves and bonded servants and families if they would fight for the British. Thousands fled the plantations and signed up. It wasn’t however motivations of revenge that they fled to the British side for. It was the promise of liberty. Whoever offered the best concrete offer of freedom would get their support.  
 
 
 
George Washington urged for Dunmore to be crushed.  
 
 
 
At the Boston Massacre of 1770 when Crispus Attucks, a freed black was killed, slaves must have asked “Whose freedom did he die for?”  
 
 
 
As the war moved south the former slaves found themselves in Florida when the end came. The British took off on their ships and advised the blacks to head to Canada. It is a long walk from Florida to Canada.  
 
 
 
Some tried to swim out to the boats to leave with the British. The sailors were ordered to use their machetes to chop the arms off the slaves to keep them from boarding. Yet they kept coming. Because on the beach, angry former colonists were killing them as they swam in.  
 
 
 
The tortures, lynching and murders that befell these blacks as they journeyed north have never been made into a movie or novel. The industrialized states barred entry by blacks (that’s why the Underground Railroad ended in Canada, not Illinois). It is unknown how many made it to Canada. Until recently it was thought less than 800 blacks joined the British, now we know through records it was in the thousands. It is safe to say that thousands were murdered in gruesome fashion on the journey to Canada.  
 
The British would end all slavery in 1832 in all their territories. If the slave owners had lost the Revolution, they still would have lost all their slaves without question almost 30 years before our civil war, without firing a shot or losing one life.  
 
 
 
The stories that were told in the slave’s quarters were that the tortures and murders were longer and more chilling in the north. Those that had fled with families faced horrors so bad, that the record was until recently, “forgotten”.  
 
 
 
Right about now you should strap on your seat belts and buy me a beer because we are getting to the second war about slavery in this country.  
 
 
 
Civil War buffs all know the Robert E. Lee quote, ‘IT IS WELL THAT WAR IS SO TERRIBLE, ELSE WE SHOULD GROW TOO FOND OF IT`  
 
 
 
But here’s one you may have missed: WHEN YOU ELIMINATE THE BLACK CONFEDERATE SOLDIER, YOU’VE ELIMINATED THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTH.  
 
 
 
So I read these words over. When you eliminate the black confederate soldier- what black confederate soldier? What is Robert E. Lee talking about? What did the north and the south tell themselves were the reasons for war in the first place? What really happened?  
 
 
 
When I lived down south I had daily reminders of the War Between the States. Bumper stickers that had a rebel flag and the words, DON’T BLAME ME I VOTED FOR JEFF DAVIS, license plates with confederate battle flags and some cutesy rebel soldier with a leg in a cast and the words HELL NO I AIN’T FERGETIN’. When I moved up north I had discovered that the north had no interest in the war. Though a great deal of interest in Lincoln. Note the name of this restaurant. The Lincoln Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue in the Land of Lincoln!  
 
 
 
It was a let down that the battles I had memorized and day dreamed about were ignored up here, but all that would change with Ken Burns and his PBS show. Suddenly restaurants with southern themes and food swept the big cities of the north. Krispy Kreme donuts suddenly appeared. And horror of all horrors, today you can buy REBEL YELL whiskey in finer liquor and wine stores in the north. I highly recommend the whiskey by the way. I began to find people interested in the war that continues to define us, even though the message long ago replaced the facts. This is knowledge that can’t fit on a bumper sticker or a license plate. Much of it will be new. And yes we will find out why what happened to the runaway slaves of the south during the first war over slavery would play a role in the second.  
 
 
 
What started this argument between slaves, freedmen, families and everyone alive at the time on earth that read papers?  
 
 
 
The Constitution is the first player in this family squabble. The South believed that the Union formed under the Constitution was of consent and not force. The states were not beholden to the government, it was the reverse. The government must always answer to the people. No war without the consent of the states, because the states were the creators of government, not its creatures. The South felt it had earned its independence from England, were granted by England their freedom and sovereignty and had not surrendered these on entering the union. They stated that there was nothing in the Constitution that gave anyone the power to invade a state or use force of any kind against it.  
 
 
 
For Lincoln and the federalists, the union was perpetual. The unit could not be divided. The right of self preservation that every nation on earth had so did the union.  
 
 
 
Period.  
 
 
 
When I say the name Abraham Lincoln you have an image in your mind. That image looms large over our terrain and remains a potent image for everything from restaurant signs to poetry to paintings to furniture sales, statues in the park, his face on our coins and bills.  
 
 
 
There is no such image when I say Jefferson Davis. You can’t get more erased out of history. So let me tell you about him and the times he lived so that I when I mention his name you’ll have an idea of the man who doesn’t have hundreds of books, TV shows, statues and mythology.  
 
 
 
The south itself in the 1850’s had a period of unprecedented prosperity. The laws of how long a slave could be a slave before being freed were in effect, and more and more blacks were becoming free. In Charleston homes in white neighborhoods were bought by blacks and rented to whites. One group of black speculators held properties worth $500,000 in 1850’s money- a mind boggling amount today. About 25% of freed blacks owned slaves in the south- some to free other family members, some to make money and some did both. Freed slaves could open bank accounts, run stores and shops and in the case of New Orleans, actually participate in the local government.  
 
 
 
The north has a different story. The north was being hurt- industrialization was expensive. So was building homes and buildings to grow. It was running out of money to change itself, and higher tariffs on the south were used to get that money. There was another way. Cheap labor could have been brought in. But blacks were barred from the states that were trying to grow, Irish tradesmen in the north kept the cheaper labor force out. So the North needed more money and the south felt angry as the tariffs rose.  
 
 
 
Jefferson Davis is among the names of the somewhat eccentric or colorful people who make up the story. There was also Judah Benjamin the Jew in charge of the treasury, Colonel Benavides from Mexico and General Standwaite- a Native American who was actually the last southern general to surrender at the end of the war- whom Southern mythmakers would replace with Lee and Grant- even though that Appomattox surrender document was reversed and dropped later.  
 
 
 
Davis had told states that wanted to re-introduce slavery no way. He adopted a black child that he raised as his own. Taken prisoner by Union soldiers who beat and clubbed him with their rifles when they arrested him, his child ran out and lay on top of him, absorbing the blows from the soldiers. Yelling for them not to hit his daddy. Which, by the way stunned the soldiers?  
 
 
 
Held in prison without charges for two and a half years after the war, he was kept in solitary confinement and was not allowed visits from family or lawyers. The Pope made a crown of thorns with his own hands, cutting himself in the process, and sent it to President Johnson urging him to either charge Davis or let him go. Davis was finally freed after the President received the bloodied crown.  
 
 
 
The issue of slavery was a cloud over tariffs and the Constitution. Yet it would eventually replace all the original reasons for the war.  
 
 
 
The north killed more slaves in inhuman conditions than the south. It brought the slaves here to New York and New England and did not start selling them in the south until the market in the north was saturated. The slaves built New York City and were instantly forgotten for having done so.  
 
 
 
Lincoln let it be known he opposed citizenship for Blacks. He wanted to gather them together, and we are talking about people who had been here a few generations, and send  
 
them back to Africa. He did not bar slave states from entering the union; he did nothing to free slaves in northern states still mostly agricultural. The companies trafficking in slaves during the war staid in New England, and their offices paid tariffs all through the war!  
 
 
 
Davis argued that slavery was winding down everywhere. He argued that only by welcoming the freed slaves into the community could the south survive. That played a role in his legal adoption. Robert E. Lee freed his family slaves before the war because he said, “he wanted no one to say he fought for slavery instead of the right for a state to leave the union.” Article 1 section 9 of the Confederate Constitution outlawed the slavery trade. No more buying and selling.  
 
 
 
Blacks could not open bank accounts, own property or work in most of the states in the north. They could in the south. Alex deTocqueville had earlier expressed shock after seeing all white builders and tradesmen in the north when he saw black and white tradesmen working side by side in the south!  
 
 
 
South Carolina was the first to leave the Union after Lincoln’s election, half dozen states followed suit. Which at the time included Mississippi, the number one cash making state in the country? And the highest tariff payer.  
 
 
 
West Virginia in an irony lost in time. It was created illegally by Lincoln by succeeding it from Virginia. That’s right. The man who argued the South had no right to leave the union, he could divide up states if he wanted. West Virginia was allowed to keep their slaves! General Grant took some of his slaves with him into battle, as did his troops. So succession was wrong unless it was done by the government!  
 
 
 
 
 
For decades southern racists have insisted that the south’s black soldiers saw little combat, and are insignificant. The truth of the matter is that years before the south called up Blacks to fight for the cause and before slavery had become the issue, many blacks served unofficially. Dr. Lewis Steiner was a Yankee that was in Frederick Maryland when he saw the rebel troops on their way to Sharpsburg. Here is the message he sent to the union forces:  
 
 
 
THE MOVEMENT (OF TROOPS) CONTINUED UNTIL 8:00 PM, OCCUPYING 16 HOURS. THE MOST LIBERAL CALCULATION COULD NOT GIVE THEM NORE THAN 65,000 MEN. OVER 5000 NEGROES MUST BE INCLUDED IN THAT NUMBER BRANDISHING ARMS, RIFLES, MUSKETS, SABERS, BOWIE KNIVES. THEY CARRY KNAPSACKS, WATER CANTEENS AND SLEEPING MATERIALS ISSUED BY THE CSA. MORE NEGROES COULD BE SEEN DRIVING WAGONS, RIDING ON CAISONS, IN AMBULANCES, WITH THE STAFF OF GENERALS AND PROMISCUOSILY MIXED IN WITH THE WHITE TROOPS.  
 
 
 
In all the decades of civil war art, not one painting has ever included the black troops that fought the north at Sharpsburg. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised that we have changed out attitudes so radically over time about the war, when the attitudes and meaning of the war were changed half way through the war as well.  
 
 
 
That happened with a failed propaganda piece called the EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION.  
 
 
 
First, hidden from us, is the fact that the 1862 Confiscation Act had already freed the slaves in the southern states by declaring them “forever free”! The Confiscation Act also authorized the seizure of land, homes and businesses that assisted the rebellion. It led to shutting down newspapers, jailing reporters without charges, and abuses far beyond anything done with our Patriot Act.  
 
 
 
Lincoln never mentioned or wrote on the First Amendment. He is in fact the only President we ever had that never mentioned it. In all his speeches on liberty, you will find no mention of free speech or a free press.  
 
 
 
Lincoln suspended habeus corpus. The confiscation act was used to silence any newspaper that called on the North to use the courts against the south. In fact, if you even told a joke about Lincoln you would lose your home and go to jail.  
 
 
 
More than 10,000 were arrested and held without trial or charges. He secretly paid newspaper publishers, and wrote articles praising his actions under assumed names.  
 
 
 
There is far more to Lincoln than “Honest Abe”.  
 
 
 
The Proclamation itself was meant to encourage the slaves in the slave states to rebel. They didn’t. They remembered what happened to the slaves that had joined the British, and decided to just sit it out. The proclamation however, was a much cleaner paper than the Confiscation Act which freed the same slaves, yet left embarrassing questions about Constitutional abuse away from the prying eyes of historians.  
 
 
 
Here in Chicago the Sun Times was shut down. Camp Douglas was a prison for southerners in Chicago. Black confederates were shot on the spot upon entry to the camp. The guards would actually fire into the crowd of prisoners to hit the Blacks. If they had to take down white Confederates to get them, well that just added to the fun. Food for the prisoners was allowed to rot to “punish them”. When some Chicagoans signed a petition to allow doctors and food into the camp, all that signed it were arrested and sent to Camp Douglas without a trial.  
 
 
 
Southerners began re-writing the war in the 1870’s. To explain the loss of life, the confederate soldier was praised. Duty and honor was what the south came to see as the reasons for fighting the war.  
 
 
 
By the war of 1896 the Spanish- American War the courage of southerners in battle was praised, and soon even the North looked with delight at these folks who couldn’t let the old south, which never existed, go. Lee became a national hero, blue and grey re-unions would become the order of the day.  
 
 
 
The absence of concern for Black people made it easy for the entire nation to romanticize the old south. Interesting that blacks stopped going to the re-unions after the first one.  
 
 
 
Today we are just as wrong in our analysis of the war. A great northern migration to the south is currently happening, and northern blacks get angry when they see the Confederate flags and monuments. Yet as long as the story of the period ignores all the other issues save one, as long as the role of Blacks and Indians in the war is ignored, the wounds will remain open, the quest for what happened, unending.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Iran: Our Diminishing Options
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
There actually isn't any need to nuke them. Even though they have spread their nuclear program all over Iran and the U.S. could in one night take out the sites necessary to enrich and build. Knock out crucial steps in the process- no process.  
 
We could bomb areas in Iran the way we did areas in Iraq for years before we went in.  
 
We also have sanctions that can be imposed.  
 
The Russians still hold the wild card. They could offer to enrich the uranium on their soil that Iran needs- that would stop any assault.  
 
Still, the President of Iran seems to view diplomacy as a form of wrestling. This guy has said so many self destructive things you almost wonder if CIA has been writing his speeches to justify an attack!  
 
No wonder there have been at least three attempts on his life in less than 6 months (that we know of).  
 
His people killing him could stop the assault.  
 
My own feeling? If the Russia solution or assassination don't work- you'll see airstrikes far beyond what happened in Iraq.  
You'll see planes we haven't used since Nam, along with the newest weapons as well.  
 
But, I also believe, there will be retaliations. Iran has been planting agents worldwide since the Clinton years. There will be retaliation.  
News Media Wrestles With Free Speech
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
It has been interesting to watch the press deal with a New York Post item on Stern about to be given rules to follow by his new management. Interesting and revealing.  
 
The story has been picked up worldwide and has refused to go away. It may be the first time the communications industry has thought so much about the issue of free speech. Our communications industry somehow convinced us for decades they were above the law with the right to withhold information. No such exclusion exists unless we give it to them. If they witnessed a murder and kept it quiet they should be compelled to speak. Period. In recent years the judicial system has realized the press does not have that right, the right to refuse to answer the court.  
 
And this is what I'm hearing: Stern's crew was told about libel and slander laws, child porn jokes and the like. In other words, the law. That's it. But according to the press, Stern does not have free speech on his radio because he can't do child porn, libel and slander. Why else would they be saying Stern is about to be censored? Or has been? What can we surmise from those that have joined this odd bandwagon? It is clear they feel these subjects are exactly the ones that make it necessary for the FCC to exist. To have government censorship of everything from video games to music. The slippery slopes initial slide has been revealed.  
 
There are civil courts for libel and slander. We don't need the FCC to watch out for that, and they don't. There are federal law enforcement agencies that deal with child porn, we don't need the FCC for that. So why do they think we are granted rights and responsibilities?  
 
Most of the communications industry think free speech if it complies with the ideas of free speech, is only in the printing press. They have been sold a bill of goods. The paper is blank until words appear on the pages, those words come from ideas. Every newscaster is reading. Words on a page. Every website has words on a page. All are starting as ideas, good or bad. If newspapers disappear, that's it? No more free speech?  
 
What happened to us, the audience? Why haven't we thought that the communications media as a whole is free speech?  
 
Our founding fathers granted us nothing. They expressed the view that we are born with rights. So, why do we have limits that spill into every communication? Why do we accept and often act on them?  
 
Many people don't believe in free speech.  
 
They may believe in it for themselves, but many should actually say, "Well I believe in free speech as long as its not embarrassing or makes me uncomfortable", others "well I do as long as it doesn't include political ideas I don't like".  
 
Ever seen the people at a anti-Klan rally? Usually it less than 10 kooks, facing hundreds of people whose aim must be horrible. As they throw rocks and bottles, the projectiles fall on policemen. The policemen who are there to protect the kooks right to free speech. Clearly, the people who in the last anti-Klan rally broke into homes and attacked motorists (how that was supposed to scare racists I still don't know) don't believe in free speech for those that disagree with them. Anymore than a Klansman or Nazi would. They all share, intolerance.  
 
College is where you should hear every stupid idea that is out there. Yet the place for free exchange of ideas is strangled by professors with political agendas and students who would gladly give up free speech to not have to feel uncomfortable. Work is strangled with sensitivity sessions ( that counseling industry has been flooded with groups like Scientology and old EST followers). Counselors with agendas. Courts assign people with DUI's to AA. Even though it is a religious group with a 15% success ratio, which is just about the same as people that don't get any kind of therapy at all. They are assigned by the court to a religious group. And every single one of us allows this erosion to go on.  
 
It may be that the majority of people in this country don't actually believe in free speech. Tough. I was born with it.  
 
Would I yell "theatre" at a crowded fire? The newspapers didn't use free speech exceptions to print child porn. And if they slander anyone they can be sued. So why do we think if the FCC went away all that and more would happen to our communications media? Why do they think there would be a market for slander, and that constant court settlements wouldn't do in the press or media?  
 
If the press and media are silent as the rights are eroded away, then not only do they not understand free speech, they refuse to protect it. If the government tries to censor pay TV and radio, and they want to be "objective" they are actually uniting with those that would take away freedom.  
 
Howard Stern wants what all creative people want. The right to think. From ideas to words.  
 
When our founding fathers sat down to right the rules porn existed. So, how come they didn't include limits on porn?  
 
The freeing of the mind and spirit leads to ideas. Creators take those ideas and turn them into realities. For myself, that means writing and directing plays.  
 
For many this process is chaos. Believers in order also are fans of beliefs like Intelligent Design. Because the opposite is chaos.  
 
In the 1980's chaos theory developed. From chaos comes order, and it isn't just from the math of odds. I suppose improvisers are more aware of this than their audiences.  
 
In our western culture we play chess. Each piece on the chess board has a role, an assigned movement. In Japan, where I was raised, people play go. In chess, you must do movements one way or another. In go however, you can move pieces over and under, sideways and even to other boards!  
 
Want to understand Vietnam? Want to understand insurgent groups? The entire space is a target. Not just one on one in a face off. When I create a show, I use the strategies of go. If I get ads, a space, cards, actors to do the show, etc, I am doing what I think any artist should do in the 21st century. Those who follow chess, however, and do their theatre by the rules, get no press, no pay, no place without payment, etc. They follow the rules like our men did in Vietnam. How did that turn out?  
Want to fight terror? Understand Go. Not chess.  
 
Everyone has a cause and mine is free speech. I helped organize F.A.C.T. when the Gore's were trying to censor music, along with the Playboy Foundation and many left wing groups at the time. So I have a record of supporting free speech, that can be traced back to my days in high school when I was booted out for passing a flyer to make ROTC a choice and not a mandatory class which it was in Georgia.  
 
The nice thing about free speech is that from slander to attacks to verbal abuse it is hard to get a rise out of me. Nothing shakes me from my goals. Besides, taunts and stupid reviews are "chess" like thinking. I've already beat you with each goal that is accomplished.  
 
Stern is using the entire industry to express his ideas. He wants the right to think, so he can entertain. A non story becomes major because he sells papers and draws viewers. Expect more of the same. From the press. Stern is playing Go while the industry is stuck in chess. They see chaos, I see new rules and ideas blossoming.  
 
To the press I can only say, what do you believe? When the politicians gather to censor pay radio, HBO and the like, how far will you let that go before you say, "I became a journalist because I believe in free speech. I must support it now".  
 
That question is quickly coming.  
 
The press saw the ratings when Stern made the switch and they want them back. Expect more silly articles.  
 
Make no mistake, however. Stern is by re-creating his medium in a new way, he is an insurgent. This is a revolution. He is right when he says, it started with the technology.  
 
The medium is the message.  
 
Cheers,  
Psychomike
Can Newspapers Be Saved? YES!
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
STERN DOES IT AGAIN- TO BEGIN A RETURN TO OLD TIME RADIO UPDATED FOR TODAY!, HOW CAN NEWSPAPERS BE SAVED?  
 
On Friday Howard Stern announced on his broadcast a new radio show in development featuring Artie Lange and George Takai for the station. As predicted here in my first post can we learn from old radio shows? the entire history of radio is now game for new shows- in fact, on the show Stern and Takei spoke of the "theatre of the mind" and shows like THE GREEN HORNET and CISCO KID- the radio shows not TV.  
 
Even if you don't like Stern- he is once again doing the new and innovative in a move that can only help writers, actors- by taking ideas from the old.  
 
If you are an actor or writer and you are not that studied in old time radio this is a good place to start:  
classic radio shows You'll be surprised at how many Hollywood stars had radio shows (Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall on BOLD VENTURE, Vincent Price on THE SAINT) to stars who appeared on shows ( Cary Grant on SUSPENSE). Although an often quoted "entertainment fact" that actors lose credibility by doing TV is false. There is no such study. Back in the 1950's when Hollywood tried to stop television by keeping their stars from TV and their films off the then new medium (although Japan and Germany had TV during and before World War 2) that rumor started. Kirk Douglas broke that rule first on TV when he appeared on a Hollywood TV show ( a forerunner to all the Hollywood shows today) and it had no negative impact with audiences. Recently Charlize Theron appeared on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and it did not have a negative impact on her career. (But then again, she also survived AEON FLUX.....) The industry started the rumor to keep stars from crossing over, then began to believe their own propaganda.  
 
There is no reason actors can't be on the radio either.  
 
HOW CAN NEWSPAPERS BE SAVED?  
 
The new technology has hit newspapers hard. Papers around the country have tried to chase after young readers alarmed that they are no longer capturing them young. Classified ads are in freefall and "youth sections" have replaced stories with big pictures of stars.  
 
How did the papers lose the young?  
 
Years ago the in the comics section of the papers, strips were printed large and were an important part of the Sunday paper. Kids couldn't wait for the "Sunday funnies" to come out. And the strips weren't just "office" oriented jokes. PRINCE VALIANT was a brilliant adventure strip, L'IL ABNER was brilliant satire, FLASH GORDON was brilliant science fiction for the time. PEANUTS spoke to both the old and young.  
 
Gradually the strips got smaller. Office jokes replaced adventure strips, satire and science fiction. Kids stopped caring.  
 
The comic section needs an overhaul. Strips currently being used by alternative papers should be bought up by major papers. New strips developed for kids- with an adult twist ( SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS anyone? POWERPUFF GIRLS? Are you starting to get my drift?) is one approach. How about a rock band strip and their trials and tribulations?  
 
How do the papers avoid becoming like the Enquirer? Well- take the "alternative papers" concept and sections like FLUFF and- do the Enquirer one better. Get columnists to cover nightclub scenes in the city- turn folks who go to places like SONOTHEQUE and SOUNDBAR into local celebs. Hire writers that will actually go out and give them a per diem. WONDERBAR, VISION- check out each scene. Blues bars, rock clubs, the works. Then do movie and music gossip- not just negative stories but positive ones as well. Control this tendency to slide into Enquirer land by going them one better. If not, you will be the Enquirer before you realize it happened. Go one better. Irv Kupcinet was brave enough to plug local talent as well as national. Get writers who will cover these up and coming entertainers too. A writer does not have to get the Hollywood stamp of approval to discover someone new.  
 
Once I managed a band that opened for major acts at Metro, a rock club in Chicago. However, the critics didn't show up until the major acts went on. One critic wrote for two papers here, so I wrote a press release to him that he didn't know was sent only to him, calling for critics to give the local talent an ear. He wrote a column for the Sun Times afterwards on why he didn't have time to cover the local scene. When he found out what I had done, he called the manager at Metro and warned him to not let me or my bands play there anymore, or allow my film society to have shows there. I was crushed, and had a falling out with the bar management.  
 
The band was crushed as well. They moved to Seattle and changed their name in search of fame. The band?  
 
SOUNDGARDEN. Articles began appearing here about this bold new Seattle sound. The writer, who would suspiciously review albums after reviews appeared in ROLLING STONE, was hired to write for Rolling Stone. I never patched things up with Metro because they didn't fight for me. Or- the band that became SOUNDGARDEN.  
 
It should never have happened. One need only look through the entire section of our local free paper devoted to bars to realize that biz has lot's of money- yet gets almost no coverage. Get out of the house newspaper writers!  
 
Get that advertising dollar.  
 
Speaking of ads, there is an innovation going on in advertising that has cost the newspaper industry a ton of money. CRAIGSLIST. GOOGLE is about to jump into the market, so is eBay.  
 
The newspapers have an internet presence, but are losing to these innovations.  
 
THEY DON'T HAVE TO.  
 
Craigslist has already cost the newspaper industry over 50 million bucks.  
 
Every paper should have a "craigslist" on the net- free ads for individuals looking for romance, reduced price ads for garage sales and the like, free classifieds for individuals who subscribe. Nominal fees for businesses, cars etc- have one price for under 35 words, one for additional. Newspapers don't seem to realize there is a classified ad war going on. Almost none of the papers have reacted to this threat.  
 
Craigslist has less that 20 employees. Worldwide.  
 
Every ad should be on the newspaper net version the second it is verified.  
 
Whatever price and free rules the papers come up with they must have the net presence and overhaul the classified section at once. Hard to follow rates based on days the ad is run and other odd specials should be stopped. A flat fee for an ad, free ads to subscribers, radical solutions are needed.  
 
Finally, to learn more, contact me. I'll be happy to speak to your execs.  
 
Because I still love the medium.  
 
Michael Flores  
 
radiorevolution  
 
 
 
Is It Really Stern Vs. Free Radio?
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
WHY FREE RADIO STRESSES FREE AND NOT CONTENT  
Why is the best defense of radio today, is that it's free? No mention of content? Because the station you like to listen to may not have the format you listen to now. Oldies, classic rock and current hits formats have been on a steep decline for years. Stations have over night gone hip hop and latino to try and woo any audience. This following excerpt from last summer reflects the end of rock radio:  
 
As reported by Steve Knopper in a June 24th, Rolling Stone article; "five rock radio stations in major U.S. cities switched formats in recent months after ratings dropped for six consecutive years. This does come at an odd time since, as explained by Knopper in his article, rock albums have dominated the charts the past few months. Artists such as Coldplay, Green Day, Audioslave, System of a Down, Bruce Springsteen, Nine Inch Nails, the Dave Matthews Band, and Rob Thomas have all experienced success on the billboard charts this past spring and summer.  
 
But this success is fleeting since rock radio station ratings are still in decline. In a March 8th article in Rolling Stone, Bill Werde reported only six percent of teenagers in the U.S. listen to rock at any given time, compared with nearly twenty percent listening to urban radio and forty percent listening to Top Forty radio stations. Since 1998 album-oriented rock stations have seen listenership fall seventy percent while Spanish-language radio ratings are up thirty percent the latter of which could be partly attributed to the Hispanic population becoming the United States’ largest minority population in 2003.  
 
Along with demographic reasons, the decline of rock radio could also be attributed to the Internet and illegal downloading, Satellite radio and the overall ignorance of the music industry towards rock music.  
 
“It seems the current music industry doesn’t focus on rock musicians as much as pop stars,” says rock fan T.J Karpinka of Sherwood Park, Canada. “Too me, it’s more of a cash grab than anything.”  
 
And it’s not just fans that feel that way but performers as well. “An act like ours wouldn’t even be around today if someone hadn’t brought us along and let us make mistakes and grow at our own pace,” said Tom Petty in a Rolling Stone interview with David Wild in 2002. E-street Band guitarist and Sopranos actor Stevie Van Zandt said similar comments in an interview earlier this year with News Hour Correspondent Terrence Smith where the rocker stated that if the Rolling Stones were starting out today, they wouldn’t get airplay on regular radio." killing rock radio  
 
Rock and roll has always been the voice of teens and twenty somethings. Rock provided a look, a language, a style. Today rock bands dress like their audience. Few fans can name the musicians in COLDPLAY. Hip hop, however, does provide a style, a language, a look. 70% of hip hop cd's sell in the suburbs! As free radio became more and more specialized and less concerned with talent, it simply got boring.  
 
Hard to believe that when rock radio started you could have an international hit (Serge Gainsborgh) followed by black artists Otis Redding followed by the Rolling Stones. Today as you read above, none of these groups would make it on the radio if they were starting out now.  
 
IS HOWARD STERN REALLY THE THREAT TO FREE RADIO?  
 
You've seen the shills for the industry, desperately trying to hold on to their specialized jobs saying that radio should be free. This is an odd argument. They imply that free radio will go pay. Why? There are still people who don't have cable TV. God help them. Why will AM and FM go pay? It won't, but these false arguments reveal many problems with the mindset of free radio.  
 
Capitalism has been taught to an entire generation to be evil. That means the people in the top jobs have a mind set that fails to understand that the market decides what works. If people want to buy a new radio band, why does that threaten their latin music (or soon to be latino) channel?  
 
A dozen channels they can comfortably compete with, but drop a thousand uncensored radio stations into the marketplace and freedom has gone too far. Dirty language won't work. Freedom must be stopped. Or they lose their jobs. How bad is it? Bad. Did AM radio fight FM when it started? Nope. Savvy AM stations began buying FM space. So why are the FM stations resistent to buying space on satellite radio?  
 
Because then they would have to compete. In the one "free" that works, the free market. No more putting the FCC and advertisers first. No more trying to not offend anyone with real ideas. If the audience comes, the advertisers will follow. I met a guy that writes for SCREEN magazine and is a radio DJ. He is allowed to say the name of the music, the time, and that's it. If he gives one idea or makes one comment, he is fired. This is on FM in Chicago. This is what 90% of free radio is. Does anyone in charge of free radio actually like the music they play? When an oldies station goes latino, I doubt it.  
 
But to be fair, the performers too must start to act like stars. Go back and look at the pictures of Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Brian Jones and Mick Jagger- no one in their audience dressed like them. Get custom made clothes and look cool for a change. If you charge over $20 a ticket but you go out wearing a t- shirt you too are not helping. And stop dating porn stars. The great untapped market in radio remains- women.  
 
Howard Stern is showing the way to a new market, which he has created. At 2 million dollars a week and stocks and god knows what else- he has already won. But the part of his war that is trying to drag free radio to consider what they can do with satellite is being fought by suits who fear leaving the confines of the FCC and competing in a free market.  
 
So stop saying radio should be free. Tell us why we should listen to you. Want to be revolutionary? After 10 at night, have on music shows of new alternative, old blues, international music. If you have the guts. Begin to develope ideas for pay radio. Talk about the rock stars and trials and tribulations the same way movie stars are written up. gossip  
 
If you play COLDPLAY, but no one on your staff can name one members name, you need to shake up your staff.  
 
To the industry I say, you threw away classical music. You threw out jazz. You tossed away the blues. You are doing the same thing to rock.  
 
Why is all this alive and well on satellite? Because the one free that works, the free market, has already made Stern and pay radio a hit. The monopoly is over.  
 
Where is the industry?  
 
Michael Flores  
 
Next: Can Newspapers Be Saved? As newspapers chase after young people with failed "youth sections" and papers that sit unread, is there something papers can do to grow? Yep. There sure as hell is. Next post.  
 
 
 
 
radiorevolutions
The Cultural War Technology Won
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
 
 
THE FIRST BATTLE HAS OCCURED WITH THE NEW TECHNOLOGY AGAINST THE OLD:  
 
THE WAR IS OVER.  
 
As I write these words I sit at my computer. I am listening to a radio show from decades ago while I record shows on TV. A radio show I downloaded on the net.  
 
What I am doing is what has changed the entertainment world.  
 
You reading this on your monitor, are doing the same.  
 
This revolution has reminded me that "the medium is the message", Marshall McLuhan's words are probably more true today than at any other time. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan )  
 
Because no matter what the message is those words need to travel on some thing.  
 
Your iPod, TV, CD, internet, video games, IM, downloading are the weapons.  
 
New technology creates new - but it burns in the fire of old.  
 
Newspapers, movies, DVD's, music CD's are hit. Hard.  
 
The speed that people have created their own entertainment world is mind boggling. Who knew with the advent of the first Beta machines and first PC's that today people would program their own entertainment? That issue is not as important as the way we have taken to the new, which has allowed us to do it.  
 
Commercials are hit hard. Advertising the old fashioned way won't work anymore. Anyone "multi-tasking" can easily tune them out.  
 
Radio is hurting. Rock and roll, classical, jazz. Radio is censored by the FCC, pay radio isn't and is very much the new frontier, created by the new technology.  
 
The first reaction of those threatened? SAVE FREE lame campaigns copying the failed SAVE FREE TV of the past. Lawsuits. You know, until the record industry began suing people for downloading the entertainment biz was considered one of the coolest jobs to have.  
 
Not anymore.  
 
The war was over when the logic of the old no longer met the logic of the new world. I can go to a library, take out CD's, films, DVD's, books, without paying one penny and that is considered ok. But if I do the same thing on the net- meet the new John Dillinger, some 16 year old boy with a crush on Britney Spears.  
 
Next: Today's revolutionaries  
 
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,  
Don't fence me in.  
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,  
Don't fence me in.  
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze,  
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees,  
Send me off forever but I ask you please,  
Don't fence me in.  
 
Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle  
Underneath the western skies.  
On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder  
Till I see the mountains rise.  
 
I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences  
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses  
And I can't look at hovels and I can't stand fences  
Don't fence me in.  
-- COLE PORTER  
 
From the new blog:  
 
radio revolution
Waiting on word from 4 hostages
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
 
Redmond and Jackson call for hostages’ release  
SAC member was in Iraq with the kidnapped foursome  
 
By TERRY DEAN  
 
 
 
Photo courtesy of Elce Redmond  
Austin activist Elce Redmond (second from left) joined the Christian Peacemaker Team’s visit to Iraq in September. Redmond and other activists are prepared to go to Iraq to secure the hostages’ release. (Hostages not pictured.)  
 
Four members of a U.S. delegation to Iraq that previously included Austin activist Elce Redmond were taken hostage in that country Saturday by a militant terrorist group, which threatened to kill the individuals by late Wednesday if their terrorist demands were not met.  
 
Tom Fox, James Loney, Norman Kemper and Harmeet Singh Sooden, members of the Christian Peacemaker Team, were kidnapped Saturday by a group calling themselves "The Swordsman." The four men were driving to Fallujah in Iraq and were taken hostage shortly before arriving to the Iraqi city. The team members have been in Iraq since September. Elce Redmond, a member of the South Austin Coalition, was in Iraq with the group three months ago. Redmond returned to Austin in late September after a two-week stay in Iraq. Redmond reported on his trip to SACCC and was featured in two Austin Weekly News articles on Oct. 13 and Oct. 20, where he recounted his trip to Iraq.  
 
Redmond, SACCC members and community leaders joined the Rev. Jesse Jackson at a news conference Wednesday, calling for the release of the four men.  
 
"I am appealing to the captors to release the hostages as a humanitarian gesture," Jackson said at a news conference Wednesday morning at Mandell United Methodist Church. "Our hope is that they will pick up on the spirit of those who are calling for an end to the occupation in Iraq and not use the Christian Peacemakers as a trophy."  
 
Jackson said he is prepared to go to Iraq and negotiate for the men’s release.  
 
Additional members of the Christian Peacemaker Team are in Iraq and are unharmed. The families or the four men have chosen to remain anonymous.  
 
The kidnappers’ demands are unclear, but involve the release of their comrades from prisons, said Redmond.  
 
As of Wednesday afternoon, the four men were still alive. Tom Fox, 54, is a native of Clearbrook, Va.; Norman Kemper, 74, is a native of London, England; James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 33, are Canadian citizens.  
 
The story of the men’s capture was featured on Al Jazeera news in Iraq on Sunday. Redmond said he first learned of his colleagues’ capture on Sunday. Redmond said he and Tom Fox became friends during his September stay in Iraq. The entire team was scheduled to leave Iraq in a couple of weeks, Redmond said.  
 
"I met Tom in Iraq," said Redmond. "We were with each other every day for two weeks. When you’re with someone in that type of situation, you develop a bond, and we had developed a bond."  
 
Redmond also personally knew Kemper. He said he had never heard of the Swordsman group. Redmond and other members of the Christian Peacemaker Team were under constant threat of capture or an insurgent attack. Redmond said he and other community activists are also prepared to go to Iraq.  
 
"We were trying to avoid the bombings and kidnappings. The kidnappers finally got them," he said. "When we all decided to do this, we all knew that this might occur. We want to do what we can to ensure his safe release and that of the others."  
 
http://austinweeklynews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&subsectionID=1&articleID=429  
 
 
Redmond waits for word on hostages’ fate  
 
By TERRY DEAN  
 
 
 
Photo courtesy of Christian Peacemaker Teams  
Christian Peacemaker Team members: (clockwise) American Tom Fox, Briton Norman Kember, and Canadians James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden.  
 
 
As of Saturday, the four members of the Christian Peacemakers Team taken hostage in Baghdad several weeks ago are believed to still be alive.  
 
 
Their captors, an Islamic terrorist group calling themselves the "Swords of Righteousness Brigade," extended the deadline on their lives to Saturday, Dec. 11, from the original deadline of Dec. 8.  
 
 
"It’s just a waiting game right now, just trying to find out what’s going on," said Austin activist and South Austin Coalition member Elce Redmond, who was part of the teams’ Iraq delegation in September.  
 
 
Tom Fox, James Loney, Norman Kemper and Harmeet Singh Sooden, members of the Christian Peacemaker Team, were kidnapped Nov. 26, while driving to the Iraqi city of Fallujah.  
 
 
News of their capture was released Sunday Dec. 3, on Al-Jazeera television in Iraq, and a video of the hostages was shown. The four men were shown sitting underneath two crossed swords mounted on a wall behind them.  
 
 
Their captors threatened to kill the men by Dec. 8 unless all Iraqi detainees were released from U.S.-occupied prisons. The deadline was extended to this past Saturday. Fox, 54, of Clearbrook, Va.; Kemper, 74; Loney, 41; and Sooden, 33, are believed to be alive.  
 
 
Activists nationwide, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, have called for the men’s release. Other CPT members remain in Iraq under anonymity, said Claire Evans, The organization’s delegation coordinator.  
 
 
CPT learned of the capture shortly after Nov. 26.  
 
 
"It’s pretty intense," said Evans of the last few weeks. "I’ve been here for seven years. This is as intense as it has gotten."  
 
 
Fox and Loney, Evans said, were long-serving members of the peace/intervention advocacy organization. Kemper and Sooden were two of the newest members. The organization has been in Iraq investigating charges of Iraqi detainee abuses and promoting peace in the region.  
 
 
The organization will not disclose information on remaining members still in Iraq, said Evans.  
 
 
Kemper and Sooden were part of a short-term delegation to Iraq, which lasts about 2-4 weeks, Evans said. The two men were in Iraq for only a few days before their capture. Redmond was part of two-week delegation in September.  
 
 
Fox and Loney were full-time members who spent close to a year in Iraq. Both were there during Redmond’s stay.  
 
 
The Christian Peacemaker Team has sent delegations to Iraq since 2002. This latest delegation was the 16th since ‘02.  
 
 
"It’s pretty difficult," said Evans of the current ordeal. "We’re committed to continuing the work. I don’t think this incident has made us question our work and our mission. It’s important to know why our people are over there; to hear the voices of the people in Iraq and get a perspective on what’s going on over there."  
 
 
The families of the four captive men have made brief public statements asking for the loved ones’ release.  
 
 
"We know that our James would be overwhelmed by the grassroots support that he is receiving. We are too," reads part of a statement released by the Loney family. "We have come to a fuller understanding of the effect that his humanitarian work for peace has in the world."  
 
 
Fox’s daughter Katherine has made press statements and appeared on ABC’s Nightline last week asking for her father’s release and the others. Family members have limited their media access for safety reasons.  
 
 
CPT members have been able to chronicle their Iraqi experience. The last entry by Tox Fox in his blog "Waiting in the Light" was made on Nov. 8.  
 
 
"The ongoing difficulties faced by Fallujans are so great that words fail to properly express it," Fox wrote. "Words are inadequate, but words are all we have. Words like ‘collective punishment’ and ‘ghettoize’ come to mind for the current state of life in Fallujah."  
 
 
Little is known of the men’s captors, the Swords of Righteousness Brigade. The terrorist group believed the four men to be U.S. spies, according to news reports. "This group popped out of nowhere. If they had some kind of leadership or were a part of some other group, that would be one thing, but we don’t know who to talk to," Redmond said. "And we can’t offer them anything anyway. The only thing we could negotiate with is some kind of humanitarian relief. That’s the only appeal."  
 
 
Last Wednesday, Rev. Jesse Jackson joined Redmond and other West Side community and religious leaders in calling for the men’s release during an Austin press conference at Mandell United Methodist Church. Jackson said he’s willing to go Iraq and negotiate a release.  
 
 
More than 100 non-Iraqis, including U.S. citizens, have been taken hostage since the end of the U.S. war on Iraq in 2003.  
 
 
"They’ve made their point," said Redmond of the CPT captors. "Other organizations have spoken out and made it clear that these are not the guys you should harm."  
 
http://austinweeklynews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&subsectionID=1&articleID=434  
The whacky world of the left
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
I really got a bang out of this article 90 reasons to hate the 90's posted recently and I started thinking about other whacky things. Well, this led me around the corner to the Oasis, which is a bar with a 4am license, 5 on Friday and Saturday.  
 
There I heard a college kid repeating a mantra the Democrats have had for years.  
 
If only we had broken with the coalition in the first Gulf War, pissed off the Arab world and taken out Saddam with an invasion under Bush 1.  
 
So, let me get this straight.  
 
We are in a "quagmire" now for having invaded, but back then all the different Iraqi groups would have thrown down their arms and greeted us with flowers.  
 
This total lack of any understanding of strategy, tactics and coalition building makes me nervous about democrats. But I am baffled as to why they haven't re-evaluated their propaganda on Bush 1. Clearly the fact that he refused to invade should have them all saying he was a better President than anyone from Clinton on (so far we have yet to find the hundreds of thousands of dead in mass graves he told us were hidden by the Serbs- and we are still in the region. And there is still violence going on- but for reasons that baffle me- this is a non story).  
 
Yet still they insist we should have gone all the way back then against Saddam.  
 
The anti- genetic food engineering crowd, and I know several of the members of THONG, are holding a fund raiser at a trendy club Friday. The date I had for the evening wanted to know if I wanted to go, but I have opera tickets and let her know we wouldn't make it in time. One of the heads of the group told me that "it would be better to learn to live with AIDS than use biogenetics to cure it". One billion people are alive in this world today because genetic engineering brought them food. Yet this group would stop this science, and as hundreds of millions died pat themselves on the back for saving "real" food.  
 
A billion people dead- by people who would feel good about it!  
 
I said for quite sometime we needed to sit on top of Iran and Syria by having troops in Iraq. I also believed in WMD being there- and I have no proof they were, so all I can is, plan A is still in effect. My guess is an air and troop invasion in March of Iran after the Security Council has the last meeting on the subject. Plan A by the way, sitting on those 2 countries, is far more important than the WMD issue by the way.  
 
This brings me to my research on Joe McCarthy, based on found documents released by the CIA. I spoke to a college professor about teaching a class on the 1950's- the truth about the so-called red scare. I offered this Art Institute film prof the CIA documents to read as well.  
 
He informed me he didn't want to read "CIA trash" and had no reason to "pollute young people's minds with pro-McCarthy nonsense". A college professor- refuses to read CIA documents that might change his mind on the so-called McCarthy era.  
 
Now here's the kicker- because I think this way about these issues- to them I'm an extremist troll, who deserves a tin foil hat. They honestly read the above, and cannot comprehend what I'm writing. I must be wrong.  
 
What if I'm not?
The Government Intervention Game
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
How far should government go to protect one over the entire country?  
 
Well, one homeless woman continued to drink when she was pregnant, sued the liquor companies over it, which led to government enforced labelling on bottles, which had both houses of government arguing over the issue, which cost us millions. The woman said that she had never heard in her life not to drink while pregnant.  
 
This is absurd. Millions down the drain, over a dubious claim at best.  
 
Sorry, but nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the majority must sacrifice freedoms, money or anything else for one person.  
 
Some parents can't control their kids- but we don't punish all parents because of those kids. Not yet anyway.  
 
Here in Chicago, after two years of eating up time and money, Chicago just passed a law banning smoking because of the "dangers of second hand smoke". There have been over 200 so called "studies" on second hand smoke, all paid for by the government. But there is a problem. Every single report uses the data from one report that was rejected by the scientific community and thrown out by the courts- when it was shown the researchers made up the info. So now we have a law because some people think its bad taste to smoke in public and were willing to lie to stop it.  
 
These same people would be outraged if government enforced the teaching of creationism or Intelligent Design, yet fail to realize their beliefs are equally absurd.  
 
There is censorship from the network that puts a show on, the sponsors, all of whom because they are paying for it should have a voice.  
I have no problem with it. The audience also decides if they want to hear or see an entertainment. But government intervention to monitor video games? To go after Howard Stern? Are you kidding me?  
 
What happened to "don't tread on me"?  
 
I have learned one thing in life. The people that say "there ought to be a law" are almost always wrong. We have much bigger issues than individual taste to deal with:  
 
taking down the U.S.  
 
The government wasting time on anything but the above link is exactly that- wasting time.  
 
The government has far more on it's plate for the future than regulating taste, words, music or games. But I think those issues are easier to deal with than the ONLY job government has- to protect me and my nation. That's it. Sadly, neither side realizes this, and loves the photo ops when they go out to save "the kids".
Why Defend The CIA?
Posted by Psychomike 11 years ago
 
The Telegraph reports on the increasingly weird foreign policy crisis in which the White House finds itself. The CIA set up a system of rendition, whereby terrorist suspects are turned over to certain foreign governments. The CIA also established a network of secret detention centers in several countries, including some in Europe.  
 
Having taken these prudent anti-terrorist measures, the CIA--or some within the agency, apparently including most of its leadership--then attempted to damage the Bush administration, while also destroying the effectiveness of their agency's own programs, by leaking the existence of the secret European prisons to the Washington Post. (I wrote about this aspect of the CIA's war against President Bush here.) This has caused a foreign policy crisis for the administration, which is now in the position of trying to defend the very agency that stabbed it in the back. The Telegraph reports:  
 
Intelligence gleaned by the CIA had saved European as well as American lives, Condoleezza Rice said yesterday in a riposte to critics of America's approach to the fight against terrorism.  
Speaking before her departure for a tricky four-day visit to Europe, the secretary of state gave Washington's first detailed defence of the CIA since a transatlantic row broke out last month over its alleged use of secret prisons in eastern Europe.  
 
[L]ast month's report in the Washington Post that the CIA had held detainees in a network of Soviet-era prisons rekindled many of the old animosities. A flood of new information has followed, disclosing the extent of the CIA's use of European airspace and airports for unmarked flights in recent years.  
 
Washington has been on the defensive over the issue for several weeks.  
 
 
So the CIA established policies that it knew would be controversial and would damage American interests if revealed, and then leaked the existence of those policies to the Washington Post for the purpose of damaging the Bush administration. And now the administration is trying to defend the CIA. Why, I wonder?  
 
Presumably the administration thinks there are good people within the CIA who are trying to serve the nation's interests. No doubt there are some. But, given the torrent of anti-administration leaks that the agency has generated for the past three years, without a single CIA employee being punished for leaking anti-Bush classified information to the Washington Post or the New York Times, isn't it obvious that pretty much the entire leadership of the CIA is behind the agency's war against President Bush? And if that's the case, why does the administration believe that it can successfully defend an agency that would rather expose its own secrets to embarrass the administration, than defend itself?  
 
As I've said before, the CIA is an agency in deep crisis. It is not at all clear that its survival is in the national interest.  
 
http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012457.php