Saturday, August 07, 2004

Middle East approves of 'Fahrenheit 9/11'

Audiences in the Middle East reportedly have found Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 intriguing with the documentary providing insight into U.S. politics.

What really struck me is how the American administration was able to manipulate the American people. How can a government do that? said Leila Kanso, who attended a packed showing of the film in Beirut, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The controversial film has received unusual acceptance by Middle Eastern governments for a U.S. documentary, with Persian Gulf theaters already showing the movie and censors in Syria and Egypt approving the film for future screenings.

Kuwait has banned the film, however, saying it disparaged Saudi Arabia.

The film also is not showing in Saudi Arabia, because the country has no theaters, but Fahrenheit 9/11 reportedly is popular on DVD there.

'Fahrenheit 9/11` to premiere in Iranian cinemas


Tehran, Aug 7, IRNA -- American filmmaker Michael Moore's widely popular documentary 'Fahrenheit 9/11` will soon be screened on Iranian movie theaters, a head of the institute which runs the country's cinemas said in Tehran on Saturday.

According to the broadcasting manager of the Farabi Cinematheque Foundation, Manuchehr Shahsavari, 'the (screen) rights of the movie has been bought' and work has started to prepare it for release.

The documentary, which has already made history by earning more than 100 million box office dollars in Canada and the United States, takes US President George W. Bush to task for the invasion of Iraq and his handling of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

It also bashes Bush for an erosion of US civil rights in the wake of the US-led war against terror and an alleged link between the Bush family and Al Qaeda terror network leader Osama bin Laden.

'Fahrenheit 9/11` begins by recounting the events of the last presidential election, which was decided in Florida. Many Americans believe that the Bush campaign stole the election from Al Gore by disenfranchizing black voters in the Sunshine State.

Bush won the election in Florida by 537 votes after a lengthy recount that eventually wound up in the US Supreme Court.

The movie that cost six million dollars to make and could not initially find a distributor after Walt Disney Corp refused to release it, is the first documentary ever in top spot at the US box office.

In just three days, 'Fahrenheit` smashed the $21.6-million-record for ticket sales for a documentary set over a nine-month run by Moore's Oscar-winning `Bowling for Columbine`.

The documentary which won the prestigious 'Palme d`Ore` at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, has evoked global welcome across the world people because of its plucky exposure of American politics and Bush's antics.

Moore seeks to provide the American electorate and the rest of the world with facts regarding US decision to invade Iraq, while vowing to 'liberate` it, and presents a harrowing future, if Bush is allowed to stay in office for a second time.


Jerusalem Post : Polemical Cinema


by Emanuel Levy


Michael Moore, the director of the incendiary documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, is at heart a populist entertainer. Like every good comedian he knows that timing is everything.

He fought hard to get his agit-prop about President George W. Bush into the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and he fought hard when Disney refused to allow its subsidiary, Miramax, to release the film in the US. Moore won on both fronts.

The movie is a huge hit. With US domestic grosses of over $100 million, Fahrenheit 9/11 is the most popular documentary in history. But Moore isn't basking in the sun. Realizing that Americans are watching more movies in their privacy than on the big screen, he's eager to get his documentary out on DVD in October, a month before the elections.
Since its premiere a number of questions have plagued the film. How rigorous and methodical is Fahrenheit 9/11 as a documentary? Can a single movie change people's minds when it comes to such crucial matters as voting? Is the documentary mostly preaching to the converted?

Taking a cue from Roger & Me, the 1989 documentary that put Moore on the map, the new work might have been titled George & Me, with Moore serving as straight man to Bush as a clown.

When the film opened, critical consensus held that the documentary was scathing and funny, but too diffuse and lacking in focus. Indeed, what begins as a look at 9/11 turns into an overall critique of the Bush administration's international and domestic policies.

Of Moore's documentaries, this is the broadest in scope, the nastiest in tone – and the most entertaining.


(click on the title for the whole article)

Namesake writes : Is Bush the Antichrist?


Mike Moore is a Marine and Vietnam veteran and today lives in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Here is what he wrote :



Is Bush the Antichrist?

Commentary / Commentary
Date: Jul 10, 2004 - 07:06 PM
Using the name of Christ yet being the enemy of Christ, the Antichrist is a threat to every civilization and every person. Could George Bush be the Antichrist?

By Mike Moore

Having been raised as a Christian, I was taught early that the Antichrist was someone who would come in the name of Christ but be the enemy of Christ. Using that definition, let us examine the proposition that George W. Bush could be the Antichrist. If Jesus Christ was in Bush’s place and he was the president of the United States, would he have taken any of the actions that Bush has taken, including the war in Iraq? In other words, is Bush following the teachings of Christ? “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

Christ taught us to love one another, especially our enemies (Matthew 5:43-46). Christ said that even the pagans love those who are like themselves, but the true mark of love is to love those that are different from you. Christ taught us to turn the other cheek and to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Did Bush turn the other cheek when he falsely proclaimed Iraq as a threat? Do you think Bush loves his enemies? Do you think he even loves his friends, since he openly attacks those friends that disagree? Do you think Bush loves Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein? If he is a follower of Christ, then he must love them. Have you ever seen love in Bush’s eyes? Have you ever heard Bush talk about loving one’s neighbor? Does he treat the inmates at Guantanamo or the prisoners of Iraq like he would want to be treated? Do you think Christ would say, “You are either for us or against us?” Have Bush’s actions caused there to be more or less love in the world?

The war on Iraq was apparently undertaken because God whispered in Bush’s ear that war was the only way to solve the problem. I hate to tell Bush this, but God doesn’t whisper those kinds of things in people’s ears. That is the job of the devil! Jesus would never condone a war, as his whole message was to use love, not violence, to solve our problems. War is always a failure of civilization. Bush has set back the civilization of planet Earth. Anyone who wages war in the name of Christ is committing the ultimate Christian sin.

(click on the title for the whole article)

People are talking about Fahrenheit 9/11

featured in michaelmoore.com :


Bill Clinton: "I think every American ought to see it." (Rolling Stone, 7/13)

Joan Baez:
"In the end, if we manage to get out of this without either World War III happening or whatever other scenarios this administration has for us, it'll be because people kept doing things like making statements, signing petitions. It'll be because the Michael Moore's out there didn't quit." (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/17)

Drew Barrymore:
"I never come to premieres, but I'm so here on this one. I'm looking forward to this more than anything in the world." (USA Today 6/10)

Tony Bennett:
"For a documentary to win over every other film in the Cannes Film Festival is unheard of, so he's quite a genius." (KXAN-TV, 6/15)

Mary J. Blige:
"I have to vote this year. After seeing that movie, I can't do anything else." (NY Times, 7/6)

Big Boi of "Outkast":
"... urged people 'to take time to catch Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.'" (Africana.com, 7/15)

Princess Caroline of Monaco to Michael Moore:
"My mother would have been so proud of your movie." (Detroit Free Press, 5/21)

(click on the title for other statements)

Mobilizing American voters in Germany

Voter advocacy groups call on American citizens living abroad to register for U.S. presidential election

By Tyler Sitte

Get out and Vote!“ proclaims a sign propped up outside the Turm-Palast movie theater in Frankfurt. White letters on a red sign, an American flag clearly visible in the background. Volunteers from Americans Overseas for Kerry and Democrats Abroad hurry back and forth, asking everyone coming to the German debut of Michael Moore's film “Fahrenheit 9/11“ if they are an American citizen and if they've had an opportunity to register to vote.

Their call, temporarily focused on a group of Friday-night movie-goers, is part of a much broader effort directed not only at the roughly 3,700 Americans who call Frankfurt their - at least temporary - home, but at the close to 250,000 U.S. citizens living in Germany. With the presidential election in November expected to be one of the closest contests in the country's history, voter registration advocates from the United States' two major political parties maintain that absentee votes may be critical to the outcome. Germany, with the fourth-largest U.S. community outside the United States, may play a key role.

Mindful of the estimated 4 million to 6 million U.S. citizens living abroad, Mitch Wolfson, the German coordinator for Americans Overseas for Kerry calls the foreign vote a potential “key to the 2004 election.“ Yet Wolfson, like many other voting registration advocates, stresses that it is difficult to get accurate figures on the total number of Americans who now call a country other than the United States home. With no census information collected for these citizens, numbers are bantered about wildly. But, even if the numbers are on the lower side of this estimate, winning millions of potential foreign voters, many of whom haven't voted for years, may be a wild card that either presidential candidate could use.

Thus, volunteers from the Democratic and Republican parties have taken to the streets, perched themselves outside of places likely to be frequented by Americans and started letter campaigns in an effort to gain more registered voters and extra votes that may make all the difference. Their efforts have not been in vain.

Voting advocacy groups cite increasing numbers of U.S. citizens that have been prompted to register, claiming that with a growing resentment against American foreign policy, voters have realized that what happens in the United States can have a large influence on how Americans are treated abroad. Both Democrats and Republicans believe that this anti-American sentiment might play in their favor. Republicans who claim to have a 3-to-1 dominance of the foreign vote, expect a backlash against anti-Bush fervor to attract new members to the GOP. Democrats believe that disapproval of Bush's leadership will make its way into a wave of disapproving absentee ballots.

The hard fought 2000 Gore/Bush election is still in the minds of many Democratic party volunteers. However, many believe that things may play out differently this time. “Unlike in previous elections,“ says Democrats Abroad Frankfurt chairwoman Susan Haug remembering the tight presidential race in Florida four years ago, “changes in U.S. voting laws will guarantee that for the first time absentee ballots for Americans abroad are actually counted in the national election.“

“But it is not just the presidential election that is at stake,“ said Ronald Schlundt, chairman of Democrats Abroad Germany. “There are also 33 Senate seats at stake and every state in the country is electing House members. It may be a close race in many states.“

(click on the title for the whole article)

Friday, August 06, 2004

New York Daily News : Kerry raps W on 9/11

BY FERNANDA SANTOS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, August 6th, 2004

WASHINGTON - John Kerry criticized President Bush's behavior on 9/11 for the first time yesterday, saying the commander-in-chief erred when he stayed put in a Florida classroom after learning about the World Trade Center attacks.

"Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whispered in my ear that America is under attack, I would have told those kids very nicely and politely that the President of the United States has something he needs to attend to," Kerry told a minority journalists convention.

Footage of Bush's initial inaction to the terrible news is one of the centerpiece scenes of Michael Moore's Bush-bashing documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Republicans immediately accused Kerry of following the outspoken liberal's lead.

Moore's hit film shows news footage of Bush in Sarasota on Sept. 11 when chief of staff Andrew Card told him a plane had struck one of the towers.

Seemingly unfazed, the President continued a reading lesson with second-grade students for several minutes.

Moments later, Card leaned over and whispered that the second tower also had been hit.

Bush hastily left the room but reappeared at a school auditorium, where he told some 200 people of an "apparent terrorist attack in our country."

Rudy Giuliani led the charge against Kerry's surprise hit.

"John Kerry must be frustrated in his campaign if he is armchair quarterbacking based on cues from Michael Moore," New York's former Republican mayor said in a written statement issued by Bush campaign headquarters.

Kerry spokeswoman Debra DeShong insisted yesterday her boss hasn't seen Moore's film.

The terror war, tax cuts, education and health care were at the core of Kerry's half-hour speech yesterday to Unity, a gathering of 7,500 black, Hispanic, Asian-American and American Indian journalists in Washington.

Bush, who is struggling to lure minority votes, speaks at the conference today.

Kerry vowed to appoint people of color to the Federal Communications Commission to help ensure that small and minority-owned news organizations "are not consolidated into extinction."

The GOP-dominated FCC last year loosened rules to allow a company in many instances to own a newspaper, a television station and some radio outlets in the same market.

Panel Dismisses 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Complaint

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. regulatory agency has dismissed the petition of a conservative advocacy group to bar TV ads for Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" documentary as a breach of federal restrictions on "electioneering" activity.

In a unanimous decision made public on Thursday, the Federal Election Commission found no evidence that the movie's ads had broken the law or that distributors of the film intended any violations in the future.

The commission said it agreed with the recommendation of its general counsel that the FEC "cannot entertain complaints based upon mere speculation that someone might violate the law."

Moore has said he intended for the film, a blistering critique of President Bush and his conduct of the war in Iraq, to help persuade Americans vote against a second term for Bush in November.

The group Citizens United filed its complaint against the "Fahrenheit 9/11" ad campaign in June, saying TV spots for the film which then included images and sound clips of Bush would be illegal if aired after July 30.

Federal election law prohibits companies and unions from advertising for or against political candidates 60 days before an election and 30 days before a political convention.

The distributors argued that the "Fahrenheit 9/11" ads broadcast after July 30 were permissible because they focused on audience and critical reaction to the film, and that no federal candidate for public office is identified.

The distributors -- Lions Gate Films, IFC Films and the Fellowship Adventure Group spearheaded by Miramax Films co-chairman Harvey and Bob Weinstein -- issued a statement applauding the FEC ruling.

"The distributors feel that this was the correct and proper response under the circumstances, and applaud the commission for its timely and appropriate decision," they said.

Citizens United, which had also took part in a failed court challenge against a campaign finance reform law enacted to curb the influence of money in politics, could not be immediately reached for comment.

"Fahrenheit 9/11," which won top honors at the Cannes film festival in May, has grossed more than $100 million, making it an unprecedented commercial success for a political documentary.

Thank you, Michael Moore: Local band strikes chord with anti-war video

by Nicole Girard
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 7, 2004 12:00 AM

Chronic Future guitarist Ben Collins says he has Michael Moore to thank for the success of the Scottsdale band's anti-war music video.

The politically minded rap-rock quartet was unaware of Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 when it began producing the controversial cartoon, which occupied the 11th spot on MTV's most-requested videos this week.

"I think we got very lucky with the timing of the movie," Collins says. "When the media saw that there was money to be made on the effort against the war, I think that makes it easier to get your video across to people like Viacom, the people that run MTV."

The video for Time and Time Again opens with an animated Chronic Future practicing in a garage. It follows lead singer Mike Busse being shipped off to war in Iraq. He returns a decorated soldier after being wounded by a car bomb.

"It's the story of a kid that is just trying to do the right thing that becomes disenchanted by what he sees over there," Collins says.

(click on the title for the whole article)

Michael Moore is not alone. These are heady days for documentary filmmakers with something to say (or spin). But is the trend here to stay?

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - by Steven Winn, Arts and Culture Critic


No one knows if or how Michael Moore and his growing band of brothers and sisters in the bustling documentary film world will affect the 2004 national elections. That's a question even the most sophisticated exit polls can never fully answer. People vote the way they do, or don't vote at all, for a myriad of intangible reasons.

This much is clear: Whatever happens in November, these filmmakers have already raised a significant new voice in the discourse of American life. And that voice seems bound to grow in volume, urgency and complexity as a public skeptical of both mainstream media and mediated "reality" seeks new ways of apprehending, understanding -- and perhaps even evading -- a daunting real world through nonfiction narrative.

As that process is put in the service of entertainment -- the driving force behind any film that hopes to gain an audience -- the potent ingredients of advocacy journalism, cinema verite, agitprop, old-fashioned storytelling, postmodern deconstruction, black comedy and reality TV figure to blend and clash in heady, challenging new ways onscreen. What's been widely trumpeted as a heyday for the new political documentary, with "Fahrenheit 9/11, " "The Corporation," "The Fog of War," "Super Size Me," "Control Room," "Hijacking Catastrophe," "Outfoxed," the new "There's Something About W" and others, may be only in its infancy. For better or worse, the appropriation and artful shaping of fact has become a major growth industry.

"I'm not sure there are necessarily more documentaries or more political ones now," says Martin Kaplan, associate dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California. "The big difference is the amount of public attention they're attracting. That's convinced producers and distributors (that) there's money to be made. And that changes everything."

(for the whole article, click on the title)


Thursday, August 05, 2004

MSNBC : A new 'Bushism': We're gonna get us

The Associated Press
Updated: 2:29 p.m. ET Aug. 5, 2004

WASHINGTON - President Bush offered up a new entry for his catalog of “Bushisms” on Thursday, declaring that his administration will “never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people.”

Bush misspoke as he delivered a speech at the signing ceremony for a $417 billion defense spending bill.

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we,” Bush said. “They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

No one in Bush’s audience of military brass or Pentagon chiefs reacted.

The president was working his way toward a larger point. “We must never stop thinking about how best to defend our country. We must always be forward-thinking,” he said.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush’s misstatement “just shows even the most straightforward and plain-spoken people misspeak.”

“But the American people know this president speaks with clarity and conviction, and the terrorists know by his actions he means it,” McClellan said.

Woman's Dying Wish: Bush Defeated

From Local10.com :


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- A South Florida woman who died this week had an unusual last request. Instead of flower or contributions in her name to a charity, she asked those who loved her to try to make sure President George W. Bush is not re-elected.

Joan Abbey, shown here before her death, wanted most of all to have President George W. Bush lose the November election. Loved ones said that Joan Abbey was committed to her political passions, even in death.

Abbey was born in Montreal, but lived for many years in Miami Beach and Aventura. Family and friends came from as far away as Canada and California to remember Abbey at the Mount Nebo Jewish Cemetery in Miami.

Abbey, who was a lifelong Democrat, died Monday--coincidentally on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

Her sister, Tillie Shapiro, said, "She was just a caring person...She cared about people, and people who were disadvantaged."

Abbey was buried the day after the Democratic convention ended. Her unusual death notice in the Miami Herald said: "You can honor Joan's values by voting against George Bush and contributing to a liberal or Democratic cause."

Abbey's nephew, Martin Shapiro, said, "What she cared most about was improving circumstances in this country... getting rid of George Bush and making this a better country for all people."

Coincidentally, the presiding rabbi, Brett Goldstein, is a registered Democrat but is voting for Bush, and he questioned the timing of Abbey's message at such a sensitive time.

"My contention is that if there's any situation that's sacrosanct, it should be devoid of political ramifications," Goldstein said. "Although people have the opportunity and they can do it if they want to, it is not really appropriate at this time."

Shapiro said, "It was her (Abbey's) essence. It was her core value to try to see this country become a better place and become a more just society. And I think that was the last word she'd want to leave."

Abbey did not want her age known. Many friends said she remained forever young in spirit and staunchly committed to her beliefs.


Is George W. Bush Planning to Attack America?

From Mike's latest news :


He sure makes it sound that way:

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
- George W. Bush (AT THE SIGNING OF H.R. 4613, THE DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005)

Hmmm...

The Village Voice : They Distort, You Decide: Doc Explores Fox News's Right-Wing Bias

After seeing Fahrenheit 9/11, a friend said that Moore's film had a strong impact on her because it made her watch George Bush speak: Normally, she preemptively turns the channel in disgust as soon as his smirking mug appears. Outfoxed, Robert Greenwald's sharp, skillful exposé of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News, will have a similarly stomach-churning effect upon those who avoid tuning in to the aggressively conservative news channel, or don't consult television news at all.

Already a top-selling DVD thanks to PR support from moveon.org, numerous media outlets, political blogs, and even Doonesbury, Outfoxed argues that Fox News's pro-Republican bias is top-down, enacted by fiats from owner Rupert Murdoch and CEO Roger Ailes, former media consultant to Nixon and Reagan. Smoking guns appear as internal memos, interviews with former employees (some anonymous), and a massive collection of clips from daily broadcasts. The latter is edited to amusing but deeply disquieting effect. Barrages of split-second comments by Fox anchors show how right-wing "talking points" become nailed into the mediasphere through endless repetition: John Kerry is a "flip-flopper," Kerry and Edwards are "out of the mainstream," and—most bizarrely—Kerry seems "French."

Undeniably entertaining and eye-opening, Outfoxed shows how Fox works, but not why. While montages of thuggish Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity telling guests to "shut up" certainly prove a point, they do not explain why one-sided, ham-fisted tactics continue to prove so popular with viewers. But through its own no-holds-barred attack, Outfoxed at least gives Fox a taste of its own medicine.

Japan Today : Moore hopes 'Fahrenheit' will bring about regime change in Japan

Controversial American filmmaker Michael Moore said Tuesday he hopes the global release of his documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" will usher in "regime changes" in countries like Japan and Australia.

In a press conference with foreign journalists in New York, Moore said his polemical movie should encourage people in all democratic countries that have supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq to vote their leaders out of office.

Responding to a question by a Japanese correspondent, he suggested the Japanese people were being betrayed by their government's decision to commit 550 troops in the southern Iraqi town of Samawah until December.

"To see you involve yourselves in this way is a sad day," he said. "It's a shameful and disgraceful thing."

The combative director was especially scathing about the Australian and British prime ministers, John Howard and Tony Blair, along with the leaders of countries like Japan and Italy, for allying themselves with the Bush administration.

"What's confusing to me is how someone like John Howard can get in bed with George W Bush," Moore said. "He at least appears to have half a brain ... It's really disgraceful."

He also had harsh words for Blair, who has been Bush's most stalwart ally since the decision was made to remove Saddam Hussein by military force.

"I've been racking my brain, trying to figure out what Tony Blair, an otherwise intelligent man, would be doing hooking himself up with president Bush," he said. "That is something for science to figure out. Maybe someday, someone could do some examination, put him under hypnosis."

Moore announced that he would not be promoting the film overseas, as he wanted to stay in the United States and concentrate on his "mission" to see Bush ousted from the White House in November's presidential election.

He also urged foreign audiences not to link the opinions in the film exclusively to its maker.

"It's not just Michael Moore," he said. "I'm not the only American who feels this way."

"Fahrenheit 9/11" opens in Japan in mid-August.

Box Office News


Domestic pace slows down but overseas' soar.

In France, with the realease of I, Robot, F911 drops to the 4th place. But it’s still now 1 636 037 tickets sold for 430 theaters only (the Top 3 films enjoy an average 800 to 600 theaters).


Domestic: $110,908,000 78.1%

+ Overseas: $31,095,294 21.9%


= Worldwide: $142,003,294

San Diego Union Tribune : Anti-Kerry group seeks press exemption to air ads


ASSOCIATED PRESS

2:49 p.m. August 5, 2004

WASHINGTON – A conservative group that complained about television ads for Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" now wants an exemption from campaign finance laws so it can advertise a book on John Kerry.

Citizens United contends the Federal Election Commission should consider it part of the news media, and allow it to run election-time ads for a book called "The Many Faces of John Kerry: Why This Massachusetts Liberal is Wrong for America."

In a request released this week, the group argued it should be able to run ads for the book, written by its president David Bossie, and a documentary film on the Democratic presidential nominee and his running mate, John Edwards.

A new campaign finance law bans the use of corporate money for ads identifying presidential and congressional candidates within two months of the election. But an exemption to the law frees a wide range of media organizations from the ban.

In June, Citizens United asked the FEC to investigate whether ads for "Fahrenheit 9/11" violated the law's restrictions on ads close to presidential nominating conventions and the Nov. 2 election. The commission has not yet ruled on the request.

Citizens United argues it should qualify for the press exemption because it publishes and releases newsletters, position papers, documentaries and books. The group contends "Fahrenheit 9/11" is anti-Bush propaganda and doesn't qualify for the media exemption, however.

The New York Post : Moore Wins Few Converts

PHOTO MICHAEL MOORE

by Deborah ORIN

August 4, 2004 --

About 8 percent of Americans have seen Michael Moore's anti-Bush blockbuster, "Fahrenheit 9/11" — but it hasn't changed many minds, because almost all of them couldn't stand President Bush in the first place, a new poll reports.

A majority of those who went to see the Bush-bashing flick — 55 percent — are Democrats, according to the national survey by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Center.

Another 24 percent describe themselves as "independents" — but they are much more liberal than independents generally and three times as likely to have voted for Al Gore over Bush in 2000, according to the July 5-25 survey of 5,051 adults.

Only 10 percent of those who have seen "Fahrenheit 9/11" are Republicans — and the survey's director, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, suggested it may have strengthened their support for Bush.

The movie is partisan, but "such communication attracts people who know they will disagree but want to see what the other side is saying. It tends to reinforce their partisanship," Hall said.

Overall, the survey found Americans are split, 49-49 percent, on whether they approve of how President Bush is handling his job — but 86 percent of those who saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" disapprove.


The survey contrasted those who saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" with the kind of pro-Bush Americans who listen to Rush Limbaugh. Among Limbaugh's Dittoheads, 88 percent approve of how the president is doing his job.

The country is also split, 49-48 percent, on Bush's handling of the war on terror — but 87 percent of "Fahrenheit 9/11" views disapprove, while 83 percent of Limbaugh listeners approve.

The two groups are roughly equal in size — 8 percent of Americans have seen the Moore film and 7 percent listen to Limbaugh — but the survey noted that Limbaugh may have more impact since he's on the air five days a week, three hours a day, while most will see the movie only once.

Moore has described his controversial flick — which paints an ugly, cartoonish picture of Bush — as a "de facto tool" in the effort to defeat the president.




Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Voice For Choice--a new documentary "Wax Bush, Vote 2004!"

From michaelmoore.com's links :


"Wax Bush, Vote 2004!"

So say the makers of a new documentary, currently titled “A Voice for Choice.” Emblazoned on tee-shirts and for sale at the filmmakers’ website, www.waxbush2004.com, the WAX BUSH phenomenon has exploded across the country. The filmmakers have sold about 4,000 “WAX BUSH, Vote 2004” tee shirts across the country since early April. And the cool thing is, that all the proceeds have and will continue to fund the documentary film.

While the popularity of Wax Bush Vote 2004 tees points to a sudden national interest in weeding out our government garden, the political waxing and eradication of George W. Bush is resolutely echoed in the millions of voices that stormed the streets in the historic March for Women’s Lives on April 25th. In the largest march on the Capitol in U.S. history, millions of participants from across the nation came to protest Bush’s attacks on women’s reproductive freedoms. Capturing this momentous march and its inspired Wax Bush sentiments is the documentary “A Voice for Choice” by filmmakers, Andrea Buchanan, Denise Plumb, and Sean Cooley.

The documentary travels five different roads to the Washington march, following the diverse and personal stories of a group of young feminist activists from California, an NAACP organized bus from Atlanta, a group of grandmothers and granddaughters from Texas, Catholics, Jews and Muslims sharing a train from New York, and liberal political talk show hosts and Air America Radio employees from NYC. The film also interviews leading politicians, activists and artists who are fighting for a woman’s right to control her reproductive agenda. They include, to name a few, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D), Rep. Jim Greenwood (R), Gloria Steinem, Governor Ann Richards (D), Sheryl Crow, Bill Maher, and the Executive Directors of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, NOW, The Feminist Majority, The Republican Pro-Choice Coalition, Catholics for a Free Choice and the A.C.L.U.

The Supreme Court is currently split 5-4 in favor of Roe vs. Wade, and conventional wisdom says that at least one if not two or three justices will vacate the bench in the next presidential term. Bush has vowed to nominate only anti-choice judges. So, if he wins, Roe vs. Wade will be overturned and every women in this country will lose her constitutionally guaranteed right to choose. As such, they will take their film on the road this October on a swing state screening tour to educate voters and encourage them to go to the polls and vote.

You can find out more about the documentary here, and be sure to check out the trailer here. If you like what you see, think about supporting the film by getting your own "Wax Bush" t-shirt.

The Guardian, UK : Cuban screening won't rule Moore out of Oscars

Staff and agencies
Wednesday August 4, 2004


Michael Moore
Michael Moore: tipped to win best director Oscar
Photo: AP
Fahrenheit 9/11 is still eligible for next year's Oscars despite being screened on Cuban TV last week, the Academy of Motions Picture Arts and Sciences has admitted.

There had been fears that the illegal broadcast might have scuppered director Michael Moore's chance to add to his 2003 award for Bowling For Columbine. The Academy rules that any feature documentary that airs on TV within nine months of its theatrical release is automatically barred from contention.

Michael Moore's provocative portrait of the Bush administration was given a primetime slot on Cuba's state-run TV station last Tuesday. But the film's backers insist that the screening was illegal, unauthorised and broadcast from a pirate copy. There are also believed to be 120 pirate DVDs of the film currently playing at cinemas across Cuba.

In a joint statement, the film's distributors - Harvey and Bob Weinstein, IFC Entertainment chief Jonathan Sehring and Lions Gate president Tom Ortenberg, insisted that the Academy's rule "has not been violated because it was a stolen copy and was in no way authorised by its distributors".

Yesterday the Academy appeared to accept the argument. "As far as we are concerned, if this was a bootleg, as we believe it was, then we will not penalise them," Academy director of communications John Pavlik told Variety.

The makers of Fahrenheit 9/11 have until September 1 to submit it for consideration for next year's best documentary feature Oscar. However, there is speculation that the film may yet be entered in the race for best picture, with Moore already tipped as an outside bet for best director.

BBC News : Fahrenheit 9/11 divides UK press

Critics in the UK have given a mixed response to Fahrenheit 9/11.

The film, which goes on general release in Britain on Friday, appears to have divided newspaper reviewers in the same way as it has split opinion in the US.

Christopher Tookey in the Daily Mail slated the film, calling Moore "contemptible" and his film "lazy, incoherent, foolish and dull".

He wrote: "There's little logical structure to his rambling arguments; he has no revelations to make; and much of the footage is already in the public domain.

"His most damaging assertions are either unsubstantiated or untrue - often both.

"...It also makes for monotony and a feeling that the truth is being, at the very least, over-simplified.

'Remarkable'

"Sitting through the film is almost as depressing as listening to the people who are taken in by it."

By contrast, The Mirror called the film "remarkable", adding that Moore was "the most significant documentary maker of his generation".

It said the movie let itself down by showing only one side of the argument, but that Bush had provided Moore with "so much deeply embarrassing material".

The Sun said Moore had made "an entertaining film" and praised his film-making skills, making only minor criticisms of a couple of content areas.

(click on the title for more)

Michael Moore Brings the War Home, Sojourners Magazine/September 2004

Michael Moore Brings the War Home, Sojourners Magazine/September 2004: "In the theater where I saw Fahrenheit 9/11, the coming attractions featured a trailer for The Motorcycle Diaries—an upcoming film about the early life of the Latin American revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The trailer ended with the tag line, "If you let the world change you, you can change the world."

A good omen, I thought. But the day was filled with omens. Michael Moore’s picture, and a story about his film, greeted me on the front page of the Memphis Commercial Appeal at breakfast. We went to lunch before the movie, and there he was again, in the café entrance, on page one of USA Today.

Moore’s film did not disappoint those expectations. There, on the quad cinema big screen, was African-American Marine Corporal Abdul Henderson, in uniform, explaining that he won’t go back to Iraq because he won’t "kill other poor people" who pose no threat to our country. There, after 90 minutes in which the falsehoods behind the Iraq war were peeled away, is the explanation (from George Orwell’s 1984) that, at the end of the day, the maintenance of a hierarchical society requires war. It keeps the people at the bottom fearful and economically insecure. "The war is not meant to be won," Orwell wrote, in words that define Bush’s war on terror. "It is meant to be continuous."

And that message came alongside the details of the incestuous relationship between the Saudi Kingdom and corporate America, surprising (and troubling) footage of dead and wounded Iraqi civilians, and the usually unheard voices of American soldiers left limbless and bitter by the war in Iraq. It’s all the stuff the mainstream mass media won’t tell you. And there it is, in Fahrenheit 9/11, smack dab in the middle of that mainstream. I wanted to stand and shout, "Viva!"


by Danny Duncan Collum
Sojourners Magazine/September 2004

Esquire:Feature Story:The Case Against George W. Bush by Ron Reagan

Esquire:Feature Story:The Case Against George W. Bush: "It may have been the guy in the hood teetering on the stool, electrodes clamped to his genitals. Or smirking Lynndie England and her leash. Maybe it was the smarmy memos tapped out by soft-fingered lawyers itching to justify such barbarism. The grudging, lunatic retreat of the neocons from their long-standing assertion that Saddam was in cahoots with Osama didn't hurt. Even the Enron audiotapes and their celebration of craven sociopathy likely played a part. As a result of all these displays and countless smaller ones, you could feel, a couple of months back, as summer spread across the country, the ground shifting beneath your feet. Not unlike that scene in The Day After Tomorrow, then in theaters, in which the giant ice shelf splits asunder, this was more a paradigm shift than anything strictly tectonic. No cataclysmic ice age, admittedly, yet something was in the air, and people were inhaling deeply. I began to get calls from friends whose parents had always voted Republican, 'but not this time.' There was the staid Zbigniew Brzezinski on the staid NewsHour with Jim Lehrer sneering at the 'Orwellian language' flowing out of the Pentagon. Word spread through the usual channels that old hands from the days of Bush the Elder were quietly (but not too quietly) appalled by his son's misadventure in Iraq. Suddenly, everywhere you went, a surprising number of folks seemed to have had just about enough of what the Bush administration was dishing out. A fresh age appeared on the horizon, accompanied by the sound of scales falling from people's eyes. It felt something like a demonstration of that highest of American prerogatives and the most deeply cherished American freedom: dissent. "


By Ron Reagan

Guardian Unlimited Film | Interviews | Gary Younge interviews Michael Moore (October 4, 2003)

Guardian Unlimited Film: "In the US, a supposedly rightwing country, Michael Moore's fearless campaigning and coruscating criticism of 'that frat boy' Bush have aroused huge hostility but also rapturous fellow feeling. Gary Younge meets an engaging man, who is intent on mobilising America - and is extending the clarion call to us Brits, without whom, he believes, there would have been no war on Iraq.

During the commercial break in this year's Oscars, the floor director approached the nominees for best documentary to tell them that their category was up next. Until then, the issue of an acceptance speech had not entered Michael Moore's mind because he didn't think he had a chance of winning.
But this was no regular ceremony. Taking place just three days after the US launched its attack on Iraq, the red carpet had been abandoned, a number of actors had dropped out, saying they thought it would be 'inappropriate' to attend, and those who did show up dressed down for the event.
Moore's wife, Kathleen Glynn, the producer on his film Bowling For Columbine, whispered, 'Have you thought about what you are going to do?'
'No, because we're not going to win,' replied Moore. "


Gary Younge
Guardian

David Rovics: The War Is Over (Song) Video

Thirty minutes ago, I e-mailed Act For Victory suggesting that David be added to their Vote for Change Tour. Since I will be out of here in three hours for 10 days, hopefully this will happen.

Another example of David
"hitting-the-nail-squarely-on-the-head"
as a profound singer/songwriter:

The War is Over (Songs for Mahmud version)

play lo-fi play hi-fi MP3 Lyrics/Story



San Francisco, March 27, 2004: Reichstag Fire Video

Big Concert Announcement | America Coming Together (ACT)

Big Concert Announcement | America Coming Together (ACT)"So why are these artists doing it? I just watched Dave Matthews and Dixie Chicks on the TODAY Show and, of course, they get asked if this is just a way for them to express their opinions.

I don’t remember the exact responses – but, geneWhile some have been political in the past, many of these artists have never done such an event. Why now?

I think they agree – it’s about jobs, it’s about war, security and civil rights. The artists statement says it best:

“VOTE FOR CHANGE is a loose coalition of musicians brought together by a single idea – the need to make a change in the direction of our country. We share a belief that this is the most important election of our lifetime. We are fighting for a government that is open, rational, just and progressive. And we intend to be heard.

Bruce Springsteen is quoted as saying – “I felt like I couldn’t have written the music I’ve written, and been on stage singing about the things that I’ve sung about for the last 25 years and not taken part in this particular election.”

What’s your favorite song by these artists? Think of the lyrics and tell us what you want to hear.

My first pick – Land of Hopes and Dreams.

What’s yours?"



USATODAY.com - Springsteen, R.E.M., other big acts embark on tour

USATODAY.com - Springsteen, R.E.M., other big acts embark on tour: "When Bruce Springsteen decided to join the Dixie Chicks, the Dave Matthews Band, R.E.M., Pearl Jam and other pop superstars for MoveOn PAC's Vote For Change Tour, announced Wednesday, he realized it would be 'the closest I've gotten to partisan politics.'

In a private interview Wednesday, Springsteen said, ' I've always tried to keep an independent voice. That's been important, I think, to my audience. I've got 25 years of credibility built up, and this isn't something I've moved into lightly. I fought long and hard about it. But this is the one where you break the rules, where you spend some of that credibility. It's an emergency intervention. We need to get an administration that is more attentive to the needs of all its citizens, that has a saner foreign policy, that is more attentive to environmental concerns, in the White House.'

Springsteen's sentiments are echoed by many of the artists who will take part in the historic concert series, which MoveOn PAC - a sister organization of MoveOn.org, which has seldom been known to pull punches where the Bush administration is concerned - has organized to benefit another partisan political action commission, America Coming Together. (Related story: Read more details about the tour)

The organizations and the musicians they have rallied are not being coy about their agenda. Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 8, Vote For Change will bring various groupings of name acts - also including John Mellencamp, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds - to swing states where they hope to influence undecided voters."


By Elysa Gardner
USA TODAY


I felt like I couldn't have written the music I've written, and been on stage singing about the things that I've sung about for the last twenty five years and not take part in this particular election.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Exclusive: Fahrenheit 911: Much political media preaching to the choir, U-M prof says (Follow Up)

Fahrenheit 911: Much political media preaching to the choir, U-M prof says

F911 Blog: In an interview with Ann Schimke, Ann Arbor News, article entitled, "Much political media preaching to the choir, U-M prof" you stated:

> Fahrenheit 911 will have little effect on the outcome
> of the election for two reasons:
>
> One, the audience is very self-selective. People know
> what they're going to see when they go see a Michael
> Moore movie. So it's not changing a lot of people's
> minds.
>
> The other reason is it's happening so far in advance
> of the actual election that lots of things will happen
> in between now and the election when Michael Moore's
> movie is no longer in theaters.

> -------------

> I was surprised that you stated Fahrenheit 911 will
> have little effect on the outcome of the election due
> to the timing of the films theatrical release.
>
> The Fahrenheit 911 DVD is scheduled for September.
> Doesn't this negate reason number 2?
>
> Following the logic - won't the DVD release have an
> effect on the election? Voters will have opportunities
> to watch the film for free or rent it down the street
> for pocket change. If so, to what degree do you
> think the film will effect the election? If not, why
> not?

Nick Valentino: You make a good point. However, the research in this general area (not on Faranheit 911 in particular, or even on Moore's larger body of work) suggests that people who are persuadable at this point (who might still change their minds) would be less likely to see Moore's movies. It is, however, nearly impossible to determine the impact of a particular message (such as a movie) in the noisy environment leading up to a presidential election.

The movie may have some impact, but of course Fox News is on the air every night, and pushes in the opposite direction politically speaking. In the end, what Moore's movie may have done is kept the focus of the campaign on the war on terror. But I am not sure that is good for the Democrats, since that is the only issue on which Bush currently performs better than Kerry in national surveys. In any case, it will be an interesting Fall!

Best,

Nick Valentino
Associate Professor University of Michigan
Associate Professor, Department of Communications Studies
Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies
Ph.D., UCLA

Reuters.com: Cuban 'Fahrenheit' Telecast Raises Oscar Questions

Entertainment News Article | Reuters.com: "The U.S. distributors of Michael Moore's controversial 'Fahrenheit 9/11' said on Tuesday that an unauthorized broadcast of the film on Cuban television will not disqualify the movie from Oscar competition in the feature documentary category.
'The film that was illegally shown on Cuban state-run TV was from an unauthorized, pirated copy,' said a statement issued by Lions Gate Films, IFC Entertainment and the Fellowship Adventure Group, founded by Miramax Films co-chairs Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
Under Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules, documentaries are ineligible for Oscar.

Producers of Moore's film have another month to decide how they want the film to be entered in Oscar competition. The deadline for submission of documentary candidates is Sept. 1. Pavlik said the academy typically receives about 60 submissions for that category.

Last year's Academy Award for best documentary feature went to the Errol Morris film "Fog of War," about the difficult lessons of military conflict learned by former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. Moore won the year before for his study of gun violence in America, "Bowling for Columbine.""


By Steve Gorman

NPR : Slate's Dispatches: A Private Security Paycheck

NPR : Slate's Dispatches: A Private Security Paycheck: "NPR's Noah Adams talks with former U.S. Marine Owen West about U.S. soldiers who leave the ranks of the military, often for more lucrative jobs with private security forces. West has been writing a week-long memoir of his visit to Iraq for Slate."

The Digital Bits : Columbia TriStar's Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD (due 10/5)

The Digital Bits - We Know DVD!: "We're still waiting for official details on the special features, but we're told the Fahrenheit 9/11 disc will include the film in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Bonus material will tentatively include behind-the-scenes featurettes (The Release of Fahrenheit 9/11, Outside Abu Ghraib Prison, Eyewitness Account from Samara, Iraq, Lila Lipscomb at the Washington D.C. Premiere and Arab-American Comedians: Their Acts and Experiences after 9/11), a video montage (The People of Iraq on the Eve of Invasion), a new scene (Homeland Security: Miami Style), an extended interview (Moore with Abdul Henderson), video of Condoleezza Rice's 9/11 Commission testimony and video of the 'Rose Garden press briefing after 9/11 Commission appearance'. These extras are subject to confirmation, so stay tuned."


thedigitalbits.com

Going On Vacation: Seeking Blogger to Log News & Views

Tomorrow, I begin a seven day backpacking trip in the Olympic national forest. In order to keep the information stream flowing, I'm seeking a "blogger" to log Fahrenheit 911 news reports in my absence. If you are interested, post a comment with a link to your blog/journal to this thread.


Last week, while on a day hike in the Olympic national forest,
I snapped this pix.

Bill Maher : OutKast Andre 3000 Interview (July 30)

Bill Maher :: The Official Website: "But first up, his album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” sold ten million copies and won three Grammys. But all this week, he’s been our man in Boston. From Outkast, say hi to Andre 3000 Benjamin. [applause] How you doin’? Big fan, but you know that already.

ANDRE 3000 BENJAMIN: Well, thank you, Bill.

MAHER: All right. Always with the golfing clothes. What’s with that?

BENJAMIN: Golfing? Tennis.

MAHER: Tennis. Sorry. [laughter] I know you’ve been up at the convention in Boston. You just came back. And I know you’re interested in voting this year and you never have before.

BENJAMIN: Never voted in my life.

MAHER: So why did you choose now to lose your voting cherry? [laughter]"

(Click title for more)


Listen to a couple of OutKast Tunes

AtomFilms: Mock The Vote

AtomFilms: Mock The Vote: "Funnier than G.W. pronouncing 'nuclear.' More powerful than John Kerry's hair spray. It's the Web's best and brightest political satire shorts all in one place. Check back regularly for every electoral evisceration and political pot-shot. "



Mock The Vote Animated Movies

- Campaign Jukebox: John Kerry

- Doodieman: Days of Duty

- Hi, I'm Dick Cheney!

- The Emperor's Apprentice

- This Land


Ronald Reagan's Daughter Supports F9/11

Here is an article by Ronald Reagan's daughter:MSNBC.comJanuary 20, 2004

"Defining Love of Country"by Patti Davis

September 11 either made me love this country or it made me realize how much I already did. I think it's the latter. Seeing "Fahrenheit9/11" made me think deeply about love of country—how it molds us,drives and emboldens us and how it can sometimes make us so angry we want to shout out to the world: "No, this is wrong."

Many things have been said about the movie, and of course about its director, Michael Moore. But I don't think I've heard anyone comment on Moore's love for America. It seemed evident to me that the film was born from that love.

To anyone who would respond that, no, the film was motivated by rage at the Bush administration, might I point out that when you feel betrayed, when you believe that something or someone you love has been wounded and cheated and lied to, the fury that floods the heart is unstoppable.In the '60s, most of my generation (including me) was angry atAmerica for the distant jungle war that had also become a war at home. Fury was a rite of passage. The country was divided between hawks and doves. And we were angry doves. The Vietnam War was taking our classmates, our peers, our friends; it was taking brothers and boyfriends and young husbands. It was a war we couldn't understand.Vietnam had done nothing to us. I remember having to find the country on a globe in the classroom just to figure out where it was.

We spelled America with a k: Amerika. Remember? Anything to insult and denigrate our homeland, which in our eyes was responsible for a shameful invasion across the oceans. If anyone had suggested to me then that my rage was really born from love—that I felt betrayed by my government and therefore angry—I would have soundly rejected the notion.

Perhaps Michael Moore traveled along the same emotional route that I did. Perhaps he too looks back at those years and thinks, "I wanted more from my country. I wanted us to behave honorably, truthfully. I was ashamed of the country I loved. And it made me furious."

A friend of mine said she didn't want to see "Fahrenheit 9/11"because she doesn't like Michael Moore. "Because he's bombastic and strident?" I asked, already knowing the answer."Exactly," she replied.I conceded that point—he can be both those things. But I tried to point out that he's just the messenger in the film. And the message is an important one even if you don't like the guy who is bringing it to you. Besides, he probably learned stridency decades ago and never un-learned it.

What's important is, when he stood in the kitchen witha mother from Flint, Mich., whose son had just been sent to Iraq and he agreed with her that America is a great country, I believed him. Ithink a lot of people did. I think my friend would too, if she eversees the movie. That's what I mean about his love for America—it comes through even if you don't like his style.President Bush, on the other hand, says that he loves this countryand, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I assume he does love his conceptualized idea of America. But I don't think he loves us—the people who make up this land. The huddled masses. The millions of citizens who just want a peaceful, safe life. Those who want to put their kids through school and see them grow up; who want to take vacations to other countries without fearing for their lives because so much of the world hates us.I don't think you lie to people you love. I don't think you send them off into dangerous situations on the basis of murky, cobbled-together information that isn't really information at all. I don't think you keep them scared all the time. I don't think you respond to horrors like public beheadings with cowboy slogans that sound like they came from old John Wayne movies. And I think if someone masterminds an attack on people you love and murders thousands of them, you go after that person until you find him. Osama bin Laden is six feet, eight inches tall, he wears white robes and he reportedly suffers from kidney failure, requiring him to be on dialysis.

I haven't researched this, but I assume there aren't many dialysis machines inAfghanistan. So wouldn't it make sense to stake out the ones that are there? He could have a portable one, which would require a generator.That should make him easy to spot, too.But, alas, no one seems to be looking for Osama. According to Tim Russert, the Bush White House has done such a good job of diverting our attention to Iraq, there are actually people who now think Iraqis flew the planes into the World Trade Center towers. I believe Tim Russert. He has direct, honest eyes. He seems to love this country deeply. Perhaps he should run for office. It seems to me that the most important question we can ask whenchoosing a president is, Does he love us? I think Democratic presidential contender Sen. John Kerry should address this question—not in a sappy, touchy-feely way, but just matter-of-factly. We aregoing to be married to one of these men for the next four years, soit seems a crucial point.

The sad fact is that someone who doesn'tlove us is not going to take very good care of us.

Patti Davis is the daugher of the late President Ronald Reagan.


It is striking to notice that all of the Reagans disown Bush, even Nancy :


PATTI

http://protestblog.blogspot.com/2004/07/ronald-reagans-daughter-supports-f911.html

RON


http://www.esquire.com/cgi-bin/printtool/print.cgi?pages=5&filename=
%2Ffeatures%2Farticles%2F2004%2F040729_mfe_reagan.html&x=55&y=7

NANCY

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_4935.shtml

Tucson Citizen: Military families speaking out

Welcome to the Tucson Citizen: "Teresa Al-Saraji visited Iraq last summer to see firsthand the battlefield that her daughter has called home for the past 18 months as a member of the U.S. Army.
The Erie, Mich., mother took a hard look at the war-torn nation. Now the normally low-profile Al-Saraji speaks out against the war every chance she gets.
Like the anguished mother in Michael Moore's documentary 'Fahrenheit 9/11' who turned her grief over her son's death into a political crusade, relatives of soldiers who are or have been in Iraq are becoming a potent force in the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. More are attending rallies, writing letters and speaking about the experiences of their loved ones.

Both parties believe they can win the military vote and suggest that the families may influence others' votes.

An emerging network of Web sites provides a 'home' for thousands of military families looking to talk about the Iraq war. Many families affected by the war say the election gives them a platform.

Nancy Lessin is the Boston-based co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, an Internet-based, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ending the war in Iraq. Lessin's stepson is a Marine back home from Iraq."


The Detroit News

David Rovics: Evening News (Song)

I watched "CBC National" one night in a hotel in New Brunswick. CBC is right up there with Foxhole News, but I just wasn't expecting it to be quite that bad, so it was a bit of a shock.


play lo-fi play hi-fi MP3 Lyrics/Story



Bill Maher : “Real Time with Bill Maher” Transcript July 30

Bill Maher: [“FAHRENHEIT 9/11” COLD OPEN: BILL MAHER SITS IN ‘CLASSROOM’ WITH CHILD READING “MY PET GOAT,” WITH VOICEOVER BY MICHAEL MOORE.]

MICHAEL MOORE [VOICEOVER]: Where was Bill Maher on that fateful day his Emmy-nominated series was to return to HBO? [laughter] He decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity. [laughter] Now, not knowing what to do, with no one telling him what to do, and no personal assistant rushing in to take him to safety, Mr. Maher just sat there and continued to read “My Pet Goat.” [laughter]

As Maher sat there in that Hollywood dressing room, was he wondering if maybe he should have attended rehearsal? [laughter] Didn’t he know that without him there was no show, and without a show, there was no after-party. And without an after-party, absolutely no chance of getting laid. [laughter]

BILL MAHER: Huh?

MOORE [ON CAMERA]: That’s right, Bill, not getting laid. [laughter] [applause]

[OPENING CREDITS ROLL]

[Applause, standing ovation]

BILL MAHER: Thank you very much. How you doin’? Thank you very much. Aw, please. Sit down. Thank you. Thank you very much. You’re too kind. Please, please! My message tonight is, “Dope is on the way!” [laughter] Sorry, it’s good to be back, and I am still high from the Kerry speech. [laughter] Hey, he gave a speech. At least we know where he stands now. He would never have attacked Iraq after 9/11. He would have attacked Vietnam."


Michael Moore and Bill Maher on their knees pleading with Ralph Nader not to run for president.

Michael Moore.com : Crawford Began to Buzz

Michael Moore.com : Mike's Message : Mike's Latest News: "Early in the afternoon, as the tiny town of Crawford began to buzz, someone in a car passing the Peace House rolled down the window and yelled, 'Ain't democracy great!' All afternoon and into the evening we saw thumbs raised and lowered, listened to the yells of Bush supporters and heard heartfelt thanks from many folks. It was a magnification of the usual responses I get when I sit on the porch--waves, nods and one-fingered salutes from the residents in this town. Defying the stereotypes that people have of Texas, this controversial event took place in a peaceful way, giving hope to those of us who are working to take back our democracy.

I have only been fulfilling the role of Resident Volunteer at the C.P.H. for a little over a week but I am no stranger to rural Texas. I grew up about 60 miles south of Austin near the community of Rockne. Folks with minority views in Rockne--and in Crawford--do not feel free to express themselves. Even a good country neighbor who leans to the left is always somewhat of an outsider in her or his own community. As I begin to write this essay, the flashing red lights at the main intersection, the trucks going by, the neon beer signs at the Coffee Station, the drone of the locusts--all this reminds me of the isolation that is so often felt by liberal Texans who live in rural areas. Yet again, an event at the Peace House gave residents of Crawford who do not support the current administration a moment to feel what it is like to be a part of the majority. Crawford is a microcosm in a nation where fear has limited the freedom with which we can express dissent.

This was a very small and wonderful success in a nation that continues to fall deathly short in the quest to live up to it's ideals. Maybe when all citizens are guaranteed a free and critical press, maybe when Crawford Democrats do not fear expressing their minority political sentiments, maybe when a documentary is not necessary to inform us of the disturbing facts related to our nation's leadership, maybe then we can say that we live in a true democracy. Maybe when we start to support democracy in places like Venezuela and Chile, Iran and Palestine, places where we have failed murderously and miserably, maybe then we can say that we stand for democracy. Certainly Crawford, Texas is a good place to start."


by Josh Collier
Crawford Peace House

Michael Moore.com : THANK YA'LL From Texas : Crawford Peace House

Michael Moore.com : Mike's Message : Mike's Latest News: "A very big THANK YA'LL from Texas. This was such an incredible experience. We are all so grateful to Michael Moore and his staff for helping the Crawford Peace House facilitate freedom of speech in Central Texas. Many of us had been told by both 16 screen corporate movie theaters in Waco that they were absolutely not going to show 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' For three weeks after the original release, the closest theater showing the movie was Austin, an hour and a half away. So we began working on including the movie with an August 14th event planned for Bush's usual vacation in Texas.

But then Michael gave us a challenge. On July 23rd we were informed by the Moore group, to plan for July 28. That's five days, folks. So a core group of about 6 to 10 volunteers began scrambling to find a venue in a community of Bush supporters and arrange logistics for the event, wherever it eventually landed. Obstacle after obstacle was thrown up by city, school district and private property owners. We began to think we might be relegated to a tent on our small property with capacity for only 150 people. But this event was meant to be. And it was meant to be BIG. And it was."

by Kay Lucas
Crawford Peace House
Friends of Peace

Michael Moore.com : A Report From Crawford

Michael Moore.com : Mike's Message : Mike's Latest NewsI was overwhelmed on Wednesday, July 28, 2004, when thousands of people (as many as 5,000 according to some estimates) descended upon Crawford, Texas for a special screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' Michael Moore’s highly-publicized movie. First, there are several who need to be thanked for making this event happen.

John Young, one of the op/ed editors for the Waco Tribune-Herald, contacted Michael Moore about the possible screening. I think it is appropriate to give much credit for Mr. Young’s invitation since--at that time--the Waco theaters would not show Moore’s film. John Young should be commended for his creative and imaginative way to create dialogue concerning this film.

Finally, this film’s message is timely. Our nation is in dire need of a wake-up call. The U.S. public needs to know the truth of why the war in Iraq is being waged. The other wake-up call for us is that we need to hold our President accountable. The insanity must stop! The next elections are crucial. What does Mr. Moore have to gain from such a film? That is the wrong question. The more obvious question is, what do we have to lose if this current war regime is not replaced. Hopefully, the thousands who viewed the insanity of war in Crawford, Texas will be able to make a decision in November that will take the first steps toward a new vision of peace, and a new leader to make it possible.

By Rev. Robert Flowers
Friends of Peace

Monday, August 02, 2004

USATODAY.com - Bad Religion, The Empire Strikes First (Music Review)

USATODAY.com - Nothing's gonna stop Terror Squad, Scissor Sisters: "Bad Religion, The Empire Strikes First (* * *) In its 24th year, the veteran California punk band hasn't lost its venom, its muscle or its backbone. Empire opens with Overture, a menacing instrumental that sets the stage for a wave of vitriolic assaults. Many of these forceful anthems would dovetail nicely with vignettes in Fahrenheit 9/11, and none of them will be on the sound system at the Republican convention. Singer Greg Graffin unleashes outrage and indignation as he rails against the Bush administration in Let Them Eat War and other teeth-gnashing, guitar-grinding tunes on this seething manifesto. Urgent and timely, Empire also addresses environmental misuse (Los Angeles Is Burning), predatory priests (Sinister Rouge) and science/religion tensions (Atheist Peace), rendering the whines of skateboarder punks feeble and self-involved. The band doesn't leave melody and hooks out of the equation, making Empire one of the year's meatiest punk efforts. - Gundersen"




Bad Religion (See Los Angeles Is Burning Video, Hear Let Them Eat War MP3 - Click Image)

Democracy Now! | Michael Moore: I Will Bring Cameras to Florida to Monitor November Election (Video)

Democracy Now! | Michael Moore: I Will Bring Cameras to Florida to Monitor November Election: "At a press conference in Boston yesterday, filmmaker Michael Moore announced he is bringing his cameras to Florida in November to make sure there is what he called a 'huge spotlight' on state election officials when voters go to the polls. The director of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' also said he plans to help pay for an 'army of lawyers' who will be in target precincts ready to go to court if they spot any voting problems. He encouraged other independent filmmakers to join him in Florida. Here is Michael Moore speaking yesterday at a press conference organized by Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida. "

Democracy Now! | Lila Lipscomb, A Star of Fahrenheit 9/11, Speaks on the Iraq Invasion and the Death of Her Son. (Video)

Democracy Now! | Lila Lipscomb, A Star of Fahrenheit 9/11, Speaks on the Iraq Invasion and the Death of Her Son.: "One of the stars of Michael Moore's new film Fahrenheit 9/11 is now the subject of a Marine Corps investigation and could face court-martial. Lance Corporal Abdul Henderson told Moore in the film he would not return with his unit to fight in Iraq. USA Today revealed last week that the Marine Corps is conducting a preliminary inquiry into Henderson's appearance in Fahrenheit 9/11. A Marine spokesperson says if he refuses to return to Iraq, he could face prison. Meanwhile, another person featured in the film, Lila Lipscomb, has been travelling across the country speaking to antiwar groups, community groups and churches. Lipscomb's 26 year old son Michael was killed in Iraq. She spoke recently at the national convention of Peace Action in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "

Box Office News (France, Overseas, Worldwide)

1SPIDER-MAN 2 880 theaters 1 023 824 tickets

2 SHREK 2 765 theaters 423 859 tickets

3FAHRENHEIT 9/11 430 theaters 328 725 tickets

Number of theatres where F911 is shown increases still (from 405 to 430). Though showing in half the number of theaters, and in spite of the release of Spiderman 2, F911 keeps up the pace and follows on the heels of Shrek 2. Not even affected by midsummer !


12 030 tickets sold in Lebanon on the 5th day only. Lebanese student comments : "We're not having any more democracy lessons from America after seeing that. However corrupt, our own leaders are altar boys compared to Bush and his cronies."


Total is now :

Domestic: $109,442,647 82.5%

+ Overseas: $23,184,829 17.5%


= Worldwide: $132,627,476

Who's with Michael Moore?: Blogging for Michael Moore Comments/Feedback

Who's with Michael Moore?: Blogging for Michael Moore FeedbackHi,Great idea for a blog. I also saw the Sydney preview on Monday evening. I have to say F911 is an necessary work of cinema for these current times. When the media has failed the society it claims to serve for the aims of manufacturing a justification for an on going illegal occupation, F911 and documentaries like it are necessary and welcome. For me there were some difficult scenes contrasted by scenes of the unbelievable. I believe this editing is justifiable in that they aim to highlight the impact of the ludicrous attempts of the media spin machine. Lets just say I will never look at Brittany Spears in the same way again.

I have to say one of the best reviews I have read on Moore's film is by the World Socialst Web Site. I say this as I feel one of the important messages Moore makes is the war the ruling elite are waging on the working classes in fighting this war on the Iraqi working class for the spoils of war in the form of oil and development contracts (you only have to discover the recent missing billions and the desire of the US govenment not to "meter" the oil production to realise that while this war goes on, it hides the real desire of this illegal provocation by the American ruling class. I don't have the link at present as the site is down it appears but go to www.wsws.org. I would be interested to know if anyone else has read reviews like this that have assessed its content and its contribution to society. Thanks.

Anonymous
9:38 PM
--------------
Note: Very active online discussion down under.

The Harvard Crimson: Moore Blasts Mainstream Media

The Harvard Crimson OnlineDespite the combined appeal of former Vermont Gov. Howard B. Dean and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich, controversial filmmaker Michael Moore—the director of the box-office hit Fahrenheit 9/11, which casts a sharply critical eye on President Bush and his policies—upstaged them as the main attraction at Tuesday’s “Take America Back” events, sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future.
Eagerly awaiting Moore’s arrival, the crowd at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge grew restless and began to cheer his name after the filmmaker did not appear at his scheduled time.

Chants of “Michael! Michael!” erupted as event organizers, who first shuffled the order of several other speakers, were eventually reduced to stalling by listing the names of liberal websites while Moore used the rest room before his speech.

When Moore finally arrived, well over an hour late, he wasted no time in berating the mass media.

“The obvious bad guy in [Fahrenheit 9/11] is George W. Bush. But there’s the unstated villain in the film, which is the national media,” he said. “It outs them as people who are cheerleaders to this war. It outs them as journalists who fell asleep on the job, journalists who didn’t ask the tough questions.”


By ALAN J. TABAK
Crimson Staff Writer

Japan Today - News - Koizumi slams 'Fahrenheit 9/11' as politically biased

Japan Today: "TOKYO - Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday branded Michael Moore's popular and controversial documentary film 'Fahrenheit 9/11' as being politically biased.
'I don't want to watch such a politically biased movie that much,' Koizumi told reporters in saying he has no plans to go see the record-breaking documentary.

The film opens in Japan on Aug 14. (Kyodo News)"

Japan Today Story Comments:

...what is Koizumi doing commmenting on a movie from the USA? OK, I am sure it is bias but it is part of the beautiful of the USofA, part of those rights, the right to free speech. I guess that is a law of sorts in Japan but the way the manage the jouralist in this country, it ain't happening, is this Koizumi's way to back up his buddy Bush? What is he going to do if Kerry becomes president? Take a page from Kerry M.O., and flip flop his story?

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Naples Daily News: Bill O'Reilly: Moore sense please

Naples Daily News: Columnists: "BOSTON - Well, I finally tracked down Michael Moore. I saw him walking in the street outside the Democratic Convention Center and pounced on him like the paparazzi on J.Lo. Moore had been dodging me because his movie was becoming increasingly indefensible by something called 'facts.' But, to his credit, Moore took up my street challenge and agreed to appear on 'The Factor.'

We debated for 10 (12) minutes, and Moore put forth the following:

(Click on title to read Bill's line items)

So, hey, Michael Moore, this Bud's for you. Thanks for showing up and debating. Now we know the under-pinnings of your world outlook.

What is still astounding to me is how many people continue to embrace the fantasies and deceptions of Michael Moore. Some people actually applauded him at the Democratic Convention, but the heavyweights stayed away."

By BILL O'REILLY
Creators Syndicate

The New Yorker: NANOOK AND ME

The New Yorker: "Whatever you think of Michael Moore’s immensely satisfying movie about the awful Bush Administration and its destructive policies—and reasonable people can disagree, of course—one thing that cannot be said about “Fahrenheit 9/11” is that it is an outlaw from the documentary tradition. “The documentary tradition” sounds like a grand phrase for a genre that includes everything from “Nanook of the North” to “Girls Gone Wild.” There’s no doubt that it’s an eclectic form. The “Documentary” section shelves Michael Moore next to National Geographic, movies about bad Presidents next to movies about butterflies, bodybuilders, and Eskimos. These movies do have one thing in common, though: they show you what was not intended for you to see. The essential documentary impulse is the impulse to catch life off camera, to film what was not planned to happen, or what would have happened whether someone was there to film it or not. That’s why people make documentaries, and why people go to see them. It’s a genre founded on a paradox."


by LOUIS MENAND

Blogging for Michael Moore

Blogging for Michael Moore: "Given this groundswell, I decided to set up a Michael Moore "blog" in order to tap into and showcase the partisan sentiment the film had reactivated. A blog is a web journal where you can upload a succession of posts to the internet, archived in chronological order. It also allows visitors to comment on your postings.

Blogs can be very interactive.

Within a day of establishing the site it was clear that neither I nor Michael Moore were the stars of my new forum.

The many postings from visitors took up a range of issues that kept coming back to core aspect of anger against the continuing duplicity of both George Bush and John Howard. So in a way, peoples genuine response to the film has sharpened the process of overcoming some of the demoralisation that set in when the invasion proceeded despite huge opposition to Australia's involvement in it.

As Moore himself told an interviewer at the Hollywood premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11, from the large amount of correspondance he was receiving from here "there are a lot of angry people in Australia". "



By Dave Riley
The Socialist Alliance

Bill Maher: Back for More (washingtonpost.com)

Bill Maher: Back for More: "Obviously the main difference between HBO's 'Real Time With Bill Maher' and TV's other topical talk shows -- serious, funny or both -- is Bill Maher. Of all the comic commentators, Maher is the gutsiest, boldest and least inhibited. And yet he avoids the cheap exhibitionism of the professional provocateurs who run rampant and riot on cable networks and talk radio stations.

On Maher's show, the wit is wittier, the barbs are barbier and the devil take the hindmost. In fact the devil once did take Maher's hindmost, in a way. ABC fired him and canceled his show 'Politically Incorrect,' predecessor to 'Real Time,' after Maher made remarks about the 9/11 terrorists that some people considered offensive.

The remarks were unwise and are best forgotten. But the good thing is, the experience hasn't tamed or intimidated Maher. Some people will always consider something offensive. It's a mark of distinction that Maher and 'Real Time' probably irk and irritate as many viewers as any other show on television. But it's responsible irking. It's irritation that often contains illumination. And Maher can be proud of that.

On Friday's season premiere of "Real Time," not all the highlights were verbal. Late in the show, Maher joined guest Michael Moore ("Fahrenheit 9/11") on the studio floor so they could both beg Ralph Nader, on their knees, not to run again. Nader just grinned that evil grin of his. Okay, not evil -- but increasingly annoying.

"The first time, I never blamed Ralph for Bush winning, though I know a lot of people did," Maher says. "But this time, everybody I know who voted for Ralph last time is not going to vote for him this time. We all got a little reality slapped into us by George W. Bush. I regret that vote now. I see it as a bratty thing to have done."


By Tom Shales
Washington Post Staff Writer

Upsize This! :: View topic - Moore & Nader on HBO's Bill Maher (Video)

Upsize This! :: View topic - Moore & Nader on HBO's Bill Maher Video: Michael Moore and Bill Maher on their knees pleading with Ralph Nader not to run for president.

Kuwait bans Fahrenheit 9/11 - Film - www.smh.com.au

Kuwait bans Fahrenheit 9/11 - Film - www.smh.com.au: "Kuwait, a major US ally in the Gulf, has banned Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 because it deems the movie insulting to the Saudi Arabian royal family and critical of America's invasion of Iraq, an official said.
'We have a law that prohibits insulting friendly nations, and ties between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are special,' Abdul-Aziz Bou Dastour, cinema and production supervisor at the information ministry, said.
Dastour said the film 'insulted the Saudi royal family by saying they had common interests with the Bush family and that those interests contradicted with the interests of the American people'.
The ministry made the decision to bar Fahrenheit 9/11 in mid-July after the state-owned Kuwait National Cinema Co. asked for the licence to show the movie. The company monopolises cinemas in Kuwait, but all movies must first be sanctioned by government censors.

The film is already playing elsewhere in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon."


Associated Press

NPR : Slate's Kausfiles: Blogging the DNC Convention (Audio)

NPR : Slate's Kausfiles: Blogging the DNC Convention: "Slate political blogger Mickey Kaus talks with NPR's Noah Adams about the speech by vice presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, and what to expect from presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's acceptance speech Thursday."

CNN: Publisher peeved at political parody. - Jul. 26, 2004

Publisher peeved at political parody. - Jul. 26, 2004: "NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - With something as fun as a cartoon Bush and Kerry hurling musical epithets at one another, you knew lawyers would have to get involved.
And, unfortunately for JibJab.com, they have.
You know the Jibjab thing I'm talking about, right? The flash animation movie swirling around the Internet with President George Bush and Senator John Kerry singing to the tune of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land.'

Bush: 'You're a liberal sissy!'
Kerry: 'You're a right wing nut job!'
Both: 'This land will surely vote for me!'

The bit is hilarious.

Unless you are The Richmond Organization, a music publisher that owns the copyright to Guthrie's tune through its Ludlow Music unit.
'This puts a completely different spin on the song,' said Kathryn Ostien, director of copyright licensing for the publisher. 'The damage to the song is huge.'

TRO believes that the Jibjab creation threatens to corrupt Guthrie's classic -- an icon of Americana -- by tying it to a political joke; upon hearing the music people would think about the yucks, not Guthrie's unifying message. The publisher wants Jibjab to stop distribution of the flash movie.

Of course the creators behind Jibjab don't agree."





ZNet |Third Party | Shattering Illusions

ZNet |Third Party | Shattering Illusions:Anti-war views were by no means rare at the Convention. Even within the narrow spectrum of the Democratic Party, ninety percent of delegates oppose the war in Iraq (according to a recent CBS/NY Times poll). Their views were barely reflected in the choreographed speeches of their elite “representatives.” Outspoken anti-war Democrat Dennis Kucinich justified ignoring the divide: “we’re going to unite our party to elect John Kerry and then we’re going to continue the debate within the Democratic Party.” (PBS Interview) So, ninety percent of the party’s rank-and-file have to compromise their position on the war to comply with the 10 percent who are represented by the powerful elite of the party. Instead of the party taking a stand based on the majority sentiment, the crucial debate over war has been relegated to internal party discussion, where it will probably fizzle out. Those on the left who advocate blind support for Kerry hand responsibility for the debate over war and occupation to the Democratic Party, whose elites have more in common with Republicans than with their own rank-and-file.

The irresponsible idealism with which the antiwar movement is throwing its support behind a pro-war Bush-like candidate is disturbing. Little attempt is being made by the Party itself to reach out to those who are unregistered or uninterested, but private groups like MoveOn.org and individuals like filmmaker Michael Moore are doing it for them, under the slogan “Anybody But Bush.” The MoveOn Political Action Committee just sent a letter to its members that “hope is on the way” in the guise of John Kerry, parroting Kerry’s own refrain (“help is on the way”) during his DNC acceptance speech. After he wins, MoveOn tells us, “we'll wake up that morning able to dream big dreams for a country and a world that are once again headed in the right direction.” Unless voters are aware of the problems of backing Kerry for President most will go home after election day, either happy that their candidate won or cynical that their actions had no effect. Being realistic about Kerry’s background may prepare activists to begin organizing now, regardless of who wins, determined to involve themselves in struggle for the long haul, if that’s what it takes.



by Sonali Kolhatkar
and James Ingalls