Saturday, August 21, 2004

Reactions to Fahrenheit 9/11

Reactions to Fahrenheit: "Like many, I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 this weekend. I liked it, and at the same time hated it.

I liked it because it's an amazing piece of propaganda and electioneering. And unless you obsessively follow the news, there was something in the movie that you didn't know before. The audience cheered, the audience booed, the audience occasionally gasped when they learned something new. The musical choices were simply brilliant and had the audience in stiches. If anything can galvanize support among voters on the fence, let's hope Moore can.

I hated it because increasingly it takes stunts like Moore's movie to make us aware of the facts. Fahrenheit 9/11 would be pointless if the majority of people didn't believe that Iraq and al-Qaeda were linked, or if we were knowledgeable about the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. On average, however, we aren't. A functioning democratic republic requires informed citizens, and increasingly we're not.

Moore tasked himself with creating a concise but entertaining lesson in recent American and Middle Eastern history, and succeeds brilliantly.

Was he "fair"? Hardly -- many of the issues discussed are more complex than he portrays. Did he succeed in educating us? That depends strongly on whether his audience follows up by expanding what they read and listen to in the coming months. I'd like to believe that we can read, talk to each other, and come to our own conclusions. But I'm willing to let satire, humor, and invective take the place of more sober forms of learning. And Moore is simply the master at driving the Democratic message using all three.

By Mark Madsen
Extended Phenotype
June 27, 2004

David Rovics: Republican National Convention Schedule

Fan Email: I'm sending this to my whole list 'cause I know there are lots of folks on it from all over the place who will be converging on New York City around the time of the Republican National Convention. For lots of info on what's happening during the last week of August and the first few days of September, you can go to http://www.indymedia.org/ and look to the right where there are links like "RNC" and "NYC." Or there's http://www.rncnotwelcome.org/ and many other great, informative websites.

As I go to press, the events I'll be singing at are listed below. These are just some of the many great events that will be going on. Of course, many of the best events won't involve stages and performers at all, but will be direct actions of various sorts. In NYC, as always, I can easily be reached by cell phone -- (617) 872-5124. Feel free to call if there's an event I should be singing at or for any other reason.

After the events in NYC, I'll be singing at a Labor Day event in Washington, DC and then flying out west for a tour with Dave Lippman (aka George Shrub, the world's only known singing CIA agent) that will take us from LA to Seattle. I'll also be playing mid-month in Dallas, and then October will involve shows in California, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Utah. Info about all of the above can be found in the "gigs" section of http://www.davidrovics.com/. There are free dates in many of these places, especially throughout the west coast tour with Dave and in Arizona and Colorado, so if anybody has ideas about a show, feel free to let me know!

OK, here's some of what I'll be up to in NYC. Links to relevant websites and contact info for most of these events can be found on my website. Hope to see you on the road and in the streets!

--David

  • Wednesday, August 25th, 7 pm, St. Mark's Church, 10th St. and 2nd Ave. Clamor Magazine event with Naomi Klein and others.
  • Thursday, August 26th, 9:30 pm, afterparty for DNC to RNC March, St. Mark's Church, 10th St. and 2nd Ave.
  • Friday, August 27th, Immigrant Workers Day of Action and Speak Out!, St. Mark's Church, 131 E. 10th St.
  • Saturday, August 28th, noon, A Green World Is Possible Festival, Washington Square Park.
  • Saturday, August 29th, United For Peace & Justice rally...if it happens. The march will happen, the rally afterwards only if a permit is granted for a reasonable location.
  • Saturday, August 29th, 8 pm, The Unity Ball, Down Time -- a club located on 30th street b/t 6th and 7th avenues. The club is three blocks from the Garden right outside the perimeter fence.
  • Thursday, September 2nd, noon and 5 pm, veterans' rallies in Union Square.
  • Thursday, September 2nd, 3 pm, Tompkins Square Park concert -- TENTATIVE.

    David Rovics



Photo: scott hess photo

Who Would Jesus Bomb? (Songs for Mahmud version)
play lo-fi play hi-fi MP3 Lyrics/Story
My musical response to an encounter with some rightwing evangelical types at a supermarket in Houston.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Ronstadt and Moore: How Casino SHOULD Have Responded

How Casino SHOULD Have Responded: "This interesting item has been making the rounds on the Internet. After Linda Ronstadt was ousted from the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas for making offensive political remarks on stage, Michael Moore posted an open letter on his website to Bill Timmins, president of Aladdin Casino and Hotel. A member of Free Republic wrote this response which the hotelier SHOULD have made:

July 21, 2004

Attention: Michael Moore,

In response to your letter dated July 20, 2004: You are correct that I had security remove Linda Ronstadt from Aladdin Casino and Hotel where the fun never ends and everybody wins. How very interesting to learn you are such a fan of Ms. Ronstadt.

You questioned where I live and surprisingly knew Las Vegas is in the United States. You should visit it sometime. There are thousands of wonderful ''All You Can Eat'' buffets.

There are also a lot of casinos who's owners don't **** around. I am aware of the First Amendment and you have the right to talk about your hatred of America but once you are on my property and you are upsetting my guests, you will quickly learn about my rights.

I can't remember if it was Jesus or George W. Bush who said, ''Freedom is a two-way street.'' Ms. Ronstadt learned this long before I had her thrown out of my casino. You question my actions? If you come onto my property and upset my guests, you will receive the same, if not worse, treatment than Ms. Ronstadt received. I am sure your mere presence would upset my guests.

You claim your film, ''...is all about asking the questions that should have been asked before those brave soldiers were sent into harms way.'' I think your film does nothing but aid the enemy and hurt our troops. You have betrayed our troops, our leader, and America. I have no respect for you or your vision of what America should be.

I paid Ms. Ronstadt to entertain my guests, not divide them. The half that did not leave probably thought the verse you mentioned, ''Why don't you come to your senses'' was addressed to you. Maybe she should have dedicated her song, ''You're No Good'' to you. I would have asked her back, had she done that.

Regarding your request for me to apologize to her, have you and her on my stage singing anything about this Country and then playing your piece of **** film is ludicrous! One of my workers is currently throwing away every complaint letter from brainless followers of you, claiming they will never visit my Casino. I could not be more pleased to know my casino and hotel will always be void of the kind of people who support you.

Meanwhile, my hotel has been quickly booked solid for the rest of the year with true Americans who love this country and support our efforts overseas. They will see a framed copy of your letter and my response in the lobby to ensure they begin their experience with a laugh.

Sincerely,
Bill Timmins,
President, Aladdin Casino and Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada

The JibJab Times: Blog Update

The JibJab Times: "On July 9, 2004 my brother and I put a 3.8 megabyte file on a web server somewhere in Irving, Texas and we were instantly transported to...

THE TWILIGHTY ZONE!

It’s been a journey not only of sight and sound, but of mind. It looks and feels like we’re on Earth, but strange things keep happening. It’s as if we’ve been abducted by aliens and they’re doing bizarre psychological experiments to us. They hooked us up via LIVE satellite to Katie Couric. They had a major publisher threaten to shut us down. They put us on a couch next to Jay Leno. They even had an alien who looked exactly like Peter Jennings name us “Persons of the Week”!


Please. Let’s get real. How could we have beaten out 6,396,311,923 other people? It’s impossible. Think of all the rocket scientists over at NASA who launched a giant hunk of metal into orbit around Saturn! Any one of them deserved it more than us. But we are humbled and grateful…"



Peace Out,
Gregg & Evan

thedesertsun.com: What will get those pesky kids to vote?

thedesertsun.comThe youth vote split evenly between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000. A recent Pew Research Center Poll showed Kerry leading Bush 56 percent to 41 percent among voters ages 18-29, but young voters are famously volatile; in three months the edge could shift.

Meanwhile, six nonpartisan groups are spending almost $40 million to get out the youth vote; Rock the Vote alone expects to have 25,000 voter-registration volunteers by fall. The New Voters Project plans to register more than 260,000 18- to 24-year-olds in six states, and to contact a half-million of them in the weeks before the election with a reminder to vote.

There are high school, Christian, hip-hop and punk-rock efforts. There’s a Web site for first-time voters -- VoterVirgin.com (Blog) -- and a new flavor of ice cream, Ben and Jerry’s "Primary Berry Graham." Michael Moore’s "Fahrenheit 9/11" is mobilizing people such as singer Mary J. Blige, who says she decided to vote after seeing the movie.

Polls indicate growing interest in politics and voting. A Harvard study found that 62 percent of college students say they plan to vote this year, compared with 50 percent with such intentions four years ago. In a Pew poll, 53 percent of registered voters ages 18-30 said they’d given "quite a bit of thought" to the election, compared with 35 percent in 2000.

Walking up Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs, friends Lauren Fierro, 19, and Britney Hinthorne, 18, both said they would vote but were not sure which candidates or issues to base their votes on.

"I’m going to do my own research before (the election)," said Fierro, of Palm Springs.

"Yeah, I definitely need to know more about it before I vote," said Hinthorne, also of Palm Springs. "I want to make an educated decision."

USA TODAY
Trey Clark of The Desert Sun contributed to this report.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Philadelphia Daily News: Poll: Kerry takes Pa. lead Michael Moore, Howard Stern seem to be having impact

Philadelphia Daily News: "DEMOCRAT John Kerry leads President Bush by six points in Pennsylvania, and may get a bump from Howard Stern and Michael Moore, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall Daily News/CN8 Keystone Poll.

The results are a major turnaround from the March Keystone poll, which found Bush up by six points. The survey completed Sunday shows Kerry up 48 to 42 percent, with Ralph Nader picking up 3 percent and only 7 percent undecided.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Kerry up 47 to 42 percent, with Nader getting 4 percent.

The poll also asked respondents whether they'd seen Michael Moore's anti-Bush film, "Fahrenheit 911," or had listened to radio personality Howard Stern, who's been attacking Bush for months.

Eight percent of those surveyed described themselves as regular Stern listeners, and a little more than one in four of them said Stern's opinions made them more likely to vote for Kerry than for Bush. Doing the math, Howard moves about 2 percent of voters, at least a little.

Eleven percent of the sample said they'd seen Moore's film, and 39 percent of them said it made them more likely to support the Democrat. That amounts to some impact on about 4 percent of the electorate.

"In a close election, these commentators, personalities, whatever you call them, they can have a marginal, but not unimportant effect on voters' choices," Madonna said. "In an election that comes down to 1 or 2 percent, you can look at a lot of things as making a difference. Here we have Nader, we have 'Fahrenheit 911,' and we have Howard."


by DAVE DAVIES
Philadelphia Daily News

Chicago Sun-Times: Want a singer who shares your views? Grab a mike

Want a singer who shares your views%3F Grab a mike: "Our goal is to change the direction of the government and change the current administration come November." -- Bruce Springsteen, writing a guest editorial in Rolling Stone magazine.

Attention, all Bush-loving conservatives!

We need to talk about your taste in music. Do you have anything by any of the following artists: Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Usher, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Five for Fighting, Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jurassic 5, Keb' Mo' and/or Death Cab for Cutie.

If so, I regret to inform you that you cannot listen to them any more -- not if you're going to remain loyal to your president and your party.

They're all a part of that radical Vote for Change concert tour, put together with the help of those rabid anti-Bushites at MoveOn.

Don't kid yourself. "Vote For Change" is just code for "We Hate the President and We Want to Put John Kerry in the White House Even Though He Might Not Have Earned All Those Medals and He's Married to That Ketchup Woman." They're revolutionaries, is what they are."


BY RICHARD ROEPER
SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

dallasobserver.com: More Bushwhacking

In mid-July, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 opened in France and made $3.4 million, showing on only 222 screens across the country. That weekend, in a single theater in Paris, a movie showed up that looked suspiciously like Moore's, only it had been made a year earlier by a woman from Texas who was her own film crew. It didn't make much money, but it left quite an impression, first-time filmmaker Christine Rose recalls from her home in Nova Scotia. "We had a Q&A on opening night, and that went on for over an hour before they pulled me out of the theater," she says. "But after dinner we walked by the theater, and people were still outside talking about the movie. And these were people who didn't even know each other but had met at my movie."

Upon first glimpse, Rose's Liberty Bound might indeed appear to be a quickie, cheapo Fahrenheit 9/11 knock-off. Regular Americans and a few well-regarded talking heads, among them World War II veteran and historian Howard Zinn and activist and author Michael Parenti, damn the Bush administration for going to war with Iraq, for stripping Americans of civil liberties, for using fear to intimidate its own citizenry and for using the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to justify its egregious misdeeds. Like Moore, Rose repeatedly slams Bush for reading to schoolchildren rather than immediately reacting to news of the attacks on the World Trade Center. She uses phrases that repeat those uttered by Moore and his movie--chief among them, "regime change"--and she, like Moore, puts herself in the film, narrating it in a similarly angry, disbelieving tone of voice that sounds like a feminine echo of the Fahrenheit filmmaker."





FROM MICHAEL MOORE'S FORTHCOMING BOOK : SOLDIER LETTERS

Soldiers who have served during the "War on Terror"

October 1, 2003:
"I hated you on a plane ride in the dark with shaking hands."

October 1, 2003:
"I would like to tell you how difficult it is to serve under a man who was never elected."

October 12, 2003:
"I feel like a pawn in Bush's game of global imperialism."

October 23, 2003:
"For those of us who do question and ask out loud what is going on (with "Iraqi Freedom") we are told everything is going well."

October 24, 2003:
"I just want to make things right, and stop our country from pissing in other countries pockets and screwing the less fortunate."

October 28, 2003:
"I used to think that being a republican was the way to go."

October 28, 2003:
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home... Again."

October 29, 2003:
"I was recently discharged with Honorable valor and returned to the States only to be horrified by what I've seen my country turn into."

November 3, 2003:
"These soldiers never signed up for this in the beginning"

November 4, 2003:
"I left the military this year when my time was up for the reason you brought up at the Oscars."

December 10, 2003:
"I have watched the country I serve change in terrifying ways."

December 11, 2003:
"Your Hero Is Talking" – A Soldier’s Poem

December 15, 2003:
"They caught a guy living in a hole. Am I supposed to be dazzled?"

December 16, 2003:
"If bush gets reelected, i don't think either of us will be thrilled living here."

December 21, 2003:
"I was deployed at 19, when my wife was 6 months pregnant."

December 21, 2003:
"What a country we live in to where the leader of the strongest nation in the world can lie to his people to get his war and even when the people realize that he lied, he still he sits in his throne in the White House, smoking away on his cigars."

December 23, 2003:
"What Price Freedom?"

MSNBC : Two Michael Moore books due this fall

One a movie tie-in, the other a collection of letters
The Associated Press
Updated: 2:42 p.m. ET Aug. 18, 2004

NEW YORK - Get ready for more Michael Moore this fall.

The activist, best-selling author and Academy Award-winning filmmaker has two new books coming out, publisher Simon & Schuster announced Wednesday.

“Our goal is to have both books out before Election Day,” said Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Victoria Meyer.

“The Official ‘Fahrenheit 9-11’ Reader” is a companion book to the scheduled DVD release of Moore’s controversial documentary about President Bush, the terrorist attacks and the Iraq war.

The other release is a collection of letters written to Moore from U.S. troops in Iraq, “Will They Ever Trust Us Again?”

“I’m proud to give voice to the troops who have written to me,” Moore, a leading opponent of the war and of Bush, said in a statement.

Moore also wrote “Stupid White Men” and “Dude, Where’s My Country?” His previous movie, “Bowling for Columbine,” won the Oscar for best documentary.

Amazon.com: Outfoxed - Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism is Number 1

Amazon.comBased on Amazon Dot Com customer purchases, OutFoxed is the #1 Early Adopter Product in DVD.

User Review
Until recently, I thought of Fox only as the network that carried "The Simpsons." Except on Election Night, I never watch television news for primary sources of information. As it happens, in the wee hours of Election Night 2000, all of the networks except Fox said the race was too close to call--until George W. Bush's first cousin John Ellis, who works for Fox, called the race for Bush. The rest of the networks obediently followed the leader.

This story, and much more, are highlighted in "Outfoxed." The heroic task of watching Fox both live and taped, 24/7, over a period of months, and discerning the network's primary ways of slanting the news, was undertaken by a heroic crew of filmmakers and volunteers. A large number of contemporary media critics and former Fox employees voice their opinions. Even the unflappable Walter Cronkite says he's never seen the news slanted the way Fox does.

The fact that the network does not rebut the argument during this film is irrelevant. Fox is on all the time, to basic cable subscribers across the country. These filmmakers have some 75 minutes to make their argument, and they do so most convincingly: that Fox does not "report" the news as journalists traditionally have done, that they package GOP talking points in red-white-and-blue bunting, and that what few "opposing viewpoints" they do invite on air are cut off, muffled, or reviled.

It is marvelous that new technology allows people who care to get their hands on films like "Outfoxed" without waiting to find out whether their local network, radio station, or movie theater is brave enough to show something controversial.

A frightening look at a pervasive source of disinformation Reviewer: L Goodman-Malamuth "Leslie Goodman-Malamuth" (Washington, D.C.)

Currently, Amazon has 211 OutFoxed user reviews posted.


Price: $9.95

Watch an exclusive commentary by director Robert Greenwald (click title)

washingtonpost.com: N.Y. Mayor to War Protesters: Shop Till You Drop, Too

N.Y. Mayor to War ProtestersWhy worry about antiwar views, anarcho-syndicalist politics and "Dump Bush Now!" placards when something serious is at stake -- like money?

The billionaire media mogul who happens to be New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided that if antiwar protesters are to descend on his city by the hundreds of thousands for the Republican Convention, he may as well turn them into shoppers. So with just a hint of the sardonic, Hizzoner announced Tuesday a "Peaceful Political Activists" visitor program modeled after the one offered to Republican delegates.

Affix a "Peaceful Activist" button and a protester can claim a free glass of Montepulciano wine with dinner at La Prima Donna, rent a room at the boutique Dylan Hotel ($150 a night) and get dibs on discounted theater tickets. Perhaps "42nd Street" for the Quakers from Kansas and "Naked Boys Singing" for the South Beach set?

Cowboy-booted Republicans and nose-ringed demonstrators: Everyone's welcome. If this sounds like marketing to Royalists and the Jacobins who would like to behead them, that's pretty much the idea.

"New York is the place to get your message out, any message," Bloomberg says. "It's no fun to protest on an empty stomach. So you might want to try a restaurant." Hizzoner offers another example: "Or you might want to go shopping, maybe for another pair of sneakers for the march."


By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer


Guardian Unlimited: Saudis polish their image in US ads

Saudis polish their image in US ads: "Saudi Arabia has begun an advertising campaign in 19 American cities to counter scepticism of its commitment to fighting terrorism.
The advertisements, which will run until September 6, quote from the September 11 commission's report as a way of challenging the allegations made in the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

One ad quotes the commission's finding that Saudi Arabia did not fund al-Qaida. Another rebuts claims that the Bush administration helped members of Osama bin Laden's family flee the US after the September 11 attacks.

Allegations of collusion between the Bush administration and prominent Saudis feature in Moore's documentary, which the Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Turki al-Faisal, has described as "grossly unfair".

In a newspaper interview earlier this month he suggested that Moore should have waited for the commission's report before making his film.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is not being shown in Saudi Arabia, because the kingdom has no cinemas.

It has been banned in Kuwait for being critical of Saudi Arabia, though pirate videos are reportedly selling well."

Brian Whitaker
The Guardian

4 New Ad Campaigns, $5 Million Against Bush

MoveOnPAC is rolling out a series of campaign activities on the ground and over the airwaves during the next several weeks to get Americans to the polls to defeat President Bush in November.

Here’s a summary of MoveOn PAC’s current & future efforts:

Ø “Leave No Voter Behind”: MoveOn PAC launched a $5 million campaign to advance person-to-person voter contact by friends and neighbors. By October, the PAC plans to have 500 paid organizers and 30,000 volunteers going door-to-door in support of John Kerry in 10,000 neighborhoods in battleground states. The goal is to turn out 440,000 new voters for John Kerry.

Ø “Swift Reponse”Ads Calling on Bush to Denounce Ads Attacking Kerry’s Service Record: Starting this week, MoveOn PAC will air ads featuring Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) calling on Bush to denounce the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” ads which feature bizarre testimony from veterans asserting that Kerry’s military honors were undeserved.

Ø Re-launch of Bush & Kerry Military Ad Campaign: MoveOn PAC announced today it will resume airing a television ad that contrasts John Kerry’s heroic Vietnam war record with the President’s military service history. The move aims to refocus attention on two related issues: the President’s continued refusal to keep his promise, made on Meet the Press, to release all documents concerning his stateside military service during the Vietnam War; and the President’s continued refusal to ask his political allies to cease their smear campaign against John Kerry's Vietnam combat record.

Ø “Real People” Ads by Errol Morris: During the Republican convention, MoveOn PAC will air TV ads produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris. The 30-second spots feature people who voted for George W. Bush in 2000, but plan to vote for John Kerry this year. Last month MoveOnPAC sent out a casting call to members asking them to share their stories for the ad campaign. Hundreds responded and last week, 100,000 MoveOn members participated in rating the ads. They represent a shift in political advertising — simple commentary from “real people,” not the usual Washington, D.C., campaign rhetoric. The winning ad features U.S. Marine veteran, Sergeant Lee Buttrill.

Ø MoveOn PAC's “10 Weeks” Celebrity Ad Campaign Kick-Off on Eve of Republican Convention
**Betas of the new ads will only be given out at the event in NYC on the 24th. **
On Aug. 24, MoveOn PAC will unveil a new round of TV ads created by notable American film and entertainment directors in collaboration with popular actors, writers and musicians - Matt Damon (Photo), Kevin Bacon, Scarlett Johanssen, Martin Sheen, Allison Anders (Director of the 1992 film Gas Food Lodging), Benny Boom (who directs top hip-hop video stars like P. Diddy and Mary J. Bilge), Rob Reiner (Director of When Harry Met Sally), Rick Linklater (Director of School of Rock), Doug Limon (Director of The Bourne Identity) and actors Woody Harrelson, and Rebecca Romijn. The unveiling of the ads will take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom at 8:00 p.m. in Manhattan. Musical guests include The Roots, Moby and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction.

Ads include:

  • The Mistake, directed by Rob Reiner, featuring the voice of Rob Reiner
  • Tommy, written and directed by Richard Linklater
  • Who Profits? directed by Wildbrain Animation, featuring the voices of Scarlett Johanssen, Kevin Bacon, & Ed Asner
  • The Air We Breathe, written and directed by Bush in 30 seconds winner Charlie Fisher, featuring music by moby
  • Stranded Republicans, written by Larry Kopald and John Buffalo Mailer, starring Rebecca Romijn, directed by Marty Callner
  • Cheney is Not on Our Side, written and directed by & starring Woody Harrelson
  • Register and Vote, written and directed by Benny Boom
  • American Opinions, written and directed by John Sayles featuring the voice of Martin Sheen
  • The Disappeared, written by Darren Aronofsky, directed by Doug Limon, voice over by Matt Damon
  • Love is Love, written by and starring Margaret Cho, directed by Lorene Machado
  • The Pie, written by Al Franken, directed by Allison Anders, starring Illeana Douglas & Ione Skye
  • Jimmy the Cab Driver: Tax Break?, starring Donal Logue as Jimmy the Cab Driver, directed by Jesse Perez

Youth Is Fleeting for Bush washingtonpost.com

Youth Is Fleeting for Bush: "Surveys suggest that Bush's popularity has plummeted among 18- to 29-year-olds in the past four months, posing a new obstacle to the president's bid to win reelection and an immediate challenge to Republicans seeking to win over impressionable and lightly committed young people during their upcoming convention.

Four years ago, network exit polls found that Bush and Democrat Al Gore split the vote of 18- to 29-year-olds, with Gore claiming 48 percent and Bush getting 46 percent -- the best showing by a Republican presidential candidate in more than a decade.

But that was then. In the latest Post-ABC News poll taken immediately after the Democratic convention, Kerry led Bush 2-1 among registered voters younger than 30. Among older voters, the race was virtually tied."

By Richard Morin, Claudia Deane and Christopher Muste
Washington Post Staff Writers

Amazon.com: Fahrenheit 911 DVD

Amazon.com: "People may have a range of opinions about Michael Moore%2C but there is no denying actual footage that somehow never made it to our television screens. To watch George Bush sit for SEVEN minutes in a classroom - with a deer-in-the-headlights look - after being informed that America was under attack is to know the true essence of the man. To see him address contributors at a fundraiser as - the haves and the have mores - is revolting. Forget Michael Moore---just watch the footage and ask yourself if you can honestly place our nation in George Bush's hands for four more years. "

Reviewer:S. Ball "Independent Thinker" (Seattle, WA USA)
You Can't Make This Stuff Up!,
August 18, 2004


List Price: $28.95
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Backstreets.com: An Interview with Bruce Springsteen

Backstreets.com%3A Springsteen Newsafter the Democratic National Convention ended, Bruce Springsteen spoke with Backstreets by phone about the state of the nation, his motivations behind these concerts, misinterpretation of his songs, and how activism affects the artist/audience bond.

Backstreets: You've supported a lot of causes over the years, but as political and socially conscious as a lot of your work has been, this is the first time you've really weighed in on electoral politics. So I guess the big question is, why now?

Bruce Springsteen: Basically, this is probably the most important election of my lifetime. I think that the government has drifted too far from American values. After 9/11, I was like everybody else -- I supported going into Afghanistan, and I felt tremendous unity in the country that I don't think I've ever felt exactly like that before. It was a moment of great sadness, but also tremendous possibility. And I think that was dashed when we jumped headlong into the Iraq war, which I never understood, and I talked about that on the road. I never understood how or why we really ended up there. We offered up the lives of the best of our young people under circumstances that have been discredited. I had to live through that when I was young myself, and for any of us that lived through the Vietnam War, it was just very devastating.

Along with that, the deficits, the squeezing of services like the after-school services for the kids who need it the most, the big windfall tax cuts, the division of wealth that has threatened our connection to one another over the past 20 years that is increasing.... these are things that as the election time neared -- I couldn't really keep true to the ideas that I'd written about for 30 years without weighing in on this one.

I don't think I've seen anything like it before in my lifetime. I think that the freedoms that we've taken for granted -- I spoke about this on the road a little bit, too -- they are slowly being eroded. In the past I've gotten involved in a lot of grassroots organizations that sort of expressed my views, and where I thought I could be of some small help. I guess I’ve been doing that for about 20 years, and that was a way that I was very happy to work. I always believed that it was good for the artist to remain distant from the seat of power, to retain your independent voice, and that was the way I liked to conduct my work. But the stakes in this one are just too high. I felt like, given what I've written about, the things that I've wanted our band to stand for over the years, it's just too big a battle to lay out of."

By Christopher Phillips
Backstreets Editor


E Online News - Bruce Boycotted for Bush Bashing

EOnline News: "Sometimes you pay the cost to be the Boss.

After Bruce Springsteen announced plans to participate in the anti-Bush concert tour, Vote for Change, a New York candidate for U.S. Senate has countered with a "Boycott the Boss" television spot.

Conservative Party candidate Marilyn O'Grady appears in a 30-second televison commercial, urging her supporters to show their solidarity to Bush by not buying Springsteen's music.

"He thinks making millions with a song-and-dance routine allows him to tell you how to vote," O'Grady says in the spot. "Here's my vote: Boycott the Boss. If you don't buy his politics, don't buy his music."

(The spot makes no mention of O'Grady's views on illegally downloading Springsteen's music for free.)

Springsteen is just one of the high-profile artists who have signed on for the tour, which also includes Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and the Dixie Chicks, among others. So far, O'Grady is only taking issue with the Boss' participation.

Springsteen's "No Surrender" has become an anthem for Democratic Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign.

by Sarah Hall

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

How a Movie Can Move the Voting Public -- 6,000 letters a day and counting

“Prior to seeing your movie, I considered myself a Republican and planned to vote for Bush. However, after seeing the movie my opinion strongly changed. You opened my eyes to bush's lies and sneaky tactics. I plan to join the marine corpse as I always had, but now I am more motivated to do so so I can help the families of all the fallen soldiers. Thank you for bringing a personal side of war to me. The images I saw in the movie will always be in my head to remind me of the sacrifices the men and women make for me and you, as they serve in the armed forces--not for president Bush but for the AMERICAN people as a whole.” –Semper Fi, M.C.


“Once an obnoxious republican.....You have changed my mind...” –B.J.B., Texas


“Just last night I was able to convince my ultraconservative parents to go see your new movie with me. They were deeply moved, and very appreciative of your work. Thanks to you and your movie, there are two fewer George W. voters in the world. Thank you for what you are doing for our country.” –L.F.


“I am a registered Republican engaged to a Democrat. I am an open-minded Republican and my home is full of lively debate. I believe in being honest and I honor truth. Your film, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ was moving and well done. It haunted my thoughts for days. I had decided on my own, that Pres. George W. Bush had lied to me and that I was not going to support his re-election campaign. Upon seeing the film, I picked up a John Kerry for President bumper sticker and placed it on my car. I feel like a schmuck for voting for and supporting GWB and I am encouraging all my friends and co-workers to become informed” –C., Camarillo, California

(click on the title for more accounts)

Open Democracy : Michael Moore, artist and patriot

A sloppy, cynical piece of propaganda? No, says John Berger: Michael Moore’s documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11 is a historical landmark inspired by hope – and its maker is a true artist deeply committed to his country.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is astounding. Not so much as a film – although it is a cunning and moving film – but as an event. Many commentators try to dismiss the event and disparage the film. We will see why later.

Michael Moore’s film profoundly moved the artists on the Cannes Film Festival jury and it seems that they voted unanimously to award it the Palme d’Or. Since then it has touched many millions of people. During the first six weeks of its showing in the United States, the box office takings amounted to over $100 million; this sum is, astoundingly, about half of what Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone made during a comparable period.

People have never seen another film like Fahrenheit 9/11. Only the so-called opinion-makers in the press and media appear to have been put out by it.

The film, considered as a political act, may be a historical landmark. Yet to have a sense of this, a certain perspective for the future is required. Living only close-up to the latest news, as most opinion-makers do, reduces one’s perspectives: everything is a hassle, no more. The film by contrast believes it may be making a very small contribution towards the changing of world history. It is a work inspired by hope.

What makes it an event is the fact that it is an effective and independent intervention into immediate world politics. Today it is rare for an artist (Moore is one) to succeed in making such an intervention, and in interrupting the prepared, prevaricating statements of politicians. Its immediate aim is to make it less likely that President Bush will be re-elected in November. From start to finish it invites a political and social argument.

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Thailand : Fahrenheit 911 too hot for correspondents' club

BANGKOK (dpa) - The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) on Monday cancelled a planned screening of "Farhenheit 911" - Michael Moore's scathing documentary on US President George W. Bush - after receiving an unofficial warning from the US embassy.

The FCCT, in a note distributed to members, said the screening, scheduled for Wednesday, had been cancelled "due to circumstances beyond our control."

A private screening of the same film planned in Hong Kong, organised in a pub by the Democrats Abroad, was also aborted after an anonymous caller warned the group it could face legal problems if it showed a pirated version of the controversial documentary.

FCCT sources said they had received a phone call from US American Chamber of Commerce executive director Judy Benn raising similar objections to their programme.

"All I did was pass on a message from the US embassy and American Chamber of Commerce - which was unofficial from the US embassy, of course - saying that we were concerned whether the Farhenheit 911 movie to be shown on Wednesday was a legitimate copy or not," said Benn.

She noted that intellectual property rights (IPR) violation was an important issue for both the US embassy and AMCHAM.

Stars and Stripes : AAFES not pursuing prints of Moore's 'Fahrenheit 911'

WASHINGTON — AAFES said Monday it will not be pursuing prints of Michael Moore’s controversial film, “Fahrenheit 9/11” after all, saying the movie’s Oct. 5 DVD release doesn’t give it enough time to draw sufficient audiences.

Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman Judd Anstey said the decision to not procure the film was purely a business decision, and has nothing to do with its contentious political nature.

The film is a strong attack on President Bush and his policies after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including the war in Iraq.

Anstey said that AAFES’ mission is to generate revenue to be put back into Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs, and therefore it has decided to not to run the film in overseas theaters.

A spokesman for the Fellowship Adventure Group, a company started by Miramax co-chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein, said it told AAFES “on or about” July 21 that 200 to 300 prints of “Fahrenheit 9/11” would be available to AAFES on Monday.

The group “did everything we were supposed to do” the spokesman said, including offering trailers and the printed media promotional material on July 22. “From that point on, they were unresponsive.”

The Fellowship Adventure Group was formed to distribute Moore’s film in conjunction with Lions Gate Films and IFC Films after Disney, which owns Miramax, blocked Miramax’s efforts to distribute it.

But AAFES had already booked what would be shown in its theaters up to Sept. 3, Anstey said. That gave AAFES a window of 35 days until the DVD release.

AAFES has run films with a shorter window, notably “Bend it Like Beckham,” which had a four-day window and from which AAFES earned $2,650, and “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton,” which it ran with a 32-day window and which earned $13,291, according to Anstey.

“‘Bend it Like Beckham’ demonstrates the business case why AAFES tries not to book films within 35 days of the film’s home video release date,” said John Walters, chief of motion picture services for AAFES. “ ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ drew minimum attendance”.

“Fahrenheit 9/11” has grossed $113.3 million at the U.S. box office so far.

Philippines : ‘Fahrenheit 9-11’ to be released in RP next month

By Dennis Ladaw

FAHRENHEIT 9-11, the controversial film by documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, has been picked up by a Philippine distri-butor, which will release the film in Metro Manila next month. A spokesperson of Solar Entertainment, which acquired the rights to release the movie locally, told The Manila Times that they hope to premiere the film on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.


Michael Moore and Sgt. Abdul
Henderson are shown in a scene
from the film Fahrenheit 9-11
(Lions Gate)

Fahrenheit 9-11 reportedly paints an ugly picture of the George W. Bush administration, particularly in its handling of the 9-11 crisis. The film has grossed over $100 million in North America, making it the top grossing documentary of all time, beating the releases of perennial box-office favorites like Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg.

Critics maintained that Michael Moore’s film is biased, though the filmmaker has admitted to be anti-Bush and antiwar. In 2003, he won an Academy Award for his anti-gun documentary Bowling for Columbine. In his acceptance speech, Moore went into a tirade against Bush, calling him a fake president. As a result of his speech, Entertainment Weekly magazine noted that Moore was probably the first Oscar winner to receive a standing ovation and then get booed off the stage seconds later.

Miramax Films had financed the production of Fahrenheit 9-11 though the CEO of its its parent company Walt Disney, refused to release it. Consequently, Harvey Weinstein, the flamboyant head of Miramax, was forced to use his own money to put the films in theaters. Miramax is the company behind such Oscar winning movies like The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, The Hours and Chicago. Its distributor in the Philippines is Sky Films.

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The Village Voice : Perceptive Talking Heads Can't Redeem a Sloppy Cinematic Blog

by Ward Harkavy

Anybody who tries to deconstruct the new American empire erected by the Bush regime's schnooks and crooks winds up babbling to himself and others, "You can't make this shit up." But then you have to get your hands dirty and mold it into something that's interesting to look at. That's something Michael Moore did in Fahrenheit 9/11, but which Robert Greenwald doesn't do in Uncovered: The War on Iraq. Moore created a movie; Greenwald gives us a cinematized blog.

His vast made-for-TV experience (The Burning Bed, with Farrah Fawcett) didn't serve Greenwald well when he put his strong social conscience to work on this documentary. Yes, he was pressed for time, because he's been scrambling to get this thing done and out, according to published reports. But he must have misplaced the formula: The result is that he shot interviews with a horde of credible counterterrorism experts and basically posted the results.

Greenwald hunted the elephant with a crudely fashioned atomic pea-shooter—you can fire a hell of a lot of spitwads with one of those, but they're not necessarily going to penetrate. Moore, on the other hand, used an elephant gun. And while the creature was still breathing, Moore cut through its hide like a doctor on CSI: Bush, pulled out some ugly material, and closely examined it. Fahrenheit 9/11 was an autopsy on a living thing. No wonder the elephant yelped.

There are some fascinating nuggets to be fished out of the flash flood of quotes in Uncovered. The most intriguing spills out at the end, when former CIA analyst Ray McGovern says, "When the emperor has no clothes, you have to have the presence of mind and the courage to stand up and say, 'The emperor has no clothes.' " OK, there's some sort of narrative thread there. Back to the cutting room, Bob.

Al-Jazeera : Fahrenheit raises heat in the Arab world

"Fahrenheit 9/11," Michael Moore's film critique of the Bush administration's war policy, has provoked strong reaction in the Arab world: Kuwait banned the movie. Jordan tried to edit it. Saudi commentators are denouncing it. Syria hasn't decided what to do.

Many moviegoers said that "Fahrenheit" made their bad impression of the United States worse and showed Americans what their own news media did not.

In Moore's portrayal, "Baghdad was happy and safe until cowboys Bush and Blair came," complained Saudi columnist Reem al-Saleh, writing in a Kuwaiti newspaper. "He ignored 30 years of muscle-flexing invasions, villages massacred by chemical weapons . . . millions of bodies and mass graves. He has no right to hide the full truth."

As a matter of fact many Arabs are seeing the film. Gianluca Chacra, whose Dubai-based company released "Fahrenheit" in the Middle East, said attendance is at blockbuster proportions - despite obstacles.

In the United Arab Emirates, the information minister, in an unusual step, asked to see the film first, then approved it.

In Jordan, censors wanted the Saudi content cut, but "higher authorities" approved the movie in full, Chacra said.

Kuwait banned the film.

Lebanon and Israel showed the movie. Syria is still considering the matter. Egypt will premiere it later this month.

Radwan Rizk, 47, a gym owner in Lebanon, thinks that the effect of Moore's movie was double-edged: It shook his idea of American democracy.

In Cairo, Noha Sayed Al-Ahl, 28, who runs an arts advocacy group, said Moore "really cares about America and the foreign policies of America and is brave enough to speak his mind."

In a Beirut gym, two women in their 40s discussed "Fahrenheit" during their exercises.

"I loved the movie because it showed that Bush was a partner in terrorism”, said Sana Rafeh, a preschool teacher.

Her gym partner, housewife Rabab Itani, said the movie's take on terrorism was too narrow: "There are Arabs and Muslims dying from America's policies every day."

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Canada : Fahrenheit 9/11 heats up Alliance's bottom line

The box office success of Michael Moore's controversial film Fahrenheit 9/11 has begun to spin revenue for its Canadian distributor Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc.

While the movie was released just six days before the end of the firm's second quarter on June 30, it generated $3.7-million in Canadian box office receipts up to that date, Alliance Atlantis announced yesterday.

With the film now having brought in more than $100-million across North America, it is expected to provide a boost in revenue to Alliance Atlantis in the current and coming quarters.

The company does not break out specific revenue numbers for individual distribution deals.

But Alliance said strong distribution revenue from films such as Fahrenheit 9/11 and DVDs, such as the final chapter of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, helped propel second-quarter profit to $10.4-million or 24 cents a share, a dramatic turnaround from a loss of $7.1-million or 17 cents, in the year-earlier period.

Total revenue at Alliance Atlantis in the second quarter was $267.6-million, a 68-per-cent rise from $159.7-million in the year-earlier period.

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Monday, August 16, 2004

Michael Moore's Acclaimed and Record-Breaking Over $115 Million Documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11 to Be Released on DVD and Videocassette on October 5

'Two Thumbs Way Up!' Ebert & Roeper

'Brilliant! Ferociously Funny!' Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

Winner of the Palme D'Or at Cannes

CULVER CITY, Calif., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Oscar®-winner Michael Moore's passionate, provocative and humorous documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11, winner of the 2004 Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, will be released on videocassette and DVD By Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. The DVD, which is packed with new scenes and bonus features, will carry a suggested retail price of $28.95.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 -- the first documentary in history to debut at the top of the theatrical charts with a $24 million opening weekend gross -- has made a record-shattering over $115 million at the box-office to date making it the first documentary to ever hit this mark.

The DVD will be packed with insightful bonus features sure to add further understanding to the backdrop against which the film was made.

Among these are:

* A featurette: THE RELEASE OF "FAHRENHEIT 9/11"
* A montage of images: THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ ON THE EVE OF INVASION
* Deleted Scenes including HOMELAND SECURITY, MIAMI STYLE and OUTSIDE ABU GHRAIB PRISON
* An eyewitness account from Samara, Iraq
* An extended interview with Abdul Henderson
* Footage of Lila Lipscomb at the Washington DC premiere
* Arab American comedians: Their acts and experiences after 9/11
* Condoleezza Rice's 9/11 Commission testimony
* George W. Bush's Rose Garden press briefing after his appearancebefore the 9/11 Commission

Written, produced and directed by Moore who won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary for BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE (the previous box-office top grosser), Fahrenheit 9/11 has received nearly universal acclaim. Kenneth Turan ("The Los Angeles Times") called it "provocative and uncompromising." A.O.Scott ("The New York Times") wrote that FAHRENHEIT 9/11 was "the best film Michael Moore has made so far, a powerful and passionate expression of outraged patriotism."

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 is a Dog Eat Dog Films Production written, produced and directed by Michael Moore with Jim Czarnecki and Kathleen Glynn as producers. The film was executive produced by Agnes Mentre, Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein and distributed by Lion's Gate Films, IFC Films and the Fellowship Adventure Group.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. SPE is a division of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.



Source: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment

The Jackson Channel : Poll Says 'Fahrenheit' Among Best, Worst Movies This Year

People recently surveyed by Newsweek magazine either loved or hated Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Readers rank it the second best movie of the summer -- and also the second worst movie of the summer.

"Spider-Man 2" tops the best list. "Shrek 2" is third. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" tied with "The Bourne Supremacy" for fourth.

Readers voted "Catwoman" as the worst movie of the year. "White Chicks" is third, followed by "The Chronicles of Riddick" and "Van Helsing."

JS Online : America seems to be at war with itself

By ELIZABETH SCANLON THOMAS
Posted: Aug. 14, 2004

The first clue I had that today's America is different from the America I grew up in came shortly after my son and I flew in from England to attend a funeral.

I was trying to drive my normal-sized rental car carefully because I hadn't taken out collision insurance, and I was surrounded by enormous vehicles larger than run-of-the-mill SUVs.

My little car was overwhelmed by these monsters. I had trouble pulling out of places as they blocked my vision the way skyscrapers steal sunshine from city dwellers.

Pulling into a parking space at the funeral home, I was amazed to find myself next to a Hummer. Who needs to drive a Hummer in a town? As I passed two other Hummers and hundreds of SUVs later (does anyone drive regular cars in America anymore?), I realized that all the big military-type vehicles on the road make it look as if America is at war. But at war with whom?

It's not hard to find Americans bickering with each other these days, even in public places where embarrassment would have kept them silent before. I stopped in a restroom after seeing Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" and heard two friends arguing with each other.

"It was a great movie," one said. "You should see it."

"I'm not spending my money to watch trash like that," replied her friend, her voice rising with each word.

Then they spat out criticisms of conservatives and liberals back and forth, oblivious to the rest of us listening.

My mentioning that I'd just come back from watching "Fahrenheit 9/11" was enough to put a friend in attack mode. "All lies," she fumed, although she refused to see the movie.

Am I mistaken, or were we once able to speak with one another even when disagreeing? What has caused Americans to be at each other's throats?

(click on the title for the whole article)

Indystar : Dialing in '911' for return fire

By the time I got around to seeing "Fahrenheit 911" several weeks into its raucous run, I was less prepared than I thought I'd be.

I'd read so much, heard so much, knew all about Paul Wolfowitz spitting on his comb (Evil Michael Moore) and Lila Lipscomb the bereaved Michigan mother (Good Michael Moore) and the rest of the cheap shots and priceless thrusts that bestowed on a single movie such inordinate carrying capacity for public conversation.

I expected the expected. I did not expect to be so humbled by the power of that medium in this guy's meaty hands.

Behind the rather tedious slacker/prankster image, Moore is a pro who knows how to use, and overuse, hard facts as pointedly as any "straight" investigative producer. And his dramatizations, whether borrowed clips from fund-raising galas or guerrilla captures of chicken-hawk congressmen or raw testimonials from grieving military kin, are heat-seeking missiles to the tailbone and gut, alternately jolting the viewer out of his seat and nailing him to the back of it.

Is it disingenuous at times? Is it manipulative? Sure. Any cinematic venture worthy of the trouble aims to move audiences to do more than break up into discussion groups. Moore wants everybody who sees his movie to vote against George W. Bush and urge others to do so. It is this undisguised motivation, and his unique ability to get his agenda on film and get the film into theaters, that have made the fat kid from the Rust Belt the GOP's bete noire of the moment. His information is not the issue.

In a healthy democracy, especially in a time of crisis as profound as this one, there would be many Michael Moores and many nuances of ideology among them. They would exert less impact, furthermore, because the points they made about consolidation of power and lies from Washington would already be known from the mainstream media. When the mainstream media stuff their audience with fashion, fitness and football, pausing briefly for a few words of grace from the government, democracy is sick in bed and demagogues will take over. That's when you need Michael Moore, warts and ice cream truck and all. He's the nice people's champion against a schoolyard full of bullies; they can't expect Queensberry rules.

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The Age : Rage against machines

By Stewart Fist
August 14, 2004

While Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 certainly deserved the Palme d'Or at Cannes, with George Bush as scriptwriter and main actor, it could hardly fail.

Rumour has it they are collaborating again on a sequel, Elections 11/04. The original idea came from Bush's brother Jeb a few years ago in Florida and Dubya's most flamboyant contribution to the new Moore epic has been to push through 2002's Help America Vote Act.

The idea is to replace those punch-card voting machines with whiz-bang computerised equipment because punch cards produced the famous hanging chads and butterfly ballots in Florida which many people found suspicious.

They resulted in Bush winning the presidency in 2000 by a 5-4 majority in the US Supreme Court (where the votes are hand counted). California's 9th Circuit Court later found punch cards "intractably afflicted with technologic dyscalculia".

Since US voting is funded and controlled at the county level, Bush's new "Floridation" Act has forced them to buy either mark-sense paper readers (when the computer scans the marks on the ballot sheet) or touch-screen systems. Touch screens are preferred because they don't leave paper trails and so are deemed environmentally friendly.

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"Fahrenheit 9/11" banned but popular in Kuwait

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Pirated copies of the anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" have become a best-seller in Kuwait despite an official ban by the staunch U.S. ally.

Vendors of bootleg DVDs say the movie has become popular in the tiny Gulf Arab country that is still publicly grateful to Washington -- and former President George Bush -- for liberating it from Iraqi occupation.

"This documentary is a favourite," said one Kuwaiti street vendor who was selling illegal copies for $3.40 (1.85 pounds).

"The ban has only brought me more customers. We always want what we're not allowed to have," another vendor said.

Kuwait banned the film, saying it was "unfairly" critical of Gulf political heavyweight Saudi Arabia and the administration of President George W. Bush, which led the 2003 war that toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

Bush's father led the 1991 war that ended Iraq's occupation of Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia, which does not have any cinemas, has criticised the documentary, but it is being screened in packed theatres in other Gulf Arab states such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Green Left Weekly (Australia) : Michael Moore: War is for the rich!

Michael Moore's blockbuster documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 isn't just an assault on the Bush regime and the “war on terror” — it indicts the corporate vultures who rushed to cash-in on the warmongers' post-9/11 crusade.

“This is an impressive crowd: the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base”, George Bush quipped at an $800-a-head election fundraising dinner in October 2000, footage of which Moore included in Fahrenheit.

While for most people the world has been a worse place since the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, for Bush's “base”, the corporate elite whose interests he represents , particularly those with a stake in the ironically named “defence” industry, 2001 will be remembered as a bumper year for war profiteering.

Already a source of corporate welfare, the “war on terror” has let the Bush regime get away with massively increasing the Pentagon's spending. The US military budget request for fiscal year 2005 is US$420.7 billion — up by $131.9 billion since 2000.

The top beneficiaries of this orgy of military spending in the name of “defeating terrorism” are corporations, such as the Carlyle Group, that have close links to the White House (and, for that matter, the alternative party of the US elite, the Democrats). Carlyle, former employers of Bush's father and, through Caterair, of Bush himself, have made a killing from the “war on terror”, as Moore's film reveals.

Fahrenheit 9/11 points out that Carlyle owns “United Defense, makers of the Bradley armoured fighting vehicle. September 11th guaranteed that United Defense was going to have a very good year. Just six weeks after 9/11, Carlyle filed to take United Defense public and in December made a one-day profit of $237 million.”

A December 8, 2003, Forbes magazine article, cited by Moore as factual backup for his claims about Carlyle's war-profiteering, noted: “By virtue of its holdings in companies like US Marine Repair and United Defense Industries, Carlyle is the equivalent of the eleventh-largest defense contractor in the nation.”

The “defence” gravy train, being fed by the ongoing need to subdue Iraq and Afghanistan, is unlikely to be derailed. Indeed, a July 29 report by the US Center for Public Integrity (CPI) revealed that “Private defense contractors have been given the authority to help prepare the president's national defense budget”.

While “regime change” in Iraq and Afghanistan was driven by the medium- and long-term interests of US imperialism, it hasn't meant that the corporate creeps haven't cashed-in — from feeding US soldiers to rebuilding the infrastructure that the invasions destroyed, there has been plenty of plunder for US corporations. According to the Windfalls of War project, run by the CPI, as of July 7, more than 150 US corporations had received contracts in Iraq or Afghanistan. These contracts are worth some $48.7 billion.

Particularly notorious are the mega-profits reaped by Kellogg, Brown & Root, the infamous subsidy of Halliburton (of which Vice-President Dick Cheney was CEO until taking up digs in the White House). KBR has nearly $326.7 million worth of contracts in Afghanistan and $4.35 billion worth in Iraq, according to the CPI.

“There's no other single area of the world today with the opportunity for business, to do business, somewhere with the opportunity that's available today in Iraq”, Gordon Bobbitt of the Kalmar RT Center explains to corporate executives at a conference on Iraqi reconstruction featured in Fahrenheit.

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Sunday Herald : The Fuel For Fahrenheit 9/11



Thanks to the First Amendment of the United States constitution, some robust laws that defend writers against libel and principles that enshrine freedom of expression and an open system of government, respected American journalist Craig Unger has been able to write an explosive book about President George Bush and his links to the Saudi royal family.

It’s called House Of Bush House Of Saud and in it Unger details the connections between a leading member of the Saudi royal family and the fundamentalist terrorist groups determined to destroy the US. It was this book that formed the backbone of Michael Moore’s much-hyped documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

The Jeddah-based Saudi billionaire, Khalid bin Mahfouz, has been publicly linked to funding received by Osama bin Laden in America before but the new dimension to House Of Bush House Of Saud is that Unger also peels away the business links between the Texas oil circle of the Bush family and the families of Bin Mahfouz and other rich Saudis.

In Britain, where Saudis prefer to take their libel actions to court, Unger has had to be more circumspect than in his homeland. His first publisher, Random House, refused to take the risk with the book and Amazon, the internet bookseller, declined to sell it online from its UK website. There have been forced amendments too, taken on with some fanfare by Gibson Square Publishing. But the book, he assures me, is 95% there. And it is there in astonishing and explosive detail.

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Daily News : Shooting for change

Filmmakers rush to build
a bonfire under President Bush


Liev Schreiber and Meryl Streep in 'The Manchurian Candidate.'

When Michael Moore was making "Fahrenheit 9/11," it probably didn't occur to him that his documentary might help start a resurgence in the kind of message movies that were routine during the '60s and '70s. In George W. Bush, the firebrand filmmaker had a bigger fish to fry. But six weeks into its record-shattering run, it's apparent that "Fahrenheit 9/11" will have more impact on film culture than on who occupies the White House for the next four years.

A recent L.A. Times poll showed that few undecided voters and almost no avowed Bush supporters have seen Moore's film. And though its commercial success - $115 million and counting - has opened theater doors to a rash of equally pointed political documentaries, none of those seems likely to cross over either.

While that's bad news for filmmakers hoping to affect voter opinion before the Nov. 2 election, it might be good news for those of us who pine for the good old days of skeptical, socially minded mainstream movies - which occurred in the bad old days of Vietnam and Watergate.

(click on the title for the whole article)