Chris "American Fascists" Hedges, Sensible As Ever
"Well, because what they have done is pervert, destroy, and hollow out the actual heart of the Christian religion. I mean look at the little empires that people like James Dobson or Pat Robertson run. They are despotic, Third World fiefdoms where these guys fly around with bodyguards and Lear Jets and amass hundreds of millions of dollars taken from - people who live on the margins of American society." - Former NYT reporter Chris Hedges, author of "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America," on the February 8 edition of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central.
Idi Amin's "Positive Qualities"
"Whatever he did, many Ugandans said, it worked. Mr. Whitaker nailed Amin's complexities , they said, and unlike previous portrayals that were one-dimensionally evil, this role revealed some of Amin's positive qualities, helping explain how he rose to power in the first place." - Jeffrey Gettleman from the Uganda opening of "The Last King of Scotland," a biopic of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin starring actor Forest Whitaker, February 18.
NYT Executive Editor: Founding Fathers Set Things Up So I Could Ignore Bush
"In the end, you can't defer to the government on these kind of decisions. You know, it may seem odd to ordinary Americans that somebody like me has the power to defy the President of the United States, but in fact that's the way the inventors of the country set things up. Because the alternative was to let the government be the final arbiter of its own flow of information. And the government has no particular interest in telling you if they're doing something that's illegal or abusive. That's why we exist." - Bill Keller in an interview excerpt from "News War," a Frontline documentary on government and the press appearing this month on PBS.
Another Cheap Shot from Stanley
TV critic Alessandra Stanley's February 17 review of the Fox News comedy program "The ½ Hour News Hour."
Global Warming Doubters, 9-11 Terrorists Same Thing?
"In [astronomer Carl Sagan's] absence, the public discourse on his favorite issues - the fate of the planet, the beauty and mystery of the cosmos - has not fared well. The teaching of evolution in public schools has become a bitter bone of contention; NASA tried to abandon the Hubble Space Telescope and censor talk of climate change; and of course, religious fanatics crashed jetliners into the World Trade Center, leading to a war in the Middle East that has awakened memories in some corners of the Crusades....It was [Sagan's widow, Ann] Druyan's impatience with religious fundamentalism that led her to resurrect Dr. Sagan's lectures....In the wake of Sept. 11 and attacks on the teaching of evolution in this country, she said, a tacit truce between science and religion that has existed since the time of Galileo started breaking down." - Science reporter Dennis Overbye, February 13.
Super Bowl Ad Silliness
"But for some the commercial left the lingering question of who owns the kiss? How is it that a simple affectionate gesture can be so loaded? Why is it that behavioral latitudes permit couples of one sort to indulge freely in public displays lusty enough to suggest short-term motel stays, while entire populations, albeit minority ones, live real-time versions of the early motion picture Hays Code: a peck on the cheek in public, one foot squarely planted on the floor?" - Guy Trebay, February 18.