Friday, May 18, 2007


The Way to Divinity

If anyone speaks ill of you,
Praise them always.
If anyone injures you,
Serve them nicely.
If anyone persecutes you,
Help them in all possible ways.
You will attain
immense strength.
You will control anger and pride.
You will enjoy
peace, poise, and serenity.
You will become divine.

- Swami Sivananda

(Jesus says the same thing in his Sermon on the Mount.)

CATHERINE CRIER from COURT TV had to reschedule. Today, Doug and I wing it with a mix of politics and non-political comedy.

from 9 - 10 a.m. We broadcast live -- or go to our website and click on the link to hear the entire show in the archives.

The following thoughts are from my beautiful sister Kathy.

Here's my opinion.

I hate this kind of thing. The film is simplistic and sentimental
tripe. It addresses a non-issue. Who is this film aimed at? No one
blames the soldiers! No one hates them for "doing their job" or
doesn't "support our troops". The premise of the film is a fiction.
It is propaganda.

This film and "patriotic" statements like it completely sidesteps the
fact that none of those soldiers had to die, because they should not
have been there in the first place. It's selling an old idea that to
die in war is honorable.

If you have a family member serving in Iraq, of course you are proud
of them! The rest of us are just disgusted and ashamed at our
government that even one American has had to die over there. No one
blames the soldiers for fighting an immoral and unjust war right now.
They are just doing the government's (dirty) work.

Also. Don't try to tell me how to feel! I don't have to feel "proud"
of the American soldiers. I can feel that they are very brave, and
strong, and feel very sorry that they are there. I can feel angry and
sad. But no, I'm not particularly proud. I feel afraid, worried,
upset, sorry and sad and deeply angry at my government for creating
the mess we find ourselves in in Iraq where so many beautiful lives
have been cut short on all sides of the conflict. I want all
non-Iraqi troops to get to go home, where ever they are from.

War is not inherently just or good. War is a human tragedy on a grand
scale. It should be considered a last resort. I believe it is only
justified to stop a genocide. But war is more often a strategic game
of the elite - a machine created by the powerful to divide and
re-divide wealth and power amongst themselves.

The idea of patriotism in a time of war is inherently propagandistic.
If you buy into it, then you probably also believe that things go
better with Coke or that Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.
Who benefits the most by selling these ideas to the public?

Can you imagine this type of film coming from the jihad point of
view? Sentimentalizing the self-sacrifice of the suicide bomber,
complete with heart-tugging strings? We would all be spitting angry,
and see the suicide bombers themselves as pawns of an evil elite.

As a nation we have absolutely nothing to be proud of in the current
war in Iraq. Our leadership has destroyed our reputation worldwide
and our economy at home, making the world a much more dangerous place
than it was before and right after 9/11. I don't blame the soldiers
for this, or hold it against them. I'm smart enough to make the
distinction that to hate this war is not the same thing as hating the
people fighting it.

The Newshour with Jim Lehrer is the only news show that still honors
the fallen soldiers every night at the end of the newscast. Why do
you think the other networks stopped doing so years ago? The Newshour
uses no sentimental music - only complete silence, with portraits,
names and home towns. This is a thousand times more powerful to me,
because it isn't trying to manipulate my emotions the way this piece

I do admire men and women who
join up and go off to war when everyone in the country is contributing,
and when we've actually been attacked -- but when the rich keep getting
richer and no one else is expected to make any sacrifices, etc., etc.
-- well, it really is propaganda. Also, I do not like the idea of
mercenary forces, where people are paid to do all the fighting and the
sons and daughters of all the warmongers (and the chicken hawks
themselves) avoid having to serve.

Thanks for letting me express my reaction!


Don't forget to listen to the Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk Show Saturday at 9:00 AM PST. BashamandCornell