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This Day in My History


I think it's time for those of us who love this country — and everything it should stand for — to reclaim our flag from those who would use it to crush rights and freedoms, both here at home and overseas. We need to redefine what it means to be a proud American.

~ Michael Moore

Yesterday's Entries

2000: A friend indeed  (my tribute to Gilbert)
 Fire Drill
2002:  Fat Redux
2003:  Finding Fotolog


Breakfast:  Cereal
Lunch:  Bagel
Dinner:  Roast beef, with all the trimmings


A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson

(I'm still reading at Clinton's book, but I'll just post when/if I finish it rather than keep it on here every day!)


Jeopardy, of course!

Buy my stuff at Lulu!



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My people don't understand why I do this.  I always try to get another small dog's head between my back legs.  I turn around and back up to them so I can get into this stance.  I don't know why I do it either.  Maybe some dog behaviorist out there can tell me (and my people) what sort of breed-specific behavior this is.

Check a Sheila Video
("See Sheila run--Run, Sheila, Run!")



13 July 2004

Everyone and his brother has weighed in on this movie by now. I’m a real Johnny-come-lately. Most of the reviews I’ve read in the last few days say that there was nothing surprising in the movie, but that the writer was very glad that s/he had seen it.

Interestingly, the people I’ve seen / read / heard who have denounced the movie the loudest are people who proudly admit that they would never see this bunch of lies and distortions. They seem to base their criticism on their impression of Moore’s past work and on what they imagine the movie to be.

I have a relative who says he would never see the movie because he is 100% behind the troops and he wants to be supportive.

I’m here to tell you that never in your life will you see a movie more supportive of our troops.

I don’t know that I’ve ever had a movie affect me quite like this. I was sobbing at the end, managed to wipe tears away as the credits rolled, and then walked a block to the car, got in, and burst into tears again.

There are two very intelligent things that Michael Moore did in this movie. First of all, according to him, he checked and double and triple checked every fact he presents, which pretty much eliminates the possibility of charges of lying. Now, as I said a few days ago, I know how the truth can be manipulated in any way you want to manipulate it--and Moore obviously has an agenda--as do those who have gone on the offensive, trying to get this movie banned in the United States, but the overwhelming mass of material, most of it actual film or TV footage of the administration people involved--is pretty hard to pass off as lies and distortion, if you actually see the film and don’t make up your mind about its message simply based on things you’ve read.

The second thing he did was to keep himself out of it, for the most part. I think people were expecting more of the stunt he pulled, trying to get members of Congress to get their kids to enlist. That’s right out of Roger and Me or Bowling for Columbine. It’s funny, but it’s not the meat of this film.

If the film showed nothing more than the 7 minutes Bush sat reading to the children in Florida after learning of the planes flying into the World Trade Center, that "deer in the headlights" look in his eyes, and the interviews with the woman from Flint whose son was killed in Falluja (especially in front of the heavily barricaded White House I remember visiting so openly in years past) it would have a profound impact, even without Moore’s commentary.

Add to it the wealth of documentation, printed and interview, of things that were known, things that were done, things that were planned, things that were ignored, etc., etc., etc.   Add to it the human element--the old man interrogated by the FBI for saying Bush was an asshole, the infiltration of a suburban peace group by an FBI agent, the blind acceptance of the erosion of our freedoms, the tirade of the woman in Iraq whose house had just been destroyed (this is someone who was supposed to throw flowers at the soldiers, welcoming them), and all the other human elements that we just don't see on the nightly news, and I simply don’t know how anybody seeing the film could help but be moved.

Michael Moore asks us to do something that most movies don't:  think.

My friend Michael eloquently reported his feelings after seeing the movie:

So much to think about. So much to consider. So much to digest. I found myself fumbling for the words to express myself when I left the theater.

It wasn't so much that there was content I didn't know before (though there was). It was so perfectly and artfully constructed to provide a clear context and chronology that fits all the pieces fit together. We're bombarded every day with news bites and images, but all these individual pieces of the puzzle don't generally get put together in a way that provides a very solid picture. Moore definitely has a position, but there's not much conjecture here. He lays out the facts and backs them up. And he shows us the evidence. The movie is at it's best when it documents real people who have been impacted personally, like a woman who supported Bush and the war until her son is killed.

Powerful, thought-provoking stuff.

One of the very best reviews I've read of Fahrenheit 9/11 was written by my editor (who writes movie reviews for the Davis Enterprise).  He, too, was taken by the 7 minutes that Bush sat and continued with his photo op.  He writes:

A lot can happen in seven minutes.

Company fortunes can be made or lost at the New York Stock Exchange.

A launched Space Shuttle will have just vanished from sight (reaching space at the eighth minute), having passed through the sound barrier after the first minute, and "staged" (shed its solid rocket boosters) at the second minute.

Secretariat and his jockey can win their famed Belmont Stakes race ... three times.

Seven minutes can seem an eternity of both frantic and coldly calculated activity: a rigorous trial that tests the fortitude, decisiveness and intellect of those who've trained for just such moments.

At 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, just as American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, President George W. Bush's motorcade was en route to Booker Elementary School just outside Sarasota, Fla., for what could be termed, with deliberate cynicism, a frivolous photo-op intended to promote the president's sham education policies: a reading session with a classroom of second-graders.

The first news reports concerning Flight 11's crash hit TV news between 8:48 and 8:52 a.m., and plenty of documented evidence proves that various members of Bush's posse - Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Congressman Dan Miller, White House Situation Room Director Deborah Loewer, Bush adviser Karl Rove, and many others - were watching or had been informed of the incident, and reported same to Bush.

And yet the president saw no reason to interrupt his appointment in Sandra Kay Daniels' second-grade classroom, which he entered at 9:03 a.m. He and the children then proceeded to read from a storybook titled "My Pet Goat" while various press cameras rolled. Including the 16 children, roughly 150 people were in the room.

United Airlines Flight 175 hit the south tower of the World Trade Center at that same moment - 9:03 a.m. - by which time millions of Americans were able to watch this second impact live on television.

Millions of Americans ... but not the key American, who despite being taken aside and told of the second crash by an obviously agitated chief of staff, Andrew Card - and all this is preserved forever on videotape and countless still photographs, since it quite obligingly went down during a photo op - continued to sit in Daniels' classroom.




If this was a moment that defined the measure of a man - and heavens, what more critical moment could one imagine? - then can I respectfully suggest that Bush failed so utterly that his behavior dismays beyond words?

Derrick's complete review can be read here and I recommend it highly.

You also must read this.

As for me, I'm writing this 10 minutes after getting home from the theatre and I'm still somewhat shaken by the experience.  If we return our current court-appointed president to the White House, I swear I'm moving to Australia. 

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