Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Monday, January 31, 2005

Mayhem 6 and The Mad Ghosts

Moved by LtCol Smith's email expressing his frustration at the MSM constant one sided negative coverage of the war in Iraq, I sent him a MotoMail letter.

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my email the other day, and I received a heartfelt thank you from him.

Imagine this...a Marine who puts his life on the line 24/7 in Iraq is thanking me! For MY support!

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Sunday, January 30, 2005


What an historic and unprecedentant day this has been for Iraqis and in the Arab world.

Many have wondered, is there, within each of us, a universal yearning to vote and determine our future through representative gov't,? Today that question has been answered as millions of Iraqis turned out to begin to implement the first step towards determining their own future, and some did so under the all to real threat of death.

Some walked for miles, some came in wheelchairs, some came with canes, but they ALL lined up, they ALL voted, and the images of them doing that, and of them smiling and jumping with excitement after they had cast their vote, will remain with me forever.

Freedom is intoxicating!

I shed tears of sadness, and tears of joy, as I watch this HISTORIC day unfold in Iraq.

This day has come about with much loss of life, for deployed Americans, coalition members, and Iraqi security forces, all of them heros in my eyes, and they will not be forgotten.

Sadly some Iraqis died while trying to exercise their right to vote, and they too are my heros: ordinary people who risked their lives to do something that WE take for granted: VOTE

Today, all their deaths are being honored as millions of Iraqi's vote, and as the seeds of democracy and freedom take root.


Let that message ring loudly throughout the Arab nations, and ring even louder in the ears of the terrorists!


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

LtCol Tim Ryan on Hannity and Colmes

He was part of a clip on the latest successes of our troups in Iraq...during a segment of Hannity and Colmes, that featured Geraldo Rivera at Camp Victory.

Lt.Col. Tim Ryan wrote an article Aiding and Abetting the Enemy: the Media in Iraq" which has made the rounds of the Blogsphere, and been at the heart of much Blog Buzz!

( See my earlier post "Spread The Good News" to read what Lt.Col Tim Ryan wrote)

Friday, January 21, 2005


By 6:oo pm on Jan 20th, Liberals, led by Chris Mathews on MSNBC were already dissing, whining, and tearing apart the meaning and hidden intent behind the Presidents address, as well as expressing their deep concern for how offended China, the Arab nations, and of course the terrorists would be.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Best Hope

These are the highlights of the President's Inaugural Address.

The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.

The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right.

Few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this cause – in the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy, the idealistic work of helping raise up free government, the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies.
Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives – and we will always honor their names and their sacrifice.
All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself – and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.

In America’s ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character – on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives.

We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul.

Renewed in our strength, tested, but not weary, we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Hey..... Are You Listening????

This is a letter from Ray Reynolds, a medic in the Iowa Army National Guard, serving in Iraq, that was forward to me yesterday:

As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who did not believe the media. They have done a very poor job of covering everything that has happened. I am sorry that I have not been able to visit all of you during my two week leave back home. And just so you can rest at night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I thought I would pass this on to you.

This is the list of things that has happened in Iraq recently:(Please share it with your friends and compare it to the version that your paper is producing.)
* Over 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.
* School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.
* Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of the weapons stored there so education can occur.
* The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster.
* The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August. * Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq.
* The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did before the war.
* 100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35% before the war.
* Elections are taking place in every major city, and city councils are in place.
* Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.
* Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets. *
Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.
* Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with US soldiers.
* Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.
* Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.
* An interim constitution has been signed.
* Girls are allowed to attend school.
* Textbooks that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for the first time in 30 years.

Don't believe for one second that these people do not want us there. I have met many, many people from Iraq that want us there, and in a bad way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but they hope their children will.

We are doing a good job in Iraq and I challenge anyone, anywhere to dispute me on these facts.

So If you happen to run into John Kerry, be sure to give him my email address and send him to Denison, Iowa. This soldier will set him straight.

If you are like me and very disgusted with how this period of rebuilding has been portrayed, email this to a friend and let them know there are good things happening.

Ray Reynolds,
SFC Iowa Army National Guard
234th Signal Battalion

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Freedom Is More Powerful Than Fear!

Ali is an Iraqi blogger who wrote a post today that expresses the true voice of Iraqi's. A voice that the MSM would have us believe doesnt exist. A voice that understands the wounds inflicted on Iraqi's have come from Saddam's tyranical rule, and is not the result of America's liberation and presence. Ali makes it clear that he would rather die than ever live under Saddams rule or that of any dictator, theocratic or otherwise.

The Iraqi's have dreamed of freedom and the right to determine their collective and individual future and on Jan 30th that dream will be realised.

Ali's entire post embodys the spirit of those that came from Europe to settle in America and created the wonderful democracy we now have.

Some Americans like Michael Moore, assorted dems, and liberals, have long forgotten the sacrifices that many made for the privileges they now enjoy and take for granted. They forget that freedom is NEVER free!

Ali reminds us that freedom is worth dying for!

He reminds us that change requires patience, and compassion, towards those who have been abused by dictators for years and need time to heal from those wounds.

Americans voted in this election without the threat of death looming over them. We take for granted this privilege to peacefully determine our future.

Ali reminds us not too.

Peacefully determining his future isnt an option, but death threats from the insurgents will not deter him or other Iraqi's.

He writes: "This horror, fear, hate, and loss of trust is gone now, but we still feel it, and they still remind us with every day, with every beheading and murder they commit against those who actively try to change things in Iraq for the better. We feel it with various degrees, and for some of us its additional motive to fight these thugs, and to refuse a life like that, even if the only other option is death. I don't want to live like that again, NEVER, for that reason I'm going to vote, and so many other Iraqi's are going to vote, and let the terrorists show us the best they can do, as it won't stop us" (head over to Free Iraqi ( click on link below) to read the entire post)

I wonder if we would have the same courage and determination that Ali and Iraqi's will show when then stand up to those terrorists, and say FUCK YOU! OUR FUTURE WILL BE DECIDED WITH THE POWER OF OUR VOTES AND NOT WITH THE POWER OF YOUR GUNS!

All Iraqi's, who are determined to and will vote on Jan 30th, as well as the Afghani's who voted last November in their historic election, under threat of death, remind us all that freedom is more powerful than fear!

May all Iraqi's stay safe as their voices (as votes) are heard at last! And may our troups be safe as they stand ready to protect them from the terrorists that would deny Iraqi's the right to decide their future, to have their voices heard.

Let Freedom Ring!

Transforming Iraq

In a story by Michael Georgy for Reuters, Barham Salih, a Kurdish Candidate has much to say on the Insurgents and the upcoming Iraqi election.

"We are dealing with a tough, mindless, determined, resourceful enemy that wants to deny us that basic right of going to the polling station to decide the future of this country," said Salih, a former Kurdish exile in Washington and London.

"In Iraq we have a lethal alliance between former Saddamists and these global Jihadists. Saddam Hussein's people have taken a lot of money from the Iraqi treasury. We know of the existence of many of these leaders from the former regime in countries like Syria," he said. "The former regime elements and these global Jihadists are working together, coordinating attacks and helping each other to instigate terrorist activities across the country."

He believes Iraqi's MUST vote, in order to lay to rest the idea that the Middle East can only be ruled by tyranny.

"We will build a vibrant, democratic system of government that will transform Iraq from the land of mass graves and tyranny into the land of peace and rule of law," said Salih.

Great Troup Support Sites

Books For Soldiers (BFS) ships books, DVDs and supplies to deployed soldiers, and those in VA hospitals. Soldiers write in requesting reading material and DVD's, so if you have some used ones lying around, they would appreciate receiving them.
Check out the site, sign up and check out the message board, starting with Temporary Troup Requests and Penpal Postcard threads. For security purposes to access any of the other threads you need to fill in the Volunteer Application Form...this comes at the request of the DOD and applied to mods! Its worth getting involved. http://www.booksforsoldiers.com

Another interesting troup support site is http://www.anysoldier.com
Also you can purchase premade care packages to send to troups either from the Any Soldier site or from Books for Soldiers, or any of the many troup support sites, at http://www.treatanysoldier.com

This saves you alot of time running around to pick up items and the care packages are reasonably priced, also they ship them out with a special personal letter from you! Well worth using!

From BFS and from Michelle Malkin, I heard about this awesome way to support our fallen heroes families! Check this out! I'm buying mine! http://www.herobracelets.org/

Sunday, January 16, 2005

No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy

A great story of the good work our Marines are doing to help build trust and win the hearts and minds of Iraqi's.

During this deployment the Marines have expanded the packages to include hygiene gear, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, as well as many other items received in care packages, added Escalderon, 35, a native of Santee, Calif.

The Iraqis have been more willing to cooperate with the coalition forces since the unit has began to offer these small items to better the welfare of the locals.

"It has really helped with the locals perception of us, showing them we are the 'good guys,'" said Escalderon. "These people are used to only bad things happening when people with guns show up at their door. We are trying to show them we are friendly and want to help them".

The Iraqi's show their appreciation by pointing out I.E.D's and the houses where the insurgents live.

Read on and share the GOOD news.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Spread The Good News!!

Please check out this heartfelt honest essay from Lt Col Tim Ryan. His frustrations are the same as those of the over 100 Marines and Soldiers I'm in weekly contact with. His voice, as well as those of the many that support and echo his thoughts, have been deliberately silenced by the MSM leftist media, while those of celebrities are echoed everywhere

Aiding and Abetting the Enemy: the Media in Iraq
By LTC Tim Ryan, CO, 2/12 Cav, 1st Cav Div

What if domestic news outlets continually fed American readers headlines like: "Bloody Week on U.S. Highways: Some 700 Killed," or "More Than 900 Americans Die Weekly from Obesity-Related Diseases"? Both of these headlines might be true statistically, but do they really represent accurate pictures of the situations? What if you combined all of the negatives to be found in the state of Texas and used them as an indicator of the quality of life for all Texans? Imagine the headlines: "Anti-law Enforcement Elements Spread Robbery, Rape and Murder through Texas Cities." For all intents and purposes, this statement is true for any day of any year in any state. True -- yes, accurate -- yes, but in context with the greater good taking place -- no! After a year or two of headlines like these, more than a few folks back in Texas and the rest of the U.S. probably would be ready to jump off of a building and end it all. So, imagine being an American in Iraq right now

Read More at Blackfive

Read about Lt.Col.J.Tim Ryan

And please check out:

"In Iraq for 365"


"Sgt Missick - A Line In The Sand"

Share these with your friends, family and local media!
These are the voices that are so rarely heard!

Spread the GOOD news!!!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Please don't let me be misunderstood!

Whoopie Goldberg will be appearing on Chris Mathews Hardball tonite, to discuss how Hollywood, and its values, have been misunderstood by red state americans! Oh this is gonna be GOOD! ROFLMAO.

Poor Hollywood...so misunderstood! Hmmm..lets see they celebrate the success and embrace Michael Moore's MOCKUMENTARY Farenlies 9/11 , supported Kerry, openly expressed vitriol towards Pres Bush and the conservative right, and have NO idea that the majority of women do NOT support abortion, or that Americans by in large are socially conservative moderate republicans!

What exactly is it that conservatives are "Misunderestanding"?

What have I misunderstood?

A Soldiers Tribute- The REAL Story

This pic http://www.rodharrison.com/AOM/images/SoldierTributeStatue.jpg?is of a statue made by an Iraqi artist named Kalat, which is now on display at Ft Hood. In the wee hours of Friday morning, 3:00 am to be exact, I was awake when an email arrived from another soldier based at Ft Hood, but presently stationed in Iraq, who I sent a care package to in December. He shared with me the real story of this sculpture, after reading my Live Journal, in which I had also posted the story that had been making the rounds on the internet. I've already updated my LiveJournal.

This time, I checked out the veracity of Steve's story with two other guys from the same unit, and they concurred with what Steve wrote, the details varied abit,but the core facts were essentially the same. I also emailed someone for the Army Press corps asking him to verify the authenticity of this story. I hope to hear from him soon.

Steve(the soldier who emailed me) explained the artist was commissioned to do this by the US Army. The money was raised by donations from the soldiers themselves.

The artist, no fan of Saddam OR the US army, made this sculpture for the same reason he had made sculptures of Saddam, he needed the money. ( and who can fault him for that!)

Steve explained that the REAL story is just as touching, and I agree!

The soldiers of the 4th Infantry wanted to honour their fallen comrades, so they commissed an Iraqi artist to create this statue. They were going to demolish the statues of Saddam, but instead decided to make something from what had once honored Shitdam, to now honor their fallen comrades and pay tribute to the future of Iraq, and melted them down instead, giving the bronze to Kalat.

A pic of a real soldier was used as the model,(different names of the soldier used were given to me..so I won't post it) - the image of a child symbolizes Iraq's future.

The internet rumour that the artist was so grateful to the Americans for liberating Iraq so he created this statue as a "thank you" is NOT true

Frankly the real story is more powerful so I have no idea was a Bogus story was ever created! Altho I wouldnt be surprised if some liberal jackasses started it so that the libs could then claim it to be another attempt by the conservatives to mislead the public.

The Statue was on display at the palace which was home to the 4th Infantry division until it was shipped to Ft Hood in 2004 where it is NOW on display.

I NOW know the true story, and three great soldiers based out of Ft Hood. David, is serving in Iraq now but due home in Feb. He called me the other day....all is well with him. Joe, came back a couple months ago, and is now at Ft.Hood. The latest soldier ,Steve, is a new penpal to me, is presently in Iraq and not due back for a few months.

Stay Safe Steve- thanx for the email and drop by again!

I'm hoping to get a pic with one of these guys in front it this year....or better yet...I'll get one of me WITH ALL of these guys in front of it - I adore them all!

Update: Jan 16
Just found this link for the story and a great blog!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

What Would Jesus Do?

Recently some one asked" Why would God do this, Why would God let this happen"? The better question to ask would be " what does God want from each us in the face of this or any disaster?" Would He want us to argue about which country provided the most aid, how stingy countries may or may not be, or debate if their is a hidden agenda on the part of America when she send it the Marines to help the victims?

Maybe the better question is to ask "What Would Jesus Do?"Would he take uplifting positive action, or would he condemn the action already taken as not being "enough"...or laced with a hidden political agenda?

I think not. I think God would want us to open our hearts, put aside our petty differences and ego based arguments, and act from a place of unconditional love. That applies to governments, politicians, journalists, religious leaders, as well as the average world citizen.

Amidst all the hubris about America's stinginess...(such bullshit!)I'm amazed that NO ONE has questioned why the Vatican has not donated any money to the victims???The Vatican which sits upon millions of dollars worth of art never mind a bank account to almost match Bill Gates!

Why not auction off ONE masterpiece of art and donate the proceeds to the Red Cross, or the Vatican charity of choice?

Would would Jesus do? He would take action...not merely send out condolences!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

People's Choice My Ass...

Michael MooreOn has won a so called People's Choice award, a joke since these time the vote wasnt done by the Gallop Poll but instead via internet..so anyone with a static IP number could vote more than once.

What a crock! On the other hand, if there is any cosmic justice...this will be the ONLY award Michael MooreOn gets for Farenshit 9.11

Ohh..and if Farenshit 9/11 winning was sic enough...we had to listen to Martin Sheen make his snide and stupid comment " At least Its good to see democracy at work on the People Choice Award" BARF...and then he hands Michael MooreOn his award. Double BARF.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Truth Justice and The American Way

I was rewatching an episode of Smallville the other nite, and in light of the Gonzales confirmation hearings today, I got to thinking about the issue of Abu G, and the recent Navy SEALS investigation.

.When democracies fight terrorism, they are defending the proposition that their political life should be free of violence. But defeating terror requires violence. It may also require coercion, secrecy, deception, even violation of rights. So how can democracies resort to these means without destroying the values for which they stand? How can they resort to the lesser evil without succumbing to the greater?

Isn't that in effect what Clark Kent(aka Superman) does everytime he uses his superabilities such as Superhearing and Xray Vision(wiretapping, invasion of privacy, spying, secrecy, deception) in order to prevent Krypto Villians from completing their dirty deeds? Doesnt Clark resort to the use of lessor evils in order to prevent the greater evil?

He avoids succumbing to the greater evil by using his abilities to help humanity instead of using them for his own personal gain. And don't we seem to support, justify, applaud, commend, approve, and encourage him to do so?

So when our country's President, our law enforcement agencies and the Military do the same in the name of protecting citizens - in the name of preventing anymore 9/11's or train bombings or further terrorist activity - for the greater good - then why are people suddenly condemning and not applauding, approving, encouraging or supporting these measures?

It seems that as a whole we can embrace certain actions from our imaginary superheroes - but thats where it ends. Once it moves into the realm of "reality" - we as a country, become torn, conflicted, confused, righteous, angry, disapproving, unsupportive, and divided.

When Clark steals Lex's car, uses it in a criminal act, and it results in the death of someone, and he lies to Lex about his actions- hasnt he succumbed to the greater evil?

Maybe thats what annoyed me about an episode of Smallville entitled: Velocity. That it was written off as an act of moral compromise seemed abit disingenuous and the easy way out. That wasnt a moral compromise - because it didnt serve the good of the whole. That was an example of succumbing to the greater evil - if only for a moment.

At Abu Ghraib, we witnessed the appalling inexcusable sick behavior of a few people towards other human beings.We have a military filled with heroes, but the atrocities of a few have eclipsed the nobility of the many. And we should remember that.

There is no other country in the world that would have openly admited this behavior and began immediately to uncover the truth of why it happened in order to prevent it from ever happening again.

I find it interesting and hypocritcal that when Arabs mutilated the bodies of four private contracters in Iraq - when the firebombed their vehicle, dragged their bodies around, shot at them, impaled them, and ran those images on tv and in papers throughout the world- Arabs applauded in the streets, yet now the feign indignation! When 9.11 occured we witnessed arabs dancing and applauding in the streets. When the pictures of American soldiers treating Iraqi prisoners surfaced - no americans were seen dancing or applauding in the streets - no celebrations took place - but rather Americans remained mortified, horrified, and sickened at what had occured.

For Arabs to suddenly feign their indignation at the behavior of a few sick americans is laughable, hypocritical and disingenuous. Suddenly there is outrage in the arab world - but their governments behave in the same manner to all prisoners and yet arabs remain strangely silent. And even know when their fellow arabs behaved similarly and continue to indulge in that same behavior towards American military personnel and civilian contractors - they also remain strangely silent except to dance and celebrate in the streets and vent their anger only at Americans but not their fellow arabs!

Its sad that some Americans chose to succumb to the greater evil for their personal satisfication ....but what remains clear and what separates us from the collective "them" ...is that we did not celebrate their descent into darkness but rather collectively agreed, insisted, and demanded that we examine how and why this happened so as to prevent it from occuring again. We did not dance in the streets, we threw up in our bathrooms and then demanded that these people be dealt with according to the letter of the law.

Our Constitution was designed to regulate evil and control evil people. We may need to resort to the lessor evils of the Patriot Act in order to prevent greater evil - but we should be careful that we do not blindly support those that succumb to a greater evil in violation of their duties to us.

However, when the enemy is hellbent on killing us by any means necessary, when he is determined to bring the war to our country, and when he will seek to destroy democracy and freedom by any means necessary, then we must be willing to understand that in order to protect ourselves, our children, and our freedoms, it may also require violation of rights, because there are times when the end justifies the means.

To quote Michael Ignatif " Even terrorists,unfortunately, have human rights. We have to respect these because we are fighting a war whose essential prize is preserving the identity of democratic society and preventing it from becoming what terrorists believe it to be. Terrorists seek to provoke us into stripping off the mask of law in order to reveal the black heart of coercionthat they believe lurks behind our promises of freedom. We have to show ourselves and the populations whose loyalties we seek that the rule of law is not a mask or an illusion. It is our true nature. "

I m not so sure I agree that terrorists have human rights. But, even Saddam is to have his day in court. But I do know that sometimes, those who face the greater evil of the insurgents have to resort to acts of lessor evil in order to protect and preserve Truth, Justice and The American Way.

Denial Is A River In Egypt, Michael!

Michael Moore on NBC "Today" whined about the "fictional" story that he insists the republicans created to instill fear in americans which in his mind explains why Mr Bush was re elected. He believes that terrorism is a false threat and lie created by Mr. Bush, that the dems are completely in touch with the cultural zeitgeist, and that they need to continue to embrace the Hollywood community even more strongly then previously.

What freaking bizarro world does Michael MooreOn live in?

He created an entire fictional story, called Farenheit 9/11, meant to instill fear about our President in the minds of Americans, and pawned this mockumentary off as a "documentary" in a failed attempt to sway the election, and now he insists that the republicans won by creating a fictional story!!!!

Intelligent Dems have admitted that they are not in touch with the zeitgeist, and that they need to distance themselves from the Hollywood community, and the liberal values that Hollywood embraces, which contributed in large part to their demise.

And in conversation with Katie Couric, this self deluded MooreON who considers himself the barometer for the majority of americans insisted that the majority of Americans are still pro choice. When asked how he knew this..he said that all kinds of polls, from CNN, USA Today, support this.

Really now?

PLANNED PARENTHOOD's former President, Fay Wattleton, conducted a survey in June 2004 for her organization, The Center for the Advancement of Women, which much to her surprise, proved just the opposite of Michael MooreOn's claims.

She had commissioned Princeton Survey Research Associates to do a major study on contemporary feminism. The result was "Progress and Perils: A New Agenda for Women," a 140-page report on women's views on a range of issues, including abortion.

The central finding: Far from wanting abortion as readily available as botox or tattoos, most women oppose the procedure.

As Wattleton wrote in the introduction, "There is significant and growing support for severe restrictions on abortion rights."

Of women surveyed, 51 percent wanted to ban abortion altogether or to limit it to cases of rape, incest, and where the mother's life is endangered.

Another 17 percent said the procedure should be available under stricter limits than now apply.

Not only does this report CONFIRM that majority of women are Pro Life it also undermines 3 Myths regarding abortion:

The first myth the study exposes is that soccer moms are pro-choice. The report classifies women into six groups, based on their attitudes toward women's roles and social status.

On the conservative end are the "traditionalists" and "family first women."
In the middle are the "separate-but-equals" and "modern feminists."
And on the left are the "movement legacies" and "advocates."

Of these groups, the separate-but-equals correspond most closely to soccer moms. Largely white, they are the second-most educated group. Almost all of them think a woman can be a good mother and have a successful career simultaneously. They sound like a typical Democratic constituency.

But 42 percent of them would ban abortion altogether or limit it to the hard cases, while another 21 percent would impose some restrictions on the procedure. Thus almost two-thirds of them support, minimally, some form of restriction on abortion. Only 35 percent said they thought abortion should be widely available.

The second myth "Progress and Perils" undermines is that Republicans will lose if they openly oppose abortion. (Remember this survey happened before the election and we now have proof of how on the money it was!)

Of the six groups profiled in "Progress and Perils," four heavily favor greater curbs on the procedure.

And it's not only the traditionalists (69 percent), most of whom are evangelical, and family-firsts (70 percent), most of whom are working class and live in small towns, who feel this way but also the separate-but-equals and the center-left modern feminists (67 percent), many of whom are black and Hispanic and poor.

The third myth the study calls into doubt is that most women support Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

This myth was recently conveyed in the Washington Post by David von Drehle in an article about the Supreme Court's decisions on abortion and civil liberties: "Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans have little appetite for reversing the court's path on social issues." .

Which polls is von Drehle referring to? Those same CNN and USA Today polls that Micheal referred to?

It certainly wasn't the poll Wattleton's organization, then called the Center for Gender Equality, took four years ago, which found that 53 percent of women favored outlawing abortion or restricting it to the hard cases--a pre-Roe standard.

Nor could von Drehle or Moore be referring to the current study, in which 51 percent of women felt the same way. Of course, even Republican pollsters acknowledge the difficulty of overturning Roe and Doe.

The message [of the study] is clear: For most women today, quality-of-life issues prevail over women's rights. This shift is likely to put liberals at a distinct disadvantage in any fight over a Supreme Court nominee." (Hey Michael....are you listening?? )

Of course, "Progress and Perils" isn't an exact road map for Republicans. It didn't ask respondents about specific abortion curbs, such as parental notification, or whether they support the procedure during the first trimester.Also, the study makes clear that some feminist principles remain popular. A strong majority of respondents say that the women's movement has helped them (60 percent) and that one need not be a mother to live a complete life (72 percent). Neither of those answers, however, is incompatible with pro-life and Republican positions. On abortion, not only are most women not pro-choice, but their position might be described as, well, Republican.

It must have come as a shock to Planned Parenthood, because interestingly enough, they have been very low key about discussing that recent survey. Gee...can't imagine why!!?

But I encourage Dems to listen to and act on Michael Moore's insight, knowledge, and wisdom, that way not only will they be guaranteed to lose the next election, but republicans will win by an even larger majority!

Monday, January 03, 2005

I Am A Hollywood Refugee

So many people have asked me why I left Hollywood.

On 9/11 we entered into self examination and re-examination - but for me this self examination happened several years earlier and was instrumental in my decision to leave Hollywood, and "the Biz" after having spent 9 yrs in LA, and almost 15 yrs in the film entertainment industry.

The more real I got the more unreal everything around me in Hollywood seemed. The shallowness that was so prevalent wore thin.

I like musicians, actors, people, music, tv, films, and books that engage me emotionally, psychologically and intellectually as well as sexually. I like both emotional and intellectual availability in people. The Strokes and Phantom Planet are two bands that I like because they speak to me in all those ways.

They have a Lou Reed /Velvet Underground quality to them and their music, an authenticity that is refreshing in these times of manufactured stars. And these guys are cute! If you can engage my mind and your hott as well, I am going to go crazy over you!

Pop culture and Hollywood are both seductive forces; there is a glamour to Hollywood and to celebrity that can be very seductive and also very dark.

Hollywood, like Fame, is a Pandora's box where both beauty and ugliness pour forth.

Success is unattainable or fleeting and today's IT LIST celeb soons finds his/her way onto tomorrows shit list; "friends" are transient, spirituality is kept hidden, vulnerability will destroy you, your ego will battle with your Soul for control over you, the world constantly wants a piece of you, even when there is nothing left for you to give and those lurking in your shadow constantly seek to usurp your fame.

"In Bees As Honey Drown" Alexa Vere De Vere reminds us that some choose to settle for
"fame without achievement, to seek tangible rewards first and then go through the motions of art to get them. Wanting fortune and fame, they put all their efforts into attracting money and attention and applause, rather than cultivating talent, all in the hopes of expanding the"self" with popularity and status."
Hollywood demands perfection, accepts mediocrity and celebrates failure.
It's so easy for todays celebs to lose favor with an audience, fans, and the media, and if that's their measure of "self" (the fans, the buzz of the media,the trappings of fame) then what do most have left when that disappears?

We all love to hear the buzz that drives the swarm of the media, but rarely does anyone want to watch as bees in honey drown.

Under the glaring spotlite of celebrity it's hard to find and connect with anything that's real.

My non-Hollywood friends, who I had known for years, suddenly wanted me to open the curtain for them to access this inner sanctum they believed I was privy too. And while I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I enjoyed then, and still do enjoy today, the perks that Hollywood offers to those who are a part of it, like my favorite dessert, it can never truly nourish or sustain me. And while I still get to enjoy those perks, I do so while living away from the glaring spotlite, away from the daily grind of dealing with egos and icons; I do so from a safe distance, from the place I am now.

But even at this safe distance, the glaring intense spotlight that the celebs I know and associate with sometimes choose to bask in, can still be blinding to me. The irony is that while celebs love the attention the spotlight brings them, believing that the attention connects them to many people, more often than not it creates a state of isolation, separation, and distrust.

And what loneliness is more lonely than distrust?

And for those of us who work or worked in the business of Hollywood and found themselves on the perimeter of the spotlight daily, the results are or were often the same.

I met a popular rock icon years ago at a bar owned by celeb friends, that he chose to work in- althoough he didnt need the money . He was suffering through a creative block and it was clear that he was conflicted about the bands new found fame and what the spotlight of celebrity was doing to him creatively and personally.

One of my favorite songs, "The Long December", expresses the downside of fame beautifully. "Its one more nite up in the canyons...its one more nite in Hollywood..if you think I could be forgiven..wish you would..the feeling that its alot of oysters but no pearls, all at once you look across a crowded room, and see the way the "light attaches" to a girl"(you can subsitute guy/celeb).

Remy Zero's CD which features" Save Me" - Smallville 's theme song- seems to be about stardom in Hollywood and what it does to people. Songs like "Save Me""Hollywood High", "Improbability" and the hidden track "Sub Balloon" all seem to express the conflicts and challenges that are inherent once this Pandora's Box is opened.

When the spotlite gets too big and too bright; when the light that shines on a celeb gets too intense; they need friends around them to keep them grounded and to deflect the light away from them.

But that state of distrust, that I mentioned before, sometimes keeps those much needed friends at bay.

The LA scene feeds itself- but it's not the scene I ever really had trouble with. The scene is what it is - you wanna play in it's waters - you learn to swim with the sharks and I swam with the best of them.

Where I had a problem is with what happens to some people under the glare of the spotlite who choose celebrity over integrity in their personal lives. That was hard on me then and still is even at this safe distance.

During my 9 years in Hollywood I was privileged to work with and befriend wonderful, successful, talented people, some of whom are still a part of my life today, but in the end I realized that I saw far too many devils in that angel town, and I knew I had to escape.

That's why I became- and still remain- a Hollywood Refugee.


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

Every now and then, being the Hollywood Refugee that I am, I check out the "Hollywood Elsewhere" website. Mostly I lurk about quietly, I like hanging about the ChatRoom..listening to the rants of the many....its closed down now, but will re-open in a couple of weeks.

So I decided to check out Jeff's "Wired" entries and came across one dated: 12/26/04 about R.Scotts new flick " Kingdom of Heaven" .

His insights about the film being yet Gladiator, Troy, and Alexander redux I totally agree with. Do we really need yet another boring movie of this genre that will yet again fail miserably at the box office?
FYI - I disliked all three...a waste of celluloid, time, talent and my money.

But wouldnt you know it at the very end of his entry Jeff muses about how he hopes the marketing of the movie is handled in such a way as to push past his concerns because he wants the movie to succeed. A noble hope until you read the last line: "It's about what we're doing in Iraq now, of course. That's a given."

So now Jeff is a historian and political commentator!!

But the problem is while his knowledge of film making may be vast and deep his knowledge of history and politics isn't!

He clearly has no idea about the complexity of the Crusades and todays reality in Iraq! But his comment is not meant to reflect any real knowledge of the subject matter, its merely meant to fuel the fires of other Bush hating Saddam loving liberals who barely have a passing understanding of religious history, political history, and no understanding of the truth about modern day Iraq, Saddam Hussein, or why we are in Iraq and the greater good it will serve.

Talk about being seriously clueless!

So imagine how THRILLED I was when I scrolled way further down the home page to "Heavens Dispute" and came across an email sent to Jeff by by Richard Szathmary.

It needs to be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated. But here is how Richard ends his FIRST email to Jeff "Really, Jeffrey, you're a fine film critic in my opinion, and you're especially great at the visceral reaction stuff, but you'd be even better if your writing indicated some familiarity with history."
SOME familiarity! Yeah, that would help especially if you intend to comment on something outside the purview of acting, directing, lighting, costuming, and storytelling.