"American Experience" on PBS tonight ran a documentary on the My Lai massacre of 1968. Seldom discussed in American media, education or in small talk, the Nazi-style murder of 500 unarmed Vietnamese men, women, children and babies in a village by an American squadron was covered up by the highest ranking military personnel. The men were "just following orders" of their superior officers, something we heard at another infamous military trial from another war.
The program was probably shocking to those hearing about this for the very first time.
Those of us who watched this circus as it originally unfolded during the Vietnam War and the subsequent pardon of the main perpetrator by President Richard Nixon, need only look at today's version of the Vietnam War--Iraq--for something that continues America's tradition of getting involved in places it has no business.
This is the main difference. Because of the development of mobile film equipment, satellites and a TV in every U.S. house, the Vietnam war became a novelty, the first war that could be updated quickly, just in time every evening for the nightly network news.
It would be boring now watching the aftermath of 60 people being blown up that day in Iraq. Instead we are fed a constant stream of dancing couples, American idols, Paris, Lindsay, Britney and Whitney.
American corporations know just how to keep Americans fat, lazy and unconcerned about anybody but themselves.
$300 million a day for Iraq. $100 million a day for Afghanistan.
Then you wonder why states are going bankrupt, cities are laying off thousands of workers, why schools and universities are closing early, why social programs are out of funds.
"Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our founding fathers, they were believers," said the always historically accurate Sarah Palin in a speech the other day.
Once again, Sarah Palin needs a history lesson.
"no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever"
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson , enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1786.
This will become the foundation for the First Amendment of the Constitution.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
The Founding Fathers were very clear. They knew what they were doing. State and Religion were separate entities.
Sarah, try reading these carefully sometimes.
Fox News Announces New Game Show!
Fox News will debut their new game show, "Are You Smarter Than Sarah Palin?" next week.
Every week, a group of children will see if they are smarter than Sarah Palin through a series of questions on history, geography and economics.
"Each week will feature a different school age grade challenging Sarah Palin's vast knowledge. We'll start with 5th graders and work our way down to Kindergarten and nursery school children. To make things fair for her we might even have a show with Sarah Palin vs. newborns," says the show's producer.
The most printed piece of worldwide news today was that the Vatican has forgiven The Beatles for their 60's lifestyle and even John Lennon for his famous "bigger than Jesus" statement. So everything's OK now! All you baby boomers who were sexually abused by Catholic priests should be overjoyed and delirious that the Vatican now also loves your number one lifelong obsession and you can all just stop complaining about those trivial perversion matters.
Since John Lennon's statement was just a little misunderstanding, so were those naughty priests. If the Vatican can forgive the Fab Four for leading the world's children down a path of free love, drugs and rebellion, than you can certainly forgive a bunch of hormonally overactive clergy.
If the Pope loves The Beatles now, so does Jesus! And Mary just can't get enough of "Let It Be."
Here is the story:
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has finally made peace with the Beatles, saying their drug use, "dissolute" lives and even the claim that the band was bigger than Jesus are all in the past - while their music lives on.
Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano paid tribute to the Fab Four in its weekend editions, with two articles and a front-page cartoon reproducing the crosswalk immortalized on the cover of the band's album "Abbey Road."
The tribute marked the 40th anniversary of the band's breakup.
"It's true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives," said the paper. "They even said they were more famous than Jesus," it said, recalling John Lennon's 1966 comment that outraged many Catholics and others. [Note: in the U.S. it was Southern Baptists in the deep South who held Beatle record burning bonfires]
"But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless," L'Osservatore said. "Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still give us emotions, live on like precious jewels."
It is not the first time the Vatican has praised the legendary band from Liverpool.
Two years ago, Vatican media hailed the Beatles' musical legacy on the 40th anniversary of the "White Album." And last month the Vatican paper included "Revolver" in its semiserious list of top-10 albums.
The Beatles have a number of songs which never are part of sing-a-longs, never have been discussed in detail and are generally ignored--yet they are as brilliant and creative as their regular output.
This is of course very subjective, but here is my list:
1. The Word - This upbeat "Rubber Soul" track was never performed live by the group as a band or as individuals. With an infectious utilization of the words "say the word," complex harmonies, a delicious organ involvement and the ultimate - a creative McCartney bass line especially at the end when the song changes direction, "The Word" is the ultimate lost gem in Beatleology. What baby boomer cannot hear the beginning of "Michelle" starting in their heads at the conclusion of the song?
2. Ask Me Why - From their original early "Please Please Me" era, this Lennon-McCartney composition was only performed live before they became famous worldwide. A love song featuring a wonderful emotional Lennon performance, the song was considered strong enough to be released as the B side to the single "Please Please Me." Of course that is everywhere but America where Capitol Records refused to release the single believing the group had no potential in the U.S. It was instead released on tiny Vee Jay Records where the single only got some airplay in Chicago on WLS in late February 1963 and quickly died. American would not hear about this incredible band again until January 1964.
3. What You're Doing - Recorded for "Beatles For Sale" and released later on the made up Capitol Records LP "Beatles VI," the song starts out with a catchy drum solo. The Paul-written lyrics clearly show a guy pleading with a girl to explain her behavior towards him. A pleasing guitar ditty that appears throughout are accentuated by the voice of Paul's believable misery as he makes his pleas.
The only way I can describe the magical event is like you got together with a group of friends to sing Beatles songs, except that it is thousands of friends and Paul McCartney is leading the sing-a-long.
Paul's show at the Hollywood Bowl was as much a phenomenal event as when he played with his group there in 1964.
Almost 68, Paul's enthusiasm and dynamic presence is no different than when he was 21.
It does make you aware that in 2014, he will be playing a "50th Anniversary Tour" and all those original screaming fans will be in their 60s and early 70s.
His rendition of "Let It Be" was soulful and emotional. His first ever live performance of "Oh Blah Di Oh Blah Da" was whimsical. "Daytripper" made the place go crazy.
I did notice that instead of using his original Epiphone that he recorded "Yesterday" on, he's gone to a Martin acoustic.
You can never get enough of Paul.