"The Southern End of a North Bound Jackass"

In the United States we have a class of people, who because of their wealth, position and fame have come to think they should be listened to; that we the poor and un-washed should pay attention to them. They have "played" the parts of soldiers, detectives, professors, pastors, doctors, nurses, teachers and presidents; "surely these roles" must have qualified them as experts in every subject! In truth they have become so caught up in role playing they have become the characters in the roles they played; they are self made "experts" in every field from public education to foreign affairs. In real life they are just actors playing on a stage, with a terminal case of foot-in-mouth disease, so now we come to:

The Braying Jackass Awards!
This Year's Candidates

Edward Norton: "Almost everyone in Germany and France is in sync with the governments. I almost forgot what it's like to be proud of my government. . . . It's dismaying to see the unilateralism the government is doing. There aren't enough rational steps."

Robert Altman: "The present government in America I just find disgusting, the idea that George Bush could run a baseball team successfully -- he can't even speak! I just find him an embarrassment. I was over here when the election was on and I couldn't believe it -- and I'm 76 years old. Then when the Supreme Court came in and turned out to be a totally political animal, the last shred of any naivete that was left in me has gone. When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke."

Mike Farrell: "It is inappropriate for the administration to trump up a case in which we are ballyhooed into war." Yet when Clinton took non-U.N.-approved military action in Kosovo, Farrell said, "I think it's appropriate for the international community in situations like this to intervene. I am in favor of an intervention."

Jessica Lange:“In my country the atmosphere is poisoned. Unbreathable for those of us who are not on the right. So thank you for inviting me to this festival and allowing me to leave there for a few days.” "I hate George W. Bush" and "I despise" his administration. "I despise him!" she snarled about President Bush. "I despise his administration and everything they stand for ... And I think this latest thing with Iraq is absolute madness ... it's unconstitutional, it's immoral and basically illegal. ... It is an embarrassing time to be an American. It really is. It's humiliating."

Harry Belafonte: "There's an old saying,In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master... exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. "Colin Powell's committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture." "Absolutely. I not only think that they are misguided, but I think they know exactly what they are doing and I think that they are men who are possessed of evil." "I don't think that [U.S. President] George Bush...is a man of honor." "I think he has a very selfish, arrogant point of view."

Danny Glover: "Yes, he's racist. We all knew that but the world is only finding it out now. As Texas's governor, Bush led a penitentiary system that executed more people than all the other U.S. states together. And most of the people who died from (the) death penalty were Afro-Americans or Hispanics. . . . (Bush) promoted a conservative program, designed to eliminate everything Americans had accomplished so far in matters of race and equality." (For the record, during George Bush's tenure as governor of Texas, the state executed 152 people, over half were white, about one-third black, with the remainder Hispanic or "other.")

Janeane Garofalo: "The world would be better off with multiple superpowers." When asked if that means our enemies should be more powerful Garofalo said, "Sure . . . when Communist U.S.S.R. was a superpower, the world was better off. . . . The right-wing media is trying to marginalize the peace movement." "'We're here, we're queer!' -- "So when I see the American flag, I go, 'Oh my God, you're insulting me.'" "Not the flag, but a gay naked man or woman burning the flag. I get choked up with pride." In an MSNBC interview before the war, actress Janeane Garofalo was asked who was more of a threat to world peace, President Bush or Saddam Hussein. She found no moral difference between them: "They are both very threatening to world peace, and to deny that is to be incredibly naive." In August, as she guest-hosted on CNN, filling in for Begala (and how appropriate was that!), she asserted that "Team Bush is more radically corrupt than Richard Nixon ever tried to be ... It is, in fact, a conspiracy of the 43rd Reich."

BARBRA STREISAND: The War on Terrorism has not been as successful as President Bush has stated, and he is feeling pressure to do something, even if that something has nothing to do with actually fighting terrorism! The Bush administration thinks they can fool us into thinking they have the terrorism situation under control by going after Saddam, when all they are doing is exacerbating the problem by creating more outrage against the United States from potential terrorists.

Chrissie Hynde: "Have we gone to war yet? We (expletive) deserve to get bombed. Bring it on." "Let's get rid of all the economic (expletive) this country represents! Bring it on, I hope the Muslims win!"

Larry Hagman: "A sad figure (Bush): not too well educated, who doesn't get out of America much. He's leading the country towards fascism."

Michael Moore: Speaking of the 9/11 Trade Center Attack Moore thinks they did it to get back at Bush! "Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California--these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!" Remember the heroes of Flight 93-- “the passengers were scaredy-cats because they were mostly white. If the passengers had included black men, he claimed, those killers, with their puny bodies and unimpressive small knives, would have been crushed by the dudes." "I believe our mentality as Americans is to shoot first and ask questions later," he says. "We just . . . go for the gun in a way that no other country does. . . . The guy who’s sitting in the Oval Office tonight. He wants to bomb [Iraq]. We don’t need any more inspections, let’s just bomb them and we’ll find out later if they have the weapons. That’s the American way." In an HBO interview with Bob Costas, filmmaker Michael Moore insisted that Osama bin Laden is currently being hidden by the U.S. government: "He's back living with his sponsors (in Saudi Arabia) ... I think our government knows where he is, and I don't think we're going to be capturing him or killing him anytime soon."

Martin Sheen: "I think he'd (George W. Bush) like to hand his father Saddam Hussein's head and win his approval for what happened after the Gulf War. That's my own personal opinion, I don't know if that's true. I hope it's not, but I suspect it is." "George W Bush is like a bad comic working the crowd, a moron, if you'll pardon the expression."

Ed Asner: "I think that the idea of Iraq being a nuclear threat is poppycock, and if they are a nuclear threat then they'd have to borrow atomic bombs from Israel." “I feel that George Bush's actions are desecrating the America that I grew up in and believed in. He is making us an imperialist government. He is choosing to replace heads of state and government he doesn't like.” “There’s total Islamic fascism. I also think that there is a strong streak of racism, and whenever we engage in foreign adventures. Our whole history in regime change has been of people of different color.” “I have never seen him [G. W. Bush] as a man with clarity and vision.”

Ed Harris: "Being a man, I've got to say that we've got this guy in the White House who thinks he is a man, you know, who projects himself as a man and because he has a certain masculinity, and he's a good old boy, and he used to drink, and he knows how to shoot a gun and how to drive a pickup truck, etcetera like that. That's not the definition of a man, God dammit!"

Dustin Hoffman: "For me as an American, the most painful aspect of this is that I believe that administration has taken the events of 9/11 and has manipulated the grief of the country and I think that's reprehensible." "I don't think, like many of us, that the reasons we have been given for going to war are the honest reasons." "I believe -- though I may be wrong, because I'm no expert -- that this war is about what most wars are about: hegemony, money, power and oil."

Sean Penn: "If there is a war or continued sanctions against Iraq, the blood of Americans and Iraqis alike will be on our hands." “I don’t know if people value the thought of revolution any more. I think it would be an enormously patriotic movement to invest in the possibility of revolution. “You guys misprinted me. You had me talking about some kind of cultural revolution, and I was talking about taking arms against the government.... I don’t know if revolution is practical because the technology is such that we’d lose. But I think there’s an enormous amount of room for an activism that I, shamefully, am not yet enough of a participant in. But it’s starting to come. You see these kids now.... Nothing like Seattle happened in 20 years. It is a very hopeful thing.” In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, actor Sean Penn suggests Britney Spears should reconsider her words of support for President Bush, since the war was waged only for "3,000 white elderly males!" (Which ones? Who knows? Who cares?)

David Clennon (of the television show "The Agency") appeared on the Sean Hannity radio show and likened America's current pro-war atmosphere to that of Nazi Germany. Was he comparing Bush to Adolf Hitler? No. Clennon said, "Hitler is smarter than Bush." "I'm saying that the moral climate within the ruling class in this country is not that different from the moral climate within the ruling class of Hitler's Germany." "I'm saying that we [Americans] have sunk pretty low and I'm saying that you can look at the moral climate in Germany in 1933. We have to ask ourselves if we found ourselves in Nazi Germany, what would we do? Now I say, let the inspection process take its course."

George Clooney: "You can't beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people revenge-seeking. . . . These days it only matters who's in charge. Right now that's us -- for a while at least. Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win. . . . We (USA) can't beat anyone anymore."

Spike Lee: "Too many people are being bowled over by Bush and Tony Blair in Britain. It's ludicrous to expect the whole world to follow what they want. . . . America doesn't have the moral right to tell other people what to do. To say the whole world has to fall into line is you-know-what. I hope more people will rise up."

Natalie Maines, who was quoted as saying, "Just so you know, we're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas."

Richard Gere: "It's all of our jobs too keep our minds as expansive as possible. If you can see [the terrorists] as a relative who's dangerously sick and we have to give them medicine, and the medicine is love and compassion. There's nothing better." Gere On Iraq: "Bush's plans for war are a bizarre bad dream. There doesn't appear to be any sort of basis for any of this. I have a feeling something hidden is at work here that will someday see the light of day." "I keep asking myself where all this personal enmity between George Bush and Saddam Hussein comes from. It's like the story of Captain Ahab and the great white whale from Moby Dick." "We have to say stop, there's no reason for a war. At the moment Hussein is not threatening anybody." "It'd be different if he was staring somebody down with a loaded gun in his hand. But there doesn't seem to be any indications whatsoever that this man poses an immediate threat to anybody."

Susan Sarandon: "If the United States marches into Iraq without the backing of the United Nations, that will be done entirely without the backing of the American people." "I don't think that a military expansion of violence is the solution. No, I don't think I would want to go to war against Iraq." “Let us find a way to resist fundamentalism that leads to violence. Fundamentalism of all kinds, in al-Qaeda and within our government. And what is our fundamentalism? Cloaked in patriotism and our doctrine of spreading democracy throughout the world, our fundamentalism is business.” “This [war] is about business, the business of distracting American attention from Enron and Haliburton, the financial scandals that directly connect this administration to the heart of what is now wrong with the American economy.”

Sheryl Crow: "I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies." Sheryl Crow protest Bush's war on Iraq, but that was not the case with Clinton's war in the Balkins. She traveled with Hillary Clinton and joined the USO to entertain the troops. Listen to her Gush! In April 1996 she told USA Today: "Once over there I felt extremely patriotic. Here are these people, from 18-year-olds to military veterans, enduring real duress for the cause of peace. I don't ever want to play for a regular audience again, only military folks who are starving for music."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson didn't use the harsh words of Harry Belafonte to describe U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell when he spoke in Athens Sunday, but he told his audience to be clear on one thing about Powell, ''He's not on our team,'' Jackson's criticism of the Bush administration, which he said is using an exaggerated threat from a country that might get nuclear weapons -- Iraq -- as an ''election trick'' 'Here we are today victimized by a stolen election that's turned into a mandate for war,'' said Jackson

Bill Maher: "We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away," he said after the terrorist attacks. "That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building - say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."

Gore Vidal: "I don't see us winning the war,"... "We have made enemies of one billion Muslims . . . Whatever Saddam has that might be atrocious — mustard gas, pox, viruses — we will ensure that he uses it."... "As dumb as this administration is, they don't look ahead,"..."They don't know where any countries are. They don't know how to make deals. They don't really know much about anything. There is no plan . . . Now you have people [in Washington] who have no interest in the country at all. They're interested in their companies, their corporations grabbing Caspian oil."

Surely not all of Hollywood feels this way. Undoubtedly, however, many fear losing work if "outed" as a non-liberal. Maybe Hollywood non-libs can band together, find a lawyer, and file a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The grounds? Hostile work environment.

To quote Oscar Wilde, "By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, (journalism) keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community."

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

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