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PCR #216. (Vol. 5, No. 20) This edition is for the week of May 10--16.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! One hell of a week in Iraq and the finger pointing is getting me sick. Shall we begin?

Florida’s Commuter Airlines from the 1960s to the 1980s: Part Three
 by Will Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
"Van Helsing"  by Nolan B. Canova
Horrible Horrors
 by Andy Lalino
Photos of Tortured Iraqi Prisoners....Kerry vs Bush....Terri's Law
 by Joshua Montgomery
The Return of the Monsters....Van Helsing
 by John Lewis
Who's In Charge Here?....Eat All You Want--That's Enough....Tank You Beddy Much....Radio Edit....Meet The Beatles, Part 16
 by Mike Smith
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It is times like these in our country that continue to amaze me. Does our government really think we are morons? First we see the increasingly disturbing images captured at the prison we are running in Iraq. Then we are subjected to the cold-blooded murder of an American citizen. A citizen who, according to his family, wanted to come home but was delayed by persons and reasons unknown.

As for the case being built against young army private Lyndie England, it is obvious to me that she is being made the scapegoat. She has spoken to reporters and has said she was just doing what she was told. Do I believe her? Hell, yes! Are we going to believe that some stupid kid from West Virginia is running the prison in Iraq?

Let me relate something that I learned 25 years ago. And Matt will back me up on this as well. During basic training we had a young man who refused to bathe. No matter what we did, he would, at best, take a quick shower and dry off. I don't believe he ever used soap. After 3 days in the woods we hiked 20 miles back to our barracks. Sure enough, 5 minutes after we were dismissed, this guy was in bed. The guys around him were more then pissed because by then this guy just stank. Matt and I, being the outgoing guys we were, went to our senior instructor on behalf of the group and complained. After being informed of the situation, we were told the following: "Well, I can't tell you to do this but..........." after which he offered several pretty intense solutions. To make a long story short, six of us dragged his ass into the shower and proceeded to scrub him clean. After that, he was always the first one into the shower and he made sure everyone knew he was clean. It appears to me that the same situation has happened in Iraq.

While I don't condone what was done to these prisoners, I also don't blame these young soldiers being used as the face of this abuse. The pictures released show that these were not isolated incidents. For the people in charge to say they had no idea what was going in is an outright lie. And if they didn't, they have no reason being in command!

As for Nick Berg, the young man who was brutally killed by his Iraqi kidnappers, we are once again being lied to by our government. According to Berg's parents, Berg tried to leave Iraq but was detained by Iraqi and US personnel. The US personnel are denying this, saying it was the Iraqi government that held him. WHAT IRAQI GOVERNMENT?? Last I saw Saddam Hussein was in custody and the US was calling the shots. The FBI contacted Berg's family to verify his reasons for being in Iraq after his detainment. As far as I know, the FBI is part of the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, not Iraq's. Once again, we as a country are being made to look foolish in the eyes of the world. Like Berg's family, I too hold President Bush and his minions responsible for this young man's murder.

I had so many bad thoughts about the future when Bush was elected but none of them can compare to what we are experiencing. I truly fear that we as a nation are going to continue to suffer the embarrassment and indignities we are now enduring for a long time. And I fear even more that before November there is going to be another terrorist attack on our shores, one that will dwarf what happened on 9/11. It's been almost three years since that horrible day, and we are no closer to finding bin Laden now than we were then. In fact, with the exception of news about the occasional taped message bin Laden supposedly releases, I never hear his name mentioned by anyone in the administration when discussing our "war on terrorism." Instead we have allowed our president to play on our emotions and start a war that wasn't necessary. We have fueled the war on terrorism, not stifled it. And I'm afraid the worse is yet to come.

If you're a big guy like me, one word that really makes you happy is BUFFET. To me it's a word that means, "help yourself." Sadly, the Chuck-A-Rama restaurant chain in Utah does not agree with me. I am reminded of the "Simpsons" episode where Homer goes to the all you can eat fish restaurant and is thrown out at closing. He sues because he did not get "all he could eat." Last month, a couple on a low carb diet were cut off at the restaurant when the husband made one too many trips to the food line. According to the manager, Sui Amaama, age 26, was visiting the roast beef table for the 12th time when he was asked to leave. Refusing to leave, the manager called the police and had the man arrested. Chain owners did issue an apology but stressed that the word BUFFET means "self service" and not all-you-can-eat. My main question is how did the manager know the man was getting his 12th piece of roast beef? And why did he care?

Friday will mark the 20th anniversary of the death of comedian Andy Kaufman. I bring this up because on more then one occasion Kaufman told his good friend, Bob Zmuda, that if he ever faked his death he would resurface 20 years later to the day. If you look in your daily paper you may see a personal ad reminding Kaufman of his promise and letting him know there will be a party in his honor at the House of Blues in New York. Proceeds from the party will be donated to Comic Relief, an organization Zmuda founded in Kaufman's honor after his death.

In an attempt to protect themselves from the witch hunters at the FCC, radio stations are self-editing songs that have played unedited for 20 years of more. Here is what you are missing:

JACK AND DIANE - while Diane is still sitting on Jack's lap with his hands between her knees, they are no longer running off behind a shady tree so he can dribble off those Bobby Brooks and do what he please.

MONEY - While it's still a hit, you can no longer give him that do-goody-good bullshit.

WHO ARE YOU? - Who the fuck are you? Daltry really wants to know.

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE - While Candy is still everybody's darling and never loses her head, she's no longer in the backroom givin' head.

MIRACLES - you no longer get a taste of the real world when Marty Balin "went down on you girl." Too bad.

CAT SCRATCH FEVER - Ready Teddy can't make her pussy purr anymore with a stroke of his hand.

May 19, 1967 - With "Paperback Writer" being readied for release at the end of the month, the Beatles do a series of promotional films for the song to be released in the UK, the US and other countries. They produce four (2 color, 2 black and white) different promos for the song and three (2 color, 1 black and white) for the record's B-side, "Rain." The films are directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who will later be hired by the band to record their "Get Back" project, which will become the feature film, "Let It Be."

Well, that's it for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.