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February 24th, 2002:

Satire takes another body blow

Cleveland Indians pitcher John Rocker, best known for his sensitive commentary on racial and sexual relations, will portray a crazed killer in a new movie. The film, called “The Greenskeeper”, is the type of film that also features a Playboy model and a radio “personality”, so I don’t think they’ll be on any Oscar short lists. The producers are looking for a national distributor, otherwise it’s straight to video.

UPDATE: Here’s the IMDB page for this movie. Alas, no one has offered a review of it as yet.

Satellite subversion

Glenn Kinen points to this excellent article in the NY Times Sunday magazine about NITV and its subversive pro-American broadcasts to Iran. I sure hope they can find a sugar daddy to help them keep up the good work.

Slobogoogling: Sonja Myers

Matt Welch has been all over the Free Slobodan Milosevic petition which has been signed by over 1300 people. He suggested that bloggers start Googling these folks to see what else they’ve said and done.

Well, David Janes has put up a more detailed list of the signees, from which I see that a few call Houston home. I thought I’d check out a couple of my more interesting neighbors to see what history they have with Slobo.

First, there’s Sonja Myers. She apparently likes writing letters to the editor. Here’s one she sent to the Ottawa Sun. I’m personally fond of this quote, regarding the NATO bombing:

The jury is still out on the intent and consequences of NATO’s war and history would doubtless make the adequate judgement

Would that jury have anything to do with the OJ verdict? I’m just asking.

Here’s an unpublished letter to the NY Times. Guess it wasn’t fit to print.

Sonja has been an active opinion writer to the Houston Chronicle. A search of the Chron archives showed three letters in 1993 and two op-ed pieces in 1995. Most recent was a letter from December, 2000. Chron archives require registration so I can’t easily link them. I’ll quote from them instead.

Letter to the editor, 5/5/93:

The conflict in Bosnia is largely the result of outside interference in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia. Germany in particular greatly contributed to the present problems by encouraging Croatia and Slovenia to declare their independence and then pressuring the European Economic Community and the United States to support the move.

Those darned outside agitators. Serbia would’ve been such a peaceful place had it not been for them.

Letter to the editor, 8/16/93:

Taking sides in a three-way civil war is the worst thing the United States can do. Someone should tell our government that, among other things, bombing of the Bosnian Serbs will:

Not help but ruin the peace negotiations in Geneva.

Not bring peace to the region, but incite a long-term war.

Damage and close the existing humanitarian supply routes.

Bring about more killings of innocent civilians — the Croats, the Muslims and the Serbs — due to their close proximity to the front lines.

Cause a permanent rift between the United States, its NATO allies in Europe and the United Nations.

Upset the delicate balance in the U.S. relationship with Russia.

Here’s Chuck’s Sure-Fire Handy-Dandy Never-Fail Advice For Prognosticators: Always wait until after the event you’re forecasting has occurred before you make pronouncements about what will happen. It’s less embarrassing that way.

Letter to the editor, 12/3/93:

Thanks to […] the media, we are led to forget the fact that the people of Serbia are innocent. Compassion for human suffering, if genuine, is not limited to any particular nation or group of people.

We should ask ourselves why is the Bosnian Muslim population more deserving of the sympathy of the world then the suffering peoples of any other nation including Georgia (in the former Soviet Union) or Serbia.

Um, maybe because they were being ethnically cleansed? Just a guess.

Sonja started writing op-ed pieces for the Chron in 1995. She wrote one on 3/16/95 which, for some odd reason, I couldn’t find in the Chron’s archives. There were a couple of links in the Google search that seemed to point to this article as well, but they were all dead. Coincidence? You decide.

Anyway, the first op-ed piece drew four letters in response, three of which were critical. Here’s one letter in response, dated 3/21/95 by Zvonimir Milas:

In her March 16 Outlook article, “Bosnian Serbs, too, have vowed: “Never again,’ ” Sonja Myers attempts to justify the genocide committed by Serbs on Croats and Muslims during the last four years of Serbia’s aggression on Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

She depicts Serbs as victims of Croats and Muslims during World War II. She distorts the WWII statistics, in a similar way that the former communist-dominated Yugoslavia had done for nearly 50 years to justify Serbian dominance over all other nationalities in that country.

In that war, however, there were massive exterminations of Croats and Muslims by Serbs which continued after the war ended. But in that totalitarian, communist Yugoslavia ruled by Serbs, even to mention the Serbian actions resulted in imprisonment, exile or worse.

Her next op-ed article was on 6/10/95:

Contrary to the current popular belief, there is a solution to end the civil war in Bosnia. It is the same solution that could have prevented the war. It requires applying the same moral principles and affording equal treatment to all sides, including the Serbs. A short trip to the library would reveal that the Serbs in Bosnia have a case: their legitimate rights and concerns to be heard, acknowledged and respected. This would open the way to meaningful negotiations and secure necessary Serb concessions for a long-term political settlement and peace in the Balkans. The alternatives are too awful to even contemplate.

Sometimes, as Dogbert once said, no sarcastic remark seems adequate.

Her most recent letter to the editor was on 12/5/00. I quote it in full because it’s a bit bizarre:

My entire family in Belgrade demonstrated for days demanding that Slobodan Milosevic accept the results of the presidential elections and concede defeat to his opponent, Vojislav Kostunica.

The ruling party used election officials, courts and the media – all run by Milosevic’s political party – to deny victory to Kostunica.

The main weapon for manipulating public opinion was to call the people of Serbia “traitors, bandits and mobsters,” and swear that the “will of the people,” the “fair and accurate vote recount” and the “rule of law” should prevail.

Many Serbs and those who followed news reports on the Yugoslav elections probably had a strong sense of deja vu regarding the 2000 U.S. presidential election as they watched the “ruling party” and its operatives manipulate public opinion, pressure the courts to change existing laws, harass and threaten election boards to do all they could to change the bad outcome for their Democratic candidate, Al Gore.

History has a weird sense of humor, but in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined that the actions and intentions of the power-obsessed Milosevic could have been matched up exactly to the last dirty trick by America’s Democratic Party and its candidate for the presidency.

What can I say?

There were not that many results in Google for Sonja Myers. Most of them point back to the Free Slobo petition or refer to one of her published or unpublished editorials. The Houston Chronicle archives were the most useful resource.

Slobogoogling: Stan Goff

Stan Goff, as nearly everything written by or about him always says, is a retired US Special Forces Master Sergeant. He’s written a book called Hideous Dream: A Soldier’s Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti. I’m not qualified to comment on this book, but surely someone else out there is. (Paging Sgt. Stryker. Please pick up the white courtesy phone.)

Stan has apparently been busy in the antiwar camp since 9/11. Here’s the text of a speech he gave at a “teach-in” (oooh, coopted 1960s rhetoric!) at the University of North Carolina on 9/17/01. You can read this in HTML here. We see that whatever talent Stan may have as a military historian, he’s pretty lousy as a pundit:

“Since the attacks of September 11th, we have seen the unfolding of a national ritual denunciation of this crime that is much more than an expression of outrage and sadness. A disciplined military-financial-industrial press is harmonizing us in this ritual, and the orchestra director is theBush regime. Failure to participate is being constructed as heresy.

Heresy includes:

  1. The failure to call for war or support out leaders when they call for war
  2. The denial that this can be reduced to a test between good and evil
  3. The refusal to accept official explanations
  4. The temerity to suggest that our own rulers have committed equally offensive actions
  5. And finally, that our own financial, political, military, and intelligence establishments bear a portion of the blame.

There is a new McCarthyism emerging here, and a new loyalty oath along with it.”

Yeah, yeah, we know, the poor oppressed antiwar demonstrators. Been there, done that.

Next up is an article from 10/20/01, in which Stan discloses the real reason for the attacks and the US response. I’ll give you a hint: it’s all a Big Conspiracy! Involving oil! Which we’re running out of! So we need to control the supply!

“The left, if it has the capacity to self-organize out of its oblivion, needs to understand its critical roles here. We have to play the role of credible, hard-working, and non-sectarian partners in a broader peace-movement. We have to study, synthesize, and describe our current historical conjuncture. And we have to prepare leadership for the decisive conflict that will emerge to first defeat fascism then take political power.”

Too bad you didn’t do any of these things. I’ll give the man props for vocabulary, though – he actually used the word “klavern” to describe President Bush’s senior leadership team.

Here’s an interview conducted on 11/5/01 with someone named Mike McCormick. All I have to say is someone needs to explain the concept of “paragraphs” to whoever transcribed this.

Here’s an excerpt from and plug for his book, Hideous Dream: A Soldier’s Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti (ISBN: 1887128638; only two left in stock at Amazon, so hurry up and order). It’s in a Marxism-Feminism list archive at The joke is left as an exercise for the reader.

I searched the Chron archives but found no matches for “Stan Goff”, “Stanley Goff”, or “Hideous Dream”, so either he’s not from the Bayou City or he’s not a letter-writer like Sonja Myers. There were quite a few pages’ worth of results in Google on Stan, but I think this gives the basic gist of who he is.