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US Society Archive

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Richard Goldstein: Bush's Basket  - Bush may be a master of populist pretense, but he can't claim to be self-made. His saga rests on his quest to be a man. The real triumph of Bush's media team is not a matter of lighting and positioning but of creating a presidential persona that radiates stead-fastness, plainspokenness, sexual continence, and righteous religiosity. These are the hallmarks of conservative macho.
   But something about Bush's image seems as artificially enhanced as his crotch. His need to flaunt it can be read as a response to anxiety. If you have to show your balls, maybe it's because you can't take them for granted. That isn't just Bush's problem. If macho seems so tragicomically x-treme these days, it's because many men think masculinity could actually disappear.

Monday, May 19, 2003

The Philosopher: The late Leo Strauss has emerged as the thinker of the moment in Washington, but his ideas remain mysterious. Was he an ardent opponent of tyranny, or an apologist for the abuse of power? - Barbs aside, 9/11 questions aren't going away: Michele Landsberg: "Why did the U.S. military, with the most powerful arsenal in world history, fail to prevent or at least try to stop a series of hijackings and crashes that went on for nearly two hours? Where was the Air Force? If President Bush and his cabinet were not, at this very moment, still trying to censor, suppress and delay the publication of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, if there had been honest disclosure and straight stories from the beginning, perhaps all these "dark questions," as the Post puts it, would never have arisen."
And see her previous column on this subject.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Shaping Cultural Tastes at Big Retail Chains: Wal-Mart refuses to sell any albums with parental warning stickers, including most hip-hop releases. Eminem's albums, for example, are not sold at Wal-Mart. Many artists and labels, however, re-record special, cleaned-up editions of their albums for Wal-Mart's shelves, deleting obscenities or changing lyrics.
   The major record labels have satellite offices near Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., to cater to its buyers. Several major music companies, including Warner Brothers, BMG and EMI, have invested in Christian labels after Christian sales soared, helped partly by Wal-Mart and other discounters.
   The mass merchandisers' ability to sell vast quantities of deeply discounted albums has disproportionately benefited performers more likely to appeal to a rural, small-town or suburban audience, generally benefiting country and hurting rap, several music executives said.
   For example, mass merchandisers accounted for about 60 percent of the 5.4 million sales of the Dixie Chicks' most recent album and about 72 percent of the 2.5 million sales of Toby Keith's last album, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
   .... Mr. Kirshbaum of AOL Time Warner's books unit said he decided to start a religious imprint because a book buyer for Wal-Mart told him that more than half its sales were Christian books. In the last two months, Crown, part of the Random House division of Bertelsmann, and Penguin, part of the British media company Pearson, both started new lines aimed at tapping the booming market for conservative books.

Arundhati Roy: Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free), presented in New York City at The Riverside Church May 13, 2003.

In town for protest, cyclists are arrested : "Police told the cyclists that anyone older than 12 needed a license to ride a bicycle in St. Louis, the cyclists said. The eight men and one woman in the group were handcuffed, taken to a St. Louis police station and processed. Eventually, they were given tickets for impeding the flow of traffic and released after about six hours in police custody. City Counselor Patricia Hageman said a rarely enforced law requiring bicycle licenses was on the books until about two years ago. She called the incident Friday a "misunderstanding." But members of the group said it was part of what they called a pre-emptive strike on World Agriculture Forum protesters. "

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Chicks against the machine: Offered the chance to take it all back and make nice, the Dixie Chicks instead chose to turn the interview around. Sawyer wanted answers; the Chicks offered questions, hard questions. Sawyer wanted to talk about the damage they may have done to their career; the Chicks talked about the damage being done to America in an era where Vice President Dick Cheney has proclaimed "You're either with us or against us." The band may have gotten more attention posing nude for the cover of the current Entertainment Weekly, with phrases like "Dixie Sluts," "Saddam's Angels" and "Traitors" stamped on their bodies. But it was the stubborn refusal they showed Sawyer that cut deepest.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Golden State Museum Sacramento "The Whole World's Watching: Peace and Social Justice Movements of the 1960s and 1970s" Exhibit April 22 through June 15, 2003

Bush Shows 'Pattern of Hostility' Toward Civil Rights: The administration of President George W. Bush is steadily and systematically working to reverse longstanding civil rights policies and impede the enforcement of U.S. civil rights laws, according to a new report released Thursday by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF).
   ... "the combination of below-the-radar regulations, little-noticed litigation, and severe budget cuts illustrates a pattern of hostility toward core civil rights values and signals a diminished commitment to the idea of non-discrimination"

Friday, April 25, 2003

I.R.S. to Ask Working Poor for Proof on Tax Credits: Internal Revenue Service is planning to ask more than four million of the working poor who now claim a special tax credit to provide the most exhaustive proof of eligibility ever demanded of any class of taxpayers.
   ... But some tax experts criticize the higher burden of proof as unfair and a wasteful allocation of scarce I.R.S. enforcement dollars. They say that corporations, business owners, investors and partnerships deprive the government of many times what the working poor ever could — through both illegal means and legal shelters — yet these taxpayers face no demands to prove the validity of their claims in advance with certified records and sworn affidavits.
   Others warn that the proposed I.R.S. rules will set a standard of proof so high that it will be difficult, and in some cases impossible, for honest taxpayers to meet it. As a result, some people entitled to the tax credit will no longer receive it. And those who do manage to file successful claims will almost certainly have to pay commercial tax preparers more for helping them with the extra paperwork.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Tim Robbins: Speech to National Press Club: "A chill wind is blowing in this nation. A message is being sent through the White House and its allies in talk radio and Clear Channel and Cooperstown. If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications. Every day, the air waves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent. And the public, like so many relatives and friends that I saw this weekend, sit in mute opposition and fear. "

Monday, April 21, 2003

Nina Simone, 70, Soulful Diva and Voice of Civil Rights, Dies
   Although she was most often characterized as a jazz singer, Ms. Simone, who usually performed with a rhythm section and always accompanied herself on piano, was almost impossible to classify.
   "If I had to be called something," she wrote in 1991 in her autobiography, "I Put a Spell on You," "it should have been a folk singer because there was more folk and blues than jazz in my playing."
   But her piano playing also revealed her classical training more clearly than most jazz pianists', and her singing — at times rough and raw, at other times sweet and pure — owed an unmistakable debt to black gospel music.
   ... Ms. Simone was as famous for her social consciousness as she was for her music. In the 1960's no musical performer was more closely identified with the civil rights movement. Though she was best known as an interpreter of other people's music, she eloquently expressed her feelings about racism and black pride in those years in a number of memorable songs she wrote herself.
   "Mississippi Goddam" was an angry response to the killing of the civil rights advocate Medgar Evers. "Young, Gifted and Black," written with the keyboardist Weldon Irvine Jr., became something of an anthem, recorded by Aretha Franklin and many others. "Four Women" painted a subtle but stinging picture of the suffering and the strength of African-American women.

Today Show Goes Dark on Tim Robbins: A conversation about free speech. An anchor asking reasonable questions. A guest responding in equally reasonable tones. No attempt to close out the discussion - to say "Well thank you Tim". This was not a filibuster. Robbins was not hogging the spotlight. Someone in the control room simply decided that it was time to pull the plug. And without grace or ceremony, or even the face saving of letting Lauer say "We're out of time" as morning shows do on so many occasions. A conversation about free speech and free expression was cut off mid sentence as the network went to black.

The New York Review of Books: Anti-Americans Abroad - Tony Judt: "Europeans want a more interventionist state at home than Americans do, and they expect to pay for it. Even in post-Thatcher Britain, 62 percent of adults polled in December 2002 would favor higher taxes in return for improved public services. The figure for the US was under 1 percent. This is less surprising when one considers that in America (where the disparities between rich and poor are greater than anywhere else in the developed world) fully 19 percent of the adult population claims to be in the richest 1 percent of the nation--and a further 20 percent believe they will enter that 1 percent in their lifetime!" [first half of this review is not very interesting.]

Sunday, April 20, 2003

4/3/2003 -- Mugging the Needy - Bob Herbert: "The House plan offers the well-to-do $1.4 trillion in tax cuts, while demanding billions of dollars in cuts from programs that provide food stamps, school lunches, health care for the poor and the disabled, temporary assistance to needy families -- even veterans' benefits and student loans. An analysis of the House budget by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that its proposed cuts in child nutrition programs threaten to eliminate school lunches for 2.4 million low-income children. "

THE ABRIDGED 9/11 TIMELINE - the king of the 9/11 conspiracy web sites. Lots of interesting stuff...

The Press and the Myths of War: "War itself is venal, dirty, confusing and perhaps the most potent narcotic invented by humankind. Modern industrial warfare means that most of those who are killed never see their attackers. There is nothing glorious or gallant about it. If we saw what wounds did to bodies, how killing is far more like butchering an animal than the clean and neat Hollywood deaths on the screen, it would turn our stomachs.
   ... War as myth begins with blind patriotism, which is always thinly veiled self-glorification. We exalt ourselves, our goodness, our decency, our humanity, and in that self-exaltation we denigrate the other. The flip side of nationalism is racism--look at the jokes we tell about the French.

"All our lives we have blamed our parents and our parents' generation for allowing Hitler to gain control. Now we're beginning to see how powerless they must have felt to stop what was happening all around them." ---An elderly Jewish couple, quoted by Richard L. Clinton in the Oregonian, 8 April 2003

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

What About Private Lori?: "Lori Piestewa, 23, was killed, with the gruesome distinction of being the first native American in the US army to be killed in combat and the only American servicewoman to die in this war. "

AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch

30-year tax resister will refuse to pay again, protesting war in Iraq
By JIM GETZ Post-Dispatch
  Thirty years ago, St. Louis peace activist Bill Ramsey withheld his federal income taxes to protest the Christmas 1972 bombing of Haiphong in the war in Vietnam.
  Nothing has changed for him, 30 years later, except the bombing has shifted to Iraq. 
  Today, with about 30 others in the St. Louis area, Ramsey will again refuse to pay the taxes and instead will direct the amount to local humanitarian causes. 
  "I believe all the resources that come to me come as a trust," he said, "and I can't turn them over to somebody who uses them to kill people, and that's what the Pentagon does." 
  This infuriates some people who believe Americans should be willing to pay the tax bill that enables the benefits of living in the United States.
  They also are annoyed that the federal government seems to be more willing to prosecute tax resisters such as anti-government radical groups Posse Comitatus and the Freemen than protesters such as the anti-war St. Louis Covenant Community of War Tax Resisters. 
  Janine Meriweather investigated such cases for nine years for the Internal Revenue Service before becoming a spokeswoman for the agency last August. She has heard most of the claims, and many are found within the Department of Justice Tax Division's 56 pages of legal guidelines on tax resisters. 
  "They're basically the type of people who say, 'I'm not going to pay taxes because the Constitution doesn't say I have to pay taxes,'" she recalled. "Sometimes they put a religious angle on it or say that the type of income they receive isn't taxable." 
  Ramsey served 30 days in prison in 1993 for failing to pay taxes. Since then, though, Meriweather has not heard of any cases referred to the U.S. attorney in St. Louis, Ray Gruender. 
  "I would just say that we don't set criteria on the type of people we investigate," she added. "Each case is looked at evenly. There's no different standards for different types of people." 
  But Meriweather and Gruender say they can't comment on whether Ramsey or any other protester is being investigated - or why they haven't been in the past. 
  Gruender's office prosecutes based on evidence received from the IRS. Meriweather said the criminal division, when made aware of a case, tries to determine how much money is involved and how much "willfulness" there is to not pay. 
  The IRS investigation can take up to two years and another year after that before a charge is filed. 
  Nationwide, from October 2001 through March 2003, 346 people were convicted for failing to pay their income taxes. About 80 percent of them went to prison.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

War, Politics, Culture  Intervention Magazine / Mission Statement:
In response to this vastly changed world, Intervention Magazine online has expanded its forum. Beyond military affairs and foreign policy, the magazine will present insightful and clear discussion on the domestic and international political environment, the media, which is increasingly concentrated, global and local environmental issues, as well as the literature of witness. The major themes of the new Intervention, then, are war and its aftermath, politics and democracy, as well as culture and literature.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Muslim Groups Protest Bush Peace Nominee: "Muslim groups were stunned last week when President Bush nominated Daniel Pipes to the board of the United States Institute of Peace, a federal think tank. For years, the outspoken director of the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia has called for a war on Islamic extremism, declaring in one post-Sept. 11 interview: "What we need to do is inspire fear, not affection." The Harvard-trained scholar has declared Islamic extremists are conspiring to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Koran, that one in 10 American Muslims are militants and suggested the government needs to monitor Muslims and mosques across the country. "

Thursday, April 10, 2003

On Getting Along By Howard Zinn: You ask how I manage to stay involved and remain seemingly happy and adjusted to this awful world where the efforts of caring people pale in comparison to those who have power?

When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History: February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag) building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation.
   ... Through the 1930s, however, Hitler and Roosevelt chose very different courses to bring their nations back to power and prosperity. Germany's response was to use government to empower corporations and reward the society's richest individuals, privatize much of the commons, stifle dissent, strip people of constitutional rights, and create an illusion of prosperity through continual and ever-expanding war. America passed minimum wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced anti-trust laws to diminish the power of corporations, increased taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals, created Social Security, and became the employer of last resort through programs to build national infrastructure, promote the arts, and replant forests.  To the extent that our Constitution is still intact, the choice is again ours.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Mossback: Conservative Crybabies by Knute Berger not only have so-called conservatives taken the country and consolidated their power, they are also wowing—or at least (shall we be generous?) snowing—the public. This won’t be good news to your typical Seattle peacenik, but here’s a disturbing message: Polls don’t lie. Yes, I wish we could ignore them, too, but the messenger, while not perfect, is close enough when it comes to measuring attitude trends. What do the polls say?
  They say 70 percent of the American public supports the war—and that support has been growing. They say 70 percent of the public approves of the way Bush is doing his job. And more broadly, they say that more than half (53 percent) of the country thinks America is on the right track.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Five Guidelines for Our Organizing by Cynthia Peters

The Rural Opposition: Protesting Where Everybody Knows Your Name: It is one thing to speak up in a large crowd in a big city and quite another to do it amid the farm fields. The antiwar movement here has already learned that politics are intensely personal in communities where people do not pass each other without waving and the woman at Harmony's Village Square restaurant recognizes the voice of the caller ordering a pizza.
   The anonymity of chanting among several hundred thousand in New York or San Francisco is unavailable on Lanesboro's Parkway Avenue, where Lydia O'Connor, whose son-in-law is in the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq, stood silently writing down names as the protesters passed. Some small-business people who say they oppose the war have not joined the marches, they say, for fear of alienating customers; others who have protested report receiving nasty looks and letters.
  ... In New York and San Francisco, rallies supporting and opposing the war compete for crowds and scream at each other across police cordons. Not in Lanesboro. Mr. Redalen, carrying his flag, and Mr Wright, with a "Wage Peace" sign, walked arm in arm at the head of the line, down Parkway Avenue and to the Lutheran church, where Mr. Redalen led those gathered for the potluck in a prayer.

Support the Warrior Not the War: Give Them Their Benefits!: "The House of Representatives have recently voted on the 2004 budget which will cut funding for veteran's health care and benefit programs by nearly $25 billion over the next ten years. It narrowly passed by a vote of 215 to 212, and came just a day after Congress passed a resolution to "Support Our Troops." How exactly does this vote support our troops? Does leaving our current and future veterans veterans without access to health care and compensation qualify as supporting them? The Veteran's Administration, plagued by recent budget cuts, has had to resort to charging new veterans entering into its system a yearly fee of $250 in order for them to receive treatment. It is a sad irony that the very people being sent to fight the war are going to have to pay to treat the effects of it. "

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Professors Protest as Students Debate
  It is not easy being an old lefty on campus in this war.
  At the University of Wisconsin at Madison, awash in antiwar protests in the Vietnam era, a columnist for a student newspaper took a professor to task for canceling classes to protest the war in Iraq, saying the university should reprimand her and refund tuition for the missed periods.
   Irvine Valley College in Southern California sent faculty members a memo that warned them not to discuss the war unless it was specifically related to the course material. When professors cried censorship, the administration explained that the request had come from students.
  Here at Amherst College, many students were vocally annoyed this semester when 40 professors paraded into the dining hall with antiwar signs. One student confronted a protesting professor and shoved him. 
  Some students here accuse professors of behaving inappropriately, of not knowing their place.
  ... The students' attitudes have many possible explanations. There is no draft this time. Students on small liberal arts campuses like this one are more diverse than those of the 60's and 70's. More receive financial aid, and many are more concerned about their careers than about protesting. But the students have also been pulled toward a more conservative mainstream than their parents.
  ....A nationwide survey of freshmen by the University of California at Los Angeles over the last 37 years reflected other shifts from Sept. 11. This year, more students called themselves conservative than in other recent surveys, and 45 percent supported an increase in military spending, more than double the percentage in 1993.
  ... My job is not to get my students to agree with me," Professor O'Connell insisted.
  Still, he conceded, `There is a second when I hear them, and my heart just falls."

Friday, April 04, 2003

Sober Replies to Speculative Questions: "His father, Leo Brooks Sr., is a former Army major general, who after his retirement in 1984 was named Philadelphia's managing director, the city's top appointed position. He held that job during the confrontation with the radical group Move in May 1985, which ended when the police dropped a bomb on a rowhouse, causing a fire that killed 11 people. Mr. Brooks announced his resignation 10 days after the incident, and he was cleared of all criminal liability by a Philadelphia grand jury three years later. General Brooks's brother Leo Brooks Jr. is also a brigadier general and commandant of cadets at West Point, the academy's No. 2 position. At West Point, Vince Brooks stood out among a group of standouts. In his senior year in 1979-80, he was elected first captain, the leader of the 4,338-member corps of cadets, a title held before him by John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur and William Westmoreland, among others. He was the first black cadet in the academy's 177-year history to hold the position. Twenty-two years later he was the first member of his class to be nominated for flag rank. He was confirmed by the Senate last year as a brigadier general, the third member of his family to wear a star on his shoulders."

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

THIS WAR IS NOT WORKING  by Peter Arnett. "I am still in shock and awe at being fired. There is enormous sensitivity within the US government to reports coming out from Baghdad. They don't want credible news organisations reporting from here because it presents them with enormous problems."

St. Louis Police riot: Louis Indymedia - part 1:
part 2
part 3
part 4
"First-hand accounts from people who were attacked during a march following the peace rally at Forest Park March 30"

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Military Mirrors Working-Class America - long article: military demographics and anecdotes

Friday, March 28, 2003

We Work for Peace and Justice Building a movement powerful enough to stop the war in Iraq or to successfully curb a next war in Syria or Iran or Venezuela, involves many factors. Among these, and perhaps the most fundamental, is sufficient numbers. Statement signed by Roy, Martinez, Zinn, Chomsky, etc.."

Antiwar Movement Morphs From Wild-Eyed to Civil: "With the war against Iraq in its second week, the most influential antiwar coalitions have shifted away from large-scale disruptive tactics and stepped up efforts to appeal to mainstream Americans" [long article]

Monday, March 24, 2003 - maryland's online community: "Michelle Waters, the oldest of the dead Marine's four sisters, criticized the U.S. government for starting the hostilities. "It's all for nothing, that war could have been prevented," she said last night in the living room of the family home, tears running down her cheeks. "Now, we're out of a brother. [President] Bush is not out of a brother. We are.""

Saturday, March 22, 2003

American Politics Journal -- Big Babies: "God Damn You by Alan Bisbort Mar. 20, 2003 -- HARTFORD ( -- ...and I mean that sincerely, George W. Bush. Far be it for me, a sinful man who has backslid more times than Robert Downey Jr., to personally single you and your murderous cohorts out. I gladly defer to Bishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama and Jimmy Carter and the Pope, more conversant in things scriptural or theological than I, or any of your unenlightened inner circle, will ever be. I will let them speak the truth, as far as any of us can know it here on this earth. To a person, they condemn your most unholy and unjust of wars in Iraq."

Innocents in Uniform: "Should not the proper minimum in any war be loss of human life, period -- which in this case includes Iraqi soldiers, too?"

Marching Forward: "It may be, however, that the greater significance of the protests lies in what they portend for politics here at home. While antiwar movements are rarely successful in their immediate goal, they are often prescient indicators of the national mood. Historically, antiwar movements have nearly always put forth larger critiques of how American society is organized, and have often been entwined with powerful social movements focused on domestic problems. "

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Red alert? Stay home, await word: "If the nation escalates to "red alert," which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home, the state [New Jersey]'s anti-terror czar says."

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Media giant's [pro-war] rally sponsorship raises questions: Some of the biggest rallies this month have endorsed President Bush's strategy against Saddam Hussein, and the common thread linking most of them is Clear Channel Worldwide Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations.
   In a move that has raised eyebrows in some legal and journalistic circles, Clear Channel radio stations in Atlanta, Cleveland, San Antonio, Cincinnati and other cities have sponsored rallies attended by up to 20,000 people. The events have served as a loud rebuttal to the more numerous but generally smaller anti-war rallies....
   ...In 1987 the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to cover controversial issues in their community and to do so by offering balancing views. With that obligation gone, Morris said, "radio can behave more like newspapers, with opinion pages and editorials." "They've just begun stretching their legs, being more politically active," Morris said. "

Saturday, March 15, 2003

A Chorus Against War | Howard Zinn: "The anti-war movement will not likely surrender to the martial atmosphere. The hundreds of thousands who marched in Washington and San Francisco and New York and Boston--and in villages, towns, and cities all over the country from Georgia to Montana--will not meekly withdraw. Unlike the shallow support for the war, the opposition to the war is deep and cannot be easily dislodged or frightened into silence. Indeed, the anti-war feelings are bound to become more intense"

Friday, March 14, 2003

'Bush Wins': The Left's Nightmare Scenario: the antiwar movement would be well advised to plan for a third scenario: "Bush Wins." In this third scenario, the war is over quickly with relatively low U.S. casualties, some sort of mechanism for transitional rule is put in place, and President Bush and his policies gain unprecedented power and prestige. From my recent conversations with organizers and their latest pronouncements, it is clear that this possibility has yet to be addressed. Waiting much longer could spell disaster for the antiwar movement....
   .... Interestingly, while the organizers of the antiwar movement are not paying enough attention to the ramifications of a war that follows President Bush's script, their constituents, the thousands of students whose energy and devotion are driving the movement, are full of ideas on how to proceed in such an eventuality.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Bill Moyers on Patriotism and the American Flag : "I put it on to take it back. The flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo -- the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. On those Sunday morning talk shows, official chests appear adorned with the flag as if it is the good housekeeping seal of approval. During the State of the Union, did you notice Bush and Cheney wearing the flag? How come? No administration's patriotism is ever in doubt, only its policies. And the flag bestows no immunity from error. When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's little red book on every official's desk, omnipresent and unread. But more galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American."

The Lie Of The U.S. Military -- Tough gritty American soldiers protect freedom of liberal S.F. columnist? Or the other way around?
  More than ever before in recent history, the otherwise worthy U.S. military is right now in service not of the people, not of the national security, but of the current government regime and its corporate interests. Has it always been this way? Of course. But this time, with our smirky Enron president and cash-hungry CEO administration, it's never been so flagrant, or insulting, or invidious. 
   Our soldiers are not protecting our freedoms. They are not preventing more terrorism. They are not guaranteeing continued free speech. Because the only true threat to such freedoms is coming from within.
  There is every indication that our own government, more than any other in the Western world, is the one that would like our free speech quelled, dissenting voices silenced, proofs of wrongdoing or proofs of corporate greedmongering that are used as a cheap excuse to massacre an estimated half-million Iraqis, eliminated....
  What is keeping America free is not the military -- it is independent thought. It is the progressive provocative evil "hippie vibe" that refuses to let Bush completely molest the nation.
  Because BushCo would love nothing more than for everyone to shut the hell up so it can bomb in peace. And they are trying. E-mail snooping, Homeland Security, the draconian Patriot Act, new wiretap..."

The United States of America has gone mad - John le Carré  "America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War. The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams. As in McCarthy times, the freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded...
   How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America’s anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history. But they swung it. A recent poll tells us that one in two Americans now believe Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. But the American public is not merely being misled. It is being browbeaten and kept in a state of ignorance and fear. The carefully orchestrated neurosis should carry Bush and his fellow conspirators nicely into the next election."

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Behind the Great Divide: "much speculation why Europe and the U.S. are suddenly at such odds. Is it about culture? About history? But I haven't seen much discussion of an obvious point: We have different views partly because we see different news....
  some U.S. media outlets — operating in an environment in which anyone who questions the administration's foreign policy is accused of being unpatriotic — have taken it as their assignment to sell the war, not to present a mix of information that might call the justification for war into question."

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Clinton on media bias': "there are five people in America with more than two hours on radio. Who are they? Howard Stern. Near as I can tell, old Howard's not political. If he is, he's done a great job of hiding it. Don Imus, who's more Republican than Democrat. And the other three are Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity. Who are very outspoken, and -- on the right wing of the Republican Party " [but not a very interesting interview overall]

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

David Corn - the banning of Rabbi Lerner: "He has been a leading Jewish voice against the hawks of Israel and a supporter of Palestinian rights, while calling himself a Zionist. So it was natural that his name was floated as a speaker for the protest. Not In Our Name and United for Peace & Justice were two of the four coalitions behind the event. ... But International ANSWER, another of the organizers, said no. Lerner's crime: he had dared to criticize ANSWER, an outfit run by members of the Workers World Party, for using antiwar demonstrations to put forward what he considers to be anti-Israel propaganda. "

Students, faculty express opinions on war: "The 4th floor of Lucas Hall displays a bulletin board of anti-war sentiments. Patriots for Peace, as this montage of anti-war cartoons, information on patriotism, and upcoming events is titled, is maintained by Gerda Ray, associate professor of UMSL's History Department."

Collected by Jonathan March with Radio Userland software