Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Trust for Public Land: On Conservation

Conservation can offer an important cultural counterpoint to other prevailing forces in our society by giving people a connection to a story greater than themselves, one grounded in nature, history, and community. Why does land matter to us and why should we work to save it? (7)

Forbes, Peter, Ann Armbrecht Forbes and Helen Whybrow, eds. Our Land, Ourselves: Readings on People and Place. San Francisco, CA: The Trust for Public Land, 1999.

Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) Selected Quotable Quotes

Could you imagine sitting in on a conversation between George W. Bush and Pope Benedict XVI? And they say us academic theory-heads are difficult to understand!

(courtesy of Nate Hinerman, San Francisco philosopher and Gold Cane regular)

Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) Selected Quotable Quotes:

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. "Magisterium of the Church, Faith, Morality." In Curran and McCormick. Readings in Moral Theology, No. 2., p.186.

In the process of assimilating what is really rational and rejecting what only seems to be rational, the whole Church has to play a part. This process cannot be carried out in every detail by an isolated Magisterium, with oracular infallibility. The life and suffering of Christians who profess their faith in the midst of their times has just as important a part to play as the thinking and questioning of the learned, which would have a very hollow ring without the backing of Christian existence, which learns to discern spirits in the travail of everyday life.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. THE RATZINGER REPORT: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church. 1985. p. 134.

The Eucharist presupposes the other sacraments and points towards them. But Eucharist also presupposes personal prayer, prayer in the family and extra-liturgical prayer in community. ... two of the deepest and most fruitful prayers of Christendom; which are always leading us anew into the mighty river of the Eucharist: the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary. If nowadays we are so dangerously exposed to the attractions of Asiatic religious practices; it is surely in part because we have forgotten these prayers.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Moral Theology Today: Certitudes and Doubts, 1984, p. 340, listing all the probable causes for theological dissent :

He [the dissenter] may not have understood the [magisterial] statement. He may have misunderstood another statement which affects his understanding of this one. The causes of dissent in a person can even be of an entirely sentimental kind. He may, after all, not like his bishop!

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Ibid., p. 339.

... dissent is a free act of the person which involves him in the taking of an intellectual stand, with no claimable support from the enlightening Spirit of truth, but which nevertheless puts distance between the one who dissent s and the ones who do not. Dissent is not a parlor game, it is serious business and should be recognized as such, not only by the Church, but also by the person who decides to take the dissenting position. Isolation of anyone in a community is a problem.

Dan Solove: The Digital Person

The Digital Person
Dan Solove interviewed by Phil Windley
IT Conversations

Daniel Solove doesn't use the familiar metaphor of "Big Brother" when he discusses privacy; rather he uses Kafka's novel "The Trial." He says we're not as much in danger of having our privacy violated by someone with evil intent as we are of having our lives turned upside down from the interactions of unapproachable and faceless corporations and bureaucracies. From our Technometria series with Phil Windley.

Listen to the Interview

Mark Bittner: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

An inspiring story of paying attention to one's environment and developing relationships beyond the human world.

(courtesy of Prarie Mary who posted it on the ASLE)

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Katia Dunn Interview with Ian MacKaye and Music from His New CD

A new album by the founder of the influential punk band Minor Threat and later the DIY cultural heroes Fugazi. The last Fugazi CD The Argument (a masterpiece that demonstrated their development as musicians) seemed to be moving toward this direction...

A Quieter Course for Punk Pioneer Ian MacKaye
by Katia Dunn

Listen to Songs from Ian's new CD and an Interview with him

and from All Things Considered in 1998:

"We meet Fugazi, a seminal punk rock band. Their new album is called "End Hits" It's their ninth album in the last 11 years...and as they've done from the beginning, they've recorded and sold their records themselves, shunning the record industry. The band says you can be artistically and economically independent and still succeed."

Listen to the Band

Scientists Mingling Human and Animal Genes

This seems like trouble waiting to happen, not to mention the extreme disconnect needed to justify this as an ethical practice...

Genetic Mingling Mixes Human, Animal Cells

Friday, April 29, 2005

Vermont Representative Bernie Sanders: Against the Policing of TV

(courtesy of Scratchings)

Representative Sanders: Right with Fran Drescher on TV police
by Representative Bernie Sanders

Fran Drescher is absolutely right in her April 14, 2005, opinion piece “Government Shouldn’t Be Our Children’s Entertainment Nanny” that increasing broadcaster fines for so-called “indecency” threatens Americans’ Constitutional rights. Unfortunately, the majority of the House chose to side with a very vocal minority who want the federal morality police determining what Americans can watch on television. One of reasons some of us opposed H.R. 310 was the slippery slope it would be taking us down. Guess what? We were wrong. It wasn’t a slippery slope. It was a cliff.

Emboldened by the House’s failure to defend freedom, Sen. Stevens is proposing to go far beyond raising fines for broadcasters. He now wants to extend the FCC’s vaguely defined “indecency” rules to cable and satellite programming — programming that Americans voluntarily subscribe to and pay for. And now, President Bush has reversed his position on the issue and expressed his support for FCC censorship of cable and satellite. Where will it end?

Regardless of whether one supports increasing indecency fines for broadcasters, every member of Congress should oppose the extension of FCC oversight to cable and satellite — a move that is unprecedented and that even former FCC Chairman Michael Powell concedes is unconstitutional.

Congress should reject the Bush/Stevens plan to censor cable and satellite. House members should cosponsor H.R. 1440, legislation that would expressly bar the FCC from censoring cable and satellite content, as well as the Internet — which is sure to be the next target that the right-wing extremists go after. Enough is enough. The time has come for all Americans who love freedom to fight to prevent Uncle Sam from becoming Big Brother. Washington, D.C.

Original Posting at Sander's Website

George Bush On the Current State of the US Economy

(Quote and link courtesy of About Politics)

Press Conference of the President

A reporter: Yes, sir. I'd just like to ask, simply, what's your view of the economy right now? First-quarter growth came in weaker than expected, there have been worries about inflation and lower spending by consumers. Are these basically just bumps in the road, in your opinion, or are they reasons for some real concern and could they affect your agenda on Social Security?

Bush's answer was that he's concerned but...

There's some positive noises on Capitol Hill as to whether or not we can get an asbestos reform bill. That will be an important reform in order to make sure that our economy continues to grow.



Nabokov's Satyr

(courtesy of Today in literature)


I have been complaining a lot about the insane and scary agendas of the religious right's planned spiritual war (see the May issue of Harper's magazine for a series of articles on this movement which believes that Jesus is pro-rich, pro-war, pro-American and best realized through a free-market system) and the manipulative way in which many politicians have seized upon faith-based issues for political gain.

Thus, in these times, it is with great pleasure that I come across authentic voices of Christian spirituality condemning these religious manipulators and deceivers.

Thanks Sojourners! I hope people hear your message.

An Attempt to Hijack Christianity

Tell Bill Frist to Stop Playing the Faith Card

Meet-Ups to Discuss God's Politics

God's Politics: Frist Fights Filibuster on Judicial Nominees in "Justice Sunday"

Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things

When Enough is Enough

Filibustering People of Faith

Jim Wallis discussing God's Politics on the Daily Show

Confessing Christ in a World of Violence

Wendell Berry on the radical implications of the Gospel

Also check out The Revealer

Remember if you meet the Buddha on the road...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Happy Land: Lachrymosa

From the post "Lachrymosa" at Happy Land--AJ is one of my favorite writers and he knows more about movies than anyone I have known:

I think you were in my dream last night. We went to a countryside in an alternative world, like Alice’s Looking Glass World. I’d been there before. We strolled alongside a river, watching rowboats that propelled themselves away from us, and groups of people picnicking on the hills that lined the bank. There were women dressed in the Mennonite style, and Colonial musketeers.

Eddie Rickenbacker's: San Francisco Bar Celebrates Genocide And Abuse Of Women

(courtesy of Angry White Kid)

Eddie Rickenbacker's: San Francisco Bar Celebrates Genocide And Abuse Of Women
San Francisco Bay Area Indy Media

Eddie Rickenbacker's is a bar in San Francisco's Financial District. While the bar has received good reviews, even by supposedly progressive newspapers, it is home to one of the most offensive and racially insensitive displays one can find in the city. Along with displays of guns used in the wars of extermination against the Native American population, there are what is claimed to be the teeth of Monasetah. A sign above the teeth claims that they were "knocked out of her mouth in a jealous pique" by General George Armstrong Custer. It has been claimed that, following the Battle of Washita, Custer invited officers "desiring to avail themselves of the services of a captured squaw to come to the squaw Round Up Corral, and select one." Custer took first choice, Monasetah, and lived with her during the winter and spring of 1868 and 1869. One would expect offense at the display of human remains of a woman kept as a sex slave by a former US general, but the display has been around for years with little complaint. If the display is real, than it could be in violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act but even if it is fake and intended just to add atmosphere, it is a clear sign of an acceptance by the bar's owners and patrons of a form of racism and misogyny that would never be allowed if the remains were claimed to be those of any other ethnic group. The bar's owner, when questioned about why he has a Native woman's teeth on display, replied that concern for cultural sensitivity was "not living in reality."

San Francisco Bar Exploits Native Remains

In Memory of the Poet Robert Creeley: 1926-2005

Electronic Poetry Center Memorial to Robert Creeley

Freakonomics: Does Abortion Prevent Crime?

Brainwise weighs in on this issue and the book that inspired his musings.

Peter Hall: How Cities Become Great

How Cities Become Great
By Peter Hall
Newsweek International republished on MSNBC

Freud famously said that after 30 years researching the feminine soul, he'd never answered his real question: what does a woman want? We urbanists could likewise confess that we've failed to answer our conundrum: what makes cities tick?

What makes London different from Ipswich (Suffolk), or New York different from Ipswich (Massachusetts)? Why do cities have brief golden ages, but then languish? Why are Athens or Florence or Vienna no longer creative powerhouses? Why have Manchester and Glasgow and Berlin, once workshops of the world, given way to Guangzhou and Shanghai? Why do some few cities—London, New York—seem to retain, or regain, their power?

Some of us think the answer lies in number crunching—as with economist Richard Florida, author of "The Flight of the Creative Class," who found that concentrations of gay people correlated with urban creativity. The problem is that even if this approach works for one city at one time, it may not work for others. The other method is to use history, to ask how precisely it was that great cities came to be great. Here, the danger is that you may end up with a series of unique one-off explanations. The challenge is to find if there's anything the stories have in common.

And they do. Look at creative cities at their zenith: Plato's Athens, Michelangelo's Florence, Shakespeare's London, Mozart's Vienna. All were economic leaders, cities at the heart of vast trading empires, places in frenzied transition, magnets for talented people seeking fame and fortune. Outsiders made these places what they were: Athens's version of green-card holders, the noncitizen Metics; the Jews in 1900 Vienna; foreign artists in Paris around the same time. They were all patrons because many had made money from trade, as well as artists. They occupied a special marginal position: not at the heart of courtly or aristocratic establishments, yet not entirely shut out either. And thus they absorbed and reflected the huge tensions between conservative and radical forces that threatened to divide these societies.

It was the same, but with subtle differences, in the great manufacturing cities. Consider Manchester in 1780, Glasgow in 1850, Detroit in 1910, Silicon Valley in 1960. These were places without aristocratic baggage; egalitarian places open to talent, self-improving and self-educating, engaged in learning and innovation through networks that were at oncecompetitive and cooperative. There are astonishing parallels between Lancashire in the 1780s and 1790s and Silicon Valley in the 1960s and the 1970s. In both, one innovation brought forth another in great chains of creativity. Places like these flourished not because of physical circumstance, but because their people demonstrated exceptional innovative energy.

Entire Essay

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Paul Kingsnorth: Rape of a Nation

Rape of a Nation
by Paul Kingsnorth

Armed and financed by Western corporations, Indonesia is waging a brutal but unreported war against a tribal people with little more than bows and arrows to defend itself. The West Papuan conflict is a war for gold, timber and cultural supremacy
Nona Kogoya was two years old when she died. She had been a normal, healthy young girl; but that was before the soldiers came. In February Nona’s village, in the highlands of New Guinea, was attacked by heavily armed Indonesian soldiers. The soldiers came without warning, running from home to home, firing their automatic rifles at random and dragging civilians, including Nona, from their thatched huts. Then they set fire to the houses. Nothing was spared: even the church was burned to the ground. As the houses burned, the soldiers trampled the villagers’ crops – their only source of food for the coming year – and, to ensure that no hope was left, impounded their livestock.

Terrified, the villagers ran for their lives into the forest. They kept running for days, and they stayed there for weeks. They were safe from the soldiers, but they had no shelter, and had to survive on what food they could find in the forest. Nona, unsurprisingly, fell ill. The soldiers had the forest surrounded, and wouldn’t let anyone take food, supplies or medicines to the refugees.

On 10 February Nona died and was buried in a shallow grave in the forest. She was not the first innocent child to die in West Papua, and she will not be the last.

What happened in Nona’s village was not an isolated incident: it has been repeated across the highlands of West Papua for months. Indonesian soldiers have been burning villages, attacking civilians, raping women and killing men in a widespread and planned military operation. As you read this, at least 5,000 refugees are living precariously on the slopes of cold mountains and in deep forests, hiding from the army. International observers, journalists and aid workers are banned by the Indonesian government from getting into the country.

It is a huge, horrific and deliberately planned attempt to cow and terrify an entire population. But you would be forgiven for not having heard anything about it. The world’s media didn’t report it. The world’s politicians, so concerned about human rights abuses under Saddam Hussein and North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, said nothing.

You would be forgiven, too, for not having heard of West Papua, the country in which these atrocities are taking place. For the Papuan people, this is par for the course. They have got used to the fact that the ongoing genocide of their people and their nation is routinely ignored by the rest of the world. For the soldiers and politicians of Indonesia, the nation that has occupied West Papua, against the will of its people, for almost half a century, this was just the way they like it.

What the Indonesian military is doing in the Papuan highlands is known as a ‘destabilising operation’. It has happened many times before, and it works like this: first, the special forces of the Indonesian military, Kopassus (known as ‘Indonesia’s SS’), murder some innocent civilians: in this case a number of priests and schoolteachers. Then, Kopassus issues a statement claiming that Papuan rebels fighting for independence from Indonesia were responsible for the killings. Finally, the soldiers enact a bloody price on the civilian population in revenge for the killings that they themselves carried out. The result, at least in theory, will be a terrified population, too scared to stand up to the occupying forces of a brutal foreign army.

This is Indonesia’s secret war: a war carried out by a sophisticated modern military machine against a tribal people with little more than bows and arrows to defend itself; a war for gold, timber and cultural supremacy; a war that will go on until the world wakes up to the horrors that happen every day in the highlands of this forgotten nation.

West Papua, the western half of New Guinea (the world’s second largest island), is one of the most remarkable places on earth. Between them, its million or so inhabitants, who live in tribal communities in largely untouched rainforest, speak around 500 separate languages. It is home to hundreds of unique species, including the bird of paradise and the tree kangaroo. Though nominally a part of the Dutch East Indies during the 19th century, Dutch New Guinea, as it was then known, was left virtually unmolested until the middle of the 20th century. Then, life for its people was to change swiftly, brutally and for ever.

Entire Essay

Where the Buffalo Roam!

Yahoo Report

Drunken Boat #7


“Everything existing in the Universe is the fruit of chance and of necessity”

Imagine a place, not quite a place because it is in your body, because it in fact is your body, where the noise of applause is taken for the roar of surf, where the syncopation of traffic is taken for a clatter of crockery, where those analogies, while more or less accurate are also categorically false, because there's no word for surf or crockery, nothing retrievable, though knowledge and perception are there, just under the black ice of speech. Imagine imagination without words, a silence that doesn't obviate thought, but where what was once taken for granted, like the name of a pet or the thing you'd like slathered with butter, is suddenly, unmistakably unutterable. Imagine arriving at this place, not quite a place, in a society where speaking is considered a transparent, de facto attribute of humanity, where the primacy of speech is seen as the differentiating characteristic between humans and other higher mammals, where the very disease you suffered from was itself caught in a net of discourse whose terms and unspoken presuppositions you had no control over, that in fact you were said, without irony or apology, to have been struck dumb.

Aphasic symptoms include word-finding difficulty and full-blown speech distortion, incomplete structural differentiation, blurred figure-ground discrimination, and the absence of formative processing. Taken as a medical condition, these aspects can be personally devastating, but seen in another light, as the basis for making art, these very aspects can be productive, and it's part of our charge in this issue of Drunken Boat to illuminate both the ways in which the loss of speech can be both traumatic and generative. Cognition can be conceptualized as a process of both differentiation and integration and in individuals suffering from aphasia, one or both of these functions is severed and/or altered, resulting in a gradation of different symptoms-aphasia could refer to the loss of the ability to comprehend written words (alexia) or the ability to recall the names of objects (anomia); it could refer to the inability to articulate words normally in speech (aphonia) or in writing (agraphia); it could refer to the disassociation of objects from their utility or function (agnosia) or the inability to conceive of the world symbolically (asemia). In these cases, and in many other cases not listed here, there's a fundamental alteration in the self's relationship with and in the world; suddenly an aphasic individual is cut off from things that might have been taken for granted, the world of sensation and perception, and the words that are used to represent those things to others.

Take the case of 20th century composer, Maurice Ravel, a giant in his field who Stravinksy once referred to as “the Swiss watchmaker,” because of his meticulous attention to detail and his ability to integrate discrete, well-honed blocks of music into larger and more complex compositions. Ravel described his most famous work, Bolero, as “seventeen minutes of orchestral fabric without music,” and he seemed destined to ascend into the pantheon of immortals until the onset of Wernicke's aphasia in 1933 gradually eroded his ability to write music. Still, he retained the ability to recognize notes and rhythmical patterns, choose his scores, even perceive that his doctor's piano had gone out of tune due to the damp winter weather. As he was to report near the end of his life, the music was trapped in his head-he could hear it but was unable to produce the lexical effort necessary to transmute it into symbols and as a result, was condemned by his greatest gift. Ravel died in December, 1937, after a failed craniotomy.

In our own time, there's the distinguished poet William Meredith, who spent time as a Naval aviator during the Second World War and the Korean War before settling along the banks of the Thames River in Uncasville, Connecticut. Meredith's output has been prodigious as he has written over ten books of poetry, translated French and Bulgarian poets, written elegantly on poetry and prose, and maintained correspondences with many of the 20th century's leading literary figures, including Robert Frost, John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Hardwick, James Baldwin and James Merrill, among many others. Meredith served as the Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress, the position now called Poet Laureate of the United States, and has won most of the prestigious literary prizes available to him, including a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. Tragically, he suffered a severe stroke in 1983, which left him unable to speak or move for over a year. Since that time, Meredith has gone through intense therapy, slowly beginning the process of rehabilitation and gradually relearning the words he loves so much (though by his own admission, he'll have them all back if he has 150 years left). There's nothing quite so calamitous as a poet, whose very existence is limned in and defined by language, losing his speech, but accompanied by his companion, Richard Harteis, William Meredith has continued to give readings and it's a profound testament to his courage and his ardor for his métier, that he still shares his work with audiences.

Aesthetically, much of contemporary art is characterized by the interrogation of inherited forms-narrative, metrical, representational, tonal and otherwise-and aphasia provides a trope for how those structures might be further critiqued. Some of the work we've included in the special folio on aphasia and the arts responds to the ways in which language impairment might be reappropriated as a compositional strategy. When the ligatures between morphemes and phonemes, grammar and syntax are ruptured, something startlingly new can sometimes emerge. The trope of speechlessness is a powerful one in our moment where true dissent is silenced, where those of us with a voice too often go unheard. The other side of that coin, of course, is that most of us don't have enough silence, in the contemplative sense, in our lives. As Pico Iyer has written, “We have to earn silence, then, to work for it: to make it not an absence but a presence; not emptiness but repletion. Silence is something more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and the horizon itself expands. In silence, we often say, we can hear ourselves think; but what is truer to say is that in silence we can hear ourselves not think, and so sink below our selves into a place far deeper than mere thought allows.”

That's not to diminish the heartache that someone goes through when a loved one suffers from aphasia, and other of the works we've included deal with the earth-shattering revelation and subsequent fortitude necessary to cope with this tragedy. We've also included works from artists and writers who have suffered from aphasia, such as Joseph Chaiken, William Meredith and Jan Curtis, and continue to create art as well as works from linguists and scientists. It's our wish, finally, that this commingling of the arts and sciences can augur a new moment of compassionate appraisal, changing the terms of discourse to be more inclusive. As Michel Foucault has written, “the examination that place individuals in a field of surveillance also situates them in a network of writing; it engages them in a whole mass of documents that capture and fix them.” We're not interested in capturing and fixing but liberating and opening; the human brain is one of the wonders and mysteries of our existence on this planet, perhaps the preeminent wonder and mystery, and we hope that this special issue on Aphasia and the Arts and William Meredith, combined with the other works of arts that constitute the seventh issue of Drunken Boat, goes a long way towards illuminating the diversity and brilliance of contemporary art and literature.

David Abram: The Ecology of Magic

The Ecology of Magic:
David Abram interviewed by Scott London
Insight & Outlook

The Introduction:

David Abram is an odd combination of anthropologist, philosopher and slight-of-hand magician. Though he worked as a magician in the United States and Europe for a number of years, he attributes most of what he knows about magic to the time he spent in Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka learning from indigenous medicine people. Performing magic is not simply about entertaining, he points out in this interview. "The task of the magician is to startle our senses and free us from outmoded ways of thinking." The magician also plays an important ecological function, he says, by mediating between the human world and the "more-than-human" world that we inhabit.

When Abram published his first book, The Spell of the Sensuous, in 1996, the reviewers practically exhausted their superlatives in praise of it. The Village Voice noted that Abram has "one of those rare minds which, like the mind of a musician or a great mathematician, fuses dreaminess with smarts." The Utne Reader called Abram a "visionary" for "casting magic spells through his writing and lecturing" and for his deepening influence on the environmental movement.

The Spell of the Sensuous went on to win the prestigious Lannan Literary Award for non-fiction. It touches on a wide range of themes, from our perception of the natural world, to the way we use of language and symbols to process our experience.

The Interview

Rob Kampia: The Lessons of Sativex

The Lesson of Sativex
By Rob Kampia

On April 19, the Canadian government delivered what should be the final blow to the U.S. government's irrational prohibition against the medical use of marijuana. It approved prescription sale of a natural marijuana extract -- for all practical purposes, liquid marijuana -- to treat pain and other symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis.

Sativex, produced by GW Pharmaceuticals in Britain, brings the medical marijuana debate full circle. Though the technology has advanced in 70 years, this product is a direct descendent of the marijuana extracts and tinctures that were a standard part of the medical armamentarium until the late 1930s -- universally recognized as being safe and effective for certain conditions. These products were taken away from patients and doctors as a result of the prohibition on marijuana that began in 1937, despite the public opposition of the American Medical Association.

In short, the Canadian government has just certified that virtually everything our own government has been telling us about marijuana is wrong. In defiance of a large and growing pile of scientific studies, our government still claims that marijuana has no medical value. White House Drug Czar John Walters even compared medical marijuana to "medicinal crack."

Such statements were always scientifically ridiculous, as has been noted by a wide range of authorities, including the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, and the state medical societies of New York, California and Rhode Island, to name just a few. Now, GW Pharmaceuticals' research has definitively put such nonsense to rest.

Entire Essay

Monday, April 25, 2005

Richard Rinehart: Reading Class

Answer the questions on the left and read the comments on the right:

Reading Class

Natasha Korecki: Secret Service Visits Art Show at Columbia

(courtesy of Dr. Menlo)

Secret Service visits art show at Columbia
by Natasha Korecki
Chicago Sun Times

Organizers of a politically charged art exhibit at Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery thought their show might draw controversy.

But they didn't expect two U.S. Secret Service agents would be among the show's first visitors.

The agents turned up Thursday evening, just before the public opening of "Axis of Evil, the Secret History of Sin," and took pictures of some of the art pieces -- including "Patriot Act," showing President Bush on a mock 37-cent stamp with a revolver pointed at his head.

The agents asked what the artists meant by their work and wanted museum director CarolAnn Brown to turn over the names and phone numbers of all the artists. They wanted to hear from the exhibit's curator, Michael Hernandez deLuna, within 24 hours, she said.

Entire Article

Peregrine Falcon Chicks

(courtesy of Jeri Pollock who posted this on ASLE-CCCC listserv)

On April 12, three peregrine falcon chicks hatched in a nest atop Pacific Gas and Electric Company's building in downtown San Francisco. Watch their progress online at Peregrine Nest Cam

Steve King: The Birth of O. Henry

The Birth of O. Henry
by Steve King
Today in Literature

On this day in 1898 William S. Porter -- the drug store clerk, cowboy, fugitive, bank teller, cartoonist and future "O. Henry" -- began a five-year prison sentence for embezzlement. Porter had published several stories prior to his prison term, but the fourteen written behind bars represented a new style and quality, and began his rise to popularity.

Rest of the Essay

Response to Major Record Labels (Film Industry You Are Next) That Sue Individuals For Sharing Music

Downhill Battle presents THE REASONS
to get rid of the major record labels

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Linda Nash: The Agency of Nature or the Nature of Agency?

Environmental History

The Agency of Nature or the Nature of Agency?

Leah Orr: From the Tap to the Bottle and Back Again

From the Tap to the Bottle and Back Again: A Look at Bottled Water and Privatization
by Leah Orr
The Dominion

Many of us have purchased a bottle of water thinking that we were paying for a pure product taken from an abundant source and packaged in a clean container. Maybe not, according to Tony Clarke, director of the Polaris Institute and author of Inside the Bottle: An Exposé of the Bottled Water Industry. Clarke says we may not only be supporting dubious social and environmental practices, but also contributing to the privatization of our public water systems.

In February 2005, the Polaris Institute brought together more than twenty "water warriors" on the banks of Lake Michigan to discuss regional issues and cross-border strategies concerning the bottled water industry.

Entire Report

Warren Richey: On the Senate Filibuster Showdown

The Senate, Judges, and the Filibuster
By Warren Richey
Christian Science Monitor

As a showdown looms over judicial nominees, both sides of the aisle turn to the Constitution.

The Report


Why We Fight For a Filibuster

What is Impropaganda?

(courtesy of Tom Paine's article The Anti-Disinformation Society)

What Is Impropaganda?
PR Watch

Edward Bernays, who is generally regarded as the "father of public relations," liked to tell people, "What I do is propaganda, and I just hope it's not impropaganda." In his later years, he became a vocal critic of some of the deceptive techniques used within the PR industry. And yet it is Bernays himself who invented the quintessential tool of deceptive propaganda -- the "front group."

Bernays stumbled on this strategy almost by accident. In 1913, while working as editor of the Medical Review of Reviews, a monthly magazine owned by a college acquaintance, he discovered that the then-famous actor Richard Bennett was interested in producing a play titled "Damaged Goods," which Bernays described as "a propaganda play that fought for sex education." It discussed sexual topics, such as prostitution, that were considered unusually frank for their day. Bennett was afraid that the play would be raided by police, and he hired Bernays to prevent this from happening. Rather than arguing for the play on its merits, Bernays cleverly organized a group that he called the "Medical Review of Reviews Sociological Fund," inviting prominent doctors and members of the social elite to join. The organization's avowed mission was to fight venereal disease through education. Its real purpose was to endorse "Damaged Goods," and apparently the plan worked. The show went on as scheduled, with no interference from police.

"This was a pioneering move that is common today in the promotion of public causes--a prestigious sponsoring committee," notes PR industry historian Scott Cutlip. "In retrospect, given the history of public relations, it might be termed the first effort to use the front or third party technique." It was a technique that Bernays would return to time and again, calling it "the most useful method in a multiple society like ours to indicate the support of an idea of the many varied elements that make up our society. Opinion leaders and group leaders have an effect in a democracy and stand as symbols to their constituency." Bernays helped jump-start sales of bacon, a breakfast rarity until the 1920s, by enlisting a prominent doctor to solicit fellow doctors' opinions on the salutary benefits of a hearty breakfast and by arranging to have famous figures photographed eating breakfasts of bacon and eggs. To sell bananas on behalf of the United Fruit Company, he launched the "celiac project," republishing and disseminating a 20-year-old medical paper which found that eating bananas cured children with celiac disease, a disorder of the digestive system.

"Mr. Bernays has . . . created more institutes, funds, institutions, and foundations than Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Filene together," observed the Institute for Propaganda Analysis, a nonprofit educational organization that flourished in the years following World War I. "Typical of them was the Temperature Research Foundation. Its stated purpose was 'to disseminate impartial, scientific information concerning the latest developments in temperature control as they affect the health, leisure, happiness, and economy of the American people.' A minor purpose--so minor that rarely did Mr. Bernays remember even to mention it--was to boost the sales of Kelvinator refrigerators, air-condition units, and electric stoves."

Entire Essay and Specific Contemporary Examples


How to Research Front Groups

21st Century Magazine

A big hurrah to DJ Spooky's retooling of the former glossy, future-directed, print publication 21st Century Magazine as an online publication (this issue includes pieces on/by Saul Williams, Philip K. Dick, the film Naqoyqatsi, Rick Silva's "The Remix of Politics," Joshua Kane on the "panoptic transition," and this is just the tip of the iceberg--this online version is just as beautiful and powerful as the former print publication!) This is a must read!

Saul Williams: The Pledge of Resistance

Saul Williams: Pledge of Resistance

Saul Williams: Not In My Name

Saul Williams: Said the Shotgun To My Head

Sponsored by Adbusters, Mixed by DJ Spooky and Featuring Various Artists: Live Without Dead Time

Live Without Dead Time

Its mixed by That Subliminal Kid, DJ Spooky and was an insert in the May/June 2003 issue of Adbusters

Its great music with a subversive edge that you will never hear on Clear Channel

Anyone interested in trading burnt copies?--copy of this for a favorite of yours ;)

If so, leave a message in the comments.

For other DJ Spooky mixes check out:

DJ Spooky Sounds

James Howard Kunstler at the NY International Auto Show

No Problemo: Delusions Run Deep in the Easy-Motoring Economy
by James Howard Kunstler

If the Devil himself wanted to design a perfect trap for attracting morons, he couldn't have done better than this season's New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center. While I am known to be judgmental by disposition, I honestly did not set out with this notion preconceived. I arrived at it only after interacting with some of the attendees, many of whom might have passed superficially for average Americans.

Perusing the various exhibits was like being in the world's largest auto dealership, nothing more -- which is to say, it was a surprisingly dull environment. It is, after all, just a trade show. Each brand of car had its little area with half a dozen models on view. Many of them had giant wall-sized plasma TV screens that played what amounted to extended TV commercials of the kind with which we have been so constantly bombarded over the decades that they barely register anymore. But it is interesting to actually pay attention, because they uniformly send a bizarre message: You are all alone in your car in a beautiful environment.

The cars on screen are generally depicted as swooshing along gorgeous winding rural roads, with no others in sight -- just you and the open road! This is obviously an old and alluring archetypal dream, and it is also obviously at odds with the more common reality of creeping down Route 17 in Hackensack, or some ghastly highway like it, with traffic backed up at the frequent stoplights and vistas of the entropic horror of American hyper-retail amid wastelands of free parking at every compass point.

The big news here was that there was so little news from the automakers themselves. Judging from the cars on display, they apparently aim to stick with the program of the now-ubiquitous low-mileage SUV war wagons as far ahead as anyone can see -- along with the still-popular gas-hogging pickup trucks based on the same chassis as the SUVs -- and the familiar cast of luxury sedans with jazzily updated electronics. There was remarkably little recognition that the civilized world -- the motoring world -- stands at the threshold of a new era characterized by the end of cheap fuel.

Entire Column

David Abram: The Boundary Keeper

The Boundary Keeper
David Abram interviewed by Jeremy Hayward
Shambhala Sun

In traditional cultures, those who are especially sensitive tend the boundary between the human and the other-than-human worlds. Ecologist, sleight of hand magician and Ph.D. philosopher, David Abram is such a boundary keeper for modern times. In this conversation with Jeremy Hayward, the author of The Spell of the Sensuous warns us of our losses and shows us how to reanimate our world.

The Interview

Progressive Christian Bloggers

I found this on the link page at Beppeblog--thanks!:

Progressive Christian Blogger Network

DIY Media: Truthful Translations of Political Speech, Or, "What they really meant when they said that."

I highly recommend DIY Media's site--make sure you have some time to browse...

Truthful Translations of Political Speech, Or, "What they really meant when they said that."
DIY Media

Politics is the practice of doublespeak. Fortunately, through the magic of creativity and relatively cheap digital audio editing tools, the speech of political creatures can finally be unspun, and the truth laid bare.

These are galleries of translations of popular politicians as made by audio collage artists from around the planet. They are (as far as we know) works in the public domain and may be freely shared and used as fodder for further translation projects. All files are encoded in MP3 format unless otherwise noted.

Listen to the Translations of Political Speech


Also check out the Collage of Celebrity Speech

And on a different note:

San Diego's Cheap Sex playing Raped by the FCC

Joseph Kay: Pope Benedict XVI’s Political Resume

Pope Benedict XVI’s political resume: theocracy and social reaction
By Joseph Kay
World Socialist Web Site

The selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new pope is a clear sign that the Vatican will seek to use its influence to promote the most reactionary political forces within the ruling elites of countries around the world, particularly in Europe.

Ratzinger’s long record as enforcer of Church doctrine and chief adviser to Pope John Paul II strongly indicates that as Pope Benedict XVI, he will aggressively intervene into political affairs, using issues such as abortion and homosexuality to foster the development of a social base for right-wing parties and policies.

The new pope has close ties to ultra-conservative factions within the Catholic Church, such as Opus Dei, which are openly hostile to the core democratic principle of the separation of church and state, and seek to elevate the Church over civil authority. Such theocratic tendencies are increasingly being embraced by parties on the right as part of their ideological arsenal for attacking all of the social and democratic gains achieved in the course of the twentieth century.

One of the most blatant examples of Ratzinger’s intervention into the political affairs of a country was his role in the 2004 US presidential election. A number of American Catholic bishops publicly declared in the run-up to the election that they would deny Holy Communion to Democratic candidate John Kerry, a Catholic, because of his pro-choice stance on abortion rights. Their intervention, a brazen violation of the secular foundations of the US Constitution, was tantamount to a religious injunction to Catholics to vote for George W. Bush.

Entire Essay

Andrew Bacevich: The Normalization of War

(courtesy of Rage Against the Washing Machine for the link to the essay and the image--a great weblog)

The Normalization of War
by Andrew J. Bacevich
Common Dreams

While in earlier times Americans had viewed history as "a peaceful continuum interrupted by war," today planning, preparing, and waging war has become "the normal state and seemingly permanent condition of the United States." And "the only accepted ‘plan' for peace is the loaded pistol."


How Much Is Enough?

This new American militarism manifests itself in several different ways. It does so, first of all, in the scope, cost, and configuration of America's present-day military establishment.

Through the first two centuries of U.S. history, political leaders in Washington gauged the size and capabilities of America's armed services according to the security tasks immediately at hand. A grave and proximate threat to the nation's well-being might require a large and powerful military establishment. In the absence of such a threat, policymakers scaled down that establishment accordingly. With the passing of crisis, the army raised up for the crisis went immediately out of existence. This had been the case in 1865, in 1918, and in 1945.

Since the end of the Cold War, having come to value military power for its own sake, the United States has abandoned this principle and is committed as a matter of policy to maintaining military capabilities far in excess of those of any would-be adversary or combination of adversaries. This commitment finds both a qualitative and quantitative expression, with the U.S. military establishment dwarfing that of even America's closest ally. Thus, whereas the U.S. Navy maintains and operates a total of twelve large attack aircraft carriers, the once-vaunted [British] Royal Navy has none -- indeed, in all the battle fleets of the world there is no ship even remotely comparable to a Nimitz-class carrier, weighing in at some ninety-seven thousand tons fully loaded, longer than three football fields, cruising at a speed above thirty knots, and powered by nuclear reactors that give it an essentially infinite radius of action. Today, the U.S. Marine Corps possesses more attack aircraft than does the entire Royal Air Force -- and the United States has two other even larger "air forces," one an integral part of the Navy and the other officially designated as the U.S. Air Force. Indeed, in terms of numbers of men and women in uniform, the U.S. Marine Corps is half again as large as the entire British Army--and the Pentagon has a second, even larger "army" actually called the U.S. Army -- which in turn also operates its own "air force" of some five thousand aircraft.

All of these massive and redundant capabilities cost money. Notably, the present-day Pentagon budget, adjusted for inflation, is 12 percent larger than the average defense budget of the Cold War era. In 2002, American defense spending exceeded by a factor of twenty-five the combined defense budgets of the seven "rogue states" then comprising the roster of U.S. enemies.16 Indeed, by some calculations, the United States spends more on defense than all other nations in the world together. This is a circumstance without historical precedent.

Furthermore, in all likelihood, the gap in military spending between the United States and all other nations will expand further still in the years to come. Projected increases in the defense budget will boost Pentagon spending in real terms to a level higher than it was during the Reagan era. According to the Pentagon's announced long-range plans, by 2009 its budget will exceed the Cold War average by 23 percent -- despite the absence of anything remotely resembling a so-called peer competitor. However astonishing this fact might seem, it elicits little comment, either from political leaders or the press. It is simply taken for granted. The truth is that there no longer exists any meaningful context within which Americans might consider the question "How much is enough?"

On a day-to-day basis, what do these expensive forces exist to do? Simply put, for the Department of Defense and all of its constituent parts, defense per se figures as little more than an afterthought. The primary mission of America's far-flung military establishment is global power projection, a reality tacitly understood in all quarters of American society. To suggest that the U.S. military has become the world's police force may slightly overstate the case, but only slightly.

That well over a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union the United States continues to maintain bases and military forces in several dozens of countries -- by some counts well over a hundred in all -- rouses minimal controversy, despite the fact that many of these countries are perfectly capable of providing for their own security needs. That even apart from fighting wars and pursuing terrorists, U.S. forces are constantly prowling around the globe -- training, exercising, planning, and posturing -- elicits no more notice (and in some cases less) from the average American than the presence of a cop on a city street corner. Even before the Pentagon officially assigned itself the mission of "shaping" the international environment, members of the political elite, liberals and conservatives alike, had reached a common understanding that scattering U.S. troops around the globe to restrain, inspire, influence, persuade, or cajole paid dividends. Whether any correlation exists between this vast panoply of forward-deployed forces on the one hand and antipathy to the United States abroad on the other has remained for the most part a taboo subject.

The Quest for Military Dominion

The indisputable fact of global U.S. military preeminence also affects the collective mindset of the officer corps. For the armed services, dominance constitutes a baseline or a point of departure from which to scale the heights of ever greater military capabilities. Indeed, the services have come to view outright supremacy as merely adequate and any hesitation in efforts to increase the margin of supremacy as evidence of falling behind.

Thus, according to one typical study of the U.S. Navy's future, "sea supremacy beginning at our shore lines and extending outward to distant theaters is a necessary condition for the defense of the U.S." Of course, the U.S. Navy already possesses unquestioned global preeminence; the real point of the study is to argue for the urgency of radical enhancements to that preeminence. The officer-authors of this study express confidence that given sufficient money the Navy can achieve ever greater supremacy, enabling the Navy of the future to enjoy "overwhelming precision firepower," "pervasive surveillance," and "dominant control of a maneuvering area, whether sea, undersea, land, air, space or cyberspace." In this study and in virtually all others, political and strategic questions implicit in the proposition that supremacy in distant theaters forms a prerequisite of "defense" are left begging -- indeed, are probably unrecognized. At times, this quest for military dominion takes on galactic proportions. Acknowledging that the United States enjoys "superiority in many aspects of space capability," a senior defense official nonetheless complains that "we don't have space dominance and we don't have space supremacy." Since outer space is "the ultimate high ground," which the United States must control, he urges immediate action to correct this deficiency. When it comes to military power, mere superiority will not suffice.

The new American militarism also manifests itself through an increased propensity to use force, leading, in effect, to the normalization of war. There was a time in recent memory, most notably while the so-called Vietnam Syndrome infected the American body politic, when Republican and Democratic administrations alike viewed with real trepidation the prospect of sending U.S. troops into action abroad. Since the advent of the new Wilsonianism, however, self-restraint regarding the use of force has all but disappeared. During the entire Cold War era, from 1945 through 1988, large-scale U.S. military actions abroad totaled a scant six. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, they have become almost annual events. The brief period extending from 1989's Operation Just Cause (the overthrow of Manuel Noriega) to 2003's Operation Iraqi Freedom (the overthrow of Saddam Hussein) featured nine major military interventions. And that count does not include innumerable lesser actions such as Bill Clinton's signature cruise missile attacks against obscure targets in obscure places, the almost daily bombing of Iraq throughout the late 1990s, or the quasi-combat missions that have seen GIs dispatched to Rwanda, Colombia, East Timor, and the Philippines. Altogether, the tempo of U.S. military interventionism has become nothing short of frenetic.

As this roster of incidents lengthened, Americans grew accustomed to -- perhaps even comfortable with -- reading in their morning newspapers the latest reports of U.S. soldiers responding to some crisis somewhere on the other side of the globe. As crisis became a seemingly permanent condition so too did war. The Bush administration has tacitly acknowledged as much in describing the global campaign against terror as a conflict likely to last decades and in promulgating -- and in Iraq implementing -- a doctrine of preventive war.

In former times American policymakers treated (or at least pretended to treat) the use of force as evidence that diplomacy had failed. In our own time they have concluded (in the words of Vice President Dick Cheney) that force "makes your diplomacy more effective going forward, dealing with other problems." Policymakers have increasingly come to see coercion as a sort of all-purpose tool. Among American war planners, the assumption has now taken root that whenever and wherever U.S. forces next engage in hostilities, it will be the result of the United States consciously choosing to launch a war. As President Bush has remarked, the big lesson of 9/11 was that "this country must go on the offense and stay on the offense." The American public's ready acceptance of the prospect of war without foreseeable end and of a policy that abandons even the pretense of the United States fighting defensively or viewing war as a last resort shows clearly how far the process of militarization has advanced.

The New Aesthetic of War

Reinforcing this heightened predilection for arms has been the appearance in recent years of a new aesthetic of war. This is the third indication of advancing militarism.

The old twentieth-century aesthetic of armed conflict as barbarism, brutality, ugliness, and sheer waste grew out of World War I, as depicted by writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Erich Maria Remarque, and Robert Graves. World War II, Korea, and Vietnam reaffirmed that aesthetic, in the latter case with films like Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket.

The intersection of art and war gave birth to two large truths. The first was that the modern battlefield was a slaughterhouse, and modern war an orgy of destruction that devoured guilty and innocent alike. The second, stemming from the first, was that military service was an inherently degrading experience and military institutions by their very nature repressive and inhumane. After 1914, only fascists dared to challenge these truths. Only fascists celebrated war and depicted armies as forward-looking -- expressions of national unity and collective purpose that paved the way for utopia. To be a genuine progressive, liberal in instinct, enlightened in sensibility, was to reject such notions as preposterous.

But by the turn of the twenty-first century, a new image of war had emerged, if not fully displacing the old one at least serving as a counterweight. To many observers, events of the 1990s suggested that war's very nature was undergoing a profound change. The era of mass armies, going back to the time of Napoleon, and of mechanized warfare, an offshoot of industrialization, was coming to an end. A new era of high-tech warfare, waged by highly skilled professionals equipped with "smart" weapons, had commenced. Describing the result inspired the creation of a new lexicon of military terms: war was becoming surgical, frictionless, postmodern, even abstract or virtual. It was "coercive diplomacy" -- the object of the exercise no longer to kill but to persuade. By the end of the twentieth century, Michael Ignatieff of Harvard University concluded, war had become "a spectacle." It had transformed itself into a kind of "spectator sport," one offering "the added thrill that it is real for someone, but not, happily, for the spectator." Even for the participants, fighting no longer implied the prospect of dying for some abstract cause, since the very notion of "sacrifice in battle had become implausible or ironic."

Combat in the information age promised to overturn all of "the hoary dictums about the fog and friction" that had traditionally made warfare such a chancy proposition. American commanders, affirmed General Tommy Franks, could expect to enjoy "the kind of Olympian perspective that Homer had given his gods."

In short, by the dawn of the twenty-first century the reigning postulates of technology-as-panacea had knocked away much of the accumulated blood-rust sullying war's reputation. Thus reimagined -- and amidst widespread assurances that the United States could be expected to retain a monopoly on this new way of war -- armed conflict regained an aesthetic respectability, even palatability, that the literary and artistic interpreters of twentieth-century military cataclysms were thought to have demolished once and for all. In the right circumstances, for the right cause, it now turned out, war could actually offer an attractive option--cost-effective, humane, even thrilling. Indeed, as the Anglo-American race to Baghdad conclusively demonstrated in the spring of 2003, in the eyes of many, war has once again become a grand pageant, performance art, or a perhaps temporary diversion from the ennui and boring routine of everyday life. As one observer noted with approval, "public enthusiasm for the whiz-bang technology of the U.S. military" had become "almost boyish." Reinforcing this enthusiasm was the expectation that the great majority of Americans could count on being able to enjoy this new type of war from a safe distance.

The Moral Superiority of the Soldier

This new aesthetic has contributed, in turn, to an appreciable boost in the status of military institutions and soldiers themselves, a fourth manifestation of the new American militarism.

Since the end of the Cold War, opinion polls surveying public attitudes toward national institutions have regularly ranked the armed services first. While confidence in the executive branch, the Congress, the media, and even organized religion is diminishing, confidence in the military continues to climb. Otherwise acutely wary of having their pockets picked, Americans count on men and women in uniform to do the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. Americans fearful that the rest of society may be teetering on the brink of moral collapse console themselves with the thought that the armed services remain a repository of traditional values and old fashioned virtue.

Confidence in the military has found further expression in a tendency to elevate the soldier to the status of national icon, the apotheosis of all that is great and good about contemporary America. The men and women of the armed services, gushed Newsweek in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, "looked like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. They were young, confident, and hardworking, and they went about their business with poise and élan." A writer for Rolling Stone reported after a more recent and extended immersion in military life that "the Army was not the awful thing that my [anti-military] father had imagined"; it was instead "the sort of America he always pictured when he explained… his best hopes for the country."

According to the old post-Vietnam-era political correctness, the armed services had been a refuge for louts and mediocrities who probably couldn't make it in the real world. By the turn of the twenty-first century a different view had taken hold. Now the United States military was "a place where everyone tried their hardest. A place where everybody… looked out for each other. A place where people -- intelligent, talented people -- said honestly that money wasn't what drove them. A place where people spoke openly about their feelings." Soldiers, it turned out, were not only more virtuous than the rest of us, but also more sensitive and even happier. Contemplating the GIs advancing on Baghdad in March 2003, the classicist and military historian Victor Davis Hanson saw something more than soldiers in battle. He ascertained "transcendence at work." According to Hanson, the armed services had "somehow distilled from the rest of us an elite cohort" in which virtues cherished by earlier generations of Americans continued to flourish.

Soldiers have tended to concur with this evaluation of their own moral superiority. In a 2003 survey of military personnel, "two-thirds [of those polled] said they think military members have higher moral standards than the nation they serve… Once in the military, many said, members are wrapped in a culture that values honor and morality." Such attitudes leave even some senior officers more than a little uncomfortable. Noting with regret that "the armed forces are no longer representative of the people they serve," retired admiral Stanley Arthur has expressed concern that "more and more, enlisted as well as officers are beginning to feel that they are special, better than the society they serve." Such tendencies, concluded Arthur, are "not healthy in an armed force serving a democracy."

In public life today, paying homage to those in uniform has become obligatory and the one unforgivable sin is to be found guilty of failing to "support the troops." In the realm of partisan politics, the political Right has shown considerable skill in exploiting this dynamic, shamelessly pandering to the military itself and by extension to those members of the public laboring under the misconception, a residue from Vietnam, that the armed services are under siege from a rabidly anti-military Left.

In fact, the Democratic mainstream -- if only to save itself from extinction -- has long since purged itself of any dovish inclinations. "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about," Madeleine Albright demanded of General Colin Powell, "if we can't use it?" As Albright's Question famously attests, when it comes to advocating the use of force, Democrats can be positively gung ho. Moreover, in comparison to their Republican counterparts, they are at least as deferential to military leaders and probably more reluctant to question claims of military expertise.

Even among Left-liberal activists, the reflexive anti-militarism of the 1960s has given way to a more nuanced view. Although hard-pressed to match self-aggrandizing conservative claims of being one with the troops, progressives have come to appreciate the potential for using the armed services to advance their own agenda. Do-gooders want to harness military power to their efforts to do good. Thus, the most persistent calls for U.S. intervention abroad to relieve the plight of the abused and persecuted come from the militant Left. In the present moment, writes Michael Ignatieff, "empire has become a precondition for democracy." Ignatieff, a prominent human rights advocate, summons the United States to "use imperial power to strengthen respect for self-determination [and] to give states back to abused, oppressed people who deserve to rule them for themselves."

Entire Essay

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Gilbert Sorrentino: Lunar Follies

Lunar Follies
Gilbert Sorrentino interviewed by Michael Silverblatt

In Lunar Follies, one of his genre-defying extravaganzas, Sorrentino describes outlandish art shows, all of them taking place in galleries named for mountain ranges and craters of the moon. While discussing the poetry and pretension of art and art talk, the sensibility of Sorrentino, the master satirist, is revealed.

Listen to Interview/Reading

An Excerpt from Lunar Follies

NARAL: On "Justice Sunday"

(courtesy of NARAL Pro-Choice America)

This Sunday at 7:00 pm EDT, Senator Bill Frist is partnering with radical conservatives like James Dobson and Tony Perkins to launch "Justice Sunday" - a national telecast to churches across the country which claims that opposing the far-right's "nuclear option" is tantamount to discrimination against "people of faith."

NARAL Pro-Choice America asked me - a lifelong Christian and Episcopal priest - what I thought about "Justice Sunday." Frankly, I don't recognize the God Senator Frist and company speak of.

The God I know does not ask the government to impose one person or group's moral beliefs on all others. The God I know would not have us pit believers against one another in the service of a purely political agenda.

The God I know is less concerned with our bedrooms than with seeing our faithfulness and love reflected in our budget, our foreign policy, our social and economic policies.

Poster being used to advertise "Justice Sunday"

Sen. Frist and others certainly have the right, even the responsibility, to let their judgment about who and what they support be informed by their own values and faith commitments. You and I may wish that those values more closely mirrored what we understand to be spiritual and democratic principles. Nonetheless, as irrational and unfaithful as some of their positions may appear to others of us, they have the right to them. What they do not have the right to do is to impose them on us all - and most certainly not to destroy our democratic system in order to do it.

Frist and Dobson's "Christian" objection is not to the filibuster, but to its outcome in this case - the refusal to confirm some judges. They argue that these judges are Christians, and are being opposed because of their faith. I'd argue that we're opposing these judges because of their policies and history, and many of us oppose those policies and that history precisely because we are faithful, spiritual people of many religions.

These judges have histories of rulings that dilute the rights and protections afforded to various categories of disadvantaged people (elderly, poor, people of color, disabled, immigrants, women, gay and lesbian). People within many religious traditions are charged to care especially for just such people.

To Contact Your Senators About This Issue

David Abram: The Spell of the Sensuous

(courtesy of Walking as Knowing as Making)

DAVID ABRAM (PhD) is an ecologist and philosopher whose writings have helped catalyze the emerging disciplines of environmental philosophy and ecopsychology. He is the author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World (Pantheon Books) for which he received the Lannan Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 1996. His work focuses upon the intertwined mysteries of perception and language -- the way in which these two dimensions modulate the ethical relation between humankind and the animate earth.

Dr. Abram is also an accomplished sleight-of-hand magician who has lived and traded magic with indigenous magic practitioners on several continents. He began practicing sleight-of-hand magic in his late teens, and it is this craft that sparked his ongoing fascination with perception. When he was nineteen, Abram began working regularly as "house magician" at Alice's Restaurant in Massachusetts, and soon was performing steadily in clubs throughout New England. He took a year off from his studies at Wesleyan University to journey as a street magician through Europe; upon graduating summa cum laude from Wesleyan in 1980, Abram began traveling as an itinerant magician throughout rural parts of Southeast Asia, living and studying with traditional magicians and medicine-persons in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Nepal.

Abram became increasingly fascinated by the interactive relation between these traditional magicians and the various animals, plants, and natural elements that constitute the local terrain. Upon returning to North America, he became a careful student of natural history and ecology while continuing to perform throughout Canada and the United States. A much-reprinted essay originally published in The Ecologist (written while he was studying at the Yale School of Forestry in 1984), entitled "The Perceptual Implications of Gaia," brought Abram into alliance with the scientists formulating the Gaia Hypothesis, and he was soon lecturing in association with biologist Lynn Margulis and geochemist James Lovelock in both Britain and the United States.

In 1993, Abram received his doctorate from SUNY at Stony Brook for his work on the ecological dimensions of perception and of language. At the heart of Abram's ongoing research is an examination of the ecology of perception (the manner in which sensory perception bind the human organism into the more-than-human natural world). More recently, his work also analyzes the decisive influence of language upon our perception of the earthly environment, and argues that human language is much more intimately related to the more-than-human natural landscape than has been conventionally assumed.

Dr. Abram's papers and essays, in such journals as Environmental Ethics, Orion, The Ecologist, Parabola, and Wild Earth, have been widely reprinted and anthologized in numerous books. His first book, The Spell of the Sensuous, termed "revolutionary" by the Los Angeles Times and the Village Voice, has been described in Science as "a truly original work: Abram puts forth his daring hypothesis with a poetic vigor and argumentative insight that stimulate reconsideration of the technological commonplace . . . With Abram anthropology becomes a bridge between science and its others." (Science, January 10, 1997). Frequently called upon as a spokesperson for wild nature, Dr. Abram has been the recipient of fellowships from the Watson and the Rockefeller foundations. Dr. Abram and his wife, Grietje Laga, are the founders of Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE), an organization dedicated to ecological education and the rewilding of community and culture.

The Spell of the Sensuous

Friday, April 22, 2005

Alix Spiegel: Freud's Nephew and the Origins of Public Relations

Freud's Nephew and the Origins of Public Relations
by Alix Spiegel

Years ago, Americans grabbed toast and coffee for breakfast. Public-relations pioneer Edward Bernays changed that.

Bernays used his Uncle Sigmund Freud's ideas to help convince the public, among other things, that bacon and eggs was the true all-American breakfast.

He took Freud's complex ideas on people's unconscious, psychological motivations and applied them to the new field of public relations.

Read/Listen to the History

Peter Forbes: The Great Remembering

(courtesy of Chris Taylor's Artifact Reason: Beyond Imaged-Based Research)

A dozen times in the summer of 1974, I camped beside a millpond deep in the woods of Connecticut. I can still recall the sense of awe and excitement of coming upon this hidden spot and realizing that human hands had created it perhaps a hundred years before. Giant oaks stood on either side of a stone dam wide enough, perhaps, to drive a mule and wagon across. There was a gentle rise of land overlooking this half-acre pond, and here my friends and I found a spot so special to us that we did what thirteen-year-olds will do: we carved our names in the beech trees and called the place "The Kingdom."

One Thanksgiving twenty years later, I wandered silently for more than an hour through a subdivision, crossing cul-de-sacs back and forth, looking to find my pond. I was sure I was in the right place, but nothing around me looked the same. The stream was gone, the gentle ravine and the dam were gone. When I was about to give up and accept that this was no longer a place but now only a memory, I found myself oriented in just the right way so that even though the land had been transformed by bulldozers beyond recognition, my body remembered. I reconnected with a place that had died. I knew where I was. I looked across a stretch of pavement and saw immediately adjacent to a two-car garage an old beech tree with "The Kingdom" carved in it.

Peter Forbes, The Great Remembering: further thoughts of land, soul, and society, (San Francisco: The Trust for Public Lands, 2001), pp. 7-8.

Halliburton Watch

A site dedicated to keeping track of Cheney's favorite corporation:

Halliburton Watch

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Springtime on the Border and The Face of the Frontier


They've come from all across the United States to a 23-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. Journalist Andy Isaacson went too, camera in hand, to document the event. As he notes in his far-reaching piece today on AlterNet, the Minutemen volunteers are "indignant at an illegal invasion that sees immigrants, drug smugglers and possible terrorists streaming across a porous and undefended border." They're also hard to typecast, he discovers, motivated by a combination of patriotism, racism, pride and xenophobia. And their goal -- more effective border control -- may be a quixotic one. Marisa Arrona adds her thoughts to the mix, considering the benefits that undocumented workers bring to the United States.

by Andy Isaacson

Instead of waiting for Washington to take action, the Minuteman volunteers bring Washington to the border, demanding attention for an illegal immigration storm.
Springtime on the Border

by Marisa Arrona

Border vigilantes and their talk of "protecting the
frontier" obscure the real faces of Mexican immigrants and
their contributions to the United States.
The Face of the Frontier

Paul Craig Roberts: The Brown-Shirting of America

Where Did These Conservatives Come From?: The Brownshirting of America


Bush's conservative supporters want no debate. They want no facts, no analysis. They want to denounce and to demonize the enemies that the Hannitys, Limbaughs, and Savages of talk radio assure them are everywhere at work destroying their great and noble country.

I remember when conservatives favored restraint in foreign policy and wished to limit government power in order to protect civil liberties. Today's young conservatives are Jacobins determined to use government power to impose their will at home and abroad.

Where did such "conservatives" come from?

Entire Essay

Valerie Roybal: Land Arts of the American West

Land Arts of the American West
Valerie Roybal
University of New Mexico

"With this program we hope to confirm the idea that if you bring the students out into the world instead of the world into the classroom, you can fundamentally change how students learn, create and view their surroundings," says Taylor. "We believe that in this context they will make deeper and more precise connections within their work and be inspired to create work that makes broader connections outside themselves."

Entire Essay

Monday, April 18, 2005

Future-Directed Thinking: Becoming Visionary

(I put this up on one of my course weblogs for my students that are writing "future-directed: visionary" papers--they are just examples to get them started--so I figured I would share it here at Dialogic. Essentially I have challenged them to think past the "here-and-now" emphasis of contemporary society and to develop a perspective that seeks to understand problems/issues in their lives and think about them in a future-directed: visionary way... I want them to develop a sense of responsibility and to realize that they have the necessary response-ability. Comment, as always, are welcomed.)

Adbusters ["We are a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age. Our aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century."]

Creating a New Vision for Agriculture ["Since its founding in 1982, the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) has worked steadfastly for environmental and social justice in rural America."]

Educated Student: Global Citizen or Global Consumer? [Benjamin Barber, a political and educational theorist, challenges us to ask this question of what we want to be--citizen or consumer?]

Environmental Ethics: An Introduction

Global Issues That Effect Everyone [Anup Shah's amazing website that "looks into global issues that affect everyone and aims to show how most issues are inter-related. Over 6,500 links to external articles, web sites reports and analysis are used to provide credence to the arguments made on this web site. The issue categories range from trade, poverty and globalization, to human rights, geopolitics and the environment."]

Goodbye Uncle Sam, Hello Team Europe ["Not only does the world hate us, a new poll shows that for the first time most countries want us to get the hell out of the driver's seat."]

Independent Media in a Time of War [Democracy Now, an alternative TV/news station available online, 2004, 29 minute Documentary, featuring Amy Goodman reporting on the importance of Independent Media in a Time of War and its role in a vibrant, functioning democracy—other sources at the posting site)

Jobs With Justice [Jobs With Justice's "mission is to improve working people's standard of living, fight for job security, and protect workers' right to organize. JwJ's core belief is that in order to be successful, workers' rights struggles have to be part of a larger campaign for economic and social justice. To that end, JwJ has created a network of local coalitions that connect labor, faith-based, community, and student organizations to work together on workplace and community social justice campaigns."]

Land Ethic and Other Writings [Excerpts from the writing of Aldo Leopold: "The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land." Also check out The Philosophical Foundations of Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic]

Landscapes of Capital: Representations of Time, Space and Globalization in Corporate Ads [Robert Goldman's and Stephen Papson's hyperlinked website that explores the visions of coporate advertising and how it constructs the world around us (or constructs how perceive the world around us).]

Mainstream Media (critique) [Global Issues special report on the problems with mainstream media in the US. An important issue for thinking about the future of our democratic nation.]

Megalomedia: The Voices of Globalization [Mapping the seven corporate media giants and their growing domination of public discourse. What happens to a democracy in which the peoples voices are no longer heard?]

New Genesis Project [World famous photographer "Sebastião Salgado is embarking on the last of his great photographic projects, ... He is seeking out places that are still as pristine as they were in primeval times, places that provide hope. First stop, the Galápagos Islands.]

The Oprah Society [How can we address the working realities of a nation in which one out of every four working adults makes less than 9 dollars an hour and has no health insurance?]

Orion ["This ... bimonthly journal of nature and political thought can be counted on to provide some of America's most eloquent and impassioned essays in defense of the environment and social change."]

Project Censored 2005 [Project Censored's annual report on the top 25 underreported or censored news stories. What we are not hearing about, is as important a factor, as what we are hearing about--how does limits on our access to news about the world affect our ability to think about the future?]

Prozac Spotlight [Why are so many people taking paxils for depression, anxiety and fear? What is it in our society that set so many people into a state of menatl/psychic un-ease or dis-ease? What are the dangers of a population that relies on these drugs while knowing very little about them? What are the stories of people who are deemed in need of these drugs?]

Right to Communicate [A social movement whose focus is on the "right to communicate" as a basic human right. In other words, the ability to communicate entails education, access, and opportunity.]

Roll Back Media Consolidation [Ted Turner the founder of TBS and CNN on the increasing dangers of big media consolidation.]

Sebastiăo Salgado: A Revolutionary Photographer [Let me warn you--I got online to just briefly look up some books by Salgado and got lost in the power of his images/words--this is a man of ideas just as powerful and passionate as his photographic journeys.]

Social Factors Shaping Social Perception [Social psychology perspective on how we construct our worldviews--the way we view the world; judgments of right/wrong, normal/abnormal, etc...; what is important and what is not; who matters and who doesn't]

Sociology of Knowledge [How do we know what we know? Very important questions for any visionary thinker.]

Spinwatch [Analyzing those who attempt to "spin" the future]

Thinking Like a Mountain [This essay by Aldo Leopold recounts his days as a hunter of wolves and challenges us to think from a broader ecological perspective.]

This Is What Democracy Looks Like [Independent media center reports on social/economic protests around the world. This is independent video activism that has arisen out of a frustration with mainstream media.]

Toxic Culture [Kalle Lasn and Richard DeGrandpre on our current mental environment and problems associated with chemicals, advertising, drugs, etc... Outlines recent psychosocial studies that examine the effects on our society and what could be done.]

Utne [Warm hearted, user friendly, mildly activist magazine--always looking toward the future with new ideas and celebrations of visionary thinkers]

Vodafone [A communications corporation imagines the future--of course, this vision is centered around their products. Also check out their magazine Receiver on their site.]

We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism [Stories of social movements around the world. "We Are Everywhere is the the first book to truly capture and embody the exuberant creativity and radical intellect of the protest movements"--Naomi Klein]

World Changing [Thinking the future through technological advancements]

Steve Keen: Debunking Economics

Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences

Sunday, April 17, 2005

How Many Bush Administration Members Does It Take To Change a Lightbulb?

How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to replace a lightbulb?

The Answer is SEVEN:

1. One to deny that a lightbulb needs to be replaced

2. One to attack and question the patriotism of anyone
who has questions about the lightbulb,

3. One to blame the previous administration for the need
of a new lightbulb,

4. One to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to
have a secret stockpile of lightbulbs,

5. One to get together with Vice President Cheney and
figure out how to pay Halliburton Industries one million
dollars for a lightbulb,

6. One to arrange a photo-op session showing Bush
changing the lightbulb while dressed in a flight suit and
wrapped in an American flag,

and finally,

7. One to explain to Bush the difference
between screwing a lightbulb and screwing the country.

Kentucky Author Mountaintop Removal Tour

KENTUCKY AUTHOR MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL TOUR -- More than a dozen Kentucky authors will get a firsthand view of mountaintop removal and its impacts on the land and people during a tour of eastern Kentucky coalfields next week. Wendell Berry and Silas House will head the group which will view sites in three counties and hear the stories of those who live near the mines. The tour is being coordinated by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth with Kentucky Riverkeeper and Appalshop. "We are excited about giving these authors an opportunity to see an up-close view of mountaintop removal mining and to hear the stories of people from the communities who have to endure this," said KFTC leader Teri Blanton. The media and the public are invited to attend the following events:

Wed Apr 20, 7:00p.m. at Hindman Settlement School. A program featuring stories from KFTC members will help the authors understand the daily consequences of coal mining and the true cost of coal borne by all Kentuckians. Presentations will be made by coalfield residents, officials and researchers.

Thr Apr 21 at 1:00p.m., Posey Auditorium on the Eastern Kentucky University campus in Richmond. The concluding activities of the authors tour will take place at EKU as part of their Earth Days in the Cumberlands series of events. At an opening 1 p.m. press conference, the authors are expected to release a statement based on their observations and experience, and share their reflections.

Thr Apr 21 at 5:00-7:30p.m., at the EKU Center for Appalachian Studies Center (300 Summit Street) in Richmond. The public is invited to attend an informal reception with the authors that will include readings and their reflections. This is a fundraiser for KFTC and Kentucky Riverkeeper, $30 person/$50 per couple with dinner included. RSVPs are requested to 859-622-3065.

Authors participating in all or part of the tour include: Wendell Berry, Mary Ann Taylor Hall, Bob Sloan, Kristin Johannsen, Gwyn Hyman Rubio, Silas House, Ed McClanahan, Anne Shelby, Bracelen Flood, George Brosi, Graham Shelby, Ann Olson, Artie Ann Bates, Warren Brunner, and Erik Reece.

In Memoriam: Theodore W. Allen

I just read that Theodore W. Allen died in January. Allen's book The Invention of the White Race (Summary of Volume 1 and Summary of Volume 2), which I first read as an assigment in Dr. Ronald Strickland's course on Marxism, was paradigm-shifting in moving me past the last vestiges of my early indocrination into tribal allegiances based upon skin/ethnicity. His book, along with my later reading of Many-Headed Hydra and The Wages of Whiteness, outlined how the construction and naturalization of a superior white race had served to keep the working classes from recognizing their true power in numbers, effectively fragmenting them through petty, destructive hatreds.

I was never the same after reading Theodore W. Allen. He pushed me to a higher level, and when I think upon these issues, I am standing on his shoulders.

Michael Dean Benton

In Memoriam: Theodore W. Allen
by Jeffrey B. Perry
Cultural Logic

Theodore W. Allen, a working class intellectual and activist and author of the influential two-volume history The Invention of the White Race (Verso:1994, 1997), died on January 19, 2005, surrounded by friends in his apartment at 97 Brooklyn Avenue in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He was 85. The cause of death was cancer, which he had battled for 15 years. Announcement of the death was made by his close friend Linda Vidinha.

Allen, an ardent opponent of white supremacy, spent much of his last forty years researching the role of white supremacy in United States history and examining records of colonial Virginia as he documented and analyzed the development of the "white race" in the latter part of the seventeenth century. His main thesis, that the "white race" developed as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor unrest as manifest in Bacon's Rebellion of 1676-77, was first articulated in February 1974 in a talk he delivered at a Union of Radical Political Economists meeting in New Haven. Versions of that talk were published in 1975 in Radical America and in pamphlet form as "Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race."

In the 1960s "Ted" Allen significantly influenced the direction of the student movement and the new left with an article entitled "Can White Radicals Be Radicalized?" which developed the argument that white supremacy, reinforced among European Americans by the "white skin privilege," was the main retardant of working class consciousness in the United States and that efforts at radical social change should direct principal efforts at challenging the system of white supremacy and urging "repudiation of white skin privilege" by European Americans.

Allen was in the forefront in challenging phenotypical (physical appearance-based) definitions of race, in challenging "racism is innate" arguments, in challenging theories that the working class benefits from white supremacy, in calling attention to the crucial role of the buffer social control group in racial oppression, in documenting and analyzing the development of the "white race" in the latter part of the seventeenth century, and in clarifying how "this all-class association of European-Americans held together by 'racial' privileges conferred on laboring class European-Americans relative to African-Americans--[has served] as the principal historic guarantor of ruling-class domination of national life" in the United States. These contributions differentiate his work from many writers in the rapidly growing white race as "a social and cultural construction" ranks, which his writings helped to spawn.

In The Invention of the White Race Allen focused on Virginia, the first and pattern-setting continental colony. He emphasized that "When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no white people there" and he added that he found "no instance of the official use of the word 'white' as a token of social status before its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691." He also found, similar to historian Lerone Bennett, Jr., that throughout most of the seventeenth century conditions for African-American and European-American laborers and bond-servants were very similar. Under such conditions solidarity among the laboring classes reached a peak during Bacon's Rebellion: the capitol (Jamestown) was burned; two thousand rebels forced the governor to flee across the Chesapeake Bay and controlled 6/7 of Virginia's land; and, in the latter stages of the struggle, "foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms" demanded their freedom from bondage.

To Allen, the social control problems highlighted by Bacon's Rebellion "demonstrated beyond question the lack of a sufficient intermediate stratum to stand between the ruling plantation elite and the mass of European-American and African-American laboring people, free and bond." He then detailed how, in the period after Bacon's Rebellion the white race was invented as "a bourgeois social control formation in response to [such] laboring class unrest." He described systematic ruling class policies, which extended privileges to European laborers and bond-servants and imposed and extended harsher disabilities and blocked normal class mobility for African-Americans. Thus, for example, when African-Americans were deprived of their long-held right to vote in Virginia and Governor William Gooch explained in 1735 that the Virginia Assembly had decided upon this curtailment of the franchise in order "to fix a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros & Mulattos," Allen emphasized that this was not an "unthinking decision"! "Rather, it was a deliberate act by the plantation bourgeoisie; it proceeded from a conscious decision in the process of establishing a system of racial oppression, even though it meant repealing an electoral principle that had existed in Virginia for more than a century."

For Allen, "The hallmark, the informing principle, of racial oppression in its colonial origins and as it has persisted in subsequent historical contexts, is the reduction of all members of the oppressed group to one undifferentiated social status, beneath that of any member of the oppressor group." The key to understanding racial oppression, he wrote, is the social control buffer -- that group in society, which helps to control the poor for the rich. Under racial oppression in Virginia, any persons of discernible non-European ancestry in colonial Virginia after Bacon's Rebellion were denied a role in the social control buffer group, the bulk of which was made up of working-class "whites." In contrast, Allen explained, in the Caribbean "Mulattos" were included in the social control group and were promoted into middle-class status. For him, this was "the key to the understanding the difference between Virginia ruling-class policy of 'fixing a perpetual brand' on African-Americans" and "the policy of the West Indian planters of formally recognizing the middle-class status 'colored' descendant (and other Afro-Caribbeans who earned special merit by their service to the regime)." The difference "was rooted in the objective fact that in the West Indies there were too few laboring-class Europeans to embody an adequate petit bourgeoisie, while in the continental colonies there were too many to be accommodated in the ranks of that class." (In 1676 in Virginia, for example, there were approximately 6,000 European-American bond-laborers and 2,000 African-American bond-laborers.)

In 1996, on radio station WBAI in New York, Allen discussed the subject of "American Exceptionalism" and the much-vaunted "immunity" of the United States to proletarian class-consciousness and its effects. His explanation for the relatively low level of class consciousness was that social control in the United States was guaranteed, not primarily by the class privileges of a petit bourgeoisie, but by the white-skin privileges of laboring class whites; that the ruling class co-opts European-American workers into the buffer social control system against the interests of the working class to which they belong; and that the "white race" by its all-class form, conceals the operation of the ruling class social control system by providing it with a majoritarian "democratic" facade.

Entire Essay

Cultural Logic Interview of Allen

Allen's "In Defense of Affirmative Action in Employment Policy"

Allen's "'Race' and 'Ethnicity': History and the 2000 Census"

Allen's "Be Fair: Reverse Discrimination"