Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Public Service and Voting Rights in Arizona: A Debate on Prop 200 and Immigration

Democracy Now looks "at a controversial ballot initiative in Arizona - Prop 200 - that would require all residents of the state to prove they are citizens to receive any public services and to vote. We host a debate with a local Latino community leader and one of the initiatives chief proponents."

Debate on Prop 200

Something Has To Be Done About the Structure of Presidential Debates

NPR's Connie Rice outlines what is wrong with the current presidential debates:

Top Ten Secrets They Don't Want You To Know About the Presidential Debates

Rebecca Solnit: On Thoreau, Dissent and Civil Rights

Rebecca Solnit who has written a series of books, the latest is Hope In the Dark, reflects on Thoreau, civil rights and activism in Post 9/11 culture.

Reimagining the Landscape of Fear: Rights are like muscles, they disappear if you don't use them.

Solnit dicusses a very important document that examines the current state of civil rights in the U.S.:

The Assault on Free Speech, Public Assembly and Dissent

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Twain Again Courtesy of Public Domain Progress

"Our Congresses consist of Christians. In their private life they are true to every obligation of honor; yet in every session they violate them all, and do it without shame. Because honor to party is above honor to themselves." -- Mark Twain

Public Domain Progress has this on their blog masthead--what a great quote!

Bush Allies Restricting Democracy as Election Nears




President Bush has opined about the need for democracy to be preserved, and for U.S. elections to be fair. In 2002, he said "Every registered voter deserves to have confidence that the system is fair and elections are honest."[1] In 2003, he gave a speech to the National Endowment for Democracy claiming he had a "commitment to democracy."[2] But, as a new report shows, Bush and the Republican Party are doing everything they can to reduce democracy at home as the election approaches.

As an article in In These Times notes, in August 2003 the CEO of one of the biggest manufacturers of new voting machines wrote a fundraising letter saying he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."[3] In June 2004, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) tried to remove 48,000 traditionally Democratic voters from the Florida voter rolls,[4] prompting the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to demand an investigation.[5] In July, a top GOP official in Michigan indicated his party's effort to reduce minority voter turnout, saying that the GOP will have "a tough time [in this election]" if "we do not suppress the Detroit vote."[6] In August, Jeb Bush's political appointee tried to hire two top Bush fundraisers to represent the election office in Broward County in the case of a recount.[7]

See the full article at In These Times.


1. President Signs Historic Election Reform Legislation into Law, The
White House, 10/29/02

2. President Bush Discusses Freedom in Iraq and Middle East, The
White House, 11/06/03

3. Voting Machine Controversy, Common Dreams News Center, 8/23/03

4. Rights leader scolds Bush on use of felon purge lists, Miami
Herald, 6/22/04

5. "Voting worries just won't go away," Sarasota Herald-Tribune,

6. Groups Say GOP Moves to Stifle Vote, Washington Post, 8/26/04

7. Elections Supervisor Rapped for Hiring Lawyers With Bush Ties,, 8/30/04

US Scientists, Including 10 Nobel Prize Winners, Campaign Against Bush

Scientists Against Bush

Scientists and Engineers for Change

The Bi-Partisan Debates Are a Farce!

Replace Bi-Partisan Shows With Real Debates
Commentary, Jeff Milchen,
Pacific News Service, Sep 28, 2004
Editor's Note: Americans have been tuning out of the last few televised presidential debates in droves. But few know the whole story behind the sad decline of lively, unscripted presidential face-offs.

George W. Bush's father, a five-time participant in events staged by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), described them this way: "'s too much show business and too much prompting, too much artificiality, and not really debates. They're rehearsed appearances."

The problems began in 1988, when the League of Women Voters halted its long-time sponsorship of the debates over bi-partisan attempts to turn them into glorified infomercials. The League officially stated, "We have no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American people."

After the League's withdrawal, the Republican and Democratic parties immediately seized the opportunity to control the debates with their own bi-partisan group, the CPD. Chaired by former heads of the respective parties, the CPD simply executes agreements made by the major party candidates and shields them from accountability for actions such as choosing sound-bite exchanges over real debate and excluding viable candidates from outside the dominant parties. The 32-page Kerry/Bush agreement forbids direct exchanges between candidates, limits follow-up questions and controls details right down to podium and camera angles.

Though few citizens' know the full story, millions apparently recognize the events have ceased to be genuinely informative. From 1976 to 1984, 60-80 million viewers watched each debate hosted by the non-partisan League. But since then, Americans have tuned out the CPD's staged events in droves. Despite about 60 million more potential U.S. viewers, CPD events have averaged just 40 million viewers in the past two elections.

What's made the events so unappealing? The restrictive rules and shorter response times have enabled many scripted and evasive answers. Even the "town hall" debate is largely a facade, with CPD moderators screening questions from the pre-selected audience and forbidding any follow-up. The Kerry and Bush campaigns specified that the microphone must be cut if any participants deviate from the question approved by the moderator.

The lack of direct exchanges and moderators who stick tightly to standard stump speech topics may be the greatest injury to voters. Among key issues that never were mentioned in any 2000 presidential debate were: corporate power or crime, the "drug war," population growth, immigration and "free trade." The only mention of labor referred to banning their soft money contributions. Will any moderator challenge the candidates about corporate power over elections or scandals like Halliburton and Enron this year? It will take exceptional courage as long as CPD events are staged for their owners' benefit, not voters'.

And while more money than ever is being spent on youth voter registration, the CPD events send the message that their concerns don't matter. While seniors and social security each were referenced more than 60 times during three debates in 2000, neither teenagers nor college students were mentioned at all -- and every debate occurred on a college campus!

The narrow range of topics is linked to shutting out viable independent and "third party" candidates (except when both are convinced the outsider will help them, as with Ross Perot in 1992). For 2004, the major parties decreed that 15 percent of the public must indicate plans to vote for a candidate for him to be invited to the debate club. That's an impossibly high bar, given that most news outlets never have mentioned that three candidates other than Bush, Kerry and Ralph Nader have earned ballot positions in enough states to win an Electoral College majority. Voters of every ideology lose when our choices are dictated by the two dominant parties.

This year, the organization I direct,, was proud to help launch a new and truly non-partisan Citizens' Debate Commission (CDC) to challenge the CPD's control and provide real debates, rather than sound-bite volleys. These debates would feature direct exchanges between candidates, set fair candidate participation criteria and address a wide range of pressing issues.

The CDC is supported by more than 60 civic groups as diverse as the American electorate, including leaders of the Free Congress Foundation, Judicial Watch, Youth Vote Coalition, Common Cause, the TransAfrica Forum and, tellingly, the former producer of the CPD debates. Yet most major media (with notable exceptions such as the Los Angeles Times) have ignored the challenge entirely, much like the major parties deny voters' rights to know their full options.

Simply exposing the CPD's illegitimacy has forced it to adopt some of our plan, like varying moderators and allowing some follow-up questions. But that's not enough when it comes to the single most influential forum for Americans trying to decide whether to vote and who to vote for. We all deserve debates that serve democracy, not two political parties. The Citizens' Debate Commission is ready to serve that role if Americans step up to demand the change.

Jeff Milchen directs, a non-profit organization working to revitalize American democracy. He is a co-founder of the Citizens' Debate Commission.

Essay Link

Alain de Botton: What Price Honor?


"Philosopher and author of Status Anxiety Alain de Botton offers philosophical advice to people who feel their honor and integrity have been challenged."

Return to Honor: Dueling in the 21st Century

The Rise and ... of John McCain

Democracy Now has just released an examination of just who the hell is John McCain:

Who is John McCain? An In-Depth Look at the Arizona Senator's Rise to Prominence

Segue: Online Literary Journal

Segue, the online literary journal of Miami University-Middletown, is accepting creative work and scholarly work for its fall issue.

Segue's mission is to celebrate and illuminate the whole writing process, rather than focusing solely on the writing product. Our Featured Authors publish short collections of their work along with writing that explores the process behind their submissions, our new Writing on Writing page provides a site of exchange for students, teachers, readers and writers to explore writing-related issues, as does our listserv, and our Resources page offers links to other literary journals and writerly information. Past Featured Authors include Brian Kiteley, Denise Duhamel, and Katharine Haake. Our fall issue will feature excerpts from author Diane Glancy's
forthcoming novel, The Dance Partner. In addition to publishing an eclectic blend of high quality literatures, Segue serves as an educational tool for writers, teachers, and students. We encourage educators to use our publication in the classroom, and to contact us with their success stories and ideas for collaboration at

Pregnant Woman Arrested in Washington Metro For Talking too Loud on Her Cell Phone

(Courtesy of SNAFU who posted on the Mediasquatter listserv)

For Metro, a Case of Too-Free Speech: Police Defend Arrest Over Loud Cell Phone Call

Monday, September 27, 2004

Continuing Intimidation of Student Voters: FOX Misleads Student Voters in Arizona

Katha Pollitt of the Nation reports on how an Arizona FOX affiliate is aggressively using misleading information to keep out-of-state University of Arizona students from registering to vote in the state:

FOX Hunts Student Voters

FOX News: Unfair and Unbalanced

Continuing Disenfranchisement of American Voters

Don Swaim's Interview Archives: A Feast For Fiction Readers!

Ohio University's WOUB public radio hosts Wired for Books which includes the Don Swaim page, a huge archive of interviews with authors:

"For many years, most of the best writers of the English language found their way to Don Swaim's CBS Radio studio in New York. The one-on-one interviews typically lasted 30 to 45 minutes and then had to be edited down to a two-minute radio show. Wired for Books is proud to make these important oral documents publicly available for the first time in their entirety. Listen to the voices of many of the greatest writers of the twentieth century."

Barbara Kingsolver: On Solitude

"Solitude is only a human presumption." Barbara Kingsolver

More about Kingsolver:

I highly recommend her novel Poisonwood Bible

NOW Archive

NY Times Feature Archive

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What is terrorism and who decides?

I'm posting this because it is a good example of tactics and labeling. Israel admits they hunted down a man, in a foreign nation, planted a bomb in his car, and killed him--wouldn't Israel call this terrorism if it had been done in their country by others?

Car Bomb Kills Hamas Operative in Syria

Stanislav Petrov: Critical, Reflective Thinking in Action

On this day in 1983:

Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov of the Soviet Union averted a worldwide nuclear war.

The Connection: State Secrets

From Boston's NPR station WBUR show The Connection:

Citing the rarely invoked "state secrets privilege," Attorney General John Ashcroft has effectively squelched any further discussion of the case of Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who's been talking about mismanagement and missed intelligence at the bureau both before and after 9/11.

Edmonds was eventually fired from the FBI. She sued the Department of Justice, but a Bush-appointed federal judge threw out her case, saying that even the discussion of her charges in court posed a threat to national security. Edmonds plans to appeal.

Listen to State Secrets

New York Times: Study Suspects Thousands of Wrongful Convictions

A report from the New York Times reproduced at the Truth in Justice website:

Study Suspects Thousands of Wrongful Convictions

Bill Moyers: The Dark Side of the Chemical Industry

Moyers, Bill. “Trade Secrets: A MOYERS REPORT is an investigation of the history of the chemical revolution and the companies that drove it – and how companies worked to withhold vital information about the risks from workers, the government, and the public. Journalist Bill Moyers and producer Sherry Jones rely on an archive of documents the public was never meant to see –- documents that reveal the industry's early knowledge that some chemicals could pose dangers to human health that were not disclosed at the time.” PBS (March, 2001) Documents and Resources and Program

Where Are All The Progressive Women Bloggers?

When I put the call out for suggestions for a listing of blogs for my students I started to noticed the overwhelming male presence on the web. I started to wonder where the radical women were... now, thanks to a recommendation by Nick Lewis at Net Politik I've found a blog-archive dedicated to the voices of progressive women bloggers:

What She Said!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

What Are the Best Blogs?

Hi everyone,

I'm developing exercises for my students involving the production, legitimation and dissemination of news/information/knowledge/entertainment/culture. One of the sections of this unit will involve explorations of independent publishing and I would like to give them a handy list of representative blogs to start them off when they investigate the blogosphere.

Could you please send me or post in the comments a short list of your favorite blogs and if its not too much a description of their perspective? I am very interested in getting a wide range of political, social, global and genre perspectives--I appreciate your contributions and will compile a comprehensive list and post it on Dialogic (and send it to those who supply me with an email address).


55 Reasons To Vote For Bush

(courtesy of Buyankasha)

Smirking Chimp gives us 55 reasons why we migh want to vote for George W. Bush

Daily Mis-lead Report on "Middle-Class" Tax Cuts

(original article altered only in the adding of links to key sources)




The administration and most of the mainstream press are billing the tax package passed by Congress yesterday as a "middle class tax-cut."[1] The reality is that the new law is more of the same: tax cuts that benefit the rich and, in many cases, exclude the neediest families.

An analysis from the Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center shows that the middle 20 percent of earners "will receive an average tax cut of $162 in 2005 from this legislation."[2] The top fifth of earners, however, "will get an average tax cut of $1,317."[3] As a result, the top fifth will receive two-thirds of all benefits.[4]

The bill excluded a provision that would have extended the child tax credit to four million low-income families who currently don't qualify.[5] Extending eligibility to these families would have cost $4 billion.[6] Meanwhile, conservatives included $12 billion in tax cuts for corporations.[7]


1. "Congress Extends Middle-Class Tax Breaks," The Kansas City Star,
2. "New 'Middle-Class' Tax-Cut Bill Represents Cynical Policymaking," Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 9/23/04
3. Ibid
4. Ibid
5. "Lawmakers Can't Resist Voting to Extend Bush's Tax Cuts," Los
Angeles Times, 9/24/04
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.

Anniversary of Bill of Rights and Yosemite National Park

1789 The Bill of Rights passed the United States Congress.

1890 John Muir's vision succeeds: Yosemite National Park established in California.

Google vs. Yahoo, Computer Algorithms vs. Human Editors

Lasica, J.D. Balancing Act: How News Portals Serve Up News Stories. USC Annenberg (Spetemebr 24, 2004)

Friday, September 24, 2004

A New Low in Political Campaigning?

Republicans Admit Mailing Campaign Literature Saying Liberals Will Ban the Bible

Here Is The Original Flyer

Yahoo Report

NY Times Report

The Daily Show: Escape From Mess O' Potamia

Jon Stewart and the Daily Show definitely deserve the awards and accolades they have been receiving lately--how can a comedy show serve as one of the most insightful and effective critics of "politics-as-usual"?

Do yourself a favor and check out the latest Escape From Mess O' Potamia and other video clips from the show.

Ten Qestions For Jon Stewart

Thinking About Activism, Organizing and Social Justice, Pt. 1

I understand activism to be public displays/performances of public unrest, public acts of resistance against government/power, and public attempts to change public opinion. I understand organizing to be unified actions to collectively organize peoples to actively bargain, protest, or resist in order to bring about positive social changes. I believe that they are both necessary tactics and should be present in a democracy. The social justice aspect of this archive are groups that are seeking redress for social injustices.

9/11 Commission Report. Center for Democracy & Technology (2004)

Abby, Christopher. “States of Denial: A rape, a visit to the ER, a request for emergency contraception, a refusal on religious grounds. Welcome to the new front in the battle for reproductive rights, where state law says it's okay to deny prescriptions.” Alternet (August 18, 2004)

Achbar, Mark, Joel Bakan and Mark Cole. “The Beast With No Name.” The Brooklyn Rail (July 2004)

Activism is Patriotism

Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

Alpert, Emily. “Kiss My Cuffs: Arrested after a queer anti-RNC kiss-in, one student activist tells all.” Wiretap (September 3, 2004)

Alternative News Links


Amnesty International USA (International Human Rights Monitoring Organization)

“Antiterrorism Legislation and Academic Freedom.” Bill of Rights Defense Committee (2004)

Armentano, Paul. “Marijuana Reform to Tap Grassroots.” Alternet (September 8, 2004)

Arrieta, Rose. “Los Veteranos.” El Tecolote (August 14, 2004)

Artsy, Avisha. “Dialogues For Peace: Youth at the Barcelona Forum.” Wiretap (August 16, 2004)

Ashlock, Jesse. “Underdogs: The Coup’s Funky Revolution.” Res (July/August 2004)

“The Assault on Free Speech, Public Assembly, and Dissent.” National Lawyers Guild (A National Lawyers Guild Report on Government Violations of First Amendment Rights in the United States: 2004)

Association of Alternative Weeklies

Barber, Benjamin R. “The Educated Student: Global Citizen or Global Consumer?” Liberal Education (Spring 2002)

---. “Globalizing Democracy.” The American Prospect (September 11, 2000)

Baran, Madeleine. “Activists: Nothing New About New Mercury Rules.” The New Standard (August 14, 2004)

“The Battle for New York: A Roundup of the RNC Protests Plans.” Democracy Now (August 27, 2004)

Becker, Joy. “Group Says GOP Moves to Stifle Vote.” Washington Post (August 26, 2004)

“Become a Student Activist.” Campus Activism (2004)

Bell, Dan. “Imagining a Different RNC.” The Brooklyn Rail (July 2004)

Berman, Ari. “Populist Politics Meet Popular Culture.” The Nation (August 26, 2004)

Bernstein, Andrea. “Tony Kushner: The award-winning author of Angels in America advises you to trust neither art nor artists.” Mother Jones (July/August 1995)

Bey, Hakim. “Poetic Terrorism.” T.A.Z. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 1985

---. “Resolution for the 1990s: Boycott Cop Culture.” T.A.Z. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 1985

Bill of Rights Defense Committee.

“BORDC Campus Organizing Handbook: How to Protect Civil Liberties.” Bill of Rights Defense Committee (Hosted by Campus Activism: 2004)

“Boycott World Bank Bonds.” Campus Activism (2004)

Breast Cancer Fund (Group that informs about, and funds fight against, breast cancer)

Cahalan, James M. “Sabotage vs. Terrorism: Was Ed Abbey an ‘Eco-Terrorist’?” Earth First Journal (Hosted at Abby Web: September/October 2003)

Callenbach, Ernest. “Edward Abbey: A Few Reflections.” Ecology Hall of Fame (1999)

Carson, Rachel. (Website centered upon the work/writings of the biologist, ecologist, and writer.)

Center for the Study of Political Graphics (Archive of over 50,000 Post WWII Political Posters)

Chaudhry, Lakshmi. “The Importance of Being Joe Wilson: The man responsible for striking the first major blow against Bush's case for war (and a centerpiece of the new film 'Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the War in Iraq') talks about Dick Cheney, White House lies and the vendetta aimed at his wife.” Alternet (November 3, 2003)

Clinton, Catherine. “Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom.” Book TV (August 14, 2004)

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. “Egotistical Bastards: Dead Mag Helps VH-1 Talk About Race.” The Village Voice (August 17, 2004)

“Companies With Highest Levels Of Employee Injury and Illness.” The Memory Hole (compilation of sources/reports: August 2004)

Community Service Programs (US Government Sponsored)

“The Conscious Consumer.” Center For a New American Dream (ongoing project: 2004)

Consumer Software Working Group. “Examples of Unfair, Devious or Deceptive Practices Involving Software Version 1.0.” Center for Democracy and Technology (April 19, 2004)

Cook, Tiffany E. “Student Works to End GLBT Harassment.” Sex, Etc. (July 21, 2004)

Cooper, Gloria. “Showtime In Iraq: The Robbins Follies of 2004.” Columbia Journalism Review (May/June 2004)

Cooper, Marc. “From the Street: Voices of Protest.” The Nation (August 29, 2004)

Cray, Charlie, et al. “Dissecting Bush Administration Policies Under the Microscope.” Multinational Monitor (May/June 2004)

Crespin, Jessa. “An Interview With Leslie Cannold.” Bookslut (August 2004)

Critical Art Ensemble. Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media. (Autonomedia, 2001)

---. Electronic Civil Disobedience & Other Unpopular Ideas. (Autonomedia, 1996)

---. The Electronic Disturbance (Autonomedia, 2000)

---. Flesh Machine: Cyborgs, Designer Babies and New Eugenic Consciousness. (Autonomedia, 1998)

---. Molecular Invasion. (Autonomedia, 2002)

“Data Mining and Information Sharing.” Center for Democracy and Technology (Ongoing Archive: 2004)

Davis, Lisa Selin. “New Orleans Faces Off With Wal-Mart.” Preservation (March 19, 2004)

Doctorow, E.L. “A Provocation: Excerpts from a commencement address given at Hofstra University by a prophet and provocateur.” Weekly Planet (June 24, 2004)

Donnis, Ian. “A jolt with a difference: Cafés, co-ops, small roasters, and religious groups are fueling the popularity of Fair Trade coffee, which pays small growers a living wage.” The Boston Phoenix (August 20-26, 2004)

Dube, Arindrajit and Ken Jacobs. “Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs.” Center for Labor Research and Education: University of California—Berkeley (August 2, 2004)

Ebadi, Shirin. “Interviewed by Amitabh Pal.” Progressive (September 2004)

Ecotrust: Building Salmon Nation.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. “Serving in Florida.” The New York Times (excerpt from Ehrenreich’s book Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America: 2001)

Ehrenreich, Barbara and James Fallow. “Working Classes.” Atlantic Monthly (May 2, 2001)

Ehrenreich, Barbara and Juan Williams. “Nickle and Dimed.” NPR (May 16, 2001)

El-Moslimany, Samia. “Azizah Rising.” Saudi Aramco World (March/April 2004)

Fahim, Kareem. “Season of Evil: A Rwandan Survivor Remembers a Preventable Genocide.” The Village Voice (April 6, 2004)


“FBI Comes Calling on Activist Software Engineer.” Progressive (August 20, 2004)

“Fear of a Crimson Planet: Information on Radical Menstruation.” Cultural Revitalization Project (2004)

“Fighting the Backdoor Draft: Military Families File ‘Stop Loss’ Suit.” Counterpunch (August 13, 2004)

Fletcher, Adam. “Meaningful Student Involvement: Research Guide.” Sound Out (Hosted by Campus Activism: 2004)

---. “Stories of Meaningful Student Involvement.” Sound Out (Hosted by Campus Activism)

Fost, Dan. “Harper’s Editor Laments Rise of Corporate News Purveyors.” SF Gate (April 24, 2002)

Fox, Rebecca. “Billionaires for Bush.” Clamor #28 (September/October 2004)

Franken, Al, Molly Ivins, and Bill O’Reilly. “Book Expo of America Panel Discussion.” Book TV (June 8, 2003)

Friere, Ana Marie Ara jo. “A Bit of My Life With Pauolo Freire.” Journal of Advanced Composition 17.3 (1997)

Frel, Jan. “Conservatives Betrayed.” Alternet (August 28, 2004)

Frosch, Dan. “Public Thunder.” Alternet (August 29, 2004)

Gatto, John Taylor. The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling. NY: Oxford University Press, 2001

“G-D Hipsters.” Translated by Steven L. Weiss. Harper’s (March 2004)

Ginsburg, Janet. “The Leopold Legacy.” Environmental News Network (December 17, 1999)

Glen Canyon Institute (Dedicated to restoring a free-flowing Colorado River through Glen Canyon and the Grand Canyon)

Gonzalez, Juan, Peter Bach and Winston Price. “Study Shows Racial Disparity in Healthcare.” Democracy Now (August 20, 2004)

Gonzalez, Juan and Mohamed Khater. “Doctor Faces Life Imprisonment for Violating Iraq Sanctions.” Democracy Now (August 20, 2004)

Gonzalez, Juan, Bob Peterson and Justin Torres. “White House-Backed Charter Schools Lag Behind Public Schools.” Democracy Now (August 20, 2004)

Gopalakrishnan, Amulya. “Salute to Freedom’s Flag.” Frontline (February 14, 2003)

Graeber, David. “Lying in Wait: Police and Media Hysteria on the Eve of Major Protests.” The Nation (April 1, 2004)

Grassley, Charles E. “Grassley Says FBI Must Address Internal Misconduct.” (Press release/statement posted at the Iowa Senator’s website: February 18, 2004)

Greenman, Ben. “Tony Kushner, Radical Pragmatist.” Mother Jones (November/December 2003)

Greenwald, Robert. (Director) “Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War.”

Griscom, Amanda. “Methinks They Doth Not Protest at All: Mainstream green groups opt out of GOP convention protests.” Grist (August 26, 2004)

Habitat For Humanity (Organization that builds homes for low-income family—supported through donations and volunteers who build the homes)

Hauser, Christine. “Thousands Form Symbolic Unemployment Line in N.Y.” The New York Times (September 1, 2004)

Hearn, Kelly. “The Drug Profiteers.” Alternet (August 13, 2004)

Holland, Joshua. “Backlash 101: Why Conservatives Are Winning the Campus Wars.” Gadflyer (August 18, 2004)

Hoye, Sarah. “’Big’ and ‘Little’ a Perfect Match: Lexingtonian Wins Big Brother of the Year.” Lexington Herald-Leader (August 11, 2004)

Huhtala, Peter. “For Those About to Rockfish.” Grist (August 20, 2004)

Hynes, H. Patricia. “War and Women.” Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (March 2003)

Igrejas, Andy. “Counting Chemicals in Your Cabinet.” Alternet (August 16, 2004)

“Institutional Purchasing.” Center For a New American Dream (Ongoing Project: 2004)

“Intolerable Killings: Ten years of Abductions and Murders in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua.” Amnesty International USA (Ongoing Reports)

Jayadev, Raj. “New Youth Activists Emerge From Spiraling San Jose Violence.” Pacific News Service (March 9, 2004)

Jhally, Sut. “Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire.” Democracy Now (September 10, 2004)

Joseph, James A. “Public Values in a Divided World: A Mandate for Higher Education.” Liberal Education (Spring 2002)

Kaplan, Esther. “Making Love, Not War: Glamerican Style.” The Nation (August 29, 2004)

Kaplan, Jeffrey. “The Consent of the Governed: The Reign of Corporations and the Fight for Democracy.” Orion (November/December 2003)

Kelliher, Laurie. “Suburban Myth: Elizabeth Llorente's stories puncture our preconceptions of the suburbs. And she's getting others to take a closer look in their own backyards.” Columbia Journalism Review (July/August 2004)

Kim, Janet. “CODEPINK Hits Future Site of Republican National Convention.” The Village Voice (August 19, 2004)

Klein, Naomi. “Let’s Bring Najaf to New York.” The Nation (August 26, 2004)

“Know Your Rights.” National Lawyers Guild (Ongoing Project: Last Revised July 2004)

Komisar, Lucy. “Kerry Family Values: Peggy Kerry, John Kerry's sister, talks about her experience as a social activist and her deep shared value system with her family.” Alternet (September 13, 2004)

Kotlikoff, Laurence J. “The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know About America’s Economic Future.” MIT World (April 28, 2004)

Kushner, Tony. “Coming Out as a Socialist.” Salon (interview by Christopher Hawthorne)

Lapham, Lewis. “The Road to Babylon.” Harper’s (May 28, 2003)

Legal Momentum: Advancing Women’s Rights

Leidholdt, Dorchen A. “Demand and the Debate.” Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (October 16, 2003)

Leopold, Aldo. “Excerpts From the Writings of Aldo Leopold.”

Lisotta, Christopher. “Gay Marriage Squabble: Why California’s Supreme Court Ruling Was a Lost Battle, Not a Lost War.” L.A. Weekly (August 20-26, 2004)

Loeb, Paul. “The Impossible Will Take a While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear.” Basic Books (Introduction from the book of the same title: 2004)

“Lookin’ For Work: W’s Shaky Employee Evaluation.” Clamor (September/October 2004)

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. “Los Angeles Requires Economic Impact Studies for Supercenters.” Hometown Advantage (August 17, 2004)

Lydersen, Kari. “Bottled Water Blues: The residents of Mecosta County, Michigan, didn't take kindly to a giant multinational's move to divert springwater from their lakes and streams into bottles and profits.” Alternet (June 3, 2003)

Margulies, Anne H. “The OpenCourseWare Initiative: A New Model for Sharing.” MIT World (March 23, 2004)

“Marriage Equality For Same Sex Couples: A History.” LAMDA Legal (October 2002)

“McCarthyism Watch” (Ongoing Series of Reports) Progressive

McNally, Terence. “Voices of the Invisible People.” Alternet (August 16, 2004)

The Memory Hole: Rescuing Knowledge, Freeing Information (The Memory Hole is a website that seeks to preserve and spread material that is in danger of being lost, is hard to find, or is not widely known. The emphasis is on material that exposes things that we're not supposed to know—or that we're supposed to forget.)

Miller, Laura. “Scraping By.” Salon (May 9, 2001)

Modotti, Alex. “We Used to Call That Imperialism: Salvadoran Resistance to Bush’s Central American Free Trade Agreement.” Clamor #28 (September/October 2004)

Moses, Tai. “The Meaning of One Thousand.” Alternet (September 10, 2004)

Moyers, Bill. “Outsourcing and Patriotism.” Alternet (August 21, 2004)

Muhammed, Richard. “Firing Back.” Alternet (August 24, 2004)

Muslim Women’s League

National Black Justice Coalition

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

National Lawyers Guild (activist lawyers who provide excellent advice and insightful reports)

National Network For Immigrant and Refugee Rights

National Women’s History Project

Nature Conservancy: Saving the Last Great Places on Earth

Neumann, Rachel. “Come Together.” Alternet (August 29, 2004)

The New Rules Project: Designing Rules as if Community Mattered

Northwest Environment Watch

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War On Journalism (Robert Greenwald’s 2004 documentary/website)

Palmer, Parker. “Now I Become Myself: How do you find the right work, the work that you alone are called to do? The first step is to ask a different question...” Yes! Magazine (Spring 2001)

Patel, Joseph. “The Mouse That Roared: Danger Mouse.” Res (July/August 2004)

Peace Corp

Project Censored 2005. (Sonoma State University website that monitors important stories that are ignored by mainstream media)

Project Censored’s Top 25 Stories of 2003-2004

Rajiva, Lila. “Iraqi Women and Torture, Part One: Rapes and Rumors of Rape.” Dissident Voice (July 27, 2004)

---. “Iraqi Women and Torture, Part II: Theater That Educates, News That Propagandizes.” Dissident Voice (July 30, 2004)

---. “Iraqi Women and Torture, Part III: Violence and Virtual Violence.” Dissident Voice (August 4, 2004)

---. “Iraqi Women and Torture, Part IV: Gendered Propaganda, the Propaganda of Gender.” Dissident Voice (August 9, 2004)

---. “Synthetic Science.” Alternet (February 24, 2004)

Raymond, Janice G. “10 Reasons For Not Legalizing Prostitution.” Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (September 15, 2003)

“Reasonable Doubts - The Growing Movement Against the Death Penalty.” The American Prospect (Special Archive of Reports: July 2004)

Reilly, Adam. “Who’s Your Granny?: Pondering the Improbable Senate Campaign of Doris Haddock, a.k.a. Granny D.” The Boston Phoenix (August 20-26, 2004)

Ringleka, Robin. “Crossing Over.” Sexing the Political 3.1 (2004)

“RNC Mass Defense: What You Need to Know During the RNC Protests.” National Lawyers Guild (2004)

Robbins, Tom. “Turf Wars: Mayor Bloomberg’s Latest Objection to Central Park Anti-War Rally, It’s Not Safe.” The Village Voice (August 17, 2004)

Rogers, Heather and and Williams Cole. “A Mini-Guide to the RNC.” Brooklyn Rail (September 2004)

Round River: Conservation Studies. (2004-2005) Round River Catalogue

Roy, Arundhati. “Public Power in the Age of Empire: Arundhati Roy on War, Resistance and the Presidency.” Democracy Now (August 23, 2004)

Salgado, Sebastiăo. “Changing the World With Children.” UNICEF

---. “Epic Sebastião Salgado show at the Berkeley Art Museum.” University of California Berkeley: Campus News (Includes Lecture, Presentation and Panel Discussion: February 8, 2002)

---. “The Majority World: Three Photo Essays, 1977-92” Terra

---. “Migrations: Humanity in Transition.” PDN and Kodak Professional (1999)

---. “Migrations: Humanity in Transition, 1993-1999” Terra

Schwarz, Ari. “Testimony Before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce: Hearing on ‘Spyware’.” Center for Democracy & Technology (April 29, 2004)

Shapiro, Nina. “The New Abolitionists.” Seattle Weekly (August 31, 2004)

Shenker, Jill. “Untying the Knots: Marriage Equality and the Struggle For Civil Rights.” Clamor Communiques #49 (2004)

Sherburne, Philip. “Log In, Blog On, Rock Out.” Res (July/August 2004)

Sierra Club (Organization committed to leave our children a living legacy — clean air, clean water, and natural grandeur.)

Sengbora: So, What is a Slut


So, What is a Slut? (and What’s Wrong with That?)
(Personal website: May 27, 2002)

Globalization Transforming How Poor Peruvians Shop and Live by Andres Tapia



EDITOR'S NOTE: Businesses are slowly learning that the poor in Latin America have real purchasing power, writes PNS contributor Andres Tapia. In Peru, that means shopping malls and fitness centers are the new face of low-income communities. While credit card debt looms, older cultural traditions hang on. Tapia grew up in Lima, Peru. He writes on cultural, spiritual and political trends.


LIMA, Peru--"Vamos! Do you have that heart rate at 80 percent?" I'm pedaling like mad in a spinning class at Planet Fitness in the lower middle-class neighborhood of San Miguel -- one of the myriad nodes of globalization mushrooming throughout the Andean nation of Peru. The internationally certified Peruvian instructor is playing salsa, but her commands of first, second, and third positions would be understood by any spinner anywhere on the globe.

Just a few years ago, globalization came to middle and upper class Peruvians in the form of Blockbusters and Burger Kings set up in well-off neighborhoods like Miraflores and Monterrico. Gringo-style, shrine-like shopping malls such as Jockey Plaza rose alongside Lima's prestigious horse-race track.

But spinning classes like the one in San Miguel, as part of fully equipped fitness centers, have sprouted in lower middle-class barrios as well as in low-income shantytowns called pueblos jovenes (young towns), where wages are commonly just $2 a day. Global chains such as Gold's Gym opened up equal sweat opportunities to thousands of Peruvians for whom, until very recently, fully equipped gyms were as inaccessible as country club memberships.

One of these gleaming gyms sits astride the new and aptly named Mega Plaza shopping center in Comas, a low-income sector in northern Lima. As I stand at the plaza's entrance I find it hard to believe that this used to be a car-grease, mud-caked and garbage-strewn side of the road off the Pan-American highway cutting through a highly densely populated metropolis of Peru's working poor.

Today the Mega Plaza is flanked by Toddus, a "hyper market," and Max, a discount department store. The food and fashion displays at both stores are picture-perfect images of bounty and beauty. In combination with the cacophony of price-scanner beeps at the checkout counters, memories of quaint and dirty Third World open-air markets fade.

Nestled between Toddus and Max are more than 100 boutique stores with the latest genuine or knockoff shoes, jeans and other apparel. Shoppers can catch Spider Man 2 at the cineplex and chow down at the English-named "Food Court," complete with KFC and Dunkin Donuts. There's even what had been until recently an oxymoron -- fast-food Peruvian -- at Peruanissimo.

In this globalized, homogenized village, Dad can watch the kids at a 10,000-square-foot mini amusement center while Mom gets a plastic surgery quote at one of three storefronts enticing customers to "Finally make that change that will change your life."

So how do the poor afford the Mega Plaza experience? For one, the informal economy, so well documented by Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, has created a new entrepreneurial class among the low-income "chichas," Andean Indians who have migrated to the city.

Their businesses have generated high revenue, which they have invested back in these densely populated communities that had been ignored by mainstream capitalists. They have established private schools and clinics where people used to suffer decrepit state schools and hospitals. The other big service business is gyms. Also for the chichas, the deep-seated Andean value of ayllu, or community, means they pool their resources to buy in bulk.

But credit-card seduction also contributes. An economic culture that used to be hand-to-mouth, with all transactions paid in cash, is quickly becoming an indebted society. Multinationals have discovered Latin America's emerging market: 250 million low-income consumers, who, due to their sheer numbers (50 to 60 percent of the region's population), have an annual purchasing power of $120 billion.

Poor Peruvians are deluged by an unprecedented wave of tens of thousands of credit card offers with which to fuel the purchasing of middle class dreams. The advertised interest rate is 2 to 5 percent, but because it's compounded monthly, the actual annual rate is a stunning 27 to 80 percent.

Now, as poor Peruvians dress in the latest fashions, use sophisticated deodorants and perfumes and watch the latest flicks, they too are getting sucked into compound debt like American consumers.

Yet, in the midst of this restless globalization, the ancient Peruvian Catholic soul still peeks through the Nike swoosh.

In Arequipa, high up in the Andes, where the consumerist dynamic too is manifest through shopping malls and easy credit, there still beats a deeply felt fervor for the Virgen del Carmen and the Twelve-Year-Old-Boy.

Outside the Cathedral, anxious parishioners purchase "milagros" (miracles) -- two-inch high aluminum molds representing health for body parts such as hearts and lungs, or desires, such as for happy homes and relationships -- to be pinned as petitions on the flowing manta (shawl) of the Virgen saint. When the manta is ceremoniously pulled off the Virgen and brought down to the supplicants, it is held up horizontally at the four corners. A dozen people at a time scurry underneath for a special blessing.

Under the manta the murmur of prayers begins, "...forgive us our debts...."

Too Much About Memos, Too Little About the War

"Too much about memos, too little about war:" While U.S. television coverage of Iraq has gotten a bit more aggressive this month, it still doesn't accurately reflect the situation there...
From, September 24, 2004
(reposted at Free Press)
By Eric Boehler

New Reports of Prisoner Abuse and Torture

I know that some people will say to me that we are fighting a "War on Terror," but our official policy/propaganda is to style ourselves as the "good" side fighting a "just" war to bring freedom to the oppressed parts of the world. So again I ask: Should we care if the American military tortures prisoners?

Human Rights Watch Report: Operation Enduring Freedom

Widespread Torture of Iraqi Prisoners Feared as Reports Emerge of Prisoner Abuse By U.S. In Mosul

US Troops Face New Torture Claims

US Torture: The Exception or the Rule

Third World Traveler: Torture Watch

Torture Archives of the Progressive Review

Crimes of War Project

What Are the Possibilities of a New Draft?

An article in the Charleston Gazette (West Virginia newspaper) examines the issue of a new draft--this time for both men and women--currently circulating in congress.

More Troops Needed?

It's the Deficit, Stupid

Bradfor Plumer at Mother Jones an analysis and critique of Kerry's latest statement about his economic plans:

It's the Deficit, stupid

If You Had Five Minutes With the President

Alternet has provided an excerpt from the new collection of essays "If You Had Five Minutes With the President" edited by Ron Reagan:

If you had five minutes with the president

If you had five minutes with the president what would you say?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Disenfranchisement in America

Moving Ideas

Disenfranchisement in America
Denying the vote to students, DC citizens, felons, and non-citizens. Join the fight! Part of a series on voter protection.

Disenfranchisement in America

A Message From Tom Paine

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Alexandra Walker, Executive Editor

The Last Poets: What Happened to Youth Fashion Cults?

(courtesy of Mr. Whippy who posted it at MediaSquatters sans links)

I'm not being accusatory here, but it always saddens me how quick supposedly intelligent liberals are to make patronising and dismissive generalisations about hiphop. As you say, the dominant musical idiom of the last 20 years. What happened to youth fashion cults? There used to be a pronounced sea-change every ten years, from rockers, to hippies, to punks, to, sigh, goths and new romantics. Now there are simply variations on old themes. My theory is that its just too scary to stand out these days.

"And our ship left dock With Herbie Hancock"
The Last Poets

Jahsonic: Culture

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Inspector Lohman: Co-optation, Radicals, Idealists, Realists, and Blogging

So I was wasting time waiting for my friend Tim P. to arrive in Lexington so that we could go out (actually I had just spent the last three hours grading essays and now I'm wasting time) and came across a coment at the Happy Tutor that led me to Inspector Lohman where he's got this great quote from Mark Twain (which is perfect because while discussing the book Homeland in my classes today we also wondered what are the root causes of what Twain is parodying here, our reference was the us/them, god/satan, good/evil dualistic worldview of Ashcroft, Bush, Osama, and Boykin):

O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it...

— Mark Twain, "The War Prayer"

anyways back to Inspector Lohman, this was the first post I read at this site and I was impressed:

Co-optation, Radicals, Idealists, Realists, and Blogging

and because of this post, it looks like I will also have to keep an eye on the happenings at Ratical

Time to quit messing around and go get some beers!

Beach Bum vs Corporate Investor

Oso does some handy analysis of which lifestyle would bring the larger return upon our initial investment (if you like this post, at the same site there is El Moreno's review of the new Tom Waits release):

Beach Bum vs Corporate Investor

Tom Waits For No Man



Newsworthy Games

Forget fantasy roleplaying and action-packed adventure - here's a new game genre based on real-life event:: designs video games that are also tools for better understanding the world. Created by Gonzalo Frasca and a team of independent games developers, Newsgaming currently offers two online games and plans to publish several each year in response to world events. 'September 12th' highlights civilian casualties in the so-called war on terror. Declaring 'This is not a game. You can't win and you can't lose', it demonstrates the stupidity of the logic of an eye for an eye with deliberate simplicity. Shooting at terrorists destroys surrounding housing, and as the people cry, the numbers of terrorists increase. The message? Violence breeds violence. 'Madrid', on the other hand, is a form of digital mediatation: the player is invited to brighten candles in memory of victims of terrorist attacks all over the world. All terrorists and politicians should play th! ese games. - Helen Varley Jamieson.


PBS Frontline: Video Documentaries Available Online, Pt 1

“The Alternative Fix: Americans are Spending Billions on Alternative Medical Treatments. And Major Hospitals and Medical Schools are Embracing Them. But Do They Work?” Frontline (PBS: 2003)

“Ambush in Mogadishu: The Bloody 1993 Battle That Left 18 Dead, 84 Wounded and Still Haunts the US Military.” Frontline (PBS: 1998)

“Beyond Baghdad: A Journey Across Iraq—From the Kurdish North, Through the Sunni Triangle, Into the Shite South—and a Hard Look at the Prospects for Democracy.” Frontline (PBS: 2004)

“Chasing the Sleeper Cell: They Met Bin Laden and Trained in His Camps. And Their Capture Was Hailed As A Victory in the War on Terror. But Were These Americans Really an Al Qaeda Sleeper Cell Ready to Strike?” Frontline (PBS: October 2003)

“Dangerous Prescription: More Than a Dozen Dangerous Drugs Have Been Pulled Off the Market Since 1997. Why were they approved in the first place? An investigation of America’s drug safety program.” Frontline (PBS: November 2003)

“Diet Wars.” Frontline (PBS: April 2004)

“From China With Love: Did an FBI “Asset”, and Her Affairs with Two Counterintelligence Agents, Compromise U.S. National Security? A Story of Sex, Spyning and National Security.” Frontline (PBS: January, 2004)

“The Jesus Factor: How George W. Bush’s Religious Faith Has Effected His Personal Life and Political Leadership.” Frontline (PBS: 2004)

“The Plea: Nearly 95% of All Cases Resulting in Felony Convictions Never Reach a Jury. They are Settled Through Plea Bargains In Which a Defendant Agrees To Plead Guilty In Exchange For a Reduced Sentence. But What Are the Implications of a System That Relies on Pleas to Expedite Justice?” Frontline (PBS: June, 2004)

“Son of Al-Qaeda: The Inside Story of a Young Canadian Who Grew Up With Bin Laden’s Children and Was Groomed to Be a Terrorist—But Became Instead a CIA Informant.” Frontline (PBS: 2004)

“Tax Me If You Can: Inside the Bogus Tax Shelter Business—The Companies Involved, The Schemes Concocted, and How the Ultimate Victim is the American Taxpayer.” Frontline (PBS: February 20, 2004)

“Truth, War, and Consequences: It’s the Closest Thing to a Quagmire That Americans Have Seen in Thirty Years. Why Did the U.S. Go to War in Iraq? What Went Wrong? And at What Cost?” Frontline (PBS: October 9, 2003)

“The Way the Music Died: A Look at the Troubled Music Industry and Tough New Realities Facing Aspiring Artists.” Frontline (PBS: 2004)

“Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?: An Investigative Biography of the Man at the Center of the Political Crime of the Century.” Frontline (PBS: December, 2003)

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Plea: Justice in a Democracy?

Anyone, of average means, who has ever been snared in the American judicial system will recognize the insanity of these processes... you never see this on Law and Order or the countless other cop/lawyer TV shows...

“The Plea: Nearly 95% of All Cases Resulting in Felony Convictions Never Reach a Jury. They are Settled Through Plea Bargains In Which a Defendant Agrees To Plead Guilty In Exchange For a Reduced Sentence. But What Are the Implications of a System That Relies on Pleas to Expedite Justice?” Frontline (PBS: June, 2004)

Does this make anyone mad? Should we give a damn?

Wealth Bondage

Incisive criticism and mind-twisting parodies and an interesting title background--you should check out the blog Wealth Bondage: Home of the Happy Tutor ... making learning fun again!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

New Greg Palast Documentary: Democracy Now Report

Democracy Now report:

Goodman, Amy. “New Greg Palast Documentary Highlights How Bush's Military Records Were Purged.” Democracy Now (September 17, 2004)


Reconstructing Bush’s Military Record: Examination of Official Docs Released by White House Question Bush's Duty

RINF: Underground Gateway

(Courtesy of Douglas Rushkoff who posted a question about it at MediaSquatters)

A bit heavy on the conspiracy content, but it has some nuggets buried in the postings--from a group of Disinfopedia members who are seeking to make streaming audios and online videos available to a broader audience (completely free of charge):

RINF: Underground Gateway

Arundhati Roy: An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire

I just read this essay in Arundhati Roy's latest collection of essays "An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire" (the essay's title was changed to the title of the book). Its a year old, but it seems prophetic in the light of recent events and the exposure of American prison abuses and corporate corruption in the Iraqi occupation--its angry, its passionate, and it is an important plea to the American people to reclaim their country:

Roy, Arundhati. "Mesoptamia. Babylon. Tigris. Euphrates." Guardian (April 2, 2003)

Atlantic Blog Postings Attacking Roy's Article

Also check out:

“Public Power in the Age of Empire: Arundhati Roy on War, Resistance and the Presidency.” Democracy Now (August 23, 2004)

Come September (from War Talk)

For the Greater Common Good: The Pen As a Tool For Activism

Z-Net Interview of Roy

Surf Wax: Archive of Recent News Involving/About Roy

Life Comes Between a Firebrand and her Fiction

Roy is the Beginning of the Rainbow

Seize the Time

Crashing the Party: Arundhati Roy and Ashwin Desai Inside the Republican National Convention

Public Power in the Age of Empire

The New American Century

Excerpts from the Book "An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire"

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Erich Fromm: On Conformity

"Most people are not even aware of their need to conform. They live under the illusion that they follow their own ideas and inclinations that they are individualists, that they have arrived at their opinions as the result of their own thinking--and that it just happens that their ideas are the same as those of the majority."

Fromm, Erich. The Art of Loving (New York: Harper Colophon, 1962)

The Two Voices of Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm: Freedom, Alientation, Loving, Being and Education

South End Press

Summer is always a difficult time for me economically as I am un-tenured and receive only one teaching paycheck from june until october, so I had to restrain my book-buying habit... yesterday I broke down and headed to the local independent bookstore and after a leisurely browse bought Arundhati Roy's newest book An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire (2004) and Cynthia Kaufman's Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change (2003). Browsing books, for me, is serious work and I was surprised to see when I got home that both books, out of all the books I browsed, were from South End Press. I've ordered their catalog and no doubt I will be reading more of their books.

Introduction to Ideas for Action

Excerpt from An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire

A History of South End Press

Kenneth Burke: Frameworks of Interpretation

"We discern situational patterns by means of the particular vocabulary of the cultural group into which we are born. Our minds, as linguistic products, are composed of concepts (verbally molded) which select certain relationships as meaningful. Other groups may select other relationships as meaningful. These relationships are not realities, they are interpretations of reality--hence different frameworks of interpretation will lead to different conclusions as to what reality is." (35)

Burke, Kenneth. Permanence and Change. (Bobbs-Merrill, 1965)

Literary Theory Biography

McLemee, Scott. "A Puzzling Figure in Literary Criticism Is Suddenly Central: Did Kenneth Burke, intellectual maverick, accidentally create cultural studies?"
Chronicle of Higher Education April 20, 2001

Northrop Frye: The Educated Imagination

"At the level of ordinary consciousness the individual man is the center of everything, surrounded on all sides by what he isn't. At the level of practical sense, or civilization, there's a human circumference, a little cultivated world with a human shape, fenced off from the jungle and inside the sea and the sky. But in the imagination anything goes that can be imagined, and the limit of the imagination is a totally human world." (29)

Frye, Northrop. The Educated Imagination. (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1970)

Charles Taylor: Finding a Sense of Life

"We find the sense of life through articulating it. And moderns have become acutely aware of how much sense being there for us depends on our own powers of expression. Discovering here depends on, is interwoven with, inventing. Finding a sense to life depends on framing meaningful expressions which are adequate." (18)

Taylor, Charles. Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 for Grown-ups: Media Education Foundation's New Documentary Hijacking Catastrophe

Jensen, Robert. "Fahrenheit 9/11 For Grown-ups." Tom Paine (September 17, 2004)

Watch the Documentary Online

MoveOn Student Action: Open Letter to President Bush on Iraq War

(courtesy Julie Barbour and Deborah Kirkman)

MoveOn Student Action is publishing an open letter to President Bush demanding hard answers on Iraq. Can you help us find 100,000 student signers in the next 5 days? To sign the letter look for link at the end of the message:

Dear President Bush,

As students and young Americans, we are demanding an explanation.

The vast majority of the 1000 brave soldiers killed and 7000 wounded in Iraq have been young people. We have lost friends, classmates, and siblings.

Before you launched this war you promised it would be swift. Over a year ago, you declared that our mission was accomplished. Since then, the casualty rate has only continued to rise.

Experts are now saying that poor planning for the occupation has overstretched our armed forces and put us on the road to a draft.

Now you ask our generation to trust you with our vote, and with our lives. But first, Mr. President, there are a few things we deserve to know.
What is your plan to end this war?
What is the mission now, and when will it be truly accomplished?
Most importantly, when will we know that the last of our friends has died?

We await your answer.


The Undersigned Students and Young Americans

Dear MoveOn member,

Last week in more than 1,000 vigils across the nation, MoveOn members memorialized the 1,000 brave American men and women who've given their lives in Iraq. As the death toll continues to rise, thousands of young Americans soldiers are paying the ultimate price.

That's why today students and young people nationwide -- through MoveOn Student Action - are standing up to demand answers from President Bush. To make sure Bush gets the point, they're going to print an open letter to the President on Iraq in the New York Times. The goal is gather 100,000 signatures from young people across the country in the next 5 days - making this the largest online student petition in history.

If you're a student or young American, please join them by signing below. If you're not, please pass this message on to someone who is. We only have 5 days to collect 100,000 signatures.

To read the full text and sign the letter, just go to:

Iraq Letter

To donate towards the cost of the New York Times ad, just go to:


MoveOn Student Action is a student driven project of the Voter Fund and Click Back America, aimed at helping young people use their power as citizens. Here's a message from project director Ben Brandzel:
President Bush's war of choice has taken a heavy toll on our generation. Young people have suffered the vast majority of the 1000 deaths and 7000 injuries sustained in Iraq. We've lost friends, classmates, and siblings; and it's only getting worse.

Experts are now saying that Bush's poor planning and go-it-alone approach have left our armed forces overstretched and pushed us towards a national draft.

That's why we need 100,000 students and young Americans to stand up with us and demand a plan to end this war. Please join us, at:

Iraq Letter

This letter is only the beginning. MoveOn Student Action is also running an extensive program to help get out the youth vote in 2004. To really hold our officials accountable, including the President, we must start with a clear message and then back it up on election day. To make sure that happens, just sign up to volunteer when you sign the letter.

Thanks for all you do,

--Wes Boyd
MoveOn Voter Fund
September 17th, 2004

Bill Moyers, Will Not Go Gently Into the Night: Journalism Under Fire

(courtesy of Tom Paine)

Moyers, Bill. "Journalism Under Fire." Common Dreams (Speech given before the Society of Professional Jopurnalists conference: September 17, 2004)

Kostyu, Paul E. "Moyers on Secrecy in Government: "It's Contagious, Scandalous, Toxic." The Repository (Reposted at Common Dreams: September 17, 2004)


More from Moyers:

Moyers, Bill. “Asleep at the Wheel.” NOW with Bill Moyers (September 10, 2004: reposted at Alternet)

---. “Moyers on America: A Journalist and His Times.” BookTV (July 18, 2004)

---. “Outsourcing and Patriotism.” Alternet (August 21, 2004)

Ian Spiers: Humiliated, Angry, Ashamed, Brown

A tale of a photography student trying to complete a class assignment at a public place in Seattle and the troubles that come his way--the big question, why him? A good look at the paranoia and racism of post 9/11 (in)security procedures.

Spiers, Ian. "Humiliated, Angry, Ashamed, Brown." Motion Study Artist's Statement for Art 100E--Photography (2004)

(courtesy of Anarchist People of Color)

Lewis Lapham: Tentacles of Rage; Naomi Klein: Baghdad Year Zero; Our Culture, Our Resistance

In an earlier post I stated that the current Harper's magazine is a must buy issue because of excellent essays by Lewis Lapham and Naomi Klein. Unfortunately at the time neither of their essays were available online, but that has all changed as Bill over at Thoughts on the Eve of the Apocalypse alerts his readers that the Lapham essay has been scanned and posted at Mindfully:

Lapham, Lewis. “Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History.” Harper’s Magazine (September 2004)

Bill comes through again alerting us to a posting of Naomi Klein's essay "Baghdad Year Zero" It has some mistakes in the scan, but still its a great read and a clear picture of the powerful interests that motivated the dreams of turning Iraq into a free market utopia. Thanks to Autonomy and Solidarity for posting the essay and I would also recommend their link to the Ernesto Aguilar, edited collection of essays "Our Culture, Our Resistance: People of Color Speak Out on Anarchism, Race, Class and Gender" Part 1 and Part 2. For more info about this collection

A cleaner version of Naomi Klein's "Baghdad Year Zero" has just been posted here

Wal-Mart Faces Class-Action Suit in Gender Discrimination Cases

Dreilling, Geri L. “The Women of Wal-Mart: A gender discrimination lawsuit offers a glimpse inside the nation's largest private employer and its treatment of women. It ain't pretty..” Alternet (September 16, 2004)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Thinking About Writing and Language, Pt 1

Bazerman, Charles. “Rhetorical and Material Action on the World Stage.” The Languages of Edison’s Light. (MIT Press, 1999)

---. Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. (University of Wisconsin Press, 2000)

---. “Sketches Toward a Rhetorical Theory of Literacy.” Constructing Experience (Southern Illinois University Press, 1994)

The Beat Within: A Weekly Publication of Writings and Art from the Inside.

Engelhardt, Tom. “Taking Back the Word: Interviewed by Harry Kreisler.” Conversations With History (April 23, 2004)

George Carlin. (Important social critic/comedian)

Gessner, David. “Sick of Nature: Today's nature writing is too often pious, safe, boring. Haven't these people re-read Thoreau lately?” The Boston Globe (August 1, 2004)

Gumbi, Bandile. “Speaking the Word.” Agenda #57 (2003)

Lakoff, George. “Framing 101: How to Take Back Public Discourse.” Alternet (September 8, 2004)

---. “The Republican Night—Frame by Frame, Word for Word.” Media Channel (August 30, 2004)

“Language Corner.” Columbia Journalism Review (Ongoing series of articles on language usage/style)

Lemke, Jay. “Violence and Language: The Signs That Hurt.” 21st C (1995)

Livingston, Reb. “Give the Boot to the Muse: Behold the Power of Duende.” Drunken Boat #4 (Spring 2002)

Marchand, Philip. “An Extra Whack: The Genius Of Language: Fifteen Writers Reflect On Their Mother Tongues.” Toronto Star (August 8, 2004)

O’Brien, John and Tim Wilkinson. “… And More on Translations.” Context #15 (2004)

Payne, Tom. “Circle of Cliches.” Telegraph (August 16, 2004)

Richards, Linda. “Interview With Patricia Anderson: In Search of Passion.” January Magazine (August 2001)

Schurmann, Franz. “In the Year 2104—Americans Will Speak a New Kind of English.” Pacific News Service (August 13, 2004)

Sherburne, Philip. “Log In, Blog On, Rock Out.” Res (July/August 2004)

Talvi, Silja J.A. “Race: Time To Give Up On a Four Letter Word.” Alternet (originally published in Lip Magazine: Septemeber 4, 2001)

Weiner, Eric and Jacob Weisberg. “Slate’s Bushism: The President’s Verbal Blunders.” National Public Radio (August 12, 2004)

Yagoda, Ben. “Style, A Pleasure for the Reader, or the Writer?” Chronicle of Higher Education (August 13, 2004)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Thinking About Technology and Science, Pt 2

Technology and Science are two of the major disciplines of thought and enterprise, yet so few of us know much about them. This archive includes new breakthroughs, new theories, other disciplines appropriations of their imagery and language, new laws regulating T and S, new business opportunities, the knowledge/info economy, and art/literature inspired by T and S.

Ackerman, James and Jane Farber. “The University as Patron of Cutting Edge Architecture, Pt. 1” MIT World (May 8, 2004)

Adler, Jerry. “Mind Reading: The New Science of Decision Making. It’s Not as Rational as You Think.” MSNBC (August 9, 2004)

Atwood, Margaret. “Oryx and Crake Revealed.” MIT World (April 4, 2004)

Bazerman, Charles. “Rhetorical and Material Action on the World Stage.” The Languages of Edison’s Light. (MIT Press, 1999)

---. Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. (University of Wisconsin Press, 2000)

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” (1935) (why should we continue to pay attention to this essay?)

Consumer Software Working Group. “Examples of Unfair, Devious or Deceptive Practices Involving Software Version 1.0.” Center for Democracy and Technology (April 19, 2004)

Cusumano, Michael. “Strategy For High Tech Companies—What To Think About.” MIT World (June 5, 2004)

“Data Mining and Information Sharing.” Center for Democracy and Technology (Ongoing Archive: 2004)

Ecology Hall of Fame

Ehrlich, Paul. “When Paul’s Said and Done: Paul Ehrlich, Famed Ecologist, Answers Reader Questions.” Grist (August 13, 2004)

Engelhardt, Tom. “Taking Back the Word: Interviewed by Harry Kreisler.” Conversations With History (April 23, 2004)

Environmental Movement History Timeline

Environmental News Network

Environmental Organization Web Directory

Farber, Jerry. “The Student and the Screen.” New Work News (1997)

Frantz, Douglas, Josh Meyer and Richard B. Schmitt. “Cyberspace Gives Al Qaeda Refuge.” L.A. Times (August 15, 2004)

Friedrich, Rainer. “Theorese and Science Envy in the Humanities: A New Take on the ‘Two Cultures’ Divide.” Arion 11.1 (July, 2003)

Gates, William H., III. “Software Breakthroughs: Solving the Toughest Problems in Computer Science.” MIT World (February 26, 2004)

Gehry, Frank and Robert Venturi. “The University as Patron of Cutting Edge Architecture, Pt. 2” MIT World (May 8, 2004)

Hall, Carl T. “Unraveling the scientific secrets of the elusive 'Splash Hit'
Teacher tries to calculate the incalculable.”
SF Gate (August 16, 2004)

Haraway, Donna. "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century," in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991), pp.149-181

Harmon, Amy. “Internet Gives Teenage Bullies Weapons to Wound From Afar.” The New York Times (August 26, 2004)

Igrejas, Andy. “Counting Chemicals in Your Cabinet.” Alternet (August 16, 2004)

“In Depth: Simon Winchester.” Book TV (August 1, 2004)

Jaenisch, Rudolph. “Nuclear Cloning and Cell Therapy: Fact and Fiction.” MIT World (April 27, 2004)

Larson, Edward. “Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory.” Book TV (July 10, 2004)

Latour, Bruno. “How to Be Iconophilic in Art, Science, and Religion.” (originally published in Caroline Jones and Peter Galison edited Picturing Science—Producing Art: Routledge, 1998)

---. “Livres Virtuals/Virtual Lives.” (Archival website that collects the works of the French sociologist of science)

Lindquist, Susan. “Are We as Crazy as Mad Cows?” MIT World (March 29, 2004)

Manning, Richard. “The Oil We Eat.” Harper’s (February 2004)

Margulies, Anne H. “The OpenCourseWare Initiative: A New Model for Sharing.” MIT World (March 23, 2004)

“Occupational Outlook: Archaeologist.” U.S. Department of Labor

O’Malley, Penelope Grenoble. “Yangtzee Farewell.” Orion (November/December 2003)

Owen, David. “Power to the People.” L.A. Times (August 10, 2004)

Paglia, Camille. “The Magic of Images: Word and Picture in a Media Age.” Arion 11.3 (Winter 2004)

Patel, Joseph. “The Mouse That Roared: Danger Mouse.” Res (July/August 2004)

“Photography.” Voice of the Shuttle (Ongoing archival project)

Postrell, Virginia. “The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise and Progress.” Book TV (1999)

Pyle, Robert Michael. (Archive of works by and about Pyle an influential scientist, environmentalist and writer) Central Washington University—Department of Geography

Reif, Rafael, Thomas Lozano-Perez and Jeffrey H. Shapiro. “Transforming the Next Century.” MIT World (May 23, 2003)

Rajiva, Lila. “Synthetic Science.” Alternet (February 24, 2004)

Reilly, Katherine C. “Google’s ‘Haphazard’ Ad Policy.” The Nation (August 12, 2004)

Rood, Justin. “Harry Potter at Homeland Security.” Alternet (August 24, 2004)

Round River: Conservation Studies. (2004-2005)

Schwarz, Ari. “Testimony Before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce: Hearing on ‘Spyware’.” Center for Democracy & Technology (April 29, 2004)

Sherburne, Philip. “Log In, Blog On, Rock Out.” Res (July/August 2004)

Stewart, Amy. “Darwin’s Worms.” Wilson Quarterly (Winter 2004)

Thompson, Emily. “The Soundscape of Modernity Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933.” MIT World (September 26, 2002)

Vaidhyanathan, Siva. “The State of Copyright Activism.” First Monday (February 12, 2004)

“VoIP and Law Enforcement Surveillance.” Center for Democracy & Technology (Ongoing Archive: 2004)

Wagner, Angie. “Forecasting Fires All in a Day’s Work.” L.A. Times (August 15, 2004)

Wildlands Project: Vision, Science, Action.

Wilt, Bill. “How Technology Could Free the White House Press Corps.” Columbia Journalism Review (May/June 2004)

Wright, Fredrick. “FROM ZINES TO EZINES: ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING AND THE LITERARY UNDERGROUND.” Ph’D Dissertation. English. Kent State University (August 2001)

Thinking About Technology and Science, Pt 1