Tuesday, August 31, 2004

America's Failing Health

The New York Times
In most advanced countries, the government provides everyone with health insurance. In America, however, the government offers insurance only if you're elderly (Medicare) or poor (Medicaid). Otherwise, you're expected to get private health insurance, usually through your job. But insurance premiums are exploding, and the system of employment-linked insurance is falling apart.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Sick of your job?

The Memory Hole
Garnering practically zero attention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration—under pressure from a FOIA suit—has released its hall of shame: 13,000 companies with more than twice the national average of occupational injuries and illnesses.
WOC Review!

from The Weblog Review
Overall, I loved the site. I only wish it had a beautiful layout to do it justice. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in good writing and passionate stands.
You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby

A People's History of the United States
[In 1900] teachers formed a Teachers League that fought against the automatic firing of women who became pregnant. The following rules were posted by the school board of one town in Massachusetts:
1. Do not get married.

2. Do not leave town at any time without permission of the school board.

3. Do not keep company with men.

4. Be home between the hours of 8 P.M. and 6 A.M.

5. Do not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.

6. Do not smoke.

7. Do not get into a carriage with any man except your father or brother.

8. Do not dress in bright colors.

9. Do not dye your hair.

10. Do not wear any dress more than two inches above the ankle.
US Suggests Less Criticism from Foreign Leaders

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez can work towards better ties with the US by avoiding inflammatory rhetoric, the US State Department has said.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Families Make Their Presence Known at Protest

from The New York Times
Whether it was a mother who has a child fighting in Iraq or a father wanting his children to see history in the making, the march past Madison Square Garden yesterday had the distinct feel of a family affair.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

from radicalmod.blogspot.com
Liberal/conservative is a useful construct for limiting opinion at home, but in reality it's a false choice. That's not to say these aren't both legitimate traditions; they just don't exist within the two-parties as anything other than ways to pander to the honest Americans who still honor them. Bush, to take our current example, is so far from the American conservative tradition that it's almost unreal. (Of course, the same could be said of Clinton's liberalism.) These people aren't conservative at all; they're basically American statists who believe in unfettered government expansion and centralized authority for the purposes that benefit them (and their business relationships), and "less government" for everyone else.
This is an excerpt of commentary I've posted in an outside blog.

The Populists

from What's the Matter with Kansas?
Certain parts of the Midwest were once so reliably leftist that the historian Walter Prescott Webb, in his classic 1931 history of the region, pointed to its persistent radicalism as one of the "Mysteries of the Great Plains." Today the mystery is only heightened; it seems inconceivable that the Midwest was ever thought of as a "radical" place... Readers in the thirties, on the other hand, would have known instantly what Webb was talking about, since so many of the great political upheavals of their part of the twentieth century were launched from the territory west of the Ohio river. The region as they knew it was what gave the country socialists like Eugene Debs, fiery progressives like Robert La Follette, and practical unionists like Walter Reuther; it spawned the anarchist IWW and the coldly calculating UAW; and it was periodically convulsed in gargantuan and often bloody industrial disputes. They might have even known that there were once Socialist newspapers in Kansas and Socialist voters in Oklahoma and Socialist mayors in Milwaukee, and that there were radical farmers across the region forever enlisting in militant agrarian organization with names like the Farmer's Alliance, or the Farmer-Labor Party... And they would surely have been aware that Social Security, the basic element of the liberal welfare state, was largely a product of the midwestern mind.
What to do when you're being arrested in New York

from NYC People's Law Collective
The most important things to remember are:
  • You do not need to speak to cops.

  • Be sure that you do not accidentally consent to any part of a search.

  • If you are being questioned, asking for a lawyer will limit what they can use against you.

  • Always use your judgment. Consider factors such as: de-escalation, protection of others and tactics.

  • Remember that rights do not always equal reality.
  • Friday, August 27, 2004

    Socialism Saves

    from CNN
    U.S. drug manufacturers are fighting the reimportation of lower-priced drugs from Canada and Europe back to the U.S. market, trying to cut off the foreign pharmacies that are selling to U.S. customers.

    Thursday, August 26, 2004

    Marine Father Sets Fire to Self

    from ABC News
    Melida Arredondo said her husband, Carlos Arredondo, immediately fell apart when he saw three Marines approaching his home.
    The Sunshine Patriots

    from The Village Voice

    "I would have served if asked."

    - John Ashcroft
    No, Really

    from The New York Times
    In December 2002, Mr. Rumsfeld authorized things like hooding prisoners, using dogs to terrify them, forcing them into "stress positions" for long periods, stripping them, shaving them and isolating them. All this was prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, but President Bush had already declared on Feb. 7, 2002, that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to Al Qaeda...

    Still, the civilian panel said the politicians had only indirect responsibility for this mess, and Mr. Schlesinger made the absurd argument that firing Mr. Rumsfeld would aid "the enemy." That is reminiscent of the comment Mr. Bush made last spring when he visited the Pentagon to view images of American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners and then announced that Mr. Rumsfeld was doing a "superb job."

    Wednesday, August 25, 2004

    Fire Rumsfeld

    from The Washington Post
    It should be unacceptable that low-ranking reservists are criminally prosecuted for the abuses at Abu Ghraib while the senior officials who created the conditions for that abuse, and did nothing to stop it, escape all sanction.
    On the US Elections, by Noam Chomsky

    from The Guardian
    Kerry is sometimes described as Bush-lite, which is not inaccurate, and in general the political spectrum is pretty narrow in the United States, and elections are mostly bought, as the population knows.

    But despite the limited differences both domestically and internationally, there are differences. And in this system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes.
    Why Work?

    from The Week Magazine
    A book that advocates slacking off at work has become the hit of the summer in France. In Bonjour Paresse, which translates to “Hello Laziness,” author Corinne Maier, a disgruntled bookkeeper, argues that French corporations are not meritocracies but seething nests of nepotism. Connections, not hard work, are how people get promotions, she says, so why bother to work hard? “Why not spread gangrene through the system from inside?” she asks. Maier’s employer, the state electric utility, has threatened her with disciplinary action for her desultory work habits, but her hearing keeps getting postponed because of staff vacations. The average French worker works about 300 hours less each year than the average American.
    see also BBC News

    Tuesday, August 24, 2004

    Let Them Eat Prozac

    from MSNBC
    A campaign worker for President Bush said Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones-—or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better.

    "Why don’t they get new jobs if they’re unhappy—-or go on Prozac?” said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.
    Iranian Democracy

    from The Progressive Interview, Sept. 04
    Q: What's your response to the argument that human rights are just a Western invention and are not applicable to the Middle East?

    Shirin Ebadi: The idea of cultural relativism is nothing but an excuse to violate human rights. Human rights are the fruit of various civilizations. I know of no civilization that tolerates or justifies violence, terrorism, or injustice. Those who are invoking cultural relativism are really using that as an excuse for violating human rights and to put a cultural mask on the face of what they're doing. They argue that cultural relativism prevents us from implementing human rights. This is nothing but an excuse. Human rights are a universal standard. They are a component of every religion and every civilization.

    Democracy doesn't recognize east or west; democracy is simply people's will. Therefore, I do not acknowledge that there are various models of democracy; there is just democracy itself.

    Monday, August 23, 2004

    Déjà vu?

    from A People's History of the United States
    When Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, ran for President in 1884, the general impression in the country was that he opposed the power of monopolies and corporations, and that the Republican party, whose candidate was Jim Blaine, stood for the wealthy. But when Cleveland defeated Blaine, Jay Gould wired him: "I feel...that the vast business interests of the country will be entirely safe in your hands." And he was right.

    One of Cleveland's chief advisors was William Whitney, a millionaire and corporation lawyer, who married into the Standard Oil fortune and was appointed Secretary of the Navy by Cleveland. He immediately set about to create a "steel navy," buying the steel at artificially high prices from Carnegie's plants. Cleveland himself assured industrialists that his election should not frighten them: "No harm shall come to any business interest as the result of administrative policy so long as I am President...a transfer of executive control does not mean any serious disturbance of existing conditions."

    The presidential election itself had avoided real issues; there was no clear understanding of which interests would gain and which would lose if certain policies were adopted. It took the usual form of election campaigns, concealing the basic similarity of the parties by dwelling on personalities, gossip, trivialities. Henry Adams, an astute literary commentator on that era, wrote to a friend about the election:
    We are here plunged in politics funnier than words can express. Very great issues are involved... But the amusing thing is that no one talks about real interests. By common consent they agree to let these alone. We are afraid to discuss them. Instead of this the press is engaged in a most amusing dispute whether Mr. Cleveland had an illegitimate child and did or did not live with more than one mistress.
    Swift Boat Imbeciles for Bush

    from Juan Cole
    The true absurdity of the entire situation is easily appreciated when we consider that George W. Bush never showed any bravery at all at any point in his life. He has never lived in a war zone. If some of John Kerry's wounds were superficial, Bush received no wounds. (And, a piece of shrapnel in the forearm that caused only a minor wound would have killed had it hit an eye and gone into the brain; the shrapnel being in your body demonstrates you were in mortal danger and didn't absent yourself from it. That is the logic of the medal). Kerry saved a man's life while under fire. Bush did no such thing.
    New Overtime Rules Effective Today

    from USA Today
    Let me first say that while I (obviously) usually side with the entrepreneur, this is one case where I favor labor; I think that with these new regulations, the Bush administration is shortchanging a lot of working people.

    Sunday, August 22, 2004

    War Games

    Saturday, August 21, 2004

    Of Squatters, Police, and Anarchists

    from The New York Times
    Most of the protesters will find more comfortable lodging than the guests of Casa del Sol, an unfinished building in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx whose ownership is in dispute, and where squatters have taken up residence. They have posted notice that they can accommodate 70 people--in rooms with no air--conditioning or hot water, on floors covered in sawdust.


    Anarchists Emerge as the Convention's Wild Card

    Police Show They're Ready for Convention Disorder

    New Yorkers May Flee for Convention

    Thursday, August 19, 2004

    The $9 Billion Question

    from Aljazeera
    A US audit says that at least $8.8 billion given to Iraqi ministries by the former occupation authority in Baghdad has not been accounted for.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2004

    The Theology of Empire

    from Frontline

    Bloomberg to Protesters: Don't Miss Out on Great Protester Savings

    from The Washington Post
    Affix a "Peaceful Activist" button and a protester can claim a free glass of Montepulciano wine with dinner at La Prima Donna, rent a room at the boutique Dylan Hotel ($150 a night) and get dibs on discounted theater tickets. Perhaps "42nd Street" for the Quakers from Kansas and "Naked Boys Singing" for the South Beach set?
    The New Columbine High

    from The Seattle Times
    The best treatment for depressed adolescents is a combination of Prozac and talk therapy, although the antidepressant carries a risk that some patients might harm themselves or others, concluded a study released yesterday.
    Bush Embraces Missile Defense

    from The New York Times
    "I think those who oppose this ballistic missile system really don't understand the threats of the 21st century," [Bush] said. "They're living in the past. We're living in the future. We're going to do what's necessary to protect this country."

    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    Our Saudi Allies: Partners in Progress

    View all the PR spots here.
    Going the Extra Mile for Halliburton

    from The New York Times
    As the largest corporate recipient of the government's Iraq-related contracts--worth more than $8 billion--Halliburton has been accused in Congressional hearings of overcharging and overspending in Iraq.

    Last week, the Pentagon said an internal audit had found that Kellogg Brown & Root had failed to report fully some of the $4.2 billion it had received for its work in Iraq and Kuwait. The Pentagon did not say how much money was in dispute.

    Monday, August 16, 2004

    More RNC highlights...

    from The Washington Post
    Hundreds of thousands of antiwar protesters, abortion rights supporters, labor rights activists and anarchists are preparing to unfurl banners, march through the streets and rally in the parks, loosening a cacophonous roar of protest during the Republican National Convention.

    ...not to mention the Paul Revere impersonators who plan nightly horseback rides down Lexington Avenue in midtown (their warning cry: "The Republicans are coming! The Republicans are coming?!"). Or the bell ringers who plan to encircle Ground Zero and ring 2,749 bells in memory of the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, and in opposition to the Iraq war.
    FBI Canvassing for "Troublemakers"

    from The New York Times
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been questioning political demonstrators across the country, and in rare cases even subpoenaing them, in an aggressive effort to forestall what officials say could be violent and disruptive protests at the Republican National Convention in New York.
    Tax Burden Shifts to Middle

    from WashingtonPost.com
    Since 2001, President Bush's tax cuts have shifted federal tax payments from the richest Americans to a wide swath of middle-class families, the Congressional Budget Office has found, a conclusion likely to roil the presidential election campaign.
    Bush blew it the morning of 9/11, by Bill Maher

    from NY Daily News
    The fact that Bush wasted 27 minutes that day--not only the seven minutes reading to kids but 20 more at a photo op afterward--was, in my view, the most outrageous thing a President has done since Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the Supreme Court.
    International Observers Ratify Chávez's Triumph in Referendum

    from Inter Press Service News Agency
    Although the opposition complained of fraud, the international election observer missions monitoring the recall referendum in Venezuela agreed Monday that President Hugo Chávez had won, and said they found no signs of fraud.

    Chavez Wins

    White House spokesman on Chavez: "Just because you win a majority of the vote doesn't make your government legitimate."
    Palestinian Mural Project

    from Aljazeera
    An America Jew has made sure at least some Palestinian children will remember their land the way it was before its destruction by Israeli bulldozers.

    Sunday, August 15, 2004

    In Pictures: Venezuela Votes

    from Venezuelanalysis.com
    August 12, 2004

    Dear President Chavez,

    We are writing to express our solidarity during this important moment in Venezuela’s history. It is our hope and expectation that, on August 15, you will once again win an electoral mandate from the Venezuelan people to be their president.

    The world knows that you are achieving something remarkable in Venezuela: you are investing your country’s vast oil wealth in ways that benefit everyone, not just small minority of well-connected elites. Over the last year your government’s literacy campaign taught one million Venezuelans to read. And today, millions of others are benefiting from the governments investment in job training, small businesses and health care.

    We are disturbed by our own government’s interference in your internal affairs. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a group funded by the U.S. Congress, has financed radical opposition leaders in their efforts to cut short your term. Some of the individuals funded by the NED participated in the April 2002 coup attempt against you.

    Polling done by both the Venezuelan government and its opposition shows that you will defeat the recall referendum on August 15. We have every expectation that on August 16 Venezuelan relations with the U.S. government will begin to improve.

    We are committed to doing what we can, as U.S. citizens, to heal those relationships and encourage Congress and the White House to see Venezuela not only as a model democracy but also as a model of how a country’s oil wealth can be used to benefit all of its people.


    Reverend Jesse Jackson
    Congressman Dennis Kucinich
    Dr. Howard Zinn
    Edward Asner
    Dr. Saul Landau
    Naomi Klein
    Doug Henwood
    Dr. Blase Bonpane
    Liza Featherstone

    Saturday, August 14, 2004

    Castro Diagnoses Bush with Brain Damage Due to Alcoholism

    Tomorrow's Referendum Vote in Venezuela

    This is the first article that explained to me just what the hell is going on down there...

    from The Guardian
    Chávez has understood the potential power of women as primary carers. Four months of continuous lobbying got women the constitution they wanted. Among its anti-sexist, anti-racist provisions, it recognizes women's unwaged caring work as economically productive, entitling housewives to social security. No surprise then that in 2002 women of African and indigenous descent led the millions who descended from the hills to reverse the coup (by a mainly white elite and the CIA), thereby saving their constitution, their president, their democracy, their revolution.
    Meanwhile, in Iraq...

    Creating a Secret Police

    from Newsweek
    Rep. Porter Goss, President Bush’s nominee to head the CIA, recently introduced legislation that would give the president new authority to direct CIA agents to conduct law-enforcement operations inside the United States—including arresting American citizens.
    A co-worker once told me: "As long as you're not doing anything wrong, you've got nothing to worry about."

    A Cultured Respect for Authority

    "What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn't everyone's life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?"

    - Michel Foucault, "On the genealogy of ethics: An overview of work in progress".

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    Independent Agency to Monitor US Election

    from The Week Magazine
    The OSCE, which promotes democracy and the peaceful resolution of conflicts, routinely sends observers to watch selected polling places in its 55 member nations, of which the U.S. is one. Most often, it evaluates elections in the former Soviet bloc or in trouble spots like Northern Ireland; this marks the first time a U.S. presidential election is being monitored.
    20/20 Hindsight Reveals "Gayest Gubernatorial Portrait Ever"

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    Prozac Found in UK Water Supply

    Developed countries must be sad places, indeed, when you can find antidepressants in water filtered out of waste treatment facilities.

    from BBC News
    An Environment Agency report suggests so many people are taking the drug nowadays it is building up in rivers and groundwater.
    Incidences of depression and anxiety are reaching epidemic proportions in the United States as well, although I don't accept the explanations offered by pharmaceutical companies or their equivalent as adopted by doctors to diagnose depression as some sort of dysfunction instead of a normal response to external factors. The baby-boomers must have deprived their children an essential gene, if we are to accept the theory that suddenly millions of people don't know how to regulate their serotonin. If the serotonin isn't flowing, it's probably because our lives suck. That's not a dysfuntion; it's what our body was designed to do under sucky circumstances. If millions of people are spontaneously experiencing it together, I would take a hard look at things they share in common, like social circumstances; not things they don't, like body chemistry.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2004

    Deficits: It's What's for Dinner

    from The New York Times
    What we've just seen is as clear a test of trickledown economics as we're ever likely to get. Twice, in 2001 and in 2003, the administration insisted that a tax cut heavily tilted toward the affluent was just what the economy needed. Officials brushed aside pleas to give relief instead to lower- and middle-income families, who would be more likely to spend the money, and to cash-strapped state and local governments. Given the actual results--huge deficits, but minimal job growth--don't you wish the administration had listened to that advice?

    - Paul Krugman
    The Great School Lunch Cuts


    School lunch programs derided as "post-natal socialism" by critics: "Young scholars must not be spoon-fed by the state."

    Friday, August 06, 2004

    National Jewish Group Applauds Presbyterian Church’s Historic Stand Against Israeli Occupation

    from Common Dreams
    Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the largest grassroots Jewish peace group of its kind in the United States, applauds the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) for its recent vote to explore divesting from companies who profit from the harming of "innocent people, Palestinian or Israeli." Far from being an attack on Jews, the PCUSA decision to investigate selective divestment as a way to end Israel’s 37-year occupation is in the best Judeo-Christian tradition of supporting universal human rights and justice.
    This is definitely not something you see everyday. For one thing, diverse Jewish perspectives are all but invisible in the US, having been supplanted by official Israeli positions at every turn. Granted this is an organizational press release, not mainstream media coverage--which, incidentally, is already accusing Presbyterians of anti-semitism.

    Juan Cole writes:
    It really is worthwhile letting the Presbyterians know there is public support for the brave stance they have taken, since they will get enormous pressure to cave and shut up about what is being done to the Palestinian people, just as do almost all other American institutions and public individuals. The attempt to smear the church as racist for its stance, which is one of the most powerful and most effective (if completely despicable) techniques of the proponents of settler-colonialism in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, has already begun.

    Call the church at 1-800-872-3283 or email them with your support.
    China Reacts to Homeland Security Beating

    from The Week Magazine
    China this week demanded that the U.S. conduct a high-level investigation into the beating of a Chinese tourist by a U.S. Homeland Security inspector. The tourist, businesswoman Zhao Yan, was visiting Niagara Falls when the American officer, Robert Rhodes, threw her against the wall of an inspection station, knocked her head on the floor, and beat her up. Rhodes said he mistakenly thought she was the companion of a man who had just been caught with marijuana. Pictures of a black and blue Zhao, her eyes swollen shut, dominated newspapers in her home province of Tianjin and prompted angry denunciations of the U.S. “I have been to many countries for business purposes,” Zhao told the Beijing China Daily, “and the United States is the most barbarous.” Rhodes has been charged with violating the woman’s civil rights.
    This from The Los Angeles Times
    Shopping at a Tianjin supermarket Wednesday, Zhang Weihao said women were not humiliated this way in China. "Women are supposed to be respected everywhere in the world," he said. "But apparently not in America."

    Nader: Democratic Party Should Live Up to Its Name

    from The Los Angeles Times
    Though the Democrats have the right to robustly oppose my independent presidential campaign, they don't have the right to engage in dirty tricks designed to deny millions of voters the opportunity to choose who should be the next president.
    Bush Ready to Attack US

    from Reuters
    President Bush told a roomful of top Pentagon brass on Thursday that his administration would never stop looking for ways to harm the United States.

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    The Un-Democrats

    from The Philadelphia Inquirer
    ...Many signatures of legitimate voters could be tossed out on technicalities as zealous Democrats look for any excuse to neutralize the Nader threat. Isn't it nice to know our elected officials are doing their part to block third-party candidates from participating in democracy? We wouldn't want those pesky gadflies to muck up a free and open election, after all.
    Ron Reagan: The Case Against George W. Bush

    from Esquire
    It's one thing to get trashed by Michael Moore. But when Nobel laureates, a vast majority of the scientific community, and a host of current and former diplomats, intelligence operatives, and military officials line up against you, it becomes increasingly difficult to characterize the opposition as fringe wackos.

    Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    Conservatives for Kerry?

    from The Los Angeles Times
    Small-government types fume that he has increased discretionary government spending faster than Bill Clinton. Buchananite paleoconservatives, libertarians and Nelson Rockefeller-style internationalists are all furious-—for their very different reasons-—about Bush's "war of choice" in Iraq. Even some neocons are irritated by his conduct of that war-—particularly his failure to supply enough troops to make the whole enterprise work.
    Iraqi Employment Opportunities

    Check out a comprehensive listing of job opportunities for citizens of the newly free Iraq, courtesy of the US reconstruction effort.
    What the Iraq War is Costing You

    from The Guardian
    The United States has spent more than $126bn on the war in Iraq, which will ultimately cost every American family an estimated $3,415, according to a new report by two thinktanks.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    Bush Recruits Catholic "Foot Soldiers"

    "The Knights are soldiers in the armies of compassion. You're foot soldiers. You've heard the call..."
    Michael Moore: I Will Bring Cameras to Florida to Monitor November Election

    from Democracy Now!
    At a press conference in Boston yesterday, filmmaker Michael Moore announced he is bringing his cameras to Florida in November to make sure there is what he called a "huge spotlight" on state election officials when voters go to the polls. The director of "Fahrenheit 9/11" also said he plans to help pay for an "army of lawyers" who will be in target precincts ready to go to court if they spot any voting problems. He encouraged other independent filmmakers to join him in Florida.
    Muslim Allies

    from Informed Comment
    The Muslim world was largely sympathetic to the US after the 9/11 attacks. Iranians held candlelight vigils, and governments and newspapers condemned terrorism. Bush's unprovoked attack on Iraq, however, turned people against the US. The brutal, selfish, exploitative occupation, the vicious siege of Fallujah, the tank battles in front of the shrine of Ali, a vicar of the Prophet, Abu Ghuraib, and other public relations disasters have done their work.
    Leave No Voter Behind: MoveOn’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor Victory Drive

    from MoveOn PAC:
    We've done bake sales. We've done house parties. We've bought ads. Now it's time for the home stretch--getting out each and every vote where it counts. MoveOn PAC is planning an incredibly ambitious, groundbreaking, precinct-level neighbor-to-neighbor campaign we're calling Leave No Voter Behind: MoveOn's Neighbor-to-Neighbor Victory Drive. We want to hire 500 organizers in the last weeks before the election to work in 10,000 key neighborhoods in battleground states to get 440,000 new votes for John Kerry to the polls.

    If we can raise the first $1 million in the next 48 hours, we'll go for it. You can sponsor a precinct in a battleground state for only $500 and make a huge difference in this election. But whether you can give $25 or $2,500, we're asking you to help launch this program today.
    Quebec Wal-Mart Could Become Unionized

    from The Associated Press
    Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, has no unionized stores, although a handful of meat cutters at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Texas had voted to join the United Food And Commercial Workers in 2000.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    Interview with Norman Mailer

    from New York Magazine
    I’ve been saying for a couple of years that Bush is not a conservative. He’s what I call a flag conservative, a Flag-Con. He’s not as interested in conservative values as in empire-building. The classic conservative, someone like Pat Buchanan or, to a more complicated degree, Bill Buckley, does believe that certain values in society must be maintained. The classic conservative believes in stability. You make changes grudgingly and with a great deal of prudence. Don’t move too quickly, is the rule of thumb, because society, as they see it, is essentially a set of compromises and imbalances that can be kept going only by wisdom and, to use the word again, prudence. So you don’t go off in wild, brand-new directions. None of this characterizes Bush. As a Flag-Con, he is surrounded by the tycoons of the oil industry, plus neoconservatives, plus gung-ho militarists who believe that since we’ve created the greatest fighting machine in the history of the world, it’s a real shame not to use it.

    - Norman Mailer
    Straight Talk from Crawford, Texas

    Barbara Ehrenreich on Air America, Tonight 7pm

    w/ Ani DiFranco

    Money and the State: Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together

    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    Anyone but Bush?

    from The Guardian
    It's worth remembering that it was under Bill Clinton that the progressive movements in the west began to turn our attention to systems again: corporate globalisation, even--gasp--capitalism and colonialism. We began to understand modern empire not as the purview of a single nation, no matter how powerful, but a global system of interlocking states, international institutions and corporations, an understanding that allowed us to build global networks in response, from the World Social Forum to Indymedia.

    - Naomi Klein