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October 24, 2003
Caution - Amateur history buff surfing
The conditions which surround us best justify our co-operation; we meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized; most of the states have been compelled to isolate the voters at the polling places to prevent universal intimidation or bribery. The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrate, our homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists.

The year is 1892 and a Populist Revolution seems to be underway. (I'm going to read the entire thing.)

If you haven't read Poynter on "A Week in the Life of the First Amendment, I encourage you to do so.

Where the Arab states want to fit into the modern world is a topic that tens of thousands of people, if not more, have been debating for quite a while now. Mona Abaza discusses recent history and the West's attempt to impose its worldview on, well, the world. Long article, many links, worth reading.

Pertaining to recent history, Mark Crispin Miller, who doesn't seem to have permalinks, gives us more on the black box voting problem. He's talking about how Florida was called for, and eventually given to, Bush due to some verrrry odd electronic votes.

Even more recently, a certain radically and obnoxiously conservative talk radio personality revealed a little drug problem, remember? I agree with William Greider. It's not that the Conservative press lacks compassion, witness their recent call for sympathy for Limbaugh, it's that they feel compassion only for rich, white guys. (Okay, that's not exactly what he said. He said they're "selective" where they bestow their compassion.)

Past, present, and future, it's something everyone, conservative or liberal, needs to be really, really concerned about. For those who still aren't up to date on the whole Black Box Voting thing, and who can't afford to buy the book, understand that you can read it online for no charge. (You can also make a contribution to the author, even a modest one, if you can afford it.)

Was she a nobody? Or the selfless saint we were offered as the media picture of Mother Teresa ?

And Henninger continues to confuse me. I'm not sure what today's column is about except that he thinks the Founding Fathers would be very unhappy about the way people vocally protest legislation they don't like these days. There are times, many of them, when I wonder exactly which history some of these people studied in school. He also thinks the FF would be appalled that today's "issues" such as abortion, gay marriage and judicial nominations (emphasis his and why the quotation marks around the word 'issues' is beyond me) are "death-struggles" instead of being "just politics."

The mind simply boggles. If the Founding Fathers understood anything, it was the necessity for a "death-struggle" over the critical "issues" of their day.

No doubt Henninger had a point, but I'm left wondering if he really understood what he was saying. (Suddenly I'm hearing Dogberry. O that I had been writ down an ass! *) If Henninger thinks that having the press say mean things about you is what constituted a "death-struggle" to the Founding Fathers, then, well, to paraphrase West Wing, he needs to go back to his school and demand a better education.

(* Much Ado About Nothing, Act 4, Scene II)

For anyone wondering why we're still failing to hearts and minds* the Iraqi countryside, you might consider that arresting an entire village has a few flaws as a strategy.

(* Can't remember. I think it came from Doonesbury, originally.)

It's not history, but it did give me a flashback. Via Chris Nelson, a site I didn't even know existed. Defend America is run by your very own DoD and they're current, brace yourself, asking around about people willing to serve on a draft board in their community. Just exactly how extensive are Bush&Co's upcoming military plans? The posted article is dated 9/22/03.

While I continue to applaud Ehrenreich's apparent attempt to bring understanding of what it means to be poor to the general public, I stand by my opinion that her analysis tends to be facile and detached. That said, the subject she tackles remain interesting enough to persuade me read what she writes.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:41 AM