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The General Conversation :: View topic - The Koochies March ever onward! Testimony to the Vision!: "By now, many of you have heard that the Texans for Kucinich resolution to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace was approved by the Texas Democratic State Convention on Saturday. We also got several of our other Kucinich resolutions passed, and helped pass progressive resolutions originated by others."


WEEKLY READS 6-10-04: Reagan's Legacy Re-examined. 

The following collection of excerpts and links to important current articles is provided as an educational service of the Ann Arbor Area Committee for Peace. These readings offer valuable insights into world affairs and the nation's rapidly changing political landscape. Peruse this summary, read the articles that interest you, and forward the list to friends.

Tell your friends to sign up for weekly reads and other important peace-events notices by sending a blank message with "subscribe" (no quotes) in the subject line to: peace-events-request@umich.edu

1. Reagan retrospective three-pack. Two from The Nation & one from Cornel West on NPR.
2. American Forces Radio: Objective view of the home front? (Rush Limbaugh), CNN.com.
3. Down Goes Tenet. William Rivers Pitt, truthout.org.
4. The Torturers Among Us. Robert Kuttner, Boston Globe.
5. Forced Nudity of Iraqi Prisoners Is Seen as a Pervasive Pattern, Not Isolated Incidents. New York Times.
6. In Florida, Wrestling Again Over Felons and Voting. New York Times.
7. When do workers get their share? Economic Policy Institute.
8. Desperately Seeking Health Insurance. Katha Pollitt, The Nation.


1. Reagan retrospective three-pack.

66 Things to Think About When Flying Into Reagan National Airport
By David Corn
The Nation, June 7, 2004.

The first 13 things (click the title for the rest):
The firing of the air traffic controllers, winnable nuclear war, recallable nuclear missiles, trees that cause pollution, Elliott Abrams lying to Congress, ketchup as a vegetable, colluding with Guatemalan thugs, pardons for F.B.I. lawbreakers, voodoo economics, budget deficits, toasts to Ferdinand Marcos, public housing cutbacks, redbaiting the nuclear freeze movement, James Watt.

Reagan's Politics of Passion
By John Nichols
The Nation, June 7, 2004.

The article begins:
Rest assured that the radical reworking of history that America witnessed in the hours after Ronald Reagan died Saturday at age 93 will be temporary. ...

All of a sudden, the man who redirected tens of billions of dollars away from domestic needs to build up the largest nuclear arsenel on the planet, ran up record deficits, saw members of his Administration investigated and indicted at a staggering rate and, himself, came close to being impeached for allowing aides to create a shadow government that peddled weapons to sworn enemies of the United States and used the profits to fund illegal wars in Central America was remade as a statesman who restored dignity and direction to his country.

Cornel West Commentary: The Public and Private Reagan
The Tavis Smiley Show, NPR
June 9, 2004 -- AUDIO FILE
Listen to the Tavis Smiley Show weekdays from 9 to 10 am on WDET - 101.9 FM

Commentator Cornel West says former President Ronald Reagan was a charismatic human being with a smile that concealed vicious foreign and domestic policies.


2. American Forces Radio: Objective view of the home front?
From Tom Foreman
CNN, June 2, 2004.

The story begins:
Over the thunder of the tanks Rush Limbaugh's voice is heard for an hour Monday through Friday in Baghdad.

His conservative talk show has been a staple of American Forces Radio for a decade. And when the Iraqi prison abuse scandal broke, he compared it to a fraternity prank.


3. Down Goes Tenet
By William Rivers Pitt
truthout.org, June 4, 2004.

Whither goes Tenet? Why did he resign? The official version holds that he quit for "personal reasons," and has intended to leave for a while now. It was put forth that perhaps this Clinton holdover never quite fit the Bush administration mold. Some said he was quitting because no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. Some used the word 'fired' to describe his departure.

In the end, however, it appears Tenet bailed out to save George W. Bush.

Ray McGovern, a 27-year veteran analyst for the CIA and unabashed critic of both Bush and Tenet, had this to say when reached by phone on Thursday afternoon: "It is pretty clear this resignation came for two reasons. The first is the failed policy in Iraq. The cry for accountability and resignations has reached a din here in Washington D.C. Things have gone from bad to worse, the White House was looking for a sacrificial lamb, and Tenet being the good soldier he is, took the fall."


4. The Torturers Among Us
by Robert Kuttner
Boston Globe, June 9, 2004.

The article begins:
WHAT HAVE we learned so far about officially sponsored torture by the US government?

First, it is unambiguously clear that the torture of prisoners in Afghanistan, at Guantanamo, and at Abu Ghraib was official policy. Lawyers for the Pentagon and the White House, reporting directly to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush, wrote contorted legal briefs trying to define a category of person immune to both due process of law and the Third Geneva Convention. As recently disclosed Pentagon memos divulge, one explicit purpose was to justify torture as a technique of interrogation.

Second, the grotesque abuses at Abu Ghraib were therefore not the work of a few renegade freaks. Official policy was that coercion should be used to pry information out of prisoners. The torture techniques were at first wielded by military and CIA interrogation specialists and limited to "high value" captives.

But as torture moved down the chain of command, it further degenerated from a twisted and illegal means of interrogation into a sadistic sport for ordinary soldiers to apply to ordinary prisoners. This deterioration is predictable. It has happened under every totalitarian regime, from Stalin to Hitler to Torquemada. When torture is official policy, ordinary soldiers and police let their frustrations and imaginations run wild. This is why civilized nations ban torture categorically.


5. Forced Nudity of Iraqi Prisoners Is Seen as a Pervasive Pattern, Not Isolated Incident
By Kate Zernike and David Rohde.
New York Times, June 8, 2004.

While there have been reports of forced nakedness at detention facilities in Afghanistan and at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the practice was apparently far more aggressive at Abu Ghraib, according to interviews, reports from human rights groups and sworn statements from detainees and soldiers. The detainees said leaving prisoners naked started as far back as last July, three months before the seven soldiers now charged and their military police company arrived at the prison. It bred a culture, some soldiers say, where the abuse captured on film could happen.

Detainees were paraded naked past other prisoners and guards; some were ordered to do jumping jacks and sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the nude, according to a several witnesses. Also, a father and his grown son were stripped, then forced to stand and stare at each other. The International Committee of the Red Cross, visiting in October, found prisoners left naked in their cells for days, modestly trying to shield themselves behind cardboard from meals-ready-to-eat boxes. ...

Nudity is considered particularly shameful in Muslim culture, a violation of religious principles. While nudity as a disciplinary or coercive tool may be especially objectionable to Muslims, they are hardly the only victims of the practice. Soldiers in Nazi Germany paraded naked prisoners in daylight, and human rights groups have documented the use of nudity during conflicts in Egypt, Chile and Turkey, and in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. Central Intelligence Agency training manuals from the 1960's and 1980's taught the stripping of prisoners as an interrogation tool. Nudity and sexual humiliation have also been reported in American prisons where a number of guards at Abu Ghraib worked in their civilian lives.


6. In Florida, Wrestling Again Over Felons and Voting
By Abby Goodnough
New York Times, June 9, 2004.

The article begins:
Identifying legal voters as felons and purging them from the rolls was one of Florida's biggest stumbles in the 2000 election. Now, some county elections supervisors worry that a new list of 48,000 possible felons might also be flawed and that a new state law makes it too easy to disqualify legal voters.

Last month, as in 2000, state officials sent each county a list of registered voters whom it suspected were felons. The state asked the counties to verify the lists and, if they could not, to remove questionable voters from the rolls. Florida is one of the only states where felons automatically lose the right to vote and have to go through multiple steps to regain it after serving their time.


7. When do workers get their share?
Economic Policy Institute, May 27, 2004.

Despite recent good news on employment growth, the current economic recovery, now approaching its third year, remains the most unbalanced on record in respect to the distribution of income gains between corporate profits and labor compensation. Essentially, rapid gains in productivity have been translating into higher corporate profits without increasing the wage and salary income of American workers. ...

Corporate profits have risen 62.2% since the peak, compared to average growth of 13.9% at the same point in the last eight recoveries that have lasted as long as the current one. This is the fastest rate of profit growth in a recovery since World War II.

Total labor compensation has also turned in a historic performance: growing only 2.8%, the slowest growth in any recovery since World War II and well under the historical average of 9.9%.


8. Desperately Seeking Health Insurance
By Katha Pollitt
The Nation, June 3, 2004.

The article begins:
As crises go, medical insurance is not a very sexy one. It's not that no one talks about the 43.6 million uninsured, skyrocketing drug costs, emergency rooms crammed with patients in search of routine care or the 18,000 Americans who, according to the Institute of Medicine, die each year for lack of care. Every politician has a stump speech and a plan--usually a rather complicated one. (Insert your Kerry joke here if you must, but give the man credit--at least he'll cover most people.) The simple solution would be a single-payer system like Canada's, a mantra the left has been humming for decades, but where's the big, irate, energetic movement for it? Health coverage doesn't seem to bring out the fire-breathers, like, oh, gay marriage or "partial-birth" abortion or whether "under God" belongs in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Why is that? Maybe we've been living this way so long that we've just accepted it, like the housing crisis. Maybe the kinds of people who are uninsured are the sort voters are all too used to ignoring.


Another weblogger for peace 



Muslims For Kucinich: 2004 National Delegates


Dennis Kucinich Blog and News - Not-So-Super Wednesday and Market Gorillas: "The main reason is that Dennis is more than a candidate, as I've argued in previous articles; he's an exemplar and torchbearer for an emerging culture, one with new values, priorities, and policies. To the degree that he is in the spotlight, he continues to shift the Democratic party platform in the direction of progressive change."


CD Baby: WINTER ROSS C. (PEACEMAN!): Global Communications - hear and buy it at CD BABY.


HomeSchool - Camp Internet - HomePlanet.Net HomeSchool Center
Oregon PeaceWorks Foundation / Oregon PeaceWorks, Inc.
News - StatesmanJournal.com
"PeaceWorks holds its 20th annual fund-raising event."