Radical media, politics and culture.

Mainstream Media

Zapatista Leader Woos Poor in his Leftist Campaign

Associated Press

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico — The Zapatista movement's ski-masked leader began his public meetings on Monday in a six-month national tour to form a new leftist movement, pledging to "listen to everybody" as he met with Indian groups and rights activists.

Apparently competing for the attention of Mexico's 13 million Indians, President Vicente Fox on Monday began his own tour of the country's indigenous communities.

"The Triumph of Anarchism"

Shelley Walia, The Hindu

Noam Chomsky deserves the recent vote that ranks him as the
most important intellectual today; a thinker who is an
effective counterweight and an independent critic of the
state. A comment.

"Each individual, according to Chomsky, has the
responsibility and the creative acumen to take control of
his/her society."

An essay supporting the anarchist philosophy at the age of
10; hours spent at the bookshops on Manhattan's 4th Avenue
engaged in anti-authoritarian polemics; and then a life time
spent in analysing what ails international relations in the
context of the widespread infringement of human rights and
the numerous wrongs which fester our society. Indeed,
Chomsky deserves the recent vote that ranks him above
Umberto Eco or Howard Zinn as the most important
intellectual today, an intellectual who is an effective
counterweight and an independent critic of the State. As he
writes in a famous essay "Objectivity and Liberal
Scholarship": ". . . access to power, shared ideology,
professionalisation may or may not be deplorable in
themselves, but there can be no doubt that they interact so
as to pose a serious threat to the integrity of scholarship
in fields that are struggling for intellectual content and
are thus particularly susceptible to the workings of a kind
of Gresham's law. What is more, the subversion of
scholarship poses a threat to society at large."

"Female, Agnostic and the Next Presidente?

Heavy Favorite in Chilean Vote Cuts Against Grain"

Monte Reel, Washington Post

SANTIAGO, Chile — Everyone in the audience was dressed in dark blue or
black. Some wore clerical collars, and most had heavy silver crosses
dangling around their necks. But Michelle Bachelet wore an electric pink
jacket that sent a clear message: She was a candidate for president, not

"I'm agnostic. . . . I believe in the state," Bachelet told several groups
of evangelical ministers last week. "I believe the state has an important
role in guaranteeing the diversity of men and women in Chile -- their
different spiritualities, philosophies and ways of life."

Searching for Journalistic Integrity

Charles Sullivan

The Concord naturalist and writer Henry Thoreau had a great disdain for the
news — especially that conveyed in the newspapers of his time. Thoreau
never read a newspaper and he was critical of anyone who did. Thoreau
refused to profane his mind with the muck and slime of the daily news,
especially as it related to commerce. Being a critical thinker, Thoreau was
deeply suspicious of anything that appeared in the newspapers. Thoreau gave
us the literary masterpieces Walden, Civil Disobedience and fourteen volumes
of superlative journals. Civil Disobedience has inspired political movements
around the world. Both Martin Luther King and Gandhi were inspired to action
by Thoreau’s powerful political essays. There were many others.

Woodward Joins a Decadent Dance

Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times

Whatever impact the scandal surrounding the leak of former CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity ultimately has on the Bush administration, it continues to spread through the Washington press corps like a toxic plume.

As it does, it discredits not only individual reporters and damages their news organizations but also an entire style of reporting that has come to dominate the way Americans are informed — or misinformed — concerning their government's conduct.

This week's casualty was the Washington Post's Bob Woodward, who, as it turns out, has concealed for 17 months the fact that a Bush administration official he still refuses to name to his readers leaked Plame's identity to him before the vice president's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby — now under indictment for perjury — named the then-covert agent to New York Times reporter Judy Miller and others.

Chomsky Answers Guardian

Noam Chomsky, Z Mag

This is an open letter to a few of the people with whom I had discussed the
Guardian interview of 31 October, on the basis of the electronic version,
which is all that I had seen. Someone has just sent me a copy of the
printed version, and I now understand why friends in England who wrote me
were so outraged.

It is a nuisance, and a bit of a bore, to dwell on the topic, and I always
keep away from personal attacks on me, unless asked, but in this case the
matter has some more general interest, so perhaps it’s worth reviewing what
most readers could not know. The general interest is that the print version
reveals a very impressive effort, which obviously took careful planning and
work, to construct an exercise in defamation that is a model of the genre.
It’s of general interest for that reason alone.

A secondary matter is that it may serve as a word of warning to anyone who
is asked by the Guardian for an interview, and happens to fall slightly to
the critical end of the approved range of opinion of the editors. The
warning is: if you accept the invitation, be cautious, and make sure to have
a tape recorder that is very visibly placed in front of you. That may
inhibit the dedication to deceit, and if not, at least you will have a
record. I should add that in probably thousands of interviews from every
corner of the world and every part of the spectrum for decades, that thought
has never occurred to me before. It does now.

By Yves Bordenave and Mustapha Kessous (Le Monde)

[Ed. Note: Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Web page: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/]

Sunday, November 6: 8:00 p.m. Abdel, Bilal, Youssef, Ousman, Nadir, and
Laurent (their names have been changed) are at the foot of the eleven-story
cliff that is the "112" housing project in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis).
When he joins them, Rachid, dressed in a bulky down jacket, lights a cigarette
and sets fire to the refuse bin. "It's too bad, but we have to," says Nadir.
For ten days, the scenario has been repeating itself on a daily basis. The
small gang of this public housing project on the rue Hélène Cohennec, where
more than a thousand people live, want to "break everything." Cars,
warehouses, gymnasiums, are targets of this anger that does not answer to any
marching orders or organization.

Cruise Ship Escapes Pirate Hijack Attempt

By Rodrique Ngowi

NAIROBI, Kenya - Pirates armed with grenade launchers and machine guns tried to hijack a luxury cruise liner off the east African coast Saturday, but the ship outran them, officials said.

Two boats full of pirates approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off the Somali coast and opened fire while the heavily armed bandits tried to get onboard, said Bruce Good, spokesman for the Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.

The ship escaped by shifting to high speed and changing course.

"These are very well-organized pirates," said Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenyan chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Program. "Somalia's coastline is the most dangerous place in the region in terms of maritime security."

Kate Gibbons writes:

Nguyen Tuong Van Sentenced to Hang

We would like to publicise the fact that Prime Minister John Howard refuses to personally and publicly plead for clemency for Nguyen Tuong Van to the President of Singapore. Shame on you Mr Howard, you have left this young man to hang.



He now faces execution, possibly within 10 days.

"A Separate Peace:

America Is In Trouble,
and Our Elites Are Merely Resigned"

Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

Peggy Noonan is a former speechwrtier for George H. W. Bush.

It is not so hard and can be a pleasure to tell people what you see.
harder to speak of what you *think* you see, what you think is going on
can't prove or defend with data or numbers. That can get tricky. It
hunches. But here goes.

I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture
now. In fact I think it's a subtext to our society. I think that a lot
people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in
cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and
trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things
broken down and can't be fixed, or won't be fixed any time soon. That
pollsters are preoccupied with "right track" and "wrong track" but
missing the
number of people who think the answer to "How are things going in
America?" is
"Off the tracks and hurtling forward, toward an unknown destination."

I'm not talking about "Plamegate." As I write no indictments have come
I'm not talking about "Miers." I mean . . . the whole ball of wax.
Everything. Cloning, nuts with nukes, epidemics; the growing knowledge
there's no such thing as homeland security; the fact that we're leaving
kids with a bill no one can pay. A sense of unreality in our courts so
that they think they can seize grandma's house to build a strip mall;
media institutions imploding -- the spectacle of a great American
the *New York Times*, hurtling off its own tracks, as did CBS. The fear
parents that their children will wind up disturbed, and their souls
imperiled, by the popular culture in which we are raising them.
Senators who
seem owned by someone, actually owned, by an interest group or a
entity. Great churches that have lost all sense of mission, and all
authority. Do you have confidence in the CIA? The FBI? I didn't think


Subscribe to Mainstream Media