188276 ME death ratios for children 1:8; for adults 1:3 -------------188246  the first rule of fight club ------------------- 188132  Bush Offers Nothing Real to the Palestinians--but Plenty for the Terrorists (english) by Rabbi Michael Lerner (tikkun mag man) --------------- 188213 KATHERINE HARRIS SAYS PALAST 'TWISTED AND MANIACAL'  --------- cyberspaceorbit.com forum: Kent Steadman 6/24/2002 7:14 AM Re: you CAN teach an old sun new tricks ----------- 188331 new-clear E-action harmoneutralizes nukes and lsd-ers --------------  new persp quarterly - Winter 1993 The Moon Over Maastricht by Leopold Kohr ------------------- Umberto Eco: for a polygot federation --------------  A Capitalist Primer Upton Sinclair's realism got the better of his socialism by Christopher Hitchens -------------- -------------xxxxxxxx------------ How many Palestinians and Israelis have died? (english) Jota 9:21pm Tue Jun 25 '02 (Modified on 10:05pm Tue Jun 25 '02) article#188276 What is the ratio of dead Palestinians to dead Israelis? According to Amnesty International, in the first 408 days of the current Intifada, 570 Palestinians were killed compared to 150 Israelis who died. Out of those figures, 150 Palestinian children were killed to Israelâ??s 30. Amnesty continues to report that â??Israeli forces have killed Palestinians unlawfully by shooting them during demonstrations and at checkpoints although lives were not in danger.. Published on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 by CommonDreams.org Bush's Speech - An Interim Insult by Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar Eleanor Roosevelt once said â??Justice cannot be for one side alone. It must be for both sides.â?¯ Surrounded by the roses of his garden, President Bushâ??s speech made it quite evident and predictably clear that in the context of the Holy Land, justice would not grace its elusive countenance on the beleaguered women and children of Palestine today. On a day where many Israeli groups went into raptures over the Presidentâ??s â??superbâ?¯ and â??visionaryâ?¯ address, the Palestinians and those who support their plight, felt further marginalized by an administration that seems to assign more value to an Israeli life than that of a Palestinian. â??Terrorismâ?¯ is to President Bush as â??Communismâ?¯ was to Senator McCarthy. Since that fateful day in September, the word â??terrorismâ?¯ has become this bloody maxim which strikes a painful reminder of the North and South Towers crumbling into oblivion in New York. What fails to reconcile itself to me is why the word â??terrorismâ?¯ is only used for the Palestinians, but not for the Israelis. Prior to President Bushâ??s address, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak continuously used the word â??terrorâ?¯ to refer to the Palestinians. The President followed suit a few minutes later by using the word â??terrorâ?¯ ten times in his address. Of those ten instances, how many times was he referring to the Israelis? Not once. According to Amnesty International, in the first 408 days of the current Intifada, 570 Palestinians were killed compared to 150 Israelis who died. Out of those figures, 150 Palestinian children were killed to Israelâ??s 30. Amnesty continues to report that â??Israeli forces have killed Palestinians unlawfully by shooting them during demonstrations and at checkpoints although lives were not in danger. They have shelled residential areas and committed extrajudicial executionsâ?¦ All Palestinians in the Occupied Territories â?? more than three million people â?? have been collectively punished. Almost every Palestinian town and village has been cut off by Israeli army checkpoints or physical barriers. Curfews on Palestinian areas have trapped residents in their homes for days, weeks or even months. In the name of security, hundreds of Palestinian homes have been demolished.â?¯ Just going by Amnestyâ??s casualty count, if President Bush used the word â??terrorâ?¯ for Palestinians ten times in his address, the number of associations between Israelis and â??terrorâ?¯ should have numbered around fifty. But documented figures from the preeminent international human rights organization aside, let us get back to the transcript. Although the Israeli government is responsible for five times as many murders as their Palestinian counterparts, the condolences only went to Israel. The President looked somber as he emotionally stated that he understood that Israelis have â??lived too long with fear and funerals, having to avoid markets and public transportation, and forced to put armed guards in kindergarten classrooms.â?¯ Let me state in the most categorical terms that I can, because it seems that logic and reason have transcended much of our intelligentsia. Ariel Sharon is as much of a terrorist as Yasser Arafat, if not five times more. That is saying quite a handful given the fact that I really cannot stand Arafat either. I believe that he has recently served as detriment to his people. If a suitable replacement for Arafat would rise up from the ashes to uphold the democratic ideal of the Palestinians, I would be their ardent supporter. Unfortunately, President Bush has now created a scenario which is a non-starter. He has called for the â??provisionalâ?¯ state of Palestine, on the condition that the â??terrorâ?¯ ceases. Many were hoping that he was referring to both the Israelis and the Palestinians, but unfortunately, our held breath was knocked out of us yet again. He made Palestine reliant on the heads of the Palestinian Authority and the militant Palestinian groups carrying out terrorist attacks. By setting so many parameters, he made it easy for this straw house to collapse. If the terrorists do not approve of the Bush plan, all they have to do is commit an act of â??terrorâ?¯ to negate any potential formation of Palestine on the Presidentâ??s terms. Sharon has vowed not to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza until the â??terrorâ?¯ ends. The Palestinian zealots are smiling at Sharonâ??s covert invitation that allows them to kill two birds with one stone. With another attack, they can prove the Palestinian Authorityâ??s ineffectiveness to the Palestinians, while creating fear and havoc in Israeli life. I somberly conclude that this mockery of a proposal may play right into the hands of the extreme zealots, as opposed to tying those hands behind their backs. I realize and concede that there were some good proclamations in President Bushâ??s speech. However, I know that there will be a maelstrom of opinion pieces commending the President for his â??visionaryâ?¯ and â??courageousâ?¯ address. I do note that this is the first time an American president has ever called for an immediate creation of a Palestinian state, with the same constitutional guarantees and legislative powers as any other democracy in the world. Unfortunately, like the Israeli settlement policy, there is too much â??swiss cheeseâ?¯ in the Presidentâ??s proposal. With so many holes and so little substance, it seems in many ways that this process may fail even before it begins. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in an interview last month that, â??"In our struggle against apartheid, the great supporters were Jewish peopleâ?¦ What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence. I've been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. My heart aches. I say, Why are our memories so short?" All we can do now is pray. I gravely fear that this proposal has too many inherent flaws to succeed. Although President Bush strongly empowered Israelis with his address and weakly attempted to rectify the wrongs committed to the Palestinians, the endgame will play into the hands of people like Ariel Sharon, Arafat and terrorists from both sides. One wrong move will once again reinvent the wheel; a wheel that has been stained with the blood of innocent Israelis and with five times as much Palestinian blood. Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar is a writer for the Independent Writers Syndicate. He attends Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. add your own comments Looks like a soccer game... (english) Bingo 9:55pm Tue Jun 25 '02 (optional) comment#188279 ... to me! It almost sounds like you are asking how many "goals" either Palestinians or Israelites have scored! Me, on the other hand, I am watching for the "english hooligans" that disrupt the games... look (english) skip trippie 10:04pm Tue Jun 25 '02 comment#188280 Birds of a feather stick together. People are their actions. Every thing Bush Jr. does is like a dictator. He has no problem letting people die just look at his record in Texas. When he was in a debate with Gore he said that the death penalty is a serious matter and that he was elested to fallow the rule of law. Well he was the fuck Govener for fucks sake. He can make the Laws thats his fuckin job. The bottom line is he had no problem with the killings. So do you think he has a problem with all of the Palestinian people dieing???? He has an agenda, Sharon has an agenda, the Jews have lots of influence that he can use.. He don't give a fuck. He was lieing through his teeth the whole time he campained, he stole the election after wards. He thinks he's unstopable so he says and does what ever he wants. And how about the people that like him?? Useless sheeple.. good article... (english) bc 10:05pm Tue Jun 25 '02 comment#188281 Thanks for posting it, although the heading you provide is a bit misleading. It's similar in theme to Ali Abuminah's reaction to Bush's speech on an eventual Palestinian state: http://electronicintifada.net/features/  articles/020624ali.shtml Also, for a visual on casualties in Israel/Palestine, see this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/  graphic/0,5812,712593,00.html And B'Tselem has more updated figures here: http://www.btselem.org/English/Statistics/index.asp ----------------- The First Rule of Fight Club (english) Brenda 5:22pm Tue Jun 25 '02 (Modified on 12:53am Wed Jun 26 '02) article#188246 If Sharon fought Arafat, man to man, who would win? "Moderate Palestinians call for an end to bombings." The accepted truth about the holocaust is that 6 million complacent Jews were quiety herded onto trains and transported to extermination camps where they filed into gas chambers believing until their final minutes that the Germans couldn't possibly be intending to kill them all. The plight of these 6 million was not lost on the persecuted people of the world. It is better to die fighting, as a man, than to go quietly to your slaughter, like an animal. Most often, no matter how many deny it, the oppressor is going to kill you anyway. The U.S. and Israel have demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt, over the course of 50 years, that they have absolutely no intention of ever granting one single concession to the Palestinians, under any circumstances. Only a fool could believe that they will. The so-called moderate Palestinians who call for an end to the suicide bombings are traitors to the cause of their people. They cling to a delusion; if only the Palestinian will roll over and quietly accept his master's boot on his throat, like a good little dog, then maybe he will be thrown a scrap from the table. But they are wrong. The 6 million who walked meekly to their deaths were wrong, and the Palestinians who advocate quiet acquiescence in the face of intolerable persecution are wrong. The Palestinians' response enobles them and makes the Jews appear craven and weak in retrospect and weaker still now. add your own comments Moderate? (english) J. 7:01pm Tue Jun 25 '02 comment#188261 " . ..moderates .. traitors . .." I can see why you might think this. However, the Palestinian cause would probably be furthered better by a concerted campaign of non violent resistance. Gandhi and King provide the models for a campaign that would certainly succeed. What is needed is commitment and an elevation of the spiritual content of the resistance's ideals. Non Violent resistance doesn't always work... (english) miles 8:30pm Tue Jun 25 '02 comment#188271 It didn't work for the North American Native Peoples.. Was there a Hutu Ghandi? Or a Tutsi MLK? Were there maybe a few non violent resisters in the Cambodian killing fields? If you dug a trench around my neighborhood, sorrounded it with barbed wire and tanks, and only let me out to come to your town and do all of your shit jobs while you sit fat? I stand by the Palestinians (english) m. 10:42pm Tue Jun 25 '02 comment#188288 But I do not stand by the suicide bombings. I don't think I'm being a foolish idealist to believe that other tactics are possible. And I find the random killing of civilians unconscionable, even when those doing the killing are an oppressed people. Same tired old line of crap (english) Brenda 12:53am Wed Jun 26 '02 comment#188313 I find the systematic imprisonment and dehumanization of an entire population unconscionable and I believe that population is entitled to use whatever means it is able to implement to liberate itself. And, the implication of your little statement is that the Israelis DO NOT target a civilian population, which they most certainly do. The ratio of dead Israeli to dead Palesitian is 1:3, and this does not reflect the number of Palestinians who have died as a result of not being able to obtain medicine or medical care, or due to the inhuman conditions under which they are freqently forced to live, no this is just the number who have been directly shot and killed by the Israeli army, 400+ of the Palestinians murdered since Sept. of 2000 were children. To say nothing of the thousands who have been rounded up and taken away to prison camps. The entire infrastructure of the Palestinian territory has been systematically destroyed; also, every means that they had to earn a living. Virtually the entire population is unemployed. Homes, schools, businesses, government and police buildings, all public records, have been destroyed. They frequently have no water or electricity. They have no access to medical care. They are forbidden to leave the area in which they reside accept by obtaining special permission from Israeli domestic security. They are kept prisoners in their homes, unable to leave at all, sometimes for months at a time, except for a couple hours a week to obtain food. It's very easy to understand why people would be eager to die rather than go on living under such conditions. And, there is no reason for these people to have any hope that the situation is going to change for them. Certainly it will never come about if Israel and the United States have their way. So, I stand by my original sentiment. There is nothing noble about passive submission to such dehumanizing conditions. It is far better to die like a man, than to live like a caged animal. Suicide bombers are responsible for approximately 500 Israeli deaths in the past 21 months. There are more than 3 million Palestinians living under the conditions which I described. ------------ Bush Offers Nothing Real to the Palestinians--but Plenty for the Terrorists (english) by Rabbi Michael Lerner 8:35am Tue Jun 25 '02 article#188132 Bush Offers Nothing Real to the Palestinians--but Plenty for the Terrorists -- a response to Bush's Mid East speech George Bush might be a nice guy, but he sure knows how to miss an opportunity. For the first time since 1948, Arab states have offered to give Israel full recognition and peace if Israel withdraws to its pre-67 borders. The leadership of the Palestinian Authority has just announced that it would accept the terms of an agreement as defined by President Clinton in 2000 in the months after Camp David. But there are two substantial obstacles to all this: First, the Israeli political Right, which currently runs the Government of Israel, has no interest in withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza. Many religious Zionists believe that giving up West Bank settlements would be a violation of Godâ??s will. Second, Islamic fundamentalists have no interest in the creation of a secular Palestinian state living in peace with Israel. They would much prefer to see an Israeli occupation which will be worn down over the course of the next thirty to forty years of guerilla struggle against Islamic forces than to see a secular state that would restore hope for Palestinians and lessen the appeal of the fundamentalists. So both have entered into a de facto alliance to prevent any such development. Ariel Sharon says that he will not reward terror by allowing any substantial steps toward withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza as long as Israelis face terror. Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad understand the covert invitation, and respond by acts of terror against Israel , particularly at moments when the Palestinian Authority seems to be moving toward accommodation with whatever is the lastest American or Israeli demand. Instead of responding by attacking Hamas, Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad, Sharon responds by repressive measures against the Palestinian Authority and the entire Palestinian people. Those measures increase despair, generate new recruits for the terrorists, and demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the Palestinian Authority. A perfect reward for the terroristsâ??exactly what they are seeking. Now George Bush has joined Sharon in endorsing the notion that any small bunch of fundamentalist extremists can veto a peace process. Of course, had the US insisted as a precondition for withdrawal that the Vietnamese end acts of violence against Vietnamese civilians who supported the US, weâ??d still be fighting that war. Or if the South African whites had demanded an end to all acts of anti-white violence as a precondition for majority rule, there would still be apartheid in South Africa. And since the Palestinian terrorists do not seek peace with Israel, but the destruction of Israel, George Bush has given them massive incentive to keep going with acts of terror. Bushâ??s call for democratic reform of Palestine might have more credibility if it had come from a President who had won the popular vote in the U.S., but it frames a direction which almost everyone can embrace. The Palestinian people would certainly benefit by replacing Arafat and other criminal elements who have supported terror against Israeli civilians. But as long as Israeli tanks roll into Palestinian cities every week, few Palestinians will believe that it is possible to have a democratic process that is anything more than a ratification of whatever Israel seeks to impose on themâ??and if they vote at all, it will be for those who express the most extreme anger at Israel (just who we don't need in power if we want to negotiate for peace). If the US wants peace, George Bush is going to have to summon the courage that allowed his father to stand up to the American friends of Israelâ??s Right wing. In 1991 that meant demanding a settlement freeze, but in 2002 that will mean support for an international intervention to separate and protect the two sides from each other and to impose a settlement which minimally requires an end to the Occupation and the settlements, reparations for the Palestinian refugees(and to Israelis who fled Arab lands) as well as an end to the terror.. One way to reassure legitimate Israeli fears: offer Israel membership in NATO or a mutual defense pact with the US to guarantee protection from assault by neighboring states. But there is only one path to mobilize Palestinians to join in a serious effort to crush Hamas and other fundamentalist terroristsâ??and that is for the Palestinian people to feel Israel has had a fundamental change of heart and is now ready to treat the Palestinian people with the same respect and sensitivity to their needs and their fears that we Jews rightly demand for ourselves. And that will never happen as long as we punish an entire people for the outrageous acts of a few. In my view, both sides need to do real teshuva--repentance for the terrible cruelty and pain each has unnecessarily inflicted on the other. But in the actual reality of Israel's far superior military power, it must be the more powerful force that starts this process without demanding that it be reassured from the start that the other side will reciprocate. If the Jewish people were to not only end the Occupation and provide reparations, but also do it in a way that demonstrated real repentance, and we kept up an attitude of generosity and open-heartedness for many years, the justifiable Palestinian rage would eventually melt enough so that most Palestinians would be willing to stop, villify, and imprison those (and there are certain to be some) who will want to keep up violence no matter what Israel does. This is the only way to isolate the fundamentalists--every other approach guarantees their survival and future acts of terror. Bush's vague promises of a state without territory, and without protection from further Israeli incursions, and conditional on overthrowing Arafat and stopping all violence, is a non-starter ­except perhaps as a temporary respite of pressure from the Saudis who may use the Bush speech as a pretext to claim that the US has demonstrated good intentions, and therefore deserves the go-ahead for USâ??s desired war against Iraq. But for those of us who want peace and reconciliation in the Middle East, George Bush never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. All the more reason why we need to build a social movement capable of pushing US policy in a different direction. We call it The Tikkun Community--and our goal is to be is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine, a movement that calls for both a new social policy and a new spirit of compassion and generosity. Here is a first step--take the resolution below and get it endorsed by the local chapter of whatever political party you are part of (Democrats, Greens--and don't be so sure that you won't find some responsive voices even among Republicans), by local unions and churches and synagogues and mosques and ashrams, by social change groups involved in peace, justice, civil liberties, and human rights work, by civic organizations and neighborhood associations, by prominent and respected local personalities and educators, and by people seeking elected office (let them know if they want your vote in November that you want them to sign on to this or some version that raises these points that you yourself construct in accord with what you think will work in your locale)--and finally try to get locally elected officials to pass it as a resolution in your local city council or county supervisors or state legislature (or, if they won't, try to collect signatures to put this on the local ballot for a direct vote--it will be a wonderful way to create a local conversation that is really needed): City Council or Board of Supervisors Resolution: Whereas we recognize the humanity and fundamental decency of both the Israeli and Palestinian people, and wish to see them living in peace with each other, side by side in a safe Israel and a safe Palestine, And Whereas we abhor acts of terror and violence against Israeli civilians, and reject the notion that these attacks on civilians can ever be justified (no matter how justified the anger at the Occupation), and whereas we abhor acts of terror and violence against Palestinian civilians, destruction of Palestinian homes, confiscation of Palestinian land and property, and other violations of their human rights, and whereas we reject any notion of moral quivalence because we see each act of terror and violence as uniquely awful and a violation of the sanctity of human life, And Whereas we see all attempts to put the blame primarily on one side or the other of this conflict as yet another way to keep the conflict going and as fundamentally obscuring the way that both sides participate in co-creating the struggle, And Whereas the continuation of this conflict is destructive to the people of the Middle East, counter to the best interests and values of the United States, and might contribute to an increase in Anti-Semitism and anti-Arab sentiments both worldwide and in our own community, Be It HEREBY RESOLVED THAT THE CITY OF ________ SHALL: 1. Call upon its representatives in Congress to ask the U.S. government to support an international intervention (either through the UN or through some other appropriate multinational force) to separate the two sides, provide protection for each, and impose a settlement on both sides which includes: a. Return of Israel to its pre-67 borders, with minor border changes mutually agreed upon (including Israeli control of the Western Wall and Palestinian control of the Temple Mount) b. Creation of an economically and politically viable Palestinian state in all of the pre-67 West Bank and Gaza with small border changes mutually agreed upon, and with its capital in East Jerusalem c. An international fund to provide reparations for Palestinians and generous resettlement opportunities in the new Palestinian state d. Recognition of Israel by Arab states and peaceful relations with all surrounding Arab and Islamic states e. Sharing of the water and other resources of the area and joint ecological cooperation to preserve the ecological balance f. Security cooperation by both Israel and Palestine with international participation and supervision to empower both sides to take decisive action to curb extremist elements that seek to block a peaceful resolution by resorting to provocation or violence against the citizens and/or territory of the other g. International guarantees of the military safety and security of Israel and Palestine, either through inclusion in NATO, a bilateral mutual defense agreement with the U.S., or some similar arrangement guaranteed to protect Israel and Palestine from other states which may have hostile intention 2. Assist in the collection of voluntary contributions from the citizens of This City and those who study or work here funds to be allocated to non-profit organizations for the following purposes: a. to provide aid for families of victims of terror, violence and military actions in both Israel and Palestine b. to create an office of Middle East Peace in Washington D.C. which will provide public education to our elected representatives in support of peace in the Middle East consistent with the ideas in this proposition. The Office of Middle East Peace will be administered by and responsible to the City. c. To provide education to our own citizens about the complexities of the Middle East situation, education which reflects the perspectives of those who are committed to points 1 a-g above. Organizations receiving these funds shall prove that they genuinely support the right of the Jewish people to their own homeland in Israel, and genuinely support the right of the Palestinian people to their own homeland in the West Bank and Gaza, reject violence as a means to achieve ends (including both Palestinian violence and Israeli violence) and demonstrate that they will clearly and unambiguously include this kind of even-handedness as well as support for an end to the Occupation in their public and educational activitivities. Would you like to become active with The Tikkun Community--and get these ideas better known? We have a training for activists--July 4-7 in Northern California and at Omega Institute in the Catskills Aug. 12-16 (more info: 415-575-1200 ask for Liat). We are creating a national network of students and faculty--The Tikkun Campus Network, with a founding meeting Oct. 11-14 in NYC. Ã?nd we are planning a major Teach-In to Congress April 27-29 in Washington, D.C. (we hope to bring people from every Congressional district). In the meantime, we hope that you will consider trying to get your local city council, or state legislature to introduce and pass the resolution above. Also, please check 2 parts of our website regularly: The daily critiques of media distortions, and the Calendar. They are both on the homepage, in the section for The TIKKUN Community, at www.tikkun.org . If you would, join our media critique group (info there at the website--or email Samantha: Ashreynu@aol.com Or would you like to form a local group? Contact Marisa: Marisa@tikkun.org -- Michael Lerner is editor of TIKKUN magazine, author of Jewish Renewal: A path to Healing and Transformation (Harper/Collins) and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in San Francisco. www.tikkun.org RabbiLerner@tikkun.org add your own comments ------------ KATHERINE HARRIS SAYS PALAST 'TWISTED AND MANIACAL' (english) Greg Palast 2:35pm Tue Jun 25 '02 (Modified on 7:39pm Tue Jun 25 '02) article#188213 Have I upset Kate? Darn. The Florida Secretary of State has sent me a heartfelt billet-doux in time for my birthday. Twisted and maniacal? I won't deny it. Most important, she doesn't say I was wrong: her office sent out lists of 57,700 voters - most of them black, almost all of them innocent, to remove from the voter rolls. Harris' letter, despite its berserker tone, is in fact an astonishing confession. Read it all in this month's Harper's Magazine, along with my reply. http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=167&row=0 KATHERINE HARRIS SAYS PALAST 'TWISTED AND MANIACAL' - in July Harper's Harper's Magazine Tuesday, June 25, 2002 Have I upset Kate? Darn. The Florida Secretary of State has sent me a heartfelt billet-doux in time for my birthday. Twisted and maniacal? I won't deny it. Most important, she doesn't say I was wrong: her office sent out lists of 57,700 voters - most of them black, almost all of them innocent, to remove from the voter rolls. Harris' letter, despite its berserker tone, is in fact an astonishing confession. Read it all in this month's Harper's Magazine, along with my reply. Ms Harris begins: â?¯Greg Palast's Annotation ["Ex-Con Game," March] distorts and misrepresents the events surrounding the 2000 presidential election in Florida in order to support his twisted and maniacally partisan conclusions. To the chagrin of responsible journalists everywhere, Palast's effort implodes under the slightest scrutiny, owing to his abject failure to check the accuracy of his facts.â?¯ Katherine Harris does not deny the central allegations of my Annotation: that her office ordered 57,700 Florida citizens be removed from the voter rolls, despite the knowledge that many, if not most, of these citizens were innocent of all crimes. Rather, she delegates the blame: state law forced her to hire a private firm that compiled this racially corrosive hit list. The Florida secretary of state may cite the law to the fourth decimal, but her interpretation of it-that her office was to provide county officials a list of "potentially ineligible voters"-is chilling. The law required that Harris's office provide a list "identifying" voters who had been convicted of a felony and that it contract with a private entity only to "meet its obligations" under the requirement. Maybe by "potentially" ineligible voters she means thousands like Thomas Cooper, whom her office lists as having been convicted of a felony in the year 2007. The documents amusingly labeled "Secret"-thank you, Ms. Harris; as a reporter I am well versed in the Sunshine Laws-indicate that payment to her contractor depended specifically on "manual verification using telephone calls." Despite numerous requests from Harper's Magazine and the BBC, Harris has never explained why the private firm was paid millions for this work that was not done. Harris's apocryphal claim that county officials asked to take over this expensive work counters both the correspondence in her files and my own conversations with the county election supervisors. Even if she wrongly took away the rights of innocent voters, Harris contends, mistakes on the voter rolls favored Al Gore. This odd defense is founded on her claim that, according to the Palm Beach Post, "thousands of felons voted." But the Post's conclusions were based on data used by Harris, with even sloppier methods of verification than hers. Because Harris's list was hopelessly flawed, some counties refused to remove voters from their rolls; therefore, thousands of her "ex-felons" did vote. After the 2000 election, Florida's attorney general promised to arrest any ineligible voter who had gone to the polls, a criminal offense in Florida. So far, the Harris and Post lists have produced, he says, fewer than half a dozen cases, out of thousands accused. The Annotation's most damning accusation, from the view of civil rights lawyers, is that the state purged ex-convicts who had their right to vote restored by other states. Rather than deny the charge, Harris claims that she was required to do so by a letter from Governor Jeb Bush's Office of Executive Clemency. Oops! Harris has just blown Jeb's alibi. His office, as I mention in the Annotation, assured me that no such letter exists. Indeed, Bush's office produced a letter dated February 23, 2001, with a position opposite Harris's. Regardless of where Harris seeks to shift the blame, her office clearly did wrong. The NAACP has filed suit over the voter purges uncovered by our BBC and Guardian reports. NAACP v Harris goes to trial in August. Katherine, if you've got an alibi for operating a Jim Crow election operation, tell it to the judge. Katherine Harris, cochairwoman of Florida's George W. Bush for President campaign and now candidate for Congress, accuses this London reporter of "partisanship." To that, one hardly knows how to respond. --- Katherine Harris Florida Secretary of State Tallahassee, Fla. A Florida Makeover Greg Palast's Annotation ["Ex-Con Game," March] distorts and misrepresents the events surrounding the 2000 presidential election in Florida in order to support his twisted and maniacally partisan conclusions. To the chagrin of responsible journalists everywhere, Palast's effort implodes under the slightest scrutiny, owing to his abject failure to check the accuracy of his facts. Palast erroneously claims that my predecessor and I "ordered 57,700 'ex-felons,' who are prohibited from voting by state law, to be removed from voter rolls," when in fact the Florida legislature, through Florida Statute Section 98.0975, mandated that we use a private firm to provide to Florida's 67 county supervisors of elections a list identifying potentially ineligible voters whose names remained on the voter-registration rolls. The legislature, not the Department of State, required county supervisors to remove the names of these persons from the voting rolls if they were unable to determine that this information was incorrect. Revealingly, Palast provides examples of persons whose names allegedly appeared on the list in error without mentioning whether these persons had been permitted, or even had attempted, to vote in the election. He claims that "Bush's win would certainly have been jeopardized had not some Floridians been barred from casting ballots at all" but neglects to mention that, according to a study conducted by the Palm Beach Post, "[t]housands of felons voted in the presidential election . . . [who] almost certainly influenced the . . . election" in favor of former vice president Al Gore. According to the Post, this estimated number of illegal voters far outnumbered the persons who allegedly could not vote because they were erroneously removed from the voter rolls. Showing the laughable depths to which he will stoop, Palast ominously notes that Florida's contract with DBT Online, a private company, was "marked 'Secret' and 'Confidential,'" neglecting to mention that 1) DBT, not the Department of State, requested this notation in an effort to prevent other companies from copying and selling the computer software used to generate the list, and 2) Florida's expansive public-records law would have prohibited us from making that contract "secret" even if we had tried to do so. Further, Palast contends that, "with the state's blessing, DBT did not call a single felon" without noting that we provided this "blessing" at the behest of Florida's county supervisors of elections, who wished to contact the persons on the list themselves, pursuant to their statutory responsibility. Palast even misrepresents two rulings of the Florida District Courts of Appeal as orders of the Florida Supreme Court, while ranting that these decisions prohibited Florida from removing any names of felons from the voting rolls whose civil rights had been restored automatically in another state. Before the 2000 election, the Department of State asked Florida's Office of Executive Clemency, which answered to Governor Jeb Bush and an executive cabinet that included Democratic attorney general Bob Butterworth and Democratic U.S. senator Bill Nelson, for its opinion on this matter. The Office of Executive Clemency issued a letter advising us that felons who had not received an order of clemency from another state must apply to have their civil rights restored in Florida before being eligible to vote. Florida's difficult experience in Election 2000 exposed flaws in the elections process that had festered across America for decades, since the political will to address these flaws had never existed. I am proud to have helped Florida become the nationally acclaimed leader in election reform since that time. Last year, the Florida legislature passed virtually all of my bills as part of its landmark Election Reform Act. This legislation placed the burden on the state to prove a person's ineligibility to vote before removing that person from the rolls, correcting the problem in the law that led to any erroneous removal of eligible voters before the 2000 election. In Florida we have moved aggressively to prevent such concerns from arising ever again. I regret that Greg Palast's political agenda does not permit him to acknowledge this simple fact. ### At http://www.GregPalast.com you can read and subscribe to Greg Palast's London Observer columns and view his reports for BBC Television's Newsnight. Pluto Press has just released Palast's book, "THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth about Globalization, Corporate Cons and High Finance Fraudsters." www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=167&... add your own comments Nader vote a worse crime in Democrat's eyes (english) democrat 3:14pm Tue Jun 25 '02 comment#188226 It appears that for most Democrats, voting for Nader was a worse crime than election  -fraud by Bush's brother Jeb and his Jeb's Secretary of State Harris, which Palast has basically proven. There should have been mass demonstrations in the streets throughout America by every Gore voter, and every voter period though of course there was no incentive. Everyone should have gone on strike and shut this country down until a full recount, with all voters fraudulently kept from the polls allowed to cast votes. This didn't happen, so even the minimal democracy we had is DEAD. Now we have Bush, who has killed the Bill of Rights DEAD. And Democrats, like at Media Whores Online, continue to rail against Ralph Nader. It's not too late. This information is actionable. But the Democrats would rather attack the Green Party. Clarification and more ranting (english) democrat 3:40pm Tue Jun 25 '02 comment#188231 I meant that Bush voter had no incentive to point out this fraud since their man won, but as Americans they should be just as concerned. Palast reported this story in the BBC immediately after the "election," and I think it appeared in Salon.com before the Supreme Court sealed the coup. Why didn't the Democratic Party make this an issue before the Supreme Court decreed a winner? This is NOT a partisan issue, for any Republicans out there. This is fraud, this is an election stolen, this is the end of democracy, or if you prefer, the end of the republic. Bush stole the election by denying citizens their right to vote. Gore did not only win the popular vote, he won the Electoral College. But Corporate Whores Online would prefer to attack Nader because he engages in dialogue with real conservatives, a strategy which by the way has helped both groups fight Channel One. Nader sees it as commercial exploitation, Phyllis Schlafely and Senator Shelby of Alabama see it as filth. What's the difference -- they work together and are effective at fighting Channel One. But back to my main point --- Bush stole the election and the Democratic Party and its owners DOES NOT CARE. Do you care? hahahahahahaha (english) gut busters 7:39pm Tue Jun 25 '02 comment#188267 Katherine and Mediawhoreonline hahahahahahah ----------------  188331 new-clear E-action harmoneutralizes nukes and lsd-ers, etc . . the wrong part of which polarity is prosecuted at the moment anyway so a refresh is badly needed. Alpha dominant crudity regressionazionally playacted to bless the forces but the fondle-mean-tool-leasts can't get their gentle ways to override 'm until .. after .. . one more effort ya programmarian ----- I got more but (slightly) less recent stuff here: on the google whack I was personally responsible for extinguishing once I prolonged it (populism promoter) from the first time I used it to the next indy hi-lite file for instance. -------------------- http://www.digitalnpq.org/ archive/1993_winter/polygot.html kohr Winter 1993 The Moon Over Maastricht Leopold Kohr - In 1941, Austrian-born economist Leopold Kohr wrote an iconoclastic essay in Commonweal entitled "Disunion Now: Plea for a Society Based Upon Small Autonomous Units." In that essay, he argued that European unity based on large-nation states would lead inevitably to domination by Germany, the largest state. Anticipating present-day objections to the Maastricht superstate, Kohr argued instead for the breakdown of Europe into ethnically-mixed city regions. Recently, he spoke to NPQ Senior Editor Marilyn Berlin Snell in London. The following is adapted from that conversation. Tottering amidst gales of popular doubt, the Maastricht Treaty will go down in history alongside the Tower of Babel. And for the same reason: Because the Lord, that is, the law of nature, is against it. Constructions on such a grand scale don't work. Wherever we look in the political universe, we find that successful social organism, be they empires, federations, states, counties, or cities, have in all their diversity of language and traditions one common feature: The small-cell pattern. The problem is not to grow but to stop growing; the answer: Not union but disunion. Pathagoras long ago said that man - not the nation, not the superstate - is the measure of all things. And man is small. Man is not "mankind." He is not even France of Germany, no less is he Europe. That is why the patching together of what remains of the Maastricht Treaty at the Edinburgh Summit in mid-December was a phyrric victory for the European leaders and technocrats who sill dream of a superstate. Their strength today lies in the unanimity of their error - and from Denmark to Switzerland it is waning with each referendum. It appears that in spite of having been submerged in great unitarian states for long periods and having been subjected to an unceasing battering of unifying propagandas, particularist sentiments still exits in undiminished strength. The European proponents of union have obviously failed to grasp this fact, or the fact that the real conflict of this age is no longer between races, classes, left vs. right, socialism vs. capitalism - all hangover consequences from the past. The real conflict of today is between man and mass, the individual and society, the citizen and the state, the big and the small community, between David and Goliath. As I predicted 50 years ago in an essay entitled "Disunion Now," the idea of European unity based on large nation-states will wither  before it can bloom. With every step toward further union, collapsed comes closer. After the razor-thin French endorsement of the Maastricht Treaty in September, former German foreign minister Hans Dietrich Genscher argued that "to stall now on European unity means regression." He is right. For its hubris, Europe has been subjected to the punishment of the gods: If the descendants of Jean Monnet don't continue to peddle the bicycle of European unification they will fall over. Yet the accommodation of modern European history with the laws of physics would be much easier. Stability could readily be achieved if the European bicycle had so many wheels that it could balance itself. It would not need to be steered from Brussels. To secure that kind of balance, however, the European bicycle must have small wheels of roughly equal size and strength. This is not theory but mathematics: With nations of different economic and political powers as its members, any federation will in its ultimate stage function as a mere instrument of its most powerful unit. This particular theory of power is not lost on the people of Europe, which is why they are so nervous about Germany's role. Clearly, if Europe insists on uniting under present circumstances - with Germany being far stronger economically than any other member state - the only "Europe" we will see will be a German one. As this eventuality looms nearer, I suspect that European disunion will begin anew. With the Maastricht Treaty in such trouble and with the whole world seized by the fever of dissolution, the idea of a united Europe seems distant indeed. What, then, is the answer? Two outstanding examples of successful federations are the United States and Switzerland, which have both thrived not because they have succeeded in cutting potential great-power regions into small sovereignties. In the U.S., for instance, there is no great Midwestern state weighing down on the independence of smaller states and paralyzing the effectiveness of the federal government. And in Switzerland we find not a federation of three nations, as is often assumed, but a union of 22 states - called cantons - whose very function is to destroy and disunite the nationalities in order to unit the whole. Political experts hold Switzerland up to the world as an example of the peaceful coexistence of some of the most diverse nations of earth. Actually, nothing is further from the truth. The percentages of Switzerland's three national groups are roughly: 70 percent German, 20 percent French and 10 percent Italian. If these were the basis of her famed union, the inevitable result would be the exercise of dominion of the large German-speaking bloc over the other two nationalities, which would then be degraded to the status of "minority." The rules of democracy would not impede but favor such a development, and the reason for the French-and-Italian-speaking communities would be gone. Instead, the greatness of the Swiss idea derives from the fact that it is a union of states, not of nations. There are populations of Bernese, Zurichois, Genevese, etc. and not Germans, French and Italians. The strength of this cantonal system lies in its culturally and ethnically mixed parts. The same idea could work in the rest of Europe. In fact, nothing would be easier than breaking Europe down into small regions. Unlike building a unifying edifice, there would be little natural resistance to this course, since small regions already exist. In Europe today we find not Germany but Bavaria and Saxony; not Great Britain, but Scotland and Ireland; not Spain but Pais Basqua and Catalonia; not Italy but Lombardy. These regions have not been obliterated by their fusion into modern nation-states. They retain the enchantment of their accents, customs and literature. A Europe of regions, it has been argued, will end up a Europe of perpetual war and petty nationalisms. Inevitably, there will be collisions. But without large-scale nation-states, the ravages of conflict will not amount to the wholesale genocide or holocaust we have seen this century. Creating waves in a bathtub doesn't wreck ships. As in all things, scale is the poison. What I envision for a workable European community is a plethora of small regional states that interact the way atoms do in nature. I adopt the analysis of the Nobel physicist Irvin Schredinger on why atoms must be small: In the first place, they are very numerous. Secondly they are constantly in motion. Thirdly, they are never governed by another atom. Because no one guides them, they constantly collide. If they were like large tanks, they would shatter themselves and the entire system. But because they are small, the myriad and random collisions are creative. It has been argued that though "small is beautiful" it can also be ugly. Recently, Yugoslavia is cited as a prime example of this potential. But I believe that the former parts of Yugoslavia are at war with each other today because they are still not small enough and the component parts are not yet of equal scale. The former Yugoslavia is still composed of unequally sized, ethnically based political communities dominated by the Serbs. Peace cannot come as long as the present scale of political organization maintains. There is no solution until further breakup occurs. Yugoslavia today is the political equivalent of a supernova, which explodes and ejects most of its accumulated excess mass. Whether in the former Yugoslavia or elsewhere in Europe the original units were not tribal. In fact, I believe that tribalism is the result unnatural unification rather than the cause of disunion. Before the nation-state capture Europe, there were smaller, sovereign centers of social existence, similar to today's Swiss cantons, and based upon a convivial scale of interaction. The regional centers of Padua, Florence, Siena and Pisa once were the sovereign shapers of the most supreme art, architecture and music on earth. They only became "provincialized" and lost their spirit when unified into larger entities. Such a model of sovereign centers, linked together in a federation, would best suit Europe in the next century. To achieve that end, not only must Germany be broken up, but, simultaneously, so must France, Spain and Italy. Europe's best hope is dismember itself politically and economically into subnational regions. The great tragedy of the 20 century - and we are still not out of the woods - has been the parochial mentality of the intolerant tribe organized on the large scale of the nation-state. When the final disillusionment with the Maastricht Treaty sets in it will be surely realized that it is the most naive of illusions to believe that a superstate is the antidote to the nationalism of its largest members. The hope of the 21st century must be based on another model altogether, a model that seeks the universality at the smallest scale; a model that recognizes that the fullness of existence is contained in the tiniest of spaces. The spirit of man doesn't require the vast expanse of an Alexanderplatz to reach the sublime. Legend has it that a little boy in one of the ancient Greek city-states asked his father, "Do other places have their own moon?" "Of course," his father replied. "Everyone has his own moon." It is better that way. And we might add that wisdom: We don't need the Single European Act, the European Monetary System or a common foreign policy to have our own moon. --------------------- http://www.digitalnpq.org/archive/ 1993_winter/moon.html eco Winter 1993 For a Polyglot Federation Umberto Eco - Author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco is without doubt the world's most famous semiologist. His comment here is adapted from an interview with his translator and friend, the writer Jean-Noel Schifano. A longer version of this interview appeared in Le Monde. The Quest for a Perfect Language in the History of European Culture is a subject containing a gargantuan utopia couple with a search for the Grail. It is gargantuan and Rabelaisian - a farfetched, extraordinary idea for a project. In order for all of it to be covered completely, 10 scholar should work for 20 years to produce 40 volumes. As it is, as I proceed into my third year of this project - even I, who collect ancient books - discover texts that are either completely unknown or were mentioned once by, let's say Leibniz, another time by someone else. What does this mean for Europe, which has constantly torn itself apart while dreaming of coming into being? It means that the history of Europe, traversed by breaks, wars, divisions and attempts to reestablish a Government, is continually accompanied by this quest, which is punctuated with possible political upheaval. Take Postel, for example, a man who dreamed of rediscovering the perfect original Hebrew that would make universal religious and political harmony possible under the King of France. Or take the Rosicrucians, who sought a magical language - one that would merge with the language of birds, the natural language of Jacob Bohme. Behind their quest, however, was also the search for universal peace, which was for them the peace between Catholics and Protestants. And under the Convention, there was the perfect republican language of Delormel for the laical harmony of the Enlightenment. This theme has always traversed European history. It is utopian - a search for Grail - and, therefore, doomed to failure. But - and this is the idea that interests me - though it is a search that fails in each of its attempts, it produces what the English call "collateral effects": the language of Lulle failed as a language of religious harmony but gave rise to all the combinatives, up to the word "computer." The language of Wilkins failed as a universal language but produced all the new classifications of the natural sciences. The language of Leibniz failed but produced the modern formal logic. So, in each failed effort to formulate the perfect language a small inheritance remains. Today, whether we are doing algebra or playing with the computer, we are, in effect, benefiting from some inheritance of the quest for a perfect language. It is even more fascinating for a linguist or semanticist, since, by studying the reasons why the perfect languages did not work we discover why the natural languages are what they are. The Search and Its Treasures Every search for the perfect language started by describing the defects of the natural language. For an example, we need only to look to Italy, where the language of Dante was born in response to the search for a perfect language. In the beginning, Dante discussed only the Language of Adam and its characteristics. He then made a truly marvelous decision: his own language would be the perfect language - the language he invented for poetic use - which then became Italian, and artificially national. While English was born imperfect but evolved as people reasoned for their own account, the Italian language has suffered from having been born of the project of a perfect language. Today Italy endures its language, which was and has remained a laboratory language. Since Italy is not a unified nation, Italian has never become the language spoken by everyone, though it remains the language of writers - and of television. Indeed, the Italian language had its standard unification relatively recently, with television. Let us not forget that no more than 100 years ago Victor-Emmanuel, who unified Italy after the battle of San Martino, said to his officers: "Today we have given the Austrians a good thrashing." He said it in French, because he spoke French with his wife and his officers, in dialect with his soldiers, and perhaps in Italian with Garibaldi. Degeneration of Language I share the feelings of those who think that a language, as a living organism, always manages to enrich itself and survive, to resist all "barbarization," to product poems, etc. It is obvious that in New York, where there are Puerto Ricans, Indians, Pakistanis, etc., the mix of people imposes a simple language on the rest of the community: 2,000 of 3,000 words, with easy constructions. But I am not like those who become shocked when the new generations speak their standard jargon. Language is strong: it always has the upper hand. What is left, however, is what socio-linguists have called the social division of languages. Obviously, a university professor has a richer language than a taxi driver. Richelieu had a richer language than his peasants. The social division of language has always existed, but that statement of fact does not involve the notion of degeneration-enrichment. English is unquestionably the language with the richest lexicon, and by virtue of the social division of languages, the taxi driver knows only a very small portion of this vocabulary. However, the richness of the English language is not in question: it survives through literature. Therefore, I do not think that a technological revolution can silence a language. Look at Europe: Just 20 years ago, people were inclined to think that four or five basic languages could suffice for the European people. What we have seen, after the crumbling of the Soviet Empire, is a multiplication of regional languages: in ex-Yugoslavia, in the ex-Soviet Union. And these trends give strength to other minority languages such as Basque, Catalan, Breton. Europe does not "melt" like the U.S., and so must therefore find a political unity above the linguistic divide. The challenge for Europe is that of going toward multilingualism; we must place our hope in a polyglot Europe. The challenge for Europe is finding political unity through polyglotism. Even if the decision is made to speak Esperanto at the European Parliament and in the airports polyglotism will be the true unity of Europe. Europe must take Switzerland and not Italy - with its diversity of dialects and traditions, but a national language - as its model. Europe must remain a multilinguistic community. Polyglot or Mismash? If one looks at what is happening in American universities, where studying Shakespeare is being advised against in order to study African or Indian culture, one sees a science fiction future in which Hemingway could be Menandre. But I am insistent about there being a quality, a force in Europe, which keeps us from falling into such a naïvete. In Paris, Western civilizations may also be studied. One can picture a high school in which the history of France is studied at the same time as the history of the African people. Europe is not ingenuous enough to say: let us throw Shakespeare out so we can dive into the Hindu religions. Because of this, the possibility that a Válery will become a Menandre in Europe is less than in America. In order for Menandre to have become Menandre, his language had to die at a precise moment. Therefore, before the living languages of Europe become dead languages, with the capacity they have of rejuvenating themselves, there would really have to be a tragedy on a planetary scale, which would cause the western countries to fall into total ruin. And this is unlikely. The worldwide circulation of information makes it much more difficult for there to be the danger that one day Notre Dame will be regarded like the statues on Easter Island. Separate but Unitary In 1943, Alberto Savinio wrote, "The concept of nation was originally an expansive concept and therefore active and fertile. As such, it inspired and formed the nations of Europe, in the middle of which we were born and have lived until now. This concept has since lost its expansive qualities and has now assumed restrictive qualities." I share this unitary and European vision with Savinio. It is very improbably that in France today someone like Richelieu would intend that all of Europe speak French or that a Kaiser, someone like Frederick II, would want all of Europe to speak German. Unfortunately, the French in the North, who fear that European unity will erase national identity, do not realize that Richelieu built the French nation but he did not keep someone from Marseille from feeling deeply Marseillas - with all his meridional traditions, his culture and even his pronunciation and dialect. In Italy, it is possible for the idea of nation to coexist with tradition. For instance, I feel intimately Piedmontese and believe that someone else living in Sicily feels deeply Napolitan. One must not think that Europe can be conceived without the expansive concept of nation. The European Union exists precisely to keep us from thinking of a German Europe or a French Europe. Nonetheless, the nation remains a deep element of identity. The problem with this element of identity is that it must merge into the multilinguistic perspective, into a Europe or polyglots. Europe must become a land of translators - people who have a deep respect for the original text and a deep love of their language of origin, but who also seek to build an equivalent. Such is the concept of Europe. Through translation, our language is enriched in order to understand itself better. A Europe in which the franc and the mark no longer exist but the Ecu does is alright with me. But it must also be a Europe in which, when you are in Paris, you are in Paris; and when you are in Berlin, you are in Berlin! In these cities we must be able to feel two deeply different civilizations that make themselves understood and loved. A Modern Home for the Tower of Babel Between the 18th and 19th century, the myth of the Tower of Babel became a symbol of progress, of tomorrows that sing. There is no longer the fear of a tower reaching as high as God, out of defiance or pride. In the beginning Babel was a sin; it has become a virtue in the modern world. In fact, someone is planning to build a "never-ending tower" - a Tower of Babel - in the La Defense section of Paris. But the modern world has already made its decision to construct a tower of Babel: the space shuttle. The modern world has constructed the Tower of Babel by going to the Moon and by seeking to understand what is happening at the furthermost bounds of the universe. Under these circumstances, Paris' current wish for a tower may be nothing but an archaic metaphor. --------------------------- http://www.theatlantic.com/  issues/2002/07/hitchens.htm A Capitalist Primer Upton Sinclair's realism got the better of his socialism by Christopher Hitchens ..... The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, introduction by Jane Jacobs Random House/Modern Library, 382 pages, $9.95 robably no two words in our language are now more calculated to shrivel the sensitive nostril than "socialist realism." Taken together, they evoke the tractor opera, the granite-jawed proletarian sculpture, the cultural and literary standards of Commissar Zhdanov, and the bone-deep weariness that is paradoxically produced by ceaseless uplift and exhortation. Yet these words used to have an authentic meaning, which was also directly related to "social" realism. And the most fully realized instance of the genre, more telling and more moving than even the works of Dickens and Zola, was composed in these United States. Like Dickens and Zola, Upton Sinclair was in many ways a journalist. His greatest novel was originally commissioned as a serial, for the popular socialist paper Appeal to Reason, which was published (this now seems somehow improbable) in Kansas. An advance of $500 sent Sinclair to Chicago in 1904, there to make radical fiction out of brute reality. The city was then the great maw of American capitalism. That is to say, it took resources and raw materials from everywhere and converted them into money at an unprecedented rate. Hogs and steers, coal and iron, were transmuted into multifarious products by new and ruthless means. The Chicago system created almost every imaginable kind of goods. But the main thing it consumed was people. Upton Sinclair tried to elucidate and illuminate the ways in which commodities deposed, and controlled, human beings. His novel is the most successful attempt ever made to fictionalize the central passages of Marx's Das Kapital. The influence of Dickens can be felt in two ways. First, we are introduced to a family of naive but decent Lithuanian immigrants, sentimentally portrayed at a wedding feast where high hopes and good cheer provide some protection against the cruelty of quotidian life. There are lavishly spread tables, vital minor characters, and fiddle music. Second, we see these natural and spontaneous people being steadily reduced, as in Hard Times, by crass utilitarian calculation. They dwell in a place named Packingtown, and "steadily reduced" is a euphemism. The extended family of the stolid Jurgis is exposed to every variety of misery and exploitation, and discovers slowly—necessarily slowly—that the odds are so arranged that no honest person can ever hope to win. The landlord, the saloonkeeper, the foreman, the shopkeeper, the ward heeler, all are leagued against the gullible toiler in such a way that he can scarcely find time to imagine what his actual employer or boss might be getting away with. To this accumulation of adversity Jurgis invariably responds with the mantra "I will work harder." This is exactly what the innocent cart horse Boxer later says as he wears out his muscles on the cynical futilities of Animal Farm. Orwell was an admirer of Sinclair's work, and wrote in praise of The Jungle in 1940, but Sinclair may have been depressed to see his main character redeployed in the service of allegory. Sinclair's realism, indeed, got in the way of his socialism, in more than one fashion. His intention was to direct the conscience of America to the inhuman conditions in which immigrant labor was put to work. However, so graphic and detailed were his depictions of the filthy way in which food was produced that his book sparked a revolution among consumers instead (and led at some remove to the passage of the Food and Drugs Act and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906). He wryly said of this unintended consequence that he had aimed for the public's heart but had instead hit its stomach. There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it. It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rats. These rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poisoned bread out for them; they would die, and then rats, bread, and meat would go into the hoppers together. This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat would be shovelled into carts, and the man who did the shovelling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one—there were things that went into the sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat was a tidbit. To this Sinclair added well-researched observations about the adulteration of food with chemicals and coloring. He also spared a thought, as did many of his later readers, for the animals themselves, especially (and ironically, in view of Animal Farm) for the pigs. At the head there was a great iron wheel, about twenty feet in circumference, with rings here and there along its edge. Upon both sides of this wheel was a narrow space, into which came the hogs ... [Men] had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his feet and borne aloft. At the same instant the ear was assailed by a most terrifying shriek ... And meantime another [hog] was swung up, and then another, and another, until there was a double line of them, each dangling by a foot and kicking in frenzy—and squealing ... It was too much for some of the visitors—the men would look at each other, laughing nervously, and the women would stand with hands clenched, and the blood rushing to their faces, and the tears starting in their eyes. Meantime, heedless of all these things, the men upon the floor were going about their work. Neither squeals of hogs nor tears of visitors made any difference to them; one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one with a swift stroke they slit their throats. Again, the demands of verisimilitude have a tendency to work against the recruitment of any sympathy for the calloused and even brutalized laborer. Sinclair's title, The Jungle, along with indirectly evoking the ideology of Thomas Hobbes, inverts anthropomorphism by making men into brutes. In her rather deft introduction Jane Jacobs dwells on the passage above and on the sinister implications of machine civilization without registering what to me seems an obvious point: Sinclair was unconsciously prefiguring the industrialization of the mass slaughter of human beings—the principle of the abattoir applied to politics and society by the degraded experimenters of the assembly line. Eugene Debs, the great Socialist Party leader and orator of that period, announced that his ambition was to be "the John Brown of the wage slaves." This noble hyperbole was not all that much of an exaggeration: the lower orders in Chicago may have come voluntarily, to escape a Russian or a Polish house of bondage, rather than being brought by force from Africa to a house of bondage; but once here they were given only enough to keep them alive until their bodies wore out. Their children were exploited too, and their womenfolk were sexually vulnerable to the overseers. Indeed, the most wrenching section of the book comes in the middle, when Jurgis discovers that his wife has been preyed upon, under threat of dismissal, by a foreman. Not following the socialist script in the least, he sacrifices self-interest for pride and pounds the foreman to a pulp. By this means he swiftly discovers what side the courts and the cops and the laws are on, and is made to plumb new depths of degradation in prison. Among other humiliations, he stinks incurably from the materials of the plant, and offends even his fellow inmates. (We are not spared another Dickensian moment when he realizes that he has been jailed for the Christmas holidays and is overwhelmed by childhood memories.) Sinclair interrupts himself at this point to quote without attribution from The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Oscar Wilde was not long dead in 1905), and it seems a sure thing that Sinclair would have read The Soul of Man Under Socialism, the most brilliant line of which says that it is capitalism that lays upon men "the sordid necessity of living for others." Robert Tressell's novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914) is the only rival to The Jungle in its combination of realism with didacticism and its willingness to impose a bit of theory on the readership. In both "proletarian" novels the weapon often deployed is satire: the workers are too dumb, and too grateful for their jobs, to consider the notions that might emancipate them. Jurgis had no sympathy with such ideas as this—he could do the work himself, and so could the rest of them, he declared, if they were good for anything. If they couldn't do it, let them go somewhere else. Jurgis had not studied the books, and he would not have known how to pronounce "laissez-faire"; but he had been round the world enough to know that a man has to shift for himself in it, and that if he gets the worst of it, there is nobody to listen to him holler. But gradually, after being for so long the anvil and not the hammer, he awakes from his bovine stupor and comes to understand that he has striven only to enrich others. The book ends with the soaring notes of a socialist tribune of the people, and the triumphant yell—thrice repeated—"Chicago will be ours." Before this happy ending, however, there is a passage that I am surprised Jane Jacobs does not discuss. A bitter strike is in progress in the stockyards, and gangs of scabs are being mobilized. They are from the South, and they are different. Indeed, the reader is introduced to "young white girls from the country rubbing elbows with big buck negroes with daggers in their boots, while rows of woolly heads peered down from every window of the surrounding factories." The ancestors of these black people had been savages in Africa; and since then they had been chattel slaves, or had been held down by a community ruled by the traditions of slavery. Now for the first time they were free, free to gratify every passion, free to wreck themselves ... This is no slip of the pen on Sinclair's part. He elsewhere refers to "a throng of stupid black negroes," a phrasing that convicts him of pleonasm as well as of racism. It is often forgotten that the early American labor movement preached a sort of "white socialism" and—though Debs himself didn't subscribe to it—that this sadly qualified its larger claim to be the liberator of the wage slaves. The final way in which Sinclair's realism got the better of his socialism is this: like Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto, he couldn't help being exceedingly impressed by the dynamic, innovative, and productive energy of capitalism: No tiniest particle of organic matter was wasted in Durham's. Out of the horns of the cattle they made combs, buttons, hair-pins, and imitation ivory; out of the shin bones and other big bones they cut knife and tooth-brush handles, and mouthpieces for pipes; out of the hoofs they cut hair-pins and buttons, before they made the rest into glue. From such things as feet, knuckles, hide clippings, and sinews came such strange and unlikely products as gelatin, isinglass, and phosphorus, bone-black, shoe-blacking, and bone oil. They had curled-hair works for the cattle-tails, and a "wool-pullery" for the sheep-skins; they made pepsin from the stomachs of the pigs, and albumen from the blood, and violin strings from the ill-smelling entrails. When there was nothing else to be done with a thing, they first put it into a tank and got out of it all the tallow and grease, and then they made it into fertilizer. This account of the magnificent profusion that results from the assembly line and the division of labor is so awe-inspiring that Sinclair seems impelled to follow it almost at once with a correct and ironic discourse on the nature of monopoly and oligopoly: "So guileless was he, and ignorant of the nature of business, that he did not even realize that he had become an employee of Brown's, and that Brown and Durham were supposed by all the world to be deadly rivals—were even required to be deadly rivals by the law of the land, and ordered to try to ruin each other under penalty of fine and imprisonment!" From the archives: "How to Make the Country's Most Dangerous Job Safer" (January 2002) The power lies with one hamburger vendor. By Eric Schlosser From Atlantic Unbound: Interviews: "Unhappy Meals" (December 14, 2000) Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, takes an unflinching look at "the dark side of the all-American meal." Thus, though it lives on many a veteran's bookshelf as a stirring monument to the grandeur of the American socialist and labor movements, The Jungle may also be read today as a primer on the versatility of the capitalist system. But not all its "morals" belong to the past. The anti-Jungle ethos lived on, in a subterranean fashion, through the League for Industrial Democracy, founded by Sinclair and Jack London. (Its junior branch, the Student League for Industrial Democracy, survived long enough to provide the auspices for the first meeting of Students for a Democratic Society.) In Eric Schlosser's best seller Fast Food Nation (2001) the values and practices of the slaughterhouse system were revisited. Most of the reviews, rather predictably, concentrated on the shock effect of Schlosser's intimate—almost intestinal—depiction of "hamburger" ingredients. But Schlosser also spent a great deal of time with those whose lives are lived at the point of production. Recruited, often illegally, from the Central American isthmus rather than the Baltic littoral, these workers are sucked into cutting machines, poisoned by chemicals, and made wretched by a pervasive stench that won't wash off. Their wages are low, their hours long, their conditions arduous, and their job security nonexistent. The many women among them are considered bounty by lascivious supervisors, who sometimes dangle the prospect of green cards or safer jobs, and sometimes don't bother even to do that. The health-and-safety inspectors are about as vigilant and incorruptible as they were a century ago. The main difference is that these plants are usually located in remote areas or rural states, so the consolations of urban and communal solidarity are less available to the atomized work force than they were to Jurgis and his peers. This nonfiction work is also a blow to the national gut; but if properly read, it might succeed where The Jungle failed, and bring our stomachs and our hearts—and even our brains—into a better alignment. What do you think? Discuss this article in Post & Riposte. Christopher Hitchens writes for Vanity Fair and The Nation, and is the author of Unacknowledged Legislation: Writers in the Public Sphere (2000) and The Trial of Henry Kissinger (2001). His review essay on recent books about Winston Churchill was The Atlantic's cover story for April. --------------------