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With all the words laundered over the Jayson Blair affair, why is my
soul still disquieted? Why do I feel even further from the truth than on
the day the journalistic fraud was first revealed?

Under cover of darkness in the early morning hours of March 18, Qusay
Saddam Hussein carted off nearly $1 billion in hard currency from Iraq's
central bank.

The early-bird presidential campaign is under way among Democrats with
the usual characteristics.


BARDS OF BAGHDAD

New York City

"Our job is to make sure that the labor movement talks about how the militarization of US foreign policy hurts workers at home."

I agree that if the Dems want to win in 2004, they have to lay out a principled and pragmatic alternative to Bush's failed national security policies. But it's crazy to argue, as Democratic party strategists Donna Brazile and Timothy Bergreen did in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, "What Would Scoop Do?" that we "need to return to the muscular national security principles" exemplified by Henry "Scoop" Jackson, the conservative Democratic Senator who represented Washington State from 1940-1982.

Why should Dems take their lead from a former Senator whom bellicose neocons like Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams and Douglas Feith consider their intellectual godfather?

Before mindlessly invoking Scoop Jackson as a model, consider what the late (and great) journalist Lars Erik-Nelson wrote about this hawkish ideologue in late 2000 for The New York Review of Books:

We don't know, says the Bush administration.

And we don't care, says the public.

That seems to sum up the matter of weapons of mass destruc...

"Birds of America," by Lorrie Moore

Radical cheerleaders. Must be a lefty fantasy, right? Nope. Cheerleaders may be wholesome symbols of America like apple pie, the flag and Bill Bennett (before May 2003.) But now cheerleading has gone political.

Instead of waxing poetic on behalf of the Oakland Raiders or the hometown Lakers or Clippers, a Los Angeles-based team called "Radical Teen Cheer" has been recently livening up political protests and rallies across Southern California. "We're teens, we're cute, we're radical to boot!" they chant. Another favorite: "Who trained, who trained bin Laden? Who armed, who armed Saddam Hussein?"

As the Guardian's Duncan Campbell reports, radical cheerleading teams--among them the Dirty Southern Belles in Memphis and the Rocky Mountain Rebels in Denver--are cropping up in dozens of US cities, twirling pom poms of protest for diverse causes from gay rights to anti-sweatshop organizing to calls for a humane US foreign-policy.

Shortly after the US conquered Baghdad, the US Defense Intelligence Agency distributed a now famous deck of cards bearing the images of "Iraq's Most Wanted." This hit list of top Iraqi officials became a pop-cultural phenomenon, as well as a critical crutch for the US press, which virtually never reports on newly captured Baathists these days without noting their appropriate card rank among the US deck of fifty-five.

Now the Ruckus Society, a nonviolent anarchist group based in Oakland, has matched and raised the Defense Department with its own "War Profiteer" playing cards featuring fifty-three individuals and institutions in the oil, military, government, and media sectors who supported and are now profiting from the US war on Iraq. Players include three of hearts Condoleezza Rice, king of diamonds George P. Schultz, ten of clubs Vince D. Coffman, CEO of Lockheed Martin, and "wildcard" President George W. Bush.

The decks are stylish, funny and replete with good, accurate information on exactly the sort of people who are currently most responsible for the corruption of our country. And, unlike the deck produced by the US military, the Ruckus Society's pack is widely available. So order a set today.

Co-written by Jonah Engle.

Truth has a way of asserting itself despite all attempts to obscure it. Distortion only serves to derail it for a time.

After weeks of searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, there's still no trace of the fearsome arsenal the Administration advertised. Back in the US, however, the Bush Administration is adding to our own stockpile of weapons of mass destruction by lifting a decade-old ban on research and testing of small nuclear weapons to allow for the development of "low yield" nukes for battlefield use.

The White House's Strangelovian nuclear policy signals a dramatic shift in US nuclear doctrine--one that undermines five decades of bipartisan efforts to delegitimize the use of nuclear weapons. What Senator Edward Kennedy called a "far-reaching and highly dangerous U-turn in our longstanding policy against the first use of nuclear weapons," was accelerated on May 20th when the Republican-controlled Senate turned back a Democratic effort to maintain the ban. "It's a one way street that can lead only to nuclear war," Kennedy warned.

If anyone needs evidence that the Administration's reckless policy is about to launch a new nuclear arms race, Russian President Vladimir Putin provided it on May 15th when he announced to the Russian Parliament his country will soon begin developing new nuclear weapons and low-yield nuclear devices of their own. His remark was met greeted by applause.

They're back now, but Texas's few living elected Democrats, who fled to
Oklahoma pursued by minions of the law, are said to remain unrepentant.
The proximate cause was a redistricting map, but

In the film from which there is no escape and no going back, The
Matrix
, the writer-director team of Andy and Larry Wachowski
presented a grim choice between truth and illusion.

Writing may be fighting, as Ishmael Reed famously opined, but most
writers know the difference. There are, of course, some who blur the
line.

In 1981 Carolyn Forché published a slim collection of verse, her
second, titled The Country Between Us.

From the mid to the late 1920s, the German painter Christian Schad
produced a group of paintings like little else in modern art.

The chief flaw of this plan is its failure to focus on the Israeli
occupation.

Rejectionists on both sides are trying to undermine the fledgling
initiative.

US drug firms make the choice clear: our outrageous profits or your
life.

If Americans have done their best to forget the war, so have the
Vietnamese.

Eight state legislators who are making a difference.

Sentient observers know that American state and local governments face a
historic crisis--that they are cutting vital services and raising taxes,
mainly on those already most stressed in diffic