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The Real 'Fake News'

I have heard of people who have a dartboard with Bill O'Reilly's face on it. The idea is that no matter what you hit, you can't miss. Fox bashing, Bill O'Reilly bashing is, at least in my eyes, less than honest because it misses the larger issue: Why do people in this country listen, watch, read and believe disinformation? Watching Fox and Bill is a choice, and millions make that choice every day.

It seems that the left knows it cannot tackle the bigger issue of what millions of people want to hear and see. Their response is to change Fox and, if possible, the WSJ. We are pursuing the same strategy with guns. But is it the right strategy? I do not think so. I am just as much annoyed as everyone, but I'd rather have disinformation we can monitor than disinformation we will hear about when it is too late.

Changing society from the top down seems like the best of all possible solutions. The last place that idea was given a try was in East Germany.

Hardy Rang

Somerville, NJ

May 1 2007 - 2:11pm

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

All this noise about headlines! A debate that allows a maximum presentation of one minute is the equivalent of making judgments on world affairs on the basis of a newspaper headline. That Obama failed to spell out his response to a possible military strike by Al Qaeda, or to exploit the issue of racism—all in the blink of an eyelid—is a reasonable criticism of the format, not of its participants.

Mr. Moser, as are we all, is appalled by the shallow performance of the media or talk-show pundits who, in effect, preach their wisdom in headlines and thoughtless sound-bites. Why he should now express reverence for (or at least, confidence in) those same non-informational tidbits of talk, making judgments on the quality or insights of candidates on the basis of what is thereby revealed, makes no sense. It is certainly not a substitute for careful thought and substantive analysis and should not be considered as such.

Robert Faber

Ann Arbor, Michigan

May 1 2007 - 1:04pm

The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts

Cockburn makes some pretty good points and one big mistake. Hundreds of video and audio clips from that day--real-time clips from sources as varied as CNN, NBC and Fox News--as well as firefighter radio transmissions that were until a few months ago classified make it clear that witnesses overwhelmingly agreed that explosions occurred throughout each of the Twin Towers, with particularly massive explosions errupting in the basements of each building. Stating the opposite seems odd and, quite frankly, given the amount of evidence, ludicrous.

Brent Igo

Tampa, FL

May 1 2007 - 12:35pm

A People's Democratic Platform

Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the people of the United States the highest standard of living in the world. We should expand upon his platforms.

1. Provide universal health care
2. Fund Social Security: The funds should only be used for the purpose of retirement and disability
3. Restore the Constitution fully
4. Repeal everything the Bush Administration put through, including laws, the Patriot Act and tax cuts for the richest people at the top of the monetary pyramid
5. Separate church and state
6. Provide real low-cost housing
7. Take proper steps to allow labor unions to flourish
8. Make elections clean and fair
9. Deal with corrupt politicians; investigate suspicious persons and jail them if necessary
10. Remove corporate welfare
11. Provide civil liberties to all citizens

David R.C. Elliott

Cedar Run , NJ

Apr 30 2007 - 9:02pm

Regrets Only

Thank you, Katha, for laying bare the whole ugly story of this Supreme Court decision. We are truly on the slippery road to a nightmare world where women’s lives are valued less than the microscopic cells of an embryo. The anti-woman right wing pretends they are the only ones with a moral stance. But many mainstream religions do value women’s lives. Judaism, for example, I believe maintains as a moral principle that an adult woman is valuable to her family and society, and if a fetus inside her attacks her health, a doctor has a moral duty to save the woman first. Her family would agree. And ordinary common sense tells us the same thing. I will send a donation to NYAAF as you suggest.

Nina Walls

Ridley Park, PA

Apr 30 2007 - 5:37pm

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

I understand your frustration with the Democrats at the debate, but I don't blame them alone. I blame all of us. We don't demand good leadership or care to take the time to find out exactly what that would be. Our interest is only piqued by silly tangential issues like "a bridge to nowhere" that was really to an airport and now a DC madame. If one of the viable candidates really said something that meant something, he or she'd be pilloried in the press with face merged into Osama's in millions of dollars worth of political advertisements and, worse yet, we'd be hearing all the nonsensical complaints parroted by our coworkers at the water cooler the next morning with no inquiry or research. We need to take responsibility for our democracy, not blame the candidates, who are only playing by the rules we set up for them by our ignorance and inaction.

Ellen Beth Gill

Chicago, IL

Apr 30 2007 - 2:22pm

The Establishment Rethinks Globalization

My initial reaction to this article is anger at a man who spent his career finding ways for IBM to reduce costs by offshoring jobs. Now all of a sudden he realizes it was maybe not the best thing to do? Where were those little stabs at his gut when IBM was paying him the bucks? Probably not very hard to bury those little doubts when your paycheck depends on it.

Working in the financial services industry, I see firsthand the exodus of any non-client interaction positions to India. Anything that is done via computer and network connection is a possible job export opportunity.

All the wrangling in Washington isn't going to stop the exodus, and certainly will do nothing to bring positions back. The only thing that a corporation will listen to is the shareholder--usually in the form of a vocal hedge-fund manager. (See recent news for ABN AMRO or Citigroup) If a major shareholder wants you to reduce costs by sending another 3000 jobs to India, that's what will be done.

The only thing we can do as citizens is to choose wisely how we spend our money, and who we choose to provide our services. Don't want to call India for tech support? Lose the 800 number and look up a local provider in the phone book. Don't want to support a multinational bank that has recently moved another 5000 jobs offshore? Pick a local bank or credit union, and ask where they have their back-office work done.

The bottom line is it will take a little effort, and cost a little more. The benefit? Your neighbor may keep his/her job. Someone will be making a living wage for their toils.

It's nice to hear some remorse and effort from Gomory, but let's face it. Too little too late.

Bob Lewis

Evergreen Park, IL

Apr 30 2007 - 9:03am

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

"There were no big, bold, genuinely progressive ideas at this moment of historic opportunity." I really expect better of The Nation than this kind of stupid article, especially after the Dubya years. Bob Moser completely missed the story!!

Yes, the Usual Suspects behaved in their usually suspicous ways. So we get the usual journalist drivel from Mr Moser. Editors, please instead why not report what else is new ? The story was obviously Mike Gravel. I can't believe you did not cover his remarkable truth-to-power presence. It's really disapppointing.

Anyway, please review the material and try again: Consider the relationship of his tax proposals to those of Henry George and the politics of that time. Consider the state of the nation during Vietnam War and Senator Gravel's role in that (hint: Pentagon Papers). Consider the Howard Beal factor on primetime Demoncratic [sic] TV.

Dsclaimer: I am not a staff member of Mike Gravel for President. I have no previous affiliation with Senator Gravel. Until the other night, I did not know him at all. Like many people I am amazed and absolutely delighted by what I heard from him that night and since (online)--so impressed I may even be printing T-shirts !

Jason Cunliffe

Moissac, France

Apr 29 2007 - 6:13pm

The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

I have read your article regarding the number of refugees flooding out of their homes. While most of the refugees that are getting attention are the people going to Syria and Jordan, we ignore how many families have to leave their cities as the war snakes thru the country impacting Iraqis that are refugees inside of Iraq.

Another big concern for me personally, as an American citizen, is how my country has the plan to split my Iraqi husband from me in order to send him back. Twenty years is the current ban on his return to our safe home here in Michigan. But as a wife, I will not let my country dictate my marriage. How can we deny political asylum and refugee status to Iraqis in the United States at the same time as we plan to assimilate refugees staying in Syria and Jordan? The plan looks like a show for the world to see how generous the United States is being about this situation. The truth is that these people are getting less than the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans...

We conveniently forget that for 30 years Iraqis have been sneaking out of their homeland away from Saddam's regime and reign of terror and making it to the United States, and suddenly our broken immigration laws are trying to send these same people back. How can you send an American womans husband into a war-torn country with nothing to claim in that country? But bring others over here?

We will never do the right thing by these people and for now we should consider ourselves lucky that they are still in "awe" of the USA.

Karen Sitto

Shelby Township, Michigan

Apr 29 2007 - 5:07pm

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

On the contrary, Mr. Moser, I think that the fact (as you say) that Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich don't have "consultants" is one of the best things about them. What have consultants done for our democracy? You complain about how bland the big money candidates seem, the ones with "consultants" and then bemoan the "fact" that Kuchnich and Gravel don't have them. After following American politics for almost 40 years and supporting candidates who looked good and said the right things I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't work. We just keep getting more of the same. I want someone who is clearly outside the consultants' grip and thinking. The thing that will hurt Kucinich and Gravel the most is if people like you discount their candidacy without even looking or listening to their ideas. They have great ideas and proposals for fixing this country. Really revolutionary stuff. Please, go to their websites and read, go to You Tube and look and listen. More of the same will only get us more of the same.

John Sanguinetti

Mt Shasta, CA

Apr 29 2007 - 2:36pm