Adam Howard is the former Assistant Web Editor of The Nation and currently the News Editor of The Grio.
You would think that V for Vendetta, a movie jam-packed with post-9/11 themes, deserved a serious response. Instead, some of the most prominent media outlets have chosen to insult anyone who might believe the film worthy of debate.
The New York Times' review opened with the line: "Thumb-suckers of the world unite." It concluded by wondering how anyone over the age of fourteen could find the movie subversive. David Denby in the New Yorker speculated that the movie would mainly appeal to "aging kids."
This infantilizing line of attack is sadly nothing new.
The largest mobilization in the history of--and in favor of--immigrants stretched for a mind-boggling twenty-six blocks through downtown Los Angeles Saturday, bringing somewhere between a half-million and a million people into the streets.
Politicians, police and even organizers of the pro-immigrant rally were amazed by the massive turnout--five to ten times bigger than the still-talked-about 1994 rally against Prop 187--and surely the biggest political demonstration in LA history.
Labor, religious and civil rights groups worked for months to put this event together, but no one expected such a massive outpouring. "We're just blown away," one union organizer told The Nation. "This thing just snowballed on its own and became humongous."
To paraphrase that great line from Bogie: I remember the night of March 24, 1976 like yesterday. My wife was wearing blue. The Argentine military was in gray.
Exactly thirty years ago this weekend, the Argentine military seized power and installed a regime whose dimensions of barbarity overshadowed those of all other Latin American dictatorships: 30,000 dead or disappeared; massive torture; the stealing, bartering and selling of the children of the victims.
Living in Buenos Aires at the time,I had a front row seat to this sad spectacle as well as my own terrifying brush with the death squads. I recount those experiences here.
The rhetorical war over immigration has suddenly become a ground war in Southern California. While some towns in conservative Orange County are now encouraging their local police to roust the undocumented, one small city in Los Angeles County has taken the opposite tack.
The city council of Maywood, more than 95% Latino and with a population of 45,000, has vowed to declare itself a "sanctuary city" for undocumented immigrants. And the council majority, which took power a few months ago, is going way beyond symbolism.
The city has dismantled its traffic division and changed the laws for towing and impounding cars. What's that got to do with illegal aliens? Plenty, it turns out. Under the previous city administration, the city was apparently feeding off of large fines and vehicle impounds imposed on the undocumented who got snared in Maywood's often ubiquitous ‘sobriety checkpoints' – in reality an organized shakedown operation run out of City Hall.
There is not a lot of debate anymore about the fact that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is the loosest cannon in the arsenal. Consider his claim, made in a Sunday oped piece in the Washington Post that, "Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis."
So who agrees with the Don's attempt at analogy?
Er, well, no one -- at least, no one in their right mind.