Great interview with Richard Perle on the Daily Show last night

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This was a great interview last night. As soon as I heard he was coming on all I could think was “Oh my… this will be interesting.” An ultra-conservative guy who has been one of the main architects of the Bush administrations blundering foreign policy on a very liberal comedy show. This is a recipe for success!

Anyways, at the end I felt kind of unsatisfied. Not because the interview wasn’t great, but because I would have loved to see Jon have a real debate with this guy. In that sense, the Daily Show format is sort of limiting because Jon has to keep it funny. Several times during the interview Jon hit him with some very serious topic, but then had to throw in a joke to keep it light.

Hopefully they will post this interview on http://www.comedycentral.com/dailyshow

Section of Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional

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A part of the patriot act was ruled unconstitutional essentially because it was too vague and conflicted with the rights to free speech and association.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/01/27/1555205
http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/01/27/patriot.act/

The interview in the Democracy Now article mentions that the “Library provision” of the patriot act is currently being challenged in a case in Detroit. The library provision says the government can request records from any business entity on any person just by saying it’s related to national security, as well as placing the providers of the information under a gag order.

Canada’s press not as free as we thought

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The RCMP recently raided a journalists home supposedly in the name of “national security.” They tailed her for weeks beforehand. The assumed reason for the raid is that the journalist was investigating some irregularities in the deportation of a man named Maher Arar; specifically some involvement by the RCMP. The RCMP may have been looking for her sources to “plug the leak.”

http://www.canada.com/ottawa/ottawacitizen/soundoff/story.html?id=48d78d0b-e941-4eb2-9d20-2058c6f18c56

Warning: Northwest airlines shares personal information

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Northwest airlines has admitted to sharing the personal information of it’s passengers with government agencies. I’ve never flown Northwest, but I sure won’t now.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26037-2004Jan17.html

A recount of the leadup to war from an insider

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An article written by Senator Kennedy recounting the events leading up to the war. Some interesting details from someone inside the process.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23717-2004Jan16.html

The UK “Whistleblower” case about to start

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I don’t know how much this was covered in the mainstream media when it first came up, but this is the case of the British woman who “blew the whistle” on the US spying on UN delegates.

What really suprises me is the fact that the story being most widely reported here is that this woman is being charged with a criminal act rather than the US doing something blatantly illegal. I guess everyone knows the US (and many other countries) uses spies, but on other delegates at the UN? Spying for your country’s protection is one thing, but doing it for political gain and positioning is another. Have we gotten so conditioned to these dark dealings that no one cares anymore? Why has the media not jumped all over them for this?

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,1125812,00.html

Top ten drug war stories of 2003

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Interesting article showing the realities of the war on drugs. The most interesting bit is that 71% of all drug-related deaths were caused by alcohol and 26% were caused by tobacco. That leaves 3% for the currently illegal drugs. Does this suggest we should be focusing our attention in other places? Of course not, because there are already lots of large corporations making tons of money off of the legal drugs… don’t be silly…

http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17515

US planned to invade middle east in 1973

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According to recently released documents by the British government the US had plans to invade parts of the Middle East to secure oil during the 1973 oil embargo. Seems that preemption isn’t necessarily a new thing…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/3333995.stm

Bush’s version of free speech

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Article about how Bush “sanitizes” an area of possible dissentors before making an appearance. Would the messages that conflict with his own just confuse him? If only that were true…

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/01/04/INGPQ40MB81.DTL

Bush’s changes to Clean Air Act blocked

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Good job. Kind of ironic when 12 states have to sue the EPA (where the P stands for Protection) to be more protective.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/122803G.shtml