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The biggest danger in the world, is not the average American who might be in favor of war in order to “liberate” another country. No, the biggest danger in this world is the education system that produced that American. Because it was that system, those schools, that curriculum, and those teachers, who gave that person the tools he would use to interpret the world around him, for the rest of his/her life. Sure, parental figures are important, but reality is, whoever your guardian, they’re probably working 1 or 2 jobs just to keep that roof over your head and the clothes on your back, etc. Your real education today, when its not coming from your loved ones, is coming at you from all sides when it comes to TV and school. And if that school doesn’t teach a person to ask questions, to ask how things work, to seek more information than that which is spoonfed to them, then that person may never learn to do so.

Never has this been more apparent than now. Tabloid newspapers publish embarassingly ignorant headlines depicting the French as the culture which America saved and died for which now turns their back on the United States. With a large photo of Normandy to boot. CBS’s Andy Rooney, who has already received piercing criticism from this journalist, in his old wise age, still has his own program on that network, where he presents news to the public, with his own commentary mixed in. This week Rooney decided to “englighten” the viewers about the French. This man who neither speaks French or has ever lived there longer than his tour of media duty in the 40’s, told millions of CBS watchers about how the French “Have no right to an opinion” because they “owe” the United States for having saved their country and defeated the Germans in WWII.

This same idea has been spreading like wildfire throughout the American media. Whats alarming is not that it’s spreading in a populist, racist, ill-informed, and attention seeking media environment. Rather, it is that so many Americans read this and it appeals to this sensitive memory or this national pride, it touches of some misplaced anger, and the result is poor humor like “Surrender like the French.” This is poor humor because it ignores the sufferring and starvation endured by France during the occupation, and it negates the enormous resistance movement and all those who died for it. It ignores that fact that untold millions of Russians and Germans had already died long before Normandy. It ignores how many millions of innocent Polish, Russians, Germans, Czechs, French, and British died before America finally decided to get involved.

Rooney has a right to his opinion. But once he gets in front of millions to put forth information, he then has a responsibility, to the public. If he presents one side of an arguement or opinion, he must present the otherside, otherwise he’s nothing but a propaganda producing would-be journalist. Furthermore, if he is indeed a journalist, then part of his job is to question public officials and government decisions.

It is not for the journalist or any media to promote or support the decision of elected officials, they have media people to do that for them. No, it’s the media’s role to keep them in check, to make sure their information isn’t full of holes and half-truths. But alas, that’s what a media is supposed to do, it hasn’t been doing that in America or several other countries for quite a long time. There’s a long overdue reform that the people must demand of the very media that seek their attention. Trouble is, if people aren’t educated properly, only schooled in “their” national history and never told the other side of the story, never shown the other truths that are out there, they’ll just keep eating the same spoon-fed government propaganda… and they’ll even say thank you.

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There’s something wonderful happenning in Brasil. Something wonderfully simple. Something unheard of in the world. A government based on heart. This government’s number one program – FOME ZERO… Translation from Portuguese to English: HUNGER ZERO. Meaning – this government intends to irradicate hunger in a country that is home to the richest people in latin america… that is.. the wealthiest one percent. While an unimaginable number go hungry daily and live in utter poverty. This government’s leader LULA! Everyday theres a news story of his cabinet. His minister of education, a university professor who is sick of the elitist and inaccessable higher ed system. The minister of environment, an native of the amazon.. the first ever black woman in government in Brasil… receiver of countless international awards from international aid organizations. Minister of culture: Samba-pop star Gilberto Gil! The other ministers are a collection of individuals who as Lula said, he chose for their “heart” not for their “connections.”

Critics will say “Itll never work.” or “He’ll ruin the country”. But really, you can’t break whats already broken. And when famine is one of your biggest national problems… your country is definately not working.

Sure it won’t be easy. Sure they’ll be problems. There may even be scandles. Many want to destroy this most wonderful and unparalleled project. But whatever may come, there can be no doubt, it’s the first government in Brazil and throughout the western hemisphere, to ever govern from the “heart” instead of from the stock-exchange!

Doctor in the House and Senate

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Senator Bill Frist, MD. That’s the new majority leader of the US senate. NYTimes and Washington Post are on all fours, singing his praises with articles entitled: “The Good Doctor” and “Is there a doctor in the house”… obviously these journalists have fallen asleep at the wheel as the drivers of free and independent press that criticizes in the public interest. Instead of referring to the major media’s articles, let us all refer to proper investigative journalism, which can be found at such media as: www.laweekly.com, www.salon.com, www.villagevoice.com . These investigations aren’t so warm and fuzzy with their coverage of the new leader. They are not busy shining his boots with their words of praise for the MD. Instead they refer to facts… facts that endanger the American public. These facts include:

Frist has voted against sex education, international family planning, emergency contraception [the morning-after pill], affirmative action, hate crimes legislation, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

The basis of the Frist family fortune is HCA Inc. (Hospital Corporation of America), the largest for-profit hospital chain in the country, which was founded by Frist?s father and brother.

In 1994, Frist ? who?d never bothered to vote before first running for the Senate that year ? spent some $3.4 million of his personal fortune to buy the seat from Tennessee (HCA?s headquarters) that he now occupies

Frist has used his influence to further HCA?s cause by stopping a strong patients? bill of rights, gridlocking a mandatory Medicare prescription-drug benefit, and promoting caps on damages for victims who sue negligent hospitals like HCA?s

The good Dr. Frist voted against patients? rights to sue their HMOs for failure to provide adequate treatment, and voted to give tax subsidies to HMOs and insurance companies to offer prescription drugs to seniors, rather than providing them through Medicare.

What does this mean? Obviously this is not just another dumb politician. This is a crook who represents a danger to the health and finances of every citizen. What should be done? Let him go the way of Mr. Segregation LOTT, mass protests demanding his resignation… he’d crumble instantly and resign to his millions. It worked only a few months ago, it would work again.

ESF Italy

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450,000 thousand people. That’s alot of people! Thats about half a million. Thats many many football stadiums put together. Over this past weekend, thats how many people marched through the streets of Florence, Italy for the first ever European Social Forum. A forum where people from any corner of the world, including europeans, could come and exchange ideas and strategies for combatting those organizations like the WTO, WEF, and the IMF who are not accountable to anyone and adopt plans that effect the lives of everyone. The conference lasted 5 days during which students, activists, and regular people from every continent participated in forums on subjects like political campaigns, sustainable development, environmental education, and organizing. It should also be mentioned that there were no major incidents of violence. No major injuries. No police attacked. No major property damage.

Here’s the big question: Was this Forum reported about in your major media? Did it make the evening news? Was it on the front page or the second page of the big newspaper? No? 450,000 people….. thats not enough to be seen as important?

Oh, but did you hear?…. they wanted to kidnap Posh Spice (something like that)… that made lots of newspapers.