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The State of the Union

There are 8.8 million people unemployed in the United States. Unemployment is measured annually as the percent of the labor force that cannot find a job. The labor force comprises adults who want to work. Uncounted are those who do not seek employment, or who have become discouraged enough to stop looking.
posted by The Jesse Helms on May 15, 2003 - 27 comments

Can I sue the aliens for my probe trauma? 'Cause I know they did it.

Judge, citing al-Qaida-Iraq link, awards $104 million to Sept. 11 families A judge ruled yesterday that lack of evidence should be no barrier to suing people who cannot be found. "The judge wrote that lawyers relied heavily on 'classically hearsay' evidence, including reports that a Sept. 11 hijacker met an Iraqi consul to Prague, Secretary of State Colin Powell's remarks to the United Nations about connections between Iraq and terrorism, and defectors' descriptions of the use of an Iraq camp to train terrorists." --This would hardly be the first documented example of a court being overtly political, but the judge himself has no problem commenting on how shoddy the case was. "The judge noted that the experts provided few actual facts that Iraq provided support to the terrorists." --Apparently, the judge had just been waiting for Saddam to cease to be a diplomatically immune head of state before ruling against him. Is the low standard of evidence needed for civil rulings allowing the courts to begin establishing something that the military and intelligence can't? [more inside]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on May 8, 2003 - 33 comments

Violence Against Women

Violence against women is one issue where the current administration aligns itself with the "axis of evil" and "known terrorist supporting countries." I suppose they might feel it's oo bad the Taliban doesn't still rule Afghanistan so they could have one more ally.

"For too long, the feminists have been pushing a radical, special-interest agenda under the erroneous mantra made rhetorical cliche by Hillary Clinton: 'Women's rights are human rights,'" writes Janice Crouse, an official of the conservative group Concerned Women for America and a member of the U.S. delegation. ...
The alliance isn't new - it took root when the Bush administration took over. But it is often unseen. The United States has frequently sided at the UN with countries such as Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Iran and Iraq - when it was still controlled by Saddam Hussein - in battles over language involving women and children's rights.

posted by nofundy on May 2, 2003 - 15 comments

Persian, U.S. blogospheres come together

Persian, Amercian blogospheres come together after an Iranian blogger, Sina Motallebi, was detained by Iranian regime. OJR's Mark Glaser has the story. BTW, sign the "Release Sina" petition if you haven't.
posted by hoder on May 1, 2003 - 5 comments

BBC chief attacks U.S. war coverage

BBC chief attacks U.S. war coverage The head of the BBC has launched a broadside against American broadcasters, accusing them of "unquestioning" coverage of the Iraq war and blatant patriotism.
posted by turbanhead on Apr 24, 2003 - 50 comments

Looking to the Lord for a Loan

10 Million Kids, 10 Years, 10 bucks Except that they ran out of money a little early. Hopefully, the Lord can spot them a few bucks.
posted by GernBlandston on Apr 6, 2003 - 33 comments

Then Leave!

Don't like the US? Then Leave! Somebody posted this to a newsgroup I read from time to time. Evidently, if you sign an agreement to leave the US for a year, you'll get a portion of what has been donated to the website (currently $53).
posted by synecdoche on Apr 1, 2003 - 38 comments

Blue on Blue Blues

"A cowboy who had gone out on a jolly" British soldiers talk about surviving friendly fire, and call for the US pilot who attacked them to be prosecuted for manslaughter.
posted by brettski on Mar 31, 2003 - 32 comments

U.S loses faith in Canada

U.S. loses faith in Canada "We would be there for Canada, part of our family. And that is why so many in the United States are disappointed and upset that Canada is not fully supporting us now," says Paul Cellucci, U.S. ambassador to Canada. As pro-US sentiments from prominent Canadian figures are harshly criticized while blatant (and rather tasteless) anti-US remarks go more or less ignored by the government, has the relationship with our longtime friends up north been irreversibly soured?
posted by swank6 on Mar 30, 2003 - 35 comments

WTO and Bush

The World Trade Organization ruled today that the steel tariffs imposed by President Bush last year were illegal. Today's ruling, which was not a surprise, was the second major loss for the United States at the W.T.O. in the last year. The trade panel awarded Europe the right to impose $4 billion worth of trade sanctions against the United States for giving tax breaks to American exporters through foreign sales corporations. Well, at least we are winnig the war...
posted by bureaustyle on Mar 26, 2003 - 22 comments

U.S.-German Rift Reaches Schoolyard Level

U.S.-German Rift Reaches Schoolyard Level "A Tennessee high school has called off an exchange with German students...The cancelation was another indication that the disagreement over Schroeder's anti-war stand is beginning to strain German-American friendship at its heart." [more inside]
posted by tippiedog on Mar 26, 2003 - 23 comments

Wanna bet?

Wanna bet we'll win the war? No, seriously: you can. Check it out yourself: Go here and click on "World Events" to see the odds for "The US Embassy in Pakistan Being Blown Up By A Nuclear Weapon" or "Date Line In Which Osama Bin Laden Will Be Consigned (Dead or Alive) To US Authorities." Ah, America.
posted by adrober on Mar 21, 2003 - 4 comments

Can the US can apply decisive force to change this outcome?

A new Pew Research poll confirms the obvious. In 2002 world opinion of the US was slipping but still fairly high (as discussed in this thread). Pew now reports that favorable opinion of the US abroad has taken a nose dive. Of course, correllation does not indicate causation, but certainly this is driven by current events. It remains to be seen if this is indicative of a long-term trend.
posted by moonbiter on Mar 19, 2003 - 9 comments

Speaking of gassing one's own people

Speaking of gassing one's own people: US Government admits it tested nerve gas (sarin and VX) on its own sailors (Project SHAD). This is in addition to the testing of LSD on civilians (MK Ultra), syphilis on 399 black Alabama men (Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment), radioactivity on American GI's (Operation Crossroads), and the secret testing of germ warfare tactics on American cities. It's really no surprise the US government rejected an international ban on biological weapons, and yet we personalize this imminent war with Iraq and claim the justification as the forced disarming of dangerous 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.
posted by letterneversent on Mar 17, 2003 - 53 comments

Blowback: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire plus War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era

Chalmers Johnson is an provocative proponent of the American Empire theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire

I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era of The Whole Wide World

The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?

It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl on Mar 13, 2003 - 15 comments

Intellectual Dishonesty

Intellectual Dishonesty
Intellectual dishonesty is pure poison to the enterprise of the law. Yet countless examples show intellectual dishonesty has now become a routine, expected part of American discourse. The most obvious half-truths and hypocrisies are greeted with shrugged shoulders and a grunt of "what did you expect?"
Is the ultimate goal more important than truth, honesty, integrity and "playing by the rules?" Or, put another way, does the end satisfy the means? "Restoring honor and integrity" would indicate not.
posted by nofundy on Mar 6, 2003 - 12 comments

Circuit Court Refuses to Hear Allegiance Case

Michael Newdow is probably smiling today. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to reconsider last June's ruling finding the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional.
posted by mrbula on Feb 28, 2003 - 12 comments

Patriotism gone to far?

Freedom Fries? Patriotism gone to far? I can understand some people's disappointment that the french don't support the war in Iraq. But boycotting french wine, and other french imports? Maybe? But to start renaming things because they have the word french in them? That's what one restaurant owner is doing in North Carolina!
posted by tljenson on Feb 19, 2003 - 82 comments

Loving the US

How to love the US is a story on the newly redesigned BBC pages, just recently mentioned here. I was struck by the tone of the piece, which seemed to me to be a desperate bid to find good things to say about the US.
Have things really sunk so low? Is the US so despised that it needs the BBC to pimp it?
posted by jpburns on Feb 19, 2003 - 86 comments

Bush Whacked

Smokehammer Video Update Wonderful video clip and mp3 put together by some Warp Records video artists. George Dubya's "warped" rendition of the State of the Union is excellent. "Our first goal is to show utter contempt for the environment... For the first time we must offer every child in America 3 nuclear missles."
posted by meanie on Feb 15, 2003 - 5 comments

some action on global warming in the US

some action on global warming in the US senate
mccain and lieberman introduce some long overdue legislation to curb global warming in the US. where's the major media coverage of this? it was nearly 60 degrees here in minnesota today - in january. global warming? nah.
posted by specialk420 on Jan 8, 2003 - 32 comments

Population Clock

Since this is the first day of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to check current US and global population numbers, and then compare those numbers on January 1st 2004, to see how much the world's population has grown or shrunk. Currently the clock shows 292,277,976 for the US, and 6,625,786,982 for the World. Metafilter readers from outside the US are welcome to post their countries current population level, as well.
posted by Beholder on Jan 1, 2003 - 31 comments

U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider anti-homosexual laws

On September 17, 1998, in response to an armed robbery call, Houston police burst in to the home of John Lawrence. The police didn’t find a robber (nor would they – the call was deliberately false), but they did find Lawrence having sex with another man, Tyrone Garner. Lawrence and Garner were promptly charged with “engaging in homosexual conduct,” a misdemeanor under Texas law. They paid their fine and began a long legal challenge to Texas’ anti-sodomy law. That challenge has finally reached the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, which today agreed to hear their appeal early next year. Standing in the way is the Court’s own 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, in which it held that anti-sodomy laws are constitutional. That may be about to change.
posted by pardonyou? on Dec 2, 2002 - 43 comments

The Constitution's 27 Amendments in our daily lives

“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments every day.
posted by arco on Nov 27, 2002 - 9 comments

U.S. states ranked according to smartness.

U.S. states ranked according to smartness. The ranking was based on such factors as average high school dropout rate, how much teachers earn and how frequently they are attacked, etc. There are probably some other relevant factors they might have included, but didn't. What criteria do you think would be most appropriate for measuring a state's relative intelligence?
posted by shoos on Nov 14, 2002 - 47 comments

What is America

What is America and what is its role in the world today? Not being American, I often find myself in conflict when speaking to them about their country. Looking for a way to express my views, I find myself agreeing more and more with Fareed Zakaria’s viewpoint.
posted by Baesen on Oct 30, 2002 - 29 comments

United States Military Operations.

United States Military Operations. Quite a few.
posted by four panels on Oct 25, 2002 - 18 comments

The First Measured Century

The First Measured Century contains quite a bit of information about American society; population, work, education, religion, health, money, politics, crime and more. Everything from the median marriage age to the percentage of Americans who believe it is wrong to go to the movies on Sundays (13%).
posted by edlundart on Oct 23, 2002 - 5 comments

There are 202 initiatives on the ballot

There are 202 initiatives on the ballot in 40 states this election cycle. "53 of the measures represent direct democracy at work: ideas placed on the ballot by citizen initiative, often designed specifically to reverse legislative action." Some of the initiatives make sense, some of them do not. I've got a list of awards for various categories of initiatives. Some of these awards are given with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Anybody else have any more nominations?
posted by jasontromm on Oct 23, 2002 - 56 comments

Post a great earnings quarter then

Post a great earnings quarter then cut jobs and send them to India. Nice job Bank of AMERICA
posted by Macboy on Oct 22, 2002 - 21 comments

An important breast cancer test is now unavailable in British Columbia

An important breast cancer test is now unavailable in British Columbia because of the American company which holds the relevant patent. The B.C. Cancer Agency has been forced to stop the tests after legal threats by Utah-based Myriad Genetics Inc., which has a patent on two genes that can signal whether a woman may develop hereditary breast cancer. I think this is a perfect example of why patenting genes is a terrible idea. Via Slashdot.
posted by homunculus on Oct 21, 2002 - 39 comments

Bowling for Columbine

Bowling for Columbine is opening tomorrow. I know muckraking Michael Moore is a touchy subject around here, but I found his first feature since Roger & Me insightful in its stubborn search for an answer to the question: "Why is America so violent?" Other reviewers agree. Subtle he isn't, but when the news is as stark as it is today, maybe subtlety is beside the point. I hope that even some of you who aren't predisposed to agree with Moore will give this film a chance. Did I mention it's also entertaining as hell?
posted by muckster on Oct 10, 2002 - 48 comments

U.S. helped Iraq start bioweapons program

U.S. helped Iraq start bioweapons program

"I don't think it would be accurate to say the United States government deliberately provided seed stocks to the Iraqis' biological weapons programs,'' said Jonathan Tucker, a former U.N. biological weapons inspector. "But they did deliver samples that Iraq said had a legitimate public health purpose, which I think was naive to believe, even at the time."

" -isn't iraq just another case of blowback and is anyone asking what the next round of "blowback" will be if we go in again?
posted by specialk420 on Sep 30, 2002 - 35 comments

'The guy who tried to kill my dad.'

'The guy who tried to kill my dad.' Setting aside partisan bickering, this description of Saddam Hussein by George W. Bush today sent my mind reeling. Is this in reference to something published in the past that is just escaping my mind? The Reuters version of the story adds that it is reference to "an Iraqi plot to kill former President George Bush after the 1991 Gulf War." Anyone have a link to that older story?
posted by bclark on Sep 27, 2002 - 36 comments

The State of the Nation's Ecosystems -

The State of the Nation's Ecosystems - According to a report commissioned five years ago by President Clinton and finally completed and released, the United States may have no streams left that are free from chemical contamination, and about one-fifth of animal species and one-sixth of plant types are at risk of extinction.
posted by dejah420 on Sep 25, 2002 - 14 comments

U.S. forces head to Ivory Coast

U.S. forces head to Ivory Coast - with all the debate for/against military action in the middle-east, I'm pleased to see US forces being deployed to protect innocent people. "Their first task may be to retrieve about 100 American children who have been trapped at a school in the city of Bouake for five days and to protect Americans in three or four Ivory Coast towns held by rebels. "
posted by Stuart_R on Sep 24, 2002 - 28 comments

Down with Free Speech?

Down with Free Speech? Poll shows American support for the first Amendment down. Would any politician be stupid enough to try to capitalize on this sentiment? Should we all be watching our words?
posted by Hall on Aug 30, 2002 - 41 comments

Michael Rivero,

Michael Rivero, formerly an digital effects worker for Final Fantasy and Coneheads has walked onto the scene and stood out when it comes to the conspiracy genre, with his site WhatReallyHappened.com. He has been claiming that 9/11 was the work of the Israelis and the US government to cause a war for Oil in the Middle East, while also making other comments on the War on Terror.

While he seems to boast that his site's Alexa rating is higher than Newsweek's as affirmation that he is popular, no matter how flawed Alexa may be.

Is this what really happened? or merely the posted viewpoints collected by a person who distrusts the Government?
posted by RobbieFal on Aug 29, 2002 - 36 comments

US demands information on long forgotten downed pilot

US demands information on long forgotten downed pilot while insisting they not release the names or allow legal counsel to "enemy combatants" held within the US?
posted by specialk420 on Aug 23, 2002 - 15 comments

Half a billion Americans?

Half a billion Americans? The Economist crunches census data from both sides of the Atlantic and figures that the US will hit the 500 million mark sometime in the next few decades, surpassing the combined population of even the expanded EU. In typical style, the Economist looks at the economic and political reprecussions of this, but skips another interesting question: how will a doubling of the population change America itself? will it make the US more environmentally friendly? reduce urban sprawl? will the shifting population balance change the culture itself?
posted by costas on Aug 23, 2002 - 48 comments

The Saudis wanna sue.

The Saudis wanna sue. A group of Saudis plan to sue the U.S. government and media organizations for the alleged psychological and financial damage they suffered in the aftermath of Sept. 11, their lawyer said Wednesday.
posted by kayjay on Aug 21, 2002 - 24 comments

Regime change required for a rogue nation?

Regime change required for a rogue nation? In a soundbite disseminated by the White House and duly picked up by the media, Bush the younger asserted that "the world's worst leaders" will not be permitted to "harbor and develop the world's worst weapons." With the U.S. hinting at a new, unilateral war effort abroad and suspending constitutional rights at home, Adrian Hamilton writes in the Independent (U.K.), "The government which is spending by far the most on weapons of mass destruction, and is now planning to raise its budget by an increase greater than the total defence spending of Europe, is, of course, based in Washington."
posted by xian on Aug 10, 2002 - 27 comments

U.S. tries to block UN anti-torture vote

U.S. tries to block UN anti-torture vote "Concerned about the possibility of independent visits to U.S. civilian and military prisons, the United States sought Wednesday to block a vote on a U.N. plan meant to enforce a convention on torture. "
posted by Stuart_R on Jul 24, 2002 - 19 comments

American Memory

American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. [more inside]
posted by acridrabbit on Jul 20, 2002 - 7 comments

Massachusetts Legislature kills proposed amendment to ban gay marriage.

Massachusetts Legislature kills proposed amendment to ban gay marriage. Is this a breach of grass roots justice? or the majority's right to strip rights from a minority should not be put to a popular or legislative vote?
posted by LinemanBear on Jul 17, 2002 - 37 comments

Americans against World Empire.

Americans against World Empire. This Conservative/Libertarian coalition presents analysis, articles, links, opinions and rants from every corner of the political spectrum. ""Perpetual war serves a number of purposes.....It is under wartime conditions that the U.S. state will, at least initially, face the least resistance as it finishes the......process of gutting the Bill of Rights and voiding inconvenient parts of the U.S. Constitution......It is under wartime conditons that all opponents of U.S. policies anywhere in the world, including within the U.S. itself, can be most easily labled 'terrorist.'" This statement would have come from a conservative in 1940. Today it is from the Left. (Alternative Press Review, spring 2002).
posted by Mack Twain on Jul 14, 2002 - 6 comments

The anomalies of the U.S. Constitution: what next?

The anomalies of the U.S. Constitution: what next? Ok, not a serious 'polemical' post, more a request for your take on the mysteries which politics brings us...
- how come Wyoming has 3 Senators?
- how come DC has none?
- what other wierd stuff would you fix in the Constitution of your state, given the choice? (for my part, ditching the Windsors and embracing democracy would be a start...)
posted by dash_slot- on Jul 3, 2002 - 64 comments

Silent Evidence

Silent Evidence - Ronald Bailey insists that Rachel Carson's campaign against DDT in "Silent Spring" is filled with bad science and has resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths due to increased malaria rates. The US Government has also considered removing the ban on DDT, as has Roger Bate in the Wall Street Journal.
posted by Kevs on Jun 27, 2002 - 5 comments

Spare the rod and spoil the (1st grade) child... U.S. school violence gets really outta hand!

Spare the rod and spoil the (1st grade) child... U.S. school violence gets really outta hand! Twenty first-grade students went to a hospital yesterday after their substitute teacher went berserk in their Washington Heights classroom, smacking them with a broomstick, pulling their hair and twisting their ears, police said. To paraphrase David Letterman, "what was he thinking of??"
posted by dash_slot- on Jun 15, 2002 - 12 comments

In a major policy reversal, the Justice Department has officially endorsed an individual right to bear arms. In doing so, the Justice Department has abandoned its long-held position that the second amendment is limited in scope to protecting militia activities. Does this mean the Justice Department will stop enforcing federal laws that it sees as violating the 2nd amendemnt? Should it? If there is a individual right to bear arms, how far should it extend?
posted by boltman on May 8, 2002 - 65 comments

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