Short Takes: News From All Over: August 19, 2004

We Found the Weapons of Mass Destruction
By Staff, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Set the terror alert to orange! Weapons of mass destruction have been found right here on American soil! Should we tell Tony Blair to invade us, or just do it ourselves? We could ask the international community: a ‘coalition of the willing’ might be easier to find this time around. Some ‘collateral damage’ is inevitable, but it’s a small price to pay for the liberation of America. — Brendan Themes

Slam Bush
By Staff, Slam Bush
‘Allow me to introduce myself my name is George, / pronounced with a W. B. / I used to do coke lines and get nosebleeds.’ Want to see George W. Bush battle the country’s top MCs? Well, you can’t. But you can see the country’s top MCs dis W for money, fame, and the satisfaction of stickin’ it to the Man. Great things can happen when Heads put their heads together. — Brendan Themes

The Summer X Games: Extreme and Green
By Marnee Benson, Greenpeace
With events like skateboarding, bike stunts, aggressive in-line skating, and Moto X, the Summer X Games have a tough reputation and a loyal following. A perfect venue, then, to educate a new generation of environmentalists: the ramps are Forest Stewardship Council certified, the ear-bleeding music is powered by a solar bus, and the gravity-defying celebrities are endorsing green causes by the dozen. All this is organized by the Action Sports Environmental Coalition, which hopes to make next year’s competition even more sustainable and earth-friendly. — Brendan Themes

Gay Men Arrested in Nepal; Human Rights Group Decries Abuse
By Ben Townley,
Nepalese police have declared war on the country’s gay community, arresting 39 members of the Blue Diamond Society, one of the country’s most prominent gay rights groups. The arrests follow a string of attacks on Nepalese gay activists, many of whom have suffered beatings and violence at the hands of police. The government has yet to comment on this latest cluster of arrests, but it has voiced general support for the harassment of the Blue Diamond Society and other groups that ‘promote homosexual activity.’ — Brendan Themes

Under the Radar
By Cathy Young, Reason
Think political correctness is dead? Think again, says Cathy Young. She claims that Democratic Convention protests aren’t the only supposedly liberal areas with fenced-in ‘free speech zones:’ colleges and universities are shelving the First Amendment in their quest for strictly-controlled pluralism. Liberals, like conservatives, need to remember that free speech isn’t always fun. — Brendan Themes

Information Warriors
By Pratap Chatterjee, CorpWatch
Specializing in ‘perception management,’ the Rendon Group provides high-quality spin for high-powered clients like the Democratic Party, Time Warner, the Pentagon, and the Colombian military regime. Responsible for the infamous ‘Nayirah’ story, a fabricated, heart-wrenching story of Saddam Hussein’s baby-killing exploits in Kuwait that was used to help justify the first Gulf War, the Rendon Group will be available to the White House regardless of the upcoming election’s outcome. What good is a two-party system if both parties get their spin from the same source? The group’s motto is, ‘Information as an element of power,’ and some of their high-powered contracts demonstrate where the power really lies in America. — Brendan Themes

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