Short Takes: News From All Over: December 2003

| December 2003 Launches
Find fodder for arguing with your conservative relatives about Bush's crummy environmental record at this new site that keeps track of all his underhanded moves. Sponsored by and updated frequently. -- Erica Wetter

Do Artists Need Drugs More Than Others?
By Richard Davenport-Hines, The Independent
Need you be a drug user to be an artist? Richard Davenport-Hines offers a brief history of writers who relied upon illegal substances to deal with creative tension and compose steamy, transcendent sex scenes, amongst other things. -- EW

Who the Hell Said That?
By Will Durst, AlterNet
Durst presents the Totally Full of Crap Awards with quotes such as: 'With a healthy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them.' Who said it? You decide. -- Joel Stonington

Fairer, More Balanced Coverage of Palestine
By Marc Glaser, Online Journalism Review
The Internet is providing Palestinians with more news alternatives to stay abreast of the conflict with Israel. A growing number of English and Arabic websites are home to eyewitness accounts, photography, critical analysis of mainstream media coverage and issue alerts with instructions on lobbying the White House and Congress. -- Erin Ferdinand

Ridge Endorses Legalization Of Undocumented Immigrants
By Tanya Weinberg, Sun-Sentinel
In a recent town hall meeting at Miami-Dade College, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge said that America needs to 'afford some kind of legal status' to undocumented citizens who are contributing to communities, Social Security and paying taxes. -- EF,0,1655900.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Is Nothing Sacred?
By Marty Logan, Inter-Press Service
Representatives of the world's indigenous populations gathered in Geneva last week at the Global Forum on Indigenous People and the Information Society to argue that their traditional knowledge is threatened by current copyright law. As it stands, the World Intellectual Property Organization and other copyright governing bodies recognize indigenous knowledge as public domain, allowing anyone to use a group's cultural symbols in order to sell or represent products. Dissenting groups argue that their ways of life are devalued by such practices and some have tried to negotiate contracts that would help protect knowledge and symbols from widespread use. -- Eric Larson

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