Short Takes: News From All Over: January 8, 2004

Mad Cow USA: The Nightmare Begins
By John Stauber, Alternet
In 1997, Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber predicted mad cow troubles for the U.S. in their book ‘Mad Cow USA: Could the Nightmare Happen Here?’ Now, as the predictions come true, Stauber responds with suggestions and a bit of an ‘I told you so.’ — Erica Wetter

Street Art at Its Best: The Wooster Collective
Why not hit the street for your dose of art? The Wooster Collective, ‘a celebration of street art,’ offers interviews with street artists, cyber-galleries of impressive street art, and street artists’ guides to the ‘best’ of various cities around the globe. — EW

Religion on Display in National Parks
America’s national parks are getting a conservative Christian makeover. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has released documentation showing that the Bush Administration is ‘sponsoring a program of Faith-Based Parks,’ including selling new books of Creationist explanations for the Grand Canyon at Park Service gift shops, and re-editing a documentary video shown at the Lincoln Memorial to remove images of gay and abortion rights demonstrations that took place at the memorial. — Kyle Cohen

2003 Bad Year for Press Freedom
By Jim Lobe, OneWorld US
Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in New York reported that the number of journalists killed in the line of duty was more than any year in almost a decade. Further, arrests of journalists and media censorship skyrocketed in 2003 due to the post-9/11 US-led anti-terrorist campaign. — Joel Stonington

THE CORPORATION: A Powerful New Documentary
Winner of the people’s choice awards at festivals in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, The Corporation is ‘Documentary filmmaking aimed at the funny bone, not just the brains, like the best issue of Harper’s magazine set to music’ says CBC News online. Co-directed by Mark Achbar, half of the team behind the hit ‘Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media,’ the film includes interviews with 2 corporate whistleblowers, 7 CEOs, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Maude Barlow, and many others. — JS
Watch a 5-minute clip at

Make Love, Not War
By James W. Prescott, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
In this classic 1975 article, originally published in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, neuropsycholgist James W. Prescott asserted that good ‘ol fashioned lovin’ is a deterrent to violent behavior. Using data collected from various clinical and anthropological studies, and correlating different societies’ sexual attitudes to their violent crime statistics, he determined that societies that show the most physical affection towards one another are the least likely to be violent. After all, he writes, ‘How many of us feel like assaulting someone after we have just experienced orgasm?’ Good point. — Eric Larson
Related: See a series of related articles about the relationship between childhood touch and affection and adult violence at:

9/11 — Who Knew?
By Dr. Rosemary Radford Ruether,
Apparently, paranoid conspiracy theorists aren’t the only ones wondering about the Bushies foreknowledge of the September 11, 2001 attacks. According to a new book by David Ray Griffin — due out this month — right-wingers felt that a ‘New Pearl Harbor’ was needed to catalyze and justify their oil-thirsty, militaristic policies. Griffin points to the failure of the US to employ standard procedure for hijacked planes and to the Bush administration’s handling of the investigation after-the-fact. — EL

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