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

iTunes Users Hijack iMixes to Demand Indie Content
By Tony Smith, The Register
Users of the popular iTunes music store have hijacked a playlist sharing feature to practice some good old-fashioned electronic grassroots activism. Since the opening of the UK iTunes store on June 15th, mock iMix playlists demanding more independent labels on the service have topped Apple’s user-created charts. The absence of independent record labels on the iTunes store is very real — many independent labels rejected Apple’s licensing terms as hopelessly unfair, and many other independent labels were not invited by Apple to participate. — Brendan Themes

Suarez, Free from Prison, Pushes for Law Reform
By Sandy Kobrin, WeNews
Maria Suarez, a Mexican immigrant who was wrongfully imprisoned for 22 years in California for the murder of the man who bought her as a sex slave at the tender age of 16, is a perfect example of an American penal system that has little respect for battered women. A woman who kills an abusive partner, for instance, gets 20 years to life in prison, whereas a man who kills his wife after walking in on her with another partner would never receive such a harsh sentence. — Jacob Wheeler

On Not Being American
By Naomi Klein,
Canada and the United States are sometimes mistaken for the same country, but one crucial difference between the two persists: Canada’s lack of involvement in the war on Iraq. With the potential election of the rabidly pro-war Stephen Harper as Canada’s next prime minister, however, Iraqis may one day see tanks emblazoned with maple leaves rolling through its streets. If Canada took this pivotal step in its emulation of the U.S., its citizens would share another dubious distinction with those of the America: compromised security and credibility abroad. — Brendan Themes

Citizenship Test
By Staff, National Public Radio
What does it take to become a naturalized U.S. citizen? Apparently quite a brain. This online Citizenship Test offers 10 of the trickier questions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services’ 100-question sample test. Except that the real test has no multiple choice answers. But this sample brain teaser is not easy, even with the help. This educated American only scored 5 out of 10. I guess I’ll have to hand in my passport! — Jacob Wheeler

Preservator 3000
By Free Range Graphics, International Fund for Animal Welfare
The Bush administration seems to have finally come up with a plan it can follow through with: the preservation of endangered species — with taxidermy and formaldehyde. That’s right, the Preservator 3000 can deal with those pesky endangered species while still satisfying that American penchant for killing things. — Brendan Themes

War Resisters Support Campaign
By Staff, War Resisters Support Campaign
Join the ranks of voices telling the Canadian government to give refuge to American soldiers seeking conscientious objector status north of the border so that they won’t face incarceration and possibly even the death penalty if they return to the United States. Canada does not support the war on Iraq, and it should provide a safe haven, just as it did during Vietnam, when more than 50,000 draft-age Americans made their way north, refusing to participate in that immoral war. — Jacob Wheeler

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