Short Takes: News From All Over: March 4, 2004

US Plans to Move Military Bases From Saudi Arabia to Iraq
By Staff, Itar-TASS
Is America really preparing to turn Iraq over fully and freely to the Iraqis? Russia’s Itar-TASS news agency provides some reason for skepticism: negotiations are underway with the provisional Iraqi authority to shift American military bases — and thus the locus of American power in the Mideast — from problematic Saudi Arabia to post-Saddam Iraq. And the US is demanding a special legal status for troops to be stationed there, one outside the jurisdiction of both Iraqi courts and international tribunals. — Jon Spayde

Blogging While Anti-Black
By John Lee, Alternet
Gawker and Wonkette have become the website blogs of choice for the hip set. The blogs chronicle the happenings of the cultural elite with self-referential banter, snarky witticism…and a continuous stream of offhand racist remarks. The trend reveals the acceptance of casual racism among white hipsters and raises questions about the future of blogging. — Anastasia Masurat

Appropriating the Internet for Global Activism
By Mark Surman and Katherine Reilly, Yes
Modern online activism on a grassroots level extends far beyond e-mail and basic web sites. But not everyone knows how to utilize the tools available. The innovative portals described by Surman and Reilly offer a glance into the future of the internet: OneWorld (a voice for civil society); Indymedia (grassroots open publishing); the Biwater censorship case (online activism); Sarai/Waag (North/South collaboration); Citizen Lab (detecting hackers) and more — Jacob Wheeler

The Hispanic Challenge
By Samuel Huntington, Foreign Policy
The conservative cultural critic best known for his theory of the ‘clash of civilizations’ calls the continuous influx of Hispanic immigrants to the United States ‘a major potential threat to the country’s cultural and political integrity.’ According to Huntington, the overwhelming trend towards a Hispanic immigrant majority eliminates the incentive for immigrants to learn English and otherwise adapt to U.S. culture. But a number of dissenters weigh in in Foreign Policy’s readers’ forum, challenging Huntington’s history and his logic. — Andi McDaniel

The Web’s Wildest Art Site?
Click on the little Pokemon monster and the screen switches to an odd assemblage of pipes that disappear one by one as your cursor touches them. Click on the oval radiator shapes and a black-and- white animated photo appears of a little girl clutching an odd teddy bear. Click on that and get a muscleman flexing…and on and on into the wild, interactive, and constantly altered art world of Ben Benjamin and his site, Superbad. It’s surreal eye candy for the tireless mouse manipulator. — JS

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