ppi.015-Readers Forum


Richard Moore

                               - - -
    a public service of CADRE (Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance)
                               - - -
                        ppi.015-Readers Forum

Note from publisher:

Before heading off to Geneva (to speaks to several NGO gatherings about the
WTO and globalization), I thought I'd clear out my inbox of items readers
have sent in to the list.

My apologies for the messed-up sequence numbers on posts... upper-case
"PPI" had one set of sequence numbers, and then the lower-case "ppi"
started over again.

While I'm gone I've asked Carolyn Ballard to handle moderating for ppi.
She hasn't gotten back to me yet, but don't be surprised if you see her at
the helm.

best regards,

Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998
Sender: Stephen Brivati <•••@••.•••>
Subject: PPI-014-Readers Forum

Dear RKM,

Many thanks for the work you and your colleagues are putting in on
cyberjournal.   I enjoyed the reader's forum immensely and have penned a
few comments for what they are worth.

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 Sender: "Adkins, Gerald" <•••@••.•••>

<  As a citizen of the USA I would like you to point out in your speech how
disaffected many in the US are with the usurpation of our government by
corporate entities.>

I thought this comment was interesting from two perspectives.  Firstly,
there does seem to be a growing trend  in other nations to criticze
Americans for ethno-centricism and even ignorance of any reality outside
the  borders of white middle-class life.  This is quite a complex issue
because those who do represent the U.S. (i.e., have the money to travel)
are often those most likely to conform to such conditioning. Secondly,
America has the world's most sophisticated and well funded propaganda
industry in the service of the State.  Thus,  it is hardly the fault of the
populace when it condones en masse (often by default) acts of greed and
exploitation that individuals would descry given the truth of  such acts.
Although I agree with the sentiments of the argument that government has
been usurped by corporate  entities I am not entirelly convinced of its
accuracy.  I would like to suggest that the government of the U.S as far
back as the Founding fathers has always been under the sway or direct
control of an elite with  little concern for democracy.  What benefits
people have achieved (including things like the Bill of rights)  have been
fought for and awarded grudgingly.

<  "We the people" are getting short shrifted and at the same time our
quality of life is declining.  For the benefit of our friends across the
Atlantic and Pacific, I would like to remind them that only a few Americans
are well-off.>

One of the most interesting books I have read on this topic is 'Dark
Victory-  the United States, Structural Adjustment and Global Poverty.'
(Walden Bello-TNI Pluto Press).  It offers a well researched account of how
free-market capitalism has driven many families to a third world level of
poverty.  In 'Dirty Truths,' Michael Parenti offers pages of nightmare
statistics on the extent of human suffering that U.S corporate greed has
created (although I think he goes a little over the top sometimes : ) !  )
Change the name and we might just as well be talking about Thatchers

 Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 Sender: •••@••.••• (Blue Canary)
Subject: Re:  PPI-013-CADRE-Status-Report

<I am concerned about your comment for punishment and your "anti-
government" attitude which are both very understandable. However, is it
wise to spend our engergies on punishing "government"? Is it not better to
spend our energies on developing compassion and understanding?>

I think this question answers itself!  We have to educate ourselves to the
extent that compassion is needed at both grassroots and local level. This
compassion must be a driving force for change. As Dante remarked "The
hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in times of  greatest
moral conflict remain neutral.'  Martin Luther King also argued that laws
which conflict with an overarching morality must be fought.  '
Understanding' is an oddly ambivalent term.  I am not sure if Claudia is
equating it with compassion or 'knowing more or less,  what is being done
and why.' If one does a class analysis of capitalism,  imperialism,  the
media etc.,  then this understanding leads us to understand that it is
totally rationally and their simple objectives are to  maximize
profitswith minimum expenditure (including people and the environment.)
There is little point in arguing for compassion because the elite  will
ruthlessly (and rationally) exploit it to further those ends.  It's  like a
boxer putting his hands behind his back and offering his nose for his
opponent to thump. Compassion and desire for justice for all people can
only create change via the concerted action of everybody.

<One of the aspects of the propaganda machinery is to pit "government"
against the people.>

Isn't the propaganda machine a tool of State and government?  The function
of propaganda is to prevent people from  challenging the laws passed by
government to protect the interest of corporate elite and the State. This
method rather than force has to be used because our society still has the
form of democracy. If we are assuming that the major component of the
propaganda machine is the press then their function is often to criticize
government within a spectrum specified by the corporate elite.  In other
words they will debate tatics without addressing strategy. This illusion of
debate has the function of reinforcing presuppositions  I.E.  The press
hotly debates a range of  tatics for dealing with the Sandinistas while the
issue of U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua is not even considered  relevant. (
the best discussion I have come across in this area is Chomsky's 'Necessary
Illusions.'  Well  worth reading.)



Dear Buri,

Thanks for your comments.  My view is that we need to reexamine the meaning
of the phrase "state power".  With respect to the individual, we are seeing
an _increase is state power all over the world, in fact things are heading
toward outright police states, with the US and UK in the lead in the `first

But in terms of national sovereignty, we are seeing a radical _weakening of
state power, in favor of direct corporate control.  The mass media is
controlled directly by corporations, not the state, at least in the USA,
and wherever the Murdoch empire reaches.


Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998
Sender: MFrystak <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: PPI-018-Chiapan Indians Want Army Out

BORING!!!!  Let's get some REAL news in here.....


Perhaps you'd prefer hockey?  See next item...


Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998
Sender: "Victoria Hogan" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: RE: PPI-018-Chiapan Indians Want Army Out

Just after midnight April 23, Colin McNaughten, a recent observer of events
in Chiapas, appeared on CKNW, the WIC network for one hour on an across
Canada talk show with about 300,000 listeners.  It took three tries to get
him on, and the host gave him a pretty fair hearing.  When lines were
opened, a flood of calls came in--the majority supportive and giving
corroborative stories, but some hostile calls as well.

Though the host tried to change the topic to hockey after Colin left the
studio, calls kept coming in for the next two hours on Chiapas!  My
suggestion is that others try to get this topic on mainstream radio talk
shows, especially when open line shows offer "any topic", or try to get some
credible person on as a guest.  Perhaps we can raise consciousness among the
general population and put pressure on governments to alleviate the

Victoria Hogan
North Vancouver, BC

To: •••@••.••• (Richard K. Moore)
Subject: Re: final CPSR comment *
Date: Sat, 02 May 1998 13:55:46 -0400
From: Harry Hochheiser <•••@••.•••>


> Below we have CPSR's response to our concerns, which I suggest we simply
> accept, with gratitude for their willingness to enter into dialog, and for
> their three-year hosting of cj.  One wonders what CPSR membership might feel
> about all this, and about whether they have any role in determining the
> agenda CPSR sets for itself, but that's another issue, and reforming CPSR
> isn't a campaign that's high on my list of priorities for '98.

I think I can safely speak for everyone involved when I say that I'm
pleased to have worked this out so amicably.

I'd also ask you to comment to you subscribers - and any others who
may be interested, that I'm personally available for discussion with
the membership, the CPSR "agenda", or any of the concerns that you
raised above.  Please feel free to send along my email address...



Harry Hochheiser
Director at Large
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
•••@••.•••    http://www.cpsr.org



No significance is intended by the next post following yours... just the
accident of submission dates...   (:>)


Date: Tue, 05 May 1998
From: Steve Kurtz <•••@••.•••>
Subject: New Element - Administratium

New Element Discovered

The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by physicists.

The element, tentatively named Administratium, has no protons or electrons
and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have 1 neutron, 125
assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice-neutrons, for an
atomic mass of 312.

The 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous
exchange of meson-like particles called morons.

Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be
detected chemically, as it impedes every action with which it comes in

According to the discoverers, one reaction that normally requires less than
one  second was extended to four days by the presence of a minute amount of

Administratium has a half-life of approximately three years, at which time
it does not actually decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which
assistant neutrons, vice-neutrons and assistant vice-neutrons exchange

Some studies suggest that its atomic mass actually increases in each

Research at other laboratories indicates that Administratium occurs
naturally in the atmosphere.  It tends to concentrate at certain points,
such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities, and can
usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained

Scientists point out that Administratium is known to be toxic at any level
of  concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it
 is allowed to accumulate.

Attempts are being made to determine how Administratium can be controlled to
prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.

Date: Thu, 7 May 1998
To: •••@••.•••
From: •••@••.••• (James Crombie)
Subject: La Jornada (Mexico) back on line

Hello Richard and PPI-networkers:

As I mentioned in an earlier note to Richard, I was somewhat concerned about
the non-appearance on the web of the daily newspaper La Jornada of Mexico
City -- and sent them an e-mail to inquire whether there was reason to be
worried about this.  We can be relieved to learn that the reason for the
temporary silence was that they were moving operations from one building to
another.   (See exchange of correspondence below.)

Of the major, in-the-newstands-type, daily newspapers in the Mexican
capital, La Jornada is surely the most independant and critical, more so
than any Canadian newspaper I know, including Le Devoir.  (I really don't
know who all the equipment belongs to, however.)  When one of their
reporters was recently temporarily kidnapped, intimidated and beaten up --
by way of encouraging La Jornada to "cool" some of its coverage -- the
response of the newspaper was to publish an article on the incident.  When
was the last time you read an article in a newspaper which described how one
of its reporters or editors had been threatened or beaten up?  It must
happen more often than it is reported.

To give another example, when El Norte of Monterrey ran a headline saying
that Bishop Samuel Ruiz (chairperson of COCOPA or CONAI, I forget which) had
been linked to the EZLN and terrorism, La Jornada's headline was something
to the effect that silly charges against the bishop were being denied.  (The
story, in both cases, was that some army officer had found a book of which
Ruiz was the author in an EZLN arms cache discovered in Chiapas.  The fact
that this was enough to convince the officer in question that the bishop and
the EZLN were in cahoots is, at most, a none-too-favourable reflection on
the mental acuity of Mexican military commanders...)

All this by way of saying that there would be genuine cause for concern if
La Jornada were ever shut down by the army, police or a bombing.

Date: Fri, 08 May 1998
From: jacob <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: ppi-014- Dialog with 'jacob' re: Thoughts about a better world

dear mr Moore

with trully and sincer sorrow i must ask you this time to really write me off.
. i found very interesting views on this site and learnt many things and is
quite a pitty that it has to stop for me.

i find your views on kosova very strange and since you reinforced those views
in the last message i understand that this is not something that can be
changed. your justifications for the serbs are exactly the same as those used
by nazi suporters that talked about the world jewish conspiracy as an excuse
for their death camps in the same way that your dear friend djurdevic talks
about geman-american conspiracy against the serbs.

Mr  Moore i can't know of course who you really are and what are your motives.
i do admit however that  i received a powerful blow and it will take me very
long time to understand what was going on, if ever.

may our ways part now forever, if possible.

thank you


Dear jacob,

Our ways may part, if you wish, but since you sent your reply to the list,
I wonder if parting is what you really intend!   (:>)

I have given _no _justification _whatever for the Serbs!  I do not believe
_any justification exists for bloodshed, ethnic cleansing, or suppression
of human rights, by _anyone!

My point is that _intervening on _one side against the _other, or blaming
_one side for all the trouble, is _not helping the situation, is not
reducing suffering, and does not get to the root of the problem.

Our _concern for human rights, I claim, is being _manipulated by those (ie,
capitalist elites in Germany & USA) whose interest is in oil and

That claim is _not a justification for the _crimes that _have _been
committed by Serbs.  If you had seen on television the crimes committed by
Croats, as you have seen the crimes committed by Serbs, I wonder if you
would respond in the way you do??



                  "Seeking an Effective Democratic
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        June 25 <incl> July 2 - 1998 - Nova Scotia - Canada
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             Bring corporate globalization under control.
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