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MoveOn PAC: Protect Our Rights

“Sandra Day O’Connor, a widely respected and moderate justice, has resigned from the Supreme Court. Now, in anywhere from a few hours to a few days President Bush will nominate a replacement—and what happens next will either destroy or protect our most basic rights for decades to come. This is an absolutely critical moment for our senators to hear directly from the people—and our message is clear: PROTECT OUR RIGHTS!

We’ve launched an urgent petition to take your voice straight to your senators in this critical time to show Congress, the president and the media that the American people are engaged and ready to fight for our rights. Please sign today.” (MoveOn)

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And so it begins

O’Connor, First Woman Supreme Court Justice, Resigns After 24 Years (New York Times ) I hope the liberals have been saving up their stamina for the first of Bush’s inevitable struggles to stack the Court with rabid rightwingers for the next few decades. It seems to me to be better if Rehnquist does not announce his departure just now so that the two confirmation battles are not conjoined. Otherwise, the dysadministration would undoubtedly do something like sneak in a more moderate reactionary under cover of the furor over a clearly more outrageous ‘stalking horse’ nominee on whom they are willing to cave.

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How a Japanese Master Enlightened the West

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“Legend has it that mid-19th century French artists discovered the wonders of the Japanese woodcut when they examined papers used to wrap imported Japanese ceramics. Today, looking at the prints of Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai, the greatest of Japanese woodcut printmakers, it is hard to fathom that their works could have been viewed as the equivalents of our funny pages.

And it is easy to see how Modernists from Manet to Bonnard could find in the lucidity and technical and formal economy of those Japanese artists inspirational guides for escaping the suffocating conventions of Beaux Arts and Victorian painting.” (New York Times )

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Next: Spielberg’s Biggest Gamble

“On Wednesday, Steven Spielberg’s apocalyptic thriller War of the Worlds invaded movie theaters worldwide. But the director had already moved on. That night in Malta, Mr. Spielberg quietly began filming the most politically charged project he has yet attempted: the tale of a secret Mossad hit squad ordered to assassinate Palestinian terrorists after the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.” (New York Times )
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Dangerous Incompetence

Bob Herbert recalls Bush’s immature ‘Bring ’em on’ taunt in reminding us that the troops fighting and dying honorably in Iraq are being sacrificed by incompetents “unable to distinguish a strategy from a wish.” (New York Times op-ed)

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S*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*y’s war on psychiatry

“It may be easy to dismiss Tom Cruise’s recent outbursts against psychiatry as the ravings of an egomaniacal celebrity. Comedians have certainly had a field day with Cruise, a fervent disciple of the Church of S*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*y, ever since he scolded Brooke Shields for taking prescribed medication to treat her postpartum depression and lectured Matt Lauer, host of the ‘Today’ show, that psychiatry was a ‘pseudoscience’ and antidepressant drugs were worthless because there is ‘no such thing as a chemical imbalance.’ ‘No?’ wisecracked Lewis Black on ‘The Daily Show,’ watching a video clip of Cruise berating Lauer, ‘Then what do you call what’s happening to you right now?’

But the Church of S*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*y’s war on psychiatry is no joke. For decades, s*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*ists have maintained that the very notion of mental illness is a fraud. They base this belief on the views of s*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*y founder L. Ron Hubbard, who proclaimed that psychiatry was an evil enterprise, a form of terrorism, and the cause of crime. Now, they’re attempting to enshrine their contempt for psychiatry in laws across the country. This is the last in a four-part series chronicling the suddenly higher profile of the Church of S*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*y.” (Salon)

Also:

Stranger than fiction: “L. Ron Hubbard’s ‘D*i*a*n*e*t*i*c*s’ is a fantastically dull, terribly written, crackpot rant — it’s also the founding text of s*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*y. So, what does it actually say? This is the second in a four-part series chronicling the suddenly higher profile of the Church of S*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*y.” (Salon)