Freedom of Opinion Vigorously Exercised

This page is always under construction; some paths may be incomplete.

Do you sometimes feel like every newspaper, radio station, and TV news anchor is reciting the same story at you, with only slightly different words? Now that a handful of giant corporations own almost all the conventional news media in the G7 nations, that feeling may not be so far from reality . . .

A good introduction to this important problem of our time is found in Derrick Jensen's interview of Robert McChesney for The Sun magazine. See also The News, my own list of online "alternative" (non-corporate, non-government) sources of news and commentary. And see FAIR for "the news about the news," stories about media bias and money influence.

Despite the conglomeration of US publishing houses and bookshops into a virtual duopoly, good investigative journalism is still being written and published in book form. Remember: Those who do not read have no advantage over those who cannot read. I keep a short bibliography of books I have found particularly interesting and informative.

Art and Humour
The first thing a country loses when totalitarianism gets a grip is its sense of humour. Here I collect various irreverent, creative attempts to keep America's sense of humour alive and well.
Perspectives on 9/11
Patriotism, said the irascible Sam Johnson, is the last refuge of scoundrels. Certainly corporate America and the Bush administration lost no time exploiting the tragic events of 9/11/01 to promote their own agendas. Unfortunately the American mass media mostly sang to the Administration's tune; very few media sources were willing to take an analytical, rather than an emotional or manipulative approach to the event and its aftermath. If you hankered (then or since) for some words written in other than Red! White! and Blue! ink -- or if your memory reaches back far enough that words like "unAmerican" give you a shiver -- you may find food for thought in the "alternative" analysis and commentary I collected here in the weeks after 9/11. Enjoy freedom of the press (and of the Internet) while it lasts. You don't know what you've got till it's gone.
Alternative Views of the Middle East
Of all the not-so-safe subjects, one of the most dangerous and divisive ones at the dinner table for the last several decades has been the apparently never-ending cycle of payback-for-retaliation-for-revenge-for-reprisal between the Israelis and Palestinians. This conflict has been going on longer than I've been alive. Seems like every person has some opinion about it (except those of us who have given up trying to figure it all out and just avoid the subject). I've collected some unorthodox ones.
Eyewitness Account of the Seattle WTO Protest
No, I'm not starting a whole new page on the WTO. Life is short :-) But the disinformation quotient in the mainstream media disgusted me into posting at least a couple of remedial links. Try on a few facts instead of the talking heads' facile stereotypes and sound nibbles. Paul Hawken was there and wrote this account of what he saw, thought and felt. You can also get an on-the-scene video documentary from IndyMedia, producers of old-fashioned independent news reporting [i.e. the kind that is actually news and not corporate PR -- some of us are old enough to remember when there was real news on TV even, though it's starting to seem like a long time ago].
They Paved Paradise, and...
Act locally. Yup, I too had something to say about UCSC's building the biggest parking structure in Santa Cruz County right here in the core campus. Again, you don't know what you've got till it's gone... the UCSC of Dean McHenry's vision is going, going, gone. Here you'll find a history of the project and the unsuccessful opposition thereto. OK, so it's not a success story. We also learn from our losses.

Useful Links

There are an awful lot of hot topics out there, too many to keep up with. A lot of things are going wrong, it seems, and a lot of unscrupulous people are making money hand over fist by making things worse instead of better. If you want to be informed about the issues that people will probably write about in history books when they look back on our times, here are some starting points.

Miscellany SocialCritic: essays in contemporary social criticism
Globalization, Economics, Labour, Markets, Intellectual Property, Pop Culture Online Globalisation Reader
The Idea of a Local Economy by Wendell Berry
McSpotlight turning a bright light on the antics of Mickey D
The Whirled Bank a satire on WB and IMF
ChildSlaves.Com a satire on sweatshop labour
Adbusters "journal of the mental environment"
Corporate Website: Shell satire on content-free corporate websites
Subvertise! subverting advertisements
Frankenfood, Biopiracy, Biotech Organic Consumers' Association
BioPiracy and BioDemocracy
E. A. Clark's agriculture papers
an interview with Vandana Shiva
another interview with V. S.
Enclosure in the NonPhysical Realm: Intellectual Property Arguments against Intellectual Property
Automophilia, Oil, Transport, Road Danger, Cycling my web site -- heaps of links here
Car Free -- carfreedom, livable-cities, etc.
Car Busters -- slightly edgier carfreedom :-)
Bike Reader -- literary cycling
Bike People anthology of essays
Feminism No Status Quo! outrageous radical website
Feminista! online journal
War, Weapons, US Policy Yellow Times
US Prison Industry CorpWatch: Prison Issues
General research tools Google (best search engine on the Web imho)


The UC Regents disagree with me on almost every subject. Never assume that anything I say reflects anything that they, or any other members of the UC administrative caste, think or feel. Their lawyers made me say this :-)

De Clarke
UCO/Lick Observatory
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Tel: +1 408 459 2630
Fax: +1 408 454 9863