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Inside the system

January 17, 2003 | Page 4

Back of the Republican bus

TRENT LOTT may be gone, but his racist rants aren't forgotten--even by his own party. Shannon Reeves, California's GOP party secretary and the highest-ranking Black Republican in the state, recently spoke out about persistent racism in the Republican Party.

Reeves says that he's furious about the apparent Confederate sympathies of vice chair Bill Back, a hard-right activist who is now running for state chairman. In an e-mail to state Republican board members, Reeves writes: "Black Republicans are expected to provide window dressing and cover to prove that this is not a racist party, yet our own leadership continues to act otherwise."

"When I travel to speak at Republican conferences and events around the country, wandering through hotels, convention centers and social clubs, as I approach the rooms where I'm scheduled to speak, I am often told by Republicans that I must be in the wrong place," he wrote.

"As a Bush delegate at the 2000 convention in Philadelphia, I proudly wore my delegate's badge and (Republican National Committee) lapel pin as I worked the convention. Regardless of the fact that I was obviously a less than six times did white delegates dismissively tell me (to) fetch them a taxi or carry their luggage.", January 9, 2003

Prescription for protest

ACCORDING TO a new study, demonstrating can be can be good for your health. Psychologists at the University of Sussex found that people who get involved in campaigns, strikes and political demonstrations experience an improvement in psychological well-being that can help them overcome stress, pain and depression.

The finding fits with other studies suggesting that feeling part of a group can have beneficial effects on health. "[P]rotests, strikes, occupations and demonstrations, are less common in the UK than they were perhaps 20 years ago," researcher Dr. John Drury said in a statement. "The take-home message from this research therefore might be that people should get more involved in campaigns, struggles and social movements, not only in the wider interest of social change but also for their own personal good."

Even better, the strength of the feelings people experienced were so great that the effects appear to be sustained over a period of time.

--Reuters, December 23, 2002

Sweet smell of Kahlo

HOW DO you make a buck off of artist and communist sympathizer Frida Kahlo? Create a scent named after her.

Mexican newspapers are reporting that a company is introducing a scent named after Kahlo--and another for fellow artist Diego Rivera. The feminine perfume will be packaged with a reproduction of Kahlo's "Self-Portrait With a Necklace of Thorns"--and the masculine scent with Rivera's "Nude With Gannets."

The manufacturer says the Rivera-Kahlo trust has already approved the deal.

--San Francisco Chronicle, January 7, 2003

Heard it through the grapevine

"I HAVE no problem with a war for oil--if we accompany it with a real program for energy conservation."
--New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

"MY PERSONAL feeling is that we should stay out of other people's business. But I don't really have that choice."
--Staff Sgt. Craig Nance, before being shipped to Kuwait in November

"WE'LL DO everything we can to remind people that we've never been a nation of conquerors."
--George W. Bush

"WITH WHICH country?"
--Bush, when asked by the press pool about going to war

"THERE'S ONLY one person who is responsible for making that decision [to go to war], and that's me. And there's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids on the death of their loved ones. Others hug, but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug, and that's me, and I know what it's like."

"IF BLAIR had told us that we had to go to war to stop Saruman of Isengard from sending his orcs against the good people of Rohan, it would scarcely seem less plausible than the threat of Saddam of Iraq dropping bombs on America. "
--Guardian columnist George Monbiot

"BE CAREFULL!!--I wouldn't want this to get out. I would strongly recommend Never to put this in writing!!"
--Notes in the margin of a Tyco International Ltd. internal memo urging managers to "create stories" to support accounting decisions

"ANYONE WHO thinks the current round of corporate scandals could have been prevented with new rules and regulations simply does not understand American capitalism. The Enrons, WorldComs and Tycos are not abnormalities in a 'basically sound system.' Scandals are endemic to capitalism. The best any government can do is contain the damage."
--Economist Lester Thurow

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