The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 11, No. 10, March 27

Bearing Witness for Tobacco
In 1994, before book after book documented how the tobacco industry had successfully manipulated the public's perceptions about smoking, the eminent historian and author Stephen E. Ambrose took the stand in a Louisiana case brought by Gere Covert,...
Can the Net Govern Itself?
It is easy to make fun of the Internet's current culture of free-lunch libertarianism. Its leaders don't want to be taxed, regulated, or trammeled in any way--meanwhile taking for granted that they can run to the sheriff when threatened by copyright...
Character and Campaign Finance
For years, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has steeled the spines of his fellow opponents of campaign finance reform by telling them, don't worry, no one has ever won or lost an election because of his or her position on the issue. Well, McConnell's...
Citizenship and Violence
Why, when the issue is violence against women, do some people talk about sex? While some violence directed at women is sexualized, calling it "sex" softens the brutality, implicates the victim as possibly an inciter or a participant, and offers the...
Code Blue
PROSECUTING POLICE BRUTALITY REQUIRES PENETRATING THE BLUE WALL OF SILENCE. Police work in an unpredictable, sometimes violent, sometimes deadly environment. The potential danger of their workplace and their authority to use force to me resistance...
Correspondence
ELIMINATING THE DEBT TO THE EDITORS: Although I empathize with Robert Reich's concerns about Bill Clinton's plans to eliminate the national debt ["Eliminating the Debt?" TAP, February 28, 2000], I fear that his approach is too great a gamble....
Dirty Windows
Every great political theorist from Aristotle to Madison to Martin Luther King, Jr., has understood the paradox that liberty requires rules and rules require governments. But Internet libertarians have assumed that the Net is a unique realm of benign,...
Electoral Dysfunction
The wrong lesson to be drawn from Super Titanic Tuesday is that both Bradley and McCain were too far to the left of their respective parties. The right lesson is that there's a large and growing party of independents and nonvoters in America that neither...
I Am Woman, Hear Me Bore
When last I wrote in these pages about the portrayal of women on television, I argued that the creators of shows such as FOX's Ally McBeal and NBC's Providence seem unable to conceive of thirty-something women as concerned about anything other than...
Impeachment at Harvard
Historical events, as Karl Marx told us, happen the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. But what happens when history starts out as farce? Then the second time is burlesque. On the Sunday before Valentine's Day, some 200 Harvard students...
Innovation, Regulation, and the Internet
In a small hearing room in the House Rayburn Office Building, I met with a group of Capitol Hill staffers to discuss the issue of "open access" in broadband cable. "Broadband" is what policy makers call the next generation of Internet access--faster...
Lethal Injustice
Since he took office in January 1995, George W. Bush has presided over more than 120 executions, accounting for more than a third of the executions in the nation at large during that time. Bush is not, of course, entirely responsible for this astonishing...
Long Island Dreamin'
Every weekend of my childhood, it seemed, my parents would pack my sisters and me into the family Montego, and we'd head to Long Island, looking for houses. We children didn't dread the routine, the highway drive from Brooklyn and the perpetually deferred...
Losing Hopi?
When President Clinton stood this January in the Arizona sunshine at Grand Canyon Hopi Point and announced the designation of three new national monuments and the expansion of a fourth, he was confident that "the good Lord" must be smiling on him....
Open Science Online
PUBMED CENTRAL AIMS TO PUT ONLINE ALL NEW BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH -- AN IDEA THAT HAS TOUCHED OFF A FIERCE BATTLE BETWEEN THE EDITORS OF TRADITIONAL JOURNALS AND ADVOCATES OF OPEN ACCESS. THE RESULT COULD BE A REVOLUTION IN HOW WE DEFINE AND DISTRIBUTE...
Philip Morris Money
In Virginia, fresh-faced, environmentally minded schoolchildren gather biological samples and test water quality in rivers and waterways, part of the Izaak Walton League's Save Our Streams initiative. In Chicago, amid Tai Chi classes and body massages,...
Reproductive Entitlement
Once women were considered disabled by pregnancy or the mere possibility of it. Before the modern civil rights era, women could be fired because they were pregnant or not hired because they seemed likely to become pregnant. From the late nineteenth...
Second Thoughts on the Death Penalty
Republican Governor George Ryan of Illinois made national news last month by announcing that he would halt executions until properly satisfied that "everyone sentenced to death in Illinois is truly guilty." His concern isn't difficult to understand....
Storming the Gates
OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWARE FREES USERS, COMPETITORS, AND INNOVATORS FROM THE TYRANNY OF MONOPOLIES LIKE MICROSOFT. As the Microsoft Corporation anxiously awaits the verdict of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, whose decision may determine its fate (Will...
The Assault on Miranda
IF YOU WERE ARRESTED, YOU'D INSIST ON YOUR RIGHT TO A LAWYER. BUT MOST CRIMINAL SUSPECTS DON'T. POLICE PRACTICES HAVE FRUSTRATED THE EFFECTIVE EXERCISE OF MIRANDA RIGHTS--AND NOW THE SUPREME COURT MAY FINISH THE JOB. Benbrook Lake near Fort Worth,...
The Electronic Commons
THE PROMISE OF THE NEW PUBLIC DOMAIN While the rise of electronic commerce excites visions of a new economy, the Internet continues to produce explosive growth in free, public communication. The sheer scale and variety of the electronic public domain...
The New Black Caucus
Congressman James Clyburn has built his political career hammering out compromises behind the scenes. He has worked for economic growth in his eclectic South Carolina district, lobbying successfully for a Honda plant in Timmonsville, a significant...
The Taxonomist
COST OF LIVING People often talk about how the federal income tax should not push people deeper into poverty. One way to measure how well the system performs in this regard is to look at how much a person or family can earn before income taxes kick...
Vermont's Right Not to Bear Arms
Vermonters have long stood behind their right to bear arms, boasting some of the highest rates of gun ownership and the least restrictive gun laws in the country. Currently the only state that allows its citizens to carry a concealed weapon without...
Why "World Music" Isn't
Balinese gamelan sounds like magic: part rain on the roof, hammering down in relentless cascades as it does on this small, tropical Indonesian island; part sunlit shimmer, as the quavering melodies float from the synchronized mallets of as many as...
Will the Internet Always Speak English?
LANGUAGE IN A WIRED WORLD In 1898, when Otto von Bismarck was an old man, a journalist asked him what he took to be the decisive factor in modern history. He answered, "The fact that the North Americans speak English." In retrospect, he was spot...

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