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. 3, December 20

Ad Creep
AN UPSTART TV SHOW, MENTAL ENGINEERING, EXPLORES THE EFFECT OF COMMERCIALS ON AMERICAN LIFE. NO ONE IS SPONSORING IT. It is quite rare to find ad criticism anywhere near the medium of television, except in such criticism's natural habitat, the suburban...
After Chafee
After the untimely passing of Rhode Island Senator John Chafee, it seemed for a moment that the Capitol might again be treated to one of those antic spectacles we've come to expect from the Republican Congress. New Hampshire's Bob Smith and Oklahoma's...
Breaking the Newsroom
How The Los Angeles Times haplessly tried to breach the well-established barrier between journalistic and commercial enterprise--and ended up undermining both. In the making of modern southern California in the mid-decades of the century, the Chandler...
China: The Engaging Question
My friend Liu, a film instructor in his 40s at the Communist Party's elite People's University, appeared one crisp Beijing morning at 7:00 and asked if I wanted to watch a pornographic videotape. It wasn't only the early hour that startled me. The...
Correspondence
KUDOS TO THE EDITORS: Our hearts sank when you announced that you were going to become a biweekly. It was very difficult for us to keep up with our reading even when you were a quarterly. But after reading Wendy Kaminer's "The Politics of Sanctimony"...
Gun Rights Advocates and the Weapons They Love
"Gun rights" activists talk up a storm about the right to bear arms, but they fall silent when it comes to discussing the actual weapons they recommend for home use. Many take a high-handed line on privacy: Who wants to open up the contents of their...
Happy with Health Care?
A CASE STUDY IN THE USES AND MISUSES OF POLLING DATA The American Association of Health Plans (AAHP)--the main HMO trade association--has a novel strategy for persuading Congress not to take patients rights seriously. Rather than arguing with polling...
High Tech Migrant Labor
TECHNOLOGY FIRMS WANT CHEAP FOREIGN WORKERS. THAT APPROACH TREATS IMMIGRANTS AS TEMPS AND UNDERCUTS AMERICAN JOB-SEEKERS. Guest workers: They're not just picking vegetables anymore. A new class of "migrant workers" is taking shape in America's Silicon...
Indefensible
This fall, Bill Clinton threatened to veto tax cuts, an abortion ban, environmental riders, cuts in foreign aid, education funding directed at the states rather than directly at schools, and reductions in a community policing measure. But when the...
Marketwatch
Teaching Products "If it can't be grown, it has to be mined." This slogan is the centerpiece of a "Teacher Helper" packet on earth science produced by the Mineral Information Institute (MII), a nonprofit organization founded by several mining companies...
Martyrs and Movies
On New Year's Eve 1993, in the dead-end town of Falls City, Nebraska, two men shot and stabbed Teena Brandon, a 21-year-old who, in defiance of the laws of biology, wanted desperately to live her life as a man. On October 6, 1998, two men smashed the...
On Thinking Bigger
I'm not offended by liberals who call for "incrementalism"--doing a little bit now, seeing how it goes, hoping they can do a little more later. Small steps are sometimes prudent. If things go well, they help build the case for something larger. But...
Retail Politics
Among the various celebrity-endorsed items being advertised inside Madison Square Garden on a recent Sunday afternoon were the following: a credit card (American Express, endorsed by Spike Lee, "Member Since 1985"); golf clothes (Reebok's Greg Norman[R]...
Runaway Vouchers
Last spring, the Prospect reported that a number of private schools in Milwaukee's school voucher program were violating the terms of the very court decision that had allowed the program to move forward. The Wisconsin Supreme Court had approved the...
The End of Citizenship?
For all of the carnival aspect of the Seattle protests, something very important has been stimulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) sessions. For the first time, a coherent opposition program has begun to challenge the dominant consensus about...
The Green Card Solution
GIVING FOREIGN FARM WORKERS LEGAL STATUS IS AN IDEA WHOSE TIME MAY BE COMING. BUT GREEN CARDS FOR WHOM? AND ON WHOSE TERMS? Who harvested the fruits, vegetables, and nuts that graced our Thanksgiving tables? Most Americans, taking a moment to think,...
The New Culture of Rural America
AMERICA HAS LONG THOUGHT OF ITSELF AS DEEPLY CONNECTED TO FARMING AND FARM COMMUNITIES. OVER THE CENTURY, THIS CULTURAL IDEAL HAS PROFOUNDLY CHANGED, AND GIVEN WAY TO THE IDEA OF NATURE AS A SOURCE OF RECREATIONAL CHALLENGE -- THE COUNTRY OF NORTH...
THE STRANGE CASE OF Hany K
IT'S STRAIGHT OUT OF KAFKA: DOZENS OF IMMIGRANTS ARE LOCKED AWAY ON THE BASIS OF SECRET EVIDENCE THAT NO ONE--NOT THE PRISONERS THEMSELVES, NOT THEIR LAWYERS--MAY SEE. NOW ONE OF THESE IMMIGRANTS HAS FINALLY BEEN RELEASED (AFTER 19 MONTHS IN PRISON)...
The War on High Schools
High school gave me my first lessons in bureaucracy: Rules were meant to be rigidly applied, not questioned; power was meant to be abused by petty functionaries. I don't mean to malign the entire faculty of my school. It included some very good teachers...
What You Need to Beat Goliath
In Michael Mann's gripping new movie The Insider, the two central characters uphold the truth through acts of corporate disobedience--the moral equivalent of civil disobedience in an age when the threat to freedom so often comes from corporate rather...
Wild Pitch
TEARING DOWN BASEBALL'S "LYRIC LITTLE BANDBOX" WOULD BE CHIN MUSIC FOR THE FANS For baseball players and fans, winter is the "off-season." But for team owners and their executives, it is the season for deal making. As most fans are looking back...
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