Mark Pucci’s
Online Reviews
Page Twelve

Frontline: truth, war and consequences

Was the United States in a rush to go to war?  Was the government prepared for the aftermath?  Were Americans hook-nosed into war by a misleading Iraqi exile?  And if not, did the government purposely pick and choose the intelligence most favorable to its own agenda? 

What is most important about this documentary is that it demonstrates the dire situation of Iraq.  It shows the realities of a war which so far have not been represented to the American public.  The general distance of geography seems to have caused a general disconnect.  It will probably be years before we as a country understand the effect this war has had on our troops, as well as on the people in that region, yet this documentary conveys that this war was just as brutal and horrifying as war can be.  Yet President Bush’s declaration of the end of the Iraqi war does not declare the end of the danger that many of the troops face on a daily basis.  This is to say nothing of the casualties, the disruption of the lives and the deaths of many of innocent Iraqi civilians. 

For many the fighting is not over.  Empirical reality for them is a gunfight, a death, an explosion, while most of us, including myself, forget or have not seen or may never will see what many have experienced. 

But what were the real reasons for this war?  Did ideology get its foot stuck in the sand of some distant region?  And if so, did bureaucracy cause it to sink still further?  Listen to key interviews from military and government advisors as they explain what was going on behind the scenes.  Watch the documentary right from your computer. 



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The Annenberg Political Fact Check is a nonpartisan, nonprofit project out of the University of Pennsylvania that checks the factual accuracy of political ads, news releases, debates, speeches and interviews made by politicians on both sides of the aisle.  This is a great site.  The Annenberg Political Fact Check does a good job of elucidating the facts from the misleading information many politicians try to use in political attacks.  Without a doubt, this is definitely a useful tool for getting at the truth of the accusations cast on political opponents.  This site demonstrates many of the mendacious, sneaky tactics used by the political machinery of those trying to get elected.

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Democracy 2004

Democracy 2004 is a project of The Independent Progressive Politics Network.  Its purpose is to strengthen the progressive movement while uniting a number of groups with the same objectives.  The goal is to make an impact in the 2004 election.  By registering many like-minded, progressive voters across the country, the hope is to create a common cause for effective change.

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Democracy For America

Democracy for America is Howard Dean’s new organization to help John Kerry get elected and make significant change in America.  With his incredible grassroots support and the amazing success of harnessing the Internet to energize disenfranchised voters, Howard Dean has proven that he has the ability to create enthusiasm and affect voter turnout.

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Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) is seeking to register two million voters in the next six to nine months.  This is a great organization.  It has truly shown the power of activism through a multitude of organizers, artists and sponsors.  There are so many people involved with HSAN that they are too numerous to mention, but a few of the people on the Board of Directors include Russell Simmons, Damon Dash, Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs and Jermaine Dupri. 

What HSAN has accomplished since its inception in 2001 is incredible.  It has energized, as well as united, millions of young people through the mass appeal of music and its artists.  It has been very successful in its efforts of advocating education and empowering young voters.  HSAN is an organization that is rapidly gaining attention for its ability to rally people to its causes.  It is grassroots activism in the Hip-Hop arena.

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Sheena is a registered voter!  That is thanks to “Fat Mike” Burkett (lead singer of the band NOFX) who has set up with the goal of registering 500,000 young voters.  Punk rock has always had a political timbre present since its conception, and Burkett has always been interested in keeping punk rock close to those things that make it what it is.  This is just another step to express the energy and sentiment characteristic of punk music.  Apathetic?  No way, this is Activism. 
Bands and fans are coming together.  Young people are becoming empowered voters.  Through fans are learning about the policies of the current administration and how they will affect them now and in the years to come.  Question your government!  Question their motives!  Read articles that will have you doing both.  Don’t just be a punk!  Be a punk voter!

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Political Humor

Get a more humorous approach to your daily news.  Check out Daniel Kurtzman’s site highlighting the political humor of the day.  From George Bush’s political gaffes to Jessica Simpson complimenting the Interior Secretary’s interior decorating skills, you will find many comical stories.  Kick back and enjoy a lighter side of politics.

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Urban Outfitters Does It Again!

Urban Outfitters has done it again.  Here is an article that summarizes the latest episode involving the clothing retailer.  At least this time they are not offending racial minorities or stereotyping Jewish women.  Rather instead they are encouraging the youth of this country not to vote with an emblematic T-shirt adorned with the words “Voting is for Old People.”  Now we respect the right of Urban Outfitters to encourage whomever they want to not vote, but here at The Blacklisted Journalist our view is diametrically opposed to this position.  We would like to encourage people to vote this election year. 

In all fairness to Urban Outfitters, they have pulled the shirt from their shelves, but even more intriguing is their inability to admit the intent of their marketing perspective.  The claim is that the shirt has been misinterpreted and actually was meant to draw attention to the growing gap between youth and political representation.  The real irony is that these guys actually sound like politicians.  Pure sophistry! 

If the intent of the motto on the T-shirt is to be understood the way the designer claims, then it is ambiguous at best.  If not, Urban Outfitters is marketing political apathy.  We will let the reader decide how to interpret this one.

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 Music Reviews

Natalia Paruz

Natalie Paruz is a musician who plays a variety of novelty musical instruments including the musical saw, 4-in-hand hand bells, American bells and cowbells.  Her website, which she has done on her own, is absolutely impressive.  We guarantee you will like this site.  With an extensive amount of information (over thirty pages) that include her busker’s memoirs, a composer’s manual, sound clips and detailed descriptions of the instruments, Natalia’s site provides a fascinating landscape delineating her craft.  Natalia has been in movies, appeared on television and radio programs, as well as concerts and theatre.  You will truly enjoy visiting her website.

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Steve Kilpatrick – West Side Crop Circles

This is a great cd.  I am so very glad that Steve sent it to me requesting a review just because I have gotten to add it to my music collection.  First off, Steve has a great voice.  His guitar playing has that cool bluesy feel that has a rugged, midwestern appeal to it.  His songs are original and the lyrics unique.  Songs such as Brother-in-law and The Lonely Tonight demonstrate Steve’s songwriting capabilities.  There are so many different influences to which one could compare his style, yet I think it is best to declare Steve’s his own.  Taken collectively he has a signature sound that is all his own.  It is one of those packaged compositions so eclectic and varied, unique and full of melody that you could keep it in your car stereo for weeks.  It is good the whole way through, and that I think is the great litmus test for music – something you can listen to over and over.

To find out more or contact Steve write or e-mail:

P.O. Box 109 Dewitt, MI 48820


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More Reviews To Come…

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