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Bill Moyers Essay: SOS

It's time to send an SOS for the least among us — I mean small independent magazines. They are always struggling to survive while making a unique contribution to the conversation of democracy. Magazines like NATIONAL REVIEW, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, SOJOURNERS, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, THE NATION, WASHINGTON MONTHLY, MOTHER JONES, IN THESE TIMES, WORLD MAGAZINE, THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY, CHRISTIANITY TODAY, COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW, REASON and many others.

The Internet may be the way of the future, but for today much of what you read on the Web is generated by newspapers and small magazines. They may be devoted to a cause, a party, a worldview, an issue, an idea, or to one eccentric person's vision of what could be, but they nourish the public debate. America wouldn't be the same without them.

Our founding fathers knew this; knew that a low-cost postal incentive was crucial to giving voice to ideas from outside the main tent. So they made sure such publications would get a break in the cost of reaching their readers. That's now in jeopardy. An impending rate hike, worked out by postal regulators, with almost no public input but plenty of corporate lobbying, would reward big publishers like Time Warner, while forcing these smaller periodicals into higher subscription fees, big cutbacks and even bankruptcy.

It's not too late. The postal service is a monopoly, but if its governors, and especially members of Congress, hear from enough citizens, they could have a change of heart. So, liberal or conservative, left or right, libertarian, vegetarian, communitarian or Unitarian, or simply good Samaritan, let's make ourselves heard.

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Recently Bill Moyers remarked on the very sparse coverage of mass anti-war demonstrations across the country. I was reminded of that comment in the last few days when the dramatic Congressional sparring over efforts to impeach Cheney rated not a whisper in most mass media that I'm familiar with. Whether the effort was defeated or not, it should have been front page news in the newspapers, and prominent in news broadcasts. Instead, there seemed to be a deliberate blackout. To me, it was stunning and alarming.

I post your writings as often as possible. thank you Mr. Moyers. Carlito Paquito aka av guy

It is nice to find another Reverend willing to state the facts as he sees them, and point out the hypocrisies of this administration. Bill Moyers, your voice is needed in these times. You are so appreciated by so many of us! Thankyou for what you do!!

Wasn't it GOP henchman Tom DeLay who first popped up in the national news shortly after Hurricane Katrina danced into the Gulf Coast when he indicated something to the effect that 'Hurricane Katrina was not the whole nation's problem' as if he had grown bored with the topic? As it worked out he was soon to be indicted in Texas and he, himself, was now the entire nation's problem. GOP seems short of wisdom all across the board and is filled with 'problem children', but I suppose it was 'problem children' in America who elected them into office in the first place! Both Bush and Cheney have prior DWI Convictions behind them. USA did the unthinkable again, these two can't be trusted with the keys to a car but both are pompously seated in the White House for two very agonizing terms of office.

With the GOP content on spending their first $1 trillion in Iraq, and after handing Israel a reported $90 billion in US tax-payer funded 'grants' that need never be repaid it illustrates just where the US Government's real priorities and commitments are.. All locked up in select and closed partisan agenda making the rich get far richer at the expense of humanity and tax-payers. Is Israel a state yet like Hawaii and Alaska? Israel gets more steady flow of US funding granted than any state in the United States ever has no matter how devastating the given natural disaster. It seems the US Government is content better serving, honoring the national flag of Israel as opposed to serving and honoring "Old Glory" who still signs that government's pay-checks. With the tragic I 35 W Minneapolis Bridge Disaster coupled to the crumbling, failing US Infrastructure we can all rest assured that no bridges will be collapsing inside Israel anytime soon as US funding has been diverted directly to them as a nation. Now there is talk of adding a 5 cent Federal Tax to gasoline to help defray highway maintenance costs, as opposed to doing the unthinkable and cutting tax-payer grants to Israel.

The US Government appears to have their priorities all messed up placing Iraq and Israel before any, and all things connected to the United States of America.

Katrina Victims are not getting enough attention by the US Media and that is very irresponsible of that US Media.

That was a perfect window of opportunity for Democrats to step in and take over helping neglected Katrina Victims, in fact, it was the duty of the Democrats to do this, and it appears they failed the nation.

as a canadian dismayed by the u.s. government under george bush some encouragement is offered when i read people like bill moyers. people like bush and the departing karl rove have casued the once-admired u.s. to lose creditability and any moral authority it had in the world. even canada, its long-time neighbor and friend, remains shocked by its rightuous militancy.

i continue to read that bush's leadership rating is the low 30s. i ask who are these people in the lows 30s that can support him. they are giving their country away for shallow political prejudices.

wake up america, come back to the real world. arnie patterson, halifax , canada

as a canadian dismayed by the u.s. government under george bush some encouragement is offered when i read people like bill moyers. people like bush and the departing karl rove have casued the once-admired u.s. to lose creditability and any moral authority it had in the world. even canada, its long-time neighbor and friend, remains shocked by its rightuous militancy.

i continue to read that bush's leadership rating is the low 30s. i ask who are these people in the lows 30s that can support him. they are giving their country away for shallow political prejudices.

wake up america, come back to the real world. arnie patterson, halifax , canada

Thank you Bill Moyers & PBS. It was a privilege to see Grace Lee Boggs engage in a conversation with Bill Moyers. During your interview with Andy Stern, Andy responded to your questions. Grace Boggs not only answered but she questioned and provoked you and your audience to reflect upon our tendency to give and get simplistic answers to today’s deepening crisis. A crisis that intensifies everyday because of global capitalism and the rising counter-revolution. Rather than an interview, you and Grace engaged in a conversation. We need conversations and exploration, rather than past answers or simple scenarios for change.

40 years ago, many of us believed that the social movements initiated in the 1950s and 1960s would automatically and ultimately lead to a revolutionary transformation of our values and our structures. Our sense of time and our understanding of revolution was youthful. 40 years later, many individuals from my generation continue to search and commit themselves to fundamental social change. New movements in our country and throughout the world are emerging because of the responses by human beings to the fundamental destruction initiated by the globalization of multinational capitalism and the values of individualism, short sightedness, and meism.

Grace Boggs challenges us to redefine The American Dream and to give meaning to Martin Luther King Jr.s call for a revolution in values and the need to become global citizens. As we struggle against racism, materialism and militarism, our movement needs to create the vision and the practices to:

Create Peace Zones in every neighborhood in our country

Unite the struggle to end the war in Iraq with our commitment to end violence in our communities

Create food security in our country through creating urban gardens, markets and end our reliance on the global transporting of food.

Initiate Freedom Schools that unite education, health care and opportunities to work with the dream of rebuilding the communities.

Establish Inclusive Beloved Communities that become the foundation upon which Cities of Hope ( are established throughout our country.

The 21 century has challenged us to move beyond protest to resistance and from anger to hope. Grace Boggs ( has challenged community activists, radicals, revolutionists and Bill Moyers to leave behind the paradigms of social democracy, welfare statism, and 20th century concepts of socialism behind.

How do we move from representative democracy to participatory democracy?

How do we move from labor that is dependent upon multinational capitalism to work that rebuilds our communities, our cities and re-establishes our dignity and humanity?

In the year 2050 we will look back upon the first decade of the 21 century as the foundation upon which the whispers, dreams and unanswered questions from the 20th century movements were transformed into the movement for a new self-governing America in the 21 century. Grace Boggs’ call for a cultural revolution from the grass roots will allow us to transform ourselves and our institutions.

Dear Bill Moyers:

I've forgotten the name of the union leader you interviewed very recently, on your excellent show, some time in June 2007.
I want to read more about this person. Can you please send me his name.
I think it was Adam something.

Thanks in advance for this, and for your always stimulating shows.

Joyce Hays

Bill Moyers you need to tell what you know about the JFK assassination and LBJ's involvement?

I watched the five chapters titled, Buying The War, just now.
Thanks for putting that together. I have emailed the url to my extended family and hope everyone pays attention to it.
But, think of the blood on the hands of those people who knowingly closed their minds to all information to the contrary of the push to war.
Think of the bath of innocent blood that our president is taking.
When will he be publicly accused of this purposeful blood bath?

Dear Mr Moyers:
Thankyou for your articles on the cost of postage for independent magazines - there are hundreds more than you listed - but this will help, hopefully.
Now what about doing something of the demise of the public library in the US - we are working to rebuild the public libraries of New Orleans, but all around the nation the public libraries are in disrepair and bereft of books;
JOIN THE BEATITUDES NETWORK TO REBUILD THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES OF NEW ORLEANS…..please link or pass the word. Many published authors are supporting this effort, along with The New Orleans Public Library Foundation. We want to raise awareness of the vital need in the rise of one of America’s great cities.

You will be listed as a Beatitude on the site The Beatitudes at , introducing the serialized novel about New Orleans, The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy.

Out of New Orleans before the catastrophe that was made by a hurricane and, as Dante wrote, “of false gods who lied,” comes The Beatitudes, part one in the New Orleans Trilogy. The Beatitudes portrays New Orleans as Dante’s purgatory, a place were the sins of men are exposed for all to see, where redemption is close at hand but most often lost.

Hopefully, you will also list this site on yours and every time someone clicks on it they will think about donating to supporting literature in New Orleans. A good fund is The New Orleans Public Library at and click on Friends of the NOPL Restoration Funds. When The Beatitudes is published, all royalties will be donate to the New Orleans Public Library Fund. Check out the blog for information about a free lecture to promote The Beatitudes Network..

Note: if you do not wish me to list you as a Beatitude, please email me at

The days of little magazines like Evergreen Review and its cozy companions are long gone. The material cited by Moyers is worth preserving in principle but not worth reading. Small magazines, small ideas.

I find it rather inhumane and insulting for Moyers to use the term "least among us" to apply to smaller circulation magazines. In this time when poverty in the United States is at such a crushing high, with hunger, discrimination against those not able to afford either health care or protection under the law, that a man who should know better, like Bill Moyer could be so crass.

Perhaps this explains why Moyers uses public broadcasting to only report on the concerns of the elite, rather than those of the many. He reduces the medium to the caricature so many of us used to rail against. A PBS that only serves the needs of a disconnected and disinterested elite.

Bill Moyers, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Mr. Moyers,

Thank you for calling attention to the proposed postal rate hike on your programme. I heartily agree with you that small journals, newspapers and magazines are the backbone of our democracy and that we should speak out to protect their privileged position in postage.

I also appreciate how you appealed to a non-ideological approach; after all each any every one of us, regardless of our politics, can appreciate and knows the value of free speech.

Thanks for your remarks regarding the postal rate increase and its impact on small magazines. My husband and I started a history magazine two years ago from our home. I worked hard for over a year for us to qualify for the special periodicals rates. We passed our postal audit just in time to see those savings more than disappear. Needless to say, it is very discouraging. Small magazines don't always have the staff to stay on top of even these important issues. We're working to limit the damage on our end, but one way people can support small magazines and journals is to remain loyal. Prices may go up, but they do for everything. Keep it in perspective, as many magazines cost less for a year than a new swimsuit...and, unlike the swimsuit, the magazine may still look good on you in five years!
Bill, we've always enjoyed your work. Thanks.

Another means of suppressing information. Where are those in Congress who truly care about our democracy. Neither party has an abundance of congresspeople who are allies of the people whom they supposedly serve.

Your last program was all depressing. Can't you have one segment that will be a little lighter?

The interview with Melissa Harris was terrible. I could barely stand watching this entire episode. I cringed as she nervously asked the question "how could Barak Obama NOT be black?" Well one of his parents is black and the other is white for one. He is as white as he is black. He is mixed.

I am mixed, and seeing my identity trampled over and forgotten time and time again gets a little old after awhile. Obama clearly doesn't run as a black candidate. He has an insight into two differant ethnicities, like everyone who is mixed...sometimes more then two.

Watching talking heads of the black community scramble to claim ownership of someone they've collectively shown suspicion towards for not being "black enough" is not my idea of a good Friday night. I felt like Melissa was from the stone age. Obama doesn't run as a "black candidate" for a reason. He is a great candidate that thinks of his race as secondary to his qualifications.

The interview with Mr. Bawer is most interesting. This exchange is of particular interest:

BILL MOYERS: The BBC broadcast a report that Rotterdam almost has a Muslim majority. So is it conceivable that a Muslim majority in a democratic society could vote in Sharia law and would Europe accept that?

BRUCE BAWER: That's a disturbing case. But there's recently a minister of justice in the Netherlands, Piet Hein Donner said, he actually said this, he said that if a majority of people voted to have Sharia law in the Netherlands, it would be a disgrace to say no.

BILL MOYERS: A disgrace?


BILL MOYERS: Because a democrat-- the democratic principle had prevailed?

BRUCE BAWER: Yes. Because if that's what that majority wants, that's what we have to have.

BILL MOYERS: And what would that mean in your sense, for the rights of minorities?

BRUCE BAWER: That would mean that that would be the last election for a very long time. It would be-- it would be a terrifying situation.
Just today, another news article found here; Mermaid Statue Draped in Muslim Dress reminds us of the fragile condition of western cultural artifacts in an open society that is under assault.

I cannot help but wonder, given a hostile Muslim majority in Rotterdam, if the great store of western art found there is safe.

Should the art be evacuated to safer havens?

Mr. Bawer's analysis seems very pessimistic to me.
I am from France, a country with a muslim population of about 4 million people and I am well acquainted with those issues. I cannot speak for other countries but the assimilation of muslim populations in France is not the failure that some people describe. It isn't perfect, but given the circumstances (north african colonies, war with Algeria in the 60s) and the massive influx of muslims in a very short period of time in the 70s, it isn't so bad either.
Look at it this way: France's new attorney general is a woman from arab descent, our best soccer player is named Zidane, our best-paid actor is also an arab.
The law banishing muslim veils in public schools was accepted by most muslims.

Don't be fooled by the 2005 riots in the ethnic suburbs: they were, at least at the beggining, a healthy sign of a willingness to integrate into mainstream society.

As for the demographics, the birth rate for second generation French muslim women is in line with the rest of the population.

The threat exists, but I don't think the situation is as bad as Mr. Bawer claims it is.

M. Costello from Canada may wish to recall that the Province of Ontario, with about 30% of Canada's population seriously considered allowing Sharia Law recently.

Mr. Bawer's words near the beginning of the interview about the extraordinary differences, the insulated communities of recent arrivals, and the absolute rejection of the prevailing moral values of the society by the recent arrivals could apply to the British in India, the Dutch in Indonesia, the French in Vietnam and any number of other colonial powers throughout the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century, and far into the past. Read the Alexandria Quartet for a reminder.

The difference was that Europeans had their foot on the neck of the local populace. Europe's dysfunctional multiculturalism is to a great degree blowback from that dreadful colonial period, which goes some distance to explain the relative lack of muslim activism and protest in America: that and the likelihood of ending up in Guantanamo if a muslim in America tried it. However, it is also a reminder that the nice values of european democracy were bought with the blood and gold of conquered peoples. Is it so surprising that some of them do not share those values?

Chris Hedges' American Fascists makes a similar argument regarding the Christian Right in America, with a clearer understanding that the issue is political, not religious. Advocating the overthrow of the governmental system that guarantees your rights and those of others should be treated as sedition, both in America and in Europe: that is the true democratic value.

God Bless you Bill, and the courage of your guest, Bruce Bawer. Though the Bauer's in my home town, Appleton MN, (where zip codes were invented to be distinguished from Appleton WI), spelled their name with a 'U'.

It's all about the conversation, and frequently in the course of your interview, I said this to my wife: "That's the liberal dilema: defending other points of view", especially when they are not so committed as you are to that principal.

Besides Jesus' message of unconditional love for the other, is the bitter pill that love may not be returned in a fashion you feel or recognize.

Immigrants make up 5% of Western Europe's population. Mr. Bawer says that this number could "easily become 10 and 20%", which is completely ridiculous. After a huge influx during the 50es and 60es, the number managed to climb to 5%. Today, with such enormous restrictions on non-European immigrant movement through UN, the immigrant population does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of climbing, let alone doubling, or quadrupling. The theories about "low native population growth" and "invasion of terrorists kicked out of muslim countries" are unfounded and honestly, not on the menu of someone with enough dignity and integrity to resist basic instinct of fear.

I understand it is hard to be persecuted for being who you are. I understand that it can generate animosity towards the persecutor. But fear of persecution does not grant you immunity from responsibility to look at problems cause first! And it certainly does not allow you to take your frustration out on minorities. Trust me, muslim world is not about to bomb Netherlands or the US of A to smithereens, they are not about to impose funny smelling trade agreements on us either. Let go of the fear for a brief moment, and consider things that are bigger than your perception of your own hardship.

I understand and fully agree that radical religious positions on homosexuality, rights of women and human rights in general are completely unacceptable in our day and age. But quite frankly, I find those not remotely as troubling as the evident tendency of the western world to contribute to the core problem that generates the radical popular base: huge inequality on all levels. The radicalism is bound to rise, as long as we actively support it.

As Bawer himself says, the immigrant situation and our perception of it even fuels undemocratic reactionary bowel movements in western countries. I say that the only way to reverse all forms of radicalism is to dissolve the environment in which it breeds best: state of inequality.

As a television journalist, thank you for supporting the work of other great journalists who work in other mediums. I hope this issue is returned to in the future--that of the structures that stifle the best of the free press, and ultimately limit the possibilities of us all.

Regarding the Bruce Bawer interview, I am appalled that such a calm and reasoned interview could generate such vitriolic comment. I should not be, as it is a common if discredited technique by those who cannot refute a position to attack the person holding that position as a bigot, racist or worse.

One commentator also took the position that a European, a Caucasian, a Christian, a person of means, or any combination of the above could not constructively criticize Islam.

A commentator noted that democracy means that the vote of the people must be accepted. This is a perverted notion of democracy. In a true democracy, there are some things that are, or never should be subject to the whims of the populace. The American Bill of Rights is one of those things. Of course, in the Muslim world, such liberties either do not exist or are severely limited. It has been said, and there is much to bear it out, that democracy in the Muslim world is one man, one vote, one time.

It should be noted that Muslims are quick to insist on their rights in Europe, but equally quick, and in large numbers to denounce others who exercise those rights. The Danish cartoons episode is but one example of this. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press is ok, except when criticism of Islam is involved. Such is the Muslin notion of democracy at work, and such is the notion of Muslim democracy.

During the interview, and in commentary posted here, and indeed in almost every article, news story etc. dealing with Islam, much is made of “radical Islam” and “fundamentalist” Islam, as if this was something unusual and an exception to real Islam, whatever that is. But where is this purported moderate Muslim majority? When a criticism of Islam is broached, it very difficult to find. Rare indeed is there a Muslim defense of liberty unaccompanied by some qualification that Muslims sensitivities must be considered, or Muslim values must be respected, or something else that limits liberty for all.

A commentator raises the canard about European nations not doing enough to integrate Muslims into their communities. But do Muslims want to be integrated into Europe? The shunning of the “infidel” communities, the aversion to the “abode of war” (in Islam, all areas where Islam does not rule), and the creation of little Turkeys, Pakistans, Algerias, and Somalias in the west does not show a desire for integration.

Lastly, Islam tried for hundreds of years to conquer Europe by force of arms. Islam continues to make no bones about the fact that the dictates of that religion require Muslims to bring all humanity under their oppressive regime. The means may be different, but the desired result is the same.

Mr.BRUCE BAWER and his partner, are welcome in Canada.

The majority of Canadians have climbed out from under the rock and have taken great strides to welcome the gay community.

If I am not mistaken, we have passed laws, addressing many concerns of the gay community.

Come to Canada BRUCE BAWER, welcome . My wife and children believe that all humans must be treated as equals.

I'm looking for the transcript for the 5/18/07 program. On the site, the 5/18 listing is actually linked to the 5/4 transcript. Can you correct that?
Many thanks.


As a 49 year-old developmentally-disabled adult with High-Functioning Autism, in the "Libertarian" State of New Hampshire, I have already been "screwed" by the "system". Although I have a Bachelor Of Science Degree in Electronic Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute, "nobody in New Hampshire will hire me...".

Already went through the NH State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (3) times since July 1986, and in 2006, the NHVR "State Agency", finally got fed up with me as a person, and left me to now "languish on $1,200/month SSDI" for the rest of my adult life, which does not pay for any kind of "independent living", ect. for a "relatively high-functioning" "adult" with Autism.

As it is, I am "stuck", still living under my elderly diabetic Dad's roof, or I would be 100% homeless and living on the street. Anyway, I have to also assist my Dad with caring for my "bedridden" Mom, who has been mentally-ill (untreated until 2005) for the past 46 years.

Also, in a "libertarian" society, my only living brother who also still lives at home at age 45, would be homeless, too. Anyway, despite him having a BSEE, BSET degrees, nobody in the entire State of New Hampshire has even "hired him for employment" since the winter of 1991. When Governor Graig Benson was running CABLETRON, INC., Craig Benson, "himself", personally told my younger brother right to his face (in person) to "go to Hell!!!", when my brother "very politely asked him for an "entry level" Electronic Engineering Technician position in his company.

My brother and I are "permanently "blacklisted from employment" everywhere in New Hampshire.

As it is, the "libertarian" attitude towards disabled adults like myself is "____ YOU!!!"...


P.S. Have a "Nice Day!!!"

In reference to Free Trade,I think it just helped to widen the gap between rich and poor further. To the point where those with the resources can pay high prices, and those without are left behind, because there is nothing left for them, not even affordable housing in many cases.

Can I post a comment about Bawer here? There does not seem to be a post up for discussion of his rather controversial interview.

Well, since we are discussing the harmfulness of words, it occurred to me that if one replaced each mention of "Islam" or "Muslim" with the words "Judaism" or "Jew" it would be immediately clear why Bawer's words are as dangerous as those of any radical cleric.

I won't disagree that radical Islam is wreaking havoc in European countries. And I think he gets a lot right about European leaders dropping that ball on the values they fought so hard for. However, I find several inconsistencies in Bawer's discussion of the matter.

First, he claims that the fundamentalist fringe (although he does not acknowledge it as fringe until prodded) has been allowed to thrive *because* of Europe's famous tolerance. A live and let live philosophy has allowed some monster to grow in the shadows. I live in a large American city where we have basically the same philosophy: you can be any religion, sexual orientation, etc. you like. I can walk down a street where there are mosques, temples, cathedrals, and atheist bookstores. We do not have Muslims burning flags in our streets, killing our intellectuals or demanding Sharia law. That relations here are so amicable is doubly amazing considering the events of 9-11 and America's invasion of Iraq. Yes, perhaps they are afraid of drawing any attention to themselves, for these reasons, but person-to-person, there is little animosity here, and people of different faiths and backgrounds get along.

So this leads me to think that it is not just the default position for Muslim immigrants to be dangerous and hysterical, as though left alone in their natural state this is what they become, which is the implicit suggestion of Bawer's argument. Socio-, political and economic forces create these situations of instability and hatred, be they in Europe or anywhere else. Does Europe make any attempt to integrate these people into their society? To accept them? Is there truly no racism alive in Europe? Is there really no European exceptionalism? Are they afforded the same financial opportunities as anyone else? Are they actually treated as equals, as citizens? Since most Muslims are not killing filmmakers and burning flags, I reject the argument that these Dutch Muslims are doing so because they are Muslims. So perhaps we should try more to understand what makes them so angry and feel so threatened and then we can find a better solution than just criminalizing a faith. Disenfranchisement leads to violent outrage, not book-reading, not even the Koran.

Secondly, it is beyond hypocritical to criticize an ideology or faith that is, according to you, anti-democracy, and then turn around and state that democratic freedoms (to say, vote for your elected representatives) should not be extended to people who profess this faith or ideology! Bawer holds democratic values as the end all be all, but in the same breath admits these values do not work when it comes to a certain segment of the population. Democracy means giving everyone a voice and adequate information and accepting the will of the people. Not, giving everyone who agrees with you a voice and ensuring the will of the people reflects your values.

Also, I am much more inclined to listen to someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali than Bawer, because at least then I can rule out that the criticism is based on racism, Christian exceptionalism or threat to privilege. I can't fault Bawer for being a white, Christian & financially well off, but historically when members of the privileged class talk about disenfranchising brown people, poor people, or those who are not Christian (or even the right kind of Christian) it is not constructive.

Why isn't Bawer, or the European politicians who are perhaps giving these fundamentalists too much immunity in the name of religion (citing the German court case here) willing to separate the individual from the ideology, or the crime from the faith? Why can't you outlaw things and protect basic human rights and extend multiculturalism to more "cultural" matters? Why can we not just say, regardless of your religion, murder, abuse, vandalism, etc. is illegal, and treat the criminals like criminals? Why not address hate not with eliminating religious freedom, but with information and education. We did not ban Jerry Falwell in America, we allow Christian fundamentalists to vote and run for office. As a result, very terrible things have happened. But also as a result these ideas have had light shed upon, have been subject to national debate, and have been illustrated to be irresponsible. Sending the Falwells and clerics underground would make them stronger. I have to wonder if what Bawer imagines is freedom to live in their own society unbothered is not in fact a form of sending them underground. A kind of ghettoization. And that a lack of public scrutiny, not, as Bawer purports, an embarrassment of public acceptance has allowed these extremists to thrive.

Sure, it would be easier to just criminalize a whole religion or immigrant group because its most outspoken preach hatred. But if he did that, he'd better have the dignity to not profit off books about how fabulous democracy is either.

Shame on the fool who would buy it from him.

*p.s. I can't tell you how happy I am that you are back on the air! When you left NOW, it felt like one more casualty in this war, and it was demoralizing. Keep up the good work. And no more retiring until at least 2008. :)

I agree with those that believe the interview with Nick Gillespie was shallow and leading. Libertarianism sounds great, but it's theories are much harder to explain exactly how they would work--no SSI, no Medicare, no public schools? I really wish, if it were possible and temporary, that those who profess libertarianism could immediately see the world they wish--and live in it. Many of those who pseudo subscribe to libertarianism are only where they are because of government help, such as state Community College educations and professors who reap nice working rewards teaching at public Community Colleges and Universities. I have an ex friend who is a "libertarian" and a Community College professor. I always would tell him to stop being a hypocrite and get a job in the private sector or a private university--something he can't compete well enough to capture. No more cushy retirement, 100% full health benefits, tenure, and 75, 000 dollar annual paychecks. So all of you professed libertarians working in government jobs, give up your government jobs and go get a job in the private sector--in other words, stop being hypocrites. And those not working government jobs, the next time you pick your kids up at the local state university, think twice about libertarianism. It supports, in theory, very, very limited publicly funded anything--especially SSI benefits.

I hate to say it, since I support the right of people to worship as they please, but I think that religious fundamentalism is a threat to our democracy. If we hope to remain free, religious fundamentalism will have to be extirpated -- especially radical Islam. Ironically, we really aren't free if we have to repress a minority, but there's no way that we're free if we are living under Sharia. I'd prefer a full nuclear exchange to living under Sharia. I will never convert to Islam, under any circumstances. I'd gladly die fighting against radical Islam, instead of having to capitulate to a creed that would set back the hard-won social and technological progress of the West by at least 600 years.

Free trade was never good for the United States. It was only good for the multinational corporations and the countries in which they located.

Robert Zoellick who played a leading role in the selling of 'free trade' said the following:

"America's trade policies are connected to our broader economic, political, and security aims. This intellectual integration may confound some trade scholars, but it follows in the footsteps of the architects of reconstruction after 1945."

It would only confound trade scholars if it made no sense economically for the United States and in fact, we know that's true.

'Free Trade' has been a fire sale of the United States domestic businesses. By negotiating preferential trade agreements with third world countries, it undercut American producers - putting them out of business - or running them out of the country.

Industry after industry after industry has fallen to the treason of 'free trade'. By the time they finish exporting our knowledge jobs, the U.S. won't have much of an economy and we won't be the country of our founders. Give it another 7 or 8 years and the United States will be destitute - and visibly so. The game will be over.

Thanks to Bill Moyers for a great show!

I hope we will have one soon on FAIR TRADE. An interview with it's founders, Media Benjamin and Diane Wilson, would be lovely! Fair Trade is the solution!

I am very sorry to say, that magazines and newspapers are on their way out. The internet will completely replace them all in 10 years.

Now would be a good time to start collecting the great ones for posterity.

It was quite interesting watching in order of appearance Malissa Harris-Lacewell discussing bigotry and racism followed by Bruce Bawer's racism and bigotry. Tellingly, Ms. Harris-Lacewell shares her classroom query, what if the Supreme Court were female African American Lesbians as opposed to white "presumably" heterosexuals. Mr. Bawer would find himself in a dilemma with such a proposition as he is clearly incapable of moving beyond white male xenophobia. His "fears" are laughable but certainly sells books and finds air time.

Bawer was not totally honest about Muslim attitudes towards homosexuality. Homosexuality by itself is not a crime in Islamic law but sodomy is. Quran simply calls homosexuals, "people who transgress," but it does not specify any punishment. Similarly, in saying of Prophet Muhammad (Hadiths), it is simply stated, "A man should not lie with another man without wearing lower garment under one cover; and a woman should not be lie with another woman without wearing lower garment under one cover." (Abu Dawood). However, since the death of Prophet Muhammad, Muslim legal scholars have debated and disagreed as to what is the proper punishment for sodomy. That is one of the reasons that executions typically have NOT been carried out, as there is no consensus. In the penal code of almost all Muslim countries [especially countries Muslim immigrants have come from], the punishment for sodomy is jailtime, not execution.

Bawer was not totally honest about Muslim attitudes towards homosexuality. Homosexuality by itself is not a crime in Islamic law but sodomy is. Quran simply calls homosexuals, "people who transgress," but it does not specify any punishment. Similarly, in saying of Prophet Muhammad (Hadiths), it is simply stated, "A man should not lie with another man without wearing lower garment under one cover; and a woman should not be lie with another woman without wearing lower garment under one cover." (Abu Dawood). However, since the death of Prophet Muhammad, Muslim legal scholars have debated and disagreed as to what is the proper punishment for sodomy. That is one of the reasons that executions typically have NOT been carried out, as there is no consensus. In the penal code of almost all Muslim countries [especially countries Muslim immigrants have come from], the punishment for sodomy is jailtime, not execution.

I strongly agree, if only the citizens would act on something like this it would prove their voting power does work. How? When? and Where can we start to effect this?


Thanks Bob McChesney for the organized site for comments. I love my "small" magazines. Reading and sharing these resources creates community, just like buying from small local retailers preserves towns. Small is still beautiful.

This is the site to go to that was put together by all the magazines and Free press to organize opposition to the rate hike. It has all the background information and press coverage, too. Please check it out and sign the letter.

James C. Miller III, Chairman of the Board of Governors, USPS

Ditto DO we get ourselves heard on this issue?

Moyers' SOS turned out to be hard to respond to.

I've created a Tiny URL to reach the USPS email page with a form......

It is safe & tested. It took 15 min on the USPS site to find out how to contact, by the way!

Also asking for instructions on how to help.

Have emailed my Senators on the postal service small magazine postage assault but ...... Bill, you told us to go to and their was no mention as to what the public can do?????
Had to search for your blog in order to find your letter.
I think you could do more to direct your listeners on how to voice their outrage.

I came here at the opening of the broadcast in expectation of hearing how I can add comment, not to other viewers, but to those responsible for the new policy, and subject to influence in changing it. Please let us know where we can express our opinion to the policymakers, whether for or against Bill's view.

okay - do you have information about the best way to contact the U.S. Postal service on the issue of reduced postal rates for small journals and magazines? or is there a forum on this somewhere?

I want to be heard in opposition to outrageous expenses handed to smaller journals that would increase their costs. Their voices are needed for our information sources to be varied

So HOW do I make myself heard in favor of small journals?

Accurate information is under assualt in every area. How have we make a change?

Your interview with Nick Gillespie last week was an incredibly shallow piece of journalism. Like too many other talking TV heads these days, you only asked softball questions that let Gillespie extol the wonders of Libertarianism without asking any tough ones that would explore the boundaries where his philosophy breaks down. Does he believe in global warming? How does he propose we solve problems that require collective action? How about problems where property rights are next-to-impossible to define? How would his ideal society deal with people who are born with developmental handicaps?

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