My "Spam" Letter of April 16, 2003

Date: 16 Apr 2003 02:41:36 -0000
From: Danny Sleator 
Subject: better ways to get the news

I'm alternately outraged and depressed by what's happening
in the news.  We now have the most powerful, deceitful,
arrogant, and belligerent administration in US history.  And
almost everything they're doing is wrong.

Here's one example to illustrate the power of Emperor Bush.
He can start a unilateral, preemptive, unprecedented war
costing hundreds of billions of dollars.  His justification
for it constantly changes, and is buttressed by a stream of
lies.  Simultaneously he can demand and get from congress a
huge tax cut for the rich, despite the fact that we're in a
recession and there's a huge budget deficit.  And while
doing all this outrageous stuff, he remains extremely

I'm thinking about what I, an average Joe, can do to slow
down this juggernaut.  One thing I did was put up this
lighted sign outside of my house:

But I think the real problem, and the reason for Bush's
popularity, is that the American people basically don't have
a clue about what's really happening.  The mainstream media
are not communicating it.  Here are four examples to
illustrate this point.

1. Remember the huge crowd of Iraqis cheering and pulling
   down a statue of Saddam?  It turns out that the crowd was
   very small and some (all?)  of the jubilant members of
   the crowd were actors.

2. Remember the rampant looting of Baghdad?  Perhaps you
   knew that the US didn't lift a finger to stop it.  But
   did you know that it was encouraged by US troops as a
   photo op?

3. Did you know that Richard Perle (a key author of the US's
   current Iraq policy) worked to undermine the Camp David
   accords in the summer of 2000?,2763,342857,00.html

4. There's an outrageous, little-known part of NAFTA called
   chapter 11, which foreign corporate investors are using
   to challenge laws designed to protect public health,
   environmental regulations, and jury verdicts.  The cases
   are heard before a secret international trade tribunal.

These are just a tiny sample to illustrate the problems of
missing and/or misleading stories in the media.  This
situation goes a long way toward explaining why the war is
so much more popular in the US than it is everywhere else.
So I'm suggesting (to all the addresses in my inbox over the
last few years) some good alternative sources of information
that I've found.

A good place to start is They
collect stories from reputable sources all over the world.
You can sign up for a daily mailing of stories of their
suggested stories.  I've included one below.  Sign up for
their mailings at: is a media watchdog group.  They
maintain a web site, and they let you sign up for sporadic
mailings about media deceptions and bias.  They often have
action alerts about specific outrages in the media.

Another very good organization is
They email reminders when congress is considering important
issues.  They make it easy to contact your congress person to
voice your opinion.  They also run ads in mainstream
publications and on TV.

I also highly recommend the book "What Liberal Media?" by
Eric Alterman.  He explains in great detail all the ways in
which the media system is broken, and how it got this way.

Here are some other great sites to take a look at:

I hope you find this mailing useful, and I apologize if you
got this more than once.  Feel free to send this to anybody
you want.  One warning.  If you keep up with these sites,
your world view will start to diverge from the "standard"
(i.e. false) world view.  You risk being viewed as a
conspiracy theorist or a nut.

          Daniel Sleator
          Professor of Computer Science
          Carnegie Mellon University
          Phones: 412-268-7563, 412-422-5377

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Last modified: Fri Oct 1 13:45:35 EDT 2004