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     a forum for anti-authoritarian political opinion, research 
                              and humor
       September 17, 1996        published weekly           #2
       In this issue:  
       Crisis? What Crisis? 
       Why The U.S. Must Bomb Iraq 
       Okinawans Disappear! 
       $10,000 Bribes 
       Sports Stadiums, Class War and the Race for Governor 
    Crisis?  What Crisis?
         It used to be, way back in the old days (before Beverly
    Hills 90210), that you had to read between the lines to
    figure out how politicians were lying. Now all you have to
    do is read their own statements. For example, according to
    Bill Clinton, welfare reform will help our children;
    according to his own bureaucrats, it will throw millions
    more of them into poverty. And so on. The brazenness of it,
    and the contempt for our intelligence, is astounding. 
         The latest example: our so-called crisis with Saddam
    Hussein. The extreme belligerence of the U.S.--being
    commented on with horror around the world--is justified by
    Bill Clinton as, um, well, he hasn't, actually. We need to
    teach Saddam a lesson. Yep. And, uh, Iraqi aggression will
    not be tolerated. They are referring, of course, to
    incidents like Iraqi radar picking up enemy fighter planes
    zooming over their country, which might be construed in
    other quarters as trying to prevent more civilians from
    being bombed. But if it were Iraqi planes strafing
    Pennsylvania I'm sure we'd understand.
         Meanwhile, there is actually some muted criticism (!)
    of Clinton's warmongering from GOP circles, to the effect
    that the U.S. actions lead to no clear way out of the
    crisis. What they haven't mentioned is that there is an
    extraordinarily simple, inexpensive, and effective way to
    end this "crisis."
         GO HOME.
         Next week, the justification will be something else. 
    (Remember the Kurds last week? Iran? How quickly we forget.)
    But the war continues. Five years of U.S.-led economic
    sanctions have killed over 500,000 Iraqi civilians, an act
    of war that makes for boring news footage but far more
    damage than the bombing runs. What is the point? What is the
    "crisis" that justifies this? There is none. There can be
    none. The U.S. needs to take its expensive, murderous toys
    and get the hell out. Now.
    Why The U.S. Must Bomb Iraq
         Since the Clinton Administration and our Official
    Government-Approved Free Media haven't actually given any
    reasons for U.S. warmaking, our intrepid Eat The State!
    researchers, utilizing a renowned network of inside sources
    and pure speculation, have gone to great lengths to find out
    for you. The secret's out. Here they are.
         1) We must send Saddam Hussein a message: "After gym
    class is over I'll be waiting for you outside, and I'm going
    to beat you up."
         2) U.S. arms sale projections for 1998 have dipped
    below their current 75% of the world market levels, and so
    we must use Baghdad as an extended infomercial.
         3) Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim.
         4) Certain campaign financiers would like to have a
    good excuse to jack up retail gasoline prices 25% again
    while their costs remain stable.
         5) The Dow Jones hasn't hit 10,000 yet.
         6) U.S. spy satellites have located a household in
    suburban Baghdad that still has electricity and a reliable
    water supply.
         7) The insects buzzing around rotting Iraqi corpses
    have violated U.S.-imposed "no fly zone" restrictions.
         8) Every missile we fire will have to be replaced by a
    newer, more expensive one.
         9) Saddam Hussein is actually a CIA agent, and the
    whole thing is an elaborate hoax.
         10) Clinton is way ahead in the polls, and every day
    Iraq is on the front page of the papers is one less day Bob
    Dole can draw attention to his campaign.
         11) Life is cheap.
    Eat The Airwaves!
    Hear Eat The State! political commentary on Mind Over
    Matters every Saturday morning from 8:30 to 9:00 on KCMU
    90.3 FM. If we can get up that early, the least you can do
    is turn on your radio and listen!
    Okinawans Disappear!
         While media efforts to erase Kurdistan from our
    collective memory were impressive, an even more astounding
    case of news management occured in a P-I reprint of a New
    York Times story on Saturday.
         You may remember that last week the voters of Okinawa,
    in a non-binding referendum, opted by a remarkable 90% to
    10% margin to demand the closure of U.S. military bases in
    the Okinawan islands. Much of the U.S. military presence in
    Japan is concentrated in Okinawa, and a long-standing anti-
    base campaign gained near total local consensus after
    several well-publicized sexual assaults of local women and
    girls by U.S. soldiers. Leases for many of the bases expire
    next Spring. The vote (though not the margin of victory) was
    front-page news in both the NY Times and the P-I.
         Well, late last week, under what the NY Times story
    described as "heavy pressure" from Tokyo and Washington,
    Okinawa's governor decided that U.S. base leases would be
    renewed after all. The story here is a government decision,
    in a "democracy," counter to the virtually unanimous will of
    its citizens. Yet in the eighteen NYT-reprinted paragraphs
    the P-I ran on the Okinawan decision, last week's vote was
    never mentioned. Not once. As though it never happened.  
         Needless to say, Okinawa's governor and officials in
    Tokyo and Washington were quoted at length on the difficult
    decision and how pleased they were. A base opponent was
    quoted only in paragraph #18, and then only to express
    distrust of Japanese officials--not the bases or U.S. policy
    in subverting democracy.
         Pravda would have been proud.
    $10,000 Bribes
         Much, much closer to home, another object lesson in how
    money trumps popular will arrives in Seattle late Wednesday
    afternoon. He is Pres. Bill Clinton. In addition to the
    primary purpose of Clinton's visit--a $10,000 per plate
    fundraising dinner atop the Columbia tower--campaign
    officials later scheduled, as an afterthought, a less
    expensive Paramount Theatre saxophone concert and public
    appearances at Pike Place Market and (Thursday morning) the
    Tacoma Dome.
         About 125 to 150 folks, many from Microsoft and Boeing,
    are expected to shell out $10 K for a chance to nuzzle Bill.
         The purpose is not good food, or even reelection of a
    guy they believe in. At the Fortunate 500 level, many
    corporations hedge their bets and maintain access by heavily
    funding both political parties and their major campaigns.
    These big corporate players are shelling out money so that
    if they need regulatory relief, a favor from the executive
    branch, or backing for a bill that will make them billions
    of dollars, they can pick up the phone, call the White House
    and remind someone of their financial support. This, in
    third world countries, is called a "bribe." In the U.S. it's
    known as democracy, and it goes a long way toward explaining
    why, in virtually every public policy matter that involves
    large sums of money, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole are nearly
         The issue here is not Clinton; his policies are merely
    a response to the concerns of the only people that matter to
    him. The issue is a political system that, just like in
    Okinawa, ignores the needs and will of 90% of its people.
         The only way this will ever change is if money is
    countered by bodies. We need folks in the streets--
    preferably starting on Wednesday--demanding that policies in
    health care, the environment, militarism, welfare, and
    countless other issues reflect our needs, not those of the
    Fortunate 500. Get loud, get angry, get together! A "Vote
    With Your Feet" rally organized by a slew of different local
    activist groups will meet at 6 P.M. at Westlake Park, 4th &
    Pine in downtown Seattle. Bring noise, bring non-perishable
    food to donate for those who can't afford $10,000 for a
    meal, bring ten friends, and let's remind the national
    politicians and media that, just like 220 years ago,
    taxation without meaningful representation is still grounds
    for a revolution.
    Sports Stadiums, Class War and the Race For Governor
         A few months ago, when Seahawks owner Ken Behring tried
    to move his NFL team to Southern California, the morning
    host of local sports-talk radio KJR recorded an opinion
    piece played throughout the day that savaged not only
    Behring but everyone in his income bracket. ("The rich are
    not like you and me...they can write their own laws...") As
    a blatant comment on the class war that passes for public
    policy these days, it was far gutsier than anything that,
    say, NPR would dare air--and it came from the sports
    chuckleheads that intellectual progressive types love to
    sneer at. It was a welcome and useful reminder--not heard,
    of course, by anyone not listening to KJR at the time--that
    what radicals sometimes think to be daring observations are
    just plain common sense to an awful lot of folks.
         So what happened? Now a new, even richer, owner is on
    the horizon, and those same fans want to bail out
    billionaire Paul Allen by having the public build him a new
    stadium. ("Yes, but he's OUR billionaire...") Yet another
    sad testimony to short memories.
         But wait! In an effort to shore up his underfunded
    campaign for governor (due to end today), Democrat Jay
    Inslee, an otherwise undistinguished Clintonoid, has taken
    on the football stadium issue and hit a nerve. Inslee asked
    a perfectly reasonable (and therefore rarely asked)
    question: why should the public finance a $300 million
    private playpen when its schools and roads are falling apart
    from lack of money? In doing so, he found an issue on which
    both of his leading Democratic rivals were very, very
         King County exec Gary Locke, one opponent, was
    particularly conspicuous last fall in his advocacy of a new
    baseball stadium--and, when voters rejected it in November,
    promptly found another way to ram ahead with it at taxpayer
    expense. And Seattle Mayor Norm Rice has based his whole
    career on his love of high-visibility megaprojects that only
    benefit a few wealthy friends (aka "donors"). In addition
    to backing the baseball park last fall and the Commons
    twice, Rice's years as mayor have seen two overpriced
    transit packages, fancy urban village redevelopment schemes,
    a big new jail and several other new public buildings in the
    works. Rice also gutted low income housing (and help for the
    homeless) while giving massive subsidies to attract new
    high-profile downtown eyesores like Nordstroms, Niketown,
    and the whole wretched Sixth Avenue corridor. Of course,
    Seattle's nine cookie-cutter City Council members, proud
    liberals each, were essentially on board for all this, too.
         The only problem with Inslee's question--why the
    public should be subsidizing wealthy businesses--is that it
    applies to just about everything local government does.
    Generally the mantra is that these policies "provide jobs." 
    The stadium question is particularly ludicrous on this
    score; one of the alleged benefits of the baseball stadium,
    when it was proposed last year, was that it would provide
    1,800 new jobs! Accepting at face value that low wage,
    temporary service jobs are desirable and that 1,800 jobs
    would be created, for the price tag of the stadium it came
    out to about $110,000 of public money spent per job. It
    would literally create more jobs, and a helluva lot more
    excitement, to pick 1,800 names out of a phone book and give
    each of them $110,000.
         A football facility, used ten times a year so a lot
    of corporate execs could watch from their suites while
    millionaires on the field beat the crap out of each other,
    makes even less sense. But for any corporate giveaway of
    this sort, whether for Paul Allen, Boeing or Nordstroms, the
    point is that tax dollars are being transferred to the rich,
    who can then, IF THEY WANT TO, create SOME jobs OF THEIR
    CHOOSING at some point IN THE FUTURE. Maybe. Or, maybe
    they'll take the money for themselves. Or use it to buy out
    local competitors and eliminate jobs. Or build a new
    factory in Mexico. Good deal, huh?
         Let's nip this football stadium stuff in the bud
    (before these idiots even start to THINK about their more-
    asinine-yet Olympic bid plans). And, perhaps, use the issue
    as a way to highlight all the tax breaks, zoning variances
    and selective legal enforcements used less visibly by local
    governments to further enrich the wealthy every day.   
    "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as
    necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."
    - Thomas Jefferson
    Sep. 17. 1961: 1,314 arrested in anti-bomb sit-down,
    Trafalgar Square, London. 
    Sep. 18. 1975: Eighteen months after her abduction, San
    Francisco police "rescue" heiress-turned-revolutionary Patty
    Hearst, killing most of her Symbionese Liberation Army
    comrades in the process.
    Sep. 19. 1994: U.S. troops land in Haiti, again.
    Sep. 21. 1989: Israeli soldiers begin a 42-day occupation
    and house-to-house destruction of the Palestinian town of
    Beit Sahour, in retaliation for its mass two-year refusal to
    pay taxes to the illegally occupying Israeli government.
    Sep. 22. 1861: In an unprovoked peacetime attack, U.S. army
    soldiers massacre a band of visiting Navajo men, women and
    children. Fort Wingate, New Mexico Territory. 1870:
    Proclamation of the Republic of Puerto Rico in revolt
    against Spanish colonial rule: "Gritto de Lares," Lares,
    Puerto Rico. 1971: American Indian Movement activists
    attempt to arrest the Deputy Director of the Bureau of
    Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.
    Sep. 17. Primary election day. Eat The State! recommends:
    Sep. 18. VOTE WITH YOUR FEET at Bill Dole's--or was that Bob
    Clinton's?--visit. 6 PM at Westlake Park, 4th & Pine. Bring
    noisemakers, non-perishable food.  547-0952.
    Sep. 20. 911 Media Arts Center, 117 Yale. Open House for
    Seattle Independent Media Coalition & Seattle Independent
    Film and Video Consortium. Meet everyone and see everything
    there is to know and see in Seattle's alternative media
    community (including Eat The State!).  Info Joyce 860-1719.
    Sep. 21. Snoqualmie Tribal Pow-Wow.  10 AM on, Monroe WA
    Sep. 22. Seattle's favorite yuppie charity, the 10th annual
    Northwest AIDS Walk. Memorial Stadium, Seattle Center. 323-
    Sep. 24. 11:30 AM, Federal Building, 2nd & Madison.
    Celebrate signing of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty this day
    at United Nations. Info: Physicians for Social
    Responsibility (PSR), 547-2630.
    Sep. 24. Pay-what-you-can fundraiser for PSR 7:30 PM, Wright
    Auditorium, Children's Hospital, 4800 Sand Point Way NE with
    anti-nuclear activist, author & heroine Helen Caldicott. 
    For an excellent and much, much longer compilation of
    upcoming and ongoinng progressive events in Seattle, check
    out Jean Buskin's Peace Calendar: or e-mail her at
    The tiny print:  EAT THE STATE! is a shamelessly biased
    political journal. We want an end to poverty, exploitation,
    imperialism, militarism, racism, sexism, heterosexism,
    environmental destruction, television, and large ugly
    buildings, and we want it fucking now. We are not
    affiliated with any political group or party. We publish
    EAT THE STATE! as a way of sharing information, resources,
    opinions, and hopefully inspiring ACTION in our community.
    Please help!
         EAT THE STATE! is published and distributed each
    Tuesday in Western Washington. We welcome articles,
    letters, comments, and feedback. Write us at EAT THE
    STATE!, P.O. Box 85541, Seattle WA  98145; or email
         EAT THE STATE! is edited by Geov Parrish; layout and
    production assistance is provided by Northwest Forest Action
    Group, Nonviolent Action Community of Cascadia, and
    Catalytic Communications. All rights are cast to the wind;
    feel free to reproduce. We'd appreciate it if you credit
    us, and let us know, when you quote or reprint our stuff.
         Subscriptions by mail to EAT THE STATE! are available
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    support us, because we're always money-hemorrhaging
    propositions. We are supported in part by donations from
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