- The Washington Times - Monday, March 13, 2000

Presidential nuts

"In 'Bulworth,' [Warren] Beatty's California senator is a fallen idealist who overdoses on Capitol Hill cynicism, goes mad, and plots his own murder. On the way down, however, he decides to be the one candidate to finally serve up his political diagnoses raw and uncut… .
"Like Bulworth, [Sen. John] McCain has inspired no shortage of speculation that the Straight Talk Express in his head might have jumped the rails a few stations back, perhaps during the former Navy aviator's 2,000-night stay at the psyche-straining Hanoi Hilton… . In November, McCain was prompted to answer the whispers by releasing a 350-page cache of medical files proving his sanity to the degree that proof of sanity is necessary in these politician-weary times. As McCain himself likes to say, 'you have to be half nuts to run for president.' And this year, in a country crying out for a Bulworth, you might have to be at least half nuts to win."
Alex Williams, writing on "Frank, Incensed," in the March 6 issue of New York

Green terror

"The anarchists who set fires and defaced storefronts during the protests against the [World Trade Organization] conference in Seattle were only the most visible elements of a growing radical fringe. Arson fires and acts of destruction carried out by animal-rights and environmental activists have increased markedly in the past few years. Early in 1999, FBI director Louis Freeh testified before a Senate subcommittee that 'the most recognizable single-issue terrorists at the present time [in the United States] are those involved in the violent animal-rights, anti-abortion and environmental-protection movements.'
"Freeh singled out the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front as organizations posing significant challenges to law enforcement… .
"Last September, a series of articles on ecoterrorism published in the Portland Oregonian identified 100 significant acts of destruction in the West since 1980 that were linked to environmental saboteurs. One-third of these occurred in the past four years, most notably the pipe bombing of a Utah fur-breeder-supply company in 1997 by straight-edge punk rockers; the Vail, Colo., lodge burnings in 1998 by Earth Liberation Front; and the partial destruction of an Orange County, Calif., animal-testing lab in 1999 by the Animal Liberation Front."
Evan Wright, writing on "True Tales of the Anarchist Underground," in the March 30 issue of Rolling Stone

Riffs for revolution

"There is, of course, a downside to becoming a cultural institution. Critics have argued that [Rage Against the Machine] is a sellout for being on a major label and preaching revolution, but when you think about it, what better way to the core of Amerikkka's heartland than through the major-label apparatus? …
"According to [guitarist Tom] Morello, the band's biggest contribution has been its uniqueness. 'Rage Against the Machine is a very different voice in the world of pop music. It's a voice that resonates with people. Some of them may come to the band for the licks and the riff and the grooves, but they leave with something different.' …
"Morello says … 'It's music that connects with fans of rock. And there is a very different message contained therein it's not a message that is particularly well hidden. In every song, on every T-shirt, and in every video, that message is pretty boldly written. From day one, we've made music that is uncompromising.' "
Erik K. Arnold, writing on "Rage Against the Machine: Calm Like a Bomb," in the April issue of Stance

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