No-Show Perot

Illustration by Bob AulIf Pat Buchanan wins the Reform Party's nomination, billionaire cartoon character H. Ross Perot will apparently ditch the party convention Aug. 10-13 in Long Beach, according to a May 10 CNN report. And that makes us very sad. Yes, he's as mad as a hatter and we'd slalom down a giant cheese grater on our exposed ass cheeks before voting for him—ever. But his repudiation of the outdated and ineffective two-party political system is admirable. Besides, our TV picks up the Spice Channel off Perot's ears any time he's nearby—and it's free.

TIN SOLDIERS AND CLINTON COMING "[C]ollege students are increasingly engaged in well-organized, thoughtful and morally outraged resistance to corporate power," writes Liza Featherstone on "The New Student Movement" in the May 15 issue of The Nation. "These activists, more than any student radicals in years, passionately denounce the wealth gap, globally and in the United States, as well as the lack of democratic accountability in a world dominated by corporations. . . . It is neither too soon, nor too naively optimistic, to call it a movement." It's also not too far-fetched to recommend these kids watch their backs. The FBI and other law-enforcement agencies—in an apparent shift from years of infiltrating groups brimming with right-wing nut bars—began spying on Leftist dissidents four months before the November 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. By the time those activists reconvened five months later outside the IMF/World Bank gathering in Washington, D.C., they "found their meetings infiltrated, their public gatherings disrupted, their phones tapped, and police posted outside their homes and offices," reports Z magazine. Stock up on used gas masks at your local Army-Navy store before hitting the Democratic convention in LA this summer, kids.

MOTHERS OF PREVENTION Tens of thousands of mothers rallied in the nation's capital on May 14 to demand strict gun control. Participants in the "Million Mom March" sent this Mother's Day message to Congress: soccer moms are mad as hell over kids getting off'd, and the gun lobby had better wipe that smirk off its face if it knows what's good for it, mister! Congressional melting-wax-figure Robert Barr (R-Georgia) reacted by blaming the media for portraying women who oppose gun control as "unworthy of the responsibility of motherhood." Yeah, and your point is? Moonie handi-wipe the Washington Times reported the march was not a nonpartisan, grassroots gathering, but "a slickly produced media event bankrolled by Democrats and organized by Dan Rather's ex-publicist." For shame! But for pure, unadulterated evil, you must turn to the National Rifle Association, which played off the Million Mom March to trumpet its Eddie Eagle gun-safety education program, which takes dead aim at this country's schoolchildren. In TV and print ads, actress Susan Howard points to the lobby's $1 million contribution toward getting Eddie Eagle to soar into a classroom near you. "That's a million NRA moms," Howard says, "challenging a million more moms just like you to put up just a dollar each" to provide gun training to "every kid in every school." Even schools where kids already have guns?

GOOD TO THE LAST DROP Weeks ago, Clockwork spoke with some folks from Global Exchange and Liberate Orange County who were passing out fair-trade coffee literature outside the Starbucks in the shadow of the Ronald Reagan federal building in downtown Santa Ana. The Starbucks chain had just announced it would offer fair-trade certified coffee beans, which means importers paid a few cents more per pound of java to ensure that Third World producers provided their workers a living wage and used environmentally sustainable growing methods. We bring this up because May 20 is Fair Trade Day in front of the Diedrich Coffee on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. Liberate Orange County activists will call on OC-based Diedrich—now the No. 2 coffeehouse chain in the nation—to carry fair-trade coffee, both whole beans and brewed beverages, at all its stores. Swing by and say hi; we'll be holding the double mocha next to the undercover G-man in white socks and black wing tips.

 
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