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The Mouse That Roared

9,000 FTW Subscribers Take on America (and the World)!

May 21, 2003, 1500 PDT (FTW) – Since our ad ran in The Washington Post last Friday we have been completely overwhelmed with email and calls from people who want to help run the ad in more newspapers in America and around the world.

Well, we've got your request covered!

First Some Statistics

The Washington Post ad reached an audience of more than 2.5 million people. According to Washington insiders we have spoken to, the effects of it are still reverberating throughout our nation's capitol. While we are confident that our ad hastened and very likely caused, the April 26 firing of Army Secretary Thomas White, other recent departures were also very likely influenced by it. Those include:

· Ari Fleischer (White House press secretary) who announced his departure on May 17th; · Mitch Daniels (White House budget director) who announced his resignation on May 6th (after The Washington Post had received the ad copy); and, · Christie Todd Whitman (EPA Administrator) who announced her departure on May 21. While it would be unreasonable to assume that our ad was solely responsible for their departures, we do know that the ad addressed issues that touched all four of them directly. In the case of Daniels it was announced that he had been subpoenaed in a stock fraud investigation right after his resignation. That had been in the works for some time. The point is that our ad highlighted either the personal liabilities each person carried with them, or the risks inherent in the position itself. It made a difference! These departures going in to an election cycle are the administration's way of shedding liabilities and possibly (in Whitman's case) someone saying, "I just can't do this anymore!"

That's part of what ads like this can do.

The Game

Ken at our ad agency has put together an amazing ad buy, the Top 12 newspapers (readership wise) in the United States:

Atlanta Journal Constitution
Boston Globe
Chicago Tribune
Dallas Morning News
Los Angeles Times
Miami Herald
New York Times
Philadelphia Inquirer
San Francisco Chronicle
Seattle Times Minneapolis Tribune Arizona Republic Together, the readership of these newspapers is between 25-40 Million people!

If someone purchased these full-page ads individually in these newspapers it would cost well over $500,000. We got a price of just $100,000 for all 12 cities!

Let's Do The Math

FTW has a little over 9,000 subscribers. If everyone put in JUST $10.00 (ten) dollars we would have $90,000 to run the ads! That's it. That simple.

9,000 FTW subscribers could affect the thinking of 40 MILLION AMERICANS! Now that's saying something! That is voting with your money!

What Spirit!

A gentleman in Seattle phoned to say he and his wife discussed foregoing their summer vacation plans and put their $4,000 towards running the FTW ad in Seattle. Another long time subscriber has pledged several thousand more to see the ad run in more places. A kid in Florida is putting on a benefit concert with his band to raise money to see the ad run in Florida.


This is our time. This is our chance to reach and influence many, many millions of Americans (and readers world-wide)...and to wake them up!

We know that not all of you will send in $10 to make this happen.

We also know that many of you will and can gladly offer several hundred or several thousand dollars to make this happen. Please do.

This may be our last chance at free speech.

NEVER in the history of America has such a message had the opportunity to reach this many people in print!

A separate account has been set up through our advertising agency to handle all of the donations. The money will be used EXCLUSIVELY to buy ad space.

We have 30 days to raise $100,000 to buy the ad space. This is completely possible! The Mouse That Roared...will make a difference. Be part of this.

Make checks payable to: More Than News Productions - memo: FTW AD

Send to:

From The Wilderness Ad Donation PO Box 6061-350 Sherman Oaks, CA 91413 You can also donate online at:

Note: Credit cards can be used to make donations but once the ad buys are placed, no refunds can be given.


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Threat Assessment

© May 20, 2003 The Daily Brew

Three weeks ago, I argued in this column that "to win the election in 2004, the Democrats must attack what are now perceived as Bush's strengths" and that "Democrats must realize whatever downside exists in confronting Bush on national security issues, the downside for failing to confront him is worse."

It appears last weekend they got the message.

Beginning with Saturday's AFSCME meeting, the nine Democrats who have announced their candidacy for the presidency are now singing a challenge to Bush's wartime leadership in perfect harmony. Democratic activists who are concerned about a second Bush term should join the chorus.

As I predicted, the Democrat's new challenge has received extensive media coverage, including articles in local and national newspapers, and segments on all of the national network news programs. Even the deeply partisan and borderline fascist media giant Fox News carried the story. While Democrats might not be thrilled that Fox News commentator/GOP spokesman Joe Scarborough presented a power-point presentation of spin developed by the White House to counter the challenge, at least it was a topic for discussion.

If Democrats hope to continue to be successful in getting heard by the American public, they must continue this line of attack.

While pressing this criticism on the Bush's national security performance, Democrats cannot ignore the fact that the Bush administration will likely do everything in their power to insure that the 2004 election will be fought in a climate of fear. Originally generated by the attacks of September 11, fears about terrorism and the threat posed by third world dictatorships like Iraq have been terribly overblown by both the White House and their accomplices in the corporate media. Judging from the opinion polls, the war on Iraq benefited George Bush as much as it must have pleased al Qaeda. No one should therefore expect the Bush White House will stop deliberately scaring America. If the mid-term elections are any guide, Democrats should not be surprised if Bush puts forward a proposal for an attack on another adversary, most likely Iran, sometime in the coming year. To be effective, Democrats must take the Bush administration's fear mongering as a given, and learn to use it against him.

To turn the Nation's anxiety against Bush, Democrats must demonstrate that the long- term national security problems faced by America center not around terrorists and third world dictators, but around adversaries with the ability to project real force, and how the economy, the national debt, and the Bush tax cuts degrade America's ability to confront such adversaries. Fortunately, that shouldn't be too hard to do.

Fighting terrorism doesn't require that we go billions of dollars in debt. Mostly it requires a concentrated intelligence effort and good relations with other democratic governments. At the same time, however horrific terrorist attacks are, no one should be so foolish to believe that eliminating them would be the end all of our problems. Sooner or later new problems will emerge. If the Bush administration is allowed to bankrupt the country in the interim, we will be very vulnerable to those threats when they arise.

A sober assessment of all geopolitical concerns, both short and long term, reveals that while the threat of terrorism is real, it is still a limited threat. More Americans will die this week from smoking related illnesses than have been killed by terrorists in our entire history. No matter how devastating any future attacks may be, Osama bin Laden is not going to be moving into the White House. Fundamentalist Mullahs are not going to take Bill Bennett's place on our television screens issuing religious edicts telling Americans how to live their lives.

While terrorists undoubtedly will continue to kill small numbers of Americans all across the globe, Democratic challengers can stand tall, and in stark contrast to Bush, by pointing out that it is inconceivable that they represent any real threat to the long term health of the republic. It is also worth pointing out that effectively stopping these murderers won't be accomplished with massively expensive military intervention, but will require coordination with the same governments all across the world the Bush administration has spent the last two years alienating.

However, in contrast to the threat posed by terrorism, larger threats do loom on the horizon. Some of these may actually threaten the republic. Democrats who are willing to consider those threats are also free to point out the Bush administration has been AWOL in planning for them. In fact, the Bush administration has been hard at work insuring America will not be prepared.

Grover Norquist admits that the GOP strategy of running ever expanding federal deficits is a strategy deliberately designed to eventually kill popular social programs, like social security and medicare, by first bankrupting the government. Since Bush is following Norquist's tax and borrow budget prescriptions, Democrats should not only attribute the intended result to Bush, but should also attribute these same motives to Bush. Democrats should also not be shy about pointing out the long-term national security consequences of this strategy.

While Bush would have Americans believe that his administration's maxing out the national credit card has no national security implications, one simply cannot bankrupt federal social programs without simultaneously bankrupting the national defense. Democrats cannot repeat this bit of common sense wisdom enough. If American's have a reason to be fearful about the future, it is because the Bush administration is making sure America will be financially crippled when it arrives. Democrats operating in Bush's climate of fear should repeat this charge like a mantra.

We don't know what the future will hold. But we do know that Republicans are writing tax laws with huge balloon payments that come due right in the middle of the baby boomer's retirement. We also know that the Bush administration is pushing the national debt to unprecedented levels. About the time these debts become due, China's economy is projected by many to become the largest in the world, and world oil reserves are projected to be in a rapid decline. It is not hard to imagine that the day will come when the Middle East will be in chaos, and the same communist leadership in China that demanded apologies after bringing down one of our spy planes will be demanding apologies after sinking one of our supertankers. It would be nice if the United States weren't trillions of dollars in debt when that day arrived. _________________________________________ This edition of The Daily Brew was sent to you by your friend. If you would like, you should feel free to pass it along. more on:


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Students Across U.S. Mount Antiwar Protests

Thousands More Abroad Rally in Solidarity With 'Books Not Bombs' Campaign

by Robert E. Pierre, Washington Post March 6th, 2003

CHICAGO, March 5 -- J.S. Irick, shivering in only his underwear, chained himself to a flagpole and smeared his body with red paint to represent blood. Scores flung themselves on the student union floor to dramatize the innocent Iraqis they say will die if the United States invades that country. More than 1,000 others skipped classes and trekked through several inches of snow this afternoon for an antiwar "teach-in" at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller chapel.

The acts of defiance on this campus were part of a coast-to-coast effort in which thousands of high school and college students cut class, read poetry, performed skits and played loud rock music to try to halt what they view as an irrational march toward war in Iraq.

More than 300 high schools and colleges participated in the protest, characterized as a national student strike. Thousands of students in Britain, Sweden, Spain and Australia rallied in solidarity with their counterparts in the United States, who wanted to highlight the effects of war on domestic issues, including education, health care and the economy.

Many, like Irick, argued that spending billions to wage war will result in deaths and do little to enhance U.S. security. "I like feeling and sleeping safe as much as anyone else," said Irick, 21, a junior computer science major. "But what we're doing isn't helping that. I'm just trying to get people thinking."

Officially called the "Books Not Bombs" protest, the effort was coordinated by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition, which includes 15 student groups that joined forces after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Unlike antiwar rallies last month in Washington and Europe that drew hundreds of thousands in a single place, this event was intentionally more diffused, with small events at colleges and high schools.

Events at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Colorado and the University of Wisconsin drew more than a 1,000, according to school officials. Others drew sparse crowds. At the University of Texas at Austin, for instance,100 people attended. A protest at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas drew about 25 to 30. Fewer than expected turned out at the University of California at Berkeley, where about 500 students marched on campus and made demands upon Berkeley's administration.

"Every university around the country went into their rallies with a demand for their administration," junior Amanda Crater said.

"Ours was that the chancellor take an antiwar stance and at least give attention to our voices, because all over the world right now, protesters are just being ignored by the president."

Regardless of numbers, the message was that a war with Iraq has few positives.

"The money for the war is being taken from domestic priorities," said Shaunda Wage, 23, who organized a rally at the University of Missouri at Kansas City that drew about 150 people. "Our governor just announced a huge cut for public schools, and tuition is going up next year."

At Evanston Township High School north of Chicago, about 1,000 teenagers circled the 3,600-pupil school in a march that lasted for one class period.

In the Washington area, about 800 students attended a sit-in at Northwestern High in Hyattsville. Principal William Ritter said students wanted to walk out but changed their plan when he allowed them to use the auditorium. An additional 200 students rallied at Howard University. "I have a test in Shakespeare," said Goldie Patrick, 20, a junior who skipped class. Organizers said the majority of those at the rally had cut class.

A demonstration at the University of Maryland at College Park drew 300. Students at Washington's American University wrote letters to President Bush, stuffing the envelopes with rice to urge his administration to feed, not bomb, Iraq. "This is a preemptive strike against a threat that still hasn't materialized," said sophomore Jared Hall, 19, who wrote Bush a letter.

At a nearby parking lot, students painted "No blood for oil" and other slogans on a white AU van.

But the defiance was not without consequences.

Eight students were suspended at a D.C. private school after an on-campus antiwar rally. When the rally was over at the Field School and students were asked to return to class, the eight left campus and were suspended for the day, school officials said.

Around noon, about 75 students at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia tried to protest in front of the school building. Administrators asked them to move off school grounds, but when the students tried to march across the street, they were sent back to school. Administrators took names as the students returned, a few minutes late for class.

Those who missed Michael Franz's political science class at the University of Wisconsin in Madison were told they would fail a scheduled midterm. As many as 2,000 people -- including hundreds of high school students -- attended the antiwar rally there. Provost Peter Spear said it was the largest rally since the Vietnam War. But Franz said failing the test was a lesson for those who skipped. "I think I was doing them a favor, because I gave them consequences for their actions," he said. "I said I absolutely would respect their decision to miss class, but I didn't think it was my place to comment about the issue in a class on American politics."

University of Chicago Professor Roger B. Myerson, who opposes the war, said protests are needed, because the policy of "going to war with no restraints is dangerous." While an undergraduate at Harvard, Myerson said he opposed the Vietnam War but disagreed with those who wanted to close the university. Everything, including protests and U.S. power, should have limits, he said.

Today's protests, which by all accounts were peaceful, left some unimpressed. "Kids on this campus will protest anything," said Justin Garrett, a sophomore at the University of Chicago who believes that Bush is right about Iraq. " I think the line needs to be drawn somewhere."

Staff writers Manny Fernandez, Ylan Q. Mui and Nancy Trejos and researcher Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report from Washington. Special correspondent Christine Lagorio contributed from Madison, Wis.


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