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Project pot shot
Even more troubling than the decay of the meaning of 'censorship'--which apparently happens whenever a story is not reported as Project Censored would report it, as widely as they would report it, in the media outlet in which they would like to see it reported--is Camille Taiara's questionable presentation of the "new Pearl Harbor" quotation from the Project for the New American Century report ("Censored," Sept. 17).

A quick Google search and casual reading of the actual report (see pages 50-51) makes clear that the authors were discussing the need for greater emphasis on military research and development. Rather than Taiara's "jump-start" of a neocon blueprint for American global domination, the PNAC report mentions "a new Pearl Harbor" as the type of "catastrophic event" that would speed up "the process of transformation" from traditional attitudes toward researching military technology to the approaches suggested by the authors.

Furthermore, both Taiara and Project Censored seem not to notice any of the context in which American "dominance" is seen as a good thing by the PNAC. All their talk of dominance and pre-eminence is clearly informed by a belief that the "history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important ... to meet threats before they become dire. The history of the past century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership."

The PNAC believes that the U.S. is best equipped to provide leadership--not the U.N or the E.U. Agree or disagree with them--but at least address the foundation of their claims instead of relying on sinister-sounding buzzwords taken out of context.

By writing that the PNAC report "stated that the United States needed a catastrophe" and that Sept. 11 was "the perfect excuse for Cheney and company," Taiara manages to find resonance with the conspiracy crowds without actually detailing their tortured logic and selective memory.

Unfortunately, such writing is merely representative of the pot-shot approach to criticism exemplified by Project Censorship.
David Wilmington

Seeking common ground
People's Alliance thanks The Independent for recognizing the importance of building bridges in Durham ("A Return to the Chicken Hut?" Sept. 24). We would, however, like to clarify three points.

First, supporting Warren Herndon is not a contradiction--as you noted we've endorsed him before. PA is a strong advocate for economic opportunity and job creation. When we talk about economic opportunity, we're thinking "community based" and "inclusive." The ladder of opportunity must be accessible to everyone, not planted on the backs of the poor and disadvantaged. When we talk about job creation, we mean in Durham. Jobs being created in the current economy are in Asian sweatshops. PA will not yield the pro-business stance to conservatives. We're not anti-business. We understand to reduce taxes for business and citizens, we must manage sprawl and stop forcing established neighborhoods to pay for new residential development, which simply does not pay for itself.

Second, why describe Eugene Brown as a moderate liberal, when he is a self-described middle-of-the-roader and was endorsed by the ultra-conservative Friends of Durham? No FoD candidate has PA support. Matt Yarbrough thinks a Durham beltline will alleviate pollution. Thomas Stith repeatedly voted for rezonings strongly opposed by the zoning committee, planning staff and neighborhoods. Unlike Herndon, Brown does not have a history of PA support. He supported City Council reduction, does not support a livable wage, and simply is not someone who can unite Durham.

Third, contrary to the implication of your article, our endorsements are not pre-determined. Endorsements depend on the vote of members who attend our endorsement meetings. A majority in attendance voted for Diane Catotti, Warren Herndon, and Diane Wright.

Our goal is a City Council that will represent the interests of all Durham's citizen's. On this progressive vision, we stand on common ground with the Durham Committee. Durham's progressives should all be standing with us.
Sara Terry
Secretary, People's Alliance

The wrong Cook's Notes ran with the EatBeat column on Oct. 1. Here's the correct one:

Cook's notes: It's important to know how hot your fire is, so the dough doesn't scorch. When I've tried putting the dough on the grill and topping it immediately, too often it gets burned before being cooked through (and with the toppings already on, checking the underside gets tough). That's why I prefer cooking the dough on one side and flipping it before topping it. Regardless, when in doubt, lower the heat, or, if using charcoal, try to slide the dough to a cooler area of the grill.

Instant yeast (look for SAF or Fleischmann's) is available in packets in the baking aisle of supermarkets, or in bulk at warehouse clubs (store it in the freezer). Water for these recipes should feel pleasantly warm on the inside of your wrist.

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