American flags are everywhere. U.S. soldiers are once again heroes. And some people say it's downright unpatriotic to criticize the president or the war against terrorism. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the new meaning of patriotism and the crackdown on dissent. Also, a short history of patriotic songs.
John Nichols, national political writer for The Nation, tells Jim Fleming that the new anti-terrorism laws are endangering civil liberties. He says Congress is depriving the country of the open policy discussion a democracy needs. Also, a report on the flap in Madison, Wisconsin that erupted after the local school board restricted the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. And, journalist Andrew Sullivan tells Steve Paulson why he thinks Americans must stand up for their country now.SEGMENT 2:
John Hasse is the music curator at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. He gives Jim Fleming several examples of patriotic music and talks about the various ways they've been used. They explore some suggested alternatives to "The Star Spangled Banner" as the national anthem, and sample a Neal Young song inspired by the passengers on one of the doomed flights of September 11th.SEGMENT 3:
Bill Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground which set off a series of bombs around the country in protest against the Vietnam War. Now he's written a memoir, "Fugitive Days." In this conversation with Steve Paulson, Ayers insists he was not a terrorist since his objective was never to kill people. He thinks the attacks of September 11th were terrorism and totally reprehensible. Ayers believes his own actions showed restraint in comparison with the enormity of the harm he believed the Vietnam War was causing.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 02-01-20-A.
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