That's because the government is using the terrorist attacks as an opportunity to screw us out of our rights -- both on the net and off of it. "Operation: Enduring Freedom", the Bush administration's name for the "War on Terrorism" takes on new meaning to me, given some of the new laws that have been past. Yep, freedom in Amerikkka must now be "Endured", rather than enjoyed. It figures.
The USA-Patriot act was rammed through Congress within a month of 9-11 and basically gave the FBI rights to do all kinds of evil things with a lot less regulation. For a more technical explanation, you should probably visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation at http://www.eff.org and the Center for Democracy and Technology at http://www.cdt.org . While you're at the CDT, sign the "In Defense of Freedom" Declaration. Maybe it'll even get you on the FBI's watch list.
Anyway, back to the media for a moment. I really don't believe that most media purposely keeps much information from the public. Heck, I use to work at a newsradio station, and basically it comes down to laziness and/or lack of time to do a proper reporting job. It's always much more simple to print a story you are handed (by the government or other media outlets or whatever) than to actually come up with a story yourself.
Whatever the reason, though, we do not get the full picture from the media. Either they leave out information, or they ignore alternative points of view. Especially when it comes to the events of 9-11. Mediachannel.org is a media watchdog organization that has a 9-11 section that details how the media is doing in relation to this kind of information. Visit it at http://www.mediachannel.org/atissue/conflict/ .
For the rest of this month's column, I'm going to point your way to some decent punk rock sites, because if I have to write anymore about 911 I'll fucking explode. I first mentioned Nihilism on the Prowl about 18 months ago, and since it has moved and expanded, I figured it's time for another mention. Other than the fact that the layout is a bit hard to read and the tripod-induced banner-ad, this site has a lot of great stuff. There are links to other sites, content borrowed from zines and the like, reviews, interviews, photos, and more, all with a bit of a Brit-punk bent. Well worth a visit at http://members.tripod.com/nihilismontheprowl/ .
For more Brit-punk, check out Flies on Toast at http://www.geocities.com/britpunk_nl/ . Flies on Toast has reviews dating all the way back to the early 80's, as well as a handful of pix, a big punk trivia contest (wish there was a way to get the answers), and plenty of other stuff to read and look at.
Big Bully is another webzine that you might want to take a look at. When I visited the "Thrash Edition" was up. The Thrash edition profiled a bunch of stuff going on right now in the thrash scene, including interviews and thrash links. Old issues of Big Bully are also available, so even if you hate thrash you might wanna take a minute to visit it at http://hometown.aol.com/richbully/webpage.html .
Rock And Roll Outbreak looks like they could have a good thing going by the time this issue hits print. Their website is being updated several times a week, with columns, reviews, interviews, and the like. Not too much content yet, but if they keep it up, there should be a ton soon. Worth at least one visit -- http://www.angelfire.com/punk3/rocknroll/ .
I've had this next photo site bookmarked for almost a year, waiting for it to flesh out a bit, and now it has. You'll find a handful of photos of each of several dozen bands, from both Europe and the US and then some -- everyone from the Misfits and NOFX to One Way System and the Hard-On's. It's all photos and no writing. My only complaint is that the pictures could be a bit larger. Anyway, take a look at http://www.multimania.com/hxcpunxs .
Finally, if you are looking for some stuff to shove through various holes in your body, you might want to visit Hyperpunk at http://www.hyperpunk.com/ . Being relatively hole-free, I'm not sure how their prices compare to that of other sites or shops, but they have quite a bit of different jewelry in steel, bone, glass, acrylic and more.
That's gonna do it for this time around. E-mail me your site at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my old (and new) columns online at http://www.diehippiedie.com/netpunk/. Later.