BTS 6/12/06: Net Neutrality; Mexican Elections; World Cup

Listen: John Nichols - Dan LaBotz - Dave Zirin / Alan Minsky

On tonight’s BTS we look at the threat to Internet neutrality, the upcoming elections in Mexico and the World Cup. John Nichols joins us to talk about the threat to what could be called The First Amendment of the Internet – which prevents telecommunications corporations from rigging the web so it is easier and faster to visit sites that pay for preferential treatment.

We then look south of the border to the upcoming Mexican elections on July 2. The presidency is up for grabs. Congress is anybody's guess. But when it comes to Mexico's business world, the big boys still rule. The elections will likely bring new economic policies, but few expect sweeping changes in Mexico, where the minimum wage is only $4.50 a day and both government and corporate giants are controlled by an almost tribal elite. We’ll ask Dan LaBotz whether he thinks Mexicans will choose to stay with the PAN, return to the status quo ante under the PRI or go leftwards with the PRD, and what the implications will be for Mexico and its relationship with the US under any one of these choices.

Finally, in case you haven’t noticed the World Cup is on, with literally most of the globe paying attention. The US team lost to the Czechs in today’s game. The Cup is playing in Germany, where there are fears that racist violence could upstage the games and humiliate the German hosts. We’ll talk to David Zirin.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. Nichols is the author of the upcoming book The Genius of Impeachment (The New Press), as well as a critically-acclaimed analysis of the Florida recount fight of 2000, Jews for Buchanan (The New Press) and a best-selling biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President (The New Press), which has recently been published in French and Arabic. He edited Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire (Nation Books.) With Robert W. McChesney, Nichols has co-authored It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories) and Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press). McChesney and Nichols are the co-founders of Free Press, the nation's media-reform network, which organized the 2003 and 2005 National Conferences on Media Reform. Of Nichols, author Gore Vidal says: "Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols’s sword is the sharpest."

2. Dan LaBotz is a visiting professor of history and Latin American Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is author of Made in Indonesia: Indonesian Workers Since Suharto (South End, 2001) and several books on Mexico, including Democracy in Mexico: Peasant Rebellion and Political Reform, Mask of Democracy : Labor Suppression in Mexico Today (1992), Rank-And-File Rebellion : Teamsters for a Democratic Union (1990), and A Troublemaker's Handbook : How to Fight Back Where You Work - And Win! (published 1991 and updated in 2005).

3. David Zirin is the author of What’s My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States (Haymarket Books). He also maintains a website at