Alyssa Rayman-Read

Alyssa Rayman-Read is a former American Prospect writing fellow.

Recent Articles

Lipstick and Politics:

"OK, here's my thing. One of the reasons I love ChickClick is because of the way everyone remains anonymous. I mean, we 'know' each other, but for the most part, we could walk by each other on the street and not notice a thing," posts Menacetosociety , a frequent visitor on the girl Website ChickClick.com . "The things I post here are personal. I write them here because I feel I can trust the fact that I'll be getting unbiased opinions on things I need advice on." Menacetosociety (a chat room user name) is actually a 16-year old girl explaining why she spends so much time in the ChickClick chat rooms. A few minutes later, Celtic_princess responds, "I agree with your right to vent without someone exposing your identity. Everyone needs to vent to people who are willing to just listen to/read your ideas/thoughts/rants and offer up the best advice they can without judgment . . . that's been my experience with ChickClick . . . candid, honest feedback that empowers me with...

Is the New Economy Family-Friendly?

T he passengers on the morning commuter train from San Francisco to Silicon Valley, who look young enough to be carded at happy hour, are clad in shin-length, hip-hugging jeans and trendy pleather jackets, bopping their bleached-blond heads in time with the music from their CDman players. Although they may excel at office foosball and be handy users of PlayStation, the new economy's supposedly new breed of workers is not all fun and games. I count 12 people in my car punching away at their laptops and five others on cell phones arguing over cost reductions and ordering accountants to redo configurations. Caltrain officials say that more and more of these commuters are returning as late as the 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. trains. According to the latest survey by The Industry Standard , a magazine that tracks what it calls the "Net economy," the majority of "Internet professionals" stay in the office at least one weekend each month. The typical start-up company's job ads...

Utah Defends Missionary Position

Conservative leaders in Utah do not want to follow the rules of Florida math--that is, the precept that the first count is the best one, no matter how incomplete. The state of Utah, led by its Republican governor and five congressmen, has filed suit in federal court demanding a recount of Census 2000 numbers. The problem: Utah came up just short of having enough people to win a new congressional seat. By an Al Gore-style margin of 856 people, Utah lost out to North Carolina. Utah officials want the Census Bureau's count to include the state's 14,000 Mormon missionaries living abroad. Or if missionaries aren't counted, they argue, military and civil service personnel stationed overseas should not be tallied. (North Carolina's 18,360 troops and diplomats stationed abroad trounced the Beehive's State's 3,545). Counting people, it turns out, is as politically charged as counting votes. Arguing that the Constitution requires an "actual enumeration,"...

Bracing for the Long Haul

Asia | Europe and Russia | Middle East and Africa | Australia | The Americas The World Responds Column Archive Asia Soul Searching The Asian press asks both its public and government officials to look inward and search for meaning in the current state of the world. Why, many opinion writers have begun to explore, have so many violent actions sprung out of fervently held religious convictions? Why are so many young people swayed by extreme and fundamentalist rhetoric and incited to commit violence against others or themselves in loyalty to their cause? Indian Muslim writer Muqtedar Khan asks Muslims, not just Americans, to reflect on these questions, and ask where the seeds of the September 11 attack were sowed. " It is time for soul-searching ," Khan writes, when Islam is used to morally justify violent and hateful acts against what he calls "selective targets" of evil such as the U.S. and Israel. "Muslims, including American Muslims, have been practicing hypocrisy on a grand scale...

Fears of Anarchy Amid Taliban Ruins

Asia | Europe and Russia | Middle East and Africa | The Americas The World Responds Column Archive Asia Fears of Anarchy Amid Taliban Ruins It has been nearly two weeks since the Afghan power sharing agreement was reached in Bonn, Germany, and almost one week since Hamid Karzai, the man designated as Afghanistan's transitional leader, swept back into his native Kandahar. Journalists report decisive steps toward new leadership: American Special Forces entered the city last week, occupying the courtyard of the house belonging to fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, and Mr. Karzai soon followed, establishing his temporary headquarters within the bullet-riddled facade. Yet while Taliban strongholds lie in ruin, Asian journalists are still reacting to the transitional government with caution and concern. Though the gunfire may have diminished, the fear of anarchy has grown stronger. This, after all, is Kandahar -- the seat of Pashtun culture, the atmosphere that gave birth to the...

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