DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- After the opening week of battle in Iraq, many feared the worst.
LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2003 -- Depending on who was asked, the chief scientist of a widely held drug development firm that has released a potential cure for SARS was flying back Friday to Portland, Ore., from a business trip to Las Vegas, or at the company’s labs in Corvallis, Ore., or at corporate headquarters in Portland, Ore. Back in New York, though, shares of his company, AVI BioPharma, were falling 11 percent on the Nasdaq stock exchange, and tight-lipped company officials and government media personnel were unable to say yet whether the firm's anti-SARS drug, which is reportedly being tested at U.S. Army facilities at Ft. Detrick in Frederick, Md., is effective against the new disease.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- More than half of all Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. According to an Associated Press poll conducted shortly after the conclusion of the successful invasion of Iraq, 53 percent of the nation pin the 9/11 murders on Saddam, something the CIA and most of the world's intelligence-gathering organizations have consistently discounted.
WASHINGTON -- Eighteen months from now, citizens will vote for president. If the 2004 campaign is anything like the last one, the election returns will mark the culmination of a depressing media spectacle.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Let's say you're a professional big game hunter hunting lions in Tanzania.
LOS ANGELES -- The first quick and reliable test to detect the deadly SARS virus in humans is in the hands of the U.S. Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and has been shipped to the World Health Organization, the American Reporter has learned. The test was developed by a privately-held life sciences firm, EraGen Biosciences, of Madison, Wisc.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Hey, Mom just got a job.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Walking on the treadmill and watching (with no audio) the tv instant captions, the source of infinite hilarity, I read that one American division in Iraq was proud of being called the tip of the sphere (spear, I suppose). Another: swept on by the tied of war.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Are there any left? Taboos, that is. Personally, I still hold a few: for instance, I would never wear a plaid shirt with striped slacks - never - and yet it's perfectly acceptable today, in fact designers plan a line around that concept.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., April 29, 2003 -- The looting of museums, stores, banks, and homes in Iraq provides the latest example of a political dictum politicians often forget. It's called K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- War, as Karl von Clausewitz wrote, is "nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means."
SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- Academy Award-winning director and producer Michael Moore and American Reporter Correspondent Norman Solomon are among seven public figures who will be honored on Friday, May 9, at the ACLU's First Annual Upton Sinclair Freedom of Expression Awards in the Los Angeles harbor community of San Pedro. The awards honor personal achievements in categories including Journalism, Political Courage, Personal Activism, Media Activism and Muckraking (Moore's category).
WASHINGTON -- Hans Blix, Dennis Kucinich and the Dixie Chicks are in very different lines of work -- but they're in the same line of fire from big media for the sin of strongly challenging the president's war agenda.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- When there are people in this world who don't have any food, electricity, or decent medical care, you have to wonder whether some people's priorities are askew.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Randy and I were driving down to Hatfield, Mass., to spend Easter Sunday with his family when we decided not to talk about the war.
BOCA RATON, Fla.m April 23, 2003 -- Let's say you're anti-union. Always have been, always will be. Well, on this round, you can still root for the unionized employees of American Airlines.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Here is an exercise in translation. Suppose the USA were something like Iraq. Could we draw a sort of cultural map?
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When I tried to find the list of America's Most Wanted, I was referred to a television program by that name. No, I would say, not just a hit or miss, catch them where you can, turn them in, call an 800 number, no, not that Most Wanted List. I'm looking for Public Enemies number one through say, 100. I couldn't find it.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I was never a big fan of spankings in school, mostly because I was on the receiving end (no pun intended). But I've always wondered if the discipline problems in schools can be directly linked to the elimination to corporal punishment.
JAKARTA - How do you feel when your beloved husband is suddenly arrested, dragged to jail, and then nationally publicized as the chief suspect in the Bali terrorist bombing that killed 202 people last October?
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I didn't watch a single minute of the Gulf War II coverage on television, but I saw what was happening in Iraq more clearly than I would have otherwise.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For lack of a beautiful mind, I care about the Iraqi dead and wounded. I care about the looting and destruction. I care about the lies and hypocrisy of my government and what comes next: the profiteering and the attempt to convert the Iraqis to Christianity.
WASHINGTON -- With U.S. troops occupying Iraq and the Bush administration making bellicose noises about Syria, let's consider some rarely mentioned words from the most revered writer in American history.
SEATTLE, Wash.--It is a slander that my success is due to the fact that Bob Melvin, the new manager of the Seattle Mariners, was a student of mine. I gave him a C+.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The first thing, of course, is death, and if what we've always heard - "The only two things you can count on are death and taxes" - then the longer I live, the more I realize it's true. We will die and we will pay taxes!
MONTPELIER, Vt. -- This morning, in my armchair, I sit weeping, still weeping from last night, when I tuned in to the news and witnessed yet another crime of rage.
I had the good fortune last Thursday to attend a seminar at the University of Southern California on "The Economy and Iraq." All four experts - one was a knighted Englishman on loan to the college - told us of a gloomy world where oil shortages are a fact of life, strategic moves are costly and counterproductive, news media are increasingly compromised and the world economy is more fragile than ever. There was just one problem: all four were probably wrong.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So the gloating has begun.
WASHINGTON -- In times of war, journalists can serve as vital witnesses for the people of the world. So it's especially sinister when governments take aim at reporters and photographers.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 11, 2003 -- Film festivals of all kinds dot our cultural landscape, like mushrooms after spring rains. But it wasn't always so: America's first film festival began 46 years ago.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting an old column in the hopes that no one will notice.
An AR Exclusive
WELL-CONNECTED IN L.A., ALLEGED CHINESE SPY GAVE THOUSANDS TO REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES
LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2003 -- The American Reporter has learned that Katrina Leung, an alleged Chinese spy, who was a director of the influential Los Angeles World Affairs Council and a longtime California Republican Party activist, was a donor to Republican candidates at least since 1998 and as recently as last December. She was arrested and charged with espionage Wednesday in Los Angeles Federal Court.
BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 9, 2003 -- Cheering crowds filled the streets of central Baghdad Wednesday as a Marine tank crew helped Iraqis tear down a huge cast-iron statue of Saddam Hussein and saw them drag the dictator's bullet-riddled symbolic head down a broad central avenue while his former subjects kicked and spat on it.
LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2003 -- Will the Arab world see the U.S. capture of Baghdad as fair compensation for the loss of the World Trade Center towers and 3,000 American lives? As strange as that question may seem, its answer will probably be central to the way Americans are seen in the Middle East long after the battle for Iraq has ended.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I don't mind admitting that this long Vermont winter has me whipped.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- One of the four ministers of my church is Peter Ilgenfritz, an intense young man with definite views about how the precepts of religion should be honored in our actual life.
WASHINGTON -- Without a Ouija board to provide the right answer, logical interpretation of the facts suggests that Osama bin Laden died in late 2001.
PARIS -- Dear friends: It appears that the Bush administration will have succeeded in colonizing Iraq sometime in the next few days. This is a blunder of such magnitude - and we will pay for it for years to come. It was not worth the life of one single American kid in uniform, let alone the thousands of Iraqis who have died, and my condolences and prayers go out to all of them.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A decade or two ago, teenage girls - and eventually most women up to about 35 - wore "hip huggers." This was before the advent of bare belly buttons; these pants were worn with a long-line "poor boy sweater," a skinny-ribbed fashion mus that was tucked in, held down low on the hips hung by a wide leather belt.
LONDON -- When prosecuting crimes in a court of law, we are required to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. When prosecuting wars in the court of public opinion, though, it seems that half-truths are sufficient for making the case. This is evident in the current American-led war against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Who knows better about sending a military force into battle? The generals and planners at the Pentagon or an administration that's heavy on ideology but extremely light on combat experience?
LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2003 -- U.S. and allied troops pushed closer to the center of Baghdad today without encountering significant resistance or any of the weapons of mass destruction that were the principal reason for the war. At the same time, the lack of resistance suggests that U.S. military experts made a critical error in 1991 when they failed to take the first Gulf War to the conclusion that was sought today.
WASHINGTON -- Minutes after the dawn spread daylight across the Iraqi desert, "embedded" CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers was on the air with a live report. Another employee at the network, former U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark - on the job in a television studio back home -- asked his colleague a question. When Rodgers responded, he addressed Clark as "general" and "sir." The only thing missing was a salute.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We're living in a time of funhouse mirrors - without the fun.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- There's a great scene in "Monty Python's Life of Brian" where Stan (a man) announces to his fellow members of the People's Front of Judea that he wants to be a woman, " ... because I want to have babies."
SEATTLE, Wash. -- In case the news has depressed you lately, I have a remedy: go to what Walter Winchell used to call the moompitcher show.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Is there a poet with thoughts of a new beginning who doesn't turn those thoughts toward April? The muse imbues their steadying thought: that once again in the tufts of grass, small buds sprouting on dead branches, and in a glimpse of yellow or red or green bleeding through shoots pushed up from the cold earth, April is here.
SAN DIEGO -- Breakfast at the lake. Hot coffee and wind on the water. We came up early Sunday morning just to get out of time - town, I mean.
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Although the occasion received little coverage, United States Attorney General John Ashcroft's son Andrew graduated from Navy Officer Candidate School on March 20 from the Pensacola Naval Air Station. My longtime friend Dave McDermott's son Sean was his roomate, and when I had lunch with Dave on Thursday, he told me some nice stories and showed some snapshots.
WASHINGTION -- Two months ago, when I wandered through a large market near the center of Baghdad, the day seemed like any other and no other. A vibrant pulse of humanity throbbed in the shops and on the streets. Meanwhile, a fuse was burning; lit in Washington, it would explode here.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Picture President Bush and Saddam Hussein sharing a cell in The Hague after they have been tried and convicted for crimes against humanity.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- While the war rages on in Iraq, one segment of the battle isn't being fought with guns and bombs, but with words.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- War or peace, war or peace. Which side are you on?
If I were President of the United States, even though I am a Catholic and would feel compelled to make the Sign of the Cross before I began, I would have started this war with a prayer. I would have said to our Maker, "God, I know that war is an abysmal failure I have come to; I am here in the place where my heart cannot forgive and my mind cannot be at peace; I must make war, however wrong. I am human, God, and full of flaws and errors; forgive me my shortcomings, and do not let them be the cause of hardship and misery for my brave soldiers, who must fight for me in the terrible days ahead. Forgive my my arrogance, for I have not humility, though I would have it; forgive me my pride, for I have not innocence, though I would; forgive me my anger, for I do not have peace within me; forgive me the dark angels of my spirit, Lord of All, for I do not have your angels on my side."
SEATTLE, WASH. -– Hello, boys and girls, this is your uncle, Doctor Soup, here to give you, gratis, one of the great lessons in living. I'm going to tell you how to write a newspaper column when you grow up.
MARCH 25, 3:35pm EST -- A blinding sandstorm dramatically slowed the allied advance on Baghdad late Monday as supply lines stretching 250 miles southwards into Kuwait were attacked by irregulars and Iraqi Army units that had been bypassed by the main coalition force.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- President George W. Bush stood before all of us that Inauguration Day in 2001, raised his right hand, and said aloud: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." He is taking care of business; let him do his job.
LOS ANGELES. March 24, 2003 2:40am -- Saddam Hussein made a live appearance on Iraqi television Monday, hailing his troops and bringing a close to speculation that he is dead or badly injured.
SAN DIEGO -- I am about as pro-life as they come, yet when it comes to control over the time, place and manner of our deaths, I refuse to be so dogmatic. There is a big difference between someone taking a life that is not their own, and wanting to end one's own life when it has become unbearable due to terminal illness.
BOCA RATON, Fla., March 24, 2003 -- I was in Paris the day Gulf War II broke out. Two days later I was back in Florida with a head full of notes. A few newspapers and websites call me a business columnist. But I'll always be an old New York and New Jersey police reporter at heart.
BAGHDAD, March 23, 2003, 3:20am -- As muezzins called the faithful to prayer in Baghdad this Sunday morning, coalition bombers unloaded their ordnance on a silent, sleeping Baghdad where not even anti-aircraft tracers rose to resist. That was not the case near the southern port city of Basra and inland Nasiriyah, however, an critical "hub" city where war commander Gen. Tommy Franks said caolition forces had suffered "significant" casualties in their rapid march towards Baghdad.
BAGHDAD, March 22, 2003, 2:45am -- In a blinding series of bomb blasts the Gulf War II coalition unleashed the promised "shock and awe" campaign Friday morning, even as the U.S. reported its first in-combat casualties, encountered the first significant resistance, and an Iraqi division leader surrendered to the Marines as they pushed towards Iraq's capital.
SOFIA, Bulgaria -- My guide here, Boriana Andreewa, must have been a bit confused about whether I really wanted to see Sofia's Central Synagogue. In the morning, she asked if I wanted to; I did and didn't, I said, sounding negative when I really did want to go. She didn't mention it again until we were walking in central Sofia; it was nearby and we would be there in a moment.
HOLLYWOOD -- An Orange County-based coalition of Vietnamese Republicans announced Friday that they will demonstrate with a well-known homeless leader on Sunday the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave., the site of the 75th Annual Academy Awards, even though that area is off-limits to protests, Hollywood Division Capt. Michael Downing toldf the American Reporter this afternoon.
PORTLAND, Ore., March 21, 2003 -- Several thousand protesters descended upon downtown Portland Thursday afternoon and stayed until some were arrested Friday morning in the second major protest of the U.S. invasion of Iraq here since last Saturday.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle expressed the views of many in America when he said: "I am saddened that this President failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war. Saddened that we have to give up one life, because this President couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country."
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 20, 2003 -- Many events were preempted in the news media by the American attack on Iraq. Ironically, one of the most important event is the opening of the new Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, a profoundly appropriate place for meditating on humanity's hopes in a time of war.
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, March 21, 2003 -- The first confirmed coalition casualties of the War on Iraq came late Thursday as an American helicopter carrying British and U.S. troops crashed in Kuwait, killing at least 12 men.
WASHINGTON -- The national media echo chamber is not receptive to conscience. On television, the voices are usually loud and facile. People often seem to be shouting. In contrast, the human conscience is close to a whisper. Easily unheard.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Whenever my beloved America makes the mistake of choosing might over right, I turn to Bob Dylan's early masterpiece, "Masters of War."
LOS ANGELES, March 18, 2003 -- The new police chief Los Angeles acquired from New York came before its City Council today and along with its longtime top fireman made an emergency plea for millions of dollars for radiation detection gear and high-tech hazard suits to gird its first responders - firemen, paramedics and policemen - against "dirty bombs" and other terrorist attacks aimed at retaliation for America's war on Iraq.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Back in the days when I made my living intra muros - within the walls, of the academy, that is - I was troubled from time to time by a recurrent nightmare.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, believed to be the man who created the 9/11 plot, proves a couple of things.
ANTWERP, Belgium, Mar. 18, 2003 -- Queen Elizabeth cancelled a visit to Belgium this past week because of international tensions, and one London daily's headlines now spell the name of France's Jacques Chirac as Chiraq. These are just signs of rough times between the Euro World, the United Kingdom World, and the Rest of the World.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's not original to say, but there's no better way to say it: "The more things change, the more they remain the same."
LOS ANGELES, March 17, 2003 -- Los Angeles Co. Health Department officials reported this afternoon that a suspected single case of SARS, a previously unknown form of pneumonia that started in China last month and threatens to become an epidemic, has been reported here in a man who flew in from the Far East and passed through LAX last week, the agency said today.
A WAR THAT CANNOT BE MADE RIGHT
The dogs of war are barking fiercely in their fragile cages tonight, and it appears they may be break loose any day now. North Korea has begun production of plutonium, the fine white powder that is deadlier than anthrax and far easier to distribute - if it has soldiers willing to go on suicide missions. The linkage between those two events is imaginary, but it only awaits the imagination of a strategic planner and logistics expert to bind these and any other threads of horror into a cohesive plan to hurt the United States. Indeed, we also suspect that Al Qaeda will soon strike wherever America, Britain and Spain are vulnerable. We believe the rage that is building against the United States will not be slaked by war, but by terror that comes here again, and again, and again.
SAN DIEGO -- The closest thing to Mr. Magoo I've ever seen. The proverbial ugly cute thing: bald with residual tufts of withered Pampas grass covering the temples on both sides. At least there's basic symmetry in the shrubbery that's left on the great white dome. His glasses' lens are so thick his magnified blue eyes look like ocular carp swimming in aqueous fluid.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "War today is smells ... smells of chemicals being dropped from the sky to set houses on fire. Smells from burning oil dumps. Smells of roasting human flesh.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I have Zero Patience for Zero Tolerance. It's narrow, unwavering, and rigid in its enforcement, and allows for absolutely no flexibility on the part of its zealots.
LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 13, 2003 -- A former White House covert operations official has told The American Reporter that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, then a military aide to the U.S. Army command staff in Vietnam, misunderstood a general's instructions and mistakenly ordered the notorious March 16, 1968, My Lai massacre, and successfully covered up his error until now. The former official's allegations concerning the events, whose 35th anniversary occurs on Sunday, could not immediately be confirmed.
WASHINGTON -- As the possibility of a U.S. invasion turns into the reality of massive carnage, the war on Iraq cannot avoid confronting Americans with a tacit expectation that rarely gets media scrutiny. In a word: obedience.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Town Meetings are over for another year, and like people all over the country, Vermonters are in sticker shock.
WASHINGTON -- Shakespeare's Henry the Fifth contains some of the great warlike speeches of all time -- "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!" - and its poetry has been pillaged for every English war since it was written in 1599.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- It is humiliating for an old newspaper veteran such as your humble servant to learn so late in life a saying that might have eased his burden far sooner. I pass it along, since it concerns you as much as it does me, for you, the newspaper reader, are in fact the party meant by "they."
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In simpler times, when The New York Times first printed the words, "All the news that's fit to print," it, and newspapers all over the country, was the source we turned to to learn what was happening in the world.
SAN DIEGO -- Mornings can be difficult. I am not sure why that is but I do know that sometimes birdsong can save your soul. Their sweet melodies pierce through the viscous muck of depression that clings to me in the early hours of the day.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This is a very weird time.
WASHINGTON -- Three days after a British newspaper revealed a memo about U.S. spying on U.N. Security Council delegations, I asked Daniel Ellsberg to assess the importance of the story. "This leak," he replied, "is more timely and potentially more important than the Pentagon Papers."
BOCA RATON, Fla., March 6, 2003 -- It was a modest inquiry about dress codes or the lack thereof, but it triggered thoughtful, diverse, and sometimes rip-roaring responses.
LOS ANGELES, March 6, 2003 -- As he prepares to speak to the world tonight, President Bush surveys a diplomatic landscape more daunting than any Bosnian minefield. The reluctance of Russia, France and Germany - and now, formally, China - to support a second resolution authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime has irrecoverably stranded his team's effort to get the world on his side on a proposed invasion of Iraq.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I realized I had finally made my mark in the world when I received my very own Nigerian scam letter, addressed to me. When Nigerian scam artists put your name on a letter, rather than addressing it with an impersonal "Dear Friend," you've obviously done something important.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- O.K., you've sent your plastic baggies of white rice to the President of the United States, marched in freezing weather several times for peace, gotten into the habit of reading the on-line international papers to glean some real news, listened to poetry being read up the yin-yang, given money to MoveOn - and it still hasn't made a damn bit of difference.
LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2003 -- Voters in Los Angeles tonight elected two men whose stories, although very different, converged in both ruin and redemption. They may diverge from here on in, though; political gadfly Melrose Larry Green joked that their presence on the council will make it "a better show than anything in Las Vegas."
SEATTLE, Wash.-- Low is dead. Bereft of this word, the world of advertising is, for once, at a loss for words. There is a scramble to find an alternative to "shocked disbelief."
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The title of this coluimn is taken from a 1942 movie called "Gentleman Jim," starring Errol Flynn as world heavyweight champion James Corbett. He knocked out John L. Sullivan, a champ and world-renowned celebrity who held the title for over a decade, from 1882 to 1892, and was the last of the bare-knuckled fighters.
SAN DIEGO -- I just sat through several hours of committee meetings where I was presenting our new model of community elder care to the county planning group for funding. There were proposals for skate parks and for trees and for new alleys. There were checks handed out: tens of thousands of dollars for basketball courts, new roads, and libraries and more.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 28, 2003 -- Less than 10 hours after The American Reporter revealed that desperately needed new low-income senior housing in Hollywood remains vacant months after it was fully rented and ready for elderly tenants, the Los Angeles City Council quietly sent a CRA request for $50,000 to pay a famously expensive Hollywood law firm after it learned of "a potential conflict of interest" in yet another low-income housing portion of controversial redevelopment projects at Hollywood Blvd. and Western Ave.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Now that the nation is back at Code Yellow, do you feel safer yet?
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Let's face it. Some people have an overinflated sense of Righteous Indignation, and treat every inconvenience in life at the same level. Whether someone tried to run them off the road, or the supermarket is out of their favorite brand of salad dressing, the Righteously Indignant people will respond as if someone has just put a flaming bag of dog poo on the coffee table without a coaster.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 28, 2003 -- How can it be? In a low-income community where rents are soaring, some seniors are homeless and many are suffering rent increases that strain their fixed-income budgets to the breaking point, 100 brand-new low-income apartments built expressly for them - and 12 years in the making - remain completely vacant months after they were rented and ready.
WASHINGTON -- You gotta hand it to America's mass media: When war hangs in the balance, they sure know how to bury a story.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In December, a New York Post gossip columnist ran a "blind item" (no names) about a retired baseball legend who cooperated with his biographer when the writer promised not to reveal his homosexuality.
LOS ANGELES, February 26, 2003 -- Mention the news that broke yesterday about the arrests of four high-ranking executives of Denver-based billionaire Philip Anschutz's Qwest communications empire, and his Los Angeles-based representative at the Staples Center cringes.
SEATTLE, Wash. --Each time I walk through the dining room, my eyes caress briefly the beloved image of my "black grandmother," Corrie Scott, in an oil portrait that I painted as an adolescent. My grandmother in all but biological fact, she was an orphan left to the care of my grandfather by her dying mother and raised almost as a daughter in his family.
BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 25, 2003 -- At this writing, it seems to me that CBS-TV News anchor Dan Rather has been snookered by Saddam Hussein and his handlers.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga, -- It really is much ado about nothing, if I may steal a line from Shakespeare. In his play, "Julius Caesar," the Bard has Brutus saying to Lucius: "Get you to bed again; it is not day. Is not tomorrow, boy, the ides of March?" Whereupon, Lucius responds, "I know not, sir." Brutus dismisses him with "Look in the calendar, and bring me word." And, Lucius answers, "I will sir." Exit.
SAN DIEGO --- We were out on the deck of the mountain cabin having wine and talking out of earshot of her father. His daughter was telling me of the woman who had swooped in on him after her mother's death two years previously. In those two years, this woman had systematically taken control and isolated him from his three daughters.
LOS ANGELES -- I don't like to hang out in large crowds, but there I was on a recent Saturday, one of some 75,000 or so people who marched along Hollywood Boulevard in a spirited effort to tell Mr. Bush that we don't want his stinking war.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's been amusing watching the pro-war crowd get worked up over what the New York Post dubbed "the axis of weasel."
LOS ANGELES, February 21, 2003 -- With a hotly-contested antiwar resolution making its final apearance on the council floor and Los Angeles ready to become the nation's largest city to endorse it, East Los Angeles City Councilman Nick Pacheco stood up to cast the critical eighth and deciding vote - even as he was being vilified on the front page of a Los Angeles Times news section in a story implying he'd directed public money into his own down-to-the-wire reelection campaign.
FORT BENNING, Ga., Feb. 20, 2001 -- A high ranking U.S. Army commander confirmed Wednesday that the same U.S. special operation teams which orchestrated CIA-Northern Alliance coalition efforts in Afghanistan are now inside Iraq and actively paving the way for expanded U.S. operations. He indicated that it was a part of the war on terror which could last four to six years to complete.
WASHINGTON -- One of the big media buzzwords to emerge in recent years is "globalization." By now, we're likely to know what it means. That's unfortunate -- because at this point the word is so ambiguous that it doesn't really mean much of anything.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- On Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003, the news was all of protest. Antiwar marches crowded the streets of Washington and other American cities. The protesters carried signs that read "No War for Oil," "No War for Revenge," "No War on the Iraqi People," "No Race War," "No Religious War," and "No War for Profit."
SEATTLE -- Henry Martin has sent me a new book, a mystery set in the town where we both used to live, Princeton. It is a paperback with a cover containing words and a picture.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Cue the dueling banjos, it's the Battle Of The Valedictorians again!
CHAMPAGNE/ARDENNES, France -- On previous trips to Paris, I've always yearned to venture outside its noise, crowds and high prices in search of the real France.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "I would like to thank Mrs. Bush for being so thin-skinned," the writer Jamaica Kincaid said on a cold and clear Sunday afternoon in Manchester, Vt. "To think that a woman who lies down at night and has dinner across from a man who is the lord and master of weapons of mass destruction, and plans to use them, could not listen to the words of some poets who disagree with him!"
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18, 2003 -- What can you say about a peace resolution that died?
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- On a frigid Saturday afternoon, about 150 people stood in front of a 150-year-old brick courthouse in rural Bloomsburg, Pa., and called for an end to George W. Bush's impending war.
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The coments below are ones I sent to a longtime friend in the investment business, who had asked my candid opinion about an imminent war against Iraq.
SAN DIEGO -- Fred and I headed down the hill to the coast mid-morning and got breakfast on the way. The Original Grand Slam was cheaper than Senior Meal Deals, so we both got 'em. Then down through San Pasqual Valley to the 78. It was a gorgeous Sunday.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When I hear the weatherman's voiceover, commenting on the oranges, blues, yellows and greens sweeping across a map of the United States, I stay focused on the Georgia coast, just above where it curves into the peninsula that is Florida. If I hear the words "a wind from the North ..." I pull my sweater closer around me and shudder a little.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. - My editor forwarded me this e-mail from a 15-year-old girl in Georgia. Her name is Karoline and this is what she had to say:
LAPD DENIES MEDIA CREDENTIALS TO L.A. TIMES, CNN, AMERICAN REPORTER
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13, 2003 -- When a judge who is trying a controversial case here saw an American Reporter correspondent - dressed in a handsome black suit with a silver tie - sitting in his courtoom at about 4:30 in the afternoon recently, he was startled and chagrinned.
WASHINGTON -- These days, it's a crucial ace up Uncle Sam's sleeve. "Terrorism" is President George W. Bush's magic card.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Whether you're an Olympic-caliber athlete or a weekend warrior, no longer will the "agony of defeat" refer to the stench coming from your running shoes. If you're a die-hard Olympic fan who misses the Olympic Spirit after the flame is extinguished, you're in luck.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 13, 2003 -- In a naked show of power Wednesday night, some 500 Scientologists descended by the busload on a Neighborhood Council polling place at a local church with pre-marked sample ballots and proceeded to elect a slate of Scientology and other candidates, including Hillary Royce, the group's international spokesperson, by a huge margin.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At the drive-thru line at my local credit union the other day, I got a fresh daisy along with my receipt.
BALTIMORE, Feb. 12, 2003 -- Sen. John F. Kerry emerged from surgery for prostrate cancer without incident this morning, and his doctor said he should be able to leave the hospital in a few days.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2003 -- North America's longest-running film festival returns for a 46th season, April 17 - May 1. Among the 200 films shown at this year's San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), many are receiving prestigious prizes.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12, 2002 -- The City of Los Angeles on Thursday may become the largest municipality in the nation to take a formal position on a possible war with Iraq - and the issue has already sharply divided normally like-minded members of its City Council.
ABOARD THE SS BENTHIC -- The first thing I did, shortly after locating my quarters on this cruise ship, was to endear myself to the captain by asking whether he knew that the name of his vessel referred to the bottom of the sea? From Greek benthos?
BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 12, 2003 -- It all started with First Lady Laura Bush inviting a poet to the White House for a literary symposium in celebration of the life and times of Emily Dickinson.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This time of year, I usually write about St. Valentine -- just in case there's someone out there who doesn't know the man behind the legend. Instead of telling the age old tale I grew up with, I decided to check early Church records looking for a new slant.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9, 2003 -- Barring an unforeseen, last-minute eruption of peace, the United States may be at war with Iraq within weeks.
SAN DIEGO -- "Around and around and around she goes, and whar she stops nobody knows." My grandfather used to say that. And when he really liked something he'd say, "It's the cat's meow." Funny that those simple and often silly one liners are what I remember about him the most.=
SELLING A WAR THAT FEW ARE BUYING
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Did Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5 convince you that Saddam Hussein poses such a grave threat to world peace that we must go to war with him as soon as possible?
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6, 2003 -- "This is a great day," said Councilwoman Wendy Greuel Thursday afternoon as she welcomed about 45 of the city's most influential housing policy wonks to a special session of her Housing & Economic Development Committee called to celebrate progress in building the largest municipal housing trust fund in the nation.
WASHINGTON -- There's no doubt about it: Colin Powell is a great performer, as he showed yet again at the U.N. Security Council the other day. On television, he exudes confidence and authoritative judgment.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- The American Legal System: We don't make the grade. We make the grade better. At least that's what one Memphis, Michigan high school senior thinks.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the week following the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia, the most enduring image was not the comet-like trail burning white across the blue Texas sky, or the charred helmet resting in the piney woods. It was the NASA footage of Col. Ilan Ramon, the handsome Israeli fighter pilot, floating out of a tunnel into a room full of weightlessness, his arms spread like a bird in flight and an expression of transcendental happiness upon his face.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5, 2003 -- Hours after a trio of plaintiffs in Phoenix settled similar cases with a different German automaker, a jury headed by Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to find that Mercedes-Benz was not negligent in the design and sale of cars containing heater core end caps that can explode and burn drivers, and awarded the Los Angeles plaintiff nothing.
LOS ANGELES -- It was a battle royal from the beginning, but new Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton has come off the battlefield nearly unbloodied and clutching a big war trophy - hundreds of police officers and hundreds of thousands of man-hours he freed from chasing a huge number of false alarms across a frightened city whose crime rate has soared in recent months.
AR At Sundance
EMMETT TILL RISES AGAIN TO INDICT HIS TIMES
PARK CITY, Utah -- Many Americans believe the seminal event of the civil rights movement was Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Her actions and subsequent arrest ignited a massive black boycott of the city's bus system and sparked the emergence of a local preacher - the Reverend Martin Luther King - as a leader in a revolution that changed history.
PARK CITY, Utah -- As a dramatist, novelist, actor, social satirist, public debater and troublemaker extraordinaire, Gore Vidal, for the past 50 years has skewered those in power with outrageous monologues and America's sharpest pen. He is a national literary treasure whose witty barbs and deeply researched and reflective historical novels have shed light on politics, sex, art and philosophy.
SEATTLE, Wash. Out here and I can't help it, I still think of myself as being out here, much to the chagrin of neighbors and friends, who think of the edge of the Pacific as being simply here I often recall "back there," where you are.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Most of us can mark our lives by events powerful enough to stop us right where stand. We can not go back and going forward is no longer predictable as it was just moments before.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 3, 2003 -- The Walt Disney Co. today asked a Superior Court Judge to hear evidence that Stephen Slesinger Inc.'s attorneys and principals stole documents, defied court orders, destroyed evidence and engaged in a pattern of "pervasive misconduct and illegal activities" as they sought royalty payments that are allegedly overdue during an 11-year battle with the studio, Disney's vice-president for corporate communications said Monday.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3, 2003 -- A closely-watched trial over automakers' responsibility for exploding heater parts that have injured scores of people in Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen vehicles went to a Superior Court jury in Los Angeles this afternoon after a motion for a mistrial based on the discovery of an American Reporter article in the jury room was denied by Judge Emilie Elias.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- It happened so quickly - America gained heroes and lost bright, inquisitive, and patriotic men and women. Family members in just an instant plummeted from anticipation to agony. Spouses and children now planned memorial services. America lost 11 souls.
SAN DIEGO -- Six feet tall and impending doom. What would it be like to live with that every day? I wondered that as I sat with my elder friend today. Her husband is loosing touch mentally.
A SONNET FOR THE SHUTTLE CREW
HOUSTON, Feb. 1, 2003 -- The space shuttle Columbia was lost at approximately 8:58 a.m. EST this morning in a catastrophic explosion over Texas, possibly caused by damage to heat tiles on the left wing, which was struck by hardened foam blown off the booster tank at the time it separated from the shuttle shortly after takeoff from Cape Canaveral 16 days ago.
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Picture yourself as an American reporter here in the Iraqi capital.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Sam Smith, editor of The Progressive Review (prorev.com), recently offered what he called the "Standardized Conflagration Competency Exam."
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Abracadabra, make my common sense ... disappear! If only it were as easy as waving a magic wand.
KATHMANDU, Jan. 30, 2003 -- A ceasefire has been declared between government troops and Maoist rebels here to allow talks that might end seven years of insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and bloodied the international image of this Himalayan kingdom.
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil -- "We need a new world economic order that distributes wealth more fairly so that impoverished countries have a chance of becoming less impoverished, so that African babies have the same right to eat as a blond, blue-eyed baby born in Scandinavia," Brazil's President Lula da Silva told tens of thousands of participants at the World Social Forum meeting in this southern port city last week.
LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- I hate to be the one to say we need to prepare for an unprecedented fourth straight down year in the major U.S. markets since 1926, but the charts are persuasive.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Watching President George W. Bush give his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, I thought about snakes.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29, 2002 -- One of the nation's most successful trial lawyers on Wednesday challenged an expert witness for Mercedes-Benz USA as a closely watched trial on the automaker's liability for an exploding heater core that badly burned real estate salesman Albert Royas drew to a close before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias and a jury that includes Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, the city's top lawyer.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Why I associate it with London I am not sure. Perhaps it was because we were living in London in the late Sixties, early Seventies, and I seem to recall an article, probably in the TLS, in which someone argued that the design of Shakespeare's Globe Theater showed the influence of an ancient technique for remembering a complicated series of things, such as all the points and the subpoints in one of Cicero's orations.
President George W. Bush came into his own last night in a powerful State of the Union address that made a strong case against Saddam Hussein and a great case for compassionate conservatism. In particular, the President's extensive and compelling comments about the spread of AIDS in Africa and the lack of drugs and resources to treat its victims far outstrips any plan the Democrats have offered to fight it; he adopted the orphans of this terrible scourge into the American agenda in a way that will shape the world's efforts against AIDS for another century.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Today Martha Stewart said she was perplexed to learn so many took delight in her misfortunes. I admit, I hung my head in shame.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., Jan. 28, 2003 -- Don't believe all the nay-sayers who have counted out U.S. equity markets for the next few years.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2003 -- A rare global travel advisory from the U.S. State Dept. to American citizens abroad and a similar advisory from the Japanese government allegedly warning their citizens to leave Iraq by next Wednesday has tripped alarms around the world, with some Websites predicting that the State of the Union address by President George W. Bush on Tuesday night will signal the start of a U.S. invasion of Iraq.
SAN DIEGO -- It is no secret that current economic conditions have made the single-income family one of many dwindling species in 21st Century. Much has been written about the impact of this massive shift, especially on children as women have migrated from home to workplace, but the cultural price this change has exacted from our elders is just beginning to become clear.
An AR Special Report
IN PURSUIT OF HISTORY'S LESSONS: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION THE SECOND TIME AROUND
LOS ANGELES -- In 1997, the City of Little Rock hosted a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the integration of Central High School. Many of the locals voiced discontent and suggested it was inappropriate to revisit a chaotic period in our nation's history in which, as one of the nine students who integrated Central High, I had played a memorable part.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I was surprised to see that President Bush would take time out from the "war on terror" to denounce affirmative action. I was even more surprised that President Bush and his handlers picked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday to launch his attack.
TORREY PINES, Calif., Jan. 23, 2002 -- On the eve of the Super Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium, here along the lush green links of the Torrey Pines Golf Club in the faux Greene & Greene grand luxe of The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Qualcomm founder and CEO Dr. Irwin Jacobs rolled out his executive front line for a bank of high-tech reporters who mostly asked questions replete with a bewildering array of the abbreviations that define the ailing wireless industry, in which Qualcomm, with its chips in 135 million cell phones, is the dominant player. On Thursday, though, Qualcomm fumbled.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Ryan: Welcome back to another episode of American Idol, where lots of pop superstar wannabes show their stuff to our panel of judges, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon "Scowl" Cowell.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- McDonald's is under attack these days, but for all the wrong reasons. Yes, the fast food industry sells unhealthy food. Yes, it induces people to overeat for profit. Yes, ranchers cut down rain forests to supply it with cattle. Yes, that reduces the world's oxygen supply. But the real crime of McDonald's - supposedly the shinning symbol of American capitalism - is that it is truly and deeply anti-American.
WASHINGTON -- To: Washington's most powerful people.
AR Special Report
Ink Soup: O, SELL ME A HOME
SEATTLE, Wash. -- How the Pentagon ever managed to be tagged with such a neutral, geometric name beats me. When I was in the tenth grade, it did not even exist. I was in college before it was finished, and by then I knew enough Greek to understand that it meant "five angles."
LOS ANGELES -- Animal Farm, George Orwell's nightmare vision of totalitarianism, became a best seller after World War II when the Cold War began. It has been taught in middle and high schools ever since as an allegory of the Russian Revolution, serving nicely to vilify our erstwhile nemesis, the Soviet Union.
PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Lung Fung is the model for the multicultural globalized world. Or maybe Beirut? Or Maybe Casablanca?
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. -- Don't get me wrong. I do hate the tobacco industry and it was this hatred that fueled my decision to quit smoking in the late '70s, after 30 years of never leaving home without my only true "friend." Cigarettes got me through thick and thin and except for the times I thought I'd be richer by not smoking, the notion of quitting was never quite sincere.
JOHN HENRY'S FOR SAPS - GIVE ME MOTHER JONES!
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- In observance of Labor Day last year, National Public Radio aired a story about folk hero John Henry. It was a poor choice. I'm here to tell you why.
SAN DIEGO -- I have always felt that caregivers are the most important people in senior care - not the nurses, not the doctors, but the people who actually give the hands-on care, day in and day out.
WASHINGTON, Jan 19, 2003 -- A company that provided security at New York City's World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and to United Airlines between 1995 and 2001, was backed by a private Kuwaiti-American investment firm with ties to a brother of President Bush and the Bush family, according to records obtained by the American Reporter.
HOLLYWOOD -- "Does the Voice go around saying it's owned by Weiss, Peck & Greer?"
JAKARTA -– A leading Muslim scholar from the Sudan has injected some high-octane political thinking into the furious debate going on here over the possible imposition of Islamic law, or sharia, saying that the concept is incompatible with democracy and the principles of modern statehood.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa., Jan. 17, 2003 -- The Supreme Court received advice from constitutional scholar, civil rights analyst, national educator and President George W. Bush. Yes, that President Bush.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I've long read newspapers back to front, starting with the sports section. Lately, it's the only part of the newspaper I can stand to read. That's because the front of the newspaper is full of lies and B.S. The sports section is not.
WASHINGTON -- A special issue of Time, the nation's biggest newsmagazine, was filled with health information in mid-January, offering plenty of encouragement under the rubric of medical science with an ethereal twist: "How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body."
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It was bound to happen someday. In the 1950s, we were given 3-D glasses to make movies "come to life." In the '80s and '90s, it was Surround Sound that put us "in the middle of the action." And in the 21st Century, odor is the Next Big Thing that will make entertainment and education more realistic.
HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 15, 2003 -- A forthcoming report by Los Angeles Times staff writers Anita Busch and Steve Barry will reveal a Tinseltown scandal involving at least two former members of the Los Angeles City Council who reportedly shut down films until studios made contributions or bought traffic equipment as a gift to the city, The American Reporter has learned. Both former council members acknowledged speaking with at least one of the two reporters in recent days and months.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A murmur ran through the choir when the bus pulled into Brattleboro, Vt. "Everybody's white here. What're we going to do?" Then someone said, "We're going to sing to the Lord," and that's exactly what they did.
SAN DIEGO -- I have always felt that caregivers are the most important people in senior care - not the nurses, not the doctors, but the people who actually give the hands-on care, day in and day out.
SEATTLE, Wash. -– Okay, I admit it: I'm afraid. I know: Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once, and so on... .
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's not as if I were born yesterday; I've been around through every technical innovation since the dial telephone. Since then, I've always had the ability to dial a number and reach my party any place in the world. If my telephone were not functioning for some reason or other, I could use a neighbor's, a service station's, a public phone booth, and be as aware of the system as I was at home.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush thinks he can rouse the stagnant U.S. economy by eliminating federal taxes on stock dividends.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I've sometimes considered being a restaurant critic, but except for the restaurant that delivers shish kebabs William Tell style, there aren't many I don't like.
HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 10, 2003 -- The venerable Hollywood Palace rocked tonight to DJs and a screaming hot band called The Used as a crowd of 500 "industry" types listened and ate sushi as the guests of Sony Ericsson, a joint venture of two giant electronics engineering firms who are trying to build some buzz for an amazing new product - a phone that has to be the ultimate destination of "convergence," a word that still sends some geeks into spasms.
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- President Bush's proposal to cut or eliminate taxation on common stock dividends is a positive move toward overall tax reform. Yet, it pales in comparison for the need for a genuine, significant reduction--or elimination - of the tax on capital gains.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- News that the American Dialect Society named "weapons of mass destruction" as its "word of the year" came not a moment too soon.
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- On Dec. 20, the feature on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition "All Things Considered" was called a Race Roundtable. NPR brought together in their studios a relatively small group of people from the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., to discuss former Senate Majority Leader Lott's remarks and to ask where America goes from here. Historically, the nation's capital has been the site of race controversy from the beginning - and still is today.
SAN DIEGO -- The thing about rural nursing is that you never know where the road will take you. It could lead to an old shack without electricity or a mobile home on a reservation, or it could lead to a mansion and everything in-between.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- To put a new twist on the obligatory annual prediction columns, this piece is devoted today to things that will not happen in the world of sports in 2003.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's hard to say what's more absurd - that The Wall Street Journal's editorial page would call someone who earns under $12,000 a year a "lucky ducky," or that the Journal would use the phrase "lucky duckies" in an editorial.
WASHINGTON -- For more than a decade now, the P.U.-litzer Prizes have gone to some of America's stinkiest media performances each year. The competition was fierce as ever in 2002. Many journalistic pieces of work deserved recognition. Only a few could be chosen.
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