INSIDE A.R. TODAY

Vol. 11, No. 2,553 - The American Reporter - January 5, 2005

Please give generously to the Indonesian earthquake relief agencies.

Brasch Words
PRESIDENT BUSH'S 'APPROPRIATE' RESPONSE

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- On Sunday, Dec. 26, an earthquake-triggered tsunami with an effect of 1,000 miles from its epicenter in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra devastated 12 countries. Within hours, numerous countries and private social service agencies had begun massive relief operations. President George W. Bush, vacationing on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, made no public statements.

Media Beat
MEDIA SENSE AND SENSIBILITIES
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- At a pair of British daily newspapers - the Independent and the Guardian - plus the Observer on Sunday, journalists are far more willing than their U.S. counterparts to repeatedly take on powerful interests. Tough questions get pursued at length and in depth. News coverage is often factually devastating. And commentaries don't mince words.

Jill Stewart
FOREIGN CONVICTS COST CALIFORNIA $4 BILLION A YEAR

by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- Forgive me if I missed the media coverage of the international dustup between California State Senator Gloria Romero of Los Angeles and the Mexican government the other day. The media downplays stories it perceives as "blaming the victim," particularly on the hands-off topic of illegal immigration.

On Media
JOURNALISTIC OBJECTIVITY RECONSIDERED
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Things creep up on you. Hardly anybody has noticed that we are now precisely halfway through the "oughts" - that is, the years '00 - '09. And if we think about what has been happening, we will notice that peculiar things have been creeping into our media and - without our always paying attention - are solidifying. At the same time, as we shall see, there are things that may need changing that have stayed the same.

Make My Day
ARE YOU A CHRISTMAS CLOTHES GEEK?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's a tradition that's been handed down from generation to generation, and one that I've largely ignored for my entire life. I never wear the clothes I received for Christmas right after Christmas.

On Native Ground
A DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN CREATED THE SOCIAL SECURITY 'CRISIS'
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I look at how the Bush administration is trying to manufacture a Social Security "crisis," and it looks much like what was done to manufacture the rationale for invading Iraq.

Media Beat
TAILGATING THE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The last few days of every year bring a heightened sense of time passing, never to return. "Not always so," the end of a calendar reminds us.

Andy Oram
'SOCIAL WEB' HAS FAR TO GO, MUCH PROMISE
Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Two ideas, diametrically opposed in philosophy and approach, have seized the attention of Internet companies and technologists over the first few years of this century. Given that the century will be so long and we have barely started yet, it's hard to say what will turn out important. But these two ideas are attracting both money and attention. One stresses classification, the other community. Neither has borne much fruit yet.

On Media
L.A.'S MAYORAL DEBATES NOTABLE FOR MAN WHO ISN'T THERE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES - So far, there have been two televised debates for L.A.'s 2005 mayoral election. In each, the supposedly reform-minded sponsors took the path of expediency by inviting only professional politicians. For all the talk among liberals and reformers about demanding that free air time be provided to candidates, when push came to shove the League of Women Voters and the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters excluded all the unfunded and underfunded candidates from their debates.

Make My Day
I DON'T BELIEVE IN THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - It's Christmas weekend, and I'm slumped at his desk in an eggnog-induced torpor. I barely had enough energy to send a column or to look up the spelling of "torpor" at Dictionary.com.

Passings
BILL JOHNSON INSPIRED MANY, AND SAVED ONE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 25, 2003 -- This has been about the saddest Christmas ever. First my oldest brother, Johnny, told me about a month ago he'd come down with bladder cancer. On Dec. 21, my wife's second husband, a commandante of the National Police in Cuzco, died when his bus plunged off a cliff in Peru, where she's from. Then, two nights ago, I got a note from the grandson of Bill Johnson, the American Reporter Correspondent whose stories from the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995 - just nine days after we began publishing - put on the map, He died peacefully late at night on October 26 at Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City, several days after heart surgery to replace a failing mitral valve.

Brasch Words
A FAILURE TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- As usual, Donald Rumsfeld was in control. At a "town hall" meeting with almost 2,000 American combat soldiers in northern Kuwait, the Secretary of Defense and his PR machine were going to give a "pep rally" to troops about to go into combat. He would prove he cared about the individual troops, that the Bush administration supported them, and that God and country, at least 51 percent of the mortal voters, were patriots who supported President George W. Bush and, thus, the war.

Momentum
AMERICA AIN'T SINGING
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I've just heard America and it ain't singing, baby. Instead, the sound our country makes is more like rampaging engines at the start of some low-rent demolition derby.

Market Mover
TOP BUSINESS STORIES OF '04 LOOK FAMILIAR
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 22, 2004 -- In return for getting up before dawn each day for a live, ad-lib radio business commentary, Doug Stephan, host of the syndicated "Good Day" radio show, asks me to pick the top business stories each year. My work is easy this time around, since the list is strikingly similar to last year's offering, except for the 2004 Presidential Election results.

On Native Ground
THE LONESOME DEATH OF GARY WEBB
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's the loneliest feeling in journalism.

Jill Stewart
HOW TO STAMP OUT CHRISTMAS
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- On cue, California jumped into the yearly fray over why Christmas symbols and carols get banned from schools and other public places, when that well-known religious radical, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, ignited a controversy by pointedly calling the state's official "holiday" tree its "Christmas" tree instead.

On Media
HAS NEW HAMPSHIRE'S PRIMARY OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The Democrats may be rethinking the primary system - that strange process where Iowa and New Hampshire get to tell the rest of the country who the presidential candidates are going to be - and the Des Moines Register is sounding nervous.

American Essay
A WALK DOWN CHICKEN STREET
by Chris Verrill

PACIFICA, Calif. -- "Kabul suicide attack: 7 injured," reads the headline today. The news story says, "A suicide grenade attack in the center of the Afghan capital of Kabul Saturday injured seven people, including three international peacekeepers. Three blasts shook a shopping area in downtown Kabul."

Opinion
WANTED: AN HONEST BROKER FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
by Sam Bahour

WEST BANK, Palestinian Authority -- The steady flow of international dignitaries to Israel and Palestine following the confirmation of the new transitional Palestinian leadership has been rather impressive. Outgoing American Secretary of State Colin Powell, outgoing UN envoy for the Middle East Terje Roed-Larsen, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, among others, swooped down on the region as if the historic moment of Yasir Arafat's passing was the moment the region had been waiting for. Unfortunately, not one of these diplomats, or anyone in the Palestinian leadership for that matter, has proposed anything beyond brushing the dust off already failed initiatives and placing the burden for progress on the results of the upcoming Palestinian elections.

Opinion
KEY ABORTION DECISIONS HAVE LOST THE PLAINTIFFS
by Steve Casey

STONEWALL, La. -- Recently, while in Washington D.C., I met and talked with two ladies who were used in changing the face of American society in the 20th Century. The two ladies were Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano.

On Native Ground
JESUS CHRIST AND THE GOP
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What does the term "moral values" really mean?

Make My Day
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED A PLUNGER?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Some days I hate being a writer. Days like today. Not one of those "oh crap it's two hours before deadline, and I don't have a topic" day. That's the story of my nearly-ten year writing career. It's also how I got through college.

Market Mover
RADIO? ARE YOU SIRIUS?
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla. --In two days, two octogenarian clients wanted to buy stock in Sirius, the satellite radio company. One wanted to buy 100 shares at $9, the other just "two hundred dollars worth of stock."

Ink Soup
A SHOT OF CANADIAN
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– "Victoria Clipper" is the name for four vessels that ply the route from Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia - a trip that, on a good day, takes two and a half hours.

Momentum
THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My uncle, Bernard Kampler, a kind young man much loved by his family, a high school swim star, newly married, died 60 years ago this week in the Battle of the Bulge under unimaginably harsh and terrifying conditions. In my family, the repercussions of his death are still flowing outward, like rings from a stone dropped into a deathly still pool of water.

On Media
ECONOMIC APOCALYPSE IS 'TALK OF THE TOWN'
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- The dollar has been falling like a stone even as economic forecasters are predicting further turmoil. Rather than ask why this is happening, we should probably be asking why it hasn't happened sooner and why it hasn't been even worse. And, later, I have my own hypothesis.

On Native Ground
HOW FUNDAMENTALISM FAILS AMERICA
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Can a country where more people believe in the Devil than in evolution maintain its leadership in the sciences?

Market Mover
MISSING THE CHARITY TARGET
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Sometime around Turkey Day, the management of Target Stores must have believed the cynic's adage, "No good deed goes unpunished."

Momentum
ROCKING THE LITTLE MAN IN THE BOAT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is it just me or is there an air of sexual repression wafting through our country?

Make My Day
SHOPPING DAYCARE FOR GUYS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- You know, sometimes you just have to envy England. Not only are they famous for their warm, sunny climate - oh wait, sorry... Not only are they renowned for their superb gourmet food like black pudding or - um, sorry. Let me try again... . Not only are they known for their exciting spectator sports like cricket and lawn bowling - dang it!

Ink Soup
BLOGOUT
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- What is a blog? Oh, I know that the word is a coinage made from the last b of web and the word log. But even if its pre-cute form is web log, I'd still like to know what is it?

On Media
A WAKE-UP CALL TO LIBERALS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- In the aftermath of electoral defeat, the anti-Bush coalition has been in the process of reevaluating its tactics. While most of it comes across as wishful whining, Marc Cooper of the L.A. Weekly and Peter Beinart, editor of The New Republic, have fired a couple of shots across leftist bows that are generating a flurry of comments.

On Native Ground
ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON? IT MAY COME SOONER THAN YOU THINK
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There will be many chickens coming home to roost in President Bush's second term. Perhaps the biggest one of all will be the true state of the American economy.

Momentum
ACT THE ANGEL, BE THE BRUTE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Many of our mortally wounded are not coming back wrapped in body bags or bandages.

Make My Day
ANIMAL INTERSPECIES DATING: SIN OR CIVIL RIGHT?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Just when we thought we would get a much-needed rest from moral politics, a new emotion-charged controversy has reached a fevered pitch in Provo, Utah.

Ink Soup
THE UNVANISHED
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– When I awoke from troubled dreams this morning it seemed to me that two topics would force themselves into this Ink Soup: the full moon on the day after Thanksgiving, and what I took to be the not unrelated but totally unprecedented vanishing of our cat Huck.

Hominy & Hash
THE HOUSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When Joseph Conrad quoted Edmond Spenser's line "Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after war, death after life, does greatly please," I sensed he was taken with the warmth of those suggested feelings. So taken was he with the little verse, it is engraved on his tombstone where, I suggest. he was laid to rest in Canterbury with a contented smile on his face.

On Media
IT'S TIME FOR INTERNET II
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Imagine a highway system where people make their own license plates and change them as often as they want. Thieves abound. Hit and run goes unpunished. Few get caught because it is hard to trace them. That's what the Internet is like nowadays. Somehow the Digital Superhighway has become the Devil's Driveway, more like some post-nuclear holocaust novel than that idealistic portrait of educational opportunity the visionaries hoped we would all experience.

Media Beat
MEDIA JITTERS IN THE NUCLEAR AGE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Top officials in Washington are now promoting jitters about Iran's nuclear activities, while media outlets amplify the message. A confrontation with Tehran is on the second-term Bush agenda. So, we're encouraged to obliquely think about the unthinkable.

Jill Stewart
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AND THE 'SAFE SEAT' SCAM
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- To the embittered liberals who say Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fundraising of $73,000 a day proves he's owned by special interests, my response is: Dear Guv, please keep raking in far more dough than Gray Davis.

On Native Ground
THE POLITICS OF DIVISION CAN BE OVERCOME
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The hysteria over same-sex marriage has been credited by some pundits as the key issue that gave President Bush a second term.

Momentum
PRESIDENT BUSH 'OUT OF TOUCH' WITH REALITY, HERSH SAYS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As the election recedes, there's good news and bad news. And we're not going to like any of it.

On Media
THE CONTROLLER AND THE TIMES NAIL L.A.'s MAYOR
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22 -- In exposing a government scandal, it sure helps when a zealous public official and a big-city newspaper manage to find each other. Such is now the case in Los Angeles, where the Los Angeles Times and City Controller Laura Chick have been playing tag-team against Mayor James Hahn.

On Native Ground
BEYOND THE RED AND BLUE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We know the map by heart now, the sea of red with the blotches of blue on the edges - the visual representation of President Bush's alleged mandate.

Momentum
SUCH A LONG WAY, BABY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's the best of times, it's the worst of times. Condoleezza Rice, the Cold Warrior Woman, will be America's second female Secretary of State. What can feminists make of this?

Jill Stewart
A SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT IN 2008? DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- All the caterwauling by talking heads who insist the Democrats can win the presidency in 2008 with a religious Southerner has me laughing - well, chuckling painfully, anyway.

Ink Soup
OUTRIGHT
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE -- A few years ago, sitting on a bench in Palmer Square with a colleague whom I knew only slightly, I had an experience totally without precedent for me at the time. He came out to me.

On Media
HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN SURVIVES TALK SHOW'S 'HUMAN SACRIFICE'
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It was a populist dream come true. The effort pf two talk show hosts to unseat Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) was presented to the voters of his district as a chance to rise up and defeat a comfortably entrenched politician who had strayed from the fold. The plan ultimately failed, but the margin was surprisingly narrow, considering the district and the candidate's previous track record.

Reporting: Indonesia
INDONESIAN CHINESE FACE ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION
by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Nov. 10, 2004 -- Many Chinese-descent Indonesians are worried about the new Indonesian government's economic policy, fearing they may become victims of discrimination advocated by Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

Media Beat
TRANSFORMING FOUR MORE YEARS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Right-wing trumpets are making a horrific racket across a ravaged political landscape. For now, hope is barely audible. Progressives seem like fledglings without feathers, weakly tapping from inside thick shells. Four more years sound like hell.

On Native Ground
MANDATE? WHAT MANDATE?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Now that we lefties have all had a few days to digest the election results and what they mean, it's time to start thinking about how we're going to play defense for the next four years.

American Essay
WHEN THE BODY BAGS COME HOME
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Nov. 13, 2004 -- "When they come to the door, you know there is only one reason. I asked them when did he die and they told me."

Momentum
ANGRY IN VERMONT: 11 WAYS TO FIX THE WORLD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A gloom has descended over the place where I live - the most progressive county in progressive Vermont. We're still reeling from the election results.

Reporting: Philadelphia
G.O.P. HIRED MEN TO SUPPRESS PHILADELPHIA VOTING, LAWYER SAYS
by Margie Burns

PHILADELPHIA -- In Philadelphia, the Republican Party hired local people - apparently including at least one knife-waving drug addict - as neighborhood poll watchers, paid them watchers to challenge their neighbors' votes, and sent visiting teams of burly workers in vans in a mixed strategy of intimidation and misinformation to try to suppress voting on November 2, according to a Brooklyn law student who worked as a poll monitor.

Hominy & Hash
EMBEDDED WITH THE MOB
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It goes without saying, for the most part, that mothers are loved. (Perhaps Lizzie Borden's was an exception.) And my mother was loved to the point of reverence by all nine of us. If any one of us knew how to go about it, we would have submitted her name and life story to the Committee to Consider Canonization to Sainthood - if there were such a body. Surely, she is a saint in Heaven just as she was a saint on Earth.

Ink Soup
FRUIT FLY FACTS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Say the above head three times rapidly, and if you do not say Flute Fry Flax, read on.

Make My Day
I KNOW BILL CLINTON, TOO
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As someone who follows politics the way sports fans follow baseball, I was excited about my recent trip to Washington, D.C., home of the White House, Capitol Hill, and the National Bead Museum (official motto: Yes, there's a museum for those!).

Brasch Words
A BONE OF CONTENTION
by Rosemary R. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - I heard it.

On Native ground
WE TRIED. WE FAILED. WE MUST TRY ONCE AGAIN.
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's now official. We are no longer a reality-based country.

Momentum
THE DAY-AFTER-ELECTION-DAY BLUES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As I write, Sen. John Kerry has just conceded the extremely close presidential election to President George W. . But the damage has been done - with a record turnout, the results mean that half the voters in the United States are fools.

On Media
IT'S BUSH'S WAR NOW
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- President Bush's reelection signifies a seriously weakened United States, both politically and militarily. This should be painfully evident, yet it is curious how few of our learned commentators have been willing to make that point openly.

AR Commentary
EACH CANDIDATE HAS A TALE, AND THE WISE WILL LISTEN
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- At election time, especially, but in more regular times, too, we could surely benefit from a careful literary eye. This has value not only for our reading, writing and entertainment but in measuring the very authenticity and credibility of our society; otherwise, we can find ourselves in the middle of a real-life script that reads like a poorly written first draft.

Campaign Trail
A BLAZE OF HUMANITY AMID THE MACHINES
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- We were at the end of 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Martha's Roman Catholic Church in Sarasota, a few miles from home, when the sound of squealing brakes and a distinct thump! shocked the congregation to silence. Just seconds later a man ran into the crowded church, calling for someone to dial 911. "A woman has been hit crossing the street!" he shouted.

On Native Ground
THE DIVINE MADNESS OF PRESIDENT BUSH
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Bush presidency has been hard on the souls of every person who has a brain and believes in rationalism, humanism and liberalism.

AR Commentary
ELECTION OFFERS SOME SCARY DEJA VOODOO FOR AMERICA
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Oct. 31, 2004 -- Tuesday's presidential election, very likely the nation's most important one in more than half a century, offers a curious deja vu scenario. It's all too suggestive of 1952 when a fearful nation swept Republican candidate General Ike Eisenhower into power in a landslide on a platform suggesting that Democrats were soft on Communism. Now we all wait on pins and needles to see whether a once-again fearful nation will re-elect President George W. Bush on a platform that suggests Sen. Kerry is soft on Terror.

Brasch Words
THE VANISHING TRUTH ABOUT IRAQ
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The CIA said there was no connection. The 9/11 Commission said there was "no credible evidence." Counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke, advisor to four presidents, said there was no link. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "We made serious mistakes." Even Donald Rumsfeld grudgingly said there probably wasn't "any strong, hard evidence."

Campaign 2004
NADER'S TWO-TIME RUNNING MATE BACKS JOHN KERRY
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 16, 2004 -- Presidential candidate Ralph Nader's 1996 and 2000 vice-presidential running mate, Native American activist Winona LaDuke, has dealt the 2004 Nader presidential campaign a cruel blow: LaDuke is endorsing Nader's rival, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry, she said Wednesday in Indian Country Today, the nation's top news magazine for Native Americans.

On Native Ground
THE NAKED PRESIDENT
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Less than three weeks away from the election, the truth is now staring us in the face and only the willfully blind cannot see it.

Make My Day
LIKE SUPERMAN AND LEX LUTHOR
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Everyone had a nemesis growing up. Someone who was there to bother, harass, and torment them, and generally try to make life unpleasant. Abel had Caine, Julius Caesar had Brutus, and everyone who likes music has Britney Spears.

Momentum
LEAVING IRAQ: IT'S ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS NOW
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The words I most want to hear from both presidential candidates are these: "We're pulling out of Iraq, starting today."

Ink Soup

DROPPING EAVES

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- Did Yogi Berra say that you can hear a lot by listening? No? Well, he will say it once he reads it here. Anyway, here are some things I've heard by listening.

America at War
SCHISM, DEPARTITION AND OTHER NEW IDEAS FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Are there new ideas and new approaches that might reduce tensions in the Middle East, or lead to a clear-cut victory over Islamic funamentalist terrorism? Maybe, but they are not being heard.

Reporting: Costa Rica
JUDGE ISSUES ARREST WARRANT FOR O.A.S. SECRETARY-GENERAL
by Saray Ramírez Vindas

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica, Oct. 8, 2004 — A Costa Rican judge has issued an international arrest warrant for former president Miguel Ángel Rodriguez, who until he resigned this afternoon was Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS). The warrant came after prosecutors alleged that Rodriguez, who as OAS head was one of the most influential figures in the Western Hemisphere, conspired to receive illicit payoffs from the French telecommunications giant Alcatel and others.

Debate Review
BUSH RIGHTS HIS SHIP, KERRY SAILS ON
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 9, 2004 -- President George W. Bush showed himself a vastly improved debater Friday night in the second of three face-to-face meetings, while his opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachussetts, not only held the ground he won in their first debate but improved his standing among uncommitted voters in battleground states that could hold the key to victory Nov. 2.

On Native Ground
JOHN KERRY AND THE POLITICS OF FLEXIBILITY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Two years ago this week, Sen. John Kerry gave a speech on the floor of the Senate explaining why he was voting in favor of giving President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq.

Make My Day
JUST DON'T HIT IT THERE!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Over the past few years, I've avoided golf because of one particular incident from my past. It has haunted me well into adulthood and has prevented me from picking up a golf club for over 28 years.

Momentum
THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE DAUGHTER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's funny how quaint it seems now, the idea of retiring to Florida (or even having enough money to retire at all). But thirty years ago it was the dream of millions of hard-working Americans, many of whom actually pulled up their northern roots and moved south.

Ink Soup
THE BIRDMAN OF SHILSHOLE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- As a birder, I am strictly an amateur, and never roam about in search of them. But when they come to me, as they incessantly do so long as I remember to fill the feeder on the back deck, I like to know who they are.

Jill Stewart
POLL SEASON, SCHMOLL SEASON: WHY MEDIA CAN'T SEE THE CALIFORNIA RIGHT
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- It's a presidential election year, a Sacramento legislative battle year and a ballot measure year. That means it's poll season. For me, dazed and confused in recent years by contradictory polls and the unpredictable political mutts known as California voters, I say "poll season, schmoll season."

Brasch Words
APPLAUDING ONLY THE 'RIGHT' ENTERTAINERS
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - They call themselves Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood, or PABAAH for short. If it was anything but an acronym, PABAAH would be on the Homeland Security "no-fly" list. They believe Sean Penn and Janeane Garofalo are traitors. They want John Ashcroft, defender of some of the Bill of Rights, to charge Michael Moore with treason.

Reporting: Costa Rica
PRESSURE MOUNTS ON O.A.S. SECRETARY-GENERAL TO RESIGN
by Jay Brodell

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica, Oct. 3, 2004 —- Pressure is growing here for former Costa Rican president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, a leading economist and now the Secretary-General of the influential Organization of American States, to resign from post at the O.A.S., a hemispheric counterpart of the United Nations.

On Media
ADJECTIVES AND ELEPHANTS DEFINED FIRST DEBATE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES - The first presidential debate had its own giant elephant in the bedroom, and it is an Asian elephant. Meanwhile, the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign has been concentrating its fire on the interpretation of adjectives. It would be funny if it weren't so serious. Perhaps tragicomedy is the right term that describes the week of Sept. 30, 2004.

First Person
AMERICA'S BEST HOSPITAL WAS THEIR WORST NIGHTMARE
by Dan Walter

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - I have been reading recent stories about malpractice problems at Johns Hopkins Hospital with great interest. I took my wife there for a relatively low-risk procedure two years ago and through a series of astonishing mishaps, she almost died. Since then, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how such things can happen in one of the best medical facilities in the world.

Make My Day
KIDS SAY THE SCARIEST THINGS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- My kids and I have a special relationship. They are free to bring up certain topics of discussion. I am free to make nasty faces and freak out at near-hysterical levels. They know which buttons to push, and will push them just to watch me have an apoplectic fit at the things they say. But most of the time, they do it without knowing they're pushing any buttons.

The 2003 Debates
LIKE THE PHOENIX, KERRY SOARS IN POST-DEBATE POLLS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 1, 2004 -- Here in the Gulf Coast hinterlands of Florida where Republicans hold virtually every public office in this and the neighboring counties, the crew at a local Post Office was upbeat this afternoon. "He's gong to win. "He better win." "I think he"ll win," said three different postmen as they talked with a customer they knew to be a Kerry. One even presented him with three candid photos of Vice President Al Gore during a year 2000 campaign stop in nearby Sarasota and a book of matchesd from Air Force Two, the Vice-President's plane.

On Native Ground
DEBATES WILL REVEAL THE 'INTELLIGENCE GAP'
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There will be many contrasts between U.S. Senator John F. Kerry and President George W. Bush that will be seen in Thursday's first presidential debate.

Reporting: Costa Rica
OAS CHIEF SAYS HE GOT $140,000 LOAN
By Jay Brodell

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica -- The secretary general of the Organization of American States said Thursday that he had received $140,000 from a French telecommunications firm to advance his candidacy for the job he now holds.

Momentum
SERMON FROM A DIFFERENT, FAR BETTER MOUNT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Watch President George W. Bush on the campaign trail. Notice how he gives a quick, manly, forward hunch of his shoulders just before he gives a speech. Then he swaggers forward just a step and his hands settle briefly around his belt. No matter how compassionate the speech that follows, the hunch and the settle say something different to the Republican elect. They say that John Wayne is back.

The 2004 Debates
WHO DOES GOD WANT?
by Mister Thorne

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was the 13th of December, 1999; it was Des Moines, Iowa. George W. Bush was debating the other candidates hoping to be the GOP's nominee for president. Near the start of the debate, Bush responded to a question from Tom Brokaw about "an evolving culture of violence and rage in America."

American Essay
BEFORE TWO FLAGS: THE FAITH AND POLICY OF DOUGLAS FEITH
by Tom Barry

DALLAS -- {Editor's Note: Earlier editions of AR published this article under the name of a person who had plagiarized the article. The American Reporter regrets and apologizes to the actual author, Tom Barry.] With no end in sight to the ever-worsening situation in Iraq, what is sorely needed in Washington to turn the situation around is the de-linking of its foreign policy from the agenda and priorities of Israel, and a re-linking of America's Iraq policy with the broader Arab-Israeli conflict.

Reporting: Indonesia
DESPITE BIG CHANGES IN JAKARTA, DOUBTS OVER INDONESIAN UNITY PERSIST
by Andreas Harsono

TOMOHON, Indonesia, Sept. 28, 2004 -- Jakarta may have made enormous progress by organizing the first direct presidential elections in Indonesian history, but skepticism about its Javanese-dominated governments remains high in this Christian-dominated town in northern Sulawesi where distrust is deeply rooted.

The A.R. Interview
EX-D.I.A. OFFICER QUESTIONS 9/11 REPORT, FAULTS HUMAN INTELLIGENCE LACK
by Margie Burns

WASHINGTON -- Ted Pahle has retired after 34 years of experience in intelligence matters with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and U.S. Army Intelligence. Now it's his turn to speak up, and he has.

On Media
EDUCATION IS NOT THE PANACEA
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The governor of California signed a bill this week to give special privileges to hybrid cars which get better than 45 miles to the gallon. The president of the Ford Motor Company objected. Apparently Ford can't build that car, while the Japanese can.

On Native Ground
BUSH FLOUTED U.N. CHARTER WHEN HE INVADED IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President George W. Bush went before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to defend his administration's decision to invade Iraq.

Make My Day
HOW THE GRINCH GROUNDED SANTA
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I'll bet most people never knew there was such a thing as an airport board. These people like to work behind the scenes, making sure airports operate smoothly and safely. And they prefer to stay out of the limelight.

Momentum
PROUD TO BE A DEAD ARMADILLO
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "There's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow line and dead armadillos," the Texas humorist and political writer Jim Hightower once famously said. In this election cycle, though, he's off by a mile. In the middle of the road today huddle liberals, progressives, old-fashioned conservative Republicans and most Democrats, and they're all scared out of their freaking minds.

Reporting: Indonesia
DESPITE NEW PRESS FREEDOM, EDITOR GOES TO JAIL
by Andreas Harsono

MIANGAS ISLAND, Indonesia, Sept. 18, 2004 - A Jakarta court decision to sentence an Indonesian editor to a year in prison for allegedly libeling a business tycoon may create a trend in this emerging democracy, whose criminal code offers plenty of opportunities for those who are not happy with the media to throw sloppy journalists in jail.

Ink Soup
REAL HEDS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– The headlines (or "heds," as we call 'em in the J biz) below are all genuine.

On Media
2004 ELECTIONS ARE RIPE FOR HUMOR
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It may well be that comedy will determine the 2004 election. In a culture where popular entertainment reaches more people than all the learned political journals do in a lifetime, this is not an entirely facetious observation. The only question is whether the decisive "killer joke" will come from the mouth of Jay Leno, David Letterman. Jon Stewart or the Web pages of CNN.com.

Media Beat
SUPREME COURT WILL BE SHAPED BY 2004 OUTCOME, BUT WHO'S WATCHING?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - The big media themes about the 2004 presidential campaign have reveled in vague rhetoric and flimsy controversies. But little attention has focused on a matter of profound importance: Whoever wins the race for the White House will be in a position to slant the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court for decades to come.

On Native Ground
HOW SOON IS NOW?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Will someone please tell Sen. John Kerry and President Bush what year it is?

Make My Day
LOVE AND POLITICS: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - Hello, I'm Claire Townsend, and I'm running for U.S. Representative. I'll fight for the citizens of this state, and I won't take money from special interest lobbyists whose goal is to line their pockets and take away your rights.

Momentum
BEING THANKFUL FOR SMALL FAVORS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In a time of despair like these, with an election season marked by lies, fears, and hatred, with hatred of America growing around the world, and with a lost war on terror that is also a lost war in Iraq, I try to look for small signs of good.

Jill Stewart
CALIFORNIA'S LEGISLATURE STILL UNMOORED FROM REALITY
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 16, 2004 -- The mound of bad bills now sitting on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk is testament to government dysfunction, written in black and white. The big difference this year is that Arnold may veto many stinkers, while Gray Davis tended to buckle.

Ink Soup
TOENAILS AND KEROSENE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- The children are back, thanks be to God. I don't mean my children–I mean those who go to the school that is just across a wide playing field directly behind my house.

Hominy & Hash
IN POLITICS, IT ALL COMES DOWN TO 'SO WHAT?!'
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and lied about it. Not a very honorable thing to do; yet, 30 or so years later he served this nation admirably becoming not only the first President of the United States but forever more known as the "Father of our Country."

Market Mover
IS AMERICA POISED FOR A 'GREAT BULL RUN'?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla.. Sept. 13, 2004 -- We are in the final stage of a 17-year bear market, and there are lots of reasons to believe we are poised for a bull rush, similar to the one which started back in 1987.

On Media
FANS AND CRITICS OF 'FAHRENHEIT 9/11' STILL GOING STRONG
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif., Sept 12, 2004 -- My weekend began in a little waterfront cafe where two strangers nearly came to blows. There had been angry letters of protest in the newspapers and one lone protester on the day of the event. The subject of all this display was the showing of Michael Moore's controversial, prize-winning documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" at a local theater on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004.

Special Report
POSSIBLE A-TEST REPORTED IN NORTH KOREA
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 12, 2004 (5:20am EDT) -- Amid reports by the South Korean news agency Yonhap that a large "mushroom cloud" as much as 2.5 miles in diameter was seen near a northern military base in North Korea on Sept. 9, The Associated Press is reporting this morning that a vast explosion occurred at 11 a.m. Thursday in that nation's Yanggang province.

Reporting: Indonesia
INDONESIAN LEADERS STILL IN DENIAL AFTER EMBASSY BLAST
by Andreas Harsono

MAKASSAR, Indonesia, Sept. 11, 2004 -– Indonesia's number one man on terrorism, police chief Da'i Bachtiar, was having a meeting with a parliamentary commission Thursday morning, briefing them about his attempt to arrest master bombers Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammad Top, when an aide approached him and whispered something into his ear.

Reporting: Bangladesh
IN BANGLADESH, GARMENT WORKERS' PAYDAY NOT A SURE THING
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Sept. 11, 2004 -- The garment workers of Bangladesh may be the most deprived labor force in the world. Most of are paid only US$14 to US$16 per month, the lowest salary in the world, said Amirul Haq Amin, Coordinator of the Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council (BGWUC) on Thursday.

On Native Ground
A CURE FOR REPUBLICAN LIES: ROOSEVELT'S IDEALS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My antidote to the lies spewed out by Republicans at their convention last week was the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Media Beat
THE BRAVE POSTURING OF ARMCHAIR WARRIORS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Soon after the American death toll in Iraq passed the 1,000 mark, I thought of Saadoun Hammadi and some oratory he provided two years ago when I spoke to him in Baghdad.

Make My Day
WHAT ABOUT 'EUROPEAN CARRYALL?'
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- If you fail to learn from history, you're doomed to repeat it.

Momentum
YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY KILLER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As a feminist I'm all for equal opportunity, but the idea of female suicide death squads makes me shiver.

Ink Soup
ICH-I-RO!
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Being a Mariners fan for the last couple of years has been a matter of feeling sorry for the fans of all other baseball teams. Fans heavily invested in the fate of the M's could then walk about trying not to seem all that superior to the ordinary run of humanity.

Hurricane Journal
INSIDE FRANCES: NO GAS, FREE ICE AND COLD, COLD CUTS
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Sept. 7, 2004 -- (Editor's Note: AR Correspondent Mark Scheinbaum weathered Hurricane Frances at his home in Lake Worth, Fla., near some of the hardest-hit coastal communities. Here is his piquant report).

Reporting: Nepal
A NATION WEEPS FOR INNOCENTS DEAD IN IRAQ
by Chiranjobi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Nepal, Sept. 7, 2004 -- An old Nepali saying, that "Tragedy never comes alone, it comes in a battalion," has never seemed more true in Nepal, where tragedy after tragedy has become the destiny of the nation.

On Media
OLD FICTIONS AND NEW REALITIES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It was a week when the Longshoremen's union pulled 3000 postcards from barrels containing 300,000 entries, the lucky winners getting entry level jobs on the docks. In Hollywood, movie buffs gathered for the annual Cinecon film festival. There is a linkage between the two items, subtle but significant, and it even bears on our upcoming election.

Hurricane Journal
FRANCES FILLS THE SCREEN
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 5, 2004 (3:50am EDT) -- Unless things change pretty drastically between now and about 11 a.m. this morning, the small city where I live will be largely spared any devastation by Hurricane Frances.

On Native Ground
HATS OFF TO THE PROTESTERS IN NEW YORK
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For all the people that fretted about what would happen if hundreds of thousands of people came to New York to protest the Bush administration, Sunday's march through midtown Manhattan was a repudiation of those fears.

Media Beat
ROVE'S BRAIN AND MEDIA MANIPULATION
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - I just saw a horror movie - "Bush's Brain" - the new documentary based on a book with the same name by journalists James Moore and Wayne Slater. The book's subtitle is "How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential." I'll spare you the grim details. What matters most now is that Rove's long record of shady and vicious media operations is not just in the past.

Make My Day
DO THEY GIVE GOLD MEDALS FOR COMPLAINING?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Every four years - called an Olympiad by us Olympic enthusiasts - I make a new resolution that I will start exercising more, and become a competitive athlete. Unfortunately, like every other resolution I make, this usually only lasts for three days after the Games end, and the new TV season starts up again.

Momentum
ANDY WARHOL MEETS SMALL TOWN AMERICAN VALUES
by Joyce Marcel

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -- One has to wonder.

Ink Soup
HELP! THAT MAGAZINE IS FOLLOWING ME!
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE. Wash. -– It's in my blood, I suppose. A number of my ancestors were academics of one kind or another. One of my most treasured books, Leusden's Greek and Latin Testament (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1858), belonged to Wm. D. McCorkle, who must have bequeathed to me the gene that caused me to major in Greek at Duke.

Hominy & Hash
TO KNOW-IT-ALLS WHO HEARD, SAW AND READ IT BEFORE ME
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Long before I was born, my mother saw some subtle differences in families because of the radio. She wrote a poem called Radio Blues.

On Media
PRINT VS. RADIO: A BATTLE IN THE HEARTLAND
by Robert Gelfand

DAYTON, Ohio -- As we taxi through Dayton International Airport, the pilot points out Air force One parked nearby. This is ground zero for the presidential campaign - if President George W. Bush loses Ohio, he can probably kiss the election goodbye. If Sen, John Kerry loses Ohio, he has that much more to make up in other states. Today, President Bush is visiting the Dayton suburb of Troy, Ohio. John Kerry has been all over the state the whole month.

On Native Ground
THE GOP STRATEGY: ATTACK, DISTORT, LIE, REPEAT
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Here's the new definition of chutzpah.


AN OPEN MIND, OR EMPTY HEAD?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Perhaps it's unfair to compare the work of an intern at a small-town newspaper to that of best selling author Dan Brown (he of the Da Vinci Code fame) but compare I shall, because there is a deeper lesson involved.

Make My Day
OLYMPICS, OLYMPICS, NEENER NEENER NEENER
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- We're winding down the final days of the Olympics, and while I don't think the 2004 games have carried the same emotional intensity as 1996 and 2000, there have still been some interesting stories over the past two weeks.

Momentum
GOING FOR GOLD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Olympics have turned out to be the perfect antidote to the toxic pop culture in which we live today.

Reporting: Dhaka
21 BOMBINGS IN BANGLADESH, BUT STILL NO SUSPECTS
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Aug. 25, 2004 -- This beleaguered is now unsafe for local people and foreigners. A six-year series of bombings have left hundreds dead, and police apparently no closer now than six years ago to catching the terrorists who have struck fear into the very heart of this young democracy.

Foreign Policy
WORLD TRADE MEETINGS MAY BE WORLD'S MOST VITAL TALKS
by Larry Bridwell

NEW YORK -- Since the French Revolution of the late 1700's, the war between the rich and the poor has been fought in many places and in many ways. In the 21st Century, the most important global battle is over the future rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Ink Soup
IOTA OKRA
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- My late Aunt Helen (RIP) gave me her recipe for what in fact she did – avoiding Alzheimer's. Do crossword puzzles, she said. "You never find me sitting here doing nothing." She was also addicted to any game show on TV, especially those involving word play. I once telephoned her in the hospital during her last illness, and she cut me short: "Get to the point, honey–my program is on."

Reporting: Los Angeles
MUSLIMS HONOR ALEC BALDWIN'S 'COURAGE AND CONSCIENCE'
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22, 2004 -- Actor and outspoken activist Alec Baldwin was hailed here Saturday night as one of the "voices of courage and conscience" who speak up for the right to criticize government without being impugned as unpatriotic. Baldwin was honored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) as the national organization's 13th annual Media Awards winner at the regal Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Market Mover

TALE OF THE TAPE TIPS A KERRY VICTORY

by Mark Scheinbaum

TAOS, N.M., Aug. 23, 2004 -- Highly-paid pundits say the presidential race is too close to call, but applying the old "Tale of the Tape" as boxing writers do, the election could produce a Kerry knockout and national Democratic win.

On Native Ground
BOOTS AND FLAGS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Driving down Avenue A, the main drag in the Massachusetts village of Turners Falls, it's hard to miss the flags.

Media Beat
HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND LEARN TO LOVE RUMSFELD
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The nation's top dog of war is frisky again. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has returned to high visibility - after a couple of months in the media doghouse following revelations about torture at the Abu Ghraib prison - and is now openly romancing the journalistic pack with his inimitable style of "tough love" as he growls and romps across tv screens.

Momentum
IF YOU ARE IN LABOR, PRESS 1
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Since my stepfather's death in Florida a few weeks ago, I've realized that it's much easier to die in America than it is to live.

Make My Day
ANOTHER REASON NOT TO ORDER PEA SOUP
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- If I had to give one important piece of advice today, it would be this: Tip your waitstaff.

Hominy & Hash
TODAY IS NOW; LIFE IS WHAT'S NEXT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Okay, so what is today? Today is the day we got a dog. BoPeep is the fourth Old English sheepdog we've had since 1958. Because she had blue eyes, we named the first one, "Lady Limehouse Blues" on her AKC "papers" but we called her "Limey." The next in line was BoPeep, then BoPeep, Jr., and now BoPeep III.

On Media
HOW THE YALE MEN FLUNKED SCIENCE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Well, President George W. Bush said something Thursday we ought to agree with, even if it wins the prize for the best ironic self-parody in an election year: "We need to keep facts, not politics, at the center of the debate."

Hurricane Journal
CHARLEY BEARS DOWN, FLORIDA BEARS UP
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 13, 2004, 2:27amEST -- As Hurricane Charley grinds across the Cuban countryside and moves closer to the warm Gulf Of Mexico, where it is likely to pick up speed and may become a Category 3, about 350 miles north my condominium building in the middle of a resort golf course here is nearly empty. We are under a mandatory evacuation order that I am reluctant to obey, while my wife would like to flee to Georgia. My daughter, meanwhile, is convinced nothing will happen.

On Native Ground
IT'S THE POST-INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY, STUPID!
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So now, even journalists aren't immune from the outsourcing juggernaut.

On Media
HE WAS DIFFERENT THAN I EXPECTED
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The Democratic convention is over now and the John Kerry I saw is nothing like the portrait the media have been trying to sell me. Whether you support him or oppose him, you have to admit that he showed something powerful in his acceptance speech.

Media Beat
FROM ATTICA TO ABU GHRAIB - AND A PRISON NEAR YOU
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- A recent obituary in the New York Times told about Frank Smith, "who as an inmate leader at Attica prison was tortured by officers in the aftermath of the prisoner uprising of 1971 and then spent a quarter century successfully fighting for legal damages." Working as a paralegal after his release, Smith was a pivotal force behind a 26-year civil action lawsuit that won a $12 million settlement.

Momentum
AN UNCONVENTIONAL WEEK
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My convention may have been different from yours.

On Native Ground
TO WIN, DEMOCRATS MUST BE BOLD AND THINK BIG
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Sometimes, from the point of the activist, the perfect becomes the enemy of the good."

Market Mover
THE PREZ WHO CRIED "WOLF?"
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, FL (3 Aug 04)--The Washington Post, New York Times, and some of my old colleagues from the loose knit UPI alumni club, are wondering whether the latest elections season "terror alert" is a case of a President or an administration who cried "Wolf."

American Sports
USC, NOTRE DAME DOMINATE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, SPORTS HISTORY
by Steven Travers

LOS ANGELES -- The 2004 college football season starts this month, and all indications are that Pete Carroll and his University of Southern California Trojans are poised to become the greatest collegiate team of all time.

On Native Ground

WHEN WILL A REAL DEMOCRAT RUN FOR PRESIDENT?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In talking to people around where I live, there's a distinct lack of enthusiasm for John Kerry.

Make My Day
STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It takes a lot to get politicians in an uproar. They're generally pretty easy going, level-headed, and not prone to immature outbursts about silly issues.

John Kerry tonight: "The future doesn't belong to fear. It belongs to freedom."

On the Campaign Trail
FOR A BETTER VANTAGE POINT, STAY HOME

by Joe Shea

BOSTON, July 28, 2004 -- The Rev. Al Sharpton has just wound up a long, passionate and eloquent speech that brought thousands of delegates to the Democratic National Convention here at the Fleet Center to their feet waving arms and signs and and cheering their lungs out, and now Sen. Bob Graham of Florida has taken Sharpton's place. Graham is not an evangelist but a very good speaker. The problem, though, is this: How many speeches, regardless of their quality, can you listen to in four days?

On The Campaign Trail
BY AND FOR A NEW WORLD
by Joe Shea

BOSTON, July 27, 2004 -- American history has come to a stage at which the nation must make critical choices about its future. Thus, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York told thousands of cheering delegates here last night, U.S. Sen. John Kerry "is a serious man ... for a serious time."

On The Campaign Trail
BOSTON IS A MOVEABLE FEAST
by Joe Shea

BOSTON, July 26, 2004 -- Besides nominating John Kerry for President, beating the hated Yankees with their own scrappy style of hardball and breaking all records for torn-up streets, Bostonians and the delegates to the Democratic National Convention here are busting a lot of Atkins-hardened dieter's hearts.

On Media
A TWIN CITIES EXPERIMENT IN E-POLITICS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Looking back to the moment in 1996 when Bob Dole hastily recited a Website address in a presidential debate, then forward to the Dean campaign, it is clear that Internet usage is developing into a significant part of our political system. We might consider an experiment begun ten years ago in Minnesota as the prototype for use of the Internet in politics. The results are worthy of examination.

On Native Ground
'OUTFOXED' AND THE MYTH OF THE LIBERAL MEDIA
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Along with about 100 other people, I crammed myself into a small, stuffy room on the campus of the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vt., on Sunday night to see a screening of "Outfoxed," Robert Greenwald's documentary about the Fox News Channel.

Media Beat
SCHWARZENEGGER'S MACHO POLITCS HAS MAJOR CONSEQUENCES
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- With two words, the governor of California has managed to highlight the confluence of anti-gay bias and misogyny. Open contempt for "girlie men" would have raised fewer eyebrows in the past. Reactions to Arnold Schwarzenegger's put-down of Democrats in the state legislature - "if they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men" - tell us a lot about how far we've come. The good news is the media outcry; the bad news is that the outcry hasn't been stronger.

Momentum
AT WAR WITH SUMMER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Honeysuckle, climbing roses, day lilies, bee balm, lavender, flowering clematis, black-eyed Susans, cosmos, pansies and petunias.

Ink Soup
WASTE PAPER
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Pasted to the mirror in my bathroom is a strip of paper with the typed words: "Object in mirror is exactly as far away as he seems." One of the things that make him seem less far, at least to himself, is his journal.

Hominy & Hash
WHAT MAKES A HERO?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- On May 6, 1954, a little over 50 years ago, we learned that Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. That record still holds more interest than any other for runners of the race. He was first; Chris Brasher was ahead early on, but Roger won the race. Chris who? That's right. Second place in the same event did not create a household name.

On Native Ground
WANT TO BE PRESIDENT? GO TO RICHMOND, QUICKLY
by Joe Shea

RICHMOND, Va., July 18, 2004 -- If Sen. John Kerry wants to be elected President of the United States, he'd better hurry down to the Sidewalk Cafe on Main St. here and talk to Jeff McCarthy, the bartender. "I'm not going to make up my mind until two minutes before I go into the polling booth," he said. It's Jeff McCarthy - and millions like him around the country - who holds the key to the 2004 presidential election. He's the one that everyone is after.

On Media
IT'S TIME FOR SOME PAYBACK
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Whoopi Goldberg did a few jokes about the president and within days she got fired. Once again the right taught us an important lesson that the left and center still refuse to learn.

Ink Soup
THE ANTEBANG
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- What was there before the Big Bang? This question has tormented such great thinkers as our President ("I'll tell you what there was. There was the terrorist conspiracy to commit the Big Bang. But fortunately we got word of it in time, thanks to our incomparable intelligence agencies and like that. So it never happened.")

Media Beat
TRIAL BALLOONS, TERROR, AND THE ELECTION
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tom Ridge, the federal official in charge of defending the United States against terrorism, was on message when he told a July 14 news conference: "We don't do politics at Homeland Security." Such high-level claims of patriotic purity have been routine since 9/11. But in this election year, they're more ludicrous than ever.

On Native Ground
PANTS ON FIRE AT THE MINISTRY OF FEAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's funny how many times over the past three years that "terrorist" threats have popped up whenever the Bush administration either wants something or is trying to distract people from its problems.

Thought: Iran may have been behind 9/11 all along.

On The Campaign Trail
SLURS AND SPEED TRAPS: THE 'OLD SOUTH' REARS ITS UGLY HEAD

by Joe Shea

WINDER, Ga., July 17, 2004 -- The McDonald's at the corner of Hwy. 11 in Winder, Ga., seems an unlikely place to re-encounter the Old South. But here, on the inside of the men's room stall in the tiny bathroom, is evidence in the form of messages scratched into the formica some time ago. F*CK U NIGGERS, says one; F*CK WHITE TRASH MOTHER F*KERS, says another; here and there are the familiar initials KKK; in between and around those are several swastikas. Equal opportunity hate is appraently alive and well in Winder.

Hominy & Hash
A TRIGGERING OF THE IMAGINATION
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - Imagine! That word usually sends me off into the netherworld of fairy dust and the wee people. Not tonight. Tonight my imagination has been triggered through a televised preview announcing "4400," an upcoming program about the return of 4,400 people who disappeared 60 years ago and returned all at once ... not having aged a day. They left; they returned, in this science fiction world of story-telling.

On Media

THE 'CREDIBILITY GAP' RETURNS

by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- When it comes to homeland security, the media might consider dusting off a term that was used during the Lyndon Johnson administration: "the credibility gap." How else to explain the almost comically skeptical reaction to warnings from the Attorney General about impending catastrophes, or to changes in the national stoplight from yellow to orange?

Media Beat
KERRY-EDWARDS' STANCE FOR U.S. JOBS IRKS THE PRESS - BUT WHY?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The morning after Sen. John Kerry announced that North Carolina Sen. John Edwards will be his running mate, powerful newspapers fired warning shots across the bow of the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

BANGLADESHI FIRM MISUSED TRADE CREDITS, U.S., E.U. CHARGE
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A number of Bangladeshi exporters are allegedly involved in misuse of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facilities which grants duty-free export to some developed countries including the US and the European Union, official sources said.

An American Reporter Special Report
The Triumph of Michael Moore

Moore's Triumph
MOORE'S FILM CAPTURES WHAT BIG MEDIA MISS

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Much of the establishment press has been especially critical of Michael Moore. In the past few days, it has questioned every line in his third documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11." His film attacks President George W. Bush, the Bush Administration, corporate America, and the media. It has been called propaganda and manipulative; Moore has been called obnoxious, arrogant, and detestable. His film is expected to top the $100 million mark in box-office sales, an all-time record for a documentary.

Moore's Triumph
WE NEED 'M0ORE' SUBJECTIVITY IN JOURNALISM
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I went to see Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" over the July 4 weekend.

Moore's Triumph
MORE THOUGHTS ON MICHAEL MOORE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Say what you want about Michael Moore and his "Fahrenheit 9/11," but he certainly makes you think.

Moore's Triumph
TWO OTHER POLITICAL FILMS WE OUGHT TO SEE
by Maggie Burns

HOUSTON -- A lot can ride on political movies, aside from Michael Moore's work. On July 20, PBS stations will air a new documentary, "Last Man Standing: Politics Texas Style," shown for obvious reasons at the Texas state Democratic convention in Houston, June 2004. This amusing film is a good lesson in national politics at the local level, with Lyndon Baines Johnson's old hometown as part of the microcosm, or anyway the setting.

American Essay
TOWARDS A NEW AMERICAN SPACE AGE
by Rick Tumlinson

LOS ANGELES -- The June 21 flight of Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne signals the true beginning of a new American space age. As NASA tries to rcover from the loss of Columbia, a small white rocketship rose into the darkness of space above the California desert. Not quite crossing into the realm of orbital space, yet truly in space, where the stars shine in daytime and the freedom of weightlessness begins, Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne made history and changed the future.

Make My Day
MAKING TECHNOLOGY EASY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I used to be a technology whiz when I was younger. I could explain the difference between digital and analog stereo systems. I could explore the inner workings of my Macintosh computer. And I even knew how to program my VCR -- no mean feat 15 years ago.

Reporting: Indonesia
FOR REMOTE INDONESIAN VILLAGE, PRESIDENTIAL RECOUNT IS ONE MORE PROBLEM
by Andreas Harsono

TETEWANG VILLAGE, Halmahera, Indonesia, July 7, 2004 -- When Johny Punene began to shout out the presidential vote tally in front of his fellow villagers on Monday morning, neither Punene nor his audience, mostly fishermen and clove farmers, were expecting a recount.

Reporting: Bangladesh
UNDER U.S. PRESSURE, BANGLADESH MULLS UNION RULES
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh-- The government of Bangladesh has introduced a bill in parliament seeking limited rights to trade unionism in exclusive industrial zones after faced pressure from from American labor unions to adopt them or lose trade concessions. The bill is to be reported out of a parliamentary committee tomorrow, sources said.

Ink Soup
WHO WHOM?
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Are you irritated by mistakes in English? So am I, though I constantly remind myself that, if there had never been any "mistakes" in English, then we would be speaking the language of Chaucer, to go only that far back.

On Media
REGULATORY ALPHABET SOUP IS HEALTH FOOD
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The July 4 crowd at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro was in the thousands. I wondered how many of them ever heard the terms NPDES or SUSMP? Yet these obscure acronyms, almost never reported in the local press, are vitally important to the quality of the water that beachgoers splash in so naively.

On Native Ground

IRAQIS WANT REAL GOVERNMENT, NOT PUPPET SHOWS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So, now the Iraqis have sovereignty.*

Reporting: Bangladesh

BANGLADESH MOVES TO RESTRICT CHEMICAL WEAPONS

by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh is now preparing to enact a law to regulate the proliferation of chemical weapons. The draft of the bill to control the proliferation of chemical weapons is now at a final stage, informed sources told The American Reporter this week.

Make My Day
TRAVEL TRIPS FOR THE 'NEW TRAVELER'
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Dear fellow traveler: You may not remember me from this morning. I'm the guy you cut off both in the parking lot and again at the airport. You took my parking space, and then ran to get in front of me at the ticket line. You also rolled your suitcase over my foot and didn't even apologize.

Momentum
WHEN MADMEN RULE THE ASYLUM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Like all people of good faith - and surely this means Muslims as well as Christians, Jews, Buddhists and atheists - the recent beheadings of hostages in the Middle East have left me outraged and repelled.

Reporting: Bangladesh
U.S. ROLE IS CRITICIZED IN BANGLADESH
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Speakers at an international conference on Tuesday criticized the rich countries, especially the United States, saying that the scenario of implementation of "poor and rich country partnership" to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) has frustrated the poor countries.

Ink Soup

STILL TO COME

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Writing Ink Soup the day before you read it, as I now do, allows me to be a little bit topical.

On Media
SCIENTIFIC IGNORANCE SHOULD NOT BE A VIRTUE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- John Allen Paulos wrote a book called Innumeracy and became a best-selling author. There ought to be a book about scientific illiteracy with a similarly clever title.

On Native Ground
POLITICS IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "People often say, with pride, 'I'm not interested in politics.' They might as well say, 'I'm not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future or any future.' Politics is the business of being governed and nobody can escape being governed, for better or worse. ... If we mean to keep any control over our world and lives, we must be interested in politics."

Momentum
I KNOW WHY THE CAGED CAT PURRS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- No one knows why cats purr. No one knows how cats purr. But most of us know how to make a cat purr.

Make My Day
HOW TO WRITE
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Despite my complaints that I don't have many readers or get enough feedback from them, I actually have some great readers who write to me on a regular basis.

Ink Soup
NOW THIS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- The Mariners have runners at first and third with one out. The score at the top of the fifth is M's 2, Pirates 0. This news is brought to you by Bud Lite, whoever he is.

Hominy & Hash
WHEN IS A PROSTITUTE NOT A PROSTITUTE?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - The answer to that question is easy; when the prostitute is addressed as Mr. President. There is an analogy here and I won't keep you waiting for it to show up. Instead, I'll tell you the old story that reveals this sage truth.

On Media
A SITE THAT DOES SOME HEAVY LIFTING
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- If you still think that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and their imitators are credible sources of information, I invite you to look at Media Matters for America. This new Website (http://mediamatters.org) will prove to be a treasure trove for journalists and liberal partisans even if it fails to make anybody's top-ten list for readability.

On Native Ground
ON TORTURE, IS BUSH ABOVE THE LAW?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Now that the funeral of President Ronald Reagan is over, we can turn our attention to other matters, such as how many members of the Bush administration will be facing war crimes charges.

Momentum
WORLD PEACE, ONE FRIENDSHIP AT A TIME
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I read that John A. Wallace died last Friday at the age of 88, it brought back many memories. Not of him, but of the institution he founded which changed my life, the School for International Training, a part of World Learning, Inc. in Brattleboro, Vt.

Make My Day: STAY OUT OF THE ATTIC!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Ever since I was a small boy, and watched them on tv or in the theater, I've always had strong feelings when it comes to horror and scary movies. I hate them.

Ink Soup
THE BUG THAT SAVED SEATTLE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- I am out on the deck, gazing at the vast tranquillity that is the Puget Sound and at the Olympics, the travel agent's dream of a snowy mountain range, just beyond.

On Media
A POLITICAL RORSCHACH TEST FOR THE A.C.L.U.
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The ink blot test named after Hermann Rorschach has become controversial among psychologists in recent decades, but I think the underlying idea has some validity as applied to politics. How else should we view the recent brouhaha over the Los Angeles County Seal?

Brasch Words
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': AN ENCOUNTER WITH RONALD REAGAN
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- I never voted for Ronald Reagan. Not the first time he ran for governor in 1966, nor for his re-election in 1970. I didn't vote for him for president in 1980 or 1984. But, it was Mr. Reagan who was responsible for me becoming involved in my first political race.

Passings: Ronald Reagan
A DOVE AND A SONNET
by Joe Shea

I wonder if there isn't someone out there watching the endless procession of mourners filing past President Ronald Reagan's coffin as it lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda saying over and over to themselves, as each new tear-streaked face is caught for a moment by the C-Span camera, "Fools! Fools! Fools!" It is the irony of ironies that this wise soul will have to say those words a hundred million times.

Momentum
I LOVE A PARADE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Something about a parade makes me cry and I don't know why.

American Essay
WHY NADER'S WRONG TO RUN
by John Pearce

MILL VALLEY, Valif. -- The most urgent political question facing any progressive this year is whom we should work for and vote for in the presidential election. Ralph Nader offers positions on the issues far closer to the hearts of most of us. But this year, for nearly all progressives, one issue supersedes all others: beating President George Bush.

On Native Ground
RONALD REAGAN WITHOUT TEARS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The treacle being spewed out by the press about the death of former President Ronald Reagan has been hard to take.

On Media
WHO OWNS YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Sometimes it seems that spam-email has joined death and taxes on the list of inevitables. Who controls the use of your email address? A struggle in the small Los Angeles suburb of Mar Vista is exposing some of the issues.

Hominy & Hash
ROADS OF MEMORY, TAKEN ONCE AGAIN
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Everybody looks back at one time or another; when my children gaze into their rear-view mirror, they see scenes of their lives and their world in the seventies, eighties, nineties, and the few years since the millennium.

JOURNEY TO TAJ MAHAL EVOKES THOUGHTS ON WOMEN OF OLD & NEW INDIA
by Larry Bridwell

NEW DELHI -- When an evening drive to the Taj Mahal - a monument to a 16th-century Mughal Empress - turned into a foggy overnight and early morning adventure, I was introduced to the spiritual tranquility of the historic India. But a visit to an extraordinary new college that is changing the lives of traditional Indian women, whom religion and need sometimes conspire to suppress, showed how modern India is slowly making amends.

On Native Ground
HOW AHMED CHALABI CONNED THE NEO-CONS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's a question almost too heartbreaking to contemplate. Was this whole sorry mess that America finds itself in in Iraq the product of a massive mind game by the Iranians?

Make My Day
THAT'S NOT A BAT, THIS IS A BAT
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Teaching is a noble profession, one that should attract the best and brightest to a rewarding career. Schools are filled with people who became teachers with the dream of shaping young minds and encouraging lifelong learning.

American Travel
KEY WEST A WARM WINTER'S TALE FOR WRITERS
by Larry Bridwell

NEW YORK -- Key West first came to my attention in a 1984 Wall Street Journal article about the Key West Literary Seminar. The story described the seminar's exquisite intellectual stimulation in a setting of outdoor cocktails and glorious island sunsets.

Momentum
THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF DAFFODILS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Daffodils can break your heart in so many lovely ways.

Ink Soup
LIFE, TOP OF THE EIGHTH
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- The fingers typing this 998th Ink Soup came into the world exactly 75 years ago today, 31 May 1929.

Make My Day
NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - What are you thinking of right at this moment?

Editorial
PROUD, BLOODY AND UNBOWED
by Joe Shea

As I prayed for them at Mass Sunday evening, my cousin Paul Michael Roberts and my friends Phil Ruminski and Richard Marsh came out of the ether happy to see me, their arms linked as mine reached into their world, joining us in a happy moment of remembrance that inspires me tonight. Paul was my gentle and happy cousin, Phil a genuinely talented young artist, and Richard a young person of great integrity. Each taught me a lesson in life, and each has become a special part of me in death. I wish I visited more often.

On Media
WHEN CONSERVATIVES ARE SERVED
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A few days ago I heard a speech about the role of the alternative media in American politics. The example presented by the speaker was the network of rebellious tabloid newspapers that dot our cities, but it occurred to me that there has always been a different, more serious form of alternative media in this country.

On Native Ground
EARTH TO BUSH: FACE REALITY, END THE OCCUPATION
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Bush White House has begun yet another public relations campaign to convince Americans that the invasion and occupation of Iraq is a just cause.

Momentum
WHO DO YOU LOVE? HOW DO YOU LOVE?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Here's a rock-solid truth that our culture tries to deny: we don't choose the people we love.

Market Mover
LESSONS LEARNED FROM BOCA TO RATON
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., May 26,2004 -- Some day I'll write a book and call it "From Boca to Raton."

On Media
AN EFFECTIVE VOICE FOR LIBERALS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It's probably the most influential magazine that nobody's ever heard of. About the size and weight of your average comic book, its contributors include James Fallows, Jonathan Alter, Tom Bethell and Gregg Easterbrook. Its alumni have gone on to distinguished careers at mainstream magazines and journals while contributing influential books of their own along the way.

On Native Ground
SEARCHING FOR SCAPEGOATS AT ABU GHRAIB
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal is heading down a well-trod path.

Momentum
A FAILURE OF JOURNALISM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I was working in daily journalism, I continually irritated the night editors with my frantic calls begging them to change a word in a story or make a sentence clearer. And I would often wake up in the middle of the night, panicked that I had misattributed a quote or gotten a tax figure wrong.

On Media
MICHAEL MOORE TURNS THE TABLES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It's hard to say which was more striking, the Disney hypocrisy or Michael Moore's shameless publicity mongering. Either way, its a laugh riot all the way to Cannes.

Make My Day
WHAT A WAY TO MAKE A LIVING
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Now that I've started a new job, I find myself getting up earlier, well before the crack of noon.

Ink Soup
UFF DA!
Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Confession time: my dateline is a lie forced upon me by the post office. Where I actually live is Ballard, one of the many neighborhoods of Seattle with a strong sense of its own identity.

On Native Ground
TORTURE IN IRAQ: A FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I have only a modicum of experience as a soldier, but I remember one piece of advice I got from a first sergeant in one of the infantry companies I served with: "It's the private's job to f**k up. It's the sergeant's job not to let him."

Momentum
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Say it's 1770 in the Colonies. Tempers are starting to boil over land ownership, taxes and debt-collecting. Yet many are thriving under the rule of the English king, George III. It's treason and heresy to publicly damn him. Are you a Whig or a Tory? Which side are you on?

Media Beat
THE COMING BACKLASH AGAINST IRAQ TORTURE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Looking at visual images from U.S.-run prisons in Iraq, news watchers now find themselves in the midst of a jolting experience that roughly resembles a process described by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "It is the photographs that gives one the vivid realization of what actually took place. Words don't do it. ... You see the photographs, and you get a sense of it, and you cannot help but be outraged."

Make My Day
MY ROD AND REEL, THEY COMFORT ME
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As spring gets warmer, and the days grow longer, that can only mean one thing: Fishing!

Editorial
TO MOM, ON HER 90TH BIRTHDAY
by Joe Shea

Today my mother achieves a summit of 90 years. It must give her a certain feeling of pride to have seen so much of humanity's sprawling genius exercise itself on her watch, to have watched her child, her 20th Century, the cornucopia of endless riches, spill so much treasure before her, like her five children spilling so much milk on so many childhood tables, in her simple passage of a single life.

Ink Soup
OF TREES AND THE TREE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– I had every intention, as the intentionless always say, of writing a column full of fury against the conditions in the prison where we have finally shown Saddam Hussein who is who, when I was saved by timely echoes from Princeton.

Hominy & Hash
SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Every day it's something else. Today I woke to the news that cicadas are coming. I remember those pesky large beetle-like insects that have a way of climbing all over your house and yard while the male vibrates membranes on his belly and the drum-roaring sound wakes every sleeping thing all night long. I thought they were gone for good with the advent of DDT and Raid but I discovered they are not seasonal - unless you count 17 years between plagues a season.

On Media
WHAT DID HE KNOW, AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- By now the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal is old news, but it may signify something of importance back home - the awakening of the long dormant American press. All that remains is the ritual incantation, "What did the president know, and when did he know it?"

Media Beat
ONE WORD IS MISSING IN TORTURE FRAY
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCSICO -- Millions of words have appeared in the U.S. press since late April about abuse and torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. One has been missing.

Brasch Words
BUSH IS RUNNING THE SHIP OF STATE AGROUND
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa., May 7, 2004 -- Let's pretend it's wartime, and the nation's largest aircraft carrier has just run aground.

On Native Ground
FAITH MEETS REALITY, AND REALITY LOSES
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So, this is what we've got to look forward to.

Guest Commentary
FALLUJAH: HIGH TIDE OF EMPIRE?
by Pat Buchanan

WASHINGTON -- At Versailles, 1919, Lloyd George, having seized oil-rich Iraq for the empire, offered Woodrow Wilson mandates over Armenia and Constantinople. "When you cease to be President we will make you Grand Turk," laughed Clemenceau.

Momentum
THE GRIN THAT DESTROYS THE WORLD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Men heap together all the mistakes of their lives and create a monster called Destiny," Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, and now Destiny has arrived at the door of the United States.

Hominy & Hash
SHAME ON THEM; SHAME ON US
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This is not a news story. Readers can find the facts as they spin out of control in the media. What you'll read here is a full measure of disgust and outrage spewing forth as my fingers speed across this keyboard.

Commentary
'SYSTEMIC' IRAQ ABUSE EXTENDS TO THE TRUTH
by John Janney

MOBILE, Ala. -- While prisoner abuse by coalition forces have been reported since the invasion of Afghanistan and well into the invasion of Iraq, it took photographs of American and British soldiers and mercenaries gleefully torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners before anyone took these reports seriously.

Ink Soup
ADVICE TO AUTHORS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- On the wall next to this computer is a small memo to myself:
ODYSSEUS, March
STALIN, April
GOD, May
.

Hominy & Hash
SHAME ON THEM; SHAME ON US
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This is not a news story. Readers can find the facts as they spin out of control in the media. What you'll read here is a full measure of disgust and outrage spewing forth as my fingers speed across this keyboard.

Market Mover
AND NOW PLAYING IN PANAMA: TORRIJOS II
by Mark Scheinbaum

MIAMI. May 3, 2004 -- Unofficial returns show that Martin Torrijos, son of the late Panamanian strongman Gen. Omar Torrijos has trounced three major opponents to win the presidency of the Central American nation.

On Media
25 WAYS TO DISTORT THE TRUTH
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The Bush campaign has come up with a new twist on how to distort and deceive. As evidence, let us consider an ad from Bush-Cheney ‘04, Inc. called "Tell the Truth."

Make My Day
QUIET BACK THERE!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Hey, quiet down back there!"

On Native Ground
LIFTING THE SHROUD OF SECRECY ON BUSH'S WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - President George W. Bush didn't have a problem with using a photograph of a flag-draped body bag being carried from the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City for his first commercial of the campaign season.

Momentum
HER BEAUTIFUL MIND
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What could be behind the Bush Administration's decision to censor the photographs of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq? Could it really be, as the government says, to respect "the privacy of the families?" Or is it to hide the realities of war for political reasons? Or is it to protect the delicate sensitivities of the ruling class as Americans die to build them an empire?

Hominy & Hash
A MOTE IN THE EYE OF THE G-8 STORM
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - The calm before the storm is filled with foreboding as you watch and wait, feeling your way around for some picture of what is to come - and there's none.

Ink Soup
A TALE MURDER IN NASSAU HALL
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– First, a declaration of interest. I am well acquainted with Ann Waldron, the author of this book, and it was in fact she who sent it to me – though without (as if this were a guarantee of my impartiality) an inscription.

On Media
FREEDOM TO DO WHAT?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A series of recent cases inspires this question regarding freedom of the press: What is it the freedom to do, exactly? These cases involve the clash of fundamental rights as judges, lawyers and the media fight for competing interests.

On Native Ground
MAKING THE MONSTER
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So many mistakes have been by the Bush administration in Iraq and Afghanistan that it's hard to know where to begin.

Media Beat
THAT'S COUNTRY JOE, SO THIS MUST BE VIETNAM
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -Taking the stage at a community center in the small Northern California town of Bolinas, a group of four musicians quickly showed themselves to be returning as a vibrant creative force centered very much in the present.

Make My Day
IT'S NATIONAL APRIL MONTH!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Most people think April is one of the more boring months of the year. After all, we only get April Fool's Day, and sometimes Easter, plus it rains for 28 of the 30 days. However, most people don't realize April is filled with all kinds of holidays, festivals, and celebrations that allow us to celebrate each of April's 30 days.

Momentum
THE GOLDEN MEAN IS GONE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Did Barry Goldwater mean to kick Aristotle in the seat of his pants when he accepted the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1964 by saying, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue?"

Editorial
THE KIDS THE PRESIDENT LEFT BEHIND ON SEPT. 11
by Joe Shea

SARASOTA, Fla., April 21, 2004 -- Nobody has thought very much about the children who got a reading lesson from President George Bush the day Al-Qaeda attacked the United States. But results of Florida's much-despised FCAT statewide third-grade reading tests suggests that the President didn't inspire his students on that day to become better readers.

Ink Soup
PERHAPS EVEN THIS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. (One day it might be pleasant to recall even these things). This line from Virgil, quoted in a recent New York Times profile of my old Princeton colleague and friend Bob Fagles, is the motto for today's Soup.

Hominy & Hash
A HEART FULL OF IRONY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga., April 20, 2004 - McDonald Corporation's Chairman and CEO Jim Cantalupo died yesterday in Orlando, Florida. The news reports were all about the sudden death from apparent heart attack, not mentioning what was being served at this bi-annual franchisee meeting of the fast food pioneer. Nor did anyone offer Cantalupo's health history. His death came "out of nowhere," those at the meeting said, many of them crying.

On Media
NOT MUCH 'PRESS' IN THIS CONFERENCE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Why presidential press conferences are not viewed as a national embarrassment, I am at a loss to explain. The abject performance by the world press at the April 13, 2004, presidential news conference can be favorably compared only to the disingenuous collection of cliches, excuses and denials made by the President.

Lionel Rolfe
RELIGION, POLITICS AND BUSH'S 'GANG OF FOUR'
by Lionel Rolfe

LOS ANGELES -- They're the most unappetizing gang of hypocrites and liars ever, these spawn of the "Reagan Revolution." We're talking about Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Jerry Fallwell and Rep. Henry Hyde.

On Native Ground
BUSH MUST CONFRONT HIS MESS IN IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Last year, we heard the gloating.

Media Beat
HOW THE 'NEWSHOUR' CHANGED HISTORY
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the anchor of public television's main news program goes out of his way to tell viewers that he's setting the record straight about a recent historic event, the people watching are apt to assume that they're getting accurate information. But with war intensifying in Iraq, a bizarre episode raises some very troubling concerns about the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."

Make My Day
SPITTING IS FOR SISSIES
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - Spring is in the air, and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love. And that's fine for young men, but when you hit your mid-30s, your fancy turns to thoughts of beer.

Momentum
AMERICA REAPS THE WHIRLWIND
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For his Christmas card last year, Vice President Dick Cheney used a quote by Benjamin Franklin: "And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"

Reporting: Nepal
NEPALESE DEMOCRACY IN PERIL AS SITUATION DETERIORATES
by Chiranjobi audyal

Kathmandu, April 12, 2004 -- The political situation in Nepal is deteriorating day by day due to the growing rift between the nation's democratic parties and its King as it faces the problem of Maoists guerrillas fighting to establish a republic state and replace its fragile parliamentary democracy.

Ink Soup
HAPPY EASTER?
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE –- Encouraged by the universal acclaim that has greeted the presidential candidacy of Ralph Nader, Dr. Soup has just announced his own campaign for the White House.

On Media
TRADING OUR WAY TO RUIN
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif -- Each day I look out my window and watch the trade imbalance accumulate. From a hillside overlooking Los Angeles Harbor, I can see freighters loaded down with cargo containers coming in from across the Pacific. Container ships also leave here headed for the Asian ports. What most people don't realize is that more than half of the containers they carry are going back empty.

Hominy & Hash
THE PROVERBIAL BOTTOM LINE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The bottom line - the proverbial bottom line - is that even if we knew what we're trying to get National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice to tell us she knew, we would not have believed it. I would not have believed those young men described as looking like dentists on a holiday could be so confident in their plans that they would carry them out without a hitch.

Market Mover
BILL OF RIGHTS: IMBEDDED, INDEBTED, REGRETTED?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Critics of radio trash mouth Howard Stern might want to put a cork in it for a few minutes - and the champagne, too.

The American Reporter
April 10, 1995 - April 10, 2004
"Making A Place for Independent Journalism"

Editorial
CELEBRATING OUR NINTH ANNIVERSARY

by Joe Shea

The American Reporter today celebrates the ninth anniversary of its founding and begins its tenth year of progress. There were many who said when we started in 1995 that we would not last more than a few weeks, a few months, a few years; we have outlasted all of those.

On Native Ground
MERCENARIES IN IRAQ: OUTSOURCING A CORPORATE WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The murder and mutilation of four employees of Blackwater Security Consulting in Fallujah on March 31 brought to light something that the Bush administration would rather you didn't know about - that it is outsourcing more and more of the occupation of Iraq to mercenaries.

Make My Day
HOW ABOUT "LOOK, WE NEED TO TALK ... ?"
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- How badly do you have to dislike someone that the only way to dump them is with a bomb threat? I mean, it's one thing to stand someone up for a date, but it's an entirely different matter to call an airport, not once, but seven times, and say "There's a bomb in the airport."

Media Beat
AMERICA'S MONOPOLY ON STRATEGIC VIOLENCE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- With warfare escalating in Iraq, syndicated columnist George Will has just explained the logic of the occupation. "In the war against the militias," he wrote, "every door American troops crash through, every civilian bystander shot - there will be many - will make matters worse, for a while. Nevertheless, the first task of the occupation remains the first task of government: to establish a monopoly on violence."

Momentum
IN IRAQ, OUR HAND IS IN THE FIRE NOW
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As Iraq burns, how can I not ask: if I knew way back then, why didn't they?

Breaking News
VOTERS SHUT DOWN WAL-MART PLOY
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., April 7, 2004 -- With about 15 percent of the vote counted in Inglewood, Calif., voters there have overwhelmingly rejected the construction of a Wal-Mart at a site near the Hollywood Park racetrack and the Forum.

Ink Soup
AND ANOTHER THING
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– The high temperature in Seattle yesterday was 78. Today it is in the upper fifties, I would guess. It is an adorable climate, Seattle's. It doesn't want to hurt anyone, just to keep people amused and satisfied, within limits. It reminds me of some kid about whom ugly rumors have circulated, so he goes out of his way to be nice to everyone, especially old people. I am seriously thinking of mentioning Seattle's weather in my will.

Hominy & Hash
IN DALEY HOUSEHOLD, ACRONYMS 'R' US
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- "WAC" was the first acronym I remember but I'm sure they are not new to my generation - and for the benefit of those who call women in the military service "soldiers" instead of WAC's, for Women's Army Corps, I'll spell it out. The acronym WAF was for women in the air force and Wave's were women in the Navy, not an acronym here but an obvious choice for women serving on the high seas.

Reporting: Nepal
AFTER NEPAL CLASH, TEARS, TERROR AND MANY DEAD
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

BENI, Nepal, April 5, 2004 -- The decomposing bodies of Maoists, soldiers and local people - some still not yet consigned to the graves hurriedly dug for them l;ast week - around the small town of Beni, are a constant reminder to villagers here of the fierce fighting between security forces and the Maoist guerrillas that erupted suddenly on the night of March 20 and continued into the next day.

On Media
LIBERAL RADIO IS FINALLY ON THE AIR
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Is it the triumphant revival of a robust liberalism or will it be another political disaster? Air America Radio is that long awaited invention, a national radio network designed to oppose the power of conservative talk radio epitomized by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.

An A.R. Exclusive
U.S. MICROWAVE WEAPON GOING TO IRAQ, EXPERT SAYS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., April 1, 2004 -- The United States has decided to deploy a $40-million, futuristic non-lethal microwave weapons system that can burn but not blind crowds and combatants at several hundred yards, according to official notice given to retired U.S. Army Col. John Alexander, a consultant to U.S. military forces who is credited with developing the modern concept of non-lethal defense, The American Reporter has learned.

Make My Day
THINGS THAT GO BUMP UNDER THE BED
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- My oldest daughter is now afraid of basement noises.

On Native Ground
HOW KERRY CAN BEAT THE BUSH SLIME MACHINE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's one of the most important axioms of modern politics: define yourself before your opponent defines you.

Media Beat
A MEDIA STRATEGY MEMO TO THE WHITE HOUSE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Some of the most closely guarded documents in the White House are sure to be the ones written by the president's top media strategist.

Momentum
A REDUNDANT, ABUNDANT AMERICA
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Ah, those amber fields of grain, those purple mountains' majesty, those fruited plains! How can we not love America, even when we get so mad at her we want to scream?

Reporting: California
EFFIE'S STORY: A TALE OF BUSH'S TIMES
by Lionel Rolfe

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- Effie - her name is actually Afthemia Patsalos - loves her three kids a lot, but there's no doubt that having two children with certifiable mental and physical disabilities can complicate your life immensely. Especially when you deal with the kind of people they wrote anti-discrimination laws for. Like, for instance, her former landlord.

Ink Soup
THE PURLOINED PURSE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Saturday, 13 March, was for us enough of a calamity to satisfy the most superstitious.

Hominy & Hash
KEEP IN TOUCH
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- We don't often hear "keep in touch" anymore; people are never out of touch. Whether you drive by, walk by, or look out the window - you're bound to see or hear someone on a cellphone.

On Media
THE TIMES TELLS IT STRAIGHT
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2004 -- If the mass media are evolving into an oligarchy of corporate self-interest, somebody forgot to tell the Los Angeles Times this week, as it exposed misconduct by Ford Motor Co. and by major drug manufacturers.

Reporting: Indonesia
ISLAMIC PARTIES MAY BE BIG LOSERS IN INDONESIAN ELECTIONS
by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Indonesia, March 27, 2004 -- Indonesia has seen the Bali bombing, the defeat of an Islamic party in neighboring Malaysia and the rise of Islamic militancy across southeast Asia, but voters in this world's largest Muslim country are very unlikely to give much SUPPORT to Islamic parties in next week's parliamentary elections.

On Native Ground
U.S. SLOW TO LEARN TRUTH OF SEPT. 11
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Bush administration, the most tightly disciplined and secretive White House in memory, has worked for the last 2 1/2 years to obscure the true story of the events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Media Beat
THE MEDIA POLITICS OF 9/11
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, March 25, 2004 - For 30 months, 9/11 was a huge political blessing for President George W. Bush. This week, the media halo fell off.


SLAPPIN' TO THE OLDIES
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Whew, that was a close one. We almost lost Richard Simmons.

Brasch Words
FDA'S EPHEDRA BAN A PROBLEM FOR MANY
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Outside, on dry-erase boards hung on corner windows of the Dynamic Health Center on the main street of Bloomsburg, a small rural town in northeastern Pennsylvania, are two signs. On one, in scrawled letters, is the warning: "Less than 60 Days to Buy Epehedra Pre-Paid While Supplies Last." On the other, customers are advised to "Stock Up. April 12th is Last day to Buy Ephedra. Taking Pre-Paid Orders Now While Supplies Last."

Momentum
THE ISRAELI PILOT (FICTION - FOR NOW)
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Author's Note: Recently I read that within 10 years, Palestinian Israelis will outnumber Jews in Israel, even without Yasser Arafat's "right of return.".

Ink Soup
BRIEFLY NOTED
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Cheney: the Mouth. The topic of this unusual and most unfair book is the mouth of the Vice President of the US. The author supposes that she has the answer. Told as a teenager to "wipe that smile off your face," the ever-obedient Richy did so, forgetting that he was holding a box cutter in his hand at the time.

Hominy & Hash
SPRING AGAIN ... NATURALLY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This year, I thought I'd allow March to slip by without my writing a word about Spring ... but, apparently, it's not in my nature; you see, I love the word "harbinger." As words go, I could write precursor, forerunner, outrider or herald as easily as harbinger to announce that first robin on the lawn chirping "I'm b-a-a-c-k."

Reporting: Nepal
SHIFT IN GOVERNMENT MAY BE NEAR AS 500 MAOISTS ARE SLAIN IN BLOODIEST NEPAL FIGHTING YET
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, March 21, 2004 -- In the most terrible fighting in the history of the Himalayan Kingdom, Nepalese security forces gunned down over 500 Maoists rebels who have been fighting to establish a communist-style republican state for the last eight years. The fighting took place in Beni, the district headquarters of Myagdi, about 300 kilometer west of Kathmandu, the Nepalese army said here today.

On Media
THE ARTS IN PERIL IN LOS ANGELES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- This month, the administration of the city of Los Angeles threatened to close its own Cultural Affairs Department in order to save money, despite the fact that the entire CAD budget is less than three-tenths of 1 percent of the total. Artists, CAD bureaucrats and other sympathizers promptly raised a spirited defense and this week, the mayor capitulated. CAD is not to be demolished, at least for now.

Reporting: Nepal
AFTER U.S. ABANDONS IT, TIBETAN RESISTANCE STRUGGLES ON ALONE AGAINST CHINA
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Nepal, March 20, 2004 -- The Khampas, the staunch followers of the Tibetan spiritual leader known as the Dalai Lama, who is now living in exile in India, once fought in Nepal against the Chinese army, and are now once again heroes in Nepal.

On Native Ground
AMERICAN VOTERS TAKE HEED: SPAIN SPEAKS TO YOU
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The March 11 terrorist bombing in Madrid and the outcome of the Spanish parliamentary elections three days later showed a fundamental difference between the American political system and that of other industrialized democracies.

Make My Day
DON'T EAT BAR PRETZELS EITHER
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- There's a scene in the Ben Stiller-Jennifer Aniston movie, "Along Came Polly," where Ben warns Jennifer not to eat bar nuts, because "only one out of six people wash their hands after using the bathroom."

Media Beat
SPINNING THE PAST, THREATENING THE FUTURE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - Political aphorisms don't get any more cogent: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."

Commentary
A NEW CHALLENGE TO INDONESIA'S PRESIDENT MEGAWATI
by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Indonesia, March 17, 2004 -- When Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a top security minister in Indonesia's cabinet, decided to tender his resignation to President Megawati Sukarnoputri last Thursday, many of his closest advisors applauded and welcomed that decision. They assumed that Susilo would soon start to fight for his own political party and to run in the 2004 presidential election in July.

Momentum
13 QUESTIONS FOR VERMONT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Every March at Town Meeting time, Republican State Senator Bill Doyle conducts a yes/no survey on Vermont issues. Doyle's questions are always good ones, but "yes" or "no" hardly suffices as a response.

Commentary
REGIME CHANGE IN SPAIN: WHY LIARS LOSE
by Jeff Cohen

LOS ANGELES -- "Political shock in Spain!" blared ABC News on Sunday night, as regime change came to Madrid. Along with Tony Blair, Spain's conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had been the staunchest of Bush allies.

Other Voices
FROM PABLO NERUDA, THE HAUNTING VOICE OF WOUNDED SPAIN
by Paz Cohen

WASHINGTON -- Since the bombing in Spain is still on the front page, I'm guessing it isn't too late to pass along part of a Pablo Neruda poem that could have been written last week.

Hominy & Hash
ANATOMY OF A TWISTED SOUL
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The heart is not as elusive as the soul. When we say, "The heart of the matter is..." we know the heart is centered somewhere and illustrating our point. We could say the crux of the matter; or, the core, just as easily, but "heart" is softer, it is non-argumentative - after all, we all have one, we know what it means. "The heart, the living part of the matter, is..." is what we're saying and it's how we're understood.

Ink Soup
THE ICE BOX COMETH
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- When my children were young, they used to think it amusing to hear their old man call the fridge "icebox." But I still do. When I was their age early in the last century, the chunky little oaken cabinet on the back porch was just that, the icebox.

On Media
WORDS WE NEED TO SAY ABOUT MADRID
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, March 14, 2004 -- It's a little over three days since the March 11 Madrid attack, the latest episode of mass murder that has killed 200 people and injured 1400 more. Newspaper stories have been full of the death toll, the grizzly aftermath, and the increasing concern that Al-Qaeda was behind the attack.

Media Beat
THEY SHOOT JOURNALISTS, DON'T THEY?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- To encourage restraint in war coverage, governments don't need to shoot journalists - though sometimes that's helpful.

Make My Day
HE'S NOT TOO WILD ABOUT ANY KIND OF SPAM
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Sometimes I curse the day I ever started using email. Oh sure, it makes communication with people around the world cheap, free, and easy. But the hassle of dealing with unwanted email - also known as spam - makes me want to put my foot through my computer screen.

Campaign Trail
JOHN KERRY CLINCHES DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., March 11, 2004 -- U.S. Senator John Forbes Kerry has clinched the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential nomination by winning a total of 2,162 delegates, the number needed for nomination, CNN reported late this morning.

Momentum
A TOWN MEETING MEA CULPA
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I hardly recognized myself at Town Meeting this year. Time after time, I found myself voting against things that, in the ordinary course of events, I would wholeheartedly support.

On Native Ground
KUCINICH SHOULD STAY IN THE RACE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- An AOL Website called presidentialmatch.com offers voters an interesting compatibility test.

Business Commentary
A 'SLOW CHECK FROM CHINA' FOR UNWARY INVESTORS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., March 10, 2004 -- The old phrase "a slow boat to China" may soon compete with a new one: "A slow check from China."

Ink Soup
TOP DOWN
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– After watching the Oscars, it occurs to me that we ought to have Billy Crystal emcee our national life. The material for his style of comedy is lying around asking to be used. Used, not believed.

Hominy & Hash
DON'T REMIND ME!
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - We're a funny bunch. We don't like to be = reminded of things we've put behind us. We applaud Senator Kerry's war record - as indeed we should - because we don't like to be reminded of the poor display of appreciation we showed while the fighting and dying (and then coming home to derision) was happening. Over the years we've managed to hide our shame.

On Media
AN UNAPPEALING KIND OF JOURNALISM
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif -- This week Martha Stewart has joined many, many others in bravely promising to appeal a criminal conviction. For once, the national news media have refused to accept such an assertion at face value, but all too often the media mindlessly report such remarks in a ritual that misleads readers about the realities of the justice system.

On Native Ground
GREENSPAN HANDS DEMOCRATS THE PERFECT ISSUE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I hope the Democrats write a thank you note to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in gratitude for handing the party a perfect and nearly foolproof campaign issue to bludgeon President Bush.

Make My Day
WHY NOT A PULITZER FOR HUMOR?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- People often ask me what it's like to be a humor writer. It's very simple. So simple, in fact, that. . . uhh, I mean no, it's extremely difficult. It's hard, hard work. So hard, in fact, that only extremely intelligent, highly-qualified people with special skills should attempt humor writing.

Momentum
THE WONDERFUL WOMEN OF FILM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I think about women in film, I first think of Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, tall and impossibly gorgeous blonde women in tasteful couture gowns winning Oscars for making themselves ugly.

Campaign Trail
KERRY'S SUPER TUESDAY WAS 'TRULY SUPER'
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., March 3, 2004 -- John Kerry came of age last night. At the end of a long string of strong primary victories that made him heir to the mantle of Jefferson, Roosevelt and Kennedy as the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, he spoke to America from the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, surrounded by friends and fasmily and staff members focused on nine laptops that showed returns from everywhere but Vermont.

Ink Soup
A MIXED BAG OF MAD COMPLAINTS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Herewith is Ink Soup's opinion on various burning topics of the day: The most depressing thing I've seen so far in this primary season (if you don't count the sign in a neighbor's yard backing Kucinich) is the entry of Ralph Nader, this time not as a Green but as an Independent.

Hominy & Hash
A MEDITATION ON THE GIFT OF LENT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Normally, when I write anything spiritual, I unleash some latent poetic talents and express myself privately, or perhaps in an article designed for religious publications.

On Media
BY THEIR MAILERS WE SHALL JUDGE THEM
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A political mailer arrived the other day, advising me on how to vote in this week's primary election. It provoked thoughts on how we elect judges - and how the mercenaries of the election industry compete with more traditional media outlets.

American Speeches
FIGHTING A COMPREHENSIVE WAR ON TERRORISM
by Senator John F. Kerry

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 27, 2004 -- Day in and day out, George W. Bush reminds us that he is a war President and that he wants to make national security the central issue of this election. I am ready to have this debate. I welcome it.

On Native Ground
MORE THAN NADER, DEMOCRATS SHOULD FEAR COMPLACENCY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Despite all the pleading by liberals not to, Ralph Nader is going to run for president.

Brasch Words
FOR U.S. DEAD IN IRAQ, THERE'S NO HALF-TIME SHOW
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- On the day that Justin Timberlake ripped open Janet Jackson's blouse during the half-time of the Super Bowl to reveal a bejeweled breast and create a national firestorm of protest, American Soldiers 523 and 524 died in Iraq. Along with the two American soldiers, 14 were wounded. Also that day, two suicide bombers killed more than 100 Kurds and wounded more than 200.

Commentary
NADER'S A MESSAGE, NOT A CAMPAIGN
by John Janney

MOBILE, Ala. -- A vote for Ralph Nader is a vote for a message, not the presidency.

Make My Day
THE SPRINGTIME PREDICTIONS OF SCIENCE
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's official! The First Day of Spring will be March 10th.

Momentum
12 REASONS NOT TO BAN GAY MARRIAGES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There are so many things wrong with the idea of adding an anti-gay marriage amendment to the Constitution of the United States that I can barely list them all.

Market Mover
I AM A BAD AMERICAN
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 25, 2004 -- I am a bad American for a number of reasons, but mostly because CBS newsman Bob Schieffer watches "Sex in the City" and I don't.

Hominy & Hash
MARTHA, MARTHA
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The last time I wrote about Martha Stewart I called the article, Goody, Goody! and explored the enigma so many of us share: that of taking satisfaction at seeing the mighty fall.

Ink Soup
IN SEATTLE, A GOOD FOOT MAN IS HARD TO FIND
ny Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash.– I like Seattle, don't get me wrong. I spend a lot of my time as a correspondent telling people that they've got it all wrong about the rain – the rain is what makes life possible out here. Today there was a most unusual rain –a third-position wiper rain – nearly unheard of, and I used my umbrella for the second time this year.

Market Mover
FIVE NOT-SO-OBVIOUS TAX SEASON TIPS
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Feb. 23, 2004 -- The dining room table is covered with receipts; the bedroom floor has stacks of canceled checks, and my wife is pulling scraps of old receipts out of pockets. Tah-Daaaah! It can mean just one thing: Tax time is here.

On Media
FOR NADER, NOT THE GREENS BUT THE BLUES
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- There are polls, there is wishful thinking and then there is the way people actually behave in the voting booth. The 2000 election provided some fascinating data about all three, data the pundits missed and which does not bode well for the Nader candidacy this time around.

Make My Day
THE ADVENTURES OF LETTERMAN
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Erik has been out of the office this week, so we are reprinting an old column from 1997.

On Native Ground
DEAN COULDN'T BEAT ENEMIES IN HIS PARTY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It was a speech he never wanted to make.

Momentum
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE AMERICAN DREAM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At my uncle's funeral last week, we were talking about our grandparents and great-grandparents and how they came to this country to make a better life for their children.

Campaign 2004
DEAN QUITS RACE, BUT HIS CAMPAIGN CONTINUES
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 18, 2004 -- America can still look forward to hearing more from former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean, but it won't be as a presidential candidate - and reportedly may be as the long-sought liberal talk show host who can take on Clear Channel conservative powerhouse Rush Limbaugh.

Campaign 2004
KERRY TAKES THE EDWARDS CHALLENGE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 18, 2004 -- For U.S. Sen. John Kerry, a 5-point victory in Wisconsin Tuesday night marked the end of the first phase of his back-from-the-dead campaign for the presidency. It saw the demise of the populist candidacy of former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean. and the emergence of U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina as a rival - however late and unlikely - for the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential nomination in Boston in August.

Ink Soup
CARTOONIST LIKES KERRY'S 'DRAWING POWER'
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, WA. –- When I was a schoolboy, long before I knew the word "caricature," I knew how to represent Adolf Hitler, and so did all my fellow students who could hold a pencil.

Hominy & Hash
IS 'UNHAPPY CHILDHOOD' AN OXYMORON?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Graham Greene, a prolific writer, playwright, critic, would have been 100 this year, had he lived. As one of the most widely read novelists of the 20th century it is no surprise he was a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature more than a few times, although he never did receive it. He wrote suspenseful tales that turned into gripping movies, but he was known as well for his flamboyant lifestyle with attendant intrigue. He named among his friends and, further, defended him against treason, master spy Kim Philby.

Reporting: Central America
RADIO JOURNALIST'S MURDER CASE UNRAVELING
By Jay Brodell

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Feb. 16, 2004 —- Parmenio Medina Perez has been dead for nearly three years, but he still haunts the politicians and the prosecutors in this normally quiet Central American country better known for its beaches.

On Media
KERRY AND WIFE AWAIT NEW ATTACKS
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- A few years ago, people who couldn't identify South Dakota on a map, much less name its capitol city, were penning angry letters to their newspapers attacking its senior U.S. Senator, Tom Daschle. Typically, the content of these letters suggested that they had been written in pencil on blue-lined copy book paper.

On Native Ground
FREEDOM OF THOUGHT? NOT IN BUSH'S AMERICA
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush has many character flaws, but chief among them is his inability to accept criticism of his actions.

Media Beat
AN ODD ACCUSATION FROM RALPH NADER
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- After several decades as one of America's great public-interest advocates, Ralph Nader has developed an extraordinary response when people say they don't think he should run for president in 2004.

Make My Day
BECAUSE IT'S TIME TO GO
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Sweetie, do you have to go to the bathroom?"

Campaign 2004
CLARK ENDORSES KERRY; NEW ATTACKS INCLUDE DRUDGE RUMOR OF AFFAIR
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 12, 2004, 2:43pm EST -- Matt Drudge, the gossip columnist who broke the story originated by Newsweek of President Clinton's affair with a White House intern, says a similar story is about to break concerning an alleged relationship between Sen. John Kerry and a former employee of the Associated Press who has now "fled" to Africa. The rumor remains unsubstantiated.

Momentum
A PICTURE AND A GRAVE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Kierkegaard said, "Life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards," which goes a long way in explaining why I spent the month of January at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt., where they pamper painters, sculptors and writers with private studios and carrot cake competitions, writing about my family.

Campaign 2004
WITH STUNNING VICTORIES IN THE SOUTH, KERRY LOOKS UNBEATABLE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 11, 2004 -- With support both broad and deep among all sectors in both states, John Kerry held a 26 percent lead in Virginia and a 16 percent lead in Tennessee last night as he added two more states to a string of caucus and primary wins that have christened him the undisputed leader of the Democratic Party's 2004 challenge to President George W. Bush.

Ink Soup
NOTE TO A NIECE
BY Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Dear Julie: Here's the note you asked me to send for your father's birthday festivities.

Campaign 2004
MAKE-OR-BREAK PRIMARIES FOR CLARK AND EDWARDS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 10, 2004 -- With U.S. Sen. John Kerry far in front in the Democratic race for his party's presidential nomination, today's Virginia and Tennessee primaries could effectively end the hopes of retired Gen. Wesley Clark, an Arkansas native, and U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, a trial lawyer who has battled Clark for second place in several states.

Hominy & Hash
IN THE GAMES OF LIFE, HE IS A PLAYER
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Arthur was a short, squat, little man about 50 always in the company of Ruth, his short, squat, little wife of roughly the same age. They were funny. Not funny looking, that was just them. They used their height and weight to their advantage by appearing six feet tall if you measure in personality.

Brasch Words
THE PRESIDENT AS SPORT
by Walter M. Brasch

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- You can tell a lot about a person by whoever he chooses to have dinner with.

On Native Ground
FOR BUSH, A BOGUS PROBE OF BOGUS WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So the Bush administration is going to launch a big investigation into why the intelligence that they used to justify an invasion of Iraq turned out to be totally wrong.

On Media
TRACKING THE TWISTED TRAIL OF URBAN MYTHS
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- Do you remember hearing about Government Bill 602P? I remember being warned about it at least twice, each time under similar circumstances.

Media Beat
THE DEADLY LIES OF RELIABLE SOURCES
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ninety-five days before the invasion of Iraq began, I sat in the ornate Baghdad office of the deputy prime minister as he talked about the U.N. weapons inspectors in his country. "They are doing their jobs freely, without any interruption," Tariq Aziz said. "And still the warmongering language in Washington is keeping on."

Campaign 2004
KERRY FAVORED TO WIN BIG IN MICHIGAN
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 7, 2004 -- U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry appears likely to win the Michigan caucuses today and could emerge the victor in Washington State, where former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean was far ahead in polls until recently. [Late returns Saturday night showed Kerry won both states by large margins.] For both men, primaries in Virginia and Tennessee that could inalterably define the race lie just ahead on Tuesday.

Make My Day
HOW ABOUT 'DOODYHEAD?'
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I was in the first grade when I learned my very first cuss word. Oh sure, I knew all the 6-year-old classics, like "poopyhead," "butt," and "weiner." But now I was well on my way to being a grown-up, because I knew the "S-word."

Campaign 2004
KERRY SWEEPS FIVE STATES; LIEBERMAN QUITS
American Reporter Staff

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 3, 2004 -- U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry swept "Super Tuesday" primaries in Arizona, Missouri and Delaware and the North Dakota and New Mexico caucuses by huge margins tonight, consolidating strong victories in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire to stride far ahead of other Democratic contenders for the party's presidential nomination.

Market Mover
STUDY SAYS U.S. FIRMS 'DUMB DOWN' MEXICAN WORKFORCE
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 4, 2004 - How would you react to evidence that the Home of the Brave, Land of the Free, allows U.S.-based tech companies to engage in the most capricious forms of employment servitude?

Ink Soup
FOR YOUR SANITY'S SAKE, AVOID ADRIAN FEW
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Dr. Soup here. Brown is still asleep, though "still" might be an unwarranted adverb, seeing that it is only 4 o'clock in the morning.

On Media
'INTERNET' AND 'RESEARCH' NOT ALWAYS A MATCH
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- A few years ago, science fair contestants started using a new expression. Little did I understand at the time that it was an omen of whole new things to come in national politics and of whole new ways of lying.

Hominy & Hash
A WOMAN'S PREROGATIVE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- One of the earliest truths I learned is that it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. Actually, I didn't learn it until I started going to the movies and then heard it from the madcap blondes of the day, tossing the line over their shoulders as they sashayed toward the door, passing the perplexed the maitre'd and leaving their escort behind.

Happy 93rd Birthday, Dad!

On Native Ground
DEAN CAMPAIGN, R.I.P.: POSTMORTEM FOR A FAILED CRUSADE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When did Howard Dean's candidacy start to die?

Media Beat
THE STATE OF THE MEDIA UNION
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - My fellow American media consumers:

Ink Soup
SLEEPLESS IN BALLARD
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– I am still much too excited by the President's State of the Union Address to write coherently. Somehow, the sight of the members of two houses of Congress and the Cabinet leaping to their feet every time the leader of the free world managed to achieve closure with a sentence turns my mind into...well...ink soup.

Campaign Trail

KERRY WINS AGAIN

by Joe Shea

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH SEN. JOHN KERRY IN MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 27, 2004 -- U.S. Sen. John Kerry took a second giant step Tuesday towards the Democratic presidential nomination with a solid 13-point win over former front-runner Gov. Howard Dean. Kerry got 39 percent of the vote to Dean's 26 percent.

Campaign Trail
FIRED UP IN FREEZING NEW HAMPSHIRE, KERRY LOOKS SOUTH
by Joe Shea

WITH THE JOHN KERRY CAMPAIGN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, Jan. 26, 2004 -- Primary Day is just hours away in New Hampshire and the race is tightening once again, with U.S. Sen. John Kerry still 11 points ahead in the latest CNN/Gallup Poll survey but a fired-up Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina charging fast toward a possible second-place finish in tomorrow's Democratic presidential primary.

On Media
SAME SNAKE OIL, DIFFERENT BOTTLE ON QUACKWATCH.COM
by Robert Gelfand

When Gaetano Donizetti was composing L'Elisir D'Amore ("The Elixir of Love") in 1832, little did he know that the playful satire he was setting to music would find kinship in the wild claims of the nutritional supplements hucksters of the twenty-first century.

Campaign Trail
KERRY TEAM GROWS AS PRIMARY WIN APPEARS CERTAIN
by Joe Shea

WITH THE JOHN KERRY CAMPAIGN IN MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 25, 2004 -- With Sen. John Kerry's reinvigorated troops still growing in number and enthusiasm, the campaign headquarters in a restored six-story red-brick mill building on the Merrimack River here is getting crowded.

Make My Day
LOOK, UP IN THE SKY! IT'S SUPER ERIK!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - Kids have great imaginations. They fight pirates, fly through outer space, and travel the ocean floor in their own submarine, all from the safety of their own bed.

Campaign Trail
KERRY CAMPAIGN BUOYED BY IOWA WIN
by Joe Shea

WITH THE JOHN KERRY CAMPAIGN IN MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 23, 2004 -- Fresh from the 65-degree weather on Florida's Gulf Coast, you'd think the biting cold here in The Granite State would have been the most compelling issue for me in my first day as a volunteer with the John Kerry for President campaign. It wasn't.

On Native Ground
LOOKING BACK AT IOWA, LOOKING AHEAD AT NEW HAMPSHIRE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is it all over for Howard Dean?

Ink Soup
MEMO TO THE DYING: NEATNESS COUNTS. AND COUNTS.
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- My days in retirement flow past in a kind of tranquil routine: Mondays, I wash my bed linen; Tuesdays I send Joe Shea something for the American Reporter; Wednesday...well, today I send the column that you read a few days later...but this is not the usual Wednesday.

Campaign 2004

IOWA TAKES KERRY

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 19. 2004 - After a long hard look, the Democratic voters of Iowa chose U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachussetts from a field of eight candidates tonight to lead them to the White House in November.

Hominy & Hash
PROCRASTINATION IS NO LONGER AN OPTION
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When poor, bedraggled, Scarlett O'Hara looked at the ruins of Tara, her childhood home destroyed in the Civil War, she was resigned to never again having the glory that was, and faced building a future - a formidable task - with equanimity. "After all," she said, "tomorrow is another day."

On Native Ground
THE WHEELS HAVE COME OFF THE BUSH WAR WAGON
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If there is anyone out there who still believes any of the Bush administration's rationales for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, they are either hopelessly stupid or working for President Bush.

On Media
IF IT BLEEDS, LET IT LEAD
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19, 2004 -- Media critics are generally contemptuous of the tv news maxim, "if it bleeds, it leads," which refers to the tendency in local news broadcasts to begin with the goriest stories of the day.

Campaign 2004
KERRY SURGES TO TOP SPOT IN LATEST ZOGBY POLL
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 15, 2004 -- In a dramatic turnaround, U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry has surged to the top of the latest Zogby tracking poll of 501 likely caucus-goers in Iowa, Fox News reported Thursday morning, and has led rival Howard Dean by as much as 7 percent in recent overnight polls.

Make My Day
WHAT DOES $%&*! MEAN?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "This is really, really f---ing brilliant!"

Media Beat
NADER HAS 'VISION' - OF HIS OWN CAMPAIGN
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The father of President George W. Bush called it "the vision thing" - which he was widely presumed to lack. By early 1987, Time magazine reported, former President George H. W. Bush was using that phrase "in clear exasperation." Then, as now, journalists seemed to clamor for presidential candidates to seem visionary.

Ink Soup
SNOW WAY TO TREAT A BUS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– It has snowed–copiously. The locals compare it to the great storm of ‘96, which, as it chances, we witnessed, as we were here on a visit before moving here three years later.

On Media
MOVEON'S BIG MOVE: THE INTERNET COMES OF AGE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The Republican Party complaining about tasteless campaigning is like Jerry Springer complaining about the decline of manners in modern society. The story would be hilarious but for the fact that millions of people were seriously misled last week as the Republicans and the rest of the right-wing propaganda machine went to work on the organization known as MoveOn.

Media Beat
SHOULD DEMOCRATS ABANDON THE SOUTH?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCSICO -- Many pundits say President Bush is sitting pretty, but this year began with new poll data telling a very different story.

Market Mover
WHILE YOU WERE DISTRACTED...
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Jan. 13, 2004 -- While your head is turned by media nonsense, several political, social, and economic stories are ready to explode into the headlines. Remember where you heard it first.

Island Beat
TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY IN ISLAND DEAL
by Joe Shea

HOLMES BEACH, Fla., Jan. 13, 2994 -- A clash between two wealthy neighbors that has cost the City of Holmes Beach about $100,000 was resolved in three contentious back-to-back hearings before the City Commission Tuesday night in favor of a four-unit condominium project proposed by Island realtor Frank Davis.

Hominy & Hash
McSORLEY'S STILL THRIVES, WOMEN AND ALL
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- As an Irishwoman who's been to McSorley's, I was drawn to the oil on canvas at the Phoenix Art Museum - artist John Sloan's original work, painted decades before we ourselvles stopped in for a glass of ale sometime in the late Sixties.

Monday Moron
MORONS OF THE YEAR
by Larry Lieberman

TAMPA, Fla -- Happy New Year and welcome to the year 2004. In observation of a "Monday Moron" tradition dating to 2004 (do not adjust your computer screen), I offer this week's two-part helping of "Welcome to an Election Year" and "Moron of the Year."

Commentary
WHY JOHN KERRY WILL WIN
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 11, 2004 -- Sen. John Kerry has a steep uphill grade ahead of him on the trail to the White House.

On Native Ground
WILL BUSH BRING BACK THE DRAFT?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The neo-con brainiacs who gave us the ongoing quagmire in Iraq have more big plans for President George W. Bush.

Jill Stewart
ARNOLD'S NEXT MOVE: DETENTE WITH THE DEMOCRATS
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- Democratic legislators sat with blank faces on Jan. 6, many not applauding even once at Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's State of the State speech, illustrating both the partisan world of Sacramento and also the delicate psychological handling these shell-shocked politicians will require.

Make My Day
TODAY IS OPPOSITE DAY, NYAH NYAH NYAH!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Every kid has their favorite day of the year. And being greedy little capitalists, they're usually Christmas and birthdays. Kids also have their least favorite days, like the days after Christmas and their birthdays.

Media Beat
RALPH NADER IS RUNNING ON EMPTY
by Niorman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ralph Nader plans to announce this month whether he'll be running for president in 2004. Some believe that such a campaign is needed to make a strong political statement nationwide. But if Nader does run this year, what kind of support - in the form of volunteers, resources and votes - could he reasonably expect?

Market Mover
IN PRAISE OF RANDOM ACTS OF SECURITY
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- We all cringed as third graders when Miss Stecklow at P.S. 233 in Brooklyn pointed her pencil-sharp index finger around the room to randomly select a pupil to write his or her homework assignment on the black board.

Hominy & Hash
THE INTERMINABLE TERMINAL: OFF THE ROAD AGAIN
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Whether you rush around preparing for the holidays or a holiday, there are always things left undone that nag you while you're away. What if something happens and you don't make it home and people have to come into the house and see my unmade bed. What if? Really, what if?

On Native Ground
THE RIGHT'S NEWEST DEAN SMEAR TACTIC: HE'S CRAZY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The right-wing screech monkeys (or RWSMs, for short) seem to have a new strategy for dealing with Howard Dean.

On Media
MICHAEL FUMENTO AND MYTH-BUSTING
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- Michael Fumento is a crusading reporter who thinks the media have been way too easy on the Atkins diet, Erin Brockovich and the Gulf War Syndrome. Fumento is a one-time paratrooper turned attorney turned science journalist who has managed to irritate a hefty fraction of Left wing activists and a pretty good fraction of the Right wing to boot. What's not to like?

Jill Stewart
ARNOLD AS THINKER: WILL RODIN COME TO SACRAMENTO?
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Jan. 4, 2003 -- Well, hellooo carrot and stick. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger just displayed dramatic examples of both in his dealings with the California legislature, which is still reeling from it and is scrambling in private to figure out how to deal with it.

Momentum
2003: THE YEAR OF PROTESTING CREATIVELY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In 2003, so much went wrong so quickly that protesting became almost a full-time job. The good news is that many did it with style.

Make My Day
WORDS TO BANISH IN 2004
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Having a good command of language is important if you want to be a writer. Painters use paint, musicians use music, woodworkers use wood, writers use ... well, words, but you get the idea. Words and language are essential tools for a writer's craft. So knowing how to have words good is important to be a gooder writer for making stories and stuff.

Happy New Year!
The American Reporter Celebrates
Our 10th Anniversary Year
1995 - 2004

An A.R. Special Report
A YEAR SPILLING OVER WITH COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES

by Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 31, 2003 -- Editor's Note: American Reporter Webmaster Andy Oram, an editor at O'Reilly & Associates, writes each year on the promise and peril of the Internet. Here are his reflections on developments in 2003, and their significance for the years ahead. For members of our information-rich stratum in Western society, it used to be the wealth of data - that is, the results of communication - that we drowned in. But 2003 took technology to another level. It threatened to drown us in a wealth of communications channels themselves! Voice over IP, Wi-Fi access points, satellite radio, 3G cell phones - when will the cornucopia trickle to a stop?

Ink SoupFREE AT LAST
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– It's not that I'm ignoring the holidays. Far from it. If it were not for the proximity of Christmas, the prospect of being cooped up as a juror during a long trial with 11 other peers of the accused would not have terrified me so.

On Media
FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE: THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE MEDIA
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Front Page Magazine is the creation of David Horowitz, a one-time hard-Left activist who converted to the conservative cause and is now one of its chief spokesmen. FrontPageMag.com is simultaneously Horowitz' revenge on his former comrades, a sometimes overly shrill attack on all things liberal, and generally a pretty good read.

Monday Moron
HOLIDAY GIFTS TO GAG ON
Larry Lieberman

TAMPA -- Well, I certainly hope that your holiday was full of hope, joy and love. In an effort to share my sense of well-being with all of today's most visible characters, I engaged in my usual holiday routine of sending gifts to those who have helped me take this column to the depths of borderline insanity.

On Native Ground
WHAT WE MUST FIGHT FOR IN 2004
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - It's not an exaggeration to say that it is imperative that President George W. Bush is evicted from the White House in 2004.

Media Beat
ANNOUNCING THE P.U.-LITZER PRIZES FOR 2003
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The P.U.-litzer Prizes were established more than a decade ago to give recognition to the stinkiest media performances of the year.

Make My Day
WHAT IF I QUADRUPLED IT?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As we begin our new year, I have several resolutions, including becoming a millionaire. I realize it's largely unachievable, but I feel better if I fail at something other than the "eat right, exercise more" resolution everyone else blows.

Market Mover
WHEN DO THE BANK SCANDALS START?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 23, 2004 -- The Comptroller of the Currency of the United States and the U.S. Treasury Department have my permission to give a big holiday gift to all Americans: a thorough investigation of the banks which have become stockbrokers and insurance agents.

Ink Soup
A SOUP OF ONE'S PEERS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– By the time you read this, I could be sequestered with my fellow jurors in some seedy Seattle hostelry, forbidden by court order to talk to journalists, to fellow jurors, or even to my colleague Dr. Soup.

Hominy & Hash
CALL IT THE 'PK' SYNDROME
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Preacher's kids - need I say more? It's an almost stereotypical reference to someone assumed to be squeaky clean, who should be held up as a shining example, but who is really running with the pack.

Breaking News
2 DIE AS STRONG QUAKE SHAKES CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
From News Services

DEC. 21, 2003, 2:45pm (EST) -- A stong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 and centered near historic Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif., struck the Central California coast late this morning, leaving two women dead in the mountain community of Paso Robles and millions of Californians shaken along a 350-mile stretch of coastline from San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles.

On Media
SALON'S FUTURE: IFFY, YET PROMISING
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Salon.com is simultaneously a remarkable invention, an intellectual achievement and, more recently, something of a disappointment. As a harbinger of our political and social future it is an imperfect model, but a model to be studied nevertheless.

Reporting: Indonesia
SUHARTO PARTY IN COMEBACK MODE AS ELECTIONS NEAR
ny Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA -- Recent opinion polls showed that President Megawati Sukarnoputri's party, currently the largest in the Indonesia parliament, may lose some support in the general election next April. But as daughter of the country's founding president, she is still seen as the favorite in the presidential race three months later.

Jill Stewart
ARNOLD PULLS OFF A SACRAMENTO HAT TRICK
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- When both sides in Sacramento are grumbling after a key vote, you know for certain that the rare bird known as compromise has flown and perched on the Capitol dome. That's heartening to see after a year of partisan gridlock that got California exactly nowhere.

Copyright 2005 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.