INSIDE A.R. TODAY

Vol. 11, No. 2,716 - The American Reporter - September 5, 2005

Ode To The Drowned City
WHEN THE SAINTS COME MARCHIN' IN
by Joe Shea

SIESTA KEY, Fla., Sept. 4, 2005 -- Tonight at sunset I took a long drive after Mass down to Turtle Beach at the end of Siesta Key. The bright orange wafer of the Sun was just falling below the choppy clouds above the rim of the Gulf of Mexico, and as I always try to do, I looked up at the sparse few clouds in the sky and wondered whose souls they were. [MORE]

On Media
A CITY'S DESTRUCTION INTERPRETED BY MODERN SCRIBES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4, 2005 -- Let the recriminations begin. The destruction of New Orleans, a disaster of biblical proportions, is rightly worthy of careful analysis. The good news is that the beginnings of real thought are starting to emerge. The bad news from the media standpoint - and there is plenty of it - includes multiple failures of capability and intent. [MORE]

American Essay
WAITING FOR THE TALKING POINTS
by Ahmed Bouzid

WASHINGTON -- A deafening silence haunts the American conservative echo chamber. [MORE]

Breaking News
'FIVE OR SIX' ARMED MEN ON BRIDGE SHOT DEAD BY NEW ORLEANS POLICE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 4, 2005, 5:08pm EDT -- The Associated Press reported minutes ago that five or six people in a group of eight men, all armed, were shot to death by police on a highway bridge over the Industrial Canal in the city, MSNBC reported. [MORE]

+ In Memoriam +
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist
Oct. 1, 1924 ~ Sept. 4, 2005

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 4, 2005, 5:08pm EDT -- The Associated Press reported minutes ago that five or six people in a group of eight men, all armed, were shot to death by police on a highway bridge over the Industrial Canal in the city, MSNBC reported. [MORE]

Make My Day
YOU THINK YOUR ROAD TRIPS ARE LONG?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "No, we're not there yet." [MORE]

On Native Ground
EXITING IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Thanks to Cindy Sheehan's single-handed siege of Crawford, Tex., we now have an anti-war movement. [MORE]

Momentum
ALMOST A MILLION-DOLLAR BABY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the end, it came down to a racehorse's heart. [MORE]

American Opinion
IS ANYONE LISTENING?
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, NY -- On Sept. 11, 2001, a New York City police helicopter hovered above the World Trade Center. Two minutes earlier, the first of the Twin Towers had collapsed. It would be 21 minutes before the second tower was to collapse. [MORE]

Brasch Words
BUSH BY THE NUMBERS
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- President George W. Bush likes numbers. A day after he received 50.7 percent of the vote in the 2004 general election, he decided he had a mandate. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A SHOCK IS A SHOCK
by Constance Daley

ST SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - A shock is a shock. Your finger in a light socket, that's a shock. A person with a backpack blows himself up in front of your eyes, that's a shock. Are they the same? Well, in the sense that neither can be undone, they're the same. You can resolve never to put your finger in a socket again but the human being trained to sacrifice himself for a cause - and the cause is killing others, that is something you can't control with your will. [MORE]

Breaking News
BIG EASY'S IMAGE AS CESSPOOL MAY SOON BE REALIZED, EXPERTS SAY
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 28, 2005, 11pm EST -- A city known for more than a century as a place of alcoholic excess, amoral attitudes, sexual abandon and political corruption - and as the birthplace of jazz - is about to become a "vast cesspool" of toxic chemicals, floating garbage, human waste and coffins, news reports say, as Hurricane Katrina's 160 mph winds approach the city from the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 5 storm. [MORE]

On Media
DAILIES DROP THE BALL ON HURRICANE STORY
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 28, 2005 -- The fact that newspapers have lost at least one critical race with the electronic media was made crystal clear today. Neither the Los Angeles Times nor the Daily Breeze saw fit to run the Hurricane Katrina story on its front page. The Times at least managed to run a photo of motorists waiting in line to get gasoline as nervous New Orleans residents began to evacuate their city. [MORE]

Make My Day
LORD OF THE FISH
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Friday, August 12 - We made it! After a 20-hour drive from Indiana, we made it to Red Lake, Ontario for our annual fly-in fishing trip. Each summer, we spend a week up in Northwest Ontario, eating, fishing, smoking cigars, telling jokes, and enjoying the scenery and moderate weather, and maybe drinking a beer or two. Between us. All week long. I swear. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHY NE0-CONS HATE VETERANS AND GOLD STAR MOTHERS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The easiest way to judge a person's reputation is to see who their enemies are and what they are saying. [MORE]

Campaign Florida
SEN. NELSON, IN FLA., TALKS OF 'EVENTUALLY' LEAVING IRAQ
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 24, 2005 -- U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Fl;orida told a town hall audience here Wednesday that the Bush Administration ought to set deadlines for "eventually" leaving Iraq and defended his vote for the war, saying "I was not told the truth" about weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi drones that war planners told him would unleash "biological warfare" over the United States. [MORE]

Momentum
A STRIP MALL BACK IN TIME
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In my area the local strip mall, called Putney Road, is a useful mess of chain fast food restaurants, car washes and curb cuts. Ugly does not begin to describe it, and everybody knows it. [MORE]

Media Beat
BLAMING THE ANTI-WAR MESSENGERS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The surge of antiwar voices in U.S. media this month has coincided with new lows in public approval for what pollsters call President Bush's "handling" of the Iraq war. After more than two years of a military occupation that was supposed to be a breeze after a cakewalk into Baghdad, the war has become a clear PR loser. But an unpopular war can continue for a long time - and one big reason is that the military-industrial-media complex often finds ways to blunt the effectiveness of its most prominent opponents. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
POCKET-SIZED SECURITY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When we die, we're dead, deceased. We have expired. We have breathed our last breath. We'll leave it to those checking identification on our person to communicate that news to our loved ones. Perhaps, there was a glitch in the security geared to protect our lives and limbs; or, perhaps, we are hit by the proverbial truck. But at that point, we are truly out of the picture. [MORE]

On Media
SONGS OF TREASON FILL THE AIR
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The word "treason" has been bandied about recently by both the Left and the Right. Whether considered in its literal or figurative sense, the word has seldom been so misused. [MORE]

Make My Day
YOU'VE GOT A THING HANGING . . .
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Quick, check the mirror. You've got something in your teeth. [MORE]

On Native Ground
A MOTHER'S GRIEF AND A PRESIDENT'S ARROGANCE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- He's had time to go fishing, to go on a two-hour bike ride, to watch a Little League baseball game, to take naps, catch up on his reading and go to Republican fund-raisers. [MORE]

American Opinion
DIPLOMATIC ASSURANCES: WORTHLESS
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, NY -- Countries that rely on "diplomatic assurances" that other countries won't torture transferred prisoners "are either engaging in wishful thinking or using the assurances as a figleaf to cover their complicity," a new report from Human Rights Watch charges. [MORE]

Breaking News
DRAMATIC SCENES FROM GAZA AS SETTLERS BATTLE ISRAELI ARMY
by Joe Shea

THE GAZA STRIP (Reporting from Bradenton, Fla., Aug. 18, 2005, 12:14pm EST) -- The last desperate battle for Gaza between Israeli settlers and the Israeli Army is unfolding now in dramatic scenes fom the Gaza Strip on CNN. [MORE]

Momentum
COVERED IN MUD, AND LOVIN' IT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Here's a confession for you: the more dangerous the world becomes, the more I like gossip. [MORE]

American Opinion
LATEST ABU GHRAIB PHOTOS FOSTER CIVIL LIBERTIES CLASH
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y., Aug. 17, 2005 -- Civil libertarians and the Pentagon appear headed for yet another train wreck in the ongoing dispute over the so-called "second batch" of photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE NIMBY FACTOR
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- For a country founded on such a wide open door policy, it seems unfaithful to that premise when we turn around and say "Not in my backyard." But, we do. And we extend our property lines on the deeds to now include the air above us and the waters around us. [MORE]

On Media
ILLEGAL PARKING MAKES HEADLINES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14, 2005 -- Two daily newspapers here devoted dozens of column inches to a story about an illegally-parked car yesterday. This silliness was in response to an Internet posting which alleged, without actual proof, misconduct by a public official. The overall issue is how the mainstream media sometimes are manipulated by bloggers of questionable capabilities and ethics. [MORE]

Remembering Watts: Part I
40 YEARS AGO, WATTS RIOT TOOK URBAN VIOLENCE TO NEW LEVEL
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES -- Forty years ago this week, the fiery "Watts Riot" in South and South Central Los Angeles reached, as Time magazine would remember it 20 years later, a "stunning new level for civil violence... - 34 dead, 1,032 injured, 3,952 arrested, some 600 buildings ravaged, property loss about $40 million." [MORE]

Remembering Watts: Part II
WATTS WAS THE TRIGGER FOR BLACK POWER
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES -- By the fifth day of that incredible week - one of the more genuine "have not" protests against the "haves" – The Watts Riots had reduced almost everything to simple black and white. [MORE]

Remembering Watts: Part III
FOR SOME, 1992 RIOTS WERE UNFINISHED BUSINESS
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES -- Two decades after that first riot in Watts, the population had jumped from 30,000 to 42,000, but the growth was almost entirely in Hispanic population. Not much else had changed. [MORE]

Make My Day
HOW DOES HE FEEL ABOUT STUNT DOUBLES?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Although I know people have differing views on writers and our so-called contribution to society, I try to stay out of the fray, except to say that people who don't like writers are mouth-breathing goobers who watch too much pro wrestling. Other than that, I have no opinion. [MORE]

On Native Ground
RECOVERING THE TRUE STORY OF THE ATOMIC BOMB
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Lying and warfare go together like peanut butter and jelly. [MORE]

Momentum
AN ASSEMBLY LINE OF DEATH
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., the high citadel of Masada, 190 feet above Dead Sea, was the last place of Jewish resistance. When the Roman governor decided to suppress the resisters - called Zealots - he marched his soldiers and slaves to the desert site and spent the next nine months building a ramp to the top. [MORE]

Report From Crawford
AT CAMP CASEY, CINDY SHEEHAN AND ANTIWAR ACTIVISTS AWAIT ARREST
by David Swanson

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2005, 11:20pm -- (Editor's Note: Activist David Swanson, a member of the newly-formed Progressive Democrats of America, reports on the efforts of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a young soldier killed in April 2004 in Iraq, to meet with President George W. Bush to talk about the loss of her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan.) I just spoke by phone from DC with Cindy Sheehan and Ann Wright at Camp Casey in Crawford, Tex. Cindy has been doing interviews non-stop for the past few days. Ann and Diane Wilson and others have been doing most of the speaking with the police about Camp Casey, the name they have given their roadside encampment there. [MORE]

On The Left
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE: HOWARD DEAN AND THE P.D.A.
by Joshua Frank

PORTLAND, Ore. -- After all they have been through, they still don't get it. The Democrats are as inept a political opposition as George W. Bush is at running his daddy's oil companies. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has just finished a long 30-state trip across the country, during which he met with thousands of enthusiastic Democrats looking for some way to challenge the Republican Party. [MORE]

American Opinion
AS VOTING RIGHTS ACT EXPIRES, A LOOK BACK AT L.B.J.
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- In our country, we seem to revere only a few presidential speeches - Washington's Farewell Address, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's First Inaugural, John F. Kennedy's "Ask Not", and a few others. [MORE]

Humor
AS BANKS GET READY TO DOUBLE MIMIMUM CARD PAYMENTS, CLIENTS GET READY TO RESPOND
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON -- As a little-known consequence of the new bankruptcy legislation sponsored by congressional Republicans and recently signed by President George W. Bush, many banks and credit card companies can now double the minimum payments on credit cards, part of a move to reduce consumer dependence on credit. [MORE]

Opinion
'AUGUST STORM' OFFERS A MAJOR HISTORY LESSON IN MEDIA MYOPIA
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES -- On Aug. 8, 1945, one week before Japan surrendered in World War II, the Soviet Union launched 1.5 million troops in a massive surprise attack against Japan's occupation forces in Korea and Northern China. The area, as Associated Press writer Slobodan Lekic described it recently, was the size of Western Europe. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
ANOTHER END, OF ANOTHER ERA
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - Is it possible that a popular fashion (read that to be T-shirts and jeans) will actually be part of a "no logo" approach? Now, that to me is news. Good news. I have trouble finding quality sportswear that isn't emblazoned with some designer's name, initial, or logo. [MORE]

On Media
CULTURE WAR, OR JUST DEMOCRACY IN ACTION?
by Robert Gelfand

FRANKFURT, Germany - The question for today is why we - Europeans and Americans alike - have trouble respecting each other's rights to make choices in movies or sandwiches or politics. The following are musings by a naive tourist as to television and music, peace and war. [MORE]

Brasch Words
THE GREAT FLIP-FLOP FLAP
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The media have an insatiable appetite for gobbling up even the most superficial minutiae and spitting it out as hard news. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE INCREDIBLE BLIGHT OF TV PUNDITRY
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- When super-pundit Robert Novak stormed off the set of a live CNN show Thursday - just after uttering what the New York Times delicately calls "a profanity" - it was an unusual episode of tv punditry. With rare exceptions, the slick commentators of televisionland keep their cool. But we'd be much better off if they all disappeared. [MORE]

Make My Day
GOURMET COOKING FOR GUYS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I've spent the last 12 years of my life slowly transforming myself from a Guy (with a capital G) to a mature and responsible Man. But there are at least three people who believe there is no difference between a Guy and a Man: Bruce Cameron, author of "How to Remodel a Man," Oprah Winfrey, and he head of the Lifetime Channel. [MORE]

Media Beat
MEDIA FLAGSTONES ALONG A PATH TO WAR IN IRAN
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Tuesday, big alarm bells went off in the national media echo chamber, and major U.S. news outlets showed that they knew the drill. Iran's nuclear activities were pernicious, most of all, because people in high places in Washington said so. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE BUSH TEAM RE-BRANDS AN UNFINISHED WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In a classic example of rebranding, the Bush administration is changing the name of the fight against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. [MORE]

Sept. 11 Remembered
ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 HIJACKERS' U.S. ENTRY GOES UNNOTICED
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES -- Exactly four years ago, on Aug. 4, 2001, Mohammed al-Qahtani, the supposed 20th hijacker, was rejected from entry at the international airport in Orlando, Fla., after an alert immigration official, Jose Melendez-Perez, refused to give the usual cursory glance, as he explained it, to an entrant from Saudi Arabia. [MORE]

AR OpEd
HOW CalPERS, NATION'S LARGEST PENSION FUND, MISSED KEY OPPORTUNITY
by Tom Dillon

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- I have been in the financial services industry for over 20 years. I've worked for Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Dean Witter, Morgan Stanley and, finally, for myself. But I've never seen a financial trasnaction like one I'm going to describe at the nation's largest retirement pension fund, the California Public Employment Retirement System, known by the acronym CalPERS. [MORE]

Europe and Islam
ISLAM'S RADICAL IDENTITY IS FORGED BY POVERTY
by Semih Minareci

CORDOVA, Tenn. -- A stunning new phenomena is occurring among the European far right. Their walls are being plastered with posters which show Muslim minarets ominously rising behind the city's faded gothic cathedrals. What else we could expect after war-cry of President George W. Bush and his neo-con supporters after 9/11? [MORE]

Momentum
HOW THE REAL ESTATE BUBBLE IS BURSTING THE AMERICAN DREAM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The stories keep coming, and none of them are good. [MORE]

American Opinion
SAUDI ARABIA, NIGERIA ARE IN HUMAN RIGHTS CROSSHAIRS
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, NY. -- The internation human rights agency Human Rights Watch is calling on Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah to pardon three jailed advocates of peaceful reform and urging President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria to "show the world that he is serious about pursuing justice," and "ensure that police torturers are held accountable for their crimes." [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE EYES DON'T HAVE IT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There's always something I used to love at Cracker Barrel, the old time, general store-styled restaurant found at most exits of all Interstates (ou can take a virtual tour at www.crackerbarrel.com). This time, John waited on line to pay the check. [MORE]

American Opinion
BILL O'REILLY IN DRAG
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Michelle Malkin, who strikes me as Bill O'Reilly in drag, opened one of her recent syndicated rants with this question: "Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Civil-liberties activists, anti-war organizers, eco-militants and animal-rights operatives are in a fright over news that the nefarious FBI is watching them. Why on earth would the government be worried about harmless liberal grannies, innocent vegetarians, unassuming rainforest lovers and other 'peaceful groups' simply exercising their First Amendment rights?" [MORE]

Make My Day
CONFESSIONS OF A BARTENDER
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Dear Patrons: This letter is a little late in coming. About 12 years too late. [MORE]

Last Word
DeFEDE'S FIRING DISGRACES THE MIAMI HERALD
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON -- The Miami Herald has gone on the defensive over its firing of political reporter Jim DeFede, the reporter who allegedly taped a crazy last-hour call from a from Arthur Teele, a former Miami-Dade County commissioner who shot himself a few minutes later in the newspaper's lobby, and has gone to the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., for support. [MORE]

On Native Ground
REJECTING FEAR IS THE KEY TO STOPPING TERROR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The point of terrorism is to terrorize. [MORE]

Official Humor
REP. TOM TANCREDO WANTS TO BOMB MECCA. WHAT A GUY!
by Patrick Osio, Jr.

LOS ANGELES -- What a guy! Don't you just love him? Straight talker, says what he means, means what he says. What more can Americans ask for in a President? Oh, not President Bush. I'm talking about Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), who announced he is likely to be a candidate for president in 2008. Hey, look what he told Muslims - if you can't control your religious fanatics, we will wipe out Mecca! [MORE]

Momentum
WHEN POLITICS COUNTED IN ART
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I was a young girl, my mother enrolled me in modern dance lessons at a professional school in New York called the New Dance Group Studios. Every Saturday morning I took the subway alone from Brooklyn to Manhattan, rode up a tiny, creaky, scary elevator in a narrow old building on West 47th Street, changed into a leotard, and, with other children, learned movement to the beat of a drum. [MORE]

Media Beat
UNLEASHING THE DEADLY DOGS OF WAR
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Midway through July, the Karl Rove scandal was dominating the national news - until the sudden announcement of a Supreme Court nominee interrupted the accelerating momentum of the Rove story. Since then, some anti-Bush groups and progressive pundits have complained that the White House manipulated the media agenda. But when it comes to deploying weapons of mass distraction, the worst is yet to come. [MORE]

American Opinion
FINALLY, A DEGREE IN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
by William Fisher

OLD CHATAM, N.Y. -- As the U.S. faces increasingly negative attitudes around the world, the previously arcane subject of public diplomacy has become a serious issue in the Bush Administration, Congress, universities, think-tanks and with ordinary citizens. [MORE]

The Angle
IRAN-PAKISTAN-INDIA GAS PIPELINE MAY PUMP NUCLEAR TRADE-OFFS
by Angelique van Engelen

AMSTERDAM -- Pipelines across several countries are often played up to be as opportune as their locations are strategic. You wonder if international terrorists have cottoned on to that fact, because an attack on one would earn a place in any important study of how terrorists do their work. For them, an attack on a major oil or gas pipeline might be rather logical. [MORE]

The Right Side
WAR IS THE ANSWER
by Vance McDonald

AUSTIN, Texas -- In December 1941, America and the free world faced the terrible specter of total war emanating from Germany and Japan. On Sept. 11t, 2001, America and the free world had an identical experience. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE 'LESSER CRIME' OF SMOKING
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A cocaine addict can walk into any public building, park, bar or restaurant - nose crammed full of the illegal powder - and be an acceptable member of society, albeit one who is breaking the law by having and using that substance. Acceptable, that is, until he becomes restless, irritable, and anxious, at which time he may be asked to leave. [MORE]

On Media
ARIANNA'S REINVENTION OF THE BLOG
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, July 25, 2005 -- Arianna Huffington's new internet site was barely out of the gate when critics lit into it - and into her - with a vengeance. Critics of the critics suggested that it might be fair to wait at least a day or two before going nova on her, but that didn't stop them all. [MORE]

Make My Day
WHAT ABOUT 'IDEA FAUCETS?'
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- All thinking must stop! - in Ireland, at least. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHAT THE G.O.P. DOESN'T KNOW ABOUT AMERICAN WORKERS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Republicans seem to love the slash-and-burn style of modern capitalism. However, it is not a economic model that is sustainable and there are a few smart business out there who reject it and profit from that decision. [MORE]

Momentum
YOU HAVE TO SING
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So there it was again, my summertime conundrum. How do I reconcile the lush beauty of the countryside and my rewarding life with the mayhem my country causes in the world and the danger we all face, every day, as a result of it? [MORE]

On Media
ETHICS AND THE OLD JOURNALISM
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- New ethics guidelines for the Los Angeles Times have been handed down. They are an affirmation of starchy old rules that make for honorable, old fashioned journalism even as they promise dull reading. What's missing is recognition that reasoned judgment should be a part of journalism, just as it is in every other part of life. [MORE]

Passings
JOHN S. SHEA III, A DEVOTED CATHOLIC
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., July 19, 2005 -- John S. Shea III, the son of John S. Shea, Jr. and Nina D. Shea of Rye Hill Road, Monroe, N.Y., passed away at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, after his peaceful and accepting encounter with cancer at the Valley View Long Term Residential Health Care Facility in Goshen, N.Y., a few days before his 65th birthday. He spent winters in Bradenton since 1995, and was the oldest brother of Joe Shea, Editor-in-Chief of The American Reporter. [MORE]

Brasch Words
UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU: HOW AMERICANS ARE LOSING THEIR IDENTITY
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The Army National Guard, faced with extended tours of duty in Iraq, didn't meet its recruitment quota in 2003. So in 2004, it began a multimillion-dollar direct-mail advertising campaign. One of those targeted was Petra Gass, a resident of rural northeastern Pennsylvania, who received a full-color 12"x17" tri-fold telling her in bold capitals that she could be "the most important weapon in the war on terrorism." [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
RUBBER TO THE ROAD
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- According to what I read in the papers, = gasoline is now $2.35 a gallon but nobody seems to care. Vacations go on as planned, "Are we there yet?" is still the joke of the day and watching reports of long lines at airports gives a sense of satisfaction. [MORE]

The American Reporter
April 10, 1995 - April 10, 2005
10 Years Of Service

Andy Oram Reports
OPEN SOURCE: ARE THEY KILLING THE COMMONS? by Andy Oram

by Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The "commons" is the part of the economy that doesn't have a business plan yet. [MORE]

American Opinion
400 DAYS AND OUT: A STRATEGY FOR EXITING IRAQ
by Carl Conetta

WASHINGTON -- The United States could safely withdraw almost all its forces from Iraq within a year or so without further destabilizing the country, according to a July 19 proposal I authored for the Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA), a Washington-based think-tank. Progress toward that end requires a significant political compromise with the Sunni community and with Iraq's neighbors, however. [MORE]

American Opinion
ABUSE? WHAT ABUSE?
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- The U.S. Army general widely considered the "architect" of abusive prisoner interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and in Afghanistan used "creative" and "aggressive" tactics, but did not practice torture or violate law or Pentagon policy. Despite the recommendations of military investigators, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey C. Miller will not be reprimanded – thus bringing to a close what could be the last of 15 separate investigations into detainee abuse. [MORE]

Make My Day
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO PUMMEL TODAY?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - Finally, my computer's back from the shop. Not too bad - just $600 to upgrade Old Blue. The guys at the computer shop laughed at me when I brought it in. Sure, I could have gotten a brand new one for $500, but there's nothing wrong with this one. It's still perfectly good. Sure is heavy though. [MORE]

Market Mover
IT'S TIME FOR DEALERS TO COME CLEAN WITH U.S. AUTO BUYERS
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- When it comes to cars, there are very few "elites." [MORE]

On Native Ground
THINK BETTER, WIN MORE: LET'S REVAMP U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- George Galloway, the British MP who was last seen embarrassing the right-wing yahoos on the U.S. Senate committee investigating the so-called UN "oil-for-food" scandal, was absolutely correct when he said that "Londoners paid the price for Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan." [MORE]

On Media
'THE WAR ON TERROR' AND THE MEANING OF CARNAGE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the French government suggested a diplomatic initiative that might interfere with the White House agenda for war, the President responded by saying that the proposed scenario would "ratify terror." The date was July 24, 1964, the President was Lyndon Johnson and the war was in Vietnam. [MORE]

Momentum
A GORILLA WITH A FLASHLIGHT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Every year when the property tax bill comes in the mail, I'm forced to wonder how much longer I'll be able to keep my home. [MORE]

On Media
THE SCEPTER'D ISLE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, July 10, 2005 - In this murderous week and on this little-noted anniversary, we are reminded of the enduring power of language and of the legacy of one man to define a civilization. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
ROUND UP THE USUAL MASTERMINDS
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - What do you do when you have to do something? Well, the Brits stiffen their upper lips and remind themselves of the Blitz. For those of you who don't know what that is first hand, let me tell you it was what the Londoners called the intensive bombings Nazi Germany dropped over their city in 1940 and 1941. [MORE]

Make My Day
TATER TOILERS IN TIZZY OVER TERM
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- In this age of Political Correctness and perpetual victimhood, someone somewhere is always complaining about certain words or phrases. [MORE]

California Journal
IT'S THE DEMOCRATS WHO REALLY RULE CALIFORNIA
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- Think of 1958, so distant in the past that the Los Angeles Times ran front-page stories about Alaska finally being voted the forty-ninth state and Russia launching a rocket that nearly reached the Moon - "farther than any object man has sent from the Earth." [MORE]

Attack On London

BOMBS RIP LONDON BUS AND TRAINS; 33 KNOWN DEAD, 300 HURT

by Joe Shea

LONDON, 8:19am, July 7, 2005 -- Dozens of Britons may be dead this morning and 300 are injured after a series of bomb blasts ripped at least three speeding London subway trains and a double-decker bus was bombed at 9:47am during or shortly after the morning rush hour. Cellular telephone service was disrupted by its dedication to emergency services, but calm quickly returned to the city. [MORE]

Momentum
VAPOR BOY AND THE ENTITLEMENT GENERATION
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Back when I was a reporter on a daily newspaper, I remember the sports editor throwing fits about the "politically correct" crowd who wanted their kids to play in every game, even when they couldn't catch a ball with three hands and a sticky tongue. [MORE]

California Journal
ARNOLD, YOU'RE MESSING UP, BABY; WORK WITH THE DEMOCRATS - OR FAIL
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- Dear Arnold: I recently drove past that huge billboard of you as the "Terminator," that was painted on a building alongside the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles shortly before the recall election. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash: LIBERTY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- My plan was to write something patriotic this July and I started perusing books on my shelf for inspiration. The first quote that grabbed my attention was Benjamin Franklin saying: "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety." [MORE]

Editorial
FREEDOM
by Joe Shea

For quite a while now, I have had something of a special gift. While it has a variety of manifestations, there it one way that it makes itself known that is very powerful. When my gift makes itself felt in this way it grabs my attention and will not let it go for weeks and even months at a time, until it is fulfilled. And then, usually, it is too late. [MORE]

On Media
HATE LITERATURE IN THE LOCAL DAILY
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, July 4, 2005 -- Last Monday, my local newspaper ran a column by Mona Charen titled, "How can liberals so hate America?" Such is the currently acceptable level of hate literature in America, remarkable only for its being printed in a supposedly decent paper such as Copley's Daily Breeze. [MORE]

Make My Day
RIOTS AT REAL ESTATE AGENCIES?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Prior to 2001, the only thing people had to worry about dyingfrom in California were earthquakes, forest fires, extreme heat, sunstroke, drought, mudslides, the LA Freeway system, and Jay Leno's chin. Apparently now rolling blackouts can kill you too. [MORE]

College Football
THE GREATEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAMS OF ALL TIME
by Steven Travers

LOS ANGELES -- The 2005 college football season is right around the corner. Pete Carroll's University of Southern California Trojans completed the most perfect season in collegiate football history in 2004 and enter the new campaign bidding for three titles: (1) Greatest single-season college football team of all time; (2) Greatest college football dynasty of all time; and (3) Greatest historical college football program of all time. Lofty titles, to be sure. [MORE]

Brasch Words
AND A JUSTICE FOR ALL: THE LEGACY OF SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The president of the United States was adamant about how he was conducting his so-called "War on Terror." [MORE]

The Right Side
CIVILIZATION AT THE ABYSS
by Vance McDonald

AUSTIN, Tex. -- "These are the times that try men's souls." These immortal words of Tom Paine have never been more appropriate than at this time in history. [MORE]

On Native Ground
ROVE'S SPIN CAN'T SAVE BUSH NOW
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Rather than being upset over Karl Rove's speech in New York last week, when he accused liberals of undermining the war effort, I prefer to see it as a hopeful sign. [MORE]

Media Beat
A MEMO TO THE WAR: THIS IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE END
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- On the propaganda front, it's been another tough week for Washington's war-makers. But for them, where there's hope, there's death. [MORE]

Momentum
A FRISKY RISKY BUSINESS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- That nice widow from Nigeria sent me another email yesterday. It seems that she is stuck with several million dollars in "unnamed accounts" from her dearly departed husband. Her government, for some unfathomable reason, doesn't want the money. So she has chosen me, a complete stranger, to help her out. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
IF IT'S NOT A RERUN, IT'S A REMAKE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Nobody forgets to give Yogi Berra credit for first uttering, "It's deja vu all over again." But, day after day, it's repeated -either in conversation, news reports or in this article itself. [MORE]

On Media
THE PORT OF L.A. WIMPS OUT
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It was a week in which the mayor's appointed Harbor Commission president called the City Controller "unqualified and politically motivated," then questioned her education and fitness to serve. [MORE]

Make My Day
I'M SORRY - WERE YOU SAYING SOMETHING?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - Ask anyone what the key to a successful relationship is, and they'll tell you the same thing: communication. [MORE]

On Native Ground
LIES OF THE WAR-MAKERS ARE NO LONGER IGNORED
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is the tide finally turning? [MORE]

California Journal
THE ORPHANS & WIDOWS CANARD: HOW ARNOLD FAILED TO PREPARE FOR THE BABBLE
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Let's stipulate that California Attorney General Bill Lockyer does indeed write ballot measure descriptions designed to make the state's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's reform ideas sound awful. Exhibit No. 1 was Lockyer's official ballot description of pension reform, which Lockyer insisted could wipe out orphan and widow death benefits for firefighters and cops. [MORE]

Momentum
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED: REASONS TO SAVE NPR
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When the first plane smashed into the World Trade Center, I was out shopping with my mother. By the time the second plane hit, we were racing home in the car. So I got my first horrified wonder, fear, anger, excitement and shock directly from the voices of the men and women who were reporting the disaster on National Public Radio. [MORE]

Media Beat
LETTER FROM TEHRAN: IN WASHINGTON'S CROSS-HAIRS
by Norman Solomon

TEHRAN -- Washington keeps condemning Iran's government and making thinly veiled threats. But in Iran, many people are in the midst of challenging the country's rulers, in the streets and at the ballot box. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE MOURNFUL NUMBERS OF A WELL-LIVED LIFE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- If you're born at a time of change in your part of the world, you will one day learn it was never on an ordinary day. What might seem ordinary - the birth of a baby girl to a woman who had already delivered eight babies - could not be ordinary on Dec. 6, 1931. This was another mouth to feed, and a frightening prospect at a time later called The Great Depression. [MORE]

On Media
THAT WIKI, WIKI, WACKY WORLD OF THE L.A. TIMES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Proof that print publications are trying to adapt, however badly, to the Internet Age can be seen in recent editions of "The Atlantic Monthly" and the Los Angeles Times. Paradoxically, they illustrate more about the ways print journalism could be improved by better writing than they tell us about the validity of technical innovation. [MORE]

Make My Day
I'M 266 IN DOG YEARS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's my birthday in a couple of weeks, and I'll turn 38. I'm not complaining, because I've enjoyed my 30s so far, and am looking forward to repeating several of them. [MORE]

American Opinion
FOR IRAQI PARENTS, A SAD LESSON FROM THE CHILDREN OF TUZLA
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- It's a little more than 10 years now since that day of death in Tuzla. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHY DO CONSERVATIVES HATE FREEDOM OF THOUGHT?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The conservative magazine Human Events recently compiled a list of what it considers the "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries." [MORE]

Momentum
THREE CHEERS FOR NEW ENGLAND'S GAY CULTURE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I did summer stock when I was a kid. And I'll never forget the time I stood in the wings with a group of professional actors, watching a wild musical number progressing on the stage. One actor said something about the terrible camping, and since I knew there were several summer camps in the audience, I told him not to disparage the paying customers. As the other actors roared with laughter, he explained "camp" - exaggerated comic actions and gestures with a homosexual subtext - to innocent little me. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
PETER PAN PANNED
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- If Joan Rivers had said it or Jay Leno, it might have elicited a laugh - after all, they're comedians and Jay, for one, has made comedy fodder out of Michael Jackson and his ways for a generation. His nightly take on the news surrounding the court case alleging Michael Jackson's inappropriate behavior in allowing young boys at the Neverland ranch to share his bed is Jay's idea of humor. [MORE]

Breaking News
JURY ACQUITS MICHAEL JACKSON OF MOLESTATION CHARGES, BUT HE STANDS CONVICTED BY THE PRESS
by Joe Shea

SANTA MARIA, Calif., June 13, 2005 -- The all-white Santa Barbara Co. jury that spent seven days poring over the vast minutiae of his trial on 10 child molestation charges today acquitted pop superstar Michael Jackson on all counts, prompting an immediate chorus of scathing criticism from the likes of conservative talk show host Michael Savage, who mocked each juror on the air as they spoke to the press after the verdict. [MORE]

On Media
SCIENCE WRITING IS A FINE SCIENCE
by Robert Gelfand

SAN DIEGO -- The annual meeting of the Endocrine Society over the June 4 weekend was a chance for yours truly, the amateur media critic, to consider the difficulties of presenting science to the lay audience. It was also a chance to see how well it works in practice. [MORE]

Make My Day
THE BEJEWELLED MAN
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I've never been the kind of Guy to wear jewelry, at least not on a long-term basis, and only certain kinds. I've worn the occasional class ring, a gold chain for a couple months, and a nice cameo brooch when I wanted to feel pretty. And, of course, I've worn my wedding ring every day without fail for the last eleven-and-a-half years, partly because it's a symbol of my undying love for my wife, but mostly because she'd choke the life out of me if I ever left the house without it. [MORE]

On Media
FOR MEDIA, THE MIDDLE CLASS NOW MAKES ITS OWN
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Over one recent weekend, I experienced how this new communications medium known as the internet is changing the political culture. It’s not just the internet by itself, but the ways it is being manipulated by political activists that is key. Now, every little community of interest can have the equivalent of its own local newspaper, and everybody is the star reporter. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WANTED: A FEW REPORTERS WITH THE GUTS TO TAKE ON THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The frenzy over "Deep Throat" is fading. The hosannas over the brief, shining moment in history when reporters did their jobs and brought down a corrupt president are dying down. [MORE]

Momentum
SAYING GOOD-BYE TO MARTY JEZER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I've never seen anyone more alive on his deathbed than Marty Jezer. [MORE]

Media Beat
WAR MADE EASY: FROM VIETNAM TO IRAQ
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Feb. 27, 1968, I sat in a small room on Capitol Hill. Around a long table, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was in session, taking testimony from an administration official. Most of all, I remember a man with a push-broom moustache and a voice like sandpaper, raspy and urgent. [MORE]

Make My Day
THE CRACK OF THE BAT, THE ROAR OF THE CHILDREN
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Okay, everyone, we're finally here at the baseball game." [MORE]

To Our Readers
AMERICAN REPORTER IS NOW AT SONIC.NET
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, FL, June 3, 2005 -- For only the third time in our history, The American Reporter has a new World Wide Web host, the Northern California firm of Sonic.net. The transition to their hosting services is nearly complete, and we expect to resume regular publication this weekend. [MORE]

On Native Ground
COMPANIES REPLACE PENSIONS WITH BROKEN PROMISES AND LIES
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It wasn't that long ago that the American workplace operated under a simple compact - in exchange for offering your employer 20 or 30 years of your labor, your employer would pay you a living wage and give you a pension when you retired. [MORE]

Momentum
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WATERGATE?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Back in 1882, a woman named Elizabeth Jane Cochran changed her name to Nellie Bly and invented investigative reporting. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
NEW YORK AS THEATRE
by Constance Daley

NEW YORK, N. Y. -- Everything in New York is theatre. The curtain goes up and, voila, it's dawn in the city (in this case, I turn on the television set). [MORE]

On Media
L.A.'S MAYORAL CAMPAIGN GOES DOWN TO THE WIRE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The failure of Los Angeles-area media to explore campaign charges and countercharges was never more apparent than it has been this week, as the campaign between incumbent Mayor Jim Hahn and challenger Antonio Villaraigosa goes down to the wire, with Villaraigosa favored by most pollsters to win on Tuesday. [MORE]

On Native Ground
COL. DAVID HACKWORTH TRULY SUPPORTED OUR TROOPS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There are two groups of people who "support the troops" in Iraq and Afghanistan. [MORE]

Media Beat
POLITICAL BLUSTER AND THE FILIBUSTER
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The battle over the filibuster is now one of the country's biggest political news stories. The Bush administration seems determined to change Senate rules so a simple majority of senators, instead of three-fifths, can cut off debate and force a vote on the president's judicial nominees. Both sides claim to be arguing for procedural principles. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
GETTING OLDER IS KILLING ME
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Sometimes things happen to you before you're ready for them. Take for instance walking around in a body that's 10 pounds heavier and an inch and a half shorter. I'm not ready for that all and less ready to hear the reason for the change. [MORE]

Momentum
AS BIN LADEN LAUGHS, BUSH DANCES TO BAD MUSIC
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A friend from another country visited us recently. I haven't seen her in many years, so I was not surprised when her first question was, "George Bush?" [MORE]

On Media
RE-INVENTING THE SOLDIER-JOURNALIST
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It's not common in this enlightened journalistic age of ours to read much about the welfare of the common soldier. Syndicated columnist Col. David Hackworth, who passed away this week, was following an old tradition in trying to reestablish that concern among our people. But before Col. Hackworth, before the embedded journalists in Iraq, more than half a century ago there was Ernie Pyle. [MORE]

The American Way
A MOTHER'S ADVICE: 'FOLLOW THE SETTING SUN'
by Boun Sandraow

BOSTON -- Born in 1972, I was forced out of my home village of Goong Mong Ghure, in the country of Laos, back in 1981 as a result of Communist infiltration. The Communists invaded my primitive village and executed many innocent villagers, including my father during their hostile takeover. [MORE]

Passings: David Hackworth
HACK STOOD ALONE
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., May 6, 2005 -- The most decorated living U.S. military veteran, known simply as "Hack," stood before the 82nd Airborne Division Assn. in Fort Lauderdale a few years ago, and taught Military History 101. [MORE]

Make My Day
TIPS FOR THE NEWLY MARRIED GUY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As a Guy who has been married for 11 years, I've learned a lot of tips and tricks every Guy should know about successfully living with their wife. I have embraced them fully, and try to practice them on a daily basis, despite what my wife says to the contrary. [MORE]

On Native Ground
NOT CULTURE WAR, BUT CLASS WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A popular political theory over the past few months is that the ongoing fight over the future of Social Security is just a diversion to allow the Republicans to get away with all sorts of repugnant policies. [MORE]

Momentum
SHARK BAIT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A few years back, when the six luckiest actors in the world - the cast of "Friends" - negotiated a $1 million-an-episode contract, there was a general scratching of heads. It was a lot of money. Were they worth it? [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A SUMMONS TO DUTY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- For the first time in my life I was responding to a summons to appear before the Superior Court of Glynn County, Ga., for jury duty. [MORE]

On Media
DEMAND FOR OIL, POPULATION GROWTH STIR FEARS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- As the world faces the decline and fall of cheap petroleum, another factor looms. The exponential growth curve of human population, once a popular subject, has become one of the more underreported stories of the current era. The problem is largely misunderstood by mathematically illiterate editorial writers, ignored by the political classes, and avoided by political activists of both the right and the left. It creates further threats to our standard of living even as it exacerbates the rate of oil depletion. [MORE]

Make My Day
RAMBLINGS OF MY TWO-YEAR-OLD SON
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Yaay, morning again! TV and breakfast and milk in a sippy cup! And I love waking up to a really good poopy. That means Mommy has to change my diaper. She makes such funny faces when I do that. [MORE]

On Native Ground
A 'RED' TALKS: ADVENTURES IN TELEVISION
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Remember Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare of the 1950s? The days when people lost their jobs and their livelihoods over the slightest association with the Communist Party? [MORE]

Momnentum
A HARD MONTH FOR GOD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- God was exhausted. He sat in His huge pearly chair behind the huge pearly gates wiping His huge pearly forehead with a huge pearly handkerchief. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
OBITUARY FOR THE DANDELION
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Oh, the dandelion is not really dead in spite of this obituary. Yet, all over the country these spring days, homeowners are slapping their hands together and saying, "Well, that's that." They feel they can rest easily now having followed the instructions of the Home Owners Association's hints on weed removal (couched in words suggesting the HOA might just shun a neighbor who doesn't comply.) [MORE]

On Media
IMPERIALISM CONSIDERED
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- American discussion of the Iraq war consists of little more than sniping about the alleged reasons for the invasion, balanced by a sort of wistful longing for an easy exit. But suppose that the real intent is not an exit, but rather a permanent military presence based on demonstrable economic advantage? Shouldn't political centrists be discussing this developing policy on a rational level? [MORE]

Market Mover
THE CASE FOR DOW 15,000 IN FOUR YEARS
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., April 25, 2005 -- Every few months it's good to both literally and figuratively take stock of things, and a recent review begs me to proclaim a Dow Jones Industrial Target of 15,000 or higher within the next four years. [MORE]

Make My Day
EXCUUUUSE ME!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- The news was enough to make any self-respecting, beer-swilling Guy clap his hands and squeal like a 12-year-old girl at a Britney Spears concert. [MORE]

On Native Ground
FUNDAMENTALIST FOOLS AND THE CONSERVATIVES WHO LOVE THEM
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- How can a group of people have almost total control over government, the judicial system and the press and still whine incessantly about being victims? [MORE]

Momentum
A FAILURE OF IMAGINATION
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When you listen to Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World"), which the Czech composer wrote just before he left New York in 1895, you can hear his awe at the open spaces of this grand new country - awe at our unlimited sky, endless grasslands and the energy of a people with the space to dream, think, plan and act. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A HOPE FOR THE FUTURE, A LINK TO THE PAST
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It took only seven fast decades to go from being the baby of the family to becoming the oldest functioning member of a very large clan. [MORE]

On Media
PEAK OIL AND THE FUTURE OF OUR CIVILIZATION
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The term "peak oil" is barely mentioned in the mainstream media, yet it may be the most ominous term to face our civilization since plague or H-Bomb. At the least, it means a complete reorganization of every industrial economy and the need for vastly decreased expectations about economic growth. A slightly worse scenario involves, to a large extent, the end of civilization as we know it, followed by the evolution of some new, downsized way of life. [MORE]

Make My Day
ADVENTURES IN VEGETARIAN TAXIDERMY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- York: Hello, and welcome to Mark York Kitchen Adventures. I'm Mark York and this is my kitchen. [MORE]

On Native Ground
'FIVE-FOOT SHELF' FIGHTS FORCES OF STUPIDITY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For the past few months I've been making my way through "Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books," otherwise known as the Harvard Classics. My wife found them last summer at a flea market, 50 volumes for $5 - the literary bargain of the century. [MORE]

American Opinion
FISHING IS THE WORLD'S NEXT RESOURCE WAR
by Robert Ovetz, Ph.D.

FOREST KNOLLS, Calif. -- Until the mid-20th Century, the ocean was a key watery terrain of conflict between competing colonial powers seeking to expand their control over territories and natural resources. [MORE]

Momentum
REQUIEM FOR A REBUILDER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I've never been confident enough to speak at funerals, and I usually regret it afterwards. So it was last Saturday, at the funeral of someone I deeply cared about, Steve VanDemark of Hinsdale, N.H., who died, way too young, at 55. [MORE]

The Right Side
HIDE! THE PATRIOT ACT IS COMING FOR YOU
by William Dipini Jr.

THE BRONX -- While I was occupied in the overcrowded men's room at school the other day, one of my eccentric friends accosted me - so boorish of him to violate my personal space - and, in a skittish voice, whispered in my ear: "The government has the right to search your home and library records, Wil, without letting you know." [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
MIKE ROYKO: A GOOD NAME TO REMEMBER
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Mike Royko, the Chicaho newspaper columnist who died in 1997 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times in the course of his career for his work for the defunct Chicago Daily News, the pre-Rupert Murdoch Chicago Sun-Times and the post-Murdoch Chicago Tribune. The name Royko always guaranteed a good read and when I saw it in the news today, I paid attention. Royko is not a Smith or Jones name - I knew there would be a connection. [MORE]

Brash Words
STAR SPANGLED AMERICA
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa.--Jose Feliciano gave it a new beat. [MORE]

On Media
DINOSAUR BITES MASTODON
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- This week, General Motors announced that it was pulling its advertising from the Los Angeles Times. The spat would be enough to make you bust a gut laughing, except for a troubling underlying reality which was simultaneously being explored in the web-log world. [MORE]

Make My Day
EXTRA! EXTRA! JOURNALISTS SOMETIMES LIE!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - I always used to roll my eyes at people who said "you can't believe everything you read." With the exception of all supermarket tabloids and magazines, I had always believed that newspapers were - for the most part - fairly trustworthy in the news they reported. Whether I agreed with them or not, I thought the writers always tried their best to be as honest as possible. [MORE]

Media Beat
TAKING NEWS BEYOND THE LIMITS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- I was glad to open the New York Times last Monday and see the headline: "In Steinbeck's Birthplace, a Fight to Keep the Libraries Open." After visiting Salinas, Calif., over the weekend, I was eager to find out whether the disturbing and uplifting events there would gain any significant national coverage. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE ENDURING INTELLIGENCE OF JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the present madness, where reason has been forgotten and self-righteous wingnuts rule, it never hurts to be reminded that there was a time when intelligent people were welcomed into government service. [MORE]

Momentum
A QUIVER OF FEMALE OPINION ARROWS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from a colleague who was furious about a local political issue - one that touched on gender. I had to write about it, she insisted, because I was a female columnist. [MORE]

Opinion
55 YEARS WORLD WAR'S END, JAPAN'S MEDIA STILL IN DENIAL
by Adam Gamble and Takesato Watanabe

TOKYO -- Recently, the Bush administration sent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on a tour to meet with Asian leaders in an attempt to revitalize ties with Japan. But just like he did with Russia, President George W. Bush must demand a legitimate free-press system in Japan that is not constrained by its government. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
FOR POPE JOHN PAUL II'S LIFE, 'A JOYFUL NOISE'
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There are really mixed emotions all over the world concerning the death of Pope John Paul II; emotions like sadness, love, reverence, and wonderment as mourners question why this man's death is having such a profound effect on them. [MORE]

The Right Side
WHY LEFTISTS OPPOSE THE REAL I.D. ACT
by William Dipini Jr.

THE BRONX -- The loony leftists have been expending an inordinate amount of energy towards distorting facts about the Real ID Act. With a plethora of information afloat regarding how effortless it was for 9/11 hijackers to acquire driver licenses, and how illegal aliens have been abusing our system, one would think that the insipid leftist mantra would cease. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE LONG WAY HOME
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When Robert Frost wrote "The Road Not Taken" he was writing about making a choice between two roads of equal merit. He chose the one less traveled. [MORE]

On Media
PETTY THIEVES, POLITICIANS AND 'GOTCHA' JOURNALISM
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A few weeks ago, a local television station decided to investigate reports that parking attendants were stealing from customers' automobiles. They outfitted test cars with hidden cameras, handed the cars off to unsuspecting valet parking crews and secretly watched as the attendants rifled through glove boxes. They recorded on videotape as the attendants pocketed stolen money. One of the thieves took something in excess of a hundred dollars from a center console and stuffed it down his left sock. [MORE]

On Native Ground
R.I.P: THE HYDROCARBON ECONOMY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - The modern world runs on hydrocarbons. The global economy is based on cheap, limitless supplies of oil, natural gas and coal. [MORE]

Make My Day
DON'T BOGART THE POINTY ROCKS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's always important, in any business, to appeal to the greatest number of people in your market or audience. Newspapers and magazines write to the average reading level, which is the 6th grade, while radio stations play music that will numb the sensibilities of most people. In some cases, it's smart marketing. In others, it's just dumbing it down to appeal to the lowest common denominator. [MORE]

A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM BUSH-CHENEY MEDIA ENTERPRISES
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The first quarter of 2005 brought significant media dividends for the Bush-Cheney limited liability corporation. [MORE]

Momentum
WHY I DON'T CARE ABOUT TERRI SCHIAVO
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In ghoulish anticipation, the whole world wakes up each morning and asks, "Is she dead yet?" I think it's disgusting. [MORE]

The Right Side
THE CASE AGAINST GODZILLA
by William Dipini Jr.

THE BRONX, N.Y. -- While Members of Congress lead the fracas over the Schiavo case, China is working diligently and hastily towards becoming the next economic and military superpower - a potential threat to the future of the United States. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE PINK BACKLASH
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Mass was especially crowded this Easter Sunday morning - this is an island where tourists congregate for Spring break, and families come to visit grandparents from their own homes all over America. [MORE]

On Media
TELL ME AGAIN HOW MUCH FUN THIS TRAFFIC IS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Anyone who watches American television will discover that we are a nation of devil-may-care adventurers who drive shiny new cars at high speeds and pilot our SUVs through places full of scenic grandeur. It's never a boring day in the land of auto advertising. [MORE]

Make My Day
LOVE LETTER MARKETING 101
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- One day last summer, I was lying in my hammock, drinking a beer and relaxing. I was starting to nod off, when I heard a quiet "ahem." [MORE]

Media Beat
WHERE'S THE REPORTING ON HIGH-LEVEL PARANOIA?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Journalists often refer to the Bush administration's foreign policy as "unilateral" and "preemptive." Liberal pundits like to complain that a "go-it-alone" approach has isolated the United States from former allies. But the standard American media lexicon has steered clear of a word that would be an apt description of the Bush world view. [MORE]

On Native Ground
JOURNALISM SHOULD NOT BE AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Who is a journalist? [MORE]

Momentum
TWO RED SHOES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Glitter. Thick stage makeup. Eighty-year-old dancers with great legs. Women (and some men) in fancy gowns. Big egos and small talents lip-synching to popular songs. Usually, when the Lauderdale West Theater Group of Plantation, Fla., puts on a show, that's what it's all about. [MORE]

The Right Side
DEMOCRACY, NOT IMPERIALISM
by William Dipini, Jr.

THE BRONX, N.Y. -- Is the war on terrorism really about global hegemony? Is it really about power? Even if it was about power, should America use that power when it is in our nation's interest to do so? Should we stand reserv ed in the periphery of an active dangerous system and wait for a state to emerge as a superpower to test our powers for us? [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE LURE OF THE INNOCENT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In a silent world, like a fish approaching the lure, a child is led away - without a cry, nor even a sound, trusting the grownup leading her from her secure bed toward the unknown. In her innocence, she is unafraid, but within hours her silence reverberates around the nation. [MORE]

On Media
WHY BUSH REALLY WON
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The learned scribes and pundits who portray President George W. Bush as ignorant, irresponsible and reckless somehow have managed to miss the salient point - that is the reason Americans elected him. These unstatesmanlike qualities are considered virtues by certain voter, and that has been the least understood phenomenon of the last election. [MORE]

Make My Day
GUY INJURIES: FACT OR FICTION?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As a Guy, I've always done typical Guy things. I know how to build houses, cook large slabs of meat with fire, and play several different high-impact sports. And like a typical Guy, I've smashed my thumbs, burned my hands, twisted my ankles, and even broken a finger playing football. [MORE]

On Native Ground
DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST? NOT YET
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Now that the spread of democracy has replaced the elimination of what proved to be non-existent weapons of mass destruction as the rationale for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, we're supposed to believe that freedom is busting out all over the Middle East. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
DESPERATE TIMES AND ACTS OF DESPERATION
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This wasn't the first time Brian Nichols was in the same courtroom facing these same charges. His girlfriend of eight years accused him of assault and rape; he was brought to trial but the jury couldn't reach a decision, forcing the judge to declare a hung jury. No verdict! [MORE]

Blue Money
TO THE BABEL FISH OF THE BANKRUPTCY BILL, LISTEN CLOSELY
by Paul Petillo

PORTLAND -- Ford Perfect wasted no time inserting the small yellow fish into Authur Dent's aural tract. thus allowing him the use of, as "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" describes it, the oddest thing in the universe. [MORE]

On Media
LESSONS FROM THE LATEST L.A. ELECTIONS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The mayoral primary election is over, and after all the mud and mendacity, it may be useful to think about what we have learned from the experience. The most striking observation is that at least in this giant metropolis, the people seem to be figuring out that the political system is seriously bent, even if it isn't completely broken. [MORE]

Brasch Words
THEY'RE SHOOTING HORSES (AND BURROS) AGAIN, AREN'T THEY?
by Walter Brasch

OATMAN, Ariz. -- Almost every day, a dozen or so wild burros come down from the foothills of the Black Mountains of northwestern Arizona onto the main street of Oatman, a revitalized high desert mining town about 15 miles from where California, Nevada, and Arizona meet. [MORE]

THERE'S NO FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY WITH NO FUNCTIONING PRESS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It took a whiff of gay sex and the fear of bloggers gone wild to get the corporate press somewhat interested in the story of James "Jeff Gannon" Guckert, the phony reporter who somehow spent nearly two years infiltrating the White House press corps at the behest of the Republican Party. [MORE]

Opinion
SIGNS OF HOPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
by Parvez Ahmed

WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush's grand idea of transforming the Middle East is looking better by the day. Whether the Bush administration deserves all the credit for the winds of change is a matter of another debate. [MORE]

Make My Day
NO, I'M NOT GOING TO SAY THAT
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Over the last seven years, I've become quite a coffee connoisseur. But until I was 30, I hated coffee with a steamy hot, dark-roasted passion. I blame my wife for my indoctrination. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
IT'S THE SAME OLD SHILLELAGH
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was one of those conversations where someone is speaking to me directly but as I listen my mind is simultaneously saying wow, wonderful, then asking myself how does this slip by the Madelyn Murray O'Hare's of the country and the ACLU? [MORE]

Momentum
CHARLES AND CAMELIA: AS TIME GOES BY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For the past few years I've been a fan of a gentle British situation comedy called "As Time Goes By." It originated with the BBC in 1992 and ran in England for eight or nine seasons. Now it plays in repertory on most American PBS stations; it's not hard to find. [MORE]

Media Beat
WHEN JUNK TV INTERRUPTS JUNK TV
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Once in a while, mass media outlets give a fair hearing to radical ideas that make sense. But those ideas have little chance to take hold - mainly because followup is scant. Instead of bouncing around the national media echo chamber, the offending concept falls like a tossed rock. [MORE]

Blue Money
SAVING LABOR
by Paul Petillo

PORTLAND -- Drew told me how he had staged his own personal lobbying effort cornering Senator Ron Wyden (OR-D) with his solution for changing poor attitudes among service workers. This employee believed that morale in the grocery check stand, a union protected position in Portland, Oregon, could be fixed with tip jars. [MORE]

Opinion
CONTROVERSIAL INDIAN POLITICIAN MUST BE DENIED ENTRY TO U.S.
by Parvez Ahmed

WASHINGTON -- Indian politician Narendra Modi must be prevented from entering the United States for his "campaign of extremism." Section 604 of the International Religious Freedom Act allows the State Department to bar the entry of any foreign official who has engaged in "particularly severe violations of religious freedom." Modi will be a good test case for this law. [MORE]

On Media
A FREE AND UNAGGRESSIVE PRESS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A few days before the city's primary election, the Los Angeles Times ran a devastating expose of the corruption endemic to our system, then buried most of it in the back pages. It is a record of terrific reporting but simultaneously represents a failure of nerve on the part of the paper as a whole. [MORE]

Jill Stewart
WHACKING THE RAILROAD BARONS
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- In the early 20th Century, corrupt railroad barons controlled the Sacramento statehouse, and even wrote the laws. Voters got so sick of it they ushered in reforms including the ballot initiative and recall process. [MORE]

On Native Ground
VERMONTERS TAKE UP IRAQ QUESTION AT TOWN MEETINGS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President George W. Bush may think he had his "accountability moment" regarding the invasion of Iraq by narrowly winning a second term. [MORE]

Make My Day
EDUCATION OF A CONSTRUCTION KLUTZ
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As I've gotten older, I've discovered there aren't as many handy people around as I thought. When I was a kid, everyone I knew could fix things, remodel entire rooms in a weekend, and build a small shed with an axe and three mature pine trees. [MORE]

Momentum
AT THE GATES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My first thought was, "Where are the monks?" I'm told a lot of New Yorkers first thought, "They've turned Central Park into a big car wash." [MORE]

Jill Stewart
CALIFORNIA'S UGLY SKIN GAME
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- It should be a ripping good show in Sacramento in 2005, since the only place more torn by debilitating race, gender and cultural tension than the California State Assembly and California State Senate might be a high-school cafeteria seething with rival gangs. [MORE]

Hominy & GHash
MICHAEL JACKSON, DENNIS RADER AND JUDGMENT DAY
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Is it merely a coincidence, or could it be divine intervention forcing us to reserve judgment in cases where looking weird does not make you guilty of child molestation, and looking normal does not automatically give you a free pass on accusations of heinous, detestable, murders by torture. [MORE]

Media Beat
EX-PRESIDENTS, AS PITCHMEN, TOUT GOOD DEEDS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- An Associated Press dispatch from a Thai fishing village summed up the media spin a few days ago: "Former President Bill Clinton's voice trembled with emotion as he and George H.W. Bush put aside their once-bitter political rivalry... ." [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE GONZO LEGACY OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- You had to figure that sooner or later, Hunter S. Thompson would take the Hemingway path. [MORE]

Blue Money
THE GROWING THREAT OF A DECLINING DOLLAR
by Paul Petillo

PORTLAND -- Wen Jiabo is not impressed. The prime minister of China, one of the largest customers of United States Treasuries said it best when he asked, "shouldn't the relevant authorities be doing something about this?" He was speaking to the decline of the dollar, a perilous three year slip that has cost Jiabo's government billions in lost profits on their currency investments while adding billions to their surpluses. [MORE]

On Media
$7 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF FLUFF
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The March 8 mayoral primary election is approaching and with it, the 15 and 30 second spots that fill every available commercial moment on local television. It is a collection of little intellectual merit but considerable interest as a snapshot of the current level of manipulative psychology and technology. These ads merit examination for what they tell us about two seemingly unrelated topics, the current obsessions in politics and the status of the low-cost digital methods that are now available to pursue those obsessions. [MORE]

American Opinion
WHY LIBERALS DON'T TOLERATE CAMPUS CONSERVATIVES
by John T. Plecnik

LINCOLNTON, N.C. -- Regardless of age, we have all heard the phrase, "First Amendment Rights," bandied about. Free speech has been the rallying cry of the liberal elite since the '60s, and every time violent protesters are beaten back by police or cordoned off from a rally, the ACLU comes a-calling. [MORE]

Reporting: Algeria
ALGERIANS READY SUMMIT THAT COULD REOPEN BORDERS
by Kaci Racelma

ALGIERS -- Extensive security precautions will be taken in Algiers to protect public buildings against terrorist attacks at the opening of the two-day Arab Summit on March 22 here, a high level security source told The American Reporter. [MORE]

Momentum
THIS BRAVE LITTLE STATE OF VERMONT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It may sound corny, but every time I get off the highway at Montpelier and turn towards the Statehouse, my eyes get misty. [MORE]

Media Beat
GREAT MEDIA CRITICS: INTREPID FOR JOURNALISM AND LABOR RIGHTS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - When I think of newspaper journalists who became authors and had enormous impacts on media criticism in the United States, two names come to mind. [MORE]

Reporting: Algeria
AFRICA, TOO, FACES IMMIGRATION PROBLEMS
by Kaci Racelma

ALGIERS, Algeria -- For a long time, they have been people who were forced to flee their homes due to starvation, dire poverty and war, searching out other, more clement areas as a salve for their misfortune. [MORE]

Blue Money
THE FOUR HORSEMAN OF THE ECONOMY
by Paul Petillo

PORTLAND -- Their fearsome riders and invincible steeds gallop across the darkened landscape, their hooves sparking flames everywhere they go. Here come the Four Horsemen of the Economy: higher interest rates, inflation, a weak dollar and slower growth. [MORE]

On Media
THE SONIC ASSAULT ON PUBLIC LIFE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- At two international sporting events at the Home Depot Center in nearby Carson, Calof., the soccer and rugby were great, but once again I came eardrum-to-amplifier with that recent nemesis of our sporting life, the sound track. [MORE]

Jill Stewart
THE LEFT'S DEFICIT PLAN FOR LATINOS
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO - When test scores came out recently showing that Latino immigrant kids are getting much better at reading and writing English, California superintendent of schools Jack O'Connell urged schools to find ways to move them out of special English and into mainstream classes. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE BUSH STYLE OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Disingenuousness is the stock in trade of the Bush White House, but there are times when it gets to be just a bit much. [MORE]

Make My Day
PUNCTUATION STICKLERS UNITE
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Punctuation miscreants, beware. There's a new punctuation book in town, called "Eats Shoots and Leaves," by British punctuation stickler, Lynn Truss. She condemns the illiterate, stupid, and greengrocers of the world, who misuse and abuse proper punctuation. [MORE]

Momentum
SOMETIMES, DEMOCRACY IS THE LAST REFUGE OF A SCOUNDREL
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Times have changed since Dr. Samuel Johnson said that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Democracy is the last refuge now. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
HE LOVES ME; HE LOVES ME NOT
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- You can pluck the slender white petals from a daisy until the nubs of your fingers turn yellow and you still won't know if he loves you or loves you not. For that, you need a rose, preferably a dozen of them - American Beauties if your dreams are your reality. Flowers do have a language, and there is no question that when a man sends his love red roses he is quietly saying, "I love you." [MORE]

Blue Money
HOW SAVINGS CAN CHANGE AMERICA
by Paul Petillo

PORTLAND -- The late Ernst Mayr once said: "Every politician, clergyman, educator, or physician, in short, anyone dealing with human individuals, is bound to make grave mistakes if he ignores these two great truths of population zoology: (1) no two individuals are alike, and (2) both environment and genetic endowment make a contribution to nearly every trait." [MORE]

On Media
THE MAYORAL CIRCUS PARADE COMES TO TOWN
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The slogan for this year's mayoral primary election might as well be "What elephant - What bedroom?" Actually, it's more like a small herd. The candidates are pretending there are no such pachyderms and the press are seemingly oblivious to the backlot odor. [MORE]

Make My Day
DIARY OF A FLU
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- 6:00 am - Stupid alarm clock. I really - oh jeez, I feel awful! Body aches and I think I'm going to faint. Where is snooze button? [MORE]

On Native Ground
DEAN'S A GOOD START, BUT DEMOCRATS MUST DO MORE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Barring a last minute catastrophe, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will be the new Democratic National Committee chairman. [MORE]

Momentum
A VALENTINE TO LONG-LASTING MARRIAGE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The house in south Florida was low and white, with green trim and a tile roof. A huge rubber tree took up half of the front yard. I was walking past it last week when I happened to look inside. I saw a small, frail woman, alone in a large space, drifting over to close the curtains. [MORE]

Reporting: Indonesia
AFTER THE TSUNAMI, ACEH ORPHANS STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE
by Andreas Harsono

LILIB BUKTI VILLAGE, Indonesia -- About two dozen boys sat down on the wooden floor inside a stilted hut, joking and cheering, sometimes even hitting one another, just like most boys do. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A 'MILLION DOLLAR' MORAL DILEMMA
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The credits rolled but no one got up to leave, at least not until their tears dried; and they were not the tears of a sob story or chick flick that flow while we laugh at ourselves for being so sentimental. We remained in our seats, in sobering thought. [MORE]

Blue Money
THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN
by Paul Petillo

PORTLAND --While the State of the Union speech delivered by President George W. Bush last Wednesday brought the usual measures of partisan support and disdain, it proved one thing beyond any doubt: this man can get the country talking. Mr. Bush has the uncanny ability to divide the country even when he talks about something in which residents of both the Blue and Red states have an equally vested interest. [MORE]

On Media
SPORTS, MILITARISM AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- On this, the anniversary of the invention of the term "wardrobe malfunction," it seems appropriate to consider the history of politics in the sporting media. An interesting story comes out of Florida which suggests that times really have changed. Along the way, we will consider a recent story from Tokyo along with historical visits to Pasadena and Mexico City. [MORE]

Media Beat
STENOGRAPHY, NOT CURIOSITY, MARKS IRAQ COVERAGE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Curiosity may occasionally kill a cat. But lack of curiosity is apt to terminate journalism with extreme prejudice. [MORE]

On Native Ground
'OWNERSHIP SOCIETY': NEW WORDS FOR SAME OLD SHELL GAME
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Running beneath the Bush administration's talk of creating an "Ownership Society" is something that they won't come right out and say openly - that they are crafting a long-term strategy to render the Democratic Party impotent for decades to come. [MORE]

Make My Day
WILL THERE BE A 'LORD OF THE DANCE' RIDE?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As a journalist, I am often privy to insider information on a lot of different topics, finding the best and most secret information about important current events, especially if I make it up. [MORE]

Blue Money
RESHAPING THE FUTURE OF OWNERSHIP
by Paul Petillo

PORTLAND -- The term "Ownership Society" has resurfaced, recently wrapped in the President's talk of Social Security reform. The approach so far has been familiar as he portends a looming crisis in the future of this New Deal program. While his numbers may be suspect, the immediate need for change debatable, and the timing wrong, expect Mr. Bush to push his agenda forward in what could be the only year of his second term that he might have a chance at significant reform. [MORE]

On Media
L.A.'S GREAT DEBATE FOLLIES, ACT III: THE COURTROOM
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The exclusion of several candidates from two February mayoral debates has predictably spawned a lawsuit. The debates, sponsored by an organization that calls itself the Citywide Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, are to be run under rules which contrive to exclude the one decently-funded Republican candidate. [MORE]

Blue Money
THE DILEMMA IN DAVOS
by Paul Petillo

The World Economic Forum convened in Davos this week to discuss how the wealthiest nations should conduct themselves in the coming year, what problems to focus on, and more importantly, how to save their smaller, financially troubled neighbors. The United States, which in the past was represented by the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell, sent no high-level official from the administration to represent our position on issues like poverty and the ills of globalization.. [MORE]

On Native Ground
IS IT TOO LATE TO DECLARE VICTORY AND GET OUT?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush talked incessantly about freedom in his second Inaugural Address. He did this as security personnel dragged away protesters and our nation's capital was transformed into a garrison bristling with thousands of soldiers, cops and Secret Service agents. [MORE]

Media Beat
OF DEATH BE NOT PROUD
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- "The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people," President Bush said at a news conference Wednesday, hours after 37 American troops died in Iraq. "I understand that. We value life. And we weep and mourn when soldiers lose their life." [MORE]

Momentum
JOHNNY CARSON AND OUR OWN MORTALITY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The death on Sunday of Johnny Carson raises some thoughts about entertainment and mortality. [MORE]

On Media
'GREED' UNDERMINED BY GREED
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A film retrospective currently running at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art underscores one of the 20th Century's great bodies of work, even as it illustrates one of our true cultural tragedies. [MORE]

Our warmest congratulations to AR Humor Writer Erik Deckers!

Make My Day
A COLUMNIST'S MILESTONE

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I've achieved a major milestone: This is my 500th column for The American Reporter. For nine years, eight months, and one week, I have published a humor column every Thursday night. If I were a baseball player, I would be 21st on the all-time home run leader list, behind Ken Griffey, Jr., who has 501 - home runs, not columns. Ken Griffey, Jr. can't tell a joke to save his life. [MORE]

Market Mover
AFTER THE TRUMP WEDDING, YOUR MUST-DO LIST
by Mark Scheinbaum

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.. Jan. 24, 3005 -- Okay, so you got the hottest invite of the year, the Trump nuptials across the Intracoastal in Palm Beach. You're shaking off the hangover. Now what? [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE 'GOOD GRINGO:' THE STORY OF PAUL BARDWELL
by Randolph T. Holhut

HATFIELD, Mass. -- At a time when most of the world views the United States with a mixture of fear and disgust, it is necessary to remember that not every American is ugly, and many people out there are working to promote the best values of our country. [MORE]

Market Maker
BUYER ALERT: TERM LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUMS ARE GOING UP
by Mark Scheinbaum

CORAL GABLES, Fla., Jan. 21, 2005 -- One of the last great financial planning bargains is about to go up in price, or in some cases it already has: level premium term insurance. [MORE]

Momentum
WE WANT OUR REVOLUTION NOW
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Where are the tumbrels when we need them? Dust off the guillotine. We need a new revolution. [MORE]

Media Beat
A SHAKY MEDIA TABOO: WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The latest polls show that most Americans are critical of the war in Iraq. But the option of swiftly withdrawing all U.S. troops from that country gets little media attention. [MORE]

On Media
THE NEXT MAYORAL DEBATE SCAM
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES - The L.A. mayoral debates continue and once again, reform loses. This time it is the misleadingly named Citywide Alliance of Neighborhood Councils that intends to restrict participation in its debates. Only the big fundraisers get to play. [MORE]

Media Beat
FAR FROM MEDIA SPOTLIGHTS, THE SHADOWS OF 'LOSERS'
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- A system glorifies its winners. The mass media and the rest of corporate America are enthralled with professionals scaling career ladders to new heights. Meanwhile, the people hanging onto bottom rungs are scarcely blips on screens. [MORE]

Make My Day
YOU KNOW, IT'S JUST ... 'IT'
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Erik is out of the office this week, hiding from the new season of "American Idol." To commemorate this event, we are reprinting a column from 2003 commemorating these purveyors of pop, these connoisseurs of crap, these sultans of snot... . [MORE]

On Native Ground
AND THEY CALL IT DEMOCRACY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Democracy is more than voting. [MORE]

Momentum
SOCIAL SECURITY DISTORTIONS ARE ONLY BUSH'S LATEST
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There he goes again. Our President, the one who most notably brought us invisible Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, who recently claimed to have a sparkling clean bill of health as the press buzzed about his new defibrillator, who claimed he was a "uniter instead of a divider" and a "compassionate conservative" and then bombed innocent Iraqis while half of the world took to the streets against him, is at it once more. [MORE]

On Media
BLOGGING DOWN A TRADITIONAL PATH
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It was in a stack of used books being sold for two dollars apiece outside a dusty museum of hollywood memorabilia. The book, Humor from Harper's (1961) held a brief essay by William H Whyte Jr. which, though satirizing a literary trend of the 1950s, seems to resonate in terms of that current fad or phenomenon known as the "blog." [MORE]

On Native Ground
ARE WE NOT TOO LATE, OR TRULY DOOMED?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Canadian journalist Gwynne Dyer, in an upcoming revised edition of his landmark 1985 book, "War," tells a story about the Forest Troop of baboons in Kenya. [MORE]

Make My Day
FREEZE! THIS IS A HOAGIE!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It seems cheese sandwiches have been in the news a lot during the last few months. But not always in a good way. [MORE]

Momentum
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Even as the death toll climbed, the bodies washed ashore, and the horror of it began to sink in, there was just one thought running through my mind: how can it be made any clearer that we are all one world, we are one world, we are one? [MORE]

Brasch Words
PRESIDENT BUSH'S 'APPROPRIATE' RESPONSE
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa., Jan. 5, 2005 -- On Sunday, Dec. 26, an earthquake-triggered tsunami with devastating effects 1,000 miles from its epicenter in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra hit 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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

Andy Oram
'SOCIAL WEB' HAS FAR TO GO, BUT 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 which will turn out to be most important. One stresses classification, the other community. These two ideas are attracting both money and attention, but neither has yet borne fruit. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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

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

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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." [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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

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

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. [MORE]

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." [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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? [MORE]

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." [MORE]

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? [MORE]

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! [MORE]

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? [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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? [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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." [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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!). [MORE]

Brasch Words
A BONE OF CONTENTION
by Rosemary R. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - I heard it. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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." [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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." [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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." [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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." [MORE]

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. [MORE]

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