INSIDE A.R. TODAY

Vol. 12, No. 2,825 - The American Reporter - February 3, 2006


The American Reporter
Respectfully Demands The Immediate Release of

Christian Science Monitor Staff Reporter Jill Carroll

On Native Ground
ALITO NOD LEAVES FREEDOMS IN PERIL
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So now the last piece in the grand plan for right-wing control of the United States has fallen into place. [MORE]

Momentum
EVERY SPERM IS SACRED
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This is the column I never wanted to write. [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
IN A CONVOY, LEAVE THE DRIVING TO THEM!
by First Lt. Gabriel Scheinbaum, U.S.A.

NINEVEH PROVINCE, Iraq -- I really like to drive, which is a personality trait I might now take under review. [MORE]

American Opinion
BUSH ADMINISTRATION 'ROAD MAP' DEAD-ENDS AT PALESTINE
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- That President George W. Bush is a big fan of elections should surprise no one. He's won a lot of them. But his simplistic equation - elections = freedom = democracy = peace - has been running into a bit of trouble lately. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
EVEN A BEGGAR WINS ELECTION IN NEPAL
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Nepal (from London), Feb. 1, 2005 -- Would there be an election without the participation of Democrats and Republicans? What would happen if those two parties boycotted polls in the United States? That's eactly what happened in Nepal over the past few weeks. Election are being held without the major parties that secured nearly 100 percent of the votes in the last election. And in at least one instance, that situation was the answer to a beggar's dream. [MORE]

Campaign 2006
SOUTH CAROLINA'S SEN. GRAHAM STAKES OUT A BILLIONAIRE'S PLAYGROUND
by Mark Scheinbaum

PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 31, 2006 -- Forty-eight hours before Pres. George W. Bush delivered his State of the Union Address, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham showed off his stand-up comedy routine for the rich and richer of this famed Florida haven, some of whom favor Graham in a rumored White House run. [MORE]

Campaign 2006
IN DRAMATIC CONFRONTATION, JENNINGS FAILS TO GET RETRACTION OF ANTI-SEMITISM CHARGES
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla, Jan. 31, 2006. -- When they crossed paths at a mostly Democratic gathering last week, Christine Jennings, the Sarasota banker-turned-politician who is seeking the nod from Democrats to represent them in the race for Congresswoman Katherine Harris's vacant 13th Congressional District seat here, stopped a Bradenton man who had accused her of making anti-Semitic remarks and tore into him, saying supporters who learned of her alleged remarks were upset and that the unrest threatened to derail her campaign. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
SETTING MY PREFERENCES
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There's no question our language changed with the advent of the computer. Where our parents had an address and telephone number, we now have an address, telephone number, cell phone number, web address (or, in the vernacular, a dotcom) an e-mail address and a "nick," which is how you're identified for instant messaging. [MORE]

Dungeons of Debt
DISCOVER THIS: THE MAIL IS SLOW AND INTEREST IS 26% AND RISING
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- I was almost beginning to believe in the people at Discover Card. Even though I had been four days late with one payment and then was 11 days late when my brother died and my life turned momentarily upside down, they forgave my late payment of $35 and didn't boost my interest rate. [MORE]

On Media
MICHAEL FUMENTO'S WAR WITH THE JOURNALISTIC PURITANS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30, 2006 -- Is this just another story about a conservative columnist who got caught with his finger in the jar, or is it something else entirely - perhaps a story about the illogical restrictions imposed by traditional journalistic ethics? It all seems to depend on how you look at it. What will become apparent as we consider the case of Michael Fumento is that traditional journalistic criticism misses an important side of the story. [MORE]

Make My Day
IT BEATS COLLECTING DECORATIVE SOAPS!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- What's your most prized possession? What object, other than your children, pets, or big screen TV, would you save first in a fire? [MORE]

American Way
FOR BACKUP CREW ON FATEFUL FLIGHT, CHALLENGER LIVES ON
by Mark Scheinbaum

GREENACRES CITY, Fla. -- Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe held the headlines, and spotlight, and entered the Challenger capsule. Judith Marie Garcia, in flight gear, quietly backed away, changed her clothes, and 20 years ago, joined NASA colleagues, friends, and family in the grandstand to watch her friend die. [MORE]

On Native Ground
MORE LYING ABOUT SPYING
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President George W. Bush and other members of his administration have been fanning out around the country this week in a public relations blitz to sell the nation on the idea that their campaign domestic surveillance (or, as they call it, their "terrorist surveillance program") is legal and necessary to national security. [MORE]

Reporting: Costa Rica
COCAINE CRIME MARS PEACEFUL COSTA RICA
By Jesse Froehling

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- On 9th street, in downtown San José, Costa Rica, a man with a Brooklyn accent stopped me late one night. [MORE]

Market Mover
A GARBLED GOOGLE MESSAGE
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The young, fabulously rich, brilliant minds of Google, need to learn the toughest thing in business: when to fire a client. [MORE]

Momentum
PLEASE THROW US OUT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, who aptly calls himself "The Bloviator," has said many wild things in his successful career. Most of them have been easy to ignore. But recently he said, in the punishing tone of a strict father whose daughter has had too much fun, fun, fun and he now has to take the T-Bird away: "Vermont must know that they're in the United States of America." [MORE]

American Opinion
IRANIAN LEADER'S HOLOCAUST DENIAL SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, launched a media tsunami when he declared the Holocaust a myth two weeks ago. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE SAD, SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT SOY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- If you're taking soybean products to prevent heart disease, you're wasting your time. That's according to the American Heart Association that recently reviewed studies done over the last 10 years to confirm or disclaim the benefits of soy and soybean products in lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, breast cancer, uterine or prostate cancers. [MORE]

On Media
IT'S TIME TO CRANK UP THE VOLUME
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 23, 2006 -- I sure would like to see some of that liberalism in the media that the right wing is always talking about, because right now, the mainstream has missed one of the best "gotcha" stories of all time. [MORE]

Second Take
IN L.A. TIMES STORY, REGION'S HOME-PRICE DIP IS GLOSSED OVER
by Walter Moore

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 23, 2006 -- In an article on the price of houses yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that "Southland prices rose 16.5 percent over 2004 to a record median of $460,000." That's only true as far as it goes. [MORE]

Make My Day
ROMAN COLOSSEUM, 60 A.D., SUNDAY MATINEE
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Here are our seats. Have you still got your ticket parchment, Virgil? We need it to get back into the Colosseum, in case we leave." [MORE]

American Essay
BIN LADEN: THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
by Steven Travers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Osama bin Laden has released another tape, and it appears to me that he may not be the world's worst terrorist, but rather an actor hired by the Republican National Committee to promote George Bush's Presidency. At least it sure seems that way. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHEN REPUBLICANS SAVAGE A REPUBLICAN JUDGE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Once again last week, my adopted state of Vermont became a whipping boy for the right-wing screech monkeys. [MORE]

Momentum
I'M AN OLD WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In medieval times, they called older women "hags" and taught children to be afraid of us. As civilization progressed, we were called "witches" and burned at the stake. When we started agitating for our rights, we were called "feminists" and put in jail. Then we were called "women of a certain age." We were ignored, and we disappeared from the culture. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
REINSTALLING THE STUFF OF LIFE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There's not much I like anymore. I don't mean the things we can't help liking like sunsets, babies, and full moons; I mean I don't like things I once loved, once really loved with a heart-stopping reverence. Little clay or wooden objects made with the hands of my little children - who are now in their thirties and forties. I don't need reminders of those precious moments when the love we shared was actually palpable. My eyes still light up when I see the men and women they've grown into, because I see who they were as well as who they are. [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
FOR G.I.'S AND IRAQIS, WAR IS 'GOOD V. EVIL'
by First Lieut. Gabe Scheinbaum, USA

ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq -- On this eerily quiet day, one search netted me a sort of time-delayed smile. I chuckled when I recalled that some bold Arabic graffiti all over the wall of a ruined building translates roughly to "Sadi loves Debeeza." More about unrequited love later. Today's work is a bit more complicated than longing for puppy love. [MORE]

American Essay
THE NEW FACE OF LEADERSHIP: BLACK, GAY AND PROUD
by Herndon L. Davis

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16, 2006 -- On this Martin Luther King Day, as we approach the upcoming 2006 congressional elections, there is growing concern in the African-American community about its ability - or perhaps its inability - to hold on to once unshakable political power. [MORE]

On Media
JOURNALISM AT ITS BEST AND WORST
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16, 2006 -- To understand what is best and what is worst in today's newspaper journalism, one has only to consider this week's Los Angeles Times. There was reporting of importance and there was editorializing that seems to have missed the point intentionally. [MORE]

Make My Day
MASSACHUSSETTS: TOO LONG TO SPELL RIGHT
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Think real hard. Does your city or state have a slogan? [MORE]

On Native Ground
RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE: A NO-BRAINER FOR DEMOCRATS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour has not been increased since 1997. [MORE]

Momentum
THE PETER WELCH PROBLEM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Democrats specialize in forcing people to hold their noses while they vote. The name John Kerry springs to mind, but there have been so many others along the way. Progressive Democrats have come to expect this from the national party, but I never expected to get it from Bernie Sanders, Vermont's heroic lone ranger in the U.S. House of Representatives. [MORE]

Market Mover
SHOULD WE BELIEVE THE DOW?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Jan. 11, 2005 -- Headlines proclaimed tht happy days must be here again, because achieving the 11,000-point mark in the Dow Jones Industrial Average - the "Dow," for short - puts the less-than-significant index right where it was, oh, let's say five and one-half years ago. [MORE]

American Opinion
THE UNITER AT THE NEW YEAR
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- My many friends around the world have been urging me to write something about how I think about President George W. Bush as 2005 ends and the New Year begins. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WATCHING AND WAITING
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This is the month when I look out the window at nothing in particular for as long as it takes to breathe a sigh, slowly turn away and get on with it. [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
THE G.I. JOE GENERATION GOES TO WAR
by First Lieut. Gabe Scheinbaum, USA

RAWAH, Iraq -- "Why did you join the Army?" [MORE]

On Media
A ROGUE CONGRESSMAN, OUTRAGES, AND THE MEDIA
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 9, 2006 -- Sorry, but I can't seem to keep up with all the scandals. It's almost more than the human mind can retain. It's also been a real lesson in what is best and what is worst about the mass media. [MORE]

Make My Day
YOU CAN'T SAY THAT, EITHER
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Breaking news" from that "community of learners" up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan! [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE 27-9-3 RULE: HOW TO TALK ABOUT REPUBLICANS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A friend of mine who has been in the Vermont House of Representatives for the past few years recently told me about a rule she has been telling her fellow Democrats to adhere to when describing an idea to constituents or the press. [MORE]

Momentum
SEX FOR SALE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- American culture is giving me whiplash. On one side I see right-wingers teaching abstinence to horny teenagers, denying condoms to Africans with AIDS, refusing to fill women's birth control prescriptions and, in general, acting like moralizing, self-righteous jerks. And on the other hand, in what I like to think of as the real America, the newest - as well as actually the oldest - trend appears to be sex for money, sex for sale. [MORE]

American Opinion
THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S MIXED MESSAGES
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Amid unrefuted charges that the Pentagon is paying Iraqi journalists to write "good news" stories about the country's progress, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has announced a new international exchange program for journalists named after famed broadcaster Edward R. Murrow and emphasizing "the democratic principles that guided Mr. Murrow's practice of his craft: integrity and ethics and courage and social responsibility." [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
DRIVING ACROSS AMERICA? DON'T FORGET TO GO
by Constance Daley

ON THE ROAD, U.S.A. -- Around home on St. Simons Island in Georgia, we choose gas stations by the cost of gas. Saving even a penny or two per gallon will attract our business. However, when we're on road trips, we look for the cleanest rest rooms. Shell Service Stations win every time. On the holiday journey West just taken, the one Marathon we visited was so awful we didn't stop at any others in that chain nor chains we couldn't trust to live up to their claim: "Clean Rest Rooms." [MORE]

On Media
FOR NEWSPAPERS, THE TRIUMPH AND THE THREAT
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Who would have thought back in 1995 that the biggest future threat to newspapers wouldn't be the FBI or the federal courts, but a guy named Craig? The craigslist family of Websites has done something to newspapers that the feds couldn't - cut into their ad revenues by giving stuff away. [MORE]

Make My Day
IS THIS A 'MISGUIDED COLUMN'?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - We're at the end of 2005, and I want to wish everyone a belated Merry Wintervale. [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
AT THE CLOSE OF A YEAR, A SOLDIER REBORN
by Lieut. Gabriel Scheinbaum

NINEVEH PROVINCE, Iraq, Dec. 31, 2005 -- It's New Year's Eve here and there is no room for schmaltz. There is only room for first person accounts of the war, my war. That is all I can offer and that is what you should come to expect. [MORE]

On Native Ground
'BEGINNING OF THE END' FOR BUSH?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Last year at this time, the Republicans felt triumphant. They were now firmly in control of everything. They thought they had a mandate. [MORE]

Momentum
THE YEAR IN NIGHTMARES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This nightmare year opened with the world still reeling from the Indian Ocean tsunami which swept away more than 200,000 people in 12 countries. The devastation made it hard not to see that we're all on this planet together, we're all vulnerable to the force of nature, and, as John Donne wrote in 1623, "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." [MORE]

American Opinion
PLEASE, MISS CONDI, MAY I?
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- President George W. Bush is famous for not admitting mistakes. But every now and then he tries to correct one - without fanfare and well under the radar. That's what he did on Dec. 7 when he tapped the State Department to replace the Defense Department as the lead agency coordinating reconstruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and all other nations at risk of civil strife. [MORE]

Media Beat
AGENCY'S 2003 SPYING ON U.N. GRABBED FEW HEADLINES
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Despite all the news accounts and punditry since the New York Times published its Dec. 16 bombshell about the National Security Agency's domestic spying, the media coverage has made virtually no new mention of the fact - revealed in 2003 - that the Bush administration used the NSA to spy on U.N. diplomats in New York before the invasion of Iraq. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
ONE NATION, UNITED AFTER ALL
Constance Daley

OMAHA, Neb. -- The early news reports alternated between the Tsunami disasters in Indonesia a year ago today and the day-after-Christmas shoppers at the mall – any mall – anywhere in the country. We're all alike. [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
FROM BERLIN TO BAGHDAD, THE GENERATIONS SPEAK
by 1st Lt. Gabriel Scheinbaum

Editor's Note: Gabe Scheinbaum considers his late grandfather, Louis Scheinbaum, a Normandy invasion veteran who was highly decorated as both infantryman and later combat medic, one of his life's great influences. [MORE]

On Media
ASK THE FORBIDDEN QUESTION
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 26, 2005 -- The predictable media brush fire broke out when it was revealed last week that the Bush administration has carried out a lot of domestic surveillance without obtaining legal permission. One question isn't being asked so far, even though the wrong answer might trigger a serious impeachment inquiry. [MORE]

Make My Day
VALIDATION! I CRAVE VALIDATION!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Writing is a psychologically dangerous profession. We writers tend to be insecure anyway, which is why we choose such an isolated activity. But we open ourselves up to criticism and rejection whenever we let other people read our stuff. We send it out to be evaluated, judged, and deemed "suitable for publication" by people who believe they're qualified to do so. [MORE]

Market Mover
IS IT TRUE, OR IS IT CANDID?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 25, 2005 -- Listening to politicians from the White House on down, it makes you wonder if officials elected, or appointed, know the difference between what is simply "true" and what is actually "candid?" [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE PRESIDENT MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. PERIOD.
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A couple of weeks ago, Doug Thompson, the proprietor of the political-news Website Capital Hill Blue, reported that President Bush had referred to the Constitution as "just a godda--ed piece of paper." [MORE]

Media Beat
A NEW PHASE OF BRIGHT SPINNING LIES ABOUT IRAQ
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Three days before Christmas, the Bush administration launched a new salvo of bright spinning lies about the Iraq war. "In an interview with reporters traveling with him on an Air Force cargo plane to Baghdad," the Associated Press reported Thursday morning, Donald Rumsfeld "hinted that a preliminary decision had been made to go below the 138,000 baseline" of U.S. troops in Iraq. [MORE]

Momentum
A JEW LOOKS AT CHRISTMAS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- First, I have to say that Christians didn't come highly recommended when I was growing up in a Jewish enclave of Brooklyn, N.Y. The whole "Jews bake the blood of children into the matzos" thing. The Spanish Inquisition. Burning people at the stake. Forced conversions. The Catholic Church's centuries-old and, might I add, very successful "Jews killed Jesus" campaign. The Cossacks. The Nazis. No, in my very Jewish community, if it came down to lions versus Christians, I can't say the milk of human kindness would have squirted anywhere near the Christians. [MORE]


THE FOG OF G.W.O.T.
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Recent polling on the views of the American people about the 'Global War on Terror' continues to suggest increasing ambivalence, confusion and lack of reliable information. And other events over the past few days, topped by the revelation that President George W. Bush ordered secret warrantless wiretaps of phone calls and emails of American citizens, are unlikely to reverse this trend. [MORE]

Brasch Words
JUSTICE DeLAYED
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Although President George W. Bush is determined to keep and strengthen even the most odious parts of the USA Patriot Act and to use extralegal methods to extract information about citizens, he does have a soft spot for one American. [MORE]

Media Beat
ANNOUNCING THE P.U.-LITZER PRIZES FOR 2005
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- More than 13 years ago, I joined with Jeff Cohen (founder of the media watch group FAIR) to establish the P.U.-litzer Prizes. Ever since, the annual awards have given recognition to the stinkiest media performances of the year. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
SIFTING THROUGH THE SANDS OF TIME
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. -- This week, and I mean this particular week as it comes every year - the 51st week counted off on the last page of the calendar - this year's calendar, last year's and, if we're lucky, next year's, has always been a week divided. For a couple of days a hectic pace continues and then there are a few days to relax, tie things up and reflect. [MORE]

Andy Oram Reports
WHO OWNS THE INTERNET NOW?
by Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Internet was the great non-commercial success story of our time. Commissioned by the government, built on open-source software, promulgated initially through research and academic facilities - the Internet was the crowning example of a public good, a resource without an owner, a self-regulating convocation of equals that had the power and reach to help all mankind. [MORE]

Market Mover
THE SECRETS OF POWER
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 19, 2005 -- President George Bush is now in full-court-press mode on issues of secrecy, national security, civil rights, and the current State of War. [MORE]

On Media
THE END OF THE 9/11 ERA
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2005 - Last week brought us the usual scandal du jour, but the way the press and the elected leadership responded signals that a shift in our political climate is occurring. Politically, we seem to be entering a post-Sept. 11 era. [MORE]

Breaking News
SHARON CONSCIOUS AFTER 'MINOR' STROKE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 18, 2005 1:43pm EST -- A blog at Kiryas Joel in Monroe, N.Y., reported minutes ago that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 78, suffered a minor stroke at the end of his workday at his office and was hospitalized at the Hasdassah hospital there after at least briefly losing consciousness. The report was immediately moved by another blog, "ERHC On The Move" (erhc.blogspot.com), and then followed a minute later by a Breaking News report from CNN's Wolf Blitzer. [MORE]

Make My Day
LEARNING TO FLY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- There's a question I often ask people: "Would you rather have the power to fly or become invisible?" Your answer is supposed to provide some insight about who you are as a person. [MORE]

On Native Ground
RELIGIOUS TYRANNY AND THE WAR AGAINST REASON
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The fundamentalists and their allies in the media are screeching again over the alleged "war on Christmas" by those evil liberal secular humanists who supposedly run the world. [MORE]

Momentum
THE MINK COAT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It must have been more than 40 years ago when my slim and elegant mother, Rose Kagan, bought a girdle. [MORE]

Reporting: Costa Rica
COSTA RICA CLOSES WORLD-RENOWNED PARK TO STUDY ANIMAL DIE-OFF
by Jesse Froehling

DRAKE BAY, Costa Rica, Dec. 14, 2005 -- Officials closed Costa Rica's Corcovado National Park, a prime tourist attraction, because many kinds of animals are dying in alarming numbers there amid one of the most sensitive ecosystems in the world. [MORE]

American Opinion
DID YOU HEAR IT?
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was big on explosions. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
INTEGRITY: WEBSTER'S HAS A WORD FOR IT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. -- In 2003 the most often looked-up word in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary was "democracy." Well, I can see that. [MORE]

Media Beat
AT THE GATES OF SAN QUENTIN
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 13, 2005 -- No buzzards were gliding overhead, but several helicopters circled, under black sky tinged blue. On the shore of a stunning bay at a placid moment, the state prepared to kill. [MORE]

On Media
THE SLIME BEHIND THE COOL VENEER
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12, 2005 -- In the cycle of television programming fads, we are now in the Crime Scene Investigation era, a genre that proclaims its innocence loudly but succeeds by catering to guilty pleasures. This format shares perverse underpinnings with the ever-popular hospital dramas, even if the connection is not so easily apparent. [MORE]

Campaign 2006
IN FLORIDA, DEMOCRATIC STALWARTS BEAT THE DRUM AGAIN
by Joe Shea

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 11, 2005 -- Here at Disney's Contemporary Resort outside Orlando, the business of the Democratic Party this weekend was all business. The party faithful came from around the state to the Florida Democratic Party Convention to enjoy a few parties, sure, but first and foremost to find out how they are going to get their campaigns for the state legislature, Congress and the White House back on track. [MORE]

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

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Christmas is fast approaching, and that can only mean one thing: Erik is waiting until the last minute to do his shopping again. That gives us a chance to run his favorite Christmas column. [MORE]

On Native Ground
NEWSPAPERS AREN'T DYING, BUT THEY MAY YET COMMIT SUICIDE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If a casual reader of newspapers spent a few weeks reading Jim Romenesko's Web site of newspaper news and gossip, he would come to the conclusion that print journalism is having a nervous breakdown. [MORE]

Momentum
LONG-GONE JOHN AND THE DRAGON LADY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Imagine there's no countries. It isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. No religion too. Imagine all the people, living life in peace." [MORE]

American Opinion
THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF FAKE NEWS
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, NY -- Congressional leaders who have often touted Iraq's new "free press" as a sign of progress in that troubled country were angered by the Pentagon's admission last week that it has been planting and paying for Iraqi newspapers to publish 'good news stories' written by the military and 'placed' in Iraqi media by a Washington-based public relations firm. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WINE FOR THE ESCORT, BEER FOR THE CAT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Just briefly last week, the world focused its attention on a little lost cat. If it weren't for its identifying tag, it would have been accepted as any old stray, a domestic alley cat looking like many I've known through the years. The cat is gray and black tiger striped looking exactly like any other of the mixed breed lately known as "domestic shorthair," rather than alley cat - a term not suitable to an animal so regal it strolls the halls of castles and cathedrals, and has done so for millions of years. [MORE]

On Media
THE GREAT TOOKIE WILLIAMS DEBATE: HYPOCRISY ON EVERY SIDE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5, 2005 -- Nothing inspires hypocrisy more than an impending execution. In this case, it is that of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, currently residing at California's San Quentin Prison. The execution's Dec. 13, 2005 proximity has brought out the worst in people, ranging from mindless bloodlust on the one side to nearly mindless illogic on the other. [MORE]

Campaign 2006
CANDIDATE FOR HARRIS SEAT SAID TO HAVE ANTI-SEMITIC VIEWS
by Joe Shea and Mark Scheinbaum

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 3, 2005 -- In a front-page story two weeks ago, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune revealed that U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has thrown her considerable fund-raising might behind the campaign of moderate Democrat Christine Jennings, a former Sarasota, Fla., banker who is leading the closely-watched race for Rep. Katherine Harris's seat in Florida's 13th Congressional District. [MORE]

Make My Day
I ALREADY SAID I WOULD
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- How badly do you have to screw up your wedding vows so you need to do it all over again? [MORE]

On Native Ground
CENSORSHIP WITH BOMBS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Given the intense hatred that the Bush administration has for journalists and independent reporting, the news that in April 2004 President Bush seriously contemplated bombing the Qatar headquarters of the Arab news channel al-Jazeera isn't surprising. [MORE]

Momentum
TELEVISION LIES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Writing about lies on television may be like shooting fish in a barrel, but after the giant M&M attack on Thanksgiving Day, I can't resist. [MORE]

American Opinion
KAREN HUGHES' DANGEROUS DENIAL
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- America's newest public diplomacy czarina, Karen Hughes, is in dangerous denial and needs professional help. [MORE]

Market Mover
WHEN OUR PENSION'S IN A HEDGE FUND, SHOULD WE WORRY OR NOT?
by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M. -- Being a natural worry wart I clucked my tongue repeatedly when both the self-sanctified New York Times, and tv stock broadcasts alerted investors and general consumers to the coming hedge fund train wreck. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
GOOGLE ME THIS, DEAR
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Author Betty Friedan was "googled" and instantly my article called "Feminine Mystique Revisited" came up in the extensive list of sources. A student picked out my name and the personal questionnaire sent to me in this morning's mail was no more than a blatant attempt by that student to have me write her term paper. [MORE]

On Media
PLEASE STOP SAYING BLOGOSPHERE!
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Any media critic faces the misuse of language on a daily basis. The immediate outrage is a new term that threatens to enter our language on a permanent basis: the blogosphere. Luckily, there is an alternative, but we will have to be quick about it if we expect to save our semiotic souls. [MORE]

Brasch Words
THE F.E.M.A. SCHEMA, OR, THE CASE OF THE UNREPENTANT CONSULTANT
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Clutching a bag of nails in one hand and wielding a hammer in the other, Marshbaum broke out of semi-retirement and into my office. It could mean only one thing. [MORE]

Make My Day
JUST DUMB, OR JUST 'DEFERRED'?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I just now heard about CNN blinking a big fat X over Vice President Dick Cheney's face as he was making a speech last week. Truth to tell, I thought some of the technicians were playing "Spot the Liar." But there's a lot of good column ideas I never hear about. [MORE]

The War
MARINES DROP 'STEEL CURTAIN' ON IRAQ-SYRIA BORDER TOWNS
by Cpl. Micah Snead

HUSAYBAH, Iraq -- Elements of the 6th Marine Regiment pushed through buildings, streets and the constant threat of improvised explosive devices and enemy attacks to bring stability and security to two Iraq border towns in western Al Anbar province duringh a six-day mission earlier this month. [MORE]

On Native Ground
HOW REPUBLICANS WOULD STEAL FROM THE POOR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted to trim $50 billion over 10 years out of the federal budget through cutbacks in food stamps, Medicaid and student loans. [MORE]

Momentum
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Being a sucker for turkey and sentiment, I love the idea of Thanksgiving. [MORE]

American Opinion
THREE BUSH APPOINTEES RAISE SIGNIFICANT FITNESS ISSUES
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Critics of President George W. Bush's administration are charging that recent appointments suggest the President has failed to learn from the Katrina disaster and the Harriet Miers nomination and continues to favor political loyalty over qualifications and competence. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE ROAR OF THE BACON, THE SONG OF THE COFFEE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There was a time when bacon sizzling in two inches of its own grease right up to your personal degree of crispness was the most inviting aroma in any house on any morning. Add to that the heady scent of coffee percolating the tune that promised satisfaction every time. They wrote songs about it. One, I recall, was "I love coffee, I love tea, I love the java jive and it loves me; coffee and tea, the java and me, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup." [MORE]

On Media
HOW THE LEFT CAN RISE AGAIN
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 21, 2005 -- Arnold Schwarzenegger still doesn't know what hit him, and apparently the rest of the media hasn't quite figured it out either. Arnold got Limbaughed. Hannitized. O'Reilly'd. Give it any name you want, it represents the first time that the techniques perfected by talk-radio and used by the "Right wing noise machine" have been turned around and used effectively against their own side. [MORE]

Breaking News
AL-ZARQAWI SAID KILLED IN MOSUL ASSAULT ON AL-QAEDA HIDEAWAY; AT LEAST FIVE WOUNDED IN TACOMA, WASH., MALL SHOOTING
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., 4:36pm EST, Nov. 20, 2005 -- U.S. and coalition troops surrounded members of a suspected al-Qaeda cell reportedly including Iraq's top Al-Qaeda leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and seven other insurgents who were either killed in the assault or blew themselves up inside the house today, an Arabic-language news site reported this afternoon. The coalition units suffered 11 wounded in an "intense firefight," but no deaths, according to U.S. authorities. [MORE]

Make My Day
'TWAS THE MONTH BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Erik's note: In keeping with the Make My Day tradition of the past five years, I am rerunning my "Twas the Month Before Christmas" column. [MORE]

On Native Ground
CIVILIZED NATIONS SHOULDN'T TORTURE (UNLESS THEY'RE RUN BY REPUBLICANS)
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Why is the United States so despised in the Muslim world? It's not because they hate our freedom, as President Bush likes to say. They hate us because we have tortured Iraqi prisoners, leveled Iraqi cities and killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. [MORE]

Market Mover
ISRAEL'S U.N. AMBASSADOR: 'ALL TERRORISTS ARE MOSLEMS'
By Mark Scheinbaum

PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 16, 2005 -- Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman raised a few eyebrows with what some members of his lunchtime audience thought was a stereotypical attack on Moslems Wednesday, but gave a mostly upbeat report card on his nation's future relations with Palestine. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
AMERICAN COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY IN NEPAL DOUBTED AS U.S. AID PACKAGE BACKS MONARCHY, ASKS REFORMS
by Chiranjibu S. Paudyal

LONDON, Nov. 17, 2005 -- Once thought of as a savior of democracy in Nepal, the United States is now criticised for being too lenient towards the autocratic rule of King Gyanendra, who took power in a coup on February 1, effectively destroying the nation's fragile, 12-year-old democratic system. [MORE]

Momentum
INTERESTING TIMES, DANGEROUS TIMES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Until this year, that old Chinese toast - or curse - "May you live in interesting times," was just a clever saying. "Interesting," of course, meant dangerous, chaotic, terrifying. It meant anarchy. It meant China under Mao. It shouldn't mean America under President George Bush. [MORE]

American Opinion
THE REAL LEGACY OF ROSA PARKS
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, NY -- Ask any non-American to name three leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, and chances are they'll stop after one: Martin Luther King. [MORE]

Campaign 2006
LETTER TO A FELLOW DEMOCRAT
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Nov. 15, 2005 -- (Editor's Note: The following letter was a response to one by Larry Rossini, a Massachussetts man who serves on the Democratic Executive Committeee of Manatee County, Fla., where I am also a committeeman. Mr. Rossini had remarked on the deterioration of support for President George W. Bush on a variety of issues including the environment, and suggested that Democrats seek common ground with these disaffected Republicans. At the same time, he noted how, a few days after the vote that authorized the war in Iraq, a planeload of people landing in Boston gave a standing ovation to Sen. Ted Kennedy as he left the plane; Sen. Kennedy had just voted against the war authorization bill). [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE 'OLDEN' DAYS OF JUST YESTERDAY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- We do think of "the olden days" as being older than we are, at least. That's not true anymore. When I asked my mother about her childhood, I asked if they ate from wooden dishes. She laughed and said: "No, our holiday table was set with the finest china and silver flatware," adding, "The candles flickered over crystal goblets filled with apple cider; no, we didn't eat from wooden bowls," she laughed. [MORE]

On Media
L.A. TIMES LOSES ITS LIBERAL VOICE, ROBERT SCHEER
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, November 14, 2005 -- It wasn't the greatest week for journalism here in the Golden State. The Los Angeles Times decided - without explanation - to ditch its one authentically-homegrown liberal voice, Robert Scheer. [MORE]

Make My Day
OKAY, SO NOW WHAT?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- A few weeks ago, I wrote an advice column on high school dating for near geeks, semi-geeks, and band members. Since then, I've been overwhelmed by by emails from current and former high school geeks, asking me what to do next. [MORE]

On Native Ground
CHARITY IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR AN ACTIVIST GOVERNMENT
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This is the season for giving, but there are so many appeals for help for so many different causes that concern over "donor fatigue" is starting to set in. [MORE]

Editor's Choice
ARE YOU READY FOR WAL-MART WEEK?
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Nov. 10, 2005 -- Is Wal-Mart's smiley face the personification of corporate evil? That's the question that will be on many minds when Wal-Mart Week - a seven-day reprise of all the arguments we've ever heard about the world's largest retailer - kicks off with the nationwide screening of a new movie about the corporation in some 6,000 living rooms, backyards, meeting halls and restaurants in 50 states on Sunday, Nov. 13. Some 100,000 people are expected to see it. [MORE]

HOLHUT WINS TOP PRIZE IN VERMONT
American Reporter Staff

BRADENTON, Fla. -- In one of the most significant awards ever made to an American Reporter Correspondent, Randolph Holhut was awarded first prize for editorial writing in the Vermont Press Association's annual contest on Sunday, Nov. 5. [MORE]

Momentum
ODE TO AMY GOODMAN
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- O Amy Goodman, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. [MORE]

Market Mover
A CANYON BEYOND BEAUTIFUL
by Mark Scheinbaum

MILLS, N.M., Nov. 8, 2005 -- A trip to the floor of Mills Canyon in the Kiowa National Grasslands of New Mexico would probably make the most hard-core atheist drop to his knees and become a devout evangelist for any or all of the world's great religions. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
BLUE MOON
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- We've all done it. We've sat staring into the middle of the room, seeing nothing that hasn't always been there; thinking nothing of significance and then, just then, saying something of such profound significance you wonder why it never occurred to you to ask about it before. [MORE]

On Media
ARNOLD'S NOT LOOKING FOR THE LIMELIGHT NOW
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 6, 2005 -- The interplay between politics and the media was intense last week. Here in California, Gov. Schwarzenegger is taking a page out of the Bush playbook for his campaign in support of three state ballot initiatives, and the local newspapers aren't fighting back. [MORE]

Technology Update
NEWSPAPER WARNS, 'THIS DELL'S A DUD'
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- When I took a job last summer with AAA Computer Repair in Bradenton, I quickly learned from observation that the most frequently repaired machines coming into our shop were Dells. We got them in every shape and form, including laptops. [MORE]

Make My Day
MARRIAGE VOWS DON'T MENTION THIS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- The great thing about my job is that I get to work out of my house. I don't have to go anywhere, unless it's for a meeting. And my three young children feel free to come into my office to romp and play, whenever they feel like it. [MORE]

Media Beat
IN TEHRAN AND WASHINGTON, HARD-LINERS ARE THE PROBLEM
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The huge gap between Tehran and Washington has widened in recent months. Top officials of Iran and the United States are not even within shouting distance. The styles of rhetoric differ, but the messages in both directions are filled with hostility. [MORE]

On Native Ground
START TAKING THE THEOCRATS SERIOUSLY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The nexus of evangelical Christianity and Republican politics is a force that is transforming the United States, and not for the better. [MORE]

Momentum
SOME KARMA COMES HOME
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- No one who studies human behavior - right or left, liberal or conservative - was surprised by last week's indictment of the vice-president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. If anything, the surprise was that only one indictment came down instead of 10 or 12. [MORE]

Brasch Words
CHENEY'S REFRAIN? 'I'M A BELIEVER'
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- It's hard to believe that Vice-President Dick Cheney believes in Constitutional rights - at least after all that he and his protégé, President George W. Bush, have done to the American people in the past five years. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
MY PREFERENCES AND OPINIONS (OFF THE RECORD)
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Do I think it's wonderful to see women delivering the sports scores with the play-by-play as well? And do I love seeing the ups, downs and probabilities of the stock market announced by a cookie-cutter analyst from her desk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange? [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
IN NEPAL, JOURNALISTS LIVE UNDER CONSTANT THREAT
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, Oct. 30, 2005 -- Nepalese journalists have been living under heavy censorship, subject to mass arrests, threats and intimidation since the coup of King Gyanendra on Feb. 1 of this year. [MORE]

Eye On The Hurricane
MEDIA GONE MISSING; IT'S AL ROKER OR NOTHING IN SOUTH FLORIDA
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Oct. 30, 2005 -- "After Al Roker fell down, the national story was over. It's as simple as that." [MORE]

On Media
NOVEL COVERAGE OF THE LIBBY SCANDAL FROM THE WEB
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, October 31, 2005 -- For four and a half days, it seemed like media slapstick rather than serious discussion. But then, at 2 p.m. Friday, October 28, everything changed. In what may turn out to be a historic demarcation, Patrick Fitzgerald's press conference represented the first real blow against an administration's arrogant lies. Whether it turns out to be the return of Watergate remains to be seen, but for now we have a start. [MORE]

Free Speech
ARE THE DEMOCRATS BIG ENOUGH TO WIN?
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Mr. Chairman, today we are reading fantastic poll numbers from AOL and other places that surely ought to revive our hopes and renew our determination to take back dozens of Congressional and Senate seats this year, and the White House three years from now. [MORE]

Make My Day
NOW ISN'T THAT IRONIC?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Irony is one of those problem words that everyone thinks they know what it means, but don't. I'm not even totally clear on the concept myself, even though it's a writing tool I use all the time. [MORE]

On Native Ground
'GALBRAITH'S CURE:' HOW TO AVOID CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As former Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith sees it, the United States faces a choice in Iraq. [MORE]

Momentum
THE BRAVE WIDOWS OF SOUTH FLORIDA
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- About a year and a half ago, my stepfather died at the age of 87. Ever since then, my mother has been getting old. [MORE]

American Opinion
IT'S TIME FOR MEDICAL WHISTLEBLOWERS TO COME IN FROM THE COLD
by James J. Murtagh Jr., M.D.

ATLANTA -- "The Constant Gardener" proves once again that John le Carré is the master not just of spy novels, but also of the most basic human drives - and a keen observer of the central moral problems of our times. [MORE]

Free Speech
STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT THE BIRD FLU
by Congressman Michael C. Burgess

WASHINGTON, October 26, 2005 -- Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to take a minute this evening to talk about something that has been in the news a lot lately, and something that this Congress is going to be dealing with more and more as the next several months go by, and that is a discussion about the avian flu, or the so-called bird flu. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A SMILE ON HIS FACE AND A SHINE ON HIS SHOES
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- His business card read W. L. (Bill) Dunn but my mother called him Len and we called him Papa. I thought I knew him well. As the youngest, he had a little more time to dote on me than on the others growing up during the earning and yearning years. [MORE]

Brasch Words
WASHINGTON INSPIRES THE SCARIEST COSTUMES YET
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- It's almost Halloween, and some of our nation's leaders have yet to find appropriate costumes. [MORE]

Eye On The Hurricane
WAITING FOR WILMA
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 24, 2005, 1:44m EST -- The porch furniture is piled high in the living room, the refrigerator is stocked with cold cuts, the cooler is packed with ice, every appropriate container is full of fresh water, and all the flashlights and the portable radios are ready to go. Now all we need is a storm. [MORE]

On Media
AFTER JUDITH MILLER, A SECOND LOOK AT CONFIDENTIALITY
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- That reporters have some sacred right to shield the identities of their sources is one of those assertions that cries out for reevaluation. It is possible to make a case that certain classes of reportorial activities ought to be deserving of that privilege, but that others, including that of Judith Miller, probably should not. [MORE]

Andy Oram Reports
WHY THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT INTERNET GOVERNANCE
by Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- It's an unlikely matter for the United States and other nations to lock horns over: the administration of names and numbers used to reach Internet sites. [MORE]

Make My Day
RULES OF DATING: WILL YOU... UHH... DO YOU WANT TO...?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Believe it or not, I wasn't always the suave, sophisticated, debonair guy I am now. So it's not too surprising that I never dated much in high school. It wasn't for lack of interest or even lack of trying. Believe me, I was very interested. And I tried as much, if not more, than any normal teenage boy did at that age. [MORE]

On Native Ground
'MISS RUN AMOK' TAKES DOWN THE NEW YORK TIMES
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If you read the belated account of the Judith Miller affair in this past Sunday's New York Times, you received confirmation of the biggest problem in journalism - reporters who compromise their independence in exchange for access. [MORE]

Momentum
'MILLER TIME:' AN ANGER THAT'S HARD TO BEAR
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- With all the tragedy we've had this year, Katrina and Iraq and Pakistan and Alstead, N.H., et al, nothing has angered me more than the case of The New York Times reporter Judith Miller. [MORE]

Passings
BILL KING WORE A CROWN AMONG SPORTS BROADCASTERS
by Steve Travers

SAN FRANCISCO -- sports broadcaster Bill King was as much a part of my life as my friends and family. I grew up with him. [MORE]

American Opinion
IS IT ABOUT ILLEGALS, OR RACE?
by Patrick Osio, Jr.

LOS ANGELES -- Are there still some Americans who believe that the immigration issues on our southern border are primarily about national security? Or that statements calling for defending "national sovereignty" are due to fears we are losing our nation's independence? Fortunately, evidence indicates that those of such mind are a small minority, but are capable of attracting the most media attention. [MORE]

Market Mover
G.M. AND FORD NEED A HENRY J
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 19, 2005 -- The sarcastic joke has become reality: General Motors and Ford are large health care and pension companies which happen to make some automobiles and trucks. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WHAT DID HE SAY? WHAT DID HE MEAN?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In 1984, I took a class at the University of Pittsburgh along with students half my age and learned to read into Presidential speeches what was meant by the words in the context of the times. [MORE]

Editorial
THE JUDITH MILLER CASE
by Joe Shea

The American Reporter took a unique approach to the Judith Miller case, in which a Federal judge in the Valerie Plame investigation ordered her jailed for refusing to testify regarding her sources, to whom she had promised anonymity. [MORE]

The Right Side
SOUTHERN CONSERVATIVES FEEL ABANDONED AS G.O.P. MOVES LEFT
by Nathan Tabor

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- "Daddy was a veteran, a Southern Democrat; they oughta get a rich man to vote like that." [MORE]

Make My Day
WHAT ABOUT COOTCHIE-COOTCHIE COO?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- While most new parents are eager to show off their new baby, and positively beam when people coo at and marvel over their newest family member, one hospital in Halifax, Scotland is putting a stop to all that. [MORE]

Dungeons of Debt
BEST BUY AND DAIRY QUEEN ARE MISSING THE BIG SOMETHING
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- There are some companies, and some ideas, that have outlived their usefulness. Best Buy is one, Dairy Queen is another. Let me tell you why. [MORE]

Market Mover
NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS FOR SOLDIER FAMILIES
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 15, 2005 -- In reading some of the blogs of friends and families of troops in Iraq, I noticed consternation lately about the lack of phone calls from the troops in recent weeks, and paucity of news coverage outside of Baghdad. [MORE]

On Native Ground
MORE DEADLY THAN 9/11: THE COMING BIRD FLU PANDEMIC
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For all the talk about "homeland security" in the four years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, our nation has been woefully unprepared in many areas. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of public health. [MORE]

Momentum
BRINGING HORSE SENSE TO POLITICS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Seeing the breathtaking "Cavalia," the Cirque-du-Soliel-type show with horses in Boston a few weeks ago, made me think somewhat wistfully about the confluence of art and politics. [MORE]

On Media
LESSONS FROM THE PAST IN 35MM
by Robert Gelfand

SACILE, Italy, Oct. 12, 2005 -- The opening weekend of the world's most prestigious silent film festival was as dated as the 20th Century and as current as the latest fight over Wal-Mart. As in other historical studies, we begin to discover things from our past that help us to better understand our own lives. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
INDOORS, THE SAME; OUTDOORS, TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's not uncommon for one of our older children to speak of ordinary family happenings only to have one of the younger ones say, "I wasn't born yet." [MORE]

Brasch Words
'ALWAYS THERE': THE VOICE OF A GOLD STAR MOTHER
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Laura Bush was at the Colonial Fire Hall in Hamilton, N.J., telling 700 pre-selected ticket-holding Bush faithful why they needed to vote for her husband. [MORE]

Make My Day
I KNEW THAT
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As a self-proclaimed Know-It-All, I am in the enviable position of being able to demonstrate my vast knowledge on a wide array of topics, like how Benjamin Frankton invented the kite, or how Ora and Wilfred Right were the first to fly an airplane across the Pacific Ocean to France. [MORE]

On Native Ground
TODAY'S GOP IS HOME TO CRONIES AND CORRUPTION
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Few tears are being shed for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was deservedly indicted in Texas for money laundering and conspiring to violate campaign finance laws. [MORE]

Momentum
BRATTLEBORO UNDER GLASS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- That creative economy symposium a few weeks ago opened up a floodgate of discussion about the future of our area, and I've been proud to contribute a few columns of ideas - although I must say, given some of those phone calls and letters, you people might want to retire that "Hate has no home here" bumper sticker. [MORE]

Media Beat
TORTURE AND THE ARC OF INJUSTICE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Several decades ago, "controversial" subjects in news media included many issues that are now well beyond controversy. During the first half of the 1960s, fierce arguments raged in print and on the airwaves about questions like: Does a black person (a "Negro," in the language of the day) have the right to sit at a lunch counter, or stay at a hotel, the same way that a white person does? Should the federal government insist on upholding such rights all over the country? [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- And now the hype begins. Hurricane Stan is a little old tropical storm. Overnight, a tropical storm dubbed Stan made landfall in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with 45 mph sustained winds. The ever-watchful forecasters predict it will weaken to a tropical depression as it moves in over the region. [MORE]

On Media
NO WONDER EDITORIAL WRITERS DON'T SIGN THEIR NAMES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, October 3, 2005 -- I thought I'd seen just about everything, but then my local newspaper published an editorial rooting for Tom Delay to make a comeback. Maybe there's a reason editorials are left unsigned. [MORE]

Make My Day
WARNING: TOP SECRET COLUMN
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I wanted to be a spy when I was a kid. I wanted to drive around in cool cars, wear sharp suits, drink vodka martinis, and have beautiful women throw themselves at me, a la James Bond. After I watched my first Bond movie, I was convinced of the awesome power of suits and vodka martinis. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE MYTH OF COMPETENCE IN THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Do you remember how, right after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, we heard all the pundits talk about how great it was that we finally had grownups in charge of our government in a time of crisis? [MORE]

Momentum
HOW A CREATIVE ECONOMY CAN CREATE COMMUNITY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There was a time when I thought creativity was for writers, painters, musicians and other artists. And then there was business. [MORE]

American Opinion
MY L.B.J. DIVIDEND
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- If you spend your life as a writer, you're always concerned about who's reading and whether they're hearing what you thought you were saying. [MORE]

Media Beat
MEDIA'S MEA CULPAS BEGIN TO WEAR THIN
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dan Rather caused some ripples when he spoke at a law school in New York on Sept. 19 and warned that politicians have been putting effective pressure on the corporate owners of major broadcast outlets. Summarizing his remarks, the Hollywood Reporter said that the former CBS anchor contended "there is a climate of fear running through newsrooms stronger than he has ever seen in his more than four-decade career." [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
DIVERSITY IS WHO WE ARE: HEAD START AND THE FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was in Cleveland, Ohio, 1961, that our Jack climbed aboard the temple van to start "school," or so he called it. It was nursery school. To him, he became a big boy that day, going out into the world. He would be learning things, like colors and how to use them; shapes and dimensions, sounds and textures. [MORE]

On Media
THE NEW YORK TIMES DISAPPOINTS ONLINE READERS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 26, 2005 -- The New York Times shocked and outraged its fans last week by announcing a plan to charge for its internet services. The Times gladdened its critics, angered its online readers and simultaneously underscored one essential quandary facing internet businesses. [MORE]

Make My Day
YEAH? WELL, I DOUBLE DARE YOU!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I don't know what it is with teenagers these days. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE FAITH-BASED ECONOMY IS ABOUT TO MEET REALITY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We keep hearing statistics about how well the American economy is doing and how it is growing, creating new jobs and shrugging off high energy prices. [MORE]

American Opinion
THE FOX AT THE HENHOUSE: WHITE HOUSE INVESTIGATES ITS ROLE IN KATRINA
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Either President George W. Bush just doesn't get it, or he just doesn't care, or he thinks the people he serves are all gullible morons. [MORE]

Eye On The Hurricane
AS RITA ROARS IN, TRAFFIC CRAWLS OUT; 20 DIE WHEN BUS LOADED WITH ELDERLY EVACUEES EXPLODES; POLICE TURNED BACK REFUGEES FROM NEW ORLEANS AT GUNPOINT, PAPER SAYS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 23, 2005 (8:57am EST) -- As Hurricane Rita's 140-m.p.h. winds roared closer to Houston and points east, west and north, motorists sweltering in 99-degree heat crawled out of the region in a 100-mile-long traffic jam along Interstate 10 and other highways even after Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst promised on a radio talk show that all lanes would be opened in the same direction on a list of five highways, including I-10, and that gas tankers would resupply stranded motorists. [MORE]

Momentum
ARTISTS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Affordable housing" is a jargon term that puts most people, including me, to sleep. Affordable to who? Isn't all housing affordable to somebody? [MORE]

American Opinion
AMERICAN PRESS OFFERS HIGH PRAISE, HARSH CRITICISM FOR EGYPT'S ELECTION
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Was the recent Egyptian presidential election in which voters retained President Hosni Mubarak a "shameless sham" or "a first step" to democracy and "an event to be saluted?" It depends on the American newspaper that writes about it. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
TRUTHFULLY, NOW: WHAT HAPPENED TO MAJORITY RULE?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When Congress okayed adding the words "under God" to our pledge of allegiance to the flag, at the strong urging of President Dwight David Eisenhower, they were not doing it for the "religious right" - we didn't have a "religious right," we only had us, Americans. [MORE]

On Media
IS IT THE L.A. TIMES, OR A RANSOM NOTE?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19, 2005 -- Media criticism tends to concentrate on message content, but visual style is also critically important in holding the reader's interest. This is where the Los Angeles Times needs to learn how to be less imaginative. [MORE]

Make My Day
I CAN EVEN USE A POWER SAW
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Ever since we moved into our house 11 years ago, I've enjoyed working on it. Building and insulating the walls, putting up drywall, and watching my wife paint. [MORE]

Media Beat
MEDIA KNOCK BUSH - AND PROP HIM UP
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- This month we've heard a lot of talk about journalists who got tough with President Bush. And it's true that he has been on the receiving end of some fiercely negative media coverage in the wake of the hurricane. But the mainstream U.S. press is ill-suited to challenging the legitimacy of the Bush administration. [MORE]

On Native Ground
CONSERVATIVES FAIL THE TEST OF GOVERNANCE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush did something this week that he rarely ever does. He took responsibility for one of his many failures. [MORE]

Momentum
THE GENTRIFICATION OF BRATTLEBORO
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I first moved here, Vermont was similar to the Third World countries I had been living in for years in South and Central America. It was cheap, difficult to survive in, and very, very beautiful. That was fine with me, because I wanted a quiet place to write and wasn't sure I'd ever make any money at it. [MORE]

An AR Special Report
'UNACCEPTABLE': THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- In late afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2005, the National Weather Service began tracking a tropical depression in the Atlantic about 175 miles southeast of the Bahamas. Moving quickly, it turned west and crossed into southern Florida two days later as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing with it almost a foot of rain. [MORE]

American Opinion
HUMAN RIGHTS 'REPORT CARD' REVEALS HIGH PRICE OF SECRECY
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- During 2004, the Bush Administration issued more secret court orders, spent $148 creating new classified documents for every $1 spent releasing old ones, invoked the "state secrets" privilege in court cases more frequently than ever before, and received 25 per cent more requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
CASTING ASPERSIONS
by Constance Daley

OTTERBEIN, Ind. - Over Labor Day weekend, I started writing a letter to my unborn granddaughter due the Ninth of September. I had written such for her older sister and now it was time for Abbie Rose to have some wisdom of the ages passed along. She has my genes, we have shared DNA, so why not my philosophies, my ethics? [MORE]

On Media
WHAT KATRINA CAN TEACH US
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 12, 2005 -- Even as we study the Hurricane Katrina debacle, there are lessons that go unheeded. Mismanagement of government agencies is a serious problem which the media and the elected leadership have failed to address. It is a curiously bipartisan problem with sometimes lethal consequences. [MORE]

The American Reporter
Remembers With Deepest Sorrow
The Victims Of Sept. 11, 2001

Remembering 9/11
THE LESSONS OF SEPT. 11

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 11, 2003 -- Editor's Note: This article was first published on the second anniversary of Sept. 11 in the Hard News Cafe blog. [MORE]

Remembering 9/11
FOR MANY, POST-9/11 IS ERA OF MANIPULATION
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Traveling from New York City in late Sept., 2001, on a pre-scheduled book tour, author Joan Didion spoke with audiences in several cities on the West Coast. [MORE]

Remembering 9/11
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S 'GONG SHOW' NEEDS ITS STAR
byRonKenner

HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 11, 2005 -- Maybe the nation at large is indeed getting a wake-up call from the media - just in case the hurricane wind chime in Louisiana didn't do it. [MORE]

Remembering 9/11
WHY DON'T WE HEAR THE WARNINGS?
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- In a flurry of speeches and appearances over the past two weeks, President George W. Bush has commemorated the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and V-J Day with remarks that include a discussion of Sept. 11. The President noted the "surprise" element of both attacks but failed to mention the timely warnings that could have profoundly mitigated the destruction in Hawaii and New York. [MORE]

Make My Day
I'LL JUST TAKE THE BUS INSTEAD
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - I've become quite the aficionado of GPS (Global Positioning System) devices over the past year or so. I used to look down my nose at GPS users, because I thought they were incapable of reading a real map. That all changed when I used a GPS on several long car trips. [MORE]

American Essay
IS AMERICA AT THE END OF GREATNESS?
by Ahmed Bouzid

HERNDON, Va. -- First it was Abu Ghraib; now it's Katrina. [MORE]

Eye On The Hurricane
MERCIFUL JOURNEY: OBSERVATIONS ON DISASTER
by Mark Scheinbaum

D'IBERVILLE, Miss., Sept 10, 2005 -- Some disasters are best viewed at a wide-angle, by stepping back, breathing deeply and reflecting. Some tragedies are revealed best by narrow spotlights of truth, serving as examples of the whole. Hurricane Katrina in sheer scope of devastation defies both methods. [MORE]

Dungeons Of Debt
BLOOD ON THE TRACKS: CITIGROUP PRODS CLIENTS TO BANKRUPTCY
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- When I missed two weeks of work due to visiting my brother on his deathbed and then going to his funeral a week later, I also missed paying - for the first time in three years - my ATT Universal Card payment. Even though I made $644 in payments - the amount they requested in a follow-up bill - to ATT/Citicards (Citigroup owns ATT Universal Card) before the next payment was due, they sent my account to a collection agency that has harassed me ever since. [MORE]

On Native Ground
HOW THE BUSH LEAGUE LET NEW ORLEANS DIE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President George W. Bush says he plans to investigate what went wrong with the federal government's response to the devastation in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina. [MORE]

Momentum
STRONG WIND
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Strong wind, strong wind. Many dead tonight it could be you. And we are homeless, homeless. Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake.1" [MORE]

Eye On The Hurricane
AN UNFEELING PRESIDENT SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
by Carla Binion

FORT WORTH, Tex. -- The novelist E. L. Doctorow once said of President George W. Bush, "He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty." [MORE]

Media Beat
FIRING F.E.M.A. CHIEF IS NOT ENOUGH
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Calls for firing Michael Brown are understandable. Aptly described as "the blithering idiot in charge of FEMA" by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd a few days ago, he's an easy and appropriate target. [MORE]

American Opinion
SECURE BORDERS, OPEN DOORS
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- As Congress returns to Washington facing what promises to be a rancorous debate on how to protect U.S. borders, a leading immigration think-tank is charging that U.S. visa policies - a key tool in promoting national security - are in danger of compromising American economic competitiveness and foreign policy goals. [MORE]

Eye On The Hurricane
WILL OTHER NATIONS HELP? YES, IF BUSH LETS THEM
by Courtney Stewart

BOSTON -- Is President George W. Bush too proud to accept international charity? [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
POET FOR THE MINIONS, POET FOR THE MASSES
Constance Daley

WARWICK, N.Y. - As a nation, we have been so enamored of the words of Emma Lazarus, the 19th Century Jewish poet and literary figure, that we forget the lines themselves, engraved on a brass plaque affixed to the Statue of Liberty. We are such a warm-hearted people, we think of ourselves as kind and welcoming - but for some reason, this current generation of movers and shakers are saying enough is enough. [MORE]

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 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. The bright orange wafer of the Sun was just falling below the rim of the Gulf of Mexico, and as I always try to do, I looked up at the shape of the sparse few clouds in the fading blue 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]

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]

Dungeons Of Debt
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]

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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