DENVER -- You carried a compelling quote in an article on July 4 ("This Independence Day, Live It Like You Mean it," by Ed Tubbs) that you attributed to Thomas Jefferson.
BEVERLY HILLS -- Today one of the great gentlemen of the legal system passed away. He was my lawyer and the only lawyer I ever had who cared for me and my issues.
SAN DIEGO -- While Jill Stewart's commentary, "The Left's Deficit Plan for Latinos," made some good points about the way California's public schools address educating immigrant students, it was undermined by a glaring factual error.
LOS ANGELES -- I'm a small scale investor, trying to put a little money away to supplement my retirement income so I won't be a burden to society in my old age. I can't say I've done too badly with my investments, and by all the pundits' report, I should be an avid, flag-waving Republican.
SAN ANSELMO, Calif. -- To Our American Heroes: If this letter can give you some relief from the grinding hours spent on duty then I will have contributed some tiny portion compared to what you are doing for our country and for the world.
AUBURN, Wash. -- We complain about the misdeeds of Enron executives, Qwest's last CEO and other executives while ignoring the misdeeds of union officials. The unions themselves have lobbied for laws that make corporate accounting more understandable and more transparent. Over the last half century many union officials have been indicted over misuse of money that make the Enron scandal look like child's play. The unions lobby for more accountability in corporate accounting while opposing it for themselves.
Ron Kenner`s article, (AR, No. 2000, "Domestic Axis Of Evil") was just brilliant. You have the best reporters, including yourself.
AUBURN, Wash. -- Conservative bias in the media? Hogwarsh!
SAN FRANCISCO -- The war in Iraq will be a two-front war. One against Iraq - and one against the American people. This war is nothing but a cover-up to distract attention from the fact that Bush and his corporate buddies are looting the American people. It is also a ploy to take away our freedoms and liberties and turn America into a Communist-like country. Our allies fear us, as well they should. We are a nation gone mad. We are now the bad guys. This war is so dishonest that it shocks the mind. I cannot live this lie.
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 8, 2001 -- Your recent article by Randolph Holhut, "The War Racket Lives On," (AR, No. 2011) cited Bechtel among 24 U.S. companies that (in his words) "illegally aided Iraq's nation's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs in the 1980s," according to a German newspaper report.
HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 8, 2001 -- I am very confused. How can any American in their right mind not want a tax cut? And when did the Democrats care more about "their party" over We The People?
CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 8, 2003 -- I make a difference in the lives of children. I teach kindergarten, for most children the first experience of school. I build the foundation for all future learning my students will experience. Everyday I get at least twenty hugs from little people who depend on me to provide a safe, caring, and stimulating environment for them to learn to read, to count, and to be a caring, compassionate person. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a child, and knowing that my students love me and can't wait to come to school everyday to be with me, to sing with me, to talk to me, and to play with me is a dream come true.
LOS ANGELES -- None of us ever knows when Death is coming. September 11th told us that. Act as if today is your last day. This idea is registering in our collective psyches more than before. I walk the streets of LA, seeing extensions of kindness where once there were none. Has our sense of ethics, lying rusty and dormant, been reawakened? The plethora of tragedy created a new spirit of generosity. Our national resolve, shaken, became imbued with a sense of gratitude that we are not victims, not forsaken. We are Americans. We help one another.
WEST BEND, Wisc. -- I believe we should establish a national monument at the 9/11 crash site of United Airlines Flight 93, Somerset County, Pa., to honor all the victims of terrorism in America.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- I am writing to draw your attention to our Web site, Cubanos.org.
ELK GROVE, Calif. -- I would like to express my anguish at the devilish attacks on the civilian American targets. Please accept my sympathy for the families of the victims.
NEW DELHI -- Thanks, Joe, that ("The Future is Streaming," by Joe Shea, AR, No. 1615) is a great article, and I share your enthusiasm for streaming, particularly its ability to evade government control - very important in the developing world.
SULPHUR, Okla. -- I have been so shocked and very angry at seeing how the price of gas has been shooting up for no more reason than just to make a profit. The profit margins are so fat this year -- over 44% more than last year. They use the excuse that the demand is greater than the supply. But OPEC is still selling the same amount of oil as they have been for several months and at the same prices, too.
CONIFER,Colo.-- The following letter is being sent to all members of Congress.
DALLAS, Texas -- I just read Mr. Brown's intellectual musings ("Ichiro, Kazu and I," by Clarence Brown, AR No. 1568) in which he dismissed Arlington, Texas. I suppose that is because it is a blue-collar town in which working people live. Too bad they are not all a bunch of ivory-tower drones sitting around discussing Chaucer.
LOS ANGELES -- Well, young man, one could hardly hold up your article ("Kerrey & Kerry: Two Faces of Vietnam," by Joe Shea, AR No. 1576W) as a model of unbiased reporting. And it certainly illustrates unmitigated gall to call a Medal of Honor winner a "shameless coward." Your article relects consumate lack of journalistic expertise by presenting as fact accounts heard in second- or third-hand relation.
LOS ANGELES -- I appreciate your conscience and courage for reporting on the Armenian Genocide ("Curing the Chechen Madness," by Joe Shea, AR No. 1572).
LOS ANGELES -- Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to write this beautiful article ("Curing the Chechen Madness," by Joe Shea, AR No. 1572). It is truly very painful to see the United States looking at a conflict like this with negligent views.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Thanksgiving is over, so in keeping with a Make My Day tradition, we are reprinting Erik Decker's "'Twas the Month Before Christmas" column.
NEW YORK -- Colombian journalist Ignacio Gomez told a roomful of America's most influential journalists Tuesday how Washington-supported Colombian president Alvaro Uribe is connected to drug traffickers and how U.S. military trainers helped organize a massacre in his country.
WASHINGTON -- Listeners don't get much news these days if they tune into commercial radio stations. Coverage of national and global events is scant at best, while local news - once the pride of many AM radio stations - is now an endangered species. The remaining community news is usually the "rip and read" variety from wire services.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As the holiday season begins, no visions of sugarplums dance in my head; revenge fantasies seem to have taken their place.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- In 1951, after I'd gone through the full course of infantry basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC, where I learned to dismantle and reassemble an M-1 rifle while blindfolded, throw a live grenade without turning myself or any of my buddies into catsmeat, crawl through the sand on my belly at night, inches beneath tracer bullets from machine guns of notorious inaccuracy, and do other things that the Army wanted me to be better at a few months later in Korea, the brass got down to looking at the battery of tests I'd taken on induction.
NEW DELHI, Nov. 24, 2002 (7:55 am EST) -- Repeating a recent assault, militants attacked the famous Raghunath shrine in Jammu a second time Sunday and left 11 dead and many wounded in their wake.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., Nov. 25, 2002 -- Kevin Kline's new Thanksgiving-week flick, "The Emperor's Club," won't beat Harry Potter or James Bond at the box office, but perhaps it should be mandatory viewing in the front office.
SAN DIEGO -- One thing I learned from reading the psychological classic, "Listening to Prozac," years ago was that the physiological effects of stress and trauma are cumulative.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. - We got a preview of what the 108th Congress is going to be like with the Republicans' performance in ramming the Homeland Security Act through this month's lame duck session.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- When I was growing up, I thought I was the only Erik Deckers on Earth (my friends and family hoped for the same).
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Someone told me that Prozac sales have gone up 25 percent since the elections, and while I'm not surprised, I don't intend to medicate myself with drugs or marinate myself in sorrow as I watch my country prepare for repression at home and destruction abroad. Instead, I'm going to take my cue from the great singer, songwriter and poet Greg Brown, and revel in love and knowledge.
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 21, 2002 -- A California Court of Appeal dealt a "devastating" setback to the Walt Disney Co. Wednesday when it refused to consider the studio's appeal from harsh sanctions levied by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige for its destruction of thousands of documents in a billion-dollar lawsuit over royalties due to Stephen Slesinger Inc., the owners of Winnie the Pooh commerical rights for the U.S. and Canada.
IT'S UNILATERAL POWER - BY ANY OTHER NAME
WASHINGTON -- Ever since the U.N. Security Council adopted its resolution about Iraq on Nov. 8, American politicians and journalists have been hailing the unanimous vote as a huge victory for international cooperation instead of unilateral action. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was close to ecstatic. "For a brief, shining moment last Friday," he wrote, "the world didn't seem like such a crazy place." The United Nations had proven its worth - by proving its value to Washington. Among the benefits: "The Bush team discovered that the best way to legitimize its overwhelming might - in a war of choice - was not by simply imposing it, but by channeling it through the U.N."
SEATTLE, Wash. -- My journal from 11.09.02 reads in part: I cannot decide whether I'm going to church tomorrow or not. The bulletin says there will be no sermon - just declarations by young people (adolescents) about their views on the possibility of war with Iraq. This is important, and I daresay it would move me to tears, but it is not worship. Could we not find some other time for politics? (Still small voice: OK, CB, and if we found some other time, would you be there?) Shut up! The current crisis is distracting us from the eternal crisis of salvation, justification, atonement.
NEW YORK -- Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG), the world's second largest financial conglomerate, had a successful sojourn on Capitol Hill recently. He persuaded the leaders of Congress that U.S. taxpayers ought to give insurance companies a multi-billion handout in the event of losses ascribed to terrorism.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Any day is a good day at Universal Studios Orlando and so it was just that when Tom and Stefanie waited out the rain by playing cards under a canopy. Their 10-year old son tinkered in an arcade nearby, feeding quarters into the slot that started a mechanical hand holding a claw able to grip a prize -- but you had to be quick.
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 16, 2002 -- The heiress to a potential billion-dollar fortune generated by royalties from Winnie the Pooh today slammed a new lawsuit over rights to the beloved bear filed Nov. 5 in Federal court by the Walt Disney Co., and a renowned copyright attorney says Disney's claims that it has an agreement to recapture her rights violates copyright law.
SAN DIEGO -- I was out in the front yard of one of my patient's recently when an elderly couple out for a walk stopped to talk. They inquired about my patient's health and eventually began to tell me about theirs. They appeared to be in their early 70s and still very much enjoying life.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush got everything he wanted from the United Nations Security Council when it acquiesced to his desire to get a multinational imprimatur for Persian Gulf War II.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The author and the publisher could agree upon only one thing - neither of them wanted 50,000 copies of the author's book to be in a 146,000-square-foot warehouse in Williamsport, Pa. Michael Moore, the author, wanted the publisher to start distributing Stupid White Men and Other Excuses for the State of the Nation. ReganBooks, the publisher, wanted to pulp them.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- There's one reason we columnists do what we do (no, the other thing). There's one reason we churn out columns every week for little or no pay. We don't do it for money, glory, or the adoring fans who gush and squeal like 12-year-old girls at an N'Sync concert.
WASHINGTON -- Imagine that you're at the ceremonial opening of a time capsule, half a century after some forward-looking Americans sealed it during a multimedia festival just before Thanksgiving 2002.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Most analyses of the recent elections sugar down to blame.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- My Princeton friend and financial advisor, Sam Arnold, of the firm of Smith Barney, Paine Webber, no less solicitous of my journalistic than of my fiscal welfare, sent me a piece from the New York Times recently.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The ghost in the kitchen is there whenever adults gather together around a table set for Thanksgiving Dinner, the spirit of the one who graced the kitchens of their childhoods. It doesn't matter if the diners are siblings sharing the same thoughts, or friends, or strangers at a soup kitchen in the inner city, or travelers stopping in a restaurant for the "Thanksgiving Special" - their ghosts are there.
OUR STRUGGLE AGAINST INTERNET CENSORSHIP
Thank you very much for that introduction, Dan. I have to tell you that your invitation came as a bolt out of the blue for me.
SAN DIEGO -- Most of the older couples I know fight like cats and dogs. To live so long together is a blessing and at times a curse.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Do Americans really want what could be decades of perpetual global war, starting with Iraq?
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Warren Zevon is dying the way he lived: without tears.
WASHINGTON -- With Republicans gaining control of the Senate, few analysts doubt that 9-11 set the stage for President George W. Bush to lead his party to victory. Fourteen months ago, in the national media vortex, a president widely perceived as simple-minded and problematic suddenly became inspirational.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Dale, my sauna buddy, the installer of acoustical wall and ceiling panels, said the other day that he could not get over the amazing weather we've been having. In the fall it's normally bad, gloomy and rainy all the time, he said. But we are in what passes here for a drought. Under brilliantly blue skies I have to keep watering the ornamentals if not the lawn.
BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 6, 2002 -- Little did the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) know that his own wake could have been the catalyst for sparking a bull stock market rally.
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 5, 2002 -- In a stunning announcement, the Walt Disney Co. Monday declared Monday that it had struck a deal under the 1998 revision of the U.S. Copyright Act with two English heirs of Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard to have the two recapture rights to the world's most popular bear from the American heirs of a literary agent who owned them for more than 72 years and then sell them to Disney in 2004.
LOS ANGELES, NOV. 5, 2002 - A well-known activist for Jewish causes facing life in prison may have used a longtime friend to warn the Los Angeles City Council in advance of a coming attempt to kill himself.
NEW DELHI, November 3, 2002 -- Two suspected terrorists believed to belong to the Lashkar-e-Taiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammed groups of radical Islamic fundamentalists struck India's capital again today. This time, their target was a posh and glitzy South Delhi mall, Ansal Plaza, known to attract Indians in large numbers.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- If I voted for a woman candidate for no other reason than her pro-feminist leanings, I would waste my vote. But I have on occasion voted against both a woman and a man if I knew their agendas didn't meet my personal take on morality.
SAN DIEGO -- The tall, cantankerous Navy captain had been on my mind for months. I last seen him last polking his cane at me though a half-open door yelling, "Godammit, I said, get outta here!" I didn't argue with him.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The signs posted in dressing rooms of major department stores cannot be ignored. The bold red letters proclaim SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED, and there is no doubt they mean it. There is the suggestion of cameras and peep holes, but only overtly -- privacy laws prohibit such an invasion where customers are in a state of undress.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone had more guts and integrity than almost any other member of Congress. He was not ashamed to be a liberal and a Democrat and stayed true to the progressive cause when other Democrats rushed to the middle of the road.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Now that the police believe they have in custody the Suburban Sniper, President George W. Bush can once again try to get the people to focus on his message that as many as 24 million Iraqis need to be wiped off the earth in order to destroy Saddam Hussein and avenge the uncompleted work of George the Elder.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Hello, I'm Claire Townsend, and I'm running for U.S. Representative. I'll fight for the citizens of this state, and I won't take money from special interest lobbyists whose goal is to line their pockets and take away your rights.
I didn't own a television for 35 years until this summer, so when things happen suddenly in movies I still react - I scream or duck or throw up my hands.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Like many people, I've been wrestling with the so-called "spoiler" question ever since the 2000 presidential election. If a vote for Ralph Nader was really a vote for candidate George W. Bush, as we were warned throughout the campaign, then shouldn't I have voted for Vice President Al Gore? Even though I didn't think very much of him?
WASHINGTON -- Marketing a war is serious business. And no product requires better brand names than one that squanders vast quantities of resources while intentionally killing large numbers of people.
SAN DIEGO -- I have nothing but praise for the efforts of law enforcement authorities and agencies in apprehending John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo, the suspected D.C. area snipers. It would be easy to criticize police for unknowingly having the suspects their hands for traffic citations, etc., but letting them go.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The gym to which I repair every afternoon for an hour of huffing, puffing, and perspiring is not large. The men's locker room measures some 10 x 30 feet, with 70 lockers, three benches, and two lavatories, plus showers and a small sauna, the latter large enough for about five people.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was so long ago I heard it, I've had time to see if it's true. It was just a simple line said to have come from the Torah (the first of the three divisions of the Old Testament), as explained by a Jewish friend: "A baby is born with fists clenched, wanting everything; A man dies with hands falling open, wanting nothing."
SAN DIEGO -- And angel named Greg who fixed sprinklers and liked Grand Funk Railroad in high school. An angel named Bob who did tai chi and became a legend in experimental theater. Angels and Bushmen, stragglers from "Montgomery." My Montgomery. Code word for the past.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What has happened to your legal rights since Sept. 11, 2001?
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Despite President Bush's outright lie that when it comes to war with Iraq, "America speaks with one voice," the anti-war movement has been steadily growing.
WASHINGTON -- You can't call it an October surprise. Late in the month, with Election Day not far off, the television news channels have been true to form.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., Oct. 25, 2002 -- The end of October is a good time to reflect on Wall Street's history, and there are plenty of recent headlines which will make the academics scratch their heads in years to come.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from a couple years ago.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- When the Mariners faded this year, I thought, well, I can go back to rooting for the Yankees.
HOLLYWOOD -- The woods are trembling tonight, the leaves in a shiver and the birds choked silent while a killer stalks a strange and somber capitol to right a terrible mistake. Once again "X" marks the spot as the toll hits 10. The night of Michaelmas is past, a stolen horse returns, and in the waiting silence as a mark is about to cross the sights of a sniper's rifle, its bore on this eleventh victim, it may be time to stop. Or maybe not; just ahead is the darkest evening of the year, and perhaps more of the unknown God who is Death. Do not fold, Spindle or mutilate - oops, too late.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 21, 2002 -- As suggested here last February, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige has now ordered a new accounting of royalties paid by the Walt Disney Co. to the owners of commercial rights to Winnie the Pooh, the studio's hottest-selling character. The judge finalized a ruling Friday that accused the accountants appointed by the court of bias against the owners of the Pooh rights.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In a nutshell, those qualities of life we all have in common are what define human nature. I get hungry, you get hungry; I get thirsty, you get thirsty; I get tired, you get tired; I get lonely, you get lonely.
SAN DIEGO -- Starvation, dehydration, and bedsores are daily occurrences at these hellholes. The weak and helpless are beaten and often abused, and some are even raped. Are we talking of Japanese prisoner-of-war camps? No, but right here in ours - and to a different kind of POW: our own elderly parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers, sisters and friends in nursing homes.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- About the only good thing you can say about Congress' abrogation of its constitutional duties in giving the Bush administration a blank check for a war with Iraq is that the vote wasn't unanimous.
WASHINGTON -- Before decisions get made in Washington - and even before mostpoliticians open their mouths about key issues - there are polls. Lots of them. Whether splashed across front pages or commissioned by candidates for private analysis, the statistical sampling of public opinion is a constant in political life.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Biopsy is one of the ugliest words in the dictionary. Benign is one of the most beautiful.
SEATTLE -- My cousin, Dr. Michael Watson, MD, of Bamberg, South Carolina, recently retired from 48 years of practice at the age of 76.
EVEN AFTER BALI, SENSE OF DENIAL PERSISTS
JAKARTA, Oct. 15, 2002 -- In Jakarta on Monday everybody talked about the Bali bombing, from nice-looking television anchors in their studios to street vendors in the crowded streets of Jakarta. But what surprised me was that many of them subscribed to the conspiracy theory that the bombing was done by "American agents."
JAKARTA, Oct. 14, 2002 -- An Islamic militant with suspected ties to al-Qaida who became an immediate suspect after a deadly car bomb exploded outside two popular nightclubs packed with foreign tourists on the island of Bali said Sunday he and other Islamic clerics blame "American agents" for the blast.
JAKARTA, Oct. 13, 2002 -- Three bomb blasts that killed 216 people, most of them foreign tourists in Bali, were a wake-up call for many Indonesians who may have been slow to recognize that terrorists pose a real and deadly threat in the world's largest Muslim country.
JAKARTA, Oct. 13, 2002 -- Indonesia was back in the world's newspaper headlines Sunday after three bombs exploded separately in two Indonesian cities, including a powerful car bomb that blasted the famous Kuta Beach in Bali and killed 216 people and injured almost, most of them Australians and other foreign tourists.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- More of my ideas for a column come from overhearing conversations at a coffee shop than from the Muse sitting on my shoulder.
SAN DIEGO -- According to an article in the Washington Post a few years back, about 70 percent of people over 50 reported taking vitamins, minerals, and or herbal medicines. In 2000, this trend accounted for $7.2 billion a year in sales, according to one market research firm that tracks health and wellness markets.
SAN DIEGO -- Some people take a measure of pride in it, as if it were a "badge." Twisted husbands intimidate their families with it. Frazzled wives, following the impulses of a dissociative state, endanger their children because of it. Urban motorists, terrorists, anarchists and even presidents "play" a deadly game because of it.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If ever there was a moment that is ripe for political change in America, it is now.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- On Sept. 18, 2002, a federal security agency released a long-awaited draft containing recommendations for protecting the nation's computers and networks from attack.
WASHINGTON -- Many news stories and commentaries have marveled at the failure of Democrats to seize the high political ground this fall. With the nation's economic stride continuing to falter under a Republican president, the main opposition party should be cruising for a triumph in the midterm elections. Instead, the Democratic Party may be lucky to hold its own in the House and Senate.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Fans of certain sports teams have well-deserved reputations of being obnoxious and outlandish because of their antics in the stands.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10, 2002 -- The Los Angeles Times today cited "aggressive questioning" that "flustered" a candidate at a post-debate news conference Monday for tipping the balance of the California gubernatorial race towards incumbent Gov. Gray Davis after alleged photographic evidence of a crime by the governor, reluctantly proffered by the candidate, proved to be false.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Just how loudly can you shout, "The Emperor has no clothes?"
SEATTLE,Wash. -- The huge thought for today is inspired by a book entitled "God, Chance, and Necessity," by Keith Ward (1996). He is Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford and a member of the Society of Ordained Scientists.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8 -- After a tame debate that drew few viewers, California Gov. Gray Davis and millionaire GOP challenger Bill Simon met a goodly portion of the press excluded from Monday's event - and the excitement began.
SAN DIEGO -- Every three weeks I let her needle me. Little tiny needles wrapped in paper looking like miniature chopsticks which she taps in and twists just till my chi sings. You can feel it grabbing hold of the ethereal body through meridians that run throughout your body like miles of invisible electrical cords. Or so I imagine.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's always the family trying to do right by the loved one -- that same loved one who never did right for himself while he still could. It was his life, he could do what he wanted to while he lived it ... as long as it didn't hurt anyone else.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., Oct. 8, 2002 -- I thought I heard George Bush loud and clear one year ago, "America is at war." I even noticed 3,000 Americans were killed at their desks, riding on planes, or trying to help others.
WASHINGTON -- News coverage of the United Nations gets confusing sometimes. Is the U.N. a vital institution or a dysfunctional relic? Are its Security Council resolutions profoundly important for international relations - or beside the point because global leadership must now come from the world's only superpower?
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- A couple months ago, I wrote about Caesar Barber, the Brooklyn, New York maintenance worker who is suing McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC, claiming they didn't warn him that eating their food four or five times a week for four decades would make him fat.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It was a statement that would naturally get the Bush administration and its lapdogs in the news media upset, but there was more than a little truth in it.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In 1957, Jacques Brel wrote a song called "La Colombe." It was translated into English by Alasdair Clayre and recorded in the mid-'60s by Judy Collins. The chorus, sung in an angry, piercing, taunting voice, goes: "The dove has torn her wings so no more songs of love. We are not here to sing. We're here to kill the dove."
SEATTLE -- Our feathered friends can be wonderful instructors in the subtleties of life.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In Mishawaka, Ind., last month, there was an act of great anger, great violence, against a four-year old child as her mother smacked her around, pulled her hair and pummeled her as the child sat in a car seat in the back of an SUV. The 30 seconds on videotape stirred every heart in every culture around the world.
SAN DIEGO -- I give up. I cannot find geriatric nudist camps anywhere.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Who can respond most effectively to the threats of terrorism - the people or the government?
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Two weeks before Christmas 1990, we received a duffel bag in the mail: 32 pounds of dirty civilian clothes and freshly-creased never-worn Class A uniforms, cassette tapes, souvenirs from Japan, about five dollars in pennies, a combat helmet--and a set of dog-tags.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Owing to recent international events, airports around the world have tightened security, making sure planes and passengers are safe from terrorists and hijackers. As a result, many people have been caught carrying things they shouldn't onto the plane.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As every reporter knows, the good stuff comes when the interview is over. That's when a suddenly-lowered voice says, "By the way, off the record...", followed by whatever lie or character assassination the interviewee wants to spread.
WASHINGTON -- You might remember the old movie "Twelve Angry Men," starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb and E.G. Marshall. Most of the drama takes place inside a jury room as a dozen people deliberate at the end of a murder trial. It's sweltering hot. At the outset, most of the jurors are eager to render a guilty verdict and go home. As the story unfolds, viewers learn that some are influenced by prejudice against the dark-skinned defendant.
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia. 10 April, 2005 -- Thanks again to Canada for providing refuge, as it has so often done!
NEW DELHI, Sept. 24 -- Terrorists struck the main Hindu temple in Gujarat's western capital city of Gandhinagar in the late hours of evening today as hundreds of devotees said their prayers, blasting their way into the the pink sandstone Akshardham Temple in a white Indian-made Ambassador sedan while hurling grenades and firing indiscriminately at helpless people who had been praying there.
HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 24, 2002 -- The Walt Disney Co. came to our house today, not with Mickey Mouse and Pocahontas and a silly grin, but in a dirty T-shirt with a foreign accent, a pile of ancient contracts and old newspaper articles under one arm, all attached to subpoenas for me and my wife.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- No doubt about it: it's nice to commune with nature. But to put it on my calendar as something I plan to do, well, it's not my style. But, every once in a while, always when I least expect it, nature comes to me.
NEW DELHI, Sept. 23, 2002 -- Abu Salem, aka Abdul Salem Ansari, 41, the dreaded underworld don of India wanted in more than 60 cases of murder, attempted murder, extortion and abduction was arrested in Lisbon, Portugal by the European police agency Interpol on Sept. 18, officials here say. He was arrested along with his wife, Bollywood actress Monica Bedi for travelling on forged documents. Both Indian law enforcement and the American FBI believe he played a role in funding al-Qaida terrorism.
BAGHDAD -- When Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz described the box that Washington has meticulously constructed for Iraq, he put it this way: "Doomed if you do, doomed if you don't."
NABLUS, Israel, Sept. 22, 2002 -- The putrid smell of garbage litters the streets of Nablus along with debris of broken roads and shattered dreams. A starving people, sidelined to their homes, are running out of hope.
SAN DIEGO -- Most of us know what is meant when we say that we have had or need to have "the talk" with our kids. But there is another time to have "the talk" and this time the topic is not the birds and the bees but something that is of equal importance and which causes maybe even greater discomfort: "the talk" about death.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's now official. The United States now reserves the right to attack any nation at any time for any reason.
HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 20, 2002 -- Joe Shea, the Editor-in-Chief of The American Reporter who broke most of the major stories in the epic struggle betwen the Walt Disney Co. and Stephen Slesinger Inc. over rights to Winnie the Pooh, will be subpoenaed to provide a deposition by the Walt Disney Co., a Disney lawyer said Thursday, bringing to two the number of journalists the company has embroiled in the long-running and complex case.
KATHMANDU, Sept. 17 -- President George W. Bush has told Nepal's government that with perseverance and courage terrorism will be defeated completely, and the world will be freed of the menace.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- We've all been told that crime doesn't pay, and for the most part, that's true.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It happened to be a lovely September day in New York City - warm air, blue sky, a few puffy white clouds. It was Sept. 6, 2002, but to me every plane flying overhead looked as if it was ready to attack a building. To me, every plane looked like a shark swimming across the sky.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The very large playing field that separates my house from the Whitman Middle School provides constant entertainment for a people-watcher. The multilane track that surrounds it seems to encourage every known form of human and animal perambulation.
SAN DIEGO -- At the end of September last year I was talking with a geriatric psychiatrist who described her first group meeting with the families of Alzheimer patients after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. She thought they'd want to talk about how they felt.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- On those hot summer days of our teenage years, we'd sit around the ice-cream parlor convincing ourselves the fans overhead were doing something that made it far better to be inside than out.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is the United States - the most economically and militarily powerful nation ever - sustainable?
EL VALLE DE ANTON, COCLE, Panama, Sept. 13, 2002 -- With apologies to John Le Carre and a grade B movie starring Pierce Brosnan, we take you now to Panama's sleaziest, but largest-circulation newspaper, for advice on business, life, and the human spirit, as told by the real "Tailor of Panama."
WASHINGTON -- It's always a challenge to see ourselves as others see us - and that's especially true for citizens of the world's only superpower. But we might be truly startled to recognize a mirror-image of the kind of reporting that we take for granted.
NEW DELHI, Sept. 11, 2002 -- A luxury express train jumped the tracks on a bridge over a river in eastern India on Monday night, killing 106 people according to latest reports with one minister also saying that it could have been an act of sabotage.
DUMMERSTON, VT. -- How is it possible to fall in love with a movie when the acting is dreadful and the storyline is confused, stale and predictable? I don't know, but it just happened to me.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Do as I say, not as I do," was one thing my dad was fond of saying when I was a kid. While he never actually directed it toward me -- he held himself to the same standard he held me to - he said it to illustrate how people had double-standards, and expected others to live by their rules, while refusing to live by them themselves.
Anniversary of Horror
BRAVE NEW CYBERWORLD: POLICY AND THE INTERNET ONE YEAR LATER
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. -- The attacks of Sept. 11, one year ago, not only left thousands of bereaved families but invoked in everyone a fundamental human anxiety. It cut through all psychological denial and left us facing our terrible vulnerability. And immediately, the question came up of the vulnerability of the world's computers, networks, and complex information systems.
SAN FRANCISCO -- When I was about 10 years old my family went on a three-day trip to New York City, about three hours south from my home in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.
SAN DIEGO -- "These are times that try men's souls," wrote Thomas Paine in the Crisis Papers of 1776. Those words were written long before jet airplanes, and oil and Huntington's famous "clash of civilizations," before the Twin Towers were even a gleam in a young republic's eye.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There is a correlation between the rapidly boiling water and its benefit to the soul. Mama's face went from worn and weary to glowing as the steam rose from the china cup she held in her gnarled hands. At. that moment, she would say "There's nothing like a good cup of tea," though she had yet to sip her delectable brew.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I hear the bold talk from the hawks in the Bush administration about attacking Iraq, the infantryman in me shudders.
WASHINGTON -- There's something pathetic - and dangerous - about the crush of liberal commentators now pinning their hopes on Colin Powell.
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4, 2002 -- A little-noticed report by the Los Angeles Times on the ethnic makeup of post-secession Los Angeles shows that the African-American population in the new Los Angeles would increase by 43.5 percent if both Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley are allowed to become new cities, and by 35 percent if only the Valley secedes, an American Reporter analysis shows (see the Linux Public Broadcasting Network for a streaming video interview about the story).
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's an age old problem, affecting men and women, young and old, smart and stupid. There's 1) what they should have said (or wanted to say), and 2) what they did say.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- You know how sometimes you see something completely unexpected and your brain tries to turn it into what you think you should be seeing there, and it takes a little time to realize that you're seeing something absolutely new?
WASHINGTON -- With so much attention on the floundering economy and terrorism at home, who'd guess that the contentious issue of Internet file-sharing would shake up the otherwise conservative politicking of North Carolina's 6th Congressional District.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Dr. Soup, who never saw an iced drink he didn't like, has been inspired by his refrigerator to invent a new and much more efficient way of dealing with the irksome congestion that the flying public must endure on the ground, once the plane has landed.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Why were we so surprised we all came together as one? Are we not the melting pot where individual origins dissolve into a common bond? Nobody met in committee to decide what the neighborhood should do. We just rose from our complacency and hit the floor running. Flags flew from the most unlikely places - and I mean instantly.
SAN DIEGO -- It is Sunday and I am in my favorite church. Holy Mount Zion, my humble casa, the home of quiet and content, of gratitude for fruit, morning papers, coffee. Simple things. Like the ordinary amazement of breathing. I am not seeking anything but what is already here.
An A.R. Exclusive
BERMAN NOT SOLD ON ALLOWING CORPORATE HACKERS
WASHINGTON, August 30, 2002 -- Democratic Congressman Howard Berman of California, author of a controversial Internet copyright bill that would allow some corporations to hack into private computers and destroy copyrighted materials such as music CDs and movie DVDs, told The American Reporter on Friday that he does not plan to seek passage of the bill in Congress this year.
NEW DELHI, Aug. 31, 2002 -- Veerappan, the dreaded smuggler and bandit of South India known as the "Jungle Rat" for his elusive hideouts, has struck again - this time hitting out at a prominent politican in South India.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We have heard it often over the past year. Our nation has changed since that warm, clear late summer day last September when an outrageously blue sky was transformed into a color palate of horror - the bright orange of burning aviation fuel, the black smoke of offices aflame, the pink mist of blood and gore falling from 100 stories up, the gray cloud of debris from the collapsing World Trade Center sweeping down city streets like a hurricane's storm surge.
HOLLYWOOD, Aug. 31, 2002 -- Hollywood residents who have long complained about the voluminous traffic and crowds that keep them from their homes and slow or stop emergency vehicles' access to them were proved right Friday night, when a task force of Hollywood LAPD and California Highway Patrol officers found themselves in the middle of a riot at about 1 a.m. Saturday morning and traffic backed up for miles in both directions.
WASHINGTON -- Labor Day may be a fitting tribute to America's workers. But what about the other 364 days of the year? Despite all the talk about the importance and dignity of working people, they get little power or glory in the everyday world of news media.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It was a quiet day on the home front, so I called my mother in Ft. Lauderdale to see how things were going down there. As it turned out, she was both shaken and stirred.
KATHMANDU, Aug. 27 -- Despite growing tensions in South Asia due to the mobilization of about 1,000,000 soldiers by India and Pakistan, a meeting of South Asian foreign ministers held here in the Nepalese capital last week brought the two nuclear rivals closer to resolving their differences, senior officials said in Kathmandu. Topping the list of accomplishments was an Indian commitment to attend a January summit on regional issues - thought not the bilateral dispute - in Pakistan.
NEW DELHI, August 25, 2002 -- The forthcoming general state elections in Jammu and Kashmir in September have embroiled not only the two newly-nuclear South Asian powers - India and Pakistan - but also the entire international community in a sea of confusion.
SAN DIEGO -- So many of my patients are overwhelmed with life. I empathize with them deeply. ""The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Henry Daviod Thoreau said." He was smart.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's almost a sacrilege to live on this island and not care one wit about golf. In fact, one of the local jokes is "St. Simons is a nice little drinking island with a golfing problem." So, it was no surprise that John was looking over my shoulder to catch the suspenseful final round of the International Golf Tournament.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Rob Morse, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, recently pointed out that it may already be too late for Congress to put the brakes on the impending U.S. attack on Iraq - even as President Bush declares he won't do anything precipitous and now claims he's open to non-military approaches.
WASHINGTON -- Some people are suspicious that President Bush will go for a "wag the dog" strategy -- boosting Republican prospects with a military assault on Iraq shortly before Election Day. But a modified approach now seems to be underway. Let's call it "wag the puppy."
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Ever since the ring came in the mail I've been talking to it.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Warning: The next time you're going somewhere, before you even get in your car, call your neighbors and ask if they saw anyone crawl under the car. Next, get on your hands and knees to see if anyone is under there. Finally, ask in a loud, clear voice: "Is there anyone laying under my car?!"
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Some readers of Ink Soup will recall, and others will generously believe, that I was once the Cartoon Editor of the old Saturday Review, a magazine that is no longer with us, though God knows I tried!
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Aug. 20, 2002 -- Joyce Marcel, the longtime author of the acclaimed "Momentum" column, has been named editor of the growing American Arts section of the paper, American Reporter Editor-in-Chief Joe Shea announced in Hollywood today.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was startling to see the surveillance films from Wal-mart's parking lot showing a kidnapping in progress, the perpetrator speeding off, the distraught mother trying to hold onto the car carrying her baby until she, scraped and bruised, fell away. I was surprised to see the short video but not disappointed. We know such cameras exist but mumble about rights of privacy.
SAN DIEGO -- California is the only state in the nation that has a law regarding patient-staff ratios in nursing homes. Or so I thought until last weekend.
KATHMANDU, Nepal, Aug. 18, 2002 -- Nepal's press freedom, restored with the establishment of democracy in 1990, has been endangered since the imposition of the state of emergency to crush Maoist violence last November, Nepali journalists told The American Reporter.
NEW DELHI, Aug. 18, 2002 -- He might be called the Matt Drudge of India. But unlike the man who broke the story of President Bill Clinton's sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, the founder of the investigative Web news portal Tehelka.com, Tarun Jit Tejpal, is now facing the government's wrath for his reporting.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the "war on terror," Saudi Arabia is supposed to be on the side of America.
WASHINGTON -- Now that the deadline has passed for hundreds of top corporate executives to certify the truthfulness of their financial books, we may expect more honest accounting in the future. But what if the heads of major firms were compelled to engage in other types of candor?
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Forget what you've heard about the President of the United States being the "leader of the free world." Forget that he's the leader of the largest economy and most technologically advanced nation on the planet. President George Walker Bush -- or any U.S. president for that matter -- has never had as much power as Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As America braces for the inevitable flood of sanctimony and sentimentality that will accompany the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bruce Springsteen has come along to reawaken our buried feelings about that hideous day.
SEATTLE -- Among all the purveyors of advice with whom America is blessed, none are more revered for their wisdom and read for their enjoyment than the venerable Dr. Soup, whose immediate whereabouts, perhaps happily, are unknown.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There's nothing in my recent memory to match the joy of installing our new screen door. You can't see it, you can't slam it, and, except for trying to walk through it, it's a truly marvelous invention aptly called The Phantom Door.
SAN DIEGO -- One of the most important things caregivers can do is take care of themselves. That is often the hardest for us to do. Taking care of others comes naturally. Taking care of ourselves, now that is a more difficult task.
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 10, 2002 -- Lawmakers in California's state assembly are stuck in a partisan stalemate over a controversial budget plan to help remedy the state's $23.6 billion deficit.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Before President Bush decides to get us into another war with Iraq, perhaps he and others in his administration ought to start answering some questions about the conduct thus far of the "war on terror."
WASHINGTON -- To fend off the threat of peace, determination is necessary. Elected officials and high-level appointees must work effectively with reporters and pundits.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- The news was enough to make any self-respecting, beer-swilling Guy clap his hands and squeal like a twelve year old girl at a Britney Spears concert.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When your loved ones ask you to help them kill themselves, rest assured that it's going to hurt you at least as much as it hurts them.
NEW DELHI, August 7, 2002 -- Meena Kumar livess in the heart of New Delhi, India's capital, and with her colony experiencing no electricity cuts and constant water supply, used to have a lot to brag about. But now her two children, 8 and 12 years old, are pressuring their mother to move, as things aren't the same anymore. The Kumar family hasn't had water for more than 45 minutes a day for three months, and has had to settle for one cooked meal daily.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., Aug. 7. 2002 -- I'm not an investment banker in Uruguay nor do I play one on television. But what if - just what if, I'm on to something here?
KATHMANDU, August 6, 2000 -- Nepalese living in the United States and Canada are very much concerned about the threat to multi-party democracy due to the Maoist violence and splits in the political parties in Nepal, they have told the American Reporter.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Usually, it takes years, even decades, for a political leader to develop his legacy. President George W. Bush, over-achiever that he is, has done it in about 18 months. And, there's still two and one-half years left for him to expand that legacy.
SEATTLE, Wash. - I die and wake up in ... some other place. A figure approaches me, a smallish man, bearded, with a fringe of reddish brown hair and a kindly expression.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - My tunnel vision is growing dim. As a child, I became aware of the magic of books, theater, movies, television ... and through tunnel vision I entered the captivating scenes. I could zoom in and enjoy what was before me for what it was. I looked neither left nor right. Peripheral vision was blocked while I focused a few hours upon what became real.20
SAN DIEGO -- Here we go again. I only played the role of Joan of Arc once and I had to drink half a bottle of Sherry to get on stage. I don't remember much about the performance but my mother said I was good.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There were no surprises at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearings on what appears to be an increasingly inevitable war with Iraq.
WASHINGTON -- Three and a half years ago, some key information about United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq briefly surfaced on the front pages of American newspapers -- and promptly vanished. Now, with righteous war drums beating loudly in Washington, let's reach deep down into the news media's Orwellian memory hole and retrieve the story.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2002 -- Outrage on Capitol Hill is growing against President George Bush for attempting to weaken provisions of a sweeping corporate reform bill he signed into law on Tuesday.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I thought it was only a joke at first, but further research shows it to be completely true.
BOCA RATON, Fla., Aug. 1, 2002 -- Fundamental and technical realities are now in place on Wall Street and Main Street for an economic recovery in the remainder of 2002 which recoups much of the earlier year's losses.
ALL FOLKED OUT
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Everyone is abuzz about Bob Dylan playing at the Newport Folk Festival this weekend, but no matter what happened back in 1965, it's really no big deal. Dylan will play anywhere. A few years ago, you could barely go to a bar mitzvah without hearing him and his boys do a set. But I just came back from the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and no matter what happens in Newport, my opinion is that folk music is all folked out.
NEW DELHI -- Amid the blaring horns and crowds of people around Connaught Circle in central New Delhi, the tall, thin man crossing the street at a leisurely pace went nearly unnoticed. As he wandered into the park and passed Indians enjoying some ice cream or just lying in the sun, no one paid any attention. He finally sat down by the park's central fountain and began smoking bits of hashish in a stone chilam, a small pipe held in the palm of one hand. Still, no one took note except for one obviously Western tourist, who quickly snapped a picture. Meanwhile, the sadhu, or saint, smoked on, his sweating, completely naked body shining in the sun.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- My favorite aunt, Helen Jackson, the female image of her brother, my father, was known in the latter years of her life as Mrs. Colonel Jackson. This was not a mere Southernism: Louis Jackson had in fact been a bird colonel in the army.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Why would anyone seek immortality when they already have it? As long as someone thinks about you, talks about you, remembers you, then you are forever kept alive with those warm memories. As one of the boys of summer, Ted Williams' accomplishments listed on the plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame in the order he achieved them, end with " ...and universal reverence." It takes a long time for universal reverence to die. And you don't have to freeze it to keep it fresh.
SAN DIEGO -- This time the Veal Marsala took us away ... not to Paris, or to Florence but to the island of Molokai. Another coincidence in our strangely interwoven lives. We'd both been there though she had not gone to the leper colony.
SIX YEARS AFTER INDONESIA'S REVOLUTION, ANOTHER STIRS
JAKARTA, Indonesia -- During the early, tumultuous days of the Indonesian "People's Revolution," American Reporter Correspondent Andreas Harsono reported exclusively in The American Reporter that the Suharto government planned to oust pro-democracy leader Megawati Sukarnoputri from her PDI post, and for three weeks afterwards was forced into hiding as security police searched his home and offices. He was honored in 1999 as a Neiman International Fellow, and after a year of study at Harvard returned to Indonesia to continue his career in journalism. In the interim, Megawati became president of the world's fourth largest nation. This is his memoir of those heady days.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The federal government is trying to recruit mail carriers, utility workers, bus drivers and other folks who interact with the public to become voluntary informants for the Justice Department.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Okay, honey, it's time for bed."
BOCA RATON, Fla., July 25, 2002 -- I surrender to the pressure. Do not buy any common stocks.
WASHINGTON -- With the "New Economy" now in shambles, it's easy for media outlets to disparage the illusions of the late 1990's - years crammed with high-tech mania, fat stock options and euphoria on Wall Street. But we hear very little about the fact that much of the bubble was filled with hot air from hyperventilating journalists.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- they won't tell you their names, but they'll sell you a genuine knock-off Rolex for only fifty bucks. Too high? How about forty? Thirty-five? But they can't go any lower; why, it's almost a steal at that price.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- July 19th was a somber day for folk music. The great musicologist Alan Lomax died at the age of 87, and one of his direct musical descendants, the great but almost unknown Dave Carter, died at 49.
KATHMANDU, July 24 -- The split in the ruling Nepali Congress on the issue of extension of the state of emergency the government hopes will help crush the ultra-leftist Maoist guerrillas and the announcement of fresh elections in November will further deepen the crisis in Nepal, other political parties and analysts have warned in iterviews with The American Reporter.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- When I moved out here - and the phrase "out here" marks me at once as an alien, for the natives are under the happy delusion that "out here" is simply "here" - I was struck at once by two absences: the absence of rain and the absence of mosquitos.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- We know about child molesters. We have statistics. In other words, we have nothing.
SAN DIEGO -- He's an old Norwegian man, dying in the back country, at home with a schizophrenic son as his only caregiver. Adult Protective Services had called us. Someone was worried about them, thought things were out of control and wanted us to help.
Towers in the heart, a castle of the soul - these ought to be the goal of the men and women who are trying to design the World Trade Center victims memorial in New York. Not the grand stuff of brick and mortar but a commitment to heroism, self-sacrifice, world peace and a new order should take the place of the Twin Towers that were devastated by the attacks of Sept. 11.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. - The economy is faltering, the stock market has tanked, and President Bush's lame attempt at portraying himself as the champion of corporate responsibility has failed. Sounds like a good time to invade Iraq.
NEW DELHI, July 18, 2002 -- In his 72 years, Dr. Aavul Pakkiri Jainulabiddin Abdul Kalam, rose from being a street-corner paper boy in rural Rameshwaran, a small city in the South India state of Tamil Nadu, today became the Muslim elected president of the world's largest democracy. But before his ascension he was already better known to the world as "Missile Man," the father of India's costly drive to nuclearize its armed forces, than he may ever be as the latest occupant of its largely-ceremonial highest office.
OIL POLITICS UNDERLIE GLOBE'S 'PERMANENT WAR', EXECUTIVES SAY
DIVONNE, France -- The Middle East conflict, the Afghanistan war, the attempted coup in Venezuela - underneath all the talk about religion and ideology as causes, there's another factor that ties them together: that black viscous substance that has made countries go to war since its ability to power economies was discovered more than a century ago. Oil. The fight to get oil, to control its sources and transport, is behind major conflicts around the world today, according to oil executives meeting at a conference in France.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Let me get this straight. Last week, while standing in front of a specially prepared backdrop with the words "corporate responsibility" plastered all over it, President George W. Bush told Wall Street he is outraged by the kind of corporate malfeasance that is now causing the stock market to tank.
NEW DELHI, July 15, 2002 -- Just when it seemed that India and Pakistan had quietly agreed to ratchet down a tense, dangerous and potentially nuclear confrontation over the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Vajpayee government was once again rocked by an incident near Jammu Saturday, where three Islamic militants dressed in the garb of sadhus, or holy men, struck in the slum colony of Kasim Nagar on Saturday night, killing 28 Hindus, including 13 women and a three-year-old boy.
NEW YORK, N. Y. -- My sister was named for the girl in a song written by Henry Tucker in 1869.
SAN DIEGO -- Amazing what a few glasses of wine, Chicken Marsala and a good friend can do for the soul. I met Jackie's daughter at the Italian restaurant on the corner that used to be somebody's house, feeling too tired to see anyone. And had it been anyone but her I would have cancelled. This lady was worth pushing through for.
DALLAS, July 15, 2002 -- No one should be surprised by last weekend's vote of the Israeli Cabinet - with most Labor members absent - in support of a bill that would bar Palestinian citizens of Israel (both Christians and Moslem) from buying houses in Jewish communities and from acquiring parcels of state-owned land. But all Israelis should have been ashamed of themselves -- and apparently enough were that the bill died an ignominious death yesterday, when the Cabinet - with Labor members present - voted 22 to 2 to kill the bill be sending it to committee.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. - In these days of cynicism, corruption and evil, we're all looking for examples of how one person can make a difference.
BLOOMSGURG, Pa. -- "Pssst."
DR. SEUSS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Erik is out of the office this week, so we are printing a column - well, some doggerel - we lost waaaay back in 1997. Let us know if you think it should have stayed lost.
INTO A SONDHEIM WOODS
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Once there were two handsome brothers, princes, who fell in love with two beautiful but impossible girls. One ran away from the ball at midnight, leaving only her shoe behind. The other had long, long golden hair and lived in a high, doorless tower. You know their stories, but what real-life parables can you read into them?
INVESTORS TELL PRESIDENT: BETTER START JOB-HUNTING
The American Reporter has obtained the original copy of a letter from American investors to President George W. Bush, informing the President of steps they are taking in response to his "tough" speech yesterday about corporate scandals that have decimated the stock market and cost Americans almost a trillion dollars. Here is the full text: Dear Mr. President:
SEATTLE, Wash. -- If ever I run out of ideas for the column, all I need do is take the bus, as I am now doing.
WASHINGTON -- In the days after the 1976 assassination in Washington of two opponents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, the Central Intelligence Agency learned that a conspiracy to murder leftist political opponents around the world by six Latin American governments was planning a Paris operation. The State Department memorandum says the security services of those countries knew that the United States was aware of their plans.
NEW DELHI, July 7, 2002 -- Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, 69, the chairman of giant Reliance Group and India's best-known billionaire, died today at his home in Bombay after suffering a stroke on June 24. Dhirubha, as he was known, earned an annual salary of Rs 8.85 crore (U.S.$4.42 million) but made millions of middle-class shareholders wealthy after he became the first to raise capital from street-level sales of stock.
WASHINGTON -- If you call the toll-free number on the tv screen during one of those upbeat Army commercials, a large envelope will arrive with a white t-shirt inside. On the back is a slogan in big block letters: "AN ARMY OF ONE."
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In case you've ever wondered what we really do on a rainy night in Georgia, listen in. After a few days of the holiday weekend spent trekking to fireworks, fighting the traffic, shaking sand out of our shoes, raiding the refrigerator, and, the younger of the family members visiting having their diapers changed, we just sat around and talked about trivial things, past and present.
SAN DIEGO -- I am very glad I have a twisted sense of humor to lighten life's dark corners. It will stand me in good stead as I face old age. Those who lack it experience their slow and inevitable process of disintegration as something resembling the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
NEW DELHI, July 6. 2002 --The decision by Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to appoint Hindu crusader Lal Krishna Advani, the Indian Home Minister, as his Deputy Prime Minister - and thus his likely successor - came about only after several speeches in which Vajpayee stirred up speculation by hinting he would reshuffle his Union Cabinet. But even without advance warning, the appointment wasn't unexpected. Advani - who led the Hindu crusade that led to anti-Sikh riots and the destruction of the Golden Temple, Sikhdom's holiest religious site - has always been seen as the next PM.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Right after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Justice Department rounded up more than 1,000 people and imprisoned them in secret. Many of them are still behind bars today, even though not one those still jailed have been formally charged with any crimes related to Sept. 11.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I thought I had heard it all. Or I guess it's what I didn't hear. Some news from the British music industry may have some copyright lawyers wringing their hands and cackling with glee.
LOS ANGELES, July 5, 2002 -- Witnesses to the chaotic shooting spree at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday have told the Los Angeles Times that an El Al security guard deliberately shot the gunman after he had been disarmed and was being held on the ground by two men. The gunman had earlier shot and stabbed the El Al security guard, who was armed and in plainclothes, according to a report in Thursday's online edition of the Times.
There was something just too inviting about the bell that sat in the principal's window during recess. When it came time for that bell to ring, the fun ended and the kids of St. Columbus Elementary School in the hamlet of Chester, N.Y., filed off the playground and back into classes. But one day I picked up a snowball and flung it at the bell just as a nun was reaching to pick it up. Not surprisingly, I found myself dangling by my left ear from the tips of her thumb and index finger a few minutes later. Freedom has always had a price.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Great-Aunt Petunia rocked back and forth on her porch and frowned.
ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- It's time to finally make it official: rock 'n roll is dead.
BOCA RATON, Fla., July 3, 2002 -- Looking at my old UPI alumni wire, I noticed an exchange from a veteran reporter worried about his money, and a knowledgeable financial services colleague offering advise. The exchange is being replicated in coffee shops and brokerages houses around the nation, so I'll give you the exchange:
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Mrs. Hopkins' brother, with whom she'd been living after the untimely death (because too long postponed) of her late husband, had promised to take her on one of the rock climbs with the incessant narration of which he had wearied her, to say nothing of her late mister - of whom no more, I promise - to the point of exasperation.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- On a scale of one to 10, my expectation of the right to privacy has gone from 10 to zero since September 11 - another one of those days that will live in infamy.
SAN DIEGO -- "Oh, the sisters of mercy they are not departed or gone... ." It's Sunday morning and I'm in the shower singing this old Leonard Cohen song, thinking of going to see my patient. I knew he was alone in the hospital wondering where the hell he was.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- President Bush call the decision "ridiculous."
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What took them so long?
WASHINGTON -- Speaking with grace and ease, a pensive network anchor compared the America of today with the one of a year ago. His script had the ring of media truth at the start of a new season.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- For those of you who care, I turned 35 this past Thursday. For those of you who don't, you're not invited to my birthday party. So neener neener neener.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Maybe I waited too long to write this column, but I never thought the bastards would actually shut Amtrak down.
LOS ANGELES -- Tom Johnson, the journalist and former publisher of the Los Angeles Times who until last year headed CNN News, hid under his desk during the workday and told assistants not to schedule meetings for him as he lay in darkened hotel rooms all morning triying to deal with recurring bouts of depression, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- All good things come around, all in good time. Such is the case with the work of Yoko Ono, who's been indefatigably pushing the boundaries of art and life for the past 40 years, but is only now getting the broad recognition she's due in America's museums of art.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Birthdays are a time to think back and plan ahead; at least, that's how I pass them. So, thinking back, I realize I was born a decade too late for the Roaring '20s, a time of life last century that affected almost every decade to follow. The era was a turning point in style, attitude, technology, social mores and, of course, was preserved on the silver screen. We have the movies; we can see it, hear it and almost taste it.
SEATTLE -- Dear Games Editor: It has recently come to my attention that a game at cards called Solitaire has become popular on the computer, whatever that is.
HOLLYWOOD, June 25, 2002 -- A gathering at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood Monday night where Mayor Jim Hahn and Councilman Eric Garcetti were given 10 minutes to speak against Hollywood independence to more than 1,000 parishioners violated Federal laws and the U.S. Constitution's ban on mixing matters of church and state, a backer of cityhood for the Hollywood area says.
SAN DIEGO -- Near midnight on this side of the world, the Israeli Defense Force sends out an emergency call for reservists to join the battle against militant Palestinians. A similar call goes out to Palestinian fighters.
HOLLYWOOD, June 24, 2002 -- An heiress to the multimillion-dollar fortune generated by royalties from Winnie The Pooh has fired her family's longtime maid because the maid's husband, American Reporter Correspondent Joe Shea, refused to change a particular word in a quote, the well-known journalist revealed today.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- President George W. Bush, the self-proclaimed compassionate conservative who doesn't want government intruding into private lives, has just mixed government into private lives.
NEW DELHI, June 22, 2002 -- A "perfect diplomat," "high-strung," "hasty" and "a charmer" are some of the ways those who interact with Pakistan's self-proclaimed President Pervez Musharraf have described him.
DORCHESTER, Mass. -- Some say the reason so many people watch "The West Wing" is that they want to see - even if it's only in a television drama - a White House with a honest, intelligent and competent president leading an administration that works hard to do the right thing for the nation.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's always sad when your childhood heroes and heroines have passed from being the greatest thing since sliced bread (which was invented soon after the bread knife) to the butt of jokes and derisive laughter.
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Steve Chuks, who says he's the auditor general of "one of the prime banks" in South Africa, wants to make me rich. Not just rich enough to be able to afford tickets, parking, and hotdogs at an Eagles game, but rich enough to actually be able to live in Philadelphia and pay its 4.54 percent wage tax.
WASHINGTON -- Many Americans feel under siege from advertising that insults intelligence and helps to degrade the nation's cultural environment. While serving the interests of advertisers, the daily ad-mania makes us sick -- sometimes quite literally. What can we do about it?
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Remember the good old days of "I am not a crook"? That was a much simpler time, when a big whopper wasn't a hamburger and Richard Nixon was a crook and so much more.
LOS ANGELES, June 18, 2002, 5:35pm PDT -- In a tentative ruling handed down late today, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Hiroshige fired a controversial forensic accounting firm, threw out most of a court-appointed auditor's findings and awarded the owners of commercial rights to children's favorite Winnie The Pooh a 12.5 percent error rate in their Walt Disney Co. royalty payments that may yield as much as $200 million for them, the plaintiffs say.
WASHINTON -- American journalism has devoted massive attention to reporting on business in recent years. Overall news outlets are enthralled with efforts in our society to maximize corporate profits and personal wealth. Top executives and shrewd investors are good bets to emerge as media heroes, unless or until they appear to be headed for prison. Insatiable avarice - always pushing for more, more, more - is unlikely to cause bad press. In fact, journalists are apt to cite enthusiasm for boosting "net worth" as evidence of sturdy character.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- A touch of that old patrician disease, gout, this morning led me rashly to take an indocin tablet without, as the label clearly recommends, cushioning its fall into my person by first ingesting food or milk. This resulted in a spell of mental confusion, which I exploited for the usual purpose of composing an INK SOUP.
SAN DIEGO -- I picked him up from the front of the hospital where he was waiting for me, barefoot in a wheel chair. Released from the cardiac unit after three days and alot of morphine, he was going home on sustained-release nitroglycerin and happy as a man freshly saved from Hell.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Our daughter Kerry, traveling to and in China with a dozen University of Pittsburgh engineering students in tow, kept in touch with us almost daily from cybercafes. Responding to a lighthearted thought that we might rent a bus, pick up our families in assorted cities for a family reunion on wheels, and, in general, have a ball, she wrote:
ARABS AND JEWS ARE TARGETS OF ANTI-SEMITISM
ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- The recent embrace of the Palestinian cause among progressives in the West is not only a complete reversal of the Left's traditional support for Israel, but also displays a patronizing attitude - better known as racism - toward the Palestinians themselves.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Corporate integrity may sound like an oxymoron, but it's the current lack of it in American financial markets that is causing a crisis of confidence that may ultimately be a bigger threat to the nation than anything Osama bin Laden's crew can pull off.
WASHINGTON -- Thirty years have passed since Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein began to cover the Watergate story. The investigative journalism that they did back then still stands out as exceptional. Unfortunately.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Kids have it pretty good these days.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The formal black-and-white ball was the climax of Brattleboro, Vermont's first Strolling of the Heifers parade and farm festival last weekend. The town's power elite put on tuxedos, and Alfred, the town's premiere black drag queen, chose a white satin ball gown with a closed square back, tight bodice, umbrella skirt, and pearls.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- With one word, a federal judge has described not only Attorney General John Ashcroft's handling of the Department of Justice, but also the Bush administration's policy of citing national security as the reason why it's trying to hide the Constitution from Americans.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The routine seems so simple. Make sure you've got your membership card, your helmet, your old person's pass for the bus, your quarter, your bath kit... And then:
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- According to President Bush, "the only path to safety is the path of action."
SAN DIEGO -- "I met you on a midway at a fair last year and you stood out like a ruby in a black man's ear." It's one of singer, songwriter Joni Mitchell's best lines and I find myself singing it in the car on my way to the various midways called life. Songs from Blue. Rivers to skate away on. Or, this one: "The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in '68/ and he told me, all romantics make the same mistake/ cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe."
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Bailiff: All rise! The Honorable Jacob Loveless presiding.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., June 6, 2002 -- It's very late any Friday afternoon, and skin sweaty, shirts soiled, and bone tired, the Haitian-American laborers leave their worn workboots on the sidewalk outside of Dave McDermott's office.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The lure - an invitation to join an outdoor adventure trip and kayak, canoe, and raft on three lovely Massachusetts rivers, with a little mountain climbing on the side - was so irresistible that I bit like a trout.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- When you think of it, the word biography is strange. Bio:graphy :: life:writing. There is a sense in which all writing is life-writing, for what else is there? But biography is the story of one life, usually a life that rises above the ordinary.
SAN DIEGO -- Years ago I worked as a patient-care coordinator for a hospice, and as I told a doctor this weekend at a meeting on health care for seniors, it completely ruined me.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Time was there were shoe repair shops - not discount shoe stores - on every corner, and the shoemaker straddled his special stool facing the window so he could wave to passersby as he tap-tapped a renewed sole into place - taking the tacks out of his mouth before he smiled and waved.
WASHINGTON -- Two countries - each with dozens of atomic bombs - are threatening to make war on each other. Large numbers of troops have mobilized. Deadly cross-border clashes are intense. And people in charge of both governments have become more bellicose by the day.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I used to think that President Richard Nixon set the gold standard for secrecy, paranoia and corruption. But President George W. Bush is coming up fast on the rail.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- There we were, sitting on the Shepler's Mackinac Island ferry, waiting to head back to the mainland. My wife and I had just finished a long weekend on Mackinac Island, riding horses, riding our bikes, enjoying excellent meals, and discussing at great length how the name of the island was pronounced Mackinaw, and not Mackinack.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Memorial Day has come and gone and left us filled with images. There was a stunning documentary about the Pacific battles of World War II on NBC, and another one on HBO about New York City on Sept. 11. Sunday's New York Times gave us a stunning narrative of what happened inside the World Trade Center between the plane strikes and the buildings' collapse.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- I like baseball talk, especially during the season, when it is fresh. But I like it at any time, even during the dreary months from November to April, when the only baseball talk available is in the so-called "hot stove league," which refers to the forlorn conversation about the game in barbershops and general stores. H.L. Mencken said that marriage is largely talk, but during the winter baseball is nothing but talk.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In a thinly-disguised fictional account of the 50-year political career of James Michael Curley, a five-term mayor of Boston and later a Congressman in the seat next occupied by John Fitzgerald Kennedy, I read the line, "It's a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot."
PHILIP, RICHARD AND PAUL
Now they lay beneath brown earth, young friends and men every canon and creed will honor, and every cannon of war has killed. That is to say that the creed of war that killed my cousin Paul and my friends Richard and Philip is the same everywhere: It is a belief in cannons that kill young men, as old as mankind.
SAN DIEGO -- His mates on the Deny Bolia just called him "Freddie." He'd cooked for many a sailor and not a few admirals during World War II. A 22-year career in the Navy as a chef, and many years since retirement brought him to his final port-of-call: living with his daughter, Vitta and her two children in the back country east of San Diego.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The extent of the incompetence of the Bush administration grows by the day. Secrecy and spin seem to be the only things it can do right.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I recently took a vacation to Mackinac Island (official motto: That last C is silent), which is right above Michigan in Lake Huron. If you ever ask a Michigander where that is, they'll hold up their right hand and point with their left hand to the appropriate spot. This is because Michigan is shaped like a right hand wearing a mitten.
WASHINGTON -- Once buried in the bowels of the White House computer room, a startling memo on media strategy has bubbled to the surface like a cold sore.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Americans these days are humor-impaired. Although few of us make cruel jokes intended to hurt people, the daily give-and-take of American life provides rich material for humor that we're suddenly afraid to touch.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Today's column is an homage to Ragueneau, the confectioner in Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac," who knew the indissoluble connection between food and poetry, and who, when his wife used the latter to wrap the former, asked her, "if you do this with verse, what would you do with prose?!"
SAN DIEGO -- She stood up after my presentation and dissented. A young marketing person from a local chain of nursing homes, she didn't think I had been fair in my portrayal of nursing homes as less-than-desirable places to be.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Expatriates are either banished from their own countries or leave of their own accord. It's a rather negative-sounding definer harking back to Ernest Hemingway's novels set in the '20s -- chronicles of a bunch of expatriates hanging around in France and Spain. That disillusioned, cynical group of artists and writers exemplified "The Lost Generation," so-called by Hemingway after writer Gertrude Stein tossed off that line in a conversation.
WASHINGTON. May 15, 2002 -- It's tough to tell we're a nation at war from a visit to Washington, D.C.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A few weeks ago, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) called for an investigation into whether the Bush administration had prior knowledge of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and whether anything was done to prevent them.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- I went down to the park along the Puget Sound to feed the pigeons. The birds, the ones I feed nearly every day at the same time, looked at me, at my seed, and seemed to say, "You expect us to eat that? From someone we never saw?"
SAN DIEGO -- Mother's Day urgency: We found ourselves following the well-worn migratory paths of the great herd in and out of those catacombs of commerce known as "the mall," every last one of us foraging for the perfect gift to offer the tribal deity, the goddess of our particular hearth and home so that we might live yet another year basking in the warmth of her maternal blessing.
SAN DIEGO -- Charities and nonprofits are not sacrosanct; they are no less suspect than any other institutions, and must be scrutinized and judged accordingly. In the wake of Sept. 11th, millions of Americans unselfishly donated over $1.5 billion to aid the families of the victims. Most of these funds were funneled through the American Red Cross and the United Way. But little enough of the money has found its way to the victims, and Americans have found their compassion short-circuited, their healing impulses pirated by these two disingenuous institutions.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- We owe a lot to philosophy, whether we realize it or not.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's becoming clearer by the day that the Bush administration has absolutely no intention of cooperating with the rest of the world on any matter that is deemed by the Bush administration to be at odds with their view of the national interest.
WASHINGTON -- A basic principle of democracy is that every person's vote should have equal weight. So we might expect some public discourse about the fact that the U.S. Senate is fundamentally undemocratic. But it's a complete non-issue among politicians and journalists alike.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Our senses have a way of reconnecting us with our past. For example, I remember a long-ago summer spent on a Greek island, walking in the hills and picking fragrant mountain oregano, wild bay, rosemary and sage. As the herbs dried in the sun, I sewed little packets for them out of a rough-spun blue-and-white-checked cotton. I filled the bags, tied them with string, brought them home, and gave a set to my family. Unfortunately my mother, who thinks that spices grow in little glass bottles with McCormick labels glued onto them, never opened her packets. Ten years later I found them tucked away in a dark corner of her pantry, opened them, and was immediately transported back to the island; I could see the dark Mediterranean in the distance and feel the sun on myface.
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Any political scandal since Watergate has the suffix "gate," and any financial chicanery since Enron will be dubbed "itis" as in Enronitis.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Hi. My name is Huck. For now, that is -- it's what the Browns called me when I agreed to humor them by eating the swill that they seem to think cats enjoy. When I move on I'll no doubt be called Puss, or Tom, or with luck, Burt.
KATHMANDU, Nepal -- In a significant reversal of fortune for Nepalese forces, government security forces attacked thetraining camps and hideout shelters of Maoist terrorists and killed about 400 of them over the last two days, officials said here. The terrorists are blamed for killing more than 1,000 police officers during a four-year rebellion.
PARIS, France -- The May 5 run-off election threatened demonstrations in the streets, traffic snarls designed to paralyze the city, and protesters with placards to post on every pole.
SAN DIEGO -- Not long ago the phrase "It isn't rocket science" out of the mouth of my Website lady was enough to make me visualize doing open-heart surgery with my golden envelope opener. But I find myself using the term a lot lately when thinking and talking about making good stuff happen for the elderly.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is anyone going to stand up to President Bush's plan of perpetual war for perpetual re-election?
WASHINGTON -- In a twist of fate, obituaries appeared for the inventor of the Barbie doll just as a $50 million advertising campaign got under way for an anti-wrinkle drug with a name that memorably combines the words "botulism" and "toxin." Expensive injections of Botox are already popular among women eager to remove lines from their faces. The ad blitz of mid-2002 is certain to boost the practice.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- If you play or even watch sports, you know there is small a risk of injury. As someone who has played football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ultimate Frisbee, and even raced bicycles over the years, I've managed to injure myself in every sport I've ever played.
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Stock markets can deal with negative and positive trends; they don't like uncertainty.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- If living a moral life is the loftiest of human aspirations, should we not take our standard of this life from those at the top of society, the loftiest of human types, those to whom we look "up"? We seem to take much else from them -- house design, hairstyles, dress length, dietary norms, even the latest small talk -- so why not the idea of good and bad?
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It seems as if there's precious little sexual transgression left in our culture. Unless you're young and just starting to explore life, it's pretty much "been there, done that."
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If the total destruction of the Palestinian Authority and all other civic and cultural institutions on the West Bank was the goal of "Operation Defensive Wall," Israel got what it wanted.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I hated math when I was a kid.
WASHINGTON -- Weeks before the 20th century ended, the pundit Michael Kinsley was uncommonly direct in a Time essay that defended the virtues of the World Trade Organization with these closing words: "But really, the WTO is OK. Do the math. Or take it on faith."
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Did I miss something? When did it become generally accepted that the United State's most pressing concern is the elimination of Saddam Hussein? Shouldn't there have been -- at the veryleast -- a national conversation? Was I asleep that day?
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Sometimes going to a new barber can prove instructive for everyone. Artie the Barber didn't know what he was starting, but, hey, he was holding the razor.
SAN DIEGO -- It was early morning in Little Italy and I was indulging in one of my very favorite therapeutic modalities ... purposeless wandering in an unexplored region.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- They put Bette Midler in the Easy Listening section at the chain music store.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- You may have missed it, considering all the attention given to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but an amazing thinghappened in Venezuela a few days ago.
WASHINGTON -- Alice climbed out of the news hole. She seemed badly shaken. "I thought Wonderland was curious indeed," she said, "but Medialand is even more peculiar." Responding to my quizzical look, she quickly added: "Don't worry, I stayed away from the hookah-smoking caterpillar, the 'Drink Me' bottle and the 'Eat Me' cake. I did not converse with a single playing card, dormouse or mock turtle. I was simply observant."
LOS ANGELES, April 18, 2002 -- Robert Blake, the 68-year-old star of the '70s hit police drama "Baretta," on Thursday became the star of a new major tv drama, his own arrest for the murder of Bonnie Lee Bakley, 44, liveon local television on the six o'clock news.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Sharks 1, shark experts 0.
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles City Council voted along strict racial lines Wednesday morning not to contest a decision by the city's police commission to terminatethe contract of Los Angeles Police Dept. Chief Bernard C. Parks, even as influential black ministers and politicians warned that they may now support citywide secession movements. It is not inconceivable that Parks will head one of the new departments that could result from today's vote.
SAN DIEGO -- Editor's Note: Yesterday's discussion of the early history of the Middle East moves on to the modern era and the conflict that persists there today. In that history, authors Richard LeCuyer and Cindy Hasz write, lie the seeds of peace 00 seeds that might yet be nurtured after allthis time.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I was happy when Oprah Winfrey ended her book club last week, because I believe she is using literature as part of a campaign to push a Big Lie on her followers (and the Dalai Lama may havefewer and less passionate followers.) The lie is that if you worship at the shrine of her, you can become her, or just like her.
KATHMANDU, April 16, 2002 -- More than 200 people, including 60 policemen, were killed when armed groups of Maoist rebels suddenly attacked all the police posts in Dang district, the home constituency of Nepal's Home Minister in western Nepal on Thursday night, officials said.
SAN DIEGO, April 17, 2002 -- Editor's Note: In this, the third of our 7th Anniversary Essays, two compelling writers suggest that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not as intractable as it seems when viewed in the light of the region's long history of cooperation.
HOLLYWOOD, April 16, 2002 -- Eight months of settlement talks in the 11-year legal battle between the Walt Disney Co. and Stephen Slesinger, Inc., over royalties from Winnie the Pooh have irretrievably broken down, Hollywood superlawyer Bert Fields told the Los Angeles Superior Court Monday in a faxed letter, The American Reporter has learned.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Driving home from the market the other day, I nearly had the second accident of my driving career, which began in 1945. (I have my own entirely personal and private understanding of D-Day.) Coming up the Holman Road, a large four-lane thoroughfare, I was foronce not in a cluster of other cars, which might have emboldened theyoung person in the Jeep who made a purely perfunctory pause at the stop sign of the side street and nearly lambasted the right side of my car.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., April 15, 2002 -- The prestigious French daily Le Monde today was focused on neighboring Germany's reaction to the rise in anti-Semitism in recent weeks and months. It probably provides a welcome relief for French readers - if not French Jewish readers - from the wave of anti-Jewish attacks in their own country.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- In an extraordinary letter to her father that has now gained secondary publication, Prof. Sarah Shiles of the University of North Carolina spoke to the heart of many American Jews disturbed by the conduct of Israel's war against Palestinian terror.
SAN DIEGO -- The Man in Black tells Princess Buttercup in Rob Reiner's wonderful film Princess Bride, "Life is pain highness, and anyone who tells you different is selling something."
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- We used to call them "funny uncles" when our little friends had extended families living at their house.
DALLAS, Tex., April 13, 2002 -- Editor's Note The following broad outline for a peace plan for the Middle East is the work of Dallas-based telecommunications entrepreneur Prima Soho, a graduate ofthe London School of Economics and a Catholic whose childhood was spent inLatin America, Europe and the Middle East.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's hard to make a case that anything good willcome out of the current carnage in the Middle East. But David Corn, Washington correspondent for The Nation, brought up an interesting theoryin a recent column - the fighting on the West Bank may have stoppedPresident Bush's plans to invade Iraq.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- When people file lawsuits blaming large corporations for their own stupidity, they're telling us they're notresponsible for anything they've done. In a sense they're telling the world they should not be trusted, because it's the not their fault they climbed over an eight-foot fence and onto an electrical transformer,nearly killing themselves in the process.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When Milton Berle died two weeks ago at the ageof 93, it meant more than the end of several entertainment eras. It meant this was the last time I could trot out the story of how I may have made Uncle Miltie - a man who made millions wet their pants laughing at him on television - wet his own.
ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- When did it become chic to hate the Jews again? It was just a few years ago that it was still very hip and in todefend the historically beleaguered Jews. Books attacking the German populace and the Catholic hierarchy for not doing anything to stop the Holocaust were best-sellers. Jewish arts festivals sprang up in cities across the United States, the klezmer revival was in full blossom, and being a young Jew was the essence of cool.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- At the gym this afternoon, Brooke, the pretty young woman at the towel desk who resembles Meg Ryan, came up to me as I was headed forthe locker room and said, "CB, you were a professor, weren't you?"
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Traveling out of the country raisesquestions best answered in advance of boarding the plane; i.e., what to wearcoming and going and what to pack for the stay.? Good advice to remember is"when in Rome, do as the Romans do."
SAN DIEGO -- Water has figured prominently in my thoughts all week. Hot water, hot tubs, whirlpools, spas and the like.
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- President George W. Bush says it will take years. He says there will be many casualties.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I rarely do television reviews in my columns,partially because I don't know enough about it to be a good one, butmostly because I watch too much, anyway. And while "tv critic" is one ofthe few jobs I can do on the couch in my underwear, I've been told I also do that too much.
A.R. Editorial: AN OPPORTUNITY 'OUTLAYED' AND WAYLAID
LOS ANGELES, April 5, 2002 -- President Bush's decision to send Secretary of State Colin Powell to the Middle East to implement the agenda he "outlayed" yesterday follows an insistent drumbeat of criticism of a do-nothing policythat has hampered the U.S. war on terrorism, called into question the essential fairness of our nation, and angered friends and foes of the United States.
WASHINGTON -- In times of crisis, many policymakers and journalists pay special attention to the editorializing from America's most influential papers. The spin of news coverage and the mix of individual opinion piecesusually indicate the outlooks of the media establishment, but theeditorials by powerhouse newspapers convey more direct messages.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So President Bush has finally come to the conclusion that its time to get fully and forcefully involved in the Middle East peace process. What took him so long?
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There's something about the Judean desert thatinspires awe. Maybe it's the rich redness of the land combined with thevastness of it -- those vistas of terrifyingly solitude which lead youreyes to the sky and your mind to questions of your own existence. You can'thelp thinking, "Of course three of the world's great religions come fromhere. Of course you can feel a presence you might call God. Of course thisis the Holy Land." And now, in the name of God, World War III may be coming from there.
Everything important requires a journey. Great men make those journeys; thus, Sadat journeyed to Begin; thus, Eisenhower journeyed to Korea; thus, at a critical moment in world history, when a deadly impasse has paralyzed the peace process upon which much of the world's well-being is precariously hung, you, Mr. President, must go to Jerusalem and help Israel find a way to peace with a new state of Palestine.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Sunday was Easter, as it was on that memorable episode of "The Simpsons" when the Rev. Lovejoy, from the pulpit of the First Church of Springfield, preached a sermon containing no reference at all to crucifixion, death, or resurrection. This put the family -- Homer,Marge, Lisa, and Bart -- straight to sleep, where each dreamed throughBible episodes (Genesis, Exodus, Samuel, and Revelation), none of themwith the least hint of Golgotha or the empty tomb.
SAN DIEGO -- There were times we didn't think she'd make it. This beautiful Mexican woman next to my brother in front of me. It was Sunday morning and I'd climbed up onto their bed early in the morning as I often did when I visited them. It is a family tradition -- all of us in pajamas, looking simultaneously dreadful and cute -- like to talk things over early in the morning.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- My apologies to Thomas Gray for playingwith the title of his elegy on death, but the underlying theme of hisplaintive poem and my column this week is the same: Sooner or later, our daywill come, ready or not.
IRVINE, Calif. -- Does one bad apple spoil the entire bunch?
SAN DIEGO -- The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is areally anti-climactic day. Known as Good Saturday to the Christian faithful, it is neither the dark drama of the crucifixion northe resplendent, boulder-busting glory of the Resurrection. It's a bona fide,certified, really bad day where defeat seems a foregone conclusion, even totrue believers.
HOLLYWOOD, March 29 -- If Middle Eastern terrorists launched deadly attacks against U.S. cities this very afternoon, who would we blame? Would it be al-Qaida? Palestinians? Israel? Iraq? Who would we crucify on this Good Friday? That question is highly apropos at this instant. I have just finished watching a half hour of Islamic clerics via Internet tv (http://wwitv.com/tv.htm) and I am now well enough informed to tell you that big trouble is heading our way. The Middle East has boiled over. It is beyond the brink.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Why does it always seem like the distinguished folks who scream the loudest for the use of military force are the ones who never spent a day in uniform? The super-patriots who wormed their way out of military servicewhen it was their time to fight have richly earned the title of"chickenhawks."
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's rare and even shocking for me to say this, but I found a stupid lawsuit where I think the plaintiff mayactually have a point. Yes, I know, I was just as amazed as you are. A frivolous lawsuit where the plaintiff's own stupidity was not the only cause for injury? Amazing, but true! Read on.
GLENDALE, Calif. -- I am writing to express my strong fear that the U.S. Copyright Office, in its efforts to set a "sound recordings performance royalty" rate for Internet radio as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), may be about to make a decision that will bankrupt virtually all Webcasters and effectively destroy Internet radio as a medium. This issue is not about Napster -- in fact, quite the opposite! Internet radio is a perfectly legal new medium, in its very early stages but growing in popularity, that is offering wonderful benefits for musicians and record companies as well as for consumers.
BOCA RATON, Fla., March 28, 2002 -- Two top market experts basically forecast a lackluster final three quarters for 2002, which might not be all bad.
WASHINGTON -- The Committee to Protect Journalists released a bleak report the other day. "Attacks on the Press in 2001" is a thick document with details about media suppression in much of the world. While American readers may feel very fortunate, they have no good reason to be smug.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Beatrice Arthur, Tallulah Bankhead, and the state of Vermont -- three names that made an unexpected connection andtaught me an unexpected lesson last week.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's being called "the biggest case you've never heard of," and it could end up costing The Walt Disney Company as much as $6 billion per year in revenues. Two parties are both fighting for the same honey pot, and it all comes down to greed.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Keeping a journal, as I do, can be a great comfort, especially when the old memory starts to depend on Post-It notes all over the inside of my skull. It can also be humiliating, infuriating, andbaffling. But informative withal.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- What is the definition of insanity?
SAN DIEGO -- When people ask me how what I do differs from being a "regular nurse," I always think of many answers, so I usually respond by saying, "A nurse care manager is first and foremost a patient advocate." But the picture is hardly drawn by those pale words. How do you I explain that I stand beside elderly people who have no one close enough to help? Unfortunately, even when there is family they are sometimes irrelevant. How do you explain to others that "family" means people who care, and that many times blood is just not thick enough? How do you explain that the simple presence of love, mixed with skill and persistence, can change someone's world?
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Until recently, all Mary Mack knew about our courtsystem was gleaned from watching fifty episodes of "Law & Order" each week.In between those, "100 Center Street," "NYPD Blue" and "Judge Judy" filledthe gaps. What's to know? You show up, you tell the truth, you step down andwalk out, head held high.
HOLLYWOOD -- I live eight blocks and a 12-minute walk from the new homeof the Academy Awards at the new Hollywood & Highland shopping center's Kodak Theater,but I was at Mass 500 yards and a million years away when the "Gold Knight" was handed out for the first time to my favorite songwriter, Randy Newman, after 16 nominations. No matter; I was busy praying for Halle Berry to win.
On Native Ground
AR Special Report: THE MOST CHERISHED MYTH OF CONSERVATISM
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It seems that one of the easier ways to make money in publishing these days is to write a book on "liberal media bias." Bernard Goldberg has struck the jackpot with his book "Bias: A CBSInsider Exposes How the Media Distort the News." It's been on the best-seller lists for weeks, thanks to all of the conservatives who rushed outto the book stores to buy it. Even President Bush was seen with a copy. Right-wingers have been complaining for years that the news mediaare liberal. It is an unquestioned article of faith in the conservativecanon, but how true is it?
WASHINGTON -- You've probably heard a lot of spooky tales about "the liberal media." Ever since Vice President Spiro Agnew denounced news outlets thatwere offending the Nixon administration in the autumn of 1969, thespecter has been much more often cited than sighted. "The liberal media"is largely an apparition -- but the epithet serves as an effectiveweapon, brandished against journalists who might confront socialinequities and imbalances of power.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Well, I'm back in Vermont again, sitting at my desk, looking through the pictures I took in Florida. Here's one of Beth Greenberg on stage in her ruffled pink party dress, her mouth wide open, channeling Ethel Merman with all her heart and soul as she lip-synchs "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from "Gypsy." And here's Jeanne Max in achef's hat and apron, lip-synching to, well, Jeanne Max. The song is "BeMy Guest" from "Beauty and the Beast," but Jeanne has trouble rememberinglyrics these days, so she pre-recorded her number.
LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2002 -- Even as lawyers in Los Angeles Superior Court heard their trial in the bitter clash over royalties for Winnie the Pooh set for Feb. 5, 2003 - some 12 years after the case was filed - lawyers for a New York freelancer whose stories on the case enraged Disney executives headed to court in New York Cty to sue Disney and the New York Post after editors at the Post allegedly caved in to pressure from Disney to fire her for her articles on the case.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Some years ago I got into trouble with a reader in "Little Odessa," otherwise known as Brighton Beach, the largest North American concentration of immigrants from the old Soviet Union.
IRVINE, Calif. -- Three strikes and you're out, right?
WASHINGTON -- In the aftermath of their high-profile failure to lure David Letterman, top executives at ABC are scrambling to repair thepublic-relations damage from the network's proclaimed eagerness to throw"Nightline" overboard. But the nation's tv viewers don't need to readthe current wave of commentaries about the debacle to know that feverish pursuit of unlimited profits by media conglomerates is rapidly causing" tv journalism" to become oxymoronic.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- First of all, I want to apologize to the loons, those shy, Web-footed, black-and-white, fish-eating diving birds. I don't know much about them, but somehow their name has become attached to different kinds of craziness, i.e., loon, lunatic, loony bin.
BOCA RATON, Fla., March 14, 2002 -- Where are the professional societies of public relations people when the nation really needs them? Why don't we have a S.W.A.T. team or PR strike force to save the nation from laughing itself to death in a time of war? Who will save American management from itself?
SEATTLE, Wash. -- It was the end of Time. The Earth and its moon, to say nothing of the Hubble telescope, had vanished into oblivion.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When there's a universal understanding of how to act in any given situation, we say, "Well, it goes without saying." How do you treat a dead body? "Well, it goes without saying, you treat it carefully and with great respect." We all know that. It goes without saying.
NEW YORK -- Just a few days after top Swiss law enforcement officials came to Washington to assure Attorney General John Ashcroft they were serious about cracking down on money laundering, a Geneva judge has handed themildest possible slap on the wrist to one Russian culprit and declinedto indict several others who laundered $60 million through Swiss banksin scam known as "Russiagate."
SAN DIEGO -- There was important news on elder abuse this week: The Senate Special Committee on Aging presented findings from its 18-month investigation of crime in nursing homes; what they found was that when crimes against the elderly do occur in nursing homes, they often go unreported. That's no surprise to anyone who's worked in one.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Remember back in December when the pro-war crowd was gloating over the quick and relatively painless rout of the Taliban? Remember the ridicule they heaped upon those who predicted a long andcostly struggle in Afghanistan?
NEW YORK -- When Houston Astros fans file into their team's stadium for the home opener of the 2002 baseball season on April 2, will they see that familiar corporate insignia with a giant "E" emblazoned on the centerfield scoreboard?
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Editor's NoteErik was out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 1999. Erik will be back next week with an all-new column about stupid lawsuits, stupid politicians, or some cute thing one of his kids or dogs did.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Why does American culture spend so much of its vast energy and emotional and economic capital on creating and sustaining two illusions worthy of professional magicians: that the world can be made safe, and that life can be made pain-free?
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Between a diner and an empty store that once housed a shoe store, video store, and tanning salon, in a small strip mall in Bloomsburg, Pa., is Friends-in-Mind, an independent bookstore.
WASHINGTON -- Cameras have recorded countless defining moments. And six months after Sept. 11, some nightmarish televised glimpses of that day's horrors still resonate deeply. Visual images are powerful. Yet there's no substitute for words that sum up what might otherwise seem too ambiguous, upsetting or baffling. Wordsattach meaning to events. Since last fall, the biggest media buzz-phrase has been "thewar on terrorism." By now, journalists are in the habit of shortening it to "the war on terror" -- perhaps the most demagogic term in recent memory.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- These are notes from my journal, so please keep them strictly to yourself.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There are friends, and then there areother friends. How quickly we define someone, saying she's my friend, when, really, she's just another mother like myself dropping her children off at school at the same time.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- You've heard the stories where some poor schlub plays Dungeons & Dragons for weeks on end, then freaks outand imagines himself to be in a D&D adventure before he's finally committed to a mental institution. But death by Nintendo? Yup. Nobody sued the publisher of the D&D manuals - don't ask me how I know that. I just do, okay?! - because their kid didn't have a firm grip on reality. Nobody sued the friends of the whacko for criminal negligence just because their game-playing somehow caused his mental breakdown.
SAN DIEGO -- I was at the corner coffee shop yesterday when I ran into a man who I have seen over the last few years at a certain nursing home down the hill. I'd never really talked to him, though he'd been aconstant presence at dinner time, helping his wife when as I sat and fedother patients in the same dining room.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President George W. Bush is back from his Asia trip. It wasn't a total debacle, but it certainly didn't offer anyone any hope that he knows anything about foreign policy other than what his advisors tell him. Take this quote from a speech he made in Japan: "My trip to Asia begins here in Japan for an important reason. It begins here because for a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times. From that alliance has come an era of peace in the Pacific."
LOS ANGELES -- The California Supreme Court has decided not to review an appeal by the Walt Disney Co. from a lower court's decision to slap the media giant with stiff penalties for willfully destroying documents it had been ordered to preserve, the American Reporter has learned.
ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- If there is any one word that can come close to describing the Yates family tragedy playing itself out in a Texas courtroom this week it might be this: Sadness.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The repulsive way in which journalist Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journal was killed in Pakistan -- his throat slit on camera after he was humiliated for being a Jew! -- shocked and saddened us all.
Most newspapers do not endorse candidates in primaries, and that would hold true most of the time at AR, too. But the race between two vastly wealthy men and Central California farmboy Bill Jones is too important for us not to take a stand. We believe Bill Jones is the best man to face Gov. Gray Davis in November, and we warmly endorse him in the March 5 primary.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Editor's Note: Steven Travers, a longtime AR Correspondent, and sports writer for the San Francisco Examiner, has just finished his authorized biography of Barry Bonds. We proudly present this excerpt from the book, which is due in bookstores in April.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Leon Klinghoffer. Do we even remember his name?
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seasoned readers of Ink Soup will be aware of how earnestly we avoid even the slightest mention of anything topical. It isn't pusillanimity, it is simple common sense.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 25, 2002 -- A lengthy and expensive accounting in the battle over royalties on Winnie The Pooh revenues may be tainted, according to persons familiar with the case and court records.
EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- Kiki Peppard sat for an interview in the 8' x 10' office of the owner of a manufacturing company in Mt. Pocono, Pa., confident she'd get the job. Not just the I'd-like-a-job kind of confident, but an I-know-I'm-the best-qualified-candidate kind of confident, she recalled later.
SAN DIEGO -- We were sitting in the Pancake House talking about the perfect dreadfulness of her life when she went still as a bird dog on point. Her eyes were fixed on a far spot across the room.
IRVINE, Calif. -- As we age, we often ponder the meaning and quality of our lives. One measure of a successful life is how many other people's lives we have touched in a positive way. One of the 20th century's leaders in that regard passed away last week. Animator Chuck Jones was one of the key figures who developed the Warner Bros. "Merrie Melodies" and "Looney Tunes" cartoons that featured characters like Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and, of course, Bugs Bunny.
THE PENTAGON'S WAR AGAINST THE PRESS
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If you want a good idea of what's missing from the news coverage of our ongoing "war on terrorism," take a trip down to your local library or bookstore and check out the anthologies "Reporting World War II" and "Reporting Vietnam," both published by the Library of America.
WASHINGTON -- Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has achieved another media triumph with the debut of "Tom's Journal" on the "News Hour with Jim Lehrer." The feature will be a "one-on-one debriefing of Friedman by Lehrer or one of the program's senior correspondents," says a news release from the influential PBS program. Friedman will appear perhaps a dozen times per year -- whenever he comes back from a major trip abroad.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Back when I was in high school, women didn't play sports, although we were allowed to swim. So now I watch with awe and joy as those young Olympic women fly into the air on snowboards, turn somersaults on skis, or race down silvery ice on thighs as powerful as steel girders, or shoot and ski and race and pant and sweat and win and lose in front of the entire world. Yes, I keeping thinking, we have finally entered the age of fabulous women.
SAN DIEGO -- Just lately, I've felt like I am standing in the darkroom of life, watching as the face of my mother develops, increasingly luminous in shadow. I realize it is not she that has changed. It is only the vantagepoint of the gathering years that has changed my perspective. What has gripped me recently is her sheer ontology; her resolute thrust of "being" in spite of the mounting contradictions of aging. I don't say death because she is not dying. She is 80 and in worsening health but she is too busy being alive to be complicit in deterioration.
IRVINE, Calif. -- What has 18 legs and often predetermines the results of Olympic events?
NEW YORK -- For several years now, Bill Gates has been busy cornering a new market: our visual history. Gates is the owner of Corbis, a fine art and photography archive of over 65 million images. He peddles reproductions over the Internet.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- As Hans Christian Anderson began the story, "Once upon a time there lived a vain Emperor whose only worry in life was to dress in elegant clothes. He changed clothes almost every hour and loved to show them off to his people.
KATHMANDU, Nepal, Feb. 18, 2002 -- In the deadliest attack since the launch of a Maoist insurgency here in 1996, more than 200 people - including over 100 police and other security personnel - were killed Sunday morning in the Achham district 600 kilometer west of Kathmandu, defense officials said.
NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2002 -- Most people would be thrilled to be a real-life character in a movie. Not Frank Carlucci. His lawyer suggested to filmmaker Raoul Peck and Zeitgeist Films that they might find it legally troublesome if they identified the former high-level U.S. official by name in a scene in Peck's film "Lumumba," which is being shown on HBO this month.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Since the Internet burst from its academic and military origins in the mid-1990s, people who own "content" have been troubled by two things: How to get paid, and how to keep from being ripped off. Fresh efforts,technology and legal theories may make 2002 the year for answers.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Conservatives have been quick to dismiss the Enron collapse as a business scandal, rather than a political scandal. In a recent column in The Washington Post, Michael Tomasky made the case that it's neither.
WASHINGTON -- When a large company is getting clobbered by news stories and pundits, the damage-control response often includes packing full-page newspaper ads with solemn reassurances. That's what the Arthur Andersen accounting firm has been doing lately to wash some of the mud off its name as the outfit that assisted with Enron's phony bookkeeping.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Whenever my local paper, The Brattleboro Reformer, prints something that angers its readers, they always fire off letters to the editor certain to contain two things, the word "sensationalism," and the phrase, "you're just trying to sell more papers." But it's a red herring to say that newspapers choose news items with an eye to selling more papers. Mostly, they print news to fill up the white space between the advertisements. And while newspapers don't seek usually sensationalism, when it comes, they greet it with open arms -- as do their readers.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 12, 2002 -- I went to a meeting tonight where the idea was broached of turning our lone neighborhood park, where there's now a busy soccer field, kids' playground and picnic area, into a dog park -- a place not for kids and people but for dogs to run and take a crap. Gentrification has come to Ivar Hill, the neighborhood where over the years so many people have been shot, stabbed and beaten up by gangs, drunks and transients that at one point it boasted the second worst murder rate in the city.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- After my E-ticket was converted to paper, the U.S. Airways reservation clerk said, "That will be $28, please."
SEATTLE, Wsh. -- The fire that I've just started in the grate of my study might serve to counter some of the bad news to be found this morning in two newspapers. The Chronicle of Higher Education brings the tidings that the Northwestern University Press is rumored to be about to close... again. I never knew they'd been shut down before.
IRVINE, Calif. -- Where on Earth is Osama bin Laden? Parents of today's teens and pre-teens may remember a children's television show with a similar title which aired for a few seasons in the mid-1990s. In that animated series, title character Carmen Sandiego, the world's greatest thief, was on the loose and it was up to the ACME Detective Agency to solve her clues and track her down. Most of the time, the wily thief managed to stay far enough ahead of the crime fighters at the detective agency where she formerly worked to elude capture.
SAN DIEGO -- I have so many patients who wage a daily and desperate battle with anxiety. It literally possesses them so that there is little room left for anything else.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There's nothing that gets the Republican Party excited more than spending more money on making war.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Betty: Hello, and welcome to yet another WPTV public television membership drive! My name is Betty Snodgrass, and I'm joined by my colleague, Earl Harshbarger.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the interests of full disclosure, I admit that my current addictions are to L'Occitane lavender scent from Provence, prime time television, anything sweet, and raw almonds. But after watching the Super Bowl, that veritable monument to American addiction, I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't anything that we, the American people, aren't addicted to.
SEATTLE -- Synopsis of the story thus far, for the benefit of new readers: I am on the fishing pier of the marina, a few blocks from where I live. A young woman pushes an old fellow up in a wheelchair and asks me to sit with him while she runs to the cafe at the end of the pier for some coffee.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Each year about this time, a tradition is carried out in the churchyard where Edgar Allan Poe is buried.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 4, 2002 -- Arthur Andersen & Co., the accounting firm that oversaw the shredding of Enron Corporation records, was hired as the outside accounting expert in the long-running Winnie the Pooh royalties case and worked on it at the Walt Disney Co. from 1994 to at least 1998, a period when thousands of pages of documents related to the case were destroyed in violation of a court order, The American Reporter has learned.
SAN DIEGO -- Abbot Claude at Prince of Peace Monastery is 93 years old. Besides one fall a couple of years ago which broke his nose and put out some teeth he is in good health. I met him several years ago when he called me after an article of mine ran in the paper. He and Abbot Basil were impressed and invited me to their Oceanside quarters for a benediction.
IRVINE, Calif. -- If you have already abandoned your New Year's resolutions, you're not alone.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- While President Bush's State of the Union addresscontained the predicted amount of saber-rattling against terrorists, therewere a few surprises in his speech. The surprises came in the things hedidn't say.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's supposed to be a joke that when you reach middle age, you look into the mirror and see your mom or dad looking back at you. Well, what does it mean when you look in the mirror and see yourgrandmother? It means you're turning 60, turning the big 6-0, turning one of the last pages in the book of your life that you always thought wouldhave been made into a movie by now.
LOS ANGELES -- President Bush has a classic form of cardiac arrhythmia that was responsible for his fainting spell two weeks ago, a Pasadena, Calif., college radio station has revealed. The White House confirmed the report.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Living in London, we picked up a phrase that was a Leitmotif of the weather forecast there: bright interval.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When we see the United States Marine monument depicting war-weary fighting men crawling their way up the rocky mountain and raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi, we're proud of all U.S. Marines. And what's more, all marines are proud to be part of the Corps, lucky to have survived, sad to have suffered the losses - 6,000 men on Iwo Jima alone.
KATHMANDU, Nepal, Jan. 28, 2001 -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent visit to the South Asia region, including the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal, was "very fruitful" in reducing tension between the two nuclear rivals and neighbors India and Pakistan -- so much so that diplomats say the fear of war is gone -- and in strengthening the fight against terrorism in the region, diplomats here told The American Reporter last week.
SAN DIEGO -- Sometimes honoring "patient rights" means you have to walk away from someone who might really need your help. Someone like the 90 year-old man who threw us all out of his house tonight.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24, 2002 -- The Walt Disney Co. destroyed "hundreds of boxes and thousands of pages" of records from its Hong Kong manufacturing arm that showed how Winnie The Pooh-related products were made, shipped and licensed, newly-released documents in an 11-year-old lawsuit for hundreds of millions in past due royalties reveal.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- To the surprise of almost no one, the RepublicanParty plans to make the ongoing "war on terrorism" the centerpiece of itscampaign strategy for the 2002 Congressional elections. Karl Rove, President Bush's top political advisor (a.k.a. "Bush'sbrain"), laid out the strategy at the Republican National Committee'sannual winter meeting in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 18. "We can go to the country on this issue because they trust theRepublican Party to do a better job of protecting and strengtheningAmerica's military might and thereby protecting America," Rove said. "Wecan go to the country confidently on this issue because Americans trust theRepublican Party to do a better job of keeping our communities and familiessafe." So much for the "bipartisan" spirit that President Bush promisedhe'd bring to Washington. So much for "United We Stand." The blood of theyoung American men and women dying in Central Asia will now be used to helpelect Republicans to Congress. The irony of this strategy is how many prominent Republicans andtheir apologists sat out the Vietnam War when they had their chance to puttheir bodies where their beliefs were. Rove, Vice President Dick Cheney,House Majority Leader Dick Armey, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, SenateMajority Leader Trent Lott, Attorney General John Ashcroft and TexasSenator Phil Gramm all managed to avoid military service during the Vietnamera. Likewise for Rush Limbaugh, George Will and Pat Buchanan, just to namea few. Meanwhile the liberals these folks like to smear -- such asMassachusetts Senator John Kerry, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and former VicePresident Al Gore -- are all Vietnam veterans. As long as the war is going well -- "well" being defined as fewAmerican casualties, no new terrorist attacks on American soil andPresident Bush's approval rating hovering in the high 80s -- that may be the only issue the GOP can campaign on. Can they campaign on the economy? The current recession doesn'tseem to be going away all that quickly and handing out billions of dollarsin tax breaks, subsidies and other pork to corporate America -- the GOP'sidea of "economic stimulus" -- isn't going to do anything for the more thanone million people who've lost their jobs since the Sept. 11 attacks. Anddon't forget Enron, the poster child for the kind of crony capitalism thatis now being practiced in America -- a scam where a select few profit andeveryone else gets screwed. No, the GOP realizes they're better off just waving the flag anddistract the American people from the reality that the early euphoria ofpayback for the Sept. 11 attacks masks many deep problems in our nation. Despite the talk of an economic recovery just around the corner,the U.S. is losing jobs at the fastest rate in 20 years. The majority ofAmerican workers never saw the gains from the 1990s economic boom. Homelessshelters and food pantries are turning people away for the first time inyears -- people who have jobs, but can't afford to pay their rent or buygroceries. There are more than 40 million Americans without healthinsurance and thousands of families are about to lose welfare benefitsthanks to the five-year time limits that are now starting to kick in thatwere imposed by the 1996 welfare "reform" law. Flag waving and patriotic blather is going to help these people.But then again, the GOP doesn't care anyway. After all, they have been, arenow, and forever will be the party of the rich and powerful.You won't hearanything from them about extending unemployment benefits, offering healthinsurance to the jobless or coming up with more help for the working poor. Unfortunately, we aren't hearing about any bold alternatives to theRepublican plunder from the Democrats. Here is their big opportunity totruly differentiate themselves from the GOP. Too bad they seem too timid totake them on. If the Republicans intend to use the war as a political weapon, theDemocrats should take Rove's words as a signal that the time for phonybipartisanship is over. And the fight begins with doing something real andsubstantive about the economic inequity that the GOP proudly stands for. This goes beyond investigating the Enron collapse and thatcompany's many, many links to the Bush team. It means taking a hard look atlast year's $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax cut plan that mainly benefited thewealthy, and eliminating it because of the current budget realities. Quitesimply, you can't fight a global war, deal with a recession and cut taxesat the same time without again running huge deficits. The GOP will scream that the Democrats are raising taxes. But thepeople appear to be already ahead of the politicians. A recent ABC Newspoll found 52 percent of the people they surveyed favored canceling theBush Administration's tax cuts if doing so means avoiding budget deficits, compared to 32 percent who want to leave the tax cuts as is. One can only imagine the response if the question were framed as tax cuts versus increased national security or tax cuts versus unemployment payments and health insurance for the jobless.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I don't know what it is, but it takes a special kind of person to want to be the center of attention. I'm not talking about whiny moronic musicians who work all their lives to be revered by the public, then spend all their time whining about how their fans annoy them and they just want to be left alone before moving to a castle in Scotland and marry someone whose first name can also be found on the door of a men's room in a '50s-era diner.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Whenever I'm driving, taking a shower, cooking, or watching television, little questions bubble up in my mind. For example, right now I'm wondering why, when the American people were so enthusiastic about a war in Afghanistan to "get" Osama bin Laden, they didn't complain one bit about the fact that although we caused buckets of devastation over there, we didn't get him.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Editor's Note: Those who have lived the last 40 years or so in Princeton may make better senseof this story than the rest of us. I have just had the oddest experience. An hour ago I went to a movie a few blocks down the hill from where I live to see Ron Howard's film "A Beautiful Mind."
ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- Nominees were announced last week for the W.C.Handy Awards -- popularly known as the Grammys of the blues world. Among the nominees are both B.B. King, the most popular and well-known blues artist today, and Ike Turner -- who played piano on some of the earliest rock 'n roll recordings and later revolutionized rhythm and blues with hisformer wife, Tina Turner.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Tom and I discussed the closing of "Cats," the Broadway musical we saw on his 18th birthday. It closed on his 36th, September 10, 2000.
The Money Trail
ENRON: THE LESSONS OF SEPT. 11 AND NOV. 8
NEW YORK -- How did top executives of Enron do it? How did they cause the world's biggest bankruptcy while making off with millions ofdollars? They used the same financial tools as Osama bin Laden.
SAN DIEGO -- As a geriatric nurse care manager, one of the most important things I do is help people deal with realities they'd rather ignore. That one will soon be facing old age, debilitation and dependence is not something most people want to give any more than a passing thought. It is one pachyderm in the living room they will deny even as it overwhelms them.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- In previous columns, I have waxed rhapsodical about certain restaurants and cooking styles I've encountered during my travels, and given my readers the literary "neener neener neener" when I describe some of the places I've enjoyed over the years. But recently I ate at a restaurant that deserves the king of all "neener neeners," and since I'm hoping for a reprint of this column to hang on their walls, I'll tell you about it here.
IRVINE, Calif. -- Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should.
HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 19, 2002 -- The Walt Disney Co. paid at least $750,000 in 1983 to the widow and her daughter who own the commercial rights to Winnie the Pooh after lawyers accused the company of cheating them on royalty payments and threatened the studio with a lawsuit, newly-opened documents in a 1991 lawsuit revealed Friday.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Enron debacle is finally on the news media's radar. The proximity of the Bush Administration to a company that collapsed in the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history does raise plenty ofsuspicions, and rightly so.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Jan. 18, 2002 -- Call it the case of Bear v Rodent;
WASHINGTON -- I see that I'm damn near legendary now; and since I died long ago, that's safe for all concerned.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So, a few weeks ago, when a good friend and I went to see "Ocean's Eleven," I happened to notice that when handsome George Clooney stood next to heartthrob Brad Pitt, they were exactly the same size. They looked like bookends. Since Pitt is famous for being a small man, that must mean Clooneyis also short. And Matt Damon didn't exactly tower over them. Since I was bored, I started wondering why our male movie stars were shrinking. Stars themselves confirm this; when they go on talk shows, theyusually complain that the first thing people who meet them in person sayis, "You're shorter than I thought you would be." Why do we think they're all tall? Partly because we're used toseeing them 30 feet high on a screen, partly because we think of them as idealized images of what men should be, partly because we think they're more important than we are so we impart height to them in our minds, but mostly because the camera always shoots them from the ground up.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- A friend says that I use bad language (by which
SELMA, Ala. -- Selma, Ala., is as familiar to me as Little Rock, Ark., or Dallas, Tex.
SAN DIEGO -- I'd been diving for attractive artifacts on the ocean floor of my mind. As I rested in the shallow, warm waters off the coast of my bathroom tub, I mused on the absurdity -- indeed criminality -- of the elderly in nursing homes being denied the pleasures of a long soak in hot, steamy water.]
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- What's an airport security guard to do? There may be some doubt in his or her mind after recent events.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Whatever happened to the "New Economy?"
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11, 2001 -- Friday was Day 3,966 in the Hundred-Mile Wood of the Stephen Slesinger Inc. v Walt Disney Co. case. A Superior Court hearing on suppressed documents in the long-running battle over royalties from Winnie the Pooh was confined to the judge's chambers, and its outcome was still more delay in releasing documents made public by Judge Ernest Hiroshige on Dec. 10.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10, 2002 -- A lawyer for the Walt Disney Co. said Thursday there is no way the owners of the U.S. and Canadian commercial rights to Winnie The Pooh can get their lucrative rights back under their 1983 contract without paying a fortune -- in money, not honey -- to the studio.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- There are three pivotal decisions in a person's life: when to get married, when to have children, and whetherto own a dog or turn evil and own a cat instead. After I got married, Irealized how lucky I was when my wife said, "Let's get a dog."
WASHINGTON -- The art of the deal is a media dream: Savvy achievers get to the top. Guile and artifice -- even outright deception -- may well be part of the game, but there's nothing like success. One way or another, money and centralized power end up calling the tunes. Or so the media script often goes.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4, 2002 -- A set of "potentially crippling" secret sanctions levied by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige against the Walt Disney Co. for destroying key evidence in the long-running lawsuit brought by owners of the commercial rights to Winnie The Pooh for unpaid royalties was revealed today in the studio's rejected petition for a writ of mandate from California's Second District Court of Appeal, which was obtained by The American Reporter after Disney unsuccessfuly sought to keep it concealed.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The word "outsider" can be painful -- maybe it's too close to the word "outcast" for comfort. Who among us, after all, doesn't want to feel connected or in some way, a part of things? So when it comes to the growing world of Outsider Art, many artists find the name insulting.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Imagine my astonishment when I read the ad in the Village Voice.
PANAMA CITY, R.P., Jan. 7, 2002 -- Maybe the sports teams had it rightafter all?
CAVE CREEK, Ariz. -- Our destination was not Cave Creek, Ariz.,when we left home on the 20th of December. We cancelled flight plans toPhoenix, opting to drive rather than stand barefoot, shoes in hand,suitcases open exposing gifts to be unwrapped. Well, it's thedrill during times of high alert.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "America's New War" seems to be in a lull right now. There's little left to bomb in Afghanistan. The Taliban have been routed. There's a new government in Kabul and Osama bin Laden and hisloyalists are on the run.
SAN DIEGO -- He used to call me "windy Cindy from Windy City." I just called him Grampie.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa., Jan. 7, 2002 -- Don't expect anyone in the White House to confirm it, but Tom Ridge could replace Vice President Dick Cheney as President George W. Bush's vice-presidential running-mate in the 2004 election.
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Shocking and saddening news came from downtown Lima, Peru, last weekend. Over 260 people died in a devastating fire, and the number will probably rise to above 300. Blackened bodies lined the streets, 30 percent of them children. More than 180 people were injured. Medical burn teams were flown in from abroad. The massive blaze was sparked by an exploding chain reaction of fireworks, which the Peruvians use to celebrate Christmas and New Year's.
PARIS -- Editor's Note: Erika Lorentzsen was a Russia-based writer for the Moscow Times who now is a freelancer based in Paris. She spent New Year's Eve in Berlin as it witnessed the advent of the new European currency, the Euro.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5, 2002 -- It's been a difficult but successful year for Russia's new young president Vladimir Putin, and economic signs show the year ahead ought to be more successful still.
WASHINGTON -- If my memory is correct, it was a Jerry Lewis movie. More than 40 years later, I still remember the scenes of a grown man so gullible that he believed his television. What a laugh riot! The guy dashed out to shop every time a commercial told him exactly what to buy. Then he'd sit in front of the tv set, dyeing his hair and smoking cigars, awaiting further instructions.
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I could do the old joke about how my New Year's resolution is to quit procrastinating tomorrow, but I'm sick of that joke. Or I could do the joke about how I'm giving up Lent for the New Year. Or I could just jab myself in the eye. Guess which one I'll find more amusing?
LOS ANGELES -- The Walt Disney Co. suffered another blow to its hopes of winning a long-running court case over commercial rights to Winnie The Pooh when California's Second District Court of Appeal denied the studio's writ seeking to toss out severe sanctions levied by a Los Angeles judge against the company for destroying 40 boxes of evidence after he ordered it to keep them intact.
SAN DIEGO -- "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child," the song goes. We all recognize the feeling. And sometimes that sense of real or existential abandonment can be compounded.
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The phrase "attention deficit" will call to the mind of anyone who has been reasonably alert for the last few years an unruly child of school age in need of medication and perhaps of professional help. The three R's today would seem to be, in roughly this order: Reprimand, Ritalin, and Rehab.
A CHANGE WILL COME
The hills and forests and rivers and streams of Orange County, N.Y., where I grew up in the small farming town of Monroe (population 2,000), are known for their beauty in Spring, Summer and Fall. The verdant green fields of grass that by late Spring is hay and the waving fields of summer corn give way to the glowing colors of change in the Fall.
PANAMA CITY, Panama, Jan. 1, 2002 -- Admittedly the analogy is a corny stretch, but being here in this Crossroads of the World -- at the southern end of Central America and minutes from the northern tip of South America -- has inspired a few reflections on investment themes in the stock market. Investors are also at a crossroads, one laden with both danger and opportunity.