INSIDE A.R. TODAY

Vol. 12, No. 3,045 - The American Reporter - December 8, 2006

The American Reporter
Extends Our Deepest Condolences
To the Family and Friends of James Kim
"There Is No Greater Love"

Breaking News: Former U.S. Amb. Jeanne Kirkpatrick is dead at 80; Chicago man held in Xmas plot to detonate grenades in area malls



On Native Ground
THE LIST: WHO MADE AMERICAN HISTORY?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Who are the 100 most influential Americans of all time? [MORE]

Momentum
MAYBE, JUST SAY YES?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The war on drugs is back in the news. Where to start? [MORE]

From The A.R. Archives: 2001
I REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- I remember Pearl Harbor. That was the day I went from hopscotch to knitting needles. Yes, I once knit a scarf for the boys in Greenland. Oops! I'm not supposed to mention they're in Greenland. [MORE]

One Woman's World
THERE IS NO GOD OF WAR
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Every flag-draped coffin that comes home to America from Iraq feels to me as though it contains the broken body of my son or daughter, for I am an American and I cannot separate myself from them. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
CASUAL OBSERVATIONS ON INTENSE TOPICS
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- I like to think I'm an observer, and an opinionated observer, at that. Yet I rarely write strong opinion pieces. I'm not a philosopher and I avoid political comments unless it's to defend a misstatement. I'm more an observer like our national treasure, Yogi Berra: "You can observe a lot just by watching." [MORE]

Tom Kerrigan
MY PERILS - AND PAULINE'S - AT THE MOVIES
by T.S. Kerrigan

LOS ANGELES -- When I read a book by Joan Didion or a poem by Dana Gioia about what it's like to be a native Californian, I'm always puzzled because their experiences and impressions are so different than mine. Perhaps if they had grown up in Los Angeles when I did - that provincial city that no more resembles its present self than it did the original pueblo - they would have an altogether different view of what it meant to be reared in this state. [MORE]

Make My Day
SQUIRREL VIOLENCE GRIPS ILLINOIS
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I like nature and the creatures that live in it, provided they stay away from me. I'm what the outdoor-types call a Wilderness Wuss. In the wilderness, there are grizzly bears, timber wolves, snakes, and, squirrels. [MORE]

On Native Ground
A YOUNG MAN'S CHRONICLE OF HELL
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What happens when one of the most important news stories in the world happens literally in your front yard? [MORE]

Momentum
BALLOON MAN
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I went to New York last week to see the Thanksgiving Day parade balloons and found my father. [MORE]

One Woman's World
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN EDEN
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- God created a garden and rested. God created man and rested. Then God created woman and since then neither God nor man has rested. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WHEN THE SCARLET LETTER IS BLUE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Sometimes, long-established laws don't mean anything to me at all. I don't mind seeing a sign affixed to a telephone pole saying NO SPITTING ON THE SIDEWALKS. The law is on the books; the sign upholds the law. It has nothing to do with me and I'm not going to look around for offenders. [MORE]

Make My Day
BEWARE HOLIDAY FRUITCAKES OF DOOM!
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I don't like fruitcake. [MORE]

On Native Ground
SO, WHAT'S THE PLAN FOR IRAQ?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Go big. Go long. Go home. [MORE]

Momentum
FOR SOME AT THANKSGIVING, EMPTY CHAIRS, EMPTY SLEEVES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At a concert last week in Massachusetts, Bob Dylan sang an old, old song called "John Brown," while I imagined his head spinning with whiplash from the deja vu. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
MORNING COFFEE AT BLOODY MARSH
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- My morning routine starts with an "aquacize" class at the fitness center and this morning's air was bracing, to say the least. Stepping into and out of the heated pool, despite my thick terrycloth robe, I was shivering. I fell into line at McDonald's drive-thru and decided I would rather drive out to avoid the fumes-filled parking lot to relish my favorite brew. [MORE]

One Woman's World
LEARNING TO UNLOVE
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- For every relationship there is a season; a time to stay and a time to go; a time for loving and, sometimes, a time to unlove. [MORE]

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

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Erik's note: In the true Laughing Stalk Thanksgiving tradition, we offer Erik's "'Twas the Month Before Christmas" column, so he can grouse about stores that have their Christmas decorations out before Hallowe'en is over. [MORE]

May She Rest In Peace
+ Honora Theresa Dooley Shea +
May 11, 1914 - November 11, 2006

The Soul of Kindness, The Heart of Good

Eulogy: Nina D. Shea
'BY A LIGHT, SHE LEADS'

by Joe Shea

MONROE, NY., Nov. 17, 2006 -- Good morning, and on behalf of the Shea Family, our thanks to each and every one of you who came here to be with us this morning. [MORE]

On Native Ground
A WOMAN-POWERED VICTORY FOR DEMOCRATS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I'll admit it. I'm still trying to get my bearings after seeing the Democrats prevail in last week's mid-term elections. [MORE]

Momentum
MOM AND THE JEWEL THIEVES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The scamsters are out in force these days. Lately I've won many lotteries in England I never even entered. And there's a never-ending supply of respectful former Nigerian government officials who are trying to send me millions of their dollars. My local bank wants to correct my online account, although I don't have an online account. And eBay wants to update my financial information, even though I've never bought or sold anything on eBay. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE COMING MEDIA WAR OVER IRAQ
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The American media establishment has launched a major offensive against the option of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. [MORE]

One Woman's World
DON'T THINK PINK
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I know women who would rather die than grow up. [MORE]

From The A.R. Archives: 2001
IF I WAS INDONESIA'S CHRISTMAS BOMBER
by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, January 4, 2001 -- Last week, a few hours after examining a Jakarta church where a bomb in a parking lot killed three people on Christmas Eve, I returned to my home psychologically shaken, vividly recalling the face of a grieving mother whose son was among the victims. [MORE]

Make My Day
WE NEED 'DRESS LIKE A PIRATE' DAY
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I wish we didn't live in a society that frowned upon what we wear in public. I'm not talking about savagely-ripped jeans and t-shirts with quotes that encourage people to perform anatomically impossible acts on themselves. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHEN IS 'NEVER AGAIN?'
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. [MORE]

An AR Editorial
FOR VETERANS, NOW IS THE TIME TO WAKE UP AND FIGHT
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- This low-tech backwater on the southern Gulf Coast of Florida observes Veterans Day today with unusual zeal. At all the American Legion posts the public is invited to lunch for free or a dollar or five, there's a parade in nearby Palmetto, across the Manatee River, and a week-long American Patriotism Celebration has been underway for days. The local Bradenton Herald is full of articles and ads about the various events, and every state, county and city office and agency except the police department is closed down. [MORE]

Momentum
BAREFOOT ON GLASS: AN ELECTION NIGHT DIARY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This election almost killed me. [MORE]

Market Mover
THE ELECTION AND THE RUMMY FACTOR
Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Nov. 9, 2006 -- Yukyukyukyuk. Eiyaaaaoh! Eiyaaaaoh! Nnyack, nya, nyaaaaack! "Paging Dr. Bush, Dr. Kerry, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard." [MORE]

One Woman's World
AIN'T GOT NO ELOCUTION
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I have learned the error of my ways. I was wrong. I am reformed, born again, forever humbled. [MORE]

Campaign 2006: Florida
13TH DISTRICT BATTLE ROYALE ISN'T OVER YET
by Joe Shea

SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 8, 2006, 3:49 a.m. -- Florida has done it again. A tight and very costly Congressional race has gone into extra innings over votes that were cast on electronic machines without a paper trail. [MORE]

Campaign 2006: Florida
DEMOCRATS ARE FIGHTING HARD FOR FLORIDA
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Nov. 5, 2006 -- Until a short time ago, this tourist-friendly, laid-back town of 50,000 on Florida's southern Gulf Coast wasn't on anyone's map of political hotspots. But even the Washington Post's Website had a Bradenton, Fla., dateline on its top story this morning until Saddam Hussein's death sentence topped it. Even so, by Sunday afternoon, judging from the cameras, crowd and reporters present at a last-minute Democratic rally in front of the Manatee County Democratic headquarters, the nation's eyes were back on big little Bradenton. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
NARROWING THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD TO SEVEN
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Scanning e-mail messages is a speedy process with so much to see and so little to absorb. Today, however, a date jumped out at me: 07.07.07. There it is! Our 50th anniversary is close enough to start marking the event. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHEN THE WARRIORS SAY 'ENOUGH!'

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When a man or woman signs the enlistment papers and raises their right hand to swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and to protect it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, they take on an awesome responsibility. They are pledging to defend this nation and sacrifice their lives, if necessary, to do so. [MORE]

Make My Day
TAG, YOU'RE DUMB!
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- In yet another assault on childhood fun, the game of tag has come under fire from Addle-minded, er, Attleboro, Massachusetts. Willett Elementary School has banned tag from recess. [MORE]

Momentum
VERMONT: AHEAD OF OR BEHIND THE CURVE?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Some say the soul of the nation is up for grabs in the coming elections. [MORE]

One Woman's World
FAITH ISN'T 'SHOW AND TELL'
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Headscarves do not a Muslim make, nor does a cross make a Christian. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER IS FOR FAIRY TALES
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Once upon a time there were newspaper ads and shiny magazine pictures telling readers there were ways to improve their health and well-being, and for a small investment (the purchase price) problems would be solved. Prior to the printed page, "snake oil" salesmen worked from the back of a wagon verbally seducing listening customers into buying a pint of their magic elixir - 40-percent alcohol not listed in the ingredients. [MORE]

Reporting: London
BIN LADEN'S TORA BORA CAVE TO BE A RESORT, TABLOID SAYS
by Chiranjoni Paudyal

LONDON, Oct. 30 -- The rugged, wild Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, once the hideout for the world's most-wanted terrorist, will be converted into a luxury tourist attraction with the construction of a holiday resort at the scene - at least that's what a tabloid paper in London says. [MORE]

American Way
THE TOOLS OF THE CARPENTER
by Joe Shea

MONROE, N.Y. -- In a plain red stable on a verdant, historic farm in Monroe, N.Y., a young carpenter is using an unconventional set of tools to craft a reputation for quality design and workmanship that has traveled throughout the Hudson River Valley and beyond. Those tools go beyond the adze and axe, the plane and saw, the hammer and nails that are also part of his trade, neatly arranged throughout the intimate shop; the unconventional tools are those designed not just to restore an ancient piece of furniture or recreate the grandeur of a dilapidated mansion, but are tools to build a life and a reputation through work that will endure. Joe Varcadipane calls them "The 10 Rules of C." [MORE]

Market Mover
THE $10,000 HEALTH INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLE?
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- It seemed to be a sad truth about the health care insurance industry today when the Blue Cross agent explained the monthly premium for one person would be about $850. But the real sticker shock came when he said, "That's for the $10,000 deductible with no co-payments." [MORE]

Make My Day
MUSIC APPRECIATION FOR GUYS
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- In my constant quest to help Guys transform themselves into Men, I've provided guidance on cooking, dining out, ordering wine at a fancy restaurant, and even relationships. I've taught Men how to become Guys with lessons on home remodeling, designing the perfect garage, and basic tool usage. Now it's time to discuss one of my biggest challenges: How to appreciate classical music. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHY ARE THE DUMB STATES RED?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For the second year in a row, Vermont was ranked the smartest state in the union by the Kansas-based research group Morgan Quitno. [MORE]

One Woman's World
A WINTER OF DISCONTENT
by Elizabeth Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Comes now the first frosty breath of winter, the hint of something different on its way, the silent going of the honeybees, the hummingbirds, the last buzz of a lone fly looking for warmer quarters. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE ALONE TO FEEL ALONE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- My son Tom told me his five-year-old daughter wept as she watched "Castaway" with Tom Hanks when "Wilson," a volleyball that survived the crash along with Hanks (soon becoming his only companion), was floating out of reach forever. [MORE]

Media Beat
CHANNELING THOMAS FRIEDMAN
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Get ready for a special tour of a renowned outlook, conjured from the writings of syndicated New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. [MORE]

Reporting: South Africa
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION A SORE POINT IN JOHANNESBURG
by Christine James

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct. 20, 2006 -- It was Car Free Day in Johannesburg today. Not that there was a noticeable difference from any other day. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE NUCLEAR MENACE IS BACK, THANKS TO BUSH
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For the past six decades of the Atomic Age, humankind has somehow managed to avoid nuclear annihilation. [MORE]

Market Mover
WHAT WE DON'T NEED
by Mark Scheinbaum

MIAMI -— The sparse crowd roared at the sure three-pointer, until it bobbled around the rim and popped out to the mid-court line. [MORE]

Momentum
VERMONT NEEDS A NEW GOVERNOR
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Writing a column about why Republican Gov. James Douglas should be voted out of office is a little like trying to explain why you should shoot your puppy. [MORE]

One Woman's World
AMERICA'S LOST TRIBE
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- For want of a word a nation is lost. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WHEN NEW YORK NEWS HITS HOME
by Constance Daley

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Is it only when I go to New York City that these high-profile news events take place, or is it because in New York, we see and hear firsthand news accounts on the street all day? Here, there's always something going on. [MORE]

Brasch Words
THE FOLEY AFFAIR: SEX, LIES AND FAMILY VALUES
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa.-- The parents of a 16-year-old Congressional page contacted their congressman, Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.). [MORE]

Make My Day
I'M WATCHING THIS GAME IF IT KILLS ME
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Some men will do anything to watch their sports," said Karl, plunking his beer on the table. Karl, my friend and part-time curmudgeon, often plunked his beer as an exclamation to his declarations. We were at my house, watching the Indianapolis Colts play the New York Jets. [MORE]

AR Opinion
JUST FOR FUN, FOLLOW THE FOLEY FOLLIES' FUNDS
by Mark Scheinbaum

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- When former Florida GOP Congressman cum fundraiser Mark Foley resigned in scandalous disgrace two weeks ago, New Mexico GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson disgorged $8,000 in Foley Funds faster than you could say "Jack Abramoff." [MORE]

On Native Ground
IRAQ, IRAN AND THE FOLLY OF FAITH-BASED FOREIGN POLICY
by Randolph T. Holhut

CHESTER, Vt. -- The latest New York Times/CBS News poll has President George W. Bush's approval rating down to 34 percent. More telling, though, is that 83 percent of those who responded to the poll say Bush is either "hiding something or mostly lying" about how things are going in Iraq. [MORE]

Momentum
A HILL OF BEANS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Under a bright blue sky, this year's foliage is extravagantly beautiful. [MORE]

Reporting: South Africa
SCHOOL VIOLENCE AN AFRICAN PROBLEM, TOO
by Christine James

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- "Children will be children. They merely did things teenagers do." These were the words of a South African diplomat working at the South African High Commissioner's Office who, along with his family, was requested by the British Government to be out of Britain by October 17. [MORE]

One Woman's World
THE PROZAC PARADE
by Elizabeth Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- We live, we Americans, in a time of the quick fix for every woe, every twitch of discomfort, every mood. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WHAT WE NEED IS MORE SNITCHES
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- What this country needs is a whole lot more snitches, tattle-tales, informants and even amateur sleuths. We raise our children to believe tattling is a dirty word, telling them they should be ashamed for tattling. That's the way we were raised. [MORE]

Media Beat
WELCOME TO THE NUCLEAR CLUB
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Moments after hearing about North Korea's nuclear test, I thought of Albert Einstein's statement that "there is no secret and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world." [MORE]

Make My Day
A DAY AT THE LUCK RESEARCH INSTITUTE
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I have always wondered how good-luck charms were discovered. Who determined that throwing salt over your shoulder prevented bad luck? Why is a black cat bad luck but a white cat isn't? Why are troll dolls lucky, but my wife thinks my lucky tie-dyed t-shirt should be thrown away? [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHEN THE BILL OF RIGHTS FALLS, WILL ANYONE HEAR?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Last week, the Republican-controlled Congress, aided by a handful of faithless, fearful Democrats, decided it was more important to win an election than to preserve and protect the Constitution, human rights and the rule of law. [MORE]

Market Mover
THE NEW OLD DOW
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Hats off to the Down Jones Industrial Average for reaching "new heights" - at just about where it was almost seven years ago. [MORE]

Momentum
YOU MEAN SILENCE ISN'T GOLDEN ANYMORE?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Remember stillness? Peace? Quiet? Being in the moment? [MORE]

American Traveler
GLIMPSE OF TOWERING MT. FITZ ROY IS WORTH WAITING FOR
by Martin McReynolds

EL CHALTEN, Argentina - The only bad information I got from the staff at El Pilar Inn was that I would be able to see the sun rise on Mount Fitz Roy at 6 a.m. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
DON'T KNOCK IT UNTIL YOU'VE TRIED IT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Those old wives' tales keep coming up as unfailing cures for what ails you. This time I've been given the guaranteed-to-stop-the-pain remedy for Restless Leg Syndrome, RLS. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE IN IRAN
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If these were normal times, the thought that President George W. Bush would launch a war to preserve his party's grip on power would be dismissed as lunacy. [MORE]

Make My Day
HE'S CUCKOO FOR THE COFFEE-CARD CRAZE
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I'm cuckoo for coffee cards. You know, the little cards that get punched, stamped, or marked whenever you buy a cup of coffee or latté at your favorite local coffee shop. (Not Starbucks though - they don't believe in rewarding customer loyalty). After nine or 10 stamps, you get a free cup of your favorite beverage. [MORE]

Market Mover
LESSONS FOR THE BIG BOYS FROM A REAL RAILROAD MAN
by Mark Scheinbaum

OSIER, Colorado -- Let's get the punchline out of the way first: the president and CEO of the railroad served an old lady lunch when no other employees were in the vicinity. He just did it. Fast, efficiently, and with a smile. [MORE]

American Traveler
TANGO 'TIL THE BILL DROPS IN ARGENTINA'S BIG CITY
by Martin McReynolds

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- La Boca and San Telmo used to be rundown Buenos Aires neighborhoods that were fun to visit for their decrepit charm and a musty whiff of the big city's past. [MORE]

Momentum
KINDLED FLAMES
by Joyce Marcel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Will Shulman was buried Tuesday in a plain pine box. [MORE]

One Woman's World
KILLING IS NOT A SPORT
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- For one awed moment I longed to go with them - the wild Canadian geese winging southward, honking across my September sky. [MORE]

Media Beat
MEDIA TALL TAKES FOR THE NEXT WAR
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Sept. 25 edition of Time magazine illustrates how the U.S. news media are gearing up for a military attack on Iran. [MORE]

American Opinion
FOR PODCASTERS, A BRAVE NEW WORLD OF LEGAL ISSUES
by Jeffrey P. Hermes and Samantha L. Gerlovin

BOSTON -- Podcasting is a vibrant method of exercising First Amendment rights that allows people and corporations of all sizes to share their thoughts with a vast potential audience. However, like any other mass media publisher, podcasters can be held responsible under United States law if they cross the line from the protected exercise of the freedoms of speech and press to defaming those that are the subject of a podcast. [MORE]

Reporting: Thailand
THAI COUP PLOTTERS BAN MEDIA, ARREST LEADERS
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

BANGKOK, Thailand, Sept. 24 -- Thai coup leaders have started to ban news about ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and arrest his close aides in an attempt to suppress democracy and freedom of the press in the formerly open and democratic society of Thailand. [MORE]

Culture Crit
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO AMERICAN POETRY?
by T.S. Kerrigan

LOS ANGELES -- Some people (especially those of us who've been around longer than we'd like to admit) continually lament what we perceive to be the decline in American poetry. We don't mean the diminished numbers of readers of poetry in this century, which is not subject to argument. It's purely a matter of arithmetic. What we're talking about is a decline in the quality of poetry written today. [MORE]

Make My Day
HOW TO RAISE A SPOILED CHILD
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Children need boooundarieees," child psychologists harangue in that sing-songy, whiny voice that annoys the crap out of me. "They need limits on what they're allowed to dooooo." [MORE]

On Native Ground
FRONTLINE DISPATCHES FROM THE WAR AGAINST THE MIDDLE CLASS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The conventional political wisdom says that in this election year, the war in Iraq has overshadowed everything. [MORE]

Market Mover
DELL VS. A BAKED POTATO
by Mark Scheinbaum

SANTA FE, N.M. -- The "ink specialist" (yup, that's what they call him) at Office Depot looked around the shelves at HP, Brother, Epson, Lexmark, and the generic house brands and shrugged, "Dell? Nope, no Dell. They want everything for themselves. You have to order your supplies from them." [MORE]

Reporting: Thailand
MILITARY COUP IN THAILAND 'WILL NOT LAST LONG'
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

BANGKOK, Thailand, Sept. 21 -- Thailand's army launched a bloodless coup Tuesday against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatr, who was attending the UN General Assembly in New York. The army has enforced martial law and suspended the democratic constitution of the country. [MORE]

Momentum
BRATTLEBLOGGING
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Every Wednesday, I sit down at the computer and produce a polished (I hope) and coherent (maybe) column on a single topic. [MORE]

One Woman's World
FOR THE CHILDREN, WE MUST STAY
by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- It's not a question now of whether or not our pre-emptive war-play in Iraq was morally or militarily justified. We're there and we have to stay. [MORE]

Market Mover
FORECLOSURE NUMBERS ARE WARNING SIGNS FROM
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Drive by your favorite section of Palm Beach County and keep in mind that recently-released figures show that one in every 250 homes you pass is in foreclosure. [MORE]

American Opportunity
GRADUATE EDUCATION ON YOUR OWN TERMS
by Seth Gordon

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio -- Every year, and release a guide to assist parents and their young adult-children in the process of picking the perfect college. Phrases like "running the admissions gauntlet" make the process sound more like a video game than an educational experience. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
ANOTHER BITE FROM A POISONED APPLE
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Food poisoning in one form or another has posed a danger all through my life; however, early on, it was the food itself, mistakenly consumed or imbibed, that brought on illness or death. Although it wasn't a common incidence it did happen with enough regularity for us all to be deathly afraid of mushrooms. [MORE]

Make My Day
THE DANGERS OF DAUGHTERS
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I think it's time to start talking my daughters about the facts of life. [MORE]

One Woman's World
A POPE HAS RIGHTS, TOO
by Elizabeth Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga -- I would gladly go to Rome, stand out in front of the Vatican, and defend with a bouquet of long-stemmed, thorny wild roses the Pope's right to express his opinion on Islam and the Koran. [MORE]

Momentum
OLD AGE IS NOT FOR SISSIES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Longevity is our culture's Holy Grail. We "fight" debilitating illnesses. We admire people who won't "go gently into that good night." We praise "survivors." We tsk-tsk when people die "too young." We laugh when we say, "Old age is difficult, but think of the alternative." [MORE]

Market Mover
WALL STREET IS A WAR UNTO ITSELF
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- It took less than 24 hours after officials somberly reflected on the fifth anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks for investors to get solid proof of the guerilla warfare mentality now needed to survive on Wall Street. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
DEATH IS THE FINAL ESCAPE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When we hear, "the movie opens Friday at a theater near you," we know we will see stars on promotional tours, and we'll see the characters they play through the eyes of the actors they are. Adrien Brody, first made famous in Roman Polanski's "The Pianist," flopped onto the couch between the formidable ladies staging "The View" each weekday morning at 11:00. [MORE]

On Native Ground
OUR NATION'S SAD JOURNEY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I originally wrote this column, "A Time To Think Clearly," for The American Reporter on Sept. 14, 2001, three days after the attacks on New York and Washington. [MORE]

Frontline: Baghdad
ON SEPT. 11, REMEMBER EUGENE ALEX
by Capt. Gabriel Scheinbaum, USA

BAGHDAD, Sept. 11, 2006 -- On the mornng of August 30, his 32nd birthday, at about a quarter after 11 in the morning, Sergeant Alex made his last volunteered movements. Moments later, while conducting patrols with C troop, 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, Army Staff Sgt. Eugene Alex was down. A single shot to the head had started in motion the inevitable. A few days later, with his wife, Melissa, at his side, Eugene Henry Eli Alex was pronounced dead. [MORE]

An American Passage
ON THE SOUL OF MY FATHER
by Joseph P. Shea

MONROE, N.Y., Sept. 9, 2006 -- Good morning. On behalf of my father and each member of the Shea Family, our thanks to you for being here this morning at a time which, with the passing of his brother Billy's beloved wife, Lorraine Shea, and indeed even the great matriarch of the Snee Family that gave that beautiful land to this church, that surely marks the passage of the generations. [MORE]

Passings
JOHN S. SHEA, JR., A MAN OF GREAT HUMILITY AND MANY ACHIEVEMENTS, DIES AT 95
American Reporter Staff

MONROE, N.Y. -- John S. Shea, Jr., the father of American Reporter founder and editor Joe Shea, a lifelong resident of Monroe, N.Y., died Sept. 5 at 6:10 a.m. at Arden Hill Hospital in Goshen after a brief hospitalization for pneumonia. He was 95. [MORE]

On The Set

TIL' DEATH OR HIGH NOON

by Gerard Martin

NEW ORLEANS -- As I sit down afterwards to read it, I see that midway through the Dan Harris ("Superman Returns," "X2") "Til' Death" screenplay, there's a scene that's obviously written for the studio. [MORE]

Media Beat
SPINNING THE TROOP LEVELS IN IRAQ
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- September began with 140,000 American troops in Iraq - 13,000 more than in late July. [MORE]

Make My Day
KARL THE CURMUDGEON ISSUES A CHALLENGE
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I can use any word in a sentence, I boasted to Karl, as we were having a beer. [MORE]

On Native Ground
KATRINA: A TRAGEDY MADE WORSE BY OFFICIAL INCOMPETENCE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A year ago this week, Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. [MORE]

Momentum
'SHEIK MO' LAPS U.S. NAGS AS WORLD RACES BY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Watching the wealth of our nation - as well as the blood and body parts of our soldiers - poured down a rat hole in Iraq is not the only thing that grieves me. [MORE]

Market Mover
THE TWO FRIENDS YOU LOST
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Leave the country for a few days on business, and while you are gone get word that two friends, two heroes, two champions of the underdog have died. It is the kind of news that jerks your head back like a right uppercut. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
LADY IN THE DARK
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The first time I heard the word was when Dr. Steinman referred to me as "the ubiquitous Mrs. Daley." I didn't have a clue what he meant. [MORE]

Market Mover
DEFENSIVE STOCKS THAT DON'T GO BOOM
by Mark Scheinbaum

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 27, 2006 -- It's the time of year when some professional investors think about "defensive stocks" and we're not talking about tanks, planes, guns, and bombs. [MORE]

Make My Day
THERE GOES THE SOLAR SYSTEM
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Quick, name the nine planets. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE MYTHICAL END TO THE 'POLITICS OF FEAR'
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Five years into the "war on terror," it's still at the core of American media and politics. [MORE]

On Native Ground
TRADING FREEDOM FOR SECURITY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff recently floated the idea that our nation's domestic antiterrorism laws should be reviewed. He suggested that the United States might benefit from the sort of aggressive surveillance and arrest powers that British authorities used to foil the supposed plot to bomb as many as 10 airliners. [MORE]

Momentum
WRITE YOUR OWN COLUMN
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We're having a gorgeous late summer here in southern Vermont. The corn is high, the tomatoes are in and I'm going to Saratoga to bet on the horses. So write your own column. [MORE]

American Opinion
GEORGE BUSH AND THE BETRAYAL OF DEMOCRACY
by Judah Freed

DENVER, Aug. 23, 2006 -- When U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit ruled Thursday, August 17, that the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional and must be halted, she wrote, "There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution." [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
SERVICE WITH A SMILE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- If I were to title this Service With A Snarl it would likely be closer to the way I feel but less than likely you would read it. [MORE]

On Native Ground
IS HILLARY CLINTON THE NEXT PRO-WAR DEMOCRAT TO FALL?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Sen. Joe Lieberman's sorry hide has been nailed to the wall, and there is rejoicing in the land (except from the lobbyists, pundits and political hacks who make up the permanent occupation force of Washington). [MORE]

Make My Day
TAKE TWO PILLS AND . . . UHHHH
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "You can't fix stupid," claims stand-up comic Ron White. [MORE]

Momentum
POST-INVASION DREAD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Israeli attack on Lebanon horrified me, but nothing prepared me for the sense of dread that has come in its wake. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE DOCTOR SAYS
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The doctor was exasperated with me, I could tell. He definitely keeps tabs on my cholesterol levels and I've been through the best medicines yet discovered for keeping those levels on the healthy side of 190. But, the reading is not there yet. (What can I say? I love eggs.) As we worked through the first few prescriptions, I developed such muscle weakness I couldn't lift a cup of coffee. On to another prescription and then another until now, finally, I take one that has no side effects. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
GOVERNMENT, MAOIST REBELS AGREE ON ARMS AND A PEACE PLAN FOR NEPAL
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, Aug. 13, 3006 -- Nepal's new government and the country's Maoist rebels have agreed on terms for the management of arms, moving the peace process forward and holding elections for its constituent assembly under the eye of United Nations observers, officials said. [MORE]

Make My Day!
MY KINGDOM FOR A CURMUDGEON
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Regular readers of former Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko will remember Slats Grobnik, a curmudgeonly character who espoused less-than-popular views on certain controversial issues. [MORE]

Market Mover
THE FED AND YOUR FUTURE
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Aug. 10, 2006 -- Every so often a member of academe comes along who can actually make complex issues, such as the Federal Reserve Board's "pause" or perhaps "halt" in two years of raising interest rates. Professor Jeremy Seigel, the Russell E. Palmer Professor of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in Philadelphia, is just such an expert. [MORE]

Breaking News
'VERY SOPHISTICATED' PLOT TO BLOW UP U.S. - U.K. FLIGHTS EXPOSED
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., 8:58 a.m., Aug. 10, 2006 -- A "very sophisticated plot" to blow up passenger jets using liquids carried aboard in hand luggage was disrupted by British authorities with 21 arrests of conspirators in England, homeland security officials revealed in an extraordinary press conference this morning. [MORE]

Momentum
LOVE THE OTHER AS YOURSELF
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Thank heavens for Mel Gibson. How could we have a conversation about an important social issue in this country without a celebrity? [MORE]

On Native Ground
JOE-MENTUM, WE HARDLY KNEW YE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I'm writing this early Wednesday morning, absolutely vibrating with joy at seeing an election outcome that I don't have to cringe over. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
HITS FROM ALL OVER
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was midnight and while I was getting ready for bed a woman in the United Kingdom silently entered my Website. She didn't enter my pages on the World Wide Web by way of the URL (Universal Resource Locator), nor by my name, for that matter. She had typed "Badger's Parting Gifts" in Google's search engine. This children's book was once mentioned casually in an article I wrote called Parting Gifts. [MORE]

An A.R. Editorial
SEND JOE LIEBERMAN BACK TO THE SENATE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 6, 2006 -- No image has done so much to undo the Senate career of Connecticut Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman as the kiss on his cheek planted there by President George Bush at the end of the 2006 State of the Union address. It is this Judas kiss that, more than any other fact, may move Connecticut Democrats to castrate themselves by sending one of the most principled, effective and intelligent men in government back to private life. [MORE]

Make My Day
IT MEANS PEPPERONI, SAUSAGE, ANCHOVIES
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Some readers may have heard me quietly lament my recent 39th birthday ("Oh my Gawwwwd! I'm getting oooooolllddd!!"), and complain that I'm getting too old for a lot of things like stuffing myself with pizza and beer without thinking about my cholesterol. [MORE]

On Native Ground
IS OPTIMISM DEAD IN AMERICA?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Americans are supposed to be an optimistic, can-do people, but no one seems to be talking about the future with starry-eyed wonder any more. [MORE]

Momentum
STOP FOR THE SAKE OF STOPPING
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I couldn't believe it when President George Bush, talking about Israel's attack on Lebanon, said he was against "stopping for the sake of stopping." [MORE]

BACK TO CUBA? EXPECT A CRAWL, NOT A RUSH
by Mark Scheinbaum

MIAMI -- The year was 1974 and the dapper, well-spoken Cuban ambassador to the United Nations, Ricardo Alarcon, would nod hello to me most days en route to work at the Legislative Palace in Panama City, Panama. [MORE]

Conster Nation
I'VE HAD IT
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- I can't take it anymore. I know I'm supposed to find humor in the fools who run this country, and I've been moderately successful. (I know this because the editor tells me so - trust me, when my work stinks, I'm the first to know it.) [MORE]

American Opinion
IT'S TIME FOR A PEACE AND JUSTICE POLICY IN THE MIDEAST
by Parvez Ahemed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians are being killed. The civilian infrastructures of both areas are being systematically destroyed. And what is our nation's response? We refuse to call for a cease-fire, and instead expedite the shipment of bombs to Israel so that they are better able to carry out their brutal attacks. [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
RETURN TO BAGHDAD: I'M NOT COMING HOME AFTER ALL
by Capt. Gabriel Scheinbaum, U.S.A.

BAGHDAD, July 31, 2006 -- There has been a lot of news this week about the Army's decision to extend the year-long deployment of the 172nd Stryker Brigade from Fort Wainwright, Alaska. After all, would you remain silent if you or your loved one had just served for 361 days in Mosul, Rawah, and Tal Afar, Iraq, and days from re-deployment were told that too bad, you're not done yet? [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE LEGACY OF CHARLOTTE TEMPLE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Last week, John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted" television show, stood beside President Bush and watched as the President signed into law what he has most wanted for the 25 years since his son, Adam, was abducted and subsequently murdered by person or persons still unknown. [MORE]

On Media
FORTY-FOUR SUMMERS AGO, DALE WAS KING
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, July 31, 2006 -- Approximately half a century ago, a craze for surfing and surf music arose in Southern California and spread to the rest of the country. It brought a new style of guitar playing, its own sense of fashion and even a cinematic subgenre. Words like gremmie and hodad entered the language along with Hawaiian terms like haole and kahuna. [MORE]

Make My Day
BAD TO THE T-BONE
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I had a combination "Ha, ha, serves you right/Wow, that's too bad" moment a few years ago when I heard that Chris Hamill (aka "Limahl"), former lead singer of '80s British band Kajagoogoo, was working at a London record store. This followed his failed solo singing career that he launched after Kajagoogoo's one big hit, "Too Shy," hit the top of the UK charts. [MORE]

Market Mover
THE WAR ECONOMY AND OTHER TRENDS
by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M. -- Wall Street seems to like, or at least tolerate the intensification of war in the Middle East. So what ever happened to the old caveat "Wall Street hates uncertainty?" [MORE]

On Native Ground
IS WORLD WAR III THE GOP'S TRUMP CARD?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We know that the Republican Party, the party of incompetence and corruption, is in big trouble heading into November's congressional elections. [MORE]

Momentum
A DANCE OF DEATH
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Want a little warm-up?" asks the waitress as she splashes more coffee into my cup. "Need more milk?" [MORE]

Media Beat
APPLAUDING WHILE LEBANON BURNS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Syndicated columnist Richard Cohen declared in the Washington Post on Tuesday that an-eye-for-an-eye would be a hopelessly wimpy policy for the Israeli government. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
GOD'S ON THEIR SIDE, BUT WHO'S ON HIS?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This morning in an e-mail to all our children, I mentioned it was my mother's 119th birthday. Her lifetime was one from 1887 to 1969 and included electricity, telephones, automobiles, airplanes, two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and then, actually, on the night of her last birthday, man landed on the Moon, in that giant step for mankind. [MORE]

Conster Nation
KOFI AND CONDI GO TO DINNER
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Great moments in diplomacy are few in recent times. [MORE]

Market Mover
A COMPUTER ILLITERATE SPEAKS OUT
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON. Fla. -- Since I predicted that Michael Dell must know something great about his company that we don't, his stock's value has fallen another 10 percent and forecasts for the rest of 2006 are miserable. The only bright spot is for sparkling new products late in 2007 - maybe. [MORE]

On Media
EVERYBODY'S AN EMBRYOLOGIST THIS WEEK
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, July 24, 2006 -- All of a sudden, the whole world is filled with stem cell experts, and they're all on talk radio or writing opinion columns. [MORE]

Make My Day
G'DAY MATE, BONZER HAT YE GOT THERE
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- They're called "cringe moments." Those things that we've done in our past that make us squirm uncomfortably like a Baptist at "Brokeback Mountain" as we remember them. We die a thousand deaths as we recall our past cringe moments and break into a cold sweat at the first sparkle of memory. No one likes to talk about them, but everyone has them, me included. [MORE]

On Native Ground
A TIME TO WORRY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Troubled times demand bold and intelligent leadership. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS ALLIANCE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Getting out of Lebanon, writer June Rugh told Reuters: "As an American, I'm embarrassed and ashamed. My administration is letting it happen [by giving] tacit permission for Israel to destroy a country." [MORE]

Momentum
THE SPIRIT OF WAR
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At the start of the Iraq war, the British columnist George Monbiot wrote, "They [the American and British governments] have unlocked the spirit of war, and it could be unwilling to return to its casket until it has traversed the world." [MORE]

An A.R. Editorial
REMEMBER THE MAINE, THE LUSITANIA AND THE TURNER JOY
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., July 19, 2006 -- The image broadcast today of the Orient Queen, a sleek, eight-deck luxury cruise ship moored in the Port of Beirut - it's now set sail for Cyprus - with 2,000 American and British citizens fleeing Lebanon aboard, was seen around the world on Cable News Network and cannot have been missed by any number and variety of terrorists anxious to inflict damage on Israel, the United States, Britain and anyone who supports them. [MORE]

Conster Nation
AMEND THIS
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. - You have to hand it to the folks in Congress: our elected representatives are willing to change with the times and not get stuck in some mire of principle or belief or the concerns of the people they represent. [MORE]

Brasch Words
HALLELUJAH NO MORE: SOME MEXICAN FOOD FOR THOUGHT
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Let's pretend it's dinner time, and you've just developed a sudden craving for Mexican food. [MORE]

Reporting: Panama
IN OCTOBER, PANAMA VOTES FOR MORE THAN A CANAL
by Mark Scheinbaum

PANAMA CITY, Panama, July 18, 2006 -- The National Assembly has set October 22 as referendum day for yea or nay on a $5.6 billion upgrade of the Panama Canal, but the outcome will determine lots more than ships sailing through Lake Gatun and a new set of locks. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
GRIEF BECOMES MARY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga -- Everybody dies. Whether the decedent's life ends at the biblically suggested three score years and ten or goes from life to death anywhere from the first stages of infancy to years set in the prime of life, we do die. That is not a happy thought and it does grieve me to bring it to your attention. But you did know it all along. [MORE]

On Media
THE KOS CAUCUS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, July 17, 2006 -- It is too early to know whether this new medium called the Internet is revolutionizing politics or whether it is, in effect, just another caucus. What is becoming plainer by the day is that the traditional media continue to misunderstand and misinterpret what is going on. As evidence, we have the coverage of something called Yearly Kos. [MORE]

Make My Day
SOMEDAY I'LL BE A MAN OF WHOLE WORDS
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I want to be a man of letters. [MORE]

An A.R. Editorial
WHAT DOES ISRAEL WANT?
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., June 14, 2006 -- It's time to ask very urgently what the true goals of Israel are in its invasion of Lebanon and its assault on Gaza in the Palestinian Territories. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE GOP STEALS ANOTHER ELECTION - IN MEXICO
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If only Al Gore and John Kerry could have been more like Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). [MORE]

Momentum
ARE YOU THE MAKER OR THE TOOL?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Believe me, I know it's hard. The Bush Administration says that all detainees at Guantanamo Bay and in U.S. military custody everywhere are - suddenly! - entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions and you can't help wanting to scream, "Where were you five years ago, before the whole world starting hating us and the U.S. Supreme Court said you weren't above the law. Were you power-drunk?" [MORE]

American Opinion
THE END OF DEMOCRACY PROMOTION IN IRAQ?
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, N.Y. -- "America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof." [MORE]

Conster Nation
EULOGY FOR A CROOK
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Ken Lay died last week. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
AN AMERICAN NAME
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. -- There was a time you could almost tell an American by his name. It was so important to immigrants to be considered American that many of them changed their names. And, those who thought their names belied an unacceptable ethnic group, would "Americanize" their name - by that I mean "Anglo-Saxonize." [MORE]

Mr. Tubbs
HAVE I GOT A SONG FOR YOU, WILLIE
by Ed Tubbs

PALMETTO, Fla. -- You've heard the mantra, almost a song, a hundred times, and sung it yourself: "My Taxes Are Too High Already." [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
DID YOU MISS THE MOSUL CUP?
by Capt. Gabriel Scheinbaum, U.S.A.

MOSUL, Iraq -- Radio listeners of Paul Harvey's "The Rest of The Story" could tune in daily anywhere in America for the past four decades and hear his distinctive voice and often humorous, always poignant tales of America. There was always the well-known, book-cover version of a story, then a commercial break he would usually narrate himself, and 60 seconds later he would hit you with all the fabric that you never saw - the rest of the story. [MORE]

On Media
AT THE PORT OF L.A., NEIGHBORS ARE LAST TO KNOW
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, July 10, 2006 -- An emergency that occurred at the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, July 7, raises interesting questions about the relationships between public agencies, the media and the public. Curiously enough, the issue in this case does not revolve around information being withheld from the media, but from the people. [MORE]

The Market Mover
IS THIS YOUR DOWN YEAR?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Depending on how risky or conservative you might be, the sticker-shock of your Q2 investment statements might easily have shown your brokerage account down 3 to 11 percent from the last report. [MORE]

Opening Night
IT'S NOT YOUR OLD MAN'S SODAM AND BEGORRAH
By T.S Kerrigan

LOS ANGELES -- Marian Tomas Griffin, a girl from Killa, County Mayo born in New York, acts, sings, and plays guitar in this solo show that is American in format and quintessentially Irish in subject matter. It is a candid, humorous rite of passage for an American audience with some sophistication in things Irish. [MORE]

On Native Ground
A FREE NATION NEEDS A FREE PRESS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The war now being waged by the Right on the First Amendment and its principles of a free press, freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom of association is hardly a new one. [MORE]

Make My Day
INJURED ON THE FOURTH OF JULY
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Dear Doctor Taylor: I'm writing this letter to give you a better explanation of today's chain of events at my family's Fourth of July celebration which resulted in my appearance at your fine hospital. [MORE]

Momentum
WHERE'S JESUS WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My father was a peasant at heart. He was a first-generation American raised on these old-country rural values: trust no one except the family, the worst is always yet to come, don't trust banks, don't go into debt. [MORE]

Conster Nation
GOVERNMENT'S BROKE? I'LL FIX IT
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Things are broken, all kinds of things. Just look around. We have bad leaders, bad air, bad diets, bad television - it's not good. [MORE]

Mr. Tubbs
THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY, LIVE IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT
by Ed Tubbs

PALMETTO, Fla. -- How can one improve on Thomas Jefferson? It is Independence Day, the one day on our national calendar to refresh our parched palates with words from the father of that independence - not only from Britain, but from those among us who would seek to bind our freedoms to their beliefs. [MORE]

Market Mover
GETTING THE BANKS TO 'FLOAT' YOUR BOAT
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON --Can the individual investor buy the same U.S. government agency bonds purchased by his or her bank, insurance company, mutual fund, or trust company? [MORE]

Make My Day
ANN COULTER, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Dear Ann: Can I call you Annie? I'd like to think we could be friends, or at least colleagues. Sure, you're a big-time author with several books, and I'm just a weekly humor columnist, but we're siblings in the written word. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE SUPREME COURT STUMBLES ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to strike down Vermont's 1997 campaign finance law reinforces the court's misguided notion that money equals speech in politics. [MORE]

Andy Oram Reports
WYDEN VOWS SENATE FILIBUSTER IN FIGHT FOR NETWORK NEUTRALITY
by Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 29, 2006 -- Network neutrality hangs precariously in the balance on the Congressional agenda. It has already been rejected by the House, and yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee approved a telecommunications bill by Republican chairman Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska without including network neutrality language. [MORE]

Andy Oram Reports
THE NETWORK NEUTRALITY DEBATE: WHEN THE BEST EFFORT ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH
by Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 28, 2006 -- Network neutrality has exploded on the news like few issues in telecommunications policy. [MORE]

Momentum
HOW ABOUT A WAR ON WAR?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- You've got to hand it to the Republicans, using war to keep a death grip on the political process. For example, the generals say they can't close the prison at Guantanamo until they "win the war on terrorism." [MORE]

American Opinion
THE ISSUE THAT JUST WON'T GO AWAY
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- As new reports detail further abuse by America's military of its prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, a behind-the-scenes battle is being fought between the State Dept. and the Dept. of Defense over a key section of the Geneva Convention on prisoners. Should it be included in new rules governing Army interrogation techniques? [MORE]

Conster Nation
THE JOY OF TEACHING - BUT FIRST...
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Wolfgang Ketterle, 2001 Nobel Laureate and John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics at M.I.T., has said auf Wiedersehn to Cambridge and spent his Nobel bucks on a little place in your home town. [MORE]

The Pooh Papers
U.S. SUPREME COURT TURNS DOWN DISNEY APPEAL IN POOH CASE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- In a major setback to the Walt Disney Corp.'s efforts to recapture near-priceless rights to Winnie The Pooh merchandise from the original licensees, the United States Supreme Court refused without comment Monday to hear an appeal of Los Angeles Federal Court Judge Florence Cooper's 2003 decision denying the studio the right to terminate a 1983 agreement with Pooh's licensornand buy future rights from descendants of British children's author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shephard, The American Reporter has learned. [MORE]

Make My Day
THE SAD ART OF COMPROMISE
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- In my 3.9 decades on this Earth, I've come to the conclusion there is no such thing as true fairness. (I've also come to the conclusion that I'm getting old.) [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE OVER BUSH'S ELECTION FRAUD?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Ever since the somewhat murky outcome of 2004 presidential election in Ohio, there have been numerous reports of how Republicans engaged in widespread and intentional cheating and fraud to ensure that President George W. Bush would win. [MORE]

Momentum
WHY CAN'T IT ALL BE LIKE THE WORLD CUP?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Many of us get a tearful feeling of one-world happiness during the Olympics, but they are just a little country fair compared to the World Cup. [MORE]

Market Mover
PAYTON PLACE: A MANAGEMENT PARABLE
by Mark Scheinbaum

MIAMI -- Imagine your boss calling 788 committee meetings over a 10-year span, and you only missed two. [MORE]

American Opinion
AMERICA'S NEW APPROACH TO IRAN
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Every once in while, Congress gets it right. [MORE]

Media Beat
INSURGENT BARBARISM - AND OURS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Baghdad bureau chief of the New York Times could not have been any clearer. [MORE]

Mr. Tubbs
A TEST, AND A TALE
by Ed Tubbs

SARASOTA, Fla. -- First, the test. There is a right answer, but sadly, I suspect few will arrive at it. Every event contained within it is 100 percent true, 100 percent factual. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
GIVE MY REGARDS TO DUFFY SQUARE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Whoever said there is no such thing as coincidence wasn't in this quiet room this morning. The light touch of the computer keys addressing Amazon.com was the only sound. I was hoping to find a listing for a VHS or DVD video of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" for our Fourth of July entertainment. [MORE]

Conster Nation
IT'S THE DRIVER, PHIL
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Phil, Phil, Phil. You had a plan, thought it was a good one, worked hard on it, but in the end things didn't go the way you wanted. You kept ending up in the weeds and ankle-high rough; you had no clear line to the green, and victory was suddenly in doubt. [MORE]

On Native Ground
AL-ZARQAWI IS DEAD, BUT NOTHING WILL CHANGE IN IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- No tears are being shed for the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. [MORE]

Make My Day
MOVE OVER, MISS MANNERS ... PLEASE
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think society has lost its sense of etiquette and politeness. We've forgotten simple manners and the niceties of a civilized society. No longer do we display the manners we were taught as children. We've become petulant and rude. We're quick to whine about the slightest offense. And we voice our displeasure at the top of our lungs like a spoiled child who didn't get the toy he wanted. [MORE]

Market Mover
THE FATHER'S DAY STAKES ON WALL STREET: MORNING LINE
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORRTH, Fla. -- Here is the consensus of handicappers for 18 June 2006. Track: Muddy. [MORE]

Conster Nation
THE ANNUAL HUBRIS AWARDS
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- "Welcome! Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to this year's Hubris Awards and Banquet. I'm Jimmy Communicationsmajor, and you all know the beautiful and never humble Diana Perfectteeth." [MORE]

Momentum
A SUBWAY TUNNEL UNDER A MEADOW
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Even before the figures were in on Dummerston's new town-wide property reappraisal - up 81 percent! - there was something gnawing at me. Basically, it was this new house being built in Dummerston Center. [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
A SOLDIER'S RANT: I WANT TO HEAR AMERICA AGAIN
by Capt. Gabe Scheinbaum, U.S.A.

MOSUL, Iraq, June 10, 2006 -- This was going to be an anonymous rant - for my legal protection, if nothing else. But I want the content of it to speak to America's John Q. Public as much as the Saturday morning cartoons convince kids that "Trix are for Kids," and maybe that means tJohn Q should know who's talking. I'm an officer in a hard-working combat brigade; I want to tell you somthing that's really important to me. [MORE]

Make My Day
BARRY VS. THE HOONS
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- To paraphrase Saturday Night Live alum Norm MacDonald, "Australians hate Barry Manilow!" [MORE]

On Native Ground
WAR THEN, WAR NOW: ONE VET'S ATTEMPT TO RECONCILE VIETNAM AND IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Gary Canant, a 61-year-old Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War who now lives outside Kansas City, Mo. [MORE]

Momentum
HAVE THEY NO SHAME?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There's no getting around it: fat tastes good. In fact, fat tastes great. So there's this television commercial, Wendy's, I think, and instead of French fries, our national food, a man orders a baked potato with his breaded and fried whatever-nuggets. Everyone in the restaurant falls over in their chairs. A baked potato instead of fries! [MORE]

American Opinion
SAUDI COSMETICS?
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- As human rights organizations expressed skepticism that detainees recently transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabian custody could receive fair trials and escape torture - and a new study charged that the country's textbooks continue to promote intolerance of other religions - the oil-rich Kingdom put the finishing touches on its new Human Rights Commission. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE URBANITY OF EVIL
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- I've been thinking about Tariq Aziz a lot since the New York Times printed a front-page story on the former Iraqi deputy prime minister in late May. A color photograph showed him decked out in what the article described as "an open-necked hospital gown, with a patient's plastic identification tag on his wrist." He looked gaunt. [MORE]

Conster Nation
CONSERVATIVES ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Let me get this straight: a decade and half ago the Evil Empire, the odds-on favorite to be the idiots who pushed The Button, just packed up the Volga, took a chunk of the Berlin Wall for a souvenir, and got teaching jobs at the Kennedy School of Government? [MORE]

Campaign 2006
DAY OF THE PARACLETE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., June 4, 2006 -- This Sunday is celebrated by the Catholic faith as a day to recall the Biblical episode in which Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, abruptly appears amid His frightened disciples in a locked room, and then breathes upon them to impart the Holy Spirit. As they receive it, burning tongues of fire appear above their heads - these are the Paraclete - and each is suddenly gifted with the power to be understood in any language, and with the motive force to go forth and spread His Gospel of love, peace and redemption. [MORE]

Make My Day
A TEENSY-WEENEY, ITSY-BITSY TEMPEST
by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- To the outside world, it's a spring morning just like any other. Garbage trucks clang down sleepy streets. Commuters battle rush hour traffic. And lines of coffee fanatics wait to get their morning fix at their favorite coffee houses. [MORE]

On Native Ground
IRAQ: THE WORLD'S DEADLIEST PLACE FOR JOURNALISTS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Monday's car bomb attack in Baghdad that killed CBS cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan and critically wounded correspondent Kimberly Dozier underscores how dangerous a place Iraq is for journalists. [MORE]

Momentum
OF CONGREGATION AND CELEBRATION
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- First, a little story. [MORE]

American Opinion
AMERICA'S DOUBLE STANDARD FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Two weeks from now, a South Carolina pain management physician will surrender at the Talladega, Ala., prison to begin serving a 2.5-year sentence for drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering. [MORE]

Conster Nation
THE MOSES MANDATE
by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A few weeks ago my brother, the old school pinko from New York, was watching that C.B. DeMille classic, "The Ten Commandments" - the 1956 iteration, the one with the past president of the NRA in it: and if it wasn't for Pharaoh's pantywaist gun control laws, the Israelites could've busted out of Egypt without divine intervention. [MORE]

Market Mover
PAULSON APPOINTMENT PROVES A POINT
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., May 30, 2006 -- Just when I needed to get one of these scattered potpourri columns off my chest, President George Bush pops up on my tv screen and names Goldman Sachs chairman Hank Paulson as the new Treasury Secretary of the United States. This news once again proves wisdom of the Founding Fathers in giving every American the right not to vote. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
PRIDE OF WORLD WAR II SERVICE LINGERS FOR DECADES
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga., May 29, 2006 -- As I write on this Memorial Day, as all the flags are waving and "Taps at Twilight" echoes across the island, I am thinking of my five brothers, all of whom proudly served in World War II. I miss their laughter and their total enjoyment of life, defiant of all they faced in all the theaters of that war. I was the baby of the family; they were my heroes. [MORE]

Editorial
WHAT IS A FITTING MEMORIAL FOR THESE BRAVE DEAD?
by Joe Shea

War is a cruel and ugly thing, born as John Knowles said of "something ignorant in the human heart," and that is where, too, the hurt of every loss remains in each lifetime that a bullet, bomb, mine or mortar touches with the cold finger of death. [MORE]

Frontline: Iraq
AND NOW, A FEW WORDS FROM THE FRONT
by Capt. Gabe Scheinbaum

SOMEWHERE IN IRAQ -- Hey, All. Well, another month has passed me by, and though there are a few days left in May I thought it safe to knock out my end-of-month report. In concluding my first month as the XO of the 572nd Military Intelligence Company I have regained my mojo at work. My depressed professional state has rebounded and I again have the job satisfaction I had under the tutelage of John Hawbaker in old C Troop. My new boss, CPT Andy Hierstetter, who hails from parts close to my own (Fort Pierce), has really welcomed me in. [MORE]

On Media
A MEMORIAL DAY FOR THE MEDIA THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- People who are concerned about the state of the U.S. news media in 2006 might pause to consider those who have lost their lives in the midst of journalistic neglect, avoidance and bias. [MORE]

On Media
TAKING BACK THE BOOKSHELVES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, May 29, 2006 -- The Spring of 2006 has brought us a flurry of books aimed at rebuilding a liberal movement and taking back the government. The birth of a literature of rebellion against the conservative movement seems to be brewing. [MORE]

Make My Day
HAS ANYONE EVER DIED FROM THE WILLIES?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- In a previous job, I used to work with people who are blind or visually impaired. I traveled quite extensively to different conferences and trade shows. During those conferences, I had met all sorts of people and saw all sorts of products for technology, mobility, and independent living. After a while, everything started running together, and I couldn't remember where I'd been without a datebook and an atlas. [MORE]

Campaign 2006
A DAY IN THE LIFE: HOPING TO BECOME FLORIDA'S NEXT FIRST LADY, DEE DEE SMITH WORKS A 21-HOUR DAY
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., May 25, 2006 -- On the day that Tampa Bay voters woke up and took notice of her husband, Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Rod Smith, the chairman of the Florida State Senate's powerful Committee on Agriculture woke his wife DeeDee at 3:30 a.m. to talk about his surging campaign. [MORE]

On Native Ground
TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES WITH CONDOLEEZZA RICE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What does evil look like? [MORE]

Momentum
LIKE BARBARO, WILL AMERICA NEVER SHINE AGAIN?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- With all the unnecessary carnage in Iraq, the babies blown to bits, the blood feuds, the women mowed down by rifles, the estimated 2,455 Americans dead, the estimated 19,000 to 48,000 Americans returning without arms, legs or eyes, along with the horror of Darfur, the AIDS epidemic in India, Africa, Russia and China - in fact, with the immense amount of human suffering on the planet, I'm having a hard time explaining to myself how I got so worried about a horse. [MORE]

American Opinion
U.S. RENDITION, TORTURE CASES CHALLENGE THE RULE OF LAW
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- The U.S. Government has once again invoked the "state secrets" privilege, arguing that a public trial of a lawsuit against a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency for abducting and imprisoning a German citizen would lead to disclosure of information harmful to America's national security. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
SYMBOLS WE COME HOME TO
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Two things happened this week that really got me thinking how little we know about the American flag. First, an email came to a mailing list I'm on asking members and fellow editors for their advice. A reader wrote to one newspaper with a Letter to the Editor saying he was boycotting a restaurant because they flew their ethnic flag out front. [MORE]

On Media
IN CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR PRIMARY, CRITICAL ERRORS ON THE LEFT
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2006 -- The California primary election is rapidly approaching, competing television ads are getting red hot, and the Democratic contenders are doing their best to reelect their supposed antagonist, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
DECISION FOR DEMOCRACY: PARLIAMENT ENDS KING'S RULE, TAKES OVER ARMY
By Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, England, May 18, 2006 - Nepal's Parliament today passed a historic political proclamation, making the dictator King Gyanendra completely powerless and disconnecting his link to the army, which once supported the king's efforts to plot coups time and again and suppressed Nepal's people for centuries. [MORE]

On Native Ground
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, NOT SOLDIERS AND WALLS, WILL STEM IMMIGRANT SURGE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We know President Bush's plan to send National Guardsmen to help the Border Patrol keep Mexicans out of the United States is a transparent political ploy. [MORE]

Make My Day
CAUTION: HUMORIST ON BOARD
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- One of the dumbest fads I ever suffered through was the "Baby On Board" signs people put in their car windows during the 1980s. This originally started out as a friendly warning to other motorists, urging them to drive cautiously, as there was a small infant in the car. [MORE]

Momentum
NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In 1794, a dispute broke out in the Rutland, Vt., area. Some people wanted to build a dam on a particular river and run more mills. Property owners protested that their lands would be flooded and turn into swampy health hazards during the summer. [MORE]

Market Mover
AT SPRINT NEXTEL, OUR HURRICANE LIFELINE IS A CELLPHONE
by Mark Scheinbaum

CLEWISTON, Fla. -- In the center of the Florida Peninsula's hurricane zone, with the new storm season two weeks away, the importance of mobile cellular communications has ascended to pre-eminence in the realm of public safety and personal security. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE LOBBY AND THE BULLDOZER: MEARSHEIMER, WALT AND CORRIE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Weeks after a British magazine published a long article by two American professors titled "The Israel Lobby," the outrage continued to howl through mainstream U.S. media. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
'DIANA OF THE DUNES' PLAYED SECOND ANGEL TO A NURSE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Once upon a time there was a real live person named Alice Mabel Gray who in her early years was a brilliant part of the team at the United States Naval Observatory. She is better known as Diana of the Dunes, a recluse known to run naked on the sands of Lake Michigan, occasionally seen by fishermen as she bobbed around in the surf. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
NEPAL REGAINS ITS FOOTING ON STEEP PATH TO DEMOCRACY
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, May 13. 2006 -- The new democratic government of Nepal has arrested five ministers and suspended chiefs of its security forces involved in the suppression of popular movement that forced King Gyanendra to give up executive power and reinstate the Parliament. [MORE]

On Media
IN CALIFORNIA, THE TEDIOUS RITUALS OF POLITICAL DEBATE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2006 -- It's another election year, and with it comes that strange amalgam of politics and miscommunication known as the candidate debate. This is a carefully designed ritual with its own unwritten rules and logic. The ritualistic nature is not always apparent to the viewer, even though it is as carefully circumscribed as a south-Pacific cargo cult. [MORE]

Make My Day
BILLIARDS IS NOT A SPORT, EITHER
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Dear Fox Sports Network: - is that too obsequious? [MORE]

On Native Ground
IT'S TIME TO PUT RAIL SERVICE ON THE FAST TRACK
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's hard to believe, but the Republican Party actually thought that giving Americans a $100 tax rebate to help deal for the rising cost of gasoline was a good idea that people would support. [MORE]

Brasch Words
A SILENT PROTEST GETS A VOCAL RESPONSE
by Walter M. Brasch

DANVILLE, Pa. -- "Enraged" would be too mild of an adjective to describe the caller to Spectrum magazine, a national award-winning student-produced magazine for the permanent residents of two rural counties in northeastern Pennsylvania. [MORE]

Momentum
A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So, I've just published my first book. [MORE]

Market Mover
HOW NOW, CROWNED DOW?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., May 10, 2006 -- The news media will soon crown a "new all-time high" of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Try to stifle your yawn. [MORE]

Make My Day
GONE PHISHIN'
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It didn't start in the computer world; it was a television commercial asking the question: "Is it real, or is it Memorex?" Could their cassette tapes so capture the sound of a live performance that the listener could not tell the difference? It was only a sales slogan but now it's part of American short-speak. [MORE]

On Media
BASHING L.A. TAKES A NARCISSISTIC TURN
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2006 -- The L.A.-bashing genre was a respected form of literature at one time, but it seems to have fallen on hard times. In the old days, at least we had gifted playwrights and novelists to find fault with us. What has replaced it involves the superficial and the narcissistic accusing us of superficiality and narcissism. [MORE]

Make My Day
BAA BAA BLUE SHEEP?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- One thing most people don't know about me is that two of my children are adopted from Haiti, and the other is from Bolivia. Needless to say, this draws more than a few stares whenever we go out in public. (We just stare back.) [MORE]

A.R. Commentary
IN PHOENIX, SHERIFF SETS STAGE FOR VIOLENT CONFRONTATION WITH ILLEGALS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla.. May 5, 2006 -- Setting the stage for a violent confrontation as early as today's Cinco de Mayo's celebration, controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Phoenix says his 100-man volunteer "posse" will fan out over the weekend and start arresting illegal immigrants. [MORE]

On Native Ground
FAREWELL, PROFESSOR GALBRAITH
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- John Kenneth Galbraith's death on Saturday at the age of 97 left a great void in my life. Whatever success I now have as a writer and observer of press, politics and public policy, I owe in large part to him. [MORE]

Momentum
A TACTILE SENSE OF HISTORY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- On Feb. 20, 1791, U.S. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter asking the state of Vermont, which was about to join the Union, if it would ratify a series of amendments to the Constitution. Those amendments later became the Bill of Rights. [MORE]

American Opinion
OUR STRANGE AMERICAN BEDFELLOWS
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- President George W. Bush's "Global War on Terror" has produced the unintended consequence of bringing the United States ever-closer to some of the world's most repressive regimes. If, as the Roman politician Scipio said, , "Politics makes for strange bedfellows," an aggressive foreign policy makes them even stranger when a country claims to value human rights. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There is no question about it; enough of us are interested in the stories behind the stardom to keep the tabloids in business. [MORE]

Market Mover
A FIRST AMERICAN SPEAKS
by Mark Scheinbaum

TAOS, N.M., May 1, 2006 -- I am the first "American" and I am watching these pro and con "immigrant" boycotts and demonstrations very carefully. [MORE]

On Media
CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS COME OUT SCREECHING
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, May 1, 2006 -- The California primary election is coming up, even if the Republicans hardly seem to be noticing. Meanwhile, two Democrats are filling the airwaves with television commercials in the attempt to win a runoff spot against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. [MORE]

A.R. Opinion
NEPAL'S MONARCHY HAS NO FUTURE
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, May 1, 2006 -- The active monarchy is gone forever. [MORE]

Make My Day
BECAUSE WE DON'T NEED ANY, THAT'S WHY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "All right, Buddy, let's get you into the shopping cart." [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
IN NEPAL, THE END OF MONARCHY IS NEAR
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, April 29, 2006 -- The anger against King Gyanendra is running so high in Nepal that many people don't even like to pronounce his name, associated as it is with ruthless dictatorial rule since he grabbed power by sacking the elected government and dissolving Nepal's parliament. [MORE]

Commentary
SLEEPING THROUGH VIDAL
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES -- I don't mind admitting that I slept through a good part of the Gore Vidal-Arianna Huffington chat that packed UCLA's Royce Hall Saturday. [MORE]

Reporting: Mexico
MEXICO TO ALLOW PERSONAL USE OF MOST ILLICIT DRUGS
by Joe Shea

MEXICO CITY, April 28, 2006 -- In a decision that may reverse the flow of immigrants overnight, the Mexican Senate voted late Thursday night to allow small amounts of marijuana, opium, heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, peyote, LSD and up to two pounds of hallucinogenic "magic" mushrooms for personal use, while crafting a new drug reform law with severe penalties for traffickers of larger quantities. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE ENERGY WAKE-UP CALL IS RINGING
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Now that the Republicans have discovered that people are very angry about rising gas prices, it doesn't hurt to remind folks who got to the issue first. [MORE]

Momentum
GWEN AND MARIA GET MARRIED
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Nothing prepared me for the emotional impact of the wedding that Randy and I attended in Hartford on Saturday. [MORE]

American Opinion
WORDS TO PONDER
by William Fisher

CHATHAM, NY -- I recently e-mailed Neil Hicks, the director of international programs for Human Rights First, seeking his thoughts on a new poll of the U.S. public that shows rapidly declining support for President George W. Bush's pledge to spread democracy throughout the world. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
THOUSANDS MARCH IN NEPAL TO URGE KING'S ABDICATION; GYANENDRA RELENTS, WILL RECONVENE PARLIAMENT AND CALL ELECTIONS
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, April 24, 2006 (Update 10:03pm EDT) -- Nepal's King Gyanendra has been under heavy pressure to restore democracy and save the monarchy as anti-monarchy demonstrations have intensified across the country since April 6, leaving 14 dead, more than 2,000 injured and thousands of pro-democracy supporters and prominent citizens detained. Today, he finally relented, agreeing to reinstate Parliament and call elections, but stopped short of accepting a constitutional referendum that would decide the future of the monarchy. [MORE]

Market Mover
GAS, HOME AND HEARTH
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla.. April 24, 2006 -- At the risk of dating myself, the empty gas stations at 7:45 a.m. on a Monday rush hour near trendy Mizner Park offices and stores, looked like the post-nuclear war scenes from the 1950s movie "On the Beach." [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
IT STARTED WITH LURENA
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Penis. There, it's out of the way now. Ever since Lurena Bobbit angrily wielded a sharp knife and removed her sleeping husband's penis, the reading and listening public has been spared no graphic details when news is reported. [MORE]

On Media
GEORGE LAKOFF'S 'FRAMES' REVISITED
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2006 -- In the months leading up to the 2004 election, Berkeley professor George Lakoff won his fifteen months of fame for the description of cognitive frames. Lakoff's book "Don't Think of an Elephant" was widely read, modestly quoted, and apparently mostly misunderstood, even though the author went to great efforts to make himself clear. [MORE]

The American Reporter
April 10, 1995 - April 9, 2006
Completing 11 Years Of Service

Make My Day
I'M A BIG BOY NOW!

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Some people have likened it to herding cats. Others have compared it to teaching dogs to program a VCR. Whatever you call it, it's the challenge of a lifetime. [MORE]

On Native Ground
OUR TAX SYSTEM WASN'T ALWAYS RIGGED AGAINST THE LITTLE GUY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Nobody likes to pay taxes, but people dislike paying taxes even more when they think the game is rigged against them. [MORE]

Brasch Words
THE NOT-SO-SECRET FOREIGN ENERGY SOURCE
by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- President Bush, several years after most Americans, has decided the nation can't be dependent upon foreign energy sources. [MORE]

Momentum
IT'S CALLED M.A.D. FOR A REASON, MR. PRESIDENT!
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- He slices, he dices, he juliennes! Just look at that tomato! Now how much would you pay for such a President? But wait, there's more! [MORE]

American Opinion
ALAS, POOR SCOTT
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Poor Scott McClellan. He has what must be the least satisfying job in Washington. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WHO'S IN HEAVEN?
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Who's in Heaven? I think that's a very good question considering what evangelist Jerry Falwell said last month. I can't imagine his issuing a statement claiming Jews won't get into Heaven unless they accept Christianity. He had the good grace to say: "In my view." But when someone leads a congregation of 22,000, it almost becomes dogma. [MORE]

On Media
ARE ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIVISTS WORKING FOR MAN OR FOR NATURE?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, April 17, 2006 -- An OpEd in the Washington Post this week argued that the use of nuclear power is the truest pro-environmental response to global warming. Among a few rational responses, there was also the predictable flurry of ad hominem attacks on the messengerm rather than a careful evaluation of the message. Why this should be so is is all but lost on reporters. [MORE]

Make My Day
BECAUSE I'M DADDY, THAT'S WHY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "All right, we're here. I want everyone to be good." [MORE]

On Native Ground
AS BUSH PREPARES FOR WAR ON IRAN, AMERICA YAWNS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- These days, when I open up the newspaper or listen to the news on the radio, it feels as if the rest of the world is speaking Urdu. [MORE]

Momentum
COLUMBUS DIDN'T HAVE A GREEN CARD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Which do you want first, John F. Kennedy's tear-jerking "We're a nation of immigrants," or the "Let my people go" stuff, or the "Give me your tired and poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free?" [MORE]

American Opinion
SOME GOOD NEWS FROM VOLUSIA COUNTY
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- It was 55 years ago. I was a cub reporter for the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, an AM-PM family-owned daily with a circulation of something under 100,000. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
CROWNING GLORY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The hairstyles in 1910 were directly from France; otherwise, why would a pompadour or a Marseilles (commonly mispelled "Marcel") wave be the way to describe my mother's hair-do in this fading photograph? It's a pink-tinted, sepia tone, tintype and although fading, her titian colored hair catches the light and it's as if I myself am the cameraman. [MORE]

Campaign 2006
IN FLA. GOVERNOR'S RACE, SMITH BACKS GUEST WORKER PROGRAM
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- These are hard words to say, State Sen. Rod Smith thinks, his eyes turning away in pain for a moment as he considers their political impact. [MORE]

On Media
BEING THERE MAKES FOR BETTER LOCAL COVERAGE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2006 -- Looking over a stack of newspapers, one conclusion jumps out: the giant regional papers and the local papers are really two different species. [MORE]

American Sports
MICKEY MEISTER WAS MY FRIEND
by Steven Travers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mickey Meister passed away this week. To those who knew what had become of him, this was news we expected since 2003. He was 44 years old. His life is a Shakespearean cautionary tale of wasted talent and excess. He was a man of extraordinary flaw, yet also one of great charisma. It is the fervent hope of this old friend of Mick's that somehow that charisma, combined with Mick's spiritual knowledge of death's impending harvest - and hopeful repentance - impressed God enough to grant salvation to his soul. [MORE]

Make My Day
AT LEAST I'M NOT CHEWING MY TOENAILS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- My wife claims that I have a particularly nasty habit that she claims is "disgusting" and "gross." I, on occasion, will chew on my beard. [MORE]

On Native Ground
REPUBLICANS STILL CLING TO THE 'W' BRAND
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Many things have changed since the American tanks rolled into Baghdad three years ago this week. [MORE]

Momentum
SEX AND THE OLDER WOMAN
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Sorry to interrupt the political debate with what might appear like a frivolous topic, but the question of older women and sex has recently been raised in the literary journals, and I have something to say about it. [MORE]

American Opinion
FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, MIXED SIGNALS TO ARAB-AMERICANS
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Last month, the U.S. Muslim World Advisory Committee of the United States Institute of Peace sat down for a talk with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Under-Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes. These are the kinds of meetings Arab-Americans and other Muslim-American groups have been having with U.S. officials at various levels of government since soon after 9/11. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY - FOR WHOM?
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There was something Pope John II said that came to me as I mulled over today's hot topics: citizenship, language, green cards, guest visas, and amnesty for those who have earned the right to stay based on contributions already made to American society, versus having to go back to wait on line like every other person seeking citizenship the old fashioned way - legally. [MORE]

On Media
RETROSPECTIVES ON WARRIORS AND WORDS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, April 3, 2006 -- It's traditional to do retrospectives right before the New Year. Well, it isn't the New Year, but it is the season of April Fools, and considering the state of the world it's as good a time as any to review a few things that have been said in these pages over the past couple of years. [MORE]

Make My Day
TAKING THE STING OUT OF PUBLIC HUMILIATION
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I've always heard it's rude to correct other people. By correcting them, you're somehow telling them, "Good Lord, you're stupid! How on earth did they even let you out of the fourth grade?!" So I was a bit surprised to see this happen at a book club I visited recently. [MORE]

On Native Ground
A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS TRIES TO SLAM SHUT THE GOLDEN DOOR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My grandfather, Johann Holhut, arrived at Ellis Island on June 15, 1923. [MORE]

Momentum
AS VERMONT LOSES ITS VIRGINITY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There's no doubt that a grassroots impeachment movement is brewing in Vermont. Dan DeWalt's Newfane town meeting impeachment resolution - passed also by Dummerston, Putney, Marlboro, Brookfield and, in modified form, by Brattleboro - attracted international attention. The state's Democratic Party is now considering a call for impeachment. So you might think that Vermont is once again ahead of the pack. [MORE]

Market Mover
NO THANKEE, DR. BERNANKE
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Mar. 28, 2006 -- New Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't waste any time proving that he is just as disconnected from real, live, working Americans as his decrepit predecessor Alan Greenspan. [MORE]

American Opinion
THE OXYCOPS
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, NY -- Wheelchair-bound multiple sclerosis patient Richard Paey is serving 25 years in a Florida prison for "trafficking" one-half of a gram of OxyContin, even though the prosecutor concedes that Paey never sold any of his medications. In prison, he now receives more pain-killing drugs than he was convicted of having. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
NO BUTTS ABOUT IT
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was a surprise to see a front-page article prominently featured in London's Sunday Times online edition counting the minutes until Scots will no longer be able to smoke in their beloved pubs. Before I finished reading the article, more minutes were clocked. [MORE]

On Media
SOMETIMES, WE JUST NEED THE TRUE SIDE OF THE STORY
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2006 -- Author and critic Molly Ivins has inadvertently and probably unintentionally provided a clue that something is wrong with newspaper journalism. In considering Ivins' remarks, we shall consider a second clue from Paul Krugman in his recent book "The Great Unraveling" (Norton, 2004). The main question we shall consider is why newspapers gave President George Bush a free pass on his economic dishonesty in 2000-1. [MORE]

Make My Day
PLEASE EXCUXE ERIK FROM HIS COLUM THIS WEEK
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - I wrote my first note to a teacher last week. This may not seem like such a big deal to most of you, but to me, it was the end of a 33-year wait. Ever since I walked into kindergarten with a note from my mother, I dreamed of writing a note to my children's teachers. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHY RIGHT-WINGERS HATE VERMONT - AND WE DON'T CARE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's weird how one little state can be the target of so much right-wing hatred. [MORE]

Momentum
LIFE AND TAXES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As Ben Franklin famously said, "Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." How true. But for me, there is another certainty - taxes as a useful way to reckon with life. [MORE]

American Opinion
GIVE US YOUR HUDDLED MASSES - OR NOT
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- There are some 10 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. today, and there is no sign that the flow is going to decrease any time soon. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A SYMPATHETIC WORD FOR GEORGE BUSH
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- You can see it in his face, you can see it in his eyes; there's a certain heaviness about President George W. Bush becoming more evident each day. I see it as the weight of the world he's carrying on his shoulders. It wasn't supposed to be this way. [MORE]

On Media
FEINGOLD'S CENSURE MOTION BRINGS A TEPID RESPONSE FROM THE 'LIBERAL' PRESS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2006 -- When Sen. Russ Feingold introduced a motion to censure President George W. Bush last week, the media response was breathtaking in its cynicism. It was, sadly enough, utterly predictable. But in a different venue and at a different level, the response has been more interesting. [MORE]

Make My Day
IN A SHORT LIFE, THE SHARK-JUMPING MOMENTS STAND OUT
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Does anyone remember the three-part episode of "Happy Days" where the gang went to California, had all kinds of kooky adventures, sappy love scenes, and finally the big breath-taking, daredevil, Dear-God-I-Can't-Look! scene where Fonzie water ski jumped over a shark after a bet with a smug California beach jerk? [MORE]

Media Beat
WAR-LOVING PUNDITS AND THE NET-CONS WHO LOVE THEM
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- The third anniversary of the Iraq invasion is bound to attract a lot of media coverage, but scant recognition will go to the pundits who helped to make it all possible. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHERE TRUTH BLOOMS, SO DOES FREEDOM
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This week is Sunshine Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Society of Newspaper Editors to spotlight the importance of open government and freedom of information. [MORE]

Momentum
TWO PHOTOGRAPHS AND A LIP-SYNCH SHOW
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - I have two photographs in front of me. One is of an old woman in a long blue nightdress. She has a black net bonnet over her white hair. Her thin body is bent and one of her gorgeously long, bony, twisted and knobbed hands is splayed on the kitchen counter, supporting her as she ruefully stares at the camera. It is morning, and she has just woken up. [MORE]

American Opinion
DUBAI DEAL: QUOTH THE CRAVEN, 'EVERMORE'
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- For those who enjoy the political theater of the absurd, the Dubai Ports World soap opera was the only show in town last week. [MORE]

Market Mover
FARE IS FAIR IN THE AIR, AND IT'S TIME TO FIGHT BACK
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Mar. 14, 2006 -- Now that Northwest Airlines is going to charge as much as $15 extra to plant your butt in an aisle or exit airline seat, it's time for the flying public to take the gloves off and fight back. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
JULIUS CAESAR HEARD A MOUTHFUL
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. -- Why couldn't the soothsayer just say March 15th when he spoke to Julius Caesar, instead of "Beware the Ides of March"? That's what he was talking about, after all. We've been stuck with interpreting what he meant because of the buzzword "Beware." [MORE]

On Media
THE ETHICS OF THE PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2006 -- Paul Krugman and Andrew Sullivan traded rhetorical shots this week - a triviality in and of itself - but out of this exchange a deeper message rises to the surface. It has to do with what it means to be a public intellectual, and what moral responsibilities accrue to such an exalted position. In the meanwhile, the rest of us get to watch two media heavyweights dishing it out. [MORE]

Make My Day
THE 'THRILL' OF CURLING, THE 'AGONY' OF OBSCURITY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- In the past few weeks, I made an astonishing personal discovery, one that I never thought would ever happen in a million years: I learned that curling is an exciting sport. [MORE]

On Native Ground
FROM THE GREEN MOUNTAINS COMES THE CRY, 'IMPEACH HIM!'
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In Vermont, the first Tuesday in March - Town Meeting Day - is a sacred day for those who still believe in the power of direct democracy. [MORE]

Momentum
BE HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY ALL THE TIME
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Polar bears are drowning but what the hell. Don't worry, be happy. [MORE]

American Opinion
BUSH, JEWS AND HAMAS
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, NY -- On the heels of the surprise victory of Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary election, President George W. Bush is discovering just how difficult it is to try to herd a bunch of cats. [MORE]

Make My Day
CANCER? RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Although we have had no immediate family tie to breast cancer. I've had both an aunt and a niece fall victim to it and in spite of excellent care, cannot be numbered among survivors. [MORE]

On Media
A DOG, A DUCK, AN ELEPHANT AND A CAMEL
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, March 6, 2006 -- Mallard Fillmore is that most irritating of waterfowl, a cartoon character who recites right wing rhetoric. Firedoglake is a liberal Internet blog. Together, they have explored the role of consumer protest against corporate behavior - the former on the conservative side, the latter on the liberal side. It is old news on the conservative side, but a great step forward for liberalism. [MORE]

Make My Day
PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES, EH, CANADA-WISE
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - I recently had the chance to take a business trip up to Guelph, Ontario. I had a great time, and decided that Canada is an excellent place to visit. The people are very friendly, the scenery is beautiful, and the towns are very clean and pretty safe. I also discovered that the town is pronounced "Gwelf," not "Goo-elf." Luckily I found out before I got up there. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE UNREAL DEATH OF JOURNALISM
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Death is always in the news. From local car crashes to catastrophes in faraway places, deadly events are grist for the media mill. The coverage is ongoing San Francisco, Calif. and almost always superficial. [MORE]

Reporting: Costa Rica
COSTA RICANS FACE LONG WAIT FOR OFFICIAL WINNER OF FEB. 20 ELECTION - AND ITS FREE TRADE DEBATE
By Jesse Froehling

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Feb. 24, 2005 -– If an American sports fan was plucked from his or her spot in front of the television on Superbowl Sunday and dropped on Central Avenue in downtown San José, this Central American nation's capital, he or she might have felt right at home. [MORE]

On Native Ground
BUSH SELLS US OUT AGAIN, THIS TIME TO DUBAI
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- That President George W. Bush is clueless is a given. But is he so clueless that he supports giving control of five of the nation's biggest seaports to a shipping company owned by a country that was home to two of the 19 men who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks? [MORE]

Momentum
THE STYLE OF CANCER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Everyone has their own style, even when it comes to breast cancer. Or so says my cousin Joan. [MORE]

American Opinion
A TALE OF TWO GITMOS: WHERE WAS THE TRUTH?
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. - Last June 17, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters, "If you think of the people down there (at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba), these are people, all of whom were captured on a battlefield. They're terrorists, trainers, bomb makers, recruiters, financiers, (Osama bin Laden's) bodyguards, would-be suicide bombers, probably the 20th 9/11 hijacker." [MORE]

Andy Oram Reports
A NEUTRAL NETWORK, OR AN INTERNET WITH VISION?
by Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 20, 2996 -- The rhetoric is whipping through the air in Washington and racing at a dizzying pace across the Internet, as highly publicized hearings on a "network neutrality" bill were held on February 7. Vint Cerf testified that the issue would determine "the future of the Internet." In opposing the bill, the incumbent Bell telephone companies suggest that without their paternal care, the Internet doesn't have a future in this country. [MORE]

On Media
MATH PHOBIA AND FAILURE MAKE THE NEWS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20, 2006 - A series about high school graduation rates in the Los Angeles Times has provoked a flurry of responses, among them a column in the Washington Post which inspired its own uber-flurry. Unfortunately, a number of important issues have been lost in what comes across as a blizzard of clichés and self-serving defensiveness. [MORE]

American Essay
IN THE RUINS OF POMPEII, HOPE FOR NEW ORLEANS
BY Mark Scheinbaum

POMPEII, Italy. Feb. 19, 2006 -- Under two thousand years of volcanic ash, could there be a clue to the survival of New Orleans? [MORE]

Make My Day
AT LEAST I DIDN'T PICK A TUBA
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Every kid should learn to play a musical instrument. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHACKING THE HORNETS' NEST: THE DANGEROUS PLAN TO ATTACK IRAN
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The talk of military action against Iran has been steadily building over the past few weeks. [MORE]

Momentum
WHY BETTY FRIEDAN LIVES ON
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Fashion Week in New York. All the big-name fashion designers gather to show their new lines. The city is full of foreign accents, beautiful clothes, studly men, leggy girls, high energy and huge egos. The shows are by invitation only. Last week I was thrilled to get one. [MORE]

American Opinion
RISING ABOVE PRINCIPLE
by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- Small government is one of the golden tenets of American conservatism. Small government is more efficient. The smaller the government, the more power will be returned to the people. The smaller the government, the freer our people will be of bureaucratic intrusion, regulation and control. The smaller the government, the closer lawmaking will be to the "will of the people." [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A VALENTINE FOR MY 'AMERICAN IDOL'
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In the late '50s, Carol Burnett in her debut performance on late-night television belted out a torch song that was so inconsistent with what the audience expected from this tall, slim, serious-looking singer with a powerful voice that we still ask, "Remember when?" The song was: "I Made a Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles," and the words were those of love, devotion and heart wrenching desire for our prim Secretary of State. [MORE]

On Media
AUTHORITARIANS AND THE LOSS OF FREEDOM
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13, 2006 -- It's been a week in which so much material has surfaced that a diligent media critic can't keep up. Unfortunately, a lot of it involves threats to freedom of expression. It is a topic that crosses disciplinary, geographic and philosophical boundary lines. [MORE]

Make My Day
NEWSFLASH: SEX MAKES YOU STUPID
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's official: sex makes you stupid. At least if you're a bat. [MORE]

On Native Ground
BUSH REFUSES TO CONFRONT THE TRUE COST OF THE IRAQ WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The butcher's bill, the ever-expanding human and economic cost of the Iraq war, grows with each passing week. [MORE]

Momentum
THANK YOU, BETTY FRIEDAN
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- OK, so we had the vote. [MORE]

Brasch Words
THIS COLUMN DOESN'T EXIST
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa.-- President Bush doesn't like the media. He proudly tells the nation that he doesn't read newspapers, magazines, or books. He and his dwindling corps of sycophants, some of whom prepare his daily briefings, believe the media don't tell the truth - at least their version of the truth. They are sure the lyin' liberal media (which they believe is a redundancy) are on a conspiracy to get him - or at least expand his world beyond Oil Drip, Texas. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
SEN. LEAHY APPEALS FOR PEACE, DEMOCRACY IN NEPAL
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Feb. 7, 2006 -- At a time when more than 1,000 politicians, journalists, human rights defenders, teachers and supporters of democracy have been confined to state offices and buildings, turning this small beautiful Himalayan country into the largest jail in the world, a U.S. senator has once again called for a renewal of democracy and peace in Nepal. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
I'VE BUILT A BETTER MOUSETRAP
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door," he didn't know about Google. The world is beating it's own path to me, directly to me, not through my front door but on super highways in cyber space mapped out by Google. [MORE]

On Media
CARTOON LIBERTIES AND A FREE PRESS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6, 2006 -- The big media questions of the week involved violent responses to the publication of cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad that were printed in a Danish newspaper last September. The damage has included the sacking or burning of several embassies, the arrest of newspaper editors and multiple attacks against Scandinavian citizens, not to mention mass demonstrations and riots in many cities. [MORE]

Make My Day
THE SOUNDS OF AGING
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I had a horrible thought at the beginning of the year: I'm 18 months away from being 40. [MORE]

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

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

Momentum
EVERY SPERM IS SACRED
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
SETTING MY PREFERENCES
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Market Mover
A GARBLED GOOGLE MESSAGE
by Mark Scheinbaum

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

Momentum
PLEASE THROW US OUT!
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
REINSTALLING THE STUFF OF LIFE
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

On Media
JOURNALISM AT ITS BEST AND WORST
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
THE PETER WELCH PROBLEM
by Joyce Marcel

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

Market Mover
SHOULD WE BELIEVE THE DOW?
by Mark Scheinbaum

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

American Opinion
THE UNITER AT THE NEW YEAR
by William Fisher

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

Hominy & Hash
WATCHING AND WAITING
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
SEX FOR SALE
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
THE YEAR IN NIGHTMARES
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
ONE NATION, UNITED AFTER ALL
Constance Daley

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

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

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

On Media
ASK THE FORBIDDEN QUESTION
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
A JEW LOOKS AT CHRISTMAS
by Joyce Marcel

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


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

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

Brasch Words
JUSTICE DeLAYED
by Walter M. Brasch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Market Mover
THE SECRETS OF POWER
by Mark Scheinbaum

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

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

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

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

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

Make My Day
LEARNING TO FLY
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

Momentum
THE MINK COAT
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

American Opinion
DID YOU HEAR IT?
by William Fisher

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

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

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

Media Beat
AT THE GATES OF SAN QUENTIN
by Norman Solomon

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

On Media
THE SLIME BEHIND THE COOL VENEER
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Opinion
THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF FAKE NEWS
by William Fisher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make My Day
I ALREADY SAID I WOULD
by Erik Deckers

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

On Native Ground
CENSORSHIP WITH BOMBS
by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
TELEVISION LIES
by Joyce Marcel

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

American Opinion
KAREN HUGHES' DANGEROUS DENIAL
by William Fisher

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
GOOGLE ME THIS, DEAR
by Constance Daley

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

On Media
PLEASE STOP SAYING BLOGOSPHERE!
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

On Media
HOW THE LEFT CAN RISE AGAIN
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
INTERESTING TIMES, DANGEROUS TIMES
by Joyce Marcel

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

American Opinion
THE REAL LEGACY OF ROSA PARKS
by William Fisher

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

Campaign 2006
LETTER TO A FELLOW DEMOCRAT
by Joe Shea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOLHUT WINS TOP PRIZE IN VERMONT
American Reporter Staff

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

Momentum
ODE TO AMY GOODMAN
by Joyce Marcel

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

Market Mover
A CANYON BEYOND BEAUTIFUL
by Mark Scheinbaum

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

Hominy & Hash
BLUE MOON
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
SOME KARMA COMES HOME
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
THE BRAVE WIDOWS OF SOUTH FLORIDA
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brasch Words
WASHINGTON INSPIRES THE SCARIEST COSTUMES YET
by Walter Brasch

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

Eye On The Hurricane
WAITING FOR WILMA
by Joe Shea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editorial
THE JUDITH MILLER CASE
by Joe Shea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
BRINGING HORSE SENSE TO POLITICS
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make My Day
I KNEW THAT
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

Momentum
BRATTLEBORO UNDER GLASS
by Joyce Marcel

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

Media Beat
TORTURE AND THE ARC OF INJUSTICE
by Norman Solomon

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

Hominy & Hash
HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

Make My Day
WARNING: TOP SECRET COLUMN
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

Momentum
HOW A CREATIVE ECONOMY CAN CREATE COMMUNITY
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
ARTISTS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
THE GENTRIFICATION OF BRATTLEBORO
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
CASTING ASPERSIONS
by Constance Daley

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

On Media
WHAT KATRINA CAN TEACH US
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

Remembering 9/11
THE LESSONS OF SEPT. 11

by Joe Shea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
STRONG WIND
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

American Opinion
SECURE BORDERS, OPEN DOORS
by William Fisher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Essay
WAITING FOR THE TALKING POINTS
by Ahmed Bouzid

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

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

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

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

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

On Native Ground
EXITING IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
ALMOST A MILLION-DOLLAR BABY
by Joyce Marcel

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

American Opinion
IS ANYONE LISTENING?
by William Fisher

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

Brasch Words
BUSH BY THE NUMBERS
by Walter Brasch

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

Hominy & Hash
A SHOCK IS A SHOCK
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

Make My Day
LORD OF THE FISH
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
A STRIP MALL BACK IN TIME
by Joyce Marcel

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

Media Beat
BLAMING THE ANTI-WAR MESSENGERS
by Norman Solomon

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

Hominy & Hash
POCKET-SIZED SECURITY
by Constance Daley

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

On Media
SONGS OF TREASON FILL THE AIR
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

American Opinion
DIPLOMATIC ASSURANCES: WORTHLESS
by William Fisher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
THE NIMBY FACTOR
by Constance Daley

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

On Media
ILLEGAL PARKING MAKES HEADLINES
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
AN ASSEMBLY LINE OF DEATH
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dungeons Of Debt
AS BANKS GET READY TO DOUBLE MIMIMUM CARD PAYMENTS, CLIENTS GET READY TO RESPOND
by Joe Shea

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

Opinion
'AUGU.S.T STORM' OFFERS A MAJOR HISTORY LESSON IN MEDIA MYOPIA
by Ron Kenner

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

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

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

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

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

Brasch Words
THE GREAT FLIP-FLOP FLAP
by Walter Brasch

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

Media Beat
THE INCREDIBLE BLIGHT OF TV PUNDITRY
by Norman Solomon

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

Make My Day
GOURMET COOKING FOR GUYS
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Opinion
BILL O'REILLY IN DRAG
by William Fisher

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

Make My Day
CONFESSIONS OF A BARTENDER
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
WHEN POLITICS COUNTED IN ART
by Joyce Marcel

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

Media Beat
UNLEASHING THE DEADLY DOGS OF WAR
by Norman Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

The Right Side
WAR IS THE ANSWER
by Vance McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
YOU HAVE TO SING
by Joyce Marcel

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

On Media
ETHICS AND THE OLD JOURNALISM
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
RUBBER TO THE ROAD
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

by Andy Oram

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

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

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

American Opinion
ABUSE? WHAT ABUSE?
by William Fisher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
A GORILLA WITH A FLASHLIGHT
by Joyce Marcel

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

On Media
THE SCEPTER'D ISLE
by Robert Gelfand

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

Hominy & Hash
ROUND UP THE USUAL MASTERMINDS
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

Attack On London

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

by Joe Shea

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

Momentum
VAPOR BOY AND THE ENTITLEMENT GENERATION
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash: LIBERTY
by Constance Daley

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

Editorial
FREEDOM
by Joe Shea

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

On Media
HATE LITERATURE IN THE LOCAL DAILY
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Right Side
CIVILIZATION AT THE ABYSS
by Vance McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
A FRISKY RISKY BUSINESS
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
PETER PAN PANNED
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

On Media
SCIENCE WRITING IS A FINE SCIENCE
by Robert Gelfand

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

Make My Day
THE BEJEWELLED MAN
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
SAYING GOOD-BYE TO MARTY JEZER
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WATERGATE?
by Joyce Marcel

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

Hominy & Hash
NEW YORK AS THEATRE
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

Media Beat
POLITICAL BLU.S.TER AND THE FILIBUSTER
by Norman Solomon

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

Hominy & Hash
GETTING OLDER IS KILLING ME
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passings: David Hackworth
HACK STOOD ALONE
by Mark Scheinbaum

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
SHARK BAIT
by Joyce Marcel

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

Hominy & Hash
A SUMMONS TO DUTY
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momnentum
A HARD MONTH FOR GOD
by Joyce Marcel

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

Hominy & Hash
OBITUARY FOR THE DANDELION
by Constance Daley

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

On Media
IMPERIALISM CONSIDERED
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

Make My Day
EXCUUUUSE ME!
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

Momentum
A FAILURE OF IMAGINATION
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

Make My Day
ADVENTURES IN VEGETARIAN TAXIDERMY
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
REQUIEM FOR A REBUILDER
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

Brash Words
STAR SPANGLED AMERICA
by Walter Brasch

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

On Media
DINOSAUR BITES MASTODON
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

Media Beat
TAKING NEWS BEYOND THE LIMITS
by Norman Solomon

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

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

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

Momentum
A QUIVER OF FEMALE OPINION ARROWS
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
THE LONG WAY HOME
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
THE PINK BACKLASH
by Constance Daley

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

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

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

Make My Day
LOVE LETTER MARKETING 101
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
TWO RED SHOES
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

Hominy & Hash
THE LURE OF THE INNOCENT
by Constance Daley

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

On Media
WHY BUSH REALLY WON
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opinion
SIGNS OF HOPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
by Parvez Ahmed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Beat
WHEN JUNK TV INTERRUPTS JUNK TV
by Norman Solomon

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

Blue Money
SAVING LABOR
by Paul Petillo

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

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

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

On Media
A FREE AND UNAGGRESSIVE PRESS
by Robert Gelfand

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

Jill Stewart
WHACKING THE RAILROAD BARONS
by Jill Stewart

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

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

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

Make My Day
EDUCATION OF A CONSTRUCTION KLUTZ
by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
AT THE GATES
by Joyce Marcel

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

Jill Stewart
CALIFORNIA'S UGLY SKIN GAME
by Jill Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
THIS BRAVE LITTLE STATE OF VERMONT
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

Blue Money
THE FOUR HORSEMAN OF THE ECONOMY
by Paul Petillo

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

On Media
THE SONIC ASSAULT ON PUBLIC LIFE
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

Make My Day
PUNCTUATION STICKLERS UNITE
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

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

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

Blue Money
HOW SAVINGS CAN CHANGE AMERICA
by Paul Petillo

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

On Media
THE MAYORAL CIRCU.S. PARADE COMES TO TOWN
by Robert Gelfand

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

Make My Day
DIARY OF A FLU
by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

Momentum
A VALENTINE TO LONG-LASTING MARRIAGE
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

Blue Money
THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN
by Paul Petillo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blue Money
RESHAPING THE FUTURE OF OWNERSHIP
by Paul Petillo

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

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

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

Blue Money
THE DILEMMA IN DAVOS
by Paul Petillo

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

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

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

Media Beat
OF DEATH BE NOT PROUD
by Norman Solomon

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

Momentum
JOHNNY CARSON AND OUR OWN MORTALITY
by Joyce Marcel

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

On Media
'GREED' UNDERMINED BY GREED
by Robert Gelfand

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

Our warmest congratulations to AR Humor Writer Erik Deckers!

Make My Day
A COLUMNIST'S MILESTONE

by Erik Deckers

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

Market Mover
AFTER THE TRUMP WEDDING, YOUR MU.S.T-DO LIST
by Mark Scheinbaum

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
WE WANT OUR REVOLUTION NOW
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

On Media
THE NEXT MAYORAL DEBATE SCAM
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Media
BLOGGING DOWN A TRADITIONAL PATH
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

BLOOMSBURG, Pa., Jan. 5, 2005 -- On Sunday, Dec. 26, an earthquake-triggered tsunami with devastating effects 1,000 miles from its epicenter in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra hit 12 countries. Within hours, numerous countries and private social service agencies had begun massive relief operations. President George W. Bush, vacationing on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, made no public statements. [MORE]

Media Beat
MEDIA SENSE AND SENSIBILITIES
by Norman Solomon

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

Jill Stewart
FOREIGN CONVICTS COST CALIFORNIA $4 BILLION A YEAR

by Jill Stewart

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

On Media
JOURNALISTIC OBJECTIVITY RECONSIDERED
by Robert Gelfand

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

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

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

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

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

Media Beat
TAILGATING THE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY
by Norman Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brasch Words
A FAILURE TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
by Walter Brasch

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

Momentum
AMERICA AIN'T SINGING
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

Jill Stewart
HOW TO STAMP OUT CHRISTMAS
by Jill Stewart

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

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

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

American Essay
A WALK DOWN CHICKEN STREET
by Chris Verrill

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

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

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

Opinion
KEY ABORTION DECISIONS HAVE LOST THE PLAINTIFFS
by Steve Casey

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

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

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

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

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

Market Mover
RADIO? ARE YOU SIRIUS?
by Mark Scheinbaum

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

Ink Soup
A SHOT OF CANADIAN
by Clarence Brown

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

Momentum
THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

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

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

Market Mover
MISSING THE CHARITY TARGET
by Mark Scheinbaum

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

Momentum
ROCKING THE LITTLE MAN IN THE BOAT
by Joyce Marcel

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

Make My Day
SHOPPING DAYCARE FOR GUYS
by Erik Deckers

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

Ink Soup
BLOGOUT
by Clarence Brown

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

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

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

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

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

Momentum
ACT THE ANGEL, BE THE BRUTE
by Joyce Marcel

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

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

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

Ink Soup
THE UNVANISHED
by Clarence Brown

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

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

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

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

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

Media Beat
MEDIA JITTERS IN THE NUCLEAR AGE
by Norman Solomon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Media
THE CONTROLLER AND THE TIMES NAIL L.A.'s MAYOR
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22 -- In exposing a government scandal, it sure helps when a zealous public official and a big-city newspaper manage to find each other. Such is now the case in Los Angeles, where the Los Angeles Times and City Controller Laura Chick have been playing tag-team against Mayor James Hahn. [MORE]

On Native Ground
BEYOND THE RED AND BLUE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We know the map by heart now, the sea of red with the blotches of blue on the edges - the visual representation of President Bush's alleged mandate. [MORE]

Momentum
SUCH A LONG WAY, BABY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's the best of times, it's the worst of times. Condoleezza Rice, the Cold Warrior Woman, will be America's second female Secretary of State. What can feminists make of this? [MORE]

Jill Stewart
A SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT IN 2008? DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- All the caterwauling by talking heads who insist the Democrats can win the presidency in 2008 with a religious Southerner has me laughing - well, chuckling painfully, anyway. [MORE]

Ink Soup
OUTRIGHT
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE -- A few years ago, sitting on a bench in Palmer Square with a colleague whom I knew only slightly, I had an experience totally without precedent for me at the time. He came out to me. [MORE]

On Media
HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN SURVIVES TALK SHOW'S 'HUMAN SACRIFICE'
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It was a populist dream come true. The effort pf two talk show hosts to unseat Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) was presented to the voters of his district as a chance to rise up and defeat a comfortably entrenched politician who had strayed from the fold. The plan ultimately failed, but the margin was surprisingly narrow, considering the district and the candidate's previous track record. [MORE]

Reporting: Indonesia
INDONESIAN CHINESE FACE ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION
by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Nov. 10, 2004 -- Many Chinese-descent Indonesians are worried about the new Indonesian government's economic policy, fearing they may become victims of discrimination advocated by Vice President Jusuf Kalla. [MORE]

Media Beat
TRANSFORMING FOUR MORE YEARS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Right-wing trumpets are making a horrific racket across a ravaged political landscape. For now, hope is barely audible. Progressives seem like fledglings without feathers, weakly tapping from inside thick shells. Four more years sound like hell. [MORE]

On Native Ground
MANDATE? WHAT MANDATE?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Now that we lefties have all had a few days to digest the election results and what they mean, it's time to start thinking about how we're going to play defense for the next four years. [MORE]

American Essay
WHEN THE BODY BAGS COME HOME
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Nov. 13, 2004 -- "When they come to the door, you know there is only one reason. I asked them when did he die and they told me." [MORE]

Momentum
ANGRY IN VERMONT: 11 WAYS TO FIX THE WORLD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A gloom has descended over the place where I live - the most progressive county in progressive Vermont. We're still reeling from the election results. [MORE]

Reporting: Philadelphia
G.O.P. HIRED MEN TO SUPPRESS PHILADELPHIA VOTING, LAWYER SAYS
by Margie Burns

PHILADELPHIA -- In Philadelphia, the Republican Party hired local people - apparently including at least one knife-waving drug addict - as neighborhood poll watchers, paid them watchers to challenge their neighbors' votes, and sent visiting teams of burly workers in vans in a mixed strategy of intimidation and misinformation to try to suppress voting on November 2, according to a Brooklyn law student who worked as a poll monitor. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
EMBEDDED WITH THE MOB
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It goes without saying, for the most part, that mothers are loved. (Perhaps Lizzie Borden's was an exception.) And my mother was loved to the point of reverence by all nine of us. If any one of us knew how to go about it, we would have submitted her name and life story to the Committee to Consider Canonization to Sainthood - if there were such a body. Surely, she is a saint in Heaven just as she was a saint on Earth. [MORE]

Ink Soup
FRUIT FLY FACTS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Say the above head three times rapidly, and if you do not say Flute Fry Flax, read on. [MORE]

Make My Day
I KNOW BILL CLINTON, TOO
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As someone who follows politics the way sports fans follow baseball, I was excited about my recent trip to Washington, D.C., home of the White House, Capitol Hill, and the National Bead Museum (official motto: Yes, there's a museum for those!). [MORE]

Brasch Words
A BONE OF CONTENTION
by Rosemary R. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - I heard it. [MORE]

On Native ground
WE TRIED. WE FAILED. WE MU.S.T TRY ONCE AGAIN.
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's now official. We are no longer a reality-based country. [MORE]

Momentum
THE DAY-AFTER-ELECTION-DAY BLUES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As I write, Sen. John Kerry has just conceded the extremely close presidential election to President George W. . But the damage has been done - with a record turnout, the results mean that half the voters in the United States are fools. [MORE]

On Media
IT'S USE'S WAR NOW
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- President Bush's reelection signifies a seriously weakened United States, both politically and militarily. This should be painfully evident, yet it is curious how few of our learned commentators have been willing to make that point openly. [MORE]

AR Commentary
EACH CANDIDATE HAS A TALE, AND THE WISE WILL LISTEN
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- At election time, especially, but in more regular times, too, we could surely benefit from a careful literary eye. This has value not only for our reading, writing and entertainment but in measuring the very authenticity and credibility of our society; otherwise, we can find ourselves in the middle of a real-life script that reads like a poorly written first draft. [MORE]

Campaign Trail
A BLAZE OF HUMANITY AMID THE MACHINES
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- We were at the end of 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Martha's Roman Catholic Church in Sarasota, a few miles from home, when the sound of squealing brakes and a distinct thump! shocked the congregation to silence. Just seconds later a man ran into the crowded church, calling for someone to dial 911. "A woman has been hit crossing the street!" he shouted. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE DIVINE MADNESS OF PRESIDENT USE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Bush presidency has been hard on the souls of every person who has a brain and believes in rationalism, humanism and liberalism. [MORE]

AR Commentary
ELECTION OFFERS SOME SCARY DEJA VOODOO FOR AMERICA
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Oct. 31, 2004 -- Tuesday's presidential election, very likely the nation's most important one in more than half a century, offers a curious deja vu scenario. It's all too suggestive of 1952 when a fearful nation swept Republican candidate General Ike Eisenhower into power in a landslide on a platform suggesting that Democrats were soft on Communism. Now we all wait on pins and needles to see whether a once-again fearful nation will re-elect President George W. Bush on a platform that suggests Sen. Kerry is soft on Terror. [MORE]

Brasch Words
THE VANISHING TRUTH ABOUT IRAQ
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The CIA said there was no connection. The 9/11 Commission said there was "no credible evidence." Counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke, advisor to four presidents, said there was no link. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "We made serious mistakes." Even Donald Rumsfeld grudgingly said there probably wasn't "any strong, hard evidence." [MORE]

Campaign 2004
NADER'S TWO-TIME RUNNING MATE BACKS JOHN KERRY
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 16, 2004 -- Presidential candidate Ralph Nader's 1996 and 2000 vice-presidential running mate, Native American activist Winona LaDuke, has dealt the 2004 Nader presidential campaign a cruel blow: LaDuke is endorsing Nader's rival, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry, she said Wednesday in Indian Country Today, the nation's top news magazine for Native Americans. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE NAKED PRESIDENT
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Less than three weeks away from the election, the truth is now staring us in the face and only the willfully blind cannot see it. [MORE]

Make My Day
LIKE SUPERMAN AND LEX LUTHOR
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Everyone had a nemesis growing up. Someone who was there to bother, harass, and torment them, and generally try to make life unpleasant. Abel had Caine, Julius Caesar had Brutus, and everyone who likes music has Britney Spears. [MORE]

Momentum
LEAVING IRAQ: IT'S ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS NOW
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The words I most want to hear from both presidential candidates are these: "We're pulling out of Iraq, starting today." [MORE]

Ink Soup

DROPPING EAVES

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- Did Yogi Berra say that you can hear a lot by listening? No? Well, he will say it once he reads it here. Anyway, here are some things I've heard by listening. [MORE]

America at War
SCHISM, DEPARTITION AND OTHER NEW IDEAS FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Are there new ideas and new approaches that might reduce tensions in the Middle East, or lead to a clear-cut victory over Islamic funamentalist terrorism? Maybe, but they are not being heard. [MORE]

Reporting: Costa Rica
JUDGE ISSUES ARREST WARRANT FOR O.A.S. SECRETARY-GENERAL
by Saray Ramírez Vindas

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica, Oct. 8, 2004 — A Costa Rican judge has issued an international arrest warrant for former president Miguel Ángel Rodriguez, who until he resigned this afternoon was Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS). The warrant came after prosecutors alleged that Rodriguez, who as OAS head was one of the most influential figures in the Western Hemisphere, conspired to receive illicit payoffs from the French telecommunications giant Alcatel and others. [MORE]

Debate Review
BUSH RIGHTS HIS SHIP, KERRY SAILS ON
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 9, 2004 -- President George W. Bush showed himself a vastly improved debater Friday night in the second of three face-to-face meetings, while his opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachussetts, not only held the ground he won in their first debate but improved his standing among uncommitted voters in battleground states that could hold the key to victory Nov. 2. [MORE]

On Native Ground
JOHN KERRY AND THE POLITICS OF FLEXIBILITY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Two years ago this week, Sen. John Kerry gave a speech on the floor of the Senate explaining why he was voting in favor of giving President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq. [MORE]

Make My Day
JUST DON'T HIT IT THERE!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Over the past few years, I've avoided golf because of one particular incident from my past. It has haunted me well into adulthood and has prevented me from picking up a golf club for over 28 years. [MORE]

Momentum
THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE DAUGHTER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's funny how quaint it seems now, the idea of retiring to Florida (or even having enough money to retire at all). But thirty years ago it was the dream of millions of hard-working Americans, many of whom actually pulled up their northern roots and moved south. [MORE]

Ink Soup
THE BIRDMAN OF SHILSHOLE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- As a birder, I am strictly an amateur, and never roam about in search of them. But when they come to me, as they incessantly do so long as I remember to fill the feeder on the back deck, I like to know who they are. [MORE]

Jill Stewart
POLL SEASON, SCHMOLL SEASON: WHY MEDIA CAN'T SEE THE CALIFORNIA RIGHT
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- It's a presidential election year, a Sacramento legislative battle year and a ballot measure year. That means it's poll season. For me, dazed and confused in recent years by contradictory polls and the unpredictable political mutts known as California voters, I say "poll season, schmoll season." [MORE]

Brasch Words
APPLAUDING ONLY THE 'RIGHT' ENTERTAINERS
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - They call themselves Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood, or PABAAH for short. If it was anything but an acronym, PABAAH would be on the Homeland Security "no-fly" list. They believe Sean Penn and Janeane Garofalo are traitors. They want John Ashcroft, defender of some of the Bill of Rights, to charge Michael Moore with treason. [MORE]

Reporting: Costa Rica
PRESSURE MOUNTS ON O.A.S. SECRETARY-GENERAL TO RESIGN
by Jay Brodell

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica, Oct. 3, 2004 —- Pressure is growing here for former Costa Rican president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, a leading economist and now the Secretary-General of the influential Organization of American States, to resign from post at the O.A.S., a hemispheric counterpart of the United Nations. [MORE]

On Media
ADJECTIVES AND ELEPHANTS DEFINED FIRST DEBATE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES - The first presidential debate had its own giant elephant in the bedroom, and it is an Asian elephant. Meanwhile, the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign has been concentrating its fire on the interpretation of adjectives. It would be funny if it weren't so serious. Perhaps tragicomedy is the right term that describes the week of Sept. 30, 2004. [MORE]

First Person
AMERICA'S BEST HOSPITAL WAS THEIR WORST NIGHTMARE
by Dan Walter

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - I have been reading recent stories about malpractice problems at Johns Hopkins Hospital with great interest. I took my wife there for a relatively low-risk procedure two years ago and through a series of astonishing mishaps, she almost died. Since then, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how such things can happen in one of the best medical facilities in the world. [MORE]

Make My Day
KIDS SAY THE SCARIEST THINGS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- My kids and I have a special relationship. They are free to bring up certain topics of discussion. I am free to make nasty faces and freak out at near-hysterical levels. They know which buttons to push, and will push them just to watch me have an apoplectic fit at the things they say. But most of the time, they do it without knowing they're pushing any buttons. [MORE]

The 2003 Debates
LIKE THE PHOENIX, KERRY SOARS IN POST-DEBATE POLLS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 1, 2004 -- Here in the Gulf Coast hinterlands of Florida where Republicans hold virtually every public office in this and the neighboring counties, the crew at a local Post Office was upbeat this afternoon. "He's gong to win. "He better win." "I think he"ll win," said three different postmen as they talked with a customer they knew to be a Kerry. One even presented him with three candid photos of Vice President Al Gore during a year 2000 campaign stop in nearby Sarasota and a book of matchesd from Air Force Two, the Vice-President's plane. [MORE]

On Native Ground
DEBATES WILL REVEAL THE 'INTELLIGENCE GAP'
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There will be many contrasts between U.S. Senator John F. Kerry and President George W. Bush that will be seen in Thursday's first presidential debate. [MORE]

Reporting: Costa Rica
OAS CHIEF SAYS HE GOT $140,000 LOAN
By Jay Brodell

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica -- The secretary general of the Organization of American States said Thursday that he had received $140,000 from a French telecommunications firm to advance his candidacy for the job he now holds. [MORE]

Momentum
SERMON FROM A DIFFERENT, FAR BETTER MOUNT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Watch President George W. Bush on the campaign trail. Notice how he gives a quick, manly, forward hunch of his shoulders just before he gives a speech. Then he swaggers forward just a step and his hands settle briefly around his belt. No matter how compassionate the speech that follows, the hunch and the settle say something different to the Republican elect. They say that John Wayne is back. [MORE]

The 2004 Debates
WHO DOES GOD WANT?
by Mister Thorne

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was the 13th of December, 1999; it was Des Moines, Iowa. George W. Bush was debating the other candidates hoping to be the GOP's nominee for president. Near the start of the debate, Bush responded to a question from Tom Brokaw about "an evolving culture of violence and rage in America." [MORE]

American Essay
BEFORE TWO FLAGS: THE FAITH AND POLICY OF DOUGLAS FEITH
by Tom Barry

DALLAS -- {Editor's Note: Earlier editions of AR published this article under the name of a person who had plagiarized the article. The American Reporter regrets and apologizes to the actual author, Tom Barry.] With no end in sight to the ever-worsening situation in Iraq, what is sorely needed in Washington to turn the situation around is the de-linking of its foreign policy from the agenda and priorities of Israel, and a re-linking of America's Iraq policy with the broader Arab-Israeli conflict. [MORE]

Reporting: Indonesia
DESPITE BIG CHANGES IN JAKARTA, DOUBTS OVER INDONESIAN UNITY PERSIST
by Andreas Harsono

TOMOHON, Indonesia, Sept. 28, 2004 -- Jakarta may have made enormous progress by organizing the first direct presidential elections in Indonesian history, but skepticism about its Javanese-dominated governments remains high in this Christian-dominated town in northern Sulawesi where distrust is deeply rooted. [MORE]

The A.R. Interview
EX-D.I.A. OFFICER QUESTIONS 9/11 REPORT, FAULTS HUMAN INTELLIGENCE LACK
by Margie Burns

WASHINGTON -- Ted Pahle has retired after 34 years of experience in intelligence matters with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and U.S. Army Intelligence. Now it's his turn to speak up, and he has. [MORE]

On Media
EDUCATION IS NOT THE PANACEA
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The governor of California signed a bill this week to give special privileges to hybrid cars which get better than 45 miles to the gallon. The president of the Ford Motor Company objected. Apparently Ford can't build that car, while the Japanese can. [MORE]

On Native Ground
BUSH FLOUTED U.N. CHARTER WHEN HE INVADED IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President George W. Bush went before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to defend his administration's decision to invade Iraq. [MORE]

Make My Day
HOW THE GRINCH GROUNDED SANTA
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I'll bet most people never knew there was such a thing as an airport board. These people like to work behind the scenes, making sure airports operate smoothly and safely. And they prefer to stay out of the limelight. [MORE]

Momentum
PROUD TO BE A DEAD ARMADILLO
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "There's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow line and dead armadillos," the Texas humorist and political writer Jim Hightower once famously said. In this election cycle, though, he's off by a mile. In the middle of the road today huddle liberals, progressives, old-fashioned conservative Republicans and most Democrats, and they're all scared out of their freaking minds. [MORE]

Reporting: Indonesia
DESPITE NEW PRESS FREEDOM, EDITOR GOES TO JAIL
by Andreas Harsono

MIANGAS ISLAND, Indonesia, Sept. 18, 2004 - A Jakarta court decision to sentence an Indonesian editor to a year in prison for allegedly libeling a business tycoon may create a trend in this emerging democracy, whose criminal code offers plenty of opportunities for those who are not happy with the media to throw sloppy journalists in jail. [MORE]

Ink Soup
REAL HEDS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– The headlines (or "heds," as we call 'em in the J biz) below are all genuine. [MORE]

On Media
2004 ELECTIONS ARE RIPE FOR HUMOR
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It may well be that comedy will determine the 2004 election. In a culture where popular entertainment reaches more people than all the learned political journals do in a lifetime, this is not an entirely facetious observation. The only question is whether the decisive "killer joke" will come from the mouth of Jay Leno, David Letterman. Jon Stewart or the Web pages of CNN.com. [MORE]

Media Beat
SUPREME COURT WILL BE SHAPED BY 2004 OUTCOME, BUT WHO'S WATCHING?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - The big media themes about the 2004 presidential campaign have reveled in vague rhetoric and flimsy controversies. But little attention has focused on a matter of profound importance: Whoever wins the race for the White House will be in a position to slant the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court for decades to come. [MORE]

On Native Ground
HOW SOON IS NOW?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Will someone please tell Sen. John Kerry and President Bush what year it is? [MORE]

Make My Day
LOVE AND POLITICS: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - Hello, I'm Claire Townsend, and I'm running for U.S. Representative. I'll fight for the citizens of this state, and I won't take money from special interest lobbyists whose goal is to line their pockets and take away your rights. [MORE]

Momentum
BEING THANKFUL FOR SMALL FAVORS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In a time of despair like these, with an election season marked by lies, fears, and hatred, with hatred of America growing around the world, and with a lost war on terror that is also a lost war in Iraq, I try to look for small signs of good. [MORE]

Jill Stewart
CALIFORNIA'S LEGISLATURE STILL UNMOORED FROM REALITY
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 16, 2004 -- The mound of bad bills now sitting on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk is testament to government dysfunction, written in black and white. The big difference this year is that Arnold may veto many stinkers, while Gray Davis tended to buckle. [MORE]

Ink Soup
TOENAILS AND KEROSENE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- The children are back, thanks be to God. I don't mean my children–I mean those who go to the school that is just across a wide playing field directly behind my house. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
IN POLITICS, IT ALL COMES DOWN TO 'SO WHAT?!'
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and lied about it. Not a very honorable thing to do; yet, 30 or so years later he served this nation admirably becoming not only the first President of the United States but forever more known as the "Father of our Country." [MORE]

Market Mover
IS AMERICA POISED FOR A 'GREAT BULL RUN'?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla.. Sept. 13, 2004 -- We are in the final stage of a 17-year bear market, and there are lots of reasons to believe we are poised for a bull rush, similar to the one which started back in 1987. [MORE]

Special Report
POSSIBLE A-TEST REPORTED IN NORTH KOREA
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 12, 2004 (5:20am EDT) -- Amid reports by the South Korean news agency Yonhap that a large "mushroom cloud" as much as 2.5 miles in diameter was seen near a northern military base in North Korea on Sept. 9, The Associated Press is reporting this morning that a vast explosion occurred at 11 a.m. Thursday in that nation's Yanggang province. [MORE]

Reporting: Indonesia
INDONESIAN LEADERS STILL IN DENIAL AFTER EMBASSY BLAST
by Andreas Harsono

MAKASSAR, Indonesia, Sept. 11, 2004 -– Indonesia's number one man on terrorism, police chief Da'i Bachtiar, was having a meeting with a parliamentary commission Thursday morning, briefing them about his attempt to arrest master bombers Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammad Top, when an aide approached him and whispered something into his ear. [MORE]

Reporting: Bangladesh
IN BANGLADESH, GARMENT WORKERS' PAYDAY NOT A SURE THING
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Sept. 11, 2004 -- The garment workers of Bangladesh may be the most deprived labor force in the world. Most of are paid only U.S.$14 to U.S.$16 per month, the lowest salary in the world, said Amirul Haq Amin, Coordinator of the Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council (BGWUC) on Thursday. [MORE]

On Native Ground
A CURE FOR REPUBLICAN LIES: ROOSEVELT'S IDEALS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My antidote to the lies spewed out by Republicans at their convention last week was the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE BRAVE POSTURING OF ARMCHAIR WARRIORS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Soon after the American death toll in Iraq passed the 1,000 mark, I thought of Saadoun Hammadi and some oratory he provided two years ago when I spoke to him in Baghdad. [MORE]

Make My Day
WHAT ABOUT 'EUROPEAN CARRYALL?'
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- If you fail to learn from history, you're doomed to repeat it. [MORE]

Momentum
YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY KILLER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As a feminist I'm all for equal opportunity, but the idea of female suicide death squads makes me shiver. [MORE]

Ink Soup
ICH-I-RO!
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Being a Mariners fan for the last couple of years has been a matter of feeling sorry for the fans of all other baseball teams. Fans heavily invested in the fate of the M's could then walk about trying not to seem all that superior to the ordinary run of humanity. [MORE]

Hurricane Journal
INSIDE FRANCES: NO GAS, FREE ICE AND COLD, COLD CUTS
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Sept. 7, 2004 -- (Editor's Note: AR Correspondent Mark Scheinbaum weathered Hurricane Frances at his home in Lake Worth, Fla., near some of the hardest-hit coastal communities. Here is his piquant report). [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
A NATION WEEPS FOR INNOCENTS DEAD IN IRAQ
by Chiranjobi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Nepal, Sept. 7, 2004 -- An old Nepali saying, that "Tragedy never comes alone, it comes in a battalion," has never seemed more true in Nepal, where tragedy after tragedy has become the destiny of the nation. [MORE]

On Media
OLD FICTIONS AND NEW REALITIES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It was a week when the Longshoremen's union pulled 3000 postcards from barrels containing 300,000 entries, the lucky winners getting entry level jobs on the docks. In Hollywood, movie buffs gathered for the annual Cinecon film festival. There is a linkage between the two items, subtle but significant, and it even bears on our upcoming election. [MORE]

Hurricane Journal
FRANCES FILLS THE SCREEN
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 5, 2004 (3:50am EDT) -- Unless things change pretty drastically between now and about 11 a.m. this morning, the small city where I live will be largely spared any devastation by Hurricane Frances. [MORE]

On Native Ground
HATS OFF TO THE PROTESTERS IN NEW YORK
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For all the people that fretted about what would happen if hundreds of thousands of people came to New York to protest the Bush administration, Sunday's march through midtown Manhattan was a repudiation of those fears. [MORE]

Media Beat
ROVE'S BRAIN AND MEDIA MANIPULATION
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - I just saw a horror movie - "Bush's Brain" - the new documentary based on a book with the same name by journalists James Moore and Wayne Slater. The book's subtitle is "How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential." I'll spare you the grim details. What matters most now is that Rove's long record of shady and vicious media operations is not just in the past. [MORE]

Make My Day
DO THEY GIVE GOLD MEDALS FOR COMPLAINING?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Every four years - called an Olympiad by us Olympic enthusiasts - I make a new resolution that I will start exercising more, and become a competitive athlete. Unfortunately, like every other resolution I make, this usually only lasts for three days after the Games end, and the new tv season starts up again. [MORE]

Momentum
ANDY WARHOL MEETS SMALL TOWN AMERICAN VALUES
by Joyce Marcel

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -- One has to wonder. [MORE]

Ink Soup
HELP! THAT MAGAZINE IS FOLLOWING ME!
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE. Wash. -– It's in my blood, I suppose. A number of my ancestors were academics of one kind or another. One of my most treasured books, Leusden's Greek and Latin Testament (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1858), belonged to Wm. D. McCorkle, who must have bequeathed to me the gene that caused me to major in Greek at Duke. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
TO KNOW-IT-ALLS WHO HEARD, SAW AND READ IT BEFORE ME
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Long before I was born, my mother saw some subtle differences in families because of the radio. She wrote a poem called Radio Blues. [MORE]

On Media
PRINT VS. RADIO: A BATTLE IN THE HEARTLAND
by Robert Gelfand

DAYTON, Ohio -- As we taxi through Dayton International Airport, the pilot points out Air force One parked nearby. This is ground zero for the presidential campaign - if President George W. Bush loses Ohio, he can probably kiss the election goodbye. If Sen, John Kerry loses Ohio, he has that much more to make up in other states. Today, President Bush is visiting the Dayton suburb of Troy, Ohio. John Kerry has been all over the state the whole month. [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE GOP STRATEGY: ATTACK, DISTORT, LIE, REPEAT
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Here's the new definition of chutzpah. [MORE]


AN OPEN MIND, OR EMPTY HEAD?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Perhaps it's unfair to compare the work of an intern at a small-town newspaper to that of best selling author Dan Brown (he of the Da Vinci Code fame) but compare I shall, because there is a deeper lesson involved. [MORE]

Make My Day
OLYMPICS, OLYMPICS, NEENER NEENER NEENER
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- We're winding down the final days of the Olympics, and while I don't think the 2004 games have carried the same emotional intensity as 1996 and 2000, there have still been some interesting stories over the past two weeks. [MORE]

Momentum
GOING FOR GOLD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Olympics have turned out to be the perfect antidote to the toxic pop culture in which we live today. [MORE]

Reporting: Dhaka
21 BOMBINGS IN BANGLADESH, BUT STILL NO SU.S.PECTS
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Aug. 25, 2004 -- This beleaguered is now unsafe for local people and foreigners. A six-year series of bombings have left hundreds dead, and police apparently no closer now than six years ago to catching the terrorists who have struck fear into the very heart of this young democracy. [MORE]

Ink Soup
IOTA OKRA
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- My late Aunt Helen (RIP) gave me her recipe for what in fact she did – avoiding Alzheimer's. Do crossword puzzles, she said. "You never find me sitting here doing nothing." She was also addicted to any game show on tv, especially those involving word play. I once telephoned her in the hospital during her last illness, and she cut me short: "Get to the point, honey–my program is on." [MORE]

Reporting: Los Angeles
MU.S.LIMS HONOR ALEC BALDWIN'S 'COURAGE AND CONSCIENCE'
by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22, 2004 -- Actor and outspoken activist Alec Baldwin was hailed here Saturday night as one of the "voices of courage and conscience" who speak up for the right to criticize government without being impugned as unpatriotic. Baldwin was honored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) as the national organization's 13th annual Media Awards winner at the regal Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. [MORE]

Market Mover

TALE OF THE TAPE TIPS A KERRY VICTORY

by Mark Scheinbaum

TAOS, N.M., Aug. 23, 2004 -- Highly-paid pundits say the presidential race is too close to call, but applying the old "Tale of the Tape" as boxing writers do, the election could produce a Kerry knockout and national Democratic win. [MORE]

On Native Ground
BOOTS AND FLAGS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Driving down Avenue A, the main drag in the Massachusetts village of Turners Falls, it's hard to miss the flags. [MORE]

Media Beat
HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND LEARN TO LOVE RUMSFELD
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The nation's top dog of war is frisky again. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has returned to high visibility - after a couple of months in the media doghouse following revelations about torture at the Abu Ghraib prison - and is now openly romancing the journalistic pack with his inimitable style of "tough love" as he growls and romps across tv screens. [MORE]

Momentum
IF YOU ARE IN LABOR, PRESS 1
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Since my stepfather's death in Florida a few weeks ago, I've realized that it's much easier to die in America than it is to live. [MORE]

Make My Day
ANOTHER REASON NOT TO ORDER PEA SOUP
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- If I had to give one important piece of advice today, it would be this: Tip your waitstaff. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
TODAY IS NOW; LIFE IS WHAT'S NEXT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Okay, so what is today? Today is the day we got a dog. BoPeep is the fourth Old English sheepdog we've had since 1958. Because she had blue eyes, we named the first one, "Lady Limehouse Blues" on her AKC "papers" but we called her "Limey." The next in line was BoPeep, then BoPeep, Jr., and now BoPeep III. [MORE]

On Media
HOW THE YALE MEN FLUNKED SCIENCE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Well, President George W. Bush said something Thursday we ought to agree with, even if it wins the prize for the best ironic self-parody in an election year: "We need to keep facts, not politics, at the center of the debate." [MORE]

Hurricane Journal
CHARLEY BEARS DOWN, FLORIDA BEARS UP
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 13, 2004, 2:27amEST -- As Hurricane Charley grinds across the Cuban countryside and moves closer to the warm Gulf Of Mexico, where it is likely to pick up speed and may become a Category 3, about 350 miles north my condominium building in the middle of a resort golf course here is nearly empty. We are under a mandatory evacuation order that I am reluctant to obey, while my wife would like to flee to Georgia. My daughter, meanwhile, is convinced nothing will happen. [MORE]

On Native Ground
IT'S THE POST-INDU.S.TRIAL ECONOMY, STUPID!
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So now, even journalists aren't immune from the outsourcing juggernaut. [MORE]

On Media
HE WAS DIFFERENT THAN I EXPECTED
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The Democratic convention is over now and the John Kerry I saw is nothing like the portrait the media have been trying to sell me. Whether you support him or oppose him, you have to admit that he showed something powerful in his acceptance speech. [MORE]

Media Beat
FROM ATTICA TO ABU GHRAIB - AND A PRISON NEAR YOU
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- A recent obituary in the New York Times told about Frank Smith, "who as an inmate leader at Attica prison was tortured by officers in the aftermath of the prisoner uprising of 1971 and then spent a quarter century successfully fighting for legal damages." Working as a paralegal after his release, Smith was a pivotal force behind a 26-year civil action lawsuit that won a $12 million settlement. [MORE]

Momentum
AN UNCONVENTIONAL WEEK
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My convention may have been different from yours. [MORE]

On Native Ground
TO WIN, DEMOCRATS MUST BE BOLD AND THINK BIG
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Sometimes, from the point of the activist, the perfect becomes the enemy of the good." [MORE]

Market Mover
THE PREZ WHO CRIED "WOLF?"
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, FL (3 Aug 04)--The Washington Post, New York Times, and some of my old colleagues from the loose knit UPI alumni club, are wondering whether the latest elections season "terror alert" is a case of a President or an administration who cried "Wolf." [MORE]

American Sports
U.S.C, NOTRE DAME DOMINATE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, SPORTS HISTORY
by Steven Travers

LOS ANGELES -- The 2004 college football season starts this month, and all indications are that Pete Carroll and his University of Southern California Trojans are poised to become the greatest collegiate team of all time. [MORE]

On Native Ground

WHEN WILL A REAL DEMOCRAT RUN FOR PRESIDENT?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In talking to people around where I live, there's a distinct lack of enthusiasm for John Kerry. [MORE]

Make My Day
STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It takes a lot to get politicians in an uproar. They're generally pretty easy going, level-headed, and not prone to immature outbursts about silly issues. [MORE]

John Kerry tonight: "The future doesn't belong to fear. It belongs to freedom."

On the Campaign Trail
FOR A BETTER VANTAGE POINT, STAY HOME

by Joe Shea

BOSTON, July 28, 2004 -- The Rev. Al Sharpton has just wound up a long, passionate and eloquent speech that brought thousands of delegates to the Democratic National Convention here at the Fleet Center to their feet waving arms and signs and and cheering their lungs out, and now Sen. Bob Graham of Florida has taken Sharpton's place. Graham is not an evangelist but a very good speaker. The problem, though, is this: How many speeches, regardless of their quality, can you listen to in four days? [MORE]

On The Campaign Trail
BY AND FOR A NEW WORLD
by Joe Shea

BOSTON, July 27, 2004 -- American history has come to a stage at which the nation must make critical choices about its future. Thus, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York told thousands of cheering delegates here last night, U.S. Sen. John Kerry "is a serious man ... for a serious time." [MORE]

On The Campaign Trail
BOSTON IS A MOVEABLE FEAST
by Joe Shea

BOSTON, July 26, 2004 -- Besides nominating John Kerry for President, beating the hated Yankees with their own scrappy style of hardball and breaking all records for torn-up streets, Bostonians and the delegates to the Democratic National Convention here are busting a lot of Atkins-hardened dieter's hearts. [MORE]

On Media
A TWIN CITIES EXPERIMENT IN E-POLITICS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Looking back to the moment in 1996 when Bob Dole hastily recited a Website address in a presidential debate, then forward to the Dean campaign, it is clear that Internet usage is developing into a significant part of our political system. We might consider an experiment begun ten years ago in Minnesota as the prototype for use of the Internet in politics. The results are worthy of examination. [MORE]

On Native Ground
'OUTFOXED' AND THE MYTH OF THE LIBERAL MEDIA
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Along with about 100 other people, I crammed myself into a small, stuffy room on the campus of the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vt., on Sunday night to see a screening of "Outfoxed," Robert Greenwald's documentary about the Fox News Channel. [MORE]

Media Beat
SCHWARZENEGGER'S MACHO POLITCS HAS MAJOR CONSEQUENCES
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- With two words, the governor of California has managed to highlight the confluence of anti-gay bias and misogyny. Open contempt for "girlie men" would have raised fewer eyebrows in the past. Reactions to Arnold Schwarzenegger's put-down of Democrats in the state legislature - "if they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men" - tell us a lot about how far we've come. The good news is the media outcry; the bad news is that the outcry hasn't been stronger. [MORE]

Momentum
AT WAR WITH SUMMER
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Honeysuckle, climbing roses, day lilies, bee balm, lavender, flowering clematis, black-eyed Susans, cosmos, pansies and petunias. [MORE]

Ink Soup
WASTE PAPER
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Pasted to the mirror in my bathroom is a strip of paper with the typed words: "Object in mirror is exactly as far away as he seems." One of the things that make him seem less far, at least to himself, is his journal. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WHAT MAKES A HERO?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- On May 6, 1954, a little over 50 years ago, we learned that Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. That record still holds more interest than any other for runners of the race. He was first; Chris Brasher was ahead early on, but Roger won the race. Chris who? That's right. Second place in the same event did not create a household name. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WANT TO BE PRESIDENT? GO TO RICHMOND, QUICKLY
by Joe Shea

RICHMOND, Va., July 18, 2004 -- If Sen. John Kerry wants to be elected President of the United States, he'd better hurry down to the Sidewalk Cafe on Main St. here and talk to Jeff McCarthy, the bartender. "I'm not going to make up my mind until two minutes before I go into the polling booth," he said. It's Jeff McCarthy - and millions like him around the country - who holds the key to the 2004 presidential election. He's the one that everyone is after. [MORE]

On Media
IT'S TIME FOR SOME PAYBACK
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Whoopi Goldberg did a few jokes about the president and within days she got fired. Once again the right taught us an important lesson that the left and center still refuse to learn. [MORE]

Ink Soup
THE ANTEBANG
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- What was there before the Big Bang? This question has tormented such great thinkers as our President ("I'll tell you what there was. There was the terrorist conspiracy to commit the Big Bang. But fortunately we got word of it in time, thanks to our incomparable intelligence agencies and like that. So it never happened.") [MORE]

Media Beat
TRIAL BALLOONS, TERROR, AND THE ELECTION
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tom Ridge, the federal official in charge of defending the United States against terrorism, was on message when he told a July 14 news conference: "We don't do politics at Homeland Security." Such high-level claims of patriotic purity have been routine since 9/11. But in this election year, they're more ludicrous than ever. [MORE]

On Native Ground
PANTS ON FIRE AT THE MINISTRY OF FEAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's funny how many times over the past three years that "terrorist" threats have popped up whenever the Bush administration either wants something or is trying to distract people from its problems. [MORE]

Thought: Iran may have been behind 9/11 all along.

On The Campaign Trail
SLURS AND SPEED TRAPS: THE 'OLD SOUTH' REARS ITS UGLY HEAD

by Joe Shea

WINDER, Ga., July 17, 2004 -- The McDonald's at the corner of Hwy. 11 in Winder, Ga., seems an unlikely place to re-encounter the Old South. But here, on the inside of the men's room stall in the tiny bathroom, is evidence in the form of messages scratched into the formica some time ago. F*CK U NIGGERS, says one; F*CK WHITE TRASH MOTHER F*KERS, says another; here and there are the familiar initials KKK; in between and around those are several swastikas. Equal opportunity hate is appraently alive and well in Winder. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A TRIGGERING OF THE IMAGINATION
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - Imagine! That word usually sends me off into the netherworld of fairy dust and the wee people. Not tonight. Tonight my imagination has been triggered through a televised preview announcing "4400," an upcoming program about the return of 4,400 people who disappeared 60 years ago and returned all at once ... not having aged a day. They left; they returned, in this science fiction world of story-telling. [MORE]

On Media

THE 'CREDIBILITY GAP' RETURNS

by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- When it comes to homeland security, the media might consider dusting off a term that was used during the Lyndon Johnson administration: "the credibility gap." How else to explain the almost comically skeptical reaction to warnings from the Attorney General about impending catastrophes, or to changes in the national stoplight from yellow to orange? [MORE]

Media Beat
KERRY-EDWARDS' STANCE FOR U.S. JOBS IRKS THE PRESS - BUT WHY?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The morning after Sen. John Kerry announced that North Carolina Sen. John Edwards will be his running mate, powerful newspapers fired warning shots across the bow of the Kerry-Edwards campaign. [MORE]

BANGLADESHI FIRM MISUSD TRADE CREDITS, U.S., E.U. CHARGE
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A number of Bangladeshi exporters are allegedly involved in misuse of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facilities which grants duty-free export to some developed countries including the U.S. and the European Union, official sources said. [MORE]

An American Reporter Special Report
The Triumph of Michael Moore

Moore's Triumph
MOORE'S FILM CAPTURES WHAT BIG MEDIA MISS

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Much of the establishment press has been especially critical of Michael Moore. In the past few days, it has questioned every line in his third documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11." His film attacks President George W. Bush, the Bush Administration, corporate America, and the media. It has been called propaganda and manipulative; Moore has been called obnoxious, arrogant, and detestable. His film is expected to top the $100 million mark in box-office sales, an all-time record for a documentary. [MORE]

Moore's Triumph
WE NEED 'M0ORE' SUBJECTIVITY IN JOURNALISM
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I went to see Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" over the July 4 weekend. [MORE]

Moore's Triumph
MORE THOUGHTS ON MICHAEL MOORE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Say what you want about Michael Moore and his "Fahrenheit 9/11," but he certainly makes you think. [MORE]

Moore's Triumph
TWO OTHER POLITICAL FILMS WE OUGHT TO SEE
by Maggie Burns

HOUSTON -- A lot can ride on political movies, aside from Michael Moore's work. On July 20, PBS stations will air a new documentary, "Last Man Standing: Politics Texas Style," shown for obvious reasons at the Texas state Democratic convention in Houston, June 2004. This amusing film is a good lesson in national politics at the local level, with Lyndon Baines Johnson's old hometown as part of the microcosm, or anyway the setting. [MORE]

American Essay
TOWARDS A NEW AMERICAN SPACE AGE
by Rick Tumlinson

LOS ANGELES -- The June 21 flight of Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne signals the true beginning of a new American space age. As NASA tries to rcover from the loss of Columbia, a small white rocketship rose into the darkness of space above the California desert. Not quite crossing into the realm of orbital space, yet truly in space, where the stars shine in daytime and the freedom of weightlessness begins, Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne made history and changed the future. [MORE]

Make My Day
MAKING TECHNOLOGY EASY
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I used to be a technology whiz when I was younger. I could explain the difference between digital and analog stereo systems. I could explore the inner workings of my Macintosh computer. And I even knew how to program my VCR -- no mean feat 15 years ago. [MORE]

Reporting: Indonesia
FOR REMOTE INDONESIAN VILLAGE, PRESIDENTIAL RECOUNT IS ONE MORE PROBLEM
by Andreas Harsono

TETEWANG VILLAGE, Halmahera, Indonesia, July 7, 2004 -- When Johny Punene began to shout out the presidential vote tally in front of his fellow villagers on Monday morning, neither Punene nor his audience, mostly fishermen and clove farmers, were expecting a recount. [MORE]

Reporting: Bangladesh
UNDER U.S. PRESSURE, BANGLADESH MULLS UNION RULES
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh-- The government of Bangladesh has introduced a bill in parliament seeking limited rights to trade unionism in exclusive industrial zones after faced pressure from from American labor unions to adopt them or lose trade concessions. The bill is to be reported out of a parliamentary committee tomorrow, sources said. [MORE]

Ink Soup
WHO WHOM?
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Are you irritated by mistakes in English? So am I, though I constantly remind myself that, if there had never been any "mistakes" in English, then we would be speaking the language of Chaucer, to go only that far back. [MORE]

On Media
REGULATORY ALPHABET SOUP IS HEALTH FOOD
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The July 4 crowd at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro was in the thousands. I wondered how many of them ever heard the terms NPDES or SU.S.MP? Yet these obscure acronyms, almost never reported in the local press, are vitally important to the quality of the water that beachgoers splash in so naively. [MORE]

On Native Ground

IRAQIS WANT REAL GOVERNMENT, NOT PUPPET SHOWS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So, now the Iraqis have sovereignty.* [MORE]

Reporting: Bangladesh

BANGLADESH MOVES TO RESTRICT CHEMICAL WEAPONS

by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh is now preparing to enact a law to regulate the proliferation of chemical weapons. The draft of the bill to control the proliferation of chemical weapons is now at a final stage, informed sources told The American Reporter this week. [MORE]

Make My Day
TRAVEL TRIPS FOR THE 'NEW TRAVELER'
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Dear fellow traveler: You may not remember me from this morning. I'm the guy you cut off both in the parking lot and again at the airport. You took my parking space, and then ran to get in front of me at the ticket line. You also rolled your suitcase over my foot and didn't even apologize. [MORE]

Momentum
WHEN MADMEN RULE THE ASYLUM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Like all people of good faith - and surely this means Muslims as well as Christians, Jews, Buddhists and atheists - the recent beheadings of hostages in the Middle East have left me outraged and repelled. [MORE]

Reporting: Bangladesh
U.S. ROLE IS CRITICIZED IN BANGLADESH
by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Speakers at an international conference on Tuesday criticized the rich countries, especially the United States, saying that the scenario of implementation of "poor and rich country partnership" to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) has frustrated the poor countries. [MORE]

Ink Soup

STILL TO COME

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Writing Ink Soup the day before you read it, as I now do, allows me to be a little bit topical. [MORE]

On Media
SCIENTIFIC IGNORANCE SHOULD NOT BE A VIRTUE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- John Allen Paulos wrote a book called Innumeracy and became a best-selling author. There ought to be a book about scientific illiteracy with a similarly clever title. [MORE]

On Native Ground
POLITICS IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "People often say, with pride, 'I'm not interested in politics.' They might as well say, 'I'm not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future or any future.' Politics is the business of being governed and nobody can escape being governed, for better or worse. ... If we mean to keep any control over our world and lives, we must be interested in politics." [MORE]

Momentum
I KNOW WHY THE CAGED CAT PURRS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- No one knows why cats purr. No one knows how cats purr. But most of us know how to make a cat purr. [MORE]

Make My Day
HOW TO WRITE
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Despite my complaints that I don't have many readers or get enough feedback from them, I actually have some great readers who write to me on a regular basis. [MORE]

Ink Soup
NOW THIS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- The Mariners have runners at first and third with one out. The score at the top of the fifth is M's 2, Pirates 0. This news is brought to you by Bud Lite, whoever he is. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
WHEN IS A PROSTITUTE NOT A PROSTITUTE?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - The answer to that question is easy; when the prostitute is addressed as Mr. President. There is an analogy here and I won't keep you waiting for it to show up. Instead, I'll tell you the old story that reveals this sage truth. [MORE]

On Media
A SITE THAT DOES SOME HEAVY LIFTING
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- If you still think that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and their imitators are credible sources of information, I invite you to look at Media Matters for America. This new Website (http://mediamatters.org) will prove to be a treasure trove for journalists and liberal partisans even if it fails to make anybody's top-ten list for readability. [MORE]

On Native Ground
ON TORTURE, IS BUSH ABOVE THE LAW?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Now that the funeral of President Ronald Reagan is over, we can turn our attention to other matters, such as how many members of the Bush administration will be facing war crimes charges. [MORE]

Momentum
WORLD PEACE, ONE FRIENDSHIP AT A TIME
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I read that John A. Wallace died last Friday at the age of 88, it brought back many memories. Not of him, but of the institution he founded which changed my life, the School for International Training, a part of World Learning, Inc. in Brattleboro, Vt. [MORE]

Make My Day: STAY OUT OF THE ATTIC!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Ever since I was a small boy, and watched them on tv or in the theater, I've always had strong feelings when it comes to horror and scary movies. I hate them. [MORE]

Ink Soup
THE BUG THAT SAVED SEATTLE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- I am out on the deck, gazing at the vast tranquillity that is the Puget Sound and at the Olympics, the travel agent's dream of a snowy mountain range, just beyond. [MORE]

On Media
A POLITICAL RORSCHACH TEST FOR THE A.C.L.U.
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The ink blot test named after Hermann Rorschach has become controversial among psychologists in recent decades, but I think the underlying idea has some validity as applied to politics. How else should we view the recent brouhaha over the Los Angeles County Seal? [MORE]

Brasch Words
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': AN ENCOUNTER WITH RONALD REAGAN
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- I never voted for Ronald Reagan. Not the first time he ran for governor in 1966, nor for his re-election in 1970. I didn't vote for him for president in 1980 or 1984. But, it was Mr. Reagan who was responsible for me becoming involved in my first political race. [MORE]

Passings: Ronald Reagan
A DOVE AND A SONNET
by Joe Shea

I wonder if there isn't someone out there watching the endless procession of mourners filing past President Ronald Reagan's coffin as it lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda saying over and over to themselves, as each new tear-streaked face is caught for a moment by the C-Span camera, "Fools! Fools! Fools!" It is the irony of ironies that this wise soul will have to say those words a hundred million times. [MORE]

Momentum
I LOVE A PARADE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Something about a parade makes me cry and I don't know why. [MORE]

American Essay
WHY NADER'S WRONG TO RUN
by John Pearce

MILL VALLEY, Valif. -- The most urgent political question facing any progressive this year is whom we should work for and vote for in the presidential election. Ralph Nader offers positions on the issues far closer to the hearts of most of us. But this year, for nearly all progressives, one issue supersedes all others: beating President George Bush. [MORE]

On Native Ground
RONALD REAGAN WITHOUT TEARS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The treacle being spewed out by the press about the death of former President Ronald Reagan has been hard to take. [MORE]

On Media
WHO OWNS YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Sometimes it seems that spam-email has joined death and taxes on the list of inevitables. Who controls the use of your email address? A struggle in the small Los Angeles suburb of Mar Vista is exposing some of the issues. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
ROADS OF MEMORY, TAKEN ONCE AGAIN
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Everybody looks back at one time or another; when my children gaze into their rear-view mirror, they see scenes of their lives and their world in the seventies, eighties, nineties, and the few years since the millennium. [MORE]

JOURNEY TO TAJ MAHAL EVOKES THOUGHTS ON WOMEN OF OLD & NEW INDIA
by Larry Bridwell

NEW DELHI -- When an evening drive to the Taj Mahal - a monument to a 16th-century Mughal Empress - turned into a foggy overnight and early morning adventure, I was introduced to the spiritual tranquility of the historic India. But a visit to an extraordinary new college that is changing the lives of traditional Indian women, whom religion and need sometimes conspire to suppress, showed how modern India is slowly making amends. [MORE]

On Native Ground
HOW AHMED CHALABI CONNED THE NEO-CONS
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's a question almost too heartbreaking to contemplate. Was this whole sorry mess that America finds itself in in Iraq the product of a massive mind game by the Iranians? [MORE]

Make My Day
THAT'S NOT A BAT, THIS IS A BAT
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Teaching is a noble profession, one that should attract the best and brightest to a rewarding career. Schools are filled with people who became teachers with the dream of shaping young minds and encouraging lifelong learning. [MORE]

American Travel
KEY WEST A WARM WINTER'S TALE FOR WRITERS
by Larry Bridwell

NEW YORK -- Key West first came to my attention in a 1984 Wall Street Journal article about the Key West Literary Seminar. The story described the seminar's exquisite intellectual stimulation in a setting of outdoor cocktails and glorious island sunsets. [MORE]

Momentum
THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF DAFFODILS
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Daffodils can break your heart in so many lovely ways. [MORE]

Ink Soup
LIFE, TOP OF THE EIGHTH
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- The fingers typing this 998th Ink Soup came into the world exactly 75 years ago today, 31 May 1929. [MORE]

Make My Day
NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - What are you thinking of right at this moment? [MORE]

Editorial
PROUD, BLOODY AND UNBOWED
by Joe Shea

As I prayed for them at Mass Sunday evening, my cousin Paul Michael Roberts and my friends Phil Ruminski and Richard Marsh came out of the ether happy to see me, their arms linked as mine reached into their world, joining us in a happy moment of remembrance that inspires me tonight. Paul was my gentle and happy cousin, Phil a genuinely talented young artist, and Richard a young person of great integrity. Each taught me a lesson in life, and each has become a special part of me in death. I wish I visited more often. [MORE]

On Media
WHEN CONSERVATIVES ARE SERVED
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A few days ago I heard a speech about the role of the alternative media in American politics. The example presented by the speaker was the network of rebellious tabloid newspapers that dot our cities, but it occurred to me that there has always been a different, more serious form of alternative media in this country. [MORE]

On Native Ground
EARTH TO USE: FACE REALITY, END THE OCCUPATION
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Bush White House has begun yet another public relations campaign to convince Americans that the invasion and occupation of Iraq is a just cause. [MORE]

Momentum
WHO DO YOU LOVE? HOW DO YOU LOVE?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Here's a rock-solid truth that our culture tries to deny: we don't choose the people we love. [MORE]

Market Mover
LESSONS LEARNED FROM BOCA TO RATON
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., May 26,2004 -- Some day I'll write a book and call it "From Boca to Raton." [MORE]

On Media
AN EFFECTIVE VOICE FOR LIBERALS
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It's probably the most influential magazine that nobody's ever heard of. About the size and weight of your average comic book, its contributors include James Fallows, Jonathan Alter, Tom Bethell and Gregg Easterbrook. Its alumni have gone on to distinguished careers at mainstream magazines and journals while contributing influential books of their own along the way. [MORE]

On Native Ground
SEARCHING FOR SCAPEGOATS AT ABU GHRAIB
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal is heading down a well-trod path. [MORE]

Momentum
A FAILURE OF JOURNALISM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I was working in daily journalism, I continually irritated the night editors with my frantic calls begging them to change a word in a story or make a sentence clearer. And I would often wake up in the middle of the night, panicked that I had misattributed a quote or gotten a tax figure wrong. [MORE]

On Media
MICHAEL MOORE TURNS THE TABLES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- It's hard to say which was more striking, the Disney hypocrisy or Michael Moore's shameless publicity mongering. Either way, its a laugh riot all the way to Cannes. [MORE]

Make My Day
WHAT A WAY TO MAKE A LIVING
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Now that I've started a new job, I find myself getting up earlier, well before the crack of noon. [MORE]

Ink Soup
UFF DA!
Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Confession time: my dateline is a lie forced upon me by the post office. Where I actually live is Ballard, one of the many neighborhoods of Seattle with a strong sense of its own identity. [MORE]

On Native Ground
TORTURE IN IRAQ: A FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I have only a modicum of experience as a soldier, but I remember one piece of advice I got from a first sergeant in one of the infantry companies I served with: "It's the private's job to f**k up. It's the sergeant's job not to let him." [MORE]

Momentum
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Say it's 1770 in the Colonies. Tempers are starting to boil over land ownership, taxes and debt-collecting. Yet many are thriving under the rule of the English king, George III. It's treason and heresy to publicly damn him. Are you a Whig or a Tory? Which side are you on? [MORE]

Media Beat
THE COMING BACKLASH AGAINST IRAQ TORTURE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Looking at visual images from U.S.-run prisons in Iraq, news watchers now find themselves in the midst of a jolting experience that roughly resembles a process described by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "It is the photographs that gives one the vivid realization of what actually took place. Words don't do it. ... You see the photographs, and you get a sense of it, and you cannot help but be outraged." [MORE]

Make My Day
MY ROD AND REEL, THEY COMFORT ME
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As spring gets warmer, and the days grow longer, that can only mean one thing: Fishing! [MORE]

Editorial
TO MOM, ON HER 90TH BIRTHDAY
by Joe Shea

Today my mother achieves a summit of 90 years. It must give her a certain feeling of pride to have seen so much of humanity's sprawling genius exercise itself on her watch, to have watched her child, her 20th Century, the cornucopia of endless riches, spill so much treasure before her, like her five children spilling so much milk on so many childhood tables, in her simple passage of a single life. [MORE]

Ink Soup
OF TREES AND THE TREE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– I had every intention, as the intentionless always say, of writing a column full of fury against the conditions in the prison where we have finally shown Saddam Hussein who is who, when I was saved by timely echoes from Princeton. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL
Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Every day it's something else. Today I woke to the news that cicadas are coming. I remember those pesky large beetle-like insects that have a way of climbing all over your house and yard while the male vibrates membranes on his belly and the drum-roaring sound wakes every sleeping thing all night long. I thought they were gone for good with the advent of DDT and Raid but I discovered they are not seasonal - unless you count 17 years between plagues a season. [MORE]

On Media
WHAT DID HE KNOW, AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- By now the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal is old news, but it may signify something of importance back home - the awakening of the long dormant American press. All that remains is the ritual incantation, "What did the president know, and when did he know it?" [MORE]

Media Beat
ONE WORD IS MISSING IN TORTURE FRAY
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCSICO -- Millions of words have appeared in the U.S. press since late April about abuse and torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. One has been missing. [MORE]

Brasch Words
BUSH IS RUNNING THE SHIP OF STATE AGROUND
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa., May 7, 2004 -- Let's pretend it's wartime, and the nation's largest aircraft carrier has just run aground. [MORE]

On Native Ground
FAITH MEETS REALITY, AND REALITY LOSES
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So, this is what we've got to look forward to. [MORE]

Guest Commentary
FALLUJAH: HIGH TIDE OF EMPIRE?
by Pat Buchanan

WASHINGTON -- At Versailles, 1919, Lloyd George, having seized oil-rich Iraq for the empire, offered Woodrow Wilson mandates over Armenia and Constantinople. "When you cease to be President we will make you Grand Turk," laughed Clemenceau. [MORE]

Momentum
THE GRIN THAT DESTROYS THE WORLD
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Men heap together all the mistakes of their lives and create a monster called Destiny," Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, and now Destiny has arrived at the door of the United States. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
SHAME ON THEM; SHAME ON US
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This is not a news story. Readers can find the facts as they spin out of control in the media. What you'll read here is a full measure of disgust and outrage spewing forth as my fingers speed across this keyboard. [MORE]

Commentary
'SYSTEMIC' IRAQ ABUSE EXTENDS TO THE TRUTH
by John Janney

MOBILE, Ala. -- While prisoner abuse by coalition forces have been reported since the invasion of Afghanistan and well into the invasion of Iraq, it took photographs of American and British soldiers and mercenaries gleefully torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners before anyone took these reports seriously. [MORE]

Ink Soup
ADVICE TO AUTHORS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- On the wall next to this computer is a small memo to myself:
ODYSSEU.S., March
STALIN, April
GOD, May
. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
SHAME ON THEM; SHAME ON U.S.
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This is not a news story. Readers can find the facts as they spin out of control in the media. What you'll read here is a full measure of disgust and outrage spewing forth as my fingers speed across this keyboard. [MORE]

Market Mover
AND NOW PLAYING IN PANAMA: TORRIJOS II
by Mark Scheinbaum

MIAMI. May 3, 2004 -- Unofficial returns show that Martin Torrijos, son of the late Panamanian strongman Gen. Omar Torrijos has trounced three major opponents to win the presidency of the Central American nation. [MORE]

On Media
25 WAYS TO DISTORT THE TRUTH
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The Bush campaign has come up with a new twist on how to distort and deceive. As evidence, let us consider an ad from Bush-Cheney '04, Inc. called "Tell the Truth." [MORE]

Make My Day
QUIET BACK THERE!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Hey, quiet down back there!" [MORE]

On Native Ground
LIFTING THE SHROUD OF SECRECY ON USE'S WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - President George W. Bush didn't have a problem with using a photograph of a flag-draped body bag being carried from the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City for his first commercial of the campaign season. [MORE]

Momentum
HER BEAUTIFUL MIND
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What could be behind the Bush Administration's decision to censor the photographs of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq? Could it really be, as the government says, to respect "the privacy of the families?" Or is it to hide the realities of war for political reasons? Or is it to protect the delicate sensitivities of the ruling class as Americans die to build them an empire? [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A MOTE IN THE EYE OF THE G-8 STORM
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - The calm before the storm is filled with foreboding as you watch and wait, feeling your way around for some picture of what is to come - and there's none. [MORE]

Ink Soup
A TALE MURDER IN NASSAU HALL
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– First, a declaration of interest. I am well acquainted with Ann Waldron, the author of this book, and it was in fact she who sent it to me – though without (as if this were a guarantee of my impartiality) an inscription. [MORE]

On Media
FREEDOM TO DO WHAT?
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A series of recent cases inspires this question regarding freedom of the press: What is it the freedom to do, exactly? These cases involve the clash of fundamental rights as judges, lawyers and the media fight for competing interests. [MORE]

On Native Ground
MAKING THE MONSTER
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So many mistakes have been by the Bush administration in Iraq and Afghanistan that it's hard to know where to begin. [MORE]

Media Beat
THAT'S COUNTRY JOE, SO THIS MUST BE VIETNAM
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -Taking the stage at a community center in the small Northern California town of Bolinas, a group of four musicians quickly showed themselves to be returning as a vibrant creative force centered very much in the present. [MORE]

Make My Day
IT'S NATIONAL APRIL MONTH!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Most people think April is one of the more boring months of the year. After all, we only get April Fool's Day, and sometimes Easter, plus it rains for 28 of the 30 days. However, most people don't realize April is filled with all kinds of holidays, festivals, and celebrations that allow us to celebrate each of April's 30 days. [MORE]

Momentum
THE GOLDEN MEAN IS GONE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Did Barry Goldwater mean to kick Aristotle in the seat of his pants when he accepted the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1964 by saying, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue?" [MORE]

Editorial
THE KIDS THE PRESIDENT LEFT BEHIND ON SEPT. 11
by Joe Shea

SARASOTA, Fla., April 21, 2004 -- Nobody has thought very much about the children who got a reading lesson from President George Bush the day Al-Qaeda attacked the United States. But results of Florida's much-despised FCAT statewide third-grade reading tests suggests that the President didn't inspire his students on that day to become better readers. [MORE]

Ink Soup
PERHAPS EVEN THIS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. (One day it might be pleasant to recall even these things). This line from Virgil, quoted in a recent New York Times profile of my old Princeton colleague and friend Bob Fagles, is the motto for today's Soup. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A HEART FULL OF IRONY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga., April 20, 2004 - McDonald Corporation's Chairman and CEO Jim Cantalupo died yesterday in Orlando, Florida. The news reports were all about the sudden death from apparent heart attack, not mentioning what was being served at this bi-annual franchisee meeting of the fast food pioneer. Nor did anyone offer Cantalupo's health history. His death came "out of nowhere," those at the meeting said, many of them crying. [MORE]

On Media
NOT MUCH 'PRESS' IN THIS CONFERENCE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Why presidential press conferences are not viewed as a national embarrassment, I am at a loss to explain. The abject performance by the world press at the April 13, 2004, presidential news conference can be favorably compared only to the disingenuous collection of cliches, excuses and denials made by the President. [MORE]

Lionel Rolfe
RELIGION, POLITICS AND USE'S 'GANG OF FOUR'
by Lionel Rolfe

LOS ANGELES -- They're the most unappetizing gang of hypocrites and liars ever, these spawn of the "Reagan Revolution." We're talking about Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Jerry Fallwell and Rep. Henry Hyde. [MORE]

On Native Ground
BUSH MUST CONFRONT HIS MESS IN IRAQ
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Last year, we heard the gloating. [MORE]

Media Beat
HOW THE 'NEWSHOUR' CHANGED HISTORY
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the anchor of public television's main news program goes out of his way to tell viewers that he's setting the record straight about a recent historic event, the people watching are apt to assume that they're getting accurate information. But with war intensifying in Iraq, a bizarre episode raises some very troubling concerns about the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." [MORE]

Make My Day
SPITTING IS FOR SISSIES
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - Spring is in the air, and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love. And that's fine for young men, but when you hit your mid-30s, your fancy turns to thoughts of beer. [MORE]

Momentum
AMERICA REAPS THE WHIRLWIND
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For his Christmas card last year, Vice President Dick Cheney used a quote by Benjamin Franklin: "And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
NEPALESE DEMOCRACY IN PERIL AS SITUATION DETERIORATES
by Chiranjobi audyal

Kathmandu, April 12, 2004 -- The political situation in Nepal is deteriorating day by day due to the growing rift between the nation's democratic parties and its King as it faces the problem of Maoists guerrillas fighting to establish a republic state and replace its fragile parliamentary democracy. [MORE]

Ink Soup
HAPPY EASTER?
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE –- Encouraged by the universal acclaim that has greeted the presidential candidacy of Ralph Nader, Dr. Soup has just announced his own campaign for the White House. [MORE]

On Media
TRADING OUR WAY TO RUIN
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif -- Each day I look out my window and watch the trade imbalance accumulate. From a hillside overlooking Los Angeles Harbor, I can see freighters loaded down with cargo containers coming in from across the Pacific. Container ships also leave here headed for the Asian ports. What most people don't realize is that more than half of the containers they carry are going back empty. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE PROVERBIAL BOTTOM LINE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The bottom line - the proverbial bottom line - is that even if we knew what we're trying to get National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice to tell us she knew, we would not have believed it. I would not have believed those young men described as looking like dentists on a holiday could be so confident in their plans that they would carry them out without a hitch. [MORE]

Market Mover
BILL OF RIGHTS: IMBEDDED, INDEBTED, REGRETTED?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Critics of radio trash mouth Howard Stern might want to put a cork in it for a few minutes - and the champagne, too. [MORE]

The American Reporter
April 10, 1995 - April 10, 2004
"Making A Place for Independent Journalism"

Editorial
CELEBRATING OUR NINTH ANNIVERSARY

by Joe Shea

The American Reporter today celebrates the ninth anniversary of its founding and begins its tenth year of progress. There were many who said when we started in 1995 that we would not last more than a few weeks, a few months, a few years; we have outlasted all of those. [MORE]

On Native Ground
MERCENARIES IN IRAQ: OUTSOURCING A CORPORATE WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The murder and mutilation of four employees of Blackwater Security Consulting in Fallujah on March 31 brought to light something that the Bush administration would rather you didn't know about - that it is outsourcing more and more of the occupation of Iraq to mercenaries. [MORE]

Make My Day
HOW ABOUT "LOOK, WE NEED TO TALK ... ?"
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- How badly do you have to dislike someone that the only way to dump them is with a bomb threat? I mean, it's one thing to stand someone up for a date, but it's an entirely different matter to call an airport, not once, but seven times, and say "There's a bomb in the airport." [MORE]

Media Beat
AMERICA'S MONOPOLY ON STRATEGIC VIOLENCE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- With warfare escalating in Iraq, syndicated columnist George Will has just explained the logic of the occupation. "In the war against the militias," he wrote, "every door American troops crash through, every civilian bystander shot - there will be many - will make matters worse, for a while. Nevertheless, the first task of the occupation remains the first task of government: to establish a monopoly on violence." [MORE]

Momentum
IN IRAQ, OUR HAND IS IN THE FIRE NOW
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As Iraq burns, how can I not ask: if I knew way back then, why didn't they? [MORE]

Breaking News
VOTERS SHUT DOWN WAL-MART PLOY
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., April 7, 2004 -- With about 15 percent of the vote counted in Inglewood, Calif., voters there have overwhelmingly rejected the construction of a Wal-Mart at a site near the Hollywood Park racetrack and the Forum. [MORE]

Ink Soup
AND ANOTHER THING
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– The high temperature in Seattle yesterday was 78. Today it is in the upper fifties, I would guess. It is an adorable climate, Seattle's. It doesn't want to hurt anyone, just to keep people amused and satisfied, within limits. It reminds me of some kid about whom ugly rumors have circulated, so he goes out of his way to be nice to everyone, especially old people. I am seriously thinking of mentioning Seattle's weather in my will. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
IN DALEY HOUSEHOLD, ACRONYMS 'R' US
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- "WAC" was the first acronym I remember but I'm sure they are not new to my generation - and for the benefit of those who call women in the military service "soldiers" instead of WAC's, for Women's Army Corps, I'll spell it out. The acronym WAF was for women in the air force and Wave's were women in the Navy, not an acronym here but an obvious choice for women serving on the high seas. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
AFTER NEPAL CLASH, TEARS, TERROR AND MANY DEAD
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

BENI, Nepal, April 5, 2004 -- The decomposing bodies of Maoists, soldiers and local people - some still not yet consigned to the graves hurriedly dug for them l;ast week - around the small town of Beni, are a constant reminder to villagers here of the fierce fighting between security forces and the Maoist guerrillas that erupted suddenly on the night of March 20 and continued into the next day. [MORE]

On Media
LIBERAL RADIO IS FINALLY ON THE AIR
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Is it the triumphant revival of a robust liberalism or will it be another political disaster? Air America Radio is that long awaited invention, a national radio network designed to oppose the power of conservative talk radio epitomized by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. [MORE]

An A.R. Exclusive
U.S. MICROWAVE WEAPON GOING TO IRAQ, EXPERT SAYS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., April 1, 2004 -- The United States has decided to deploy a $40-million, futuristic non-lethal microwave weapons system that can burn but not blind crowds and combatants at several hundred yards, according to official notice given to retired U.S. Army Col. John Alexander, a consultant to U.S. military forces who is credited with developing the modern concept of non-lethal defense, The American Reporter has learned. [MORE]

Make My Day
THINGS THAT GO BUMP UNDER THE BED
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- My oldest daughter is now afraid of basement noises. [MORE]

On Native Ground
HOW KERRY CAN BEAT THE BUSH SLIME MACHINE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's one of the most important axioms of modern politics: define yourself before your opponent defines you. [MORE]

Media Beat
A MEDIA STRATEGY MEMO TO THE WHITE HOUS
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Some of the most closely guarded documents in the White House are sure to be the ones written by the president's top media strategist. [MORE]

Momentum
A REDUNDANT, ABUNDANT AMERICA
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Ah, those amber fields of grain, those purple mountains' majesty, those fruited plains! How can we not love America, even when we get so mad at her we want to scream? [MORE]

Reporting: California
EFFIE'S STORY: A TALE OF USE'S TIMES
by Lionel Rolfe

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- Effie - her name is actually Afthemia Patsalos - loves her three kids a lot, but there's no doubt that having two children with certifiable mental and physical disabilities can complicate your life immensely. Especially when you deal with the kind of people they wrote anti-discrimination laws for. Like, for instance, her former landlord. [MORE]

Ink Soup
THE PURLOINED PURSE
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Saturday, 13 March, was for us enough of a calamity to satisfy the most superstitious. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
KEEP IN TOUCH
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- We don't often hear "keep in touch" anymore; people are never out of touch. Whether you drive by, walk by, or look out the window - you're bound to see or hear someone on a cellphone. [MORE]

On Media
THE TIMES TELLS IT STRAIGHT
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2004 -- If the mass media are evolving into an oligarchy of corporate self-interest, somebody forgot to tell the Los Angeles Times this week, as it exposed misconduct by Ford Motor Co. and by major drug manufacturers. [MORE]

Reporting: Indonesia
ISLAMIC PARTIES MAY BE BIG LOSERS IN INDONESIAN ELECTIONS
by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Indonesia, March 27, 2004 -- Indonesia has seen the Bali bombing, the defeat of an Islamic party in neighboring Malaysia and the rise of Islamic militancy across southeast Asia, but voters in this world's largest Muslim country are very unlikely to give much SUPPORT to Islamic parties in next week's parliamentary elections. [MORE]

On Native Ground
U.S. SLOW TO LEARN TRUTH OF SEPT. 11
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Bush administration, the most tightly disciplined and secretive White House in memory, has worked for the last 2 1/2 years to obscure the true story of the events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE MEDIA POLITICS OF 9/11
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, March 25, 2004 - For 30 months, 9/11 was a huge political blessing for President George W. Bush. This week, the media halo fell off. [MORE]


SLAPPIN' TO THE OLDIES
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Whew, that was a close one. We almost lost Richard Simmons. [MORE]

Brasch Words
FDA'S EPHEDRA BAN A PROBLEM FOR MANY
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Outside, on dry-erase boards hung on corner windows of the Dynamic Health Center on the main street of Bloomsburg, a small rural town in northeastern Pennsylvania, are two signs. On one, in scrawled letters, is the warning: "Less than 60 Days to Buy Epehedra Pre-Paid While Supplies Last." On the other, customers are advised to "Stock Up. April 12th is Last day to Buy Ephedra. Taking Pre-Paid Orders Now While Supplies Last." [MORE]

Momentum
THE ISRAELI PILOT (FICTION - FOR NOW)
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Author's Note: Recently I read that within 10 years, Palestinian Israelis will outnumber Jews in Israel, even without Yasser Arafat's "right of return.". [MORE]

Ink Soup
BRIEFLY NOTED
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Cheney: the Mouth. The topic of this unusual and most unfair book is the mouth of the Vice President of the U.S.. The author supposes that she has the answer. Told as a teenager to "wipe that smile off your face," the ever-obedient Richy did so, forgetting that he was holding a box cutter in his hand at the time. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
SPRING AGAIN ... NATURALLY
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This year, I thought I'd allow March to slip by without my writing a word about Spring ... but, apparently, it's not in my nature; you see, I love the word "harbinger." As words go, I could write precursor, forerunner, outrider or herald as easily as harbinger to announce that first robin on the lawn chirping "I'm b-a-a-c-k." [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
SHIFT IN GOVERNMENT MAY BE NEAR AS 500 MAOISTS ARE SLAIN IN BLOODIEST NEPAL FIGHTING YET
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, March 21, 2004 -- In the most terrible fighting in the history of the Himalayan Kingdom, Nepalese security forces gunned down over 500 Maoists rebels who have been fighting to establish a communist-style republican state for the last eight years. The fighting took place in Beni, the district headquarters of Myagdi, about 300 kilometer west of Kathmandu, the Nepalese army said here today. [MORE]

On Media
THE ARTS IN PERIL IN LOS ANGELES
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- This month, the administration of the city of Los Angeles threatened to close its own Cultural Affairs Department in order to save money, despite the fact that the entire CAD budget is less than three-tenths of 1 percent of the total. Artists, CAD bureaucrats and other sympathizers promptly raised a spirited defense and this week, the mayor capitulated. CAD is not to be demolished, at least for now. [MORE]

Reporting: Nepal
AFTER U.S. ABANDONS IT, TIBETAN RESISTANCE STRUGGLES ON ALONE AGAINST CHINA
by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Nepal, March 20, 2004 -- The Khampas, the staunch followers of the Tibetan spiritual leader known as the Dalai Lama, who is now living in exile in India, once fought in Nepal against the Chinese army, and are now once again heroes in Nepal. [MORE]

On Native Ground
AMERICAN VOTERS TAKE HEED: SPAIN SPEAKS TO YOU
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The March 11 terrorist bombing in Madrid and the outcome of the Spanish parliamentary elections three days later showed a fundamental difference between the American political system and that of other industrialized democracies. [MORE]

Make My Day
DON'T EAT BAR PRETZELS EITHER
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- There's a scene in the Ben Stiller-Jennifer Aniston movie, "Along Came Polly," where Ben warns Jennifer not to eat bar nuts, because "only one out of six people wash their hands after using the bathroom." [MORE]

Media Beat
SPINNING THE PAST, THREATENING THE FUTURE
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - Political aphorisms don't get any more cogent: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." [MORE]

Commentary
A NEW CHALLENGE TO INDONESIA'S PRESIDENT MEGAWATI
by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Indonesia, March 17, 2004 -- When Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a top security minister in Indonesia's cabinet, decided to tender his resignation to President Megawati Sukarnoputri last Thursday, many of his closest advisors applauded and welcomed that decision. They assumed that Susilo would soon start to fight for his own political party and to run in the 2004 presidential election in July. [MORE]

Momentum
13 QUESTIONS FOR VERMONT
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Every March at Town Meeting time, Republican State Senator Bill Doyle conducts a yes/no survey on Vermont issues. Doyle's questions are always good ones, but "yes" or "no" hardly suffices as a response. [MORE]

Commentary
REGIME CHANGE IN SPAIN: WHY LIARS LOSE
by Jeff Cohen

LOS ANGELES -- "Political shock in Spain!" blared ABC News on Sunday night, as regime change came to Madrid. Along with Tony Blair, Spain's conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had been the staunchest of Bush allies. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
ANATOMY OF A TWISTED SOUL
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The heart is not as elusive as the soul. When we say, "The heart of the matter is..." we know the heart is centered somewhere and illustrating our point. We could say the crux of the matter; or, the core, just as easily, but "heart" is softer, it is non-argumentative - after all, we all have one, we know what it means. "The heart, the living part of the matter, is..." is what we're saying and it's how we're understood. [MORE]

Ink Soup
THE ICE BOX COMETH
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- When my children were young, they used to think it amusing to hear their old man call the fridge "icebox." But I still do. When I was their age early in the last century, the chunky little oaken cabinet on the back porch was just that, the icebox. [MORE]

On Media
WORDS WE NEED TO SAY ABOUT MADRID
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, March 14, 2004 -- It's a little over three days since the March 11 Madrid attack, the latest episode of mass murder that has killed 200 people and injured 1400 more. Newspaper stories have been full of the death toll, the grizzly aftermath, and the increasing concern that Al-Qaeda was behind the attack. [MORE]

Media Beat
THEY SHOOT JOURNALISTS, DON'T THEY?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- To encourage restraint in war coverage, governments don't need to shoot journalists - though sometimes that's helpful. [MORE]

Make My Day
HE'S NOT TOO WILD ABOUT ANY KIND OF SPAM
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Sometimes I curse the day I ever started using email. Oh sure, it makes communication with people around the world cheap, free, and easy. But the hassle of dealing with unwanted email - also known as spam - makes me want to put my foot through my computer screen. [MORE]

Campaign Trail
JOHN KERRY CLINCHES DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., March 11, 2004 -- U.S. Senator John Forbes Kerry has clinched the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential nomination by winning a total of 2,162 delegates, the number needed for nomination, CNN reported late this morning. [MORE]

Momentum
A TOWN MEETING MEA CULPA
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I hardly recognized myself at Town Meeting this year. Time after time, I found myself voting against things that, in the ordinary course of events, I would wholeheartedly support. [MORE]

On Native Ground
KUCINICH SHOULD STAY IN THE RACE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- An AOL Website called presidentialmatch.com offers voters an interesting compatibility test. [MORE]

Business Commentary
A 'SLOW CHECK FROM CHINA' FOR UNWARY INVESTORS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., March 10, 2004 -- The old phrase "a slow boat to China" may soon compete with a new one: "A slow check from China." [MORE]

Ink Soup
TOP DOWN
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– After watching the Oscars, it occurs to me that we ought to have Billy Crystal emcee our national life. The material for his style of comedy is lying around asking to be used. Used, not believed. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
DON'T REMIND ME!
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - We're a funny bunch. We don't like to be reminded of things we've put behind us. We applaud Senator Kerry's war record - as indeed we should - because we don't like to be reminded of the poor display of appreciation we showed while the fighting and dying (and then coming home to derision) was happening. Over the years we've managed to hide our shame. [MORE]

On Media
AN UNAPPEALING KIND OF JOURNALISM
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif -- This week Martha Stewart has joined many, many others in bravely promising to appeal a criminal conviction. For once, the national news media have refused to accept such an assertion at face value, but all too often the media mindlessly report such remarks in a ritual that misleads readers about the realities of the justice system. [MORE]

On Native Ground
GREENSPAN HANDS DEMOCRATS THE PERFECT ISSUE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I hope the Democrats write a thank you note to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in gratitude for handing the party a perfect and nearly foolproof campaign issue to bludgeon President Bush. [MORE]

Make My Day
WHY NOT A PULITZER FOR HUMOR?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- People often ask me what it's like to be a humor writer. It's very simple. So simple, in fact, that ... uhh, I mean no, it's extremely difficult. It's hard, hard work. So hard, in fact, that only extremely intelligent, highly-qualified people with special skills should attempt humor writing. [MORE]

Momentum
THE WONDERFUL WOMEN OF FILM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When I think about women in film, I first think of Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, tall and impossibly gorgeous blonde women in tasteful couture gowns winning Oscars for making themselves ugly. [MORE]

Campaign Trail
KERRY'S SUPER TUESDAY WAS 'TRULY SUPER'
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., March 3, 2004 -- John Kerry came of age last night. At the end of a long string of strong primary victories that made him heir to the mantle of Jefferson, Roosevelt and Kennedy as the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, he spoke to America from the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, surrounded by friends and fasmily and staff members focused on nine laptops that showed returns from everywhere but Vermont. [MORE]

Ink Soup
A MIXED BAG OF MAD COMPLAINTS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Herewith is Ink Soup's opinion on various burning topics of the day: The most depressing thing I've seen so far in this primary season (if you don't count the sign in a neighbor's yard backing Kucinich) is the entry of Ralph Nader, this time not as a Green but as an Independent. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A MEDITATION ON THE GIFT OF LENT
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Normally, when I write anything spiritual, I unleash some latent poetic talents and express myself privately, or perhaps in an article designed for religious publications. [MORE]

On Media
BY THEIR MAILERS WE SHALL JUDGE THEM
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- A political mailer arrived the other day, advising me on how to vote in this week's primary election. It provoked thoughts on how we elect judges - and how the mercenaries of the election industry compete with more traditional media outlets. [MORE]

American Speeches
FIGHTING A COMPREHENSIVE WAR ON TERRORISM
by Senator John F. Kerry

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 27, 2004 -- Day in and day out, George W. Bush reminds us that he is a war President and that he wants to make national security the central issue of this election. I am ready to have this debate. I welcome it. [MORE]

On Native Ground
MORE THAN NADER, DEMOCRATS SHOULD FEAR COMPLACENCY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Despite all the pleading by liberals not to, Ralph Nader is going to run for president. [MORE]

Brasch Words
FOR U.S. DEAD IN IRAQ, THERE'S NO HALF-TIME SHOW
by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- On the day that Justin Timberlake ripped open Janet Jackson's blouse during the half-time of the Super Bowl to reveal a bejeweled breast and create a national firestorm of protest, American Soldiers 523 and 524 died in Iraq. Along with the two American soldiers, 14 were wounded. Also that day, two suicide bombers killed more than 100 Kurds and wounded more than 200. [MORE]

Commentary
NADER'S A MESSAGE, NOT A CAMPAIGN
by John Janney

MOBILE, Ala. -- A vote for Ralph Nader is a vote for a message, not the presidency. [MORE]

Make My Day
THE SPRINGTIME PREDICTIONS OF SCIENCE
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- It's official! The First Day of Spring will be March 10th. [MORE]

Momentum
12 REASONS NOT TO BAN GAY MARRIAGES
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- There are so many things wrong with the idea of adding an anti-gay marriage amendment to the Constitution of the United States that I can barely list them all. [MORE]

Market Mover
I AM A BAD AMERICAN
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 25, 2004 -- I am a bad American for a number of reasons, but mostly because CBS newsman Bob Schieffer watches "Sex in the City" and I don't. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
MARTHA, MARTHA
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The last time I wrote about Martha Stewart I called the article, Goody, Goody! and explored the enigma so many of us share: that of taking satisfaction at seeing the mighty fall. [MORE]

Ink Soup
IN SEATTLE, A GOOD FOOT MAN IS HARD TO FIND
ny Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash.– I like Seattle, don't get me wrong. I spend a lot of my time as a correspondent telling people that they've got it all wrong about the rain – the rain is what makes life possible out here. Today there was a most unusual rain –a third-position wiper rain – nearly unheard of, and I used my umbrella for the second time this year. [MORE]

Market Mover
FIVE NOT-SO-OBVIOUS TAX SEASON TIPS
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Feb. 23, 2004 -- The dining room table is covered with receipts; the bedroom floor has stacks of canceled checks, and my wife is pulling scraps of old receipts out of pockets. Tah-Daaaah! It can mean just one thing: Tax time is here. [MORE]

On Media
FOR NADER, NOT THE GREENS BUT THE BLUES
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- There are polls, there is wishful thinking and then there is the way people actually behave in the voting booth. The 2000 election provided some fascinating data about all three, data the pundits missed and which does not bode well for the Nader candidacy this time around. [MORE]

Make My Day
THE ADVENTURES OF LETTERMAN
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Erik has been out of the office this week, so we are reprinting an old column from 1997. [MORE]

On Native Ground
DEAN COULDN'T BEAT ENEMIES IN HIS PARTY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It was a speech he never wanted to make. [MORE]

Momentum
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE AMERICAN DREAM
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At my uncle's funeral last week, we were talking about our grandparents and great-grandparents and how they came to this country to make a better life for their children. [MORE]

Campaign 2004
DEAN QUITS RACE, BUT HIS CAMPAIGN CONTINUES
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 18, 2004 -- America can still look forward to hearing more from former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean, but it won't be as a presidential candidate - and reportedly may be as the long-sought liberal talk show host who can take on Clear Channel conservative powerhouse Rush Limbaugh. [MORE]

Campaign 2004
KERRY TAKES THE EDWARDS CHALLENGE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 18, 2004 -- For U.S. Sen. John Kerry, a 5-point victory in Wisconsin Tuesday night marked the end of the first phase of his back-from-the-dead campaign for the presidency. It saw the demise of the populist candidacy of former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean. and the emergence of U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina as a rival - however late and unlikely - for the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential nomination in Boston in August. [MORE]

Ink Soup
CARTOONIST LIKES KERRY'S 'DRAWING POWER'
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, WA. –- When I was a schoolboy, long before I knew the word "caricature," I knew how to represent Adolf Hitler, and so did all my fellow students who could hold a pencil. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
IS 'UNHAPPY CHILDHOOD' AN OXYMORON?
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Graham Greene, a prolific writer, playwright, critic, would have been 100 this year, had he lived. As one of the most widely read novelists of the 20th century it is no surprise he was a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature more than a few times, although he never did receive it. He wrote suspenseful tales that turned into gripping movies, but he was known as well for his flamboyant lifestyle with attendant intrigue. He named among his friends and, further, defended him against treason, master spy Kim Philby. [MORE]

Reporting: Central America
RADIO JOURNALIST'S MURDER CASE UNRAVELING
By Jay Brodell

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Feb. 16, 2004 —- Parmenio Medina Perez has been dead for nearly three years, but he still haunts the politicians and the prosecutors in this normally quiet Central American country better known for its beaches. [MORE]

On Media
KERRY AND WIFE AWAIT NEW ATTACKS
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- A few years ago, people who couldn't identify South Dakota on a map, much less name its capitol city, were penning angry letters to their newspapers attacking its senior U.S. Senator, Tom Daschle. Typically, the content of these letters suggested that they had been written in pencil on blue-lined copy book paper. [MORE]

On Native Ground
FREEDOM OF THOUGHT? NOT IN USE'S AMERICA
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush has many character flaws, but chief among them is his inability to accept criticism of his actions. [MORE]

Media Beat
AN ODD ACCU.S.ATION FROM RALPH NADER
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- After several decades as one of America's great public-interest advocates, Ralph Nader has developed an extraordinary response when people say they don't think he should run for president in 2004. [MORE]

Make My Day
BECAUSE IT'S TIME TO GO
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "Sweetie, do you have to go to the bathroom?" [MORE]

Campaign 2004
CLARK ENDORSES KERRY; NEW ATTACKS INCLUDE DRUDGE RUMOR OF AFFAIR
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 12, 2004, 2:43pm EST -- Matt Drudge, the gossip columnist who broke the story originated by Newsweek of President Clinton's affair with a White House intern, says a similar story is about to break concerning an alleged relationship between Sen. John Kerry and a former employee of the Associated Press who has now "fled" to Africa. The rumor remains unsubstantiated. [MORE]

Momentum
A PICTURE AND A GRAVE
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Kierkegaard said, "Life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards," which goes a long way in explaining why I spent the month of January at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt., where they pamper painters, sculptors and writers with private studios and carrot cake competitions, writing about my family. [MORE]

Campaign 2004
WITH STUNNING VICTORIES IN THE SOUTH, KERRY LOOKS UNBEATABLE
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 11, 2004 -- With support both broad and deep among all sectors in both states, John Kerry held a 26 percent lead in Virginia and a 16 percent lead in Tennessee last night as he added two more states to a string of caucus and primary wins that have christened him the undisputed leader of the Democratic Party's 2004 challenge to President George W. Bush. [MORE]

Ink Soup
NOTE TO A NIECE
BY Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– Dear Julie: Here's the note you asked me to send for your father's birthday festivities. [MORE]

Campaign 2004
MAKE-OR-BREAK PRIMARIES FOR CLARK AND EDWARDS
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 10, 2004 -- With U.S. Sen. John Kerry far in front in the Democratic race for his party's presidential nomination, today's Virginia and Tennessee primaries could effectively end the hopes of retired Gen. Wesley Clark, an Arkansas native, and U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, a trial lawyer who has battled Clark for second place in several states. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
IN THE GAMES OF LIFE, HE IS A PLAYER
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Arthur was a short, squat, little man about 50 always in the company of Ruth, his short, squat, little wife of roughly the same age. They were funny. Not funny looking, that was just them. They used their height and weight to their advantage by appearing six feet tall if you measure in personality. [MORE]

Brasch Words
THE PRESIDENT AS SPORT
by Walter M. Brasch

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- You can tell a lot about a person by whoever he chooses to have dinner with. [MORE]

On Native Ground
FOR USE, A BOGU.S. PROBE OF BOGU.S. WAR
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So the Bush administration is going to launch a big investigation into why the intelligence that they used to justify an invasion of Iraq turned out to be totally wrong. [MORE]

On Media
TRACKING THE TWISTED TRAIL OF URBAN MYTHS
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- Do you remember hearing about Government Bill 602P? I remember being warned about it at least twice, each time under similar circumstances. [MORE]

Media Beat
THE DEADLY LIES OF RELIABLE SOURCES
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ninety-five days before the invasion of Iraq began, I sat in the ornate Baghdad office of the deputy prime minister as he talked about the U.N. weapons inspectors in his country. "They are doing their jobs freely, without any interruption," Tariq Aziz said. "And still the warmongering language in Washington is keeping on." [MORE]

Campaign 2004
KERRY FAVORED TO WIN BIG IN MICHIGAN
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 7, 2004 -- U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry appears likely to win the Michigan caucuses today and could emerge the victor in Washington State, where former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean was far ahead in polls until recently. [Late returns Saturday night showed Kerry won both states by large margins.] For both men, primaries in Virginia and Tennessee that could inalterably define the race lie just ahead on Tuesday. [MORE]

Make My Day
HOW ABOUT 'DOODYHEAD?'
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I was in the first grade when I learned my very first cuss word. Oh sure, I knew all the 6-year-old classics, like "poopyhead," "butt," and "weiner." But now I was well on my way to being a grown-up, because I knew the "S-word." [MORE]

Campaign 2004
KERRY SWEEPS FIVE STATES; LIEBERMAN QUITS
American Reporter Staff

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 3, 2004 -- U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry swept "Super Tuesday" primaries in Arizona, Missouri and Delaware and the North Dakota and New Mexico caucuses by huge margins tonight, consolidating strong victories in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire to stride far ahead of other Democratic contenders for the party's presidential nomination. [MORE]

Market Mover
STUDY SAYS U.S. FIRMS 'DUMB DOWN' MEXICAN WORKFORCE
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 4, 2004 - How would you react to evidence that the Home of the Brave, Land of the Free, allows U.S.-based tech companies to engage in the most capricious forms of employment servitude? [MORE]

Ink Soup
FOR YOUR SANITY'S SAKE, AVOID ADRIAN FEW
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Dr. Soup here. Brown is still asleep, though "still" might be an unwarranted adverb, seeing that it is only 4 o'clock in the morning. [MORE]

On Media
'INTERNET' AND 'RESEARCH' NOT ALWAYS A MATCH
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- A few years ago, science fair contestants started using a new expression. Little did I understand at the time that it was an omen of whole new things to come in national politics and of whole new ways of lying. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
A WOMAN'S PREROGATIVE
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- One of the earliest truths I learned is that it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. Actually, I didn't learn it until I started going to the movies and then heard it from the madcap blondes of the day, tossing the line over their shoulders as they sashayed toward the door, passing the perplexed the maitre'd and leaving their escort behind. [MORE]

Happy 93rd Birthday, Dad!

On Native Ground
DEAN CAMPAIGN, R.I.P.: POSTMORTEM FOR A FAILED CRU.S.ADE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When did Howard Dean's candidacy start to die? [MORE]

Media Beat
THE STATE OF THE MEDIA UNION
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - My fellow American media consumers: [MORE]

Ink Soup
SLEEPLESS IN BALLARD
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– I am still much too excited by the President's State of the Union Address to write coherently. Somehow, the sight of the members of two houses of Congress and the Cabinet leaping to their feet every time the leader of the free world managed to achieve closure with a sentence turns my mind into...well...ink soup. [MORE]

Campaign Trail

KERRY WINS AGAIN

by Joe Shea

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH SEN. JOHN KERRY IN MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 27, 2004 -- U.S. Sen. John Kerry took a second giant step Tuesday towards the Democratic presidential nomination with a solid 13-point win over former front-runner Gov. Howard Dean. Kerry got 39 percent of the vote to Dean's 26 percent. [MORE]

Campaign Trail
FIRED UP IN FREEZING NEW HAMPSHIRE, KERRY LOOKS SOUTH
by Joe Shea

WITH THE JOHN KERRY CAMPAIGN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, Jan. 26, 2004 -- Primary Day is just hours away in New Hampshire and the race is tightening once again, with U.S. Sen. John Kerry still 11 points ahead in the latest CNN/Gallup Poll survey but a fired-up Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina charging fast toward a possible second-place finish in tomorrow's Democratic presidential primary. [MORE]

On Media
SAME SNAKE OIL, DIFFERENT BOTTLE ON QUACKWATCH.COM
by Robert Gelfand

When Gaetano Donizetti was composing L'Elisir D'Amore ("The Elixir of Love") in 1832, little did he know that the playful satire he was setting to music would find kinship in the wild claims of the nutritional supplements hucksters of the twenty-first century. [MORE]

Campaign Trail
KERRY TEAM GROWS AS PRIMARY WIN APPEARS CERTAIN
by Joe Shea

WITH THE JOHN KERRY CAMPAIGN IN MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 25, 2004 -- With Sen. John Kerry's reinvigorated troops still growing in number and enthusiasm, the campaign headquarters in a restored six-story red-brick mill building on the Merrimack River here is getting crowded. [MORE]

Make My Day
LOOK, UP IN THE SKY! IT'S SUPER ERIK!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. - Kids have great imaginations. They fight pirates, fly through outer space, and travel the ocean floor in their own submarine, all from the safety of their own bed. [MORE]

Campaign Trail
KERRY CAMPAIGN BUOYED BY IOWA WIN
by Joe Shea

WITH THE JOHN KERRY CAMPAIGN IN MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 23, 2004 -- Fresh from the 65-degree weather on Florida's Gulf Coast, you'd think the biting cold here in The Granite State would have been the most compelling issue for me in my first day as a volunteer with the John Kerry for President campaign. It wasn't. [MORE]

On Native Ground
LOOKING BACK AT IOWA, LOOKING AHEAD AT NEW HAMPSHIRE
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is it all over for Howard Dean? [MORE]

Ink Soup
MEMO TO THE DYING: NEATNESS COUNTS. AND COUNTS.
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. –- My days in retirement flow past in a kind of tranquil routine: Mondays, I wash my bed linen; Tuesdays I send Joe Shea something for the American Reporter; Wednesday...well, today I send the column that you read a few days later...but this is not the usual Wednesday. [MORE]

Campaign 2004

IOWA TAKES KERRY

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 19. 2004 - After a long hard look, the Democratic voters of Iowa chose U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachussetts from a field of eight candidates tonight to lead them to the White House in November. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
PROCRASTINATION IS NO LONGER AN OPTION
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When poor, bedraggled, Scarlett O'Hara looked at the ruins of Tara, her childhood home destroyed in the Civil War, she was resigned to never again having the glory that was, and faced building a future - a formidable task - with equanimity. "After all," she said, "tomorrow is another day." [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE WHEELS HAVE COME OFF THE BUSH WAR WAGON
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If there is anyone out there who still believes any of the Bush administration's rationales for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, they are either hopelessly stupid or working for President Bush. [MORE]

On Media
IF IT BLEEDS, LET IT LEAD
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19, 2004 -- Media critics are generally contemptuous of the tv news maxim, "if it bleeds, it leads," which refers to the tendency in local news broadcasts to begin with the goriest stories of the day. [MORE]

Campaign 2004
KERRY SURGES TO TOP SPOT IN LATEST ZOGBY POLL
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 15, 2004 -- In a dramatic turnaround, U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry has surged to the top of the latest Zogby tracking poll of 501 likely caucus-goers in Iowa, Fox News reported Thursday morning, and has led rival Howard Dean by as much as 7 percent in recent overnight polls. [MORE]

Make My Day
WHAT DOES $%&*! MEAN?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "This is really, really f---ing brilliant!" [MORE]

Media Beat
NADER HAS 'VISION' - OF HIS OWN CAMPAIGN
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The father of President George W. Bush called it "the vision thing" - which he was widely presumed to lack. By early 1987, Time magazine reported, former President George H. W. Bush was using that phrase "in clear exasperation." Then, as now, journalists seemed to clamor for presidential candidates to seem visionary. [MORE]

Ink Soup
SNOW WAY TO TREAT A BU.S.
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– It has snowed–copiously. The locals compare it to the great storm of '96, which, as it chances, we witnessed, as we were here on a visit before moving here three years later. [MORE]

On Media
MOVEON'S BIG MOVE: THE INTERNET COMES OF AGE
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- The Republican Party complaining about tasteless campaigning is like Jerry Springer complaining about the decline of manners in modern society. The story would be hilarious but for the fact that millions of people were seriously misled last week as the Republicans and the rest of the right-wing propaganda machine went to work on the organization known as MoveOn. [MORE]

Media Beat
SHOULD DEMOCRATS ABANDON THE SOUTH?
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCSICO -- Many pundits say President Bush is sitting pretty, but this year began with new poll data telling a very different story. [MORE]

Market Mover
WHILE YOU WERE DISTRACTED...
by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Jan. 13, 2004 -- While your head is turned by media nonsense, several political, social, and economic stories are ready to explode into the headlines. Remember where you heard it first. [MORE]

Island Beat
TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY IN ISLAND DEAL
by Joe Shea

HOLMES BEACH, Fla., Jan. 13, 2994 -- A clash between two wealthy neighbors that has cost the City of Holmes Beach about $100,000 was resolved in three contentious back-to-back hearings before the City Commission Tuesday night in favor of a four-unit condominium project proposed by Island realtor Frank Davis. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
McSORLEY'S STILL THRIVES, WOMEN AND ALL
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- As an Irishwoman who's been to McSorley's, I was drawn to the oil on canvas at the Phoenix Art Museum - artist John Sloan's original work, painted decades before we ourselvles stopped in for a glass of ale sometime in the late Sixties. [MORE]

Monday Moron
MORONS OF THE YEAR
by Larry Lieberman

TAMPA, Fla -- Happy New Year and welcome to the year 2004. In observation of a "Monday Moron" tradition dating to 2004 (do not adjust your computer screen), I offer this week's two-part helping of "Welcome to an Election Year" and "Moron of the Year." [MORE]

Commentary
WHY JOHN KERRY WILL WIN
by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 11, 2004 -- Sen. John Kerry has a steep uphill grade ahead of him on the trail to the White House. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WILL BUSH BRING BACK THE DRAFT?
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The neo-con brainiacs who gave us the ongoing quagmire in Iraq have more big plans for President George W. Bush. [MORE]

Jill Stewart
ARNOLD'S NEXT MOVE: DETENTE WITH THE DEMOCRATS
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- Democratic legislators sat with blank faces on Jan. 6, many not applauding even once at Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's State of the State speech, illustrating both the partisan world of Sacramento and also the delicate psychological handling these shell-shocked politicians will require. [MORE]

Make My Day
TODAY IS OPPOSITE DAY, NYAH NYAH NYAH!
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Every kid has their favorite day of the year. And being greedy little capitalists, they're usually Christmas and birthdays. Kids also have their least favorite days, like the days after Christmas and their birthdays. [MORE]

Media Beat
RALPH NADER IS RUNNING ON EMPTY
by Niorman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ralph Nader plans to announce this month whether he'll be running for president in 2004. Some believe that such a campaign is needed to make a strong political statement nationwide. But if Nader does run this year, what kind of support - in the form of volunteers, resources and votes - could he reasonably expect? [MORE]

Market Mover
IN PRAISE OF RANDOM ACTS OF SECURITY
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- We all cringed as third graders when Miss Stecklow at P.S. 233 in Brooklyn pointed her pencil-sharp index finger around the room to randomly select a pupil to write his or her homework assignment on the black board. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
THE INTERMINABLE TERMINAL: OFF THE ROAD AGAIN
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Whether you rush around preparing for the holidays or a holiday, there are always things left undone that nag you while you're away. What if something happens and you don't make it home and people have to come into the house and see my unmade bed. What if? Really, what if? [MORE]

On Native Ground
THE RIGHT'S NEWEST DEAN SMEAR TACTIC: HE'S CRAZY
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The right-wing screech monkeys (or RWSMs, for short) seem to have a new strategy for dealing with Howard Dean. [MORE]

On Media
MICHAEL FUMENTO AND MYTH-BU.S.TING
by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- Michael Fumento is a crusading reporter who thinks the media have been way too easy on the Atkins diet, Erin Brockovich and the Gulf War Syndrome. Fumento is a one-time paratrooper turned attorney turned science journalist who has managed to irritate a hefty fraction of Left wing activists and a pretty good fraction of the Right wing to boot. What's not to like? [MORE]

Jill Stewart
ARNOLD AS THINKER: WILL RODIN COME TO SACRAMENTO?
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Jan. 4, 2003 -- Well, hellooo carrot and stick. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger just displayed dramatic examples of both in his dealings with the California legislature, which is still reeling from it and is scrambling in private to figure out how to deal with it. [MORE]

Momentum
2003: THE YEAR OF PROTESTING CREATIVELY
by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In 2003, so much went wrong so quickly that protesting became almost a full-time job. The good news is that many did it with style. [MORE]

Make My Day
WORDS TO BANISH IN 2004
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Having a good command of language is important if you want to be a writer. Painters use paint, musicians use music, woodworkers use wood, writers use ... well, words, but you get the idea. Words and language are essential tools for a writer's craft. So knowing how to have words good is important to be a gooder writer for making stories and stuff. [MORE]

Happy New Year!
The American Reporter Celebrates
Our 10th Anniversary Year
1995 - 2004

An A.R. Special Report
A YEAR SPILLING OVER WITH COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES

by Andy Oram

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 31, 2003 -- Editor's Note: American Reporter Webmaster Andy Oram, an editor at O'Reilly & Associates, writes each year on the promise and peril of the Internet. Here are his reflections on developments in 2003, and their significance for the years ahead. For members of our information-rich stratum in Western society, it used to be the wealth of data - that is, the results of communication - that we drowned in. But 2003 took technology to another level. It threatened to drown us in a wealth of communications channels themselves! Voice over IP, Wi-Fi access points, satellite radio, 3G cell phones - when will the cornucopia trickle to a stop? [MORE]

Ink SoupFREE AT LAST
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– It's not that I'm ignoring the holidays. Far from it. If it were not for the proximity of Christmas, the prospect of being cooped up as a juror during a long trial with 11 other peers of the accused would not have terrified me so. [MORE]

On Media
FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE: THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE MEDIA
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Front Page Magazine is the creation of David Horowitz, a one-time hard-Left activist who converted to the conservative cause and is now one of its chief spokesmen. FrontPageMag.com is simultaneously Horowitz' revenge on his former comrades, a sometimes overly shrill attack on all things liberal, and generally a pretty good read. [MORE]

Monday Moron
HOLIDAY GIFTS TO GAG ON
Larry Lieberman

TAMPA -- Well, I certainly hope that your holiday was full of hope, joy and love. In an effort to share my sense of well-being with all of today's most visible characters, I engaged in my usual holiday routine of sending gifts to those who have helped me take this column to the depths of borderline insanity. [MORE]

On Native Ground
WHAT WE MU.S.T FIGHT FOR IN 2004
by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - It's not an exaggeration to say that it is imperative that President George W. Bush is evicted from the White House in 2004. [MORE]

Media Beat
ANNOUNCING THE P.U.-LITZER PRIZES FOR 2003
by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The P.U.-litzer Prizes were established more than a decade ago to give recognition to the stinkiest media performances of the year. [MORE]

Make My Day
WHAT IF I QUADRUPLED IT?
by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As we begin our new year, I have several resolutions, including becoming a millionaire. I realize it's largely unachievable, but I feel better if I fail at something other than the "eat right, exercise more" resolution everyone else blows. [MORE]

Market Mover
WHEN DO THE BANK SCANDALS START?
by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 23, 2004 -- The Comptroller of the Currency of the United States and the U.S. Treasury Department have my permission to give a big holiday gift to all Americans: a thorough investigation of the banks which have become stockbrokers and insurance agents. [MORE]

Ink Soup
A SOUP OF ONE'S PEERS
by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -– By the time you read this, I could be sequestered with my fellow jurors in some seedy Seattle hostelry, forbidden by court order to talk to journalists, to fellow jurors, or even to my colleague Dr. Soup. [MORE]

Hominy & Hash
CALL IT THE 'PK' SYNDROME
by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Preacher's kids - need I say more? It's an almost stereotypical reference to someone assumed to be squeaky clean, who should be held up as a shining example, but who is really running with the pack. [MORE]

Breaking News
2 DIE AS STRONG QUAKE SHAKES CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
From News Services

DEC. 21, 2003, 2:45pm (EST) -- A stong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 and centered near historic Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif., struck the Central California coast late this morning, leaving two women dead in the mountain community of Paso Robles and millions of Californians shaken along a 350-mile stretch of coastline from San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles. [MORE]

On Media
SALON'S FUTURE: IFFY, YET PROMISING
by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Salon.com is simultaneously a remarkable invention, an intellectual achievement and, more recently, something of a disappointment. As a harbinger of our political and social future it is an imperfect model, but a model to be studied nevertheless. [MORE]

Reporting: Indonesia
SUHARTO PARTY IN COMEBACK MODE AS ELECTIONS NEAR
ny Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA -- Recent opinion polls showed that President Megawati Sukarnoputri's party, currently the largest in the Indonesia parliament, may lose some support in the general election next April. But as daughter of the country's founding president, she is still seen as the favorite in the presidential race three months later. [MORE]

Jill Stewart
ARNOLD PULLS OFF A SACRAMENTO HAT TRICK
by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- When both sides in Sacramento are grumbling after a key vote, you know for certain that the rare bird known as compromise has flown and perched on the Capitol dome. That's heartening to see after a year of partisan gridlock that got California exactly nowhere. [MORE]

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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