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Vol. 20, No. 4,911W - The American Reporter - February 9, 2014

One Woman's World
THE REAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR PRESIDENT ARE ...

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- If you are still having a hard time with your choice for a presidential candidate I've designed a flawless formula that makes this presidential election much easier. I share it with you hoping it will relieve your political agony as it has mine.

Constance
THE HARD-TOLD TRUTH

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The meaning of "ill-gotten gains" is something I've understood well for a very long time. It came to me again last night when I saw a preview of a new television program called "Nothing but the Truth."

Brasch Words
OUR WELFARE STATE FOR THE RICH

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Listen to conservative talk show pundits and blowhards. Listen to any of the political candidates who proudly amend their names with the phrase "conservative Republican."

On Native Ground
IRAN WAR MORE LIKELY WITH FALLON'S EXIT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's been overshadowed by the media hysteria over the fall of New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer and the fuss over Barack Obama's pastor, but the resignation of Navy Adm. William Fallon, the top American military commander in the Middle East, is a possible harbinger of bad things to come.

Momentum
NO THROUGH LINE, BABY

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Where's the through line?

American Opinion
THE POWER AND PASSION OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

by Loretta Napoleoni

LONDON -- The collapse of Carlyle Capital and the $2-a-share buyout by JPMorgan Chase of Bear Stearns Cos. may go down in history as the key events signaling the end of the "roaring '90s", which have lasted into the 21st Century.

Make My Day
SKITTLES, THE GATEWAY DRUG

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It just doesn't do to break the rules, especially when you're an elected office holder.

Constance
THE LOST HOUR

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- They call it Daylight Savings Time, but how can you call it "saved" if you find it at the end of one day and lose it at the beginning of the next?

American Speeches
"A MORE PERFECT UNION"

by Sen. Barack Obama

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."

An AR Special Report
THE SOUND OF WALL STREET FALLING - OR NOT

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, March 17, 2008, 4:40AM ET - A few hours from now, the U.S. stock markets will open and a historic day will unfold.

On Native Ground
AFTER 5 YEARS, WE'RE STILL LIED TO ABOUT IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Next week is the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. And it is likely that sometime in the next couple of weeks, the 4,000th American soldier will die in Iraq.

Momentum
OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - It's 1931, and a 14-year-old girl is standing alone on a stage. She's small and lively with dark curly hair, widespread hazel eyes, slender wrists and an open, eager face filled with the wonder of performing. Her name is Rose, and one day she will be my mother. But now she is performing an Eugene O'Neill monologue called "Before Breakfast" for a ladies' club in a wealthy suburb of Long Island.

One Woman's World
COMFORTABLE WITH MYSELF

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I'm not sure but I think I may be socially incorrect.

On Native Ground
ENOUGH FOR A WAR, NOT FOR A PEOPLE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Last week, the National Governors Assn. met in Washington, D.C. One of the tasks the NGA had on its agenda was to ask President Bush to increase federal spending on roads, bridges and other public works projects as a way to stimulate the economy. He rejected their pleas out of hand, claiming that infrastructure projects wouldn't offer any short-term economic boost.

Brasch Words
BEWARE THE SELF-REVERENTIAL PRESS

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Shortly before the primary votes this past week, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter called Sen. Barack Obama's surge to the Democratic nomination "inevitable." It also called for Hillary Clinton to "start her campaign for Senate majority leader."

Constance
A CONVERSATION WITH MY CAT

Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Normally, when the cat starts his evening rant of meowing continuously until he makes his point, I just take it as long as I can, pick him up, and put him in the garage for the night. He doesn't want to go, but the meowing stops and I don't care if he likes it or not.

Momentum
OUT OF STRUGGLE, ART

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Here we are again at the crossroads of art and social change, having the opportunity to watch good and great films about the lives of women in support of the Women's Crisis Center.

Campaign 2008
HOW TO PREDICT SUPER TUESDAY II WINNERS? ONLINE SEARCH

by Jay Bhatti

NEW YORK, March 4, 2008, 7:00PM ET -- With the outcomes of the Texas, Vermont, Ohio and Rhode Island primaries to be decided tonight, how possible is it that online searching can predict who will win tonight's primaries?

One Woman's World
DON'T VOTE; IT ENCOURAGES THEM

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Call me angry and disgusted but don't call me un-American because I won't be voting come November.

On Native Ground
BUSH AND THE KEYBOARD COMMANDOS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As the days tick down toward the eventual departure of President George W. Bush from the White House, it's a hopeful sign that most Americans are no longer moved by his Administration's constant exploitation of terrorism for political gain.

Momentum
WHICH AMERICA DO YOU LIVE IN?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's a little confusing.

Make My Day
THE LAWYER THAT ATE NEW YORK

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I used to know a guy who, quite literally, didn't get hyperbole. He didn't understand exaggeration. As a result, he missed most jokes that came his way.

On Native Ground
FIDEL RETIRES: NOW THE COLD WAR IS REALLY OVER

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Maybe now, we can finally say the Cold War is over.

Make My Day
FOR BETTER OR WORSE ... A LOT WORSE

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Marriage: It's Only Going to Get Worse."

Constance
YOU CALL THESE RIGHTS?

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When you express an opinion you hope to persuade others to your point of view. It doesn't always happen but still, opinion writers try.

Momentum
THE BRIDGE WOMAN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Out there in America - yes, still - is a generation of women who were born in the 1940s, raised in the 1950s, and who came to radical consciousness in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I am one of them. Hillary Clinton is one of them.

On Native Ground
OBAMA AND MY GENERATION

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I originally planned on voting for Dennis Kucinich in the Vermont Primary on March 4.

The Willies:
WARNING: THIS MEDICATION MAY MURDER YOUR FRIENDS

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- You've heard the warnings, haven't you? Stop Prozac and you may take a shotgun, an Uzi or an AK-47 and mow down your family and friends, or even a whole classroom full of your fellow students. You didn't?

Reporting: Panama
PANAMA'S VIOLENT LABOR UNREST INTENSIFIES

Mark Scheinbaum

PANAMA CITY, Panama, Feb, 15, 2008 -- After just one day of relative calm, wildcat construction strikes by some members of Panama's largest union flared up again Friday morning, four days after a police sniper shot one worker. More than 140 demonstrators have been injured and at least 500 arrested, authorities say.

Brasch Words
TO STIMULATE ECONOMY, BUY A CHINESE-MADE U.S. FLAG

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Walking down Main Street, pushing a grocery cart loaded with clothes, toys, and appliances was Marshbaum. Fastened to the right front corner of the cart was an American flag tied onto a three-foot ruler.

Make My Day
THE TOOTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TOOTH

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- To commemorate the death of noted shark exploder Roy Scheider, and the "Jaws" movies that resulted in Erik never setting foot in the ocean again, we are reprinting this column from 2003. Shark Experts 0, Sharks 1

Momentum
THE WINTER OF MY DISCONTENT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - As I write this, it's raining ice. Maybe a half a foot of snow and ice has already landed up here in the woods of Dummerston. Our cars are encased in it, and the door to the house is blocked. The satellite dish that brings in our Internet service quit about 20 minutes ago - frozen solid.

The Willies
AMERICA TO HILLARY: GET OUT!

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 13, 2008 -- Sen. Hillary Clinton has adopted the Rudy Giuliani strategy, and it's working - for Sen. Barack Obama. It turns out to be the strategy all Democrats are seeking - an exit strategy. But it's not for Iraq. It's for her exit from the race for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination.

Constance
CONFESSIONS OF A DISAPPOINTED VOTER

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A week ago at just about this time, I completed an article and was about to submit it as scheduled to The American Reporter. I was feeling rather elated, ready to show up on Super Tuesday morning, firmly touch the X next to Rudy Giuliani's name and get on with my day. He was my choice; he would get my vote.

Reporting: Florida
SIERRA CLUB SET TO SUSPEND FLA. CHAPTER

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 10, 2008 -- The national Sierra Club is set to suspend its Florida chapter after years of divisive infighting, the president of the national club told Florida members in a letter delivered to some this weekend. It is the first time in its 116-year history that such a step has been considered by the club, according to news reports.

One Woman's World
PLANT A NEW WORLD THIS SPRING

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- For a little while, the men will just have to toss and turn in their fear-free-women beds. For a small space of time Hillary Clinton will just have to trudge on toward the White House without my faint applause in the background.

On Native Ground
VERMONT AND THE 5 STAGES OF CONSERVATIVE GRIEF

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- First, Vermont tried to convince the nation to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Make My Day
REBEL WITHOUT A TONGUE

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Kids' brains work in amazing ways. At times, they can grasp complex concepts and make impressive discoveries. Other times, you have to wonder how we ever survived as a species.

The Willies
FOR DEMOCRATS, NOW IT'S ABOUT RACE, INCOME AND GENDER

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Feb. 6, 2008 -- It's not a good time to be a Democrat. As the Super Tuesday results demonstrated, the presidential race between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has divided the partly along clear racial, income and gender lines - the very distinctions the party has sought to erase in principle but has emphasized in its pursuit of diversity.

Momentum
SUPER TUESDAY BLUES

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Super Tuesday has come and gone and I still can't get excited about the upcoming presidential elections.

The Willies
ON THE BRINK OF HISTORY, YOUR PUSH IS NEEDED

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 5. 2008 -- I'm expecting a sea change tonight. I believe that for the first time in this nation's history we will once and forever banish racism as the deciding factor in the destiny of African-Americans, and indeed adopt diversity as our path to the future.

Campaign 2008
AT 88, EVERY VOTE REALLY COUNTS

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Feb. 5, 2008 -- Pearl Turner will caucus for Mitt Romney tonight in Denver.

One Woman's World
STAND BY YOUR WOMAN

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The black vote. The gay vote. The fundamentalist vote. The Hispanic vote.

An AR Special
SUSPECTS IN BENAZIR ASSASSINATION HAVE TIES TO MUSHARRAF

by Ahmar Mustikhan

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When Gordon Brown this past Monday feted coup-leader-turned-President Pervez Musharraf at 10 Downing Street, Britain's new prime minister probably didn't ask the Pakistani dictator a question that is now on many minds: Did you order the murder of Benazir Bhutto?

Momentum
TO THE VERMONT DELEGATION: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR US LATELY?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Back when President George W. Bush and Dick Vice President Dick Cheney were building up to their loathsome war in Iraq, very few people were brave enough to call the bullies' bluff.

On Native Ground
IF BUSH HAS HIS WAY, WE'LL NEVER LEAVE IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In his final State of the Union address on Jan. 28, President Bush cautioned against accelerating U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq, saying that it would endanger the process that has been made over the past year.

Campaign 2008
CLASH OF COMMENTS AND PROTESTORS AT CLINTON, OBAMA RALLIES IN DENVER

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Feb. 1, 2008 -- At least four presidential campaigns of both partiers rolled into in Denver this week ahead of the Feb. 5 "Super Tuesday" primaries in 22 states, but it was the Democratic presidential contenders who drew the big crowds and duked it out Wednesday. If sheer numbers are any indication, Sen. Barack Obama - preceded by a buoyant and beautiful Caroline Kennedy - won the round handily. He is the overwhelming favorite to win the Colorado primary next Tuesday.

The Willies
WHY THE FLORIDA PRIMARY STINKS

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 30, 2008 -- I was with my wife and daughter driving the back way from Miami home to Bradenton when we stopped at a McDonald's in Clewiston, the only big town along the vast shore of Lake Okeechobee, the state's precious freshwater reservoir. The McDonald's had three televisions at a central seating area, each tuned to a different network, and our table was in front of CNN as the very first election results started to pour in around 7:30PM. With them, almost as counterpoint, suddenly came such an overwhelming odor of cow plop that my wife started to throw up as we all ran to the parking lot.

Passings: Suharto
DEATH OF A KEMUSU THUG

by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Jan. 28, 2008 --­ A few minutes after hearing that former president Suharto had died in his hospital bed, Marco, a militia leader in downtown Jakarta, raced to Suharto¹s house, wearing his jungle camouflage and began guarding the Suhartos¹ residence on Cendana Street.

Constance
I REMEMBER YOU

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga.. -- It seems to be more often lately that the sentiment is spoken but it's always been out there: "You never get over the death of your child." This is true. But the heartfelt expressions come from some who cannot fathom the notion of losing a child; their own child is who is in their mind, not another mother's child.

One Woman's World
POLLING SUBURBIA

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Come in. Have some coffee with me.

Make My Day
PROJECT PLEASE KILL ME NOW

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I hate myself for what I'm about to say: I've been watching Project Runway.

Campaign '08
FREE SPEECH REBELS READY TO ROCK IN DENVER AT 2008 DNC

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Jan. 25, 2008 -- "Anyone here from the Police Department, FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service or any other law enforcement organization?"

On Native Ground
THAT 7O'S SHOW, STAGFLATION, MAY BE MAKING A COMEBACK

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Shag carpets. Avocado-colored appliances. Leisure suits. Cars called the Pinto, the Vega and the Gremlin.

Momentum
THE PATRIARCHY FIGHTS BACK

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Wall Street Journal last week had a story about conservative churches ostracizing "sinners" in order to maintain "church discipline." On Sunday, a host of obituaries celebrated the career of pioneering journalist Frances Lewine, 86. Also on Sunday, The New York Times Magazine ran a photo essay on female genital mutilation in Indonesia.

World Financial Crisis
HOW A HOLIDAY SAVED THE U.S. ECONOMY

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 21, 2008 [Updated 1/22/08, 4:40PM ET]-- Anyone with money in the U.S. stock market has a debt of gratitude due and payable today to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to the much-criticized members of Congress who supported making his birthday a national holiday that closed banks, schools, government offices and stock markets. For the second time in 14 years, Monday's holiday honoring the assassinated civil rights leader spared Americans what could have been hundreds of billions of dollars in losses.

Editorial
FOR DR. KING, THE BEST TRIBUTE IS A VOTE FOR OBAMA

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Jan. 21, 2008 -- Can there be a better, more fitting tribute to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., than a vote cast for Sen. Barack Obama as the next President of the United States?

One Woman's World
YOU TOO ARE SOMEBODY

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- What part, if any, have we, the people, played in the ongoing craziness of one Britney Spears?

Market Mover
IMPONDERABLES OF THE NEW YEAR

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Jan. 20, 2008 -- Reflecting upon the first few weeks of a new year, one is only certain that a list of imponderables lacks many more things we don't know or can't explain for these American times.

Make My Day
DOES IT MATCH MY SHOES?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- My wife recently committed the heinous, unpardonable crime of asking me to carry her purse.

On Native Ground
STRAIT OF HORMUZ: ARABIC FOR 'GULF OF TONKIN?'

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Bush Administration still appears determined to go to war with Iran. By sheer luck, the alleged confrontation between three U.S. Navy warships and five Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats in the Straitsof Hormuz on Jan. 6 did not turn into the spark that started a war.

Momentum
BACK HOME IN A BOX

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When America invaded Iraq in 2003, the reports from the front lines were as fascinating as they were revolting.

American Sports
JOHNNY GRANT PLAYED FOR THE ANGELS

by Steven Travers

LOS ANGELES -- Yankees manager Ralph Houk had a unique challenge to deal with in 1961. With the expansion of the American League to include the Los Angeles Angels, his New York Yankees faced 7,700-mile road trips. So, prior to an 11-day, 12-game swing to the West Coast, Houk advised his charges prior to the first stop, in Minnesota, not to turn their watches back.

Brasch Words
THE DISCONNECTED MEDIA

Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Add pundits, pollsters, and the press to the list of losers in the New Hampshire primary.

Campaign 2008
POLITICAL HEAT BRINGS EARLY SPRING CLEANING TO THE ROCKIES

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Jan. 14, 2008 -- The political climate here in the intra-mountain west heated up this week, and it was not global warming or the brilliant Rocky Mountain sunshine.

One Woman's World
SHE CAN'T POSSIBLY BE WORSE

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- She is Woman. Hear her roar. Picked herself up off the floor and stood by her man even though she had sworn previously that she was not a "little Tammy Wynette." Brushed herself off and faced the entire world, humiliated and betrayed.

On Native Ground
WHO'S WINNING THE PRIMARIES? THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Yes, it's only Iowa and New Hampshire.

Constance
A PEOPLE-WATCHER'S PARADISE

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The 6th Floor waiting room was plush. The wait was interminable but no one was complaining. We were at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and John was waiting for a routine annual exam following the normal laboratory tests.

Make My Day
THE PRICE OF LOVE

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- They say you can't put a price tag on love. That true love is more valuable than money. That money can't buy you happiness.

Momentum
WHY THE WRITERS STRIKE MATTERS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When it comes to the writers strike, I have two dogs in this hunt. Maybe three. Or four, if you count my innate love of underdogs.

The Willies
IS IT ALL OVER BUT THE CRYING?

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- When Sen. Hillary Clinton escaped from oblivion last night, did she only delay a later day of reckoning with voters who have tired of her? Frankly, I doubt that things will be ever be as bad for her again.

One Woman's World
WASHING OUT YOUR BRAIN

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Have you and I been programmed to think in certain ways? Have we been brainwashed? Is there such a thing as well-intentioned mind control?

American Essay
'CODE WORDS' ARE SHORTCUT TO CULTURES

by Boye Lafayette De Mente

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Defining people by their race while virtually ignoring their ethnicity has always been both dumb and dangerous, but now, finally, the importance of understanding cultures is rapidly becoming a new mantra for business leaders, diplomats and politicians.

Make My Day
IT IS WHAT WE THOUGHT IT WAS

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It's the first column of the new year, and faithful Make My Day readers know what that means: Lake Superior State University's List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness.

The Willies
IOWA SHOULD BE PROUD

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- If you were standing here in front of me and asked me how I felt about the outcome of the Iowa Democratic caucus, I probably wouldn't be able to talk.

Momentum
MORE I CANNOT WISH YOU

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A song by Frank Loesser in "Guys and Dolls" called "More I Cannot Wish You" has been running through my mind as the new year takes shape in the snow outside my window.

Constance
IT'S NOT HOW YOU START: IT'S HOW YOU FINISH

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This title came up while I was checking sources for what I want to write about. However, it didn't come up as a song, as I had always known it, but as the title of a book written by Gillian Hennessy-Ortega, subtitled "The Success Secrets of a Top Member of the Mary Kay Independent Sales Force." Yawn.

One Woman's World
AN OPINIONATED WOMAN

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I am very tired of being criticized for having strong opinions on major issues. And of far greater significance, I am extremely tired of males so fearful of a strong woman like Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan's former prime minister) they murder her on a day full of sunshine before the eyes of little children, hopeful Muslim women ... and the world.

Market Mover
TOP 10 UNDER REPORTED NEWS STORIES OF 2007

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, New Mexico, Jan. 3, 2007 -- The major news outlets have spoken, and U.S. and international news consumers now know the "expert" view of the Top 10 News Stories of 2007. But they left out a few dozen major stories.

On Native Ground
IT'S 'LIGHTS OUT' FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In spite of playing a major role in driving up energy costs, driving down housing prices and generally screwing up the American economy, securities firms on Wall Street handed out nearly $38 billion in bonuses last month. According to Bloomberg News, that's a new record for holiday largesse on Wall Street.

American Memoir
BENAZIR WAS NOT AS THE WHITE HOUSE AND MEDIA PORTRAYED HER

by Saleem Khan

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The violent death of Benazir Bhutto on Dec. 27 is the latest event in a culture of violence that has been steadily spreading in the body politics in Pakistan.

Campaign 2008
HOW OBAMA WILL WIN

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Jan. 1, 2008 -- Federico Peña, national co-chair of Ill. Sen. Barak Obama's campaign, provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a presidential election to the American Reporter Monday, putting a New Year's Eve exclamation point to a momentous year in politics.

Market Mover
CHARTING A NEW COURSE FOR AMERICA

by Mark Scheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., Jan. 4, 2008 -- A black American politician looked a predominantly white gaggle of journalists straight in the lens eye, and defied conventional wisdom in a nation with a predominantly white electorate.

Editorial
AMERICAN REPORTER ENDORSEMENTS: EDWARDS AND McCAIN

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 30, 2007 -- One of the great tragedies of the American experience is its two-party system, which was neither contemplated nor preferred by our Founding Fathers, and which President George Washington urged Americans in his Farewell Address to avoid at all costs.

Passings
BENAZIR BHUTTO LEFT A LIFELONG IMPRESSION

by Joe Shea

I met Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated this morning in the largest cities in Pakistan, Rawalpindi. It was at the 1972 Indo-Pak Summit Conference in Simla, India, high in the Himalayas not far from the borders of Pakistan, India and Tibet.

Momentum
THE GODDESS OF SERENDIPITY

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Winter is the time of cold and dark, when we implore all our gods and goddesses to bring back the light and warmth of the sun. So I thought I might put in a plug for the goddess I worship most. Her name is Serendipity.

One Woman's World
LET'S KEEP CHRISTMAS

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- 'Tis the season for tolerating and being tolerated. For bell ringers and carol singers. Santa sleighs and days rattling with wrapping paper; tree lights that won't work; and "It won't be the same without Mama."

Make My Day
THINGS NOT TO DO IN COLLEGE

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- People who have known me for a couple years know me to be thoughtful and deliberate in my reactions to a situation. I carefully measure my response, weighing the pros and cons, before finally saying what I think.

The Willies
E.P.A. RULES SPARK EMERGENCE OF 'NEW BREED' OF G.O.P. GOVERNORS

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 20, 2007 -- Florida's popular Republican Governor Charlie Crist took a day off to go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico for kingfish recently, and he won a rare accolade from the St. Petersburg Times outdoor editor, Terry Tomalin, who tagged along. Crist, Tomalin said, is "Not left, not right, but a new breed, for a new time."

On Native Ground
VERMONT SWIMS AGAINST THE FREE MARKET TIDE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - The Vermont Chamber of Commerce loves to gripe about how Vermont's taxes are too high, its regulations are too onerous and how the state legislature needs to do something about both.

The Willies
BLOOD ON THE CONVENTION FLOOR

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 18, 2007 -- With three weeks to go to the Iowa caucuses and 6 more days to the New Hampshire primary, both parties are facing the kind of uncertainty that makes American democracy a vital, exciting thing and stirs long-suppressed faint hopes that the party conventions this year will be wide-open, knock-down, drag-out battles for the respective nominations.

Momentum
YOUR PRIVATE LITTLE BUBBLE

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - He had Special Forces written all over him - a big beefy guy with a hard body and a military haircut. He was wearing a t-shirt with a big peace sign on it made out of weapons. What didn't jibe was the gold around his neck and the heavy gold watch on his wrist. So maybe Blackwater. I noticed him because he was playing air guitar, mouthing silent words and shaking his body to a heavy metal tune that no one else could hear.

Constance
LIONS: 0, CHRISTIANS: 100

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Christ is still in Christmas. They have tried to "X" him out for a couple of generations, but this year it's Merry Christmas all over again. There may be more Santa Claus than Baby Jesus displays, but it's still all about one solitary birth.

One Woman's World
WHY ARE WE PAYING FOR THIS?

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- When was the last time you had $20 million to spend? When was the last time you got to ride in a chauffeur-driven limo, a Mercedes, or in the plush lead bus in a caravan of buses traveling all over the United States, staying in the best motels, eating at the best restaurants - and getting your huge salary paid even though you missed months of work?

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

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Christmas is a time of traditions. Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and Erik curled up in the corner in a fetal ball, sobbing "Pa-rum pum pum pum." To help explain why he does this, we're renewing another Make My Day tradition, reprinting his annual Christmas column.

On Native Ground
WHY ROMNEY HAS TO PANDER TO THE GOP'S RELIGIOUS RIGHT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- One of these days, people in public life might start following George Carlin's commandment on religion - thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.

Campaign 2008
EXCLUSION FROM DEBATE ANGERS KUCINICH'S WIFE

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Dec. 14, 2007 -- Elizabeth Kucinich is mad, and this roving ambassador for her husband, Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, wants everyone to know.

Momentum
MIGHT I SUGGEST BLOOMBERG?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Yes, there is a candidate who doesn't make me want to throw up or cringe in embarrassment or wail in futility or duck for cover or check to see if my wallet is still in my purse.

Constance
SOPHISTICATED LADIES

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was about this time last year that our friendly neighborhood bartender asked if I'd sample the special cocktail prepared for the Christmas menu. I had just witnessed the work he put into measuring, shaking with ice, adding fizz, then egg whites for foam, now stirring slowly, letting it settle and, after that, pouring it into a goblet with one hand and adding a few drops of grenadine to the mixture with the other.

One Woman's World
LOU DOBBS FOR PRESIDENT

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- My name is Elizabeth Andrews and I approved the following message:

Make My Day
SIT ON SANTA-BOT'S LAP

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Microsoft killed Santa Claus.

Shrink's Progress
DROPPING THE BABY

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Hank, now 8 years old, had had one of the most exciting days of his life. It was his first train ride. Hank's father and a business partner had taken him by train from Baltimore to New York City. And the strange swirl of activity of New York, a huge city, far larger than anything he could have imagined, had been like stepping onto another world.

On Native Ground
PREDATORS AND PREY: OUR CASINO ECONOMY IN ACTION

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It has been said that the only difference between Wall Street and Las Vegas is that in Vegas, you get a buffet and a floor show.

Campaign 2008
ROMNEY SPEECH MUST WALK A FINE LINE

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Dec. 6, 2007 -- The director of "A Mormon President," a new film examining bias against the Mormon Church in this country, warned today that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney "has to hit a home run" in Thursday's highly anticipated speech about his Mormon faith. He will deliver the speech at 10:30 a.m. EST at the Bush Library in College Station, Tex.,

Momentum
WE'RE KILLIN' ALL THE BEES

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Where does content come from, Mommy?

AR Presidential Profile
DETERMINED, STEADY KUCINICH QUADRUPLES SUPPORT

by Joe Shea and Ted Manna

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 5, 2007 -- It's been a long time coming. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH, 10th), the former mayor of Cleveland who is serving his fifth term in the House of Representatives has quadrupled his standing in the polls, according to the current USA Today/Gallup Poll.

One Woman's World
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Two women looked out from behind the bars. One washed the windows. One hung the stars.

Campaign 2008: GOP CNN/YouTube Debate
IN THE WHIRL: RUMORS, BOUNCERS AND A BRAWL IN THE SPIN ROOM

by Joe Shea

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Nov. 28, 2007 -- One of the hottest items at the CNN/YouTube Republican Presidential Debate here Wednesday night was not on stage - it was snapping back and forth through the blogosphere and its teeming representatives at the Mahaffey Theater's media filing room.

On Native Ground
SCOTT McCLELLAN PROVIDES ANOTHER REASON TO IMPEACH BUSH

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- With less than 14 months left in power, the Bush Administration is doing its best to make sure its members can escape town before the indictments are issued.

Momentum
IT'S CLOSING TIME

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- America twice hitched its star to a drunk, albeit a dry one, and now it's coming on close to closing time.

Brasch Words
BUSH'S 'CONVENIENT TRUTH'

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The man whom the people elected in 2000 to be president was in the temporary residence of the man whom the Supreme Court anointed.

Shrink's Progress
STOPPING CERTAIN DEATH

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- A recent decision to build a suicide prevention barrier on the Cold Spring Bridge near Santa Barbara, Calif., has stirred opposition from a small but vocal group calling themselves "Friends of the Bridge."

Make My Day
NO MORE THREE-CARD MONTE FOR YOU, KID!

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- When I became a dad, the last thing I ever dreamed I would worry about was my kids and gambling. Sure, they would gamble whether they made it to the bathroom in time (they've won more than they lost), or whether they could sneak candy without being caught (they can't).

Campaign 2008
'VALUES' HYPOCRISY IS TONIGHT'S CHALLENGE FOR ROMNEY, GIULIANI

by Joe Shea

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Nov. 28, 2007 -- There's a haunting image from the Denver Democratic Convention walk-through for the media that keeps going through my mind when I consider the current round of debates. In Denver, near the Wynkoop Brewery that hosted a terrific media reception the night before the walk-through, there were two bordellos before the turn of the century whose madams were at war with one another. Eventually, their dispute was escalated into a deadly duel, and the two women faced off as the single object of their affections watched. The pistol shots rang out and one of them fell dead - the victim was the boyfriend.

One Woman's World
AND THE RAPES GO ON ...

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- An evil brother sleeps tonight on a narrow cot in a narrow cell in St. George, Utah.

On Native Ground
A MESS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION TO CLEAN UP

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Like many Americans, I'm looking forward to Jan. 20, 2009, when President George W. Bush leaves the White House for the last time.

Momentum
THIS THANKSGIVING, RIGHT NOW

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This is a hard Thanksgiving. People are dying who shouldn't be dying. People are being held prisoner in places we can't imagine, and being tortured in our names. People are cold and hungry here, in the richest nation on earth. The dollar is falling. Gas prices are rising. Our economic and political futures are uncertain.

The American Way
A THANKSGIVING PROMISE

by Ted Manna

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- When those first Americans bowed their heads in thankful prayer, could they have envisioned the country they were starting? Did they look at some empty seats at their bountiful table, as many Americans will do today, and wonder whether there would ever be a time of peace and good will? Did they forsee a country born of war, their manifest destiny sustained by conflict and conquest?

Campaign 2008
CO-CHAIRS ON CANDIDATES: IT'S A ROLL OF THE DICE

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Nov. 20, 2007 - The national campaign co-chairmen of both top Democratic Presidential candidates weighed in with their opinions about the CNN debate Friday in exclusive interviews with The American Reporter, each claiming that the race is far from over and that their candidates will continue to gain ground over their opponents.

Shrink's Progress
HOLIDAY BLUES

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- "I'm supposed to be happy! So where is the happiness?"

American Essay
THE CHRISTIAN WITHIN

by Col. David Antoon, USAF (Ret.)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Forty-two years ago, at the age of 18, I took the oath of office on my first day as an Air Force Academy cadet. The mission of the academy was not only to train future leaders for the Air Force but for America as well, because, in the end, most academy graduates do not serve full military careers. The honor code became an integral part of everyday life. These are the values that I, and most graduates of the 1960s and early '70s, took with us from our four years there.

Momentum
THE COMING RESOURCE WARS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I always thought it would be a cold day in hell before I gave GPresident eorge W. Bush credit for having brains, but now I'm not so sure.

On Native Ground
AMERICA SQUANDERED MONEY AND TIME IN ENERGY FIGHT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Here's a statistic that should make your blood boil. According to The Washington Post, oil consumers have paid nearly $5 trillion more for crude oil than they did just five years ago.

T.S. Kerrigan
IS HILLARY A BITCH?

by T.S. Kerrigan

LOS ANGELES -- As if he didn't have enough problems with his campaign, Sen. John McCain is now being charged with insensitivity and evasiveness in not responding more directly to a woman in South Carolina who asked in respect to Hillary Clinton, "How do we beat the bitch?"

American Insight
SOLDIERS HATE WAR MOST

by Douglas Laipple, M.D.

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- A patient, who has been directly and indirectly affected by the deaths of servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan, recently chastised me for having been in the Army, saying that she was against war and that I and my fellow veterans should be ashamed of ourselves for perpetuating the deaths of other human beings. My answer to her was along these lines:

One Woman's World
TWO OF A KIND

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- My grandmother would have said "The pot is calling the kettle black." My mother would have sighed and said "There's something rotten in Denmark."

Constance
TIME OUT FOR A SURVEY

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A courtesy call following auto repair is routine, and other services follow up by asking for a few minutes of your time to answer a brief survey. Well, they're trying to please the customers and if I can help toward that end, I do. I always offer my honest opinions. Of course, the companies who provide this are usually perfect anyway and just want me to know exactly how perfect they are by having me answer "excellent" five times during a brief conversation.

Poetry
TO A STRANGER IN MY LAND

by Mark Scheinbaum

LANTANA, FLA. (THANKSGIVING DAY, 2007)--For whatever reasons a morning trip to Dunkin' Donuts motivated me to write my first poem since high school, or perhaps college.

Campaign 2008
2008 CONVENTION PREVIEW BRINGS QUESTIONS FOR DEAN

by Ted Manna and Joe Shea

DENVER, Nov. 13, 2007 -- The Democratic National Convention Committee opened their arms to the media Tuesday during a media planning tour at Denver's Pepsi Center, but soon found their hands full with questions about the role of online media, the Florida delegate squabble and even the food.

Shrink's Progress
HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Albert described himself. "I'm a hopeless case.

Campaign 2008
PUNCHES, CHARGES AND CHEERS AT A GIULIANI RALLY

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Nov. 11, 2007 -- The event at the Loveland Coffee Shop here was meant to be nothing more thasn a political sop to star-struck local contributors outside Denver who longed for the sight of America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. But an innocuous meet-and-greet that attracted an overflow crowd suddenly turned ugly when Giuliani supporters grew antagonistic and abusive towards a small group of demonstrators, punching one.

American Insight
REFORMING A DEFORMED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

by Douglas Laipple, M.D.

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- We doctors are frequently asked, particular during election campaigns, what we think needs to be done in the way of health-care reform. Although I wish the question would be asked of doctors a lot more and politicians, lawyers and insurance company executives a lot less, I doubt that will happen.

One Woman's World
HAVE YOU MET THE REAL AMERICANS?

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I believe in Santa Claus. His name is Bob, or Ray, or Pack Rat ... and I believe in Earth Angels. Those that I know personally are called Thelma and Anne and Debbie and Belinda and Tammy and Mary Ann and Debra and about a dozen more that for some odd reason always seem to fly by if I need something.

Constance
THE PENDULUM SWINGS

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's only because I've lived long enough to see the pendulum swing from lurking dangers to miraculous cures - and then, darn it, back again. Oh, how wonderful it felt to be alive in the age when fluoride was in our drinking water, our toothpaste ("Look, Ma, no cavities") our mouthwash and an integral part of our semi-annual dental checkup.

Passing: Norman Mailer
A MAN OF MANY WORDS, MANY BOOKS, MANY FRIENDS

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- "I really like your handshake," Norman said. "Do you mind if I just stand here and shake your hand?" I don't remember what I said, but we stood there for a few seconds, and then a very, very strange thing happened.

On Native Ground
MY AMERICA DOESN'T BELIEVE IN TORTURE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It seems incredible to me that in this country, at this time, we are debating what constitutes torture and whether it is okay to torture others.

Make My Day
I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT DEADLY

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- What is it about zero tolerance that turns school administrators into zombies who enforce their rules with all the compassion and understanding of a German prison guard?

Momentum
HILLARY AND THE RAT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Why can't a woman be more like a man?" is the question that Professor Henry Higgins famously asks in Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's "My Fair Lady."

Constance
STROKE!

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- After the first bright and obligatory "Hi, How are you?" and expecting an equally bright "fine," it came as a shock to hear, "My husband had a stroke."

One Woman's World
A POET IN THE HOUSE

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I am a poet. And although I have been called a lot of things - some unfit for this newspaper - "poet" is the only label I care to wear.

On Native Ground
RED SOX NATION: GET USED TO IT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The "duck boats" again rolled through the streets of Boston this week, accompanied by the cheers of a couple of million Red Sox fans.

Momentum
ART AT THE END OF IT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - "Why would I let my 14-year-old daughter be an artist?"

Shrink's Progress
THE SCAR

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- The locked hospital room was almost too dark for me to see if anyone was there. But someone was, curled into a ball, hiding beneath the sheets and blanket, taking up a minimal space in the universe. His intent had been to take up no space at all, and, after his overdose, his life had been saved only by skilled and heroic medical intervention.

Make My Day
YOU'RE DOING A HECK OF A JOB, FEMA

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS -- Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency committed the unpardonable sin of faking a press conference about their performance at the southern California wildfires, by having their own public affairs (public relations) employees pass as reporters and lob softball questions at the FEMA Director, Vice Admiral Harvey Johnson.

Campaign 2008
FLORIDA DEMOCRATS WANT THEIR VOTES COUNTED

by Joe Shea

ORLANDO, Oct. 27, 2007 -- Gathered here for their biennial meeting on a rare rainy weekend in one of the world's sunniest resorts, Florida Democratic Party activists didn't let the gloomy weather get them down. They cheered two new members of the state's Congressional delegation, coughed up hefty campaign contributions for local and state candidates, and partied into the wee hours Sunday morning with all the confidence in the world about the state's chances of reversing its 2-for-2 record of electing Republican governors and Presidents.

One Woman's World
LET'S PLAY BY THE RULES

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Come then, let us decide on some nice ways to kill each other.

Constance
I'M NOT AFRAID OF FRIGHT NIGHT

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Being afraid of the Big Bad Wolf was child's play compared to being scared - heart-thumping scared - of being caught for ringing a doorbell and running away. But we didn't reserve that for Halloween. We did that for amusement on many hot Summer nights in the 1940s.

On Native Ground
THE RIGHT TO BE LEFT ALONE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For decades, the federal government has faithfully intoned the magic words, "national security," whenever it wants to foist something odious upon the American people.

Momentum
AN EVENING WITH GARRY TRUDEAU

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Bob Dylan may have written the soundtrack to my generation's youth, but Garry Trudeau has had more staying power. He's been writing the story of our lives.

Market Mover
BOLTON SAYS IRAN ATTACK IS 'CERTAIN'

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Oct. 26, 2007 -- In case you missed it, buried in an interview in one of the world's most prestigious publications, longtime Bush Administration operative and defrocked Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says you can count on a U.S. attack against Iran before the end of Mr. Bush's second term.

Shrink's Progress
'I'M STONED. SO WHAT?'

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Divorced at 40, and now without a job, Charles' life was going nowhere. And that was why he had come to see me.

AR Essay
MY WONDERFUL, AMAZING AND AUTISTIC SON

by Barbara Coppo

VALLEJO, Calif. -- Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world shrouded in a mask of vocal inability and your only communication was through guttural sounds? Imagine the fear and frustration surging through your body when you felt pain or needed something but couldn't express it to those around you, so you instinctively take your frustrations out the only way you know how - on the people who love you most!

Constance
PANTS!

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- If you feel compelled to say something to a kid about the way he is dressed and the way you feel about baggy, droopy, oversized, indecent and downright ugly pants, be ready with a smart come-back of your own when he sneers, "is there a law against it?"

Make My Day
A MOVING EXPERIENCE

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Can someone please open the door?"

On Native Ground
FEDERAL SHIELD LAW GIVES PRESS WATCHDOGS MORE BITE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The current Administration in the White House has taken secrecy to unprecedented levels.

Momentum
LIFE IS NOT WRITTEN BY AARON SORKIN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I started writing this column because I wanted Al Gore to run for president. Halfway through, I talked myself out of it.

Shrink's Progress
KILLING THE DEVIL

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- That man lying in bed next to Janice was the Devil. God had warned her earlier that day, and now she knew it for certain.

Market Mover
THE 'ROCKIES' ROAD TO NEWSPAPER OBLIVION

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Oct. 15, 2007 -- The survival of the newspaper industry around the globe could depend on things as simple as one baseball fan, and as complex as the explosion of all-digital technology and media.

Campaign 2008
NO LEFT TURN FOR MITT ROMNEY

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Oct. 14, 2007 -- What in the world is the GOP thinking?

One Woman's World
LITTLE BOYS AND THEIR GUNS

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Not so very long ago the horror word was Columbine. This past week it was Asa Coon, a mere boy of 14 who probably had never shaved or kissed the girl next door.

On Native Ground
POLITICIANS LOVE WAR, BUT DON'T WANT TO PAY FOR IT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It was once a given of American economic policy that, when the nation went to war, it increased taxes to pay for it. For example, the top personal tax rate during World War II was 94 percent on all income above $70,000, or about $753,000 in today's dollars.

Make My Day
JUST DON'T DROP IT, GENERAL

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Brain: General, we've got an emergency.

Momentum
TELL THE DAMN TRUTH ALREADY

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Lately I've been wondering what might have happened if President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had just told the truth.

Shrink's Progress
SUDDENLY, DIET DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- "I'm depressed because I weigh too much," acknowledged Julie, a 35-year-old working mother of two.

Caring
STANDING TALL AMID THE LILLIPUTIANS OF ELDER CARE

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- Here we go again. I only played the role of Joan of Arc once and I had to drink half a bottle of sherry to get on stage. I don't remember much about the performance but my mother said I was good.

Constance
I BRAKE FOR CEMETERIES

By Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Actually, my Sunday morning visit to Books-A-Million was to peruse travel books and literary tours in England, Ireland and Wales, until my eyes caught a thin book with a title so long it almost ran off the spine.

Book Excerpt
LEGACY: HOW A FOOTBALL GAME CHANGED A NATION

by Steven Travers

LOS ANGELES -- The University of Southern California opened the 2003 season at Auburn. U.S.C. Coach Pete Carroll invited Sam Cunningham and John Papadakis to make the trip and to speak to the team aboutt the 1970 game in the state they were now playing in - a state that had been changed by the events of that day, and by the men speaking to the team now. Southern California then smoked the Tigers, 23-0.

Make My Day
BUT CAN HE DO JAZZ HANDS?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I was in high school when the NCAA implemented its now-famous Title IX sports massacre, which brought parity to men's and women's collegiate sports. But as a male athlete, I hated the way the universities brought parity about. They slashed men's sports across the board so there were equal numbers of men's and women's teams. By the time they were done, there were more casualties than Freddie Krueger's visit to a summer-camp counselor convention.

Shrink's Progress
MY PROGRAM AND MY CAMPRAL

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- It was a funny feeling, almost a kind of irritability or edginess. Bob's parents could pick up on it in his angry tone of voice and pressured speech, often before he was aware of it himself.

Constance
TWO ON THE AISLE, TWO FLIGHTS UP

by Constance Daley

NEW YORK, N. Y. -- No one has to guess where you mean when you refer to "the big Apple," or even just saying "Broadway." It's also called the city that never sleeps, or Gotham. If you live in any of the five boroughs of New York City, you refer to Manhattan simply as "the city," and the whole world knows it as "The Melting Pot." From now on, I'll call it by a new moniker: "The City of Stairs."

On Native Ground
BUSH FIDDLES WHILE THE PLANET BURNS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Northwest Passage, the fabled shortcut above the Arctic Circle between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that had defied exploration for centuries, used to be ice covered and was not navigable by conventional ships.

Momentum
DEMONIZE THIS!

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the grand tradition of the loopy conservative patriarchy, right up there with Ronald Reagan's 1981 comment, "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do," we now have Homeland Security Chairman Michael Chertoff arguing that "illegal migrants really degrade the environment."

Reporting: Florida
A MAN NAMED McCLASH STANDS UP TO BOSS TAR

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 2, 2007 - A lot of politicians would have accepted a "bribe" - a big, fat and legal campaign contribution - and let any outstanding issues of principle between them and a major developer slip away. Not Manatee County Commissioner-At-Large Joe McClash, who has taken the sometimes lonely and dangerous stance that the county's biggest developer, the owners of Lakewood Ranch, should use its own funds to expand the local highways its vast size and growing population may demand.

On Native Ground
WHY CONSERVATIVES WON'T INSURE KIDS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The prevailing philosophy of conservatives - that government is the problem and the free market is the solution for every ill - consistently bumps up against the reality that this philosophy rarely works as designed.

Campaign 2008
A BIG MAN GETS BEHIND HILLARY

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Sept. 26, 2007 -- Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb is a big man, standing 6'5" tall, and his praise for his candidate matches his stature.

Momentum
A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Author's Note: Every so often, when I take a break from politics, I find myself writing about my 90-year-old mother in Florida. She is a dancer, and until she retired this year, she wrote, choreographed, directed and performed in yearly musical comedies at her retirement community. She was doing high kicks on stage well into her 80s, and she still teaches exercise classes.

A.R. Essay
IT WAS BEGINNING OF THE END FOR NIXON'S PRESIDENCY

by Ron Kenner

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Thirty-four years ago, Sept. 24, 1973, marked the beginning of the endgame of the presidency of Richard M. Nixon, the only president to resign the office.

Shrink's Progress
'I'M NOT AN ALCOHOLIC!'

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- She wondered if she drank too much. She acknowledged that a bottle of wine every night just might be the start of a problem. Was it because of loneliness?

Constance
BOOKS ON MY NIGHTSTAND

by Constance Daley

WARWICK, N.Y. -- At home, there are no books on my nightstandm although I still have a reading lamp attached to my headboard.

At The Movies
MILAREPA: MAGICIAN. MURDERER. SAINT.

by Gary Gach

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- If aliens from outer space visit us, I'm sure they'd be struck by our penchant for revenge. Just look at newspapers, where the motto is "If it bleeds, it leads." They'd find more horror there than any single mind can comprehend.

Make My Day
WAIT, DON'T I KNOW YOU?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Last year, after one of my staff left the state government agency where we worked, I received an email from Human Resources, telling me this person had been "separated from employment."

On Native Ground
OUR 'VITAL' NATIONAL INTEREST IN IRAQ? OIL, OIL, OIL

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In his new book, "The Age of Turbulence," former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan departed from the Bush Administration's script and wrote that "the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Momentum
ALL THE PERFUMES OF ARABIA

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In last week's column I wrote about the very real possibility that President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will make a preemptive bombing strike on Iran before they skedaddle out of office - you know, because all their other ideas have worked out so well.

Shrink's Progress
OBSESSIVE 'COLLECTORS' ARE HARD TO CURE

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Ann's husband had fled years ago because he couldn't stand the ever-expanding mess. She was a collector, but that wasn't how she thought of herself. Her idea was that all the stuff she collected - the things she bought at garage sales, from secondhand stores, on eBay, from the Shopping Channel, and assorted items of junk she found at the curb or in an alley - was going to be usable, at least someday.

Campaign 2008
OBAMA, CLINTON FIRE FIRST SALVOS - AT EACH OTHER

bny Ted Manna

DENVER, Colo., Sept. 17, 2007 -- The Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns today fired the first serious salvos in the war to win votes in the West, as Sen. Obama's national co-chairman Federico Peña announcing the opening this week of the first official campaign office in Denver, Colo., and an appearance by would-be First Husband, former President Bill Clinton, at the "Hillary for President" fundraiser in Boulder today.

Reporting: Argentina
REMEMBERING BAD TIMES IN ARGENTINA

by Martin McReynolds

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Returning to Argentina these days brings back memories of an ugly time.

An A.R. Editorial
TO HONOR THEIR SACRIFICE

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 16, 2007 -- in the little town where I grew up on a farm in the 1950's, there is an ambulance building dedicated to the men and women who served their country in World War II, and its words impressed themselves upon me every day as I passed it on the bus, trying to memorize it as quick as I could read. Today, I don't recall it well, but it seems like it went, "To the men and women of the town of Monroe who gave their lives in the service of freedom, this memorial stands."

Campaign 2008
DENVER MAYOR VOWS 'NO VIOLENCE,' BUT LAWSUIT LOOMS OVER SECURITY PLANS

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Colo., Sept. 12, 2007 -- In an exclusive interview with the American Reporter, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper today vowed to keep the people of Denver and delegates to the Democratic National Convention safe, warning that he will tolerate "no violence and no disruption" and will try to protect the rights of anyone "engaged in lawful protests."

On Native Ground
DON'T THEY KNOW THERE'S A WAR ON?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Back during World War II, when people griped about rationing or some other inconvenience, someone was sure to pipe up and say, "Don't you know there's a war on?"

Momentum
DON'T LET THE DOGS OUT! DON'T BOMB IRAN!

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- How well I remember, during the Nixon years, the question, "Would you buy a used car from this man?"

Shrink's Progress
'I'M DYING!'

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Ed, a 42-year-old divorced mortgage broker, explained that his job was demanding and often left him feeling tense and stressed. Although Ed had a girl friend, he lived alone. He had come to see me only at the insistence of his primary care doctor.

Constance
WHEN THE 'GOOD' GO WRONG

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It surprises me when someone asks me point blank if scandals among Republican officeholders reflect on the party as a whole, and, get this, will I change my vote in the upcoming election?

P.R. AND SPIN CAN'T HIDE FAILURES IN IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Here's a question that the White House press corps never seems to ask. If things in Iraq are getting better and the "surge" is working, how come the only trips to Iraq that President Bush and other top officials can make are "surprise" visits?

An A.R. Editorial
HOW TO END THE WAR

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 9, 2007 -- Osama bin Laden has shown the way. If the desire to end the War on Terror is strong enough in the hearts of those who lead the antiwar movement, there is now a plain and simple path to peace.

Make My Day
PUT YOUR LEFT LEG IN, PUT YOUR LEFT LEG OUT...

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I've been married for over 14 years now, and we have learned to compromise on hundreds of issues. But there's one area where we seem to have a few difficulties. My wife thinks dancing is fun and enjoyable, and I think it makes me look like a big dork.

Reporting: Los Angeles
MICHAEL'S VICK'S SENTENCE WON'T HALT DOG-FIGHTING RINGS IN OTHER CITIES

by T.S. Kerrigan

LOS ANGELES,Sept. 6, 2007 -- Along with the vast majority of Americans, I was relieved to see Michael Vick indicted by a federal grand jury after it became evident that he had trained, tortured and mutilated pit bulls. Americans like the appearance of swift justice, often content to leave further analysis of the problem addressed to legal scholars of the future, rather than look behind the effect of their action at the time.

Momentum
ON THE ROAD WITH JACK

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I've always blamed Jack Kerouac.

Reporting: Pennsylvania
FAKED PHOTOS HELPED LEAD U.S. INTO IRAQ

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Add faked photos to the list of lies told by the Bush-Cheney Administration before its invasion of Iraq.

Constance
WHAT SEN. LARRY CRAIG DIDN'T SAY

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- I've been waiting. Nothing has been written or reported and I think it should have been by now. U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) said more than once, "I am not gay; I have never been gay."

Market Mover
LABOR DAY, IMMIGRATION AND THE SALMAN RASPBERRIES

by Mark Scheinbaum

LA CUEVA, N,M., Sept. 1, 2007 -- Don't talk to me again for one minute of one hour of one day about legal or illegal immigration issues in the United States of America until you've worked one day in their shoes.

Make My Day
SINCE WHEN IS MY PAST 'HISTORY?'

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- My family and I were sitting outside a coffee shop at my alma mater, Ball State University, last weekend. We were watching a steady stream of teenagers come and go, when an innocent voice said, "Do those kids' mommies and daddies know they're out so late?"

Campaign 2008
IN COLORADO, THE HEAT IS ON THE POLITICIANS

by Ted Manna

PUEBLO, Colo. -- At the State Fair here in suburban Douglas County, Colo., close to the geographic center of the nation, politics is as hot a topic as the 95-plus-degree heat. Politicians better listen up. The people say they want leadership, not partisanship.

On Native Ground
HOW KATRINA EXPOSED CONSERVATISM'S FLAWS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Two years ago this week, a great American city was left to die.

Momentum
WHY YOUR 'FOURTHMEAL' MAY BE YOUR LAST

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- America is a land of overwhelming abundance. Couple that with the disastrous idea of building an entire economy and national culture on consuming and you have a good idea why the soul of this country is ailing.

Follow The Money
HSU TOOK $40 MILLION FROM WALL ST. INVESTMENT FUND BEFORE DISAPPEARING

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 12, 2007, 6 a.m. EST -- In yet another astounding turn of events in the fantastic tale of Chinese-American millionaire and top Democratic donor Norman Hsu, it was learned Friday morning that a Wall Street investment fund run by Woodstock music festival backer Joel Rosenman and his Chinese-American partner, Yau Cheng, gave Hsu some $40 million to cover the cost of producing apparel in China for U.S. private labels such as Gucci and Prada, and now says the money is missing, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Constance
LIFE BEFORE SPECIAL EFFECTS

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Long before special effects bombarded us with sights and sounds beyond belief, we had sights and sounds beyond belief - although they reached our senses only when we were shielded from the light. We had radio; and, we had vivid imaginations.

Make My Day
HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE AN EX-WIFE SCORNED

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I learned a long time ago about the importance of treating one's wife with respect and kindness. And unlike some of my other life lessons, I didn't have to learn this one the hard way.

On Native Ground
ON IRAQ, WHY IS THE RIGHT TAKEN SERIOUSLY?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It still amazes me that newspapers still publish pieces by William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks and Thomas Friedman.

Campaign 2008
IN THE SWEET GLOW OF ANTICIPATION, TOP DEMOCRATS CONVENE IN DENVER

by Ted Manna

DENVER, Colo., Aug. 22, 2007 -- With rallying cries like "the road to the White House runs through the West" and "bring home a Democratic president," the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) kicked off the countdown to their party's 2008 convention in Denver today.

Campaign 2008
WHY THE DEMOCRATS WILL LOSE AGAIN

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 23, 2007 -- An interview in the New York Observer this week with failed 1988 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, now a political science professor, carries a bold warning for Democrats who think the 2008 election is a foregone conclusion - that Democrats will win the White House in a landslide no matter what mistakes they make. The stupidity of that belief is nicely punctured by the Dukakis interview.

Momentum
HYDRANGEAS IN NEW YORK

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My beloved aunt died last Thursday at the age of 92.

Shrink's Progress
SEX & DRUGS: STRATEGIES FOR SEX WITHOUT DEPRESSION

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Jim's message had an urgent tone - "...the first appointment, any day, any time." Now age 48, happily married with two teen age kids and a good job, Jim had become severely depressed for no obvious reason.

Market Mover
AN INVESTOR'S PARABLE

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M, Aug. 17, 2007 -- Would you commit new, speculative, important amounts of. money to the ttock market between now and September 11?

Make My Day
BRITISH BOSSES BAN BARNEY'S BALLOONS

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- God bless the British bureaucrat. They've got that special something their American cousins will never achieve. Their single-minded dedication to their rules and regulations, despite all common sense and human decency, is unrivaled in this world. And that gives me job security as a humor writer.

Momentum
STILL THE BEST REVENGE

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The great modern painter Fernand Leger liked to say, "Either a good life and lousy work, or good work and a lousy life."

On Native Ground
WISHING FOR ANOTHER 9/11?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In last Thursday's Philadelphia Daily News, conservative columnist Stu Bykofsky gave voice to the thought that many supporters of the so-called global war on terror are thinking right now.

Shrink's Progress
SEX AND YOUR ANTIDEPRESSANT

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Helen, a 33-year-old mother of two, had been very depressed, at times wishing she were dead. A shaky marriage was part of the problem. Now, with the aid of psychotherapy and an antidepressant, she was much less depressed despite her troubled relationship with her husband. She felt brighter, had more energy, and could function better at her job and at home. She was immensely relieved, and could even smile as she complained, "But sex is lousy!"

Constance
SAVING THE PLANET

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- As John walked through the living room he said, not unkindly, "I spend half my time turning off lights. We have to save the planet, you know." What could I say? He managed to stifle me this time. I am not going to deny a fellow earthling the right - our duty, he claims - to save the planet.

On Native Ground
WITH F.I.S.A VOTE, DEMOCRATS SHOW LACK OF SPINE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We've come to expect Republicans to do the wrong thing over and over again. That's why no one was surprised that virtually every Republican in the House and Senate voted for President Bush's revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

A.R. Essay
THE FAUX-DEMOCRACY OF JOHN CAGE

by Rebecca L. Hein

CASPER, Wyo., Aug. 13, 2007 -- American composer John Cage died 15 years ago today. Cage is best known for an absurdity entitled Four Minutes, Thirty-Three Seconds (4'33"), in which the performer poses on the stage but does not play.

Brasch Words
NO ASTERISK FOR BARRY BONDS

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- An undercurrent of boos mixed into the cheers when Barry Bonds hit his 755th home run in San Dieg on Aug. 4 to tie Hank Aaron's Major League Baseball (MLB) record for lifetime homers. Several in the crowd even hoisted cards bearing an asterisk to indicate they were sure the record was tainted, the result of a widespread belief that Bonds had used steroids - a charge he consistently has denied.

Momentum
AFTER THE COUP

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If you've already stolen two presidential elections, how hard could it be to steal a country?

Constance
WIRED!

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Wires are unsightly. There is not another word in the thesaurus to better illustrate my point. The suggested words are ugly, hideous, unattractive, unprepossessing, nasty, and horrid. No, wires are merely unsightly - like crabgrass sprouting everywhere across a well-manicured lawn.

Market Maker
IF THE MORTGAGE CRISIS DOESN'T GET WORSE, IT'LL GET BETTER

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Aug. 3, 2007 -- In a dispatch buried now in the American Reporter archives, we first alerted readers early last Fall about the domino effect of mounting foreclosures. This morning, a major mortgage originator and lender, American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. announced the de facto end of its operations, Some 7,000 employees are fired, and there's a significant likelihood of the company declaring bankruptcy in coming weeks.

On Native Ground
THE FINANCIALIZATION OF AMERICA

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It seems hard to believe, but the finance, insurance and real estate sector (FIRE, for short) now constitutes about 20 percent of our nation's gross domestic product, while manufacturing contributes less than 13 percent. By comparison, in 1950, manufacturing was 29.3 percent of GDP and financial services contributed 10.9 percent.

Make My Day
WHO SCAMS THE SCAMMERS?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Several years ago, I knew I had made my mark in the world when I received my very own Nigerian scam letter. When Nigerian scam artists put your name on a letter, rather than addressing it with an impersonal "Dear Friend," you've obviously done something important.

Constance
WHY I'M NOT VOTING FOR RUDY

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- According to The American Reporter's readers choice presidential poll, Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani are the front runners. And the July 17 Gallup Poll, a more scientific survey, reported little change in the public leanings for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations. Again, Senator Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are leading other hopefuls in their respective parties.

Shrink's Progress
ARE YOU BIPOLAR?

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Because of increased media attention and pharmaceutical company advertising, more people than ever are coming now to see therapists or psychiatrists claiming they suffer from a bipolar illness.

Brasch Words
WHEN LEADERS ARE AFRAID TO LEAD

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the House has so much to do that impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush would be a distraction.

Make My Day
THE IMPORTENS OF GUD SPELING

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Knowing how to spell is critical. If you want people to take you seriously, you have to be able to spell. And you can't rely on your spell-checker, because it only finds misspelled words, not correctly spelled words that are in the wrong place.

On Native Ground
EXECUTIVE POWER GONE WILD

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A recent Associated Press opinion poll found that public approval of Congress' job performance has fallen to 24 percent, its lowest level in a year.

Momentum
BRATTLEBOROWORLD

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Ninety-two-year-old Reba Goldstein of Ft. Lauderdale likes to clip stories out of the newspapers and give them to her friends. This week she cut one out of the Miami Herald and gave it to my mother. "Does Joyce know about these nudes in Brattleboro?" she asked. Of course my mother called me immediately.

Shrink's Progress
KIDS AND SUICIDE: THE ANITDEPRESSANT LINK

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- A growing debate about whether antidepressant drugs increase or actually cause suicidal thinking in adolescents has in recent months led many doctors to become more reluctant to prescribe them. The sad result has been an increase in the adolescent suicide rate because depressed adolescents may not have received the very medications that could have saved their lives, or may have recently stopped taking them.

Brasch Words
GIVE IT UP FOR DA PREZ

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- There's a lot of language today that confuses me. For example, does anyone know why certain people try to get someone's attention by shouting out, "Yo!" And if that doesn't work, they become redundant and shout out "Yo Yo!" That could be very confusing if you work for Duncan Toys or are a classic cellist.

Momentum
SUMMER MEDITATION

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A Polish farmer in the town where my husband grew up used to say, "Corn come, 'coon come. 'Coon come, corn gone."

On Native Ground
HOW THE BUSH ADMINSTRATION USES FEAR AS A POLITICAL TOOL

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- With public support for the Iraq war hovering around 30 percent, the Bush Administration is falling back on a familiar strategy it loves to use when it find itself in trouble - scaring the American people.

Reporting: Middle East
U.S.-IRAN MEETING HOLDS LITTLE PROMISE

by Tom Clifford

DUBAI -- An international meeting on Palestine proposed by President George W. Bush will not be a conference to end conflict but may herald a "peace to end peace."

Make My Day
SPIDER-MAN NEVER USED SUCTION CUPS!

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Kids today have great movie toys. When I was a kid, we never had Spider-Man movies, video games, or shampoo and conditioner sets. We just had the cheaply-made cartoons. The ones that showed Spider-Man flying past the same cityscape so many times, I thought he was swinging in circles. (For those of you who don't remember, this is the show that gave us the theme song, "Spider Man, Spider Man/Does whatever a spider can/Spins a web any size/Catches thieves just like flies.")

The Shrink's Progress
Eat or Die, Part VI
THE PATIENT SURVIVES

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Debbie, a 17-year-old now down to 86 pounds and ever closer to her secret goal of 81 pounds, slowly awoke in her bed on a hospital intensive care unit. She was so groggy from her drug overdose that the only thing she noticed was the painful burning sensation in her nose.

Market Mover
HOW NOW, CROWNED DOW?

by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., July 17, 2007 -- The news media crowned a "new all-time high" - and the 14,000 milestone - on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today. Try to stifle your yawn.

Constance
50 YEARS AND COUNTING

by Constance Daley

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. -- We knew the day was coming. After all, when we got married on July 7, 1957, we were thinking ahead to the wonderful calendar date 50 years hence. We didn't expect to turn that leaf so soon, but 50 years have come and gone as swiftly as toddlers turn into adults - and we all know how fast those years go by.

On Native Ground
THE MADNESS OF IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is President Bush delusionalwhen it comes to the Iraq war?

Shrink's Progress
Eat or Die, Part V
ENTER THE THERAPIST

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Anorexia and bulimia are stubborn conditions to treat, and any one clinician, no matter how talented or zealous, is ill-equipped to do it alone. Successful treatment requires a treatment team including a primary care doctor or internist, a nutritionist, a psychotherapist, and a psychiatrist.

Momentum
HOW DOES AN ERA END?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- From the beginning of the long nightmare that has been the presidency of George W. Bush, I have wondered how - or if - it might end.

A.R. CORRESPONDENT WALTER BRASCH ASKED TO APPEAR ON IRANIAN TELEVISION

American Reporter Staff

BRADENTON, Fla., July 11, 2007 -- In a hopeful sign that relations between the United States and Iran may indeed be growing warmer after recent face-to-face meetings between U.S. and Iranian diplomats, American Reporter Correspondent Walter Brasch has been asked by an Iranian television producer to provide live commentary from time to time on a daily television show, "Four Corners," devoted to world news.

Reporting: Middle East
ENVOY OF IRONY: TONY BLAIR AND THE SEARCH FOR PEACE

by Tom Clifford,

DUBAI -- Satire died when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel peace prize. Irony collapsed when Tony Blair was made Middle East peace envoy.

Make My Day
BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I don't usually take notes on a conversation with myself, but this was a good one.

Momentum
MY UNIVERSE IS MADE OF STORIES

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- They say that before you die, your life passes in front of your eyes. Another way to see your life is to throw a 90th birthday party for your mother.

Shrink's Progress
EAT OR DIE, Part IV: GAMES THAT ANOREXICS - AND PROFESSIONALS - PLAY

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- In just one year Debbie, all of 17, had watched her young life plummet down hill in every conceivable dimension. She felt isolated from her family and friends. She no longer cared about boys, and they no longer even talked to her.

Constance
THE MAN WHO SHOT ALEXANDER HAMILTON

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's only coincidental that I'm writing about Aaron Burr in early July, when it was dawn on another early July day, 1804, that he shot and mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in Weehawken, N. J.

On Native Ground
BUSH, CHENEY AND THE NIXON PRINCIPLE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Desperate men and dictators thrive on secrecy. The ability to operate free of public scrutiny, oversight and accountability is the cornerstone of a totalitarian state.

Reporting: Hong Kong
HONG KONG LESS FREE, BUT OTHERWISE UNCHANGED 10 YEARS AFTER TAKEOVER

by Tom Clifford

HONG KONG, June 30, 2007 -- The greatest "Chinese take-out" in history occured 10 years ago today.

AR Opinion
SUPREME COURT SIDE-STEPS PAINFUL LESSONS ON RACE

by Ron Kenner

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- If we can't face our own history, have no sense of responsibility or compassion for our minorities, no sense of fairness or of the value of civil and human rights, one would think that we would at least have learned the terrible injustice of segregation. But the United States Supreme Court has not.

Make My Day
AT LEAST I'M NOT 50

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The inevitable finally happened. I'd known it was coming for years -- known the exact date and time. I planned, stalled, and fought for as long as I could, but it still happened despite my best efforts.

Momentum
GOOD FENCES DON'T BUILD GOOD NEIGHBORS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Some of our most dramatic quotations come from walls. Who could ever forget, "Mr. Gorbechav, tear down this wall!" Or, "You can see the Great Wall of China from the moon." (Which turned out to be false.) Or Robert Frost's "Something there is that does not like a wall."

On Native Ground
THE ISSUE TEARS REPUBLICANS APART

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush seems to think that by sheer force of will, he can single-handedly revive the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunities and Immigration Reform Act of 2007.

Shrink's Progress
EAT OR DIE, Part III: WHY EATING DISORDERS PERSIST

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Why do Debbie and thousands like her have eating disorders? Why do 50 young women for every young male suffer from anorexia or bulimia?

Momentum
BLOOMBERG GETS A FREE GET-OUT-OF-CULTURE-JAIL PASS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At a certain point in the Belmont Stakes last Saturday, the filly Rags to Riches, who was engaged in a head-to-head race with Preakness winner Curlin, stopped being a female and became, instead, a (rather splendid) race horse.

AR Opinion
FOR U.S., DEFEAT IN IRAQ IS A STARVING ORPHAN TIED TO A BED

by Tom Clifford

DUBAI -- Defeat is an orphan. We now have the iconic image of the Iraq war, the napalm girl of Vietnam, the World War II marines hoisting the flag, the sweeping kiss of the nurse in Times Square as peace breaks out. But if there is one image that defines Iraq it is the orphan tethered to the bed like a goat ready for slaughter.

On Native Ground
THE ADMINISTRATION THAT CRIES WOLF

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- That didn't take long, did it?

Passings: Kurt Waldheim
U.N.'S WALDHEIM LEAVES FAR-REACHING LEGACY OF HATE

by Ron Kenner

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Kurt Waldheim, the once "dapper diplomat" and former United Nations Secretary General reminding one of Henry Kissinger-styled poise and star power, died June 14 at age 88.

Constance
30 DAYS AND COUNTING

by Constance Daley

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The "Days Left" sign at Borders Book Store drew customers' eyes instantly when they entered the large, air-conditioned store at the Carolina Pavilion here. Parents with children made their way to the back shelves where the books for children were stacked next to kid-sized tables and chairs set up welcoming the future readers of America.

Make My Day
WEAPONS OF MASS FLATULENCE

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- While most people believe the U.S. Department of Defense only wants to kill people, that's not entirely true. They also want to make enemy soldiers get stung by angry wasps, get blamed for farting, and turn them gay.

Brasch Words
UP AND DOWN THE BUSH PHILOSOPHY

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Every president has a political philosophy that guides him and, sometimes, the nation.

Reporting: Los Angeles
FAMOUS LANGER'S DELI SURVIVES CHANGING TIMES, TOUGH CUSTOMERS IN DOWNTOWN L.A.

by Ron Kenner

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- In early May, at MacArthur Park, after Los Angeles police officers battled demonstrators marching for worker and immigrant rights, the walking wounded probably had the same destination: Langer's Delicatessen Restaurant, the noted corner deli across the street from MacArthur Park famed for making "the finest hot pastrami sandwich in America."

On Native Ground
IS COLD WAR II JUST AROUND THE CORNER?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The miraculous autumn of 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down and Eastern Europe threw off its chains, marked a turning point for the United States.

Momentum
SAVE YOUR MONEY

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In a recent press conference, President George W. Bush offered this idea as a solution to our $233-billion trade deficit problem with China: "Another way to address it is for [the Chinese] to convert their economy from one of savers to consumers."

Shrink's Progress
EAT OR DIE, Part II: THE EXTREME STAGES OF ANOREXIA

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Debbie, sitting across from me in loosely fitting sweats and a bulky padded jacket - way out of place on a fairly warm day - looked very young for a 17-year-old. Although lost in oversized clothing, Debbie was actually hiding something. But just what she was hiding is perceived differently by each of us.

Constance
TOSSING THE TORCH

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The realization came upon me suddenly. It wasn't exactly the end of the world, as in T.S. Eliot's line, "This is the way the world ends; not with a bang, but a whimper," but it was as sudden as a bang and as subtle as a whimper.

On Native Ground
ON $3 A DAY, FOOD STAMP USERS GO HUNGRY

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The federal food stamp program has never been known as being particularly generous, but the combination of budget cuts and inflation has made it even less so.

Momentum
ON CINDY SHEEHAN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So Gold Star peace mom Cindy Sheehan is quitting the American antiwar movement. That's bad news.

Make My Day
WHAT PART OF NO DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It's not something I like to talk about, but when I was in college I did something I'm not proud of. I was a telemarketer.

Shrink's Progress
Part I: EAT OR DIE: WHEN THIN ISN'T BEAUTIFUL

by Harvey Widroe, M.D.

ORINDA, Calif. -- Editor's note: Psychiatrist Harvey Widroe authored a classic textbook on psychiatry and many journal articles. This is his first commentary for The American Reporter as a regular Wednesday columnist on mental health topics..

Make My Day
YOU WANT ME TO GO WHERE?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS -- Imagine if I told you to go to Hell. What would you do? Run away and cry? Punch me in the nose? Or visit the little town in Michigan?

Constance
JAILHOUSE JUSTICE AND THE KKK

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- No one spells it out, but the meaning is clear. Someone who appears guilty of a heinous crime pleads guilty and is jailed for a lesser crime, perhaps after some plea bargaining or for lack of sufficient evidence.

On Native Ground
THE 2008 ELECTION: FASTER, AND MORE DISMAL THAN EVER

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt., May 26, 2008 -- It's too soon to be talking about the 2008 presidential election. Unfortunately, the process has become so accelerated that the nation's voters have only a few months to decide who the Democratic and Republican parties' nominees will be.

THIS IS THE IMMIGRATION BILL THAT WORKS - AND AMERICANS WANT IT

by Joe Shea

There's a big problem for both the Left and Right in the proposed new immigration law: it's a damned good one, and the great majority of Americans think so, too. That latter observation is based on a groundbreaking poll released in Friday's editions of the New York Times, which found that by large margins Americans decidedly favor guest workers, giving a path to citizenship - albeit a long one - for illegals, and do not believe undocumented people already here should be deported.

Make My Day
I JUST WANT TO BE ALONE

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Privacy is one of those priceless commodities you can't get enough of. Like gold, vacation, or pizza. No matter how much you get, you always want more. And while I love my kids, there are times I just wish they would go bug someone else for a while.

Momentum
UNDER MAY 9 DIRECTIVE, A NEW 9/11 COULD EXTEND BUSH'S TERM IN OFFICE

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A message to all those concerned with the 2008 presidential election - Republican, Democratic and independent: it's irrelevant.

Constance
COMRADES IN ARMS

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The national holiday looked upon as the true beginning of America's summer was not always part of a three-day weekend, nor was it called Memorial Day. The sentiment of remembering those who fought and died in the service of their country has always been the primary focus, even if it appears to take a back seat to the red, white and blue, community carnivals and events.

On Native Ground
IMPEACHMENT WOULD END THE IRAQ WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When the lawmakers of the country your occupying don't want you around anymore, you know your war is in trouble.

The AR Poll
GIULIANI NOW LEADS OBAMA, CLINTON TRAILS IN AR POLL RESULTS

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 28, 2007 -- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), widely perceived as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, has fallen far behind her chief Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Osama (D-IL), and Republican former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the ongoing American Reporter Presidential Poll that began in late May.

Make My Day
IS HYPOCHONDRIA CONTAGIOUS?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- As veteran parents, my wife and I have quit worrying about illnesses. We give the kids their medicine, tell them where to find the 7-Up and Saltines, and let them watch as much tv as they want. Not like when we were new parents, when Oldest Daughter (known as Only Child back then) would get sick.

Momentum
HE GAVE RELIGION A BAD NAME

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My well-mannered 89-year-old mother taught me not to speak ill of the dead, but even she was laughing when she heard that Rev. Jerry Falwell had died.

On The Campaign Trail
WHEN BIDEN JOKES 'ELIMINATE DODD,' HE MAY HALF MEAN IT

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., May 17, 2007 -- Eastern liberals - despite what Republicans feel - are not in unlimited supply, even if they are a little more abundant during the waning days of the Bush Administration.

One Woman's World
TWO FRIENDSHIPS BRACE MY LIFE

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- They embrace me with friendship, encircle me with support for my literary efforts, and although I already consider myself "rich," I am made richer by knowing them. I think of them as brothers, not of the flesh but of the spirit, that abstract realm where healthy relationships never cease blooming.

Constance
LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Our movie fare in this country went from the madcap comedies of the '30s, those comedies designed to get our minds lifted out of the Great Depression, to gangster films usually set in 1937.

Brasch Words
AMERICA'S HURRICANE INSECURITY

by Walter Brasch and Rosemary Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Editor's Note: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sibelius says that the war in Iraq has severely hurt her state's National Guard response to deal with an F-5 tornado that destroyed Greensburg, Kan.. In Sept. 2003, two years before Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, in "An Ill Wind and National Policy," Rosemary and Walter Brasch predicted that the war in Iraq would leave Americans vulnerable to recovery efforts should there be major natural disasters.

On Native Ground
IS GREG PALAST THE LAST OF THE MUCKRAKERS?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Bill Moyers' documentary, "Buying the War," shown last month on PBS, painstakingly showed how most of the press willingly bought into the lies of the Bush Administration and supported the worst foreign policy blunder this nation has ever committed - the invasion of Iraq.

American Essay
A FALSE HISTORY FOR A NEW AGE

by Ron Kenner

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., May 14, 2007 - Four hundred years ago today the British captain Christopher Newport sighted what would become Jamestown, on the bank of what would be called the James River, to honor King James. Soon enough it was more embarrassment than honor - a bungled, non-productive, near-collapsing colony for its first five years, until things with a new sweet tobacco, indentured servants and slavery finally got things rolling.

Make My Day
HOW TO DO GOODER WRITING

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- There's an old saying that goes "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." (To which I would add, "Those who can't teach, consult.")

Opinion
CHANGE COURSE TO ELIMINATE TERRORISM

by Parvez Ahmed

WASHINGTON -- Five years into President Geroge W. Bush's declaration of the global war on terrorism, the latest State Department report shows terrorism on the rise. Terrorism is an abominable tactic, not an ideology. Thus, declaring 'war' against it, while politically expeditious, is ineffective, as it attacks the symptom without addressing the cause.

Momentum
THE PACIFIST'S CONUNDRUM

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I was watching a "M*A*S*H" rerun on television the other night when the oddest thing came on: a commercial for the Army. "Be Army strong" a hearty male voice boomed as images of soldiers doing soldierly things filled the screen.

The Pooh Papers
ECONOMIST VALUES POOH RIGHTS AT $12 - $15 BILLION

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Calif., May 11, 2007 -- The 16-year legal morass surrounding royalties owed by Walt Disney Studios on U.S. and Canadian television and merchandising rights to Winnie The Pooh came into sharper focus today as the company that owns the lucrative rights, Stephen Slesinger, Inc., revealed that an independent economist hired to quantify them valued the rights at $12 to $15 billion. That staggering sum would be at risk at trial if ongoing settlement talks ordered by a Federal magistrate - first revealed in The American Reporter - fail to resolve issues between the two companies.

Constance
FOR RETIREES, THE WHEELS GO 'ROUND AND 'ROUND

by Constance Daley

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- The road trip home from Charlotte, N.C., by way of Washington, D.C., for one last look at the new cherry blossoms meant we would have to make an overnight stop before arriving home in St. Simons Island, Ga., by mid-day Monday. Fayetteville looked like just the place to rest our weary bones. Travel may be broadening but exhaustion is part of the package deal.

One Woman's World
IT'S A GOOD BUCK TO PASS

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Money is not evil; the words profit, business and free enterprise are not dirty words; and in proportion, there are just as many greedy poor folks as there are greedy rich folks.

Reporting: Los Angeles
L.A.P.D. MELEE STIRS A 'MAY DAY' CRY FOR HELP

by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Given the widely publicized police riot against immigration rights activists at MacArthur Park here on Tuesday, May 1, the term "May Day" is regaining its meaning as a nautical cry for help. You know - "May Day! May Day!"

Market Mover
THE IMUS STANDARD

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., May 7, 2007 -- It took veteran Washington freelance journalist Elaine Povich to finally shake me into an overdue explanation of my half-hearted defense of deposed talk show host Don Imus.

On Native Ground
THE WAR IS OVER! (IF BUSH WANTS IT TO BE)

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- And so it goes. The war on Iraq grinds on and President Bush has made it clear that nothing will change his mind about the conduct of war.

Make My Day
A FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- We have a boring way of speaking in the 21st Century. We don't speak with enough drama. We need more verve, more panache. We need more of that over-the-top Shakespearean way of speaking. Hollering "Get thee to a nunnery!" at the top of our lungs, the way Hamlet bellowed at Ophelia when he finally got tired of looking at her.

Momentum
WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Bill Moyers lost me during the first few minutes of his excellent PBS special, "Buying the War."

One Woman's World
THINKING ISN'T FATAL

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Lightning will not strike you dead nor will a dubious devil light matches between your toes while you sleep for daring to question the Koran, the Talmud, the King James version of the Christian bible or why you think as you do.

Hominy & Hash
GIRLS ON THE RUN

by Constance Daley

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If ever I were in the right place at the right time to fill my heart with joy, my eyes with the kind of tears that well up then flow unbidden over my face now smiling so broadly that words can not get through my lips, it was last Saturday morning.

Opinion
MORE ON IRELAND'S SHAME: SUPERHIGHWAY THROUGH CORK'S LEE VALLEY

by T.S. Kerrrigan

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- A few weeks ago we reported for the first time in any American publication the plans, already being implemented, for a superhighway through the Hill of Tara, one of the most important archaeological and historical sites in Ireland. Groups all over the world began protesting the government's action. Now it appears that the government may perpetrate another cultural and ecological outrage, the construction of yet another superhighway, this time through the Lee Valley near Cork.

Make My Day
YOU CAN'T DO THAT IN PUBLIC

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I was sitting with Karl, my friendly-neighborhood curmudgeon, in our favorite Scottish pub, when I became aware of a certain change in the atmosphere.

On Native Ground
IMPEACHMENT ISN'T DEAD YET IN VERMONT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt., April 28, 2007 -- One week ago, when I wrote about how the grassroots impeachment movement in Vermont was stalled by the Democratic leadership at the Statehouse, I truly believed that the cause was lost.

Momentum
FREE TO BE AN IDIOT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Until 9/11, I could take political correctness or leave it alone. But watching it run amok has reminded me of the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Hominy & Hash
WANDERING AND WONDERING

by Constance Daley

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- You have thought it yourself, I know you have. You're driving along some road in America - it doesn't matter if it's a highway or a byway - and the thoughts come to you. You wonder what you ever did to deserve this majesty while so many in the world are traipsing through raw sewage just getting on with their days.

On Native Ground
A MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPEACHMENT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Vermont had its moment in the sun last week when Garry Trudeau decided to do a story arc in Doonesbury on the impeachment movement here.

Momentum
DEAR, DEAR DUMMERSTON

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

One Woman's World
ON IGNORING THE DRUTHERS OF OTHERS

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- What's better than sex, money, power, social status, the latest car or the biggest house in the Somebody Suburbs?

Hominy & Hash
THE TREE ARMY

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was this time of year in 1933 that Senate Bill 5.598 was introduced, passed through both houses of Congress, and was sitting on President Roosevelt's desk just waiting for his signature. And sign it he did.

An American Reporter Special Report
MURDER AT MILE 63: WHO KILLED THE AMERICAN TEACHERS?

by S. Eben Kirksey and Andreas Harsono

Editor's Note: U.S. intelligence reports linked the Indonesian military to the 2002 murder of American schoolteachers in Timika, a mining town in the remote Indonesian province of Papua. Despite these reports, and opposition from the U.S. Congress, the Bush Administration removed a decade-old ban on funding for military education programs in Indonesia. In May 2006, the Bush Administration announced a new Pentagon program that will provide up to $19 million in additional funds for building Indonesian military capacity. Meanwhile, an Indonesian court charged that Antonius Wamang, an alleged Papuan guerrilla, was the ringleader of this attack and sentenced him to life in prison on Nov. 7, 2006. Six other alleged coconspirators were given sentences ranging from 18 months to seven years in jail. The same day that the sentences were handed down, Pentagon officials announced a "new era of military co-operation" with Indonesia. Yet, rigorous standards of evidence didn't prevail in this Indonesian court and questions remain about whether Wamang's group acted alone. This report by prize-winning American Reporter Indonesia Correspondent Andreas Harsono and University of California Indonesia scholar S. Eben Kirkesby, is based on internal police documents, court records, and eyewitness accounts. Antonius Wamang, Decky Murib, Patsy Spier and more than 50 other sources were interviewed in Timika, Jayapura, Biak, Jakarta and Washington D.C.

Murder at Mile 63
Part 1: A TRIP TO THE BIG CITY

On Native Ground
DIPLOMACY WORKS BETTER THAN BOMBS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The conservative noise machine has cranked up again, this time to sputter with outrage over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her trip last week to Syria to speak with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Momentum
THE SICKEST WINTER ON RECORD

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What did you get and how long did you have it? These are the hot topics of conversation up here right now.

One Woman's World
CENSORS ARE THE OBSCENITY

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- To protest loudly and adamently object to something somebody said, no matter how raunchy, racist or ridiculous, is to imply that the words fall on the ears of ignorant people incapable of deciding for themselves what is raunchy, racist and ridiculous.

On Native Ground
SOUNDING THE ALARM ABOUT 'PEAK OIL'

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) generally doesn't go too far out on a limb when it comes to predictions.

Momentum
IN DEFENSE OF CAPITALISM

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Was I sleeping? When did they revoke capitalism in Brattleboro? When did "profit" become a dirty word?

One Woman's World
LET US SING OF WAR NO MORE

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- He has the air of a Southern gentleman. He is soft-spoken, a good listener, considerate, very knowledgeable on national and international happenings - and I am fortunate to have him for a neighbor.

Book Review
'ORLÉANS EMBRACE:' A MAGNIFICENT TRIBUTE TO A CITY'S SOUL

by Ron Kenner

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- If you believe what's been displayed on controversial satellite imagery of New Orleans lately - a pristine, lush landscape with fully developed neighborhoods, all somehow magically put back together after Katrina - no doubt you believe in Santa Claus.

Make My Day
THE ART OF THE TOAST

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I'm one of those weirdos who enjoys public speaking. I've given countless speeches and presentations over the years, and am just as comfortable speaking to a room full of people as I am to one person. I even come from a lo-o-o-ong line of orators (Okay, it's really just my dad, the psychology professor, but he's been teaching for a lo-o-o-ong time, so I figure that counts.)

The Pooh Papers
DISNEY DUCKS POOH SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE ORDERED BY JUDGE

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES -- In a still-confidential hearing, a federal judge ordered the Walt Disney Co. to settle the 16-year dispute over Winnie The Pooh rights and royalties, The American Reporter has learned, but the studio has refused.

On Native Ground
NOT ONE MORE DIME FOR THIS IMMORAL WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the spring of 2003, the White House was still basking in the glow of what appeared to be a quick and decisive victory over the Iraqi military.

Momentum
IT'S ABOUT HONOR

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Maybe you remember Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery"? Each June, by lottery, a small town just like ours picks one of its residents. Then, to relieve the tensions and frustrations of the year, they get together and stone that person to death.

One Woman's World
WHO GOD IS

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- If knowing God were as simple as reading a book from cover to cover and then declaring "OK, now know God," we could pass a law requiring everyone in the world to read that same book and then we'd all know God and live happily ever after. Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

Hominy & Hash
THE SAGA OF EDWARD AND WALLIS

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It was certainly one noble gesture. The King of England could not in conscience marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, a twice-divorced American woman with two living ex-husbands. But he could give up being King and Emperor. Hey now, that's a thought! Did she discourage him. Did she say Edward, darling, aren't you being a bit rash?

Make My Day
THE THRILL OF HISTORY, THE AGONY OF MATH

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Narrator: It's a test of desire and learning, grit and knowledge, as each participant lives his or her lifelong dream. Each one has endured countless hours of grueling pain to reach this point.

On Native Ground
SEEKING ATONEMENT FOR WARS BOTH DISTANT AND PRESENT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Last summer, I wrote about Gary Canant, a Marine who served in Vietnam in 1968-69. He had just self-published a book of the letters he sent back to his bride, Maxie - some of which you can read at his Website, dearmaxie.com.

Momentum
COME TOGETHER RIGHT NOW OVER HIM

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I've often wondered if President George W. Bush, like disgraced President Richard Nixon before him, has an enemies list. If he does, he's lucky to be living in the computer age, because keeping track of so many names on paper would be difficult.

One Woman's World
THE SPRING OF WAR

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- In the quiet, white unfolding of the Bradford pear trees; in the golden grace of the nodding daffodils; in the symbolic sacredness of the dogwood trees, comes then the season known as Spring to renew our Winter spirits and remind us of eternal birthings.

MY PAST IS NOT MY PROLOGUE

Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The first half of my life was predictable. The only upgrade my business career enjoyed over my mother's first office was an electric typewriter. Then, when the type started to print faintly, it was time for a new ribbon, inked red on the top and black on the bottom - or was it the other way around?

Brasch Words
GAYS IN THE MILITARY SPEAK OUT AT LAST

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Capt. Joan Darrah (USN-ret.) was the Navy's first female intelligence officer.

On Native Ground
HOW VERMONTERS HELPED END THE COLD WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Twenty-five years ago this month, something else was on the annual town meeting warrants in Vermont besides school budgets and highways: stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

A-R Essay
THE PAST THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR YOUNGEST VETS

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., March 19, 2007 -- "Field of Dreams," "Back to the Future," and perhaps a dozen other films offer haunting plots about looking back and watching your own dad chatting, smiling, joking, and interacting in the years before you were even conceived.

Editorial
NOTES ON A LOST POEM

by Joe Shea

I was reading the story in Sunday's editions of The Age (an Australian daily) about the spreading fear of climatic and nuclear doom that now hangs over our era, and it reminded me of a poem I wrote back in 1981, one I worked very, very hard on and invested all of my self to write.

Momentum
THE SISTER I NEVER HAD

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Suddenly, I wasn't alone anymore. I had a sister.

Dungeons of Debt
EXXON-MOBIL CREDIT CARDS OFFER LITTLE HELP TO BILL-PAYERS

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- ExxonMobil is one of those companies that don't like to be contacted by telephone. They list no phones on their Websites for consumer credit-card holders, and their individual "On The Run" stores aren't always listed in the local phone book. Call the numbers via the store locator service at the oil giant's Websites, and no one may answer. If they do, they don't (in my experience) have any desire to be helpful. Call their media line a few minutes after 5 and you always get a recorded message: there's no point working late at a company that's already breaking all records for profit.

Market Mover
WALL STREET'S POLITICAL DISCONNECT

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M. -- Perhaps if Wall Street analysts paid more attention to political news than micro financial news, they would have a better handle on the roller coaster of global markets in recent weeks.

One Woman's World
FASHION FADS GET NAILED

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I refuse to do it. I absolutely refuse to do it. I don't care if they come with a padded wagon and a white jacket, I am not going to do it. I will never, never cut the tips of my fingernails straight across so they can be in style with today's fingernail fetish.

Hominy & Hash
THE LEGACY OF TYPHOID MARY: 'BOIL IT, COOK IT, PEEL IT, OR FORGET IT'

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Now, what does that title have to do with what I planned? I usually write about something or someone Irish this time of year, not the bywords of the CDC (Center of Disease Control). As it turns out, my original plan is right on target:

An A-R Editorial
IT'S TIME TO TAKE A STAND IN IRAQ

by Joe Shea

I can appreciate that Americans who have been lied to about the war in Iraq from even its inception would lose faith in a war that is going badly for the United States. Various Democratic proposals to bring all troops home from Iraq by a date certain is an understandable one. But I have never believed that Congress should usurp the war-making powers of the presidency, and I believe that a retreat from Iraq is ill-advised.

On Native Ground
CINDY SHEEHAN: AN UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Last May, I wrote a column about the experience of going to the Ritz-Carlton in Boston to interview Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Culture Crit
'TIME AFTER TIME' PUTS IMAGERY BACK IN THE CINEMA

By T.S. Kerrigan

LOS ANGELES -- I was raised, like every other kid of my generation, in the movie houses of post-war America. We may have been shamefully seduced by Hollywood, but were blessed by being spared the current deluge of television and mass media in our lives.

Make My Day
LIVING IN MOTHER GOOSE'S NEIGHBORHOOD

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Well, that's the last of the boxes. We're finally moved into our new home."

Momentum
HOW DOES AN ERA END?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- From the beginning of the long nightmare that has been the Presidency of George W. Bush, I have wondered how - or if - it might end.

One Woman's World
WHO DO YOU BELIEVE, MOSES OR HELEN SCHUCMAN?

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Since religious differences have caused more bloodshed than all the plain, ol' ordinary, insane wars over territory or somebody else's goodies, let's take it from the top and see if we can make some sense of it.

Hominy & Hash
WHEN MARCH COMES MARCHING IN

Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- I don't live where Spring bursts out of its comfort zone, that warm, moist place beneath snow-covered soil.

Make Ny Day
THE HEARTBREAK OF BLACKBERRYITIS

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- My BlackBerry is ruining my eyesight.

Brasch Words
JUST ANOTHER A TV SNOW JOB

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Editor's Note: With more than a foot of snow, sleet, and ice covering much of Pennsylvania, television news teams went into overdrive. This may be an accurate description of one of those minute-by-minute broadcasts.

On Native Ground
FOOL US TWICE? SHAME ON US

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's hard not to listen to the nonsense that the White House is furiously pumping out regarding Iran, and not think about the con job they pulled in 2002 and early 2003 to sell their plan to invade Iraq.

Momentum
LOVING THE SILVER BELLES

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Forget the Oscar winners. If you only see one film this year, see "Been Rich All My Life."

Market Mover
DOW'S PLUNGE NOT SO BAD AS IT SEEMS

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Feb. 28. 2007 -- Yesterday's six-year record dive in the Dow Jones Industrial Average should not be a great concern to longer-term investors, and in fact it's not all that it seems.

One Woman's World
ROYAL MANNERS ARE JUST JUST A ROYAL PAIN

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- If you want me to bow to you, be prepared to tell me what you did to earn it.

Hominy & Hash
IF JUDGE SEIDLIN GETS A SHOW, I'LL WATCH

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Last week, in the Circuit Court of Broward County, Fla., Americans witnessed proceedings in probate court presided over by Judge Jerry Seidlin with 18 lawyers, assorted witnesses, three major petitioners positioning their claims to the body of the late Anna Nicole Smith, ostensibly to bury her according to her expressed wishes, but more likely to lay claim to custody over her infant daughter, Danielynn, a potential heiress to an $80-million dollar fortune.

Market Mover
HUGOTOCRACY, BUSHMANIA AND FIDELISMO

by Mark Scheinbaum

PANAMA CITY, Panama, Feb. 25, 2007 - Is President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela going to be Latin America's next Great Liberator, or will he drown his people in a petroleum-filled River Styx of debt and dismay?

Make My Day
PRETEND PRINCESSES: ROYALTY OR ROYAL FLUSH?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I had imaginary friends when I was a young boy. Friends who would help me solve crimes, rescue people in danger, and other situations most four-year-old boys find themselves in, when said friends are Scooby Doo and his gang of meddling teenagers.

On Native Ground
WHO REALLY SUPPORTS THE TROOPS?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The recent votes in Congress on a non-binding resolution regarding President Bush's deployment of 21,500 additional troops to Iraq may be symbolic, but not for the reason you think.

Momentum
SHE DIED FOR YOUR SINS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- On February 8, 2007, at the age of 39, Anna Nicole Smith died for your sins, America.

Reporting: Panama
CARNAVAL IN PANAMA: HOLD THE BOOZE, PASS THE SOUP

by Mark Scheinbaum

PANAMA CITY, Panama, Feb. 20, 2007 -- The craziness which is Panama's annual Carnaval has turned out to be more about soup than booze, more about those leaving than those entering the city, and as usual, about a big dose of politics.

One Woman's World
HOW TO OWN A MANSION

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I live in a mansion that, by today's standards, probably cost less than Henry David Thoreau's $29 cabin in his 19h century New England woods.

Hominy & Hash
THE COLD CASE OF JUDGE CRATER, WARMED OVER

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Surprisingly, there were many calls, e-mails and letters from readers who enjoyed my article on the kidnapping of the Lindbergh Baby and events surrounding the 1932 event. Every once in awhile, there are stories that capture our attention and stay with us until decades later we still want to know more.

On Native Ground
THE BUSH TAX CUTS: A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt., Feb. 16, 2007 -- Take a look inside President Bush's proposed $2.9-trillion federal budget for fiscal year 2008, and you'll see more of the same old thing - more money for war-making and tax cuts for the rich, less money for everybody else.

Make My Day
CONFESSIONS OF A FOUR-EYES

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Daddy, how old were you when you got your glasses?" my oldest daughter asked.

Momentum
DEAR HILLARY: NOW THAT WE'RE FRIENDS...

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- First of all, may I call you Hillary? Running for president - with a Secret Service escort, no less - grants you gravitas, but your posters say "Hillary for President," so I guess you're comfortable with the informality.

One Woman's World
WHERE PERFECT ROSES GROW

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Women like Debbie B. hold more than their share of the sky up.

Hominy & Hash
THE 'COLD CASE' OF THE CENTURY

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- If I knew then what I know now, well, there is no doubt that I would be retired from a lifetime career in forensic science. I am drawn to my wide-screen television set each night for re-runs of "Law and Order," "Cold Case Files," "Forensics" and "48 hours." And, weekly, "Bones," "CSI, Crime Scene Investigation, Las Vegas." There are many programs I've seen more than twice. Originally, it was the street scenes of New York City that claimed my interest but now I realize it the crime and detection that draws me.

Make My Day
THE THREE PHASES OF PARENTING

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I recently became a proud father for the third time, and although I love and adore my new son, I've noticed my standards for obsessive care and compulsive hovering have lowered quite a bit.

Market Mover
THE UGLIER AMERICAN, AS SEEN FROM PANAMA

Mark Scheinbaum

BALBOA, PPanama, Feb. 11, 2007 -- When the White House "talking points" this week spread the headlines that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "is destroying his country," the reaction in Panama, the Crossroads of the Americas, seemed to be "Who complained when George W. Bush destroyed the United States of America?"

Opinion
IRELAND'S SHAME: A SUPERHIGHWAY ACROSS THE HILL OF TARA

By T.S. Kerrigan

LOS ANGELES -- Just when you thought the Celtic Tiger economy had done it worst, there's news that the Irish Government - in the name of progress, of course - is implementing a plan to build the M3 freeway through the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of the high kings of Ireland.

On Native Ground
CONGRESS CAN -AND SHOULD - STOP THE WAR IN IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - President Bush was recently asked whether his Administration would continue to increase the number of troops in Iraq despite growing congressional opposition. "Frankly, that's not their responsibility," he replied.

Momentum
ABOUT WRITING A COLUMN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A few weeks ago, I found myself in a Brooklyn wine bar participating in the Sunday Salon - where creative writers are invited to read their work. The audience was young and hip and I was remarkably out of place.

One Woman's World
THE MISSION OF THE LIVING

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The dead hear no birds singing, delight no more in the first daffodil of spring, feel no more the kiss of the wind on their face.

Hominy & Hash
SATCHEL GOT OUR ATTENTION, JACKIE GOT THE BID

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's only now, 60 years after African-American Jackie Robinson stepped up to the plate, that I can see the significance of that day in April, 1947. It was a pivotal day for the civil rights movement at a time when the words were not even in our vocabulary. Later we would learn that Martin Luther King, just a boy, took notice of Robinson and the way he took the jeers and insults and continued to play ball.

Make My Day
ARE YOU ETHICAL? TAKE A QUIZ AND FIND OUT

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Do you think you're ethical? Do you eat other people's lunch at work? Run red lights at 2:00 a.m.? At cash register "take a penny/leave a penny" cups, do you take or leave pennies? Then probably not.

Passings
JOSÉ MARÍA PERÉZ-RUIBAL, 88, WAS A DEVOTED FATHER, BRILLIANT SCHOLAR, AND DISTINGUISHED TEACHER

by Joe Shea

CUZCO, Peru, Jan. 30, 2007 [Updated Feb. 7, 2007]-- The streets of ancient Cuzco are a little emptier tonight. My father-in-law, his family's beloved "Papa José," passed away in a hospital in Cuzco at 8 p.m. after an illness of two months. Professor José María Peréz-Ruibal Gonzales was 88, and all of his family and the city he loved and the thousands he educated will miss him profoundly.

Weather Report
FLORIDA STORMS KILL 20; A LIGHT SHOW IN THE SKY

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 2, 7:48 a.m. ET [Updated Feb. 3, 4:44p.m. ET]-- A series of strong thunderstorms accompanied by devastating tornados, high winds, cascades of lightning and torrential rain moved inland eastward across south-central Florida from the Gulf Coast this morning, killing at least 20 people and leaving a miles-long quarter-mile swath of destructiion, news organizations reported.

On Native Ground
MOLLY IVINS: A MIGHTY VOICE IS STILLED

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's hard to accept that Molly Ivins is dead.

Market Mover
WHEN JOHNNY GOES MARCHING OFF, AGAIN

by Mark Scheinbaum

ATLANTA-HARTSFIELD AIRPORT, Jan. 31, 2007 -- I suppose George Washington bit his lips from the cold and emotion and watched them head across the Delaware to Trenton.

Momentum
WHERE MY LIFE WENT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Everything ages.

One Woman's World
BEWARE THE BANDERSNATCH: LIVING IN THE AGE OF SPAM

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Beware the human need to get something for nothing. You'll end up with nothing and the con artist will chuckle malevolently while skipping to the bank with your something.

Hominy & Hash
ON THE BURNING OF JOURNALS

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Both Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra sang on award-winning recordings of a song called "Little Girl Blue." It was a tender, compassionate string of lines feeling sorry for an old lady who had nothing left to do but: "Sit there, and count your fingers. What can you do? Old girl you're through. Sit there and count your little fingers, unlucky little girl blue."

A.R. Editorial
THE SELECTIVE CONSCIENCE OF THE LEFT

by Joe Shea

As editor of a publication in which political commentaries are almost always of the progressive variety, I make sure antiwar sentiment is well and freely spoken in The American Reporter. No nation has ever thrived by suppressing either dissent or the popular view, both of which characterize today's feeling against the war in Iraq. But the fact is I feel somewhat defensive when I try to enlist our readers in a different point of view, one that supports the war and even an expansion of our presence in Iraq.

Passings
REMEMBERING LOUIS TURENNE, A CONSUMMATE ACTOR AND FRIEND

by T.S. Kerrigan

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29, 2007 -- When friends and colleagues gather at Spirit Works in Burbank on February 3 to pay tribute to the life and career of French-Canadian actor Louis Turenne, there will probably be the usual tears and encomiums, but, having been to these types of gatherings in the past, I doubt very much whether the words spoken will match the stature of the man.

Make My Day
HALF A FISH STORY

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Shh! Be quiet or you'll scare the fish away."

On Native Ground
THE RIGHT TO DEATH WITH DIGNITY

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- No one wants to die, but if you were faced with a terminal illness, you would probably pick the way that columnist Art Buchwald died - not by his own hand, but in the way and place he chose.

Market Mover
FORD'S SURVIVAL NEEDS A TOUGHER IDEA

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Jan. 26, 2007 -- The magnitude of Ford Motor Co.'S financial trouble became apparent this week, and just as apparent is the realization that the car and truck maker which always touted "a better idea" needs a sales environment with some "tougher" ideas.

Momentum
SATIN AND SILK: THE GLORY OF NAN KEMPNER

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - The Broadway musical "Silk Stockings" tells the story of Ninotchka, a Communist-era Russian apparatchik who is sent to Paris and becomes seduced by sensuality.

One Woman's World
HAVE YOU BEATEN YOUR CHILD TODAY?

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- To spank, or not to spank, a child. To whip, to beat, to assault.

Hominy & Hash
TH-TH-TH-THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!

Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- No, no, Art Buchwald, you don't get to keep on keepin' on after you've taken your last bow, basking in the glow of your reputation. Kudos may continue but you don't get to deliver a prepared speech of gratitude. We know you knew we loved you. You know that you deserved the Pulitzer Prize and you know the answer to your own question: "What are we doing here?" You finally decided what you were doing here when you told a New York Times reporter, "...to make people laugh." And, yes, people did laugh.

On Native Ground
THE FALSE PROMISE OF NUCLEAR POWER

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Entergy, the energy conglomerate that owns of Vermont Yankee, the nuclear power plant that sits about a dozen miles from my doorstep, has launched an advertising blitz touting nuclear power as being "green."

Make My Day
DOES P.E.T.A. HATE ANIMALS?

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Despite their name, I think the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) doesn't like the very animals they're trying to protect. That's why they kill many of the pet cats and dogs they receive.

Momentum
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SIGHT IN THE WORLD

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At least the goldfinches are happy.

Reporting: England
PRESSURE MOUNTS IN BRITAIN FOR REVIEW OF VISA RULES

By Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, England, Jan. 16, 2007 -- The British government is under pressure from opposition parties, ruling MPs and some 50,000 highly skilled immigrants in the country to change a rule regarding visa that was imposed retropcatively in December on workers from around the globe.

One Woman's World
APOLOGY TO THE TEMPLE OF ME

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The glass of water in my left hand bounced up and down on my stomach and the tablespoon of peanut butter in my right hand bobbed up and down with my sobbing.

Hominy & Hash
WHAT IS 'THE AMERICAN WAY'?

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- During some drive-time easy listening, NPR's Garrison Keillor, with his typical Midwestern wit, was harking back to "those thrilling days of yesteryear," making up radio dramas with plots familiar to those of a certain age.

On Native Ground
GEORGE BUSH AND THE HIGH PRICE OF PRIDE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- On Wednesday, President Bush spoke to the nation about his Administration's new strategy for Iraq.

Editorial
THE NEW IRAQ STRATEGY: TOO LITTLE, BUT NOT TOO LATE

by Joe Shea

There is no easy way out of Iraq, and no easy way to strike an agreement for peace with that misguided part of the Muslim world that wants to destroy America and all it represents.

Market Mover
IRAQIS NEED MORAL OUTRAGE BEFORE PEACE AND STABILITY

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Jan. 13, 2007 -- The United States would have a much better chance in resolving the civil war in Iraq if at least one President of recent vintage grew up in the Hood. The Neighborhood. The Projects. The Ghetto. The City.

Make My Day
ASK YOUR DOCTOR HOW AWESOME CHIPOTLE IS

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Call the neighbors and wake the kids. It's time for Lake Superior State University's annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness.

Momentum
CAN VERMONT LEAD THE NATION?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Being ahead of the pack and leading it are two very different things.

One Woman's World
PUTTING POETRY IN MOTION

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Let the record show that I don't claim to be an expert in anything except maybe "How to get up again when the world knocks you to your knees, clips your wings, and slaps your dreams into the next county."

Make My Day
ALL THIS SPINNING IS MAKING ME DIZZY

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- After the New Year got started, I looked down at my stomach and realized I had broken last year's resolution. And the year before that. And the year before that.

Reporting: England
CHANGE IN VISA RULES ANGERS SKILLED BRITISH IMMIGRANTS

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, Jan. 4, 2007 -- Thousands of highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs from around the globe will be forced out of the United Kingdom following the introduction of "unjust" Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HMSP) rules in November, immigrant leaders say. The retroactive change in rules has raised questions about the credibility of a country known throughtout the world as a haven of democracy and justice, they add.

On Native Ground
THE BUTCHER'S BILL: 3,000 DEAD, AND COUNTING, IN IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The butcher's bill - the human and financial costs of the war in Iraq - continues to grow.

Momentum
DANCING IN THE END ZONE

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- America used to run on oil, but now it seems to run best on blood and death.

One Woman's World
SPIRITUAL EQUALITY IS A DIVINE RIGHT

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- We Americans talk a lot about rights. Constitutional rights. Civil rights. The rights of women. The rights of gays. The right to keep and bear arms, and even the rights of animals. We demand the right to live, work and play as we please, and we have the right not only to pursue happiness, but the right to define "happiness" for ourselves. And all these rights have in common the unspoken premise that we must not interfere in the rights of others.

Hominy & Hash
SOME STORIES OF THE LOST HAVE HAPPY ENDINGS

Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Two stories occupied my mind during the 12 days of Christmas this year; one was heard around the world, the other just among family and friends. What is sort of the same is the sense of loss they both began with, and what is different is the way they ended.

Make My Day
HOW TO ENGINEER IMPACTFUL DELIVERABLES

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It's that time of year when geeky humor columnists throughout the world (okay, only me) quiver with anticipation at what the new year will bring.

Brasch Words
BUSH, BIN LADEN CONTEND FOR NO. 1 BAD GUY CROWN

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Deep in a cave or high on a mountain, in Pakistan or Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Yemen, Uzbekistan or, maybe, sunning on the French Riviera, is a furious Osama bin Laden.

Passings: President Gerald Ford
FORD WAS THE RIGHT MAN AT THE RIGHT TIME

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Shakespeare wrote that, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."

Momentum
A PROBLEMATIC YEAR IN REVIEW

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- News flash! This just in. "Pope calls for peace." This also just in: President Bush calls for "surge" of American forces in Iraq.

One Woman's World
THE INVISIBLE GIFT

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The in-laws and the out-laws were there. The kids, cats, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers - and the two who were responsible for this annual shindig, Grandma and Grandpa.

On Native Ground
OUR DIRTY SECRET: THE GOVERNMENT IS BROKE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Financial Report of the United States Government, the summation of the 2006 fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, found that had the federal government used the same accounting practices used by the private sector, the 2006 federal budget deficit would have been $449.5 billion, not the widely reported $247.7 billion.

Momentum
PEACE & LOVE & HOLIDAY

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At a Hanukkah party the other night, I spent a long time looking at the mantel full of glowing candles. I felt blessed, peaceful and safe.

An A.R. Exclusive
DIABETES RESEARCHERS SAY CURE FINDINGS ARE 'SOLID'

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 18, 2006, 3:15 a.m. EST -- The scientist who serves as spokesman for a group of Canadian researchers that reported discovery of a cure for diabetes in mice in the peer-reviewed journal Cell on Friday says the ground-breaking findings are "solid" but the study's complex approach may take time to replicate. Clinical studies will begin in January, he said.

One Woman's World
LANGUAGE HAS A HAIRY CHEST

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Even the language fails women.

Hominy & Hash
BOOTLEG BOOZE AND BATHTUB GIN

Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This year when my December birthday rolled around, I had the pleasure of talking with friends and family who called with greetings and warm conversations - usually about how quickly the years are going by. "It seems we were just talking about this same thing and it was a whole year ago."

Make My Day
GOBBLEDYGOOK, DRIVEL, AND TRIPE - OH MY!

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- As we bring closure to the annual calendar, it behooves us to examine the various linguistic gaffes that occurred over the past 12 month period.

On Native Ground
IMPEACHMENT AS PRELUDE TO THE WHITE HOUSE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The conventional wisdom is that Americans have no stomach for impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

Momentum
LOVE, ACTUALLY

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is love the last social taboo?

One Woman's World
MAN, ARE THEY OFF BASE

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- He leads an all-male prayer group at his church. That means he hates women.

Hominy & Hash
MORE DOES NOT MEAN BETTER

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMON ISLAND, Ga. -- The checkout line was growing but customers moved along quickly. The associate - as sales clerks are called now - was a bright and bubbly girl with a brass name tag identifying her as Julie. She appeared to be a high school student working her first after-school job, and she couldn't be happier. It was contagious; she smiled, the customers smiled, the transactions ran smoothly and genuine harmony filled the air on this day when everyone was shopping for just the right things to buy for their family and friends.

Opinion
ISRAEL'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS MUST BE ON THE TABLE

by Joe Parko

JERUSALEM -- Ever since Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician, confirmed the existence of Israel's nuclear weapons program with his photographs of the secret underground bomb facility published in the London Sunday Times in 1986, the world has known Israel has been making nuclear bombs but has pretended they do not exist.

Make My Day
SILENT NIGHT? FAT CHANCE

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Okay kids, we need to buy one more Christmas present for Mommy. We don't have much time."

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?

Momentum
MAYBE, JUST SAY YES?

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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."

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Make My Day
BEWARE HOLIDAY FRUITCAKES OF DOOM!

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I don't like fruitcake.

On Native Ground
SO, WHAT'S THE PLAN FOR IRAQ?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Go big. Go long. Go home.

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 déja vu.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

One Woman's World
DON'T THINK PINK

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

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

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.

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.

On Native Ground
WHEN IS 'NEVER AGAIN?'

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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.

Momentum
BAREFOOT ON GLASS: AN ELECTION NIGHT DIARY

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This election almost killed me.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

by Chiranjibi 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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

One Woman's World
AMERICA'S LOST TRIBE

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

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

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.

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.).

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.

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."

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.

Momentum
A HILL OF BEANS

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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.

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.

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."

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?

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.

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.

Momentum
YOU MEAN SILENCE ISN'T GOLDEN ANYMORE?

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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.

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.

Momentum
KINDLED FLAMES

by Joyce Marcel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Will Shulman was buried Tuesday in a plainpine box.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Market Mover
FORECLOSURE NUMBERS ARE WARNING SIGNS FROM U.S ECONOMY

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Make My Day
THERE GOES THE SOLAR SYSTEM

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Quick, name the nine planets.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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).

Make My Day
TAKE TWO PILLS AND ... UHHHH

by Erik Deckers

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

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.

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.

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

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, Aug. 13, 2006 -- 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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 anymore.

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."

Market Mover
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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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?"

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.

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?"

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.

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.

On Native Ground
A TIME TO WORRY

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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."

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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 Guantánamo 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?"

Conster Nation
EULOGY FOR A CROOK

by W.R. Marshall

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Ken Lay died last week.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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 Guantánamo until they "win the war on terrorism."

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?

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.

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 licensor and buy future rights from descendants of British children's author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shephard, The American Reporter has learned.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

American Opinion
AMERICA'S NEW APPROACH TO IRAN

by William Fisher

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Make My Day
BARRY VS. THE HOONS

by Erik Deckers

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

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.

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!

American Opinion
SAUDI COSMETICS?

by William Fisher

OLD CHATHAM, N.Y. -- As human rights organizations expressed skepticism that detainees recently transferred from Guantánamo 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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Momentum
OF CONGREGATION AND CELEBRATION

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- First, a little story.

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.

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.

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 the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in giving every American the right not to vote.

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.

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.

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.

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.

On Native Ground
TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES WITH CONDOLEEZZA RICE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What does evil look like?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Make My Day
BILLIARDS IS NOT A SPORT, EITHER

by Erik Deckers

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

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.

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.

Momentum
A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A.R. Opinion
NEPAL'S MONARCHY HAS NO FUTURE

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

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

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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."

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.

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?"

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, consider a second clue from Paul Krugman in his recent book "The Great Unraveling" (Norton, 2004). The main question we is, why do newspapers gave President George Bush a free pass on his economic dishonesty in 2000 and 2001?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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 Guantánamo 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."

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.

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?

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Momentum
THANK YOU, BETTY FRIEDAN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- OK, so we had the vote.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Momentum
EVERY SPERM IS SACRED

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

Reporting: Costa Rica
COCAINE CRIME MARS PEACEFUL COSTA RICA

By Jesse Froehling

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

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Make My Day
MASSACHUSETTS: TOO LONG TO SPELL RIGHT

by Erik Deckers

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

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.

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.

Market Mover
SHOULD WE BELIEVE THE DOW?

by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Jan. 11, 2005 -- Headlines proclaimed that 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.

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.

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.

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?"

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.

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!

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.

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.

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."

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?"

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."

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.

American Opinion
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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Hadassah 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

American Opinion
DID YOU HEAR IT?

by William Fisher

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Media beatTHANKSGIVING GUILT, ASSUAGED BY HOLIDAY SHOPPING

by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- When Thanksgiving arrived, the media coverage was mostly predictable. Feature stories told of turkeys and food drives for the needy. We heard about why some people, famous and unknown, say they feel thankful. And, of course, holiday advertising campaigns launched via tv, radio and print outlets.

Momentum
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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."

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.

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., 4:36 p.m. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Massachusetts man who serves on the Democratic Executive Committee 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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

Momentum
ODE TO AMY GOODMAN

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Eye On The Hurricane
WAITING FOR WILMA

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 24, 2005, 1:44 a.m. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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 café blog.

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.

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.

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

by Ron Kenner

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 chimeS in Louisiana didn't do it.

American Essay
IS AMERICA AT THE END OF GREATNESS?

by Ahmed Bouzid

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

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.

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.

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.

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"

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."

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.

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

by 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.

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.

American Essay
WAITING FOR THE TALKING POINTS

by Ahmed Bouzid

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

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.

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 antiwar movement.

Momentum
ALMOST A MILLION-DOLLAR BABY

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Media Beat
BLAMING THE antiwar 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dungeons Of Debt
AS BANKS GET READY TO DOUBLE MIMIMUM CARD PAYMENTS, CLIENTS GET READY TO RESPOND

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. Aug. 10, 2005 -- 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.

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

by Ron Kenner

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, José Melendez-Perez, refused to give the usual cursory glance, as he explained it, to an entrant from Saudi Arabia.

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.

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?

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.

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."

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.

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, antiwar 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?"

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.

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.

On Native Ground
REJECTING FEAR IS THE KEY TO STOPPING TERROR

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Right Side
WAR IS THE ANSWER

by Vance McDonald

AU.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.

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.

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.

Make My Day
WHAT ABOUT 'IDEA FAUCETS?'

by Erik Deckers

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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 Guantánamo 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.

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."

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Brasch Words
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."

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.

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.

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 déja vu all over again." But, day after day, it's repeated -either in conversation, news reports or in this article itself.

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.

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.

On Native Ground
LIES OF THE WAR-MAKERS ARE NO LONGER IGNORED

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is the tide finally turning?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Media Beat
WAR MADE EASY: FROM VIETNAM TO IRAQ

by Norman Solomon

urgent.

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.

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.

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.

Media Beat
POLITICAL BLUSTER AND THE FILIBUSTER

by Norman Solomon

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

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.

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?"

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.)

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Brash Words
STAR SPANGLED AMERICA

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa.--José Feliciano gave it a new beat.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM BUSH-CHENEY MEDIA ENTERPRISES

by Norman Solomon

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

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

On Native Ground
JOURNALISM SHOULD NOT BE AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Who is a journalist?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

American Opinion
WHY LIBERALS DON'T TOLERATE CAMPUS CONSERVATIVES

by John T. Plecnik

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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."

On Media
THE MAYORAL CIRCUS PARADE COMES TO TOWN

by Robert Gelfand

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

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?

On Native Ground
DEAN'S A GOOD START, BUT DEMOCRATS MUST DO MORE

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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..

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.

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.

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.

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

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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... .

On Native Ground
AND THEY CALL IT DEMOCRACY

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Democracy is more than voting.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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?

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.

Media Beat
MEDIA SENSE AND SENSIBILITIES

by Norman Solomon

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

Jill Stewart
FOREIGN CONVICTS COST CALIFORNIA $4 BILLION A YEAR

by Jill Stewart

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

On Media
JOURNALISTIC OBJECTIVITY RECONSIDERED

by Robert Gelfand

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

Make My Day
ARE YOU A CHRISTMAS CLOTHES GEEK?

by Erik Deckers

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

On Native Ground
A DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN CREATED THE SOCIAL SECURITY 'CRISIS'

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Media Beat
TAILGATING THE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY

by Norman Solomon

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

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 this paper on the map, He died peacefully late at night on October 26 at Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City, several days after heart surgery to replace a failing mitral valve.

Brasch Words
A FAILURE TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

by Walter Brasch

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

Momentum
AMERICA AIN'T SINGING

by Joyce Marcel

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

On Native Ground
THE LONESOME DEATH OF GARY WEBB

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Jill Stewart
HOW TO STAMP OUT CHRISTMAS

by Jill Stewart

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

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

by Robert Gelfand

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

American Essay
A WALK DOWN CHICKEN STREET

by Chris Verrill

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

Opinion
WANTED: AN HONEST BROKER FOR THE MIDDLE EAST

by Sam Bahour

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

Opinion
KEY ABORTION DECISIONS HAVE LOST THE PLAINTIFFS

by Steve Casey

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

On Native Ground
JESUS CHRIST AND THE GOP

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Make My Day
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED A PLUNGER?

by Erik Deckers

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

Ink Soup
A SHOT OF CANADIAN

by Clarence Brown

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

Momentum
THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE

by Joyce Marcel

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

On 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?

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?

On Media
A WAKE-UP CALL TO LIBERALS

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON? IT MAY COME SOONER THAN YOU THINK

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
ACT THE ANGEL, BE THE BRUTE

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Erik Deckers

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

Ink Soup
THE UNVANISHED

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
THE HOUSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

by Constance Daley

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

On Media
IT'S TIME FOR INTERNET II

by Robert Gelfand

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

Media Beat
MEDIA JITTERS IN THE NUCLEAR AGE

by Norman Solomon

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

Jill Stewart
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AND THE 'SAFE SEAT' SCAM

by Jill Stewart

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

On Native Ground
THE POLITICS OF DIVISION CAN BE OVERCOME

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
BEYOND THE RED AND BLUE

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
SUCH A LONG WAY, BABY

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Nov. 16, 2004 -- 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.

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

by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, nOV. 15, 2004 -- It was a populist dream come true. The effort pf two talk show hosts to unseat Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) was presented to the voters of his district as a chance to rise up and defeat a comfortably entrenched politician who had strayed from the fold. The plan ultimately failed, but the margin was surprisingly narrow, considering the district and the candidate's previous track record.

Reporting: Indonesia
INDONESIAN CHINESE FACE ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION

by Andreas Harsono

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

On Native Ground
MANDATE? WHAT MANDATE?

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

American Essay
WHEN THE BODY BAGS COME HOME

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

Momentum
ANGRY IN VERMONT: 11 WAYS TO FIX THE WORLD

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Margie Burns

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

Hominy & Hash
EMBEDDED WITH THE MOB

by Constance Daley

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

Make My Day
I KNOW BILL CLINTON, TOO

by Erik Deckers

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

Brasch Words
A BONE OF CONTENTION

by Rosemary R. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- I heard it.

On Native Ground
WE TRIED. WE FAILED. WE MUST TRY ONCE AGAIN.

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
THE DAY-AFTER-ELECTION-DAY BLUES

by Joyce Marcel

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

Campaign Trail
A BLAZE OF HUMANITY AMID THE MACHINES

by Joe Shea

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

On Native Ground
THE DIVINE MADNESS OF PRESIDENT BUSH

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Brasch Words
THE VANISHING TRUTH ABOUT IRAQ

by Walter M. Brasch

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

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

by Joe Shea

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

On Native Ground
THE NAKED PRESIDENT

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Make My Day
LIKE SUPERMAN AND LEX LUTHOR

by Erik Deckers

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

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

by Joyce Marcel

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

Ink Soup

DROPPING EAVES

by Clarence Brown

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

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

by Joe Shea

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

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

by Saray Ramírez Vindas

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

Debate Review
BUSH RIGHTS HIS SHIP, KERRY SAILS ON

by Joe Shea

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

On Native Ground
JOHN KERRY AND THE POLITICS OF FLEXIBILITY

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Make My Day
JUST DON'T HIT IT THERE!

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE DAUGHTER

by Joyce Marcel

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

Ink Soup
THE BIRDMAN OF SHILSHOLE

by Clarence Brown

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

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

by Jill Stewart

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

Brasch Words
APPLAUDING ONLY THE 'RIGHT' ENTERTAINERS

by Walter M. Brasch

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

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

by Jay Brodell

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

First Person
AMERICA'S BEST HOSPITAL WAS THEIR WORST NIGHTMARE

by Dan Walter

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

Make My Day
KIDS SAY THE SCARIEST THINGS

by Erik Deckers

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

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

by Joe Shea

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

On Native Ground
DEBATES WILL REVEAL THE 'INTELLIGENCE GAP'

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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

By Jay Brodell

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

Momentum
SERMON FROM A DIFFERENT, FAR BETTER MOUNT

by Joyce Marcel

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

The 2004 Debates
WHO DOES GOD WANT?

by Mister Thorne

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

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

by Andreas Harsono

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

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

by Margie Burns

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

On Media
EDUCATION IS NOT THE PANACEA

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
BUSH FLOUTED U.N. CHARTER WHEN HE INVADED IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
PROUD TO BE A DEAD ARMADILLO

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Andreas Harsono

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

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.

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?

Momentum
BEING THANKFUL FOR SMALL FAVORS

by Joyce Marcel

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

Jill Stewart
CALIFORNIA'S LEGISLATURE STILL UNMOORED FROM REALITY

by Jill Stewart

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

Ink Soup
TOENAILS AND KEROSENE

by Clarence Brown

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

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

by Constance Daley

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

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

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

Special Report
POSSIBLE A-TEST REPORTED IN NORTH KOREA

by Joe Shea

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

Reporting: Indonesia
INDONESIAN LEADERS STILL IN DENIAL AFTER EMBASSY BLAST

by Andreas Harsono

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

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

by Syful Islam

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Sept. 11, 2004 -- The garment workers of Bangladesh may be the most deprived labor force in the world. Most of are paid only 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.

On Native Ground
A CURE FOR REPUBLICAN LIES: ROOSEVELT'S IDEALS

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Media Beat
THE BRAVE POSTURING OF ARMCHAIR WARRIORS

by Norman Solomon

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

Make My Day
WHAT ABOUT 'EUROPEAN CARRYALL?'

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY KILLER

by Joyce Marcel

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

Ink Soup
ICH-I-RO!

by Clarence Brown

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

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

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

Reporting: Nepal
A NATION WEEPS FOR INNOCENTS DEAD IN IRAQ

by Chiranjibi 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.

Hurricane Journal
FRANCES FILLS THE SCREEN

by Joe Shea

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

On Native Ground
HATS OFF TO THE PROTESTERS IN NEW YORK

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Media Beat
ROVE'S BRAIN AND MEDIA MANIPULATION

by Norman Solomon

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

Make My Day
DO THEY GIVE GOLD MEDALS FOR COMPLAINING?

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
ANDY WARHOL MEETS SMALL TOWN AMERICAN VALUES

by Joyce Marcel

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -- One has to wonder.

Ink Soup
HELP! THAT MAGAZINE IS FOLLOWING ME!

by Clarence Brown

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

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

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
THE GOP STRATEGY: ATTACK, DISTORT, LIE, REPEAT

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Make My Day
OLYMPICS, OLYMPICS, NEENER NEENER NEENER

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
GOING FOR GOLD

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Syful Islam

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

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

by Ron Kenner

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

On Native Ground
BOOTS AND FLAGS

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Media Beat
HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND LEARN TO LOVE RUMSFELD

by Norman Solomon

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

Momentum
IF YOU ARE IN LABOR, PRESS 1

by Joyce Marcel

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

Make My Day
ANOTHER REASON NOT TO ORDER PEA SOUP

by Erik Deckers

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

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

by Constance Daley

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

On Media
HOW THE YALE MEN FLUNKED SCIENCE

by Robert Gelfand

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

Hurricane Journal
CHARLEY BEARS DOWN, FLORIDA BEARS UP

by Joe Shea

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

On Native Ground
IT'S THE POST-INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY, STUPID!

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

On Media
HE WAS DIFFERENT THAN I EXPECTED

by Robert Gelfand

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

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

by Norman Solomon

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

Momentum
AN UNCONVENTIONAL WEEK

by Joyce Marcel

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

On Native Ground
TO WIN, DEMOCRATS MUST BE BOLD AND THINK BIG

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Market Mover
THE PREZ WHO CRIED "WOLF?"

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

On Native Ground

WHEN WILL A REAL DEMOCRAT RUN FOR PRESIDENT?

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Make My Day
STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES

by Erik Deckers

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

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

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

by Joe Shea

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

On The Campaign Trail
BY AND FOR A NEW WORLD

by Joe Shea

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

On The Campaign Trail
BOSTON IS A MOVEABLE FEAST

by Joe Shea

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

On Media
A TWIN CITIES EXPERIMENT IN E-POLITICS

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
'OUTFOXED' AND THE MYTH OF THE LIBERAL MEDIA

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
AT WAR WITH SUMMER

by Joyce Marcel

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

Ink Soup
WASTE PAPER

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
WHAT MAKES A HERO?

by Constance Daley

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

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

by Joe Shea

RICHMOND, Va., July 18, 2004 -- If Sen. John Kerry wants to be elected President of the United States, he'd better hurry down to the Sidewalk Café 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.

Ink Soup
THE ANTEBANG

by Clarence Brown

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

Media Beat
TRIAL BALLOONS, TERROR, AND THE ELECTION

by Norman Solomon

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

On Native Ground
PANTS ON FIRE AT THE MINISTRY OF FEAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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

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

by Joe Shea

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

Hominy & Hash
A TRIGGERING OF THE IMAGINATION

by Constance Daley

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

On Media

THE 'CREDIBILITY GAP' RETURNS

by Robert Gelfand

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

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

by Norman Solomon

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

BANGLADESHI FIRM MISUSED TRADE CREDITS, U.S., E.U. CHARGE

by Syful Islam

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

Moore's Triumph
WE NEED 'M0ORE' SUBJECTIVITY IN JOURNALISM

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Moore's Triumph
MORE THOUGHTS ON MICHAEL MOORE

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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

by Andreas Harsono

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

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

by Syful Islam

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

Ink Soup
WHO WHOM?

by Clarence Brown

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

On Native Ground

IRAQIS WANT REAL GOVERNMENT, NOT PUPPET SHOWS

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Reporting: Bangladesh

BANGLADESH MOVES TO RESTRICT CHEMICAL WEAPONS

by Syful Islam

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

Momentum
WHEN MADMEN RULE THE ASYLUM

by Joyce Marcel

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

Reporting: Bangladesh
U.S. ROLE IS CRITICIZED IN BANGLADESH

by Syful Islam

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

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."

Make My Day
HOW TO WRITE

by Erik Deckers

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

Ink Soup
NOW THIS

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
WHEN IS A PROSTITUTE NOT A PROSTITUTE?

by Constance Daley

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

On Media
A SITE THAT DOES SOME HEAVY LIFTING

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
ON TORTURE, IS BUSH ABOVE THE LAW?

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
WORLD PEACE, ONE FRIENDSHIP AT A TIME

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

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 themself, as each new tear-streaked face is caught for a moment by the C-Span camera, "Fools! Fools! Fools!"

Momentum
I LOVE A PARADE

by Joyce Marcel

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

American Essay
WHY NADER'S WRONG TO RUN

by John Pearce

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

On Native Ground
RONALD REAGAN WITHOUT TEARS

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

On Media
WHO OWNS YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS?

by Robert Gelfand

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

Hominy & Hash
ROADS OF MEMORY, TAKEN ONCE AGAIN

by Constance Daley

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

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

by Larry Bridwell

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

On Native Ground
HOW AHMED CHALABI CONNED THE NEO-CONS

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF DAFFODILS

by Joyce Marcel

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

Ink Soup
LIFE, TOP OF THE EIGHTH

by Clarence Brown

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

Memorial Day 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.

Momentum
WHO DO YOU LOVE? HOW DO YOU LOVE?

by Joyce Marcel

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

Market Mover
LESSONS LEARNED FROM BOCA TO RATON

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

On Media
AN EFFECTIVE VOICE FOR LIBERALS

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
SEARCHING FOR SCAPEGOATS AT ABU GHRAIB

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
A FAILURE OF JOURNALISM

by Joyce Marcel

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

On Media
MICHAEL MOORE TURNS THE TABLES

by Robert Gelfand

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

Ink Soup
UFF DA!

Clarence Brown

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

On Native Ground
TORTURE IN IRAQ: A FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

by Joyce Marcel

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

Make My Day
MY ROD AND REEL, THEY COMFORT ME

by Erik Deckers

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

Editorial
TO MOM, ON HER 90TH BIRTHDAY

by Joe Shea

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

Ink Soup
OF TREES AND THE TREE

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL

Constance Daley

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

Brasch Words
BUSH IS RUNNING THE SHIP OF STATE AGROUND

by Walter M. Brasch

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

On Native Ground
FAITH MEETS REALITY, AND REALITY LOSES

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Guest Commentary
FALLUJAH: HIGH TIDE OF EMPIRE?

by Pat Buchanan

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

Momentum
THE GRIN THAT DESTROYS THE WORLD

by Joyce Marcel

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

Hominy & Hash
SHAME ON THEM; SHAME ON US

by Constance Daley

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

Commentary
'SYSTEMIC' IRAQ ABUSE EXTENDS TO THE TRUTH

by John Janney

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

Ink Soup
ADVICE TO AUTHORS

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
SHAME ON THEM; SHAME ON 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.

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.

Make My Day
QUIET BACK THERE!

by Erik Deckers

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

On Native Ground
LIFTING THE SHROUD OF SECRECY ON BUSH'S WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
HER BEAUTIFUL MIND

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Constance Daley

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

Ink Soup
A TALE MURDER IN NASSAU HALL

by Clarence Brown

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

On Media
FREEDOM TO DO WHAT?

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
MAKING THE MONSTER

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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

by Norman Solomon

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

Make My Day
IT'S NATIONAL APRIL MONTH!

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
THE GOLDEN MEAN IS GONE

by Joyce Marcel

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

Editorial
THE KIDS THE PRESIDENT LEFT BEHIND ON SEPT. 11

by Joe Shea

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

Ink Soup
PERHAPS EVEN THIS

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
A HEART FULL OF IRONY

by Constance Daley

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

On Media
NOT MUCH 'PRESS' IN THIS CONFERENCE

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
BUSH MUST CONFRONT HIS MESS IN IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
AMERICA REAPS THE WHIRLWIND

by Joyce Marcel

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

Reporting: Nepal
NEPALESE DEMOCRACY IN PERIL AS SITUATION DETERIORATES

by Chiranjobi audyal

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

Ink Soup
HAPPY EASTER?

by Clarence Brown

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

On Media
TRADING OUR WAY TO RUIN

by Robert Gelfand

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

Hominy & Hash
THE PROVERBIAL BOTTOM LINE

by Constance Daley

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

Market Mover
BILL OF RIGHTS: IMBEDDED, INDEBTED, REGRETTED?

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

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

Editorial
CELEBRATING OUR NINTH ANNIVERSARY

by Joe Shea

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

On Native Ground
MERCENARIES IN IRAQ: OUTSOURCING A CORPORATE WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
IN IRAQ, OUR HAND IS IN THE FIRE NOW

by Joyce Marcel

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

Breaking News
VOTERS SHUT DOWN WAL-MART PLOY

by Joe Shea

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

Ink Soup
AND ANOTHER THING

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
IN DALEY HOUSEHOLD, ACRONYMS 'R' US

by Constance Daley

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

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

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

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

On Media
LIBERAL RADIO IS FINALLY ON THE AIR

by Robert Gelfand

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

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

by Joe Shea

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

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.

Momentum
A REDUNDANT, ABUNDANT AMERICA

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Lionel Rolfe

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

Ink Soup
THE PURLOINED PURSE

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
KEEP IN TOUCH

by Constance Daley

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

On Media
THE TIMES TELLS IT STRAIGHT

by Robert Gelfand

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

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

by Andreas Harsono

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

On Native Ground
U.S. SLOW TO LEARN TRUTH OF SEPT. 11

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Media Beat
THE MEDIA POLITICS OF 9/11

by Norman Solomon

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

Make My Day
SLAPPIN' TO THE OLDIES

by Erik Deckers

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

Brasch Words
FDA'S EPHEDRA BAN A PROBLEM FOR MANY

by Walter M. Brasch

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

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

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

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

On Media
THE ARTS IN PERIL IN LOS ANGELES

by Robert Gelfand

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

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

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

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

On Native Ground
AMERICAN VOTERS TAKE HEED: SPAIN SPEAKS TO YOU

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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.

Campaign Trail
JOHN KERRY CLINCHES DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION

by Joe Shea

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

Momentum
A TOWN MEETING MEA CULPA

by Joyce Marcel

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

On Native Ground
KUCINICH SHOULD STAY IN THE RACE

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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.

On Native Ground
GREENSPAN HANDS DEMOCRATS THE PERFECT ISSUE

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Make My Day
WHY NOT A PULITZER FOR HUMOR?

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
THE WONDERFUL WOMEN OF FILM

by Joyce Marcel

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

Campaign Trail
KERRY'S SUPER TUESDAY WAS 'TRULY SUPER'

by Joe Shea

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

Ink Soup
A MIXED BAG OF MAD COMPLAINTS

by Clarence Brown

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

Hominy & Hash
A MEDITATION ON THE GIFT OF LENT

by Constance Daley

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

On Media
BY THEIR MAILERS WE SHALL JUDGE THEM

by Robert Gelfand

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

American Speeches
FIGHTING A COMPREHENSIVE WAR ON TERRORISM

by Senator John F. Kerry

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

On Native Ground
MORE THAN NADER, DEMOCRATS SHOULD FEAR COMPLACENCY

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Commentary
NADER'S A MESSAGE, NOT A CAMPAIGN

by John Janney

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

Make My Day
THE SPRINGTIME PREDICTIONS OF SCIENCE

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
12 REASONS NOT TO BAN GAY MARRIAGES

by Joyce Marcel

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

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.

Make My Day
THE ADVENTURES OF LETTERMAN

by Erik Deckers

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

On Native Ground
DEAN COULDN'T BEAT ENEMIES IN HIS PARTY

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Momentum
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE AMERICAN DREAM

by Joyce Marcel

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

Campaign 2004
DEAN QUITS RACE, BUT HIS CAMPAIGN CONTINUES

by Joe Shea

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

Reporting: Central America
RADIO JOURNALIST'S MURDER CASE UNRAVELING

By Jay Brodell

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

On Native Ground
FREEDOM OF THOUGHT? NOT IN BUSH'S AMERICA

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Make My Day
BECAUSE IT'S TIME TO GO

by Erik Deckers

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

Momentum
A PICTURE AND A GRAVE

by Joyce Marcel

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

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

by Joe Shea

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

Ink Soup
NOTE TO A NIECE

BY Clarence Brown

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

Campaign 2004
MAKE-OR-BREAK PRIMARIES FOR CLARK AND EDWARDS

by Joe Shea

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

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

by Constance Daley

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

Brasch Words
THE PRESIDENT AS SPORT

by Walter M. Brasch

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

On Native Ground
FOR BUSH, A BOGUS PROBE OF BOGUS WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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."

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

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

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

by Clarence Brown

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

Happy 93rd Birthday, Dad!

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

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Campaign Trail

KERRY WINS AGAIN

by Joe Shea

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

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

by Joe Shea

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

Campaign Trail
KERRY TEAM GROWS AS PRIMARY WIN APPEARS CERTAIN

by Joe Shea

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

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

by Erik Deckers

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

Campaign Trail
KERRY CAMPAIGN BUOYED BY IOWA WIN

by Joe Shea

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

On Native Ground
LOOKING BACK AT IOWA, LOOKING AHEAD AT NEW HAMPSHIRE

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Ink Soup
MEMO TO THE DYING: NEATNESS COUNTS. AND COUNTS.

by Clarence Brown

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

Campaign 2004
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.

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.

On Native Ground
WILL BUSH BRING BACK THE DRAFT?

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

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

by Jill Stewart

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

Make My Day
TODAY IS OPPOSITE DAY, NYAH NYAH NYAH!

by Erik Deckers

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

Hominy & Hash
THE INTERMINABLE TERMINAL: OFF THE ROAD AGAIN

by Constance Daley

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

On Native Ground
THE RIGHT'S NEWEST DEAN SMEAR TACTIC: HE'S CRAZY

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

On Media
MICHAEL FUMENTO AND MYTH-BUSTING

by Robert Gelfand

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

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

by Jill Stewart

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

Momentum
2003: THE YEAR OF PROTESTING CREATIVELY

by Joyce Marcel

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

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, WiFiaccess points, satellite radio, 3G cell phones - when will the cornucopia trickle to a stop?

Ink SoupFREE AT LAST

by Clarence Brown

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

On Media
FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE: THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE MEDIA

by Robert Gelfand

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

On Native Ground
WHAT WE MUST FIGHT FOR IN 2004

by Randolph T. Holhut

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

Make My Day
WHAT IF I QUADRUPLED IT?

by Erik Deckers

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

Market Mover
WHEN DO THE BANK SCANDALS START?

by Mark Scheinbaum

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

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.

Reporting: Indonesia
SUHARTO PARTY IN COMEBACK MODE AS ELECTIONS NEAR

y Andreas Harsonob

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.

Momentum
A LEADER TO LEAD US ALL

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This is what I want for Christmas: a country united, and a leader who leads us all. That's all.

The American Reporter
Hails and Salutes

100 Years of Flight
1903 - 2003

Opinion
IS IT TIME TO OVERRULE THE SUPREME COURT?

by Jeff Milchen

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- I'm two states removed from California, and I don't know who I'd have supported in San Francisco's recent runoff election for mayor. But I do know this: democracy lost.

Breaking News
POWELL HAS SURGERY FOR PROSTATE CANCER

by Joe Shea

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2003, 9:50am -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, the symbol of his country's diplomacy as well as the diversity of its leadership, will undergo surgery for prostate cancer at Walter Reed Army Meeical Center in Washington today, MSNBC reported.

SADDAM CAPTURED NEAR TIKRIT; IRAQIS JUBILANT

by Joe Shea

FROM NEWS SERVICES, Dec. 14, 2003 -- Saddam Hussein, the feared and despotic ruler of Iraq for more than two decades, was captured alive at a rural farmhouse by the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division Wolverine Combat Team No. 1, a unit of the United States Army's Task Force Iron Horse, near his birthplace of Tikrit at about 8 p.m. Baghdad time Saturday night, the head of the Iraq Authority said Sunday morning.

Analysis
SADDAM'S GONE, BUT IRAQ IS STILL A QUAGMIRE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The capture of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein on Sunday was a great coup for the United States.

On Media
POLITICAL REFORM AND THE INTERNET MEDIA

by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- In a republic that prides itself on a free press as the defender of democracy, it is remarkable how little the press is willing to expose and oppose candidates who lie, distort, and otherwise sling mud in the end stage of campaigning. Attacks may come in the form of television spots or political mailers timed to arrive in the final hours before an election. In each case, the advantage goes to the candidate who has the money to carry out the attack.

Market Mover
AT THE MULTI-CENTER MALL OF PANAMA, IT'S CHRISTMAS-MANIA

by Mark Scheinbaum

PANAMA CITY, Panama, Dec. 13, 2003 - Both the temperature and humidity are around 85 and in full red dress uniform - hat, boots, beard, gloves - Santa Claus was waving at traffic on Avenida Balboa, and well, to be honest, as shoppers walked by they whiffed the fact that St. Nick was getting, shall we say, a little ripe.

On Native Ground
LET 'EM EAT PEPPER SPRAY: THE 'MIAMI MODEL' FOR PROTESTERS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Comedian and political activist Barry Crimmins thinks next year will be "the summer of hate" - the moment when the opposition to everything that the Bush administration stands for will reach a boiling point.

Momentum
A LEFT-WING VS. A RIGHT-WING DEATH

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It seems as if no one comes fresh to new experiences these days; we're all carrying too much baggage in our minds.

Brasch Words
WHEN HONEST REPORTING GIVES WAY TO GLITZ

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The relationship between the tv networks and nation's publicists is incestuous. Most guests on the morning news shows and the late evening talk shows are actors and musicians plugging their latest releases.

On Media
HARSH TONE OF POLITICAL ADS HURTS DEMOCRACY

by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES -- Watching the mass media cover political advertising is like watching one of those teen horror movies. Why don't the kids come out of the basement and escape from the deranged killer? Why don't newspapers do the most obvious things to protect democracy?

Ink Soup
SUNT LACRIMAE RERUM

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- When I was growing up in the Thirties in South Carolina I absorbed, along with the rest of the local culture, the rule that forbade men to cry. John 11:35 - "Jesus wept" - to the contrary notwithstanding, men, real men, did not weep.

Hominy & Hash
BESIDE MYSELF

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- As the youngest of nine children, I was always so proud to sit at that table literally surrounded by brothers and sisters. One by one over the years, there became fewer of us still standing. We've lessened our number but still increased the size of the family with the boys and girls of our next generation.

An A.R. Exclusive
POOH'S GOT A NEW PAL IN DISNEY FEUD: JOHNNY COCHRAN

by Joe Shea

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 6, 2001 -- The man who freed O.J. Simpson from the clutches of the law in his celebrated murder case will soon go nose-to-nose with the only man who ever prosecuted Simpson successfully - in civil court - for the murders of his wife Nicole and waiter Ron Goldman - in the mutlibillion-dollar suit over royalties and future rights to Winnie the Pooh.

Momentum
BLAMING MICHAEL JACKSON ON BEETHOVEN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I may be one of the few people in the United States today who thinks Michael Jackson is innocent of child abuse.

On Native Ground
DEAN ISN'T THE POLITICIAN WE THINK

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We still find it hard to believe, here in Vermont, that our former governor, Howard Dean, is the current front-runner for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

PRESIDENT'S SURPRISE VISIT TO IRAQ DELIGHTS U.S. TROOPS

by Joe Shea

THANKSGIVING DAY -- Renewing a tradition as old as Valley Forge, the nation's Commander-in-Chief went to dinner with his soldiers at the battlefront today to celebrate the most American of holidays, the traditional feast of Thanksgiving.

Ink Soup
SOUP REDIVIVUS

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE. Wash. -- Dr. Soup walked, no, make that lurched into the office the other day and started talking to us all as if he'd been here for the last few months every day.

An A.R. Editorial
ON TO IRAN

by Joe Shea

BARDENTON, Fla., Nov. 20, 2003 -- With the revelation just minutes ago that Osama bin Laden is in Iran with his top aide and planning terrorist actions there, a critical hour in the War on Terrorism has arrived.

In Grateful Memory
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963
35th President of the United States

On Native Ground
40 YEARS LATER, HIS PROMISE STILL HAUNTS US

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - It's hard to keep from doing it.

Momentum
IT'S THE PARADIGM, STUPID

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I heard on the radio that presidential candidate Joe Lieberman is running ads in New Hampshire attacking Howard Dean for his Confederate flag comment and for not accepting federal campaign financing.

Market Mover
TO FLORIDA, FREE TRADE COULD MEAN A CONCRETE JUNGLE

by Mark Scheinbaum

MIAMI -- A successful Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) could bring an end to Florida as we know it.

An A.R. Exclusive
THE WOMAN BEHIND AN OIL GIANT'S FALL

by Lucy Komisar

PARIS -- A French woman of Russian origin, armed with thousands of papers related to the Yukos oil scandal, the giant Menatep business group and its offshore banking and securities dealings over the past decade, has been providing information to Russian prosecutors, the American Reporter has learned.

Homuiny & Hash
THE TEFLON-COATED SLIPPERY SLOPE

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- We now know going from the frying pan into the fire is a viable threat - assuming your frying pan is Teflon-coated. Last week news camw that the presence of a complex polymer in Teflon that can be absorbed into our systems through food prepared in Teflon coated pots, pans, and baking tins.

On Media
THE MOST ALTERNATE OF THE ALTERNATE MEDIA

by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- There's night and day, there's yin and yang and there's commercial radio - and then there's Pacifica.

On Native Ground
THE WAL-MARTIZATION OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Americans love a bargain. That's why Wal-Mart has been so successful.

AR Opinion
LET'S BE SERIOUS

by Richaerd Thieme

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. -- It is getting dark early, and although it's almost spring, it feels like late autumn, less and less light each day, cold winds biting our faces as we turn instinctively from the wind ... when we ought to be looking into the wind, looking for clues to how to trim our sails and adapt to a world that will never be quite the same again.

Momentum
WHAT'S UP WITH YOUR FOOD, AMERICA?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Last year 12 million Americans were worried that they couldn't put food on the table, while another 58 million were classified as obese. It's hard not to wonder about America's dysfunctional relationship with its dinner.

Reporting: Costa Rica
RATE SCAM SHATTERS COSTA RICAN IDYLL FOR MANY

By James J. Brodell

SAN José, Costa Rica -- For years, a North American could get a 3 percent monthly return on dollars here. That's $3,000 a month on a $100,000 investment.

Media Beat
THE STEADY THEFT OF OUR TIME

by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO - One of the worst things about today's ultramodern systems of communication is hiding in plain sight: They waste our time.

Momentum
EULOGY FOR A LOVELY CAT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For more than five years, this was my small family: a happy husband, a happy wife, and a happy little black, white and orange cat.

Ink Soup
SWEAT EQUITY

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wa.-Back in Princeton I used to have colleagues, people whom I saw every day in the hallways and seminar rooms and lecture halls. I still, in some sense, have them, though it is my great misfortune never to see them in the flesh-only in the feeble traces that they leave on the email screen.

On Media
THE LESSON OF THE FIRES

by Robert Gelfand

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- For the past week I have been watching television news coverage of the California brushfires. Not once did I see or hear mention of the one central fact about these fires that is critical to how we ought to understand and respond to them.

On Native Ground
WHEN JOURNALISTS TRADE TRUTH FOR ACCESS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Before there was Jayson Blair, there was Walter Duranty.

Make My Day
JUST IMAGINE THEM NAKED

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- What is it about public speaking that scares the bejeezus out of some people?

Momentum
THE WORLD WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If Darwin was right, then America is doomed.

Reporting: Nepal
MURDER, VIOLENCE AND CONSPIRACY CRUSH PRESS FREEDOMS IN NEPAL

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Nepal, Oct. 26, 2003 -- Gyanendra Khadka, a journalist working for the National News Agency of Nepal, had his throat slashed by a group of Maoists. As his wife begged for the life of her husband, the rebels slashed his throat on a Buddhist altar.

Ink Soup
PERFECT? OR WHAT?

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Not often, but often enough, I am glad to have endured the ordeal of being the only major in Classical Greek at Duke. It comes in handy not only when I am trying to explain a word like "bibliophobe" to a grandchild, but also when I am trying to explain to myself what exactly it is that I believe, or do not believe.


STARTING OVER WHEN THERE'S NO LOOKING BACK

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Lynne and Ed had just moved their family, dog and all, from Indiana to California. They were not fully unpacked when flames engulfed their new home, all escaping, the screaming children, the barking dog, just as they were - eyebrows singed from their last ditch effort to grab a box or two, not knowing if they contained pots and pans or precious memories.

On Native Ground
AT THE NATIONAL REVIEW, VERMONT IS HELL

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What exactly is it about Vermont that moves conservatives to sputtering rage?

Baseball
A MARLINS' TALE: FROM WORST TO FIRST

by Mark Scheinbaum

MIAMI, Oct. 27, 2003 --The Florida Marlins: from worst to first in one year.

Opinion
IT'S TIME TO STOP H.O.A. FORECLOSURES

by Harvella Jones

HOUSTON - Frustrated by laws that allow Texas homeowner's associations to foreclose on member's homes and condos for trivial violations of rules, the Texas Homeowner's Advocate Group is circulating a national petition to permanently stop them everywhere in the country.

Ink Soup
COOL POEMS

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE -- Let me first, as the Brits say, declare my interest. The author of this book was a student of mine (Princeton, '98), and what is more, I read "The Book of Motion" first as his Senior Thesis in the Department of Comparative Literature.

Outrageous Opinion
AHNOLD AND THE NEW REICH

by Lionel Rolfe

LOS ANGELES -- Ahnold is the kind of guy who forces you to think about politics. And I have to admit, I'm dealing with a prejudice. It's never failed for me - scratch an Austrian and you invariably find a Nazi.

On Native Ground
BUSH ADMINISTRATION, SELLING A QUAGMIRE, FINDS FEW BUYERS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - If the ongoing U.S. occupation of Iraq has been such a success, why does the Bush administration need to manufacture good news about it?

Momentum
AMERICA'S DEATH WISH

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So, let's see what's on television tonight? How many murders? How many rapes? How many autopsies will I see?

Market Mover
THE $87-BILLION-DOLLAR MISUNDERSTANDING

by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 17, 2003 -- The Bush administration's call for $87 billion in initial additional funding to get Iraq up and running as an OPEC-rich economy has me puzzled.

American League Playoffs
YANKS DO IT AGAIN!

by Joe Shea

NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2003 -- The hopes of a battered city rose up after midnight this morning with a towering home run blasted into the bleachers by soft-spoken hero Aaron Boone, capping a miraculous comeback that saw the New York Yankees sprint from behind late in the game against relentless right-hander Pedro Martinez and capture the American League pennant from the Boston Red Sox 8-5 in the 11th inning.

Hominy & Hash
HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE THE GAME

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Well, now, that's a title never, ever, to appear over something I write. I know, never say never, but too many years have been invested being left out to begin joining in now.

Ink Soup

CUSTOM-MADE POSTCARDS FROM THE ILL AT EASE

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash.--I am subject, increasingly it seems, to tiny waking hallucinations or dreams or fantasies...whatever...to which I have given the shorthand name PFH, which stands for Postcards from Hell. Let me acknowledge en passant my indebtedness to Wallace Stevens' "A Postcard from the Volcano."

On Media
THE MUSICAL CONNECTION

by Robert Gelfand

SACILE, Italy -- What is the connection between Bob Mitchell's 91st birthday, the silent film festival now in full swing in Sacile, Italy, and the current state of American politics? There is a common theme running through all of these and it goes right to the emotional heart of things.

Market Mover
PSSST! GOV. JEB? WHICH COMES FIRST, BIOTECH OR EDUCATION?

by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 19, 2003 -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has kicked off his 2008 presidential campaign with a call for the Legislature to spend $310 million to attract a new branch of California's Scripps Research Institute, and potentially 6,500 jobs.

Make My Day
THE PARENTS' CURSE

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- One of the greatest things about being a kid was the overwhelming sense of invulnerability. I was charmed. I was lucky. I was invincible. Nothing could happen to me, because I was Erik Deckers, Super Kid! And nothing bad ever happened to kids.

Momentum
PAYING FOR IRAQ

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It is costing the United States approximately $4 billion every month to occupy Iraq.

Ink Soup
A SPOOL OF INK

Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash.-- For the first time in a year at least I've been making a few notes on the little pocket recorder.

Reporting: California Recall
IT'S GOV. ARNOLD; DAVIS 'TERMINATED' BY WIDE MARGIN

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 7, 2003 -- California voters turned out in record numbers Tuesday to oust Gov. Gray Davis by a margin of about 8 percentage points and elect Arnold Schwarzenegger as his replacement in the first successful recall of a sitting American governor since 1908. Network exit polls and late returns showed recall succeeding by about 54 to 46 percent, and with 97.1 percent of precincts reporting Schwarzenegger was getting about 50,000 more votes than Davis got against the recall, thus winning this strategic but unusual version of the popular vote.

An A.R. Editorial
VOTE 'NO' ON CALIFORNIA RECALL

by Joe Shea

Voters and elected officials in California owe a debt of gratitude to Rep. Darrell Issa, the former car thief and failed gubernatorial candidate whose multimillion-dollar alarm business helped him fund the California recall election that will be decided tomorrow.

On Native Ground
LIES AND ERRORS, NOT SPYGATE, ARE THE REAL BUSH SCANDAL

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I hate to sound like a Republican, but I do think the current feeding frenzy over the outing of a CIA operative by the Bush administration is overblown.

Make My Day
WHAT'S WRONG WITH HALL & OATES?

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter how old you are: Your parents thought your music was crap and your kids will think it's boring. It's true for anyone. We hate our kids' music, our parents hated our music, and their parents hated their music.

Jill Stewart
CALIFORNIA'S TECTONIC PLATES - POLITICAL ONES, ARE SHIFTING

by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 2, 2003 -- The only things that can be predicted at this point in the frantic final days of the race to recall Gov. Gray Davis are that panic reigns inside the camps that are losing, fur will now fly with gobs of flesh attached, and the losers won't just be the three men who voters reject as governor.

Jill Stewart
HOW DAVIS LOST CALIFORNIA

by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Oct. 1, 2003 -- Numbers really do lie, and people using numbers lie even more. That's one of the more profound if overlooked lessons of the movement to recall Gray Davis that is hurtling toward Oct. 7.

Momentum
ACID RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We live in a house that has its own well and septic system, so before we bought it, we had the water tested. Therefore, I can tell you for an actual fact that on Feb. 1, 1994, the pH content of my well was 6.5, which was acceptable, but low.

An A.R. Exclusive
CONTAMINATED CHINESE HONEY PUTS SARA LEE AND SMUCKERS IN STICKY SITUATION

by DeWayne Lumpkin

GRANTS PASS, Ore., Sept. 29, 2003 -- Two of America's best-known brands, Sara Lee and J.M. Smuckers, have found themselves embroiled in a sticky situation involving Chinese honey smuggling that has roiled the global honey industry and led to investigations and recalls. Two federal agencies and both companies acknowledge they have a problem with companies that disguise the origin of Chinese honey contaminated with a powerful antibiotic that in some cases can cause anemia, The American Reporter has learned.

Ink Soup
YOUR HEAD HERE

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash.--When King Edward VIII finally decided that he would abdicate, that he would rather be married to the divorced American woman than enthroned in single blessedness, and that Duke of Windsor was not such a bad title after all, the Times of London did not announce this to its readers with this headline: King to Cabinet: I'm Outta Here.

On Native Ground
AM I AN ANGRY LEFTY? YES, AND I'VE GOT LOTS OF COMPANY

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The new buzz phrase in the news media these days is "the Angry Left."

Passings: George Plimpton
WHAT IS A GENTLEMAN?

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla. -- I was neither to the manner nor the manor born, but knew someone who was: George Plimpton, a friend and gentleman, who died yesterday at the age of 76.

Momentum
WHY I LOVE STEPHANIE PLUM

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Ordinarily, I would be ashamed to admit I'm a fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum detective series. After all, I'm a serious person. I read The New York Times, The New Yorker and Harper's. I write about politics and world events.

Ink Soup
WHO WAS PUSHKIN?

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash.--It is almost a tradition that the dons of Oxford and Cambridge should dabble in mystery and detective novels on the side. Being the world's greatest expert on the Pre-Socratics, say, or the arthropoda of the Antipodes, is all very well, but it is also nice to have written something that one's children are not ashamed of. And can live on.

Opinion
IT'S TIME FOR A NEW U.S.-IRAN AGENDA

by Ali Mashayekhi Kirk

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The year was 1979, I was 13 and living in Washington, D.C. My father was a foreign news correspondent for the Iranian state-owned television and radio station known as NIRT. It was a year that I and many others would not forget.

Hominy & Hash
SCATOLOGY 101: NOW THEY'RE CURSING IN KINDERGARTEN

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Now, I assure you, he didn't hear these words at home; not, at least, in the context he was using them. He was angry, this little tyke in short pants and a striped shirt, standing with his feet planted firmly, his little tears dropping from his cheeks into the playground dust. Another kid had climbed up the ladder close behind him and pushed him down the slide before he was set to go.

On Native Ground
HEALTH CARE COSTS, NOT AL-QAEDA, WORRY AMERICANS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What is considered a bigger worry to the average American - another 9/11-style terrorist attack or not having health insurance?

Reporting: Nepal
50 MAOISTS SLAIN IN DAYLONG CLASH IN NEPAL

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Sept. 17, 2003 -- Nepalese security forces Wednesday killed more than 50 Maoists in the Bhabang area of Rolpa district, the stronghold of Communist rebels in western Nepal, in the bloodiest clash since the breakdown of a ceasefire and peace talks three weeks ago.

Momentum
WHEN THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE PREVAILS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's hard to be a Jew today, even an American Jew, when the headlines are screaming, "Israeli official: Killing Arafat is a possibility."

Make My Day
DO THEY HAVE AIR ROADIES?

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Ask any musician what the greatest musical instrument is, and you could easily start a riot. Some believe it's the piano, others say it's the guitar, and a few brave souls would answer the bagpipes. But while opinions vary wildly, everyone would at least agree that it's not the accordion.

Reporting: Washington
F.A.A. IS SUED OVER 9/11 DEATHS

by Margie Burns

WASHINGTON -- The FAA has been notified that it will be sued by some survivors and relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City's financial district and the Pentagon, the American Reporter has learned.

Reporting: Nepal
AS POLITICAL CRISIS DEEPENS, U.S. MOVES TO HELP NEPAL

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Nepal, Sept. 18, 2003 -- The United States government has expressed its willingness to help Nepal defeat Maoist rebels here amid a political crisis that has deepened with the breakdown of peace talks and a ceasefire with the Maoists and a widening rift between the political parties and the king.

On Media
LOOKING BACK ONE CENTURY

by Robert Gelfand

It is a fascinating yet strangely unsettling experience to watch the Mitchell & Kenyon films. We sit in a darkened theater, seeing the living, breathing people of the year 1903, as factory workers - adults and children alike - walk out from the gates of the factories where they work. Or we see them walking through the local fairgrounds, or watching a parade. We view their faces, observe their clothing, guess their ages, and see ourselves one step removed.

Bulletin
SENATE SINKS MEDIA CROSS-OWNERSHIP RULES, 55-40

American Reporter Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 16, 2003, 11:37am EST -- By a wide margin, the United States Senate this morning used a new and rarely-used parliamentary device called a Resolution of Disapproval to kill implementation of so-called cross-ownership rules that would have allowed media conglomerates to own more than one tv station and newspaper in the same market. The ruling was a stinging and ignominious defeat for FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, who had proposed the rules in the face of broad public opposition that ran 99 to 1 against his proposal.

On Native Ground
BUSH PAYS A PRICE FOR IGNORANCE OF HISTORY

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Harry S Truman, one of America's greatest presidents, never stopped being a student of history.

Media Beat
TRIUMPH OF THE MEDIA MILL

by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Without a hint of intended irony, the "NewsHour" on PBS concluded its Sept. 9 program with a warm interview of Henry Kissinger and then a segment about a renowned propagandist for the Nazi war machine. Kissinger talked about his latest book. Then a professor of German history talked about Leni Riefenstahl, the path-breaking documentary filmmaker who just died at age 101.

Market Mover
'WORLD WAR III IS HERE,' SAYS FORMER POW

by Mark Scheinbaum

COVINGTON, Ky., Sept. 11, 2003 -- Retired U.S. Navt Capt. Jerry Coffee, who spent more than seven years in a North Vietnamese POW prison cell, told a group of investment executives today that "World War III has already begun, and we have to have faith in ourselves to get through it."

Make My Day
GO BUG SOMEONE ELSE

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Ask any granola-munching, Birkenstock-wearing tree hugger, and they'll tell you the same thing: insects are the very foundation that the entire food chain is built on. If you wipe out the insects, all life on Earth will soon vanish.

The American Reporter Joins All Americans
In Mourning the Victims of
September 11, 2001

American Essay
THE LESSONS OF SEPTEMBER 11 by Joe Shea

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 11, 2003 -- I am terribly conflicted about what America ought to do or think or say about the events of Sept. 11. There are days when I would like us to distance ourselves from the Israeli-Palestinian/Judeo-Islamic conflict and let these two old enemies solve their own problems in whatever way their Old Testament "eye for an eye" creeds will permit.

Reporting: Washington
FAMILY OF MISSING 727 PILOT CAN'T GET ANSWERS

by Margie Burns

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2003 -- A Boeing 727 that disappeared from an Angolan airport on May 25, 2003 is still unaccounted for, and the brother of its missing flight engineer has told The American Reporter he has grown frustrated by a lack of response from the Bush administration.

Momentum
A NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- About a month ago, when I was making a appointment with my dentist, the secretary said, "How's Sept. 11 for you?" It startled me.

On Media
IN AD DOLLAR SHOOTOUT, IT'S PRESS AGAINST PLASTIC

by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif -- "San Pedro Magazine" is the name of an advertising supplement published by the Press-Telegram, a newspaper published in San Pedro's neighboring city of Long Beach. "More San Pedro" is the name of a different, soon-to-be-published, advertising supplement, the brainchild of another local newspaper, the Daily Breeze, published in another neighboring city, Torrance. Each publication is an example of what has evidently come to be the latest rage in the newspaper world, the monthly advertiser.

Hominy & Hawsh
WHOSE MOMENT IS THIS, ANYWAY?

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- When 80 years pass between her writing a line and my reading it, all the impact of that moment in her life is diminished in this moment of mine. For instance, in 1927, she wrote in bold block letters: I HAVE BOBBED MY HAIR !!! Every other line in the book and those in all succeeding years is written in her smoothly-penned Palmer Method of penmanship where an occasional splatter of ink spots betrays her haste.

An A.R. Editorial
NOW IT'S A ROAD MAP TO NOWHERE

by Joe Shea

The resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is yet another powerful indictment of the "tilt" in U.S. policy in the Middle East that has undermined every effort by Americans to bring peace to the region.

On Native Ground
THE SCHEMERS WHO TURNED 9/11 INTO A FOREIGN POLICY DISASTER

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We're two years removed from that tragic September morning of death and destruction in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Market Mover
'PRESIDENT BILL RICHARDSON' HAS A NICE RING TO IT

by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Sept. 5, 2003 -- The Democratic Party could nominate New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and go on to beat President George Bush the next time around, but that will never happen.

Hominy & Hash
NINE-ELEVEN DÉJA VU

by Constance

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- "Just want to say, I love you," words left on an answering machine in tones suggesting he had work to do - helping others. They say "pride goes before a fall" but not that day. Line after line of transcribed voices suggest a pride in doing what has to be done in their present moment. There was no evidence of whimpering, simpering, or "poor me."

Happy Labor Day, America!

On Native Ground
IT'S TIME TO SEEK THE U.N.'S HELP IN IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Watching the Bush administration try to find a way out of the mess it created in Iraq reminds me of something former House Speaker Sam Rayburn once said: "A jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one."

Reporting: 9/11
FAA 'RED TEAM' FAULTS SECURITY AT U.S. AIRPORTS

by Margie Burns

WASHINGTON -- The four officials chiefly responsible for aviation security at the airports where planes were hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, are still in important and very public positions in aviation security, The American Reporter has learned, despite substantive questions about their role in that day's historic disasters.

On Media
AT CINECON 2003, A WINDOW ON THE PAST

by Robert Gelfand

HOLLYWOOD, Calif -- The early history of motion pictures may help us understand the modern mass media, as I learned in Hollywood over Labor Day weekend, when several hundred film scholars, historians and enthusiasts were gathered at the historic Egyptian Theater here for 39th annual Cinecon film festival. Run by the Society of Cinephiles, Cinecon attracts people from all over the United States and Europe who gather to watch films, compare notes on film history and illuminate its future in the light of the past.

Momentum
A DAY AT THE RACES

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Despite the popularity of Laura Hillenbrand's riveting book "Seabiscuit" and the wonderful movie that was made from it, and despite the momentary fame of the New York horse Funnycide, who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness before fading at Belmont and losing the Triple Crown, horse racing appears to be dying in this country.

Ink Soup
SOUP FOR GOV

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- It is of course not unusual to see Dr. Soup in a state of smoldering fury, but when he stormed into the office today I knew that this was not ordinary rage.

Hominy & Hash
TO THE HANDS THAT ROCK THE CRADLES

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Modern couples write their own wedding vows and often include a Biblical quote. The one most often used is from the Book of Ruth: "Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."

An A.R. Editorial
WHY SHOULDN'T WE KILL?

by Joe Shea

Civilization sprang from law, and while there may have been earlier ones, the 10 Commandments - known to Jews as the Ten Declarations - pre-date Islam by 2,100 years, Christianity by 1,400 years, Confucianism by 850 years, and Buddhism by 775 years. They are the first Law of modern civilization, and while there may be a degree of religious and academic controversy about which version of these laws represents which religion, those differences are not carved in stone.

Jill Stewart
PUTRID SMELL WAFTS OVER THE CALIFORNIA RECALL

by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Five styles have emerged in the governor's race, from the blame-game of Gov. Gray Davis to the compassionate fiscal conservatism of Peter Ueberroth and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to the tax 'em high anti-business jihad of Cruz Bustamante to the ultra-conservative cost slashing of Tom McClintock and Bill Simon.

On Native Ground
THE SHAMEFUL, SHABBY TREATMENT OF U.S. SOLDIERS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Just about every politician loves to wave the flag and say they support the troops. But the things we've seen so far in Iraq suggest otherwise.

SCHWEIKART URGES U.S. TO MOVE SPACE PROGRAM BEYOND NEAR EARTH ORBIT

by Lucy Komisar

LaBAULE, France - Congressional committees are expected to hold hearings in the fall, after the release Aug. 26 of the report by an independent board investigating the Columbia spacecraft disaster, and former astronaut Rusty Schweickart has some ideas for those committees, he told a French forum last March.

Ink Soup
FULL MOON NOTES

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- I am writing this on the night of the full moon, so you have been warned. But there is an up side to insomnia: columns written while the writer is wide, even painfully, awake, tend to be more interesting-all right, lucid--than those written while he is in his more customary somnolent mode.

Breakthrough: Nanotechnology
USING ATOMS, ONE AT A TIME

by Lucy Komisar

LaBAULE, France - Man-made muscles that contract like biological ones but that are 100 times stronger, that are so powerful, they can inject drugs without a needle.

IT'S LIFE AND DEATH, BUT THEY CALL IT 'PRIORITY RATIONING'

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Life is a game of chance but there are those out there who are trying to mark the cards.

Reporting: Terror
AMERICAN AND THAI POLICE ARREST HAMBALI

by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Aug. 15, 2003 - American and Thai police arrested Hambali, arguably Southeast Asia's most wanted terrorist and allegedlly the second in command of the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network, in Ayutthaya, a small town about 80 kilometers south of Bangkok, earlier this week. He was flown Friday to an undisclosed location, probably Bahgram AFB, an American airbase in Afghanistan where many al-Qaida prisoners are jailed, for quesioning.

On Native Ground
WAR'S REALITES COME HOME TO A SMALL VERMONT TOWN

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The war in Iraq came home to my corner of Vermont the other day.

Across America
WHO 'RESET' THE POWER GRID?

by Joe Shea

FORT STOCKTON, Tex. -- Shortly after 1 p.m. Mountain Time in El Paso yesterday morning I walked up to the doors of the ExxonMobil station at Exit O in Anthony, Tex., and found a sign on the door: "Electric Power Outage!" it read, but inside the air conditioning was on, machines and lights were working and employees milled around aimlessly.

Momentum
AMERICA SLICED AND DICED

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Pictures from my niece's wedding arrived last week.

Across America
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AND THE NEXT ENERGY CRISIS

by Joe Shea

TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 12, 2003 -- Remember the phony claims of energy traders that unraveled into the Enron scandal and, as California Gov. Gray Davis said during his Los Angeles Times debate with Republican businessman Bill Simon, "We were bilked out of $21 billion..."?

Market Mover
AMERICA'S VETERANS AGENCY: A TEXTBOOK FOR FAILURE

by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Aug. 12, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal deserves a Pulitzer Prize for today's report on the failures of the Veterans' Administration, but it won't get one.

Momentum
EVERYBODY'S GOT A HUNGRY HEART

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At first it was, "Oh no, Bruce, no." This is no way to hear your music.

Under Fire
A SILENT KILLER STALKS U.S. TROOPS IN IRAQ

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 1, 2003, 10.00am EST -- A mystery illness that bears some similarities to chemical and radiation poisoning has killed at least two U.S. soldiers In Iraq since June 17 and sickened another 11, said worried Army officials who this week took the unusual step of dispatching two elite epidemiological teams to investigate.

On Native Ground
BUSH ADMINISTRATION PASSING THE BUCK ON 9/11

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Americans have been waiting a long time to find out the truth about the events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Media Beat
THE GANG THAT COULDN'T TALK STRAIGHT

by Norman Solomon

SAN FRANCISCO -- We're living in an era when news coverage often involves plenty of absurdity.

Momentum
FOLK MUSIC AWAKENS TO ITS RADICAL ROOTS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Old folkies never die, they just go to Falcon Ridge. And this year Holly Near was there to awaken them from a long, long sleep.

Editorial
RIORDAN SHOULD RUN

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., July 30, 2003 -- There is nothing inherently wise or beneficial in taking the governorship away from one money-hoarding politician and giving it to a well-off millionaire. But there is a benefit for all Californians in taking away the governor's mansion from Gray Davis and putting it in the hands of Richard Riordan.

Hominy & Hash
BOB HOPE: AND HE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Because there is so much being said about Bob Hope, I wasn't going to add my thoughts, at least until I got an email sent to the family "loop" from our son, Tom.

"Thanks For the Memories!"
Bob Hope
1903 - 2003

Passings
AMERICA'S COMEDIAN, BOB HOPE, IS DEAD AT 100

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., July 28, 2003 -- Bob Hope, whose century of life was a long string of wisecracks and a longer string of friends high and low, passed away last night in Toluca Lake, Calif., his legacy of gales of laughter and good memories likely to linger a century more.

Reporting: The West in Flames
A FOREST FIRE'S LESSONS

by Mark Scheinbaum

TAOS PUEBLO, N.M., July 28, 2003 -- The competing interests of lumber, tourism, public safety, and Native American traditions all challenged firefighters this week in and around New Mexico's northernmost autonomous pueblo.

On Native Ground
EVEN BUSH CAN HEAR 'GIANT SUCKING SOUND' OF LOST JOBS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The recession is over.

Breaking News
TWO SONS OF SADDAM KILLED IN MOSUL

American Reporter Staff

BRADENTON, Fla., 12:25 A.M., July 22, 2003 -- NBC News is reporting that Saddam Hussein's relatives or sons may have been killed in a confrontation with U.S. forces in the northern city of Mosul this morning. Reuters reported the two men and one of their sons, a 14-year-old, may have been among those hiding out in a large villa in the city. [Later, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez told reporters that both Uday and Qusay had been killed in the raid.]

Brasch Word
THE PRETEND CAPTAIN

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Former Texas Air National Guard Lt. George W. Bush showed up on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. He was trim, the result of long daily workouts, and jauntily dressed in a fighter pilot's flight suit. To sailors returning from Gulf War II he gave a speech written by taxpayer-funded speech writers. He looked just like a Navy flyer, maybe even a commander-in-chief; he said what a president should say - and recorded for broadcast around the world.

Momentum
JOHN ASHCROFT, GET OUT OF MY UNDERWEAR!

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- While preparing to make a mold of my teeth the other day, the dentist made a little joke.

Ink Soup
HAVE YOU AUTOGOOGLED?

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE -- There are times when I wish that I had a less ordinary name, one shared with fewer people, something along the lines of those splendid members of Cromwell's parliament, the Barebones brothers. One was named Paisegod Barebones and the other, probably the younger, If Christ Had Not Died Thou Hadst Been Damned Barebones. The latter is said to have been known in the family as Damned.

Analysis
OIL INTERESTS MAY FIGURE IN SAO TOME COUP

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., July 16, 2003 -- The tiny nation of Sao Tome and Principe - the smallest, poorest and most peaceful democracy in Africa - fell victim to a sudden military coup in the hours before dawn Wednesday, and there is little doubt that oil politics are the cause. San Tome's President Fradique de Menezes was in Nigeria on a "private visit" when the coup took place, according to Nigerian officials who strongly condemned the coup.

Jill Stewart
DAVIS GATHERS CASH HOARD TO FIGHT RECALL

by Jill Stewart

SACRAMENTO -- As the effort to recall California Gov. Gray Davis moves into overdrive and the noxious consultant Chris Lehane - who helped President Bill Clinton formulate his creepy Monica Lewinsky strategy - prepares to launch an assault on the truth unlike anything we've witnessed in a California election, a phrase keeps circling inside my head. Follow the money.

On Native Ground
WAIST-DEEP IN IRAQ MESS, BUSH PRESSES ON

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's tough to definitively designate the single stupidest statement ever uttered by President Bush, but his recent ill-advised challenge to the Iraqis who have been attacking U.S. forces - "Bring them on!" - would certainly be near the top of the list.

Reporting: Indonesia
INDONESIAN JOURNALISM: FROM LIBERATION TO DEFAMATION

by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA, Indonesia, July 10, 2003 -- It began in June last year when Kompas, Indonesia's largest daily newspaper, published a report about former president Abdurrahman Wahid's intention to remove a young politician from his key party post. Kompas quoted "a source" as saying that Cholil Bisri, a senior member of the party, had objected to Wahid's proposal and threatened to resign if secretary-general Saifullah Yusuf was removed. Wahid reportedly said that Yusuf was involved in "money politics" -a practice of vote buying among Indonesian politicians.

Momentum
A TRIBUTE TO THE LATE GREAT KATE

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- How do I love you, Katharine Hepburn? Let me count the ways.

Reporting: Washington
9/11 COMMISSION TELLS OF 'DRAMATIC' FINDINGS, MANY DIFFICULTIES

by Margie Burns

WASHINGTON, July 8 -- The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States has released its first interim teport, saying that the Commission's first six months have produced great progress and will shed "dramatic new light" on America's worst terrorist attacks, but has much more work ahead.

Ink Soup
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE -- "Have a nice day! Have a nice day!" Hearing this incessant wish from people who could not care less what sort of day you're about to have can spoil the day for those who might otherwise have actually had a nice one. My friend Paul Fussell, the famous curmudgeon, and author of best-selling books about literature, war, and uniforms, had an answer to this:

An AR Editorial
SEN. CARL LEVIN 'BOWELS' 'EM OVER

by Joe Shea

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- As of July 9, 2003, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is chairing a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee investigation - and a cover-up, we suspect - of the origins of the lie about Iraq's search for uranium that was contained in the live, televised State of the Union speech President George W. Bush gave to a joint session of Congress in late January.

On Native Ground
THANKS TO THE NET, HOWARD DEAN HITS THE BIG TIME

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- They aren't laughing anymore.

Reporting: Bulgaria
AMID HIS MAGNIFICENT MUSIC, A TERRIBLE ISOLATION

by Lionel Rolfe

SOFIA, BULGARIA -- Angel Stankov, Bulgaria¹s preeminent violinist and conductor, knows that his country has a terrible reputation. It's partly a reputation earned by benign neglect. People just don¹t know much about this nation of under 7.6 million people.

Reporting: Indonesia
THE OLD AND THE NEW NATIONALISM: JAKARTA AND ACEH

by Andreas Harsono

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia -- I left Jakarta for Banda Aceh earlier this month with a big question in my mind: When does one expression of nationalism become old, probably senile and irrelevant - wand when is a new one strong, vigorous and relevant?

On Native Ground
EXPLANATIONS FOR ASCHROFT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Attorney General John Ashcroft believes the press needs to do a better job explaining the U.S.A Patriot Act to the American people.

Momentum
THE HUMAN SIDE OF ECONOMICS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Writing about socially responsible businesses last week made me wonder what has gone wrong with our economic system in the first place. Shouldn't all businesses be socially responsible? Aren't we all living on the same planet? Aren't we all interconnected? Isn't it true that no man is an island?

Ink Soup
FOR WHOM THE CELL TOLLS

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- I can't help it. I've written about cell phones before, but it seems to me that the ubiquity of this device is bound to affect our perception of language itself.

Brasch Words
JOINING THE SEPARATED POWERS

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- The Supreme Court received advice from a self-proclaimed constitutional scholar, civil rights analyst, and national educator recently. Yes, that was President George W. Bush.

Reporting: Indonesia
ACEHNESE LIVE IN GRIM SHADOWS OF CIVIL WAR

by Andreas Harsono

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, June 19, 2003 -- It was probably a regular exchange but the clatter of American M-16s mixed with the return fire of Russian-made AK-101 automatic rifles was enough to create a terrible fear in a small village here.

On Native Ground
A WAR BUILT ON LIES

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Those of us who opposed Gulf War II knew that history would eventually prove us right. What we didn't expect is that it would happen so soon.

Momentum
SOME GOOD NEWS ABOUT CAPITALISM

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Even if we don't remember Donald J. Carty's name, most of us remember his story.

Ink Soup
TALKING TOWER: THE LAST HUMAN DISTINCTION

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE. Wash.--In the Book of Genesis the nine brisk little verses that open the 11th chapter are hardly more than a brief respite from the exhaustive and boring inventory of the descendants of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

On Media
MAILERS ARE THE ULTIMATE POLITICAL CON GAME

by Robert Gelfand

SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- In the next 12 months, you'll come to realize the importance of those three little words in the middle of the oath taken in court. Witnesses are sworn "to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." It has become painfully clear that "the whole truth" gets left behind in political advertising.

Market Mover
WHAT'S AT STAKE WHEN THE F.C.C. ENABLES BIG BROTHER?

by Marybeth Brennan

LAKE WORTH, Fla., June 2, 2003 -- If you want the "Big Brother" of George Orwell's "1984" to become a reality, just support the Federal Communications Commission's actions to increase media monopolies.

Editorial
LEAVING L.A.

by Joe Shea

Fare well, Los Angeles, and farewell. Along with my wife and daughter, I am leaving tomorrow after a 27 year-run that has been incredible. I don't know how you'll get along without me, but you didn't have a house or an apartment in our price range in all your 468 square miles, so we're going to Florida to live for a pittance.

On Native Ground
ROBERT ST. JOHN: A PEACEFUL WARRIOR

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- With the various scandals and misdeeds of late, journalism has fallen into a general state of disrepute. We who still believe in the power of journalism to affect social change are starving for inspiration.

REPORT FROM FRANCE: 'THE WORLD IS A MESS'

by Larry Bridwell

LA BAULE, FRANCE -- "The world is a mess" was a phrase heard frequently at the Forum 21 conference held here recently. And the term likened the transAtlantic impact from the American-led war in Iraq to a "fragmentation bomb."

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.

Foreign Affairs
RUMSFELD QUERIED ON OFFSHORE BANKING REFORM

by Lucy Komisar

NEW YORK -- It hasn't been reported in the U.S. press - until here, now - but Milan, Italy's chief prosecutor has obtained thousands of documents that show how for more than 20 years Saddam Hussein used the Western bank and corporate secrecy system to launder bribes skimmed from oil revenues to pay his security forces and buy Western arms during international embargoes.

On Native Ground
CONTROL THE PICTURES, CONTROL THE TRUTH

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush's "war on terror" has been a war that's been long on stagecraft and short on results. The recent terror bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, the continuing civil chaos in Iraq and the resurgence of the warlords in Afghanistan are just the latest examples of this.

Happy Birthday, America!

Momentum
AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE MEANS SOMETHING ON LT. SPAULDING'S HILL

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "Auction March 2, 1871" reads the poster announcing the sale of a 65-acre farm belonging to "the late widow Spaulding." There was "running water to house and barn, plenty of wood on the place and a very good apple orchard." Also one pair of oxen weighing 3,800 pounds together, two cows, a three-year-old steer "nearly fat," a Spring calf, a horse, a "cosset sheep" and a cart.

On Native Ground
BUSH TO AMERICA: CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- If you thought President Bush's "Top Gun" photo-op on the flight of the U.S.S Abraham Lincoln was the ultimate in political opportunism, just wait until the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Reporting: OKC Bombing
TERRY NICHOLS HELD FOR MURDER TRIAL

by Bill Johnson

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 13, 2003 -- The man already serving a federal life term for conspiracy in the Oklahoma City federal building bombing was held over for state court trial Tuesday on 160 counts of first-degree murder.

Momentum
THE ANTI-SPIDER-MAN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What does it mean when, in the same week, New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain crumbles to the ground, a horse named Funny Cide beats horses named Empire Maker and Peace Rules in the Kentucky Derby, and, more to the point, President George W. Bush steps off a plane onto an aircraft carrier with what looks like a banana stuffed into his pants?

Ink Soup
THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF DR. SOUP

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Dr. Soup was happily signing copies of his latest book "How to Get Credit for Writing Ink Soup Without Actually Writing It," when a woman whom he vaguely recognized as one of his former wives took a Colt .45 out of her purse, smiled briefly, and shot him through the forehead.

Market Mover
REFLECTIONS ON WHAT AMERICA IS

by Mark Sscheinbaum

LAKE WORTH, Fla., May 5, 2003 -- Much of the world is still debating the rationale and results of the U.S. battlefield victory in Iraq, so maybe it's time for this non-politician to reflect on the true greatness of our land.

On Native Ground
REBUILDING IRAQ BY SELLING OUT THE IRAQIS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- War, as Karl von Clausewitz wrote, is "nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means."

Momentum
THE WAR AT HOME: WHAT'S THE SCORE?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Randy and I were driving down to Hatfield, Mass., to spend Easter Sunday with his family when we decided not to talk about the war.

Reporting: Indonesia
THE TERRORIST'S WIFE: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WIFE OF THE MAN CHARGED WITH THE BALI BOMBING

by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA - How do you feel when your beloved husband is suddenly arrested, dragged to jail, and then nationally publicized as the chief suspect in the Bali terrorist bombing that killed 202 people last October?

On Native Ground
THE WAR I SAW

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I didn't watch a single minute of the Gulf War II coverage on television, but I saw what was happening in Iraq more clearly than I would have otherwise.

Momentum
FOR LACK OF A 'BEAUTIFUL MIND'

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For lack of a beautiful mind, I care about the Iraqi dead and wounded. I care about the looting and destruction. I care about the lies and hypocrisy of my government and what comes next: the profiteering and the attempt to convert the Iraqis to Christianity.

8th Anniversary Essay
FROM THE CHAOS OF ORDER

by Joe Shea

I had the good fortune last Thursday to attend a seminar at the University of Southern California on "The Economy and Iraq." All four experts - one was a knighted Englishman on loan to the college - told us of a gloomy world where oil shortages are a fact of life, strategic moves are costly and counterproductive, news media is increasingly compromised and the world economy is more fragile than ever. There was just one problem: all four were probably wrong.

On Native Ground
KEEPING PEACE HARDER THAN WAGING WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- So the gloating has begun.

The American Reporter
proudly celebrates today
Our 8th Anniversary
1995 - 2003

An AR Exclusive
WELL-CONNECTED IN L.A., ALLEGED CHINESE SPY GAVE THOUSANDS TO REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2003 -- The American Reporter has learned that Katrina Leung, an alleged Chinese spy, who was a director of the influential Los Angeles World Affairs Council and a longtime California Republican Party activist, was a donor to Republican candidates at least since 1998 and as recently as last December. She was arrested and charged with espionage Wednesday in Los Angeles Federal Court.

BAGHDAD FALLS!

American Reporter Staff

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 9, 2003 -- Cheering crowds filled the streets of central Baghdad Wednesday as a Marine tank crew helped Iraqis tear down a huge cast-iron statue of Saddam Hussein and saw them drag the dictator's bullet-riddled symbolic head down a broad central avenue while his former subjects kicked and spat on it.

Editorial
INTO THE WINDS OF WAR

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2003 -- Will the Arab world see the U.S. capture of Baghdad as fair compensation for the loss of the World Trade Center towers and 3,000 American lives? As strange as that question may seem, its answer will probably be central to the way Americans are seen in the Middle East long after the battle for Iraq has ended.

THE VERMONT WINTER OF MY DISCONTENT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I don't mind admitting that this long Vermont winter has me whipped.

Ink Soup
HIS CONVICTION IS PROOF OF CHARACTER

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- One of the four ministers of my church is Peter Ilgenfritz, an intense young man with definite views about how the precepts of religion should be honored in our actual life.

War On Iraq
U.S. TROOPS IN BAGHDAD; NO BANNED WEAPONS FOUND

American Reporter Staff

LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2003 -- U.S. and allied troops pushed closer to the center of Baghdad today without encountering significant resistance or any of the weapons of mass destruction that were the principal reason for the war. At the same time, the lack of resistance suggests that U.S. military experts made a critical error in 1991 when they failed to take the first Gulf War to the conclusion that was sought today.

Momentum
THE MANY IRONIES OF WAR

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- We're living in a time of funhouse mirrors - without the fun.

Ink Soup: THE YEARS

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- In case the news has depressed you lately, I have a remedy: go to what Walter Winchell used to call the moompitcher show.

Caring
CUYAMACA SUNDAY MORNING COMIN' 'ROUND

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- Breakfast at the lake. Hot coffee and wind on the water. We came up early Sunday morning just to get out of time - town, I mean.

Commentary
ON WAR DAY, PRESIDENT'S NOTE ENCOURAGED NAVY GRAD

by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Although the occasion received little coverage, United States Attorney General John Ashcroft's son Andrew graduated from Navy Officer Candidate School on March 20 from the Pensacola Naval Air Station. My longtime friend Dave McDermott's son Sean was his roomate, and when I had lunch with Dave on Thursday, he told me some nice stories and showed some snapshots.

On Native Ground
GULF WAR II: U.S. AND BRITAIN DEFY INTERNATIONAL LAW

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Picture President Bush and Saddam Hussein sharing a cell in The Hague after they have been tried and convicted for crimes against humanity.

Momentum
SHOULD WE MARCH FOR PEACE IN A TIME OF WAR?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- War or peace, war or peace. Which side are you on?

Commentary
A PRAYER FOR THE WAR

by Joe Shea

If I were President of the United States, even though I am a Catholic and would feel compelled to make the Sign of the Cross before I began, I would have started this war with a prayer. I would have said to our Maker, "God, I know that war is an abysmal failure I have come to; I am here in the place where my heart cannot forgive and my mind cannot be at peace; I must make war, however wrong. I am human, God, and full of flaws and errors; forgive me my shortcomings, and do not let them be the cause of hardship and misery for my brave soldiers, who must fight for me in the terrible days ahead. Forgive my my arrogance, for I have not humility, though I would have it; forgive me my pride, for I have not innocence, though I would; forgive me my anger, for I do not have peace within me; forgive me the dark angels of my spirit, Lord of All, for I do not have your angels on my side."

War On Iraq
SANDSTORM SLOWS ALLIED PUSH; STOCKS RECOVER AS BUSH DECLARES, 'WE WILL PREVAIL'

American Reporter Staff

MARCH 25, 3:35pm EST -- A blinding sandstorm dramatically slowed the allied advance on Baghdad late Monday as supply lines stretching 250 miles southwards into Kuwait were attacked by irregulars and Iraqi Army units that had been bypassed by the main coalition force.

Hominy & Hash
CONQUER WE MUST*

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- President George W. Bush stood before all of us that Inauguration Day in 2001, raised his right hand, and said aloud: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." He is taking care of business; let him do his job.

Caring
THE DELICATE ETIQUETTE OF DEATH

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- I am about as pro-life as they come, yet when it comes to control over the time, place and manner of our deaths, I refuse to be so dogmatic. There is a big difference between someone taking a life that is not their own, and wanting to end one's own life when it has become unbearable due to terminal illness.

War On Iraq
COALITION BOMBS BAGHDAD AS U.S. CASUALTIES RISE; U.S. SOLDIER KILLS 1, WOUNDS 13; U.S. PATRIOT MISSILE DOWNS BRITISH PLANE

American Reporter Staff

BAGHDAD, March 23, 2003, 3:20am -- As muezzins called the faithful to prayer in Baghdad this Sunday morning, coalition bombers unloaded their ordnance on a silent, sleeping Baghdad where not even anti-aircraft tracers rose to resist. That was not the case near the southern port city of Basra and inland Nasiriyah, however, an critical "hub" city where war commander Gen. Tommy Franks said caolition forces had suffered "significant" casualties in their rapid march towards Baghdad.

'SHOCK AND AWE!'

American Reporter Staff

BAGHDAD, March 22, 2003, 2:45am -- In a blinding series of bomb blasts the Gulf War II coalition unleashed the promised "shock and awe" campaign Friday morning, even as the U.S. reported its first in-combat casualties, encountered the first significant resistance, and an Iraqi division leader surrendered to the Marines as they pushed towards Iraq's capital.

Reporting: Bulgaria
BULGARIA, LONELY U.S. ALLY IN IRAQ FIGHT, SHARED CONCERN FOR JEWS

by Lionel Rolfe

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- My guide here, Boriana Andreewa, must have been a bit confused about whether I really wanted to see Sofia's Central Synagogue. In the morning, she asked if I wanted to; I did and didn't, I said, sounding negative when I really did want to go. She didn't mention it again until we were walking in central Sofia; it was nearby and we would be there in a moment.

ANARCHY-TINGED PORTLAND PROTESTS MAY SPREAD

by Joshua Frank

PORTLAND, Ore., March 21, 2003 -- Several thousand protesters descended upon downtown Portland Thursday afternoon and stayed until some were arrested Friday morning in the second major protest of the U.S. invasion of Iraq here since last Saturday.

On Native Ground
A DUTY TO SPEAK UP

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle expressed the views of many in America when he said: "I am saddened that this President failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war. Saddened that we have to give up one life, because this President couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country."

Momentum: MASTERS OF WAR

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Whenever my beloved America makes the mistake of choosing might over right, I turn to Bob Dylan's early masterpiece, "Masters of War."

Market Mover
MORE THAN JUST IRAQ STRAINS EUROPE'S FUTURE

by Mark Scheinbaum

ANTWERP, Belgium, Mar. 18, 2003 -- Queen Elizabeth canceled a visit to Belgium this past week because of international tensions, and one London daily's headlines now spell the name of France's Jacques Chirac as Chiraq. These are just signs of rough times between the Euro World, the United Kingdom World, and the Rest of the World.

FIRST U.S. CASE OF MYSTERY PNEUMONIA SUSPECTED IN LOS ANGELES

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, March 17, 2003 -- Los Angeles Co. Health Department officials reported this afternoon that a suspected single case of SARS, a previously unknown form of pneumonia that started in China last month and threatens to become an epidemic, has been reported here in a man who flew in from the Far East and passed through LAX last week, the agency said today.

Editorial
A WAR THAT CANNOT BE MADE RIGHT

by Joe Shea

The dogs of war are barking fiercely in their fragile cages tonight, and it appears they may be break loose any time now. North Korea has begun production of plutonium, the fine white powder that is deadlier than anthrax and far easier to distribute (if it has soldiers willing to go on suicide missions).

Caring
TEA ON THE NINTH HOLE

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- The closest thing to Mr. Magoo I've ever seen. The proverbial ugly cute thing: bald with residual tufts of withered Pampas grass covering the temples on both sides. At least there's basic symmetry in the shrubbery that's left on the great white dome. His glasses' lens are so thick his magnified blue eyes look like ocular carp swimming in aqueous fluid.

On Native Ground
THE ESSENCE OF WAR IS DEATH

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "War today is smells ... smells of chemicals being dropped from the sky to set houses on fire. Smells from burning oil dumps. Smells of roasting human flesh.

An A.R. Exclusive
POWELL BLAMED FOR 'MISTAKE' IN MY LAI MASSACRE

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 13, 2003 -- A former White House covert operations official has told The American Reporter that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, then a military aide to the U.S. Army command staff in Vietnam, misunderstood a general's instructions and mistakenly ordered the notorious March 16, 1968, My Lai massacre, and successfully covered up his error until now. The former official's allegations concerning the events, whose 35th anniversary occurs on Sunday, could not be confirmed.

Momentum
WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE?

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Town Meetings are over for another year, and like people all over the country, Vermonters are in sticker shock.

Ink Soup
CRYPTIC CLUES

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- It is humiliating for an old newspaper veteran such as your humble servant to learn so late in life a saying that might have eased his burden far sooner. I pass it along, since it concerns you as much as it does me, for you, the newspaper reader, are in fact the party meant by "they."

Caring
BIRDSONGS FOR ALCATRAZ

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- Mornings can be difficult. I am not sure why that is but I do know that sometimes birdsong can save your soul. Their sweet melodies pierce through the viscous muck of depression that clings to me in the early hours of the day.

On Native Ground
THE LAMPS ARE GOING OUT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This is a very weird time.

Media Beat
U.S MEDIA DODGES U.N. SURVEILLANCE STORY

by Norman Solomon

WASHINGTON -- Three days after a British newspaper revealed a memo about U.S. spying on U.N. Security Council delegations, I asked Daniel Ellsberg to assess the importance of the story. "This leak," he replied, "is more timely and potentially more important than the Pentagon Papers."

Editorial
WHEN WILL THE WAR BE?

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, March 6, 2003 -- As he prepares to speak to the world tonight, President Bush surveys a diplomatic landscape more daunting than any Bosnian minefield. The reluctance of Russia, France and Germany - and now, formally, China - to support a second resolution authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime has irrecoverably stranded his team's effort to get the world on his side on a proposed invasion of Iraq.

Momentum
IF PROTESTING DOESN'T WORK, THEN PARTY

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- O.K., you've sent your plastic baggies of white rice to the President of the United States, marched in freezing weather several times for peace, gotten into the habit of reading the on-line international papers to glean some real news, listened to poetry being read up the yin-yang, given money to MoveOn - and it still hasn't made a damn bit of difference.

City Beat
FOR PARKS AND VILLARAIGOSA, VICTORY IS SWEET

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2003 -- Voters in Los Angeles tonight elected two men whose stories, although very different, converged in both ruin and redemption. They may diverge from here on in, though; political gadfly Melrose Larry Green joked that their presence on the council will make it "a better show than anything in Las Vegas."

Caring
PLIGHT OF THE ELDERLY IN A THROW AWAY WORLD

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- I just sat through several hours of committee meetings where I was presenting our new model of community elder care to the county planning group for funding. There were proposals for skate parks and for trees and for new alleys. There were checks handed out: tens of thousands of dollars for basketball courts, new roads, and libraries and more.

City Beat
C.R.A. ASKS $50,000 TO MEND 'CONFLICT OF INTEREST' IN HOUSING JAM

by Joe Shea

HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 28, 2003 -- Less than 10 hours after The American Reporter revealed that desperately needed new low-income senior housing in Hollywood remains vacant months after it was fully rented and ready for elderly tenants, the Los Angeles City Council quietly sent a CRA request for $50,000 to pay a famously expensive Hollywood law firm after it learned of "a potential conflict of interest" in yet another low-income housing portion of controversial redevelopment projects at Hollywood Blvd. and Western Ave.

On Native Ground
10 THINGS MORE LIKELY TO KILL YOU THAN TERRORISM

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Now that the nation is back at Code Yellow, do you feel safer yet?

City Beat
NEW SENIOR HOUSING SITS EMPTY AS OWNERS ARGUE OVER 'AIR RIGHTS'

by Joe Shea

HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 28, 2003 -- How can it be? In a low-income community where rents are soaring, some seniors are homeless and many are suffering rent increases that strain their fixed-income budgets to the breaking point, 100 brand-new low-income apartments built expressly for them - and 12 years in the making - remain completely vacant months after they were rented and ready.

Momentum
PLEASE, JUST GET USED TO IT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In December, a New York Post gossip columnist ran a "blind item" (no names) about a retired baseball legend who cooperated with his biographer when the writer promised not to reveal his homosexuality.

Ink Soup
THE BUS OF TIME

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Each time I walk through the dining room, my eyes caress briefly the beloved image of my "black grandmother," Corrie Scott, in an oil portrait that I painted as an adolescent. My grandmother in all but biological fact, she was an orphan left to the care of my grandfather by her dying mother and raised almost as a daughter in his family.

Caring
IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO PREVENT ELDER ABUSE

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO --- We were out on the deck of the mountain cabin having wine and talking out of earshot of her father. His daughter was telling me of the woman who had swooped in on him after her mother's death two years previously. In those two years, this woman had systematically taken control and isolated him from his three daughters.

On Native Ground
FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS START UNNECESSARY WARS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's been amusing watching the pro-war crowd get worked up over what the New York Post dubbed "the axis of weasel."

City Beat
AS WAR RESOLUTION PASSES, PACHECO PORTRAYED AS HERO AND VILLAIN

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, February 21, 2003 -- With a hotly-contested antiwar resolution making its final apearance on the council floor and Los Angeles ready to become the nation's largest city to endorse it, East Los Angeles City Councilman Nick Pacheco stood up to cast the critical eighth and deciding vote - even as he was being vilified on the front page of a Los Angeles Times news section in a story implying he'd directed public money into his own down-to-the-wire reelection campaign.

An A.R. Exclusive
AMERICA'S SECRET WAR IN IRAQ IS UNDERWAY

by Mark Scheinbaum

FORT BENNING, Ga., Feb. 20, 2001 -- A high ranking U.S. Army commander confirmed Wednesday that the same U.S. special operation teams which orchestrated CIa-Northern Alliance coalition efforts in Afghanistan are now inside Iraq and actively paving the way for expanded U.S. operations. He indicated that it was a part of the war on terror which could last four to six years to complete.

Ink Soup
DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCH

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE -- Henry Martin has sent me a new book, a mystery set in the town where we both used to live, Princeton. It is a paperback with a cover containing words and a picture.

Make My Day
WITH EDUCATION, EVERYONE'S A WINNER!

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Cue the dueling banjos, it's the Battle Of The Valedictorians again!

Momentum
POETRY ON EARTH

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- "I would like to thank Mrs. Bush for being so thin-skinned," the writer Jamaica Kincaid said on a cold and clear Sunday afternoon in Manchester, Vt. "To think that a woman who lies down at night and has dinner across from a man who is the lord and master of weapons of mass destruction, and plans to use them, could not listen to the words of some poets who disagree with him!"

City Beat
BATTLING OVER PEACE, L.A. COUNCIL SPLITS ON WAR RESOLUTION

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18, 2003 -- What can you say about a peace resolution that died?

Caring
THELMA AND THE SEA BIRDS

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- Fred and I headed down the hill to the coast mid-morning and got breakfast on the way. The Original Grand Slam was cheaper than Senior Meal Deals, so we both got 'em. Then down through San Pasqual Valley to the 78. It was a gorgeous Sunday.

On Native Ground
HOW THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION GETS AWAY WITH IT

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- My editor forwarded me this e-mail from a 15-year-old girl in Georgia. Her name is Karoline and this is what she had to say:

Momentum
VALENTINE TO A SMALL TOWN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At the drive-thru line at my local credit union the other day, I got a fresh daisy along with my receipt.

SEN. KERRY'S CANCER SURGERY CALLED SUCCESS

American Reporter Staff

BALTIMORE, Feb. 12, 2003 -- Sen. John F. Kerry emerged from surgery for prostate cancer without incident this morning, and his doctor said he should be able to leave the hospital in a few days.

Ink Soup
ABOARD THE BENTHIC, A BOTTOM LINE

by Clarence Brown

ABOARD THE SS BENTHIC -- The first thing I did, shortly after locating my quarters on this cruise ship, was to endear myself to the captain by asking whether he knew that the name of his vessel referred to the bottom of the sea? From Greek benthos?

Market Mover
POETS SNUB WHITE HOUSE INVITATION

by Mark Scheinbaum

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 12, 2003 -- It all started with First Lady Laura Bush inviting a poet to the White House for a literary symposium in celebration of the life and times of Emily Dickinson.

Hominy & Hash
TIME OUT FOR LOVE

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This time of year, I usually write about St. Valentine -- just in case there's someone out there who doesn't know the man behind the legend. Instead of telling the age old tale I grew up with, I decided to check early Church records looking for a new slant.

AS MARINE EXPEDITIONARY BRIGADE SAILS TO GULF, WAR GROWS MORE LIKELY

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9, 2003 -- Barring an unforeseen, last-minute eruption of peace, the United States may be at war with Iraq within weeks.

Caring
SONGS AND PROVERBS FOR THE JOURNEY

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- "Around and around and around she goes, and whar she stops nobody knows." My grandfather used to say that. And when he really liked something he'd say, "It's the cat's meow." Funny that those simple and often silly one liners are what I remember about him the most.=

On Native Ground

SELLING A WAR THAT FEW ARE BUYING

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Did Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5 convince you that Saddam Hussein poses such a grave threat to world peace that we must go to war with him as soon as possible?

City Beat
COUNCIL BATTLES TIME AND SPACE IN L.A. HOUSING CRISIS

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6, 2003 -- "This is a great day," said Councilwoman Wendy Greuel Thursday afternoon as she welcomed about 45 of the city's most influential housing policy wonks to a special session of her Housing & Economic Development Committee called to celebrate progress in building the largest municipal housing trust fund in the nation.

Momentum
ON A BEAUTIFUL PLANET, SUCH TERRIBLE THINGS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the week following the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia, the most enduring image was not the comet-like trail burning white across the blue Texas sky, or the charred helmet resting in the piney woods. It was the NASA footage of Col. Ilan Ramon, the handsome Israeli fighter pilot, floating out of a tunnel into a room full of weightlessness, his arms spread like a bird in flight and an expression of transcendental happiness upon his face.

On Trial
MERCEDES-BENZ CLEARED IN HEATER CORE BURN CASE

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5, 2003 -- Hours after a trio of plaintiffs in Phoenix settled similar cases with a different German automaker, a jury headed by Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to find that Mercedes-Benz was not negligent in the design and sale of cars containing heater core end caps that can explode and burn drivers, and awarded the Los Angeles plaintiff nothing.

City Beat
L.A.'S FALSE ALARM BATTLE ENDS IN VICTORY FOR BRATTON

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES -- It was a battle royal from the beginning, but new Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton has come off the battlefield nearly unbloodied and clutching a big war trophy - hundreds of police officers and hundreds of thousands of man-hours he freed from chasing a huge number of false alarms across a frightened city whose crime rate has soared in recent months.

AR at Sundance
THE ILLUMINATED EDUCATION OF GORE VIDAL

by Adrian Maher

PARK CITY, Utah -- As a dramatist, novelist, actor, social satirist, public debater and troublemaker extraordinaire, Gore Vidal, for the past 50 years has skewered those in power with outrageous monologues and America's sharpest pen. He is a national literary treasure whose witty barbs and deeply researched and reflective historical novels have shed light on politics, sex, art and philosophy.

The Pooh Papers
DISNEY MOVES TO END POOH CASE, CHARGES MISCONDUCT

by Joe Shea

HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 3, 2003 -- The Walt Disney Co. today asked a Superior Court Judge to hear evidence that Stephen Slesinger Inc.'s attorneys and principals stole documents, defied court orders, destroyed evidence and engaged in a pattern of "pervasive misconduct and illegal activities" as they sought royalty payments that are allegedly overdue during an 11-year battle with the studio, Disney's vice-president for corporate communications said Monday.

On Trial
MERCEDES HEATER CORE CASE AVERTS MISTRIAL, GOES TO JURY

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3, 2003 -- A closely-watched trial over automakers' responsibility for exploding heater parts that have injured scores of people in Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen vehicles went to a Superior Court jury in Los Angeles this afternoon after a motion for a mistrial based on the discovery of an American Reporter article in the jury room was denied by Judge Emilie Elias.

Brasch Words
TRAGIC INEQUALITIES

by Walter M. Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- It happened so quickly - America gained heroes and lost bright, inquisitive, patriotic men and women. Family members in just an instant plummeted from anticipation to agony. Spouses and children now planned memorial services. America lost 11 souls.

Caring
DELIVER US FROM THE OMINOUS

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- Six feet tall and impending doom. What would it be like to live with that every day? I wondered that as I sat with my elder friend today. Her husband is loosing touch mentally.

+ In Memoriam +
The Brave Crew of STS-107
"May They Guide Our Ships"

A SONNET FOR THE SHUTTLE CREW

by Joe Shea

HOUSTON, Feb. 1, 2003 -- The space shuttle Columbia was lost at approximately 8:58 a.m. EST this morning in a catastrophic explosion over Texas, possibly caused by damage to heat tiles on the left wing, which was struck by hardened foam blown off the booster tank at the time it separated from the shuttle shortly after takeoff from Cape Canaveral 16 days ago.

Media Beat
WAITING FOR THE LORD IN DOWNTOWN BAGHDAD

by Norman Solomon

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Picture yourself as an American reporter here in the Iraqi capital.

On Native Ground
SEARCHING FOR TRUTH ABOUT THIS WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Sam Smith, editor of The Progressive Review (prorev.com), recently offered what he called the "Standardized Conflagration Competency Exam."

Make My Day
WOULD RUM WORK INSTEAD?

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Abracadabra, make my common sense ... disappear! If only it were as easy as waving a magic wand.

AFTER 7 YEARS OF WAR, CEASEFIRE COMES TO BLOODIED NEPAL

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

KATHMANDU, Jan. 30, 2003 -- A ceasefire has been declared between government troops and Maoist rebels here to allow talks that might end seven years of insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and bloodied the international image of this Himalayan kingdom.

Reporting: Brazil
WORLD'S ACTIVISTS SEND A MESSAGE TO THE ECONOMIC ELITE

by Larry Bridwell

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil -- "We need a new world economic order that distributes wealth more fairly so that impoverished countries have a chance of becoming less impoverished, so that African babies have the same right to eat as a blond, blue-eyed baby born in Scandinavia," Brazil's President Lula da Silva told tens of thousands of participants at the World Social Forum meeting in this southern port city last week.

Momentum
THE WAR AGAINST WOMEN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Watching President George W. Bush give his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, I thought about snakes.

On Trial
FOR TRIAL LAWYERS, MERCEDES-BENZ HEATER CORE CASE IS RED HOT

by Joe Shea

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29, 2002 -- One of the nation's most successful trial lawyers on Wednesday challenged an expert witness for Mercedes-Benz U.S.A as a closely watched trial on the automaker's liability for an exploding heater core that badly burned real estate salesman Albert Royas drew to a close before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias and a jury that includes Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, the city's top lawyer.

Ink Soup
IN THE THEATER OF MEMORY: SARDINE, HAT, GLOBE...

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Why I associate it with London I am not sure. Perhaps it was because we were living in London in the late Sixties, early Seventies, and I seem to recall an article, probably in the TLS, in which someone argued that the design of Shakespeare's Globe Theater showed the influence of an ancient technique for remembering a complicated series of things, such as all the points and the subpoints in one of Cicero's orations.

Editorial
POISED TO TRIUMPH

by Joe Shea

President George W. Bush came into his own last night in a powerful State of the Union address that made a strong case against Saddam Hussein and a great case for compassionate conservatism. In particular, the President's extensive and compelling comments about the spread of AIDS in Africa and the lack of drugs and resources to treat its victims far outstrips any plan the Democrats have offered to fight it; he adopted the orphans of this terrible scourge into the American agenda in a way that will shape the world's efforts against AIDS for another century.

Caring
WOMEN TURN TO WOMEN FOR 'COMPASSIONATE CAPITALISM'

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- It is no secret that current economic conditions have made the single-income family one of many dwindling species in 21st Century. Much has been written about the impact of this massive shift, especially on children as women have migrated from home to workplace, but the cultural price this change has exacted from our elders is just beginning to become clear.

An AR Special Report
On Native Ground: WHY ARE WE STILL ARGUING ABOUT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION?

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I was surprised to see that President Bush would take time out from the "war on terror" to denounce affirmative action. I was even more surprised that President Bush and his handlers picked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday to launch his attack.

An AR Special Report
The Language of War

AR Special Report
Ink Soup: O, SELL ME A HOME

by Clarence Brown

SEATTLE, Wash. -- How the Pentagon ever managed to be tagged with such a neutral, geometric name beats me. When I was in the tenth grade, it did not even exist. I was in college before it was finished, and by then I knew enough Greek to understand that it meant "five angles."

Caring
WHO WILL BE THERE WHEN WE ARE CHILDREN AGAIN?

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- I have always felt that caregivers are the most important people in senior care - not the nurses, not the doctors, but the people who actually give the hands-on care, day in and day out.

Reporting: Politics
SECRECY SURROUNDS A BUSH BROTHER'S ROLE IN 9/11

by Margie Burns

WASHINGTON, Jan 19, 2003 -- A company that provided security at New York City's World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and to United Airlines between 1995 and 2001 was backed by a private Kuwaiti-American investment firm with ties to a brother of President Bush and the Bush family, according to records obtained by the American Reporter.

Reporting: Indonesia
INDONESIAN MUSLIMS HEAR A PLEA FOR PEACE

by Andreas Harsono

JAKARTA -- A leading Muslim scholar from the Sudan has injected some high-octane political thinking into the furious debate going on here over the possible imposition of Islamic law, or sharia, saying that the concept is incompatible with democracy and the principles of modern statehood.

On Native Ground
'CORPORATE CREEP' IS CATCHING UP TO NEWSPAPERS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I've long read newspapers back to front, starting with the sports section. Lately, it's the only part of the newspaper I can stand to read. That's because the front of the newspaper is full of lies and B.S. The sports section is not.

Caring
WHO WILL BE THERE WHEN WE BECOME CHILDREN AGAIN?

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- I have always felt that caregivers are the most important people in senior care - not the nurses, not the doctors, but the people who actually give the hands-on care, day in and day out.

On Native Ground
BEST ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN? NO WAR WITH IRAQ

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- President Bush thinks he can rouse the stagnant U.S. economy by eliminating federal taxes on stock dividends.

Momentum
WORDS CAN HARM, WORDS CAN KILL

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- News that the American Dialect Society named "weapons of mass destruction" as its "word of the year" came not a moment too soon.

Hominy & Hash
AN EASY RIDE TO A RUDE AWAKENING

Constance Daley

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- On Dec. 20, the feature on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition "All Things Considered" was called a Race Roundtable. NPR brought together in their studios a relatively small group of people from the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., to discuss former Senate Majority Leader Lott's remarks and to ask where America goes from here. Historically, the nation's capital has been the site of race controversy from the beginning - and still is today.

Caring
SURVIVING IN THE ANZA-BORREGO

by Cindy Hasz

SAN DIEGO -- The thing about rural nursing is that you never know where the road will take you. It could lead to an old shack without electricity or a mobile home on a reservation, or it could lead to a mansion and everything in-between.

On Native Ground
THE REAL 'LUCKY DUCKIES'

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It's hard to say what's more absurd - that The Wall Street Journal's editorial page would call someone who earns under $12,000 a year a "lucky ducky," or that the Journal would use the phrase "lucky duckies" in an editorial.

Make My Day
STOP LOOKING AT ME!

by Erik Deckers

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Say what you will about them, the Chicago Cubs have always been a perennial baseball favorite. Maybe it's because they haven't won the World Series since 1908. Maybe it's because whenever anyone says "tradition," they point to the Cubs. Maybe it's because everyone loves an underdog, and the Cubs are about as underdoggy as you're going to get.

Momentum
MY PERFECT DIVORCE

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Many people get a new family through marriage; I got one through a divorce.

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