THE AMERICAN TRAVELER

Vol. 22, No. 5,514 - The American Reporter - September 7, 2016

The American Traveler
DISCOVERING ARGENTINA'S ANDEAN PAST

by Martin McReynolds

SALTA, Argentina -- My wife Norma and I got an unexpected glimpse of the distant past when we took a two-week trip recently through the mountainous provinces of Salta and Jujuy in Northwest Argentina.

American Traveler
GLIMPSE OF TOWERING MT. FITZ ROY IS WORTH A WAIT

by Martin McReynolds

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

Travel: Argentina
TANGO 'TIL THE BILL DROPS IN ARGENTINA'S BIG CITY

by Martin McReynolds

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

Constance
EATING CROW ON THE HILLARY THING

Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- In truth, I would not have voted for Hillary Clinton then and if she comes back into the race I won't vote for her now.

On Native Ground
A VICTORY FOR HABEAS CORPUS AND THE RULE OF LAW

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What part of habeas corpus don't conservatives understand?

Momentum
THE ART LIFE

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- A friend recently asked, "Don't you get lonely?"

Make My Day
MY NEW SISSY DOG

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- My family hit an all-time low this week. One that I vowed we would never hit as long as I was alive: we have a new Maltese-Poodle puppy.

Constance
ANOTHER PILGRIM, ANOTHER CREEK

Constance Daley

WARWICK, N. Y. -- Sometimes circumstances come together to create an unforgettable moment - one that leads directly to seeing clearly for the first time what's been going on around us all along. Just as I've seen microscopic beings up close through the powerful lenses that make that possible, so also have I now seen the awakening of Summer during these last few weeks of late Spring.

On Native Ground
TOO LITTLE TRUTH, WAY TOO LATE ON IRAQ WAR

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It passed by with a great ho-hum last week. The Senate Intelligence Committee released a major new report further confirming what many of us already knew - the Bush Administration's claims that Iraq had ties to al-Qaida and were developing weapons of mass destruction were not supported by the evidence the U.S. intelligence committee had at the time.

An Appeal to Barack Obama
A MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED

by Joe Shea

Dear-Mr.-President-To-Be-Elected: A miracle has happened.

Momentum
OUR 'CHEAP OIL FIESTA' IS OVER

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - It's the end of the world as we know it, and for a little while, at least, it sounds lovely.

One Woman's World
GO AHEAD AND VENT, SWEETIE

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- A Yankee feminist asked me once not to call her "dear." Said "honey child" and "Hey, sweetheart!" were not words she cared to hear. Said Southern women's silly ways demeaned today's lifestyle of strong women everywhere who do not fetch or file. Said simpering was a Scarlett thing and so were "sir" and "ma'am" and no free woman hesitates to sound a Rhett-ish "Damn!" Said language is a powerful tool of who we are these days and Southern women ought to stop their childish cute-girl ways.

Make My Day
KARL VS. BIGFOOT

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "I see they're hunting for Bigfoot," said Karl the Curmudgeon, taking a swig of his beer. We were sitting at our favorite Ukrainian bar, enjoying a couple of cold Obolons, a Ukrainian beer brewed in Kiev.

Constance
IT'S NOT SEX, STUPID - IT'S COMMITMENT!

Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Many of us grew up listening to the preamble to the radio and television show, "The Shadow." A deep voice asked a question opening the show that I'll paraphrase here: Who knows what lurks in the hearts of men? Given the fact that "The Shadow," who does know what lurks therein, is a fictional character shedding no light on anything in the real world, we will have to acknowledge that no one knows what lies in the hearts of men - men being generic for mankind.

Dungeons of Debt
BEST BUY, WHERE USERNAMES GO TO DIE

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., June 7, 2008 -- The electronics store Best Buy is surely the worst buy when it comes to support for online bill payers, who may soon become a majority of those Americans who still manage to pay their bills.

On Native Ground
CLUSTER BOMBS HAVE NO PLACE IN BATTLE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Cluster munitions are the aerial cousins of the land mine. Fired by artillery or dropped from aircraft, they scatter dozens or hundreds of "bomblets" across a battlefield. They're designed to attack concentrations of troops and vehicles, and they do so with devastating impact in conflicts around the globe.

AR Editorial
A NEW SONG FOR AMERICA

by Joe Shea

My hearts sings for my country today. It is a song that rises from the sea chants and shanty songs, from the sweat-drenched fields and forests, from the hymns of slaves and the poetry of anguished souls, from the ancient, irrepressible longing for freedom and a place for everyone in the sun of liberty.

Momentum
OF IRON BUTTERFLIES AND BRIDGE WOMEN

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In a way, I'm going to miss her.

Brasch Words
DURING KATRINA, THE U.S. BEHAVED MUCH LIKE MYANMAR'S JUNTA

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa., June 1, 2009 -- President George W. Bush was justifiably upset. A cyclone four days earlier had destroyed a large portion of Myanmar, and the country's military junta was still refusing humanitarian aid. "Let the United States come to help you, help the people," Mr. Bush pleaded with the junta.

One Woman's World
HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- "But what can I do?" they ask me, those few individuals who linger long enough to hear my bitching about the heat our troops in Iraq endure; the media's repeating every line uttered by McCain, Obama and a gal called Hillary as though their words rank right up there with "Blessed are the meek"; my moaning about having to currently hoard coffee, sugar, flour, cornmeal, brown rice and pinto beans against the day when they will cost as much a new tire for a Mercedes; my long shouts of concern for the children of the polygamist sex cults where mad men rape children, enslave women, abuse the welfare system, outwit law enforcement, and then shout gleefully "We are God's chosen, special sons!"

Momentum
MOON RIVER AND ME

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - It was 1961. It was my first job. I was working in an textile designer's office off Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Every Friday, someone would slap an envelope containing my wages down on my desk - $64 and change, and the change always rattled. Innocent and trusting beyond belief, I often let the packet sit on my desk. One Friday, it disappeared.

On Native Ground
GIVING OUR VETS WHAT THEY TRULY DESERVE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Memorial Day speeches are over. The flags and wreaths have been placed on the graves. And the soldiers who have given so much of themselves and gotten so little in return again recede from the nation's consciousness.

Make My Day
DINNERTIME AT THE ZOO

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Panda Polly: There you are. Hurry and get ready, our dinner guests will be here any minute.

An AR Editorial
PAUL, RICHARD AND PHIL

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., May 26, 2008 -- It is not hard, even after 43 years, to summon their images to mind this morning. Paul was swift afoot, blessed with a loving heart and a truly warm smile, and my dearest cousin. Richard had a deep integrity that came from his very core, and among the guys of our senior class at Monroe-Woodbury, he was the most ordinary and yet, for his simple, heartfelt honesty, the most special. And the splash of colors and form that lit up every canvas he ever painted was Phil's unique gift.

On Native Ground
TIME FOR SOME REAL ACTION ON ENERGY ISSUES

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a system of salt caverns on the Gulf coast created in the 1970s to respond to major oil supply disruptions, currently holds 701 million barrels of oil and is at 97 percent of capacity.

Momentum
JOY OF THE SEASON

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Up here in the woods, it's hard getting to the mailbox in the winter. I have to put on a sweater, hat, boots and gloves. I have to take a key, in case the wind blows the door shut and it accidentally locks. Often the driveway gets so icy that I can't walk down to get the paper.

Make My Day
A VERY SPECIAL COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Recently, Montana governor Brian Schweitzer gave a speech to the Opheim High School graduating class, which consisted of one student, Jeff Greenwood. Greenwood will attend Dickinson State University in North Dakota next fall. While Governor Schweitzer spoke to a crowd of 100, I have my own ideas of what I might say to a graduating class of one.

American Opinion
JOHN McCAIN'S UNFUNNY JOKE

by Howard Dean

WASHINGTON -- I've got a joke for you.

Brasch Words
GAYS, GOD, AND GOVERNMENT: SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE STATE CAPITOLS

by Walter Brasch

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The mantra of almost all conservatives - it makes no difference what political party they belong to - is to keep government out of their lives. But, they don't mind government interference when it plays to their biases and bigotry.

Reporting: Nepal
THE END OF MONARCHY LOOMS IN NEPAL

by Chiranjibi Paudyal

LONDON, May 18, 2008 -- The "I am the state" concept of monarchy in Nepal is in mortal peril today as the nation's newly resurgent political parties prepare to abolish its 240-year-old monarchy.

Constance
YAKETY-YAK

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- "Yak" is a trivial or unduly persistent conversation. That's how Webster defines it. And yakety-yak is just more of the same.

On Native Ground
THANKS TO ENERGY BOOM, RUSSIA IS NOW ON THE RISE

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. --It looked like a flashback to the bad old days of the Soviet Union.

Momentum
BACK IN THE USSR

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- How would you like a glamorous trip to a foreign country on the government's tab?

The Willies
UNHAPPY BIRTHDAY

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., May 14, 2008 -- Two natural disasters of vast magnitude have sadly overshadowed Israel's celebration of the 60th anniversary of its establishment in 1948. Its heroic struggle for the survival of the Jewish people, its historic, innovative nurture of a desert land that turned it into a self-sustaining nation, its high-tech leadership in the Age of the Internet, and its very special place as a democratic Mideast ally of the United States are all more than worth of celebration by its friends throughout the world.

One Woman's World
OUR VULNERABILITY IS SHARED

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- These are the times that try the people's souls and test the mettle of a poet's dreams.

Constance
KEYS TO MY KINGDOM

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A cup of hot coffee wards off the chill before going out to the still-cold poolside and getting into the not-yet-warm-enough water for an hour of "aquacizing." The exercise is invigorating and our joints and muscles thank us all day for that head start. Oh, we may not hit the floor running when we get up each morning but we leave the pool energized and ready to take on - well, whatever comes our way.

Brasch Words
WERE ALL EYES REALLY ON JENNA?

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa--The editors of USA Today, as they do every day, had to decide what to make its "Cover Story."

Momentum
JUNKIE NATION

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Just imagine for a minute that you wake up one morning to learn that someone has stolen the arm off of the Statue of Liberty. And with it, her torch. No more will she "lift my lamp beside the golden door." Instead, her great lamp is already shredded; it's on a slow boat to China as we speak.

Make My Day
INDIANA PRIMARY MAKES US FEEL SPECIAL

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I did my civic duty with great pride on Tuesday when I voted in Indiana's primary election. I even wore the little sticker they gave to all the voters.

On Native Ground
FORGET THE FLAG PINS - LET'S TALK ABOUT REAL ISSUES

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It took a few more weeks than planned, but it's clear the game is over.

American Sports
HOW ED HARRIS RESCUED THE MILLER TWINS AND GAVE HOLLYWOOD A FUTURE

by Steven Travers

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the mid-to-late '90s, independent films reached what we now see was a one-decade plateau. John Sayles had made a number of successful, low-budget movies. Quentin Tarantino was hotter than a pistol. Harvey Weinstein was said to be the most powerful executive in Hollywood.

Campaign 2008
WHY POLLS DON'T WORK

by Proloy Bhatta

LOS ANGELES -- As polling information is distributed widely in the news, and often proved wrong, Americans start to wonder whether the information polsters produce tand they consume is credible. The answer is yes - and no.

The Willies
IT'S 12:54 A.M. - DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE VOTES ARE?

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, Fla., May 7, 2008, 1:06 A.M. ET -- With the nation's political junkies hanging on the edge of their seats to learn the outcome of the Democratic primary in Indiana yesterday, the folks at CNN are getting pretty angry about the absence of the last 5 percent of the votes from Lake County, Ind., a suburb of Chicago whose partial numbers have gone heavily to Sen. Barack Obama.

Make My Day
THE DECKERS FAMILY, INC., ANNUAL REPORT

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- To: All members of Deckers Family, Inc.

One Woman's World
'M' IS FOR MOTHERHOOD, MISTAKES AND MAGIC

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. - "M" is for the million things she gave me. "O" means only that she's growing old. "T" is for the tears she shed to save me. "H" is for her heart as pure as gold. "E" is for her eyes with love-light shining. "R" means right and right she'll always be. Put them all together they spell "Mother," a word that means the world to me.

Constance
STIMULATING OPINIONS

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- What do we do? Stimulate the economy or feather our own nests? The President's "stimulus package," already showing up in people's bank accounts in the form f $600 and $1,200 checks, is a real thing. If we didn't think it would happen, or if we were suspicious of it, we now know it's the real deal. Money showed up in my account that I didn't put there.

Momentum
CRUMBCATCHERS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the Roaring Twenties my grandfather, Diamond Ben, was a flashy guy. He had a taste for Cadillacs. He owned a tux and a diamond stickpin. He had a big house by the beach, and two garages on Broadway. He hung out with celebrities.

On Native Ground
FOOD SHORTAGES MEAN BIG TROUBLE FOR POOR NATIONS

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- In the past few months, there have been food riots and social unrest in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mozambique, the Philippines and Senegal.

American Opinion
A PLAN TO ENSURE 9/11 NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN

by John Errett

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- The "War on Terror" sparked by the tragic events of 9/11 continues unabated as we enter one of the most important elections in American history. I believe the leading candidates must tell us how they plan to win this war, but disturbingly this campaign issue remains on the back burner.

On Native Ground
DEMOCRATS READY THE CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- And the winner of the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania is... John McCain.

One Woman's World
I JUST DON'T GET IT

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- If you have two coats, give one to your brother who has none. Feed the hungry. Visit the sick. Take care of the widows and orphans.

Constance
EMINENT DOMAIN IN THE GOLDEN ISLES

BY Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- From my home the "mainland" is a drive across the causeway into Brunswick, Ga. - the gateway to our St. Simons Island and, just a mile or two further south, the entrance to Jekyll Island, the millionaire's playground of the 1930's and the jewel among these Golden Isles of Georgia.

American Opinion
TUNE UP YOUR TAXES WITH THE CELLO

by Rebecca L. Hein

CASPER, Wyo. -- I never liked signing a tax form for which I merely supplied the W2s and receipts yet relied on someone else's knowledge. So over the past 15 years I've learned the requirements and filled out all of the forms myself. It hasn't been easy, but this task has been smoothed out and accomplished in good part by my lifetime of cello playing.

Make My Day
BLAME IT ON THE RAIN

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It's been a hard day, I said to my friend and curmudgeon-for-hire, Karl. It's Monday. I hate Mondays.

Constance
FROZEN MOMENTS

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's become a cliché to be reminded to live in the moment: you can't go back and no one knows what lies ahead, so we are to live in the moment. And, as if we received a poke in the ribs, we're expected to understand, "that's why they call it the "present." Get it?

Momentum
DAFFODIL SLUT

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Perhaps because I've been down with some sort of flu bug, the past few days have been particularly exquisite.

Brasch Words
COMING TO YOUR TOWN, TODAY ONLY: A CLINTON

by Walter Brasch

BLOOMSBURG, Pa.--The Clintons are patrolling Pennsylvania as if they're border collies herding all the stray sheep into the flock.

Market Mover
OBAMA AND CLINTON ON THE JOB

Mark Scheinbaum

ANGEL FIRE, N.M., April 21, 2008 -- From half a nation away I gaze at Pennsylvania on the eve of its primary, and nod with appreciation at the unreported grassroots campaigns of both Senators Clinton and Obama.

One Woman's World
DON'T MESS WITH CHILDREN IN TEXAS

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Let's pretend that a few power-hungry, self-deluded, sexually degenerate women are operating as self-appointed leaders of a religious group called Church of Jesus Christ of Select Sisterhood.

On Native Ground
OBAMA'S WHACKED FOR TELLING THE TRUTH

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- It never ceases to amaze me to see the lengths that the press and the politicians go to in trying to pretend that class doesn't exist in America.

Make My Day
I WANNA BE A COWBELL HERO

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I'm becoming a guitar hero. A veritable rock god. With only three fingers.

Momentum
HOUSES BUILT ON SAND

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The other day I heard a story about a Zen master who visited Yosemite National Park, where he stood looking up at a great waterfall.

One Woman's World
TIME TO TAKE A MOMENT

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Take a "timeout" with me and let's talk about time.

Medicine Today
OVERUSE OF ANTIBIOTICS SPREADS DEADLY STAPH

by Allan Sosin, M.D.

IRVINE, Calif. -- The deadly MRSA - methicillin-resistant staph aureus - is a common cause of infections involving the skin, respiratory and urinary tracts, and the bloodstream. But smart doctoring helps prevent its spread, and a simple, inexpensive nasal spray may be one of the best ways to avoid it.

Constance
DOING WHAT COMES NATURALLY

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- We're a people willing to put labels on other people whose opinions do not reflect our own. So, I would expect that as you read, you will label me either a heathen or a holy joe.

Make My Day
I STILL DON'T HAVE A TOPIC

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Hi Buddy, what do you want?"

On Native Ground
PROGRESS? FIVE YEARS AFTER BAGHDAD'S FALL, THERE ISN'T MUCH

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The dog-and-pony show that was the testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker is now done.

Momentum
LOVE IN THE TIME OF SPRING

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- On Tuesday, while the Red Sox were getting their 2007 World Series rings I cried like a baby,

Brasch Words
MURDER IN AN ALASKAN FOREST

by Walter Brasch

FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- No one - at least no human - knows his name, or if he had a name. We don't know where or when he was born. We know nothing about his life.

One Woman's World
DR. PHIL NEEDS A SHRINK

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I've had my fill of Dr. Phil.

Make My Day
I'LL TAKE FRIES WITH THAT

by Erik Deckers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- We are food-obsessed in this country - how it's made, where it comes from, whether it's organic, and how much we eat - or, more importantly, what we don't eat.

Constance
GAMES OF LIFE AND MAKE-BELIEVE

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- There are neither photographs, names nor ethnic identities associated with the story shocking the nation. About nine third-graders (do I dare refer to them as a "band?") went to schoool carrying a kid-sized bundle of paraphernalia that looked like gear carried by rapists, stalkers, and other mean-street hoods who plan to carry out dastardly deeds.

Momentum
YOU SO BEAUTIFUL

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Running through my head for the past few weeks have been the lyrics of an old boogie-woogie song by Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson. It's called "Roll Em Pete," and you may know the chorus: "You so beautiful you got to die someday/Honey, you so beautiful you got to die someday/All I want, a little lovin' just 'fore you pass away."

On Native Ground
THE NUMBERS SAY IT'S ALL OVER, HILLARY

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Sen. Hillary Clinton doggedly fights on in her quest to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. Even though Sen. Barack Obama has raised more money, received more votes and has more delegates than Clinton, she and her allies in the party and the media believe she can win.

Constance
WHEN A LESSON COMES TOO LATE TO LEARN

by Constance Daley

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's not easy being a "know it all" when the message hits you and you finally realize everybody else was right.

Momentum
MARRIAGE WITH BENEFITS

by Joyce Marcel

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - Sex, sex everywhere, and not a drop to drink. How did America become so schizophrenic with its toxic mix of Victorian morality and girls-gone-wild sleaze and licentiousness?

On Native Ground
IN IRAQ, THE BUTCHER'S BILL KEEPS GROWING

by Randolph T. Holhut

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

One Woman's World
GOING TO 'OUR KIND' OF CHURCH

by Elizabeth T. Andrews

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Guilty by association. Our own kind. Those of like mind. Credible identity yardsticks for who we are ... or mere words?

The Willies
WHEN THE BANKS ROB THE FED

by Joe Shea

BRADENTON, March 23, 2008 -- The countless billions of bad mortgage debt that used to be the responsibility of giant Wall Street investment banks is becoming your responsibility as a taxpayer, and there's damn little to be done about it.

Copyright 2016 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.