We Gather Together to Ask . . .

 by Rosemary and Walter Brasch Segued into a 10-second afterthought, smothered by 60-second Christmas commercials, is the media acknowledgement of Thanksgiving, which nudges us into a realization of all we are thankful for. But the usual litany, even with the omnipresent pictures of the less fortunate being fed by the more fortunate, doesn’t list well this year. Our thanks seem to be at best half-hearted or at least insensitive and shallow. All of us might be thankful for peace if America still hadn’t been involved in two recent wars. The Iraq war lasted almost nine years; the other, in Afghanistan, has lasted more than 12 years and is the nation’s longest war. And now it appears that we will be … Continue reading

The No News News Media

There was a lot of news this past week. Some of it was even reported by the news media. First, there was a football player from Notre Dame who either did or didn’t know that his girlfriend was or wasn’t real, but died sometime during the season. Six column headlines for several days announced the fraud. Network news and talk show hosts rehashed it almost daily. Two weeks ago, Lance Armstrong admitted he was a dope. Or maybe he just took dope. The news media kept sending urgent flashes all week of what he was going to tell Oprah. And then he told Oprah, and now we’ll be reading stories about it until Schwinn adds a jet engine to a … Continue reading

Memorial Day 2012: A Lesson Not Yet Learned

by WALTER BRASCH   Today is Memorial Day, the last day of the three-day weekend. Veterans and community groups will remember those who died in battle and, as they have done for more than a century, will place small flags on graves. But, for most of America, Memorial Day is a three-day picnic-filled weekend that heralds the start of Summer, just as Labor Day has become a three-day picnic-filled weekend that laments the end of Summer.  There will be memorial concerts and parades. The media, shoving aside political and celebrity news, will all have stories. Among those who will be the first to patriotically salute those who died in battle are those who enthusiastically pushed for them to go to … Continue reading

Iraq: Just Another War Without an End

We know the names of every one of the 4,479 Americans who were killed and the 32,200 who were wounded, both civilian and military, between March 20, 2003 and Oct. 21, 2011, the day President Barack Obama, fulfilling a campaign promise, declared the last American soldier would leave Iraq before the end of the year. We know Second Lieutenant Therrel Shane Childers was the first American soldier killed by hostile fire in Operation Iraqi Freedom. On March 21, 2003, less than a day after the U.S.-led invasion, Childers was shot in the stomach by hostile forces while leading a Marine platoon to secure an oil field in southern Iraq.  His father, Joseph, told NPR that it was his dream to … Continue reading