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

American Patriotism in Hyper-Drive

  by WALTER BRASCH  It’s midway between Flag Day and Independence Day. That means several million copies of full-page flags printed on cheap newsprint, June 14, have been burned, shredded, thrown away, or perhaps recycled. It’s an American tradition.  Flag Day was created by President Wilson in 1916 on the eve of the American entry into World War I. It has since been a day to allow Americans to show how patriotic we have become, and give a running start to celebrating the Revolution by buying banners, fireworks, and charcoal briquettes for the upcoming picnic.  Within American society is a large class of people who fly flags on 30-foot poles in front of their houses and adorn their cars with … Continue reading

Stories We Will Still Have to Write in 2012

  by WALTER and ROSEMARY BRASCH   In January 2009, with a new president about to be inaugurated, we wrote a column about the stories we preferred not having to write, but knew we would. Three years later, we are still writing about those problems; three years from now, we’ll still be writing about them. We had wanted the U.S. Department of the Interior to stop the government-approved slaughter of wild horses and burros in the southwest, but were disappointed that the cattle industry used its money and influence to shelter politicians from Americans who asked for compassion and understanding of  breeds that roamed freely long before the nation’s “Manifest Destiny.” We wanted to see the federal government protect wolves, … Continue reading

How To Handle a Crisis (and How NOT To)

We don’t usually see life in these terms, of course. We see it as an endless parade, and we dream about cruising the Mediterranean with our Retirement Nest egg and how proud our grandkids will make us. We dream of moving up the corporate ladder. We dream of creating the perfect confluence between the Pie In The Sky Constitution guarantees of freedom of speech and call in to talk radio shows when Huckleberry Finn has been banned, yet again… Continue reading