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Columns

  • Who’s the real enemy of the people?

    If the media are indeed “the enemy of the people,” so is democracy. We don’t have to have it, this democratic element to our republic.

    China is doing fine without it, and Russia is making a comeback without it. Even North Korea, with an iron curtain of its own around its oppressed citizenry, is on the rise on the world stage.

    These are nations run by dictators who control their people by limiting free speech and keeping a tight grip on the media.

  • Lost in a storybook

    This column could evolve into a tug-of-war, but more likely it’ll become simply a matter of who prefers what.

    I’ve been an avid reader most of my life, but the quantity and quality of my reading often hinges on the form in which the printed word is presented.

    Let me explain:

  • Here’s the down side of modern technology

    My last breath will be breathed in a world far different from the world I breathed my first breath. Oh, how the world has changed! One constant in our world is change.

    Some will argue that the world is changing for the better and others will argue that it is changing for the worse. It really depends on what you focus on.

    Early in the existence of mankind mere survival was success. Finding food and shelter were full time activities. As mankind spread and multiplied, time was freed up to enjoy leisure activities or to learn academically.

  • That was the last straw

    Call this grasping at straws, but there’s considerable import behind the following topic.
    It concerns a 12-year-old boy in West London who had to go to court to answer assault charges. He and three friends were eating at a McDonald’s in Hammersmith, when they started acting like . . . a group of unattended 13-year-old boys. One of them allegedly put a French fry into his straw and tried to launch it at a friend.

    He missed.

    But wait — there’s more:

  • I really didn’t say everything I said

    “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” What? That statement doesn’t even make sense. Don’t ask questions, it was said by Yogi Berra!

    This is just one of many quotes of “wisdom” by baseball great Yogi Berra, who apparently wasn’t too bright with numbers. He also once said “90 percent of short putts don’t go in.” Each of these quotes supports the premise that four out of three individuals are poor at fractions.

  • Why in the world does Las Vegas need an online auction?

    Did you know that on Wednesday, August 1, a Las Vegas online auction will go live? In my opinion, the most exciting offering is an exclusive visit to Charles Ross’s Star Axis.

    I am eager to trek over to that private mesa to learn what Charles has been creating for the last four decades. I know it has to do with the alignment of the stars to the earth and is complementary to the Dwan Light Sanctuary.

  • After ISIS, Iraq’s biggest threat is lack of utilities

    Basra was once regarded as a thriving city where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet to form Shaat Al Arab. Today, Basra’s economy is crippled by high-end corruption, foreign pressures, and three wars and uprisings.

    Basra remains one of the richest and biggest regional suppliers of oil in the world, yet the current circumstances are devastating. The city of 2.5 million between Kuwait and Iran is suffering from limited water supply and electricity, and most recently, limited freedom of expression.

  • A look at what makes small-town news, and why

    One of my old journalism school textbooks lays out seven Elements of News that are worth reviewing from time to time.

    They are timeliness, conflict, human interest, impact, prominence, proximity and unusualness — news elements that help newspaper editors decide what’s news and what’s not, and if it is news, whether it’s a front-page worthy or just another inside story.

  • Where’d those words come from?

    Almost daily, we come across — and many of us even use — familiar expressions that, when you come to think about them, almost  defy explanation.

    As a person who’s made a living by using words, I confess I’m one of the biggest offenders; that is, I often use expression that I feel comfortable with and that I’ve heard before, but sometimes am unable to explain why I used them.

  • What is it that really defines you?

    What is really at the heart of your existence? What do you value that impacts your life on a day-to-day basis? What is it that really defines you?

    We are all basically the same. We have the basic need to stay alive. We experience the same emotions. We desire to have joy in the world we live in.

    We are all different. How we go about the above and other basics is different for each one of us. We independently march to the beat of our own drum.