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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The man who can't say no

George Bush was the choice for those of us who think Islamofascist terror is the most serious threat facing this country. John Kerry didn't have a clue, and most national Democrats still don't. That doesn't mean we're all thrilled with Bush's domestic agenda. As a fiscal conservative who would like to see some scaling back of federal appetites, I'm dismayed (even shocked! and appalled!!)that the president has yet to issue a single veto in his nearly five years in office.

One for the history books

Just in case you thought President Bush was spending five weeks in Crawford eating cheeseburgers and watching exhibition football on TV, how does his summer reading list compare with what you took on your last vacation?

Posted in: Books

Hold it right there, baby

I was a crossing guard in junior high school, because it got me out of some classes a few minutes early. I tried not to let the power go to my head, but a lot of my fellow guards were petty tyrants. So were most of the hall monitors. Hassling their classmates ("You're not allowed to be here. Where's your pass?") while basking in the reflected glow of real power was about as good as it got for them. I think a lot of them must have ended up in airports.

Posted in: Current Affairs

And there's no gum in the carpet

Let's see. I can fight traffic, try to find a parking space, spend $8 for a ticket and a king's ransom for popcorn and a drink and put up with the screaming kids and the people in front of me who won't shut up. Or I can wait a few weeks and watch the DVD in the comfort of my living room. What a tough call.

The question of civilians

With the 60th anniversary of Fat Man and Little Boy here, it's only natural to see comparisons of World War II and the war on terror. This essay on Hiroshima is one of the most thoughtful, insightful and troubling.

Posted in: Current Affairs

The grease-splattered ceiling

The Bush White House has done a wonderful job of giving responsible positions to qualified women, including the person many of us would like to see run for Bush's job. But this is an astonishing breakthrough -- a woman in the kitchen! It was discouraging to see the menu she won the job with, a meal for the Indian prime minister led off with -- eeuu!

Posted in: Food and Drink

Take this ball and shove it

First, the NCAA puts the squeeze on Native American mascots and nicknames. Now, New Mexico State University is disarming Pistol Pete and putting a lasso in his hands. Guess we're supposed to purge both Indians and Cowboys from our history.

Begging for a court fight

Can a panhandler's ability to ask for money be restricted, but a firefighter's right to stand by the road and raise money for charity be upheld, without somebody's rights being violated? Such questions are important to ask, but every time the issue is brought up, advocates always find a new right nobody ever thought of before. A proposed ban on begging in Atlanta has some claiming it is a civil rights issue, since many of those begging are black.

Just a darn minute

No f***, no "F word," no "freakings, friggings or firkings," either. It's the complete expletive to end all expletives, or nothing at all. That's the way they're doing it in Canadian newspapers these days, at any rate. How things change. I remember a huge fight at my last newspaper when Jimmy Carter said he was going to "whip Teddy Kennedy's a**" -- and the publishers weren't thrilled that we even went so far as to use the asterisks.

I'm OK, you're in a bad mood

We've done a good job in this country in the last few years of reducing the stigma of mental illness, allowing millions of people to get the help they need. But we ought to be careful of the trend of "defining down" -- identifying just about any bad mood or idiosyncratic personality trait as a mental illness. That adds to the deepening lack of responsibility ("It's not MY fault!") in the culture and makes us take those truly in pain less seriously. 

Posted in: Science

Gas pains

Gas_prices_1 Certainly it's instructive to put gas prices in perspective. When you compare their increases to the bumps in costs of things like homes, college tuition and medical insurance, gas is a real bargain, as freebuck.com demonstrates.

Posted in: Our town

Keep those cards and letters coming

A couple of updates:

Hey, your mom wants you

"Kicking the can down the road" is becoming tiresome as the metaphor of choice for pontificating blowhards who want to sound deeper than they would just by saying "putting off difficult decisions until another day." The roundtable members on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday used it about five times when talking about Iraq; or was it Iran or North Korea? Doesn't matter. Kicking the can, etc., is one of those all-purpose phrases. I'd like to kick people who say kicking the can in the can so hard they end up in next Tuesday.

Take a bow, stars; oops, never mind

Holy cow. They must have finally run out of things to poll people about if they've gotten around to this -- Americans' favorite dead celebrities. Lucille Ball tops the list, followed by Bob Hope and John Wayne. Our least-favorite room-temperature famous people are Robert Atkins, Tupac Shakur and Johnnie Cochran; talk about getting no respect. Guess there's still hope for those of us who don't leave this world as well-liked as we might have hoped.

Dude, where's my head?

The news that Hoosiers Without Helmets (watch for the opening of a new chapter near you) are dying at a much faster rate than motorcycle riders in other states is spurring the predictable calls for change.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

On the other hand . . .

I hate to see editorials like this one in the Indianapolis Star because they remind me that I've written plenty of them in my career. The editorial writer didn't have anything in particular to say but felt compelled to write about the issue anyway. The result is a wishy-washy mishmash of nothing. And I still want to know what people think about Redskins.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

And you thought we were moderate

A group called the Bay Area Center for Voting Research has examined the voting patterns of all 237 American cities with populations over 100,000 and ranked their political leanings. If you look at the conservative rankings, Fort Wayne comes out 44th on the list; on the liberal list, we come in at No. 193. Shocking, I know, simply shocking. Gary comes in at No. 236 on the conservative list and No.

Daddy, are we there yet?

"In order for a great people to do great things, they must not be bridled by timidity." Space exploration is one of those issues on which I'm neither "libertarian" nor "conservative," and I probably have a slightly different view than the editorial page I help produce. I'd spend even more money than is spent now, and I'd start getting ready for the moon and Mars today, not in a few years. And I've changed my mind about the value of the shuttle program.

Posted in: Science

Sign of the times

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Time for the adults to take charge

The 5-Alive Guide for helping keep youthful drivers safe is such a good idea that it gets a favorable mention in editorials in both the evening and morning newspapers. This is something the kids will hope their parents don't read, because if they do, the first few years of driving won't be nearly as fun as they had imagined. Or as deadly as the parents fear.

Posted in: Blogroll, Our town