Insight on the News

Insight on the newspaper is a magazine specializing in General topics.

Articles from Vol. 18, No. 9, March 11

A Letter from the Editor
Dear Readers, In listening to the House debate on campaign-finance reform, we were struck by what sometimes appeared to be parodies of scenes out of Alice In Wonderland. What brings this to mind is something a young reporter recently raised about...
`Biofraud' Angers Westerners: Loggers and Miners in the Pacific Northwest Have Had Their Suspicions Confirmed by New Evidence of Government Agencies Manipulating Data and Skewering Research. (Environment)
The admission that employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service and Washington state falsified data confirms what many rural Westerners believe: Agencies doctor species and habitat studies to stop logging, ranching and mining...
Campaign Dollars and Sense. (Washington's Week)
At a moment in U.S. history when slaking one's thirst with a frosty tankard of beer, purchasing a new sofa and changing telephone carriers were being draped with the flag and appeals to patriotism, it came as no surprise that the debate on campaign-finance...
Comic Relief: What Began in 1938 as an Unassuming 13-Page Book about a Hero Named Superman Has Evolved into a Mix of Art and Literature. (Culture)
Seated at a restaurant table, Nate Baxter arranges stacks of brightly colored comic books by nationality: India, Hungary, France, Thailand, Germany, Malaysia, Japan and Croatia. A passing waitress comes to a quick stop, her widening eyes scanning the...
Confusion Rules over White's Role on Enron Executive Committee. (News Alert!)
Was Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White a member of the Enron executive committee? And, if so, what did the so-called "executive committee" do? Official Army statements, Enron documents and the secretary's own words give conflicting accounts. ...
Congress Still on Wrong Track with Amtrak. (the Last Word)
Tradition is to be valued. But there comes a time when it is overwhelmed -- Amtrak, or socialized passenger rail service, being a prime instance. That turkey is done. As much as $50 billion in current taxpayer money has been chewed up, and big bucks...
Enron Casts Dark Shadow on Academe. (Political Notebook)
As far as the Ivy League schools go, and at least one of their equivalents on the other side of the Atlantic, the last two weeks have been one big red-faced embarrassment -- and it goes by the name of Enron. The parade of Enron executives and Arthur...
EPA Eyes Shake-Up of Key Personnel: Badly in Need of Flesh Ideas, the EPA Is on the Verge of Undergoing a Major Personnel Reform That Will Reassign Firmly Entrenched Senior Executives within the Agency. (Special Report)
Nothing officially has been announced and final plans are not yet in place, so officials are reluctant to speak publicly. But winks and nods are being given at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about an "SES shuffle" of a kind that hasn't been...
EWG: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. (Fair Comment)
Among the political chattering classes there is a big buzz surrounding a tiny activist organization called the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Both liberals and conservatives, including the left-leaning New York Times' editorial page and its...
Family Matters in Welfare Reform: While Welfare-Reform Legislation Has Led to Reductions in Unemployment and Child Poverty, Some Opponents Are Turning a Cold Shoulder to Pro-Marriage Proposals. (Nation: Marriage)
Five years after Bill Clinton capitulated to Republican demands and signed on to watershed welfare-reform legislation, policy wonks, pro-family activists and politicians waging war on the welfare state have reason to celebrate as millions of former...
Foul Ball: Monster's Ball Sets Up an Easy Target -- Bigots Who Support the Death Penalty. (Film)
Can the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences add the category "PC" to its rating system, or at least emulate record companies and put warnings on movie posters: "Contains explicit moral platitudes and may not be suitable for viewers with unprogressive...
Free Republic Forum Takes on Big Media. (Washington in Brief)
Free Republic (www.free republic.com) is an Internet bulletin board. Often termed "right wing," it is a battleground where those of a libertarian bent fight it out in no uncertain terms with social conservatives. Liberals, if they drop in, rarely make...
GOP Outreach to Black Colleges Working for Both Sides. (News Alert!)
Republican outreach to minority voters is one of many spokes in President George W. Bush's re-election strategy. Based on the president's budget, it doesn't look like he has slacked off on his minority-outreach program in the aftermath of Sept. 11....
Government Uses `Science' Fiction to Its Advantage. (Waste & Abuse)
The words "science" and "scientist" seem to exercise a totemic hold over the minds of many Americans, who prostrate themselves before both with complete faith in their beneficence and infallibility. Science has served this society well, but Americans...
Guard Details How Drugs Get Inside Prison Facilities. (Correspondence)
I have been a correctional officer for 12 years in a maximum-security prison in California. I will agree that there definitely is a drug problem in our prisons ("On Dope Row" Feb. 25). I work in the security-housing unit (lockdown) where no inmate-visitor...
Is It Time to Topple Saddam? President Bush's Tough Rhetoric Has Iraq Softening Its Once-Defiant Tone, but Behind-the-Scenes Debate May Be Keeping Baghdad from Facing Immediate Reckoning. (Nation: The Axis of Evil)
Since the State of the Union address in which President George W. Bush dubbed Iraq the chief member of an "axis of evil" and emphasized his determination to effect a regime change there, attention has focused on what the United States can do to topple...
Jane Russell Outlaws PC Pose: Tinseltown Legend Jane Russell Longs for a Conservative Resurgence in Hollywood, While Using Her Celebrity to Get the Bible Back into the Public-School Curriculum
In World War II, pinup photos of actress/singer Jane Russell adorned the barracks of American GIs stationed throughout the world. Russell's first film, The Outlaw, released in 1943 and directed by Howard Hughes, showed off her dramatic beauty and full...
LaSalle Vows to Outdo Drudge. (Media)
An aspiring media mogul has thrown down the gauntlet to canny Matt Drudge. Mike LaSalle wants to pit his new Men's News Daily Website (www.mensnews daily.com) against the 5-year-old Drudge Report (www.drudgereport.com), the archetypal news and gossip...
Liberals Try to Nitpick Pickering
One certainly can understand why newspapers such as the Atlanta Journal and Constitution ("Extremist Judge Unfit to Sit on Appeals Court") and the Los Angeles Times ("Say No to This Throwback") are so upset about Charles Pickering, President George...
Paddles & Pins: Unexpected Health Benefits Can Accrue from Low-Impact Activities Such as Table Tennis and Bowling -- Sports Too Often Dismissed. (Sports)
If you never thought of table tennis as a he-man sport requiring plenty of stamina and muscle power, take a look at the impressive form of champion player Morris Jackson. Jackson, 51, ranked by the U.S. Table Tennis Association as one of the top 100...
`Report' Card: The State Department's Annual Human-Rights Report Now Is the `Document of Record' for Assessing the Decency of U.S. Allies and Adversaries and for Basing U.S. Foreign Policy on American Values
In late February, for the 26th time in as many years the State Department will issue its annual country report on human-rights practices around the world. As in other years, the report will take to task U.S. allies and foes alike for practices ranging...
Symposium
Q: should Washington stem the tide of both legal and illegal immigration? Yes: Immigration will double the population of the United States within the next 60 years. BY DIRK CHASE ELDRIDGE Eldredge is the author of Crowded Land of Liberty --...
Television Keeps It Real: Not Only Will Survivor Be Back for Another Season, Producers Have Come Up with a Host of New Ideas for Reality TV Involving Fighter Pilots and Aspiring Playmates. (Media)
Reports that reality television had faded into oblivion after Sept. 11 have been greatly exaggerated. The genre is back, with a vengeance. The trials and tribulations of fighter pilots, aspiring actors, hopeful brides, clueless homesteaders, determined...
The Jewel of Central Asian Republics: Double-Digit Growth, Single-Digit Inflation, a Reformed Financial System and Vast Oil Reserves Have Kazakhstan Poised to Become a Major Player in the World Economy. (World: Kazakhastan)
It isn't every day that you see a former colony outperform its colonizer, let alone within 10 years of independence, but that's just what Kazakhstan seems to have done. When this vast land of steppes and mountains astride Central Asia recently marked...
These `Getaways' Show a Criminal Lack of Smarts. (for the People)
For the people from time to time draws reader attention to examples of truly dim-witted criminal wanna-bes, and from the Associated Press come two dillies, both involving really bad choices when it comes to "get-away" transportation. In Fairbanks,...
Waxman Power Play Imperils Rule of Law: Rep. Henry Waxman's Wily Use of an Obscure 1928 Law to Make an End Run around the Executive Branch Has the Potential to Trigger a Constitutional Crisis. (Congress: `Rule of Seven')
Rep. Henry Waxman's wily use of an obscure 1928 law end run around the executive branch has through the federal judiciary toward the U.S. Supreme Court has the potential to start a political wildfire, say constitutional authorities -- one that may...
Word Warriors: The Renowned Oxford Dictionary Plans to Enlarge Its American Staff
Yankee English increasingly is the dominant form of a growing global language, argues lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower, the principal editor of the new American office of the Oxford English Dictionary, affectionately known as the OED. That assertion...