Insight on the News

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

Articles from Vol. 18, No. 11, March 25

A Letter from the Editor
Dear Readers, Life, it seems to us, sometimes becomes a hodgepodge of unrelated events in the otherwise orderly world we strive to create. But despite occasional errant and even threatening rocks and shoals we manage to guide the keel through unknown...
All-Consuming Passion: They Eat for Sport, Chewing and Chomping While Judges Watch, Audiences Howl and Innocent Bystanders Duck. (Curiosities)
America got its first real taste of competitive eating when Fox aired The Glutton Bowl, a two-hour special that featured 40 contestants competing for $25,000 "in a challenge to see how much or how fast they can consume." In March, the Discovery Channel...
A Terrorist Regime Waits in the Wings: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Now Are Poised to Overthrow the Country's Government and to Become an Even Bigger Threat to U.S. National Security. (World: Colombia)
The Taliban regime is gone, but a new one soon may emerge -- not in far-off Afghanistan, but in Colombia, a country nearly twice the size and on the front door of the United States. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), flush with a...
Biden Buddies Up to Pro-Iran Lobby: Lobbying Groups Supportive of the Tehran Regime Seem to Have Found a High-Level Friend in Washington: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden. (Nation: Agents of Influence)
Some might call it reaching out to American Muslims. But to many Iranians living in California, a fund-raiser for Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) at the home of a prominent pro-Iran lobbyist on Feb. 19 sent a wrongheaded message to the ruling clerics in...
Blacks Thriving Economically: African-Americans Are Participating in the American Dream as Never before, Although Black Affluence Is Overlooked by the Press and Often Ignored by Black Leaders. (Trends)
The stories pop up like a man-bites-dog piece: Minority businessman gains foothold ... Black-owned businesses spread ... Local black merchant seeing revenue." The headlines almost declare black success an anomaly. It isn't. Unprecedented strides...
Documents Divulge Soviet's Once-Dark Dealings in Afghanistan. (News Alert!)
Yuri Andropov, the KGB hard-liner, was one of two Russian Yuris who were thorns in America's side during the Cold War. Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, declared: "Now let the other countries try to catch us." These were tree believers. Andropov...
FAA's Sex Scandal: The Transportation Department Has Launched an Investigation into Allegations That FAA Security Officials Engaged in Sex Acts with Children Overseas While Ignoring Potential Threats to U.S. Aviation Safety and Security. (Cover Story)
Amid news from a whistle-blower that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials covered up or ignored serious lapses in U.S. aviation security -- both before and after Sept. 11 -- come startling new allegations of sexual misconduct overseas involving...
False Child-Abuse Charges Still Haunt Bay State. (Fair Comment)
Massachusetts Republican Gov. Jane Swift should be tarred, feathered and then run out of the Bay State. She refused the unanimous recommendation of the Governor's Board of Pardons to free an innocent man because she is afraid of a political backlash...
Hiding Holes in Financial War on Terrorism. (Political Notebook)
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill lauded in February the close cooperation now under way between the United States and the European Union in efforts to cut off terrorists from their sources of funding. He cited as an example an order issued to U.S banks...
`Honest Ave' Missed Truth about the Russians. (the Last Word)
Keeping files is a nuisance, but rummaging through them can give you a slap and a tickle. Recently I came across a memo about W. Averell "Honest Ave" Harriman. In the 1950s, when he had ambitions independent of his role as a New Dealer, he would come...
Humanities' New Mission: Sept. 11 Has Sharpened the Focus and Mission of the NEH, at Least in the Mind of Its New Director. (Culture)
Defining a nation's mission has become a tricky proposition, especially when its citizens do not agree on its values, history or heroes. What Americans still hold to, especially post-Sept. 11, is a belief in the goodness of democracy. This dream also...
Ingenious Patrolling Methods Turn the Fast into the Furious. (for the People)
Speeders beware! In Pensacola, Fla., last year a very creative school-crossing guard discovered that he could slow traffic quickly by pointing a hand-held hair dryer in the direction of oncoming cars, tracks and sport utility vehicles. Concerned that...
Lumping the ELF and the ALF with Al-Qaeda. (the Nation in Brief)
The tactics attributed to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) certainly are criminal -- arson, vandalism and other sorts of sabotage. Critics, including some members of Congress, are asking that the groups be considered...
Pinkerton Still Driven by Big Ideas: Once Known as a Political Whiz Kid, James Pinkerton Today Is an Outspoken Visionary Who Believes America Should Again Rigorously Pursue Its Exploratory Destiny. (Picture Profile)
Even if James Pinkerton were a short man he would be known for his tall ideas. Given his wry sense of humor, Pinkerton might appreciate that irony. It's somehow fitting that, at 6 feet 9 inches tall, his ideas also tower A tireless advocate for space...
Politics and Poor Predictions. (Washington's Week)
The late H.L. Mencken probably got it right when he wrote that the making of predictions, like the writing of fugues, is fatal to all except the absolute genius. This was highlighted on Feb. 26 when President George W. Bush unveiled his plan for the...
Race-Based College Admissions New Goal of Diversity Lobby. (Fair Comment)
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, which outlawed racial quotas for college admissions. That didn't mean the end of the quest for racial quotas and the euphemisms for it (affirmative action, diversity and multiculturalism). The diversity...
Radon Regs: The Next Big Raid on the Public Pocketbook? (Waste & Abuse)
The practice of allowing U.S. regulatory agencies to estimate the likely environmental, health and economic impacts of the rules they make often is fraught with conflicts of interest, given the proven tendency of those agencies to oversell grossly...
Rulings from the Rogue Court: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Has a Reputation for Flagrantly Ignoring Supreme Court Precedent While Handing Down Decisions on Various Hot-Button Issues. (Nation: Judicial Branch)
Laurence Tribe may be the most liberal lawyer in America. Yet, at a Senate committee hearing in December, he warned of the "international embarrassment" that could befall the country if "some rather liberal judge out in the 9th Circuit" were to involve...
Seven Nominated as NEA Advisers
Seven new members, including one from Congress, have been appointed to the council for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), replacing Clinton-administration appointees who were serving on expired terms. The council advises the NEA on who should...
Should We Trade with Supporters of Terrorism? (the Nation in Brief)
In reviewing the trend toward expansion of international trade on the part of Republicans and moderate Democrats in Congress, the Judicial/Legislative Watch newsletter notes that legislation enhancing business dealings with Cuba is moving ahead without...
Sludge Mess in EPA's Back Yard: The EPA Tried Some Sleight of Hand by Declaring Sludge Beneficial to the Environment, but the Agency Can't Make Allegations of Poisoning the Public Disappear. (Nation: Government Regulations)
In 1993 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attempted to perform "sludge magic," changing its description of the wastewater dregs that settle from households, hospitals, factories and morgues by announcing that, thanks to the agency, this no...
Steinbeck's America: Publishers Celebrate John Steinbeck by Reissuing Special Editions of His Work. (Books)
On the centennial of his birth -- Feb. 27, 1902 -- it was obvious that the reputation of Nobelist John Steinbeck was secure. His books remain in print and continue to sell well. In fact, Viking-Penguin is releasing special commemorative paperback editions...
Students' Rights versus Academe's Leftward Tilt. (Fair Comment)
If professors were the only Americans eligible to vote, we might have avoided the Florida presidential-election debacle. A new survey commissioned by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture found that, among Ivy League faculty, some 84 percent...
Symposium
Q: Would federalism, with strong regional powers, bring peace to Afghanistan? YES: Let U.S.-inspired federalism balance the competing interests of a wide range of ethnic factions. During my 12 years of experience, from the late eighties to the...
Which Lobbying Effort Will Leave Nobel Prize Committee Cold? (News Alert!)
Lobbying for the Nobel Peace Prize is something that just isn't done. it's generally assumed that the Stockholm committee frowns upon concerted efforts to curry its favor. In fact, the most recent Nobel lobbying efforts have backfired. Someone might...