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March/April/May 2009   (updated 5/7/09)

Readers Essays/Stories

Tortured Democracy

(Zeus Y.)
"Good faith" may have limited application in contract law, but it has no place in constitutional law. If you flout the highest law of the land, especially if you are a top-level decision-maker, you should be brought to justice. If you provably condoned, approved, and justified torture against established national and international law, you should be prosecuted.

Madoffing the U.S. Financial System

(Zeus Y.)
We are seeing unfold before us nothing short than the Madoffing of the U.S. financial system. The recent reports of profitability for the major financial companiesóBank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, etc. are exactly Bernie Madoff on a large scale.

Thoughts on the USA Ė 1968 to 2009
(John Kinsella)
It is now forty years since my first visit to the USA. As a young engineer I travelled to New York, Pittsburgh and the Tri-Cities area of West Virginia. Times and values have moved on in those forty years. Then, somewhat dazzled on my arrival in New York, just before Christmas in 1968, I was met by the US agent of the company I worked for, a friendly and cultivated man, certainly older than my father, and a representative of the Westinghouse Company. I was delivered to the Biltmore Hotel and remember the next evening being invited to a fashionable French restaurant, which to my surprise was really like a Parisian restaurant.

Hanging On, or How to Get Through a Depression and Enjoy Life
Though there are many short accounts and (e.g., Studs Terkel's Hard Times), novels (e.g., Grapes of Wrath), movies and historical analyses of how various populations (e.g., migrant workers, Okies, etc.), Iíve seen few interesting, in-depth accounts of how middle class and upper middle class Americans in particular experienced the 1930s depression.

So Edmund G. Loveís 1972 autobiographical novel, Hanging On, Or, How to Get Through a Depression and Enjoy Life was particularly intriguing to me when I found it at a local used bookstore, and his story struck me as an especially timely one given current events. Though the book certainly includes much more then just the depression, relating, for instance, the authorís college experience, it is in large part a discussion of how nation's economic circumstances impacted the author and his friends and family and how they responded to these challenges.

Operation SERF (serialized novel) home page
(Chris Sullins)

Readers Commentaries

reader comments 3/3/09
Armed Forces Support staffing, California drought/High Sierra, pimping the War on Drugs, legalizing drugs, narco-dollars for beginners, rent vs. own, transformations and the Tao, and more

Readers Poetry

Mike Dakota (©2009)


I bet if Romeo and Juliet
had a phone they would have text'd
and their early demise not met
or let
two families suffer regret
full of tears salty and wet
and William's plot made thinner yet.

Verona U.


What do they see of man
on their watery planet?
A thin island
knifing through the sea below
a puny object in the vastness
black dots on the ice.

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