DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Japan’s Right: Going Nuke?

By Conn Hallinan
Friday October 19, 2012 - 03:25:00 PM

Behind the current impasse among China, Japan and Taiwan over five tiny specks of land in the East China Sea is an influential rightwing movement in Japan that initiated the crisis in the first place, a crisis it is using it to undermine Japan’s post-World War II peace constitution and, possibly, break the half-century taboo on building nuclear weapons. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Remembering the 1983 Bombing of the Marine Barrack in Beirut

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday October 19, 2012 - 03:30:00 PM

October 23 is the 29th anniversary of the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, by Lebanese terrorists directed and controlled by Iran. The attack killed 241 American servicemen (220 Marines, 16 Navy personnel, and 3 Army soldiers). It was the deadliest single-day death toll for the Marines since the World War II battle of Iwo Jima. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Obama Revives, Wins Second Debate

By Bob Burnett
Thursday October 18, 2012 - 04:58:00 PM

Thirteen days after the initial presidential debate, the candidates faced off again. The same Mitt Romney showed up but his opponent was a transformed Barack Obama. At the October 3rd debate the President was listless and defensive; on the 16th he was energized and positive. As a consequence, Obama won decisively. -more-

SENIOR POWER … Here's to The Ladies Who Lunch

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday October 19, 2012 - 02:56:00 PM

Here's to The Ladies Who Lunch. Everybody laugh. Off to the gym, Then to a fitting, Claiming they're fat. And looking grim,

And here's to the girls who play smart-- Aren't they a gas? Rushing to their classes In optical art, Wishing it would pass. Another long exhausting day, A matinee, a Pinter play,

And here's to the girls who just watch-- Aren't they the best? When they get depressed, It's a bottle of Scotch, Plus a little jest. Another chance to disapprove, Another brilliant zinger, Another reason not to move, Another vodka stinger.

So here's to the girls on the go-- Everybody tries. Look into their eyes, And you'll see what they know: Everybody dies. A toast to that invincible bunch, The dinosaurs surviving the crunch. Let's hear it for the ladies who lunch-- Everybody rise!

Stephen Sondheim, now eighty-two, drank to all that and more for Company, his brilliant 1970 musical comedy. Yes, I abridged it a bit. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Definition of "Recovery"

By Jack Bragen
Thursday October 18, 2012 - 05:02:00 PM

When we hear the word "recovery" we probably think of a state in which a disease is gone. For example, recovery from cancer implies that someone has gone through chemo, surgery, or perhaps radiation, and the tumor is gone-the person is cancer free. If someone has recovered from a case of the flu, we expect that the person no longer has flu symptoms, and that the flu virus in their system has been subdued by their immune system. -more-