The American Society of Newspaper Editors is trying to find out what people want in a newspaper. It is worried about declines in readership—78 percent of adults read newspapers in 1970, compared to 55 percent last year. So far, it appears people want better service, more local news, reader-friendly presentations (graphics and narrative-style articles), and advertising.
The landmark Medicare drug bill passed by Congress last month has something in it for almost everyone to complain about. Senator Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.), who led the Democratic opposition to the bill, thinks it moves too much toward privatization.
Backed by conservative Christians, the Florida legislature and Florida Governor Jeb Bush jumped into the case of Terri Schiavo, the 39-year-old women in a vegetative state since 1990. Her husband and legal guardian, Michael, claims Terri had expressed the desire not to have unusual measures used to keep her alive, and so he asked for her feeding tube to be removed.
Did a politically shrewd and theologically sophisticated Polish pope trigger the collapse of communism? Did an energetic and telegenic southern evangelist foster the resurgence of evangelical Christianity in the post–World War II era? These are extreme claims to make for any person.
Many Democrats in Congress and plenty of other Americans find it hard to stomach President Bush’s $87 billion request for military and reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. About $20 billion of that total is slated for rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure—its highways, schools, houses, hospitals, electricity system, water supply and communications.
The growth in the number of civilians owning military-style guns can be traced back to a deal made in the mid-1980s between Rene Carlos Vos, a gun dealer, and Wayne LaPierre, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. They formed a company called Blue Sky to import from South Korea M-1 rifles that had been used in the Korean War. The legislation that made the project possible was an amendment to a Senate bill offered by Bob Dole, Republican senator from Kansas, which for the first time allowed the importation of U.S. military weapons as long as they were “curios and relics.” LaPierre soon pulled out of Blue Sky when it faced criminal charges, and Vos was killed in a plane crash in 1987, but the company opened a floodgate of guns. By 2012, one million of what gun advocates call “modern sporting rifles” were flooding the U.S. market each year, from both foreign and domestic sources (Washington Post, May 3).