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Back in the days when the United States government was overtly and covertly assisting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the most extreme Muslim fundamentalists in Afghanistan, US Navy Rear Admiral John Poindexter was in the thick of it.

Serving as the Reagan administration's national security adviser, Poindexter helped devise the secret Iran-Contra networks that the White House used to illegally sell arms to the fundamentalist dictators of Iran and then schemed to divert the ill-gotten gain to the Nicaraguan rebels who sought to overthrow the government of Nicaragua.

Poindexter's violations of the public trust were so extreme that in the late 1980s his story came to serve as an internationally recognized example of what happens when government officials begin to operate outside the legal and moral boundaries of civil society.

A spate of recent terrorism events--the bombing of a French tanker, the
destruction of a nightclub in Bali, an FBI warning of a "spectacular" Al
Qaeda action and the surfacing of a new Osama bi

Returning to Israel after an extended absence can be a disturbing
experience.

Raise a Glass to the Stay-at-Home Voter?

How dismal was election night 2002?

One big problem with liberal and leftist debate about Al Qaeda or Iraq
is that it rarely seems to have much to do with Al Qaeda or Iraq.

"Debacle 2002" is already in reruns but has been replaced by a new
dramatic series called "Zero 4," which chronicles some familiar
characters and a few new faces running for President.

Within the next decade, 30-40 percent of current public school teachers
in the United States will retire, opening up more than 700,000 teaching
positions.

Robert Bly, with David Ray, founded American Writers Against the
Vietnam War in 1967; it sponsored many rallies and readings against the
war. He is preparing a similar group to do readings against the Iraq
war.

POETRY MAGAZINE'S GRAND SLAM

The current Salmagundi (Summer-Fall 2002) has a section on what it
calls "Femicons" (the category includes articles on Emma Goldman,
Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Willa Cather); but

Is our public health system ready?

Unions are edging into the peace movement, but they are still minor
players.

With Republicans in full control in Washington, next year's prospects
are grim.

In 2000, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan posed a question to
the Millennium Summit of the UN: "If humanitarian intervention is,
indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how s

"I was in a highly unshaved and tatty state," John Lennon said of his 1966 meeting with a certain conceptual artist, then mounting her first show at London's Indica Gallery.

November has been melodrama month at the movies. First Todd Haynes
brought us Far From Heaven, which he ought to have called
Imitation of Imitation.

Abida Bano sits on the floor of a crowded makeshift relief building
in Ahmedebad, the largest city in Gujarat, holding her 10-month-old
daughter.

It didn't take long.

That is, for Nancy Pelosi, the new Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, to run for cover. Days after her colleagu...

(An Upper East Side Sea Chanty
Sung to the tune of 'Blow the Man Down')

President Bush, a scion of great wealth who has never had to earn an honest living, has abruptly wiped out the jobs, retirement security and health benefits of 850,000 blue- and white-collar

When the Clinton-Gore administration attempted to reform the nation's approach to financing health care in 1993 and 1994, the one proposal that administration aides always rejected was a single-payer health care system. Even when more Democratic members of the House endorsed a single-payer plan sponsored by US Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington, than any other proposal, the administration rejected attempts to cut costs and guarantee quality service for all with a fully government-funded system.

When Al Gore ran for president in 2000, he maintained his opposition to single-payer proposals. Such was Gore's opposition to investing in fundamental health care reforms that he went so far as to criticize costs associated with a plan, advanced by his Democratic primary challenger, Bill Bradley, to take modest steps toward universal coverage.

Now, however, as Gore edges toward another presidential campaign, he is singing a different tune. Wednesday night in New York, as he began a national book tour that many see as an attempt to raise his profile in advance of the 2004 contest, Gore announced that he had "reluctantly come to the conclusion" that the only way to respond to what he described as an "impending crisis" in health care is a "single-payer national health insurance plan" for all Americans.

In defeat, Democrats have convened their perennial circular firing
squad, issuing salvos of what Groucho Marx used to call
departee--what they should have said.