New: AGAINST FORGETTING: Behind the Scenes of the First Debate

By Ruth Rosen
Tuesday October 02, 2012 - 09:48:00 PM

UPDATE: A new version of this column, written after the debate, is now online in the Planet's next issue.

For weeks, President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney have sparred with partners, immersed themselves in piles of position papers, practiced remaining cool, and in the case of Romnney, memorized unforgettable zingers.

Their strategy and goals were necessarily different. Mitt Romney had to blame President Obama for everything that was wrong with America. For Obama, the goal was to justify his record, to sound like a president rather than a professor, and to explain the economic crisis was implemented by the same Republican policies advocated by Mitt Romney and conservative Republicans. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Why is Romney Losing?

By Bob Burnett
Friday September 28, 2012 - 02:33:00 PM

Thirty-nine days before the Presidential election, Mitt Romney doesn’t appear to be the formidable challenge to President Obama that many expected. Indeed, Romney’s ineptness has turned the tide in Obama’s favor. What happened? -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Prospects vs. Limitations

By Jack Bragen
Friday September 28, 2012 - 06:12:00 PM

When a person with mental illness, their family, or their treatment practitioners anticipate few prospects toward a career or other goal, it may be unnecessarily pessimistic. It can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Persons with mental illness and their families should have hope tempered with realism of a possible good outcome. Having optimism and the preparedness to try increases a person's chances that they will do something good in life. -more-

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Syria and the Dogs of War

By Conn Hallinan
Friday September 28, 2012 - 02:39:00 PM

“Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;

That this foul deed shall smell above the earth

With carrion men, groaning for burial”

Julius Caesar

Act 3, scene 1

William Shakespeare

“Blood and destruction,” “dreadful objects,” and “pity choked” was the Bard’s searing characterization of what war visits upon the living. It is a description that increasingly parallels the ongoing war in Syria, and one that is likely to worsen unless the protagonists step back and search for a diplomatic solution to the 17-month old civil war. From an initial clash over a monopoly of power by Syria’s Baathist Party, the war has spread to Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, ignited regional sectarianism, drawn in nations around the globe, and damaged the reputation of regional and international organizations.

Once loosed, the dogs of war range where they will. -more-