This week in OtherWords, columnist Donald Kaul puts our leaders’ failure to reach a budget deal before Christmas into a broader context, William A. Collins addresses Connecticut’s recent tragedy from the perspective of a local, Jill Richardson proposes a New Year’s resolution we should all consider adopting, and Jim Hightower highlights some colorful details about one company’s recent decision to get out of the gun business.

As 2012 draws to a close, OtherWords wishes you and your families a happy holiday season. We’d also like to welcome all of our new subscribers who signed up after Kaul’s return. You’ll find more about that on our blog, along with two bonus and holiday-themed Hightower commentaries.

And we would like to remind you that as a non-profit editorial service, contributions from people like you make a huge difference to our ability to reach readers.

We operate on a shoestring budget and celebrate the intelligence of the nation’s newspaper readers with an outside-the-box approach that works. Our commentaries and cartoons run in at least 310 newspapers across the nation and dozens of websites. Are you deciding whether to celebrate New Year’s Eve or Donald Kaul’s decision to write again? Are you a newspaper editor who would panic if we stopped showing up in your inbox? Do you just find that our work is essential for a balanced conversation on many key issues? If so, please make a tax-deductible contribution today.

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For contributions of $100 or more, we’ll send you or someone you designate a copy of columnist Sam Pizzigati’s latest book: The Rich Don’t Always Win. For contributions of $150, we’ll also include our cartoonist Khalil Bendib’s latest collection: Too Big to Fail. Both make great gifts.

And here’s our lineup for the week.

  1. University Research, Sold Out / Wenonah Hauter
    The energy industry and Big Agribusiness are distorting academic research by wielding corporate influence.
  2. Sabotaging the Conversation about Guns / Don Kraus
    The NRA’s antics could hinder global efforts to reduce weapons sales to terrorists and regimes that abuse human rights.
  3. Argo and the Roots of U.S.-Iran Tensions / Narges Bajoghli
    Argo illustrates the power of movies about past traumas but Americans need to dig deeper to understand why relations with Iran remain strained today.
  4. Mass-Murder Nation / Mike Ferner
    To understand what triggered the Newtown killings, we must come to grips with America’s militarism.
  5. Our Nation, on Its Knees / Donald Kaul
    Apparently, to a Republican, good faith negotiation consists of demanding unconditional surrender and an apology for disagreeing in the first place.
  6. This Year, Resolve to Love Your Body / Jill Richardson
    You can buy another car, but you sure can’t get a new body.
  7. Wakeup Call for the Gun Business / Jim Hightower
    The private equity group that owns a controlling stake in the nation’s biggest firearm company announced within days of the Newtown massacre that it was selling that investment.
  8. Of Cowardice and Connecticut / William A. Collins
    Photos of dead children may not have much impact on defenders of so-called “gun rights,” but they do tend to outrage everyone else.
  9. The Dark Side of Corporate Research / Khalil Bendib cartoon

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Emily Schwartz Greco

Emily Schwartz Greco is the managing editor of OtherWords, a non-profit editorial service. OtherWords.org