PROBE: Jan. 2, 2001

January 02, 2002

QUESTION: I think the cable news outlets are being as silly hyping the so-called "new war" as they were in milking the Chandra Levy, O.J. Simpson, Monica Lewinsky and JonBenet Ramsey stories. Will they ever grow up? — News Junkie, El Centro

Probably not, although CNN's "Reliable Sources" spent an hour Sunday discussing coverage of the war. That's par for the course. First they give a story wall-to-wall coverage, then they spend hours deciding if they did a good job.

There was general agreement that the country is not in a war, that the terror attack on the World Trade Center was not the same as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese were a major military power. Osama bin Laden is just the crazy son of a rich man bent on mischief.

They also agreed that it's going too far to say Americans will never be the same after the September attack.


Sunday was a good day for us. We caught a three-hour Brian Lamb interview with Shelby Foote, the Civil War historian. The discussion put the present "war" in context for us.

The Civil War was the bloodiest war in U.S. history. In April 1862 in the Battle of Shiloh, 23,000 men died. Of that number, 13,000 were on the Union side while Confederates accounted for 10,000.

More men died there than in the Battle of Waterloo. In the next three years, there would be another 16 battles with more dead than Waterloo.

Almost 1 million died in the Civil War. That was 2 percent of the American population, according to Foote.

You may say the dead were soldiers, not "innocent civilians." The soldiers who died at Shiloh and other Civil War battlefields were "innocent" young guys in their teens or early 20s. They were the cream of a whole generation.

QUESTION: Our daughter gave us a white puppy with black spots. We left the puppy in the back yard for a couple hours to go Christmas shopping. When we came back he was gone. We read in PROBE that you found a white puppy with black spots. We're thinking that could be our puppy. — Dog Gone, Holtville

After verbally comparing the two dogs, we decided our puppy could not be your puppy. You told us your puppy has freckles on his nose like ours but your dog does not have a tail. Ours does.

Apparently, you were satisfied. We told you we would be willing to give up the puppy but you decided you want your puppy back, not our puppy.

OK, readers, if you found a springer spaniel puppy near Holtville, call Ron Claybrook at 356-1312. If Ron can't find his dog, we have another one for him. …

QUESTION: We found a cold and hungry cocker spaniel puppy looking for its home. It's light brown. If you lost your puppy, call us at 352-2054. — Rescuer, El Centro

Goodness, there seem to be a lot of lost and found animals this year. Now we could use some help from PROBE readers to solve this puppy problem.

QUESTION: I have a new puppy but he shows no interest in toilet training. I take him for walks but as soon as he gets home he wets on the floor. People tell me to use newspapers. How do you get the dog to stay on the paper? — Puppy Master, Holtville

Good questions. Our puppy thinks newspapers are great new toys to chew or drag around. We need help!

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