«Eiler's life as its mayor and sole resident is surreal. Once a year she raises taxes from herself to keep the four street lights on and a few other basic amenities going. She runs the town's only business, the Monowi Tavern, and lives in the only remaining habitable building. She grants her own liquor licence and elects herself mayor. Her customers come off the highway that runs through Monowi or from nearby towns.
[...]In fact Monowi's been in decline since shortly after it was founded. That is true of a lot of the Great Plains. Although settlers flocked to the land, the soil is too thin for quality farming and is soon exhausted.
[...]The newest concept is a 'rewilding' of the area with animals from Africa such as elephants and camels, returning the plains to the Pleistocene ecosystem before humans arrived.»
--"Population 1: the town that's been reclaimed by the prairie": As rural economies collapse, communities across America are being deserted, as Paul Harris discovers in Monowi, Nebraska
« We took off with 17 casualties, but the Pentagon only officially counts nine of them. This is one more way they play down the human cost. Only those injured in battle are included in statistics. The air force man who collapsed with severe pneumonia in Afghanistan, the National Guardsman with blackened fingers and deep burns from faulty electrical kit in Iraq - they don't count, officially. Soldiers have been crushed and paralysed by falling equipment, suffered long-term injuries in overturned vehicles, but they're not in the figures.
[...]The Bush supporters on the other side of the road jab their fingers towards the opposing group. 'These are a bunch of communists and Marxists. They hate everything about our country, they hate our soldiers,' says one. When I suggest there is no proven link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, another spits 'Moron' at me and stomps away. On this side of the road they are far angrier. That's probably because they are losing the argument.»
« 'What has been happening since August is that when people are being picked up it is by people out of uniform, but who may turn up in Ministry of the Interior vehicles or show MoI ID cards. Many of those people are turning up with a bullet in the head.'
[...]as the disappearances have escalated in recent months, so whatever small faith Sunnis had in Iraq's judicial process has increasingly collapsed, falling back instead on the tribal code permitting revenge killings.»
«When Murtha emotionally called Bush's Iraq policy 'a flawed policy wrapped in illusion', he broke down in front of reporters and wept. He also personally attacked leading White House officials for taking the country into war when they themselves had avoided serving in Vietnam.
Murtha, who served in the US Marines during that war, was called 'a coward' by Republican Senator Jean Schmidt. Her comments provoked uproar. The debate was suspended as one Democrat crossed the Senate's centre aisle to lambast her. Other Democrats screamed 'pathetic' as the debate descended into an ugly slanging match.»