The River Is Wide

Series produced by Susan J. Cook

Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Image by: Susan Cook 
...wide river as ever... 

The River Is Wide is one listener's complement to public radio as media that has always made room for thoughtful, humane human discourse. These essays and poems are commentaries written by a political activist, psychologist and play therapist about the many provocative events in our state, country and world that remind us that the river is wide and each and everyone one of us is needed to cross it. We have much to lose- all of us- when our ideas and actions are premised on the belief that we never need any help getting across. Public radio that stirs the public conscience- free of personal influence peddling- that values thoughtful voice and speaks truth above partisan rhetoric - helps us all get across. The River Is Wide presents a series of Citizen's Guides, the occasional Congressional Guide when necessary, sonnets when no other format seems appropriate, an ode here and there In the Department of Poetic Justice, Sixty-second Moral Inquiries and brief commentaries . Public radio is a muse and PRX has become the pen and paper, yes, for many former and current letter-to-the-editor writers, including this one.

The series began rowing when a local editor refused to publish a letter criticizing a political candidate for a failure to acknowledge human rights violations by the Chinese government calling it "uncivil". Another inspiration has been the censorship of "The humble Farmer" from Maine Public Broadcasting (see The commentaries and entries in the Citizen's Guide, sonnets and odes In the Department of Poetic Justice, Sixty Second Moral Inquiries and the 'new' Two and One Half Minute Conspiracy Theory section speak to issues that stir the public conscience (and mine) and speak truth to power (everyone else's) especially surrounding freedom of speech in the media, injustice and harm.

327 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Many women don't still have their "I Believe Anita Hill" buttons., Credit: Susan Cook
The Republican attack on women, a not- so thinly veiled attack on credibility, the females, that is, is not new. Women, you may remember, require ...

  • Added: Jun 13, 2012
  • Length: 04:46
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Seldom do citizens witness the workings of that Refinery known as Political Hostage Taking. There is much to learn from the John Edwards' trial abo...

  • Added: May 04, 2012
  • Length: 05:49
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Deception is something we need to claim as what we do not like in politics and political life. This is not claiming the moral high ground. This ...

  • Added: Apr 27, 2012
  • Length: 02:30
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
As the Supreme Court Justices listen to lawyers try to find the legal logic in requiring people to buy health insurance, let us remember that peopl...

  • Added: Mar 28, 2012
  • Length: 06:45
Caption: Organically-grown political influence is made in one way- and money can't buy it. , Credit: Susan Cook
No matter how many lawsuits are filed to make political influence available to the highest bidder, there is one kind that you can't pay for or crea...

  • Added: Feb 24, 2012
  • Length: 04:30
Caption: We listen to the billow of candidate debates but a better format for finding The truly Presidential might be The Meeting., Credit: Susan Cook
We listen to the billow of candidate debates to answer bigger questions: who among them truly has the character and qualities to be President of t...

  • Added: Feb 02, 2012
  • Length: 02:33
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
"Updating your truth" is a term not much used these days. We read that somebody "denied", "vetoed", "denounced", "maintained", "refused to consider...

  • Added: Jun 15, 2013
  • Length: 04:07
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Mandated term limits for Congressional members gets batted around now and then as a possible solution for gridlock which some say is driven by the...

  • Added: May 21, 2013
  • Length: 03:46
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
This is a sonnet for the baseball teams who after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon each played the song the Boston Red Sox play during a game w...

  • Added: Jan 12, 2020
  • Length: :54
Caption: ...the anonymous collaboration called humanity..., Credit: Susan Cook
Great affirmation of human purpose is the victory for those who watch the runners and wheelchairs racers come in at the Boston Marathon. They are ...

  • Added: Apr 28, 2013
  • Length: 06:13
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Recently, a man convicted of aiding the prostitution of a young woman who was exploited by over 150 men, was given a 3 week sentence. This sente...

  • Added: Apr 06, 2013
  • Length: 03:45
Caption: There are experts that agree with you, Mr. Roubini,  the Grand Lake Stream Guides., Credit: Susan Cook
In Maine, Bass fishing on West Grand Lake is a destination respite for many, including Mr. Nouriel Roubini, the legendary economist who was almost ...

  • Added: Mar 23, 2013
  • Length: 03:18
Caption: We should treat the truth better than that., Credit: Susan Cook
Corrupting the Message: Remembering the Iraq War Ten years ago this week, the Iraq War began. Like every other atrocity in history, or let's limi...

  • Added: Mar 18, 2013
  • Length: 03:48
Caption: What has happened to those pine tree shaped air fresheners?, Credit: Susan Cook
Let us pause and pine for those deeply scented pine-tree shaped air fresheners that hung from the rear view mirror, just small enough to avoid obst...

  • Added: Mar 09, 2013
  • Length: 01:36
Caption: Fishing guides spend their days reading the water, seeing fish., Credit: Susan Cook
The strident opponents of a rapid, unregulated re-introduction of alewives to the St. Croix believe that at one important juncture in the river, ...

  • Added: Feb 21, 2013
  • Length: 04:40
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The lessons of D.L. Rosenhan's 40 year old study of psychiatric patients "plagerised" psychiatric diagnosis to see if they would be detected as fra...

  • Added: Feb 03, 2013
  • Length: 06:18
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Are you concerned about your child emailing too much? Are you concerned about the effect on a child's spine of a head bent over a gaming system for...

  • Added: Feb 05, 2014
  • Length: 03:03
Caption: Maine Guide William Sewall and Teddy Roosevelt, Credit: Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library (detail) 520.12-015
Just before the Olympics, the country if not the world received, from a bully pulpit, a message from my state's junior United States senator. On te...

  • Added: Jan 25, 2014
  • Length: 03:30
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Those who grew up in the era of Richard Nixon knew a time when "The Kingdom" took an especially frightening aura of power and glory. One speaking t...

  • Added: Jan 12, 2014
  • Length: 04:39
Caption: " close as you can to the truth, that wild horse that once you catch..., Credit: Susan Cook
The Sixty-Second Moral Inquiry asks questions about what is right and wrong. Today's Sixty-Second Moral Inquiry asks: Why not mangle,`distort the i...

  • Added: Jan 10, 2014
  • Length: 01:04