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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., ( a television company which executive produces programs and consults with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc. is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.

Musing on the New Year


A year has ended; another one has begun. This has been one of the
better Holiday seasons of the last few. I took matters into my
own hands and made the Holidays mine.

It is the time for New Year's Resolutions; I haven't given any
thought to resolutions for the coming year - I've been too busy
keeping the commitments I made in December for January.

As I walked tonight from the train to the car, the snow snapped
under my feet and stars glistened coldly above. It was a serene
scene. Far away from my serene scene, the post election chaos of
Kenya reverberates while Iraq actually seems slightly improved -
deaths are down.

We human beings are capable of both the most wonderful and
terrible actions. St. Francis on one hand; Mussolini on the other.
It is one of the most profound dichotomies we experience and we
live with the effects of these dichotomies every day. On one hand
you have Al Qaeda; on another you have the Red Crescent. You have
good men and women and then you have the others who, in some
frenzy, burned fifty of their fellow men alive while they sought
sanctuary in a church in some remote Kenyan village because they
were on the wrong political side. While I don't want to, I have to
accept this about being human. However, along with this dichotomy
in our very essence, we have other parts to our nature. We can

On-line at, I listened to a reporter talk about what
it's like to be following a candidate in Iowa. It's like being on
the front line of democracy, he said. As I write this, the Iowa
Caucuses are being held. The future is being created. The first
real decisions of Campaign 2008 are being made. After reading
about the Caucus process in Iowa, I am impressed. People take
politics seriously there. They go out and see and listen to
candidates in person. That's something I have never done. They
will brave the cold and snow tonight to participate in this
interesting process. Iowans may well come out in record numbers to
attend. I haven't been very participatory beyond writing letters
and checks. But there is a difference in seeing someone in person
than on television; in debating my peers in a situation that will
result in change.

A good friend of mine, Dawn, has gone out to Iowa to participate
in the last days of Hillary's fight to win there. I sent her an
e-mail: you are on the front line of democracy; I am proud of you.
She wrote back that she was there arm in arm with a mutual
friend. It's been a long time since I have spent any time out
there on the front line of democracy. It may be time get back in
the trenches.

By the time you read this, decisions will have been made. It will
be on to New Hampshire and then Florida and then Michigan and
then... Some, if not all, of the lower tier of candidates will
fall away. They will stagger with exhaustion, resulting in
unfortunate candidacy ending moments: Howard Dean in Iowa, Muskie
in New Hampshire.

I took the Holidays into my own hands and made them into something
special. Perhaps I should put that much effort into making
something special of the world in which I live. The barbarians may
be at the gates. If they are, we need every man and woman in the
front lines of democracy. It is a fragile thing, democracy.
Historically, it has never lasted long. We have done a good job
of keeping ours alive. Let's see if we can do it for awhile
longer. Let's see if we can't be better and surrender to the angel
in our heart rather than the Satan in our soul. Let us move on to
the next level, which is what we must do.

Once in college I remember reading an Old Testament passage. I
only recall one part of the passage: sleepers awake! It seems
apt for us today. It is time for us sleepers to awake.