Editor’s Desk

For A War Memorial

(SUGGESTED INSCRIPTION PROBABLY NOT SUGGESTED BY THE COMMITTEE)

The hucksters haggle in the mart
The cars and carts go by;
Senates and schools go droning on;
For dead things cannot die.

A storm stooped on the place of tombs
With bolts to blast and rive;
But these be names of many men
The lightning found alive.

If usurers rule and rights decay
And visions view once more
Great Carthage like a golden shell
Gape hollow on the shore,

Still to the last of crumbling time
Upon this stone be read
How many men of England died
To prove they were not dead.

G. K. Chesterton, 1919

Lest We Forget

While SCOTUS Considers Abortion

EDITORIAL

While SCOTUS considers abortion, permit me to suggest that it’s past time we do too.

I’m not talking about trumpeting loudly your positions and the hills you’ll die on. I said “consider” and I mean it. Either it’s important or it’s not; and if it’s important, it demands your attention and honest thought — however painful thinking might be, much less honesty.

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I Don’t Believe In Existential Threats

“Climate change is an existential threat to humanity!”

No matter how many times I read that line, it fails to speak to me. For one thing, the idea it encapsulates is just too big; it’s too short a sentence to properly describe what’s about to happen. Oceans will rise, wildfires will spread, flash floods and mudslides and hurricane seasons more severe than ever before — that’s all intelligible. But adding them together and saying that “Humanity is doomed unless we do something!” just doesn’t mean anything to me. The scope is far too broad and ill-defined for the imagination to easily grasp.

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On Vacation

The Not Fake News staff has decided to decamp en masse and head to the beach. Or, rather, a position near enough to the beach that it’s cool but far enough away that sand doesn’t get into our typewriters, and preferably somewhere that has good WiFi.

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So. Juneteenth.

A bill has been passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress making Juneteenth (June 19th) a national holiday. President Biden then signed it into law in record time, leaving government offices scrambling to shut down on a moment’s notice. (Fortunately, most of them have had practice.)

For those of you who don’t understand the holiday: This date marks the anniversary of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas. It doesn’t mark the end of lawful slavery in the U.S., mind; that took another year or two. But it was enough to start a regular celebration in Texas — Jubilee Day, first celebrated in 1866 — which gradually spread to other states.

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Tucker Carlson And The Truth

One of my newer acquaintances recently asked why it is that Tucker Carlson is considered unreliable by even his allies and in turn hated, despised, and reviled by those who oppose him politically. And it struck me that, while I’ve long stated his unreliability as fact, I’ve never taken the trouble to detail my reasons.

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Running Dry

(Written in a Down East accent)

Now, I don’t often choose to explain to folks in detail exactly what my politics are. For one thing, if I’m going to write honestly about the issues and try to tell you the facts of the matter, my politics don’t make any difference; truth is truth, and politics (as we all know) is something else entirely — and I’m here to tell the truth. If it disagrees with my position, it might just be I’ll end up changing my position, which is the way it ought to be.

The other thing is, if you’ve read much of what I write, the way I feel on the issues ought to be pretty apparent by now, so if you don’t get it you’re obviously not reading, and why should I give a hoot what you think of me anyhow?

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Well, At Least He’s Not Trump

President Obama had his detractors — some focusing on policy, others for far less admirable reasons — but he did have two qualities that I’m missing dearly right now: First, he was incredibly charismatic, capable of inspiring people; second, he was not merely capable of complete sentences but remarkably well-spoken.

I miss that. I miss it a lot.

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