2016—“One of my proudest moments,” says Sen. Mitch McConnell [R-KY], “was when I told President Obama, ‘You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.'” 2011—An RPG downs a Chinook in the Tangi Valley, killing all 38 on board—the most (30) Americans to die in one incident in Afghanistan. 2001—The CIA hands the President a report—“Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in U.S.”—which he ignores. 1991—Tim...
2011—S&P lowers the U.S.’s credit rating because the GOP says it might not let the government pay its bills. 2007—On Lake Winnipesaukee, the President of France, clad only in swim trunks, jumps into the boat of AP photographer Jim Cole and berates him for doing his job. 2004—“Our enemies,” says George W.[MD] Bush, “never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people...
2003—Lightning strikes a Bardstown, Ky., warehouse, sparking a fire; 19,000 barrels release 800,000 gallons—a flaming river of Jim Beam; thousands of fish die as high winds whip up a 100-foot firenado. 1992—Republicans re-nominate the Bush/Quayle ticket. Snicker. 1991—The captain and officers of the sinking Oceanos abandon the ship—and its passengers. Entertainers organize a successful rescue of...
1981—Federal air traffic controllers have the gall to go on strike. 1980—Ronald Reagan delivers his first post-convention speech, touting “states’ rights” two miles from where three murdered civil rights workers had been buried 19 years earlier. 1971—New Hampshire man Alan Shepard hits a golf ball on the moon. 1966—RIP Lenny Bruce, prosecuted to death at the age of 40. 1962—Given a huge shot of...
2000—The GOP picks George W.[MD] Bush to preside, and Dick “Dick” Cheney to run the country. 1993—A short circuit sends a self-destruct command to a Titan IV rocket which blows up over the Pacific destroying $1 billion in spy satellites. 1990—Iraq invades Kuwait. 1964—The U.S.S. Maddox, in North Vietnamese territorial waters, to support covert South Vietnamese attacks, fires on North Vietnamese...
2007—An interstate highway bridge in Minneapolis collapses, killing 13. 1976—First occupation of the Seabrook nuclear power plant site. 1974—Alexander Haig meets for 50 minutes with Vice President Ford. They discuss Nixon’s possible resignation and a possible Ford pardon. Though it’s all quite above-board, no doubt, Haig has signed in on the official log under an assumed name. 1972—The Washington...
To the Editor: I knew I shouldn’t read it through, but it seemed a positive enough story, about a Hancock, Maine farmer and some friends, aided by police, shepherding back to their enclosure a couple of bulls that had strayed…until some dumbass bystander, repeatedly warned away, grabbed one of the bulls by the horns and was gored for his idiocy. Owing to some misguided legislation that protects...
In our issue of July 17, 2020, W.D. Ehrhart wrote about the the extraordinary early career of Smedley D. Butler. by W.D. Ehrhart Butler was not without his warts and blemishes. He loved the adrenalin rush of combat, the sheer challenge and excitement of it. As a young lieutenant, he complained in letters to his congressman father that the policies he was enforcing in countries like Nicaragua...
To the Editor: My name is Duane Hammond and I want to use my talents and skills for the well-being of all citizens in Alton, Gilmanton and the State of New Hampshire to include Democrats, Republicans and Independents as a Pro-Growth Democrat by being elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. What is Pro-Growth? Simply stated, I believe in building our New Hampshire economy from the...
To the Editor: Let’s face it: New Hampshire, which is a predominantly white state, is not an accurate reflection of America as a whole. Truth is, America is a racially diverse nation. I’m a white man who was born in New Hampshire. I have lived my entire life in New Hampshire. I went to public schools in New Hampshire, which were predominantly white, and I went to the University of New Hampshire...
To the Editor: Most Americans are confused as to where we are going in this Pandemic. With denial and false information coming from the current administration the real story has become clouded. I would like to try and paint a possible scenario. The ideal outcome is an effective vaccine. We are unsure if any vaccine will ever give long lasting immunity and historically the great majority of...
To the Editor: [Note: Readers are advised to view the statistics herein as dubious. Mr. Ewing has been known to give questionable sources far more credit than is due. As for his alleged arguments, see our reply. – The Ed.] Democrats blame white Americans for Black Americans’ problems. If you’re white, are you harming Black Americans? Or, are Democrats blaming white Americans for the harm to Black...
Tuesday’s Herald carried a piece by Paul Briand—one of the Hedge-Fund-Owned Local Daily’s few writers still based in this area—headlined, “Purple Principle podcast seeks political middle ground in U.S.” A five-person team is exploring “whether political factions—with blue liberals on the left and red conservatives on the right—can somehow find some common ground in the purple middle.
Generally speaking, NPR’s reporting tends towards restraint, so Thursday morning’s headline stood out: “3 Months Of Hell: U.S. Economy Drops 32.9% In Worst GDP Report Ever.” Yesterday’s Gross Domestic Product estimate from the Commerce Department was “Horrific,” Economist Nariman Behravesh told the network’s Scott Horsley. “We’ve never seen anything quite like it.” Even that shocking presentation...
1999—Eugene Shoemaker becomes the first Earthling whose cremated remains are interred on the moon. 1996—Gerald Ford and George H.[H.] Walker Bush uphold the dignity of their former office by speaking for pay before followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. 1974—Richard Nixon’s former advisor John Ehrlichman gets a free five-year stay at a felons’ country club. 1972—Tom Eagleton withdraws his candidacy.
1975—Jimmy Hoffa is last glimpsed by anyone who’s talking. 1969—“I think that history will record that this may have been one of America’s finest hours,” says Richard Nixon in Saigon. 1956—Congress adopts “In God We Trust” as the national motto. 1945—The U.S.S. Indianapolis, having delivered the Hiroshima A-bomb to Tinian, is torpedoed and sunk on its return trip. Its sinking goes unnoticed due to...
1994—Being a good, pro-life Christian, Rev. Paul Jennings Hill uses a shotgun to kill Dr. John Britton and his bodyguard James Barrett, wounding Barrett’s wife June in the process. 1986—Ex-Chaplain Charlie Liteky renounces the Medal of Honor he was awarded for bravery in Vietnam over U.S. policies in Latin America. 1981—Congress passes Ronald Reagan’s tax cut for the rich. 1974—The House Judiciary...
2012—Three elderly troublemakers infiltrate Oak Ridge, Tenn. and spill blood on its nuclear weapons plant. 2006—A wild storm topples the partially-renovated steeple of North Church and its attendent scaffolding onto Pleasant Street in Portsmouth. 2003—Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who once said Americans smoke Cuban cigars “at the cost of our national honor...
2008—Shotgunning in a Knoxville church, Jim David Adkisson kills two and wounds seven. He cites Fox News’ Bernard Goldberg as one inspiration. 1996—To protect the sanctity of life, Eric Robert Rudolph bombs the Atlanta Summer Olympics. 1957—Jimmy Wilson (who’s Black) is sentenced to death in Ala. for stealing $1.95 from a woman (white). 1954—Mercenaries overthrow the government of Guatemala at the...
1968—The newly elected President of South Vietnam jails the runner-up. 1968—Mexican troops arrest thousands of students and shoot hundreds, killing dozens. 1959—An engine failure forces U.S.M.C. Lt. Col. William Rankin to eject from his F-8 fighter jet over a thunderstorm. Aloft for 40 minutes amid lightning, hail, and -58° temperatures, he survives. 1953—Arizona State Police and National Guard...
2019—President Trump makes a phone call to Ukraine President Vladimir Zelenskey. It’s “perfect.” 2000—In a touching display of naiveté, George W.[MD] Bush announces that he has picked Dick “Dick” Cheney as running mate. 1990—Ambassador April Glaspie tells Saddam the U.S. won’t take sides in an Iraq-Kuwait border dispute. 1975—Chester Plummer, Jr., a Black ’Nam vet with a three-foot pipe in his...
2017—“Who the hell wants to talk about politics…in front of the Boy Scouts?,” asks Donald Trump, who then talks politics at the Jamboree. 2008—A tornado hits nine towns in N.H., killing a Deerfield woman. 2003—Congress says the FBI and the CIA blew off warnings of a possible al-Qaeda attack on the U.S. 2003—In Iraq, the U.S. proudly displays photographs of the corpses of Uday and Qusay Hussein.
2014—Arizona authorities experimenting with new poisons find Joseph Wood’s execution takes 12 times longer than the expected 10 minutes. 2001—Bank robber Gary Sampson calls the FBI to turn himself in, but a clerk disconnects him. Over the next week he murders three people, including a man in New Hampshire. 1970—The last clash between the U.S. & NVA ends in futility: the 101st Airborne evacuates...
2003—Ratted out by a cousin for a $30 million reward, Uday and Qusay Hussein are shot dead by the 101st. 2001—“I know what I believe,” says G.W.[MD] Bush. “I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe—I believe what I believe is right.” 1991—Milwaukee police arrest Jeffrey Dahmer, infamous cannibal. 1975—Owen J. Quinn parachutes from the top of the South Tower of New York’s...
2007—George W.[MD] Bush invokes the 25th Amendment, making Dick “Dick” Cheney President while Bush gets his colon inspected. 2000—Long-time Texas voter Dick “Dick” Cheney registers in Wyoming to evade election laws. 2000—The FBI and ATF are exonerated for killing 80 religious fanatics during a 1993 siege in Waco, Texas. 1954—Geneva Accords free Vietnam from French colonial rule; the U.S.
2017—Secretary of State Tillerson states the obvious to other Administration officials: Trump is “a moron.” 2002—The FBI arrests three former NASA interns for stealing a 600 lb. safe holding moon rocks. 1985—Near Key West, Florida, Mel Fisher begins hauling up gold worth $400,000,000 from the Atocha. 1984—Famed runner and fitness fanatic Jim Fixx, 52, dies of a heart attack while jogging.
2011—Wendi Murdoch deftly deflects a pie aimed at her husband Rupert, as he’s being grilled about phone-hacking by Parliament. 2010—Terrified by a malignly-edited YouTube clip, Sec. of Ag. Tom Vilsack has USDA employee Shirley Sherrod pulled over by the side of the road and summarily fired. 2001—Deputy Chairman of the British Conservative party Lord Jeffrey Archer is convicted of perjury and...
1985—Doped up after cancer surgery five days earlier, Ronald Reagan OKs an arms-for-hostages deal with Iran. 1984—James O. Huberty tells his wife he’s “going to hunt humans,” then kills 21 and wounds 19 at a San Diego McDonald’s. A sniper gets him. His widow sues Mickey D’s for poisoning his mind with MSG. Her suit fails. 1981—Norman Mailer’s protege Jack Abbott, on work release after a stretch...
To the Editor: The New Hampshire House recently passed HB 1135 which contained other bills, including an amendment from Keene Senator Kahn which called for requiring all school districts in New Hampshire to teach about the Holocaust and other genocides. Two people spoke in opposition, both citing the bill might constitute an unfunded mandate, especially as part of the bill called for the creation...
To the Editor: As I write, it is the eve of Independence Day. America’s iconic national anthem, the “Star-Spangled Banner,” originally was penned as a poem on the morning of September 14, 1814 by Francis Scott Key. Key was inspired to see America’s flag still waving, still standing over Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Md., after sustaining 25 hours of relentless British naval bombardment The stanza...
To the Editor: With several current and coming crises befalling us, it should be getting ever more clear that Mother Nature’s basic rules are ignored at our peril. We must learn to get along with her as well as each other if we are to avoid future life-threatening epidemics, economic collapse, and climate catastrophe—essentially, to have any kind of civilized future. Fortunately...
by W.D. Ehrhart I went through Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, in the summer of 1966. We learned all sorts of things that summer, but one thing we learned was the names of the two Marines who had each won not one, but two Medals of Honor: Dan Daly and Smedley Butler. Butler would have received three Medals of Honor if the award had been available to officers during the...
A week ago—on the same “Hide It Friday” the Administration did its bureaucratic shuffle to obscure the evidence of its criminal negligence on the Covid-19 front—the untreated mental patient also known as our Commander-in-Chief commuted the sentence of his longtime crony Roger Stone. After a lifetime of well documented, politically oriented malign behavior, Stone had managed to finally get his...
A week ago today the Department of Health and Human Services posted a revised document online. In a certain narrow sense this was perfectly normal—even traditional. Friday has always been considered the optimal day for a beleaguered criminal Administration to conduct any low act of skulduggery. Considered in terms of its content, however, this act was a bold bureaucratic boarding house reach.*
2015—Portsmouth cops grill Mike Thiel at his office about a letter in which he complains about helicopters. 2014—Detained for selling loose cigarettes, Eric Garner, 43, suffocates as he tells NYPD cops, “I can’t breathe.” 1979—Ex-dictator Anastasio Somoza flees Nicaragua for Miami, bringing with him family caskets and much of the national treasury. 1965—An American press officer in Saigon tells...
1991—The Trump Taj Mahal files for bankruptcy 467 days after opening. 1979—A dam, badly built on shaky ground, collapses in Church Rock, N.M., spilling 1,100 tons of radioactive mill waste, 93 million gallons of effluent, and as much radioactivity as Three Mile Island. 1973—Al Butterfield reveals he’s been bugging the Oval office at the behest of The Man himself. 1964—A white cop shoots James...
1995—A derecho sends hurricane force winds through New York and New England, toppling thousands of trees and killing three people. 1979—President Carter delivers his infamous “malaise” speech, which does not include the word “malaise.” 1974—In Florida, on live TV, newsreader Christine Chubbuck pulls a loaded pistol from a shopping bag and shoots herself dead. 1971—Nixon says he’ll go to China.
2004—The GOP tries to ban gay marriage but can’t rise to the occasion. 2003—Robert Novak outs CIA officer Valerie Plame in his column. 2000—A Florida jury orders five tobacco companies to pay $145 billion in damages. An appeals court later lets them off the hook. 1989—Alabama tries twice, 19 minutes apart, to electrocute Horace F. Dunkins, who’s black and developmentally-disabled.
1999—Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.) drops out of the Presidential race, and the Republican Party to boot, to run as an Independent. 1987—Senator Warren B. Rudman [R-N.H] sets Ollie North straight during the Iran-Contra hearings: “The American people have the constitutional right to be wrong.” 1977—During a heat wave and a financial crisis, with Son of Sam on the loose, lightning strikes cause a blackout...
1982—FEMA pledges that even in a nuclear war, the mail will get through. 1979—The White Sox forfeit after explosives damage the field during Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park. 1973—A fire in St. Louis, Mo. destroys the service records of 16 to 18 million Army and Air Force veterans. 1917—After 30 hours in cattle cars without food or water, 1,286 striking copper miners are left stranded in...
2003—Condi Rice lies about White House knowledge of Joe Wilson’s Niger investigation; Ari Fleischer outs Valerie Plame as a CIA officer; Karl Rove lies to Time about Wilson’s wife, Plame; and CIA head George Tenet takes the rap for the White House’s lies about Iraq buying uranium. 1991—A defective heater sets a loaded ammunition carrier afire at Camp Doha in Kuwait. It explodes...
2007—China executes its Director of the State Food and Drug Administration for taking bribes that resulted in 40 deaths. 2001—A Phoenix FBI agent sends a memo to FBI HQ warning of “an inordinate number” of suspicious characters in local flight schools, possibly as part of a bin Laden plot. It’s ignored. 2001—CIA boss George Tenet tries to warn George Bush and Condi Rice about Osama bin Laden and...
2004—“I trust God speaks through me,” George W.[MD] Bush tells a group of Amish people. “Without that, I couldn’t do my job.” 1993—To prove it’s unbreakable, Toronto lawyer Garry Hoy hurls himself against a 24th floor window. It pops from its frame; he falls to his death. 1986—Ed “Meese is a Pig” Meese publishes a 1,960-page report on pornography packed with obscene titles. 1985—Ed “Meese is a...
2016—Dallas Police use a bomb-armed robot to kill a man suspected of having murdered five officers. 1976—The State of New York yanks Richard Nixon’s law license. 1969—The U.S. begins withdrawing troops from Vietnam. 1962—The U.S. detonates a nuke 250 miles up, knocking out phones in Hawaii, 900 miles to the east, and crippling seven satellites. 1959—Viet Cong forces attack Bien Hoa air base...
1986—Reagan’s A.G., Ed Meese, attains quasi-legislative status for Presidential Signing Statements, which previously had had little impact, by persuading West Publishing to include them in law books. 1972—Near Danang, Battery B of the 82nd Field Arty. takes out four men from the 196th Inf. Bde. in the last major friendly fire incident of the war. 1967—His Tet Offensive plan OK’d by the Politburo...
2013—A runaway fuel train derails and burns, destroying half of downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec. 2001—Ex-FBI Special Agent, devout Catholic, patron of strippers, and exhibitionist Robert Hanssen pleads guilty to selling U.S. secrets to the U.S.S.R., then to the Russians. 1971—President Nixon sets up a “Plumbers Unit” to stop leaks. 1962—To test its dirt-moving capacity, the AEC sets off a buried...
2009—Terry Herbert finds a spectacular hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ornaments on Fred Johnson’s farm in the West Midlands. It made the men rich—and bitter enemies. 1968—The US. Congress effectively tramples on the First Amendment to ineffectively “protect” the flag. 1968—The Marine base at Khe Sanh is abandoned 90 days after the lifting of a 78-day siege which cost 737 lives. 1950—Shipped out hastily...
1994—Nye County, Nev., Commissioner Dick Carver re-opens a Federally-closed road with a bulldozer, reigniting the Sagebrush Rebellion. 1975—Just 11 years after Goldwater got the GOP nod there, the Ant Farm stages “Media Burn.” A customized Cadillac crashes into a wall of burning TVs at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. 1970—Billie Graham and Bob Hope preach and joke at “Honor America” day in D.C. Also:
For much of my adult life, I have taught high school English and history, most recently including eighteen years at the Haverford School for Boys in suburban Philadelphia, retiring in June 2019 at the age of 70. In my U.S. History course, I always teach a unit I call “Race in America,” which begins with the first shipload of Africans arriving in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, and goes right up to...
To the Editor: COVID-19 slashed household and town income in N.H. and across the country. Senator Martha Fuller Clark’s June 24th “My Turn” [column in the Concord Monitor] highlights a bipartisan solution to save money for towns and citizens: expand net metering (renewable energy sharing). Make it more accessible in our state. Last year net metering bill HB365 passed the Senate and House with...
by Jean Stimmell No more excuses! Forced into isolation by the pandemic, we now have the time and space to “to think what we are doing,” as Hannah Arendt long ago urged. Arendt, perhaps the foremost political philosopher of the 20th century, observed that in the past we didn’t have to think: “tradition, religion, and authority told us how to behave and defined our moral options of right and wrong...
by Roy Morrison The killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta in a Wendy’s parking lot by Officer Garrett Rolfe is a reflection not only of racism, but also the transformation of police from protector to predator, and the criminalization of social problems like DWI. Officer Garrett Rolfe was a reputed “expert” in detecting drunk driving. “Failing” sobriety test automatically leads to arrest...
To the Editor: According to a recent Journalist’s Resource report by Chloe Reichel, between 2004 and 2015 the U.S. newspaper industry lost 1,800 print outlets due to closures and mergers. In a democracy, the basis for self-government is an informed citizenry. Local news media, and newspapers in particular, bear the primary responsibility. As the result of closures and mergers...
To the Editor: In Tulsa on June 20, President Trump announced that he had asked “his people” to go slow on virus testing, explaining that if you do more tests, you have more cases (which would be embarrassing). Spokespersons said the next day that Trump had spoken “tongue in cheek.
Many Americans can’t believe that political coups are part of our country’s history—but consider from the Wall Street Putsch of 1933. Never heard of it? It was a corporate conspiracy to oust Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had just been elected president. With the Great Depression raging and millions of families financially devastated, FDR had launched several economic recovery programs to help people...
Dear Editor: I’ve just written to the few people I know reading or having copies (that I gave them) of Maine author Carolyn Chute’s just-out novel, The Recipe for Revolution (Grove Press). The paper jacket has this Kirkus Review recommendation: “Essential Reading.” I agree. It’s a big book, 732 pages—good for pandemic-time/isolation reading. On pp. 666-675 Chute does an exposure of our U.S.
To the Editor, The COVID-19 pandemic is just getting started and will be with us for another year or more. Getting people back to work and students returning to school is important but so is containing the virus. The two are not mutually exclusive. If we maintain social distancing and practice other safety measures, we can and will lessen the severe impact of the virus, free up resources in acute...
1994—The Mayor of Boulder, Colo. declares this “Allen Ginsberg Day.” 1993—In just leather jacket, dog collar, and jockstrap, punk rocker G.G. Allin is laid to rest at St. Rose Cemetery in his hometown, Littleton, N.H. 1988—The U.S.S. Vincennes, in Iranian waters, shoots down an Iranian airliner ascending within a commercial air corridor; 290 civilians die. 1979—President Carter OKs covert aid to...
2003—George W.[MD] Bush says, “There are some who feel that the conditions are such that they can attack us [in Iraq]. My answer is, bring ’em on.” 1982—Vietnam vet “Lawn Chair Larry” Walters, 33, ascends to 16,000 feet in a lawn chair buoyed by 45 helium-filled weather balloons. 1980—The Supreme Court rules that OSHA must consider corporate profits when protecting employees’ health. 1976—The...
1981—Irish Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich descends in a helicopter for a mass on London’s Clapham Common, bearing the head of Oliver Plunkett. 1973—The U.S. military draft ends. Henceforth, the ranks will be replenished by economic coercion. 1968—A DC-8 carrying 214 U.S. soldiers to Vietnam strays into Soviet airspace and lands in the USSR. 1956—On “The Steve Allen Show...
2014—The Supreme Court rules in Hobby Lobby that people who are corporations have religious rights, too. 2003—The Army Times reports that the Bush administration wants to cut combat and family-separation pay for troops in combat zones. 1984—GOP Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf proposes adding Ronald Reagan’s face to Mt. Rushmore. 1980—The Supreme Court rules that a woman’s right to a federally-funded...
2016—The 477-foot tanker Chem Venus runs aground off Goat Island, damaging itself and three boats at the Kittery Point Yacht Club. 2006—“It was not always certain,” says George W.[MD] Bush, “that the U.S. and America would have a close relationship.” 1989—The Washington Times reports that high officials in the Reagan & Bush I administrations are under investigation for involvement in a homosexual...
2018—A Trump defender with a grudge and a shotgun kills five in the Capital Gazette newsroom. 2009—Stephen Hawking throws a party for time travelers. No one shows. 2005—Operation Red Wings goes sideways: 19 U.S. special operators die in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, including Daniel R. Healy of Exeter, N.H. It’s the greatest single loss for U.S. special ops since WW II. 1994—The Department of...
2018—Donald Trump’s banker’s father announces he’s creating a vacancy on the Supreme Court by retiring. 2006—Gutless pinko bastards in the Senate block a Flag Protection Amendment® by one vote. 2003—On the first day it’s possible, more than 735,000 people sign up for the “Do Not Call” list. 2000—“Until I’m the President,” says George W.[MD] Bush...
2015—The Supreme Court puts an end to marriage discrimination. 2013—Byron Low Tax Looper [actual name], convicted of murdering his political opponent, dies at 48, of a heart attack, hours after assaulting a pregnant prison guard. 2006—Rush Limbaugh’s illicit Viagra stash is confiscated on his return from the Dominican Republic, a popular sex tourism destination. 2002—A Federal court edits “under...
2013—The Supreme Court rips the guts out of the Voting Rights Act. 2005—“I could kill someone with this,” says Vladimir Putin putting Bob Kraft’s Super Bowl ring in his pocket. 1998—The Fed OKs the Travelers/Citicorp merger: the fuse is lit. 1996—Al-Qaeda kills 19 U.S. servicemen in Saudi Arabia and wounds 372. Saudis and the CIA blame Iran. 1973—Ex-White House Counsel John Dean, on live TV...
2006—Fox News, citing Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), reports that WMD have been found in Iraq.
2005—Edgar Ray Killen, 80, is found guilty of manslaughter in the case of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney.
2004—SpaceShipOne reaches an altitude of 100 kilometers; Mike Melvill becomes the first civilian astronaut.
1994—As Jose Martin and his wife drive near Madrid, a 3-lb. meteorite crashes through their windshield, bends the steering wheel, and lands in the back seat. She is unscathed, he gets a broken finger.
1989—The U.S. Supreme Court rules flag-burning is legal.
1964—Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney are murdered in Mississippi by the KKK.
1942—A Japanese sub shells Fort Stevens, Ore., damaging a phone cable.
1935—The top cop busts a cap at a Eureka, Calif. sawmill; chaos ensues but a jammed machine gun keeps the death toll down to three strikers.
1919—Germans scuttle their captive fleet at Scapa Flow. Brits shoot nine Germans in lifeboats.
1877—Ten Molly Maguires, miners arrested by private detectives and prosecuted by private attorneys for the coal companies, are hanged by Pennsylvania officials, private executioners apparently being unavailable. Pardons for two arrive minutes too late.
1788—New Hampshire ratifies the U.S. Constitution. You’re welcome.
Somewhere in my house is an envelope containing my grandfather’s World War II certificate for a Class C gas-rationing sticker. I last saw it a quarter of a century ago, before my father tucked it away again, probably in one of the trunks in the upstairs closets.
Gasoline was one of the first commodities rationed by the Office of Price Administration after the attack on Pearl Harbor. They called it “mileage” rationing, and gasoline was not the item they were saving. What we were lacking was rubber, since the Japanese had taken early control of the rubber plantations of Southeast Asia. Metal soon became scarce, too. Restricting the use of gasoline indirectly kept drivers from wearing out their tires, and their cars.
The rationing was calculated on an average fuel consumption of 15 miles per gallon. Average working slugs were issued Class A stickers for their windshields, and could only buy three gallons a week. Employees in certain industries and those whose jobs required regular travel were allowed eight gallons a week on a Class B sticker. Commuter life was a postwar phenomenon, and short hops to work were the rule, but rationing still motivated the first widespread carpooling.
My grandfather came out of retirement during the war and went down to Wellfleet, Mass., to replace the town doctor for the duration. That entitled him to a coveted Class C sticker, with no limit.
The next rationed commodity was sugar, which was still a luxury in 1942. Eventually, ration stickers were needed to buy most processed foods, so packaging plants could make enough C-rations for the servicemen of that war and the next two (and the boned chicken stamped 1944 was still tasty in 1969). Fresh fruits and vegetables were never rationed, and wartime posters lauded the patriotism of women who did their own canning in jars.
All this came to mind repeatedly over the past two months, especially after local stores started taping “one-per-customer” signs on the empty shelves where toilet paper and hand sanitizer used to be. It’s hard to predict what people will choose to hoard in a crisis, even for an old prepper like me. I was way ahead of the toilet-paper rush, but I never thought of hand sanitizer—and why would I, with a few dozen bars of soap stashed away?
The hysteria over the latest mutation of coronavirus may also have resurrected another unpleasant reminder of World War II. The Chinese origin of the virus has apparently led some people to confuse ethnology and epidemiology sufficiently to prejudice them against anyone who looks remotely Chinese. Let’s hope this is more reflective of news outlets exercising their habit of disproportionately emphasizing isolated incidents, but at least a few people have been insulted or even assaulted for “coughing while Asian,” as one of them put it.
It’s preposterous to find something malicious in naming a virus for the place where it was first identified: German measles never inspired that complaint. Blaming people for it because of presumed Far Eastern ancestry, however, is equally absurd. The obvious analogy between that and World War II would be the fear that drove Nisei internments, but advocates of internment could at least make a tenuous argument for cultural sympathy with the enemy. And before condemning such paranoia in paroxysms of progressive outrage, remember Andrew Cuomo’s assertion that it’s better to be safe than sorry, despite terrible consequences. Anyone frightened enough to agree in 2020 might have concurred in 1942.
A third echo of the past is the effervescing self-righteousness of those who endorse the precautionary guidelines du jour. In the late 1950s, war-era jokes still appeared in cartoons, and a scowling bureaucrat might interrupt a chase scene to ask “Is this trip really necessary?” Others depicted air-raid drills, with self-appointed compliance constables screaming “Turn out that light!” when they spotted houses without blackout curtains. Equivalent pretentions to superior virtue emanate today from mask scolds, and from the independently wealthy or comfortably retired proponents of interminable lockdowns, who condescendingly lecture a strapped working class to “get a clue.”
The main difference between World War II and now is the lack of unity. In 1942, a common threat of existential proportions persuaded Americans to set aside their differences to a greater degree than they had during any previous crisis—or any future one. Today, a somewhat less apocalyptic threat seems only to pose an opportunity to attack each other with more ferocity than ever before.
These mass protests against systemic racism are driving Donald Trump plumb crazy! Of course, that’s a pretty short drive for him.
He would be hilarious if his buffoonery was not so dangerous and destructive. For example, he had peaceful protesters gassed, clubbed, and shoved out of the public square across from the White House so he could walk out and pose stone-faced with a Bible, as some sort of political stunt.
Especially dangerous, though, is the craven willingness of our top military officials to play along with his infantile attempts to appear manly. When Trump strutted out to do his little Bible photo-op, guess who was loping along right behind him, like eager-to-please puppy dogs? Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of America’s joint military forces.
Yes, our nation’s top two war chieftains were adding their symbolic blessing to Trump’s pathetic desire to look tough, suppress our constitutional right to dissent, and militarize his claim of autocratic powers. Milley even wore combat fatigues to the media show, apparently to model the authoritarian look We the People can expect in Trump’s brave new world.
Esper has been even more servile, playing up to Trump’s grandiosity by describing our country as a “battlespace” that “We need to dominate.” Of course, that would make you and me the dominated, which is as un-American as they could get, short of trying to crown The Donald as America’s king—and don’t put that past them.
To their credit, dozens of U.S. military leaders immediately assailed Esper and Milley for even implying that the armed forces could be anyone’s political pawn to police our own people, and both have since retreated. But their willingness to toy with it shows how vulnerable our democracy is to autocrats…and how vigilant We the People must be.
Copyright 2017 by Jim Hightower & Associates. Contact Melody Byrd for more information.
Fox News apologized (shocking) for the “insensitive” (on Fox News?) post showing the increase in the S&P 500 with a shooting death of a black person. The awareness of Fox News is quite a surprise in itself, but the posting actually revealed a disgusting truth about the financial industry—the stock market really does thrive on racial violence. Why do we place so much faith in this epitome of our vaunted capitalist economy? Is this who we are?
We plead “not guilty” to the charge of having faith in this economy.
Everyone is pleased the May unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent from 14.7. But no one was more pleased than the President who crowed, “There’s a great thing that’s happening for our country.” Not to be outdone by his own rhetoric, he concluded his June 5th presser with, “Today is probably, if you think of it, the greatest comeback in American history.”
Nevermind that 30 million people are still unemployed, and Black and Asian American unemployment actually rose.
I don’t trust Trump’s celebratory numbers.
Remember when Florida’s Governor DeSantis announced on May 20th that a Department of Health data analyst was fired for insubordination? In fact, she refused orders to manipulate the database that keeps track of epidemiological data. She refused to make it say Florida was safe to reopen business when the underlying data didn’t support that conclusion. She had the professional ethics and moral strength to say “no,” although it cost her job. Do those who feed us good employment news from the White House have as much integrity?
The Labor Department has said, due to limitations in data gathering (many unemployed people are misclassified as being employed), the true unemployment rate could be three percent higher than currently estimated.
We share your essential mistrust of any message emanating from this administration. We had missed, though, the Labor Department’s candid caveat. Thank you.
In late May of this year, President Donald Trump’s special envoy for arms control bragged before a Washington think tank that the U.S. government was prepared to outspend Russia and China to win a new nuclear arms race. “The president has made clear that we have a tried and true practice here,” he remarked. “We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.”
This comment was not out of line for a Trump administration official. Indeed, back in December 2016, shortly after his election, Trump himself proclaimed that the United States would “greatly strengthen and expand” the U.S. government’s nuclear weapons program, adding provocatively: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.” In a fresh challenge to Russia and China, delivered in October 2018, Trump again extolled his decision to win the nuclear arms race, explaining: “We have more money than anybody else, by far.”
And, in fact, the Trump administration has followed through on its promise to pour American tax dollars into the arms race through a vast expansion of the U.S. military budget. In 2019 alone (the last year for which worldwide spending figures are available), federal spending on the U.S. military soared to $732 billion. (Other military analysts, who included military-related spending, put the figure at $1.25 trillion.) As a result, the United States, with about 4 percent of the world’s population, accounted for 38 percent of world military spending. Although it’s certainly true that other nations engaged in military buildups as well, China accounted for only 14 percent of global military spending that year, while Russia accounted for only three percent. Indeed, the United States spent more on its military than the next 10 countries combined.
The vast military superiority enjoyed by the United States, however, was not nearly enough for the Trump administration. In February 2020, the administration introduced a 2021 fiscal year budget proposal that would devote 55 percent of the federal government’s $1.3 trillion discretionary spending to the military. By 2030, the military proportion of the federal budget would rise to 62 percent.
Today, about four months later, this top priority for military spending might strike many Americans as bizarre. After all, a disease pandemic continues to plague the nation (with more than 117,850 deaths thus far), a large portion of the economy has collapsed, unemployment has reached the catastrophic levels of the Great Depression, and American cities are torn by strife. Wouldn’t this be an appropriate time to focus America’s financial resources on public healthcare, educational opportunity, decent housing, and a major jobs program—or, in the words of the U.S. constitution, to “promote the general welfare”? But Republican officials argue that these and other public assistance measures are “too expensive.”
What are not “too expensive” are the administration’s big ticket weapons programs, which, even by military standards, are of dubious value. Not surprisingly, Trump continued pouring money into purchasing Lockheed Martin’s F-35 combat aircraft, which, though an operational disaster, had cost U.S. taxpayers $1.4 trillion by 2017. Another pet project, quickly embraced by Trump, was the newest and costliest U.S. aircraft carrier, delivered with fanfare to the Navy in late May 2017 for $13 billion. Its only problem was that it had difficulty launching planes from its deck and facilitating their landing. Yet another very expensive military project is U.S. missile defense. Originally derided as “Star Wars” when Ronald Reagan began promoting it in the 1980s, it has become an obsession with Republicans, who have managed to secure more than $250 billion in U.S. government funding for it thus far. Nevertheless, it continues to fail most of its tests against intercontinental ballistic missiles, despite the fact that these tests are heavily scripted.
One of the most cutting-edged of the U.S. government’s current military weapons projects is the hypersonic missile. Capable of travelling five times faster than the speed of sound (3,800 mph), hypersonic missiles with nuclear warheads are immensely appealing to the military establishments of Russia, China, and the United States. In this case, too, however, there is a serious problem: Given the missile’s incredible speed, it produces immense heat while traveling through the atmosphere, thus diverting or destroying it before it reaches its target. Even so, this weapons project should produce yet another bonanza for Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest arms manufacturer, which has already received $3.5 billion for preliminary work on it.
Of course, the Trump administration has not forgotten about an array of its high tech weapons that do work. America’s 5,800 nuclear weapons, capable of being launched from land, sea, and air, provide staggering firepower—more than enough to destroy most life on earth. The current nuclear arsenal, however, is viewed as insufficient by the Trump administration, which is engaged in a vast “modernization” program to rebuild the entire nuclear weapons complex, including new production facilities, warheads, bombs, and delivery systems. The price tag for this enormous nuclear buildup, which will occur over the next three decades, has been estimated as at least $1.5 trillion.
Against a backdrop of economic and social collapse, plus potential global destruction, the obvious thing to do is to pull out of this immensely costly and bizarre arms race and, instead, foster arms control and disarmament agreements with other nations. But Trump seems determined to cast off whatever progress in this direction his predecessors have made, scrapping the INF Treaty, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement, terminating the New START Treaty, and scuttling the Open Skies Treaty. For a variety of reasons—rewarding giant corporations, getting reelected, and dominating the world—Trump remains fixated on “winning” the arms race.
When it comes to increasingly desperate Americans, their lives and livelihoods spiraling downward, his message seems to be: Let them eat weapons!
Dr. Lawrence Wittner, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany and the author of Confronting the Bomb (Stanford University Press).
Of course black lives matter; all lives matter. So why are people condemned and fired for saying, “All Lives Matter”? Because “Black Lives Matter” is a term used to advance the far left “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) political movement. Americans sympathize with suffering or unjustly treated people and are unknowingly seduced into supporting the BLM political movement.
The BLM movement is the Democrat Party’s new enforcement arm. Like the KKK, Jim Crow Laws, and officials like Bull Connors, the BLM movement uses intimidation and violence to coerce support for, and to suppress opposition to, Democrat politicians and policies.
But neither the actions nor the policies of the BLM movement indicate an interest in improving the lives of most Black Americans.
The riots encouraged by BLM and allowed by Democrat Mayors since the horrible, unacceptable killing of George Floyd have killed many blacks and injured thousands. Thousands more blacks have had their property stolen or destroyed, and/or lost their jobs or businesses. “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t care.
Annually black murderers kill about 90 percent of the thousands of black murder victims; “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t care.
“Black Lives Matter” policies make black lives more difficult and dangerous.
BLM supports illegal immigration which stifles black economic success and makes poor neighborhoods more dangerous.
BLM exacerbates the problems of poverty and fatherless children by advocating further erosion, started by Democrat Welfare Laws, of the traditional family.
BLM advocates the release of convicted felons who often return to victimize poor neighborhoods.
BLM demands defunding police departments, and many Democrat politicians are joining this demand. Defunding the police will make poor and middle income neighborhoods even more dangerous, reduce local investment, and destroy job opportunities.
The “institutional racism” (poor schools, lack of economic opportunities, institutional injustice, and dangerous neighborhoods) that harms most blacks occurs almost exclusively in Democrat controlled cities. For decades Democrat politicians have figuratively had their knees on the throats of inner city blacks, ruining millions of lives.
Yet “Black Lives Matter” supports the Democrat politicians, including Mayors, City Councilors, Governors, Congressmen, Senators, and Presidents who have done nothing to improve the lives of inner city blacks. Donations to BlackLivesMatter.com go to the DNC, Democrat committees, Democrat politicians, and other Democrat causes.
BLM opposes Republicans who fight for things that Black Americans need: strong economic growth providing good jobs, safe neighborhoods, equal justice, and school choice so children can escape bad and/or dangerous schools.
The “Black Lives Matter” movement only cares about the black problems and black deaths that can be used to increase its political power; it isn’t interested in fixing the problems that harm black people.
More mental gymnastics? Has somebody been getting into the Geritol again?
When black people join in self-defense under the banner “Black Lives Matter,” they do so out of dire necessity. In your view, though, that puts them in the same moral category as the Klan, Jim Crow, and Bull Connors. Interesting take.
To summarize, you’re saying that because Black Lives Matter opposes Orange Hitler, it’s bad for black people. Uh huh…. We’re starting to think that perhaps you have a garage full of monkeys and typewriters. One last thing, though, before we abandon all hope.
“Donations to BlackLivesMatter.com go to the DNC…” That’s not true, as you could easily have learned if you gave a damn. It’s another lie from an inexhaustible fount of lies, Candace Owens, who works for Turning Point, USA, a GOP feed-lot that does its best to make sure Republican-susceptible kids come out of college dumber than they went in.
Twelve score and four years ago, smugglers, land grabbers, farmers, and shoe makers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in a curiously narrow vision of Liberty, and dedicated—nominally—to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great difference of opinion, testing whether that nation can endure much longer while ten Army posts continue to honor the names of men who fought against it in a great Civil War.
It would be altogether fitting and proper for us the living to re-dedicate those places. We could give them new names, in honor of others—men, or women, who struggled to complete, rather than halt, the as-yet unfinished work of creating a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
The question is whether such changes can be made without that difference of opinion boiling over into a Civil War re-enactment with life ammunition—an outcome certainly better avoided. One American in forty ended up dead during the first go-round. If a remake produced a similar result, the loss would be equivalent to the combined populations of New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, and Guam.
When we first wrote about this issue, on August 2nd, it seemed inconceivable that the Pentagon would ever rename even a relatively minor post such as Fort A.P. Hill—though there were plenty of reasons why it should.
It goes without saying that Hill was both a traitor and a loser; that’s true of the whole lot now under discussion. Certain additional factors make Hill a poor role model. One of the most notorious carousers in his West Point class, he had to repeat a year to make up for the time it took him to recover from an epic case of gonorrhea. Though he was effective early on in his Confederate career, he was frequently placed under arrest by his superiors. At several crucial times, however, he was unable to perform his duties due to the lingering effects of his youthful indiscretion.
The logistics involved in expunging Hill’s name alone—post signage, stationery, organizational charts, &c., &c.—would be considerable. But what of, say, Fort Benning? More than twice the size of Fort Hill, Benning houses more people than Manchester.
As things now stand, though, the nation is in the uncomfortable—one might say, untenable—position of honoring the man who justified Georgia’s secession thusly:
“What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction, a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery. …[If abolition comes] we will have black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand for that?…our men will be compelled to wander like vagabonds all over the earth; and as for our women, the horrors of their state we cannot contemplate in imagination. …Suppose they elevated Fred Douglass, your escaped slave, to the presidency? What would be your position in such an event? I say give me pestilence and famine sooner than that.”
As recently as February, an Army spokesperson had told the website Task & Purpose that it had “no plans to rename any street or installation, including those named for Confederate generals.”
On June 8th, though, Politico reported that the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Army were now “open to a bi-partisan discussion on the topic.”
This surprising announcement came after a week of stories about U.S. military forces taking controversial actions in the nation’s Capitol.
Perhaps most jarring was a pair of District of Columbia National Guard helicopters hovering over protestors at an extremely low altitude, battering them with rotor wash, tree limbs, and loose street debris. One was a Lakota medevac chopper, marked with large red crosses.
“Misuse of the red cross symbol is prohibited even during peacetime by the First Geneva Convention, to which the U.S. is a party,” Rachel E. VanLandingham, a former Air Force attorney and professor at the Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, told the Washington Post.
National Guard units are typically under the control of state governors. Since the District of Columbia has no governor, its Guard reports directly to the President. We have not seen any reporting to indicate that the orders for this violation of came directly from the Oval Office—yet.
Members of Congress and retired officers expressed alarm at the scene. Trump, safe within a newly-erected Green Zone around the White House, tweeted praise for the pilots.
Trump had thoughts about renaming Army posts, too. The very idea of renaming “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases,” he tweeted in his inimitable style, which “have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom” was out of the question. His administration would “not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations. Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”
“Respect our Military!” Perfect. He’s not channeling his inner Eric Cartman, he is Eric Cartman: a petulant, two-dimensional cartoon character—with the authority to unilaterally launch nuclear weapons.
On the same day Trump tweeted a demand for respect for “his” military, Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee were dissing him. They allowed to pass by a voice vote an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act—put forward by Sen. Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, no less—that would strip Confederate names from military bases within the next three years.
Tomorrow, President Cartman will visit Tulsa, which is currently experiencing a spike in coronavirus infections. There he will try to assuage the emptiness within by basking in the admiration—and exhalations—of thousands of supporters.
“Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.… You ask for votes for women. What good can votes do when ten-elevenths of the land of Great Britain belongs to 200,000 and only one-eleventh to the rest of the 40,000,000? Have your men with their millions of votes freed themselves from this injustice?”
– Helen Keller
“Sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again and free men will walk through them to construct a better society. Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers! These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain, I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice, and treason.”
– Salvador Allende, September 11, 1973
“What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbors, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.”
“Descartes spent far too much time in bed subject to the persistent hallucination that he was thinking. You are not free from a similar disorder.”
2017—By doing everything wrong, officers of the U.S.S. Fitzgerald get a nimble destroyer rammed by a hulking Japanese container ship. Seven enlisted sailors die, three more are injured, repairs will cost $367 million.
2015—Nine people are massacred in a Charleston, S.C. church by a white supremacist punk.
1991—Pres. Taylor’s mortal remains are exhumed for forensic examination.
1982—Found hanging under a London bridge: R. Calvi, “God’s banker.”
1972—Nixon’s spies hit Democratic HQ at the Watergate, but a black Vietnam vet discovers them.
1967—Defense Sec. Robert [Very] Strange McNamara authorizes a secret history of the Vietnam War.
1958—Sherman Adams, N.H.’s ex-Gov., now Ike’s Chief of Staff, admits he accepted a vicuña coat from Boston industrialist Bernard Goldfine.
1948—A false alarm prompts a DC-6 flight crew to activate a fire extinguisher. They leave a relief valve open, though. CO2 escapes, knocking them out; 43 die as the plane crashes in eastern Pennsylvania.
1932—The Senate votes not to pay bonuses due thousands of Great War vets massed outside the Capitol.
1775—Powder pilfered from Portsmouth’s Fort William and Mary, New Hampshire men under Gen. John Stark—along with a few others—kill one-fourth of the British Army’s officers in America at Bunker Hill.
1990—British Airways Captain Tim Lancaster is sucked half-way out of Flight 5390 when his windshield blows out over Oxfordshire. The plane lands safely. Lancaster recovers and later resumes flying.
1988—A bicycle messenger is denied entrance to the Justice Department because he’s wearing a T-shirt that says, “Experts agree: Meese is a pig.”
1975—The Rockefeller Commission finds that the CIA’s CHAOS operation spied on 300,000 Americans and infiltrated political movements.
1968—The Supreme Court says cops can stop & frisk based on “reasonable suspicion” [or racist whim].
1964—Sen. Clair Engle [D-Calif.], 52, silenced by a brain tumor and just seven weeks from death, raises his hand and points to his eye to vote affirmatively and end the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
1944—Pitching in the ninth for the Cincinnati Reds, Joe Nuxhall gives up five runs. Give him a break—he’s 15.
1940—Black nationalist Marcus Garvey dies of a stroke after reading his own obit in the Chicago Defender.
1871—U.S. Marines avenge the 1866 loss of the U.S.S. General Sherman by attacking a number of Korean forts on Gangwha Island, killing 243 Koreans in the process. Three months later the Americans withdraw.
1692—Bridget Bishop, 60, becomes the first person hanged during the Salem, Mass. witch trials.
2003—Condoleeza Rice admits Pres. George W.[MD] Bush’s State of the Union claim that Saddam tried to buy uranium from Niger was “wrong.”
1991—Washington, D.C. hosts a “National Victory Celebration,” complete with Abrams tanks and 8,800 active duty troops. In 85° heat, the tanks wreck Constitution Ave.
1967—Israeli planes and boats attack the unarmed U.S. spy ship Liberty with rockets, machine guns, and napalm; 34 sailors are killed, 171 wounded.
1966—Over Barstow, five USAF jets fly in formation for a photo at the request of GE marketers. Two crash, including the Valkyrie, worth $5 billion in today’s money. Two pilots die.
1956—Tech. Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon, Jr. becomes the first U.S. serviceman to die in Vietnam. He’s murdered by a fellow American airman.
1952—“I would never send troops [to Vietnam],” says Pres. Eisenhower.
1944—FDR signs the GI Bill. The president of the U. of Chicago warns that “colleges would become educational hobo jungles.”
1943—The Zoot Suit Riots end after military brass put L.A. off-limits and civil authorities impose a dress code.
1917—A 1,200-foot electrical cable, insulated by oil-covered cloth and being lowered into Butte’s Granite Mountain mine for safety purposes, lands in a heap 2,400 feet down. As a miner inspects it his helmet lamp sets it alight; 168 miners die in the inferno.
“Like most of us, we at the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire are outraged because of the murder of George Floyd. We are outraged because of his murder and because of other recent displays of the type of injustices African Americans bear daily. We are outraged and we are made weary. Part of our outrage is as you might expect: We are the Black Heritage Trail and Black Lives do Matter. But our outrage is not only because our focus is the history of Black Americans.
“What we learn from this history in our state helps me articulate another aspect of our outrage. In this state, before it was a state, before there was a country for any state to exist in, there was an African man, Prince Johonnett, who volunteered to fight with other future Americans in the Revolutionary War. He fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill. He is not the only African who fought for the idea and the ideals of our nation. For many Black Americans, the idea of America, all too often, is primarily aspirational. When we choose to be patriotic, an amazing choice, given most readings of history, we are making a conscious decision to believe in a hope, in a promise. It is to choose to walk forward in faith, oftentimes against common sense, propelled forward by the ideal of America, as yet unborn. Our outrage is a patriotic outrage. For us to sit back and accept this would be to betray the bravery and sacrifice of Mr. Johonnett and others.
“Whatever else we, as citizens, as supporters of the Trail, as human beings do, The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will continue to do the work of telling the stories of Africans in our state. We will continue to encourage conversations about these critical issues; we will support each other as we continue to move forward in this work, and in all of our work, especially when that work aspires to strengthen community and provide support to the people who make community possible.
“Thank you for your support of the Trail. May you and your circle of intimates be blessed with health and peace.”
Exactly six score years ago, journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, born into slavery, wrote of an “unwritten law” justifying what she called “our national crime:” lynching.
For forty years she worked to make that crime impossible to ignore. When she died in 1931, there was still no Federal law against it. Nor is there today.
Yesterday George Floyd was memorialized. Also yesterday, an anti-lynching bill was blocked in the U.S. Senate. Rand Paul [R-Ky.] insisted that his motives were pure and that he abhors racism. He objected, he said, because the bill defines lynching too broadly and thereby runs the risk of creating, not preventing, injustice.
Celebrate D-Day by Being a Jerk
According to the most fatuous news release we’ve seen in years, “ReopenNH is calling on all Granite Staters to Storm the Beaches this weekend to peacefully liberate New Hampshire from the arbitrary and unlawful edicts of Gov. Chris Sununu and his team of bureaucrats. ReopenNH’s peaceful rally will take place at [Never mind.] on Saturday, June 6, from noon to 4 p.m.”
From whence, one would hope, caring family members would lead participants away for a quiet talk.
“We’re asking Granite Staters to help us celebrate D-Day and the freedoms that our ancestors were willing to fight and die for, which many have taken for granted,” said Andrew J. Manuse, chairman of ReopenNH, displaying an awe-inspiring ability to interpret history in the dumbest way imaginable.
“Our forefathers were willing to storm the beaches of Normandy under enemy fire to liberate our mother countries overseas and prevent the spread of tyranny to our land. Let us not lose the spirit that made America the envy of the world.”
No, let us lose our damn minds, instead—Woops! Too late!
“We must have the same passion for protecting the rights of individuals, businesses, religious organizations, and nonprofit groups and not let government or unruly mobs trample our liberty,” Manuse added. “Remember, our Constitution was written to protect the rights of minorities, so even if it seems like Granite Staters are facing an insurmountable force, we should rest assured that the Rule of Law and God Almighty are on our side.”
We wish misfortune on no one, but if Zeus—were ever to make himself manifest, tomorrow…[bites tongue.]
It Was All Going to Be So Splendid…
EVERETT, Wash., Sept. 4, 2018—The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Boeing’s [NYSE: BA] KC-46 tanker program a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), verifying that its refueling and mission avionics systems meet FAA requirements. The milestone marks completion of KC-46 FAA certification.
To receive its STC, Boeing’s team completed a series of lab, ground and flight tests, which commenced in 2015. As part of the required flight testing, the team validated the KC-46’s boom and drogue aerial refueling systems met FAA certification criteria. [Emphasis added.]
Our Boeing/Air Force test team did an outstanding job successfully leading us through all the requirements, and we appreciate the FAA’s collaboration as well,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. “This milestone is important in that it is one of the last major hurdles in advance of first delivery to the U.S. Air Force. … [Emphasis added.]
Six aircraft have supported various segments of STC and MTC testing. Overall they have completed 3,500 flight hours and offloaded more than three million pounds of fuel during refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10, KC-135 and KC-46 aircraft.
…Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.
– The Boeing Company
Now nothing stands in the way of the KC-46 entering service. This is a rather remarkable achievement for a program that only began in 2011 and which even late last year was struggling to resolve problems with parts of its refueling system. The Air Force is now scheduled to receive its first production tanker this month with the remaining 17 aircraft required under the original contract to be delivered no later than April 2019.
– Dan Gouré, Real Clear Defense, September 12, 2018;
“The KC-46 Is on the Cusp of Transforming U.S. Air Mobility”
The head of U.S. Transportation Command has warned that delays to the new KC-46 Pegasus tanker could require the military to rethink its plans for aerial refueling.
Gen. Stephen Lyons, speaking to the Atlantic Council last month, said issues with developing and fielding the KC-46 could further complicate refueling efforts if the Air Force sticks to its plan to retire legacy tankers, according to Defense News.
Officials had already planned on retiring some older KC-135 and KC-10 tankers as they field the new tanker. But leaders have also made it clear the KC-46 will not see action in combat until problems with the boom camera are resolved.
The boom issue is one of several that have plagued the new Boeing-built plane, which has been fielded to some active-component units and one Guard wing, the 157th Air Refueling Wing in New Hampshire. The 157th received its first two KC-46 tankers in August and is slated to receive additional planes this year.
– National Guard Association of the U.S., February 4, 2020
The U.S. military’s top transportation commander is urging the Air Force to keep more of its legacy air-refuelers in service until more of the Boeing-built KC-46 Pegasus aircraft are delivered and operational.
Speaking at a congressional hearing last week, Gen. Stephen Lyons, the head of U.S. Transportation Command, said the service should rethink its plan to retire 13 KC-135s and 10 KC-10s during fiscal 2021, warning that failure to do so would create ‘a capacity bathtub with significant impacts to Combatant Command daily competition and wartime missions.’
…The KC-46, the newest tanker in the fleet, has been plagued with issues since delivery began in 2018, including problems with the remote vision system for the refueling boom. Officials believe a fix for the remote vision system will be ready in the coming weeks.[Emphasis added.]
Air Force leaders proposed cuts to the legacy fleet in order to fund other projects. But Lyons argued that keeping the 23 tankers in service would only cost about $110 million, according to Breaking Defense.
The Air Guard has 17 air refueling wings, most of them fly the aging KC-135. One, New Hampshire’s 157th Air Refueling Wing, flies the new KC-46.
– National Guard Association of the U.S., March 3, 2020
Why The Air Force’s Latest Flight Plan For Its KC-46 Tankers Looks Likely To Finally Deliver Success
It is now nearly 20 years since the U.S. Air Force decided it needed to replace its aging fleet of aerial refueling tankers, and settled on a modified version of the Boeing 767 jetliner as the logical solution. At the time, most of the tankers in the fleet were already over 35 years old.
What followed was one of the most Byzantine, convoluted stories in the history of military acquisition. First the Air Force tried to lease 100 of the planes from Boeing. Then it was forced by Congress to conduct a competition which derailed and had to be rerun. Then it encountered major delays in fielding the plane it selected.
The good news is that in the end, it got what looks to be the most capable and efficient aerial refueler ever built. It began accepting that plane, the KC-46 Pegasus, at air bases in Kansas, Oklahoma and New Hampshire last year. As originally planned, Pegasus is based on the 767 airframe built by Boeing (a contributor to my think tank). [Emphasis added.]
– Loren Thompson,
Senior Contributor, Aerospace & Defense, Forbes.com, April 9, 2020
WASHINGTON – New Hampshire’s U.S. senators are among three calling for the Government Accountability Office to investigate ongoing delays keeping the new KC-46 refueling tankers from being used in operational missions. …
In the letter, the Senators wrote, ‘The KC-46 aerial refueling tanker modernization program, currently assessed at a cost of about $43 billion, is one of the Air Force’s highest acquisition priorities… The Air Force started accepting aircraft in January 2019 with these critical deficiencies. While the Air Force has already accepted over 30 aircraft, U.S. Transportation Command has decided not to use the aircraft in operations until the critical deficiencies are fixed, which is not expected to occur until 2023.’” [Emphasis added.]
– Portsmouth Herald,
Friday, May 22, 2020
RIP, Irene Triplett
Sadly, we report the death of Irene Tripplett, of Wilkesboro, N.C. Ninety years old, she was the last-known surviving child of a veteran of the Civil War.
In a war that famously saw brother fighting brother, Irene’s father took things a step farther. Moses Triplett fought on both sides. Originally a private in the Confederate Army, he deserted as his unit was on the march, about a week before the Battle of Gettysburg. It was the smart move: less than ten percent of his outfit survived. Swapping the gray for the blue, he spent the last year of the war with the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry.
Moses married his second wife in 1924, when he was 78. His wife Elida Hall was just 27. Irene came along in 1930. Her life story could have been written by William Faulkner or Erskine Caldwell.
“I didn’t care for neither one [of my parents], to tell you the truth about it,” she said, in a Washington Post article published Thursday. “I wanted to get away from both of them. I wanted to get me a house and crawl in it all by myself.”
She dropped out of sixth grade; the other children called her father “the traitor.” Cognitively-impaired, according to the Post, Irene and her mother lived for many years in a rat-infested county poorhouse. At least her last years were spent in a private nursing home, which seems to have been an improvement; its director told the Post, “I never saw her angry. Everything was funny.”
There’s one other bright spot in this rather depressing story: with Irene’s demise, a burden has been lifted from the taxpayer; a line item removed from the budget of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As the helpless adult child of a veteran, she had been receiving a pension of $73.13 a month; 155 years after Appomattox, the Civil War is paid for.
Pining for the Newsprint
This makes our sixth consecutive issue published solely in this nebulous and intangible space since March 13th—the last time we sullied fresh newsprint. Like many others fortunate enough not to work in a meat-packing plant or, god help us, an infectious disease ward, we’ve been spending most of our time rattling around the office.
That’s quite a change from the old routine. Over the decades we’ve grown quite fond of frequent, brief, impromptu sidewalk conferences with readers, advertisers, and miscellaneous ne’er-do-wells. There’s no telling to what extent these random interactions have helped to shape the paper. The volunteer distribution system which has served us so well these many years evolved from one such meeting outside Portsmouth Health Food. Thanks, Deb—we have not forgotten. As for the urban grazing, well…. In this town? [Sighs.] C’est la vie…at least the pants fit better now.
Lord knows we can’t complain about any lack of stimulation. It’s always been a challenge trying to keep up with events, but these goings-on? This is…just literally insane.
On the upside, it gives us something to think about other than how many papers we haven’t been able to put on the street. [At this point, 30,000.]