What Is a Bayonet? or, Who Wins and Who Loses?

by W.D. Ehrhart Lately I have been revisiting one of my favorite writers, Stephen Crane. Most famous for his novel of the American Civil War, The Red Badge of Courage, his collected writing—fiction, poetry, and journalism published by the University of Virginia Press—runs to ten full volumes. So enamored of his poetry was I that I still have a slim volume of his poems I “removed” (stole would be more accurate) from the Pennridge High School library back in 1965 or 1966. (In my defense, the town I grew up in didn’t even have a bookstore, and I wanted to possess those poems.) The best …

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Propaganda 101 : The Art of Creative Lying

by W.D. Ehrhart Recently, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a news report saying law students at Georgetown University were so upset by a professor criticizing President Biden’s determination to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court that they demanded “an office they can go to . . . if they want to cry, if they need to break down.”  They are demanding a Crying Room. Seriously? I dutifully wrote up an irate essay excoriating the “Snowflake” sensibilities of many of my Left Progressive fellow travelers, whose sometimes frivolous and inane demands make it so easy for the Radical Reactionary Right to …

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Does This Mean War?

by W.D. Ehrhart The headlines these days are ominous. “Russia warns of retaliation if its demands are not met.” “U.S. allies are stepping upto counter Russia’s Ukraine threats.” “Blinken: No concessions in response to Russia on Ukraine.” “Will there be a war over Ukraine?” It’s enough to keep you awake at night. Russia may no longer be the Soviet Union, but it’s still the original Evil Empire: unrepentantly aggressive, a bully, eager to needle the West at every opportunity, willing to risk war to achieve its selfish aims. Or so our government and our mainstream media would have us believe. But once again—as Americans have …

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This is Democracy?

by W.D. Ehrhart So here we are at the outset of another new year. A Happy New Year? Well, as Shakespeare’s Lady Anne replies to Richard III in Act I, Scene 2, when he asks if he can live in hope, “All men I hope live so.” Of course, she’s talking to one of the Bard’s most villainous characters. And though he eventually gets his in the end, we folks (men and women both) these days can—well—only hope that our future works out so nicely. I can’t help finding myself wondering how much longer our American version of democracy is likely to last. Will it …

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You Want To Serve Your Country?

by W.D. Ehrhart I recently received the following e-mail: “First off, Mr. Ehrhart, thank you for your service. My main question is this: what wisdom do you think you have gained from experiencing the Vietnam War? Do you think that younger generations could learn something from you and your experience?” “Thank you for taking the time to write,” I replied. “What wisdom have I gained from experiencing the Vietnam War? What could younger generations learn from me? I hope I don’t sound too cynical, but what I learned was to question everything I’m told by those in authority. Donald Trump lied to the American people …

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Do You Believe in Unicorns?

by W.D. Ehrhart Steve Bannon, the Trump-pardoned Breitbart founder, former Trump strategist, and current Trump ally, said in a podcast on January 5th, 2021, “Strap on. All hell’s going to break loose,” and just last week declared, “We are taking over school boards, we’re taking over the Republican Party with the precinct committee strategy. Suck on this!” Number 45 himself defended supporters who chanted “Hang Mike Pence” during the insurrection, saying it was just “common sense” given Pence’s refusal to deny certification of the 2020 election. A teenaged white kid carrying an illegally obtained high-powered assault rifle across state lines to defend the property of …

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