The Farce Estate

The Fortnightly Rant for July 30, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 254, No. 22, posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. Casting stones is a risky business even in the best of cases. What’s more, your risk escalates with the egregiousness of the behavior you’re trying to condemn. Whenever you give in to temptation and deny another person’s humanity, you jeopardize your own. That being said, the most revolting thing about the recent Andrew Breitbart/Shirley Sherrod flap is not what the self-styled “journalist” did. Releasing a bit of deceptively-edited video to manufacture a race-baiting narrative that is completely antithetical to the truth is exactly …

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Heads They Win, Tails We Lose

The Fortnightly Rant for July 16, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 254, No. 21, posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. There don’t seem to be an awful lot of opportunities out there for the average person right now, what with unemployment running at 9.3 percent and the Senate refusing to extend long-term unemployment benefits. One golden opportunity, though, is hanging in plain sight, readily available to anyone who will take the trouble to grab it. Sadly, it won’t pay the rent or put food on the table. Sadder still, few will take advantage of it. This is the best chance in more than …

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Afghanistan, Year Nine

The Fortnightly Rant for July 2, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 254, No. 20, posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. Installing and removing generals from top U.S. commands is usually a process as formal and scripted as Kabuki theatre. Even when generals are being removed for poor performance, a dignified gloss is often applied. Last week’s replacement of General Stanley A. McChrystal seemed less like a piece of classical Japanese drama than an episode of “Jersey Shore.” The country hasn’t seen anything like it since 1951, when Harry fired Doug. War as Reality Show America’s news media used to think of themselves as …

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Dear Kittery: Welcome to New Hampshire

The Fortnightly Rant for June 18, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 254, No. 19, posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. Maine and New Hampshire — for seventy years the two states have been connected by two bridges: the older, smaller Memorial Bridge, and the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge. Each carries thousands of people a day over the turbulent Piscataqua River. In recent months though, it seems the bridges have been dividing the states. Recent developments suggest that the debate over the future of the bridges could soon become more turbulent than the Piscataqua. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. But before we get …

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Irrational Defense

The Fortnightly Rant for June 4, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 254, No. 18, retroactively posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. If there is a single notion dominating our national discourse these days, it is that our government is much too big. Republicans have been fervently making that argument since the Reagan ascendancy, only to find themselves out-shouted by the nascent Tea Partiers. Democrats, in their usual fashion, have offered partial, tepid rebuttals from time to time, while letting the core concept stand essentially unscathed. If, in fact, the government is much too big, then clearly the only rational response would be to …

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BP — Bad Players

The Fortnightly Rant for May 21, 2010, from The New Hampshire Gazette, Volume 254, No. 17, retroactively posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011. It has now been one full month since BP’s well began spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Though that has not been enough time for BP to end this ongoing calamity, it’s been more than enough for the rest of us to learn more about BP and its friends. So far, none of it has been good. This past fortnight got off to a rather ironic start as the Associated Press reported that a “group of BP executives were on …

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