Re-Thinking American History

by W.D. Ehrhart I have spent my entire life reading. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “There is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away.” Even in Vietnam, as an 18-year-old, I read whatever I could get my hands on from John Updike’s Rabbit, Run to Voltaire’s Candide to John Cleland’s Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. I don’t read many books more than once because there are so many good books to read, but I’ve read multiple times David Howarth’s 1066: The Year of the Conquest, and Cecil Woodham-Smith’s The Reason Why: The Story of the Fatal Charge of the …

Read moreRe-Thinking American History

Sanitizing American History

by W.D. Ehrhart In September 1814, as Francis Scott Key stood on the deck of a British warship watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry, he was inspired to write a poem that eventually became the “Star-Spangled Banner.” We hear that song a lot these days: at every football game from middle school to the NFL; at NASCAR races and hockey games and commencement ceremonies, and, well, at just about any public event that attracts more than three Americans. I wonder how many of my fellow citizens know that Key’s original poem contains not just the stanza we sing, but three additional stanzas, one of which …

Read moreSanitizing American History

The Taliban Took Us By Surprise!

To the Editor: Why didn’t anyone predict that Texas would fall to the Taliban so quickly? The Taliban have launched draconian measures in Texas to keep women in their place and armed men in charge. They are paying rewards to informers to turn citizens in so they can be hauled before a judge. They have issued edicts drastically restricting voting rights, particularly for minorities. And, as would be expected of the Taliban, they are justifying their actions on their claim to moral superiority based on their religious beliefs. Will there be safe passage out of Texas for those loyal to the Constitution, who fought to …

Read moreThe Taliban Took Us By Surprise!

Why Did Sununu Go to Kentucky?

Dear Sir: In today’s Portsmouth Herald [September 7th], there was a guest column from Governor Sununu and Health and Human Services Commissioner (HHS) Shibinette. The column, “New Hampshire Leaders learned a lot about COVID in Kentucky,” highlighted some of the actions Kentucky has taken during their recent COVID surge. While I credit the Governor for trying to learn from others, he should take the time to learn from others right here in New Hampshire. For example, the article states that they learned that the State should “push therapeutics” and that “one of the best tools used in Kentucky was the utilization of monoclonal antibodies.” What …

Read moreWhy Did Sununu Go to Kentucky?

Life’s Persistent Questions

Dear Editor, On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, we remember what happened in order to heal, and also to learn from the experience to avoid future catastrophes. We’ve learned about our strength in unity and also the dangers of rigid group-mind thinking. We’ve learned about the limits of our power and the power of division. Still, we haven’t learned enough. We need answers to these questions: Why were Saudi nationals airlifted out of our country when all other airplanes were grounded? Did the 18 Saudi-born terrorists have a connection to the Saudi government? Why did Vice President Cheney distort our invasion of Afghanistan into an …

Read moreLife’s Persistent Questions

Puppet Politics

To the Editor: Those of us long enough in the tooth to remember black-and-white TV may recall Edgar Bergen and his top-hatted sidekick, Charlie McCarthy. Charlie may have been a mannequin, but he was no dummy when it came to whipping out snappy one-liners guaranteed to pull his boss up short. If only Charlie’s twenty-first century namesake Kevin McCarthy were so adept! Unlike Charlie, Kevin’s performance as Minority Leader seems limited to echoing his Mar-a-Lago puppeteer’s litany of fantasies and threats. Take, for example, McCarthy’s wooden-headed diatribe threatening revenge against private companies that dare to cooperate with the Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection. …

Read morePuppet Politics