Edited by Real Life

by Jean Stimmell Last month I started a column contending that, emotionally speaking, events in the 1960s were as disjointed and perilous as the existential angst we face today. My mind had flashed back to those olden days as I cut kindling with my hatchet to start the first fire of the season with wood I had harvested off my land. The war in Vietnam War raged. Each day the news reported, like a sports score, how many of the enemy we had killed, as if that number justified the death of many of our brothers and sisters who also became cannon fodder that day. …

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Shall We Make Things Worse, Or Not?

by Rich DiPentima, LTC, USAF, Ret. President Biden’s mandated that all businesses employing more than 100 people, and federal contractors, require either Covid-19 vaccination or weekly Covid-19 testing. Further, all healthcare facilities are mandated to require vaccination of all staff. In response, Republican Governors, including Chris Sununu, sued the administration “to protect Americans and their liberties.” These are some of the same Governors that order mandatory evacuations of your home and business during a hurricane, order children to get vaccinated to attend schools, order women to undergo invasive medical exams for reproductive services, prohibit people from getting food and water while waiting in line to …

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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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It’s a Big Universe Out There

by W.D. Ehrhart In December 1985, I made my first postwar trip back to Vietnam. I had gone there in 1967 as an 18-year-old Marine, which had turned out to be a very bad idea and a life-changing experience. Eighteen years later, I wanted to see and experience the country of Vietnam, not the Vietnam War. It turned out to be both a humbling and a healing trip. Very early on, my interpreter, a young man old enough to remember the war but not old enough to have fought in it, asked me if I had been wounded. When I said I had, and then …

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More Fun Facts About American History

by W.D. Ehrhart Lately I’ve been ruminating on American history, in particular on how little most of my fellow citizens know about it. I recently wrote an essay in the Gazette (September 24, 2021) that took note of the missing stanza of our national anthem that condemns the British for offering freedom to American slaves, the missing stanzas of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” that criticize capitalism and the owner class, the overt anti-immigrant racism imbedded in American society, and a number of other fun facts most Americans are oblivious to. I wrote a whole essay (Gazette, October 8, 2021) about a Virginia …

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