What Is the Common Good?

by Jean Stimmell I take umbrage with Bret Stephens, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, for having the gall to tell me, a staunch liberal, what I believe. He praises paleoconservative Sohrab Ahmari’s new book, The Unbroken Thread for giving a “moral voice…against the values of elite liberalism, above all its disdain for limits, from moral taboos tor national borders.” ⁠1 In the real world, when the right and the left fight over freedom versus limits, it’s not a clear-cut matter. As Max Boot recently wrote, conservatives are willing to accept substantial infringements on civil liberties to combat criminals and terrorists. Yet, they …

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Never Again

by Paul Nichols Samrawit Silva’s powerfully impassioned letter in the Concord Monitor of September 6th describes the ongoing slaughter of citizens, including some of her family members, by government forces in Ethiopia. She ends the piece with references to the phrase, “Never Again.” But never again is happening again, this time in her home country! History matters. History repeats itself, though maybe not exactly in the same way nor in the same place. And the never again refrain is a historic expression possibly first coined as World War I ended. That war was famously called “The war to end all wars”—in other words, never again. …

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In Opposition to the Air Show

On September 11th and 12th, the New Hampshire Air National Guard at Pease will host an aerial acrobatic display by the Air Forces’ “Thunderbirds” which consist of six F-16 Fighting Falcons. Moreover, visitors will be able to board the new transport and aerial fuel tanker, the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus. And, folks can view up close other planes such as F-35A Lightning II’s, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-15C Eagles, A-10 Thunderbolts, and others! In addition, U.S. Special Ops Para Command teams will also be present to exhibit their skills. These include Army Rangers, Navy SEALS, and Marine Raiders. These trained experts in assassinations (see Jeremy Schahill’s book, …

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Wild and crazy thoughts to save the world

by Jean Stimmell Today, we navigate through our lives, autonomous contestants in a national gameshow called free-market capitalism, where winners live in mansions and losers on the street. Community, ethics, and our non-human neighbors don’t matter much. How do we break out of this amusement park before it is too late? Let’s try by thinking outside the box. What if our thoughts and imagination don’t arise in us as individuals. What if thoughts are socially constructed. Rather than our thoughts arising out of our brain, what if we are receiving them from outside: From the web of all our acquaintances, books we have read, and …

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Delayed Recognition is Better Than None

by Paul Nichols I read recently about the only battalion of Black women to serve in Europe during World War II, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. This all-female Army Corps unit was deployed on missions to England and France during 1945 under daunting conditions for the purpose of processing undelivered mail to U.S. troops and Red Cross workers. The importance of their work cannot be overstated. They toiled around the clock, straightening out an enormous backlog of mail piled in disorganized heaps. Within a three-month period, about 17 million pieces of mail were straightened out and sent on to intended destinations. Despite the important …

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Hope Lies in Our Entanglements

by Jean Stimmell For most of human evolution, the cosmic forces of the universe were magical, beyond our feeble understanding. We were humble and kept our heads down, acutely aware that we were the lowest denominator in a vast galactic mystery. Unfortunately, over the last few hundred years, we humans have become smug and arrogant, thinking we are lords and masters of Planet Earth, which will be our downfall because of the climate crisis we are causing. Today I want to write about four entanglements that give me hope about how we might regain that sense of awe while avoiding environmental doom. Entanglement #1: Last …

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