where the writers are
Seeing your words on line is heady stuff.

Greetings, from historic New Harmony, Indianawhere seeing my words published on line, out in public like this, is  heady stuff indeed. I am supposed to be resting up for attending the play http://www.usi.edu/nht/   later today, and, hopefully, I soon will do that. But, right now I am so excited about this blog that I want to tell why I started it. Which is because, several weeks ago I was asked to write a weekly opinion column for the Posey County News, our local weekly newspaper. I was contacted by Dave Pearce, the new owner and editor of the Posey County News, asking me to accept his apology for failing to report in his newspaper the simple fact of the dismissal of all charges against me, (such charges as were brought for the offense of asking questions of a financial nature at the town board meeting in February of 2008) and inviting me to write a weekly opinion column for his newspaper. Dave had bought the newspaper shortly after my arrest. An arrest, of which, the reporting of and the commenting on, had filled not only the entire front page of that newspaper but almost the entire edition at the time I was arrested, under the previous management, and which reporting and commenting I viewed askance, as to journalistic standards, since I was arrested in particular for questioning, at a town board meeting, the amount of rent that the newspaper itself was paying for it's cozy little quarters in a town government owned building. But, my beef being with the town board president and with his close political and social associate and fellow Tea Party attendee, the then newspaper owner and editor, I was at some what of a disadvantage as to press coverage locally, and compelled to take my licking and like it. Sort of, except, that I hired a good attorney and had the charges thrown out of court with copious regional press coverage from other bigger out of town, out of county  newspapers, but with still nary a peep about my vindication from the Posey County News, even though it had a new owner, Dave Pearce.

So, that was why Dave contacted me, to apologize for journalistically ignoring the dropping of the charges against me, and to tell me that he had allowed the previous owner to dissuade him from reporting, even on a back page, the dropping of all charges, and that he now realized that he was lobbied in a politically partisan manner to ignore news that he should have reported, being a newspaper editor and all, and that he now apologized to me for failing to report that news of the dismissal of the charges, and would I care to write a weekly opinion column for his newspaper?

Dave and I hammered out a few details of our arrangement by Email and I agreed to write a weekly column for his paper. I wrote a couple of columns in advance, against the event of sick days or fishing trips, and I Emailed them to Dave who gushingly approved them and said that he felt that he and I would would have a long and fruitful association and grow to be better writers and better people along side one another. Then, I wrote another column or two and I Emailed them also to Dave. With a promise of more to follow. 

 

And then, mysteriously,  Dave vanished from sight on me, and has not since responded to any of my Emails or taken or returned my phone calls.

 

Consequently, I asked a mutual friend, who has known Dave and his family since back before the war, as it were, to visit with him and find out what the problemo was vis a vis printing my columns or even responding to my Emails or taking my phone calls. This mutual friend went to speak with Dave and reports that he, Dave, has been threatened with dire consequences if he prints my columns as he and I had agreed. Dave was , reportedly, contacted by members of the New Harmony town board and their close associates who insist that my wild eyed libertarianism should not be inflicted on the innocent public through his newspaper. Apparently, I am not amusing to the town government, since I loudly and publicaly thrashed them with the dismissal of their charges against me. Dave told our mutual friend that they (the town board et al) had threatened to destroy the newspaper's relationship with a couple of the major (automotive) advertisers who keep the whole thing afloat. So now I am not only paying taxes to bail out the auto industry but that industry in it's turn is helping to deny me employment as a writer for Dave and his newspaper. Don't you simply love New Harmony? Or is possibly like this out there in Utah and Connecticutt too? 

And poor Dave is now in a quandary, I am told. He will not respond to me, and our mutual friend says that he admits to embarassment over his own lack of ......Uh? well lack of .....uh? ....resolve(!) ... in allowing himself to be bullied in such a manner.

 

I have quietly asked a couple of my friends to Email Dave and prod him to do the manly thing. One person forwarded me Dave's response to their courteous Email inquiring why he did not print my columns as agreed. His answer to them was that he was "under great pressure" and "undecided" about what to do. And that he had "a lot at stake" and that "his whole life" is tied up in the newspaper and other things like that. I pity Dave. 

I would prefer to be me, rather than either the people who threatened Dave, or Dave himself. I still have, and intend to keep, my liberty and my ability to tell my story without referring to lot of crib notes or conferring with advisors to keep myself from becoming confused. And those blessings are soon forfeited by all parties on either side of a successful black mail.

Ron Nesler ...Posting from here in New Harmony, Indiana where the opposition to free expression and transparent politics is fierce and hateful.

Comments
17 Comment count
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Move to Ireland! The

Move to Ireland! The Humanist Association of Ireland will welcome you with open arms.

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Move to Ireland?

Funny you should say that, Mary! My daughter has always dreamed of visiting Ireland, we speak of it often, but jokingly, in my home, mainly because for me, due to health issues, I might just as well talk of visiting the moon. But, the longer I live here in the US the more I think I would like to be somewhere else. However, I suspect that many of the people living someplace else probably think they would like to live instead here where I live. My wife, Suzanne, says that if all mankind were to throw their problems into a big box, and then chose the problems they wanted for their own from among the clutter, that most of us would take back our same old problems. And I think that is true. So as aggravated as I get with the US, I think I will stand pat. But if I change my mind, and I could, Ireland is on the top of the list.

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Ron, I love America. My sons

Ron, I love America. My sons are all citizens as is my husband. Life is what you make it and as my mother always said, people are the same the world over!

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Mary, your remarks on citizenship

Mary, your remarks on Irish and US citizenship brought to my mind thoughts of the brothers Frank and Malachy McCourt. Have you read them? Do they interest you? I recently finished reading "A Monk Swimming"  by Malachy, on the suggestion of a good friend, and have now started "Angela's Ashes" by Frank.

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Of course Ron, I passed him

Of course Ron, I passed him on the street in Galway a few years ago. Apparently, Ellen reports that he is quite ill right now. My grandmother ran a bakery and hotel in Limerick City and my father often told me about the bakery and how in the mornings a long line of shawl-clad women with children in tow (who lived in the back lanes of the city) waited outside the Bakery. They were known as ''the Stale Bun Customers'' because my Grandmother practically gave the bread and confectionary away, 12 items for one penny. My father said, she charged a minimal fee to preserve the dignity (or what dignity was left)of the purchasers. I have seen the movie Angela's Ashes but I am afraid the book didn't do it for me. Mp 

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Mary, so your grandmother

Mary, so your grandmother probably fed the McCourt family?  Such a small world.

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Yes, Ellen, that is possibly

Yes, Ellen, that is possibly true! I can't help but feel sad that they (the people from the lane) had to eat Stale Bread.

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But bless your family for

But bless your family for seeing the need and quietly doing what they could while preserving the dignity of the lane people.  They probably never dreamed one of them would go on to become a late-blooming Pulitzer Prize winner.

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True Ellen! I never thought

True Ellen! I never thought about it that way especially at four am!

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the people from the lane

Mary, I am sprung from the American equivalent of the "people from the lane". Probably not quite so harsh of conditions as there in Limerick, but about the same general idea. Stale bread was not the worst of it. The most soul crushing thing I remember as a little child, is wearing odd and worn clothes and living in a tar paper hovel that was directly across the road from the school I attended, so that all of my school mates could see my funny shabby home and mock it everyday. Being the target of unkindness from the more affluent children was a daily, grinding, burdensome soul crusher. I learned early to fight with my hands and to hide my thoughts within myself.  In the lanes everyone was oppressively poor, as I understand it, but in rural 1950's America there were just little tiny pockets of stick-out- like- a- sore- thumb type poverty, and my family was one such pocket, and therefore we drew great interest and attention from the folks around us, as a great example of a bad example in all things, poverty in America being taken as a moral failing, by our richer neighbors. As a result,  I sort of have a taste for stale bread, but none at all for humble pie, if you get my drift.

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Moral failing

Ron, fascinating. This might sound odd but you are the first  American I have ever met who has ever admitted to poverty or anything like what you have just described...........

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We are certanly not Somalia, here in the US ,,,,....

 But.....

We have our own poverty aplenty here,  even today. How else would we raise our fearsome armies?  Because it is always the sons of the poor (and now seemingly the daughters too) who man the batteries. We have long had a saying here in America, about most of our wars, that the war belongs to the rich but the fighting belongs to the poor. I was conscripted into the US Army for two years to serve in the Vietnam war, a fate that the rich here were almost always spared by sympathetic draft boards,  but I stayed 8 years in uniform because the life of a soldier, starting at $98 per month plus food and lodging,  was a step up economically for me. Today, we man our Armies not by conscription, up with which people will no longer put, but by better compensating soldiers than in my day, with wages and health care slightly better than the general run of the mill unskilled and uneducated youth, such as I was when drafted, can find in the civilian world. Such economic incentive is much more politically acceptable than was the draft, but it is a net that sweeps up the very same low financial strata of financially strapped males, through financial incentive, as the old  "Selective Service Law" (as it was so aptly named) of my youth did,  through conscription/ draft. And that, is how the cow ate the proverbial cabbage, as we say here. 

 

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There's something terribly

There's something terribly ironic about your town's name, Ron.

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Irony aplenty

There is enough irony in this for all to enjoy. Google "New Harmony, Indiana" and see what it is supposed to stand for, and once did stand for, before the elitist carpetbaggers came like a swarm of greedy locusts to push the local people aside and eat out our substance. And check out my local web site for the town's ordinary people at www.NewHarmonyWatch.com

Thanks for commenting.

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The French have an

The French have an expression. . ."En principe,. . .En réalité,. . ."  In principle, [insert phrase].  In reality, [insert opposing phrase].  Seems to apply in this instance.

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Thank you, Ellen. I have frequently been counseled to use...

Thank you, Ellen. I have frequently been counseled to use more pragmatism and less idealism in confronting the world. I can't seem to get the hang of it,though.

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Well, it's difficult when

Well, it's difficult when one sees a vision of what could be.