I’m still alive — and I’ve written something.

Job plus life plus corrupting neighborhood children = too little writing. I have some fairly well thought-out ideas in the mind and should be getting posts online, here and at Post Right soon. For now, my super-long screed on localism and economic liberalism is here.

A Reply to Dan Riehl

For those who haven’t been following my writing at Post Right: I’ve worked myself into quite the brouhaha over my opinions about Mark Levin, who has added me to his list of the World’s Most Deranged Bloggers. Dan Riehl has taken offense to this and done his best to call me out here. Post Right is loaded with posts, from me and many of my compeers, related to this matter, but I want to offer a direct response to Mr. Riehl here. I had hoped to post in the comment box beneath his initial screed, but my reply has proved to be far too long. Without further, ado, then, I offer it.

***

I’d initially decided not to enter this fray, not to enter the lion’s den, as it were, but, having been defended by souls kinder than I deserve, feel something of an obligation to speak for myself, ideally deflecting any criticism, infantile or, occasionally, rational, from them and toward me.

First, as others have noted, something strikes me as manifesting a sort of disconnection, a level of disingenuousness, if not outright hypocrisy, about criticizing me for voicing my disdain for Mr. Levin without actually having listened to his program and then calling me “an apparent moron” without knowing anything about me, the opinions I hold, the educational achievements on my record, or my writing beyond one apparently controversial online screed.

If, Mr Riehl, you bothered to read any of my relatively few postings as Post Right, or at my personal Weblog, then I retract this statement. However, nothing suggests that you did. On the other hand, I at least read summaries of Mr. Levin’s daily program before making any comments. This is, I agree, not the same as listening; however, notwithstanding any nuances or exceptions that he may offer during the show, these summaries, paired with writings of his available across the Web, suffice to paint a picture of his views. Also, I did take the time to read the debate between you and Mr. Friedersdorf, wherein Mr. Levin chimed in and wherein Conor excerpted the original broadcast segment that so appalled him. So, although I admit that I was perhaps venturing slightly beyond safe ground in waging my “war” against Mr. Levin, I have proceeded far more safely than you have, and I did do some legwork, so to speak.

Regarding the very first sentence of your post: I’m not sure why an anti-Levin screed at a Weblog hosted by The American Conservative surprises you as it does. The magazine’s non-mainstream perspective(s) are quite obvious. Some of your commenters, replying to your philippic against Mr. Ford, have called it a right-wing version of The Nation. That’s not quite right, but it does hit on the anti-war nature of the publication. I’m not sure that anything about being anti-war, particularly when our Wilsonian leaders find pretext for war just about anywhere, is anti-conservative. Taft, Kirk, et al., I think, would agree. I wholly admit that I may be wrong, given my age and the sadly small amount of Kirk that I’ve read, but he strikes me as having been a pretty anti-war sort of chap. TAC has a lot more in common with Kirk and Taft than with neoconservatives, the Republican Party, and mainstream conservatism.

Your comment about my attire in one picture is a bit perplexing, particularly given that you’ve apparently no eye for context. That photograph was actually taken on my family farm. There’s nothing Wyatt Earp-esque or Bad Bart-esque about it. I’m just a country boy; my family owns farmland, my grandfather’s been on that farm since 1914, and I drive our beat-up 1988 Chevy truck as often as I do my car. Such an ad hominem attack (if it’s even worthy of Latin) seems, to me, to below what passes for sincere, honest discourse about ideas. Again, I’m young: I may simply be missing out on the salient point here.

(Truth be told, I wish I’d one of my three-piece-suit photographs up; I’m curious to see how you’d have responded, especially if it had been one in which I’m wearing a pink shirt. I can only imagine what fun you may have had at my expense!)

The broader point about your linking to my Facebook profile, as Patrick addressed in response to your post about his input on this whole kerfuffle, is that, whether or not Facebook is public, linking to it is, in the words of a friend, “so sixth grade”. It’s useless (particularly given the ease wherewith I changed my profile picture) and, to those not in my network, not my “friends”, and not “friends” of my “friends”, the profile is inaccessible. Visitors who click on your link see my profile picture, my networks, and a couple of my “friends”. It’s not offensive or wrong; just silly and slightly creepy.

A grad student all of 26 years old, versus Mark Levin’s significant accomplishments in multiple fields – from Reagan’s White House to the bestseller’s list … but Mr. Wilson’s nemesis Dennis passes judgment without ever having listened to Mark’s show??? Spare me, please. At least the guy is honest enough to tell us just how utterly stupid he is right upfront with that revealing bit of idiocy.

(A quick, minor correction: I’m not a graduate student anymore, as I have earned my master’s degree, and I’m only twenty-five. Where you got twenty-six is a mystery to me, but not particularly relevant.) Although, I reckon, there’s something slightly impressive about having served in the White House, serving as a lackey to a Federal official, even the president, hardly wows me. I guess that’s the Anti-Federalist in me; I don’t trust the presidency, and I’m perpetually baffled by the right-wing adulation for a man whose policies were anything but fiscally conservative. Moreover, given the absolute rubbish that makes the bestsellers’ list (as I’m sure you and Mr. Levin both would agree), I’m not very interested in that feat. I’m not going to contend that Mr. Levin isn’t intelligent or successful; both are obvious. These facts neither make him any more qualified to comment than I am nor indicate a higher — or lower — level of intelligence. Yes, I did pass judgment without listening — though, as I’ve noted, I did at least do some legwork. Having listened, finally, to some of Mr. Levin’s program, I am only further convinced of the correctness of my beliefs. (See here, if you — or your readers — so desire: http://www.amconmag.com/postright/2009/07/01/one-more-levin-post-someone-stop-me/ ) I may be stupid and honest, as you charge; at least, as you also note, I’m honest.

In the comments to your post about Patrick, and in the post itself, you reject the label “neoconservative” for both yourself and for Mr. Levin. I’ve not read enough of your material to comment on you. However, I’m not sure that I agree with your assessment of Mr. Levin. “Neoconservative” is, mayhap, thrown about too easily, too frequently, by other conservatives (paleo, reformist, or otherwise) and by leftists; however, having listened to Mr. Levin claim that President Obama has a “hate-on for Israel” — a patently absurd comment to make —, and knowing of his strongly interventionist tendencies, I can only extrapolate that he, indeed, is at least moderately neoconservative. As I’ve noted a hundred times if once, he does seem to be sincere in his belief in limited government respecting domestic policy — and I haven’t heard or read enough to have a clear idea of where he falls on “social issue” —, so I’m willing to grant that maybe he’s not a pure neocon, but he certainly seems to have similar proclivities, and his interventionist tendencies restrict his respectable views on limited government to the point of making them irrelevant. The welfare state and the warfare state are pretty inextricably intertwined, as are expansion of government for the purposes of what Professor Bacevich and others refer to as “American exceptionalism” and the continued expansion of Federal interference with our lives. To paraphrase Mr. Levin, “There’s a reason why they push big government in foreign policy: Because it leads to bigger government at home, much more surreptitiously.”

AND NOW, relatively briefly, a few replies to some commenters.

*Rhod: I’m not sure that your characterization of TAC is quite right. There’s definitely truth to it, but it’s a very incomplete characterization. I only fit into one of those groups — the “isolationists” —, and it’s hardly how primarily describe my views. Also, since when is “crank” an epithet?

Don’t worry *SacTownMan, I’m well aware of the limits of my intelligence. However, I’m not sure what’s “NEW” about my conservatism. Though I’ve done copious amounts of reading (and “reading”) in my day, the breadth of my knowledge is limited. However, I do know enough to draw on Aristotle, Aquinas, Burke, Belloc, Kirk, Röpke, and others — none of whom I’d call “NEW”.

*mark l.: Don’t you think limiting political viewpoints to merely two poles, dubbed “liberal” and “conservative”, is both unhelpful and passé?

rather than arriving at a position based upon the two competing ideologies, they must calibrate their position relative to the other’s point on the line. It becomes a matter of defining their beliefs upon who they will not stand next to, rather than arrive at their locus based upon the primary, and only real, question.

I don’t even know what to make of this. I’ve been defining and re-defining my beliefs for a helluva lot longer than Mr. Levin’s been anywhere near my radar. I’d be more than happy to “stand next to” him on those issues where we agree, should I ever have to, but a “No Enemies to the Right” mentality is not my cup of tea.

*Mrs. Peperium:

Well Bush Derangement Syndrome had to go somewhere. And if it did, it couldn’t have focused on a more marvelous target – Mark Levin. You really do have to be deranged to think at 26 or 30 years of age you are in Mark Levin’s league. Why a 40 year old would be hard pressed to be in Mark’s league. Think about how many of Mark’s accomplishments a 26 year-old would have to outright dismiss to believe this about themselves. Positively breathtaking. These * writers * really ought to consider applying for a White House Fellowship – Obama could use them-well.

I’ve already addressed most of what you cover here, but I’ll return to one point. Age has very little to say, ultimately, an Mr. Levin’s feats in his life, though respectable, hardly put him in some unattainable seraphic or Elysian league. He’s just a guy with opinions; he just happens to have a microphone, experience that dazzles the vapid, and a vastly larger audience.

I’m not really sure that Mr Obama’s White House has any interest in someone like me. They seem generally to disapprove of localist, anti-interventionist, anti-corporate, anti-statist conservatives.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why you question our conservative credentials with asterisks; I guess all of that “big-tent” malarky proves itself to be what it is when someone inside the figurative tent dares to question someone else.

*Rob Crawford: That sounds like snark to me. Tsk, tsk.

My recent work at Post Right

“Friedersdorf on Happy Meal-Conservative Talk Radio”: Conor ably calls out Mark Levin, et alios

Caritas in Veritate: Pope Benedict has a social encyclical due at month’s end.

“Call Me Skeptical”: Netanyahu, in my humble estimation, is a snake. A “sovereign” Palestine, as he envisions it, will be no freer of Israel than George W. Bush was of Dick Cheney.

“My Only Thoughts on Perplexing Persian Politics”: I sympathize with the reformists (although I question the reformist credentials of Mousavi), but believe that complete American inaction is the best course of American action.

May I Have Your Attention, Please?

Starting today, I shall be dividing my resumed Weblogging between this humble site and Post Right the newest Weblog hosted by The American Conservative. I am ineffably grateful to Kara, Dan, and everyone else at TAC for welcoming me and for providing another wonderful, necessary outpost for the “Alternative Right.” We’ve a great, supremely eclectic group of contributors, and here’s a good, succinct description of the site:

This is the most experimental (at least in theory) of TAC’s panoply of new blogs. Some of the writers who will be featured here have appeared in the magazine, others are joining us for the first time in the virtual world. There are just two common denominators: everyone is under 40, and all our PostRight bloggers take a jaundiced view of the conventional left-right spectrum. So here you will find a motley collection of left conservatives, front-porch republicans, anti-statist liberals, locavores, libertarians, and more. Stick around and see what they come up with.

I’m pretty sure that, too some extent or another, all of those descriptors except for “anti-statist liberal” fit me. This should be fun.

Architecture, the Public Realm, and Small-Town America

Returning to North Judson typically leads to my resuming a favored pastime, to wit, engaging in crosstown perambulations that usually lead me to no destination other than, ultimately, home, the starting point of these jaunts. In such an eminently walkable small town where I know as many citizens as I do, these generally prove to be most enjoyable ventures: often, I find myself conversing with a local shopkeeper (or barkeep!) or clers; buying a milkshake (a real milkshake, from our drive-in restaurant!) whereof my spare tire, vetoed by my taste buds, certainly has no need; or being beaten up by a cadre of small children who know me from the grocery store, my days umpiring, or my parish. Beyond these social benefits, of course, lie the salutary effects of exercise and breathing in fresh air, quite the change, literally and figuratively, from the time I spent inside the Capital Beltway, where the noxious fumes that I receive now only through the purifying filter of the television screen permeate the opaque gas that passes as “air”.

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time


These frequent strolls are not without their more disheartening effects, though. The overly romantic vision of North Judson that I have consistently painted, in my mind and for others, whenever I have lived elsewhere over the last six-plus years, stands in stark contrast to the dilapidated, struggling hamlet that I call home. Most of the lots along our main drag fall into one of the following categories: Vacant, hosting an abandoned building, hosting some form of second-hand store. Most of the sites not doomed to one of these are home to only mildly successful businesses; few, if any, operations in North Judson truly thrive.

 

And Today

And Today

What, perhaps, vexes me most, though, is the tremendous decline in communal self-respect in North Judson, as evinced by the absolutely dreadful conception of “architecture” that has come to dominate. I recognize the folly of expecting to experience the emergence of neo-traditional architecture — or many new buildings, period — in these parts, but the sheer contrast between, for instance, the “chicken coop” (In my sharp-as-a-tack ninety-five-year-old grandfather’s words!) dance studio and the simple, but highly public Hoppe Hardware next door, is simply unbearable — and indefensible.

Learning Tap or Laying Eggs?

Learning Tap or Laying Eggs?

Hardware Americana

Hardware Americana

The grocery store to which I’ve given so much of my life offers a further example, one dating a few decades. The blame, I regrettably confess, lies not with present proprietor Ray Wajda, but with my antecedents, who replaced an incredible Victorian structure, burnt to a crisp in the late 1940s, with an all too unexceptional post-war grocery store. Find the original building here (and try not to vomit as you stumble through the prose) and the current monstrosity here. I note that, originally, the post-fire structure was no more insufferable than any similar building, and at least continued to meet the sidewalk. However, tired of damage done to the great plate-glass windows by children’s bikes, my great-uncles (I think!) opted to cover the glass-and-brick façade with that horrendous material now dressing the store; the giant plasticky “awning” I simply cannot explain.

Far more problematic than the civic disrespect shown by businesses (Certainly, this is not limited to the locals; quite contrarily, as we all know, the placeless giants positively thrive on flipping the proverbial middle finger to the public realm.) is the disregard shown to aesthetics by civic institutions, both governmental and private. In North Judson, three instances stand out.

1. Our civic center, home to the police department and setting of civic meetings. Though hardly grandiose, it previously was an appropriately humble, attractive local-government building, perfect for a Mayberry-esque burg in rural Indiana. (This holds true, at least, for the building’s anterior: The police garage, added to the rear of the building, makes for an absolutely abysmal view from our wonderful WPA park, Norwayne Field, our closest approximation to a town square, painstakingly renewed in the 1990s.)

We're just kidding when we say "civic".

We're just kidding when we say "civic".

The town building sits next to our Carnegie library, and the two complemented each other well. Until, that is, in an effort, understandable enough in itself, to permit less heat to escape through poorly sealed doors, our community leaders decided, rather than to spend a few more dollars to replace the doors with a more efficient entrance, to block it with cheap, too-bright siding that simply does not match, equally out-of-place windows (too small, with disproportionately small “decorative” shudders, to boot!), and a bench wholly useless to the public except immediately before and after meetings. (Boy, I sure am tired! I’d like to sit down; how about I ascend those steps, first?!) How better to show your contempt for those who elect you, whom you ostensibly serve, than to add to the denigration of their public realm?

Our Carnegie North Judson-Wayne Township Library

Our Carnegie North Judson-Wayne Township Library

2. The Masonic Lodge. I wish I had a photograph (I apologize, I should note, for the terribly amateur photography herein: I still refuse to purchase a digital camera, had no interest in lugging about my 35mm, and, so, resorted to my phone.) of the building that came down a few years ago. In truth, it was hardly spectacular: Thirty-some years ago, the Masons, dedicated to bettering their community as they are, probably in an attempt to stymie rising heating bills, bricked over their windows, thereby greeting those coming toward downtown from the east with an unfriendly gesture of totalitarian architecture. Finally giving up on what likely was a rundown lodge, they demolished it and, with much volunteer help, erected a new meeting hall. Now, I appreciate that construction ain’t cheap, but, surely, somehow, those nefarious anti-papists (I jest!) could have done better than this:

How Queer: No Masonry Required!

How Queer: No Masonry Required!

3. Finally, the newest visual assault, our in-the-works firehouse. The present station is far from exceptional, and that it needs to be replaced in undeniable: The roof is in terrible shape, mold has infected the interior, and its eventual destruction could pave the way, one hopes (perhaps too idealistically), for, ultimately, the removal of the water building, police garage, and water tower from the space — all in the name of complementing Norwayne Field with a small park (as once stood where the station now sits) or some other sort of civically pleasing addition. However, when I wrote a letter, on Ray’s Super Foods’ behalf, in support of the fire department’s request for grant money to make possible the construction of a new home, I had no idea that our community “leaders” would seek the lowest common denominator.

The Acceptable Current Station

The Acceptable Current Station


In one respect, notwithstanding the clear view the gap-toothed nature of Lane Street affords of this disaster, that the town has placed it off of the main drag, on land generously donated by a former businessman, pleases me. However, the urban planner within rarely fails to accompany me on these walks; long ago, I decided that I want, even at the cost of demolishing one of the senior-citizen apartments along Main St., to extend Railroad Street all the way to Main, and to extend the cross-streets from “downtown”, thereby creating additional blocks, ready to go when I succeed in turning North Judson into a small slice of thriving rural paradise. Thank you, perspicacious, short-sighted town leaders!
Our Atrocious Pole-Barn Fire House, Visible Through A Lane Street Gap

Our Atrocious Pole-Barn Fire House, Visible Through A Lane Street Gap


Again, I realize that building attractive stores, homes, and civic buildings costs more than most businesses, organizations, and government agencies in North Judson easily can afford. But I can’t shake from my mind the comment my grandfather, who is more than cognizant of the worthlessness of the dollar, especially relative to its value in his youth (Thank you, Federal Reserve!), made a couple of weeks ago: “Why is it that buildings today are so ugly, when they made such better buildings a hundred years ago? They didn’t have a lot of money.” Yes, finances play a part. However, deep down, the problem is more a symptom of cultural enervation, of the death of the public realm and community spirit, than it is of perpetual residence in or near the red. We need to demand more of our civil servants, of our entrepreneurs, and of our civic organizations. We need to demand more of ourselves, because we owe it to ourselves, to our forbears, and to our children. My great-grandfathers wouldn’t recognize the dump that their once-bustling, quasi-idyllic railroad town has become; I’d prefer that my descendants — should I have any and, God willing, should I see fit to raise them here — never have to experience a home so obviously torn apart by the predilections toward deracination, the cheap-and-easy, and the transient inherent in American “culture”.

Being Home.

Ah, rural Indiana! Fresh air; crystal-clear, star-filled skies; people who, rather puzzlingly, think highly of me. Not even forty-eight hours home, I heard that Ray’s Super Foods “needs” for me to return. For reasons best left unpublished, I cannot return to that place, as important as it is to me (See below, natch.); however, I wish to offer reflections thereupon and, thus, reflections upon living in a real place. Call it my very brief, spur-of-the-moment (a couple of years ago) Front Porch Republic-esque thoughts on North Judson, Indiana. This was initially part of my Facebook profile when I first returned to Ray’s Super Foods, as night manager, during my hiatus from academia.

***

In 1902, Joseph Dolezal and Joseph Sindelar, two Bohemian immigrants, both members of Ss. Cyril & Methodius Roman Catholic parish in North Judson, IN, partnered to enter the general merchandise and grocery business. Naming the store after themselves, they called their business Two Joes, Inc. Eventually Mr. Dolezal bought out Mr. Sindelar’s share and became sole proprietor of the business. After his death in the 1940s, his wife Blanche assumed ownership and three of their sons took over day-to-day operations. After Blanche passed away, son Cyril became the owner of the store.

In the 1970s, a young meatcutter by the name of Ray Okeley hired on at Two Joes. He became a fixture and for thirty years his dedication to his trade forged for the store a strong base of customers who settled for nothing less than Ray’s work.

In 1992, Cyril passed away and his wife Alice became sole owner of the store; along with her son Kenny, she ran the business until 1997, when, after ninety-five years in the grocery business, the Dolezal family sold Two Joes to Raymond J. Wajda, then of Lansing, IL. He renamed the store Ray’s Super Foods, and to this day continues to run the store. He has become a very active community leader, volunteering as a Little League coach and board member and giving generously both his time and his money to various causes.

On the morning of 27 June 2006, one week to the day before his sixtieth birthday, Ray Okeley succumbed to cancer that had, unbeknownst to him, infiltrated many of his organs. He passed away in front of his house, in his wife’s arms, as he prepared to leave for work.

Joseph Dolezal, an incredibly civic-minded individual who dedicated himself not only to his business, but to his family, his church, and his community, was my great-grandfather. I am the last descendant of Joseph and Blanche Dolezal to work at 324 Lane St. Over time Ray Okeley became a good friend of mine, about as close to me as any fifty-nine-year-old coworker could ever be to a twenty-two-year-old college grad. I hope now that people understand why, even though I have a degree from the University of Notre Dame, I continue to work for $8.50/hr in a small small-town grocery store.

And This Is How I Say “Good-bye.”

Over the last few months, I have been dreadfully remiss in my attending to this Weblog; on a couple of occasions, I attempted, rather vainly, to light the fire under my posterior, as it were. But nothing. Not for lack of interest, rest assured; I simply haven’t had the time and energy. People far busier than (Schwenkler has a wife and kid, and another on the way, is finishing up a dissertation, and was doing the whole find-a-job thing (He’s heading to Maryland in January; I’m disappointed that I’ll be back in Indiana well before he’s here.), and he still, with the assistance of the wonderfully bright J.L. Wall, maintains Upturned Earth!) are sating their readers’ demand for worth-the-while output, and I’m not even reading and commenting on others’ posts with the frequency and, sometimes cogency, with which I did in the past.

The last five months of my life have been so completely permeated by the absurd, the baffling, the crazy, and the distressing that I simply have not been able to maintain Nathancontramundi. For this, I am sorry. However, I return to Indiana in two weeks. With a minor operation, with pain-in-the-rear enjoying-life restrictions to follow for a few weeks, on my radar, I eagerly anticipate redoubling my efforts here, and elsewhere online, and slowly catching up on the piles of books through which I should love to make my way. For now, please, sit tight, and don’t lose any more hope than you doubtless have. Enjoy, below, how I say good-bye to whatever little readership The Terrapin Times has — and, equally, if not more so, to my beloved staffers.

*****

“Reflections on the Revolution in College Park: A Bittersweet Farewell”

As the quaint cliché goes, home is where the heart is. At the foundation of conservatism, I have come to realize, lies a love of place — not of just any place, but of the place(s) where we have roots, ties, and responsibilities. And so, as my career as a Terrapin nears its end, I prepare to load the Camry for one final tour down I-70, readying myself to take the most conservative action I have in a long time: On 27 May, I return to the fertile soils of northern Indiana — where my roots run deep — that have nurtured me these twenty-five-plus years.

I am going home.

For how long I shall reside there I know not, and how far from North Judson, a sleepy hamlet of some two-thousand people (Not a stoplight in town!), I eventually wander remains a mystery (though I cannot envision myself straying more than a couple hundred miles at most). Until I “figure out my life” yet again, in my parents’ home, built more than a century ago, in part by a great-grandfather, just a few blocks from the grocery store that he co-founded, which remained in the family from 1902 until 1997, shall I abide.

Doubtless, whenever possible, to my grandfather’s farm, on which my father grew up, and on which Grandpa Joe was born ninety-five years ago, I shall venture, whether to mow the lawns; to find some excuse to start up the decades-old John Deere 4020 or to swing an axe (an action the salutary benefits whereof are, I submit, incomparable); or to hear, with absolute glee, the same tales wherewith Grandpa has regaled me time and again: stories of my ancestors, of my hometown, of life in a simpler, saner time — and of the homemade box kite, with dynamite attached, with which Great-Uncle Frank managed to startle the residents of town, about two miles southeast of the farm, into believing that the Führer had ordered the Luftwaffe across the Atlantic and into the Midwest in the mid-1930s.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I await the end of May with bated breath. Much of my academic experience here has failed to satiate my esurient intellect; the perpetual enslavement to my car that suburbia impels exasperates me to no end; and pestiferous, sometimes unequivocally loathsome, roommates and, in a couple of instances, students, have grayed multifarious hairs atop my head.

Nevertheless, to claim that I have no regrets about leaving the Old Line State would be to lie. I have made some good friends, occasionally learned a thing or two, and truly enjoyed the brews at Franklin’s. More than anything, I shall miss The Terrapin Times: the satisfaction of producing a newspaper; the strange sense of achievement found in one final read over the paper at four-thirty in the morning; the opportunity to publish seldom-heard voices on a campus devoid of respectable media; and the wonderful friendships that I have developed whilst superintending this tendentious tabloid.

The year has gone less smoothly than I had hoped. Beset with limited finances and minimal newspaper-management experience (particularly at the university level), we published fewer issues than I had planned, and began to do so later than I should have preferred. Despite sincere intentions to the contrary, we failed to develop advertising connections and to increase our paltry list of subscribers. In my opening editor’s letter, in the October issue, I outlined numerous goals I hoped to achieve and features that I wanted to instill in this publication. My successes have fallen discouragingly short of the mark.

Nonetheless, I rejoice!

Over the course of this year, we quadrupled the number issues of the Times published over the previous two years and more than quintupled the number of pages that have comprised these print editions. Though it has been a tedious venture, and only recently has featured posts not written by me, our Weblog finally has something of a presence in the right-wing virtual world. Last year, infrequent meetings were poorly attended; this year, genuine camaraderie has developed amongst staffers and our weekly meetings have proven to be wonderfully convivial events, dedicated as much to joking, story-telling, and ranting as to newspaper business. Finally, ably assisted by dedicated editors and supported by a wonderful group of writers, I have managed to leave the paper with leadership already in place, with a small reserve of funds to go toward beginning the new academic year smoothly.

Had we printed three, rather than only two, issues this semester, making the transition would have been easier, but, having worked with next year’s leaders to prepare this final edition under my watch, I remain quite hopeful for the future of the paper and, thus, for the state of intellectual and political conversation on a campus so utterly devoid of it that certain students felt protesting the continuation of a benign benediction at commencement to be a sensible course of action — until a rainstorm revealed their lack of any real principles.

And so, without further ado, I retreat from the corral, giving way to incoming editor-in-chief Zach Rubin and incoming publisher Sarah E. Martin, and ride into the sunset.

Farewell, Maryland, my Maryland. Go Terps!

And remember, Sic Semper Tyrannis!