Monday, May 31, 2010

Editorial: We forget heroes at our own peril

The unnamed Courier editor waxes adjectival today: "we need to remember that more than 1 million American men and women gave their lives in steaming jungles, freezing forests, rancid flooded trenches and desert furnaces to win us the freedom to go where we want to go, choose the work we want to do and buy the things we want to buy."

The things we want to buy?


I'd just like to put in a word here for the large proportion of those dead, and many more maimed and emotionally destroyed, who knew going in or learned in the process that what our leaders asked them to do was stupid, pointless or designed only to further enrich the rich, but they still did as they had pledged to do before they lost their innocence about war, and they did it with valor in the fight, generosity in victory and concern for the horror they were helping visit on the innocent.

The best way we can honor their sacrifice is to do all we can to end the institution of war.

PS, Tuesday:
Just what is the "peril" in the headline supposed to mean, I wonder? Could it be something like this?

Change of the guard

Proving my hunch in February, the paper announced the retirement of Executive Editor Ben Hansen on Friday, and the weekend masthead shows Tim Wiederaenders as Editor (rather than Managing Editor) and Karen Despain as Managing Editor.

The quality of copy editing and proofing rose substantially when Karen started "filling in" during Ben's recovery from surgery in the spring, and drifted back down a bit since. Karen goes back a long way with the paper, and I hope her influence helps bring its 'local, local, local' mission back into focus and its use of English back up to snuff.

With Tim's elevation to the helm I expect that the editorials will be a little better thought-through and researched. Tim has less extreme reflexes politically, but I rather doubt that editorial positions will change much. I do hope that he will do more to reduce evidence of those political biases on the news pages.

I'm encouraged slightly to find the announcement of the new team in the business section rather than on page one. The big pics and double headline above the fold are still immodest, but it could be worse.