We feel particularly good about this issue, for no easily definable reason — other than that the contents as a whole correspond to what we had in mind when putting together number one. You will notice our enthusiasm for the first and ninth stories on page one. One will make you think about the current torment over sexual harassment from a vantage other than the daily headlines about one man or another being brought to shame.  The other is to us the remarkable account of a young American woman coming to a new consciousness about her own country and the rest of the world. Both have importantly to do with the subject of change, which we have claimed as our own principal interest.  And which has equally claimed us as well.
Triumph and tragedy both have their place in our table of contents, which is perhaps as it should be. We again call your attention to page three, where the editors go to have a little fun — of which there can never be too much.
This number is the last of our first year, and thus requires some recognition for our having gotten this far, if not yet far enough. So too do our readers for making room for us in a world made far too busy by everything else. We don’t yet feel we have hit our stride but neither do we feel we’ve gone too wrong.
Don West for New Times Always!
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Three blessings: Gentile, slave, or woman?
Narrative We are witnessing in our time no less than the tip of a revolution between one half of humanity and the other. It is manifest for the moment under the key words sexual harassment but it goes far deeper than that. It has to do with the reality that women have in one way or another been subjugated to men in all of history and all parts of the world, that it was always a colossal error and can be tolerated no longer. Whether that will be the case is another matter. It is made most graphic and humbling for us by this Jewish prayer, recited for centuries before the current unrest by those who relied on divine intervention to be kept from falling into one, two or three of the most dreaded categories. Of all the change calling out to be made in an unjust world, this one may lead the rest.
Who is Doug Jones?
Narrative Who is Doug Jones? Washington and the nation are about to find out, and he has already emerged from political obscurity in a way to confound the skeptics, reassure those who had long lost hope and give example not only to those who believed in him but in far greater possibilities once his voice is heard and his vote felt in a divided Congress. If a Mr. Smith were meant to come again to Washington, he couldn't have shown up in a better presence than in this Mr. Jones.
Trump's hour by hour battle for self preservation
Narrative I think the mainstream media may have begun to go soft on Donald Trump, taking into account this New York Times piece on how hard he is working at self-preservation, as opposed to his customary posture of destruction of all within sight or tweet. Either that, or The Great Manipulator who capitulated himself from reality stardom to being the leader of the free world is about to do it again, persuading the base who thought he would save them into buying his latest economic kool-aid, and crippling health care in the bargain.
The three ultra-rich families battling for Republican party
Narrative That hasn't kept the ultra-rich from their own intent to control the political process after collecting all the economic chips from Congress and the president in their latest assault on economic inequity. Armed primarily by the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court that makes a mockery of democracy, they are out to buy every politician they can with all the extra cash they'll take away from a 46% corporate tax cut for all time.
Russia harvested American rage to reshape U.S. politics
Narrative "This is cultural hacking" in the opinion of one observer tracking how the Russians are playing back edited social media outtakes in a way to make the entire society look bad. "They're feeding outrage -- and it's easy to do, as outrage and emotion are how people share." And it's working, to America's increasing disadvantage.
Ryan Zinke Is Trump's attack dog on the environment
Narrative Heaven help the wilderness and the environment might well be the reaction to President Trump's putting hallowed ground up for sale and Ryan Zinke in charge of the Interior Department. As he puts it succinctly: "The government stops at the mailbox, and if you come any further, you're going to meet my gun."
Why are America's farmers killing themselves?
Narrative There should be black bunting to accompany this story. It is the 21st century American tragedy of farmers killing themselves in record numbers -- perhaps five times higher than the general population -- in hopelessness despite a land of plenty. The situation may be even worse worldwide.
Facebook’s 2016 blueprint to divide us
Narrative How Facebook's 2016 election team either crunched the numbers or stacked them in portraying the American audience into a number of segments that could be used by advertisers to fragment the nation even further.
Unlearning the myth of American innocence
Narrative The most important thing we can say about this story is that it is the second most important of the articles in this number of New Times Always. (The first is the Jewish prayer that leads this page.) Could we implore all readers to follow it from first word to last, and then perhaps to read Suzy Hansen's book (Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World) , we would do so. It is an unveiling of a young person's consciousness in much the same way as you peel an onion; from the outside in. Whatever your perceptions going in, they will have changed coming out.


Don West for New Times Always!

Don West for New Times Always!