Excerpts from the editorials of other New England newspapers:
A major cultural shift
The decision by the Department of Defense to lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat is, at its most basic level, about equality.
Having to send Americans off to war should not be cause for celebration regardless of who is asked to do the fighting.
The fact is, women have been serving in harm’s way for years. The combat ban only served to deny full recognition for the sacrifices women already are making.
In Afghanistan, women have accompanied patrols as medics, military police or as intelligence officers to interact with local women — a situation necessitated by the culture. The female troops did so without being officially part of the combat unit.
Our recent wars have had no clear front lines, meaning even those in “support” roles may find themselves exposed to the threat of enemy fire.
Just ask the women who served in Afghanistan with the Vermont National Guard.
— The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press
When TV was wholesome
Perhaps there is something intangible that disappears when a figure from childhood passes away. For many who grew up in New England in the 1950s, ‘60s and early ‘70s, that figure was Rex Trailer. For nearly 20 years, the name Rex Trailer was synonymous with good-natured wholesome entertainment. The kindhearted Texas transplant appeared on television every week, and shared his Western talents and sage advice with the young’uns of the Northeast.
Sadly, there is little on television today that can even begin to compare with Trailer’s brand of entertainment. The nonstop chaotic, cacophonic action of animated programming on Nickelodeon is almost the direct antithesis to Trailer’s slow, steady drawl. Similarly, the train wreck that is so-called reality television, such as “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” and its ilk, could not be further from the homespun wisdom of Trailer.
Whereas much of the current batch of television programming seems to be designed to make us feel better about ourselves simply because we are not as horrible as the people we watch, Trailer instead lifted us up by being a worthy example.
— The Standard-Times of New Bedford
Betrayed by the elite
Chris Hayes wrote a book last year based upon a single question: If we have such elite and talented people earning so much money and exercising so much power, why are things so screwed up? He spent the rest of his book (“Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy”) attempting to explain why our most richly rewarded people keep letting us down.
Lance Armstrong fully joined the long list of sports, business and political leaders who have sorely disappointed the nation. Armstrong was an American elite who clawed his way out of Texas to the pinnacle of his sport, then successfully crossed the Rubicon into the celebrity world of personal jets and $10 million estates.
Hayes argues in his book that elites in sports, business or other competitive fields come to share a similar outlook.
They are so richly rewarded and lavishly praised that they believe they are above the rules governing the behavior of other mortals. Winning at any cost is their singular goal. They always believe the phrase “everyone is cheating” justifies their cheating and is necessary to “level the playing field.”
When elites break the rules they are not usually punished like bank robbers and drug dealers. They most often remain wealthy and sometimes return to their former positions and status.
— The Sun Journal of Lewiston, Maine