Nostalgic Look Back as FCNP Celebrates 1,000
I still remember the long ago Saturday morning phone call I got from a fellow identifying himself as Nick Benton, a relatively new resident of Northern Virginia, who said, “I’m looking to start up a newspaper in Falls Church and I’m looking for some help.”
Mr. Benton called me because I was the longtime sponsor of the City’s best newspaper, the Lasso, of George Mason High School. He actually wanted to see if any of my students would be interested in working for his start-up newspaper to be called “The Falls Church News-Press.”
My first reaction was: this man is crazy; if anything the future of newspapers is headed downhill. My second reaction was pure envy. Having delivered the old Washington Daily News as a little kid and having driven trucks for the Washington Post for years and having free-lanced at local small papers and having taught journalism for years, I had ink under my nails as they say. This Nick Benton, who I later found was a true dyed-in-the-wool, old time journalist, was going to try something that I had always only dreamed about: start his own newspaper!
And the rest is now history. In the face of a then terrible economy, Nick had the courage to rent a small office, buy a few computers, scrape up a few advertisers, “hire” several volunteers and then got to work. One of my fondest memories of the first few years was watching Nick use the wax machine and lay out the newspaper by hand on the “boards.” He was the fastest layout person I had ever seen. And he would always save writing his editorial until just moments before deadline and then crank it out in record speed. Readers may not always have agreed with his viewpoints, but he always knew how to provoke thought. And sometimes consternation.
But through his sheer grit and his journalistic savvy based on his earlier years as a college and later cub reporter, Nick persevered and here, today, is eloquent truth of a job well done and a career well realized: the 1,000 edition of the Falls Church News-Press. Congratulations Nick!
Former News-Press Columnist, Writer, Photographer
For Whom is Mad Fox a ‘Game Changer?’
It’s great to hear that the opening of Mad Fox (Falls Church News-Press, July 15-21) went so well. However, because there are multiple quotes from unnamed sources — this isn’t exactly “deep background” seen in politics — one can’t help but question whether they were happy patrons or happy investors.
The overly effusive praise heaped on the restaurant by the reporter further begs the question as for whom the restaurant is “game changing.”
Hard to Believe Church Sympath For Karl Marx
Wow, where too begin on Nicholas Benton’s Marxism column last week? I am someone who believes that capitalism + democracy = freedom and wealth creation which reduces poverty. And I would point out that the financial meltdown in 2008 happened in the most government regulated sector of our economy. Not that government regulation or interference in the marketplace had anything to do with the meltdown — nah, not possible……
Marx? The wonderful theorist whose theories, when put into practice in the real world always, that is, always, resulted in more poverty, less freedom and, in the 20th Century, over 100 million deaths inside their utopian countries Russia, China, Cambodia, etc. etc. That is, for those too young to remember, Marxist governments killing 100 million of their own people!
Remember, they did not build the Berlin Wall to keep us out of their utopia. Marx the theoretician is someone who has credibility today? And the dear FCNP editor points out Marxists support for child labor laws as some kind of proof of the insight, kindness and thoughtfulness of Marx, the theoretician? Kind of like ignoring the monstrosities of Hitler and pointing out that he built good roads, and of course, gave us the VW bug. And by the way, I would like to see the context of the Catholic quotes. Good ole uncle Joe Stalin tried to wipe out the Catholic Church in Ukraine by murder and of course, any religion was a first target by the Marxists. Lenin killed millions, Mao too. Hard to believe that the Church has a soft spot for Marx.
The left, now embracing Marx? Wow. Or should I say, scary.
Shocked by Column Referring to Karl Marx
I was stunned to pick up your paper and find Nicholas Benton’s column, “A Revival of Karl Marx?”, suggesting that the legacy of Marxism is being vindicated due to the current economic crisis.
In reality, Marxism as a political and economic theory has been proven an abject failure over and over again in the 20th Century. It has brought nothing but human misery and poverty where ever it has been experimented with, or implemented. Beyond the economic failure of Marxist economic thought, the human toll of Marxism and its political progeny is untold – 200, 300, 400 million people murdered? We’ll never know the exact number deliberately killed as a consequence of his “intellectual” theory put in the hands of despots, or the “state.”
Most damning is that Marx’s writings and the politics that necessarily flow from them are truly 180 degrees out of sync with observable human nature. Individual liberty and freedom cannot live within the Marxist worldview. The individuals’ unique ownership of his own life, engraved on each heart by the Creator, simply cannot coexist with Marxist materialism and atheism. The Marxist model can only exist when the individual is stripped of autonomy and coerced to function for the “state,” thus demonstrating its foundational moral bankruptcy.
Of course, Marx himself was a racist, and anti-Semitic atheist, who treated his own family unconsciously and allowed them to wallow in poverty most of his life. He impregnated his longtime housekeeper – whom he never paid in over 40 years – and would never recognize his own son. He was a narcissistic hypocrite who never held a real job, other than infrequent newspaper work, and yet is hailed as an “intellectual” who understood the plight of the “worker” and “labor.” He was caught frequently manufacturing or lying about data to support his economic theories.
Finally, Mr. Benton need look no further than the magnificent American experiment if he wants to see an economic and moral model that actually does spread wealth, opportunity and liberty to every citizen. Where in all of human history has there been a system that gave so much to so many, if not here, and in spite of the current economic cycle? Our Constitutional and free enterprise system is the antithesis of Marxism, because it recognizes that each individual is created by God, and as such, has individual autonomy to live in liberty, unshackled to the “state.”
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