As I’ve been apt to do, I checked in with the website of world’s greatest fortnightly magazine – National Review – last weekend at

The late William F. Buckley, Jr.’s publication has been a family staple for the past 30 years. In fact, National Review may have helped me acquire gainful employment at The Portsmouth Daily Times in 1993 when then-publisher Ken Parks asked if I were familiar with the magazine. I replied that I was, and Ken replied that it was required reading at the PDT.

Two articles at NR’s online edition this weekend immediately caught my attention. The first was by NR vice president Jack Fowler, at Mr. Fowler writes of NR’s 2019 “Spring Webathon.”

“Our new goal is $200,000 by Sunday, June 2 at the stroke of midnight. We could use $300,000. We could use $400,000. But let’s try 200 grand – and not to bankroll nutty office doo-dads nor to fatten up the old T&E line item but to use it to underwrite our efforts to combat socialism. As of today, nearly 1,600 folks have tossed something – from $5 to $5,000 – into the kitty, a sign of allegiance to the project, of membership in the band of brothers and sisters who are determined to fight the nasty ‘ism’ that is entrancing a generation abundant with freedom-naifs.

“Hey, if you are squatting on NRO (, how about you consider buying back some drinks for those who have helped keep the doors open, the lights on, the website dot-comming? Listen to your guilt: It’s saying ‘Donate.’ And when your guilt gets finished talking, listen to the inspiring words of these good folks who in these last moments of our campaign have seen fit to contribute both money and encouragement.”

Mr. Fowler then goes on to quote from a number of NR contributors, including “Vitaley,” who gave $40 and uttered thusly: “I think NR produces the best writing all around and it’s getting better every year. Please keep up the good work.”

If anyone would like to donate to National Review by mail, make your check payable to National Review and send it to National Review, attention: 2019 Spring Webathon, 19 West 44th Street, Suite 1701, New York, N.Y. 10036.

Mr. Fowler’s story brought to mind a brief encounter with my friend, Phil, at the 1st Stop in Rainsboro. As I’ve written before, the Rainsboro store could serve as an example of what all such markets should be. It’s a clean, well-stocked grocery with an always pleasant staff. I stop by there almost every Friday morning.

On Friday, May 31, Phil asked why I did not have a column in the previous edition of The Highland County Press. A fair question, no doubt. My response was an honest one: Our friends from Sunrise Farms and Fair Ridge Produce in Concord Township wanted to place an ad in the paper just as we thought we’d wrapped things up for the May 25 HCP.

Phil, being a good businessman himself, laughed and commented that advertising is more important than any opinion I may have. Indeed, it is. Because, without our loyal advertisers, there would not be a locally owned newspaper. Let’s face it, our newspaper is delivered free, our website provides free news 24/7, we do not charge for obituary notices as most newspapers do, and we annually donate back to the community through various
schools and civic organizations.

Yes, we greatly appreciate our loyal advertisers. Thank you.

After reading Mr. Fowler’s request for NR donations, I stumbled across NR senior editor Jonah Goldberg’s swan song with the magazine.

Mr. Goldberg writes: “This is my last day at National Review. While I’m excited about my new venture, I can’t say this isn’t a profoundly melancholy moment for me. I’ve been at NR longer than I’ve been married. Far longer than I’ve been a father. It’s been the lodestar of my professional and much of my personal life for 21 years. I’m staying friends with everybody (I hope!), and I’m going to stay a fellow at NRI, too. Heck, I may even submit something for the Corner from time to time, if Charlie or Rich will allow it. But it is a kind of ending. And I want to mark it not by blubbering – though there’s a little of that on my end, damn allergies – but by just saying thank you.

“Also, even though they’re not with us anymore, thank you to: William F. Buckley, the godfather of conservatism, a man I was so blessed to know; the glorious Kate O’Beirne, the Den Mother of the American Right, who taught me so much; Dusty Rhodes, one of the most decent people I’ve ever met; and Mike Potemra, the sweetest polymath who ever drew breath. I am so grateful to them all. Now, I could reminisce about airborne-laser volcano-lancing and other glorious memories all day. But I said no blubbering. So thank you to everyone. You, and this place, have meant the world to me.”

I’m not sure where Jonah Goldberg will land next, but as an NR reader, I’ll likely follow his words of wisdom.

In closing, one of the few times that William F. Buckley, Jr. wrote about Donald Trump, he said: “When he looks at a glass, he is mesmerized by its reflection. If Donald Trump were shaped a little differently, he would compete for Miss America.”

According to NR’s Richard Brookhiser, WFB considered Trump a “demagogue and narcissist.”

That was in 2000. Imagine what WFB would say in 2019.

Brookhiser wrote: “A weak man needs weak supporters; strong ones might make him feel insecure or differ with him. And so, whether from design, or simply because it is the way things work, Trump’s conservative admirers have had to abandon and contradict what they once professed to hold most dear.”

And as someone once said, all politics is local.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press, Highland County’s only locally owned and operated newspaper.