Reality, By The Numbers

It’s…interesting. The party which acts like it owns law and order—and does seem to own the courts—now has a leading candidate for the nation’s top job who is running for the White House to stay out of the Big House. Situations like that make it a challenge to treat the news with the seriousness it deserves. Then along comes a missile exploding in Poland and suddenly everyone on Twitter is pointing to NATO’s Article 5 and calculating the odds of a nuclear war with Russia. We exaggerate, of course. “Everyone on Twitter” amounts to more than 200 million people. They can’t all be debating the …

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A Little Inconvenient History

It’s an odd contradiction. From airplanes to zippers, we USAians* are quick to boast of our countrymen’s inventions. That eagerness is conspicuously absent, though, when it comes to one particular political innovation. This mystery becomes all the more curious when one considers that fascism is enjoying a worldwide revival. What’s that you say? It’s news to you that the U.S.A. played a central role in the development of fascism? Don’t feel bad. It was news to us, too. When you think about it, though, it’s no wonder we’re surprised. Will Rogers†—whose career just happened to be in full flourish simultaneous with fascism’s first wave, despite …

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Is Our Time Up?

Time is the essence—the very foundation—of the news racket. Just think: were it not for time, when would things happen? And if nothing ever happened, what would journalists write about? We suppose that such thoughts must occur from time to time to those who toil in other news organizations. Perhaps, though, with their frenzied schedules—weeklies, for example, or, in extreme cases, dailies—they simply don’t have time. Thanks to our fortnightly schedule, our national seniority, and the recent commencement of our 267th volume, we have the time, the license, and, we believe, the responsibility to always keep such considerations in our thoughts. Having thus defended the …

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Is Democracy Done Yet?

What a great time to be alive—assuming, of course, that you’re a Republican. But, then, of course you are. Aren’t we all? Isn’t everybody? Why wouldn’t you be a Republican? What are you, then? A criminal? An alien? Some kind of Godless, alien, criminal, drug-pushing, baby-blood drinking lizard person? Well, we should hope not. There, now that that’s settled, let us rejoice in our good fortune—which is, of course, a sign of God’s favor. He is, after all, a Republican, right? Of course God is a Republican. If He—that is His pronoun, by the way. We asked Him, and He answered—were not a Republican, why …

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Republicans Betting the Farm

New Hampshire’s Republicans have spoken. On Primary Day, September 13th, their voters picked, for both Congressional districts and for the Senate, the Trumpiest candidate on the ballot. Summer this year seemed to suddenly flip into fall. So it is with our politics. Our primary elections come late, dictating only a brief season for the general election. In a little over six weeks we should know how this all turns out. That assumes, of course, that our civic wheels stay on the rails laid down by law and custom. Here in the newsroom, making assumptions comes naturally; we are, after all, entering out 267th year in …

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The Self-Exonerating Tyrant

A 2013 glossary of military slang defines a “self-licking ice cream cone” as a “military doctrine or political process that appears to exist in order to justify its own existence, often producing irrelevant indicators of its own success. For example, continually releasing figures on the amount of Taliban weapons seized, as if there were a finite supply of such weapons. While seizing the weapons, soldiers raid Afghan villages, enraging the residents and legitimizing the Taliban’s cause.” Military historian Norman Friedman coined the term to describe certain weapons systems during the Gulf War of 1991-1992. Astute readers, though, will readily see that it could accurately have …

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