A Fascist By Any Other Name…

Is it ever appropriate for a newspaper to state that a fascist is a fascist? If so, when? If not, why not? These questions have been plaguing us of late. Perhaps more recent editions of the Associated Press Stylebook hold the answer. Alas, our copy was published in November of 1990—midway through the “kinder, gentler” George Herbert [Hoover] Bush administration. House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich had just teamed up with pollster Frank Luntz to distribute a memo to members of the Republican Party. Titled, “Language, a Key Mechanism of Control,” a key passage in that memo read: “The [vocabulary] list is divided into two sections: …

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S.S. America: “SOS”

According to the Admiral, there’s a reason competent captains insist on always keeping their vessels ship-shape. It’s not some petit bourgeois urge to impress passengers. Nor is it necessarily the reflection of an inner authoritarian need to control the crew’s every waking moment. It’s just a fundamental safety principle, put into practice. Because sooner or later, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, something is inevitably going to go wrong. If your systems are all in order, then you fix the problem and move on. If one system is jury-rigged when another goes haywire, you will soon be fully occupied just trying to …

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Is What’s Past Prologue?

It’s a great time to be alive. No, seriously—it is. How can we say that? Well, have you considered the alternative? We spend much of Monday, when we should have been writing, getting cardiovascular exercise. How many reps? We lost track. Mounting the stairs of our editorial tower, closing the windows against the deluge, opening them again to relieve the heat, then closing them again as endless waves of violent weather rolled through town. We’re not complaining, mind you. It could have been worse. Just ask our new neighbor. He recently moved into a formerly-shabby little house which is now a realtor’s “hidden gem”—allegedly worth …

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Permanently Endangered

Just when we thought the Supreme Court had done all the damage it could in one session, it decided to kill off more of us. Yes, we know, this is getting monotonous. We Ranted about the Court just last fortnight, and now here we go again. We are so sorry—sorrier than we can say. When the Court rules, though, that the EPA cannot regulate poisonous emissions from coal-fired electrical power plants, we can hardly be expected to remain silent. Air pollution currently causes one out of every six deaths, scientists say. Apparently that’s not enough. Having attended neither Harvard nor Yale, we have no idea …

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It’s a Whole New Ball Game

Though it was long before our time—Julius Caesar’s assassination predated our founding by seven times our lifespan to date*—we often daydream of life in ancient times. What was it like to live in a world controlled by capricious and uncaring gods? Now we know. Last week certain Supreme Beings—half a dozen unelected religious zealots, five of them appointed by politicians who lost the popular vote, and several of whom likely perjured themselves in order to get the gig—declared holy war on us mere mortals. Thursday they threw out gun bans, overthrowing a precedent going back a century and a half. These may be best remembered …

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Will the Truth Even Matter?

Just a few days into the January 6th hearings, one thing already seems clear: the Former Guy is guilty of everything we watched him do on live television. Under the circumstances it would be incomprehensible if he were to somehow evade justice yet again. On the other hand, this is the United States of America. What is our history if not the record of us repeatedly machine-gunning ourselves in the feet? Hell, never mind history. Consider this single aspect of the present: Liz Cheney has become the Ranking Apostate of the Republican Party, due to her work on the House Select Committee investigating the attack …

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