A Sermon From the Printer’s Devil

Brethren and sisteren, &c., we take our text today from Twitter, the Book of @KateAronoff, Chapter 3/15: “one sign of a thriving democracy is that a coal baron elected by less than 300,000 people gets to take a sledgehammer to everything.” We are shocked—shocked—our own selves to see these disparaging words on the screen before us. They appear, it would seem, of their own volition, in spite of our intention to inscribe on these pages only the most wholesome advises and dispatches, suitable for all readers. We can only have been possessed—possessed by the Printer’s Devil.* With 265 years of tradition driving us, though, go …

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Nothing to Worry About…

It’s all a bit much, so let’s break it down into smaller pieces. We’ll begin with the most volatile issue. Then we’ll assess the threats which, should they succeed, will take longer to annihilate us. Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, February 24th—the day our paper went to press. That paper carried an article headlined “Physicians Warn Russian War On Ukraine Risks Global Nuclear Catastrophe.” In essence, it said that firing rockets and artillery in the immediate vicinity of facilities containing industrial quantities of highly radioactive material is inherently dangerous. A week later, as Americans went to bed, news outlets reported that a battle between Russians …

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Is Stochastic Homicide A Crime?

The good news is that everybody’s worried. They should be. The bad news is that a third of the country is having a coniption over fictional problems. That would be all right if those people would stick to tradition by sitting back and doing nothing. Our rule of thumb here in the office is that half of all real problems solve themselves without intervention.* You can’t say it doesn’t work—we’re still here in our 266th year. But noo—millions of people are so cranked up that they’re bound and determined to fix what ain’t broke—and many of them think guns are the right tool for the …

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Let The Games Battle Begin

Typical run-of-the-mill media outlets are obliged by industry standards to employ quotes from accredited experts to convey even obvious statements of fact. In our case, we are imbued with expertise as a consequence of our seniority. Therefore we can confidently proclaim ex cathedra that things have been rather grim of late. The U.S. death toll from Covid hit another milestone on January 31st. Officially the total is now over 900,000. Omicron—the “mild” variant of Covid-19—took just 51 days to knock off the latest tranche of 100,000 Americans. That’s the equivalent of another 9/11 every 36 hours. Awful as it is, that’s an understatement. The Wall …

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Choosing Exceptionalism

Considering our history, it was probably inevitable that a significant part of the public would be so vehement in their declarations of our purported greatness. This nation is certainly great in its extent, covering as it does some 3,796,742 square miles. Of that total exactly 2.3 percent has been set aside for the descendants of the original inhabitants to call their own. Most of the rest was taken from them by force, chicanery, or both. No matter what one may think when contemplating these numbers, and regardless of how they might make one feel, “that’s the way it is,” as Walter Cronkite used to say. …

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The Radical Wrecking Crew

Focus groups have determined that when given a choice, people prefer hearing about lost puppies being found to staring into an existential abyss. Oh, well…here we go again, anyway. Pardon us while we state the obvious. While we’re at it, let’s print something that’s not even news: ordinary Americans haven’t been screwed this hard since Herbert Hoover was President. A couple of recent tweets can sum it up as well as anything we could write: Kimberly Nicole Foster [@KimberlyNFoster]: “it’s wild that ‘unskilled’ labor is the labor that society literally collapses without.” Andrew Lawrence [@ndrew_lawrence]: “What if the reason kids are depressed is [because] they …

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