Pick a Crisis, Any Crisis

Tuesday’s Herald carried a piece by Paul Briand—one of the Hedge-Fund-Owned Local Daily’s few writers still based in this area—headlined, “Purple Principle podcast seeks political middle ground in U.S.” A five-person team is exploring “whether political factions—with blue liberals on the left and red conservatives on the right—can somehow find some common ground in the purple middle.” In the marketplace of mainstream journalism, editors know readers are eager to start their day by snapping open a fresh paper and finding a story that gives them some slight thread of hope—a story that nurtures, however briefly or improbably, the comforting illusion that there may in fact …

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It’s a Dunning-Kruger Spiral

A week ago today the Department of Health and Human Services posted a revised document online. In a certain narrow sense this was perfectly normal—even traditional. Friday has always been considered the optimal day for a beleaguered criminal Administration to conduct any low act of skulduggery. Considered in terms of its content, however, this act was a bold bureaucratic boarding house reach.* Hospitals had been sending all their Covid-19 stats to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. The logic of this arrangement would seem to be clear, even to a person of limited intellect—an increasingly important consideration these days. Under the order which …

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The American Devolution

Well, let’s see here…2020, subtract 1776…yup, looks like tomorrow, the Fourth of July, will mark this country’s 244th birthday. How shall we celebrate? We understand that El Presidente will be visiting South Dakota. Flying in on Air Force One is his subtle way of letting us know that he thinks his face belongs on Mount Rushmore. After all, what has Lincoln done for anyone lately? It pains us to say this, but in a way he’s right. After all, the so-called “Shrine of Democracy” is a grandiose monument created by a monomaniacal racist on land stolen by the government from the Sioux. Some Sioux have …

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Insurgency Now

Twelve score and four years ago, smugglers, land grabbers, farmers, and shoe makers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in a curiously narrow vision of Liberty, and dedicated—nominally—to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great difference of opinion, testing whether that nation can endure much longer while ten Army posts continue to honor the names of men who fought against it in a great Civil War. It would be altogether fitting and proper for us the living to re-dedicate those places. We could give them new names, in honor of others—men, or women, who …

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One Too Many?

Eleven days ago, on Memorial Day, four Minneapolis police officers killed a man. One choked the life out of George Floyd by putting a knee on his neck. Two others helped by holding him down. The fourth stood watch. One more black man killed by men in blue. It’s not a new story. It’s so familiar, in fact, that one could argue it wasn’t even news. On the other hand, during this hyper-quantified era in which refrigerators can remotely report to homeowners how many eggs they are holding at any given time, this would certainly seem to be a number of which someone ought to …

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Real American Carnage

Officially, as of Tuesday afternoon, more than 1.5 million Americans were confirmed to have been infected by the coronavirus. More than 90,000 have died. Those are the figures we have to work with, anyway. We know that both numbers will only rise. That goes without saying for the death toll, of course, because life is a one-way street. These days, though, with more than 1,200 people dying every day from the virus, the mortality department’s accountants can no more keep up than Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory. The number of total cases is also a moving target; with new people getting infected every …

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