The Winter of our Dissolution?

We ought to be inured by now to this recurring political cycle. After all, it’s been going on for nearly a century. Even our legendary level of ironic distance, though, fails to provide an adequate level of psychic insulation. In short, this is too damn much. We cannot put a stop to it, but, by god, we can describe it. One party forces the country to accept some dubious policy choice. This choice is invariably made in service to Moloch, or capitalism, or whatever you want to call the human face of concentrated financial power. By its failure—which was, more likely than not, predicted by …

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And Now For Something Completely Different

[Muttering: Surely we can write about something that has nothing to do with the orange guy squatting behind the Resolute desk…. Aha! – The Ed.] Let us now turn to something less distressing that Presidential electoral politics. Almost anything would fit that bill, right? Michael Hiltzik, the Business Columnist for the L.A. Times, wrote a fascinating piece recently on efforts by Congress to fine-tune the IRS. Improving an institution so universally loathed—how hard could that be? And therein lies the problem; improvement was not the aim. Congress is, of course, Constitutionally responsibile for the federal budget, which is to say, raising and spending money. Individual …

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Let’s Hear It For More Good Trouble

On June 27, 2015—ten days after nine Black worshippers in Charleston, South Carolina were murdered by a white supremacist—an artist and activist then known as Bree Newsome scaled a flagpole on the grounds of that state’s capitol and hauled down the Confederate battle flag. “In the name of Jesus, this flag has to come down,” she said as she was being arrested. “You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.” Two weeks later the legislature of South Carolina—which had been defending the Confederate flag’s presence for decades—essentially ratified Newsome’s …

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A Few Random Items of Potential Interest

We can’t cite any specific authorities on this matter—we have little to go on other than our own observations—but we’ve been getting the impression lately that even people who are normally level-headed have been getting cranky lately. We can’t say for sure why, but we have our suspicions. It may have something to do with the 210,000 people who’ve died so far from the dreadfully mishandled global pandemic. Or, it may be a reaction to the economy nearly dying, due to the failed attempt to stop the virus. On the other hand it could be some kind of subconscious reaction to the mass-extinction crisis. That …

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The Start of Our War in Vietnam

On September 26, 1945—75 years ago tomorrow—Peter Dewey, a Lieutenant Colonel in the American OSS, filed one final dispatch and headed reluctantly for Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport. General Douglas D. Gracey, a British officer, had ordered him to leave. The two men had disagreed over many things, but a small American flag was the last straw. Dewey had wanted to fly the flag on the bumper of his jeep. Gracey forbid that, and it cost Dewey his life. Three weeks after Japan surrendered, Saigon was chaotic. The vast city was crowded with indigenous Vietnamese—or Annamese, as they were often called then—along with French colonials, …

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Large-Animal Serial Killer Opens Local Franchise of Dodgy Family Biz While Evading Law

Malt House Exchange, Portsmouth, N.H., Thurs., Sept. 17—Eric Trump visited the West End today and spent an undetermined amount of time schmoozing with local supporters of his father, Donald J. Trump—President, so to speak, of the Somewhat United States—at the opening of another franchise of the family business. Exactly which family business was not specified, and remains unclear. A moderate-sized crowd showed on Thursday, September 17th, to attend the opening of Trump Campaign Headquarters in Portsmouth. Epitomizing the event, one supporter had slung around his neck a two-dimensional “gun” cut out from a Trump campaign sign. Will the flimsy fake gun be a harbinger of …

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