Monthly Archives: September 2021

Governance via unamusing anecdote

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Readers Digest Condensed Books

The monthly Readers’ Digest magazine and the related hardcover “condensed books” were the bulk of the bathroom library at my house where I grew up during the 1950s. It is from there that I learned of this word “anecdote” at an early age. Reader’s Digest told me every month that if I had an “amusing anecdote,” I could make big… Read more »

One last Trump financial con

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Trump & Barrett

I first wrote about the fragility of the Trump fortune in April of 2018, and that theme has been followed by several more related posts in the years since. I sometimes feel that the financial chroniclers of the Trump Organization like myself and the far more knowledgeable David Farenthold of the Washington Post and Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR’s Planet… Read more »

When we become inured to death

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Petrarch's Triumph of Death.

In 2017 and 2018, when all eyes were on several horrific incidents of mass gun violence, the United States was averaging just under one incident of mass gun violence per day (defined by the excellent Gun Violence Archive as four or more people killed or injured in one reported incident). During the pandemic year of 2020, that number rose to… Read more »

The self-destructive bravado of the Covid snake-handlers

Snake handler

“And these signs will accompany those who believe…they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them.” — Mark 16:17-18, NRSV During my years living in Cincinnati, across the Ohio River from Kentucky, we would regularly see a news story from south of the river with a headline like this:… Read more »