On Editors

“Napoleon once shot and killed a publisher. But he was aiming at an editor. His intentions were good.”
— Mark Twain
I got into editing for the money. Shows how smart I am. Editing pays a pittance more than reporting. The Brownsville Herald hired me as a copy editor for $6 an hour in 1988, three days after I’d been fired from my first newspaper staff job, in San Bernardino County, after a glorious inglorious tenure of three months.

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Marching Morons

Socialism — whatever it may be — is in the news these days, as a horrible thing. Yet if we — or they — manage to eradicate socialism from American life, millions of people will be unhappy — above all, sports fans. After all, the annual NBA and NFL drafts are prime examples of socialism.

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The Hippest Place in Town

nk of all the cool things you can do with a stick if you’re a dog. You can chase it. You can chew it. You can carry it around in your mouth and show it to everyone. You can throw it up in the air and pick it up again. You can pretend to drop it and pounce on it. You can pretend someone else wants it and keep it away from him. You can play tug of war. You can drop it in the creek and chase it downstream. You can dig a hole and bury it. You can go back later and dig it up. And bring it in the house and chew on it again. There’s probably other things you can do with a stick, but I don’t know them because I’m not a dog.

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Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Like most thinking Americans (Adlai Stevenson: “That’s not enough; I need a majority”) I listened this week to the daylong Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey show, aka Michael Cohen’s ‘fessing up to the House Committee on Oversight. As usual, the Democrats wimped out and the Republicans stomped on their enemy with lead-footed pirouettes.

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An Infected Government

The thin plastic tube sprouting from a vein in my biceps leads straight to my heart — the anterior vena cava — and I dump antibiotics into it twice a day from little science fiction-y rubbery globes. How I got a staphylococcus infection in my spine remains a mystery, even to my excellent doctors and nurses, but take it from me that spending three weeks on one’s back gives a guy plenty of time to think.

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