Tom Bethell

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Eric Hoffer and the art of the notebook

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A never writer

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Agnostic evolutionists

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The taxonomic case against Darwin

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Washington — From the May 1982 issue

Propaganda warts

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What the Voice of America makes of America

Washington — From the May 1981 issue

The budget can’t be cut

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Congress likes to spend money

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Hard-money men

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Investing in survival

Washington — From the July 1980 issue

Flowering politics

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And literary wilt

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Treating poverty

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Wherein the cure gives rise to the disease

Article — From the October 1979 issue

Fooling with the budget

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How Congress causes inflation

Article — From the June 1979 issue

The gas price fixers

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Washington designed, built, and ran an energy crisis

Washington — From the April 1979 issue

The disadvantaged Congress

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Generous pensions are not the only incentive to early retirement

Washington — From the February 1979 issue

Against bilingual education

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Why Johnny can’t speak English

Article — From the December 1978 issue

Burning Darwin to save Marx

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Only the fittest scientific truths survive

Washington — From the October 1978 issue

Exploring pettifoggery

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American trade and regulation add up to a deficit

Washington — From the August 1978 issue

The liberal Carter

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Wooing the recipient class

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The wealth of Washington

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The fourth estate — From the April 1978 issue

The Common Man and the Electric Church

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Religion and its role in class division

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Washington’s world of style

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Image has become an indispensable component of substance

Washington — From the November 1977 issue

The need to act

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On February 5, 2019, the president of the United States (a certain Donald Trump) in his State of the Union speech warned of “migrant caravans and accused Mexican cities of busing migrants to the border ‘to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.’ ”? Wishing to see the border for myself, I decided to visit Arizona, where my ignorance of local conditions might save me from prejudgment.

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After years of post-Brexit uncertainty, Scotland’s independence movement has become resurgent

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On a November Saturday in 1990, Pam went over to Joe’s place to listen to records. It was raining in sheets that whipped around the corners of buildings and blowing so hard that women in heels were taking men’s arms to cross the street. Cars were plowing bow waves through puddles of scum.

As Joe was letting Pam into the apartment, a man emerged from the bedroom with a square sheet of black plastic in his hand and said, “Hey, man, you have the Sassy Sonic Youth flexi!”

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Discussed in this essay:

Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark, by Cecelia Watson. Ecco. 224 pages. $19.99.

Four Men Shaking: Searching for Sanity with Samuel Beckett, Norman Mailer, and My Perfect Zen Teacher, by Lawrence Shainberg. Shambhala. 144 pages. $16.95.

Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn, edited by Andrei Codrescu. Princeton University Press. 224 pages. $22.95.

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Discussed in this essay:

Stalingrad, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 1,088 pages. $27.95.

Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century, by Alexandra Popoff. Yale University Press. 424 pages. $32.50.

Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler. New York Review Books. 904 pages. $24.95.

An Armenian Sketchbook, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 160 pages. $14.95.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A swarm of ladybugs in California was so large that it appeared on the National Weather Service’s radar.

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