Sunday, February 6, 2011

Surrounded by the Sunday Papers

The New Yorker used to have a regular column-filler feature called “Which Newspaper D’you Read?”  Generally without comment, it displayed a headline from each of two newspapers regarding the same subject -- minimal pairs of differing spin.  Things like “Widgetco Profits Surge to within Reach of Ten Million” and “Widgetco Profits Fall Short of the Ten Million Mark Yet Again”.

Since I’ve sworn off blogging Cantorian Realism for a few days, and indeed have nothing near to remind me of the world of philosophy but the proverbial coffee-cup (heraldic symbol of concrete reality to the Ontologizing Community),  there is an opportunity to fill the empty hours with an example of this useful genre.  Thus, in this morning’s New York Times, an op-ed by the director of the Office of Management and Budget is titled

The Easy Cuts Are Behind Us

We-ll…. not quite all the easy cuts, as witness this from the L.A.Times:

Farm insurance fraud is cheating taxpayers out of millions

(The fraud part is not even the important part of the story -- it’s the systematic waste of the program itself.)

No point writing our congressmen about such things;  in my experience, you get a form-letter reply triggered by keywords in your letter, quite regardless of content.  In this case it might read “Thank you for your support of my tireless efforts to foster prosperity among the nation’s family farmers.”   But ol’ Jacob Lew over at OMB probably doesn’t get as much mail, so I thought I’d drop him a line.  Couldn’t find an e-dress for him, so I clicked on “Contact Us” on the OMB page.  They tell you how to reach them by phone, fax, telegraph, semaphore and carrier pigeon … but no e-mail.  Which is to say:  they really don’t want to hear from you.

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