Nick Horrock is dead. Those words are painful to write. They’re also bewildering to write. If anyone could have told Death to talk a long walk off a short pier, it would’ve been Nick Horrock. There’s that old line from Inherit the Wind. The Mencken character says “it’s the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Nick must’ve had those words etched into his heart. What a mighty heart it was. He wielded it like grapeshot. One of our fantastically mediocre
Would-be SEC chairman Gary Gensler had a fairly sunny day of it at his Senate confirmation hearing, but there was a brief rumble that, for private funds, might sound like echoes of distant thunder. Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana asked Gensler about his time as chairman of the CFTC under President Obama. Among Gensler’s labors was to sweep the Aegean stables after the Great Recession. Kennedy had some questions. “Why didn’t somebody go to jail?” he asked. “Who made the call?” Gensler paused, a slight, wry smile opening a tiny crack in his stony facade.
The 21st Century has not been kind to Americans. There are good reasons for this and bad reasons for this. That must wait for another time. For now, it’s enough to notice that one of the central myths of American life—American meritocracy—has been horribly cracked, if not shattered, in this un-American Century. Americans have told themselves for generations that if they just work hard enough, they’ll be rewarded. It’s usually been bollix, of course, but in the 21st Century, Americans have had to confront the
The White Man has Jackie Robinson with him always. Wake any honky of a certain age in the wee hours and ask him about “Jackie.” Before that man opens his eyes, he will tell you about “hustle,” about “grit,” about “determination,” about having “the guts not to fight back.” There’s just something about Robinson’s lonely struggle Against All Odds that reminds aging white men of… themselves. Robinson is also The White Man’s balm. Here is one of the worst white men of the American Century
Meet Desmond Skyers. Born in Britain and raised in Jamaica, Desmond moved to New York as a young man— “the dream” of all his friends. Once there, though, he learned that poverty doesn’t change with a colder climate. “The only pain we knew,” he recalls, “was the pain of not having.” He fell quickly into what he calls “the rude boy” life. On March 26, 1993, federal authorities arrested him at his home in soggy Silver Spring. They charged him with cocaine trafficking. He’d spend 23
“The old world is dying,” Gramsci has it, “and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” Spring, famously, is the season of rebirth. But births—as we humans pretend not to remember—are messy, fraught, dangerous. This spring is unlike any in living memory. Even as more of us are vaccinated against a world-historic plague, we’re reminded of the hundreds of thousands who didn’t make it, and the countless, luckless others who are still waiting for their rescue. (“You know,” Robert
Opioids have overwhelmed rural Illinois. Desperate, the cops in Ronald Reagan’s hometown have stopped arresting people and started getting them help. In an exclusive series, The Well News looks at “Safe Passage,” a program that radically rethinks America’s War on Drugs.
Most epidemics start with a patient zero. Here in northwest Illinois, the opioid epidemic features a doctor zero.
For a long time, the police of Ronald Reagan’s hometown did their best to arrest their way out of their drug problem. It became a war of attrition — and the opioids won.