US politics, sophistry 

Where does Stephens come up with this stuff?

I remember the 1996 election, because it was the first one I voted in. Powell, for all his high favorability, would have been crushed, just like Bob Dole was. Bill Clinton was a popular incumbent riding an economic boom.

xenophobia, graphic descriptions of historical violence 

A neighbor turned up a news story from 1887 about a railroad “accident” not far from our town, on what is still an active passenger and freight line. The Italian American laborers are dehumanized first by being treated as a disposable commodity (“accidents” were frequent enough that they carried metal ID tags), and second by being depicted as irrational hotheads for reacting to the trauma of seeing their comrades run over by a train.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred raised the level of the lake where we’re staying 16 inches.

This was in my email inbox today. Greatly exaggerated, as they say.

Whatever I may have just done, my dog does not approve.

This must be the silliest error message I’ve ever seen.

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