Best subscription I ever had. And most efficient one too. For years, ever since the vampire squid piece, I subscribed to Rolling Stone just to read MT. And a bit of Dickinson too. But mainly Matt. Can’t help it. The combo of accurate info and biting satire is rare. Can’t afford not to subscribe to it. Respect man.

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I myself am a sucker for the beautifully written word. I adore Shakespeare, Twain, et. al. because of their choice of language, no matter how brutal the subject matter, (here I am lookin' at *you, Macbeth & Mrs.), no matter how ostensibly boring (Twain's European Travelogues).

People who master the English language like that just leave me with a *long lasting high.

I do not look to Matt for those same stratospheric highs linguistic luxury, but what Matt does for me, better than any living writer, is to TEACH me, even as his language, his asides, and his pithy and well chosen anecdotes buttress and expand my understanding.

I am 72 yrs old. A mere 22 years older than Matt. I was introduced to Chief White Halfoat, for instance, while *I was in the military during that Vietnam gig. And yet, what other writer do I encounter today who not only *knows of Chief White Halfoat, but understands *precisely how to use the character as an exemplar for the writer's presently described character? Matt is also my instructor regarding things I have never HEARD of, but for $5 a month, he instructs me with honesty, integrity, class *and humor ??? I cannot tell you the hours I spend looking for anyone writing in English, Foreign or Domestic whom I can even enjoy, much less trust. Matt is not only the real deal, he is the *full package as well.

Matt, you are a GOLD MINE ! Thank you for having the stones to come to an idea like Substack with full understanding of the freedom it gives *you, and the absolute delight it gives *us !

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in the 40s and 50s, my parents subscribed to IF Stone's Weekly. They had to keep the subscription secret for fear of being subject to witch hunts.

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As the years go by, I find I have more and more sympathy for Pontius Pilate. Truth is easy in physics and in math. Or at least it can be proved. Truth in Roman politics? ha! Or even in ours, sadly. We're getting more and more that way. Like Cicero and Cataline there in the senate . . .

Speaking of truth, I like the quote from the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss about proofs, "I mean the word proof not in the sense of the lawyers, who set two half proofs equal to a whole one, but in the sense of a mathematician, where ½ proof = 0, and it is demanded for proof that every doubt becomes impossible." If only truth were that easy.

Those Russians sound like really tough dudes. Holy smokes! It seems that "proofs" of things in politics are kaleidescopes of "maybe"s strung together into star-like constellations that are pointed at with a shaking hand and vexatious face screaming "SEE, SEE!" As if it's obvious Orion is a hunter and the star Serius is his dog. How could you not admit it!

Journalists of course have to trust sources, and those sources have to trust their confidants and their judgments. At what point does even a serious journalist -- digging into something politically big -- engage in pointing at stars and saying SEE, SEE!

It's hard to say. Certainly for me, personally, I can't say with any confidence what is true -- except in math and physics, where at least there are standards that anyone who seriously looks into it is forced to acknowledge.

What brings this all to mind -- or shakes it anyway, in the mind -- is the strange case of Sidney Powell, who has made some very incredible claims about the 2020 election. To me, frankly, she seemed sincere and credible in her demeanor. Were I a juror, I'd have been inclined to view her testimony sympathetically. We'll see if she delivers any goods.

I don't have any idea what to think about all this election stuff. I do know humans conspire and they can do incredibly awful things. I am not sure that happened in this case. Who is wrong and who is right. I wonder if we'll ever know. I wonder if any journalist who seriously tried to find out would ever truly know. I wonder if it's even possible to know. That's how weird it all is -- almost all of reality gets that way if you think about it long enough. Almost all reality is constellations in the sky of the mind and you are the one who says, "It's a hunter and a dog". Almost, but not quite. It's the "not quite" that keeps us sane.

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Congrats Matt Taibbi on sharing the 2020 Izzy Award! Well deserved, in my humble opinion.

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"No amount of money will make a lie true..."

Yup. So one way to keep things going when all you have is a lie is to play Pilate: "What is truth?"

A bottomless rabbit hole that unfortunately appeals to intelligent people.

Maybe our saving grace really are the people who, if you say that to them repeatedly, in seriousness, trying to "have a difficult conversation," will finally simply punch you in the nose and walk away.

Anyway, tangent. On topic, thanks for this. I'm not (wasn't at least), all that thoughtful about journalism outside of my inate cynicism. Your articles on it (ethics, economics, logistics, history etc of it) are really enlightening.

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I wish you, Matt, or someone here, would write about Koppel's point about democratization of Journalism. see this: https://kapwi.ng/c/KvTWQeGz

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