The New Radical

by Alex Wilhelm

Letters From a Contrarian

Page 3

My friend is dead: My friend is not dead.

Today a friend of mine died. And I found out on Twitter.

Actually, that’s not correct. In fact, not at all.

Instead, a person of the same age range, name, and location died, and I found out on Twitter. I spied a tweet announcing the death of someone who appeared to be my friend, and had to deal with a rising panic while trying to sort the situation.

It took me a good five minutes to find out that the Ahmed Naguib I know, a student living in Cairo, and activist, was not the Ahmed Naguib, of the same age range and locale, that had been killed.

It started like this:

@Gsquare86: “Another dead clinically Ahmed Naguib, 18 years old #MorsiMubarak #acab from clashes Mohamed Mahmoud st”

I followed up:

“Can anyone confirm that @ahmednaguib is alright? I’m seeing that someone by his name is dead in Egypt.”


“@Gsquare86 is that @ahmednaguib? Please respond.”

Happily, the Ahmed that I

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The Secret: Also Spelled B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T

/// I lacked my usual editing time while writing this. There is likely a typo or two below. Tread lightly.

Oh my.

Off a Twitter conversation, and on a whim, I purchased a copy of The Secret. Reading the book was to be an experiment: What was all the noise about?

In our culture there arise touchstones of sufficient import that we need a working awareness of them if we are to understand the modern dialogue. The Secret is popular enough, and sufficiently enduring that at least a passing knowledge is good form.

Before you mange to read a word, however, you can already smell the bullshit. The slick cover, colored pages, various fonts and scripts all scream a single message: We are covering up a complete lack of substance. Note that I spared you the exclamation point.

That initial internal revulsion you feel when you heft a tome of obvious gibberish is borne out by the text is in this

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And good riddance, Ames

A piece out today in the Wall Street Journal details the fact that the Ames Straw Poll is a weak indicator of presidential candidate viability, and an even lesser fundraiser for the local party.

This is not idle speculation. Michele Bachmann managed to squeak a win in the very last episode of the poll. Ron Paul managed to lose by a mere 150 votes. Both candidates were never viable presidential candidates, let alone Republican nominees.

Bachmann went on to surrender shortly, after a humiliating loss in Iowa, the state that had just before crowned her Victor of Ames.

Mr. Paul went on to execute a credible run, but never had the momentum, or support of his party to pull off a larger win. His participation in the first Republican debate, in which Gary Johnson took part, should be sufficient in hindsight to make the point plain.

As the Journal notes of the Ames’s prescience, “[i]ts track

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