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From John Dos Passos, in The Big Money, on the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti:

    they have clubbed us off the streets     they are stronger     they are rich     they hire and fire the politicians the newspapereditors the old judges the small men with reputations the collegepresidents the wardheelers (listen businessmen collegepresidents judges     America will not forget her betrayers)     they hire the men with guns     the uniforms the policecars the patrolwagons

    all right you have won     you will kill the brave men our friends tonight

    there is nothing left to do     we are beaten

    ….they have built the electricchair and hired the executioners to throw the switch

    all right we are two nations

    America our nation has been beaten by strangers who have bought the laws and fenced off the meadows and cut down the woods for pulp and turned our pleasant cities into slums and sweated the wealth out of our people and when they want to they hire the executioner to throw the switch

I’m reading the U.S.A. trilogy and by chance I happened to read that passage last night. Today, Ed Kilgore tells me, is the 86th anniversary of the execution, so I thought it might be appropriate. Everything old is new again.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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