Still , for all of my basket's abject appearance, I have never considered replacing it with a parchment wastebasket. Mine, worth no more now than a few pennies at a garage sale, has been the generous recipient of countless false starts on columns and articles, pistachio shells, candy wrappers and copies of nasty letters to the editor I never sent. What a story the basket could tell! In many ways it would be the inside story of my professional life.
I think the Feds who are tracking down the Ponzis and free spenders (of our money) ought to send some of Ben Franklin's essays to these disreputable people. charging them, oh, $10 million a copy until they run out of public money, and then $20 million per copy until they run out of their own money. While they sat at the top of their trade and were too often honored for for their successes, they were actually bottom-feeders sucking the blood out of our economy. It probably will do no good to ask, but I will anyway: Why did it take so long to flush them out?