BREAKING: Local News Finds Local Nonstory That’s Sorta Bin Laden-Related

Flickr Commons/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensutherland/252245492/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Ben Sutherland</a>

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You know a world event’s really important—and really overreported—when actual headlines start looking like they’re ripped from the pages of the Onion. Case in point: “Branson Man on Aircraft Carrier That Buried Osama bin Laden at Sea.” KSPR, the ABC affiliate in Branson, Missouri (yes, that Branson, Missouri), would like to introduce you to the city’s very own Joseph Sullivan. He’s a twentysomething sailor who this very minute is serving on the USS Carl Vinson, the Nimitz-class carrier from which bin Laden’s corpse was dumped into the deep Monday morning.

Mind you, Sullivan may not know anything valuable about the world’s most famous sea burial. We don’t know, since he hasn’t Facebooked his mom since last Saturday. Also, he’s one of 5,000 or so sailors on the ship, most of whom probably didn’t even hear about the funeral until it was over. “He is (several) stories under the flight deck and his job pretty much keeps him contained below deck, ” Sullivan’s mother told the station.

So, we don’t really know anything. Except, apparently, that the multibillion-dollar ship of war, with its fighter air wing, close-in machine guns, and entourage of frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and submarines could suffer an Al Qaeda revenge attack:

“I am hopeful they are ‘now’ on their way home,” Sullivan’s mom said. “It does elevate my concern slightly that they may become a target.”

As a former sailor myself, I surely sympathize with the hazards of those young folks who go down to the sea in ships. As long as the terrorists stay away from Branson and Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, though, my mind’s at ease.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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