First, thank you to those readers who have written notes of concern for my finances given the recent economic turmoil. I feel fortunate to have heeded the advice of my old golf partner Ron Paul and turned most of my liquid assets into solid-gold bricks. Between that and my strip-mining concerns (send me tearful e-mails about the plight of displaced Bolivians all you like, bleeding hearts, it only inflates the value of the precious metals I am selling to the computer manufacturers who make your pathetic electronic missives possible), I should be fine. Rest assured that even as the financial markets continue to collapse under the impossible weight of the welfare state, I will be here, collecting my insignificant pittance and enjoying this job for the same nonfinancial reasons as always: the sport and the public service.

Speaking of sport, it has become a bit of an easy game, this business of correcting the errors of Stranger news editor ERICA C. BARNETT. But this week there is no avoiding it. First, there is the feature she edited, in which Stranger writers weigh in on the collapse of Washington Mutual. Never mind that the topic of banking is far above the intellectual capacity of Ms. Barnett and her ilk. The fact that this piece fails to disclose how much these debt-ridden drags on the economy have done to personally destroy WaMu is all you need to know. Turn the page, with haste.

Second, Ms. Barnett is the same irresponsible fear-peddler who recently posted a missive on The Stranger's little-read web-log decrying Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin as a "Bircher." This does not necessarily mean Ms. Palin is an ardent admirer of yours truly (though if she is, the feeling is decidedly mutual). The post is actually accusing Ms. Palin of belonging to the John Birch Society, a conservative organization that fears a shadowy one-world government. First, let me say that Ms. Palin should be allowed to belong to whatever group she so pleases without the media manhandling her in such an unladylike fashion. And second, though the Birch Society is wrong on some important matters—for example, the one-world government they so fear is actually, at this moment, stationed in Houston, and its overseers are, to a man, wonderful human beings of elegant taste and good breeding—these "Birchers" are upstanding conservatives with barrelsful more credibility than anyone ever afflicted with connections to this rag. Leave Sarah Palin and Washington Mutual alone, Ms. Barnett. Your corrosive envy is neither attractive nor dignified.

There's more to ignore in this week's Stranger than just the ignorant mewling of the weaker sex: With his clawlike hand (which I have been informed is withered due to years of rampant self-abuse), WM.™ STEVEN HUMPHREY has pecked out some sort of way-too-gay treatise about the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential debates. Also, SEAN NELSON prattles on adoringly about a prominent Semitic novelist, JEN GRAVES wishes she was born a man, and BRENDAN KILEY pleasures his feminine side with a story about the least important of all the marginal arts this paper extols—dance—making this the most irrelevant issue of The Stranger to be published in quite some time. recommended