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Every summer, I like to do one or more contests to help readers pass the time. This month's offering was inspired by a conversation with colleague Ross about people who randomly string together the names of completely unrelated left- or right-wing authors who do not collectively agree with one another on anything, and then claim to have divined support for some position. So: write a coherent and unironic blog post using one of the following opening phrases:

1) As Hegel and Dorothy Day both tell us . . .

2) There are four primary reasons that America should consider nationalizing the farms . . .

3) There are many important insights to be found in the work of Dale Carnegie, but the most important is this . . .

4) It is impossible to understand the music of Barry Manilow without first developing a working knowledge of Richard Wagner's major works . . .

5) I know it is unfashionable to say this, but the whipping post could be a humane alternative to prison . . .

6) Few financiers appreciate the fantastic investment opportunities in today's Zimbabwe . . .

7) Joseph Stalin was right about many things . . .

8) Lately, I've been thinking that what America really needs is another Great Depression . . .

9) Velveeta is the unsung hero of American cooking . . . .

10) It seems completely obvious to me that the logical second-best choice for Hillary's supporters in the general election is Bob Barr . . .

11) I have recently decided that there is only one way for America to really fight terrorism: force everyone to fly naked and without baggage . . .

12) Forget hybrids; let's bring back the horse as the primary means of urban transportation . . .

13) We had over 100 years as a nation without female suffrage. Turnabout is fair play; it is time to try female-only suffrage . . .

Awesome prize, to be named at a later date, to the author of the best blog post on this topic. You must, however, actually argue in favor of the proposition; you cannot pose the first sentence as a foil for some other agenda.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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