Archive for May, 2012
Try to get past the numerous fallacies of the host of this show and enjoy the response from Hitchens:
Here is another article from The Times that deals with Romney’s religion and how it might influence his decision-making if he elected president.
Take this passage:
While Mr. Romney has expressed some views at odds with his church’s teachings — in Massachusetts, he supported measures related to alcohol and gambling, both frowned upon by the church — other positions flow directly from his faith, including his objections to abortion and same-sex marriage
and his notion of self-sufficiency tempered with generosity. The church, which often requests recipients of charity to perform some sort of labor in return, taught Mr. Romney to believe that “there’s a dignity in work and a dignity in helping those who are in need of help,” his eldest son, Tagg, said in an interview.
Or take Mr. Romney’s frequent tributes to American exceptionalism. “I refuse to believe that America is just another place on the map with a flag,” he said in announcing his bid for the presidency last June. Every presidential candidate highlights patriotism, but Mr. Romney’s is backed by the Mormon belief that the United States was chosen by God to play a special role in history, its Constitution divinely inspired.
While he has taken political stances in the past that seem at odds with his church, showing that he might be less cookie cutter than we think (or not), the important distinction is this: pretty much all of the GOP candidates in this year’s primary believe that America has a special calling in the world or some kind of divine “protection” that can be “lifted” if the nation becomes more corrupt or morally bankrupt (hence, efforts to crush gay rights, etc.)
Romney, on the other hand, believes America is literally the land of God and that the Constitution is divinely inspired a la the Bible or the Book of Mormon. In fact, if he follows the basic tenets of Mormonism, he also believed that true divine inspiration took place in upstate New York by God through Joseph Smith, that Christ will return — where else? — in the state of Missouri. Specifically, Independence, Mo. He also apparently believes that the United States was the site of the Garden of Eden, located, you guessed it, in Missouri.
And this person, a guy who believes America is the nation that God chose above all others to set up the new city at the end of the world, will be leader of the free world if he wins the election. That’s not quite to the point of establishing a sort of Christian caliphate, but it comes dangerously close.
This lengthy and detailed article takes a look at the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policy since taking office.
It’s a noteworthy read because it reveals what some of Obama’s campaign speeches in 2008 did not, namely that
… he has found that war is a messy business, and his actions show that pursuing an enemy unbound by rules has required moral, legal and practical trade-offs that his speeches did not envision.
and on terror operations in Yemen, Obama:
… who had rejected the Bush-era concept of a global war on terrorism and had promised to narrow the American focus to Al Qaeda’s core, suddenly found himself directing strikes in another complicated Muslim
It also shows a Democratic president who has used a stronger — much stronger — military strategy than many thought he would.
Here is a telling graphic:
That’s a great headline except for one pesky fact: there is no debate about evolution, and the scientist referenced in this story didn’t say anything about any “debate.” As far as credible scientists are concerned, there is no debate about the truth of evolution.
Several members of the 7th, including Abolt, said this story is not only important in American history, but also a story that must be passed on.
A comma is used to separate two independent clauses (clauses containing a subject and verb). The last part of the sentence would only be a complete sentence if it read: “history, but it also is a story that must be passed on.”
Meadows expressed his thanks to the hundreds of people involved in the project, and said a burden had been lifted off his shoulders as a result of the home, which has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a wrap-around deck.
For this to be a complete (in italics), the clause should have read “project, and he said a burden had been lifted …”
The CEO duties will be assumed by John R. Ingram, chairman of the division of Nashville-based conglomerate Ingram Industries Inc. that provides books, music and media content to more than 35,000 retailers, libraries, schools and distribution partners.
This is an example, along with the comma splice issue, that Yagoda mentioned specifically. Here, a comma is required after “Inc.” because a comma was used before “chairman.” An argument could be made that the word “that” continues the phrase through until the end of the sentence, but introducing Ingram as the chairman of Ingram Industries Inc. still requires a comma in the middle of the sentence to set off the attribution. Or, to avoid the problem altogether, the paragraph could read:
The CEO duties will be assumed by John R. Ingram, chairman of the division of Nashville-based conglomerate Ingram Industries Inc. The company provides books, music and media content to more than 35,000 retailers, libraries, schools and distribution partners.
Writers (and readers, I guess) apparently don’t have the attention span to follow the sentence throughout its entire construction, so they sometimes forget where previously placed commas occurred. This is easy to track in your head as you reread or edit a story, but problems such as this crop up time and time again. And for people who care about the language, it’s a distraction. As a colleague has often said, “Journalists are the keepers of the language.” That’s not to suggest that I won’t have typos myself, but the will for perfection is there. This is apparently not the case with many who haphazardly throw in or leave out commas seemingly at random.
By the way, I’m a big fan of banning commas before the word “because” in almost every case, except in cases where a comma could avoid confusion or misreading. Why is that? Nearly all sentences with “because” in the middle are essential clauses, thus taking no comma. Sentence that begin with “because” do take commas.
Call me a punctuation Nazi all you like.
I loved this piece from Ben Yagoda about common comma errors. I don’t know what they are doing in journalism school, but they sure aren’t teaching punctuation. Apparently, they aren’t teaching it in high school or college in general. I find comma errors in various online and print newspaper articles all the time. The epidemic is so widespread that I bet I can go read any random article from The Tennessean (Nashville’s finest) and quickly identify an error.
I will now go read a random story and report back shortly.
This is a great anthology from the 90s. All the favorites are here.
And I said, “What about breakfast at Tiffany’s”
She said, “I think I remember the film?
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it
And I said, “Well, that’s the one thing we’ve got”
This isn’t conclusive, obviously, but we even have Nada Surf, Yes, Nada Surf.
I don’t know how raising money is supposed to impact votes at the ballot box unless they plan to buy off people to get them to vote against same-sex marriage. In any case:
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Scores of Maine churches will pass the collection plate a second time at Sunday services on Father’s Day to kick off a fundraising campaign for the lead opposition group to November’s ballot question asking voters to legalize same-sex marriages.
Between 150 and 200 churches are expected to raise money for the Protect Marriage Maine political action committee, said Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine evangelical organization and a member of the PAC. Conley is also trying to drum up support for the Maine campaign from religious leaders from around the country.
This sounds like an egregious waste of resources to me. The money raised could be used by churches to, oh, I don’t know, feed the homeless, give clothes and shelter to needy families or generally make someone else’s life better. But no, churches and conservatives PAC’s think it’s a better use of their time and money to fight against equality. We see how well that worked out for them in 1964, don’t we?
CEO’s salaries versus yours and CEO salaries versus Mitt Romney’s:
The median CEO salary of $9.587 million:
HOW LONG IT TAKES OTHERS TO MAKE THAT MUCH: A minimum wage worker would have to work 636 years to make that much. A person making the national average salary would have to work 244 years to make the median CEO salary.
BY THE HOUR: If you assume the CEO works a 60-hour week, the pay comes to $3,072.84 per hour, or $51.21 per minute. To put that in perspective, the minimum wage worker would have to labor more than 10 weeks to make what the median CEO earns in an hour. It would take the average U.S. worker nearly a month to make what the average CEO makes in an hour.
COMPARED WITH AMERICA’S CEO: The CEO who made the median salary took in 12 times the total $789,674 in gross income that President Obama reported last year. But it is less than half the $20.9 million in income that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney reported in his tax filing.