So the news came out that we tortured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks - and people are upset about that? What were we supposed to do with him - put him on Larry King and ask him if the sex occurred in the house? The fact that he wasn't gutted alive while being harangued by a mob of 9/11 widows speaks volumes about our national restraint. If they want to embarrass the Bush administration, why don't the Democrats look into something more interesting like who forged the Nigerian-yellow-cake documents?
America, the Humble
President Obama seemed bemused during the ritual, rhetorical flogging of America he witnessed at the OAS meeting, except when he felt they were attacking him personally, at which point he suddenly gets all huffy and declaims "Don't blame me, I was only an infant when those dead white guys pulled that shit!" He then accepted a gift from Hugo Chavez, a book that is apparently so bad it's been called the "idiot's bible." But since the book was written when he was in 5th grade, what the hell?
The New Haven 18
The Supreme Court heard arguments in Ricci v. DeStefano, where promotions were denied to 18 white (well, one Hispanic) firemen because, while they got the top scores on a promotion test, no black firemen were among the top scorers. Justice Ginzburg noted that having a written test that only white firefighters could pass sounds a lot like having a physical test that only male firefighters could pass. No one wanted to go near that one. Moderately-liberal justice Breyer seemed sympathetic to the firefighters' plight, but worried that deciding in their favor could lead to objective standards based on merit being used everywhere, and that thought was just too horrible to contemplate. Justice Kennedy, on the other hand, appeared eager to formulate an impossibly narrow, finely-tailored opinion that would grant relief to those specific 18 firefighters while assuring full employment to everyone working in the testing/diversity/equal-opportunity specialty for decades to come.
The Creme of the Crop
DHS secretary Janet Napolitano appears to have surged into the lead in the race to determine the most incompetent Obama appointee. One wouldn't have thought it possible to so easily overtake the blatantly unqualified Clinton or embarrassingly over-matched Geithner, but Napolitano has proven herself capable of astonishingly poor judgement. Charged with the defense of our borders, she has suspended arrests of illegal aliens, shown a lack of interest in building a border fence, insisted that the Canadian border is just as dangerous as the Mexican border, warned police across the nation to be on the lookout for foes of abortion and immigration, and assured us that the 9/11 hijackers entered the U.S. from Canada. It's like she's angling for a Southpark appearance.
Strunk and White Suck?
This came as quite a shock - but, according to a bitter, linguistologist (or whatever Ph.D's in linguistics are called) named Geoffrey Pullum, they do. Now I have always been a devotee of Strunk and White, going so far as to carry their little pocket bible Elements of Style around with me for a few years in case an SWPL-like grammar argument should break out. But I do admit I've had a devil of a time trying to follow many of their style prescriptions, such as avoiding the passive voice or keeping one's writing crisp and lean, so perhaps the professor has a point. But, surely, had only a small percentage, of all the people who have ever taken pen to paper or, fingertip to keyboard, read their simple, rules on commas, much misery, in this world could have, been avoided.