Tuesday, October 26, 2010

About that Comma

In my years as a working man, I had to read and approve thousands of memoranda. And any staffer who wanted his/her work to see the light of day knew that "Comma Bob" did not accept the slovenly habit of failing to place a comma before the "and" in a series, as in "Three cheers for the red, white, and blue."

And here's a good illustration of why that was so:

Kudos to theweaselking for spotting this one.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad News from Afghanistan

The news from Afghanistan has been relatively good recently (with strong emphasis on the relatively), what with headlines in the NY Times about the Taliban being routed in Kandahar province.

But this morning brought the news that Joao Silva, a NY Times photographer, had stepped on a land mine and "was wounded in his legs." Three American soldiers were also injured by the mine.

Joao Silva has had a remarkable career. As one of four members of the "Bang-Bang Club," he was responsible for some startling images of the apartheid era in South Africa. He has since worked as a photojournalist in the Balkans, Iraq, and now Afghanistan.

Here he is talking about one of his South Africa photographs.

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for all.

October 24 Update: Lens, the NY Times blog, has a feature on Silva here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Enthusiasm Gap

If you're disappointed at what Obama has accomplished in a year and a half, you might reconsider after takng a look at Andrew Tobias's post today:
It’s remarkable how poorly we’ve done highlighting the accomplishments of the last 21 months – but that does not mean they weren’t real, or that it’s not crucial that we keep moving forward.
From the Washington Post:

. . . Reasonable people can debate whether the stimulus was big enough or whether Dems could have passed a more comprehensive health reform law. But you would have thought few would debate that this Congress is one of the most ambitious and productive in decades in terms of the sheer number and scale of successful legislative initiatives.

Yet despite passing an enormous stimulus that many credit with rescuing us from disaster, passing health reform after a half century of failure, rescuing the auto industry, and successfully completing the biggest overhaul of Wall Street regulations since the Great Depresssion, only one third of Democrats think this Congress has achieved more than other recent ones. . . .
Take a look at the rest of Obama's accomplishments, if you've got an hour or two.

Talking about Income Disparity is Socialist

Steve Benen over at Political Animal has a great screen capture from Fox News:

Addressing the disparity of income in America is something only socialists do, apparently. Read Benen's whole post; it'll only take a minute, and it's worth it.

Still Alive

The Tea Partiers don't believe in global warming. “They’re trying to use global warming against the people,” Ms. Deaton said. “It takes way our liberty.”

“Being a strong Christian,” she added, “I cannot help but believe the Lord placed a lot of minerals in our country and it’s not there to destroy us.”

Would somebody translate that "takes away our liberty" business for me? You hear it all the time from the Tea Partiers. What liberty is anybody trying to take away? Okay, there's the liberty [metaphor coming] to dump your night soil in the village well; we want to take that liberty away, yes. But what else, exactly?

Meanwhile, Juan Williams finally got canned at NPR. I'd largely stopped listening to NPR because of his "analysis," which consisted of repeating things he'd heard over at Fox News. Apparently he actually said, "I'm not a bigot, ... but ..." and then said some stupid things about Muslims. Fox News, where anti-Muslim bigotry is an article of faith, took no action.

Gail Collins can still make me laugh at it all.