Sunday, November 8, 2009

From the top of my head...

Some random musings...

- As previously mentioned on this blog, I want to continue to point out where the web needs an editor. On one of the Foreign Policy blogs (yes, I know it's a blog which technically shouldn't fit my criteria for editing issues but does because it is on the site of a major magazine in the US), one writer wanted to discuss unfair things but instead wrote of the flightless bird commonly associated with dinner table. On her blog, Elizabeth Dickinson wrote And other skeptics cried fowl. Personally, I'm calling foul on this post. Sure, it's easy enough to make a mistake like this but surely one of the editors on the site would have caught it and remedied this phrase before it went to production but apparently not. (I should caveat that my citation here is not intended to impinge upon the subject of her post, only the grammar used within.)

I will not even go into several recent sightings of the word "site" when referencing a citation (cite) of someone else. But no need to worry, when I cite another site with an issue, I will always endeavor to make it plainly clear the site I wish to cite. Come to think of it, that last sentence is really hurting my sight.

- News comes today that Iraq's MP's have agreed upon needed election reforms for the upcoming election in January of 2010. This will hopefully ensure that the continuing project in democracy for the nation will proceed along the lines originally envisioned upon the embarkation of US forces in the country in 2003. This does not mean that invasion of Iraq was justified at the time, merely that hopefully this will allow for the best of a bad situation that should never have been. Now, if only the recently botched elections in Afghanistan would allow for such a hopeful ending. Alas, the greater likelihood is that the Obama administration has hitched its horse to a cart that is unlikely to follow it to where it wants to go. Perhaps it is worth considering whether the US and the UN should have been more concerned about establishing a nation with real security and opportunity than elections that may not stand without that same security and opportunity for its citizens. This is not to denigrate elections, merely that elections in Afghanistan are about as useful as elections in Somalia.

- It's interesting how the first thing that everyone wanted to know was if the shooter at Ft. Hood earlier this week was Muslim. There were conflicting stories early on about his religious affiliation and, to date, no confirmation on a reason for the massacre in the first place. But that certainly has not stopped anyone in the mainstream media (or any number of blogs) from constantly mentioning that the shooter just happens to be a Muslim. Sure, there is a current war involving Islamic extremists but constantly harping on the fact that the perpetrator of a massacre on a military base is a Muslim without supporting evidence that the motive behind his crime was his religion only serves to inflame public opinion. It may well be that the shooter was motivated by his religious convictions but to surmise without factual evidence is nothing more than poor journalism.

- I had heard a reference to this earlier and thought it must be the sign of someone who was either completely insane or someone who seriously was in love with authoritarian communism. Turns out that I was wrong on both counts. Though, in view of the argument put forth by the South Korean government, legal troubles in one country are always a popular excuse to defect to another nation. (I'm sure that Roman Polanski can sympathize.) And while the North Koreans are publicly celebrating anyone defecting to their nation, it stands to reason that it won't be long before Mr. Kang is wishing he were in a South Korean jail versus anywhere in the north.

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