Burying the lede

Figuring out what Vladimir Putin is going to do next is understandably kind of a hot topic right now. I kind of got in on this act a couple of weeks ago when I first wrote that Crimea might be a flashpoint in the wake of Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster, though to be totally honest I… Continue reading Burying the lede

When did real, honest to goodness facts become things you can “believe” in or not?

I’d honestly never heard of Julie Boonstra before today, and I have no particular interest in debating whether the Affordable Care Act leaves people better off in general (I think it does, marginally, but that’s not the point of this post). What I find astonishing is this: Boonstra said Monday her new plan she dislikes… Continue reading When did real, honest to goodness facts become things you can “believe” in or not?

The Crimean Tatars are not the stuff your dentist scrapes off of your teeth

Now that the whole world is paying attention to Crimea for the first time in about 160 years, it’s becoming apparent that a disturbing number of people still think that the proper name for the Turkic inhabitants of Crimea is “Tartars.” CNN-International, which you would think should know better, was calling them Tartars all day… Continue reading The Crimean Tatars are not the stuff your dentist scrapes off of your teeth

On people who are paid to punch down

Atrios, on Jay Leno: Leno’s an asshole because too much of his comedy involves punching down. Ratings demonstrate lots of people like that, but I didn’t. Glad he’s outta there. Over at Balloon Juice, DougJ expands on “punching down”: More and more, I’m inclined to group everyone I encounter, whether on teevee screen or on… Continue reading On people who are paid to punch down

I’d like to buy the world a Coke, and then tell it to SPEAK ENGLISH

The most controversial thing to come out of Sunday’s Super Bowl wasn’t the lopsided score, or some halftime accident exposing our precious children to the horrors of the partially nude female form, or even the fact that Peyton Manning’s habit of choking in playoff games* is suddenly something we’re allowed to talk about. No, the… Continue reading I’d like to buy the world a Coke, and then tell it to SPEAK ENGLISH

What is a “Man of Peace,” anyway?

The outpouring of “man of peace” eulogies after Ariel Sharon’s death on January 11 got me wondering why we use/abuse that phrase so much. George W. Bush called Sharon a “man of peace” even before the stroke that put Sharon in a coma, so it’s not all that surprising to see editorials from places like… Continue reading What is a “Man of Peace,” anyway?

Soft power means having to say you’re sorry

In Yemen, when Al-Qaeda screws up, they apologize: Qassim al-Rimi, commander of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, said in a video posted on militant websites that the attackers were warned in advance not to enter the hospital within the complex, nor a place for prayer there. But he said one fighter did. “Now we acknowledge… Continue reading Soft power means having to say you’re sorry