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09 February 2006

Playing with Words

Check this out. It's an entire blog on the difference that just a few words can, and does make, in the impressions and attitudes that a news article can leave with its reader.

CNN vs. FOX, etc.: Gonzales: Domestic Eavesdropping OR Terrorism Surveillance

It fascinates me, how 2 atricles on something can be so similarly factual, and yet leave you with completely opposite feels. I am so much more comfortable with "terrorism surveillance" than with "domestic eavesdropping" - but they're really the same thing. One of my early English teachers called this sort of thing "purr words" and "snarl words," and I'm thinking that may have been one of the most significant English lessons that I had. It's certainly the one that I've remembered the longest, unless you count all those 8th grade english classes where I watched the clock's second hand go around, just to have something to do.

A Different Take on Those Cartoons

Newsweek: Holy War~The cartoon brouhaha really illustrates the divisions within the Muslim community, not with the West.

The worldwide uproar over the cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, printed in a Danish newspaper and reprinted across Europe, has little to do with what's in the headlines. In fact, those obscure the real—and critical—issues at stake...

Interesting article. It's nice to see someone thinking about the issue, rather than just reacting. The problems that this article talks about are similar to Christian issues that are brought to light by groups like the American Family Association, who have recently protested a number of shows on NBC that were degrading to the Christian faith, just as the cartoons were degrading to the Muslim faith. It's nice to see that at least some of the time the different religions are able to work together.

05 February 2006

Creation and Evolution in the Schools

Meridian Magazione: Creation and Evolution in the Schools
by Orson Scott Card

When somebody — anybody — asks hard questions of a theory, then the scientific answer is never "shut up and go away." The scientific answer is, "Let's see if we can find out."

Some interesting commentary on this article can be found here.

01 February 2006

About Alito

So, they've confirmed Justice Alito. Here's an article on Newsday.com that I read, with a very nice photo gallery (including the photo below) from the confirmation hearings.

Newsday.com: amid bitter split, Senate OK's Alito

I am very pleased that the fillibuster was blocked - Justice Alito deserved to be voted on. Fillibusters seem to be a trick that is trotted out anytime that the Democrats think they are about to lose, and they are not fair to the nominees, and even less fair to the American People. (I'm sure the Republicans will be just as bad the next time they're the minority.)

I am cautiously pleased that Justice Alito was, in fact, confirmed. In a lot of ways, I'm holding my final decision until I see some of his decisions. In reality, I doubt that most Americans are able to follow the proceedings very well. I did well in school, I have a college education, and yet when I was trying to listen to the Senate's hearings on NPR I couldn't listen for very long, largely because between the Senators sounding more like Inquisitors and the fact that mostly they were talking in legalese, it was very difficult to listen to. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any Babelfish sites that translate from legalese into common English, and I don't really trust the media's interpretation to be fair or objective. I am, however, comforted by the American Bar Association giving him a rating of "well-qualified" for the position. After doing some reading on Wikipedia about the Federalist Society, which Justice Alito is a member of, I am a little more confident that he will intrpret the law, rather than try to become a legislator as many judges have been doing recently. In spite of all the fuss and hype around this, I suspect that when push comes to shove, Justice Alito will do a pretty good job.

Wikipedia: Samuel A. Alito Jr.
SourceWatch: Samuel A. Alito, Jr.


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