Friday, January 4, 2008
My one thought on the Iowa caucus
The Obama who gets panned in Paul Krugman columns and sundry blog posts -- the one who just wants to make nice with Republicans and doesn't care about progressive values -- doesn't seem to be on the podium tonight.Now, I have no doubt that this is what Matt saw when he heard the speech -- but compelling political speeches are often like Rohshach tests -- you see what you want to see. The speech I heard was one where Obama certainly touched on a lot of progressive themes, but one in which he also took pains to speak in very nonpartisan terms:
You have done what America can do in this New Year, 2008. In lines that stretched around schools and churches; in small towns and big cities; you came together as Democrats, Republicans and Independents to stand up and say that we are one nation; we are one people; and our time for change has come.Now I'm not saying Matt is wrong and I'm right. What I'm saying is that a politician who can make different people hear what they want to hear -- or just be compelled to actively listen -- is not someone who is going to be brought low easily.
Or maybe it's me. Watch for yourself and post your reaction:
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Worst student sentences...revealed!!!
Last month, I asked professors to "post, in the comments, the single-worst sentence you have read in a student paper."
And lo, academics from around the land heard of this contest, and proffered their best quotes. And, lo, the results are in.....
And the result is..... a three-way tie!!!
Reading through the entries, it quickly became apparent that there were three different kind of bad sentences, each deserving of their own award.
The first kind relies on a really bad malapropism. The winner in this category is... from David Sousa:
Given politicians' efforts to maninpulate coverage, citizens cannot easily distinguish between fact and fornication.The second kind relies on really, really bad writing. And the winner in this category is BN, who submitted the following sentence:
The Civil War lasted no more than four years, but the red and blue blood that was spilt will last a life time.In the final and most difficult category, the writer must demonstrate a near-complete lack of factual or analytical control over the subject matter. And the hands-down winner in this category is Diodotus, with the following grad student sentence:
In order to make an intelligent argument, I determined that I first had to have a genuine understanding of the conflict. I sought this information in several books because I felt that they would be the most unbiased and factual.Thanks to one and all for participating -- and students should not fear, as their opportunity to strike back will be coming tomorrow.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Your 2008 predictions.... today!!
Greetings from the year 2008!
You poor people who have to wait... uh... several hours before the new year have no idea what awaits you!! You'll commute to work by helicopter or jetpack and wear aluminum-colored clothing. Curiously, the communication devices will be clunkier than current cellular phones.
In the waning hours of 2007 and the beginning hours of 2008, however, it seems appropriate to provide loyal readers with a place to post predictions for 2008. So, the bold amongst you are asked to hereby predict the following:
1) The presidential nominee for the Democratic Party;My submission is below the fold....
1) Barack Obama (I'm sticking with my original prediction on this, but I'll admit that I can think of way too many land mines over the next few months)