<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: July 2005

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rights for Iraqi women are retrogressing

You know the constitution Iraq is in the process of writing? As it stands right now, Iraqi women's rights are about to be set back 50 years. New family law provisions inserted by the ruling Shiite religious parties would make Koranic law the supreme authority on marriage, divorce, and inheritance.

If this constitution is adopted, women from Shiite families would be stripped of their rights to choose their own husbands, inherit property on an equal basis with men, and seek court protection if their husbands decide to declare them divorced. Less severe laws would be imposed on Sunni women, but only because the draft constitution weirdly allows for separate systems of family law in the same country. Considering that Sunnis and Shiites marry each other all the time, this is not only offensive but completely impractical.

So in other words, personal freedoms that survived even Saddam Hussein's tyranny are about to be lost under a democratic government sponsored and protected by the United States.

As the NY Times asks, "Is this the kind of freedom President Bush claims is on the march in the Middle East? Is this the example America hopes Iraq will set for other states in the region? Is this the result that American soldiers, men and women, are sacrificing their lives for?"


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Spot the "aprotypo"

An aprotypo is an apropos typo - a self-referential, sometimes ironic boo boo. This one is from Tom Tomorrow's otherwise brilliant "This Modern World" cartoon of July 19.

(Karl Rove to President Bush) "Hey, mister Bush! I'm tryin' to help my reporter friend Matt avoid a really embarassing mistake!"


Monday, July 18, 2005

Slow down, NY Times

That rarity of rarities has finally occurred at the NY Times: Not just one, but two typos in a single sentence. The boo-boos appear in the online abstract for an article headlined "Near a Breakthrough at the Baltimore Symphony," and ironically, the two misspelled words are spelled correctly in that headline. OK, enough hints - see if you can AVOID spotting the boo boos:

"If Marin Alsop's appointment as the next music director of
the Balitmore Sympnony is ratified, she will become the
first woman to lead a major American orchestra."


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Candy. Toys. Eighteen dead children.

Think this will improve our image in Iraq? Yesterday a suicide car bomb exploded next to U.S. troops handing out candy and toys, killing 18 children and injuring 70. Twelve of the dead were 13 or younger; six were between 14 and 17. An American soldier was also killed.

Even though the abhorrent act provided a welcome distraction from the Karl Rove imbroglio, White House press secretary Scott McClellan condemned the bombing, saying it showed that insurgents "have no regard for innocent, human life whether it's men, women, or children.''

But who was handing out the candy and toys? And why? Do we really think we can win Iraqi hearts with such cheap and obvious tricks? If it ever worked before, it probably won't work anymore.


Wanted: Mechanic who can get space shuttle to fly (without exploding)

Yesterday NASA postponed the flight of the space shuttle Discovery because of a malfunction in a fuel sensor that engineers thought they had fixed a month ago.

"All I can say is, Shucks," said N. Wayne Hale, the shuttle program's deputy manager. "We ran out of gas."

If by "gas" he meant "competence," we would have to agree.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

NASA blows up another spacecraft

In today's NY Times: "NASA scored a remarkable triumph this week when it smashed a small spacecraft into an onrushing comet with almost bull's-eye precision."

Why all the hype about NASA's ability to destroy a spacecraft? We thought they had already established their ability to do that...