"Super-Pneumonia" or Super Scare?

“At this writing, SARS appears to have killed 49 people out of 1323 afflicted according to the World Health Organization, a death rate of less than four percent. In Hong Kong, that alleged ‘worst medical disaster’ has killed ten people out of 316 known victims. But since this only takes into account those ill enough to seek medical help, the actual ratio of deaths to infections is certainly far less.”…

Mysterious Baghdad Web log keeper captivates cyberspace

“Every day, tens of thousands of people turn to the Web seeking updates from a mysterious scribe whose detailed accounts of life in besieged Baghdad have made him a cyberspace celebrity. | Little is known for sure about Salam Pax, whose nom de plume means ‘peace’ in Arabic and Latin. But his Web journal – ostensibly written from his Baghdad home – vividly criticizes the authoritarian rule of Saddam Hussein…

History and the Heirs of the Republic

“Unfortunately, teaching well doesn’t mean that most kids will enjoy it, certainly not most of the time…. I describe the agony of Valley Forge. I show kids the simple genius of the Constitution. I let them test the principles in the Bill of Rights. I tell them about the Trail of Tears and Dred Scott. I read them Lincoln’s words, ‘charity for all and malice toward none.’ I try to…

Peter Arnett: Shortest Comeback Ever

“I get a perverse pleasure out of being here. CNN dumped me, and I think unfairly. Tailwind was almost a deathblow to my career, no doubt about it. (In 1999 Arnett was fired by CNN after delivering a report that U.S. forces used nerve gas on U.S. defectors during the Vietnam War. The story, dubbed Tailwind, was later determined to be untrue. Arnett defended himself by saying that he was…

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Surprise, Mom: I'm Anti-Abortion

“Miss Dahl was one of numerous students in her class who chose to make speeches about abortion, and most took the anti-abortion side. | ‘I was shocked that there were that many students who felt strong enough and confident enough to speak about being pro-life,’ said Nina Verin, a parent of another student in the class (whose oral argument was about war in Iraq). ‘The people I associate with in…

Going Nuclear over Nucular

“Language bullying… advances a stuffy and old-fashioned view of language, the rules of which it considers set by supposed experts, such as the authors of grammar books, rather than common usage. It is deeply anti-populist and snobby, not to mention just plain wrong and cranky…. I suspect many of Bush’s critics would want to avoid the distasteful varieties of prescriptivism that amount to little more than ‘white speech good, black…

Lileks Introduces Orality and Literacy Theory to the Battlefield:

“Perhaps [the] most accurate metaphor for this war occurs whenever the news runs a feed from an Arabic language station. Our crawl runs in one direction; theirs runs in the other. You almost expect the crawls to twine like DNA and start fighting – and in that case, the English language would lose. Arabic is so spiky. However lovely the poetic sentiments might be, it still looks like knives and…