When we were putting S&R together in 2007 I hunted down Gavin Chait and begged him to join us. He’s one of the smartest guys I know, a relentless, good faith thinker and someone you can count on to hit you with a perspective you hadn’t thought about. He wrote our very first post and also penned at least one of our absolute very best posts.
We don’t always agree, though. (Which is good – how boring would it be if we did?) In a recent post, Gavin addressed the topic of the latest Discworld novel in a post entitled “Terry Pratchett and the redemption of the Orcs.” If you review the post and the comment thread you’ll see that I take Gavin to task for misrepresenting Pratchett. Gavin’s reply (@2) neatly gets to his overarching point: Continue reading →
Scene: The Oval Office Time: Daily briefing with senior staff Speaker: The President, perplexed, pacing, nodding
Let’s talk politics today and re-election, no holds barred. I arrive here every morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, flush with my perpetual audacity of hope, but lately my dander is up. Maybe no one could preside over this fragmented country. But to hover at 40% approval — with our wave of legislative triumphs second in modern times to LBJ — and under greater duress? Who’d predict a year out our re-election would be in doubt – especially against this gang of has-beens, misfits, clowns, losers and wannabes? If I didn’t have my formidable self-esteem, I’d feel insulted [smiles, boyishly]. Continue reading →
OK, what’s wrong with the following paragraph (from this story):
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will take steps to remove 20 rodent control products from the marketplace because they contain toxic chemicals.
Last I checked, the entire point of rat poison was that you were trying to kill rats with “toxic chemicals.”
Reading the rest of the article it becomes clear that the EPA is removing the rat poisons from the market because they’re deemed unsafe to people in comparison to other products that are safe(r). In other words, the issue isn’t that the rat poisons contain toxic chemicals, but rather that the toxic chemicals are too easily accessed by people, especially children.
I don’t know who was responsible for that lede, whether it was the piece’s author or the editor, but that individual either didn’t know the necessary science or was in way too constrained, in terms of time or words, to write an accurate lede.