Skip to main content

Open Thread for Night Owls
Tonight's selection in which the razor-tongued driftglass gives Tom "Taxi Driver Told Me" Friedman's latest column a good licking:
When pawing through Mr. Friedman's latest steaming heap of glue-huffing ramble, it is sometimes easy to forget that "writing" is what he gets paid to do. To this towering mediocrity great boons are granted, princely sums are bestowed, unimaginably privileged access to the world's elite is give and all of it is based on their ability to line 800 words up in a row and then subdivide those words with punctuation a couple of times a week.

That's it. That is literally all he does.

If he were a policy wonk or historians or economists or pipe-fitter or thoracic surgeon or paper-maker or cartographer or COBOL programmer or blacksmith or vintage steamer truck restorer who also happened to be an incredibly bad writer, well, that would be another thing entirely. Depressing, perhaps. A statement about the generally sad state of literacy in America, perhaps. But not surprising.

Hell, since I was but a wee driftglass, on almost any gig I have ever had, one of the little side-jobs I invariably ended up with has been fixing up other people's writing.  Because — from chairman or vice-president or commissioner to research assistant — one thing that has been a constant (and has been getting consistently worse) at all levels of almost every organization I have ever worked for is the poor quality of the writing.  

My own blog frequently suffers from verbal nail pops and jigsaw cuts that are executed at less than a perfect 45-degree angle. I figured out long ago that my writer's brain (get it out fast!) and my editor's brain (clean it up thoroughly) simply operate on different circuits and cannot work together harmoniously when I am banging stuff out of horseback. I take full responsibility for every jot and tittle of my own errata which, you have my word, would not be there if I allowed myself the luxury of letting my words cool for 3-4 days.

Or if I had, say, the bottomless research and editorial resources of The New York Times at my command.

When you are in the business of putting words in a row, in the end it will always be the quality of those words that counts. The craft with which you lined them up. It does not matter if this year you are revered by fools or next year you are praised by sycophants; eventually all of that sound and fury dies away and your words are left orphaned to stand or fall on their own. And since Mr. Friedman's words so obviously and consistently stink on ice, I can only imagine that the real story behind why America's Newspaper of Record continues to allow such a buffoon to shit all over whatever is left of its international reputation must be one helluva rousing tale.

For another acid dismantling of the same Friedman column, check out Matt Taibbi here.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011:

Having failed to intimidate the NLRB into dropping its complaint against Boeing for moving work from Washington state to South Carolina in retaliation for Washington workers exercising their legal rights, House Republicans are moving a bill that would make it impossible for the NLRB to actually do anything about it when companies do break the law:

Introduced less than 48 hours before the committee vote, H.R. 2587 would remove the only meaningful remedy available to workers if a company illegally moves operations or eliminates work because workers engaged in protected activities such as organizing a union. An employer can outsource for any reason, except for an unlawful reason. Retaliating against workers for exercising their rights under the National Labor Relations Act is one unlawful reason.

“These rights to organize and collectively bargain are meaningless if there is no effective remedy when they are violated,” said Miller. “The impact of this change would be wide-ranging.”

If a company wanted to move jobs overseas or subcontract work because their workers exercised their legal rights ... well, it would still be illegal for them to do so. It's just that if they did, the NLRB couldn't make them move the jobs back.
The bill has little chance of getting past the Senate and the president, but it once again shows where Republicans' priorities lie.


Tweet of the Day:

My sources in the Romney campaign tell me the remainder of his trip will consist of silent tributes to the countries he visits.
@NixonRising via web


Logo - Daily Kos Radio
Tune in Monday to Friday from 9-11 AM ET for Daily Kos Radio, hosted by David Waldman a/k/a KagroX. You can listen here. Two great shows on Daily Kos Radio today. Kagro in the Morning from 9-11 am ET, then The Ministry of Truth from 11-12. Find playable and downloadable podcasts of both shows here.

Kagro in the Morning: Link

The Ministry of Truth: Link


High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site