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Alex Baer

The Burro-Burrow Test: Too High a Hurdle?

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There is a great story about an editor at UPI long ago, back in the 1970s, who inserted advice to journalists in a foreword to that organization's style guide for writers:  A burro is an ass, a burrow is a hole in the ground:  you are expected to know the difference between the two.

What great advice for Republican candidates vying for their party's coronation!  These guys are already phenomenally low in wattage as illumination of any real issue goes, so, that simple advice should be hugely helpful to them, too!  Anyone claiming to be a journalist today should take a brush-up quiz on that one, too -- along with the mandate to keep opinion out of news, to just report the facts without endless analysis, rather than slip in personal notions, dressed up as The News.  But then again, that Fox case says mainstream media's free to lie, so, what's the big deal -- opinion is much easier to cover and generate, for sure.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 March 2012 20:25 Read more...

Playing the Odds

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We have no idea what oddsmakers in 'Vegas would say to the chances of the Holy See being seen in Gucci sunglasses, or spotted wearing Prada loafers to boot, and commissioning a new, top-secret cologne, as the papal nose knows quality, nay?  And yea, a lot has come to pass, in that pass of time.  In more than 2-thousand years of acquiring wealth and property of all kinds, it is likely his holiness can afford it, have a tiny reward on this Earth.

The Catholic Church's precise wealth is unknown -- their specialists, truly, are often quoted saying, "Only God knows" -- but it's likely on the far side of eternally vast:  One could safely bet on that, especially after the miracle of compounding kicked in, across all that immense slate of time.  The rest of us try to have our prayers answered in much smaller ways.  We have no special Prefecture for Economic Affairs to help us manage our holdings of liquid assets.  There's scarcely a need for such intricate super-infrastructure in managing our liquid wealth:  some juice, a little milk, a few pops, a couple beers.

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 March 2012 20:38 Read more...

More Facts, Set to Stun

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You remember the paralyzing ray, the sound effect, the beam of light flashing across the screen toward its target and -- bingo!  Zapped! All consciousness we had was momentarily checked out, no longer in the building, not on the planet, but caught up in Star Trek, caught and stunned, captured by the light of the ray.

This is how it's been feeling in encounters with media of any kind on this world, and with almost half of its citizens.  First, the flash of light, then, the ticklish electrical sensations begin, like swarming ants on the skin, the intensity gaining strength as the beam -- its first few nanoseconds aboard -- plays havoc with the body's bio-current, then, pulses stronger, threatening to shut down the computing center, up over the eyebrows... Then it does: blackout.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 March 2012 20:37 Read more...

Colossal & Tiny Meanings of Life

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After a long, dusty, dirty spell on Political Row, taking in the various forms of Republican roadkill -- best they can muster in this, the Year of GOP Mass Hysteria & Ignorance, c. 1312 -- it is a soothing relief to bathe a while in modern, scientific waters, sponge off some grime, replenish logic and sanity lost in skirmishes with the heavily duped and dumbed-down.

There is nothing like strolling among some new discoveries and thoughts to help illuminate parts of the path one might be on, to help leave behind the same old, lame, old laments, and be rid of the filth oozed from intractable GOP obsessions with constant obstruction at all levels, at all costs, not matter what price all the People must pay.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 March 2012 19:31 Read more...

Down the Rabbit Hole, into the Job Jar

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Every time I look up from what I'm doing, another Republican is charging off into some self-made fray, seated backwards, on a mechanical pony -- the kind bolted to the floor, requiring a quarter to rock back and forth -- shouting incoherently, trying to make the metal animal charge faster, trying to make it back up, all the way.

The screeching and screeds are usually about mandating religion in the schools and some neo-creationist harangue, or else revising the history books to show how wonderful and not-at-all demented they themselves are, or about GOP men's rights to dictating vaginal probes into women's vaginas and their God-given rights in specifying women's health care, or else it's some frothy meringue regarding how the non-job-creating but-still-so-called "job creators," corporations and the rich, should be spared paying any taxes as their forbears once gladly did.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:55 Read more...

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