Writing Exercise

Here’s an interesting exercise.

Read this post by Jeff Jarvis. Warning- it’s calculated to boil the blood of most Common Room scholars.

Now take a deep breath and read this response by Hugh Hewitt.

Next take notes. Which man sounds angrier? Why? What words and phrases seem to carry more bitterness? Make a short list of some of the harshest points. Now rewrite them so that they still communicate the author’s meaning, but in a gentler fashion.

In Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick complains that Beatrice ‘speaks poniards, and every word stabs.’ Beatrice is very funny. But is she winsome and persuasive?

Try, for a moment, to ignore the content of the above articles and judge only on style. Which of them is more persuasive? What can you learn and apply to your own writing from these two articles?

Update One: The Headmistress botched it again. This post is not by Pipsqueak.

Update Two: We are shocked and a little flustered to learn that Jeff Jarvis of the Buzz Machine has taken notice of our writing assignment. He says he’s auditing the course. We didn’t know the textbook could audit the course, but we won’t be so foolhardy as to argue with Mr. Jarvis about it.

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Treating the Disabled to Death

On March 11th, I referred to Christopher Nolan here in The Quality of Life, the Quality of Mercy

I said that “Mr. Nolan points out that one of the greatest ironies of this age is that now, when technology opens up opportunities and chances for life for the disabled that nobody could have ever even imagined 200 years ago, the ‘opportunity’ many of the able bodied are most anxious to share with the disabled is the chance to kill themselves, or to have the deed done to them under medical supervision. Neither Mr. Nolan nor our Cherub pose a threat to anybody. Neither of them can harm, maim, or kill another human being. So why would some prefer to see people like them aborted, quitely put to sleep, or, as in the case of Terri Shiavo, denied food and hydration?”

Joe Ford, a Harvard man with what I gather is severe C.P. makes some sharp observations about how Americans deal with the disabled here.

He points out that

“…society already believes to some degree that it is acceptable to murder disabled people.
As Schiavo starves to death, we are entering a world last encountered in Nazi Europe. Prior to the genocide of Jews, Gypsies, and Poles, the Nazis engaged in the mass murder of disabled children and adults, many of whom were taken from their families under the guise of receiving treatment for their disabling conditions. The Nazis believed that killing was the highest form of treatment for disability.”

He has more to say about it. Please go read. Bonnet tip to Powerline

Update: The Headmistress posted this. I didn’t realize this computer was still signed in under Pip’s account.

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Earthquake in Indonesia

Earthquake off the coast of

Maps here, here, and one of Sri Lanka here.

Helping Hands International
is one relief program I’m aware of. I’m sure there are many others.

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This is…..JennyAnyDots 🙂

Spring is on the way!!!!

I went on a walk through the woods with my cousins today. The weather was beautiful,
fresh, and sharp. We were able to see shoots of grass, flowers, and Poison Hemlock; we do not like this plant. The birds were so loud we almost had to yell to be heard above the racket.

I found some lovely poems about spring I wish to share.

Spring, Almost

The sunshine gleams so bright and warm,
The sky is blue and clear.
I run outdoors without a coat,
And spring is almost here.

Then before I know it,
Small clouds have blown together,
Till the sun just can’t get through them,
And again, it’s mitten weather.

A little madness in the Spring / Is wholesome even for the King.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) US poet

When Spring Appears

give lusty cheers
when spring appears
when spring appears.

Buds and seeds
prick up their ears
and blades of grass
show eager spears.

And only icicles
weep tears
when spring appears
when spring appears

Author: Aileen Fisher

I hope you got as much joy out of these poems as I did!

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Right and Wrong are Reflected by Laws, Not Determined by Them

Mark Steyn on the Terri Schiavo case:

A couple of decades back, north of the border, it was discovered that some overzealous types in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had been surreptitiously burning down the barns of Quebec separatists. The prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, shrugged off the controversy and blithely remarked that, if people were so upset by the Mounties illegally burning down barns, perhaps he’d make the burning of barns by Mounties legal. As the columnist George Jonas commented:

”It seemed not to occur to him that it isn’t wrong to burn down barns because it’s illegal, but it’s illegal to burn down barns because it’s wrong. Like other statist politicians, Mr. Trudeau . . . either didn’t see, or resented, that right and wrong are only reflected by the laws, not determined by them.”

Read the rest.

Captain Ed suggests we use this horrifying case to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Be sure to read the comments, too.

Kathleen Walker in a letter to the editor makes some disturbing allegations. I’d like to find out if they are true or not.

Questions nobody has answered for me:

Why, if Michael and Judge Greer have only Terri’s wishes in mind, do they refuse to permit anybody to put so much as an eyedropper of water in her mouth? What is the big deal about that? What law permits them to deny this woman spoon feeding?

Why, if they are so sure she is brain-dead, do they refuse to permit Terri’s parents (or anybody else) to take pictures of Terri? Why the secrecy? What are they so afraid of?

Why does Michael have a standing order to have Terri cremated and why has Judge Greer denied it?

If Terri’s wish is really to die, why is she holding on to life so hard? Nine days without food or water?

For those Christians who believe Terri is already dead and died 15 years ago- where do you think the soul resides?

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