Saturday, January 20, 2007

...And I Get Feedback

As predicted, the Grand Rapids Press Public Pulse is beginning to get responses to my letter on Gerald Ford and East Timor. Yesterday had this gem:

Mr. Joel Swagman's Pulse letter on Jan. 10 "President Ford and East Timor" is a classic example of Shakespeare's account of what Marc Anthony stated at Caesar's Funeral "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones."

Actually, that's pretty mild, isn't it? It's hardly raking me over the coals. If this is the worst feedback I get, I'd say I'm doing pretty well. If memory serves, there was bloody hell the last time this issue was in the "Public Pulse". Not to mention all those weeks of criticism we got in the "Public Pulse" over the Rehnquist affair.

And yet, you still have to wonder what exactly this guy is smoking. The GR Press and the local media spend untold hours and pages praising Ford as the next candidate for sainthood. I get two paragraphs buried in the "Letters to the Editor" section (to my knowledge the only thing critical printed about Ford in any of the mainstream local media), and all of a sudden the demagogues have taken over and everything good about Ford has been forgotten?

....And speaking of demagogues, I'm not sure this guy gets Shakespeare. If you remember from the play, Marc Antony uses this phrase as a rhetorical trick to make the crowd forget what a tyrant Caesar had become, and shift the blame onto the assassins instead. It's not meant to be taken as a literal truism. In fact taken in context, you could say that Shakespeare was arguing the opposite: Beware of people who praise dead politicians too much and overlook their faults.
(Shakespeare's account wasn't historically accurate, but we'll leave that part alone for now.)

Useless Wikipedia Fact
The tannins in coffee may reduce the cariogenic potential of foods. In vitro experiments have shown that these polyphenolic compounds may interfere with glucosyltransferase activity of mutans streptococci, which may reduce plaque formation. In rat experiments, tea polyphenols reduced caries. [14

Link of the Day
"Mother Goose Goes to Hollywood" cartoon on youtube. Apparently this cartoon has been banned for racism, but I remember watching it when I was a little kid. It must have taken them a while. At any rate the impressions of 1930s Hollywood celebrities are worth watching

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