18 October 2006

Keep Your Ribbons

In his recent comprehensive post on TruthDig, Stan Goff, a retired veteran of the US Army Special Forces, discusses the evolution of the Rumsfeld Doctrine and its application in Iraq. Here's one passage that caught my eye:
Every time I see one of those insipid yellow-ribbon magnets now, I think of Charlie Anderson, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “I just want to ask those people,” says Anderson, referring to those who display the yellow-ribbon magnets, “when is the last time you wrote one of those soldiers? How many of them do you actually know? How many have really asked us, what did you do there? I wanna tell them, we don’t need your fucking ribbons. We need help and jobs.”
The whole essay is well worth reading, and you can do that right here.

05 October 2006

Salad Days

Are you getting tired of waiters coming to your table with a 3-foot-high pepper grinder asking if you'd like "fresh ground pepper" on your salad? Well, so is Nora Ephron, who unloaded last month on the New York Times Op-Ed page, God bless her. Ephron's a much better writer than I am, so I'll let her do the talking:
Many years ago, they used to put salt and pepper on the table in a restaurant, and here's how they did it: there was a salt shaker and there was a pepper shaker. The pepper shaker contained ground black pepper, which was outlawed in the 1960s and replaced by the Permanent Floating Pepper Mill and the Permanent Floating Pepper Mill refrain: "Would you like some fresh ground black pepper on your salad?" I've noticed that almost no one wants some fresh ground black pepper on his salad. Why they even bother asking is a mystery to me.
Ephron tackles some other restaurant annoyances in the column, which you can read here.