Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some links

One of Obama's first acts on his first day was to call President Mubarak of Egypt, Olmert of Israel, Abbas of the PA, and King Abdullah of Jordan. It's nice to see the President caring about the Middle East.

From DipNote (already, I know), an update on the international response to piracy off Somalia.

Advocates for the Geneva Conventions and the rule of law, as well as anybody who doesn't like crazy detention and torture policy, should be happy to see Neal Katyal Principal Deputy Solicitor General.

A linguistic analysis of racial dialect in Obama's inaugural. I can't decide if this piece is a total trainwreck of unnecessarily racialized horror, a well-meaning attempt that ends up trying for too many reaches, or legitimately interesting. I think there are some aspects of all three. The last paragraph definitely makes me unhappy, though:
So: The son of an African immigrant picks up a sonority of speaking from the descendants of slaves brought here from Africa centuries before--and then uses it to help seduce a nation full of descendants of slaveholders into making him their master. Linguistically as in so many ways, Obama embodies the extent to which we are all more "fellow citizens"--as he opened his oration--than we might think.

I mean, "master"? Really? That's not only a heavily laden term in this context, it's the kind of thing you'd read over at The Corner written by people who were expecting the inauguration to feature him lighting Abe Lincoln's Bible on fire, producing a turban from under his jacket, and screaming "FARRAKHAN 4EVAHZ YO!" before demonstrating the proper application of jihad by beheading Justice Stevens to the accompaniment of an illegally immigrated mariachi band and Bill Ayers on the banjo.

Plus, it's not like nobody noticed the topsy-turviness of a black man being elected President, you know? Stick to linguistics.

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