Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Opposition Doesn't Delete; It Speaks

From: Micala McMurrian []
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 9:46 AM
To: lee decesare
Subject: Re: PROFANITY: FW: Deconstructing Tribune Editorial Girlfriend Attack on Teacher

I don't know how I came to be on your email list, but I would appreciate it if you would eliminate my name. I read your diatribe. I watched you at the school board meeting last night. You don't speak for me, and your flaming rhetoric is actually harmful. Thanks but no thanks.

Micala, what is your school's name? I will try to eliminate you if I can locate your name in my files but don't promise.

"Flaming rhetoric" started all the world's salubrious and insalubrious changes. Think Thomas Paine and Hitler.

You can't be a history or a literature teacher, one infers, hence having a palate of innocuous, pale expression and existence and fear what Chucer called "God's plenty" in the makeup of the human family. You have my pity and hope that my grandchildren never occupy a seat in the classroom of a teacher with so little scope and imagination.

Question: Why don't you hit the delete key as most sane and even insane people would do? You remind me of Ms. Prime in Anthony Trollope's Rachel Ray. What sexual freedom was to her, "flaming rhetorick" is to you.

I wager you don't have the guts and fluency to get up and speak for yourself if your life and the lives of all the other Hillsborough County teachers affected by bull-in-a-china-shop-simon-legree-comma-challenged-constantly-lying Elia depended on your doing so.

I will post this exchange on THEWALL, a widely read teacher blog, and my leedrurydecesarescasting-roomcouch.blogpot so as to give you a wider audience. I am always willing to assist a timid soul take the next step in joining the human family.

lee drury de cesare

Monday, April 23, 2007

Deconstructing Tribune Editorial Girlfriend Attacks on Teachers

From: lee decesare []
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 9:17 AM
To: ''; Candy Olson (; edgecomb (; Jack Lamb (; (maryellen.elia@sdhc.k12.fl.); Susan Valdes (; 'Tom Gonzalez'; ''
Cc:; Bruce Burnham;; (; faliero (; Frank Sanchez (; (; Margie (; montolino (; rich (; Stein (; Tiger Bay Club of Tampa (; Warren Rachels (
Subject: Deconstructing Tribune Editorial Girlfriend Attack on Teachers

Deconstructing Tribune Editorial Girlfriend Attack on Teachers


Teachers Should Roll Up Sleeves, Model Ways to Handle Change

In most every business these days, workers find themselves doing more with less. While stressful, it's the only way many companies can stay in business and continue to provide jobs.

Oblivious thinking: Most companies “stay in business” by firing workers and squeezing more work out of survivors, scared to death of losing their jobs.

If you own public companies’ stock as do I, you know CEOs never suffer but get even higher pay packages and perquisites after management fires workers, forces sacrifice on the surviving workers, and stock prices go down.

Ms. Elia and the administration deadbeats haven’t lowered their bloated salaries. Nor has the Board cared enough for teachers to require sacrifices from cozened ROSSAC featherbedding bureaucrats.

The School Board piles more money and perquisites on Ms. Elia to make her pay package even more bloated. The Board allowed her to steal $48,000 from teachers as “bonus” for teachers’ work in raising student performance as if her bloated $262,000 salary weren’t revolting enough. I have a request in for public information to Public Affairs to give me a total for La Elia’s trips, etc. for one year. I expect a whopping amount of tax money looted for La Elia to swan around in her comma-challenged skylarking.

Joining the rhetorical bromidic level of this Tribune editorial, I say misery loves company: this advice to teachers is autobiographical. The Tribune laid off people recently, not because the paper wasn’t making money but because profits weren’t high enough. Logic says remaining workers pick up slack with increased work loads and fear their heads too will go on the chopping block.

If the Tribune is so keen on this roll-up-your sleeves advice, why doesn’t management test it by telling the so-far surviving reporters to work a day gratis? Why doesn’t management order columnist Dan Ruth to produce an extra column a week free of charge? See how these react to this directive if fear doesn’t paralyze them. Tribune newsroom proletariat may replicate teacher rebellion when pushed to do more work without pay.

The reading public, of course, can look forward to overtime editorials—a bonus of more signature shallow thinking lacking pith and merit churned out free and coincident with the pile-it-on-the-work sermon editorialists espouse for teachers.

In a perfect world, teachers would be immune from marketplace pressures, as would doctors, nurses, police officers and those in a host of noble professions.

Adjectives give away prejudice: Is there a whiff of resentment for people in these admired jobs, envy due to nobody’s saying editorial writers are “noble”?

The comma cuts off a restrictive trailing adverbial clause.

But reality beckons, so it's not unreasonable to ask Hillsborough County's high school teachers to accept the scheduling changes and workforce re-alignments planned for next year.

We must examine the assumptions of the “reality” this editorial quidnunc invokes. In addition to the Tribune’s being in a spot analogous to that of schools, doesn’t the reality that Ms. Goudreau is girlfriend to La Elia factor into her editorial “reality”? Hence, La Goudreau contrives that the Tribune editorial’s pinioning of teachers is harsh but pulls punches when girlfriend bull-in-a-china-shop Superintendent La Elia messes up again.

And what is working editorial definition of “reasonable”? Reasonable to whom? Is it reasonable for teachers to accept scheduling changes after Ms. Elia slammed out fiat with her signature lack of finesse, declining to invite teachers’ input into solving the problem?

A reasonable person and non-girlfriend of Ms. Elia would say “no.” There were suggestions in the law itself other than the most extreme one that Ms. Elia zeroed in on with no teacher consultation. She ignored the other possibilities in the law and homed in on the most extreme one.

Having lived many years, I can spot a personality that abuses power with relish. Elia is one of those. The first thing she did when she walked into her office as superintendent was respond to a request from another girlfriend County Administrator Pat Bean to punish media specialist Bart Birdsall with the cooked-up charge of sending emails from his home to protest county shutdown of gay library privileges.

Girlfriend Bean allowed use of her name as reference on Elia’s superintendent application. This signaled the potted-plant Board that Elia could extract more money from the county for her to waste with Board collusion. She made a stab at this goal when she recently sent the county inflated student numbers.

I wrote Bean to rebuke her volunteering this unethical use of her name.

Elia’s lust for sadistic use of power catalyzed her forwarding emails Bart Birdsall sent from home computer to county head library bureaucrat, Joe Stines, gay like Bart. Stines was too gutless to complain to Birdsall himself. This gay library poltroon turned home-generated Birdsall emails over to Elia girlfriend Bean, one infers; thence, from Elia they routed to Lucco Brazzi Kipley of Professional Standards.

Abu Ghraib Kipley, home-ec credentialed enforcer of Professional Standards, makes over $120,000 a year to cook up cases against and supervise abuse of teachers in her administration-retaliation cell block.

The made-up Birdsall charge alleged misuse of school emails. The computer department at Elia behest conducted fishing expedition on Birdsall’s school emails to strain out an announcement that he posted on the media bulletin board about a gay march against the county for the Rhonda-Storms anti-gay ordinance. Such postings were purpose of this media community bulletin board.

But Kipley used Bart’s community posting as phantom reason to summon him to her office for psychological-terror session. After La Kipley issued him portentous warnings for a non-offense in her office grilling, she sent Birdsall a registered letter telling him not to do anything illegal again.

I witnessed Elia’s not telling Birdsall that he could file a grievance after she stepped down from the podium the day she spoke at Tiger Bay. When he did file one later on a chance it might succeed, La Elia triumphantly informed him that he was too late when it hit her desk. She had with malice aforethought withheld that filing deadline from him at Tiger Bay.

The Birdsall incident puts administration ethics on display.

Board attorney Tom Gonzalez now assembles an information booklet for teachers referred to Professional standards. It memorializes Bart’s pertinacious complaints to Dr. Lamb. The CTA did not help Bart an iota and does not give teachers cautionary information before they run the Professional-standards gauntlet.

In a moment free from his quest to use Board resources for personal business, Dr. Lamb passed the complaint on to the Board attorney.

Mr. Gonzalez astonished me by remembering he is an officer of the court and taking the matter seriously. Fireworks should go off when Counselor Gonzalez issues his punishment booklet.

I don’t know what happened to the two teachers abused by Kipley at the same time with Bart. They were too scared to join his repeated urgings to join his fight against retaliation. One would burst into tears when talking about the situation. Kipley had kept her from going to her students’ graduation and told her she could not tell anyone what was happening to her in Abu Ghraib. That a teacher would take this kind of sadistic guff astonishes me. I would have slapped Kipley silly and danced on the superintendent’s desk, followed by showing my underwear with cartwheels on the Board dais.

Bart goes to counseling for what his therapist calls post-traumatic syndrome. He survived the retaliation teachers suffer at the hands of a vindictive administration abetted by a somnolent Board. I tell Bart he has made himself untouchable. He has fought the administration bullies and won. They go after weak teachers whom they consider easy pickings. Fight, and they avoid you.

The CTA honcho who accompanied Birdsall to Kipley terror encounter urged him not to file a grievance. That is CTA advice for a teacher under duress. That advice is what issues from a minion of the outfit that milks $500 a year from teachers but won’t post its staff salaries on CTA Web page. Hillsborough County CTA is in bed with the administration. I was union president at my college and can spot collaborators when they come under my scrutiny.

Elia has a taste for abusing her position by demeaning teachers and expects the Board to back her up. The Board does. Then it wrings its hands and issues flabby excuses to a stenographic press.

Summary: Was Ms. Elia’s action reasonable or vindictive and clumsy? A reasonable person picks the last two.

Much of the teachers' anger could have been avoided with better communication from Superintendent MaryEllen Elia, who admits as much. The frustration vented at the April 10 school board meeting was disappointingly reminiscent of last year's debacle over school boundary changes, when parents caught off guard were allowed little input.

The decorative adverb is bane of Strunk & White. The comma is redundant: it cuts off a trailing adverbial clause. Comma lore is the sort of data noble teachers know, and reality-skewing editorial writers don’t.

The passive verbs signal pussyfooting tippytoeing around reality. Let’s spit out the truth with an active verb. Edit: “Superintendent Elia could have avoided the debacle with better communication. She caught parents off guard and allowed them no input.”

La Elia didn’t give teachers a chance for input just as she conspired not to give a say to pleading Westchase parents with weeping tots clinging to their mothers’ skirts for Elia’s ripping them away from familiar schools. She covered up her overbuilding classrooms while she was buildings-department head at the price of uprooting the children of a community. She solved her long-standing budget problem by throwing a radical solution at it without consultation with teachers. The Board looked the other way.

Don’t forget that Elia’s buildings-head perch was where she ignored or colluded with real-estate rip-offs going on under her nose. She claimed she never knew what was going on after a St. Petersburg Times reporter walked in off the street and spotted the scam and wrote a series about it. This experience was what a deaf and dumb Board invoked to hire her over much better qualified candidates.

An examination of the applicants' files showed these had Ph.D.’s, rich experience, and even publishing records that Elia lacked. The Board ignored excellence and lowered hiring standards to fit Elia’s deficient credentials. It lowered PH.D. requirement to Elia’s lesser degree in the $35,000 taxpayer spin ad. The Board with ROSSAC politicos’ direction had picked the inside mediocrity before the ad went out. One deficiency was Elia’s inability to write a mature sentence along with feeble knowledge of where to put a comma.

Why are there such ROSSAC machinations to insert an inside operator as superintendent? The ROSSAC gang lusts to control tax kitty to bloat its salaries and manage subcontracting privileges with the financial mischief subcontracting implies. It wants to control hiring for $100,000-plus administrative jobs; it wants to sucker the Board into bloating its salaries even higher. These twisted education-world bloodsucking parasites want the sadistic psychological power of lording it over trembling staff and teachers by threatening their jobs if they let out a peep.

I talked to Westchase parents after Elia’s Board-sanctioned mauling. They confirmed deception is usual tool in Elia’s supervisory kit. They said La Elia mimed having community meetings by scheduling them at weird times and turning away some parents who showed up. She also had the ROSSAC Community Relations office delay data Westchase parents requested to assess the need for the changes until the day before the Board hearing, at which time Elia’s Community-Relations servants did a document dump on Westchase parents so as to claim that Elia had fulfilled public-information law.

Elia et al had known the dump’s timing made it too late by design for parents to review data. Parent after parent arose at the hearing to tell an indifferent Board this circumstance. The incumbency-besotted-go-along-to-get-along Board passed Elia’s boundary changes nonetheless.

Emboldened with her pretense at informing affected Westchase parents of her boundary bombshell, Elia unloaded similar scam on teachers. She asserted that she had held “over a hundred meetings” to get out the news. But she blindsided teachers as she did Westgate parents.

Elia showed customary contempt for the Board and its supine cave-ins to her whims: she didn’t tell even Board members of the decision.

Read your own reporter Brown’s article. Griffin found out from her son. Valdez learned from “parent email.” Faliera learned “when people came up to her.” Only Kurdell and Olson got the information from Elia in a divide-and-conquer feint—probably on a girlfriend sleepover when the three rolled their hair, sitting in the middle of the, bed knees akimbo, listening to Fifties songs.

Le Lamb wasn’t listening for any announcement, being otherwise occupied in suckering school personnel to write his personal letters on Board stationery for some favor to his condo association and mapping the stream of evolving persiflage to the press when it woke up for a change and caught him out.

The changes are complicated and should have been handled more delicately. Teachers should have been involved from the start so they could share a stake in the solution.

What’s a girlfriend for if not to hide responsibility behind pussyfooting passive verbs?

What’s needed is editorial bald truth with the active voice to out Ms. Elia’s scam. Here’s how you do it: “Ms. Elia should have handled this explosive situation better. She should have involved teachers from the start so that they shared a stake in the solution.”

Editorial euphemistic diction reveals bending-over-backwards bias for girlfriend perpetrator: “complicated” and “delicately.”

Ms. Elia is not up to handling complicated decisions. Hers is lower-fifty mentality. What’s “complicated” about sending school-wide emails to announce the decision?

If ever there were a girlfriend adverb, it’s “delicately.” It means “fragile,” “frail,” “dainty,” “refined,” and “subtle.”

Ms. Elia is as fragile as a water buffalo, as frail as a Mac truck, as dainty as Jesse Ventura, and as refined as Hulk Hogan. This literacy-challenged superintendent is as “subtle” as a blunderbuss.

Still, to comply with the state's class-size amendment, the district's proposed changes are reasonable and necessary. More than 700 teachers at all levels are affected by the job alignments, so Wrong coordinating conjunction: “and” is the one you need. it's not just high school teachers feeling pain from the class-size amendment.

We have already shredded “reasonable.” Of “necessary,” one asserts that a reasonable person must ask, “To whom is change ‘necessary’ in the wake of the extreme form in which Elia blasted teachers without inviting their comment or participation in the solution?” It’s Elia who needs the change to solve her botched budget problem, not teachers.

That ukase downloaded on teachers on the sly was also food for Ms. Elia’s lust to show how powerful she is and how unaccountable to the Board. It is necessary to her ego that she solve her class-size budget problem on the teachers’ backs in a way that most humiliates teachers and most denigrates the Board.

Use possessive before a gerund: “teachers’ feeling.” “Edit passive verb to active: “Job alignments affect 700 teachers at all levels.”

Board reaction to teachers’ pushing back at the 13th Board meeting was Olson’s and Edgecomb’s screeds that teachers’ exercise of free speech was “bad manners.” The Board scolds nagged teachers for employing their Constitutional right to address elected officials for redress of grievances. They called teachers “uncivil” for exercising their civil rights. Logic and comprehension of civics are not Les Candy’s and Doretha’s strong points.

Edgecomb edged out Olson for more offensive rebuke. Not one of the other mute Board members had the grace or the courage to speak up to say he or she welcomed teacher input. There must be better School Board candidates in the populace than these klutzy poltroons.

Any time Board members don’t want to hear another side or, God forbid, criticism, they retreat to “you’re-bad-mannered-not-to- fall-down-and-worship-me” routine.

Ms. Faliera emailed me a rebuke for my calling Board members potted plants and volunteering other crisp, unsolicited assessments of their flaccid performance as public servants.

My response has been to haul out more stinging invective laced with carbolic acid.

Also at issue are those high schools switching from block scheduling to a traditional seven-period day. The switch will require teachers to teach six out of seven periods, cutting planning time by one period.

“Schools’ switching”: another failure to use the possessive before the gerund.

This editorial fails to mention demise of student clubs as casualty in this new schedule. I saw four students at Board meetings stand up and defend their teachers. That was a thrill. I wish they weren’t too young to run for the School Board.

Teachers won’t have time to sponsor clubs with the extra class. Editorial gloss that covers up casualties of this new schedule ranks one more instance of one girlfriend’s letting another off the hook.

The change puts high school teachers on par with elementary school teachers, who already teach 300 minutes a day. But many high school teachers have been making an extra $4,000 to $7,000 a year by teaching six out of seven periods and see this development as a pay cut. Imagine, complying with the contract requires some to take a pay cut. Makes you wonder, doesn't it, who's minding the store?

Bump this comma up to a colon. The editor uses imperative mood and then switches to indicative mood. That change requires a stronger punctuation signal than the comma, which here a reader mistakes for one marking a mild interjection. The reader hence must do double-take and reread the sentence. Clarity ranks a writer’s number-one duty—superior even to that of girlfriend editor’s allegiance.

This outcome of Ms. Elia’s blunderbuss depends on whose ox gets gored—as long as we are in company with an editor who resorts to shibboleths. This Tribune editorial subsumes its own management decision of recent job cuts and repeats the rhetoric it used to its own employees. Since this editorial relies on the stale rhetoric of clichés, standing hip deep in banality, I shall indulge too by saying that Tribune miserable loves the companionship of county teachers because—all together now—Misery loves company.

The which old saw brings us to the murky “who’s minding the store?” This moss-grown formula suggests nothing to this reader. I can’t guess what or whom it aims to castigate. Maybe it’s mere gaseous piffle to complete the word count of this Tribune homily.

God forbid that teachers, many of whom work two jobs to survive, make a few thousand dollars overtime. Tribune girlfriend of Elia does not mention now nor has she ever shone the light on Elia’s rape of taxpayers with her $262,000 salary plus perquisites plus $48,000 “bonus” purloined from teachers’ work in raising student scores. The Board bears responsibility for this rip-off of taxpayers and teachers in its piling obscene amounts of money on a superintendent whom the whole state education network makes fun of for lack of Ph.D. and whom literate people deride for inability to punctuate.

Still, affected teachers will recoup some of their loss when the $28 million saved by this plan is reallocated toward pay raises.

This assumption ranks premature. The history of the Board and administration with the complicity of the in-bed CTA has been to be as niggardly with teachers’ compensation as they are excessive with administrators’ loot.

Change is difficult, but it's no excuse for the reaction of some teachers who have called for co-workers to do the bare minimum.

So teachers should now do extra work besides the contract requirements of their jobs? They have extended themselves heretofore; but that volunteer work is not part of their contract. Their contractual obligation does not cite extra jobs; and, yes, the contractual obligation constitutes the “bare minimum” that teachers owe the school system.

Even a girlfriend editor should not use a double standard in dictating teachers’ work duties: the superintendent can pile on more duties, invoking the contract, but Tribune girlfriend editor opines that teachers must do the extra work plus all the for-free work as club sponsors, etc., or expect Tribune editorial rebuke for doing only their contracted duties.

Aw, c’mon, girlfriend.

Let’s interpolate Aristotelian syllogism here: Major premise: Teachers have a contract that outlines their duties. Minor premise: After having their work day expanded, teachers choose strict observance of the contract. Conclusion: Teachers fulfill their contract. Period. End of discussion.

One sees basis of the girlfriendhood of Les Elia and Goudreau: shared obtuseness. Neither can think her way out of a paper bag.

The public wants teachers to be happy and well paid, but it also wants the district to maximize efficiencies in school operations, including the scheduling of teachers.

This editorial tells teachers to do whatever Ms. Elia wants, no matter how unreasonable, no matter how humiliating. Why? Tribune editorials never criticize the power structure. Tribune power groupies always kiss the glutei of whoever’s in charge in Tampa.

If the Tribune wrote bias-free editorials, it would tell the Board to fire featherbedding ROSSAC administrators such as Dr. Jim Hamilton, for whom Elia recently created a job which he got before it even went on the books.

The public would also want the Board to insist on equal job opportunity to get the best candidates instead of promoting in-house D-student drones whose only recommendation is being an Elia buddy or sycophant.

This $132,000 Hamilton sinecure got no advertising, of course. Its ostensible purpose was to create a bus czar position because the addlepated administration couldn’t figure out how to get the school buses to run on time. Answer: pay drivers decent wages, buy new buses to replace current wrecks, and hire more mechanics to fix broken-down buses. The out-of-the-loop Board rubberstamped Hamilton’s bus-czar boutique job. He immediately signed up a $235,000 subcontractor to do his thinking.

Hamilton’s work mode consists of subcontracting duties he’s supposed to do, right down to sharpening his own pencils. Too bad he didn’t subcontract his assignment to write a short description of what new Board members should know to function on the Board. He had a year’s lead time for the essay.

The result appears on my Web page Leedrurydecesarescasting-roomcouch.blogspot. It shows Hamilton marginally literate without basic grammar-punctuation ability students need to graduate. It shows he has no idea how to organize a piece of writing or to fill it with intelligent comments.

I asked Dr. Hamilton once at Tiger Bay to read his thesis. He said he didn’t remember it. If he wrote it, he would remember it: a thesis’ research and writing ranks tough task. Le Hamilton’s “forgetting” suggests that he didn’t write his Ph.D. thesis but bought and paid for it: the debased practice of many academic weaklings that flock to administration no-work jobs at taxpayer expense.

The Tribune editorial priesthood has not once let out a peep about Ms. Elia’s and the Board’s long-running flouting of its promise of equal opportunity, not to mention its legal obligation. ROSSAC’s personnel pages rhapsodize about the Board’s commitment to equal-employment opportunity. The lies make you want to barf.

Had the Board advertised the job Hamilton slid into unchallenged, the school system would now enjoy services of somebody who could write literate prose and not stomp out of a conference meeting as Big Baby Hamilton did because one Board member disagreed with his mangled advice to new Board members.

Some of the county's nationally recognized high schools, such as Plant and Hillsborough, already run on traditional schedules. At others, large numbers of teachers teach six classes a day and still manage to do their jobs well.

The “such as” prepositional phrase is restrictive: no commas. Some non-girlfriend editorial writers get their commas right.

The editor didn’t check out the above assertion. Plant teachers don’t teach six classes now according to one Plant teacher. I suspect this reflex compliment is the usual Tribune suck-up to South Tampa, delivered despite lack of research. Doing ritual obeisance to South Tampa’s piney-woods aristocrats is more important than editorial accuracy bien sur.

The teachers' contract requires them to teach up to 300 minute a day. If they can't meet the terms, they should have never signed on.

Corollary: if girlfriend editors can’t handle commas and logic, they should take a hike.

Many teachers are signing out to exacerbate county teacher shortage. This kind of editorial insult is not likely to conduce teachers to stay in Hillsborough County or to come here for a new job. Mayhap some Swiftian Laputan will hit Tribune editors over the head with a bladder (translation for editorial scholars manqué: balloon); the Tribune editorial diatribe against teachers will then volte-face to an encomium for teachers to lure them here.

When it comes to Tribune editorial consistency, its Katy, bar the door for talking out of both sides of the editorial mouth. This is what the editorial racket knows as situational opinion scribbling.

Threats that teachers won't sponsor clubs, return parents' telephone calls or will only administer easy-to-grade multiple choice tests comes off as childish foot-stomping.

Misplaced modifier: “only” goes before “easy-to-grade….” Tribune editorial girlfriend bloviating equates to teacher protest to “childish footstomping.” All’s fair in love and foot-stomping.

The public understands the teachers' concerns but hopes adults facing uncertainty would choose to be examples for their students on how to make the best out of a difficult situation.

The public also hopes the Board will rein in this out-of-control superintendent, the record of whom details one disaster after another punctuated by lies and cover-up. The public also hopes the Board will cease its rape of taxpayers with subsidizing bloated salaries for Elia and her D-student ROSSAC horde of buddy sycophants. They and she cost taxpayers a bundle and do little but zone-out on the job and mess up when conscious. ROSSAC pay bloat makes for invidious comparison to meager teacher pay.

I shall circulate with great glee this missive amongst all byline and masthead names that I discover of the Tribune and of its sworn enemy The St. Petersburg Times. I shall run this document through the drive-by ethics window for consideration of Poynter’s dour morality priesthood. I shall send it to the Columbia Review of Journalism to give those press sophisticates in New York a laugh at the primitive state of editorial talents in these woebegone outback press regions.

I shall post it on my Grammargrinch.blogspot, which custom limits to castigating writing of major-league newspapers. A sandlot girlfriend editorial will leaven the Grammargrinch snobbery of picking on only the major players in big papers.

Of course, I shall see this author in my office after class.

Her assignment for writing this mispunctuated, duplicitous essay, which lacks a shred of the rhetorical felicity in the tradition of the only three capable writers who have worked the journalism racket--H. Le. Mencken, A.J. Liebling, and burnsides headline savant Thomas Paine—will be to repair to Study Hall for the duration.

There she shall intone a study-hall act of contrition as corrective of editorial girlfriend low ethics.

She shall complete her penance by erecting a monument to teachers in the Tribune parking lot.

Teacher Forever Lee Drury De Cesare

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Washington Post Editor Returns to Newsroom Gofer

This fellow’s writing makes one wonder how he rose to editor’s chair.

The wretch writes below his pay grade.

Is he some Pooh-bah’s brother-in-law?

Grammargrinch recommendation: he goes back to gofer until he passes remedial English.

Trouble at the World Bank

Beware a rush to judgment over the Wolfowitz pay flap.

Sunday, April 22, 2007; Page B06

The committee agreed that a conflict existed, but it said that could probably be solved only by Ms. Riza leaving the bank, either permanently or on loan to another agency. 30 words

Pronoun antecedent missing; passive verb; wordy: “The committee agreed that the conflict’s solution was Ms. Riza’s leaving the bank or going on loan to another agency.” 20 words

“Ms. Riza’s leaving the bank”: possessive before a gerund

So when Mr. Wolfowitz dictated her new terms of employment he was responding in part to the committee's instructions.

Comma after “employment”: introductory adverbial clause; “was responding”=”responded”: past, not progressive, tense

Further raises were intended to be equal to what she might have earned had she stayed at the bank, responding to the committee's advice that she receive "compensation to offset negative career impact" from her reassignment. 36 words

Dangling modifier; passive verb; murky, wordy sentence

To offset negative impact from her assignment, the committee advised making her raises equal to what she might have earned had she stayed at the bank. 26 words

Once again it found, "on the basis of a careful review," that the allegations "do not appear to pose ethical issues appropriate for further consideration by the Committee."

No comma to blend in a phrase; clumsy blend of pieces of quote: “The committee ruled that ‘on the basis of a careful review,` the allegations ‘do not…Committee.`”

Before any such decisions are made, though, we hope the executive directors will lay out all the facts, and not just those that suit Mr. Wolfowitz's detractors.

Pussyfooting passive verb: “Before the committee makes such decisions…”

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