Minor Irritation

Trivia: While I have no problem with the sentiment – Berger’s “punishment” does appear disproportionate – the following sentence irritates.

It’s hard to underestimate the effect a case like this has on national-security professionals. For cynics, it shows that big players get off easy when they commit the crimes smaller fry lose their careers over.

Editorial (unsigned) in today’s Washington Times. Indeed, yesterday, I posed such a construction on a quiz to my jr coll freshmen to test their engagement as they read. (Not that all of us, certainly me included, don’t make such mistakes. Still and all, it is best to call us on them.)

6 thoughts on “Minor Irritation”

  1. Ginny, Any tips re. effectively editing what one writes as he writes it?

    Reading, re-reading and re-reading again doesn’t seem to get the job done for me.

    Only coming back to a written comment hours later reveals the glaring errors.

  2. Some one else’s eyes is all I can say. Ask Jonathan how many of my screw-ups he’s had to fix. A lot more than the editors of the Times. Still, I figure the pot can call the kettle black.

  3. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t had my coffee yet, but what’s the problem, other than that it’s slightly unwieldy?

  4. That’s probably my fault for not giving enough context: Washington Times is complaining about Sandy Berger’s light punishment and how it affects the morale of plebians held to higher standards; in other words, the editor is saying either that it is hard to overestimate or easy to underestimate that effect.

  5. If a memeber of the armed forces had pulled this kind of stunt they would have many years in the bar hotel to look forward to. Does seem strange that a senior member of a civilian administration can get off this light.

  6. Ginny, it appears that for the Wa. Times editorialist you quote, that one must first be a “cynic” to be troubled by the possible effects of Berger’s kit-glove treatment. Where the editorial errs is in missing the fact that it is exactly this sort of publicized double-standard that creates cynics.

    Double-standards abound when the “powerful” are charged with enforcing the same codes they are themselves violating. As an elected board officer in my rural Property Owners Association, I learned that documented rules of conduct and code enforcement can be liberally “reinterpreted” to serve the narrow interests of a favored few.

    As GUYK implies, Berger’s soft treatment smacks of just this sort of double-standard.

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