car·riage re·turn

n. the lever or mechanism on a typewriter that would cause the cylinder on which the paper was held (the carriage) to return to the left margin of the page


Conscience Round

From the Wikipedia entry Execution by firing squad:

In some cases,one member of the firing squad may be issued a weapon containing a blank cartridge instead of one with a bullet,without telling any of them to whom it has been given. This is believed to reduce flinching by individual members of the firing squad,making the execution process more reliable. It also allows each member of the firing squad a chance to believe afterward that he did not personally fire a fatal shot (for this reason,it is sometimes referred to as the “conscience round”). This reinforces the sense of diffusion of responsibility. While an experienced marksman can tell the difference between a blank and a live cartridge based on the recoil –the blank will have much lower recoil –there is a significant psychological incentive not to pay attention and,over time,to remember the recoil as soft.

Considering the likelihood that many of the undecided voters remaining these few short days before the election are older white Boomers or senior citizens,and that many of them might welcome any reason not to vote for Senator Obama which would excuse from their minds any spectre of racial bias,I am left wondering what form of conscience round McCain will offer them tonight.

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