Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Ol' Stopped Clock Syndrome

OK, so he regrets saying things like "Bring 'em on" and "dead or alive." Says he's learned something about how language can send "wrong signals."

Absolutely! It's good that he has learned something.

The problem is that he learned "on the job." Now, learning OTJ is a time tested worthy concept, especially if you're a teenager learning how to fry potatoes at McDonald's. This guy, however is learning OTJ about how to be the man with his finger on the button!

Other pertinent question arise: Why did this man and party win the past two national elections? Why did the American public, according to polls, think they would be safer with this party and its leaders than they would have been with Democratic leaders?

Well, at least, the occasions of the stopped clock being correct twice a day are increasingly frequent.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Stopped Clock's Correctness

Thus spoke Zarabushtra:

"May 15,2006

5. We Must Honor The Great American Tradition Of The Melting Pot
The Success Of Our Country Depends Upon Helping Newcomers Assimilate Into Our Society And Embrace Our Common Identity As Americans. "

The above is taken from news reports the day after Mr. Bush's speech on immigration.

Giving the stopped clock its due, Mr. Bush is correct. Multi-culturalism has not been a success. We are more Balkanized today than we were pre-Civil Rights Act of 1964. A return to the "melting pot" is indicated. If assimilation is not part of the impending policies on immigration, they will eventually prove to be dangerous to the Union.

E pluribus unum.

We should do away with hyphenated Americans. We can start with the elimination of racial/ancestral heritage questions on any form which goes to the government.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Views of Paris, Chateaux, Churches, a Butt

From the Mona Lisa to Paul Bettany's butt, The Da Vinci Code is a feast for the eyes. What's not to like? A few pot shots at some of the woeful aspects of Christianity, an eerily effective use of grey memory figures and scenes, Paul Bettany's butt, a wonderfully landscaped church or two, Paul Bettany's butt, a few moments of Tom Hanks not-quite-getting-it-across in his final tete-a-tete with the leading lady, Sir Ian being charming as well as dastardly, as complete a showing of the Louvre's pyramid entrance, a few choice bets about current RCC hierarchical machinations, and you know what all make for a quick 2+ hours.

Critics who gave this movie a cool reception either see too many movies or have lost their sense of fun or forget it's only a movie.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Religious Brouhaha

Michael Connelly writing in the Los Angeles Times' "Book Review" of May 7, 2006, offers this tidbit: "There is a saying that if you want to know the facts, read a newspaper, but if you want to know the truth, read a novel. I don't know where I first heard that phrase, but after many years I am beginning to see the light in it."

The quote is offered to you as a way to look at the scriptural brouhaha(s) which are beginning to foment. I am especially taken with Andrew Sullivan's comment about Dan Brown's book and imminent movie: "[The DaVinci Code is] hack fiction. People might actually believe it."

Mr. Sullivan and others should ponder Mr. Connelly's epigram. The truth of Jesus' "ministry" is far more important than whether or not various people over the past two millennia engaged in this or than shenanigan in order to protect themselves.

Actually, there are precious "facts" about Christology. Virtually every bit of writing we have is 2nd or 3rd hand. Hardly admissible in a court of law. Besides, "faith" doesn't depend on "fact." Even Hans Kung, eminent Roman Catholic theologian (albeit one the Vatican et al., tried to disparage),questioned the fundamental relevance of the Nicean Creed which proclaimed the divinity of Jesus, but Mr. Kung sticks to his Roman Catholicism.

The DaVinci Code is entertainment--with a nugget or two of underlying truth.

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Assimilation, Si--Integration, Non

Over in the New York Times, Peter Salins has an op-ed piece which calls for assimilation rather than integration.


Integration is a half-way measure towards good citizenship. If we don't share basics, we're too cautious; we don't trust what we can't fully understand. It's the very old primitive version of CYA.

We can start with everyone learning good (for the purpose of collective cogitation) English.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Sad, Difficult Day

Joel Stein, in the Los Angeles Times pens this screecher: "Rex paused and gave Swanson and I..." The degradation of the language continues. Alas.

Carol Memmott, of USA Today, has a quote from Mary Cheney's book. Mary quotes her mother, "Your life will be so hard." Sounds sympathetic, doesn't it? Hmmm. Upon reflection, one must remember that Mrs. Cheney's husband is part of the election-winning team which nosed to power in 2004 running, in no small part, on a homophobic platform in "Middle America."

The Los Angeles Times failed the English language; Mrs. Cheney continues to fail her daughter.

You-know-who wept.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006


Don't you just love euphemisms?

"Annie's Mailbox," the successor to "Ann Landers," as printed in the Riverside, CA, Press-Enterprise, has a new one for me: "bikini hair."


Bikinis now are sold with hair?


It's all about waxing one's privates in preparation for wearing a bikini in public.

Bikini hair. What'll they clean up next?

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An Implied Penalty Recommendation?

When the jury recommended a lifetime in virtual solitary confinement for Moussaoui, it also, in effect, was condemning Islamic fundamentalism and denying it a martyr and shaming it for its practices of using easily manipulated personalities for ungodly purposes.

Ooops. That would also fit with certain alleged Christian sects, too, wouldn't it.

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