Sunday, May 31, 2009

Get a room, George!

Technorati Tags: ,,

Here’s a rather intriguing lede, Dear Gentle Reader(s), from George Will’s contribution to  “Epiphanies are a dime a dozen among congressional Democrats as they discover urgent new reasons to experience the almost erotic pleasure of commandeering other people's money.”

One has to wonder, just how can Will make the declarative statement that there is an “almost erotic pleasure” in taking charge of the money paid into the government’s treasury by taxpayers?  How does he know there is a near-erotic pleasure to taxing?  What sort of foreplay gets ol’ George going? 

Maybe it’s a case of wishful projection?  (“I love money!  I loooovvvve money!  Gimme!!!  Oooh.  Ahhhh. Ummm…”)

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ah, Truth or Truthiness

There is, Dear Gentle Reader(s), a full page ad in today’s The Desert Sun* (Palm Springs/Coachella Valley) which gives credit to Representative Mary Bono for her vote in favor of the recently passed energy plan.

It’s a wonder of circumspection in part, and in something else in small part.

“Leading businesses and moderate conservation groups” is the lead phrasing.  The catch word there is “moderate.”  No tree huggers, folks.  Circumspection.

The second para begins with “Despite enormous pressure to toe the Washington line…”  Key word—Washington.  The pressure didn’t come from Washington.  Whatever that is.  It came from the Republican party.  Something else.  Fudging?

Bono-Mack (her married name) voted outside of the Republican caucus.  The ad nimbly sidesteps that fact.  This is, after all, a bastion of Republican thinking (Prop Hate, er, 8 passed easily in the area).

Republican pressure becomes Washington pressure.  OK.  That’s doable.

*May 30, 2009, A14

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Facts? We don’ need no stinkin’ facts!

Of all the claims which the pro-Prop 8 folks present, Dear Gentle Reader(s), is one made by Andrew Pugno a spokesperson for  Speaking on Public Radio’s Air Talk on May 27, 2009, he said this, “Marriage predates government.”

Really?  Any proof of that?  Certainly not in any anthropological study can that statement be substantiated. 

It went something like this (OK, my conjecture, but it certainly makes more sense than his):  First came mating; Second came family—with someone making decisions (and that process could have been shared); Third came tribe—with someone making decisions for several families—one of which was controlling the mating processes); Fourth came some dissatisfaction with decisions which went against some common practices (Whadda mean, we can’t eat pork?); Fifth came superstition to use as a tool against the dissatisfaction (Because It told me to tell you not to do that); Sixth came the refinement of superstition into religion. 

Perhaps a bit fanciful, but that’s the lineage according to the anthropological studies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Government, rudimentary, to be sure, existed prior to marriage because until government came into existence, what we call marriage today was coupling for the purpose of propagating the species.  Cultural differences between tribes came later, but “government” arose out of need to protect the tribe.

For certain, “Marriage predates government,” stated with such certainty by Pugno, is at best a virtual fib.

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Ah, Dear Gentle Reader(s), sometimes they make it so easy.

Take, for instance, today’s Townhalldotcom muckroom.  There’s a piece by Linda Chavez titled “When in Doubt, Blame Bush.”  It contains this softball, “you have to wonder what [President Obama] would do without George W. Bush to kick around.”


Nope.  Not really.

Perhaps eal with the economy?  Health care?  Greening power?  Securing Afghanistan?  Modernizing Islam?  Third World poverty?  Inner city poverty?

How many more examples would you think Chavez needs?

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A dollar 98? A dollar 400?

Technorati Tags:

Does one suppose, Dear Gentle Reader(s), that the seller of this car learned to write cost numbers somewhere other  than here in the U.S.?


IN case it seems fuzzy, that is a period after the 1.

What fun!

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, May 15, 2009

Could’ve, Would of, Shoulda (“Ve” are watching!)

George Pelecanos, Dear Gentle Reader(s), is the newest “old” writer of note to cross this desk.  One down, one in progress, a few to go.  The reason for this post isn’t George so much as his editor and some other editor of years past which let the –of pass as indicator of character instead of insisting on ‘ve.

The writer, naturally, tries for some sort of verisimilitude while writing dialogue.  Even the perfect sentences of Jane Austen take on “color” when delivering language of certain characters.

The use of could of, however, is suspect as a genuine replication of non-standard articulation.  The f and the v are both fricatives.  They are produced by passing air between the upper front teeth and the bottom lip, the difference is that the v uses a sound from the larynx along with the friction of air.

Thus, the author who uses could of might as well be using could’ve.  The resulting sound is exactly the same—of has the pronunciation of ‘ve no matter the education of the speaker.  The more precise effect of character indication would be achieved, if articulation is to be used as an indication of character, by the use of coulda—or its almost as popular variation—could-a.

In Pelecano’s case, the editor of The Big Blowdown allowed, on page 289, a “could of" in mid-page and then, a couple of (coupla?) lines down, a “could’ve.”  Hedging a bet?  Indifference?  Not paying attention to speech patterns? 

Somebody got paid nice bucks to edit the book, not to mention the author’s royalty.  That’s good money in exchange for…what?  This error cannot be let pass unchallenged.  Therefore, aspiring authors and editors, be warned:  The “ve” patrol is on alert.

(OK, so this is a nit.  In these times, though, focusing on a nit or two is a valuable tool in averting meltdown.)

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Hopeful Step to the Trash Heap of History

Thoreau’s confinement in a New England jail resulted in a nice little epigram—the body might be jailed, but thought, once uttered, cannot be recalled or squelched.

Which brings us, torturously, to the current debate, Dear Gentle Reader(s), of the Matthew Shepard Act, which purports to punish certain acts as “hate crimes.”  It is surely foolish to try to criminalize hate, but that really isn’t the primary purpose of hate crimes  legislation, is it?

What such legislation does is to foster a discussion about the genesis of hate, at least as regards certain social situations.  How long has it been since there was a white on black killing where the perpetrator escaped justice?  Or since the perpetrator was able to claim a “Twinkie defense?”  Or a homosexual panic defense?

The more we speak of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, the more light is shone on these topics, and the less it is possible for bias to develop into a murderous rage.

What we need is more thought, and more people willing to speak their thoughts.  At some point in the near future the hate crime laws will be erased from the books.  That erasure is another “consummation devoutly to be wished.”

Sphere: Related Content