I used to be rather smug about how those who supported President George W. Bush were often just pragmatic instead of principled. They would let him do whatever he wanted because they wanted him to get his way, it didn't matter if it was right or wrong, legal or illegal. It lead us into 2 disaterous wars, 1 of them on totally false pretenses (how are those WMDs General Powell?). But now I see the same thing happening with President Obama, who I support. Instead of reacting with revulsion to the shredding of one of the most basic rights in the Constiution, the right to protection from secret searches and seizures, my fellow lefties are all saying "it keeps us safe" and other [crap] like that. Principles often are difficult but I didn't realize how few of the left actually had them. Enjoy your new Police State, same as the old Police State. And remember, you don't have anything to worry about if you aren't doing anything "wrong." HA HA HA
I am seriously thinking of writing an essay on this. It's my new favorite political theory. I've said it here before: So much of what we think of our leaders is occasioned by to whom we are willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
I saw a local news story about a child who had been left in a car and, though I didn't, my first instinct was to send you the article. Do you get a bunch of email messages every time a child dies in a hot car?
Every. Single. Time. A constant reminder that the pen might be mightier than the sword, but human error is mightier than the pen.
In Nora Ephron's "Heartburn," she has the Carl Bernstein character tell stories about his ex-wife, "The first Jewish Kimberley."
The plaintiff in a civil rights complaint against a school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas is named "Kymberley Wimberly."
And, I always remember in that book how Ephron basically said Bernstein's offenses, as a person, were not awful, and she cited that he would sometimes claim to have read a book when he had only started it. Or skimmed it.
Guilty, too. Sometimes.
Gene: I see the advertisement in your chat that you can buy an old Washington Post from the date of your birth, Does it make more sense to buy the edition from the day after your birth because that newspaper will have all the stuff that happened on the day of your birth? Please advise.
Yep, I would say you want the day after you were born. For the same reason that I am not researching newspapers for Sunday, December 28, 1986 -- the Day I am writing a book on -- but December 29.
Gene - in your natal New York, people are now using "happy" as a verb, as in "you happy me." This was overheard on the subway recently and reported in the NY Times today.
This unhappies me greatly.
I just conducted an intense scientific research project. I asked Google "what weights more, pee or poop?" Wiki answers says poop weighs more. Yahoo answers says pee weighs more. And there you have it.
You have done important work for mankind. I hope you don't have to go into hiding.
I lean hard to the left, but believe what Snowden did was wrong. I was uncomfortable with that conclusion until the interview yesterday in which he said that he took the job at Booz Allen SPECIFICALLY to learn and release classified information. That is no longer whistle-blowing in my mind.
I am not actually understanding the rush to deify him, at this point. He should have returned to the United States and said he would trust in the goodness and fairness of the American people. He is essentially allowing himself to be used as anti-American propaganda by police states with antipathy toward us. He seems more and more like a jackass and a coward.
The joke itself is not bad. But A) not in that setting, B) not with the excruciating, rambling prelude, and C) not with the continued hole-digging where he blames the crowd for not laughing and insists that it was funny. On a semi-related not, since that you mentioned Bill Maher - he frequently turns on his audience when a joke falls flat, which has always bothered me. You've already taken a hit by not getting a laugh, why further alienate yourself by attacking the audience?
Okay, this is a reference to the knock-knock joke told at the beginning of the Zimmerman trial. It is ancient news but I am letting it be remembered here so I can correct a record. In the last full chat, a portion of my introduction was eaten by the online gremlins, meaning you all never got to see WHY I said the knock-knock joke was awful. I enumerated five reasons, the first of which was that it was an ancient joke, raised every time there is a trial in which news-ignorant jurors are sought. If you Google it, you find it was rampant before the O.J. trial. It probably was used for Leopold and Loeb. So it was old and tired and shouldn't have been used for that reason alone. Another reason, tactically, is that it was INSULTING THE JURY. It was calling them idiots. Not to mention it was a particularly callous way to begin a trial about the death of a teenager.
Not to mention that the lawyer informed the jury that they were promising him they wouldn't hold the joke against his client if they didn't like the joke: doing this without their informed consent, creating an instant antipathy and a sense of tension greater than the tension that was already there.
It was about as stupid a courtroom misjudgement as I have ever seen.
Gene, Regarding Mr. Weiner, there was an article in the NY times a few weeks ago (maybe you saw it) about Anthony Weiner and his run for mayor. The article reviewed his record as a member of the House, and the conclusion of the author of the article was that even outside his stupid Twitter conversations, he is still a self-serving jerk. The article is here. I'm a New Yorker and a liberal Democrat, but after reading that, I'd have a hard time voting for him unless the alternative was a really hard-line conservative.
Also, he's never accomplished anything. He is essentially simply a self-promoter.
I am the person who posted about the spelling problems and bad teachers I had in school dealing with it and you posted a link to a very good article about spelling (Why Stevie Can't Spell). THANK YOU! There was a lot of information in there that fit me. For one thing, I do not remember how the words "look" when I am trying to spell them. I remember in 2nd grade when we had to read aloud in a group to the teacher I would always say "saw" for "was" and "was" for saw", etc. The teacher would start yelling at me when I did this by just yelling SAW, SAW, SAW when I said WAS. It would take me a while to understand why in the hell she was yelling SAW. Well I didn't think "why in the hell" in second grade. Again, thanks for the link. It made me feel a little better.
I am a good speller, and at times I have helped bad spellers climb into the fair-speller category through the use of mnemonics. Okay, here we go. I'll give you two and you won't forget em. Accommodate is spelled that way because it is very commodious, meaning it's two double letters. Inoculate is spelled that way because it is thin, like a needle, meaning no double n. You are welcome.