Master Your Vocabulary

…Or your vocabulary will become your master. Or summat like that, I dunno.
Seems as though Aron was terribly, mysteriously ahead of the curve when he called out our current crop of politicians for their overuse of The Sphinx’s favorite rhetorical device. Slate has put a name to the tactic (it’s called antimetabole, apparently).
And always remember, learn to hide your strikes from your opponent, and you’ll more easily strike his hide.

Classless Cheap Shots At Columbia

Columbia University president Lee Bollinger showed himself to be a classless buffoon yesterday, despite pronouncements from some corners of a flawless “rope-a-dope” maneuver.
Let’s get a few things straight. First: he (Bollinger) and his University extended the invitation to Mad Mahmoud. They (Columbia and Bollinger) opened their doors to the figurehead of state of the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. They invited the ringleader of the gang that took American diplomats hostage for almost a year and a half. I don’t know what sort of upbringing Bollinger has had, but as I was raised, when you invite another person into your house, you bear the responsibility for ensuring the guest’s comfort and security. You never invite someone else into your house for the sole purpose of chastising or mocking them. It’s indecent, unseemly, and indicative far more of your own lack of character than a reflection on your guests.
Bollinger had an opportunity to make his feelings known about this “petty and cruel dictator”: right after announcing that the Columbia administration, having realized Ahmadinejad is either “brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated”, was rescinding their invitation for him to speak. You don’t insult guests you yourself invited, lest you show yourself to be base, uncultured and unworthy of the respect you deny your guests.
It wasn’t “brave”, it wasn’t “good”, it was an inversion of a relationship (that of host to guest) that ought not be rent asunder, regardless of cultural differences. It was self-aggrandizing in the extreme for Bollinger — he gets to stand apart from the crowd as The Man Who Stared Down A Tyrant and probably rake in some alumni dough. (In light of this, his assurances that Columbia would have invited Hitler to speak in a similar capacity make even more sense. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be The Man Who Dissed Hitler, right?) Bollinger’s actions revealed nothing about the Dinner Jacket Puppet that wasn’t already known.
I cannot abide Ahmadinejad’s views, his practices, nor the regime that he fronts, but the answer is public humiliation in the proper venue. It is not rolling out the red carpet and then unceremoniously yanking it out from under your “honored” guest.

Is Our Harvard Grads Learning? No.

de Tocqueville
This report has been making the blogospheric rounds today and it is, well, damning of our educational system’s ability to impart civic knowledge, to put it bluntly.
Simply stated, when presented with a 60 question test covering basic U.S. history, civics and political philosophy, Harvard seniors scored best with a D+ average. All other schools’ students scored worse.
The report’s findings are extremely interesting — not only are our college students culturally and politically illiterate, but they actually score lower on average after attending four or more years of higher education. College makes kids dumber, apparently.
Bop on over and take the test yourself and (hopefully!) you’ll be able to report: “I’m smarter than the average Harvard grad.”
(Full disclosure: I scored 54/60, missing questions 18, 19, 36, 54, 58 and 60. I guess I need to brush up on my Just War, Keynsian economic theory and good governance oversight…)

Shut It All Down. Internet’s Over, “Unamerican” Wins.

Wonkette, that foul-mouthed site founded by a certain foul-mouthed D.C. gutter snipe, ran a collection of links yesterday, one of which pointed to an article called “Ron Paul: One man, one vote”. Frequent readers of digg, reddit, etc. will readily recognize Dr. Ron Paul’s name, as he has become the Presidential contender of choice among the frothing Libertarian/libertine set on the ‘Net. Said set has taken it upon themselves to astroturf every possible article and pad each online poll in a desperate “Pay attention to meeeeeus, daddeeee!” ploy, so much so that digg and reddit’s respective front pages have become overwhelmed with Ron Paul Spam. I’ve had several coworkers vow never to return to digg in particular, so obnoxious has the Paul Spam gotten. Those of you that aren’t avid readers of those above-mentioned sites likely have not heard of Dr. Paul, as he consistently polls at 0% of the American electorate. (Trust me, you’re better off that way.)
Now, Wonkette is a site known for its sarcasm and snark and so it is with little surprise that I noted, and promptly just about cried myself silly from laughter at the snark on display in the comments attached to that post. To wit:

BY AVERY AT 07/23/07 11:43 PM
Oh boy, another story about how Ron Paul votes against things on principle. Tell me more! I’m fascinated!
Ron Paul: One man, one vote. That’s the most accurate prediction of his election results I’ve seen yet. Two votes if there’s not a Firefly rerun on that day.
@Avery: Have you noticed the internet has started to sound like Matt Damon in Team America? ‘RON PAUL! RON….PAUL!’

Bwahahaha. Now I’ll never be able to shake the image of Matt Damon’s puppet uttering “RON PAUL!” It sure will make reading digg fun again.

This Town Needs An Enema

This town…Those that know me best know that I am no fan of Philadelphia Mayor John Street’s persona, politics or ethics, but I must object to the current “mini-scandal”
brewing as just plain stupid.
Here’s the situation:
John Street (D, Philadelphia) is a bit of a gadget hound. He wanted an iPhone and so decided to wait outside of an AT&T store, starting at 3 am Friday morning. When people started arriving later in the day, they noticed Street and began heckling him, claiming he should be off conducting the business of the city, etc., to which Street responded by raising his Blackberry and noting that he had handled tens of emails and phone calls flawlessly from the line. Other meetings and the heckling eventually forced Street to abandon his place in line and have a subordinate continue waiting for the iPhone. Street eventually got his iPhone, thanks to the diligence of his aide.
The local media and blogs are in a tizzy, claiming the city is in a “crisis” and that Street exhibited near malfeasance by waiting in line for a few hours. This is balderdash. John Street does not roam the streets of Philadelphia single-handedly wrestling gun criminals to the pavement, busting up drug cartels and handing out parking tickets. He’s the mayor, and, as such, he delegates the day-to-day affairs to others more capable (well, in theory, that is) and thus makes command decisions when necessary.
To fault the man for a few hours in line is simply scandal-mongering and is truly unfair. How else was Street to get ahold of the device? If he had forced an aide to wait from the beginning, his critics would accuse him of misusing city staff for his own personal ends. If he had called the AT&T store and asked for an iPhone to be set aside, he would have been accused of strong-arming a retailer and seeking special privileges. Instead, he sought to personally acquire the device.
His critics should be ashamed of themselves. Give the guy a break and let him enjoy a few moments of peace and leisure — Heaven knows those are in short supply in the Philly city government.

A Tab Dump Of Stunning Depth And Ferocity

It’s that time again — time to free myself of a bit of mental clutter expressly for your edification. That’s a win/win situation if I’ve ever heard of one.
Chinese-manufactured sedans: deathtraps on wheels and headed to a dealer near you, ‘twould seem.
It seems as though prior to the British-hostage-sailors incident, the Iranians tried it once before on some Australians. It seems the Aussies reacted a bit differently:

The BBC has been told the Australians re-boarded the vessel they had just searched, aimed their machine guns at the approaching Iranians and warned them to back off, using what was said to be “highly colourful language”.

I bet they did. Wonderful cussers, the Aussies.
Scientific validation of my place in the birth order, at long last. 1st born rule, all others drool!
Pro-abortionists are puzzled by the fact that calling pro-lifers nasty names and insulting their humanity remains a horrendous way to win votes for the Democratic cause. Go figure.
If architects had to work like web designers, would the blink tag still be seeing use in Las Vegas?
Brits call for the return of creative invective to public life, you excrement, you whining hypocritical toadies.
MNF-I is taking the fight to the enemy in Iraq. Good. ‘Bout time. Now witness the power of this fully-armed and operational battle stationSurge.
Democratic Senators’ solution to speech they don’t agree with: raw censorship. Hooray for the First Amendment!
The Team Fortress 2 preview over at Shacknews? Breathtaking. I cannot wait for HL2:Ep. 2 to drop.
I salute our brave NASA astronauts who complete daring missions even when pursued by T.I.E. fighters.
Three celebs tell multi-culti victim hounds where they can shove their victimhood. Good.
Could this mean the end of Toucan Sam, Snap, Crackle and Pop?
RIAA asks for legal recourse against Bush twins for creating Prez. mix CD for Father’s Day. Slashdotter’s collective head explodes from decision on which side they hate more — Bush or the hated RIAA.

“A Crisis of Public Confidence”, Indeed

Mark Tapscott, noting that approval levels for Congress have fallen to an all-time low of 14%, muses

The opposition to the Bush/Kennedy/McCain immigration reform appears to be hardening, too, as indicated by this UPI/Zogby International survey that finds only three percent – three percent! – of those surveyed approve of the way Congress is handling the issue [illegal immigration. -ed.]. Bush gets only a nine percent approval rating on the issue in the survey, which has a 1.1 percent margin of error.
This is why there is no evidence of increasing public support for the GOP in recent weeks despite the failling ratings of the Democratic majority in Congress. The root problem is a bipartisan inability – or refusal – to adopt policies supported by clear majorities of the American people.

Washington D.C. is completely disconnected from the people it’s supposed to represent, and they know it too. (See faking support letters, for instance). The American people are cynical and sick and tired of the condescension from our political “betters”, so much so that there are suggestions going so far as to call for Congress’ deportation, encirclement of D.C. with a wall to protect us from them and even calls for automatic recalls of Congresscritters when things get this bad. Heck, Zogby may have to start accounting for negative poll numbers (+/-, of course), given the way things are headed.
So tell me, what is it going to take for

  1. Congress to wake up to their disconnect?
  2. The American people to actually vote these bums out?

Methinks something drastic, and I fear for what that might mean for us all.
Andy, Brad: what say you to that hypothetical Purple People Party now?

Burning The Midnight Oil At Both Ends, And Other Mixed Metaphors

I’m sitting here at work at ~9pm EDT waiting for several servers to finish their upgrade processes and realized that I had quelle shock! horreur! forgotten to post, so busy was I all the livelong day. Consider this my penance: Fred! Thompson’s site is live and living large — it reportedly brought in over $200,000 in Internet contributions in the first 18 hours of its existence. And you know what would go great with a donation? That’s right! An Admiral Painter ’08 t-shirt.
And while you’re at it, go defend U2 from that faithless heathen nobrainer. “Greasy”, my left foot!

Who Is This “Tom Morrow” Fellow?

You say "potato", I say "potatoe".
…And why is Hillary Clinton only interested in good jobs for him?
BONUS: Possible unused captions/headlines:

  • Is our Senators learning?
  • No Congressperson Left Behind
  • I can has spellcheck?
  • You say “tommorrow” and I say “potatoe”.

Me? Piggyback? Never!

I’ve been stewing over this for a bit and, on word of Fred! Thompson officially announcing his intentions to run for Prez., I figured I’d make it official:, your one-stop-shop for irreverent moichandise designed by Yours Truly. I’m feeling in a campaign-y sort of mood, so while you’re there, take a look at what I have to offer thus far: Admiral Joshua Painter ’08 and a real darkhorse ticket, McClane/Bauer, our two best chances for nukingdefeating the terr’rists. Both are available in t-shirt and bumper sticker form.
Also, dig the snazzy Zazzle store gimmick:

create & buy custom products at Zazzle