Saturday, December 19, 2020

English Lessons

It has probably come to your attention that the English language – all of it, from syntax to semantics - isn’t what it used to be. Although there are plenty of institutions to fault for this state of disrepair I place the preponderance of blame on the J-schools.

10 Years of Undying LOVE for English Language | by Mahmudul Islam | MediumEnglish: Some Assembly Required

Oh, I know, I shouldn’t simply blame “journalism” for the demise of the mother tongue. It’s death spiral  has been hugely assisted by the birth of the Twitterverse and the explosion of texting. These two platforms alone have served to reduce most  human communication to acronyms and emojis interrupted only by the random, and most likely rogue, punctuation mark. And don’t get me started on the auto-correct feature which has created an infinite array of alternate meanings for otherwise perfectly good words.

20 Hilarious Autocorrect Love Fails - ROFL inflate your girlfriend! | Funny  text fails, Laughing so hard, Funny texts

As long as journalism schools taught the who, what, where, when and how method of reporting the English language stood a chance. But once journalism shifted from reporting to propagandizing language took on a new role. Proper linguistic usage entails far too many rules and constraints when your purpose is to promote social justice and wokeness rather than simply conveying facts and information.

With that in mind and in keeping with the Christmas spirit I’m publishing this old but always entertaining grammar teaching tool as a public service. I consider it doing my share to keep the English language alive and on life support as the second language of the United-for-the-time-being States.

I call it “The English Teacher Steps Out.”

• An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk, and smoking cigars.

• A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.

• A bar was walked into by the passive voice.

• An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.

• Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”

• A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.

• Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.

• A question mark walks into a bar?

• A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.

• Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Get out -- we don't serve your type."

• A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.

• A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

• Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.

• A synonym strolls into a tavern.

• At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar -- fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.

• A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.

• Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.

• A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.

• An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.

• The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.

• A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned by a man with a glass eye named Ralph.

• The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.

• A dyslexic walks into a bra.

• A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.

• A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.

• A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.

• A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.

So let’s all get out there and walk into a bar to save the English language! Just be careful not hit your head and slip on your onomatopoeia.

Onomatopoeia - English Language Features

Friday, December 18, 2020

Behold The MOTI, For They Bring Good Tidings of Great Joy

Okay kids, what have you been up to while my back was turned? Imagine my surprise when my neighbor Pete showed up last night toting a floral arrangement so large I could barely see him around it.

arrivalAn unexpected floral arrangement nearly as yuge as my Christmas tree!

Apparently it was delivered next door during the only time we were gone yesterday – a 20 minute run just to get out of the house to the library for curbside (only) pick up and drop off – I guess there’s a pandemic or something going around so you aren’t allowed in the building that we the people paid for. Either that or our Ring Doorbell, which is actually a “Ring-when-it-feels-like-it-Doorbell” wasn’t feeling up to it yesterday.  Anyway, Pete showed up after dinner with this giant tower of flowers accompanied by a card that much to my surprise revealed this unexpected pleasure was from…


You Guys! I like to think of the MOTI as descendants of the MAGI whereas you are indeed “wise” and do wander afar. But as I was saying, it was yuge and when I removed it from it’s cellophane protector it grew even yuger

yes yes

…and better! Filled with two of my most favorite flowers (yes, I know, there are no coincidences) 3 types of hydrangeas and peonies – colossal deep crimson peonies - where do they get such things this time of year?


All surrounded by seed pods, cedar boughs, and lovely, soft hanging green amaranthus that drapes gracefully unto the coffee table thusly:


Oh, and a pheasant feather!!

super with pheasant feather

I probably should have put my vacuum away before my photo shoot

Honestly, have you ever laid eyes on a Christmas arrangement more beautiful? More gracefully designed and artfully arranged? It honestly takes my breath away and not simply because of its beauty.


I am humbled by your thoughtfulness and quite simply overwhelmed.

In a year that has proved itself quite tough from so many different angles your gift reminds me of all the good things I have to be grateful for this Christmas. And it prods me to take the time to thank God for all he’s given me: family, friends and the ability to use my platform to keep a wonderful group of otherwise scattered band of patriots and comrades connected on a daily basis in order that we might all stay a little saner. And along the way we battle through whatever challenges are laid in our path.

I am so grateful to call you all my friends, my cohorts… my MOTI (h/t Janice the Elder). I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And now I must run to take Raj to PT where, I am told, he is progressing quite remarkably well - they did not add “for his age” but I feel they might have meant to.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Heroes and Villains: It’s a Rigged Game

Revisiting heroes and villains: Who am I to say what’s true or not true? Who therefore is guilty or innocent?

Take the case of Julian Assange:

julian assange2

The left loved him when he was leaking stuff that made Bush look bad, but when he leaked stuff making Hillary look compromised be became a tool of Putin and Trump. So when a whistleblower provided an audio tape to Project Veritas, warning the U.S. government of the damaging information a rogue former Wikileaks employee was about to release, well, who knows what to believe. It could all be completely true, completely fabricated  or something in between. We will never know.

Assange warns State Department upcoming leak of classified information

During the 75-minute conversation, Assange, who initiated the call, said to Johnson that WikiLeaks is very concerned that classified information from the State Department is about to be released—outside of its control by a rogue former employee, who stole the information in order to establish his own rival media outlet.

I’m not disinclined to think that the original Wikileaks story is something the Government-Media complex would edit and disassemble to suit their purposes. Which means I’m certainly not disinclined to believe this version of it either.

And what about Snowden? Not quite as cut and dried as we were led to believe either methinks.

Did we have a right to know that our government was, as we suspected, spying on us? Yes. Snowden’s unwise, naïve, illegal…and dangerous method of revealing this information has made him a goat and a fugitive. Even so, knowing what I know now about the corruption enmeshed at every level of government, would I forgive him? Yeah, I just might.

In fact I’m so tired of being lied to by any means necessary and by every means possible, so sick of weaponized prosecutorial malfeasance that I’m officially with Kurt Schlichter on this:  Pardon Everyone.

Is this yet another norm that mean old Trump is overturning? Hardly. Instead, it is a woke recognition of the new rules, new rules the Democrats imposed and which they should now experience, suppository-like, good and hard. How many innocent people went bankrupt after being caught up in the Russia hoax? Did they care? So why should we about depriving them of their jollies? There might have been a time when we were all playing by the rules that said that the feds would only investigate bad people and bring them to justice, where the innocent were not punished through process. Those were good times. But they are not these times.

…Pardon everyone, anyone who might conceivably be swept up in the unity Administrations Truth and Reconciliation Tribunals.

Any investigation of any ally must be presumed illegitimate, based on past performance, so uncap that pardonin' pen and get signing.

Read the whole thing.

It may well be the Left’s game but for a while longer we still hold the Trump card.

Let's Play No-Trumps (some thoughts on how the cards are stacked this  election) – bronwyn's corner

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Is It Just Me?

I guess tradition was just too much for us in this year of the cooties:

Too simple, too boring, too…white. The Post-Catholic Vatican desired something a bit more postmodern. So progressive revisionist scholars chose to place this year’s nativity scene on Planet Zog rather than in Bethlehem.

Screenshot_2020-12-16 Vatican 'wisemenStanding in for the Wise Men this year, a Sumerian astronaut and Thor, god of thunder

I understand that two years ago the Vatican nativity scene was a sand sculpture, made entirely of 720 tons of the stuff.

People looking at the sand nativity scene after it was unveiled in St Peter's square at the Vatican, on Dec 7, 2018.

"It's an ephemeral art in the sense that it is not intended to last forever."

That’s quite a statement given we’re talking about the central thesis of Christianity but at least it depicted the traditional scene of Jesus’ birth.

And while last year’s nativity scene was a return to traditional,

that apparently didn’t fly well with the Post-Catholic Vatican Globalists as this year they outdid themselves with this postmodern, inclusionary depiction of the birth of Christ.

Speaking at the event, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the president of the Governorate of the Vatican City State, said the creche is an artistic interpretation of “how the Gospel can love all cultures and professions.”

The original creche was presented in Rome, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and is made of 54 large statues, including a Jewish Rabbi, an astronaut and an executioner to represent the death penalty. Gone are the traditional starlit backdrops and grassy terrains in favor of a more modern look with only a neon light framing the scene. – Religion News

I guess the Vatican thought 2020 would be a good year to introduce a bit of whimsy, inclusionism and globalism to the annual Nativity scene. And speaking of globalism, I see too that the Vatican has entered into a “global alliance” with Rothschild, Rockefeller and Ford Foundation, Mastercard, BoA, Merck and others through the new “Council for Inclusive Capitalism” to create a “more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system.”

I say, that sounds very much like Black Liberation Theology - or is it just me?


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Reality Bites

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:8

William Jacobson. proprietor of Legal Insurrection, is the legal equivalent of the fat lady:

Today electors appointed by states around the country cast their votes for Biden-Harris in an amount enough to elect them. I’ve looked at two Congressional Research Service Reports, one from 2020 and one from 2016, explaining the process for counting and contesting electors at a Joint Session of Congress. The bottom line is that even if you think contesting electors at a Joint Session of Congress is a good thing, it’s not going to happen here because both chambers would have to concur. There is zero chance the Democrat-controlled House would vote to disallow Biden-Harris electors.

So the nomination of alternative electors, and the vow to contest the electors on January 6, is a dead end. It’s a dead end that could have serious consequences if it causes Democrats to win both Senate runoff elections in Georgia on January 5. That would put the Senate (along with the House) in Democrat hands with a Democrat president, and a power-hungry Obama-third term (at best) crew in charge.

It also distracts from a necessary organization of a resistance to the radical Democrat agenda, a resistance that needs to be organized now. The merging of the Democratic Party and the high tech oligarchs who control the flow of information is one of the most serious threats non-liberals have faced politically. They will hit the ground running. Will we?

Previously I have likened the current situation to the time period after Obama’s election, when the Obama juggernaut seemed unstoppable. The rise of the Tea Party movement in opposition changed the course of history. It didn’t stop the Obama agenda in its entirety, and was undermined by establishment Republicans, but it did change the trajectory dramatically. It can happen again, but only if people don’t engage in futile and useless gestures in the next few weeks instead of organizing.

And Professor Jacobson has sung; this battle has been lost and it will prove to be a long war. The honesty of his analysis is harsh, leaving nowhere, legally, to turn. And so, while I hate this phrase, it’s the best on offer this rather bleak day: “it is what it is.”

Such days are the raison d'être for music…and prayers. I leave you with a bit of both. The first a bluesy reminder that, well, this old world, she just keeps turning whether we wish to ride along or not:

Don't look so sad
I know it's over
But life goes on
And this old world
Will keep on turning

Let's just be glad
We had some time to spend together
There's no need to watch the bridges
That were burning

“For The Good Times”

The other is just a simple prayer:

I pray you'll be our eyes, and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise in times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way
Lead us to the place, guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe


“The Prayer”

La luce che tu hai
I pray we'll find your light
Nel cuore resterà
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarci che
When stars go out each night
Eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c'è

When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

Play them both a few times. It won’t change the reality we’ve been dealt but maybe it will make it suck a little less. Even if it doesn’t it will do no harm.

Totally off topic but I don’t think Kris Kristofferson gets nearly enough credit for all the wonderful songs he’s written over the years.

Monday, December 14, 2020

“Post-Truth” Is “Pre-Fascism”

We are not a country of laws anymore. We are a country where laws are creatively interpreted.

State reports 113 additional deaths due to COVID-19 - The Boston Globe

Well my friends, the Electoral College votes today. And they will of course vote to confirm Joe Biden as President. Joe Biden, the most dubiously elected president in history will take his place beside OJ, the most dubiously innocent man in America.

There was a time not so very long ago (1995) when even academics could acknowledged the state/media cabal’s corrupt purpose and vast disregard for the truth without being cancelled.

The U.S. press, like the U.S. government, is a corrupt and troubled institution. Corrupt not so much in the sense that it accepts bribes but in a systemic sense. It fails to do what it claims to do, what it should do, and what society expects it to do.

The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest…

The news media and the government have created a charade that serves their own interests but misleads the public. Officials oblige the media’s need for drama by fabricating crises and stage-managing their responses, thereby enhancing their own prestige and power. Journalists dutifully report those fabrications. Both parties know the articles are self-aggrandizing manipulations and fail to inform the public about the more complex but boring issues of government policy and activity. – HBR

In the intervening 25 years the cabal grew stronger and the truth suffered more. By the 2020 election  this state/media cabal had established a solid enough platform to pull off the first coup in U.S. history. First by manipulating people’s actual votes through the reporting of fake news and the suppression of real news. When even that proved inadequate they accommodated the fraudulent by-any-means-necessary creation of enough fake votes to actually steal the election, in the process disenfranchising all Trump voters. We have now reached the apogee of corruption; truth and lies have never been further apart.

How unremarkable in retrospect that the Oxford English dictionary chose “post-truth” its word of the year in 2016.

C2C: Reflections on Critical Pedagogy in the New 'Post-Truth' Landscape –  GEA – Gender and Education Association

The left would have you believe that it was Trump who was lying. As always with them, they are guilty of whatever they accuse their enemy of. Hence “post-truth” became their call of arms. Nor is it lost on me that it was one of their own favored historians who pointed out that post-truth is pre-fascism. Right concept, wrong perpetrator…as always with the left.

Where we go from here is uncharted territory, so buckle up Buttercup. We need to be ready for anything.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Some Holiday Sunday Fun

I hereby declare we deserve a little respite from the real world. And whereas nothing is as conducive to fun as the Christmas season, bring on your favorite holiday memories and memes.

Your favorite story – even if it’s been posted before.

A favorite recipe – even if it’s been posted before.

Upside Down Pear Gingerbread

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 ripe, firm Bosc pears

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons  Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4  teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 large egg
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar
4 tablespoons butter, melted 
whipped cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the sides of a 9-inch round cake pan; set aside.

For topping: Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan, add brown sugar and stir together until blended. Scrape into cake pan and spread evenly.

Peel pears and cut each lengthwise into quarters; discard cores. Slice each pear quarter into 3 lengthwise slices. Arrange slices evenly around the cake pan to resemble a whirlygig.

For cake: Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a large bowl; set aside. Beat egg, brown sugar, molasses, sour milk, 4 tablespoons melted butter in a separate bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until smooth.

Spoon batter over pears carefully without disturbing the pattern. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes; place a large plate over pan and invert onto plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream

A favorite song of the season – even if it’s been posted before:

It was originally released in 1971 on the appropriately named album, Blue, and never really intended as a Christmas song. It's become a staple because nearly everyone of a certain age is apt to "feel a little blue around the holidays," as my Mother used to put it in her understated way. Even if you otherwise love Christmas and all its attendant traditions the march of time and circumstance inevitably means beloved friends and family members are missing from our gatherings. I learned from my Mother that it's quite all right to unwrap that sadness, acknowledge its place in your heart, then wrap it back up and set it in among all the gifts you've received along the years.

With that in mind I offer River today. Take a short trip down the frozen river, discharge the negative energy, then turn around and head back up river, towards the light. Sometimes we just can't see it because we have our backs turned.

Now get out there and have some FUN! It’s Christmas, 2020 and you’re only going to get the one this year. Let’s hear about your favorite tradition, place or memory – that one thing that reminds you of what Christmas is really all about. We shall share our memories of Christmases past and enjoy them vicariously this year. And pray that in due time sanity will once again prevail in this, the most blessed country ever created by the fine minds, resolute spirits and strong bodies of our founding fathers who we are justly proud of despite their human foibles.

Now that’s a Christmas message that would benefit our little woke progressive friends.