Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is That a Double Entendre in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

So the other meaning for "Johnson" must have come sometime after the 1970s... (HT2 Murdock)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

About a Bad Defense

As Bolivian forces descended upon the wounded mass murderer Ernesto "Che" Guevara, he who sent so many to their deaths begged, "Don't shoot. I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead." I always found it an ironic plea, as if to say "Don't shoot me. I'm the guy who would have murdered you and your entire family."

Similarly (well, only kinda, but still), the Obama administration recently sacked a USDA bigwig for confessing that she had discriminated against white farmers. It seems to me that this is a bit more complicated than it initially seems.

However, it's this comment that she makes in her defense that bugs me:

I was telling the story of how working with him helped me to see the issue is not about race," she said. "It's about those who have versus those who do not have.

Am I missing something, or is she defending herself by saying that she's not racist anymore because now she's a Marxist?

"Don't shoot--I'm Che!"

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

About the Post Office Rate Hike

Hey, have any of you DB's who voted for Obama because you thought that government could solve the problems of this country even once considered how badly the federal government understands even the most simple tenets of economics?

To wit, the Post Office is in trouble. While private delivery companies like FedEx and UPS make profits, the USPS is constantly in the red.

So the feds pull out the big brains. More likely than not, within the next year or so, you'll see an end to Saturday deliveries from the U.S. postal service. That's great. Demand for your service goes down, so make your service even worse than before.


Also, be on the watch for price increases. While every private company in the world understands that higher prices lead to a decrease in demand, the federal government plans on increasing its prices in order to make up for the loss of demand. That higher prices will lead to even less demand has not occurred to them.

Barack Obama: Your apostles say you are a genius, and yet you cannot read the writing on the wall. You are the epitome of the blind leading the blind.

At least Ray Charles could carry a damn tune.

About Stupid Celebrity News

Lindsay Lohan is headed to jail for 90 days. Can anyone tell me who, other than herself, she has hurt? It the answer is no one, then can anyone tell me why in the hell she needs to be sequestered from society against her will and at taxpayer expense?

Is she ruining her life? Sure. Is she a dangerous element who needs to be locked up? No.

Monday, July 05, 2010

On Adverbs, Briefly

I have developed an aversion to adverbs. I don't mean that adverbs are bad, but too many people use them to modify weak verbs instead of using strong, vivid ones.

To wit, the lazy man will write, "He ran quickly down the hall."

While there's nothing innately wrong with the adverb quickly--it has it's time and place--, it's being used here simply to modify a very plain verb: run. Why not scrap the plain verb in favor of a dynamic one?

"He sprinted down the hall."

Not only is sprinted a vivid verb that needs no modification, its usage conveys the same idea and image as ran quickly--and it does so in one less word.

Creating the same image and impact in fewer words is now among my goals, and it should be among yours. Never compromise clarity for brevity, but if you can say it as well simpler, then go simpler.

I have adopted--at least I am trying to adopt--this advice from Stephen King, who recommends it in On Writing. By King's suggestion, I picked up a copy of Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White. Strunk and White make the same case. I recommend both books to anyone who loves to write and who wants to write better.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

When Poetry and Truth Collide

Independence Day reminds me of a poem by Robert Frost.

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower,
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief.
As dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.

Bill of Rights