You couldn’t make it up

April 14, 2011

Yeah, I know — Eagles sang about how things would “get down to the bone,” but I don’t think they meant it the way this birther said it:

I knowingly and of sound mind would ask as a.bonified Citizen of the United States of America request that our President “Barrack Hussein Obama ” step down from


"Bonified" genius

(That’s it.  No end to the sentence, no end to the clause.  No period.)

You think, maybe, he meant bona fide?”

Ick.  “Bonified” suddenly brings all sorts of ugly visions.  Others have thought of it, too.

Travel is an education of itself

July 27, 2010

It’s a tough place to go to school, but somebody has to do it.

Kenny Darrell in Chania, on the island of Crete

Kenny Darrell in Chania, on the island of Crete, becoming a teacher - photo by Stacy Grace

Hipocresía GOP Texas

June 19, 2010

Ed Brayton nails it, so I’ll just steal his stuff:

What’s Spanish for Hypocrisy?

Posted on: June 18, 2010 12:09 PM, by Ed Brayton

ThinkProgress highlights an amusing bit of hypocrisy from the Texas GOP, which put in their platform planks calling for the adoption of Arizona-style immigration legislation and for “American English” to be declared the official language of both Texas and the United States — if it’s good enough for Jesus, remember, it’s good enough for us — and then put out a video to attract Latinos to the GOP. In Spanish.

Reminds me of the luncheon for Republican candidates in Michigan a few months ago. When asked if we could make English the official language of the state, one of them began his reply by saying, “Clearly English is the lingua franca of America.”

What are the odds that the people in the ad are real Republicans and not hired actors?  If they are real Republican, Texas voters, what are the odds they don’t stand out in a Republican crowd?  (See an English version of a similar production here.)

Brayton gets a lot more traffic than I do — so the comments will be more numerous over there.

Texas Democrats convene this coming week, in Corpus Christi.  At the Demo convention, it’s a real advantage to be able to speak Spanish.  The Demo convention will be a gathering of many races, colors and creeds.  The veterans honored will be, mostly, Democratic veterans.  The Spanish-speaking people will be delegates and candidates.  We’ll have fewer Obama-organized people this year than in 2008, but there will be a few thousand relatively newly-active delegates brought in by the Obama organization, which only increases Democratic diversity.

If there is a proposal to the platform committee to make English the official language of Texas, it will be voted down by, among others, Spanish-speaking delegates whose ancestors stood with Travis at the Alamo, and fought with Houston at San Jacinto, as grandchildren and great grandchildren of the original Spanish land grant recipients and descendants of the displaced-but-still-resident Aztecs.

The Democrats will look on people who speak Spanish as having an advantage in education over those of us who don’t speak it fluently, in the American tradition of education for advancement.  Being able to speak Spanish is a mark of education, proof of the gathering of knowledge.  Laws to prevent Spanish from being spoken are regressive anti-development, anti-commerce, racist, and anti-American.

Education and knowledge are good things.  Being able to speak more than one language is a mark of an educated person.  What in the world happened to the Republican Party in Texas?

I get e-mail poetry: 20 Questions

June 18, 2010

Actually, I get a lot of e-mails with poetry, between list-servs with a few (very good) amateur bards, and the Poem-a-Day feature.

This one came in this morning:

Eisenhower warned us “Beware of the Military/Industrial Complex. Today we have the Political/Military/Industrial Complex and it survives through euphemisms. This poem illustrates the process.

Twenty Questions

When did oil drilling become energy recovery?
When did putting people before profits become distorting the market?
When did death become negative patient care outcome?
When did the poor become economically disadvantaged?
When did very low food insecurity replace hunger?
When did hiding the truth become lack of transparency?
When did denying your own words become “I may have misspoke”?
When did truthiness become close enough?
When did taxpayers replace citizens?
When did mercenaries become security contractors?
When did overthrowing a country become regime change?
When did a prisoner of war become a detainee?
When did torture become pain compliance?
When did killing your own soldiers become friendly fire?
When did killing civilians become collateral damage?
When did massive bombing become shock and awe?
When did genocide become ethnic cleansing?
When did lies become spin?
When did peace become pre-hostility?
When did all of the above become acceptable?

Devona Wyant
June 2010

All rights reserved

Dan Valentine – Romans in ballcaps

June 5, 2010

By Dan Valentine

Ensenada Backpacker. “The hostel of the city.”

Two Italian women – mid-twenties, thereabouts; both beautiful; full of life; educated – walk out of the women’s dorm room, after a night’s sleep.

They’ve been here a couple of days.

One blond, one dark-haired. They both speak several languages. Italian, German, English, Spanish. Fluently. Of course! (It’s a European thing.)

In the United States, we’re lucky to learn English.

“Where are you going today?” I asked. No need for an answer, really. It was early morning. I was making coffee.

“We don’t know yet,” said one. “It’s our last night.”

“Where are you going from here?” I asked. Just making conversation.

“South,” she said.

“Less Americans,” I quipped.

“That’s good!” she said, and meant it.

“I agree,” I said.

And they both laughed. No explanation needed. Humor is identification. And Italians, faster than others, should/can/do connect the dots.

In the eyes of the world, both north and south of the border, across the seven seas, in and around and in between, and to a growing number of citizens born and bred in the United States, we are looked upon as:

Romans in ballcaps!

Chain-store togas (“You’re gonna like what you wear”), Nike clogs.

A nation fast-galloping into its Ben-Hur phase …

Christians and others fed to the lions on “Dancing With the Stars”. Credit card money-lenders …

If Christ were to return any day soon, where do you think He’d end up?

Gitmo is a good guess. No nails but lots of water. If I remember right, Charlton Heston gave Him a much needed sip on His way to, well, you-know-where.

I, myself, think He’d be picked up as a babbling vagrant on the streets of a southern town, locked up in a prison cell at night, tending some rich cattleman’s herd during the day, a short ways from the facility, and after some twenty years – after a lawyer has proven Him innocent of all charges and collected a large fee – let go. Then, looking up to the heavens, I think He would say, “They do not know what they do. Get me the hell outta here.”

In short, deja vu all over again.

Romans in ballcaps.

Kicking U.S. butt even when we’re trying to study their language

May 10, 2010

Who gets the most out of this exchange?

“This country doesn’t value teachers, and that upsets me,” she said. “Teachers don’t earn much, and this country worships making money. In China, teachers don’t earn a lot either, but it’s a very honorable career.”

Ms. Zheng said she spent time clearing up misconceptions about China.

“I want students to know that Chinese people are not crazy,” she said. For instance, one of her students, referring to China’s one-child-per-family population planning policy, asked whether the authorities would kill one of the babies if a Chinese couple were to have twins.

Some students were astonished to learn that Chinese people used cellphones, she said. Others thought Hong Kong was the capital.

Barry Beauchamp, the Lawton superintendent, said he was thrilled to have Ms. Zheng and two other Chinese instructors working in the district. But he said he believed that the guest teachers were learning the most from the cultural exchange.

“Guest Teaching Chinese and Learning America,”  Sam Dillon, New York Times, May 9, 2010, page A14.

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