Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Word of the Day: Hortatory

"It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so" ~Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988) 
Did Heinlein intend his observation to apply equally to anti-sectarians, anti-cultists and anti-religionists acquiring political power? Insofar as atheists fancy themselves freethinking, humane, scientific, tolerant and oh-so-enlightened, I doubt it. He has another target in mind. 
Yet Christianity has always differentiated the spiritual from the secular, City of God from City of Man. This bifurcation had everything to do with spawning the West's rich tradition of individual rights and liberties. At any rate, I hope by now we have learned that atheists in control of the City of Man (e.g., Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot) are capable of crimes and atrocities undreamed of in the Christian Age. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

God Hates Flags!

Flag day? Flag F***ing Day?! Really?!? Every damned day is Flag Day! Ever since 9/11 I've had that stupid star-spangled, blood-soaked, Land-of-the-Flea and Home-of-the-Knave banner rammed down my throat! From cars, from houses, from schools and office buildings! I can't even watch my favorite pro or college sports teams without seeing those snarling, seething Stars-and-Stripes! Enough already! Bring back Gadsden or the Cross of St. Andrew's or St. Peter's Keys! Any rectangular piece of cloth that stands for something vaguely decent and humane and reasonable! I've had my fill of Old Blowhardy!

Is Opposition to Abortion "Religious"?

It depends how broadly you choose to define "religious." A concern for values is what defines us as human beings. But to explore such issues as truth, beauty, justice and ethics is to enter the realm of metaphysics. There are atheists (e.g., Ayn Rand) who embrace the natural law (i.e., metaphysics) but reject the Natural Law Giver. There are "model agnostics" (e.g., Robert Anton Wilson) who reject both. I find Wilson's position more defensible than Rand's. Nevertheless, I choose to believe in both the law and the Lawgiver. It helps get me through the night.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday Babbling

Bland observations about the weather. Can you believe the heat, cold, snow, rain, sleet, hail (pick one) we've been having?! It must be global warming and anthropogenic cooling and climate change (pick two or more)! And how about that bag of hot air in the corner office!
Hackneyed commentary about the value of teamwork and the contributions of “the Garden” to the surrounding community.  Kudos to various employees for chipping in on some stupid Hospital-wide event or other. Overblown statements affirming the leadership abilities of the management team. 
Dollops of sanctimony, sententiousness and self-congratulation.
Why don’t I see more initiative from this Department?! You know I've always striven to empower each and every one of you! You act as if you don’t want to work harder and longer for less pay! I am shocked, hurt, vexed, pissed-off, chagrined, irked, peeved, dismayed, dyspeptic and disappointed!
The financials are improving but nowhere near where they should be. Prime Health’s injection of capital will help—but only after six more years of zero percent pay increases, increased employee health insurance premium cost-sharing, mandatory flu shots (along with castration for all male employees—sexual harassment claims are costly!) and cockamamie employee surveys.
Together we can turn the corner! We just have to work as a team! You’ll see! Two percent raises, $500 bonuses and $20 Meijer gift certificates are just around the corner!
Meaningless fluff intended to uplift and edify.  
Lame, unattributed quote.
Enjoy your picnics and families. Make sure you pause this holiday to remember all those brave boys tossed into Moloch’s maw for no good reason.
Have a great weekend!
~Dilbert
P.S.  The comic strip is optimistic.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Vociferous Opinion

It is no crime to be ignorant of Christian history, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that many people consider to be a chronicling of a dismal pursuit ("mysticism"). But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on religious subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. 

(With apologies to Murray Rothbard, who was an unbeliever, after all, but at least approached the subject knowledgeably and evenhandedly.) 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Words Up To No Good

I found the Upworthy link (Some Words Are Up To No Good) especially rich coming from someone who, in August 2013, would see fit to write the following: "Latin is the preferred language of the Vatican, but don't hold it against the language. It had no say in the matter" (http://wordsmith.org/words/corpus_delicti.html), with a link to the virulently Christaphobic Christopher Hitchens in support of his insult. I can't wait for one of those fair and sensitive Duke students to parry accordingly: 

I DON'T CALL THE CATHOLIC CHURCH A NEST OF PEDOPHILES JUST BECAUSE CULTURAL ELITES HAVE DEEMED IT AN INSTITUTION WORTHY OF DEFAMATION. I TREAT EVERYONE WITH THE RESPECT AND EVEN-HANDEDNESS I EXTEND TO GAYS AND OTHER OPPRESSED MINORITIES.  

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Needless to say, I am not holding my breath for that particular corrective to Words That Are Up To No Good. If the cultural elites have deemed an institution worthy of bad words, surely they have good reason. Any Duke student worth his salt knows that. 

Tony Pivetta
Royal Oak, Michigan




-----Original Message-----
From: Wordsmith <wsmith@wordsmith.org>
To: apivetta <apivetta@aol.com>
Sent: Sun, Apr 27, 2014 6:47 pm
Subject: AWADmail Issue 617


 Wordsmith.orgThe Magic of Words 


Apr 27, 2014
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
tractable
bombastic
impecunious
petulant
incorrigible

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Next week's theme
Homonyms

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AWADmail Issue 617

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
Sponsor's message: It's Officially Huge. This week's Email of the Week winner, Ken Kirste (see below) -- as well as all AWADers worldwide -- can now make their own terrific fun word-nerd party for nothing. Introducing our best-selling One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game as a free PDF download, absolutely gratis. Hurree y'up.

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the net
Ten Works of Fiction Indebted to the Bard
The Irish Times
WebCite
Some Words Are Up To No Good
Upworthy

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Words Formed in Error

Your theme this week really strikes a chord with me. The internet age means blogging. Blogging bypasses gatekeepers, which is all to the good when it comes to imparting sound political philosophy and economic theory. When it comes to careful editing, not so much. 

Otherwise skilled writers are using "lead" as the past tense of lead. They mean led. The confusion is understandable; led is pronounced the same way as the word lead, meaning the element represented by the symbol Pb. But lead most certainly is not the right word! Similarly, I see chose for choose, breath for breathe, and loose for lose. 

Worst of all, I see definately taking the place of definitely and miniscule for minuscule. Ugh! I keep telling myself these words formed in error are a small price to pay for the free flow of information. They stick in my craw nonetheless. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Lincoln's Legacy

The Lincoln Legacy? War as an instrument of policy! It can advance the Greater Good, however defined! How would you like it defined?