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There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18, ESV)

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July 2015
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Mock Material

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Not feeling like streaming stuff. . . watching a syndicated re-run of Blue Bloods. Commercial on. Guy says “anabotics” when he means “antibiotics”. Eminently mockable. Would love to mock him in person. Because fun.

Déjà vu All Over Again

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The problem with reading fiction is that there is a limited number of plots, and I’ve read them all many, many times, in so many combinations and permutations that I invariably think, “Déjà vu all over again,” when reading a novel. Characters, descriptive narrative, and minute plot variations are the interest points I read fiction for anymore. Well, that and a writer’s deftness (or lack thereof) with a story arc, etc. *shrugs* There’s enough left to feed the addiction. Re-reading exceptionally well-written fiction is quite often much more interesting than most new material available.

Non-fiction? Different criteria in many ways.

Parthian Shot

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Most folks who object to what they say is “name calling” really seem to be objecting to accurate labeling.

Thatisall.

Color me *meh*

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I know, it’s probably just me, but I cannot wrap my head around the idea of “anniversary visits” to a loved one’s grave site. *shrugs* I just don’t get it.

Signs and Portents of Declining Literacy

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While even I (*gasp!* really?!?, moi? *heh*) am subject to errors of this sort from time to time (particularly after struggling to read through many long text samples by subliterates), a fairly sure sign of poor literacy (that is, not being well-read) is using compound words that are adjectives or adverbs in place of noun or verb phrases OR using separate words when compounds of those words is proper.

Already vs All ready
Altogether vs All together
Anyone vs Any one
Anything vs Any thing
Awhile vs A while. . .
. . .
Backseat vs Back seat. . .
. . .
Everyday vs Every day. . .
. . .
Maybe vs May be. . .
. . .
Sometime vs Some time. . .
. . .
Workout vs Work out. . .

And many, many more.

Why do some writers regularly mix such things up? Because they are not well-read. Such writers may have read a lot of text, but if they have, the text they have read has been written by poorly-read, less than genuinely literate writers. Being well-read requires having read enough text by genuinely literate writers to have absorbed good language skills, which includes, among many attributes, knowing the useful distinctions between such compound words as listed above and the phrases they’ve been compounded from. (Insert obligatory Winston Churchill comment about ending sentences with prepositions here. :-) )

Of course, that’s only one, of many, abilities a literate writer will have in his bag, but when it’s missing, one can be pretty sure that the writer who lacks this ability is just too lazy to have done his homework. He might be a good storyteller or public speaker/lecturer, but he’s not really literate enough to be trusted with a pen (or keyboard) and a publisher (even if it is himself*).


*Subliterate self-pubs/”Indie” writers almost invariably are too cheap (or financially strapped) to pay for decent editing–either content or line editing–and even if they try “crowdsourcing” such things usually only appeal to their own cohort of subliterates to check their work. *gagamaggot* Of course, there are literate “Indie” writers with literate peers and readers, and their works are generally edited to a standard that, nowadays, exceeds that of the increasingly poor quality of editing coming from traditional publishing houses. Not common but welcome.

My Greenish Thumb

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Nice to see my Wonder Woman’s houseplants make a comeback from a Winter of Cat Destructo action, simply from being put outside (some in shade, indirect light, some out in the open). A few months of “thriving in the wild” (nope, even when I did this last year, no supplemental watering) seems to do them wonders.

My “tire-augmented” hugekultur compost bed/garden seems to be doing well. Flowers blooming and HUGE jalapeno plants grown from seed (flowering and already producing peppers) seem to testify to the worth of putting in the little extra to build the thing. Ease of weeding is also a plus. Now that everything’s up and thriving, mulch to come. Expanding this concept in the back yard. . .

The grass is growing so fast this year, I’ve only had one chance to use my fav mower–the chain-driven Fiskars reel mower–a real joy to mow with, but nothing over 6”. When rain keeps the mowing to one day a week (or my aching back–see below–says, “Another day, my friend”) 6” comes pretty quickly. Oh, well. At least it gives me more grass clippings to “drunk compost” when I have to use the gas mower. Hate all the noise, fumes and crap it stirs up in the air. At least I can wear hearing protection and a dust mask. *shrugs* It still looks scalped, not cut, but that’s a rotary mower for ya.

Gas mower doesn’t adjust handle height like the Fiskars does, though, so I always have to mow hunched over a bit. That’s a pain in the back (actually, I have a much lower opinion of that, IYKWIMAITTYD 😉 ). Still, I tell myself, “Grass clippings. Compost. Deal with it.”

Well, If I Haven’t Managed to Get on a DHS Watch List Yet, This Ought to Do It

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The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Undermining the Foundations

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Ponder, if you will, all the times the feds have, of late, misused the 14th Amendment to impose restrictions on genuine rights, create licenses (that it mislabels as “rights”) and in general oppress liberty instead of using it correctly to protect legitimate, natural, God-granted rights. Interesting, eh? Turning constitutional provisions on their heads and destroying liberty seems to be something a majority of SCOTUS, for example, is quite comfy with.

Poisoning the well of freedom. Not a good thing.

Purple-Tinted Rainbow Twaddle Masquerading as Legal Reasoning

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Justice Kennedy was exactly the right person to sum up the legal reasoning of the majority opinion behind SCOTUS’ 5-4 HODGES decision. [Note: link is to pdf of Kennedy’s formal opinion.] Let’s just let Kennedy’s emotional bullshit speak for itself:

purple-tinted-rainbow-twaddle

That’s what passes for legal thought in the SCOTUS nowadays. . . Blatant distortion of fact and meaning. Logical fallacy after fallacy supporting emotional bullshit. That is the whole argument for same-sex “marriage” in a nutshell. At least Kennedy got that right.

A Never-Ending Cornucopia. . .

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My Wonder Woman never ceases to amaze–and amuse–me. Today, she took “depositions” from two first graders, elicited their testimony, made them write it out to submit for the principal’s adjudication of a dispute. She really poured it on ’em.

I’m pretty sure they’ll remember this day. *heh*