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June 2016
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No One of Any Significance. . .

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If I ever tire of Phreddie P. Phineas Phocksphire Pharquhar, I think I would be happy to adopt “Nanny McPhee” as a sobriquet. . . although my Wonder Woman thinks “Manny McPhee” would be a bit less gender-bending. 😉

Thatisall.

Islam vs. Christianity: the Short Version

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A brief rant: I’ve already seen on FarceBook a number of moral equivalency arguments made for the faithful follower of Islam who committed the Orlando shootings. One particularly egregious lie paints Christianity and Islam as equivalent: “equally bad” (as well as “equally good”–essentially, no differences) in what they teach. Really? _Obedient_ Muslims (“muslim” means submitted–short form: to the word of “Allah” as revealed by Mohamed) can, within the constraints of normative Islam, as defined by the words of Mohamed, legitimately emulate Mohamed and follow his clear teachings in committing acts of mass murder, rape, pillage, torture, slavery of unbelievers, etc. Being a true “moderate Muslim” (not committed to doing such things or supporting those who do) means disobeying Mohamed’s commands and disrespecting his life example.

OTOH, those who claim to be Christians and engage in acts that emulate the life of Mohamed (mass murder of unbelievers, etc.), NOT Christ, must do so in direct contradiction of the teachings and life of the founder of Christianity. Obeying Christ’s teachings about the treatment of others–unbelievers included–requires acting in a way that is completely antithetical to Mohamed’s teachings.

Christianity and Islam are in no way, shape, fashion, or form equivalent. Anyone who claims differently is either ignorant or a liar. Since the truth of the issue is quite easy to come by, anyone who is ignorant of it is either dishonestly avoiding the truth or butt lazy. Or both.

One Little Thing. . . ;-)

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Son&Heir’s pooch is definitely one of the top five Best Dogs I have ever known–more like in the top two. Smart, loving, gentle (especially with other animals–he and our cats have a mutual admiration society going), fun to be around. Entertains himself well without being destructive. Fetches well. Plays “tag” really well, too. Personable. Still, one thing he doesn’t seem inclined to learn is the difference between “C’m’ere” and “Sic’em.” *heh*

Little Things. . .

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I made my two favorite cutting boards as gifts (for my grandmothers) 54 years ago, and, after 18 years in one case and 32 years in the other case, they came back to me. I use them daily–far more often than any of my other cutting boards. One I use for meats, only and the other for veggies. The system seems to work for me, and most of the time I don’t need anything larger than these.

mahogany pig

walnut-maple pig

The Continuing Search for a New Web Browser

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Since more and more sites are becoming even ruder about browser use–going well beyond simply browser sniffing, now–Opera 12.18 is starting to become a little more difficult to use as a default browser. It still does work fairly well, apart from aggressive attempts to lock “old” browsers out by some sites, but only in Windows 7 and 8/8.1. Windows 10 seems to simply not “like” it.

Sad, because it has many features other “modern” browsers–including Opera ASA’s “Chopera” (an Opera browser based on the Chrome rendering engine)–either lack or do not implement as well. Mouse gestures as clunky or just weird in most other browsers that implement them natively, and mouse gesture extensions have uniformly proven to be crap. Newsreader integrated into the browser, no add-in required? Nope. Granular–really granular–control of features/customization? Nope. Bookmarks that really work and can be easily organized? Nope. Even the best at importing Opera bookmarks and allowing organization requires laboriously reorganizing each separate folder and sub-folder, one at a time. That’s a bit tedious when one has a couple of hundred folders and thousands of bookmarks. (I treat bookmarking sort of like a library card file catalog: I want everything saved where and how I want it, organized into subject folders and searchable any way I want. Yes, I weed my “catalog” pretty regularly to eliminate dead links. Doesn’t everyone? 😉 )

I could go on and on, because there are many, many features baked into the “old” Opera that are just not present or are poorly implemented in all the other browsers I have tried. The one that comes sort of close to being a replacement, but even it doesn’t allow real customization, has clunky mouse gesture implementation, lousy bookmark organization, no built-in newsreader, and doesn’t let me choose my preferred default search engine, even though it shows a procedure for doing so! #gagamaggot

OK, so just checked again. Since the last time I tried and became disgusted with it, Vivaldi Browser at least does now import my bookmarks and does–almost–sort them, at least closely to their original organization. Manual sorting thereafter looks straightforward (though still tedious). But the rest? *meh* Notsomuch, it seems. *sigh* For example, it limits the number of “Speed Dial” columns to six. I prefer ten. Why bake in such stupid limitations? That’s just one of many such dumb ideas.

Still hunting.

The best that can be said of The Trumpery

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John Schindler states the reasons he will vote for The Trumpery if The Trumpery and The Queenie Cacklepants Cylon are the prexy offerings from The Uniparty:

“. . .at least he’s not under investigation by the FBI for espionage and corruption.”

What a ringing endorsement.

Heads You Lose

The Iron Law of Bureaucracy at Work

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So, fifth time in six years that “city” *cough* workers *cough* are “repairing” the water line to the house. Yeh, the guy in the hole didn’t like me sticking around to see that he was just putting a patch over the hole in their line. Replace the faulty line? Heck no! That would take work. *sigh*

But at least it keeps them busy going back and re-doing their crappy work.

One of the principles of Type II “Bureaucraps” is to NEVER actually solve a problem, because that doesn’t let them request more funding, more personnel (at the end of the “job” there were five “workers” busyworking the job. Oh, it never needed more than one to do the “work” and another to lean on a shovel and issue directions (which, when it came to the so-so use of the backhoe/FEL at least gave the guy five minutes out of two hours of legitimacy, but it needed five to eat up some time on some time cards), more “turf” to claim as their own.

And their supervisor, of course, set it all up the way it was run, from excess workers using equipment oin a manner assured to take the most possible time with the equipment used, to shoddy repair. All designed to eat up resources in the most inefficient manner possible and assure ANOTHER leak down the road.

Literacy: It’s Probably More Than You Think

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Literacy, as defined down by contemporary CYA “edumacationists” is merely the ability to decode the funny lil squiggles found on the printed page (in whatever form) into words. Comprehension? Notsomuch. Ability to take printed text, comprehend its meanings and reason from it? That’s not really what contemporary “edumacationists” are after, from all evidence at hand. (You can do your own searches on strings like “literacy declines” etc.)

Simple material literacy is just that: decoding printed text.

Formal literacy is more, much more, and involves having a wide written vocabulary, a grasp of correct grammar, and the ability to write using proper orthography in order to communicate as well as possible.

More and more, nowadays, folks write just what they have heard and in the way they speak. This is not all bad, but much depends on the speech they have heard and their ability to understand even that. The problem comes when these same people only read text written by others of their ilk, so that substandard usage, misheard (or misused) words and expressions have entered their speech and then their own text, so that poor language use is promulgated to yet another subliterate reader.

A couple of quick “tests” determine whether a writer is really literate or simply mistaken in thinking he is. (And there’s one right there: the use of the masculine pronoun to indicate a generic human.):

Word and phrase misusage. Does the writer constantly move a literate reader to invoke Inigo Montoya? (“You keep using that word [or phrase]. . . “) Subliterate. “Chomps” (at the bit) for “champs,” “snigger” for “snicker,” “beg the question” with an intended meaning of “begs that a question be asked” instead of its long accepted meaning of a form of argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises, etc., etc. The stupidities are almost endless.

Another quick test: does the writer even know how to use pronouns? Many, if not most, illiterate/subliterate self-inflicted victims of the Dunning-Kruger Effect have NO idea how to use reflexive pronouns, such as “myself, himself, herself,” etc., and so consistently misuse them in place of “my, him, her,” etc. Does the writer even have a fricking clue about objective case and subjective case pronouns, or does he constantly use “I” when he should be using “me”?

These are all signs of a grasp of English that is verbal rather than literate, and that such grasp is influenced by the language (spoken and written) of others of the writer’s subliterate class.

Of course, a grasp of good grammar, proper orthography, and a decent vocabulary are just the barest beginnings of formal literacy. The person who would be literate must then read and soak up the language use and content of great literature, then use the knowledge gleaned to read widely. . . and deeply on many subjects in order to also become culturally literate. History, science (no, not crap science as presented by the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind), the various arts, etc., are ALL the province of a literate person. These once were the realm of a liberal arts education, but, sadly, no longer, save in a few scattered institutions of genuine education.

In truth, literacy is a lifelong learning experience. Anyone who is not fascinated to find ” holes and gaps, lacks and losses, absenses, silences, impalpabilities, insipidities, and the like”1 in one’s own literacy is simply not literate enough to do so. *sigh*

Of course, my post title could be an unfair imputation of ignorance. Perhaps the reader already knows this, and more. If so, I am open to instruction.

Break Out of a False Dichotomy

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UNIPARTY

Old Saws Can Be “A Good Thing”

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But they don’t always cut true. For example,

“If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.”

Generally true, but I’ve had folks be upset when their dogs liked me better than they liked them. . . and obeyed me better. Not often, but there’ve been times. . .