The Real Problem? I Discovered the OED at an Early Age

Seriously. As a child I enjoyed little more than reading dictionaries and encyclopedias, and when I discovered the OED (and in my tender young manhood, Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament and its exhaustive treatment of Koine Greek *sigh*), well, I was in hog heaven.

So, understand that when I read some illiterate blurb in an email come-on to an online article such as the sentence below, I am a bit disturbed:

“It’s not the cheapest set out there, but it’s chalk full of features.”

It’s not that the author of the blurb is necessarily functionally illiterate (he did, after all, manage to spell his misused word correctly *heh*), but that he apparently has no idea that “chalk full” is nonsense reveals that he’s actually read very little. Any even passably semi-literate person such as myself knows full well that the phrase is “chock-full” or a close variant, and dictionary addicts such as I know why (hint *cough*: the majority opinion leans toward the first word in the term deriving from the Middle English “chokken“–meaning to cram or pack tightly, and NO opinion of any literate person even considers “chalk” to be in the same room as “chock” for the expression :-)).

Then blurb was written, more than likely, by some subliterate college graduate who’s heard the expression but never read it… and never even considered that looking up an expression he’s heard but not read might be a Good Thing before putting it in print.

Dumbass.


And, as my Wonder Woman pointed out to me, the writer of that excrescence is apparently an illiterate, uncultured savage whose only exposure to coffee has been limited to the crap sold by Starbucks and other boutique gathering places of the illiterati. Otherwise, he might have heard of, seen or even imbibed some of this:

(OK, OK, my Wonder Woman was too kind to characterize this savage as what he–oh! dread! it could be a “she”! *heh*–obviously is. I added the “illiterate, uncultured savage” and the comment on the crap that’s sold as coffee by Starbucks. Doesn’t make my editorializing incorrect, though.)

Your “Feddle Gummint” at Work: IRS Raids Car Wash for 4¢

There ya go. Yet another reason for The FairTax from the IRS.

The kicker? Interest and penalties on the 4¢ amounted to $202.31.

BTW, if you’ve gotten all your information on the FairTax–what little there is available in mass media–from the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind, politicians *spit* and Academia Nut Fruitcakes, you owe it to yourself, your children, your grandchildren and our society as a whole to follow the link to FairTax.org and there to practice some genuine autodidacticism (no, despite what the NEA may say, autodidacts are NOT perverts) on the subject.

The Joys of Being Married to a Literate Woman

Gotta love my Wonder Woman. Relating a news event (no, real news) that someone in our neighborhood had been shot, she correctly used “contretemps” in her dialog (yes, I was her interlocutor; I had a few questions as the news unfolded).

Well, as it turns out, the news was one of those good news/bad news situations. The guy who was shot had kicked in a door and entered a home uninvited. He was shot by a guy who lived there. So far, good news. The bad news? The guy who nailed the attacker is being charged for his possession of the gun. Yeh, he’d been convicted of a felony in the past, and so under the laws of our state was denied a firearm as a means of self-defense.

Absent any clear information on what sort of “felony” he was once convicted of, and given the growing prevalence of criminalizing behaviors that were once simply the domain of free men, I have to tentatively label his arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm “bad news”.

Oh, and how I missed the huhurah? *pshaw* I hear gunfire all the time. Guys tooling up for deer season and whatever. (We do live w/in a couple hundred feet of “city” limits and there’s no county ordinance against the discharge of firearms on ones own property–as is rightly so.) We also live just a few short blocks from the county ambulance service (it’s based at the one 24-hour emergency clinic–a new thing–in the county), so I’ve also come to pretty much ignore sirens. And the local LEOs rarely use their horns, so I’d probably not have even heard them arrive. Heck, once, when I made a report of a disturbance next door to me (during the gladly brief years of “the bad neighbors”), six county mounties showed up with nary a peep between ’em.

So, good news/bad news that I might not have heard about for a couple more days were it not for my literate and very well “plugged in” Wonder Woman cluing me in.

Oh, and on top of the news, I got to hear a word I rarely hear in conversation, used appropriately–and pronounced correctly to boot. Gotta love her.

Remembering the Constitution

You know, that document that is supposedly the basis for all the “feddle gummint’s” meddling nowadays? The one that enumerates specific, limited powers for the Federal government of the States? The one largely ignored or twisted by our wonderful *spit* congresscritters, the judiciary and executive branches?

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

My recommendation would be to, on this day, the “birthday” of the Constitution, take some time out to simply READ it. Don’t pay any atention to dumbasses, liars and charlatans who say it’s written in archaic language that’s hard to understand (it isn’t, for anyone who’s moderately literate). That’s worse than the lame excuse the Medieval church gave for keeping common folk from reading the Bible, “It’s in Latin and you’re illiterate anyway, so just let us experts interpret it for you.” *feh* Academia Nut Fruitcakes, Mass MEdia Podpeople, politicians *spit* and the like would prefer you remain ignorant of its provisions so you’ll be unable to see when (every day) the establishment elite trample its protections for our liberties. Politicians especially don’t want you to really know what the Constitution says, because when you do it will lay bare the fact that approaching 100% (there are a very few holdouts) of congresscritters *spit* are in daily breach of their oaths of office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Of course almost all congresscritters are in breach of their oaths; they ARE the primary enemies of the Constitution! Witness all the talk from BOTH sides of the Uniparty aisle about federal “reform” (takeover) of health care. Hint: there is NO enumerated power in the Constitution that would allow such a thing.

Read the Constitution for yourself and see: it’s true. The Federal government has no such power, legitimately, but that is not going to stop Congress from acting illegaly in this case any more than it has stopped Congress from enacting other laws it has no legitimate power to enact. Note in the Christian Science Monitor article linked above that,

Ironically, consumers today cannot freely buy health insurance from across state lines. If there’s any legitimate application of the “commerce” clause, it would be to overturn such restrictions. But the framers never gave Congress the general power to regulate industry.

How Did The 0! Get Elected, Anyway?

Go HERE and take the simple, easy-peasy (seriously!) “Civics Quiz” and see how The 0! got elected. Americans are simply illiterate when it comes to American history and knowledge of our governing documents, etc.

Paula-beats-Abe

“If there is any presidential speech that has captured a place in popular culture, it is the Gettysburg Address, seemingly recited by school children for decades. The truth is, however, Lincoln’s most memorable words are now remembered by very few.

“Of the 2,508 Americans taking ISI’s civic literacy test, 71% fail. Nationwide, the average score on the test is only 49%. The vast majority cannot recognize the language of Lincoln’s famous speech.

“The test contains 33 questions designed to measure knowledge of America’s founding principles, political history, international relations, and market economy…

“…The results reveal that Americans are alarmingly uninformed about our Constitution, the basic functions of our government, the key texts of our national history, and economic principles.”

Well, maybe for a majority of the proles that is true, but surely our well-educated college grads fare better? Nope.

“College graduates in all age brackets—except Baby Boomers (ages 45 to 64)—typically earn an ‘F’ on the exam. Baby Boomers who ended their formal education with a bachelor’s degree score an average of 61%, or a ‘D-.'”

(Well, that certainly squares with the report that 69% of college graduates couldn’t read directions to find their way out of a paper bag… *feh*)

But wait! There’s more! From the “Civics Quiz” report:
Continue reading “How Did The 0! Get Elected, Anyway?”

Writers for C- Movies Should Stick to the SyFy Channel…

…not become “New York Times Best-Selling” authors.

*sigh*

All these idiots do is accelerate the pejoration of the English language as a whole, dumb down the reading public even further (actually, quite an accomplishment, when you think about it) and increase the bloated landfill “wannabes” that our public libraries and book stores seem to aspire to being. Commas splices, split infinitives (where none are needed for jargon or idomatic speech and where such abortions of syntax and semantics actually harm clear communication), and inapropriate word usage when compounded by drearily banal plots, laughable and completely inexcusable historical and factual faux pas, and stereotypes in place of characters, just make for poor reading.

But that’s what passes for “New York Times Best-Sellers” in a post-literate age. *sigh* I know, because I just struggled through another one such book in an attempt to find a new author I might enjoy reading. Why did I not close the book and end the torture after the first page? Frankly, I wanted to give it a fair and honest read and the author a chance to redeem himself, but Raymond Koury just would not cooperate, and so–on to the dreadfully predictable end, slogging through some of the crappiest writing I have ever subjected myself to–I persisted. And I regretted it “alright” (one of Koury’s many, many assinine pejorations of the English language appropriated from such subliterate American pop culture “literary giants” as The Who, The Killers, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez *feh*).

I feel certain that reading Koury’s writing has killed enough brain cells (they suicided as prodigious rates the more I read of Koury’s drek) to lower my IQ by 10 points. Oh, I can afford the loss, though, since I live in a society dominated by stupified dolts who, for one example of many, voted to ensconce The 0! in the White, urm, “Café au Lait” House. The lower ones IQ, the more sense the passing scene makes…

But just a fair warning: if you don’t think you can afford to kill off a lot of brain cells, take a pass on books written by Raymond Koury.


Note 1: It didn’t help Koury much that I had just read a very nice piece of fiction by Lawrence Block. The comparison between Block’s literate style, wry wit, tight plotting and spare but nevertheless vivid charactizations and Koury’s “anything BUT the above” only served to highlight Koury’s faults as a writer.

Note 2: the SciFi channel’s recent name alteration to “SyFy” is just another of the many unutterably stupid word alterations that subliterate idiots in marketing and advertising (and “news” and contemporary “music” etc., etc.) have inflicted on American English. *feh” on them all. Of course, ignoring the SciFi (or SyFy if one wants to be a complete idiot) Channel is no great loss, as a general rule. Has anyone among the readers (assuming more than one *heh*) of this blog yet “succeeded” in watching ANY of the “made for SciFi/SyFy ‘movies'” all the way through? Thought not. Dreck of the lowest order. Labeling them “C- movies” is probably an insult to the makers of C- movies everywhere.

The Three R’s

An antidote for the trials and tribulations we face today is… more trial and tribulation, as found in the “Three R’s”–Reading, Righting and Revolution.

One of the biggest barriers to good governance nowadays is the ignorance of the People. The answer to that is to teach the People to read. No, not just how to read but to read. And not to read just the poisonous pap they find in Mass Media Podpeople Hivemind rags but to read history. And not just to read history but to read the actual documents of history: the documents of our nation’s roots and its founding, extending at least as far back as the Magna Carta, first and foremost.

Then we need to be serious about righting the wrongs of a government grown bloated and overbearing, that neglects its principal duties and besets its citizens with oppression. A good pruning is sorely needed.

But those two steps will take a revolution, I fear, or rather, will be a revolution the like of which our political elites–in government, Mass Media Hivemind and Academia Nut Fruitcake Bakeries–will not easily allow.

Think: the generation that was inspired by the Boston Tea Party had not passed when George Washington–the Father of our country, as he is rightly styled–put down the Whiskey Rebellion, which was nothing but another “tea party” protesting oppressive and unfair government taxation. (Note that George Washington’s whiskey production was, like others of his class, taxed at only 2/3 the rate of poor Western farmers’ whiskey. Therein, and in the earlier shameful response to the so-called “Shay’s Rebellion”, I fear, was the seed of Elite Oppression of the People sown even in those early days of the republic… *sigh*)

It would be a Good Thing if we were able to effect the Three R’s by means of personal influence and see the real revolution take place at the polling booth, but even then, it may well take more than JUST personal influence and voting, the way the “community organizers” of the left have devised such slick ways to steal votes.

Interesting times.

Fear-mongering

In the decade or more before his death, Michael Crichton spoke widely about fear-mongering in science circles (often coupled with making a religion out of science), exacerbated by the pressing need in media to market fear (the pun was intentional; if you groaned, shame on you :-)). The Mass Media Podpeople Hivemind (and the politicians who bow before its altar) openly embrace fear-mongering both for immediate audience share and to enhance the addiction of the masses to its poisonous screeds.

Both those who embrace a strictly dogmatic scientific approach to issues and those who rebel against such dogmatism seem to often embrace fear-mongering as a primary persuasive tactic. Take “natural” foods proponents and “scientific nutritionists” or medical establishment dogmatists and “holistic medicine” proponents and put them in the same room, and you’d likely end up with a kilkenny cats donnybrook of fear-mongering. Just one example can serve as a cautionary: chelation therapy is presented by some alternative medicine proponents as THE answer to a host of ills–ills they often imply the medical community only want to treat with very expensive therapies that work less well. The medical establishment counters with scary threats of death from chelation therapy, often pointing out that more than 30 deaths from chelation therapy have occurred… since the 1970s while noting that more than 800,000 inpatient/outpatient chelation treatments are administered per year. Let’s see now… that’s about 0.0000000125% of treatments have resulted in deaths!

*feh* Fear-mongering. Since chelation therapy for other than heavy metals poisoning is most often for alternative medicine treatment of heart and artery disease how about comparison to another common treatment for heart and artery disease? Heart bypass surgery results in at least a 1.0% death rate. That’s about 80,000 times more risky than chelation therapy. *heh*

The dire warnings from the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming (which previously was the Church of Anthropogenic Global Cooling and is now transitioning to the Church of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change) have all been nothing but crying wolf. Not one of the warnings have come to pass–not one!–and so, like other whack job religious nuts who keep pushing back the date they prophesy for the end of the world, the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming keeps having to move the goal posts in their deadly game to keep the fictional fear-mongering within the realm of the sheeple’s oh-so-flexible suspension of disbelief.

Lies, lies and more lies, built upon grains of sand, less than even kernels of truth, lies designed to induce fear in the credulous sheeple who, thanks to long term media brainwashing aided by a public education system that seems to be designed to produce idiots and individuals who cooperate in their own lobotomization, are completely unable to even parse this moderately complex sentence, let alone deconstruct the lies fed them by The Powers That Be.

As a popularly-voiced, accessible (to anyone who really can read and do simple arithmetic at a genuine upper grade school level) preparation to skeptical perusal of contemporary science-as-religion as presented for sheeple consumption, I recommend once again James Hogan’s Kicking the Sacred Cow. It’s an easy read for any even minimally literate person, and the footnotes are well worth following.

it’s not just literacy that’s a problem, although that certainly is a problem, but, as I found out in a recent conversation with someone locally, most people can’t even tell when they’re being manipulated with numbers. The “more than 30 people have died since the 1970s” attempt to frighten people away from thoughtful consideration of chelation therapies noted above is one such example. By contrast to the 30 or so deaths out of 24,000,000 or so chelation treatments in the U.S. since the 1970’s, 90 people a year are killed by lightning strikes. That’s roughly 0.000000003% of the population… per year! Ooo! Scary, huh? Not. Sure, ones chances of dying from a chelation therapy treatment are more than ones chances of dying from a lightning strike, but compared to other risks, both are neglible in the extreme. (I’m not advocating chelation therapy for anything but heavy metals poisoning. I’m just noting that scare tactics are reprehensible… and that the only defense is knowledge.) WHat’s my point here? Most folks wouldn’t even bother to count the zeros in the numbers offered above, and even more wouldn’t be able to discern how they were educed. The “recent conversation” that spurred this observation? Someone who’s back in school commented on how much trouble her statistics course was for her. Numbers are haaaard. *heh* Without a calculator, most folks can’t even balance their checkbooks. Heck, with a calculator many folks can’t. (OK, even I don’t do as many maths problems in my head as I used to do. I’m slowing down.) Even with calculators, math is just too hard for most folks, Why? Because most folks can’t do simple math at all and have no idea what that calculator they’re using is doing with the garbage they input–garbage because they don’t know what to input to get answers they need.

The simple answer is to learn to read. No, not how to read: to read. Read copiously, and choose books that are both well-written and have something worthwhile to say and that are well-grounded in reality. Even science fiction or fantasy novels can be more well-grounded in reality than much of the fear-mongering toxic waste poured down the gullets of credulous UNliterate sheeple by the Mass Media Podpeople Hivemind and its partners in crime found in Academia Nut Fruitcake Bakeries and Congress.


Trackposted to The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Democrat=Socialist, The World According to Carl, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.