Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The power of fear

Bush is promoting fear again.

Two weeks to the mid-term elections.


Word of the post:

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

Definition from the American Heritage Dictionary. Emphases mine.

No example. Just think about the above definition when considering the Republican's, and especially Bush's, tactics leading into the mid-term elections. Terrorism can adopt many, many forms.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Arrrrggghhh! I can't live without...

...vegemite! Well, actually I can, and have for some time now. Still, this seems on the sublime side of ridiculous...

Another bonus word of the post:

ster‧nu‧ta‧tor  [stur-nyuh-tey-ter]
a chemical agent causing nose irritation, coughing, etc.

Example: The plastic-smelling odor given off by the new blinds in my office is a sternutator.*

* True. New blinds were installed today and they stink!

Mid-term elections

The Republicans must really be worried about the up-coming mid-term elections. They've rolled out that proven old strategy of scare-mongering. The US public might fall for that approach once, or even twice, but come on, who do they think they're kidding? Terrorism is clearly on the rise, bin Laden is still on the loose, the Taleban are once again a force in Afghanistan, and Americans are dying daily in Iraq. How can the Republicans claim their approach is the better one?

Word of the post:

blath‧er‧skite  [blath-er-skahyt]
1. a person given to voluble, empty talk.
2. nonsense; blather.

Example: Actually, this one is just too easy. You don't need an example.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I do have something to say. We're embroiled in a seemingly endless war, terrorism is on the rise, we have a mind-boggling deficit, millions are without health insurance, and we have corrupt and pedophilic politicians... Congress however has identified something really important to look into...

BONUS Word of the post:

tur‧pi‧tude  [tur-pi-tood, -tyood]
1. vile, shameful, or base character; depravity.
2. a vile or depraved act.

Example: The current US Congress has participated in an unprecedented amount of turpitude.

Word of the day...

Not much to say lately. Life has a way of getting in the way of everything else.

Word of the post:

tor‧pid  [tawr-pid]
1. inactive or sluggish.
2. slow; dull; apathetic; lethargic.
3. dormant, as a hibernating or estivating animal.

Example: Without sufficient coffee, Odyssey becomes torpid.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Imagine that!

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that good, old-fashioned playtime is good for kids!

Well, duh!

Of course it is. You don't need a study done by a bunch of MD's to know that. All you need is a little common sense. Think about it. Free play allows children to develop in a number of vitally important ways. One is socially. When a kid has unstructured playtime with other kids, he/she needs to learn to interact without an adult telling them how to. Very useful skill that. Now that I'm an adult, I find I don't having some older, wiser person following me around telling me how to act. Good thing I learned how to do that myself.

And then there's imagination. Never, ever underestimate the importance (or power) of a good imagination. I could not do what I do without a strong, active imagination. You can't be a research scientist without one. Well, you could, but you'd suck at it. Look around at people you consider really successful at what they do. I bet they all have strong imaginations. Over-scheduled kids don't get a chance to develop and exercise their imaginations. You can't do that if everything is planned out and structured for you.

Perhaps the people who did the study should participate in some good, old-fashioned playtime...

And now a new feature for the blather...

Word of the post!

I will be attempting to introduce a new word each time I post. Your challenge is to use the word in everyday conversation. Today's word is:

tr.v. de·fen·es·trat·ed, de·fen·es·trat·ing, de·fen·es·trates
To throw out of a window.

For example: George W. Bush and his cronies have defenestrated the Constitution.

Have fun with it!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Return of the blather

I'm baaaaaccckkkk! Didya miss me?

My father was visiting over the last week and a half, hence no blatherings. It was a great visit. I hadn't seen him for five years, so it was good to catch up. He also got to know his grandchildren, which was good for both him and the kids.

Anyway, while gadding about with my Dad I saw a bumper sticker that struck me as funny/sad/appropriate. It had a picture of George W. Bush with the words "American Errorist" next to it. I, like many people, subscribe to the view that W is a dangerous idiot. But...

I'm really not a conspiracy theory kind of guy, but I've been thinking about W and his minions and all that they've done recently. It occurred to me that W has set himself up perfectly for an almost seamless transition to dictator. Think about it. He, and only he, has the power to declare anyone an "enemy combatant". Anyone. Even US citizens. And thanks to the power-mad Republicans and spineless Democrats in Congress, such enemy combatants have no legal recourse. No right of appeal. No hope of a trial. At least not a fair one. And thanks also to Congress, W can wiretap anyone's phone without a warrant. And he and his minions have demonstrated time and again that they are more than happy to trample all over the Constitution and people's rights... So, in principle, W could have anyone who opposes him rounded up, declared an enemy combatant, and shipped off to some secret detention camp for a little "torture lite" (also okayed by Congress). Anyone. Including anyone who might point out that he's supposed to step down at the end of his term. Scary isn't it?

Not that I buy into such a theory.