Monday, September 30, 2013

2080 Legal Evil

Interesting stories in the news recently about our good friends from the axis of evil, Iran and North Korea. The stories' common theme was how they handled certain legal matters. 

First, Iran is mounting a new combat campaign involving one of the most feared of weapons of mass destruction. They are suing us.

Yep, Iran says it will sue the US for overthrowing its democratically elected prime minister back in 1953. Recent declassified documents show that the CIA was behind the coup. Surprise surprise. The CIA denied it all along, and they were lying? 

I'm more worried than ever about Area 51. 

International legal experts say there is no legal venue where Iran can bring suit, but you never know. Forget about crack commandos. There's no bigger threat in the world than someone deploying an army of lawyers...

The other legal story had to do with Dennis Rodman's friend Kim Jong Un. Un must have fixated on Henry the 8th when he studied western history. Because it apparently doesn't pay to be an ex-girlfriend of the most powerful man in North Korea. 

The person in question was a bit of a YouTube rage awhile back when her music video made the rounds. It went by the captivating title: "Excellent horse-like lady." Singer Hyon Song Wol, who reportedly dated Un for years, was accused of making a porn film and also possessing bibles. (I guess Un had to cover his public outrage bets). So she was recently executed by firing squad. Ouch. 

Maybe he should have borrowed a couple of Iran's lawyers and just worked out a post-nup agreement instead. Firing squad seems a little harsh for an ex-girlfriend, even in an axis of evil area.

Oddly, Hyon Song Wol is a Korean word that means Anne Boleyn.

America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, September 27, 2013

2079 Hootenanny

Maybe I get obsessed with words. But just because we use something everyday doesn't mean we should scorn it. It's okay to love socks too, and revel in the way they cozy up your feet.

So when I encounter or reencounter a word like hootenanny, it's okay to spend some time reflecting on its origins. Back in the sixties there was actually a show on TV called Hootenanny. One of those shows meant to counter or compliment another show. In this case, the other show was named Shindig. You could choose between Shindig or Hootenanny. Or the Flintstones and the Jetsons, or Laugh-in and Hee-Haw. I always thought Hee-Haw and Hootenanny should get married.

Maybe on Green Acres. 

Hootenanny, it turns out, first meant a gadget, then a device used by car thieves, and finally an informal gathering of musicians. What gathering musicians had in common with breaking into cars we'll never know. Words are funny.

But on the face of it hootenanny really sounds pretty nonsensical. Like the new word listicle making the rounds. A listicle is a blog or article form that just lists things. Top three reasons to date again. Top four examples of poor writing. Or top ten reasons listicles suck.

It doesn't take a genius to see the listicle emerged from the David Letterman Top Ten list. Pretty cool, I guess, that a comedic entertainment device wriggled its way into the real world. 

I'm not entirely comfortable with the word listicle however, as it bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the word describing those reproductive organs sometimes imitated dangling from the backs of trucks. 

Listicle hangs pretty low on my top ten branches of the bad language tree. Right down there with “for shizzle.”

But that's me. My nanny wouldn't have given a hoot about it. 
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2078 Houseshoes

I was listening to a song on the radio not long ago and the singer said something about slipping into her PJs. I had one of those flashbacks to childhood and the words we used for things when we were small.

At my house we didn't say either PJs or pajamas. We said "sleepers". "Go put on your sleepers," my mom would say, and off we'd scamper to the lid of the hamper, grab our sleepers and merrily get ready for bed. 

Okay, it wasn't that easy for my mom, my golden days-colored lenses are filtering out a lot of whining, caterwauling, and  back-sassing.

But it's interesting, as I roam through that memory bank, what other words I recall we used for garments, and how they reflect a certain middle class sense of functionality. Perhaps it had something to do with German roots. 

The German language is full of words cobbled together from basic parts that describe things in functional terms. Like the word telefongesprach, which means telephone conversation. All well and good. Although most people would just call it a call. I had a call. I got a call. I had a telefongesprach.

So we called the refrigerator an "icebox" and instead of the word robe, we used the word "housecoat." Which certainly makes a lot of sense, as it was an additional coat-like layer one would wear over one's sleepers. "I'm a little cold, I'm putting on my housecoat."

Likewise for slippers. We used the term "houseshoes."  Because, in fact, that's where we wore them. Should we wear our houseshoes outside of the house my mom would have a conniption fit. That’s how she described it. She'd say, "I'm gonna have a conniption fit" and consequences would ensue. 

I think conniption is a German word for paddle-your-butt.

America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2077 High Jinks

Sometimes I'll find myself saying a word and then wonder, "Where did that word come from?" Especially if the word seems to make no sense, as in nonsense. Not nonsense the word, that makes perfect sense. The word in question. 

Like the word hijinks. “Those Marx Brothers were up to all kinds of hijinks.” I've seen it spelled with an x as in h-i-j-i-n-x-. I've seen it spelled hijinks with a k-s- on the end. I've even seen it broken into two words: h-i-g-h- and j-i-n-k-s-.

The etymology dictionary tends towards this form, as it uses the “high” to mean a large quantify of jinks. As opposed, I guess, to low jinks, which would indicate a more sober outing jinks-wise. 

"Man, that party was boring. They sure had some low jinks."

Jinks themselves were apparently some sort of game played at drinking parties back in the 1690s. Although the wider definition of the whole hijinks word is "boisterous capers."

Capers in the activities sense not the add-them-to-salad sense. Although the term boisterous capers seems somehow related to jumping beans.   

Jink itself, neither high nor low is, according to the same etymology dictionary, a sort of dance step. It means to wheel or fling about when dancing. That's from around 1715 and is of Scottish origin, so there may be kilts involved. Barely possible capering jinks has something to do with the present perfect tense of junk, without a dangling participle. 

Neither one seems to have anything to do with the sense of jinx as in putting a jinx on someone. That witchcraft meaning derives from the Latin word for wryneck. A bird used for divination. It's an old world woodpecker. 

I wonder if the kilt-flinging Scotsmen imitated it in their dancing?

Hijinks indeed.

America, ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2076 Doggone Courtesy

Some folks like animals. Which is a good thing. Though I'm worried some animal lovers are so because they don't want to deal with people.  

But it seems like people rights are starting to take a back seat to pet rights. At least to people who have pets rights. I'm talking about service dogs. 

What got me thinking about this was an article I read about a strap-like device for carrying your pintsized pooch. It's called a PuppyPurse (all one word). It’s mostly adjustable straps and lets the dog's legs dangle free as you sling it from your shoulder. It comes in attractive fashionable colors so you can coordinate with your outfit. 

No word whether the dog has a say. Do you like fuchsia Fido? Speak!

I'm guessing it will just be another way to smuggle pets into places they never could go before. In Washington State, that's now everywhere. All you have to do is say your dog is a "service dog." An establishment can't ask you for a service dog permit, as that would make you feel discriminated against. Nor can they ask you what service the dog is supposedly performing. 

I suppose that seems fair to the folks who truly need service dogs for psychological reasons, but what about the other folks in the coffee shop or restaurant who are deathly allergic to pet dander?

Or even those who just object to a stray dusty dog hair or feisty flea landing in their soup?

Especially since it's so easy to abuse. Because let's face it. Some folks have no doggone courtesy anymore. Why not have special collar tags for the dog, like the placards handicapped people get for their cars?  

We'd all breathe easier. And it wouldn't be too ruff...

America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

2075 Gender Moments

Read an interesting couple of articles the other day. They both have to do with the plight of women when it comes to gender equity in the workforce. That glass ceiling they talk about when it comes to women trying to be among the highest wage earners. Or just money earners generally. There was good news and bad news. 

The good news was that the highest paid person on television is a woman. She's paid about $47 million a year on her daytime TV show. The second highest paid performer is a man. Jon Stewart as a matter of fact, who makes about $30 million doing the Daily Show. Apparently, his not real news show pays higher than the real anchors make on network news. Viva la satire.

But lest you judge him harshly, consider that the highest paid person, who I'm assuming you thought earlier was Oprah, is instead Judge Judy. Yes, Judge Judy, who does a semi-not real courtroom show, rakes in nearly $50 million dispensing reality show verdicts.

Viva la faux justice. 

Of course, this is just paid wages. Oprah and others have vast amounts more each year coming in from other enterprises. But at least it's honest. Another article I read shows the glass ceiling firmly in place in a place you might not expect. White-collar crime. 

According to the American Sociological Review, only 9% of the people involved in high level financial conspiracies are women. Female white-collar criminals also profit less than males. Most made only a tiny amount, while a third of the males pulled in more than a million before getting apprehended.

So women still have a way to go to break through that ceiling. Until then crime only pays on one end. 

Just ask Judge Judy.

America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

2074 QRTP

Is any place safe from the constant onslaught of advertising brought on by the digital media world? If you think the answer is yes you're behind the times. Or the times are behind you. 

Advertising is for the most part a good thing. How else would you find out about where to get your doorknobs or dry cleaning? But we've usually enjoyed it in certain sectors only. Driving perhaps, or watching TV.

But smartypants phones have changed all that. Because now when we encounter advertising it's not just in the car or the living room, we can also run into it in the commode. 

Because a pair of brothers have turned toilet tissue into a new media platform. And it's not just printed sayings on the TP, like Murphy's Law or some other novelty thing. It's QR codes. Those modern internet launch tools. They tell your device to go to a website and voila, instead of sitting on the john you're touring the Caribbean at the Travelocity website.

Which could be bad if one of the QR codes was for Carnival Caribbean Cruises. The tissue-deficient "Poop Cruise" as it's called in the media, is still scaring customers away from Carnival. If only they'd had rolls of QR-coded TP.

BTW, do you have any BW?

Still, the new QRTP has possibilities. One of the brothers had the idea while reading in the bathroom on his smartphone. Why not give people something to read in a place where they actually want something to read?

No word whether the idea was a full-blown inspiration or just a gut instinct.

Could help. Scan a QR code for yoga relaxation perhaps, when things are a little tense.

And it's certainly a great way to advertise to folks on the move. 

America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2073 Twin Twits

Recently Dennis Rodman was in the news again. Some folks just can't seem to keep out of it. As you might imagine, outlandish behavior was the reason. Outlandish behavior is the new standard for celebrity. 

On the one hand, we blame the paparazzi for hounding celebs everywhere. Those poor celebrities complain with good reason. On the other hand, there are fame-starved celebrities who want nothing more than to have a pack of paparazzi nipping at their fashionable heels. And like the wild and crazy Miley Cyrus have a new measure of notoriety to try to top.

Tweets per second. 

As in, so and so did such and such and got X many tweets per second. There's a Guinness Record I want to hold. Tweeting by its very nature being not an act of discriminating taste, but rather a measure of the mob. You could smear your naked body in dog poop, light yourself on fire, and drive a motorcycle off a freeway overpass and get tweets per second

Listening Miley?

Anyhow Dennis found a new way to diddle the tweeter meter. He made friends with Kim Jong Un in North Korea. He's "my friend for life" Dennis said. Don't be asking me to try to free some American journalist. I'm just gonna hang with my man Un. Maybe play some Uno. 

I wondered. Why the sudden friendship? Then I read an interesting news item. North Korea originally started making crystal meth to sell illegally around the world for hard currency. Now their own people are hopelessly addicted. In some areas up to 40% of the population. Takes the edge off starvation…

So do Kim and Rodman got something meth-related going on? I'd like to think it might be prevention. 

Not just confusion over tweeting and tweaking.  

America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2072 Animetaphor

I commented previously on using the term for a horse tender as the term for a bride's mate. Groom. It got me thinking about the use of animal metaphors generally. Are animals good examples for human behavior? 

The phrase "happy as a clam" for instance. What is it that makes a clam such a pinnacle of joy? They sit and spit. They filter water. They have a hard shell. Not a lot of things I think about when I think about happiness. Biological functions and inertness. 

Happiness is being braindead? Kind of like "ignorance is bliss" I guess.

Or how about "gentle as a lamb"? I suppose that's okay. Unless we have to actually look like one. Four legs and a lot of thick hair. Smelling of lanolin 24/7. Plus, when was the last time you looked at a lamb face up close? They better be gentle. Because their face isn't going to win them any friends. Luckily, they are gentle through and through. Witness how tender their chops are.

Then there's the old saying encouraging women to not be too forthcoming with their sexuality until marriage. "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" That's wrong on so many levels.

First, it turns sexual interaction into a bargaining chip in a relationship. Which, I don't know, seems to demean an honest expression of love somehow. It's no longer loving, it's part of a contractual process. A predicate in an if/then proposition. If you do this, then I will do that. Is that how you want to start a life of open sharing as equals?

Then there's the whole bovine metaphor. Are you implying your potential husband is a dairyman? And you are a cow that can be purchased?

Emotionally, that's so moo-ving...

America, ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2071 Bridle and Groom

The other day I was listening to a song on the radio. Which I often do. I find radio is the easiest way for me to be exposed to new music. Sometimes I don't trust recommendations from friends. Who made them music experts?

Anyhow, somewhere in the song the singer sang that he would be some imaginary person's groom. I had just come from a discussion about horses, so I thought he was offering his services as a horse helper. 

Odd when you think about it, that the word for a bride's mate would also be the term for someone who tends a horse. Not a very complimentary accouterment to the bride in question. 

"Hi, I'm the bride. This is my groom."

Lovely. Is that why he calls you a little filly? Has he been currying you lately? Strapping on the nosebag? Checking your frog for sawdust? 

The broader implication, that the bride, or women generally, need some sort of tending, kind of puts the marriage on a less than even foot to begin with. Especially as it implies that foot is part of a set of four on some sort of domestic animal.

Because free-spirited as horses can be, they are in the long run domestic animals, and require endless hours of slogging labor to schlep around bales of hay and shovel and cart off piles of manure. And although there are those that think that that is indeed a perfect metaphor for matrimonial incarceration, I beg to differ. 

Perhaps more marriages would thrive if one of the parties was not thought of as a domesticated animal and the other not thought of as its custodian. 

Although it does help explain the whole bridal the bride and bridle the harness soundalike thing.

America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

2070 Caller Single

Sometimes folks ask me why I don't upgrade my phone. One of the reasons is because I haven't got a good offer from my carrier. I get offers all the time. But they aren't good because they neglect my phone needs as a single person.

They always offer me beaucoup savings if I add a line. But why would I need another line? I'm just me. I can't see carrying around two phones just so I can save money. 

It's like those stupid buy-one-get-one-free coupons the fast food places are always sending me. Conspiring to make me fat since I find it hard to resist a good deal on food. Unfortunately, fast food has a fast pull date. Or pull minute. I can't save the free one for the next day's meal. Reheated Big Macs or Doritos Locos tacos suck.

So I'm sure not going to enter a 2-year contract for a separate line just to save money. Maybe it's part of some vast social engineering conspiracy.  Make me get into a relationship to save money on my phone. 

Add a partner and add a line. We'll even throw in a buy-one-get-one-free coupon to Burger King. Get hitched and get obese.

Nah. I've been divorced a few times. Cheaper just to carry around two phones. Relationships are tough. Just ask Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones. All that time married and now on the rocks because of some ill-chosen words from old Michael. They say loose lips sink ships. So do slips of the tongue. 

But I heard the real reason was Hollywood-style jealously caused by on-screen romance with acting partners. Catherine was upset Michael was the one that got to kiss Matt Damon.

Poof. There goes the Friends and Family Plan....

America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2069 Oversight

If you think congress isn't working hard enough you might be surprised. There's a committee congressional folks are just dying to get on. It's the House Financial Services committee. 

I know, how boring is that? Debits and credits and assets and bookkeeping and stuff. You'd think it wouldn't be a plum assignment for lawyerly congressional types. All that math and figuring. Something much more suited to CPAs than Doctors of Jurisprudence.

Well think again, because when it comes to prudence, juris or otherwise, a healthy pocketbook is the way to get through life. And why go to all the trouble of getting elected if you can't take advantage of the perquisites of office? 

They say that the first job of every congressman is to get reelected. But the second job is surely to get on a good committee or two. The better to serve your constituents back home. Or if not back home at least your personal back-side. The one you use to sit, on not just committees, but your wallet. 

Because unlike most committees in congress, the House Financial Services committee is growing. Recently they had to install an extra row of seats in the committee room so it could fit all 61 members. 

Now that's dedication. 61 members to oversee the financial sector. The folks that brought us the great economic crater of 2008 with their unregulated investment derivatives. And, oh yeah, the subsequent great recession. 

No wonder it takes 61 members to regulate them. The committee, by the way, is affectionately known as "the cash committee." 

On an entirely unrelated note I'm sure, banks, financial institutions, insurers, and accounting firms have donated $10 million to the members of the committee so far in 2013. 

Go figure.

That money appears to have gone down some cashholes.

America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2068 Wrench Around

Sometimes things just wrench your head around and you go, "Huh?" Like when you hear an announcer at a poorly attended ball game. And he says that the stadium is filled with empty seats. If the empty seats were filled they wouldn't be empty. And if the seats are empty the stadium isn't filled. It was filled with emptiness?

Or the other day I had a guy ask me if he could catch a ride. Catch? I felt like I had to get going first so he could hop on. Sounded dangerous. What if he slipped? Would my car insurance cover it? After all, he was trying to hop on a moving vehicle to catch it. It wouldn't have been my fault. Then again, since he asked and I said yes he could attribute it to some malfeasance on my part in the act of being caught.

By the way, I thought it was a commentary on the eco-times in which we live. In the old days he would have been bumming a ride. These days he's ride-sharing. Engaging in "commuter trip reduction." Cutting down on gas usage. Instantaneously carpooling. Even if he doesn't offer to share the high cost of gas, he's still making it possible to use the HOV lane. 

So he can bum a ride with good conscience. Excuse me, catch a ride. On my Civic turned mini-bus.

Lastly, I had occasion recently to fix a balky lock. I used my Liquid Wrench fluid. Which I've had in my garage for years. Who can ever manage to use a whole can of Liquid Wrench or tube of Super Glue? I noticed on the can that it said it was great for loosening rusty nuts. 

The funny thing was? The can itself was rusty.


America, ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2067 What Price Liberty

We hear a lot about government snooping. Edward Snowden whistleblowing on the NSA and all. Interesting how he has become such a devil and such a hero all at the same time. People deplore what he's done on the one hand but use the knowledge to criticize the government anyhow. 

Interesting too that the people who were happy to have the government use its Patriot Act powers under one administration detest its use under another. Or vice-versa.

Those libertarian types like myself who abhorred it from the first can only shake our heads. I sure wouldn't want to write about it electronically. Shaking my head is the only safe thing to do. Even if a drone is taking a picture of me I can say it was just a nervous tic.

Anyhow, you wonder how the NSA got the info they did. Weren't there some companies who actually had proprietary access to this data they were snooping? Yep. And in truly American fashion, they saw an opportunity to make dough of the whole data deal.

You'll be happy to know emails didn't cost the government a lot. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft turned them over for as little as $25. While Facebook didn't charge a dime. 

Apparently the NSA friended them.  

But boy do some companies rake it in with wiretaps. AT&T charges the government a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap. Then they charge $10 a day to maintain it. That's chump change compared to Viacom. They charge $775 for the first month and $500 a month for every month thereafter. 

I guess they understand how expensive extremism in the pursuit of safety should be. 

Still, it's nice to know our public-spirited companies aren't actually sacrificing liberty for security. They're charging through the nose for it.

America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, September 09, 2013

2066 Heartbeat

Ever been to a public place and participated in a singalong? Did you feel exhilarated afterwards? You'll be happy to know scientists have found out why. Synchronized heartbeats.

Yep. Your heart was beating in time with the other singers. Swedish researchers strapped heart rate monitors to some volunteers and found out that if they sang together they ended up breathing together. It only makes sense. Songs have a certain cadence. And the phrasing of the stanzas, or the stanza-ing of the phrases, forces you to breathe at certain times. 

Kind of like yoga with a tune.

But what surprised researchers was the heart starts to adjust to the lungs and after awhile singers in a choir started to not just synchronize their musical beat, but their heartbeats too. 

Which explains how euphoric people get at Bruce Springsteen concerts. They truly are in tune with both their minds and their hearts. Harmonizing their heartbeats. 

Everybody's got a hungry synchronized heart. 

So music can indeed calm the heart of the savage beast, even when he's on the prowl at a rock concert. But it also makes sense that it can uncalm the heart too. Some songs could actually speed up the heartbeat, driving the crowd into a violent frenzy. 

Or just a disco mania. A little Daft Punk and tachycardia. Tachycardia means fast heart beat. The tachy in tachycardia refers to fast not out of fashion. 

And disco is fashionable again, witness the success of Daft Punk. By the way, I heard they were pulled over for erratic driving after the recent Video Music Awards and had to take off their helmets and reveal their mysterious identities. 

Turns out Rob Pilatus is a cyborg. And they're actually Milli Vanilli...

One more reason I'd rather go to a Heart Concert. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

2065 CO True

As I was cruising the news on the web recently I came across a disconcerting article. It was about a test done on "carbon monoxide diffusion across gypsum wallboard." 

Let me say that it was a very sleep inducing clinical article. One of those things filled with measured boring phrases. No hype or histrionics like we're usually used to in the news. 

So at first I got lost in all the types where this diffusion was measured --- .25 inch, .5 inch single layer, double layer .5 inch and double layer coated .5 inch. Then I got lost wondering what they meant by the word diffusion, because it's not commonly used. Then I was further led into a brainless stupor because they only used the term carbon monoxide once and used the initials CO after that. 

CO can mean a lot of things; from Commanding Officer to the abbreviation for Colorado.

Then it dawned on me. Jeez! They're talking about carbon monoxide seeping through sheetrock walls! The author said, "The concentration of CO reached 500 ppm in the infused chamber within seven minutes of infusion. The concentration in the non-infused chamber (on the other side of the wallboard barrier) increased rapidly, reaching 100 ppm (considered toxic to humans) at 17 to 96 minutes after infusion stopped. In all configurations, by 12 hours, the concentrations of CO were less than 5 percent different between the two chambers."
Translation, if you live in an apartment, get a freaking carbon monoxide detector! This is a good place for hype! If your neighbor decides to fire up a hibachi indoors to grill shish-kebabs or heat the apartment during the next power outage, you're at severe risk. 

Sheetrock is as pervious to carbon monoxide as it is to their loud stereo. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

2064 Des Duped

Read an interesting article on the interweb recently. I was curious about something, so I instantly went to that great research library in the ether, the internet. How nice to explore any whim with just the touch of a couple of keys.

This whim was the meaning of Des Moines. As we have a Des Chutes in our area and I knew its meaning, "the falls," I wondered if Des Moines had a similar water feature definition. I found out the answer is no. Not unless by water feature you mean something to do with sewage.

The accepted definition of Moines is that is has to do with the French word for Monks. Because some French Trappist monks were in the Des Moines, Iowa area. An expert linguist has recently offered a theory that's even more compelling. Especially since the name predates the aforementioned monks. 

Theorist Michael McCafferty says the word comes from a practical joke from one Native American tribe dissing another. When the first explorers guided by the tongue-in-cheek tribe arrived in the area, they asked who it was inhabited by. The guides said it was the territory of the Moingoana tribe. 

Eventfully, Moingoana was shortened to Moines and therefore Des Moines. Unfortunately Moingoana was an attempt to spell out mooyiinkweena, which translates to, to put it politely, "excrement faces." Which no matter how you feel about monks, or neighboring tribes, is certainly not a nice thing to say.

So for years the modern day citizens of the Des Moines area have inadvertently been calling themselves poop faces. 

"Where you from?" 

"I'm a proud Des Moines resident." 

Still, there's good news. We now have another euphemism for getting drunk. "Man I had so much to drink last night. I was totally Des Moined."

America, ya gotta love it. 

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

2063 Tweiner

Let's talk about Weiner. That strangely sick ex-congressman, wannabe mayor, and tweeto-exhibitionist. Better yet, let's not talk about Weiner. He's an idiot. Anyone in public office who doesn't understand that everything he or she does gets intense scrutiny doesn't deserve to be in office. 

But what about his wife? There's a big question. There is a huge public outcry for her to dump Weiner and get on with her life. Yet she has apparently decided to stand by her man.

There's is no telling why. Couples accommodate in ways outsiders can't understand. That's why they are couples. There are couples who enjoy bringing a third party into their relationships. Most seem to prefer the two-party system when it comes to any type of congress.

So maybe Mrs. Weiner, also known as Huma Abedin, secretly enjoys her husband's peccadilloes. Maybe she even likes his use of pseudonyms when he goes Carlos Dangering. 

Or maybe she is totally appalled and just waiting for the right moment to reintroduce Anthony to the legend of John Bobbitt.

But I saw an interesting statement in the news written by Jennifer Braceras in the Boston Herald. She was bemoaning Huma's fully awful choice to stay with Weiner. Implying how bad it was for feminism. She then asked, how can "a gorgeous, bright, successful woman allow herself to be treated like a doormat?"

What's gorgeous got to do with it? Why should how she looks make a difference in her choices? Aren't you objectifying her nearly as badly as you accuse her husband of objectifying others? 

Maybe you should mind your own business. Who knows, maybe Huma encourages Tony to be a bad boy so she can spank him with a rolled up doormat later.

As they listen to their audio-book of Fifty Shades of Gray. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

2062 Proactive Dilemma

It all gets confusing. People say one thing and do another or say one thing and say another. Proactive dilemma making. It's painful. 

Like the whole disclaimer thing. I commented yesterday on the ad I'd heard where a restaurant was offering "any drink for a buck" and then their disclaimer said, "prices may vary."

Since the whole point of their pitch was the price it seemed a particularly bald use of the presumed exonerating power of admission. Kind of like it's okay to lie if I tell you I'm lying. Bait and switch laws don't count if I admit I'm baiting and switching you from the outset. 

Advertising a drink for a buck then saying the price may vary is like saying, "This toy comes fully assembled (some assembly required)." Or, "Includes batteries (batteries not included)."

I heard another ad the other day where a hotel was advertising Two nights for $159. In the first part of the ad they said "Sunday through Thursday." Then later in the ad they said, "Any two nights for $159." Which counts? Sure, they said "Sunday through Thursday" first. But later in the ad they said "any two nights." Could I make the case that it sounded like they changed their mind. So I was responding to the second offer?

I even saw a kid suffering from an avoidable proactive dilemma. One his parent foisted upon him. I was walking by the new East Bay Plaza, which is a park designed specifically with an interactive water feature. A wading stream running through it and everything. And his mom was walking him into the area and just about to turn him loose with these words: "Now don't get wet..."

Hey lady, pick another freaking park. Poor kid.

Modern Parenting (intelligence not included).

America, ya gotta love it. 

2061 Now May Vary

Every now and then I find it hard to be trusting. Because I find it hard to trust words. 

Sometimes I have problems with certain phrases, as do those around me. My friend Bobby was contemplating one the other day. "Now then," he said, and then stopped. "What the hell does 'now then' mean?" 

He was right to wonder. "Now" would be fine on its own. "Now we are going to do this." "Then" would be fine after that. "Now we are going to do this. Then we are going to do that." But, "Now then, we are going to do this."? Or just "Now then..." as a place holder while you're trying to decide what to do or say next? It really says nothing at all. 

Or how about the phrase "old news"? As in, "That's old news." If it's old it's no longer news is it. Isn't news what's new? Old news is like saying jumbo shrimp. I believe the phrase "old information" would cover what you want to say.

Then there's the disclaimers companies are using these days. Coming right out up front and saying you can't trust what they're saying.  Like a license to lie. I heard one in a radio ad the other day. 

The company was offering "any drink for a buck." They said it any number of times in the ad. Any drink hot or cold for a buck. All drinks just a dollar. You pick it, any drink for just a buck.

Then they proclaimed their disclaimer. "Prices may vary." How can the price vary when the whole point of the pitch was the price? Act today. Because the price is what I say. Except it may not be. 

We bait and switch now and then. 

America, ya gotta love it.