Friday, April 18, 2014

Ducks going down

Duck Dynasty is faltering, and I'm heartened by it.
Promoters announced last month that members of the Robertson family would appear at a show titled "Faith, Family & Ducks" at an 11,000-seat arena in Springfield, Mo.

For $37, $50 or $58, fans could enjoy live music and hear the bayou millionaires talk about "living the American dream" while staying true to their "family values and modest lifestyle."

But according to local media reports, the April 27 event has been canceled due to low ticket sales.

The golden era for the A&E reality series appears to be over. Ratings for last month's season five finale were down almost 30 percent from the previous year.
If they can't get Bible Belt butts in the seats, they can't get any.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two questions

If I could, I'd pose two questions to Bundy and his posse out there in Nevada.

1. While there is some basis for arguing that the original thirteen colonies and Texas and California were at least at one time "sovereign" (though not much of one, given that they all willingly joined the US), exactly how is Nevada sovereign? Its entire existence is owed to the US, which created it as a political unit.

2. (And this is the one I'd have answered if only one could be) If you don't even acknowledge the US's existence, if you think the USA is an illegitimate, imaginary thing, why the hell are you always waving American flags around? Just one non-hypocritical, non-venal reason, please.
American flags in Bundyland, picture from TPM

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Bing -1, Google .5 ......

Again, I clicked on the "see translation" icon from Facebook:

caption reads 'Вождь жжет!' and FB offers a translation service'

Bing offers 'chief žžet!'

This is less than helpful, Facebook/Bing.

Again, to be fair, Google Translate isn't much better. They offered "Chief of burns".

Вождь жжет! is a bit on the slangy side, but it shouldn't be beyond either of them. "Chief" is pretty good for "Вождь" but here it's referring to Kim Jong-un, who's a Вождь or capital-L Leader in the literal sense (like Putin, Stalin, his dad, and Margaret Thatcher all were). "Chief" would be for your boss, I think, not this guy. And жжет is a verb, third person singular of 'to burn'. Google got the root but inexplicably thought it was a noun in the genitive which, no way, and Bing didn't know the word at all. Yes, it's pretty darned irregular (the infinitive is жечь (zhech'), present tense is жгу, жжёшь, жжёт, жгут (zhgu, zhzhyosh', zhzhyot, zhgut) and past is жжег жжгла (zhzhyog, zhzhgla). But Bing really ought to have been provided this paradigm, it's not at all a rare verb.

And what жжет! means is "on fire" in the sense of "rulez!" or "is totally awesome!"

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At 12:29 PM, April 09, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Our translating profession is still secure for a while longer, I see :-)

 

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Daffy?

"Besides Mickey, name a character you might see walking around Disneyland," Steve Harvey asked in the last moments of Family Feud (just before Jeopardy! starts).

"Daffy Duck!" she answered.

My first thought: Daffy's not Disney, he's WB! My second: of course, all she needs is other people not to know that. This show isn't so much about being right as it is about saying things that the "survey said", and there have been many times I've blinked in astonishment at what people thought was right.

But this time, whew! she was alone. Zero points.

"Goofy was the number one answer." (I'd probably have said Donald, myself, and I'm sure that's who she meant.)

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At 10:10 PM, April 04, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

My first reaction would've been Minnie.

 

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Final Four

NCAAW logoFinal Four this weekend. Once again, I'm going on vacation with someone who doesn't care about sports - at all. But once again, my main interest is that UConn not win. I am in fact pulling for Maryland (one, they beat UT and two, I live here), but I expect Notre Dame to beat them. If Stanford takes out UConn, I'll be very happy.

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At 10:12 PM, April 04, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Sorry, but friends don't let friends root for Stanford. It's wrong on so many different levels.

 

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

What did they do?

Talk about your good news-bad news.

How'd you like to be in the Jeopardy! Challenge of the Decades tournament and then find out you were on the same night as Ken Jennings?

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At 10:17 PM, April 04, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Scant comfort, I realize, but at least Jennings missed the Final Jeopardy, too (although I got it).

 

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Interesting, even fun, but

meme about HL and China The owners of Hobby Lobby are large, family-sized hypocrites. This is undeniable. Not only did they cover birth control quite happily before 2012, not only do they get their goods from China because that keeps their costs down, but they invest in
companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions.
And not just birth control, but actual abortion drugs and equipment:
The companies Hobby Lobby invests in include Teva [...], as well as Pfizer, the maker of the abortion-inducing drugs Cytotec and Prostin E2. Hobby Lobby's mutual funds also invest in two health insurance companies that cover surgical abortions, abortion drugs, and emergency contraception in their health care policies.
But while pointing this out is a lot of fun, I worry about a possible consequence.

See, the thing is this: it's not because the Greens don't really believe their own story, or that it's easy to prove that. The sincerity of their "deeply held beliefs" doesn't matter.If we deny them their bid to not provide contraceptive coverage because it offends their belief by showing that their beliefs are highly convenient and mutable, then ... then we open the door to letting someone else with a firmer grasp on what "deeply and sincerely held" actually means actually win.

Then we let people pick and choose what law they obey by what religion they profess. That pastor in Tennessee, the one who won't perform interracial marriages? His congregants could refuse to serve or sell to such couples. A Muslim cab driver could refuse to pick up unaccompanied women. All kinds of Christians (and others!) could refuse to serve unmarried parents, or divorced-and-remarried folks. All those delicate folks in Arizona could refuse to bake cakes for gays.

No. Hobby Lobby needs to lose, but they need to lose because their argument is bad. Not because they're insufficiently sincere when they make it.

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At 10:09 PM, April 02, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

I seem to recall that several years ago a Muslim cabbie in the Twin Cities refused to give a ride to someone with a guide-dog, because his form of Islam consideres dogs unclean. Cabbie eventually lost his case, but meanwhile the would-be passenger had of course had to find another ride, as well as having been publicly humiliated.

P.S. Unlike all of tonight's three contestants, I got "Final Jeopardy!" right :-)))

 

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I'll tweet you a question

Standingin line to pay for lunch I heard the CNN anchors invite their audience to "tweet us your questions". Questions about what? Why, the Most Important Story Evah - the missing Malaysian airliner.

If I weren't at work and could log into Twitter, I'd ask them what they aren't reporting about in the time they're spending on this.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

it's your own fault

Yesterday, Paul Krugman's column dealt with "the skills gap" -
But the belief that America suffers from a severe “skills gap” is one of those things that everyone important knows must be true, because everyone they know says it’s true. It’s a prime example of a zombie idea — an idea that should have been killed by evidence, but refuses to die.
He spends a lot of his word count proving that assertion, and then goes on to talk about why the idea is pernicious.
Unfortunately, the skills myth — like the myth of a looming debt crisis — is having dire effects on real-world policy. Instead of focusing on the way disastrously wrongheaded fiscal policy and inadequate action by the Federal Reserve have crippled the economy and demanding action, important people piously wring their hands about the failings of American workers.

Moreover, by blaming workers for their own plight, the skills myth shifts attention away from the spectacle of soaring profits and bonuses even as employment and wages stagnate. Of course, that may be another reason corporate executives like the myth so much.
I agree - but I'd like to add one thing. We do love to blame the victim in American politics, don't we? There's gotta be some reason it's your fault you're poor - because that absolves me of the responsibility to do anything about it.

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At 11:04 AM, April 02, 2014 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

It seems like that's the way it is in this self-professed Christian society.

 

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