"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

photo of the summer

Someone pin a medal on that man.

weekend uke blogging

Jim Dandy Goodness puts both the Woodshed and the Gazetteer to shame this week with a Canadian ukulele chanteuse who is all of that and the bag of chips, and probably a couple of beers as well.

Genties and Ladlemen, check out Shelley O'Brien.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

speling iz imporetunt

As a person who spends a lot of time dealing with the insufficiency of the Roman alphabet in differentiating the subtle shades of pronunciation that can change meaning in a foreign language, I can actually sympathize with the recent error made by the flunky of Prime Minister Stephen Harper who misspelled the name of a town on the PM's itinerary. Mistakes do happen sometimes. But when dealing with a transcription and Romanicization of a language that you are unfamiliar with, surely it behooves (yeah, I said "behooves" and I wasn't calling you "Shirley") the person preparing the document to check with someone who is familiar with the that language.
The names of people (something that doesn't appear anything like often enough in Japanese newspapers) can be written in such a way that there could be several radically different pronunciations and so Romanicizing them is not as straightforward as it might seem. That confusion between "L" and "R" by Japanese that North Americans find so amusing (Yes, Japan will have an erection on Aug. 30 har-de-har-har, you stupid plicks) exists because both sounds are combined in the same character in Japanese.
In translating Japanese to English, place names can be tricky to spell, so we check them. If only the Prime Minister's Office would do the same, then Iqaluit (Village of Many Fish) wouldn't become Iqualuit (Village of People with Unwiped Bums).

tip of the toque to Peterborough Politics, now known as Dispatches by Northwestern Lad

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Guns of August

One can only assume that since we are told Obama gets dozens of death threats daily, that this latest effort on the part of the wingnuts to intimidate their political opponenets by bringing assault rifles to demonstrations at appearances by the president is probably causing the Secret Service to have kittens the size of Bengal tigers.
Can you imagine for one second the reaction if someone had showed up with an AR-15 at an anti-George Bush rally? You know, the ones the White House insisted be held in fenced-in "Free Speech Zones" surrounded by riot cops miles away from where the president was appearing. People who protested the GOP convention in 2004 in NYC were charged with carrying concealed weapon for having nail scissors in their purse and held for days in makeshift jails in old warehouses contaminated with hazardous chemicals and these whackjobs are being allowed to walk around with assault rifles?
But we on the left are the angry, uncivil ones because we sometimes say "fuck" on our blogs and we questioned the intelligence and motivation of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Imagine the reaction of the teabaggers and town brawl activists and other Glenn Beck fans if a dozen shotgun-toting neo-Black Panthers came and stood outside the president's next town hall meeting to show support for Obama. The screeching would be deafening.
If these tactics on the right continue, that, sadly, will be the next step in the escalation.

It is only a matter of time before someone starts shooting.
Osama bin Laden must be dying of laughter right now.

Sadly, No puts things in perspective