Clothesline Restrictions

Banned as a liability issue– somebody could hurt running around in the dark. Except… the Greenwich Housing Authority banned them in an age-restricted community- no children allowed, nobody younger than 62.

Bonnet Tip Walter Olson at Overlawyered

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Alton Brown on Red Beans and Rice

Interesting stuff on carbohydrates starts at the 2:10 mark.

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Biden, Biden, and Biden on the War(s)

There’s video at Mudville, and here’s a summary:

For those unable to see the video – part one is from April, 2007, (full version here) and features Biden taking credit for leading the charge to deny funding “the surge” – calling Petraeus “wrong” and declaring that no one agrees with him on the possibility for stabilizing Iraq, etc. – specifically in response to a how do you answer those who say we need more time sort of question. What he didn’t say was that the reason for the lack of surge-related progress was because only two of the surge Brigades (ultimately there would be six-plus) were deployed at the time – and no one in the media was willing (or able) to call him (or any other members of the “surge has failed” crowd) out. (Full disclosure: I was part of the surge – I acknowledge this impacts my opinion). The second half (full video here, transcript here) begins with Biden declaring victory in Iraq, taking credit for current conditions (“the Obama/Biden plan…”) and arguing against potential congressional funding cuts (due to lack of progress) in the Afghanistan mission because not all the troops are even in place yet so it’s too early to judge.

Watch the video. And watch it again. Then ask your friends to watch it too. This is America, this man represents us to the world – so this is who we are. I challenge anyone – be they “pro” or “anti” war – to explain the upside. I want to play it for laughs – I want to think it’s funny, in a Daily Show kind of way (which it is) but I can’t – and here’s why.

I can propose one reason (beyond willful blindness) for those “anti-war” Obama/Biden supporters denying what’s happening before their very eyes. If you watch the entire video you’ll see George Stephanopoulos counter Biden’s claim for “his” successful plan for Iraq by stating that Dick Cheney is concerned with the drawdown – at which point Biden immediately points out (accurately) that the plan belongs to George Bush and Dick Cheney. While that’s a pretty transparent example of an “if it works it’s ours – if it fails it’s theirs” sort of explanation (and also the fastest 180-degree political position shift I’ve ever seen) it could also lead one to believe they’re dealing with a blithering idiot with no idea what he’s talking about. If that perception of mere ignorance somehow gives solace to jilted-feeling “end the occupation now” voters then so be it – I can’t understand it, but perhaps others can.

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Grammar Policing

I was working on this post a week or two ago when I saw that my friend Connie had a similar one. So I thought ‘Feh, never mind.’ And then I changed my mind. As you see.

I see these two grammatical errors so often around the blogospher and it’s driving me nuts- the rejection of the suffix ‘ed’ when using the words bias and prejudice. As in:

I am (or am not) bias.

I am (or am not) prejudice.

You are (or are not) prejudice.

You are (or are not) bias.

The very act of writing those things down made my fingers twitch. Pardon me while I scream just a little bit.

I see them so often abused and misused this way in internet conversations, and I can hardly believe my eyes. Where does such an error originate?.

You can HAVE (or not have) a bias or a prejudice, but you generally cannot BE ‘a bias’ or a ‘a prejudice’ (unless, I suppose, you are a “line going diagonally across the grain of fabric,” in which case I am a little freaked out that you are talking to me or transmitting information via keyboard).

You can BE biasED or prejudicED, as in, “I try not to be, but I have a bias against people who misuse these two words, and when I see them abused in this fashion it is difficult not to be prejudiced against whatever else the writer has to say. So please, stop being a stumbling block to my attempts at tolerance and charity.”

Yes, I know- my charity should not be so weak. I’m working on it. What grammar gremlins strain your efforts?

(full disclosure- just before I hit send, I realized that my fingers had been in auto-pilot while typing the title, because it said “Grammy Policing”).

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How American Spends Its Paycheck

Interesting graph here, which, oddly, does not include how much we spend on taxes. Strange.

Nationally, we spend almost as much on eating out as we do at home (5.4 vs 7 percent), but only two tenths of one percent on ‘reading.’ Of course, that wouldn’t include library books, but somehow I don’t think we, as a nation, utilize the library that much either.

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