Political Dances

Who was in favor of ending the filibuster option a few years back? Who was oppposed?

REad this article.

When Republicans balked at some of President Clinton’s nominees, Democrats spoke forcefully about the injustice of it all. “An up-or-down vote, that is all we ask,” said Sen. Tom Daschle in 1999. “Our institutional integrity requires an up-or-down vote,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein the same year. “If our Republican colleagues don’t like them, vote against them. But give them a vote,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in 1998.

It’s not just partisan politicians who switch sides. The New York Times editorialized in 1995, “Now is the perfect moment…to get rid of an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose.” Nine years later the Times discovered that useful purpose: “The filibuster…is a rough instrument that should be used with caution. But its existence goes to the center of the peculiar but effective form of government America cherishes.” The Times did have the good grace to note, “To see the filibuster fully, it’s obviously a good idea to have to live on both sides of it…. We hope that acknowledging our own error may remind some wavering Republican senators that someday they, too, will be on the other side and in need of all the protections the Senate rules can provide.”

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Anybody know what’s happening

with the Dominion Family Blog?

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Unfortunate Events: Quotable Quotes & Closing Credits

We watched “A Series of Unfortunate Events” this evening. I’m not going to recommend this one because if you’re the sort of person who likes a very gruesome, dark, macabre, junior Monty Python style of humour, then you are the kind of person who already knows that you like Lemony Snicket. If your sense of humour is more wholesome than ours, you will hate it, and would be shocked at how much we laughed. So please, I beg of you, if you haven’t read and laughed over at least one of the books, do not watch this dark and disturbing and cinematically luscious vehicle for Jim Carrey’s manic acting abilities.
Trust me.

One of the best parts of the DVD release is the commentary option featuring the director and the author. Permit me to share two delights:

Director: Mr. the Entertainer is bringing a touch of the urban flair to the film.

Lemony Snicket: I assume you’re using ‘urban’ in its recent transformation as being a euphemism for ‘black.’ I don’t know if that’s become a euphemism for black in all of its definitions, so that you would say, “My word, what a remarkable ebony letter opener. It’s simply urban in its color,” or whether it would just apply to African Americans. I’ve always been suspicious of that term as I tend to be an urban person myself and yet have tended to be caucasian for nearly all of my life.


Lemony Snicket: “There are enough words in the English language without using words that don’t exist at all. That’s how I feel about the word ‘synergistically.’


I loved the end credits. It’s a little strange for something as low-key as end credits to have such an impact, but these did. They weren’t that ‘low-key’ after all. They were very artistic, clever, and loaded with visual interest. They kind of reminded me of some kind of meld resulting from the unsual combination of shadow puppets from Indonesia, Edward Gorey’s dark and intelligent drawings for the credits of the PBS series Mystery! and the Addams Family. Maybe a sprinkling of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, very tongue in cheek, witty, melodrama in black and white and sepia tones. Think Penelope Pitstop meets Edward Gorey.

You can watch them here, but don’t try it if you’re easily creeped out. I prefer them on the television screen, and can’t help but wish I’d spent the money to see the movie in the theater just so I could watch the closing credits on the big screen.

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Phyllis McGinley, Part II

You can read more about Mrs. McGinley in our previous post, here.


Rock’-‘-Roll Session

For this the primal reed was cloven.
For this did Berlioz break his ease
And Schubert starve and deaf Beethoven
Bend silence into symphonies.

For this the little Mozart fiddled
Beyond his bedtime, Bach was born,
And Guido got the scale unriddled:
That, paced by an hysteric horn,

The pimpled heirs of Orpheus, beating
Damp palms, might sway (agape like fish)
To four notes endlessly repeating
Thirty-two bars of gibberish.


The Landscape of Love


Do not believe them. Do not believe what strangers
Or casual tourists, moored a night and day
In some snug, sunny, April-sheltering bay
(Along the coast and guarded from great dangers)
Tattle to friends when ignorant they return.
Love is no lotus-island endlessly
Washed by a summer ocean, no Capri;
But a huge landscape, perilous and stern–

More poplared than the nations to the north,
More bird-beguiled, stream-haunted. But the ground
Shakes underfoot. Incessant thunders sound,
Winds shake the trees, and tides run back and forth
And tempests winter there, and flood and frost
In which too many a voyager is lost.


None knows this country save the colonist,
His homestead planted. He alone has seen
The hidden groves unconquerably green,
The secret mountains steepling through the mist.
Each is his own discovery. No chart
Has pointed him past chasm, bog, quicksand,
Earthquake, mirage, into his chosen land–
Only the steadfast compass of the heart.

Turn a deaf ear, then, on the traveler who,
Speaking a foreign tongue, has never stood
Upon love’s hills or in a holy wood
Sung incantations; yet, having bought a few
Postcards and trinkets at some cheap bazaar,
Cries, “This and thus the God’s dominions are!”

I find the second of the above poems so satisfying that I am just going to close this post here. Savor it a bit, then tend your planted homestead.

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A nice moment shattered

So I was having a fantastic conversation with a classmate about music. He also likes to “escuchar musica classica” (he’s in Spanish class, can you tell?) and we were going through some of our favorite pieces together. I don’t get this at school often, so it was Very Nice Indeed. Then we ran into another classmate. She wanted to talk about going to the tanning bed.


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