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13 June 2011 @ 04:08 pm
It has been awhile since I posted here. I have to wonder, am I still here?
Current Location: Shangri-La
Current Mood: bemused
Current Music: Sidewalk Prophets
02 March 2007 @ 09:29 pm
Why is it easier for hackers to fake logos and write code than to get the words spelled right?

Ruth Walker asks this question at:


She also notes: Who knew that copy editing skill could protect against identity theft? A few weeks ago I received a dubious e-mail purportedly from my bank, claiming I needed to update my "account information
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: that fan thinggy on my computer
21 December 2006 @ 11:20 am
On its website, the TSA posts extensive tips for travelers, including a section titled "Traveling With Children."

One item reads: "Never leave babies in an infant carrier while it goes through the X-ray machine."

Need to know why this is NOT a frivolous instruction? Read more at:

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: It's Christmas (explains mood)
05 November 2006 @ 04:46 pm
Here are two signs I saw today. . .
on a hilly country road: Limited Distance Vision
at the county hospital: "The ER is not currently staffed."

I am not making this up!!!
Current Location: rural Wisconsin, obviously
Current Mood: insistent
Current Music: static
05 November 2006 @ 04:44 pm
"As a teenager, you're terrified of what others think about you; as a young adult, you defiantly disregard what others think about you; and finally in middle age, you realize they haven't been thinking about you at all!"
Current Location: Apparently, no one cares
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: University of the Air
24 October 2006 @ 09:43 pm
A pastor and a taxi driver arrive at the pearly gates. They are both shown in, and the taxi driver has this amazing mansion (with a big lawn, and looks out over the most amazing scenery) and the pastor gets this little tiny cottage, and so the pastor asks St. Peter,
"I don't mean to complain or anything, BUT. . . why do I have such a small place and this taxi driver guy has a mansion?"

St Peter says (contrary to what you learned in Lutheran catechism) we judge by results up here. While you were preaching, people were sleeping. While he was driving, people were praying.
Current Location: Mind of God
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: humidifier humidifying
20 October 2006 @ 05:36 pm
Hey, saw these on ericisrad, over in belief.net, and had to share.

ericisrad says:

Oh. My. Word....Saw these over on Matt's blog and just had to share!

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last years winners....

lucy66 says: This one is my favorite:

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when youre on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigans teeth.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
Current Location: SE corner of my home
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: His Strength is Perfect
20 October 2006 @ 04:38 pm
Here's an article for the aspiring superhero in you:


*And the scientists and engineers are finally getting their act together politically and are organizing to act in the interest of science (it was on Science Friday NPR News today) OK, so also their own self interest, but still, good to see.
Yes, I am OFF on Fridays. . . yes, I was at home listening to Science Friday, filing things and tidying up.
And, actually, I have a social engagement this evening. 10 miles west to the American Legion, escorted by my Sunday School superintendent and his wife (I am NOT making this up!!!)
Current Location: rural Wisconsin
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Steven Curtis Chapman
17 October 2006 @ 05:43 pm
What it means to be a liberal
By Geoffrey R. Stone. Geoffrey R. Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago, is the author of "Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime."

October 10, 2006

For most of the past four decades, liberals have been in retreat. Since the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, Republicans have controlled the White House 70 percent of the time and Republican presidents have made 86 percent of the U.S. Supreme Court appointments. In many quarters, the word "liberal" has become a pejorative. Part of the problem is that liberals have failed to define themselves and to state clearly what they believe. As a liberal, I find that appalling.

In that light, I thought it might be interesting to try to articulate 10 propositions that seem to me to define "liberal" today. Undoubtedly, not all liberals embrace all of these propositions, and many conservatives embrace at least some of them.

Moreover, because 10 is a small number, the list is not exhaustive. And because these propositions will in some instances conflict, the "liberal" position on a specific issue may not always be predictable. My goal, however, is not to end discussion, but to invite debate.

1. Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others. This is at the very heart of liberalism. Liberals understand, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once observed, that "time has upset many fighting faiths." Liberals are skeptical of censorship and celebrate free and open debate.

2. Liberals believe individuals should be tolerant and respectful of difference. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support the civil rights movement, affirmative action, the Equal Rights Amendment and the rights of gays and lesbians. (Note that a conflict between propositions 1 and 2 leads to divisions among liberals on issues like pornography and hate speech.)

3. Liberals believe individuals have a right and a responsibility to participate in public debate. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion expansion of the franchise; the elimination of obstacles to voting; "one person, one vote;" limits on partisan gerrymandering; campaign-finance reform; and a more vibrant freedom of speech. They believe, with Justice Louis Brandeis, that "the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people."

4. Liberals believe "we the people" are the governors and not the subjects of government and that government must treat each person with that in mind. It is liberals who have defended and continue to defend the freedom of the press to investigate and challenge the government, the protection of individual privacy from overbearing government monitoring, and the right of individuals to reproductive freedom. (Note that libertarians, often thought of as "conservatives," share this value with liberals.)

5. Liberals believe government must respect and affirmatively safeguard the liberty, equality and dignity of each individual. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion the rights of racial, religious and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, persons accused of crime and the outcasts of society. It is liberals who have insisted on the right to counsel, a broad application of the right to due process of law and the principle of equal protection for all people.

6. Liberals believe government has a fundamental responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support government programs to improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare for the neediest members of society. It is liberals who maintain that a national community is like a family and that government exists in part to "promote the general welfare."

7. Liberals believe government should never act on the basis of sectarian faith. It is liberals who have opposed and continue to oppose school prayer and the teaching of creationism in public schools and who support government funding for stem-cell research, the rights of gays and lesbians and the freedom of choice for women.

8. Liberals believe courts have a special responsibility to protect individual liberties. It is principally liberal judges and justices who have preserved and continue to preserve freedom of expression, individual privacy, freedom of religion and due process of law. (Conservative judges and justices more often wield judicial authority to protect property rights and the interests of corporations, commercial advertisers and the wealthy.)

9. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, for without such protection liberalism is impossible. This, of course, is less a tenet of liberalism than a reply to those who attack liberalism. The accusation that liberals are unwilling to protect the nation from internal and external dangers is false. Because liberals respect competing values, such as procedural fairness and individual dignity, they weigh more carefully particular exercises of government power (such as the use of secret evidence, hearsay and torture), but they are no less willing to use government authority in other forms (such as expanded police forces and international diplomacy) to protect the nation and its citizens.

10. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, without unnecessarily sacrificing constitutional values. It is liberals who have demanded and continue to demand legal protections to avoid the conviction of innocent people in the criminal justice system, reasonable restraints on government surveillance of American citizens, and fair procedures to ensure that alleged enemy combatants are in fact enemy combatants. Liberals adhere to the view expressed by Brandeis some 80 years ago: "Those who won our independence ... did not exalt order at the cost of liberty."

Consider this an invitation. Are these propositions meaningful? Are they helpful? Are they simply wrong? As a liberal, how would you change them or modify the list? As a conservative, how would you draft a similar list for conservatives?

- - -


- How do you define a liberal? How do you define a conservative? E-mail us by 2 p.m. Tuesday at ctc-response@tribune.com with "define" in the subject line. Include your name, hometown and contact information. Responses will be published online and in Wednesday's Voice of the People.


Geoffrey R. Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago, is the author of "Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime."
Copyright (c) 2006, Chicago Tribune
Current Location: rural Wisconsin
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: public radio