Friday, June 02, 2006


As many readers know, I am a horrible speller [and proofreader]. My wife is terrific at both. But I have to brag that, last night when I was watching the National Spelling Bee with her, I got the final word and the word that caused the Canadian girl to lose (Weltschmerz) spelled right the first time (and she didn't).

No, I didn't suddenly become a speller, I had an edge in that they are simple German words. Ursprache means "mother tongue" Ur means original, beginning, first, etc. and Sprache means language. Welt means world and Schmerz means pain or hurt. Now Weltanschuung (ones perspective, literally world outlook), that would have been a tough spell or Danauschifffahrer. That's right 3 F's: 2 for Schiff (ship) and one for Fahrer (driver). I can spell in German much better than I can in English because German has very consistent rules.

Whereas, English has absorbed words from all over the world and those word's spelling systems. Most people don't use many Hawaiian words that they used in last night's Bee but most of use routinely do use stupid French-spelled words, like bureau. Do you know how long it takes me to spell those words? I shouldn't have to learn French and Latin to know how to spell in English.

German has complex grammar; Chinese has complex writing; and English has complex spelling (for every rule their is an exception, and there is often an exception to the exception [like "I before E, except after C."]). Each language has its drawbacks, no language is fundamentally harder or better than the other. But we can all complain, and we can all marvel at 10-13 year olds who can spell words they have never heard of in their lives.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Window dressing diplomacy

Don't get confused by the sham negotiation proposal by Secretary of State Rice, the Bush administration has no intention of talking with Iran.

This move is a joke, and even Bush administration leakers know it. One "Senior Bush Administration Official" said that Cheney didn't like the idea, until they convinced him that they really didn't want direct talks either. "it came down to convincing Cheney and others that if we are going to confront Iran, we first have to check off the box"...Doesn't that sound exactly like Iraq? Didn't Cheney refuse to go to the UN but Powell and others said we have to check this box?

In both cases, the offers made to the Persian Gulf country that begins with an "I" were known non-starters. Taking lessons from the Godfather, Bush officials only making offers they know the other side will refuse.

If they were actually serious about resolving the conflict peacefully, they would have made this offer in private, see it tank, then keep talking until they got terms both could agree were face saving. Something like what Kennedy's team did during the Cuban missile crisis (move the missiles out of Turkey later in exchange for missiles out of Cuba).

Think about it this way, if the US was in Iran's position, would American politicians be willing to give up the potential for national and regional pride just to talk to a regime that really wants to bomb them anyway? Iranian officials might be ideologues, but they aren't stupid.

They aren't going to buy that puppy in the window because they know it really isn't for sale. It's just window dressing.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

blogging can save the planet!

Hard to believe I know, but according to Think Fast PM you can elminate a whole ton (literally 20,000 lbs.) of CO2 simply by linking to this market anaylsis blog. So if you liked Al Gore's new movie, blogroll Deep Markets.

Blogger treehugger has more details.

"Our powers combined..."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It won't go away

On my 809th post, I would like to go back to one of my favorite whipping boys: Kanab's Natural Family Resolution.

According to the The Salt Lake Tribune the locals can't stop talking about it. And the local press invites the public to forgo their Constitutional rights.
Tyler Juber brings it up because he wants others to stop bringing it up.
"Natural-family this, natural-family that," the Kanab teen writes in last week's Southern Utah News. "Oh, this person said this and now I hate him. The mayor passed a horrible proclamation. Shut up!" [...]
Since the resolution's passage, her quiver of letters to the editor has overflowed with commentaries - from near and far, both for and against the resolution.

Kanab's idiot Mayor Kim Lawson is upset that "the media has chosen to bother a community of 4,000 or less." All this attention was the last thing I wanted when I made my city one of the only to adopt a Sutherlands Institute resolution. "The majority of Kanab residents, whether they are for or against this, just want the issue to go away," says the Mayor. The Mayor goes on to say that he doesn't think the resolution intends to single out certain individuals and that he is one of those 'hate the sin, love the sinner' types when it comes to gays etc.

Kortney Stirland, a Kanab pharmacist and diner owner who is LDS and opposes the resolution, argues that another reason why the resolution is unnecessary is that the Church already has a similar resolution out there "That states my belief on the family. . . . Most people don't support the resolution for the same reasons I don't - because of the contention and anger it has caused."

Even some LDS leaders have asked Mayor Lawson repeal the resolution, knowing bad PR when it sees it, but Lawson refuses. I hope that the voters will refuse to reelect him.