Sma' Talk Wi' T

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Archive for February 2008

Public Understands MSM’s Agenda

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Latest Zogby polls show that the country understands that MSM’s cannot be counted on to report news due to their pro-liberal, anti American bias.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism is out of touch, and nearly half are turning to the Internet to get their news, according to a new survey.

While most people think journalism is important to the quality of life, 64 percent are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities, a We Media/Zogby Interactive online poll showed.

“That’s a really encouraging reflection of people who care A) about journalism and B) understand that it makes a difference to their lives,” said Andrew Nachison, of iFOCOS, a Virginia-based think tank which organized a forum in Miami where the findings were presented.

Nearly half of the 1,979 people who responded to the survey said their primary source of news and information is the Internet, up from 40 percent just a year ago. Less than one third use television to get their news, while 11 percent turn to radio and 10 percent to newspapers.

More people getting their news from the Internet? Great to hear. You can find balance by researching and reading different perspectives more readily and save trees as well.

Washington Post, New York Times, sayonara. You reap what you sow.

Written by smalltalkwitht

February 29, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Valid Sacraments

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Last night in a Catholic chat, there was a discussion of whether or not the sacrament of penance occurred if the wording was changed. The answer was no, the sacrament was not valid.

When, back on 2 December 2004, I blogged about “Brisbane’s Bad Baptisms”, I got an unusual number of nasty notes from folks who (assuming they agreed with my point that baptism in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier was invalid, and many did not agree), nevertheless took umbrage at my conclusion that those undergoing such rituals were not, in fact, any kind of Christian (pace the archbishop there), and that such persons, to be Christian, let alone Catholic, needed to be absolutely (not conditionally, pace 1983 CIC 869.1) baptized anew.

“It wasn’t their fault they were baptized invalidly,” wrote one unhappy reader, “how can you deny them the grace of God because of something they didn’t do?” Like, you know, I decide who gets God’s grace and who isn’t.

Read Edward Peters’ post on whether or not baptism is valid when the priests says “in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier.” See why Peters, a canon lawyer and Catholic law instructor is redeemed by responding appropriately to a readers’ question regarding the validity of sacraments when the wording is changed.

Written by smalltalkwitht

February 29, 2008 at 2:50 pm

When Buckley Gets To Heaven

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Written by smalltalkwitht

February 28, 2008 at 11:46 pm

That’s Manny Just Being Manny

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Great photograph of President Bush teasing Manny Ramirez for missing the White House recognition of the World Series Champions. Bush cracked up Ramirez’s teammates when he joked “I guess his grandmother died again.” (clockwise from top left) Tim Wakefield, Josh Beckett, Mike Timlin, Kevin Youkilis and Larry Lucchino.

As for the missing Manny? My Red Sox afficianado husband says, “That’s Manny just being Manny.”

Thanks and a tip of the Red Sox cap to Dave!

Written by smalltalkwitht

February 28, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Defrock This…

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Edward Peters, canon lawyer, enlightens Catholics once again about a commonly used phrase “defrocking” that isn’t accurate and doesn’t mean a thing.

Written by smalltalkwitht

February 28, 2008 at 5:54 pm

(Taking Food) Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

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We Americans are a strange breed at times. WE, and what I mean by WE is US, and what I mean by US is YOU AND I and what I mean by YOU AND I are the 37% of the citizenship that fall to either side of the MEAN on a Bell ( or as physicists call it “Gaussian”) Curve. (I used the preceding declaration as proof that I , the Ole Wazoo, am not above including myself as a full fledged dues paying member of the afore mentioned “Strange Breed” but by now you already sorta kinda know that on your own don’tcha?)

Let me get right to my point (if I still have one after that time and font consuming blathering). We (and you now know who you are) are much too much in love with our automobiles, trucks, snowmobiles, ATV’s ect… They at once represent our penchant for freedom (“Don’t Tread On Me” unless of course, it is an all weather radial tread) and a perhaps more subtle means of social hierarchy (mine is bigger or faster or shinier or all of the above, than yours). We EAT in our vehicles for pity’s sake and rumor has it that more than a few of the aforementioned “WE” have been conceived on Tuck and Roll or Corinthian Leather upholstery.

OUR ( MEANING the aforementioned “WE” again) lust for these “Freedom” machines has taken US far beyond the sign post up ahead ( with apologies to Rod Serling) marked “Common Sense”. First, WE chose to usurp the property rights of many of our citizens to build Super Highways in order to “See the USA in your Chevrolet”. That wasn’t so bad as it was a boon to commerce. Next WE decided (with a twisted form of logic that still baffles me) that WE could and would express our freedom by purchasing foreign made cars. WE almost had the right idea there in that we knew we didn’t want to face shortages nor the higher prices of fuel. (Too bad Detroit wasn’t listening to US). As availability improved ( due in part to lowered speed limits) and fuel prices ebbed, we reverted to our piston driven ways of old and started gobbling up those gas guzzling land yachts now known as SUV’s.

Time marches on, not only here in the Land I Love, but in the rest of the world. China and India ( whoda thunk it?) have become major energy consumers who compete fiercely for oil on a global basis. Supply and Demand ( curse you Adam Smith) has caused the price of oil to rise to over $100 a barrel and the easy availability of oil contracts to go the way of the Hudson Hornet.

What have WE decided to do about this? Our politicians choose to fight over drilling for oil in Alaska or making a witches brew from our left over cooking oil, switchgrass and garbage. This is merely an attempt to save their collective political assets, a quasi “Green” bandaid on on a seeping gash. The idea on using hydrogen for automotive fuel keeps popping up but at this time is too expensive to produce and is not much more than science fiction for all practical purposes. Electric cars seem to have a future. There are a number of great improvements in that area but the technology is being hamstrung by a lack of a viable battery system.

Science is wonderful and will provide for US some remedy but time is a wasting as they say. What we need to do now in order to keep our hydrocarbon addiction at bay is to take a look back and take a low tech approach. A good start would be to lower speed limits on a National basis. This idea was shown to be effective in lowering consumption after the Oil Embargo of the 70’s and it will work again. WE cannot think on any other terms than conservation when it comes to energy. Ethanol is not the answer unless the question is “How can we raise food prices and fool ourselves into thinking that WE don’t have to make a change in OUR gluttonous energy consumption”. By switching to growing corn for ethanol instead of wheat for food, the price of wheat has risen dramatically in a short time. This rise will become evident at the grocery store nearly immediately. We are literally taking the food out of our mouths and putting it in our gas tanks. WE have the Freedom of choice in this issue, CHOOSE to SLOWDOWN.

Written by smalltalkwitht

February 28, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Word Fugitives

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Being a avid quidnunc, wordsmith, and thesaurustician, I love words.

They are fun.

I consider Scrabble a bloodsport, love reading dictionaries and encyclopedias, even trivia books in my rare but spare off time. Book reading is devoted to non-fiction and how-to and political magazines are my weakness. I am enthralled with unusual commercials that throw off-beat phrases into their advertisement, like the new Miller Time commercial. Not the beer but the “ex-comedian turned conservative after 9-11” Dennis Miller on O’Reilly’s The Factor commercial:

“Elaborate similes, metaphors, and flirtatious tango of consonants & vowels.”

Absolutely scrumptious!
One of my favorite erudite mind-candy is The Atlantic, for many reasons including their book reviews, variety of topics, and Word Fugitives.

A word fugitive is a wanted word or expression that someone has been unable to call to mind. Quite probably no exactly apt term exists—but maybe one should. Those familiar with The Meaning of Liff (1983), by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, or Sniglets (1984), by Rich Hall and Friends, may find it helpful to think of word fugitives as empty mental spaces waiting to be filled by neologisms like the ones that appeared in those books.

Word Fugitives is always witty and entertaining, but this month’s issue has two definitions that brought smiles to my countenance.

In October, a couple asked for a “polite but meaningful phrase” to convey that they were trying to conceive a child. As usual, a nay-saying contingent weighed in. Becky Heydemann, of Evanston, Ill., for instance, wrote, “The only people who should have any ideas at all about one’s sex life, in regard to children or anything else, are the participants and their immediate families.” Jon-Mark C. Patterson, of Loveland, Colo., was equally but differently critical. He wrote, “There is a word for the condition of married people having sex and being open to the possibility that they will have a baby together. That word is normal.”

As for suggestions that were both apt and transparent, Barnabas Sprinkle, of Carrollton, Ga., wrote, “When we shared that we were mating expectantly, we received both chuckles and instant understanding.” Joseph S. Santavicca, of Calabash, N.C., proposed exercising their stork options. And Marc L. Greenberg, of Lawrence, Kan., takes top honors for his brainstorm: “This could be a zygotic episode, particularly if the parents are crazy in love.”

Roger Jasaitis, of West Wardsboro, Vt., takes top honors for a good coinage plus one of the better explanations. He wrote, “While I was attending a Quaker worship service (which is predominantly silent), the Friend sitting next to me had his cell phone ring and scrambled to turn it off. This action prompted the word tone-deft to come to mind. You could say that it was divinely inspired.”

Another of my idiosynchronatic signs of intelligence is inventing your own plausible vocabulary. Shakespeare is credited with making up over 1700 words and phrases.

How often do you make up a word that fits your needs exactly, but to the etymological purists, it’s abhorrent because it’s not in the dictionary? It’s the same look, pertinacious stoics give to animal lovers who swear their animals can understand them, despite certain animal species showing undeniable talent in understanding the essence of a word.

Remember Koko the gorilla who could use sign langage to talk to his keepers and visitors? Well, birds of a feather: A parrot who shows its’ comprehension ability by making up its words when it doesn’t know the right one to use.

For the first time, a grey parrot shows he can imitate what he sees and hears.

According to a study in the current issue of the journal Language Sciences, this demonstrates a more complex understanding of his environment than that needed for mimicry.The bird, Alex, can also create new word labels for objects by combining words he already knows.For example, he calls a juicy red apple, which appears to remind him of bananas and cherries, a “banerry”.

Whether parrots imitate or mimic is hotly debated among psychologists and animal behaviourists.It’s an important question because to imitate, the individual must have an understanding of its own behaviour based on detailed re-evaluation, whereas mimicry is generally defined as mindless repetition.

I find that exciting and fun. What if animals can understand us, our body language, and can quantify it, so they can respond with their own actions?

What’s disappointing is that emulous and academic elitists without souls of flight and fantasy strive to abrogate those who do soar and are successful without prestigious credentials. Quietly insulting with “muttered under the breath” phrases that go over the heads of the naive and clueless would seem to be beneath them, but alas, alackaday their pride spilleth over when the words slither off through their fingers. Take the snorted insult, “Trailer park.” How can anyone construe that as a passive-aggressive obluquy?

Main Entry: trailer park
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: place for trailers
Synonyms: bivouac, campsite, trailer camp, trailer court

In any dictionary or thesaurus, the phrase is unassuming and innocent, hardly poison to a confident ego, but then I didn’t read the “White Trash For Dummies” guide. It could be and I am oblivious. Instead, I’m going to start using the term “bivouac-ing” when I chat.


Wordsmithing is convivial, enchanting, riles your enemies and entertains your friends. Want to make up your own words? Go for it – Don’t worry about lingus lapsae.

A Librarian’s Guide To Etiquette

Create Your Own Word

Written by smalltalkwitht

February 27, 2008 at 8:31 pm