Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Effete Thugs Lose Another Appellate Case

Former N.Y. Knick's Defamation Action Proceeds as Paper Shields Sources

In a $40 million defamation case stemming from a series of articles the Post published about Latrell Sprewell in October 2002, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Marcy S. Friedman has granted Sprewell's motion to preclude the newspaper from relying on confidential sources in its summary judgment motion. "The confidential sources were the only basis for the potentially defamatory statements in the articles that plaintiff fractured his hand when he swung at a guest on his boat, missed, and hit a wall," Justice Friedman held in Sprewell v. NYP Holdings, 0122923/02.

The contested Post stories followed Sprewell's late arrival at preseason training camp with a mysterious hand injury in fall 2002. Sprewell, who had joined the Knicks following a suspension for choking his coach while with the Golden State Warriors, claimed through his agent that he had hurt himself while captaining his yacht on the rough waters of Lake Michigan.

The Post reported that the injury may have been less innocent. On Oct. 5, 2002, reporter Marc Berman wrote, "Two eyewitnesses told The Post ... that Sprewell, hosting a party on his yacht docked at Milwaukee's lakefront area, got angry when a woman guest drinking shots of alcohol threw up on a white carpet by the bar. They said Sprewell wanted the woman off the boat, but after her boyfriend interfered, Sprewell took a swing and missed."
"The identity of the confidential sources is thus clearly material to this action as it bears directly on the issue of malice -- specifically, whether the confidential eyewitnesses were reliable sources for the articles or whether defendants' reliance upon them showed a reckless disregard for the truth," Friedman ruled. "This court [finds] that defendants have put the [Shield Law's] privilege in issue, and that they may not rely on the confidential sources in support of their showing on their summary judgment motion that they did not act with malice.

"[W]hile the Shield Law exempts professional journalists from contempt for refusal to disclose confidential sources, 'the Legislature has never established an absolute right or granted journalists complete immunity from all legal consequences of refusing to disclose evidence relating to a news source,'" she held, citing Oak Beach Inn Corp. v. Babylon Beacon, Inc., 62 NY2d 158 (1984).

Thus, Friedman concluded, the exemption "cannot be fairly read to include general exemption from sanctions ... most of which function to prevent a party who has refused to disclose evidence from affirmatively exploiting or benefitting from the unavailability of the proof."."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bartender, I'll Take a Dirty Mary

The MSM simply refused to investigate the claim that Citizen Soldier Kerry had been dishonorably discharged. Refused. In fact, assisted.

So this is just classic:

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Wolfowitz Plan .. again

Some points from a naval officer made their way to Bummer.

Now, Bummer may be a bit of a lefty on some stuff, but Bummer is pretty much in favor of using US military might to smash fascism now. Because if we wait, the smash will be at much greater cost.

Imagine if, in 1935, Depression-hit, war-weary America had not been anit-war, but instead had stepped up and intervened during the Nazi rise to power. 60 million died as a result of WWII. If you strip out the Stalin numbers, it's 40 million.

Would you trade 500,000 worldwide deaths in 1935, to prevent 40 million worldwide deaths from 1939-1945?

So many on the hard left today use silly soundbites such as, "It has never been US policy to pre-emptively attack a country."

Anyone who declares that, is ignorant.

So, the following is Bummer's take on an email that made its way to Bummer from a naval fellow (and Bummer has a soft spot for the Navy - read it here):

FDR's pre-emptive strike on Germany

FDR asked Congress to declare war on Germany.
But Germany didn't attack us on December 7th; Japan did. Only a piece of paper - an intention to form a military alliance - linked Germany with Japan.

Truman's pre-emptive strike against Korea

Truman (with the UN) commenced a war against North Korea.
But North Korea had never attacked us.

Kennedy's pre-emptive strike against Vietnam

John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962 by committing increasing numbers of troops.
But Vietnam had never attacked us.

Clinton's pre-emptive strike against Bosnia

Clinton committed US warplanes against Bosnia - without UN or French consent.B
But Bosnia had never attacked us.


Some interesting -albeit partisan - factoids - love em!:

The anti-war forces are complaining about how long the war is taking.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound.That was a 51-day operation.

The US has been looking for evidence for chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to "find" the Rose Law Firm billing records.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.

It took less time to take Iraq than it tookto count the votes in Florida.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Come the Effete Thug Scandal

CIA Officer Is Fired for Media Leaks

Good riddance.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Online and Deranged

The Loony Left...just minutes from Bummer's house ! An Instant Classic. Thanks, WAPO.

The Left, Online and Outraged
Liberal Blogger Finds an Outlet and a Community

By David Finkel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 15, 2006; A01

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. -- In the angry life of Maryscott O'Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O'Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.
Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O'Connor's reputation is as one of the angriest of all. "One long, sustained scream" is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day.

She smokes a cigarette. Should it be about Bush, whom she considers "malevolent," a "sociopath" and "the Antichrist"? She smokes another cigarette. Should it be about Vice President Cheney, whom she thinks of as "Satan," or about Karl Rove, "the devil"? Should it be about the "evil" Republican Party, or the "weaselly, capitulating, self-aggrandizing, self-serving" Democrats, or the Catholic Church, for which she says "I have a special place in my heart . . . a burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures of the damned"?

Darfur, she finally decides. She will write about Darfur. The shame of it. The culpability of all Americans, including herself, for doing nothing. She will write something so filled with outrage that it will accomplish the one thing above all she wants from her anger: to have an effect.
"Darfur is not hopeless," she begins typing, and pauses.
"Ugh," she says.
"You are not helpless," she continues typing, and pauses again.
She deletes everything and starts over.

"WAKE THE [expletive] UP," she writes next, and this time, instead of pausing, she keeps going, typing harder and harder on a keyboard that is surrounded by a pack of cigarettes, a dirty ashtray, a can of nonalcoholic beer, an album with photos of her dead father and a taped-up note -- staring at her -- on which she has scrawled "Why am I/you here?"

Outspoken and Uncensored

These are mean times.
"I just want to see these [expletive] swinging from their heels in the public square," reads a recent comment from someone named Dave in a discussion about the Bush administration on a Web site called Eschaton.
Crude times, too.
"Laura Bush Talks; No One Gives a [expletive]," someone who calls himself the Rude Pundit writes on his Web site, and he continues: "The Rude Pundit doesn't give a retarded dog drool what Laura Bush has to say about the Olympics."
Loud, crass and instantaneous.
"I feel like I'm being molested everytime I hear his voice," one person writes on the Daily Kos Web site while watching a Bush news conference.
What's notable about this isn't only the level of anger but the direction from which it is coming. Not that long ago, it was the right that was angry and the left that was, at least comparatively, polite. But after years of being the targets of inflammatory rhetoric, not only from fringe groups but also from such mainstream conservative politicians as Newt Gingrich, the left has gone on the attack. And with Republicans in control of Washington, they have much more to be angry about.
"Powerlessness" is O'Connor's explanation. "This is born of powerlessness."
To what, effect, though? Do the hundreds of thousands of daily visitors to Daily Kos, who sign their comments with phrases such as "Anger is energy," accomplish anything other than talking among themselves? The founder of Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas, may have a wide enough reputation at this point to consult regularly with Democrats on Capitol Hill, but what about the heart and soul of Daily Kos, the other visitors, whose presence extends no further than what they read and write on the site?
How about the 125,000 or so daily visitors to Eschaton? Or the thousands who visit Rude Pundit, the Smirking Chimp or My Left Wing, which is O'Connor's Web site?
Put another way, can one person sitting alone in a living room, typing her fingertips numb on a keyboard, make a difference?
"Rage, rage against the Lying of the Right" is the subtitle of O'Connor's Web site.
"If I can't rant, I don't want to be part of your revolution" is how she signs her comments, in the place other people might write "Sincerely."
"I was not like this before," she says. "I was riddled with empathy for everyone suffering in the world. Classic bleeding-heart liberal."


She signed petitions. She boycotted veal. She canvassed for Greenpeace. She donated to Planned Parenthood. She read the Nation, the New Yorker, the Utne Reader and Mother Jones. She agonized over low wages for overseas workers every time she bought a $40 leather purse.
Then George W. Bush was elected. Then came 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act, secret prisons, domestic eavesdropping, the revamping of the Supreme Court, and the thought "It has come to the point where the worst people on Earth are running the Earth." And now, "I have become one of those people with all the bumper stickers on their car," she says. "I am this close to being one of those muttering people pushing a cart.
"I'm insane with rage and grief.
"But I also feel more connected than I ever have."

Angry Together

The people she's connected to include Shanikka, who decides one day to post on O'Connor's Web site a 737-word "open letter to President George W. Bush" that says in part: "You can't hide from the truth, Dubbya. You also can't hide from yourself. And it is YOU, Mr. President, that you need to run from. Because you are the problem. You destroy everything you touch professionally when you're left to do what you want. Everything."
To which another of O'Connor's connections, Bill, responds, "A most excelentest rant, shanikka, but don't you think you should distill this down to twenty-five words or less if you want [Bush] to read it? Or have it read to him. I'm sure he has ADD."
To which Nite74 responds, "ADD implies that some attention span is already present to be deficient."
To which Linnaeus responds, "I might say, though, that saying he has ADD is an insult to those who actually have it."
To which Bill, responding to his responders, writes, "It was rather though[t]less of me to compare the most asinine, brutal, criminal, disgusting, enraging, felonious, gross, horrendous, incompetent, jaundiced, kleptocratic, lazy, malicious, nefarious, objectional, psychopathic, quarrelsome, repulsive, sanctimonious, treasonous, unfit, vindictive, wasteful, xenophobic, yahooish, zealotic piece of [expletive] inhabiting the White House and the planet to persons suffering with a neurobiological disorder."
And on it goes, every day, around the clock, on Web site after Web site. Since its debut last July, My Left Wing has had some 450,000 visits and is now averaging about 3,000 visits and 14,000 page views a day. At any given moment, several dozen people are looking at the site, and user data shows that they are all over the world -- mostly from the United States, occasionally from overseas and often from Washington, D.C., where the log-on addresses sometimes end in or
All of which O'Connor finds remarkable, especially when she considers her route to this point -- the complications of which are reflected in the items she keeps close at hand.
The cigarettes are because of a personality that she describes as compulsive.
The nonalcoholic beer is because for several years she drank to excess.
The note that says "Why am I/you here?" is because she is in constant search of an answer.
And the photo album is because of a 25-year-old Marine who died fighting in Vietnam three months before she was born, which she thinks helps explain the note, the alcohol, the cigarettes and the very first piece of writing she ever published online, a rant against the war in Iraq that began, "Every single millisecond of my life was directly affected by the nightmare that was Vietnam."
As for the keyboard, it is where O'Connor finished her evolution from lost soul to angry soul, beginning with that very first rant, which concluded with a wish that Bush, "after contracting incurable cancer and suffering for protracted periods of time without benefit of medication," go to hell.
She wrote it, sent it to Daily Kos, saw it appear online, watched as people responded to it -- and learned something about the effect of being both heartfelt and vicious. "It's impactful," she says. "It gets attention."
It also felt good, she says, transforming even, and soon she was posting regularly to Daily Kos, where she became one of the more widely read diarists with attention-getters such as "Go [expletive] Yourself, Mrs. Cheney" and "Bush Must Be HIV Positive By Now (you can't [expletive] 500 million people and not get infected)."
Then, ready to try her own site, she started My Left Wing, and now she is practically banging on the keyboard as she finishes a 1,000-word piece about the need for sanctions and peacekeeping forces as ways to stop the violence in Darfur.
"You don't think you can do anything? ANYTHING? You're right. YOU can't do anything. But WE can. WE CAN," she writes.
"MAKE SOME [expletive] NOISE ABOUT DARFUR and you WILL be heard, and it WILL be addressed. Keep silent . . . and none of your future 'How could we let it happen' elegies will mean a good goddamn."
Almost finished.
She attaches a photograph she finds on the Internet of a pile of bones and skin that turns out to be a dying little boy.
"All right," she says nervously, after checking everything for spelling errors. "Here it goes."
She clicks the mouse, and "WAKE THE [expletive] UP" instantly appears on My Left Wing, where, at the moment, 57 people are signed on.
A few seconds later, to increase its chances for impact, she sends "WAKE THE [expletive] UP" to Daily Kos, where the number of viewers per hour is about 30,000.
Thirty-eight seconds later, she gets her first response.
"I'M AWAKE!!!!!!" it says.

A Rant With Results
"I'm going to be proud of this," O'Connor says, as the responses keep building. Ten now. Twenty-five.
Meanwhile, around her, the other parts of her life go on: the two-bedroom rental, the car that got egged at the grocery store because of the bumper stickers, the family.
Her husband, Adam, who works as a lighting technician in Hollywood and is generally calmer about things, comes in from the kitchen. "I have an announcement," he says.
"The disposal is fixed?" she says.
She gets up, hugs him, comes back, sits down, checks the latest responses.
Nearing 50 now.
The front door opens and in comes her 6-year-old son, Terry, home from school, who starts batting around a blue balloon at the other end of the living room, batting it closer to her, closer, closer. She searches through her iTunes library until she finds one of her favorite downloads -- not music, but a speech by a character named Howard Beale in the movie "Network." She presses "play" and turns up the volume. "I want you to get mad!" Beale shouts at one point. "I want you to get mad!" she shouts along, startling Terry. "What?" he says, backing away with his balloon.
Past 60 responses now, and as they keep coming O'Connor describes a trip she took to Washington last September for a rally against the Iraq war. It was a "buoyant" experience, she says, "exuberant," right up until the moment that the speakers onstage began yammering about things that had nothing to do with why they had gathered.
Free Palestine? Free some death-row inmate? End global warming? "That was when I just freaking lost it," she says. "Shut up! Shut up!" she remembers screaming into a bullhorn.
Now, as the responses near 100, O'Connor has a cigarette.
Now, as they head toward 200, she picks up the album about her father, where there's a letter from him to his wife, written three days before he died, that ends, "I love you and the baby more than I ever knew a person could love."

The baby.

He never knew her name, or that she was a girl, or that his wife weighed less on the day their daughter was born than when she was conceived. "Catatonic" is how O'Connor describes what her mother became for a while, and then the mother got better, and then the daughter got worse, and then the daughter got better by becoming angry rather than silent about a new war, so angry she began wishing her president would go to hell.
"I've got to stop looking at this," she says, putting the album away and turning back to the screen.
Meanwhile, over on Eschaton, Dave is writing, "As a matter of fact -- I do hate Bush!"
On Rude Pundit: "George W. Bush is the anti-Midas. Everything he touches turns to [expletive]."
On the Smirking Chimp: "I. Despise. These. [Expletive]!"
And on Daily Kos and My Left Wing, the responses keep rolling in.
"Thank you, Maryscott."
"Thank you for the kick in the [expletive]."
"I wrote to my [expletive] so-called representatives."
"I also wrote to my [expletive] congressman to get off his [expletive] [expletive] and do the right [expletive] thing."
"You know what?" O'Connor says. "I did a good thing today." And for a moment, anyway, she isn't angry at all.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Effete Thugs with Bush Derangement Syndrome

NYTimes Correction:

"A front-page article in some copies on Sunday reported that a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney said he had been authorized to disclose to a reporter that one of the key judgments in a 2002 National Intelligence Estimate was that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure uranium." The assertion about the aide, I. Lewis Libby Jr., was based on a court filing last Wednesday by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor overseeing the indictment of Mr. Libby in the C.I.A. leak case.

"Yesterday, Mr. Fitzgerald filed a letter with the court correcting his original filing to say Mr. Libby had been authorized to disclose "some of the key judgments of the N.I.E., and that the N.I.E. stated that Iraq was vigorously trying to procure uranium." This revised account of his filing undercut [the entire - ed.] basis of the Times article — that Mr. Libby testified that he had been told to overstate the significance of the intelligence about uranium.

"Although Mr. Fitzgerald formally filed his corrective yesterday, accounts of it were provided to some news organizations on Tuesday night, and were the basis for news articles yesterday. The Times did not publish one, as other organizations did, because a telephone message and an e-mail message about the court filing went unnoticed at the newspaper. An article on the filing appears today, on Page A17."


We got the front-page anti-Bush slam that we wanted out of the matter, and although we were simply wrong, and that damned Fitzpatrick proved that we had no basis for our front page hatchet job on Bush, we don’t really care. We're upset that the US government did not give us special treatment by leaking us information on this criminal court filing, before other media got it. We expect better treatment, like we got when a Democrat occupied the White House.

Accordingly, we will be burying the item deep in the paper. 17 pages back, in fact.

Next time, Fitzgerald, please clear it with us first, before breaking a story that proves we are wrong.

After all, we are the NYTimes. We work just like Page Six.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Rare Species Sighting

B23, I present to you, a rare sighting of a Protesting Liberal with a Sense of Humor:

Un ejemplo de un manifestante liberal con un sentido del humor.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

MSM Slant-A-Thon IX

The Nation Intelligence Estimates were declassified to rebut charges by Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV that President Bush lied when he said in his 2003 State of the Union address that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa."

Washington Post, July 19, 2003:

"The unusual decision to declassify a major intelligence report was a bid by the White House to quiet a growing controversy over Bush's allegations about Iraq's weapons programs," wrote Dana Milbank and Dana Priest in the Washington Post the day before.

AP, July 20, 2003:

"The White House declassified portions of an October, 2002 intelligence report to demonstrate that President Bush had ample reason to believe Iraq was reconstituting a nuclear weapons program."

NYTimes, April 9, 2006:

"A senior administration official confirmed for the first time on Sunday that President Bush had ordered the declassification of parts of a prewar intelligence report on Iraq in an effort to rebut critics who said the administration had exaggerated the nuclear threat posed by Saddam Hussein," reported David Sanger and David Johnston in the New York Times Monday.

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report, July 2004:

[Mr. Wilson was not forthright in his written articles, with the CIA or with the Senate Intelligence Committee.]

British Parliament, Butler Commission, July 2004:

The statements that Saddam had tried to buy uranium in Africa were "well founded."

Washington Post, April 8, 2006:

The evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before."


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why Won't Mapes Defend Me?

Some say that gay men who have not come out of the closet have cognitive dissonance that makes unbearably loud noises in their heads.

Sorta like the guy with the mutilated body in the trunk. Wracked with that kinda of numbing guilt, so what if you exceed the speed limit by 25 mph? This, say some criminologists, is why the guilty are so often caught shortly after a crime - they are so torn by their own guilt, that the mere "malum prohibitum" rules of society just don't register.

So what is up with the Brokeback-looking, fedora-ed, bowtied associate Jared Stern? Is he so wracked by gender confusion that he forgot that extortion was illegal? As he tells a mounting set of whoppers, like a drunken Enzo-crashing ex-felon, does he not see that people are laughing?

Nope. Instead, his CogDis causes him to ... attack the media?

Jared Paul Stern, the suspended Page Six gossip writer accused of trying to extort tens of thousands of dollars from a California billionaire, said he is surprised that more journalists did not come to his defense when the accusations were first put forth. "I was surprised that the coverage wasn't a little more balanced."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tip of the Pay-to-Stray Iceberg

Like the unfolding, industry-penetrating Anthony Pellicano wiretapping scandals in Los Angeles, whereby celebrity lawyers and entertainment executives are being indicted weekly in an industry-run-amok orgy of ethical slimebucketing, New York City is next.

The recent payola-for-favored coverage scandal at the New York Post Page Six isn't over. The feds have come in. The feds will do deals with everyone on the Post's staff. That will lead to other publications.

Effete thugs acting like they have immunity. Aka, mafia.

Note that NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer has been going after, and getting, record company payola indictments and settlements. How long do you think he will sit on the sidelines, with media companies now in the scopehairs?

Les Nuits Musulmanes des Fenêtres Brisées IV

A member of islamofascist cartoon riot group Lashkar-e-Tayyibary exacts retribution on the West with a hat trick of violations of the Ten Commandments. Here, earnest virgins-seeker Maqmoud displays a graven image of Bob while demanding (apparently without effect) that passers-by bow down to His Subgeniusness.

Friday, April 07, 2006

More Plame Mouthfoam

James Taranto is so good today, I'm just lifting his entire piece:

Best of the Web Today
Friday, April 7, 2006 2

Quick, Call a Plumber!If you'd told us earlier this week that the Valerie Plame kerfuffle was about to turn even sillier, we wouldn't have believed you. But it has. This story appears on the front page of today's New York Times:

President Bush authorized Vice President Dick Cheney in July 2003 to permit Mr. Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr., to leak key portions of a classified prewar intelligence estimate on Iraq, according to Mr. Libby's grand jury testimony.

The testimony, cited in a court filing by the government late Wednesday, provides the first indication that Mr. Bush, who has long assailed leaks of classified information as a national security threat, played a direct role in the disclosure of the intelligence report on Iraq at a moment that the White House was trying to defend itself against charges that it had inflated the case against Saddam Hussein.

Well, here is how the filing (PDF) by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald describes what happened (page 23):

Defendant [Libby] testified that the Vice President later advised him that the resident had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE [National Intelligence Estimate]. Defendant testified that he also spoke to
David Addington, then Counsel to the Vice President, whom defendant considered to be an expert in national security law, and Mr. Addington opined that Presidential authorization to publicly disclose a document amounted to a declassification of the document.

In other words, this was an authorized disclosure of information, the opposite of a leak.

Yet the Times, the Washington Post and even the New York Sun (albeit only in a headline) call it a "leak."

These reports have served as pornography for the Angry Left, which has constructed an elaborate fantasy world around the Plame kerfuffle. One reader shared with us his reverie about how this is actually a signal that Fitzgerald plans to indict Vice President Cheney.

In fact, it is nothing more than a battle over procedure. Libby is seeking to compel the prosecution to turn over certain information to the defense; Fitzgerald is resisting. Among the information Fitzgerald has so far refused to turn over, by the way, are the two facts supposedly at the center of the case: whether Valerie Plame was a covert agent (extensive evidence on the public record comes close to proving that she was not), and who "leaked" Plame's identity to columnist Bob Novak.

More than anything else, the whole kerfuffle is a reflection on the way anti-Bush animus has fed into the adversarial culture of post-Watergate journalism in America. First the New York Times beat the drums for a special prosecutor to investigate who provided accurate information to reporters, albeit supposedly in violation of the law. Among the results: A Times reporter went to jail.

Now we witness the astonishing spectacle of newspapers trying to spin a scandal out of a legal disclosure of information to the press. GayPatriot aptly describes it as "the Orwellian worldview of Bush-haters where releasing facts means having something to hide."

Maybe we can't expect better from political partisans, but journalists are supposed to stand for the neutral principle of the public's right to know. If they pervert that principle in the pursuit of a partisan program, they will find it harder to assert it when it serves their purposes, whatever those purposes may be.

Pretending to Immigrate

There was a heralded "compromise" in the Senate as to an immigration bill. Senators, seeemingly, loved it. The Left hated it. The Right hated it.

The Senators, though, seemed to love it, because it gave the semblance that they had tackled a tough issue.

Well, those 23 who check in here regularly know that illegal immigration is a pet peeve of Bummer.

Not unexpectedly, though, the supposed "compromise" wasn't really there. The Dems and the Pubs are too concerned with the 06 and 08 elections to do anything "real," here.


Q: Which candidates will connect with the position held by 70-80% of the voting public?

A: The winning candidates.


The solution isn't that difficult. The compromise, which categorized illegal aliens in the US into 3 categories (leave now; leave and we'll let you come back on a visa; and stay but go through citizenship training), wasn't too bad, really. EXCEPT it lacked the key ingredient:

(Yes, that is a picture of a fence on the border. )

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

CogDis and the Snarky Monk

Bummer has been really busy of late. So busy that affairs of teh chattering classes have somewhat escaped.

This past blast from an astute S&C reader, detailing a bit of CogDis from the past:

There was once a medieval monk who persistently said a phrase in the Latin Eucharist wrongly, either because he was illiterate and had learned it that way or because it had been transcribed incorrectly in his copy. Instead of “quod in ore sumpsimus”, he would say “quod in ore mumpsimus”. Now sumpsimus is Latin for “we have taken” (the full phrase means “which we have taken into the mouth”), but mumpsimus is just nonsense.

What made this particular mistake memorable is what the monk was supposed to have said when he was corrected. According to the version of the incident told in 1517 by Richard Pace, later the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the monk replied that he had said it that way for forty years and “I will not change my old mumpsimus for your new sumpsimus”.

As a result, the word came to be applied to someone who sticks obstinately to their old ways, in spite of the clearest evidence that they are wrong. The word can also have the related meaning of some custom or notion that is adhered to, even though it has been shown to be unreasonable.

Some references suggest that the story may have been first told by Pace’s friend Erasmus; there’s also a hint that it may really have been an oft-told joke in medieval times. The word is first recorded in 1530 in a book by William Tyndale, the first translator of the Bible into English, called The Practice of Prelates. It was given royal approval in 1545, when Henry VIII referred to it in a speech:

“Some be too stiff in their old mumpsimus, others be too busy and curious in their sumpsimus”.

It has, perhaps surprisingly, stayed in the language as a learned joke for more than 400 years, and is still to be stumbled over from time to time.