Archive for the ‘news’ Category


Friday, June 3rd, 2005

I don’t know if this rises to the level of a Bushism, but I noticed the following quote from President Bush at his May 31 press conference:

It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of — and the allegations — by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth.

In fact as you well know, he meant that they have been trained to dissemble, which means not tell the truth or to disguise. It appears that our President is concerned about turrists who have been trained to dismantle our furniture.

UPDATE June 7 – I had emailed Slate magazine about this because I thought they’d like it for the Bushisms. And here it is.

one more time

Friday, June 3rd, 2005

We saw a bizarrely horrifying and fascinating show last night – Hit Me Baby One More Time on NBC. Its format is that stars/bands from the 80s or early 90s come on stage and perform their greatest hit, then in the second half do a cover of a hit from today. One of the neat things was that at least the singing was live, so you get a good feel about whether they still have it or not. Another odd aspect was how British it all felt – including the fact that hosted by Vernon Kay, who it turns out also hosted the British version on ITV, and in fact the whole thing was produced by Granada America. Another “great” export, following on the heels of Millionaire, Weakest Link and American/Pop Idol. I’m so proud. I hope the Americans were able to understand his Northern accent – sample question to Cee Cee Peniston (still the only top ten singer to have a male-specific body part in her name) was “Ow did it feel to sing for the President of the Yoonydit Steuhts?”

Anyway, a couple of the turns were pretty horrible, especially Tiffanny and A Flock Of Seagulls (which was like watching a train crash in slow motion). The winners of the night were Arrested Development who were extremely impressive – very fresh and interactive both in their hit and their cover verstion.

For the now semi-obligatory comedy Toby moment of last night: he and I were playing catch on the porch last night – he’s got a good throw these days – quite powerful and accurate too. I threw the ball to him, which he missed catching and hit a green box which lives on the porch. Toby said, “You did hit the green bock”, which to him is apparently the singular of box.

here’s hoping

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

An article on the BBC about how Christians and neo-conservatives are getting greener, worried about oil and its effects on the environment. Here’s hoping that it makes Bush listen.

In other news, Emma and Toby are currently in a plane on their way to England for just over a week. Although I know it’s great for Toby to see his relations and for them to see him, it’s very hard to say goodbye. When they went in December I was allowed to go through the security checkpoint with them, but they wouldn’t let me do it today. So Toby and I ran up and down every single escalator in the airport – lots of running about which hopefully will have worn him out. I felt bad for Emma having to juggle Toby and a bag and a stroller through security, but she’s a smart lady and I’m sure she’ll have been OK.

hard decisions

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

There’s a high-profile story going on at the moment where there have been court appeals and counter-appeals by the husband and family of a woman who has been in what doctors call a “persistent vegatative state” after being brain damaged seven years ago. The husband, who is the legal guardian, argues that she would not have wanted to be kept alive in the state she’s in and that she should be allowed to die by being taken off life support. Her parents and brother are arguing against this. It’s all rather a horrible story, not just in of course the life and death situation, but the fact that there’s so much political and media grandstanding, with contradictions all over the place, as noted by Paul and others.
It reached new lows for me when I noticed the following paragraph in today’s Washington Post update:

“The Schindlers’ attorneys argued that allowing their brain-damaged daughter to die before the federal courts can review her case would violate Congress’s will and lead to the ‘damnation of her soul’ because it would conflict with her religious beliefs.”

Welcome back, 17th century! They should know perfectly well that the courts, at least in the United States, don’t give a hoot about souls. Courts are here to uphold the laws of states and the Union, not religious beliefs which people may or may not have.


Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

Longtime viewers (like Emma) of The Price Is Right will know that the host, Bob Barker, is an outspoken proponent of having pets sterilised to help keep the population of unwanted cats and dogs down. In fact I believe that if you want to apply for tickets you have to have used a postage stamp for a national pet sterilisation charity on your application.

I wonder how he would feel about this, where a clinic to sterilise cats (they fixed about 500 in two days) was held in a school cafeteria over the weekend. Parents, needless to say (and I assume diners also) are up in arms, with cleanup estimated to cost $5,000 to $10,000. Quote of the day from An Organizer: “It probably was not the best place to carry out that service in hindsight”