Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

I managed to stay up until 11 pm -- watched the ball drop in NYC on TV. Then I crashed.

Yesterday my long hours at work took their toll. I slept late and then napped for several hours in the afternoon, still ended up sleeping all night as well. My internet explorations yesterday involved looking at reports from the European Social Forum and finding some interesting sites in which red-green alliances seem to be flourishing.

Red Pepper magazine in England looks interesting.

Voice of the Turtle has a couple of articles I've enjoyed.

And lately, Left I on the News has been a great source of updates on the news with a far-left point of view..

On the other hand, I read a lengthy article from Front Page magazine called The Psychology Underlying "Liberalism". The article shattered the myth I had that only liberals use psychology to "pathologize" people whose political and economic views they dislike. Unfortunately, the author claims Hitler was a "leftist" and therefore violates Godwin's Law. His argument would have been much more effective, I believe, by focusing on actual American political liberals ala Hillary and Bill Clinton and showing their self-serving activities, which are pretty easy to find.

I finished KJ Erickson's . Alone at Night". and cried like a baby through the last few chapters. Like Kent Krueger's latest book, this book careens into national and international politics in a way that seems unnecessary. And yet, the novel works and the suspense is wonderfully paced. Best of all, the women in this novel are awesome -- strong, intelligent and fierce. I love this about Erickson's books. Although the lead character is a man, he surrounds himself with intelligent women that he respects and admires. The same trait is found in John Sandford's books. A delightful read.

Finally, the new list of Banished Words> is out:

Lake Superior State University
2005 List of Banished Words

BLUE STATES/RED STATES ñ Whoís who, anyway? "I remember when I was a kid and Georgia was purple," says Peter Pietrangelo, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. "A good map has more than two colors."

FLIP FLOP/FLIP FLOPPER/FLIP FLOPPING ñ They belong at the beach, not in a political dialogue. "Republicans used it; Democrats used it back. Flip-flop back and forth it goes." ñ Jeff Lewis, Ada, Mich.

BATTLEGROUND STATE ñ "During an election, every state is a battleground." -- Austin White, West Hartford, Conn.
"Did it mean Bush and Kerry would go toe-to-toe?" ñ Evan Cornell, Ligonier, Penn.

"Ö AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE" ñ Received the most nominations of the words and phrases that came out of the presidential election. From political ads to auto partsÖ
"What started in political ads is spiraling out of control." ñ Jim Blashill, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
"Iíve heard three local car commercials where the morons use that phrase!" ñ John Venezia, Colorado Springs, Colo. ñ"Would a political candidate approve a message they did not agree with?" ñ John Gorsline, Albuquerque, NM. "Iím Kristina and I approve this nomination." ñ Kristina, Granite City, Ill.

POCKETS OF RESISTANCE ñ "Are we talking about someone not buying a round of drinks or people shooting at each other?" ñ Rob of Crawley, West Sussex, UK.
"Sounds like someone having trouble pulling their hands out of their pants pockets." ñ Joe Hutley, Las Vegas, NV.

IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE ñ As opposed to what used to be referred to as a bomb or mine. "Is this anything like a bomb or is it more (or less) sinister?" ñ Harold Blackwood, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

ENEMY COMBATANT ñ "Makes no sense. Do we have friendly combatants? Neutral combatants? Or how about enemy bystanders? If they are your enemy, just say so." ñ Bill Sellers, Hampton, Va.

CARBS ñ low carbs, high carbs, no carbs, carb-friendlyÖ Meant ëcarburetorí in a previous life. Needs to be purged from our system.
"Youíre not fat because you eat bread; youíre fat because you eat too much!" ñ Emily Price, Norfolk, Va.
"Whatís the point of low-carb beer? A person that concerned about ëcarbsí shouldnít even be drinking beer." Roger Briskey, Orlando, Fla.

YOUíRE FIRED! ñ "Öand the little hand movement, too!" ñ Jason Ranville, State College, Penn.
One nominator suggested that to say it would soon constitute a trademark infringement.

‹BER ñ Nominated by many over the past few years, including Paul Freedman, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. "Since when has this become a prefix for everything? Thatís ¸ber-rific!" ñ Lolina, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
"ÖEverything that is big, amazing, unique is described as ¸ber." ñ Sue, Colorado Springs, Co.

ëIZZLEí ñ SPEAK ñ By far, the abomination that received the most nominations. Some sort of ëRap-Latiní suffix, as in faíshizzle, which means ëfor sure.í
"It was clever for about five minutes, or should I say five ëminizzles?í" ñ R. Glover, Waterford, Mich.
Derek Hogan of Misssissauga, Ontario, said it was cool when a rapper came up with it a few years ago, but now itís over-used and is even being used in television commercials.
"Like Superbowl excesses, it is too much of too much," ñ Daniel Baisden, Savannah, Ga.

WARDROBE MALFUNCTION ñ "Janet Jacksonís bodice did not ëmalfunction,í" says John Wetterholt, Woodstock, Ill. "Justin Timberlake pulled too much and too far and I could hear the cogs turning in his publicistís head trying to come up with that excuse!"
"It wasnít the wardrobeís fault!" ñ Jane Starr, Edmonton, Alberta
"Sure to be this generationís Watergate, misapplied to all situations both imaginable and not so." ñ David Edgar, Sydney, Australia

BLOG ñ and its variations, including blogger, blogged, blogging, blogosphere. Many who nominated it were unsure of the meaning. Sounds like something your mother would slap you for saying.
"Sounds like a Vikingís drink thatís better than grog, or a technique to kill a frog." Teri Vaughn, Anaheim, Calif.
"Maybe itís something that would be stuck in my toilet." ñ Adrian Whittaker, Dundalk, Ontario. "I think the words ëjournalí and ëdiaryí need to come back." ñ T. J. Allen, Shreveport, La.

WEBINAR ñ for ëseminar on the web.í "Itís silly. Next weíll have a Dutch ëdunchí Ö bring your own lunch for a digital lunch meeting." ñ Karen Nolan, Charlotte, NC.

ZERO PERCENT APR FINANCING ñ sending a dollar to do a nickelís worth of work. Michael Hehn, Ferrysburg, Mich. "They could just say ëno interest.í

SAFE AND EFFECTIVE ñ "Try the new, clinically proven, safe and effective wonder drug you never knew you neededÖSafe and effective should not be a selling point, it should be an FDA requirement!" CW Estes, Roanoke Texas.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION ñ Do we need to hear about it daily on TV and radio, even on racecars? Firmly rejected by the committee. "Too much information!" Carolyn Jamsa, Chillicothe, Ill.

JOURNEY ñ "Every single person on every reality show comments on how amazing the ëjourneyí was. Since when does dating a dozen nerds over a six-week span or conniving to win a million dollars over 15 other people qualify as a ëjourneyí"? ñ Cindy, Victoria, British Columbia.

BODY WASH ñ "Also known as ësoap.í" -- Ray Hill, Jackson, Mich.

SALE EVENT ñ "Year-end sales are now ësales events.í Now most have shortened it to ëevent.í Does the sale exist any longer? ëHey, nice new Chevy, Bob!í ëThanks, it was on event at the dealer last week.í" ñ Allan Dregseth, Fargo, ND.

ALL NEW ñ referring to television showsÖ "Of course itís all new. Why canít they just say ënewí? There are no partially-new episodes, no repeat of last Tuesdayís episode with a slightly reworked Act 2." ñ Greg Ellis, Bellevue, Wash.

AND MORE! ñ The merchants way of giving you something "value added." "Every merchant offers carpets, flooring and more. Can we envision baskets, caskets and more? Need I say less?" ñ Ray of Willard, Ohio.
"Goods and services no longer have limits! Everything marketed can be something else! ëItís a hamburger meal, but itís much, much moreÖItís a time machine, too!" ñ Mark of Kanata, Ontario.



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