Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Rest in pieces, 2016

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2017 is just now underway here in New York.

As Robert Burns asked us, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?” Yes. Ask no more questions.

One last reminder…

3 Percenters seizure of the Malheur NWR, Flint tap water contamination, the Gage Park stabbings, the Ohio machete attack, Brexit, the Kalamazoo shootings, the Hesston office attack, the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, stalling on Merrick Garland, the Elizabethkingia meningoseptica outbreak, the Palmetto derailment, Zika virus, “religious freedom” right to discriminate laws, Russia being Russia, The Pike County shootings, the Appling shootings, the bathroom bill, the Harambe incident, the Brock Turner scandal, the Lahore Easter bombing, Texas and Oklahoma flooding, the Istanbul airport attack, the UCLA shooting, the Pulse nightclub massacre, UN Security Council resolution 2334, West Virginia flooding, the Alton Sterling incident, the Philando Castile shooting, the Dallas sniper, the Clinton email affair, the Nice attack, the Bahamas travel warning for the United States, EgyptAir Flight 804, the Baton Rouge police shootings, the Karlov assassination, the Austin hot air balloon crash, Ellicott City floods, southern Louisiana flooding, North Korea being North Korea, the release of John Hinckley, the failed Turkish coup, the Seaside Park and Chelsea bombings, the St. Cloud stabbings, the Charlotte shooting and protests, the Brussels bombings, the Arcan Cetin shootings, Armenian-Azerbaijani clashes, every single televised debate, the JASTA veto, the Hoboken train crash, Judge Roy Moore still being a thing, Hurricane Matthew, the DNC hack, the “by the pussy” tape, the Galaxy Note 7 recall, the Dyn DDoS attack, James Comey’s fantastic timing, the Ouagadougou coffee shop attack, Anthony Weiner’s lack of any kind of self-control, the United States presidential election, Trump University, Standing Rock police actions, the Chattanooga bus crash, the Panama Papers, the Ohio State University butcher knife attack, presidential contact with Taiwan, the Rousseff impeachment, the Walter Scott mistrial, “high confidence” in Russian influence on the election to help Trump win, the Berlin Christmas market attack, the Yahoo data breach, the Chapecoense plane crash, the Alexandrov Ensemble plane crash, Apple’s “courage” to remove the headphone jack, hoverboard fires, all of Syria, Lochtegate, Colin Kaepernick making his indignation all about him, tonight’s Reina nightclub attack, and the deaths of David Bowie, Dan Haggerty, Abe Vigoda, Joe Alaskey, Antonin Scalia, George Gaynes, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Umberto Eco, Harper Lee, Andy Bathgate, George Kennedy, Bud Collins, Nancy Reagan, Joe Garagiola, Prince, Ken Howard, Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Doris Roberts, Chyna, Morley Safer, Muhammad Ali, Kimbo Slice, Christina Grimmie, Gordie Howe, ALF, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Jo Cox, Attrell Cordes, Anton Yelchin, Bernie Worrell, Pat Summitt, Elie Wiesel, Garry Marshall, Miss Cleo, David Huddleston, Pete Fountain, Barry Jenner, John Saunders, Glenn Yarbrough, Ruby Wilson, Kenny Baker, Fyvush Finkel, John McLaughlin, Arthur Hiller, Jack Riley, Steven Hill, Juan Gabriel, Gene Wilder, Jon Polito, The Lady Chablis, Alexis Arquette, Edward Albee, W. P. Kinsella, Buckwheat Zydeco, Bill Nunn, Arnold Palmer, Shimon Peres, Kevin Meaney, Jean-Jacques Perrey, Leonard Cohen, Janet Reno, Robert Vaughn, Gwen Ifill, Andrew Sachs, Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, Greg Lake, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Craig Sager, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Piers Sellers, Joey Boots, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and William Christopher among many others.

Okay, that’s it. No more mention of any of that.

Goodbye forever, 2016. Here’s hoping that 2017 is a reminder that we are all human beings and should all treat each other as such.

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Written by Dave

January 1, 2017 at 00:49

Posted in complaining, General

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NYT VR experience

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Remember how I said the other day that I never (or rarely) receive anything of value in the regular mailbox? Well, I happened to get something in there today that caught my attention. Normally, when I find a small, unmarked box from the New York Times, I open it carefully and away from my face just in case of any residual anthrax or something. Today, though, I received what looked like a Viewmaster made of corrugated cardboard.

google-cardboard-700x452

Watch for paper cuts.

It’s meant to be part of the NYT VR experience. You download an app and wedge your massive smartphone into the front of this obviously inexpensively manufactured viewfinder and watch specially produced videos that allow you to move your head and move the image simultaneously.  It would have been more impressive if my iPhone 6 Plus had fit in it properly or if my massive melon of a head had been able to sit in the space for it without making me sea sick.

There’s lots of potential here, though. Specifically, first-person porn…

Written by Dave

May 19, 2016 at 23:58

EgyptAir 804

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Reports are saying that an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo, call sign MS 804, an Airbus A320 aircraft, disappeared from radar at 37,000 feet (approximately 11,300 meters) about 175 miles (282 km) from the Egyptian coast over the southeastern Mediterranean Sea.

There wasn’t adverse weather or other air traffic in the area, and this incident occurred at what was still cruising altitude. The cynic in me says that this could have been a terrorist act. Disappearing from radar either means that an aircraft has been hijacked, has crashed, or both. Hopefully the authorities find out what happened quickly to MS 804 because that explanation is the only thing approaching closure that the families of the victims of this tragedy will ever get.

A plane crash is one of the most frightening, violent, and gruesome ways to die that I can think of.

Written by Dave

May 18, 2016 at 23:59

Laundry list items

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Not a lot of time for le bloggage tonight because of the curse of the laundry and other fun distractions like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but I wanted to talk about the future. Again. I mentioned the FLICS posts right before putting up a list of conversation starters yesterday, but allow me to throw out a preview of other regular kinds of posts I look forward to sharing with you. Obviously, more ideas are welcome!

  • Detailed discussion of my political positions by topic. I like to consider myself politically active and engaged and am prepared to talk about where I stand and why.
  • Recipes and restaurant reviews. I love to cook and dine out, and I would love to share that passion with you all here.
  • Thoughts on language. I named this blog Call Me English because I’m a language man. I love words and am in awe of the power they wield. It was comedy legend George Carlin who said that “the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the quality of our language,” so I will talk about the finer points of language that we should all be aware of and use more effectively.
  • Life in New York. I am lucky enough to live in one of the most exciting and influential cities in the world, and I look forward to sharing some of the positives and negatives of life here.

Written by Dave

May 17, 2016 at 23:59

Good habits to get into

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18-cockpit-avion-boeing-787As I went through this blog’s past and spent the last few days thinking about what I wanted this thing to be, it dawned on me that I had already put some good things in place here when I began… For instance, I really like the idea of throwing multiple topics out in brief bullets in the same post, something I referred to in the early days as FLICS, “Five Little Internet Conversation Starters.” Topics often come into my mind in waves, so I thought I’d share them almost as quickly as they spring up.

I also like when posts are fully tagged and easy to find. This will be important here because I intend to cover lots of ground: life, politics, sports, culture, sexuality and relationships, language, and more. I’m hoping to make the comments sections open and interactive and encourage different views and emotions to be shared using my posts as a jumping off point.

All it will take is some practice. WordPress, even these several years later, remains a cockpit to me, a place where an awful lot happens but where I don’t necessarily know what everything does. All I know is I want to press every single button I can.

Written by Dave

May 15, 2016 at 22:57

Posted in Administrative, General

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So why will this time be different?

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One of the worst things about blogs is that people create them all the time and then quickly forget about them. People get bored; they get boring; they get busy. Life intervenes. Sometimes the blogs themselves look nice, like they might have promise, like friends and family and even random voyagers on the internet might want to read what they say.

Well, as you can see, I have not managed to avoid this trap. Even just two posts down from here, back in November of 2012, was the last time I had to apologize for disappearing off the face of the planet. And that was really just to set up a crazy venting session about the presidential election of that year.

It’s not that I don’t have things to say; I most definitely have a lot I want to share here. The trick is to find the time and the motivation to share and to feed my love of writing. I have this forum that I created for myself some time ago, and I see absolutely no reason not to use it.

I hope those who may have subscribed to this blog years ago when I swore up and down that I was going to write in it more often do not receive a bunch of nuisance emails now as I figure out what I want this thing to be, as I fine tune it. Please let me know right away if you get bombed with emails and need me to make them stop.

So I love to write, and I was recently inspired to get back to it, to make the time for myself every day to put my thoughts out there. Hopefully I can keep myself honest and not let years go by between attempts.

Written by Dave

May 14, 2016 at 22:27

Posted in Administrative, General

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The Enemies List

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I feel sorry for the friends and relatives on Facebook who hold *actual* conservative or libertarian political beliefs. It’s important to note those were NOT the political beliefs defeated yesterday evening, and although I have mostly kept my political opinions to myself, I do have one message for the following groups:

  • the guy at the Romney rally wearing a tee shirt that urged people to “put the white back in the White House”
  • people with bumper stickers saying “Don’t re-nig in 2012.” Not only is that criminally racist, it also shows you don’t care about spelling.
  • people in Texas who lynched empty chairs after the Republican convention.
  • people who brandished firearms at public political events.
  • people who fired live ammunition at an Obama campaign office.
  • people who actually believed that the Affordable Care Act would include “death panels.”
  • people who dumped fecal matter outside of Ohio Democratic party headquarters.
  • Paul Broun, the Georgia Republican who stated that evolution and embryology are lies from the pit of hell. He’s a physician, too! Unbelievable.
  • people who believe this is a Christian nation.
  • people who throw around words like Marxism, communism, socialism, fascism, and don’t have the slightest idea what they mean… because they think Obama is all of the above.
  • Charlie Fuqua, the Republican candidate for the Arkansas House of Representatives who suggested that all Muslims be expelled from this country and that we institute the death penalty for “rebellious children.”
  • people who parrot Sarah Palin’s “hopey changey” mockery of voters who think this country has a future.
  • people who go around talking about Obama’s “Muslim buddies.”
  • people who suggest that their political opponents are destroying America… for any reason at all.
  • people who think PBS and NPR hate freedom and are wastes of money. Sorry, Big Bird.
  • Jon Hubbard, another Republican candidate in Arkansas, who said slavery was the best thing that ever happened to the ancestors of today’s African-Americans.
  • any CEO who threatened layoffs if Obama were reelected.
  • people who resort to childish name-calling: Obummer, Odumbo, Oblowmofo, Ovomit, etc.
  • people who hope the President of the United States fails at his job.
  • people who consider “liberal” and “progressive” to be dirty words.
  • people think women who request or are on birth control are sluts.
  • anyone responsible for Conservapedia.
  • anyone who eats at Chik-fil-A.
  • anyone who goes to a member of the clergy for guidance on how to vote.
  • Bob Morris, the Indiana Republican who said the Girl Scouts were a radicalized organization of lesbians and abortionists.
  • St. Augustine, Florida Tea Party chairman Dave Heimbold, who asked, “Why are republicans not addressing the fact that Obama is a communist? The forward sign (used by the campaign) is a rallying cry from the universal communists and fascists.”
  • people who believe the Peace Corps and Teach for America are Obama’s Schutzstaffel.
  • Clemson fans who booed the part of the oath that states they must obey the orders of the President of the United States. There’s no P in the name of your school, morons…
  • NASCAR rednecks who booed Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.
  • men who think they know more about women’s bodies than women do.
  • Todd Akin: “(f)rom what I understand from doctors, … (i)f it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.”
  • Richard Mourdock: “(E)ven if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”
  • John Koster: “On the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime — how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”
  • representatives on the House “science” committee who don’t seem to believe in science.
  • people who still don’t believe Obama is eligible to be president.
  • the makers of the DVD dropped into Floridians’ mailboxes suggesting that Obama is the love child of an illicit relationship between his mother and Communist Party loyalist Frank Marshall Davis. It’s a film that purports to have uncovered nude photos of Obama’s mother in a bondage magazine.
  • people who have stated or believe Obama is “shucking and jiving” the American people.
  • any politician who threatens to withhold disaster relief during an emergency over partisan pettiness.
  • the guy who got the Romney Ryan campaign logo tattooed on his face.
  • people who continuously call their political opponents “retards” or some variation.
  • anyone who believes that homosexuals are out to recruit children to “try out” their orientation.
  • anyone who believes conspiracy theories surrounding weekly and monthly jobs numbers.
  • any members of sovereign citizens movements.
  • anyone engaged in polling site electioneering. It is illegal in New York and should be illegal across the country.
  • Larry the Cable Guy
  • Honey Boo Boo and her entire family
  • whoever is responsible for the fact that the Discovery Channel and TLC are now almost entirely made up of shows about rednecks, truckers, and moonshiners. Why is this a thing?
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Ann Coulter
  • Michael Savage
  • Grover Norquist
  • any politician who made a pledge of any kind to Grover Norquist
  • Karl Rove
  • Tony Perkins
  • Michelle Malkin
  • The Koch Brothers
  • Donald Trump
  • Dennis Miller
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Bill O’Reilly
  • Sean Hannity
  • Rudolph Giuliani
  • Pat Robertson
  • Laura Ingraham
  • Tucker Carlson
  • Mark Levin
  • Glenn Beck
  • Matt Drudge
  • Billy Graham
  • Franklin Graham
  • Sheldon Adelson
  • Charles Krauthammer
  • Dick Morris
  • Jay Cost
  • Jennifer Rubin
  • Erick Erickson
  • Eric Cantor
  • Brian Brown
  • John Boehner
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Michele Bachmann
  • Rick Santorum
  • Allen West
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Jon Husted
  • Mark Foley
  • David Vitter
  • John Fleming
  • Ted Haggard
  • Larry Craig
  • William Bennett
  • Fox News
  • The New York Post
  • The Tea Party
  • The Southern Baptist Convention
  • the New York-area Republican campaign operative who used Twitter to disseminate inaccurate information about flood damage to major institutions.
  • “True the Vote” lunatics who swarmed polling sites to challenge what they believed to be ineligible voters (brown people).
  • Constitutional originalists.
  • National Organization for Marriage.
  • American Family Association
  • Family Research Council
  • Liberty University
  • Regent University
  • One Million Moms (not even close to one million, by the way.)
  • Alliance Defending Freedom
  • Americans for Job Security
  • The National Rifle Association
  • Joe Wilson, the guy who pointed and yelled “You lie!” at President Obama during a joint session of Congress. The guy’s name is not even Joe.
  • Joe the Plumber. His name isn’t Joe either.
  • people who make ominous, racist political advertisements in Mandarin.
  • people who recycle the political rhetoric that destroyed Reconstruction.
  • anyone depicting Obama as a chimp.
  • anyone calling Obama a “tar baby.”
  • anyone saying Obama is the ultimate example of Affirmative Action
  • the lunatic who runs a blog called “Your Nigger President”
  • the majority of people in this country (51%) who, according to an AP survey, express explicit racial prejudice toward blacks
  • states that support “voter identification” laws specifically geared to disenfranchise black, Hispanic, poor, and elderly voters.
  • states that amended their constitutions to record forever their collective desire to take rights away from their gay and lesbian citizens.
  • people who fund billboards that want to “save” America.
  • people who believe that taxation means turning one’s back on the principles that make a place great.
  • people who think the Founding Fathers were Evangelical Christians.
  • people who want Republicans in the House to allow this country to go off a fiscal cliff in the hopes that Obama will get the blame.
  • people who boycott brands that support gay rights or reproductive choice for women (General Mills, Nabisco, JC Penney, Starbucks, Microsoft, Apple), including the genius who lit a lawn on fire by attempting to burn a box of Cheerios.
  • people who homeschool because they think public schools are tainting their children with liberalism.
  • young-earth creationists or any people who are more likely to believe in superstition than evolution.
  • people who don’t care about the environment.
  • people who think companies always do what is right.
  • people, especially Jews, who think liberals don’t care about Israel.
  • people who believe money is the most important thing in life.
  • people who censor every word we fucking say.
  • people who are paid (PAID!) to post inflammatory comments on news articles and message boards.
  • people who believe this is the greatest country in the world. (Spoiler alert: it’s not.  Most things this country can be considered “best” at are not worth listing.)
  • people who criminalize unions without knowing that many of the rights they themselves have been accorded as workers can be traced back to the efforts of unions.
  • people who believe bipartisanship means one party joining the other to spread one agenda.
  • people who would call members of their own party traitors for attempting to work across the aisle.
  • people who throw the word “traitor” around in general without having a full grasp of its meaning.
  • people who believe fetuses deserve more love and assistance than people who have actually been born.
  • people who believe bullying is not a problem.
  • people who believe that embryonic stem cells are people.
  • people who believe that corporations are people.
  • people who intimidate or kill census takers.
  • people who went to those healthcare town hall meetings and yelled and pointed like little brats.
  • people who tell others that they are of “American” heritage.
  • people who believe that accomplishing nothing is better than accomplishing anything.
  • people who believe that Election Day mischief is fair game.
  • people who say Obama compromises Judeo-Christian values.
  • people who believe that judges who protect the rights of minorities or restrict the influence of big business are dangerous activists.
  • people who believe that $250,000 is middle income.
  • people who believe the Electoral College is the best way to elect a leader in 2012.
  • people who believe Planned Parenthood is made up of evil, militant feminists out to ruin America.
  • people who are demanding accountability for the incident in Benghazi when no such accountability was demanded for similar or more serious attacks that took place when George W. Bush was president.
  • people who think some variation of the phrase “I have (black/gay/female/Jewish) friends” is justification for being a brazen bigot.
  • people who believe religious institutions should be exemptfrom taxation.
  • people who state that Obama is a practitioner of the “dark arts.”
  • people who consider any form of bigotry to be listed under “religious freedom.”
  • people who still use the phrase “states’ rights” the way it was once used.
  • people who scam the welfare and food stamp systems and then demand that those services be cut for others.
  • people who take advantage of low-information and low-education voters for their own gain.
  • people who vote for a candidate simply because they think s/he’s going to win.
  • people who believe that voting equipment should be provided, controlled, or in any way touched by anyone associated with a candidate.
  • people who think genetically modified food is okay.
  • people who believe in forced, invasive ultrasounds.
  • people who want to redefine rape.
  • temporarily embarrassed millionaires who think they’re in the 1% but are really in the 47%.
  • people who think a disastrous, deadly hurricane counts as “good luck.”
  • self-haters of any kind.
  • people who wished for New Jersey to drown because the Republican governor there praised the President’s response to Superstorm Sandy.
  • people who are proud of being ignorant.
  • people who are proud of being rednecks.
  • people who are proud of the fact they have never left their state.
  • people who are proud of the fact that they don’t have a passport.
  • people who forget about Native Americans.
  • people who think that just because you’re in the military, you must be a Republican.
  • people who think Alexander Hamilton should be replaced by Ronald Reagan on the $10 bill.
  • people who believe in the “liberal war” on anything.
  • people who think that a black person standing outside a polling place must necessarily be a Black Panther.
  • people who think the Affordable Care Act is hurting more people than it is helping.
  • people who think locating and eliminating Osama bin Laden was not a significant achievement.
  • people who wanted the American auto industry to die and take millions of workers with it.
  • people who think their well being is not directly affected by the well being of their fellow citizens.
  • people who think every Hispanic person is in this country illegally.
  • people who think the language spoken by the majority in this country should be called “American.”
  • people who think that equal pay for equal work is an awful idea.
  • people who think Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
  • people who think the more expensive a university is, the better it must be.
  • people who think that there are not enough “angry white guys” in the world.
  • people who think an advanced degree makes you an elitist prick.
  • people who think the Boy Scouts of America should be for straight boys only.
  • people who think it’s easier to bitch from the sidelines than it is to actually lead.
  • people who think that non-Americans who have opinions about the American political process are pretentious.
  • people who vote with any organ other than the brain.
  • people who won’t eat the cuisine of a particular country because they don’t like that country.
  • people who would rather destroy the environment than look for ways to move away from our need for fuel.
  • people who don’t believe in gun control.
  • people who bomb abortion clinics.
  • sore political winners and sore political losers.
  • people who don’t believe in government… until they need government’s help.
  • people who want capital punishment to apply to the mentally disabled.
  • people who think that raising taxes on the ultra-wealthy is the same or worse than raising taxes on small business owners.
  • people who just don’t care.
And that message is… HAVE A NICE DAY.

Written by Dave

November 7, 2012 at 07:34

Posted in General, Politics