Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rem ipsam dic, mitte male loqui.

Translation:
Speak out the whole truth boldly, but use no bad language. -- John Adams, 1775

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Ancient History

Prudence Potpourri

Clay Aiken Goes Vulgar #WarOnWomen in First Tweet

Clay Aiken Wages #WarOnWomen
Clay Aiken, known for his appearances as a losing contestant on American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice, tried to delete his offensive tweets from the internet when he decided to run as a Democrat for the 2nd District US Congressional seat in North Carolina.

Buzzfeed ran a story noting the more egregious tweets they found. But as SooperMexican has discovered, Buzzfeed conveniently left out the numerous tweets in which he attacks women, such as saying he wanted to punch conservative author Ann Coulter in the face and urged his followers to call her the “C-word.”

In doing a little digging around myself, I was surprised to find that Aiken’s first* tweet was sending a vulgarity to three celebrity women.

I’m sure they all thought it was in good barroom fun. But he deleted it from his account, because he surely knows the good people of North Carolina wouldn’t want a congressman that so casually and publicly uses vulgar, debasing language for a woman’s private parts.

In setting the tone for his account with this tweet, can you imagine a Rep. Aiken’s twitter account, sending such things to Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Obama, Sheila Jackson Lee or Elizabeth Warren?

* There were a few other tweets sent from the @ClayAiken twitter account that preceded this one. (Only one survives his deletion frenzies.) The account, however, had been a relatively dormant placeholder until he launched into regular frequent tweeting (and deleting) with this tweet.
Prudence Potpourri

Mt. Vesuvius Ended This Woman's Life...

Remains of a pregnant woman and fetus killed by Mount Vesuvius' ash.

…and the life of her unborn 7-month-old baby.

That’s the mother’s skull (with a patch of blonde hair still attached) and the eggshell-fragile bones of the fetus she protected to her last breath.

Who could look at that photo and not feel sad for both the mother and the child?

Yet there are some (hello, Wendy Davis and gal pals) who would view the tiny creature as worthy of destruction by a machine that would chop it up and suck it out of this mother’s womb.

Pop Culture

The Miley Cyrus Jellyfish Discovered

Adult Swim has located the marine world’s Miley Cyrus. The slower frame rate speed of internet video doesn’t do her performance justice, but technical issus aside, see if you can spot Mileyfish Cyrus:

If you want to see the full speed performance, I suggested checking your cable’s video on demand offerings. Adult Swim has a hilarious show called “Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell” about a doofus devil-in-training named Gary and his misadventures trying to round up converts among the still mortal. Each episode is less than 12 minutes long, and they often show the Adult Swim “Wiggle With It” ad at the end. Two fun things in one!

Update Note: The shows do have a TV-MA mature rating, so they’re not for everyone.

Pop Culture

Survey: Female Millionaires Prefer Conservative Men; Say Liberal Men

richwomen

What does a girl who has everything want when she looks for a companion? A conservative man, says the exclusive dating site MillionaireMatch.com. One of their clients summed up her attitude as “I don’t want a liberal man, I want someone who believes in a traditional family,” which echoed one of the other bachelorettes: “Conservative men plan for the future, they’re in it for the long run.”

In a survey of their female millionaires looking for love, over 81 percent of all respondents across the political spectrum desired a conservative mate over a liberal one. Astonishingly, over 76 percent of just the Democrat millionaire women also wanted a right-wing he-man.

“I want to be with a man who is ambitious,” explained one wealthy woman. “Liberal men simply aren’t as ambitious.” Another kicked blue state boys where it hurts, complaining, “Liberal men are less masculine.”

In contrast, one response seemed to best express the overall opinion of conservative men, saying, “Simply put, conservative men are real men. They are the breadwinners, they wear the pants and they treat you like a lady.”

That’s precisely what turned off the small pool of rich women preferring the liberal man. “Liberal men treat you as an equal, there’s none of this ‘open the car door crap’ that makes me feel like I’m in the 1950s,” said one. Another chimed in: “Liberal men are sensitive and patient. I want someone who understands me and supports my rights as a woman.”

And then there was the one that said: “I want a man who doesn’t force traditional gender roles on me.”

The survey also asked the millionairesses which type of man they preferred in bed. Again, the conservative men won hands down, taking 85 percent of the overall vote. One woman’s rationale for that preference: “Conservative men have so much masculine energy, they’re dominant.”

As this is a family-friendly site, we’ll leave it at that.

America

Blind Man Makes a 3-Point Shot to Win McDonald's for a Year

Michael Quin with a McDonald's representative

Michael Quin with a McDonald’s representative


Life’s been rough for 54-year-old Michael Quin of Springfield, Missouri. He had a series of falls six years ago. Within a few years, he became legally blind and lost significant mental capacity.

Even in the face of such devastating setbacks, Quin sought new ways to stay active and joined Champion Athletes of the Ozarks, a charity that works with the developmentally disabled. After a basketball clinic with the coaches at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., the group was invited to stay for the collegiate game.

As halftime entertainment, McDonald’s offered a free value meal a week for a year if a contestant could make a basket from the 3-point line. To the entire auditorium’s gleeful surprise, Quin’s casual throw went effortlessly through the net.

KSPR, a Springfield TV station, interviewed Quin after the event and reported, “Michael was also pretty excited about his prize for hitting that shot– free value meals from McDonald’s for an entire year. He told us he doesn’t know what a year is but he’s going to really enjoy it.”

Congratulations, Michael! Your tenacity and get-up-and-go certainly make you deserve your break today.

Law and Order

Surprising Supreme Court Justice Seems to Support Anti-Abortion Free Speech

Leonardo DaVinci Views of a Foetus in the WombOver 500 years ago, Leonardo Da Vinci was engrossed in sketching a series of Views of the Foetus in the Womb (sample seen at right), attempting to document the development of a human life as understood by scientists in 1510, even by the most primitive technologies they had back then.

It’s remarkable that Da Vinci’s anatomical drawings bear such a striking resemblance to the modern pre-natal ultrasound photos plastered to signs and held up at pro-life rallies in the 21st century.

Yet a Massachusetts law prohibits where these age-old images can been displayed and discussed. The law makes it illegal for pro-life activists to be on a public sidewalk within 35 feet of an abortion clinic entrance, exit or driveway. Today, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) heard a challenge to the Massachusetts law in the case of McCullen v. Coakley.

(As a bit of background for today’s hearing, in 2000, SCOTUS upheld a different free speech buffer zone that Colorado had passed. Five Justices in that case still remain on the Court, three of whom were dissenters in the decision.)

At the SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston summed up the conservative position on the Court:

Justice Antonin Scalia (one of the dissenters when the Court upheld a different kind of buffer zone in 2000) led the verbal attack on the Massachusetts law on Wednesday, repeatedly insisting that what the anti-abortion challengers want to do is not to protest at all, but just “to talk to the people.” If they actually were staging protests, he said, it might be permissible to require them to stand back for thirty-five feet. Justice Alito also said explicitly that “what these people want to do is speak quietly.”

If that perspective forms the basis for a decision on the power to insulate abortion clinics, it would create a considerable degree of freedom to engage in what anti-abortion organizations call “sidewalk counseling.”

The biggest surprise to courtroom observers came with liberal Justice Elena Kagan’s comments and questions. Reuters reported:

At one point she noted the Massachusetts law “does have its problems.”

Kagan’s main concern appeared to be the size of the buffer zone.

“I guess I’m a little bit hung up on why you need so much space,” she told Massachusetts’ lawyer, Jennifer Miller.

A ruling should be issued by June.

Over 1.2 million babies are aborted each year in the US. That’s 22.4 abortions per 100 pregnancies, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Media

Do Pants Make the Man? Bret Baier Viewers Say Yes [Funny Video]

In the conservative blogosphere and twitter world, there’s a running joke about everyone preferring to go without wearing pants, commonly referred to as #NoPants. I’m not sure where this started, but comedian and conservative pundit Stephen Kruiser is one of the leaders of the pantsless revolution.

Not everyone is on board with the no-pants thing, though.

In celebration of Bret Baier’s fifth anniversary as the anchor of Fox News’ excellent Special Report, the guys with RealClearPolitics’ Morning Commute car interviews took Baier for a ride and got a funny pants story.

Safe to say, it scared the pants off of Baier to think someone was going to force him to publicly join the #NoPants movement.

America

The Sweet Story Behind the Marine Escort Photo

This charming photo of a handsome Marine escorting a young lady to a dance has been circulating around Twitter for a while with a tweet saying the girl had been bullied. But when the dashing Marine became her gallant escort to the Cinderella Ball, the evening was understandably bully-free.

Marine Escort to the Cinderella Ball

It turns out there’s much more behind the photo, however.

Every year since 2006, an organization called The House Inc Student Leadership Center has hosted “A Cinderella Ball” for military children living with disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. Not just one girl gets to walk through an archway formed by 40 crisply dressed Marines with their swords held high; all the kids get the fantasy treatment that evening.

MarineBall2

A press release describes the event as “a fairy-­tale prom experience” for the kids in grades 4 thru 12:

The Ball features entertainment, dancing, awards and banquet for children who otherwise may not experience this type of social engagement. A Cinderella Closet precedes the annual event, where each student guests receives his or her choice of prom apparel. They arrive on a red carpet, through a Marine ceremonial sword arch, to the Ball where Cinderella is waiting inside.

A Patch reporter’s description of the 2012 Cinderella Closet event makes it clear the mere act of selecting their ball attire (which is donated by people from around the the country and given to the children to keep) is almost as much giddy fun as the ball itself:

The students also experience the “Cinderella treatment” of being transformed into a prince or princess with volunteers ready to help each and every student find the perfect outfit and professional seamstresses ready to make alterations.

Once they pick out and try on the dress/tux they want, each student is escorted by one of The House’s volunteers—mostly students who are part of the center’s leadership programs—down a red carpet to the applause of the whole room. He or she is then taken to the accessory tables where girls are assisted in choosing from an array of jewelry, gloves, tiaras or headpieces, shoes and purses, and the boys have their pick of vests, ties, cufflinks, shoes, and pocket handkerchiefs.

At the shoes table, one of the volunteers was giving lessons to a girl on how to walk in high heels. “We have mastered the high heels,” she proclaimed triumphantly as they walked towards the girl’s family….

A blind boy felt his way through the tuxes and another girl using a cane practiced walking on high heels. Two other girls, hand-in-hand, were perusing the jewelry table, while a girl with Down Syndrome in a hot pink dress peered closely at herself in a full-length mirror.

Past years’ balls have featured entertainment from performers such as Mary Mary, Jordin Sparks and Rueben Stoddard.

As The House president Helen McCormick said, “Less than one percent of Americans dutifully serve in uniform today but bear 100 percent of the burden of defending our nation.” It’s lovely that this special population in the military community gets an evening devoted to them for all their families do.

The House, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions for A Cinderella Ball. The 2014 event will be held on June 8 at The Willard InterContinental hotel in Washington, DC, with Rep. Tammy Duckworth serving as the honorary chairman.

Pop Culture

Obamacare Sales Pitch Gets Desperate

The Obamacare enrollment numbers stink, especially when looking at how few young people are signing up to strap on the healthcare costs of the nation like a bunch of foolish pack mules. So what’s a failed government program to do to save a presidential legacy?

Knowing their target market are the types that would be willing to lick a toad to get high, the Obamacare sales force is resorting to the intoxicating mating dance of the newt. That’s right. Their last ditch effort is the Salamander Shimmy, to the tune of “Drop It Like It’s a Horney Newt.”

Feast your eyes.

The rap video clip is from a new ad/music video by Covered California for their contribution to the Obama administration’s #GetCovered campaign. The Obama impersonator, Iman Crosson, who has done other Obama-praising rap videos throughout the president’s five years in office, again sings the praises of “President Barack, President Barack, President Barack” who is “two terms strong” and “when my critics get an attitude, I tell ‘em to stop.” And that Obamacare stuff? Pseudo-Barack raps that you should “sign up, ’cause it’s hot.”

Plus I’ve got this healthcare which has got it going on! [their exclamation point]
….
Affordable healthcare officially a “go”! [again their !!!!!]
That’s better than what we had a year ago! [again, drop it like it's ditto!!]

Now here’s the sales pitch for salamander youth:

Your options are really wide ‘sprizzead’
Don’t worry ’bout what them, they, her or he said.
I can educate you, this can be your health ed. [so shout out to Common Core!]
Jump on your mom’s plan that’s how you get ‘ahizzead.’

Wait, is signing up for Obamacare and paying for old people’s healthcare the same as your mom adding an extra person to her policy? Ok, I’m interfering with the sales pitch like some old fogey over 26. Back to the hip messagizzead!!

Pres and I’m the man, been the Pres since “Yes We Can”
And I dealt with all this healthcare while dealing with Iran! [so...2 ka-BOOMs?]
So don’t try to talk about my plan like the people haven’t wanted this [Eminem this Iman is not]
They’ve waited long for this
And it covers all conditions that could preexist? [their question mark. lol]
You should think about it. Take a second.
Matter of fact, you should take it easy
And rock to this jam from ‘B-Rock O-Beezy’

Last verse is a lulu:

If you choose it just use it they can’t refuse it
No preexisting condition could ever make you lose it.
So tell a friend or a random guy
I’ve got a game changer right here that saves lives. [except for the ones it decides to kill]
So don’t stand and diddle, my healthcare’s the ‘shizzle.’
It’s chock full of top notch healthcare ‘provizzles!’ [like maternity care for men and pediatric dental for gramps...mandated by the Presizzle]
We’ll cover all your ‘vizzles’, your ‘dizzles’ AND your ‘tizzles’
Now while you figure all that out, it’s back to that ‘chorizzle.’

So they even admit they’re throwing a bunch of malarkizzle at you, full of nonsense, knowing no one can figure it out, so let’s get on with the chorus while you sign up anyway.

It’s like telling the youth of America at their graduation ceremony to ignore any voices warning you of tyranny. Who needs liberty when you can #GetCovered in government?

_________
Muchas gracias to a mystery man of disputed ethnicity for his superb editing assistance in bringing this news flash to you.

Book Club

Wit vs. Wits

My favorite quote (and guide) regarding wittiness is the oft-quoted Shakespeare-coined adage that “Brevity is the soul of wit.” [from Act II, Scene II of Hamlet]

But when it comes to wits (as in “keep your wits about you”), brevity would be a disadvantage.

I’m partway through the 2013 modern costume and set decoration, Joss Whedon-adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” which is a very interesting approach to this classic late 16th-century comedy. It’s intriguing to see how this play would unfold in present-day surroundings (apparently filmed in the director’s own house), simple luxuries and technologies, and illustrates how human nature is little changed in the intervening 400 years.

By removing all the medieval trappings that typically scare 21st-century people and leaving just the dense, florid Shakespearean language, it makes the play more accessible to modern man, while maintaining the purity of the script. The language of the script, for non-Shakespeare scholars, remains intimidating–especially in the first few minutes where it’s all whizzing by you as you’re also trying to grasp who is who and what’s going on. Eventually the rhythm of the words becomes easier to understand, and yet old turns of phrase and vocabulary can keep jamming on the brakes: “challeng’d Cupid at the flight” (challenged to Cupid to an archery contest), “burbolt” (a flat-headed arrow used for bird hunting), “trencherman” (eater), “squarer” (fighter), “parrot-teacher” (an insult, implying someone who says the same thing so often that they would make a good parrot trainer), “jade’s trick” (a jade is a broken-down, overworked horse, a nag, and according to various internet sites, the trick would be 1. giving up before the race is finished or 2. having a horse trader use dyes and spices to make the jade appear young and healthy for sale).

If I’m watching Shakespeare in public (it’s worth the day-long effort to wait in line for free “Shakespeare in the Park” tickets in Central Park), I just have to turn off that part of my brain that questions every new word and phrase I hear and let the words flow over me. I always walk away feeling like I understood all the main plot lines and themes and most of the details.

But when I’m at home, with dictionaries and computers nearby, I only make it through a scene or two before my brain is screaming to put the DVD on pause and look up all of the archaic words and phrases I don’t immediately get so that I’ll understand every detail. (This is why I don’t watch Shakespeare movies every week…or month.)

So pause I have. To my happiness, I found one bit of dialog that flowed right over me, has even more meaning that I can apply to other things:

BEATRICE
Alas! he gets nothing by that. In our last
conflict four of his five wits went halting off, and
now is the whole man governed with one: so that if
he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him
bear it for a difference between himself and his
horse; for it is all the wealth that he hath left,
to be known a reasonable creature.

I didn’t need to know this to enjoy Lady Beatrice’s snark about Benedick not having all his wits, but apparently in the Middle Ages, there were thought to be five “inward” wits to go along with the five “outward wits” or senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight). The five wits were imagination, memory, estimation (instinct), fantasy (is this really different from imagination? this reference tries to differentiate it) and common wit (which is akin to Aristotle’s concept of what we now call “common sense”). Not sure where the humorous wit fits among these categories, though.

Therefore, it’s fun to know that instead of tossing out random numbers, Beatrice’s imagination specifically intends to insinuate that Benedick’s mind is deprived of all imagination, memory, instinct and fantasy, but she graciously grants him some common sense.

That’s being witty about wits.

 
UPDATE: No wonder I missed Beatrice’s jab at Benedick’s wit in the movie. In replaying the scene, I find Whedon has edited Shakespeare here and there, removing the quote I so love. Hmph.