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Friday, December 05, 2003

All generalities are bad...

...including this one. But, what the hey.

Demos vs. Republicans...

by John Carlson

And you thought you could tell Republicans from Democrats by how they vote. Not so! Just observe how they act during the holidays

* Republicans say "Merry Christmas!"
* Democrats say "Happy Holidays!"

* Republicans help the poor during the holidays by sending $50 to the Salvation Army.
* Democrats help the poor by giving $50, one buck at a time, to panhandlers on the street.

* Democrats get back at Republicans on their Christmas list by giving them fruitcakes.
* Republicans re-wrap them and send them to in-laws.

* Democrats let their kids open all the gifts on Christmas Eve.
* Republicans make their kids wait until Christmas morning

* When toasting the Holidays, Republicans ask for egg nog or mulled wine.
* Democrats ask for a "BUD".

* When not in stores, Republicans use a catalog.
* Democrats watch for "incredible tv offers" on late night television.

* Democrats do a lot of their shopping at Costco and WalMart.
* So do Republicans, but they don't admit it.

* Democrats give their children gifts that make a political statement.
* Republicans give their children gifts that will keep them out of their hair.

* Republican parents have no problem buying their kids toy guns.
* Democrats refuse to do so. That is why their kids pretend to shoot each other with dolls.

* Republicans spend hundreds of dollars and hours of work decorating the yard with outdoor lights and Christmas displays.
* Democrats save their time and money and drive around at night to enjoy the scenery.

* Democrats favorite Christmas movie is "Miracle on 34th Street."
* Republicans favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life."
* Right-Wing Republicans favorite Christmas movie is "Die Hard".

* Republican always take the price tag off any expensive gifts they buy before wrapping.
* Democrats also remove price tags off pricey gifts....and reposition them them to make sure they are seen.

* Republicans wear wide red ties and green sport jackets during the festive season.
* Democrats do too, all year round.

* Most Republicans try, at least once, enclosing indulgent, wretchedly maudlin form letters about their families in their Christmas Cards.
* Public ridicule from Democrats usually discourages them from doing it again.

* Democrats favorite Christmas song is "Deck the Halls".
* Young Democrats favorite Christmas song is "Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer."
* Republicans favorite Christmas song is " White Christmas."
* Young Republicans favorite Christmas song is "White Christmas".

* Cheapskate Republican buy an artificial Christmas tree.
* Tightfisted Democrats buy a real tree, but they wait until the week before Christmas when the lots lower their prices.

* Democratic men like to watch football while their wives, girlfriends or mothers fix holiday meals.
* On this, Republicans are in full agreement.

* Republicans see nothing wrong with letting their children play "Cowboys and Indians".
* Democrats don't either, as long as the Indians get to win.

* Republicans first began thinking like Republicans when they stopped believing in Santa Claus........
* Democrats became Democrats because they never stopped believing in Santa Claus...

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Thursday, December 04, 2003

What you talkin' about, Willis?

From yesterday's (UK) Guardian newspaper:

The new governor of California came within a hair of victory with his observation "Gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman."

A Tory party ex-chairman got close by noting "Having committed political suicide, the Conservative party is now living to regret it."

But Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chris Patten were beaten to the punch yesterday. The award for most baffling remark by a public figure went to an old master of obfuscation, Donald Rumsfeld.

The US defense secretary scooped the Plain English Campaign's premier Foot In Mouth trophy for his 62-word attempt to clarify a point to a defense department meeting:

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know".

"We think we know what he means", said John Lister, a Plain English campaign spokesman, "but we don't know if we really know".

Previous winners include the actor Richard Gere and the artist Tracey Emin.

The campaign was set up in 1979 to combat official jargon, circumlocution and muddling information. It has worked with, and provided training for, more than 1,000 private and governmental organisations, including two-thirds of Britain's local authorities.

One of this year's Golden Bull awards for unclear English has uncovered a man who is an unrepentant master of mixed metaphors. Yousef El-Deiry, UK airports manager for the charter airline JMC, writing in the airline magazine, noted that late summer was "historically characterised by pre-maturity, both in terms of psychological wind-down and shedding of temporary staff.

"The irony is that it is in the latter stages of a race or championship that fortunes are made or, lost, and where heroes are born or die, and we should be in no doubt that 'it ain't over until the fat lady sings' ", he went on.

"The approach, which I wish to advocate to all our ground team, is to look at the last third of the season as a 'light at the end of the tunnel', the long sought-after jewel in the crown, remaining resolute to sprint to victory."

News that he had won a Golden Bull award prompted Mr El-Deiry to even fuller-throated eloquence: "I was told the cliches in my article were as plain as the nose on my face, but it all looked like Queen's English to me.

"Besides, what's a little cliche amongst colleagues? There is truth in every cliche: worse things happen at sea, when it rains it pours - and even a blind squirrel finds an acorn, once in a while."

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So there.  
The kgb@kgb.com e-mail address is now something other than kgb@kgb.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used kgb@kgb.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that kgb@kgb.com was no longer kgb@kgb.com but rather kgbarkes@gmail.com which is longer than kgb@kgb.com and more letters to type than kgb@kgb.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than kgb@kgb.com but actually just as functional as kgb@kgb.com? I sent e-mails from the kgb@kgb.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used kgb@kgb.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the kgb@kgb.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which kgb@kgb.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for kgb@kgb.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that kgb@kgb.com no longer is the kgb@kgb.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. kgb@kgb.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...

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