SaM Blog Update (July 31, 2017)

blog update, July 2017, August 2017

Hey, everyone. Since it’s the end of July, it’s time for a new blog update.


What Do I Have Planned for the Month of August?

My schedule might be limited next month, based on what I have to do and my access to the Internet, but there are a few things I can do early on. For instance, I will continue with my Famous Sayings posts (this week is #73 — ‘Getting a Kick out of It’).

I also plan to continue in the Rift on the Left series. I need to finish the timeline and watch hours of debates first. Hopefully, there will be at least one to show you by the end of August.

Until then, I’m also working on my political dictionary. I’ll have more on that below.


Is There Anything Else I Need to Include in This Blog Update?

I’m just going to keep my schedule light, but if I have the time, there are things I can do, including:

  • Updates for the Russia probe timeline. Since I have been doing research for another person, I have found new details to fill out that post. I stickied the post for anyone who’s interested.
  • Updates for my political dictionary. It’s not a wiki, but just a page where I can keep my own definitions of terms. It will be extremely helpful for the Rift in the Left series because there are over 60 connected terms.
  • A post about health care in the United States. Since the bills in the Senate were killed in dramatic fashion, it’s time to talk about this.
  • At least one News Roundup post. I might discuss the health care bills here, too.
  • A post about minimum wage. This topic needs its own post.
  • A post about basic income. So does this, especially since it was passed in Hawaii.

As I stated last month, there are other posts I want to do before the year is up. For example, depending on how far I get with the Rift on the Left series, I want to include another post about the American election system. If I have enough time in August, I might be able to know out those posts, as well.

Until then, happy reading!

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Famous Sayings: #72 — ‘Just Deserts’

July 29, 2017

I guess you can say he got his just deserts.

just deserts, desert, dessert, famous sayings
The “deserts” in the phrase does not refer to dry, arid lands or sweet treats.

When people say “Just deserts,” they may not know that they are pronouncing a different word. In fact, this famous saying is an eggcorn, because it often involves a spelling error which is “based on the mishearing of a word, or misunderstanding of its context” (Wise Geek).

Now, you may think I spelled that incorrectly, but I didn’t. The phrase “just deserts” does not have a double “s” like the word for sweat treats does. Instead, the plural of “desert” is being used.

Over at The Phrase Finder, Gary Martin revealed that he was often contacted by readers about the spelling of the word “deserts” in “just deserts.” Most readers would insist that the spelling should be “desserts,” but they were incorrect. (Incidentally, most of the people contacting Martin about this idiom were from Australia.)

If one visits The Grammartist website, they may read that spelling for “just deserts” as “just desserts” is “not a serious error. However, some people in the know might be bothered by it. In any event, the term “desert” as it’s used hear is rare and obsolete.

That said, let’s first look at the word “deserts” to clear up any confusion.

Continue reading “Famous Sayings: #72 — ‘Just Deserts’”

John McCain Is Ailing, but He Can Be Fairly Criticized

John McCain, ailing, Congress, senator, normal order, ACA, health care bill, vote, criticism, Write Anything Wednesday
Sen. John McCain addresses the audience at the 129th National Guard Association of the United States General Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25, 2007. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill) (Released)

This past week, many Americans heard or read some said news about Arizona Sen. John McCain. The six-term senator, a war veteran and former POW, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. He had to be hospitalized because doctors found a brain tumor.

McCain had the tumor removed completely, but he had the same form of cancer that killed Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy and Bo Biden (former Vice President Joe Biden’s son). The prognosis is not good for Sen. McCain, who is 80 years old.

After this news came out, there were people on the left and the far right who went after McCain and said he deserved this illness. I would never wish that on anyone.

On the other hand, it is fair to criticize McCain’s Senate votes, past and present.

In particular, McCain made a key vote in order to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (A.K.A. the ACA or “Obamacare”). I want to share my thoughts on this development. Let this serve as a prelude to a deeper discussion of health care in the United States.

Continue reading “John McCain Is Ailing, but He Can Be Fairly Criticized”

Shmaltz’s Political Dictionary

political dictionary

Today, I had originally planned to post a News Roundup, but I’ve been falling behind. I just need to read the news for myself right now and try to put up something for my readers by the end of this month. For now, I thought I’d write up a political dictionary instead so I could have an early post for this week at the very least.

What is a political dictionary, you might ask? Well, it’s no different than a normal one, except it focuses on political terms. Mine will be a little different, though.

I want to primarily focus on terms I know and want to address for clarification. For example, I want people to be clear what I mean when I refer to “progressives.” There may be other terms my readers may be unfamiliar with, so this will be a place to store that information.

In addition, there may be terms that deal with Internet fights or movements which might not look political on the surface but turn political and/or overlap with politics.

At the time of publishing, this post will be incomplete because I will only leave you with a few terms. Some of the terms may have already been addressed in some of my previous posts, but the definitions here will be short anyway.

Of course, there may be new terms which arise in the future. In any event, this post will be updated.

Edit (July 27, 2017): This list of terms is based on my likeliness to use them for my Rift on the Left series. I will link back to specific terms so readers can quickly find my definitions.

Continue reading “Shmaltz’s Political Dictionary”

Famous Sayings: #71 — ‘Eat, Drink, and Be Merry’

July 21, 2017

Let’s eat, drink, and be merry.

eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die, the Bible, famous sayings

Usually, the phrase “Eat, drink, and be merry” might cause one to think of a joyful scene with people dining together. In most cases, it might be used in a positive sense.

The saying may often be used in a hedonistic sense. In that case, one would stretch it out to “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” In that case, people are dining without a care in the world.

The words “Eat, drink, and be merry” are thus often interpreted as “living life to the fullest”. Or if it’s stretched out, it could mean “enjoy life as much as possible because we won’t live forever” (Got Questions). However, the words were originally used to espouse different principles.

Continue reading “Famous Sayings: #71 — ‘Eat, Drink, and Be Merry’”

News Roundup for July 17, 2017

news roundup

Hello, readers! For this News Roundup, I’m catching up a bit, but there are a few newer stories for this month.

Continue reading “News Roundup for July 17, 2017”

Stealing Votes: How Our Rights Are Under Attack!

stealing votes, election fraud, voter fraud, Kris Kobach, Donald Trump, election integrity commission
Kris Kobach (right), is the current secretary of state for Kansas. He is heading a commission that is designed to steal votes by shutting out eligible voters.

What do you think is the biggest problem with American politics and our democracy? Do you think it’s partisanship, third parties, apathy, or general ignorance (or Russia)? I’ll agree with three of those factors, but the people who are stealing votes are the biggest threat to our democracy.

Why I am saying this now? Well, as I said last month, fair voting is one of my top two issues. Also, I fully intended to make this post sometime, but one post I viewed in particular pushed me to post this today.

Here’s a Recap:

I was responding to a meme CalicoJack posted in April about voting third-party. This is part 2 of my response to CalicoJack. As I was writing, I realized I needed to make two posts.

On Sunday, I talked about whether or not third-party voters were to blame for Trump’s victory. Many may say they were, but I explained why the numbers might not have add up the way we think they would.

In order to make my points in that post, I looked at the numbers in the “Rust Belt” states, but I stopped short at looking at voter suppression there. For this post, I’ll even throw in North Carolina and Florida, because those are two states Barack Obama won in 2008 and there were funny things going on in those states, too.

Continue reading “Stealing Votes: How Our Rights Are Under Attack!”

Famous Sayings: #70 — ‘Let Them Eat Cake’

July 14, 2017

It is widely believed that Marie-Antoinette once said, “Let them eat cake,” when told how many people in France had nothing to eat.

let them eat cake, Marie-Antoinette, King Louis XVI, France, Bastille Day
Jean-Pierre Houël [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
July 14 is Bastille Day in France. It marks the anniversary of when the Bastille, a fortress, armory, and political prison, was stormed by revolutionaries on July 14, 1789 (“Storming”). That action was a flashpoint of the French Revolution.

Every year, the national holiday is marked by military parades, feasts, and fireworks. This year, U.S. President Donald Trump joined new French President Emmanuel Macron in order to mark the 100-year anniversary of the United States’ entrance into World War I.

Since it is Bastille Day I thought I’d look at a phrase with a historical connection.

Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793), the wife of King Louis XVI, is often cited as the source of the phrase, “Let them eat cake.” And there were a few myths to explain this attribution.

One version myth had her saying that to a mob of French peasants on her way to the guillotine. Another version has her saying the phrase when told that much of the French populace was starving (and lacked bread). Yet another version of the myth has an Englishmen overhearing Antoinette saying, “Le theme est quete” (The theme is quest), which is gibberish (Hiskey).

As many of us know, Marie-Antoinette was Queen when the French Revolution of 1787-1799 broke out. Since a driving force of the revolution was the animus toward the French aristocracy, Antoinette quickly emerged as symbol of decadence. Thus this quote was attributed to her, among other things.

However:

From my findings, Marie-Antoinette may have been grossly mischaracterized. The above myths are just that and there is evidence Marie-Antoinette was not the source of this quote, nor was she the type of person to utter it. Yet given the competing forces of her day, there was reason for slander.

So …

If Marie Antoinette was being slandered who would stand to benefit?

Continue reading “Famous Sayings: #70 — ‘Let Them Eat Cake’”

The Internet Day of Action is July 12, 2017

internet day of action, net neutrality

I wanted to talk about this sooner, but July 12, 2017 is the Internet Day of action. That day, various websites and Internet companies, like Amazon, Google and Netflix, will be joining in to get more people involved in the fight for net neutrality.

We have until August 18, 2017 to submit comments to the FCC before it votes on the issue of net neutrality. We know where FCC Republican commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly stand. Democrat Mignon Clyburn is outnumbered, although she might be joined by Jessica Rosenworcel and a Republican of Trump’s choice.

From May 24-45, 2017, Ipsos conducted a poll of over 1,000 Americans adults (354 Democrats, 344 Republicans, and 224 Independents) in all 50 states for Mozilla. The poll concerned net neutrality and the results showed that most adults (76%) are in favor of net neutrality.

Either-one percent of Democrats and73% of Republicans indicated there were in favor of it. Most adults (78%) saw a free and open Internet as a right, which Democrats leading the way with 88% in agreement.

Furthermore, most respondents indicated a mistrust of the Trump administration (70%), Congress (78%), and the FCC (58%) to protect net neutrality.

“Get ready to hear a lot about net neutrality if you use Amazon, Google, Netflix or hundreds of other websites.” 11 July 2017. Web.

This is a quick post, so I will just leave these links here. Please take part because net neutrality is not only important for free speech, but businesses, the sharing of knowledge, and our democracy could be threatened without it.

https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/

http://www.humanistreport.com/-savetheinternet.html

Are Third-Party Voters to Blame When Democrats Lose?

third-party voters, Greens, Libertarians, Democrats, Republicans, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, 2016 Presidential Election
Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) and Jill Stein (Green Party) are often blamed for taking votes away from Hillary Clinton in 2016. Why are third-party voters often blamed for Democratic defeats?

In April, CalicoJack posted a meme based on last year’s presidential election. In short, the meme equated a vote for third-party candidates to being a vote for Trump. Third-party voters were being blamed in advance throughout 2016 and with all due respect, I disagree with that notion.

Basically, a vote for Trump was a vote for Trump. Of course, there are plenty of people throwing shade at Trump voters. Others have decided to retract their claws when dealing with those voters and instead go after other liberals, third-party voters, and nonvoters.

Just today, I got an angry post from an ignorant person because I questioned the efficacy of liberals biting each other’s heads off because of what happened in November 2016. That person also proved all my points, though.

You wanna know why this person was ignorant? In 2016, I told others that voting for Clinton (at least in the states where she needed the electoral votes) gave them a better chance getting some of their progressive platform items passed. I just wanted Clinton to each out more to disaffected voters (instead of Republicans who hated her guts). So I don’t know why this … individual was getting mad at me.

Speaking of third parties, though: A vote for a third-party candidate was more complicated then it looked on the surface. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at why people may have voted third-party. Let’s take a look at the numbers while we’re at it.

Continue reading “Are Third-Party Voters to Blame When Democrats Lose?”