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Are You Still Following News of the Russia Probe?

Russia probe, Donald Trump, James Comey
Did this guy somehow collude with Russia? I don’t know, but something’s off …

On April 24, I started a two-post series in which I discussed my overall view of the Russia probe that is currently dominating headlines in the United States. While I said I felt that the probe was a distraction (in terms of its focus), I felt there needed to be an investigation in order to finish vetting Donald Trump and some of his cohorts.

Now, while I might disagree with this probe’s focus, it has turned up some interesting events I could not ignore or refrain from sharing. Also, there have been some recent developments in regards to how this entire probe and suspicions are being reported.

Let this post serve as a type of time capsule so anyone can look back at this with an enhanced perspective (and possible laugh at some of the events, like Sean Spicer hiding behind the bushes so he couldn’t talk to the press after Comey’s firing). This post will be updated with current developments and to fill out everything I missed.

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News Roundup (August 14, 2017)

news roundup, August, 2014, globe, space, vector

Hello, readers! If this is my only News Roundup of this month, I’m going to make it count. This time, I have worked on 10 important stories from this month I wanted to discuss, plus a commentary.

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News Roundup (for the Rest of July and Some of June 2017)

news roundup, June, July, 2017, globe, space, vector

Hello, readers! This week, I will do something different for this News Roundup. I want so badly to catch up to some important news I missed from June and July, so I will post this today.

Tomorrow, I will do my best to post some news for this month before I go on a hiatus. If I can’t do all the stories I found, I will at least cover 4-7 stories I find important, including Shkreli’s sentencing and the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA.

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Famous Sayings: #74 — ‘When Life Gives You Lemons…’

August 11, 2017

When life gives you lemons, make some lemonade.

when life gives you lemons, make some lemonade, optimist, Elbert Hubbard, Dale Carnegie, Marshall Pinckney Wilder, famous sayings

Believe it or not, I first heard this phrase in the form of a song. And that song was part of a parody on an old comedy show on Fox. If you’ve ever heard of The Edge, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The skit in question involved Julie Brown (not “Downtown” Julie Brown, but another former MTV personality of Just Say Julie fame), Jill Talley, and Jennifer Aniston. They were playing the ladies in the trio Wilson-Phillips and making fun of the song heard in the video below.

In the parody, Aniston played Chynna Philips, Talley played Wendy Wilson, and Brown played Carnie Wilson.

Anyway, I have been familiar with this phrase ever since, but I have never used it myself. It has come up every now and then and I decide to use it today because it has a dual purpose: Not only does the message pertain to recent events but lemonade is kind of synonymous with summer.

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My Computer Is a Piece of Crap

my computer, piece of crap, overheating, backup, Write Anything Wednesday
My computer (it’s not the one in the picture) really sucks right now.

I am thisclose to taking a sledgehammer to my computer.

Today, I tried to run a backup on the stupid thing, but all attempts were unsuccessful. Twice, this stupid mix of plastic, metal, and silicone shut itself down due to overheating. Both times, the backup stopped itself, forcing me to try again.

After the third or fourth failed attempt, I lost my temper and threw my external hard drive across the room. (It’s a small, portable one. I guess it still works, but it sucks, too.)

Not only was this backup taking 5ever to get 60% done, but my stinkin’ computer now acts like it can’t do more than one stinkin’ task before it overheats.

I really hate this thing and there’s so much I want and need to do online.

I really need a new one, so bad. (But I can’t afford one right now.)

ARGGGGHHH!!!!

By the way, Firefox still sucks for me, as well.

Revisiting an Old Naruto Post: Is It About Feminism?

is it about feminism, naruto, sexism in naruto, sexism, feminism

In 2015, I started this blog with the intention of reposting some old stuff, expanding on it, and adding more new content. And one of the topics I wanted to address in particular was the topic of sexism in the Naruto manga. My last post in the series, “It’s Not About Feminism,” was one of the most important posts I wanted to make.

In that post, I took some old thoughts and expanded on them. Overall, I wanted to voice my frustration with certain people in the Naruto fandom who always reacted harshly to the topic of how the women in the manga were treated. Specifically, if baffled me why people would get angry at the question; even more, I was baffled by people who got angry at the question and then proceeded to justify it by their disgusting behavior.

This year, someone responded to the post I had written and gave me a few things to talk about. Among the things this other blogger said was that this series was about feminism given of the type of literary analysis I was doing. I was in fact looking at a finished series through the lens of gender portrayal and Kishimoto Masashi’s own views and experiences had influenced how he presented female characters. So, when I said the series was “not about feminism,” I was ultimately undercutting my most important points.

Now, I will not go back and edit the post (outside grammatical and spelling errors, if I find them), but I want to clarify some things in this post.

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Famous Sayings: #73 — ‘I Get a Kick Out of …’

August 4, 2017

I get a kick out of playing video games.

get a kick out of, I get a kick out of you, kick, famous sayings, Anything Goes
Some people get a kick out of playing kickball. I know I did when I was a kid. Image from Steven Depolo via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

I decided to go with this idiom because it’s positive an a little fun. Little did I know that the origin was kind of staring me in the face — but not really.

Anyway, it’s easy to surmise that the meaning of “I get a kick out of [someone or something]” means that the person speaking is enjoying their time. Either they enjoy being around another person, most likely a paramour, or they enjoy doing what they’re doing.

But the first use of this phrase came in the form of a love song.

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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!

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.

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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

Now, if one wants to address something like anti-white racism, that’s a better term to use. It’s specific, it’s to the point, and it’s accurate.

Anti-white racism exists, as does anti-black racism and many other forms of bigotry. I will not defend any flavor.

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.

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