URLs du Jour


■ Sluggards just can't catch a break from the Proverbian. Continuing with 26:15:

A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.

Who knew Don Rickles was writing Proverbs back in ancient Israel?

By the way, the implication is correct: ancient Israelis probably ate solid food with their hands. I was shocked, shocked to learn that the fork is a relatively recent invention, and …

People have always eaten with their fingers, which may be messy, but efficient. And even before Emily Post or Miss Manners there was a correct way to use one’s fingers at mealtime. During the mid-1500s it became the custom that refined people ate ate with only the first three fingers, thus clearly distinguishing the lower class who used all five from the upper class.

Erasmus, Dutch humanist and author of the first modern book of manners in 1526, was among the first concerned about table manners. He insisted that diners never lick their fingers or wipe them on their coats. It was better, according to Erasmus, to wipe one’s fingers on the tablecloth, a custom that, unfortunately, some people observe today.

"Don't lick your fingers! That's why we got a dog!"

Heat Street summarizes the latest embarrassment for the University Near Here: Students Refuse to Take Exams After Photo of Classmate Wearing ‘Blackface’ Resurfaces.

Students at the University of New Hampshire are boycotting final exams after a student uploaded a picture of another white student in what appears to be a bedtime facial mask, implying it’s “blackface.”

An authoritative source close to the blogger says that faculty members are being asked by their deans to be (um) flexible in final exam scheduling for students who claim their fee-fees have been hurt.

■ President Trump is no doubt guilty of many sins, but treason? KDW@NR has an answer: No, It Is Not ‘Treason’. Spelling out what should be obvious:

“Treason” is the word of the moment, along with “traitor.” And this allegation is not coming only from yahoos on Twitter but from yahoos on Twitter who are university professors at Harvard. Laurence Tribe, who once was considered a possible candidate for a Supreme Court seat, is among those who recently have taken to the public square to suggest that President Trump may be guilty of “treason.” Treason is a well-defined crime, the elements of which are specified in no less a document than the Constitution itself. There is no plausible case that Trump is guilty of treason, inasmuch as even if he were entirely guilty of whatever it is the Democrats imagine him to have done, there exists no state of hostilities between the United States and Russia, which would be necessary for treason to have been committed.

Were Orwell writing his "Politics and the English Language" essay today, no doubt there'd be a section on language inflation. This is one example. Off the top of my head:

  • We saw another yesterday with the UNH student who claimed “Blackface is a direct death threat.”

  • Express the slightest skepticism toward progressive's climate-change theology and you're a "denialist", lumped in with Holocaust denialists.

  • A few years back, we noted more than a dozen preachers penning a self-righteous missive decrying the "violence of current political rhetoric". Which did not involve actual violence.

The disturbing thing about this inflation is not just that it's imprecise, it's that it degrades the actual item. If you natter on about "violence" that isn't violence, "treason" that isn't treason, "death threats" that aren't death threats, etc., it becomes harder for us to get excited about the real thing, if and when it occurs.

■ And, yes, that link to Orwell's essay goes to a site in the .ru TLD. Laurence Tribe would probably find that treasonous. Come and get me, Prof Tribe!

■ At Reason, Christian Britschgi reveals more rhetorical dishonesty: Elizabeth Warren's Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Bill Tries to Sell More Regulation As Less Regulation.

And, of course, it's not true. Far from stripping away regulation to make it simpler and cheaper for people to care for their hearing needs, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 loads on regulation that would, if passed, likely drive low-cost alternatives to hearing aids out of the market.

One of our state's senators, Margaret Wood Hassan, has signed up as a co-sponsor. Unsurprising.

Last Modified 2024-06-03 6:04 PM EDT