KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, March 21, 2008

"LOL Together"

This is not for those who have no tolerance for silliness.

You've seen plenty of LOLcats (and here).

From I Can Has Cheezburger

(see more crazy cat pics)

Now listen to "LOL Together," based on the Beatles' "Come Together" (lyrics here).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Voting Miracles Do Happen

I'm so proud of my brother, the apathetic nonvoter from Texas.

Despite my encouragement [grin], he's become an Obama fan. And now, at the age of 41, he's actually going to register to vote for the first time! Here is Monday night's e-mail conversation between the two of us. But first you'll need to know that he's a help-desk guy for a large satellite communications company; before he started working there a few years ago, he had his own business as an information technology specialist.
wally: One of my long-term customers (one of only two whose computers I continue to maintain even today) made a comment to me today when I asked what he thought of the Obama–preacher ordeal. He said, "That nigger will never get my vote." I turned around and told him, "This faggot would vote for that nigger in a heartbeat, if I were registered to vote!" Yes, I said it just like that. I was going for the shock effect. You could have heard a pin drop. I finished fixing his computers and wished him a good evening. As it turns out, he wants that Bush look-alike asswipe [McCain] to take office.

me: Wonderful! (And if you want to vote, there's still time to register. I can e-mail you the link to a downloadable registration form and give you the address for mailing it in [grin].)

wally: You’re shitting me! Yes! If it's not too late, please oblige!
Now I can die happy, because I never thought I'd see the day that my brother, Mr. Stay-Out-of-It-All, would want to vote. Miracles do happen.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five Costly Years in Iraq

March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq WarFor 5 long years, the United States has been engaged in an illegal war against Iraq. That is 5 years too many, 5 years too costly, in so many ways.

Five years after our military first put on an explosive show of its firepower, nearly 1 in 5 Iraqis is now a displaced citizen or a refugee in another nation, according to the International Organization for Migration. That's nearly 5.1 million human beings—2.7 million displaced and 2.1 million refugees—who have been forced to flee their homes.

Five years after George W. Bush pushed for a war that he knew had no moral or legal basis, documentation shows that between 82,249 and 89,760 Iraqi civilians have been killed. These were human beings, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, teenagers, children, babies—people just like you and me—and they died needlessly and in fear.

Five years after most members of Congress cravenly authorized Bush to order attacks on Iraq, almost 4,000 American servicemen and servicewomen have been killed and between 23,000 and 100,000 have been wounded. The dead leave behind friends, lovers, fathers, mothers, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who now have gaping holes in their hearts. Many of the wounded may never be able to be gainfully employed again. Plenty of them have traumatic brain injury than can cause neuron death and lead to memory deficit, headaches, vertigo, anxiety, apathy, or lethargy. My 20-year-old nephew, the only nephew I have, is in Iraq now, and I constantly pray that he's safe.

Does the death of an Iraqi father make me safer? No. Does it make me happy? No. I am a pacifist, and every person who dies in this awful, evil war causes a tiny part of me to die. Does the father's death teach his children hatred? Yes.

Does the rape of an Iraqi girl and murder of her family by U.S. servicemen serve any purpose? Yes. It teaches that women's bodies are still property to be abused by men. It teaches hatred of Americans. It teaches that Americans are no better than any other group that engages in war.

Does the torture of suspected Iraqi insurgents produce results? Yes. It incites worldwide hatred of or, at the very least, disdain for Americans. It lowers the world's threshold for violence, stripping away the belief that all human life is sacred. It does not often produce usable intelligence; people will say anything to keep from being tortured.

Does the endangering of young American men's and women's lives in Iraq serve a purpose? No. It risks taking away their mental and physical health. It tears apart families. It greatly increases the chances that the world will be deprived of their talents, which could be put toward making the world a better place.

It is long past time to stop the madness, stop the torture, stop the raping, stop the killing, stop the decimation of an ancient nation. It is long past time for the Iraq war to end and for all servicemen and servicewomen of all nations to leave Iraq and go home.

So many senseless deaths
Updated at 7:15 p.m.: I have candles burning in 5 windows of my home in mourning for all the souls of those killed in this evil war.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In the Presence of Greatness

Even when Barack Obama speaks out against others' actions, he doesn't put down the person involved. He doesn't incite anger. We very much need his ability to lead without being divisive. I am convinced that concerning Obama, we are in the presence of greatness.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Time to Talk Frankly with Teens

From the New York Times come some stunning figures:
Teenage girls and their parents need to read the latest government study of sexually transmitted diseases. The infections are so prevalent they are hard to avoid once a girl becomes sexually active. One in four girls [age] 14 to 19 is infected with at least one of four common diseases. Among African-American girls in the study, almost half were infected.
Ed and I just annoyed and embarrassed our 13-year-old son by telling him about this scary statistic and saying that
  1. Lots of boys get STIs too (and give them to others)

  2. He should wait many years to have sex

  3. When he does finally have sex, he should wear a condom every single time

Better annoyed than uninformed, I say.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blogswarm Against the Iraq War

Join the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq WarFor 5 long years, the imperialistic United States has been torturing and killing Iraqis. That's 5 years too long. Speak out. Join the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq War

Saturday, March 08, 2008

So Much Beethoven!

87 CDs of BeethovenI'm so happy that I can't decide where to start!

The mail carrier just delivered my gift for making an annual contribution to WSHU, the local National Public Radio affiliate: an 87-CD collection of the complete works of Beethoven!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How Clinton Draws Dislike

Columnist Jeff Greenfield, writing in Slate, has put his finger on what about Hillary Clinton irritates some people. He compares Clinton's temperament to Daffy Duck's and Barack Obama's temperament to Bugs Bunny's. I wouldn't have picked those (or any) cartoon characters, but here's the section of Greenfield's piece that I'm talking about:
... Bugs and Daffy represent polar opposites in how to deal with the world. Bugs is at ease, laid back, secure, confident. His lidded eyes and sly smile suggest a sense that he knows the way things work. He's onto the cons of his adversaries. ... Bugs never raises his voice, never flails at his opponents or at the world. He is rarely an aggressor....

Daffy Duck, by contrast, is ever at war with a hostile world. He fumes, he clenches his fists, his eyes bulge, and his entire body tenses with fury. ... Daffy is constantly frustrated, sometimes by outside forces, sometimes by his own overwrought response to them. In one classic duel with Bugs, the two try to persuade Elmer Fudd to shoot the other—until Daffy, tricked by Bugs' wordplay, screams, "Shoot me now!"
What Greenfield is getting at is Clinton's inability to go with the flow. She reacts to people who anger her by showing her anger and by telling other people about it. When kids are teased at school, the ones who can laugh it off and roll with the verbal punches (to use a few clichés)—and even humorously give back what's dished out—are the ones who soon are no longer targeted for picking on. The ones who are stiff and show exactly how angry they are—the way my somewhat rigid 13-year-old son with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder often does—are the ones who continue to be harassed.

Now, that's not fair; it's just the way people unfortunately treat others. I'm not saying that Clinton is incompetent or not intelligent. I'm just saying that this facet of how she handles herself rubs some people the wrong way; many people haven't gotten past the junior high school level when it comes to judging others.

And I don't think that the dislike of Clinton's personality has anything to do with her being a woman.

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