31 January 2008

Southern Gentility

A woman walks into the coffee shop and effusively greets a friend. Her friend, a man, is sitting at a table with another guy. The woman hugs her friend, the other man stands up, introduces himself, shakes hands with the woman.

She continues to speak with guy #1. Guy #2 remains standing beside her.

She looks to him, touches his arm, tells him, "You can sit down."

He sits down.

Remember, Always stand when a lady enters the room.

27 January 2008

Obama Victory in SC

Obama has won in South Carolina. Below is his victory speech. Enjoy.


It might be time to go vegetarian again. Or at least start eating meat that has been raised in an ecological, intelligent, and less cruel fashion. Since reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan, I haven't been able to get this idea out of my head. Consider the following passage from an article by Mr. Bittman (of the column "The Minimalist") in the NY Times:

Growing meat (it’s hard to use the word “raising” when applied to animals in factory farms) uses so many resources that it’s a challenge to enumerate them all. But consider: an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.

25 January 2008

The Moment of Truth

I have been quite absent lately, busy trying to find work and with many other matters.

For now, watch this extremely scary video -- this is where we now are culturally.

20 January 2008

Fire Sale

Maureen Dowd has got an interesting column in the New York Times today about our weak dollar and foreign investment -- Check it out below:


17 January 2008

Only in Asheville

There are perhaps few places in this country, save Alaska, where the following words might be spoken on an otherwise normal night:

"Are you hungry? I've got some whale soup cooking on the stove."

They were spoken tonight, directed to me. I responded in the affirmative.

15 January 2008


Things have been a tad crazy around here, and so I therefore excuse my recent lack of posts. There will be more coming soon.

In the meantime, check this out, from an article in today's NY Times

"Fish is now the most traded animal commodity on the planet, with about 100 million tons of wild and farmed fish sold each year. Europe has suddenly become the world’s largest market for fish, worth more than 14 billion euros, or about $22 billion a year. Europe’s appetite has grown as its native fish stocks have shrunk so that Europe now needs to import 60 percent of fish sold in the region, according to the European Union.

"In Europe, the imbalance between supply and demand has led to a thriving illegal trade. Some 50 percent of the fish sold in the European Union originates in developing nations, and much of it is laundered like contraband, caught and shipped illegally beyond the limits of government quotas or treaties. The smuggling operation is well financed and sophisticated, carried out by large-scale mechanized fishing fleets able to sweep up more fish than ever, chasing threatened stocks from ocean to ocean."

07 January 2008


How curious to see the ways in which dictionaries attempt to define the word red. Here are just a few.

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary -
Main Entry: 2red
Function: noun
1 : a color whose hue resembles that of blood or of the ruby or is that of the long-wave extreme of the visible spectrum
2 : a pigment or dye that colors red —see CONGO RED, NEUTRAL RED, VITAL RED

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary (Beta Version) -
red1 [red] noun, adjective
(of) the colour of blood
Example: a red car/dress / cheeks; Her eyes were red with crying.

And check out green:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) -
green [green] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation adjective, -er, -est, noun, verb
1. of the color of growing foliage, between yellow and blue in the spectrum: green leaves.
2. covered with herbage or foliage; verdant: green fields.
3. characterized by the presence of verdure.
4. made of green vegetables, as lettuce, spinach, endive, or chicory: a green salad.
5. not fully developed or perfected in growth or condition; unripe; not properly aged: This peach is still green.
6. unseasoned; not dried or cured: green lumber.
7. immature in age or judgment; untrained; inexperienced: a green worker.
8. simple; unsophisticated; gullible; easily fooled.
9. fresh, recent, or new: an insult still green in his mind.
10. having a sickly appearance; pale; wan: green with fear; green with envy.
11. full of life and vigor; young: a man ripe in years but green in heart.
12. environmentally sound or beneficial: green computers.
13. (of wine) having a flavor that is raw, harsh, and acid, due esp. to a lack of maturity.
14. freshly slaughtered or still raw: green meat.
15. not fired, as bricks or pottery.
16. (of cement or mortar) freshly set and not completely hardened.
17. Foundry.
a. (of sand) sufficiently moist to form a compact lining for a mold without further treatment.
b. (of a casting) as it comes from the mold.
c. (of a powder, in powder metallurgy) unsintered.
18. a color intermediate in the spectrum between yellow and blue, an effect of light with a wavelength between 500 and 570 nm; found in nature as the color of most grasses and leaves while growing, of some fruits while ripening, and of the sea.
19. Art. a secondary color that has been formed by the mixture of blue and yellow pigments.
20. green coloring matter, as paint or dye.
21. green material or clothing: to be dressed in green.
22. greens,
a. fresh leaves or branches of trees, shrubs, etc., used for decoration; wreaths.
b. the leaves and stems of plants, as spinach, lettuce, or cabbage, used for food.
c. a blue-green uniform of the U.S. Army.
23. grassy land; a plot of grassy ground.
24. a piece of grassy ground constituting a town or village common.
25. Also called putting green. Golf. the area of closely cropped grass surrounding each hole.
26. bowling green.
27. a shooting range for archery.
28. Informal. green light (def. 1).
29. Slang. money; greenbacks (usually prec. by the): I'd like to buy a new car but I don't have the green.
30. (initial capital letter) a member of the Green party (in Germany).
–verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
31. to become or make green.
32. Informal. to restore the vitality of: Younger executives are greening corporate managements.
33. read the green, to inspect a golf green, analyzing its slope and surface, so as to determine the difficulties to be encountered when putting.
[Origin: bef. 900; ME, OE gréne; c. G grün; akin to grow]

04 January 2008

Commentary and Confusion

This post is in response to Mark's (a reader) comments and involves the last two posts on this blog. You can read Mark's full comment below.

Mark --

1. Is this the Mark of salmon dinners, Kinkos and Columbia? Or is this some other Mark I don't know?

2. Your recent reply was quite interesting, much more enlightening, and in many points elicited my approval. I'd still be scared for my country and scared of my fellow countrymen if they elected this character, but hey . . .

3. I don't expect a President to be a genius. I am, however, a bit sick of this American anti-intellectual attitude that so pervades our nation's politics. We should not be voting for someone that we'd "like to have a beer with" but rather for someone with an impressive and nuanced knowledge of politics, both interior and exterior.

4. In his own words -- Huckabee in 1992: "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

5. "He also publicly supported creationism, a philosophy advocated by fervent Christians, arguing that students should be exposed to the study of the doctrine as well as evolution." (Washington Post, January 29, 2007)

6. "In August of 1998, Huckabee was one of 131 signatories to a full page USA Today Ad which declared: "I affirm the statement on the family issued by the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention." What was in the family statement from the SBC? "A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ." (www.dailykos.com)

7. And here we can see what a strong grasp on foreign relations he's got -- Hope this one's more of an "idler" than the one we've got now.

8. Finally, regarding the part of your comment that reads "Also, is Jesus in the new testament scary, love-mercy-forgivness-healing? If someone were to follow(really follow:i.e. "Jesus words abiding in the follower, and the follower abiding in Jesus) him, would that person be scary?"

My answer is a resolute "NO" -- I have yet, however, to find very many people in this country (or in this world for that matter) that I could truly cite as followers of the New Testament Jesus. At least not in the public eye.

Wasn't Jesus the guy that hung out with lepers? Do you think that Huckabee was being very "Jesus-y" when he advocated putting HIV infected people into isolation in 1992?

If this is the salmon-dinner Mark from Columbia, don't take this badly. If it isn't that Mark, I don't really care how you take it, but you shouldn't take it badly either.


May I(indeed my name is Mark) comment on my comment, to clarify. What will follow will be a quote by quote analysis of my reading and response, perhaps I was reading too much into such a brief post, as i also replied briefly. Hope that you are doing well. Blessings, Mark.

PRB:"I am so scared."
Mark:analysis:hyperbole, certainly.
The DPRK is a little more frightening if you want to be scared.
: comment:none

PRB:"This man might be funny,"
Mark:analysis:I agree he is.It is nice to have someone in authority/leadership with a sense of humor.

PRB:"and he might play the geetar real nice, "
Mark:analysis:I have never heerd him play geetar but he probably plays better than me.

PRB:" but he's still a bit of a an idiot"
Mark:analysis: merely a loose slur, for surely, even though he cannot absorb, at such a staggeringly fast rate, multiple non-native spoken languages like Mr. Bond, surely he is not an idiot. He must have some capacity for intelligently dealing with people and their complex messes. Although, he does lack the breadth, depth, and precision of knowledge of international affairs of all the nations in the moment, their histories and possible futures, not excluding his own country. So let's make a standardized test for politicians that will measure their domestic and international aptitude.This way we can refer to them by impersonal numbers, make ourselves feels smarter, and avoid slurs.

PRB:" and a religious zealot."
:comment:"you sound a bit zealous yourself."
:post-analyis: zealous in convicting someone of not being acceptable by PRB's undefined approval system, which is probably too complex and intuitive to layout on the blog. By zealot do you mean active,living according to the "grace" and "mercy" and transformative power of his Jesus.

Remember that Huckabee's Jesus was a zealot as well, and was crucified, and he called for repentance and obedience to himself. Sound like a lunatic, on top of zealot, a chocolate iced Kripy Kreme donut with sprinkles on top.

Does Huckabee play with snakes like the pentacostals, molest children like r.catholic priets, bomb abortion clinics?

Perhaps our culture lacks men who can assert themselves and tolerate assertion, thus "men" run around screaming "zealot" and "idiot."

PRB: "Please tell me that we've learned something over the last seven years."

Mark:analysis:yes we have. bush, lied, lies, and will lie. presidents are initiators or idlers. sometimes they make bad decisions, and get faulted from all sides.
:comment:"with great skepticism i ask, would he be as/so menacing if here were to be zealous like his Jesus."
:explanation: skepticism that any politician would ever tell the truth, so how long until we see the dark side of Huckabee. Or, will we be faced with one of the minority that his Jesus spoke of when He said "wide it the path that leads to destruction and narrow that leads to life, few who find it"

Also, is Jesus in the new testament scary, love-mercy-forgivness-healing? If someone were to follow(really follow:i.e. "Jesus words abiding in the follower, and the follower abiding in Jesus) him, would that person be scary?

Perhaps fear of Huckabee is misdirected, perhaps he should be evaluated against the Jesus he proclaims. This works with Bush. He is a war monger hungry for oil.

Comment Confusion

I received this comment from "Mark" on my last post. I'm not sure that I get it. Any ideas?

"you sound a bit zealous yourself.
with great skepticism i ask, would he be as/so menacing if here were to be zealous like his Jesus."


I am so scared. This man might be funny, and he might play the geetar real nice, but he's still a bit of a an idiot and a religious zealot.

Please tell me that we've learned something over the last seven years.

(Note: if you haven't been following the news, the results of the Iowa primary are in -- Huckabee and Obama have won in that state)