Argument and Offense

Verily, nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9). 1,945 years ago to this day, the Second Temple was destroyed due to, it is written, “causeless hatred” (sin’at khinam). That is, the Judean rebels against Roman occupation were so preoccupied with internecine struggles and questions of “ideological purity” (sounds familiar?) that they lost their focus on fighting the joint enemy. In the aftermath, and foliowing an even bloodier failed uprising in 132-135 CE, my people were scattered all over the known world.

Even when history does not repeat itself, it rhymes. And that particular tragedy (collapse through internecine quarrels) has repeated itself over and over, in all sorts of societies and context, both as tragedy and as low comedy.
Right now, we see this happening among lovers of freedom. Rather than band together against the common enemy — statist soft totalitarianism — the circular firing squad has started between social conservatives, libertarians,…
I wrote some weeks ago about “polishing the candlesticks while the house is on fire” — this is more like “bickering about the wallpaper while the house is on fire”. First we put out the fire, then we can return to bickering.

According To Hoyt

Lately I’ve been seeing blow ups not only in all my groups on facebook, but on my private email lists, blow ups between people who granted have bloody nothing in common beyond opposing socialism.

This is perhaps to be expected.  I mean we’re living through the crazy years, the mania for eating dirt spreads to the South East, the “serious” discussion in Sci fi is “Should you even acknowledge gender”, we’re financing Iran’s quest for a bomb, Donald Trump tops (a minor, but much publicized) poll for president (with 17%) cats and dogs sleeping together.  The end of the world.

As I’ve said before I can judge the general mood of the nation by how fricking crazy the drivers are on the road.  And right now they’re pretty crazy.  And just as at other points of high tension, arguments and screaming are breaking out over the stupidest things.

I hate…

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German, English and Word Quirks

Interesting post on quirks of English vs. German vocabulary. No comment section: one additional cause for English’s greater “mongrelization”, not pointed out in the article, is there being no authoritative PREscriptive standard for English — unlike the Académie de la Langue Française, the Rat für Deutsche Rechtschreibung, or (closer to my adoptive home) the Academy for the Hebrew Language. The de facto standards for English (Oxford, Merriam-Webster, Fowler’s Modern English Usage) are primarily DEscriptive: they mostly present how English is actually spoken and written rather than how it should be.

Cat Rotator's Quarterly

It’s funny. You can be familiar with something for years before you realize some of the major differences between it and what you are used to, and the hints that gives about the thought below and behind the thing. It wasn’t until I immersed myself in  architecture and art history German this spring that I realized that English eats words whole, while Germans translate them. I’d seen it before, but not to such an extent that it hit me like a two-by-four between the eyes. Kinda like fish not realizing they are wet.

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