Monday, January 26, 2009

i luv txt

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

January 26,2009

Do not read or send text messages while driving. Other than that, text away! What a fantastic method of communication; the impact of text is far reaching.

Once a person gets acquainted with text, the obvious advantages are convenience; you read and respond to text when you want to, no digging for ringing phones, and efficiency; text often works in places phone calls don’t. Also, if someone sends you a phone number, you end up with the number right on your phone, no need to search for pen and paper.

Less obvious is text’s potential to improve the English language. English is a mixture of several other languages, and has all kinds of weird rules and exceptions to rules, making things much more difficult than they need to be. English has slowly evolved over the years, but improvement has met resistance from anal-retentive types. I remember a newspaper column titled “Our Lively Language”, but the writer’s apparent mission was to make English as dead as Latin. And there are thousands like her. People that freak out if you put “I” before “E” after “C.” Why not just “I” before “E?” A much easier rule to reinforce. Just a few years ago, my child brought home a textbook that said plow was spelled plough! Maybe in jolly old England, but not in 20th century America! At that time, I had to explain that, on occasion, real life is different than what school tries to tell you. A tough but important lesson. If you ever used the word plough, people would wonder what pluff is. Or is it a ploff? Plew? Ploe? It’s the 21st century now, we need 21st century language.

I think text will speed up the process of making English more user friendly. Some of the habits developed during texting will spread to everyday use. Unnecessary letters will be discarded. Dumb will lose the dumb “B” and just be dum. Abbreviations will be bountiful, without a period in sight! Apostrophe? Wuts an apostrophe? The anal-retentive will lose control of their sphincters! (Sphincter will always be spelled sphincter.) Don’t like it? Tuff!

It does appear English is already compact; when looking at instructions in multiple languages, the English paragraph is frequently shortest. It can still be made more efficient. American English is already vastly different from pluperfect Queen’s English, and that is a good thing. The most powerful country in the history of the World should have it’s own language. The English don’t like change, Americans thrive on change; and figuring out how things should be spelled is a good change. Texting might help other languages, too. Do you think texters in France use the silent X? Do Germans capitalize every noun when they text? I have no idea how the Chinese text.

I butcher English with pleasure. If I butcher facts, I feel bad, I like to be factual. But English needs some serious surgery. So text, text, txt, and have a good nite.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It Ain’t Nigger Day!

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

January 14, 2009

Thursday, January 15th, will be the 80th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. The following Monday, the 19th, will be celebrated as a national holiday through most of the United States. Too many people fail to understand the importance of this day.

A doctor of theology, King is thought of as a black leader. To most, a black leader is thought of as someone taking every advantage of a photo opportunity, playing the race card even when it doesn’t belong in the deck. America is sick of these people; they even lose respect for the movement. Dr. King wasn’t a black leader. Yes, he was black, and he certainly was a leader; but he was a leader for all of humankind. There are other leaders like him; however, none of them manage to get the airtime the self promoters receive.

King had a message for every man, woman and child on this planet: love one another, echoing the sentiments of other great leaders. He didn’t just advance the black race, he advanced the human race. His principles of love and non-violent resistance have been expoused by the greatest of history’s leaders. They need to be repeated, often, and he repeated them at a time they really needed to be heard.

There may be those that disagree, but I don’t feel a desire for brotherhood is immoderate.

Should you hear someone refer to the upcoming holiday as “Nigger Day”, you are listening to the voice of someone that doesn’t understand how much American society improves every day that we take a step toward achieving Dr. Kings dream. It should be pointed out that niggers are imaginary beings, created not by God, nor Satan; they exist only in the minds of weak and frightened men.

So take this day to remember that once in while there are those born to us that make this great country greater. And maybe observe a moment of silence to think about what we lost that day in Memphis.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. “

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Barking at the Moon

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

January 10, 2009

How do you spell relief? This is the last Moon to look upon us as ruled by George Bush and friends. Next Moon we will have a new President. Contrary to popular belief, Obama cannot and will not walk on water, but we will no longer need hip waders to walk through the bullshit coming out of the White House. I guarantee that Obama will be much more honest with us than Dick Cheney and his Muppet, W.

We are in deep trouble. Congress and two Presidents are trying to figure out how bail out our economy. It’s like trying to bail out the Titanic with an ice cream bucket.

Car companies are in trouble, but car insurance companies must be making money hand over fist! How can they save us so much money when they are spending multiple millions on advertising? I’m sick of it. I almost miss the political ads. Do you smell some sort of racket?

Another racket is those guys that want to buy your old gold jewelry, etc. You will get screwed. Take your stuff to some legitimate jewelers to find the best deal.

This year, for a New Years resolution, I decided to try something achievable! I swore to become an alcoholic! But, as usual, I’m failing. One beer doesn’t qualify.

I might go back to smoking a lot of Pot, but then...uh, what was I talking about?

Osama bin Laden is a genius. An evil genius, but a genius all the same. All he needed was one attack, then let Bush use fear and hatred as tools to start stripping us of our American rights. America is about our constitution, not about flags. Face it, compared to almost any other country, we are safe, our greatest danger is paranoia. Big Brother is alive and well and must be stopped.

Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination as Commerce Secretary because of some questions about a campaign contributor. I really, really hope everything is on the up and up. I have respected Richardson as an honest and rational man for a long time. If he turns out to be dirty, I will lose all faith.

George Bush the senior thinks his son Jeb should be President. I think the Bush’s should practice birth control. Let’s send them all gift certificates from Planned Parenthood.

The comedy of the Minnesota Senate race is crawling to the finish. Democrat Al Franken has been certified the winner over Republican Norm Coleman by 225 votes. But there will be court challenges, likely followed by more court challenges. Too bad they can’t both lose.

I’m a long-suffering Minnesota Vikings fan. All Viking fans deserve the title of long-suffering. I’m surrounded by Packers fans, so I suffer more.

One of the most dangerous situations to be dealt with is in Pakistan. Al-Quaida has a good foothold there, with plenty of friends and hiding places. The government is weak, and has minimal control over the Army. Pakistan is primarily Muslim, and has frequent conflicts with neighboring India, which is Hindu. Both countries have nuclear arms. Nobody involved likes us a whole lot, so our ability to broker peace is nil. Moon, please tell me everything will be okay.

The Moon is silent, as always. It will be a morning crescent as it watches us usher in a new era in America. Obama is intelligent, with a heart of gold, similar credentials to Jimmy Carter. Carter tended to be paralyzed by indecision. We can’t have indecisiveness now. We need quick work to regain our respect and power in the World, to get our priorities back in order, to return to true American values.

Forgive me Moon if my bark is a little timid tonight.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Let’s Rethink Our Position on Israel

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

January 6, 2009

The Palestinian fundamentalist group Hamas sends rockets into Israel, killing four. Israel responds by bombing the hell out of Gaza Strip, killing hundreds, wounding thousands, many of them Hamas soldiers, but too many women and children. More rockets follow, more heavy handed responses, etc., etc., et fucking cetera.

Neither side is doing what is needed to end this strife. Duh! The question is, why is the U. S. picking sides? While it’s hard not to sympathize with the desire of Jews to have a place where they are safe from extermination, the current American policy of Israel right or wrong has to end. Israel is apparently operating with a “Little Man Complex” that blinds them to any hope of any solution. Yes, the residents of the Gaza are, for the most part, impoverished and ignorant, but all the same, many are rational enough to not want themselves or their loved ones incinerated.

There is a faction of Palestinians that are secular, and wish for peace. Israel’s nasty response is very discouraging to this effort, and is actually making this group look like idiots. Fatah is irrelevant, and any effort on attaining peace hinges on encouraging support for them, not blowing them up!

American policy has to become more realistic and rational. The Bush administration has been good at fooling the religious fundamentalists in this country into believing that they have a heart and a soul, using hot button social issues such as abortion and gay rights. Obama and his bunch need to rethink our policies, promote the principles of love and peace. We can’t support the current Israeli government any more than we can support Hamas. Our efforts must be centered on bolstering President Abbas and his Fatah party. So far, it isn’t looking good. Obama talks about change, but doesn’t sound like he has the intestinal fortitude to make change. This is the same attitude that brought Kennedy to escalate the “police action” in Viet Nam that was in it’s infancy when he took office. We all know how that went. Disaster. Now, thirty years after that ignoble defeat, Viet Nam is a tourist trap! The “Domino Theory” didn’t pan out, we should have just left the bad guys beat up each other instead of trying to sell us on the idea that some of the bad guys are good.

In the Gaza Strip conflict, there are good guys! While Abbas and Fatah aren’t gold plated good guys, by Muslim standards they are surprisingly rational and peace loving. Our blind support of Israel is damaging to peace. It has been for decades. It will be a slow process, but if Israel doesn’t help Palestinians with a desire for peace gain a foothold on power, eventually whacko powers of the Muslim world will get more seriously involved, and the rockets hitting Israel will be nuclear tipped. It will be Obama’s responsibility to help point this out, instead of supporting massive retaliation. France, remember them? The guys we should have listened to in 2003? They want Israel to chill out for 48 hours. 48 hours! Two stinkin’ days! And Israel refuses, claiming that Hamas will re-arm if they back off for a minute. Have they no brain? Do they not understand that their attacks are exactly what the insurgents need to garner sympathy and gain recruits? They have done exactly the same thing before, with poor results. I’m beginning to think Israelis are slooow learners.

Israel is wrong, and the United States has to make this clear to Israel’s current government in no uncertain terms. Palestinians must be rewarded for supporting Fatah, bring Fatah to the table and show the people the pathway to peace. Get food, medicine and other basic needs to the residents of Gaza and give the credit to Abbas and company. Hamas was elected because of Israel’s persecution. Israel exists largely through American support, let the World know we can no longer support the mindless murder of innocents. Israel’s militaristic government was elected by the people, with confidence that U. S. support would continue no matter what lunacy the paranoiacs they elected did. Our next President talks a good talk; does he have the guts to walk it?