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July 08, 2008


JM Hanes


I've long thought that the importance of what happens till the fall campaigning actually revs up mostly has to do with shaping attitudes, and thus the tone of coverage, in the press. I'm fairly encouraged in the regard, since I think we've definitely seen at least a few points shaved off Obama's starting advantage.


James Thompson, please take a pause from insulting people and use your vast brain and software skills to familiarize yourself with the concepts of trolling and flamebait, and why practitioners of such are looked down upon by people with manners.

A Reader

Just one more proof that the presidential election process has been carefully staged and We the People have about as much to chose from as Russians had during the elections in Soviet Union.

The behind-the-scenes directors, similarly to the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party, decided what our choices will be, and they look rather miserable. I can't help not noticing that this Soviet-style manipulation rooted itself in American politics right after a huge wave of post-WWII immigration from Soviet Union and its satelites.

Can it be the case that Mexican Hispanics are not the only ones who try to replicate the system that they emigrated from?


OMG...where did you come from, AR


"The parties have come together to support drilling. That's good".

Too bad it's not like, ya know, true.


Why would someone need to be a troll? They only support the notion that liberalism is lacking of any moral fiber.


What a Stierscheißekünstler !!

What a bull shit artist !!

It wasn't a question.


Forgive me for being so blunt, but you are dumber than a box of rocks.

Oooooh, I'm crushed, I tell ya', crushed.

Well this "dumber than a box of rocks" is smart enough not to vote for Barack "Oops" Obama.

Dumb and bitter, wow, what's next?

 Ann, Former Southern Belle


Believe me, evertime that dawg gits out, he heads straight for the road. :)


Awwwwwe, Ann....Once a southern belle, always one

André Kenji

"There are many reasons that Chinese is not required in the US, but "less interesting things to do with knowledge in Chinese" and a point to literature and news?"

That´s not the point. For Westerners is not so easy to learn an Asian Language: there is a different alphabet, more dialects, a different structure. Sure, learning a Latin Language is very complicated, but when you learn one you have half a path to learn another.

And the point is not ONLY professionally. You learn a lot about others cultures, your writing in your own native language becomes better.

Sure, when I talked with a couple in São Paulo she thought that most people knew how to speak English because she saw ads for English courses everywhere. And most Middle Class Brazilians doesn´t know how to read even the most simple text in English. Mandatory classes doesnt mean that folks that barely can write in their native language can speak a second language.

But it´s an extremely good investment. And I´m talking about any language. It´s not a matter of sophistication. And precisely because English is an international language that people that have it as a native language doesn´t bother to learn a second language.

André Kenji

"Oh, man, now them's fighting words. Literary Chinese is a beautiful language with 5000 years of literature, and at least the last 2500 years or so are perfectly readable to a literate chinese now."

Yes, I know. But I always argue with women here that studies languages about that. I´m more worried about practical than beauty purposes. ;-)

Rick Ballard


The only point of your suggestion concerning picking up a Romance language due to their similiarity with which I disagree regards French - I speak Italian and can read Spanish and Portuguese newspapers at about 65-70% comprehension but it drops to 25-30% with French. Just minor nitpicking - I do agree that Spanish and Portuguese are good bets.

Italian is the prettiest, of course.


super duper OT, but man Clarice, you may want to blog about this.


Detroit City council, along with Congresswoman Kilpatrick-Cheeks son, the Mayor Kwame, are in a whole heap of hay.

He's under indictment for lying during a civil trial of 2 policeman who were unfairly fired because they were onto his illegality and in that trial he lied about an affair and then sought to suppress the evidence produced (text messages) in a secret settlement that he tried to sneak through the Detroit council to have taxpayers PAY for the 6 mill or so settlement. (this is an incomplete thumbnail)

So NOW 4 out of 9 members of the City council are targets of a bribery probe that includes wiretaps and surveillance and the chief briber has been cooperating and obviously wearing a wire.

The CHIEF target is the Honorable ranking member of the Judiciary committee of the HoR, John Conyers's wife (as we all know form news reports) Monica Conyers (of being lectured by an 8 y.o. you tube fame about her embarrassing conduct calling council president Cockrel "Shrek" and just general low class conduct at a council meeting of youtube fame -- her misconduct goes far and wide, from bar room brawls because someone wouldn't buy her a drink, using her husbands congressional staff to parent her children, work her council campaign and tutor her for her bar exam etc., etc., to issuing death threats and asking for someone to be shot and so on and so on - again a quick thumbnail)

Monica (and HUSBAND) have been incommunicado since this all went down. She says she needs 2 weeks to recover form a minor surgery. Uh Huh.

Anyway, Council member Barbara Collin-Rose who used to be a US congress person was beat in primary ironically by Cheeks cuz Collins was under deep investigation for misusing taxpayer funds and general slaving out her staff ala John Conyers

was greeted by feds yesterday morning with video and phone of 2 peeps talking about Rose being made she hadn't received her bribe and the other saying he'd finally taking care of her. The feds were there 15 minutes or so and she told then it was a lie and then told the Detroit Free Press the concocted this story so they could pocket the money. (how one concocts a story to pocket money knowing they are wired is interesting to say the least)

I HOPE I am doing a good job of running this down, because another interesting aspect is a FOX news employee was suspended once the fed investigation story broke, apparently she is a girlfriend of one of the bribers and attended a meeting in a church with her boyfriend and Monica Conyers

Turns out the news anchor was promoting the contract that led to the bribe (a sludge removal plant wanted by Synagro) TV anchor promoted sludge deal

Fanchon Stinger, a recently suspended anchorwoman for Fox 2 Detroit, was paid by Synagro Technologies Inc. in connection with a multimillion-dollar city sludge contract that is under investigation by the FBI, a Synagro spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

Last September, less than two months before the Synagro deal was approved in a 5-4 vote by the Detroit City Council, Stinger formed the media consulting and public speaking company Stinger Strategies LLC, records show.

Synagro paid Stinger Strategies an undisclosed sum to place media advertisements in connection with the city sludge contract, Synagro spokeswoman Darci McConnell of McConnell Communications said Wednesday....Stinger, who before her suspension co-anchored the Fox 2 morning show, has not returned messages left on her cell phone. Her agent, attorney Henry Baskin of Birmingham, did not return a phone call and an e-mail message Wednesday


Investigators also have electronic surveillance evidence that allegedly links City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers with receiving a payment or payments in connection with the contract, sources said. Conyers' attorney, Steve Fishman, said such allegations against Conyers, who has not been contacted by the FBI, should be viewed with skepticism.

Wasingotn informer is reporting

One city council member, Monica Conyers, has had her phone wiretapped by the FBI for at least six months. This means that her husband, the Honorable John Conyers, dean of the Congressional Black Caucus and Chair of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, is on the “wire.” Mayor Kilpatrick’s mother, the Honorable Carolyn Kilpatrick, is the current chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and this is starting to rub off on her also.

Detroit has been mired in a crisis for more than a generation now. Maybe it can’t get worse. Will the new leaders step forward quickly?

No wonder Conyers isn't out making big hay about Rove. He's been tied up. Oh, what HE has said!

I BET dollars to doughnuts a Detroit Free Press story is out soon about all Conyers behind the scenes string pulling he's been trying with the feds and oh baby a possible resignation for that in the future.

In any event, with a wife under federal indictment and yourself implicated in an ethics smack down, doesn't quite give the honorable chairman of the judiciary committee the "gravitas" and moral authority to seat calls for does it?


OH and after reading all that, have yourself a chuckle that CREW - the ethics watchdog group that only goes after republicans and sources say work as Conyer's defacto staff SPAWNed from Conyers.

Melanie Sloan was a Conyers' staff member who barely worked into a sweat on Conyers slaving of his staff ethics knuckle slap.

Melanie is a Soros whore not really concerned with corruption, ocassionaly she does a token "alert" that goes nowhere on Democrats.


"The parties have come together to support drilling. That's good".

Too bad it's not like, ya know, true.


This is what the Today show appears to be pushing. Perhaps it is a further signal of Obama's imminent pivot. To actually believe that the dems aren't the biggest obstruction on the planet to energy independence means that someone is shoveling a mouthful.


Mickey Kaus:
"P.P.S.: Obama's lecture to parents about how "you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish"? Also condescending! Especially since, as Abe Greenwald points out, Obama doesn't speak Spanish. ... He's insultingly missing the point about the need for a common language, of course. If we want a common language, and the common language of Americans is English, then learning Spanish, however beneficial, is not going to achieve that goal. It's perfectly reasonable for native English speakers to worry if enough new immigrants whose ethnic leaders demand bilingual education will learn English. They probably will, but Obama's saying it's wrong to even worry about it. ... [via Corner] ... And then there's the whole embarrassed-by-boorish-Americans-who-don't-know-French riff. A provien vote-getter! ... P.P.P.S.: He also seems really tired! ... "


This is the sort of elitism that has historically distinguished Americans from Europeans. The nobles and the wealthy families of Europe looked down upon the common man who lacked the money, the education and social graces of the upper class. In America, a man was judged by his character, and an honest, hard-working man without a prep school education was honored for his skills and his work, not disdained because he didn't speak French.

I am more embarrassed by an American politician who puts Germany in an untenable position by requesting to use the Brandenburg Gate as a backdrop for a political speech. Americans travelling abroad should not impose upon their hosts, no matter what language they speak while they are there.

JM Hanes

Point well taken on the Brandenburg Gate, JeanE. Obama may be hugely popular with the German public, but the Brandenburg foray brings to mind the litany of diplomatic faux-pas Jimmy Carter was so famous for on his trips to Europe.


My husband is from finland and speaks 4 languages is this a bad thing??I guess we as americans should be proud that we do so poorly at math and science too!

JM Hanes

"My husband is from finland and speaks 4 languages is this a bad thing?"

If one of them isn't Spanish, apparently so.


Don Meaker (July 8 at 7:12), I feel your pain. After 4 years of French in HS, I essayed German in college. At one point, my teacher gently admonished me, "You are speaking German with a French accent." It seemed to me that my high school French teachers would have been enormously pleased.
The name of the German teacher, by the way, was Mrs. Kwang. Go figure.


"But where can you learn Arabic without being indoctrinated in a whitewash of Islam? From Christian immigrants from the Middle East?"

I know this sounds disjointed but I think it fits in somewhere - Is this anything to do with why some government agencies will not hire Jews as interpreters of Arabic?

André Kenji

1-) Most Americans that I know are gentle and very well educated.

2-) Most Europeans that I know are warm and nice.

Thomas Jackson

Boy I wonder if James Thompson spends his day looking in a mirror, saying Si se puede and laughing?

Bhurka Lady

Further to Operation Plumtart and Opguano, here's a clip of the Korean/Chinese experts teaching the ayatollahs/mullahs of Iran how to shoot their wads.

Mr Hills

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In today’s world there are many reasons why you would like to learn to speak Spanish. You may have a desire to learn different languages of the world and Spanish being one of the popular one, you would like to begin with it. If you decide to learn a new language you also stand a good chance of making greater progress in your career especially if you happen to work with an international organization. Traveling becomes more fascinating if you know the local language. With Spanish speaking countries being high on tourist lists, it would be advantageous if you made the effort to speak Spanish.


Best Regards,Linda Hill.


Please do not hesitate to have habbo credits . It is funny.

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