Political Correctness and the Importance of Context

We have a friend of Irish origin in Brooklyn who on encountering an aggressive or erratic driver, always says, “Okay, calm down, Tony.” It’s meant as a humorous reference to the popularity of the first name Anthony among Italians and evokes the stereotype that Italians are excitable and likely to gesticulate when they drive. Is it … More Political Correctness and the Importance of Context

The Women’s Vote

“If Hilary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband then what makes her think she can satisfy America?” –Donald Trump “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”—Former Republican Congressman Todd Akin, 2012 “Money is more important for men. Take a hypothetical husband and wife who are … More The Women’s Vote

Political Repartee

Many years ago when I still lived in Edmonton, I was walking my dog Theo in an off-leash overlooking the North Saskatchewan River.  I struck up a conversation with a couple of other dog owners while our mutts engaged in their canine social rituals. The conversation naturally turned to weather. Edmonton had just come out … More Political Repartee

George Orwell: Clarity and Obfuscation

George Orwell was a strong advocate of clarity in language. To demonstrate how simple ideas can be swallowed up in a sea of verbiage, he constructed the following sentence: Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that … More George Orwell: Clarity and Obfuscation

Quote of the Day

“It’s been said before that Trump is America’s Berlusconi, and the comparison is easy to see. Both are older white men with a lot of wealth of dubious provenance. Both decided to enter the public arena after promising they would run their countries the way they run their companies. Both are openly misogynistic while claiming … More Quote of the Day