URLs du Jour

2006-06-20

  • Via Michelle (ma belle), a Chronicle of Higher Education article on "Scholars for 9/11 Truth", a group of academics dedicated to … well, here's the description of a speech at a recent meeting of the group given by James Fetzer, one of the co-chairmen:
    "The threat we face," he said, is "imminent and ominous." He recommended arming the citizenry.

    During the question-and-answer session, an audience member asked whether there might be a way to capture a TV station, to get the word out about September 11. Mr. Fetzer upped the ante on the idea.

    "Let me tell you, for years, I've been waiting for there to be a military coup to depose these traitors," he said from the podium.

    "Yeah!" shouted some men in the audience.

    "There actually was one weekend," Mr. Fetzer went on, "where I said to myself, my God, it's going to happen this weekend, and I'm going to wake up and they will have taken these guys off in chains."

    His voice was building. "Listen to me," he said. "The degree of perfidy involved here is so great, that in the time of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, frenzied mobs would have dragged these men out of their beds in the middle of the night and ripped them to shreds!"

    "Yeah!" cried a chorus of voices in the audience. "Yeah!"

    Sounds just like a normal faculty meeting!

    For you Wildcatters out there, there's also a UNH connection: one of the "Full Members" listed on their website is our own William Woodward, psych prof. Great.

  • At Big Lizards, Dafydd has two posts (here and here) that point out the sheer hell would-be legal immigrants to this country routinely go through. Folks opposing "amnesty" for illegal immigrants should also be appalled at the abusive bureaucracy he describes for those who are trying to play by the rules.

Yet Another Lame Bushism

Jacob Weisberg at Slate has an ongoing "Bushism of the Day" feature. Today's is here, and quoting it in full, it is:

"I tell people, let's don't fear the future, let's shape it."
Now the point of "Bushisms" is to draw attention to the President saying illogical and ungrammatical things. There are people who (apparently) derive loads of amusement from this, and Weisberg has a mini-publishing empire going on the topic:
Click to buy George W. Bushisms: The Slate Book of The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President; More George W. Bushisms; Still More George W. Bushisms; the Deluxe Election Edition Bushisms; and the George W. Bushisms 2005 Day-to-Day Calendar.
… you have to be a devoted Bushisms fan to buy the 2005 calendar, I suppose, but even if you're tempted, clicking the link shows that it's unavailable from Amazon.

But back to today's quotation. Apparently the thing we're supposed to laugh at is the "let's don't" construction.

The problem is, there's nothing wrong with that. Checking the Google shows that it's very common, with 177,000 hits. And one of those hits is to the appropriate entry in The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, which deems the usage "Standard".

I've remarked before that Weisberg seems pretty desperate to keep this "Bushisms" shtick going. This is just more confirming evidence.

[update: Great minds think alike. Professor Volokh's especially good on Bushisms, and much more polite than I.]


Last Modified 2006-06-20 5:27 PM EST