f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

October 21, 2004

Cow Talk

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:56 pm

They smell bad and give me indigestion (no, not my errant allies — see one-breath punditry below).  Yet,

I always smile and think deep thoughts when Canadian haijin  DeVar Dahl writes about them:


                                                                                                 . . . cow g . . .  cow g



it’s not swearing

it’s the only language

those cows understand



my best moo

all the cows

stop and look



harvest moon

somebody’s cow moos

and moos and moos



egg shell haiku  from the (wonderful) anthology A Piece of Egg Shell                                             

(Magpie Haiku Poets, 2004, to order email  

cover art by Ken Richardson   


the stale air

of an old man’s home —

opening my front door

                                       [Oct. 21, 2004]


one-breath pundit  

erasing  An Admission by the Editor: I expect more integrity and fairness from my allies than my opponents.  That has often left me quite disappointed, even if no longer surprised.   Here are first examples that made big impressions on me:

+ The first time I ever saw the use of character assasination — fellow anti-Vietnam-War protestors, 1965.


+ The first time I ever saw closeup the skewing of a statistic to exaggerate the extent of a problem —

domestic violence opponents defining domestic abuse to include “verbal abuse” (a dozen yers ago)


+ The first time I ever heard hissing to drown out a teacher’s unpopular opinion — feminist law students, 1974.

Of course, I see more transgressions by liberals, since I hang around them more.  Because I continue to hope my political allies will use evenhanded analysis and tactics, TalkLeft‘s decision to cut off only long-winded opposing views irks me –as does my web-buddy Mad Kane‘s decision, like TalkLeft‘s, to only post from the anti-Republican side of the “Mary Cheney debate” debate.  Hat tip to Rick Klau for calling it likes he sees it.  [Prof. B is also abashed by antics of his allies.]

tv  I’m also embarrassed by the lefty Television Luddites who think it would be so cool to use the off-button-only, universal remote TV-B-Gone to turn off other people’s television sets. (interesting commentary and comments at Stupid Evil Bastard; via Inter Alia)  The arguments of the anti-TV crowd about the value of TV content would equally apply to publication media of all types — seen any Best-Seller Book Lists lately?.

  • Pit Bull Update (6 PM): Marc Chandler reports that Pape & Chandler received notice today (Oct. 21) from the Florida Bar that it would seek review of the decision in Florida Bar v. John Pape and Marc Chandler.   The stubborn and misguided Bar is being as tenacious (nasty?) as a pit bull. 

  • Good News: Legal Reader posts on the $1.8 million dollar fine imposed on California lawyer Harpreet Brar for filing frivolous “nuisance suits” against small businesses under California consumer protection law. (details)

  • Denise Howell, Walter Olson and Martin Grace (who quotes Justice Douglas on trees, and frets over mosquitos in “Dang!“)  I just finished Stephen J. Cannell’s Runaway Heart, which  deals with the standing issue for non-humans, and features a rumpled, tree-hugger lawyer, his gorgeous paralegal daughter, bad-guy Big-Business and Government, a hard-boiled private eye, and more.  Fun read.  If Cannell got the standing law wrong, please let me know.

synonyms and Election 2004

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:13 am

                                                                       synonyms ain’t sins  (Oct. 20, 2004)

    Have you heard the words battle ground and swing often enough this election cycle?  It’s really not difficult to click on a thesaurus (e.g., Merriam-Webster, Roget II, or WorldNet.), but the American news media seems allergic to synonyms in this presidential campaign.  And, we’ve been condemned to cliche hell.


Until recently, I couldn’t figure out why the two political parties were spending so much money to woo the 806 people living in Battle Ground, Indiana (Tippecanoe County), or  even the 3700 folks in Battle Ground, Washington.  And, believe me, Ken Burns and I might have picked Louisiana, Missouri or Illinois as “swing states,” but I could never have come up with all 19 states so-designated by the Bush and Kerry Campaigns for

this election cycle.        

  • According to Wikipedia, the Washington Post has defined swing states as those that were decided by less than three percentage points in the 2000 presidential election.
  • Encarta informs us that a swing voter is called a floating voter in the U.K.  That’s a nice alternative phrase, but it reminds me of hanging chads and the whole Election 2000 debacle.

Prof. Bainbridge and the New York Times (and even my sister), have told me that religion and faith play a

very important role in this Presidential Election.  Nevertheless, I have to assert my own constitutional rights

(the pursuit of happiness, not hackneyedness) and insist that synonyms are not sinful, wicked nor even un-right-eous.


   Syn-o-nyms are not sin-words — very different etymologies (see here and there).  Indeed, I’d say right

now that synonyms are heavenly, sublime, delightful — almost as enhanting as post-election silence will become by mid-November.

                                                                                                                                                               battle . . .   . .  . swing


Please, Media Moguls and Midgets:  Find some alternatives to “battle ground state” and “swing state”

during the next two weeks.  Even if you don’t like “floating,” how about variations of:

  • oscillate, sway, rock, vibrate,  fluctuate, undulate, waver, tilt, quiver, pulsate, to-and-fro
  • skirmish, firefight, strategic, hard-fought, closely-contested, targeted
  • important, significant, crucial, vital, decisive

       [feel free, dear reader, to add more PG-rated suggestions through our Comment Box]


  Maybe, soon, swing will again have connotations that I enjoy.



far from home
an empty swing
half my size


by Roberta Beary for Anita Virgil)  in Frogpond XIX:3 (1996)

&  A New Resonance 2:  (Red Moon Press, 2001)


our kids on the swing

old enough to push  each other

april evening



in English-Language Haiku  (Jim Kacian, Dee Evetts, eds. Red Moon Press, 2001)  

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