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Topic: Worrisome News

FIGMENT - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:04:23


Do you think it is appropriate for a young woman like WW to talk in that tone of voice to old men like Bill and me? Regardless of how "dumb" she thinks we may be? I think it is inappropriate, arrogant and disrespectful. She can go and talk to her own grandfather this way, not to Bill or me.

BULERICAN - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:07:04

Author: Bill 14 Nov 2008 15:59:46
Two items are on the wires here that worry me:

1. The Russian Parliament has just approved longer term for Putin. Presidential term now six years.

2. Obama's considering Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State.

I don't know which worries me more!

Sorry for the delayed response, I was not in the net yesterday at all.

"Presidential term now six years."

Mr Medvedev is the President of Russia.

Mr Putin is the Prime Minister.

However for those that cannot see the writing on the wall, expect Medvedev to step down sometime in 2009, Putin of course as PM will take over the Presidency.

He will then serve 12 years, which happens to coincide with his 20 year plan expressed during his 1st term.

just me - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:24:05

There I go again, making things worse with my meddling. Maybe you don't need any excusing, but the fact is, FIGMENT seizes on you every time you write. It's really not that fun to read. (Bill does too, but that post was addressed to FIG.) :)

I did exaggerate your youth while attempting to make my point, but as a percentage relative to the age of FIGMENT or Bill, it's a tiny error. At the risk of sounding patronizing again, I do enjoy reading your perspective and I don't know many people less than half Bill's age who have lived in so many different places and had the kinds of experiences you've had. Age IS a part of what defines people and how they interact socially.

The weirdos here included, nobody is just one kind of person and they/we don't like being neatly categorized by what they/we were doing when you talked to them/us (chronic pain artist IT mom whatever) any more than you liked it when I asked FIG to excuse your style because of your age.

It would be really nice to see more tolerance of different backgrounds here, as hard as that is when we usually don't even have the basic information. Oh, and I didn't see your reply as "pompous" and I know you're not just trying to look like a big smarty with all that good grammar and all those big words n stuff. ;)

My post did sound kind of dorky, so I'm sorry for that.

just me - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:35:26

The "who would you vote for" question wasn't Condoleezza v Hillary, but Condi v McCain. Two republicans... one a highly credentialed southern black woman, the other a little less accomplished old white military hero.

Bill - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:36:17

just me:

Pardon a mild question:

"I know you're not just trying to look like a big smarty with all that good grammar and all those big words n stuff. ;)"

Then what IS she doing?

just me - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:38:34

I should've gone with the Rodney King quote.
"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along...."

FIGMENT - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:43:16


It is a no-brainer for me - McCain, of course. I don't have anything against Condi, but on the other hand, I don't like her. She has been around for a while and I still don't know what she really stands for. She has no sparkle, no personality. As you said, she is a robot. Compare her to someone like Sarah Palin. I don't agree with Palin on some of her issues, but I like her enthusiasm.

just me - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:44:30

She's doing exactly what you and I are doing!

She's using the grammar skills that come to her while communicating. Hers just happen to be very good. When you write in German, or in English for that matter, do you do your best?

I think it's really goofy to pick on someone for great language skills. It would be even goofier for her to dumb-down her writing to make a more acceptable impression, like I am here with that "goofy" business. haha.

How about if we all just lighten up on each other?

just me - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:55:27

That's a fair answer. I think Condi is playing the Secretary of State role very well, in that we don't know much about where she stands on social issues or other political issues unrelated to her Cabinet position. It would have been interesting to see how she came across to the public had she been given that chance. Maybe that sparkle would have appeared. The debates would have been very interesting and we'd have seen whether she has the breadth as well as the depth required for the job. Who knows?

I posed the question yesterday about whether you thought McCain should've picked her as his running mate. After I asked that, I read a little bit and found that she is "mildly pro-choice." She said that she is sort of Libertarian on that issue, which would definitely rule her out. I think the abortion issue weighs too heavily in the conservative platform right now.


FIGMENT - 15 Nov 2008 // 20:55:56


WW has a sophomoric mentality. You know - when they begin to think they know everything and everyone who doesn't think like them is stupid. She hasn't understood yet that she knows nothing. You have to be really well-red and wise before you can acquire the necessary humility and modesty and understanding of how little you really know.

FIGMENT - 15 Nov 2008 // 21:25:53


"I think it's really goofy to pick on someone for great language skills. "

Bill is not picking on WW for her "great" language skills, but rather for her lack thereof. Her great vulgarity, insolence and arrogance skills if you like. You have great political, conciliatory and diplomacy skills. WW has the exact opposite set of skills that you have. What is the opposite of diplomacy?

Bill - 15 Nov 2008 // 21:43:26

just me:

"I think it's really goofy to pick on someone for great language skills. It would be even goofier for her to dumb-down her writing to make a more acceptable impression, like I am here with that "goofy" business. haha."

I think where we disagree is not with her skills, but how she uses them. Flinging out a lot of--as she puts it--"polysyllabic words", doesn't, in and of itself, indicate any great control of grammar. It comes across as trying to bamboozle, if I may use that word, her readers, again that show of "superiority" I mention so often. She talks down to her readers as though she were some kind of superior being. compelled to use language the unwashed populace can understand. She may well be well educated, but it doesn't come through in her writing. What does come through is a snotty snobbishness which just doesn't sit well with me.

I've had to learn Latin grammar, Spanish grammar, German grammar,l Italian grammar, and I've picked up a little Russian into the bargain. It's an essential if you want to communicate.

That, however, doesn't justify going around insulting people with foul language, and calling them stupid when they don't agree with her, and all the rest of the trash WW puts out in her attempt to aggrandize herself.

I'm by far not the best-educated person in the world, and I don't claim to be. I've met far too many better-educated people to have any such illusions. But strangely enough, none of them has even made the slightest attempt to flaunt that.

My Russian teacher's husband is an internationally recognized expert on international civil law. He was asked, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to help one of the republics--I can never remember which--to write their new Constitution. She and her husband were visiting one day, when another friend came. I asked the husband whether I should introduce him as "Professor Doctor". He said, "No. Just Theodor". It's that way with TRULY educated people. They don't need to make a show of it, and they don't.

I've been invited to several parties at their home in Heidelberg, before I moved too far away to make that practicable. These evenings were fascinating, because they usually had other guests from behind the iron curtain. The talk around the table was usually in three languages, sometimes four. (Now and then they'd use English so I could catch up with them.) Other than that, the conversation was in Polish, Russian and German. I was following the German. I got a lot of first-hand information from Russian residents.

The point is, that WW always tries to make a big show out of how educated she is, and I find it stuffy, to say the least. It doesn't impress me that she uses big words to say offensive things.

just me - 15 Nov 2008 // 22:00:24

Aggrandize? Who uses words like that? Only thoroughly supercilious people. I believe that's another big fancy word you've thrown around. (another haha.)

Much of what you are perceiving as arrogance and superiority is what I perceive as her unique brand of sarcasm, but this isn't my battle to fight. I wish you guys could just make peace or at least declare a cease fire. Fighting fire with fire, as you've put it, is only going to increase your blood pressure.

Also, the "way she uses it" could also be an expression of her personality, which you do not particularly like. It just gets your goat. Fair enough- ignore her.

Have a nice evening. I am about to seer some ahi tuna and put it with some leftover stir fried vegetables and rice. The natives are getting restless. Not that you care, but I do hope you didn't forget to eat tonight. :):):)

Bill - 15 Nov 2008 // 22:11:03

just me:

"I perceive as her unique brand of sarcasm,"

Exactly the point. What justifies her sarcasm? Sarcastic people aren't loved anywhere I've ever been.

Bill - 15 Nov 2008 // 22:40:04

just me:

"Aggrandize? Who uses words like that? Only thoroughly supercilious people."

Beg to disgree. It's just a word that people with a normal vocabulary can use. Remember, please, that my profession demands a large vocabulary, and there's nothing "supercilious" about it.

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