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Quote of the Month

But how the devil do you think this could harm me? 
                                              --  Last words of Denis Diderot, 1784

~ Dec17|2015 ~

  Short-Shots and Follow-ups

A few quick news-stories, observations, and follow-ups to keep us focused.


 Well, this is embarrassing. Misspelled is mis-spelled [sic].

DM Dec12|15 ~ anonymous ~ " 'My lawyers will be in touch': Lady C threatens yet MORE legal action after ugly Twitter spat with Duncan Bannatyne's girlfriend Nigora Whitehorn"

You know that when the DM puts up an anonymous article, it's gonna' be really f*cked.  In this case the DM wants to make some old twittering twerp named "Lady C" look like the same sort of ESL moron the DM editors actually are, and you know how this is going to go.  To accomplish this feat of anonymous character assassination, the anonymous DM nincompoop started throwing around "sic's" like sharpened hatchets.  Only they turned out to be boomerangs.  

As a first matter, "sic" is short for "sic erat scriptum," which translates to "thus it was written."  Pedantic pricks place the nasty little note in parentheses directly after an error the pricks wish to point out, and, of course, in the pointing out the error the pricks are also attempting to establish their superiority over the persons who made the error.  I do this all the time; it really feels good.  

Up first is the DM goof in the below screen-shot in which the cowardly DM writer mistakenly flags "dismissed" as "mis-spelled."  It's not.  But what was misspelled was "mis-spelled," which is only hyphenated by 4th graders and Bangladeshis learning the nuances of English.  

What Lady C certainly did misspell --  by way of typo, no doubt -- was "Lawers."  The DM anonymous nincompoop "reporter" not only missed this entirely but corrected the error in the headline, without comment.  I would also note that the nincompoop placed an apostrophe before "This," presumably intending to use it as an open quote.  And, in fact, there is an orphaned closing quote after "(sic),".  Apostrophes may be used for internal quotes, but there are no internal quotes here.  Then there is the errant comma after the first "tweet" and an errant apostrophe at the very end that is not connected to anything.  When you put all of these wild punctuation marks together, what they sum to is indisputable proof that this pedantic DM nincompoop has no idea how English punctuation is actually done. 

Up next is the following screen shot that has me completely bamboozled.  Here the DM nincompoop -- showing commendable journalistic balance -- goes after the other party of this stupid Twitter-spat.  Once again our nincompoop uses an apostrophe where a quote is required, but at least this time he/she has an "open apostrophe" and a "closed apostrophe."  But at the very end he/she attempts to stab his/her victim, Nigora, with a "[sic]."  But I have no idea what that "[sic]" is referring to.  Nincompoop probably thinks the "who's" is not proper grammar.  It is -- it's a contraction of "who is." Nothing like being impaled on your own ultracrepidarian sic's.

I really thought I was going to get to stick it to Ms. or Mr. Nincompoop for missing a "sic" behind that "hinging on to" phrase, but, alas, I've learned something: that is a proper idiom -- it means rely on or depend on.  Yes, even the participle version is valid.  Must be British.  

Finally, I would like to point out how this idiot DM piece is a perfect example of a pernicious brain-ded habit of writers of demotic online news rags like the DM: Every sentence is its own paragraph.  Apparently the DM editors see their readers as being so frickin' stupid that they can't hold two sentences-worth of information in their wee brains long enough to finish one paragraph.  And with respect to anyone who would waste their time reading this particular article, the editors are probably right.  (Discounting myself, of course.) 

Note to editors of HuffPo: Wrong jet, you morans. 

Huffpo FrontPage Dec14 carried this headline/photo combo:

The story was about the Turks shooting a Russian Su-27 out of the sky over Syria.  This picture is the tail section of a Russian passenger jet,  MetroJet Flight 9268, lying in the Egyptian desert.  

'Nuf said. 

Remember wacko judge in Michigan who locked up the 3 kids?  
She's busted by the judicial ethics cops. 

Back on July12|15 I went on an 11-page  rant ("Lisa Gorcyca: Poster-girl for what's wrong with Americans' system of choosing who judges them") about this nutter Michigan judge Lisa Gorcyca.  She's the one who locked up three young kids because they refused to have lunch with their father, who they accused of being violent and beating their mother.  

It was not possible from just the news accounts available then to fully appreciate the legal fine points regarding how much latitude judges in Michigan have in dealing with people before them.  Well, apparently, however much latitude there may be, the Michigan judicial ethics cops decided Gogcyca stepped over the line in the way she dealt with these children and their mother.  Our Judge Judy of the Frozen North is now facing a very serious judicial ethics complaint, including charges of lying before the judicial ethics tribunal, aka Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

We can only hope that Gorcyca, with a rep as a hardball judge and prosecutor, now gets a good and lasting taste of what it's like when those judging your conduct play ball with a very hardball.  And a bat.   

Here's the Complaint .


This is the best example of investigative journalism you will ever read

T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong ~ Pro Publica, Dec16|15 ~ "An Unbelievable Story of Rape"

OK, maybe they overdid it on the rape details a time or two.  And maybe this could be seen as a DIY piece on how to be a serial rapist and not get caught (i.e. don't use gloves that leave marks on the window), but, other than that, an incredible piece of writing.  Absolutely mesmerizing.


Perv cop in Manasass, Va. in the news again. Story gets worse.

On Jul25|14 I  pitched a rant about pervy cops and DAs in Manassas, Va. who busted a 17-yo kid for reciprocally sexting his girlfriend -- of course she was not busted for her part in the sexting.  The detective, David Abbott, Jr. threatened the kid that if he refused to plead guilty to felony charges they would force him to have an erection so they could photograph it and use the photo as evidence against him.  At the time I said:

". . . you have to be one frickin' perv to bust a kid and then threaten to photograph his woody unless he pleads guilty.  One frickin' perv. "  

That was my honest opinion of Abbott over a year ago and still is. I mean, mind you, the cop photographed the kid's junk once, but that wasn't enough.  He wanted to see it stiff.  Of course, there were DA's touching this story, too, if you'll forgive my choice of words.   

And today we can say that if  you were one of those who smelled a pervert cop driving this disgusting story back in July, come on down and collect  your prize.  For on Dec15|15 the Manassas Patch reported that  Abbott was just that: a perv with a history.  On Tuesday the county cops showed up at Abbott's house to arrest him on a warrant for indecent liberties with and sexual solicitation of an 11-yo. boy two years ago.  As the county cops closed in on him Abbott locked himself in his house and shot himself dead.  It looks like the cop's kiddie-lust went back to at least 2008 -- that is 6 years before the woody-evidence case went viral -- and involved at least one other child. My guess is that victims will start crawling out of the woodwork now that the light is on this pervert's history.  The fact that he killed himself when the warrants came home to roost says a lot more about him than I ever could. But to drive home the point that Abbott was a total prick, there is the lawsuit he filed against the 17-yo boy's lawyer.  

About a month ago the WaPo's Tom Jackman reported that Abbott's lawyer, Dirk McClananhan, non-suited a defamation law suit he had filed in behalf of pervert Abbott against the boy's lawyer, Jessica H. Foster.  Ms. Foster was reported in the WaPo as characterizing Abbott's tactic of trying to extort a guilty plea out of a 17-yo by threatening to force him to have his woody photographed as crazy: "Who does this?  It's just crazy."  It sounded like an absolutely accurate, material, and long overdue observation to me, but McClananahan made the decision that Foster's comment warranted a defamation suit.  That any judge would decline to immediately throw such a suit out and consider sanctions against McClananhan seems to me to be  inconsistent with not just most Americans' sense of justice, but inconsistent with Ms. Foster's 1st Amendment guarantees of free speech.  That judge was Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Horne

Unfortunately, McClananhan's non-suit does not necessarily mean the defamation case is over. Lawyers in Virginia non-suit all the time, especially bogus lawsuits, but there are many tactical reasons to temporarily or permanently drop a valid lawsuit, too.  McClananhan has a year to re-file the suit and start over.  Yes, he could re-file the suit even though his pervert client is good and dead.  We'll see.

To end on a more positive note, I want to point out what a fantastic job of journalism Tom Jackman has done on this case right from the beginning.   I envy and admire his strong, clear writing style and extreme self-control in writing about such evil, perverty people. Below are more of his WaPo pieces. 

Read more:

  • Tom Jackman, WaPo, Jul09|14 ~ In 'sexting' case Manassas City police want to photograph teen in sexually explicit manner

  • Tom Jackman, WaPo, Jul10|14 ~ Manassas City police say they will not serve search warrant in teen 'sexting' case

  • Tom Jackman, WaPo, Aug01|14 ~ Manassas City teen placed on probation in 'sexting' case where police sought photos

'cuse me Professor, but macrophages do not kill sandflies.

Michael Barrett is Prof of Biochemical Parasitology at the University of Glasgow and so he must know his stuff.  What he doesn't know is how to talk to the public about his stuff.  He has written a piece that has appeared in multiple online sources today about how the disease leishmaniasis is becoming a problem in Syria.  As with any useful discussion of leishmaniasis, Barrett's article includes the part about how the sandfly is a primary vector for spreading the disease.  And then he pops off this paragraph employing the medics' buzz-word "bugs."

Having just mentioned sandflies in his penultimate sentence, Barrett then goes on to say that macrophages "normally kill bugs."  Sounds like he is trying to say macrophages kill sandflies, which certainly are bugs.  No.  Macrophages don't kill sandflies, and they don't kill bugs.  They kill microorganisms.  If Barrett felt he needed to dumb it down to our level, "germs" would have been a far better term to use instead of "bugs." 

Just to clarify this point for Prof. Barrett.  Macrophages do not kill the crawly, multi-legged things most laymen think of as bugs: sandflies, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, &etc.  Macrophages kill the legless things most laymen think of as "germs," which are often called both "bugs" and "microorganisms" by health professionals.     

"Words: what communication is made of."



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