July 01, 2003


You want to replace a flat tyre? Here’s what you do: first remove the flat, then get the spare, and then put the spare on the car. You don’t sit around discussing the properties of vulcanization, or the complexities of Charles Goodyear’s finances. You don’t write poetry about jack handles, no matter how many opportunities for metaphor present themselves. You don’t talk or write. You do.

This drives Phillip Adams insane. Nearly three years into the Bush presidency, Adams still can’t understand why people don’t reject Bush for failing to offer complex analogies about wheel-changing ... preferring instead to change the damn wheel:

The excruciating misuse of language that made former US vice-president Dan Quayle an international joke has not destroyed Dubya – far from it. There's circumstantial evidence that it has made him the darling of the angry and inarticulate – at least in his domestic market.

It's not just his inability to pronounce nuclear or his regular retreats into Quaylespeak that defines the Bush style. It's the reliance of his entire administration on the most mind-numbing jargon.

“Mind-numbing jargon” itself being an example of mind-numbing jargon. Who exactly is the wordsmith here, Phillip?

The internet provides an endless selection of Bush jokes – principally his public utterances. While half the downloads on the net are pornographic, much of the rest are photos and transcripts of the incumbent President, suggesting he's one of the greatest fools in history.

Says an ex-communist.

Yet the joke is on us. He's the President and we're not. He's running the world and we're running scared. In a sense, it's his ignorance that gives him invincibility, whereas his critics, so eloquent and articulate, achieve invisibility.

If only. Phillip has two national columns per week plus a national radio program. He’s about as invisible as Michael Moore in an anorexia ward.

Although he'd still find it hard to find Iraq on a map, that doesn't stop George lobbing missiles on Baghdad ...

Although he can’t work out the stars on the flag or the alphabetical order of the states, that doesn’t stop Phil writing crap about the US.

The lesson is simple. Dull down your language if you want to deaden discourse and dull debate. Welcome to dumbocracy.

Hey, thanks for having us!

UPDATE. Adams says that “In the wit and wisdom of George W. we've learned that the French don't have a word for entrepreneur”. Status: false.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 1, 2003 04:12 AM

Hey, no offense meant to all those decent Australians that I'm sure are out there, (or Brits, Canadians, etc. for that matter), but shrill ranting like that emanating from Phillip Adams just serves make us Americans more inclined to completely ignore any and all foreign commentary on our policies.

In some cases, *cough*France*cough*, its a good bet that we should listen to what they say and then do the opposite.

Posted by: Tim in PA at July 1, 2003 at 04:34 AM

When people joke about "Bushisms" I like to point out that his linguistic skills are are almost as bad as Einstein's.

(Then I explain, slowly and in small words, that Einstein was known for poor linguistic skills...)

Posted by: Tim Shell at July 1, 2003 at 05:31 AM

Yeah, bush is dumb. He's not cool. He's no intellectual. But who do I want fixing my toilet, Voltaire, or the plumber. I voted for Gore. I used the same arguments during Florida. I was wrong.

He sleeps with his wife.
He attends church.
He does what he says he's going to do.
He spends time with his family.
His daughters are troubelsome, but also young.
He never admitted to perfection.
He sought relief in redemption.
He sees clearly that linguists (Chom-Chomsky) belong in the classroom, not in politics.
He sees there is right, and there is wrong.

And I live in a world, where he is wrong. Where he is evil.

I travel in (some) circles where mentioning that he's a human, will bring diatribes about Bush=Hitler, Ashcroft Nation, CONSERVATIVE-NAZI (but the Joooos Hating Is OK), AGAINST THE PEOPLE, etc.....

I need new circles.

But they need new brains.

Maybe the Prez can offer them some.

Posted by: gimpy at July 1, 2003 at 05:47 AM

"The better the orator the worse the man."
(bonus orator, pessimus vir.) Latin proverb

Posted by: Jim at July 1, 2003 at 05:50 AM
"The internet provides an endless selection of Bush jokes....photos and transcripts of the incumbent President, suggesting he's one of the greatest fools in history."

OR suggesting that he has been the object of one of the greatest full court presses in history.

I'm getting tired of this Bush-is-a-dunce business. To take just one item in his resume, consider that he was trained to fly high-performance fighter aircraft. This involves far more than simple eye-hand coordination and being able to walk away from ones landings. Besides the mechanics of flying the plane at a high rate of speed, a pilot has to accomplish his mission within certain parameters, cope with air traffic control, weather, g-forces, navigation, fuel management, and just looking around so as not to run into things. I may disagree with someone who can do all that, but I wouldn't call him a dummy.

Posted by: Ernie G at July 1, 2003 at 05:59 AM

Bush may not know how to "speak" in some quarters, but he is one hell of a chess player!

Had a "smooth talker" for eight LONG years; Bush is a man who says what he means, and means what he says...that's a real man in my eyes.

Bush is the next best thing to Reagan - people made fun of him too, remember?!

Posted by: Laura at July 1, 2003 at 06:33 AM

George Bush doesn't have to be able to find Iraq on a map, the guys firing the missles do. And did! "Dull down your language if you want to deaden discourse and dull debate." Would doing this maybe shut up Phillip Adams? Please? Everyone should have a dream . Or maybe Adams needs to look up the definition of debate, it isn't the same as rant.

Posted by: Retread at July 1, 2003 at 06:44 AM

Can I like Bush if I'm angry and articulate enough to be a professor at a state university (I know, I know, that isn't a good indicator), or at least articulate enough to publish fairly often, get the occasional paid speaking engagement, and won debates?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at July 1, 2003 at 07:05 AM

WIN, win debates. Preview is your friend. I guess I isn't as artickoolate as I mought have thunk.


Posted by: JorgXMcKie at July 1, 2003 at 07:06 AM

Ah, "I see!" said the blind man, and picked up his hammer and saw.

So let me get this straight - critics of Bush (that's "President Bush" to you, Phillip) are "eloquent and articulate", if somewhat powerless, whereas those who approve of President Bush are "angry and inarticulate"

Why, that might make me angry if I weren't so inarticulate!

Posted by: mojo at July 1, 2003 at 07:11 AM

Mr. Adams might be well served to research the Yale undergraduate grade point averages of President Bush and Vice President Gore. Then again, I shouldn't complain; Prez Bush is most effective when people underestimate him.

Posted by: Chris at July 1, 2003 at 07:18 AM

Yep, Phillip Adams is obviously a lot smarter than us simple folk inhabiting Bush Country - the trailer park-infested American wilds that lie between Manhattan and Hollywood. I mean just look at the depth of his argument: Bush makes gaffes! Internet sites make fun of those gaffes! Therefore Bush is the darling of the angry and inarticulate! Who can argue with such logic?

Maybe Adams was trying to be ironic by writing an inarticulate rant about an allegedly inarticulate president. Naw, that would require some creativity and I doubt anyone would accuse Adams of that. If he was really worried, though, about the deadening of discourse then he could try providing more than just cardboard-thin caricatures of Bush and his supporters. That would be a nice start to injecting some intelligence and eloquence back into discussions about Bush.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at July 1, 2003 at 07:27 AM

No US president has correctly pronounced nuclear since at least Gerald Ford, it would be exposing yourself as an Eastern pointyhead. You could always see Clinton making a mental note to say "nuke-ya-lar" when he, for one, certainly knew better.

Posted by: Mike G at July 1, 2003 at 07:45 AM

"Dull down your language if you want to deaden discourse and dull debate."

Just the opposite, as Adams has once again proven.

Constructing a quasi-reality from semantics is a popular past-time for those of his ilk. But it is rapidly declining in popularity, which must terrify him, as he has no other real linguistic skills (anyone witnessed his debate long ago with John Singleton? Singo made a valid point in his "dumbed down" style and Adams had no recourse but to start calling names... I'd almost make the analogy of the Emperor's clothes, but the image is just too horrible).

Posted by: The at July 1, 2003 at 07:58 AM

hello how many times were we gonna have to hear that?

as many as axis of evil i guess
hes basically mad magazine in the white house


Posted by: rossi at July 1, 2003 at 08:16 AM

Wait, I think I lost track. Is Dubya a brain-dead slacker or Machiavelli re-incarnate this week?

Or is he both, in that weird lefty double think kinda way?

Posted by: Syd Barrett at July 1, 2003 at 08:16 AM

What is the big deal about the pronunciation of the word "nuclear"? It's just an American regionalism. My parents pronounced it that way, and they also said "ree-lah-tor" for "realtor." They said "warshing machine" for "washing machine." I have to check myself not to pronounce these words the same way.

People go with the pronunciations they grew up with, simple as that. It has nothing to do with their educational level or intelligence.

As for Bush not being able to find Iraq on a map, what exactly is this information based on? Did Adams or someone else personally witness Bush not being able to find Iraq on a map? If not, isn't that just journalistic hyperbole, opinion disguised as "fact"?

Posted by: Susan at July 1, 2003 at 08:19 AM

Yes, Jimmy Carter pronounced it "nuke-u-lar..." and he was a nuke-u-lar physicist for God's sake!

Posted by: Chris at July 1, 2003 at 08:59 AM

Jimmy Carter was a nuclear engineer & US President who invariably, incorrigibly, said "nucular." He was or played quite the intellectual. Actually, he said something like "nucula."

Phillip Adams is not even hip. Here in the USA, much of the brou-ha-ha about W's supposed mental weakness has been subdued, since a lot of Dems & Libs here have wised up to W's being pretty smart. I hope Phillip Adams moves here & dumbs them down again. W said: "I am the master of low expectations."

The mistaking of verbal intelligence for intellect, & of intellect for intelligence per se, & of intelligence for merit per se, is a self-serving inanity of humanities professors, political pundits, etc. A straw at which they clutch as they slide toward an extreme of noisy hyperbole & irrelevance.

Thank goodness so very many Americans have not succumbed to the standards of the news media's talking heads, much less the cult of image, cool, and glamour of the entertainment industry of which the news media are a still more willing & integral part than journalists & reporters admit or recognize, even as they go on desperately seeking the next charismatic JFK & deriding the President for his plain unpolished language & even for his not keeping encyclopedically current on who's who in pop culture. Thank goodness Americans choose among candidates seldom on the Blazing Saddles basis of who of them uses his or her "tongue purtier than a twenty-dollar whore!"

Verbal intelligence is not the whole of intellect. "An eloquent mathematician must, from the nature of things, ever remain as rare a phenomenon as a talking fish." -- the mathematician James J. Sylvester.

Intellect is not the only dimension of intelligence. There are also things like imagination, the senses & intuition, & common sense & wisdom.

Intelligence is not the whole standard of merit. There are also things like will & character, ability & competence, & feeling & sensibility. We have a President who certainly has enough of all these things. And he has a way of putting things together that flies clean over the radar of most of the glittering, gesturing, wailing & stomping & chattering mass media.

Posted by: ForNow at July 1, 2003 at 09:04 AM

"There's circumstantial evidence that it has made him the darling of the angry and inarticulate"

I would rather be a "angry and inarticulate" then a pompous a-hole.

Posted by: Gary at July 1, 2003 at 09:19 AM

I have a feeling that "circumstantial evidence" is the only kind that Phil ever writes about anyways. Why confuse the issues with hard facts and figures?

Posted by: Susan at July 1, 2003 at 09:24 AM

ForNow - get some!

I'm really close to my Ph.D. in a natural science, and I've known brilliant people who have to look up the spelling of every other word. Horrible speakers, extraordinarily smart people. In fact, people who are really smart tend to think that they should be in charge of everything, when in fact they ought not to. Now, I don't think Bush is a genius. He's probably reasonably bright. But if speaking ability made one president, then John Leguizamo would be POTUS - and not even the leftest of Hollywood lefterers would really want that.

Posted by: Dylan at July 1, 2003 at 09:48 AM

"Here in the USA, much of the brou-ha-ha about W's supposed mental weakness has been subdued, since a lot of Dems & Libs here have wised up to W's being pretty smart."

God, I wish. I keep getting that stupid thing about all his blunders and lack of qualifications from people who think it's clever and original (not to mention accurate). I always reply, yeah, he's so stupid that he always gets exactly what he wants.

Posted by: Mike G at July 1, 2003 at 09:50 AM

Well, the brou-ha-ha & bwa-ha-ha seems to have become subdued compared to what it was earlier. There's still plenty of it, the USA is a big country.

I know it's annoying to have to deal personally with people who talk like that. My usual response is, with a noticeable touch, not too much, not too little, of "that's the ticket" Freddie Finagle, to begin with a look of bewilderment followed by "Oh--yeah, he's uh, not very bright. We Republicans are actually kind of worried about that, yeah, uh, but if you want to defeat him, yeah, just keep remembering how dumb he is & you can't go wrong." They pick up on my parodizing, point at me, laugh, stutter "oh you -- you don't mean, I mean you don't mean what you're really meaning," etc., & I say, "I don't mean he's smart, that was just a clever joke -- yeah!" I have found over time that with some people there's just no way to spill the beans or let the cat out of the bag about W's considerable intelligence.

Posted by: ForNow at July 1, 2003 at 10:02 AM

Plunger Adam's usage of words are marked by affectation, a knowing cleverness. But he doesn't actually say anything which is telling, reflected in opiniated generalisations as opposed to quantified statements, a trademark of communistos.
As for corruption of language, it is the lefties who have done the most damage of which political correctness is the obvious example.

Posted by: d at July 1, 2003 at 10:04 AM

Dylan -- get some (reading comprehension)! What I said is fully compatible with what you said. In particular I said that the American people seldom choose among candidates based on who "uses his tongue purtier than a twenty-dollar whore" -- who speaks best.

Posted by: ForNow at July 1, 2003 at 10:07 AM

Tim, you nailed the point in your opening paragraph. The President of the USA is an active government position, not a ceremonial role. As such GWB should be judged by what he does not what he says, or even how he says it.

It is difficult for Adams to acknowledge this distinction, as he is no doubt uncomfortable with the consequences for himself and his carefully crafted image. Adams likes to portray himself as “ex-communist”, lets judge by his actions. He is a millionaire ex-advertising executive who owns multiple properties and expensive material possessions. He lives in the exclusive areas of town and pays legal teams to prevent others from infringing on his lifestyle.

Adams is about as communist (ex- or otherwise) as Maggie Thatcher. At best he can lay claim to being a social socialist, i.e. socialist at dinner parties etc.

Although, as Adams only current contribution to the world is the production of vapid opinion perhaps it is appropriate to judge him against the standard of being “eloquent and articulate” as he actually does nothing.

Posted by: Dave at July 1, 2003 at 10:41 AM

Words can be deeds too, as Shakespeare liked to show. W can be judged on honesty, keeping his word, measuring his words in terms of their effects on the behaviors of despots, etc. (I don't mean that it's W's fault that Saddam didn't abdicate -- no human's words are omnipotent.) I just mean that words have meanings & consequences.

Posted by: ForNow at July 1, 2003 at 10:52 AM

If "nucular" is good enough for Marge Simpson, it's good enough for me!

Adams may once have possessed some rudimentary wit -- now he's just a sad, pompous windbag.

Posted by: BruceT at July 1, 2003 at 11:21 AM

One of the (Aussie) physicists at the University of Queensland says "nucular". How he could have possibly done any physics with this complete mangling of a word is beyond me. Cos, like, you need to have good received pronunciation and stuff if you wanna express a complex idea.

Posted by: ausduck at July 1, 2003 at 11:27 AM

I agree with Dave in everything except the Maggie Thatcher comparison. She actually did stuff. Put her reputation on the line. Was committed to improving her country. Was never a member of the chattering classes. Was not an appeaser. Loved her country. Whereas Adams has made most of his fortune through government handouts (when his Labor mates were in power) and de-facto Labor handouts (the ABC). He has only ever sought peer approval. Never tried to improve society, the economy, whatever; just condemn it. He drives Ferraris but won't put his kids through private schools because they're "breeding gounds for toffs". Come to think of it, maybe he HAS got some balls. Who else would have the guts to put themselves on display as such a loathesome hypocrite?

Posted by: The at July 1, 2003 at 11:39 AM

Why should Adams care?

Bush is the president of the USA, he was elected by Americans for Americans. Why does Adams need to be the impramator of who is elected?

Jeez, they can have muffin the mule for all I care, its democracy Phil! What next? get rid of Putin because he chews with his mouth open?

Posted by: nic at July 1, 2003 at 12:11 PM

isn't it time to get over the "Americans talk funny" argument? so what? I Keep seeing this British commercial for Jaguar automobiles where the woman pronounces it, Jag-ewe-are. Jaguars are South American jungle cats therefore the Spanish pronunciation is the correct one Yag-war. J is silent. bet you think the correct way sounds funny huh. We Americans created Nuclear stuff so we can damn well pronounce it any way we want to . The rest of you johnny come lately's can adjust your speech accordingly.

Posted by: James D at July 1, 2003 at 12:16 PM

Speaking of intellectuals & wheels, a bit of amusement value here.:

Carrey run down by Prof
by John Troup


Hollywood star Jim Carrey was left howling in agony after genius Stephen Hawking reversed over his FOOT with his wheel chair.


His secretary Karen Sime said last night: “We’ve all had our feet run over by the professor. You quickly learn to jump out of the way!”

Posted by: ForNow at July 1, 2003 at 12:17 PM

Have you guys noticed that the apex of literary wit for Alliterator Adams is to use alliterations? Like :
Deaden discourse; dull debate etc.
He employs this pathetic journalistic device in all his articles.
Both the content and the form are crap...


Posted by: Kalman Dee at July 1, 2003 at 12:33 PM

Let's face it- like the rest of the chattering classes, the Porcine Pinko would have bugger all to waffle on about if Al Gore was in the White House. If George W. Bush did not exist, they would have had to invent him. Can't say I ever read too much about Bubba when he was running around the Oval Office with his dick out- perhaps the left prefer lame duck perverts to people without perfect media presence who actually do something.

Posted by: paul bickford at July 1, 2003 at 12:45 PM

i like how this adams guy proves his own stupidity. hey, ever hear of "DIALECT?"

Posted by: Samkit at July 1, 2003 at 12:52 PM

ForNow - "get some!" was a jargony compliment. An obscure one, evidently. I agreed with everything you said, it was a well written comment.

Posted by: Dylan at July 1, 2003 at 01:40 PM

Acccording to my research:

Bush has been to Yale and Harvard and has a Business degree (Masters), as well as years worth of experience in Business.

Phillip Adams left high school after grade 10 and has written a few books.

Now, is Phil really in much of a position to call Bush a dumbass?

Posted by: Richard at July 1, 2003 at 02:01 PM

Dylan, sorry I misunderstood you! Thank you for correcting me. (I wish I were better at this.)

Posted by: ForNow at July 1, 2003 at 02:29 PM

Let's face it, the leftie anti-Bushites don't *really* care whether Bush is 'dumb' or not, it's just a useful tool to attack him. If he was extremely articulate and supremely intelligent, he would be attacked for that as well. Surely not? Well, 3 months ago the Sydney Morning Herald weekend magazine published a story about Condoleeza Rice in which her substantial intellectual accomplishments were described. Sure enough in the letters section, the same leftie ratbags slagging GW ranted that the Bush admin should not include such an intelligent woman, who would 'obviously' have no empathy with common voters!

Further, well known leftie whinger Mike Carlton in the same newspaper has criticised Rice for being 'too smart' even describing in terms such as 'dripping with Ivy League degrees'. (Carlton shows his ignorance here, by the way, as Rice does not have any degrees from Ivy League institutions.)

But for the creme-de-la-creme of vicious personal attacks, just read through a few pages of Michael Moore's Dumb White Men tome. I recommend reading it at your local library so you don't fork out money to help enrich this unbelievable hypocrite. One of the worst sections is where Moore patronisingly suggests that Bush is an alcoholic, and really ought to resign because he obviously has no control over his problem - despite the fact that Bush doesn't drink!

Posted by: Tom at July 1, 2003 at 02:45 PM

Dylan, I don't know where you are from, but in some parts of the USA, "Get some!" can be construed as a put down -- meaning "go get some sex", as in "you are such a loser you obviously aren't 'getting enough' (sex)."

Posted by: Susan at July 1, 2003 at 02:50 PM

Moore's self-control is obvious from his waistline.

Posted by: tim at July 1, 2003 at 02:51 PM

From the Adams article (first bit not quoted by Tim):

"In the wit and wisdom of George W. we've learned that the French don't have a word for entrepreneur and are constantly reminded that God is an American. Although he'd still find it hard to find Iraq on a map, that doesn't stop George lobbing missiles on Baghdad or reducing decades of diplomacy to words you'd see stencilled on a T-shirt or stuck on a bumper sticker."

Let's just have a bit of a look at the 4 pseudo-facts about Bush to which Mr Eloquent refers.

Starting with the last, President Bush's record pretty clearly shows that he *does* have a remarkable knack for cutting through the crap of diplomatic jargon. Isn't that a good thing, Phillip? Exactly who has the parties firmly planted on a "roadmap" to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the Lard Bard and the rest of the whiny left say they care so much about? George W Bush, that's who! And why would that be? Because both parties have cottoned on to the fact that when he opens his (allegedly stupid) mouth, he damn well means what he says and is prepared to do something about it, that's why.

Next, what is this about being "constantly reminded that God is an American"? When has President Bush ever said or implied that? This is simply the Lard Bard's own highly intelligent and articulate (I would say fevered and irrational) imagination at work. In fact, the evidence points to Bush having a more sophisticated view of religion and his own religious faith than Adams or the left seem to be capable of believing. His conduct immediately following the September 11 attacks, in which he acted quickly and with genuine passion to hose down any possible backlash against Muslims in the USA, illustrates my point.

As for the factoid about having difficulty finding Iraq on a map, Susan dealt with this already in her comments above. The Lard Bard just made it up – pure and simple. Intelligent and articulate people are allowed to do that because it “ought to be true”, even if it isn’t. In fact, the whole world “ought” to be in complete accord with their lofty opinions (simple, brutish folk call them prejudices).

Finally, the canard about the French having no word for “entrepreneur”. This has become a staple of internet discussion boards but I have found it difficult to identify a reputable source. As best I can establish, President Bush might have actually said this in an aside to Tony Blair during an international meeting at which the French were whining about their economic problems (some internet sources attribute the story to UK Chancellor, Gordon Brown). If so, why is this taken as proof of Bush’s stupidity rather than as proof of his quick-wittedness and sense of humour? It is pretty clear that there would be no point to the comment otherwise. Yet not only the Lard Bard but lefties the world over have put their own special interpretation on this and shown us in the process the depth of their own stupidity and gullibility and the extent to which their ability to make sense of the world is clouded by their own prejudices.

The Bush-entrepreneur story reminds me of similar criticism of a great American and a President of the nineteenth century – Ulysses S Grant. Without wishing to labour any possible parallels, Grant was a highly intelligent man, but he was a man of action rather than of the spoken word (although a brilliant writer). He was a military man and a man of firm principle. Most of all, he was the man who knew exactly what needed to be done – and went ahead and did it, when his merit was finally recognised – to win the American Civil War for Lincoln. Yet his political opponents persisted in trying to represent him as stupid and obtuse. On a visit to Venice in his later life, he made a crack to his entourage in line with his characteristic droll humour that the city would be much improved if its canals were drained. Those who knew Grant (and those who have subsequently studied him) saw the joke for exactly what it was. Yet some idiot journalist used it as “proof” of his stupidity and his opponents seized on it in the same vein – showing only their own stupidity to subsequent generations.

Bush and Grant have this in common – their opponents are the stupid ones for “misunderestimating” them. George W Bush – the Columbo of American politics in the early 21st century!

Posted by: Bob Bunnett at July 1, 2003 at 02:58 PM

Susan - Got ahold of that one in Colorado. I think it originally came from, uh, Apocolypse Now or some other 'Nam movie where some crazy chopper gunner is just firing indiscriminately at the rice paddy workers as they fly over - pop pop pop "get some!" pop pop pop "get some!" and Martin Sheen just looks at him like he's tired.

Obviously that's sick behavior, but it got reworked to where you do something you're proud of, "Get some!" and to where someone else does something good, "get some!". Not common usage at all, now that I think about it, I guess I just have thought of it as a compliment for so long I didn't think about it.

It's still nowhere as weird as Aussie slang. Holy crap.

Posted by: Dylan at July 1, 2003 at 03:01 PM

I mean, "just firing indiscriminately at the rice paddy workers as the chopper flies over", not as workers fly overhead. Dang.

Posted by: Dylan at July 1, 2003 at 03:03 PM

Bunnett - it was David Bowie said that God is an American. Bowie, Bush, whatever, I'll give Adams a pass on that one.

Posted by: Dylan at July 1, 2003 at 03:07 PM

Hey Dylan,

If God is an American, what part of the States does He hail from? I don't want to start another Civil War here, just curious. ;-)

My wife would probably think He lives in New York.

Posted by: Bob Bunnett at July 1, 2003 at 03:42 PM

Everyone knows God lives in the Rocky Mountains.

Posted by: Polly at July 1, 2003 at 03:56 PM


"Get Some!" is the motto of the 1st Marine division, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines; a compliment, tho a bit obscure...


Posted by: Ben at July 1, 2003 at 04:29 PM

Why all the fuss about "nucula"? What drives me nuts is the way he drops the second syllable from "terrorists", thus making it something like "terrists". Not to mention "terr" and "terrism".

Nucula weapons in the hands of terrists! Damn! Bomb Iraq/Iran/Syria/Saudi!!!

Anyways, I don't think GWB is a stupid bastard.

I just think he's a bastard.

Posted by: Nemesis at July 1, 2003 at 04:37 PM

The late Robert Nozick offered an explanation for Adams's politics in the essay "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?".

"Intellectuals now expect to be the most highly valued people in a society, those with the most prestige and power, those with the greatest rewards. Intellectuals feel entitled to this. But, by and large, a capitalist society does not honor its intellectuals. Ludwig von Mises explains the special resentment of intellectuals, in contrast to workers, by saying they mix socially with successful capitalists and so have them as a salient comparison group and are humiliated by their lesser status."

In short, Adams is pretty damn miffed that a supposed buffoon like Dubya is way above him in the pecking order. So, instead of getting up off his fat arse and doing something to realise his potential what does Adams do? He sits on his fat arse and whines.

The Nozick essay is pretty dry academic stuff but worth a read. See at:

Socialism by Ludwig von Mises can be found at: http://www.econlib.org/library/Mises/msSContents.html

Posted by: ZsaZsa at July 1, 2003 at 06:29 PM

Phillip Adams proves that there is nothing more disturbing than a fat man wearing panties.

He must be a very tortured soul. He can't vote for the U.S. president and has no sway over American voters so he left with bitching and moaning. Like most leftists he can't tell us what is right with socialism, but they know what the hell is wrong with conservatives and Bush. What a bunch of closet jagoffs. You can't sell anything bitching about the competition it makes you look weak and petty.

Posted by: D2D at July 1, 2003 at 07:31 PM

I am an attorney. I used to do litigation, which involved a lot of work before court reporters, who transcribed every word of mine (an everyone else's) exactly as it was spoken.

Everyone I knew who read a transcript of his or her words for the first time was shocked at how often their sentences rambled on, lacked proper nouns where appropriate, and were, absent inflection, fairly incomprehensible.

I.e., I sympathize with the President, because I have seen how easy it is to look dumb based on what is transcribed.

The President is also selectively quoted. Take a quote attributed to the President: "Is our children learning?" The quote was actually, "The question is, are children learning?"

In any event, I'll take the President, even with his stumbles, any day over a great orator (such as his lamentable predecessor). Great oration doen't make you right: it just makes you sound right. Huge difference. Huge.

Posted by: RJGator at July 1, 2003 at 10:33 PM

RJGator, I was going to post but you said it all. Let me just add one more "Huge!"

Posted by: S.A. Smith at July 2, 2003 at 10:29 AM

Fascinating article by Nozick. Thanks for posting the URL, Zsa Zsa. The vices & weaknesses of the verbal intellectual are an old subject, but not an exhausted one. Lately it reminds me of a poem by Jack Spicer which I'll probably mangle at some point, but if I remember correctly, goes like this:

Dante would have blamed Beatrice
If she turned up alive at the local bordello
Or Newton gravity
If apples fell upward
What I'm trying to say is
Words turn mysteriously against those who use them
Hello says the apple
Both of us were object

--Jack Spicer

Posted by: ForNow at July 2, 2003 at 10:30 AM

Entrepreneur: person in effective control of commercial undertaking [F] (Pocket Oxford Dictionary)

F means - from the French . . .

Posted by: Spacer8 at July 2, 2003 at 10:48 AM

Entrepreneur: person in effective control of commercial undertaking [F] (Pocket Oxford Dictionary)

F means - from the French . . .

Posted by: Spacer8 at July 2, 2003 at 10:48 AM

The obvious French origin of the word "entrepreneur," not to mention the word's ongoing appearance in French dictionaries, French books, French conversation, merely renders all the more ironic the French language's obvious lack of a word for "entrepreneur." French does have a word for contractors & undertakers, a word that might profitably be pressed into service, but what are we as momentary linguists to make of mere rumor & conjecture that such may have been done? Let us rather savor the aforementioned irony until it is shown, as it doubtless will be, that some Frenchman at some time has used a French word to mean "entrepreneur."

Posted by: ForNow at July 2, 2003 at 11:21 AM

The last few days there's been discussion of pronounciation of nuclear. Someone else mentioned Robert Nozick. Can I bring the two together and ask for views on how to pronounce Nozick. In my mind I've settled on notch-ick, but I'm probably wrong.

Posted by: Andy at July 8, 2003 at 10:08 PM