FROM LAURA AINSWORTH:
Dear Miss Mannerly:
I recently had to testify before a congressional committee, and in giving an honest answer I used a word that enraged a lot of people. This particular three-letter word (starts with “s” and rhymes with “try”) very accurately described the activity in question, but there was a lot of feigned shock at hearing it, even though what I said was completely true. There should be nothing controversial about it. Let me assure you, Miss Mannerly, I am going absolutely by the book here, but many are trying to discredit me and even demanding that I apologize for saying this perfectly descriptive word instead of some tepid euphemism. What should I do? (P.S. It was not a swear word, though I felt like swearing.)
If you were testifying before Congress and telling the unvarnished truth, as is required, then you have nothing to apologize for, as long as it was not the sort of word that shouldn’t be said in mixed company. For now, just keep your head down, weather the storm and do your job. It sounds as if these people should be apologizing to YOU for their behavior–- not that this will ever happen. Miss Mannerly believes it was Rudyard Kipling who advised keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you. You sound like the sort of person who is more than capable of doing this.
Dear Miss Mannerly:
I am a British rock superstar who just had heart valve surgery. Of course, in the U.K., we have the National Health Service, which means you can’t always get what you want, or even what you need. Since I can easily afford the very best of care, with no wait (time waits for no one), I traveled to the United States for the surgery. I am doing great –- it was a walk in the park.
The problem is, I wonder what my fans back home think about me getting this special treatment when they would have to wait a long time and maybe even die. Should I apologize, Miss Mannerly? I could have my people issue a statement.
Miss Mannerly is pleased to hear of your successful surgery and is aware that people in your country often wait many months for care. Of course, this is not your fault –- when health care is “free,” one must of necessity take what one gets.
What you really should do is fall to your knees and say THANK YOU to the United States of America and hope that the American health care system never becomes the equivalent of your NHS. If that happened, where would you go for your next three heart valve replacements?
Dear Miss Mannerly:
I am dismayed after reading a news story about the Amazon virtual assistant “Alexa.” Alexa has been a member of our household for some time, and now I see that Amazon employees are actually listening to the conversations we have in our home and may even be transcribing some of them! They have employees working full shifts in unmarked buildings around the world, reviewing as many as 1,000 audio clips a day. They say they’re feeding these conversations back into the system to “eliminate gaps” in Alexa’s understanding of human speech patterns.
I was already a little concerned that someone might be listening without our knowledge, but it just seemed to be the wave of the future. In this story, though, they admit to picking up some embarrassing and even disturbing things. They also say that as a way of relieving stress, employees share details of the conversations in their internal chat room.
Amazon is saying this feature can be turned off with the app on my phone, but I don’t know if I can trust this to work. There’s really no way for me to know. They also say the conversations are held in strict confidence, but, again, that’s just their claim.
My question to you, Miss Mannerly, is this: Now that I know real people may be listening in at any time, am I obligated to be scrupulously polite every minute, just in case? I wouldn’t want to inadvertently offend some innocent, stressed-out Amazon employee who is being paid to listen to my private conversations.
How nice of you to care about the feelings of Amazon employees who are just minding their own business and doing the job Amazon pays them to do. Many people these days don’t care if they offend people they come into contact with, let alone people halfway around the world whom they’ve never met.
Miss Mannerly assumes that you are always polite when you are addressing Alexa, even though she is not a human being per se. And, of course, you are always pleasant and thoughtful when addressing other members of your household, and certainly your guests. Miss Mannerly’s advice would be for you to acknowledge the Amazon employees from time to time, in case they are listening, since, in a way, they are guests in your home. After you engage Alexa, just say, “Hello, Amazon workers! Hope you’re having a nice day. Never mind what I said about Jeff Bezos earlier this afternoon.”
Between us, it is wrong for Amazon to be secretly listening in on your conversations. This is called “spying,” and, yes, you may use that word instead of some tepid euphemism. When you invited Alexa into your home –- which Miss Mannerly personally would not do –- it was not sufficiently clear that you were inviting Amazon, too. (Who reads all that fine print?) No, Amazon should not be eavesdropping on you. With all due respect, who do they think they are, the FBI?
FROM MIKE HUCKABEE:
I am honestly trying to be nice to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by not commenting on everything she says, but this latest brain dropping…wow. The nicest thing I can say is to offer her the time-tested advice that it’s best to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Today’s “Talking Out Of Both Sides of Mouth” Award goes to CNN commentator Samantha Vinograd, who in one comment on Wolf Blitzer’s show Tuesday, slammed President Trump for his “inhumane treatment” of illegal migrant families by separating them from their children at the border while admitting that it happened under Obama, too, but when Obama did it, it was “for their protection.”
Here’s a direct quote slamming Trump, and brace yourself so you don’t get whiplash:
“He’s systemized that inhumane treatment that, again, Obama was doing to protect the children.”
She’s right: I think it’s high time Americans expressed more appreciation for all the inhumane treatment that Obama did to children to protect them.
As I wrote earlier this week, don’t judge politicians by their words, which can be slipperier than eels and as worthless as Michael Avenatti’s IOUs. Judge them by their priorities. Latest example:
In New York, the full Democratic takeover of the state government has already resulted in a radical pro-abortion bill and proposals to slap even more taxes on virtually everything while giving politicians a big pay raise.
Now, New York’s Democratic Assembly has approved a budget that would spend $27 million on college tuition aid for illegal immigrants while blocking a bill to expand tuition aid to children of deceased and disabled military veterans. The chair of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee said that with a tight budget, Gold Star families already get enough tuition aid: $2.7 million. For the math-challenged, that’s one-tenth of what they allocated to illegal immigrants. Can we take that as a general guideline for how much importance they attach to each group?
The wacky grandpa of socialism, Bernie Sanders, inadvertently promoted capitalism. He admitted that he was a millionaire, but tried to distance himself from those evil billionaire capitalists who run businesses, provides services and create jobs by explaining that he just wrote a best-selling book, and “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”
So if America’s economic system is so great that anyone who can write a book people like can easily become a millionaire, why does he think it’s so unfair that it needs to be radically transformed?
Ironically, if this were a socialist country, Bernie would probably be a billionaire. Under socialism, top-level “public servants” in the ruling socialist party are the only people who become billionaires.
Note to Hillary Clinton: before insinuating that people who say “Make America Great Again” are white nationalists, maybe check the video archives to make sure you aren’t calling your own husband a white nationalist.
Congratulations to Candace Owens for proving the old showbiz adage that if you give the people what they want, they’ll show up to see it.
This is an excellent article by Patricia McCarthy at AmericanThinker.com on how the Democrats have been reduced to railing madly against things that have already been proven indisputably true, such as that people in the Obama intelligence agencies spied on members of Trump’s campaign. Extra points to her for using one of my favorite references from “Casablanca”: “I’m shocked to discover there’s gambling at Rick’s!” (“Your winnings, sir.”)
All the over-the-top melodramatics about Attorney General Barr using the simple, accurate term “spying” (which his Democratic questioner actually said first) have included suggestions that what he should have said was “intelligence gathering” or “inappropriate surveillance” (in other words: “spying.”) I wondered why that struck me so funny, and then I realized: it’s straight out of one of the late George Carlin’s greatest comedy routines.
Back in the days when comedians were funny, Carlin loved examining how people manipulate language. One of his premises was that people take simple, direct, bluntly accurate terms and expand and soften them into fuzzy, vague, gaseous euphemisms, with the idea that making a term less clear somehow removes the ugliness from the truth it refers to.
Some of Carlin’s examples: “False teeth” became “dental appliances.” “The dump” became “the landfill.” “Toilet paper” is now “bathroom tissue.” “Deaf” became “hearing-impaired.” “Old people” turned into “senior citizens.” “Constipation” became “occasional irregularity.” “Crippled” became “physically-challenged,” then “differently-abled.” And his sharpest observation of all: the clear, direct World War I term “shell shock” morphed into “battle fatigue,” then became “post-traumatic stress disorder.” He observed that people erroneously believe that by softening the words, the pain goes away. But they're only fooling themselves. He said if we still called it “shell shock,” maybe the soldiers who needed help would have actually gotten it.
The Democrats in Congress and the media can fall on the fainting couch at the word “spying;” they can call it “inappropriate surveillance” or “uninvited observing” or “confidential surreptitious curiosity” or whatever they like. But by this point, they’re only fooling themselves, not the public or the Attorney General.
I’ve been warning for a long time that in the great “intersectional” victim group Rubik’s Cube that is the modern Democratic Party, women’s rights have been rotated to the bottom. While women created the MeToo movement to assert their right not to be made uncomfortable by men becoming too physically intimate against their wills, “progressive” Democrats have moved on to “transgender rights” and started using the force of law to allow men who claim to “identify” as women to use female bathrooms, lockers, showers and fitting rooms. Any woman who complains about biological males being in such private places is branded a “transphobe.” One woman was even expelled from her health club for daring to complain about a man in the women’s locker room.
More recently, we’ve seen “transgender” athletes taking over women’s sports, using their testosterone-fueled male strength and size to win both professional female boxing matches and high school trophies and scholarships in everything from girls’ track to wrestling. Many parents are complaining that all their daughters' effort and training is for nothing, and it isn’t fair. But saying there is a physical difference between men and women, and a male can’t become a biological female or vice versa – a bit of plain common sense universally accepted from the dawn of time up until a few years ago -- gets them condemned as bigots by PC school officials and LGBTQ activists. Not even feminist sports icons such as Martina Navratilova are immune from being vilified for speaking the obvious truth. (Welcome to the club, folks!)
Yet many women inexplicably keep voting for leftists who make the rights of women and girls their lowest priority, and now that they hold the House again, they’re trying to make it official. Under the deceptive misnomer “The Equality Act,” 233 out of 234 House Democrats (and incredibly, two Republicans) just voted to amend the Civil Rights Act to force all girls’ sports teams to admit transgender athletes (aka, boys who “identify” as girls.) Critics predict it could spell the death of girls’ scholastic sports. Women who don’t think it’s fair that they should have to wrestle men should wrestle for a while with the question of why they still vote for these politicians.
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