In this etymology game you’ll be presented with 10 randomly selected etymology (word origin) or word definition puzzles to solve; in each case the word or phrase is highlighted in bold, and a number of possible answers will be presented. You need to choose the correct answer to score a point for that question. Beware! The false answers will often also seem quite plausible, and some of the true answers are hard to believe, but we have documentation!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the word etymology comes from the Greek word ‘etymos’, which means real, or true, and the -ology ending indicates that it’s the study of, or science of. Put them together and you get the study or science of the real or true. Impressive, eh?
This game led to my finding out that the politically correct crap about the phrase “rule of thumb” referring to legal wife beating is bunk.
The real explanation of ‘rule-of-thumb’ is that is derives from wood
workers (or other constructors) who knew their trade so well they rarely
or never fell back on the use of such things as rulers. Instead they’d
measure things by, for example, the length of their thumb; they measured,
not by a rule(r) of wood, but by rule of thumb. The term was already in
metaphorical use by the late 17th century.
So, not only do Words Matter, but Word Games Matter, too.
The United States is looking into whether Iranian president-elect Mahmood Ahmadinejad was involved in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The State Department says Iran needs to make a definitive statement on the issue.
Regardless of whether this guy was personally involved, and it’s certainly quite likely that he was given his apparent age, this is the same government that aided and abetted the hostage taking. This is the same government that has sponsored terrorism in the Middle East and around the world for 26 years. That the current President-elect of Iran had a more or less direct role in one of those many acts of terrorism seems irrelevant except to those who feel some need for justification to act against Iran beyond the ample justification of 26 years of their failure to abide by the most basic international norms.
I’ve had a few thoughts on the Kelo case, federalism and the Bill of Rights and judges wearing robes.
The Bill of Rights was, of course, originally intended as a check on federal power. As a proponent of federalism, I’m generally comfortable with giving state legislatures broad latitude in experimenting with a wide range of policies. That said, I’m also a believer in freedom and I am a federalist not a confederationist. A meaningful, freedom enhancing central government will sometimes act to check state power. Applying the Bill of Rights to the States is such a long settled matter of law that even Justices Scalia, Rehnquist and Thomas generally accept it as a given. I don’t have a problem with that. The Bill of Rights are a finite set of specific rules that I would call quintessentially American and to apply them as written to the States can only enhance American federalism in achieving American ends. But if they are to be applied to the States they should all be applied to the States including the Second Amendment and the property rights provisions. They should also be applied as written. To simply say that we are going to apply the Bill of Rights plus the nebulous sphere of real or imagined rights that spring from them gives too wide latitude to federal power, as we’ve seen in many cases.
There is another problem with the Kelo ruling from a federalist perspective. Instead of saying, “We can’t rule on this as this Amendment doesn’t apply to the States,” the Court ruled that the Amendment did apply but that achieving higher tax revenue or economic growth is a “public use”. They then went on to say that the States could adopt a tougher standard. That’s wonderful and certainly seems in tune with federalism on its face. The problem is that state constitutional language on rights is often modeled, in some cases copied directly, from the federal language. So one would expect a state court facing a state constitution which requires a public use test for eminent domain to refer to the thought of their judicial superiors and likely arrive at a similar conclusion. While paying lip service to the idea of tougher state standards, the ruling that anything which by any stretch of the imagination is a “public good” is also a “public use” actually guts state protections as thoroughly as it guts the federal one.
Solution to the bigger problem? I don’t know that I have one, but part of the solution has to be injecting some realism into the thought of federal judges, reminding them that they are citizens not sovereigns. They need to be reminded of a document much older even than the United States, but fundamental to our theories of government, the Magna Carta. The proposal to remind InJustice Souter that his house is subject to the same rules as everyone else is precisely that. Perhaps it’s also time to require them to wear suits like other government officials instead of priestly robes, to remind them that they are men and not gods.
n 2003, someone in the Bush administration leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak, apparently to retaliate against Plame’s husband for criticizing the administration. In an unprecedented step, the Justice Department named a special prosecutor to find the leaker.
I know just the guy to run the investigation if they really want to get to the bottom of it. Mark Felt. After all, he was in charge of revealing another confidential source…and he did, sort of, 32 years later….Okay, so they won’t get to the bottom of it fast…
“This plan is to have the City of Weir, New Hampshire seize Justice David Souter’s house and property and turn it over to a guy who wants to build the Lost Liberty Hotel, and he’s serious about it. It’s a great idea. It’s a great plan. This is the way you fight this kind of stuff: Make these elites live the life that they impose on everybody else.”
The reference is to the plan by Freestar Media CEO Logan Darrow Clements to build a hotel in Weare, New Hampshire on land now occupied by the home of Supreme Court InJustice David Souter:
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.
Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.
“This is not a prank” said Clements, “The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development.”
For those libertarian purists out there, Clements points out that unlike the typical case of eminent domain, this is actually retaliation, a perfectly permissible libertarian act.