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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Weeping for words

Okay, so I walk into Best Buy and ask for a specific electronic device.  As I'd entered the store, I'd observed one in a display.  A clerk looks up the product number in the computer and tells me they do indeed carry the item.  I ask if they have the product in stock and he says "yes", then adds, "Best Buy doesn't keep these in the store; you have order it online...but it can be shipped to your home."


Perhaps I'm insufficiently educated, but my understanding of "in stock" means that the item is actually, well, in stock.  Now, I'm not an undercover "grammar cop" (no matter what people say), but do I have a problem with people who poorly utilize my English language.


On a completely unrelated subject, it was announced this week that the College Board is changing (re: weakening) the vocabulary standards for the SAT. Ostensibly, the old SAT vocabulary wasn’t particularly useful in day-to-day life. New vocabulary will reportedly focus on words students will likely encounter in college and the workplace, words like "paper" or "plastic", "original" or "extra crispy", "regular" or "super sized". 

Or words like "in stock".

After delivering the "in stock" news to me, the blue-shirted clerk looked at me expectantly.  Had she been there, my wife would have been proud.  I simply cocked my head to the side, frowned a bit, then turned on my heels and walked out.

But I was mentally throttling him.  And wishing I had the emergency number to the grammar police.

After I left the store, I sat in my truck and wept a bit for the future of the tools of our oral communication. 

Then I went home and ordered from the internet.

Tolerance and understanding


Gautama Buddha rejected the existence of a creator deity, refused to endorse many views on creation and stated that questions on the origin of the world are not ultimately useful for ending suffering.


Buddhism, instead, emphasizes the system of causal relationships underlying the universe (pratītyasamutpāda) which constitute the natural order (dharma) and source of enlightenment. No dependence of phenomena on a supernatural reality is asserted in order to explain the behaviour of matter. According to the doctrine of the Buddha, a human being must study nature (dhamma vicaya) in order to attain personal wisdom (prajna) regarding the nature of things (dharma). In Buddhism, the sole aim of spiritual practice is the complete alleviation of stress in samsara, which is called nirvana.

Buddhism is a non theistic religion that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha, meaning "the awakened one". According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering through the elimination of ignorance and craving by way of understanding and the seeing ofdependent origination, with the ultimate goal of attainment of the sublime state of nirvana.

He was not a god, nor did he ever profess to be one.



Don't hate what you don't understand.  If you must preach, preach tolerance and understanding.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Action figure, writer find commonality in history and age

This year, an American hero and I share a landmark: we both turn 50.
G.I. Joe was introduced in early 1964, while I was introduced to the world in late 1964. Collectors and the manufacturer, Hasbro Inc., say it was February at the American International Toy Fair in New York. But fair organizers say it was held in March that year.
The toy was originally designed to be a tribute. With a brother ten years older than me, I was designed to be a sister.  (Obviously, that didn't work out.)
Don Levine, Hasbro's head of research and development, came up with the idea while returning home from combat as an Army infantry sergeant in the Korean War. "We protected each other and loved each other," Levine said this week. "Something had to be done to honor these people."
G.I. Joe hit shelves in time for Christmas 1964, going on sale for $4 apiece in boxes identifying him as "America's Moveable Fighting Man." It was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004.  I'm still waiting for my call from ANY hall of fame.
Sales sank in reaction to the Vietnam War, leading to a line "Adventure Team" G.I. Joes that played down the military connection. Production was halted in the 1970s, but In the early 1980s, G.I. Joe was reintroduced as 3 -inch figures. 
In the early 1980s, I was introduced to the world as a 6 foot tall high school senior.
There is even an official G.I. Joe Collector's Club, which holds an annual "GIJoeCon" convention. This year it's in April in Dallas.  I also will be in Dallas this April.
Coincidence?
I think not.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

GOODE Thoughts: Me thinks something is rotten in Tarrant County

GOODE Thoughts: Me thinks something is rotten in Tarrant County: Ethan Couch By Rodman Goode For a second time, a Texas judge has sentenced Ethan Couch to 10 years' probation for a wreck that k...

Me thinks something is rotten in Tarrant County

Ethan Couch

By Rodman Goode

For a second time, a Texas judge has sentenced Ethan Couch to 10 years' probation for a wreck that killed four people. The ruling in Fort Worth on Wednesday was the same previously made by the judge. Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence the 16-year-old to 20 years in state custody. 
It doesn't pass the smell test.

It would appear that Judge Jean Boyd is sticking to her guns and refusing to sentence the 17 year old to a single day in jail for the criminal homicide of four people that resulted from the drunken driving crash Couch caused in June of last year.
Judge Jean Boyd

The decision was announced by defense attorney Reagan Wynn and prosecutors  after the hearing, which was closed to the public. Having already been rebuffed by Judge Boyd in seeking a prison sentence for the four deaths, prosecutors had asked Boyd to sentence Couch to 20 years in state custody on charges related to the two other people who were severely injured in the same crash.

Question: why did the judge closed the proceedings to the media, i.e., the public? This is an especially intriguing question considering that the issue of money seems to be the elephant in the courtroom.  First, Couch's defense argued "affluenza" as an excuse for the teen's bad behavior, reasoning that pointed to Couch having been raised by parents who failed to properly set appropriate standards for the lad and instead taught him that being the child of wealthy parents means never having to say you're sorry.

Couch's parents

Second, during the initial trial, Couch's father reportedly offered to pay for his progeny to go to a $450,000-a-year rehabilitation center near Newport Beach, California, an option that reportedly the judge did not go for (it was reported that Couch will receive "treatment" at a Texas facility, though the whereabouts of said facility was also not disclosed to the public.)

Judge Boyd is reportedly not seeking re-election. Good.

But I wonder why...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Woman sentenced to life in prison for killing her pimp gets parole

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown will allow parole of a woman sentenced at age 16 to life in prison for killing a man who forced her into prostitution, his office said.

Sara Kruzan, 35, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing George Howard in a Riverside, Calif., hotel room. Kruzan has said he sexually assaulted her when she was 11 and forced her into prostitution when she was 13.

She was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in jail without the chance of parole, but a new law that went into effect in January has changed her sentence, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Sen. Leland Yee, D-Calif., started championing her case as an example juvenile offenders he thinks should have softer punishments.

Kruzan is the "perfect example of adults who failed her, of society failing her. You had a predator who stalked her, raped her, forced her into prostitution, and there was no one around," Yee told the newspaper.

The law allows new sentencing hearings for juveniles sentenced to life in prison with no parole. In September, Brown signed a second bill requiring parole boards to review the cases of juveniles tried as adults who have served 15 years or more of their sentences, the Times said.

Under the new laws, more than 1,000 prisoners currently in the California prison system are eligible for parole hearings.
http://books.rodmangoode.net

FBI to probe police shooting death of 13 year old boy

Andy Lopez
The FBI is going to conduct its own investigation into the death of a 13-year-old who was shot after police mistook the boy's pellet gun for an assault rifle, the Sonoma County Sherriff said today.
"The Sheriff will cooperate fully with the FBI and welcomes their participation," the Sheriff's office said in a statement. "The Sheriff also wants to express his thankfulness to the community for how peaceful and respectful the memorials and protests have been in the aftermath of this incident."
Andy Lopez's death Tuesday has triggered outrage and grief among hundreds of residents of Santa Rosa, Calif., who marched three miles Wednesday night from Santa Rosa City Hall to the field where Lopez was shot.
Hundreds more attended a vigil Thursday night, while more than 100 middle and high school students, among them Lopez's friends, marched to the Sherriff's Office on Friday chanting, "No justice, no peace!" and waving banners.
"Andy was my friend. We had to do this for him," Steven Morrison Jr., a middle school student told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco.
"I don't know what happened to those cops, but that was wrong," said another middle school student, Jamie Cutforth.
At around 3:14 on Tuesday afternoon, two deputies riding in a marked patrol vehicle noticed Lopez holding a pellet gun that bore striking resemblance to an AK-47 assault rifle, replete with black body, ammunition magazine and brown butt and grip.
Santa Rosa police said Lopez, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, had his back turned toward the officers and they did not realize he was a boy. The deputy twice ordered the Lopez to "drop the gun," but said he instead raised and pointed it in their direction.
Officers fired several rounds from their handguns at Lopez, who fell to the ground, landing on top of the rifle, a police statement said. He was not moving when the officers placed handcuffs on him, and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Deputies also found a plastic hand gun in the boy's waistband when they searched him, the Sonoma Sherriff's office said in a statement. The release also contained a picture of the replica assault weapon.
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