Lugubrious

April 9, 2006 at 3:57 pm (Uncategorized)

Remember how offended at least one SJ blog reader got over this photo? I can't remember who it was. Frankly, I like naked Santa. I enclose it  here for the enjoyment of those who already read the following column in the print version, or who don't care to read it at all. santa1.gifJust look at Santa. And remember: he knows when you've been naughty.  

*** 

I have this friend who’s always getting on my case because I never use his favorite words in news stories. The problem is, my friend drinks a lot and he tends to enjoy words that sort of drip like syrup from the lips.
“If you were any kind of writer,” the drunken vocabulist will slur at me, his breath smelling a lot like the city of Milwuakee. “You would use the word ‘lugubrious’ now and then. What kind of hack doesn’t use the word ‘lugubrious?’”
As words go, lugubrious is a beauty. It is used to describe those things that are excessively gloomy or glum. Those of you who know me know that I completely enjoy things that are gloomy or glum. In fact, I’ve used my friend’s coveted word a time or two in fiction. Generally though, it’s easier to say gloomy or glum, somber or bleak.
Strangely, my editors are with me on this one. (My, what a strange sentence that was to write). Newspaper editors generally frown on any word that isn’t among those commonly used by the average reader. Try indulging in any form of sesquipidality and those word slayers will have their fingers on the delete button faster than you can say hypercatalexis.
To be fair, I tested out this proposed word on the street. I waited until there was nastiness downtown and then wandered up to a witness.
“Excuse me, sir? You saw what happened. Was the scene lugubrious at all?”
“Don’t make me cut you, man.”
So, you’ll likely never see the term ‘lugubrious’ in one of my news stories no matter how aptly it describes the mood. I tried explaining this to my staggering, wordsmith friend, and he’s been disconsolate since.
There are lots of things I am unable to sneak into a news story. A few years ago, I wrote several pieces about a priest who was convicted of murdering a man and woman from his congregation. In what I thought was a morbid twist, it was revealed that the holy man had performed the wedding ceremony for the pair years before he slew them.
I wrote that particular detail thusly: “In a ghastly irony, friends say the church leader married the couple just months before beating them to death.”
It was trouble for the start. An editor hailed me over moments after opening the story to give it a read through. (Editors typically hail reporters over by emitting a pungent scent and a high, screeching sound that can only be heard by journalists).
“Does this really qualify as a ghastly irony?” the editor wanted to know. “I mean, define ghastly.”
Normally I don’t argue with editors, lest I get eaten. In this case, I was very fond of the term “ghastly irony” and I wanted it used. So I got my hands on a dictionary and looked it up. The definition was something like: “inspiring shock or revulsion: see, editor.”
It was my firm belief that a priest murdering a pair of worshippers he had married just months before qualified as a ghastly irony. The editors somewhat disagreed.
“I mean, define irony…”
And so the description was hacked from the story. Future attempts to incorporate “ghastly irony” likewise failed. Now I think they have a blocker built into the computer software to catch any attempts to use those words in that order. And the phrase was yanked with particular swiftness when I tried to describe a fuel leak as a “gas leak irony.”
Reporters occasionally become tired of the formulaic style of writing news. Occasionally, they try to flower up their writing by using words that are nine-inches long or by injecting superfluous detail into a story.
“On an evening that was crisp and clear, despite the low hanging haze from the mills next to the canal, which flowed dreamily across the city, as they have since the mid-1800’s, when Lewiston was a thriving, industrial city, two cars collided just after sundown.”
Surely you see the problem with this. Although the reader may enjoy the visual tone set by the writer, he will have fallen asleep by the time the actual news is introduced.
A wise editor once told me to employ what he referred to, in the grip of his dawning madness, the Bus Stop Lead. This involves imagining yourself standing on the street while a bus is pulling away. A friend on the bus leans out the window and asks you what happened at the fire, crash, shooting, naked mud fight, etc. And you have to choose words that will relate the story before the bus pulls away.
It’s a great literary tool for journalists. Unfortunately, every time I try to use it, I end up shouting: “You’re on the wrong bus, moron!” instead of writing my story.
So, my lugubrious friend will keep bugging me about his pet word, and I’ll keep explaining why editors will never allow me to use it. The whole situation is just entirely labrynthine.

Mark LaFlamme is the Sun Journal crime reporter. He is the author of the recently published novel "The Pink Room."

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79 Comments

  1. A.O. said,

    I think the guy’s name was Albert. He thought we were all pornographic. Ha. Wonder if he’s lurking in the background somewhere.

  2. Mainetarr said,

    I think you should use the word asshat more. Gil introduced me to that one and I have used it quite a bit lately. Asshat. Has a nice ring to it.

    Bulldog taught me a nifty word to use to call a female who is particularly bitchy. It’s a Tnuc. Pronounced Ta-nuck. Notice tnuc spelled backwards. I say it with a French accent and no one, except those I have clued in, know what I am talking about.

    The last word is Bastard. Mark taught me the proper context to use that one in. I still giggle sometimes when I use it. I have caught the reseptionist in my office muttering it under her breath, and that makes me giggle too.

    K2, you feeling any better? Chris is still sick and I seriously think he gave it to Bailey. Both of them are lethargic and dragging their asses all over the house. That, plus the fact that we have been watching the masters all day, makes my house very lugubrious today.

  3. A.O. said,

    I love the term “asshat”.

  4. Linda said,

    That sure is some Santa! Anyone we know? He doesn’t look the slightest bit lugubrious.

    I on the other hand just came back from 5 hours in the emergency room with my husband. Blood clots in his leg. That sure was lugubrious as hell. Not to mention this means more dog walking and taking care of myself and my husband and the house, as well as a major project at work. Usually my husband totally takes care of me. Oh well, what can you do but suck it up?

  5. A.O. said,

    Wow. Linda, sounds like you and your husband have had quite the lugubrious day. I’m so sorry. What DID he do to his leg? It must have been pretty bad, whatever it was, to cause blood clotting. Hope he’s up and around soon.

  6. Gil said,

    Just remember Mark, always, always, without fail, whatever you do when writing an article, don’t forget to

  7. Linda said,

    Thanks, A.O. It’s a “chronic condition,” don’t you hate the sound of that? We’ve been down this road before, it’s just more of the same ghastly irony. (Mark’s editor must be nuts — that phrase just r-r-rolls off the tongue.) He’ll most likely be running his usual four miles in a month or maybe even less.

  8. "The Weasel" said,

    laughing my ass off………………

  9. A.O. said,

    Hope he is running his usual four (gasp!) miles soon. I know what it’s like to have to care for an injured husband. (SOB)

    Weasel…glad you stopped by. Hope it wasn’t too lugubrious for you. 🙂 Let me know when you’re ready for that pizza.

  10. Gil said,

    eschew obfuscation

  11. Linda said,

    I was wondering how you’d finish that sentence, Gil.

  12. LaFlamme said,

    Wow. A Sunday Weasel sighting. How serenipitous.

  13. Gil said,

    Using prodigious terms may make you appear to be vainglorious, but in fact the use of hyper-linguistic polysyllabic speech only shows the enormity and breadth of one’s intellect. In fact you should alert your editor that sesquipedalian orators are a cause for celebratory congratulations and not someone to be dismissively ignored. Or something like that.

  14. LaFlamme said,

    Sounds absolutely right. The only question I have is: what?

  15. dumbledore said,

    “…Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”

  16. LaFlamme said,

    Exactly, Dumbledore. Exactly.

  17. Linda said,

    Anyone else get odd messages from the blog last night? “Please try again in a few minutes. We are restarting.” Something like that.

    Have a nice day!

  18. Mainetarr said,

    What about all the immigrants rallying? How about we all go to Mexico, shit on thier government, expect free medical care, welfare, housing, food stamps, fly the Mexican flag upside down beneath the USA flag and demand to become residents of Mexico. How long do you think it will be before we are thrown into a Mexican prison? I am watching the news and cannot believe all of the crap I am seeing. Don’t take me wrong, immigration is not a BAD thing, necessarily, it’s the illegal immigration that pisses me off. Sorry, had to vent. I don’t go to the Sun Urinal and Our View anymore, so I need to vent every once in a while. I was just looking at the amount of taxes taken out of my paycheck and thinking about my doubling property taxes. That, combined with the lovely price of gas, which also has a hefty tax on it, just gets me angrier by the minute. There I was, Saturday, filling up my tank at BJ’s, watching a Somilian woman pumping gas into her new PT Cruiser. She had about 10 kids in there and was “pregnant out to there” with the next one. Her husband, that lazy bastard, sat in the passenger seat smoking a cigarette chatting on a cell phone while she pumped gas. I wanted to go over there and smack him. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! And while I am rambling on, one more point. There are too many people in this state on friggen welfare. Get off your lazy asses and get a friggen job. I am TIRED of supporting your asses. Unless you are physically or mentally disabled, get off your ass and start flipping burgers if thats what it takes to make ends meet. This is bullshit. BULLSHIT!!! Why can I, with no college education, find a very good paying job, get up and go to work every day since I was 16 to pay taxes to support their asses?!?!?!?!? Am I crazy on this point? Am I asking for too much here? Treehugger, where the hell are you? I KNOW you are with me on this one. Since when did Maine become the land of entitlement?

  19. K2 said,

    Well, at least caudopuboishiofibialis didn’t get mentioned. Mud puppy anatomy never gets talked about these days. It’s just not fair.

    MT, I am near death. This cold is really Ebola — on the inside. Your husband and I should be put in a hospice. And my kids are crushed too. It’s been a fun few past days, let me tell you. “Please, Sister Morphine. . . .”

    How about Phil winning the Masters? Boy, if Tiger and Freddy could have putted, it would have been a tight finish. I like Phil, but, man, does his hair look greasy these days. Lay off the mayo treatment, Lefty.

    And wow is WordPress slow this morning.

  20. K2 said,

    How come caudopuboischiofibialis didn’t get mentioned? Mud puppy anatomy never gets talked about these days. It’s just not fair.

    MT, I am near death. This cold is really Ebola — on the inside. Your husband and I should be put in a hospice. And my kids are crushed too. It’s been a fun few past days, let me tell you. “Please, Sister Morphine. . . .”

    How about Phil winning the Masters? Boy, if Tiger and Freddy could have putted, it would have been a tight finish. I like Phil, but, man, does his hair look greasy these days. Lay off the mayo treatment, Lefty.

    And wow is WordPress slow this morning. I timed out twice trying to post this crap.

  21. K2 said,

    I’m repeating myself, I’m repeating myself. (No I’m not, no I’m not.)

  22. Bulldog said,

    K2, you’re talking to yourself again…

  23. Bobbie said,

    Whatever it was either has beenf ixed or your provider was having a problem, K2. Either that or I’m just special because my posts went thru without a problem.

  24. Gil said,

    Right on MT!! Preach it sister! Funny how when you rant about this no one calls you a cantankerous curmudgeon. I guess that just applied to me.

  25. K2 said,

    Gil, you lookin’ for a scrap or somepin’?

    It’s a hot-button issue, immigration. I actually thought your buddy Charles Krauthammer had a good point the other day when he said we should legalize the 11 million in house, since deportation of ’em is simply not economically or logistically feasible; and at the same time, build one big motherfucking fence on our southern boarder, tighten the northern border, and work adamantly to only allow legal immigration through the proper channels.

    How was that, my utpoian anarchistic friend?

  26. Robert said,

    Well, my vocab is short but I do like Tnuc….and speaking of backwards…Tupac spelled backwards is Caput…seems appropriate!I

  27. K2 said,

    Bulldog, yes, the problem self-reconciled.

    Robert Redrum?!?

  28. Bulldog said,

    Yea, I like Tnuc too. I use it constantly since I hate hearibg or saying the word backwards. And, as MT said, when you say it with a french accident la, it sound jes like a swear word in francais.

  29. K2 said,

    I mean, Bobbie.

  30. Mainetarr said,

    I was having a mental breakdown over this earlier this morning, and I just can’t bring myself to go back to the Sun Urinal again. I feel much better now. And K2, I want you to know, that just because you stay at home, this was not directed at you in the least. Nor for any stay at home mom’s and dad’s who are not abusing the system. If one person can support the entire family and one parent can stay home, more power to you. It will show in the way your kids behave. But when you sit home on your ass and collect a check, that really pisses me off.

    K2-I bet you are near death, Chris was deathly, borderline ER visit, all weekend. He is just finally starting to come around. I got him some liquid Tylenol for cold/flu and it seemed to break up his wicked dry cough. Luckily, he kept pumping the juice and fluids and is finally coming around some. Even Bailey was lethargic yesterday. Nasty little virus going around.

  31. K2 said,

    Well, Mainetarr, I do sit on my ass and collect a check — my wife’s!

    No, I didn’t see your post insulting me at all. Frankly, I think a lot of the grief I get for being a stay-at-home dad is from people who are jealous. I have no boss and no office politics, and I raise my kids, developing bonds with them that will pay off in spades down the road.

    Sure, I’m knee-deep in diapers, vomit and snot, but what doesn’t make you go insane only makes you crazier.

    And I hope Bailey feels better. Give her a dollop of peanut butter for me.

  32. Robert said,

    Mainetarr,

    Glad I’m not the only one having a breakdown over the LSJ this morning…read the paper with my morning bagel and there was an editorial saying exactly what I’ve been saying for 5 years – combine the two cites into one learger city known as Great Falls Maine (even the same name I’ve pondered aloud many time) Finally I thought, someone gets it, I have a brother in arms in my cry…and then it hit me…the author was Charles Soule…who says you can never go home….I could never live with being linked to that fine outstanding gentleman….

    and then I came to work and asked my magic roulettte wheel what kind of day it was going to be, it replied “fire someone”…so off looking for fresh blood now…

  33. Gil said,

    My new blog is up and this (illegal immigration) is the first topic. Give it a read and let me know what you think.
    http://churchofpainfultruth.blogspot.com

  34. K2 said,

    Jesus! Gil, you look like a reasonable person in the photo. But the image is rather blurred, like your ‘facts.’

    I thought you were older. Or that Grecian Formula is the shit.

    Now ante up, bitch, ’cause here come the cards. . . .

  35. Gil said,

    Sorry about the photo, it was the only one I could find. And don’t let it fool ya, there’s plenty of gray in there.

  36. Bobbie said,

    Gil,
    You look vaguely familiar to me. Now it’s going to bug me until I figure out if I truly know you or you look like someone else that I know.

    Checked out your site just now. You did a good job and brought up some valid points.

    You sound a bit like my father when you said that you were an asshole at times. He always told you up front that he was an asshole and that if you had a problem with it, it was yours to deal with because he didn’t have a problem with it. No offense intended with that remark. I’ll have to keep checking it out to see what you have to say in the future.

  37. Bobbie said,

    Don’t worry about confusing me with Bulldog, K2. Couldn’t think of a better person to be mistaken for than her.

  38. Mainetarr said,

    Gil, you shit, I just read your blog and wrote a great big long response to it and then it wouldn’t let me post. I think you did a great job and I have put it under my favorites. I will check it out often.

  39. Mainetarr said,

    Gil, you shit, I just read your blog and wrote a great big long response to it and then it wouldn’t let me post. I think you did a great job and I have put it under my favorites. I will check it out often. Send me your e-mail address via Mark.

  40. Bulldog said,

    Gil, you remind me of my husband. When I first met him, he told me he was an asshole and I laughed. Well, he wasn’t lying. He can be an asshole but alas, I am the queen bitch. So, we cancel each other out.

    Your blog is quite interesting. Many points you made are right on the money. Like MT, I have placed it in my favorites (although that is kind of an oxy-moron, since my bill paying links are in my favorites and Lord knows, that’s nothing of a favorite of mine). Sorry, I’m babbling. I will visit it (PS- you also look familiar to me)

    and Bobbie, thank you for your compliment… hugs and kisses

  41. Robert said,

    Gil,

    Nice job on the new blog. There is one point that everyone passes over that should be considered…its the argument that illegals take jobs no one else wants..which is such bunk…

    Lets think about this, if I can get no illegals to clean my house for $10.00 a day then I have to pay more money or do it myself, right? So if there are no illegals then the jobs no one wants will either be increased in wages, eliminated for nonessential jobs or technology will find a way to do it cheaper. Back in 19966 this country had the first real immigration reform and as a result many farmers could not rely on cheap labor, so Texas put more moneyinto the A & M (thats Agricultural and Mechanical for Dan) and produced equipment such as harvesting techniques and tools to reduce the manpower and increase productivity.

    Buts its us shallow uncaring racist republicans who say we don’t want illegals, which doesn’t make sense because the democrats would have you beleives its only republicans who would stoop to this kind of cheap labor practice. It has nothing to do with seeing this country starting a turn to more conservative roots and trying to find a new electoral base to support them….yeah thats the ticket!

  42. LaFlamme said,

    100 Years Ago, 1906 from the Sun Journal
    The visit of the Barnum and Bailey circus to this city will be notable for several reasons. Not least of these is the fact that this will be the first visit of the Barnum & Bailey show without a preliminary parade.
    W. D. Coxey one of the agents of the big circus arrived in Lewiston yesterday, and last evening was interviewed by The Sun, regarding this innovation, Mr. Coxey said:
    “Dispite the most LUGUBRIOUS prophecies of failure the elimination of the parade has proved a great success. As the Manager, announces, the ‘Barnum and Bailey circus is literally too big to give a parade. The public has accepted this statement in good faith, and never in its history has the show drawn larger or more enthusiastic crowds.'”

  43. Mainetarr said,

    I think the circus sucks. Clowns, too. They suck worse. You know what sucks the most? Birds.

  44. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah, birds suck. Also, kittens.

  45. A.O. said,

    I agree. The circus does suck. Birds..they’re only okay…outside. But, you want to know what sucks even more? Bats.

  46. LaFlamme said,

    Gotta disagree with you there. Bats are glorious. I have one hanging from a shelf just to my right.

  47. A.O. said,

    Not when they’re flying around the inside of your house. Nothing glorious there. I’ll call you the next time I get one.

  48. K2 said,

    I thought Gil was a tad gradiloquent on his site, but it was set up well. It is a church though, spewing ‘truth’ as actual truth. Or, as Stephen Colbert would call it, ‘Truthiness.’

    Here’s some actual truth: Merck now has a vaccine for human papillomavirus, the primary cause of cervical canver, which kills 5,000 American women, and hundreds of thousands in the rest of the world, every year. Problem is, while HPV is the most commonly transmitted STD around, our Evangelical president and his Evangelically controlled FDA and NIH — who preach (with federal dollars) abstinence only, and see HPV rates as an indicator of sinful promiscuity — don’t want a vaccine that makes premarital sex safer. Thus, the vaccine will not be approved by the FDA with Bush in office, because Bush & Co. would rather see women die of cervical cancer than let them have safer premarital sex.

    If an HIV vaccine is developed in the next three years (a distinct possiblity), it too will be shleved for the same reasons listed above.

    And the administration’s stance on condoms is same, too. Better to have people suffer STDs from sinful sex than to protect people who are merely doing what all vertebrates are gentically programmed to do — fuck, and fuck wildly.

    Okay, I’ll get off my soap box, but you started it, Gil!

  49. K2 said,

    And yes, MT, clowns do suck. All of ’em. Red-nosed shits.

    Bats are flying mammals and birds are flying lizards. I dig ’em both. So there.

    Kittens? They turn into cats. Very bad. And cat pee is worse than nuclear fallout.

  50. LaFlamme said,

    Wow. A poll on clowns may be in order. I dated a girl who was seriously phobic about the things. Of course, I was still immature enough back then to exploit the fear as often as possible. Is it any wonder I didn’t get none?

  51. K2 said,

    What? Dog-shaped balloons?

    Gacey ruined it for everyone.

  52. LaFlamme said,

    Gacey. What a freak. His clown paintings are selling for thousands. What was the final dead count in his sub-basement, anyway?

  53. A.O. said,

    I just looked it up. 29 were buried in his crawl space but, he murdered 33 in all. John Gacy “Killer Clown”. Freak.

  54. LaFlamme said,

    Played to perfection by Brian Dennehy in “To Catch a Killer.”

  55. LaFlamme said,

    But enough of this iambic penatameter.

  56. Bobbie said,

    As far as the HPV virus goes, who I really feel sorry for is the new wife/partner of someone whose previous wife/partner developed cervical cancer, say between kids, and didn’t know that it could be spread until the new wife/partner developed symptoms. That would be a cause for some interesting talks later.

  57. K2 said,

    Bobbie, from what I read, half of all women have a form of HPV, since there are 100 different strains of it. Two strains cause cervical cancer, and another two cause genital warts. *barf* The vaccine I ranted about is target specific to those four stains, since the other 96 are essentially harmless.

  58. Mainetarr said,

    A man who just died is delivered to the mortuary wearing an expensive,
    expertly tailored black suit. The mortician asks the deceased’s wife how she
    would like the body dressed. He points out that the man does look good in
    the black suit he is already wearing. The widow, however, says that she
    always thought her husband looked his best in blue, and that she wants him
    in a blue suit. She gives the mortician a blank check and says, “I don’t
    care what it costs, but please have my husband in a blue suit for the
    viewing.”

    The woman returns the next day for the wake. To her delight, she finds her
    husband dressed in a gorgeous blue suit with a subtle chalk stripe; the suit
    fits him perfectly.

    She says to the mortician, “Whatever this cost, I’m very satisfied. You did
    an excellent job and I’m very grateful. How much did you spend?” To her
    astonishment, the mortician presents her with the blank check.

    There’s no charge,” he says. “No, really, I must compensate you for the cost
    of that exquisite blue suit!” she says. “Honestly, ma’am,” the mortician
    says, “it cost nothing. You see, a deceased gentleman of about your
    husband’s size was brought in shortly after you left yesterday, and he was
    wearing an attractive blue suit. I asked his wife if she minded him
    going to his grave wearing a black suit instead, and she said it made no
    difference as long as he looked nice.

    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *

    So I switched the heads.”

  59. Mainetarr said,

    Sorry, that was just too damn funny not to post. I know it was off topic and I sent it in e-mail to most of you, but I don’t have Arby, Linda and Gil’s e-mail address and I almost peed my pants when I read that one. Ok, ok, back to the subject at hand………

  60. A.O. said,

    MT!! That’s older than the hills! Where you been, girl?

  61. Linda said,

    You are too much! I actually never heard it before and it made me laugh right out loud. Good one …

  62. Bobbie said,

    I liked the snoring one.

  63. brenda said,

    me too, bobbie!

  64. brenda said,

    just how much of your food do you think wasn’t handled by an immigrant? How many things you use every day that an immigrant worked on?
    Are you willing to pay the higher prices that would happen if they weren’t here?

    Mexicans aren’t terorists, are not dangerous.
    They are going out in the streets to show you that they do exist, because you don’t see them, You use their labor and save money, but don’t see the human beings who make it possible..

  65. Gil said,

    “but you started it, Gil!”
    I’m not sure how I started this but OK, K2. Ding ding, school’s in.
    K2 has shown himself to be a tad inerudite with his post attacking me. I believe the word you wanted was “grandiloquent”. Next time use a dictionary.
    As for your so-called truth, if that passes for truth then we are in trouble.
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=22620
    This link will take you to the article detailing the tests and results of Merck’s HPV vaccine. As you will note on this site, they are still in the planning phase of a part 3 trial, and have yet to announce that it is being presented to the FDA for approval. However, this link;
    http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=36449
    will take you to a Glaxo-Smith-Kline report on the development of their vaccine, where they announce that they are going to present their vaccine to the FDA in the second half of this year. Interesting how neither company has yet to present their vaccine for approval, and yet asshats such as K2 already know the outcome.
    “because Bush & Co. would rather see women die of cervical cancer than let them have safer premarital sex.”
    So now Bush is causing women to die a horrible death through cervical cancer rather then let them have premarital sex. I believe the word asshat was invented for those making dumbass statements such as that.
    More asshatedness (a new phrase I just made up)
    “And the administration’s stance on condoms is same, too”
    Do you get your “facts” from Dan’s playbook? I would really like to know where you dug up the fact that GWB and his administration now have a personal vendetta against condoms. I’ll wait.
    Perhaps a little selective abstinence, or at the least, more prudent condom usage, on the part of K2 Senior would have spared us the crap spewing out of little k2.

  66. Gil said,

    My apologies to everyone else on the blog, but I could not let k2’s rant go unanswered. And now we return you to our regularly scheduled program, ” Naked Santa gets his Christmas wish”.

  67. Linda said,

    I love a blog where there’s something for everyone.

  68. A.O. said,

    Sometimes it’s just fun to sit on the sidelines. Kind of like a good tennis match.

  69. brenda said,

    Gil: We must have them stop referring to these human beings as “ILLEGAL ALIENS” and call them by what they are: “Undocumented Workers”, and “Guest Workers”…
    Alien? They were not born in a flying saucer. & They were here first, but happened to be on the south side of the line drawn with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.. Look at US history & see who the criminals really were. US Gov’t didn’t even keep the Treaty Of Guadalupe Hidalgo that made the southwest border states America. It was signed in a state of drunkenness. The money promised in that treaty was never paid to Mexico. I mention it to point out that the idea of “Legal” & “Laws” is just a game we play, we make the laws up. If a person is born under a tree & no one writes it on paper, that person doesn’t exist? How can a person BE illegal?
    Anyway, I’ve seen that almost all the real work in some areas of the US are done by Mexicans, and I’ve seen employers hire a variety of ethnicities of laborers, and the only ones who could keep working all day in the heat & get the work done was the Mexicans. Maybe something about being able to survive in the desert, and seeing the cactus as food ( when stranded whites drink their urine thinking it’ll save them from dehydration/death and don’t even see the abundant cactus), maybe something about it, makes them strong….
    well, maybe this whole argument is our generations’ slavery dilemma and we don’t even acknowledge it.
    Slavery-
    considering certain humans as less human ,
    using the services & goods produced by those less human humans for less pay and lower living conditions,
    making laws & rules to keep the laborers from being defined as having rights, keeping them dependent and subservient,…….

    We want to buy products & services for as little money as possible, but we end up paying for it in other ways, collectively.

    ALL HUMAN BEINGS DESERVE HUMAN RIGHTS

  70. Gil said,

    Climb down off of that high horse Brenda. First I should tell you that I am Mexican. That said, the word “alien” is rightly used.
    “Owing political allegiance to another country or government; foreign: alien residents”
    That’s the first definition from dictionary. com, not the second or the last, the first. And the second definition in Webster’s. The word ILLEGAL applies because they are here ILLEGALLY! What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand? Should we revert our borders back to pre-industrial days? How about pre-Columbus? Why not Paleozoic, or Pre-Continental shift? How far back do we go to satisfy a liberal in their quest to make everyone happpy except for the AMERICANS who built, fought and died for this country?
    And give me break with this “They are all human” crap. Of course they are all human. No one has stood up on a podium and stated that the ILLEGAL ALIENS in this country were less than human, just less than legal. No one is saying that we should stop Immigration altogether, no one is speaking out against LEGAL imigrants or the work they do. What we want is enforcement of our borders and our laws. If someone wants to come here LEGALLY and work and be a viable and productive tax-paying citizen, who in their right mind would argue that? (And when I say we I mean WE –
    “A TIME poll conducted last week suggests broad support for a policy makeover. Of those surveyed, 82% said they believe the government is not doing enough to keep illegal immigrants out of the country, and a large majority (75%) would deny them government services such as health care and food stamps. Half (51%) said children who are here illegally shouldn’t be allowed to attend public schools”
    http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1179361,00.html)
    As for working in the heat, call me a spoiled Mexican, but I hate it. And the only relief we get from cactus’ is tequila.

  71. LaFlamme said,

    Ah, crap. Why does the good stuff happen while I’m away? Very vigorous debating going on here and I think that’s good. I’m not well versed in this particular topic, so I’m learning as we go. I am an empty vessel. Or some such shit.

  72. Mainetarr said,

    Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime, Brenda. Apologists for illegal immigration like to make it look like a victimless crime. But really, illegal immigration causes a ton harm to American citizens and legal immigrants, especially those in the most vulnerable areas of our population, like the poor, minorities, and children. Illegal immigration causes a huge drain on public funds, too. “The seminal study of the costs of immigration by the National Academy of Sciences found that the taxes paid by immigrants do not cover the cost of services received by them. We cannot provide high quality education, health care, and retirement security for our own people if we continue to bring in endless numbers of poor, unskilled immigrants. Additionally, job competition by waves of illegal immigrants willing to work at substandard wages and working conditions depresses the wages of American workers, hitting hardest at minority workers and those without high school degrees.
    Illegal immigration also contributes to the dramatic population growth overwhelming communities across America–crowding school classrooms and consuming already limited affordable housing.” That’s why there are limited numbers of LEGAL immigrants that are welcomed into this country. So that these things do not become a problem. What are we supposed to do, Brenda? Allow amnesty to those who are here illegally and say to hell with those trying to get here leagally?

    Have you even watched the news? These ILLEGAL immigrants are now claiming this is their country. You want to just sit by and watch this happen? They want US, legal, American born citizens to get out!! How can you defend this? You are making no sense.

  73. K2 said,

    GIl, you can’t even argue in good fun. But join you in puerile namecalling I shall not.

    You brought up politics the other day when I bashed chiropracters. Remember?

    You also put up the link to your right-wing nut-job blog and asked us to check it out. Remember?

    And I forgot the ‘n’ in ‘grandiloquent’? My oh my, you are the clever one.

    The HPV virus will not get approved by the FDA under Bush. If it does, I will recant all that I typed. All you neeed to do is look at the FDA’s scientific advisory board’s vote of 23 to 4 in favor of allowing Plan B (‘morning after pill), yet the FDA would/will not approve it. The admistration is against any drug that could, in its evangelically distorted eyes, lead to sexual disinhibition, because fear is the modus operandi of Bush & Co.

    The FIRST official act Bush did when he took office was eliminate all funding for any international family planning entity which distributed condoms. Also, several years ago, on the CDC’s website, the fact sheet on condoms was removed for a year and was replaced with a message denigrating condom usage. The CDC also removed a summary of studies that showed there was no increase in sexual activity among teenagers who had been taught about condoms.

    As for abstinece *chuckle, guffaw*, a recent study by Columbia and Yale found that 80% of teenagers who took abstinence pledges had sex before the end of the study — before marriage. Also, STD rates are identical to those who take the pledge versus those that don’t.

    At the 2004 International AIDS Conference, held in — you guessed it — Bangkok, DHHS prevented over 150 American scientists from attending under the guise of cost savings, when in reality, it was because the Conferences organizer would not allow the evangelist Franklin Graham from giving a speech promoting faith-based solutions to the AIDS epidemic.

    The reality you fail to recognize, Gil, is that science is about data, not politics. The Bush administration has gone out of its way to discredit solid data in the name of politics and religion.

    But, I’m wasting my time here. Science is anathema to you. Data that doesn’t mesh with your views is instantly discredited.

    And I loved how you stated on your blog that you admit when you’re wrong. I haven’t seen you admit to being wrong ONCE in the year+ I’ve argued with you. The same cannot be said for me. When I’m wrong, which I have been and will be again, I admit it, like a big K2.

  74. Gil said,

    Oh, I get it now. If I disagree with your “facts” then I must be a caveman-minded, religious whacko who doesn’t believe in science. If I use scientific dsts to back up my claims, then I am wrong. That’s an interesting mode of attack. Reminds me of someone (Dan), Now who could that be(Dan). You used the fact that Bush does not support giving cooondoms to children to support your asinine theory that Republicans want women to die a horriblr death rather than provide tham with a vaccine that would prevent the disease. When I call you on it, you in turn accuse me of being scientifically-challenged. So because you lied and stated your opinion as fact, and then i used actual facts to disprove it, I must be wrong. Must be nice living in your world.
    “Data that doesn’t mesh with your views is instantly discredited.”
    Again, that statement (Dan) reminds me of someone. I just can’t quite place it.
    “I haven’t seen you admit to being wrong ONCE in the year+ I’ve argued with you.”
    What does that tell you? Perhaps because I haven’t been wrong? Calm down, I’m only joking. I have admitted to being wrong, re-read the old posts from Our View. But then again, why would you let facts get in the way?

  75. K2 said,

    I thought I smelled enchiladas. . . .

    Kidding.

    Got data?

    And where did I lie? Not about condoms. They’re one big cover up. And the vaccine? I spoke in future tense — it WILL not be approved.

    I swear, Gil, on your death bed many, many moons from now, you’ll be murmering curses at Bubba, Shrillary and Dan as you pass into the unknown.

    (I do remember you admonishing me to not take this stuff too seriously. Maybe take your own advice?)

  76. Gil said,

    “And the vaccine? I spoke in future tense — it WILL not be approved.”
    “Problem is, while HPV is the most commonly transmitted STD around, our Evangelical president and his Evangelically controlled FDA and NIH — who preach (with federal dollars) abstinence only, and see HPV rates as an indicator of sinful promiscuity — don’t want a vaccine that makes premarital sex safer.”
    I don’t get the future tense reference. You stated as fact that because of GWB’s religion, there is no way they will approve any vaccine. Not as a hypothetical maybe, but as an absolute. That’s what I called you on.

  77. Gil said,

    i say good day to you sir. Off to work…..

  78. K2 said,

    Well, if it gets approved, I’m wrong. We have less than three years to find out.

    Yes, yes, I must run too. The children are playing with my compound mitre saw again. And no saftey goggles. Kids. . . .

  79. Robert said,

    Holy cow Brenda, just a couple points…is it legal or illegal to murder someone?

    I’d say its illegal – because there is a law that says so….same goes for your undocumented guest workers….by the same standard they are here illegally…go figure….and as far as being peaceful and non violent, go see the guy who got nailed on congress street yesterday, by someone in the pro immigration rally…yeah we need lots more of them here….we don’t like your right to free speech so we’ll just beat the crap out of you like we do in our country….hmmm

    Brenda also said…”well, maybe this whole argument is our generations’ slavery dilemma and we don’t even acknowledge it.”,,, If I did’nt know better I’d make a case that you were in favor of the way things are and based on your own argument that would mean you are in favor of slavery…think about it while you’re eating your words…

    Make it clear once and for all….no one is against immigration, but may are opposed to illegal immigrants being here and this country’s refusal to do anything about it.

    Economics lesson of the day….yes if the illegals were not doing the work it might cost more for what I get…but I question whether it would cost more for products and services or whether it would just mean the owner of those businesses would receive less profit by paying a fairer wage? Its all about supply and demand, we each choose what prodycts we want and how much we are willing to pay for them. Secondly, is it better to buy a tomato grown in the USA but picked by illegals or by a tomoto grown in Mexico and picked by Mexican citizens there? Worst case scenario I pay a little more
    for the tomato if its picked in the USA by a citizen or someone granted a work visa or permission to be in this country LEGALLY. If I pay for that item at a higher rate then it makes sense I have less money to spend on something else….and where would I save money because some of my dollars do not support free care and housing given to illegals….or the money I save because my insurance premiums go down as everyone is here and buying insurance on their vehicles (most undocumented’s do not buy ins and just walk away from the accident under a false name)….I could go on and on and on and on,,,you get the point…

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