Pick Wayne's Brain

July 27, 2013

The Acerebralists™ Are Still Among Us


I own a great book (thank you, Jane) called “The Superior Person’s Book of Words”, by Peter Bowler (1985). It’s very funny and has definitions (or explanations) of a bunch of great and, almost always, actual words that describe things perfectly. Not quite Ambrose Bierce, but chosen to effect an air of superiority when the occasion calls for it. Words like

CONTRADISTINCTION n. Why say “in contrast with” when you can say “in contradistinction to”?

There’s another great entry for

EREPTION n. Snatching away. Do not confuse with EREPTATION (creeping forth). Snuggling up to your beloved at the drive-in, you say, “I sense an ereption coming on,” and suddenly snatch the M&Ms from her lap. If it transpires that she has put the M&Ms somewhere else, you will be compelled to perform an ereptation.

The whole book is like that. It’s great. On the back cover can be found this:

ACEREBRAL a.Without a brain. A word for which there would at first sight appear to be no use, since no entity to which there would be any point in applying the term could in fact possess this attribute. (There would be no point in speaking of an acerebral windowsill.) However, recent researches into the central nervous system of the wire-haired terrier have conclusively demonstrated the need for such a word.

I then (technically improperly, I think) applied a suffix to indicate a person who practices or is concerned with something (“-ist”), and came up with

ACEREBRALIST™ n. A person who (more…)

March 25, 2012

It’s Time To Talk About Our Guns

On Feb 26,2012, in Sanford, Florida, 17-year-old, 140-pound, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by 28-year-old, 250-pound George Zimmerman. Zimmerman has said that it was a case of self-defense. Despite the many facts that have come to light since the shooting, Zimmerman remains a free man, who hasn’t yet been arrested. The Sanford Police report also raises some questions on its own, such as why less than one minute elapsed from the time 9-1-1 was called until the time the police arrived to find Trayvon Martin face down and dead. If accurate, it would mean that George Zimmerman could not wait one single minute from the time he was told they did not need him to follow Trayvon until the time he killed him. [NOTE: Many people have brought up the racial aspects of this case, but since race has nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion I am having here, I have intentionally left those aspects out. I completely agree that had Zimmerman been black and his victim a 17-year-old white male, he would have been arrested immediately. But let’s save the racial aspects for another discussion.]

Although Zimmerman’s lawyer has said his client would not be invoking it, at the middle of this controversy is a law known colloquially as the “Stand Your Ground Law.” It says, in essence, that if you reasonably believe your life is in danger, you can use deadly force to defend yourself. The law was modeled on laws designed and written by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group of legislators and corporations that propose bills to be passed by the states. Believe me when I say they are not acting in your best interests. They are dangerous, and the laws they’ve helped pass have put innocent people in danger. They must be exposed and dealt with, but for now we as a nation must once and for all settle this matter of what the true meaning and intent of the Second Amendment is, and what role guns should have in our Society.

For the record, and so that there is no misunderstanding about the topic (more…)

December 6, 2010

The Cut That Isn’t a Cut

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 10:20 PM

As you may have heard, President Barack Obama and the Republicans (who, oddly enough, are not, technically, in power yet), have struck a deal extending the Bush Tax Cuts For The Wealthy (their official name) for another two years. In return for these tax “cuts”, the Republicans have agreed to extend unemployment benefits for currently unemployed people for another thirteen months along with a few other helpful things for the poor. The stage has been set to make this a campaign issue for 2012. Do you support extending tax “cuts” for millionaires and billionaires who don’t need them? Or do you finally agree that rich people do not use their tax savings to create jobs? But is anybody really going to be paying less in taxes because of this? Not necessarily.

In Washington, DC, and only in Washington, DC, a “cut” is merely a (more…)

October 22, 2010

I’m In a MoveOn.Org TV Ad For John Hall

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 5:47 PM

This ad is NOT paid for by the (more…)

May 16, 2008

Bush In a Bubble

Filed under: Parody — Tags: , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 10:38 PM

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What will it take for Congress to do something about Bush? The constant bald-faced lies, about, quite literally, everything. The constant effort on the part of his administration to frighten the citizens of this country (and elsewhere), to intimidate those who object to their policies, and to hunt down and destroy anyone who dares tell the truth about what is really going on behind the scenes. The constant destruction of our country’s good name overseas due to a foreign policy of “Do what we say, or else.” And the constant deterioriation of our Constitution, the very framework for what makes our country so great not only in the eyes of the rest of the world, but historically as well. But if you think the Constitution means nothing to Bush and Cheney, imagine how little it means to the members of Congress who raised their hands and took an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. They’ve stood by and let him do it all with impunity. Not only have they not done anything, but, collectively, they haven’t even tried. Their excuse is that we didn’t send enough Democrats to Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney, so they didn’t bother to try. They say they want to use Republican corruption as a campaign issue in ’08. This is a stupid and time-wasting ploy. They would have an even better campaign issue if they got every Republican in Congress to stand up say that what Bush and Cheney have done to our Constitution was far less of a threat than what Bill Clinton did. But no, they wouldn’t even try.
Here is a song called “Bush In a Bubble”, based on lead song of Paul Simon’s fantastic Graceland album, “The Boy in the Bubble”. I hope you enjoy it.
Bush In a Bubble
Based on “The Boy in the Bubble” by Paul Simon
Words by Paul Simon, Music by Paul Simon and Forere Motlobeloa
Additional Lyrics Wayne A. Schneider, 2008

It was a slow day and the truth was fleeting
To reporters on the side of the show
There was a bright lie, a shattering of principles
The boss at the TV station was tired of talk radio

These are the days of presidents who plunder
This is a long wake-up call
The way the media follows it is so slow
The way it looks to us all
The way we look to a tattered Constitution
That’s dying from accumulated lies
These are the days of presidents who plunder
But don’t try, Congress, don’t try, don’t try

(more…)

April 29, 2008

What Is It Going To Take, John Hall?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 10:01 PM

I’ve told you every time I’ve met you, Congressman John Hall (D, NY-19), that I wanted you and the Democrats to put an end to the war in Iraq and to hold President Bush and Vice President Cheney accountable for their many, many, many, many (and very many more) violations both of law, and of their constitutional oaths to “faithfully execute the office” they were each about to enter. Neither of these men has done anything “faithfully” since they took office. I thought you understood that! You looked me in the eye and agreed with me that they were awful in their disregard for the law. And you dared to foist upon me your lame excuse, when we met again this past Saturday, about why our troops are still in Iraq and Bush and Cheney are still running around free. You actually tried to tell me that it was our fault, the voters, that you “couldn’t” do anything about Bush and Cheney, because we didn’t send enough of you Democrats to Congress. Well, John, that is bull-fucking-shit, and you know it! (more…)

April 26, 2008

Congress Critter On My Corner

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 12:21 PM

Today, as part of his ongoing “Congress On Your Corner” program, my US Representative, John Hall (D, NY-19), was at our local post office to listen to constituent views and help people who need the help of their Congressman. I was willing to wait until he had helped all of the people who actually needed their congressman’s help, but one of the people helping him out insisted that I get in line to speak to him. So I did. And I have to say I was thoroughly dissatisfied with his responses.

I reminded him that when I met him two years ago, I told him that the two most important things to me were ending the war in Iraq, and holding the president and vice president accountable for their many violations of the constitution. And while I appreciate all that he has done, I was disappointed that he and his fellow Democrats have failed to do those two things. His reply, to both of these issues, was, essentially, that the Democrats didn’t have enough votes. That’s (more…)

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