Will.Whim

A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Monthly Archives: September 2004

Flubbed his dub (an ubdate)

I was at a bookstore yesterday, and came across an American slang dictionary. “Flub the dub” was included, meaning to make a mistake. Google gives more results, including translations of American slang into Korean and Russian.

Via Yahoo Search: Flub-a-dub was a cast member on Howdy Doody. Flubadubya is a screen name on the Democratic Underground. And, finally, it even shows up in the Bible.

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Too cool zipcode map

Use the zoom! (via Anil Dash)

"Flubbed his dub"

I was listening to Johnny Cash’s version of “In the Jailhouse Now,” which has the line:

Well Old Bill really flubbed his dub when he wore a tuxedo to the country club.

I did a quick search for “flubbed his dub” on Google, and only this Hindu Unity rant came back. You can find “flub your dub” a couple of times, including this bluegrass song. I assume that ‘flub (your) dub” means make a big mistake; but how did this Southernism get to India?

Merriam-Webster Online gives this definition of “dub” (among others, of course):

to trim or remove the comb and wattles of.

(Here’s a Mudcat cafe discussion of various lyrics for “In the Jailhouse Now”).

I don’t think I’ll need to talk about wattle-trimming, but I think I might start saying, “don’t flub your dub.”

Political discourse and the destruction of political activity

An amazingly cogent rant by Mark Liberman on the current political discourse, which centers on impossible to recall events of decades ago instead of the real issues:

We have free speech in this country, and access to a magnificently flexible and expressive language. This power of linguistic expression, granted to our species alone it would seem, is strong magic. We must be very careful what we do with it. This descent into slander and false memory recovery and document forgery and history denial and mutual accusations of cowardice and treachery is not the free discussion of political matters that the authors of the First Amendment envisaged for us. It is not political activity at all; it is the destruction of political activity.

Petals around the rose

A cool puzzle: Petals around the rose. It told me I understood the puzzle after 16 turns (I started guessing correctly on the 10th turn). (Via BoingBoing).

Check 21

Why haven’t we heard more about this? It’s a significantly different law about how personal checks are processed in the US. Here’s the Federal Reserve Bank’s page on Check 21. Tips from Consumers Union.

Duelfer report on WMD

On Thursday, the US briefed reporters on a draft report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Although it states that Iraq clearly intended to produce WMD at some point, no significant evidence of WMDs have been found. This is very significant because:

  • The US went to war in Iraq citing the immediate danger of Iraq’s WMD program.
  • The UN inspection program in Iraq argued that WMDs were very unlikely.
  • The UN inspection program was actively monitoring possible WMD sites in Iraq.
  • At this point, more than 1000 US solders have died in Iraq, to say nothing of thousands of Iraqi citizens.

Either Bush was lying about the justification for going to war, or he was mislead by his subordinates, or he and his subordinates were incompetent. In any case, it is clear that Bush is not fit to continue to be the president of the US. Charles Hanley of the Associated Press quotes Hans Blix: “There was a very consistent creation of a virtual reality” by the US officials, “and eventually it collided with our old-fashioned, ordinary reality.”

Bush and Kerry's WW II Records

Nice big robot

Jason Kottke has a picture of a 40-foot robot in Times Square.

Nader in Kalamazoo

Ralph Nader visited Kalamazoo today. Among other things, he tolld the audience (according to the Kalamazoo Gazette article) to”vote your conscience.” And, in general, this seems like a reasonable thing to say. But, of course, Nader is only on the ballot in Michigan because the Republican Party passed out petitions for him, because they hope (and not unreasonably so) that this will draw votes away from Kerry. My conscience says not to vote for people who cannot attract enough workers to get on the ballot. Not enough people learned the lessons of the 2004 election.

I talked to a dear relative of mine tonight, who’s upset that the teapot tempest concerning the possible forgery of memos concerning Bush’s military career is focusing on whether the memos were forged rather than what actually happened during these years. I personally find it interesting that the real issues of Bush’s first term of office, and which administration would be better for the US in the coming years, are not being discussed. My dear relative does like Edwards though: he seems nice and talks well.