April 20, 2010
I Don't Care Who You Are...
Police chased reporters away from the White House and closed Lafayette Park today in response to a gay rights protest in which several service members in full uniform handcuffed themselves to the White House gate to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
People who have covered the White House for years tell me that's an extremely unusual thing to do in an area that regularly features protests.
I live in the DC area. During the last administration I was lucky enough to be invited to the White House 4 times - not because I am someone important, but because my husband was deployed.
Every single time, the area outside the gates was crawling with whack jobs: singing, crying, gallivanting around in oversized masks, dressed like the Grim Reaper. It was a veritable smorgasboord of idiocy.
Unless they did something particularly moronic, the police left most of these cretins alone. Mostly they were exercising their God-given right to make jackasses of themselves in public. The thing is, the press were around to photograph Mother Sheehan when she was arrested.
I'm guessing our Flickr-friendly Prez didn't want any nasty photos of the police doing what they do to morons who chain themselves to public property. But more specifically, he didn't want any photos of United States service men and women being arrested.
Especially if they happen to be gay.
Every day I sit back and watch this administration actually does things the Bush administration was only accused of. And for the most part, our self appointed task force on "afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted" just roll over and beg for belly rubs.
Posted by Cassandra at April 20, 2010 08:06 PM
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Double standard, anyone? :-(
Posted by: camojack at April 21, 2010 01:32 AM
Well, put yourself in *their* place -- how are you going to fit the h-ophobic word into the obligatory Chris 'n' Olbie pontifications?
Posted by: BillT at April 21, 2010 02:33 AM
"this administration actually does things the Bush administration was only accused of"
And things that nobody ever dreamed the Bush administration would think of doing; such as using healthcare, the tax code, financial reform, tarp slush funds, government voice in private corporations and control of education loans to be able to reward or punish at will.
Posted by: tomg51 at April 21, 2010 09:06 AM
As a "GenX"er whose pre-work angst was not sedated by the usual morning dose of Iron Maiden. I did manage a smile from the irony of the "sales people being denied the product they sold". It's not a good analogy I know, but if I spoke one of those "fancy" languages I would have done better.
Posted by: crazy mike at April 21, 2010 11:09 AM
...several service members in full uniform handcuffed themselves to the White House gate...
That should have read "several former service members in full uniform."
By wearing their uniforms, they misrepresented themselves as currently-serving. They have bumped against Federal Law by doing that.
Posted by: BillT at April 21, 2010 01:25 PM
...but if I spoke one of those "fancy" languages I would have done better.
*Никакая* проблема, Майкл! Вы можете сделать на любом языке смотреть *фантазии*!
Posted by: BillT at April 21, 2010 01:41 PM
Bill, my Russian is as rusty as a any metaphor I could come up with about rust. All I'm getting is about a problem, Maikl (I think you mean Мижаил, but I won't swear to it), and loving some kind of fantasy language. Care to translate?
Posted by: MikeD at April 21, 2010 02:06 PM
Crazy Mike, were you listening to Boneyard this morning too?
Yeah, I sense a major demonstration of the Streisand Effect about to take place here... a very mundane protest that would not have even merited an A-section mention in the WaPo has suddenly become a major story. And the red spotlight is shining on the very people who tried to deflect it -- the Washington media, the Park Police, and the White House.
Posted by: Cousin Dave at April 21, 2010 02:54 PM
All I'm getting is about a problem, Maikl (I think you mean Мижаил...)
Your name is Michael, not Mikhail, and someone addressing you in Russian (or French, or German) will be polite and address you by your given name, not its local equivalent. So, colloquially, it's "No problem, Michael! You can make any language look fancy!"
Posted by: BillT at April 21, 2010 03:10 PM
Now watch Olga pop in and claim it means that I ordered French-fried shoelaces on butterscotch toast...
Posted by: BillT at April 21, 2010 03:13 PM
Five years of German, three of Russian, and 62 weeks of DLI Arabic, and for all of them I was referred to be the languages' variant of "Michael". Which was easy, because it seems just about every language on Earth (or at least the western half of Eurasia) has one.
So it never phased me to hear Mikhael (which strangely enough is what it sounds like in all three of them).
Posted by: MikeD at April 21, 2010 04:21 PM
Bill, you said that Michael "can make to watch fantasy in any language" it sounds as awkward in Russian as it is in English :o)
Bill is right, the Russians will address you as Michael, not Mikhail.
Posted by: olga at April 21, 2010 07:15 PM
Does that mean I won't get any butterscotch toast?
Posted by: BillT at April 22, 2010 12:07 AM
Yes, I listened to Boneyard, I'm too old to "get" the Metal station (that's what my son tells me).
I had a couple of great-aunts from Quebec who called me “Michelle”. My mother told me that in French, Michelle was the same as Michael. I always believed that they did it to entertain my Grandfather (their older brother) and my Dad (niece’s husband).
To be honest I consider English to be my second language even though it is the only non-programming language I speak (if it hasn’t shown already).
Posted by: crazy mike at April 22, 2010 04:32 AM
No foreign language ability.
But I can draw in pencil on napkins really well, even in cabs. It gets me by.
Posted by: tomg51 at April 22, 2010 09:19 AM
Crazy Mike, surely they called you "Michel"?
I'm glad BillT and Olga stepped in to help us out, because I wasn't having any luck at all with search-engine translation on that one. In fact, I thought it was Greek.
Posted by: Texan99 at April 22, 2010 10:53 AM
The Russian alphabet is Cyrillic which derives it's name from St. Cyril a Greek Orthodox priest (I think they're still called 'priests', not 100% on that). The Rus did not have an alphabet prior to Cyril, so he provided them one. The Greek alphabet. Mind you, they're not identical, but they're extremely similar.
Posted by: MikeD at April 22, 2010 11:11 AM
It was long ago but I do remember my father and grandfather discussing whether "Mee-Shell" should wear a dress or not until I tried to punch one of them (never connected though). Looking back I see it help thicken my skin, but when I was 7 I hated Canada.
Posted by: crazy mike at April 22, 2010 11:12 AM
if you tell me what butterscotch toast is, you'll always get it every time you are in my area :o)
Similar but not identical: the Greek word "mastika" is a brand of vodka but in Russian, "mastika" is a material used to polish floors, although it does have an alcohol content and has been known to be partaken by the people in the very last and bottom stage of alcoholism.
Posted by: Olga at April 22, 2010 11:24 AM
Oh, the languages are different as night and day. I was just referring to the alphabets.
Posted by: MikeD at April 22, 2010 11:35 AM
The Rus did not have an alphabet prior to Cyril, so he provided them one.
You forgot Methodius.
*Everybody* forgets poor Methodius, probably because they think he founded the Methodists...
Posted by: BillT at April 22, 2010 11:42 AM
if you tell me what butterscotch toast is, you'll always get it every time you are in my area
I'm too much the gentleman to hold you to that.
Posted by: BillT at April 22, 2010 11:50 AM
Yes, the brothers Кирилл и Мефодий, Kirill (secular name Konstantin) and Mephodii (secular name Mikhail). In Russian Orthodoxy, the correct order is Mephodii and Kirill :o) Prior to becoming a monk, Mephodii had a brilliant military career and Kirill was an excellent scholar and the director of the Ave Sophia Library. They first created "glagolitsa" and then "cyrrilitsa."
Posted by: olga at April 22, 2010 02:09 PM
So, if Cyrillic hadn't caught on, Gogol would probably have written in Glagolic.
Say, "Glancing at Gogol in the original Glagolic" five times fast.
Posted by: BillT at April 22, 2010 02:34 PM
You know, this is about the most orthodox discussion I've read here in a while. [ducks and runs as bearded priest chases her with a smoking censer]
Posted by: LittleRed1 at April 22, 2010 02:36 PM
Or "Gogol goes ga-ga googling 'goggles' in Glagolic"...
Posted by: BillT at April 22, 2010 02:39 PM
At least nobody is chasing you with a smirking censor, LR1.
Posted by: BillT at April 22, 2010 02:40 PM
Bill, LOL these tongue twisters are excellent!
Posted by: olga at April 22, 2010 04:14 PM
But that won't get you the secret of butterscotch toast...
Posted by: BillT at April 22, 2010 04:40 PM
Crazy Mike, I just meant that "Michel" sounds just like "Michelle," but presumably they meant "Michel."
Posted by: Texan99 at April 23, 2010 10:50 AM
Texan99, I thought it might but figured it would be a good idea to "sound it out" to be sure. My grandfather's sisters were very nice ladies and I always "kinda" believed that they were not trying to be mean. Thanks for the verification though.
Posted by: crazy mike at April 23, 2010 11:37 AM