(Institute for Public Affairs Director John Roskam pulled a quote from one of my columns for the IPA’s latest fund-raising letter. This morning i sent him this note of thanks.)
SUBJECT: Campaign contribution.
Thanks for mentioning my Guardian column in your latest fund-raising…
1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child’s first five years. Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child’s father for that entire time.
2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their children weekly.
3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don’t live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids’ lives.
4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult.
5. If you’re not officially poor, you’re doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was $23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America’s cities and regions.
6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time, and were heads of household had a bachelor’s degree.
7. We’re winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160 percent since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011.
8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31 percent from 2011 to 2012.
9. The homeless are drunk street people. One in 45 kids in the United States experiences homelessness each year. In New York City alone, 22,000 children are homeless.
10. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.
Raymond Chandler reviewing Agatha Christie: ”there is a scheme of Agatha Christie’s featuring M. Hercule Poirot, that ingenius Belgian who talks in a literal translation of school-boy French, wherein, by duly messing around with his “little gray cells,” M. Poirot decides that nobody on a certain through sleeper could have done the murder alone, therefore everybody did it together, breaking the process down into a series of simple operations, like assembling an egg-beater. This is the type that is guaranteed to knock the keenest mind for a loop. Only a halfwit could guess it.”
It is an unusual school in an unusual location and is run by an unusual teacher.
Rajesh Kumar is a shopkeeper by profession but spends hours every morning teaching around 80 children from the poorest of the poor in India’s capital.
The 43-year-old visited the construction of the Delhi transit station a few years ago and was disturbed by the sight of many children playing at the site instead of attending school.
When he questioned the parents working at the sites they all said there were no schools in the vicinity and no one cared.
Consequently, his open-air class room was born - between pillars and beneath the tracks of the Delhi transit system, known as the Metro.
Every few minutes a train passes above, the children unperturbed by its sounds.
There are no chairs or tables and the children sit on rolls of polystyrene foam placed on the rubble.
Three rectangular patches of wall are painted black and used as a blackboard.
Anonymous donors have contributed cardigans, books, shoes and stationery for the children, as their parents cannot afford them.
One unnamed individual sends a bag full of biscuits and fruit juice for the pupils every day - another incentive for the children to turn up for their studies.
I wish i had money to donate. There are such good people in this world.
It’s good to read about education reaching those if the hardest of locations. I would love to donate to this, or do a school supplies drive for these children.
Alright, someone find out how to contact him, and where we can send donations
A society word meaning “smart.” Forrester demonstrates the usage: “The goods are not ‘afternoonified’ enough for me.”
A figure of speech used to describe drunken men. “He’s very arf’arf’an’arf,” Forrester writes, “meaning he has had many ‘arfs,’” or half-pints of booze.
- Back slang it
Thieves used this term to indicate that they wanted “to go out the back way.”
- Bags o’ Mystery
An 1850 term for sausages, “because no man but the maker knows what is in them. … The ‘bag’ refers to the gut which contained the chopped meat.”
- Bang up to the elephant
This phrase originated in London in 1882, and means “perfect, complete, unapproachable.”
Low London phrase meaning “to thrash thoroughly,” possibly from the French battre a fin.
Nineteenth century sailor slang for “A riotous holiday, a noisy day in the streets.”
- Bow wow mutton
A naval term referring to meat so bad “it might be dog flesh.”
Brave or fearless. “Adroit after the manner of a brick,” Forrester writes, “said even of the other sex, ‘What a bricky girl she is.’”
- Bubble Around
A verbal attack, generally made via the press. Forrester cites The Golden Butterfly: “I will back a first-class British subject for bubbling around against all humanity.”
- Butter Upon Bacon
Extravagance. Too much extravagance. “Are you going to put lace over the feather, isn’t that rather butter upon bacon?”
A London society term for tea and coffee “used scornfully by drinkers of beer and strong waters … in club-life is one of the more ignominious names given to champagne by men who prefer stronger liquors.”
A talkative woman.
A nickname given to a close friend.
- Collie shangles
Quarrels. A term from Queen Victoria’s journal, More Leaves , published in 1884: “At five minutes to eleven rode off with Beatrice, good Sharp going with us, and having occasional collie shangles (a Scotch word for quarrels or rows, but taken from fights between dogs) with collies when we came near cottages.”
- Cop a Mouse
To get a black eye. “Cop in this sense is to catch or suffer,” Forrester writers, “while the colour of the obligation at its worst suggests the colour and size of the innocent animal named.”
A delightful way to refer to your rather boring hands.
This creative cuss is a contraction of “damned if I know.”
- Dizzy Age
A phrase meaning “elderly,” because it “makes the spectator giddy to think of the victim’s years.” The term is usually refers to “a maiden or other woman canvassed by other maiden ladies or others.”
- Doing the Bear
“Courting that involves hugging.”
- Don’t sell me a dog
Popular until 1870, this phrase meant “Don’t lie to me!” Apparently, people who sold dogs back in the day were prone to trying to pass off mutts as purebreds.
A type of beard “formed by the cheeks and chin being shaved leaving a chain of hair under the chin, and upon each side of mouth forming with moustache something like a door-knocker.”
“Satirical reference to enthusiasm.” Created by Braham the terror, whoever that is.
- Fifteen puzzle
Not the game you might be familiar with, but a term meaning complete and absolute confusion.
- Fly rink
An 1875 term for a polished bald head.
An 1870 term for “a man devoted to seduction.”
A term for especially tight pants.
“An habitually smiling face.”
- Got the morbs
Use of this 1880 phrase indicated temporary melancholy.
- Jammiest bits of jam
“Absolutely perfect young females,” circa 1883.
Lying, from 1896.
- Mad as Hops
An excellent word that means getting rowdy in the streets.
- Make a stuffed bird laugh
A street term meaning coward.
- Mind the Grease
When walking or otherwise getting around, you could ask people to let you pass, please. Or you could ask them to mind the grease, which meant the same thing to Victorians.
- Mutton Shunter
This 1883 term for a policeman is so much better than “pig.”
- Nanty Narking
A tavern term, popular from 1800 to 1840, that meant great fun.
- Nose bagger
Someone who takes a day trip to the beach. He brings his own provisions and doesn’t contribute at all to the resort he’s visiting.
- Not up to Dick
- Orf chump
- Parish Pick-Axe
A prominent nose.
This term, Forrester writers, describes a person with a “wilful determination to ignore the objectionable or inconvenient, at the same time assuming airs of superior virtue and noble resignation.”
- Poked Up
- Powdering Hair
An 18th century tavern term that means “getting drunk.”
- Rain Napper
- Shake a flannin
Why say you’re going to fight when you could say you’re going to shake a flannin instead?
- Shoot into the brown
To fail. According to Forrester, “The phrase takes its rise from rifle practice, where the queer shot misses the black and white target altogether, and shoots into the brown i.e., the earth butt.”
Secret, shady, doubtful.
- Smothering a Parrot
Drinking a glass of absinthe neat; named for the green color of the booze.
A legal term from 1889 meaning “to prompt.”
- Take the Egg
According to Forrester, this low class phrase means “thoroughly understood.”
A term meaning “inferior, noisy singers” that could be used liberally today during karaoke sessions.
In light of Ken Levine firing just about everybody at irrational games so he can start a new studio at Take-Two Interactive to makes for the “Core Gamer”, I have a few quick thoughts. Now while I know people who have worked at Irrational games in the past, I am not familiar with the particular…
So I wrote this in 2006 (back when I had self-confidence in my writing and even a little bit of what might have been a simulacrum of hope):
"Let’s update The Gay Science.
Let’s say some day a daemon-bot comes to the loneliest loneliness of an otherwise empty inbox and spams you. “I am an autonomous scripted agent for the NSA (Nietzschean Security Agency), who have been privy to all that has been said and written. I will now expand your sensory field to surveille all that has been said or written about you in this world.”
Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and delete the email that spoke thus?
Or have you experienced a tremendous moment where you would have answered: “You are a god and I have never heard anything more profane.” If this thought gained possession of you, it would change you as you are or perhaps crush you.”