Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In Memoriam: Angelo Pivetta, 1926 - 2012

He was a good man. My dear Papa, Angelo Pivetta, passed away early today at age 86. I'll never forget the life lessons he imparted. Facing draft registration, a mere lad of 18, I asked him: "Don't you think I should fight for my country? Isn't it the honorable thing to do?"

I thought he'd shed some light on the matter. He'd lost a 24-year-old brother in the Italian Army during the Siege of Stalingrad, after all. To top it all off, the poor schmuck was fighting on the Bad Guys' Side. Yes, my poor Zio Nino fought with the Germans to put the kibosh to Stalin's tyranny, when all along he was supposed to fight with the Russians to put the kibosh to Hitler's tyranny.

Who knew? The Cold War would come two long years later! He was just a little ahead of his time.

Anyway, my Papa would have none of this. He came unglued. "Your country?! What?! Are you crazy?! Where do you get these ideas? No! You have no country! You know where my country is?! Between my legs! That's my country! That's all I live for! That's all I fight for! That's all I'll die for!"

Words to live by. Here's hoping he's in a better country tonight. May God rest his soul.

Monday, August 13, 2012

AWAD Defames the Catholic Church

Dear Mr. Garg:

You may come from an alien culture, but you appear to have assimilated well. It so happens that, yes, in 21st century America, you have carte blanche to defame Catholics. You may do so in polite company and with impunity. You won't be tagged a bigot. You won't be barred from Georgetown or Manhattan cocktail parties. Our betters--well, mine anyway--will commend you for your hip and sophisticated derring-do.

In case you're wondering, Germans and southern whites are fair game as well. As are the Euro-Christian tribes in general.

The Muslims are a special case. The chattering classes once viewed them as Oriental and thus mystical, laid-back, exotic, enchanting and even hip. Islam's recurring and long running clashes with Christianity only elevated it in their eyes. But here it seems 9/11 really did change everything. When the Mohammedans sicced hijackers on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and those symbols of state-directed, forced-to-be-free, welfare-warfare “capitalism” came down, so too did the semi-esteem in which the *bien-pensants* held Islam.

So the Muslims make yet another safe target for the cognoscenti. Be careful, though. They aren't inclined to apologize for their faith and culture. They may well strike back. When they do, they don't limit themselves to rhetorical devices.

Finally, you may be interested to know that public school teachers are 30 percent more likely than Catholic priests to abuse minors. You may also be interested to know the reports of priestly pedophilia gained currency in the early 2000s--about the same time key elements of the U.S. defense and foreign-policy establishment were waxing apoplectic over the late John Paul II's repeated meetings with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The Pope was merely working for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. But that didn't go over well with the key elements, who are notorious for their slavish devotion to a particularly bellicose ethnic-religious state in the region. I might mention the state, but that wouldn't be polite.

Tony Pivetta
Royal Oak, Michigan.

P.S. Christopher Hitchens?! This is a guy who loved imperial wars and hated Mother Theresa! I mean, really.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wordsmith
To: apivetta
Sent: Mon, Aug 13, 2012 4:43 am
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--corpus delicti

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Aug 13, 2012
This week's theme
Latin terms in English

This week's words
corpus delicti

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Wordsmith Talk
with Anu Garg

Latin is the preferred language of the Vatican, but don't hold it against the language. It had no say in the matter.
A language never hurt little kids, if you don't count all the schoolchildren who had to memorize all those "amo amas amat" conjugations.
Latin is often perceived as an ancient or dead language, something for stuffy old people. But many Latin terms can sum up in just a few letters a whole concept that would otherwise take many words or sentences to describe fully.
Many Latin terms are part of the English language and are especially used in fields such as law and medicine. This week we'll see five terms from Latin that are now part of the English language.
corpus delicti

(KOR-puhs di-LIK-ty, -tee)

noun: The concrete evidence that shows that a crime has been committed, for example, the body of the victim in the case of a murder.

From Latin, literally body of crime. Earliest documented use: 1705.

"The fact that the State was unable to produce a corpus delicti was a very strong point in favor of the defendants."
Sidney Sheldon; The Other Side of Midnight; HarperCollins; 2010.

Explore "corpus delicti" in the Visual Thesaurus.

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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