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Monday, August 27, 2007

Gonzales Resigns! Stop. Renaissance geeks seek 17th century parallels! Stop.

Today's announcement that Al "Fredo" Gonzales has resigned as Attorney General, thus bringing to a close the tenure of our national consiglieri, prompts me to provide a refresher of our past posts dealing with comparisons between the Bush administration and early modern politics--some fanciful, others more serious genealogies of contemporary politics. I'm also prompted by the fact that, despite our relative radio silence these days, we seem to have acquired a fair number of new readers (unless our old readers are simply changing locations to fool us).

Anyway, in the past, we've discussed:

  • At 8/27/2007 08:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Ack! Have BtR readers never drawn an analogy between our current situation and the former Chief Justice Coke--fired for purely political reasons in defying the authority of James "Eikon Commander Guy" Stuart--leading the impeachment of James' corrupt Attorney General in the Commons? Is it our respect for that Attny General as the father of modern science that makes us so reluctant to draw the analogy?

    Consider the analogy drawn.


  • At 8/27/2007 10:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    I've changed location, but am also a new reader so maybe it balances ...

    I sent Simplicius a Holzknecht Redivivus a while back (to the email posted on the website), but I wrote the summary at a very flippant time in my life. If you'd like me to make it less, er, casual let me know.


  • At 8/28/2007 05:51:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    Did I post it, Spurio, or at least respond to your email?

    If not, I apologize; I've had some screwy email filtering problems this summer, and it was probably sent directly to my spam folder without my knowing it.

    As for revising it, that's up to you. It's not as if this blog has a problem with flippancy, so I imagine its current casual state would be fine.


  • At 8/28/2007 05:56:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    Wait pseudo-pedantius, are you saying Abu Gonzalez should be impeached for, as it were, removing Chief Justice Rehnquist from office? You know, by means of death? (How I sometimes wish the English language had the ablative absolute.)

    And if we pursue this line of thought, what would we make Abu G. the father of? Not science, but legal "science"?


  • At 8/28/2007 08:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Simplicius -- no, and no -- I thought maybe it wasn't up to par, although in retrospect that was probably silly. I'll resend and let you decide -- at the moment, resending untouched is the lesser of two approaching-deadline evils.


  • At 8/29/2007 09:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Wow, I just realized how stupidly aggressive my previous post in this thread sounds. Me hate writing.

    Simplicius, not quite following re the ablative absolute. Do you mean something like: "Rehnquiste dimisso, Abu Gonzales senatui necandus sum?" (I think I just heard Roger Ascham roll in his grave at that construction.)


  • At 8/29/2007 05:24:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    My years of Latin have paid off an imperfect grasp of the language but with such mellifluous locutions at the ready as "by means of...," which I feel no one ever says in regular English. And whenever I do come outs with such gems, I always think "ah, the ablative absolute." That's all.

    But in the murder mystery of Abu G. and Ch. Just. Rehn., should it be, "Rehnquiste necato...," or "Rehnquist having been killed..."


  • At 8/29/2007 08:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Simplicius, ah, okay.

    btw, my personal fav is "in order that," which I now use regularly in place of "to." For example, "Honey, I'm going to the store in order that I might buy groceries."


  • At 8/29/2007 08:23:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    Good lord, and of course the ablative absolute is not even the same thing as the ablative of means (and yet I still think "ah, the ablative absolute"). I should say that I'll start reviewing my Latin grammar in order that I might avoid such errors, but, really, who has the time?


  • At 8/29/2007 08:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    I'm just ecstatic I was able to deploy the old "dative of agent with passive periphrastic" rule above, though I'm actually not sure I got it right.

    But you're right, just saying "ablative absolute" makes one feel like an intellectual Caesar.


  • At 9/03/2007 02:22:00 AM, Blogger Pamphilia wrote…

    Here's something scary- i got ready to post my own "nay, Simplicius you're confusing ablative absolute with ablative of means" before even reading through the comments from pseudo-pedantius who of course gets to be pseudo-pedantic. It's a relief to know I'm not the only pedantic nerd here. Maybe I should change my posting name to Lady Grammar, and whip you all to bits.


  • At 9/03/2007 11:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Something old on Bush/Shakespeare at this address:


  • At 9/03/2007 07:58:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    And everyone knows how popular grammar nitpickers are...

    But let the record show that I corrected my own misuse of Latin terminology, which, strictly speaking, is not a grammar error at all.


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