Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Things Are Like in The Vatican (An Insider's View)

Here is an interesting article that translated from a Polish newspaper.

It is an insider's account of what life is like in the Vatican for a woman.  This is the little city in which the Pope lives and works. The Catholic Church does not allow women to become "priests." A priest is the main type of "employee" of the Catholic Church - priests run the Church.  It looks as if Vatican City is a male-dominated place where women are not even allowed to dress in what might be considered "sexy" clothes.

The article is below the vocabulary words.

an insider - someone who has been "inside" an organization or place that few people have been inside

to have a right to do something - i.e.  I have a right to say whatever I think!  Or:  He didn't have a right to treat me that way!  Literally, "a right to do something" means you have the ability, protected by law, to do something.  It is usually used more informally.

the papal Swiss guard - these are guards from Switzerland; papal refers to the Pope.  Sometimes worldcrunch makes slight grammar mistakes.  It should be "...members of the papal Swiss guard."

The Holy See - another term for the Vatican.

diplomatic corps - the group of diplomats in the Vatican

to face the glare of global media - to glare at a person is to deeply stare at (look at) the person.  A glare is when someone does this. The global media will be watching the Vatican closely.

a successor - a follower

gendarmerie - these are soldiers who act as police officers

a terrarium -  a place where you can grow little plants

a prelate - a high-ranking member of the Catholic Church

confidential - nobody else ever hears what was talked about

an academic - a professor

Advent and Easter - two religious holidays

a wreath - a circular ornament made of leaves

liturgic - holy days, religious holidays

masses - these are what Catholic religious services are called

a chapel - a small church

divorce - when a married couple breaks up.  Again worldcrunch makes a mistake - it should be: "there was one divorced couple..."

to have an affair - when someone who is married has sex with someone else

to commit suicide - suicide is a noun.  You 'commit" suicide

a love triangle - when three people are involved in an affair

gynecologist - a doctor that specializes in the care of women

a maternity clinic - a clinic for women about to give birth

to be affiliated with - connected with; i.e. My doctor is affiliated with Beth Sinai Hospital.

duration - length of time

a drawback - the opposite of a drawback is a benefit

to be frowned upon - a frown is the opposite of a smile; when someone frowns upon something, he/she disapproves of something.  This is a very useful expression.  Although it is not illegal, the practice of abortion is frowned upon in many American states. (Abortion is when a pregnancy is medically ended before a child is born.)

1)  Do you think women should be priests and have a greater role in the Catholic Church?  Or can you accept this "tradition"?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Some New York School Children Were Encouraged to Do Math Problems Based on A Slave-Owner's Perspective

In US elementary schools teachers are encouraged to teach "across the curriculum" when they have the opportunity.  

This means that if you are a reading teacher, you should also try to include science, history, social studies, and even math, topics in your lessons (if you can think of a way to do that).  Also, if you are teaching math, you should try to introduce topics from history, social studies etc. into your lessons.

Unfortunately, sometimes teachers make mistakes.

A teacher at PS 59 in Manhattan (the schools in New York City are numbered, so PS 59 is Public School number 59) wrote two math word problems for his/her 4th grade class (10 year old children) that involved the historical issue of slavery in America.  He/she wrote these word problems in such a casual way that some parents were very angry - it seemed as if this teacher was encouraging students to look at this issue of slavery from the perspective of the slave owner, or to take the issue of slavery too casually.  Or, it could be said that the teacher was encouraging students to accept slavery as something necessary, acceptable or common that happened in the past.

Here are the problems:

"On a slave ship there can be 3,799 slaves. One day the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?"

"One slave got whipped five times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month (31 days)? Another slave got whipped nine times a day.  How many times did he get whipped in a month?  How many times did the slaves get whipped together in one month?"


Here's the article published by NY1 - a local New York City television station.

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

elementary school - In the USA there are elementary, middle and high schools before college.  Elementary school lasts from K through 5.  A student starts Kindergarten at age 5.  Middle school is 6th through 8th grades.  High school is 9th through 12th grades.  Freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years.

to be based on something - to come from something.  "Based on the high unemployment statistics, it doesn't look as if the US economy is getting better."  If something (A) is based on something else (B), you can draw conclusions from (B).

to encourage someone - to positively suggest that someone do something

a curriculum - these are the formal lessons taught in a school; there is the math curriculum, the science curriculum etc.

common sense - if a person has common sense, he/she knows what every relatively intelligent person in the world should know, or acts the way any non-crazy person would act

slavery - a system in which some human beings are "owned" by other human beings and forced to provide free work

casual - easy, not forced, relaxed.  You can dress casually or formally.  You can take a casual approach to a problem.

perspective - viewpoint.  Different people have different perspectives on different issues depending on their past experiences.

a slave ship - this was the type of ship on which slaves were brought from Africa to the western hemisphere.

to take over a ship - to attack the crew and take control of the ship.

to be whipped - this was a form of punishment often used by slave-owners.  A whip is a long instrument used to strike the back of another person.

an exclusive - this is the first news source to write about this story

to be outraged - to be very angered

to be shocked - to be extremely surprised

to reference something - to mention something

inappropriate - not right

turned to, to turn to someone - to turn to someone means to go to that person for advice

to be appalled by something - to be shocked by something and disgusted

nonchalant - casual

to have an issue - if a person "has an issue," it is suggested that the person has a psychological problem (to have an issue is slang)

to be ticked off - this is also slang meaning to be very angry.  Actually it is a nice way of saying "pissed off."

unacceptable - it cannot be accepted or condoned or approved of

to ensure something - to make sure of something

a whistleblower - this is a person who points out a problem

to be desensitized - to be made to feel as if something terrible is not terrible. For example, many people have argued that children who watch TV or play video games become desensitized to violence.  Violence doesn't shock them any more.

a travesty - something which is ridiculous, a joke

to be held accountable - to be held responsible, to be considered responsible for something

to haggle over - to argue about. Right now teachers in NY City are arguing with the government over various issues.  Teachers do not want their evaluations of their performance to be made public.

reprehensible and irresponsible - disgusting, terrible, unacceptable

to commend someone - to say, "You did a great job!"

1)  Do you think that this student teacher needed to take this issue to a television station?  Shouldn't this have been an issue which could have been handled within the school?  Why do you think the student teacher's professor sent this to a television station?

2)  If this had not been sent to a TV station, do you think the principal of the school would have done anything?

3)  Do you think the teacher who did this (it looks as of two teachers were involved, actually) should be fired? (lose their jobs)

4)  Do you think this was an example of racism or stupidity?  (racism --> when someone hates a group because of its skin color)

Yes, I'm the guy who wrote the very funny ESL book: New York City Sucks, But You'll Wanna Live Here Anyway.

If this page is useful to you, please buy the book (it's quite inexpensive and useful!!!!). If you don't have an e-reader, drop me a line at and I'll send you a free copy via Word file. Let me know whether you have Word 2010 or an earlier version.
Yes, I'm also the guy who created the scandal in Asia two years ago :P

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A New Book about Dominique Strauss-Kahn

I found an interesting article from a web site that students learning English might like:

Basically they work with various foreign newspapers to identify interesting stories and then they translate them into English and post them online.  It's a nice way to read good stories from around the world.

So I picked a story about DSK.  I have to be honest - I feel a little sorry for him.  It seems pretty apparent that the woman who accused him of rape in New York City was an inveterate liar who wanted to make money, and she, basically, destroyed the career of a person who did some good things when he worked at the IMF (International Monetary Fund).

So now someone else who had sex with DSK has written a book about DSK, calling him a "pig."  I have to be honest again.  It's safe to call him a pig now and a person can make some money calling him a pig.  But Bill Clinton was a pig and he's generally admired around the world.  We have an expression in English: "Don't kick a person when he is down."  Maybe the expression should be changed to: "Please don't make money by kicking a person when he is down." This woman writes some terrible things about him.

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to accuse someone of something - to say someone did something wrong or illegal

rape - when a man forces himself sexually on a woman

inveterate - an inveterate liar is a chronic liar, or someone who always lies

"Don't kick a person when he is down." The expression means: If a person is experiencing difficulties, it is not right to attack him at that time.  Do not attack a person who is suffering.

lurid - a lurid story is a gossipy story with a lot of embarrassing details, or a story involving violence or other "sensational" details.  Lurid stories are meant to attract people to read certain types of newspapers.

a poodle is a type of dog

an affair - when someone who is married has sex with another person. OK< sorry for saying this, but if this woman had an affair with a married guy, she is not also half woman-half pig?  Oooops, did I say that?  OMG, just leave DSK alone.  Don't kick a guy when he's down.

disgraced - no longer respected

back in the spotlight - back in public attention.  The spotlight is a light that is shined on performers during a stage show.

a tell-all book - a book in which the 'writer' claims to reveal everything that happened

explicitly - openly. So she doesn't say that the person she had the affair with was DSK, but everyone knows whom she is writing about. (I'm confused because it looks as if she does mention his name in the book.)

mixing fiction with reality - The opposite of fiction is non-fiction.  A work of fiction is a creative work which did not happen.  Basically, she doesn't want to get sued.  To get sued means to be taken to court and forced to pay someone money because you said something you knew to be untrue about the person.

excerpts - little pieces

the realm - the kingdom. "The realm of the pig..." basically she is saying he is a pig - he lives in the kingdom of the pig.

"He is an artist of the gutter, a poet of the abject and of dirt..." - basically she is saying that he is such a dirty pig that he is kind of beautiful, because few people can be as dirty as he can be. Basically she is saying he is a genius at being disgusting - he's like an artist of the disgusting. A gutter is an area where you find garbage on the street.  Abject means hopeless. Personally, I heard this guy helped many poor countries as president of the IMF, so I would not agree with her assessment.

penned like an open-letter - written as if it is a letter to the general public

vulgar macho - a dirty guy who acted like a tough man; a macho guy acts as if he is very strong and tough

a mistress - a term for a woman who has sex with a married guy

a dog in heat - a dog that wants to have sex

the appropriate organs to accomodate you - as long as she was willing to have sex

a swingers club - a place to have random sex

an orgy - when several people have sex together at one time

a whore - a prostitute.  A woman who sells her body for money.

There are some terms in this story that I do not feel comfortable translating on the internet: blow-job, for instance.  Oh hell, OK, a blow-job is a type of oral sex.  What's oral sex?  It's when a person uses his/her mouth to give another person pleasure "down there." :P

to seduce someone - to try to get the person to fall in love with you or to have sex with you

1)  Why do you think she wrote this book?

2)  Do you even care about DSK's sexual life?

3)  If this woman had sex with a married guy, does she have the right to call him a pig?

4)  What if a person is doing wonderful things publicly, and helping people, but he is kind of a dirty guy?  Should we stop him from doing good things in the world just because he's a dirty guy?


Yes, I'm the guy who wrote the very funny ESL book: New York City Sucks, But You'll Wanna Live Here Anyway.

If this page is useful to you, please buy the book (it's quite inexpensive and useful!!!!). If you don't have an e-reader, drop me a line at and I'll send you a free copy via Word file. Let me know whether you have Word 2010 or an earlier version.
Yes, I'm also the guy who created the scandal in Asia two years ago :P

Friday, February 22, 2013

The South African Police Are Potentially Destroying Their Case against Pistorius

Well, I guess it is good to know that there's at least one police department in the world that seems to make more mistakes and which is more controversial than the New York City Police Department. (That's an example of 'sarcasm' - if you make a sarcastic comment you use 'irony' or humor to express contempt or disapproval of something. In this case, my sarcasm was directed at the New York Police Department.)

As you can see from the following articles, it turns out that the South African police department seems to be so corrupt that it cannot truly be trusted.  Indeed, one police officer involved in the Pistorius case was arrested, himself, for allegedly (apparently) shooting at innocent people.

This is Pistorius -

There are SO MANY good vocabulary words in this article!!!!!  Please learn each of these words and read the article and your vocabulary will really improve!!!!!!  :) So will your reading comprehension and even your listening skills!  Good vocabulary leads to good listening skills! :)

Also, please spread the word about this "blog."  I think this is one of the best vocabulary-improving blogs on the internet.  Please pass it along to your friends if you find it useful. :)

Also, please consider buying my ESL book if you like this blog.  It's very inexpensive (I'm a teacher, not a businessman) and will definitely help you improve your vocabulary.  If you don't have an e-reader, that's ok, drop me a line at and I'll send you the book free as a Microsoft Word text. :)

Please enjoy and learn from this article:

a case against someone - this is all of the evidence and testimony (what witnesses might say) that would suggest that a person has committed a crime. A "case" is brought against a person in a courtroom to determine whether the person really committed the crime or not.

controversial - a controversial issue or topic is an issue or topic which people will disagree over or express strong opinions about

a detective - this is usually a police officer who investigates crimes. A lead detective would be the detective in charge of the whole investigation.

to be taken off the case - to be removed from the case - he is no longer involved with the case

after it emerged - after it was revealed, after it was shown

to face charges - to have been formally accused of committing crimes.  This detective has been charged with trying to kill 7 people because he shot at a vehicle containing people.

to open fire on - to shoot your gun at

to draw criticism - the verb here is "draw" which means to attract (in this case)

political clout - political power (police get better jobs because they have political friends and not because they are good cops)

promotion - professional advancement

outrage - extreme anger

to gun down people - to shoot people without concern for their rights or humanity

striking miners - to be on strike means that some workers have refused to continue working because they demand more rights or money; a miner is someone who digs some type of material from the ground, usually in tunnels under the ground

reviving memories of grisly human rights abuses under apartheid - to revive means to bring back to life, grisly means ugly, terrible, human rights abuses under apartheid: apartheid was a racist system that existed in South Africa in which black people and white people were separated from each other.  White people lived in cities, black people lived in townships.  Black people were given very few rights.  This system finally ended in the late 1980s due to pressure from almost every other country in the world for South Africa to change their crazy system.  Unfortunately, not everything has changed in this country.

bail - an amount of money a person accused of a crime can pay to stay home and not in jail before his trial

the defense team - this is the group of lawyers that defends a person accused of a crime.  The prosecution works for the state and tries to convict a person accused of a crime by the police.  The police investigate and the prosecution prosecutes.

amateurish - not professional, not well-done

sloppy - not clean, not organized.  You can call a person a sloppy dresser if his clothes are messy or wrinkled.

charges were dropped but then reinstated - at first he was arrested, then he was told he was not going to have to go to trial, but now he has been told again that he will have to stand trial. Prosecutors apprently dropped the charges for some reason, but decided to put him on trial after all.

withered under cross-examination - when a plant doesn't get enough water, it withers.  If a person withers, he looks and acts weak.  Cross-examination is when the other group of lawyers gets to question a witness.  So the prosecution introduced Botha as a witness and then Pistorius' attorneys were allowed to question him.  He performed badly.

to contaminate - to make impure, "un"pure, to dirty

to backtrack on details - to go backwards and to change one's story

shortcomings - flaws, problems

capping a day - finishing a day

an edge - an advantage

"No police force is a bunch of angels..." - he is saying that it seems to be the case that in every police department in the world you have guys who abuse the law.

forensics - the investigation of a crime by collecting evidence at the scene of the crime

"relevant to the credibility etc." - this lawyer is saying that regardless of how corrupt and stupid the cops have been, it might not matter because there is obvious evidence that Pistorius killed his girlfriend.

serving rather than oppressing - to oppress a group is to take away the group's rights and to make the group live under difficult circumstances

Mandela's ANC government - African National Congress.  Mandela protested against apartheid and spent over 30 years in jail.  When he was released, he was voted into office as the first black president of South Africa.

a backlog - work is backed up, some work has been waiting for 10 years to be done

a chronic shortage - a long-lasting shortage

Corruption hampers crime-fighting -  corruption stops justice from being done.  To hamper something is to slow something down and make it more difficult

a bribe - this is when money is illegally given to an official

a smuggler - someone who sneaks (secretly brings) something into a country illegally

to sack someone - to fire someone, to kick someone out of a job

a watchdog group - a group that monitors (watches) the government to make sure there is no corruption

to abolish - to get rid of

draconian courts - too severe courts, if a judge is draconian he gives overly severe penalties or punishments

plaudits - praise, approval

seasoned, hardened judges - judges with a lot of experience

a sob story - a sad story, a story to excuse some crime or mistake

caliber - quality

An article about the S. Africa court system:

1)  What is your opinion about the South African police based on this article?

2)  Do you think that all police departments contain too much corruption?  Is there something about the nature of police departments that allows corruption and abuse (as was implied when someone said: No police department is made of angels...")?

3)  Do you believe that Pistorius accidentally shot his girlfriend?

4)  It looks as if steroids were found in Pistorius' apartment.  Therefore, it looks as if his previous accomplishments in sports may have been due to cheating.  Did you ever view Pistorius as a hero?  How do you view him now?

5)  South Africa does not have the jury system that America has.  But if you were on a jury for this case, would the corruption of the South African police potentially change your opinion of Pistorius' guilt or innocence?

6)  Do you think the jury system is a good idea?


Please consider buying my ESL book: New York City Sucks, But You'll Wanna Live Here Anyway

If this page is useful to you, please buy the book (it's quite inexpensive and useful!!!!). If you don't have an e-reader, drop me a line at and I'll send you a free copy via Word file. Let me know whether you have Word 2010 or an earlier version.
Yes, I'm also the guy who had the moral courage to create a scandal in Asia two years ago :P

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

US To Take Action against Chinese Cyber-theft?

Apparently the Chinese government has been condoning (approving) the hacking of US corporate computers so that Chinese companies can steal American business secrets.  It looks as if the president of the United States has finally realized this is a serious problem and he is threatening to take action against China.

Vocabulary to help you with the article (I listed interesting words from the first page of the article):

unrelenting - non-stop, it won't stop

a campaign - a major effort

prompting - causing to prompt - to cause

new measures - new attempts to stop Chinese cyber-theft

a fine - if someone is given a fine, they have to pay money as a punishment

espionage - spying

to be guilty - the opposite of to be innocent; if you are guilty of something, you did something wrong

anonymity - to be anonymous means to hide your name or identity

not authorized to do something - they do not have permission to speak about these matters

breaches - violations

that compromised companies - that violated the security and secret information of the companies

to be flawed - to have mistakes in it

a torrent of details - a lot of details, a torrent is like a river

alleged - apparent, is someone is alleged to have done something, people are claiming he/she did something

retaliation - revenge, to get even, to hurt someone who has hurt you

where the red line is - the person is saying we need to set standards for the Chinese and tell them that if they violate these standards we will punish them

repercussions - negative consequences, a repercussion is something bad that happens after someone does something wrong


1)  Considering the fact that the USA cannot start a war against China, what do you think Obama should do?


Yes, I'm the guy who wrote the very funny ESL book: New York City Sucks, But You'll Wanna Live Here Anyway.

If this page is useful to you, please buy the book (it's quite inexpensive and useful!!!!). If you don't have an e-reader, drop me a line at and I'll send you a free copy via Word file. Let me know whether you have Word 2010 or an earlier version.
Yes, I'm also the guy who created the scandal in Asia two years ago :P

Monday, February 18, 2013

The UN Says to "Rich" Nations: Please Cut Your Consumption of Meat by Half

Often when I go to my neighborhood supermarket, I see people filling their shopping carts with beef, steak, pork, chicken...but primarily with beef and steak.  I've often asked myself, "OMG, how much meat do people need to eat?"

Well, the UN is suggesting that people in Europe and the USA cut their eating (consumption) of meat by 1/2. The UN also suggests that people in poorer countries increase their consumption of meat.

Here are some vocabulary words that will help you read the following article about this topic:

to cut - in this case, cut means reduce

to halve - to divide something into two equal parts

consumption - consuming something means either eating something or buying something.  If you buy something you are a consumer.  But you can also consume a nice meal.

a scandal - a story that brings embarrassment to someone or some organization.

cheap - inexpensive, not costing much money

to urge someone to do something - to strongly recommend something, to push someone toward doing something

to expose - to reveal, to show

to stop short of something - to end doing something before something happens; to stop before saying or doing something completely

lust for meat  - to lust for something is to desperately desire something.  Lust is, basically, sexual desire.

to fuel something - to keep something going.

undocumented - not officially recorded; if meat is undocumented it means it hasn't been inspected or tested for safety

mislabeled - not categorized correctly

to coin a term - to create a term

a quest for something - a quest is a journey to discover or do something

massive - huge

intensively - strongly, with extreme effort

to divert - to change the direction of something

fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides -  fertilizer is any type of substance added to soil (dirt) to make it richer; a pesticide kills bugs; an herbicide kills weeds and other plants.  Anything with "cide" means killing.  Homicide - murder, suicide - killing yourself, genocide - killing a whole group of people.

run-off - when a chemical is removed by water from an area and flows to another area

toxic algal blooms - toxic is poison, algal is algae, a type of plant, to bloom is to develop

amphibians - frogs are amphibians; amphibians live in the water or on land.

an eco-system - a system of inter-related organisms.  A rain-forest eco-system contains trees, snakes, insects, plants, birds etc.

a portion - a part of something; a small portion of food means a little bit of food

a tougher nut to crack - a more difficult problem to solve.  Basically they are saying that Americans are not going to give up eating the huge amounts of meat that they are used to.

to lack, to be lacking - not to have

manure - poop.  Crap.  The solid waste material you flush down the toilet.  Cow poop is often used as fertilizer.

a crop yield - the amount of corn, or grain or anything that a crop provides.  A crop is what can be eaten and which grows in an area of land.

exacerbate - to make worse

degradation - to get worse

sparingly - not used as much as it could be used

emission - an emission is when something comes from something else; a chimney emits smoke

sewage - when you flush your toilet, human waste material goes into your city's sewer system; sewage is human waste material or waste material in general.

1)  How can Americans be convinced that they should consume less meat?

2)  What do you think should be done to the companies that knowingly used horsemeat in their beef products?

3)  Have you ever considered becoming a vegetarian?

4)  Do you feel that you have been eating too much meat?  Are you willing to cut back on your consumption?

5)  The UN seems to be suggesting that eating chicken is better for the environment than eating beef.  What do you think about this?  Do you think it's OK to eat just a little meat, or should we try to avoid meat altogether?

6)  Do you think there are good ethical reasons to become a vegetarian?

7)  Why are people in the west over-eating meat?  Is it the fault of the consumer or of the meat producing companies or both?

Yes, I'm the guy who wrote the very funny ESL book: New York City Sucks, But You'll Wanna Live Here Anyway

If this page is useful to you, please buy the book (it's quite inexpensive and useful!!!!). If you don't have an e-reader, drop me a line at and I'll send you a free copy via Word file. Let me know whether you have Word 2010 or an earlier version.
Yes, I'm also the guy who created the scandal in Asia two years ago :P

Friday, February 15, 2013

The New York Post (Ignorantly) Attacks John Galliano

In a previous entry, I mentioned that The New York Post is probably the worst newspaper in the USA.

It is extremely conservative, filled with gossip and often contains unreliable information.  It is published by Rupert Murdoch. 

In fact, a couple months ago I posted an article about how angry many people were that the Post published a photo on its front page of a man who was about to be hit and killed by a New York City subway train. 

Basically, if I see a person reading the NY Post on the subway, I think, "Wow, that person must really be a moron." There are rumors that Murdoch loses millions of dollars publishing the paper but that he doesn't care because the paper gives him a "voice" in the world's most dynamic city.  Unfortunately for Murdoch, every intelligent person in this city seems to be disgusted by his newspaper and probably thinks he is a terrible, hate-filled human being.

In another truly strange story (yes this is the ESL blog for strange stories) the NY Post decided to attack John Galliano for "mocking" Hasidic Jews.  What's an Hasidic Jew?  I explain further down.

It turns out, as you can see from this link, that Galliano was not mocking Hasidic Jews, the NY Post just happens to seem to hate Galliano and wanted to try to destroy his career apparently.

Here's what he looked like:

Here's a Hasidic Rabbi (religious leader) from Brooklyn:

ignorantly - stupidly

The opposite of conservative is liberal.

unreliable - you can't trust it

a moron - the opposite of a genius. I'm guessing that many of the journalists for this "newspaper" are far from geniuses.  Indeed, I wonder why a person would even take a job for a "newspaper" like this.

dynamic - exciting

If you are disgusted by something, it makes you feel sick

to mock - to make fun of someone or something

anti-Semitic - anti-Jewish

schmuck - is a Jewish term for "asshole" or idiot. "Schmuck" literally means a "penis."  What is a penis?  Guys have penises, ladies don't. :P   Actually, the NY Post is such a bad paper that they misspelled "schmuck."

"Jew-bash" - Jew bashing is when someone verbally attacks Jews.  If someone engages in gay-bashing, they are attacking gays.

"..he suffered mightily..." - he suffered a lot

semi-coherent - if you speak coherently, you make sense, or what you say is understandable.  When Galliano attacked a couple Jewish ladies in Paris he was so drunk that he was semi or only partly coherent.  If you listen to what he said on youtube, you can hear that he is very drunk and doesn't always make sense.

a rant - a tirade; if a person makes a rant he speaks angrily about a topic for awhile

rehab - rehabilitation; I guess it's a place where people get fixed up psychologically

to offend someone - to insult or hurt someone with words

"so why would he dig the hole deeper..." - why would he deliberately cause trouble and attack Jews again? Of course, he wouldn't.

birdcage lining - the author of this piece calls the NY Post "birdcage lining."  This means she thinks the only useful function for the NY Post is to use it on the bottom of your birdcage.

an inflammatory article - an article meant to cause a lot of trouble or to make people angry. Inflammatory means something can start on fire easily.

prominent leaders - leaders who are well-known or famous

garb - clothing

dandyish - fancy; a dandy is a guy who dresses fancy

"you fucked up your anti-Jewish charge" - you messed up or ruined your attempt to make him seem anti-Jewish (The ADL is The Anti-Defamation League, a very powerful Jewish organization that attacks people who attack Jewish people.  So this author is pointing out that the ADL is even saying that the NY Post is wrong.)

a distortion - something inaccurate

eccentric - strange

to atone for something wrong - to make up for something that a person did which was wrong
1) Do you think the NY Post made a mistake, or do you think they knew he was not "mocking" Jewish people?

There are lots of Hasidic Jews in New York City.  Here's a chapter from my book that deals with Hasidic Jews.
New York City Sucks, But You'll Wanna Live Here Anyway
(definitions of boldface terms are under the reading passage)

Chapter 4: They are not magicians, they are Jewish folks

You're going to see them and you're going to wonder who the heck they are.  Every foreign student goes through this so let me tell you right off the bat.  There is no escaping seeing them, especially if you live in certain parts of Brooklyn.  The guys are the most recognizable.  The older guys have big, bushy white beards, wear black fedora hats and dark blue or black jackets regardless of how hot the weather is.  They also have long, and I mean really long, sideburns that curl and dangle from the sides of their heads.

My Japanese friend Naoko and I were chatting in a Starbucks and when one of these guys passed by she asked me: "Who the heck are these guys in the black coats and old fashioned hats with the big bushy beards and long curly sideburns?"  I asked her, "Who do you think they are?"  After some time she responded, "Are they circus magicians? I can't understand why there are so many circus magicians in New York City!"  No, Naoko, these are Jewish folks, but a special type of Jewish folk.  Let me explain.

Basically, you've got three types of Jewish folks in the USA.  World-wide there are about 13 million Jews and about 6 million live in the USA.  The three types of Jews are broken down into 3 basic groups:  Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews.

Orthodox Jews believe that at one time in history God gave the leader Moses various holy texts.  These texts make up a big chunk of the Bible.  So, basically, orthodox Jews believe that God wrote the Bible.  So they follow all the stuff written in the Bible closely.  The guys with the black hats are orthodox Jews and they wear the long sideburns because apparently somewhere in the Bible it says guys shouldn't shave the sides of their heads.

But it’s a little more complex than that.  In New York you'll see, basically, two types of orthodox Jews.  The guys are always more easily recognized.  One type of orthodox Jewish guy will wear a little round cap on the top of his head.  This is called a yah-mah-kah (but it's spelled yarmulka).  From what a Jewish guy told me, in the old days, folks believed that God was in the sky and looking down at people.  So the guys wear this because they don't want God to see the tops of their heads; that would be disrespectful.  A Shanghainese girlfriend of mine who is kind of a smartass once said, "Oh, if they wear the hats so God can see them, why don't they write: 'Hello God!' or 'Hey, do you really exist?' on the tops of their yarmulkas."  Ha ha ha - not funny.  This is somebody's religion goddamn it!

I don’t know whether what the Jewish guy told me was true or not, though.  Why don’t the women wear yarmulkas?  Someone else, however, told me that some orthodox women do cover their heads by wearing wigs (a wig is a covering of hair that can be worn over your normal hair.) Oh!  I was also told that orthodox Jewish folks don’t even use the term God – they use the term “Hashem,” which means “the Name” instead of the term God. 

Then there are the really, really orthodox Jewish folks and those guys wear the black hats, coats, beards and sideburns.  They are called Hasidic Jews.  I think of them as super orthodox.  Basically, their version of Judaism began in Eastern Europe in the 1700s, primarily in Poland and Ukraine.  From what I can understand, there were groups of Jewish folks who wanted a deeper religious experience and greater connection to God.  These folks became the Hasidic Jews.  They developed a whole new approach to Judaism involving more physical action and more emotion during prayer and a belief that God could be experienced through nature.  They valued emotion more than reason and avoided a type of asceticism that pervades many religions.  This was meant as a religion for the real world.  This was a religion in which a person could derive meaning every single day in his/her life without avoiding life.  It was meant to be a deeper engagement with life, as it exists, so that people could have a deeper connection to God.

Why do you see these guys in NYC and not Houston?  I don't know.  What I do know is that the nazis (God damn them, the lousy scum!) really hated these folks.  They really tried to wipe all of them out in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust.  So there are about 500,000 Hasidic Jews in the world and a big chunk of them live in Brooklyn.  Go to Williamsburg and you'll see them.  The guys are dressed the way guys used to dress in Europe around the time that their religion was formed and all orthodox Jewish women are expected to wear skirts or dresses that go below their knees and they should or even have to wear sleeves that go below their elbows.

Now, I wouldn’t be a good cynic if I didn’t point out that this community has been causing a little controversy lately.  For instance, it looks as if some sexual abuse has occurred in the Hasidic community in New York, and it might have been covered up by the community to avoid a scandal or to avoid investigations of Hasidic Jews by people outside of their community.  Some young men, for instance, have claimed that they were molested while taking ritualistic baths called mikvahs.  What’s even more shocking is that there are claims in the newspapers that victims might have been punished by members of the community (in some way) if they had come forward to complain outside of the community.  What’s even more shocking than this is that the Brooklyn DA (the lawyer who prosecutes those accused of crimes), might have helped in the cover up.  There are so many Hasidic Jews who can vote, it looks as if this politician did not want to offend the whole community and lose votes. He denies this, of course. Here’s some other stuff that isn’t quite as bad, but still pretty bad:

A few Hasidic rabbis seem to have been doing something a bit weird after circumcising male children.  From what I’ve read in the newspapers, some of these rabbis sucked the blood from the cut penis.  Why?  I don’t care why. I refuse to even do research about this one.  In the papers they said these rabbis claimed there was some reason to do this.  I never read about anyone sucking blood from penises in the Bible, however, so I don’t know and I don’t care how anyone might justify this. Apparently a baby caught a disease from a rabbi who sucked blood from that baby’s penis and a judge has ordered this practice to stop. 

There was also a story about how men in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn put signs up throughout their neighborhood reminding women that if they see a man walking in their direction they should step aside for him to pass by more easily.  I know this isn’t as shocking as sucking blood from a baby’s penis, but I suddenly remembered this.  Yes, this is an example of “sexism;” sexism is when men act as if women are inferior to men or sexism is the belief that women do not have as many rights as men.  Racism is when a person from one racial group (for instance “white” people) thinks that people from another group are not as good or do not deserve the same rights.

You know, I guess lots of religions have some problems – the Catholic Church has had chronic problems with “pedophile” priests and it looks as if the Catholic Church in America has covered up a lot of abuses and paid a lot of “hush-money” to victims (people who were hurt). Some people refuse to donate to the Church now because they are afraid their donation will be used as future hush-money.  These scandals are so terrible because many people have sincere religious beliefs and want to be able to trust their children with sincere religious figures who are super moral and great role models. It’s depressing that some religious leaders do such terrible things and even more depressing that others cover this behavior up.  In all honesty, whenever my friends in NY City hear about the Catholic Church, one of them always makes some kind of joke about it.  That’s very sad.  The Catholic Church has kind of become the source of jokes in America these days. Well, they can blame themselves.

Now back to my gossip about Hasidic and orthodox Jewish folks.  There was this huge story in 2011 about an orthodox guy (he seemed to have psychological and cognitive problems – a very low IQ) who kidnapped an 8 year old child, took him home, killed him, and chopped his body up so he could place it in a suitcase and throw it out without being caught.   

Apparently the child was lost and looking for directions home from a summer school.  The Hasidic child unluckily asked this orthodox guy for help – after all, he was wearing a yarmulke so the kid felt he could trust him.  So the guy took the kid into his car but instead of taking the kid to the kid’s home, as he had promised, he drove the kid to a wedding he had been invited to in another neighborhood (area).  Now here’s the weird situation. This odd (strange), not very bright guy shows up to a wedding with an unknown kid, and nobody says anything?

How about: “Who’s the kid?”  Or: “Where the hell did you get that kid from?”  Or: “You freaking nut!  Take that kid home to his parents now!” Or: “What is that kid’s mother’s phone number so we can call her!?”  I don’t understand this.  The papers didn’t seem to make a big deal out of this because I don’t think they wanted to seem anti-othodox or anti-Hasidic, but I think this question needed to be asked.  Did people know at the wedding that he had kidnapped this kid?  What the hell kind of excuse could he have given to people?  Who knows.  Maybe I shouldn’t judge the people at the wedding, but, in light of what happened, I think a lot of people wish someone had asked some questions about this kid at the wedding.

So basically, this was a guy with serious psychological and cognitive problems who then left the wedding and took this kid back to his apartment.  Apparently he was kind of lonely (as well as mentally ill) and saw the kid as a potential friend.  But the Hasidic community is very tightly knit and literally thousands of Hasidic Jews took to the streets looking for this child when the parents reported the child missing to the police.  When this guy learned of the search (on television), he panicked and killed the child.  He did not want to be arrested as a “kidnapper.”  So he killed the child, cut the boy up and tried to hide the body in a suitcase (which he dropped off in a garbage can in another neighborhood). 

So I’m thinking, if anyone at the wedding had asked a few obvious questions and had taken some necessary action, the child might still be alive.  Yes?  No?  I mean I know everyone is preoccupied during a wedding, but lots of people must have seen this little boy with this strange guy. 

The man was apprehended only because the police luckily were able to find videotape from a store’s outside surveillance camera that had accidentally recorded the boy talking to the guy and entering his car.  They caught a glimpse of his license plate number on this tape.  Had this not been caught on tape, this guy might not have been caught.  But the people at the wedding saw the boy and knew the guy didn’t have a child.  Didn’t they? Didn’t they later see the missing child reports on TV?   

In any case, I’m confused by all of this.  The guy got a 40-year prison sentence because he agreed to plead guilty before any trial had to take place.  This was, basically, a plea deal.  The boy’s family did not want to go through the process of a trial because they did not want to see this story in the news again and again during the trial.  It would have been too painful. In any case, there’s some recent information and gossip about orthodox and Hasidic Jewish folks from the papers here.  Again, lots of religions have problems.  When I first wrote this chapter I had nothing but good stuff to say about Hasidic folks.  Lately, however, I’ve seen this stuff in the papers and felt I had to put it down here.

The other types of Jewish folks?  Reform Jews are much more liberal.  They don't think the Bible was written by God.  They acknowledge that people created the Bible throughout differing periods of time.  You usually don't see reform Jews wearing yarmulkas etc.  Conservative Jews developed because there were some Jewish people who didn't like either the orthodox or the reform approaches.  Basically, conservative Jews think that people wrote the Bible but were inspired by God.  This is what I’ve been able to figure out.  You can do some reading on this religion if you wanna.  I just want to explain who the guys with the coats, curly sideburns and hats are so you don’t think they work at a circus when you see them.

Ah!  So then you might ask, What the heck is kosher food?  I see all these kosher delis all over the place?  Well, it looks as if the Bible distinguishes between clean animals which can be eaten and unclean animals that God would like people to avoid eating.  So kosher food is considered clean food by Jewish folks.  For some reason just about any type of fish is considered clean.  Pigs are not considered clean and so orthodox Jews avoid pork.  It looks as if the laws also forbid meat and milk to be combined in a meal.  So orthodox Jews won't eat a sausage pizza or a cheeseburger.  Also, orthodox Jews are not supposed to consume any type of blood.  This is due to the ancient belief that a life force is contained in the blood.  Therefore, when animals are slaughtered, there is a special person who does this and this person literally cuts the throat of the animal so that it has to bleed to death - thereby the meat is drained of blood.  Animal rights activists are kind of pissed about this.  Orthodox Jews say it's a humane way to kill animals, but I'm not so sure about that.  Who knows.

New York City has to be the most diverse place on the planet and you'll see signs and symbols of probably every religion on Earth here.  For instance, Catholics have a holiday in which a priest smears ashes (from a burnt plant) on a person's forehead one day a year to remind everyone of his/her mortality.  This day is called Ash Wednesday.  Naoko was also perplexed (confused) by this.  She said, "Who are these people with the black "x" es on their foreheads?"  Again I asked her who she thought they were and she responded, "I think they all support the same athletic team.  The Mets?  The Yankees?"  No Naoko, they are Catholics celebrating the beginning of a 40 day period of sacrifice leading to the holiday of Easter, when they believe that Jesus rose from the dead.  You'll see lots of differing types of outfits (clothing) to signify membership in differing religions in New York City.  This city has everything.

Definitions of terms

a magician - often works in a circus – he does magic tricks.    He often makes things seem to disappear and reappear.

Who the heck – “heck” is a softer or nicer form of the word “hell.”  Who the hell is he?  Or, who the heck is he? You can use “the hell” or “the heck” to provide extra emphasis to the question “Who is he?”  So if a person really wants to express a strong emotion attached to a question, “the hell” or “the heck” is used.  Who the hell does he think he is?  What the hell happened to my car?  Who the heck ate the sandwich that I had in the fridge?  Why the hell didn’t he tell me he was coming this afternoon?  It is kind of impolite or harsh/rude to say this.  You only say this when you are angry.

right off the bat – immediately.  I am guessing “the bat” refers to a baseball bat – the long, wooden club that is used by a baseball batter to try to hit a baseball.  So if something comes right off the bat, or you see something right off the bat, it is fresh or immediate.

bushy gray beards – if something is bushy it is fluffy, like a bush in a garden or like clouds.  A beard is a type of hair that is grown from a person’s chin.  So a bushy white beard is a fluffy, or big chunk of gray hair growing from a guy’s chin.

a fedora hat – this is an old fashioned hat that you might have seen in some old Hollywood movies.  Old Hollywood detectives often wore fedora hats.

sideburns – this is hair that grows down the side of a man’s face.  In the 1860s there was an American General named General Burnsides who had long hair growing down the sides of his face.  So because there wasn’t a name for this type of hair they turned his name around and called the hair: sideburns.

a text – any written document.

a big chunk – a chunk is a piece of something.

to shave – this is the process of using some type of razor to remove the hair from one’s face or, in the case of some women, from their legs and underarms.

a smartass – this is someone who likes cracking (making) jokes or is often very sarcastic.  This is a somewhat vulgar term. 

Goddamn it!  This is the most common dirty expletive statement.  If you are angry or if something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to, you might say or yell: Goddamn it!  This is kind of dirty/vulgar.

asceticism – this is a practice, often among very religious people, of trying to avoid various forms of pleasure.  An ascetic is the opposite of a hedonist.  A hedonist loves and pursues pleasure.  I recently learned that the Russian Orthodox religion values asceticism.  Many people who are devoted to this religion will fast (go without food) for many days during the course of the year.

to pervade – to be found completely throughout some type of system.  If something is pervasive it is all over the place.  Asian people pervade the neighborhood of Flushing New York. Illegal immigrants are pervasive in the New York City restaurant industry.

to derive meaning from – to get some type of meaning or deeper understanding from something.

a nazi – this type of person belonged to a hate-filled political party in Germany in the 1930s and 40s.  I think we all know what a nazi was. 

scum – dirt.  Dirt mixed with bacteria and other germs.  Scum is something you might find in a sewer.  What’s a sewer?  That’s where the water from your toilet goes when you flush your toilet.  If you call a person “a piece of scum” you are saying that that person is really bad; worse than an asshole.  “You piece of asshole scum!” might be a good thing to say to such a person. Yes, when Americans are REALLY angry they combine dirty words: “You mother-fucking, asshole, son-of-a-bitch!” would be an example.

to wipe them out – to completely eliminate them.

The Holocaust – this is what Jewish folks call the attempt by the Nazis to wipe out all the Jews in Europe.

should  is used here but "have to" could also have been used.

sexual abuse – Abuse is a non-countable noun. Abuse is when one or more people cause harm to another person.  Sexual abuse is when one person harms another sexually or to get sexual pleasure.  “To abuse” is the verb form – it is pronounced differently from the noun “abuse.” 

to cover s/t up – to try to hide something that happened.

to molest – to harm or abuse someone sexually.

a ritual – a procedure that is done, often in a religious situation or context.

shocking, to shock s/o – if something is shocking you are surprised by how wrong something is. @_@

The DA – The District Attorney.  This is the person who represents “the people” in courtrooms against those who are criminals. He/she is actually in charge of (the supervisor of) a huge office of lawyers (they work for the people) who go to court to try to convict people who have committed crimes.  If a person is convicted of a crime, he/she is found “guilty” of committing that crime.

to come forward and complain – to come forward means to show yourself or to say something instead of remaining silent.  To complain – I’ve been complaining about a lot of things that I don’t like about NY City.  When you complain, you state something is wrong.

to prosecute – this is what lawyers for the people (the state) try to do in criminal court trials.  A trial is the process in which a judge or jury (usually 12 citizens) tries to determine whether a person committed a crime or not.  The lawyers for the people/state (prosecutors) try to show the judge or jury that the person being tried is “guilty.”  So they “prosecute” this person.  The person on trial also will have a lawyer.  This lawyer will try to “defend” the person who has been accused of being guilty.  He is the defense attorney. In America, if you are too poor to be able to afford an attorney, the state is supposed to give you one.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard that often the attorney a poor person gets usually sucks and doesn’t work that hard to defend the person. It’s common knowledge in America that the more money you have, the better the attorney you can get.  There are many stories about wealthy people who are obviously guilty, but who have expensive lawyers, and who are found not-guilty.

to accuse s/o of s/t – to claim that someone did something wrong.

to deny – to say something didn’t happen.

weird – strange.

to circumcise – this is actually a common medical procedure in America after a male child is born.  Basically they cut off a piece of skin that surrounds the “head” of the child’s penis (his sexual organ). There have been newspaper reports saying that circumcision is actually good for a guy’s future health and there are other studies that say it really doesn’t matter whether a baby is circumcised or not.  In the Jewish religion all male babies have to be circumcised for some type of religious reason.   Ok, sorry again for my cynical, sarcastic attitude, but if God didn’t want the chunk of skin on a guy’s penis, and he needs it to be cut off, why did “He” put it there in the first place!!!!!!  OMG!!!!!!  What if God really wants this chunk of skin on the penis!!!!  OMG!!!!!!

a penis – the guy’s sexual thingee.  A man’s sexual organ.  A woman’s sexual organ is called the vagina.  There are slang or dirty words for “penis” and “vagina” as well.  A guy’s penis can be called a cock or a dick or a prick.  I once heard the term “dinger” used for the male penis, which I thought sounded funny.  The vagina can be called a cunt or a pussy.  Sometimes if you are really angry with a guy you can call him a “dickhead” or a “cocksucker” or “a pussy.”  In this case, calling a guy a pussy means you are calling him a vagina, which means you are implying he is kind of weak.  If a guy doesn’t seem to have the courage to do something, other guys might call him a pussy.  If you are really angry with a woman, you might call her a cunt.  But this is really nasty – most women will get angry if you call them cunts.

to justify s/t – to say, “This is ok!”  or “This is acceptable!”

to catch a disease – catch is the verb used with disease.  I caught a cold yesterday.

a judge – this is the person in charge of a courtroom.  A courtroom is where trials occur.  In America there are criminal trials (where people can be punished by being thrown in jail) and civil trials (where people can be punished by being forced to give money to other people).

chronic – if something is chronic, it happens over and over again.  It doesn’t seem to stop.

pedophilia – this is when some older people only seem to like the idea of having sex with very young people.  It’s a creepy type of mental illness. A person who has this type of mental illness is called a pedophile.

a priest – in the Catholic Church these are the guys who wear the black shirts with the white collars.  They are the ones who operate the churches and say the “masses” or religious services.  There are two types of “Christian” Churches:  Catholic and Protestant.  In Protestant Churches there are no priests – the people who do the services are called “ministers.”  In the Jewish religion, these types of people are called “rabbis.”  Why are Protestant Churches called “Protestant”?  It’s because these churches were created by people who thought the Catholic Church was corrupt.  So they “protested” against the Catholic Church. To protest against something is to say that something is wrong and to try to change the thing which is wrong.

hush money – when you want a child to be quiet, you might say: “Hush!”  So hush money is money that is paid to a victim of a crime to make sure he/she does not come forward and complain.

to donate – to give money or time or effort without expecting anything in return.

a role model – if someone is a role model to children, he shows the type of behavior that a child might adopt or follow.  Actually there are good role models and bad role models for children.

cognitive – cognitive skills are thinking skills.

IQ – Intelligence Quotient.  A measure of a person’s intelligence.  The highest category of intelligence according to the IQ is “genius,” the lowest is “moron.”  If you are angry at a person and think he is stupid, you can call him a moron.  This is kind of a strong insult, however.

to kidnap – to steal a human being.

to chop – to cut into pieces.  A chef usually chops up vegetables to put them into a soup.

bright – this can also mean intelligent.

a nut – a crazy person.

the kid’s mother’s – yes, you can use two ‘s in a row.

anti – if you are anti-something, you are against it or don’t like it.  If you are pro-something you are for it or like it. 

tightly knit – very close together.  If people have a tightly knit relationship, they are super close.

to take to the streets – to go into the streets, usually to protest or to take some type of community action.

to panic – to become very nervous about something and act without thinking.  For example, if you have a child and are at the supermarket, and you turn around and see that your child is not behind you, you might panic and begin running through the store looking for him/her until you find the child.

to be preoccupied – to be really focused on one thing so that you can’t concentrate on other things that are happening.  i.e. “Bob, you are not doing a good job today at work because you seem to be preoccupied about something else.”

to apprehend – to catch.

surveillance cameras – these are cameras meant to record things that happen publicly.

accidentally – not by choice, not deliberately.

to glimpse – to see something briefly.

a license plate – this is something placed on the front and back of American cars so that the car can be identified by the police or by people who witness (see) accidents.  It is usually a combination of letters and numbers.

a sentence – yes, a sentence is usually a grammar term, but in the field of criminal law a sentence also means the period of time a person will go to jail.  For instance, Rod Blagojevich, a corrupt politician from Chicago, was given a 16 year prison sentence this year.  He will be in jail for a long time.

to plead – this is also a legal term.  If a person is brought into a courtroom after being accused of a crime, the judge will say: “How do you plead?”  The defendant (person accused of the crime) can say: “I plead not-guilty” or “I plead guilty.” If the person pleads not guilty, there will be a trial.  Basically, saying: “I plead not-guilty” means “I am not-guilty.”  It’s really old fashioned language.

a trial – this is the process in which a judge or jury tries to determine whether a person is guilty or innocent.  The person accused of a crime can choose to have either a judge or a jury.

a plea deal – there are many, many people who are arrested by the police in America.  Therefore, the court system is overcrowded.  Prosecutors have too many cases to deal with every day.  Therefore, they often try to negotiate with the defense attorney instead of having a trial.  A prosecutor might say, “OK, we have a lot of evidence that your client committed this crime.  If we go to trial, your client will probably be found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in jail by the judge.  However, if your client is willing to plead ‘guilty’ so that we do not have to waste time and money and go to trial, we will ask the judge to show some mercy and to only give your client a 10 year sentence.”  So this is a “plea deal.”  This is a legal term that you’ll see in the newspapers, so you don’t really have to memorize it.  So in the story above, the guy who killed the child and chopped the child up accepted a plea deal for 40 years.  This sounds long but in the prison system in America, if you behave well they often drop (take away) time from your sentence.  So a person with a 40 year sentence might get out in 30 years.  If he had not accepted the plea deal, he might have been found guilty and sentenced to “life” in prison.

a liberal – the opposite of a conservative.  A liberal is supposedly more open-minded and experimental than a conservative and a liberal politician will want to see things change in his/her society whereas a conservative politician usually likes to see things stay the same. In American politics a liberal is usually a Democrat and a Conservative is a Republican.

to be inspired – to be influenced to do something on a very deep level, to be especially motivated by someone or something.

a deli – a little store where sandwiches and other cold-cut meats can be purchased.

to be considered as – to be thought of as.

to consume – in this case: to eat.  A consumer, however, can be a person who buys things.

to slaughter – this means to kill an animal, usually for food. 

to bleed – this means to make the animal lose its blood until it is dead.

to drain – this means to bleed an animal until it does not have any blood left in it.  Of course, you can probably never completely drain an animal of all of its blood. Yes?  No?

to be pissed about something – means to be angry about something.

to smear – to take a substance and rub it against another substance in order to leave a messy mark.  You might smear sun block on your face or body.

mortality – the fact that everything that lives is going to die.  Fuck!

a sacrifice – the act of giving something up in order to get something better.

rise, rose risen – in this case the story goes that Jesus died and then he came back to life – he rose from the dead.

Grammar stuff: The imperative – telling someone to do something

The big problem that foreign students seem to have with the imperative is that they often use a pronoun before the imperative form of the verb.  For instance, You take the garbage out!  No.  It should just be: Take the garbage out.  Or, Please take the garbage out.

Now, nobody likes to take orders.  So unless you are a total asshole, please don’t just tell someone to do something, use “please” before your imperative statement in English.  So basically, don’t use a pronoun and try to use "please" and you’ll be ok.  If a person uses the imperative with you without "please," he’s an asshole. 

Please throw that garbage out before you leave!  Please give me my bag!  Please hand me my coat. 

There are other ways to soften an imperative sentiment or command.  If you want to tell another person you are with that she should cross the street, you can say, “Please cross the street with me.” But that sounds a little silly.  So you can use “let’s.”  Let’s cross the street now!  Let’s get some dinner now!  Let’s go to a movie. 

“Why don’t we…” is very useful.  Why don’t we cross the street now?  Why don’t we get some dinner?  Why don’t we go to a movie?  Please practice this.

Here’s something somewhat related to the imperative.  Foreign students who are studying with native-speakers who have to leave a table to go to the bathroom are often not sure what to say.  Please try this:  Would you mind if I went to the restroom?  Would you mind if I answered this call?  So it is going to be “Would you mind if…” plus some past tense of a verb.

More Grammar Stuff – “So” vs. “Such a”

Almost every foreign student makes this type of mistake over and over and over again.  Basically, you use “so” with an adjective  and “such a” with an adjective and noun.

She is so beautiful!                     She is such a beautiful woman!

He is so fat!                               He is such a fat guy!

That book is so good!                 That is such a good book.

Please practice because it drives me crazy when people make this type of mistake.

18 essential vocab words  Fill-in-the-blanks

a magician, a role model, to shave, to donate, sideburns, chronic, asceticism, to justify, to pervade, to panic, liberal, to chop, inspired, to be preoccupied, to slaughter, to glimpse, a sacrifice, a deli

Basically, the Republican political party in America is conservative and believes that what is good for business is good for America; the Democratic political party is ___________ and believes that business should be regulated through strong laws and there should be lots of social programs for people.

____________ were very popular in the 1960s and 70s and suddenly came back in the 1990s when men became inspired by hairstyles and facial hair from those decades.

Young boys love sports activities, but athletes are sometimes not good _______________ for these children.  Athletes often cheat, fight and argue with officials or get involved in drug scandals.

Bob was very sad to read about the suffering of the Japanese people after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.  Therefore, as poor as he was, he ____________ a little bit of money to try to help the survivors in Japan.

Initially the pain in my back came and went.  However, when the pain became _____________ I knew I needed to go to a hospital and find out what might be wrong.

Asian parents tend to have a reputation for making any type of ____________ for the sake of their children and their children’s education.

I was hungry, but I didn’t want to eat a huge meal, so I stopped off at my neighborhood _________ and bought a ham and cheese sandwich.

I haven’t seen too many celebrities in New York City.  Once, however, I caught a _____________ of Hugh Grant as he was entering a hotel.

Joe had to admit that he had not been a good husband or father lately because he was so ________________ with his work. 

In the old days a ___________ used to make small objects disappear or pretend to saw (cut) people in half.  Now magic tricks have become complex theatrical spectacles.

When a Buddhist monk ___________ the hair off of his head, he is making a statement that personal appearance is of no real concern to him.

Vegetarians and even more radical (extremely liberal) vegans object to the way that many animals are ______________ for food.

The guillotine was a device created during the French Revolution which _____________ off the heads of people thought to be traitors (not faithful to the Revolution).

The flag of New York City was _____________ by the flag of Holland since the first European settlers here were from that country.

Although Bob realized that the brakes on his car were not working, he did not _____________.  He simply slowed the car down by taking his foot off the gas and pulled over to the side of the road.

Hedonism is the philosophy that the best life is a life of continuous pleasure.  To the other extreme is _____________: the belief that pleasure is evil or that it can corrupt (make a person immoral, dishonest) a person.

Even though it is terribly inefficient and slow and unreliable, the subway system ___________ New York City; you can get just about anywhere in Manhattan by subway.

Although some people feel that the war with Iraq could be _____________ because we removed a dictator from power there, others point out that there was, honestly, no good reason to attack that country.

Answers: liberal, sideburns, role models, donate, chronic, sacrifice, deli, glimpse, preoccupied, magician, shaves, slaughtered, chopped, inspired, panic, asceticism, pervades, justified,