"This is Part Two of "Yer Gramma's Grammer - NOT" After an admittedly long intro, trust me, we'll get to the grammar part.
It's such fun to make fun of Alan Dershowitz. If it hadn't been for the OJ Simpson trial, would anyone even know or care who or what he is? With all the other lawyers on the case, Dershy made himself probably the most visible, and often in the most pugnacious manner (YouTube).
But see how sweet he appears (YouTube) when facing someone who pays him the appropriate homage.
After all, he is (now don't laugh) the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law (emeritus) at Harvard Law School. If I had met Justice/Professor Frankfurter when he was alive, I wouldn't have considered his name funny at all -- that is, not until I learned that his pet students were nicknamed "Felix's Happy Hot Dogs".
But I can't help wondering if the people who bestowed the honorific on Dershowitz were laughing at him behind their hands. Were they trying to tell him something? It's not that Dershy IS like Frankfurter; it's that he seems to strive to emulate Frankfurter's less-desirable qualities.
Did/do his colleagues see Dershy as somewhat aggressive and manipulative? But look at his photo and see how genuinely friendly he appears to be. It's not difficult to believe that a sandwich was named in his honour.
But sadly, I know from personal experience that Dershowitz has a problem with being wrong.
A decade or so ago he involved himself in an online forum where he 'splained things about Israel to the unwashed. I can't recall the exact particulars -- I know it had to do with him trying to characterize as accidental the brutal actions of an IDF soldier -- but I do remember pointing out to him that psychiatrists say there is no such thing as an accident. He huffily replied that "no reputable psychiatrist would ever say such a thing".
If you like, you can Google "Freud no such thing as an accident". I did, and quickly presented the results to Dershy, but he failed to respond and thereafter ignored my posts. So I left the forum because it wasn't fun anymore.
In video debates, respectable, meticulous, erudite people - my best example being Norman Finkelstein - have proven Dershy exceedingly wrong (YouTube) in many of his statements about Israel, yet the Dersh just keeps on talking as if he hasn't been challenged at all.
Watch out, though, because if he can, he'll find a way to retaliate.
Noam Chomsky was once interviewed (YouTube) about Dershy's vicious input into Finkelstein's tenure review and subsequent turfing out of his DePaul professorship -- a "jihad" against him, Chomsky said. Click here to see Finkelstein's student approval ratings at DePaul. (I didn't find any for Dershowitz on the Harvard site.)
Chomsky also noted that when Dershowitz is challenged "he changes the subject".
One subject Dershy has been desperate to change is that of his admittedly close relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Yes, Dershy is/was Epstein's lawyer, but he was also a close enough friend to have vacationed with his wife and pretty young daughter on Epstein's private island. I personally would never allow any adorable, nubile daughter of mine to get anywhere near Epstein's island.
We'll probably never know the intimate truth of the charges laid against Dershy, but, since he admits to being a friend of a convicted sex offender, maybe his "hot dog" status at Harvard ought to be modified to something like "barnyard dog".
Not to worry, though, since severe threats were made against the female accuser, and she was summarily denounced as a "fabulist". Besides, bigger fish than Dershy have been implicated - a member of royalty, for instance - so Dershy might end up in the shadows by default.
If so, he might have to insist upon his own guilt in order to re-enter the limelight.
Dershy is married to a psychologist. Maybe he knew he needed one.
He also seems to be living proof that the American system of basic education is sloppy at best. Sadly, Canadians seem to be following suit.
All that being said, I've just come across one of his articles in Trump-obsessed Maclean's -- Why Donald Trump can’t be charged with obstruction -- and, instead of being rankled by the numerous lapses in spelling, grammar and meaning, I actually laughed out loud. It was like an Easter Egg hunt; delicious morsels strewn by the YardDog himself. And here they are (if I missed any, please let me know):
... the judicial, the executive and the legislative—are equal and independent of each other
SB: "one another" -- If two items, it's okay to say "each other"; if more than two, it's "one another". Examples: "We must all love one another" or "You and I must love each other".
These limited immunities do not place government official above the law ...
(Minor uncaught typo) SB:"officials"
... or directing law enforcement officials who to prosecute and who not to prosecute.
SB: "as to whom to prosecute or not to prosecute"
Who acts. Whom is acted upon.
... part of a president’s constitutionally protected activates.
(Just another uncaught, absent-minded mistake; SB:"activities")
Here's a biggee:
... acts such as subornation of perjury, bribery, destroying evidence and paying hush money.
SB: "acts such as subornation to perjury, bribery, destruction of evidence and payment of hush money."
Synonym for "subornation" = "incitement".
... for firing an executive official, telling law enforcement who to prosecute, or pardoning someone.
Again: Who acts. Whom is acted upon.
... motives of members of congress or judges.
Minor oversight: Congress should be capitalized
They believe that ending a presidency of Donald Trump ...
Hmmmmmmm.... "a" presidency of Donald Trump? So far there's been only one allowed, so "the" would have been more appropriate. Perhaps just another little oversight?
Well, that's that for now. My next Grammar installment (3) will be a list of news media grammar gaffes complete with links, once I've gathered a full page of them.
People generally respect the news media and can too easily be tricked into making errors in grammar simply by seeing them repeated too often. This could result in being turned down when applying for coveted jobs. Maybe I can shame the media and bring them a little bit of extra traffic at the same time.
As for Dershowitz, I know that nothing I've said could possibly phase him, and I have no dreams of changing that. Besides, the worst he could do is sue me for money -- and I'd say, "Good luck with that". Or he could campaign to get my website disappeared, but, since it's on an American server (for now at least), the FCC may soon move all blogs to the Outernet anyway:The FCC just killed net neutrality
Photo: Dershowitz's wife of 30 years, Carolyn, has said her husband 'is the least likely person in the entire world that this would be true of'. (YYC: Perhaps she edits his articles herself?)
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(Thanks to reader Brian H.)
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