August 17, 2009

"Death panel" rhetoric — and other dysphemisms.

I'm trying to think of other examples like "death panels." Proponents of a policy will naturally give it a positive-sounding — even euphemistic — name. Opponents make their rhetorical move with a label of their own. Help me think of some examples that parallel Sarah Palin's extremely effective "death panels." I'm especially interested in terms used by Bush opponents.

I'm also trying to think of the proper term for the opposite of a euphemism. I'm seeing dysphemism, malphemism, and cacophemism on line, but not in my "hard" dictionary. (What's the retronym for a good, authoritative dictionary in book form? I've been calling it my "hard dictionary," the way you'd say "hard line" for a non-cell telephone. And I've started using my hard dictionary more and more lately, because the internet seems to verify the existence of every word and meaning.)

For the opposite of euphemism, I'm going to use dysphemism, because I think dys- is the precise opposite of eu-. Proponents tend to name their policies euphemistically, so it's fair for opponents to counter with the opposite. Dysphemism suggests that an appropriate term has been chosen to balance the positive term used by the other side. I do like the word cacophemism, but it calls to mind cacophony which — to my ear — makes it seem as though the speaker is just making noise, trying to confuse things.

Yes, yes, I know. You — some of you — think Sarah Palin was trying to confuse things when she said "death panels." But that's not my point. My point is that it's an ordinary part of debate to put new — and inflammatory — labels on policies you are opposed to.

So let's look at some dysphemisms deployed by the opponents of George W. Bush. I've come up with 2 to get us started. 1. "Eavedropping" (and "spying") to refer to Bush's domestic surveillance program (which, of course, Obama has carried on), and 2. "Gulag" for Guantanamo.

110 comments:

daubiere said...

"Regime" for "administration" comes to mind.

MayBee said...

Don't forget all the "torture". At one point, rumored Koran mishandling was torture.

And at DailyKos (and I believe FireDogLake), single payer health care proponents say insurance companies practice "murder by spreadsheet".

Jim Hanson said...

pro-choice v. pro-life would fit right into this discussion going both directions.

Cordially,

Uncle J

Kev said...

(the other kev)

"War for Oil"

"Selected not elected"

"Halliburton," no elaboration needed.

vf - 'Sweepu' Getting domestic on me?

Michael Hasenstab said...

Ah nuts. Another pheminist topic.

Calling Bush "Hitler" comes to mind. As does using "Halliburton" for Cheney.

Salamandyr said...

Maybee, I think the "murder by spreadsheet" one counts as a metaphor rather than a dysphemism (great word by the way).

But I think you're right that what happened with "torture" is a great example of what a particular kind of dysphemism--stretching the meaning of a bad thing that we are greatly opposed to, to include this other, less bad thing that we might find acceptable, and thus claiming we should find that unacceptable too.

David said...

Isn't the classic when Ted Kennedy labeled an anti-missile defense system "Star Wars." Basically, naming it defeated it.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Sarah Palin's extremely effective "death panels."


Uhhh, earth to Althouse, while you've been heralding her repeatedly now, it wasn't Palin who started that meme, it was that Betsy chick from the Post, Glenn Beck, and other wingnuts. Palin merely put it on her Facebook and followed the talking point.

And I love how you're making it seem like you're so impressed by Palin, to impress your readers, but I call bullshit. You did not vote for her and you would not vote for her if there were an election held today.

garage mahal said...

Clear Skies Initiative sponsored James Inhofe

m00se said...

God, don't bring up the subject of offline vs. online reference materials. You'll bring the Wiki-fanatics down on your head...

Bi-curious George said...

Still carrying Sarah's water, eh?

Even Grassley now says "death panels" was INAPPROPRIATE.

You have a strange obsession with defending Sarah Palin, no matter how stupid and wrong she is.

What's the word for that, again?

Label: Althouse is like Palin; Althouse is obsessed with Palin

J Riordan said...

"military adventurism"
"warmongering"
"American theocracy"
"Christianism"
Republicans "hate gays" but "love Jesus"
the government is "in your bedroom"
"big brother" (this one was super-effective, lasting for 60 years, and applying to Communists first and then to our side)
"voodoo economics"

Paddy O. said...

"you would not vote for her if there were an election held today."

Ah, but an election is not being held today. And Palin has got moxy, and Althouse loves the moxy.

If Palin keeps it up, wouldn't be surprised to see a "How Palin found me" post in Althouse's future.

No doubt, Meade's magic will help stir the moxy-loving along.

Oh, and as pay for my continuing a tangent...

wingnut = conservative
moonbat = liberal

It's an interesting point to note that a lot of groups take their name from what was once derisive labels. Methodists and Quakers, for example. I doubt Obama will be setting up anything actually named a death panel, however.

Not yet...

WV = Beres. "Beres Drops® Plus may be mixed with a glass of juice or caffeine free tea during or after meals. It is recommended to take a minimum of 100 mg of Vitamin C"

Lem said...

Big Oil.. anything you don’t like just put the word big in front of it.

Big drug companies.
Big transnational corporations.
Big assault rifles.

ricpic said...

Well, calling a spade a spade is the opposite of using a euphemism. But that's one more legitimate and useful phrase rendered controversial by the regnant PC thugs.

Peter S. said...

"faith-based initiatives" --> theocracy (from the left)
"compassionate conservatism" --> big-government conservatism (from the right)
"enhanced interrogation" --> torture (wait, that one's true)

Was there ever a good dysphemism slapped on No Child Left Behind ("teaching to the test")?

And I suppose that the dysphemism for dysphemism is -- what? "Mudslinging"? "Fearmongering"? "Makin' stuff up"?

Paddy O. said...

Oh... from this very comments section.

Palin = stupid.

Not exactly a dysphemism, a fine word by the way, but related. Attach a negative quality point to the arguer and then use that to dismiss arguments. No matter if the supposed dismissals were themselves obviously, by clear thinking and standing-fully-upright people, as themselves IN-A-PRO-PRI-ATE (a clap between each syllable is suggested for use at rallies or fairs).

Lem said...

Big Goverment Health Care.

I guess we use it too ;)

J Riordan said...

here's Althouse on "Christianist":

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/11/christianist.html

c3 said...

One for both admin. bailout

theobromophile said...

I vote for "cacophemism" as the best antonym for "euphemism," even though it sounds an awful lot like "cacophony." "Caco" just means "bad," while "eu" means "good." "Dys," on the other hand, more precisely means "non-functional," and "death panels," as a name, did their job more than well.

(Apparently, I can find some use for all that Greek I learned in college!)

Irene said...

Swiftboating.

EDH said...

Euphemism (pronounced you-for-ism) vs. me-against-ism?

PoNyman said...

rape gurney joe
republican

Penny said...

For seniors with a sense of humor..

Death Panel = "Come to Jesus" meeting

wv: cutio An old Phil Collins tune

Mej said...

The "Employee Free Choice Act" vs. "Card Check".

kcom said...

"Big Oil.. anything you don’t like just put the word big in front of it."

I've used that before. There was some moron on a thread at some point after the invasion in Iraq, that made this statement:

"When the decline of public flag waving occured, in late 2003, several of the manufacturers, were starting to complain, about the slowness in their profits, over the previous period following 9/11.

It was then, that some of these manufacturers, began to promote the yellow ribbon, to show support for the troops (and really for the war and occupation) - in a more subtle way to try and prop up support for patriotism and the war effort and of course support for the U. S. political leadership.
"

Forget the fact that his facts are completely wrong. (Yellow ribbons don't show support for the troops, they show support for separated loved ones. There's overlap, of course, but it's not the same thing. And they certainly have never represented war and occupation. I don't think all those missing kids with yellow ribbons outside their homes are off participating in war and occupation.)

But anyway, I did thank him for opening my eyes to the danger of those evil profit-seekers known as “Big Ribbon”.

bagoh20 said...

Pro-life is accurate, but a little broad.

Pro-choice, not for the fetus.

Wingnut = a useful item that prevents things from falling apart.

Moonbat = aren't all bats?

The term "torture" is now officially meaningless, applying to everything from being photographed to being eaten alive by ants. This is very unfortunate.

rhhardin said...

They served gulag in the high school cafeteria when I was there.

Thank goodness they have vending machines now.

Rialby said...

"Bush tried to destroy Social Security"

tim maguire said...

Irene said...
Swiftboating.


I think we have a winner! With the added bonus that the popular meaning of Swiftboating is roughly the opposite of what the Swiftboaters did.

ewohnoudidnt126 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

"Hard line"? Don't you mean "land line"?

Just Lurking said...

Quagmire for war.

We will know Obama has lost the media if Afghanistan turns into a quagmire.

Marcia said...

How about "dead tree dictionary" for the old paper kind?

Or is that a dysphemism?

Robert Cook said...

"I think we have a winner! With the added bonus that the popular meaning of Swiftboating is roughly the opposite of what the Swiftboaters did."

Actually, the popular meaning of the term--"lying"--is exactly what the Swiftboaters did.

Robert Cook said...

"Quagmire for war.

We will know Obama has lost the media if Afghanistan turns into a quagmire."


Afghanistan has been a quaqmire since the first term of George Bush's administration. It's only becoming more so as time goes on.

Invisible Man said...

Pro-life is accurate, but a little broad.

Pro-life, except for the poor, the convicted and the military, is probably more accurate.

Ann Althouse said...

""Hard line"? Don't you mean "land line"?"

When I do radio, they always ask for a "hard line." People also say "land line."

Zokar said...

Althouse referred to:

"1. "Eavedropping" (and "spying") to refer to Bush's domestic surveillance program.

But at least these terms were basically truthful. Wiretapping is a form of eavedropping or spying.

The dishonest term picked up by the entire MSM to refer to President Bush's trans-national surveillance program was: domestic surveillance.

But that's false. Listening to a cross border conversation, with Caller A in America, and Caller B in, e.g., Pakistan, is NOT "domestic surveillance." It's international surveillance.

But it was an effective propagandistic lie.

Alex said...

I admit "death panels" is a lie, but when it comes to this administration what's the problem with that? Use their same lying Alinskyite tactics. Sarah Palin obviously has read "Rules for Radicals". :):)

Alex said...

J Riordan - yes lefties are in love with use shopworn keywords instead of real debate.

daubiere said...

How about "LIE" for anything someone politically disagrees with.

sierra said...

No Child Left Behind was often described by its opponents as "test-obsessed," which brings psychological dysfunction to mind.

And phrases like "scare tactics" were often used to describe the Bush administration's depiction of Social Security as unstable on behalf of his "risky scheme".

MadisonMan said...

Palin = stupid.

More like Palin=Quitter.

Wisconsin's Gov. Doyle is supposed to announce today, very soon in fact, that he's not running for re-election. (He's doing it at my kids' old school!)

Curiously enough, he's not resigning, even though he's now a lame duck. We'll see how many junkets he takes. According to ex-Governor Palin, that is de rigeur for lame ducks.

Synova said...

Since as far as we can tell Obama never showed up to work to start with... it's a bit much to pretend you *care*, MM. Isn't it?

bagoh20 said...

Invisible Man said...

""Pro-life is accurate, but a little broad."

Pro-life, except for the poor, the convicted and the military, is probably more accurate."


That is so "moonbat", dude.

MadisonMan said...

I also say land line. To take a hard line has an entirely different meaning :)

I take a hard line against hypocritical politicians.

Lem said...

Ross Perot's "giant sucking sound"

MadisonMan said...

Is it your proposition, Synova, that since Obama doesn't work, Palin shouldn't have to either?

Lem said...

Ross didn’t just go big..
As a Texan Ross had to go Giant

Tex the Pontificator said...

Bi-curious George says: "Even Grassley now says . . . ."

As an argumentation tip, if your point is that something is accepted generally on both sides of the aisle, Grassley is not the Republican to point to. Few conservatives are persuaded by anything he says.

sierra said...

The word "eavesdropping" was often used to describe activities that didn't involve listening to conversations, e.g., mining records of phone and internet traffic.

Chase said...

Hate:The word is basically meaningless now, except as a tug-of-war as to who gets to use it for legislation.

Homophobe: Used to label anyone that the person throwing dislikes; used to prevent and disrupt discussion and the solving of problems.

Homosexualist

Shanna said...

Wingnut = a useful item that prevents things from falling apart.

Indeed. Always thought that was a strange choice, although I guess I get it. Mostly I just hate when people come in and call everyone and their brother by some idiotic name. We're not in 2nd grade, people.

mccullough said...

Hope

Change

These words don't mean what we thought they meant

elHombre said...

I think it's more productive to look forward.

How about:
"The Big Payoff" for Oblahblah's deal with the pharmaceutical companies which will, incidently, result in big ad bucks for
Chimpy McHalliburton Axelrod and family.

But maybe Wolf Blitzer and I are too cynical. LOL

wv "balown" = Barack the clown.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is it your proposition, Synova, that since Obama doesn't work, Palin shouldn't have to either?


I think Synova's point was that if you're not going to do the job ( as is often the case for a politician seeking higher office ) you should resign so that someone else can do it.

Mark said...

"Actually, the popular meaning of the term--"lying"--is exactly what the Swiftboaters did."

Robert Cook makes Tim Maguire's point.

Simon Kenton said...

My wife was grumbling about death panels. I said that when care is rationed, there will be bureaucrats who determine who gets it, and the old will get shorted, which will cause some of them a spot of pre-postmature mortality. But since death panels isn't an acceptable term, suppose we call them "transition assistance aides." I believe this qualifies as an antidysphemism, since it is a re-re-action to a coinage, rather than a coinage proper.

fousitsu - when you use its own momentum to sling the shit right back at the fou.

miller said...

You know Mark, John Kerry still has that hat. To this day.

WF: spituct, as in "the American people used their spituct in reaction to the Democrat Party's desire to take away their health care freedom of choice."

Lem said...

I know there must have been some leveled at Judge Starr – the independent council – Clintons impeachment?

I’m drawing a blank.

elHombre said...

IM wrote: Pro-life, except for the poor, the convicted and the military, is probably more accurate.

What are you talking about? Unlike liberals, we actually give money to charities and donate our time to help the poor.

Unlike liberals, we also favor building housing for the convicted.

As for the military, unlike liberals, we don't patronize them or spit on them -- literally or figuratively.

Again: If you pull your head out of the sand, you won't be invisible.

MadisonMan said...

There's a good euphemism: Resign instead of Quit.

Chase said...

This of course just leads to the bigger issue of "framing": the belief of many of our liberal friends that almost anyone can be persuaded about anything if the issue is "framed" correctly. Behind that belief of course is the assumption that almost no one holds to any real values - certainly not the values that the particular group of liberals don't want people to hold.

What gets me riled is the disingenousness that so many on the left get away with, without a similar level of outrage as directed at the crudities and in accuracies of the right end of the political spectrum.

Yesterday, Rachel Maddow tried to shush Dick Armey on "Meet the Press" when Armey complained about the Bush as Hitler ad from MoveOn.org that the left was basically silent about while they seek to gin up public anger about the Hitler references during today's Health Care debate (there they go again - seeking to "frame" and marginalize their opponents).

But Dick Armey was right. MoveOn.org asked for commercials. The Bush Hitler commercial was submitted. MoveOn.org showed the commercial on their website. They took it down after a public spanking, but only after it had been viewed by ten’s of millions of Americans when it was shown in the media. MoveOn is of such LOW character and integrity that, instead of having the basic decency to never even allow the ad to be seen on their site at all, it displayed.

MoveOn.org NEVER apologized – liberals never do – and thus it leaves liberals like Rachel Maddow and her sad ilk with only one way out when the light of facts and truth are shined on the crap they say: parsing, backtracking, basically lying.

Is it even possible to have a truthful discussion with these people?

KLDAVIS said...

No one seems to have mentioned the "Death Tax" rebranding of the "Estate Tax"...pretty classic case of classist rhetoric. Liberals use "estate," thinking that 99% of folks won't ever consider what they are leaving behind an 'estate', and will be happy to soak the rich, while Conservatives try to get mean and scary with 'death' and the inevitability that everyone big and small will be hit by it.

elHombre said...

You know Mark, John Kerry still has that hat. To this day.

And Kerry really did spend Christmas in Cambodia in 1968 when Nixon was President. ROTFL

Chase said...

And this just in for our liberal friends who adore the Canadian system:

The incoming President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Dr. Anne Doing warned: “the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize…

“We know that there must be change,” she said. “We’re all running flat out, we’re all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands.”

The pitch for change at the conference is to start with a presentation from Dr. Robert Ouellet, the current president of the CMA, who has said there’s a critical need to make Canada’s health-care system patient-centred. He will present details from his fact-finding trip to Europe in January, where he met with health groups in England, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and France.

His thoughts on the issue are already clear. Ouellet has been saying since his return that “a health-care revolution has passed us by,” that it’s possible to make wait lists disappear while maintaining universal coverage and “that competition should be welcomed, not feared.”

William said...

Kulak was orginally a derogatory term. It referred to tight-fisted, grasping peasants. By using this term to describe small, independent farmers, the Soviets won half the battle....In like way, there is now an effort to make the worries of the elderly, the paranoia of the geezers.

Lem said...

A “conversation” is the latest incarnation of another euphemism – “the race card”.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Is it even possible to have a truthful discussion with these people?

Last week I was told by an Obama supporter that I was being unreasonable to expect Congresspersons to actually read the legislation they were voting on.

Logic doesn't seem possible either.

Elliott A said...

You mean that Canada has waiting lists? for health care?

Michael Hasenstab said...

"Reform" is a euphemism for making a bad thing worse, i.e., campaign finance reform.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Senate Ethics Committee is a euphemism for "felon protection program"

Zachary Paul Sire said...

"War on Terror" was a great one.

"No Child Left Behind" is my all time fave though. And by "fave" I mean absolute nightmare for public education.

Chase said...

I actually liked "No Child Left Behind" - I believe it;'s a good program (still, it could have been better, but at least it was the first step forward in Education standards after the accomplish-nothing-for-education Clinton years).

My favorite comments on NCLB:

Jon Stewart being interviewed at the 2000 Republican National Convention:
"Actually, we found out that they are going to leave 4 kids behind:" and then he proceeds to name 4 kids.

Hillarious.

Richard Fagin said...

Dysphemisms? Department of Education. Department of Energy. Welfare. "He's just like that crazy uncle...."

Chip Ahoy said...

I think quagmire is entirely inappropriate word when used to describe a messy or sticky or impossible situation when applied to a desert area.

Iraq and Afghanistan, largely sandy and dusty, are the exact opposite of mires, which are swampy and wet. To my ear, it makes the speaker sound foolish -- foolish for using a word picked up and broadly used without really thinking about it.

The words quagmire and endgame used in the same paragraph are red-flag words that signal I'm reading an idiot.

Hoosier Daddy said...

War on Terror" was a great one.


Actually I preferred War on Fucking Crazy Islamofascist Headhackers but too many people on the crunchy granola side thought that was mean and racist.

EnigmatiCore said...

Contract on America.

MadisonMan said...

PATRIOT act.

vw: unction.

The perfect word to describe just about any politician.

NKVD said...

Cookie is so funny - he misunderstands everything.

WV - ousts - what he does to normalcy.

Rick said...

Greed for profit motive

ricpic said...

Toddlers and geezers are paranoid, and rightly so,
Who knows when the big-strongs will whack you or steal your dough?

Steven said...

The OED lists dysphemism. It does not list malphemism or cacophemism.

ricpic said...

Agreed that quagmire isn't appropriate for describing Iraq or Afghanistan. Quicksand doesn't work either because of the wetness factor. Sand trap?

tim maguire said...

MadisonMan, Patriot Act is a good example of something, but I think it deserves its own category.

Popular names for legislation, PA definitely included, often have the look of poll tested pablum intended to create a happy feeling in the hearer rather than inform him of the meaning of the legislation.

G Joubert said...

Hows about "Waterloo"? South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is proving to be prescient.

traditionalguy said...

Quagmire is a recognition that your forces cannot outmanoever the enemy who is using a guerrilla ambush following a road convoy bombing and then melting away tactic. It applies in the tribal areas of Afghan mountains where, like in the jungles of Viet Nam, we cannot dominate by Airpower and tanks but must use raider actions of our own. A wise commander will not give the enemy that advantage. In Iraq/Kuwait our airpower and tanks dominated the field except in sections of urban areas that acted as a cover for the enemy until the locals started dropping a dime on them for us. The locals in tribal Afghanistan will never act like the Sunni Sheiks in Iraq did during our surge.

Robin said...

Teabagging and teabaggers as used by the media is a dysphemism for people exercising their freedom of speech and to express their opposition of government tyranny. As we all know, dissent is patriotic only when it expresses liberal talking points.

Jeremy said...

GOP Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri has promised to stop spreading a health care falsehood that’s been widely bandied about on the right after his local paper fact-checked his claim and called him out for fibbing.

Blunt claimed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he wouldn’t be able to get his hip replaced in countries with socialized medicine, prompting the paper to respond aggressively in an editorial:

Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, knows a thing or two about health care. But some of what he knows just isn’t true.

“I’m 59,” Mr. Blunt said last week during a meeting with Post-Dispatch reporters and editors. “In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn’t get it replaced.”

At least 63 percent of hip replacements performed in Canada last year and two-thirds of those done in England were on patients age 65 or older. More than 1,200 in Canada were done on people older than 85.

Jeremy said...

Robin - It also refers to dropping someone's balls into your mouth.

Have any experience?

Jeremy said...

And the usual bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining, bitching and whining...

...from the local wing nuts.

Joe M. said...

For those who, like me, are interested in language.

Althouse wrote:
For the opposite of euphemism, I'm going to use dysphemism, because I think dys- is the precise opposite of eu-.

This is correct. I at first thought that caco- might be more precise, etymologically, although still undesirable for the associations with cacophony, as you state; having checked the Liddell and Scott (the Greek dictionary), I see that I was wrong (link):

δυ^ς- , insepar. Prefix, opp. εὖ, A. un-, mis-, with notion of hard, bad, unlucky, etc., as δυσήλιος, δύσαγνος; destroying the good sense of a word, or increasing its bad sense: hence, joined even to words expressing negation ...

And, as Steven points out, I could have saved myself the time (if not the philological pleasure) by checking the OED, which gives "dysphemism" as the opposite of "euphemism" (apparently we get it via French).

Hoosier Daddy said...

Robin - It also refers to dropping someone's balls into your mouth.

Speaking of dropping balls, have yours done so yet Jeremy?

AJ Lynch said...

If you don't have kids, what could you know and why would you care about NCLB?

You are just parrotting DEM talking point IMO.

wv = frunge

Irene said...

Recent vintage: astroturf.

Flexo said...

Again: If you pull your head out of the sand, you won't be invisible.


That's not sand he's got his head shoved in.

AlphaLiberal said...

Palin's comment has been shown to be a lie several dozen times by the news media.

Further, we have operating today private-sector death panels by the insurance industry. They withhold treatment that leads to death all the time.

But the "pro-life" hypocrites of the Right don't care. If the "market" says they must die, they must die!

AlphaLiberal said...

Recent vintage: astroturf. .

Not so much. I first heard of this back in the 1990s or something. It's of old vintage.

AlphaLiberal said...

It is a bit disturbing how unconcerned with the truth Ann Althouse can be.

Palin was not trying to confuse things. She was LYING. (She, herself signed a resolution in favor of end of life planning that she distorted).

Really, that's a despicable trait. Especially when you use your blog to amplify and praise the lies, Ann.

So much for "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

miller said...

"She, herself signed a resolution in favor of end of life planning that she distorted."

The issue is, what what was in the bill exactly as what Palin opposed? Or were there significant differences?

Google should work to find that.

Jeremy said...

Hoosier - Are you asking me to drop my balls into your mouth?

Is there room...you know, with the corn cob and all?

Rick said...

AlphaLiberal said:

"They withhold treatment that leads to death all the time. "

I gave my doctor explicit instructions to withhold all treatments that lead to death.

hdhouse said...

why you all keep cutting that dimwit slack is beyond me.

Cedarford said...

Obama using the word "Distraction" to dismiss anything he doesn't want to do, or end something. As in "Rev Wright is a distraction", Iraq is a "distraction", people foolishly clinging to their God, culture and guns are a "distraction from the Real Issues".

Bush's dumb "war on terror", his constant use of the phrase "noble freedom-lovers" to describe homicidal Muslim populations he wished to rescue from themselves.

Bush's describing anyone that wanted his huge prescription drug program or Iraq paid for as "someone who wants to increase taxes on hard-working Americans."

Neocons invented "World War IV" to describe the "Global War on Islamofascism" and against the "freedom-haters". Ignoring that there was never a WWIII, and it was a huge stretch to call a small conflict that has only killed a few thousand as WWIV - unless you wish to argue that Muslim hostilities from AD 680 to present are actually WWI.
Islamofascism is their way of saying Muslim=Hitler. Despite radical Islam having almost nothing in common with Central State Fascism.
And few people are freer than a tribal Muslim in a barbarous land.

kcom said...

"Palin was not trying to confuse things. She was LYING. (She, herself signed a resolution in favor of end of life planning that she distorted)."

The proclamation she signed didn't establish any governmental entity or disburse any governmental funds for said activities. It was a proclamation advocating people be mindful of their future and look after their business. It in no way involved the government sticking its nose in their lives.

What she said about the current plans was her opinion. An opinion is not and can never be a lie, no matter how much you try to spin it. If you didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday you'll know that the world is a much more nuanced place than you pretend it is. Once the proverbial ball is started rolling, the ones who did the starting frequently lose control over where it goes. Things begin to follow their own internal logic in a way never anticipated at the beginning. And it doesn't take a genius to see that in a system that's stated goal is to save money, that will most likely lead to rationed care, that said care is spent disproportionately on old people...well, you follow the trend and see where it leads you. It might not be the stated goal in black and white at the beginning but it's not an entirely unwarranted extrapolation either. Yes, it's the slippery slope argument dressed up in more colorful terms, but it's a time-honored tradition. Free speech advocates use it, abortion rights advocates use it, propery owners rights advocates use it, gun rights advocates use it. It doesn't mean a full on plunge down the slippery slope is inevitable, but it does mean you better watch real careful that you don't let it come to that.

Beth said...

Dysphemism works as words go. It has a nice parallelism to utopia/dystopia.

David said...

Euphemism: 'military contractors'
Dysphemism: 'mercenaries'

PeteDrum said...

Test. (TypePad is screwing up)