DISPATCHES FROM THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY: New York Times Refuses To Use Term ‘Female Genital Mutilation’ Because It’s ‘Culturally Loaded.’
GEORGE ORWELL, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Los Angeles Times Op-Ed Claims Sanctuary Cities ‘Keep Crime Down,’ Jack Dunphy notes.
The MSM may have eliminated the phrase “illegal aliens,” from their style guides, which increasingly resemble Winston Smith’s Newspeak Dictionary, but the rest of us haven’t.
DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY: “Seeking ‘gender inclusivity,’ [University of Minnesota] sheds homecoming king and queen titles. Two students, regardless of gender, will be homecoming ‘royalty’ starting this fall.”
Scientists will quickly discover the shortest period of time measurable when the students crowned as “royalty” will be ordered to check their privilege.
INDEPENDENT CINEMAS IN THE US TO SHOW 1984 AS TRUMP PROTEST:
“Orwell’s novel begins with the sentence, ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,'” reads a statment on the project’s website. “Less than one month into the new presidential administration, theater owners collectively believe the clock is already striking thirteen. Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier.”
“The endeavor encourages theaters to take a stand for our most basic values: freedom of speech, respect for our fellow human beings, and the simple truth that there are no such things as ‘alternative facts’.
Well, other than the fact that Orwell was predicting how Communism and its degradation of language would eventually engulf the UK (and just offscreen, America). Speaking of which, ctrl-f on the above article for “Ingsoc” brings up zero results. Oh, and by the way, haven’t we bern here before? I think we’ve been here before.
I suggest, as a corollary to Orwell’s prescient observation that (I’m paraphrasing) some things are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them, that should you seek stupidity in depth and a full lock on all mental development, enroll in a prestige high-fee North American liberal university. Further, I hold that whatever debates may be underway about the targets of Orwell’s dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four, the modern university is the only institution that has taken that noble work for use as a manual.
Oh, they’re not the only institution who use it as a how-to guide; the previous administration and the DNC-MSM view it that way as well, but then Obama was infinitely more suited to being the guy who hectors his fellow socialists in the faculty lounge than actually being president of the United States. And as Noah Rothman of Commentary tweeted on Friday, “Wait until everyone in Washington buying 1984 and Animal Farm find out they’re about communism.”
RIP, JOHN HURT: Bafta-winning actor dies aged 77.
Not least of his roles was starring in the definitive film version of Orwell’s 1984, a mediation on where socialism and the concomitant road to serfdom ultimately lead.
STOP! IN THE NAME OF THE PRONOUN POLICE! “Queer Activist Arrested for Murder, Friend Insists He Goes By ‘They,’” and Berkeley newspaper updates story accordingly:
Berkeleyside, a local independent news outlet, rushed a story to the presses on Friday, but it had to issue an important correction. Reportedly, the suspected murderer would rather be called by the pronoun “they,” as opposed to “he.”
Facing murder charges is nothing compared to being “misgendered,” apparently. (A later update would clarify Gomez’s age at 22.)
Police have identified the wanted person as 24-year-old Pablo Gomez Jr. of North Hollywood. According to Gomez Jr.’s Facebook page, they are a UC Berkeley student who lives in Berkeley. [A friend contacted Berkeleyside after publication to say that Gomez Jr. uses the pronoun “they.” This story has been updated.]
As if this note were not enough, the article also included a correction statement at the bottom.
This story was updated after publication to reflect Gomez Jr.’s preferred pronoun, according to a friend who contacted Berkeleyside.
Time to update the Newspeak Dictionary again, comrade.
‘WE’RE TEACHING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS LIES’ – AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. JORDAN PETERSON:
My primary interest has always been the psychology of belief. Partly religious belief, and ideology as a sub-category of religious belief. One of Jung’s propositions was that whatever a person values most highly is their god. If people think they are atheistic, it means is they are unconscious of their gods. In a sophisticated religious system, there is a positive and negative polarity. Ideologies simplify that polarity and, in doing so, demonize and oversimplify. I got interested in ideology, in a large part, because I got interested in what happened in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Cultural Revolution in China, and equivalent occurrences in other places in the world. Mostly I concentrated on Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. I was particularly interested in what led people to commit atrocities in service of their belief. The motto of the Holocaust Museum in Washington is “we must never forget.” I’ve learned that you cannot remember what you don’t understand. People don’t understand the Holocaust, and they don’t understand what happened in Russia. I have this course called “Maps of Meaning,” which is based on a book I wrote by the same name, and it outlines these ideas. One of the things that I’m trying to convince my students of is that if they had been in Germany in the 1930s, they would have been Nazis. Everyone thinks “Not me,” and that’s not right. It was mostly ordinary people who committed the atrocities that characterized Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Part of the reason I got embroiled in this [gender identity] controversy was because of what I know about how things went wrong in the Soviet Union. Many of the doctrines that underlie the legislation that I’ve been objecting to share structural similarities with the Marxist ideas that drove Soviet Communism. The thing I object to the most was the insistence that people use these made up words like ‘xe’ and ‘xer’ that are the construction of authoritarians. There isn’t a hope in hell that I’m going to use their language, because I know where that leads.
Read the whole thing.
DAVID SOLWAY ON BUILDING THE GULAG, WESTERN STYLE.
DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Pronouns, Ordinary People, and the War over Reality — Do not dismiss the pronominal wars as nonsense or assume that its warriors are merely daft.
Read the whole thing.
US NAVY WRITES LATEST UPDATES TO NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY:
And the same word-blind stupidity is spreading to our armed forces. As of last week, the U.S. Navy is dropping all job titles that include the word “man.” A chief yeoman will become just a chief. “Fire Controlmen” will become nondescript “Petty Officers.” To avoid insult, “sailors will no longer be identified by their job title,” says the Navy Times; the titles “airman, fireman, constructionman and hospitalman” will be “replaced by job codes”; “B320” or “B450” or some other colorless non-word.
All this because no one has told Navy secretary, Ray Mabus, that the suffix “man” does not necessarily mean male.
And all this while the size and readiness of the military are plummeting to pre–Second World War levels. To boot, all this during the same week that Russia threatened to shoot down American planes over Syria; an implicit threat from Russia that it’s ready to go to war with us over Middle East hegemony. This just months after the U.S. did nothing in response to Iran’s navy’s capturing and humiliating ten American sailors (seamen?). This after many, many implicit and explicit red lines have been crossed in Syria, Ukraine, and the South China sea without any meaningful American reaction.
DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE. Columbia Student: I Was Reported to Gender-Based Misconduct Office for Calling Myself Handsome.
And yes, “the Gender-Based Misconduct Office” really does sound like a cubicle farm deep in the basement of the Ministry of Information.
(Via Anna Z.)
DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “It’s not possible to satirize the reign of political correctness on campus. Today’s satire is tomorrow’s diktat. John Leo takes note of the latest dispatch from the education apocalypse at Princeton and mischievously gets in the spirit.”
Read the whole thing.
DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Ithaca College Professor Stopped Teaching About Sexual Violence Because Students Complained:
Plante is one of many academics who increasingly find themselves walking on eggshells to avoid offending their students. Some law school professors have stopped teaching rape law due to complaints from students who claim the subject is traumatizing—even though educating students about this important topic should be more important than making everybody in class comfortable all of the time.
If professors want to warn their students before discussing particularly disturbing subjects, that’s fine. But it’s concerning that strenuous objection from the students is leading academic to stop teaching these subjects entirely.
And I hate to say this, but it’s undeniable: Plante’s experience makes me wonder if some students are feigning trauma in order to skip class, readings, and assignments. “This triggers me” is the new “my dog ate my homework.”
And thus, knowledge passed on to future generations, much like successive editions of 1984’s Newspeak Dictionary, becomes ever smaller. Tom Wolfe promised us the 21st century would the era of “The Great Relearning,” but in the race between those who wish to preserve mankind’s knowledge and those who want to toss it all away, the airbrush artists are currently winning.
DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Staff Name Tags at Vanderbilt Include ‘Preferred Gender Pronouns:’
Pronouns have become a contentious issue lately as people with niche gender identities have invented new pronouns to refer to themselves, like ze, xyr, and vis.
According to a university spokesperson, in response to student interest, the school gave staff of the Dean of Students Office the option to include their preferred pronouns on their name tags, which are sometimes worn during major events like move-in day.
Update Newspeak Dictionaries accordingly.
DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Overpriced Fancypants Vanderbilt University Festoons Campus With Absurd ‘Ze, Zir, Zirs’ Pronoun Posters.
Photo of the latest additions to the Newspeak Dictionary at link.
WAS IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY AND IF BILL CLINTON IS A RAPIST, THAT DOESN’T ‘MAKE HIM A BAD FEMINIST,’ Wonkette editor Rebecca Schoenkopf exalts, learning to love both Big Brother – and Big Sister.
GEORGE ORWELL, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Actual headline at the London Daily Mail: “How Harry Potter can make you hate Donald Trump: Study finds J.K. Rowling books made people more tolerant and lowered their rating of Republican nominee.”
Emphasis, mine. If you’re “more tolerant,” why would you “hate” a political figure you disagree with, instead of attempting a bit of empathy to understand both what makes him tick, and what his supporters admire about him?
MICHAEL BARONE: George Orwell, Call Your Office.
UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY: New Progressive Media Lunacy: ‘Terrorist’ is a Biased Word.
UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY: In our brave, new world, the proper use of English is now a microagression.
But isn’t bitching about being micro-aggressed itself a micro-aggression?
LATEST EDITION OF NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY TO BE DELAYED PUBLICATION. Words Matter: House Orders Library of Congress to Keep ‘Illegal Alien’ Designation.
Better start with the White House, which has been effectively unmanned since January of 2009. Update Newspeak Dictionaries accordingly.
DISPATCHES FROM THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH: Chicago Students Now Required To Adopt Transgender Newspeak.
Your kids will be made to care.
TIME TO UPDATE YOUR NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES: “I’m not sure, but I suspect that once upon a time ‘juvenile delinquent’ was a liberal euphemism for ‘young criminal.’ As often happens, however, eventually even the euphemism is thought to be too harsh, and so a better one has to be found. And so one has: This Obama-administration press release yesterday talked a lot about ‘justice-involved youth.'”
Read the whole thing.
While nobody outside of the Ministry of Truth is better at euphemisms “created or saved” than this Orwellian administration, even for the Team Obama, that’s one “man-caused disaster” of a “workplace violence” euphemism, which really needs to be dispatched on its own “overseas contingency operation” stat!
GEORGE ORWELL, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Library of Congress cancels ‘illegal aliens’ subject heading.
Adjust your edition of the Newspeak Dictionary accordingly.
INMATES RUNNING THE ASYLUM: Western Washington University Demand Power to Hire/Fire Staff & Change Spelling:
Student activists at Western Washington University, a public university in Bellingham, Washington, have presented a list of demands that go much further than those of students at other universities in the rash of student protests during the 2015/16 school year. The activist group called the “Student Assembly for Power and Liberation” presented a list of demands to help the campus’ oppressed persxns (the “x” is not a typo that’s how they spell it on their document). Their demands include the creation of an entirely new school as well as hiring/firing power, and a student committee to discipline the “oppressive behavior” of faculty and staff.
It’s the Lxrd xf the Flies meets Xrwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Fxur — their versixn xf the Newspeak Dictixnary shxuld be awesxme!
DISPATCHES FROM THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY: Every modern revolutionary movement has sought to change the language. Campus leftists are hardly the first.
UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY: “Let’s banish the term ‘gun control’: the better expression is ‘gun safety,'” claims the New York Times’ Nick Kristof in full Ministry of Truth mode.
I’m not sure which is crazier — reinventing the language, or “a moral sanction against gun metaphors similar to the ‘N’ word,” as one of Chris Matthews’ guests proposed immediately after Tucson.
PC INSANITY RUN AMOK, AMOK, AMOK:
In what many are panning as ludicrous, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) has come out with a list of words/chants/actions that they have decided are both offensive and disrespectful to other students, players, and officials during athletic events.
Here are just a few of my favorites … but will give you the link so you can chose your own top five.
- Singing the song “Na-Na-Na-Na/Na-Na-Na-Na/Hey-hey/Goodbye.”
- “Booing of any kind” (keep in mind, this is at sporting events).
- “Push it, push it, push it” (someone better notify Salt-N-Pepa).
- Waving arms or making movements or sudden noises in an attempt to distract an opponent” (Yes, you read that correctly; The Wave = Bad).
- Chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.”
Still, though, it sort of makes sense; as Obama noted in his State of the Union last night, America has solved all of its other problems, so we can finally begin the precision fine-tuning of language to avoid hurt feelings, micro-aggressions, and even micro-micro-aggressions. Which edition of the Newspeak Dictionary are we on these days?
(H/T: James Lileks.)
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON Politics and What Remains of the English Language:
What Has Happened to Language?
This tiny vocabulary sampling reflects another recent epidemic of victimhood, as the English language is further squeezed and massaged to create reality from fantasy.
First, over a half-century of institutionalized equal opportunity has not led to an equality of result. Particular self-identified groups feel collectively that they are less well off than others and are bewildered that this is still possible, since they can point to no law or custom that precludes their opportunity by race, class, or gender. Therefore, inventing a vocabulary of grievances is far more effective in gaining concessions than self-criticism and self-reliance are in winning parity.
Second, in an affluent, leisured and postmodern society of $300 Jordan-label sneakers that sell out in hours, big-screen televisions at Walmart that become prizes for warring consumers on Black Friday, and over 50% of the population exempt from income taxes, it is becoming harder to define, in the material sense, oppression-driven victimhood. In such a world, even multi-billionaire Oprah has difficulty finding discrimination and so becomes reduced to whining about a perceived snub in a Swiss boutique that sells six-figure purses. Language is pressed into service to create victims where there are few, but where many are sorely needed, psychologically — and on the chance such a prized status might lead to a profitable trajectory otherwise impossible by passé notions of work and achievement.
It’s doubleplusgood; read the whole thing.
ADJUST NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY: Hillary hammers ‘obsession’ with the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ as she insists ‘Muslims … have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.’
UPDATE: Naturally, Trump goes the polar opposite, though equally extreme direction. “Trump won’t rule out special IDs, warrantless searches for Muslims,” Allahpundit writes, adding, “I can’t tell if he’s serious or if this is a sort of game being played between him and a reporter, Hunter Walker, who knows how Trump operates rhetorically. Note that it’s Walker, not Trump, who floats the idea of special IDs and warrantless searches, picking up from what Trump said this past week about closing down mosques.”
IF YOU’RE HEARING DOG WHISTLES, YOU’RE THE DOG: MSNBC Host: When Republicans Say The Phrase ‘Hard Worker’ They’re Being Racist.
(Headline via James Taranto.)
UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY: UWM says ‘politically correct’ is no longer politically correct — the phrase ‘politically correct’ is now a microaggression according to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words,” as Syme bragged to Winston.
(Via Maggie’s Farm.)
UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY: Legendary linguistic scholar Gwyneth Paltrow replaces the word “divorce” with the “California dreamin’” phrase “conscious uncoupling:” “Is ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ Really the Path to Self-Fulfillment?”
THE LEFT’S DILEMMA: THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO BE OFFENDED BY, AND SO LITTLE TIME TO AGONIZE ABOUT EACH, George Will writes:
Autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, also is the time for sensitivity auditors to get back on — if they will pardon the expression — the warpath against the name of the Washington Redskins. The niceness police at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have won court approval of their decision that the team’s name “may disparage” Native Americans. We have a new national passion for moral and historical hygiene, a determination to scrub away remembrances of unpleasant things, such as the name Oklahoma, which is a compound of two Choctaw words meaning “red” and “people.”
Connecticut’s state Democratic Party has leapt into the vanguard of this movement, vowing to sin no more: Never again will it have a Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. Connecticut Democrats shall still dine to celebrate their party’s pedigree but shall not sully the occasions by mentioning the names of two slave owners. Because Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners have long been liturgical events for Democrats nationwide, now begins an entertaining scramble by states’ parties — Georgia’s, Missouri’s, Iowa’s, New Hampshire’s, and Maine’s already have taken penitential actions — to escape guilt by association with the third and seventh presidents.
The Washington Post should join this campaign for sanitized names, thus purging the present of disquieting references to the past. The newspaper bears the name of the nation’s capital, which is named for a slave owner who also was — trigger warning — a tobacco farmer. Washington, D.C., needs a new name. Perhaps Eleanor Roosevelt, D.C. She had nothing to do with her husband’s World War II internment of 117,000 persons of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were native-born American citizens.
Hey, our students’ history books, like Oceania’s Newspeak Dictionary, aren’t going to shrink themselves.
DISPATCHES FROM THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY: The Insanity of ‘Gender Neutral’ Pronouns.
DEMOCRATS FOOLISHLY PURGE THEIR HEROES: By applying today’s standards, Presidents Jefferson, Jackson, Wilson & FDR get the boot.
But this is where political correctness inevitably leads: Just as 1984’s Newspeak Dictionary became progressively (pun intended) smaller in each succeeding edition, so must the left’s version of history, as well.
Like so many other politicians, Cameron is infected with the virus of political correctness, a virus that weakens the host to the point where resistance against dangerous threats becomes impossible. This may seem absurd, but consider; if the mere act of identifying a threat is considered evil, how then is resistance to be organised? This is, of course, the precise reason why 1984 was (and remains) such an important novel. The newspeak of political correctness is just as dangerous as the cruder form practiced by Big Brother.
Cameron is correct, to be fair, that Islamic extremism is a deadly threat. It is a ruthless force that is just as dangerous to Muslims as it is to everyone else. Nor is there any denying the strange appeal of extremism to young men and women, even though the men will be used as cannon fodder and the women forced to breed the next generation of extremists. Nor, finally, is there any denying the spread of conspiracy theories through the Middle East and the Muslim Diaspora, an inevitable result of governments that – whatever veneer they wear – are blatantly hypocritical. Many of Cameron’s observations on why this extremism spreads are quite accurate. Far too many young Muslims in Britain – and non-Muslims too – simply feel no attachment to British society.
But this is caused by a simple failure to defend British society.
When you have a ruling class that doesn’t much like the country it rules, this is what happens.
UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY: CNN’s Chris Cuomo: Sanctuary Cities Are A ‘Misnomer:’
CNN’s Chris Cuomo minimized the problem of sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants on Monday’s New Day. When Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s special counsel, touted how Trump “opened up the eyes to (sic) many Americans that didn’t even know sanctuaries existed,” Cuomo claimed that sanctuary cities are a “misnomer.” He underlined that “those are cities…are in disputes with ICE about how you deal with people that they’re holding….But they’re not safe havens the way you’re describing.”
The liberal anchor might want to object to his own network’s coverage of the issue of illegal immigration, as the term has come up multiple times since Trump’s announcement. One of Cuomo’s co-anchors, Michael Pereira, and correspondent Dan Simon used the phrase on the Wednesday edition of the morning newscast, as they covered the murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal alien.
And of course, back in 2013, AP erased the phrase “illegal immigrant” from its style guide, and much (but not all) of the DNC-MSM quickly followed suit. And yet, erasing words and declaring certain phrases as thoughtcrime doesn’t stop the actual crimes from occurring in the real world beyond the TV studios and newsrooms.
UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY ACCORDINGLY: State Department Officially Calls Iran’s Forced Sex Change Surgeries ‘Confirmation:’
By referring to the surgeries as “gender confirmation,” rather than the much more widespread and morally neutral “sex reassignment surgery,” the State Department seems to be siding with the Iranian government’s false “cure” for homosexuality.
John Kerry never got the memo that Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, not a how-to guide.
ATTENTION OUTER PARTY MEMBERS, LATEST VERSION OF NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY NOW ONLINE: Univ. of WI Releases List of Microaggressions; Saying “Everyone can Succeed” Now Racist.
THE NEW LANGUAGE OF SEXUAL CONSENT: Newspeak.
ROGER KIMBALL: Benghazi: The New York Times vs. the Truth. “How are we to understand the Times’s latest entry into the contest to rewrite history for ideological fun and profit? My own sense is that it has less to do with salvaging President Obama’s tattered reputation — he is well on his way to winning the prize for the least competent and most destructive president in the history of the republic. No, Barack Obama is yesterday’s news, and unless and until he is impeached and removed from office he will be pretty much forgotten by purveyors of all the Newspeak fit to print. They have their eyes on another player in the Benghazi scandal, namely Hilary Clinton. If anyone emerged from that shameful episode more discredited than Barack Obama, it was Ms. Clinton. But time is passing fast, and there is a lot of remedial work to do if Hilary Clinton is to be suitably repackaged as the Democratic candidate for president. That ambition, I believe, stands behind this elaborate, breathtaking exercise in journalistic mendacity.”
PLEASE UPDATE YOUR NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY ACCORDINGLY: UNC drops term ‘freshman’ in favor of ‘gender-inclusive’ language.
ONE WAY FREE SPEECH: The progressive vision of free speech is decidedly one-way, excluding any speech that is “hate” speech, or simply politically incorrect speech. The latest battle is taking place on college and university campuses across the country, as this report about UC-Berkeley reveals. The one-way topic du jour? Palestine.
I can tell you from first-hand experience as an academic that pro-Palestine speech is freely encouraged, while pro-Israel speech is far too often labeled “hate” speech and suppressed.
Progressive free speech = one way only. Reminds me of George Orwell’s 1984: “Don’t you see the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the language of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible because there will be no words in which to express it”
THE SCOURGE OF THE FEMINIST WORD POLICE: How feminist writer Kate Swift created her own Newspeak Dictionary and helped ruin everyday English.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Blue State Dems Turn on State, Local Workers.
Despite the differences in rhetoric, killing public sector unions is a nonpartisan policy in the United States. While Republicans are more explicit about their goal, and want to move faster, Democrats and Republicans are both taking steps that will soon reduce the public sector union movement to a shadow of its current self.
Look at Rahm Emanuel, newly elected mayor of Chicago. Chicago is a dark blue city in a deep blue state; Emanuel is a career Democratic pol who served as chief of staff to the most liberal American president elected in many years. And what is Emmanuel doing? The mayor-elect was cagey on the subject during the campaign, but massive tax increases are off the table, and so are big bailouts from Washington DC. According to Time magazine, the campaign has spoken cryptically about saving $110 million from reducing “outdated and duplicative work processes to focus on front-line service delivery.” Translate that out of bureaucratic Newspeak and it means getting more work done with fewer people: layoffs. Emanuel says that the city’s generous pensions need to be preserved, but may also have to be, ahem, renegotiated. This does not sound like a renegotiation up. . . .
Look at New York, the classically blue state where I live, home to liberal lions like Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Fiorello LaGuardia and Mario Cuomo. Here our new governor Andrew Cuomo is seeking major concessions and threatening layoffs against the public sector unions, vowing to balance the state’s budget with spending cuts. Cuomo has also promised — read his lips? — not to raise taxes, and has introduced what the New York Times editorial page calls a “radical” bill to cap property tax increases and require a super-majority to raise them by more than 2 percent a year. Up to 9,800 state employees face layoffs under his new budget: that is more than six times more people than Wisconsin governor Walker has threatened to lay off if his union bill isn’t passed. . . . The public sector labor movement has reached a historical dead end. Cities and states that yield to labor demands have higher costs, higher taxes and higher debt than places that don’t. Over time, those states stand to lose revenue, jobs and population to cheaper and more efficient jurisdictions. If the governor of Vermont can see New Hampshire from his house, the governor of Illinois can see Wisconsin and Indiana.
Read the whole thing. I think the unions picked Wisconsin for their stand in part because that way they wouldn’t have to go after a well-connected Democratic governor.
THE GULF OIL SPILL meets the Newspeak dictionary.
THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY GOES GALLIC: Theodore Dalrymple hands out the first Brezhnev Prize for the most obfuscating European politician ever.
And for news of transatlantic obfuscations, following the embarrassment of having recommended Spain’s failed environmental programs as his model, President Obama has switched to Denmark as his prototype “green” nation. Good choice? Not so fast, Christopher Horner writes, asking, “Best out of five?”
RELATED: At Reason TV, “Sweden’s March Towards Capitalism.”
Hopefully, someday America will begin a similar journey as well.
COUNTERING WUSSY PC EUPHEMISMS:
If you blinked, you might have missed it. The Obama administration has unofficially rebranded “war on terror” phrase that dominated public discourse throughout the Bush administration. The replacement phrase, carefully chosen, is “CVE” — Countering Violent Extremism.
Like Orwell’s ever-shrinking Newspeak Dictionary, Marc Ambinder counts the number of real-world words missing from this latest euphemism, a term that brings new meaning to the title of Austin Bay’s pocket dictionary of military jargon.
IN THE BOSTON GLOBE, ALEX BEAM:
It is inevitable in modern American politics that each new president inaugurates his own brand of bushwa – rubbish, lies, eyewash, whatever you choose to call it – that reminds one of nothing so much as the previous guy’s bushwa. Mr. Obama is no exception. . . . Remember signing statements? Those were the dastardly little postscripts George Bush attached to legislation that he didn’t completely approve of. Signing statements ignore the “fundamental principle’’ of the separation of powers, the American Bar Association huffed. On the campaign trail, candidate Obama was asked, “Do you promise not to use presidential [signing statements] to get your way?’’ “Yes,’’ he answered. “I taught the Constitution for 10 years, I believe in the Constitution, and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We are not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress.’’
That was easy!
Less easy is explaining away his six signing statements so far, an impressive one-a-month clip. “Signing statements serve a legitimate function in our system,’’ Obama now says, “at least when based on well-founded constitutional objections.’’ Mr. President, meet my friend George Orwell, inventor of Newspeak, who memorably wrote, “Political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.’’
New bushwa same as the old bushwa? It’s a lot less different than we had been led to believe.
STRANGE INEPTITUDE: “The news that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension committee has postponed consideration of Labor Secretary nominee Hilda Solis because her husband only yesterday paid off tax liens, some of which had been pending for up to 16 years, confirms that there’s an inexplicable, widespread problem in the Obama vetting process (as if Geithner, Daschle, Richardson, Killefer, et al hadn’t already demonstrated that). . . . Either Obama and his nominees aren’t easily embarrassed, or the vetters have tin ears the size of satellite dishes.”
Related thoughts from Nathan Moore: “The problem here, at least in my view, is not so much that Solis’ husband had some rather antique tax liens hanging around, but that the Obama administration’s vetting process has revealed itself to be decidedly incompetent. Or, more accurately, arrogant, which really is just a subform of incompetence. . . . The message is clear, no matter how earnestly the president employs Newspeak rhetoric in a vain attempt to muddle it – there are two sets of rules, one for us, and one for them. If they truly believed there was one set of rules, the administration would have taken it upon itself to weed out the tax-encumbered nominees from the process, but they didn’t – and that speaks volumes.”
THE NEWSPEAK VERSION OF “Human Rights Activists.”
IS “UGLY NARRATIVE” newspeak for true? Interesting discussion in the comments.
RANDI RHODES GETS a bad review from Ed Cone:
She was ranting about Israel’s “genocide” in Lebanon.
Genocide? Whatever Israel is doing, however bad you may think it, it’s not the mass systematic extermination of a people. She piled on, saying that people who talk about the world’s last genocide (which, of course, the Holocaust was not) should never do it themselves.
She also said, wrongly, that “thousands” of people had died in Katrina.
It was pretty damn bad.
Of course it was. I’ve noticed a lot of antiwar people accusing Israel of “genocide.” Once you realize that in lefty newspeak, “genocide” is a code word meaning “self-defense” it all makes sense.
UPDATE: Related thoughts here.