By Uncle Bill Warner
Churchill once (supposedly) said, on entering a library, that he was "..amazed at all the books he had not read."Gandhi purportedly authored the lines, "Gods is Truth. Truth is God." I say, of what use is language if it cannot convey Truth, or some semblance of it?
Most of us roll our eyes skyward at the vocabulary of the retailer, which more often than not, contains intentionally misleading weasel words like, "Sale! (Nobody wants this junk, we need to dump it...on you...) "40 percent off!" (of the 50% markup), "reduced" (anything to get this junk out the door), "clearance" this stuff REALLY is junk we've got to get rid of. You know others, I'm sure.
In politics, things really get outrageous. "Tax reform"(giving the rich more of a tax break , "Education reform" (cutting school budgets)_, "redistricting"(Gerrymandering the map so the party in power can elect more of their own), "the Second Amendment" (anyone can own guns, even though it reads that its purpose is for: "...a well-regulated militia"),
"Term limits" (kicking out the politicians who know what they are doing and replacing them with rookies who become tools of the lobbyists.} Again, I could go on.
The military's penchant for doublespeak is legendary. We once called it "massacre". Now its "pacification." The "Defense Department" (when was the last time we defended anything save the big corporations right to exploit the Third World.? When was the last time we were invaded by Vietnamese, landing an invasion force in San Francisco? ) Ask any Nisei what "relocation" inolves? (not just moving to another city), and a "pre-emptive attack" means invading someone whose country has something we want, like oil."
Euphemisms are sometimes laughable. Janitors are now "custodians" (custody of the broom closet?), underpaid wage slaves are called "associates" (does that mean profit-sharing and stock options?), old people are now "Senior Citizens", "To protect and to serve..." (Whitey and property?), "downsizing" (firing half the employees and making the rest do double duty for the same pay), "Please stay on the line, your call is important to us." (Who's fooling who? It is important, why don't they hire enough operators.) There used to be such a thing as junkers.. Now they are "pre-owned" or "experienced transportation..." My favorite involves an elevator boy becoming a "vertical transportation specialist." Who's kidding who? Lincoln is said to have asked "If I call a cow's tail a leg, how many legs does the cow then have?" When the answer came back "Five." He observed that just calling a tail a leg did not make it one. Calling someone who wears a flag pin in his lapel and is actively working to destroy what this country stands for a "patriot", needs to be thought through.
You hear the term "substance abuser" or often than "druggie". "Rehabilitation" in a prison setting refers to paying someone six cents an hour to bus trays in the mess hall and then taking "reparations" to the victims out of that.
Even religions have their share of the hypocrisy in separating words from actions. "Thou shalt not kill" is rather meaningless as the Christian Soldiers march off to war. "Quaker simplicity"often includes having a cell phone, color TV, golf clubs, TV dinners from a refrigerator, air conditioning, a computer, and a retirement plan which includes stock in G.E.. and Monsanto, and a stereo in the car..
Schools need to offer mandatory classes in bullshit detecting as a first step toward seeking truth. Many people, usually Republicans, are inured to prounouncements which mask actions that are diametrically to and contradictory of their avowed policies. Things like "the Clear Air act" allow more air pollution. An "education President" who "leaves no child behind" by wasting class time with unrealistic standards and stupid requirements, lack of adequate funding to the point that the best teachers retire early.
How many reasons have you heard for cutting goverment income (taxes) and spending more than you take in (like for fighter planes costing $70,000,000 a copy) sond good on paper, but are contrary to common sense. "Outsourcing" is a rather benign word meaning putting millions of Americans out of work.
How can you tell if certain right-wing radio "personalities" are lying to us? If their lips are moving, you'll know. If a used car salesman tells you the reason the car he's selling runs rough is that it just needs a spark plug, give him 79 cents to by one to prove he's not trying to blow smoke in your eyes. If it still runs rough, demand your 79 cents back, plus tax.
Maybe we should consider "seeing is believing" while we are discussing lies and twisted truth? Now that pictures (even movies) can be "Forrest Gumped" or Photo Shop rigged,
That source of truth-seeking is suspicious, especially if the character of the source is in question. Showing a President waving at the flag can be so easily modified by one of his/her detractors to giving it the finger.
I guess the huge dictionaries in our libraries contain are good for verifying spelling, I guess. Truth is found there, to be sure, but it is only a starting place.
So, if God is Truth, why are so many people working for the Devil whose m.o. and stock in trade is deluding?
And thank God (Truth) for Snopes!
P.S. What do you think about the attempt to silence dissent at KPFA, "Free Speech Radio?"
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