Proper word use

The Anderson militants in their compound
The Anderson militants in their compound
I suffer from many illusions. I think of the dark waxy substance that coats those little donuts that the they sell in little packs of six at gas stations as “chocolate frosting.” I imagine that when I cross a political boundary, say from Colorado into Utah, that the atmosphere has changed and that I am in a different place. When a carton of eggs says “cage free” I imagine chickens in a meadow rather than a heavily crowded building. When I see “organic” I think “better for you” rather than “more expensive.”

Some illusions do not affect me. I never imagine that when I am buying groceries that I have “saved” money, since I am spending money. When I see Starbucks coffee in a 12 oz bag for $11.99, I know that means $16 per pound. I know that a $15 pair of sneakers is priced at $119.99 because of advertising-created illusions of glamor and athletic prowess. When I pay for two items, I know that one of them was not “free.” I know that a “D” or “R” next to a politician’s name is also an advertising-created illusion of difference.

But I ran across one this morning that shocked me. This one has affected me my whole life. I grew up staying each night in a small building with other family members, eating and reading, watching TV and sleeping. Later, like most baby boomers, I got married and had children and we all stayed in a bigger building with more than one bathroom and color TV’s instead of black and white. Now that the kids are grown and gone I am staying in building with more rooms and bathrooms and TV’s than I need.

I always thought of these buildings as my “homes.” As it turns out, I simply don’t know the language we use. CIA uses a different word for these buildings when they attack them with drones.They are not family homes. They are “compounds”.

More importantly, the victims are not brothers and sisters, moms and dads. They are “militants.” And even though my country is attacking their country, my country is “defending” itself. That’s why we have a Department of “Defense” and not departments of “War” and “Aggression.”

It’s just language. Proper use of words makes all the difference.

27 thoughts on “Proper word use

  1. I had a similar “word” experience while providing Altria, Inc. flower arrangements for a special conference for CEO’s at their fake Wild West “Ranch” outside Livingston. I learned that people are not people, or customers, or even human, they are “consumers.” I realized at that moment that Altria is no different than any other global corporation, and that we share almost nothing in common with our overlords. Citizen’s United indeed.

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend.


      1. Orwell memorial day quote.

        “One can only abjure violence because others are prepared to endure violence on their behalf.”


        1. Apocryphal – Orwell did not say that. And a massive deflection. Here’s what I think: The CIA deliberately targets civilians because terror is an effective weapon. The CIA is a terrorist outfit. The purpose of Abu Ghraib was to terrorize the population, to torture people, set them free back in the population to tell others what awaits them if they resist the invaders. Iraqis are some tough, brave. patriotic people, dontcha think?

          Here’s a real Orwell quote:

          The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.

          Are you seeing yourself there Swede, Mr. Nationalist?


          1. What is it with you people – any damned little thing about a Muslim, no matter how stupid and easy to see through, you eat it up like candy! It’s like you have no guile, no advertising resistance, not critical thinking skills. Are you like … a product of an American land grant college? Religious institution? Liberty U? Hillsdale? You certainly got your gullible going on.

            Let’s see if you can do a basic algebraic formula. If you can, I need explain no more about the history of the CIA:

            OSS + SS = CIA.


          2. Oh … My … God. It’s been almost 13 years and you have never looked at the evidence. Have you. You’re an Orwell guy, right? he had a word for your mindset: Crimestop. If you never look at the evidence, you are never tempted to think anything but official truth.,


  2. I bought a newer used car last month, and learned that I don’t really “own” it. As I was sitting in the Credit Union’s loan officer’s office with the guy I was “buying” the car from, the banker handed the check to the guy. I didn’t even get to touch it. Then he began referring to the car as “our collateral.” It really struck me that I don’t own the car, that the bank does, and all I’m doing is paying them interest for the right to license it, park it in my driveway, insure it, buy gas, maintain it and drive it. I’d never taken out a loan for a car before — I’ve always done the lowbagger thing in the past and paid cash. Some of life’s lessons come late in life…

    Of course, that brought me to the realization that when those drones accidentally destroy something they’re not supposed to, they call it “collateral damage.” That is, they “accidentally” destroyed some bank property: homes and cars, businesses and inventory and the such.

    When the dept. of “defense” uses the term “collateral damage” to refer to an innocent person that they murdered, it then makes sense that they have destroyed another part of the bank’s property whose only real purpose is to pay them interest — rent seeking from humans instead of property and land.

    Such be neofeudalism.


    1. it has been discouraging to see the smug superiority of you Democrats as you defend a right wing neocon president just because he is black. At least Swede can see through that scam.


          1. My idiocy changes nothing, Toke: Clinton will be our nominee because Brian Schweitzer can’t beat the earth hater pick.


          2. If all,you can think of to save us is to vote for this or that clown with a “D” next to the name, you are bankrupt. Politicians are the least powerful actors among us. You’re wasting your time.

            What the hell is wrong with you Schweitzerheads? He’s smooth, that’s all. He’s nothing to bank on any more than Hillary.


      1. So, why do you bother with politics since you loathe it so? Because you are as addicted to the drama as the rest of us are. After the GOP is disemboweled and its entrails fed to the crows my party won’t do a self-examination.

        Having you considered watercolor instead of anarchy?


        1. My only “bother” with politics is when a politician has a movement behind him or her that is not financial. Right now there are none.

          In case you don’t notice, I don’t celebrate or weep on election day,as I know nothing changed.


      1. Obama’s drone war is being conducted from a hole in a mountain under your house, Toke: do you really believe that money will be divorced from politics by beating up on Democrats?


        1. [Sigh] … one more time: We are only allowed two parties. Republicans are right-wing extremists. Democrats are theoretically our alternative to right-wing extremism. But your party leaders are right-wing extremists too. All it takes is for them to say nice-sounding things during elections to fool you, as your party rank and file are extremely gullible.

          You don’t know the purpose of Democrats. It is not to provide us alternatives to right-wing extremism but to bottle up alternatives and make sure they never gain traction. Your party is the place where movements go to die.

          Look at happened to Nader, who represented real alternatives. He was a genuine progressive, and so had to be marginalized. The venom, the hatred that came out of your mouths was disgusting.

          Ergo, we know who Republicans are and what they stand for. But Democrats are the problem. You are supposed to be a meaningful alternative, and are nothing but an echo.

          Please don’t make me say all of this again Kurtz. Ever.


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