About AJ DiCintio
A.J. DiCintio is a Featured Writer for The New Media Journal. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on
the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up.
Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and
polished by experience, to social/political affairs.
The poor canary: Blessed
with a beautiful song, he is cursed by an extreme sensitivity to carbon
So it was that coal miners carried him to
work, where they heeded him strict of ear and eye; for if he stopped
singing — or worse, dropped dead off his perch — they didn’t waste time
taking another breath before rushing to escape their hellish workplace
with the speed of the proverbial bat.
Fortunately, there are numerous other alarms
that serve humanity. Language, for example, is a canary that warns about
the health of our entire culture.
However, like the yellow singer, language
cannot force anyone to heed its warning — even when it is poisoned by
big lies and other linguistic perversions that are accepted as truth or
go unchallenged by the majority of the public.
Now, in every culture, the most dangerous
poisoners of language are the gasbags called politicians, a fact George
Orwell captured beautifully when he wrote that the politician’s reason
for being is "to make lies sound truthful . . .and to give an appearance
of solidity to pure wind.”
Worse yet, politicians "never waste a good
crisis.” Therefore, during turbulent times they spew especially great
volumes of their poison, counting on a frightened, angry, confused
public to accept demagoguery as serious thought and "pure wind” as
something real, while remaining oblivious of the canary.
Sadly, that is exactly what is going on during
the current "Great Recession” as evidenced by the following examples of
corrupt and corrupting language that ought to be causing a huge national
uproar but are not.
overseas contingency operation
Although this cowardly euphemism endangers the
culture by promoting a particularly dangerous denial of reality,
President Obama has accepted it as a replacement for "War on Terror,”
apparently because he considers any phrase with the words "war” and
"terror” in it too harsh to properly describe the fight being conducted
against psychopathic murderers who hate human rights, science, and
progress but love theocratic fascism, death, and misogyny.
Moreover, millions of liberals heartily agree
with Obama, including those who argue that because war is dead, "war”
must also die. Therefore, with the federal bureaucracy, the elite media,
and institutions of "higher” learning all marching in liberal lockstep,
we can only hope great numbers of the public heed the canary before much
worse happens than sentences such as the following becoming all the
"Alexander the Great conducted an overseas
contingency operation against the Persians.”
"The Bible says, ‘To every thing there is a
season. . .a time of overseas contingency operations and a time of
"On December 8, 1941, the United States
initiated overseas contingency operations against Imperial Japan and
"War is hell, but not an OCO.”
man made disaster
(soon to be shortened to MMD)
This euphemism for "terrorist act” and,
apparently, "genocide” is a dangerous, cowardly, staggeringly insulting
piece of moral and intellectual garbage that attempts to sugar over
unspeakable acts of violence.
However, in one of the most astonishing
ironies of all time, it was coined by the nation’s Secretary of Homeland
Security, who praised it as a "nuance” that "demonstrates [the
administration’s] move away from the politics of fear.”
Despite this sulfurous blast in the Obama
administration’s War on Reality and the nonchalant reaction to it by
Democratic leaders and much of the public, there is hope that statements
such as the following will — before it is too late — cause huge numbers
of Americans to militate for much more than a certain cabinet member’s
"Thousands of lives were lost in the man made
disasters that struck both towers of the World Trade Center.”
"India was shocked when a man made disaster
caused deaths and havoc in Mumbai.”
"Six million souls perished in the man made
disaster that occurred in Germany during the thirties and forties.”
"The man made disaster that happened in Rwanda
caused the deaths of 8,000 human beings daily for 100 consecutive days.”
Asked to define what is and is not torture,
many people might resort to the tactic Justice Potter Stewart used to
define pornography. "I know it when I see it.”
Obama et al., however, don’t have to resort to
the "Stewart Rule” because even regarding the interrogation of suspected
terrorists, they define torture as anything a liberal activist judge
construes as "degrading treatment” (U.S. Army Field Manual).
According to recent Pew Research polling, 75%
of Americans don’t agree with the liberal view, saying that they favor
using "torture” (undefined in the poll) "often, sometimes, [or] rarely”
to gain "important information” from suspected terrorists.
Certainly, that landslide majority would be
willing not only to define the kinds of "torture” they find appropriate
but also to tell us if they take proportionality into account in
deciding what "torture” they approve of.
For example, they may condone a relatively
mild form of "torture” in some cases, harsher methods in others, and
very harsh methods in cases in which the lives of thousands, hundreds of
thousands, or even millions are on the line.
But once again liberals don’t have to expend
any mental energy thinking and discriminating; for like the pacifists
whom Orwell termed "objectively pro-Fascist,” they are "absolutely
anti-torture” even if, at times, it means being "objectively
But there’s the rub because liberals who
fulminate about "torture” and punishment for "torturers” of the Bush
administration just can’t come up with a few honest words of Plain
English that admit the consequences of their absolutist position.
Neither can they find words to be honest about its extreme minority
For example, have you ever heard Obama or one
of his liberal allies speak in language as simple and direct as this?
"Any form of torture whatsoever, including
subjecting a prisoner to changes in room temperature or to waterboarding
with a doctor present, runs afoul of our values — yes, if a hundred
thousand lives were at stake, even a million.”
Of course you haven’t. But ad nauseam you have
heard Obama repeat the phrase "our values” when speaking about torture,
without ever being honest about the fact that he is speaking of "his
values,” that are held by only 25% of the public. (source: Pew Research)
We see, then, that one of the good things to
come out of the Torture Debate is the lesson that politicians pervert
language most perniciously not by what they say but what they fail to
That latter moral and
linguistic sin plays a prominent role in Part Two, which will examine
the current administration’s lies of omission regarding domestic issues.