June 21, 2005
The acronyms, deceptive labels, and other fuzzy bits of language promulgated by the current administration have done much to obscure its true intent. Aside from this very useful political purpose, these misleading terms have served well to confuse our allies, mislead the Congress, and limit the understanding of the voting public.
Most glossaries and dictionaries published to date have used a simple alphanumeric sequencing algorithm to organize content. Perhaps the most significant accomplishment of the information age (to date) has been the development of devices to permit random access to data. Random access capabilities liberate the user from the constraints of serial processing and eliminate cumbersome linear retrieval limitations. As a believer in state-of-the-art technology, poorwilliam has chosen to organize his glossary randomly. While this decision may make it more difficult for users to locate specific terms, poorwilliam believes that the elegance conferred on his work by the use of such advanced concepts more than outweighs any perceived disadvantage to the reader.
In the creation of the Rightspeak Glossary poorwilliam is deeply indebted to George Orwell. In a lengthy appendix to his classic 1984, Orwell sets forth in exquisite detail the objectives, structure, and methodology of Newspeak. The current day proponents and perpetrators of Rightspeak have been quite faithful to the Orwellian vision of Newspeak. It is clear that they intend not only to provide a medium of expression for their particular religious conservative world-view, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. Their version of language, like Orwell's Newspeak construct, is designed not to extend but rather to diminish the range of thought. The terms poorwilliam selected from the discourse of the Religious Right for his glossary mostly belong in what Orwell would label the B vocabulary (they are compound words or phrases that have been deliberately constructed for political purposes). Such terms are often euphemisms, but never ideologically neutral.
The opinions expressed in this document are solely those of the author. The glossary has not been reviewed by anyone in authority, or even by a responsible adult. The definitions contained herein are neither approved nor welcomed by any government individual or agency. Anyone who has read this far and chooses to base an action on some perceived understanding gleaned from the glossary, truly deserves to suffer the full consequences of that decision.
activist judge - a jurist who has issued a decision contrary to your strongly held views on a subject of concern to you or to your favorite Talk Radio Host. See also: judicial conservative.
judicial conservative - a jurist who interprets the Constitution very much as you and your friends do.
family values - my values, or the values of my family or my friends.
compassionate conservatism - conservatism made to appear more user-friendly, warm, and fuzzy by the addition of an adjective designed to conceal the hostility of conservatives to the poor and less fortunate members of society.
stay the course - I have spoken with God, I know what I am going to do, now don't confuse me with the facts.
liberate - to conquer, capture or destroy. As in Rome liberated Carthage, and was later itself liberated by Barbarians, or as in liberate the city of Fallujah.
pro-lifers - groups of anti-abortion activists who vigorously oppose the scientific use of undifferentiated embryonic stem cells, but who support the death penalty, and are nowhere to be found when real people are dying.
pro-choice - groups of misguided heathens who are taken with the curious notion that women are not baby factories and have a right to control what grows in their own bodies.
Protection of Marriage Act - a statute that enshrines my definition of marriage as opposed to the one espoused by a bunch of queers who would seek to broaden and de-sanctify it to include other kinds of couples in other kinds of permanent loving relationships.
USA Patriot Act - a statute having nothing to do with patriots or patriotism that gives sweeping new powers to law enforcement with which to spy on, harass, or repress citizens of the USA.
flip-flop - a term used to refer to opponents who hold reasoned positions on complex issues that I see in simple black and white terms. e.g. You are either for us or agin' us.
Department of Defense(DOD) - War Making Department (WMD).
Department of Homeland Security - Bureau of Internal Surveillance. An enormous newly formed bureaucracy that quickly demonstrated its impotence by failing to respond in timely or competent fashion to the drowning of New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities by hurricane Katrina.
enemy combatant - anyone who I so designate. Someone who can be held indefinitely without access to counsel and who needn't be afforded any rights or protections under the Geneva Accords.
terrorist - anyone who I so designate. A bad guy. An insurgent. A Muslim [Extremist].
Muslim extremist - see terrorist.
War on Terror - a war on anyone I designate. A war in any Muslim country. A war in Afghanistan. A war in Iraq. A war of liberation. See also liberation and terrorist.
energy policy - policies for the benefit of corporate energy interests, and in particular oil companies, at the expense of the public and the environment.
No Child Left Behind Act - a statute that ostensibly enhances public education by instituting an under-funded national policy of standardized testing with Draconian economic sanctions for failure.
patriot - a person who wears a small metal replica of the US flag in the left lapel and who has likely never risked life and limb in defense of the cloth version. Alt. Anyone displaying a dirty and tattered cloth replica of the US flag from a pickup or other motor vehicle (preferably with a visible gun rack).
traitor - anyone who is not a patriot.
detainee - anyone who I so designate. Detainees may be held indefinitely (without disclosure) for alleged immigration violations. See also enemy combatant.
freedom - An American commodity that can be exported to less fortunate countries by making war on them. See also liberate.
faith-based initiative - a policy designed to blur and eventually breach the Constitutional barrier between church and state.
ownership society - a society owned by me and my wealthy and powerful friends.
tax simplification - a process for making the tax structure less progressive. See also ownership society.
tax cuts - a process for making the tax structure less progressive. See also ownership society and tax simplification.
WMD - Weapons that Mysteriously Disappear. The most lethal weapons on the planet, the whereabouts of which are unknown to most intelligence agencies.
UN - Undisciplined Nations. An assembly of all the governments in the world that cannot seem to agree on most of the basic principles that five-year-olds learned in kindergarten.
Security Council - An arm of the UN comprised of the most insecure governments in which any one of the two current and three former superpowers can block the actions of all the rest.
evil empire - any country that I so designate. Any nation that I perceive is hostile to mine. Those who are agin' us.
axis of evil - a group of several evil empires that I so designate. Useful term for whipping up popular hostility against countries in preparation for increases in the Defense budget.
See also: evil empire, Department of Defense.
death tax - inheritance tax. A misleading label applied to a legitimate tax by the super-rich and their White House and Congressional allies in order to defeat a source of revenue to the federal government and increase the national deficit.
inheritance tax - a tax on the estates of the super-rich so that society can try to obtain some benefit from massive accumulations of ill-gotten wealth that would otherwise be passed along intact to the spoiled and undeserving offspring of the obscenely wealthy. See death tax.
Social Security reform - efforts by a national leader to prop up an insolvent system of social welfare for the elderly which has been rendered potentially bankrupt by the plundering of its assets by the nominal trustees of its supporting fund.
welfare reform - efforts by a national leader to prop up an insolvent system of social welfare for the poor which has been rendered too expensive by creating a culture of dependencies among its recipients through a series of insane incentives and bureaucratic bungling.
Medicare reform - efforts by a national leader to prop up an insolvent system of social welfare for the elderly, sick, and dying which has been rendered potentially bankrupt by runaway health care costs, insane incentives, and bureaucratic bungling.
NATO - Now Anachronistic Territorial Organization.
national debt - something we need not concern ourselves with until the Chinese Communists, the Arab Sheiks, the Russian Mafia, and the German Neo-Nazis end up owning most of what used to be the USA.
preemption doctrine - a foreign policy whereby more powerful nations can invade and occupy less powerful neighbors on the grounds that they feel threatened by them. Used by Hitler to justify invasion of Poland and Bush to justify invasion of Iraq.
strict construction - a technique whereby selected portions of a text are read and interpreted literally to support a predetermined position, and conflicting portions of that same text are ignored. Frequently used in conjunction with the Bible and the United States Constitution.
SEC - Seriously Emasculated Commission.
civil union - separate but equal couple status. Favors the construction of identical wedding chapels designated: "Heterosexuals Only," and "Queers, Homos, Lesbians, and Gays."
shock and awe - a condition experienced in the White House and Pentagon when the Iraqis responded to the US liberation of their country with a growing and savage resistance. See also liberation.
fiscal responsibility - a curious concept similar to pay as you go economics. A former rallying cry for Conservative Republicans that has been coopted by Liberal Democrats and is actually adhered to by neither. See also pay as you go.
pay as you go - a concept most Americans learned when they received their first allowance, but apparently forgot when they were elected to public office.
free press - corporate media. A formerly important institution that now disseminates corporate, political, and ideological propaganda packaged as entertainment.
CIA - Completely Ineffective Agency. A formerly independent agency responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign intelligence that is now an organ of the administration's national security team.
FBI - Famously Bullheaded Institution. A formerly independent agency responsible for the collection and analysis of domestic intelligence that is now an organ of the administration's national security team. Takes its name from its founding father who had the goods on just about everyone, and hence was the real untouchable.
Department of State - Department of Diplomacy. A formerly professional agency responsible for the conduct of US foreign policy that is now an organ of the administration's national security team.
Department of the Interior - Department of Corporate Development. A formerly professional agency responsible for the administration of US domestic policy that is now an organ of the administration's corporate welfare policies.
FDA - Flatulent Drugged Agency a.k.a. Department of Pharmaceutical Corporate Development. A formerly professional agency, charged with protecting the health and safety of the US public with respect to the food that they eat and the drugs that they take, that is now an organ of the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Religious Right.
EPA - Environmental Prostitution Agency. A formerly professional agency, charged with protecting the health and safety of the US public with respect to the air that they breathe and the water that they drink. Now an organ of the Timber, Mining, and Oil Industries.
global warming - A condition that exists all over the Planet Earth, except for Washington, D.C., where the folks who make up our federal government do not seem to notice it as they go from their air-conditioned homes to their air-conditioned work places in their air-conditioned vehicles.
individual accounts [for Social Security] - private accounts designed to syphon off funds from an already stressed national insurance policy for the aged into the pockets of the financial services industry where they belong.
flag-burning amendment - A Constitutional amendment designed to overturn a US Supreme Court decision that had the temerity to defend our First Amendment freedoms. Largely supported by individuals who have never risked their lives in defense of the First Amendment or the flag. [Clue: Notice which of the words "First Amendment" and "flag" are always capitalized]
nuclear option - tactic used to bully an opponent into giving you something you want by threatening to bring down an entire civilization or part thereof through a massive exchange of WMD. Formerly known as brinkmanship.
final throes - A characterization of the Iraqi insurgency designed to conceal its growing virulence and efficiency.
stand up - prop up into an apparently vertical position. Term used by Washington insiders to convey the impression of progress, as in "stand up the Iraqi forces."
mandate - Something claimed by a political leader based on the votes of fewer than one third of the electorate who actually voted for him.
common sense - a label given to a form of intellectual activity that is neither common nor sensible.
spin-doctor - one who neither makes yarn nor comforts the sick. One who spins yarns and doctors the truth. A liar, a deceiver, a cheat, a charlatan, a churl, a knave, a disassembler.
evolution - a comprehensive explanation of how elementary life forms on Earth developed over billions of years from inorganic materials into the complex life forms found today on this planet, that is supported by an overwhelming body of scientific evidence.
creationism - a mystic explanation of how the solar system and all that is in it (including humans) was created out of whole cloth by a supernatural being in six days, that is supported by mythology and one religious book.
intelligent design - see creationism.
Fallen Hero Compensation - Service Death Gratuity. A recently renamed and increased (from $12,420 to $100,000) sum of money paid to widows, widowers, children, orphans, and parents of servicemen and women killed in Iraq by order of the Congress & President, in an attempt to salve their consciences for sending US troops to die in an unnecessary and immoral war.
covert operations - off-the-books operations that used to be conducted by the CIA and that are now performed by the Pentagon, the National Security Council, the Vice President, or anyone else not subject to Congressional oversight.
nation building - something that Candidate Bush promised not to do, and has now spent more than two thousand American lives and over three hundred billion taxpayer dollars doing. A promise like the one an earlier presidential candidate made in 1964 when he said he would not send American boys overseas to do what Asian boys should do.
interim appointment - a procedure the founding fathers placed in the Constitution to cover vacancies that might occur when Congress was not in session (which then was a good deal of the time) but that now has been corrupted by the executive branch as a means of thwarting the advise and consent role of the Senate.
equal justice under law - a concept defined by the expression:
Jq is the Quality of Justice
FEMA - Faltering, Equivocating, Malfunctioning Agency. An organ of the federal government charged with responsibility to provide immediate on-site relief in situations of natural or man-made domestic disaster. Was reasonably effective until swallowed whole by the Department of Homeland Security, (which is still ruminating it), and its leadership was placed in the hands of incompetent political appointees. See also Department of Homeland Security.
disaster relief - federal money that is immediately provided in copious amounts to a battleground state ruled by a brother of the Chief Executive during an election year, or to the President's home state. Not to be confused with desultory relief which is provided at all other times and places.
emergency preparedness - plans, procedures, structures, levee improvements, equipment, training, and other readiness measures that are implemented or put in place by government following the occurrence of the emergency or disaster they are designed to prevent.
refugee - one seeking refuge from a place rendered uninhabitable due to government action, inaction, or some combination thereof.
evacuee - a refugee who made it (as opposed to those poor, sick, or disadvantaged refugees who were abandoned or neglected by government). A person that Barbara Bush thinks is better off living with thousands of others in a public place rather than in a former private residence. See also: victims and casualties.
hard work - work that is to be performed by individuals other than the rich and powerful friends of the President and his family. Work that the President talks about but does not do as it might interfere with his vacations.
Iraq reconstruction - hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars expended in a foreign land to attempt to repair the devastation caused to the Iraqi infrastructure by the invasion of US military forces, and the subsequent insurgency it provoked, to the benefit and profit of major US corporations having White House connections. See also: Iraq liberation and war on terror.
New Orleans reconstruction - hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars expended domestically to attempt to repair the devastation caused to the New Orleans infrastructure by the inept handling of Hurricane Katrina by government, and the subsequent flooding it provoked, to the benefit and profit of major US corporations having White House connections. See also: Corporate welfare.
mandatory evacuation - a process that begins with a peristaltic wave from the President as he belatedly flies over the devastated area in Air Force One on his way back to Washington from vacation, which then causes pressure on the breech of the alimentary canal, and results in the flushing away of the poor, elderly, and disabled as if they were so much human waste.
religious conviction - a parameter that trumps all other qualifications in the selection of United States Supreme Court nominees by the President (If it is Christian, evangelical, and supports the proposition that government should be the final arbiter of what grows in women's bodies).
war profiteering - an archaic term of approbation used during WW-II to describe corporations or individuals that took advantage of wartime shortages and conditions to gouge the public or the government and inflate their earnings. Has now been rendered meaningless by the activities of the President and Vice President in approving, encouraging, and supporting such conduct by their oil industry and Halliburton friends. See also: Oil Company record profits for 2005.
acceptable interrogation method - any act that the President, Attorney General, Secretary of Defense, General Officer, other officer, noncommissioned officer, private, or civilian contractor, believes to be in the national interest when attempting to elicit intelligence from prisoners. See also: torture.
torture - only such acts performed on prisoners that produce pain equivalent to or exceeding that experienced by an individual upon the failure of a major organ or group of organs. [Except for the CIA, which according to the President and Vice President should be subject to no restrictions whatsoever] Not to be confused with sleep deprivation, stress positions, menacing with dogs, beating, electric shock to the genitals, debasement or humiliation which according to the Attorney General are not torture at all.
US Iraq strategy - colonialism in modern dress. It sure is nice that we finally have a strategy; it would be nicer still if it were the right one.
judicial philosophy - Religious, social, and political views of a candidate for an Article III judgeship as measured by the extent to which the candidate has a proven record of strict adherence to the dogma of the Religious Right and the philosophy of Extreme Conservatives. Not to be confused with a litmus test.
litmus test - a technique used to determine the acidity or alkalinity of an acid or a base. Any kind of a definitive test that is applied to a candidate for a government position. Useful for determining who is for us or agin' us.
more sacrifice - losses that the President calls on military wives to bear so he can save face and preserve his precious self-image in the face of mounting evidence that he led their husbands into an unnecessary war that has killed or maimed over fifty thousand people. Alt. That sacrifice that is to be borne by folks other than the President and his rich and powerful friends.
up or down vote - a vote demanded for all judicial candidates by the Senate Majority Leader, except for those candidates that are considered less than acceptable by the religious right and conservative wing of the party. A vote that the President stated he was committed to until he caved in to pressure from his conservative base.
fair hearing - a hearing for all judicial candidates insisted on by the Senate Majority Leader, except for those candidates that are considered less than acceptable by the religious right and conservative wing of the party. A principle that the President said he was committed to until he caved in to pressure from his conservative base.
accept with sadness - the way the President and Vice President deal with the resignation of top White House advisors who worked for both of them and who have just been indicted by a special federal prosecutor on multiple felony charges.
blame game - phrase used by a government official who has been caught in an illegal, unethical, corrupt, or lascivious act in the attempt to divert public attention away from his or her culpability. Not to be confused with allegations of a vast right/left wing conspiracy.
Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 - Credit Card Company Protection (CCCP) Act. A measure designed to keep consumers from taking advantage of the poor, undernourished financial services industry when it charges usurious interest rates and levies outlandish penalties.
rewriting history - defensive claim made by political leaders who have been caught in their lies and seek to quell dissent and evade responsibility.
false charges - defensive claim made by political leaders who have been caught in their lies and seek to quell dissent and evade responsibility.
hurting soldiers' morale - defensive claim made by political leaders who have been caught in their lies and seek to quell dissent and evade responsibility.
empower terrorists - defensive claim made by political leaders who have been caught in their lies and seek to quell dissent and evade responsibility.
CIA torture exemption - a loophole sought by the President and Vice President in the attempt by Congress to legislate humane standards for the treatment of prisoners. Messrs. Bush and Cheney insist that it is needed so that the Agency can produce more intelligence successes like it did in detecting and warning of the 9-11 attacks and analyzing and predicting Saddam's WMD capabilities and stockpiles.
"revisionism of the most corrupt and shameless variety on Iraq" [Vice President Cheney's words] - practices of the President and Vice President in their successive attempts to justify the invasion of a small foreign nation. Explanations that changed from imminent danger to the US from stockpiles of WMD, to false association of Saddam Hussein with 9-11, to a world better off without Saddam Hussein in power, to peace and stability in the Middle East with a model democracy, to engaging terrorists far from the Western Nations (none of which explanations have proved either truthful or correct).
complete victory - something achieved at the end of WW-II by the likes of Churchill, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Stalin, Truman, and Marshall, after five years of bloody conflict in which tens of millions of lives were lost or shattered, and parts of several continents were reduced to rubble, by converting the economies of all major nations to a wartime footing, and with the use of nuclear weapons. See also: War in Iraq.
rendition - a process applied to the carcass of an animal in order to extract proteins, fats, and other usable parts. Also: a process whereby the CIA abducts terrorist suspects and transports them to friendly foreign powers to be rendered for interrogation. Neither of these processes is friendly to body parts, and both can result in serious injury or death.
NSA - No-limit Snooping Agency. A formerly respectable organization charged with intercepting foreign electronic intelligence. Currently used by the Executive Branch to spy on and monitor the communications of US citizens in violation of federal law. See also: KGB, Gestapo, etc., for examples of national agencies corrupted by power-hungry leaders to oppress citizens.
turning point [in Iraq] - any event that occurs in Iraq (as it stumbles toward some form of representative government) that can be seized on by a national leader in the attempt to divert public attention from the blood on his or her hands.
regime change - assassination of leaders of foreign countries by the US military or by means of covert operations designed to bring down a government in a sovereign state that is considered to be a US enemy. a.k.a. decapitation. See also: invasion, conquest, colonization, and empire.
fair trial - a war crimes trial conducted in a conquered and occupied country by officials hand picked by the prevailing party. a.k.a. victor's justice. Not to be confused with a trial by the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague which is not to be trusted by nations that evidently are uncertain they can meet its standards of justice.
unitary executive - God Save the President! A concept whereby the President of the United States of America can do whatever the hell he wants to without interference from the foolish Congress or the pesky Judiciary.
stare decisis - a legal concept that requires much weight, great respect and considerable deference be given to the prior decisions of the Court, except when the current members disagree with them, in which case they are subject to being overruled.
terrorist surveillance program - domestic spying on US citizens by the NSA, who is eavesdropping on your private telephone and email conversations. See also NSA
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