Friday, June 29, 2007


Posting will be light for the next seven to 12 days.

political capital – noun

Wealth invested in or gained from winning political office.

profiteer – noun

One who contracts with the federal government.

mandate – noun

The sweeping authority bestowed on a winning candidate by the quarter of the public who bothered to vote and chose him because he wasn't the other guy.

humane – adjective

Not quite human.

USAGE: Guantanamo Bay is a humane place for enemy combatants.

tort reform – noun

A business plan for cutting operational costs without changing operations.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

conflict of interest – noun

A confluence of opportunity. Being in the right place at the right time.

COMMENT: Success comes when preparation in the private sector meets opportunity in government.

black site – noun

An exclusive travel destination that is a well kept secret.

column – noun

A newspaper filler whose content resembles an advertisement but which doesn't bring in revenue.

populist – adjective, noun

1. adj. Expressing pity for the struggles of those making less than six figures.

2. n. A politician who prefers beer to wine.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

transparency – noun

The susceptibility of governmental information to public disclosure and other national-security breaches.

spokesperson – noun

A person who speaks for another but says nothing.

martyr – noun

A jihadist who has taken an early retirement package.

COMMENT: 70 virgins weren't quite convincing enough.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

abstinence – noun

Indulgence in self-denial from a wanton sense of guilt.

abstinence-only – adjective

Using the immaculate conception as an explanatory model to teach human sexuality.

COMMENT: Mary didn't know how she got pregnant, so why should our teens?

Opinion: Sicko

I haven't seen "Sicko," Michael Moore's new film on the American health-care system.

But I am perturbed by the way critics scoff at his work. Putting aside whatever one thinks about his views or his accuracy, Moore brings serious problems to public attention that would otherwise be ignored or passed with indifference. This makes him a force for good in my book.

Take, for example, Michael Moynihan's negative review for Reason, in which he writes the following:

Moore is right that the American system is sick - on this, there is bipartisan and public consensus. The United States has the highest per capita health care spending in the world, with comparatively disappointing results. But his radical prescriptions, which include a call for a British-style, single-payer system, will likely have little resonance with viewers. Indeed, according to a recent ABC News/Kaiser Family Health study, insured Americans are overwhelmingly (89 percent) satisfied with their own care, while broadly concerned about rising costs of prescription drugs and critical of the care others receive.

Let's break down this paragraph:

(1) Moore is right that the American health-care system is broken; the public and both political parties agree.

(2) Few will be moved by Moore's "radical" prescriptions, because the vast majority of insured Americans are happy with their own care.

Note how Moynihan uses (1) to dismiss Moore -- the claim is that he isn't saying anything we don't already know. But if that's so, why is our health-care system still so dysfunctional? And why do politicians continue to get away with saying that America has "the world's best health-care system"? And why is Moore ridiculed if most people fundamentally agree with his basic point?

Note how Moynihan in (2) describes Moore's solutions as "radical," when they merely recommend systems that get better results than ours for less money. You may disagree with following the Western European or Canadian health-care systems, but what justifies calling them "radical"?

The two points above can be reduced to the following explanation of our health-care woes:

The majority agree that our health-care system is broken, but aren't motivated to reform it, because of happiness with their own care.

This explanation also shows why Moore deserves praise. Without figures like Moore reminding the public of just how badly our health-care system treats a large segment of the population, there would be little motivation to reform the system, despite widespread agreement that it's broken.

For this alone, Moore's feet should be kissed, warts and all. He is a voice of conscience that our society sorely needs.

protest – noun

A public demonstration or rally that receives no media coverage.

prayer – noun

The uninsured's call to his primary-care physician.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Reading: Psyops fool Blackwater families

I am in the middle of reading Jeremy Scahill's fascinating, well-researched book "Blackwater: the Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army."

Chapter 10 begins with an interesting annecdote about the families of the four Blackwater employees killed in Fallujah in March 2004. The news that four "civilian contractors" had died did not initially worry the victims' relatives, because they didn't think of their loved ones as falling under that rubric.

Before the invasion of Iraq, wen most people heard the term "civilian contractors," they didn't immediately conjure up images of men with guns and bulletproof vests riding around a hellhole in jeeps. They thought of construction workers. This was also true for the families of many private soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their loved ones were not "civilian contractors," in their minds but were often thought of and referred to in family discussions as "Special Forces" or being "with the military."

So on March 31, 2004, when news began to reach the United States that four "civilian contractors" had been ambushed in Fallujah, several of the men's families didn't draw any kind of connection. After all, their loved ones were not civilians – they were military. In Ohio, Danica Zovko, Jerry's mother, heard the news on the radio that "American contractors" had been killed. After she saw the images coming out of Fallujah, she actually wrote her son an e-mail, telling him to be careful: "They're killing people in Iraq just like Somalia."

Katy Helvenston-Wettengel, Scott's mother, was working at her home office in Leesburg, Florida, with the television on behind her. ... It didn't cross her mind at the time that the footage she was watching was her own son's gruesome death. "When they said contractors, I was thinking construction workers working on pipelines or something."

You know our psyops are succeeding when they manage to fool the families of the people they discuss.

coalition – noun

An international polyamorous marriage of convenience.

rebrand – verb

To induce collective amnesia.

audit – noun

An official investigation of accounts and records performed by the little people, for the little people.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

talking point – noun

An informal fallacy in which a desired conclusion is inferred after repeating it numerous times.

COMMENT: Its proper Latin name is repetitio principii.

regime change – noun

Minor international surgery that invariably has serious complications.

patience – noun

1. The virtue of believing indefinitely into the future that things will improve in six months.

2. The enabler's enabler.

COMMENT: A history of patience, told through headlines...



















Saturday, June 23, 2007

(al) Qaeda – noun

Anyone killed, captured, or targeted by U.S. forces.

moral clarity – noun

The superhuman ability to perceive good and evil – properties visible only on the infrared spectrum.

I don't do nuance.

Friday, June 22, 2007

theocon – noun

A person with the mind of a theologian and the heart of a convict.

constitutional – adjective

Conducive to collective suicide.

COMMENT: Click here for some context.

News: Congress passes resolution against Ahmadinejad

Congress passed a resolution on Wednesday (by a vote of 411-2) calling on the U.N. to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with genocide for allegedly demanding that Israel be "wiped off the map."

It's a shame our government has no translators of Farsi (perhaps they're all gay), because the claim was based on a mistranslation (Click here, here, and here).

Congress also appealed to an important section of the U.N. Charter:

Whereas Article 2, Section 4, of the United Nations Charter, to which Iran has agreed as a Member State of the United Nations, requires all Member States of the United Nations to `refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state';


[h/t Justin Raimundo]

News: Cheney creates fourth branch of government

Vice President Cheney declared the unitary executive separate from the executive branch.

[h/t The Concerned Troll]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

faith-based – adjective

Not based on works.

gambling – noun

A method for funding education through donations from the uneducated.

investigate – verb

1. To sabotage one's own career.

2. To impugn another's character.

3. To terrorize.

psyops – noun

The mainstream news media.

unitary executive – noun

1. The consolidation of governmental powers by the vice president to free the executive branch from the Constitutional checks and balances that constrain the presidency.

2. The full-spectrum dominance of the executive branch over all aspects of the battlefield of government.

rule of law – noun

1. An asymmetric strategy for undermining the powers of the unitary executive.

2. What one hires a lawyer to nullify.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

sustainable development – noun

1. Human expansion that the biosphere would have supported, at that time in the past when the biosphere was still supportable.

2. Growth that won't contribute to environmental degradation according to measurements taken five years ago.

3. Development that is green.

To expect sustainable development to be a viable policy is like expecting a lung cancer victim to be cured by stopping smoking.

News: McClatchy gives Bush some West Coast love.

More videos here.

free trade – noun

1. Commerce strictly regulated by international agreements for the benefit of countries who value freedom.

2. Legalized corporate smuggling.

COMMENT: Did you know that "free trade" is, in fact, a Scottish phrase for smuggling? So much for Adam Smith's high-mindedness.

torture – noun (reprise)

The intentional infliction of intense physical or psychological pain on a caucasian.

COMMENT: When inflicted on a non-caucasian, it is called an "enhanced interrogation technique."

security mom – noun

A soccer mom who wishes to add armor plating to her SUV.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

authentic – adjective

Sufficiently skilled at pretending to be from outside the Beltway to be deemed clubbable by those within it.

COMMENT: Click here for some context.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

anchor – noun

The ringmaster of a news program.

There's a sucker born every minute.

journalist – noun

1. An aspiring novelist whose day job consists of finding news and burying it under narrative devices.

2. An author of the first draft of history – the one that gets scrapped for its copious errors, uneven writing, and ultimate incoherence.

3. An arbitrator who takes quotes from both sides and then washes his hands of the matter.

COMMENT: In response to this request.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Posting will be light to nonexistent until Tuesday.

News: The Arab is "reluctant to accept responsibility."

I had no idea Reggie White wrote a manual for the Army before he died.

progress – noun

Advancement, development, or improvement that disappears when measured.

no-bid contract – noun

A contract awarded on the basis of fair and open competitive cronyism.

interventionism – noun

A doctrine that favors interfering in the affairs of other countries to teach them self-government.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ownership society – noun

A political platform for taking the social out of society.

He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god: he is no part of a state.

wartime supplemental – noun

An episode of Congressional recidivism.

COMMENT: Thanks to Chad Grine.

illegal combatant – noun (reprise)

A hybrid of civilian and soldier, with the rights of neither.

COMMENT: I suppose that makes the private security contractor a hybrid of civilian and soldier, with the rights of both (and the responsibilities of neither).

global posture – noun

The worldwide readiness of our armed forces to render foreigners prostrate or put them in stress positions.

COMMENT: "Global footprint" is a commonly used synonym. I suppose "global bootprint" would be more precise, but less innocuous.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face –forever.

enduring – adjective

Lasting for several news cycles.

duct tape – noun

The ownership society's bulwark against chemical and biological weapons.

democracy – noun

1. Rule by the vagaries of voting-machine technology.

2. Rule by those who understand we're in Iraq because they attacked us on 9/11.

3. Rule by the marketplace of talking points.

4. Rule by what pundits and their coctail-party guests say is popular.

5. Rule by oversampling.

6. Rule by pre-screened town hall meeetings.

COMMENT: Behold: the wisdom of crowds. (Via Smythe's World)

News: New York facing valet crisis

The New York Post reports that New York City is facing a severe shortage of butlers.

It seems butlership is the new nursing.

News: USA Today runs Tony Snow op-ed

Just in case USA Today readers hadn't heard the White House's perspective on Gonzales in its June 11th edition ("White House: No-confidence vote on Gonzales meaningless"), the paper published an op-ed by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow to underscore the point.

Gonzales doesn't deserve this. He is a man of great dedication and integrity. He has earned the president's trust, and the nation's, as the leader of the largest law-enforcement agency on earth at a time of chilling and constantly changing global peril.

Why trust a middle man when you can write the story yourself?

POSTSCRIPT: Snow also held a press briefing. He fielded two interesting questiosn near the end:

Q: But can I just follow on that? How do you declare an end to the war on terror?

MR. SNOW: I don't know.

Q: Does the President disagree with the idea of a preemptive military strike on Iran, which continues its attempt to produce nuclear bombs, or does he agree with President Truman's preemptive A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Clearly no tertium quid there.

News: Chuck Norris unveils presidential campaign platform

Chuck Norris recently revealed his campaign promises if elected president.

Some of them are good.

Require Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to personally pay for national, comprehensive medical coverage for every American (or meet me in the Rose Garden).

Others ... not so much.

Tattoo an American flag with the words, "In God we trust," on the forehead of every atheist.

Create new immigration legislation: to deport all liberals (then force them to listen to Bill O' Reilly every day for five years, at which point they may return).

In all honesty, though, I don't see much that distinguishes him from the other GOP candidates.

POSTSCRIPT: Check out the Chuck Norris fark-off.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

name – verb

To appoint nominally; to select someone for a job without conferring its responsibilities or functions.

USAGE: President Bush named Alberto Gonzales Attorney General yesterday.

bipartisan – adjective

1. Inoffensive; watered down.

2. Combining the extremism of both sides.

3. Differing in name only.

legal counsel – noun

An expert advisor on how to satisfy the letter of the law while violating its spirit.

diplomacy – noun

1. A ruse for buying time to settle on a rationalization for a planned military strike.

2. A means of informing foreign countries what we have decided.

accounting – noun

A scheme for boosting corporate profits without having to increase revenues or lower expenses.

Monday, June 11, 2007

centrist – adjective

Too odious for either side of the political spectrum.

op-ed – noun

1. A book promotion.

2. A newspaper section that faces the editorial page, mirrors its inane content, but compels its authors to take responsibility.

signing statement – noun

An ex post facto explanation for why the president crossed his fingers behind his back while signing a bill into law.

News: Paris Hilton and O.J. Simpson become media critics

Paris demands better Iraq coverage, and O.J. seizes the mantle of Edward R. Murrow.

Hey, I've got an idea for bumping up the ratings of CNN's "Reliable Sources" ...

[via Atrios]

Analysis: Authenticity

Paul Krugman and Bob Somerby dissect authenticity as a political value.


News: Scooter committed "perjury"

I have a different feeling about Libby. His "perjury"--not telling the truth about which reporters he talked to--would never be considered significant enough to reach trial, much less sentencing, much less time in stir if he weren't Dick Cheney's hatchet man. ...

But jail time? Do we really want to spend our tax dollars keeping Scooter Libby behind bars? I don't think so. This "perjury" case only exists because of his celebrity.

-- Joe Klein, "journalist."

occupation – noun

The long-term domination of a country by military forces for the sake of liberating its native population.

COMMENT: God's gift to humanity doesn't have a timetable.

liberate – verb

1. To replace tyranny with anarchy.

2. To pacify.

3. To bestow freedom.

blowback – noun

The karmic laurel of American foreign policy.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

campaign contribution – noun

1. A low-risk, high-yield investment.

2. A fee attached to an application for employment or contracting with the federal government.

press conference – noun

A traditional ceremony in which the media give obeisance to an executive-branch official as protector of the Constitution's first amendment.

COMMENT: This hallowed American ritual began during the administration of John Adams to celebrate the Sedition Act's passage on July 14, 1798.

high value target – noun

A wanted suspect in the War on Terror whose playing card is a strong kicker in Texas Hold 'Em.

redact – verb

To abridge for the short attention spans of Internet readers.

News: Padilla juror to martyr self

At the federal trial of Jose Padilla, an F.B.I. agent explained the codewords of Padilla and his fellow terror suspects to the jury. The New York Times story offers some translations in a sidebar:

“go to the picnic” = travel to an area of jihad

“the dogs” = the United States government

“the trade” and “commerce” = jihad

“playing football” and “to eat cheese” = engaging in jihad

"reservation on the female donkey" = ???

“married” = killed or martyred

The Times also reported a surprising development in the trial: A juror is getting "married" this weekend.

pundit – noun

A type of confidence man who uses mass media to swindle people out of their capacity for autonomous judgment.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

News: Paris Hilton implicated in JFK terror plot

"Terror from within" indeed.

[Via Defamer]

proxy detention – noun

The outsourcing of terrorist incarceration to foreigners, who are willing to do jobs Americans won't.

ghost detainee – noun

An entity rumored to haunt human rights reports but whose existence is denied by authorities.

Friday, June 8, 2007

illegal combatant – noun (reprise)

A militant deemed too swarthy to merit Geneva protections.

COMMENT: This is our second attempt to define "illegal combatant." Which one do you favor? Or do you have a third?

Notable quotable: "the American homeland"

From the 9/11 Commission Report:

9/11 has taught us that terrorism against American interests "over there" should be regarded just as we regard terrorism against America "over here." In this same sense, the American homeland is the planet.

WMD – noun

Abbr. "weapon of mass destruction." A random, innocuous object (e.g. household chemical, aluminum tube, or metal cannister) whose possession by a hostile country is cited as justification for a preemptive attack bringing mass destruction.

IED – noun

Abbr. "improvised explosive device." A kind of asymmetric wartime propaganda using televised roadside explosions to sap the will of the opposition.

COMMENT: This definition closely follows the Pentagon's multi-billion-dollar project to defeat IEDs, the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). See comments below.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

asymmetric – adjective

1. Immoral; unjust; unfair; illegal.

2. Cowardly.

USAGE: The detainee's suicide was an act of asymmetric warfare, the Gitmo commander said. (Source)

COMMENT: The word is typically applied to unjust acts, tactics and strategies in war. Examples include international treaties, judicial processes, and terrorism (see highlighted portion of U.S. National Security Strategy).

On the established principle that "might makes right," the weaker actor in war, faced by overwhelming force, cannot but act immorally – that is, unless that actor is principled and accepts his slaughter (or torture). Critics claim morality couldn't possibly sanction such an advantage to one side. Such critics fall into confusion by assuming morality is symmetrical.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

surge – noun

A temporary escalation in the number of troops sent to a war, for the purpose of temporarily de-escalating its hopelessness.

It's been a roller coaster that seems always to go up. -- Dan Bartlett

ethanol – noun

A corn-based alcoholic panacea that will end global warming, establish America's energy independence, stabilize the agricultural economy, solidify the political devotion of farm states, and win the Global War on Terror.

COMMENT: Herbalife has begun marketing ethanol gel caps. Nutritionists have found it to be a powerful detoxicant.

Perk up pouting household surfaces with new miracle Ubik, the easy-to-apply, extra-shiny, non-stick plastic coating. Entirely harmless if used as directed. Saves endless scrubbing, glides you right out of the kitchen!

News: Staffing crisis at State Department

The Los Angeles Times reports that the State Department is woefully short on foreign-service officers, thanks mostly to the demands of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Looks like there's a ripe opportunity for some enterprising, young entrepeneur to create a foreign-service private-contracting business.

plan B – noun

An alternative scheme of action that is never adopted, because tweaking the original scheme, no matter how ineffectual, is easier.

News: Sen. Whitehouse (D – RI) wonders what "improper" and "wrongdoing" mean at DOJ.

TPM Muckraker has the details.

It seems from the video that AG Gonzales needs our help. We've defined "illegal." Let's tackle "improper" and "wrongdoing" soon.

vet – verb

To rubber-stamp.

intelligence – noun

Secret information about an enemy or potential enemy that is leaked when supportive of the President's predetermined policies, and ignored or suppressed when not.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

News: Scooter Libby sentenced.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Judging from the letters of support sent to Libby's judge, reprinted on The Smoking Gun website, he got exactly what he deserved. Donald Rumsfeld wrote that Libby was "a strong family man." Mary Matilin and James Carville worried that a harsh sentence would devastate Libby's family and "the many other children who love Scooter." Is there any doubt that he is a sexual predator? No wonder Dick Cheney didn't write for him.

Where is his flag pin?

Several Libby supporters wrote how patriotic Libby was. But I never saw him wear a flag pin on his lapel or appear on Fox News. Clearly they were just lying to protect a friend.

At any rate, here are some choice quotes from the Libby love letters...

I have always felt that he is the type of person others can hold up to their children and grandchildren as a truly honorable public servant. – Donald Rumsfeld

Having served in the White House and under pressure, I have seen how difficult it sometimes is to recall precisely a particular sequence of events. – Henry Kissinger

I know of many examples of Mr. Libby's service to individuals ... One involves his effort to persuade a newspaper not to publish information that would have endangered the life of a covert CIA agent working overseas. Late into the evening, long after most others had left the matter to be dealt with the next day, Mr. Libby worked to collect the information that was needed to persuade the editor not to run the story. His assistant Jenny Mayfield told me that was when she realized she was working for a very special person – as indeed she was. – Paul Wolfowitz

If there is anyone who fully understands our "system" for protecting classified information, I have yet to meet him. – John Bolton

" ... unswerving, unselfish, unwavering loyalty ... "

My lifelong view, which has only been validated in adulthood, is that kids are the most honest and true evaluators of people. Watching my children with Scooter, and all children with him, you'd think he hung the moon. – Mary Matalin and James Carville

I am in no sense a neoconservative, as many of my neoconservative adversaries will attest. I am, to the contrary, the kind of liberal whom many neoconservatives like to despise. (This is fine with me.)

I trouble you with these internecine details of the intellectual wards because I do not want my expression of admiration for Scooter Libby to be mistaken for ideological solidarity, or to be dismissed as the testimonial of a political comrade.
– Leon Wieseltier

During my years of friendship with Scooter, I found a singular attribute which will always remain undiminished in my mind. That is the attribute of Loyalty – unswerving, unselfish, unwavering loyalty. ... I have seen him "at the side" of my old friend Dick Cheney – attentive, thoughtful, gracious, patient and always – always – exceedingly efficient and I observed on many occasions how Dick relied on this man. The situation that has been presently played out is a bitter pill for all of us. – Alan Simpson

patriotic – adjective

1. Tending to display the American flag on one's clothing or property.

2. Feeling or expressing hatred towards left-wing critics of American foreign or domestic policy.


realism – noun

A political doctrine that holds all other states act amorally in pursuit of their own interests, therefore so should ours.

Monday, June 4, 2007

History: the original atheists

Once upon a time ... well before there was a Richard Dawkins or a Christopher Hitchens ... who were the original atheists?

Crooked Timber's Kieran Healy finds the answer in classical scholarship.

nonfiction – noun

A branch of fiction comprising history, biography, journalism, political commentary, and the essay.

family man – noun

1. Sexual deviant.

2. Crook.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

think tank – noun

1. A laundering operation for corporate propaganda.

2. A union of like-minded writers who aspire to the intellectual authority of the professoriat, but who dislike reading, research, teaching, and peer-review.

“To a Wall Streeter, intellectuals are pretty cheap,” said Walter Russell Mead, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of “God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World.” “There are wedding rings that cost more than I do.”

Saturday, June 2, 2007

News: IEDs = "weapons of strategic influence"

Question: Why are IEDs continuing to kill and maim U.S. soldiers in Iraq, when we're spending billions to prevent it?

The Pentagon's Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) – "a massive organization employing thousands of private contractors ... based in a northern Virginia office complex" – has received at least $6.7 billion in funding since 2003, according to the Boston Globe. Last February, the President requested an additional $6.4 billion for the project.

Where is that money going?

Weapon of strategic influence

According to its website, the JIEDDO's mission is "to eliminate IEDs as weapons of strategic influence."

So the problem with IEDs isn't that they kill or injure our troops. It's that they influence public opinion. They are weapons of propaganda.

"It can be mitigated, minimized, made into a nuisance," said Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs (ret.), the JIEDDO director, taking a page from John Kerry's anti-terrorism playbook.

How do we defeat "weapons of strategic influence"? Not by outfitting our troops with armor. Not by improving our intelligence and infiltration of insurgency groups. No.

We defeat them by funding sources of counter-propaganda: pro-war think tanks, pundits, and bloggers.


Those who claim that the "101st Fighting Keyboarders" aren't really fighting this war are dead wrong. They are putting themselves on the line every day to defuse IEDs – our enemy's weapon of choice.

It's certainly not page-one newsworthy that U.S. casualties from IEDs have sharply increased. Troop casualties are irrelevant. The real story is how the American public is affected by IED attacks.

Yes, the war over public opinion is going badly. But did you hear how Joe Lieberman bought a pair of sunglasses in a bustling Baghdad market? Now that's page-one news.

illegal combatant – noun

A militant deemed undeserving of Geneva protections, because he isn't an easy target.

illegal – adjective

(Archaic) Incapable of being denied by press spokesmen or legal counsel.

torture – noun

The intentional infliction of intense physical or psychological pain to secure a confession that justifies said infliction.

`Let the jury consider their verdict,' the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

`No, no!' said the Queen. `Sentence first--verdict afterwards.'

`Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!'

`Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.

`I won't!' said Alice.

`Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Review – The month of May

Our first month saw the definition of 41 terms. Here they are in alphabetical order...

activist - noun, adjective

benchmark – noun

caging – noun
carbon sequestration – noun
clean coal - noun
collateral damage – noun
compassionate – adjective

earmark – noun
extraordinary rendition – noun

fear – noun
foia – verb
freedom – noun

Gitmoize – verb
globalization – noun
green – adjective

habeas corpus - noun
homicide bomber - noun

intelligent design – noun

leak – noun
levee – noun
lobbyist – noun
loyal – adjective

oversight – noun

neoconservative – adjective, noun
neoconservatism – noun
neoliberalism – noun

P.R. – noun
privacy – noun
private security contractor – noun
privatize – verb

resign – verb

shock and awe – noun
snowflake - noun
sound – adjective
stem cell – noun
stop-loss – adjective
stress position – noun

testify – verb

war czar – noun
waterboard – verb
whistleblower – noun

Which ones are your favorites? Which ones need work?

precision-guided – adjective

Directed with exactness to an inexact target.

preemption – noun

1. The right to take action before authorities discover it has no legal justification.

2. The right to act in self-defense against a future threat, whether it be real, imagined, or invented.

3. An action taken to forestall anticipated objections or hindrances, or to nullify an anticipated or invented threat.

COMMENT: Preemption has the wonderful quality of enabling the powerful to "create new realities."

torture memo – noun

A written statement that uses perverse ("tortured") logic to justify the legality of extreme action.

COMMENT: Although the most famous "torture memos" have dealt with torture, the prase originates from the memo's argumentation.