Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll declares it VERY WARM:

It’s that time of year again in Arizona where not only is it 114 during the day, but it’s still 99 at midnight. We Climate Change Denying Racketeers call that summer. I get a big kick out of looking on Accuweather every morning and finding any temperature under 115 termed “Very warm.” Indeed.

Only when the mercury scoots past 115, does Accuweather use the little red thermometer icon and call it “Hot.” In Minnesota, over 115 would be called “Dead.”

Words have great power. I have read that if you say to someone, “Lift this heavy object,” that most will be able to, but if you say, “Try to lift this,” that far fewer can, much the way I “try” to maintain a healthy weight.

Powerful games are played with language. Starting with that word itself. One of the criteria for movies receiving an “R” rating is “Language.” Which, one would think, would include all but silent movies. But to describe the language that merits an “R” rating would be judgmental. And being judgmental is the only known sin in liberalism. So, we can’t call it “bad” language or “obscene” language or even “vulgar” language. It’s just Language. Works for me.

When I was a kid, virtuous people called black people Negroes. The people who called them “colored” were considered low-class, despite the fact that the most prestigious civil rights organization was called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. By the mid-’60s the Negroes decided they wanted to be called Black. And it came to pass. There was Black Power and Black Pride and Black Panthers and even Blaxploitation Films.

Then there must have been a vote I missed, or perhaps voting was only confined to the black people themselves, which would seem fair, and many began insisting on being called “Afro-American.” Not too long after that, it was again decided that “Afro” was a diminutive and therefore demeaning and the more cumbersome “African-American” held sway for many years. No other ethnicity was routinely hyphenated until Mr. Zimmerman became the first quite tannish “White-Hispanic,” which was certainly a surprise to him. Nevertheless, we all tried valiantly to call people what they wanted to be called. Nobody wants to use outdated terms that could get you branded a racist, or worse yet, unhip.

And then, seemingly from nowhere, “colored” was recycled again! With just a slight twist. Now it was “people of color” and it included virtually everyone except white people. I have served on a college trustee board which awarded scholarship money to an adopted Korean several shades lighter than me, as a “student of color.” I will defy anyone to come up with a satisfactory explanation of the difference between “colored people” and “people of color.” Oh, right, it’s “putting people first,” as I have heard it explained, because racists need a reminder that black people are people. But the rationale is a bald-faced lie. If the rule is always put “people first,” how come we pigment-challenged folks are just called regular old white people, alone in being defined by our color rather than our personhood?

The Paranoid Texan next door told us that his former employer never fired anyone. They just informed employees that they were “expanding their employment opportunities.” Through round after round of layoffs in the corporate world we read of “downsizing” and “rightsizing.” Presumably, a jobless person would feel less terrible about being a part of making an enterprise just the “right size” Three Bears Style, than simply being tossed on the ash heap.

We’ve lived through a “retroactive protective reaction strike” for the destruction of a Vietnamese village.

We’ve seen Islamic Terror Attacks renamed “man-caused disasters,” to avoid naming the vile perpetrators and the cause (see also, “Hate crime,” “Workplace Violence,” “Homophobia,” “Crusades, High Horse” and “Guns, Extremely Bad, No Good, Terrible Things”).

One of the most insidious examples of the power of words – an example with universal staying-power for 40-plus years – is the word “choice.” Such a fair-sounding word. Will you be having the steak or the salmon, ma’am? Choice. Everybody but Bernie Sanders likes choice. He wants only one brand of deodorant, one health care system, and the like. But you say “choice” today and everybody knows exactly what you mean. The ugly word “abortion” need never be mentioned again.

And finally, a euphemism so mind-bogglingly Orwellian it could only come from the Obama Administration: “Justice-Involved Youth,” in lieu of “criminal.”

You could imagine the following conversation: I mean “justice” is a GOOD thing, right? And my Anthony, a youthful 35, just got involved in it. You know, some people get involved in Scouting, or Community Theatre, or model trains. My son got involved with Justice. For 10 years he was involved with peddling drugs down at the middle school and when somebody took his corner, he got involved with aggravated assault and then robbing liquor stores. One time there was an off-duty cop in the store – talk about bad luck! That’s when he came to be involved with Justice and also with walking with a limp.