The Nashville Tennessean headline for Feb 29, 2008 was "Bush, Bernanke banish R-word." The sub heading was "They see no recession on horizon, but concede economy is slowing." The article was a pickup from Associated Press writer Jeanine Aversa. Just what exactly is the functionality of banishing a word? Are we to no longer use it? Has it become meaningless? What powers over language and meaning do these two men have?
Having actually read the Constitution of the United States and understanding what those words mean I can only conclude that neither of these men have any public power to banish words. What they do have the power to do, thanks to a complicit mass media, is pervert the meaning of the words to deceive the populace.
A recession is defined by two consecutive quarters of negative GNP growth, a depression of 4 consecutive quarters of negative GNP growth. This means the economy is shrinking, less business is being transacted for whatever reason, fewer goods and services are produced. Some people actually start saving and stop spending, or pay down accumulated debt. Maybe it is time to pay the Visa bill down and not by Junior a new Hummer.
Business and individuals have had sufficient malinvestment that failures get liquidated and a retrenchment occurs. Factories draw down inventories to lessen carrying costs, prices drop to woo consumers less willing to part with hard-earned money, layoffs occur, businesses fail, personal bankruptcies rise. It’s been a good party, but they do come to an end.
In an election year, recessions are the kiss of death for the incumbent administration, hence the banishing of the R word. Maybe they want to send it beyond the Pale as the Czar of all the Russia’s once sent Jews. Wherever the pale actually was is not certain, but in Russia it was probably cold and certainly harsh. Not exactly a winning ticket for an American President.
This is an American President who’s entire Presidency, mercifully for the entire planet in its final year has had a hard time with words. Accuracy and precision of the spoken word has been lax. Prevarication, mendacity, and outright mangling of the English language have sadly been the norm. If these guys are moving their lips the truth is going to have a poor showing. For Lil Bush the truth has been a fungible concept: it is whatever he wants it to be, whenever he wants it to be, and as stated in the past can reinterpreted in the future as something completely different. I would speculate that much of the time the truth is not even apparent in thought as the words flow past on the teleprompter and he struggles not to move his lips when approaching the really big ones (3 syllables and up). The Vice-President says nothing which is usually good because when he does it is usually a lie.
Still let’s look at other words we might want to banish.
Weapons of Mass Destruction aka WMD’s gone. They cannot be talked about because since they never existed we did not have to invade Iraq and wreck what remained of their infrastructure from a decade of sanctions and repeated bombings of second-world country put on a steep descent down to the third rung by the world’s only superpower.
The D word democracy is not banished. The Iraqi’s clearly invited us to trade, their oil, hundreds of thousands of dead and missing sons, wives, fathers and daughters for a ballot box stuffed with our hand-picked, cream of the crop, intelligentsia of Iraqi culture. Why they need so many bodyguards, armored vehicles, and high walls around their fortresses, I mean homes, is unclear. Perhaps it is to keep the throngs of satisfied citizens off the grass or from scaring the pets in their zeal.
The L word as in a lie, a falsehood or the act of lying is definitely banished. Jesus has touched the President’s heart, as he has said many times. Since lying is forbidden in the Ten Commandments this one had to go, since he was "born again."
The B word as in bear market is out, all markets are bull markets, the time to buy stocks is now. Invest in your and America’s future.
The G word as in Gold Standard is out. The worst thing an economy can do is cling to this false idol of a bygone era. President Roosevelt so kindly spared us from this. The dollar may be asymptotically approaching zero when compared against the Euro, gas prices are rising because of cosmic rays, the work of Lucifer in league with Al Qaeda as many speculate. Not because of any fiscal malfeasance on the part of our Bi-Partisan leadership and their complicit Federal Reserve.
Stable prices are mandated which means printing more money to give first to your friends, where it is stable, but by the time it gets to the rest of us inflation has somehow crept in, even after 90 years of central banking. Still Lockheed and Halliburton see a rosy future.
OBL as in the criminal Osama Bin Laden is definitely out. We are seeking to end an adjective, terror, not a criminal. It is no one’s interest for this man to be found, because then the war would actually be over. OBL will be 120 years old and our garrisoned troops in 700 different overseas locations, with a trillion dollar a year budget will not be able to catch this wily old dodger as he crawls around some of the harshest terrain on the planet, trailing his dialysis machine, the generators that run it, his satellite phone from which to call forth willing thralls, and last but not least the low-quality audio equipment from which he makes his recruiting pitches that chill us all to the bone, but not speaking Arabic we let the CIA tell us what he said.
The H word as in housing collapse is out. No time like the current time to buy more real estate! All those for sale signs, that rarely ever say sold anymore are proof of the vigor of the American economy under Lil Bush and Deadeye Cheney. Reagan proved that deficits do not matter! In true faith as Republicans they have graciously added 4 trillion dollars more of them to the backs of our children.
The A word accountability is out. The President will not be able to do anything in what remains of his term other than write pardons if this word is allowed.
The C word, Constitution is not out, it is very in. What is out is actually adhering to it under the rule of law. All of the thousands of Presidential directives have made this a venerated if quaint antique. Something you salute, like the flag, Mom and apple pie. You talk about it in speeches and at rallies, or when you are praising the vigor with which we protect our freedom that our enemies hate. What is really done is classified under the Patriot act so that our enemies cannot know what the plans for implementing freedom actually are, but then neither do the rest of us. This is probably not an accident.
The P word for police state is clearly out. This is the land of the free, as we are now free to be subject to electronic surveillance from almost anywhere, continuously. From the street corner spy cameras, to the myriad satellites in space. From the Echelon system in foreign lands and the military drones flying over our cities we are watched. Internet routers can now direct digital data to the great NSA packet sink courtesy of all those wired closets that big Telco’s graciously supply in return for immunity.
Prior to the Internet the DEA could activate their own switches in the telephone system as desired in the War on Drugs. We are now almost a century into losing. Still the local police have been militarized with advanced training, state-of-the-art vforensic labs, Kevlar vests, Tasers and automatic weapons. Programs for spying on neighbors and testifying anonymously with hearsay have been codified into law.
Private property can now be confiscated by multiple authorities for any of a myriad of allegations, I mean reasons. It is up to the property owner to prove that they are innocent (at their own cost of course). I cannot resist the brilliant line from Sheriff Little Bill Daggett in Clint Eastwood’s movie Unforgiven: "Innocent? Innocent of what."
The W for War Department is banished as well, even though we actually now have two of them, since one was not enough, a baby has been birthed Homeland Security, equally incompetent and just as wasteful if only on a smaller scale. At least in a bygone era the name War Department was an honest expression of intent.
In the 21st Century there are well over a billion arms in private hands in America, and by count that’s a little over one for each hand, and one for the back of our Levi’s for every man women and child citizen of our peace-loving nation.
There are trillions of rounds to go with this arsenal. Personally I think it would great fun to break up the tedium of the regular workday and go to the beach and have a shootout with the invaders. "Pack a picnic basket Ma, all this killing is going to make me hungry and thirsty" But never in American History have we been invaded. The closest we came was to ride over with the British and then rudely send them home. Apparently failing to learn the attendant lesson of the length of supply lines, logistical nightmares of foreign occupation, and the recalcitrance of people that have their homes invaded and their families and neighbors murdered. We are in good company Napoleon and Hitler also failed to learn this social studies lesson as well, much to the chagrin of their troops.
I think by now you can see where this is headed, but still there is so much material to work with thanks to these four-star clowns intent on giving it all away. Platoons of comedians and late-night talk show hosts are making personal fortunes keeping us laughing to keep from crying over the mess we are in. Even if they mistakenly conflate socialism with liberty, and believe that Republicans and Democrats really are of different ideological frameworks.
These cultural mavens are largely Democrats, yet to their credit they by and large openly advocated a policy of socialism and more intrusive programs and wasteful spending. The Republicans with the lone exception of Ron Paul just lie, cheat and steal about everything kind of like Lincoln, Mussolini and that German with the funny mustache.
This bile-filled screed could go on all night; the article that sent me into this tirade was only about 200 words, all of it denying the obvious. I quote some more of it from Miss Aversa:
WASHINGTON — When it comes to the economy, President Bush and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke see the glass half full, rather than half empty.
The economy is in turmoil, yet Bush and Bernanke say the country will weather the storm. Neither sees a recession on the horizon.
Bush and Bernanke are on the front lines of the government’s efforts to right an economy that increasing numbers of economists fear is on the verge of its first recession since 2001, if it hasn’t fallen into one already.
The housing market’s collapse, a credit crisis and galloping energy prices are crimping spending and investing. Those are mighty punches to a teetering economy that nearly stalled at the end of last year.
Bush and the Federal Reserve chairman acknowledged the dangers Thursday. But Bush, at a White House news conference, and Bernanke, in congressional testimony, seemed to strike the same hopeful note that the economy should be able to survive its ills.
“I don’t think we’re headed to a recession, but no question we’re in a slowdown,” Bush said.
The Federal Reserve is not forecasting a recession. It does predict slow growth and higher unemployment this year.
“I realize that my testimony wasn’t the most cheerful thing you’ll hear today … but I do very much believe that the U.S. economy will return to a strong growth path with price stability,” Bernanke told the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. It was his second day in a row on Capitol Hill discussing the economy."
My experience with the current administration is that every single word that is uttered is to be suspect. If you ask them the time, check your watch. If they tell you the weather report look out the window, if you shake their hand count the fingers you get back. They won’t ask for your wallet they have already emptied long before you were born and long into the future.
Given the Orwellian promiscuity with what Fox News loosely calls the truth, it is a safe bet that literally everything Miss Alversa writes about will not come true. These statements are just deflections of the obvious, cruel antonyms of the reality. What everyone I know and talk to is worried about is the crumbling value of the dollar and the flip side of that coin, the skyrocketing price of energy. That our government, under the Presidency George W. Bush, has become completely and callously unfettered by the rule of law enshrined in the Constitution. It is out of control, and that his imperial hegemonic empire expansion will drive us to the brink of history’s largest bankruptcy. We continue to borrow $2 billion dollars each and every day, adding to that $9 trillion dollar mound of government paper and promises
Bush is correct about one thing: there will be no recession in his future. He can be a salesman for the Carlyle Group, he’ll ghost write a book he won’t read for a multi-million dollar payday, then there are the $100,000 an hour speaking engagements — why anyone would want to hear this inarticulate lummox speak once out of office I cannot fathom.
The best I can hope for is that maybe in a dark hour of the night his conscience will awaken him to what he has done and he’ll return to his besotted youth to drown the pain and the shame. Maybe all the brown corpses he has created from living beings will call his name from deep and troubled shadows of his mind, but I doubt it.
The last 8 years have been a miserable time for freedom-loving Americans. What I see is that the Democratic "opposition" has watched Lil Bush with envious eyes, salivating at their chance to get the levers of power. The Socialism they so openly advocate, as Ludwig Von Mises has demonstrated so clearly, will wreck this country. Perhaps in closing that is the only thing even mildly positive about the Republicans, that their agenda is to wreck other countries so that they can stand tall and pronounce victory.
"What’s that smell son? Napalm sir. Smells like … victory."
~ Robert Duval (Apocalypse Now)
Everyone deserves a better future.
George Giles [send him mail] thinks heavily, drinks heavily, and makes many heavy notes in Nashville.