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Verbal Tics and Political Routines

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opednews.com Headlined to H1 1/29/13

A lot of what we say and do becomes habit-forming. Groundhog Day 2013 could serve as a reminder that some political habits should be kicked. Here are a few:

**  "Defense budget "

No, it's not a defense budget. It's a military budget.

But countless people and organizations keep saying they want to cut "the defense budget" or reduce "defense spending."


Military funding, not defense. by Rob Shenk

Anyone who wants to challenge the warfare state should dispense with this misnomer. We don't object to "defense" -- what we do oppose, vehemently, is military spending that has nothing to do with real defense and everything to do with killing people, enforcing geopolitical control and making vast profits for military contractors. And no, they're not "defense contractors."

President Eisenhower's farewell address didn't warn against a "defense-industrial complex."

The fact that there's something officially called the Department of Defense -- formerly the Department of War, until 1947 -- doesn't make its huge budget a "defense budget," any more than renaming the Bureau of Prisons "the Bureau of Love" would mean we should talk about wanting to cut the "love budget."

**  "Pro-life"

Last week, midway through a heated debate on the PBS "NewsHour," the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said that some politicians get elected while hiding their extreme anti-abortion positions -- but would be rejected at the ballot box "if they ran on their pro-life values."

"Pro-life" values? Not a label that abortion-rights advocates should use for opponents of a woman's right to choose an abortion. One of the main reasons those opponents keep calling themselves "pro-life" is they want to imply that supporters of abortion rights are anti-life. Why help?

**  "Globalization"

In many realms, globalization can be positive, even essential. For instance, wonderful results flow from globalizing solidarity among workers around the world. Likewise, the planetary spread of awareness and cooperation among people taking action to protect the environment, stop human-rights abuses and end war.

Corporate  globalization is another matter. Its destructive effects are lashing every continent with voracious commercialization along with exploitive races to the bottom for cheap labor, extraction of raw materials, privatization, flattening of protective tariffs, overriding of national laws that protect workers and replacement of democratic possibilities with the rule of big money.

Putting "corporate" before "globalization" may seem cumbersome, but it's worth another three syllables. There's a world of difference between globalization for human cooperation and corporate globalization. Blurring it all together misses the chance to clarify the distinct possibilities.

**  "Moderates"

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Norman Solomon is the author of many books, including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death," which has been adapted into a documentary film. For more information, go to: www.normansolomon.com

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Thanks for keeping this nonsense in people's minds... by Philip Zack on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 2:37:25 PM
"A lot of what we say and do becomes habit-forming... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 5:32:50 PM
You're right. One could have a field day with this... by intotheabyss on Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:27:06 AM
These are very powerful and essential points in th... by John Rachel on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 9:56:26 PM
my biggest pet peeve with the left, being snookere... by intotheabyss on Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:22:18 AM