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Hog Waste Lagoons

By       Message Craig K. Comstock       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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Hog farms make residents prisoners in their own homes North Carolina's giant pig manure lagoons are vulnerable to hurricane season storms and flooding. Here's what it's like to live near the giant manure pits in North ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Quartz)
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Why does the media adopt obviously prejudicial right-wing languaging? For example, "hog waste lagoons" in the coverage of hurricane? A lagoon is something you hope to stay near on a vacation. If you don't want to say "pools of hog sh*t," at least you can say "pools of hog feces and urine."

Another piece of Orwellian language, used by Senator Ted Cruz in a recent debate with his opponent, is "death tax." We used to call this what it is, a tax on inheritance. What's taxed is not the death, but the passing on of a fortune. We all pay taxes. We want to reduce any waste, but As Justice Holmes said, fair taxes are the price of civilization.

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I'm surprised the pollution of rivers is not yet called "water enhancement," as he household water of Flint was enhanced by factories dumping lead and other toxic chemicals.

In contrast, some honest scientific metaphors give the wrong impression. For example, "greenhouse gases"" a term introduced in good faith because carbon dioxide and methane let through a down-flow of sunshine but block the up-flow of radiation or heat. In effect, the concentration of these gases act like a blanket, one blanket too many, a blanket that can't be thrown off. But the term is also misleading. Greenhouses are good: they give us early tomatoes and other vegetables.

Some euphemistic terms are concocted by industries trying to protect their profits; others by scientists trying to explain a complex, invisible effect. The scientists are simply naïve about languaging, but mean no harm. Corporate spokesmen are trying to pass off what economists call an "externality." In other words, a cost imposed silently on the public, such as in parts of North Carolina awash in flood water contaminated by hog operations, by those "lagoons."

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Bright college grads are recruited to think up these phrases, paid a good salary; they live in the suburbs, mow their lawns, send their kids to college.

This Orwellian language is pervasive in our society:

"Collateral damage" for killed and wounded civilians.

"Targeted killings" for Presidentially-ordered assassinations abroad.

"Black sites" for foreign hell-holes.

"Enhanced interrogation techniques" for torture.

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"The Indispensible Country" for the U.S. and whatever it does.

"Asymmetrical conflict" for wars with people who don't fight the way we do.

"Police action" for war conducted by us.

"Economical with the truth" for lying.

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Author of three recent books, Better Ways to Live: Honoring Social Inventors, Exploring New Challenges (2017); Enlarging Our Comfort Zones: A Life of Unexpected Destinations (2016); and Gift of Darkness:Growing Up[ in Occupied Amsterdam (more...)
 

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Rob Kall

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Comment by Rob Kall:

As a counter to the "death tax" framing, I've come up with the dynasty tax, with the idea that it prevents dynasties.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 2:52:15 PM

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Craig K. Comstock

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

An inheritance tax doesn't cause anybody to die, but it does help to moderate dynasties. Accurate and useful. Count me as a user.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 at 5:02:13 PM

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BFalcon

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

Right. A dead person can't be taxed, the 'dynasty' is.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 27, 2018 at 4:03:45 PM

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