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Thursday, 5 August 2004

Code Words

In American politics, key phrases pop up over and over again. They sound like they mean one thing, but to certain groups of people, they're code words for something else. Here are three of them:

States Rights

States rights means segregation. when people fought for slavery, they fought for states rights. When they argued for Jim Crow, they argued for states rights. When they complained against Brown vs the Board of Eduction and against bussing, their rallying cry was states rights. This term has always been used by the right wing.

Now when the federal government tries to regulate anything, environmental or civil, it violates "states rights." But when California tries to pass medicinal marijuana, the very pro-"states rights" administration swings into action, arresting everyone in sight. Because states rights means hurting the vunerable, not protecting them.

Culture of Life

This is an oldy-but-goody, one I hadn't head musch since my Catholic days, but Bush used it when talking to the Knights of Columbus. NPR described the KofC as the largest Catholic lay organization in the United States. the are a fraternal (ie men only) organization dedicated to Christopher Columbus. Yes, that Columbus. That should give you an idea of their politics. As one of my friends in the clergy likes to say, there are a lot of Archie Bunkers in the Catholic church. He doesn't think it's what the Catholic Church is all about, I don't either, but I quit rather than deal with it. Anyway, they invited Bush to speak as the president, not as a candidate, meaning that they don't plan to invite Kerry to speak. The tape on the radio had the group chanting "four more years." And this is what I don't get about some people, especially, say, some angry white men. They have a choice between a guy who is a strong beleiver in a religion that says everyone in his audience is going to hell. All evangelical fundamentalists say terrible things about Catholics when they think they're not going to be overheard. Bush probably calls them "papists" when he thinks his mic is turned off. Or they could vote for a guy who is actually Catholic, but they're not even going to listen to him speak. Why do people consistently behave in a manner contrary to their own best interests?

So Bush talked about fostering a "culture of life." What on earth does that mean? To Catholics, that's a stance against abortion and the death penalty. To Bush, it's just against abortion. Contrast this with the "culture of death." No, that's not pro-death penalty dropping bombs on everything that moves in the middle east. The culture of death refers to the homosexual "deathstyle." (They'd call it that anyway, but as Fred Phelps speaks for a lot of homophobes when he says "thank god for aids.") To Bush and apparently to the KofC a "culture of life" means fecundity. It means procreative sex only without the use of contraceptive devices. That's what Bush said he was in favor of: Anti-abortion. Anti- family planning. Anti-gay. And that's how you can adavance "life" while murdering prisoners and people all over the world. Because according to the "culture of life" as advanced by Bush, human rights start before conception and end at birth.

"I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security."

this is code for anti-UN rhetoric. The UN is a secret plot to unite us into one world government and are flying black helicopters overhead. They want the power to veto US military action because weak and corrupt nations are jealous of our might and want to usurp our government and take over our country and they're going to use the UN to do it. Why should we listen to any third world country? They don't even have nuclear weapons.

ahem. Under Regan, we objected to the elected government of Nicuragua and started funding terorist attacks on non-military targets, like clinics and seed stores. We financed the mudering and terrorization of peasants, just like we've done for ages in South America. Yay Monroe Doctorine! Nicuragua recognized that it didn't have the reources to fight the US army and adjunt militias and feed it's country, so it launched a legal action in the World Court. The World Court ruled that the US had to stop bombing them. We ignored the World Court. Then the general assembly of the UN oassed a resolution saying it wanted countried to obey international law. We voted against it, as it was clearly directed at us, but it passed anyway by a huge majority. We ginored it and continued to murder Nicuraguans. Why? Because we will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. there was faked "evidence" that Nicurgaua might have imported Soviet Migs. then they could fight back! We'd better bomb them so they can't fight back. You know, they were an evil regieme and had to be ousted (does this sound familiar?) They had WMD they could use against us. We had to act before they did. The UN told us not to, but we will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security.

That phrase means breaking international law, ignoring the UN and more recently, it means failing to pay our UN dues. When Kerry utters that phrase, most of scratch our heads and so, "ok. wouldn't it be against the law to give other countries veto power? i'm confused. um, go kerry." Anti-UN people hear, "fuck the UN. I'm with you guys. Go isolationism! Fear everyone."

1 comment:

Crinis said...

Kerry had to say that crap to look "tough" on national security. There are a lot of nuts in this country who really think the UN is trying to take over. And they vote, unfortunately.

Reagan/BushII - big on unilateralism. Funny, BushI wasn't. Clinton wasn't a unilateralism either. It's Congress that keeps failing to pay our UN dues.

The more we act unilaterally, the less easy it is for the US to negotiate internationally. Can you see N Korea or Israel take us seriously at a negotiation table? Puulease. As this big "no veto" crap just makes us look like dolts.
Thanks for the info on the States Rights and how it is used as a wedge issue today. I don't think that what I had to learn about it for my AP History exam, but hey, that was just a stupid standardised test.