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We need to break the code by building a Republican dictionary. Here's a small list I've put together to get us started.

BI-PARTISANSHIP, n. When conservative Republicans work together with moderate Republicans to pass legislation Democrats hate.

CLARIFY, v. Repeating the same lie over and over again.

CLEAN, adj. The word used to modify any aspect of the environment Republican legislation allows corporations to pollute, poison, or destroy.

FAIRER, adj. Regressive.

FAITH, n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary.

FAITH COMMUNITY, n. Evangelicals, because they are saved, and hawkish conservative Jews, because they are useful. Israel is the bait-on-the-hook just waiting for God to take that Rapturous bite.

FISCAL CONSERVATIVE, n. A Republican who is in the minority.

FREEDOM, n. What Arabs want but can't achieve on their own without Western military intervention. It bears a striking resemblance to chaos.

GROWTH, n. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. What happens to the deficits when Republicans cut taxes on the rich.

HONESTY, n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences: "Freedom is on the march."

HUMBLE FOREIGN POLICY, n. The invasion of any sovereign nation whose leadership Republicans don't like.

HUMBLED adj. What a Republican says right after a close election and right before he governs in an arrogant manner. 

MORAL VALUES, n. Hatred of homosexuals dressed up in Biblical language.

MANDATE, n. What a Republican claims to possess when only 49 percent of the voting public loathes him instead of 51 percent.

THE MEDIA, n. Immoral elitist liberally-biased traitors who should leave Republicans alone so they can complete God's work on Earth in peace and quiet, behind closed doors.

PHILOSOPHY, n. Religion.

SIMPLIFY, tr. v. To cut the taxes of Republican donors.

SLAVE, n. A person without legal rights, e,g. a fetus.

BONUS DEFINITION: NEOCONSERVATIVES, n. Nerds with Napoleonic complexes.

--Kartina vanden Heuvel


I'm publishing a small sample of the new dictionary entries I've received below. We may even create a small book or extended pamphlet using the most creative examples submitted. Many thanks to those who took the time to write and apologies to those whose ideas we weren't able to include in this post. But watch this space. We're going to continue posting additional entries in the weeks ahead. And please click here to suggest your own contributions.

ACTIVIST JUDGE, n. A judge who attempts to protect the rights of minorities--most especially homosexuals--against the tyranny of the majority. (Amy Mashberg, Austin, Texas)

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES, n. New locations to drill for oil and gas. (Peter Scholz, Fort Collins, Colorado)

CIVIL LIBERTIES, n. Unnecessary privileges that you aren't afraid of losing unless you are a God-hating, baby-killing, elitist liberal who loves Saddam Hussein more than your own safety. (Megan Ellis, Bellingham, Washington)

CLIMATE CHANGE, n. Global warming, without that annoying suggestion that something is wrong. (Robert Shanafelt, Statesboro, Georgia)

DEATH TAX, n. A term invented by anti-tax zealots and referring to a tax used to prevent the very wealthy from establishing a dominating aristocracy in this country. (David McNeely, Lutz, Florida)

DEMOCRATIC ALLY, n. Any democracy, monarchy, plutocracy, oligarchy or dictatorship--no matter how ruthless--that verbally supports American diplomatic and economic goals. (L.J. Klass, Concord, New Hampshire)

DEREGULATE, v. To pursue greed and exploitation. (Nathan Taylor, Long Beach, California)

DETAIN, v. Hold in a secret place without recourse to law and treat in any manner one wishes. (Jeannine Bettis, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

ECONOMIC PROGRESS, n. 1. Recession; 2. Rising unemployment; 3. Minimum-wage freeze. (Terry McGarry, East Rockaway, New York)

FAITH-BASED INITIATIVE, n. Christian Right Payoff. (Michael Gendelman , Fair Haven, New Jersey)

FAMILY VALUES, n. Oppression of women. (Nancy Matsunaga, Brooklyn, New York)

FOX NEWS, n. White House Press Office. (Donnalyn Murphy, San Francisco, California)

HARD WORK, n. What Republicans say when they can't think of anything better. (Brain McDowell), Durham, North Carolina)

INSURGENT, n. Armed or unarmed, violent or non-violent Iraqi on the receiving end of an American rocket blast or bullet spray, regardless of age, gender or political affiliation. (Joey Flores, Marina del Ray, California)

MODERNIZE, v. To do away with, as in modernizing Social Security, labor laws, etc. (Robert Sean Roarty, Atlanta, Georgia)

OBSTRUCTIONIST, n. Any elected representative who dares to question Republican radicals on the issue of the day. (Terry Levine, Toronto, Ontario)

OWNERSHIP SOCIETY, n. A society in which Republican donors own the rest of us. (Adrianne Stevens, Seattle, Washington)

PRIVATIZE, v. To steal the resources of the national community and give them to private business. (Susan Dyer, Ottsville, Pennsylvania)

REFORM, v. To eliminate, as in tort reform (to eliminate all lawsuits against businesses and corporations) or Social Security and Medicare reform (to eliminate these programs altogether). (Darren Staley, Millers Creek, North Carolina)

STRICT CONSTRUCTIONIST, n. A judge with extremely conservative beliefs, who interprets laws in a manner that fits his/rarely-her own belief systems, while maintaining that this was the original intent of the law. (Floyd Doney, Athens, Ohio)

SUPPORT THE MILITARY, v. To praise Bush when he sends our young men and women off to die for no reason and without proper body armor. (Marc Goldberg, Vancouver, Washington)

TAX REFORM, n. The shifting of the tax burden from unearned income to earned income, or rather, from the wealthy elite to the working class. (Eric Evans, Gregory, Michigan)

TORT REFORM, n. Corporate immunity and impunity. (Sue Bazy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

UNITER, n. A Leader who brings together his followers by fomenting hatred for anyone who disagrees with him. (Larry Allred, Las Cruces, New Mexico)

--Kartina vanden Heuvel


I published a small sample of the entries I've received in this space earlier this month. Below I'm publishing a second batch of reader submissions to this on-going project. We're going to continue posting additional entries in the weeks ahead, so click here to suggest your contributions.

ALARMIST, n. Any respected scientist who understands the threat of global warming. (Dave Nold, Berkely, California)

ALLIES, n. Foreigners who do what Republicans tell them to do. (Gary Schroller, Bellaire, Texas)

BALANCED, adj. 1. favoring corporations (a more balanced approach to the environment.); 2. favoring conservatives (fair and balanced reporting). (Scott Davis, Grand Prairie, Texas)

CLASS WARFARE, n. Any attempt to raise the minimum wage. (Don Zwier, Grayslake, Illinois)

COALITION, n. One or more nations whose leaders have been duped, pressured or bribed into supporting ill-conceived, unnecessary, under-planned and/or illegal US military operations. (Michael Shapiro, Honolulu, Hawaii)

CONVICTION, n. Making decisions before getting the facts, and refusing to change your mind afterward. (Paul Ruschmann, Canton, Michigan)

CULTURE OF LIFE, n. A reduction of reproductive freedoms. (Sean Sturgeon, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada)

DEMOCRACY, n. My way or the highway. (Daniel Quinn, London, UK)

ECONOMIC RECOVERY, n. When three out of five software engineers who lost their jobs to outsourcing are able to find part-time work at Wal-Mart. (Rob Hotman , Houston, Texas)

ELECTION FRAUD, n. Counting every vote. (Sean O'Brien, Chicago, Illinois)

GIRLY MEN, n. Those who do not grope women. (Nick Gill, Newton, MA)

HARD WORK, n. What Republicans say when they can't think of anything better. (Brian McDowell)

HEALTHY FORESTS, n. No tree left behind. (Ron Russell, San Francisco, California)

JOB GROWTH, n. Increased number of jobs an individual has to take after losing earlier high-paying job. (John E. Tarin, Arlington, Virginia)

JUNK SCIENCE, n. Sound science. (Geoffrey King, Austin, TX)

OFFICE OF FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES, n. Christian Right payoff. (Michael Gendelman, Fair Haven, New Jersey)

OWNERSHIP SOCIETY, n. A society in which no one ever needs to own up to their mistakes or the consequences of their actions. (Sharon Gallagher, New York, New York)

PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION, n. A non-medical term invented by anti-choice zealots that refers to a broad class of abortion procedures; employed as a first step in reversing Roe v. Wade. (David McNeely, Lutz, Florida)

POLITICAL CAPITAL, n. What a Republican president receives as a result of a razor-thin margin of victory in an election. (Joy Losee, Gainesville, Georgia)

PRESS CONFERENCE, n. A rare event designed for the President to brag about his prowess as a leader while simultaneously dodging difficult questions. (Jim Nidositko, Westfield, New Jersey)

REFORM, n. Rollback of New Deal reforms, laws, standards and social protections. (Nick Gill, Newton, MA)

RESOLUTE, adj. Pig-headed. (Paul Ruschmann, Carlton, MI)

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, n. rich person (Michael Mannella, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM, n. Leave no Wall Street broker behind. (Ann Klopp , Princeton, NJ)

STAYING THE COURSE, v., The act of being stubborn and unable to admit glaring policy mistakes; being wrong and sticking with the wrong idea regardless of the consequences. (Jillian Jorgensen, Staten Island, New York)

TAX SIMPLIFICATION, n. A way to make it simpler for large US corporations to export American jobs to avoid paying US taxes. (Seth Hammond, Goodwell, Oklahoma)

VERY CLEAR, adj. Modifier used immediately before any preposterous explanation or rationale. (Lance L. Prata, Eastlake Weir, Florida)

--Kartina vanden Heuvel


We've had a grassroots groundswell of submissions from our readers after soliciting ideas for the Republican Dictionary project, which first debuted in this space last November.

Bush's "ownership society" was a big hit, "God" made a return, and Justin Rezzonico delivered the best definition of "Fox News" yet. I've included a sampling of the latest batch below. Please keep them coming in. (Click here to submit your ideas.) We are going to be collecting our favorites and publishing them as a book in the next few months.

ACCOUNTABILITY, n. Buck? What buck? (Martin Richard, Belgrade, MT)

BIPARTISANSHIP, adj. When Democrats compromise. (Justin Rezzonico, Keene, NH)

CHECKS & BALANCES, pl. n. An antiquated concept of the Founding Fathers that impedes autocratic efficiency; see also REFORM. (Robert B. Fuld, Unionville, CT)

FOX NEWS, n. Faux news. (Justin Rezzonico, Keena, NH)

GOD, n. Senior presidential advisor. (Martin Richard, Belgrade, MT)

NONPARTISAN JUDICIAL NOMINEE, n. An active member of the Federalist Society. (Mark Hatch-Miller, Brooklyn, NY)

OWNERSHIP SOCIETY, n. 1) A society where you're on your own. (John Read, Ownings Mills, MD); 2) A society where one-half of society owns the other half. (Anne Galvan Klousia, Corvallis, OR); 3) The euphemism used by robber barons and their political lackeys to promote or justify the extreme concentration of wealth into the hands of a powerful few. Synonyms: PLUTOCRACY, CORPORATE FEUDALISM. (Ken Stump, Seattle, WA)

SOCIAL SECURITY, n. Broker security. (Bruce Clendenin, Dallas, TX)

SPREADING PEACE, v. Preemptive war. (Bruce Hawkins, Silver Springs, MD)

STAY THE COURSE, v. To relentlessly pursue a disastrous policy regardless of how far conditions deteriorate. Antonym: "To cut and run." (Aja Starke, New York, NY)

TORTURER, n. 1) White House Counsel. 2) Attorney General. (Martin Richard, Belgrade, MT)

--Kartina vanden Heuvel


Herewith, then, entries (or are they entrees?) for a modern Devil's Dictionary (with a small bow to Ambrose Bierce).

 

JOSHUA BROWN

 

Click here for the definitions in Joshua Brown's "My First Book of Government."

 

TOM ENGELHARDT

 

Homeland n: A term successfully used by the Germans and the Soviets in World War II, less successfully (and in the plural) by Apartheid-era South Africa. It means neither home, nor land, has replaced both country and nation in American public speech, and is seldom wielded without the companion word "security." It is the place to which imperial forces return for R&R.

 

Homeland Security: synonymous with Homeland insecurity.

 

Homeland Security Department: The new Defense Department, known for declaring bridges yellow and the Statue of Liberty orange.

 

Homelandism n: a neologism for love of the Homeland Security State as in, "My Homeland, 'tis of thee, sweet security state of liberty..."

 

Intelligence n: What Dick Cheney wants and the CIA must provide -- or else. (See, Iraq, weapons of mass destruction)

 

Nationalism n: How foreigners love their country (when they do). A very dangerous phenomenon that can lead to extremes of passion, blindness, and xenophobia. (See, Terrorism)

 

Oil n: 1. Black gold. 2. (defunct acronym) Operation Iraqi Liberation or OIL (name changed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, OIF, without explanation). 3. What the Bush administration wasn't after in Iraq and isn't after in Iran. (See, Democracy)

 

Patriotism n: How Americans love their country. A trait so positive you can't have too much of it, and if you do, then you are a super-patriot which couldn't be better. (Foreigners cannot be patriotic. See, Nationalism)

 

Pentagon n: Formerly, the Defense Department, but since we now have a new defense department (see, Homeland Security Department), soon be renamed the Global Forward Deployment Department or GFDD (Ge-Fudd). Its forward-deployed headquarters will be established in a two-sided building, the Duogon, now being constructed in Bahrain out of sand imported from the beaches of Texas by Halliburton subsidiary KBR. From there, it plans to rule the known world.

 

ARLIE HOCHSCHILD

 

Environmental Protection Agency: Economic Predators Inc.

 

Homeland Security Advisory System: Color-coded program for emotional destabilization.

 

Leave No Child Behind: Social class divide maintenance system

 

ADAM HOCHSCHILD

 

Senate n: Exclusive club, entry fee $10 to $30 million.

 

House of Representatives: Exclusive club, entry fee $1 to $5 million.

 

Washington Press Corps: Extension of White House and Pentagon press offices.

 

CHALMERS AND SHEILA JOHNSON

 

Stuff Happens: Donald Rumsfeld as master historian.

 

March of Freedom Around the World: John Negroponte's career.

 

Shock and Awe: A classic combination like "surf and turf"; special effects produced at missile point by the U.S. military. (See, State Terrorism).

 

BILL MOYERS

 

"Burning Bush": A biblical allusion to the response of the President of the United States when asked a question by a journalist who has not been paid to inquire.

 

JONATHAN SCHELL

 

Republican Party: A party that assails the foundations of the Republic, attacking the balance and separation of powers (See, Assertions of Untrammeled Presidential Authority -- to violate domestic and international laws forbidding torture); habeas corpus (See, Assertion of Right to Lock Away "Enemy Combatants" Forever -- without due process of law); and federalism (See, Legislative and Executive Rampage -- to overturn state court decisions in the Terry Schiavo case).

 

ORVILLE SCHELL

 

Strategic Competitor (China branch): Containing China militarily while using it as an industrial park for outsourcing low-paying and often polluting industries.

 

MICHAEL SCHWARTZ

 

Democracy n: A country where the newspapers are pro-American.

 

Public Opinion Polls: Progress reports for spin doctors.

 

STEPHEN SHALOM:

 

Checks and Balances. The system whereby the campaign checks of the few balance the interests of the many.

 

Free Speech Zone The area to which those who differ from the administration are confined should they be so audacious as to wish to exercise their right of free speech.

 

Free Press: 1. Government propaganda materials covertly funded with a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer money but given out for free to the press and then broadcast without any acknowledgment of the government's role in their preparation. 2. Newspapers that obscure the truth on behalf of corporate and government interests for free.

 

Town-hall Meeting: A meeting in a hall in a town where all the participants have first been vetted for loyalty to the Bush administration.

 

Mandate: 1. The opinion expressed by about a quarter of the eligible voters. 2. The opinion reflected in an electoral-vote margin smaller than in any 20th century election other than 1916 and 2000. 3. The opinion expressed by the smallest popular vote margin obtained by a sitting president since 1916.

 

REBECCA SOLNIT

 

China: See WalMart.

 

Death n: An increasingly rare phenomenon, no longer occurring among soldiers of the U.S. army or civilians in affected countries. However, the media reports that death is still caused by lone gunmen and over-consumption of saturated fats as well as natural disasters.

 

Democracy n: 1. A product so extensively exported that the domestic supply is depleted. 2. When they vote for us. (See, tyranny: When they vote for someone else.)

 

Liberal adj: Widely used after the words progressive, radical, left, revolutionary, and insurrectionary were banned from the mainstream media, having the double benefit of making moderates seem vaguely dangerous and making revolutionaries seem vaguely embarrassing and ineffectual. Liberal media: Ted Koppel and anarchist zines.

 

Negroponte, John: Good diplomat, in the sense that Pol Pot is a good family-planner.

 

Ownership Society: You no longer own your national parks, your public transit, your commons, your government, your Bill of Rights, or your future, but you may purchase a Burger King franchise or some stocks with your WalMart earnings.

 

Peace n: What war is for.

 

Security n: Something to be applied to the homeland but not to the social.

 

Social Security: A good idea except for two problems: Social verges on socialism and guarantees of security violate a free market.

 

The Marketplace of Ideas: Buy low, sell high.

 

WalMart: The nation-state, future tense.

 

NICK TURSE

 

Abuse n: Modern word for what was once referred to as torture. An interim term, soon to be replaced by "tough love" (which, in turn, is expected to be replaced by "freedom's caress").

 

Mullah n: 1. (archaic) Religious teacher or leader, a title of respect in Islamic countries, pronounced "mull-a." 2. (informal) In the modern presidential vernacular, a title of disrespect (pronounced "moo-lah") in reference to Muslims deemed too fanatical to be bought-off by American "moo-lah."

 

Rummy slang: 1. (archaic) A person so drunk he can't recall a thing. 2. (modern) A SECDEF so drunk on power that he refuses to remember anything.

 

Support the Troops: A mandatory mantra which need no longer be mouthed since full "support" can be offered with a simple $1 investment in a magnetic yellow ribbon to affix to the back of your SUV.

 

CHIP WARD

 

Healthy Forests: Forests made safe from the ravages of nature, i.e. bugs and fires, by removal to pulp mills and lumber yards.

 

Wilderness n: 1. Publicly owned former habitat for wildlife, often endangered, where private corporations go wild drilling for oil and gas, grazing cattle, logging, and building roads. 2. Off-road vehicle theme parks characterized by abundant stumps, oil slicks, tire tracks, flattened owls, and coughing caribou.

 

 

[This article first appeared on Tomdispatch.com, a weblog of the Nation Institute, which offers a steady flow of alternate sources, news, and opinion from Tom Engelhardt, long time editor in publishing and author of The End of Victory Culture and The Last Days of Publishing.]

 


BIBLE STUDY

THESE COME FROM AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEST, AND KIDS WERE ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN RETOUCHED OR CORRECTED. INCORRECT SPELLING HAS BEEN LEFT IN. --AMANDA

1. IN THE FIRST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, GUINESSIS. GOD GOT TIRED OF CREATING THE WORLD SO HE TOOK THE SABBATH OFF.

2. ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED FROM AN APPLE TREE. NOAH'S WIFE WAS JOAN OF ARK. NOAH BUILT AND ARK AND THE ANIMALS CAME ON IN PEARS.

3. LOTS WIFE WAS A PILLAR OF SALT DURING THE DAY, BUT A BALL OF FIRE DURING THE NIGHT.

4. THE JEWS WERE A PROUD PEOPLE AND THROUGHOUT HISTORY THEY HAD TROUBLE WITH UNSYMPATHETIC GENITALS.

5. SAMPSON WAS A STRONGMAN WHO LET HIMSELF BE LED ASTRAY BY A JEZEBEL LIKE DELILAH.

6. SAMSON SLAYED THE PHILISTINES WITH THE AXE OF THE APOSTLES.

7. MOSES LED THE JEWS TO THE RED SEA WHERE THEY MADE UNLEAVENED BREAD WHICH IS BREAD WITHOUT ANY INGREDIENTS.

8, THE EGYPTIANS WERE ALL DROWNED IN THE DESSERT. AFTERWARDS, MOSES WENT UP TO MOUNT CYANIDE TO GET THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

9. THE FIRST COMMANDMENTS WAS WHEN EVE TOLD ADAM TO EAT THE APPLE.

10. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT IS THOU SHALT NOT ADMIT ADULTERY.

11. MOSES DIED BEFORE HE EVER REACHED CANADA. THEN JOSHUA LED THE HEBREWS IN THE BATTLE OF GERITOL.

12. THE GREATEST MIRICLE IN THE BIBLE IS WHEN JOSHUA TOLD HIS SON TO STAND STILL AND HE OBEYED HIM.

13. DAVID WAS A HEBREW KING WHO WAS SKILLED AT PLAYING THE LIAR. HE FOUGHT THE FINKELSTEINS, A RACE OF PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN BIBLICAL TIMES.

14. SOLOMON, ONE OF DAVIDS SONS, HAD 300 WIVES AND 700 PORCUPINES.

15. WHEN MARY HEARD SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF JESUS, SHE SANG THE MAGNA CARTA.

16. WHEN THE THREE WISE GUYS FROM THE EAST SIDE ARRIVED THEY FOUND JESUS IN THE MANAGER.

17. JESUS WAS BORN BECAUSE MARY HAD AN IMMACULATE CONTRAPTION.

18. ST. JOHN THE BLACKSMITH DUMPED WATER ON HIS HEAD.

19. JESUS ENUNCIATED THE GOLDEN RULE, WHICH SAYS TO DO UNTO OTHERS BEFORE THEY DO ONE TO YOU. HE ALSO EXPLAINED A MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY SWEAT ALONE.

20. IT WAS A MIRICLE WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND MANAGED TO GET THE TOMBSTONE OFF THE ENTRANCE.

21. THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED THE LORD WERE CALLED THE 12 DECIBELS.

22. THE EPISTELS WERE THE WIVES OF THE APOSTLES.

23. ONE OF THE OPPOSSUMS WAS ST. MATTHEW WHO WAS ALSO A TAXIMAN.

24. ST. PAUL CAVORTED TO CHRISTIANITY, HE PREACHED HOLY ACRIMONY WHICH IS ANOTHER NAME FOR MARRAIGE.

25. CHRISTIANS HAVE ONLY ONE SPOUSE. THIS IS CALLED MONOTONY!


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