The Right Opinion

The Language of Weasels

By Burt Prelutsky · Feb. 14, 2013

Some group or other recently voted on words and terms they would like to see banished in 2013. The top five vote-getters were “trending,” “spoiler alert,” “superfood,” “guru” and, predictably, “fiscal cliff.” I must confess that I had not been overly aware of “guru” in 2012 and had not heard a single reference to “superfood,” which would explain why I have no idea what it means. And while I think that pepperoni pizza fits the description, I have a hunch that whatever TV chef was tossing the term around willy-nilly doesn't. I'm guessing it will turn out to be some overpriced item like truffles, which nobody would have the slightest interest in if it sold for a dollar-a-pound and didn't require trained pigs to dig it up.

As you might have guessed, I have my own list. I would do away with “distinguished” when referring to a politician. And I mean any politician. So far as I'm concerned, the word is employed far too often and applied far too generously to people who do nothing more than vote for a living. In a sane world, it would only be applied to military heroes, firemen and conservative columnists, especially those residing in such left-wing bastions as California.

I would also do away with the word “revenue.” West of the Potomac, the correct word is “taxes.” But politicians, especially one named Obama, realizing that there are four-letter words that have greater acceptance in polite society than that five-letter obscenity, have found it safer to say they merely want to raise revenue. Unless I miss my guess, even that seemingly benign word will disappear, as more and more people catch on, and be replaced by one that from early childhood we have all come to love. Therefore, I suspect that in 2013, we will hear liberals insisting that it's our patriotic duty to send “gifts” to the federal government on April 15th.

Another word I like to see go the way of the dodo is “unions.” Although my particular bugaboo is public sector unions, it recently came to my attention how dangerous private sector unions are to society. In December, we came very close to the nation's longshoremen shutting down 14 major ports on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. For all intents and purposes, 14,000 dock workers could have shut down our economy, as if Obama and his stooges in Congress need any help in that area. At this point, we're enjoying a one month moratorium, but the strike could still take place before the end of January.

I don't know what the cargo handlers are asking for, but I'm betting that the answer is to be found in the immortal words of Samuel Gompers, the founder of the American Federation of Labor, who, when asked what labor wants, answered, “We want more, and when it becomes more, we shall still want more and we shall never cease to demand more.”

The man who led the AFL for half of his 74 years also said, “It is impossible for capitalism and labor to have common interests.” The proof of that particular pudding can be seen in the recent demise of Hostess Brands, Inc. At the cost of 18,500 jobs, the union had the satisfaction of bringing the maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and America's favorite cupcakes, to its knees and then putting a bullet in its head. Come to think of it, perhaps “superfood” was a reference to Hostess's line of bakery products.

I used to believe that perhaps the most ignominious title one could cart around was New York Times editorial writer, MSNBC host or Nobel Peace Prize recipient, but by now I have to regard Secretary of State as a strong contender. After all, in just the past 30-odd years, we've had the likes of Ed Muskie, Alexander Haig, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton and, presumably, John Kerry, serving as the guiding lights of our foreign policy. Let's face it – that's a group you wouldn't trust to babysit your cat.

Frankly, the notion that Secretary Clinton appears to once again be first in line to run for the presidency in 2016 fills me with angst, which is a ten dollar word for nausea. We have all grown accustomed to women being held in high regard for no better reason than they got some fellow to marry them. The politically incorrect list includes everyone from Coretta King and Winnie Mandella to Imelda Marcos, Madame Nhu, Evita Peron and Michelle Obama. But nobody ever seriously referred to any of them as the smartest person in the world.

But aside from marrying Bill, Hillary's not so distinguished resume consists in having been a corrupt lawyer in Arkansas, a mediocre senator from New York and the Secretary of State who oversaw the murder of her ambassador to Libya and three other gallant Americans, and then mimicked the three monkeys in the shameful aftermath.

Other than that, so far as I can see, her only notable accomplishment consists in having done for pants suits what Muammar Gaddafi did for movie usher uniforms.

40 Comments

Marcus Piggus in Piggsylvania said:

Let's not forget how now we have to call illegal aliens "undocumented migrants". Kind of like saying John Dillinger only made "undocumented withdrawals" from all those banks he visited.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

marc: And at least Dillinger never collected welfare.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM

READY4ACHANGE in ILLINOIS said:

Spot on Burt!!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Ready4: And I say the same to you.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Marcus Piggus in Piggsylvania said:

Here's a couple more:
Common-sense legislation = eventual gun confiscation (oops, I mean gun control)
Immigration reform = amnesty for illegal (oops, I mean undocumented) aliens
Stimulus = pissing our taxes (oops, I mean revenue) down a rat hole
Green energy = pissing our taxes (oops, I mean revenue) down a rat hole - sorry, no other way to say it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Orf in Pittsburgh said:

Burth, If you want to see something really nauseating, watch the Fox News video of Hillary get the highest award from the DOD. It's as bad as winning the Nobel Peace prize. Hillary kills the ambassador at Benghazi and gets a major award for it!! Our government is as corrupt as any in the world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Orf in Pittsburgh replied:

Sorry about the typo of your name Burt. I was so upset after seeing that video I couldn't see straight :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Orf: That's okay...I've always liked "The Burth of the Blues."

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:50 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Orf, Was she awarded the DOD Greatest Hero Imaginable Award at her Catered tax-payer funded retirement party where all the DOD/DOJ/DOE/DOC/DOL/HHS, etc- Washington DC employees are required to quit their desks for two hours and pay homage by eating Cake and Crumpets while nauseating speeches of great feats are embellished. CSpan has broadcast several of these expensive parties in the two most recent Bush&Obama admins. Maybe some Under Ordinary Deputy Assistant Director of Secret Diplomatic Message Disposal was being retired at the time of the Ben Gazzara (who past away recently) attack and the Party was just too damned important to be interrupted. CSpan should only broadcast memorials for deceased heroes not extinguished politicians.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

enema: There you go again...making sense.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Orf in Pittsburgh replied:

The bi_ch received the highest award for public service from a general in the DOD. The attendance was surprisingly small. Hillary grinning like the Cheshire cat and getting applause wins the nausea award for the year. If there were justice in the world, she would have been fired and disgraced, if not worse. But disgrace implies the possession of conscience and a sense of responsibility, items sorely lacking in libtards of all stripes. El Presidente fails in every endeavor except the destruction of America and of course he is awarded by voters admiring his blunders and treason. Have all the asylums released their most dysfunctional inmates?

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

Burt, the distiguished One of the Left Coast, I would do away with the word "investment" as used by the marxists. An Investment is usually made to expect some kind of return. What they do is just as productive as burning money, which they print in the first place. In fact, burning money actually would provide the benefit of heat, which is more productive than green energy ventures or welfare spending.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

wjm: That just goes to show how close-minded you are. When Obama and his stooges make "investments," they regard future votes as the perfect return.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:53 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Thats right, I am closed minded when it comes to treason, and their return of votes does nothing for me.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

ODR in LV NV said:

Remember Orwell's 1984? Up is down, peace is war.....Washington, DC has it down pat. When Clinton and Obama can be named Father of the Yr. nothing is true or real anymore. Appreciate your unvarnished truth in a slick, lying world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

ODR: Thank you. I do apologize to all for the dated reference to the "end of January." The problem is that I write so often that pieces occasionally have to wait in a very long queue before they can be posted.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

You've probably seen the polls: Hillary is overwhelmingly favored to run, and probably win, in 2016. If it doesn't happen before then, she for sure will sell us to the UN as the cheapest price. You know her line: it takes a community. A community of Communists, apparently. And when she's president and the sh*t hits the fan? "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Tex: I can either accept the scenario that she will be our next president and go sleepless for the next four years or I can believe that, as usually happens after the Democrats have screwed up the country for eight years, the voters will temporarily come to their senses and elect someone--Ryan, Rubio, Kasich, Cruz, Thune, etc.--with an (R) after his name and with his head screwed on straight.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

GeorgePA in PA said:

I believe "superfood" is used in reference to a food that has all the nutritional requirements one needs.

In that spirit, Burt, I dub thee a "superwriter".

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

George: Thank you. If you're right about the definition, perhaps I nailed it with my guess of pepperoni pizza.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

The sickening part of the Benghazi affair is the number of people who see nothing wrong with 4 Americans dying because of incompetence and malfeasance of office. I can almost bet my life that if it had been a Republican administration the lamestream media would be wringing their hands and crying about what an injustice it was and heads should roll folled by impeachment proceedings. However, nothing their Messiah does can be construed as being wrong. I am convinced he could shoot someone for no reason at all on the steps of the White House and the Democrats and the media would somehow spin it to where he would be the victim.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

"followed by impeachment"

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Wayne: I figured that one out.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

The irony, Wayne, is that the one thing that got his fans riled up is the one good thing Obama has done, which is to employ drones to exterminate terrorists, including those who were born in the U.S.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

Before the word :gifts", the word "tribute" comes to mind.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM

BJ in St. Cloud, MN said:

If a pol with an R after the name would actually help America recover I would be encouraged, but that ain't the case. The GOP is just DFL light.
Wayne in Hinesville; why would dead Americans upset anyone? We killed 59 million fetuses since Roe V Wade. The individual is no longer what's important, only the greater good for the "collective." I'm surprised that the mass shootings bring any comment except by the gun grabbers. After all, what's the difference if you kill the 6 year old school child when there's "late term/partial birth abortion? Does that mean that as long as the cord is still connected you can slaughter the innocent at birth?

GUNS 
The irreducible challenge the Second 
Amendment poses to gun restrictionists is that it does not bestow upon the people a right they previously lacked. It proscribes the government from infringing upon a right the people already have. It is not that the people are allowed to arm. It is that the government is disallowed to disarm them. “Shall Not Be Infringed” does not give the current regime any rights whatsoever concerning our guns. They do not have the right to nibble around the edges and diminish our capacity to rise up against them. They can’t restrict us to using a knife, we do get to bring a gun of our choosing to the gunfight.

TERM LIMITS-IMPEACH-PROSECUTE-SOON

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

WTD in AZ replied:

Complimentary paraphrase, BJ, if I may. "The irreducible challenge the [ First] Amendment poses to [atheists] is that it does not bestow upon the people a right they previously lacked. It proscribes the government from infringing upon a right the people already have." The right to the free expression of the religion of their choice.

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 1:59 AM

Joe P. in Phoenix, AZ said:

To quote the philosopher Al Giordino, "You cannot underestimate the morals of a politician."

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Cooneye in North Carolina replied:

Joe P. Surely Clive Cussler had a heart to heart talk with Al after that remark. Setting him straight to the fact that politicians have no" morals" whatsoever to underestimate.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 8:13 PM

HP in Kalispell, MT said:

Distinguished Burt,

Great read! Thanks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Thank you, HP, for the kind words.

Burt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

" I would do away with "distinguished" when referring to a politician. "

Burt I would replace it with "crooked". But that in almost all cases is a redundancy (for those that went to govmint skools, it means the same thing).

One term I would like to see eliminated as fast as possible was shoved down our throats by Joe Stalin's best friend FDR, "social security". It gave Ponzi and Bernie Madolff a bad name. And before anyone says I must be a kid, I am 68 and getting back some of my assets that were stolen from me. Yes stolen, what would you call it when something is taken from you under duress. Don't pay your FICA and see what happens. Just be glad it is the IRS coming after you and not the ATF. The IRS will only fine you or put you in jail, the ATF will burn down your home with you inside (think Herr Reno). Social security put just about everyone on the government teat. I was self employed and put away about the same amount as FICA in my own retirement account. I am now getting a return approx. and order of magnitude (for those that went to govmint skools that is 10 times) greater than SS. And don't get me started on Medicare thanks to that crook LBJ. He gave the term "Crooked Politician" a new meaning.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Howard: I happen to agree with you. Long before other people were being tarred-and-feathered for calling Social Security a Ponzi Scheme, I said FDR made Mr. Ponzi look like a piker. And there is nothing bad you can say about LBJ that I wouldn't agree with. Just for the destruction he wrought on America's black families, he should roast in Hell for all eternity.

Burt

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 12:27 AM

GeorgePA in PA replied:

Yep, at least Mr. Ponzi didn't use government force to induce his victims...

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

George: Right you are. Like Madoff, he simply trusted to their greed and gullibility.

Burt

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:03 PM

WTD in AZ replied:

Howard. "Crooked politician" a redundancy. I would venture that meaning is so commonly accepted, it is necessary to add a qualifying adjective if you intend any other interpretation. Very likely that those who voted for Obummer do not consider him a politician. The spew of words at his never ending campaign type public appearances are uplifting exhortations to be accepted with adoration in the same manner as those in North Korea accept their "dear leader's" remarks.

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 2:24 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

WTD: The big difference is that North Koreans never have the opportunity to vote their oppressors out of office. We have, but don't.

Burt

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:05 PM

QueensJudyG in Queens, NY said:

I would like to hear everyone refer to this country by its proper name: the United States, instead of by "America." To my ear, the United States means a republic of united individuals and not some collective "America," which always makes me think of the continents of N.A. and S.A., and not our sovereign country. It also is the name that used to be used by a lot of people who come here from other places around the globe, not by United States citizens. What has happened with the overuse of "America" by everyone? Must be gubmint skools. I make it a point to refer to this country by its proper name because it's so much more descriptive of what it is.

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

QJG: Each to his own preference. But, for me, "America" suggests a tone of affection, whereas the "United States" sounds like the name of a corporation.

Burt

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

QJC, you got that right. It is "The United States of America". And it is plural not singular. Do they teach this in High School Civics? What they no longer teach civics!

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 8:25 PM