Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Seriously? CDC Workers Forbidden To Use the Word "Fetus"?

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As I've noted in previous posts, savvy citizens must be mindful of how language has been altered to achieve the manipulation of minds, not just "elimination of bias.".  Language debasement and alteration for the purpose of brainwashing, propagandizing or plain disinformation can assume either passive or active forms.

The passive form would entail subtly replacing more apt (but blunt) normal terms with euphemisms that don't convey the same impact. Many of these were outed in the excellent book, 'Collateral Language'.  Examples include:

"Enhanced interrogation" for torture

"Death tax" for estate tax.

"Passing" for death.

There is the more recent  use of "scandal" to replace conspiracy. Thus, we are now supposed to accept "the Watergate scandal" as opposed to Watergate conspiracy, and the "Iran-Contra scandal" as opposed to Iran-Contra conspiracy. The intention of the sanitizers is clearly to expunge the concept of political conspiracy from public consciousness.

Passive language intervention can also take the form of a "guide" distributed to entice people to change, often in a communal setting or university.  For example, back in 2015 comedian Bill Maher  cited a "bias free language guide" issued by the University of New Hampshire - ostensibly to entice students to take more care in their use of language - and strive for 'neutrality'.

Some of the examples Maher exposed:

Senior citizens to be replaced by "people of advanced age".

Poverty-stricken to be replaced by "experiencing poverty"

Obese,  replaced by "people of size"

Rich, to be replaced by "person of material wealth"

Foreigner is replaced by  "international person"

Tomboy is replaced by "gender non-conforming"

And so on. While one can object to this wishy washy tendency to speak and write indirectly, the more onerous form of language control - which is inevitably thought control- is active intervention, Generally, this assumes the form of dictates issued for words one is forbidden to use under pain of some kind of punishment. As two former Wehrmacht soldiers informed me in May, 1985, these language prohibitions were issued by the Minister of Propaganda and  violation carried sanctions ranging from boycott of business, loss of employment or minor violence (beatings) to being sent to one of the camps designated for uncooperative German citizens, (E.g Dachau).

Nazi language suppression was massive and didn't involve merely a few forbidden words. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, took control of all forms of communication in 3rd Reich Germany: newspapers, magazines, books, public meetings, and rallies, art, music, movies, and radio. Viewpoints in any way threatening to Nazi beliefs or to the regime were censored or eliminated from all media.  For example, as Dieter - one of the Wehrmacht soldiers told me - a news editor who wrote in an editorial: "Jews are basically decent people" could end up in Dachau.

The objective of all such tactics has been clear since the era of PR originator Edward Bernays, who wrote:. 'Crystallizing Public Opinion'. As the title implies, the basic goal was to drumbeat the maximum number of 'the masses' into a homogeneous and consistent consent by limiting the extent of their language, and hence their thought. . But do it without their awareness. Careful use of language was the means to do this, including subtly altering the usual meaning of words.

Five years later came Bernays' definitive work 'Propaganda' - embodying those principles  which were later adopted wholesale by Josef Goebbels and Leni Reifenstahl. It was in this book that the master betrayed his intents - if ever there was any doubt before:

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government, which is the true ruling power of our country."

This is why the dedicated citizen (not merely "consumer")  must always be aware of language use, given how it molds thought and perceptions.  Not surprisingly the modern use of language alteration has also seeped in, again to try to bend minds toward acceptance. Now the latest assault on language - which is also an assault on scientific thought - is the order received by he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid the use of all "forbidden words".  These words include: "fetus", "transgender", "vulnerable",  "entitlement", "diversity", "evidence based", and "science based".

Evidently, the list was revealed on Thursday in a 90 minute briefing with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget.

In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested  extended phrase became:

 “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” 

What's the idea? Well, as the above phrase discloses,  science would take a back seat to the sensibilities of the particular community. 

Thus,  if the CDC were to discover a Zika outbreak near Phenix City, Alabama and it was known the "community standards" were solidly anti-abortion, the CDC would not be able to suggest abortion of the "fetus" even if scans showed microcephaly.  If CDC detected an STD outbreak in another part of the Bible Belt, take your pick, there would be limits on what they could recommend in terms of prevention, e.g. no mention of "condoms".  Where, what part of the Trumpie "empire", are these directives coming from? Well, from the Department of Health and Human Services.  In the words of one HHS spokesman, Matt Lloyd, his agency "will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans".  Adding: "HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and  budget decisions."   Translation: "It is up to us to decide if you really need another $300 million a year to fight Zika, or really need  to use condoms to fight STDs."

Indeed, if the italicized comment above is so, one is forced to scratch his head at the fact the HHS removed all information about LGBT Americans from its website. Instead, the HHS' Administration for Children and Families   archived a page   that gives alternative services available for LGBT people and their families.

Let's note here that the question of how to address such issues as sexual orientation, gender identity and abortion rights — all of which received significant visibility under the Obama administration — has surfaced repeatedly in federal agencies since Donnie Dotard took office. Several key departments — including HHS, as well as Justice, Education, and Housing and Urban Development — have deliberately mutated some federal policies and how they collect government information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

At the CDC, the meeting about the banned terms was led by one Alison Kelly, a career civil servant and a senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Services.  This according to the CDC analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the WaPo,  because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. Kelly herself did not say why the words are being banned, according to the analyst, and told the group that she was merely relaying the information. The sentiment is that other parts of HHS are also operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these banned words, the analyst said.
At the CDC, several offices have responsibility for work that uses some or all of of these terms. The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention is working on ways to prevent HIV among transgender people and reduce health disparities. The CDC’s work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus includes research on the developing fetus.
The ban is supposedly related to the budget and supporting materials, but in reality is a blatant effort by the anti-science, anti-intellectual knuckle draggers to control the CDC agenda.  Given Dotard's budget for 2019 is expected to be released in early February, we can expect severe cuts to the CDC - among others.. The budget blueprint is generally shaped to reflect an administration’s priorities, and Dotard's gang - as seen with arsonist Pruitt at the EPA, is definitely not there to advance science.
What is most interesting has been the reaction of CDC employees in the meeting, all expressing degrees of incredulity.  These dedicated researchers,  epidemiologists and other workers simply could not believe they were being  hijacked by a 21st century version of Big Brother and his Newspeak from Orwell's "1984" novel.

Incredulous,” one analyst said. “It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?’ ”  No one could recall anytime in recent history where actual banned words were enunciated.  According to the same CDC analyst:  "In my experience, we’ve never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint,

Well, son, with Dotard and his dolts in power you can expect many more. And, if we ever do oust these hare-brained assholes, it will likely be years -  nay, decades- before we get the country out of the decline they've instigated.
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