That's Not Unmeaningless

George Will once described the phrase "That's Not Unmeaningless" as "My Favorite Triple Negative."  In the spirit of clarifying some of the dishonest drivel that passes for political discourse these days, I offer here a brief sample of my favorite less than meaningful expressions and brainless blather.

People's Democratic Republic

This is perhaps the most (or is it the least?) unmeaningless phrase of all – the grand-daddy of all political newspeak.  This is a widely used example of that rare linguistic species, the "Triple Oxymoron."  It has been favored by communist dictatorships throughout the world since the early 20th century, as in The People's Democratic Republic of China, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Laos, the Congo, and so on.

A slightly more honest variation is the extremely rare "Quadruple Oxymoron": People's Democratic Socialist Republic.  These at least acknowledge that they are socialist.  With few exceptions, these countries are ruled by Marxist-Leninist dictatorships.  In no case are they democratic, and none is a republic.  The "People" residing within them are not particularly important, either.  Communist regimes apparently take their inspiration from German playwright Bertolt Brecht's poem "The Solution," which includes the memorable line: "Would it not be easier ... for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?"

Nazi

There are no Nazis.  They are all long dead.  To be precise, this ugly word "Nazi" can apply only to members of Hitler's National Socialist Workers Party.  By definition, Nazi = NAtionalSoZIalist, Hitler's genocidal political machine, which was destroyed in 1945.  (Nazi-ism's modern pretenders are numerically insignificant vermin.)

The left uses this word so indiscriminately that it has lost almost all connection to the original word, other than by evoking an emotional horror of concentration camps and gas chambers.  To them it's not a word, but a weapon – a vicious insult hurled at their political enemies like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes, and now Donald Trump and his supporters.

I first encountered this slander when I began working with my fellow Christians in the pro-life movement more than 25 years ago.  Decades later, after killing 60 million innocent preborn girls and boys, they still call us Nazis.  Let's compare: the real Nazis killed 6 million Jews, and American leftists have killed 60 million babies and counting.  Who have more blood on their hands?  Hitler's National Socialists?  Or Planned Parenthood and the "pro-choice" left?  Clearly, the abortionists win – by an order of magnitude.

Fascist

It's easy for leftists to throw the insult "fascist" at conservatives.  They've been doing it for decades.  What they cannot do is define the word or identify its origins.  But leftists don't care because, as with Nazi, it's not a word so much as a weapon.  It is the linguistic equivalent of a Molotov cocktail.  The concept is so riddled with confusion that George Orwell, author of the dystopian classic 1984, wrote that "the word is almost entirely meaningless."  He observed that fascism had been used to describe socialists, communists, nationalists, Catholics, conservatives, pacifists, Trotskyites, and even Boy Scouts.  Benito Mussolini, considered the father of fascism, said of fascism and socialism: "These words ... do not have a fixed and unchanged meaning" (p. 205).

Settled Science

In 1899, the commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office supposedly declared that he might as well close up shop because "everything that can be invented has been invented."  While this story is most likely apocryphal, it nicely illustrates the mindset of the global warmist-climate hysteria movement.  This is what Arthur C. Clarke called "The Failure of Imagination" in his prescient classic Profiles of the Future (1962).  Following in this moronic tradition, the notion of "settled science" is an oxymoron of epic proportions.  An "epic fail," as my kids would say.

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, tossed a CO2 stink bomb into the "climate change community" last year with this gem: "Dilbert: 'What if I don't trust the climate models?'  Settled Scientist: 'Who hired the climate denier?'"  The reaction from the "Warmies," especially Michael Mann, creator of the infamous "hockey stick" chart allegedly proving imminent environmental catastrophe, was swift and severe.  For supporting President Trump and gently mocking climate alarmists, Adams was attacked online, boycotted, harmed financially, and accused of being a "climate denier" and a "science denier" – great examples of "not unmeaningless."

It is absurd to suggest that anyone can deny the existence of climate or science.  Climate change critics are not denying the idea of climate.  They are questioning whether the peddlers of "settled climate science" are operating with intact frontal lobes.  One prime example: many climate models ignore or minimize a rather indispensable factor – the Sun.  In one frequently cited study, which claims that "97% of climate scientists agree," "[t]he two researchers ... exclud[ed] from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun ... might have something to do with climate on Earth" (p. 13).  One comprehensive review of climate change literature states that "current climate models fail to account for a plethora of known Sun-climate connections" (p. 82).  Discounting such factors as fluctuations in solar magnetic activity, variations in radiation, and sunspot cycles exposes these models as just so much bovine flatulence (which leftists are still trying to tax).

Expert

Similar to the "settled scientist," the cult of experts and worship of expertise provide a convenient hiding place for innumerable scoundrels and lazy journalists whose ideology overrides their work ethic, their reasoning ability, their common sense, and their "journalistic integrity" (another oxymoron).

The cult of expertise has a long history in the United States, most notably in past democratic presidential administrations.  From FDR's "Brain Trust" to JFK's "Best and the Brightest," politicians have drawn their advisers and specialists primarily from the ranks of unelected Deep State bureaucrats, Ivy League intellectualoids, top-echelon business tycoons and financiers, and the journalistic elite.  These government elitists, academics, and technocrats believe they are entitled to rule society through "scientific management and technical expertise" – not to mention by right of their moral superiority over us deplorables.

Anonymous Source

Another, but more elusive, member of the "experts" tribe is the "anonymous source."  Some of these are so shadowy that we need to question their very existence.  For journalists to rely so heavily on unnamed sources is rather like scientists refusing to reveal their hypotheses and methodologies to avoid challenges to their findings.  Sort of like "settled scientists."  I suspect that many "anonymous sources" are nothing more than excuses for lazy journalists hiding their true source: "I just made this up."

Throw under the Bus

On a lighter note, I don't know where this bus is, or where it's going, but it's getting mighty crowded under there.

That's Not Unmeaningless

Finally, for anyone still puzzling over the title of this article, just look at it mathematically.  The "not" and the "un" simply cancel each other out, leaving behind its true meaning.  But they provide an extra dimension of confusion and bewilderment, which is the point.

When it comes to deciphering The Politics of Meaning, beware the meaninglessness of the left.

George Will once described the phrase "That's Not Unmeaningless" as "My Favorite Triple Negative."  In the spirit of clarifying some of the dishonest drivel that passes for political discourse these days, I offer here a brief sample of my favorite less than meaningful expressions and brainless blather.

People's Democratic Republic

This is perhaps the most (or is it the least?) unmeaningless phrase of all – the grand-daddy of all political newspeak.  This is a widely used example of that rare linguistic species, the "Triple Oxymoron."  It has been favored by communist dictatorships throughout the world since the early 20th century, as in The People's Democratic Republic of China, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Laos, the Congo, and so on.

A slightly more honest variation is the extremely rare "Quadruple Oxymoron": People's Democratic Socialist Republic.  These at least acknowledge that they are socialist.  With few exceptions, these countries are ruled by Marxist-Leninist dictatorships.  In no case are they democratic, and none is a republic.  The "People" residing within them are not particularly important, either.  Communist regimes apparently take their inspiration from German playwright Bertolt Brecht's poem "The Solution," which includes the memorable line: "Would it not be easier ... for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?"

Nazi

There are no Nazis.  They are all long dead.  To be precise, this ugly word "Nazi" can apply only to members of Hitler's National Socialist Workers Party.  By definition, Nazi = NAtionalSoZIalist, Hitler's genocidal political machine, which was destroyed in 1945.  (Nazi-ism's modern pretenders are numerically insignificant vermin.)

The left uses this word so indiscriminately that it has lost almost all connection to the original word, other than by evoking an emotional horror of concentration camps and gas chambers.  To them it's not a word, but a weapon – a vicious insult hurled at their political enemies like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes, and now Donald Trump and his supporters.

I first encountered this slander when I began working with my fellow Christians in the pro-life movement more than 25 years ago.  Decades later, after killing 60 million innocent preborn girls and boys, they still call us Nazis.  Let's compare: the real Nazis killed 6 million Jews, and American leftists have killed 60 million babies and counting.  Who have more blood on their hands?  Hitler's National Socialists?  Or Planned Parenthood and the "pro-choice" left?  Clearly, the abortionists win – by an order of magnitude.

Fascist

It's easy for leftists to throw the insult "fascist" at conservatives.  They've been doing it for decades.  What they cannot do is define the word or identify its origins.  But leftists don't care because, as with Nazi, it's not a word so much as a weapon.  It is the linguistic equivalent of a Molotov cocktail.  The concept is so riddled with confusion that George Orwell, author of the dystopian classic 1984, wrote that "the word is almost entirely meaningless."  He observed that fascism had been used to describe socialists, communists, nationalists, Catholics, conservatives, pacifists, Trotskyites, and even Boy Scouts.  Benito Mussolini, considered the father of fascism, said of fascism and socialism: "These words ... do not have a fixed and unchanged meaning" (p. 205).

Settled Science

In 1899, the commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office supposedly declared that he might as well close up shop because "everything that can be invented has been invented."  While this story is most likely apocryphal, it nicely illustrates the mindset of the global warmist-climate hysteria movement.  This is what Arthur C. Clarke called "The Failure of Imagination" in his prescient classic Profiles of the Future (1962).  Following in this moronic tradition, the notion of "settled science" is an oxymoron of epic proportions.  An "epic fail," as my kids would say.

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, tossed a CO2 stink bomb into the "climate change community" last year with this gem: "Dilbert: 'What if I don't trust the climate models?'  Settled Scientist: 'Who hired the climate denier?'"  The reaction from the "Warmies," especially Michael Mann, creator of the infamous "hockey stick" chart allegedly proving imminent environmental catastrophe, was swift and severe.  For supporting President Trump and gently mocking climate alarmists, Adams was attacked online, boycotted, harmed financially, and accused of being a "climate denier" and a "science denier" – great examples of "not unmeaningless."

It is absurd to suggest that anyone can deny the existence of climate or science.  Climate change critics are not denying the idea of climate.  They are questioning whether the peddlers of "settled climate science" are operating with intact frontal lobes.  One prime example: many climate models ignore or minimize a rather indispensable factor – the Sun.  In one frequently cited study, which claims that "97% of climate scientists agree," "[t]he two researchers ... exclud[ed] from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun ... might have something to do with climate on Earth" (p. 13).  One comprehensive review of climate change literature states that "current climate models fail to account for a plethora of known Sun-climate connections" (p. 82).  Discounting such factors as fluctuations in solar magnetic activity, variations in radiation, and sunspot cycles exposes these models as just so much bovine flatulence (which leftists are still trying to tax).

Expert

Similar to the "settled scientist," the cult of experts and worship of expertise provide a convenient hiding place for innumerable scoundrels and lazy journalists whose ideology overrides their work ethic, their reasoning ability, their common sense, and their "journalistic integrity" (another oxymoron).

The cult of expertise has a long history in the United States, most notably in past democratic presidential administrations.  From FDR's "Brain Trust" to JFK's "Best and the Brightest," politicians have drawn their advisers and specialists primarily from the ranks of unelected Deep State bureaucrats, Ivy League intellectualoids, top-echelon business tycoons and financiers, and the journalistic elite.  These government elitists, academics, and technocrats believe they are entitled to rule society through "scientific management and technical expertise" – not to mention by right of their moral superiority over us deplorables.

Anonymous Source

Another, but more elusive, member of the "experts" tribe is the "anonymous source."  Some of these are so shadowy that we need to question their very existence.  For journalists to rely so heavily on unnamed sources is rather like scientists refusing to reveal their hypotheses and methodologies to avoid challenges to their findings.  Sort of like "settled scientists."  I suspect that many "anonymous sources" are nothing more than excuses for lazy journalists hiding their true source: "I just made this up."

Throw under the Bus

On a lighter note, I don't know where this bus is, or where it's going, but it's getting mighty crowded under there.

That's Not Unmeaningless

Finally, for anyone still puzzling over the title of this article, just look at it mathematically.  The "not" and the "un" simply cancel each other out, leaving behind its true meaning.  But they provide an extra dimension of confusion and bewilderment, which is the point.

When it comes to deciphering The Politics of Meaning, beware the meaninglessness of the left.