A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Meaning of Words 

We heard so much about what meaning of "is" is. Just because it sounds so Clintonian. Ok smart guy, what is the meaning of "is?"

Now, we have the Vice-President trotting out dictionary definitions of "throes" as in the Iraqi Quaqmire is in its last throes. The plain meaning suggests that the end is in sight and close at hand. Well, reality and the military commanders have a different view so the definition of "last throes" has to be adjusted to fit Cheney's alternate universe.

Then, we have the "intelligence is being fixed around the policy." This sounds as though the intelligence was being crafted to fit a preconceived determination. No, the meaning all the Bush defenders want to use is that the intelligence was being gathered to support the allegations not that it was being "cooked."

Fixed can be used in many contexts. For instance, you may fix something that is broken. Or, something maybe working perfectly well but that is undesirable. So we had our dog "fixed." Or, an election can be fixed. Don't really have to elaborate on that one. So, intelligence was "fixed." I opt for the definition about the dog. The intelligence being generated by the agencies tasked with such duties was undesirable. Therefore, it had to be fixed. Now the dog is shooting blanks. Much like the reaction we'll get the next time we tell the world we have proof of some nefarious actions by some rogue regime sitting on top of oil reserves somewhere that we need to invade to make ourselves safer.

So anyway, these are the people who want to be "strict constructionists" of the Constitution. I wonder which dictionary definition they will use to continue to fix the Bill of Rights. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments already have taken a beating under this administration and the Fifth Amendment took another broadside in the recent Supreme Court decision about eminent domain.

The Bill of Rights purpose is to protect the citizens from the government, not the other way around.

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