Ghoul’s Glossary

Offshore account: Something that a gentleman creates, puts in his wife’s name, and carefully hides when he goes into politics because good breeding forbids him to utter obscenities in public.

Frerrorist: (on the model of ‘frenemy’ or friend/enemy): Person with whom you are friends, who belongs to an organization that deploys violence against the civilians of a nation that you despise, for the purpose of effecting political change. Because they are targeting citizens of an objectionable state, it is all right for you to join in their rallies, take money from them, and connive with them to use terrorism to overthrow the disliked government. Not to be confused with ‘terrorist,’ a douchebag who uses violence against the civilians of your state or a state that you like.

Outsourcing: The practice of firing well-paid workers with proper benefits in favor of poorly paid or part=timers with no benefits, on the theory that Americans with less money and dignity will be much better for the country. (Note: “the country” in this definition is being used to refer to only part of the country, i.e., to the rich; this usage is called in Latin “totum pro parte,” and is one form of the figure of speech called ‘synecdoche’).

Offshoring: The same as outsourcing, but where the new poorly-paid workers are abroad rather than inside the country, on the theory that Americans have too many good jobs and it would be selfish not to share them with the rest of the world. Apparently offshoring is considered more embarrassing by wealthy politicians than mere outsourcing. Note: not to be confused with “offshore account,” although millions of dollars for such an account can often be gained through offshoring American jobs.

Tax: The extraction of resources from individuals by the state both because they engaged in an activity (such as making money) or because they declined to engage in an activity (such refusing to buy health care). Note, in the latter case a ‘tax’ is synonymous with ‘mandate.’ Some grammarians hold that such a mandate is not a tax if levied by a state government, but is a tax if imposed by the Federal government. Note: “tax” has an extremely negative connotation in the country and many politicians pledge never to raise one, no matter how much the consequent decline of government services might harm their constituents. (On this glossary’s use of “the country” to mean “the rich,” see the definition of synecdoche above).

Immigration: A transfer of population from one country to another. Considered unnecessary and perhaps undesirable by outsourcers and offshorers (see above), since where would they ship the jobs to if all the foreigners came here?

Vice presidency: Please see some other entry in this glossary, since it would be much better for the purpose than this present note, which has no aspirations of defining this term and could never be persuaded to do so.

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12 Responses

  1. Dear Juan,

    Thank you for clarifying definitions.

    Words and phrases easily hijack our thinking, and, often,
    carry us astray.

    The past thirty years of neoliberal propaganda is an example of how “economists” has misused our language and its decent meanings, rigging the global political and economical agenda.

    It is worth remembering Goebbels definition of
    “propaganda”: “Careful instruction”.

    Add mass communication, corporate democracy, greed, ignorance, and aggression, and you end up in Bush/Obama/Nato
    “Total War without end”.

    Many years I ago, I read A. Hitler´s “Mein Kampf” – a never-ending series of rage and hate. A few years later, I read the Pentagon Papers. These two documents carried identical basic values and weltanschuung. But the Pentagon Papers was not dependent on a screaming Führer and extatic massmeetings, but was cold, bureaucratic, technocratic, “scientific”. Perverting language and science, democracy and state.

    It happens now, It happens here.

    Björn Lindgren

  2. Criticism of candidate Obama unwarranted.

    Many point out that after the election to the presidency, Obama is not doing what Candidate Obama promised to do.

    For example, Candidate Obama promised to close Guantanamo.

    Well, by most definitions of administration, someone is running the government, but the person with the title of President is not the administrator. For example, a cabal is running the treasury that supports the banksters and shields them from prosecution by the justice department. Thus it would be reasonable to say that there is no President Obama.

    In other words, one cannot criticize President Obama that he is not being faithful to the promises of Candidate Obama.

    • The problem is, by your definition the United States has only had one actual president during any point since Nixon was impeached: another Dick, last name Cheney.

      This is too terrifying a concept for me to contemplate.

  3. Reporter/journalist: Someone who unearthed truth and facts in the 20th century United States, and asked challenging questions of newsmakers and politicians in order to get to the bottom of a news-story. But reporter/journalists became obsolete in the 21st century because corporations own the MSM and take great pains to quell the truth and facts from being revealed to the American people. A few exceptions still exist: Juan Cole, Amy Goodman, Richard Engel and Bill Moyers.

  4. Juan, this last posting was even more brilliant then usual.

  5. As “Vanity Fair’s” extensive article yesterday revealed, Mitt Romney made his fortune – at least, the part of it he didn’t inherit – first by pillaging companies and leaving thousands without bemefits, pensions and jobs, followed by using shady tax gimmicks to circumvent tax laws.

    What he did to build his fortune may not have been illegal – “Vanity Fair” makes that clear – but it is immoral, amoral, unethical and totally unseemly for a man who wants to be president. Never in the history of this nation has someone so void of character sought the highest office in the land – with the possible exception of Warren G. Harding.

    • Yeah, but Harding simply let other people plunder. Romney does his own.

      The question is, what % of Americans actually believe that such actions disqualify one to be president? I really want to know; it seems the opinions of Americans on what capitalists should or should not be able to get away with depend heavily on how the question is asked. Maybe pro-business Americans live in a fantasy land where scumbags are an unusual exception, ergo they disapprove of their crimes but oppose regulations that affect all the “good” businessmen. Maybe they even have a certain bigotry that makes them see “bad” businessmen as Jews and effete Eastern liberals, and “good” businessmen as hearty cowboy-hat wearing factory owners who share the values of their workers and would never contaminate their water supplies.
      Which is exactly the attitude that has gotten us the oligarchy we have today.

  6. Please note an article in today’s Haaretz in which a senior IDF officer appears to admit that they are planning the next Lebanon war and planning to commit war crimes.

  7. In order to stay one step ahead of you I proprose that the
    definition of the word Nerd should be changed to anyone who posses more than two residences in a small country like the UK and anyone who posses more than three residences in a large country like the US.
    In countries like the US I had in mind that there are people, such as movie stars, who work on both coasts on a regualr basis, so it would reasonable for such a person to have an appartment in Berverly Hills and Manhattan with a vacation home in Palm Springs.
    Someone who has nine homes, five of them in the UK is cleally way way over the line.

  8. Thank you Professor Cole brilliant. I also love Mr. Lindgren and Kat comments.
    I wish Professor Cole you could add one more entry to your glossary and that would we the word “POLITICS”. What is it? How can one define it?
    Being majored in it, giving it some thought I have come to realization that it certainly is not a “SIENCE”.
    Most often we base science upon the search for causes and the study of form and matter, with every object having four causes: material cause (what is it made up of?), efficient cause (what created it?), formal cause (what is it right now?), and final cause (what is it supposed to do?)
    Now if we look at politics/political science as two areas of study: ethics and political philosophy, then we must put a hefty premium on observation and politics will never be subject to the observation that is necessary for a science. Politics is a completely subjective study, and so must involve a certain amount of reason. In addition, politics is caused and created by the masses, which cannot be properly observed by anyone, for they are too large and complicated. Although a mass action is simple to understand, its development is usually too complex to be fully grasped. Because a science requires full understanding of causes, so political science cannot be a science in this regard.
    So how does one defines politics?

  9. I wrote a definition of politics but then I was embarrassed by it so I erased it. I did think about your question though, for a long time, and I wanted you to know that.

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