Harry C. Blaney III

One of the most idiotic event of my lifetime happen just the past week when it was reported that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC) what words they could not use. This immediately set of alarms both triggered by history and by understanding what is the basics of true national security for a democratic nation.

The “bad’ or forbidden words were:

“vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

I think you get the drift of what was intended. It was to politicized our language, get it written into our budget process words with malevolent ideological intent.

Worst was the substitute words or phrases that were suggested by the Trump overseers they were: Instead of “science-based” or -“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” In short, the local village idiot like Roy Moore or climate deniers would be equal to science based facts. Is it because the Republicans on the Hill are equally dense on science and facts, or are they influenced by the likes of the Koch Brothers, billionaires who have written the tax for the rich bill, the lobbyists for the oil and coal industry and their big fat checks for reelection or the treats of withholding money if they are not obedient?

Think of the implications for our health, for honest and tested science, and for free speech and implications for such an action in our America. Also it is reported that other agencies including the Department of State also received limitation on words they could use which is un-presidente. Further, the Trump people even gave misleading and insulting and politicized new words to use in the same way that Hitler did.

It is just the most recent signs of authoritarian rule and of the simple fact we are being led by both a man of deep ignorance and one who has demonic and dangerous tendencies that threaten in a fundamental way American democracy and frank and open and free debate.

My fears go back to a lecture I heard from the great Christian and controversial theologian Paul Tillich in the 1950s at a college conference in Ohio. He said that one of the great crimes that the Nazis committed was the destruction of the German language by changing the meaning of past words that were commonly understood among thinkers and philosophers into words that aimed to take new meaning to support Nazi rule and propaganda lies and rid the thinking by Germans of words that had real meaning supporting humane values. I have never forgot those thoughts.

The second example that I studied intensely was the Soviet revolution and likewise the period in Germany that lead to Hitler. Both were regimes where words were used to spread hate and as ways of limiting free speech. They used the banning of words and phrases that threatened recognition of true freedom of thought, tolerance, and speech. Now we have in full view the exact same methods of coercion and same methods to destroy truth and fact based discourse.

This move is as dangerous as any act of terrorism and Russian plot against our elections…it is now the deep mad “enemy within” the White House and the GOP that is trying and could caused us to fear the truth and have forced upon us a lexicon of hate, lies and falsehoods.

Efforts to “wash our minds” and silent those who are our truth tellers is as un-American as any external act and leads to a darkness that many of have seen in the past and is appearing in many authoritarian states like Egypt, Turkey, Russia, China and many more.

Words matter and the truth matters and we need the right words to tell the truth.

We Welcome your comments.


  1. Chuck Woolery December 18, 2017 / 10:33 PM

    Telling the truth is key to national Security.
    Unfortunately so is telling lies. To both confuse the enemy AND keep secrets that could give them advantage…or turn the American public sour on the power of their own government. Like the CIA using LSD in the 1950’s or the work then at Fort Detrick in testing and developing new biological weapons during that same era. Weapons so horrifying and destructive that even at that time the news papers reported “Army finds weapon more powerful than nuclear bomb’.

    That’s why we have the CIA and Russia has their social media trolls and bots. Because information is power. And misinformation can win wars and turn elections.

    Here’s some “Truths” that “we hold” to be “Self-evident”. The idea that “all” people “are created equal and endowed”… “with certain “unalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. These were “Truths” according to the “laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. Catastrophically, they were NOT codified in the Constitution. That failure cost more US lives in our civil war than all the wars since then combined.

    We still fail to codify these fundamental truths into our military and foreign policy. This (when one seriously considers the evolution of war, weaponry, and terrorism) will lead to even more American deaths and perhaps the shredding of our Constitution.

    hat was the suggestion of a shadow government that the US has kept in case of a catastrophic attack and decapitation of our current government since those Cold War days. The ‘engineers’ who planned this shadow government made this decision (shredding the Constitution) in order to most effectively save who and what was left of our once great nation. They decided the one ‘totem” worth saving was the “Declaration of Independence”. Interesting? No. That’s actually profound!
    Yet our government and those at its financial trough continue to insist that the current world order (or increasing disorder) maintain the supremacy of approximately 200 sovereign nations (national sovereignty) over the protection of Human Rights. “Liberty and Justice for all”? That’s just a phrase we pledge so we can feel good about out flag and our nation. Feeling good appears to be far more important than doing good.

    But here’s another Truth. Things change. Technology is doing it at an exponential rate.
    Our minds think linearly…(but more realistically rarely.) Our government? When government change happens it usually leads to greater dysfunctional leadership, elections, policies, and political parties. This combination of factors is simply unsustainable.

    Here’s another fundamental truth… Global threats cannot be stopped (or effectively prevented) with independent government policies or agencies. Nearly all of the evolving threats we face (pandemics, climate change, loss of antibiotic arsenal, bio-terrorism, AI, WMD proliferation, Climate change, genocide, Russia, China, N. Korea, Iran…) require holistic solutions. Holistic solutions are damn near impossible when independent nations put their own national security/sovereignty first and the protection of human rights or the environment…as good ideas, just behind economic growth.

    So, is truth important to national security? Absolutely. But not as important as transformation change in the systems and structures that are now failing us at every level (economics, environment, health, security, human rights protection, peace, community…)

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