Justin’s note: Stop saying offensive words.
That’s what the Associated Press (AP) is telling writers.
You see, the AP puts out a stylebook every year that includes universal guidelines for stylistic matters like punctuation, capitalization, and even word choice.
In a recent version, the AP encouraged writers to not use words such as “pro-life,” “migrant,” “refugee,” “Islamist,” and “terrorist.”
It’s completely ludicrous. Yet, sadly, it’s a sign of the times.
In the interview below, Doug Casey tears down the AP’s blacklist and discusses why this is happening…
Justin: Doug, what do you think of the AP censoring writers? Are you surprised at all?
Doug: There was once a time when journalists often had intelligence, integrity, and competence. Many did their jobs—reporting the news accurately, openly disclosing their bias (if any). H.L. Mencken was a model of what a journalist should be. He wasn’t just a reporter. He was a literary maven who had immense stores of knowledge and well-thought-out, fact-based opinions on nearly everything. In addition to a myriad of newspaper and magazine articles, he even wrote a definitive book on the English language and the correct way to use it.
Today, reporters have none of these qualifications. Their only qualification appears to be a BA degree in English, or Journalism.
Maybe it’s just that giants walked the earth in the days before Political Correctness. If Mencken was alive today, he would be shocked and appalled at the midgets who pass for reporters and editors today. He’d be rolling in laughter and disgust at how much the profession has been degraded.
It’s like Orwell’s worst nightmare is coming true. In his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the idea behind “doublethink” is to alter the nature of language. Big Brother wants to reduce the number of words that exist, eliminating those that describe non-PC thoughts and actions. They seem to want to institute Newspeak—complete with thoughtcrime, goodthink, bellyfeel, and prolefeed.
Justin: And why is that such a big deal?
Doug: Words enable thought. So if you corrupt words, you can alter and corrupt people’s thoughts. Words are the parents of thought. And thought is the father to action. There’s a reason the Bible speaks of “the word” with such respect.
If you don’t have a word for something, it makes it hard to think about it. And it’s worse if you have the wrong word. They’re trying to corrupt the language to limit what people think and do.
Justin: Why are they trying to alter how people think?
Doug: They say it’s to help make people “better.” Of course their idea of what’s good, and my idea of what’s good differ radically. The Nazis and Soviets tried to make people “better” by using propaganda—propaganda is actually fake news. They say they’re trying to reduce friction in society, or make the “underprivileged” feel good about themselves. But in fact they’re doing the opposite. They’re quite happy to use the violence of the State to enforce their views on society.
The people doing this are worms. They’re acting to destroy civilization and civil society. These people are the intellectual equivalent of the thugs that pour into the streets to commit arson and looting.
They can’t be so stupid as to think that if they ban impolite words for certain racial and ethnic groups, that will actually ban hostile feelings. It probably does just the opposite. It’s like tightening down the lid on a pressure cooker when you don’t allow people to express themselves.
A lot of these AP words seem to carry racial connotations. Something it’s apparently non-PC to acknowledge.
Oddly, it’s only whites, males, and Christians that have to be careful using “hate speech” or non-PC speech today. Members of so-called “historically oppressed” minorities can say whatever they want. Which is pretty rich, since they’re actually majorities in many parts of the US today. And their native cultures allow for about zero freedom of speech—or any other kind of freedom, for that matter.
Actually, people ought to express themselves in any politically incorrect words they wish. Any words they choose to use.
Justin: And why’s that?
Doug: Because then you can find out what a person’s really thinking. You can find out what kind of a person you’re dealing with. You can judge if it’s a good person or a bad person based on how he may characterize or not characterize other people. If you limit other people’s freedom of speech, you’re really just limiting your own ability to get information—not just from them, but about them.
It’s shameful that the AP is telling journalists what they can and can’t say to influence what the readers are able to think. And equally shameful that there’s no protest from the reporters.
It’s not just the AP. When you read something in The New York Times, The Washington Post, or practically any establishment mouthpiece today you can rely on lots of confused, conflated and intentionally misleading weasel words. I wrote an essay on this in September 2016. I urge readers to take a look at it for a laundry list of them.
Justin: I remember that essay, Doug. In it, you discussed how many of the words we hear on television and other media are confused, conflated, or completely misused.
You went down a long list of words, including inflation, money, and justice.
Could we do the same thing with a few of the words that the AP blacklisted? Let’s start with “pro-life.” Should writers really say “anti-abortion” instead?
Doug: Well, the term “pro-life” expresses a certain moral stance, with implied political preferences. It’s a favorable towards giving birth to babies. It has that connotation.
“Anti-abortion,” however, means exactly the same thing. But it’s better rhetorical technique to be “pro” than “anti”—to be for something than against something. The other side says they’re “pro-choice.”
In fact, in a neutral context, one that has nothing to do with babies and abortion, most people of good will are both “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” Who would be “anti-life” or “anti-choice”?
It’s all about influencing the hoi polloi by using words cleverly. If the argument was conducted on strictly intellectual grounds—which it’s not, it’s conducted on mostly emotional grounds—the proper words would be neutral. But they don’t want people to think, they want them to feel.
The whole subject is intellectually dishonest. Both sides attempt appealing to emotion and the psychological aberrations of the listeners, not cool reason.
Justin: Sounds like these guidelines only make things more confusing. Is that the point?
Doug: Correct, the whole objective is to confuse, muddy, and befuddle thoughts.
For example, they say you’re not supposed to use the word “migrant” but that’s exactly what these people are. I guess you’re also supposed to call them “refugees”, whether or not they are. Most are actually economic opportunity seekers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not as sympathetic.
They’re not “immigrants.” An immigrant is somebody that formally enters the country by the recipients’ rules and norms. That’s what an immigrant is. He’s completely legal.
A migrant might be somebody that comes across as part of an invading horde, legality has nothing to do with it. That’s the connotation but it’s an accurate one. It’s exactly what these people are. If there are enough of them, and they’re armed, you can reclassify them from “migrant” to “invader.”
They’re an informal and unarmed invading army of a totally different culture, race, religion, and language. So of course, they are migrants.
It’s too bad that it’s too un-PC to call them what they are. I really believe you’ve got to call a spade a spade. Tough luck if some cupcake thinks it’s a microaggression impinging on his safe space.
We haven’t talked about another word on the list, “Islamist.” That’s a good one. Let’s save it for another day.
Justin: “Terrorist” was another word on the AP’s blacklist. Instead of saying that, it encourages writers to say “militant,” “attacker,” or “lone wolf.”
Doug: Terrorist. I find that interesting. You’re not supposed to call somebody a terrorist. Does that mean only the government can designate somebody as a terrorist?
Anyway, terrorist is a word that’s used improperly. It turns out there are roughly 125 definitions of the word terrorist, different official definitions used by various government agencies at one time or another. To me, terrorism is simply a method of warfare. It’s a tactic, like artillery barrages or cavalry charges. It’s a legitimate method of warfare.
Now, whether somebody’s actually a terrorist or not is a different question. Is he part of an organized military, a paramilitary group, or a revolutionary group? The word is a pejorative. But can a terrorist ever be a good guy? Were Allied bomber crews conducting terror raids on German cities in World War 2 bad guys?
These things have to be discussed, not just glossed over. I’ll offer a definition of terrorism. It’s “an act of wholesale violence, for political ends, that deliberately targets civilians.” Most terrorism in the world has always been conducted by legitimate States.
It’s all completely insane. But this is what’s characterizing today’s society. How something is phrased has a huge impact on how the public thinks about it. It’s why I’m a Freedom Fighter, you’re a Rebel, but he’s a Terrorist.
Anyway, two years from now my novel, Terrorist is going to be out where I’m going to go into this in a lot of detail.
Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Doug. I’m looking forward to the new book.
Doug: My pleasure, Justin.
Justin’s note: If you enjoy Conversations With Casey, you’ll want to get your hands on our brand-new book—Totally Incorrect Volume 2. It’s Doug’s most controversial book yet… and you can get it for free. This book is not available anywhere else right now. Learn how to get your copy right here.
Today, some divisive reader feedback for John Hunt’s recent essay on climate scientists…
An interesting take, pretty well written.
– Jack P.
Interesting piece. I guess Stephen Hawking never got Hunt’s memo?
– Alfonso V.
While I neither agree nor disagree with your opinion on climate scientists, your article reeks of ignorance.
– Dennis L.
He’s right. Climate change is a cover for a number of operations, including terraforming.
– Patrick I.
John Hunt’s entertaining piece fails to even address the overwhelming data that supports the human role in accelerating climate change. Shameful.
– Karl W.
Unless the subject interests you, it is not worth reading. I found his logic and acknowledgement of bias interesting, but not compelling.
– David S.
Please invite John Hunt to explain the increased melting of ice in the Polar Regions. Is it fact or fiction? If he believes it is a fact, then how is polar ice melting faster than before without an increase in global temperature? I look forward to hearing his thoughts. Thank you.
– Jim R.
I am appalled by your view of climate science. Your arguments did NOT convince me. I’m sure you are younger than I am, so I won’t have to deal with the effects of what we are doing to our planet, but you will.
– Irene Z.
The climate change environmentalist is a religion. They even have their own Bible, The Green Bible. I have never seen one but would like to look through it and see what they say. Personally, I think these people are as nutty as a fruitcake.
– David L.
Here are a few obvious warming facts: the ice is melting in both the Arctic and Antarctic (see NASA photos of Arctic sea ice), there are no advancing mountain glaciers anywhere on earth, methane blowouts at high latitudes, Alaskan Eskimos are forced to move their villages, warming ocean waters are killing coral reefs.
– Paul L.
Okay John, you told us why you don’t trust climate scientists. However, you did not describe any examination of the data being published. Perhaps their consensus is based on data, with its significance inflated by political opinions. Isn’t that like ignoring the opinions of meteorologists because you don’t like their training, while not addressing the data coming from the weather satellites, ground and weather balloon observations?
They lost me when they placed the blame on CO2, which is essential to life. How is it possible something as critical to our well-being as CO2 be considered a pollutant? Carbon pollution, a term Obama often used, is scientifically incorrect and intentionally misleading.
– Roy M.
I am shocked and disappointed to find you among the ostriches denying climate change. Hunt may be right about academia, but the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere is as undeniable as the planet Earth being round. It is okay to be skeptical, but ignorance is unforgivable. Otherwise, love your dispatches.
– Daryl S.
I just read the article, “Why Do I Fail to Believe the Climate Scientists?” by John Hunt and it seems to me to be a condemnation of science as it is carried out today in academic institutions, at least in the US. In other words, I fail to see why it is a condemnation of climate science in particular. Thus, I feel that the article is misleading and by no means the objective analysis that it appears to be. Mind you, I think it is an accurate analysis of the how science is carried out today, but it is not a sufficient justification for singling out climate science.
– Jeffrey B.
Of course climate researchers are biased. Otherwise why would they be spending their efforts on climate research? And of course they do not all agree within 0.001%. But you can’t use bias as an excuse to throw out all of the data. Thermometers are not biased. I live in Seattle and have been driving around Mt. Rainier for more than 60 years. I have seen with my own eyes that the Nisqually glacier has shrunk to a fraction of the size it was 60 years ago. Whatever the scientists or the non-scientists say, something has caused thousands of tons of ice to melt. If the climate isn’t getting warmer, what the hell IS causing the melting?
– Mike A.
The author goes after all the various internal politics of academia. He never touches on the obvious science that airborne carbon has exploded in the past 40 years at previously unprecedented rates. He ignores the massive and accelerating melting up north, the now ice-free Northwest Passage, that Exxon and others are now building floating platforms where only 10 years ago there was all ice. He ignores Malta and other islands which will soon be non-existent because of higher water levels. Never mentions the suddenly huge increase in tornadoes and amplified hurricanes now ravaging our country, and others. We all agree that we can destroy all life on the world, we see plastic everywhere—and at sea. Satellites confirm this. We see smog. It doesn’t take a “scientist” to “see” the obvious.
– Joseph W.
Does it really matter if they’re right or wrong? You’re talking about financial collapse every single day, yet there is no scientific evidence for that. The only thing we know is that there is a risk. And what does any smart person do when there’s a risk? Get prepared for when it turns out to be true. The same goes for climate change. Why fight over if it’s true or not true? The best we can do is get prepared and stop doing the things that probably lead to climate change. The worst effect from that: we get to live in a better, healthier, more positive world. If that’s the cost of getting prepared for climate change, I’m all in.
– Rens N.
I don’t know John Hunt from Adam and I don’t know his background. He loses his point when he glibly mocks the science by claiming it harms baby polar bears. Right there as he uses that statement over and over he shows us he’s biased against what they are claiming, so why believe anything he says then? His argument is childish and stupid. Why then would we believe anything that science tells us? Wouldn’t the same biases and distilling happen everywhere? I found this article terribly written. And also the claim that because he is a Libertarian he somehow knows better than those who aren’t is incredibly pompous and disgusting. I’m not saying I believe everything climate science tells us. I don’t have a background in it, and I coincidentally work in the oil industry, but to believe that 7–8 billion people have no impact on the environment is short-sighted.
– Stirling S.
You have done a great job of summarizing how the university system works. The researchers, in all fields, are continually writing submissions seeking funding. The focus is usually from government-funded entities. Also from a political point of view, the idea of putting a carbon tax on fossil fuel burning—under the guise of helping the climate change and of course filling the coffers of indebted governments—adds to the myth of humans causing climate change. So you have a mutual admiration society. It is unfortunate that the environmentalists have not yet focused on the more critical environmental issue—plastic. The problem is becoming more obvious, but unfortunately for the scientists, it is difficult to define a research project in order to get a research grant. If the true environmentalists who are not in need of research grants start educating the public and especially the politicians, then we may be able to see some action on addressing this issue. Both the researchers and the politicians will resist since they will lose the benefit of carbon being the major environmental challenge for the world.
– John Z.
Corruption in anything and everything. Some jackass imposes political correction. If you agree—fine. If not—then your butt is mowed over. Education today is 50% indoctrination, 25% political correctness and 25% for the revised actual facts needed to be a scientist to create falsified “crapolla.” If every student could knock down the propaganda and reconstruct what they are actually being brainwashed with, the level of BS would drop more than halfway down the pole.
Today’s weather has been knocked over for years by the jet engine trails off the West coast which have shifted the normal into the abnormal. We slaves are supposed to be stupefied and totally obedient to please those cruddy communists. There are other systems in Alaska, the UK and a couple of other places that interfere with the upper atmosphere to shift the major portions around to create droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes and more. This crap has ruined California’s former ability to feed the country. Then add in the Monsanto mobsters and others. In short, the sh*t hit the fan and we still don’t know who conducted the surrender of the USA to the communists by that rotten British Deep State hiding in the Washington, DC swamp.
– Peter C.
I appreciated the article by John Hunt, MD. Overall he brought out many good points about why climate scientists are not to be trusted. I am a retired scientist (chemist) and have done a reasonable review of the subject over the past few years and do not believe the explanations put forth, namely that CO2/GHGs are THE cause of global warming/climate change. Although many of the points of the article contribute to my lack of belief in the current climate theory, in my opinion the main reason is that climate scientists have not been taught how to look at the big picture, identify all possible causes and then analyze each possible cause for its possible effect. Most notably, they have not looked at the Earth itself as a possible cause. Over the past few years it is apparent that core heat is responsible for the ocean warming and glacial melting at both Antarctica and the Arctic. It is also apparent that the Earth’s core is responsible for the behavior of the Geomagnetic field surrounding the Earth; this has weakened about 5% over the past century and has been shown to contribute to anomalous behavior over Africa, where very recently the continent has developed cracks which are portended to indicate a slow split in the continent. Actually, in my opinion, this failure to adequately look at the big picture is probably the result of the education process itself where students are not taught how to “THINK” but rather taught how to use the computer to do everything.
– Martin K.
John, you’ve outlined a good case for why science, like anything else, should continuously be questioned and challenged. That is exactly what the scientific method is designed to do. Your article does nothing, however, to justify the apparent claim in your title that you “Fail to Believe.” Skepticism is a good thing in that it calls for proof. But if you want to claim the mantle of informed skepticism, then you need to actually examine the science and then say what exactly it is that you fail to believe and articulate why. If you don’t want to do the hard work of analyzing the information produced by the very people who actually do study climate scientifically, then your “Fail to Believe” is really just uninformed noise. To put it differently, rejecting the entirety of the best available evidence, because, gosh, climate scientists are human and have their own biases and therefore can’t be perfect, isn’t a failure to believe, it’s its own kind of belief, like believing in fairies. The same kind of argument you put forth was used for decades by the tobacco industry. It was wrong then, too. Do better.
– Arthur H.
Well stated, Dr. Hunt. BUT, every point in the process you made applies equally well to the segment of society that opposes the global warming thesis because of economic concerns or threats to its self-interests, i.e., occupational bias. What are the consequences if that position is wrong? Oh well, we’ll be dead by then.
– Theodore S.
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