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Thursday, April 21, 2011



Thursday, 7:30 AM.  34 degrees, wind WSW, calm.  The sky is mostly blue, the sun is bright and we will have a fine day, even though the barometer is down a bit. The garden is cleaned up, fertilized and mulched.  Not perfect, but it will have to do.  The rest of the yard will  soon be done, given a break in the weather.
Have you read any ”governmentese” lately? Certainly you have recently read tax schedules, but how about legislation, or bureaucratic letters or documents, or a political speech?  Government-speak is a language almost unto itself, and is often difficult if not impossible to decipher.  At best it is often unclear, and or seems meant to confuse, or at least to impress the reader with how smart the writer or speaker is.  The misuse of the English language by government and politicians  becomes a national security threat when it concerns war and economics. Bills that are thousands of pages long are written by lawyers, and then their legalese is translated into bureaucratese by government workers and the resulting verbiage is often  incomprehensible.  I cannot tell you how many government documents I have read that were basically gibberish.  True intent is often cleverly hidden, couched in unclear language that can be explained as one thing or another, according to the circumstances.
  The first duty of a politician or bureaucrat is to speak and write English in simple declarative sentences.  If they cannot or will not do that they should be fired.  If I were a conspiracy theorist (I try not to be) I would think all this obfuscation an attempt to kill democracy at its very roots.  Remember the “New Speak” of the classic novel Nineteen Eighty Four, where contradictions such as “War is Peace,” "Freedom is Slavery," and so on prevail? I think we are almost there, a little behind schedule, in this year Two Thousand Eleven.
       We had to cut our walk short this morning and only go around the block, as  Lucky’s arthritis was really bothering him.  I gave him two baby aspirins when we got back and I hope that will help.  His persistent cough has gotten worse, now sounding like my Grandmother’s congestive heart cough.  He is at least thirteen this spring and I fear he is getting to the end of his life span.  It saddens me to see him deteriorating and in pain. But, where there is life, there is hope.

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