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CDC Director Says No Words Are Actually Banned At the CDC (pbs.org) 177

An anonymous reader quotes a report from PBS: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald on Sunday addressed a report that President Donald Trump's administration had banned the CDC from using seven words or phrases in next year's budget documents. The terms are "fetus," "transgender," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "evidence-based" and "science-based," according to a story first reported on Friday in The Washington Post. But Fitzgerald said in a series of tweets on Sunday said there are "no banned words," while emphasizing the agency's commitment to data-driven science. "CDC has a long-standing history of making public health and budget decisions that are based on the best available science and data and for the benefit of all people -- and we will continue to do so," she said.

A group of the agency's policy analysts said senior officials at the CDC informed them about the banned words on Thursday, according to the Post's report. In some cases, the analysts were reportedly given replacement phrases to use instead. But in follow-up reporting, The New York Times cited "a few" CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, said the reported decree on banned words was a misrepresentation.

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CDC Director Says No Words Are Actually Banned At the CDC

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  • by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @06:47PM (#55765021)
    Would have been officially send out documentation using the words "fetus," "transgender," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "evidence-based" and "science-based". The fact that her statement carefully avoided saying any of those just throws more fuel on the fire.
    • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @06:55PM (#55765077) Journal
      Maybe they just need to use a leet-speak translator to get around word filters:

      "f37u5"
      "7r4n563nd3r"
      "vuln3r4bl3"
      "3n717l3m3n7"
      "d1v3r517y"
      "3v1d3nc3-b453d"
      "5c13nc3-b453d"

    • You can still find words like "fetus" on the web site, and the very statement they issued noting the story was false included "science-based" (which I still believe to be a stupid term).

      I can't believe how willing so may of you are to spread #FakeNews. Even I believed it was real (and stupid) at the time, so compelling and well-crafted has the #FakeNews industry become.

      • Not that anyone cares but I will toot my own horn and prove that I suspected the news were fake:
        https://slashdot.org/comments.... [slashdot.org].

        There is something recognizable emerging slowly about fake news but I can't verbalize it yet. Some quality of "it is an affront to all that is decent and rational" kind of thing.

        • by Arzaboa ( 2804779 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @07:40PM (#55765393)

          The news that kicked off these stories was a piece taken out of context. Purposefully or not, we'll never really know. They'll issue a retraction, half the people will hear that, then half of those will remember there was a retraction.

          Without the drive for non-stop, headline news, this wouldn't have been news as it would have been vetted. The editors are clearly in a race for time, to all of our detriment.

          This nonsense is terrible for everyone that prints it, ingests it and has to try to un-ingest it. Of course, until everyone puts down their devices, and we all stop, this will happen unless we deter it in a meaningful way. While profits outweigh penalties, the editor will err on the side of being the first to publish.

          --
          "I'm sure to have a brain" - Scarecrow

          • by iMadeGhostzilla ( 1851560 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @08:00PM (#55765521)

            I agree. The race is a big factor and I think also the broken feeling of knowing that "is must be true" (in this case because obviously Trump administration would say such a thing, from the viewpoint of the reporter).

            To your point about un-ingesting it, I remember a quote(*) from Churchill, "Public reads news and not retractions." That makes this all the more dangerous, though perhaps in the shorter news cycle some retractions may slip into the consciousness.

            (*) Of course I don't know if it really was from Churchill, I wasn't there when he said it, if he did, I only think I read it years ago from a source I believe I thought reputable at the time.

          • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @08:04PM (#55765537) Homepage Journal

            The previous /. story explicitly included statements from several gov't official quoted by the New York Times saying it was likely nothing more than recommendation to ease budget approval process.

            Buy you had to actually get beyond the click-baity headline screaming "Trump Administration bans words!" (That wasn't even supported by the brief excerpt provided) And read the summary.

            • Except it's extortion. Unless you use their doublespeak words your budget won't get approved. So it may not be a "ban" per-se but it's still intended to be chilling and is still an attack on science and alternative lifestyles.
          • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @09:26PM (#55765973)

            Fake news gets mixed up a bunch. There is fake news that is misrepresentation, misunderstanding, or jumping to conclusions. "Chocolate is healthy for you!" Not fake per se, but the reporter could have done a better job rather than rushing to print. Then there's the fake news which is deliberate exaggeration, pushing a small story to make it a big story or other sensationalism. Still, there's a shred of truth hidden behind a whole lot of outrage, the sort of stuff Fox News is known for.

            Then there's the real fake news. Stories that are made up from beginning to end. For instance the story about a town in Texas which is where the Mexican drug lords send all their families to live in safety and get decent medical care. Totally made up and pushed by Brietbart news. It is interesting that the president shouting the most about fake news had as his primary campaign adviser the head of Brietbart news. A deflection strategy; either shouting wolf all the time in order to make people cnfused about what's fake or not, or calling stuff fake so often at the drop of a hat in order to diminish the seriousness of "fake news".

            Anyway, real fake news is a serious matter, and as time goes on it will become easier and easier to just make stuff up and still provide doctored photos, videos, and audio that make it sound convincing. But the other "fake news" that is just exaggeration or mistakes, while certainly a major failing of news media, should not be treated as the same level of dishonesty.

            Problem is that everything these days turns into a partisan fight. Everyone's trying to find "gotchas", uncover political misdealings by the other side, and so on. So there are a lot of people who just won't accept that the CDC is trying to improve public health, they assume there's some political agenda behind everything.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Problem is that everything these days turns into a partisan fight.

              Which includes your comment too! All those fake news perpetrators you called out were only right wing news. But I know you know there are major fake news examples on both sides.

            • by Anonymous Coward
              Funny how you try to highlight right wing news sources in your examples yet totally ignore the producer of this story. The Washington Post has been caught time and again this past year publishing fake news trying desperately to bad-mouth the President and his administration, yet time and again their anonymous sources are proven false and totally biased. Nor do you mention the other king of Fake news this past couple years and that's CNN. MSNBC has it's own share of fake stories, all to push the left wing
          • by Bob-Bob Hardyoyo ( 4240135 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @09:44PM (#55766049)

            "They'll issue a retraction, half the people will hear that, then half of those will remember there was a retraction."

            The thing with this is that if it was an occasional error, it could conceivably be a mistake, but when, as it is now, it's a consistent reliable pattern of behaviour, it is pretty clearly a method of propaganda.

            Step 1: Tell a whopper of a lie. Let it get in everyone's minds.
            Step 2: Issue a retraction that 20% of the original group will see, if that. (And let's be serious here, your estimate of 50% is preposterously optimistic.)
            Step 3: The other 80% of people that didn't see the retraction (or wilfully ignored it due to previous examples of this technique influencing their internal narratives) use this whopper to fuel the fires of hysteria and reinforce their pre-existing biases.

            So, what's the goal here? To introduce biases into people, and reinforce them in people where they exist already. Where do we most see this shit going on? Personally, I see it the most in anti-Trump "news", especially in the Russia collusion BS.

            • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
              1. The story wasn't a lie.
              2. Retractions of true stories are given all the time, and are the reason nobody listens to them.
              3. The presence of absence of this particular story is irrelevant. It didn't change a single person's mind. Those that hate Donnie John will do so without the story, and those who believes his poo is solid gold won't change their minds either.

              So all the fake outrage is fake. The story is real.

              The real problem is that real news is called fake.

              There is a real memo from (arguably) "
          • That is the big problem with current news. It is often given out of context. A lot of these problems are complex with multiple factors in play often at odds with each other. News readers don’t want a wall of text or hour long episodes on the topic. So they get a quick summary to try to make it simple, a summary is what the information the journalist thinks is important, but still could leave out a lot of context.

          • >> a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases

            This line, to me, says there is an issue with science and government. The CDC believes republican congressmen will react badly to this list of science words; what I would like to hear is a statement from some group of Republican congressmen that it's not necessary. My impression is that their fears are well founded. Republicans in congress react to unpleasant scientific data by trying to
            • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

              > This line, to me, says there is an issue with science and government. The CDC believes republican congressmen will react badly to this list of science words

              That is the bullshit narrative right there. With the exception of "fetus", NONE of these are "science words". They're political nonsense.

              They belong in the same category as "gay cancer".

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Except we just had confirmation it wasn't fake news. The initial story I heard said it was just for budget documents to congress and now we hear such a list really did exist, with suggestions on what to use instead. Yes, some people hyperventilated and some headlines contained lies to get people to click, but it wasn't fake.

        The assertion that H.H.S. has 'banned words' is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process.

        So, such a discussion about what words not to use in a budget really did exist!

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18, 2017 @07:48PM (#55765443)

          Except it was the department recommending to not use such words. The headlines were implying that Trump banned them. When in reality it's bureaucrats recommending certain language in order to avoid conflict with those that control the budget in Congress. The type of thing that people throughout government and in private industry do in order to secure funding for projects -- know your audience and play to it.

          This was made out to be something entirely different than it really is. It was very irresponsible journalism.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by ClickOnThis ( 137803 )

            Except it was the department recommending to not use such words. The headlines were implying that Trump banned them. When in reality it's bureaucrats recommending certain language in order to avoid conflict with those that control the budget in Congress.

            Those bureaucrats may not be physically situated in the White House, but they are indeed part of the Trump administration, which is what the headline said was the source of the word-ban.

            And it is not a stretch to imagine that this kind of lexicographic micromanaging came from the White House. Far from being "iresponsible journalism" or "fake news", this was journalism doing what it is supposed to do: uncover and report stories that could indicate changes in policy in the administration that the POTUS contro

            • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18, 2017 @08:18PM (#55765617)

              Most of the actual bureaucrats are non-political employees that were likely there during the previous administration. They're the work horses and adjust strategy based on getting things done as political winds change. If you want funding, you avoid saying things that those with the purse strings might not want to fund.

              Notice that nothing in this report says they're going to change actual policy or programs, just that they're being directed to use different wording in budget proposals. Had this been done because of ideological changes of direction, the directive would have been to cancel programs rather than change the wording in budget proposals.

            • Those bureaucrats may not be physically situated in the White House,

              It doesn't matter where they were because ...

              the headline said was the source of the word-ban.

              it wasn't a "word-ban". You've just argued that the irrelevant part of the fake news was indeed true, while ignoring the fake part.

      • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @07:57PM (#55765497) Journal

        I can't believe how willing so may of you are to spread #FakeNews. Even I believed it was real (and stupid) at the time, so compelling and well-crafted has the #FakeNews industry become.

        My good man, this isn't twitter. It's kind of tacky trying to use hashtags here.

        Also, you know, it's not precisely fake news now is it:

        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/1... [nytimes.com]

        So the HHS said calling it a ban was a "mischaracterization", which means they have admitted something was said on the topic but are claiming the reporting was bad. But, they've not gone further and relased a statement of what they said.

        Bleatig about fake ews makes you sounds foolish, because you're drawing an equivalence between this and something like pizzagate which was completely fabricated.

        • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @08:30PM (#55765691) Homepage Journal

          The source of the recommendation (not a ban) was from senior career administrators at CDC itself (not the Trump Administration)...

          Aside from getting those two facts 100% wrong, the only nugget of truth in the headline was that it involved the CDC.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Nobody is claiming the list is inaccurate. And the fact that the list exists primarily to please the loony far right faction of the Republican party seems pass the nugget of truth standard.

          • by epine ( 68316 )

            The source of the recommendation (not a ban) was from senior career administrators at CDC itself (not the Trump Administration)...

            If your job is at stake either way, there's far less practical difference than your comment suggests. On the second point, it defies comprehension that you've never heard of a political sock puppet.

            Aside from getting those two facts 100% wrong, the only nugget of truth in the headline was that it involved the CDC.

            When a puppet's lips move, which is more factual observation: the

            • because there's no way to nominate these Ignatius Reilly's of de-operationalization without actively despising the agency's prior mandate.

              I agree, except I very strogly disagree with your iterpretatio of Igatius Reilly.

              Politics will come and go, but that's oe of my favourite books ad IMO, one of all time.

              The thig that makes such an unpleasant person so appealing (the genius of the writig) is that Ignatius is not them, he's you (and me): every bad thought, mean spirited sentiment, cowardly act and so on you'

          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by greenwow ( 3635575 )

            Oh please. It's not fake news even though it isn't correct since all thinking people know Trump wanted to do that.

            • by kenh ( 9056 )

              Oh please. It's not fake news even though it isn't correct since all thinking people know Trump wanted to do that.

              So it's real news ("not fake news") even though "it isn't correct" since you believe "Trump wanted to do that".

              So in your mind, journalism and fiction writing are really the same thing, because enough people believe the fiction to be the truth? I think your thoughts on this topic are skewed by the meaningless inclusion of President Trump's name in the headline.

          • The source of the recommendation (not a ban) was from senior career administrators at CDC itself (not the Trump Administration)...

            And the senior career administrators were basing this recommendation on a nightmare they had? These officials, you know TALK to the politicians and act accordingly. The government sent a message, quibbling over exactly how it was delivered is disingenuous or naive. This is typical republican behavior undercutting science they don't like but being too cowardly to do it outright.

        • Fake ewes is an affront to sheep everywhere.
        • by dog77 ( 1005249 )
          Bleatig about fake ews makes you sounds foolish, because you're drawing an equivalence between this and something like pizzagate which was completely fabricated.

          I would say news that is close to the truth, but leaves out important details or context is just as bad if not worse than news based on flat out lies. It is harder for people to detect the deception. Have you ever heard it said that the best lies contain large elements of truth?
          • by Anonymous Coward

            That's nice. But its not relevant. The original reporting on this story clearly stated the context was budget requests, not the entire agency. The official pushback on the story doesn't even dispute the original reporting, instead it denies something that was never in the original reporting. Which seems to be pattern with this administration.

          • I would say news that is close to the truth, but leaves out important details or context is just as bad if not worse than news based on flat out lies. It is harder for people to detect the deception. Have you ever heard it said that the best lies contain large elements of truth?

            Yes, that is true. A half truth is often worse than a lie. However, the response has been to claim misrepresentation, but to not give us the context to judge for ourselves.

        • My good man, this isn't twitter. It's kind of tacky trying to use hashtags here.

          I'd normally agree but the the thing is, the term has come into such wide use it seems out of place without the hashtag, which obviously does nothing on Slashdot but does imply the totality of thought behind the term. Much like people actually use the word "hashtag" before something in normal conversation now...

          You just have to except that language evolves, and that's one of the ways it is changing.

          So the HHS said calling it a

          • the term has come into such wide use it seems out of place without the hashtag

            Then you have spent too much time on twitter, and if not twitter, a very very narrow range of web forums.

            Much like people actually use the word "hashtag" before something in normal conversation now.

            They do? I mean sure they do occasionally, very, but IME usually for some ironic or amusing emphasis. I hang around with nerds so we also use "pwn3d", "n00b", "OMG", "l33t", "lol", "protip" and a few others in much the same way.

            Yes, BUT

        • Also, you know, it's not precisely fake news now is it:

          https://www.nytimes.com/2017/1... [nytimes.com]

          So the HHS said calling it a ban was a "mischaracterization", which means they have admitted something was said on the topic but are claiming the reporting was bad. But, they've not gone further and relased a statement of what they said.

          Bleatig about fake ews makes you sounds foolish, because you're drawing an equivalence between this and something like pizzagate which was completely fabricated.

          Er, except in reality the CDC recommended to itself not to use the words, in order to trick those meanie Republicans into fully funding them as much as they wished. Since they just knew those knuckle draggers were knuckle draggers.

          None of it came from Trump or Republicans at all.

          So, yeah, it kinda was fake news.

          It's kinda like watching an SNL parody, and then blaming a Republican for something that Tina Fey said (not that anyone would actually do that, lol)

      • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2017 @01:26AM (#55766793)
        They were told in no uncertain terms that the words were to be avoided. [statnews.com]

        A Health and Human Services official who asked not to be named told STAT it was not accurate to say that CDC had been ordered not to use the seven words. Instead, he said, agency budget analysts were told that some words and phrasing might be more likely to win support for the CDC’s budget in the current Congress.

        It goes on

        Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said discussion of words that are banned or to be avoided sends a dangerous message to the agency. “There’s as much of a risk of self-censorship that comes out of this than actual direct censorship,” he told STAT. “This is the part that’s much more pernicious than any direct pronouncement.” “So of course the administration and its defenders are going to argue that this is only about what goes into the budget,” Jha noted. “But we know that the signal to the agency is much stronger than that. And it’s going to change behavior of people who work there. And that’s much more damaging than any direct censorship.”

        Keep in mind the republicans are slashing money for research right and left in an orgy of giving public money back to the robber barons. Scientists and doctors interested in serving public health aren't stupid, they know a "guideline" from their funding agency isn't an order, but they do know it's how they win funding and keep their jobs.

        To suggest this is fake news is to ignore the obvious reality: republicans are intentionally subordinating science to the wishes of their evangelical base.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        You can still find words like "fetus" on the web site

        Yeah, but I doubt we'll see a request for funding for science based research on transgender fetuses.

    • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @07:22PM (#55765251)
      Evidence-based entitlements for diverse trans-gendered fetuses are vulnerable to science-based bans.
    • Science-based and evidence-based reports show transgender fetuses are vulnerable to diversity entitlement.

      Message decoded.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18, 2017 @06:50PM (#55765047)

    ...to *prevent* controversial topics from getting blocked by ideologues in the budget approval chain.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @06:50PM (#55765049) Journal
    She said that the words are NOT banned, BUT when asked if they had been banned, she would not answer the question.
  • The New York Times cited "a few" CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases.

    Is the GOP, in general, so ass-backwards that you can't mention anything about 'science' without them making warding signs against evil, invoking the Spirit, or whatever it is they do? I'm hearing banjo music..

  • I see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Monday December 18, 2017 @06:58PM (#55765093)

    " the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases."

    IOW the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help not getting fired by eliminating certain words and phrases.

    • Re:I see (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @07:22PM (#55765263)

      It's a kind of "soft" censorship. The words are not "banned" but if you use them, there could be consequences.
      Kind of like "newspeak".
      "In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), Newspeak is a controlled language, of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, a linguistic design meant to limit the freedom of thought—personal identity, self-expression, free will—that ideologically threatens the regime of Big Brother and the Party, who thus ..."

      • If you're arguing on the Internet whether you're living in the world of Orwell's 1984 you're not living in the world of Orwell's 1984.

        The whole point of 1984 is that truth has been abolished and people are unable to even explain what has happened. So if you're arguing about living in that world, you're not living in that world.

        E.g.

        http://orwell.ru/library/essay... [orwell.ru]

        The only propaganda line open to the Nazis and Fascists was to represent themselves as Christian patriots saving Spain from a Russian dictatorship. This involved pretending that life in Government Spain was just one long massacre (vide the Catholic Herald or the Daily Mail - but these were child's play compared with the Continental Fascist press), and it involved immensely exaggerating the scale of Russian intervention. Out of the huge pyramid of lies which the Catholic and reactionary press all over the world built up, let me take just one point - the presence in Spain of a Russian army. Devout Franco partisans all believed in this; estimates of its strength went as high as half a million. Now, there was no Russian army in Spain. There may have been a handful of airmen and other technicians, a few hundred at the most, but an army there was not. Some thousands of foreigners who fought in Spain, not to mention millions of Spaniards, were witnesses of this. Well, their testimony made no impression at all upon the Franco propagandists, not one of whom had set foot in Government Spain. Simultaneously these people refused utterly to admit the fact of German or Italian intervention at the same time as the Germany and Italian press were openly boasting about the exploits of their' legionaries'. I have chosen to mention only one point, but in fact the whole of Fascist propaganda about the war was on this level.

        This kind of thing is frightening to me, because it often gives me the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. After all, the chances are that those lies, or at any rate similar lies, will pass into history. How will the history of the Spanish war be written? If Franco remains in power his nominees will write the history books, and (to stick to my chosen point) that Russian army which never existed will become historical fact, and schoolchildren will learn about it generations hence. But suppose Fascism is finally defeated and some kind of democratic government restored in Spain in the fairly near future; even then, how is the history of the war to be written? What kind of records will Franco have left behind him? Suppose even that the records kept on the Government side are recoverable - even so, how is a true history of the war to be written? For, as I have pointed out already, the Government, also dealt extensively in lies. From the anti-Fascist angle one could write a broadly truthful history of the war, but it would be a partisan history, unreliable on every minor point. Yet, after all, some kind of history will be written, and after those who actually remember the war are dead, it will be universally accepted. So for all practical purposes the lie will have become truth.

        I know it is the fashion to say that most of recorded history is lies anyway. I am willing to believe that history is for the most part inaccurate and biased, but what is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be truthfully written. In the past people deliberately lied, or they unconsciously coloured what they wrote, or they struggled after the truth, well knowing that they must make many mistakes; but in each case they believed that 'facts' existed and were more or less discoverable. And in practice there was always a considerable body of fact which would have been agreed to by almost everyone. If you look up the history of the last war in, for instance, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, you will find that a respectable amount of the material is drawn from German sources. A British and a German historian would disagree deeply on many things, even on fundamentals, but there would still be that body of, as it were, neutral fact on which neither would seriously challenge the other. It is just this common basis of agreement, with its implication that human beings are all one species of animal, that totalitarianism destroys. Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as 'the truth' exists. There is, for instance, no such thing as 'Science'. There is only 'German Science', 'Jewish Science', etc. The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, 'It never happened' - well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five - well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs - and after our experiences of the last few years that is not a frivolous statement.

        But is it perhaps childish or morbid to terrify oneself with visions of a totalitarian future? Before writing off the totalitarian world as a nightmare that can't come true, just remember that in 1925 the world of today would have seemed a nightmare that couldn't come true. Against that shifting phantasmagoric world in which black may be white tomorrow and yesterday's weather can be changed by decree, there are in reality only two safeguards. One is that however much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing, as it were, behind your back, and you consequently can't violate it in ways that impair military efficiency. The other is that so long as some parts of the earth remain unconquered, the liberal tradition can be kept alive. Let Fascism, or possibly even a combination of several Fascisms, conquer the whole world, and those two conditions no longer exist. We in England underrate the danger of this kind of thing, because our traditions and our past security have given us a sentimental belief that it all comes right in the end and the thing you most fear never really happens. Nourished for hundreds of years on a literature in which Right invariably triumphs in the last chapter, we believe half-instinctively that evil always defeats itself in the long run. Pacifism, for instance, is founded largely on this belief. Don't resist evil, and it will somehow destroy itself. But why should it? What evidence is there that it does? And what instance is there of a modern industrialized state collapsing unless conquered from the outside by military force?

        You can see how he got to the world of 1984 from there. You can also see how his conditions for the death of objective truth 'Let Fascism, or pos

        • No you don't suddenly wake up in the morning and find yourself in the world of 1984; you get there slowly, one 'no big deal' at a time.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Similar to Slashdot. Phases like "male feminist" attract immediate down-mods, regardless of context or message content.

    • IOW the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help not getting fired by eliminating certain words and phrases.

      LOL ... you actually think it is that easy to fire a US Federal Government employee?!? No, No, No.

  • by cnaumann ( 466328 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @07:24PM (#55765277)

    "But in follow-up reporting, The New York Times cited “a few” CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases. "

    If you use these words, your budget may be cut. How is that not a ban?

    • If you use these words, your budget may be cut. How is that not a ban?

      Because not using the terms would only apply to a budget proposal, not general communications and even then it was only a suggestion...

      Apparently is was guidance how how best to craft one document, not guidelines for every document. But who can resist the allure of #FakeNews, the faker the better!! Spread On #FakeNews soldier!!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Get your head out of your rectum. It's not a ban. It's direction to assure budge proposals have the best chance of getting approved. It's wise to avoid controversy. This was sound advice and is likely not any different than what has been done when Democrats have the majority as well. Just different advice in the word smithing department.

      I've been directed in similar ways when filling out hiring reqs. My VP tells me what key words to use and to avoid based on how finance is currently tightening strings

    • "But in follow-up reporting, The New York Times cited “a few” CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases. "

      If you use these words, your budget may be cut. How is that not a ban?

      Maybe they're just warning about using words most Republican representatives won't understand. Although... I'm pretty sure they understand the word "entitlement" and the word "evidence" too -- something they say Mueller doesn't have, but they can't prove he doesn't, they just know it.

      • Although... I'm pretty sure they understand the word "entitlement" and the word "evidence" too -- something they say Mueller doesn't have, but they can't prove he doesn't, they just know it.

        Um ... in civilized countries, it's the prosecution who has to prove they have evidence, not the defense who has to prove they don't.

    • "If you use these words, your budget may be cut (because we don't like these words)"

      Is very different from

      "If you use these words, your budget may be cut (because our constituents may vote us out of office if we are on record as approving a budget item using these words)."

      The snippet you quoted seems to imply the latter, while you're assuming the former.
    • So if the senior CDC officials said "avoid mid-spellings and typos" would the headline have read "Trump Administration Bans Typos!"?

    • "But in follow-up reporting, The New York Times cited “a few” CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases. "

      If you use these words, your budget may be cut. How is that not a ban?

      The CDC said this to themselves ... they are censoring themselves?

      They convinced themselves that talking differently was better for budget approval. Less charitably, they decided to get all weasel worded in the hopes of fooling the elected representatives of the people when said representatives were deciding on budgets.

      It doesn't sound quite as noble that way though ...

  • by quonset ( 4839537 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @07:44PM (#55765425)

    If you have to put out a list of words which shouldn't be used for whatever reason, it's still a de facto ban.

    They can try to spin it all they want, but if real words, words used in the medical and scientific community, cause that much outrage in certain people, perhaps the people are the problem and not the words.

    • calling the Republicans out on their anti-science platform. A good friend of mine insists on being Republican and I ask why he says "I'm gonna change it from the inside". At a certain point it starts to look like Stockholm syndrome or an abused spouse. Net Neutrality, their stance on health care, the fact that their tax cut hasn't even passed on their Speaker of the House is already talking about cutting Social Security (that I paid into for 25 years) to pay for it and now this... There's just a time when y
      • A good friend of mine insists on being Republican and I ask why he says "I'm gonna change it from the inside".

        Well in some areas of the country, the probability of a Democrat winning are close to zero. So the real election actually happens at the primary, when the Republican candidate is chosen. But because people don't think of these as the real election, or even an important one, it's an easy target for extremists to hijack -- and therefore, an important place for moderates to defend.

        If in "red" distri

        • the problem is, in most areas the primaries only draw the party loyalists. most moderates probably don't vote along party lines.
    • If you have to put out a list of words which shouldn't be used for whatever reason, it's still a de facto ban.

      No one was 'banned' from saying/writing anything, they were told how to make their budget reqyests more palletable, kinda like how a friend might suggest using a lot of 'action words' in your resume...

      • so why don't they clarify their original message. for some reason they decided not to clarify. that means they are (1) stupid, or (2) not wanting to reveal something. Pro tip, it's number 2. They are hiding shitty behavior.
  • A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, said the reported decree on banned words was a misrepresentation.

    "In consideration with community standards and wishes," the parrot's not dead - he's just restin'. Beautiful plumage!

  • The words aren't banned, we just warned staff not to use those words or we may not get funding and the staff will suffer the consequences.

  • by Arzaboa ( 2804779 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @07:57PM (#55765495)

    They are shining a bright light on the world they live in and operate in right now. If they put those words in there, you have a large group of ideologues that will outright, not look at it, therefore not fund the CDC, as "those people" aren't "their people."

    It is them yelling HELP! They are not allowed to tread into politics per their job titles. They are screaming that there is a large number of people that already can not hear these words for sake of them not being re-elected, or that they simply don't care that there is science, and other *things* outside of their religion (and I use the term very loosely here).

    It should be a very stark warning to all of us, that this isn't just happening now, it has already happened. Their hands are being tied by entire groups that thinks science that accepts anything other than their own is bad science. They have a base that believes this as well, and will back them up.

    These people don't look at a world of people that are different. They look at the world through a lens where only they are right, and everyone else is wrong. Anything not serving their own self interests is a waste of time and money, and a clear example of a bloated government.

    --
    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

  • You just can't use the words.

    Heil Drumph!

    • There's a difference between 'shouldn't' and 'can not'... being advised to avoid certain terms is not enforcing a ban on those same terms.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        There's a difference between 'shouldn't' and 'can not'... being advised to avoid certain terms is not enforcing a ban on those same terms.

        When a wish comes from the top, it is near indistinguishable from an order. "Won't someone rid me of this meddlesome priest?"

  • ...you're suggesting the media deliberately inflamed something trivial to make Trump look dumb?

    Unpossible.

    Note, it sounds like pretty bog-standard advice to anyone trying to sell something: cater to your audience. In this case, their budget to Congress who would likely respond to liberal dog whistle terms like "diversity" and "transgender" in a negative way. Pretty sound advice, I'd say.

  • Informal Poll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @09:00PM (#55765841) Journal

    Show of hands, please:

    Who believes anything a Trump appointee says? She was put in place by Tom Price, the disgraced Health and Human Services secretary who resigned when he was caught lying about using military jets as his private airline.

    Here is a list of the 15 Trump appointees who had to leave in the first 11 months of his administration due to indictment or embarrassment.

    http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

  • ... incipient rotation from George Carlin's grave may be premature.

  • Those words are just resting, they are not fooling anyone.
  • Time to impeach him for violations of the emoluments clause based on real estate deals with russia and taking cash from non-american citizens at Mara Largo.

    Past time to impeach him for actively attacking our democratic institutions.

  • Politics. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2017 @03:31AM (#55767013)

    Thought so. The 'banned words' is really more of a guide for scientists on "How to talk to politicians."

    "Don't say 'fetus!' To you it's a science word, but to a politician that's a flag of liberalism. If you utter that word they'll see you as the enemy and cut your funding. Just call it a pre-born child and they'll treat you as one of their own."

    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2017 @10:54AM (#55768325) Homepage Journal

      "Don't say 'fetus!' To you it's a science word, but to a politician that's a flag of liberalism. If you utter that word they'll see you as the enemy and cut your funding. Just call it a pre-born child and they'll treat you as one of their own."

      I think we need a translation dictionary, not a list of words to avoid.
      Perhaps Google Translate could get a "Conservative" language option.

      • The political divide in the US has grown so severe that even language is beginning to splinter in two. Using words claimed by the wrong faction is like turning up to a football match wearing the wrong team's shirt. .. are football shirts a thing there?

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          are football shirts a thing there?

          Not nearly as much as in association football. One reason is that American football shirts are designed to be worn over massive shoulder pads.

  • Just another word on the Republicans' Shit List.

  • They're just words that, if you use them, ensure you won't get funded. That's all.
  • Don't be too quick to pass judgement when a "news" story appears. There's a high probability that your snap judgement will be wrong a week or two after.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351

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