Language Goes Dead in the Hands of the Powerful
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 95 11:55:16 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Language Goes Dead in the Hands of the Powerful
From: email@example.com (Tom Parmenter)
At one point in a good college education you run a chance of being
convinced by reading Proudhon that "Property is theft". Although I
don't see what I can do about it (and I love working in my yard) the
old French anarchist was probably right. My corollary is,
"Government is murder". I don't know what to do about that either.
These are two principles that make the world work.
Last week the family of "white separatist Randall Weaver" was paid
$3.1 million for the shooting death of Weaver's wife, Vicki. The
government move was announced in a press release and did not mention
that Weaver's 14-year-old son had been killed with a shot in the back
nor that Vicki had been holding a ten-month-old baby when a sniper
blew off half her head.
The government press release stated, "By entering into a settlement,
the United States hopes to take a substantial step toward healing the
wounds the incident inflicted."
This is what people mean when they say language goes dead in the
hands of the powerful. When you're dead, your wounds never heal. The
wounds the press release was speaking of were the merely metaphorical
wounds suffered by the government in this disgraceful "incident".
The only white people Randall Weaver ever separated were members of
his own family. The crime that led the US Marshalls and the FBI to
his door was selling two sawed-off shotguns to an undercover agent
who then unsuccessfully attempted to blackmail Weaver into informing
on others. Weaver's refusal to do so led to all the other charges
and to the unprovoked attack on his home. Just as with the Branch
Davidians, the feds started by shooting the dogs around the house.
This stuff has been much on my mind since Waco and very much so since
the Oklahoma City bombing. Other words will tumble out sooner or
later, all about what it means to die for your country.
I've been slow to publish it because it's going to offend people I
love and attract people I hate.
© 1995 Peter Langston