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A Dictionary for the Politically Incorrect, Cont'd.

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Never let the other side dictate the vocabulary of the debate.  They know that words have meanings.  We need to know it too. They won't need analysis  --  and won't give any either  --  when their side's conclusion is built into the vocabulary of the discussion before it begins.


That is the reason I provide periodic installments of this Dictionary for the Politically Incorrect.  Here are a  few more entries:


At-risk child - A 220-pound 17 year-old whose first five trips to juvenile hall had the usual effect -- none -- and who now is coming after you with a switchblade, most assuredly putting you at risk.
Judgmentalism - The capacity to form moral judgments, this being the principal quality that gives human beings an advantage over orangutans, who after all are a good deal stronger. Nonetheless, judgmentalism is a bad thing, because the formation of judgments implies that one might correctly conclude that some ways of behaving are better than others. See "tolerance." The upshot is that only "non-judgmentalism" is an acceptable outlook on life -- with the caveat that non-judgmentalism is subject to cancellation without notice when the subject is Alberto Gonzales, anyone invovled with the imprisonment of terrorists at Guantanamo, or the Duke lacrosse team.
Torture - Asking a terrorist what his next plan for mass murder consists of, and doing it in conditions where there is at least some chance he'll think you're expecting an answer. Such conditions might include, for example, being held in an uncomfortably cold (or hot) cell, having to stand for long periods of time, being exposed to loud and unpleasant sounds, or having to sit in stress positions. None of this very closely resembles what used to be thought of as "torture," e.g., having your fingernails ripped out, being fed feet-first into the woodchipper, or being held in a dog cage while your captors ready their swords to cut your head off. But this latter collection of techniques apparently no longer qualifies as "torture," being the province of the terrorists rather than those who seek to stop them. See "judgmentalism, exceptions thereto," supra.


Evidence-based sentencing - The line of thought that starts with the proposition that incarceration fails to "rehabilitate" and - for that reason - any alternative sentence is better, such as a stern lecture from the judge.  (Hat tip to commenter Michael J. Santella).

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The rub is that "at-risk" children are eminently predictable and preventable.

The social pathology resulting from non-marital births is not controvertible. Unfortunately, the twin towers of tolerance and non-judgmentalism impede our ability to ameliorate the situation. And so, illegitimacy rates continue their upward ascent.

Can we at least start by "valorizing" two-parent families or is that too much to ask?

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