19 September 2008

Newspeak definitions

A little while ago, I heard Senator Obama on the stump. He was complaining about Phil Gramm's assessment that we are not in a recession; we are a nation of whiners. This was Mr. Obama's response:
Like the young woman I met in Iowa, a student. She's going to school, and working full-time at extra jobs, getting just three hours of sleep a night, so she can help take care of her sister's health care needs. She's not whining! She just wants to know why the federal government isn't helping her out.
Excuse me, Mr. Obama but complaining to a candidate that "the federal government isn't helping me out"is the very definition of whining!

I choose to live in a place where we are prone to get lots of snow. When we get lots of snow, I don't expect the federal government to come shovel my driveway. I also live in a part of the country where we can get tornadoes. If we have a tornado that strikes my house, I have insurance. If my neighbor does not have adequate insurance, I will assist my neighbor as best I can to recover from his loss.

If I chose to live in a tropical neighborhood that was entirely below sea level along the coast, or an island that was wiped out by a hurricane in 1900, why should I expect that the federal government is going to bail me out if I get hit by a hurricane?

But expecting someone else to bail me out and complaining about it is not "whining." And "victim" is a new status term.

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