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Verbal Concepts


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English is very deep and complex language with a lot of nuanced words that change their meaning just by the context in which they are used.  Today's overwhelming  technical jargon only leads to more dilution or even masking the true meaning of many powerful legacy words.  It is the misuse, mostly political, of these words that this section is all about. 


I have listed a few verbal combos that I believe need clarification because misunderstanding their real meaning can cause a lot of confusion.  This is not a dictionary quiz but just a further refinement of words used mostly in the context of political discussions.  Of course politicians take advantage of the average American's lack of understating of the true meaning of these words and that's what I would like to clear up below.    


     Responsible vs. Blame:

These words are misused a lot.  In the political arena, Hillary Clinton really defined the difference when she explained that she may have been responsible for the US response to the incident in Benghazi but she certainly wasn't to blame.  Actually, she may have just been taking orders from her boss. 


The same can be said for a financial institution that has violated a financial regulation, as in the 2008 financial meltdown.  In this case, upper management may be responsible for the meltdown but it was the traders that were to blame, especially if management didn't know what was going on or just turned a blind eye.  It's not cut and dry.  Notice that no one that was responsible or to blame ever went to jail.  It was the stock holders (and taxpayer) that ended up taking the hit when the corporation paid its fine. 

     Enemy vs. Adversary:




Russia, China, Venezuela are not America's enemy; they are powerful adversaries with which we disagree on a wide range of issues including democracy and capitalism.  The US gets itself into a lot of trouble when our politicians confuse the meaning of these words and take actions that are costly and end up costing American lives and treasure. We should go to war with countries that directly threaten the territory of the US and the safety and well-being of its citizens.  These are our enemies. 


Every county is looking at its own best self interest just as every individual is looking for his or her own self interests.  Individuals just play together better (most of the time).  We may not like how other governments run their own countries, but it is none of our business unless there is factual genocide occurring.  Then we need to work with and though organizations that are properly equipped to handle these types of situations. 


Viet Nam, Libya, Iran, Syria, and Iraq are just a few of our adversaries what were borderline enemies but definitely not worth military intervention (as history is proving).  The nuanced meaning of words can get us into a lot of trouble. 


     Global Warming:




Personally, I've noticed that the low temperatures during the winter in La Canada used to run 42 to 45 degrees. For the last several years, it seldom gets below 46 during the same time frame. However, the sea level in La Jolla doesn't seem to have risen a single millimeter since the 1950s when I used to go see my grand parents at the beach.


Also, I still have a problem with changing the name from global warming to climate change. In my opinion, it's a lot easier to prove or disprove global warming but a lot more difficult to prove climate change. How convenient.


I'm also caught in the middle of the opposing forces as I believe that we should endeavor to reduce all pollution. That's why I have solar panels, LED light, and lots of trees around my house and rive only higher mileage vehicles. Most advocates haven't even done this.