Science-based. Fetus. Diversity. Entitlement. Transgender.
far, those are the words that have been banned for use by anyone who
works for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) by the Trump
Administration. It’s only the beginning. Trump is running
this one up the flagpole just to see what happens and, if nothing
much happens, look forward to more of the same.
a test of the American people, who claim to believe in free speech, a
free press, freedom to publish, freedom to assemble, freedom to
associate, and lots of other freedoms. This is the first foray into
bold-faced censorship of what Americans can say, write, and,
eventually, think. It did not seem possible that thought could be
controlled so early in the Trumpian game.
he has told the CDC (and other government agencies, as well) is that
they had better toe the line of his administration…or else.
If there is no outcry and outright disobedience of such a draconian
order by the president, the descent into intellectual darkness will
have begun and the control of thought will not be far behind. In
fact, if CDC workers adhere to this dictatorial edict, the control of
thought will have already begun.
it’s true that this “rule” is only for the CDC in
the preparation of its budget that will be presented to the
administration, we have seen a similar edict, though only in some of
the agencies of the Trump Administration. Remember the attempt to
eradicate the words “global warming” or “climate
change” from official reports earlier in the year? That was
small potatoes, compared with what is emanating from the White House
in this case. Imagine that, if CDC scientists actually adhere to
this ridiculous order, what it would be like to prepare a report that
is to be a part of the next budget.
will be aware constantly of how they think of a scientific problem,
and then turn it around so it can be explained to those who are
perusing the budget reports, without bothering them with the
scientific aspect of what they are describing. They would be parsing
not only their words, but their thoughts, as well. It is a form of
thought control and, even though there might be other examples of
such control in other areas of national life (business, academics,
education), nothing so far has been so blatant. Not only are the
seven words banned, but, according to the Washington Post, CDC
scientists can use this explanation, as proposed by the thought
police: The “CDC bases its recommendations on science in
consideration with community standards and wishes.”
other words, the “community” would have its say, no
matter that it is based on no scientific evidence, study, or
research. In Trumpian thought, a neighborhood crank’s opinion
on climate change or public health is every bit as good as a team of
research scientists. With this edict of the administration, the
nation is rapidly moving in the direction of collapse of any
structures of scientific knowledge.
has happened in the Environmental Protection Agency, the head of
which was nominated by Trump for the sole purpose of slashing
regulations that are designed to protect public health and the
environment and Administrator Scott Pruitt has done an admirable job
of supervising the mass exit of some of the best scientific minds who
were hired to ride herd on the nation’s criminal polluters and
despoilers. It’s not quite gone, but it is the hope of Pruitt
and Trump that it will be nearly so, by the time of the elections
reality of human-caused climate change and the warming of the planet
has been denied by those who profit immensely from destruction of the
water, air, and soil of the Earth and Trump and his lieutenants have
led the most recent charge. This administration is prepared to go
all the way to the end, regardless of mass species extinctions,
rapidly diminishing public health, deforestation on most continents,
and overfishing of the oceans and lakes.
Banning words is just
part of the alternate reality for Trump and his cohorts. There are
other ways that U.S. citizens will be subject to control of speech,
thought, and movement, if Trump’s penchant for praising
dictators who rule their people with iron fists is any indication.
For them (and eventually, us) there is no participatory
democracy…just rules from headquarters.
a glimpse of what’s to come in the U.S., it is instructive to
learn of the experience of a BBC correspondent, who was recently in
China, where he noted that there are 170 million cameras scattered
around the country. He was told by officials there that they plan to
install another 400 million cameras, so there will be virtually no
place to go that an individual will not be seen or followed by
officialdom. The catch there is that the cameras are equipped with
facial recognition technology.
test it efficacy, the correspondent lost himself in a large crowd to
see how long it took for the surveillance system to pick him out. It
took more like minutes, rather than hours, but his exact whereabouts
were located. He was a bit shaken, he said, because he didn’t
want his face to be recorded in that country, but he did it for the
story. That is the kind of control that authoritarians and dictators
only dream about, but it has come to pass. A great problem in the
U.S. of America is that the citizenry has become accustomed to the
ubiquitous cameras in public places, both pubic and private. It’s
only a small step to duplicate what the Chinese government has done
to have the same intense level of surveillance. The danger is that
people become used to such devices and mostly don’t think much
about them as they go about their daily business. It’s time to
become aware of what constant and profound surveillance means and
are drone “pilots” who send deadly missiles into houses,
villages, and vehicles on the road, and they do it from the comfort
of their air-conditioned rooms by computer screen. They could be
thousands of miles away from the scenes of disaster they visit on
“terrorists,” as well as wedding parties, church or
mosque gatherings, or families walking along roads.
millions of cameras will one day be able to speak to individuals they
identify and likely will expect answers. You will not be able to
tell where the disembodied voice is coming from, but you will know
that it is the voice of authority that must be heeded. It starts
with outright gagging of scientists and the seven words. It can only
lead to oppression. Orwell, anyone?