Word Power

Discussion in 'Politics' started by sagegirl, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. sagegirl
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    sagegirl Member

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    While not particularly an advocate of political correctness, I see this example of reporting to be particularly bias or at least troubling. In recent reports of arsons committed on new housing developments, the perpetrator/s were referred to as eco-terrorists, the arson, an act of eco-terrorism. A few weeks later a fire at a women's health care clinic was reported as an arson at an abortion clinic.
    I have heard the word "terrorism" used to define other illegal acts.....and I am not defending any of this type of behavior.....such as animal rights activists releasing animals from test labs or fur farms, or the vandalism of logging equipment, but I do think the use of the word terrorism/terrorist should be used carefully lest it become a term to define ANY antisocial or illegal activity.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Terrorism is defined as: "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons." Using that definition, an extreme environmentalist group burning a building or a laboratory for the effect of intimidating people who work there, or to "make a statement" that uch-and-such is wrong, would certainly be terrorism. Terrorism is not restricted to Islamic fundamentalists.
     
  3. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    People who use violence (and destruction of property is a form of violence) as a means to sway or circumvent the will of the people are terrorists.

    What's the problem?

    I would add that the term 'eco-terrorist' predates the 9/11 attacks and the Patriot Act.
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I agree. The eco-nutcases, are criminals that should be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Other than they have caused serious injury if not death, they are the modern day equivalent of the extremist found by some of the prohibitionists when it came to destruction of property. Probably a better comparison would be with a nut case like John Brown. The cause may be good, but the methods suk.

    I think we should be using the term terrorist more carefully, but not in the sense of Reuters or AP, that just seem utterly in denial.
     
  5. sagegirl
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    sagegirl Member

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    Zhukov....my point was why wasnt the wanton destruction of a health care facility, setting it on fire, reported as an act of terrorism.....say maybe health care terrorism.....or maybe a guy who spreads a computer virus, a internet terrorist, or a guy who bootlegs music a copyright terrorist, or a union guy who walks a picket line a labor terrorist. The problem as I see it is that the word is being overused and tends to add fear and intensity of our everyday
    experience. Not to mention the application of laws and methods of law enforcement to catch the perps, that document which redefines any activity that "APPEARS TO" coerce or influence, not neccessarily the intent or the commission of said act......as terrorism, the patriot act.
     
  6. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    I have heard all those things you mentioned reported as forms of terrorism, including the bombings and shootings of an abortion clinic. Im sure all media outlets use the word terrorism to describe these acts knowing they will get a visceral reaction from their audiences. Im not sure what your real concerns are, too much use of the word or the idea that it may not be used in areas you think it should be?
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I feel both are wrong. Using 'terrorism' to describe crimes caused by criminals, desensitizes the public to the word. On the other hand, the common use of 'insurgents' in place of 'terrorists' is also inappropriate.
     
  8. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    Absolutely true that overusing any word will detract form it's impact one way or the other.......It's truly amazing how powerful language really is and often how carelessly it's used often by the press, to the detriment of many.
     
  9. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    No one destroys hospitals for political or ideological reasons. Although, were it an abortion clinic, one could call it anti-abortion terrorism.

    Those designations are out there.

    The problem is bootleging music is not wanton violence, nor is it harmful, except for the lost revenue. Therefore, it wouldn't be terrorism.

    Again, walking a picket line is not violent or harmful in itself; therefore, not terrorism.

    Overused where? The only one overusing it is you.
     
  10. sagegirl
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    sagegirl Member

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    My concern is the overuse of the word. I dont think it applies to any illegal act and should be used with restraint.
     

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