Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ultimatum and euphemism

Meeting at Munich, 1939:

“But this is nothing less than an ultimatum!” Chamberlain exclaimed.
“Nothing of the sort,” Hitler retorted.  When Chamberlain answered that the German word Diktat applied to it, Hitler responded:  “It is not a Diktat at all.  Look, the document is headed by the word ‘memorandum’.”
-- Wm Shirer, The Collapse of the Third Republic (1969), p. 370

I was reminded of that anecdote, by the recent Diktat from the DoJ  in May 2016, suddenly out of nowhere overturning millennia of societal arrangements, and  micromanaging the sociology of schools, under threat of being sued and losing federal funding (which by now has become a narcotic drug -- they just gotta have it).  Some people objected to this power-grab, but were informed  (by Loretta Lynch and her henchwomen) that those objections were null and void:  The DoJ Diktat was simply … “guidelines” : only, guidelines you’d d*mn well better follow, or else.

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