[Ads-l] communist

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 9 16:50:40 EDT 2016


Exactly the point.

Amazing to hear a high-paid CNN anchor misuse the word.

Of course, unlike Hitler, Putin is a Russian, which makes the error more
tempting.

JL

On Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 3:20 PM, Paul A Johnston, Jr <paul.johnston at wmich.edu
> wrote:

> I've also heard Americans equate "communism" with any type of
> dictatorship, no matter who owns the means of production.
>
> Paul
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Robin Hamilton" <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM>
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > Sent: Thursday, September 8, 2016 4:29:31 PM
> > Subject: Re: communist
> >
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: communist
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
> >
> > Jon said:
> >
> > <<
> >
> > Forty years ago I more than once heard freshmen explain that "Hitler
> > was a
> > communist." (Well, maybe twice.)
> >
> > >>
> >
> > This is still alive and well and happily propounded by the alt-right
> > commun=
> > ity.
> >
> > The argument runs:
> >
> >        Hitler founded the National Socialist Party
> >
> >        Socialists are Communists
> >
> >        (Therefore) Hitler was a Communist
> >
> >        Liberals (i.e. Democrats) are Socialists
> >
> >       (Therefore) Democrats are Communists.
> >
> > Makes perfect sense to me ...
> >
> > Robin Hamilton
> >
> >             (once a premature anti-fascist, always a premature
> >             anti-fascist=
> > )
> >
> > Actually, off-topic but slightly associated, does anyone here still
> > draw a
> > distinction between Sein Fein, Provisional Sein Fein, the IRA, the
> > Provisio=
> > nal
> > IRA, and Real/Continuity IRA?  I partly ask because, while working
> > the phon=
> > es in
> > London in the seventies, I was cheerfully informed by someone who
> > might jus=
> > t
> > possibly have been connected to the Provos that my occupation made me
> > what =
> > was
> > termed "a legitimate target".  Legitimate targets were liable to be
> > bombed
> > without warning.  Civilian bombings were supposed to be flagged
> > beforehand.=
> > =20
> >
> > Then it gets  complicated ...
> >
> > Say what you like about the Provos, those chickens were anything but
> > dumb.
> >  There was a (strictly unofficial) agreement between the Provos and
> >  the Pow=
> > ers
> > That Be that any bomb attack on a "civilian" target was flagged by a
> > coded
> > warning given between twelve and twenty four hours ahead.  The
> > details of t=
> > he
> > actual code (which was shared by the Provisional IRA, and maybe five
> > nation=
> > al
> > newspapers and BT) was well above my pay grade, but everyone working
> > the ph=
> > ones
> > at the time knew about this in general terms.  The reason for The
> > Code was =
> > to
> > allow the authorities to distinguish between the 99% of false
> > warnings and =
> > the
> > "real" bomb warnings.
> >
> > Except that some clever-clogs in the Provo management structure
> > worked out =
> > the
> > exact ratio between authentic bomb warnings and false bomb warnings
> > that yo=
> > u
> > could get away with before the system fell to bits.   The ratio was
> > 1:10.
> >
> > This meant that if your average drunk phoned in a bomb warning, it
> > was simp=
> > ly
> > ignored, but *every* coded warning had to be checked out.  From the
> > point o=
> > f
> > view of the Provos, this meant minimum effort, maximum return.
> >  Morality as=
> > ide,
> > it was a brilliant strategy.
> >
> > Sometime during this period, I looked up over my shoulder in the
> > course of
> > fielding a call from an irate punter who'd been cut off by someone
> > else in
> > mid-call, to find a policeman looking over my shoulder. My first
> > reaction, =
> > I kid
> > you not, was to think how young he looked.
> >
> > "That looks difficult," he said cheerfully.
> >
> > "Nah," I responded, "it's easy once you get used to it."
> >
> > Then I looked around and saw that the floor was absolutely crawling
> > with co=
> > ps.
> >
> > "Um," I said, "If you don't mind my asking, just why are you here?"
> >
> > "Oh," he replied, still cheerfully, "someone phoned in an official
> > bomb
> > warning."
> >
> > At that point, I (and I think at identically the same moment, nine of
> > my
> > colleagues) screamed, "Where's the fucking union rep?"
> >
> > The union rep, it turned out, was somewhere off to the side, chatting
> > to th=
> > e
> > police sergeant in charge of the detail, no doubt swapping tips on
> > how to f=
> > iddle
> > the overtime rota.  Take it from me, the overtime rota was a big deal
> > among=
> >  the
> > working stiffs in both the phones and the force at that time.
> >
> > The point was that while only one in ten bomb warnings were
> > legitimate, the=
> > y
> > were supposed to, at the least, *tell* us when one had been phoned
> > in.
> >
> > After our token protest, we all simply got back to work, me and the
> > others =
> > on
> > the floor fielding calls and the fuzz off to finger collars
> > elsewhere.  Eve=
> > n
> > official bomb warnings, given the one-in-ten ratio, were viewed with
> > scepti=
> > cism,
> > though they all had to be checked out.
> >
> > Silver Street Telephone Exchange in Edmonton in North London in the
> > 1970s w=
> > as
> > beyond weird ***, I have to say.  There was a virtually 50/50 split
> > between=
> >  Real
> > People, usually in their late forties and older, who'd worked their
> > way up
> > through the system, and the rest of us, mostly card-carrying
> > intellectuals =
> > who
> > were too stupid to have realised that the *only* qualification you
> > needed t=
> > o
> > work for the BT International Exchange was O-level French.
> >
> > That was one of several points of agreement between the two sides of
> > the fl=
> > oor
> > -- that International were overpaid pricks who tore up =C2=A350 cards
> > to sa=
> > ve on the
> > paper work, while we only got to tear up 50p ones, while Directory
> > Enquirie=
> > s was
> > where you sent anyone too stupid to work a phone but not dumb enough
> > to be
> > actually fired.
> >
> > This would usually come up when one or the other of us would field a
> > call
> > supposedly going through International and find ourselves running a
> > transla=
> > tion
> > between a Frenchman on one end of the line and an International
> > operator on=
> >  the
> > other.
> >
> > The usual reaction to this was for someone to snigger, "See, if you
> > hadn't =
> > been
> > dumb enough to sign the wrong contact, they'd be *paying* you to do
> > that." =
> >  True
> > enough.  Lots of us might have had educational qualifications of
> > various ki=
> > nds,
> > but we tended to lack street smarts.
> >
> > My 50/50 ratio is an educated guess, as not everyone on the floor was
> > out. =
> >  I
> > was sitting next to a younger West Indian colleague on the tube after
> > work =
> > one
> > day, and he turned to me and said quietly, "Robin, can I tell you
> > something=
> >  in
> > absolute confidence?"
> >
> > "Sure," I said, slightly curious, "go ahead."
> >
> > "Well, don't tell anyone this, *please*, but I'm studying for a law
> > degree =
> > at
> > London University."
> >
> > "Ah, c'mon," I replied, "that's nothing to be particularly ashamed
> > about.  =
> > I'm
> > signed up for a PhD, and everyone knows it."
> >
> > Oddly enough, while a few of us were prepared to admit to our
> > unsavoury aca=
> > demic
> > qualifications, I don't think anyone ever out-and-out admitted to
> > having a
> > drinking buddy who was connected to the Provos but (again, an
> > educated gues=
> > s) I
> > suspect this would include half of us working the floor.
> >
> > This was about when I developed the concept of the Dear Green Place
> > -- a pl=
> > ace
> > where you can be for a time, feel totally at home, but know that you
> > won't =
> > be
> > able to stay.  Talking though the concept of the Dear Green Place
> > with some=
> > one
> > who'd better still be nameless but who, though he never said this,
> > was conn=
> > ected
> > with the South Timor Liberation Front before this was vaguely
> > respectable, =
> > he
> > described a time when he'd been briefly manager of a New York
> > restaurant th=
> > at
> > was [his words] a front for a crips gang running drugs for the CIA,
> > compari=
> > ng
> > this to the time when I'd worked on a Glasgow building site in the
> > sixties.
> >
> >                                   "Basically, Robin, we were pets."
> >
> > X as a kneeblank in the midst of a black New York gang, me as the
> > only midd=
> > le
> > class university-educated Protestant in a group of basically
> > left-[high]school-at-sixteen working class Glasgow Catholic gang
> > members --=
> >  we
> > weren't token, we were pets -- fascinating, exotic, and [this is
> > important]
> > totally harmless.
> >
> >                     *sigh*
> >
> > Those were the days.
> >
> > Robin
> >
> > *** Just to explain why Silver Street was crawling with moonlighting
> > studen=
> > ts,
> > more than any other of the various London BT exchanges then ...
> >
> > Silver Street (Edmonton) was, at that point in time, the very first
> > auto-ma=
> > nual
> > telephone exchange to be opened by BT -- still, then, officially part
> > of th=
> > e
> > Royal Mail.  The result was that those of us who worked the floor
> > there wer=
> > e a
> > mix of operators who'd worked the older manual system, and retrained,
> > and a
> > flock of new entries, lots of whom were, like me, students in search
> > of som=
> > e
> > sort of work to pay their way.  It was good for students as it was
> > night wo=
> > rk, 9
> > pm to 8 am, so you could study at the British Library during the day.
> >  If y=
> > ou
> > could manage to stay awake.
> >
> > This was a right bugger when it came to overtime.  No one who'd
> > trained at
> > Silver Street could work overtime at any other BT (as it now is
> > called) exc=
> > hange
> > -- I couldn't and still can't work a manual board to save my life --
> > and no=
> >  one
> > who'd been trained in the old system could work overtime at Silver
> > Street.
> >  *But* someone who'd trained at Silver Street could moonlight in a
> >  London h=
> > otel
> > which was using the new system.  Whereas those of us who were
> > *already*
> > moonlighting ...  Go figure.
> >
> > The end result was that for all those in my position, the only name
> > in the =
> > game
> > when it came to supplementing standard hours were overtime hours at
> > Silver
> > Street itself.  Not a big problem when I was there, as there were
> > usually m=
> > ore
> > than enough hours to go round, but it could have been.
> >
> > It was also not just closed shop -- par for the course -- but
> > everyone who =
> > I
> > worked under had started on the floor, and worked their way up to at
> > least
> > Supervisor status, when most of them glass-ceilinged due lack of
> > formal
> > educational qualifications.  I'm sure there must have been someone
> > high up =
> > in
> > ranks who didn't start on the floor, but if so, I never met one.
> >
> > That only became a problem for me when the time came that I decided
> > to leav=
> > e ...
> >
> > R.
> >
> > _____________
> >
> > >=20
> > >     On 08 September 2016 at 15:26 Jonathan Lighter
> > >     <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.CO=
> > M>
> > > wrote:
> > >=20
> > >=20
> > >     High-paid CNN anchor:
> > >=20
> > >     "But Vladimir Putin is a communist!"
> > >=20
> > >     I.e., dictator; totalitarian.
> > >=20
> > >     Forty years ago I more than once heard freshmen explain that
> > >     "Hitler =
> > was a
> > >     communist." (Well, maybe twice.)
> > >=20
> > >     Cf. '60s "fascist" : 'a conservative politician.'
> > >=20
> > >     JL
> > >=20
> > >     --
> > >     "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle
> > >     the
> > > truth."
> > >=20
> > >     ------------------------------------------------------------
> > >     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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