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article imageOp-Ed: Our government is not a dictatorship, so why the ban on words?

By Karen Graham     Dec 17, 2017 in Politics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reportedly told not to use seven specific words and phrases in its federal budget-proposal documents, according to the CDC's Alison Kelly.
I don't know about anyone else, but hearing about this latest move from the Trump administration only confirms what most people now believe - We have a bunch of people in federal agencies too afraid for their jobs to take a stand against a loud-mouthed leader who is only happy when he gets his way.
When the Washington Post broke the story on Saturday, we were told the CDC was instructed to omit seven words or phrases from official documents being drafted for next year’s budget.
God forbid, but the seven words and phrases include: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” Policy analysts said the agency was given those instructions during a meeting on Thursday.
And this is a directive from an administration that thinks it is OK for the president to refer to a woman's vaginal area as the "P" word?
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Strangely enough, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has jurisdiction over any budget proposals, but it is not known if they specifically wanted the words and phrases banned, but the OMB did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment
Other allegations of banning "certain" words revealed
According to Reuters, the Washington Post said another agency, the HHS, has been told to use “Obamacare” instead of the Affordable Care Act and to use the word “exchanges” instead of “marketplaces” when referring to where people can buy federally subsidized health insurance. But the HHS jumped on this assertion like a duck on a June-bug.
“The assertion that HHS has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process,” spokesman Matt Lloyd said in a statement.
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“HHS will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans. HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions,” he said.
And just so everyone knows, the State Department now refers to sex education as “sexual risk avoidance.” And another interesting little tidbit - Many of the directives have been verbal, to avoid leaving a "paper trail."
From the day Trump took office, he has foisted his ideologically conservative principles on the nation, not caring one bit if we liked it or not. This started with banning the use of anything that referred to global warming or climate change from all agency websites.
The Boston Herald is reporting that besides downscaling data collection on climate change, federal agencies have also been directed to cut back on data collection on "homeless people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and to remove information on such topics from some government websites."
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Brendan Smialowski, AFP/File
Basically, over the last 10 months, agencies have been directed to not use certain words or phrases the Trump administration is either uncomfortable with or more than likely, just don't understand, although the word "fetus" is a pretty easy word for most folks to grasp.
Dr. Sandro Galea, the dean of Boston University's School of Public Health, says "Everybody in the public health community recognizes that there is a slowly growing timidity by colleagues whose budgets are dependent on the federal government. I have a deep sympathy for the predicament that they are in."
Come on, people - You do know what the definition of a dictatorship actually is? It's a government where one person or a small group possesses absolute power without effective constitutional limitations. In our modern era, a dictatorship is obtained by the use of force or fraud to gain political power.
Political power can then be maintained through intimidation, terror, and the suppression of basic civil liberties, and one of those basic liberties is the right of free speech. They may also employ techniques of mass propaganda in order to sustain their public support. Does any of this sound familiar?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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