I Didn't Realize One Cancelled out the Other

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President Bush has joined Jesse Jackson's crusade to remove the word "refugee" from the dictionary:

The people we're talking about are not refugees, they are Americans.

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  1. You don't have to live like a refugee.

  2. Okay, so we have a large group of people who have no homes, jobs, and are wandering around looking for handouts, but somehow "refugee" is inappropriate.

    How about the "temporarily in-transit", or TIT?

  3. we have a large group of people who have no homes, jobs, and are wandering around looking for handouts

    What to call such people . . . .

    Democrats?

    Just kidding!

  4. You want me to register with the Mercury News? Screw that.

  5. Yeah, I mean "refugee" has negative foreign connotations, and disasters never happen in Amuurica.

  6. Does this mean the musical group the "Fugees" will have to change their name?

  7. How about the "temporarily in-transit", or TIT?

    Does this mean the musical group the "Fugees" will have to change their name?

    Yes. From now on, the Fugees will heretofore be known as "The TITs". QED

  8. Main Entry: ref?u?gee
    Pronunciation: "re-fyu-'jE, 're-fyu-"
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French r?fugi?, past participle of (se) r?fugier to take refuge, from Latin refugium
    : one that flees; especially : a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution

  9. Not the most apt analogy, but I wonder what his alternate word for veto is.

  10. People forced out of their homes after 9/11 were called refugees, and other hurricane victims have been described as such. Just bizarre.

  11. Why do the people who use the word "refugee" hate America?

  12. Try "internally displaced persons." Rolls trippingly off the tongue, that does. And makes the US sound like some half-assed African dictatorship until it bloody well deals with the problem.

  13. it really shines a light on the way our government views foreign refugees to whom we provide aid; we're sympathetic to your position, but not to the point that we can stand being compared to you, in any situation.

  14. zach,
    You made the point.
    If we cancelled all defense spending and spent half as much on taking care of refugees, would we have a more peaceful, wealthier and less castastrophy-prone world or what?

  15. Kerry on another thread said "Americans seeking refuge". Now that is perfect because you can get a nice three-letter acronymn out of it: ASR's.

  16. Wait a minute, Ruthless - are you joshin' us here?

  17. Now that is perfect because you can get a nice three-letter acronymn out of it: ASR's.
    Russ D- What, youd don't like IDP for Internally Displaced Persons? That's been a solid three-letter acronym (TLA) in the relief community for at least ten years/

  18. Maybe we should call them "the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of our teeming Gulf Shore; the homeless, tempest-tossed, for whom we lift our lamp beside the golden door"? Can we have those in America?

    (For short: TPHMYBFWROTGSHTTWWLOLBGD. Pronounced "T'fammy-buff-rot-go-shit-wuh-loll-be-good.")

  19. ``Escapee'' might fit, as in the Kliban cartoon ``Houdini escaping from New Jersey.''

  20. Why don't they just say, "They are not refugees. They are human beings."?

  21. that would only serve further demote them from their true status as Americans.

  22. Actually, despite what Tom Petty sang about, they do have to live like refugees; they just don't have to be called refugees.

    If only the government had had the foresight to rename the Superdome and Convention Center the "Super Happy Safe Zones," none of this sadness would have happened.

  23. ""the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of our teeming Gulf Shore; the homeless, tempest-tossed, for whom we lift our lamp beside the golden door"? Can we have those in America?"

    Emma Lazarus is floating in her grave.

  24. Amy Alkon,
    If Emma Lazarus had not put "wretched refuse" in there, they never would have let her little ditty be affixed to the Statue of Liberty.
    It's like Abraham Lincoln claiming that his war against slavery was about the Union.
    (Social evolution is accomplished by hedging.)

    My point is that we need to be nicer to refugees. Is it possible Islam is nicer to refugees than "Judeo-Christianity"?

    hang on a sec,
    Were you made nervous by my suggestion of eliminating all spending on defense?

    Peace and love to all.

  25. I. Am. Not. A. Refugee!

    I. Am. A. Hu. Man. Be. Ing!

  26. Herman,

    The only thing I don't like about IDP is that I don't get the "Internally" part. Seems like most refugees are rather external to their homes. Maybe when they were in the Superdome they were IDP's because they were still in their community, but now that they're in the Astrodome they're ASR's.

    I suppose if "internal" means internal to their country, then it makes some sense, but dammit I think American refugees should get their own three-letter acronym to make them stand out from the run-of-the-mill IDP's.

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