This is meant to be a comment on Jim Belshaw’s blog…

14 Nov

Jim has had a couple of posts recently which interest me, but Blogger is up to merde right now. My comment produced “You tried to access the address, which is currently unavailable. Please make sure that the Web address (URL) is correctly spelled and punctuated, then try reloading the page.” That was in Opera. In both IE7 and Opera I have had to pump the f-ing reload, clear caches, stand on my head, and bow in the five Chinese directions to make anything happen with Blogspot, though now and again it does. OK, now I have delivered myself of that rant against the continuing poxiness of (Beta or otherwise), to the main point.

The lastest of Jim’s posts is Use and Abuse of Words – Clarification: good luck reading it. 😉

Now my aborted comment:

I have some archived rants on this which may be of interest.

1) “reform” (July 7, 2005). I refer there to “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control” by Newt Gingrich, whose approach has been very influential.

2) Massaging the Asylum Seekers (2001 but revised several times).

An official definition of “refugee” (HREOC): “The 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol define a refugee as someone who: owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his [or her] nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself [or herself] of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his [or her] former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” That strikes me as broader than travel italy’s (see Jim’s entry). “In popular use, the term refugee is often interpreted more broadly than its legal definition to include all people who flee their homes seeking refuge from harm. There are many circumstances which could force someone to flee to safety, including war or civil strife, domestic violence, poverty and natural or man-made disasters. However, the Refugee Convention only recognises people as refugees if they are displaced from their home country because of persecution on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

“Two important points to note about this definition are: a person has to be outside their country of nationality or usual residence when making a refugee application; and the fear of persecution has to be well founded – that is, the person fleeing must have experienced the persecution or be likely to experience it if he or she returns.”

And “asylum seeker”: “A person who requests protection in another country from persecution and recognition of his or her status as a refugee.”

Finally, one we began to hear in the past three or four years: “An ‘unlawful non-citizen’ is a person without a valid visa in Australia (not including Australian citizens).” That is now the preferred term for “illegal immigrant” or “illegal alien”.

You will note the scale of rising depersonalisation as one descends from “refugee” to “asylum seeker” to “unlawful non-citizen”.

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2 responses to “This is meant to be a comment on Jim Belshaw’s blog…

  1. Jim Belshaw

    November 15, 2006 at 6:00 am

    There is some very good stuff here, Neil. My thanks.

  2. ninglun

    November 15, 2006 at 8:24 am

    Thanks, Jim. Go to Jim’s post and comments if you can.

    Yes, further to my bitching about Blogspot, that link now works eventually via Opera, but IE7 leads to “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” (dns error) and I wouldn’t even try Firefox: it is bound to time out. There is a deep problem with the coding/scripting of Blogspot, that seems for sure. And yet at another time of day, when Blogspot servers have finished their lunch breaks, it just might work smooth as silk. Tends not to happen with WordPress blogs; tends often to happen with anything Google, including Blogspot.

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