- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2011

OCCUPADO

The Occupy Wall Street crowd appears to have made a lasting cultural mark: The Global Language Monitor has announced that “Occupy” is the “top word of 2011,” based on the number of times it was cited in about 75,000 print and electronic news sources in the past year. In second place is deficit, followed by fracking, drone and a whole bunch of words with overseas roots.

In fifth place: Non-veg (India, referring to a meaty meal); kummerspeck (Germany, meaning excess weight gained from emotional overeating); haboob (an Arabic term for massive sandstorms); 3Q (a “near universal term for ‘thank you’ “); Trustafarians (British, referring to well-to-do youth living and rioting in “faux-Bohemian lifestyle”); and “the other 99,” referring to the Wall Streeter term with more modest pocketbooks.

“Our selections this year to a large extent reflect the ongoing political and economic uncertainty that seems to be affecting much of the developed world,” says Paul JJ Payack, president of the Texas-based research group, who adds that English is now spoken by 1.58 billion people.

NUKEPHOBIA

Alarming speculation, a new International Atomic Energy Agency report and anecdotal evidence suggest that Iran has just put the finishing touches on viable nuclear weapons, prompting headlines that include phrases like “imminent threat” and “nightmare scenarios.” Are we on the verge of returning to the Cold War days of duck-and-cover exercises and Dr. Strangelove? Well, uh, maybe.

“The perils of a nuclear Iran are very different from those of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but they are still real. Iran without nuclear weapons sustains terrorist organizations, kills Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and maliciously undermines the prospects of peace in the Middle East,” Richard Perle, former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, tells Inside the Beltway.

Iran with nuclear weapons would likely do even more of the same and might even pass such weapons or materials to terrorists. And no one can confidently rule out the direct use of a nuclear weapon by the current Iranian regime, especially against Israel,” Mr. Perle adds.

LEGALICIOUS

Yes, lawyers can party like it’s, oh, 1776. The Federalist Society’s 2011 National Lawyers Convention begins Thursday with a sold-out, black-tie dinner at a swanky hotel in downtown Washington - then goes on until Saturday.

Ah, but what an august occasion, centered on the theme “The Constitution of Small Government?” The lawyers will honor U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, and will revel in addresses by Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Sessions of Alabama - along with 70 other legal luminaries.

MAKING THE INVESTMENT

The nation’s defense strategy should drive defense spending, not the other way around. So says Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican.

“President Obama seems more aloof than engaged in U.S. foreign policy. Sure, the president shows up now and again to spike the football when a major tyrant or terrorist is killed. But there’s a sense that each of his decisions are ‘one-offs’ - not tied to any specific strategy and despite his remarkable rhetorical gifts, he doesn’t seem interested in articulating America’s role in the world, either to the American people or to our allies, friends and partners,” Mr. Cornyn says.

“I believe we need to listen to the Pentagon’s leaders, both civilian and military. And that means giving them the tools and resources they need to defend our nation. That means before looking at the spreadsheet, we really need to look at the map,” the lawmaker continues. “Here’s the point: Other nations face economic and fiscal challenges just like we do. Yet they are making the investments in military capabilities they think they need.”

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