James Bovard

That definition in the headline comes courtesy of occasional Reason contributor James Bovard (pictured above), author of such politician-puncturing and bureaucrat-tormenting books as Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, and Lost Rights. At USA Today he “celebrates” (notes? mourns?) tax week with an updated devil’s dictionary of common terms you’re likely to see acquire slippery if not completely perverse meanings in the mouths of government officials elected, appointed, and indicted.

Perhaps my favorite of Bovard’s current batch of definitions is the one quoted above: “Freedom — whatever rulers have not yet benevolently prohibited.” Yeah, that about covers it. Freedom, of course, involves activities that have not yet been engulfed by the body of “Law — Any hodgepodge of commands and special interest windfalls heaved together under a misleading title which is rubberstamped by Congress and fails to make five Supreme Court justices visibly retch.”

Then again, perhaps Bovard’s definitions, and my agreement, are “Scurrilous — anyone who mentions previous federal failures when the president proposes glorious new programs.”

See the whole thing here.