For an example, I have a local news story that is also getting national coverage. A nurse at the VA hospital in Albuquerque wrote a letter critical of the Bush administration, and it was published local paper. As a result, her computer at work was seized, and it was reported that she is being investigated for Sedition. The ACLU is representing the nurse.
I read the story and said out loud, "I guess I'll keep giving money to the ACLU every month." This interested Jae, and she read the story, including the nurse's letter.
Her response was, "Yep, that'll get you in trouble."
"What?", Josh asked.
"She advocated violence to overthrow the government."
"Huh? Did we read the same letter?" asked Josh.
"This sentence right here.", said Jae, pointing.
"We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to remove a government administration..."
I responded that interpreting the phrase "act forcefully" as encouraging violence was silly. The worst habit of writing is lack of precision. "Act forcefully," I argued, was much more likely to mean impeach than to mean remove at gun point. Jae did not agree. To prove my point, I googled for "act forcefully." The results surprised me. Most of the hits were from articles or statements that were overtly political in nature. In the political cases, "act forcefully" clearly meant "use violence." In political speech, "act forcefully" is systematically used as a euphemism for violence.
This depressed me. First, because I lost an argument. Second, because this cowardly warping of speech is a reflection of the inadequacies of politics. Would it hurt to speak plainly when we are talking about killing people? This is a subject on which I want people to be clear.
I recommend you read Orwell's "Politics and the English Language." If nothing else, read the section where he rewrites a verse from Ecclesiastes the way it would be written by a modern politician or bureaucrat.
You can read about the VA nurse, from an obvious slant, at http://www.progressive.org/mag_mc020806