A comment: Revisiting George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in 2010

(WSWS) – Since first appearing in the popular lexicon, the term “Orwellian” has conjured up a vision of the prototypical “totalitarian state”: a one-party dictatorship that swarmed with secret police, spied on its own people, quashed dissent, made arbitrary arrests, tortured prisoners, waged perpetual war, rewrote history for mere expedience, impoverished its own working population, and rooted its political discourse in doublethink—a thought system defined as “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

Many Americans would easily recognize this description of “Oceania,” the futuristic dystopia immortalized by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, one of the most influential English-language novels of the mid-twentieth century.

Whether many Americans recognize that this description applies to their own society as well is another matter. But since the theft of the 2000 election—a period marked by such events as the 9/11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq based on fictitious “WMD” (weapons of mass destruction), the torture scandals, and the 2008 financial crash—it’s a point that increasing numbers of Americans seem to be grasping. Continue reading

Vietnam’s forgotten victims Four decades on, Agent Orange continues to ravage the children of those exposed

(Uruknet) – At 46, each year of misery seems to have etched new wrinkles around Tran Thanh Dung’s angry gaze.

When he was child in the early 1970s, Tran says he witnessed U.S. soldiers shoot his parents — both of whom were communist Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Bent on revenge, he joined the guerrilla group within hours.

To this day, Tran weeps over the memories of bloodshed and the hellish cries of his dying friends. But one bizarre memory will haunt him forever. “The American airplanes came right toward me and dropped a mist in the jungle, and the next day, the trees were dead,” he recalled. “We weren’t scared. We were confused.”

Thanks to that experience, his son has been unable to walk since birth. Continue reading

Welcome to Orwell’s World 2010 – John Pilger

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate called Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.” Continue reading

Video: Pastor Manning – Revolution is Not a Four Letter Word

Byron Tripp comments:

Pastor Manning of Atlah Ministries in Harlem NY in this speech confirms my long held personal beliefs that nothing will change for the better in this country by going to ‘tea parties’ , ‘holding up signs’ , writing your congressman, and definitely by casting your ballots in the 2010 elections. Continue reading

U.N. Climate Warning: We Have 4 Months to Secure Future of Planet

(UN) – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Incheon (Republic of Korea) 11 August 2009 – Remarks to the Global Environment Forum Continue reading

CDC: School kids may have to get up to 4 flu shots in the fall

School children who have never had a flu shot may need to get vaccinated four times in the fall – twice for seasonal flu, twice for pandemic swine flu – officials at the CDC told health professionals on Wednesday. Continue reading

MSM: Fighting Nineteen Eighty-Four

(Guardian) – Sixty years ago today George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was published, and this evening, as though to mark the anniversary of Orwell’s last book, the former head of GCHQ, Sir David Pepper, slips from the shadows to tell the BBC’s Who’s Watching You programme that it has become necessary for the government to record all data from phone and internet traffic in the fight against terror. Continue reading

MSM: The genius of George Orwell

(Telegraph) – Next week marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Jeremy Paxman pays tribute to one of England’s greatest writers. Continue reading

MSM: The masterpiece that killed George Orwell

In 1946 Observer editor David Astor lent George Orwell a remote Scottish farmhouse in which to write his new book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. It became one of the most significant novels of the 20th century. Here, Robert McCrum tells the compelling story of Orwell’s torturous stay on the island where the author, close to death and beset by creative demons, was engaged in a feverish race to finish the book Continue reading