Posts Tagged ‘George Orwell’

By John Ruberry

On occasion I get accused of living in a right-wing silo, or if you prefer, bubble.

But it’s left-wingers who are more likely to dwell in their own political silo. And it’s hurting their side. 

Good.

And because many people, particularly leftists, are terrible listeners, I have to repeat myself yet again.

Here we go.

Even if I wanted to, I can’t remain in a right-wing silo. Besides–broadcast and cable media, as well as streaming services, are dripping wet with liberal and woke bias. And I can’t always avoid them. Last year, Mrs. Marathon Pundit underwent a minor medical procedure. In the waiting room I had to sit through ABC’s Good Morning America, hosted by Clintonista George Stephanopoulos, and then, on the same network, The View. 

Earlier this year I had some complicated dental work done. My dentist has TVs in front of each chair. What was on? The View. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was one of the show’s guests. 

“John,” my dentist calmly said to me as she drilled, “tell me if you experience pain.”

Conservatives–and if you are a regular viewer of MSNBC or CNN this will shock you–are more tolerant of people who hold opposing views.

It’s an old study, but Pew Research found that liberals were more likely to block or unfriend a conservative than the other way around. 

The mainstream media, the Biden White House, and big-city governments are leftist monocultures. Big tech too, but I’ll attack them again, I am sure, in a future blog post.

When you live in an echo chamber, you are bound to inadvertently come up with ideas that outsiders will mock. Or even, like a lit stick of dynamite with a long fuse, have them thrown back at you. 

Last month, a contender–and oh my, is the competition steep–for worst Biden cabinet member, Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, revealed the formation of the Disinformation Governance Board. Conservatives immediately pounced, and almost in unison, called the group “Orwellian” and labeled it “the Ministry of Truth,” which is where reluctant liar Winston Smith toiled in George Orwell’s novel, 1984. When it was revealed that a disinformationist, who had cast doubts on the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop, Nina Jankowicz, was the head of that panel, the Orwell analogy was complete. 

One rule of politics, one that the woke ignores because of what Ben Shapiro calls the left’s “unearned sense of moral superiority,” is that when (not if, because the right errs too) you make a whopper of a mistake, you must immediately correct it. So rather than eliminating the Disinformation Governance Board as soon as Mayorkas acknowledged its existence, “the Ministry of Truth” and Jankowicz dangled for three weeks. During that time the Orwellian memes of Jankowicz flooded social media, and an embarrassing TikTok video of Jankowicz, singing to the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” emerged, which gained her the nickname Scary Poppins.

Anita Dunn, who in 2009 cited the genocidal Mao Tse-Tung as one of her favorite philosophers, which led to her departure from the Obama White House, worked on the 2020 Biden campaign. She was briefly a senior White House advisor to Biden. Dunn is said to have been behind the president’s recent use of not only MAGA as a pejorative, but the heretofore unheard moniker “Ultra MAGA.” Conservatives on social media immediately and proudly declared themselves as “Ultra MAGA,” mirroring the response in 2016 when Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump supporters “deplorables.” During a speech earlier this month, Biden referred to his predecessor as “the great MAGA king.” On Truth Social, Trump struck back with a Lord of the Rings-themed meme as he gleefully adopted the nickname.

If Dunn didn’t live in a left-wing bubble, she would have seen all of those snarky responses coming.   

On the local level, last month Chicago’s inept leftist mayor, Lori Lightfoot, declared that the summer of 2022 will be “the Summer of Joy.” John Kass has derisively referred to the Summer of Joy in several of his columns and he poked fun at it in his most recent podcast. Hey Jackass, the sarcastic yet accurate tabulator of Chicago murders and shootings, is selling Summer of Joy T-shirts and coffee cups. Now that Memorial Day weekend has arrived, every time there is a mass shooting in Chicago–and we only have to look back a few hours to find the most recent one–bloggers and right-leaning social media users will quip something along the lines of “Wow, here is more ‘Summer of Love’ Chicago carnage for you.”

All Lightfoot would have needed to prevent this mockery is to have a politically moderate advisor–she would never hire a conservative–who would be bold enough to say, “I don’t think ‘Summer of Love’ is a wise idea, and here’s why.”

As Mary Poppins, not Biden’s Scary Poppins, said in that classic movie, “Sometimes a person we love, through no fault of their own, can’t see past the end of his nose.”

Such is the status of liberalism in 2022.

Which is why it will be a glorious election season for the right this year.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

While calling public figures “Orwellian” goes back decades, usually it’s an exaggeration. 

Not so with the new Misinformation and Disinformation Governance Board, whose existence was revealed by the soulless hack Alejandro Mayorkas, Joe Biden’s secretary of Homeland Security. The board’s executive director is Nina Jankowicz, a misinformationist. 

Among other things, Jankowicz in 2020 called into question the veracity of the Hunter Biden laptop revelations.

George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” in 1984 of course propagandized lies. 

The Democrats’ Orwellian attacks on their opponents began during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, when he created groups such as “The Truth Squad.” 

This morning on Twitter, former Democratic member of Congress and 2020 presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, pointed her finger at the instigator on the Dems’ obsession with “disinformation,” Joe Biden’s former ticket-mate.

“Biden is just a front man,” Gabbard Tweeted. “Obama, April 21: social media censors ‘don’t go far enough,’ so the government needs to step in to do the job. Six days later, Homeland Security rolls out the ‘Ministry of Truth’ (aka Disinformation Governance Board).”

Obama’s “Truth Squad” made its first appearance in during the 2008 Democratic primaries. It was ramped up for the general election. A KMOV-TV St. Louis anchor reported that fall, “Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign.”

“Prosecutors and sheriffs from across Missouri are joining ‘The Barack Obama Truth Squad,'” reporter John Mills added, he then named Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis circuit attorney, and Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor for St. Louis County, as members.

Mills continued, “They will be reminding voters that Barack Obama is a Christian who wants to cut taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 a year.” 

What about those prosecutors?

“If they’re not going to tell the truth,” McCulloch told KMOV, “somebody’s got to step up and say, ‘That’s not true. This is the truth.'”

Jim Geraghty of National Review summed up the Missouri threat concisely at the time, “While the report never quite comes out and says that anyone running an ad saying those things would be subject to prosecution, that certainly is the message implied.” 

Truth, like knowledge, is nearly never a settled construct, especially in the political arena. 

Leftists, like Barack Obama, undoubtedly disagree with me. Rather, under the cloak of “truth,” they now label criticism of their policies, as well as reports that harm their side, such as the revelations from the Hunter Biden laptop, as “misinformation” and “disinformation.” The Obama quote referenced earlier comes from a Stanford University conference about “misinformation” held in April. Earlier that month, longtime top Obama campaign aide, David Axelrod, was a co-host of the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference at the University of Chicago.

Obama, ironically, was the recipient of PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” award in 2013. That’s the truth.

Informers are an integral part of any un-free society. In 2009, an Obama administration media flack, Macon Phillips, under the guise of–wait for it–fighting “disinformation,” asked Americans to rat out any who disparaged ObamaCare. “If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy,” he said, “send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”

In 2012, the Obama-Biden campaign launched “the Truth Team.”

Never forget, the Democrats war on what they call “disinformation” began with Obama.

John Ruberry, and this is certainly the truth, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Last month the Chicago Tribune’s lead columnist, John Kass, penned a column about left-wing billionaire George Soros and his funding of campaigns of Democratic prosecutors such as Cook County’s Kim Foxx–who can rightly be called soft-on-crime. Despite a state of Illinois threshold of $300, Foxx won’t prosecute accused shoplifters unless they steal merchandise worth more than $1,000. Even before this spring’s rioting and looting in Chicago, shoplifting was on the rise.

Criminals appear to be emboldened in Chicago–as the consequences for illegal activities diminish, people believe they can get away with more crimes. Think of it as the opposite of the “broken windows” theory of law enforcement. While I admit it could be a leap to equate Foxx’s permissive attitude on prosecution of crimes to an even more violent Chicago, but shootings and murders for July, 2020 were up dramatically from the previous July. Still I believe Foxx bears some of the responsibility. While the suits in the Chicago Police Department are claiming overall crime is down, I suspect shell game chicanery or something even more troubling. It could be that fewer crimes are being reported because victims believe that it won’t make a difference. The victims know, with minor crimes, Foxx won’t prosecute.

And what about more serious crimes?

In that controversial piece, Kass opined, “And in many of the violent cities, the prosecutors have delivered on their promises not to keep the violent in jail but rather to let them out.”

Kass’ column brought about a fierce backlash by the Chicago Tribune Guild, a union that Kass does not belong to, calling that piece an “odious, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that billionaire George Soros is a puppet master controlling America’s big cities.”

That column led to a demotion of sorts from Kass. After over twenty years of his column being placed on Page 2, a halcyon spot once occupied by the legendary Mike Royko, Kass’ column has been moved, by the Trib’s editor-in-chief Colin McMahon to the opinion section, in order to, in his words “maintain credibility of news coverage.” That’s not a credible statement as I’m certain there are very few people who see Kass’ work as anything but opinion.

In that column about Soros, Kass did not mention the billionaire’s faith or ethnic origin. I’m going to be more direct. Kass didn’t say in that piece that Soros is Jewish.

On his Daily Herald blog about the Kass battle, Robert Feder, a longtime media reporter, referred to him as the “Chicago Tribune’s white male conservative standard-bearer.”

Whoah. Let me repeat that, the “Chicago Tribune’s white male conservative standard-bearer.”

I remarked on my own blog:

Replace “white” with black and “male” with female. And of course “conservative” with liberal. Do you think if Fraud Feder wrote that about an African-American writer at the Trib who is a woman that he would have gotten away with it?

Of course he wouldn’t have.

Which reminds me of something I read in high school from George Orwell. Not Animal Farm or 1984, but his 1946 essay, Politics and the English Language.

This line stands out from that classic: “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.'” Contemporary liberals, and especially leftists, reflexively label their critics as “fascists.”

I’m sure there is a Kass column over the years, none currently come to mind however, where in my opinion he was totally wrong. Any attacks on that theoretical opinion piece from me, correctly, should be on refuting his points with facts, or at least reasoned thoughts. Not, as some people might, retorting that Kass is wrong because he’s a white man, or that he benefits from “white privilege” and “systemic racism.”

Is white becoming, in Orwell’s words, “something not desirable?” Or worse, something that is inherently wrong?

Conveniently, at least for this post, Kass is of Greek descent. Much if not most of classical logic comes from the ancient Greeks. Oh, let’s say Kass is a Filipino-American. I’d still make the same points you’ll see next.

In college I took a logic course–and seriously–it may have held me back in the work force. I guess I’m too logical. There are a number of argumentative fallacies that the ancient Greeks identified, including the “fallacy of origins,” now generally called the “genetic fallacy.”

Here’s what Purdue’s Online Writing Lab offers on this subject:

Genetic Fallacy: This conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person, idea, institute, or theory determine its character, nature, or worth. Example:

The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler’s army.

In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car. However, the two are not inherently related.

So, if the Chicago Tribune Guild wished to honestly attack Kass, they should have pointed out where they believe Kass is wrong about Soros and his funding of campaigns of Democratic prosecutors. They didn’t. They responded with another logical fallacy, the ad hominem attack, calling him anti-Semitic.

The Chicago Tribune Guild couldn’t, or was to lazy to, argue with Kass’ Soros column on its merits. Or lack of.

Feder in his blog post deemed it necessary to mention Kass’ race, gender, and political philosophy in explaining the columnist’s demotion.

That path angered me, so much so that for my Marathon Pundit post about Feder’s attack I used this headline, “Leftist Daily Herald blogger Robert Feder calls columnist John Kass ‘Chicago Tribune’s white male conservative standard-bearer.'” Okay, I admit, I don’t know if Feder is really a leftist but such a verbal assault is something leftists do now. Apparently stung, he accused me of “faux outrage” on Twitter.

But the outrage is real.

Using one’s race, faith, lack-of-faith, ethnic background, sexual identity and the like as a means of argumentative attack is something until recently I thought was a relic of a more ignorant era, or the denizen of crude online forums. Or the weapon of drunken barroom rants.

Our society is headed the wrong way. 

And if white people are today’s bogey man tomorrow it may another group. Movements with absolutist philosophies eventually eat their own. See the French Revolution. Or the Russian Revolution.

The “cancel culture” may be coming for you.

Kass is a brave man who is not backing down, as he explained in another column last week.

While Voltaire never said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” he should have. Because it’s a noble sentiment I believe in. And no one is always right. Yep, not even me. Not John Kass either. No political philosophy has the solution to every problem. We need each other.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

George Orwell wrote 1984 as warning to his generation and to future generation, a warning against the totalitarianism that spread throughout many nations during the 1930s and 1940s.  Rather than heeding the warnings, leftists in this country seem to have embraced 1984 as an instruction manual or a playbook.  It may not be the case that they are literally using 1984 as their playbook, it is more likely that they are simply using the tried and true steps to implement their leftist policies which eventually will bring about the totalitarian society Orwell warned us about. 

The progressivism here in the United States is very similar to the other totalitarian leftist political philosophies, socialism and fascism.  The main difference is that progressivism has  a soft veneer of compassion and politeness, along with much better press agents.

All leftist political philosophies target children in an effort to implement social change, very often turning children against the older generations.  Look at how progressivism here infected colleges and universities first then grade and high schools. Compare that to this quote from Chapter 2. 

It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which The Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak —  ‘child hero’ was the phrase generally used — had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.

Progressives here have constructed a set of beliefs which are built on many contradictions and absurdities.  If you don’t embrace these beliefs you are labeled an enemy and silenced.  AntiFa now physically attacks those who do not follow leftist beliefs and there have been many calls to imprison  individuals who do not follow along. Check out this quote from chapter 2

Like an answer, the three slogans on the white face of the Ministry of Truth came back to him: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. On coins, on stamps, on the covers of books, on banners, on posters, and on the wrappings of a cigarette Packet — everywhere. Always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed — no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.

There has been a concerted effort in this country to erase our actual history and replace it with politically correct revisionist history. Doesn’t this quote from Chapter 3 remind you of that?

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past. And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’.

This quote from chapter 3 reminds me of the progressive orthodoxy that is crammed down our throats by the media and other adherents to Political Correctness.

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.

Political Correctness is Newspeak.  That is abundantly clear from these two quotes from Chapter 5

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.

By 2050 — earlier, probably — all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron — they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.’

Collectivism rather than individualism is at the heart of all leftist philosophies, including progressivism.  This is captured in this quote from Chapter 7

The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering — a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons — a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting — three hundred million people all with the same face.

Progressives here have received a tremendous amount of help redefining reality through the liberal news media, infected educational system, and Hollywood, similar to this quote from Part 2 Chapter 5

In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.

This quote from Part 3 Chapter 2 reminds me so forcefully of the progressive attempt to force their world view down our throats.  Individualism is a major impediment to their world view,  Turning us into a mindless mob which embraces the twisted PC reality will be the end result of their efforts.

You are here because you have failed in humility, in self-discipline. You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity. You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one. Only the disciplined mind can see reality, Winston. You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.

Like all leftist philosophies, progressivism is all about a small body of elite gaining power over the masses.  This quote by Obrien from Section 3 Chapter 3 captures that so well.

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

All quotes are copied from this Wikiquote page.