On the EDge: We’re heavy on the schizophrenia right now

Composite image includes base flags via Pixabay, St. George News

OPINION – There are still a few years before the conversion from Basic English to Newspeak is fully implemented in Oceania.

It began, of course, in 1984 and is to be fully implemented by the year 2050.

The transition has been boosted by The Inner Party, the elite, political class bent on deflecting, propagandizing and herding the masses with thug-like fervor, leaving the nuance, depth and beauty of Basic English only to the Proles, those steadfast souls who struggle to maintain their individualism and integrity, and a connection to a vivid, beautiful language of color and poetry that once decorated our culture. There was a clarity, little ambiguity, in Basic English. It could be flowery, it could be terse, depending on the person who was stringing the words together and what they were trying to convey.

The elements of Newspeak are crude, evasive “unwords” designed by Minitrue, the Oceania Ministry of Truth, to serve the totalitarian Ingsoc – Newspeak for English socialism, the brand of political ideology subscribed to by The Inner Party under leader, Big Brother, who is not a singular individual, but the composite of populist political leadership that has been digging roots since about 1980. It fomented not only in Oceania, but other places where we watched the not-so-subtle demonization of words like “liberal” and “progressive” by Grandpa Big Brother, from whom all that is “right” flows, initiate Newspeak.

For Newspeak to work, certain new words must be created to place the language into a style favorable to The Inner Party and Big Brother.

For Newspeak to work, certain old words must be eliminated.

It leaves us with a trumped-up language designed solely to exalt Big Brother and condemn anybody deemed guilty of “thoughtcrime,” you know, those folks who would dare challenge the mangled reasoning or many layers of lies uttered to repress the Proles.

This is not Oceania, of course, but the commonality between Oceania and the United States at this juncture is all too real.

Especially in the way Big Brother makes big league – or bigly – alterations in the way we convey thoughts, images and facts.

It is not terribly “unsurprising,” as they would say in Oceania, that Big Brother has banned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using seven words or phrases in budget documents: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based. This is an “unsurprise” because nearly a year ago, the words “climate change” were erased from the language of The Inner Party.

We won’t go into comparisons here to the George Carlin comedy routine about the seven dirty words you once were forbidden from using on television or radio – most of which are still banned from commercial broadcast. It would be a cliché at best and a grab at low-hanging fruit to do so.

But, I shudder at the thought of the CDC discussing programs and projects that were not evidence-based or science-based. Diversity? Well, our population is quite diverse, with each segment having its own unique health issues, from sickle cell to HIV/AIDS. Certain people are more vulnerable to certain diseases, transgender is an apt description of a group of human beings and I don’t know of a word that is an adequate substitute for fetus.

And, what entitlement has to do with the CDC is totally beyond my comprehension other than it is a word the far right has tried desperately to demonize when they wrap such things as Social Security, which is something we put our own money into and is something we are, without question, entitled to receive, into it.

It’s all part of the spoon-fed propaganda we are encumbered with that has frightening similarities to pre-World War II Germany.

From the frantic speeches to the weekly posters distributed throughout Germany of that era, the propaganda was always a simple, jingoist slogan of small words assembled into short phrases to be parroted by the faithful. It was simple words for simple minds to process with little thought; words that sound good in combination, that strike at a nationalistic goal that has already been achieved; words designed to vehemently destroy all remnants of opposition; words strung together to build a culture of fear and anger because, well, she should be locked up for crimes unproven and traces of him should be eradicated because he “wasn’t one of us.”

Even the most subtle words are powerful things that can evoke dynamic images, inspire the angry, buoy those adrift in a sea of ignorance and support an unwarranted, undeserved and unhealthy arrogance.

George Orwell’s book, “1984,” was an amazingly prescient piece of literature, especially when combined with the practicality of world history focusing on pre-war Germany.

One would think we have had enough warnings.

Yes, one would think.

But, it takes a literate mind to ponder, to contemplate, to consider what humanity has accomplished, where it has failed, how it has failed in service to the planet and its inhabitants, whether on a scientific, political or cultural level.

And, those literate minds are dangerous to The Inner Party and Big Brother, who don’t like to be challenged by such needless things as facts, which is why the CDC now has its own version of George Carlin’s seven dirty words.

The historic revisionism of our times, the totalitarianism or our times, the chillingly Orwellian foreshadowing of our times makes “1984,” perhaps, the most important read in modern history as each element from the book unfolds in our reality.

How long until “2 + 2 = 5?”

How long before the hysterics of “FAKE NEWS!” force legitimate reportage down the “memory hole?”

How long will it take the din of cognitive dissonance to permanently cloud fair, rational thought and debate?

And how long before fair, rational thought and debate become “thoughtcrimes,” punishable by sentencing to “Room 101” where the “worst thing in the world” awaits?

Orwell was a brilliant writer, a soothsayer, a great student of the human condition.

His warnings, alas, have gone mostly unheeded, from “Animal Farm” to “1984.”

And his words, from a post-World War II perspective, still ring true, particularly when he said:

In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

A lot of schizophrenia.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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37 Comments

  • observant one December 19, 2017 at 7:43 am

    You might be right, although the PC crowd is waay in front on this. By the way, the seven banned words? Are you sure it happened? maybe,…. fake news?? Check your source.

  • bikeandfish December 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

    The New York Times follow up was a little more nuanced:

    “The Times confirmed some details of the report with several officials, although a few suggested that the proposal was not so much a ban on words but recommendations to avoid some language to ease the path toward budget approval by Republicans.”
    employee
    The account from the CDC employee matters but its singular nature has to be considered. Without documentation the nature of the HHS mandate is in question even if the employee considers it a ban. We should be vigilant but careful given how quickly headlines spread without all of the details.

    Most of the more damning statements come from former government employees, not those present in the meeting or directly aware of the circumstances.

    • Ed Kociela Ed Kociela December 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      B&F: Less “nuanced,” from the Washington Post, which broke the story: “The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.
      “Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-gets-list-of-forbidden-words-fetus-transgender-diversity/2017/12/15/f503837a-e1cf-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?utm_term=.3f0d27096f4d

      • bikeandfish December 19, 2017 at 2:05 pm

        Fully aware. And they are within journalistic practices to run the story with a confidential source. The problem is its a singular source with no documentation to back it up. And nowhere in the quoted material did the source use the word ban or forbidden. Look to the WaPo article. No significant quotes from the source, just a summary of the meeting from their perspective. In fact, the HHS who overseas the CDC has made a public claim inconsistent, in spirit, with the source.

        Doesn’t media literacy teach us to be skeptical in these cases? If we are to be educated citizens aren’t we expected to be concerned but expect greater evidence in the long run? Instead, we get a story like this, with a single spark, that seems to light a wildfire out of scale with the actual content of the situation. And don’t get me wrong, we should resist government censorship if and when it actually happens. I will condemn it like I have with Trump’s GSENM reduction.

        Do we want more citizens who know the actual details or more folks parroting “1984” fears on Facebook? Because they don’t seem to be going hand in hand right now. The fervor is outpacing the content.

        • Ed Kociela Ed Kociela December 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

          The CDC head is a government bureaucrat looking to hold a job and spin. The story also says it independently confirmed the information from numerous other sources.

          • bikeandfish December 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm

            Is the source not beholden to the same skepticism that you apply to the “bureaucrat”? I mean, of the words are banned in ac1984-esque manner than why did the spokesman use two in their response? “The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, “will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans,” HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd told The Washington Post. “HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”.

            You didn’t answer the fundamental question about media literacy and skepticism. The article used the word ban without quotes. Ban would mean “officially or legally prohibit” which in a government bureaucracy would entail a paper trail of some sort.

            This entire story seems overblown with the level of information we have and open to alot of interpretation. Even the NYTimes article imbued a skepticism to the news which is a telling choice.

            I don’t trust the “anti-MSM” trolls but I’m starting to see whats feeding them. WaPo had every right to run the story but it takes thoughtful and skeptical readers to prevent overblowing a nuanced story. We haven’t seen that response.

            Going all 1984 on it is the same type of fear mongering I condemn Bryan Hyde for on this site. If we aren’t careful, we are going burn our citizens out with outrage fatigue at a time we need Americans to be vigilant.

          • mctrialsguy December 20, 2017 at 11:45 am

            When you live within a specific circle of friends and get all of your information from within that circle of sources, and all of your information that you receive is from that inner circle, you become the circle jerk. Your sources are their filtered sources that you have been spoon fed. Then…you criticize those outside of your circle that live in the real world. You never cease to amaze me. Visit other third world countries and see their way of living, their standards, and how they are treated, and…. you would appreciate what we have and what we need to preserve from those such as yourself that wish to take it all away.

          • Ed Kociela Ed Kociela December 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm

            I think you just like being a contrarian, B&F. Life is too short to wasted as a curmudgeon. Grumpy Old Man Syndrome is curable. All you must do is like something. Hope Santa brings you a cheerier disposition. Cheers!

          • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 5:21 pm

            Thought you were against ad hominem attacks, Ed? That’s a disappointing response.

            You write opinion pieces in a local newspaper that are constantly critical of others and designed as persuasion pieces. Name calling when folks take the time to constructively criticize your pieces is uncalled for and a fallacy.

            Your assumptions are incorrect. Plenty of things I am supportive of, which I have shown in response to your pieces in the past. I support equal treatment of women and creating safer places for victims. I am for long-term land conservation that respects the diverse communities that rely upon our landscape. I support decency in politics and bipartisanship that recognizes the range of human experience and values.

            You got lazy in your response, Ed, and to one of the few people who don’t just troll your posts.

          • comments December 20, 2017 at 6:41 pm

            LOL Bike, are you gonna let ol’ Special Ed talk down to you like that? Just keep in mind Ed has about the same level of credibility as Brian Hyde, which is to say…. not a lot 😉

            They’ll both hit on things i agree with from time to time. but… just not credible

          • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm

            Comments,

            It takes alot more than being called a curmudgeon to get my attention after two decades of internet use. Just shocked Ed stooped to petty name calling, though he does it occasionally in his articles.

            I trust both Ed and Bryan sincerely believe in their political ideologies. Its just a shame they both constantly define it by fear mongering and disparaging those who disagree. It’s one of the reasons I appreciate Mero as he seems to have more of the civility we use to see in American statesman.

          • ladybugavenger December 21, 2017 at 6:13 am

            Frankly, it’s because you won’t stop b&f. You just keep going and going and most of the time you don’t have a point. You just ramble to ramble. You’ll just argue to argue without any resolution. Most the time, I have no idea what you are arguing. You have no opinion of your own and you argue other people’s opinions, that you take as fact.

            I’m curious how many people walk away from you, and you stand there and gloat how you won an argument that you think you won?

            Reality is anyone who walks away from you, is simply, getting away from you because they aren’t going to argue with you. Life is so much bigger than an argument and quoting sources (you have no idea if that source is fact or fiction, everybody lies)

            Have a fantastic day!

          • bikeandfish December 21, 2017 at 9:22 am

            LBA,

            The irony, is we agree about sources this time, that is my point against Ed. Without a written record all we are stuck with is contradictory perspectives of the meeting. Ed is engaging in confirmation bias of his well-established liberal bias against Trump.

            That said, we can fact-check many things. Sometimes that fact-checking exposes uncertainty, like this case, and other times it shows a verifiable conclusion. Your claim that such fact-checking is fake is untenable and fundamentally untrue.

  • John December 19, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Exactly why political correctness is being thrown under the bus Ed…The whole thing is collapsing right under the noses of the liberal democrats who tried to implement it. And you sir, are one of the purveyors of such propaganda ! just go back and read your previous opinion pieces..

  • DRT December 19, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Uh-oh, sounds like Ed is having a bad day!

  • eddantes56 December 19, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    The Department of Health and Human Services released a statement denying that the story is accurate:

    “The assertion that HHS has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process. HHS will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans. HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”

    Later on 17 December 2017, CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald tweeted that no words are banned:

    Dr Brenda Fitzgerald

    @CDCDirector

    I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs.
    8:57 AM – Dec 17, 2017

    • bikeandfish December 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Yeah, this is my criticism as well. to

      Other sources have found a different interpetation of the meeting:

      “A Health and Human Services official who asked not to be named told STAT it was not accurate to say that CDC had been ordered not to use the seven words. Instead, he said, agency budget analysts were told that some words and phrasing might be more likely to win support for the CDC’s budget in the current Congress.

      “The meeting did take place, there was guidance provided — suggestions if you will,” he said. “There are different ways to say things without necessarily compromising or changing the true essence of what’s being said.”

      “This was all about providing guidance to those who would be writing those budget proposals. And it was very much ‘you may wish to do this or say this’. But there was nothing in the way of ‘forbidden words.’”

      This is a problem with confidential sources; we get a narrow point of view that often involves alot of interpretation. And then we get other confidential sources that talk about a different perspective and take away. They are important stories to tell but people start down the road of confirmation bias and spinning their interpretation into more grandiose accounts. The headline gets ahead of the story.

      • DRT December 19, 2017 at 7:38 pm

        A source who “is not to be named,” or a “confidential source,” has very little, if any credibility in my book.

        • bikeandfish December 19, 2017 at 9:24 pm

          I can’t blame folks who don’t trust anonymous sources especially how much they have been relied upon the last couple years. They can be extremely valuable and important for creating transparency in government but I’m starting to be overly skeptical.

          I think the WaPo overplayed its hand on this one.

  • eddantes56 December 19, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    EC, that is rich reading the ridiculous and hysterical comparison of the Trump administration with Hitler’s rise in Germany in the late 1930s.

    This is another integrity check and you failed completely.

    The “rich” part is that just taking a gander at the Orwellian use of language initiated/promoted by the Obama administration, one can observe some real Big Brother “forced language”. And if you do not use this language, your career, reputation, et al is in peril. Here are some examples…..Obama did not put them all in but the cultural marxists and post-modernists have them firmly entrenched in our society.

    Fetus. (Latin for offspring)………… baby or human
    Women’s health or Women’s productive rights…………….. killing innocent babies because it is inconvenient
    Terror attack…………….man-caused disaster
    Affirmative action……………….Racial discrimination
    Holiday season……………….Christmas

    These are just a few of the nonsense the Left has bequeathed to us. Keep trying EC, you may be able to pass an integrity test yet.

    • bikeandfish December 19, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Happy Holidays: compassionate recognition that Americans celebrate a myriad of holidays this time of year, including: Christmas, Honukkah, Yule/Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, etc.

      Fetus: a long used scientific term for a live-birth organism between embryo and birth. Clearly we use it with humans since we are viviparous. Its an important technical term needed to convey biology.

      Affirmative Action: definitely not shorthand for racial discrimination, even if that’s a justification for its need

      Women’s Reproductive Rights/Health: a catch all for medical care and the rights of women, from consent laws to family planning and all the critical stuff in between. Abortion is but one of those many rights and medical procedures in the category.

      Terror Attack: seriously, wtf with the hang up with this important word? Terrorism is derived from a 200+ year old french word. And its been used for ages with a steady refinement to mean an attack on civilian populations especially for political or religious purposes. It not just a “man caused disaster”. Odd to complain about that.

      • John December 20, 2017 at 8:53 am

        You have proven that you are a progressive PC Democrat once again ! eddantes56 Is correct and you are wrong as usual. You can’t see it because you drink all that liberal kool-aid. I’ll be the first to congratulate you if you ever make an actual non-progressive ,non-liberal or copy and pasted response. You must go through crayons at an alarming pace !

        • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 10:21 am

          No copy and pasting, another lazy response. Neither democrat or liberal in my politics. People conflate standing up for facts with political values.

          Keep the same petty insults coming, John.

          • John December 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

            hahahahaha! You spend your entire life copy and pasting, there is no way you could fit all that progressive garbage you spew into one big head! We are all anxiously awaiting the time you post something that is an actual original thought and not something you got from the Washington Compost or the A (all) P (progressive) News Service. Until that happens we will continue to bathe you in our most gracious compliments on your total ignorance of your own political leanings!

          • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 6:16 pm

            You confuse copy and pasting with fact checking and critical thinking. Most of my posts are written in matter of minutes. Doesn’t take much longer to write a thoughtful post instead of petty attacks and vindictive trolling.

          • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm

            AP is one of the most neutral journalistic enterprises in the US, alongside Reuters. Great ethics and journalist.

            If you actually knew anything about WaPo you would know they have a paywall. Hard to even read more than a handful of articles there a month. I don’t use them and actually just criticized their choice to run the story.

            Your wild assumptions are constantly wrong.

          • John December 20, 2017 at 11:50 pm

            well if you think reposting fake news from A(all) P(progressive) Is presenting the truth you are bigger moron than than we are crediting you with being. You probably also believe NPR is unbiased.. You are so sucked into the left wing narrative , you actually support everything you oppose , depending on what day it is or who is supporting what.. You change your opinions more than a midget in a bean cook off…

          • bikeandfish December 21, 2017 at 11:50 am

            John, you can have whatever opinion you want about the AP but they are one of the most respected and honored news organizations in the world. In fact, they are the primary source for news for just about every newspaper and media outlet in the US.

            And yes, NPR has bias. Though most of theirs comes in the form of what they cover. Their traditional news programs are top notch but a few of their talking heads and shows clearly have a perspective. Some of their programs are frustratingly biased and indicative of political bubbles, like Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

            If I contradict myself show me where and I’ll admit it. On the other hand, I am not beholden to others assumptions of my politics nor limited to the binary liberal vs conservative dogma. I am unaffiliated with intention. I value truth even when its inconvenient to my values which is something most partisans refuse to own. I can appreciate Trump’s successes (like a booming economy and stock market) while condemning his other actions. Ironically I can appreciate Obama’s contribution (like a solid rebounding economy, even outcompeting Trump’s for many quarters, after one of the nation’s worst recessions) while condemning his mistakes (like designating BENM in a way that would lead to horrid outcomes). That is an unusual approach in a country of ideologues who spend most of their time making fun of anyone they consider opposition. Its unusual in a country of ideologues who seem to sacrifice integrity for political power and influence.

            Make all the assumptions in the world you want but most have been far from the mark. You have spent months trying to push me into a box that I have never fit in. Best of luck with such a stubborn, ill-informed endeavor.

      • eddantes56 December 20, 2017 at 9:03 am

        I transposed the ‘man caused disaster’………it should have been the first word.. I strongly object to Pres. Obama and Janet Napolitano describing terrorism as man-caused disasters…..reflective of their use of Orwellian language. 😁

        • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 10:24 am

          On that note, I agree. Obama played a diplomatic game, including shying away from such words as terrorism, that I found problematic. Not to mention he was also flirting with anti-journalist sentiment in a dangerous way. There were plenty of reasons to dislike his policy and administration.

      • eddantes56 December 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

        BF, the national Holiday is Christmas. Get over it.

        Further, you miss the main point. EK made a ridiculous and fact-free conflation that Trump is resembling Hitler.

        It’s refreshing to hear a president that can recognize our deficiencies but does not grovel, bow and apologize to other cultures.

        It would be nice for EK and yourself to get out a bit and go live in a few third world countries and get a clue about human nature.

        Your line by line response plus your emphasis on WAPO’s overreach demonstrates that you agree with EK and WAPO. That’s fine…..why not just state it???

        The idea of killing 50M+ Children since ROE, when the vast majority after women voluntary had intercourse but found it inconvenient to have a child……..again, my argument is that it is Orwellian to call that women’s reproductive rights…….unless as you and the Progs believe that you have the right to kill the innocent.

        I’m sorry that GAEA made women the incubator for new humans…..my argument is intact. These are unborn humans and aborting them because it is inconvenient is killing them. Second, our Progressive America is filled with this type of Orwellian language. It is outrageous because Trump does not “toe” the progressive line that he is the next coming of Hitler.

        All the Best.

        • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 10:15 am

          Huh? If I’m criticizing Ed’s piece and the WaPo’s article how can I also be agreeing with them?

          I will say its become abundantly clear over the years that “conservatives” are often more theocratic than conservative. Its why I actually think voices like Hyde are important, if he’d just stop fear mongering. We need more liberty-oriented conservatives and fewer Christian authoritarians.

          I also condemn those who compare Trump to Hitler; its an insult to that history and reality.

          Beyond that, your response in unimportant and a bunch of lazy stereotypes that aren’t worth engaging.

          Its been fun to watch people poorly guess my political leanings.

          Happy Holidays.

  • vickbill December 19, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I believe Ed is suffering from the effects of too much “Gloria” from his youth. The Progressive are well versed in “1984” speak. They accuse others of what they are masters of. They define now what words are racist, homophobic and have turned college campus into indoctrination centers. How about “The Affordable Care Act” and “Net Neutrality” as great examples of their Newspeak. Their sole purpose is the destruction of our history, heritage, and culture and to destroy everything this country was founded on.

    • mctrialsguy December 20, 2017 at 11:17 am

      vickbill, sounds like you are one of the people that really see’s it as it is…. destruction of the U.S. I say that we bring back hanging in the town square, guess who would be first, the traitor that wrote this article, if you can call it that.

      • bikeandfish December 20, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Its disappointing that the moderators let such a comment pass. This is what is wrong with sites like this. When websites let veiled threats become normal then they become part of the problem. Folks can disagree with Ed but claiming he should be hung, even in a failure of humor, should be unacceptable.

  • jaltair December 19, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    This commentary reeks of elitist, pejorative speak sounded on the tom-toms of the Church of Progressives over these months of Trump-mania. Unless you have blinders on, you would note the progressive movement has become what the left has always feared, as have the mainstream media. Progressives have vowed to take Trump down and the movement has become their religion. Have you “gone down the rabbit hole?”

    • mctrialsguy December 20, 2017 at 11:18 am

      Evidently, Ed has literally gone over the EDge!

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