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THE GOOGLE ARCHIPELAGO: In an article at the Weekly Standard that was likely written before Google’s meltdown this week headlined, “You Can’t Say That,” a review of the recent book The Demon in Democracy , Matthew B. Crawford asks, “Has liberalism taken a Soviet turn?”

Through the ’80s, ’90s, and into the new millennium, the phrase “politically correct” would crop up here and there. Among people who were credited as being sophisticated, use of the term would be met with a certain exasperation: It was needling and stale. The phrase had been picked up by the likes of College Republicans and Fox News, and if you had an ear for intellectual class distinctions you avoided it.

Originally a witticism, the term suggested there was something Soviet-like in the policing of liberal opinion. When it first came into wide circulation, was it anything but humorous hyperbole? Is that still the case today?

A sociologist might point to a decline in social trust over the past few decades—they have ways of measuring this—and speculate about its bearing on political speech. One wonders: Who am I talking to? How will my utterances be received? What sort of allegiances are in play here? In the absence of trust, it becomes necessary to send explicit signals. We become fastidious in speech and observe gestures of affirmation and condemnation that would be unnecessary among friends.

It’s a great review, and well worth your time to read the whole thing. Crawford’s question, “Has liberalism taken a Soviet turn?”, dovetails remarkably well with this week’s events. In the article by James D. Miller that Glenn linked to on Wednesday titled “Get ready for the ‘tech alt-right’ to gain influence in Silicon Valley,” Miller wrote:

It will be poisonous if the tech right feels compelled to not only hide their beliefs but also to actively pretend to believe in progressive diversity values. This pretending will embitter them, probably pushing many to the more radical alt-right.

It will prevent the left and right from getting meaningful feedback on their belief. Plus, if progressives never talked with people on the right, they wouldn’t get to learn that most of us do not fit their stereotypes of being sexist monsters.

When SJWs in Silicon Valley realize that their ideological enemies are hiding, they might actively search them out. They might become suspicious of the guy who was the first to stop clapping when a new diversity initiative was announced. Even worse, SWJs in human resources might become reluctant to hire those with characteristics correlated with conservatism, such as past military service.

That line about SJWs becoming suspicious about “the guy who was the first to stop clapping when a new diversity initiative was announced” is Straight Outta the Kremlin, comrade. In The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote of the fate of the man who stopped clapping first:

At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). … For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the stormy applause, rising to an ovation, continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin.

However, who would dare to be the first to stop? … After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first! And in the obscure, small hall, unknown to the leader, the applause went on – six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly – but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them?

* * * * * * * *

Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved!

The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel. That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:

“Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

And the world’s biggest search engine is well on its way to becoming The Google Archipelago. In an article Orwellianly titled “Internal Messages Show Some Googlers Supported Fired Engineer’s Manifesto” (heaven Lenin forefend — root out the hoarders and wreckers!) in Wired, which began as a libertarian-leaning publication before being purchased by the lefties at Condé Nast, the writer quotes from an anonymous Google employee. “‘Let’s take a step back,’ the Googler wrote, ‘and look at what is actually making everyone in Google upset on this thread and in general since the start of the 2016 election season.’ He went on to describe how the apparent uniformity of thought at Google led people like Damore to feel ‘like they are being forcibly dragged into [sic] ideological indoctrination chamber,’” including these passages that sound like mash notes smuggled out of the Ministry of Truth:

Weekly public (though thankfully anonymous) shaming of employees for misdeeds as slight as anachronistic use of “guys” for a mixed gender group

Frequent references to documents that stigmatize open disagreement with a a rage [sic] of positions

Call for employees to give each other hugs at an all hands meeting because the wrong candidate won a presidential election in the country, following by a mass mailing on how to help your kids deal with grief due to the same occurrence

In a piece at the Federalist titled “No One Expects The Google Inquisition, But It’s Coming,” Robert Tracinski spots another Stalin-esque element to be found in the above article at Wired:

In the new Internet version [of commercial advertising], we know these big companies are gathering specific personal information about our habits and preferences, far more than anyone has ever done, but we accept it because we think they’re just going to use it to sell us stuff, which might sometimes be annoying but isn’t ominous. But if we think there is a wider purpose, if we think they’re going to use our information for social engineering or political manipulation—will that break the bargain?

In this regard, the most important part of the story is those photographed screenshots intended to out Googlers who agreed with Damore. Why were they photographs of a computer screen rather than actual screenshots grabbed by the computer itself, which would have had much better resolution? I suspect it’s because this would leave evidence behind on work computers, so the leakers might get caught. This implies the leakers know what they’re doing is against internal Google rules—just as leaking Damore’s original memo to the media was against internal Google rules.

I don’t want to get into the debates we see around the Trump administration about which is worse: what we found out about our leaders because of the leaks, or the fact that so much information is being leaked. What’s relevant here is that Google now faces a pattern in which its employees are taking internal information and leaking it to the media, against the company’s own rules and safeguards, in order to achieve political objectives. If the wider public starts to figure out that this is happening, they just might decide this is not a company they want to trust with their information or access to their lives.

And they would be wise to do so. At the conclusion of a post today on the hypocrisy of Google firing Damore over his memo but making billions off of gender-based data-mining and targeted advertising code, Rod Dreher links to this scene from the 2006 film on the East German Stasi, The Lives of Others:

Dreher’s captions the clip, “A scene from the Google cafeteria.” He’s likely not all that far off.

THE DARTMOUTH REVIEW interviews Christina Hoff Sommers.

On some campuses, activists have assumed the role of thought police. When they heckle speakers or shut down events, they set themselves up as arbiters of what others can hear and say. Who put them in charge? They are free to not attend events they don’t like or to protest peacefully. What they can’t do is to shut down discussion. Legally, the First Amendment applies only to the government, but the moral principles on which it is based ought to apply to private universities as well. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, a legendary champion of liberal causes, called restrictions on free speech “dangerous subversions” and “the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” Why un-American? Because in our free and open democracy—there is no Ministry of Truth.

No one put them in charge. But, like all tyrants, they will seize as much power as people will allow.

NEW YORK TIMES:

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A journalist reader writes: “You know, when the Ministry of Truth is calling it for Eastasia, when Goebbels says the Ivans are in Berlin, when Pravda declares Capitalism the superior economic system. . . ” Well, it’s not over yet, but yeah.

UPDATE: The movement is all pro-Trump, though it’s not over yet:

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ANOTHER UPDATE:

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It’s not over yet, but the fat lady is clearing her throat.

DISPATCHES FROM THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH:

Fragile Leftists at New York Magazine Take Down Video Calling Lawrence of Arabia Sexist After Backlash: “What is ironic about the social justice criticism of Lawrence of Arabia is that some interpret O’Toole’s performance to intentionally have homosexual undertones and the film’s female editor won an academy award for her role in the film.”

Earlier: NY Post Writer Wants ‘Racist’ Gone with the Wind Banished, but Black America Disagrees.

Comrade Ogilvy could not be reached for comment.

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANT! This just in: Old media dowagers still hate their readers, particularly when they comment on their articles:

The other problem, especially for opinion sites like The Spectator, is the comments have become the place that make the writers cry. Sure, there’s lots of inane chatter in the comment threads, but it is also where some smart people post corrections and point out the many glaring logical errors. Guys like Damian Thompson have fragile psyches so seeing their mistakes highlighted for everyone to see, right under their posts, is a source of constant distress. Look at the first comment under that blog post.

When you live in the snow globe of opinion journalism, the outside world is horrifying. That’s why you went into the snow globe in the first place, to get away from the cold, pitiless world of reality. The Spectator is a collegial place where peers josh with one another, engage in witty repartee, but always respect their “shared dignity.” Those angry Dirt People in the comments with their facts and reason just don’t get it. Many of them don’t even have a PhD. They are ruining it for everyone!

The media’s new war on their readers is part of the general unrest we are seeing in the West. People in the media have long viewed themselves as the fourth estate, part of the ruling class, but policing the ruling class. This was always nonsense. The press has always been staffed by obsequious rumpswabs and toadies. The reason for that is noticing is dangerous in the mass media so only the most blinkered and stupid thrive. Suddenly, these dullards are learning that the rest of us have no respect for them.

But it’s not a “new war on their readers”—the late Ginny Carroll, a bureau chief with Newsweek, then a division of the Washington Post, wore a “Yeah, I’m in the Media — Screw You” pin to the 1992 GOP Convention—and defended her slur on C-Span shortly thereafter. Six years later, the Washington press corps openly despised Matt Drudge not just for showing them up by publishing the Lewinsky story that was buried (coincidentally) by Newsweek, but because they recognized that he was one of the first and most visible of what was soon to become a rapidly growing phenomenon—the one man news Website.

In those pioneering World Wide Web days, Drudge was rolling his own HTML code from scratch, but it didn’t take long for Blogger.com and WordPress to develop their own prefab blogging platforms. For me, one of the most revolutionary aspects of the Instapundit in its early days was that Glenn was one of the first self-publishers on the Web to use the Blogger platform not as a daily diary, as it was originally intended (hence the name “weblog”), but to quickly aggregate posts commenting on news articles. On the afternoon and evening of September 11th, 2001, small Websites such as the nascent Instapundit and Virginia Postrel’s Dynamist e-zine (I think Virginia was rolling her own code back then) stayed readable when the servers of the big boys like the New York Times, the WaPo and CNN went dark, knocked offline by the sheer number of people looking for information on what just happened.

That, and all of the misreporting by the MSM during the early days of the War on Terror led to lots of other people wanting to become news aggregators and critics as well, and by early 2002, Steve Green’s Vodkapundit site and my own Ed Driscoll.com were online, also initially using the Blogger.com platform as were loads of other early blogs inspired by Instapundit—who were of course, dismissed near en masse as navel-gazing cat food eating losers typing away in their parents’ basements. Ask Eason Jordan, Trent Lott, and Dan Rather how that worked out. Similarly, in late 2004, “when Time magazine held a lunch to discuss candidates for its person of the year, he exposed a side of his personality that is seldom seen on the air. When a fellow panelist mentioned that bloggers had had a big impact on the reporting on Election Day, Williams waved that point away by quipping that the self-styled journalists are ‘on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem.’” I wonder if the former NBC anchorman regrets that comment these days.

As Roger Ailes once told Matt Drudge, “You don’t need a license to report. You need a license to do hair.” At least for now. The DNC-MSM would love to have a Ministry of Truth-level monopoly on information.  And if and when the Internet ceases being under American control, so would the governments in much of the rest of the world.

Earlier: Why We Turned Off Comments.

(Found via Kathy Shaidle, who advises always read the newspaper upside down—“newspapers’ online comment sections are ‘the place you get the real story.’”)

AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH: History professor rips down campus 9/11 ‘Never Forget’ posters (VIDEO).

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” Just ask Comrade Ogilvy:

DISPATCHES FROM THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH: AP Claims ISIS Recruits Have a Poor Grasp of Islam.

Related: In 2014, American and Iraqi intelligence analysts said that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS has a doctorate in Islamic studies in Quranic studies, obtained while attending Saddam University in Baghdad, Wikipedia notes, linking to a New York Times profile of al-Baghdadi.

JOHAN NORBERG: Why can’t we see that we’re living in a golden age? If you look at all the data, it’s clear there’s never been a better time to be alive.

If you think that there has never been a better time to be alive — that humanity has never been safer, healthier, more prosperous or less unequal — then you’re in the minority. But that is what the evidence incontrovertibly shows. Poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labour and infant mortality are falling faster than at any other time in human history. The risk of being caught up in a war, subjected to a dictatorship or of dying in a natural disaster is smaller than ever. The golden age is now.

We’re hardwired not to believe this. We’ve evolved to be suspicious and fretful: fear and worry are tools for survival. The hunters and gatherers who survived sudden storms and predators were the ones who had a tendency to scan the horizon for new threats, rather than sit back and enjoy the view. They passed their stress genes on to us. That is why we find stories about things going wrong far more interesting than stories about things going right. It’s why bad news sells, and newspapers are full of it.

Books that say the world is doomed sell rather well, too. I have just attempted the opposite. I’ve written a book called Progress, about humanity’s triumphs. It is written partly as a warning: when we don’t see the progress we have made, we begin to search for scapegoats for the problems that remain. Sometimes, in the past and perhaps today, we have been too quick to try our luck with demagogues who offer simple solutions to make our nations great again — whether by nationalising the economy, blocking imports or throwing out immigrants. If we think we don’t have anything to lose in doing so, it’s because our memories are faulty.

Look at 1828, when The Spectator was first published. Most people in Britain then lived in what is now regarded as extreme poverty. Life was nasty (people still threw their waste out of the window), brutish (corpses were still displayed on gibbets) and short (30 years on average). But even then things had been improving. The first iteration of The Spectator, in 1711, was published in a Britain whose people subsisted on average on fewer calories than the average child gets today in sub-Saharan Africa.

Karl Marx thought that capitalism inevitably made the rich richer and the poor poorer. By the time Marx died, however, the average Englishman was three times richer than at the time of his birth 65 years earlier — never before had the population experienced anything like it.

Fast forward to 1981. Then, almost nine in ten Chinese lived in extreme poverty; now just one in ten do. Then, just half of the world’s population had access to safe water. Now, 91 per cent do. On average, that means that 285,000 more people have gained access to safe water every day for the past 25 years.

Related: Richard Fernandez:

The question isn’t whether the state is irrelevant but whether it is less important than formerly or whether it is significant in a different way. Certainly Lou Dobbs’ question “why would anyone vote for a FBI certified liar who’s refused to hold a press conference for 258 days?” can only be met by supposing an indifference or resignation over political outcomes. One possible explanation for this comes from a Reason Magazine citing a Pew poll that “millennial support for the Libertarian Party nominee is damn near astonishing.” It’s not hard to see in this a suggestion that government become less important in the 21st century than it was in the 20th.

The idea of the state as the “locomotive of history” is relatively recent. George Orwell’s 1984 saw state resting on the pillars of police power, a command economy and the ability to rewrite the Narrative. The most important of these was the ability to rewrite the factual record. In fact 1984’s protagonist was employed full time to rewrite newspaper articles. In Orwell’s view the mutability of the past was the foundation of tyranny. “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” To ensure this the Ministry of Truth was honeycombed with Memory Holes into which any inconvenient fact could be dropped and be disappeared.

But just to illustrate how things have changed for the State we now know that Orwell was wrong. The mathematically dominant method for recording transactions, whether they involve the transfer of financial assets, intellectual property, health records or any type of information is probably going to be the blockchain. It has three important properties. First the entire record can be reproduced by anyone from a Genesis cryptographic starting point such that all records will have the same signature if and only if they are the same. Second, no part of the record can be altered without regenerating the entire block chain from the the branch. Third, it is impossible to rewrite the block chain without incurring enormous real costs in electricity and computing power, as guaranteed by the laws of thermodynamics.

The first property means that blockchain by nature is a public ledger. The second ensures the database can only be falsified in its entirety from the point of change. The third makes it prohibitively expensive to do so. Readers of Ray Bradbury’s The Sound of Thunder will recognize these attributes. From his story we learn you can’t change the past without altering everything; that by crushing a butterfly in the Jurassic we alter not one item in the record but create a whole alternate history.

The possibility of a immutable record is revolutionary in itself.

Well, stay tuned. I think that one of the reasons why people are pessimistic is that it is now much harder to escape the realization that all the Top Men (and Women) are really pretty incompetent. So believing that maybe they don’t matter as much is grounds for optimism.

JAMES TARANTO: Donald And The Duck: A weak week for President Obama.

With his presidency nearly 93% over, Barack Obama isn’t technically a lame duck. (That cutoff is approximately 97.5%.) But although he may not quack like a duck, he looked awfully lame last week.

It started, as we noted Monday and Tuesday, with the attempt to transform the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11 into a domestic kulturkampf. First the Justice Department scrubbed the attacker’s declarations of allegiance to the Islamic State from a publicly released 911 transcript—a decision consistent with the president’s policy of denying Islamic terror is Islamic, but one executed so ham-handedly that the department was forced to back down within hours.

Then came another futile set of Senate votes on measures to constrain the rights of Americans under the Second and Fifth amendments. Whereupon House Democrats made their Senate counterparts look almost dignified by comparison.

“Using sit-in demonstrations inspired by civil rights protests,” as a Wall Street Journal news story put it, a group of Democrats hijacked the House chamber. Actually, they might have been inspired by House Republicans, who attempted the same thing in 2008. . . .

This time, however, majority Republicans left the lights on, and one of the sitting-in Democrats used his phone to stream video to a social-media site, which C-Span eventually picked up. Thus everyone was able to watch the ridiculous spectacle.

To be sure, it seemed very serious to people who sympathized with the sitters’ authoritarian aims—including most of the reporters covering it. Almost every news organization took to describing the spectacle as “historic,” as if in response to a memo from the Ministry of Truth. And that may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. NewsBusters.org notes that Pelosi, now the minority leader, “openly thanked people in the news media for creating an ‘echo chamber’.”

It’s the Media Party, to steal a term from Ezra Levant. Plus:

All of Obama’s difficulties last week can be seen as examples of his being eclipsed by Donald Trump, who despite trailing in the polls has become the most dominant figure in American politics.

Trump had put the president (and Hillary Clinton) on the defensive for downplaying radical Islam after Orlando, and he has changed the immigration debate by putting more-restrictive policies at the center of his campaign. The credit for bottling up Garland’s nomination goes to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans, but Trump was quick to endorse that effort: “I think it’s up to Mitch McConnell, and everybody else to stop it,” the future presumptive nominee said at a debate Feb. 13, hours after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. “It’s called delay, delay, delay.”

Say what you will about Trump, he’s been going after Hillary, Obama, and Elizabeth Warren like Mitt Romney and John McCain never did.

DISPATCHES FROM THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH: Chicago Students Now Required To Adopt Transgender Newspeak.

Your kids will be made to care.

TIME TO UPDATE YOUR NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES: “I’m not sure, but I suspect that once upon a time ‘juvenile delinquent’ was a liberal euphemism for ‘young criminal.’ As often happens, however, eventually even the euphemism is thought to be too harsh, and so a better one has to be found. And so one has: This Obama-administration press release yesterday talked a lot about ‘justice-involved youth.'”

Read the whole thing.

While nobody outside of the Ministry of Truth is better at euphemisms “created or saved” than this Orwellian administration, even for the Team Obama, that’s one “man-caused disaster” of a “workplace violence” euphemism, which really needs to be dispatched on its own “overseas contingency operation” stat!

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MADELEINE ALBRIGHT HAS AN AIRBRUSH, AND SHE’S NOT AFRAID TO USE IT. Albright: ‘War on Terror’ Bad Term for ‘Just Murderers:’

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said she dislikes the use of the phrase “war on terror,” arguing that it makes terrorists look like warriors.

“For me, I’ve had a very hard time with the vocabulary of all of this and I have not liked the words ‘war on terror’ because it makes those that are fighting us warriors when they are actually just murderers and they get a greater kind of reverence in their societies if we make warriors out of them. They are murderers, plain and simple,” Albright said during a discussion about religion, peace and world affairs at Georgetown University.

While she did not mention any presidential candidates by name, Albright criticized Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. as a way to combat Islamic extremism.

Yes, Allah forbid anyone connect the dots here. Or as Tim Blair wrote a few years ago in a post titled “Message Unheard:”

You can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for your average Muslim terrorist. They go to all the trouble of blowing up children in Boston, killing US Army personnel in Texas, detonating bars in Bali, flying jets into New York skyscrapers and now basically removing a soldier’s head in a London street, all in the holy name of Islam.

But where’s the credit?

Where’s the respect?

It’s underneath the ash heap at the bottom of the Memory Hole deep within the basement of the Ministry of Truth. I’m sure Albright’s former colleague Sandy Berger could have found it — if only to bury those archives even more deeply.

Related: Brendan O’Neill on “Charlie Hebdo, Terrorism, and the Culture of ‘You Can’t Say That.'”

ABUSE OF POWER: Reason: Did Twitter’s Orwellian ‘Trust and Safety’ Council Get Robert Stacy McCain Banned? Prominent GamerGate figure clashed with council member Anita Sarkeesian. Now he’s gone. “Banning McCain wasn’t even Twitter’s only questionable activity last night. It seems that Twitter also suppressed the pro-McCain hashtag subsequently created by his supporters, #FreeStacy. After it started trending, Twitter made it so that the hashtag wouldn’t autocomplete when people typed it. . . . If Twitter wants to go full-on Ministry of Truth, it can. But its user have the right to raise hell about it—to call out the platform for punishing dissident alt-right figures while empowering their adversaries. I’m not convinced that’s what’s happening, but the exclusion of Robert Stacy McCain—a mere 10 days after the Trust and Safety council came into existence—is cause for concern.”

ORWELL’S 1984: A WARNING FOR THE REST OF US, A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR THE LEFT: New ‘Trust and Safety Council’ Is Twitter Version of 1984’s Ministry of Truth.

Related: Twitter share price nosedives on news it is losing users.

NOW I TRUST THEM LESS, AND FEEL LESS SAFE USING THEM: New ‘Trust and Safety Council’ Is Twitter Version of 1984’s Ministry of Truth.

The more their stock tumbles, the more they focus on “social justice” instead of, you know, giving users what they want.

UPDATE: If you don’t like Twitter, there’s always Quitter! And yes, that’s a real, alternative service that will probably be gaining a lot of users soon. I just signed up.

UPDATE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES ACCORDINGLY: “Let’s banish the term ‘gun control’: the better expression is ‘gun safety,'” claims the New York Times’ Nick Kristof in full Ministry of Truth mode.

I’m not sure which is crazier — reinventing the language, or “a moral sanction against gun metaphors similar to the ‘N’ word,” as one of Chris Matthews’ guests proposed immediately after Tucson.

SETH BARRETT TILLMAN: The European Media & the Cologne Attacks.

Scally’s bizarre use of “groping” is close to the worst imaginable example of PC disinformation from Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. “Groping” is a word better reserved for the awkward and/or unwanted advances of an adolescent teenager in regard to someone roughly his or her own age. Here, instead, we have (if Scally’s sources are to be believed) 30 adult men who organized a premeditated attack on a child—not a “young woman” as Scally mischaracterizes her—a child—a person under 18. (18 is the age of majority in most of Europe, including Germany.) This child was not “groped”—I had fingers at every orifice—she was the victim of sexual assault, rape, and attempted rape by multiple perpetrators. Again, groping generally refers to wanted or unwanted touching or fondling. The victim here did not describe “groping;” she described something far more serious: sexual assault and rape.

Euphemisms must apply, since the perps weren’t white frat guys.

SHOWTIME:

Even if [“Truth,” featuring Robert Redford as Dan Rather] bombed at the box office, it will live on in the database of Netflix (and others) so generations hence may come to believe that Rather and his team of fearless producers and researchers were brought down by powerful forces who were either in the pocket of George Bush or, alternatively, had him theirs. People will believe this because they saw it in the movie and not knowing much else about this story, it will become their emotional truth. These days we all get to have one – an emotional truth, that is – and it often comes out of the movies we see. And like.

* * * * * * *

[The recently announced film reenactment of Chappaquiddick is] again, is a novel sort of take for a movie script. Ms. Kopechne was the little person, here; the innocent victim of powerful forces and personalities and a well-orchestrated cover-up. If you were setting out to dramatize those events, you might think of Ted Kennedy as the heavy (literally) of the piece; not as someone who ‘became entangled’ in something, like an innocent bystander and witness to an assassination who must flee for his life and struggle to get the truth out into the light of day.

This film, like Truth, is an effort to revise history so that it conforms to the Zeitgeist, according to which Ted Kennedy is one of the good guys. One in which Mary Jo Kopechne gets the same kind of treatment she received in the last hours of her real life, where she was too small to matter.

1984’s Ministry of Truth was never meant to be a how-to guide for historians.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT THE RISK OF BEING SHOT TO DEATH, at The Truth About Guns: “When the left dissents, it’s patriotism even though it’s just the opposite. When the right dissents, it’s insurrection even though it’s just the opposite. And in the left’s Bizarro America, the CSGV (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence) is the new Ministry of Truth.”

Read the whole thing.

(Via Ace of Spades.)

WHAT AIRPORTS LOOKED LIKE IN THE 1970s. Downside: Dull late-period modernism, ubiquitous earth-toned color schemes. Upside: Better-dressed passengers — and most importantly, no giant Ministry of Truth-style CNN monitors. (No CNN at all of course; it wouldn’t be invented until 1980.) Advantage — something I very rarely say — 1970s.

I HAVE RAISED A SWEET, THOUGHTFUL, ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS MONSTER—AND SOON I WILL BE FREE: Glenn already linked to the jaw-dropping article titled “Bidding My College-Bound Son Good Riddance,” written by a veteran Bay Area journalist/environmentalist activist last night, but it’s worth another look for a variety of reasons.

First, modern-day radical environmentalism isn’t that modern anymore — RFK ran on doomsday environmental ads in 1968, and the first “Earth Day” in 1970 was chockablock full of nightmare predictions that never came to pass. As Fred Siegel wrote in 2010 at City Journal in “Progressives Against Progress,” as a result of Earth Day and the like:

Crankery, in short, became respectable. In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim.

And beginning in 1970 with Walter Cronkite and CBS, environmentalist crankery has been very much approved by Big Business for decades. In 2007, GE, which makes a considerable amount of money selling light bulbs, urged its customers for the sake of Gaia to turn off the lights in their homes via the TV network it owned at the time – during halftime of a Sunday night Cowboys-Eagles NFL game whose stadium was bathed in a zillion watts of klieg lights. A couple of years later, American Express was praising would-be California “Dam Busters,” AKA, the people who helped bring you California’s current water crisis. In 2009, James Lileks linked to the following jaw-dropping MasterCard ad:

As Lileks wrote in response:

If they’d intimated that Mastercard can be used to placate your humorless little eco-scold, no one would have minded much. But no: the child is making his father a better man. It’s nice to see that Dad exists in a state of such unearthly perfection that the only means of betterment consist of abjuring incandescent lighting for pig-tailed CFLs, right? Alas: dad is a scoff-law who lets the tap run, uses doubleplus ungood bulbs,  and doesn’t correct the clerk when the food is put in a cornstarch bag, perhaps because he’s thinking about his job, the cutbacks and layoffs, the tiresome daily scrum of adult life. He works hard, but of course he could work harder – he has a part-time job so he can stay at home with his son. Mom’s full-time. He downshifted so someone would always be there when Ethan came home from school. This makes him an okay man, I guess.

But he could be better. He could buy a florescent bulb. On credit.

If I had a Mastercard, I’d print this ad out frame by frame and sent it along with my shredded card.

Afterwards, Lileks embedded a frame from the film version of 1984, in which early on in the movie, a nine-year old uniformed “Youth League” member whose father works alongside Winston in the Ministry of Truth blurts out to Winston, “You’re a thought criminal!” Later in the book, after his sister turns in dad for being a thought criminal, he and Winston sit in the white porcelain abattoir-like Ministry of Love awaiting their fates. As dad ponders how many years in a prison camp he faces, he’s proud that he raised that he raised such a good little citizen of Oceania!

‘It was my little daughter,’ said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. ‘She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.’

How many parents allow their kids to hector them over environmentalist minutia without reminding them who is in charge of the family? Even if you do, how do you raise a kid knowing that they’ll be sent off to school where they’ll hear endless variations of Al Gore-style eco-crankery from their teachers? And assuming you don’t personally buy into the corporatist mantra that “we only have [fill in number of years] to save the planet” — or eco-doomsday is sure to follow — how does a parent counteract such programming?

MINISTRY OF TRUTH SLACKING OFF ON THE JOB: North Korea ‘Photoshopped’ marine landings photograph.

It’s one thing to share nuclear technology with them, but the hermit kingdom really needs to stop taking its Photoshop advice from Iran.

DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE: Yet another video of Obama’s rise to power has surfaced, this one from 2002. Obviously, no goodthinking person would even consider viewing it on his telescreen, lest he repeat the doubleplus ungood thoughtcrime he’s already on file with in the Ministry of Truth for watching last night’s video.

In the 2002 speech, Obama tells his audience, “You know, the principle of empathy gives broader meaning, by the way, to Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but rich people are all for nonviolence. Why wouldn’t they be? They’ve got what they want. They want to make sure people don’t take their stuff.” (Plus more comments bashing the suburbs.) Regarding this speech, before being sent to Minitrue for intensive questioning in Room 101, Power Line’s Scott Johnson wrote:

Now this was a speech on the occasion of Martin Luther King Day, and Obama does not directly criticize King. But he limits the applicability of King’s philosophy (or strategy) in a manner that takes it to the vanishing point.

It seems to me that the spirit of Obama’s remarks here is more in keeping with Malcolm X’s vehement critique of King (as can be heard, for example, in this video) than with that of King himself. There is a gulf between Obama and King that opens up over King’s persistent appeal to the principles of the American founding and Obama’s alienation from them.

In a related post, Power Line’s Steve Hayward, likely also on the way to Room 101, quotes from I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism, by Charles R. Kesler, focusing on “the dog that didn’t bark” during Obama’s speech allegedly tossing Rev. Wright down the Memory Hole:

The dog that didn’t bark on March 18, 2008, was that the crucial words “all men are created equal” do not appear in Obama’s carefully composed speech. And so that “already classic address,” as James Kloppenberg calls it, on a topic that Obama declared he’d been thinking about for twenty years, constitutes a very different kind of argument, with a very different view of America, than one finds in, say, Martin Luther King’s great speech in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial. Obama invokes neither Jefferson nor Lincoln. He refers to the Constitution briefly, noting its “ideal of equal citizenship” and that it “promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.” But he doesn’t mention the conclusion that he had announced in his book, namely, that the Declaration’s and the Constitution’s “people” did not include blacks, and especially not black slaves.

In short, Obama regards the original intention of both the Declaration and the Constitution to be racist and even pro-slavery. But he refrains from making the point explicit because it would confirm the Reverend Wright’s fundamental charge, that the United States is a racist country. And the point of the speech in Philadelphia, at the National Constitution Center, close by Independence Hall, the scene of the great events of 1776 and 1787, was not merely to repeat his condemnation of Wright’s remarks “in unequivocal terms” but to put the whole controversy behind him, without dwelling on his fundamental agreement with Wright’s interpretation of American principles.

That last item dovetails well with the thoughtcrime that Roger L. Simon committed last night in commenting on the 2007 speech:

Barack Obama is a segregationist.

How else do you explain a statement like “We don’t need to build more highways out in the suburbs. We should be investing in minority-owned business, in our neighborhoods”? [emphasis mine]

That is not what most of us had in mind when we were involved in the civil rights movement. Naïve us. Our intention was that everyone should get to live wherever they wanted, even those suburbs. They were open to all. Forget ghettoes and barrios. Equality, brother, equality. How did that old Babs Gonzales song go — “We got a New Frontier, a man in the moon, but we ain’t got integration”?

Oh well, integration was a nice idea once upon a time, but to Barack Obama in 2007 it was already seriously outdated, if it ever had any value. And why should it? An integrated society is not easily broken off into equally easily manipulated interest groups like African-Americans or Hispanic-Americans.

Segregation pays — at the ballot box.

It is also one of the fastest and most reliable routes to power.

Now I’m not trying to say that Obama is a segregationist like Orville Faubus or even a cheap race hustler like Sharpton. He is something different and obviously more complex and subtle, but in the final analysis he relies on the same reactionary racial estrangement as the other two.

Indeed, our president is the reverse of what he appears to be, pretending to bring the races together when he profits by driving them apart. In that sense, he is similar to Yasser Arafat, talking one way to the West and another to his Palestinian brothers.

Or as John Nolte writes in the “Top Ten Reasons the 2007 Obama Video Matters in 2012:”

Obama’s attacks on the suburbs and the “us vs. them” rhetoric that toxifies the entire speech helps make sense of his divisive presidency and campaign. Moreover, the speech that made Obama a national star was his 2004 address at the Democratic Convention where he was famously unifying and post-racial. That was his “no red states, no blue states” speech.

Now we know the 2004 speech was bullshit.

That’s news.

I’m not sure if that is news at this point, but it’s certainly worth confirming.

But if you’ll excuse me, having committed flagrant Goldsteinisms myself, I’m due to receive the Ludovico Treatment at Minitrue Headquarters to be re-assimilated back into the Borg. Be seeing you!

#POLITIFACTFAIL: “Although the heart of PolitiFact is the Truth-O-Meter, which they use to rate factual claims. author Louis Jacobson assigned no rating to the seemingly straightforward question of whether Obama ate dog.” That’s because they’d have to rate it “True,” and they don’t like to do that for things that might make Obama look bad. Plus this: “That this supposed Ministry of Truth is biased is not exactly news. A prior study by the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs found PolitiFact harbored a large bias against Republicans. But their double-standard is usually not so obvious and easily exposed.”

UPDATE: More on PolitiFact’s hackery:

The president ate dog when he lived in Indonesia, or at least there’s a passage in his book that says he did. It turns out, eating dog is not a common custom in Indonesia. You have to go out of your way to fetch a Scooby snack. A genuinely inquisitive media might whistle up a question or two to bring this question to heel.

This whole dog-eared story is a can of worms for Obama now. For PolitiFact, Barack Bites Dog represents a nasty dilemma: Rule “True” and confirm that POTUS ate Chow Chow Mein, rule “False” and suggest that he either embellished or didn’t even write his own book. Rule somewhere in between and you just muddy up the water bowl. So PolitiFact put its tail between its legs and didn’t chew on the Truth-O-Meter at all.

Politifact=Lapdog. Be careful guys. You don’t want to look too tasty . . . .

TOM MAGUIRE: Trouble In Paradise: “Back in the Business section Katie Thomas of the Ministry of Truth discovers and covers a problem with Obama’s previously brilliant contraception compromise.”

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: New Communique From The Ministry of Truth. “What we are now seeing with Obama’s coterie is a sort of Billy Carterism.”

SILICON GRAFFITI: Live from the Ministry of Truth!