1984

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, February 23rd, 2017 - 120 comments
Categories: Satire, us politics - Tags: , , ,

As widely reported recently, George Orwell’s “1984” has been back at the top of the bestseller list. Now according to The Guardian:

US cinemas to show Nineteen Eighty-Four in anti-Trump protest

Coordinated screenings across North America set for 4 April to highlight Orwell’s portrait of a government ‘that manufactures facts’

Nearly 90 cinemas in the US and Canada are planning to show the film adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, starring the late John Hurt, in protest at President Trump’s policies. The coordinated screenings will take place on 4 April, the date that the book’s central character Winston Smith writes on the first page of his illegal diary.

The organisers of the protest have released a statement, saying: “Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier.” …

That Orwell was ahead of his time.

But not by much.

120 comments on “1984”

  1. Dot 1

    Timely says it all —
    time for serious thinking.

  2. xanthe 2

    I think 1984 has applied for some time across dems, repubs, nats, labour, greens just to name a few, But it is a good thing if it gets an airing now even if it is overdue

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      That’s some mighty bigly “thinking” you’ve got there. Care to explain how Labour or the Greens are somehow reminiscent of a jackboot stamping on a human face? With examples, please, rather than more weasel words.

      • adam 2.1.1

        Orwell stated in interviews and reviews of his own book. 1984 was as much a criticism of liberalism, as it was of totalitarianism. In the preface of my 1984 copy of “1984”, Orwell wrote, that people in the western Democracies should not feel smug – liberalism has many faults.

        That said, xanthe, whilst it could be squarely applied to the USA situation when the USA is looking more and more like a corporate state.

        I’m loath to throw all of the greens or indeed all of labour under the bus on this. Many within both those parties know the short falls of liberalism, and understand the horrors of totalitarianism.

      • Xanthe 2.1.2

        Ahhh actually I was thinking of Animal Farm. My bad

      • Why do people quote Trump’s “big league” catchphrase as “bigly”?

    • Skeptic 2.2

      I think you need to re-read the book and then re-read you political history. There is no way in hell you can apply “1984” to Democrats or Republicans in the USA nor any of the Tory/Conservative/National/Liberal center-right parties in Western democracies. To try to equate the book with any of the center-left parties – Labour/Labor/Green/Social Democrats/Socialist – of Western democracies _especially given their human rights records – is nothing less than “alternative facts” – ie lies!

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Most people in the third world would love to see some of your much vaunted Western democratic human rights being applied.

        As opposed to say drone strikes against civilians, persecution of whistleblowers, mass surveillance of the entire citizenry (how’s that for 1984), regime change programmes of governments the west does not like, and the military and financial support of tyrants and dictators the west does like.

        • Skeptic 2.2.1.1

          Re-read the book CV – then reappraise your comment – as for human rights, where do you think the notion of UDHR started – eh mate!

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.1

            While I point to the realities on the ground in poor and non-favoured countries, you point to a grandiose piece of paper. OK.

            • Skeptic 2.2.1.1.1.1

              The point being there wouldn’t be a benchmark if it weren’t for the Western Liberal/Socialist democracies. Your realities on the ground are undeniable, but it’s quite incorrect to tar all Western democracies in a sneering manner when some of them have made and continue to make unheard of strides in Human Rights – Rights that were unheard of 100 years ago – go learn your history mate and get some perspective in your arguments.

              • Colonial Viper

                go learn your history mate and get some perspective in your arguments.

                OK let’s go. Where do you want to start?

                The Shah? Saddam Hussein? Iran/Iraq War? How about Hiroshima/Nagasaki. WWII Battle of Phillipines? Nicaragua? Salvador Allende? Afghanistan (Soviet/pre Soviet). British occupation of Ireland. Rape of India. English clearing of the Highlands. The Stolen Generation. Genocide of the Indian Nations. Vietnam War.

                • Skeptic

                  Your starting point might be Roman Empire = slavery, Middle Ages = serfdom, English Civil War & 1689 Revolution, American Revolution, French Revolution, 1848 multiple European Revolutions, WWI, Russian Revolution, WWII, 1940s & 1950s Independence Revolts, 1960s (say no more). The thread being there has been throughout history an unstoppable groundswell towards human and individual rights – constantly challenged and undermined by the “privileged” few. All of our progress towards what we have today is based on the sacrifices and lives made by the giants on whose shoulders we sit. You forget that – you forget your perspective. CV – you may snipe and make snide remarks, but even you can’t ignore the fact that we would even be having this discussion if it weren’t for the achievements of our ancestors. True they weren’t perfect, but neither are you mate – just don’t forget it – eh!

                  • McFlock

                    CV’s copped a ban until the end of october.
                    Maybe six hours after he came back from a previous ban.

                    • Skeptic

                      Yeah – I’ve read some of his stuff, and while he makes good points in his discussions/arguments, he lacks perspective from what I’ve seen. He would much improve his contributions if he reflected a little before putting fingers to keyboard, and possibly thought about the longer historic viewpoint. While no-one doubts we’ve a long, long way to go before reaching the hopes and dreams of Owen, Hardy and the many visionaries who shaped our actions today, we have made a hell of a lot of progress, at least until 1980, but then economics isn’t everything. Despite our faults, the West has lead the way in social progress, which is surprising given the entrenched opposition from the privileged. What we have, emerging nations aspire to – and while there are examples of clear detrimental episodes from various governments from time to time, our society and culture (including the USA) is usually at the forefront of aid and voluntary service abroad. That’s something that hadn’t occurred much before the 20th century. Scientific progress – in particular in the medical field – has lifted our species to heights that were unimaginable 100 years ago. That’s what i mean by perspective. Perhaps CV can learn.

                  • Galeandra

                    Patronising tosh……..mate. Up to and including 6.42 pm. Your notion of ‘history’ is akin to an un-nuanced ‘ wikipedia overview’

                    Have a gander at 1984 if you have time and stamina then read his discussion of the language of propaganda at http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit/

                    Mate.

        • swordfish 2.2.1.2

          Great to see you back, CV.

          Said it before – the place loses a degree of dynamism whenever you cop a ban.

          And without you, Paul, Morrissey and one or two others – the site tends to be overrun by Clintonista Shill-Boys / Banal Apologists for US Imperialism / Washington Consensus types / Shrill Establishment Courtiers who gravely fear anyone even mildly more social democratic than St Hillary of Goldman Sachs may be covert “Hard” Left extremists.

          Speaking of which

          For a good (albeit unintentional) laugh …

          Andre “I think the way hard-lefties didn’t support the Dems and Clinton even after they moved their platform a long way left …”

          https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-19022017/#comment-1301099

          • Ad 2.2.1.2.1

            O Swordfish you say that like it’s a bad thing.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2.2

            Chur, swordfish. I saw your recent comment about everything this year boiling down to Winnie.

            Agree completely.

          • mauī 2.2.1.2.3

            Gutted, gone again. I mean if I wanted to see a wall of messages from people who hate Donald Trump I tune into something like Huffington Post. If I want to get commentary from different people’s viewpoints with a variety of interesting, intelligent angles I thought it would be here. Instead I see tory moles given a license to say stupid shit and intelligent lefties going against the grain wiped from the floor.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.2.3.1

              1: ISTR CV has previously denied being a “lefty”. Called himself beyond left/right or some bullshit.

              2: he got his arse banned again because he is apparently incapable of forming a coherent argument that rests on something other than his own fantasies. I seem to recall that this is the third* time running that he’s been kicked for precisely the same reason: unsubtantiated assertions claimed as facts.

              3: if I were to channel CV and rewrite point 2 in his style, I would have said something like “CV keeps getting banned for stating simple facts.” Note the lack of specifics, not clearly identifying the instance(s) I’m discussing, slightly reframing the issue to suit the narrative, and simply being a provocative sentence that then needs to be googled by someone else before you even know wtf I’m talking about to discover my dishonest framing. Put all together, those are dick moves.

              4: tory moles say stupid shit but seem to be able to keep within the moderating rules that cv repeatedly ignores. Sucks but it’s true.

              *second time is here and in the moderating note lprent says he thinks his ban for CV before that was for the same reason. Someone else might have banned him between the first and second times for a different, or even the same, reason.

          • rhinocrates 2.2.1.2.4

            Swordfish, you forgot to mention the Judean People’s Front and the Popular Front of Judea.

      • SpaceMonkey 2.2.2

        However Brave New World can be applied.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The corporate media/Hollywood backed colour revolution against the elected government of the USA continues.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      🙄

      Pete George is back.

    • Ad 3.2

      What is a “colour revolution”?

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Colour revolutions are based upon a fusion of the Rand Corporations “swarming” technique invented in the 1960’s and Professor Gene Sharp’s guide to nonviolent struggle in the 1990’s. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) act as an extension of western intelligence agencies to create artificial revolutionary movements in countries that oppose Anglo-American hegemony through the use of social networks and text messaging, resulting in the overthrow of unfavorable regimes. They always appear as organic demonstrations by a people against a corrupt ruling class, which is reinforced and sometimes manufactured by the mainstream corporate media, but in reality they are organised by foreign NGOs

        This is American developed political technology, well rehearsed in foreign lands, and now brought back home for use.

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-sponsored-color-revolution-in-russia-in-st-petersburg/5398132

    • Bill 3.3

      I’ll come back some time later to see if this has been responded to…

      Do you really believe that every facet of resistance to, or pro-active organising against the current US President and/or US admin is being orchestrated by some combination of Soros/Dem Party/ corporate media +++ sort of grand conductor?

      See. I can acknowledge that the likes of the Democratic Party would like to platform on anti-Trump concerns and rehabilitate themselves in the eyes of the US electorate. And I can easily understand how that would entail moderating and guiding reactions to Trump into a ‘safe space’ that they can capitalise on.

      And that would mean that the Soros’s and the Dems and the corporate media et al would act more as a brake on the momentum of any opposition…limiting horizons and keeping everything channeled and ‘in bounds’ like all good reactionaries down through the years have done.

      What various expressions of the liberal establishment are doing around Trump is no different to what they would have done around Sanders or what they are doing around Corbyn.

      But the world of reaction to Trump is much, much broader and deeper than just those establishment actors – it’s ordinary people living ordinary lives standing up and learning to walk the walk. I can’t for the life of me understand why you wouldn’t be supportive of their efforts; why you’d want to throw them under the same bus you’d throw the liberal establishment under.

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.1

        But the world of reaction to Trump is much, much broader and deeper than just those establishment actors – it’s ordinary people living ordinary lives standing up and learning to walk the walk.

        That “world of reaction to Trump” is being fed by the same multi-millionaire mainstream media talking heads, CIA infiltrated broadsheets and Hollywood stars (i.e. the front face of the ‘liberal elite’) saying that Trump is anti-semitic, that he is racist, that he is dangerous and unstable, and that he likes having neo-Nazis in the WH.

        You can see this in the massive partisan polarisation in Trump’s job approval numbers. The people who supported him before the election still support him (and have long since turned off the MSM), while the people who hated him before the election, still hate him (and keep referencing to pieces off CNN, Vox, Huffington Post and the NYT).

        So, are there a lot of people who oppose Trump’s policies and politics? Yes.

        But there are also an awful lot of people (yes, ordinary, non-elite non-establishment day to day folks) who have been persuaded to simply hate Trump (the way he looks, the way he talks, his mannerisms and affectations, his weight, his hair, his skin etc.), which is a different thing altogether.

        These are people who don’t know a thing about Presidential discretion written into US immigration law, about what exactly the Secretary of Education does, about Trump’s Jewish grandchildren.

        But they don’t care because they’ve been told (by the MSM) that it’s righteous to hate Trump.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.1.1

          I thought it must be the millions who voted illegally 🙄

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.1.1

            California State Senate Leader De Leon recently admitted that many illegal immigrants have false govt ID eg. social security cards, green cards and drivers licences.

            Government ID like that might enable illegal immigrants to formally register and vote.

            • McFlock 3.3.1.1.1.1

              That’s still light years away from “millions who voted illegally”.

              Nice slide though.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’m just repeating what was said by De Leon, McFlock.

                And with government ID like that you can register to vote, buy a gun, drive a motor vehicle you are not qualified for, do all kinds of things.

        • adam 3.3.1.2

          *sigh* I thought you could think for yourself Colonial Viper. Instead you give us the poor leader speech. The fact of the matter is most people here understand the positions in cabinet, and what they mean. Most people here have friends in the USA, who are not lap dogs of the Media, and can think for themselves.

          Have you actually talked to people? Or are you at the fox news beck and call.

          I”m surprised you can’t look at his cabinet as see a whole group of corporate retrogrades, about to put the neo-con economic con, into overdrive.

          You know he took money from lobbyist already – so no ‘draining the swamp’.

          Has the irony of your take on media dawned on you yet?

          • greywarshark 3.3.1.2.1

            Adam
            Sigh
            Why don’t you just make your points without making them personal here.

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.2.2

            I have plenty of criticisms of the Trump Administration (and especially its sell out to Goldman Sachs), but a Muslim Ban and him being anti-semitic are not two of them.

        • Bill 3.3.1.3

          So the details or specifics of any establishment attacks on Trump differ from those that would have launched against Sanders. But we acknowledge that the basic scenario being presented to Trump would also have been presented to Sanders, yes? Just as it’s presented to Corbyn even though he’s only the leader of an opposition party.

          I’ve commented often enough on what I think of various iterations of ‘Project Fear’ – the ‘go-to’ strategy of the liberal elites. So let’s set all that aside…we agree (I think) that it’s a croc of despicable and somewhat stupid shit that’s just as liable to back-fire as it is to achieve anything (Actually, probably more likely to back-fire)

          But that aside, what you’re suggesting is that Hispanics have been ‘persuaded’ to be anti-Trump or to oppose this Admins policies, and that swathes of women have been ‘persuaded’ to be anti-Trump and/or oppose this Admins policies and that the likes of myself, well, I’ve just been ‘persuaded’ too.

          Surely you can see that’s a nonsense?

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.3.1

            Some people have very significant, substantial and knowledgeable disagreements with Trump’s policies and politics. Great for them! They should be active in their politics, campaign hard for what they believe in, and support true political alternatives.

            Awesome.

            Other people think he should be opposed by the wearing of genitalia hats because of his Muslim Ban, his white supremacy/neo nazi inclinations, and his unnatural attraction to his daughter Ivanka. They’re the sheep who follow whatever the MSM tell them.

            Additional note: Yes indeed on the ‘project fear’ thing.

    • Xanthe 3.4

      Hey i am so glad you are back CV. was getting a bit echoey in here

    • greywarshark 3.5

      I really like your ideas CV. Could you possibly stay around and choose a tactic of putting your ideas up for a disruption in the day’s arguments, then stay out of the argument for the whole day. Next day put up a comment on the points made, then follow the same procedure.

      It would really liven the discussion. And you just stay out of the firing line, and provide reasoned comments the next day, instead of both sides spending thinking time attacking each other.

      The present way you conduct your discussion is a waste of your time and we don’t get enough good reasoning overall. And then you get really annoyed and then you are out. If you are inclined to take notice of what I have suggested we could all do well on this basis. If not, well….

      • Colonial Viper 3.5.1

        Yeah OK smart suggestion, using your framework then I’ll back out for a bit. Appreciate your ideas, GWS.

        • Ad 3.5.1.1

          Stay and fight CV, and don’t get fooled by this silly softcockery.

          • Colonial Viper 3.5.1.1.1

            Hey always happy to argue my points hard out over a beer, but last time I was banned for a month for referring to what official exit polls said about demographics voting Trump.

            So why bother.

            [That’s not why you were banned. You were banned for making assertions as fact and not backing them up, and that specifically being a pattern of behaviour considered trolling. Here you are misleading about why you were banned. I can’t see any point waiting for yet another series of demonstrations of the patterns of behaviour that have led to multiple bans in the past, so I will just do it now. Banned until a month after the election. – weka]

            • McFlock 3.5.1.1.1.1

              Really?

              Was this the ban in question? Because it looked like you were banned for spouting early exit polls as “facts” without attribution or even any real thought.

              Play that victim violin though. whatever.

              • Colonial Viper

                The lack of attribution and referencing was a contributing factor to my ban? Not just voicing some inconvenient truths? Great to know.

                • McFlock

                  From that particular ban:

                  But since you have asserted it as a fact, I’ll treat it like I do with any other troll asserting an unsubstantiated ‘fact’ and then abusing others with that as their dumbarse bullshit. It is a troll trait. It is especially obnoxious on a post about lying about facts.

                  Since you seem to be more dedicated to asserting made up ‘facts’ at present rather than arguing a case, and I seem to remember that your last ban from me was for something similar (abusing others with unsustantiated facts), so I’m giving you a 4 week ban

                  So yeah, unsubstantiated, plus juxtapositional irony, plus it being a repeat offense, all contributed to your ban.

                  By the way, I do like how you made an unsubstantiated (and apparently incorrect) assertion about why you copped a ban when you apparently copped that ban (at least in part) for making an unsubstantiated assertion.

                  edit: well, that was quick lol

                  • adam

                    I’m liking the new hard nosed weka.

                    To many people have spun shit about her point of view, they deserve what they get for misrepresenting her.

                    As we all should cop, if we tell porkies about the authors.

                    The authors offer enough reminders not to do it. Yet, people still do it.

                    • Galeandra

                      Well you can carry on liking her on your own. I’m off again.

                    • rhinocrates

                      Some people only learn what they can and can’t get away with.

                    • McFlock

                      certainly made me tread lighter

                    • lprent

                      You tend to find that when moderators get repeated behaviour then they simply escalate the penalties for both people repeating the offense and those trying it for the first time. After mods get used to moderating, then the scale of bans tends toward the logarithmic on repetition.

                      The reason is that it frigging boring dealing with the same old shit over and over again. If people want to just repeat their previous behaviour then they will obviously do it again and again – chewing up valuable moderator time.

                      So the rational response from moderators is to make sure that they don’t have to deal with it for longer. They do escalating bans.

                      When the incidence of that particular problem falls back, then the moderation used tends to reduce slowly.

                      Moderation is a long term task to change particular behaviours on the site without stressing the moderators too much. Personally I tend to track the effects of it by quarters or halves of a year. It is also always unpopular with those who get moderated and is usually favored by those who come to debate.

                      I’m glad that weka has gotten to that stage.

        • greywarshark 3.5.1.2

          Oh good. Look forward to see you sparking discussion through 2017

  4. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 4

    I have just sent away for Swastika Night – described by one site as the companion novel to 1984, though written 12 years before.

    From Wikipedia.

    Swastika Night is a futuristic novel by Katharine Burdekin, writing under the pseudonym Murray Constantine, first published in 1937. The book was a Left Book Club selection in 1940.

    The novel is inspired by Adolf Hitler’s claim that Nazism would create a “Thousand Year Reich”.

    It is set 700 years in the future, when the world is divided between a German Empire and a Japanese Empire.

    The novel was forgotten for many years, until it was republished in the 1980s.[1]

    Literary historian Andy Croft has described it as “the most original of all the many anti-fascist dystopias of the late 1930s”.

    Apparently it has a strong feminist view-point.

  5. Ad 5

    I don’t yet think we’ve found the book that fits this era.

    “1984” was written in 1949 with the memories of full totalitarian regimes fresh in everyone’s mind, and still expanding under the Soviet Union.

    Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel “Fahrenheit 451” was written as the McCarthy and House UnAmerican Activites Committee was really cranking up. That’s more on point than “1984” is to today.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451

    In reality we have none of the conditions that either Orwell or Bradbury was facing – there’s too many people just jumping at shadows going all Goodwin on us. Trump has no more than a term in him.

    I know what I’d like to see in a relevant movie – Gattaca seems more relevant now in terms of full data control of our lives.

    I’d really like to see a Director who can make Brexit or the breakup of the US or EU sound interesting to people other than political nerds.

  6. saveNZ 6

    As well as 1984, Animal Farm still has relevance, Kafka with endless beauracracy also significant in these times.

  7. Andre 7

    Yes, governments around the world of all colours have developed awesome tools of surveillance. There is also a wide array of tools for information and emotion manipulation. Trump certainly gives a superficial show of trying to appropriate a Big Brotherly aura of being the sole unquestioned source of all facts and answers.

    However, Big Brother was competent. In contrast, the simplest explanation for the current administration is undirected out-of-their-depth flailing. To sustain the argument that what looks like incompetence is actually the subtleties of a genius multi-dimensional chess grandmaster at work requires adding more dimensions every time the Chump opens his mouth.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      I see the anti-Trump movement continues to struggle to pitch Trump as being an insidious, evil tyrant, or as aa bumbling, fumbling incompetent, or some weird changeable mixture of both.

      Get your story right.

      • Andre 7.1.1

        The Chump aspires to be an insidious evil tyrant, but is unable to get beyond bumbling, fumbling incompetence.

      • McFlock 7.1.2

        Be fair, it’s incredibly difficult to figure out whether he’s simply pretending to be incompetent to hide his evil, or just that his incompetence outweighs his intentional evil.

        Illegally cancelling already-issued visas when the recipients were already in flight, for example – was his failure to get legal advice on the executive order (or to even inform Homeland Security or the customs officers who had to administer it) extreme incompetence, or was he intentionally causing distress to innumerable families and individuals? So sad.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.1

          Illegally cancelling already-issued visas when the recipients were already in flight, for example – was his failure to get legal advice on the executive order

          US visas can be cancelled at any time, without warning.

          Having said that, the implementation of that EO was substandard and provided clear evidence of an inexperienced Trump Administration which is on a steep learning curve.

          It’ll take them 6-8 months.

          • McFlock 7.1.2.1.1

            So he’s incompetent at the moment, then.

            Repeatedly inventing terrorist attacks that never happened: incompetent delusions, or cynically creating a climate of fear and paranoia to ease the implementation of his policy agenda?

      • Skeptic 7.1.3

        According to a recent article put out by a group of respected and eminent psychologists, Trump is a classic narcissist – egotistical, selfish and self-deceiving – who surrounds himself with sycophants. So both are true – he is a bumbling idiot with the self control of a two year old, but has put some truly scary people in his cabinet who could – if given half a chance – set scientific knowledge back 150 years. Among his picks are climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers, creationists and fundamentalists of the worst kind. His foot-in-mouth tweets have set US diplomatic relations with friends and allies back 80 years (pre-WWII) while he continues to be an “unwitting” agent for Putin – Putin and the SVR don’t have to say a thing – Trump does what they want anyway. The former KGB counter-intelligence agent must be laughing fit to bust a gut – for 100 years (since 1917) Russia have been looking to get someone inside the White House – they’ve succeeded beyond their wildest dreams – they got their man as President. Putin must be creaming his jeans thinking of the havoc and irreparable damage his man can do.

        • Bill 7.1.3.1

          Having a non-politician in one of the world’s most powerful political positions isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. The US seeking some kind of rapprochement with Russia isn’t a bad thing at all (unless you’re a die-hard war monger). Insanity’s probably par for the course for presidents and their ilk.

          And having Trump in the White House is as nothing for Russia when compared to what having Yeltsin in the Kremlin was for the US. And unlike the baseless gossip that would have us believe that Trump is the ‘Manchurian Candidate’, Yeltsin actually did get into the Kremlin because of US help. (Time magazine openly boasted about the influence of the US)

          • McFlock 7.1.3.1.1

            I think that’s a false equivalence from faint damnation.

            While having a non-institutional leader or even leadership team isn’t bad in itself, trump’s team have gone out of their way to avoid any contribution from experienced individuals. Eg the blatantly illegal Muslim ban being signed without any legal advice or even briefing to homeland security/customs.

            Additionally, most of the people chosen for his cabinet seem to be April Fools’/reverso-world parodies of cabinet nomination: a charter-schools and patently stupid secretary for education, a habitual sue-er of the epa and climate-science denier as head of the epa, and so on. I wouldn’t be surprised if trump had a documented flat-earther as head of NASA.

            And yes, a lot of presidents/administration officials have been callous or paranoid to the point of being nuts, but this one can’t even keep it under wraps for two days.

          • Skeptic 7.1.3.1.2

            Love the comparison Bill, especially about Yeltsin getting US “aid” – I think I remember what that was (but if memory serves me correctly, didn’t the EU have something to do with that too? – threats of withdrawal of financial aid and loans etc?) – and by my own definition that would make him an “unwitting” CIA agent. Having said that, the question I ask is “can Trump do far more damage to global affairs in view of the USA unique position?” Does that not make him more like Orwell’s dictator? If not – phewwwww. If so – Shiiiiit.

            • Bill 7.1.3.1.2.1

              US citizens with US political connections and experience of US political campaigns – ie, spin meisters, ran his (Yeltsin’s) campaign.

        • Andrea 7.1.3.2

          “put out by a group of respected and eminent psychologists, ”

          Which is unethical.

          They are either guessing, or abusing patient confidentiality.

          I don’t like Trump. His business practices are unsavoury to say the least. Other people pay for his follies and lack the resources to rebound, to give him his own back.

          However, to smear and cast malignant doubt is nothing better than tunnelling under the low road.

          • McFlock 7.1.3.2.1

            They’re basing it on his public behaviour, which is indeed unethical.

            An ethical rule named after Barry Goldwater, a presidential candidate in the sixties, because a couple thousand psychiatrists were surveyed and the bulk reckoned Goldwater was mentally unfit for the role of president.

            And the rule saves us largely from talking-head psychoanalysts diagnosing based on a thirty second sound bite, so it’s a pretty good rule.

            But the interesting conflict is where the sheer volume of concerning behaviour in public creates an ethical dilemma for the mental health professionals. I mean, we have voluminous lying and all sorts of narcissistic behaviour, in the everyday sense of the word, but what if he were apparently experiencing auditory hallucinations that he and his followers claimed were the voice of god?

            At the moment I just think he’s a massive turd with a few lifelong personality flaws (including a snowflake-fragile ego as small as his tiny, tiny hands), but maybe that’s because I’m not a trained professional who’s spotted not just some objectionable traits, but also some big red flags that should be very concerning about whether the man should have access to nuclear launch codes.

  8. Andre 8

    This may belong better in Open Mike, but seems relevant here.

    The argument that what we’re seeing from the intelligence agencies in the US is legitimately one of the checks and balances of keeping a free state. Where leakers are motivated by showing the government is not acting legitimately. Which is a contrast to when the US indulges in trying to destabilise foreign governments, which often seems to be to create commercial opportunities for American companies.

    http://www.vox.com/world/2017/2/22/14598834/trump-deep-state

    https://theintercept.com/2017/02/14/the-leakers-who-exposed-gen-flynns-lie-committed-serious-and-wholly-justified-felonies/

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The argument that what we’re seeing from the intelligence agencies in the US is legitimately one of the checks and balances of keeping a free state.

      More like the activity of an unelected permanent state bureaucracy opposing the mandate of the legitimate and democratically elected government.

      People need to understand that what we are seeing in the US is a Cold Civil War between the elected Executive and the unelected, invisible Deep State.

      • swordfish 8.1.1

        # “Soft Coup”

        What really concerns me is the emerging alliance between the Dems, the agenda-driven media, the deep-state agencies, the all-powerful foreign policy establishment and the progressives that are desperate to get rid of Trump by hook or crook. Glenn Greenwald summed it up perfectly in a recent post at The Intercept. He said:

        “I happen to think that the Trump presidency is extremely dangerous…. They want to dismantle the environment. They want to eliminate the safety net. They want to empower billionaires. They want to enact bigoted policies against Muslims and immigrants and so many others. And it is important to resist them.

        …(But) if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls…

        But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. That is a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it.”

        (“Greenwald: Empowering the “Deep State” to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy“, Democracy Now)

        In other words, if you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas. Leftists should avoid the temptation of aligning themselves with groups and agencies that might help them achieve their short-term goal of removing Trump, but ultimately move them closer to a de facto 1984 lock-down police state. Misplaced support for the deep state Russophobes will only strengthen the national security state’s stranglehold on power. That’s not a path to victory, it’s a path to annihilation.

        https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/16/greenwald_empowering_the_deep_state_to

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/22/90663/

      • Olwyn 8.1.2

        Hi CV. Good to see you on deck.

      • Tricledown 8.1.3

        Between Russian intelligence and US intelligence.
        Trump will be reigned in and have to read from script is antisemitic apology.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Didn’t John Key say that he could always find a different person with a different view to what science has told us?

    http://www.noted.co.nz/archive/listener-nz-2011/john-keys-unhappy-week-at-the-bbc/

    So, yeah, we’re pretty much in 1984 with National in government.

  10. UpandComer 10

    It will be pretty interesting for the Left in the United States when they realise that Orwell is writing about THEM.

  11. JC 11

    Meanwhile….. “1984” Here in New Zealand!

    Mike Joy told RNZ News there had been a subtle shifting of the goalposts for water quality, which could allow more faecal matter in river and lake water now deemed swimmable. So all of a sudden Rivers will now be swimmable by the swipe of a pen…
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/325183/govt-plans-to-make-90-percent-of-nz-waterways-swimmable-by-2040

    I’m aware this has been put up in a current post. But there’s so much wank going on here about shit you can’t sort!. And an ego display of “your” worldly view and your knowledge of those events…. And yet most of you disregard the shit that’s happening in your own back yard!
    Happy flagellating..

    • Muttonbird 11.1

      Agree. Massive election issue I think and something which the opposition, especially the Greens have been pushing for a long time. That the current government has felt the need to do this show they are very concerned – not for the quality of the water or the people who want to use it, but that public perception might turn against them.

      They really are horribly cynical and reactionary.

      However, as you say, some here are more interested in Trump. It’s very sad.

  12. Andrea 12

    If you could also add in the abstraction of water from aquifers and waterbodies beyond resilience and recovery,
    the local body government insistence on ‘flush’ toilets instead of more modern technology (sorry Messieurs Bramah and Crapper) leading to ‘treatment plants’ and the sheer stupidity of sending waste water out to sea (including untreated material when stormwater blows the ‘systems’),
    the townie habits of using the gutters and ‘creek out the back’ for dumping noxious and toxic substances,
    the excessive manure loads on pastures; and
    the conservation of spawning sites in both fresh and estuary waters
    we may have covered more of the issue.

  13. joe90 13

    Sleepwalking their way.

    .

    Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

    SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

    But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated.

    http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/02/22/arizona-senate-crackdown-on-protests/

  14. Michael 14

    Orwell’s essays are arguably more relevant than his fiction, which was often criticised for its crude characterisation and poor plot development. None of that really matters, however: when set alongside the essays, the fiction begins to resemble them. I think Orwell intended all his writing, fiction and non-fiction alike, to preach a message to humanity: start recognising each other as rational dependent animals (Alasdair McIntyre’s famous phrase) and respecting individual human dignity (Kant’s restatement of the categorical imperative) or perish in a toalitarian hell. Particularly relevant to this page is “Politics and the English Language”. Before this year’s campaign circus gets underway, perhaps one of you might like to give copies to your leaders?

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