Posts Tagged ‘Book’

After a White House official used the term ‘alternative facts’ to refute accusations of White House falsehoods, sales of the 1949 dystopian science fiction novel 1984 spiked to the top of Amazon.com’s best-seller list.

The exchange quickly became infamous: on NBC’s Sunday show “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd interviewed Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway about her colleague, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who offered “provable falsehoods” during his very first meeting with the press: namely, the size of the crowd that watched President Trump’s inauguration.

After some arguing, Conway said: “You’re saying it’s a falsehood… Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”

“Wait a minute,” said Todd with an incredulous chuckle. “Alternative facts? Alternative facts?… Alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”

Conway’s comment was widely derided by Trump opponents, and many claimed that the phrase “alternative facts” sounded like a comment from the oppressive police state known as Big Brother in Orwell’s famous novel.

That novel contains the line, “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” Many compared this to Spicer”s comments about the inauguration, despite photographs clearly demonstrating fewer attendees to Trump’s inauguration than to Obama’s eight years prior.

In 1984, society is controlled by a totalitarian government that watches nearly every aspect of human life. The main character, Winston Smith, is a minor bureaucrat with the Ministry of Truth whose job is to rewrite historical events to fit Big Brother’s version of events, including erasing all evidence that certain people ever existed.

A major theme of the novel is Big Brother’s manipulation of the truth to better suit the policies of the authoritarian state. Facts and reality are irrelevant, and only what Big Brother says is true matters. The novel coins many terms to describe this behavior, including “goodthink” (thought approved by Big Brother), and its opposite, “thoughtcrime.”

Orwell, a democratic socialist, was distressed by atrocities committed by both Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, and believed the western world was beginning to move down a similar path. Orwell died shortly after the book’s publication. 1984 is frequently read in the west by high school students, making it one of the most popular novels of the 20th century.

Spikes in 1984’s popularity often follow moments of distrust in the government. Sales increased significantly following the 2013 leak of NSA documents from Edward Snowden and others.

In the west, it has become common to compare governments the author dislikes to Orwell’s worst-case-scenario. A 2014 Forbes story had the headline, “Obama’s Corruption of the English Language Comes Right From Orwell’s ‘1984.’” A 2002 article from SFGate was entitled “Learning to love Big Brother / George W. Bush channels George Orwell.”

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In the course of a recent operation to liberate a terrorist-held enclave in northern Latakia, Syrian Army troops discovered a ‘manual for terrorists’. Printed in Turkey, the book teaches jihadis “the proper conduct of war on foreign soil,” up to and including the use of nuclear weapons.
The manual, printed in Arabic and called ‘Zad al-Mujahed’ (roughly, ‘Fruits for the work of God’s Warriors’) was published in Istanbul, with its publishers making no attempt to even try to hide the book’s origins. It features the logo of the Istanbul-based Guraba publishing company, contact information, and even an ISBN, inside its front cover.

Speaking to Sputnik Arabic, the Syrian Army soldier who discovered the book said that it was filled with hatred and calls to war against people who don’t share jihadists’ faith, as well as instructions on what must be done with “enemies and their property.”

“The book describes how to properly burn cities captured by jihadi fighters, how to cut down all the trees, destroy all life, how to execute prisoners in the correct manner,” the soldier explained.
“The book says that jihadis have a right to marry their captives; the book even mentions the aspect of the possible use of nuclear weapons,” he added.
The book is banned in Syria for its radical content, and repeated calls to violence and terror. For this reason, Sputnik Arabic decided not to quote it directly. Still, it published photos, republished here, showing the cover and details on the book’s publisher. It remains unclear how many copies of this book were found.
Syrian authorities are extremely sensitive about published materials which could be seen to inspire sectarian conflict. Before it was engulfed in war in 2011, Syria was known as a secular, multicultural and multiethnic nation with a large number of religious minorities. Since then, many of these minorities have been threatened with enslavement or extermination by homegrown and foreign-sponsored radical Islamist terrorists, including Daesh (ISIS), al-Nusra and a collection of affiliated groups.

TRUTH SEEKERS!!

Posted: January 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Truth seekers! I stumbled apon a shrewd book at Barnes and Noble one afternoon while accompanying a co-worker whom was searching for a specific type of journal she had in mind. The book title “If life is a game, These are the rules” by Cherie Carter-Scott. The title alone enhanced my interest and I began instantly flipping through the pages. A particular chapter was prominent to me and after reading a paragraph, I eagerly anticipated my new purchase. Immediately, I identified the subsequent chapters relatively to my own life experiences. Each chapter seemed as if it was specifically designed for me. Created to induce laughter, deeply cogitating moments in my life where rational thinking was necessary and moments when I stopped in sheer acknowledgement subconsciously saying, “This is me all over.“. Chapter 4, “A LESSON IS REPEATED UNTIL LEARNED” mirrored my repetition in relationships, jobs and decision-making, accurately. Explaining how the same things will occur in our lives, often in different ways, ultimately barring similar consequences due to failure from a previous lesson. Chapter 9, “All YOUR ANSWERS LIE INSIDE OF YOU” explains how we tend to search for answers of approval from friends, family or social encounters. Simplistically the answer has always existed internally. It’s significant to have family and friends that will be honest with you whether brutal or encouraging but naturally you know what’s best for you. Reading this book really forced me to take a different look at myself, examine my experiences and the decisions that carried me to this chapter in my life. If you haven’t read it, please take a closer look at who you are and if you are you or something someone thought of you. Reflect a mirror on yourself and be willing to ponder who you are and whether you have been free or a mere image of what someone else has subtly convinced you to be. The truth is within you.