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George Orwell

George Orwell and Karl Kraus: Two Sides of the Same Argument Against Political Euphemism

Franz-Stefan Gady | Posted 04.02.2014 | Books
Franz-Stefan Gady

Kraus's perplexing aphorisms and linguistic legerdemain and Orwell's sparse prose are two sides of the same argument against political euphemism employed to dehumanize and enslave a population for the sake of a 'higher good' or grosse Zeit (extraordinary times).

Using Metadata to Catch a Whistleblower

Peter Van Buren | Posted 03.27.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

What if that someone also had, as we know the NSA does, access to your social media, email, snail mail, credit card data, travel information, air reservations, and bank records? Orwell was an amateur. Metadata is the key to stripping away the haystack so that the needle is just sitting there.

Why Pacifism Was Modified: Vladimir Putin

Charles Redfern | Posted 03.25.2014 | Religion
Charles Redfern

Strict pacifism's weaknesses glare when we review a bygone era that ran on different assumptions: The fascist threat rendered the political Left less dovish in the 1930s.

Snowden's Lawyer: Forget About Orwell, Worry About Kafka

Michael Winship | Posted 03.12.2014 | Politics
Michael Winship

"All of this stuff was classified. Not just classified; it was classified at the highest level. These were the secrets that the government said were most critical to keep. But what kind of democracy would we be if the public had never learned of this information?"

Essential Reading for Writing the College Essay

Josh Stephens | Posted 03.14.2014 | College
Josh Stephens

Fortunately, Orwell, Zinsser, Lamott and all the rest demonstrate that high school doesn't necessarily matter. The process of learning to write never ends.

The Fall of Singapore and Railway of Death

Franz-Stefan Gady | Posted 03.03.2014 | Books
Franz-Stefan Gady

In addition to being an uplifting personal account of a man battling his war-induced inner demons, learning to cope with them, and even forgiving one of his former torturers, the book also unintentionally chronicles the end of European supremacy.

Watch: An Antidote to Big Brother's Chill

Bill Moyers | Posted 02.27.2014 | Politics
Bill Moyers

Like Orwell's telescreens -- through which Big Brother broadcasts propaganda and spies on citizens -- our lives are dominated by cellphones, tablets and laptops that are our real-life two-way mirrors.

In a Free-Market Economy 'Income Inequality' Will Always Be a Fact of Life

Howard Barbanel | Posted 04.08.2014 | Politics
Howard Barbanel

There has always been a top five percent and a top one percent in the U.S. In any free market capitalist society there are always going to be some folks who do exceedingly better than others.

San Francisco's Arion Press: Fine Books, Great Artwork and Good Talk

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 03.23.2014 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

Here in San Francisco, we've got any number of iconic sites and sights. I'm here to add one more unique item to the list, less visible but deserving of far more widespread renown: Arion Press.

Sports Are Education

Chris Waddell | Posted 03.12.2014 | Good News
Chris Waddell

It's taken me a long time to figure out that simple is the goal. Maybe now that I know it, I can win at the start by knowing where I want to go.

Maybe It's Time to Find a New Word for "Reform"

Joseph A. Palermo | Posted 03.10.2014 | Politics
Joseph A. Palermo

Today, as Orwell predicted, we need a new political language. "Reform" is being used in our political discourse by the wealthy and corporate mouthpieces as code for privatizing and deregulating every public service they can get their greedy hands on.

Taking Snowden's Christmas Message Seriously

Jay Sterling Silver | Posted 03.08.2014 | Politics
Jay Sterling Silver

Although the media wasn't listening, Snowden's Christmas remarks broadened the message: the concept of privacy itself, and what we are to leave of it to our children, is important, is in peril, and must be added to the conversation.

Bringing Edward Snowden Home Would Be a Very Patriotic Act

Sara-Ellen Amster, Ph.D. | Posted 03.04.2014 | Media
Sara-Ellen Amster, Ph.D.

With every revelation he made last year, Snowden proved himself a person fighting for our democratic way of life at enormous personal risk, not a spy but a patriot. The U.S. Constitution should protect citizens who say the government has gone too far in trampling people's constitutional rights.

Factory Farms Of The Future: Part II

Sonia Faruqi | Posted 12.17.2013 | Food
Sonia Faruqi

Extreme genetic selection, accelerated by artificial insemination, leads farm animals today to yield far more meat, milk, and eggs -- while eating far less -- than they ever have.

Amazon Drones: Orwellian Mayhem?

Mark Weinstein | Posted 02.14.2014 | Technology
Mark Weinstein

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled his grand vision for drone attacks on our porches and personal spaces. From a warehouse to your front door, goods delivered in record time with minimal hassle. What could possibly go wrong with that? Pretty much everything and here's why.

Orwell's 'Big Brother' Prediction on a Fast Track to Reality

Diane Dimond | Posted 01.25.2014 | Crime
Diane Dimond

We're all well aware of the millions of randomly situated video cameras all across the country capturing what we do 24/7. But what you may not realize is the extent to which other types of taxpayer-funded surveillance capabilities have been put in place.

The Problem With the Common Core Math Standards

Nicholas Tampio | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Nicholas Tampio

When discussing politics, citizens should speak to one another as clearly and sincerely as possible. Right now, the Common Core literature uses technical terms and tortuous prose to sell an educational philosophy that may not deliver what it promises.

'I Heart Boobies' and Why America Shouldn't

Chloe Riley | Posted 11.18.2013 | Women
Chloe Riley

I Heart Boobies is a saccharine piece of hard candy that should make anyone who's ever endured breast cancer want to choke. All of cancer's ugly, painful complexity is scrubbed away, leaving a pop-able, infantile easy-to-gulp nugget for Americans of all ages to ingest.

How an Idealistic President Embraced Cyber Espionage

Nikolas Kozloff | Posted 10.22.2013 | World
Nikolas Kozloff

Could President Obama's second term be marred by further revelations stemming from the NSA scandal?

The Empire Strikes

George Heymont | Posted 10.17.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

You know that little game where corporations like Netflix, TiVo and Amazon.com try to "recommend" products they think will appeal to you? That process is based on meticulously crafted algorithms that apply artificial intelligence to retail choices.

Terms and Conditions May Apply Documentary: A Must See Horror Film

Mark Weinstein | Posted 10.02.2013 | Technology
Mark Weinstein

Cullen Hoback's film takes us down a rabbit hole to try and answer the question: Is privacy dead? In the process, he exposes us to a massive civil liberties nightmare.

The Zimmerman Trial, Orwell and Race

William H. Turner | Posted 09.15.2013 | Black Voices
William H. Turner

Many Americans -- lots more whites than blacks, I am sure -- do not believe the verdict in the Zimmerman trial was just the latest example of the biases against young black males of a racist, oppressive criminal justice system that continues to grow.

Like 1984 All Over Again

David Abbitt | Posted 08.26.2013 | Politics
David Abbitt

Scott McNealy, founder of Sun Microsystems, once said of individual privacies, "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." It seems timely to revisit McNealy's suggestion in the wake of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations.

Ultrasound Obsession!

Rick Horowitz | Posted 08.22.2013 | Politics
Rick Horowitz

And their language is Ultra-Orwellian! ...

A Bold New Way To Say No to Cliche

Michael Sigman | Posted 08.18.2013 | Comedy
Michael Sigman

Sixty-seven years ago, George Orwell observed that "[Political] prose consists more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabr...