Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tolerance, Opinions, Newspeak, and Today's America

This blog isn't, as I've written before, political. But since politics affects America's decision-making process regarding the war on terror, the topic comes up. This is one of those times.

"Liberal Minded, You’ve Been Blinded" Urban Conservative (March 12, 2008) is, in my opinion, a well-thought-out description of a particular sort of liberal. The author defines the sort of "liberal" he's describing in the second paragraph.

If you think Senator Ted Kennedy is moderate, or that all military recruiting centers should be closed, you probably shouldn't read that post. Particularly if you have high blood pressure, or a nervous disorder.

I think it's good reading, though: and gives a remarkably clear look at the differences between liberalism and conservatism in America. The 2006 comparison of Salvation Army pails in San Francisco and Sioux Falls, SD, for example, may be news to you.

The "Liberal Minded" post also highlights a set of ideas and beliefs which, in my opinion, are keeping many Americans from seeing and understanding what is going on in the world today.

One of those ideas is the curious meaning of the word, "tolerance." That's a word that's been used - and mis-used- a great deal, and is one of the ideas brought up in the "Liberal Minded" post. Here's a copy of my comment on:
Your claim that liberals, although praising tolerance, are in fact intolerant, indicates that you use oldspeak: "They worship freedom of speech for all groups and lifestyles, yet deny select groups from voicing their opinions."

In the current version of newspeak, the "opinions" of persons who engage in crimethink are generally referred to as "hate speech." Obviously, "hate speech" is not the same as "opinions," as anyone capable of doublethink would realize.

Persons with bellyfeel of today's liberal doctrines by and large also possess the blackwhite to accept this definition of "tolerance" without hesitation.

Since you clearly have an ungood attitude toward and goodthinkers and ownlife, I'll continue in oldspeak:

Your last paragraph starts: "Go ahead; call me a right-wing war monger. I’ve been called worse." I don't doubt it. However, in fairness, Let's point out that a Nobel Peace Prize did go to Yasser Arafat in 1994, along with Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East" ( ). So, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the illustrious trophy will go to, say, Ahmadinejad: for his peaceful efforts.

Although some goodthinkers have already made their bellyfeel known, I'll risk committing crimethink by saying that I really enjoyed this post: and think that you hit the nail on the head. I appreciate your careful definition of "liberal." There's quite a broad spectrum - one that I think isn't quite bipolar - out there.

Thanks for posting, and - keep writing, crimethinkwise!

About me, in the context of this post:

It's easy to assume that I'm conservative, given the views I express. I'm not.

I'm not liberal, either: and I'm certainly not "moderate" in the current political meaning of the word.

I'm Catholic.

Just the parts of my faith that relate to respect for human life, service to others, and personal responsibility put me at odds with parts of conservative ideology, and with parts of liberal ideology. It also means that I am in agreement with other parts of each of the two political poles.

All of which makes deciding how to vote a real challenge.

Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

Related posts, on censorship, propaganda, and freedom of speech.
Update (March 23, 2009)

I started a glossary of newspeak in another blog: There are 'newspeak dictionaries' on the Internet, but some are offline at odd intervals, and others are free-for-all compilations of what George Orwell actually wrote, and nifty words and phrases that sprouted up later.

Eventually, I'll go through the book myself and fill in the blanks in the list I made. But, that's low on my priority list right now.

Why Bother?

I like researching and organizing facts. This growing glossary of Newspeak is, I think, a useful guide for evaluating messages we hear, see, and read today.

People with extreme views on all ends of the ideological spectrum have produce propaganda. George Orwell was a Socialist of sorts, and a member of the British Left.

I'm a Catholic - which, in some circles, is worse, or just as bad, as being a socialist or commie. I've posted about that before ("Conservative? Liberal? Democrat? Republican? No, I'm Catholic" (November 3, 2008) ).

So, here's that work-in-progress:

"Feeling Ungood About Doublethink? Here's Help "
A Catholic Citizen in America (March 23, 2009)

"This post started as a simple definition, and grew.

"Had a Bellyful of Newspeak and Bellyfeel?

"If doublethink has you feeling ungood, or you can't get rid of the niggling suspicion that thoughtcrimes may not be as ungood as you've been told, you're not alone.

"Here's a very short glossary of terms which you may find helpful, while trying to think coherently about what you read and hear on the news. The words are from George Orwell's novel, 1984...."

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.