Orwellian Phrase of the Week
Which sayings are true, and which ones just sound nice?
Pictured above: A tool of defense.
Today is the 64th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell's masterpiece, 1984. Here's hoping that in the case of this particular novel, life stops imitating art. In celebration of the anniversary, The Proverbial Skeptic is proud to announce a new weekly feature, The Orwellian Phrase of the Week.
In it, The Proverbial Skeptic will pause its normal business of taking apart whole sayings and pay a little tribute to the Public Relations people, Consultants, Advertisers, Lobbyists and Politicians who take time from their busy days to make our lives a little more Orwellian by renaming just words and phrases. Thanks, guys! Keep it up!
This week's lucky winner is "The Department of Defense".
An intellectual forebear to "The Patriot Act", this phrase names the military cabinet seat in the executive branch of the U.S. Government and has done so since 1949. Before then, the position was filled by the much less propagandist "The Department of War", but that failed to present America's military policy as appropriately isolationist.
As everyone knows, America has never been prone to unprovoked or incommensurate acts of war, and has never failed to enter a war when it should have.
So thanks, "The Department of Defense", and remember, kids, we were always at war with Eurasia!
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.
- July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
- Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
- NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.
Strangely, the sun showed no sunspots at the time the photo was taken.
- The photo shows the International Space Station as it orbits the Earth, as it does every 90 minutes.
- The photo is remarkable because it offers a glimpse of the star at a time when there were no sunspots.
- In November, astronauts aboard the ISS plan to grow Española chili pepper plants.
Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.
- Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
- The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
- If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.