Sunday Night Translation Group — January 29, 2017

To quote Heather Williams, H.W., M., “Translation is the creative process of re-engineering the outdated software of your mind.” Translation is a 5-step process using syllogistic reasoning to transform apparent man and the universe back into its essential whole, complete and perfect nature.  Through the process of Translation, reality is uncovered and thus revealed. Through word tracking, getting to the essence of the words we use to express our current view of reality, we are uncovering the underlying reality of wholeness.

Sense testimony:

My left ankle is full of inflammation and scar tissue.


1.  Truth is My flagrant love: invisible, impenetrable, un-rape-able, invincible, safe, entire, intact.
2.  Infinitely Individuated Universal Truth is Only Vitality flowing with ease.
3.  I AM I Beingness, the Deliverer Changeless Perfection is able to do all Divinity Love Light.
4.  To come.

“Uneasy About the Future, Readers Turn to Dystopian Classics” by Alexandra Alter (

Protesters at the Women’s March on Washington last week. CreditNina Westervelt for The New York Times

Last weekend, as hundreds of thousands of women gathered in Washington to protest the inauguration of President Trump, the novelist Margaret Atwood began getting a string of notifications on Twitter and Facebook. People were sending her images of protesters with signs that referenced her dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again!” one sign read. “The Handmaid’s Tale is NOT an Instruction Manual!” read another.

“There were a honking huge number of them,” Ms. Atwood said.

“The Handmaid’s Tale,” which takes place in near-future New England as a totalitarian regime has taken power and stripped women of their civil rights, was published 32 years ago. But in recent months, Ms. Atwood has been hearing from anxious readers who see eerie parallels between the novel’s oppressive society and the current Republican administration’s policy goals of curtailing reproductive rights.

In 2016, sales of the book, which is in its 52nd printing, were up 30 percent over the previous year. Ms. Atwood’s publisher has reprinted 100,000 copies in the last three months to meet a spike in demand after the election.

 “Handmaid’s Tale” is among several classic dystopian novels that seem to be resonating with readers at a moment of heightened anxiety about the state of American democracy. Sales have also risen drastically for George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984,” which shot to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list this week.

Other novels that today’s readers may not have picked up since high school but have landed on the list this week are Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel, “Brave New World,” a futuristic dystopian story set in England in 2540; and Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel “It Can’t Happen Here,” a satire about a bellicose presidential candidate who runs on a populist platform in the United States but turns out to be a fascist demagogue. On Friday, “It Can’t Happen Here” was No. 9 on Amazon; “Brave New World” was No. 15.

The sudden boom in popularity for classic dystopian novels, which began to pick up just after the election, seems to reflect an organic response from readers who are wary of the authoritarian overtones of some of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric. Interest in “1984” surged this week, set off by a series of comments from Mr. Trump, his press secretary, Sean Spicer, and his adviser Kellyanne Conway, in which they disputed the news media’s portrayal of the crowd size at his inauguration and of his fractious relationship with American intelligence agencies. Their insistence that facts like photographs of the crowd and his public statements were up for interpretation culminated in a stunning exchange that Ms. Conway had on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” when she said that Mr. Spicer had not lied about the crowd size but was offering “alternative facts.”

To many observers, her comment evoked Orwell’s vision of a totalitarian society in which language becomes a political weapon and reality itself is defined by those in power. The remarks prompted a cascade of Twitter messages referencing Orwell and “1984.” According to a Twitter spokesman, the novel was referenced more than 290,000 times on the social network this week. The book began climbing Amazon’s best-seller list, which in turn drove more readers to it, in a sort of algorithm-driven feedback loop. It amounted to a blizzard of free advertising for a 68-year-old novel.

On Wednesday, the CNN host Van Jones read a famous passage from the novel about efforts to force citizens to “reject the evidence of your eyes and ears,” and urged his viewers not to become complacent when faced with a barrage of falsehoods. “Let’s not go down the Orwellian road, and I hope that’s not where Trump is trying to lead us,” he said.

Of course, it is not the first time that readers and pundits have invoked the novel to criticize the actions and statements of a government. It is such a standard trope that Orwell’s name has become an adjective. And because so many American readers are exposed to the novel in high school or college, most people have a passing familiarity with its basic themes about the dangers of authoritarianism, and use phrases like “big brother” as a shorthand to describe a multitude of things, from Google to homeland security.

“It’s a frame of reference that people can reach for in response to government deception, propaganda, the misuse of language, and those are things that occur all the time,” said Alex Woloch, an English professor at Stanford University who has written about the roots of Orwell’s political language. “There are certain things this administration is doing that has set off these alarm bells, and people are hungry for frames of reference to understand this new reality.”

The sudden prominence of such novels reflects a renewed public interest in decades-old works of speculative fiction as guides for understanding our current political moment. Readers who are grappling with a jolting shift in American politics, when easily verifiable facts are subject to debate and civil liberties and democratic norms feel fragile, are turning to dystopian novels for guidance and insight.

“Many of these books are becoming more important to the average American reader because they want to know what’s next, because we’ve never been through this before,” said the novelist Gary Shteyngart, author of the dystopian novel “Super Sad True Love Story. “Language is being used to destabilize people’s perception of reality, and that’s very new to this country.”

Readers may also be returning to the comfort (if you can call it that) of familiar dystopian novels because these stories offer moral clarity at a time when it can be difficult to keep up with the convulsions of the daily news cycle, and the fire hose of information and disinformation on social media.

“Maybe it’s a feeling that nonfiction has failed us, that journalism has not been able to keep up with things,” Mr. Shteyngart said.

The White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, had provided “alternative facts” during a briefing. CreditAndrew Harnik/Associated Press

While many of these novels are perennial best sellers and staples on high school reading lists, publishers were still unprepared for the recent rise in demand. Shortly after the election, “It Can’t Happen Here,” an 82-year-old satirical novel that was popular in its time but was never really enshrined as a classic, was sold out on Amazon and on Books-a-Million’s website. The book has sold about 45,000 copies since Nov. 9. Sales for the mass-market edition in 2016 were up 1,100 percent over 2015, according to its publisher.

“The book has certainly been known and alluded to since its publication, but now it’s really caught on because there are so many astonishing parallels to the present,” said Michael Meyer, an emeritus English professor at the University of Connecticut, who wrote an introduction to the novel. “It’s a satire about the politics of someone like Trump.”

The trajectory for “1984” has been even more dramatic. Since the inauguration, sales of the novel have risen 9,500 percent, according to Craig Burke, the publicity director for Signet Classics, a paperback imprint at Penguin. The book became the top seller on Barnes & Noble’s website this week, and appeared in the top 10 on the Indie Bestseller list, which tracks sales at hundreds of independent bookstores across the country.

Remembering Barbara Hager, H.W., m.

Posted by Al Haferkamp on
January 24, 2017

Skiatook, Oklahoma

Remembering Barbara Hager, H.W., m.

The memorial for Barbara Hager was held on Saturday January 14, 2017, at the Cremation Society of Tulsa chapel. Attendance was approximately 75, likely half of those who would have attended were it not for an ice storm that hit the area that day. Barb’s spouse Pam Rodolph organized the memorial, and several of Pam’s family were there. Barb’s two sisters also attended. A large group of Barbara’s co-workers, past and present, came to say goodby and celebrate Barb’s life.

It was icy outside, but the room was filled with warmth and love for our friend. I introduced with a few recollections of adventures with Barb – an adventurer she was – and then invited everyone there to share a story about Barb that is special to them. Several shared stories, feelings, laughs, tears. For me and most, I imagine, hearing each story was a bittersweet mixture of joy for hearing how she brought happiness those around her, and grief for the loss of so wonderful a friend.

There were many stories of how Barb would rescue hurt or abandoned animals, taking them to the vet for treatment and often home after. And story after story of her constant generosity.

Pam and her sister Judy put together a fried chicken buffet at the house after, and several relatives, including energetic young ones, and co-workers came by to eat and salute a life well-lived and too short by far.

The presence of so many enthusiastic children reminds that life is constantly fresh and new, even as we witness endings.

The Original Women’s March (in 1789) led to the downfall of a king

On October 4, 1789, a crowd of women demanding bread for their families gathered other discontented Parisians, including some men, and marched toward Versailles, arriving soaking wet from the rain. They demanded to see “the Baker,” “the Baker’s wife,” and “the Baker’s boy”. The King agreed to meet with some of the women and promised to distribute all the bread in Versailles to the crowd. The arrival of the National Guard on the scene determined to take the King back to Paris complicated things for the King.
Some of the crowd got into the Queen’s quarters and Marie Antoinette barely escaped by way of a secret passage (still partly intact at the Palace at Versailles) to the King’s room. He agreed to address the people from his balcony. “My friends,” he said, “I will go to Paris with my wife and my children.” It was a fatal mistake. It was the last time the King saw Versailles.

J.R.R. Tolkien on fear

“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it.”

–John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, FRSL, known by his pen name J. R. R. Tolkien (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973), was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy …Wikipedia


Artemis Dreaming, Gate to paradise, 1906 Wilhelm Bernatzik

On The Tomb Of A Priestess Of Artemis

Voiceless I speak, and from the tomb reply
Unto Æthopia, Leto’s child, was I
Vowed by the daughter of Hermocleides,
Who was the son of Saonaïades.
O virgin queen, unto my prayer incline,
Bless him and cast thy blessing on our line.
– Sappho

“George Orwell and the Power of a Well-Placed Lie” by Robert Kuttner (

George Orwell in 1940. (Wikimedia Commons)

January 25, 2017.  This post originally appeared at The Huffington Post.

Last week, I reached for my Philip Roth — his splendid novel, The Plot Against America. This week, I reached for my George Orwell.

In 1946, as Europe was digging out from the ruin of World War II — a genuine case of mass carnage as opposed to President Donald Trump’s fantasy carnage — Orwell wrote the classic essay on the seductions of propaganda, “Politics and the English Language.”

Much of the essay, widely assigned in English classes, warns how stale writing leads to sloppy thinking. But the most original part is Orwell’s evisceration of propaganda.

Long before Trump, the ‘mainstream’ Republican Party made lies a staple of its arsenal, from its lies about Obamacare to its bogus budget numbers to its false contentions of fraudulent voting.

Combined with his great novel 1984, written in 1949 as a dystopian warning about the way totalitarian practice becomes internalized in totalitarian thinking, these two great works gave us the adjective, “Orwellian.”

In  1984, we learned the official slogans of the party: “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength,” only slight parodies of communism and Nazism.

“Freedom is Slavery” was not far from the infamous greeting at the gates of Auschwitz, “Arbeit Macht Frei.”

And “Ignorance is Strength” seems to be Donald Trump’s credo and operating premise — ignorance for both himself and his public.

Orwell’s target was the prettified euphemism, used mostly by extreme left-wing and right-wing parties and governments. If people could be persuaded to accept the reframing, they might well alter their conception of reality.

In “Politics and the English Language,” Orwell made great sport of pretentious writing and mixed metaphors, such as “The capitalist octopus has sung its swan song.” But he was dead serious about the political point. He wrote:

Defenseless villages are bombed from the air, their inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called “pacification.” Millions of peasants are robbed of their land and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called “transfer of population.”

Note that Orwell was writing two full decades before the Vietnam War. Even before the advent of Donald Trump, the misuse of language in our own day has been in many respects more insidious and more corrosive than the plague against which Orwell was warning.

Orwell’s examples came from either totalitarian governments or far-left and far-right parties in the democracies. In America, a democracy, both major parties have increasingly used Orwellian language ― Republicans far more than Democrats.

Trump has taken the maneuver to a whole new low. But the earlier Orwellian efforts softened the ground.

There was a time when most laws had descriptive or technical names, such as the Glass-Steagall Act, the National Labor Relations Act or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Since former President George W. Bush, pieces of legislation have been treated as branding and marketing opportunities.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration hastily assembled a wish list of every overzealous prosecutor and surveillance agent. The initials of the legislation were tortured until they spelled out the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, or the Patriot Act for short. What patriot could be against the Patriot Act?

And speaking of torture, that activity, prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, was rebranded as “enhanced interrogation.” Sending American captives off to prisons in allied nations where there were no limits on torture was called a “rendition.” If a document was censored, that was now termed “redacted.” Even the mainstream press, shamefully, has succumbed to that usage.

As Orwell would have appreciated, “censored” is plain English. Censorship sounds like something we might want to oppose or at least suspect. “Redacted” is a bland, unfamiliar and bureaucratic word that suggests a neutral and presumably defensible process. And the Obama administration found the word just as convenient as Dick Cheney, Bush and company did.

After the Patriot Act, it became standard procedure for both parties to give laws propagandistic names, though the Republicans were the repeat offenders. One of the worst pieces of bipartisan education legislation ever, later repudiated by both parties because of its overreliance on teach-to-the-test, was called the “No Child Left Behind Act.” Who could be against that?

Trump’s strategy is to flood the zone — to proliferate so many lies that by the time one lie is rebutted, he has put out several more, and he seems to believe even the lies that contradict previous lies.

Republican advocates of school vouchers, mindful of the well-established support for public schools, began rebranding them as the more sinister sounding “government schools.” When President George W. Bush sponsored a tax-subsidized drug insurance program run by private insurance companies, he made sure to brand it “Medicare Part D,” since Medicare was a broadly supported public program — even though his drug program was a pure windfall to the drug industry and had nothing whatever to do with Medicare.

This may seem like small beer, but it is one of several trends on the use of language that has misled and cheapened public discourse ― and laid the ground for Trumpism. At the extreme, the trend feeds the ability of demagogues to persuade citizens that up is down, or black is white.

Fox News, the most flagrantly biased of the cable channels, pioneered the trend with its slogan, “Fair and Balanced.” As any serious person knows, Fox is a propaganda organ, while the reputable news organs, from The New York Times to NPR, really do make an effort to separate fact from opinion.

Long before Trump, the “mainstream” Republican Party made lies a staple of its arsenal, from its lies about Obamacare to its bogus budget numbers to its false contentions of fraudulent voting.

Trump has embellished this technique by lying, then accusing his critics of lying, until the debate is hopelessly scrambled. Trump manufactures phony stories, then accuses the media of “fake news.”

Adolf Hitler was the first to describe the technique of repeating a lie so often that people would come to believe it. He called it the “Big Lie.”

Bill Moyers and four historians on the big lie behind the rise of Trump.

From his denial of climate change to his denial that Obama was born in Hawaii, Trump has dusted off the Big Lie. But then he does the classic Big Liars one better ― by denying the denial.

As Jonathan Swift wrote in 1710, “Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late.” A version misattributed to Mark Twain has it that “a lie is halfway around the world while the truth is putting its boots on.” You get the point.

Trump’s strategy is to flood the zone — to proliferate so many lies that by the time one lie is rebutted, he has put out several more, and he seems to believe even the lies that contradict previous lies. Ignorance really is Trump’s strength.

In his Inaugural address, Trump claimed that America is succumbing to a horrible crime wave, when if fact serious crime is at a 30-year low. Republican demonizers of the Affordable Care Act bemoan the high out-of-pocket expenses, when in fact all the Republican replacements would raise deductibles and co-pays. And so on.

Trump has resurrected the Big Lie. But, pathetically, he also resorts to the Little Lie.

On his first full day in office, Trump’s main concern was whether his was bigger — his inaugural crowd. Though it was easily verified that Obama’s inaugural had a larger crowd, as did the women’s march the next day after Trump’s show, a livid Trump sent out his press secretary to rail at the press for understating Trump’s size. The press spokesman, Sean Spicer, himself told at least seven easily verifiable lies.

I am feeling a little better than I did on Inauguration Day, in part because of the good cheer and political resolve modeled at the several women’s marches — but also because you can sense the wheels starting to come off the Trump bus.

Call it the New Separation of Powers. Trump’s inner circle is a snake pit of intrigue between the likes of Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Trump is at odds with senior members of his own cabinet, who are at odds with each other. Trump’s ad libs, like his abrupt support for universal health coverage, regularly cut the legs out from under his Republican Congress.

Trump may wish he were a total dictator, but this is still a democracy. Lies can work during campaigns but at some point, when you try to govern, reality has a way of intruding. Eventually, the truth does get its boots on.


Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, a professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School and a distinguished senior fellow of the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week and continues to write columns in The Boston Globe. He is the author of Obama’s Challenge (2008) and other books. Follow him on Twitter: @rkuttner.