Archive for the ‘cambodia’ Tag

11/12/2022 “Fake News”   Leave a comment

In recent months the term “Fake News” has become popular. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but “Fake News” has been around for a very long time. The younger generations think that they’ve discovered some outrageous political trick that never existed before they discovered it. As an example, many years ago my son (aged 13) came rushing to me all excited. He told me to sit down and listen to this great song. He told me it was being used on a TV commercial and it was the best song he ever heard. I sat down and he played it for me, and I just started grinning. The song he discovered was at that time already a golden oldie, it was the Righteous Brothers singing Unchained Melody. He was sure it was some group from his generation. “Fake News” is a new term, but it has always meant the same thing: lying, misrepresenting, and double speak. George Orwell has been proven right once again. Here are a few samples of so called “Fake News” from the past.

2003: President George W. Bush for his creative use of language in public statements regarding the reasons the United States needed to pursue war against Iraq.

2002: New York State Board of Regents for its politically correct and silent editing of state tests.

2000: The tobacco industry for its media blitz portraying tobacco companies as the benefactors of children, abused women and disaster victims. That is abusive language in pursuit of their right to sell a deadly drug.

1991: Department of Defense for obfuscation and jargon in euphemisms during the first Gulf War.

1990: President George Bush on wetlands, the Panama invasion, Tiananmen Square and the “No New Taxes” pledge.

1989: The Exxon Corporation for the “Exxon Valdez” oil spill obfuscation.

1985: The CIA for the Psychological Warfare Manual prepared for the Nicaraguan war.

1979: The nuclear power industry for its euphemisms and jargon during the 3-Mile Island accident.

1977: The Pentagon and the Energy Department for language cover-up of the neutron bomb development.

1975: Colonel David Opfer, USAF press officer in Cambodia for saying to reporters, after a raid, “You always write its bombing, bombing, bombing. It’s not bombing! It’s air support!



01/22/2022 The Seven Wonders X 4   Leave a comment

The first mention of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was in the 5th century BCE. They were some of the greatest human achievements at that time. The list was used over the centuries by many medieval writers but was mainly concerned with the accomplishments of the Greek or Roman empires. At that time very little was known of faraway cultures and their creations. Here is the traditional list of seven:

Giza Pyramids (Egypt), The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Iraq), Temple of Artemis (Turkey), Statue of Zeus (Greece), the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (Turkey), the Colossus of Rhodes (Greece), and the Pharos of Alexandria (Egypt).

While these seven were indeed a wonder, there were many other places elsewhere on the globe with achievements worthy of mention. Here are just a few to make my point:

The Great Wall (China), Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Machu Picchu (Peru), the Taj Mahal (India), the Moai Statues (Easter Island), the Aztec Temple of Tenochtitlan (Mexico), the Shwedagon Pagoda (Myanmar), and the Coliseum (Italy).

These were just a few. I could easily have named at least two dozen more. Let’s change categories now to name the Seven Wonders of the Industrial Age.

The Transcontinental Railroad (USA), the London Sewer System England), the Panama Canal (Panama), Hoover Dam (USA), the Three Gorges Dam (China), the Banaue Rice Terraces (Philippines), and the Bell Rock Lighthouse (Scotland).

What about the modern world and it’s wonders? Here are seven more to consider:

Itaipu Dam (Brazil), the Channel Tunnel (England/France), the Twin Towers (USA), the Zuider Zee Dam (Netherlands), the Petronas Towers (Indonesia), the CN Tower (Canada), and the Burj Khalifa (UAE).

I’ve offered up a lot of information here and many will likely disagree with some of my choices. The point of this historical rampage was to show that creativity and wonder aren’t limited to one country or one continent. The wonders of the world are too numerous to list, and every country has their own favorites. I find it amazing that as a species we have so many similarities and so little understanding of each other. Maybe someday it will improve.


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