Step 2: Ignore these two items. They don't mean that the noble republic you learned about in 8th grade civics class is crashing down around you.
News you won't read in American media: See It Now
Informed opinion Americans don't want to hear: See It Now
(Orwell alert: the author of this op-ed, a well-intentioned CEO of a San Jose semiconductor company, thinks Orwell's vision of 1984 is only now coming to pass, but you should know better. Orwell wrote about the world he saw around him in '48. It is not prophecy, it's reportage. What is happening now is that Orwell's truth is becoming easier to see, due to a certain brazenness streak emanating from the current administration. "Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called walking." Some people laughed when they heard Bush say that, others got unpleasant chills.)
For further edification on the reality and truth Orwell saw, we would suggest re-reading 1984 if the last time you read it was pre 9/11, or a much shorter assignment hitting some of the high points can be found here.