Tag Archives: lies

Through the Looking Glass into 2017

We are on the wrong side of the looking glass. The Red Queen in the White House just Tweeted, “Off with his head!”

For just one moment, bring your mind to a halt. Look at life in America in 2017 as though you had just gotten out of a time machine from 1945.

At least half of everything is lies. Simple, empirical, no-that-ain’t-so lies.

Isn’t that bizarre?

People have always lied. Diogenese, we are told, carried a lantern in daylight, looking for an honest man. In spite of that I propose that the level of lying, the broad dissemination of untruth, has never before been as high in human society as it is in America (and certain other countries) today.

Never before have we had the tools to disseminate ideas like we have today. And only since World War II has the science of persuasion been so well investigated and understood. There are professionals out there who could sell salt to a stone.

They do it with pretty lies. Advertising is not about facts. Beautiful women are not automobiles. Spinning gloriously through the sands or through the city, everyone magically out of your way so you and your car can dance alone in the wind – that’s not driving. You know that. It’s OK. It’s life in America.

It’s a lie. It’s pretty fiction. People get used to buying lies with real money. We sell, buy, and operate our governments the same way.

I’m not talking about Donald Trump, although he does get people’s attention with the blatant disrespectful nature of his lies. He lies every day, and all the media reports his lies. They read his tweets. Every word is a lie. The clever reporters wink at you, saying, You, there, in the know – isn’t it outrageous how he lies?

They are telling his lies for him, and they are not explicitly reporting them as lies. Because that would be impolite. It would show bias. He is, after all, the President.

See? We are on the wrong side of the looking glass.

We are in a time and place so bizarre that a man who tells wild lies in plain language has a reputation for “telling it like it is.” He is not an aberration; he may be the pinnacle of American lying but he is by no means unique.

There is no mainstream media outlet in America today that is willing to show a bias in favor of empirical truth. We are on the wrong side of the looking glass. We special people who get the joke, who recognize the lies – we’re losing. Liars control our lives. Liars are our government; liars own roughly 90% of everything. It’s not just Donald Trump.

The topic of the day is (ahem) “Tax Reform.” The United States is currently blanketed with the same old lies about tax cuts for the rich that we’ve been told since 1980. There is no question: we are being empirically lied to every day over every form of media, text and electronic.

Tax cuts do not pay for themselves. Tax cuts do not create jobs. Tax cuts do not create economic growth. And tax cuts most emphatically do not reduce the deficit or the debt.

Here is where I’m supposed to tell you about Reagan and Bush and Brownback in Kansas and blah blah blah how their tax plans exploded, and refute all the lies, but there is no point. It’s the Super Bowl with no referees. I’m tired of having conversations where one side uses facts and the other side uses lies and the media pretends they are equal.

Facts and lies are not equal.

Most of the statements on which the tax cut debate is being based are empirically, provably false. There is a public record. Get it out. Read it.

The liars go out on TV and on the radio and they tell their lies and the anchor says, “The Democrats say your plan would take retirement security away from working Americans,” and the Senator says, “Lie lie blah blah blah improve the economy jobs,” and the anchor says, “Thank you for your time, Senator,” and it’s on to the next fiction.

This, remember, is the party that is identified and reported nearly universally as “fiscal conservatives.”

People who are about to pass a law that will result in the public borrowing an additional trillion or more dollars over and above the trillions we were already going to borrow identify themselves as fiscal conservatives and the United States media passes it on with a straight face.

If we are to have a two party system and govern ourselves we can’t have one party who lies about everything. We can’t have a media which presents lies and facts as equal and calls that unbiased reporting. Our nation is on the verge of dying.

When they’re not lying about taxes they’re lying about global warming. Here, once again, is where I’m supposed to refute their garbage, but it’s a waste of time. Do you believe science, yes or no? Science is a system. Humans created the world we live in using science. It’s all one thing. There is no grounds for debate.

Except to lie.

And the media still plays along. Did global warming cause Harvey, Irma, and Maria? Did global warming cause the west to burn up? (Let’s see… our globe is warmed. Those things happened. Yup, global warming caused them. Weather is caused by the climate. Next question.)

We are all admiring the emperor’s new clothes. Can you see our new Second Amendment where only the second half of the sentence applies? Isn’t it lovely? Did you hear the one about money being speech?

We have gone through the looking glass to get to 2017. On the other side of the looking glass it was 1890 and they were snake oil salesmen and medicine show con artists. On this side they are Senators, Congresspersons, Presidents and CEOs, and own newspapers and television networks. They run one of our nation’s two major parties, our government, and our economy.

It is a very strange experience.

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Talking to Republicans

Today (October 20, 2017) David Brooks, speaking on All Things Considered, said that members of the two major parties should talk to one another no matter how much they disagree. In theory I agree with him, but there is a problem.

It seems that Republicans and I do not share a common language or reality and are therefore unable to converse.

Either that, or the entire Republican platform and position is based on falsehood.

For two parties to discuss political options and solutions they must begin with an agreement as to what the current facts are, and then discuss how to address those facts.

When Republicans deny the existence of global climate change / warming, there is nothing left to discuss.

“You’re wrong.”

“Am not.”

“Global warming is real, Houston hasn’t dried out yet, Puerto Rico looks like an atomic wasteland, and California is on fire.”

“Is not.”

From here, where is the discussion supposed to go?

When Republicans say that tax cuts pay for themselves, balance budgets, create jobs, and create economic growth there is nothing left to discuss.

“Reagan Deficits.”

“Pay for themselves.”

“Bush Deficits.”

“Pay for themselves.”


“Create jobs.”

37 years ago when Ronald Reagan proposed his “supply side” theory it sounded pretty unlikely but, in fairness, it had not been tried and there was a possibility it might work. It has been tried. Over and over. It doesn’t work. Once is a mistake. Twice is foolishness. After the Kansas Experiment continuing to promote the same ideas is, to be gentle, hogwash. What’s to discuss?

When Republicans say that the second amendment expressly permits “shoot[ing] at our government when it becomes tyrannical,”

there is nothing left to discuss. I fought in a war because my government sent me to. Now the Republican party says it is all right for citizens to take up arms against it. On what basis can we debate this? When Republicans see paramilitary armed gangs intimidating citizens on the streets of major cities and say the second amendment permits it, there is, sadly, nothing left to discuss.

When Republicans say that all of America’s intelligence agencies, and the intelligence agencies of our allies, are lying about Russia’s influence on our last election, there is nothing to discuss.

And above all, when Republicans say, over and over, that money is speech, there is nothing left to discuss. I offer to buy them dictionaries but they don’t respond.

Of all the horrors, all the irrational ideas and falsehoods being put forward for “debate,” none is more poisonous than the claim that money is speech.

When payday comes I propose that the New York Times offers David Brooks a heartfelt “Thank you.” Nothing more. Because if money is speech then speech is money, and words are all the paycheck he needs.

The Court might as well have said that money is citizenship. One dollar one vote. I am serious. As a combat veteran living on a veteran’s disability, my voice has been utterly silenced in the nation I fought for. Every voice but the voice of the very wealthy has been silenced. A few hundred to a few thousand individuals absolutely control our government, because our Congress knows that those individuals hold the keys to their election. They don’t need us; they don’t hear us. Money is speech and we don’t have any.

I know I sound almost flippant, but this is absolutely critical to the survival of our republic. If the voting public is not presented with two more-or-less factual party platforms to choose between, elections are meaningless. Our last Presidential election, although possibly critical to our survival as a nation, was presented to the voters in terms far less factual than the election for my high school homecoming queen.

Sadly, while I understand David’s hope, there is nothing real to talk about.

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