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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Presidential Lies


Silverfiddle Rant!

A great question arose out of last Friday's blog Post:

Which presidential lies have been the worst?

Starting with Day One of George Washington up to this Monday, 24 Jan of Joe Biden's presidency.


Joe's had some funny ones, like how he grew up in the black church, used to drive a semi, or got arrested multiple times fighting for civil rights in the US, and battling the South African Apartheid regime. 

El Donaldo's lies are epic, legion and even multi-dimensional.  Democrats are still in an indignant rage of his sharpie edit of a weather map...

Anyway, lay it on us.  In the history of the US presidency, what are the most egregious lies?  Tell us who, what, and why the lie you provide was so horrible.





95 comments:

  1. We can get the easy ones out of the way first...

    Lyndon Brainless Johnson, lied about the occurance of attacks on US naval vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin, manufacturing a pretext for sending American troops into Vietnam, 1964.

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  2. LBJ's lie resulted in the deaths of 58k+ US servicemen.

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  3. Which presidential lies have been the worst?

    Tough question. In most cases, the answers received will follow party allegiance, and there are multiple contenders.

    I'm not sure who rises to the top, without putting some significant thought into it, but three things I'm pretty certain of:

    - All President's lie
    - Only the opposition President's lies really matter to most Americans
    - President's lie because the think you're stupid

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  4. Replies
    1. Arguably the most dangerous and destructive lie of my lifetime.

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    2. That one certainly rises to toward the top.

      Also a good illustration of how politics and allegiance compels so many people to 'die on that hill' over claims....only to dismiss and conveniently forget them a scant few years later.

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    3. I think Iraq was more of a case of finding bottles, rags, gasoline and cigarette lighters, but no Molotov cocktails.

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    4. We found plenty of 'WMD'.....moldering mustard gas mortar munitions - circa 1990, for the most part.

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    5. Binary shells and the two chemicals to put into them to mix when fired?

      As far as I'm concerned, the UNSC resolutions on Iraq were clear that they were to divulge all chemical stockpiles even if they had dual use outside military purposes and Saddam Hussein never told us how many grains of salt he had in his kitchen. He had his chance.

      A war on terrorism that spared Saddam's Iraq is analogous to forgetting to mention Elvis in a documentary on the history of rock and roll.

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    6. I seem to remember that Saddam Hussein bragged all over the place about the WMD's that he had.

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    7. That neighborhood is not one where you want to look weak...

      But his was a predictably hollow boast.

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    8. He did. And Iraq had a hell of a lot of pesticidal chemicals stockpiled to put in binary shells for instant sarin gas, tabun, and phosgene gas. This is why I make my ingredients vs. Molotov cocktails analogy. You don't have to pretend to be stupid about Iraq's WMD programs, and at this point - fait accompli - no amount of slandering Bush is going to ressurect Saddam or his WMD collection.

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    9. Most of that shit got hauled to Anniston, Alabama to be destroyed by the US Army.

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    10. Remember the gasps of horror when the Bish administration released captured diagrams of Iraq's nuclear bomb designs and blueprints? That was some hilarious ownage of the left when they started criticizing Bush for showing the world how to make a nuke. Buried the cognitive dissonance needle.

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    11. Bomb designs do not = bombs. Saddam lied about the scope of his 'program'. Bush and Company....were 'owned'.

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    12. Not sure, Bush and Company were owned.
      I saw one analysis that said, Sadam's underlings were so afraid of him that they lied about their "accomplishments" and Sadam actually thought he had functional WMD's.
      We didn't start destroying our stockpiled chemical weapons until 1985 and the process is still going on -as far as I know-. They really weren't usable, even in 1985. The chemicals used in them are so unstable/corosive that they are a risk even when they're just in storage.

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    13. That's entirely possible Warren, but a rather obvious political agenda with faulty intelligence, got us almost 2 [additional] decades in Iraq.

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    14. Nothing in the US Constitution gives Iraq the right to disobey a direct order the President of the USA. Fuggem.

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    15. The Iranians suckered us in. Remember Achmed Chalabi? He did Iran's bidding and confected just the information Dick Cheney was looking for.

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    16. Thought Criminal. On your Molotov cocktain analogy...

      ... more like finding the equivalent of wet matches and whale blubber. All Saddam was going to do with that crap was get his own forces sickened and killed.

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    17. Sounds like you concede that Saddam was hiding a chemical munitions stockpile.

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    18. It's not exactly difficult to make sarin gas from agricultural pesticides.

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  5. Minor Lie not even in the top 10:

    Barack Obama: “If you like your health plan, you can keep it”

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    1. Silverfiddle,
      Respectfully, disagree.

      Minor only if you were not caught in the squeeze and ended up bankrupt -- or avoided medical care altogether because of the draconian deductibles and/or premiums.

      Not speaking for myself here* because I escaped (policy I had was grandfathered in and Mr. AOW was on Social Security and Medicare disability. But I had several friends and a family member who couldn't afford the deductibles and ended up in deep sh*t with their health.

      * I did postpone medical care when my kidney trouble started -- because of the high deductible and out-of-pocket dollars (total = $5,000). Had I not finally said, "To hell with the money. I'm in trouble," I could have died. I had the money; my friends and family member did not.

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    2. Obama's idea is a sham. I remember when you had those issues and money should never be an object when it comes to our health, but this country does not care, it is capitalistic. I am glad you are here, and I pray okay now.

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    3. Going off topic a bit but “If you like your health plan, you can keep it” would make a good spin-off of "worst presidential campaign lies".

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    4. Elizabeth,
      If this country were fully capitalistic, we'd have open-market options for shopping for health insurance. As it is, we have government subsidies involved, and they poison the field.

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    5. AOW,. Yes. I've been saying this for a long, long time. Government can put all the Band-Aids in the world on something, but the healthcare market must first be rationalized.

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  6. Neil Young? Really? After his Spotify demands to censor Joe Rogan?

    'F Neil Young!

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    1. Neil Young must have been really shocked to find out he doesn't own the rights to his music anymore. Talk about farting in your hat lol

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    2. I remember when the left applauded dissidents.

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    3. Neil Young, is flakey and always has been. Now he's just a has-been.

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    4. Saw Rod Stewart and Neil Young in Evansville live 40ish years ago.

      Flakey?

      And yeah, when you get that age, it's hard to stay out of the has been club.

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    5. I have been a Neil Young fan for years. I'm disappointed he no longer believes in free speech for all.

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  7. Replies
    1. It doesn't involve a First Strike, I hope.

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    2. Does that count as a presidential lie if it was itrered as a candidate, Ducky?

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    3. @ Ducky,
      That's a little off topic but which war do you have the secret plan to end? ;)

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    4. That was Candidate Nixon in '68, talking about Vietnam.

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    5. Did he actually say it? Or is that an "Unlike Nixon, I have no secret plan to end the war" implied statement?

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    6. The “secret plan” chestnut, which circulates periodically as purported evidence of Nixon’s venality and sneaky ways, dates to the presidential election campaign in 1968 and a speech in New Hampshire. There, in early March 1968, Nixon pledged that “new leadership” in Washington — a Nixon administration, in other words — would “end the war” in Vietnam.

      The wire service United Press International, in reporting Nixon’s speech, pointed out that the candidate “did not spell out how” he would “end the war.” The UPI dispatch further noted that “Nixon’s promise recalled Dwight D. Eisenhower’s pledge in 1952, when Nixon was his running mate, to end the war in Korea.”

      Nixon may have been vague in his remarks about Vietnam, but he made no claim to possess a “secret plan” to end the war. He did not run for the presidency by proclaiming one. That much is quite clear in searching a full-text database of leading U.S. newspapers in 1968 — among them the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune. The search terms “Nixon” and “secret plan” returned no articles during the period of January 1967 to January 1969 in which Nixon was quoted as saying he had a “secret plan” for Vietnam. (The search period embraced Nixon’s campaign and its immediate aftermath.)

      Surely, had Nixon been touting a “secret plan,” the country’s leading newspapers would have reported it.

      According to an article published March 28, 1968, in the Los Angeles Times, Nixon addressed that notion, stating that he had “no gimmicks or secret plans” for Vietnam.

      He also said on that occasion:

      “If I had any way to end the war, I would pass it on to President [Lyndon] Johnson.” (Nixon’s remarks were made just a few days before Johnson announced he would not seek reelection.)

      Nixon may or may not have had a “secret plan” in mind in 1968. But he did not campaign for the presidency that year saying he did.

      In the end, the “secret plan” anecdote is a dubious bit of popular history that can be too tempting to resist. It is, as William Safire, a former Nixon speechwriter and New York Times columnist, once wrote, a “non-quotation [that] never seems to go away.”

      Had Cullerton been inclined to research the anecdote before so blithely invoking it, he might have turned to the back issues of the largest newspaper in his district, the Chicago Tribune. In September 1972, in the midst of Nixon’s reelection campaign, the Tribune observed in an editorial that Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern “has repeatedly attacked President Nixon for saying in 1968 that he had ‘a secret plan to end the war.’ … Such quotes from the past would make wonderful political weapons if they were true.

      “The trouble is they are not. Mr. Nixon never uttered the phrase.”

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. LBJ and the Gulf of Tonkin incident and all the lies and the death tole that followed.

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  10. Ironically Nixon kept his promise. He said if he ever did anything that was not in the interest of the American people he would resign and he did due to Watergate. Thinking and pondering on that I thought Clinton could have learned a lesson from the past but he did not. "I NEVER HAD SEX WITH THAT WOMAN." Jerk!

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  11. Obama's "affordable" health care act, really kicked me in the ass...hard! I never believed that I could keep my insurance plan and, unfortunately, I was right.

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  12. Obama's second lie was "White people have privilege." What world did he come from rhetorically speaking? Say that to the people living near the coal mines he shut down. Another jerk!

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  13. Then there was the lie Obama used to sell the AHCA, that his mother died from cancer because she couldn't afford insurance. The only part of that which was true was, she died from cancer. She actually had a health care plan that took care of all her bills until she died.

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    1. Warren what Obama did not want anyone to realize or find out is that his mom and her family were quite affluent. He went to stellar universities and law school at Harvard. Sounds like privilege to me.

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    2. "Say that to the people living near the coal mines he (Obama) shut down. Another jerk!"

      No, Obama never shut any coal mines down.

      Aside from the fact coal has been dying a slow death for decades, much of blame for their recent rapid demise can be pointed to KY Sen Mitch McConnell who refused to push for or bring several bills to the floor such as the RECLAIM Act that would have brought $1 billion back to coal mining regions in Central Appalachia. Mitch was promoting his "Obama's war on coal" scam while at the same time obstructing any efforts of assistance to coal mines to "ensure Obama is a 1 term president".

      Other bills McConnell obstructed were the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and the miners pension fund. The son of a bitch let his own constituents suffer and die so he could blame Obama.

      Biden and Democrats by the way, restored the miners pension fund in the last COVID package.

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    3. @ RJW,

      NYT- Jan. 14, 2016

      "WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced on Friday a halt to new coal mining leases on public lands as it considers an overhaul of the program that could lead to increased costs for energy companies and a slowdown in extraction.

      “Given serious concerns raised about the federal coal program, we’re taking the prudent step to hit pause on approving significant new leases so that decisions about those leases can benefit from the recommendations that come out of the review,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “During this time, companies can continue production activities on the large reserves of recoverable coal they have under lease, and we’ll make accommodations in the event of emergency circumstances to ensure this pause will have no material impact on the nation’s ability to meet its power generation needs.”

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  14. There is no degree of lie. A lie by an American president to the people who elected him is not a matter of how big or small it may be. It is a betrayal.

    They have all done it and none of them has been held to account. One resigned, yes, but that was his choice and he lived in his mansion in comfort afterward.

    Not one president has ever been held to account for lying by the people who elected him, by the people who he betrayed.

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  15. To channel former President Clinton, most of this depends on "what the definition" of a lie is... here's the legal standard.

    It is a lie "to make a believed-false statement, to another person or in the believed hearing of another person, with the intention that some other person—the person addressed or the other person in the believed hearing—believe some believed-false statement to be true.

    I highlighted the key words. If a person believes something he/she says is true, even if it is not, in a legal sense, it is not a lie. Also, if the person speaking has no intent to deceive with a statement, that also is not a lie, because if there is no intent, it is assumed the speaker believes the statement to be true.

    Thus, when Richard Nixon stated "I am not a crook" he sincerely believed that. So by the legal standard, while what he said was in fact untrue, when he said it, it was not a lie.

    I'd probably argue that when Pres Trump and some other conservatives state that the 2020 election was rife with fraud, since they honestly believe it, that also, while being untrue, is not a lie.

    Similarly, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I would say Pres GW Bush sincerely believed Iraq had WMDs, and as such, his actions did not proceed from a lie. He was wrong and his statements untrue, but not legally a lie.

    The list goes on, most likely through every administration until the Johnson Admin. They knew the Turner Joy was never attacked, were looking for a cause to invade, as Russia is today in Ukraine, and flat out lied. And even if they were mistaken, they had to have known early on it was all BS and could have pulled back.

    But the US was fixated on keeping dominoes from falling and a lie was small potatoes in the eyes of our political and military leadership back then. If it took a small lie to counter communism, the ends justified the means.

    At the end of the day, Jayhawk is correct. Whether they are lies, untruths or simply statements that are provably wrong, each president in my lifetime has been guilty.

    To argue otherwise is just wrong. And sadly, no, there seem to be no consequences, most likely because as CI stated above...

    Only the opposition President's lies really matter to most Americans.

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  16. The biggest lie while I've been alive was probably iran-contra.

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    1. But in the wider context, it'd have to be that crack about all men being created equal (Jefferson wasn't president when he wrote that, but...)

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    2. You're taking a snippet out of the "Declaration of Independence", without context.
      This is something I wrote about 16 years ago. It should give you some context. Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, are two very different things, which unfortunately, even most Americans don't understand. As to who wrote it; it was actually written by Jefferson but edited by -including Jefferson- a five man committee and Jefferson was tasked to draft it.

      This part was actually edited out:
      "he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

      The ""rough draft" can be viewed at the "Library of Congress".

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    3. Warren, I believe before any one of us writes on politics we had better, like you and AOW understand both documents and know they are different. It behooves me you even need to go there. I would think everyone should know this, it is US history 101, or at least part of it. Still, many do not know what either says. They spout or give personal opinion to what they do not comprehend even.

      As a sidebar, I wrote in Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. Many see it as a free ticket to separate church and state. Were they not taught that this declaration was to seal our fate as to be separate from the Church of England?

      I will go as far to state that in November 2006, Democrat Keith Ellison (D) wanted to be sworn in on Quran and wanted to be sworn in on it because as he said, "Thomas Jefferson had one (paraphrased)." (I wrote on this too) Point being it is true Thomas Jefferson had a Quran but only because he was studying his enemy he wanted to understand in Tripoli. Learn for yourselves if you did not learn in school. And btw, Ellison never got his wish he was sworn in on a Bible!

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    4. Oh and how things have changed. Read this ....

      "On Thursday, during the swearing-in ceremonies for members of the new 116th Congress, one of the more interesting texts from the Library of Congress' archives made its second-ever appearance on the floor of the Capitol building: Thomas Jefferson's 1734 English translation of the Quran, Islam's holiest text. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women ever to join Congress, chose to take her oath on the historic book. As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi swore in Tlaib, the Democrat from Michigan placed her hand on the faded cover of the founding father's Quran and took an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

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    5. @Elizabeth - As I understand it, the actual swearing in ceremony is conducted without any religious texts or other trapping. Most, if not all, elected to those houses, do take a ceremonial photo op.....and in Ellison's case, everything I've read indicates that he used a Qur'an. As he should have been able to.

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    6. Now our own government is so sick and demented they are changing the truth and calling it lies to appease people who do not care about American people or our true history. I am sorry this is a hot button topic for me! Grrrrrr........

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    7. Well, CI everything I read stated he did not and was told to use the Bible. He had no choice. But now as you can read above anything goes in this commie government of ours. Just kiss the arse of anyone even when it stinks!

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    8. Members are sworn in as a group. Nobody is told to use a bible for the ceremonial photo op. I welcome any evidence to the contrary.

      Why do you have issue with someone using their religious text for the photo...instead of yours?

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    9. Swearing in oath on a holy book is meaningless if the earth taker does not believe it is a holy book.

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    10. @SF - Exactly. I firmly believe that some/many politicians wear a religious faith, like a flag lapel pin.

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    11. Well, I am sorry guys, but this nation is a Judeo-Christian nation. If people choose to be heathens and not believe in God that is their business and let God take it up with them. As for me I am God fearing and Jesus is my Lord and Savior and every time if I had to, I would swear only upon the Bible. It might be only symbolic to some and mean nothing, but it means everything to me and everything this nation ONCE STOOD FOR.

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    12. @Elizabeth - That's cool. You see, I support your right to believe that this is a "Judeo-Christian nation"....and whatever that means to you personally. I don't have to agree with that. I support religious freedom.

      I also support your right to swear an oath on your chosen religious tome, whenever you choose to.

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    13. The US is a secular democratic republic that protects the rights of each person to worship however they wish, or to not worship.

      Government oaths today are secular. Every time I enlisted/reenlisted, I raised my right hand but there was no Bible involved. Anyway, the sanctions for me violating that oath were not religious, but legal.

      An oath on a Bible means something in a Bible-believing society. Unfortunately, we are a neo-pagan nation in a neo-pagan west.

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    14. I agree with that that last paragraph in particular Silverfiddle. It is very true. This nation has become pagan.

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    15. I know what the doi is, and that I was quoting it (hence my parentheses). More on topic for this thread might have been to nominate Lincoln for his reference to it at Gettysburg.
      I knew that Jefferson's explicit reference to slavery had been edited out, but I never read the draft before.

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    16. OK, Jez.
      The point I was making really wasn't addressed to you specifically. As a non-US citizen I wouldn't really expect you to know and I would say that most of the residence of the US do not know the difference and seem to conflate the DOI with the preamble of the Constitution.
      I don't remember the numbers but that post had the largest number of viewers of any post on my previous blog. I was still getting views -and thank yous- years later.
      There is an unstated context to my reply; all politics are matters of compromise. You don't go to war with the army you want, you go with the army you have. I guess it's spoken now. ;)
      Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech...separate literal from contextual. A more modern version would be 'No man is set higher than another because of his 'birthright'.
      Language use was properly differently -and specific- at that time. In old English 'Thee lack the meet consideration for the language.' Shakespeare would have said something like, 'All men are created alike without consideration to their station at birth.'
      Of course, all are definitely not created equal or there wouldn't be birth defects or different capacity for intelligence and comprehension. The citation isn't meant literally but metaphysically.

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    17. Totally, that's why the doi says "we hold..." and Lincoln said "dedicated to the proposition..." The truth of the proposition is not asserted, just the dedication. And, the sad fact is that it was not so dedicated.

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    18. Not necessarily @ jez,
      The sub-context.
      The Gettysburg Address was given on November 19, 1863. It was far from certain whether it would be a singular United States or two separate political entities, the former without slavery or the latter 'without' slavery in the North and 'with' slavery in a Confederate South.
      The war was far from decided. The South only had to hold the status quo but the North must conquer the South.
      The political context, at the beginning of 1863 was, whether the South could secede from the Union. After the Emancipation Proclamation, the political context became emancipation. It seems, the perception, at that time among the common people in the North, that it was always about slavery. In the South, it was about Federalism and States Rights.

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    19. Both Lincoln and Jefferson (before he was Pres.) claimed that the US at its conception was dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal. It wasn't dedicated to that principle, or at least it was prioritised beneath a lot of other principles. There are all sorts of interesting reasons and historical circumstances surrounding that, but it is a meaningful approximation to say it basically wasn't true. I suppose the fact that we, all these centuries later, are reluctant to address it head-on (we prefer minutiae regarding ceremonial swearing in photo ops!) serves as an illustration of how uncomfortable and significant a lie it was and still is.

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  17. Just stop. Oil prices aren't even high enough to make refining Canadian tar sand shit oil profitable.

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  18. And Biden has signed more oil and gas leasing on federal land than Trump did in his first three years combined.

    Are you stupid?

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  19. Sorry I was replying to a spam bot... I gotta stop doing that lol

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    1. Yeah, if you see an off-topic, boilerplate comment, ignore it. We delete 'em when we see 'em.

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    2. Used to be you could cut and paste the first paragraph into Google and see where said boilerplate came from. They're getting good at the plagiarism lol

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  20. I love this post for its infovid of Old Shaky. Nice.

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  21. "To those who engage in the acts of violence and destruction: You do not represent our country, and to those who broke the law: You will pay." Five days later: "All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated."
    ---Donald J. Trump Jan 2021

    But last weekend in Conroe TX Trump changed his tune:

    "Another thing we'll do, and so many people have been asking me about it, if I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly, And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly."


    Of course, this is all part of or a spin off or a cog of The Big Lie which is likely the most consequential presidential lie in the history of our nation.

    Now if Trump wins, it's likely that most of the mob will have already served their time but this appears to be a nod for future thugs to take to the streets to protect him. Perhaps another "stand down but stand by" moment. He'll be there with pardons ready.

    Well, it's a bit more than a nod. Referring to New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis who are investigating him he added:

    "They're trying to put me in jail, These prosecutors are vicious, horrible people. They're racists and they're very sick. They're mentally sick. If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protests we have ever had in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere."

    That's a pretty clear "stand down but stand by" instruction to riot our largest cities with violence if Trump is taken out of power-be it with legal prosecution for his crimes or by the will of the voters. He's got his pardons ready for them.


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