Tag: Lying

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JY had an interesting discussion the other evening and I’d like your thoughts. At the insistence of my hairdresser, we watched a show on 20/20 about the Menendez trial.  As way of background, I did not follow that trial closely. I vaguely remember listening to evening updates on local talk radio. That said, as the […]

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Lying to Ourselves

 

We have a problem with our federal government, but it’s not exactly the one we’re used to thinking about. Frankly, we don’t want to think about it all – better to deny the reality entirely.  Easier to lie and lie and lie, and blame our problems on everyone else.  Easier to blame Liberals, or Wokesters, or (the current favorite among the increasingly reality-averse folks who still cannot face that Trump has immolated himself once and for all time) traitors and sabotage.  It is, of course, all lies.  Mind you, lies can be useful – especially when trying to avoiding hurt feelings (our own not the least), but they’re still lies.  At one time rebellions against ruling monarchs favored the lie “We’re not really rebelling against the King, he’s just the victim of bad advisors.” 

The lie we all tell ourselves today is that we are the helpless victims of “The DC Establishment” (or whatever other term you want to use).  Synonyms for this include “Wall Street,” “Big Tech,” and a host of others.  They are the “bad advisors” we blame for manipulating Congress, for stealing elections, or for disloyalty to Trump (fact check here: the only consistent disloyalty in the Trump administration came from Trump – watching his cabinet members go from vaunted heroes to filthy traitors and sellouts in the commentariat was much akin to studying Soviet photography for disappearing faces alongside Stalin).  We are very good at lying to ourselves about why Trump lost this or that political battle, about why Congress is a dysfunctional mess, and about why the “authoritarian ratchet” is inexorable.  The truth we cannot confront about it is all is simple, and we all bear the shame of it.  We do not really want any of our congress critters, our president, or our courts to lead us out of our morass, we want them to follow us into the pit of our own making.  And follow they blithely do.

Why Do We Assume the Worst?

 

Yesterday, I was in a state of high anxiety as I worried about the outcomes of the election. Fortunately, I was commenting on a post and expressed my concern, and the suggestions, comfort, and humor that were shared were such a great relief for me and for others. We laughed and made fun of each other in the most caring way.

Today, the darkness has descended. There have been all kinds of evidence cited that demonstrate that the Democrats are cheating. Doom and gloom engulf our environments and psyches. I’m not here to criticize these attitudes, but they motivate me to ask a question:

Why do we assume the worst?

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The Flynn case plods on. I still hope to enjoy the spectacle of rows of government liars hanging in the summer breeze, but history tempers my expectations. James Wolfe got off easy, but will all of them? Probably. I’m sure the Department of Justice is working overtime to extricate itself from the most recently exposed […]

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No one should be surprised. The hearing of James Comey, at first glance, was a waste of time . In response to 245 questions, he either didn’t remember, didn’t recall or didn’t know. It was clear that he intended to humiliate, frustrate or stymie (or all of the above) the Preview Open

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This Fox News story tells that Sessions is still delaying the special prosecutor for the DOJ and FBI and CIA criminal activities.  Sessions referenced a November 2017 letter sent by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd, first reported by Fox News, directing senior federal prosecutors to evaluate “certain issues” requested by congressional Republicans, involving the sale of Uranium […]

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Here is a new exploration of the bounds of orthodoxy in Christianity.  I have been progressing through the Ten Commandments, at the beginning of a program to delineate the boundaries of what can be called “orthodox” among Christians.  So far we are mostly in agreement.  This week we will look at another Commandment, this time […]

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Pop-psychologists are going to start referring to 2 different types of lying. Lying like a Clinton is meticulously crafting an utterly misleading statement which can be parsed in a way that’s not completely false. The statement is delivered with sincerity and confidence even though the speaker knows he or she is utterly misleading the listener. […]

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Brian Williams has issued the following statement.Effective immediately, I am giving up my positions as acting President of NBC News, Senior Communications Consultant to the Democratic National Committee , Special Advisor to the President and Managing Editor and Anchor of NBC Nightly News. These actions are entirely my decision and are the result of recent, troublesome events in […]

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Trick the Bumpkin: Democrats and the EPA

 

Today’s EPA decision to limit the emissions of coal-fired power plants was expected as part of the legacy stage of Obama’s presidency. Our side immediately rushed to declare that middle-class families will be hit with higher electric bills, that we face reduced economic growth, and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

However, today’s most important lesson isn’t that Obama is willing to wreck a sector of the economy in order to build the Tom Steyer Wing of the Obama Presidential Library. It’s that the liberal apparatus in the press, the vast constellation of left-wing advocacy groups, and the Democratic donor class are perfectly comfortable with lying to win, and that the rules they insist everyone else play by are tissue-thin political screens.

What the Piketty Errors Mean

 

PikettyRemember the Reinhart/Rogoff spreadsheet error? In the event that you do not, here is a summary. Those who follow debates between economists will recall that the spreadsheet error led to all kinds of excoriations of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff on the part of liberal economists, who claimed that they were responsible for austerity policies that killed off economic growth. Even Stephen Colbert got in on the act. Their spreadsheet error was considered to be the worst tragedy that befell the planet since that one time when Oedipus and Jocasta had a super-awesome first date.

Of course, the excoriations were vastly overstated, but that didn’t stop intellectual opponents of Reinhart and Rogoff from engaging in hyperbole on a grand scale. Now that Thomas Piketty has been caught making his own significant errors, comparisons have naturally been made between Piketty on the one hand, and Reinhart and Rogoff on the other.

These comparisons fail. Reinhart and Rogoff may have made a spreadsheet error, but there is a very plausible argument that the error did not affect their conclusions, and there was no serious accusation on anyone’s part — not even the most severe critics — that Reinhart and Rogoff engaged in intellectual or scholarly fraud.

Facts Are Stubborn Things . . . As Thomas Piketty Is Beginning to Find Out

 

I have bought Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and while I have posted many an item that takes issue with the books claims and conclusions concerning wealth inequality, I do plan on reading Piketty; his book has made quite the intellectual and cultural impact, and although I know what his basic arguments are, I want to be sure that I read the whole of the book to be fully aware of his claims.

But even before reading the book, one can conclude certain things about Piketty, as my previous blog posts indicate. And today, we learn that we may well be able to conclude one more thing still about Piketty, his research, and his arguments: They may be completely wrong. And yes, those words were worth emphasizing.