Monthly Archives: January 2013

“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Sorry, not Mark Twain’s.

TwainThis is the business plan of certain “right-wing’ television networks that call themselves “news” outlets. The saying has been widely attributed to Mark Twain, but apparently this did not originate with him:

A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

- This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but it has never been verified as originating with Twain. This quote may have originated with Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) who attributed it to an old proverb in a sermon delivered on Sunday morning, April 1, 1855. Spurgeon was a celebrated English fundamentalist Baptist preacher. His words were: “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”

He did write this, however, which OTL,S! favors:

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

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The Ridiculous Republican Pursuit of Benghazi and Hillary Clinton

issa
Darrell Issa

It’s quite clear that Republicans in Congress have no purpose in life other than to try to embarrass Democrats, especially Mrs. Clinton, and make life as bad as possible for the rest of us, hoping that somehow the voting public will be motivated to vote for a change.

Juan Cole gives the real story on the “hearings.” For starters:

Republican senators keep saying that it should have been “easy” to find out what happened on September 11, 2012, by simply debriefing US personnel who had been there. John McCain, Ron Johnson and the others who make this charge are the most cynical and manipulative people in the world. The Benghazi US mission was very clearly an operation of the Central Intelligence Agency, and that is the reason that the Obama administration officials have never been able to speak frankly and publicly about it. McCain and the others know this very well, and they know that their public carping cannot be “simply” answered because the answers would endanger sources and methods.

and, nonetheless, the Republicans are compromising intel:

Republicans keep posturing that their questions about Benghazi are intended to bolster US security. In fact, they are harming it. Republican hearings in the House of Representative have disgracefully revealed the names of Libyans talking to the US consulate, thus endangering their lives and harming US efforts to understand the situation in the country, since who would risk talking to the embassy if they know about Darrell Issa’s big mouth?

Over the Line, Smokey! has seen a lot of disgusting politics through the years, but the present Republican Party is absolutely the worst.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.: a couple of thoughts on the Second Amendment and on extramarital affairs.

Slave_Market-Atlanta_Georgia_1864 As we all know, Martin Luther King Jr. was the most prominent figure in the passive-resistance civil rights movement in the US. He was shot to death in retaliation by a Southern white man. His memory and accomplishments were immediately targeted by smear stories about his sex life.

I. Guns:
A recent piece by Thom Hartmann at The Smirking Chimp is as revealing/surprising/forehead-slapping as any OTL,S! has encountered in the hundreds of years this blog has been in existence. It is rewritten to some advantage here. In short, the present form of the second amendment (the “bear arms” amendment) is what it is because of a perceived need to preserve slavery.

The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery

The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says “State” instead of “Country” (the Framers knew the difference – see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote [ratifying the Constitution itself]. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.

In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the “slave patrols,” and they were regulated by the states.

In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.

As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, “The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search ‘all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition’ and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds.”

It’s the answer to the question raised by the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained when he asks, “Why don’t they just rise up and kill the whites?” If the movie were real, it would have been a purely rhetorical question, because every southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.


II. Extramarital affairs:

J. Edgar Hoover took it upon himself to obtain blackmail material, largely of a sexual nature, on anyone and everyone he wished, including presidents and Martin Luther King, Jr. Back in the 60’s this material was rather shocking, because no one bothered to point out/tried to ignore/hide the fact that extramarital affairs were quite common (not to endorse them) and that homosexuality was not only common but also normal. The JEH strategy became standard political strategy in the “anything goes”/fair game Karl Rove era, and led, bizarrely, to the impeachment of a sitting president. In fact, the very persons and political groups who have shouted the loudest about sex have turned out to have the most to hide. Yes, JEH, KR, et al, OTL,S! is lookin at you. It is long past time to reject the hypocrisy of Hoover and the politics of sex revelations. These are mortals, people.

OTL,S! salutes the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments.

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