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Give Us This Day Our Daily Krug

The way kids used to take turn standing on each other's shoulders so the one on top could peek through the knothole in the outfield wall and watch the ballgame, we present today's host who frees Krugman from the paywall: the admirably named Free Democracy, bringing us "Sweet Little Lies." Or more accuratly, an honest discussion of the lies, named accurately as lies, and broken down into Little and Big Lies. We've been hearing the Lies of both sorts for some years now, they just haven't been given their proper name.

Four years into a war fought to eliminate a nonexistent threat, we all have renewed appreciation for the power of the Big Lie: people tend to believe false official claims about big issues, because they can’t picture their leaders being dishonest about such things.

But there’s another political lesson I don’t think has sunk in: the power of the Little Lie — the small accusation invented out of thin air, followed by another, and another, and another. Little Lies aren’t meant to have staying power. Instead, they create a sort of background hum, a sense that the person facing all these accusations must have done something wrong.

Oh yes, we know what he's talking about. "Socialized medicine is EEEE-villl!" "Sadaam has 4000 liters of anthrax!" "Welfare dependency weakens the moral fiber!" "The Iraq war will pay for itself just like the last one did" "The jobs we lose to overseas are crappy jobs anyway, and if people will just go back to school and learn computers they'll have nicer, neater jobs and be better off anyway". But go read Froom for the analysis of just how deep some of these have sunk in, and to whose benefit.

Lies. Lies. Just keep saying that word. It's not a "misstatement" or a "rephrasing" or a "lapse of judgement." It's a lie, Mr. Limbaugh. It's a lie, Mr. Gingrich. It's a lie, you filthy pig Cheney. You too, Crashcart.

In fact you especially, Cardiac Kid. Every stinking word I've ever heard out of your mouth has been a lie, including "Hello," "goodbye" and "go fuck yourself." Okay, that last one had a little tinge of truthiness about it, but not quite enough to make up for the rest. I consider Hell a nonsensical notion until I think of the prospect of you going there, when it becomes briefly attractive. And even thinking about you yanks me three steps back on my quest for Buddha nature. You are just a bad influence all around, asswipe. And you lie.

Ahem. Okay, that was uncivil. Krug manages to be way more cutting than I could ever be and never uses any naughty words. Except "lie".

One more snip (fair use! fair use!) then go read the whole thing:

For a long time, basically from 9/11 until the last remnants of President Bush’s credibility drowned in New Orleans, the Bush administration was able to go big on its deceptions. Most people found it inconceivable that an American president would, for example, assert without evidence that Saddam and Al Qaeda were allies. Mr. Bush won the 2004 election because a quorum of voters still couldn’t believe he would grossly mislead them on matters of national security.

Before 9/11, however, the right-wing noise machine mainly relied on little lies. And now it has returned to its roots.

"Roots" of course is a term for another sort of lie (um, we're talking hairdressing here, not Alex Haley.) It's worth remembering that in hair as in other aspects of life, you can cover up all you want to but unless you keep it up constantly, the truth will eventually emerge.

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Excerpts from a very good song by a very good songwriter:

The lies come at you from a million ways,
Some you hear, and some you tell yourself.
They say that virtue is a pile of gold,
And that weapons are a nation's wealth.
But when kings stand naked in their ugly schemes,
Will the poor of this world rejoice?
Will they sell their children down that self-same stream,
Or will they listen to the still, small voice?

The one-eyed bandit in your living room
Will convince you that you have no time.
It will swear to take you on your one free ride
While it's looking for your last dime.
But the light of heaven is a simple gift,
You can see it if you make that choice --
It will shine like riches in your inmost heart
And will speak in a still, small voice.

... © 1990 (?) Bob Franke

We may be in a time when the lies finally get found out, and truth triumphs. Will we see retribution? Let it be so!

Hope is audacious, as we all know. But let us hope still.