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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 4/6/21

Lying is as American as Cherry Pie

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From Counterpunch

The Big Lies
The Big Lies
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A few weeks ago, someone going as "R. Tillman" spent a chunk of change to place a small add in The New York Times -- saying that "LYING IS UN-AMERICAN."

I had to laugh. Mr. or Ms. Tillman was likely thinking of Donald Trump's big lie that the 2020 election was stolen and perhaps of some other among many thousands of fibs told by the record-setting dissembler Trump.

I don't like lies or (I am guessing) Trump any more than R. Tillman but who is he or she trying to kid?

Lying is as American as cherry pie.

Which reminds me, the story that young George Washington broke down and told his father he cut down a cherry tree "because I cannot tell a lie" is a lie. It was made up by the early Washington biographer Mason Lock Weems for the fifth edition of his popular volume The Life of Washington (1806).

Here's another lie: "George Washington was a great man." Not true. He was a vicious killer of Native Americans known to the Iroquois as Conoctocaurious, meaning "Town Taker," "Burner of Towns," and "Town Destroyer." In 1779, during the American War for Independence, Washington ordered and organized the Sullivan Campaign, which carried out the genocidal destruction of 40 Iroquois villages in New York.

Along the way, the glorious Father of Our Country owned more than 300 Black slaves. He expected the Black chattel humans on his 1790s Mount Vernon estate to work from before sunrise to after sunset six days a week. At the end of the U.S. "revolutionary" war, he demanded that the British return all escaped slaves in their possession to their "rightful owners."

Washington's "American Revolution" was based on a great lie embedded in the opening of the second paragraph of the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

The nation's revered Founders did not believe these supposedly self-evident things when it came to Black, Indigenous, and female people, all of whom fell outside their racial nationalist and male-supremacist definition of legitimate citizenship. As militant propertarians, they didn't view poor whites as worthy of equal rights either. And the Founders were more than happy to impose social and political regimes that oppressed the nonwhite, female, and poor without the slightest concern for their subjects' consent.

Seventy-eight years after the Declaration of Independence, which signaled a break off from Britain that led to the significant expansion of North American slavery and "Indian removal" (ethnic cleansing), the escaped slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass asked "What, to the American Slave, is Your 4th of July?":

I answer: "a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States, at this very hour."

The Fourth of July, in other words, was a Big Lie.

More lies followed. Contrary to its aristo-republican claim to have introduced "popular government," the U.S. Constitution was a profoundly un- and even anti-democratic document crafted to preserve and codify the oligarch rule of the wealthy Few. It was expertly and explicitly designed to keep at bay the Founders' ultimate nightmare: popular sovereignty.

Andrew Jackson's claim to have ordered Indian Removal (what would today be called genocidal ethnic cleansing) from concern for Indigenous First Nations people's happiness and health was gravely disingenuous. The longtime Indian killer and slaver Jackson was clearing obstacles for the expansion of cotton slavery across the southern and western frontier and for the settlement of surplus white populations piling up in the eastern seaboard.

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Paul Street (www.paulstreet.org and paulstreet99@yahoo.com) is the author of Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (2004), Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis (2007), Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (more...)
 
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4 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments  Post Comment


Nicholas Ginex

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The author of this article is to be commended. Yes, lying is as American as Cherry pie. Joe Biden is living up to the lying standard by lying to the American people that Georgia's new voting laws are "Jim Crow 2.0." He then proceded to move the All-Star game to another state claiming that Americans are better that the bigotry of the past. It is clear that Joe Biden did not understand the facts of the new law for he move the baseball game to a state with more voting restrictions than Georgia. It seems President Biden is truly dishonest or senile.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 7, 2021 at 4:24:20 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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The Article tells a hard truth. But Joe Biden had nothing to do with moving the All Star Game. That was MLB who did that. About any reason for knocking the RR works for me. It was a good start of year to have 2 Religious Right Senators lose in Georgia. Have seen the damage the RR have done to the good news of freedom, the forgotten core of what the Gospel is about. I was very surprised Biblical Babylon was thrown down with violence in one hour the very next day on 1-6-2021, (It took me a week to fully understand what happened 1-6-2021.) for all the wrong reasons. Paul Street in Article covers proper reasons for throwing down Biblical Babylon. But my style would be these Blue Grass Nashville Jam Saints getting people marching in the streets to this video of "When the Saints Go Marching in I want to be in that number right here in America." Occupying the streets until the US Imperialism overseas ends, with US exporting Thanksgiving Dinners to the countries we have destroyed, as a sign of repainting. (And I mean repainting.)

Then Massachusetts fires a few more shots of Liberty with Thanks & Giving out of MA, Calling for Article V Convention to get something that works for all this 21st century.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 7, 2021 at 7:46:59 PM

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Dan 1

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I wonder if We will be like this a thousand years from now?

Will Truth ever become a thing of Happiness?

It's strange how the evil of a few Humans can cast such a shadow over the rest of Us. That so Many of Us will eventually pay the price for the dark work of these inferior humans.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 8, 2021 at 11:37:34 AM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Reply to Dan 1:   New Content

We could think from the truth of these lies we would one day be free?

Love the worker ownership of the $20 Billion a year Mondragon Cooperative of the Basque in Spain. A working model on how to get good jobs.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 8, 2021 at 12:34:42 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Gandhi said: "TRUTH is God."

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 8, 2021 at 5:44:46 PM

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The phrase, "Truth is God," tells you nothing. Learn how mankind conceived the first one-universal God by reading AMEN, The Beginning of the Creation of God.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 8, 2021 at 7:07:54 PM

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Reply to Nicholas Ginex:   New Content

Nicholas,

'The phrase, "Truth is God," tells you nothing.'

All your statement means is that you don't grasp its meaning, and, if you wish, need to go deeper. The statement has multiple levels of meaning if one chooses to mine the gold.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 8, 2021 at 7:50:19 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Since from a rocken down angels awakening have come to figure life always existed so I'll try always to use the term the Great Spirits. I had to expand on the Native term Great Spirit. It was just Atlantis (They knew it was sinking.) sent out the ships which built an oke foundations to serve man with a dignified life, after the Tars at the top are retired to mansions on hills. The Tars never had to grow up trampling the already righteous wheat into solid gold hearts. They were always free to treat the righteous wheat they grew up with as human beings. The Nukes on Japan did complicate matters much, opening Pandora's Box, which has instructions to close peacefully.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 8, 2021 at 10:15:09 PM

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