Thursday, February 25, 2010

Accelerating the Speed of Lies

By Alan Caruba

“In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie…”

Who wrote that? The answer is Adolf Hitler in “Mein Kampf”, published in his1925 autobiography. During World War Two the U.S. government’s Office of Strategic Services, which later would evolve into the Central Intelligence Agency, assessed Hitler’s methods:

“His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people would sooner or later believe it.”

I have been reading David Kupelian’s new book, “How Evil Works” and thinking a lot lately about lies, lying, and liars. At the heart of great frauds is the lie and it seems to me that Americans have lately been subjected to a surfeit of lies that began with the 2008 election campaign in which a virtually unknown, first term Illinois Senator announced he was running for President.

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes” is attributed to Mark Twain and the truth of that is more evident than ever because technology has increased the speed with which lies travel. It has, fortunately, also given speed to those who debunk the lies and the result is a dizzying avalanche of conflicting claims.

Being ignorant of the intent of our nation’s Founding Fathers, of the limitations on the federal government found in the U.S. Constitution, of the deliberate separation of powers in our government’s executive, judicial, and legislative branches, and of history in general puts people at a disadvantage to recognize a threat to the nation and their freedom.

Edgar Watson Howe, (1853-1937) a newspaper and magazine editor in the early years of the last century said, “Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.”

I think he was reflecting on the influence of the broadcast and print media of his day, but it is no less true today. Most certainly, the presidency is an enormous platform for the person holding the office to advance policy by telling lies.

A President, however, who is perceived to be a serial liar, soon begins to lose credibility and popularity. President Obama’s credibility and popularity has fallen at an astonishing rate in just over a year in office.

It is worth noting, too, that the credibility of newspapers as a source of objective reporting has been in decline as the Internet has grown, offering an enormous number of news and opinion websites from which anyone can determine the truth or falsehood of public debate.

The English publisher and writer, Ernest Benn (1875-1954) said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy.”

We are seeing this play out in the effort to “reform” Medicare by President Obama and the Democrat Party. Even Republicans know that Medicare is in need of some changes to improve the program. Tort reform and the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines are but two improvements that make perfectly good sense to most people.

However, the reform being proffered by the White House is nothing more than a socialist expansion of a government that is already too large and too unwieldy to serve the interests of Americans. It would, as is often pointed out, destroy the best health system in the world and put one sixth of the nation’s economy under the control of government.

In the process of putting forth Medicare “reform” President Obama has told so many lies that it is only with great difficulty that one can keep track of them.

Little wonder that the great historian, Edward Gibbon, wrote that “History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.”

No greater modern example of this is found in the global warming fraud. Since the 1980s the deliberate distorting of “science” has been the basis for the Big Lie that the Earth’s overall temperature is rising rapidly and that mankind is responsible for it through the use of coal, oil, and natural gas as fuels for industry use and the production of electrical power.

The greatest lies of the modern era, however, have been communism and its baby sister, socialism. The deaths of millions are attributed to Communism as practiced in the former Soviet Union and in the early years of the Peoples Republic of China. Nazism, a form of socialism, led to the deaths of millions in World War Two.

Nations that have embraced socialism are experiencing serious financial crisises these days. These political systems have proven to be failures wherever they have been introduced and imposed.

The greatest domestic challenge to Americans today is the combination of socialism, a system that has been slowly introduced into the governance of the nation since the 1930s, and the recent election of a “messiah” promising “hope and change.”

Beyond and within our shores, the other Big Lie, Islam, threatens our freedoms and it too must be resisted and defeated.

Today, however, Americans need to embrace the U.S. Constitution as never before. It is our shield against despotism and the lies that advance it.

© Alan Caruba, 2010


Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

Americans need to READ our Constitution and be taught our history. President Wilson began to disparage the notion of a Constitutional Republic, favoring more power to the State. Since then, with education in the hands of those of the same notion, our people have become Constitutionally illiterate. They have forgotten the founder's idea,

"The Constitution, which at any time exists 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all." --George Washington
(quoted today at "The Patriot Post")

Guy said...

The speed and depth to which these lies can penetrate our society never ceases to amaze me. I can hear some bogus news story on CNN at noon, and by that evening, my local watering hole is filled with twenty-somethings reciting it verbatim, as if it's fact. Very scary ....

Timster said...

"...the greatest health care system in the world" ??? What country do YOU live in?

Alan Caruba said...

Timster: I will tell you where I don't Canada where one of its provincial execs came here for heart surgery or in England where you can wait weeks to have a serious disease condition examined...maybe not the "greatest" health system, but a pretty good idea of what it can and should be.

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

I still get confused as to the current raucous regarding "health care".
Isn't health care what you get when you go to a doctor or hospital?
"Health Insurance", on the other hand, is what one buys to ensure "health care".
Alan, we DO have the greatest health care system in the world in my opinion, and as one who was several times "under the knife" last year (fine now, thanks for wondering).
Our insurance programs are flawed from too much litigation and greed. Oh and the constant government meddling hasn't really helped.

Guy said...

People like the Timster are confusing our health INSURANCE system with our health CARE system.

Ok, so you pay too much for your insurance, and sometimes you have to fight with them to get them to pay for a new or expensive treatment, or you might worry about what will happen to your coverage AFTER you're diagnosed and treated ... we get it. But walk, crawl, or get dragged into any hospital in this country, and whether you're white, black, legal, illegal, or mentally retarded, you will be treated, and by some of the best physicians in the world. Our health care system, if not the best in the world, is certainly one of the best, as evidenced by the thousands of people who come here every day for treatment.

The problem is our health INSURANCE system, which has been ruined by the endless meddling of government bureaucrats who think they know what's best for you, your hospital, your insurance company, and your doctor. The day they passed the law requiring hospitals to treat anyone who came through their doors, regardless of their ability to pay, was the day our health insurance system began to fall apart.

Imagine if you owned a car dealership, and one day the government came to you and said "Good afternoon Tim. Starting tomorrow, we want you to give a car to anyone who walks through your door. We don't care how you do it, or who pays for it, but we are going to require that you do that if you want to stay in business." The next day, your $14,000 Toyota would cost $140,000 wouldn't it? Well, that's exactly what's happened to our hospitals.

There is a huge disconnect between what health care really costs, and who's paying for it. Right now, everyone who has health insurance is paying the price for the millions who wander in looking for care without insurance or the ability to pay. Hospitals have to turn a profit, or at least break even, and if they only get paid for one out of ten of the MRI's or Cat Scans they do, the one they bill YOUR insurance company for is going to cost ten times as much as it should. Once that disconnect between what a procedure really costs and what they bill your insurance company is established, the entire market becomes nothing but fuzzy numbers, and things quickly get out of hand. In a nutshell, it's called Socialism, and it's a slippery slope.

Guy said...

More on health care ...

What we need to do is re-establish a market driven system where all but basic care is optional, and paid for by those who choose to either insure themselves or pay for it out of pocket. Neither approach would be cost prohibitive because you would only be paying for YOUR care, not ten other people's care. If you choose not to insure yourself, and you walk into the hospital with cancer, you'd better have cash, or good credit. Otherwise, you're going to get a bottle of pain killers and a ride home.

I don't advocate MANDATORY insurance, but what I would like to see are affordable basic plans that an individual can buy starting at age 21, which are portable, don't exclude pre-existing conditions, and can be customized and improved as you get older and can afford to pay more. Much like auto insurance, if you play, you simply HAVE to pay. Nothing in life is free. Health care is NOT a right, it's a privilege, and if you want it to be good, you have to pay for it. If everyone started paying in to the system at an early age, and paid in throughout their entire lifetime, the cost would be affordable, and our problems would be solved. And, just like life insurance, if you wait until you’re old and sick to buy your health insurance, it’s going to cost you dearly. It HAS to, unless you expect someone else to pick up the tab for your years of irresponsibility. It's the only way it's ever going to work….

What Obama and his gang have in mind is more of the same.... robbing me, and everyone else who works hard to pay their premiums in order to pay for the millions who just want a free ride. The disconnect between the true cost of your care and what you will pay will remain, and will in fact grow fuzzier. The government will have their greedy little fingers in the pie, taking their cut, in order to pay for all the layers of bureaucracy that come with their plan. They will CLAIM that their plan is just like my plan, but it's a lie.

My plan eliminates the cost/price disconnect that got us here in the first place, and doesn't put THEM between you and your health care providers. Their plan is Socialism, it doesn't work, and if allowed to pass, it will destroy whatever hope we have of fixing this mess. It's that simple....

Let’s fix our health insurance system, and leave our health care system in the hands of the professionals who made it what it is today …

Steve said...

To reinforce what Guy said: I work at a community based, non-profit hospital system in So. Cal. It costs us an average of $2,000 per day per patient. And, it's true, if you walk into our E.R., you will be seen and treated, insurance or not. (I can't tell you how many are illegal aliens - we're not allowed to ask).

Last year we provided over $28 MILLION in uncompensated medical care. Consider that Medicare and Medical only pay fixed amounts for each procedure or diagnosis - and it's usually less than that actual cost. The money has to come from somewhere.

We were one of the "lucky" hospitals - we actually made a slight profit (less than 1/2%) and without having to reduce our workforce. That's better than most hospitals in the area. But that doesn't leave us much to re-invest into the latest technology.

Something needs to change in how we're compensated. But, I can assure you that Obamacare is definately NOT the answer!