Passing 96 – Bullshit about lying

There is unrest at The Wall Street Journal.  Some journalists there say that the Editor is too soft on Trump.  The owner of the paper, Rupert Murdoch, supports Trump.  Fox News does so to the tune and extent of Joseph Goebbels.  Its news is like a torch-lit parade.

It is obvious to all but the blindest of Trump supporters that he is a compulsive liar. The editor of the WSJ does not agree that Trump’s untruths should be called lies.  He apparently relies on the Oxford English Dictionary definition of a lie as ‘a false statement made with intent to deceive.’  That is not the ordinary meaning of the word.  Nor in my view is the Compact OED definition of ‘an intentionally false statement.’  Intent may be required for some legal purposes –although two different intents are referred to here – but not for everyday use.  The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage just has ‘speak falsely.’  No state of mind is required to be shown.  That doesn’t seem sound either.  In ordinary language, you lie if you say something that you know is false.  We can leave to another day the question of whether it is sufficient that you say something that you do not believe to be true.

The Attorney-General of the United States said that he had not had contact with Russians. He knew that he had.  He therefore told a lie.   The President of the United States said:

Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional. The real story is of all the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It’s a total witch hunt.

The statement that ‘He did not say anything wrong’ is false.  The President knew that – as the next sentence suggests.  Therefore the President lied about the Attorney-General’s lies.  As usual he uttered the lie in the course of a demented scattergun response of irrelevant tripe.

The Attorney-General lied on oath to a government body on a matter of national security. He should in my view resign.  He should also I think lose his ticket as a lawyer, although you may doubt whether the Alabama Bar Association would be up to that level of feistiness.  The Attorney has bad form for ‘miss-speaking’ about race, and his response to the present failure showed that he is a buffoon quite incapable of acting as Attorney-General.

This incident is another example of the complete indifference to truth that pervades the whole White House.  It makes me wonder whether the due diligence of the incoming administration that was undertaken by business hot shots like the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury extended to asking to see the tax returns of the President elect.  I incline to the view that they didn’t ask, because they knew what the response would be – and they feared that the offer might be withdrawn.  Even the prospect of power is enough to corrupt.  And how do parents bring up children in a nation whose President is a compulsive liar?

I have referred before to the gibberish of Jennifer Oriel.  This morning’s instalment shows the fineness of the line between inanity and insanity.  It includes the following.

We stand at a pivotal historical moment. In just over a week, we will learn whether the new-right movement resurrected by Brexit and Trump is going global. The looming Dutch election is a bellwether. It is the first European election of 2017 featuring a pro-Western nationalist party vying for the popular vote. Locally, the West Australian election next weekend will test whether Hanson’s One Nation will extend significant influence beyond Queensland.

If The Netherlands’ Party for Freedom (PVV) wins, its leader Geert Wilders will become the most strident pro-Western prime minister in Europe. The Trump effect will translate into a transatlantic phenomenon. Either way, the third reckoning of new-right rhetoric with political reality is nigh.

…….

The leaders of the new-right movement differ on some policy matters, but share a set of values that are cohering into an international program for action. Their shared political aims are to: restore the primacy of Western civilisation by defending sovereign democracy and the nation-state system of allied free-world countries against the supranational left. New-right politicians give greater emphasis to the national interest than centrist-left and right parties by prioritising debt reduction via secure borders and rational immigration programs. Some claim that protectionism is co-essential to prosperity, but the claim is substantially weakened by the lack of systematic evidence. Far better is the shared goal to resurrect Western culture by battling the economically and socially corrosive PC culture that dominates the activist media, academia, NGO and public sectors. All new-right parties are gearing up to drain the swamp.

Wilders has been called the Dutch Donald Trump, but he preceded Trump’s ascendancy by several years. His European allies include Hungary’s Viktor Orban, who dubbed 2017 the year of rebellion. In 2015, Wilders said to Agence France-Presse: ‘The only way to deal with (the immigration crisis) is to regain our national sovereignty and close our national borders … I am asking that our government close its doors as Hungary did.’

The year 2016 ushered in a Western renaissance led by Britons and Americans. Brexit represented a triumph of self-determination over supranational governance as Britons renewed their faith in liberal democracy by voting to leave the EU. More than 60 million Americans chose Donald Trump as President to restore American primacy by fortifying the foundations of the free world laid down in the Declaration of Independence and the US constitution.

The supranational left is working overtime to prevent Trump’s ideas developing into a coherent international program for Western civilisational renewal championed by a right avant-garde. The right is gaining ground in the war for by reminding centrist parties Western values matter and turning the weapons used by neo-Marxists and Islamists to attack the free world order against them.

……

The foundational thesis of the 21st-century left is Orwellian doublethink. Codified inequality that promotes minority supremacy through affirmative action law is rebranded equality. The systemic censorship of conservative thought is called free speech. Consistent with its neo-Marxist creed, the modern left suppresses the silent Western majority; punishes politically incorrect thought; undermines the free world by weakening the nation-state system and vilifying Western patriots; purges conservatives from publicly funded institutions; and imposes punitive taxes on wealth creators and hard workers to fatten the parasite class.

The new right is a counter-revolution whose seeds were sown in the 1970s, the decade neo-Marxism took root within the West. As Roger Kimball wrote in The Long March, the new left’s method of gradualism meant ‘working against the established institutions while working in them’.

By almost destroying the liberal in liberal democracy, the left has prepared the ground for totalitarian politics. But it didn’t see the new right coming, whose members hail from both left and right united by the fight for the West. The new right has come to take our civilisation back.

Orwell would not have believed this.  Western civilisation championed by Trump, Wilders, Orban, Farage, and Hanson?  Would you let any of them into your home?  Here is the moral and intellectual emptiness of what shamefully passes for our conservative press – the Lone Ranger on steroids of dyslexic paranoia.

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