|"It's a bird, it's a seal, it's a lie"|
One of the yada yada yada's of Dredd Blog, it is said, is "the bitching, moaning, and groaning" about the ever present MOMCOM propaganda machine deep within our reality.
Post upon post here hits upon many facets of the daily propaganda.
We hope that such reiteration can be tolerated by the good folks who read Dredd Blog regularly.
The rub, and the covering up of the ears, comes when Dredd Blog exclaims that this MOMCOM propaganda is doing severe, lasting, or even permanent damage to the population of these good United States.
Even though Dredd Blog may not have been exaggerating, we had no basis in law with which to refer readers to an official national acknowledgement of the effects of propaganda upon our national cognition and day-to-day behavior.
But that seems to have changed, following the decision in a major criminal case where a city official was prosecuted in a criminal trial for lying about his service record in the military, the muscle of MOMCOM (was he a real seal or was he just parroting The Good Housekeeping Seal?).
The law in the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, the largest federal judicial circuit in the USA, has now changed that by in effect acknowledging that the Dredd Blog mantra this post deals with is actually "spot on" as the British like to say.
An en banc rehearing request by the federal government, following the Ninth Circuit panel's reversing of the criminal conviction and even holding that the criminal statute which outlaws lying is unconstitutional, the court voted to deny rehearing of the three-judge panel's decision:
Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying. We lie to protect our privacy (“No, I don’t live around here”); to avoid hurt feelings (“Friday is my study night”); to make others feel better (“Gee you’ve gotten skinny”); to avoid recriminations (“I only lost $10 at poker”); to prevent grief (“The doc says you’re getting better”); to maintain domestic tranquility (“She’s just a friend”); to avoid social stigma (“I just haven’t met the right woman”); for career advancement (“I’m sooo lucky to have a smart boss like you”); to avoid being lonely (“I love opera”); to eliminate a rival (“He has a boyfriend”); to achieve an objective (“But I love you so much”); to defeat an objective (“I’m allergic to latex”); to make an exit (“It’s not you, it’s me”); to delay the inevitable (“The check is in the mail”); to communicate displeasure (“There’s nothing wrong”); to get someone off your back (“I’ll call you about lunch”); to escape a nudnik (“My mother’s on the other line”); to namedrop (“We go way back”); to set up a surprise party (“I need help moving the piano”); to buy time (“I’m on my way”); to keep up appearances (“We’re not talking divorce”); to avoid taking out the trash (“My back hurts”); to duck an obligation (“I’ve got a headache”); to maintain a public image (“I go to church every Sunday”); to make a point (“Ich bin ein Berliner”); to save face (“I had too much to drink”); to humor (“Correct as usual, King Friday”); to avoid embarrassment (“That wasn’t me”); to curry favor (“I’ve read all your books”); to get a clerkship (“You’re the greatest living jurist”); to save a dollar (“I gave at the office”); or to maintain innocence (“There are eight tiny reindeer on the rooftop”).(US v Alvarez). It is almost like the court said to Dredd Blog: "you be knowin'"; ... well, except for torture monger, and now Ninth Circuit Judge Jay Bybee, who dissented from the decision.
And we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk, as reflected by the popularity of plastic surgery, elevator shoes, wood veneer paneling, cubic zirconia, toupees, artificial turf and cross-dressing. Last year, Americans spent $40 billion on cosmetics — an industry devoted almost entirely to helping people deceive each other about their appearance. It doesn’t matter whether we think that such lies are despicable or cause more harm than good. An important aspect of personal autonomy is the right to shape one’s public and private persona by choosing when to tell the truth about oneself, when to conceal and when to deceive. Of course, lies are often disbelieved or discovered, and that too is part of the pull and tug of social intercourse. But it’s critical to leave such interactions in private hands, so that we can make choices about who we are. How can you develop a reputation as a straight shooter if lying is not an option?
Can you imagine the hubris required for Bybee to say lying is criminal following his professional lying on steroids when he said to Bush II's gang that waterboard torture is way cool?
He would send a citizen to prison for bloviating about a non-existent military record but would not send himself to prison for lying about torture, in the process destroying innocent lives, and ruining the reputation (a la Abu Ghraib) of these United States?
Dredd Blog fully agrees with the decision of the court, because it does not take much imagination to see what would happen if the government became the sole source of "truth".
Let it be known that Dredd Blog is vindicated, let it be known that the propaganda arm of MOMCOM does damage to these good United States, the Oilah Akbar portion of MOMCOM does damage to the entire earth, and the military portion of MOMCOM is robbing us blind.
The songs "tell me sweet little lies" and "when the truth is found to be lies", the saying "don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see", the epidemic of disrespect for the USA around the world, the book "On Bullshit", and the epidemic of dementia here at home, all point to a culture of falsehood.
It's the way MOMCOM raises the kids don't you know.
Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news about the book "On Bullshit".
UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument on the case next Wednesday. Will try to update this post or do another post about it.
UPDATE 2: The Supreme Court upheld the 9th Circuit's decision (6/28/12).