Archive for Thom Hartmann

"Any subject the extreme right deems worthy of a lie" becomes a campaign


extreme right gopTruth-Lies

The extreme right lies constantly. They lie on air, they lie in print, they lie in tweets, they lie in Congress, they lie in GOP legislatures, they lie in their sleep. The extreme right lies about things that they claim are false but are provably true. Documented things. Factual things. *coughCLIMATECHANGEcough*

But that doesn't stop them, because if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it. Especially uninformed, misinformed, ignorant people who can't or will not do any research of their own on any given topic.

Corporations are allowed to legally lie, too, by the way. Well, "corporate people," because, freedom of speech. Thank you, Supreme Court! Watch:

We can't stop them, legally at least. We can call them out, we can prove them wrong, we can try to be louder than the liars on the extreme right, and we can try to dissuade the gullible, the ignorant, the willfully ignorant, our friends and neighbors, and anyone else within shouting/writing distance. But they will still lie.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re: "When it comes to politics, there's no need to outlaw lying," Editorial, June 17

Police the liars? How did that work out for the millions of us advocating for equality as we tried to negate the lies coming from the pro-Proposition 8 campaign in 2008? There are people who, six years later, still hold to be true the falsehoods perpetuated by the television ads and mailers of the campaign's deep pockets.

The damage is done, is nearly irreparable and causes harm to this day. Shame on the Supreme Court for clearing the way for the continuance of fabrication within political campaigns.

Couple that decision with the Citizens United and McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission rulings, and we're all in for Proposition 8-style campaigns on any subject matter the extreme right deems worthy of a lie. Again and again, the damage will be done as many take as gospel untruthful propaganda.

Sheila Alberg



In the world of the pre-Roberts court, your editorial about criminalizing false political advertising would be on target. But since Citizens United and its progeny under this Supreme Court, money is apparently king.

If a well-funded group (spelled K-O-C-H) decides to place ads deliberately misrepresenting a candidate or ballot measure, how does the citizen candidate ever have the funds to publicly correct the defamation?

Your position would give license for more negative (and deliberately false) political ads and still more expensive campaigns.

And, by the way, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's line that "the remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true" reminds me of the National Rifle Assn.'s phrase about good and bad guys with guns. That also sounded good until the Las Vegas good guy with a gun was killed and the Seattle good guy with pepper spray became a hero.

So much for the turn of a phrase.

Ken Goldman

Beverly Hills


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#Trayvon Martin Stood His Ground and Got Murdered for It: So Did Native Americans


native americans homeland security fighting terrorism via Marsmet471

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Because the "Stand Your Ground" law is all about race. Thom Hartmann has best described this in articles in Truthout that historically tie cruel and often murderous white militias that pursued runaway slaves to the current Florida law (which has also been enacted in other states). The first column "The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery"...begins with essential historical perspective:

The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too....

After a detailed historical recounting of the Second Amendment compromise to placate the slave holding states, Hartmann concludes:

Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as "persons" by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional, would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their "right" to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren.

So Trayvon Martin is dead because he followed the letter of the racist ALEC-NRA "license to murder law" and protected himself against an unstoppable, insatiable deadly force: George Zimmerman. But "Stand Your Ground" laws aren't meant to give blacks the same rights as non-blacks; quite the opposite, they are, as they did in the case of George Zimmerman, meant to give whites (or half-whites in this case) the right to pursue blacks with impunity.

Historically, if we go back to the founding and expansion of what is now the United States, if there had been a legal entity existing at that time, Native Americans (as the illustration for this article points out) would have been entitled to stand their ground against the colonizers from Europe who were stealing their land and massacring them.

We would be subject to Native American law right now if indigenous tribes had had the right to stand their ground as European conquerors expanded westward, creating what is now the United States.

There would have been no development of the Southern tyranny and abomination of slavery, which imported Africans as property and the source of wealth for aristocratic plantation owners.

There would have likely, ironically, been no "Stand Your Ground" laws aimed at de facto allowing the murder of non-whites as BuzzFlash at Truthout wrote about in a July 6 column, "It's Not Just George Zimmerman on Trail, It's America's Acceptance of Killing 'the Other'."

(Photo: marsmet471)

Please read the entire post here.


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