Lies, truth, what does it matter?


At the last Republican debate, both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were shown clips of their previous statements that directly contradicted their claims about their stances on immigration. Were they fazed by this? Not at all. Republicans have learned that these days, all that matters is the ability to look directly at the camera and say whatever the hell you want with a straight face. If you can do that, your fans will stay with you. ‘Never back down, never apologize’ has become their mantra.

Comments

  1. Jean says

    The irony here is that Maher had “Dr” Sam Chachoua on the same show. And he’s blaming others about not caring about truth or laughing at them for being gullible.

  2. says

    The lies don’t matter. Their willingness to lie does.

    If they’re willing to lie so transparently when they’re trying to pretend to be all well-behaved so they can gain power, just think what they’ll do when there are fewer controls on them.

    I’ve long believed the media does us a huge disservice with its silly “count the lies” crap. What they should be doing is explaining why the lies matter. Of course if they did that none of the lying fucks they are expected to parade past us would be electable. It was when I figured that out that I realized that the game is much more profoundly rigged than it appears to be.

  3. Mano Singham says

    starskeptic,

    I had to look it up to convince myself that there actually was a film with such a ridiculous title.

  4. Randall Lee says

    Why should lies matter? Folks you are making just too much fuss over nothing. How can there be such a thing as a lie in a societal framework where moral relativism is accepted and even praised as a virtue of individuality or particular group consensus?
    TRUTH certainly cannot exist in such a framework, for it becomes absolutely impossible even to define the concept, without including as a definitive, a deceitful version.

    So when it comes to lies, I say, “Each to his own, ‘his own lie’ that is” But just don’t ever let me hear any of you complaining about another’s right to express and live by a bigger lie than the one you have chosen.

  5. John Smith says

    I think that this is accurate except that it is getting much harder to trust the actual news organizations. When even “progressive” media, like MSNBC, quote-mines Cuomo’s gaffe-baiting of Sanders from the Dem Town Hall, when The Daily Show and The Nightly Show are touting Clinton’s talking points, when every serious online media outlet (including New York Times and NBC and Vox and Salon) spreads lies and misleading headlines (except The Intercept) about Sanders and when Clinton has a Super PAC dedicated to getting the media to smear Sanders (correctrecord.org),
    I am for anyone BUT Clinton right now. I went from willing to vote for her in the general to thinking a flaming piece of turd will make a better president. I can not in good conscience support her Goebbels tactics. She, on several occasions, implied Sanders was a sexist. Sanders has an arguably stronger, and certainly not weaker, record on everything including women’s rights than her. McCain had much more integrity when he actively corrected his supporter when she, the supporter, called Obama a muslim. Her supporters call him a communist and she just smiles and nods. She’s implied that if she loses the nomination, Bloomberg will be her independent surrogate in the general election.
    Sanders predicted the issues with the Persian Gulf War, with income inequality, on the Clintons’ crime bill imprisoning poor people and those of color. The Iraq War, NAFTA and TPP. He has shown better judgement time and time again. A man that skilled, who was in Congress for 26 years, did not sell out. He has less than a million in net worth. We should give that man, more qualified and more electable than any other candidate the presidency. Look at his very pragmatic and very effective record as Mayor of Burlington.
    As for the Correct The Record PAC, someone in the media with integrity should start attacking it very harshly and expose it. If it is exposed, it will cause a loss for Clinton in the primary. Sanders needs to use that for his first directed attack ad.
    Most likely, in a Clinton v Trump election, I will vote and encourage people I know to vote for Jill Stein. Trump is an unsustainable vote. We can not and should not support someone using such despicable moves. I believe that the key difference between Clinton and Trump is that while Trump is an African style dictator, Clinton is All-American. He’s Qaddafi, She’s Capone.
    http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/2016/01/21/clinton-super-pac-offers-off-record-news-tips/79131372/.
    This was likely responsible for the media blitz on the 28th on Sanders and the “Bernie Bro” backlash, towards his somewhat more aggressive supporters.
    Point of all this is, if they lie this much about Sanders, what else are they lying about? It is getting harder and harder to trust them and rightfully so. Also, Bill Maher may have been recommended to do something like this by Correct The Record.

  6. raven says

    Randall Lee lying:
    How can there be such a thing as a lie in a societal framework where moral relativism is accepted and even praised as a virtue of individuality or particular group consensus?

    This is fundie xian gibberish. It’s also a flat out lie by Randall Lee. It’s claiming that we live in a Post Modern society. PoMo is a discredited and clearly wrong philosophy. And we do claim some worldviews are worse than others. Yours is both wrong and evil.

    TRUTH certainly cannot exist in such a framework, for it becomes absolutely impossible even to define the concept, without including as a definitive, a deceitful version.

    Wrong again. There is no such thing as the TRUTH but the closest thing is science. We use data, logic, theories etc.., the scientific methods to asymptopically approach the TRUTH. And science works. It got us from the stone age to the space age. US xianity latest accomplishment is to sponsor xian terrorism and kill a few MD’s.

    One way that doesn’t work is religion. Religion isn’t anchored in reality and has no way to test its claims. Xianity is modern lies piled on old lies, based on ancient lies. It’s lies all the way down. All faith claims including Lee’s are based solely on Voices in someone’s head.

  7. Randall Lee says

    Raven mistakenly believes, “There is no such thing as the TRUTH but the closest thing is science. We use data, logic, theories etc.., the scientific methods to asymptopically approach the TRUTH. And science works. It got us from the stone age to the space age. US xianity latest accomplishment is to sponsor xian terrorism and kill a few MD’s.”

    Now Raven, why would you attempt to shift the ethical discussion of the moral comparison between TRUTH and LIES to the purview of Science? Science makes no attempt to determine or assess either philosophical or theological values.

    First I would agree that xianity has failed in providing a basis for establishing consistent ethical principles If one considers the vast totality of the claims made by various scientific professors there are actually very few unchangeable “objective truths” in science. Oftentimes, no two scientists can even articulate the problem in the same words and this is exactly what makes scientific advances so fascinating, stubborn, and difficult.
    Philosophy however is not a science. “If philosophy were a science, then the philosophy of science would be the science of science, which would be a little peculiar, don’t you think?”– Sandy Thatcher
    Although, philosophy is not science, it does however employ rational tools of logical analysis and conceptual clarification in lieu of empirical measurement. This approach, when followed carefully, can yield knowledge at times much more reliable and enduring than science.
    Unlike empirical observations, which may be mistaken or incomplete, philosophical findings depend primarily on rational and logical principles. As such, whereas science has the tendency to alter and update its findings day to day through trial and error, logical deductions are timeless.
    Scientific measurements and conclusions are in principle always subject to at least some degree of readjustment based on future observation. However many philosophical arguments often achieve a measure of immortality due to the fact that such arguments are based upon unchanging and self-evident principles..

    Because Raven and others initially ignore the self-evident principles upon which philosophical arguments are based, they falsely conclude and teach that objective Truth does not exist and henceforth cannot be discovered.

    Wherefore such persons are left swirling and swimming in the cesspool of moral relativism.

  8. raven says

    Now Raven, why would you attempt to shift the ethical discussion of the moral comparison between TRUTH and LIES to the purview of Science? Science makes no attempt to determine or assess either philosophical or theological values.

    1. Because science is the best way we have found to know about objective reality. Science can and does evaluate philosophical and theological claims, when they are capable of being falsified. In a world where absolute TRUTH doesn’t exist, science comes closest to it. Science works and works well. It created our modern world.
    2. Philosophy isn’t totally useless, although many people claim it is with good reasons. It’s a very distant second to science in determining anything.
    3. Religion is the worst way we have found to know anything about anything. Religion fails completely.

    philosophical findings depend primarily on rational and logical principles.

    Completely false. Philosophy can use logic. But on what? It has to use axioms, assumptions, and premises. The result is a huge variety of answers. Philosophy comes up with answers. A huge and growing number of answers, many of which are completely contradictory.

    However many philosophical arguments often achieve a measure of immortality due to the fact that such arguments are based upon unchanging and self-evident principles..

    Unchanging and self-evident principles more or less don’t exist either. This is where philosophy lies. The results of philosophy depend on the premises. And what one person thinks is unchanging and self evident, someone else can just as easily claim that it is wrong.

    If one considers the vast totality of the claims made by various scientific professors there are actually very few unchangeable “objective truths” in science.

    This is completely false. Science converges on the truth asymptopically. Religion diverges from the truth infinitely. Philosophy, well, occasionally a blind squirrel finds an acorn

  9. raven says

    they falsely conclude and teach that objective Truth does not exist and henceforth cannot be discovered.
    Wherefore such persons are left swirling and swimming in the cesspool of moral relativism.

    LOL. You actually sounded halfway sane until the end. Let’s skip past your ignorance of science and epistemology to the end result.

    What are these absolute TRUTHS that whoever has found? It should be trivial to list them.

    What are the rules of TRUE absolute morality? It should be trivial to list them too. Just the first Ten Commandments according to R. Lee will do.

  10. raven says

    Wherefore such persons are left swirling and swimming in the cesspool of moral relativism.

    Another in a long series of false statements. The implied question here is, “Where does morality come from?”
    1. There is no absolute morality. If there is, no one has found it yet. It certainly isn’t something handed down by the xian god, who is a monster and an idiot.

    2. That doesn’t mean there is no morality. Nor that everyone is a moral relativist. We use our evolutionary programming and common sense and do the best we can to develop moral codes. The consensus of society makes some of that into law. In practice, the xians do the exact same thing. They then retcon it to the bible and hope no one looks and sees that it isn’t there.

    According to the bible, written in a slavery society, slavery is just fine and great. No problem. These days it is against our laws. Our moral understanding changes, and often for the better.

  11. Randall Lee says

    Raven says, “Science can and does evaluate philosophical and theological claims, when they are capable of being falsified.”

    You keep making the mistake of mentioning “theological claims” and religion. Lets not move the goalposts into that purview. I am talking about the branch of philosophy we know as ethics where values and levels of morality are examined. Science doesn’t “evaluate” such “claims” or values as such questions exist within another purview, outside of the scope of science.

    Let me give you an example. What you produce belongs to you; it is your property. I have no right nor lawful claim to any portion of it. If I and every other human on the face of the earth decided to take any portion of your property, our claims would be unlawful even though we outnumber you and could easily over power you. Not one individual in our group could make a lawful and valid individual claim to any portion of your property, and therefore just because we outnumber you, we do not become vested with the right to any portion of your property. If we dispossess you of any portion of it we have committed theft and the result would be no different even if we first declared our actions to be legal. Notice the distinction here. Making theft legal does not convert unlawful to lawful unless we base such a conversion “solely on Voices in someone’s head.”.

    Of course its Voices of this type that attempt to justify violence of every kind. Now you aren’t in favor of listening to such Voices are you?

  12. Randall Lee says

    Raven, you may need some sort of therapeutic help to get you past you anger towards xianians. I am not a Christian. Neither do I believe in the 10 commandments. You assume too much. Please refrain from grouping me in that manner. If you would read closely you would see that I have made no theological assertions.

  13. Randall Lee says

    Raven says, “There is no absolute morality. If there is, no one has found it yet.”

    Sure there is. It is really simple. Its the same morality we teach and hold to account our 3 and 4 year old children. No violence. No theft. Be civil, exercise good manners.

    Now why is it that adults refuse to live by the very standards they set for their children. Are they, (or you) just a bunch of double dealing, double standard hypocrites?

    Surely moral standards that three year old are capable of grasping and understand as morally good and absolute universal standards can and should be grasped by adults.

  14. Johnny Vector says

    Randall Lee:

    Let me give you an example. What you produce belongs to you; it is your property. I have no right nor lawful claim to any portion of it.

    Well thank you for actually providing an example of your thought process. Are you actually arguing that that is some sort of timeless, self-evident principle? Because no. It isn’t even a complete statement of an ethical principal: To start with, how do you define “what I produce”? I grew this here bushel of corn, entirely myself, with no contributions from the people who converted teosinte into the seed I planted, nor from whoever is drinking the nitrate-contaminated water that washed out of my field, nor from the scientists who solved the General Relativity math problems that steered my harvester.

    A three-year old doesn’t see that complexity. And you think that makes your statement better?

    Trying to use logic and deduction to derive ethics in the real world without reference to actual real-world observations will give you imaginary ethics, useful only in the imagination of the imaginer.

  15. raven says

    Raven, you may need some sort of therapeutic help to get you past you anger towards xianians.

    Changed the subject. A trivial insult.
    I use xian “thought” as examples because they are the main claimants of moral authority and rules in Western civilization. They even have a logically consistent system. It starts with gods and an infallible magic book and proceeds to develop….something a monster would run from.

    I suspect you’ve got nothing but empty words and muddled thinking. But you can prove me wrong. Once again.
    What are these absolute TRUTHS that whoever has found? It should be trivial to list them.
    What are the rules of TRUE absolute morality? It should be trivial to list them too.

    PS OK, Randall Lee isn’t a xian. Ayn Randist? I hope not, but Randroids commonly claim to have the Absolute Truth.

  16. raven says

    Let me give you an example. What you produce belongs to you; it is your property. I have no right nor lawful claim to any portion of it.

    OK, I might be seeing the problem here. A Loonytarian. Loonytarianism, simple minded nonsense that fails in real life.

    Taxes are theft because the state takes them by force if necessary, according to Ayn Rand et al.. But it’s not so simple. The state also provides a civilization that makes producing stuff on our scale possible. Using this reasoning, not paying your taxes is….theft of services. And in fact, that is what our laws say.

  17. raven says

    Randall Lee:
    If I am sick, no one is obligated to care for me, and neither am I obligated to care for others unless I voluntarily choose to do so. Taxes are just one part of the equation that reveals the infringement of the rights of those who do not want to participate in this socialist practice. Forcing socialist programs on Americans denies them their right to make the political choice of whether they want to be a socialist or not. And finally the cost of this program will ultimately be born by the expansion of the money supply which will render even more worthless the currency we are forced to accept in the marketplace. One would imagine that maintaining the purchasing power of a currency would be at the top of a government’s priorities, in light of the fact that a nations currency is the essential engine of its economic life.
    Read more: http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/11/14/why-dont-people-vote/#ixzz3yvwYjG2I

    Randall Lee has been here before. He is a Loonytarian. My interest level just hit zero. Anyone who wants can pursue this further but I’ve got stuff to do.

  18. Johnny Vector says

    Heh, and I deleted the paragraph I wrote speculating that he was probably libertarian, so he couldn’t change the subject to that. I’d still love to hear his answer to the question of how he defines “what I produce”.

  19. Randall Lee says

    Johnny V. questions, “To start with, how do you define “what I produce”? I grew this here bushel of corn, entirely myself, with no contributions from the people who converted teosinte into the seed I planted, nor from whoever is drinking the nitrate-contaminated water that washed out of my field, nor from the scientists who solved the General Relativity math problems that steered my harvester.”
    .
    Johnny I can produce nothing without an exchange of my energy, time and skill. My energy, time and skill belongs 100% to me. I am not anyone else’s human resource. Ownership of another human or the right to enslave them as a human resource is recognized by all sane people as barbaric and uncivilized. There are still sociopaths among us who believe otherwise however, but I have digressed.
    .
    Suppose I paint a masterpiece worth thousands or even millions. By what turn of logic are you then somehow entitled to reap some percentage of any financial benefit that might accrue to me. Are you somehow entitled because someone labored to create the canvas upon which I painted? Or are you entitled because someone or a group of persons manufactured the paints I utilized?
    Either the paints and the canvas were given to me or at some point, or I possibly exchanged my energy (my private property) in the production of such materials from nature, or I exchanged some of my energy for them either by a process of barter or by utilizing some medium of exchange.
    .
    Regardless of the method these materials were in fact converted to the status of “my private property” in the same sense as was “my energy” before I exchanged it. Now should you claim otherwise, you cannot believe in the concept of private property; is that your position?
    .
    I take the position that each of us privately own our body, our energies, our skills, etc. and any exchange that we consent to renders the fruits of that exchange our private property. If you do not agree then post your address and tell me what percentage of your property you believe rightfully belongs to me.
    .
    You misapprehend and misspeak of the “contributions” of others, (without ever recognizing the actual exchange of human energy as mentioned above) as if that somehow extinguishes the concept of private property.
    Lenin, Trotsky and Marx would have been proud of you, comrad Johnny. I bet Sanders and Obama might even take the time to shake your hand.

    If there were actual contributions then nothing is contractually owed to those who contributed. But whatever people in the past have provided they were likewise benefited by those efforts in their own lifetime, just as the “scientists who solved the General Relativity math problems that steered [someones] harvester” were compensated for their efforts, otherwise they would not engage themselves in that manner.
    .
    Do you have a problem with the principle of “Do no harm, Initiate no aggression against another human?
    Why is it that a principle such as that, one that is easily understandable to a three year old, is overlooked or avoided by most adults? Could it be that it is only by overlooking and avoiding this TRUTH that the status quo, the morally relativist Establishment, can maintain their power differential over the Remainder, and that the Remainder are so programmed and indoctrinated that they believe it a good thing that they Remain on, and within the security of, the Plantation?

  20. Randall Lee says

    Raven, thank you for linking the minds on this site to the thoughts I so clearly stated some years ago.

    Maybe you wouldn’t mind being helpful and disclosing the search parameter process by which you were able to pull up that piece. Knowing how to do that could be very helpful at times. Thanks

  21. Johnny Vector says

    Randall Lee writes:

    A quote of my question to him, about defining the terms of his “timeless, self-evident principle”.
    .
    A non-answer to that question, involving a nonstandard, undefined use of the word “energy”
    .
    A strawman argument that also doesn’t answer the question of definition.
    .
    Another reference to the undefined use of “energy”, still not answering the question.
    .
    A strawman
    .
    A series of personal insults, followed by a complete failure to grasp the concept of the common good, and continued failure to answer my original question.
    .
    Another strawman, plus yet another unprompted reference to moral relativism. And yet, no attempt to address the question.

    So, how about you first answer the question of how you define “what you produce”, in a form that can be applied generally to everything that is required for a modern society. If you can do that, let’s move on to defining what you mean by “own”, and how that applies to everything that is required for modern life.

  22. Randall Lee says

    Johnny V. says, “A series of personal insults, followed by a complete failure to grasp the concept of the common good,….”
    Now Johnny, if you want to be a Socialist/Communist at least be proud of the fact enough that you don’t consider it an insult when someone points out to you that that is what you are.
    .
    There can be no “common good” that sacrifices individual unalienable rights. Are you familiar with the concept of unalienable rights? When everyone’s unalienable rights are recognized and protected, the common good is maximized. No framework of common good in a modern society can justify the violation or involuntary sacrifice of individual unalienable rights.
    If you and all your collectivist friends wish to voluntarily sacrifice your rights, then so be it. But where do you and your Commie (common good) friends get off thinking that you have the right to sacrifice mine?
    .
    Johnny V. also states “So, how about you first answer the question of how you define “what you produce”, in a form that can be applied generally to everything that is required for a modern society.”
    .
    I did define it (what you produce) in a way that can be applied to modern society. Society by definition implies voluntary social interaction. The fact that we live in modern times does not serve as an excuse to justify organizing society using violence. If anything, our societal evolution should reject all forms of slavery and violence, such as Statism, Fascism, Marxism, Communism etc. which are nothing more than cultural expressions of moral relativism.

    .
    Now Johnny you continue to ask me questions, but you fail to squarely address any of mine. So if you are serious in continuing this conversation you need to go back and answer my questions head on. I await you.
    .

  23. Johnny Vector says

    I did define it (what you produce) in a way that can be applied to modern society.

    Could you repeat just the definition then, for the benefit of those of us who weren’t able to extract it from your long comment?

  24. Randall Lee says

    Johnny, as I said, if we are to have a conversation, you need to go back and answer my questions to you and Raven (post #14) that are so conveniently left unanswered. .
    .
    Go back and begin by answering my questions to you in posts # 14; #20, and #23. I will then return the courtesy to you. Remember you jumped in here at post #15 but you ignored my preceding question. I have made the basis of my claim to the existence of an understandable, a discoverable, recognizable, knowable and universal absolute morality known to you from the beginning. It is one so simple that you also know it. Or do you deny knowing what is capable of being understood by the majority of most three year olds? If so, then it would be a waste of my time trying to explain more complex matters to you, don’t you think?

  25. Johnny Vector says

    Randall: You make the claim of knowing an absolute unchanging truth. The only example you gave of that was that you own everything you produce. I asked you to start by defining your terms, which you have not done. Yet you expect to control the conversation by demanding I answer your questions instead. I also note that your questions are all of the form “what’s wrong with you?” rather than dealing with actual substance.

    You are the one making the extraordinary claim, not me. We haven’t even gotten to the part where you provide some evidence for it other than “3 year olds think it’s true”; you can’t even define what your claim means. At this point I’m quite convinced that’s because you don’t know yourself.

    For instance, how does “I own what I produce” apply to scientific advances? See for instance, https://medium.com/@mtobis/keep-your-damn-lawyers-out-of-my-notebooks-ab77e2aefc32#.go4vmhpwz

  26. Randall Lee says

    Johnny says, “Randall: You make the claim of knowing an absolute unchanging truth. The only example you gave of that was that you own everything you produce.”
    . But that is just not so Johnny. You should read more carefully. I gave a much simpler example of such an absolute and timeless TRUTH in post #14. It is a PRINCIPLE so self-evidently TRUE that parents present and past recognize and teach their children to follow it in their interactions with their siblings and friends.. There is no historical evidence suggesting that any parents of the past have taught their children otherwise, except by their hypocritical example they live in front of them.

    It is a really simple principle. Do no harm. Initiate no aggression. No violence. No theft. Be civil, exercise good manners. Self defense is appropriate but never initiation.
    .
    Now why is it Johnny that adults refuse to live by the very principles they command for their children. Are they just a bunch of double dealing, double standard hypocrites?
    .
    But not you Johnny. Surely you recognize these timeless principles as absolute moral truths, right?. If not, then please tell us when it would be appropriate to teach a child to initiate violence against another human being?
    .
    Would you teach them it is okay when our morals need to be lowered so as to become relative to what is believed necessary in the moment to maintain a “modern society”?
    .
    Surely these absolute moral truth standards that three year olds are capable of grasping and understanding as morally good and absolute universal standards can and should be grasped by we adults, or do you disagree?

  27. Johnny Vector says

    At this point two things are obvious:

    1. You are completely unable to defend your claim that “I own anything I produce” is both timeless and self-evident.

    2. You are not honest enough to admit that.

    All I get is attempts to derail any conversation about your own claim.

    And so, I thee plonk.

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