Editorial, Fourth of July

They said he couldn’t tell a lie. The cherry tree story is fiction. Actually, General George Washington pulled off some crafty military ruses, and at the Constitutional Convention he presided over the making some compromises that got the document passed but proved unfortunate in history’s long run. Still, Washington comes down to us with a very good reputation because he was a man with a great sense of honor and of great self-restraint. Chandler Christy painting that’s on display at the US Capitol.

Friends and foes of the United States

The decorated alleged peacemaker and in reality war criminal Henry Kissinger said, really as a cornerstone to his philosophy of reapolitik, that “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” And how well has THAT worked?

The Shah of Iran. Manuel Antonio Noriega. Colombia’s AUC death squads. Osama bin Laden…. A bunch of thugs. All US allies or retainers at one point or another.

Good people do bad things, or just downright go bad. But mostly it’s a problem of lazy choices of convenience and a notion of throwaway people. Use a “cut-out” – a person of little or negative character as a means to an end, to be disposed of when convenient to do so. Then what do you get? A foreign policy of “plausible deniability” – lies to be spoken by ladies in dresses and gentlemen in suits with put-on straight faces to reporters who will pass them on embellished as truth if they care to keep their jobs.

An electorate gets sick of seeing and hearing that sort of stuff exposed time and again. A part of it becomes receptive to allegations that fundamentally important truths are false flags, that those who are cheating them are their benefactors, that certain designated other people, other races, other nations are inherent enemies because, like the old cartoon character Skeletor, they’re just the bad guys.

You get a dumbed-down population that’s uninformed about many important facts and cares even less about what they don’t know. Atmospheric science, epidemiology, forensic investigations of crimes, the law, human nature, different cultures – all a big conspiracy for some vague purpose.

How to get past that?

First by favoring the truth over lies, by departing from a foreign policy of spin control that gets into outright lies in its outer orbits, by ending the falsification of history, by exonerating sources, reporters and editors who published inconvenient truths.

By distinguishing sycophants from friends. By understanding that the person who sells out his or her country is generally one of the biggest charlatans of all, and that the people who argued against this or that policy may at crunch time come forward to be the most committed friends of all.

Yes, the United States does have enduring interests. Which tend not to be those of the people or institutions who have purchased the most influence in the highest places. Which tend not to be well served if the government gets a reputation as a collection of ruthless operatives whose word is never to be taken at face value.

Will God’s grace be shed on America? It will help if people of many faiths, and who don’t or can’t believe in any variety of supernatural, come to trust the word of the US government. Such trust is earned through honor and reliability.


At the Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport.
Photo by Myota.

       There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.

Charles M. Schulz       


Bear in mind…

I’ve always said that in politics, your enemies can’t hurt you, but your friends will kill you.

Ann Richards

To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.

Thomas Paine

Sure I’m for helping the elderly. I’m going to be old myself some day.

Lillian Carter


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