America: Land of the free and home of the liars

052813liarGo to a gun show anywhere around the country and the most prevalent uniform of those attending the event is camouflage.  Often the garments strain to contain the gut that spills out over the belt.

Veterans?  Not likely.  Wannabes? Probably.  Over the years I found that many gun fanciers are those who dress up in camos and pretend they are something they are not.

Attend a NASCAR race like the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina, this past weekend and too many of the participants, following the race, climb into souped up cars, gun the engines and act like some sort of race car drivers.  They’re not, of course, but too often pretend they are.

America is, by and large, a nation of wannabes — people who pretend they are something they are not.

We see it on the Internet: bloggers who pretend they are journalists or phonies who post comments pretending they know something about the subject of article about politics, government or society while posting under an anonymous “handle” or fake names.

Companies nowadays employ specialty firms to sniff out and find fake information in resumes and information from a job application.  Newspapers aren’t immune.  The Washington Post had to return a Pulitzer Prize given to Janet Cooke, who claimed a degree she didn’t have and wrote a series about a drug-using boy who didn’t exist.  The New York Times had to admit that Jayson Blair sat in his apartment and posted stories from locations he didn’t travel to.  The New Republic fired Stephen Glass after findng he had fabricated part or all of at least 27 stories in the magazine.

Employment counselors say more than half of Americans applying for jobs lie on their resumes, put false information into job applications or omit information about arrests.

Politics has more than its share of phonies and frauds.  In 2010, Senate candidate and Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal claimed he served in Vietnam.  The New York Times discovered he used five deferments to avoid such service.   Iowas Senator Tom Harkin, a one-time Presidential candidate, claimed he flew combat missions in Vietnam.  Turns out he was a Navy pilot in Japan and at Gitmo in Cuba and never flew in combat.

In 2006, Congress passed the Stolen Valor Act, making it a crime to claim a medal or decoration from military service.  President Bush signed it into law but a federal court in 2010 declared the act unconstitutional and the Supreme Court upheld that decision in 2012, saying the right to lie was protected by the First Amendment.

Earlier this month, the Korean War Veterans Association ousted its 80-year-old present, James E. Ferris, after finding he wore a number of military medals and decorations he never earned.

A new days later, Congress passed a new version of the Stolen Valor Act and sent it to President Barack Obama.

Some had hoped Obama would sign the bill on Memorial Day as an honor to veterans but on the day following the national holiday to honor those who did serve their country, a law punishing those who who claim they did still awaits his signature.

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6 Responses to "America: Land of the free and home of the liars"

  1. Bill Cravener  May 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Over the years I found that many gun fanciers are those who dress up in camos and pretend they are something they are not.

    Doug, I encounter “tough guy wannabe” game hunters every year here in PA. It makes me sick to my stomach. When they spout out their bullsh*t and you confront them they show their true persona, that is to say they are nothing more then a loser who should not be allowed a gun in the first place. I have rarely ever met a “gun lover” in my fifty years of hunting that wasn’t full of bullsh*t period!

  2. Carl Nemo **==  May 29, 2013 at 1:09 am

    “America Land of the Free and home of the liars” …extract from title

    Many, if not most folks have some type of fantasy; I.E., a ‘Walter Mitty’ syndrome, re: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. No harm done, but if so then there should be some consequence for their actions in the event some wrong is the result of such behavior.

    Most lies are of the ‘white lie’ nature, but many of the darkest kind are foisted upon us by our government 24/7 costing us dearly as taxpayers and as a nation in terms of our national image.

    Currently we are plagued by scandals supported by blatant lies in the highest offices of our land along with continuing tax revenue draining policies based on lies; I.E., the ‘war on terror’, the ‘war on drugs’ and the ultimate war, on our freedom itself.

    So the common folks predilection for lying definitely represents a phenomenon to be outed, but far deadlier lies put our way of life at hazard on a daily basis seemingly with no penalties to be paid for such behavior.
    *****

    “…truth-telling … is not possible in a highly organized zoo like the United States, where the best cuts are flung to those who never question the zoo’s management.”… Gore Vidal
    *****
    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Jon  May 29, 2013 at 2:34 am

    I stayed home on Memorial Day. I didn’t have the heart to tell those who’d fought that they might as well have been Spartans, Persians, or Carthaginians; their sacrifice was in vain.

    Jon

  4. Keith  May 29, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Doug wrote: “America is, by and large, a nation of wannabes — people who pretend they are something they are not.”

    Indeed, the same could be said about the pack of greedy crooks we now have running our country.

    These gormless hypocrites have since turned our once proud nation into one that continually projects a facade of everything that it is not…peace-loving and generous with freedom and equal justice for all…and then vehemently condemns the lack of same in others.

  5. Sandy Price  May 29, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Jon, I do believe we shared an attitude on Memorial Day. I was a teenager when Pearl Harbor Hit and I spent that Sunday in tears when the number of deaths were reported. My grandfather had been given a Zenith Army radio where the news from the Pacific came in from a series of metal coat hangers placed on the roof of our 3-story house. That house is still standing on the corner of Montana and 5th Street in Santa Monica. I was the first up in the morning with the head phones on my head searching the static for words.

    We placed some rocks in the grass in our back yard and I painted the names of the islands and who had control. Our garage was Japan.

    My grandmother’s sister’s husband was put in charge of Sawtelle Army Hospital and we visited those brave young men every weekend. I wrote letters for them to their wives and my classmates made cookies.

    I attended High School with the daughters of Bill Wellman, Bill Holden, Spencer Tracy, through the eyes of cameramen like Frank Capra and Howard Hawks who were directed by Thalhberg. We began to realize that we saw the war through the eyes of Hollywood where our emotions were stirred dramatically. I spent my Monday sitting on my couch watching the films that were done by my old classmate’s fathers. Although Duke Wayne had no girls at Westlake School, he managed to star in many of the movies and win the battles of WW2. He was my neighbor in Encino and often carried the cost of many elections including Reagan who ran for Governor and then President.

    The man who built our home won the first Academy Award for Special Effects in a film called “All’s Quiet on the Western Front” but took the award with him when we bought his home. When Duke Wayne threw a party there was always an invitation in our mailbox to attend. I was right at home with these guests as most sent their girls to Westlake in Holmby Hills.

    I spent Monday in tears remembering how many of us kept our eyes open for the safety of the entire west coast.

    • Jon  May 30, 2013 at 12:46 am

      Perhaps.

      Both my parents were born shortly after the Blitz, and then emigrated here and had two ‘anchor babies’, myself and my brother. I went to school with Mike and Mike and Jake and Peter and Mike and Mike (yes, four different ones – I had to number them for my poor parents when they answered the phone). As far as I know, nobody filmed it.

      My problem was that what our veterans fought for has been undermined and taken away for personal profit at the expense of the rest.

      You may have kept us safe – For that I thank you. It’s more than President George W, Bush ignoring CIA reports while cutting brush on vacation in Texas ever did.

      Thanks,

      Jon

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