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If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance…

December 30, 2016

There’s a quote attributed to W.C. Fields. Part of it is the title to this article. The whole thing goes like this: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull****.” Which brings us to politics.

I will admit to being almost convinced there were WMDs in Iraq. What can I say? Sometimes, I’m not as bright as I am at other times. The administration at the time engaged in what I can only call a concerted effort to baffle us, the American people (and a good part of the rest of the world, I suppose). I certainly hoped they would turn up, simply because I did not want us to have invaded a sovereign nation for no reason. Guess what? They never did. My reluctant conclusion was that they were never there. Some things never change…

We find ourselves in the ongoing debate over whether or not the Russians hacked our elections. Congress has been requesting from the “intelligence community” (Jerry Pournelle had some thoughts on that, recently) the information that supports the administration’s assertion that such a thing happened. Now, we get this “report” that as I understand it ostensibly refers to the information that has been supplied to the Senate Intelligence Committee. There’s only one problem: it substitutes jargon and verbiage for real content. I read all 13 pages multiple times. It tells us nothing. In fact, it’s so bad, even Rolling Stone, hardly a bastion of conservative or libertarian thought, can’t get on board with the report. This leads one to suspect President Obama, like George W. Bush before him, has decided to double down in the hopes enough people will believe him. Goering would be proud. My conclusion? We are being WMD’d, once again.

Joseph Goebbels of “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” fame would be proud.*

“The Russians did it” is not brilliance, but it smells a lot like something else…

 

NOTE: I am not even remotely suggesting anyone is a Nazi. There has been more than enough of that particular nonsense flying around before and after our recent election. I’m merely pointing out the nature of “the big lie.” For what it’s worth, the entire quote (the accuracy of its attribution is somewhat in doubt) goes something like this: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

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