Diction, Eloquence, ISIS and The Big Lie

Growing up in the 60’s, and the brave new era of TV, I can remember with great fondness some of the eloquent, important speeches given by US Presidents. To an Englishman, the accent, and diction were fascinating. One of my favorites was this speech by Vice President Agnew about the Vietnam riots. I can remember distinctly hearing it, add to that the Robert Kennedy impromptu speech after the death of Martin Luther King.

That’s partly why I’m so disappointed with the current crop of GOP Presidential candidates. The way they say things, their speech patterns are disappointing. More importantly, in the last 10-years it’s what they say that infuriates me. GOP candidates seem to just make sh*t up. It’s like it’s the 1950’s and there is no way to fact check anything. Carly (desperately wants to be somebody) Fiorina is reported as recently saying

“Somebody once asked me, ‘What’s the difference between business and politics?'” Fiorina said at the event, which was hosted by the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. “And here’s the difference: Politics is a fact-free zone. People just say things.”

I don’t know when this phenomenon of just making sh*t up first started, but I just had a discussion about ISIS and how President Obama caused ISIS. I didn’t have this to hand, and it took me 30-mins to find it, but next time someone blames the President for ISIS, ask them to listen to the following about Vice President Dick Cheney, and remind them that President Obama was elected on a promise to bring the troops home and that he did.

It’s from This American Life, Episode #303 David and Goliath. This is excatly the technique discussed by Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Chapter X. effectively a lie, so big, that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so much. In 1951, the US Army made a semi-documentary film called the Big Lie to heighten fear of Russia. You can watch it here[YouTube]..

What Cheney, then Vice President of the United States, and President Bush, by implication did was create a Big Lie as justification for the invasion of Iraq and to this day, despite numerous evidence to the contrary, Cheney maintains the Big Lie that ultimately gave us ISIS.

Yes, President Obamas’ withdrawal from Iraq left the country open for ISIS to thrive, it is worth noting though that the President campaigned and was elected on the basis of withdrawal, Cheney just made sh*t up and profited from it.

Update: 4:04pm added links for the US Army “The Big Lie”.

Trump vs China

That’s right. Some guy almost every American has never heard of, Wang Jianlin, is worth four to six times what Donald Trump is. And, Mr Jianlin is one Chinese entrepreneur, there are dozens of them. Yet, Donald Trump, says he will take on China and win. I’m guessing he means with our money rather than his own?

In my last blog, I drew comparison between Texas and China, and claimed that China hadn’t had a big enough disaster to over shadow Texas. I thought it was worth looking at one example where China is way bigger that anything in Texas.

Just before that, in a “world collides” sort of moment, while Americans seem revere Donald Trump as some kind of Hotel, Apartment, construction and entertainment wizard who prints his own money; recently it was announced that Dalian Wanda, a Chinese company, had bought the iconic American endurance sport company Ironman, or more accurately the World Triathlon Corporation that owns and stages the Ironman Triathlon races including the annual Ironman Hawaii. As anyone knows me knows, I’ve done numerous Ironman and half-Ironman races.

How does this relate to Trump?

Dalian Wanda has operations split into two divisions: Real Estate, and The Cultural Industry Group. Real Estate has been the engine of Dalian Wanda’s growth. It owns more than 100 shopping malls in 100 Chinese cities, and owns over 70 hotels. To make it easier to score, in the world of hotels and real estate development somewhere between four and six Donald Trumps equal one Wang Jianlin. (*1)

That’s right. Some guy almost every American has never heard of, Wang Jianlin, is worth four to six times what Donald Trump is. And, Mr Jianlin is one Chinese entrepreneur, there are dozens of them. Yet, Donald Trump, says he will take on China and win. I’m guessing he means with our money rather than his own?

With that in mind, enjoy Mike Pesca taking Trump to task over Trumps tweet on ebola in this extract from Pescas “The Gist” podcast..

I’m of the opinion that the press indeed give Mr Trumps xenophobic rants, and chest beating an easy run. Before careful what is wish for.

(*1) From Slowtwitch.com retrieved 9/6/2015 7:46pm


I often think to myself about coincidences, there are often times when I wonder if that was just a coincidence, but I’m most often decide it wasn’t. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a great believer in making you own luck and thus, it’s not a coincidence, it’s a result of a conscious, or unconscious action or decision.

That doesn’t mean coincidences don’t exist, this weeks This American Life has some great stories, enjoy!

Know where your food comes from?

OK, so I’m tired, I was out really late last night and I had to go to the Travis County tax office for 8am this morning to sign away the title for my VW CC aka, sell my car. Afterwards, I’m in my new car, heading to work and I decided to catch-up on the January 11th This American life, the episode is #484, Doppelgängers.

After an intro which included a Saturday Night Live actor imitating TAL show host, Ira Glass, they get down to act one. A story about food and food lookalikes. The real Ira Glass says “A quick warning that if you’re squeamish or averse to graphic images of food, there’s going to be some of that in this report.”. Within 2-minutes, I’m smirking so much I’m crying, tears, reals tears rolling down my cheeks. I’m sat at my desk typing this, I can’t wait to share, still chuckling.

Maybe it’s because I’m tired, maybe it’s my inner school boy, or maybe, just maybe I might have eaten “artificial calamari”. So, here it is, Doppelgängers. Enjoy.


p28q[1]What with Football players inventing dead girlfriends, cyclists deceiving everyone most of the time, sometimes lying can be difficult to understand, not the lie, but the motivation and more importantly, often why people believe lies in the face of reasonable evidence. This American Life nails it as usual. Listen along online, or download episode 173