Northern Valley Beacon

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Monday, July 24, 2006


The Swift Boats are launched and the lies are a-flying

You can tell that the 2006 election campaign is underway. The Ministry of Truth (as Orwell called it) is out in full force to demolish the language by misrepresenting words and to exterminate any thoughts and ideas that do not conform to its party line.

Some comments I made recently concerning what the U.S. flag symbolizes became grist for the Ministry of Truth processes of distortion, fraud, and malicious misrepresentation that has become the official mantra of elements of the Republican Party. The blog South Dakota War College joined forces with with South Dakota Politics, an established leader in the business of defamation, to make some crude forgeries of language, which they attributed to me.

I am a candidate for the state legislature. That is the apparent motive behind the falsification of the comments I made in response to a posting on Clean Cut Kid’s blog. I can envision the would-be character assassins slobbering over their keyboards at the thought of taking a real, live candidate out with their dishonest little missives. After making some points about the fact that a symbol, like the flag, is not the thing it symbolizes, I ended with what is an obvious rhetorical question to those literate and educated enough to read it:

“And if the flag represents what this nation has become under George W. Bush, well do you really want to salute it?”

The Ministry of Truth’s puppet at South Dakota Politics transformed that question into this post.

“Newquist: Our Flag Isn’t Worth Saluting,” read the headline.

The comment, which did provide a link to my original comment, was: “David Newquist, Democratic candidate for the state legislature, questions whether the American flag is even worth saluting any more.”

While the comment provided a link, the false paraphrase was made under the assumption that a goodly number of the dupes who feed on degraded language and acts of verbal vandalism would not have the interest or integrity or the ability to read the original words in their full context.

South Dakota War College endorsed the false paraphrase.

My comment addressed the matter of whether the Bush administration has upheld the standards of liberty, equality, justice, and integrity that the flag is supposed to stand for. Deliberately misconstruing the question into the statement that I am advocating disrespect to the flag is a dishonest and grossly incompetent paraphrase. The basic rule of the paraphrase, no matter what venue it appears in, is that it must restate the original facts or ideas fully and correctly. Falsification through misquotation is a standard practice at the Ministry of Truth.

Ironically, the henchmen at South Dakota Politics took orgasmic delight when Professor Ward Churchill, a paragon of left-wing extremism in their eyes, was fired from the University of Colorado for misrepresenting material he cited in his work. Still, South Dakota Politics does not hesitate to engage in precisely the same acts of verbal fraud when it sets someone up for their dirty little verbal tricks.

The intellectual and moral deficiencies do not end there. They presume to portray my relationship and my regard for the flag. I am a veteran. I served under the flag of the United States of America. I served the republic for which it stands. And I am proud of that service. Too proud to let a couple of moral and intellectual incompetents denigrate my patriotism.

I served in Germany as a guided missile crewman and instructor. Our missile batteries kept 24/7 surveillance and readiness to respond to any threats to the NATO countries. Just as important as our efforts to meet any attack with immediate response was our work to cut through the propaganda clutter so that the messages of freedom, equality, and justice got through clearly on both sides of the Iron Curtain. That work is eventually what brought that curtain down.

On the NATO side of the Iron Curtain, we had two forces that circulated propaganda. One was a Marxist-based group that tried to foment revolution and the takeover of Europe by a Marxist regime through inspiring hatred of the U.S. through elaborate and nasty falsehoods. The other force was the remaining residue of Nazi Germany. Both groups practiced the same propaganda techniques. They directed contempt and derision at democratic leaders and democratic people. They characterized America as the source of all the world’s ills, much like the current crop of regressives in America and elsewhere do with what they regard as liberals. In order to give credence to their denigrations, they made false and inflammatory statements about American values and policy by making deliberate misquotations, taking words out of context, and substituting their own language and version of events for what was really said and what really happened.

It was part of our job to analyze and explain how the false representations were made. I never thought I’d be doing the same in the country that I served. The regressives in America have embraced the oppression, the bellicose nationalism, the dictatorial control, and the intrusion into private lives that characterize fascism. Constant ad hominem attacks by the regressives serve that end.

South Dakota Politics and South Dakota War College are symptoms of the degradation of American politics. Issues cannot be examined and discussed. They can only demonstrate a vicious disrespect and a seething hatred for people who do not subscribe to their party line. They always meet opposing viewpoints with a rolling of the eyes and a defamation of personhood and personality. This is the politics of the lower order creatures clawing and pecking their way to a higher status within the dog pack or the chicken flock. It is the politics of the reptilian cortex. They stand for the opposite of the freedom, equality, and justice that are the driving principles of American democracy. I fought against these kind of political tactics in the military service. I fight against them now.

When a couple of petit-jihadists denigrate my patriotism and my service to my country through a contrived misconstrual of my words, they define themselves as enemies of what the flag truly represents. At least the flag that I served under.

The task facing America is to lift politics out of the intellectual dereliction into which it has fallen. Blogs such as South Dakota Politics and South Dakota War College demonstrate a massive failure in education. In the late 1960s and early 1970s we stopped teaching the principles of rhetoric as part of our college composition courses. Students, who were raging for “self-expression” found it boring and irrelevant. Most students coming out of high schools and colleges do not know or understand the moral responsibility of an accurate paraphrase or an accurate representation of other people’s words and thoughts. We educators caved in to the demands of our “market.” Blogs throughout the country show that many of our citizens have no concept of what comprises verbal integrity and rigorous discussion. That is why education, along with the issues of health care, environment, a sound economy that can sustain our own people, and social security needs addressing.

But education remains the first priority that makes creative solutions to the other problems possible. We still have to educate people to be capable of living in a democracy. Misquotation and taking words out of context are forms of lying. It isn't all that difficult a concept to grasp.

David -

Thanks for this stimulating debate. I've posted my response on my own website here:

As you'll probably note, I think we continue to have a difference of opinion.

Regards, and keep on blogging.

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