Gary Hofmeister: 'Live not by lies'

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Gary Hofmeister

This was a mantra of one of the greatest men of the 20th century, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. As an intellectual who refused to be bullied by Stalin, he accepted the requisite punishment of the gulag (as memorialized in “The Gulag Archipelago”) and ultimately was banished from his beloved Russia. Communism was built on lies and requires incessant ones to perpetrate its bizarre and brutal system. Eventually, many subjects under the system learn to adjust and rationalize their daily behavior and even accept the force-fed propaganda as true. In my time running seminars in the former USSR, many attendees would approach me with a sad countenance proclaiming, “Gary, they lied to us! They lied to us all our lives! You shouldn’t lie to children.”

The ramifications of systemic mendacity are corrosive not only at the time it occurs but sets a horrendous standard of amorality and dishonesty far into the future. We are now celebrating the silver anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, but many parts of the Soviet empire have yet to embrace the fundamental tenets of political and economic realities. Specifically, in the area I was most active in encouraging and mentoring potential business men and women, many still emit blank stares when you explain that there must be a strong element of trust involved for a business to have long term success. Yes, we still adhere to Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) but any business that lies or deconstructs to their customers consistently will find boards on the windows in short order. Soviet residents’ inability to take those lessons to heart comes from generations of being fed daily lies and almost inadvertently learning to adjust to the system. No one told this story more brilliantly than George Orwell in his prescient novel, “1984.”

These thoughts occurred to me as we see the disassembling and mind boggling lies coming out from the left following the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby case. Silly me. I thought perhaps this was such a simple and obvious case of religious liberty that we might even enjoy another delicious 9-0 decision. After all, essentially nothing changes for the employees of Hobby Lobby or the other companies in this suit. Employees will still receive the great health care benefits as before from the Christian owners (who strongly believe their religion impacts and guides their principles even while making a profit). The only difference is that these owners will not have to knuckle under to the Obamacare mandate to provide abortion-inducing drugs, which were only four out of the 16 contraceptives. In other words, they were just minding their own business (literally) when the government came in to mug them. If the employees really want these four drugs, they are readily available for purchase.

The hue and cry immediately emanating from the left has been amazing. Lies and more lies. Of course, the prevaricator-in-chief got the ball rolling as he always does. Then Hillary Clinton goes on record comparing us to Islamists and other oppressive regimes throughout the world giving the impression that not only are contraceptives now banned but sharia law is on the near future agenda. Order your burka now or you may be stoned in the public square. NOW and Planned Parenthood take up the baton and run with it.

The question is whether it will work. I just don’t know. I like to think the electorate is smart enough to understand basic principles but then I remember the airhead Sandra Fluke becoming somewhat of a celebrity because she publicly objected to her (Catholic) college not paying for her birth control. Depressing and scary … for the future.

Gary Hofmeister is the owner and operator of Hofmeister Personal Jewelers in downtown Steamboat, a company he founded in 1973. He is a director of The Steamboat Institute and a former Republican nominee for Congress in the 10th District of Indiana. He made 18 trips to the former USSR to teach democratic-capitalism during the 1990s.

Comments

Dan Shores 5 months, 1 week ago

Gary, when you say that Hillary "goes on record comparing us to Islamists and other oppressive regimes", who is the "us" that you are referring to, and can you please provide the record of where and when she said this and where and when she said "sharia law is on the near future agenda." Did Bush and Cheney lie about the reasons that we invaded Iraq? Did our government lie to us about the reason that so many Americans were sent to their deaths in Vietnam? Lies are told all the time, a person has to be able to reason and think clearly and sort through all the information and think about what is right and make an informed decision. We will never be able to stop all the lies.

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Harvey Lyon 5 months, 1 week ago

Dan,

Get off the Bush/Cheney thing! Perssonally I truly believe that they believed there were WMDs there. The question could have been resolved quite easily if Saddam had provided the requested access to the UN Inspectors. And when the possibility of a Dictator having WMDs that he has already used against another Country or even his own people exisits I'd rather go in and find out we were wrong then have them set off in the US and find out we were right!

Either way.....its old history.

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John St Pierre 5 months, 1 week ago

Gary your just amazing as you continue to blah blah blah about anything to do with the "black" president that you and your soul mates to continue to have fits about..... if you want to talk about lies then talk about your buddy, the king of liars, Cheney.... this worthless excuse for being a human who purposely lied and continued to lie his president and the people he was suppose to represent that led to the "murder" of 4500+ american sons and daughters..... That same lie has led to more death & destruction thruout the middle east as his vision of his great christian crusade blew up in his & Bush's face.

why don't you look at yourself in the mirror and ask the question on this bright sunny Sunday morning: "who am I to cast the first stone".......

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john bailey 5 months, 1 week ago

1/21 2008 I will have the most transparent admin and follow the rule of law , and the lies never stopped from there......amazing huh ? oops sorry except for the "fundamentally change America" part , hows that change working ?

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Dan Kuechenmeister 5 months, 1 week ago

Dan S. Dan S. Here is a quote from Ms. Clinton regards the Hobby Lobby case.Is it possible Mr. Hofmeister used a little hyperbole. Yep. You of course never have. guffaw, guffaw. But her comment is open to interpretation as to what she means by "societies that are very unstable, anti-democratic and frankly prone to extremism." I doubt she is referring to Norway. When asked Monday about the Court's decision, Clinton, who may run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, said, "it is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are very unstable, anti-democratic, and frankly prone to extremism, where women and women's bodies are used as the defining and unifying issue to bring together people, men, to get them to behave in ways that are disadvantageous to women but which prop up them because of their religion, their sect, their tribe, whatever." Mr St. Pierre and Dan S. I just love the way, number one, it continues to be all about Bush and Cheney, and number two, the way you use bad behavior from the right to defend bad behavior on the left.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 1 week ago

Time for the lefties to rush in on damage control, muddying the water, and spewing talking points in filibuster mode. In essence they are validating Gary's observations..

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 1 week ago

The lies of the USSR? So linking Obama with communists. I am not sure if this is brilliantly subtle satire showing how this is typical politics or if Gary is such an old political hack that he is still using the USSR as his bogeyman.

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 1 week ago

The USSR had to lie about everything from harvest levels to durable goods production levels to keep people complacent and go along with the dictates of the central planners. Obama had to lie about keeping your insurance or doctor to keep people complacent and go along with the healthcare reform dictates of the central planners.

Please correct me if this is bad analogy.

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 1 week ago

John S. ; Gary never mentioned the presidents race in the entire article. You put words in Gary's mouth and then denounced what he had never said to appear smug and superior.

In the same breath that you smeared others as liars, you intentionally misrepresented the premise of Gary's article. In effect, you've validated Gary's assertion that liberals depend on lies to promote their positions. Thanks for that.

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 1 week ago

The lies of Nixon, Reagan and Bush are distinguished from the lies of Democratic Presidents in what way?

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 1 week ago

With no citations, I'll have generalize: The biggest difference is that Nixon and Clinton were both impeached by the House for their abhorrent behavior while democrats of today get a pass.

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 1 week ago

Correction: Nixon resigned before the House voted on Articles of Impeachment and was not impeached.

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 1 week ago

Also, Saddam Hussein killed thousands and thousands of innocent people with nerve gas. Reasonable people don't bicker over whether he had WMDs or not.

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 1 week ago

The "Lying as being immoral" principle didn't last long. Ken M is already making an "the ends justify the means" excuse for accepting lying.

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 1 week ago

Scott: There's an obvious difference between being wrong and lying. That's why they're different words, because they mean different things. I've never supported lying to justify any means on this board or any other. The Bush administration had information from US and British intel sources that a person that had killed thousands of people with nerve gas (Saddam Hussein) was trying to buy yellow-cake uranium in Africa. We acted on that intel and the intel turned out to be incorrect. Saddam Hussein was ultimately convicted by an Iraqi court and hanged for crimes against his people. The world is a better place without him and his despicable spawn sons.

As for the Obama comparison: Did Obama really think that we could keep our policies while the actual text of the Bill he supported stated otherwise? I think Obama lied; he flat out lied. As for Bush; I think Bush made a mistake by trusting incorrect intelligence reports from multiple sources and erred on the side of US National Security.

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 1 week ago

The Bush Cheney Rumsfeld Wolfowitz Rice lying was not over Saddam killing people. Their lies were regarding WMD

The aluminum tubes for centrifuges was such a lie that their own Energy dept showed those tubes were useless for centrifuges and only had value for rockets. And yet those at the top continued to publicly argue that the tubes were proof of a nuclear program.

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John St Pierre 5 months, 1 week ago

the simple truth is that Bush & Cheney created the legacy that has / still kills thousands,cost's us billions and is creating complete chaos in the middel east.////

please do not try to justify it with Hussain's behavior.... there were alot worse leaders doing alot worse things in the world at that time...and we looked the other way.......

I am no fan of the present leader.. but seriously was there anyone who could have cleaned up the mess that the former Halliburton administration left behind...... Obama was elected because alot of people were looking for a magic wand to wipe eveythihg away.. do you really think that McCain/Pailn would have done any better...

The Cheney mess has turned this country into isolationist's. ..destroyed our economy and led to complete distrust in our elected leaders...... our country was founded on the concept of discussion & compromise...neither of which essentially exist today in government.... its our way or your socialist.. its our way or your a right winger..... the question now is can democracy survive.....

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 1 week ago

I follow and agree with some of your response. However, should we not have justified WWII because of Hitler's behavior? That's a libertarian argument, I suppose; that we should sit idle while tyrants commit mass murder abroad.

I don't share your fixation on Cheney being the root of all evil and find Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, et al, to have caused the depth of our current economic troubles. Granted, Obama and the Democrats inherited a challenging economy from the previous administration, but their foolishness and economic illiteracy has made things MUCH worse by almost every single basic measure.

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Brian Kotowski 5 months, 1 week ago

Even his hometown liberal rag has had enough of Dirtbag Harry's race-baiting bs. I post it here because Harry's malfeasance is identical to John St. Pierre's, proudly deployed in this discussion.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 1 week ago

We are trying to learn how to combat the Muslim problem by throwing stuff against the wall and a lot of it isn't sticking, but we are eliminating some game plans, albeit at great cost.

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Michael Bird 5 months, 1 week ago

Just some random thoughts - - Liberals vs. conservatives - Decades, maybe centuries, of the same discussion. Very few converts and very little change. Are all politicans liars -YES or prove me wrong. And a mistaken concept is not a lie. We all can be wrong . Perjury (lying) in Court is a crime. How about making it a crime for a politican to lie and have a mandatory sentence of at least 6 months in prison if found guilty ? No immunity. To answer the question - can democracy survive. The answer is no because we have a Republic of America , which is not nor never has been a democracy and to my knowledge there is no democracy on this planet and maybe hasn't been since Athens,Greece in B.C..

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 1 week ago

If we legalized dueling again it might curb some of the crap that Harry Reid spews.

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mark hartless 5 months, 1 week ago

Plunder is messy business; it must constantly be covered and excused by fabrication.

Anyone willing to plunder on behalf of another is certainly willing to lie.

Anyone who is foolish enough to unleash such an evil into a society of which they and their children are a part is certainly fool enough to believe similarly preposterous lies, and likely evil enough to repeat them as well.

Shame on the American people for excusing the lies and corruption of their pollitical allies while bitterly condemning that of their opponents. You completely deserve the leadership you have unleashed on your nation and the whirlwind you will reap is abundantly evident on the horizon.

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Robert Huron 5 months, 1 week ago

What I get out of this discussion is that all our problems started in Jan. 2009. For some reason I think if you compare where the country was in Jan. 2001 and compare it to where it was in Jan. 2009 you might come up with a different opinion. Has it got worse or better is a matter of opinion depending on your party affiliation.
Do all Politicians lie ? Only when their lips are moving. The biggest lie of the past decade or so came from from none other than Dick Cheney. All you have to do is go back and and look at his interviews on the Sunday morning news shows he made that cost the lives of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands or Iraqi's. His Deputy Scooter Libby took the fall for him over the so called African connection and he and his friends in the Defense Industry laughed all the way to the bank. Even FOX Megan Kelley in an interview just recently pointed out all his errors in judgement (lies) he had made which caught him totally off guard.
The Middle East is a total mess and has been for decades and the US policies under both Republican and Democratic Administrations have made things worse because we make decisions based on financial gain of a few. You can go back to the 1950's when we ousted the leader of Iran and installed a man who would sell us oil and we would sell them weapons, The Shah of Iran. The US supported Sadam in the 1980's because he was fighting Iran. The 19 Hijackers on 9/11 where mostly Saudi but they sell us oil and they buy our weapons. Our hand picked leader of Iraq Al-Malaki threw all our troops out when Pres. Bush was forced to signed the withdrawal agreement in 2008 but their oil went to China and India. $2 Trillion went down the drain and thousands of Americans paid the supreme price for nothing. Getting rid of Sadam has done more harm than good as we are seeing today in Iraq. The mess along the Southern border today is a direct result of the thirst Americans have for drugs. If it wasn't for this there would be no cartels killing people left and rights in Central America. We buy their drugs and they buy our weapons. Can you blame these children for wanting to get out of their country. It reminds me of what happened when people fled Cuba in the 1960's and beyond. Unfortunately there are no good solutions in both the Middle East and Central America.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 5 months, 1 week ago

Hey Robert, Let's see you named 3 politicians in your post. Cheney, Libby and Bush. Plenty of blame to go around right (no pun intended). After all these years it's still all about Bush and Cheney and you can't even throw we who actually believe both parties have culpability a bone. Like maybe Holder, maybe Reid, maybe Pelosi. Funny in a sad sort of way.

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Robert Huron 5 months, 1 week ago

Dan My point was Cheney screwed Bush and Libby. To mention all lying Politicians on both sides of the Aisle would fill a book. My opinion of Cheney is the same as LBJ.

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jerry carlton 5 months, 1 week ago

Robert Good post. Dan Good post. I still like "I did not have sex with that woman!" Oops DNA! That did not cost lives but shows the character of the man. The economy did pretty well under him. The sad part is his wife will probably be the next president and she is the most power hungry woman to ever come on the American scene. When she gets out of office, I bet they will not be broke. What a freaking joke. Three worst presidents in my lifetime, 1. Carter, 2. Bush 2, 3. Obama, Liar in Chief . I voted for Obama the first time. Hey, we all make mistakes.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 5 months, 1 week ago

Hey Robert, At least the Cheney's had the chutzpah to go on TV and face the tough questions unlike Holder's recent interview. And when the interview was over they didn't whine and cry about being treated unfairly. Don't you wish more of the media would ask the tough questions of all politicians.

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Tim Keenan 5 months, 1 week ago

You should never have to market a war. From: http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/transcripts/2002/sep/020917.miller.html : What else should reasonable people make of these facts? In June, a floppy disk found near the White House turned out to contain a presentation used by Karl Rove on White House strategy for the midterm elections. Focus on war was a key point in a talk that centered on the White House's desire to, quote, "maintain a positive issue environment." Around this time, Rove was criticized for telling a Republican group that the war and terror themes could play to the GOP's advantage in the November elections. Not long after, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card was asked why the administration waited until after Labor Day to try to sell the American people on military action against Iraq. Card replied, `From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August.' ...

The Downing Street memo pretty much seals the deal with respect to whether or not the neocons lied us into Iraq. Then you have Rumsfeld at a press conference after we invaded saying: We know where they (WMDs) are. They're in the area around Baghdad -- east, west, north and south somewhat." And if you heard his tone, he was clearly saying: "I couldn't care less where these weapons are; I think you're all a bunch of idiots; we've done what we set out to do, so can I leave the podium now?" The fact that Saddam was a tyrant and his sons were absolutely insane is completely beside the point.

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Dan Shores 5 months, 1 week ago

I don't think we should ever "forget" what the Bush/ Cheney administration did to this country. It doesn't matter whether or not they believed there were WMD in Iraq. There was ample and compelling evidence that there was not, but Cheney in particular chose to ignore the evidence that didn't support his belief. Virtually every prediction that Cheney made about the Iraq war has proven to be false, not a lie per se, but pretty close to it. The yellow cake story was debunked by ambassador Wilson and in retaliation his wife was outed as a CIA operative. Of course politicians lie. But when their lies result in the wasting of trillions of dollars, the loss of over 4,00 American lives, the loss of over 100,000 Iraqi lives and the near destruction of our economy, I don't think we should forget. Speaking of lies, what about the right wing ACA death panel lie? What ever happened to the death panels? What about the lie of "trickle down" economic theory having a positive effect on the economy? There is a lot of lying going on all the time, we have to be smart enough to look at the actual provable evidence and make informed decisions. It is a mistake to let ideological beliefs that you want to be true, influence your observation of actual facts.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 5 months, 1 week ago

DAN S. OMG, you are the best. You, one of if not the most strident idealogue that I have yet to see on this forum is lecturing every one by saying " It is a mistake to let ideological beliefs that you want to be true, influence your observation of actual facts." That is hysterical. I am in awe of your ability to be such a hypocrite while pretending to stay above the fray as you sir have never ever i am sure, allowed your ideological beliefs to influence your observation of actual facts. Now, puleeeeaaaase don't report me to the Pilot for an ad hominem attack.

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Ken Collins 5 months ago

Dan K---would you puleeease stop using facts that are confusing DanS? Provable facts v. ideological beliefs, should be quite a debate.

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