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People Like It When Someone Tells The Real, Actual Truth

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At the Little House on the Planet Development Party last week we worked on using comedy to tell the truth. Lord knows, there’s plenty of difficult truths these days. Some ways the truth has been told are deeply beloved. People return to them again and again as a kind of talisman, an article of a certain kind of faith. And my goodness, there’s been an awful lot of lying and lying and lying on the national political stage these days.

If I didn’t include one of your favorites, please include it in the comments.

Some of my Favorites
Greatest County in the World?

Greatest County in the World?

It’s been called “the most honest three and a half minutes of television, EVER” Jeff Daniels on The Newsroom250 width
They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking.

They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking.

It’s a big club and you ain’t in it. George Carlin spills the beans on the oligarchy.
It's like everything everywhere is going crazy

It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy

I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! Network
He’ll see everything! He’ll see the big board!

He’ll see everything! He’ll see the big board!

General Buck Turgidson, George C Scott, Frying chickens in the barnyard. Dr. Strangelove brilliantly told so many different kinds of difficult truths
Here is the fucking news ...

Here is the fucking news …

Reporter gets angry and tells us the REAL news. This has been viral for a while now. It’s not hard to believe it’s a real reporter who’s had more than enough — but it’s satire from British actor and comedian Tom Walker
War always encourages a patriotism that means not love of country but unquestioning obedience to power.

War always encourages a patriotism that means not love of country but unquestioning obedience to power.

Robert Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth portraits and narratives highlight citizens who courageously address issues of social, environmental, and economic fairness.

What a labor of love! There’s more than 200 of them. I’ve been using his Wendell Berry portrait for years when I was tweeting one quotation a day from “Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community: Eight Essays.”

Here’s a bunch of Americans who tell the truth that are particular heroes of mine, as they are for many other people. These are some of my favorites from A through H, plus Z of course

Noam Chomsky “…jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you’re trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them.”

Wendell Berry “The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful.”

Grace Lee Boggs “People are aware that they cannot continue in the same old way but are immobilized because they cannot imagine an alternative. We need a vision that recognizes that we are at one of the great turning points in human history when the survival of our planet and the restoration of our humanity require a great sea change in our ecological, economic, political, and spiritual values.”

Major General Smedley Butler “I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of the racket all the time. Now I am sure of it.”
Received 16 military medals, 5 for valor. Is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice.
Wrote the 1935 exposé that linked business and the military titled “War Is A Racket.”

Frederick Douglass “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. ”

Eve Ensler “I am proposing that we reconceive the dream. That we consider what would happen if security were not the point of our existence. That we find freedom, aliveness, and power not from what contains, locates, and protects us, but from what dissolves, reveals and expands us.”

Emma Goldman“…The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism.”

Amy Goodman “I really do think that if for one week in the United States we saw the true face of war, we saw people’s limbs sheared off, we saw kids blown apart, for one week, war would be eradicated. Instead, what we see in the U.S. media is the video war game. Our mission is to make dissent commonplace in America.”

James Hansen “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet…the dirtiest trick that governments play on their citizens is that they are working for ‘clean coal’. The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death. ”

Howard Zinn “The rule of law does not do away with the unequal distribution of wealth and power, but reinforces that inequality with the authority of law. It allocates wealth and poverty in such calculated and indirect ways as to leave the victim bewildered.”

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