Hello.... Hi there... I'm Cynthia Gee, and I'm creating this as a mirror of my other CommonSense blog at HomeschoolBlogger. I am copying the first several articles from over there, and moving them here in their entirety, complete with reader's comments. So if you see your comment HERE, and remember posting it over THERE, relax. You're sane.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Obama’s "whopper" about Rutherford B. Hayes and the telephone

There's more than one way to lie - you can commit a lie by using words, you can lie by omission, by telling the truth and leaving something out, or you can be really sneaky and lie by innuendo, by twisting the facts to make what actually happened look like something else.

What you CAN'T do is lie by accident - if you speak a falsehood by mistake, it's not a lie, no matter how dumb and avoidable the mistake may be - a lie, by definition, must be deliberate.
By spinning Obama's admittedly careless mistake to make it look worse than it was, and by labeling it a "whopper" -a LIE - Mr. Kessler himself commits lies of commission and innuendo, and he shows everyone that he is more interested in kicking the President than he is in defending the facts.

I'd give Greg Kessler at least five "Pinocchios" (Kessler's own lie rating system) and an old fashioned "Shame on you!" for this article:

Obama’s whopper about Rutherford B. Hayes and the telephone

“Of course, we’ve heard this kind of thinking before. If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society. … There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don't believe in the future, and don't believe in trying to do things differently. One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That's why he's not on Mount Rushmore because he’s looking backwards. He’s not looking forwards. He’s explaining why we can't do something, instead of why we can do something.”

— President Obama, remarks on energy, Largo, Maryland, March 15, 2012

In a speech on energy Thursday, the president took aim at the “cynics and naysayers” who dismiss potential new sources of energy, such as wind and solar. Leave aside the canard about most Europeans believing the earth was flat before Columbus — that’s an elementary-school tale with little basis in fact.

What about President Hayes? Was he really so dismissive about the invention of the telephone?

The Facts

Hayes, the nation’s 19th president, served only one term, 1877-1881, after a very close and disputed election that needed to be settled by an electoral commission. (He went to bed thinking he had lost to Democrat Samuel Tilden.) He was a master politician who banned liquor from the White House for political purposes (and to curb boorish behavior by members of Congress).

The quote cited by Obama does exist on the Internet, but we would expect the White House staff to do better research than that. (This line was in the president’s prepared text, so it was not ad-libbed.) But the trouble is, historians say that there is no evidence Hayes ever said this. Not only that, contrary to Obama’s jab, Hayes was interested in new technology.

According to Ari Hoogenboom, who wrote the definite biography, “Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President,” Hayes entertained Thomas A. Edison at the White House. Edison demonstrated the phonograph for the president. “He was hardly hostile to new inventions,” Hoogenboom said.

Hayes, in fact, was such a technology buff that he installed the first telephone in the White House. A list of telephone subscribers published in the article “The Telephones Comes to Washington,” by Richard T. Loomis, shows that the White House was given the number “1.”

The White House phone initially was connected to the Treasury Department. Hoogenboom, in his book, writes that Hayes’s wife Lucy requested that a quartet sing on October 26, 1877, to inaugurate the service, but the concert abruptly ended because the powerful bass voice of one singer smashed “to atoms” the “sounding board of the telephone.”

Nan Card, curator of manuscripts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, can pinpoint when Hayes first tried out the phone: June 1877. Hayes, it turns out, kept 126 scrapbooks of newspaper articles that featured him, and on page 82 of the 111th scrapbook was an account from the June 29 edition of the Providence Journal.

The version of events certainly is different than Obama’s telling. We reprint the whole report below because it gives a real flavor of the moment.

The President at the Telephone
About 3 o’clock the President enjoyed a new sensation. Under the direction of Mr. Fred A. Gower, managing agent of Prof. [Alexander Graham] Bell, a telephone wire was connected with the Western Union Telegraph wire, tendered for the purpose of manager Bradford, and telephone communication established with Prof. Bell at the City Hotel in this city.
The President was then invited to place one of the telephones, which by the way resembled a rather large-sized bobbin, against one ear, which he did, when Mr. Gower spoke in the other in a moderate tone of voice, saying, “Prof. Bell, I have the honor to present to you the President of the United States, who is listening at the other telephone; do you understand?”
The President listened carefully while a gradually increasing smile wreathed his lips, and wonder shone in his eyes more and more, until he took the little instrument from his ear, looked at it a moment in surprise, and remarked, “That is wonderful.”
During this time Prof. Bell said, according to Mr. Gower, who was listening at the telephone: “Mr. President, I am duly sensible of the great honor conferred upon me in this for the first time presenting the speaking telephone to the attention of the President of the United States. I am located in one of the parlors of the City Hotel, in Providence. I am speaking to you through thirteen miles of wire, without the use of any galvanic current on the line. I hope that you understand distinctly what I say, and I shall be very glad to hear something from you in reply, if you please.”
At the suggestion to him from Mr. Gower, that he should speak to Prof. Bell, the President said, “Please speak a little more slowly.” A few more messages passed, when the President again remarked, “That is wonderful,” saying he could understand some words very well, but could not catch sentences.
[Pennsylvania] Gov. [John] Hartranft also tried the wonderful little instrument, with much the same experience as the President, saying in answer to a query from Prof. Bell, “I understand you very well.”

Note that Hayes first tried the “wonderful” telephone at the end of June, and then had it installed in the White House just four months later. So, rather than “not looking forwards,” as Obama put it, Hayes quickly embraced the new technology.

In fact, he was a little too ahead of his time, because there were so few telephones installed elsewhere in the county. (The telephone list mentioned above shows only 190 subscribers in Washington two years after the telephone first came to Washington.) According to Hoogenboom, most communications from the White House continued to be done by telegraph during the rest of Hayes’s presidency.

Hoogenboom, who is an Obama supporter, added that unlike many Republicans today, Hayes was an advocate of federal action, particularly spending on education. He even wanted to use the federal budget surplus to direct more money to poor districts.

Besides historians, Obama’s staff also could have checked with the White House Historical Association, which recounts Hayes’s interest in the telephone in a classroom lesson for children in grades 4-8.

Card said the Hayes presidential library has never been able to find evidence of the alleged Hayes quote. “It seems to be out there, as people say it all the time,” she sighed. (Run a Nexis search and you’ll see many examples.)

White House spokesman Jay Carney pointed to those “multiple media references,” as well as an Encyclopaedia Britannica reference and even a previous comment by President Ronald Reagan as evidence that Obama was not out of line in citing this tall tale about Hayes.

“I’m not arguing that this is not in dispute, but the quote is widely cited,” Carney said. He added that Obama was using the anecdote in service of a broader point.

Reagan did once made a similar observation, according to Feb. 23, 1985, report by UPI reporter Helen Thomas. In this case, Reagan poked fun at his age, clearly making a joke:

Reagan recalled that President Rutherford B. Hayes once was “shown a recently invented device.”
“That's an amazing invention,” he said. “But who would ever want to use one of them?” He was talking about a telephone. I thought at the time that he might be mistaken.”

Of course, Reagan — “80 percent of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation” — was widely mocked for getting his facts wrong. So we are not sure he is the best source for presidential history.

We contacted Encyclopaedia Britannica senior technology editor Rob Curley about its use of the Hayes reference, in a book titled “100 Most Influential Investors of All Time,” and he said he would recheck its sources.

The Pinocchio Test

It’s bad enough for one president to knock another one for not being on Mount Rushmore, but it’s particularly egregious to do so based on incorrect information.

We went back and forth over whether this error was worth three or four Pinocchios. We nearly decided on three Pinocchios because Obama used the phrase “reportedly” and because others have said this before him. The Encyclopaedia Britannica reference especially gave us pause. That’s a legitimate, but not infallible, source. But then we remembered it took only a phone call to a real historian to find out the truth.

Our final ruling was swayed in the end by this: The president in particular has a responsibility to get historical facts right, and in this case he got them completely backwards. Obama mocked Hayes for “looking backwards ... not looking forwards.” In reality, Hayes embraced the new technology. He should be an Obama hero, not a skunk.

Hayes is dead and buried, but he deserves an apology

.................Posted by , The Fact Checker , 06:02 AM ET, 03/16/2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Billionaire Romney donor uses threats to silence critics

So VanderSloot likes to sue people?

Bring it, Jimmy - I've got nothing to lose.

I am willing publish any and all verifiable information and/or past articles pertaining to this bullying scumbag. If you are reading this article and you have something about James VanderSloot, contact me here, at Commonsense Blog.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sincerely, Cynthia Gee

Billionaire Romney donor uses threats to silence critics

Monday, July 18, 2011

Phone Hacking Whistleblower Found Dead: Guardian

Here it comes, folks...

LONDON (Reuters) - A former journalist who told the New York Times that phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's now defunct News of the World was more extensive than the paper had acknowledged at the time, has been found dead, media reported on Monday.

..... and before it's over we should see Murdoch/NewsCorps' connections to the British government, the House of Saud, Big Oil, our own State Department, and Erik Prince's Xe Services (formerly known as Blackwater USA).

Hate to say I told you so, but.....


Sunday, January 16, 2011

10 Bulls - the ultimate political commentary?

No, I haven't gone Buddhist on y'all... but you can't beat this 12th-century illustrated Zen (Chan) Buddhist poem, as a tongue-in-cheek response to all the political bovinity making the rounds these days....

10 Bulls, From the Zen Flesh, Zen Bones anthology, with modern woodcuts by Tomikichiro Tokuriki:

1. The Search for the Bull

2. Discovering the Footprints

3. Perceiving the Bull

4. Catching the Bull

5. Taming the Bull

6. Riding the Bull Home

7. The Bull Transcended

8. Both Bull and Self Transcended

9. Reaching the Source

10. In the World

"In the pastures of this world, I endlessly push aside the tall grasses in search of the bull.

Following unnamed rivers, lost upon the interpenetrating paths of distant mountains,

My strength failing and my vitality exhausted, I cannot find the bull.

I only hear the locusts chirring through the forest at night.

Along the riverbank under the trees, I discover footprints!

Even under the fragrant grass I see his prints.

Deep in remote mountains they are found.

These traces no more can be hidden than one’s nose, looking heavenward.

I hear the song of the nightingale.

The sun is warm, the wind is mild, willows are green along the shore,

Here no bull can hide!

What artist can draw that massive head, those majestic horns?

I seize him with a terrific struggle.

His great will and power are inexhaustible.

He charges to the high platueau far above the cloud-mists,

Or in an impenetrable ravine he stands.

The whip and rope are necessary,

Else he might stray off down some dusty road.

Being well trained, he becomes naturally gentle.

Then, unfettered, he obeys his master.

Mounting the bull, slowly I return homeward.

The voice of my flute intones through the evening.

Measuring with hand-beats the pulsating harmony, I direct the endless rhythm.

Whoever hears this melody will join me.

Astride the bull, I reach home.

I am serene. The bull too can rest.

The dawn has come. In blissful repose,

Within my thatched dwelling I have abandoned the whip and rope.

Whip, rope, person and bull – all merge in No-thing,

This heaven is so vast no message can stain it.

How may a snowflake exists in a raging fire?

Here are the footprints of the patriarchs.

Too many steps have been taken returning to the root and the source.

Better to have been blind and deaf from the beginning!

Dwelling in one’s true abode, unconcerned with that without -

The river flows tranquilly on and the flowers are red.

Barefooted and naked of breast, I mingle with the people of the world.

My clothes are ragged and dust-laden and I am ever blissful.

I use no magic to extend my life;

Now, before me, the trees become alive."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Bible on Immigration Reform

Conservatives are fond of saying that this is a Christian nation and that our system of laws is founded on the Bible, so anti-immigration folks, stick this in your pipe and smoke it:

Lev 19:33 ¶ And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
[But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.

Ezekiel 22:29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully...........Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.

Bottom line is, if things don't turn around and we here in America do not start caring about their fellow man without regard for BORDERS, Jeremiah Wright won't be the only one saying God damn America - according to the Bible, God Himself will damn this land.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Someone finally noticed --

Obama is Being Punk'd!!!!
...from Huffington Post writer Albert Brooks
Posted: February 9, 2010 10:29 AM

"Sarah Palin had notes written on her hand at the same moment that she was making fun of Obama for using a teleprompter. One of the radio "hosts" who makes fun of the teleprompter daily said that Palin's notes on her hand were "endearing." The "host" also blamed Obama for televising his day with the Republican leadership, saying that if he was serious, he would have done it in private. This was after a solid month of daily beatings for not making the health care negotiations public......"

I'm glad to see that someone else has finally noticed this.

It seems that the modus operandi of FOX news and the GOP is to accuse the Obama administration of doing the very things of which they themselves are most guilty.

More parallels:

Jeremiah Wright / Palin's witch-hunting pastor Thom Murthee

Bill Ayres / Alaskan terrorist/secessionist Joe Vogler

The Obama-is-a-Muslim hoax / FOX's chief shareholder, Saudi Prince AlWaleed Bin Talal

Now, every time the tin-hat/Tea Party crowd casts a new slur at the Obama Administration, I start digging around in the Conservatives' closet to find who on their side is guilty of doing the very same thing.

These Cons really ought to learn that people who live in glass houses shouldn't stow bones.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

On the Selling of the Presidency... Supreme Court decision will clear the way for Muslim billionaires to sway federal elections

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of the Saudi king who was listed last year by Forbes as the world's 22nd richest person, met with News Corp.'s chief executive Rupert Murdoch on Jan. 14 in a meeting that "touched upon future potential alliances with News Corp.," according to a statement released by his Kingdom Holding Co. late Saturday.

More here:

And, it appears that Alwaleed is already making his presence felt at News Corp -- the Saudi prince has chosen the man who will be Rupert Murdoch's successor, should Murdoch die or choose to retire.
The Saudi prince has announced that he he has decided that James Murdoch shall be Rupert Murdoch's successor at News Corp when the elder Murdoch is ready to retire, and, Alwaleed says that he will back his protege to succeed Rupert Murdoch regardless of the elder Murdoch's wishes in the matter.
On the Charlie Rose show this week, Alwaleed announced,
"If he (Rupert Murdoch) doesn't appoint him, I'll be the first one to nominate him to be the successor of Mr Rupert Murdoch, God forbid if something happens to him. "

More here:

(If I were Rupert Murdoch, I would be very, very nervous.... and, from now on, VERY, VERY careful.)

Now, let's stop for a minute, and take a look back at what Alaweed was doing in 2005:

Saudi Billionaire Boasts of Manipulating Fox News Coverage

Press Release | December 7, 2005

WASHINGTON—Accuracy in Media (AIM) is urging a full inquiry into a report that a Saudi billionaire caused the Fox News Channel (FNC) to dramatically alter its coverage of the Muslim riots in France after he called the network to complain. The Saudi billionaire, Al-waleed bin Talal, is a friend of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch and controls an influential number of voting shares in the company. “This report underscores the danger of giving foreign interests a significant financial stake in U.S. media companies,” declared Cliff Kincaid, editor of Accuracy in Media."

More here .

(the link below used to take you to the article, but it has since been tampered with -- click and see where it goes now. Why is that, I wonder.................)

Let me say it again -- the Saudi King's nephew PUBLICLY ADMITTED, five years ago, that he told FOX News what news to report.
Since then, he has been buying up News Corp stocks and insinuating himself into the inner operations of News Corp, to the point where he is now telling Rupert Murdoch who his successor should be, whether Rupert likes it or not!

NOW, with those facts firmly in mind, let's get a look at TODAY'S headlines:

Supreme Court OKs Unlimited Corporate Spending on Elections

The justices overturn a century of U.S. electoral law by a 5-4 vote. Millions of extra dollars are expected to start flowing from big business to Republican candidates.
By David G. Savage

January 22, 2010

Reporting from Washington - Overturning a century-old restriction, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations may spend as much as they want to sway voters in federal elections.

In a landmark 5-4 decision, the court's conservative bloc said that corporations have the same right to free speech as individuals and, for that reason, the government may not stop corporations from spending to help their favored candidates.

More here:,0,850920.story

Get your burkas ready, because it's only a matter of time before Prince Alwaleed and News Corp buy themselves a United States Presidential election.

Thanks to the five panderers of SCOTUS, even a corporation with connections to the Taliban could conceivably influence our elections -- our Supreme Court has just pandered our country to all and sundry, and has declared America and her election process to be available to anyone with the money to buy them.