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Friday, September 19, 2003



I will never be a sophisticated liar, the way my grandfather was. He was a cosmopolitan, founder of a chain of ladies fashion stores, a deadly charmer, and an Italian sportscars fetishist. Most of all he was the first adult to inspire me with a sense of destination. I remember going on a fishing trip with him in the midst of winter. After a long windswept day, I was able to bring in my first pike, a trophy that I would later take home with me to show to my parents. As we stopped by his home to wait for my parents to pick me up, the servant had taken in the days quarry, and by mistake had gutted the fish that I had caught. After going through my initial shock and disappointment, my grandfather came up with a bright idea: he had the fish’ head reattached with iron wire, and the body sewn shut with needle and thread. His clever action secured the trophy for the photo opportunity that I had bargained for.

My grandfather has not become my mentor of deception, but in retrospect I learnt that he was a smooth and cunning manipulator, who executed iron reigns on his large family and family business.

I have done some research as to the lives and mores of cheats, charmers and charismatic liars. Deceit and charm constitute the Siamese twins of social warfare:


- How far do we have to go in teaching moral values to our children? Since it’s a widely substantiated fact that the scheming charmer has a smooth career path paved out for him? -

Model honesty

All toddlers lie, and "they lie very nicely," quips Dr. Kang Lee, a developmental psychologist at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, who has studying the development of lying in children for five years.

Lying comes easy. Even for parents. A survey of 1,000 reported in "The Day America Told the Truth (Prentice Hall, 19.95) found 91 percent lie routinely and 59 percent admitted lying regularly to their kids. Children are perceptive and soon learn that dishonesty is acceptable if their parents are dishonest. Children learn from small acts. Consider those times when a solicitor calls and you say your husband is out when he is actually watching TV.

"Some children get very confused when they hear a parent tell a falsehood, Van Horn warns,!" Make honesty your policy.. A child reared in an atmosphere of honesty absorbs that as a value. If you slip, own up to it. That will encourage your child to follow suit


The English have a bent for competitive lying, the site mentioned below is just one of the most prominent ‘Lying Contests’ that I located. From sitcoms and detective series that I’ve witnessed over many years I have to conclude that the English are prolific scholars of the deceptive scheme –

Liars Contest

Since 1923, the Thistle public house in Daltry, Scotland has been home to the Annual Liars’ Contest, where participants compete in exaggeration, misinformation and inveiglement.

[The greatest liar of all time]

By common acclaim (or rather, by his own claim), the title of 'Greatest Liar in the World' was bestowed upon Fraser Patrick McInnon, who won eight consecutive titles in the first eight years of the contest. He announced his retirement (and simultaneously secured his eighth title) in 1930 with the now-legendary words 'I regret I cannot enter the contest this year, as I cannot tell a lie.'
The contest was cancelled in 1936 and also postponed during the Second World War, resuming again in 1949, so the 2000 contest was the 68th. Naturally, given the nature of the event, 2000 was chosen as the centenary year.


-Was Sir John a con man; in fact did he exist at all? –

The Riddler

Says Giles Milton, historical writer:"If archaeologists can unravel the lifestyle of Palaeolithic man from a couple of teeth and the odd jawbone, I felt sure I could learn something about Sir John from the sixty-one leaves of vellum and the handful of documents that have survived the centuries."

Sir John Mandeville was the alleged author of one of the most famous early-renaissance books. From about 1350 to 1800, his "The Travels of Sir John Mandeville" was incredibly popular and influential, rivaling the Bible and Euclid's Elements. Then, about 1800, scholars began to question whether "Mandeville wrote Mandeville" -- or indeed whether there ever was such a man.

Giles Milton had a hunch that the extant writings of Mandeville contain hidden riddles. Therefore, Milton traveled throughout Asia, hoping to see something that would stand out as a landmark that had been mentioned in the form of a riddle in Mandeville's manuscript.

The Riddle and the Knight: In search of Sir John Mandeville, The World’s Greatest Traveler
By Giles Milton – Strauss Farrar & Roux 2001


- Every enthusiasts’ or hobbyists’ corner is rife with lies and tall tales, as an avid fisherman I should know. Apparently boaters make no exception to this rule -

Lying Boater

‘It’s important to be sincere.. even if you don’t really mean it’ – Richard Nixon

Pope Barrow of the American Whitewater Affiliation wonders if boaters are the worlds greatest liars

‘I thought I was a class V liar myself. I thought I was Pinocchio in a kayak. But that was all just ego inflation. My balloon has now really been popped. I recently realized that the boating world is full of liars way more inventive than I could ever be.’


Brain Damage

- The 9-11 disaster has unleashed a deluge of conspiracy theories, this site explores the premise: ‘Bin Laden and his associates may have brain damage due to substance addiction’

‘Consider the fact that the three most destructive terrorists of the 20th century were addicts: Adolf Hitler, amphetamine addict; Joseph Stalin, alcoholic; Mao Tse Tung, addicted to barbiturates. An obvious question is, why would those behind the atrocities of September 11 be any different?’


-No known liar can incense people more than Bill Clinton, potentially the most agile and cunning liar in recent political history. Even today myriads of ranting and rabid sites are dedicated to his political meanderings and evasions -

Slick Willie

Poll and poll after poll tells us that a sample (didn't ask me) populace thinks the president's (job) performance is stellar; confession after confession from former female employees tells us that his after hours (sexual) performance is dismal. Exposing himself to women during government (Arkansas and DC incidents) business meetings is hardly the chief executive's main role. If Slick Willie could get laid at home, maybe he wouldn't travel by night. Are you listening, Hitlery? Pleading and begging for it is very unseemly; maybe he needs a First Prostitute to replace the First Lady? A real sure thing, that will keep his wandering genitals at home, where they belong. Where's Elena Bobbitt and her knife when the country really needs them?



- Steven Ambrose, the succesful and controversial American historian has a posse of bounty hunters out for him, mincing his words; debunking his stature -

As it turns out, America's cuddliest — and best–selling — popular historian is a veritable kleptomaniac. So far a grand total of six Ambrose books have been found to have unattributed, unoriginal text in them, and you know and I know that there are all kinds of people poring over his books right now — and he's written a lot of them, which is part of the problem — and they're going to find more instances of Ambrose sinning.

‘The sins of Steven Ambrose’ A review of Ambrose's new book, Nothing Like it in The World, and the summary of errors, misstatements and made-up quotes it contains. Compiled by G. J. “Chris” Graves, Newcastle, Calif., Edson T. Strobridge, San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Charles N. Sweet, Ogden, Utah, under the auspices of The Committee For The Protection Of “What is Truth” In Railroad History, G. J. Graves, Chairman.


Poor Fred

- Queen Caroline’s last words about her son: the lying Frederick, Prince of Wales aka ‘Poor Fred’ (1707-1751) -

‘Frederick Louis was the eldest son of George II and his wife Caroline of Ansbach, and was the father of George III. Having been educated in Hanover, finally Frederick was brought to England in 1728 and since then had been a source of trouble for his parents.’

‘On 20 November 1737, Queen Caroline died. In life, she is reputed to have said of her eldest son, "My dear first born is the greatest ass, and the greatest liar, and the greatest canaille, and the greatest beast, in the whole world, and I most heartily wish he was out of it." As she lay on her death bed, she is reported as saying, "At least I shall have one comfort in having my eyes eternally closed - I shall never see that monster again." The king refused to allow Frederick to see his mother before she died, saying to Lord Hervey, "Bid him go about his business for his poor mother is not in a condition to see him act his false, whining, cringing tricks now, nor am I in a humour to bear his impertinence; and bid him trouble me with no more messages, but get out of my house.’


Pet Liar

-If you are too crude a liar yourself, hire a professional - Meet former Bush’ Whitehouse spokesman Ari Fleischer -

‘Like any skilled craftsman, Fleischer has a variety of techniques at his disposal. The first is the one he used to such great effect at Ways and Means: He cuts off the question with a blunt, factual assertion. Sometimes the assertion is an outright lie; sometimes it's on the edge. But in either case the intent is to deceive--to define a legitimate question as based on false premises and, therefore, illegitimate. Fleischer does this so well, in part because of his breathtaking audacity: Rather than tell a little fib--i.e., attacking the facts most open to interpretation in a reporter's query--he often tells a big one, challenging the question in a way the reporter could not possibly anticipate. Then there's his delivery: Fleischer radiates boundless certainty, recounting even his wildest fibs in the matter-of-fact, slightly patronizing tone you would use to explain, say, the changing of the seasons to a child. He neither under-emotes (which would appear robotic) nor overemotes (which would appear defensive) but seems at all times so natural that one wonders if somehow he has convinced himself of his own untruths.’

posted by Walter at 9/19/2003

Tuesday, September 16, 2003



Undercover agents are booting up-

A Matrix sent Par Avion
A Night in the Passion Ghetto
A Meeting with the man from McDonnell

They’re looking for the Gold Standard
Resident in a backwater town:
Say Tulsa- or Spokane

The dress code is uncompromising:
Beat-up Barbour
Calfskin Boots
The Bible and-
A bottle of Jack Daniels

-Perfect fare for a Neoconservative picnic-

They’ve donned B- a much craved respite:
Apparent by-
A revamped public persona-
A well deserved timeout from prohibitive rigors-
A brief encounter in the fold-

The ploy is cunning and accumulative-
A villainous triumph of revised data that a
Hack-screenwriter couldn’t have improved


A rudderless nation carries on:
Headed by a hijacked top-executive
Fed by a think tank that wrangled
events and policies on the
International Agenda

The choreography is infinite-
It plays for dominance-and offers a
Patriotic placebo instead

What will happen next?

An uprising- ignited by a bruised and
Desperate backlog of a freaked-out electorate
Looking for Clues and Salvation-

Starved for-

New Labels
Big Beats
Four syllable ethics
Another Nine Lives
Raw-Earth Rhythms
Chemical Bliss
Purpose and Intent
Medieval Armor


The Return of Hellfire


© 2003 Walt


posted by Walter at 9/16/2003