“A lie ain’t a side of a story. It’s just a lie.”

This tweet from notorious xenophobe Chris Kobach has been earning a lot of appropriate derision:

No, no, no!  What Kobach is doing is make an appeal to the lowest-common-denominator form of “he said, she said” journalism.  The whole reason to watch CNN or read a newspaper is to get some meaningful grasp on objective reality.  And the objective reality could not be more clear– Kobach is being dishonest.  The CNN viewer does not have time to investigate Kobach’s (and Trump’s) claims.  They have jobs to do, kids to take care of, etc.  It is, in fact, CNN’s job to do this.   And they have investigated, and rightly determined that Trump and Kobach are lying.  And it’s their responsibility as journalists to report that to the public.

Or, as my favorite “The Wire” epigraph ever put it, “A lie ain’t a side of a story.  It’s just a lie.”

Photo the day

This series of Eagle v. Drone images is simply awesome.  Thanks to Mika for sharing.

Regis Duvignau

A golden eagle grabs a flying drone during a military training exercise at Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

What are we fighting for?

What heroism really is.  Phil Klay wrote easily the best book about the Iraq War I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot), and easily the best story collection I’ve ever read (to  be clear, these are one in the same).  Not surprisingly, his NYT essay on the moral costs of war and the true meaning of heroism is terrific.  Trust me and read it.

From our founding we have made these kinds of moral demands of our soldiers. It starts with the oath they swear to support and defend the Constitution, an oath made not to a flag, or to a piece of ground, or to an ethnically distinct people, but to a set of principles established in our founding documents. An oath that demands a commitment to democracy, to liberty, to the rule of law and to the self-evident equality of all men. The Marines I knew fought, and some of them died, for these principles. [emphases mine]

That’s why those Marines were trained to care for their enemy. That’s why another Marine gave his own blood to an insurgent. Because America is an idea as much as a country, and so those acts defend America as surely as any act of violence, because they embody that idea. That nurse, in the quiet, alone with that insurgent, with no one looking as he cared for his patient. That was an act of war…

If we choose to believe in a morally diminished America, an America that pursues its narrow selfish interests and no more, we can take that course and see how far it gets us. But if we choose to believe that America is not just a set of borders, but a set of principles, we need to act accordingly. That is the only way we ensure that our founding document, and the principles embedded within, are alive enough, and honorable enough, to be worth fighting for.

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