When Is A Lie A Lie

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We all know when we tell somebody something that is not true that is considered a lie. It seems a local candidate for mayor in the city of Radcliff, Kentucky, J.J. Duvall, has some cognitive difficulties determining what is a lie and what is not when he told a group of voters at a mayoral forum conducted by the NAACP that he graduated from the University Of Kentucky with a degree in political science in 2002. When asked about graduating from the University Of Kentucky with a degree from that school, which is not true, Duvall said he misspoke. I do not know how the other writers at VT or the many readers of this online publication feel about politicians stretching the truth, but I, for one, am getting so tired of politicians lying and then using the word misspoke as an excuse for the lie they got caught up in.

A Vietnam Veteran wannabe, Dick Blumenthal, running for a Senate seat from the state of Connecticut, just got caught lying about serving in the Vietnam War and used the same word, misspoke, as a way to downplay the fragrant lie, he told. Is that the new keyword for politicians to de-emphasize their lies when caught trying to deceive the voters?

In the News-Enterprise newspaper out of Elizabethtown, Kentucky which is right next door to the city of Radcliff, there was a candidate questionnaire and Duvall responded by stating he graduated from North Hardin High School in Radcliff, Kentucky and the University Of Kentucky, which is 80 miles east of Radcliff in the city of Lexington. He was asked about the information submitted on his questionnaire and he informed the paper that the information was incorrect. My question is, was he going to let this incorrect information stand if he was not confronted with the discrepancies? Then J.J. had an excuse why the questionnaire was filled out wrong, he said his staff had filled out the form and he had not proofread it before submitting it to the newspaper. A biography about J.J. Duvall was submitted to the Radcliff Woman’s Club recently and in it, Duvall stated he had a political science degree from the University of Kentucky. When asked about it, J.J. stated he was not aware of the error about him graduating from the University of Kentucky and took full responsibility if he mislead the public to believe he had a political science degree from that university. For a mayoral candidate who will work directly with the massive changes taking place at Fort Knox and must work hand-in-hand with the military leaders of the army’s now Human Resources Command Center if elected, one has to wonder if J.J. needs to be more aware of what staff members are writing about him, should be become a more efficient proofreader and definitely should use his dictionary more to learn the difference between a lie and misspeaking.

What is it about politicians at all levels of government who will lie and then when caught lying, will give some outlandish excuse for such behavior? This is not about what political party J.J. Duvall is affiliated with, nor about his opponent in the race, it is about J.J. Duvall telling the truth about his achievements or lack of, and running on his real record. Have we, as voters, become so numb and hardened to politicians lying like Mark Foley and Rod Blagojevich, having sexual trysts outside their marriage like Bill Clinton and Elliot Spitzer did or using their office for their own financial gain, William Jefferson caught with $90,000 dollars in his freezer or Duke Cunningham taking kickbacks and bribes that we just do not care anymore and accept their behavior? None of us are perfect in this world, and we all have had experiences in life we would gladly change if given the opportunity but most of us would not lie in the first place just to be elected nor would we pad our pockets once given the public trust to serve our fellow citizens. Until we, as voters, demand good ethical behavior and accountability from our politicians whether at the federal, state or local level, we will continue to get those that lie and serve themselves.

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Joe is a Vietnam Combat Veteran, having served 26 months in the Republic Of South Vietnam, 10 months with Company A, 27th Combat Engineers, 28 August 1968 to June 1969, and 16 months as a crewchief/doorgunner with the 240th Assault Helicopter company on UH-1C Hueys, the Mad Dog Gunship Platoon from July 1969 to 22 October 1970. Joe graduated from Cuyahoga Community College in 1982 with a Associate Of Arts Degree and from Cleveland State University in 1986 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology; he also accumulated 12 hours of graduate work at Cleveland State. He lives with his best friend, his wife, and they have 34 rescued cats, 7 rescued dogs. Joe has spoken at high schools and colleges for 25 years about PTSD, war and how not to treat returning veterans when they come home to America after fighting for their country.