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Quotes of the Day for 21 January 2003 – Lies

On this day in 1951 a federal jury at New York City rendered a verdict of guilty in the case of Alger Hiss. Hiss had been accused of passing government secrets to a Communist courier, Whittaker Chambers, in 1937. The statute of limitations had expired on the espionage, but after Hiss denied the charges to a congressional committee he was charged with perjury. There was no significant evidence, just Whittaker's word against Hiss'. Did Hiss lie? Controversy over the question continues today. (I think not, but I admit to a strong bias against the House Un-American Activities Committee.) The trial did propel one young congressman, Richard Nixon, into the national media. A few cynics might suggest that Nixon knew a thing or two about prevarication, and as you expected by now, I have a few quotes on the subject.

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The quotes:

The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.
     - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Of all lies, art is the least untrue.
     - Gustave Flaubert

People need good lies. There are too many bad ones.
     - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

Aristotle was once asked what those who tell lies gain by it. Said he, That when they speak truth they are not believed.
     - Laertius Diogenes

A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
     - William Blake, 1757 - 1827


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