Baron Von Graham’s Lies

In the Winter of 1788, a foreign Military Officer was sent to Valley Forge. His name? Friedrich Von Steuben.

800px-Major_General_Friedrich_Wilhelm_Augustus_Baron_von_Steuben_by_Ralph_EarlVon Steuben came to Washington’s camp in late February of 1778, with a background of service to various European Armies, a large outstanding debt to his creditors and numerous wild rumors about his behavior while in the Service and whether or not that service was even what he claimed it to have been. Washington, however, was desperate for any professional help for his rag-tag force, suffering through the winter at Valley Forge. He appointed the Baron as temporary Inspector General, and tasked him with improving the conditions and performance of the Continental Army.

The questions about the Barons past were never really answered, or even addressed. But he did go down in American history as the man who built the Continental Army into a full fledged fighting force. He would later retire form the Army and become the founder of the Society of Cincinnatus. Despite numerous land grants by grateful States and a Congressional pension for his service, the questions always swirled about his past, never answered. And he managed to continue to run up debts which plagued him until he died, virtually penniless in 1794.

The man who saved the Continental Army, remained an enigma and a mystery.

Representative_Graham_HuntThis past week, a Washington State Assemblyman, Graham Hunt resigned his set as a legislator when it became apparent that his military service record did not match up to the claims he had made about it during his campaign. His statement, however, was more about how he felt distracted, rather than an apology for his lies.

Some years ago, in Claremont, California, a Water Board Member by the name of Alvarez claimed to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. When it was discovered that he was lying, he was indicted under the 2003 Stolen Valor Act. Alvarez argued that the Act was a violation of the 1st Amendment, and while initially rejected by lower Courts, the case made it’s way to the US Supreme Court where in a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that the Stolen Valor Act was indeed, an unconstitutional violation of the 1st Amendments guarantee of Free Speech, ruling that false statements are not, solely because they are false, excluded from the 1st Amendment.

So today, how should we react to yet another politician who felt compelled to lie and dishonor himself about a military service record? Moreover, was the purpose of that lie simply to feel good about himself, or was it to help him gain power, reward and influence over the citizens to whom he lied?

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About FTB1(SS)

Plausibly Live is the Official Podcast of The Dave Bowman Show. From 2007 to 2015, Dave was the host of KFIV’s “Afternoons Live” (Later “The Dave Bowman Show”) and the Central Valley’s go-to man for insightful and entertaining analysis of the day's news and events. In 2015, Dave left radio to raise his son and helped to launch the Podcast 99 network (, which features voices and topics from all around the area, the nation, and the world, on a variety of subjects. Re-launching his own show as a podcast, Dave continues his look at the world around him, now without the constraints of terrestrial radio, but still with his eclectic mix of history and common sense. The primary feature element of Plausibly Live is Constitution Thursday, which since 2010 has been a weekly look at the history and impact of the US Constitution. Dave is a US Navy Submariner, a radio talk show host, father, baseball fan, avid reader and a frustrated writer. He has a passion for books, theology, submarines, coffee, tequila, 1970’s music (especially funk!) and is a ToTaL Star Trek geek. Dave being promoted to FTB2(SS) in 1986. Dave being promoted to FTB2(SS) in 1986. He was born in Oklahoma, grew up in Colorado, graduated from Ogden High School (Class of ’81) in Ogden, UT, served for eleven years in the US Navy Submarine fleet, was a Naval Instructor and as a Ballistic Missile Fire Control Technician, he achieved the rank of FTB1(SS) through sorcery and favoritism, but would have been happy staying an FTB2(SS) for life. He was trained as a targeting specialist and Battle Stations Missile Fire Control Supervisor aboard USS Michigan SSBN-727(G) and was trained on two Fire Control Systems, the Mk 98 Mod 0 TRIDENT and the Mk 88 Mod 1 POSEIDON. Later he served as a part of the Fleet Combat Training Center Dam Neck Auxiliary Security Force, which sounds impressive but was really just bait for Seal Team 6 and any Iraqi terrorists who happened to land on the beach in Virginia. He later attended Seminary in Atlanta, GA, then served as a pastor for five years before realizing the massive error of his ways. He then worked in non-Profit management until 2006 when he was hired to do sports for a local talk radio show, eventually moving into the host position in September of 2007. In the fall of 2008, after years of questioning and study, Dave completed the process of conversion to Judaism. In 2009 Dave married Cami, and in 2010 they were blessed with their son, Benjamin, to go along with four daughters, one son-in-law and three grandchildren. In the summer of 2017, Dave and Cami relocated “back home” to Silverdale, WA, where Dave had been stationed when they first met in 1985. From September 2007 to January 2015 Dave was heard each weekday from 3pm to 6pm (Pacific) on Power Talk 1360AM & 1280 in Modesto & Stockton, CA. Today, you can hear his Podcast Show, Plausibly Live, on The Dave Bowman Show website or on The Podcast 99 Network Page.

Posted on February 4, 2016, in Constitution, History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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