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We all know that things on the internet are wrong. Since I know that’s no surprise to any of you, here’s what I ask, in the name of history. Before you post a quote—check it. It takes about 15 seconds to use google or any other browser. That’s how long it took me to 1) find that the Washington mis-quote on arms was bogus, 2) disprove the Pelossi office assertion on budgets, and 3) skewer the latest anti-Obama distortion. Politicians and their offices lie. We don’t have to help them. If we’re going to shout our political views in an election year, let’s at least get the historical facts as close to correct as can be managed.

I think what annoys me the most if people who WILLFULLY distort history. it is not enough to mis-quote a famous person—let’s be offended when called on it! George Washington didn’t say that Americans needed privately owned arms to defend their liberties, because he didn’t believe anything of the kind. He was willing to use Federal troops to break the Whiskey Rebellion, and he forbade his commanders to retreat into the back country in the winter of 1776 lest the ‘little people’ gain too much control of the revolution. He was a great man—and he was an arrogant aristocrat.

Thomas Paine, now—he probably said anything you need him to have said—about anything.