Friday, December 30, 2011

A break from the forward-madness?

Yes, folks.  I'm still here.  I just haven't received any right-wing email forwards from my father in awhile.

Maybe people are focused on their primaries?

Anyway, once the Republicans choose their candidate, I fully expect the viral emails to resume.  And maybe with more intensity than before.

Keep your eyes on this space.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A "Brownshirt Police Force" with Stethoscopes and Scalpels?

Here's a "Frequently Emailed theme" that my father has recently sent in the form of a video.

Essentially, this viral theme boils down to the accusation that, in the recent health care bills that have passed Congress, President Obama has somehow sneaked in provisions allowing him to have a domestic police force that will allow him to enforce the law as he sees fit.

Okay... considering that Congressional leaders actually wrote the law and sent it to the president for his signature, it seems a little unlikely that the President "secretly" did anything.  But if you want to look at my father's video, you can see it here on YouTube at

To the videographer's credit:  This is slightly less hysterical than most right-wing viral nonsense.  This vlogger acknowledges that the new health care bill doesn't actually create a new "civilian army".  He acknowledges that this is an expansion of an already existing agency - the United States Public Health Service.  And he acknowledges that this expansion is set aside for "reserve officers" that will serve in times of national emergency.

And after that... he goes into a long-winded fantasy about how these "reserve officers", under President Obama, will be used to enforce left-wing political orthodoxy.  With guns and police powers, if the need arises.

Well, let's get our facts straight here.  The United States Public Health Service was created in 1798, under our second president, John Adams.  Over 200 years ago.

And for over 200 years, no president has attempted to use this force for anything other than providing health care.  So there's no clear reason to believe that such an "expansion" of the Health Service's mission (published here) would start now.

They only recruit health care professionals, veterinarians, engineers capable of working on public health projects, and information technology specialists.  Making this service very poorly suited for the recruitment of "political police" officers.  And much less suitable for the task than any current military service, intelligence agency, or law enforcement agency.

And the idea that people would want to create a "reserve force" for "national emergencies" seems very reasonable - considering that part of their mission is to "Provide urgently needed public health and clinical expertise in response to large-scale local, regional, and national public health emergencies and disasters".  As they've recently done in recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and other man-made disasters.

So, overall, a request for a "reserve force" for such emergencies sounds very reasonable.

Okay, I suppose a skeptical reader might ask, "How do we know that the Public Health Service might be transformed into a civilian police force some time in the future?"

Okay, I suppose that the leader of this service is called the "Surgeon General", just like the Post Office used the title "Postmaster General" a few years back.  But, in order to be a police force, this service will either need to:

  • Start hiring police, intelligence, and/or military officers.
  • Start training it's cadre of physicians, nurses, scientists, and health care statisticians in law enforcement.
None of these things can happen invisibly.  People need to be hired.  Training manuals need to be written.  Training centers need to be established.

If anyone finds any evidence that any of these things are happening - I'll admit I was wrong.

Until then... there's no reason to call this "conspiracy theory" anything other than baseless hysteria.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our 2011 "Turkey of the Year"

As Americans settle down for their turkey dinners, and give thanks for the gifts they have received...  I'm going to set aside a little time... and present an award to the Viral Right-Wing "Turkey of the Year".

A special "thank you" to the foulest of the foul.  Containing the most baseless character assassinations, and the biggest lies.  Originating from the deepest pits of human corruption, evil, and hatred.

The kind of right-wing rumors that make my blog so easy to write.

The winner of our first annual "Turkey of the Year"?  A right-wing email that goes so low that it doesn't even criticize Barack Obama's policies or his management of the government.

Instead, it supposedly presents a psychologist's view that our Commander in Chief is mentally ill.

One problem:  This "psychologist" is a convicted white-collar criminal who doesn't even have a bachelor's degree in the field.  But he'll be happy to sell you his collection of ebooks for the low, low price of $79.90.

Once again:  Here it is.  Our Turkey of the Year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Obama said it... In My Imagination

Over time, viral right-wing claims are becoming more and more unbelievable.

Here's a huge whopper:

Yes, he told us in advance what he planned to do. Few were listening. 
The following is a narrative taken from a 2008 Sunday morning televised "Meet The Press'. 
From Sunday's 07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, Televised "Meet the Press" THE THEN Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag.  General Bill Ginn' USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain WHY he doesn't follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.  The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171...During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, "Stand and Face It". 
'Senator' Obama replied: 
"As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides".. "There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression.." "The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing." 
Obama continued: "The National Anthem should be 'swapped' for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing'. If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as 'redesign' our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It's my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of waring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails - - - perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments ....." 
When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injustice which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past". 
"Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside. I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path..My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country's First black Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America " 
WHAAAAAAAT, the H**l is that??? 
Yes, you read it right. 
I, for one, am speechless!!! 
Of course, in the years since Obama's election, we're all aware of his immediate withdrawal from all military action, and his famous proposals to redesign the American flag and to replace the National Anthem with a Pepsi slogan.

Oh, wait.  None of these things actually happened.

So, what about these supposed sources?

Well, the transcript to the September 7th 2008 "Meet the Press" is available on-line.  And neither Barack Obama nor General Ginn were on it.

Politifact went further, and discovered that no Dale Lindsborg was found on the Washington Post directory, either.

In other words - it's a fabricated quote made out of some right-wing liar's basement.  And it deserves no further attention.  Or forwarding.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How to Deal With Your Father's Right-Wing Emails

It seems like one of the most frequent ways that my blog is used is to email articles to others.  And some readers have written me email to thank me for providing the information necessary to help their friends and relatives in putting these viral untruths in their proper place.

That's a good thing.  Some folks respond to facts and reason.  If forwarding my research helps your family - I'm happy.

However, there are a few folks (including my father) who don't respond well to this approach.

If you confront them with the facts, they will ignore whatever you present.

Usually, they'll just continue to quote random lines from right-wing talk radio.

Occasionally, they'll challenge your source.  With lines like, "Snopes isn't always right."  Or, "You can't trust the mainstream media."

And, if your father (or anyone else) acts like mine... facts are just a distraction.  Their beliefs are set and unchangeable.  And, fortunately, unlikely to be heard except by fellow extremists.

So, what can you do?

Give Your Inbox a Break

Fortunately, most serial right-wing emailers don't spend a lot of effort in formatting their forwards.  They'll follow a pattern.

For example, my father still uses America OnLine as his email provider.  (Yes, I know what that says about him.  And you're probably right.)

Forwards from America OnLine almost always contain "FW:".  So, it's easy to set a mail filter to manage his forwards.

Simple, and worry-free.

When You're Forced to Talk About His Emails

But, when you're dealing with family, these emails will sometimes become topics of conversation.

Again, countering with facts rarely works.  And usually leads to more unpleasant conversation.

Here's what's worked best for me.

Step One:  When faced with viral untruths, simply ask:  "Where did you hear this?"

Step Two:  When he confirms someone sent him an email, laugh, and jokingly say, "Yeah, everything's true on the internet... really.  Did you really check to see if it were true?"

Usually, that will stop the conversation.  It creates a seed of doubt, and doesn't resort to shaming your friend or relative.

And that's what's worked best for me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dr. Krauthammer Does Not Approve of This Message

Here's an that my father has repeatedly sent me over the years.

This message's viral spread has been pretty long-standing.  I'll let the opinions expressed in it stand for themselves - however, they are the opinions of a viral email author, and are not the opinions of Dr. Krauthammer.  I know this because Dr. Krauthammer said so himself.

So, in the end, this is a standard, anonymous right-wing rant.  Read it if you want.

Our future on the line?????? 
No matter your own view, this information is based on facts where we are. The future for our grandchildren...... Fast Facts About Dr. Charles Krauthammer , MD 
 Born: March 13, 1950   
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Raised in Montreal, Canada 
Attended Mc Gill University and Harvard Medical School 
1972 diving accident left him paralyzed from the neck on down. 
Directed psychiatric research for the Carter administration 
Began writing career in 1981 with The New Republic 
Helped develop the "Reagan Doctrine" in the 80's 
Appointed to Presidential Council on Bioethics in 2002                              

Dr. Krauthammer is frequently on the Fox News Channel. He is an M.D., a lawyer and is paralyzed from the neck down. A friend went to hear Charles Krauthammer . He listened with 25 others in a closed room. What he says here, is NOT 2nd-hand but 1st. The ramifications are staggering for us, our children and their children. 
Last Monday was a profound evening, Dr. Charles Krauthammer spoke to the Center for the American Experiment.. He is a brilliant intellectual, seasoned & articulate. He is forthright and careful in his analysis, and never resorts to emotions or personal insults. He is NOT a fear monger nor an extremist in his comments and views . He is a fiscal conservative, and has received a Pulitzer Prize for writing. He is a frequent contributor to Fox News and writes weekly for the   Washington Post.The entire room was held spellbound during his talk. I have summarized his comments, as we are living in uncharted waters economically and internationally.Even 2 Dems at my table agreed with everything he said!  If you feel like forwarding this to those who are open minded and have not drunk the Kool-Aid, feel free.... 

Summary of his comments:
1. Mr. Obama is a very intellectual, charming individual. He is not to be underestimated. He is a cool customer who doesn't show his emotions. It's very hard to know what's behind the mask.The taking down of the Clinton dynasty was an amazing accomplishment. The Clintons still do not understand what hit them. Obama was in the perfect place at the perfect time. 
2. Obama has political skills comparable to Reagan and Clinton . He has a way of making you think he's on your side, agreeing with your position, while doing the opposite. Pay no attention to what he SAYS; rather, watch what he DOES! 
3.Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to   Washington to make something out of himself, but rather to change everything, including dismantling capitalism. He can't be straightforward on his ambitions, as the public would not go along. He has a heavy hand, and wants to level the playing field with income redistribution and punishment to the achievers of society. He would like to model the USA to Great Britain or Canada .  
4. His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and NATIONAL HEALTHCARE by the Federal government.He doesn't care about the auto or financial services industries, but got them as an early bonus. The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth. Paying for FREE college education is his goal. Most scary is his healthcare program, because if you make it FREE and add 46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with massive RATIONING of services, like in   Canada . God forbid! 
5.He has surrounded himself with mostly far-left academic types. No one around him has ever even run a candy store. But they are going to try and run the auto, financial, banking and other industries. This obviously can't work in the long run. Obama is not a socialist; rather he's a far-left secular progressive bent on nothing short of revolution. He ran as a moderate, but will govern from the hard left. Again, watch what he does, not what he says. 
6. Obama doesn't really see himself as President of the United States , but more as a ruler over the world..He sees himself above it all, trying to orchestrate & coordinate various countries and their agendas. He sees moral equivalency in all cultures. His apology tour in Germany and England was a prime example of how he sees America , as an imperialist nation that has been arrogant, rather than a great noble nation that has at times made errors. This is the first President ever who has chastised our allies and appeased our enemies! 
7. He is now handing out goodies. He hopes that the bill (and pain) will not come due until after he is reelected in 2012. He would like to blame all problems on Bush from the past, and hopefully his successor in the future. He has a huge ego, and Dr. Krauthammer believes he is a narcissist. 
8.. Republicans are in the wilderness for a while, but will emerge strong. Republicans are pining for another Reagan , but there will never be another like him. Krauthammer believes Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty & Bobby Jindahl (except for his terrible speech in February) are the future of the party. Newt Gingrich is brilliant, but has baggage. Sarah Palin is sincere and intelligent, but needs to really be seriously boning up on facts and info if she is to be a serious candidate in the future... We need to return to the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and state's rights. 
9. The current level of spending is irresponsible and outrageous. We are spending trillions that we don't have.. This could lead to hyperinflation, depression or worse. No country has ever spent themselves into prosperity. The media is giving Obama, Reid and Pelosi a pass because they love their agenda. But eventually the bill will come due and people will realize the huge bailouts didn't work, nor will the stimulus package.These were trillion-dollar payoffs to Obama's allies, unions and the Congress to placate the left, so he can get support for # 4 above. 
10. The election was over in mid-September when Lehman brothers failed, fear and panic swept in, we had an unpopular President, and the war was grinding on indefinitely without a clear outcome. The people are in pain, and the mantra of change caused people to act emotionally. Any Dem would have won this election, it was surprising it was as close as it was. 
11. In 2012, if the unemployment rate is over 10%, Republicans will be swept back into power. If it's under 8%, the Dems continue to roll. If it's between 8-10%, it will be a dog fight. It will all be about the economy. I hope this gets you really thinking about what's happening in Washington and Congress. 
There is a left-wing revolution going on, according to Krauthammer, and he encourages us to keep the faith and join the loyal resistance. The work will be hard, but we're right on most issues and can reclaim our country, before it's far too late.Do yourself a long term favor, send this to all who will listen to an intelligent assessment of the big picture. All our futures and children's futures depend on our good understanding of what is really going on in DC, and our action pursuant to that understanding!! It really is up to each of us to take individual action!! Start with educating your friends and neighbors!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

From a Religion of Peace and Love

Okay.  My title can be interpreted the wrong way.

Just as I've defended the majority of Muslims who will never support violence against non-believers, I'll defend the majority of Catholics.  I'm not a Christian myself, but Christianity (as I understand it) is a faith that supports forgiveness of others' sins, leaving judgement to G-d himself, and application of the Golden Rule.  And the Catholic faith has a long tradition of insightful scholarship.

So, viral messages like this one sadden me.

I did a site-specific google search of the author's blog, and couldn't find these comments.  So I can't confirm that she wrote them.  But I think that most folks who'd skim her blog would consider her authorship plausible.

I present it as an example of the institutionalized spread of hatred via email.  Without further ado:

Ann Barnhardt is described as "a livestock and grain commodity broker and marketing consultant, American patriot, traditional Catholic, and unwitting counter-revolutionary blogger. She can be reached through her business at"  She has taken on Islam and they have noticed.    
DEATH THREAT:  Posted on her blog     
I'm going to kill you when I find you. Don't think I won't, I know where you and your parents live and all I'll need is one phone-call to kill ya'll.           
Re: Watch your back.  
Hello mufcadnan123!   You don't need to "find" me. My address is 9175 Kornbrust Circle, Lone Tree, CO 80124.    
Luckily for you, there are daily DIRECT FLIGHTS from Heathrow to Denver . Here's what you will need to do. After arriving at Denver and passing through customs, you will need to catch the shuttle to the rental car facility. Once in your rental car, take Pena Boulevard to I-225 south. Proceed on I-225 south to I-25 south. Proceed south on I-25 to Lincoln Avenue which is exit 193. Turn right (west) onto Lincoln . Proceed west to the fourth light, and turn left (south) onto Ridgegate Boulevard . Proceed south, through the roundabout to Kornbrust Drive . Turn left onto Kornbrust Drive and then take an immediate right onto Kornbrust Circle . I'm at 9175.    
Just do me one favor. PLEASE wear body armor. I have some new ammunition that I want to try out, and frankly, close-quarter body shots without armor would feel almost unsporting from my perspective. That and the fact that I'm probably carrying a good 50 I.Q. points on you makes it morally incumbent upon me to spot you a tactical advantage.    
However, being that you are a miserable, trembling coward, I realize that you probably are incapable of actually following up on any of your threats without losing control of your bowels and crapping your pants while simultaneously sobbing yourself into hyperventilation. So, how about this: why don't you contact the main mosque here in Denver and see if some of the local musloids here in town would be willing to carry out your attack for you?    
After all, this is what your "perfect man" mohamed did (pig excrement be upon him). You see, mohamed, being a miserable coward and a con artist, would send other men into battle to fight on his behalf. Mohamed would stay at the BACK of the pack and let the stupid, ignorant suckers like you that he had conned into his political cult do the actual fighting and dying. Mohamed would then fornicate with the dead men's wives and children. You should follow mohamed's example! Here is the contact info for the main mosque here in Denver:    
Masjid Abu Bakr  
Imam Karim Abu Zaid  
2071 South Parker Road Denver, CO 80231  
Phone: 303-696-9800  
I'm sure they would be delighted to hear from you. Frankly, I'm terribly disappointed that not a SINGLE musloid here in the United States has made ANY attempt to rape and behead me. But maybe I haven't made myself clear enough, so let me do that right now.    
I will NEVER, EVER, EVER submit to islam. I will fight islam with every fiber of my being for as long as I live because islam is pure satanic evil. If you are really serious about islam dominating the United States and the world, you are going to have to come through me. You are going to have to kill me. Good luck with that. And understand that if you or some of your musloid boyfriends do actually manage to kill me, The Final Crusade will officially commence five minutes later, and then, despite your genetic mental retardation, you will be made to understand with crystal clarity what the word "defeat" means. Either way, I win, so come and get it.  
Deo adjuvante non timendum (with the help of God there is nothing to be afraid of).  
Ann Barnhardt