Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Correcting false e-mails, posts, sites etc

Obviously this would be a virtually impossible task. Because almost ALL posts and e-mails on the Internet are false, incorrect, blatant lies or in some other way wrong.
As it is impossible to correct them all, the best we can do is say - remember, whatever you read on the Internet is most likely incorrect, untrue or wrong AT LEAST 95% of the time.
However I am going to take a few minutes to give just three examples of e-mails that are either blatant lies or at best mistakes or untruths.
First - The D.C. story that its Animal Control people are required to capture Rats and Their Families without hurting them and relocate them to new quarters in Maryland or Virginia. This story I read on the Internet with Rush Limpburger ranting on about Liberals wanting to treat Rats with care and to relocate them and their entire family etc etc. This is obviously not true, but unfortunately the damage has already been done when he spends hours going on and on on his radio show lambasting the DEMOCRATIC councilwoman who sponsored the law. Now it was obvious to me that it could not be true, but to the millions of extreme Conservatives who listen to, and believe, Rush Limpbugger it MUST be true.
So I checked out the law, and sure enough it refers to catching ANIMALS such as Raccoons and SPECIFICALLY excludes rats and mice on the very first page of the law. The reason for the law was that they wanted to remove Raccoons from D.C. because there are a large number of them and they are causing problems. Also they wanted the animals to be treated humanely. If they were to be destroyed they should be destroyed humanely - instead of being beated to death for example. If they were to be relocated it was to be some distance from D.C. and only with the permission of the landowner where they were placed. They did want the whole family to be removed together if possible, because if the young are left behind a parent will go to great lengths to return to retrieve them and could do a lot of damage to the house where their babies are.
Seemed like a perfectly reasonable law to me.
You would not believe the vile e-mails that the councilwoman received, including death threats to her and her family. Over a reasonable law that was deliberately misinterpreted.
Next one was an e-mail that gave a list of items that were supposedly in the Affordable Health Care Act (Called Obamacare by some)The list was supposed to be written by a judge. Again, as I read it, it was almost impossible to believe that anyone could think that even a Democrat would put such things into a bill. But there it was being forwarded eagerly, to me, and all of his friends, by a Republican who apparently thought and was horrified by its contents (Had any of them been true) Even a few seconds of thought on the part of any reasonably intelligent person would have them question it. But that is not the way of these disgusting political forwards. It seems that the more outrageous and unlikely they are the quicker they are forwarded.
A few minutes of research brought out that it started 3 or 4 years ago by a letter from the Judge to his local newspaper making some points about the Affordable Health Care Act that he disagreed with. (I even found a post from him saying that he wished he hadn't written the letter)Some nut then picked up the letter added a bunch of things to it that he said was in the letter and forwarded it out to millions of Conservatives, who eagerly grabbed it and forwarded it on without bothering to check it out. Now it is gospel to the likes of Rush and all of his Fox "News" buddies. A check to Snopes found that they read the Act through completely and sent it to a Health Care Company to read. Both came to the conclusion that it was "Flat out blatant lies" and "Absolutely false." But again it had already gone out to millions of people to whom anything that contains anything that has hate and lies about any Democrat has to be true. Any reasonable person reading the e-mail would have come to the conclusion that it could not be true. One statement was that everyone would be required to carry a national ID card. This apparently reffered to the goal of putting everyone's medical records on computer. Most of us already have this. If you have a Doctor or been to hospital at some time your records are on computers. The idea here is to centralize those records so if you are in an accident for example and are taken to a hospital they could access those records and find out your blood type, any allergies, previous operations etc.
Another one said that once you reach 60 or 65 you must visit your doctor every 5 years to discuss end of life. (Death panel) It turns out what it said was when you reach 60 or 65 you should visit your doctor every 5 years for a medical check up. Other statements did not even have those slight references, they were mostly just made up. Having done that the author - nameless of course - sent it out under the Judges name, to all his contacts, who doubtless eagerly forwarded it as The Truth.