Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

And here's where I lose about ten friends.... sorry.

Thursday, October 16, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA. - Someone I love sent me an email recently. That email, which I should have deleted the moment I saw "FW:" in the subject line, has stuck in my craw, as we say in the South. It was an email that said, essentially, that Newsweek magazine was out of business, now. But before they closed, the editors printed a take-down of President Barack Obama so passionate as to shake the very foundations of his support.

A simple check of Snopes revealed it as the hokey propaganda I knew it to be:

But that wasn't the only thing that clued me in that it was not worth the rise in my blood pressure to read it...

First, Newsweek is still in business.

Second, this piece was never published by a reputable news organization - no matter how much the website 
American Thinker wants to be regarded as one. It's really just a news aggregater.

For this particular piece of propaganda to work on an audience, it
must be couched as a surprising about-face from an organization that Obama-opponents would say supports him - which is anyone and everyone who doesn't diametrically oppose him, of course. The reason it needs to be framed in such a way is because not once in the article does it provide citations for a single claim. Not once does it provide a link or an academic citation to an unbiased third-party source. And all the writer had to do was pull up the Wikipedia article on the man. Even this site cites every claim it makes.

Finally, the lack of citations aren't even the worst part of this piece. The worst part of this piece is the reason that there are no citations: Because it's full of lies.

I won't get into every falsehood, because I just don't have the time. But a good example is this claim: "There is no evidence that he ever attended or worked for any university or that he ever sat for the Illinois bar." There is plenty of documentation and photographic evidence for Barack Obama's birthplacelaw school graduation, and university career. I can't immediately find evidence that he sat for the bar exam, but he does hold a license to practice law, which requires a bar exam passing score, so I would deduce from his license that he did. Not that he needs to pass the bar or have been a practicing attorney to be president.

Look, there are plenty of reasons to deride Obama's presidency. Escalation of military intervention in North Africa and the Middle East. The cluster-mess of compromise that is the Affordable Care Act (although I still think it has improved many lives and put insurance companies on notice). And his administration's failure to prosecute the robber-barons who caused the housing and banking collapses.

But there are plenty of reasons not to hate him. Job growth has improved. The auto industry was saved and improved. Expanded hate crime laws now include sexual orientation.

The fact is that it's easier for people to put their hands over their ears (and eyes) and say, "lalalalalalalalala I can't hear you" than it is for them to argue impactfully against policies with which they disagree. That's unethical and just poor sportsmanship. 
Being angry that your party lost or that policies you don't like are being enacted is no excuse for flat-out lying.

Deal with the political process. In American politics, the ends of an election, policy implementation, or legislative action cannot justify the means. Because the very idea of democracy is based on the means

Let's all hope the country does better in the next 8 years. But for the country to do better, we all have to do better as individuals. Let's start by being honest.


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