Thursday, August 28, 2008

Polly Ticks

This is freakishly long. For that, I apologize.

I hate politics. No, let me correct that. I hate politicians and I hate the political process. The philosophical branch named "politics" -- I don't hate that. Primary season just makes me mad. I don't like either side. While I would like to think that most of the USA is "mostly rational people that are politically centric" it always is hard for me to hold this belief and watch the news. If you watch the news, we are a people that appear to foam at the mouth with religious fervor on both sides. In fact, if you are religious and wonder what the rest of us think of you when they see you acting silly and believing things without really thinking about them -- just watch the convention of "the other guys" (whichever party that is for you.) Not pretty is it?

Politics is a whole lot like marketing. In fact, I guess it is marketing. And you know, if you have a world class wonderful product that sells itself, being in the marketing department is a dream. Think of nothing to say. Say it. Get money. Cool.

But if you are marketing the current Far Left or Far Right, you have the privilege of being the marketing department for some late night infomercial on penis enlargement pills or "run your automobile on water" schemes.

And one of the things I really can't stand is having to support someone I really don't like. No, I am not really talking about voting for them (though if I vote for either of the front runners, I guess I am doing just that.) What I am talking about is a blatant misinformation policy. At least in my circle of friends/family, this is always really right wing misinformation. I don't know if that means this is a policy of the right or if it is just the circle in which I live. (The left may do it too, I just don't know.)

It's like the whole "Barrack is a Muslim" thing. It's not that I want to defend him, but when you tell outright lies, it makes me do just that. In fact, just as a word of warning: If you compose and send out lies, you will convince those that already are on your side. But those that are on the fence -- you are not going to win them. In fact, you represent your side as a desperate lying scheming machine that will do anything to gain or maintain power. If you cannot figure it out, let me tell you: This is a bad thing.

First off, let me give you one tiny little lesson in "Internet 101." I won't say I've been on the internet longer than everyone, but I've been around the block a few times. Lets just say it was about 1990 when I came on board. That doesn't make me a pioneer. I know that. Okay, here comes a really important word of wisdom. Listen for it. Shush there in the back row. I swear this is important. Here it is: If someone sends you something in e-mail that makes a fervent case for "this is true, really" then there is a real possibility that it isn't. Moreover, sadly enough, the more it gives authority figures and references, the less likely it is to be true. So if someone says "here is the reference, I have already checked it" you would be surprised exactly how many people check it (In fact, I bet 9 out of 10 times the reference doesn't even exist).

Bottom line: Before you forward that on, check your references.

Case in Point

This is only one example. I get these all the time. And I almost hate to reply. Again, I hate to defend someone I don't particularly care for. But I hate the untruthiness of it too. So this is just one example of many, left anonymous to not point too many fingers. My comments are inline in green.

Here comes the truthiness:

Not sure? Check out the 6 references at the bottom of this page. First off, the most important generic point here is that presidents don't make laws. They may suggest stuff, but the last time I read the constitution, they don't make laws. That is the job of Congress. Fear congress. One notable contradiction here is that the last/current president has done a whole lot to increase executive power, which is exceedingly dangerous. And no one has really challenged him. Badness.

Favors new drilling offshore US Yes No
Will appoint judges who interpret the law not make it This is stupid and subjective. They both are going to appoint judges that will be more likely to take a stance they approve of. In the absence of reason, you might as well try to keep the court balanced left vs right. Using this logic, its probably time to have a left judge appointed (again, due to the lack of one that just applies reason.) Yes No
Served in the US Armed Forces Yes No
Amount of time served in the US Senate Not necessarily a good thing mind you. The Senate/House are the least trusted and most dangerous 22 YEARS 173 DAYS Since this is more than a little outdated, I am prone to call it a lie. And its a stupid lie, since McCain does have more time on the job. But 173 days is not 3.5 years. And since he declared candidacy on Feb 10, 2007 and assumed the office on January 4, 2005, it was always a lie. There was never a date that this was true.
Will institute a socialized national health care plan Truly something I vehemently oppose, but again: presidents don't make laws. No Yes
Supports abortion throughout the pregnancy This is way too vague. I seriously doubt you can find something where Obama supports, for example, 3rd trimester abortions. But this in a way says "on one point, Obama supports individual rights, McCain doesn't". Not a good thing to say if you are a McCain supporter. No Yes
Would pull troops out of Iraq immediately Okay, ignoring the "who got us into this whole mess by lying to us" thing here, Given the sources quoted below, while Obama wants out immediately, it doesn't really sound like it will happen immediately. We all know we are there for freaking ever. No Yes
Supports gun ownership rights I found no references in the links below to gun ownership for either McCain or Obama. Good luck amending the constitution to repeal these rights anyway. Yes No
Supports homosexual marriage Again, this reads "supports individual rights: McCain: No, Obama: Yes". I wouldn't include this if I was trying to sway a rational person. If preaching to the choir, then ... WHY? Of course, I have already had my say on this issue here In short: being anti-gay marriage sets you up to destroy the foundations this country was built on. And if you give me a religious reference here I will throttle you. Make it against the policy of your church, but that doesn't make it a law. No Yes
Proposed programs will mean a huge tax increase Too damn generic. Taxes have to go up. The Bush Jr. administration has pretty much assured that with their spending. Will Obama support laws that make more programs? Probably. Will McCain? Less of them, but still probably some. No Yes
Voted against making English the official language I find no reference to that in the references below. However, the internet is pretty searchable and this is public record. No correct answer is YES. This is awkward wording. Actually he voted No to making English the official language if this refers to SA 1384 to SA 1150 to S 1348. Or No if this refers to S Amdt 4064 to S 2611 Yes correct answer is no if this refers to SA 1384 to SA 1150 to S 1348 or yes if this refers to S Amdt 4064 to S 2611. You see, sometimes the same legislation appears more than once... and you get different answers to the same questions. Usually this means one of the bills contains pork, but I couldn't tell you which one (if either)
Voted to give Social Security benefits to illegals You know, if they paid the damn tax, they should get the damn benefit, right? No Oops. Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006) Yes this is actually correct... though McCain's record is not -- unless there are multiple bills here.
CAPITAL GAINS TAX Again, I don't see this in the references I was supposed to check. But, this portion of the email -- the entire capital gains tax entry from here to the end is totally documented on I won't go into it here, but I knew it smelled. Obama's tax plan applies to those making in excess of $250k a year. Don't get me wrong: I hate taxes. I think it is wrong to take money from one person (without their permission) and spend it on another. However, the current idiotic way our government has acted has put us so far in debt that it is unlikely that we will ever dig out. Taxes have to go up. If you don't believe that, then I would guess you also have a big credit card balance, a car lease and an interest only mortgage. In short, the rest is bullshit, so I won't comment further. 0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax. 28% on profit from ALL home sales. (How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.)
DIVIDEND TAX 15% (no change) 39.6% - (How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that 'Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.')
INCOME TAX (no changes) Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250
(reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts) Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Under Obama, your taxes
could almost double!

INHERITANCE TAX 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax) Restore the inheritance tax. Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes.
NEW TAXES PROPOSED BY OBAMA New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet. New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already) New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity) New taxes on retirement accounts, and last but not least....New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

You can verify the above at the following web sites: But if you had tried, you would not have embarrassed yourself by forwarding this on. Funny to include this, as it contains McCain gaffs


Who the hell does this? I can only conclude that the number of lies means it was intentional. And isn't the right the "religious" party? And what are you really trying to do here? I mean, the convinced are not going to blink, they just forward it. The unconvinced think it is a lie and distance themselves from you politically. This is a very bad bad move.

So I challenge you: If you are really lovers and purveyors of truth, then unwind this. For everyone you've forwarded this to, send them a correction. Something like "I am still for McCain, but this outrageous pack of lies really just destroys the Republican party and I am sorry for sending it." And for everyone that sent it to you, give them the same message and challenge them to send it on. If you really want to be believed... you have to be believable.

And it really cheeses me off. I don't even like Obama... and yet you force me to defend him.


Og Make Blog said...

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of an Obama presidency lies in the current Democratic power holders Pelosi and Reid. As president, he would, of course, defer to the power players in the House (Speaker) and Senate (Majority Leader). Not a pretty picture, but the one the Obama backers are counting upon. The President has the power of persuasion, executive order, and judicial appointments. Congress makes the laws. That pretty much trumps the entire system.

Strange days indeed.... most peculiar momma... and the music plays on.

Ragtime Joe said...

I still admire your ability to invent descriptive neologisms but I think "poly-tricks" would have been even better. ;-)
"Political Science" must be the world's most blatantly obvious oxymoron!

Spork In the Eye said...

pollytricks... damn. Hindsight is 20/20.

El Gee said...

As someone who considers them self part of the "right" and a conservative Christian, I feel like, yet again, we get the choice of the lesser of two evils.

Spork In the Eye said...

As someone from what I have started calling "the rational middle" (not a very catchy name -- I'll have to work on it) to me it seems like a choice between two evils. Each has their eyes on violating individual rights, just in different ways.

...and as Ayn Rand used to say... the choice between the lesser of 2 evils is still evil, and not a good choice.

virginiadare said...

I'm not sure if I followed your post correctly, but I think you were trying to substantiate an e-mail forward.

I found it here on snopes:

I followed your links and I think snopes is a more credibile verification source.

I'm not a huge fan of either candidate. I am a big fan of the consititution, particularly separation of church and state.

Spork In the Eye said...

The snopes site had only the tax portion of the mail forward... (and that's where I verified that portion.) As you can see -- the forward I got was much longer... but just as full of crap.

I'm not a huge fan of either candidate. I am a big fan of the consititution, particularly separation of church and state.
When Ellie Mae read that she said "if you leave me for her, I am taking your dog and your tractor." She hits below the belt. She's pure evil.