I will die on this hill…

I will die on this hill…

CBS News: Growing measles outbreak in Washington spreading fear among parents

I have lots to say about people who think it’s okay to skip vaccinations out of fear of something that an asshole FAKED. People who are more afraid of dealing with hidden, likely genetic, disabilities rejecting the concept of herd immunity should keep their unvaccinated children out of the public. Continue reading “I will die on this hill…”

Suspicion, Confirmation, Consequences

Suspicion, Confirmation, Consequences

Sometimes the articles I write come straight from gut instinct. This isn’t one of those posts. Continue reading “Suspicion, Confirmation, Consequences”

Burden of Proof…

Burden of Proof…

This nugget showed up on a friend’s FB post, which I can now no longer find. Chances are, either the friend decided it had to go, the genius who posted it blocked me, or I blocked him.

At the time, (sometime just after Christmas, I think) I thanked the guy for posting virtually every propaganda-driven talking point Alex Jones and Fox News have shoved into his brain in the name of truth. Here it is, folks. GOP trash talk, all in one convenient comment.

He said:

Stop watch mainstream media it’s bad for your brain. If we look back in history even JFK said Tax cuts like these would bring economic boom like no other. As far as healthcare goes the ACA screwed that up a long time ago anyone who tried to tell you that trump is the one that caused premiums to almost tripe this year in some places it out right lying. Also those so called environmental regulations had nothing to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with eliminating clean coal. Just look at the Democratic controlled Flint, Michigan they still don’t have clean drinking water. Stop looking at the virtue signaling idiots saying everything is bad and open your eyes markets up, costs are dropping, companies are pledging billions in Christmas bonuses to their employees, you are no longer forced to buy health insurance that most cannot afford, you also won’t be penalized for not buying health insurance you can’t afford, and last but not least we now have evidence of the Russian collusion that liberals have been so desperate for. Unfortunately the proof is the Hillary Clinton sold 40% of our uranium stockpiles to Russia and the Robert Mueller as well as Obama were in on it.

Fallacy Ref: Burden of Proof

Then he told me I had to debunk all the claims he made. First I said no. Normally I’d have called him on the fallacy, because it’s not MY job to prove he’s wrong. It’s HIS job to provide his source.

But then I thought about it and decided to make an example of him. It’s too good to pass up, because this is a dump truck load of bunk.

Note: If you find the text out there, you’re doing better than I. And I left every grammatical error, all the fallacious bullshit, all the propaganda where it is.

I’ve addressed each point. You’re welcome to follow (and read) all the articles below. Obviously there’s a lot to read. Heck, took me almost a month just to sit down and compile this post, but then it’s been sitting in my draft folder all this time and frankly, I need some time to process the current spy novel that is our political situation in the US, so this is acting a little like a sewage-based palate cleanser.

Your mileage may vary. Additions to the debunking are welcome, as are corrections. This stuff is like a fast moving freight train. Four of the articles came out in just the last week.

Onward…

But whatever. It’s an exercise in researching and I’ve got nothing better to do. Well, that’s not true either. I’ve left all the impressive typos and grammar as an exercise in identifying a fool. Feel free to interpret his prose the way I did.

Best way to do this is to break it down, one bogus claim at a time.

Here goes:

1. If we look back in history even JFK said Tax cuts like these would bring economic boom like no other.

Well, no. Forbes: The Laffer Curve Files: JFK’s Advisor Said Tax Cuts Raise Revenue

Also: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Kansas Provides Compelling Evidence of Failure of “Supply-Side” Tax Cuts

2. As far as healthcare goes the ACA screwed that up a long time ago anyone who tried to tell you that trump is the one that caused premiums to almost tripe this year in some places it out right lying.

From a conveniently timed article posted TODAY by the NY Times:

Why Is U.S. Health Care So Expensive? Some of the Reasons You’ve Heard Turn Out to Be Myths

In a new, detailed international comparison, the United States looks a lot more like its peers than researchers expected.

There were two areas where the United States really was quite different: We pay substantially higher prices for medical services, including hospitalization, doctors’ visits and prescription drugs. And our complex payment system causes us to spend far more on administrative costs. The United States also has a higher rate of poverty and more obesity than any of the other countries, possible contributors to lower life expectancy that may not be explained by differences in health care delivery systems.

3. Also those so called environmental regulations had nothing to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with eliminating clean coal.

Um…

National Geographic: Can Coal Ever Be Clean? It’s the dirtiest of fossil fuels. We burn eight billion tons of it a year, with growing consequences. The world must face the question.

Coal ISN’T clean. That’s a lie told by coal and oilmen who don’t want to see their profits cut through advances in renewable energy like solar, wind, or hydro-energy. And this guy has forgotten what life was like before the EPA.

4. Just look at the Democratic controlled Flint, Michigan they still don’t have clean drinking water.

That’s a massive oversimplification of the problems that led to Flint’s water disaster, and it ignores Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s role in the decision-making process. From Politifact:

Who’s to blame for the Flint water crisis?

Our conclusion

Based on what is currently known, Snyder does bear a significant share of the responsibility. His fiscal approach helped set the stage for the water switch that led to the poisoning, and it was his hand-picked emergency managers who implemented the changes. Snyder also oversaw the state environmental and health departments that have come in for sharp criticism for their failures to act quickly and forcefully when the first indications of a problem cropped up.

However, experts say that claims from Clinton and Sanders that focus on Snyder alone oversimplify matters — and give a partisan spin to what is more fairly characterized as a broad failure of governance at all levels. Such one-sided accounts gloss over the responsibility borne by local Flint officials who supported the decision, by an EPA that failed to press harder for changes as the problem worsened, and by officials of both parties who contributed to the longstanding fiscal problems at both the state and city level.

5. Stop looking at the virtue signaling idiots saying everything is bad and open your eyes markets up, costs are dropping, …

Well, not exactly…

NY Post: Wall Street surges on strong hiring, low wage growth

The Dow Jones industrial average soared 440.53 points, or 1.8 percent, closing at 25,335.74 Friday after the Labor Department reported the US economy added 313,000 jobs in February — blowing past analyst estimates of 200,000. Unemployment remains at 4.1 percent — its lowest level since December 2000.

Meanwhile wages, although still climbing, grew only 2.6 percent in February over the last year. That’s down from the 2.9 percent year-over-year growth initially reported for January.

But that’s not the whole story either:

NY Times: Are Wage Gains Picking Up? Stalling? Questionable Data Makes It Hard to Say

When the Labor Department reported last month that average hourly earnings had jumped 2.9 percent in January, it looked as though the long, steady recovery in the American job market might at last be translating into faster wage gains for the nation’s workers.

Then came Friday and the latest jobs report, which showed that wage growth was weaker in January than initially reported and that the gains in February were weaker still, up just 2.6 percent from a year earlier.

The muddled data on wages was a potent reminder that even the strongest job market in a generation has not been robust enough to reverse a longstanding pattern of lagging pay.

With flat wages and a reduction in what your money actually pays for (like, for example, the quantity of orange juice in a carton, which used to be 64 fl. oz. but is now almost always 59.5 fl. oz. instead, for more than we paid 10 years ago), the wages haven’t kept pace with the actual costs. While it looks like goods are getting cheaper, they’re just less high priced. When the prices return to the same level as they were when people first started earning these wages, come talk to me about lower costs.

6. …companies are pledging billions in Christmas bonuses to their employees, …

Yeah, about that…

Fox Business: Bankrupt Toys R Us execs could still get up to $21 million in holiday bonuses

Chicago Tribune: AT&T hands out bonuses to 200,000 workers, pink slips to 600 others

Newsweek: COMCAST FIRED HUNDREDS OF WORKERS BEFORE CHRISTMAS ALONGSIDE PLEDGE TO GIVE $1,000 ‘TRUMP TAX CUT’ BONUSES

7. … you are no longer forced to buy health insurance that most cannot afford, …

Sure we’re not…

Idaho Statesman: Nebraska groups rally behind Medicaid expansion ballot drive

He’s got a nasty surprise coming, in about a year, I’m thinking because…

8. … you also won’t be penalized for not buying health insurance you can’t afford, …

Still not correct. As a matter of fact, the IRS has a bit to say on that subject:

IRS: Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tax Provisions

And his crowning achievement, the 2017 equivalent of Benghazi:

9. … and last but not least we now have evidence of the Russian collusion that liberals have been so desperate for. Unfortunately the proof is the Hillary Clinton sold 40% of our uranium stockpiles to Russia …

*eyeroll*

Snopes: Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent of United States’ Uranium to Russia in Exchange for Clinton Foundation Donations? Allegations of a “quid pro quo” deal giving Russia ownership of one-fifth of U.S. uranium deposits in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation are unsubstantiated.

Unsubstantiated. That’s because this is bullshit. See below.

10. … and the Robert Mueller …

No. Just no.

Snopes: Did Hillary Clinton Tell FBI’s Mueller to Deliver Uranium to Russians in 2009 ‘Secret Tarmac Meeting’?
Hyperpartisan web sites mischaracterized a State Department cable alerting the U.S. Embassy in Russia of a transfer of criminal evidence obtained in a sting operation.

Mischaracterized. Meaning twisted, slanted, or otherwise spun to tell something that isn’t true. Go figure.

11. … as well as Obama were in on it.

Oh, the conspiracies. But never about the Republicans, only the Democrats. The poor guy just isn’t going to get it until after the 2018 elections are over, and when he realizes how screwed he really is, he’s going to turn around and blame everything on the Democrats, just like his masters have told him to do.

This *just in* (and right on time, too).

Washington Post: The ‘dossier’ and the uranium deal: A guide to the latest allegations

As a service to readers bound to be confused by an increasingly complex story, here’s a brief guide to the latest developments in the tangled allegations involving Russia, President Trump and Hillary Clinton.

But wait. There’s more!!!

Reuters: Informant had no evidence Clinton benefited from uranium sale

An informant whom House Republicans have said could reveal a link between a 2010 sale of U.S. uranium supplies and donations to the Clinton Foundation provided no evidence of that during a four-hour interview with congressional staff last month, Democrats said on Thursday.

The informant, lobbyist William D. Campbell, “provided no evidence of a quid pro quo involving Secretary (Hillary) Clinton or the Clinton Foundation and no evidence that Secretary Clinton was involved in, or improperly influenced” the uranium sale, the Democrats said in a five-page summary of the Feb. 7 interview.

And that’s that.

No cries of foul, no backpedaling. Once you toss the junk out into the Internet wild, like those tiny microbeads of plastic in the Great Lakes, it’s out there, suitable for framing or tossing into an otherwise sensible discussion of politics. And no need to declare truth because who wants to take the time to sort it all out?

Seriously.

This guy used virtually every Alex Jones/Breitbart/Daily Caller/Gateway Pundit PROPAGANDA-based talking point to try and refute a legitimate source for something he disagreed with, and that’s what’s wrong with American Conservatives today.

They have no idea they’re being told lies, have no filters for this BS, and think liberals like me will waste our time trying to tell them the truth when they’re not going to listen or believe it anyway.

I tell ya, I ought to get paid for this stuff.

Now where’s my Soros check?

*kidding*

One month to go…

One month to go…

The end of November is often too busy to step back and look at where we are. Between prep for Thanksgiving (which came disturbingly early this year) and all the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday-Tuesday… and so forth, it’s hard to imagine anyone actually accomplishing anything before the Advent calendars start opening on the 1st.

In my life, today is a chance to step back and remember. Two years ago, I lost a true best friend to long-term health problems that might have been diagnosed differently if the ACA were already in place and functioning, and if medical insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industries cared more about the people they serve than they do about their own pockets.

It’s a time for me to reflect on changes in the last year, but most importantly, to review a week or so’s worth of news that could escape attention in all the craziness that leads up to the “Holiday Season” in general.

I’ve been paying attention, mostly on Facebook, so here are some of the highlights (if you can call them that) of November’s last gasp.

A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy by Warren E. Buffett

New York Times: SUPPOSE that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.”

Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist.

Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law

Palm Beach Post: Former GOP chair, governor – both on outs with party – say voter fraud wasn’t a concern, but reducing Democratic votes was.

Judge orders tobacco companies to admit deception

Reuters: Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

Senators Make Bid To End Indefinite Detention In NDAA

Huffington Post: A bipartisan group of senators made a bid Wednesday to end the indefinite military detention of Americans in the United States.

Declaring that a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 put the country on a path to repeat the shame of World War II’s internment camps, they argued the offending language should be stricken in this year’s defense bill.

Michigan Public School System being destroyed. RIGHT NOW.(UPDATE x11)

Daily KOS: If you or anyone you know and care about live in Michigan, or if you care whatsoever about the public school system in this country–or, for that matter, education of our children in general–I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to read up on Michigan State House Bills 6004 & 5923, and State Senate Bills 1358 & 620.

Robertson tells Christians: Radiocarbon dating proves no dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark

Raw Story: Televangelist Pat Robertson says that radiocarbon dating proves that the Earth is older than 6,000 years — and he’s telling Christians not to “cover it up.”

On Tuesday’s 700 Club, a viewer wrote Robertson that her “biggest fear is to not have my children and husband next to me in God’s Kingdom” because they question why the Bible could not explain the existence of dinosaurs.

And finally (because I can’t resist one last dig):

Romney’s final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.

Washington Post: Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.


Mitt Romney addresses the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual convention in Houston on July 11, 2012. (NICHOLAS KAMM – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Romney’s campaign, of course, was doomed in large part by comments made on a hidden camera in which he suggested that 47 percent of the country was so reliant on government services that those people would never vote for him.

36 Windows: October 15, 2012 – Science News

36 Windows: October 15, 2012 – Science News

Short pieces of interest to nerds like me. Subjects include Space, Felix Baumgartner (Base Jumper) and Health (specifically about pain and it’s lasting and damaging effects on people).

Space:

Save the Last Great Telescope (Vice):
http://greenbankobservatory.org/vice-save-last-great-telescope/

Felix Baumgartner (Two videos):

Historic Jump from Edge of Space (series of clips from CNN)
http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2012/10/15/natpkg-felix-baumgartner-skydive.cnn#/video/us/2012/02/09/foster-felix-baumgartner-space-jump.cnn

First-person footage from Felix Baumgartner’s space jump will make your head spin (IO9):
http://io9.com/5951746/first+person-footage-from-felix-baumgartners-space-jump-will-make-your-head-spin

Health:

How Chronic Pain Affects Memory and Mood
Constant discomfort may halt neuron growth in the hippocampus (Scientific American)
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-chronic-pain-affects-memory-mood/

Back to October 15, 2012 “36 Windows…”

Change is good…

Change is good…

Felt like I was a part of history tonight. I think our candidate said all the right things. At least I hope so.

I clapped and cheered for the woman who told her story, capped it off with her admission that she was a lifelong Republican but was voting for Obama because she just couldn’t stand another four years of Bush.

It was an amazing sea of people. I just hope he does this well when he goes head to head with McCain in September. I hung the mirrored closet doors while I was watching the show, too, so I can say I was productive. Now I need to empty the bookshelves and bring them here.

First drilling in Alaska, and now this…

First drilling in Alaska, and now this…

ThinkProgress.com: The Bush Administration’s Plan To Make The Endangered Species Act Extinct

Rat bastard. Why isn’t it January already?!?

It’s very nice that he’s setting himself up for a comfy retirement, ensuring oil development and a complete removal of roadblocks, but in the meantime?

Oh, the humanity…

Good money after bad…

Good money after bad…

LA Times: Police May Force Out Residents

Makes you just want to smack somebody upside the head.

Fully
Emasculated
Management
Agency

Give the money to someone else for crissakes and just lock Michael Brown up.

From a comment:

Not to mention this story:

The Memory Blog: Infectious Disease Research in and Around New Orleans

The heretofore unmentioned fact that Tulane and other universities in and around NOLA were running Level 3 Biolabs (anthrax, mousepox, HIV, plague, etc.)

So… if there’s been a breach of said labs, we can add L-3 bioagents to the deadly brew seeping in an around the city.

Alert Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Michael Crichton, They’re On!

My friends are doing a much better job of reporting the news right now, so I’m leaving it to them. A friend of mine (not on the flist) shared with me about Michael Brown but at least four folks got there before I did. I’m relieved but this isn’t over. I suppose he’ll make a convenient scapegoat…

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