A huge, disconnected, contradictory web of false claims, misinformation, disinformation, and damnable lies.

Living in a world of lies is more like it.

A huge, disconnected, contradictory web of false claims, misinformation, disinformation, and damnable lies.

Once again yesterday, someone I know from elsewhere waded into a thread I was in, engaged me ‘innocently’ enough with a comment about media — but when I responded noting that there is wide divergence in reliability of different media, he launched into an attack on fact-checkers in general and Factcheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes specifically — and stated that ‘at least half’ of what was on Snopes was incorrect.

Since I’d been in discussions with this gentleman before, and knew his habits — I told him I certainly had not seen what he described, but that if he had, he ought to cite an article or two which had such errors and point us to credible evidence otherwise. After all, if HALF of what’s there is wrong… should be easy, right?

He went on and on — but I repeatedly suggested that he should back up his initial assertion about Snopes if he wanted to be considered as having any credibility.

He went on some more, all without citing any such ‘incorrect’ assertions on Snopes — and then, finally, he said he didn’t have any more time because company was coming over.

He’s not everyone. But I have come across a LOT of people claiming various mainstream, legit, nonpartisan fact-checking organizations put out incorrect information — and they are usually asserting that it’s part of intentional disinformation — yet NOT ONCE — not one single time — have I had any of these folks, when prodded, offer any credible, contrary evidence.

Child prisoners raped by prisoners AND staff on an ongoing basis in Michigan, according to lawsuit.

Michigan prison officials actually claim they are not responsible for rape, murder, or violence against child prisoners mixed with the adult prisoner population. The courts don’t seem to see it their way, including a $100 million judgment against the state for allowing prison staff to sexually assault and harass hundreds of female prisoners…

Inmates under 18 were forced to engage in sex acts with adult prisoners and staff, according to the lawsuit, with some abuse “open and obvious.” The Corrections Department disputes the allegations, and state attorneys have argued that employees shouldn’t be held liable.

But after more than a year of litigation, the inmates have some important victories.

Associated Press via The Seattle Post-Intelligencer:  Michigan fighting claims of sexual abuse by teens in prison

 

Carly Fiorina, destroyer of corporations and Cali senate race loser, eyes the White House

She almost destroyed Hewlett Packard as CEO — it lost half its value and she was fired. She ran for US Senator from California and was trounced, losing 42% to Barbara Boxer’s 52% — and now — OF COURSE — she’s running for president.

Can the GOP get any nuttier at all?

Bloomberg Politics: 

Carly Fiorina Gets Into the Picture

Time Magazine:

Here’s Why Carly Fiorina Thinks She Can Best Criticize Hillary Clinton

My heart goes out… but…

Once again, the dry, brush-covered hills surrounding San Diego, the single coastal bastion of conservatism in California, have gone up in a firestorm that threatens thousands of homes.

My heart goes out to those in danger and especially those who have lost their homes.

That said, San Diego county Republicans gutted their area’s ability to fight fires with their idiotic tax cuts and dogmatic laissez faire policies.

Until they start taking care of their OWN protection and paying for their own fire-fighting and preparing themselves for the brush fires that are all too PREDICTABLE, the state and federal governments should be wary of giving them ANY disaster funds unless absolutely necessary for safety and stability.

It appears about the only way you can make these opportunistic, greed-promoting politicians take some of the responsibility they are so often urging others to step up to.

Is a shrewd Obama playing the Republicans to make them look bad?

A friend wondered to no one in particular if Obama was being shrewd and manipulating Republicans in the fight over the debt ceiling, just to make them look bad.

I agree that they look bad — and national polling seems to suggest that I’m not the only one.

But… Obama is clearly too smart a guy to play chicken with the economy, as the Republicans are doing. Of course, damaging the economy and jeopardizing the recovering and trashing the US credit rating is clearly not in his interest.

But there are two minds at work in the House majority.

One set are, indeed, playing a very cynical game of destructive politics — since damage to the US economy hurts Obama and the Democrats — but does not hurt the Republicans or the wealthy who they clearly perceive as their constituency — since the fitful recovery has actually benefited the wealthy out of all proportion to the middle class and poor. As the economic numbers clearly indicate — the super rich are doing very well — they just don’t want to talk about it because they don’t want to see the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy allowed to expire.

The other set are the so-called ideologues who are also willing to trash the economy because it fits their simplistic and moralistic, mutant perversion of fiscal conservatism, convinced as many of them are that is is the poor who are dragging the country down.

It’s this latter group who largely parallel the thinking of so-called “paycheck conservatives” — hourly and salaried individuals who are doing pretty well but who see a good chunk of their gross income withheld in taxes but who, largely out of ignorance of the tax system and its systematically designed set of loopholes which allow the wealthy to manipulate the tax system via often elaborate and clever “wealth retention strategies” and who consequently end up paying only a sliver of their paper tax rate, appear to believe the Bush era tax cuts are to their advantage, if not now, then in the future.

The paycheck conservatives see their own tax rate — see how much is taken out — and, many of them aspiring to make more money, think that the way forward will be effectively blocked by higher tax rates as they make more money. And, up to a point, that’s right.

But, just as it ‘takes money to make money’ — it takes discretionary wealth — not tied to sustaining oneself and family — in order to take advantage of those loopholes and exploit the wealth retention strategies that are open to the rich by virtue of their greater surplus income.

Having some familiarity with the nature of how this works by virtue of both experience and insights gained from having such a wealth retention specialist as a client for some years, it strikes me as sad that so many people are so mad at the wrong people.

Alabama Governor apologizes

Cut back to Fox News…

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – It took more than two days for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to apologize for controversial remarks he made during a Martin Luther King day speech in which he condemned the beliefs of non-Christians.
[…]
On Wednesday afternoon, Bentley issued a public apology: “If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/19/alabama-governor-apologizes-controversial-mlk-speech

NOT a witch… more like a Satanist

Christine O’Donnell was not a witch…

From her descriptions of her experiences, it’s clear to me that O’Donnell was not a witch. But I’m not at all sure she even knows what a witch is.

I’m not a Wiccan, but I’ve known some Wiccans and know more than a bit about the philosophies which guide Wiccan witchcraft: respect for nature and all life and a disavowal of using special knowledge for personal gain.

When O’Donnell talked about being on a “Satanic altar” where there were signs of blood, she would appear to be describing a very different — even diametrically opposed — form of practice.

Satanism, in the few of many, is not so much rooted in ancient practice but is, rather, a defiant perversion and twisting of Christian monotheism, upending Jesus’ teachings of charity and compassion — teachings in concordance with many of the principles of Wicca — and replacing them with an exaltation of selfishness and greed. “Greed is good,” Satanists will tell you.

Just like some other folks…