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Barack Obama: Truth or Lies - Walking on the Edge
I don't really have a plan...
Barack Obama: Truth or Lies
I just received the following email forward from my grandmother. Grandma is one of the only people I won't usually grumble about sending me forwards, because often they're cute little things, and also it's my grandma. Online. I'm delighted that my grandma uses email.

However, on scanning this one quickly, my brain said, and I quote, "WHUT?"

Obama is a radical Muslim? He never says the Pledge of Allegiance? Eh?

Not only is this fairly far-fetched, but (even lacking some faith in our current media coverage) if this was true, EVERYONE would know it by now. It wouldn't be just an email forward. It would be HEADLINE NEWS.

The email itself claims that: "snopes.com ..' confirms this is factual. Check for yourself."

Well ok, then, I did.

And...um...yeah, email forward, if you are going to make stuff up, it's not really a great idea to urge people to look up how much you are lying! Snopes itself makes fun of you for it! The email is an interesting mix of facts and lies that makes Obama look like a crazed Muslim terrorist about to take over the White House and strike fear into the hearts of fundamentalist Christians everywhere. Which is patently absurd.

I'll say right now, I don't have personal knowledge of Obama's background, nor have I done extensive research on it. And I'm not un-skeptical about spin campaigns by politicians. But it's completely illogical that this information could be true and not widely known, and on top of that, this particular information was debunked as a smear campaign against Obama. I'm a Christian, but I'm also a logical person who can spot a lie when I see it coming. The worrying part is, there are a lot of people out there who won't even blink at the idea that this email is true - because they want it to be true, and/or they're just worried or scared of making a bad choice when voting, and have not educated themselves enough about the candidates to choose based on anything other than, maybe, a gut instinct. Which is not the best way to choose a President. (And is probably how we ended up with Bush 2 times running, as well.) (Note: I'm not trying to be harsh on my grandma, here - she's fairly well-informed on politics, albeit pretty conservative. I don't know why she thought this was true, except that email forwards are tricky like that. She may have believed the statement that Snopes had confirmed this, she may not even know what Snopes is, I don't know. But the email chain didn't start with her. A lot of people forwarded this on.)

I usually don't bother with email forwards one way or another, but in this case, I replied to everyone on the list when I let my Grandma know the email forward was false.

Whether you want Obama in the White House or not, he should at least be judged on his actual merits, not on lies.

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lberghol From: lberghol Date: April 10th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) (current file)
OMG You are awesome! Well DONE XD Personally I hate that candidate's religious views get so much press in general. Does it really matter if Obama actually was a Muslim, or Mit Romney a Mormon, or if Hilary Clinton attends church? None of these things has anything to do with them being a "bad person" or not. I'd be happier to know that they keep their religion a private personal matter, and just do their jobs the way they're supposed to. Of course that is probably a lot to ask of a country that has JUST gotten around to considering the possibility of a non-white, non-male President... *siiiigh*
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC) (current file)
See, I can understand if someone's religious views required, say, human sacrifice. Because then we might have some issues! But if the candidate is a good person who is actually committed to doing what's best for the country and its citizens, then why would their religion really matter so much?
pirish From: pirish Date: April 10th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC) (current file)
I replied to everyone on the list when I let my Grandma know the email forward was false.

Thank you for doing this. :)
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC) (current file)
I try! I really don't know who on the list would just scroll by that, nodding and going, "uh-huh," but I am fairly sure some of them would. *sigh*
corkdorkdan From: corkdorkdan Date: April 10th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC) (current file)
Well done. I get similar forwards from my GM, but they're usually along the lines of "TEH ACLU IS EVIL AND HATEZ JEEBUS". No, no one has banned prayer in schools, nor could they, but that's different from a teacher leading the class in prayer or reading one over the loudspeaker.

Sadly, what your email describes is pretty much a summary of the picture of Obama that the conservative pundits have been manufacturing. His middle name is Hussein (ZOMG), he doesn't wear his flag pin, and he refuses to conform to what we deem is patriotism!!! Bollocks, all of it. The Hussein thing is particularly funny, it reminds me of the Michael Bolton character in Office Space. "Why should I change my name? He's the one that sucks."
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC) (current file)
Hah! Devil ACLU!!!

It's really scary (to me) what people will try in order to discredit others. I mean, yes, if there were legitimate issues (i.e. Obama is sitting there applauding terrorists or something) then OF COURSE we want to know. But if it's just that you don't like the guy? Don't MAKE STUFF UP just to make him look bad. *sigh*
spectralbovine From: spectralbovine Date: April 10th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC) (current file)
And...um...yeah, email forward, if you are going to make stuff up, it's not really a great idea to urge people to look up how much you are lying! Snopes itself makes fun of you for it!
Ha ha ha ha, that's priceless.
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC) (current file)
I know, right? Snopes itself says something like, "I guess they put that line in there knowing most people will never bother to check."

(Deleted comment)
corkdorkdan From: corkdorkdan Date: April 10th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC) (current file)
It's not because they stopped forwarding them to everyone else. It was because I was ruining the fun.

I have also found this to be the case. I had a discussion like this at Thanksgiving with my grandparents regarding the ACLU. Some email was going around encouraging everyone to send Christmas cards to the ACLU that proudly said "Christmas" and not "Happy Holidays", which was going to somehow "cripple" their operations. I tried to give them a real world example from my own office, about how we deal with large amounts of mail, and how there's no way a large amount would "cripple" us (and Snopes gave a similar explanation when they debunked the email). They listened calmly, dropped the subject, and then at Christmas informed me that they had both sent Christmas cards to the ACLU to "do their part." *headdesk*
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC) (current file)
Maybe we need, like, mandatory voter education classes. Or, like, in order to get your $600 (or whatever) government incentive money, you have to answer a quiz on the candidates, and get 80% right! Yeah!

Re: the media: We need Perry White, as played by Lane Smith (sadly deceased, woe) on Lois and Clark, the New Adventures of Superman, to be editor -in-chief of all the media in the world. Ah, integrity! You exist only in fiction!

Speaking of the talking heads thing, particle_person just linked a hilarious article that kind of rips on Chris Matthews. I'll have to link it here. Also re: talking heads: how much to I despise Bill O'Reilly? OH, let me count the ways.

You know, it's sad that I'd trust what Jon Stewart is saying more than some political commentators. But at least we *know* his biases, and sometimes the news comes out better when you're making fun of it. Heh.

I know more than one person who just believes what certain talking heads say, even if it doesn't mesh with the truth, because the news folks are telling it the way they think it really is, or the way they *want* it to be.

And, yeah - people stop forwarding you that stuff if you don't agree with them. I think one part of that is that they can't be bothered to refute (just like they can't be bothered to check it in the first place) so they just drop it. Gah.
(Deleted comment)
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC) (current file)
This is a good point. Even though I am fairly evenly divided when it comes to actual issues, in terms of political spirit I am more liberal. And I know what you mean.

Conservatives and their scare tactics, BAH.
zortrana From: zortrana Date: April 10th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC) (current file)
This e-mail has been widely circulated and I know people who have received it from a number of different people. It's classic scare tactics.
Thank you for doing what you could to set the record straight!
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC) (current file)
I felt I couldn't let that one slide by. *shakes head* Who knows if anyone who got the first email will pay attention to my reply, though.
kahlan_amnell From: kahlan_amnell Date: April 10th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC) (current file)
These lies have been going around for a while, and I do my best to prove them false whenever I can.

My parents are very conservative, and would never vote for a Democrat anyway, but they would prefer Obama to Clinton if they had to choose one. And they don't seem to believe the lies about him. They mostly get e-mail forwards with information (true or not) about Clinton anyway.

Anyway, good for you for proving these lies false to whoever you can.

Edited at 2008-04-10 06:24 pm (UTC)
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) (current file)
It's good that your parents aren't easily led! I hope most people who get these forwards aren't...but I fear many are. *sigh*
lesbiassparrow From: lesbiassparrow Date: April 10th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC) (current file)
The only humour in this piece that I can find is that they apparently think that being Muslim and being Atheist are sort of the same thing. Because everyone knows that Wahhabists don't believe in god. (Plus I think they got in a dig at Catholics there. I don't think the mention of the Catholic school was meant as a compliment.)

As someone who is not religious at all I get continually annoyed at this pressure on the various candidates to perform their religion and to endlessly talk about their faith. As if somehow the vary nature of devoutness (to any religion) made you automatically a better person. We all know 'devout' people who are horrific human beings.
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC) (current file)
Hah, I know! If you aren't a WASP, you aren't good enough for the conservatives!

As if somehow the vary nature of devoutness (to any religion) made you automatically a better person. We all know 'devout' people who are horrific human beings.

Even though I think that someone's religion, *if* they are actually following its tenets, can be important to at least be aware of, because it will inform the way they think and act, this is a very good point. It ties in with a thought I've had, which is: a lot of people (not just politicians) say they are whatever religion but don't really follow its tenets; they pay it lip-service, and do what they want to. OR they are actually devout, but the code they are following is harmful or hateful to others. In either of those cases, clearly, being whatever religion they claim does not make them "better" somehow. And yet, people often assume it does.
ashcomp From: ashcomp Date: April 11th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC) (current file)
Osama bin Laden comes to mind.
preciosatt From: preciosatt Date: April 10th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC) (current file)
Dude. His middle name is Hussein, of course he's a radical extremist.

I really hate to say it at this stage but more and more I keep thinking that while US politics may have progressed, it hasn't progressed enough that someone like Obama could be the next president.

But prove me wrong.
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 10th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC) (current file)
We shall just have to see, eh? *sigh*
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 10th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC) (current file)
Along the same lines, have you heard the one about Hillary Clinton blackmailing Wellesley with the threat of a riot in order to force the school to allow her to speak at commencement? My grandmother repeated that one to me a couple of weeks ago as evidence that Hillary is only out for herself. A.) As if most presidential candidates are mild-mannered, retiring sorts of people. B.) It's really too ridiculous an accusation even to dignify with a response. C.)Even if there is a grain of truth, it was over 40 years ago and *it was the sixties* for gosh sakes.

My dad played tit for tat with meaningless McCain example of his own, direct from the mouth of his former law school study partner, the first person captured in Vietnam. When all the prisoners were released, they were supposed to be released in order of time held. Study partner had been held for 8.5 years, shot down in the Gulf of Tonkin skirmish. Determined to be first, however, McCain -- held for 5.5 years -- pushed his way past to head the processional from the plane, and be the poster boy for the TV cameras.

There. Now the candidates all suck, and we've leveled the playing field. I bet we can find a few more incriminating stories from nursery school if we dig hard enough.

- K
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 11th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC) (current file)
HAH. The McCain story is hilarious. Oh, politicians. Whatever will we do with you? Elect you to office and then cry, I guess.

I didn't hear the Hillary one before, no. I wonder what Snopes would have to say about it!
misangeles From: misangeles Date: April 11th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC) (current file)
I attended a dinner party at a family friend's place a couple of months ago, and there was a roomful of 20- and 30-somethings discussing the election.

I sincerely hope that none of these people are registered to vote.

They all thought that "Obama" is his first name, and, no doubt because of his middle name, they thought he was Middle-eastern. I had to set the record straight about his name, racial makeup and his birthplace. (Yes, I know that you can't be president if you're a naturalized citizen, but I think such details escaped this assembled crowd.)

And I agree -- I don't care who you vote for, as long as you don't decide based on misinformation.
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 21st, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) (current file)
I just wonder how people can be so ignorant of the basic facts. *sigh*
chrryblssmninja From: chrryblssmninja Date: April 11th, 2008 10:55 am (UTC) (current file)
that whole thing is made of argh.
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