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It's amazing what you can get with the right coupons.
It’s amazing what you can get with the right coupons.
Ah, the never ending joys of click bait. Those links that you HAVE to click to find out the WHOLE story that no one else wants you to know. Because you’re the only human on earth who has the internet what they’re sending you is a big secret. Usually a secret that comes with one of three requirements; (1) send money now, (2) try this useless product (often by sending money now), and (3) share this with your friends before something horrible happens to you and them. The latter ones usually appeal to your religious beliefs as well. Look, all of them are scams of one form or another. Simply put, God isn’t checking Facebook to find out whether you prayed or not. That’s not how prayer works. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell you to post your prayers on the walls of anything, digital or otherwise.

In fact it does just the opposite. If you don’t believe me, ask Him. “Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6). Secrets are kind of antithetical to Facebook.

As to the rest, most of them prey on the basic paranoia we all have. All you have to do is ask one simple question, how does ___________ benefit from keeping this a secret? Because, in the case of the FDA, for example, allowing people to die in large numbers causes many more problems than it solves. The same with the hysterically named Big Pharma. A couple of weeks back I dealt with that fallacy and won’t belabor it here other than to say those companies couldn’t put together a softball team, forget about collaborating on an international conspiracy.

The same basic rule applies to the government. They are either wildly incompetent and shouldn’t be trusted with sharp objects or they know how to hide aliens under the Pentagon. You can’t have both. Since we have members of Congress who don’t believe that science exists it should be an easy choice for you.

Just a side note on that snark. Government, when it’s functioning, does some incredible things that benefit us all. It does, to paraphrase Green Arrow, what people can not do for themselves. It builds highways and bridges and trains, it provides hospitals and education and so on. All stuff we need. If you want a useful government there is only one solution; vote for it.

Okay, off my soapbox.

By the way, no, you did not win a lottery you’ve never heard of and, no, no one is giving you a fucking $50 gift card for anything. Those are all click bait to make you take a survey and then give you a $1 coupon for shit you don’t need.

Another meme rearing its ugly head again is that President Obama isn’t the first black president. The meme attributes that honor to a man named John Hansen. Just for giggles, let’s break this one down. First off, the person they are referring to was the president of the Continental Congress, not the U.S., and his name was John Hanson. Also, he was very, very, white. The black man pictured in the meme is also named John Hanson. He was a senator from Liberia (which is in Africa, not the U.S.) who fought to have American slaves, and any other willing blacks, repatriated to Africa as citizens. His efforts led to Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Liner movement at the beginning of the 20th century. While all three men are very important to American history none was our president.

There are two other memes making the rounds concerning President Obama as well. These claim to show ALL THE FACTS about government spending since he was elected. One says that he’s spent more than the previous 43 presidents combined and the other says that he’s spent less than any president in history. This may come as a shock to you but they’re both wrong. If the former were true we would be bankrupt. If the latter were true we’d have trillions to toss at education and infrastructure. Neither is happening. It is true that he’s spent a ton of dough, but it’s still less than Bush did in his eight years and, let’s be honest, he inherited a couple of wars and three major industries, banking, auto and real estate, on the verge of bankruptcy. Motives aside, had he not spent that money we’d all be in bread lines that would have made the Great Depression look like a garden party.

Speaking of politicians, while the president does get a salary for life it’s only $195,000 per year, not $450,000. In fact the president makes less than that last amount while in office. No Congressperson gets paid after they leave office unless they qualify for pension benefits and that amount varies and is based on years of service. So please stop sending people that email your angry Uncle Elmo sent you.

As to comparing those figures against what soldiers make, they are misleading. The Department of Defense provides the base salaries, correctly listed around $30,000 per year, but soldiers also get free housing, medical, food, and many other perks that would greatly increase their pay if they were factored in. It is only after they leave the military that those things become their responsibility. Which sucks if you think about it. They’re willing to take a bullet for us and we can’t come up with some way for them to get eye glasses and such when they need them? That’s embarrassing to our country.

As to all those wonderful emails and posts that tell me to click and share so that Facebook, CNN, Bill Gates, some guy you met at Wal-Mart, can donate money to this or that charity, help this or that dying baby, feed the hungry in Syria or Arkansas, or whatever, they’re all lies. No one does that. If you want to help a certain charity your only options are to volunteer your time or give them money. If you can do both, God bless you.

As to the meme claiming more Americans have died by gun violence, since the laws were loosened in the 80’s, than the total number of American soldiers killed in combat since the country began, sadly, that one’s true.

I’ve dealt with the whole history of gun ownership in the U.S. before. If you want to know how we got here, click there.

So there you have it for today. Clip and save this in case someone you know sends you more useless shit.

Lies :: Astroglider :: Music Video from Astroglider on Vimeo.

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