The GOP…home of ‘Fake News’

how-to-change-your-facebook-reactions-to-pictures-of-pokemon-and-shortlistcom_1354121

So I am ‘lucky’ enough to be on the mailing list for the Republican Party who, for some reason, consider all the people on their list to be conservative.

Normally these emails come in and I skim them, ignore them or just delete them but for some reason not today.

I saw that the GOP wanted me, to participate in their survey because they’ve “had almost 68,000 conservatives in your area share their thoughts on what should be the #1 priority for Congress” and of course they “still need your answer in order to get an accurate representation.”

Firstly as a heads up, I suspect my answers may not give them an accurate representation of what their conservative supporters may want…just sayin…but also the survey is so full of ‘fake news’ that I wanted to show you how.

I’m not going to take it apart piece by piece, which I could and would be easy to show how the leading questions or binary options in a world of levels of answers would be appropriate, but as an example I will just focus on one particular question…it’s the question I have as a screen shot above about Planned Parenthood.

The question reads

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 13.41.49

So the question is asking if funding should stop to non-profit organisations like Planned Parenthood…that part of the question is fair…moronic, but fair. However the next part, which is not a questions but a statement is in the ‘pants on fire’ category of so called ‘fake news’.

The GOP, the party in the US that controls all three branches of government, is tellings it’s supporters that Planned Parenthood’s ‘primary function’ is performing abortions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Planned Parenthood provides almost 9.5 million services each year to 2.4 million patients. A ‘service’ can be many things including, but not limited to, pregnancy tests, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing, contraception, mammograms and abortions.

Last year Planned Parenthood performed 328,348 abortions. That number is 3% of the total number of services which, I think you’ll agree, is nowhere near an organisation’s ‘primary function’. It would be fairer to say that abortions at Planned Parenthood are a miniscule part of the overall work they do but what the GOP does is misinform their supporters into believing these lies, which then get propogated on conservative news websites and that then leads to an ill informed public…the most ill informed…and the cycle of misinformation continues. There’s an old saying…”lies make it round the world three times before truth gets its pants on”.

Add all of this to the Hyde Amendment which states that federal funds can’t be used to perform abortions excepting if the life of the woman is in danger and you’ll see the GOP Fake News in full effect.

America is the greatest country in the world…really?

Watching the CNN debate yesterday I heard several occasions again one of the Republican Presidential Candidates citing some version of the phrase “America is the greatest country in the world!” I just really want someone to inform me how is America the greatest country in the world. Seriously, can someone please educate me as to the rationale behind that statement, because if it is the greatest country in the world I will happily support the statement.

It would seem that the citizens of America don’t think it’s the greatest, and the younger the age of the person surveyed, the less likely it is that they believe that the US is #1.

I ask this question genuinely looking for people to tell educate me as I want to understand how so many Americans continue to tell us that they are the best in the world. A quick scan of the internet makes it difficult to see how anyone can read any international standards that rank them at #1 in anything other than incarceration rates of their own population.

Now I want to make it clear, I am not suggesting they are the worst country in the world, I am also not suggesting that it isn’t a ‘great’ country, what I am wanting to know is is it the greatest? Show me the markers and I’ll accept them.

There is a very famous scene from The Newsroom’s very first episode of the very first series where this question gets asked.

newsroom

Now this is fictional, but fact checking his information at the time the episode was filmed…he seems to be basically accurate in the statistics he is giving out although there is a little wriggle room depending on the research you cite.

Please, educate me, is America the greatest country in the world? Why, or why not?

Sarah Palin interviews Donald Trump – what the internet was designed for!!!

I saw online last week that Sarah Palin was going to be interviewing Donald Trump on her One America News Network show I initially was gravely concerned for the safety of the world. It was a deep concern with a warning in the recesses of my mind where all I could think was that if these two ever crossed paths then all life as we know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light but then I remembered that was a the warning from Dr Egon Spengler to the other Ghostbusters as to why they shouldn’t cross their streams. Mind you, allegorically sparking, the crossing of two such moronic individuals may lead to the same outcome.

When I realised what I was going to be able to view I couldn’t contain myself, I was so excited to see exactly what the internet has been designed for, right up there with kids on pain medication and cats falling off tables, that I went into convulsions of excitement

These two are the epitome of the American electoral system, they are featherweights when it comes to political nous, but among enough of the American voting population heavyweights in popularity. They went toe to toe for 10 minutes, only pausing long enough to remove their noses from each others backsides to take a breath, with conservative pablum and complaints about the lame stream media being biased and asking ‘gotcha’ questions like “what’s your favourite bible verse?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the American political system…mostly because I don’t live there and can look at it from the relatively safety of New Zealand. American politics is the best entertainment show in the world and with Mr Trump, who communicates like a seven year old, and Ms Palin coming together it was like the two best comedic characters in that show combined for a brief moment bringing joy to the world (outside America).

The content of the interview can be viewed below, I would encourage you to watch it to see what the world could look like if either of these people would be involved in the Whitehouse (which I don’t think they will) but for now, as I have used a couple of movie references in this post, it’s probably appropriate that I now use one that best identifies what the interview actually was.

From an outsider looking in, the only thing greater than having Donald Trump go deep into the Republican primaries, would be if he announced that Palin would be his running mate…OMG I am having palpatations at just the thought of the 24 hour news networks covering them. Seeing Palin in a situation again where she has to fend off other ‘gotcha’ questions like “what newspapers do you read?” is almost too much for me to take.

I think I need a lie down.

The full “interview”

Syria…why now West?

I chatted with my wife last night and when I asked this question I saw the horror on her face until I had the chance to explain my thoughts, so please give me two minutes of your time and don’t jump to the first most obvious conclusion about this post.

Why is the West showing concern now that there has been ‘chemical attacks’?

This is when you breathe and give me a chance to explain my thoughts.

The West is getting ready to take action against the Syrian Government due to a horrific attack on civilians where chemical weapons were used. CNN reported last night that the “UK drafts U.N. resolution to go before Security Council today authorizing necessary measures to protect Syria civilians” but my question is why are ‘chemical weapons’ the straw that broke the indignant back of the West.

In this current civil war UNICEF reported in February that over 500 children had died already, by August the UN were reporting that 6,561 children had died. There are also reports that more than 600 detainees and political prisoners have died during the current conflict while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports prior to the chemical attack that 3,607 Women are dead due to this conflict.

Overall reported total number of deaths vary, but the UN reported in July that there were estimated to be over 100,000 deaths in total due to the current conflicts.

If the UK were “authorizing necessary measures to protect Syria civilians” and one assumes the Americans are on the same page…and for the record it’s a page that I agree with and am on as well…what about the other 100,000, of which it seems about 60,000 are civilians, that haven’t warranted protection. Where were the West when it got to 20,000 or 30,000 or 50,000?

It is horrific to see the images on the news of people dead and dying due to chemical weapons, but you have to concede that there are going to have been thousands, if not tens of thousands of horrific deaths so far committed on civilians during the conflict. Where were the West then?

If this is a catalyst to help innocent civilians then I support it, but if it is the West, just placating their conscience because they have seen the images on their TV screens that shock them then I say, “Shame on you West, where have you been?