Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Memes, Propaganda and Spin...Oh My!

So this week in stupid memes and other propaganda we have a few.  The first is this wonderful meme comparing Timothy McVeigh's bombing in Oklahoma to the reaction to gun control.  It runs with the logic that we can still buy fertilizer and the other elements for the Oklahoma bombs, but we are banning guns.  This meme runs the logic fallacy of apples and oranges.  Both are fruits, but the similarity ends there.  It is a false analogy.  Guns control and availability have nothing to do with a lunatic, home-grown terrorist bomber.  A simple way is to go back to Sesame Street.  One of these things is not like the other.  Another example and as expected, it was less than twenty-four hours before I heard a right wing pundit announce following the stabbings at Lone Star that there had been no call to control knives.  Maybe that's because knives and guns are inherently different or perhaps it was because no one died.  What isn't being discussed is the mental health issue involved in all these issues.

Next up comes the Obama Columbia University ID.  This is one I had not seen, but it has been around since before the last election.  Apparently Obama went to Columbia under a different name, had an ID labeled Foreign Student and graduated from Columbia sometime after 1998.  Why 1998? This was when Columbia began using digital ID which this one, from the use of the bar code, clearly is.  There is also the little problem that Columbia labels all student ID's with
the words "Student" not "Foreign Student." Barry, your photo ID has been found. Sorry about the photo we pasted on it. This piece also comes with the statement, "No wonder his records are sealed." No. Sealed is a legal term meaning closed by a court. Obama's school records are in fact confidential and are protected by Federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.  No candidate for president has released these records.  Why would Obama be any different in expectation?

This photoshopped ID reminds me of the Obama without his hand over his heart pic which is a real pic, it's just not, as claimed, that he refused nor was it taken during the pledge.  I saw this pic again this week and have discussed it in another blog. It was a picture actually taken during the playing of the National Anthem, which anyone who has attended a sporting event will tell you lots of people do not put their hand over their heart during it's singing.  BTW if you've seen this pic, please note that unless there is flag we cannot see, every person there is facing the wrong way.

Next up is the "Obama Youth Program"  Youth Brigade which is actually not a meme but propaganda.  There is no such thing.  What I've seen posted is a radio talkshow pundit who announces that Obama, like Hitler, is starting his own Youth Program by tying it to student loans and requiring service.  There is no such program.  Where does this come from?  Obama signed GIVE, Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, (its official title is actually H.R.1388 - The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act) in 2009 which is a law used to update the National and Community Service Act of 1990.  The law, named after Senator Kennedy and originally signed before the amended version of GIVE by Bush I, increased funding for Americorp and other service organizations.  It does not require students to serve, but does give $500 credits towards college to students who serve in various volunteer organizations.  My suggestion: try reading the actual law before you make such a ridiculous comparison to the Hitler Youth.  (BTW the hand sign that some folks point to is the shape of an "O" as in Obama and has nothing to do with the Hitler Youth salute.)

I also want to address something that is not really a meme but spin.  I've seen now three "news" stories about gun manufacturers leaving states that are enacting stricter gun laws.  One is a gun maker in Connecticut, one is gun maker in Maryland, and one is a clip maker here in Colorado.  Leaving because they do not support the new laws is one thing, but leaving because there are stricter laws affecting there manufacturing process is another.

No enacted law affects the ability of these factories to manufacture within the state.  It may affect the ability to sell within the state.  That ability is affected whether they remain within the state or outside the state.  The laws are not why they are leaving.  Their political beliefs are the reason why.  It is clear that these ideals are more important  than other businesses they subcontract to or the people they hire.  If they wish to make a statement about their political agenda, then that is their right, but to blame it on laws that do not actually restrict the manufacturing is spin.  I also find it odd that they did not leave the country during the assault weapons ban, but they didn't.  I would also point out if these laws are truly unconstitutional as their lobbyists would have us believe, they should be able to easily stop the implementation of these laws.  Why aren't they?

A little research would make it clear that what you see is not what you many memes...