Humorist Will Rogers once said, "I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." If he lived in these modern times, old Will wouldn’t even have had to watch the government to get plenty of material. All he would need to do was log onto the internet.
I’m not sure which amazes me more, the fact that so many people have so much time on their hands to come up with outlandish internet hoaxes and half-truths, or the fact that so many people blindly forward them on and share them through social media. Here are just a few making the rounds this past week:
Pepsi, Coca Cola, and Fritos, depending on which e-mail or Facebook post you see, have come up with new cans (or bags in Fritos case) with a picture of the Empire State Building and Pledge of Allegiance on them but have omitted the words “Under God” so as not to offend anyone. It’s an old internet hoax and it’s just as false now as it was then. Every six months or so somebody dusts it off and sends it out again, and folks get all upset (again).
At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, American athletes were ordered by the United States government not to perform at their best to allow Russia to win more medals (33 to our 28) to appease anti-gay Russian President Vladimir Putin over protests in this country toward his stand on homosexuals. If not for this order, the current e-mail making the rounds says, the U.S. would have won at least eight more medals.
Oh, here’s an oldie but a goodie. The White House has ordered that all military veterans over the age of 60 who go to a Veterans Administration hospital with serious medical issues be given treatment that will shorten their lives, to help reduce the VA budget. I first heard about this way back when Clinton got elected. It is usually followed by the one that says when you go to a VA hospital, the first thing they do is ask if you are suicidal, depressed, or angry, and if you answer yes, the government pulls your concealed weapons permit and confiscates all of your firearms. I’m over age 60 and I’ve been to several VA hospitals. Nobody’s killed me yet and nobody has asked me if I’m thinking about going postal, or tried to take my guns away.
One that currently has folks in a stir is a report on Atlanta television news station WSB-TV back in November that President Obama is spending hundreds of millions of our dollars to save mosques overseas, and that one Cairo mosque alone received $770 million to pump out sewage that had spilled into it due to the city’s poor infrastructure. Actually, the State Department’s program to preserve overseas cultural landmarks, including historic mosques, churches and temples, started funding projects under President Bush in 2001. The Cairo sewer project, which totaled about $770 million, began in 1984 and ended in 2006, three years before Obama’s first inauguration.
I disagreed with it then and I still do, but it’s not an Obama thing. It’s a typical do-gooder project spending money in other countries to try to turn people who hate us into friends. It’s just one more example of how both parties screw the American taxpayer. Here’s an idea; how about we rebuild our own infrastructure here at home, where bridges are falling apart and highways are filled with potholes instead?
And here’s one the conspiracy theory crowd loves to bring out for reruns now and then. According to the latest tale, the president ordered the Air Force to drop a nuclear bomb on a small town in North Carolina (or Savannah, Georgia, depending on which week it makes the rounds), where the residents have been very vocal about hating the present administration.
The truth is that on March 11, 1958, an Air Force B-47 dropped a bomb due to mechanical failure while flying over the small town of Mars Bluff, South Carolina. Though it wasn’t armed for nuclear detonation, the 7,600 pounds of high explosives in the bomb left a crater 75 feet wide and 35 feet deep, destroying a house and injuring several people. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.
In the Savannah incident, which happened a month earlier, on February 5, 1958, a different B-47 bomber collided with an F-86 fighter and dropped a 7,000-pound nuclear bomb into the waters off Tybee Island, Georgia, near Savannah. The bomb did not explode and has never been recovered. Both incidents happened during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s tenure as President.
Finally, this started as a Facebook joke, but apparently a few dimwits who don’t own calendars took it seriously, since I’ve had two e-mails about it this weekend alone. Because he plans to launch some diabolical scheme on March 1 and wants to keep the word from getting out, Obama has ordered that all internet access be shut down for three days, between February 29 – 31.
And that’s just this week’s nonsense. Who knows what they’ll dream up next week?
Like I said, I can’t make this stuff up. But I don’t need to, because there are plenty of folks already making up more bullshit than a Texas cattle feedlot could produce in a month!
Tags: Air Force B-47, Coca Cola, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Empire State Building, Facebook, firearms, Humorist Will Rogers, internet hoaxes, nuclear bomb, Pepsi, Pledge of Allegiance, President Obama, Savannah Georgia, screw the American taxpayer, social media, United States government, VA budget, Veterans Administration hospital, Winter Olympics in Sochi