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Notes from the infectious disease ward

UPDATE: Orly’s site is entirely down now. [5 PM EDT, 2 July 2014]

UPDATE 2: It’s back up.

This the third day since Google again identified OrlyTaitzESQ.com as an attack site, passing on malware to visitors. I take such warnings more seriously than I used to. Here’s a taste of what’s going on at the Taitz web site obtained through the browser on my phone.

Taitz continues to focus on immigration issues with this headline yesterday:

  • Response from Attorney Orly Taitz to Obama’s today’s speech: our immigration system is not broken, the only thing that is broken, is the path of neuron connections in Obama’s brain. Obama did not need to dispatch Biden to Central America to search for the cause of the problem, he had to dispatch himself to the nearest mirror

Taitz is praying for more Republicans to drive drunk in this item about Pete Perry who was quoted on this blog yesterday. The title of the article is:

  • As some of you may be aware by now, Hinds County GOP chair Pete Perry, a man that many believe is behind the shenanigans on June 24, was arrested for speeding and drunk driving this past Saturday night. Here is his mugshot. Hopefully there will be more pics like this in the future! We can only pray!

 

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Patriot Games

So with Lent being over, I went over to Birther Report and made some comments, on their Michael Shrimpton article. Even Jerome Corsi doesn’t take Shrimpton all that seriously, but some of the commenters there were all over some massive conspiracy involving the UK and Shrimpton, corrupt government officials and who knows what else.

The whole thing was so extremely silly that I made a suggestion that what I was reading was some kind of role playing fantasy game of “Evil Obama.” In reply, I got this from Martha Trowbridge:

No Patriot is playing; we are warring. … Obama and his co-conspirators are, de facto, evil.

The other thing that set me off was a title over at Orly Taitz’ site:

Report: Fracking Has Reduced CO2 More Than All the Solar Panels & Wind Turbines in the World

That counterintuitive statement refers to an article that refers to an article at Fox News by John Stossel. Stossel’s article doesn’t even hint at how fracking reduces CO2 emissions, by the way. A Fox News internal memorandum from Bill Sammon, managing editor of the Washington bureau of Fox News said:

We should refrain from the assertion that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period of time without immediately pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. (“The Loudest Voice in the Room” by Gabriel Sherman, p. 322)

In fairness to Stossel, fracking is reducing greenhouse gasses because it creates more natural gas, which in turn has led power plant operators to switch from coal to natural gas; however, petroleum industry claims of the amount of reduction seem exaggerated, attributing all the gains to this switch while ignoring the reduced demand for heating due to climate warming, and the increasing efficiency of the US automobile fleet. Further, natural gas production may actually increase global warming due to issues with its production.

I guess my point is that extremely polarized positions about energy policy founded on biased or manipulated numbers are not much different from polarized political positions in Congress. The public debate should be based on the best science. To put the future of the planet in a secondary position to an agenda is unpatriotic.

I don’t find Fox News’ policy very patriotic, any more than the Birther Report commenter knee-jerk belief in everything bad about Obama.

It seems that the Congress (at least the Republican half and perhaps the other side) is playing a game to annihilate the other party rather than move the country along. I can’t see how the right-wing secessionist factions can honestly pledge allegiance to the flag (“One nation under God, indivisible”). It seems that extremists on both sides virtually loathe America.

So where are the real patriots these days?

I think our armed forces are filled with patriotic Americans. The folks who obey the law and pay their taxes, the informed voters, the people who volunteer in civic activities to help children and the disabled—these are patriotic Americans.

Pollyanna v paranoid

Except for the far-remote possibility that some birther might assassinate the President, I’m ready to label the birthers “mostly harmless.” I mean, birthers are just a bunch of people who believe something that will lead them not to vote for Barack Obama, a bunch of people who wouldn’t vote for him anyway. I’d say the same for those who believe in many of the crank conspiracy theories at which I shake my head in wonder.

However, there are times when conspiracy theories intersect public policy in meaningful ways. Joshua Holland, writing for Alternet.org, has a new article titled How Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories May Pose a Genuine Threat to Humanity. In the article Holland uses conspiracy theories about global warming (i.e., it’s not true) and how they motivate people at the local level. Holland wrote:

Earlier this month, Darryl Fears, reporting for the Washington Post, offered a glimpse into the madness that city planners have faced in recent months as a local Tea Party group, convinced that a nefarious plot by scientists and city officials is afoot, have disrupted their work trying to mitigate the potential impacts of rising sea levels.

Holland paints a bleak picture, but it is a picture that I don’t buy into 100%. We’ve always had our share of cranks and politics is by nature messy. It is unfortunate that we have right-wing nut jobs in our society, but consider the alternative: an authoritarian society where we didn’t tolerate them.

Certainly we cannot tolerate people shouting down other people at public meetings — thuggery like that is how the Nazis started. Order in public meetings can be enforced. I don’t think the conspiracy theorists are going to do us in, at least not the current crop.

Birther coverage at NPR: undercover video

Some folks misrepresenting themselves as potential donors from a Muslim organization got hidden camera footage of Senior Vice President of NPR Ron Schiller and co-worker Betsy Liley. This according to the Washington Times.

When asked about the Science Desk coverage of global warming denial, Liley said that the Science Desk was about science and global warming is recognized scientific fact. She said that debate over the issue might be covered as a political issue, but it’s not science.

Comparing the fact of global warming to the fact of where President Obama was born, Liley said: “We’re not covering the birthers. We are not covering them” and concludes by asking if they should cover those that contend that “the world is flat.”

The fact, however, is that NPR covers the birthers A LOT!

Update: The source of the video is conservative activist James O’Keefe, the one who posed as a pimp and released heavily edited videos that lead to the ultimate dissolution of the community activist group ACORN. Questions have been raised about possible tampering of the NPR video including NPR’s own description of the tape as “heavily edited.”

Read more:

The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept. We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for. Mr. Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR for another job.

I think misrepresenting oneself is unethical. Shorter version of O’Keefe Undercover video follows:

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