Remember the old Saturday Night Live character Emily Letella? She seems to have commandeered our political discourse. Half the country has mired itself in dubious battle with hallucinations. Here is a quick, top-of-my-head list of examples:
1. Many conservatives still
believe that Susan Fluke wanted the gummint to pay for her orgasms. In fact, she was talking about private insurance, and about the non-contraceptive medical issues which may lead a doctor to prescribe birth control pills.
2. Many believe that "Obamacare" is socialized medicine. In fact, liberals such as myself opposed Obamacare precisely because it is not
socialized health insurance.
3. Many believe that Obama raised taxes. In fact, he lowered them.
4. Many believe that Obama instituted TARP. In fact, W did.
5. Many believe that the financial stimulus package was a failed jobs creation program. In fact, the lion's share of that package went to tax cuts -- which did not work.
6. Many were convinced -- and remain convinced -- that the big economic problem facing us is and was inflation. What
inflation? We have oodles of serious problems, but...inflation?
Why did so many intelligent people fixate on that
, against all evidence and common sense?
7. Many still
believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11.
8. Many have accepted the new propaganda line that Osama Bin Laden worked with Iran.
9. Many accept Glenn Beck's absurd argument that Hitler was a left-winger, a suggestion that would have outraged Hitler himself. Back in the 1930s, all the American supporters of fascism -- McCormick, Hearst, the Klan, the Bund, etc. -- were on the right.
10. Many believe that the financial crisis of 2008 was created by too much
regulation, not by Wall Street's immunity from the rule of law.
11. Many believe that Obama has declared "war on religion."
12. Many agree with Rick Santorum's surreal claim that JFK had, in his famous speech, called for religious people to be banned from the political sector.
13. Many accepted Rick Perry's surreal assertion that "our kids...can't pray in school." Of course they can. Anyone can pray anywhere they like.
14. Many believe that there is a war on Christmas. Still
15. Many believe that tax rates were lower under Reagan. In fact, they were much, much higher.
16. Many believe that Reagan balanced the budget. In fact, the national debt skyrocketed under Reagan; there was more red ink during his administrations than under all previous presidents combined.
17. Many believe that there is some sort of conspiratorial alliance between atheists and Islamic jihadists. How can one discuss anything
with someone who accepts such an absurdity?
18. Many still believe that Obama is a Muslim.
19. Many still believe that Obama is not a natural born citizen
20. Many believe that "sharia law" is a real threat in the United States.
21. Many believe that voter registration fraud is a genuine problem. This superb Rolling Stone piece
gives the facts.
22. Many still believe that everyone incarcerated at Gitmo was guilty of terrorism. In fact, the real terrorists were taken elsewhere.
23. Many still believe that massive layoffs resulted from Obama's "regulatory uncertainty." What the hell...? Lack of demand, and nothing else, caused the soft rebound.
24. Many believe that Canada, the U.K., France, Germany and the Scandinavian countries suffer from hellishly inefficient health care systems. Which just happen to give people healthier lives for less money.
25. Many believe that financial predators like Mitt Romney are "job creators."
I could go on, but that will do for now. Half this country has turned into Willy Wonka, living in a world of pure imagination. Better movie metaphor: They've turned into Jimmy Stewart's character in Harvey
. It isn't easy to have a civilized discussion with someone who insists that you treat his imaginary friend as real.Speaking of gullibility:
Some of you may recall Wilfredo Saurin, international con artist and subject of several previous Cannonfire exposes. (See here
.) We also took a look at his hilariously colorful conster pals, including cult leader Queen Legaspi
and Dr. Hans Kempe
, the man who cured cancer.
Well, Saurin's still at it. Not long ago, using one of his many aliases -- Yohannes Riyadi -- he managed to convince British MP Lord James of Blackheath that he (Saurin/Riyadi) is the richest man in the world
, with over $15 trillion
dollars to his name. Saurin/Riyadi, as head of something called Foundation X, wanted to help the U.K. weather its current financial storm with a massive loan
Almost needless to say, many internet sensation-seekers
have accepted this claim at face value. After all, if a British Member of Parliament believes it, then it must be real. Right?
What they don't tell you, of course, is that Saurin printed up his own financial instruments on an inkjet printer. Actually, it may have been Legaspi who did the actual printing. The point is that the bonds are fakes.
Then again, how real is "real"? All paper money is, in a sense, a mutually agreed-upon hallucination. I wonder what would happen if Britain paid off its debts with pseudocash printed on an inkjet printer...?