Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Loose Screws




A friend of mine dropped a link to this article on my Facebook page yesterday morning, asserting that John Kerry's daughter married an Iranian physician with close ties to the current Iranian minister of foreign affairs, Javad Zarif, implying of course that Kerry had special interests in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal.   Yes, I will not believe because it is pile of nonsense.  What can you expect from Allen B. West's website.

Sadly though, persons pick up these stories and quickly disseminate them across social media, even when they are six years out of date.  It seems few persons bother to do a simple fact check.  It is enough that the name is correct to imply that Brian Vala Nahed is Iranian.  Actually, he was born in Los Angeles, attended university at UCLA and Yale and is a well respected neurosurgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.  According to Snopes, he has never even traveled to Iran, much less established close ties with Mr. Zarif or anyone else in the Iranian state department.

No matter, folks will believe what they want to believe.  They would rather question the veracity of Snopes than that of one of Allen West's trolls, who wrote the bogus article, because it suits their opinion that the Obama administration struck a dirty deal with Iran.   Social media is littered with such specious pieces of trash.



Another good one making the rounds is that Donald Trump is personally responsible for Ford recalling one of its auto plants from Mexico.  Of course, he is spreading this bit of news himself in an effort to show that he return industry to America.  However, Trump got the wrong plant.  The one he used for his photo-op is still slated to be relocated to Mexico.  It is a truck manufacturing operation that Ford decided to locate in Ohio long before the Donald through his hat into the GOP political ring.  It's not just Ford, but John Kasich who was insulted by this, as Kasich was the one who negotiated the deal with Ford to set up its truck operations in Ohio, not Trump.  However, this little bit of news suits Trump's narrative, so he took the opportunity to appropriate it, and likewise the story is being spread through the social media.

This is actually part of a trend known as "reshoring," in which many manufacturing plants have been returning to the US since 2011 thanks to initiatives that make it financially beneficial to do so.  Even Wal-Mart has "reshored" some of its operations.  But, here again, the unsuspecting audience that Trump appeals to doesn't bother to look into his stories, but rather accepts them at face value.



However, both of these false narratives pale in light of the whopper Benjamin Netanyahu told at the 37th World Zionist Conference that it wasn't Hitler but rather the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who proposed the "final solution."  This even pales Ben Carson's claim that Jews could have defended themselves against the Holocaust, if only they had guns.  Netanyahu has been thoroughly berated, even by the Prime Minister of Germany, who once again affirmed that her country bears the inherit responsibility for these crimes against humanity.

Bibi's story is convenient because it paints the Palestinians as the bad guys, which American conservatives have long wanted to do.  Allen West has been one of the more vocal supporters of Israel, condemning not just Palestinians, but the President and even the Pope for throwing Israel under the bus.

These stories all become part of a toxic soup constantly churned up in the conservative media to feed a conspiracy-minded audience that firmly believes that we are living in the End Times.  There are websites like "Before It's News" that portray Donald Trump as the deliverer who will save us from ourselves, attributing this juicy piece of news to Carl Icahn no less, who Trump has pegged as his Secretary of Treasury, and which Icahn gladly accepted.   If you needed any more proof that these persons live in an alternative universe.


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