Snopes It, People


I’ve been around this Interweb thing long enough to remember a seemingly endless line of chain emails.

“Bill Gates” and his “AOL Email Forwarding Tracking System” promised to give the winner — they would be chosen from a pool of those who forwarded the email — a cool $50k. Because he had nothing better to do than keep track of how emails were being forwarded (but I sent it anyway).

Of course back then, there really wasn’t a way to verify this kind of information. What about the promise of winning a Walt Disney World vacation for, yet again, forwarding an email? All we knew was that Walt Disney, Jr. wanted to send one of us to Florida and slap $5,000 in our hand for simply participating.

How would any of us know who won? When would we find out? Why wouldn’t we send that email to our closest 50 contacts, right?

Wait.

Walt Disney, Jr.? I knew for a fact — Google was still years away — that the elder Disney only had daughters. Not that I’m a Disney freak (because they really scare me) but it’s just something I had learned years prior.

That’s when my skepticism in these chain emails started, and when I stopped forwarding them.

Flash-forward to present day. It’s an election year and the mud has been slinging from every direction — candidates and voters. And to make it very clear, I’m not in full support of any of the candidates because they all have something very, very ugly lurking inside them.

Then there’s Donald Trump who lets his ugliness show because he’s sans filter. Out of all of the candidates, he’s the one I despise the most because he’s just a mouth without a plan. Well, he has plans but they carry all the credibility and feasibility of building a football stadium in downtown Los Angeles in a week for less than $5. He will be bad for America and will turn it into the laughingstock of the political world if he wins.

But his supporters love him because “he’s not afraid to speak his mind.”

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Okay, folks. Whatever.

So how does my extreme dislike of Trump have anything to do with the beginning of this blog post? Let me explain.

As I had mentioned, it’s an election year and people are desperate to share their opinions against the ones they hate and for the ones they support. My social media feeds are filled with both pro- and anti-Trump rhetoric with me being in the anti-Trump camp.

And I share pictures to show this.

For the most part, the things I’ve posted take a humorous slant at Trump because, let’s face it, he’s a joke. In addition to the one above, here are a few others.

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IMG_4905This last one is interesting because it includes a quote from Trump — a verifiable quote that was taken from one of his speeches.

It’s clear I don’t like the guy. But if I may, I’m going to defend him for a moment just for the sake of proving the point of how completely stupid people can be when it comes time to choose the next person to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Here’s a Trump “quote” that’s been making the social media rounds — except that it’s a hoax.

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Times aren’t what they used to be. Forwarding a picture of a guy whose camera allegedly survived the WTC attacks may have been believable in 2001 but we’re smarter than that now — or at least I’d like to think we are.

I was curious about this quote because, despite it sounding like something he’d say, I wasn’t convinced that he did.

So I searched for it and one of the top Google hits was an article on Snopes that debunks it and breaks it down into little itty-bitty bite-size chunks. My instinct was right.

Then there’s this picture:

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This one is ugly because it mentions racism for the sake of proving that it’s okay for Mexico to be “racist” against Guatemala. This added fuel to the Trump supporters’ fire because of his totally rational plan to make Mexico build and pay for their own wall to keep out all of those rapists and drug dealers he talked about.

But ah, if only this picture told the real story. It doesn’t. Half of the land shown in this picture is freaking Arizona and was meant to draw attention to how the wall effects wildlife, not keeping Guatemalan immigrants out of Mexico.

Look, I know it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and start posting pictures like this willy-nilly but the least people can do is get their crap together and make sure they are accurate.

The Internet isn’t just Yahoo or Lycos anymore so don’t be so damn lazy because I’m going to be “that guy” and if I’m not, someone else will.

Get your facts straight or look like a fool. And let us not forget what the great Abraham Lincoln once said:

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Election Night Nonsense


IMG_20121106_054820I’m happy to say that my commute home for this Election Night was nothing like it was in 2008. Then again, in 2008 I was at the mercy of public transportation…but making twice as much as I do now…at a place that laid me off in 2009…and will be closing its doors permanently in a few months.

But I digress. This election did not go off entirely without a hitch and a rather humorous (or annoying) one at that.

My voter information has always been sent to our former address, or Ann’s folks’ house. We had been there for a bit until Anthony was born in 2004 and moved out once he came along, and my mistake was not immediately updating my address with the registrar.

So 2008 rolls around and we are now living at what was Ann’s grandfather’s house – and I get my Voter Guide delivered to our former address. I pick it up and look over my options. I fill out all of my choices and am ready to take it to the polls at a local car dealership. Keep in mind that “local” only pertains to our previous address; we now live seven miles east of that.

I get to the polling place and show them my ID which has my current address. I tell them that I have since moved and asked what I needed to do in order to update my information and have my stuff sent to the proper address as well as have a closer polling place.

They tell me to fill out a form, which I did, and that it will take – get this – at least one election to update my information. Fine, I thought. I can deal with this.

Flash-forward to 2012 when my Voter Guide shows up at the in-laws’ place yet again. Apparently updating address in a computer database is a skill which only few in the state of California are qualified as it has been four years and I’m still not getting my information delivered to a home I’ve lived in for the past eight years. Then again, this is the state of California we are dealing with.

As I do every year in order to expedite the voting process, I select everything ahead of time so I’m in and out in a snap.

Election Night. I get home to pick up Anthony since now that he’s getting older, it’s important for him to understand how our democratic process works. We head over to my polling place – another car dealership – and sign in at the table.

After showing my ID I once again explain my situation to the volunteer.

“When I voted in 2008, I requested that my address be updated. I have not lived at the address you have since he was born. As you can see, he’s no longer a baby. What do I need to do to have it updated?”

The volunteer explained.

“When you are done voting, go and see that gentleman over there,” she points to a man who looked out of sorts. “He has the forms you need to update your address.”

She continues. “It could take one or two elections to get the information in the system.”

With the befuddled look I had on my face, she could probably hear the needle of my mind’s phonograph being annoyingly scratched across the grooves of my brain’s LP.

“Wait wait wait. One or two elections? I was told one election in 2008 and it wasn’t fixed. Now it’s two? Yeesh, he’ll almost be able to vote by then,” I said as I placed my palm on Anthony’s scalp and rustled his hair.

She didn’t have much of an explanation beyond that and again directed me to visit the gentleman when I was done casting my vote.

So I vote away and place my ballot. I stroll over to see the dude – I think his name was Dave – to get a form and update my address.

I explain what needs to be done without going into the ugly details I had already mentioned.

“Oh, I think I’m all out of those forms.” My jaw drops to the floor as Dave begins searching his table for something he knows damn well is not there. “But you can do it online.”

Then why have the forms? I think. State of California I remind myself.

So I get the URL from Dave and ask, “So is this going to take what, three elections now?” A few of the volunteers chuckled. Dave was stoic.

Now I am left with the task of updating my information online in the hopes that my Voter Guide will be sent to the proper address and my polling place will be much closer to home. A small price to pay for the right to participate in our democratic process.

And depending on whose math you believe, I will either be 47 or 52 (and Anthony, 12 or 16) by the time they finally get the damn thing straightened out.

By then, President Hilary Clinton will be up for her second term… :p