Category: Politics

Birthers, and the Undead

This past weekend a loyal MM reader reminded me that I have as yet been mum on the topic of the “birthers,” and shame on me.  They are, after all, one of the biggest purveyors of political misinformation since the Swift Boaters and more than deserved to be busted, debunked, and hopefully, defused.  And I… More →

Politics | Tagged

Independence Day debunking

As if to answer my prayers for mythography inspiration, the always-genius NPR program On The Media stepped into my vacation-induced void with their July 3rd program all about debunking national myths.  Some of their debunking targets: Rosa Parks as meek older lady whose feet were just too tired to move to the back of the… More →

Politics | Tagged , ,

Debunking debunking

To debunk, from the Oxford English Dictionary, transitive verb: To remove the ‘nonsense’ or false sentiment from; to expose false claims or pretensions; hence, to remove a person from his ‘pedestal’ or ‘pinnacle’. Also absolute. Hence debunker, one who debunks; or debunking. As one W. E. Woodward apparently said in 1923, “De-bunking means simply taking… More →

History, Politics | Tagged

Buchenwald vs. Balfour

Two days after his historic Cairo speech, President Obama made an appearance at the ruins of the German concentration camp Buchenwald, calling the chilling site the “ultimate rebuke” to Holocaust denial, of which Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been the most insidious recent example.  It seemed a brilliant rhetorical move: take the cultural capital and… More →

Politics | Tagged , , ,

Sticks, Stones, Words

Allow me to be naive for a moment here.  I know President Obama’s Cairo speech didn’t really say anything new; it didn’t set out specific policy initiatives; he gave it in a country run by a totalitarian regime. But part of me wants to stand up and applaud in my pajamas watching the speech on… More →

Politics, Religion | Tagged , , ,

Angels and Scientists

The release of a Da Vinci Code franchise always unleashes a flurry of debunking. Is there really an Illuminati? Can you really do that with a particle collider? According to an excellent essay by Dennis Overbye, director Ron Howard is well aware that the quasi-believability of author Dan Brown’s fictions are part of what gives… More →

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Puerco de Mayo Strikes Again!

Though the swine flu itself is not spreading as fast as anyone feared, the epidem-mythology hasn’t slowed.  The misinformation has spread from pork manufacturers to subway riders to the entire nation of Mexico. It’s not just the Israeli government who would prefer to associate the H1N1 flu strain with the Mexicans than with swine.  China… More →

History, Politics | Tagged , ,

Culture Wars: Winning the Peace

According to cultural critic Frank Rich, the culture wars are over. Between the economic crisis and the election of a President who has bridged the red-state/blue-state divide, and the accompanying splintering of the religious right, Rich argues, we have no time for the “divisive moral scolds” that haunted us in the Bush era.  Stem-cell research… More →

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