Fake News Sites: Are We the Chicken Littles of Today?

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It’s official. We’ve become a world occupied by Chicken-Little-esque populations who mindlessly accept “the sky is falling” news without so much as looking up to see if it’s true or not.

You know what I’m talking about, and I’d be willing to wager that even you, yes you, have fallen for fake headlines, especially those seen on sites such as Facebook. I’m truly ashamed to admit it, but I’ve been known to roll a cursor over a story title or two and I do because they’re so doggone alluring to those of us who can’t resist. They’re like potato chips, right?

It’s been reported that fake election news on Facebook generated more activity than 19 of the top so-called legitimate news outlets combined (legitimate news – now that’s a questionable statement if there ever was one).

Cow Born with Human Arms Able to Milk Itself

Why, other than having a bit of fun, do people write these stories? Well, the answer is simple … money, of course. Isn’t that the motivation behind much of what humans do?

Breaking News! Chris Christie is Illegitimate Love Child of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

For example, Paul Horner, a fake news superstar, has made a comfortable living by writing and posting faux news. In fact, you may not know it but I’m sure that, if you’re an avid Facebooker, you’ve probably seen and/or read at least one of his totally made-up stories. Such as:

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Don’t waste your time visiting the above webpage, unless that is, you enjoy seeing a ton of ads for clothing, Ellen Degeneres’ shocking secrets, Dr. Oz hawking wrinkle cream and, well, you get the idea. The ads are the reason behind the stories and headlines. Companies pay big bucks to post those things on websites.

The website listed above appears to be that of ABC News. However, the site address is not that of the real news agency. It is close, though. But the extra “.co” at the end of the address is what sets off the “fake site” alarm bells.

There are many other fake news sites out there, and they’re all waiting for us to click the bait-filled headlines. Unfortunately, all that’s accomplished is that headline-clickers are lining the pockets of those who write and publish the tall tales AND, these stories have been known to generate tons of of anger, gnashing of teeth, and exploding tempters equal to infernos of raging hellfire.

Believing these faux stories as hard fact has divided family and friends. They’ve caused anger and resentment. I see friends arguing and backstabbing and name calling each and every day over something I know to be totally false—a fake news report on Facebook. And, it is believed by some that these stories and click-baity headlines may have influenced the outcome of the recent election, another source of extreme anger.

Electoral College Disbanded: Future Elections to be Decided by Savvy Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil

Many of these websites appear to be absolutely legitimate and their headlines reach out to grab us by the hand throat to reel us, the unsuspecting sheep, inside.

Here’s a great example of headlines that seem true, especially if the reader already has a dislike for cops and firefighters.

From Call the Cops, a website dripping with satire (but people believe it!):

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And …

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I know people believe these stories because someone read and complained about an article I published where I stated police officers are not trained to shoot hands, feet, weapons from a suspect’s hands, etc. The reader sent me a nasty note saying I didn’t have a clue what I was talking about because they saw a more reliable news article that reported a new mandate handed down by the Department of Justice that absolutely proved my information to be incorrect. The article-reader went on to say, according to the piece he/she read online, the DOJ has ordered all U.S. police officers to stop aiming for center mass and instead point their weapons toward softer targets, such as those aforementioned hands and feet. This, of course, was a faux article posted to Call the Cops.

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So, to hopefully put a damper on this horrible trend of people obtaining their news from phony sources, Facebook and Google are each cracking down by removing these faux sites from their advertising networks. Other sites are posting lists of these phony news sources. I know, how do we know if the sites posting the fake news sites are telling the truth?

I’m so confused.

But the sun is shining today and all is well. Unless you believe the latest report …

Chicken Little DEAD! Foxey Loxey and Henny Penny Arrested for Murder-For-Hire Scheme

 

* PLEASE, DO NOT POST POLITICAL COMMENTS!!!!!

(Seriously, this is real)

 

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But, I Saw it on Facebook: Chicken Little Now Identifies as Turkey Lurkey

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You’ve all read the headlines, the super-real stories posted to Facebook and other social media. And we all know, if it’s posted on Facebook it’s got to be true, right? For example, here are a few headlines I found this this morning …

  1. Chicken Little Now Identifies as Turkey Lurkey. Henny Penny Sues for Divorce
  2. Three Blind Mice Pass California Driver’s License Exam
  3. Hickory Dickory “Doc” Arrested for Over-Prescribing Oxycontin to Actors and Musicians
  4. Georgie Porgy Kissed the Girls and Spent Six Months in Sex Rehab with Anthony Weiner
  5. The House that Jack Built Seized by Courts After Cops Find Large Marijuana Grow Operation Inside
  6. Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall and Was Arrested for Trespassing
  7. Jack and Jill Went Up a Hill. Jogger Finds Jill’s Body Two Weeks Later
  8. Little Bo Beep Jailed as Leader of Sheep Tail Smuggling Ring
  9. Little Jack Horner Arrested for Murder of Miss Muffett After Thumbprint Discovered on Muffet’s Tuffett
  10. Tommy Tittle Mouse Arrested for Trespassing in Other Men’s Ditches. Will Serve 60 Days in Old Woman’s Shoe
  11. Man in the Moon Welcomes Americans Who Left Earth After 2016 Election
  12. Teacher Arrested for Having Sex with Mary’s Little Lamb. 22-Year-Old Educator Did Not Reply to Reporter’s Messages
  13. 2,200 Pounds of Cocaine Discovered on Michael’s Boat as He Attempted to Row it Ashore on the Florida Keys
  14. Italian Restaurants Ordered to Install Shields on Buffet Tables After Man Sneezes Meatball Onto Floor and Out the Door
  15. Police Pursuit Takes Officers Over the River and Through the Woods. Ends at Grandma’s House Where They Discover Illegal Edible Marijuana Operation—Pot-Infused Puddings and Pumpkin Pies
  16. Mary Mary Quite Contrary Burns Mouth on McMother Cupboard’s Hot Pease Porridge. Sues Fast Food Giant for 100 Million
  17. Man Pops Weasel. Sentenced to 5 Years For Public Sex Display
  18. Same Sex Couple Sues Baker for Refusing to Pat Their Cakes
  19. Rub-a-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub Becomes Legal in North Carolina
  20. Simon No Longer to be Called Simple Says University President. More Safe Spaces Needed. The Word “Pie” To Be Banned from Campus Conversations
  21. Skipping Deemed Offensive on Many College Campuses. Lou Organizes Massive Protest
  22. To Market, To Market, To Buy a Fat Size-Challegend Pig
  23. Wee Willie Winkie Charged as Pedophile for Peeping Into Windows of Children While Wearing Nightgown
  24. Yankee Doodle Charged with Fraud After Attempting to Pass a Feather as Macaroni
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Poor Myrtle: Marijuana May Become Legal in California … sort of

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There’s a chance that when next Tuesday has come and gone recreational marijuana may be legal in California, among other states. California, as you may know, is typically a state that leans a bit to the liberal side, and one would think that recreational marijuana use would be a no-brainer out here in the land of little or no rain and movie stars and, well, there’s San Francisco. But, many in California are fighting the legalization of pot with every single ounce of energy they can muster.

For example, city leaders where we live absolutely oppose both medical and recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in California, but we have an ordinance on the books that prohibits pot dispensaries from setting up shop here. So, local patients travel 10 miles or so to a nearby city to purchase their leafy-green medicine where, by the way, they pay a hefty pot-related sales tax to that city. Then they drive back home to smoke, eat, or vaporize their pain and anxiety relief. It even comes in the form of topical creams and ointments.

Therefore, our neighboring city is raking in barrels full of cash in taxes while our city is begging us to vote for Measure P (one of many options on the two-page ballot) so that we can maintain our current number of police officers, fire stations, street repairs, and schools. Without the passage of Measure P, city leaders say they’ll be forced to layoff police officers, close fire stations, and rarely ever repair a pot hole. I’m almost certain our bridges will soon crumble and schools will be forced to evacuate for good. However, I’m also certain the salaries and benefits of city officials will continue to climb, as always.

The city’s web page practically begs voters to support the measure by stating—“Measure P authorized a 1% increase in the local sales tax rate for five years to protect safety, services, and the quality of life.” Well, five years has now passed and they want us to do this again. So, what, we’re all going to die if this measure doesn’t pass? But sure, let’s send our millions of pot-tax dollars over to City B so their officials can enjoy a worry-free budget, and their residents will feel safe and secure knowing they have basic services, such as firefighters and police officers. And their quality of life will be all flowers and puppies while we slowly swirl our way to the bottom of the government toilet.

Another nearby city is also fighting the legalization of marijuana, and they’ve made serious plans in case this becomes law (heaven forbid that 80-year-old Myrtle smokes a joint or two to help her stave off cancer pain).

Since the new state law would permit individuals, including poor old Myrtle, to grow up to six plants, council there unanimously voted, by Urgency Ordinance, to do this (below) in anticipation of voters having their way:

  1. Marijuana cultivation must be in a fully enclosed and secured room of a private residence, may not occur outdoors and is limited to six plants per private residence.
  2.  Grow lights are prohibited in any structure used for habitation.
  3. Grow lights not exceeding 1,000 watts per lights can be in other structures, but must comply with building and fire codes.
  4. Filtration and ventilation systems must be installed to prevent marijuana odors from leaving a structure.
  5. Rooms and structures cannot be accessible to people under the age of 21, according to the ordinance.

Finally, the city government stated that they, in no way, are taking sides, either for or against marijuana usage. However, they’ve made it so people cannot grow the plants inside (plants won’t grow without a light source) or outside of their homes, and if they decide to do so in an outbuilding the building must be equipped with mega-expensive ventilation and odor suppression equipment. In other words, they’re complying with the new laws, if passed, but they’ve made it impossible for average citizens to take advantage of the passage of those laws.

I can see it now, narcotics task forces in California will evolve into Light and Fan Police, with teams conducting nighttime raids on backyard sheds to seize illegal buildings, fans, and vents. They’ll have to leave the drugs behind, though, because they’ll be legal to possess.

Whatever happened to the carefree good old days when people simply bought their pot from a guy who lived … well, you know the guy.

Poor Myrtle …

 

*By the way, this article is no way a sign of my support or non-support of marijuana legalization. Instead, it’s a grouping of comments I’ve read and heard all rolled into one collective blog post. Still, poor Myrtle.

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Madam Zorba’s Weiner Predictions

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From time to time I turn to my good friend Madam Zorba for advice, especially when I’m troubled. And what could be more concerning than the 2016 presidential election? So, I stopped by the wise soothsayer’s place of business this morning to see if she had any thoughts about the latest scandal involving FBI director, James Comey, and his recent announcement regarding a federal “Weiner probe.”

Here’s what she had to say.

1. FBI Director James Comey will soon land a new job as a street-food vendor selling weiners to Washington tourists and politicians.

2. Trump, if elected (this information is still extremely cloudy), will appoint Anthony Weiner as the new FBI director.

3. Hillary Clinton says hot sauce is great on Comey’s weiners.

4. It is because of Comey’s Weiner probe that hot dog stocks plummet to record lows.

5. Trump loves Comey’s weiners, with or without hot sauce.

6. Huma Abedin announces – “Hillary doesn’t like my Weiner.”

7. The Trump campaign trades their tour bus for the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.

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8. Madam Zorba showed me an image that appeared inside her crystal ball.

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9. The first image faded and was replaced by …

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10. And …

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*Please, I am not endorsing or promoting either presidential candidate. This post is intended as a tongue-in-cheek chuckle, albeit a corny one, at the latest development in the election. It’s a JOKE. Do NOT attempt to read between the lines because there’s nothing there but blank space. And, this blog is not the place for political rants and raves or arguments about gun control, race, and/or religion.

Finally, Madam Zorba was not harmed during the writing of this blog post. However, she did report feeling a bit nauseous. I certainly understand.

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I Am Offline: Be Back Soon

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I am currently offline and will be for a few days. Denene and I are assisting with repairing damage to family property caused by the recent hurricane that struck the East Coast.

Many roads in the area are still flooded, impassable, and/or totally washed out. Some businesses and homes are still partially submerged and people sometimes navigate parking lots and side streets in small boats.

Conditions in many places are definitely less than desirable and in some cases, devastating. But it is what it is and the locals are survivors.

Until I return, I thank you for your patience.

In the meantime, #hurricanematthewsucks

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