Which is probably why the YouTube video clip that a loyal reader sent me the link to had me torn between guffawing and crying. Well, not the video itself; the video is a clip from The Onion, that awesome purveyor of satire, about a "Homeland Terrorism Preparedness Bill" (that doesn't exist) being reviewed by a Representative John Haller of Pennsylvania (who doesn't exist).
What had me twitching were the comments.
Yes, yes, I know, never read the comments section. I broke the cardinal rule. And now that I've done so, I'm even more worried that we might re-elect Donald Trump for president, because the majority of the commenters appear to be walking, talking, computer-owning, voting Americans who have the IQ of a peach pit.
First, though, let's see what "Representative Haller" had to say:
Congress shall now vote for approval of HR 8791, the Homeland Terrorism Preparedness Bill, as said bill requests emergency response funding up to and including... I'm sorry, this section is classified ... dollars to prepare for a national level terrorist attack and/or attack from CLASSIFIED. Funding for first responder personnel and vehicles would be doubled if said attack leads to more than 80% of national population being affected by CLASSIFIED. This funding shall commence with the first attack on CLASSIFIED or the first large-scale outbreak of CLASSIFIED, dependent upon which comes first. Civilian and military units shall be trained in containment and combat of CLASSIFIED including irradiated CLASSIFIED with possibility of CLASSIFIED airborne CLASSIFIED flesh-eating CLASSIFIED, and/or all of the above in such event as CLASSIFIED spewing CLASSIFIED escape, are released, or otherwise become uncontrollable.
Air Force units may also be directed to combat said CLASSIFIED due to their enormous size and other-worldly strengths. Should event occur in urban areas... [*horrified expression*] Jesus, that's... that's CLASSIFIED... far surpassing our darkest nightmares. Should casualties exceed CLASSIFIED body disposal actions shall be halted and associated resources shall be reallocated to CLASSIFIED underground CLASSIFIED protected birthing centers. A new Bill of Rights shall be drafted and approved by CLASSIFIED.
Having now reviewed the bill, I ask you to please cast your votes.
Apparently, "wrong." Here's a comment that appears on the video link:
If you have any intelligence at all or if you are just "awake" you can easily enough fill in the blanks "classified" Hmmm.. He is basically talking about radiation and disease(s) outbreak and containment, underground facilities and the general population which will evidently be gradually eradicated! Better get your house in order, light your Lamp and have PLENTY of OIL this is going to be a long, tedious ride until Jesus comes back! We don't know when, ONLY The Father knows so we should be ready AT ALL TIMES but these things happen FIRST, BEFORE He gets back, so you need to stay ready and "endure" with all you've got! Remember Jesus IS The ONLY Way! ~Heads UP!
This was fake video made by The Onion. Look at the logo in the lower right corner. Get a grip on reality.
It could be a fake, or maybe the onion logo is a replacement over the real logo. maybe somebody tampering with the video to make its seem like a fake and someone got their hands on it. The onion logo could be a cover up scheme who knows... But I will say this, all around us there is blood being shed, crazy earth quakes, murder, war, lies, the death toll is off the chain. muslims cut the heads off of little children and dance around with the corpses, evil media and music, promotion of violence adultery sexual immorality and greed. Things are so bad it just is not funny anymore. Rape is at an all time high and everywhere I turn I see gay people !!! yo mad people are gay its freaking crazy. yo we got dudes popping other dudes and little boys in the butt 24/7 365. the immorality these day is off the charts. anybody who thinks things are ok today has a nothing in between the ear. you gotta be real stupid not to see that something huge is going to happen.
At least one guy agrees with me:
Fuck's sake, people. It's satire. The Onion, you know? Satire? Meaning fake? Hello?
I think it's quite funny that the majority of those saying this is fake all have blank profiles almost as if they were created just to argue the legitimacy of this video...
Sounds like they have a plan if theirs a biological outbreak they mite of created something that can be air born and something about flesh eating hmm and if this is true some one must of got their hands on it and preparing in chase they release it on the public for some reason zombie popping in my head head there experimenting rabbits on people and that theirs a part in your brain that could make you so violent that your almost like a ghoul.
We have people here who, even when given repeated reassurances that a video that is obviously a fake is, well, a fake, they still insist that it must all be a giant conspiracy to keep them in the dark about ghouls and radiation and diseases and underground facilities and the Second Coming of Christ.
Whenever I think I've plumbed the absolute depth of idiocy, I find that there are deeper wells that I have yet to explore. As the quote attributed to Einstein puts it: "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
One of my favorite TED talks is by the neurophysiologist David Eagleman, who combines two things that don't always show up together; intelligence and scientific insight, and the ability to explain complex ideas in a way that a layperson can understand and appreciate.
His first book, Incognito, was a wonderful introduction to the workings of the human brain, and in my opinion is one of the best books out there on the subject. So I was thrilled to see he had a new book out -- and this one is the Skeptophilia book recommendation of the week.
In Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain, Eagleman looks at the brain in a new way; not as a static bunch of parts that work together to power your mind and your body, but as a dynamic network that is constantly shifting to maximize its efficiency. What you probably learned in high school biology -- that your brain never regenerates lost neurons -- is misleading. It may be true that you don't grow any new neural cells, but you're always adding new connections and new pathways.
Understanding how this happens is the key to figuring out how we learn.
In his usual fascinating fashion, Eagleman lays out the frontiers of neuroscience, giving you a glimpse of what's going on inside your skull as you read his book -- which is not only amusingly self-referential, but is kind of mind-blowing. I can't recommend his book highly enough.
[Note: if you purchase this book using the image/link below, part of the proceeds goes to support Skeptophilia!]