Another hoax suckering conservatives? No, the Washington Navy yard shooter was not identified as a registered Democrat

September 30, 2013

As if it mattered.

Some poor minion, in thrall to the RWNJ Machine, Tweeted me today that all mass shooters have been Democrats. I know the family of one, who happened to be Republican.  The odds of all of them over the years (and we have about one mass shooting each week) being registered Democrats just defies statistical probability.  The Columbine shooters were not old enough to vote; the New Town shooter probably was not active politically in any way . . .

Masthead to National Report. C'mon would these guys lie to you?

Masthead to National Report. C’mon would these guys lie to you?

Oh, yeah, and the Hemingway™ Brand Solid Gold, Shock-proof Sh** Detector started clanging away.

I challenged him for a citation; he offered none, but kept tweeting badgering posts all afternoon . . . finally he named Aaron Alexis.  Well, if that were so, that would be one, not “all mass shooters.”  I suggested others who would not be Democrats . . .

Then, after I’d cooked, after I’d fed the critters, washed some dishes and sat down, I thought about.  Where’d he get the crazy idea that Aaron Alexis was politically involved at all?  Nothing in the Fort Worth or Dallas papers (he lived in Fort Worth for many months).  So I Googled it.  “Aaron Alexis Democrat.”

Here’s the story, at our increasingly least favorite site, National Report.  Out of nowhere, the National Report story claims Alexis was a Democrat.

NBC News has identified the suspect in the Washington D.C. Navy Yard shooting as Registered Democract Aaron Alexis, 34, originally of Ft. Worth, Texas (click here for report circulating on Twitter regarding the shooter). Alexis, allegedly a Muslim (possibly gay), was a civilian contractor who reportedly used the ID of a former employee to gain access into the facility. At this time, 13 people are reported dead and several others wounded.

None of the links in the story make any reference to voter registration or any other way of identifying the shooter as a Democrat.  Veering off into bizarre, tasteless parody, National Report said:

National Report has attempted to contact Darrell Issa’s office for information regarding an investigation into Obama’s involvement with this tragedy. Alex Jones has information regarding the attack that suggests this was a false flag operation to deter attention from Syria.

National Report extends its warmest wishes to the family and friends of those involved in this horrific attack.

These phrases are red flags for bad information:  “Alex Jones has information” and “false flag operation,” favorite phrases of unhinged conspiracy aficionados.  “Warmest wishes” seems a particularly inept and tasteless line.

Why would any reporter think the president was involved in any way, and unless the reporter had information California Rep. Darrell Issa was involved himself, why would he contact Issa’s Congressional office?  Congress would have no role whatsoever in any investigation at such an early phase.

“National Report” avatar for “Chase Logan.” A man running from the scene of a hoax?

The reporter is identified as “Chase Logan,” which is probably a pseudonym, a mashup  of “Chevy Chase-Logan Circle,” two neighborhoods in northern DC and Maryland.  Alleged to be a graduate of Georgetown Law, Chase Logan’s bio as a reporter looks like fiction.   This alleged reporter is also the wit who wrote the National Report story parody on a new “boobs” merit badge for Boy Scouts.

Taste, accuracy and information, are not in these people.

The claim that the Washington Navy Yard shooter was a Democrat is based in no report deeper than this horrible National Report story, and is a hoax.  Bogus claims from an established hoaxing site should not be given the respect and circulation this report got.  No other credible source makes the same claim.

When one spots “National Report” as a source, one may well bet that the information sourced there is false, aimed at the truly gullible.


Twitter Wall of Shame, the Truly Gullible:

  • File these under “anatomy of the spread of a hoax infection”

This next guy was even told it was a hoax site he got the information from; he chose to dismiss the warnings.

Update:  Missed this one.

Joemel921 came back for another duping:

This guy figured it out, but his whistle-blowing was too subtle:

Original hoaxsters back for another round:

Hoaxsters push deeper into the desert sands:

I don’t see that MSNBC offered the information this guy claimed:

Real crazies start to crawl out, now:

Update January 11, 2014:  Good heavens, is this hoax still finding ill-informed, unthinking suckers?  Take a look at some of the other debunkers.

Great photo for geography classes: Whole Earth, on equinox

September 30, 2013

You can only get this shot on two days each year.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day:  Earth at Equinox. From the Russian meteorological satellite Elektro-L

From Astronomy Picture of the Day: Earth at Equinox. From the Russian meteorological satellite Elektro-L

Explanation from NASA:

Equinox Earth
Image Credit: Roscosmos / NTSOMZ /
Courtesy: Igor Tirsky, Vitaliy Egorov Explanation: From a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above the equator, Russian meteorological satellite Elektro-L takes high-resolution images our fair planet every 30 minutes. But only twice a year, during an Equinox, can it capture an image like this one, showing an entire hemisphere bathed in sunlight. At an Equinox, the Earth’s axis of rotation is not tilted toward or away from the Sun, so the solar illumination can extend to both the planet’s poles. Of course, this Elektro-L picture was recorded on September 22nd, at the northern hemisphere’s autumnal equinox. For a moment on that date, the Sun was behind the geostationary satellite and a telltale glint of reflected sunlight is seen crossing the equator, at the location on the planet with satellite and sun directly overhead (5MB animated gif).

Wait. Animated .gif?  Cool!

The Earth at equinox, 2013; from Russan space program, via NASA.

The Earth at equinox, 2013; from Russan space program, via NASA.


No, November is not Muslim Appreciation Month; it’s America is Gullible Month, and you’ve been nominated Grand Marshal of the parade

September 27, 2013

Some people used to get suckered periodically by headlines in The Onion, before most people figured out it was a publication full of parodies.

But the along came The Courant; not everyone got that one yet.

Then there’s National Report.  Even fewer have it figured out.

So, there was uproar on Facebook, on Twitter, and probably on your e-mail, earlier this evening when this story leaked out gushed all over unwitting computer-screen gazers.

Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month

Posted about 10 hours ago | 167 comments

Obama announces Muslim appreciation month for November

President Obama announcing the month of November to officially be ‘National Muslim Appreciation Month’.

Washington, DC — President Barack Obama held a press conference to announce that he is declaring the month of November ‘National Muslim Appreciation Month’.

“The Muslim community deserves our full acceptance and respect,” Obama told reporters. “We have killed millions of Muslims overseas since the September 11th attacks. They are not all bad. In fact most of them are good. So from now on, November will be a month to celebrate the Muslim community, the Sunnah and the Quran.”

Khaled Matei who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood‘s Freedom and Justice Party told CNN he is pleased with Obama and his actions. “I spoke with President Obama by telephone yesterday and personally thanked him for what he is doing for the Muslim community,” Matei said. “This is definitely a step in the right direction I explained to him. Praise Allah.”

Obama informed reporters about his future plans for helping Muslims around the world. “I will be working with Congress in making it easier for Muslims to earn a Green Card and achieve American citizenship,” Obama said. “Currently as it stands, obtaining a Visa or Green Card for a Muslim is very difficult. There are too many background checks in place and I plan to fix that.” Obama continued, “Muslims are hardworking people who are just looking to live the American Dream like the rest of us. Mr. Matei of the Muslim Brotherhood assured me they want to come to this country to help us, not harm us.”

Obama finished the press conference by explaining to reporters how happy he is with America. “Folks, there is no way we could have had a ‘National Muslim Appreciation Month’ 20 years ago. That really says a lot about the growth and progress of this great country.”

‘National Muslim Appreciation Month’ begins November 1st and will end at midnight on November 30th. For any questions or comments please contact the 24-hour National Muslim Appreciation Hotline at (785) 273-0325.


– See more at:

And, just to make sure you know this journal has trustworthy reporters, they post the bio at the bottom of each story.

Paul Horner

Paul Horner

Mr. Horner has won numerous awards for journalism including a Peabody Award and a Pulitzer Prize. He was recently in the media for his heroics in stopping a robbery by quoting Pulp Fiction.
View all posts by Paul Horner →

– See more at:

Must be true, no?

Look, if your Hemingway Brand™ solid gold Sh** Detector didn’t start clanging at the headline, you need new batteries — maybe better get the thing calibrated, too.

Should we count the ways it’s a hoax?

  1. Would any president commending any group start out by noting the U.S. has killed millions of that group recently?  Do you think the White House estimates deaths that high?
  2. Did you see any reports of the President talking with any Egyptian reporters?  No.  Did you wonder who in the heck Khaled Matei is?  (Yeah, if you’re not going to be as wise as a cub reporter, maybe you should leave the reporting to the guys with the mainstream media.)
  3. You’ve seen how well Congress received their own members’ proposals for immigration reform that is sorely needed — when the Obama in the story pledges to work with Congress to increase immigration for Muslims, by relaxing background checks, didn’t your eye at least twitch?
  4. Did you notice the phone number listed for “The National Muslim Appreciation Hotline?”  First, when was the last time you saw any White House advertise a hotline other than a government service?  But second, didn’t you get the least bit curious about that number?  Hmmm.  (785) 273-0325.  I don’t even recognize the area code.  Google it . . . voila!  It’s the number for Westboro Baptist Church.
  5. The reporter has a Peabody and a Pulitzer?  He stopped a robbery by quoting Pulp Fiction?  Maybe you need to replace your Hemingway completely.
  6. Over at the White House website, they list and record almost every word that comes out of Obama’s entire operation.  Check it.  There’s no Muslim Appreciation Month.
  7. Maybe you have to have staffed Congress to notice this, but most Presidential Proclamations of National Pickle Week or National Ski Patrol Month are accompanied by a resolution from one or both houses of Congress asking the president to make the proclamation.  See any such bill for this?  I don’t see one.

I got suckered by a story in National Report a couple of months ago.  When you name your blog after one of the most famous hoaxes in history, you really need to be careful.  So I was suspicious from the start.

But it got picked up by GOP – The Daily Dose? That’s legitimate sounding enough to gullible Obama H8ers that I suspect they didn’t even pause.  Cleverly, Daily Dose listed the story as “via NRO,” the acronym for National Review Online — but of course, that’s not correct.

Then the Dominoes of Gullibility started to fall; among those suckered:

Wow.  How many people got suckered by that hoax?  Were you among them?


Jeff Danziger knows Texans, and DeLay, and Cruz . . .

September 27, 2013

Cartoon by Jeff Danziger, in the National, and other New York Times Syndicate clients.

Cartoon by Jeff Danziger, in the NationalMemo, and other New York Times Syndicate clients.

Jeff Danziger drew cartoons for the Christian Science Monitor when I discovered him.  He’s moved from there (as has a lot of the good stuff that used to show up in the print editions, especially since it’s gone to electronic daily publication).  But his style is cool, to me, and he’s spot on here.

I don’t think he’s a Texan.  Here he captures small-town Texas well, with an especially nice flourish in the Shiner ad on the pool table light.

Is this right?  He’s been nominated for a Pulitzer, but never got the award?


Two presidents, a study in blue

September 27, 2013

Pete Souza photo - Pres Obama talks backstage with Pres Clinton as Hillary Clinton waits to be introduced at CGI event 9-24-2013

White House photographer Pete Souza: ‏@petesouza 24 Sep Pres Obama talks backstage with Pres Clinton as Hillary Clinton waits to be introduced at CGI [Clinton Global Initiative] event today [September 24, 2013]

Pete Souza’s work as White House photographer continues to fascinate me.  He’s got more opportunity than most of us have to get great shots — but he’s also got a keen eye for a good story-telling photo, and a good eye for great photo composition on the fly.

In this photo, Souza captures two presidents lost in conversation, bathed in blue stage lights, awaiting their time on the stage; but next up is Hillary Clinton, who will introduce them.  Mrs. Clinton awaits her cue.  The presidents met at the annual meetings for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Hold on to this photo; depending on events of 2016, it may yet have many more stories to tell.

Milky Way in the Southern Hemisphere

September 26, 2013

What’s the southernmost unit of the U.S. National Park System?  That’s where this photo was taken.

Stunning southern night sky in Ofu Island in the National Park of American Samoa! They get a brighter, richer view of the Milky Way in the Southern Hemisphere due to the location on the globe. This is the only national park found in the Southern Hemisphere.  Photo: National Park Service

Stunning southern night sky in Ofu Island in the National Park of American Samoa! They get a brighter, richer view of the Milky Way in the Southern Hemisphere due to the location on the globe. This is the only national park found in the Southern Hemisphere. Photo: National Park Service

Many Americans seem unaware of worldwide holdings of the U.S. in territories, thinking the last territory was closed when Oklahoma or Arizona entered the union, or maybe Alaska or Hawaii.  U.S. territories today include the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam (from the Spanish American War), Puerto Rico (from the same war), and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as organized territories.  American Samoa is an “unorganized territory,” along with series of other islands in the Pacific:  Baker Island, Howland Island, Palmyra Atoll, Johnson Atoll, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, the Midway Islands, and Wake Island; and in the Caribbean, Bajo Nuevo Bank, Navassa Island (also claimed by Haiti), and Serranilla Bank, also claimed by Colombia.

Most of these islands offer much better star-gazing than is ever possible in Dallas.


Everglades National Park!

September 26, 2013

Sunset at Everglades National Park

Caption from Interior’s Tweet: Sometimes there are no words to describe America’s public lands. This photo @EvergladesNPS proves it. #Florida

Everglades National Park, in Florida, is a great example of wild lands that belong to all Americans, that we almost let slip away.

I’m not sure a painter could do a more stunning version of this view.


LocMap Everglades National Park

Location map: Everglades National Park in red. Wikipedia photo


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