The Twitter Moronic Statements FAQ

Some phrases reappear so often from morons on Twitter that you’d think they’re all being fed the same ideas by the same media outlets… I often find myself responding to near-identical moronic tweets.

Here are ten of the stock concepts that reappear regularly in tweets and bios.

  1. Gays want to recruit our children: Of course they do… they belong to a secret organisation that plans to take over the world. Only the truly brave dare to even reveal its existence.
  2. Obama is a Socialist: or Marxist, Communist… an accusation always thrown by people who don’t know what any of these words mean (but it was on Fox, so it’s true).
  3. Muslims are taking over: Never mind that the Muslim population of Europe and North America is sub-3%; or that the majority of these aren’t devout; or that the majority of the devout ones have no interest in “taking over” anyway. Basically twenty attention-seeking nuts hold a rally in London waving placards that say “Islam for Europe”. The photos appear on Facebook. And rightwing racists copy these photos onto 1,000 blogs; and suddenly there’s a “Muslim problem”.
  4. Global warming is a myth: No matter that every scientific body in the world accepts man-made global warming, or that the evidence is so compelling that every serious political force in the world accepts the need for action. Or that the skeptic cause is funded by the fossil fuels business, which stands to lose billions of dollars if emissions are to be cut. What’s important is that the Republican Party has long ceased to be an independent political force, and instead is addicted to the oil dollar – and if morons like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann deny global warming, then it can’t be real, can it?
  5. Socialist-Fascist: Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic once enthusiastically supported the rise of European fascism, and the Socialists, Communists and Anarchists were the only mass movements that actively opposed the fascists. But given the messy outcome of the fascist experiment, the right attempts to rewrite history and associate fascism with the left. Of course, nobody who’s studied the history of that era would believe such nonsense, but who needs to spend years reading when it’s all available in minutes on TV, blogs and Twitter? Fascism is on the rise once more, but because the scapegoats this time are Muslims instead of Jews, morons think it’s something altogether new.
  6. I want my country back: A black man was elected President of the USA.
  7. We can’t afford it: The Thatcher/Reagan experiment with free-market purity collapsed in 2008, leaving a tiny minority immeasurably richer and everyone else worse off. But morons haven’t noticed this carefully managed redistribution of wealth. If the super-rich say “we” can no longer afford public services, then who are we poor suckers to disagree?
  8. Life begins at conception: The so-called “pro-life” brigade (who perversely don’t seem to value anybody’s life except for that of “pre-born children”) are insistent that “science says” life begins from the moment of conception. While this may or may not be true, depending on your definition, it’s also completely irrelevant to the abortion debate. Although given the pathetic nature of the arguments, debate is too strong a word.
  9. Anti-semite: Someone who dares to criticise anything Israel might do, however illegal and barbaric. I’ve been called this many times, which given that I’m Jewish and the insult often thrown by non-Jews, I find hilarious.
  10. They want to destroy our freedoms: A Neocon special. “They” have an issue with your freedom to invade and bomb them for their oil. Try bringing the troops home – “they” might not hate you so much after all.

Banning Sharia And Other Dangerous Things

About six months ago, the US state of Oklahoma pioneered the banning of Sharia (Islamic) law. It’s not too clear why, since Muslims represent only about 0.4% of Oklahoma’s population, but given Oklahoma’s habit a century ago of hanging black men from trees, picking on defenseless minorities seems to be standard Oklahoman thinking. At least 13 states have now proposed such legislation, for no apparent reason other than the fear of minorities that seems to make up an important part of the white American psyche.

I wondered if there were other “useful” laws that Oklahoma should consider introducing, and here’s a selection, with thanks to some helpful people on Twitter.

  • Ban Dragons – Big, scary and fire-breathing. A menace to all God-fearing Oklahomans.
  • Ban Faster-than-light travel – it may be impossible, but do we really want to take the risk? (@ikonografer)
  • Mandatory leashing of unicorns – have you seen the horns on those things? (@DanVerg)
  • Gravity to remain between 9.7 and 9.9 meters-per-second-squared – do you want your weight to increase suddenly without warning? Me neither.
  • Ban christian fundamentalism – proposed by @elizabethr1533 who is obviously a Muslim-loving Commie.
  • Ban monsters under the bed – thank you to brother @cpoffers for this sensible idea.
  • Ban Spiders were suggested by @seancourt, who obviously hasn’t thought about feasibility. Much easier to ban something that isn’t there.
  • Black men to be banned from running for President – no, I didn’t think it could happen either. Does Oklahoma want to risk it happening a second time?
  • Ban Gays – you mean they haven’t already?!?! (@mrrob88 and @jonrod1) – I should point out they were joking. I think.
  • Alligators over 1 metre in length should be forbidden from keeping pet cats (@metalollie) – I don’t think you’re taking this exercise seriously.
  • Bill Bertrand suggested on my Facebook page that False Raptures should be banned. Interesting idea, but far too sensible.
  • Also on Facebook, Tziedel Tammas proposed Equal rights for Martians – that’s much better, though the prospect of Oklahomans voting in favour of equal rights for anything seems unlikely.

Feel free to add your own below.

Benjamin Zephaniah and No2AV Lies

In a month’s time, the UK gets a rare opportunity to reform its voting system. We’re to be given a vote on whether to retain the existing First-Past-The-Post system (FPTP) or replace it with a somewhat more proportional system, the Alternative Vote (AV). I’m strongly in favour of changing the system – I’ll save the explanation for another post, but it’s clear that the existing power blocks are largely against changing the system, as of course you’d expect.

The No2AV campaign appears to be largely funded by the ruling Conservative party, and has regularly been accused of dishonesty and scare tactics; it is helped in disseminating these by the press, which is almost entirely opposed to AV. One of the No campaign’s smartest (and most dishonest) propaganda exercises came this week when it accused the Yes2AV of racism. The story was a well-orchestrated piece of spin: the No campaign had noticed that the Yes campaign was using an image of black poet Benjamin Zephaniah in London leaflets but not in others (see both leaflets below). The No campaign’s PR team then fabricated and issued a story that Zephaniah had been “air-brushed” from the Yes campaign’s leaflets in white areas.

The established media, which is almost entirely behind the No campaign, then amplified the story, adding embellishments – for example the Daily Mirror screamed about the fury behind the change (there was no fury to be seen other than perhaps in Britain’s newsrooms). The same Mirror article exposed the style of smear tactics being employed, with a No spokesman saying: The Yes ­campaign’s leaflet offers a chilling ­preview of politics under the Alternative Vote.

I first saw the story on Monday, and quickly tweeted as follows: Moron Paper of the day: Daily Mail for this pathetic attempt to call the campaign “racist”:

This propaganda was smart because liberal-minded Yes supporters will often be the ones most likely to believe and respond to unsupported accusations of racism. This was demonstrated in a reply to my tweet. A follower replied with: uh, no. I’m a yes supporter but that genuinely is really fkn racist. I disagreed and was quickly dragged into a discussion about “representation”.

Having finally been tracked down, Zephaniah has now stepped in to clarify matters, and as I’d originally guessed and tweeted, he confirmed that this was a non-story from the No campaign. He is quoted as saying: These allegations are preposterous. I am happy for the ‘Yes’ campaign to use my endorsement as they see fit. I am happy for them to use it in London, and as I understand it, in a nationwide letter. “Let’s talk about the real issue – how we renew our democracy. I want democratic change and that is why I am voting ‘yes’ on May 5

The original story made the prime news spot on Sunday morning, while the clarification comes on a Wednesday when it will be missed by many (assuming the press even tries to correct the misunderstanding). The No2AV campaign is making headway in confusing and weakening the issue, and is trying to rob us of our one chance to weaken the existing Tory/Labour duopoly. We have a month to fight back.

Ten Completely Made Up “Facts”

Sometimes I wonder why I (and many others) spend so much time trying to argue against completely fact-free “facts”. I research, find high-quality sources and provide links, only to be told that the New York Times is dangerous left-wing propaganda, or that Wikipedia is all made up. So if we can’t beat them, let’s join them. Counter moronic made-up facts with your own. Learn from the morons – here’s how they do it:

  • Make something up (if you can’t, then repeat something you heard from another moron).
  • Write a blog article about it. Make sure you link to “sources” – in other words, blogs carrying the same myth.
  • Tweet the crap out of it. If you’re really lucky, some crazy Fox pundit will pick up your fairy-tale and it’ll go global.

Here are ten completely made-up facts to get you started (just link to this post as a “credible source” if you decide to blog them).

  1. Glenn Beck is not American-born. He’s actually a mid-ranking SS Captain from Nazi Germany who was cryogenically frozen as part of a CIA experiment.
  2. George W Bush and Dick Cheney conducted a passionate gay relationship throughout the Iraq War, and so failed to focus on its aftermath.
  3. The far-right English Defence League (EDL) refuses membership to anybody who can spell.
  4. Sarah Palin is trying to suppress a doggy-sex movie she made at college.
  5. The Tea Party is a front for militant homosexuals who want smaller government so there’s nobody to stop them from turning all American children gay.
  6. Extreme Zionist settlers in the West Bank don’t have penises. They believe that when the last Palestinian is killed, God will return their genitals.
  7. Rupert Murdoch’s TV and newspaper interests are part of an extremist right-wing plot to reduce the world’s average IQ by 20 points (actually, this one might be true).
  8. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is Osama bin Laden.
  9. Koch Industries’ oil is actually made from aborted fetuses.
  10. Ronald Reagan and Pol Pot were best friends.

Over to you – feel free to post your own ideas below.

Shorty Awards: Success! And Thanks

Dear Readers,

At 5am this morning (UK time), the Shorty Award nominations finally closed. I’d been in 5th place in the Politics category, but was knocked down to 6th by a last-minute surge from The Bloggess. However, the top six positions in each category go through, so this means I’ve made the short-list in that category. Now it’s down to the judges.

Apologies to those I annoyed by lobbying for nominations – it’s all over now, I promise! And a big thank you to the 325 people who nominated me – especially those who nominated several times (sorry, each person gets counted only once though).

Click here to see the final positions in the politics category

Lord Monckton Runs Away

Twitter can be a cruel place, as “climate expert” and laughing stock Lord Monckton found out yesterday to his cost. Monckton is a British climate change denier, and makes a very good living from it. He is largely ignored in his own country, but it seems America and Australia provide more fertile ground for his brand of “science”, and no doubt his posh accent and title give him added credibility in those places.

Monckton is very important to climate change denialists – they seem to think that he adds credibility to their cause. And he is widely celebrated in the right-wing blogosphere.

Yesterday (31st January) I was alerted to the fact that Monckton had arrived on Twitter. He’d clearly been ill-advised – unlike the rightwing press and blogosphere, Twitter is a place that can bite back. No doubt Monckton was expecting an adoring welcome from his fans – and no doubt he got one. But this would have been at least matched by those who are less friendly to his “cause”.

You see, the great Lord is renowned to be a twister of facts. Furthermore, he makes an extremely good living by being the mouthpiece for climate change denial; a living he protects fiercely. For example, he is reported to have earned $20,000 (Australian) for a recent Australian tour.

Which is good work if there are people dumb enough to pay for it. But more serious, from a factual point of view, are questions about whether money from the fossil fuel industry finds its way into Monckton’s wallet. DeSmogBlog.com reports that Monckton is listed by the “free-market” think-tank The Heartland Institute as a “Global Warming Expert”. The article points out that this organisation has received over $791,000 from ExxonMobil, and that sponsors of its 2009 “Climate Change Conference” had received over $47 million from oil and right-wing interests, making it anything but an impartial scientific body.

Now, Lord Monckton is renowned for silencing his critics by issuing libel writs, so let me make clear at this stage that I have no idea whether the allegations I’ve linked to above are true or false. So you can imagine my delight when I was informed that I could now question him publicly on Twitter, and find out for myself.

I began by warmly welcoming him aboard: It’s nice to see oil-funded climate “expert” @LordMonckton on Twitter. Welcome! More info here: http://bit.ly/ifbS2B – providing a link to a DeSmogBlog.com article about him.

To my great delight, he swiftly responded to me, stating: I am not, nor ever have been, funded by the fossil fuel industry. At last! A chance for Monckton to set the record straight. I realised that he was denying direct funding, so I wondered about indirect funding. I asked Have you ever worked for a body that is oil-funded?

The next reply was somewhat puzzling. Rather than a straight “No”, he said: I have never “worked” (by which I assume u mean f/t employment) for an #oil funded body

This is an interesting definition of the word “worked”. In other words, he could work weekends and evenings, or even four days a week, for an oil-funded body. But so long as he isn’t working full-time for them, he considers that not worth mentioning. My question had clearly not been precise enough, and I decided to clarify: Wow – that was an evasive response. Have you ever done any work for an oil-funded body?

Amazingly, this great researcher, debater and spreader-of-truth didn’t answer! I was stunned. Could Lord Monckton be trying to hide something? Of course, some of his supporters did come to his aid:

@gopthinking said: @LordMonckton Don’t reply to that fool called @Moronwatch, he is a worthless communist!! Not worthy of ur time I assure you!!). Which gave me a warm feeling in my heart – I’m known and loved throughout the Twitterverse! But enough about me – back to Monckton.

He tweeted publicly: I grow more concerned by events in Egpt (sic) so I decided to restart the conversation, and said: You could always deny it’s happening. Works for global warming. This approach didn’t start the productive conversation I’d hoped for.

Next, at 00:32(GMT) @ionstp tweeted: hey @LordMonckton has blocked his tweets! What’s with that? Now we can’t laugh at them or him. Bummer!

I was amazed: this fighter for truth, this great and noble Lord who defends the persecuted and maligned fossil fuel business against accusations that it’s destroying the world, has shunned open debate!

And finally at 08:23(GMT) @NemesisRepublic tweeted: Oh! @LordMonckton seems to have vanished from Twitter! Should I now treasure for posterity the Tweets we exchanged?

And that was it: in a virtual puff of smoke, Monckton had vanished just as quickly as he’d arrived. No doubt, I was one of many who tried to engage in open discussion, and failed. But I’d like to think that I played some small part in the story of what must be one of the shortest-lived Twitter accounts ever.

Let’s Get Glenn Beck an Award!

(UPDATE: although nominations have flooded in, it looks like the Shorty Awards guys have suspended the Morons category, which is a shame, though I don’t really blame them acting to prevent their awards being used in this way. The count froze after Beck received 9 nominations, though you can clearly see he had many more than that.)

With only a few hours before the Shorty awards close, I hit on an idea… wouldn’t it be great if we could help Glenn Beck (Fox presenter, fascist rabble-rouser and scourge of peace and democracy) get a Shorty Award as Twitter’s top moron?

I nominated him this morning, thus creating a new Morons category; he’s already in the lead, but it would be great if he could get hundreds of votes – perhaps even a special mention at the awards ceremony!

Nominating is simple: either click here: http://shortyawards.com/glennbeck or simply copy and paste the following text and send as a tweet: I nominate @glennbeck for a Shorty Award in #morons because…

Thanks for your time – let’s show the world what we think of Beck and hate-mongers like him.

Final note – thanks to everyone who nominated me in the Politics category. I currently have 261 nominations (and counting) which I hope will assure me a place in the shortlist. If you haven’t yet nominated, there’s still time: http://shortyawards.com/moronwatch

Final final note: I apologise for plugging the Shorty Awards so hard for the past few days. It’s nearly over, and normal moron-watching continues in the mean time.

The Shorty Awards

As my Twitter followers will have noticed, I’ve been nominated repeatedly within the Politics category at the Shorty Awards, and despite myself, I’ve been getting a little excited about this. The award nominations close tomorrow (Monday) evening. At the time of writing, on Sunday lunchtime, I’ve amassed 210 nominations from my Twitter followers – for which I’m genuinely overwhelmed. I’m very grateful to those who have nominated, along with the many lovely comments accompanying the entries.

The top six nominations in each category will be short-listed for the final award ceremony; at this moment, I’ve made seventh place in the Politics category – meaning that a few more nominations should mean I go through to the next stage. If you haven’t nominated me, please take a few seconds to do so. I don’t read any great meaning into awards, nor place any great value on a trophy, but the fact that so many people have gone out of their way to feed back makes me confident that my time watching morons has been well spent. Getting short-listed will also help raise the profile of Moron Watch, meaning that my tweets reach ever further.

I was especially pleased to be told by a couple of female followers that they wanted my babies; so as an incentive to place a nomination, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a pint of semen (mostly mine).

As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll have my eternal gratitude! Please nominate here: http://shortyawards.com/moronwatch

It Must Be Moron Friday

WOW! Fridays are normally nice, quiet, getting ready for the weekend kinda days. But not today. Here’s a quick summary of global moron activity for this morning

  • Egypt in lockdown – most Internet and phone services are shut down in expectation of huge demonstrations after lunchtime prayers. Reports suggest that huge amounts of people have been rounded up, and that police shootings have occurred. Wikileaks provides a timely reminder of why Egyptians hate the dictator Hosni Mubarak so much.
  • Meanwhile, in the Land Of The Free(TM), Hillary Clinton refuses to support the uprising, instead asking the dictator Mubarak to “implement reforms”, and Joe Biden says that Mubarak isn’t a dictator. Is this the same USA that hates dictators, that loves Freedom And Democracy(TM)?
  • And now to gay-hating Africa: in Uganda, a prominent gay rights activist is beaten to death with a hammer, following anti-gay incitement by politicians and media. It should be also noted that today, UK authorities plan to deport a Ugandan lesbian, who faces harassment, and perhaps even execution under a proposed law.
  • And in the UK, semi-literate semi-comical far-right group, the English Defence League, fabricates a story about one of their leaders Kevin Carroll being shot at by “Jihadists”. This is intended to stir up anger among the EDL’s moronic followers in the run-up to a demonstration in Luton on 5th February. The police report only confirms that a man complained of something being thrown against his window.
  • Finally over to Israel, which has always complained that Hamas doesn’t accept its right to exist as a state (and therefore justifies endless war). A Wikileaks cable confirms what was widely known anyway: Hamas does accept Israel, within 1967 borders.

And that’s just Friday morning… GIMME A DAMN BREAK GUYS! Please?

9/11 Tweetathon

9/11 is one of the most significant events to affect America in the past few decades; and yet so few Americans seem to understand why it happened, or know anything about the events leading up to it. On September 11 last year, I posted one tweet per hour throughout the day on the subjects of 9/11, terrorism, the so-called “war on terror”, and world events in the preceding decades that played a part in building up global anger towards America.

I’d like to thank @dbudlov, a twitter user who has collated my 24 tweets into one block, and regularly reposted them to Twitter; here’s the whole set of tweets, with extra notes added in italics.

1) In memory of the almost-3,000 innocents, killed in New York by morons 9 years ago

2) 16 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. None were Afghan or Iraqi
(It’s amazing that Bush/Rumsfeld ignored this point, and most commentators still do. The attackers weren’t a mix of “Muslims” or “Arabs” – they were almost all Saudis, as is Osama bin Laden).
3) Most of the hijackers were Saudis. In 2001, the US had 10,000 troops in Saudi Arabia (fighting which war?)
(Let’s ask again: more than a decade after the end of the Cold War, what legitimate reason did America have for a military occupation of Saudi Arabia? Wouldn’t Saudis be a little… well, pissed off, to be under foreign occupation?)

4) Al Qaeda originated in Saudi Arabia, the world’s #1 oil producer, friend of America, and creator of fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam
(So… blame Afghanistan, right?)

5) On Sep 11 1973, the elected Chilean govt was overthrown by the army with help from the CIA. Around 3,000 people were later killed
(Coincidentally, America took part in an illegal attack against a democratic government on September 11, 28 years earlier. You couldn’t make this stuff up…)

6) The Taliban were never involved in the 9/11 attacks, although this was never made clear by the Bush admin.
(By blurring different groups with distinct ideas and aims, the neo-cons created the illusion of a powerful enemy, intent on attacking America. Mixing up Al Qaeda, a Saudi terror group, with the Taliban, a fundamentalist Afghan group, was part of this propaganda exercise.)

7) Iran’s last elected govt. was overthrown in 1953 by a UK/US-backed coup. Which kinda explains why Iranians don’t trust America
(Iran has never attacked another state in modern history. On the other hand, America has been repeatedly involved in destabilising Iran, and creating propaganda about Iran being a “threat”. Iran also has the 4th biggest oil reserves; these facts are probably related.)

8 ) The only chemical weapons used in the Iraq war were deployed by US forces in the city of Fallujah http://bit.ly/cC3Dsb
(Ironic huh? Given that “Saddam’s WMDs” were the reason given for attacking Iraq… click the link above to read about the aftermath of using chemical weapons in a city of 300,000 people.)

9) Around half of Americans wrongly believed Saddam was involved in 9/11. The Iraq war claimed at least 97,000 civilian lives
(If you’re going to support a war, shouldn’t you understand why the war is happening first?)

10) Like Iraq, the Vietnam War was started by a lie. An estimated 4m civilians died
(You’d assume the US would have learned something from Vietnam, wouldn’t you?)

11) In the 1980s, Reagan backed terrorist groups throughout Central America, resulting in around 200,000 civilian deaths
(3,000 deaths in New York bad. 200,000 deaths in Central America best-not-to-mention.)

12) In 1988, US missiles took down Iran Air Flight 655, killing 290 civilians inc. 66 children http://bit.ly/cx5DQw
(Terrorism is bad, m’kay? Except where it’s our terrorism.)

13) 1976: terrorist Orlando Bosch and 3 others with CIA support blew up Cubana Flight 455, killing 73 civilians. He lives in Miami
(Terrorists are assholes m’kay? Except for our terrorists.)

14) 1979 Iranian revolution removed The Shah, America’s torturer, from power. US still seeking an excuse for revenge
(How dare a Middle Eastern country refuse to be ruled from Washington?)

15) The terrorist IRA killed over 3,000 civilians in Britain and Ireland from the 70s to the 90s, with money from American supporters
(NORAID raised money for the Provisional IRA in the US, while the IRA were blowing up civilians in Britain and Ireland. Apparently some terrorism is worse than others.)

16) Both Saddam and bin Laden were American agents who went astray – pick your friends more wisely?
(The US helped bring the Ba’ath Party to power in Iraq via a 1963 coup, and later encouraged and supported Saddam Hussein in his illegal war against Iran. When Saddam gassed Kurdish civilians in 1988, the US response was muted and support for Saddam continued until Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. The Arab and Afghan mujahideen that became Al Qaeda and the Taliban was supported and trained by the US, partly in Pakistani “madrassas” during the 1980s. The results of US cold war policy in the region are clear today.)

17) Occupations always create terrorists. The US has over 1,000 military bases on foreign soil
(…in over 150 countries. People don’t like foreign troops on their soil – no doubt Americans would also object if it happened to them.)


18) Half a million Iraqi children died under US-led sanctions in the 90s, usually through shortages of medicine
(A total of around a million Iraqis died under the sanctions regime. In hindsight, this was done to weaken Iraq enough to attack it with minimal military resistance. This helps explain why Iraqis were less enthusiastic about the US invasion than expected.)


19) 1,271 Afghan civilians were killed in 1st 6 months of 2010 alone
(3,000 deaths in New York changed the world. Thousands of deaths elsewhere can be ignored.)

20) It’s not about Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia or Yemen. The terrorist problems emanate from Saudi Arabia and Israel
(The neo-cons turned America’s post-9/11 fear and loathing against convenient targets, avoiding the 2 sources of most anger and discontent in the region. The Saudi regime is among the world’s most tyrannical, but sits on massive oil reserves. Democracy in Saudi Arabia is a pre-requisite for Middle Eastern peace, and also a threat to US oil interests. Israel is America’s most reliable regional ally, and hence gets away with murder – literally.)

21) The “Saudi royal family” was a creation of the British Empire and later adopted by the US. Oil beats democracy
(As the British Empire collapsed, it appointed puppets to continue maintaining British interests. With the rise of the US Empire, these switched from being UK clients to US clients. If Saudi Arabia had no oil, America would call for democracy there, as it does for Syria and Yemen.)

22) The top Middle Eastern oil reserves and US control: 1) Saudi (check) 2) Iran (in progress) 3) Iraq (check) 4) Kuwait (check)
(The list of oil reserves by country reads like a checklist of America’s foreign policy priorities.)
23) In 2001 Rumsfeld said Al Qaeda had 100,000 followers. In reality, less than 1,000. The lie of the decade?
(The end of the cold war by 1990 threatened the power of the US military, intelligence community and arms industry. A new enemy had to found, whether real or fabricated. 9/11 gave the pretext: a small terrorist group took advantage of lax airline security to carry out a massive terrorist attack. Rumsfeld’s big lie laid the basis for the “global war on terror”. Acceptance that Al Qaeda numbered no more than a few hundred activists would have precluded a military response. The Al Qaeda brand was largely created by the US response to 9/11 – had YOU heard of it beforehand?)

24) The war machine sucks up tax dollars that could create the world’s best health and education systems. Just Say NO
(The “cold war”, the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror” were all chosen as pretexts to allow an endless American war. In 1942, hundreds of thousands of US troops were deployed to fight Japan and Germany, but the end of WW2 was a strategic turning point. Rather than bring the troops home, they were kept overseas, and remain to this day: 369,000 US troops are based in over 150 countries, maintaining the biggest empire the world has seen. While the empire drains America’s pockets, it creates trillions of dollars of wealth for America’s richest; the Global American War can be viewed as a massive redistribution of American wealth, from poor to rich. It can happen because Americans allow themselves to be frightened by a never-ending list of new enemies. As European empires collapsed, Europe was able to invest in health, education, transport and housing while America fell behind. Now it’s America’s turn.)