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He urges developing skepticism about Internet forwards

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TO THE EDITOR:

Hey, folks, grow some healthy skepticism.

Those Internet forwards you're getting are not all truthful. Did you know Mars is going to be closer to the Earth than it has been in our lifetimes (or for the next 280 years), and will appear as big as the moon this month? That's what one forward says.

One also said members of Congress don't pay into Social Security. Another said to apply for the Cash For Clunkers program, you have to agree the government owns your computer. But neither is true. See, anybody can have "opinions," but facts can be checked. So check it out before swallowing this hogwash.

Record amounts of fear-mongering messages are zipping around right now. "Obama is not even a citizen!" one proclaims, despite the fact his birth certificate has been checked out and his birth announced by two Hawaiian newspapers. But the most gullible among us have been persuaded he is a Muslim stealth candidate.

Another really scary one claims Obama's health plan requires mandatory suicide counseling for the elderly. Says so, right on page 425. Turns out, however, that page 425 deals with living wills and advance directives, which a lot of us old folks have. And the plan makes these optional, not mandatory.

So how does one know what to believe? Start at a debunking Web site like snopes.com, factcheck.com or politifact.com. Sometimes, it takes a while for a rumor just out of the propaganda mills to get investigated, so give it some time.

There's one right now claiming Obama's health plan involves mandatory vaccinations of a secret substance from Jamaica called Boehner 225 to be injected into all citizens and will turn their skin black. With all the resulting black people, Obama will be a cinch for re-election.

Don Blegen

Spring Valley

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