No, the Bible does NOT say “do not be afraid” 365 times

meme77The incessantly made claim that the Bible says “do not be afraid” 365 times is 100% false.  The phrase “Do not be afraid” does not ever appear in the Bible (King James version, since it’s the most commonly used). Not once.

What about variations on the theme?

Fear not” appears only 71 times.

Be not afraid” shows up just 26 times.

Do not fear” never appears.  Another zero.

So the precise meme is completely a 100% failure, but it we allow for some wiggle room — looking for verses with the same message, though not the exact words — we come up with just 97 hits, not 365 — giving the wiggle room meme a 73% failure rate.

That’s some pretty serious failure.  And if we’re lying about such a small thing, what else might people suspect us of lying about when it comes to our sacred texts and our deities?

No Monsanto didn’t create these “icky” things (and, no, most of them are not “icky”)


Of the seven substances the meme says Monsanto created, only one is correctly attributed to the company.  That’s a failure rate of about 86%. And that one substance is not related to any disease — a failure rate of 100%.

The actual creation of  Saccharine, PCB, DDT, and Agent Orange actually predate the creation of Monsanto itself by an average of 25.5 years, making this meme not just wrong, but laughably wrong.

Finally, four of the seven substances listed in the meme — Saccharine, Aspartame, (milk from cows treated with ) BGH, and glyphosate — are deemed safe for humans.

Yes, Monsanto created glyphosate, but studies have found that normal exposure is unrelated to any disease.

Saccharine was discovered by a Russian chemist named Constantin Fahlberg in 1878 in the Johns Hopkins University laboratory of Ira Remsen, a professor of chemistry.  Monsanto did not even exist for another 23 years.

By the way, according to the Mayo Clinic:  “…there’s no sound scientific evidence that any of the artificial sweeteners approved for use in the U.S. cause cancer or other serious health problems. And numerous research studies confirm that artificial sweeteners are generally safe in limited quantities, even for pregnant women.”


Aspartame was discovered in 1965 by James M. Schlatter, a chemist working for G.D. Searle & Company, 20 years before Monsanto bought the company (which it sold 15 years later to J.W. Childs Equity Partners II L.P.; since 1992, Aspartame has also been produced by Ajinomoto, Merisant and the Holland Sweetener Company).

By the way, Aspartame is safe. The  U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its use in 1981, and several European Union countries approved aspartame in the 1980s, with EU-wide approval in 1994. The European Food Safety Authority concluded in its 2013 re-evaluation that aspartame and its breakdown products are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure, corroborating other medical reviews.

The first PCB chemical was discovered in 1865, and German chemists synthesized the first PCB in 1881.  Monsanto did not exist until 36 years after discovery and 20 years after laboratory creation.  It wasn’t until 64 years after discovery — in 1929 —  that commercial production of PCBs in the U.S. was taken over by Monsanto (now Solutia Inc). PCBs were banned in the US 36 years ago.

DDT was first synthesized in 1874  — 23 years before Monsanto existed.Monsanto began manufacturing DDT in 1944, along with 15 other companies. Monsanto ceased production 38 years ago. Agricultural use of DDT in the U.S. was banned 43 years ago. A worldwide ban on its agricultural use was later formalized under the Stockholm Convention.

The insecticidal properties of DDT were discovered in 1939 by a Swiss chemist, Paul Hermann Müller, who won Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for its discovery, because DDT was so effective against lice, fleas, and mosquitoes — the carriers of typhus, of plague, and of malaria and yellow fever, respectively.

Agent Orange was first developed at the University of Chicago during World War II by Professor E.J. Kraus. More than 20 years later, Monsanto became one of nine wartime government contractors who manufactured Agent Orange from 1965 to 1969.

Genentech discovered Bovine Growth Hormone in the 1970s.  Monsanto licensed Genentech’s patent, but didn’t start selling the product until the 1990s.  In 2008, Monsanto sold this business, in full, to Eli Lilly and Company.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and the National Institutes of Health have all independently stated that dairy products and meat from BST-treated cows are safe for human consumption.

Because food safety and environmental concerns, as well as opposition to huge corporations, typically falls on the Left end of the political spectrum, we’ll attribute this meme to someone on the Left.  And we’ll point out, once again, the lying doesn’t work for the Left, so let’s knock it off.

Bull: “Every 28 hours, an unarmed black person is killed by police.”

The vitally important movement to decry police violence toward Africanmeme75 Americans and demand social justice is being hit by friendly fire.  The meme “Every 28 hours, an unarmed black person is killed by police.” has gone viral, and it’s just not true.  Lying never helps, so let’s not do it.

The figure “every 28 hours” comes from an April 2013 report titled “Operation Ghetto Storm” by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The report analyzed 313 killings of African-American victims in 2012  who were killed by police officers, security guards, or “vigilantes.”*

Yes, dividing the hours in a year (8,760) by 313 deaths does give you a death “every 28 hours,” but that’s only a third of the claim.  The other two parts of the claim — that the victims are all “unarmed” and that they were killed by “police” are simply untrue.

Among those killed in 2012, 136 people (44%) had no weapon on them when they died. In other words, most were armed.

The study looked at police officers, security guards, police officers moonlighting as security guards, and “vigilantes” that do not fit under any of the other categories.  In other words, they were not all killed by police.

The study included several deaths that were due to accidents, didn’t involve police, or don’t really fit the tag “unarmed.: Examples:

  • A woman died when she hugged an off-duty police officer from behind, causing his gun to – allegedly — go off and kill her.
  • A woman died after she was hit by a police officer driving his patrol car responding to an emergency call.
  • Even Trayvon Martin is included. He was killed by a fat, racist, gun-nut, not by a police officer.
  • A man was fatally shot by police when he ignored commands to stop eating a homeless man’s face.
  • In nine cases, police said they shot at suspects because they were charging at them from behind the wheel of a vehicle, yet these deaths were categorized as “unarmed.”

Thus, the “Every 28 hours, an unarmed black person is killed by police.” meme is busted. Lying doesn’t help the Left, folks, let’s not do it.

(* “Vigilantes” in the report are “self-appointed enforcers of the law” who had immunity under laws like “stand-your-ground” or the “castle doctrine.”)

Yes, our minimum wage is too low; no, lying about other minimum wage laws won’t help

meme70Yes, the US minimum wage is too low, and yes the minimum wages in many other nations are higher, but this meme is wrong — at whole or in part — on every single piece of data it presents.  Lying will not help us raise the minimum wage.

First, the big one:  Denmark does not have a minimum wage law.  If that fact bothers you, take it up with the U.S. State Department.

Second, Germany does not have a minimum wage law, either — at least not until 1/1/2015, when it will be 8.50 euro (as of this writing, that exchanges as US $10.40).

Third, in Australia, it’s $16.87 (as of this writing, that exchanges as US $17.39).


Third, in France, it’s 9.53 euro (as of this writing, that exchanges as US $11.65).

The only piece of data that’s correct in this meme is the US minimum wage — and even that is wrong in 23 states plus D.C

Of course, merely using exchange rates is such a crude method it amounts to another sort of lie (you may call it “misleading”), because what matters is what the worker can buy with his or her wage.  It’s called “purchasing power parity.”

According to  the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a research group for advanced industrialized countries, when you adjust for the PPP, the minimum wage in Australia drops to $10.20 and in France it drops to $10.60.  Local purchasing power in Germany is 17.90% lower than in US, which brings the German minimum wage (as of 1/1/2015) down to the equivalent of about $8.53 US (which is actually lower than the minimum wages in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Oregon and Washington).

One more time:  Lying does not help us.  The Left does not have the lying expertise or experience that the Right does, so it’s not a tool the Left should try to use.

Yes, Snoop Dogg is a felon

meme60“Rapper Snoop Dogg pleaded no contest today to felony charges of gun possession by a felon and sale and transportation of marijuana…. Two prior felony convictions — drugs in 1990 and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 1997 — were admitted to by Broadus (his real name) as part of the plea agreement.”

Martha Stewart was convicted of lying about a stock deal during a federal investigation.

If you want to play moral equivalency with these unrelated celebrities and their unrelated crimes, that’s your business.  I wouldn’t recommend it.

Any paid maternity leave is better than zero, so there’s no need to lie about it

So, tell me: How hard do you find it to use Google?  Because you could have meme60found the correct information in less than 10 minutes.  Just type “paid maternity leave Japan” in the Google search box and — voilla!--there’s an authoritative source with correct information.

But, here, let me save you the time.

Let’s start with the ONE country you got right: Mexico. You can take 6 weeks prior to delivery and 6 weeks after, for a total of 12 weeks.

Now, let’s look at what you got wrong:  the United Kingdom. This error is actually comical, since you lied too low.  You said the UK gives 39 weeks of paid maternity leave, but it’s actually 52 weeks.

At lest when you lied about Japan, you lied in a way that would support your point.  Japan allows 12 weeks — much less than the 68 weeks you claimed.

Finally, the real whopper:  Slovakia.  You said they allow for 164 weeks (almost three years!), when they really allow for 34 weeks.  You inflated it by 285%!

You know what’s coming next.  Leave the lying to the Right:they are trained professionals with decades of experience.

A full-time minimum wage job can’t buy a 2-bedroom apartment in any state? Bull.

meme34Take the federal minimum wage and multiply it by 40 hours: $7.25 x 40 hours = $290 per week.

Take out the standard taxes.  Federal income taxes will take $43.50, Medicare will take $4.20, and Social Security will take $12.18 per week. In Wisconsin (where I live), income taxes will take $17.83 per week. That leaves $212.29 per week.

At 52 weeks a year, that’s $11,039.08 per year.

Divide that annual income by the number of months in a year, and you get a monthly average after-tax income of $919.92.

I went to and searched for 2-bedroom apartments in Wisconsin with rent no highe10302215_10204421209754545_2073253991267443026_nr than $900.  The search returned hits on more than 310 apartments across a couple of dozen communities, including Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay.

C’mon people:  Life in poverty is hard enough that we don’t need to make up bullsh*t about it.  Leave the lying to the Right — they have much more experience at it.

Texas is miserable enough all on its own. There’s no need to fib about it.

meme339While we can all agree that Texas is the armpit of the world, this political meme attempting to make the terrible seem even worse is, shall we say, less than forthright in its use of data. This meme makes six claims about Texas, and only one of those claims is verifiably true and actually supporting the meme’s message.

Texas is #1 in worker deaths?   No. Texas actually ranks 22nd in worker deaths. Texas has a rate of four fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

That tied the state for 22nd with Alabama. North Dakota ranked first with a fatality rate of 12.4, according to the document, with Wyoming second (11.6) followed by Montana (11.2), Alaska (11.1), Arkansas (8.0), South Dakota (6.7) and New Mexico (6.6). Among the 10 most populous states, Texas ranked second to Ohio, which had a 5.5 fatality rate, according to the document.

Texas ranks #1 in poverty-level jobs?  No. While the meme does not define what it means by “poverty level jobs” (sic) or say where it got its data, Texas does not rank #1 (meaning the worst) in any readily available measure of poverty. Texas has the “third-highest proportion of hourly jobs paying at or below minimum wage.” Texas ranks 24th for median household income.  Texas is tied for 12th for percentage of population living in poverty. Texas’ poverty numbers clearly show it to be a miserable place to earn a living, but it’s not the worst.

Texas ranks #1 in carbon emissions?  No. Texas actually ranks 13th in per capita carbon emissions.  The meme writer may be trying to spin the data on total metric tons of CO2 emissions, for which Texas ranks #1, which is a meaningless number when comparing states — we’re talking  about human activity producing these emissions, so any comparative data must account for the number of humans involved (i.e. per capita). Yes, Texas is a nasty, dirty place; no, Texas is not the worst. Which, by the way, is rather remarkable given its dominance in the oil industry.

Texas ranks 49th in school funding?  No. In total outlay, Texas is second, behind only California; in state funding, Texas is third, behind only California and New York. In per pupil spending, Texas ranks 43rd.

Texas ranks 50th in the percentage of its population that has graduated high school. This is a bit of cherry picking meant to make the Texas schools look weak, when, in fact, the rate of students graduating high school in Texas is 86%, which ranks Texas third in the nation (tied with five other states) behind only Wisconsin and Vermont (tied at second with 87%) and Iowa (first at 88%).

While it is true that Texas ranks 50th in per capita high school graduates, the cause is immigration, not poor schooling:

The leading factor driving down the state’s rankings has little to do with the quality of public schools and everything to do with the rapid rate of immigration, said Alan Berube, senior fellow and research director at Brookings, a left-leaning policy think-tank.

Many Mexican and Latin American immigrants “came to Texas as adults. They didn’t come there to finish high school. They came there to work. So that depresses the indicator,” Berube says.

Texas ranks #1 in corporate tax breaks averaging $19 billion per year?  Finally, the meme gets one right.

As we’ve said before, the Right excels at lying, having more need for and more practice in it, so the Left really should leave the lying to the other side.  Those guys are professionals, and we just can’t compete.

Love is universal? No.

Actually, no.  Love is primarily a function of the limbic system, a complex part of structures withinmeme28 our brains.  Insects, worms, clams, crustaceans, octopus, snails and starfish are “living things,” but they have no limbic system, so they have do not have the capacity for love.  In fact, 98% of the more than 1 million animal species on Earth are invertebrates, and invertebrates have no limbic system (and no desire for love).  Similarly, plants are living things with no limbic system and, thus, feel no love.  (Pigs, by the way, are vertebrates with rather highly developed brains and doubtlessly do feel something akin to what we call love.)

Meme lists 10 ways Denmark is better than the US, all 10 are at least partly false.

meme28I’m sure that Denmark is a lovely place to live. The residents there always rank high on “who is the happiest” lists.  But these rambling and repetitive Facebook meme stretches the good news about Denmark too far — all the way to falsehood. The writer could not make one completely true statement, and that’s pretty sad.

  1. You make $61,000 as a teacher in Denmark? Bull.   The average salary for a 15-year veteran teacher in Denmark is $52,300 (the link shows it as about £31,000 and at this writing, £1 equals about $1.69.  The average American teacher actually makes $3-5,000 more than you do.
  2. You get a free education? So does everyone in the US through high school, and your implication that they don’t is false.  Your advantage is that the government welfare system also pays college tuition.  That’s a big advantage, so be honest about it.
  3. You get free health care? Yes, except for dentistry, for which you mostly pay yourself. Again, the advantage is big enough that you can be honest about it and it will still be impressive.
  4. You get paid to go to school? Bull. Tuition is free for anyone citizen of a country in the European Union, but your living expenses are not paid for and the cost of living is 47.30% higher than in US.  Restaurant Prices in Denmark are 98.42% higher and groceries prices are 20.57% higher than in US, while your local Purchasing power in Denmark is 25.93% lower than in US.
  5. You can afford to own your own house?  Bull.  Denmark ranks 36th in home ownership (64.3%), which is two notches below the 34th-place ranking of the US (65.2%).
  6. You can afford to own your own car? Major bull.  Denmark’s rate of auto ownership is 481 per 1000 inhabitants, which is low compared to other European nations and way below the rate of the US (786/1000). Denmark’s environmental ethic, close neighborhoods, low average income, and 180% tax on car purchases makes car ownership comparatively rare.  There are 500,000 fewer cars on Danish roads compared to similarly wealthy European countries and relative to its population, according to economist Lars Olsen from Danske Bank.
  7. You get 6 weeks (30 working days) of vacation each year?  Bull.  Your government mandates 25 days.  That’s still higher than the average American (16 days—none of it mandated by law), so you don’t have to lie about it.
  8. Mothers get a full year of maternity leave and fathers get a little less?  Bull.  The two parents together can take up to 52 weeks of leave.  The mother is entitled to four weeks of maternity leave before the expected date of birth and 14 weeks of maternity leave after the birth. The father is entitled to two weeks of parental leave after the birth. On top of that, the parents are entitled to 32 weeks of shared parental leave.  Again, it’s good enough that you don’t have to lie about it.
  9. You get a pension at age 65?  Partly bull, and so do we.  For those born after 1958, the pension age goes up to 67.  The amount of your pension depends on how long you’ve worked and how long you’ve live in Denmark – kinda like the US’ Social Security.  The average single-person pension in 2011 in Denmark was the equivalent of $12,403; the current average SS benefit to a retired American is $15,528. (And, don’t forget, your cost of living is a lot higher.)
  10. We pay an average of $8,500 in health care deductibles each year?  Bull. The average American household out-of-pocket expenses (deductible and co-pay) is $3,301.  By the way, the out-of-pocket expenditure as a share of final household consumption, is the same in both Denmark and the US.

Every Dane has the opportunity to live the American dream, you say?  I guess that depends on what you think the American dream is, but your attempt to paint economic life in Denmark as vastly superior to that in the US, falls flat.  Allowing for your redundancy and poor writing, you listed 10 advantages you, in Denmark, have over us in the US – and all 10 were either partly or completely false.  On four of them, the truth is that Denmark does have an advantage over the US, but you lied about them anyway, inflating them beyond their true advantage.

Your meme is a failure.