Thursday, April 8, 2010

Getting your facts straight.

Ok, just a quick post here, but I'm going to drop a bombshell: Not everything people say on Facebook is true.

I know! Who would have thought that!? For example, a fellow I know from my mission is very torn up about the Health care Bill. He often posts derisive little snippets about it. Today's offering:

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. -Thomas Jefferson

Yes, well, that's nice I guess. I don't like to argue with TJ, he knew his stuff. However, I won't lie, Imma bit of skeptic so I Googled it. What came back was a page from what calls itself "The Jefferson Encyclopedia" which stated,

"if we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy." - Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 29 November 1802[1]

Note: This passage has often been mis-quoted as, "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Ford and L&B have also slightly mis-transcribed the original text as, "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy."

So after 10 seconds of effort we now have the truth. Or at least, what TJ actually said, citations and all. And what started out as a statement about the American People preventing government subsidies in general is actually a statement about the government itself preventing waste. The two are still pretty close, and Mission Buddy could probably use the real statement to argue his point, but I don't think it would nearly as easy. Crazy.

That is all.


4 comments:

coolmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coolmom said...

Nice job Mike, way to get your facts straight. I think a lot of comments on FB are just dumb.

CoolBoy said...

I think there's a lot of dumb comments too. (And maybe also a lot of dumb people.)

quippish endeavor said...

wahoooooo! i discovered michael has a blog!

dumb comments and dumb people are rampant on facebook. where oh where would we be without google?

-janell