Facebook Fallacy #3 – Hungry Soldiers

This issue was actually in the comments on a previous post before I saw it on my fb.

Our soldiers are going hungry while Congress gets a pay raise!

It apparently ain’t so. The DOD (Department of Defense) and Snopes both clarify the exaggeration/misunderstanding.

Seriously–it is over a $600BILLION a year budget. I’m sure they can afford breakfast.


10 responses to “Facebook Fallacy #3 – Hungry Soldiers”

  1. Black Ops Mikey says :

    Still, it’s an aggravating situation and to the point, a FEW soldiers are going to miss meals if they can’t get the rations when the facilities are open.

    It’s a mixed bag and there is some reason to have a level of concern, granted some of the unintended hyperbole involved.

    Again, skepticism is a tool to get us closer to a more accurate view of reality.

  2. Black Ops Mikey says :

    So here’s something else about to which to be skeptical:


    The whole site seems to be a cornucopia source of skeptic thought, but pseudo science caught my eye.

    I don’t have time to pursue the topic, but maybe you can find something of merit in the ramblings there.

  3. Eric Sell says :

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “a cornucopia source of skeptic thought”. It certainly purports to be skeptical. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the Science BlogS (nor how it differs from Science Blog) to rate the accuracy of his information, although his insinuation that it is favored by “Angry White Men”–not his phrase, but it appears to be the meaning…lonely men in their basement–doesn’t sound promising.

    But anyway…

    I was taken aback, however, by a related article that blasts Wheat as a terribly unhealthy and addictive substance. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/how-wheat-literally-decimates-your-health

    True, the Chinese have done wonderfully with Rice, but I can’t imagine that Wheat is destructive. When wild grains were first being accidentally planted by hunter-gatherers as they morphed into more Settled groups, I don’t think they would have picked wheat, or continued to work with wheat, if it were that bad.

    But to tell the truth, I’ve never heard the idea of wheat having “narcotic properties”. I would have to research more to see if there’s any truth to it. Could “cravings for the drug” be confused with “hunger”?

    Yeah, I’ve been a bit slack with this site recently, so thanks for the additional material to research!

    • Black Ops Mikey says :

      As far as I can find out, the issue with wheat is gluten. This is especially important for those with Celiak Disease, but there is a growing movement in the medical community recognizing that there are (at least potential) problems with it. The major problem with wheat and gluten is that the gluten in wheat has been increased in the past couple of centuries and is not the wheat of our hunter / gatherer forbears not that of “Biblical times”. Increased gluten means resistance to disease and pests, plus it helps hold the bread together when it rises. You’d think it a win-win.

      However, some of the medical community link it to bad things, such as inflammation and aggravation of arthritis and fibromyalgia. It is also implicated in “leaky gut syndrome” introducing a whole host of problems including suppression of the immune system and fuzzy thinking plus other really potentially terrible problems.

      I know personally from the promotion of J.J. Virgin and her 7 things you shouldn’t eat, that dropping certain foods from the diet have enabled me to lose 25 pounds since last April (adding to the other 25 pounds I lost by not being stressed as systems programmer for Pierce County by virtue of forced retirement — losing my job saved my life). I’m not certain if it had any other benefits, but Group Health medical professionals are enthusiastic about the stats from the blood work I’ve gotten over the past few months (all the individual stats look really good, but the whole is less than the sum of the parts and I’m a physical wreck — just kidding, sort of). Unfortunately, the other people I know who might benefit from this regimen have not responded to the information so I have no way personally to know if it works for anyone else.

      Now my intent with greenmedinfo.com was to alert you to the info there as being a source of things to be skeptical about. While it is appealing to believe that gluten is responsible for schizophrenia (http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/60-years-research-links-gluten-grains-schizophrenia) because it is an explanation of things, you can understand my skepticism of the Explanation of Everything wrapped up in a neat package without any assistance of Albert Einstein. I want to see the validated research studies and experiments, please. I’d like to see peer review. I mean, that’s not everything, but at least give us something. I’m well aware that everyone who ate pickles in 1830 have died. I would not necessarily be able to rationally conclude that eating pickles causes death (although it might be that the aluminum in the alum used in making the pickles might lead to Altzheimer’s Disease).

      Finally, I am really really really convinced Aspertame is bad for me. I nearly went blind from taking flu medicine (not displaying it as an ingredient prominently) that had Aspertame in it (it has other nasty affects for me). I am, however, somewhat skeptical that it was discovered while the Searle Corporation was looking for a neurotoxin for warfare (I guess we could try dropping Nutrisweet Packets over Iraq, but I have my doubts about its effectiveness in that circumstance — I mean, the humanity of it all! The civilian collateral damage would be profound! No wait! The collateral damage for consumers here is profound — or seems to be!).

      A final thought: As the Reader’s Digest said, keep your mind sufficiently open and people will throw a bunch of trash into it. The need for skepticism has never been greater.

  4. Black Ops Mikey says :

    Here’s another disturbing statistic:

    In a 2008 survey, 58% of British teens thought Sherlock Holmes was a real guy while 20% thought that Winston Churchill was not.

    The United States does not have a monopoly on ignorance, but we might be better at it….

  5. Eric Sell says :

    Sherlock was real and Churchill was not? Oh dear…but as you say, the US is better at it, b/c WE’RE AMERICA BABAY–WE’RE BETTER AT EVERYTHING! 😉

  6. Black Ops Mikey says :

    More disturbing news:


    My response:

    Only 25% of the people in the United States have structural visualization (the ability to “picture” objects in 3 or more dimensions) according to the Johnson O’Connor Laboratories (they’ve been testing since the 1930s). Additionally, people with high analytical ability and high inductive reasoning make the sample of those who can even begin to understand scientific principles to be in a very small minority.

    So what do people rely on when they haven’t inherited the talent to understand the universe around them?

    Superstition based on feelings — resulting in a deeply divided nation that prefers to believe in empty promises that make them feel good, rather than objective facts which don’t.

    It’s not a very successful strategy for natural selection in the end and maybe the movie Idiocracy has it right.

  7. eSell says :

    So far as natural selection goes, we’ve been pretty successful so far, but admittedly, most of that success has been the result of Science–esp. Agricultural science and Medicine; until those things got going, we were too busy dying of starvation, disease, and war to worry about over-population.

    I tend to blame some of the science ignorance on what we might call the “Science Establishment”–I didn’t know a lot of stuff until I started looking for it, stuff that, at the time, I thought should have been Common Knowledge. Of course, this is beginning to be rectified by the efforts of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and others, who are more and more Popularizing science, so maybe there’s hope.

    • Black Ops Mikey says :

      There’s another problem and that is the modern industrial corporate / state establishment; an example of this is:


      By the way, the blog post represents one of the new technologies — the Zedity editor for WordPress: It gives greater control of the editing process.

      Another new technology I’ve been using is iSpring Presenter to create websites using Microsoft Powerpoint; the BritishIsraelism.com website is now updated with the new technology and also has a unique, if somewhat sarcastic, history of British Israelism (still incomplete):


      The new technologies use HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3 without my cat having to delve into the vagaries of the advanced technology.

      It’s hard you know: His paws are kinda big for the keyboard and it also takes him a long time researching and formatting stuff.

Leave a Reply to Black Ops Mikey Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: