“This is the most important election of all time!” (again)

You’ve probably heard by now that if Obama wins a second term we will become a socialist nation, gun ownership will be made illegal, our country will be unrecognizable by the end of his term, and on and on. If you listen to leaders on the Right it sounds like this election is the most important election of all time and that all of America’s freedoms are staked Romney defeating Obama. There’s just one problem. I remember 2008.

In 2008 prominent Christian Right group Focus on the Family put out a sixteen page document called “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America.” The document was in the form of a letter, a (fictional) letter from a Christian in 2012 writing back from the future about all the changes that had happened since Obama took office. Let’s take a look, shall we? The letter starts like this:

October 22, 2012

Dear friends,

I can hardly sing “The Star Spangled Banner” any more. When I hear the words,
O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Now in October of 2012, after seeing what has happened in the last four years, I don’t think I can still answer, “Yes,” to that question. We are not “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more.

The 2008 election was closer than anybody expected, but Barack Obama still won. Many Christians voted for Obama – younger evangelicals actually provided him with the needed margin to defeat John McCain – but they didn’t think he would really follow through on the farLeft policies that had marked his career.

They were wrong.

In other words, the purpose of this letter is to scare evangelicals – especially younger evangelicals – out of voting for Obama and convince them to vote for McCain. Here are some excerpts regarding the changes that were supposedly going to happen over the four years following 2008 if Barack Obama was elected (the things that will happen are numbered, and I have maintained that numbering):

(1) The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys.

That didn’t happen. The Boy Scouts still discriminate against gay people, and no one is stopping them. They also discriminate against atheists, which means my eagle scout husband will not be able to enroll our son Bobby in boy scouts.

(2) Elementary schools now include compulsory training in varieties of gender identity in Grade 1, including the goodness of homosexuality as one possible personal choice. Many parents tried to “opt out” their children from such sessions, but the courts have ruled they cannot do this, noting that education experts in the government have decided that such training is essential to children’s psychological health.

Nope, actually, schools are still generally unsafe places for LGBTQ youth. LGBTQ teens are still committing suicide because of the abuse they face, not just from other students but sometimes even from teachers.

(10) One change regarding the status of homosexuals did not wait for any Supreme Court decision. In the first week after his inauguration, President Obama invited homosexual rights leaders from around the United States to join him at the White House as he signed an executive order directing all branches of the military to abandon their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and to start actively recruiting homosexuals.

As a result, homosexuals are now given special bonuses for enlisting in military service (to attempt to compensate for past discrimination), and all new recruits, and all active-duty and reserve personnel, are compelled to take many hours of “sensitivity training” to ensure they demonstrate positive attitudes toward those with different sexual orientations and practices. Any one who seems hesitant or who objects is routinely passed over for promotion. In addition, any chaplain who holds to an interpretation of Scripture that homosexual conduct is morally wrong and therefore does not espouse “mainstream values,” is dismissed from the military.

This one comes closest to being true. Obama did repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (though it took him a while to do so!). But for some reason the author of this letter couldn’t stop there. Special bonuses for new recruits who are gay? Anyone who is not 100% pro gay rights is passed over for promotions? Um, no. That’s not happening. All that changed is that gay soldiers can now, like, tell people that they’re gay.

(11) High schools are no longer free to allow “See You at the Pole” meetings where students pray together, or any student Bible studies even before or after school.

What? Nope, no one is stopping kids from praying before school and no one is busting up Bible studies.

(15) Congress lost no time in solidifying abortion rights under President Obama. In fact, Obama had promised, “The first thing I’ll do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” (July 17, 2007, speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund). This federal law immediately nullified hundreds of state laws that had created even the slightest barrier to abortion. States can no longer require parental involvement for minors who wish to have an abortion, waiting period, informed consent rules, restrictions on tax-payer funding or restrictions on late-term abortions. The act reversed the Hyde Amendment, so the government now funds Medicaid abortions for any reason. As a result, the number of abortions has increased dramatically. The Freedom of Choice Act also reversed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, so infants can be killed outright just seconds before they would be born. States whose laws were overturned challenged the law in court but it was upheld by the Obama Supreme Court.

Um, actually, the reality is the exact opposite of this. Between 2008 and 2012 abortion restrictions absolutely ballooned. And the Hyde amendment, prohibiting federal funding for abortion, is still firmly in place.

Also, I’m curious about the suggestion that lifting restrictions on abortions would cause the numbers of women having abortions to “increase dramatically.” If this suggestion is true, it would mean that there are significant numbers of women out there today who want abortions and end up being forced to carry their pregnancies to term and become mothers because they are unable to obtain abortions. I’m sure this is the reality for some women, but how many? Not for as many as the author of this letter things, I’m hoping. But regardless, this statement does make clear the goal of restrictions on abortions – preventing women from accessing constitutionally protected health care.

Alternatively, of course, the author may think that if abortion were as easy to get as a lolly pop, there would be lots of women who are actually okay with the idea of having a baby who would run out and get on at a moment’s notice because, I don’t know, they got annoyed at wearing maternity clothes or something. I remember hearing this attitude as a child, this idea that women were somehow so empty minded that if abortion was available in the local drug store, they’d just run in and get one, as if the decision to have an abortion was something women made lightly and without thought. On a lark, like.

(18) It’s almost impossible to keep children from seeing pornography. The Supreme Court in 2011 nullified all Federal Communications Commission restrictions on obscene speech or visual content in radio and television broadcasts.

Nope. Didn’t happen.

Also, how come the Christian Right is against regulations when they apply to how businesses operate, but all for regulations when it comes to how TV and radio stations operate? I mean, if the free market is so glorious, the “magic hand” and all that, why would it not work in the case of TV and radio? I mean, wouldn’t some channels bill themselves as obscenity-free just to get viewers, while others would go all whole hog obscenity to get a different set of viewers, and then everyone would be happy?

(19) It is illegal for private citizens to own guns for self-defense in eight states, and the number is growing with increasing Democratic control of state legislatures and governorships.

Believe it or not, no one has taken away your guns and no one will. I have yet to meet a single Democrat who wants to completely ban private ownership of guns. (Regulating is not banning. Requiring background checks is not banning. Requiring courses on gun safety, or whatever else, is not banning. Unless, that is, requiring drivers licenses = banning cars.) Also, believe it or not, Obama has not enacted any new gun regulations while in office. NOT ONE. So yeah, that didn’t happen.

(20) Parents’ freedom to teach their children at home has been severely restricted. … The Supreme Court declared that home schooling was a violation of state educational requirements except in cases where the parents (a) had an education certificate from an accredited state program., (b) agreed to use state-approved textbooks in all courses, and (c) agreed not to teach their children that homosexual conduct is wrong, or that Jesus is the only way to God, since these ideas have been found to hinder students’ social adjustment and acceptance of other lifestyles and beliefs, and to run counter to the state’s interest in educating its children to be good citizens. Parents found in violation of this ruling have been subject to prosecutions for truancy violation, resulting in heavy fines and eventual removal of their children from the home. Thousands of home schooling parents, seeing no alternative in the United States, have begun to emigrate to other countries, particularly Australia and New Zealand, where home schooling is still quite prevalent.

Didn’t happen.

Also, could someone from Australia or New Zealand please explain why your countries represent the wet dream of homeschoolers? Almost every time any homeschool advocate discusses the potential regulation of homeschooling in this country, they follow it with “let’s just all move to Australia/New Zealand.” Supposedly, there are already American homeschoolers doing just that. So spill. Do you guys not regulate homeschooling at all or something?

(21) President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise and began regular withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, completing it in the promised 16 months, by April 2010. All was peaceful during those months, but then in May 2010, Al-Qaida operatives from Syria and Iran poured into Iraq and completely overwhelmed the Iraqi security forces. A Taliban-like oppression has taken over in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of “American sympathizers” have been labeled as traitors, imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The number put to death may soon reach the millions.

Al-Qaida leaders have been emboldened by what they are calling the American “defeat” and their ranks are swelling in dozens of countries.

Didn’t happen. Instead, Obama had Osama Bin Ladin killed. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, huh?

(22) President Obama directed U.S. intelligence services to cease all wiretapping of alleged terrorist phone calls unless they first obtained a warrant for each case. Terrorists captured overseas, instead of being tried in military tribunals, are given full trials in the U.S. court system, and they have to be allowed access to a number of government secrets to prepare their defense.

Since 2009, terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing hundreds, and the entire country is fearful, for no place seems safe.

I’m wracking my brain, and I’m not coming up with a single Islamic terrorist attack in this country in the last four years. Well, that one Muslim psychologist in the U.S. army killed several dozen soldiers on an army base, I suppose that counts – though it didn’t involve the “terrorist bombs” predicted. That guy out in Norway killed almost a hundred people, but he was a right wing extremist and that wasn’t the U.S. We’ve had plenty of shootings, from Gabrielle Giffords to the guy in Aurora to the guy who shot up a Sikh temple (because it looked Muslim, I guess), but those weren’t the Islamic terrorist attacks this letter suggests. So yeah. Didn’t happen.

(23) In early 2009, [Russia] followed the pattern they had begun in Georgia in 2008 and sent troops to occupy and re-take several Eastern European countries, starting with the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. President Obama appealed to the United Nations (UN), taking the same approach he had in his initial statements when Russia invaded Georgia in August 2008: “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war,” and “All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis,”

But Russia sits on the Security Council, and no U.N. action has yet been taken.

Then in the next three years, Russia occupied additional countries that had been previous Soviet satellite nations, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, with no military response from the U.S. or the U.N. NATO heads of state have severely condemned Russia’s actions each time but they could never reach consensus on military action.

Someone please remind the people at Focus on the Family that the Cold War is over?

Also, didn’t happen.

(25) In mid-2010, Iran launched a nuclear bomb that exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night Cabinet meeting, Israel’s prime minister agreed. Israel is reduced to a much smaller country, hardly able to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain. President Obama said he abhorred what Iran had done and he hoped the U.N. would unanimously condemn this crime against humanity. He also declared that the U.S. would be part of any international peacekeeping force if authorized by the U.N., but the Muslim nations in the U.N. have so far prevented any action.

No, Iran has not nuked Israel. What confuses me about the above scenario is that while Iran is supposedly working on making nuclear weapons, Israel actually has them, and given historical precedent the idea that Israel would just stand down and cede away its land in this situation seems highly unlikely. (Someone who knows more about the Israel/Iran situation, feel free to offer more information.)

(26) The new Congress under President Obama passed a nationalized “single provider” health care system, in which the U.S. government is the provider of all health care in the United States, following the pattern of nationalized medicine in the United Kingdom and Canada. The great benefit is that medical care is now free for everyone — if you can get it. Now that health care is free, it seems everybody wants more of it. The waiting list for prostate cancer surgery is 3 years. The waiting list for ovarian cancer is 2 years. Just as the Canadian experience had shown prior to 2008 with its nationalized health care, so in the U.S. only a small number of MRIs are performed — down 90% from 2008 — because they are too expensive, and they discover more problems that need treatment, so they are almost never authorized.

(27) Because medical resources must be rationed carefully by the government, people older than 80 have essentially no access to hospitals or surgical procedures. Their “duty” is increasingly thought to be to go home to die, so they don’t drain scarce resources from the medical system. Euthanasia is becoming more and more common.

First, this didn’t happen. In fact, when Obama started working on health care reform he didn’t even pitch a single provider system, let alone pass such a thing. Instead, Obama passed the Republicans’ own health care plan. And then, bizarrely, the Republicans threw a fit.

Second, the person who wrote this clearly knows nothing about how the national health care systems in other western nations actually work. (If you live in such a country, feel free to explain the problems with these paragraphs.)

(28) Many Christians who voted for Obama did so because they thought his tax policies were fairer and his “middle-class tax cuts” would bring the economy out of its 2008 crisis. But once he took office, he followed the consistent pattern of the Democratic Party and his own record and asked Congress for a large tax increase. He explained the deficit had grown so large under President Bush, and the needs of the nation were so great, that we couldn’t afford to cut taxes.

Let’s have a quiz, shall we?

Obama did which of the following while in office:

A. Raise taxes

B. Cut taxes

Answer: B

There, that was fun.

(31) World demand for oil continues to climb, and prices keep going up, but President Obama for four years has refused to allow additional drilling for oil in the United States or offshore. Gas costs more than $7 per gallon, and many Democrats openly applaud this, since high prices reduce oil consumption and thus reduce carbon dioxide output. But working Americans are hit hard by these costs.

Yeah, that $7 a gallon gas is really hurting my pocketbook. Or not. I will say that $4 a gallon gas certainly isn’t fun, but $4 isn’t $7.

Also, Obama has opened additional drilling offshore. Yes, you read that right.

(31) As for coal, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to implement strict new carbon emission standards that drove many coal-powered electric plants out of business. The country has less total electric power available than in 2008, and periodic blackouts to conserve energy occur on a regular schedule throughout the nation. The price of electricity has tripled in places like California, which also faces rolling blackouts during peak energy periods. The impact on our economy, and our homes, has been devastating.

I’m sorry, rolling blackouts? What?

(32) By the summer of 2009, the five-member FCC was controlled by Democratic appointees – including a chairman appointed by President Obama. The “Fairness Doctrine” became a topic of FCC consideration following pressure from Democratic congressional leaders who initially did not have sufficient votes to pass the measure. The FCC quickly implemented the “Fairness Doctrine,” which requires that radio stations provide “equal time” for alternative views on political or policy issues.

As a result, all radio stations have to provide equal time to contrasting views for every political or policy-related program they broadcast by talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Janet Parshall, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt, and broadcasters like Dr. James Dobson. Every conservative talk show is followed by an instant rebuttal to the program by a liberal “watchdog” group. Many listeners gave up in frustration, advertising (and donation) revenues dropped dramatically, and nearly all conservative stations have gone out of business or switched to alternative formats such as country or gospel or other music. Conservative talk radio, for all intents and purposes, was shut down by the end of 2010.

Hang on. I have to stop laughing before I can finish this post.

There. Okay.

How does the author finish this “letter from 2012 in Obama’s America”? Well, a letter like this wouldn’t be complete without talk of Christians in the United States being thrown in jail now, would it?

Many brave Christian men and women tried to resist these laws, and some Christian legal agencies tried to defend them, but they couldn’t resist the power of a 6-3 liberal majority on the Supreme Court. It seems many of the bravest ones went to jail or were driven to bankruptcy. And many of their reputations have been destroyed by a relentless press and the endless repetition of false accusations.

Let’s see. The Soviet Union rises again? Check. Christians being thrown in jail in the United States? Check. Just so we’re, you know, being thorough.

And of course, the letter ends with a call to action:

When did this all start? Christians share a lot of the blame. In 2008, many evangelicals thought Senator Obama was an opportunity for a “change,” and they voted for him. They did not realize Obama’s far-Left agenda would take away many of our freedoms, perhaps permanently (it is unlikely the Supreme Court can be changed for perhaps 30 years). Christians did not realize that by electing Barack Obama — rated the most liberal U.S. senator in 2007 — they would allow the law, in the hands of a liberal Congress and Supreme Court, to become a great instrument of oppression.

The whole purpose of this letter, like I said, was to scare evangelicals out of voting for Obama at any cost. And today, they’re doing the same thing. If you vote for Obama, they say, every manner of horrible awful no good very bad thing will happen. Your freedoms will disappear. They will take your guns, they will ban homeschooling, they will send your grandma to death panels.

But this is getting old. See, leaders on the Right do this every election year. Every election is “the most important election of all time,” and every election year they warn that our freedoms as Americans are on the line. Every election year they predict catastrophe if they lose the election. The day after Obama’s election, a friend facebooked me a simple question: “Are you ready for four years of hell?” He went on to talk about Christians being put in jail and socialism coming to America. Didn’t happen.

It’s like all those times Christian leaders have predicted Jesus’ return. You can only predict it and then have it not happen so many times before you lose all credibility whatsoever. It’s as if the Right is playing a game to see how many times they can predict the destruction of our freedoms before they get called on it. And seriously, it’s about time someone called them on it.

And don’t even get me started on the portrayal of liberals as anti-American.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Karen

    Romans 13, verses 1 – 4; 1 Peter 2:13-17. The 1 Peter verses end with the command “Honor the Emperor,” stated as a stand-alone sentence, no qualifications. How can they claim to take the Bible literally a d ignore that one?

    • Casey

      Considering examples in the Bible when Christians defy immoral government officials, we must use other Scripture to interpret that verse. Never mind that “honour” doesn’t mean “blind obedience”. This sort of thing is the equivalent of soundbites in Biblical interpretation.

  • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

    “(2) Elementary schools now include compulsory training in varieties of gender identity in Grade 1, including the goodness of homosexuality as one possible personal choice. ”

    The fact that public schools don’t do this is one reason I still consider homeschooling. :P

    • Chuck Miller

      What’s MOST wrong about this one is that being gay is a choice. It is NOT a choice…. your born gay, like your born blond or born tall.

      And being gay isn’t good or bad, it just is.

      • Paul

        I humbly disagree Chuck. And I say that out of a thoroughly pro-gay outlook. My own bisexuality, for lack of a better word because I think all of these labels are actually confused (and definitely the outlier attitude throughout all human history) has evolved gradually over time. And continues to. We can only conceptualize our lives with the concepts we’re given or discover for ourselves, but what I think we often forget is that this doesn’t mean those concepts are simply “True.” It’s merely the way we conceptualize at a given moment in time.

        Many people erroneously think that science has “proven” the innateness of some kind of neatly discrete gendered attraction, but it’s just not so. None of those splashy headlines about sexuality ever actually pan out, but the newspapers never say so. (But there are a number of good books out there by scholars in the sciences who do take the time to show all the problems with such studies.)

        At the end of the day also, I don’t feel the “I can’t help it” argument is even politically strong. I think it’s important to assert that same-sex love *is* good, period. Not because of “I can’t help it,” but for deeper (and I would say much sounder) reasons.

  • dj pomegranate

    When I was an elementary school student at a Christian school, the same end-of-the-world hand-wringing pervaded the culture after Clinton’s election. When I started getting these emails in 2008 (“OBAMA IS THE END OF AMERICA AS WE KNOW IT”) I shook my head in disbelief–I was still trying to grasp the (new to me) idea of evangelicalism’s tribalistic fear-mongering and honestly thought these people had forgotten that we had responded with the exact same anxiety when Clinton was elected. Now I see it as something far more insidious than forgetfulness.

    • seniorcit

      The only time I voted for a Republican for president was in 1992 when I bowed to peer pressure in my church and voted for George HW Bush over Clinton. As I look back on it, the political pressure in that church was unbelievable. Right wing Republicanism was preached from the pulpit, Hillary jokes were told by the pastor and if I had let it be known that I was a closet liberal, I would have been shunned by the membership. Politics aside, we came to a parting of the ways over premillenial dispensationalism and other theological issues after one more year, and I exited and joined a mainline church where I was much more comfortable. Twenty years later I no longer have any Focus books in my library having donated them to the library book sale or a garage sale. Should have burned them!

      • kes

        Kudos and thumbs up, seniorcit! The mainline churches are where the sane people are!

      • Icy Cantu

        “Sane people” or bench(luke)warmers?

        “Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate…”

        Maybe this letter and fervent prayer swayed enough people to allow the first “prediction” to be thwarted (when a Republican majority was instead elected in the House – Thank God!), thereby changing the outcome of the remainder. I’m sure there are a few chaos theorists in here…Butterfly effect, right?

      • Nowhere Man

        Icy Cantu: Or maybe these things were never on the agenda to begin with.

        Assuming you’re serious, I have to wonder what lies in your heart, that you can see such evil in the hearts of others.

  • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

    The health care scare frustrates the hell out of me. Senior citizens can totally get health care in Canada (Seriously, my grandfather is 101 and doing quite well. No one’s suggesting euthanasia for him). There’s some issues with waiting periods for certain procedures, but it’s not like there aren’t similar issues in the US. They just take a different form. Death panels? Yeah, they’re called ‘insurance agents’. I’ve had no more trouble getting treatment here than in Canada, and more stress over payment because of a combination of higher costs and dealing with private insurance. Which is constantly changing, so between deductibles, weird limitations (I had a flat limit of covered mental health visits before the new laws kicked in) and plain old inconsistency I really hate dealing with the ‘system’ down here.

    (I will admit I didn’t deal with it a lot back home, so it’s hard to make good comparisons, especially since my needs have changed a fair bit in the last 6 years, but paying $80 for an anti-biotic because I wasn’t feeling well enough to argue over my coverage with the pharmacist sucks)

    • Carolyn the Red

      It pisses me off too. My grandmothers are 95 and 98. Both get regular medical care, are on medication for their health issues, and have had surgery for quality of life conditions at age >80. Yep, it’s brutal here in Canada. (Actual issues? Homecare can be a problem, and dental isn’t covered for most people. Rural areas have a shortage of specialists, and even GPs for people with complex needs. )

      Also, yeah, there’s waiting for treatment. My mother waited 6+ months for her hip replacements – but nobody but her doctors had to approve her, so they told her they’d put her on the waiting list when she would want surgery in about 6 months. And she could get a hip replacement – what’s the average wait if you include people who can’t even see a doctor about their hip pain with no or inadequate insurance? How about people who have to save up for their co-payments?

      • Rosa

        or have to wait until January because they’ve hit their annual cap? That’s admittedly more common with dental coverage, but people definitely schedule around money issues.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        “Rural areas have a shortage of specialists, and even GPs for people with complex needs.”

        Is that really a function of the healthcare system though? Sparsely populated areas are always going to have fewer resources compared to population centers. Rural people in the States also frequently have to travel distances to see doctors–it’s just a function of there not being that many people around. The only way I can see Canada being different is that MOST of it is sparsely populated because it’s a huge country with not that many people (most of whom live in a few major metropolitan areas.) But that wouldn’t change with a more privatized healthcare system.

      • sheldon

        It seems that the best comparison between the two systems would be to see how many procedures are performed per capita. Although there may be some differences based on exterior motivating factors, it might be able to tell us how efficiently care can be delivered in the two different systems.
        Also, specialists and high quality GP’s are just as difficult to get in rural areas in the American system. I think that has more to do with the general urbanization and is less a symptom of different methods of care delivery.

    • Christine

      In fairness, the health care system here has a lot of issues. I’m still convinced that the only reason we think it’s great is that we constantly compare it to the US. Not that that’s really relevant here, because that’s where the comparison is. I don’t know why people would object so much to implementing a system that costs less per capita, gives you more options about who you can see and doesn’t require people to have as many unnecessary procedures (I don’t know why doctors don’t milk OHIP the way they do insurance companies, but they don’t).

      • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

        “I don’t know why people would object so much to implementing a system that costs less per capita, gives you more options about who you can see and doesn’t require people to have as many unnecessary procedures ”

        “Rugged Individualism” >< I really hate that philosophy. There's such a huge focus on being independent, while ignoring how dependent we all are. Human progress depends on inter-dependence, otherwise we'd all be too busy finding shelter and food.

      • Carolyn the Red


        I tossed the first issues with the Canadian system that came to mind in my post. On further thought, I can add a lack of OBs/midwives up north and even in some areas less remote, the three month coverage delay for newly arriving immigrants, spotty prescription coverage that doesn’t get to everyone that needs it, the latest scandal about the helicopter transfer system in Ontario, and the money spent with poor result on various electronic records system. And ER waiting times for less life-threatening emergencies. And bed shortages in far too many hospitals, partly related to a need for improvement in long term care. Oh, and the pathology mess in Newfoundland, and the pathologist in Toronto who found abuse where there was none.

        Point being – the real issues have pretty much nothing to do with the existence of universal coverage, and I could see some of them becoming worse if you added more for-profit insurance companies into the mix. And if more people could completely leave the system, there would be less incentive for us all to try and improve it. I just get angry at the death panel, rationing, no choice rhetoric coming out of all of the USA. I had one American at an unrelated conference ask me if I could pick my doctor, or if I had a limited number of appointments a year. The criticisms Americans hear are more representative of their fears than our system.

      • http://www.christylambertson.com Christy

        I live in Los Angeles, and just last week, almost 5,000 people waited for hours and hours on sidewalks to get access to health care: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/27/local/la-me-free-clinic-20120928
        So, that’s TOTALLY a better system than Canada’s.

        My husband and I are both self-employed, so we have to buy individual health insurance policies. He tried to get health insurance recently, and got turned down. The reason? “Impending fatherhood.” , because we’re having a baby in a couple of months – even though all maternity care will be covered on my health insurance, and the baby will also be covered on my health insurance policy. He can’t even get someone on the phone to ask them what the hell they’re talking about. Are they afraid he will seek treatment for sleep deprivation? It’s a mystery.

        As for the dreaded health care rationing, my policy doesn’t cover dental or vision, and as for mental health care, unless I am diagnosed with one of 5 designated disorders, (unfortunately, my PTSD is not one of them) I get exactly ten group sessions per calendar year. And I consider myself lucky that I have health insurance at all – and in fairness to my insurance company, the pre-natal care has been excellent.

        Which is why the health care debate frustrates me so much – it’s like the people who hate the Affordable Care Act live in a parallel universe.

      • http:froebelmusings.com SusanF

        Christy, that sounds like a really bogus reason for denial of insurance. Get your State Department of Insurance involved. I have a friend working at the one here in Texas (she’s on the 1-800 help line) and they have awesome amounts of information at their fingertips. According to their website (http://www.insurance.ca.gov/), the number is 1-800-927-HELP (4357) for the one in California.

      • elfennau

        @Carolyn the Red: And yet, I’d still like to compare some of these issues with the Canadian system to the US:

        “lack of OBs/midwives up north and even in some areas less remote” – Also a major issue in many parts of the US.

        “spotty prescription coverage that doesn’t get to everyone that needs it” – Even people with insurance or Medicare/Medicaid have some serious issues in the US with this.

        “the latest scandal about the helicopter transfer system in Ontario, and the money spent with poor result on various electronic records system” – Not enough knowledge on my part to make any sort of comparison here.

        “ER waiting times for less life-threatening emergencies” – When I was last in the ER for what turned out to be a nasty case of pneumonia, I waited 6 hours to even be seen by a nurse beyond the intake vitals being taken along with the paperwork. That was one of the shortest times I’ve had in an ER waiting room.

        “bed shortages in far too many hospitals, partly related to a need for improvement in long term care” – Same issues in the US.

        “the pathology mess in Newfoundland, and the pathologist in Toronto who found abuse where there was none” – Again, not enough knowledge to draw any sort of comparison to this.

        With all this, the Canadian system still comes out on par or even better off than the current US system of health care, and with it being still more widely available to those who need it in Canada than in the US.

  • Jason Dick

    Well, to be fair, this election is incredibly important. If the Republicans were to follow through on their promises, then we have the following to look forward to:

    1. They will turn Medicare into a privatized system with the elderly receiving vouchers to pay for insurance, vouchers whose value doesn’t rise as fast as medical costs.
    2. The Affordable Care Act will be repealed, which will result in 50 million fewer Americans with health care insurance (due to a failure to increase Medicaid coverage and the elimination of the mandate and subsidies).
    3. There will be dramatic cuts in many social programs which will likely cause a significant economic contraction.
    4. There will be large tax cuts, particularly for the wealthy, which won’t do much to boost the economy but will do a lot to make the US more unequal than it has been in at least a hundred years, probably ever.
    5. They will work to use the excuse of the economic crisis and the deficit to slash Social Security.

    Now, we don’t know for sure which of the above the Republicans will actually manage to do. The Democrats are almost certain to retain a Senate majority, which may allow them to block the worst of the Republican legislation. But one thing we do know is that there’s a good possibility that they’ll gain one or two conservative seats on the Supreme Court, and with the current court already with a conservative majority, that will seal the highest court in the nation as being terribly conservative for many decades to come, cashing a long shadow on our future. It could potentially lead the way to overturning Roe v. Wade, for example.

    • jemand

      I agree. It could very well be that every election is more important than the last, either if the narrative is fighting a losing battle or cementing wins. It could well be that every election is most important precisely because it is *this* election that we can change, not past ones…

      I don’t entirely see a problem with stressing each election as incredibly important. What *is* silly are the pretty over the top scenarios spun for if the republicans lose– rise of the soviet union again? Christians in jail? I also remember this letter from 2008, about half the items I said “I wish!” (at least to some core portion, if not the peripherals, like single payer) but also: “SOO not likely.”

    • Karen

      Most importantly in the long-term, if the republicans win they may well have the chance to appoint uber-conservative judges to the Supreme Court.

      • c matt

        Riiiight. Because they have been so good at that in the past (Souter, Kennedy, O’Connor).

    • Ananta Androscoggin

      Perhaps someone should ask the politicians of the Reactionary Religious Reich the “rude question” of :

      “Which national parks are they planning to use for the mass graves of their victims?”

      • Casey

        How are you any different from Republicans who think Democrats are all Satanistic Communist baby killers?

    • Raul

      You dont have a clue what you’re talking about,read the bill! obamacare is nothing but rationed misery,try to prove me wrong! There will be more people without healthcare coverage when all is said and done then there was before this abomination of obamacare!

      • Carol

        Read the bill, ha. Like you could even comprehend it. People are already getting covered, now, their kids are covered, seniors are saving money, now, states that have governors with brains are already implementing exchanges NOW. The ACA is working, and the bottom line is assholes like you would rather see people die or go bankrupt than allow a democratic president to implement a successful program that people like. Just admit it, for once, just once, say what you really, really mean or go peddle your agitprop bullshit somewhere else.

  • Niemand

    I can hardly sing “The Star Spangled Banner” any more.

    (Frivolity) No one can sing “The Star Spangled Banner”. It’s got the world’s most unreachable note in it. (/Frivolity.)

    I’m actually going to be more worried when the politicians don’t talk about how this is the most important election ever! When they start discouraging the vote, including discouraging their base from voting something is deeply wrong.

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

    I think they hark back to the Cold War because they find it somewhat comforting, like they know how to handle it and the post-Cold War era is just too scary and weird. The global community would not be okay with Russia casually invading other countries, though, so there’s a lot wrong with that potential scenario.

    Israel could retaliate if Iran bombed them, which would be a monumentally stupid thing for Iran to do, especially if their goal is to gain more land for the Palestinians. That would be like shooting their erstwhile allies in the foot–or bombing them, as the case would be. This shouldn’t need repeating, but nuclear weapons are really destructive.

    The idea that Muslim countries in the UN would prevent further action is ludicrous., first because no one wants to be caught in the middle of a nuclear war (look at a map, people), second because not all predominately Muslim countries are alike (some are even US allies!), and third because they really don’t have the clout to do that. This is also probably a good time to reiterate that the UN isn’t as powerful as some people seem to think. None of the five permanent members of the Security Council, all nuclear countries, would be okay with Iran bombing people. India and Pakistan might not object to Iran developing nuclear weapons, but they probably wouldn’t be too keen on their actual use.

    Re healthcare: does the writer think that people will develop more medical conditions because they have better access to care? Why are there such long waiting lists for cancer treatment in this scenario? Is it because people just weren’t going to the doctor before–and consequently dying rather than burdening the system? Because that’s the implication here, and I think it’s also reality for a lot of people who don’t have good access to care. The writer basically scolds people for seeking treatment, then turns around to blame the government for letting elderly people who need care die.

    The whole FCC thing is just too funny.

    • Christine

      I think there’s nostalgia for the Cold War era, because that was the end of the modernist era. Or at least the end of the era when modernism made the most sense. And they have a very strongly modernist viewpoint. For example – Bible literalism, the clear good guys vs bad guys viewpoint, rejecting any complex scientific explanations.

      • Jim Dixon

        I think modernism allowed for more complexity than that. What you are describing sounds like a strongly medieval viewpoint.

      • Christine

        I might be oversimplifying, and some of the pre-modern viewpoint carried into the modernist one, but remember: bible literalism is a recent phenomenon. The idea that everything has an easy to understand explanation is also quite recent. The good guys vs bad guys wasn’t so much a “this is clearly wrong, this is clearly right” type worldview as it was a “these people are good, they do good things”. If you’ve read up on authoritarianism, it’s the kind of worldview that authoritarianism thrives on.

      • Jeremy

        Three of the four nations mentioned as being “reoccupied” are not only NATO members, but also EU members. With one of the first clauses of the NATO charter being “an attack on one member nation is an attack on all member nations”, NATO would be obligated to intervene. The EU has defense treaties as well. And in order to get to those countries, Russia would have to go through the Ukraine, a nation with it’s own nuclear weapons, and who fought for centuries to free themselves from Russia and are damned sure not going to take Red Army troops crossing their territory. What this shows is that Focus on the Family has zero knowledge of global politics, or how they even work.

    • wanderer

      yes, that was my concern too. Suddenly everyone needs more medical care….. that’s a bad thing???? OH NO!!! People are visiting a doctor instead of ignoring or self-diagnosing!!! Horror!

    • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

      Re healthcare:….

      The only way FoF’s “prediction” makes sense is if you assume that, given free doctor’s visits and hospitalization, people swamp the system over trivial problems. Which assumes the system doesn’t do any triage (which it does, even under the current system in which people with minor infections share the ER with car accident victims, because the former can’t afford to just get an appointment with a regular GP, at far less total cost to the system). And everyone has a latent case of Munchausen. Or something.

      Actually, even then it doesn’t make sense.


      • Jeremy

        Triage in ERs here is pretty strict, and the Admitting RNs are very effective at splitting out the minor issues from the major.

    • SlothropRedux

      The ignorance – it burns!!
      But seriously, one of the (MANY) reasons the FCC thing is so funny is that, by law, no more than 3 of the five commissioners can even be of the same party. So no, Obama couldn’t fill it with Democrats. Although I suppose in fantasy paranoia land laws are not obstacles to the Obama administrations magical ability to impose its will….

  • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

    You’ve probably heard by now that if Obama wins a second term we will become a socialist nation, gun ownership will be made illegal, our country will be unrecognizable by the end of his term, and on and on.

    You mean, you’ll be just like Canada? (But we still get confused with Americans, so that last bit isn’t quite right ;-)).

  • http://madphotog.blogspot.com gustovcarl

    Yes, I remember the same things were supposed to happen under Clinton. And under Gore if he would have been elected…

    Didn’t happen.

  • http://fidesquaerens.livejournal.com Marta Layton

    I agree with so much of this, Libby! You really said it better than I did over at my blog when I wrote about that “letter” earlier today. (Incidentally, it was before I saw your post.) I’ve now added a link to your post because you did such a thorough job refuting the various posts.

    One thing did bother me, though. Anders Breivik, James Holmes, and all the rest really were terrorists. They killed large numbers of people with the intent to terrorize countless others. They weren’t Arab, and Obama’s policies in the Middle East in no way enabled them, but it would be good to word things in a way that doesn’t play into the whole only brown-skinned people can be terrorists trope, I think.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Oh, good point! What I really meant was that the sort of terrorist attacks they were predicting – i.e. perpetrated by Muslims – did not happen. I’ll fix it in the OP though.

      • http://fidesquaerens.livejournal.com Marta Layton

        I figured that’s what you meant. That particular language usage is just something I’m a bit sensitive to, so I thought I’d mention it. Thanks for being so responsive!

    • Christine

      I’ve actually seen something (I’m really sorry that I can’t remember where to link to it) saying that terrorism in the US these days is largely from the right wing, not from external sources.

      • Rosa

        Yep. If you count lynching and KKK violence, it’s true all the way back to just after the Civil War.

        before the 9/11 attacks, the biggest single act of terrorism in the US was the Oklahoma City bombing – 168 dead. But the longest-lasting and most widespread campaign (other than racist violence, as I noted before – lynchings and racist violence were such an entrenched part of our culture it doesn’t even compare with anything else) is the various anti-abortion shootings, bombings, and intimidation practices, which has included far fewer killings but has been very effective in actually terrorizing people.

  • Claire

    Laughing at the idea of heading tonAustralia to home school – it a strict system you have to undergo testing both parents and children each year, have to each the core subjects including biology (which does include evolution), you are offered classes by teachers over the Internet and radio – known as the school of the air and questons would be asked if you turn them down. There’s a reason all our reglious nutters send their kids to normal school. There is a high amount of reglious schools here partly as they still receive some funding however as per above still have to teach core subjects including biology, sex- Ed ect ect and are pretty closely watched.

    Don’t really want these crazies over here ( hopefully someone will mention the public healthcare system to them?) however if they did its likely the kids would get a proper education.

    • Christine

      So this is like all the people who threatened to move to Canada when the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the court, because the US was getting too socialist? I love it! (We didn’t want them either).

    • Mogg

      Wait, what? Australia has quite stringent rules for home schooling, and home schooling parents need to refister so that the government at least knows the kids are supposed to be being taught something. There are compulsory curriculum requirements for all the basic programs kids would be getting in school. The School of the Air is mostly for children in extremely remote parts of the country, and these days is done over the internet and correspondence. It was never “home schooling” as such, an external teacher supervises.
      Home schooling here is usually only done by people who have children who have experienced extreme bullying or by people who would generally be considered extremely kooky by the vast majority. I have only met one home schooling family, but they were supremely qualified to teach their children – both phD’s and one of them a professional educator and professor at a mainstream university. Even they sent their children to a mainstream school for their final high schooling.
      What we do have here is a bizarre system where private schools can get public funding, and educational tax.breaks for parents are available to people with an income most would consider extremely comfortable. Therefore, we have a huge number of private schools, some of which are old-style highly academic places and some of which are overtly religious. They still have to meet the requirements for government curriculum standards, but they can also offer or require religious or Bible classes and provide science classes that are a little bit, shall we say, light on rigour, perhaps with a bit of an undertone of “This is what we have to teach you, but…” I hasten to add that this is not the case for all private schools, but it is for some, and they provide Christian (or Muslim, Jewish, 7th Day Adventist, etc) parents a place to send their children which insulates them from the wider society until they finish school.

      • Elizabby

        >>Home schooling here is usually only done by people who have children who have experienced extreme bullying or by people who would generally be considered extremely kooky by the vast majority.

        I’m not sure that’s quite fair – most of the children I know who are homeschooled are doing so for
        special needs – mostly ADHD, because they do better in a one-to-one teaching situation. But yes, homeschooling here is regulated. I’m not sure why Americans would think it isn’t. And they *do* know about our ‘socialized medicine’ that we have over here, right? Medicare works for me!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    “Now that health care is free, it seems everybody wants more of it. The waiting list for prostate cancer surgery is 3 years. The waiting list for ovarian cancer is 2 years.”

    Besides being obviously bogus, this statement is fascinatingly revealing of the conservative attitude towards healthcare, probably without the author even realizing it. Why would more people seek prostate cancer and ovarian cancer surgery just because it’s free? For kicks? If people were lining up to get cancer surgery, the only reason there could be possibly be for this is that THEY HAVE CANCER! So what would the author prefer? That only some people who need life-saving surgery actually be able to get it?

    In fact, that is exactly what they believe. They believe that those with the money should be able to get good healthcare and to hell with everyone else. They just don’t generally have the stones to say that. But this guy basically did. What other way is there to interpret that statement?

    “It’s almost impossible to keep children from seeing pornography.”

    Well, that is true. It was true before Obama and it will be true after. It’s called “the internet.” And if the conservatives have their way, they’ll make sure that it’s the only sex education kids ever get.

    Also, I’m trying to think of strategies that the military could come up with for “actively recruiting homosexuals” but the images that come into my mind just keep making me laugh too hard.

    One minor quibble with the commentary–if the Sikh temple shooting wasn’t a terrorist attack, I don’t know what is? If an American-born Muslim went into a church and shot a bunch of people there’s no WAY that wouldn’t be considered a terrorist attack.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      I’ve actually just corrected the OP to reflect that. What I really meant was that the kind of terrorist attacks the Focus letter was clearly predicting – i.e. Islamic terrorist attacks – had not happened. Marta above pointed this out – terrorist attacks are not only carried out by “brown-skinned people,” whatever the Right would have us believe.

      • Flying Squid with Goggles

        Useful or not (and I kinda think it is,) there’s a distinction between foreign terrorism and domestic terrorism. 9/11 and the wars in the Middle East bring up the specter of foreign terrorism – people coming over into the US to kill a bunch of (mostly) Americans.

        Instead, since 2008, we’ve only had domestic terrorism in the US. The mass shootings you mention are all domestic. Even the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan, was born in Virginia. His derangement may have some root causes in Palestine, but if he really was over the edge he could have found any number of justifications for his murders.

        Americans attacking Americans happens all the time – unhinged people are much more likely to attack others where they live, rather than traveling all the way across the world to do it. It just doesn’t feed the meme of ‘the people over there in that foreign country are insane and violent’ that certain media entities want to perpetuate.

  • Josh

    As someone from New Zealand I can’t imagine why anyone who agrees with FotF’s view would want to come here. We are very liberal: universal healthcare, massive gun control (there is no right to bear arms) and Homosexual Marriage will (hopefully) be legal by this year’s end. We also have much lighter restrictions on TV content (HBO/showtime shows are syndicated on our free-to-air tv for a prime-time audience without censorship). We are also quite multicultural (hell, our national anthem is sung in two languages) and are very irreverant.

    In contrast to the US, our political suicide word isn’t “socialized” but instead “privatisation”. Even a lot of our conservative politicians are longing for the days when New Zealand had more public assets and wasn’t selling shares in electicity and telecomunications companies off to corporate interests. It isn’t a “focus” friendly place at all.

    • Alex

      New Zealand is the place I plan on emigrating if the wing-nuts ever have unrestricted power to implement their agenda here in the States; I knew about your generally liberal socioeconomic system, and I’ve liked every New Zealander I ever met. A couple of them have told me that it’s not especially hard for an American with an M.S. degree to get a visa and find work there, either.

      • Nigel Wade (NZ)

        I’m from NZ, if MS means ‘Medical Science’ as in doctor, we outsource now on small contract terms for that stuff, costs our state medical system a fortune, great for doctors, you could earn ALOT here.

    • Stony

      And for God’s sake, you spell privatization with an “s”. Won’t someone think of the children?

      • Katty

        *lol* And here I was going to say that maybe Australia and New Zealand were only picked as countries to emigrate to for sharing the same language (and being pretty far away)… Seems I was jumping to conclusions here, and it’s actually not the same language!

    • Suzanna

      Not to mention we had/have a tranvestite/transexual (can’t remember which of these she was) and a few openly gay members of parliament..
      No, I doubt they would be happy here.

      I would suggest Oz to them..seems a much better fit.

      • Blair Martin

        Suzanna: Quick point of correction. Georgina Beyers is transsexual. Transvestite is a more akin to a fetish in where one wears the clothing of the opposite gender to which one was born. Transsexual is a person who has changed their outward physical appearance to reflect their innate belief of which gender they personally relate. The two are not interchangeable.

  • Alex

    I wonder if, in the alternate universe where Focus on the Fantasy pretend to live, Israel actually doesn’t have nuclear weapons? Officially, the Israeli government has never confirmed (or denied) that they have nuclear weapons, after all, and FotF are just the kind of self-deluding morons for whom policies of deliberate ambiguity like that are crafted — it allows them to draw their preferred conclusion instead of looking at the evidence.

    Incidentally, this year’s equivalent of the Focus on the Fantasy letter can be seen onscreen in movie theater’s nationwide: Dinesh D’Shonest’s (or is that Dinesh D’Stupid’s?) dreckumentary 2016: Obama’s America. It’s going to be a lot of fun four years hence dissecting how hilariously wrong it’s predictions were.

    • Anonymous Atheist

      ’2016: Obama’s America’: They spent $2.5 million making that horrid movie, and Wiki says “The film has grossed over $32.9 million in the United States, making it [the] fourth [highest] domestic grossing documentaries[y] of all time.”

  • alfaretta

    Re: Moving to New Zealand — just this year RW nuts were talking about moving to CANADA, for pete’s sake, if Obamacare wasn’t repealed! So this surprises me not at all (although it does make me think moving to NZ would be a lovely thing if all those misinformed RWers don’t move there and screw it up for you.)

  • http://sundaysinthestorageunit.wordpress.com Sarah

    I remember reading a dystopian future sci fi Christan book a few years ago, based on some of these fears. Same sex marriage? Check. Religious freedom? Check. No guns? Check. The story really jumped the shark when the mother in the book takes her 3 year old to a clinic where legally parents can terminate a toddler, under the slippery slope fallacy of “Every child should be wanted, and I’ve been momentarily inconvinienced by this child, so obviously the only logical thing to do is have it killed.” I read this book while Bush II was in office and it might have been written during the Clinton years.

    • Rachael

      Lol, I have to know the title of this book. It sounds amazing.

  • http://dukesofearl.blogspot.com Joy

    It’s always the Most Important Election Ever, because it’s not only propaganda, it’s also fund-raising.

  • Kenneth Fair

    I absolutely *love* the bit about Russia occupying Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. All four of those nations are NATO members and have been since 1999 (2004 for Bulgaria). Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty requires all of the member nations to treat an attack on one as an attack on all. If Russia decided to “occupy” any of those countries, it would literally be an attack on the United States and all 27 of the other NATO member nations.

    Russia’s leaders may be a lot of things, but that stupid they ain’t.

    • Rosa

      But remember who was President in 1999? Clinton. Therefore, no strengthening of national defense or expansion of NATO could have happened, because we all know Democrats hate America, NATO, and our troops. So Poland is still vulnerable to attack just like it was under that awful communist, FDR, in 1939.

  • ksm

    The only reason more of these predictions did not come true is that we on the right fought back, tooth and nail. And thank God we did. Let’s hope that come January, we have someone better than Obama in the White House.

    • Stony

      Uhhh, no, but thank you for playing. Johnny, tell her what she’s won!

      • Suzanna

        love you come back. =)

      • Suzanna

        i love your come back. =)

    • http://valuesfromscratch.blogspot.com Marian

      And this is why you can’t bring logic to a discussion with crazies. It’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight.

    • http://namelessgenxer.tumblr.com Gen Jones

      Bwahahhahahhahahhaha – You really have no clue that you’ve become a parody of yourself, do you? Also, too, Focus on the Family is irrefutable proof that Christianity is the root of all evil.

      • Christine

        Hey, that’s a little unfair. Most of us think they’re crazy idiots too.

  • Scott Baxter

    On the idea that increased access to abortions means more abortions: that actually isn’t necessarily true. Canada is justly famous in US political debates for our socialist health care system, but another little factoid about us: we have no abortion law. We used to have one, it was struck down as unconstitutional in 1988, and we’ve never quite gotten around to enacting a new one. So for about a quarter century, abortion in Canada has been purely a matter between a woman and her doctor, there are essentially no legal controls on access to abortion. And of course, it’s covered by our universal health care system. So I think it’s safe to say we Canadians have much more access to abortion than in the US. By Focus on the Family’s reasoning, our abortion rate should be much higher.

    For 2003, the most recent year for which the UN has data for both countries, the number of abortions per 1000 pregnancies in Canada was 15.2. In the US, the number of abortions per 1000 pregnancies was 20.8. So the opposite of what FoF expect. It seems fairly clear that simple access to abortion is not the major determining factor in whether a woman has one or not.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

      If the religious right really wanted to prevent abortions – they would allow easier access to abortions as well as cheap or free contraceptives and comprehensive sexual education.
      Isn’t it strange, that for a group trying to claim they want to have less abortions, they do the complete opposite of what’s shown to work? (Abstinence education increases risk of teen pregnancy, less access to contraceptives increases the risk of pregnancy (duh,) more unwanted pregnancies = more abortions.)
      It’s not about abortions, it’s about controlling the slutty sluts that slut (IOW, anyone who enjoys sex and wants it to be for reasons like “I like sex” rather than “I want a baby.”)

  • Joshua

    I’m a difference person to the Josh from New Zealand who commented above. I’m also from New Zealand.

    I’ve known home-schoolers here, and they have to teach to the syllabus just like anyone else. They have to sit the same exams too. If they teach wingnuttery, their kids will fail.

    I think New Zealand is chosen because it’s the farthest away. I do not think they know anything in particular about us at all, let alone details of home-schooling requirements.

    • Scarlet Syn

      Well let’s be fair, these extremists have already shown to know NOTHING about the policies of the country in which they live. Why would anybody expect them to know about the policies of another country? They just assume that a) it’s easy to migrate to another country and get a green card and b) other countries are totally free laissez faire/anarchist countries in which they can do as they damn well please because they’re Americans, damnit! I don’t understand why these people are cocky and proud of their hatred.

      Frankly, if these dingbats win the election, I’M considering skipping off to OZ as a refugee. The difference is that I actually have friends and family there.

    • http://kittensmonster.wordpress.com/ TheChocoholic

      Fantastic word of the day: Wingnuttery

  • jose
  • AnotherOne

    Thank you so much. I desperately needed a long, belly-shaking laugh to end this Monday.

    I thought the funniest part of it is that supposedly millions have died in Iraq, Israel has been nuked, and masses of Christians have been thrown in jail, and our dear letter writer’s first point is to whinge about the boy scouts disbanding?

    And wow are they ever scared of catching the gay. That one always feels weird to me, because I left evangelicalism/fundamentalism before anti-homosexual hysteria was at such a fever pitch. Instead, I have *lovely* memories of all the anti-Commie diatribes.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      When this surfaced four years ago, Internet Monk’s comment went something like this:

      “Remember James Dobson? Focus on the Family? Did a lot of good things before fear of homosexuals drove him off a cliff with most of his constituency in the car.”

  • J.A.F.

    As an American living in Australia I have a few things to say…
    1. Australians in general laugh at the current Republican party in America. I am frequently asked how so many of the US population can believe a party that is as obviously obtuse as this one is… Many Australian Conservatives I meet just shake their head in disbelief when someone like Todd Akin opens his mouth. And when an Aussie politician says anything remotely like something Todd Akin has said, they usually find it in their best interests to just resign and go away, as the majority here just will not stand for buffoonery…
    2. Most far-right leaning Americans planning to move to Australia in the hopes of finding people sympathetic to their politics will be sorely disappointed. This is a largely socialist country with a healthy splash of capitalism and the majority here like it. They are proud of it. I like it here too. When far right conservatives threaten to move to Canada, Australia or New Zealand, I giggle a little…
    3. Out of a population of 22.6 million total, roughly 50,000 children are home schooled. That does not make it a mecca for home schooling. Furthermore, home schooling here is actually regulated. Children have to take the same exams and learn much the same curriculum that a public or private school child learns. So an American religious family that moves here will be sorely disappointed and will most likely face charges of child neglect when the authorities find out that the only book learnin’ their child has biblical…

    • http://thegoatplan.blogspot.com ObjectiveReality

      Yeah – I don’t know what the hell’s up with that. We have a pretty well-regulated education system including correspondence/homeschooling here in NZ. I wonder if they’ve got hold of some info about Kura Kaupapa Maori or Kohanga Reo (Maori language/culture primary and pre-schools) completely misunderstood it? We have Steiner schools and Montessori, did they get something weird about that?

      That said, maybe they know something we don’t – our government’s currently trying to introduce “charter schools” which get public funding but can be run using their own weird-arse curricula and owned by whoever the hell wants to. That sounds like something they might enjoy more…

    • Nigel Wade (NZ)

      I’m from New Zealand. This is a country with a strong tradition of socialism. We’ve had significant Neo-Liberal reforms in the 1980′s and 1990′s, they are generally understood to be embrassing failures. Our current government its attempting privatisation, and was unable to do one part of that because of an historical treaty with natives (Maori). Far right American’s would be very shocked at how things are run here. In fact, KKK members are considered ‘terrorists’ here, we refuse them entry, and automatically deport them when they are discovered.

  • eyelessgame

    On the other hand, for frighteningly accurate prognostication, one can hardly do better than http://www.theonion.com/articles/bush-our-long-national-nightmare-of-peace-and-pros,464/

  • Lindsay

    Again as an Australian, and I will also note a Christian, I need to re-iterate what has been said by a number of commenters above. Home schooling, as I understand the U.S. employs the term, does not exist in Australia. There are a number (50,000 mentioned by J.A.F could well be correct) who are schooled at home, the vast majority of these through some form of distance education (Correspondence, School of the Air etc.). As the generic term “Distance Education” suggests distance is a huge factor in Australia, we don’t call it “The Outback” for nothing. The phrase “As big as Texas” is meaningless here, we have single Cattle Stations (Ranches) bigger than Texas. An example may help to understand the vastness of much of Australia. About 20 years ago I was doing some work in the Telephone Exchanges in South West Queensland. The last stop was at Cunnamulla. This was a relatively small exchange of some 8,000 lines. (By comparison an average suburban exchange has between 15,000 and 20,000 lines). The supervisor proudly had on display a map of the area covered by the exchange and below it a small cardboard cut out. He demonstrated to me that this cut out fit into the exchange are 7 times. He then told me the the cutout was scaled to the total area of the State of Victoria (228,000 square Kilometers or about 88,000 square miles.) By comparison the US State of Minnesota (according to Wikipedia) is about 86,000 square miles. So here is this vast area serviced by a total of 8,000 telephone lines. He may have told me the number of customers, but if he did I have forgotten. Obviously some of these Stations have children, probably all of them and they need to be educated. Most of the High Schooling (grades 8 to 12) is done through boarding schools in the larger regional cities but primary schooling is done, at home, by correspondence internet etc.
    On a separate note there was an attempt to institute an ACE school in South East Queensland but this lasted about 18 months before it was forced to close.

    • Faoladh

      Pedantically, Anna Creek Station (the largest working cattle station in the world) is 24,000 km2, while Texas is nearly 700,000 km2. So, no, your cattle stations are not bigger than Texas, though it is about 8 times the size of the largest ranch in Texas (King Ranch at a little bit less than 3500 km2, which is the largest cattle ranch in the US).

      Other than that, carry on.

  • Lindsay

    EDIT **fit into the exchange are 7 times** – fitted into the exchange area 7 times

  • Michael

    You didn’t need to put that comment about Christ’s return at the end. To the Christian, Christ’s return hasn’t happened yet, but will certainly happen, and that without warning. So if you compare future anti-Christian, repressive policies to Christ’s return, you are actually making the Christian Right’s point for them. And when you say with certainty, as you did, that Christ is not coming back, you are unnecessarily contradicting the scripture they hold dear and turning them off.

    • Naked Bunny with a Whip

      So if you compare future anti-Christian, repressive policies to Christ’s return, you are actually making the Christian Right’s point for them.

      Which she didn’t do.

      And when you say with certainty, as you did, that Christ is not coming back

      Which she also didn’t do.

      My main objection to the ending is Libby’s suggestion that “you can only predict it and then have it not happen so many times before you lose all credibility whatsoever.” This is true among reality based people, but the sort of true believer that Michael talks about doesn’t much care about reality.

  • http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs Steve D

    I don’t normally plug my own pages, but you might like “God Replies to a Christian from 2012″ (http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/God-2012.HTM) which was actually written just after the 2008 election.

  • Great Oz

    Nut jobs need not apply to move to AUS or NZ. We have Government healthcare here, we don’t tolerate religious or ethnic intolerance, and we work together to volunteer and provide community service like footy clubs and surf lifesavers, something most yanks would consider socialist.

    • http://kittensmonster.wordpress.com/ TheChocoholic

      And observation of my favorite Aussie friends tells me y’all have your own share of granola cereal (aka nuts and flakes). ;)

  • rizzo

    Whooo boy, crazy people be crazy huh? Oh noes the scary black man will take away all our freedoms! Then again, these are the same people who think the literal end of the world is going to happen any minute now, so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising…

  • Gtos

    So, We should all vote for Obama because he hasn’t done AS bad as everyone thought? That seems like a silly argument.

    • Christine

      Libby Anne only took down the ridiculous fear-mongering arguments against voting for Obama. If that sort of nonsense is the only thing preventing you from voting for Obama, then yes, you should vote for him. Voting for anyone should be based on reasons. Maybe even some data.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      You miss my point entirely, Gtos. I actually think Obama has done pretty well. Not perfect, no, but I’m definitely a fan, and I’ll be voting for him in November, and for actually thought out and definite reasons – I’m not simply voting for the lesser of two evils.

      What I look at here is the way the Republican party engages in fear mongering – every election it seems – in order to essentially scare people into voting for their candidate. And the fear mongering, well, is neither rational or accurate – nor does it ever seem to come true. I find the continual fear mongering – rather than an honest look at the candidates’ actual positions – insulting to our democracy and to the nation’s voters.

      • Frank

        The Dems do far more fear mongering than anyone.

        Obama is a disaster and needs to be put out.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        No actual arguments. Interesting.

        I do agree that there is fear mongering on the Left, but the idea that the Democrats do more fear mongering than the Republicans is ridiculous.

      • rizzo

        I like that the post complaining about fear mongering on the left ends with more fear mongering. Just like racism and sexism, fear mongering seems to be something that old white guys can’t stop themselves from doing. As a young(ish) white guy, it’s just embarrassing:(

      • Nigel Wade (NZ)

        To a New Zealander, that you allow politicians to engage in fear based political rhetoric is quite comical. We view the manner in which your elections are conducted as strange, a sort of joke, which respectfully, we feel serves to damage Americas image internationally. New Zealanders considered the voting fraud in Florida as strong proof the American elections are barely democratic at best.

  • Nanomashoes

    I would actually like Obama more if he did all of these things.

  • http://thewordsonwhat.wordpress.com/ Rob F

    Janet Porter (then Folger) did a similar letter full of persecution fantasies (link goes to WND). It deserves basically the same responses as here. Being very generous and excessively charitable she maybe gets 2 (1 +0.5 +0.5) predictions correct out of 14 in total.

    • wanderer

      I just read that letter. HOW RIDICULOUS!!! If you’re going to fear-monger at least try to make it believable.

      • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

        Well, that is WingNutDaily she’s writing for, ie: aimed at the same demographic as Glenn Beck. “Credible” is an audience-dependent concept.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Janet Porter (then Folger) did a similar letter full of persecution fantasies (link goes to WND).

      Ah, WND. What can you say about a site/rag that has Hal “Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist” Lindsay and Pat “Blame-the-Jews” Buchanan on editorial staff? The last I heard of them was this HUGE Birther billboard on Route 15 between Gettysburg and Harrisburg last year — “WHERE’S THE *REAL* BIRTH CERTIFICATE?????” In fine print at the bottom was the WND logo.

  • Scarlet Syn

    As somebody who has lived in California her whole life (and Christian), all I can say is “huh?” to the tripled energy costs. I’m sorry, did somebody bomb Shasta Dam and take out the wind turbines when I wasn’t looking? Damn our clean energy! Now, a few years ago we DID see a major issue with PG&E and the power going out over half the state for less than 24 hours…. but I don’t think it was because of an energy shortage. I’m pretty sure it was because somebody pushed the wrong button.

    But again, what do I know, I just live here.

  • Yoav

    I would also add that both Iran and Syria are Shiite (in Syria’s case that apply to the Assad regime and the ruling class but not the general population) while Al-qaida and the Taliban are Sunni and these two groups don’t like each other. While it may be conceivable that Iran and Syria would send assistance to Iraqi anti-government groups the chance of Al-qaida being involved is extremely low, but I guess that for American wingnuts, most of which would probably fail to point Iraq on a map of Iraq, all muslins are the same and equally scary.

  • Gtos

    Why isn’t the imaginary “war on women,” considered fear mongering? Or saying that republicans want to “destroy” Medicare fear mongering? Haha, or what about the portrayal by the media of the most peaceful protest group ( the tea party) as radicals, and the occupy movement as a legitimate grass roots movement?

    • rizzo

      Mostly because conservatives actually do want to and have tried to take away many of the rights that women enjoy today and turn Medicare into a vouchers system, which is weird because Medicare actually works really well and there’s no reason to privatize it. These are facts, whereas saying “Obama wants to take your guns” or “Obama is going to make Christianity illegal” is a fantasy which is countered by the fact that he hasn’t even come close to trying those things(and the fact that he’s a Christian himself).

      Getting into the media portrayal of TP/Occupy is a different ball of wax; that’s mostly dictated by the viewership of the news network and the best strategy to get more eyeballs and therefore more advertising revenue, it really has nothing to do with politics.

      • Anonymous Atheist

        Conservative sez: “It’s not a war because we don’t get to gun down the women with automatic weapons”, and “We’ve got to privatize Medicare because those socialists keep talking about wanting ‘Medicare for all’ “.

      • Ted Seeber

        Man, Rizzo- please tell me your post is sarcasm. Otherwise you’ve just proven Gtos right.

      • rizzo

        @Ted: Not sure what you mean by that? Conservatives want to take away the power of a woman to decide what to do with her own body, this is something they state whenever possible. They want to privatize government programs like Medicare and SS that actually work really well, this is also something they talk about quite a bit. The things I noted that they think Obama wants to do are also factual, as demonstrated by the letter Focus on the Family put out. The media spin put on the TP/Occupy movements depends on the network you’re watching, dictated by whichever large corp that owns the media outlet. These are all factual thing, not sarcasm.

      • Ted Seeber

        “Conservatives want to take away the power of a woman to decide what to do with her own body, this is something they state whenever possible. ”

        Is complete and utter propaganda, and exactly what GTos was talking about. If anything, it’s Planned Parenthood that wants to take away the power of a woman to decide what to do with her own body- and they’re willing to use poison (contraceptives) and murder (abortion) and sterilization (tube tying) to do it.

      • Anat

        Ted, you might be surprised, but there are women who don’t want to get pregnant ever. Then there are those who don’t want to get pregnant ever again. And those who do not want to get pregnant in the foreseeable future, but want to reconsider at some time in the future. Those of them who can afford to do so get the means for contraception or sterilization (as the case may be) through their physicians, paid (in full or in part) by their insurance. Others go to Planned Parenthood for those services. If a woman asks for contraception or sterilization then she is the one deciding what to do with her own body. Those attempting to deny her those services are attempting to force their own choices on her.

      • Rosie

        Right, Ted, Planned Parenthood forced me to spend money out of pocket for a dozen years to buy contraceptives, and then forced me to spend half of my retirement savings to get my tubes tied, because I’m married, no insurance, and don’t want kids. If they were really trying to influence my decision-making, you’d think they’d have at least offered these options for free. One doesn’t liquidate half of a retirement account on a whim.

    • rizzo

      Ah I see Ted, you’re one of those people who wants to take away a woman’s right to decide if and when she wants to get pregnant. You do not get to decide what a woman wants to do with her body, no matter how much you think you know better than her or what you think the Bible says; it’s her body and not yours.

  • Andrew Horn

    Of course, one of the current conservative talking points, when faced with “but Pres. Obama hasn’t raised taxes/banned guns/replaced the constitution with the Koran’ is “Not YET. He was lulling us into a false sense of security, so he could get re-elected.” This is specifically true in terms of gun laws (the NRA is CONVINCED this is the case- just google “Obama will ban guns in his second term”), but it’s becoming a prevalent meme for all conservatives.

    Sometimes I wonder about humans…

    • rizzo

      It’s just like when Bill Clinton interred us all in FEMA camps while NATO took over the country for a while there in his second term. I’m just thankful we didn’t elect Gore, at least W let us out of the camps…

  • JL

    I’d like to know which conservative supreme court justices they predicted would die, allowing a 6-3 (3!) liberal majority.

  • Noelle

    I wonder if my fellow Americans think of New Zeeland as a imaginary place. Like Middle Earth or Timbuktu.

    • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

      Well, according to a documentary I once saw, you *do* have a hobbit village there….

    • Heather

      Actually, Noelle, Timbuktu is a real place. It’s in Mali. :P

      • Noelle

        I know. I was making the joke that most Americans wouldn’t know that either. I bet most would have trouble finding New Zeeland on a globe or world map.

      • Noelle

        I once worked with an Irishman. Lovely accent, even when he was using it to complain. People would often remark on how good his English was and ask when he learned it. I’m not sure what language they thought folks in Ireland speak. Always gave me a chuckle. Americans aren’t smart as a whole.

      • Mogg

        Noelle, I’ve known Aussies who are complimented on their English speaking in the US. All I can conclude is that some Americans do not know the difference between Australia and Austria. I also used to know someone whose parents moved back and forth between the US and Australia every couple of years during her childhood until she was put into a remedial English class and recommended speech therapy at a rural Montana school because of her accent. They decided at that point that staying in Australia might be a good choice for a while :)

      • Christine

        At least there *is* an Irish language, it’s even funnier when someone says that about an Englishman.

      • Christine

        My husband used to do very poorly on his rhyming worksheets when they lived in Indiana.

      • Noelle

        Mogg, there is no excuse for that in the US. We have Crocodile Dundee and The Crocodile Hunter and The Wiggles. So every American should be well aware that Aussies speak English, and wrestle crocodiles, and wear matching shirts to sing about fruit salad.

        (I have heard the same thing about not knowing what language Australians speak, even when I was in college around supposedly educated people)

    • Nigel Wade (NZ)

      Most Americans I have met (outside nz of course), think New Zealand is Tasmania.

  • Kate

    Well that’s because it’s Pat Robertson. I am Christian and so so glad I was raised in a liberal home. The two can coexist and I will never ever understand the extreme right wing. Thing is they hate Obama yet he’s really the only Protestant in this election! In my opinion many Christians seem to put Republican affiliation higher than faith.

    • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

      In my opinion many Christians seem to put Republican affiliation higher than faith.

      It’s not just your opinion: it’s been obvious to me since the 1980 presidential campaign, when I was a young evangelical starting to feel significantly alienated from my supposed brethren (and I decisively ditched evangelicalism by the next election).

  • http://drchris.me/higgaion/ Chris Heard

    With regard to #31, the peak period (so far) for rolling blackouts here in California was 2000–2001, with another flare-up in 2004–2005. Both of those, of course, were well before Obama’s election, and can hardly be blamed on him!

    • http://eastofmidnight.wordpress.com Kim Hampton

      Don’t you know that for some of these folk, Obama is to blame for everything that’s happened since his birth in Kenya? :-) That’s what happens when anti-colonialist, socialist, Muslims are born.

  • Ted Seeber

    #2 is incorrect. My special needs son has been involved in supposedly “anti-bullying” and pro-homosexual propaganda at his grade school for 4 years. I continue to combat some of the worst of their propaganda at home.

    • Sundown

      Shorter Ted Seeber: “Oh noes! Kids aren’t allowed to beat up and abuse homosexuals!”

      • Ted Seeber

        Incorrect: Shorter Ted Seeber: Planned Parenthood wants to end the human race.

    • rizzo

      Ted Sez: I am an amazingly paranoid person with a horribly skewed view of reality. Don’t worry, teh gayz aren’t allowed to ‘turn your kid gay’ just like you aren’t allowed to beat them up.

    • marty

      Ted, I feel sorry for your children. I hope, as was my case with my racist father, that they are smart enough to realize that you lied to them, and compassionate enough, for your sake, that they forgive you for filling their heads with hate…

  • mildlymagnificent

    How these people think coming to Australia could possibly fulfil their “needs” to avoid socialist universal health care, to home school without a curriculum and to carry guns just shows how little they know. Noone is allowed to “carry” guns, you’re barely allowed to own them. I had the great privilege of using Distance Education in suburban Adelaide when one of my children was too sick to attend school regularly. They provided _absolutely everything_ down to the nails and screws for a woodwork project – all free, all part of government provided education.

    And for health? We choose our own doctors. My 87 year old widowed mother got her cancer treatment absolutely free (Veterans Benefits because of my father’s war service) and we have that wonder of bulk buying power the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The only people who pay $80 for antibiotics here are non-residents and for veterinary care – everyone else gets them subsidised.

  • http://www.houseofzot.com Zotmaster

    Honestly, I think half a point was way too generous, considering that only one sentence in two paragraphs was even kinda sorta remotely true.

  • Mat

    As an Australian, I can confidently say that the homeskkkoolers will be sadly disappointed here.

    Indeed, we do not regulate homeschooling – mostly because we do not allow it. *All* school-age children must be enrolled at a recognised and accredited school, whether public or private, and they must attend regularly. If a child is persistently truant, one effect can be that the parents will lose custody on grounds of unfitness to raise the child.

    I must ask that they stop speaking about Australia as their Nirvana: it insults and degrades my nation.

  • Debbie(Aussie)

    As far as I am aware homeschooling here is as rare as hens teeth.

    • Manning (Aussie)

      I think they are confusing the “school of the air” which operates in extremely remote areas of Australia and educates children via radio communication (and is thus “schooling at home”) with the US concept of home-schooling. That’s about the only “home-schooling” that goes on (and it is run by the Education department).

      • Squire Bramble

        I agree, and the confusion is related to ignorance as to the conditions that led to our traditions of home education. Of course children living in remote areas could not attend school, but before the Internet there were radio lessons and most families would have hired a governess or tutor for part of the year at least. I know people who taught at about 3 stations/ tiny towns in Queensland every year until the late ’90s. There’s none of this “father and mother guiding children towards dominion” BS in the outback: a sheep or cattle station might not be the size of Texas but some are certainly the size of say, Connecticut, so parents running such an operation are not going to have the time to oversee their children’s education 24/7. Also, the farmhands that the children would interact with would be very tough and well- travelled men with pretty colorful vocabularies. Good luck with keeping the kids away from ‘the world’!

  • Arthur Adams

    This looks familiar, down to even using the “terrible, no good, horrible, very bad” joke:

  • MarkB

    As one who read the books, I find this treacle (the FoF screed) to be disturbingly similar to the pre-Y2K apocalyptic fiction — the christian/evangelical/silly eschatological “rapture” crap. Some sort of delusional “new world order” that only COULD exist in a paranoid mind.

    Pretty much describes the evangelical mind as it is, anyway. The dogmatism towards a belief system EXPRESSLY DENOUNCED in Scripture is absolutely confounding.

  • JRE

    The waiting list for ovarian cancer is 2 years.
    Personally, I would prefer that the wait to get ovarian cancer be, like, 100 years.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I remember when this “Letter from the Future” made the rounds just before the 2008 Presidential Election.

    1) Standard Near-Future Persecution Dystopia, badly overdone as a setting for Christianese attempts at SF.

    2) Not very well-written, even by the standards of “But I Send This Back To You As A Warning” didactic Dystopias. You could go down the Christian Culture War checklist item-by-item.

    Only difference between then and now is my reaction to “This Is The Most Important Election of All Time!”:

    Bronies — Cue Rarity and her fainting couch:

  • Jeanie

    How did I miss this letter 4 years ago?! Surely someone in my extended family would have forwarded it to me. Perhaps I missed it when I was deleting all the other fear mongering forwards.

  • http://www.MaxedPackets.com MaxPatlick

    Great article but you probably should have mentioned #34.. That one would have been nice actually, accountability for criminal acts seems like the christian thing, no? I find it really hard to believe that anyone could claim that criminals being prosecuted for their crimes is somehow be a bad thing.

  • Katherine Harms

    I notice that in all your rant against a prediction that didn’tturn out, you managed not to try to tell us that the nation is better off under Obama. It is a red herring to skewer somebody’s guess at what he would do to us. We don’t need to hear how this prophecy or that failed to materialize. The only thing we need to do is look at the realities. Four years of Obama’s executive skills and our country is deeper in debt than ever. People are still losing their jobs and their homes. The unemployment rate has never yet dropped below 8% no matter what sort of statistical swizzle is applied. In fact, the only reason the unemployment rate even hovers close to 8% is that so many people are no longer counted as part of the employment universe. The [Un]affordable Care Act is already costing people their health insurance, and by the time it is fully implemented our national debt will double again. So please go ahead and brag about the failure of somebody to predict what would actually happen. Maybe that will keep you from hearing the crash as the nation implodes and becomes a gloomy landscape of true equality — an equality of poverty and hopelessness under a president who is still in a daze as deep as his last two years of high school.

    • http://eastofmidnight.wordpress.com Kim Hampton

      Let’s see….
      Under the Affordable Care Act, being a woman is no longer considered a “pre-existing condition” and no woman can lose coverage because she gets pregnant (like it’s a disease or something).
      Under the Affordable Care Act, a child with cancer will continue to be able to get treatment because there are no longer lifetime caps.

      Unemployment is 8.3%. (not 25% like in Spain or 14.8% like in Ireland or 15% like in Portugal) Right in line with the 8.1% in Great Britain and better than the 10.2% in France. The only countries that have lower unemployment rates are Germany with 6.8% and Canada with 7.3%.

      As the old saying goes….
      We ain’t where we wanna be,
      We ain’t where we gonna be,
      but we sure ain’t where we was.

    • http://ht Graham Shevlin

      It was an evisceration of a long laundry list of predictions that have totally failed to come true.

    • Carol

      Actually, in more good news, Obama has reduced the deficit by 2 bilion dollars. You sound like a whining child because Obama hasn’t fixed what republicans screwed up fast enough for you.

  • http://eastofmidnight.wordpress.com Kim Hampton

    The Focus on the Family letter sounds like it was written for Stephen Colbert’s new book, ‘America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t’.
    This nostalgia for the way things used to be is just a drive to restore the 1950s; those “good ‘ole days” where, for whole segments of the population, things weren’t so good.

  • A friendly Kiwi

    With regards to homeschooling in Australia and New Zealand, to the best of my knowledge and personal experience, it’s not very common.

    Also, any hardline Evangelists who come over here are in for a massive culture shock; we’ve socialised healthcare, government mandated control of infrastructure (the attempts to privatise which are a large debate over here, with about ~70% of the voting public opposed) and as with Canada have a monopoly supplier of pharmaceutical drugs which means we have some of the cheapest drugs in the world.

    Christian/Right political parties routinely poll at… 1.5% (was inflated this election due to historically low voter turn out). We’ve legalised prostitution and are in the process of doing the same for same-sex marrige and a solid 30 – 35% of folks are atheist/agnostic (last census).

    So, in short, they’re welcome to come over – but will get a very cold shoulder if they spout off things which are considered ‘main stream’ in the USA.


    • Nigel Wade (NZ)

      New Zealander; confirming above comment as accurate.

  • Enigma

    Is it safe to assume that all of the MISSING POINTS from this “letter” were accurate and thus ignored?

    • phantomreader42

      It’s safe to assume that absolutely anything circulated by Focus on the Family is a load of lies and worthless bullshit, and that anyone who believes them is dumber than the average rock or so throughly brainwashed they are no longer capable of distinguishing between reality and the paranoid delusional ramblings of the voices in their heads.

  • CWA

    While the letter is laughable, I feel compelled to point out that a hypothetical situation with $7 a gallon gas would be huge drag on our economy and a big enough boost to Russia’s that the return of Russian expansionism isn’t entirely ludicrous.

  • Enigma

    No answer from this blogger… My question is four above this one.

    • Anat

      That she chose the most outrageous and ridiculous points in that letter doesn’t mean any of it has basis in reality. The letter runs several pages, what would be the point?

    • Paula G V aka Yukimi

      Actually she did say in the post that of 34 points of the letter, only half of one was right so please try reading the whole thing completely before complaining next time. Also, there was a link to the letter so instead of whining that the blogger isn’t answering you like that was her job, you could have check it to see that all the other points were wrong and completely crazy too. As a further point, you could read the commenting policy (linked in about) where it says she isn’t going to answer to every comment, only to the ones she thinks need answering as it should be sinced it is her blog.

  • John Haas

    Obama did not repeal DADT by executive order; it was repealed by standard legislation:


  • http://www.tankadin.com tankadin

    Has anyone ever considered the possibility that letters like the one from Focus on the Family are deliberately over the top in order stoke the fears of paranoid religious people with the end goal simply being to separate them from their money? Think about it, every four years, millions of dollars in donations pour into these organizations because of this kind of fear mongering. This is big business, folks. I don’t believe that the people running these organizations actually believe the crazy things they say. It’s just a scam to get people with money who actually *do* believe these things to send in donations. I’m sure the same thing happens on the left as well.

  • Aaron Cohen

    You wrote, “Obama has not enacted any new gun regulations while in office. NOT ONE. So yeah, that didn’t happen.”

    Actually, that’s not true. President Obama signed a law ending the ban on taking guns into national parks. So he actually increased gun rights.

  • Greg

    Ya know, I would probably prefer things if what they said as their horrible possible future had actually happened, as compared to currently. Very little objectionable to be found in their nightmare scenario (but for foreign policy stuff, that was just wacky)

  • Jon

    Not that I’m some expert on Israel, but I know enough to say that no, in no universe would the Israel we have today just take a nuke to Tel Aviv and do nothing in response. Aside from the fact that a nuke to Tel Aviv would basically make the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem unlivable, Israel’s post-Holocaust mentality ensures that any attempt to wipe out Israel is answered in full; in this case, there is no question that a nuke launched at Tel Aviv would be met with every single nuke launched at every major population center in Iran for which there is an Israeli nuke. And personally I’m really happy Israel has that mentality.

  • Dave

    >> if abortion were as easy to get as a lolly pop,
    Lollipop, not “lolly pop.”

  • http://radamisto.blogspot.com Steve J.

    Back in the run-up to the 2006 elections, then-VP Cheney warned that Western Civilization was at stake.

  • iggy

    No doubt this will be buried, but as a rider to #10. I’m AD USAF, & the “sensitivity training” kinda happened; we had to take a CBT saying that discrimination wouldn’t be tolerated in much the same way sexual harassment isn’t tolerated. From my personal experience, nobody cares if anyone is gay; all we are concerned with is whether or not you’re pulling your weight.

  • Oscar

    The main thing to look at is: “ARE you better off than you were 4 yrs. ago? Well?

    • Rosie

      That’s a bit tricky to answer, but I’d say yes. My savings is much diminished due to the purchase of a home, but thanks to the first-time homebuyer’s credit we were able to make some much-needed improvements to said home. My husband has a more stable, if lower-paying, job at a company he really likes.

      As important to me is the question of how others I care about are doing. Gay and bi folks in the military are better off, for certain, and I do care about them though I don’t (currently) know any personally. Gay and bi folks in my home state are worse off thanks to the current Republican state government (which passed a law allowing discrimination in employment and housing for religious reasons), and I AM one of those. My local school district is suffering cutbacks, leaving some of my neighbors unemployed, and others busing their grade-school-age children insane distances–again, thanks to the policies of the state government.

      If you think Romney will serve you better, by all means vote for him. But it seems pretty evident to me that Dems will serve me better in this cycle than Reps.

  • Oscar

    ARE you better off than you were 4 yrs ago? Well?

    • Carol

      Sure, look at the market, it came roaring back after it tanked in 2008. I bet Romney’s better off, that’s why he doesn’t want to release his tax returns.

      We’re out of Iraq, we have a path towards people getting healthcare, people are getting coverage who couldn’t get coverage before. My state is implementing a healthcare exchange thanks to the ACA, so if we decide to start our own business, we’ll have that opportunity without worrying about buying an exorbitant individual plan. The opportunities are out there, if you know how to find them and it starts with ignoring the gobshites that spout their bs on tv. If you’re just going to sit and whine, well, then there’s no help for you.

    • K

      Little late with your asinine question, but as a matter of fact I am much better off than I was 4 years ago. I didn’t realize that you supposed “rugged individualists” depended on the president to make your lives better for you.

  • topiary

    I love in #26, apart from all its other insanity, that the waiting list for prostate cancer is longer than that for ovarian cancer – “And they’ll give the WOMEN treatment before us!” Subtle, but there.

  • Azurist

    As a NZer, with regard to the homeschooling thing: I imagine it’s because our homeschooling rates are quite high owing to us being developed nations that are still fairly remote outside of major cities, hence we have quite high homeschooling rates in rural areas. I was homeschooled for the equivalent of preschool seeing as we lived in a remote location where regular schools weren’t an option (and typically kids will have to bus for 30+min each day or attend smaller schools with ~20 other kids in the more outlying towns if their parents choose regular schools over homeschooling or boarding schools), and I imagine that Australia wouldn’t be much different.

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  • Raul

    If you cant see the socialist values pushed down Americas throat by now by the usurper then he could lead you into full blown communism and I doubt if you would be able to see it even then! What is it about the obama regime for all of you liberals that you are begging obama for his soul oppressing,life theieving marxist state?? Your not fooling anyone,you’re either a communist liberal progressive or your a patriotic American,one or the other!

    • Carol

      You’re such a dithering moron. What is it with you people. Do you have any clue what socialism and communism even is, you blithering, bloviating, uneducated fool? You’re nothing but one of those teabagging, teat sucking, lazy, society- owes-me idiots. Sure, go on your own, you brave, wonderful individualist and just try to compete with the mega corporate empires that will squash you like the bug you are, and have you shitting in your bed every night because – gasp – people can actually get affordable healthcare. Do you even hear how stupid you sound?

  • Raul

    Who will all of the communist liberals direct their hatreds toward after Mitt is elected!

    • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

      Jeez, I’m so tempted to call Poe, but….?

  • ospalh

    Re point 23
    “Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania”
    Sounds more like WW II than the Cold War to me. Perhaps the letter writer just skipped the bit with the secret treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union… erm, i mean, …
    “Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria”
    The poor Slovaks. Always being left out. (Perhaps the Focus on the Patriarchy people think they just changed the name of Czechoslovakia. When they think at all.)

    Also, 25:
    There has been a nuclear war, and they have TWENTY-FOUR other points that are more important? A whole city eradicated, but praying at a flagpole and teaching your kids at home comes first? That’s one heck of a way of setting priorities.