DISCLAIMER: They actually don’t.
But gullible people on Facebook would have you think so! My dislike for fake stories that circulate on Facebook is well documented, and I feel like I have been bombarded with this particular one lately. Not only can I not believe how many people fall for it, but I can’t believe that it is still circulating after so many years. So my friends, I am going to take a little time to explain why this, as well as many other stories on Facebook, is not true. If you haven’t had the misfortune of seeing this story on your news feed, then follow the break to learn what I am
ranting about referring to…
Happy MLK and Inauguration Day! Today, Barack Obama was sworn in for his second and final term as President of the United States – at least, it appeared that way. He was actually sworn in yesterday, January 20th, as dictated by the Twentieth Amendment to the US Constitution. However, since that fell on a Sunday, the inaugural ceremony took place today with all the pomp, hype, and glamour that can only be found during the biggest moments of American political history. In honor of this day – and because we here at *AT* love all things presidential – we would like to share the stories of three other inaugurations that stand out from the rest.
In a move that I am sure was inspired by too many petitions calling for Death Stars and such, the White House’s online petition site We the People has raised the threshold for getting an official response from the Obama Administration from 25,000 signatures to 100,000 signatures. At the time of this writing, only one out of the 273 petitions on the site has hit this mark – a petition with well over 300,000 signatures calling for the Westboro Baptist Church to be officially designated as a hate group. This makes sense, because anybody with a soul would support that.
Ultimately, I think this move is justified; the White House has had to pen 96 responses to petitions so far, including the really ridiculous ones. For example, one asks for Obama’s impeachment for four reasons that are basically just completely false. The White House responded as such, and in a very civil manner at that. Now, this change does not mean that the White House won’t be monitoring all the petitions that are put up, but hopefully it means that they will be able to dedicate much more time to organizing and creating effective responses to the petitions that actually cross the 100,000 signature threshold.
Sure enough, there is also a petition to lower the threshold back down to 25,000. Read the White House’s official justification after the break. In the mean time, check out Obama’s direct response to the WTP petition concerning gun violence below. No matter where you stand on the issue, it is nice to know that this website is actually paid attention to.
Everyone can find the United States on a map, and every American can find their home state, but few can explain how their state – and the land of the United States – came to be. The US is currently the fourth largest country in the world by land area, but it all started with just a few settlements on the Atlantic coast. It took several centuries of politics, economics, and war to draw the borders which we currently know and love today. In this series, America the Huge-ful, we look at some of the most interesting stories about how our map came to be.
If you played The Oregon Trail in elementary school, then you know that the Oregon Territory was one of the most desirable places to relocate to during the 1800’s: a vast, utopian valley where milk and honey flowed in rivers and the trees stayed green all year round. While it was a nice place to live, this image was actually far from the truth. For much of its history the Oregon Country was a territory disputed by several nations and devoid of much of a central government. However, that would change when America would make one of the most daring land grabs in history.
We have all heard of the reclusive North Korean leader. We all know he was a little nuts…and a little lonely. But did you know that he invented the hamburger?
It turns out he was basically the most amazing human that ever lived…at least according to North Korean state-run media. In fact, all of the legendary facts below were either spoken or written at some point by official government sources.
In another startling display of unconventional citizen action, a new petition has been started on We the People, a site that is quickly becoming one of our favorites here at *AT*. Unlike the past petitions we have covered though, this one actually seeks to solve a real problem – and that problem is the debt ceiling. Solution? Have the US Treasury Department mint a coin worth $1 trillion. *Sigh*…I’m no economist, so this one will take a while to pick through folks.