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home : opinion : columns April 30, 2016


5/27/2014 6:01:00 AM
Column: Net lore had everything but context
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Alan Choate
News Editor


Last week, a letter recycled an interesting bit of net lore that tried to paint Hillary Clinton as a full-fledged communist ready to use the federal government to redistribute wealth - all for "the greater good."

What makes this particular missive interesting - interesting enough to keep it circulating at least since 2007 - is that it doesn't strictly lie or rely on a conspiracy theory. Mrs. Clinton actually spoke the words attributed to her.

But it presents the statements in a vacuum, allowing a false motivation to be imposed upon her statements.

Context matters, and erasing context is a dishonest way to attack someone.

Take the first statement in the chain email: "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

That certainly sounds incendiary. Does Hillary Clinton want to take more of my earnings in order to support some nebulous "common good"? Power run amok! Social engineering!

Except not really.

She was, in fact, speaking to a group of wealthy Democrats at a 2004 fundraiser, and she was specifically talking about the George W. Bush tax cuts. Those cuts probably helped people in her wealthy audience, and she was saying they could expect to lose some of that windfall.

I'm not quite sure about why the next quote on the list is considered nefarious, but here it is: "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few and for the few ... And to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."

What's the problem with ending government in favor of a favored few? And of course, we have a shared responsibility for our country, and prosperity should be shared as well.

Did you notice the ellipsis? (The ..., that is.) Always be aware of those, particularly when someone's trying to make a person look bad. It means something's been deliberately removed.

Here's what Clinton actually said, in a 2007 speech: "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few and for the few, time to reject the idea of an 'on your own' society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity. I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society."

So do I. We are all in this together, even if we don't like some of the people with whom we're in this together.

The full explanation of this bit of net lore is on www.snopes.com, complete with links to original sources and citations from the Washington Post, the Associated Press and CNN. Check it out for yourself, which is good advice any time you get some alleged "exposed!" email or link about someone people love to hate.

(A good example - I came across a link last week saying that Michelle Obama had passed a law banning chocolate milk in schools, or at least making it almost impossible for children to drink it. This one dates back several years, and, of course, the first lady's position is ceremonial. She can advocate for nutrition standards and encourage people to stay away from high-calorie beverages such as chocolate milk, but she has absolutely no ability to "pass a law." Think before you post.)

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose Hillary Clinton as a public figure and, potentially, as a presidential candidate. Maybe you don't like her policy stances. Maybe you hold her responsible for the Benghazi tragedy. Maybe you object to the idea that White House occupants seem to be alternating between Bushes and Clintons.

But if you're going to object to something uttered by her - or anyone else - make sure you know exactly what was said.

Related Stories:
• Kingman Letters: She meant what she said
• Letter: She said that?


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Article comment by: a Kingmanite

Alan's the man.

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@LOL

“Provide a ‘source of fact’ for that claim.”

I apologize for my error. Gates and Allen did not work out of a garage, they worked out of the Sundowner Motel on Central Avenue in Albuquerque, NM, across the street from MITS. A motel that was built in 1959/60 with federally financed loans. It was there that they formed Micro-Soft (later changed to Microsoft) before moving into an office building at 199 California Street NE.

“By the way, since Stokes says the garage was that of Gates's father, one of you is wrong on that as well.”

It should be pointed out that you are the one who made the original comment regarding Bill Gates garage.


Posted: Monday, June 2, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

Biker randy...my response was to this statement.

"And the success Bill Gates can be attributed to none of those (referencing the Presidents statement). But I suppose you can come back and claim big govt. somehow built the garage he and his partners started in."

I think it's quite obvious that Bill Gates benefited by his fathers use of the GI Bill to get his education. I retracted my statement that he used the VA loan program, as I don't know that to be fact.

The point was, that he had benefits that came from Gov't programs.

Btw..even though the VA program has a very low default rate, it does cost money. What about all the people that administer the program? And without that VA guarantee, how many people would not be able to get a loan at all? And buying a home translates into jobs for other people. No one does it all on their own.

Even "self made millionaires" normally start with a loan, grant, or something else to get them on the path. That was the point of the Presidents statement.



Posted: Monday, June 2, 2014
Article comment by: Beverly Hillbilly

OK, I'm dern cornfused here. Now how did it go?
Let's see, somebody built a fancy car cover and then sombody got em a GI loan on it. Now, was that Jobs or Gates or just some guy we don't know.
Anyhow, we got us a garage and a GI loan on it. Then did Jobs or Gates rent that or did one of them rent it to the other one? THis is sure mixed up. I cain't tell whcih story to believe here.
Then Gates/Jobs got a loan from the gubment so he could make a suckces of himsleef. Of course, since he is pretty dern smart, he probly could have done it without gubment help if he had too.
And then, I think, somebodys dad was a fancy attorney and bought a fancy house on the gi bill, maybe or maybe not. Maybe he paed cash or maybe he got a FHa loan or maybe a conventional loan or, or whatever. Anyway I'm sure the gubment must have helped or gosh, we would nver have got computers or the internet or nothing and we would still be living in the dark ages.
Thank GOd for the gubment!!!!!


Posted: Sunday, June 1, 2014
Article comment by: biker randy

@ V stokes................the only "VA mortgage system" I know of and used 4 times for home loans as a veteran is where you purchase a private bank home loan and the VA agrees to pay part of it if you default on your loan payments. Therefore if you like me make all your payments it doesn't cost the VA a cent for what they co-signed on the loan.

Posted: Sunday, June 1, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@AN

"However, to be accurate the home was owned by a man who had obtained a GI loan for the property so guess what?"

Provide a "source of fact" for that claim. By the way, since Stokes says the garage was that of Gates's father, one of you is wrong on that as well.

LOL


Posted: Sunday, June 1, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

Apologies, I had my Gates and my Jobs slightly jumbled together.

His father though did attend college on the GI Bill and became a successful attorney which allowed his son opportunities he likely would not have had otherwise.



Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"...big govt. somehow built the garage he and his partners started in."

No, a builder did, and then his parents purchased it, probably with a mortgage. And since his father became a successful attorney via the G.I. Bill, maybe he used the VA mortgage system as well. Lets see...GI Bill and possibly the VA mortgage...yep, sounds like big Government to me.


Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“But I suppose you can come back and claim big govt. somehow built the garage he and his partners started in.”

Since Gates and his partner (singular) began the concept of Microsoft in the garage of a rental home, it was not “his garage.” However, to be accurate the home was owned by a man who had obtained a GI loan for the property so guess what?

Also, Gates and Allen were hired to develop a “”BASIC” interpreter for MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) that was founded by the use of an SBC loan and held government contracts, so guess what?

Also, without the existence of the internet (which I pointed out) the entire world of personal computing would be…well virtually non-existent.


Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@AN

"Obama then cited the funding of the G.I. Bill, the creation of the middle class, the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam, creation of the Internet, and landing on the moon as examples of what he was talking about."

And the success Bill Gates can be attributed to none of those. But I suppose you can come back and claim big govt. somehow built the garage he and his partners started in.

But we do know that obama can tie his success in becoming a member of the 1% can be directly tied to govt. programs.

LOL


Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Mr. Choate:

Can we expect your quotes out of Hillary's new ghostwritten book? I'll help you along.

“Those who exploit this tragedy over and over as a political tool minimize the sacrifice of those who served our country,” she writes in the Benghazi: Under Attack chapter.

“I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans. It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.”

What absolute unmitigated gall. She did EVERYTHING on the backs of four dead Americans including doing nothing to rescue them. Why would NOW be different? Oh yeah, she might end up in the slammer.

I'm sure the Select Committee have just had the hell scared out of them, will stoop and bow to her Especially Committee head Trey Gowdy. NOT!!!!!! Hahahaha!

I will be renting this one from the library, no money out of my pocket for her book.


Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Article comment by: Anti tea

People like Tea Partier get their (inaccurate) comments posted, but say something bad about Republicans, and it doesn`t. My post was void of personal attacks, vulgar comments, or slanderous
remarks. The editor picks and chooses what gets published here. I`m sure there are many other Democrats who've had comments rejected, due to the editors personal bias.


Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Alan's example: "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

"...sounds incendiary...power run amok....Except not really."


She was, in fact, speaking to a group of wealthy Democrats at a 2004 fundraiser, and she was specifically talking about the George W. Bush tax cuts. Those cuts probably helped people in her wealthy audience, and she was saying they could expect to lose some of that windfall.

But remember this one concerning Mitt Romney? Also speaking to a group of fund raisers?

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,.... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement....."

REST OF THE STORY:

"And they will vote for this president no matter what...he starts our with 48,49%...a huge number...THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO PAY NO INCOME TAX...SO OUR MESSAGE OF LOW TAXES DOESN'T CONNECT...SO HE'LL(obama) BE OUT THERE TALKING ABOUT TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH......THAT'S WHAT THEY SELL EVERY FOUR YEARS".

Every word true, low tax message doesn't connect for them.

NOT how libs reported it.


Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

" “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.”"

It doesn't sound any better with all the "context" added back in.


Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Article comment by: Appreciating our new Miner

I'm getting to like the Miner more and more. They seem to be getting much better at digging beneath the surface and putting misleading stories and quotes into context. Good job!

Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Article comment by: biker randy

@ Nancy Jane.........."marching to society's drum and creating a life with a tragic ending for our generations to inherit." That's exactly what Hillary represents. If you can't see it YOU are the 1 with blinders on.

We need a new leader like Dr. Ben Carson to right the ship. Not another old political hack.


Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

The liberals voted in an amateur twice (Obama), later to become a well known "liar" and really bad cover up artist to the world, he was voted in because of his color, nothing else, and his bad policies have been backed up by the race card over and over.

Now with Hillary, she will be voted for because of her gender, another amateur that has less accomplishments than Obama, the country will suffer under her reign just as it is suffering under the current Obama extremist regime.


Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

This country needs some fresh blood at the helm, not another Bush/Clinton!

Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: Whose Story Is It?

Thank you for this column Alan. Not because it makes Hillary look a little less suspect, but because it reminds some of our regular commentators that they should not deceive the readers by posting only a portion of the story which is intended to make the subject appear either evil or saintly.

Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: Joe Schmo

As they say you are entitled to your own opinion. But you aren't entitled to your own facts.

Just like with President Obama, the far right is making up its own facts about Hillary Clinton. This is nothing new. They have only been at it for 22 years. However, expect a lot more in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election assuming she runs. And if she runs, she probably wins.


Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: Nancy Jane

Word of the Day - TERGIVERSATION
NOW is the time for each and everyone of us as human beings to recognize the potential we all possess as a collective group rather than picking and choosing sides. REALLY, these old ideas of sticks and stones are leaving us vulnerable to the environment we've created for ourselves. A world with blinders to the facts, marching to society's drum and creating a life with a tragic ending for our generations to inherit.
It's amuses me to read the prediction, "If she becomes the next President this country is doomed for sure". LOL!
Throw away your TV and be the change you want to see.



Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: biker randy

I already know who Hillary Clinton is having watched what she does for decades. If she becomes the next President this country is doomed for sure.


Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Alan:

You yourself are most guilty of what you speak of here.

A big example is the Bundy case, using half truths, never getting to the real truth, you never cited actual laws and doctrines in place showing Bundy is absolutely in the right and the BLM, coming in like storm troopers, was absolutely in the wrong. Never brought out even was something as simple as the fact, it would have been the local Sheriff (JUST AS BUNDY SAID), not the BLM to even come in AT ALL.

And Snopes? Really Alan? It's one man and woman who use the same internet to garner information like everyone else does, except they only gather up what fits their left leanings.

Journalism, real journalism, is about digging deep and getting to the real truth and real facts. One of these days, journalists ought to go back to doing just like.


Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

"Here's what Clinton actually said, in a 2007 speech: "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few and for the few, time to reject the idea of an 'on your own' society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity. I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society.""

It doesn't sound any better with all of the "context" added back in.


Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: Trained Observer

Some people will continue to bring up Bengazi while relying on "information" gained from already discredited news sources. Or they will conveniently ignore the fact that other embassies have had deaths and attacks - even while George Bush was at the helm - all 13 of them. They have also tried to suggest she has medical issues that should prevent her from being president. Funny, they never said anything about Ronnie Reagan's being senile while in office. There will be an ongoing smear campaign to try to discredit her from running in 2016 and it will escalate over time. A lot of people will not be able to do any research about anything because they are so enamored of party line (or party lies).


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