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Published on January 21, 2004 By russellmz In Politics
Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
                    - the Principal, from Billy Madison

I consider an urban legend "anti-knowledge". You take something that sounds amazing but plausible, then you try and tell as many people about it as possible, so they think it's true. There are some urban legends that are true: the deadly molasses flood in Boston and the Great Stork Derby during the Great Depression. But most "amazing" facts you read in those emails that get sent to you in the email are false, or at best have a limited kernel of truth.

Recently, I saw that someone had actually posted an article with a bunch of doozies. By the time I listed the biggest errors, I had most of an article written up. So here I'll list the worst ones I noticed. It was a letter to Bill Clinton with a list of things to "thank" him for.

14. The last and most important point - thank you for forcing Israel to let Mohammed Atta go free. Terrorist pilot Mohammed Atta blew up a bus in Israel in 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As part of the Oslo agreement with the Palestinians in 1993, Israel had to agree to release so-called "political prisoners." However, the Israelis would not release any with blood on their hands. The American President at the time, Bill Clinton, and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, "insisted" that all prisoners be released. Thus Mohammed Atta was freed and eventually thanked the US by flying an airplane into Tower One of the World Trade Center. This was reported by many of the American TV networks at the time that the terrorists were first identified. It was censored in the US from all later reports. Why shouldn't Americans know the real truth?
Holy crap! Clinton was the reason thousands of Americans died on 9/11! Actually, the above is false. According to urban legend debunking site, there are two guys with the same name. The reason that this was "censored in the US from all later reports" was because the information was freaking wrong.

12. Thanks to you and your staff in the West Wing of the White House for vandalizing and destroying government property on the way out. I also appreciate removing all of that excess weight (China, silverware, linen, towels, ash trays, soap, pens, magnetic compass, flight manuals, etc.) out of Air Force 1. The weight savings means burning less fuel, thus less tax dollars spent on jet fuel. Thank you!
Holy crap! The Democrats were sore losers and did massive vandalism on the White House! How E-villlllll. Except according to a Washington Post article:

The GAO based its damage estimate of at least $19,000 on the funds needed to repair or replace 62 computer keyboards, 26 cellular phones, 15 television remote controls, nine historic doorknobs, two chairs with broken arms and one presidential seal. "Damage, theft, vandalism, and pranks occurred in the White House complex during the 2001 presidential transition," concluded the report, which had been commissioned by Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.). "Incidents such as the removal of keys from computer keyboards; the theft of various items; the leaving of certain voice mail messages, signs and written messages; and the placing of glue on desk drawers clearly were intentional acts."

The report gave both sides some vindication. Bush aides said it validated their charges, and former Clinton aides said it proved the damage was minor and ordinary.

The report said "some of the same types of observations that were made concerning the condition of the White House complex during the 2001 transition were also made during the 1993 transition," when Clinton was taking office. The report said that the GAO was "unable to conclude whether the 2001 transition was worse than previous ones" but that career government employees recalled similar conditions in 1989, when President Bush's father was inaugurated.


But Clinton administration officials contended that Bush officials had wasted government money by provoking a report that turned up scant evidence of vandalism. They estimate the report's cost at $200,000.
So we get a kernel of truth: there was some damage. Of course, the previous (Bush Sr.) administration did the same thing and the damage was not noted as worse than previous ones.

The Clintons charge the Federal government $10,000 monthly rent for the use of that extra residence, which is just about equal to their mortgage payment. This means that we, the taxpayers, are paying the Clinton's salary, mortgage, transportation, safety and security, as well as the salaries for their 12 man staff-and, this is all perfectly legal!
Holy blah, blah, not true. rides again. As noted on their site: the Clintons have not accepted money from the Secret Service, the amount in question is nowhere near $10,000, and it is standard procedure for the Secret Service to pay homeowners for lodging.

AND THE REST OF THE STORY Hillary Rodham Clinton, as a New York State Senator, now comes under the "Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan," which means that even if she never gets reelected, she STILL receives her Congressional salary until she dies. (Would it not be nice if all Americans were pension eligible after only 4 years?)
Yet another urban legend. Yet another link.

First off, according to, by law Congressional pension cannot exceed 80% of their salary when they retire. Other factors such as length of service, retirement options chosen, etc. some into play.

Is the rest of the stuff he mentioned in this email going around true? How the hell should I know, I just spent an hour shooting down the most easily disproven points! If you want to know if it's true, research it yourself. I recommend people never believe claims that are not sourced received by email, whether it's "increase penis size by 100%" spam or "the REAL TRUTH about (insert famous person)!"

on Jan 21, 2004
Thanks man... i seriously believed that stuff...

but i am a naive Aussie and we dont really know whats going on over there most of the time... unless it involves Britney Spears or Shaquille O'neal.
on Jan 21, 2004
Of course, you get emails purporting to have both of them naked, together or separately everyday. It never turns out to be them though... ::Sigh::
on Jan 21, 2004
That was said tongue in cheek for those who missed it
on Jan 21, 2004
Reply By: Muggaz Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Thanks man... i seriously believed that stuff...

but i am a naive Aussie and we dont really know whats going on over there most of the time... unless it involves Britney Spears or Shaquille O'neal.

your welcome! i always enjoy shooting giant smoking holes in someone's argument. the sad thing is that people are generally trusting and people will always take advantage of that, even in something as silly as taking potshots at a president who's been out of office for years.