Several far-right news websites, amplified by The Drudge Report, published articles on Monday saying that Christine Ford, the college professor who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault, was a “mad” and “troubled” professor.
But the stories identified the wrong Christine Ford. The real accuser is Christine Blasey Ford, who teaches psychology and statistics at Palo Alto University. The one the right-wing sites targeted was Christine Adams Ford, a professor of human services at California State University, Fullerton.
The incorrect articles went viral, prompting the web sites to pull them down and issue corrections. Those doing so included Gateway Pundit and Grabien, along with right-wing agitator Jack Posobiec.
Grabien, a news website, sent readers to student reviews of the wrong professor.
“Many interested in learning more about who Ford is have come across her students’ reviews on RateMyProfessors.com,” read the article, which had no author listed. “They’re… not good.”
Grabien issued a correction within hours, but the story had already gone viral, receiving a link on The Drudge Report’s homepage. “CHRISTINE FORD’S STUDENTS RAVAGE HER IN REVIEWS,” the link read.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham also shared the Grabien post to her Facebook followers and later deleted it. Posobiec, one of the initial pushers of the Pizzagate hoax, linked directly to the wrong RateMyProfessors.com page from his Twitter account on Sunday night.
The wrongly identified Ford, Christine Adams, said she was giving a speech as a keynote speaker at a conference for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health when the sites began inadvertently began misidentifying her as Kavanaugh’s accuser.
The wrongly identified review page was the center of a Gateway Pundit story titled, "Kavanaugh Accuser Is Unhinged Liberal Professor who Former Students Describe as Dark, Mad, Scary and Troubled,” which was shared over 7,400 times on Facebook. The story was later updated to say that the website “learned this was a different educator with the same name,” but the story still calls the accuser a “far-left activist.”
Gateway Pundit has a track record of misidentifying newsworthy people based on social media accounts. Since January of 2017, it has incorrectly identified perpetrators of four different terror attacks, including claiming the Charlottesville car attack was perpetrated by an “anti-Trump protester” who was several states away.
Last month, the site wrongly claimed a mass shooting at a Madden video game tournament in Jacksonville was committed by a “member of the anti-Trump ‘resistance,’” citing a Reddit account that did not, in fact, belong to the shooter. www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news…
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are plagued by chronic poverty and violence that have sent a flood of refugees fleeing to the United States. Panama has gained the unwanted title as a world capital for money laundering and corruption. And all of them, plus Nicaragua, face recurrent political upheaval.
Yet amid this chaos, one Central American neighbor remains an island of political stability, economic prosperity and contentment: Costa Rica.
The country's secret is something that virtually no other country in the world can claim — no standing army. It has used the savings from defense spending to improve education, health care and a durable social safety net.
In 2018, Costa Rica will mark its 70th anniversary since it abolished its military, and that seems to suit the population. It ranked first in Latin America and 12th in world in happiness, according to the 2017 World Happiness Index. The Happy Planet Index ranked it No. 1 in the world.
This tropical country, home to the greatest density of species in the world, takes pride in its ecologically friendly policies that attract tourists to its lush jungles. It also enjoys a standard of living that is about double that of other Central American nations except for Panama, which profits from the Panama Canal.
Costa Rica's experiment without a military began in 1948, when Defense Minister Edgar Cardona proposed the idea to spend more for education and health, according to former Interior minister Alvaro Ramos.
José Figueres, provisional president at the time, took the proposal to the constitutional assembly, which approved it. Instead of a permanent armed forces, the assembly created a new civil police force to defend the nation.
Ramos, 62, said the change led to many advances for Costa Rica, especially in the 1950s and '60s. “The standard of living of the sick, rural society went up, (and) we built big hospitals, but most importantly, there was a massive education boost,” he said.
Costa Rica leads the Latin American and Caribbean region in health and primary education, having the second lowest infant mortality rate after Chile and a 98% literacy rate, according to the 2016-17 Global Competitiveness Report.
The country also provides universal health care to its citizens and permanent residents. The World Health Organization ranks Costa Rica as having the best health care system in Central America and 36th best in the world.
Costa Rica has a history of presidential support for peace and conflict resolution without violence. Former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oscar Arias claims that negotiation is the best way to avoid confrontation.
“Military solutions to conflicts should be the last, last resort,” he said. “Here, conflicts are resolved at a negotiating table.”
Arias, 77, received international attention during his first presidential term in 1986 for his efforts to end major civil wars and pro-communist revolutions in several Central American countries.
“In 1986, the fundamental theme of my political campaign was to look for a diplomatic solution negotiated in Central America,” said Arias.
He said the Reagan administration was “obsessed” in the 1980s with supporting Nicaragua's Contras, the right-wing rebel group that opposed the socialist Sandinista government. Arias rejected President Ronald Reagan’s military option and instead searched for a pacifist solution.
Arias received the Nobel in 1987 for leading a peace plan with Central American heads of state to agree on economic cooperation and a peaceful resolution to that conflict.
“In every negotiation you obtain what you can, not what you want,” Arias said. “We have in our hands the future of Central American youth, and we cannot fail them.”
Arias criticized the United States for being a country that loves war and solves its conflicts through violence, “The United States doesn’t even try,” he said.
Costa Rica remains a peaceful nation despite the continuing violence in neighboring countries. The border between Costa Rica and Panama became the only non-militarized frontier in the world after Panama followed Costa Rica’s example and abolished its military in 1989.
Ramos pointed to this as an example for the world, especially since these two countries are in a region riddled with violence from drug trafficking and organized crime. According to Ramos, the absence of a military is the reason behind peaceful relations between Costa Rica and Panama.
Eva Lahnmann, a Costa Rican working in Denver as a case manager at Clinica Familia Health, feels pride in being from a country without a military. “I see it with my friends who live in Mexico and Venezuela," said Lahnmann, 23. "They live in constant fear, and having a military adds to this fear.”
“I cannot relate to this because the life we have in Costa Rica is so peaceful, so happy,” she added.
Lahnmann admits that Costa Rica is not a paradise, noting there is still crime and poverty. Yet she is grateful to grow up in a mostly peaceful society.
“My mother can sleep at night,” Lahnmann said. “Just like that famous expression, ‘Blessed is the Costa Rican mother who knows her son at birth will never be a soldier.’” - eu.usatoday.com/story/news/wor…
Just imagine what could be done at home with the $700 and $716 Billion Trump is gonna spend on the military