I am normally a great fan of the bottom up communications revolution -- after all this blog is a part of it --but it does have its downside. Sometimes I yearn for proper fact-checked journalism as a source of information. Perhaps in that world we wouldn't find ourselves in the crazy situation where a significant -- and worse of all growing -- proportion of the American people believe a crazy lie. A lie that is easily disproved by fact, common sense and circumstance. I mean the "birther"conspiracy that the USA is suffering right now. The theory is that President Obama was born in Kenya not the USA and is therefore ineligible to be president. It's the sort of daft rumour that demands evidence and as soon as that evidence comes it is dismissed as a conspiracy. The US right wing -- so stung by its crushing defeat in 2008 -- has bought into birtherism to the extent that even senior republicans will associate themselves with the lies. The rumour has been disproved again and again and yet -- fueled by today's incredible communications netowrks -- it continues to gather momentum. I don't really want to add to the buzz except to express my bemusement that the most informed society in history can continue to believe patent untruths. But they do, faked moon landings, Area 51, 9-11, 7-7...and all.