Monday, March 20, 2006 eRumor Report

Please check out whenever you receive an email that sounds questionable.  It's one of the best sites I know for separating internet fact from fiction.  plk

From:  Rich Buhler
RE:  eRumor report

Boy, the eRumor mill is churning.

We've got one right now that has had some of the widest circulation of anything for quite a while.


The eRumor says that trees felled by the hurricanes in New Orleans are being turned into piles of chips.  The piles are available to anyone who wants them and the state has appealed to other states to come get them.  The problem is that the trees were infested with Formosan termites and may end up in the mulch you buy from your local nursery or home improvement store.

The story is FICTION!   We're guessing it was written by someone who had good intent but who simply assumed a lot.

It is true that New Orleans is a hot bed of Formosan termites, one of the most destructive termites known to man.   The USDA estimates that they are in 30% of the trees in New Orleans.  

There is not much danger, however, of them ending up in your mulch in California, Minnesota, New York or anywhere else outside of the South and for several reasons:

1. There is a quarantine preventing any hurricane damaged materials from being shipped outside of the parishes of New Orleans.  That includes downed trees, chipped trees, and new or used lumber.
2. Most of the downed trees were underwater, which killed the termites that inhabited them.
3. Most of the chipped trees are either being burned or used in landfills.
4. Experts we interviewed said the termites would probably not survive the chipping process and if they did would not survive living in tightly sealed, hot bags of mulch.
5. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes buy mulch only from suppliers that comply with the standards of the Soil and Mulch Council.

For more details, go to:
Or click SEARCH at the top of any page at and use TERMITES as the search term.

Other stories on the eRumor Hit Parade right now:

CITGO is owned by the country of Venezuela whose president is anti-U.S.-Truth!

This story calls for a boycott of CITGO gas stations in protest.  

CITGO is the American subsidiary of the state-run Venezuelan oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA.    Additionally, the leftist president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is highly critical of the U.S. and a close ally of Cuba's Fidel Castro.

For more details, go to:
Or click SEARCH at the top of any page at and use VENEZUELA  as the search term.

Popular minister and musician Hezekiah Walker has come out of the closet as homosexual-Fiction!

People often ask me whether eRumors can cause harm.   This one is an example of how they can.

Hezekiah Walker, known as the "Hip-Hop pastor,"  is the leader of the popular Love Fellowship Choir from Brooklyn, New York.   A rumor was published on an Internet music news site that claimed that Walker was homosexual, was divorcing his wife, had given her a sexually transmitted disease, had tossed her out of their home, and was preparing for his lover to live with him.

A few days later, after the story had spread to numerous other sites, the site that had originally published the story retracted it, said they had been misled by a hoax, and issued a apology to Walker and his church.

For more details, go to:
Or click SEARCH at the top of any page at and use HEZEKIAH as the search term.

Virus News for Mac owners!

The biggest virus story is about Apple/Macintosh computers.  That's right Macs!  Normally they are exempt from virus warnings.  The predominant number of computers are PC's so those are what the virus writers target.  But during February, a couple of viruses popped up for Macs.  They weren't at bad as some of the worst we've seen among PC's, but is it a trend?  

One is called Leap-A.  It also goes by the name of Oompa.  It's a Trojan that disguises itself as a jpeg image of an upcoming version of the Mac operating system.  It simply makes copies of itself and sends them to people on the user's iChat buddy list.   iChat is an instant messaging system for Apple users.   The other virus is being called OSX.Ingtana.A.  It tries to duplicate itself through Bluetooth wireless connections with other Apple computers.  Apple has issued a software security update that addresses the vulnerability that the virus exploits.  Experts say, however, that the virus does not appear to be destructive.

Blessings to each of you!   Help keep spreading Truth! on the Internet.

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