There’s the letter you’re supposed to get from the Klingerman Foundation. In it will be a little piece of foam, damp with deadly biological agents.

Not. It’s an old urban legend that was first discovered in April of 2000, resuscitated by vicious pranksters to make our lives just a little more miserable in this scary time. Or, just maybe, it’s psychological warfare perpetrated by terrorists.

Or, how about the picture above? Did you get it in your E-mail? It’s a hoax, of course. The jet is coming from the wrong direction, for one thing. For another, the plane is clearly a digital insert into the photo.

Or the story of the rescue worker who got a cellphone call from her husband trapped in the rubble beneath her feet. Never happened.

Now there are envelopes of white powder appearing in mailboxes in all sorts of places, and maybe this is just a little more sinister. A little bit of anthrax has been found in a building in Florida. Now in Austin, Cincinnati, San Antonio and other places, envelopes full of innocuous white powder are showing up–and causing significant decontamination efforts to be made. However, these have so far proved to be false alarms. Opinion: We need to be vigilant, and there is no question that envelopes full of unknown material must be investigated. But don’t help the fearmongers and the terrorists by passing along internet hoaxes. It’s cruel, unpatriotic and just plain dumb.

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

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