Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How about checking your facts once in awhile

Snopes and Urban Legends are the oldest fact checking sites, but PolitiFact is probably the most efficient and popular.

Below is a list if sites I use:

* These are new sites that I have not yet completly vetted  

Can a fact checking site be biased? Of course, but the important point is to what degree, and even more important is that just because you disagree with the fact check that doesn’t make it biased. Most often we look for confirmation of our own biased and reject anything that we don’t agree with.

Ask yourself this:

  • Does the site have a stated methodology in their evaluation of facts. Do they conform to that methodology.
  • Does the site provide names, dates, verifiable quotes, and links to supporting references.
  • Are the source and references independent of the fact checking site. In other-words is the site quoting themselves or sister sites, opinion sites, or sites that are themselves biased.
  • Always consider the opposing opinion. You can’t truly understand the complexity of debate if you can’t completely understand and explain the opposing view.
  • When the site provides a link or reference does it checkout. Too many sites will provide a link to what is supposed to support a fact does it? I’ve seen many sites quote an article from SNOPES.COM and then when I click the link the SNOPES article doesn’t support the  sites claim, sometimes it is unrelated and sometimes it even disputes the claim. What is happening their is the site assumes that most people will be attracted to their headline and won’t actually read the article, and they think your too lazy to actually click and read the SNOPES article. That’s them calling you stupid and lazy, not me. Always check out sources and links… after awhile you learn what sites are honest and not.
  • Can you make a critical and fact based argument to support you view in the face of an unfavorable fact check?

After a while you will learn what fact checking websites are most reliable and honest. Notice I didn’t say unbiased. If you want a fact checker that supports your biased then your not interested in the truth. If you want a website that has absolutely no bias then good luck. I you can accept a website that meets the above criteria with some, but minimal bias, then your on the right track to getting at deciphering truth from opinion.

Never present opinion as fact, never ignore facts in the face of opinion, and don’t ever be afraid to weigh both fact and opinion equally.

These two sights are not fact checking sites like the above but:

this one is great for looking up and reading the actual language of proposed laws. You can also look up laws passed in past congresses:

and this one is great for looking up actual labor statistics. You know for those charts that keep appearing comparing on presidents effect on jobs against another, or one party against another.

Usually when you want to check an email you can just copy the title in the subject line of the email into the 'Search" box on the websites page. If someone has changed the subject line in the chain email you may have to look for a key phrase or words to put into the search box.

I won't claim that any of these sights are free of bias, but I don't think any site, or any of us can make that claim. The question should be how bias, that's why I usually look at more than two sights on any subject and sometimes will look at all of them to see if anyone has a counter argument.

Over the years I have responded to chain mails because I think that, just like old fashion chain letters, they are for the most part deceitful and pray on the little old lady types who could be scared into keeping the chain going for fear of bad luck. That's never the intention of the person forwarding the chain mail, but it is the intention of the person who originated it.

Sadly, it seems many people like forwarding the chainmail's. I say this because as I have responded by correcting the chainmail's I have received less of them. I suspect that too many people prefer to receive chainmail's that fit into their beliefs more so than they want to hear the truth or facts about someone they would rather hate than know the truth. (??)

Some chainmail's have been sent so much that at one point I started cataloguing them on one this website to keep from having to re-answer the same chainmail every year. Click the "Spitting Back" link. There are 20 post under that topic and they all won't appear in the same listing so when you get near the bottom look for the 'Older Post' link. There is also a link ('Spam and E-Mail Hoaxes') in the 'Information' box for an explanation of how and why people start chainmail's and why they can be putting your mailing list at risk.'




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