Fact Checking − Searching for the Truth
Your time is limited, don’t waste it
living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living
the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s
opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage
to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you
truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Federal Election Commission
It is only common sense to recognize
that the great bulk of Americans, whether Republican or Democrat, face
many common problems and agree on a number of basic objectives.
About this page. To all who care about the truth, I have set up this Web page with special links to help you verify information that you are pummeled with from all corners of the Internet. Be skeptical and check things out.
"I’ve noticed that chain e-mails,
particularly those about politics, have a lot of things in common:
urgent and frightening messages; spelling errors; a tendency to blame
mainstream media for not telling the real story; and false, misleading,
utterly bogus, and completely off-base claims. "If there was ever a case
where readers should apply a guilty-until-proven-innocent standard, this
is it. Be skeptical about politicians’ claims. With these e-mails,
outright cynicism is justified. Assume all such messages are wrong, and
you’ll be right most of the time. "Yes, there are a few chain e-mails
floating around the Web that are actually true – but not many."
"In a study of reactions to political
rumors propagated during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, Ohio State
University communications assistant professor R. Kelly Garrett found
that people were much more likely to believe false statements when
contained inside messages from family and friends. While people tended
to check out rumors posted on Internet sites and news portals, bringing
to bear old-fashioned skepticism, they appeared willing to suspend
disbelief when the information came from someone they knew well. "The
more often people received e-mails with false rumors, the more of the
rumors they believed. And as they increasingly bought into these false
statements, they sent out even more e-mails that contained them. But
here's the twist: This dynamic only worked when it involved candidates
the person already disliked or opposed. 'The problem is that we are more
likely to let our defenses down when we're dealing with our friends,
which is why e-mail can have such harmful consequences,' Garrett said.
'We don't normally question what our friends tell us.' "More than 90
percent of participants had heard the false rumor that 'Barack Obama is
a Muslim,' and 55 percent had heard the refutation. But 22 percent―disproportionately Obama opponents who got their info via e-mails―
still believed it. "Almost 60 percent had heard the false statement that
'Barack Obama does not qualify as a natural-born citizen of the U.S.,'
and 30 percent had heard that it was wrong. But 10 percent still
believed it. "Regarding a statement involving Palin: 'While serving as
the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin successfully banned several
books from the local library.' Some 40 percent had heard the rumor, and
15 percent knew it had been reported as false. But 13 percent,
disproportionately Palin opponents who got their info via email,
believed it anyway." 'Although most individuals do not thoughtlessly
forward every rumor they encounter online, they are prone to spread
falsehoods that strike them as plausible and that are consistent with
their political predispositions and this practice rapidly and repeatedly
reinforces political biases.'
It took me a matter of seconds to
verify that this whole story is FALSE. I repeat: FALSE. It's a hoax. It
stems from a piece of political satire published by John Semmens for the
Arizona Conservative in October 2007. Yet, months later, people are
still trotting out this piece of false garbage in an attempt to smear
Frankly, I now perceive the people who forwarded me this email as uneducated, lazy idiots who probably don’t even have enough brains to be responsible to vote. Yet, sadly, they do vote, and they probably make their choices based on this kind of false information. Aside from responding to them to set the record straight, I am not sure what else can be done to stop this behavior on a wider scale. But it does need to be stopped. It’s easy to drop acquaintances off your list of contacts when they send emails like this, but it’s almost impossible to cut off a family member if that’s who has sent the email. (It wasn’t a family member in this case.)
All I can do us strongly suggest—especially to those Republicans and/or bigots out there (they can be mutually exclusive)—that to avoid looking like complete idiots, do your homework and check out those chain emails before you send them on. Why? Because while one may be looking to make a political candidate look stupid, it’s the person sending the email that looks like the dummy
A man who does not think for himself
does not think at all.
What we think, we become.
Think for yourselves and let others
enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
People mistakenly assume that their
thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which
first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the
reasoning that will defend it.
Always keep an open mind and a
I consider all proposals
for government action with an open mind before voting "no."
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