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Comment Re:You do, obviously (Score 1) 367

You just said you don't trust the evil right-wing blogs.

It's got very little to do with blogs being evil or right-wing, and far more to do with spouting unsourced assertions. And yes, evil left-wing blogs do this too.

But when Bernie does it his numbers "have merit" and are "mostly true." When Trump does it he's "misleading" and "mostly false." Fuck you politifact.

The difference is that Sanders qualified his statements to refer to a more specific demographic:

"If you look at Latino kids between 17 and 20 who graduated high school, 36 percent of them are unemployed or underemployed. African-American kids are unemployed or underemployed to the tune of 51 percent."

(emphasis mine). Trump didn't; his claim was far more sweeping:

"If you look at what’s going on in this country, African-American youth is an example: 59 percent unemployment rate; 59 percent," Trump said.

Politifact asked both candidates to clarify; Sanders pointed them at research supporting his more-specific claim, while Trump did not respond. They speculate that Trump perhaps meant everyone who wasn't working, including students and others who weren't even looking for work, which is not the official definition of "unemployment rate". There's a reason the BLS lists Employed and Unemployed rates separately; they measure different things.

Surely you can see the difference between those two claims? Trump's broader claim, using the normally-accepted definition of "unemployment", does not come close to the current figures. Sanders' more-specific claim was supported by research. If Trump wants his assertions to be accepted, he either needs to be more specific, or to back them up with sources.

More importantly, Politifact a) examined the actual words said, with some context, b) provided sources for their figures, and c) fully explained their reasoning. That's all we can ask a fact-checking site to do, as it allows us to see why they made their judgement. You're free to assume a different interpretation of the words if you like, and also to link to other fact-checking sites that hopefully provide equally lucid reasoning. But claiming that "they said the same thing and Politifact supported one and not the other" is clearly not the case.

Also, I did not claim that the left doesn't tear down sources (they certainly do), I said "they rarely work this hard to tear down every reputable source". Perhaps we have different definitions of "reputable"? My idea of a reputable source is one that provides well-researched sources (peer-reviewed where possible) for their claims, and makes it clear when they are indulging in speculation. There are plenty of blogs on both sides that fail at this, but fact-checking sites generally try harder. I'm sure Breitbart comes out with well-researched pieces too, but there's a lot of articles full of unsourced assertions mixed in with them, which does not do their reputation much good. One can hope that their higher-quality points are picked up and repeated by more reputable sites, where they may get a broader audience.

My point was less about political mud-slinging, since that's a god-awful mess on both sides that I have little interest in (not being American), but more about the common theme of science denial that a fairly large proportion of conservatives seem fond of (in my country too). That this is being extended to fact-checking sites worries me, particularly the assumption that any fact-checking site would automatically be assumed by the right to be biased towards the left. Is objective truth really considered so hard to pin down, now? Are there no well-sourced fact-checking sites that the political right feels comfortable with?

Comment Re:You do, obviously (Score 1) 367

It's been asserted a million times. And I don't doubt one could find examples of fact-checking sites deliberately obscuring the truth - I certainly see it often enough on less-reputable blogs (the ones that rarely bother to cite sources).

But if you want to convince people that most fact-checking sites are just propaganda tools, you're going to have to show evidence of this. You know, like the fact-checking sites are supposed to. Telling people doesn't work, as you say, but showing them sometimes does.

It's interesting how it seems it's always the conservatives leading the charge against any source of objective truth - "scientists can't be trusted, peer review doesn't work, fact-checking sites are biased, the truth is what I say it is and you'd think the same if you just googled the blogs yourself". While the far left spouts their own brand of bullshit, they rarely work this hard to tear down every reputable source that disagrees. Why is that?

Comment Re:You do, obviously (Score 1) 367

they're really just propaganda and get cited as if they're authority

And here we have another claim that doesn't cite any sources (and no, Politifact doesn't say that).

If you have specific issues, cite specific examples. If you think that a fact-checking site is wrong about the literal facts, then cite a reputable source that disproves that. If you think that a fact-checking site is misinterpreting an issue, then cite sources that you think don't, preferably ones at least as reputable. Then people can decide for themselves.

That your unsourced assertion got marked as Insightful is exactly why we need fact-checking sites in the first place, or we'll all get buried in the bullshit.

Comment Re:"""Fact check""" (Score 2) 367

Thank you for linking to an authoritative source. That's exactly the sort of information that's needed - and it does not contradict Snope's account at all. I agree it says she made an investigation; I do not agree that it says she thinks the victim is a crazy liar:

"I have made an investigation of the facts and circumstances in this case, and and verily believe that a psychiatric examination of the defendant, , is necessary and vital in this case.

It says quite literally (not "almost") that she believes an examination is necessary, and nothing about what she personally thinks of the victim. However, I do agree her words are clearly intended to cast doubt on the victim's mental state, in the mind of the jury. I would describe that as an obvious and expected action from a defence lawyer in a case like that. I disagree that this implies any moral deficiency on the part of that lawyer; if she does not perform her job to her ability, it merely opens avenues for appeal.

The facts are what she actually said. The rest is your interpretation, or mine. She clearly did not tell the jury that the defendant "made up the rape story", so Snopes is right to call that one out. But I will agree with you that the implied accusation she made is indeed very similar to Trump's frequent implications; the primary difference being it was her job to imply that, in a case she clearly did not want.

Don't claim to "check facts" when you are in fact putting forth a position.

Are you not doing exactly that?

Comment Re:"""Fact check""" (Score 1) 367

Hillary Clinton alleged that the victim was lying/crazy. True.

Nope. Rather than asserting that claim, she asked for a psychiatric exam to find out:

...other people, including an expert in child psychology, had said that the complainant was "emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing about persons, claiming they had attacked her body," and that "children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences." Clinton therefore asked the court to have the complainant undergo a psychiatric exam (at the defense's expense) to determine the validity of that information:

Hillary got the guy off a longer sentence, and laughed about it. True.

Except it was the victim's mother who pushed for the plea deal:

The victim says it was her mother, who had recently been abandoned by her husband, who pushed for a quick plea deal to avoid the humiliation of having her daughter testify in open court.

And she didn't laugh about reducing his sentence either, but about how the evidence was presented:

She did audibly laugh or chuckle at points, not about "knowing that the defendant was guilty" or "getting a guilty guy off" (which makes little sense, given that the defendant pled guilty) but rather while musing about how elements of the case that might ordinarily have supported the prosecution worked in the defendant's favor (i.e., observing that the defendant's passing a polygraph test had "forever destroyed her faith" in that technology)

Context is everything, yes? If you boil it down too much, the meaning evaporates.

Comment Re: Oh Goody (Score 2) 367

That's precisely why any fact-checking site worthy of the name lists its sources, so you can verify it for yourself. And to ensure you're not being given a selective view of the truth, you certainly don't take any single site as gospel, but compare a number of them to get the full picture. They're convenient but hardly definitive.

Or just google for yourself, like you should already be doing. You seem to think that verifying facts is nigh-impossible, when it's now easier than it has ever been. Objective facts are not some mythical unicorn to be sneered at, despite recent attempts to bury them in bullshit.

Comment You do, obviously (Score 2) 367

You follow up the sources to ensure they're credible (if it doesn't list sources it's not much of a fact-checker). You also compare against other fact-checkers, to see if the sources were cherry-picked.You should already be doing this for anything even vaguely controversial you read on the internet.

Fact-checking sites aren't the sole arbiters of truth, they're just conveniences to save you the bother of googling the info yourself.

Comment Re:Surprisingly XKCD is wrong ! (Score 1) 221

I've heard it all before. It's textbook denial - you are literally claiming that scientific results are completely untrustworthy. And as usual, you're only claiming that about the results you don't like, while simultaneously complaining about bias in others and accusing them of not being scientific enough. The irony would be breathtaking if I hadn't seen the exact same thing so many times.

Toss in a few insults, the usual misconceptions & unsupported claims, and a bunch of excuses about how it's all futile anyway or might enrich other people - and there's nothing unique or interesting in your post at all. Yawn. And you've made it very clear you'll dismiss anything I say anyway; it's pointless arguing further, so call that a win if you like.

Comment Re: I think the science is in. (Score 1) 275

That's the whole point. A competitive market will take care of the rest. And if there isn't a competitive market for some products yet, then the revenue from the carbon taxes can be used to help develop one, or offset some of the impact until there is.

That approach was proving quite effective in AU, until an incoming right-wing prime minister rolled it all back on behalf of his coal-magnate buddies.

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