Tag Archives: Fact Checking

Fake News?

I saw a picture 5 days ago online that was part of a story how the sexist Ukranian army was making female soldiers march in high heels. MUCH outcry over it also, with the world denouncing the barbaric practices.

This story came from the Washington Examiner and was (theoretically) vetted by MSN News before they also posted the story. The Examiner even claims that the photo in question was released by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

BUT, are we REALLY seeing what we are told we’re seeing? These are cadets practicing for a parade supposedly. HOWEVER… The picture immediately raised several questions for me.

First, why are they all wearing numbers like they’re entering a marathon? Hardly military.

There are also several other inconsistencies with their “uniforms”:

  1. Their stockings are all different. No Uniformity.
  2. Their T Shirts are different colors and worn differently also, with sleeves folded or rolled at the wearer’s whim.
  3. There’s no rank or any other military insignia anywhere on the uniforms
  4. Their pants are too tight, with many of the girls looking like they’re wearing stretch pants almost. Military combat uniforms are loose to allow freedom of movement.
  5. Hats are pulled down with their bills creased to varying degrees as well.

There’s a variance in posture, head position and hair styles that don’t speak to being real military cadets as well.

For comparison, I did A LITTLE scouting around the internet and quickly found several pictures to fact check. Something it SEEMS that the Examiner and MSN should have done:

image via Reddit

These are actual Ukrainian soldiers (as opposed to alleged cadets). Note that everything I pointed out as wrong in the above picture is different here.

image from UniformGirls.blogspot.com

Above is a picture of women wearing a Ukrainian army dress uniform.

image via warnewsupdates.blogspot.com

And for comparison, there’s the men’s uniforms above and the women’s’ full combat uniforms below:

MY CONCLUSION:

I’d bet that first picture that the Examiner ran with was a fake created by Russia, and wasn’t even fact checked. Russia has wanted The Ukraine back under it’s thumb for a long time, and propaganda is a favorite tactic. If they can make Ukraine’s government look evil, less people will complain when Russia rolls in to take the rest of the country after already seizing part of it’s coastal area for naval bases.

That said, I do indeed smell a rat here, AND wonder where the fact checking and named sources are. I also wonder how we’re supposed to trust the media when things like this are regularly turning up as “factual” news.

Fact Checking in the Current Reality

Fact checking is getting increasingly difficult in today’s society. The ends justify any means seems to be the rallying cry of people connected with any and every cause out there. Politicians, media, special interest groups… They all play hard and loose with the truth. Even fact checking organizations like Snopes have been caught lying multiple times to suit various agendas.

So what’s the average person to do? Here are a few answers:

Question EVERYTHING:

I’m talking… writing about maintaining an open mind and healthy skepticism of anything you hear. It doesn’t matter if you agree with it in principle or strongly oppose it.

Extreme? Every DAY we generate 2.5 Quintilian Bytes of new data. 90% of the information in the world has been generated in the last 2 years. That’s astounding if you stop and think about how much science and philosophy existed before that. Let’s break it down to the amount of data per minute:

graph courtesy of Domo.com

Are you getting the point? There’s a HUGE amount of new data being produced!

NOW, think about it logically and ask yourself; “How much of this is just complete, unsubstantiated crap put together by somebody with an axe to grind?” Is there REALLY that much new being discovered, or are people just rehashing the old AND in many cases, spinning it worse than a merry go round?

If science was advancing THAT fast, we’d have cured global warming and all disease, developed interstellar travel, teleportation and flying cars. We might have even found the mythical cure for stupidity, LOL.

So yes, the vast majority of what you see “new” any given day is going to be fluff or garbage. That is why you MUST question everything.

If There’s No Supporting Evidence, Treat it as Garbage:

Darn near every site from mainstream news to conspiracy sites like Prison Planet LOVE to make claims and “cite facts” with absolutely no physical evidence or credible first hand witnesses to back them up. The Kennedy assassination conspiracy is a great example here. Everybody knows this, everybody knows that… Where’s the proof to back up ANY of the 20 different theories out there? It’s all he said she said.

What IS Proof? Primary Sources:

Primary sources are something anyone who has gone to college has drilled into them. A primary source is a FIRST HAND witness’s or expert’s testimony, OR original documents relating to the specific issue. A history book about the Gettysburg Address is not a primary source (unless written by somebody who was there for it). A copy of the actual speech is.

In short, don’t believe some Coast to Coast AM guest saying Kennedy was killed over wanting to reveal UFOs unless he’s got government documents or Kennedy’s journals saying as much.

Bias and Half Truths:

The most common way to manipulate people is a half truth. All good lies are wrapped around a touch of the truth. It makes them more believable. Using a non-political example; “He ran the truck straight through that crowd without slowing down” sounds much different if “the brakes had failed” was a part of the hypothetical news story.

The news and other groups will play EXACTLY this kind of game with the truth though, just for the sake of ratings and sensationalism, or to push some agenda.

Bias is HUGE problem with half truths, even with primary sources. Facts are overlooked, ignored or outright hidden if it doesn’t suit an agenda. Health care is a great example. The US has the best health care in the world. True, but how good is it if you can’t afford it? Socialized medicine is the answer! Yeah if you want to wait five years and die before you get cancer treatment because you’re older and therefore less likely to benefit long term from treatment than a younger person.

Both sides play loose with the truth there and refuse to acknowledge the flaws of their own side.

The key here is to always ask “what is NOT being said?” and “what’s their agenda?”.

Timelines:

Here’s another important one. Most of the misinformation crowd does a BAD job checking facts on their own lies. Timelines being a prime example.

There’s an FDR quote from 1948 where he says some of his best friends are Communists. The only trouble there is that FDR died in 1945.

Likewise the infamous “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” quote attributed to Rothschild didn’t surface until a century after his death. Doesn’t mean I trust him or any other big banker, BUT the quote is questionable.

Great way to manipulate people into N.W.O. conspiracies and antisemitism though.

Multiple Sources:

Sometimes, particularly with current events, it’s damned near impossible to get the whole truth from any source. What you have to do in those cases is research multiple sources with differing points of view. Doing so with an open mind can often help you piece the bigger picture together.

Worry About What’s Relevant:

This is a BIG key to keeping your sanity in the current information apocalypse. Conspiracy fans are BAD here also. They’ll go back hundreds of years looking for the vaguest hint of something to prove a connection in a web of conspiracy. A good recent example with a friend was investigating Walter Cronkite. She found out Cronkite was a big NWO guy.

That’s all good and well, but Cronkite is dead and buried, and nobody out there is regularly quoting him as some paragon of wisdom. With the POSSIBLE exception of journalism schools, the guy is irrelevant nowadays as THIS N.W.O. guy:

Focus instead on the current crop of mainstream journalists who never met a globalist big government idea that they didn’t like and would say ANYTHING to promote. Or if you want to worry about dead people, worry about somebody like John Lennon and his utopian socialist fairy tale ideals that are still being spouted by people.

Conclusion:

My honest opinion is that the majority of stuff floating around the internet today was put there either by people too lazy to research and thus find the flaws in their stories, OR outright deliberately put there as misinformation to deliberately lead people astray. It’s infinitely harder to get to the truth of the Kennedy assassination if there are a dozen theories out there with “experts” all swearing this is the only possible explanation.

If you REALLY want the truth nowadays, you have to be willing to work for it. The situation is only going to get worse with the rise of deep fakes also. Soon we’ll have pics and videos everywhere of politicians doing the KFTC. Don’t believe it.

Research and verify! And that’s Tuesday Trash the way it is.

“Don’t Believe Anything on the Internet” – Abe Lincoln

This was originally going to be a little bit of fun, and an equally small amount of nerd boasting. However, a quick bit of research revealed this was worthy of a lighter “Tuesday Trash” post.

You see, I came across an article about how it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to find a pre-1997 edition of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Why Finding the Original 1977 ‘Star Wars’ Verges on the Impossible

My fellow nerd was raging over the injustice of never having been able to see the version BEFORE Lucas mucked up the trilogy with the Special Editions.

Side Note; Personally the only Special Edition add in that I didn’t like was Greedo also firing. I’m solidly in the “Han shot first” camp, and believe he was justified too since Greedo said he was going to kill him while holding a gun (blaster) on him.

It was quite a long rant also about the injustices that George Lucas inflicted upon the fan base that made him filthy rich, and how it was so unfair that everything released after 1997 was an adulterated version of the film.

Well,you all know how I HATE proving the media wrong but…

Yes, I canz has my very own copy of the 1995 edition of the original releases, whose only changes were better transfer to the VHS tape and the addition of THX sound like the theaters had.

Well, Silk is lucky, Silk is blessed by the gods beyond all measure while poor mortals suffer, right? Not really. You see, these tapes and the earlier VHS releases as well are all over Amazon and eBay, most of them are quite affordable as well. So, the entire article is based on an ENTIRELY false premise. One that takes all of two minutes to dispel also, if that.

Remember my recent post where I quoted my 11th grade history teacher about assuming somebody is lying and then look for the motivation? Most likely the entire article was the author just trying to establish some “street cred” with the troll element of us OLD guard Star Wars fans.

Crime against humanity??? HARDLY. I picked on this article for a couple of reasons though. First I’m sick of the political horse crap out there right now. Besides, if I pick on Dems or Pubs, I lose half my readers right there.

The bigger point here is that it’s not just political news that you have to read with a discerning eye. The bigger the issue, the more manure you’ll find, but anything, even something as simple as a story about the availability of a film, can be full of it.

In fact, if they’ll lie this badly about something this insignificant, imagine how hard they’ll bend the truth for something like politics.

Fact checking is your friend.