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Thread: Misleading statements 101

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    Misleading statements 101

    Here is a classic example of how our government is willing to distort facts to mislead the American people.

    Sarah Hucklebee Sanders stated over the weekend: “We know that roughly nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border.”

    If you break that down individually, the statements can be considered true:

    1. Statistics show that nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally.
    2. It can be successfully argued that that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border.

    But in fact the statistics being used actually show NO known terrorists coming through the southern border and the majority of the terrorist mentioned in the quoted statistics come through airports.

    So this isn’t one political party’s opinion over another or a disagreement on politics….this was an outright attempt to deceive. I can just imagine it. A group of people planning that appearance and saying the first part is true and the second parts is true so it really isn’t a lie. Than purposely going on national TV knowing full well they were deliberately trying to mislead the country for their own purposes. If Chris Wallace hadn’t confronted her on that she would have gotten away with a seemingly convincing, but totally untrue, position statement.

    YECH!!!!!!!!!!


    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b073352833c7c0
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    "Alexa, what is a Non Playable Character?"

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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    "Alexa, what is a Non Playable Character?"
    I don't understand the reference?
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    We live in a post fact world I'm afraid. I think you've got it worse over there and your current Whitehouse incumbents are the worst I've ever seen but we've got plenty of it on this side of the pond as well. It's depressing.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    The phrase 'There are lies, damned lies and statistics' comes to mind here! See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_...and_statistics
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    I've noticed that politically charged posts, or at least mine, don't really get much of a response here anymore. I was actually surprised to see a serious one at all and was considering asking the mods to delete mine before you posted. I can understand that considering this is mainly a technical forum albeit this is "Chit Chat". Religion and politics are usually “no win" discussions. And I will freely admit my bias against Trump.

    But what I see lacking along those lines is how as a country we have come to accept the blatant and unabashed lying from our president. I'm not talking about "a chicken in every pot', "read my lips, no more taxes", or "you can keep your doctor" kind of lies all politicians tell. I'm talking about a constant stream of falsehoods and outright lies that are being used in an attempt to govern this country.

    This isn't partisan politics in my opinion...it is a democratic crisis. And not a "crisis" on the border that Trump will be falsely making a case for tonight. Forget whether you are a Republican or a Democrat and look at the stability of our president’s mental state and capacity.
    Last edited by TysonLPrice; Jan 8th, 2019 at 07:41 AM.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    The phrase 'There are lies, damned lies and statistics' comes to mind here! See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_...and_statistics
    In fact...90% of statistics are made up on the spot
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    I've noticed that politically charged posts, or at least mine, don't really get much of a response here anymore. I was actually surprised to see a serious one at all and was considering asking the mods to delete mine before you posted. I can understand that considering this is mainly a technical forum albeit this is "Chit Chat". Religion and politics are usually “no win" discussions. And I will freely admit my bias against Trump.

    But what I see lacking along those lines is how as a country we have come to accept the blatant and unabashed lying from our president. I'm not talking about "a chicken in every pot', "read my lips, no more taxes", or "you can keep your doctor" kind of lies all politicians tell. I'm talking about a constant stream of falsehoods and outright lies that are being used in an attempt to govern this country.

    This isn't partisan politics in my opinion...it is a democratic crisis. And not a "crisis" on the border that Trump will be falsely making a case for tonight. Forget whether you are a Republican or a Democrat and look at the stability of our president’s mental state and capacity.
    I work with a couple hard-core Trump supporters, and talked to them about this. They both felt that Trump didn't lie. I don't believe they were kidding. They simply don't believe that he lies. I didn't get into the question of whether they think he didn't say the things he's said, or whether they think the things he has said are true. I get the impression that where he is directly contradicting things he earlier said on tape, they just feel that those are contradictions that everybody makes, and his contradictions are just being highlighted. On the more complex issues, where his statement isn't being compared against another one of his statements, they just don't seem to believe it.

    I left it there, and that's probably for the best, but it's my view: Those who support him don't do it despite the lies, they just don't believe he lies anymore than anybody else. There's a point to that, because nobody is entirely honest (unless they're a hermit, cause if you always tell the truth, that's what you'll end up), so when people talk about Trump lying, they are really saying, "more than average". They probably mean FAR more than average, but that gets into a statistical game, which can be easily ignored. We play worse statistical games when it comes to the popularity of programming languages, so it shouldn't surprise anybody that people can discount one rate of lies against the average.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    I work with a couple hard-core Trump supporters, and talked to them about this. They both felt that Trump didn't lie. I don't believe they were kidding. They simply don't believe that he lies. I didn't get into the question of whether they think he didn't say the things he's said, or whether they think the things he has said are true. I get the impression that where he is directly contradicting things he earlier said on tape, they just feel that those are contradictions that everybody makes, and his contradictions are just being highlighted. On the more complex issues, where his statement isn't being compared against another one of his statements, they just don't seem to believe it.

    I left it there, and that's probably for the best, but it's my view: Those who support him don't do it despite the lies, they just don't believe he lies anymore than anybody else. There's a point to that, because nobody is entirely honest (unless they're a hermit, cause if you always tell the truth, that's what you'll end up), so when people talk about Trump lying, they are really saying, "more than average". They probably mean FAR more than average, but that gets into a statistical game, which can be easily ignored. We play worse statistical games when it comes to the popularity of programming languages, so it shouldn't surprise anybody that people can discount one rate of lies against the average.
    That is a good point and I don't disagree. I've also spoken to republicans that blow off accusations about his lying with "they all lie" and leaving it at that. I wonder if the people you spoke to would consider the "misrepresentation" in my original post as a lie? Perhaps they would consider it a viewpoint versus a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. And I suppose technically they weren't lies...

    I get up for work at 3:30 AM EST each day and hit the sack pretty early. I may stay up for tonight's address though. I'm thinking it will be either a lie fest to convince Americans we have a real crisis or else announcement that the crisis calls for a "national emergency" and gets the military involved.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    They doubled down on my first post:

    But the Trump administration continues to try to generate hysteria without any regard for the factual basis of its claims. On Tuesday morning, Vice President Mike Pence went on Good Morning America and repeated the misleading claim about “4,000 known or suspected terrorists” being “apprehended attempting to come into the United States through various means in the last year.”

    https://www.vox.com/2019/1/8/1817355...leading-claims
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    I've noticed that politically charged posts, or at least mine, don't really get much of a response here anymore
    My feeling is that those who would argue against Trump are actually pretty weary and can no longer be bothered engaging. Getting into a debate with a Trump supporter feels like punching mist, so what's the point? They probably feel the same, I don't know. It feels the same whenever I get into a Brexit debate over here.

    Truth and objectivity no longer matter, emotion is king. And the internet, for all the good it has done, has given us all a platform where we can "prove" any lie we choose with references. The references will contain references which will, in turn, contain references. It's actually become almost impossible to chain back to the real source of any "evidence" and, even if you can, it's hard to ascertain it's veracity. So believe what you want, it's all unverifiable anyway. And lets face it, lies are generally a lot more fun.

    I'm a died in the wool left liberal and it's awfully tempting to sit here and portray this as a uniquely right wing issue but it isn't. I see it coming from the left too. I do believe the Trump Whitehouse and the Brexit advocates are probably the worst perpetrators of this I've experienced in my life time but there's enough ill behaviour on the left to thoroughly undermine any ability to take a moral high ground.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    there's enough ill behavior on the left to thoroughly undermine any ability to take a moral high ground.
    Prior to the current administration I would have agreed totally...I feel we have now broken all the norms and taken government lying to new heights.

    actually pretty weary and can no longer be bothered engaging
    I agree...another way to say it is we have become numb to his aberrant behavior.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    That is a good point and I don't disagree. I've also spoken to republicans that blow off accusations about his lying with "they all lie" and leaving it at that. I wonder if the people you spoke to would consider the "misrepresentation" in my original post as a lie? Perhaps they would consider it a viewpoint versus a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. And I suppose technically they weren't lies...
    No, they wouldn't. They'd dismiss the whole thing due to the source.

    I'm not being facetious with that comment. That's where we are. If you want to believe A, then just listen to certain places and distrust the rest. If you want to believe B, then there's a different set of sources to trust and distrust. There are very reasonable Republicans and Democrats out there, many of them in Congress, they just don't get heard very much. The great problem is that the Republicans can be challenged from the right, but generally won't be challenged from the left. The same is not true for Democrats, as the left isn't so very focused on litmus tests, at the moment.

    I get up for work at 3:30 AM EST each day and hit the sack pretty early. I may stay up for tonight's address though. I'm thinking it will be either a lie fest to convince Americans we have a real crisis or else announcement that the crisis calls for a "national emergency" and gets the military involved.
    My guess is that it will be mostly off topic.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Speaking of off topic, a colleague just sent me this and I felt I had to share:-
    Name:  Cat.jpg
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    You can depend upon the Americans to do the right thing. But only after they have exhausted every other possibility - Winston Churchill

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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    I've also spoken to republicans that blow off accusations about his lying with "they all lie" and leaving it at that.
    Funny how his not being a career politician was a selling point during the election and now his poor behaviour is OK because that's just what politicians do. If you're going to elect him because he's not a politician then hold him to standards higher than you would for politicians when it comes to typical politician behaviour.

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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    I didn't catch it but read the full script...here it is annotated (by liberals).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.499439d15c0f

    Nothing surprising to me. If guess if anything he wasn't dumb enough to quote "facts and figures" that can easily be disputed with "real facts". He just stuck to the misleading stuff.

    I remember when I was young a fact was a fact. That was the very definition; "the quality of being actual". Of course I also had to walk twenty miles to school each day - uphill both ways.

    Or; as Homer Simpson says "Facts smacts, you can prove anything with facts"
    Last edited by TysonLPrice; Jan 9th, 2019 at 08:11 AM.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    I DID walk to school each day, and it was clearly uphill only one way. Looking back on it, I guess I'm kind of amazed. It was a strange route.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    I DID walk to school each day, and it was clearly uphill only one way. Looking back on it, I guess I'm kind of amazed. It was a strange route.
    Well, I too walked to school and I DID go up hill both ways. I suspect it may have had something to do with the neighborhood's designer: M.C. Eicher.

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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Bummer, did your pocket watch melt, too?
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    Well, I too walked to school and I DID go up hill both ways. I suspect it may have had something to do with the neighborhood's designer: M.C. Eicher.

    -tg
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Hey, where did the monks go? Is it coffee break time?
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    More like down time...
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    If 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally , I wonder how many known or suspected terrorists come into your county, legally...
    Slow as hell.

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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by sapator View Post
    If 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally , I wonder how many known or suspected terrorists come into your county, legally...
    That's because of your economy. We make our own terrorists. We haven't needed to import any for about 18 years, now.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    That's because of your economy. We make our own terrorists. We haven't needed to import any for about 18 years, now.
    And that makes "Made in America" mean something again
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    So you have your domestic terrorists. We have our own but the attacks are for political reasons. So we can't import that breed of terrorist to you.
    On the other hand, if you want chaos on your politicians and congressmen, do let us know.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    I don't know if this falls under misleading or not:

    Trump is now claiming he never said Mexico would directly pay for the wall. He did say it — at least 212 times during his campaign and dozens more since he took office. And he put it in writing — in a March 2016 memo to news outlets that was then posted on his campaign website.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.0271f131fd49

    This administration is about Orwellian as it can get...
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    If lies where horses, politicians would ride them.
    Slow as hell.

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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    I don't know if this falls under misleading or not
    I do. It does.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by sapator View Post
    On the other hand, if you want chaos on your politicians and congressmen, do let us know.
    No, thank you kindly. I believe we are doing quite well enough on our own. In case you hadn't been following it, our government has been shut down for 21 days, by now, over a fight about putting a wall along the southern border.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    I'm late to this conversation, but wanted to chime in. I don't tend to get here (VBF) as much as I'd like....

    If you follow me on Facebook, you'll know I post a lot about perspective. Two people can see the same thing, yet come away with different opinions on what they see. I posted a video today that showed art work that plays specifically into this double perspective. The video is here: https://www.facebook.com/InTheKnowCr...1114428302577/

    The problem that social media has is that most people seem to only believe their own perspective. I posted an interesting article related to this as well on Facebook. You can find the article at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...trumps-support It is about the Dunning Kruger Effect, which indicates that the people that score lowest on knowing political issues tend to be the ones that think they know the most. oye.

    As to misleading statements - there is a lot of politics and marketing happening. The entire presidential address was pure marketing for the wall. This ranges from the people in the room, the testimonials, the props, and everything. It was an infomercial at its finest; however, it didn't spur a change in getting people to bite on the topic of a wall. Polls didn't seem to move.

    As to other stats and figures happening, it drives me crazy how true statements are used to mislead. Some of this is intentional, but not all of it. The example I used today of a misleading fact is the unemployment rate. It is easy for the President to take credit for having the unemployment rate be at a low. The problem is, this number does not reflect the number of people who are out of work. While the unemployment rate is low, the number of people in the work force is also at a low. It is at around 63%, down from 67%. Someone commented to me that the workforce number has been going up. Well, it was at 62.something, and is now at 63, which is bad either way. Similarly, people continue to say "the economy is great; however, most people who have looked at their 401ks or other retirement plans the last week or so will likely question this since all of the huge gains from the past year went away for most. Similarly, people will tell you that spending was up in December by 6%, so the economy has to be doing great. What they don't tend to say is that debt went up as well, so people aren't spending extra money they are earning, but rather are spending money they don't have.

    Generally when things from Washington get noisy, you have to ask yourself why. When lots of stats and figure are being thrown around, you have to ask why. Almost invariably, when there is a ton of noise on a topic, it is often a 'squirrel' trying to take the attention off of something else. Everyone should be asking the question - what are we not suppose to be paying attention to right now? The border issues are trending down according to most reliable stats. That doesn't mean there aren't issues, but it means they aren't as bad as they have been. It has been shown that money allocated by previous administrations has helped to reduce issues. The wall is only one element in a barrage of things to address the issue. Automated drones would likely be a better solution, but that's just me, a techie guy, talking.

    And my last comment in this long winded post....
    The reason for needing the wall seems to change. Keeping out illegals was the initial reason (did that caravan disappear when the election happened because all noise about it sure did). Drugs and other issues were added to this. Stats on illegals in the US are interesting. The following images says a lot. Specifically, it indicates those coming from Mexico aren't the issue. In fact, it indicates that a big issue are illegals that come into the country legally and then don't leave:

    Name:  illegals.png
Views: 62
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    And as a bonus comment -
    Political conversations are bad on forums and tend to be removed because they stir up people to attach. While this tread is touching on politics, it really has been talking about information and how it is presented. It's an interesting, yet frustrating, topic!

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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    It is easy for the President to take credit for having the unemployment rate be at a low. The problem is, this number does not reflect the number of people who are out of work. While the unemployment rate is low, the number of people in the work force is also at a low. It is at around 63%, down from 67%. Someone commented to me that the workforce number has been going up. Well, it was at 62.something, and is now at 63, which is bad either way.
    Let's not forget during his campaign Trump insisted all those numbers were fake. In his world they were twice as high/worse if not more than what the government stated. Now he touts the very same numbers/institutions he disparaged. Funny how things look from the other side.
    Last edited by TysonLPrice; Jan 14th, 2019 at 06:07 AM.
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by brad jones View Post
    As to other stats and figures happening, it drives me crazy how true statements are used to mislead. Some of this is intentional, but not all of it. The example I used today of a misleading fact is the unemployment rate. It is easy for the President to take credit for having the unemployment rate be at a low. The problem is, this number does not reflect the number of people who are out of work. While the unemployment rate is low, the number of people in the work force is also at a low. It is at around 63%, down from 67%. Someone commented to me that the workforce number has been going up. Well, it was at 62.something, and is now at 63, which is bad either way. Similarly, people continue to say "the economy is great; however, most people who have looked at their 401ks or other retirement plans the last week or so will likely question this since all of the huge gains from the past year went away for most. Similarly, people will tell you that spending was up in December by 6%, so the economy has to be doing great. What they don't tend to say is that debt went up as well, so people aren't spending extra money they are earning, but rather are spending money they don't have.

    Generally when things from Washington get noisy, you have to ask yourself why. When lots of stats and figure are being thrown around, you have to ask why. Almost invariably, when there is a ton of noise on a topic, it is often a 'squirrel' trying to take the attention off of something else. Everyone should be asking the question - what are we not suppose to be paying attention to right now? The border issues are trending down according to most reliable stats. That doesn't mean there aren't issues, but it means they aren't as bad as they have been. It has been shown that money allocated by previous administrations has helped to reduce issues. The wall is only one element in a barrage of things to address the issue. Automated drones would likely be a better solution, but that's just me, a techie guy, talking.

    Brad!
    Not just "why" but also "what" (the why is often related to "wag the dog"...) as in "what are those numbers really?" ... I'll admit, I don't pay as must attention as I should, but this is the first time I'm hearing this "63%" number (except for the note that "62% of all statistics are made up on the spot") ... so I'm curious what that 63% represents: is it 63% of all the work eligible people in the country? Or is is 63% of all people in the US? Does it take into consideration green card status? I9? Illegals? Students? I know there's sometimes an issue when counting unemployment because people don't always report when they are out of work (I know I didn't right away when I lost my job last year).... I'm skeptical of generalization numbers like this.

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  34. #34
    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    I'll admit, I don't pay as must attention as I should, but this is the first time I'm hearing this "63%" number (except for the note that "62% of all statistics are made up on the spot") ... so I'm curious what that 63% represents: is it 63% of all the work eligible people in the country? Or is is 63% of all people in the US? Does it take into consideration green card status? I9? Illegals? Students?

    Good question. My assumption is that it is 'work eligible', but I'll have to vet that to find out. I do know that the unemployment number is based on those that apply for unemployment benefits, so it definitely under represents.
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  35. #35
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    My father is currently unemployed. Of course, he's also 83 and well off, so he does count as not working, but doesn't count as unemployed. The unemployment rate is based on those who want to work, which is clearly a pretty fuzzy concept. A large portion of the population has no interest in working (young kids, retired elderly, and some other groups). So, the easy calculation is percent of the population working, but that's not all that useful. In fact, that percentage should slowly be dropping as health care improves and the baby boomers retire. Of course, the difference between the percentage of the population that is not working and the unemployment rate creates enough room to play with the numbers.
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  36. #36

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    Re: Misleading statements 101

    Please remember next time...elections matter!

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