Google isn’t any better than Snopes at fact checking

In fact, like Snopes, it’s basically partisan garbage, says one of its victims.

Consider:

Consider the case of a woman named Eileen Wellstone. Out of many thousands of pieces published by The Federalist over the past four years, a single one mentions the name Eileen Wellstone. That article, detailing the sordid history of Bill Clinton, mentions her name exactly once: “Another woman, Eileen Wellstone, claimed Clinton raped her while he was at Oxford University in the late 1960s.”

For some reason, in this “reviewed claim” against The Federalist, Google sends the reader to a Snopes fact-check that argues that Clinton wasn’t expelled from Oxford over this alleged rape — a point I concede sounds completely accurate and is also an assertion that no one has ever made in this publication.

So the question is, does Google tag every article that relays accusations of sexual misconduct or rape as “unproven,” or just the ones against Bill Clinton? Or is the mention of Wellstone specifically worthy of a claim? The Wellstone case has not only been cited in all types of publications (and not in efforts to debunk it, either; 1,2,3,4,5, and so on) but by The Washington Post’s own fact-checker.

In a 2016 article detailing allegations against Bill Clinton that might be brought up by then-candidate Donald Trump, WaPo notes, “Eileen Wellstone says she was assaulted by Clinton when he was a student at Oxford University in 1969.” There is virtually no difference between that statement and the one published in The Federalist. Not that Google search engines users would know this when they search for the influential newspaper.

Or take another purported fact-check regarding climate change, which…”

Read the rest.

Their ‘fact-checking’ is pretty onesided:

“Google, the most powerful search engine in the world, is now displaying fact checks for conservative publications in its results.
No prominent liberal site receives the same treatment.

And not only is Google’s fact-checking highly partisan — perhaps reflecting the sentiments of its leaders — it is also blatantly wrong, asserting sites made “claims” they demonstrably never made.

When searching for a media outlet that leans right, like The Daily Caller (TheDC), Google gives users details on the sidebar, including what topics the site typically writes about, as well as a section titled “Reviewed Claims.””

Read the rest. It’s pretty blatant.

 

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Feinstein’s release of Fusion transcript

Feinstein released testimony from Fusion official before the investigation is over.  She says it’s the full testimony, but significant parts have been redacted.  You can go read it.  Problem is, so can witnesses who had not yet given their testimony, so now they can check their stories in advance.

Oddly, while Feinstein ignoring committee chairman Grassley’s desire that testimony not be released yet has gotten her hailed as a wonderful hero by the left, she’s apologizing for it, and more oddly:

“FEINSTEIN says she’s sorry to Grassley for not giving him a headsup about the release of the Fusion GPS transcript. “I meant to tell him, and I didn’t have a chance to tell him, and that concerns me,” she told us. “I just got pressured, and I didn’t do it.””

That’s a bit ambiguous, at best.  Now, I assumed she probably meant to convey she was pressed for time, distracted by the avalanche of just sheer ‘stuff’ she probably has to work with every day and let the time get away from her and thus failed to notify Grassley.  It’s still better to have clarification than to just assume, though, right? So people asked, and this was her chance to clear that up and explain that the ‘pressure’ was just her own distracted busy day.  But she didn’t.

“Asked who pressured her, Feinstein says: “I wasn’t pressured” without reconciling her two statements. Her office later said she misspoke and wasn’t pressured to release transcript.”

Okay.

It gets weirder.

“The one regret I have is that I should have spoke with Senator Grassley before. And I don’t make an excuse but I’ve had a bad cold and maybe that slowed down my mental facilities a little bit.”

If that’s not making excuses, what is it?

Updated again- now she insists she never said she was pressured at all. Supposedly the interview where she said it is recorded, but she says she doesn’t believe it, she didn’t say it.  It’s the media vs a politician, albeit one the media usually carries water for quite willingly, so I don’t know.  But what is going on here?

“”

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Still Recovering from Flooding

People are still recovering from flooding here.  We’re fine, but just about a mile or two up the road, they aren’t.  Some of the people are staff at our school.  Some of the leadership from school visited families and asked what their biggest needs were, and they said school supplies and clothes for kids, and bedding.

p400 (or around 8 dollars)  will get bedding for a family, p250 (or around five dollars) will buy a school uniform for a child, p 150 (or around 3 dollars) will buy school supplies, and they are accepting donations of clothing in all sizes, but especially smaller ones.

 

The river washed up a lot of mud.  Most people here handwash their clothes, they don’t have access to washing machines, those who do probably lost them in the flood, and there’s so much mud it would probably be really bad for machines anyway. Our language teacher tells us her brother came home to find his house in 6 feet of water and his refrigerator and washing machine were floating. Both appliances were one month old. They are not sure they will work again.

 

Sleeping area

 

Cleaning up, putting trash and damaged itmes out by the road for trash pick up.

Mud, basically, and clothes and things that can’t be recovered.

 

Cooking, meal prep in one of the houses that was flooded.

Laundry

 

This was a street.

 

(above) doing the laundry

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NYT : Private misgivings on MeToo

Private misgivings about “MeToo”

You’ve got to read this. Of course, it’s largely only written because some of her cherished figures on the left have been smeared with the accusations. I don’t much care about that, to be honest. You let rapists and killers (Clinton, Kennedy) be the voice of the left while claiming moral high ground, so you don’t get to be outraged or change the rules when forced to live by the inquisition state rules you created for others. I agree that it’s an ugly climate where accusations, regardless of credibility (because you cannot even question credibility of accusers) can kill a career or political aspirations. But since they didn’t kill Bill Clinton’s or Ted Kennedy’s careers, or even bend them a bit, I’m not shedding any tears over Al Franken (besides the fact that I think he actually is a sleaze who gets off on groping women’s backsides when they innocently ask to pose for pictures).
From the article:
“In private it’s a different story. “Grow up, this is real life,” I hear these same feminist friends say. “What ever happened to flirting?” and “What about the women who are the predators?” Some women, including random people I talk to in supermarket lines, have gone so far as to call it an outright witch hunt.”
And this is rich:
“There is an inquisitorial whiff in the air, and my particular fear is that in true American fashion, all subtlety and reflection is being lost.”

Yeah. It’s been that way for a long, long, long time but only used as a weapon by the left against conservatives- Herman Caine, anybody? So I’m a believer in consequences and think it’s only right the left loses a few of their own to the altars on which they have been sacrificing conservatives for decades before we let them change the rules that have thus far been very onesided in their enforcement, and they can bruise their hands against the altars of their own making and sacrifice a few of their own before their tear those altars down. It’s a learning experience, one hopes.

But I had unsettled, dismayed feelings about MeToo before this.

As long time readers know, I could do the “MeToo” thing in spades if I were so inclined, but I didn’t. I have had misgivings from the start and those baby misgivings became rebellious teenagers full of disdain and eye rolls early on.

I figured this was going to quickly become an all men are evil thing rather than accepting of men and boys who have also been damaged by people in power taking sexual advantage of them. And I watched this happen in real time. I also experienced being marginalized and silenced firsthand by a woman who posted about her own ‘metoo’ which actually wasn’t a metoo thing at all, it was something like “Me Too, well, not sexual harassment, but I had a gender equity issue that was actually resolved in my favour, but MeToo because men are jerks.” I tried to politely point out that really wasn’t much like being assaulted by your boss or a family member or ordered to trade your body for a job you wanted or needed, and that men and boys were also victims, and I told stories of 3 I knew of, tragic, horrible stories, heartbreaking stories. I was basically told to shut up, this was about women. I wasn’t surprised, but I did want to vomit, preferably on her living room floor.

What can I say, I have issues stemming from years of experiences far worse than having a gender equity issue at work which was quickly resolved in my favour, and having somebody who only suffered some minor and temporary frustration at work equate the two is offensive. Highly offensive.

I had misgivings because I figured it would all too quickly become a bandwagon thing where women who didn’t actually *have* a me too story at any level would have to chime in because that’s what they do. And I saw that probably by the second or third day- “MeToo, not because I have ever been sexually harassed or victimized in any way, I never have experienced anything like it, but I feel obligated to speak out for those who can’t or couldn’t.”

That one. Oh, my. As somebody who was silenced for decades, who didn’t speak out at all, then did to a scant handful of very select people (over 20 years, fewer than 5) and wasn’t believed, or was dismissed, or told to move on already and forgive and so I shut up and tried to do things that I now think were insane things to attempt- I am not grateful. You did not have my permission to speak for me and you never will.

You see,  when the abuser died I felt like a cork had popped out of a bottle and messy things exploded everywhere and there was no putting a cap back on that… I know being silenced. I know not being able to speak out. And you know what? I did not feel a smidgen of gratitude or appreciation for that “MeToo, not really but I am speaking for hypothetical people who can’t” stance. I felt rage. It’s not hyperbole. I felt my blood rush to my head in a boiling explosion, my vision blurred, and I had to block that person forever and close the laptop and walk away and pound my head against a wall for a few minutes to calm down.

I understand that said person probably meant well. OK, to be honest, I expect people who post things like that tell themselves they mean well, and they might believe it. But from where I sit they really mean to insert themselves into other people’s stories and make themselves feel good about it. It is moral preening, not virtuous standing up for underdogs. It is arrogant. WHO asked you to speak for me? Who appointed you? Who anointed you? How dare you trivialize a movement intended to give silenced women a voice by drowning them out with your own self promotion. You just told YOUR story, not somebody else’s. And you used their pain to pat yourself on the back and make yourself the hero for painlessly and effortlessly throwing of a single social media post of two or three sentences and feeling smug about it. MeToo? NO.  Not you at all, you smug, self aggrandizing, emotionally vapid peacock.

Is there probably some displacement going on in my outrage, some level of my anger at what happened to me and at the people who did it or who didn’t take me seriously when I told them what happened, and now some of that anger is being released and exploding in a bystander’s direction? Sure. Some. Yes. Peacock is probably not fair. But… people who post like that are not really just bystanders anymore, are they? They inserted themselves into the story on purpose by claiming “MeToo” and claimed it was on my behalf and on behalf of people like me. NO, thanks, you’re not a hero. You’re not noble. I get to choose my own advocates, and primadonnas who fool themselves into believing they are being good people by stealing my right to choose my own advocates will never be among those selected.

How dare you trivialize real victims by claiming their mantle and in the same breath saying ‘not me, but let’s make it all about me after all.’

If you want to call attention to people who are not able to speak for themselves you can do that without calling attention to yourself. Just say “I’m guessing that there are many who could be posting “MeToo” but aren’t able to. I want to remember them, too.”

Another way to frame it: “I am sure I am not alone in the shock/outrage/heartbreak/dismay reaction to reading all these MeToo stories. I am so sorry that people have been through these awful experiences If any of my friends are in this group and want to share with me privately, I want to be there for you. If somebody has some good articles on how to respond and help, please share. For every story we read, there are probably three or four more we are not reading because those victims are not yet ready to tell their stories. :(”

These examples are not perfect, either. Everything around this topic is messy and fraught with pitfalls. But there is nothing noble about falsely inserting yourself into somebody else’s story. Notice how the kind of framing in the above examples expresses sympathy and concern and yet does not falsely claim “MeToo” or trivialize others by saying “MeToo but not really,” and most importantly, does arrogantly claim the role of ‘speaking out for people’ who never asked you to call yourself one of us or to be our representative.

“MeToo but not really me, I just want to be part of this” is really bait and switch, an emotionally manipulative tactic that many abusers also use.

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Purple Flower

I downloaded a magnifier for the phone camera, and then I played around with it, adjusting the lighting as well. The above picture doesn’t really reflect just how very purple these flowers were. They were even more gorgeous when magnified and focused on the hidden centers:

 

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