Resources

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Resources

Postby York99 » November 2nd, 2011, 12:05 am

Hey Politics-Heads,

Does anyone know of web sites that...

1. Have very dumbed down explanations of various social/political issues?

2. Refute viral political email forwards?

Re: #2, I get these right-wing email forwards from my dad and they end up starting conversations between us when I knock them down. But some are just too involved to bother, so I'm wondering if some other person with too much time on their hands has already done this and posted it.

Also, is anyone on a list of left-leaning email forwards? I'm curious to know what's going around with the counterpart to these awful right-wing forwards.

Thanks.
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Postby B. Tribe » November 2nd, 2011, 7:53 am

A good option is to cut and paste a particularly unique sentence and plug that into Google. Sometimes you'll get a hit refuting the original forward. I used this to find out if that 'Congressional Fairness Act' (I think that's what it's called) thing that's been bumping around Facebook had any accuracy. Turns out it doesn't. Silly billies.
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Postby Pdyx » November 2nd, 2011, 9:57 am

Sorry, this isn't exactly what you asked for, but I think it's relevant. And it's something I've been thinking about a lot in similar contexts to what you referenced, Justin.

Some things to bear in mind regarding internet forwards and political arguments:

http://www.cracked.com/article_19468_5- ... think.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/0 ... -argument/


To answer part of your initial question, I've found snopes.com to be particularly helpful with determining the accuracy of internet forwards. There are probably other ones more dedicated to strictly political things, but snopes covers at least all the big political stuff (Obama a muslim, birth certificate, etc.)
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Re: Resources

Postby mpbrockman » November 2nd, 2011, 11:07 am

York99 wrote:2. Refute viral political email forwards?


snopes dot com

They've always been quite good and hold up to my fact checking. They also have pretty clear explanations of what's going on in any particular e-mail.

You can also try

politifact dot com

They don't deal with e-mails as much whereas snopes is almost entirely devoted to that. Politifact is most useful when you hear a politician say something on television that doesn't ring right. Their rating system is also amusing. "Pants-on-Fire!!!".
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Re: Resources

Postby mpbrockman » November 2nd, 2011, 11:36 am

York99 wrote:Also, is anyone on a list of left-leaning email forwards? I'm curious to know what's going around with the counterpart to these awful right-wing forwards.


Well, yes... but that's more b/c I'm associated with several atheist organizations rather than on lefty e-mail lists. Even the conservatives and libertarians (lots of those - especially before the term got semantically tangled with Teabaggery) among atheists have a serious problem with the Republican/evangelical connection.

You could try signing up for something relatively benign like the Secular Coalition for America or the Freedom from Religion Foundations which are less militantly atheist and more "support the 'wall of separation'-type organizations". I think even a moderate Xtian can find some common ground with the political missions of the SCA and FFRF. You'll get some interesting info there.

For example: did you know that the House spent yesterday passing H. Con. Res. 13 "re-affirming 'In God We Trust' as our national motto" rather than working on say, job creation?

Never mind that we had a perfectly appropriate and lovely motto in "E Pluribus Unum" until 1956 when it was officially replaced (and now, thanks to our hard-working reps, re-affirmed). Hey, why don't we take some time to re-affirm some more laws already firmly in place? :roll:

Your tax dollars at work.
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Postby York99 » November 3rd, 2011, 10:49 am

Pdyx wrote:Sorry, this isn't exactly what you asked for, but I think it's relevant. And it's something I've been thinking about a lot in similar contexts to what you referenced, Justin.

Some things to bear in mind regarding internet forwards and political arguments:

http://www.cracked.com/article_19468_5- ... think.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/0 ... -argument/


To answer part of your initial question, I've found snopes.com to be particularly helpful with determining the accuracy of internet forwards. There are probably other ones more dedicated to strictly political things, but snopes covers at least all the big political stuff (Obama a muslim, birth certificate, etc.)


It's interesting that you offered those particular links. I'm pretty conscious about the goals with my discussions/arguments/debates. The goal is to get at the truth of the issue or to find a real solution rather than winning or finding and easy, feel-good solution. I even go as far as to take a shortcut and start discussions with the intention of losing. The idea there is to completely expose "my side" of the issue so when it's over, I've won better insight, even if the other person "won" the debate.

The reason I'm looking for these resources is not to win. It's to be more educated. If, in the process, I give the other person something to think about, then bonus... but I'm not holding my breath. But I want to present them with the facts or a more solid argument so I can squeeze their pov better. But if they can manage to change my mind, then that's the best case scenario for me.
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