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Just the Facts? Nope!

We take on Factcheck and it is found wanting.

22 July 2016
the Korat Post editorial


Common Sense Checking of Factcheck


Factcheck previously had some credibility in my mind, but when I went to their website to see what they have to say about Trump’s acceptance speech I was puzzled indeed. You can throw about words and make everything else seem false. Let’s look at Factcheck’s comments with Korat Post’s editorial comments included.
CLEVELAND — In accepting his party’s nomination for president, Donald Trump said “here, at our convention, there will be no lies.” But we found plenty of instances where Trump twisted facts or made false claims.
• Trump said after Clinton’s four years as secretary of state, “Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons.” But Iran was already on a path to acquiring nuclear weapons. At issue is whether the nuclear deal will prevent Iran, as intended, from becoming a nuclear power. [What the Devil is this first critique for, then? So Factcheck agrees with Trump but does not like the fact that what he said is true? And when saying at issue is whether Iran will go nuke or not Factcheck is still uncertain as to the validity of the deal itself.]
• He also blamed Clinton for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. But Clinton and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates both urged President Obama not to be quick to abandon support for Mubarak. [Another non-sequitur. Factcheck does not deny Clinton was at least partly responsible, as part of the Administration, but does what it accuses Trump of doing – twisting facts. Also, Factcheck’s claim seems to rest solely on public statements by Clinton and Obama which, as most of we grownups know by now, are not always true.]
• Trump claimed Clinton “plans a massive … tax increase,” but tax experts say 95 percent of taxpayers would see “little or no change” in their taxes under Clinton’s plan. [OK. Maybe. But maybe not. What tax experts? Ones likely friendly to HRC. Is there a reputable independent panel of experts that is politically neutral that can voice an opinion? If there is, why didn’t Factcheck consult with them? See the Tax Foundation’s analysis. GDP and personal incomes all drop! And HRC’s claim of revenue gained is reduced by more than half.]
• He correctly noted a 17 percent increase in homicides in the 50 largest cities from 2014 to 2015, but called it a reversal after a decades-long decline in crime. Experts say that’s not enough data to draw conclusions about a trend. [Again, we have the magic aura “experts” used to try to undermine an assertion by Trump. Trump might be wrong but what experts agree with him? See http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf Now regarding Factcheck sort of trying to accuse Trump of drawing conclusions to express a trend. He did no such thing. He said there was a reversal. Is an increase not a reversal of decline? Nothing about trends said by him.]
• Trump claimed Clinton “illegally” stored emails on her private server while secretary of state, and deleted 33,000 to cover-up “her crime.” But the FBI cleared Clinton of criminal wrongdoing, and found no evidence of a cover-up. [The FBI indeed found evidence of wrong-doing and recklessness which would have put ordinary mortals in prison for years. Clinton was not cleared of anything – she was given a pass. Anyone who reads the Espionage Act will be able to see that Clinton was guilty and should be prosecuted. See US Code regarding classified information.]
• Trump said that “there’s no way to screen” Syrian refugees to determine “who they are or where they come from.” But all refugees admitted to the U.S. go through an extensive vetting process that takes 18 to 24 months to complete. [Factcheck forgot to say that this so-called vetting process is post-factor and that validity of information is suspect in many instances. Factcheck does not indicate that during the process refugees that are a threat will be able to function. See US government vetting process. Note at the bottom “Refugees are woven into the rich fabric of American society.” Really????]
• He said the “trade deficit in goods … is $800 billion last year alone.” It was nearly that, but it discounts the services the U.S. exports. The total trade deficit for goods and services is just over $500 billion. [Again, Factcheck accusing Trump of twisting facts while FC does so itself. It agrees with Trump but then cites a different fact for…? See Tradeeconomics.com trade report for months in 2016. According to Factcheck’s references above, the services surplus would have to have been some $300 billion. But according to Tradeeconomics.com, it was only $21 billion!]
• Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, also spoke, and he erroneously claimed that the Iran nuclear deal “lined the pockets of the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism with your money.” The assets that were unfrozen by the deal weren’t held by the U.S. government. [Still Factcheck continues to twist facts. Trump makes an accurate statement, Factcheck now questions it with an irrelevant reference that somehow the fact that assets were unfrozen as a result of US actions must have been held by US banks? Some were, most not, but the irrelevance is astounding. Most of Iran’s funds were in South Korea and Japan. acquired as a result of oil sales by Iran to those countries.]

That’s not all: Trump made other factual errors and omissions on NAFTA, Libya, household income, government regulation and the Affordable Care Act. [I am sure he did, but as to the above, what if anything is a factual error? Factcheck itself makes omissions but does not want Trump to do so! But “other factual errors”?? intimating that the above was all valid citations by Factcheck of errors, which it was definitely not.]

Read more on the Korat Post website at editorial.html. Write to the editor at editoratthekoratpost.com Comments are always welcome. See our latest letter to the editor.



Home painting buffs will like these free apps if not already using them.

22 May 2016
the Korat Post Editorial

Making too many guesses about paints and need help? It's here!

I can kick myself in the keester about a hundred thousand times. That's probably a conservative estimate on how much we have spent on paint over the years, the last few years, and part of that was shrouded in uncertainty over whether a certain shade on an existing wall was available at the local paint store or not. We usually buy at Home Pro here in Thailand.


So the last day or two I was wondering: wouldn't it be really, really nice if there was a smart phone app that would enable me to take a photo of whatever I wanted to repaint, then use that software to offer me the paint manufacturer's I.D. for the paint where I could go in and get the exact same thing? Wouldn't that be so cool!

OK. You know how search engines are, right? Type in too many words and you won't find anything. Type in too few and same result, or the results will be really off target. For the paint situation, today, I discovered that typing in one word was sufficient and worked like a charm. Except for TOA. I had to type in TOA paint and then the search results came up with TOA's IdeaColor. It tells me it is "the real color expert." The gifs shown are, I suppose, supposed to be self-explanatory but are not. Who knows what they are for? Well, the magnifying glass one goes to a dropper appearing on the screen and this view is a camera ready view, so just take the dropper to a section of the wall you want to repaint or at a plastic glass that you want to use the same paint color for and press the take button. The dropper fills with the color, goes to a section of paint shades with that particular pigment, and comes up with the TOA code for the color! Easy. This particular photo I took was of the side of a red plastic glass, and the color I.D. was 8093 or 8095.

On to Jotun. Main menu is titled ColorMatch. Two options - go to existing library or take a new photo. The latter will be more frequent until you build up a library. Save each photo taken. The instructions say to go to the tutorial first but I did not have the time. Ahem! So I tapped the take photo option, hit continue and the camera is ready to take photo. A save or discard option comes up. Hit save if OK. Tough the area of the photo of the color you want. Then touch the matching color bar that appears on the bottom or the screen. It highlighted several codes, but has a blue arrow on the shade I indicated. S 1070-R was the I.D. At this point there is also an option to preview matching color schemes for your color!

On to Behr. I downloaded its Color Smart app. Three options appear, one Color Match to upload photo. Select take new photo. I took the same photo as with other paint makers. Touch the area of the photo that you want to match. Hit save. On same photo touch the area you feel is the exact color you want. Probably three will show. Choose the one you want and touch the color bar as appropriate. Flirt Alert P150-7 is the I.D.

Now three different paint manufacturers are discussed in this short article, TOA, Jotun and Behr. It is likely that others also have similar apps you can use. How easy these are and how many options they have to matching schemes, alternate colors, and ease of checking with the exact codes is really cool. And I thought I had an original idea for a phone app!

Read more on the Korat Post website at editorial.html. Write to the editor at editoratthekoratpost.com Comments are always welcome. See our latest letter to the editor.


Strapping on Tuk-tuk Good Idea?

21 December 2015

Watched none of the GOP debate this last week and only small parts of the Democrat debate on 20 December 2015 Thailand time. As one who does not like playing partisan politics while still recognizing that fundamental party differences exist and have in many ways shifted, it was nonetheless a shock to see totally ignorant people in the area of foreign policy speaks as if they were God’s gift to the State Department. Clinton of course being the man on top – euphemistically, we hope!

She said, among other things, that Trump’s behavior in hating all Muslims – which he did not say he did – was the best advertisement for ISIS, as in her words ISIS wants the US to send tens of thousands of troops into Syria and other Middle East regions. The news for Mrs. Clinton (calling her Secretary is no longer appropriate, even in diplospeak) is that ISIS in a strategic sense does not give a gnat’s touche whether or not the US sends thousands of troops into Syria or not in terms of ISIS goals. It is a factor ISIS has to deal with but on a wider front and longer term ISIS is headed to the US, has already sufficiently infiltrated Europe to establish a dangerous and threatening beachhead to European culture, and through proxy and determination of Muslim theology, is now in the US with surprisingly a simple-minded apologist ignorami (as opposed to illuminati) cross-section of Democrat/liberal/Obama-ites defending Muslims and Islam that they know little to absolutely nothing about. They are ignorant of the Islamic doctrine, the global conquest goals of Islam, Islam’s history and the degree of violence employed to spread the theology. These misguided but determined anti-Republicans also seem to forget that the Ottoman Empire was vanquished well over a century ago but that Islam only seems to have grown more and more prolific, and more and more threatening.

This week there was a brouhaha over a high school class in Virginia where a teacher, Riverheads social studies teacher Cheryl LaPorte, support group = (https://www.facebook.com/groups/204588599882934/) had the students ostensibly practice Arabic calligraphy but inexplicably used the highly-toxic to non-Muslims phrase, “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.” Having played with calligraphy a bit, and well aware of the beauty that calligraphy from Japan, China, the Arab world, Iran, Europe, and Africa practice with their many forms of calligraphy, the lesson could easily have used a less offensive or less sensitive example to copy.

Despite the reverse discrimination type of backlash from white apologists that white folks should not have been so upset at the lesson, we have to differ here. The media also did not report whether the teacher was herself a Muslim or not. And does that make a difference? Of course it does! If she was, then the balance of suspicion would go against her. If not, the balance would probably go the way of forgiving. But as it happens, perhaps the noise was from the worst wheel of the cart. Several community residents and students spoke out in LaPorte’s defense. “I think people are making a big deal about it for no reason at all," said 18-year-old Hannah Carey, a former student of LaPorte who lives in Waynesboro. "We learned about all different cultures, and she was a great teacher.” Read more on the Korat Post website at headlines.html and/or editorial.html and write to the editor at editoratthekoratpost.com Comments are always welcome.

Ed.


Bible Belt Christians In Virginia Unhappy

21 December 2015

Watched none of the GOP debate this last week and only small parts of the Democrat debate on 20 December 2015 Thailand time. As one who does not like playing partisan politics while still recognizing that fundamental party differences exist and have in many ways shifted, it was nonetheless a shock to see totally ignorant people in the area of foreign policy speaks as if they were God’s gift to the State Department. Clinton of course being the man on top – euphemistically, we hope!

She said, among other things, that Trump’s behavior in hating all Muslims – which he did not say he did – was the best advertisement for ISIS, as in her words ISIS wants the US to send tens of thousands of troops into Syria and other Middle East regions. The news for Mrs. Clinton (calling her Secretary is no longer appropriate, even in diplospeak) is that ISIS in a strategic sense does not give a gnat’s touche whether or not the US sends thousands of troops into Syria or not in terms of ISIS goals. It is a factor ISIS has to deal with but on a wider front and longer term ISIS is headed to the US, has already sufficiently infiltrated Europe to establish a dangerous and threatening beachhead to European culture, and through proxy and determination of Muslim theology, is now in the US with surprisingly a simple-minded apologist ignorami (as opposed to illuminati) cross-section of Democrat/liberal/Obama-ites defending Muslims and Islam that they know little to absolutely nothing about. They are ignorant of the Islamic doctrine, the global conquest goals of Islam, Islam’s history and the degree of violence employed to spread the theology. These misguided but determined anti-Republicans also seem to forget that the Ottoman Empire was vanquished well over a century ago but that Islam only seems to have grown more and more prolific, and more and more threatening.

This week there was a brouhaha over a high school class in Virginia where a teacher, Riverheads social studies teacher Cheryl LaPorte, support group = (https://www.facebook.com/groups/204588599882934/) had the students ostensibly practice Arabic calligraphy but inexplicably used the highly-toxic to non-Muslims phrase, “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.” Having played with calligraphy a bit, and well aware of the beauty that calligraphy from Japan, China, the Arab world, Iran, Europe, and Africa practice with their many forms of calligraphy, the lesson could easily have used a less offensive or less sensitive example to copy.

Despite the reverse discrimination type of backlash from white apologists that white folks should not have been so upset at the lesson, we have to differ here. The media also did not report whether the teacher was herself a Muslim or not. And does that make a difference? Of course it does! If she was, then the balance of suspicion would go against her. If not, the balance would probably go the way of forgiving. But as it happens, perhaps the noise was from the worst wheel of the cart. Several community residents and students spoke out in LaPorte’s defense. “I think people are making a big deal about it for no reason at all," said 18-year-old Hannah Carey, a former student of LaPorte who lives in Waynesboro. "We learned about all different cultures, and she was a great teacher.” Read more on the Korat Post website at headlines.html and/or editorial.html and write to the editor at editoratthekoratpost.com Comments are always welcome.

Ed.