Letters to the Editor

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DEBT: Get the source, not a filter

Letter by David A. Porter, Tacoma on Aug. 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm with 30 Comments »
August 15, 2011 2:45 pm

Re: “Get the facts straight” (letter, 8-14).

The writer replied to a column about our national debt. He says “get the facts straight” about debt facts, then directs our attention to “usgovernmentspending.com.” The author of this site, Christopher Chantrill, is a self-proclaimed conservative, and the site is loaded up with all kinds of extreme references and bias.

I recommend people look up facts on neutral sources like the http://www.cbo.gov/ or Wikipedia. Don’t pawn off self-promotion and spin as factual, please.

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Leave a comment Comments → 30
  1. How many of our conservative “friends” on the forum ate up the website and original letter?

  2. spotted1 says:

    Uh, Wikipedia is a neutral site? It is constantly changing and being updated. During the last election there were allegations that sites were altered if they portrayed Obama in a negative light on Wikipedia. How is that a “neutral” site?

    Not to mention anyone can edit any site on Wikipedia.

  3. alindasue says:

    Wikipedia is good only as a jumping off point to other more verifiable sources, but Mr. Porters point is still valid. The other site link mentioned, Congressional Budget Office, is a good example of a neutral just-the-facts type site, as are most sites that end in “.gov”. Other good neutral sites are the fact checking sites like politifact.com and factcheck.org, that treat all sides with equal suspicion and site their sources so that we can verify the facts for ourselves.

  4. spotted,
    More recently (like this year) certain Wiki pages were ‘updated’ to support the
    faux history being spewed by Palin and Bachmann.

    All – if you input the same phrase to different search engines you will get different listings because some engines are paid to give priority to certain sites.

  5. nokoolaide says:

    “neutral just-the-facts type site, as are most sites that end in “.gov”.

    Yeah sure, if you say so………………..

  6. aislander says:

    So…David accuses Chantrill of being a “self-proclaimed conservative” (the horror!), and then says the site is “loaded up with all kinds of extreme references and biases” without specifying or refuting any.

    THIS is what passes for thought on the left?

  7. Anyone with more than a 5th grade education that viewed the website KNOWS that it was a Conservative hit piece.

    The only thing missing was an Orly Taitz ad declaring “Obama is a Muslim”.

  8. Wiki has the ability to lock pages when people get creative with them….

  9. LarryFine says:

    4/8 … without specifying or refuting any.

    kooky.

  10. KARDNOS says:
    August 14, 2011 at 9:55 am
    What is a “progressive” educational policy/method?

    aislander says:
    August 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm
    KARD: Read up on John Dewey (and other self-described “progressive” educators) and get back to me when you’re able to have a conversation…

    I wonder how you’d do on your pop quiz if you answered a question this way? F stands for Fail.

  11. ::::sound of crickets:::::

  12. aislander says:

    Here are two links, one to a leftie site and one conservative. For something you imply does not exist, people certainly write about it at length, and have strong opinions about it. You may notice that there is more here than can be dealt with in a forum–unless you like wallpaper…

    http://www.uvm.edu/~dewey/articles/proged.html

    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/weaver/040308

  13. First of all….the copy and paste was to demonstrate your hypocrisy….

    I did not say progressive education didn’t exist. I was interested to see what you would call “progressive” and how it would be “bad”.

    “1). Respect for diversity, meaning that each individual should be recognized for his or her own abilities, interests, ideas, needs, and cultural identity, and (2). the development of critical, socially engaged intelligence, which enables individuals to understand and participate effectively in the affairs of their community in a collaborative effort to achieve a common good. These elements of progressive education have been termed “child-centered” and “social reconstructionist” approaches, and while in extreme forms they have sometimes been separated, in the thought of John Dewey and other major theorists they are seen as being necessarily related to each other.”

    Respect and socially engaged? Sounds pretty worthwhile to me, unless you want a country full of people that accuse a man of being Kenyan and Muslim because his name isn’t European and his skin is dark.

    I’d say we need more progressive education….or better parents.

  14. “loaded up with all kinds of extreme references and biases” without specifying or refuting any.”

    As promised…..”look them up yourself”

    Start with Defense spending for openers.

  15. aislander says:

    Exactly, KARD. Progressive education promotes a left-wing agenda. As I said. You can say that is bad or good (it’s not), but there is no area of agreement there. I really don’t understand what you are trying to prove. My point is that progressive education is tendentious–and it is…

  16. aislander says:

    And I join geeterpontiac…

  17. concernedtacoma7 says:

    “participate effectively in the affairs of their community in a collaborative effort to achieve a common good”

    Was this writen by Marx?

  18. Islander,
    I can see the remarks L-F would get for the over use of the word ‘kooky’.

    The concept of neighborhood schools is also tendentious.

    Concerned,
    No it was not.

    And the full quote refers to the development of critical, socially engaged intelligence, which enables individuals to understand and participate effectively in the affairs of their community in a collaborative effort to achieve a common good.

    A concept and practice that is totally anathema to conservatives.

  19. Dave98373 says:

    Wikipedia is a “neutral” site? Hardly! But if you are looking for your version of the truth Mr. Porter, then I suppose you will find it.

  20. from the Child Defense Fund – comparing the US to other industrialized countries – the US is:

    First in GDP

    First in billionaires

    First in prison population size

    First in health expenditures

    First in student expenditures

    First in military expenditures, technology, and global wars

    First in weapons exports

    17th in reading scores

    22nd in low birthweight rates

    23rd in science scores

    30th in infant mortality rates

    31st in math scores

    31st in wealth gap between rich and poor

    Last in relative child poverty

    Last in adolescent birth rates (ages 15 – 19)

    Last in protecting children from gun violence

    http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/state-of-americas-2011.pdf

  21. Roncella died!!!

    Ronald A. Petitte

    Ronald A. Petitte, Of Federal Way, Passed away August 8, 2011. He was born November 6, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. He is survived by his loving wife Marcella, sister-in-law Judy and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Patrick and Maria and brother Richard. A viewing will take place 4:00 to 8:00 pm, Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at Powers Funeral Home, 320 W. Pioneer Ave, Puyallup. Funeral Service will be 11 am, Thursday, August 18 at Zion Lutheran Church, 1305 17th Street Southeast, Auburn, WA 98002. Please visit http://www.powersfuneralhome.com for more.

    Read more: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tribnet/obituary.aspx?n=ronald-a-petitte&pid=153137212&fhid=2367#ixzz1VCJdJu53

  22. To roncella – we rarely agreed but I enjoyed our exchanges. I will miss your posts.

  23. RIP

  24. Dave 98373 – if anyone has access to Wiki, how can it not be neutral?

  25. Word of the day:

    ten·den·tious [ ten dénshəss ]
    trying to influence opinion: written or spoken with personal bias in order to promote a cause or support a viewpoint

    As if changing the factuality of text books in Texas isn’t “trying to influence opinion: written or spoken with personal bias in order to promote a cause or support a viewpoint”

  26. aislander says:

    Roncella was true to his principles and energetic in promoting and defending them right up to the final post of his that I saw. I’ll actually miss someone I never met, but I think I got to know him a little bit…

  27. theglovesRoff says:

    I was wondering where he has been lately. May he rest in peace and condolences to his wife. Now I can see how he came up with his screen name.

  28. LarryFine says:

    Thanks Polago…

  29. theglovesRoff says:

    Must be a Star Wars thing, or some other SciFi thing, but I am sure he would appreciate it.

    I wish I would have known about the restaurant. I will have to pay a visit now.

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