A huge, disconnected, contradictory web of false claims, misinformation, disinformation, and damnable lies.

Living in a world of lies is more like it.

A huge, disconnected, contradictory web of false claims, misinformation, disinformation, and damnable lies.

Once again yesterday, someone I know from elsewhere waded into a thread I was in, engaged me ‘innocently’ enough with a comment about media — but when I responded noting that there is wide divergence in reliability of different media, he launched into an attack on fact-checkers in general and Factcheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes specifically — and stated that ‘at least half’ of what was on Snopes was incorrect.

Since I’d been in discussions with this gentleman before, and knew his habits — I told him I certainly had not seen what he described, but that if he had, he ought to cite an article or two which had such errors and point us to credible evidence otherwise. After all, if HALF of what’s there is wrong… should be easy, right?

He went on and on — but I repeatedly suggested that he should back up his initial assertion about Snopes if he wanted to be considered as having any credibility.

He went on some more, all without citing any such ‘incorrect’ assertions on Snopes — and then, finally, he said he didn’t have any more time because company was coming over.

He’s not everyone. But I have come across a LOT of people claiming various mainstream, legit, nonpartisan fact-checking organizations put out incorrect information — and they are usually asserting that it’s part of intentional disinformation — yet NOT ONCE — not one single time — have I had any of these folks, when prodded, offer any credible, contrary evidence.


Child prisoners raped by prisoners AND staff on an ongoing basis in Michigan, according to lawsuit.

Michigan prison officials actually claim they are not responsible for rape, murder, or violence against child prisoners mixed with the adult prisoner population. The courts don’t seem to see it their way, including a $100 million judgment against the state for allowing prison staff to sexually assault and harass hundreds of female prisoners…

Inmates under 18 were forced to engage in sex acts with adult prisoners and staff, according to the lawsuit, with some abuse “open and obvious.” The Corrections Department disputes the allegations, and state attorneys have argued that employees shouldn’t be held liable.

But after more than a year of litigation, the inmates have some important victories.

Associated Press via The Seattle Post-Intelligencer:  Michigan fighting claims of sexual abuse by teens in prison


Vatican Bank under investigation for money laundering again

The Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as “the Vatican Bank,” with a long history of implication in money laundering scandals involving funds from the Italian Fascist government of Mussolini, the looting of the Croatian treasury at the end of World War II, the smuggling and laundering of funds belonging to concentration camp victims and prisoners, and decades of close working relationships with Italian organized crime, is back in the news.

This time, events have put the Vatican, technically a sovereign state, on its heels, as, for the first time, the Italian government has blocked Vatican accounts apparently involved in illegal transfers and laundering.

Over the decades, there have been hundreds of allegations, investigations, and more than a few murders related to the murky netherworld of the Vatican’s oft-alleged dealings with organized crime and unsavory ultra-right wing financiers involved in funding death squads in Latin America, but this is the first time the Italian government has ever actually stepped in to block illegal Vatican transactions.

A new day? It’s certainly too early to know. Previous Italian governments have moved to investigate the criminal operations alleged against the Institute but in most cases, they’ve been subverted, coopted, suppressed, or just cut off at the knees.

We’ll have to see if this really is different.