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  • lczarnik 19:00 on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Thought Provoking   

    The TRUMP Rule 

    Trump rule or not, it’s a good idea.

    Forwarded message
    From: Ken W
    Date: 3 June 2017 at 14:19

    This email should bring everyone together to get behind these issues
    no matter what side of the isle you are on as a tax payer.

    Trump is asking everyone to forward this email to a minimum of 20
    people, and to ask each of those to do likewise.

    In three days, most people in the United States will have the message
    This is an idea that should be passed around, regardless of political
    party.

    The TRUMP Rule
    Congressional Reform Act of 2017

    1 No Tenure/No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in
    office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

    2. Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security.

    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social
    Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social
    Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.
    It may not be used for any other purpose. [and I add that all Social
    Security funds are to be removed from the General fund and used only
    for Social Security payments]

    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional
    pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in
    the same health care system as the American people.

    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
    effective 5/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with
    Congressmen/women.

    Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress
    is an honor, not a career The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen
    legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go
    back to work.

    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only
    take three days for most people in the U.S. to receive the message.
    It’s time

    THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!

    Pass it on!!!

     
  • lczarnik 08:10 on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Thought Provoking   

    Friendship 

    Forwarded message
    From: Ken W
    Date: 25 May 2017 at 07:29
    Subject: Fwd: Fw: Fwd: Friendship

    It was national friendship week in April. I just received this so consider this friendship day.

    FROM ONE FRIEND TO ANOTHER

    Take two minutes to read these sayings and be sure to read all the way to the bottom:
    http://yoursmilesorg/gsmile/flower1/g40224.gif
    Written by Andy Rooney, a man who had the gift of saying so much with so few words
    Rooney has passed away but used to be on CBS’s 60 Minutes TV show.
    https://i2.wp.com/yoursmiles.org/gsmile/flower1/g40253.gif

    I’ve learned….
    That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

    I’ve learned….
    That when you’re in love, it shows.

    I’ve learned …..
    That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.

    I’ve learned….
    That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

    I’ve learned…..
    That being kind is more important than being right.

    I’ve learned….
    That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

    I’ve learned….
    That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in any other way.

    I’ve learned….
    That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

    I’ve learned….
    That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

    I’ve learned….
    That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
    .

    I’ve learned….
    That money doesn’t buy class.

    I’ve learned….
    That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

    I’ve learned…
    That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

    I’ve learned…..
    That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

    I’ve learned…

    That love, not time, heals all wounds.

    I’ve learned….
    That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am..

    I’ve learned….
    That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

    I’ve learned….
    That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

    I’ve learned…
    That life is tough, but I’m tougher.

    I’ve learned…
    That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones
    you miss.
    .

    I’ve learned….
    That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

    I’ve learned….
    That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

    I’ve learned…
    That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

    I’ve learned…..
    That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you’re hooked for life. (this happened to me when we went to adopt our daughter)

    I’ve learned….
    That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

    I’ve learned….
    That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

    http://yoursmilesorg/gsmile/flower1/g40096.gif

    To all of you…..
    Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence.

    It’s National Friendship Week..Show your friends how much you care.

    Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND, even if it means sending it back to the person who sent it to you.

    If it comes back to you, then you’ll know you have a circle of friends.

    HAPPY FRIENDSHIP WEEK TO YOU!

    https://i0.wp.com/yoursmiles.org/gsmile/flower1/g40276.gif

    YOU ARE MY FRIEND AND I AM HONORED!

    Now send this to every friend you have! This was sent to me by a friend.

     
  • lczarnik 09:49 on May 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Thought Provoking   

    God bless them all 

    Forwarded message
    From: Ken W
    Date: 13 May 2017 at 06:36
    Subject: Fwd: God bless them all

    Lest we forget. Thanks to Lenny. CW

    Thanks to ALL of you who served!!!!!!! We are GRATEFUL!!!
    Subject: Please circulate this before May 30

    With Memorial Day just around the corner, PLEASE view and forward. https://www.youtube.com/embed/eEs4ke7cdNQ?feature=player_detailpage%25
     
  • lczarnik 01:01 on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Thought Provoking   

    The lady plumber 

    Forwarded message
    From: Ken W
    Date: 29 April 2017 at 21:16
    Subject: Fwd: The lady plumber

    the following says it correctly :
    "The HOLOCAUST was not just a Jewish massacre; far less Jews were annihilated than were Christians, most being Lutherans" . . . sad that side of the story is NEVER said about the Holocaust.


    Remember this
    lady?


    Irena Sendler

    Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
    Warsaw, Poland


    During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the
    Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.

    She had an ulterior motive.


    Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of
    the tool box she carried.
    She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.

    Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

    The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

    During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save

    2500 kids/infants.

    Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi’s broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.


    Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out, In a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard.

    After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family.Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

    In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
    She was not selected.

    In MEMORIAM – 65 YEARS LATER
    I’m doing my small part by forwarding this message.
    I hope you’ll consider doing the same. It is now more than 65 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.

    This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, In memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, mostly Lutherans and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!

    Now, more than ever, with Iran , and others, claiming the HOLOCAUST to be ‘a myth’, It’s imperative to make sure the world never forgets,
    Because there are others who would like to do it again.

    This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!


    Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.
    Please send this e-mail to people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.

    Please don’t just delete it. It will only take you a minute to pass this along.

     
  • lczarnik 09:00 on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Thought Provoking   

    Old Post Cards 

    Forwarded message
    From: Ken W
    Date: 14 April 2017 at 08:04
    Subject: Fwd: Old Post Cards
    From: Lou F
    Date: Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 12:45 PM

    Do y’all remember these? I sure do.

    Old Post Cards

    While being a “Helicopter Crew Chief Instructor,” I’d go to Washington DC , with a few buddies almost every weekend. We’d do the Smithsonian and all.

    On the way back to Ft. Eustis (125 miles), we’d often stop for something to eat.

    One time, it was getting late. We landed in Falls Church , VA. We saw an old general store that was still open. We walked around on the old creaky floors looking for Frito’s or something? I came across, an old wire frame post card holder. It was full of WWII post cards … Penny a piece!

    I asked the guy, "How much do you want for the Post Cards?" He said, “A penny. They have been here ever since he was a kid.”

    I counted them … 300 plus. I gave him $4.00 and I got the rack, too.

    In San Diego , I sold a bunch for $1..00 each. I still have a bunch to hand down.

    I know some of you are too young to recall these posters and WWII, but they were a part of my life and others who are now "older than dirt". These are great. Pass them along, especially to your older e-mail friends. I wonder whatever happened to this kind of thinking.

    I got a lump in my throat when I read this. I "grew up" thinking: patriotism, it is the AMERICAN way! I am glad to see that somebody saved them. The statement at the end says it all!

    These were our parents.


    What in God’s name have we let happen ?

    I guess we are the last generation to see, or even remember anything like these!

    Whatever happened?

    70 years of ”progressive” education happened!

    Political correctness (or "re-education") happened,
    Lack of God’s name happened,
    Lack of personal responsibility happened,
    Lack of personal integrity and honesty happened,
    Lack of respect and loyalty to our country happened,
    Lack of being an American happened.

    Did all of these things die along with common sense?

    I for one am still proud to be an American!

    If you are too …. Pass this along, so others can show their pride.

     
  • lczarnik 15:56 on April 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Thought Provoking   

    SHE is A TEACHER! 

    Forwarded message
    From: Carol Z
    Date: 2 April 2017 at 22:54
    Subject: SHE is A TEACHER!

    This is a great message worth remembering.

    SHE IS A TEACHER!

    In 2006 this teacher made a statement to her students…Good story..true story..

    There is a great lesson here that the students at Little Rock High School will never forget. I would presume also that most students would never have given this a thought.

    NOW SHE IS A TEACHER!

    In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock , did something not to be forgotten On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

    ‘Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?’

    She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.’

    They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.’ ‘No,’ she said.

    ‘Maybe it’s our behavior.’ She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behavior.’

    And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

    The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom. Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.’

    At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

    Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.’

    By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW.

    Do you think this email is worth passing along so others won’t forget either, that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by our U.S. Veterans?… I did.

    Let us always remember the men and women of our military and the rights
    they have won for us.

     
  • lczarnik 06:54 on April 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Thought Provoking   

    A minute with GOD 

    Forwarded message
    From: Ken W
    Date: 31 March 2017 at 08:37
    Subject: Fwd: A minute with GOD

    Enjoy!!!! I did!

    A minute with GOD

    I spent a minute and hope you will too.

    I LOVE THE OPENING SENTENCE:

    With what is going on in the world these days, Heaven could end up a ghost

    town?

    My name is God. You hardly have time for Me. I love you and will always

    bless you.

    I am always with you. I need you to spend 60 seconds of your time with Me

    today.

    Don’t pray, just praise. Today, I want this message to go around the world

    before midnight.

    Will you help? Please do not delete it, and I’ll help you with some that are in need; even if just quiet time.

    Just dare Me! A blessing is coming your way. Please drop everything and

    pass it on.

    Why are prayers getting shorter, but bars and clubs are enlarging and

    expanding?

    Why is it so easy to worship a celebrity, but very difficult to walk with Me?

    Think about it, will you offer a prayer just now, or are you going to ignore

    doing so, because your don’t have time for Me?

    Consider forwarding this to all your friends. 80% of you won’t.

    I have said, if you deny Me before your friends, I will deny you on Judgment

    Day. What I say, I keep!

    When one door closes, I open two more. If I have opened doors for you,

    send this message along to others, bless them for Me.

    Thanks!

    God’s been good to me, so I’m forwarding!

     
  • lczarnik 06:55 on April 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Thought Provoking   

    Dear God 

    Forwarded message
    From: adam a
    Date: 8 September 2009 at 22:30
    Subject: [Fwd: FW: Dear God]

    If no attachment or attachment does not open, use this link for PPS

    https://1drv.ms/p/s!AqEOLiTwYPTMgcwu7mtO-09P_Pu0FQ

    Dear God Dea.pps

     
  • lczarnik 08:25 on March 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Thought Provoking   

    Six Little Stories !! 

    [noagallery]
    Forwarded message
    From: Ken W
    Date: 24 March 2017 at 22:39
    Subject: Fwd: Fw: Fwd: Six Little Stories !!

    All true!

    > Well worth the 30 seconds to read!
    >
    > {1}
    >
    > Once all villagers decided to pray for rain.
    > On the day of prayer all the people gathered,
    > but only one boy came with an umbrella.
    > That’s FAITH .
    >
    > {2}
    >
    > When you throw babies in the air,
    > they laugh because they know you will catch them.
    > That’s TRUST.
    >
    > {3}
    >
    > Every night we go to bed
    > without any assurance of being alive the next morning,
    > but still we set the alarms to wake up.
    > That’s HOPE.
    >
    > {4}
    >
    > We plan big things for tomorrow
    > in spite of zero knowledge of the future.
    > That’s CONFIDENCE.
    >
    > {5}
    >
    > We see the world suffering,
    > but still we get married and have children.
    > That’s LOVE.
    >
    > {6}
    >
    > On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence
    > ‘I am not 80 years old;
    > I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.’
    > That’s ATTITUDE.
    >
    >
    > Have a happy day and live your life like the six stories.
    >
    >
    > When I was a child, I thought nap time was punishment. Now it’s like a mini-vacation.
    >
    >
    > "GOOD FRIENDS ARE THE RARE JEWELS OF LIFE…
    > DIFFICULT TO FIND AND IMPOSSIBLE TO REPLACE!"

     
  • lczarnik 14:57 on March 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Thought Provoking   

    Where fake news goes to die 

    How Snopes battles Bigfoot rumors, Facebook fibs and other made-up news

    By Doug Criss, CNN

    Updated 2004 GMT (0404 HKT) March 10, 2017

    Calabasas, California (CNN)The command center in the war against fake news isn’t in some network’s conference room or tech startup’s offices. It’s in a large ranch home nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, just north of Los Angeles.

    It’s here, in a long, wood-paneled room, that David Mikkelson works to keep the Internet safe from urban legends, falsehoods and lies with his myth-busting website, Snopes.com.
    On this particular day, the day after President Trump’s big speech to Congress, Mikkelson and his staff are checking out a claim from social media that some prominent Democrats refused to stand and applaud when Trump honored a Navy SEAL’s widow during his address.
    “It’s not true,” Mikkelson chuckles to himself, while doing research on the computer at his desk. And he’s right. Snopes determined, by examining video coverage of the speech, that the pictures used in social media posts — of Democrats sitting and not clapping — were from an earlier part of Trump’s speech and not from when the president honored the widow. Mikkelson rated the claim “false.”
    It’s what Mikkelson, the co-owner and co-founder of Snopes, has been doing for more than two decades.
    Name a meme or myth that sounds shady, and he and his team have probably busted it.
    That time Donald Trump said Republicans are “the dumbest group of voters?” There’s no proof he ever said it.
    Fearful that Facebook is going to start charging? For the umpteenth time, no it’s not.
    Saw proof that Bigfoot is real? Nope, that was just another elaborate hoax.
    Snopes is the first place a lot of people go when they’re not quite sure about what they’ve seen online. But Mikkelson and others who run the site have aspirations to be more than just a debunker of fake news.
    They want it to be a place where people come for real news, too.
    Snopes is the name of a family of characters who appear in novels by William Faulkner. Mikkelson's Calabasas home contains a series of Faulkner Snopes books.
    Snopes is the name of a family of characters who appear in novels by William Faulkner. Mikkelson’s Calabasas home contains a series of Faulkner Snopes books.

    Was Walt Disney’s body really frozen?

    Mikkelson started Snopes — named after a family of characters in William Faulkner novels — more than 20 years ago with his now ex-wife. Back then, in 1994, he wasn’t trying to launch a debunker of myths. He was just playing around with this shiny new thing called the Internet.
    “I worked for a large computer company, so I was on the Internet before most people knew there was an Internet,” Mikkelson told CNN from his home office in Calabasas.
    On one of the Internet’s earliest discussion boards, Mikkelson started out writing about the biggest urban legends surrounding all things Disney.
    “I started with stuff about (Walt) Disney — like, is he really frozen?” he said. (No, he is not.) Next came the rumors about salacious things supposedly hidden in Disney movies.
    Then he turned his attention to urban legends and myths of all kinds. This was all before social media, YouTube or even search engines. But word got around and people started seeking out Mikkelson’s site.
    “People on the Internet who knew about it just started making it the go-to place for anything they came across that was questionable,” Mikkelson said. “They wanted to know if something was true (and) they’d start sending stuff to us.”
    In those early days people often wanted to know about things like computer virus warnings and missing children reports, almost all of which were hoaxes.
    And Mikkelson was content with his little hobby.
    “I had no journalistic pretensions,” he said. “I had no idea of running a business or making money or employing other people or anything like that.”
    That all changed one day after a trip to the mailbox. Mikkelson had put a few banner ads on the site to help defray the costs associated with it. Then he got a check in the mail for $16.
    “I was looking at it and wondering, ‘who sent me $16?’ Finally I realized it was the advertising from the site. I was so excited,” he said. “I got paid this just purely as the product of my own creativity and effort and not working for anyone else.”
    Snopes has grown to a team of 12 editorial employees scattered across the country.
    Snopes has grown to a team of 12 editorial employees scattered across the country.
    And as traffic to his site grew, so did the checks. They grew from a couple of hundred dollars a month to a couple of thousand to almost what he was making at his day job at the computer company. He began thinking he could make a living running Snopes as a full-time business. But when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Mikkelson decided it probably wasn’t the best time to strike it rich in the wilds of the Internet.
    But then came September 11, 2001, and all of the associated conspiracy theories and rumors that sprang up after the terrorist attacks.
    Traffic to Snopes soared.
    “We were kind of like the only site out there that was tracking and writing about all the 9/11 rumors and conspiracy theories that were on the Internet,” he said. “The traditional news media weren’t doing that.”
    But the media did start noticing the work Snopes was doing with 9/11 conspiracy stories, and they began contacting Mikkelson.
    “We were the ones that CNN and ’20/20′ and ABC News called on” when they wanted to do feature stories on that topic, he said. Snopes traffic soared again.
    In 2002 Mikkelson was laid off from the computer company and got about a year’s worth of severance pay. He thought he’d have no better opportunity to make Snopes a full-time gig.

    ‘Unique set of skills’

    Today, Snopes has grown from essentially a one-man band to a team of 12 editorial employees (including four staff writers and two contract writers) and a handful of operations staff to handle the technical and business side of things.
    “We exist as a small scrappy team with a unique set of skills,” said Vinny Green, Snopes’ director of business development and, through a San Diego company called Proper Media, one of its co-owners. ” We try to make the biggest impact that we can.”
    Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski, left, and Vinny Green, director of business development.
    Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski, left, and Vinny Green, director of business development.
    Snopes doesn’t really have an office. All of the editorial employees are spread out across the country and work remotely, although Green said they do try to get everyone together under one roof a couple of times a year.
    On this day, Green’s townhome in San Diego’s breezy Pacific Beach neighborhood served as an office of sorts, as he and managing editor Brooke Binkowski met to work on the site.
    The things that Snopes works on are determined by its readers. Green said Snopes receives about 1,500 emails a day. They are all read and sorted by an employee in Boston, who passes these story leads on to Mikkelson and Binkowski.
    They also get story ideas from a private Facebook group which has 80,000 members, as well as from what people search for when they log onto the site.
    “If we’re getting a lot of emails on something, we’ll check it out,” said Binkowski, a journalist whose career includes stints at Southern California Public Radio, CBS Radio and CNN. So the daily workload is determined mostly by “email and our own discretion.”
    Staff members take the story ideas, check out the claims and then write them up, sometimes adding a rating of “true,” “false,” “unproven” or “mixture.”
    Some stories can be done in as fast as 30 minutes. The really outlandish stuff — the stories that Binkowski and Mikkelson call the “low-hanging fruit” — is the easiest to debunk. Among these are a fake report that tweens are smoking bed bugs to get high, or Photoshopped pics like the one that shows track legend Jesse Owens shaking hands with Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics.
    Other, more nuanced stories can take the staff weeks to work through before they are given a rating. Then Binkowski and Mikkelson give all stories one final look before they are published to the site.
    Vinny Green, in his San Diego apartment, is concerned with the numbers on both the front and back ends of the site.
    Vinny Green, in his San Diego apartment, is concerned with the numbers on both the front and back ends of the site.

    Jeff Sessions and legal marijuana

    Binkowski, with Mikkelson editing up in L.A., is sorting through an eclectic buffet of items on this day. One potential story is a report that claims 150 people have being killed by pit bulls in the last five years.
    But Binkowski — typing away on a laptop while seated on a brown bean bag in Green’s sparsely furnished bachelor pad/office — is skeptical because it comes from a site she says has put out misleading information in the past.
    Snopes writers are also checking out other claims:
    • A report that Sterling Heights, Michigan, has “submitted” to Sharia law by allowing a mosque to be built in a residential area (turns out the mosque is being built after a lawsuit was settled, not because of Sharia law)
    • A Dutch researcher who predicts big earthquakes in the US, the Philippines, Chile, Peru and Indonesia because of planetary alignment (scientists have shot that one down)
    • And a claim from a Canadian study that chicken from fast food restaurants is only half chicken.
    But Binkowski’s favorite this day is a claim that Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeated that legal marijuana has led to an increase in violent crime. A Snopes writer is checking to see if this supposed link is one that needs to be debunked. It is, and they did.
    “Jeff Sessions needs to come hang out in my neighborhood,” Binkowski says, giggling, “because the whole place smells like pot 24-7 and it’s super safe.”
    Binkowski says her staffers' daily workload is determined mostly by "email and our own discretion."
    Binkowski says her staffers’ daily workload is determined mostly by “email and our own discretion.”

    The Trump effect

    About three years ago Snopes.com averaged about 6 to 7 million visitors a month, according to information provided by Green.
    But then came the epic 2016 presidential election. The site’s traffic exploded to about 20 million visitors a month during the primaries and political conventions. By the time the election rolled around last November, more than 28 million people went to the site that month.
    The day after the election was the busiest in Snopes’ history. Green said 2.5 million people visited the site that day. Before that it had been averaging 750,000 visitors a day.
    And in the age of Trump, it hasn’t slowed down. Mikkelson and his new wife, Elyssa, got married two days before the election and went to China for their honeymoon because they figured things would die down after Election Day. They were wrong on that one.
    So was Binkowski. She had planned a week-long vacation — a camping and backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains — after the election. She had to cancel it because the workload only increased after the votes were counted.
    According to Alexa, a web analytics firm, more people in the US visit Snopes than either of its two main fact-checking rivals, Politifact and FactCheck.org.

    Facebook friends

    In December, Snopes became one of a group of online fact-checkers helping Facebook label some stories on its pages as fake news.
    The plan calls for “flags” to be appended to 100% bogus stories shared by users. For example, a popular made-up story during the election, which claimed Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump, would be accompanied by a red label that says “disputed by 3rd Party Fact-Checkers.”
    Facebook says it is not deciding what’s true or false. The deciders are Snopes and other fact-checking groups — ABC News, Politifact and FactCheck.org — that have committed to an International Fact Checking Code of Principles recently established by the Poynter Institute.
    Snopes staffers say fake news is getting more sophisticated, making their job more crucial.
    Snopes staffers say fake news is getting more sophisticated, making their job more crucial.
    People sometimes need help in discerning what’s real and what’s not, because fake news is getting more sophisticated. A new, highly profitable industry has sprung up in which shady operators with various motives create fake stories, videos and pictures specifically crafted to mislead readers and be shared on social media. The more clicks and shares, the more profit for the creators.
    “These headlines … are written specifically to elicit an emotion. That’s how the scammers make their money,” Binkowski said, noting that you are more likely to share that story you see on Facebook or Twitter if you have an emotional connection with it.
    “They are not just written to inform. I keep telling people if you read a headline and (after reading it) you’re ticked off and you’re angry and you’re frustrated, then double check that source because you need to know whether or not it’s legitimate.”
    There used to be a feeling among the staff of “how can people fall for this crap?” But Green said we must start cutting people some slack, because today’s fake news is refined and engineered to deceive users.
    “These websites are designed to be as misleading as possible,” said Green, who described creators of fake news as professional scam artists. “This industry that’s been created can dupe even the most sophisticated reader. And I think that’s important to realize.”
    Green says there are people out there “creating fake websites that look like real publications solely to generate revenue and mislead people. What’s the expectation that people are immune from that?”
    Green says Snopes is now combatting fake-news sites that "are designed to be as misleading as possible."
    Green says Snopes is now combatting fake-news sites that “are designed to be as misleading as possible.”

    Left versus right

    How does Snopes support itself? This has turned into a conspiracy theory all its own, with many people convinced that liberal billionaire George Soros is bankrolling the site.
    Advertising is Snopes’ only source of revenue, and Mikkelson — who calls Soros “an all-purpose bogeyman” for people on the right — said his site has no donors or sponsors backing it.
    He said Snopes has no political leanings, doesn’t accept political advertising and does not advocate for issues on the left or on the right. But many conservatives consider it a left-leaning site.
    Mikkelson said that has to do with the history of the political web.
    “When we started out doing this, for quite a long time like 90 percent of the political stuff that went around on the Internet was anti-Democratic, anti-liberal. That’s what mostly we were debunking,” he said. “So people would say so if you’re spending all your time debunking this stuff about Democrats or liberals it must be because you’re one yourself.”
    It’s much more even now, with people on either side of the political landscape equally upset with Snopes’ work.
    The stuff we write now gets “complaints from both sides,” Mikkelson said. “If everybody’s mad at us, we must be doing something right.”
    Binkowski, as the site’s lead journalist, gets her share of grief on social media. “I have grown a much thicker skin,” she said.
    Mikkelson: "I often feel like we're not really changing anybody's mind."
    Mikkelson: “I often feel like we’re not really changing anybody’s mind.”

    More than myth-busting

    Almost everyone involved with Snopes wants it to grow into more than just a website that debunks stuff. Snopes also wants to become a major player in the world of journalism.
    Mikkelson, Binkowski and Green all want to grow the site’s editorial staff so that Snopes can do more original reporting. Mikkelson wants to increase the Snopes’ offerings to include original videos, podcasts and real-time fact checking.
    Snopes actually sent a staff member, L.A.-based journalist Bethania Palma, to cover the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. She promptly broke news there in December as the first to report that the Army Corps of Engineers had denied the easement needed to complete the pipeline, temporarily blocking the project.
    Brooke Binkowski, left, and Vinny Green are temporarily working out of Green's bare-bones condo near San Diego.
    Brooke Binkowski, left, and Vinny Green are temporarily working out of Green’s bare-bones condo near San Diego.
    The pipeline project has since been revived under the Trump administration.
    Green said Palma’s work at Standing Rock created a real “paradigm shift” in Snopes staffers’ thinking and pointed to where they’d like to take the site in the future.
    Despite all his success, Mikkelson admits to sometimes getting frustrated because he feels he’s just preaching to the choir.
    “I often feel like we’re not really changing anybody’s mind,” he said. “The people who use the site are the people who are looking for something that confirms what they already think.
    “But the people whose beliefs are being challenged, who think something is really true, and we’re saying it’s false, they’ll just say (Snopes) isn’t credible or it’s biased or it’s not qualified. Yeah, it’s kind of disconcerting at times.”
    Still, he and the staff press on, proud of the site’s 20-year legacy. There are always more emails to sift through, more rumors to investigate, more fake news to be punctured.
    The truth awaits.

    CNN’s Brian Stelter contributed to this report.

    Screenshot 2017-03-11 14.54.13

     

     
    • lczarnik 15:24 on March 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This is one of the most important articles you may ever read if you are interested in knowing if the news you read is fake or not. PLEASE read the entire article, including the part that details how contrary to belief that it is liberal, it strives to be apolitical. Also lists other fact checking sites and standards that have been established on HOW to judge fake news.

      In case you want to see the original article, in it’s original setting, here is the link –

      http://bit.ly/20170310_CNN_Snopes

      On occasion, we have commented in line of an article we believe to be untrue using Snopes. We now have even MORE confidence in their fact checking and reliability.

      Larry
      2017MR11 15:20 Sydney, MR10 23:20 US EST

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