The Counter-deception Blog

Examples of deceptions and descriptions of techniques to detect them. This Blog encourages the awareness of deception in daily life and discussion of practical means to spot probable deceptions. Send your examples of deception and counter-deception to

Friday, March 04, 2011


The Fictions of Mike Huckabee

Opinionator - A Gathering of Opinion From Around the Web

March 3, 2011, 8:30 pm 

The Fictions of Mike Huckabee

Timothy Egan on American politics and life, as seen from the West.

But beneath the veneer of Aw-Shucks-Huck is a public figure, and possible presidential candidate, who has shown a pattern of telling outright falsehoods about himself and the president.

This week, he backstepped from an extraordinary interview in which he had claimed, several times, that President Obama grew up in Kenya. But before that, Huckabee had created a shell of mistruths about a felon he helped to free early when he was governor of Arkansas. This man went on to murder four police officers in cold blood in my home state of Washington.

Mike Huckabee has shown a pattern of telling outright falsehoods about himself and the president.

Of course, "what he does know" is completely wrong. Obama grew up in Hawaii, spent some years in Indonesia, and then went to college in California. He visited Kenya, the home of a father he never knew, in his 20s. Mostly, he was raised by his white grandparents in Hawaii.


But an even bigger fiction is the one Huckabee tells about the violent felon Maurice Clemmons. Here was Huckabee last month, at an informal gathering of reporters in Washington, after being asked about having granted Clemmons's plea for early release:

"There was a kid who was 16 years old, he committed a burglary, he was aggravated, but not armed. And for that he got 108 years," Huckabee said. "One-hundred-and-eight years."

Sounds awful. Only in Arkansas would they put a black teenager away for 108 years for a single burglary. Except it's not true, as a routine check of the record, or a look at the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories about Clemmons in The Seattle Times would show.

Clemmons was facing eight felony charges at the peak of a crime spree, not one. He was 17. During a reign of terror, he broke into the home of a cop, stole guns, assaulted and robbed a woman, and broke into the home of state trooper.


The pattern here raises two major concerns. He constructs alternative views: a convict is saved by Jesus, instead of using Jesus to get out of jail, or, Obama is a bad president because he's not really an American.

In one of his lame attempts to explain the Obama comments, Huckabee only added to the character assassination. He said, "Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings, and you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas." In other words, Obama may not be Kenyan, but he's probably Muslim! (Note to Huckabee: Hawaii has both Boy Scouts and Rotary Clubs.)

The second question is about judgment, always the most crucial thing to consider in a person who wants to be president. If Huckabee can't see past a crude convict ploy to his heart, how can he judge the North Koreans?


Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Forecasting World Events

Call for Research Participants

Are you interested in global security and politics, business and economics, public health, science and technology,

or social and cultural change? If so, we invite you to participate in a unique, online research study sponsored by

the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). The Forecasting World Events Project is part of a

federally funded research program investigating the accuracy of individual and group predictions about global

events and trends, leading to fundamental advances in the science of forecasting. To support this research, the

Project seeks to build a diverse panel of forecasters with interests in any of the above domains. As a participant,

you will offer predictions about the questions that interest you most, update those forecasts as often as you like,

and interact with your fellow forecasters via optional discussion boards.

Who can participate? Any U.S. citizen 18 years or older may register to participate. People of all backgrounds are

welcome to register; advanced degree-holders and graduate students are particularly encouraged to participate.

When does it start? Invited participants will begin making predictions in late spring 2011.

What are the questions like? We will provide all of the forecasting questions, which will cover a range of global

events and will typically ask you to indicate the likelihood of something happening (e.g., a candidate winning an

election), a future amount or level of something (e.g., level of unemployment), or the date of an event (e.g., the

month and year of a company’s next product release).

Is there a heavy time commitment? Absolutely not. If selected to join the study, you will decide how often you

visit the forecasting website, the number of questions you want to answer, and the frequency with which you update

your forecasts. Furthermore, you may vary your level of involvement over time, completely at your discretion.

How long will the study last? The Project is scheduled to run from 2011 through 2013. If selected to participate,

you are encouraged to participate throughout this period, though you may withdraw at any time.

What’s the next step? Registration is now open at Following notification, selected participants

will begin offering their predictions via an interactive forecasting website.

Test your insight and advance the science of prediction.

Sponsored by IARPA’s ACE Program, the Forecasting World Events Project is managed by The MITRE Corporation,

a not-for-profit manager of Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.


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