So Politicians Lie; So What?

lying politicianI told someone that one of the things I do as a Content Validity Analyst is to determine the likelihood of politicians telling the truth in their statements. Her response was “So all politicians lie; why do we need a specialist to determine that?”

Everyone Lies; So What?

If you’re going to take the stance that all politicians lie, so what’s the point in analyzing their words, then I must remind you that all people lie, regardless of profession.  Are we going to just stop trusting people completely, assuming that what they are saying is probably a lie? Or do we blindly trust that everyone is always sincere in everything they say so forget about the possibility one is being untruthful.

Credibility Matters.

If you’re going to be electing the next President of the United States, or Congressman or Senator, don’t you want the person you’re voting for to be credible?  If he or she is lying about something on the campaign trail, you must assume they will also lie about things if elected to office.

White Lie or Big Whopper?

Lying about your weight on a driver’s license can be overlooked. Lying that your mother-in-law’s meatloaf is delicious is an acceptable social lie. Lying about ethics, foreign policy, experience, safety of the American people, finances and other important issues is not something we should lower our standards to accept.

Use the Science.

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Statement Analysis: Resurrection Life Church

Pastor Duane Vander Klok’s Response to Request to Return Funds
Statement Analysis by Laurie Ayers
Posted April 2015

Resurrection Life Church GrandvilleIn 2014 David W. McQueen was sentenced to 30 years in Federal prison for an investment scam. One of the recipients of over $300,000 in stolen investor funds was Resurrection Life Church in Grandville MI. The US Attorney’s office sent a written request to the church to voluntarily return the funds. The church responded “We have prayerfully considered your request that the Church return all or part of this donor’s gifts and tithe monies, and must respectfully decline to do so.” See the church’s letter responding to the request here.

What followed next was a public outcry for Resurrection Life Church to reconsider their refusal to return the funds to the innocent investors.  Within a few days of the media coverage the Senior Pastor of the church posted the following message on their Facebook page. His statement is below, along with my content validity, statement analysis of his words in bold purple font.

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A statement from Pastor Duane regarding the issues raised in the local news:

We at Resurrection Life Church are committed to uphold a high ethical standard as well as to obey all the laws that govern the use of donated funds and how they may be dispersed. We are very saddened to hear of the illegal activities of Mr. McQueen and especially of the losses it caused so many innocent investors.

*Committed to is the same as trying. It’s not the same as saying we uphold high ethical standards and we obey the laws.

Mr. McQueen did make multiple donations; the funds in question were given in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Regarding the recent request to voluntarily return the funds that were donated years ago by McQueen, we unfortunately do not have those funds. The money was dispersed to various charitable causes many years ago according to the requirements of the law. Because so much time has passed since the donations were made, it is impossible to find those dollars now. The orphanages, missionaries, even local businesses who actually received portions of that money have all long since put it to good use, and so have the businesses where they spent it and so on.

*Dispersed according to the law, yet it’s now impossible to find? These are contradictory statements.

People will use the word “actually” to emphasize something. The use of this word also indicates a person is comparing two thoughts. Consider the following question and answer.

Question: “Did you go out for breakfast?”
Answer:   “Actually, we went out for lunch.”

In this answer, it is easy to see the person is comparing dining out for breakfast with dining out for lunch. Most of the time when people use the word “actually” you will be able to see what the person is comparing.

When the word “actually” is used and no statement has been submitted we then have some undisclosed information. Sometimes you will be able to figure out what information the person is withholding. Continue reading

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U.S. Senator Menendez Indicted on Corruption

Robert Menendez responds to corruption charges
Statement Analysis by Laurie Ayers
Posted April 2015

NJ Senator Menendez corruptionOn 1 April 2015 New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez was indicted by a Grand Jury on federal corruption charges. Charges he has denied. The 14 counts against him include conspiracy, violating the Travel Act, bribery and fraud. He’s also charged with making false statements. It’s alleged Senator Menendez accepted close to a million dollars in lavish gifts and campaign contributions in exchange for using the power of his office to influence the outcome Medicare billing disputes that represented tens of millions of dollars to a Florida eye doctor named Salomon Melgen who Menendez said is a friend.

Below is the statement he made in Newark, NJ made after learning of his indictment. This was not a press conference, so there were no questions asked. You will see my content validity, statement analysis in bold purple font.

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For.. for nearly three years I’ve lived ah under a Justice Department cloud. And today I’m outraged that this cloud has not been lifted. I’m outraged that prosecutors at the Justice Department were tricked into starting this investigation three years ago with false allegations by those who have a political motive to silence me. But I will not be silenced.

**States he is outraged but does not deny the specific charges.

I’m confident that …(audience applause) I’m … I’m … I’m confident at the end of the day I will be vindicated; and they will be exposed. (more supportive cheers and clapping). Ah ah, I, ah, this a press conference I would appreciate if you ah .. if you would just withhold.  

** When someone uses the word “confident” it tells us he is thinking about other possibilities. After consideration he determines he is confident this is what happened or will happen. If someone is confident of something, he won’t use the word confident. The Senator’s own language indicates he has thought about the possibility of being found guilty. However, he is “confident” that will not happen. A person who has done nothing wrong probably would not contemplate being found guilty.

In December, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI on federal corruption charges. In his statement to the media, he said, “I am absolutely certain that I will be vindicated.” In June 2011, a jury found Blagojevich guilty on 17 criminal counts. Continue reading

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