Battlepanda: Dumb, dumber, dumbest


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dumb, dumber, dumbest

Instapundit et. al. falls upon this dumber-than-a-box-of-hammers article from WaPo with glee.
How does this rate compare with that in other groups? One meaningful comparison is to the civilian population of the United States. That rate was 8.42 per 1,000 in 2003, more than twice that for military personnel in Iraq.
If you want to use totally specious logic and compare some apples with oranges you can also probably say that over the past five years, your risk of dying from terrorism as an American is roughly three thousand divided by five all over 298,444,215 or 0.00000201. Meanwhile, your annual risk of dying from a lightning strike is (according to the National Lightening Safety Institute) 1:280,000 or 0.00000357. So hey, what's the big whoop about terrorism, right?

Let's put it this way: I wouldn't spent $1075 on a contraption that purports to protect me from lightning strikes. It's how much each American is paying on average for the Iraq war.

I have no words, at least of my own. I will steal Crooked Timber's snark though -- The Plural of Data is not Anecdote. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Representative Mike Pence (R-Duh!).
Mr. Pence argued that tax cuts help the poor by revving the economy. That may eventually prove true, but despite large tax cuts the poverty rate has risen in each of the last four years.

“That’s anecdotal,” Mr. Pence said in an interview last fall. Then he offered an anecdote — a story President Reagan told about a pipe fitter pleased to see the rich prosper, “because I’ve never been hired by a poor man.”
You think that's dumb? Wait til you see the next item. I have saved the dumbest for last.

Mark Steyn, you're it.