Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mini-Snopes: Great moments in dishonest charts

A friend shared this chart on Facebook today. At the moment it has 5678 shares. Her source introduced it this way:
(For those that refuse to discuss anything but guns, because guns are the most important issue)
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our passions, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

Those bars are impressive and if scaled correctly would be more even more impressive. Gun homicides are truly insignificant viewed like this. However, this view is complete bullshit.

The bottom two bars measure homicides, none of the others do. If you add firearm suicides and accidental, fatal shootings, the gun death numbers triple. If you sort out the others to only homicides what do you get? How many motor vehicle homicides are there per year? Poison homicides? Alcohol, drug, tobacco, or medical homicides? When was the last time you heard of someone charging inro a building and killing twenty plus people with a baseball bat or a cigarette? If the sources of the chart are correct, the first eight lines should all be included in the "Non-firearm" category.

Was the original author dishonest or just unclear on the concept? As a general rule, we should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. Here, however, I'm voting for malice. If the author was looking at causes of death in the United States, any source would have listed cancer and heart disease at the top. This dishonesty is especially obvious since the author lists one of his/her/its sources as the Center for Disease Control. If you can't make you case without resorting to lies, then you have no case.

PS - I have never met anyone who refuses to discuss anything but guns as the cause of death.

PPS - One of the commenters at my friend's source smugly says, "It is sad the sheeples believe everything they are told by the media." Sheeple automatically excludes you from any intelligent conversation.

Obama's to-do list

In a few hours it will start being 2016 in the US. As Obama enters his last full year in office, I have to say he's put off too many parts of his agenda until the last minute. He's never going to accomplish all of these in one year. Just look at this list. He needs to:

  • Grab all our guns
  • Outlaw Christmas
  • Start a race war
  • Make everyone use Common Core math
  • Enact Shariah law
  • Send all of the Real Americans (tm) to FEMA reeducation camps
  • Play lots of golf
  • Abolish golf
  • Seize all the Bibles
  • Make kids eat their vegetables
  • Assign one transgender person to each public restroom and gym shower
  • Ban cars
  • Invade Texas
  • Get whitey
  • Declare himself the Messiah
  • Something something EBOLA!
  • Homosexualize all the children
  • Arrest Glenn Beck
  • Form a private army out of the Crips and the Bloods
  • Suspend the Constitution so he can have a third term
  • Import millions of Islamic terrorists
  • Give telephones to all the undeserving people
  • Make us press 2 for English

It's not going to be easy for Obama to institute his thousand year rule of evil on this schedule. Even now, conservative Facebookers are arming themselves with their most powerful Sam Elliot you-must-be-a-special-kind-of-stupid memes. He's going to need our help to accomplish his full evil agenda. I, for one, pledge to spend every penny George Soros sends me being a PC as I can on social media. What will you do?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A holiday warning

This is a rerun of a post I wrote around this time a few years ago. I think it's still relevant.


The men in black (MIB) entered UFO lore in 1956 in a book entitled They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. The author was one Gray Barker who had been a member of one of the first American UFO groups, the rather ambitiously named International Flying Saucer Bureau (IFSB). Though Barker's book dealt with a number of paranormal topics, the largest part of it dealt with his former boss, IFSB founder Albert Bender.

In 1953 the IFSB was about two years old with a few hundred dues paying members (called "investigators") who all received the Bureau's newsletter Space Review. The group was doing well enough when, in October 1953, Bender suddenly stopped publication of Space Review, and dissolved the IFSB. The last issue of the news letter gave only this explanation.
STATEMENT OF IMPORTANCE: The mystery of the flying saucers is no longer a mystery. The source is already known, but any information about this is being withheld by order from a higher source. We would like to print the full story in Space Review, but because of the nature of the information we are very sorry that we have been advised in the negative.
According to Barker, the reason Bender had so abruptly ended the group was that three mysterious men in black had visited Bender and warned him off. But before they did, the MIBs were good enough to explain at least part of the true secret of the flying saucers. UFOs, they said, actually come from Antarctica. They have bases in both polar regions and regularly fly between them. Bender told a different story in his own book in 1963.

Enough UFO stories end with the craft departing due north or south that Barker's version of Bender's visitors has been adopted by conspiracy theorists who believe in a decidedly terrestrial origin for saucers. My personal favorite version is that saucers and MIBs are Atlanteans from within the hollow earth, but the theory that they are Nazi refugees from super-scientific bases beneath the ice cap has its devotees, too.

The MIBs are the key to the mystery. The most mundane explanation that has been offered is that they work for the American government and that they are trying to hide the truth about the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs. But that could itself be disinformation. No government has the ability to do what the MIBs do. Think for a moment about the men in black. They have appeared all over the world. They have a special interest in unidentified flying objects and in protecting the polar regions. They seem to actually know what is in the minds of the people they visit. Who has the ability to manage an intelligence network like that? Ask yourself: Who has the ability to travel everywhere, at any time, and even seemingly to appear in two places at once? Who has a special interest in protecting the polar regions? Who knows when you are sleeping? Who knows when you are awake? Who knows if you've been good or bad?

I think you know the answer.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and be good for goodness sake.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Why does Mel Tormé hate veterans?

'Tis the season of inescapable Christmas songs and one of the most inescapable is Mel Tormé's "The Christmas Song." For the moment I'll leave aside the sheer arrogance of him claiming to have written "THE Christmas Song" and not "A Christmas Song." My beef is the callous way Mel snubs America's heroes in uniform. He tried to hide his disdain by putting it at the end of the song, but that just makes it more memorable. Professional tip Mel: If you want to hide something, hide in the middle, not at the end where it's the freshest thing in people's memories.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two.
Although it's been said many times
Many ways, Merry Christmas to you.

Why do you only wish Merry Christmas to people of those ages? Why not everyone? Do you know who's over ninety-two, Mel? The Greatest Generation, that's who? They fought WWII so you could have the freedom to write songs about whatever you want. And this is how you repay them. For shame, Mel, for shame.

And babies. Why do you hate babies who aren't even one year old? Christmas is for the children, Mel. It's toys and bright lights and baby Jesus. Some of those babies are going to grow up to be veterans. Is that why you hate them?

America demands answers, Mel. And don't try pulling that stale "I'm dead so you can't do anything to me" routine. America is a country of problem solvers. If we want answers, we'll get answers. We'll see whose chestnuts end up roasting on an open fire.