White Crime, Black Deaths, and Lying with Statistics

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

-Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, by way of Mark Twain.

There is a recent trend of what I can only call Race Inequality Apologists: that is, people who take it upon themselves to explain away differences, especially with regards to the conditions in the Black community. It’s become quite a cottage industry, one unfortunately marked by a pronounced lack of regard for accuracy and a tendency towards the mendacious use of statistics to obscure or outright deny reality.

Consider the example of an article entitled 5 Facts That Shatter the Myth of ‘Black-on-Black’ Crime. Put out by U.S. Uncut, it purports to provide a handy list of facts, with the admonition that “The next time you hear someone say “black-on-black crime”, show them this”. Presumably, the intention is to debunk the idea of elevated black on black crime, unfortunately  each of the 5 “Facts” shows an ever increasing disconnect from reality. Consider the 5 ‘facts’ as they are presented in bullet point;

1. 84 percent of white murder victims were white

2. Whites kill more whites than black people kill each other

3. White people commit more crimes than any other race

4. White people kill more members of vulnerable populations than any other race

5. Gang murders are most common among white gangs

There is a single point that makes all 5 of these points laughably misleading and that is demographics: just going to Wikipedia we can find the following estimate of the US population distribution;

White Americans are the racial majority. African Americans are the largest racial minority, amounting to 13.2% of the population. Hispanic and Latino Americans amount to 17.1% of the population, making up the largest ethnic minority. The White, non-Hispanic or Latino population make up 62.6% of the nation’s total, with the total White population (including White Hispanics and Latinos) being 77.1%.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the table used to justify points 4 & 5;

Note that “Other” includes “american Indians, Alaska natives, Asians, Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.

In an article devoted to debunking the idea of the significance of Black crime, the author uses a table that unambiguously shows the ~13% of the country that is Black is responsible for over 50% of all homicides. Bravo. Of course, the author could have simply read the sources they cite: Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008, cited directly under point 8 is not just the source for Table 7 (above), but contains the following damning points;

-In 2008, the homicide victimization rate for blacks (19.6
homicides per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for
whites (3.3 homicides per 100,000).

-In 2008, the offending rate for blacks (24.7 offenders per
100,000) was 7 times higher than the rate for whites (3.4
offenders per 100,000)

Truly, it is an article that should come to mind “The next time you hear someone say “black-on-black crime”…”.

A similar example comes from a recent article by the British Guardian newspaper. Discussing the issue of black deaths at the hand of police, the article opens with the following statements;

Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015, according to the findings of a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year.

Despite making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths logged this year by an ongoing investigation into the use of deadly force by police. Their rate of police-involved deaths was five times higher than for white men of the same age.

Clearly these are disturbing statistics on their face… but when you actually look past the first impression, this article is less a penetrating investigation of a national problem and more a textbook example of How to Lie With Statistics.

Let’s take the very first part of the premise of the article, that: Deaths due to police shootings should follow the population distribution. To be clear, in a purely randomly selected population this would be conceivable… but this isn’t a randomly selected population. The article makes note that despite “making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths”.

But so what? According to Wiki, people over 65 years of age make up 13.4% of the total US population. Going by the logic of the Guardian piece, this group should make up 13.4% of the police killings… except, of course, that’s ridiculous logic that imagines that interacting with police is a random event that your behavior plays no part in.

Instead of looking at the overall population demographics, let’s instead take a loot at the FBI Crime in the United States charts. What do we see when we take a quick look? That violent offenders are not evenly distributed through the population.

There is a clear trend in violent criminality and that trend is males between the ages of 17-34 (incidentally, this is one reason why you should never trust any gun control pitch that starts by talking about ‘children’ and includes 17 and 18 year old males). Women, older people and children under 13 or so are responsible for an almost negligible rate of homicides.

Shockingly, this article contains no information about the distribution of offenders! This omission by itself should relegate this article to nothing more then propaganda.
Again, we are simply left to wonder: ‘well, if young black men are 2% of the population, they surely must commit 2% of the crime…’

Of course, anyone with any passing familiarity with crime statistics in the USA knows that young black men, while 2% of the population commit about half of the violent crimes in the USA. Take another gander at the FBI crime chart: for homicides in which the offender’s race was known, blacks commit more homicides then whites, despite Black males being “only 2% of the total US population”.

The statistical manipulations by The Guardian also serve to obscure that Whites, not Blacks, comprise the majority of fatal police encounters.

The Guardian presents a chart titled “Black people were killed by police at more than twice the rate of white people in 2015”, which presents data normalized (by default) “per million”. Those numbers are certainly damning (again, numbers per million Americans);

  • 2.91 Whites
  • 7.13 Blacks
  • 3.48 “Hispanic/Latinos”
  • 1.34 Asian/Pacific Islander
  • 3.4 Native Americans

These numbers seem, prima facia, to establish a clear disparity according to race and something to be further looked into. Certainly I agree we should look into things further, because a curios thing happens when one looks at “Total” police related deaths;

  • 577 Whites
  • 300 Blacks
  • 193 “Hispanic/Latinos”
  • 27 “Other/Unknown
  • 24 Asian/Pacific Islander
  • 13 Native Americans

Given that he title of the article is “Young black men killed by US police at highest rate in year of 1,134 deaths”, it’s rather remarkable that more Whites were killed by the police then Blacks and “Hispanic/Latinos” combined. Yet again, the Guardian gives primary place to a ‘normalized’ number, and we have the number of deaths caused by police ‘normalized’ to something other then crime rates.

Finally it’s worth pointing out that the Guardian’s database, and thus the Guardian’s story, makes no effort to distinguish between justified and criminal police shootings: thus while scrolling through the list of the December 2015 dead, one will find two names that may be familiar to news watchers… Tashfeen Malik, 27 and Syed Farook, 28. Cause of death? Gunshot. Why were they shot by the police? Who can know. (The oddest thing: both are listed as “Asian/Pacific Islanders”. Huh.)

Nor, incidentally, do they distinguish between people shot by police in the course of their duty and simple shot by police personnel: February 2016, for example, lists Emily Thibodeaux, shot by an off-duty police officer… who just happened to be her husband.

None of this is to dismiss all police misconduct, nor is it to say ‘they are bringing this upon themselves’: this is to make the simple point that any group that has an elevated rate of violent crime is going to have an elevated rate of adverse interactions with law enforcement personnel. The manner that the Guardian has chosen to present, or chosen not to present, information, is a shameful derogation of journalism in favor of advocacy.

Whatever problems there are with policing in the USA (and there are plenty of problems) it does no one any good to spread a false and simplistic narrative that blacks are at greatest risk from the police. Or as Ben Shapiro put it when discussing the BLM movement, sometimes it seems that the advocates for blacks would rather more blacks be killed by criminals, so long as the campaign of marginalizing the police can proceed.

The reality of disproportionate Black crime is not new. Jason Riley recounts a particular anecdote from half a century ago;

“Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of its crimes? We’ve got to face that. And we’ve got to do something about our moral standards,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told a congregation in 1961. “We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves.”

Whatever else, these “many things wrong” can never be corrected if they cannot be honestly evaluated. Lying, even if only with statistics, will save no lives.

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Dr. StrangeRod, or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the H-Bomb

The Democratic nominating process has finally begun, which being the Democrats means that the first allegations of impropriety have been lodged.

What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.

But what’s a potentially stolen primary when measured against the vast tally of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s malfeasance? It’s a credit to her immense and transparent corruption that she’s managed to make a septuagenarian socialist Jew from Brooklyn (by way of Vermont’s Senate delegation) seem like a reasonable alternative for the nomination of the Democratic party (another glass ceiling shattered by Hillary!).

For all that, I find myself almost fond of the diabolical crone, not so much for herself, but for the case she makes against the Democratic party and (especially) the mainstream media. This is, after all, the same media that considered sexual harassment in the workplace a pressing concern… right up until it was time to slip on their presidential kneepads.

With that in mind, let’s look at some issues where Hillary forces her supporters and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) to swallow positions that they have previously condemned (and in some cases, continue to condemn).

Secret Emails are Shredding the Cons… err, never-mind…

The year is 2007; the battle rages between Hillary Clinton, heir apparent to the Democratic nomination and the upstart Barack Obama. One issue they agree on is the perfidy and secrecy of the bush administration. Obama promises “We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” While today Obama’s promises of transparency have increasingly gone from a punch-line on the right to a shared consensus, some forget the clarion call of alarm issued by Hillary.

Clinton said, “We know our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps, the secret military tribunals, the secret White House email accounts.”

Apparently the Constitution is safe so long as the emails are under the steely eye of Eric Hoteham…

Those who have observed the evolving Clinton strategy of defense on the email matter will note that Hillary has moved subtly from “There is no Classified Material” to “nothing marked classified”. This is, however, a distinction without much legal difference; among the statutes she is suspected of potentially violating is 18 USC 793. Without going too much into things, gross negligence, as well as  willful and malicious action, is enough to secure a conviction for “Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information”.

Put another, simpler way: if the material on Hillary’s server falls under the aforementioned code, then the excuse “it wasn’t marked classified” is about as legally useful as “I swear officer, I didn’t know she was 13…”

Lawyer for Evil, Incorporated;

Critical writers, such as those of Mother Jones magazine, have made a bit of a cottage industry of criticizing GOP candidates for actions they took during their private legal representation of clients. The criticism is especially sharp when directed at Ted Cruz, ranging from who he represented,

…But much of the time, Cruz represented corporate clients.

To the degree he has highlighted his clients;

Cruz’s years as a highly paid private lawyer who often defended powerful corporations. And there are several significant cases he handled—politically inconvenient cases—that he has photoshopped out of his personal narrative.

And the implication that acting zealously for his clients makes him traitor to his Conservative principles;

As a politician, Ted Cruz, the junior Republican senator from Texas, has championed tort reform—the nationwide effort pushed by conservatives and business interests to restrict malpractice and other wrongful injury and death lawsuits, limiting how much a jury can award a harmed individual for pain and suffering and in punitive damages. …

Yet, as a lawyer in private practice, Cruz—at least twice, in 2010 and 2011—worked on cases in New Mexico to secure $50 million-plus jury awards in tort cases prompted by corporate malfeasance. These are precisely the kind of jury awards that the tort reform Cruz has promoted would abolish.

That an attorney has an ethical and legal responsibility to zealously represent the interest of their client seems to be no exculpation… well, at least it doesn’t until they have to explain away Hillary’s representation of Thomas Alfred Taylor. Who’s Thomas Alfred Taylor and why would he appear in Hillary’s biography, you may ask?

In 1975, the same year she married Bill, Hillary Clinton agreed to serve as the court-appointed attorney for Thomas Alfred Taylor, a 41-year-old accused of raping the [12 year old] child after luring her into a car.

The specifics of Hillary’s defense of Mr. Taylor are not the subject of this post (they deserve a specific and in-depth treatment). What is relevant is the simple question: if a corporate attorney’s actions should reflect poorly on his character, how about the defense of the accused rapist of a 12 year old girl? How about securing for that accused rapist a sentence of one year?

Taylor, who pleaded to unlawful fondling of a chid, was sentenced to one year in prison, with two months reduced for time served.

How about securing a one year sentence for an accused rapist of a 12 year old girl when their attorney thinks they are guilty?

“I had him take a polygraph, which he passed – which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” {Clinton] added with a laugh.

No doubt we can look forward to the media expressing as intense an interest in the case of Thomas Alfred Taylor as, say, Mitt Romney’s high school experience. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

 

The Darker the Money, the Sweeter the Juice…

This is not to say that all of Hillary Clinton’s trespass are all of old vintage, far from it. In the ongoing Democratic party attack of paranoid lunacy regarding the Koch brothers, the new book that is making the rounds is Jane Mayer’s Dark Money. In it, Mayer… well, let’s let the NY Times describe it;

“Dark Money” relates the personal story of the Koch family in considerable detail — an engineer father who made a fortune building oil refineries, then spent the last years of his life as an angry member of the John Birch Society; an early conversion by Charles and David Koch to the radical libertarian economics of Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises; a web of sibling rivalry among all four of the family’s brothers, ending in painful legal confrontations that dragged on for years.

Ah yes, Hayek and von Mises, those dastardly fellows! You can practically smell the mustache wax… Thank goodness Hillary Clinton is, of course, above such shabby and obvious graft, such tawdry peddling of influence for cash.

That’s what the Clinton Foundation is for;

Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department;

A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States’ oil-rich ally in the Middle East. …

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department Increased Chemical Arms Sales To Middle East Countries That Gave To Clinton Foundation

As Egyptian democracy protesters massed in the streets of Cairo in 2011, provoking a bloody crackdown from the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented herself as a champion of human rights. …

But behind the scenes, Clinton pursued contrasting aims. … Her State Department cleared Egypt to continue purchasing arms the U.S. government classified as “toxicological agents,” a broad designation that included chemical and biological weapons, …

The Clinton-run State Department’s approval of chemical and biological exports to the Egyptian government increased in volume just as dollars flowed from Mubarak-linked entities into the coffers of Clinton family concerns.

Foreign governments gave millions to foundation while Clinton was at State Dept.

The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday.

This list is, of course, far from comprehensive. Nor is it my point to claim that there is no possibility that any given one of these episodes or elements is evidence of irredeemable corruption. My point is that the Left and the Media (once again, I repeat myself) have established a code of conduct, a framework of right and wrong and applied it strenuously to Republicans whenever they get the chance. It is the unfortunate reality of the moment that these traits, found individually in various people on the right, seem to be present all at once in the person of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

This is the singularity that is Hillary, and the best explanation for the Berne being felt: Hillary embodies all of the traits that the Democratic base has grown to despise, yet the Clinton’s possess such a death-grip on the Democratic Party machine they seem determined to either drag the party to a Hillary coronation, or strangle it in the process.