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Since I actually had to use the snow shovel today for the first time in over a year, I thought I'd celebrate the occasion by offering up link salad. (Yeah, I really know how to party!)

A) A reminder that one of the reasons we stopped discriminating against blacks is that they demanded we treat them fairly.

B) Presented without comment: On the one hand, we learn that American women should never be in military combat in other countries. And on the other, we learn that American women, when they are in this country, are in their own homes so vulnerable to violent assault that they require the next closest thing to military-class weapons currently available.

C) How NASA's Opportunity rover survived 10 years.

D) For the Americans who, like me, support a private right to own guns: How not to debate. Best part? Imagine the following conversation: You: My favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate. Them: pulls out knife. Say it’s rocky road, bitch, or I’ll cut you!!

E) The imaginary spending surge, or, No, Virginia, Obama really did cut spending.

F) It can be revealed - the truth about science fiction writers.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
daveon
Jan. 25th, 2013 06:16 pm (UTC)
I was doing ok(ish) with that article about the firearms debate until the table suggesting alternatives came up and they had this one in there:

"Even though gun-related crime is very low in these countries, many countries in Europe that have banned guns have much higher rates of violent crime per 100,000 citizens than America does."

Contained in there was a link, and without clicking it, I thought to myself, I bet that's that 2009 article from the Torygraph having one of their 'we're going to hell in a hand basket, kids today have no respect for their elders AND GET OFF MY DAMN LAWN' moments. Yeap. That's what it was.

The first problem is the fact that what is measured as violent crime in the UK isn't the same as in the US and changed pretty dramatically in the early 21st century, so pub fights, somebody snatching a bag or phone and so forth all became recorded as violent crimes even though, in reality they're not.

Second problem. Also back in the early 21st century, as I understand it, the police started getting measured in a different way. This led to a jump in recorded crime, because police were being measured on clear up rates they were reporting more things that they could clear up quickly. Something that also meant that lawyers would be under pressure to get their obviously guilty clients to agree to other cases 'To Be Taken Into Consideration' when they pled guilty in return for softer sentencing.

Plotted together, I think this set of actual stats is far more useful, and renders the talking point referred to moot:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jul/14/crime-statistics-england-wales
chris_gerrib
Jan. 25th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not so much on the "more guns = less violence" meme. My point in linking to him was the idea that threatening to shoot people wasn't a good idea if you wanted to win a debate.

In this case, it rather makes the would-be shooter look like EXACTLY the sort of mental defective who shouldn't have a cap pistol, let alone a real one.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

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