Monday, February 06, 2006

Interesting stuff from Today

Couple of items found via Instapundit:

First, Eugene Volokh, on the importance of mathematics. Read the whole series, and next time somebody rattles of some "x number of y crimes happens every z minutes", fact-check their ass and make sure the numbers add up. The initial report adds up to somewhere in the neighborhood (warning: VERY rough guesstimation) 1.3 rapes per female (including children) per year in the United States.

Now to be fair, that was probably not an outright lie. Much more likely was a mis-reading and/or mis-understanding the original press release.

Of course, the math doesn't add up in the original press release either.

Folks, Left or Right, whatever your personal cause, when you're trying to convince someone of something, GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT! Provably incorrect statements like this leave your audience with one of two opinions:

1) You're lying, and trying to persuade your audience with lies.
2) You're stupid. Causes championed by demonstrably stupid people don't often win much support from a neutral listener.

And Volokh makes a good point: "All of life is word problems!"

Second: This is something I've been waiting for since early September, 2001.

I hope it's real. No confirmation so far, and I've not seen it linked from anywhere else. Insty's usually pretty good about checking his sources, though, so I'm hopeful.

Call to Bloggers: If this IS, in fact, real, you know damn good and well the MSM blithering idiots aren't going to give it a minute of airtime. Lots of us have been calling for moderate Muslims to speak out, and say "Not In Our Name" to terrorism. Lots more of us haven't written about it so far, but have been silently hoping.

IF, and I stress that if because it's the internet and anybody can do anything, this is not a joke or a hoax - LINK THEM. Open dialogs. Al-Jazeera and CNN give the terrorist Islamists an open mic. We can do the same for moderate Muslims who want do practice their religion, and leave us to practice ours, while we all live the good life in a free society.

Painting moderate Muslims with the radical Islamist brush is no better than painting me, an average white Christian male from rural Texas, with the KKK brush.

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