Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The numbers are out...

"The Numbers got out"


Heard about this story today when listening to Rush and checked the New York Sun for the article and to get some of the numbers...
http://www.nysun.com/article/32787

For some time many of the Democrats have been sure to bring up the casualties of the Iraq war whenever they can but how does the casualty rates of the cities they represent and other countries compare?

According to the Sun article the violent death rate per 100,000 in Iraq is 25.71
Compared to other countries the rate in Columbia is 61.7 per 100,000...
South Africa rate is 49.6
Jamaica is 32.4
Venezuela comes in at 31.6 violent deaths per 100,000

Now for some of the rates in our own country...

New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina was 53.1 per 100,000
The nations capitol Washington D.C. comes in at 45.9
Just up the road in Baltimore it is 37.7
Head down South to Atlanta and you find the rate is 34.9 per 100,000

And all of these compare to Iraq where the violent death rate 25.71 per 100,000
and that includes the war casualties...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update: This topic and News report that appeared in the New York Sun resulted in a extended debate about what numbers were used to get the different rates. One of this blogs visitors provided a link to a Wall Street Journal article that also discussed this issue. It is at http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110008392 and is a very good article on this subject and the way information is viewed. See article "How does Iraq Rate?"

50 comments:

Bubba said...

That is a set of numbers you won't see on the Mainstream Media's play list. I wonder what it was with Saddam at the helm? Gassing and mass murdering your own people might cause some spikes in the statistics...........

I wonder what it is in Mexico?

zen said...

You are not serious are you?! You have surprised even me in your pursuit to spin, defend Bush and smear the left.
Seriously are you thinking about these statistics or are you just repeating what you hear from Rush/NY Sun? Rep. King? There's a perfect reason the "mainstream media" doesn't give these statisics...because they're flat out wrong and misleading!
Perhaps it's fitting that the Sun article is titled Spinning The Reality Of Iraq War since that's exactly what it's doing.

It's really hard for me to believe that you are basically making the case that Iraq is safer that the US.

Before I completely destroy this fallacy you have promoted, I'll give you a chance to withdraw and/or correct it based on a thoughtful look at the numbers, common logic, and basic math.

It's just another example of Rush outright lying and simple-minded ditto heads consuming it as the truth.

Bubba said...

I think the overal statistics for they US are much lower, thus the US would be safer, however given that the US is MUCH larger state statistics would be more comparable i would think. The CDC statistics site did not have recent mortality numbers that I could find on a quick check but it looked like totaled unintentional violent deaths would fall around 10-16 per 100,000.

However comparing national statistics from the listed nations on a per 100,000 ratio is a very informative bit of info.

I am curious how you will destroy the fallacy so please go ahead. It should be interesting.

The numbers from new orleans explain why people were shooting at the Helicopters trying to save them............

zen said...

I'm giving the poster, Rightside, a chance to address these stats before I tear this silliness apart.

As for the "shooting at helicopter" claim, that seems still stuck in the minds of a few gullible souls....it's false too.

More important, there has been no official confirmation that a single military helicopter over New Orleans—let alone a National Guard Chinook in the pre-dawn hours of September 1—was fired upon. “I was at the Superdome for eight days, and I don’t remember hearing anything about a helicopter getting shot at,” says Maj. Ed Bush, public affairs officer for the Louisiana Air National Guard. With hundreds of Guard troops always on duty inside and outside the Superdome before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina, if there had been gunfire, “we would have heard it,” Bush maintains. “The instant reaction over the radio would have been overwhelming.”

SWAC Girl said...

Chill, Zen. Play nice tonight....

The facts are the facts ... and they're not new. They've been published before but, like so many other facts about the Iraq war, the MSM ignores it.

I suppose I question why you don't want the U.S. to look good to our enemies? Why are you so determined to tear us down for the terrorists around the world to see? As far as I'm concerned as a U.S. citizen, you are aiding and abetting the enemy and I do not appreciate it for fellow Americans nor for our soldiers and their families.

Check out this article:
http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/editorial/14594356.htm

It says, in part:

Morale is slipping in Iraq. Fighters are growing doubtful of success. A comprehensive strategy for winning the conflict is nonexistent.

Is this an assessment of the U.S. military? No, it is an assessment about the insurgents who oppose the elected Iraqi government ... documents authored by an al-Qaida operative and seized by U.S. soldiers during an April 16 raid ... offer hope to the American side that success may be closer than we think.

... the al-Qaida operative says the insurgency is "disorganized and lacks a comprehensive strategy"; the mujahedeen are "not considered more than a daily annoyance" to the Iraqi government; the terrorists lack the proper equipment and have "very small numbers" compared with the personnel and equipment of the American and Iraqi forces; American and Iraqi troops are strong and resilient; American outreach to Sunni leaders is harmful to the terrorist cause; and "the policy followed by the brothers in Baghdad is a media-oriented policy."

This last one is of particular interest, because it is a strategy specifically designed to shape American public opinion and reduce support for the war.


It goes on to discuss how our MSM is being used by our enemy.

Check out this post:
http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/blog/

It discusses anti-war protesters who defaced and vandalized the National Guard Armory in Corvallis, Oregon. Read it, Zen. I'd like your feedback.

It would be nice if we as a country could show a united front to the world like my parents' World War II generation did when they stood behind a Democrat president because the country was at war -- no protests, no hate-speech toward the President -- they pulled together.

I'm not in the mood to hear more anti-America rhetoric.

zen said...

There you go again SWAC. Accusing someone with a different opinon as being "Anti-American." That is tired and threadbare.
Listen carefully...this has NOTHING to do with an opinion about the war. This is about misleading statistics. Frankly flat out wrong stats in fact.
Everyone has a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. That is at issue here, not your allegations about "aiding and abetting the enemy." Why can't you see that? Why can't you understand that stats that are wrong do not help your argument, only make it weaker. And why are you threatened by checking facts? It shows your despiration when you cannot stick to the discussion and rather attack me as being unpatriotic. It's lame and pathetic.

Gullible Bubba said...

Being the gullible soul I am I read your article and if your read on down past your selected quote they indeed did arrest a man who was shooting as helicopters flew by. My point proven. Thank you Zen. If he was shooting at the choper or not who knows... my point was to show the lawlessness of that city as supported by the given statistics.

I still am interested to see how you will tear this silliness apart. I hope you use rational thought an don't try to use more complicated statistical twisting to alter a very simple base line per capita ratio.

Bubba said...

If a repuplican gave flat out wrong stats why has there not been a congressional investigation or a public out cry from the MSM yet? I know it just happened but they gotta move quick on this stuff. We can't let our elected officials give any wrong info. I mean whe might invade Columbia based off these wrong numbers to protect the people there. I'm calling my congressman..right now!

seriously though this does have some opinion to do with the war because the MSM paints a bleak picture of Iraq and in acuality per capita there are lots of more dangerous places out there. they might not have a shooting war or bombs going off but does it really matter if you get killed by a sniper or from a street gang? A good dose of perspective would be good.

If the stats are wrong then give the details and a source because all joking aside I really would like to see what the rate is in Mexico. And I have not been able to find the stats and I am not gonna subscribe to the NYsun.com

SWAC Girl said...

Zen, you didn't tell me what you thought about the following post:

http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/blog/

It discusses anti-war protesters who defaced and vandalized the National Guard Armory in Corvallis, Oregon ... complete with pictures. It's full of facts so you should like it.

Your feedback?

zen said...

lol...yeah I'm not going to subscribe either. Rip off. Interesting enough I've been having an e-mail exchange with the author of the article for most of the day. She's a wet noodle and cannot justify the stats that she regurgitates either. She'd rather take the SWAC tact and accuse me, rather than simply explain the data. That's all I'm asking. I guess the truth may expose something that threatens her agenda to defend the effort at all costs. The freedoms that our troops are killing and dying for must surely include getting the facts right!?

Here's an idea rather than me tear apart these stats why doesn't someone else attempt it? I'm hoping Rightside will figure it out himself. Or you (Bubba) or SWAC or Alicia Colon, anyone please pick up the challenge, go for it.
Here's a hint. Look for an area's total population. Find the number of murders (will do for violent death wouldn't you say?). As for Iraq this should be widely available. Be sure to count all violent deaths. Apply simple mathmatics and viola you've got your violent deaths per 100,000.

I will not contest that there may be dangerous places here in the US, perhaps more dangerous than Iraq. That's not the point of my insistence. It is fair and accurate reporting of the facts. To portray Iraq as relatively safe is ludicris. The 25.71 figure is absurd and easily disproven.
I don't think many people find a supporter of the war spinning the numbers a real shocker. Thus no need to formally investigate it, just someone mouthing off nonsense. I do plan to give the office of Rep. King a call. Maybe they can shed some light on thier methodology. But for the moment I stand by my calculations and hunch that he's wrong.
That's why I encourage someone else to prove it. Prove that King's stats are correct, prove me wrong. So far all I see are parrots that take these stats on thier face as truth. Nobody seems willing to do any research. Nobody here, and not even the so-called "journalist" that echoed the remarks of the Congressman.
If the facts are there, then they are not exclusive to a member of the House. Should be easy to figure, go for it!

zen said...

SWAC..I didn't respond, I haven't read it. I will. But I'm attempting to stay on topic and not let you distract from the original post from Rightside.

SWAC Girl said...

Zen, you sound like the Democrat talking heads I hear on Fox News -- all spin without offering facts to back yourself. If you think Rightside's facts are so wrong, prove it! So far all I see is a parrot for the Democrat talking points.

As to the link I gave you to read, it is on topic because we're discussing Iraq and the way the MSM doesn't get the facts out about the war. Read that link

http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/blog/

about anti-war protesters who defaced and vandalized the National Guard Armory in Corvallis, Oregon ... is that what you want to see this country come to? That's what everyone who feels like you are trying to do ... bring this country to its knees for your political benefit with caring about the welfare of our country or citizens.

I will repeat that I am offended that you constantly tear down this country and, in the process, weaken and endanger the men and women who are on foreign soil fighting for our freedoms and our safety.

What you are doing is what happened during Vietnam ... do you want to see our military abused and subjected to the same treatment that occurred then? That's where this is heading if you keep it up.

Go see "Flight 93." It's a stark reminder of that day almost five years ago when we were all united as Americans ... and the reason we are at war in the first place.

Everything else is moot.

Read the link. And while you're at it, read all of the "Vets for Freedom" website started by Iraqi War veterans who are trying to get the truth out about the war because the MSM will not!

zen said...

SWAC>> I take offense to your baseless accusations and narrow allegations. You only know how to scorn and distrot. You are not accurate in your assumptions and fail to recognize your own bias.
I have read the link and do have opinions about it that I will gladly share when someone answers the challenge to either prove or disprove the statistics that you stand behind as fact.
If they are facts then prove it, do not expect me, or anyone else, to blindly accept them as you have done. It seems that simply because you side with what they intend to evidence, then they must be true. I am highly skeptical of any such statistics whether they support my case or not because people can distort them.
I do not understand why rather than focus on the validity of the numbers, you would rather turn this into a discussion about the sentiments about the war. How can you feel comfortable standing on bogus data to prove yur point? Prove these stats or admit that they are false.

Read Congressman King's remarks in full (He's on record) and tell me what point he is trying to make. Why would he compare this stat to cities like DC and Baltimore?
You should know that I have spoken with the worker in Rep. King's office that compiled the data (we used the same source) and we discovered his flaw. He would not stand behind the statement that King was attempting to portray Iraq as safer than DC or Baltimore. Do you?
Furthermore the press person at the NY Sun that Rightside links to has her own credibility problems as many of her e-mails to me prove.

All I'm asking is that you either prove these stats, disprove them, or admit they are bogus and attempt to push an agenda.

Bubba said...

Zen,

You are the one who takes issue with the statistics, so you are the one who should discount them if you can. The stats look like they came from good math and without being given the population figures used it will be hard to check the math. The utilization seems a little off because he is using the statistics for a whole country versus the statistics for cities, and I grant the numbers for the major cities in Iraq are sure to be higher. But you cannot discount the Stats when comparing the nations listed and King does state that in Iraq it would be random location when comaring the rates for the american cities. The point of his speach though (at least in the first part)_is that the MSM is focusing on the violence in Iraq and giving a false impression of the situation as whole and ignoring the local domestic problems that exist in our cities here.

For those that want a quick link right to the article here it is:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?r109:./temp/~r109RxOLer

Once again I ask you to destroy the fallacy or silliness or what ever catch phrase you want to use to describe the statistics....
Don't back up from your original claim of being able to competely destroy the numbers I really want to see it.....

Also that was a long rambling speach.....lots of stuff in there on the border too.

zen said...

I hear you Bubba. I only wish we could hear from Rightside, that (re)posted the stats here hoping to, as you say, give us "a false impression of the situation." I'd think it's only fair to give him a chance to repsond...though I didn't expect him to take so long.

That link you gave will expire, unfortunately. I tried the same thing when I linked.

The relative size of the cities are not what's important as we are comparing % per 100,000. But it's an interesting thought as I'm sure 'concentration' would be a factor.

Let's solve it together shall we? Then you also can share in the destruction of this silliness. But also, then you can clearly undertsand that the figure 27.51 is bogus, misleading, and, "giving a false impression of the situation as whole." Naturally you should then admit that the exact thing of which some here accuse the media (dishonesty and pushing an agenda) is in fact being perpetrated by Congressman King (R-Iowa), Alicia Colon and the NY Sun, Rightside, SWAC and probably many more people...the fitting lable will be "HYPOCRITES."

I do not back up from my original claim of being able to competely destroy the numbers. I know you really want to see it.....So why not make this deal with me? That you will admit to being a hypocrite as well as everyone else that stands by these numbers on faith. (deal SWAC? You'll eat your words?)

Let's be very clear on what we are determining. The rate of violent deaths per 100,000 in Iraq. Agreed? If I include something that I shouldn't, or leave something out that should, let me know and we'll fix it together. This way in the end I cannot possibly be accused of manipulation.
Keep in mind that we'll be using the very same source as where the Congressman's stats came from. And also the same time period as admitted to me by a rep in King's office that claimed credit for compiling the data. We'll use 2005 so we calculate over an entire year.

First, we should find out the total population of Iraq. I used wikipedia and got 26,074,906. I added 150,000 for the US and coalition personnel average for the year. We now have 26,224,906. Agreed?

Next we need the totals of violent deaths in Iraq. Our source is icasualties.org.

Before continuing, I want to make sure we are all in agreement so far.
So who's in?

RightsideVA said...

Wow!!!

Took two days off and been hiking on the moutain and came home to this tonight. Knew I would get a reaction when I used RUSH as the original source but he was linking to the SUN article and I linked to that...

As far as proving the facts are not all printed facts in papers 100% ??? It is not my place to prove the facts and if I find otherwise I will state the new facts as they come out. Only fair and I wish some of the major papers would correct facts that they have gotten wrong in past...

Not uncommon for cities in our own backyard to have high rates and little press. Seems the real info getting out would not help those in charge of those cities. Look at how bad Nagin screwed up New Orleans before, during, and after the hurricanes but yet he and much of the media blamed it on FEMA and everybody else... Not just Nagin, look at Governor Blanco who would not activate the National Guard after The President called and advised her to. I believe the Governor has to activate the Guard in that situation, not the President. Fed vs. State thing...

Working on getting a link to a soldier in Mosul who is writing stuff not heard in major media as to what is going on over there...

"If they are facts then prove it, do not expect me, or anyone else, to blindly accept them as you have done."

Reminds me of all of the stories of voter disfranchisement during the elections in the news. Was taken as facts, still repeated as fact by many un-happy elected officials and yet not ONE documented case of it...

Good to be back...

zen said...

Welcome back. Sounds like a nice way to spend some time away.

RS said, "if I find otherwise I will state the new facts as they come out."

So if I prove to you that King's stats are false you will do what?

SWAC Girl said...

Rightside, welcome back from the mountain and some well-deserved "down" time.

Zen, give it a rest. I'm going to the Farmers Market ... better things to do today than listen to lib spins.

zen said...

Yeah I know you don't like facts and reality...they have a notorious liberal bias. You'd rather rely on anything that appears to prove you views, without regard for accuracy.

Is it not hypocritical to point to "media bias" by relying on bogus data to do so?

Let's get this straight. Rep. King giving misleading statistics is not spin, but me pointing out his error is?

Numbers on their own do not editorialize. But when someone intentionally gives misleading data in order to make a false point—that is the EPITOME OF SPIN.

Why don't we fact-check King et al, then decide who's spinning? You don't care because you prefer the bogus numbers. Why? Because the real numbers threaten you, so you must resort to your normal defense of lashing out.

Bubba said...

When looking at the numbers and looking back at the original coments King is using civilian deaths. The numbers derived from the speach of 27,000/3 for approx 9000 deaths is close to the media collected death rate of 9207 for 2005. Using the Iraq population rate or 26,074,906 from the mentioned source troubles me because wikipedia is an editable encyclopedia and admitedly used estimated numbers. I would have to question if King used these numbers or numbers from a DOD or other estimate. I would leave the military out of it as the original stats were for civilian deaths and comarable mumbers from the US are for civilian deaths as well.

Calculating those numbers out with the missing data set for Jan/Feb from the source I derive a rate of 35.3/100,000.
(9207/26074906*100000)=35.3

That leaves a variance of 7.8 between the mumbers. Typical error rates in most polls used these days runs from +/- 4% to +/- 8% so I don't really see a large issue with the numbers themselves.

The real issue is analysis of the rate of a Nation versus that of a City. Given that most people view Iraq as a place and relate the same relevance to any other place one could make a case for giving IRAQ numbers vs. City numbers, but that was not all that was given. assorted rates for Countries were given also which strengthens the point being made that the media is over reporting and giving a false impression of Iraq when there are more dangerous places around that are not in a war zone.

When I originaly saw these numbers I figured that it would all be based on estimates and would have an error rate close to 10 points. So other than wasting about an hour of my time validating numbers I have strengthened the original argument that the media is using it's power to over rate the issues in Iraq and that there are safer places in the world than Iraq and that some of our major cities have a higher incident rate than Iraq as a whole.

I don't think that the original claim was that Iraq is safer than the United States. The claim was that Iraq is safer than some US cities (where the press has unlimited access) and several foreign countries.

zen said...

I agree that the point was that Iraq was safer than some US cities. Based on these numbers I never disputed that fact. What I do dispute is that the number of 27.51 is quite wrong and misleading in King's attempt to spin the idea that Iraq is safer than some US cities. The key is that he underestimated the number in Iraq.

So without getting ahead of ourselves. Without comparing other cites/areas yet. Without bringing the intentions of the media into this yet. Lets look at what King was attempting to show. Violent death-rate per 100,000. Right?
So we need to count all violent deaths during our time period. Since King makes the point to use Iraq, we cannot ignore that Iraq is at war. In a war people are killed by violence. Military, police, security forces are killed by violence as well as civilians and therefore all must be counted. (more about this in a moment)

The figure killed in Iraq in 2005 are: 3,382 Iraq Police/Military, 9207 civilians, 846 US, 51 coalition.
Total: 13,486
So we get: 13,486/26,224,906x100,000= 51.42

51.42 violent deaths per 100,000 in Iraq

That's about twice as much as given by Rep. King.
That is the fact. That is the accurate violent death-rate in Iraq. This is statistic. Now what is done beyond this point is editorializing and interpreting that number. I have not made any inference about using this number to criticize the war effort as accused by some. I merely point out that 27.51 is wrong and 51.42 is correct. Draw your own conclusions, but do not deny the relative accuracy of this figure.

Now, why would anyone ignore military death's when calculating the violent death-rate? If one is counting the civilian deaths from war, then why not all deaths from war? The citizens within a war-torn country do not live in a vaccum.
So looking at the other places King chooses to compare, we now know his agenda and reason why his misleading stats are used. The fact that some US cities are violent is still not an excuse for misleading stats.
How ironic is it that Alicia Colon at the NY Sun calls her article "Spinning the Reality of Iraq"? It's strikingly obvious that the spin is in selectively conducting the violent death rate body count. Shameless.

Speaking to your criticizms of the media, here's recommended reading.

zen said...

I have a correction:

The adjusted figure is 2680, 6960, 846, 51=10537
This is from Mar '05 - Mar '06

40.18 per 100,000

Still significantly greater than Rep. King's and probably a bit on the low side due to the data gathering difficulties.

See that, because I care about accuracy, I admit when I get something wrong. More than can be said for Rep. King, NY Sun, Rush, and apparently, sadly Rightside.

Bubba said...

Once again the original numbers came off of comments over concerns for civilian deaths in Iraq. So if you want to include the military and police and coalition forces in the figures then you would be altering the data set to represent something other than what King's comments originaly refered to. The military and police and coalition are there to do a job so it would not be relevant to include those deaths in the comparison, especially given that all the comparison numbers exclude occupational deaths.

Also in the process of fact checking it would only be appropriate to mention that Rep King was using numbers originally provided by another DEM. Congresswoman from Ohio. (please see the congressional record you noted before)

The only misleading I see going on here is you including a data set into the calculation that was never ment to be included in a statistic on violent CIVILIAN deaths.

Although I do grant that the Sun article did state just Violent Deaths per 100,000. The congressional record shows civilian deaths.

I wonder then by using your methods if the soldiers who recently died when their tank ran off a bridge and they drowned would be considered violent deaths? What about other traing and friendly fire deaths? They are included as Iraq casualties on the website you provided, but accidents like that occur on a frequent basis her in the states and are never reported in the news other than an occasional ticker entry or in local media. Maybe we should have a running ticker for deaths as reported by the media in the US just like the icasualties.org website has for Iraq?! Wouldn't that be an eye opener!

I will have to read the article later, I have wasted enough of my time proving numbers that were within acceptable error rates already!

Bubba said...

OK i couldn't resit I had to read it.....

bottom line.

If she died in Iraq it would be an occupational death. Unless she was carjacked or something along those lines. She is there to do a job. Just like the soldiers and police and other military forces.

Go ahead and get mad. But if you die because you put yourself in a situation and know the risks associated with putting yourself in that situation and die because of the stated risks of performing your job in that situation it is a occupational death. In this case a very noble death but an occupational death none the less.

Bubba said...

Zen,

Nice post you got going over on your blog about this topic. Any coincidence that it started 2 days after this one and you give no credit to Rightside for putting you onto it? Even if you disagree with the subject material you need to give credit where credit is due.

Here is a tip. don't drink redbull when driving home from work to stay awake......you will just be jumpy and blog all night.....LOL

zen said...

Thanks for your interest in puesuing the topic as well Bubba. I'm hoping you made it home ok, and will not be reading this for some time as you catch up on your sleep. :)

Regarding what you call "occupational" deaths. I think that is a stretch. You use some logic to reach it—unlike so many that do not even question the figure out of a false bravado sense of patriotism—but a stretch nonetheless.
What is being presented by the Congressman is that it would be safer for a civilian to live in Iraq, as comparable to the other places he mentions. He does so by claiming the rate of violent deaths. It is flat wrong to not include those dead from violence occuring in the country—those who are waging it as well as those civilians encountering it. The Rep counts only a selective segment of the population which is misleading.

I'll give you that perhaps accidents incurred by military forces such as car wrecks maybe should not be counted. BUT why not consider that the accident is also a result of the war? I would absolutely count any death by ordinance, IED, friendly fire as a result of violence.

The point is not the these were "occupational" but violence related. In fact, I questioned Rep. King's office about this. I was told that in the other cities a police officer killed in the line of duty would be counted. So that negates the argument all together.

What about the many hundreds of people killed while waiting in line at recruiting offices throughout Baghdad? Are they still civilians, or considered security? It doesn't matter if they lose their lives through violence and they are dead as a result of a bomb.
As I said you are stretching, and it frankly doesn't stand. And it's not the method that the Congressman used to calculate the numbers, nor the intent behind them.

I gave you the story about the gutsy reporter not to show that she was a potential violent death waiting to happen. But as an illustration that some in the media put their life on the line and shouldn't be bashed by widespread assumptions and from speaking in absolutes—eg. "the media".

I considered giving a link to this blog from mine about this topic. But until I hear from Rightside on whether he adimts the error of the stats he presents, and admits to, once again, attempting to spin this against Democrats, admits that it's actually his sources that are wrong and are spinning, I thought I wouldn't direct any traffic here that may result in undue criticism. I feel I was being cautious and giving him the opportunity to correct the message. I did not link out of consideration.

SWAC Girl said...

Zen, since you're lifting ideas from here to take back to your blog site, why not run with this one?

http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/blog/

It discusses anti-war protesters who defaced and vandalized the National Guard Armory in Corvallis, Oregon ... complete with pictures. It's full of facts so you should like it.

I'm still waiting for your feedback.

I'd like to hear what you think about anti-war protesters attacking an Army Reserve base for volunteer citizen soldiers who are keeping us safe from terrorism.

Why not go to your local Armory and see how you can help the families who are here while their loved ones are in Iraq and Afghanistan? Funnel a little of your energy into that instead of arguing over nitpicking facts.

It's Armed Forces Day. Did you know that, Zen? I'm heading out to spend the day with military families ... to honor our service men and women for all they do for our country. What can you do? Extend your hand to them and thank them for their sacrifice to preserve our freedoms so you can sit on a blog and complain about the fact that our President has the audacity to adhere to his job to help protect the safety of the American people by sending our military to war.

Adopt a military family and help them -- mow the grass, buy grocery gift cards, babysit, repair the car. Do something tangible.

We all want peace in the world ... but the world will never be at peace ... because there will always be someone who wants to be King of the Mountain. Through strength comes peace. The day we forget that is the day we are doomed as a Nation.

Now ... I'm off to spend the day with our wonderful military families.

Bubba said...

All Ihave to say is please read what King said....

Mr. Speaker, as I listen to the dialogue here in this deliberative body and listen to some of the statistics and some of the opinions that were presented here several speakers ago, primarily by the gentlewoman from Ohio speaking in opposition to our operations in Iraq and the concern that she has about the loss of life, which I share, but also the advice and the admonitions that came through that were not supportive of our Secretary of Defense, not supportive of the strategy. I think, though, that her remarks were made all in good spirit and I think in a fashion that she believes is the best course for this country to take. So I don't take issue with the motive, Mr. Speaker, but I just have a different opinion and I have a different viewpoint on a number of the statistics, so I will try to illuminate this issue a little bit.
The statement was made by the gentlewoman that there have been 27,000 civilians that have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of our operations there, and that date for me would be March 22, 2003. That, indeed, may be the number, and I don't take issue with the specificity of that number of 27,000 civilians killed. I would point out, though, that there have been now 3 years and a little more than a month go by, so one would need to divide that down to take a look at it from an annual perspective, and that would take that down to about 9,000 civilians a year.

If after reading the verbatim comments you cannot admit you are wrong by including military deaths in a clearly Civilian statistic then I once again submit that you are the one guilty of spinning the numbers.

King's numbers were still off by 7.8 points but given that is within allowable variance given that every number used for these calculations has issues with collection.

I still wonder what the rate is in Mexico: "Land of those wandering North"

zen said...

SWAC> Don't lecture me. You want to put yourself on a pedistal and preach down to someone you know very little about.
Does it really matter to you what I think of the article you wanted me to read? I could tell you that I think the protestors have every right to voice their opposition to the war, within the bounds of respect—but that wouldn't matter to you. I could tell you that I think they are directing their energies in the wrong arena, and that the political rather than the service sector should be addressed—but that wouldn't matter to you. I could tell you that I think if people desire to, " to petition the government for a redress of grievances,", which is so important that it's the very first law of the land—but that wouldn't matter to you. I could tell you that I have a high regard for the service members that bravely carry out their duties—even when they are abused by incompetent and arrogant politicians—but that wouldn't matter to you. I could tell you that defacing any memorial is disrespectful—but that wouldn't matter to you.
It really doesn't matter because all you do is talk. You never listen. You may hear, but it's only what you want to.
I think it's great that you have the ability to be involved by reaching out to the military and their families. They are brave and deserve our respect and gratitude. So that makes you better than me? That give you the authority to question my patriotism?

Unlike you, some people can seperate issues from individuals. Some can actually understand the idea of civil debate with being threatened as if it's a personal attack. But that's what you do. Attack someone personally because you cannot perceive that someone could possibly have a reason for their different beliefs.
It's very telling about your level of comprehension. You get overwhelmed by someone sticking to the issue beyond your limited tolerance. So you resort to accusations and attacks. It's a sign of weakness, not strength. As is not being able to admit a mistake.

Is not expressing and cherishing our freedoms and rights not the best way to honor the sacrifices of those that defend them? Would you rather people walk in lock-step behind the great leader? No questioning? No independent thought? No criticism? No other opinion than what we are told? Would you rather us give away our rights and freedoms, rather than have people kill and die for them?
If so then why are we fighting in the first place? If we just allow bullies like you to tell us what rights we can express and which ones we cannot, if we just give up the idea that we can make phone calls without people listening in, if we change ourselves and change what makes America "the land of the free and home of the brave", if we ignore the Constitution and infringe on the rights of our citizens—well then I guess the terrorist win anyway. What freedoms will we have left to preserve?

You constantly confuse criticism of the war, with a lack of support for the troops. Doing so is naive.
How does that view jibe with the fact that some of the loudest critics of war, have actually been there? Would you dare call a vet anti-American, for voicing the same beliefs as I have?

These questions are really for you to think about rather than answer. I wish we could sometime focus on our simularities, rather than our differences. I wish that there would be a real issue's driven discussion without the poison of intolerence and insecurities playing into the mix.

The only one that seems capable of this here is Bubba.
And my friend I think you and I have reached the point where we are seeing the intent of the Congressman's remark differently. I agree with he portion you highlighted speaks to civilians, later it's a bit different. But even so, even if he is talking about civilians, I think it is wrong and misleading to campare a coutry at war, with places that are not and selectively ignore thousands of lives lost in the violence. Do you really not see a logic behind my point?

I too would be interested about many stats from Mexico.

zen said...

BTW Bubba, perhaps it's best to keep one line of comments on this topic. How about over at fractured nation?

Bubba said...

I think it started here and it should stay here.

Yes we have gotten to a point where we see it from different perspectives and different agendas.

We both have logic behind our positions and I think little can be done to change either of our conclusions.

But I still stand behing my earlier argument that when you look at Civilian deaths you should exclude military. But I will concede that if you want to look at total deaths from Violence then all violent deaths must be included including the military, but since Iraq is a war zone of course the numbers with military casualties will be inflated. Likewise by including military numbers in such a comparison you can rule out any logical comparison against an area not under the same constraints I.E. a war. That strengthens my stance that military deaths should be left out of the data set to allow for comparison to other data sets I.E. the numbers from the USA.

Either way if the news was great and proved a low death rate, the way the media covers it would alter public perception to give a negative perception of the situation on the ground there.

Here is a good example: During the Grocery strikes in California I had the duty of running a store for Kroger and they flew me out there. Every single day that I was there someone was killed on the interstate or in a shooting or by various non-natural means. These deaths were covered on the news and in the print media in a manor that gave the impression that it was business as usual and the way they covered all the negative things and none of the good things gave the impression that nothing good ever happened. The same thing is true for Iraq.

zen said...

Ok, so you are saying that the media, on the whole, has a sensational bias. If it bleeds, it leads. This is fantastic. You mean that the media is obsessed with the sensational, rather than a liberal agenda. That's the same thing I've been saying for years. Thanks for illustrating the point from your personal experience!

There's a movie about gun violence (I'll spare you the title) that mentions a stat that shows the actual rate of gun-involved crime, during a particular time frame, actually dropped from the previous term. Yet the news coverage increased by something like 300% during the same time period. Some will accuse the media of pushing an anti-gun agenda, but I disagree, they just love the provacative story.
The thing about trying to get balanced news is that a plane that takes off and lands, as planned, is not news. But when it crashes it's a story.
As with Iraq, the media may over-hype, but it is also obvious that the events unfolding were not anticipated by a lack of planning, incompetence, and an arrogant policy. It's ok to acknowledge that the reporting from Iraq is sensational biased, but that doesn't mean it's going swimmingly, or well by no means.

As for the statistics we are debating. I don't understand how you can admit that war is a huge factor in violent death, and yet still maintain that comparing a nation at war and one not, using civilians only "strengthens" your argument. It's like "yes" you get it, then you head fake and go the other way.

It's amazing that with all of the cutting-edge ways we have to communicate one would think we'd be pretty good at it—but sadly sometimes we are as uncapable as ever.

The only reason I suggested moving, was because nobody else here seems willing, or capable of a mature discussion...that and it's getting long.

Bubba said...

I really don't want to get into a how the war is going debate right now. I just don't have the energy. We have all been down that road before.

On an up note the sun perch and blue gills were biting well today on dough baits and shallow depth spinners.............

Bubba said...

I think we have about beat this horse to death. Rightside how about some more alternative energy stuff. Like coal to liquid or the congress killing the off shore drilling again? Pound cake recipes? Best way to cook Bar-B-Que? Tastes great or Less Filling?

Or Did Ted spill his drink when the plane was hit by lightening?

RightsideVA said...

Hello all,

Have not been on the blog for some time for I have been busy since the trip on the mountain where obviously alot happened while I was gone. Came back to see the debate has continued and got heated at times. I also found that I was trashed pretty good for "Not admitting my error" in posting a link to a story seen in a major newspaper. A article that I did not write but framed it as a topic and placed it on my blog to be viewed. Obviously I was not able to monitor & respond while on the trail and did not keep up on the debate the last couple of days. If I had I would have probably been involved in the debate and would have corrected any untrue statement that I MADE and yet not responsible for what was written in the Sun article. Insteade I found a attack like this demanding my correction...

"But until I hear from Rightside on whether he adimts the error of the stats he presents, and admits to, once again, attempting to spin this against Democrats, admits that it's actually his sources that are wrong and are spinning, I thought I wouldn't direct any traffic here that may result in undue criticism. I feel I was being cautious and giving him the opportunity to correct the message. I did not link out of consideration."

"Once again attempting to spin against the democrats" That is all I do? None of what I have posted is seperate from examples of what the democrats have been up to?

Thanks but no need to link RightsideVA to your blog.

Turn this statement around and look at yourself with it...
"Unlike you, some people can seperate issues from individuals. Some can actually understand the idea of civil debate with being threatened as if it's a personal attack. But that's what you do. Attack someone personally because you cannot perceive that someone could possibly have a reason for their different beliefs.
It's very telling about your level of comprehension. You get overwhelmed by someone sticking to the issue beyond your limited tolerance. So you resort to accusations and attacks. It's a sign of weakness, not strength. As is not being able to admit a mistake."

Maybe we should go to debates on alternative energy or the likes as suggested by Bubba, Already working on the one about the elected ones killing the offshore drilling thing...

Everybody is welcome to stay and debate, attack another writer like while I was gone and the "Delete" Veto button will be used and there will be NO sleep lost on how anybody feels about it...

Bubba said...

Gonna try some poping bugs next time. the little boggers started hitting surface stuff about time the sun when down......

zen said...

Rightside..sorry you feel beat up on. I thought I was doing you right by gvinig you a chance to respond before pointing ou the errors that you promote by citing them here. So after all this....do you admit the stats are false?

Those other remarks were explicitly for SWAC as she has a way of throwing around accusations.

I'm with you on this one Bubba. Where's a good spot for the largemouth in the area?

SWAC Girl said...

Zen,

If anyone is on a pedestal, in my eyes, it's the military and their families. I certainly don't put myself there ... I am awed by what they do.

You cannot support the troops without supporting the mission no matter how much you try to justify it. A right to free speech is one thing; a continuous rant against our President and our nation at the expense of national security is not acceptable and that is where common sense comes in.

This is from a local military wife:

"My dictionary defines 'support' as 'to give courage, faith, or confidence to; help or comfort' and 'to maintain or provide for with money or subsistence.' My husband and I don't feel supported by these [anti-war] protesters. We feel betrayed, disrespected, hurt. It's possible to disagree with our President and efforts in Iraq and still support the troops, but not by waving signs advertising numbers of dead.

"Allow me to offer suggestions to those who wish to support my soldier and me:

"Do not talk to me like I'm a victim. Serving our country through the Army Reserve is a decision my husband proudly made and I support.

"When you learn I have a family member in Iraq, do not tell me you are 'supporting the troops' by criticizing the war and belittling
my husband's work.

"Follow media reports with a critical eye. Stories containing words like "corpses" and "violence" make the front page, but an article about the growing Iraqi economy may be several pages back. Why don't you hear about what our troops accomplish? Ask a soldier how he feels about the media and if he talks to them. Ask a military wife why she doesn't talk to local media.

"Ask me for the real story. I will tell you of my husband's respect for Iraqis and the appreciation they have shown him. I can share the progress I learn of from his letters and phone calls. I can tell you I worry less and have greater pride because I know a great deal has been accomplished in Iraq despite what protesters say.

"Pray for us.

"If you are interested in offering more real support, visit the following web site:

www.americasupportsyou.mil."

Bless her. She says it all.

Bubba said...

Not to big on Largmouth Bass but there are a lot around. I prefer the ultra light rig and a good fight from an average fish.

Nothing like a good battle then reeling one in. Kinda like a good blog post........

SWAC Girl said...

Nothing like a good battle then reeling one in. Kinda like a good blog post........

Bubba ... your good humor never ceases to amaze me.

zen said...

I'm glad to hear you say this:
You cannot support the troops without supporting the mission no matter how much you try to justify it. A right to free speech is one thing; a continuous rant against our President and our nation at the expense of national security is not acceptable and that is where common sense comes in.

So please explain these to me:
"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

"You can support the troops but not the president"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"My job as majority leader is be supportive of our troops, try to have input as decisions are made and to look at those decisions after they're made ... not to march in lock step with everything the president decides to do."
-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to Kosovo."
-Tony Snow, Fox News 3/24/99

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/5/99

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)


Trust me there are tons more. Why is there a double standard now?
Please humor me with a response. How do you accuse everyone that says similar things now, and give a pass to all the same type of comments that came before?

SWAC Girl said...

9/11/01. How quickly you have forgotten the worst attack ever on our country. Go see "Flight 93."

I fear it will take more attacks on this country to wake up people who have gone back to sleep and, even then, the Zens of the world will not realize what they have done.

Today is Sunday, May 21 ... the beginning of Remembrance Week leading up to the observance of the National Moment of Remembrance established by Congress to occur at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Today, at the Washington Monument, there will be an historical tribute called "A Time of Remembrance" to honor our fallen from the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their families, to show that American will not forget their sacrifice. A local military mom who lost her Marine son will be at that event.

9/11/01: May we never forget.

Bubba said...

You know I have been thinking about something all day........

On these statistics if we drop Iraq all together and just look at the stats for the cities mentioned. Where is the media and public outcry? We go zipping along debating back and forth the methodology and analysis for the Iraq numbers but there was no screaming about our own cities. Have we as a culture became so obsessed with the policies and actions in forign lands that we have become immune to the plight of our own people here?

OK. I'll go drink a few beers and get back to my normal war-mongering, Illegal immigrant bashing self.

zen said...

SWAC>>>
You still did not address the comments made by Republicans. Republicans talking smack against our president, criticising a war effort with troops in harms way...but now their model of conduct is blasphemous. What's up with that? This double standard is not hypocrisy?
Please explain.

What is it that, "the Zens of the world will not realize what they have done?" I obviously don't realize what I've done.

Bubba>>I think you make a very good point. What more could we be doing here for our own people? The stats show that there's a lot of work to be done within our own house. It;s not to say that we do not have the resources, nor the will, to help abroad, but seems like we could do much more to lead by example.

So if you put the beer down you'd be normal and rational? ahhh...who are we kidding? cheers!

SWAC Girl said...

Zen, arguing with you is a waste of time. Not worth it when there are more pressing things to do....

zen said...

I'm not looking for conflict, just asking for an explaination...I guess maybe you painted yourself into a corner huh?

It's ok to admit when you're wrong. Really it's the first step to taking accountability. Shows a lot of strength. Denials and eluding responsibility shows weakness.

zen said...

Look, SWAC, let me back off a bit and tone down some...I will take responsibility for my part of our combative discussions, I'm hoping that you and I can move beyond that and perhaps achieve a level of insight and understanding into our differing views. I think that such an effort will be worthwhile and a learning, growing, bridge-building excercise in mutual respect and civility. I will aim to choose my words carefully—without assumption, blame or accusation. I think we both must commit to this in order to make a suggestion as this work.
How do you feel about this peace offer? Would you be willing to give it a shot? Do you think there's any value to learn more about each other's views? Are you open to new perceptions?

Perhaps we can take it up (if your willing) here:
Can you describe why very simular comments made by political leaders at one time, are now viewed by some to be corrosive and detrimental to our nation? And why these opinions were not thought to be so when originally expressed?

zen said...

Anyone interested in the original post from Rightside, should go to this link, scroll down to the heading "How Does Iraq Rate?" and read what the conservative-friendly Wall Street Journal has to say about Rep. King's remarks, as well as the article that Alicia Colon at the NY Sun.

Now that a right leaning ublication has spoken to the misleading numbers will you take heed and issue a correction?

RightsideVA said...

What kind of correction are you looking for? I copied and linked to a story that resulted in an extensive debate about how the numbers were used to get the final rates. I did not write the story or cypher the numbers, that was up to Jethro Bodine to do...

I enjoyed to see that the debate went on as it did to show each sides points and passions. I did mention and allowed the link to the WSJ article that brought new light to the discussion. Am I going to issue a "Correction"?
No. It is not my place to tell the readers of this blog what to think. I believe anybody reading this thread saw many sides presented and they need to make their own viewpoints...

Sorry if that is not what some people are looking for but HEY! I am going to the ocean for the weekend to do some Rescue Scuba Dive training so I will not be able to reply everynight.... I will be back...

SWAC Girl said...

Rightside, enjoy the ocean! We'll hold down the fort with Zen ... and will fly American flags from the overpass on Sunday to thank Rolling Thunder as they head to The Wall in D.C. Safe travels....