Monday, February 13, 2017

Press Innumeracy

Frequently, my limited store of patience is exhausted by the press and people.

One particular issue is Innumeracy.

Remember when we were told of the 250 fold increase in British queries "What is Brexit" after the referendum?

Rule one, ask the baseline.  Turns out the number of queries went from less than a couple dozen a week to a couple of couple hundred.

Here's another one Boris Johnson among record number to renounce American citizenship in 2016 , the increase is 26%.

If Obama was President, it would be blamed on the ACA by the reactionaries; as Trump is President, it is being blamed on .... Trumpness.  Seem a couple posted all about it....

The baseline problem, again.

You see, the total number of people renouncing citizenship is 5,411. 

The total number of people receiving US citizenship last year is approximately 750,000.

The rise in renunciations, which has been going on for the last few years, is primarily tax driven -- I seem to recall that Johnson was being dunned for a sale of London property.

The ratio between new citizens and renunications is aproximately .007.

And with me you get the baseline.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Giving gifts where they aren't needed.

Last summer, some older, social media spectators of current events, whom I know, gave a spirited defense of protesters who shut down a Trump rally. 

While, my most personal objection to these defenses of this sort of censorship was the disingenuous way they pretended to understand free expression.

What really lead me to despair (OK, I was there already) was the tactical stupidity.

I am glad to see that some of the people actually participating in protests against Trumpists, in this case Milo Yuiannopoulos, understand what is appropriate, and are worried about the consequences of self serving action.

From  The Milo protests did not go well:
One of the core arguments that Milo makes in his tour is that the left is intolerant of free speech and refuses to hear opposing arguments...What I do know is that Milo is happy as a clam right now. He thrives on the negative publicity that events like this generate.
and Berkeley's Milo Yiannopoulos Protest Was A Gift To The Alt-Right
The violent demonstrators played right into his hands, not to mention those of right-wing leaders across the country....
It is imperative that people of Milo’s variety are allowed to visit American universities and speak freely. Sure, arrange a peaceful protest of your entire student body. Go ahead – boycott the event so is forced to preach to a sea of empty seats. Be my guest and smear him on social media, write articles tearing him apart, or scream your frustrations into a megaphone.
Just don’t. Resort. To violence.
As soon as the fists or the fires or the smoke bombs surface, the other side has won
It almost gives me faith in younger people.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

There is something that makes this worse...

We should be worried about this, Trump Team Sent Federal Watchdogs An Ominous Message That Has Them Worried.

But there is something worse, the precedent comes from the previous administration Dozens of inspectors general complain of hindering oversight.