Mass Shootings

John Lott has a report on mass shootings. A minority have any definite religious or political message. (Hat tip, hotair.com)

Based on this chart:

Religion: 68% have no mention of religion.

Of those with religion mentioned, 10% are Muslim.

The sum of all Christian denominations is 9%.

Buddhist, of all things, make up 1%.

Politics: 72% have no mention of politics.

Islamic extremism accounts for 10%.

“Conservative” and “Right-wing” each account for 3%, for a total of 6%.

“Liberal” and “Left-wing” account for 4%. So mass shootings due to Islamic extremism are equal to the mass shootings due to the political Left and Right, combined.

Somehow, we’re probably to infer from this that Muslims are being unfairly targeted or something.

More ADL Pieces

From HotAir.com

About Those Misleading ADL Statistics On Anti-Semitism (And Right-Wing Violence)

JOHN SEXTON
October 31, 2018

“According to the ADL, the number of anti-Semitic attacks has jumped by nearly 60% in the first year that Donald Trump was in office.” But that’s not any more accurate than her claim about ISIS, as Robby Soave at Reason pointed out yesterday.

The ADL statistic captures anti-Semitic “incidents,” which is a much broader category of behavior than “hate crimes” or “attacks.” Incidents include things like bullying in schools—which is bad, but usually not indicative of criminal conduct…

The ADL report came up with three subcategories of anti-Semitic incidents: vandalism, harassment, and assault. An increase in vandalism accounts for much of the overall increase, but Bernstein doubts that all of the included incidents were actually examples of anti-Semitism. The harassment category also saw an increase, largely due to a series of bomb threats against Jewish institutions in the U.S. made by a disturbed Israeli teen. It’s not at all clear that these threats were motivated by anti-Semitism.

Finally, the assault category saw a 47 percent decrease.

Soave also refers to this article at the Volokh Conspiracyby David Bernstein which suggests the ADL report is intentionally misleading, at least with regard to the bomb threats against Jewish Centers (something I wrote about extensively when it was happening):

There are several problems with relying on this study for Trump-bashing, however. The first is that the study includes 193 incidents of bomb threats to Jewish institutions as anti-Semitic incidents, even though by the time the ADL published the study, it had been conclusively shown that the two perpetrators of the bomb threats were not motivated by anti-Semitism. One can only guess why the ADL chose to inflate its statistics in this way, but none of the explanations speak well of it…

 

….

I could wrap this up here but I’d like to point out that the ADL also publishes an annual report titled “Murder and Extremism in the United States in 20xx.” In 2016, the ADL published this striking claim which got quoted quite a few times by people on the left: “Over the past 10 years (2007-2016), domestic extremists of all kinds have killed at least 372 people in the United States. Of those deaths, approximately 74% were at the hands of right-wing extremists, about 24% of the victims were killed by domestic Islamic extremists, and the remainder were killed by left-wing extremists.”

Last year I asked ADL if they could provide the information to back up that claim because the actual data is not available on their website and wasn’t included in the 2016 report itself. Initially, they responded and agreed they would pull together some information for me. But it never arrived. I sent 2 or 3 follow-up emails over a period of months and they never responded to those at all.

….

I guess it’s fair to say white supremacists are doubly dangerous to their immediate family, but I don’t think that’s what most people have in mind when they skim a report titled “Murder and Extremism in the United States in 20xx.”

Similar to what it is doing with its handling of anti-Semitic incidents, the ADL appears to be padding the numbers. In the case of the extremism reports, the ADL never hid the fact it was including these non-ideological murders, but I suspect most people reading a quote second hand, like the one I started this with above, aren’t fully aware what is included in the bottom line.

30

Is the ADL squandering its credibility?

From the Volokh Conspiracy…

Has There Been a Surge of Anti-Semitism Under and Because of Trump?

In short, probably not. And about that ADL study everyone is citing…

….

Those who wish to blame Trump have an ace in the hole, an Anti-Defamation League study that purports to show an almost 60 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents between 2016 and 2017, which is implicitly blamed on Trump. This study has been cited on over and over in response to Pittsburgh.

There are several problems with relying on this study for Trump-bashing, however. The first is that the study includes 193 incidents of bomb threats to Jewish institutions as anti-Semitic incidents, even though by the time the ADL published the study, it had been conclusively shown that the two perpetrators of the bomb threats were not motivated by anti-Semitism. One can only guess why the ADL chose to inflate its statistics in this way, but none of the explanations speak well of it.

….

Is this what the Democrats want to run on?

Sheryl Attkisson writes that Democrats seem determined to shoot themselves in the foot.

Here are 10 big-ticket causes that have put Democrats largely on the wrong side of most Americans ahead of the midterm elections:

  • Support of sanctuary cities. Most Americans, even Hispanics, oppose sanctuary cities.
  • Blaming “racism” for everything. Overuse of the term makes it lose its meaning. If everyone is racist, then nobody is.
  • Silencing certain views. Many people who aren’t particularly political understand the dangers of censorship and will step up to oppose it.
  • Opposing border enforcement. About 80 percent of Americans support secure borders. They also oppose “open borders” and want a border wall.
  • Backing those who kneel for the American flag. A majority of Americans say it’s “never appropriate to kneel for the flag” or to kneel for the National Anthem. Eight in 10 say it’s “never appropriate to burn an American flag.”
  • Impeaching President Trump. First, it was for Russia. Now, it’s over taxes. But most Americans oppose impeaching Trump. (It’s not even close.)
  • Abolishing ICE. Even most Democrats oppose doing away with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • Chasing Republicans out of restaurants. The imagery transforms people such as GOP senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas into sympathetic figures under assault from unreasonable mobs.
  • The Kavanaugh chaos. The fight over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh highlighted multiple tactics that many find objectionable: the weaponization of #MeToo, mob behavior, a guilty-until-proven-innocent mentality. It also gave Republicans the opportunity to fight back strongly (for once) and win, in a way for which their constituents had long thirsted.
  • Illegal immigration caravan. Whoever may have thought that a “caravan” of people from Central America overrunning the Mexican border, on their way to demand entry to the United States, would be anything other than a motivator for the majority of Americans who support border enforcement — that person fails to understand all of the above.

This piece also mentions the #WalkAway movement.

Even some liberals have been so turned off by radical elements that it has prompted a movement to leave the Democratic Party, called #walkaway.

Sure, Liberals are saying the movement is all Russian Bots. Well, maybe some of the entries are Russian bots, but if they are, I have a feeling they wound up seeding the area, and giving a place for people who have gotten fed up to say #metoo.

Laws and Communities

This letter appeared at Cafe Hayek, as an example of the importance of local knowledge (in contrast to dictates from a non-local authority). It’s easy for someone to decree “there ought to be a law”, and wind up causing more trouble than the law is able to solve, simply because of a lack of knowledge about the particular circumstances.

Another theme I’ve noticed has to do with the difference between law and legislation. To the extent that law is a description of what actually happens, you can’t change the laws by decree. You can write legislation, but if it violates natural law, it won’t work.

Dear Editor:

Today’s NY Times has a heart wrenching piece about how employers disregarded the needs of pregnant employees. The stories presented sound horrific. Although, I always want to fully hear the other side.

In fact, as a small business owner — who ran a warehouse — I can speak to that other side.

First and foremost, employers’ responsibility is to assure fairness to ALL employees and keep peace in the workplace. When making special accomodations for one employee, an employer must ensure she is not overly burdening other employees. Most particularly, we must avoid divisive resentment. Both of these require the assistance of the disabled employee.

Over the years two different warehouse employees were pregnant. Employee A solicited the help of her co-workers. She found ways to lessen their load to compensate for the added burden she placed on them. Employee B used the law to demand special accomodation. Employee B showed little concern for how her request impacted others.

In situation A, it was a pleasure to provide special accommodation. All happily chipped in.

In situation B, all the other employees complained about fairness to them — how they had to do the hard work for Employee B. Resent abounded, other employees claimed their own disabilities — so they also could get accommodations, etc. The workplace — despite my best efforts — became angry.

Laws do not overcome human nature. Workplaces are communities. If we want to help those with “special” needs, it is as much incumbent upon the disabled employee as it is on the employer. After all none of us want an employer to be a dictator using the law to force employees to act against their own will. Stricter and stricter laws do exactly that — force employers to dictate policies that should happen naturally in a community of workers.

[emphasis added]

Immigration I.D.E.A.L. Program

 

The Immigration Designed to Enhance American Lives (IDEAL) policy is a two-pronged approach to making America stronger while improving immigrant lives.

POLICY OVERVIEW
1) LONG-TERM VISA PROGRAM
The IDEAL policy creates a long-term visa program in which 3mm immigrants are selected to live in the U.S. per year.

The IDEAL policy is simple and includes the following details:

  • Immigrants pay $30,000 for a five-year live/work visa renewable for an additional five years at no additional cost contingent upon each IDEAL immigrant proving to be a net asset to the U.S. economy.
  • At the end of ten years, immigrants whose impact to the U.S. is net positive are eligible for citizenship. Immigrants with a net negative impact will be asked to leave the U.S. Acceptance and impact will be determined by a pre-determined scoring system.
  • IDEAL visa-holders are ineligible for any government benefits until attaining full citizenship and IDEAL visa-holders will be required to secure health insurance through an employer or through other means during those ten years.

Each applicant is given an acceptance score and ranking based on the following criteria:

  • Age;
  • Education level;
  • English language proficiency;
  • Existing job offers from one or more U.S. companies;
  • Previous successful U.S. work history; and
  • Willingness to live in a IWC (Immigrant Welcoming Community).

An Immigrant Welcoming Community meets all of the following criteria:

  • An urban or rural community in the bottom 25% of U.S. income;
  • A community that has suffered population losses over the preceding decade; and
  • A community that opts-in to the IDEAL program via local government consent.

Applicants must pass the following baseline criteria to be eligible for the program:

  • Basic health screening;
  • Extensive background check.

2) GUEST WORKER VISA PROGRAM
The IDEAL policy also creates a guest worker visa program.

  • Guest worker visas extend for one year and cost $2,500;
  • Applicants are required to have a bona fide job offer in hand to apply;
  • Guest worker visas can be renewed twice, each time for an additional year.

After three years of successful participation under the program, guest workers could:

  • Apply for the Long-Term IDEAL Visa program; or
  • Return to their country of origin for a one-year period before applying again.

Guest workers are ineligible for any government benefits and are required to secure health insurance. In addition, guest workers are required to obey all relevant employment laws in the state and locality in which they work, and must avoid any criminal convictions.

I like this.

It might need some tuning. For example, it’s tempting to make the cost of the guest worker visa comparable to what migrants typically pay a coyote to smuggle them in (still a bargain since there’s much less of dying in the middle of the desert, being assaulted by a coyote, or being caught and deported).

Voter ID

The ‘Voter ID Is Racist’ Con

[snip]
Former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump’s assertion that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election a “flat lie.” But Biden did not stop there. The Republican support for voter ID, he said, was all about suppressing minority votes: “It’s what these guys are all about, man. Republicans don’t want working-class people voting. They don’t want black folks voting.” Last year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., denounced “racist voter ID laws and voter suppression tactics (that) sprout like weeds all across the country.” In a press conference in July, CNN’s April Ryan asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders: “So, Sarah, since you keep saying that the President is very concerned about the election process … you did not mention voter suppression in that. Voter suppression has been an issue for decades and particularly in these last few elections.”

Despite these alleged racist roadblocks to the ballot box, in 2008 blacks voted at a higher percentage than whites. That same year, liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote one of the majority opinions in a 6-3 case that upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, which required voters to show a photo ID — such as a driver’s license or passport — before casting their votes. Stevens recognized “flagrant examples of (voter) fraud” throughout America’s history and wrote that “not only is the risk of voter fraud real” but “it could affect the outcome of a close election.” The additional burden on voters, Stevens argued, is more than offset by “the state’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters.”

Blacks also support voter ID. A 2016 Gallup poll found that 77 percent of non-whites support voter ID, nearly as high as the 81 percent of whites who support it.

The fact that voter ID is legal and popular does not, of course, affect the view that it “suppresses” the minority vote. The George Soros-supported website ThinkProgress ran a story last year with this menacing headline: “New Study Confirms that Voter ID Laws Are Very Racist.”

Citing research by three professors from U.C. San Diego, Michigan State and Bucknell University, the article says: “turnout among Hispanic voters is ‘7.1 percentage points lower in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primaries’ in states with strict voter ID laws. The laws also reduce turnout among African-American and Asian-American voters. White turnout, according to their study, is ‘largely unaffected.'”

Case closed? Not exactly.

A follow-up study by researchers from Yale, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania found no evidence that voter ID laws have a statistically significant impact on voter turnout. This study examined the methodology and conclusions of the previous study. Its researchers wrote: “Widespread concern that voter identification laws suppress turnout among racial and ethnic minorities has made empirical evaluations of these laws crucial. But problems with administrative records and survey data impede such evaluations. … We show that the results of the paper are a product of data inaccuracies (and) the presented evidence does not support the stated conclusion … When errors are corrected, one can recover positive, negative or null estimates of the effect of voter ID laws on turnout, precluding firm conclusions.”

In other words, the data do not support the notion that the “brown-brown” are too dumb, too lazy or otherwise incapable of obtaining the necessary identification to vote.

The Riot Act

The Riot Act

Ever wanted to read someone the Riot Act? Apparently all you need to do is find a group of 12 or more people “tumultuously assembled” and declare the following (preferably with a British accent, of course):

Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons being assembled immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George for preventing tumultuous and riotous assemblies. God save the King.

(A bit of Westlaw research suggests that this isn’t the entire act as passed in 1715, but it’s the part that had to be read to disperse the crowd; anyone who hadn’t dispersed in one hour after this was read was guilty of “felony riot.”)

Na Und?

Sarah Hoyt writes, it’s time to weaponize “so what?”

Dennis Prager is also a fan of that question.

I am aware that we’ll never get rid of every busybody and every delicate flower. They’re human. Hell, sometimes even those of us very opposed to crazy legislation, say “there ought to be a law.” For instance I… No, wait, I can’t remember any instances, certainly not recently. But hey. I probably could, at least for five minutes.

But there is absolutely no reason to give them power. Either legislative, executive or judicial power. Or even power over our neighborhoods, our businesses, or you know, our pets, our sons, or our streets.

For too long we’ve run on “If someone squawks loud enough we’ll do that.”

It’s time to stop it. The wheel isn’t even squeaky. It’s just making noise to get attention.

It’s time to weaponize “So what?”

“I don’t like your car/dog/kid/business/idea/book/etc.” The answer to that, the civilized and decent answer should be “so what?”

“You culturally appropriated your book/music/dress/food” “So what?”

Unless I’m materially harming someone, if they squawk the answer should be so what.

We’re getting “good mannered” into tyranny.

Would-be totalitarians piggy-back on both busybodies and delicate flowers and if we let them will control every aspect of our lives. (See, France, our leader in this.) Our main defense, perhaps our only one is “So what?”

How to culture rape

Rape Accusations, Leftists, Blurred Lines, and poor Brett Kavanaugh

Item: Former Vice President Joe “Creepy Touch” Biden, when announcing that the Obama White House was creating a task force to address campus rape, stated “One in five of every one of those young women who is dropped off for that first day of school, before they finish school, will be assaulted in her college years.”

In fact, that statistic goes far beyond being a lie or a damn lie. It’s a complete fraud.

Here’s the key takeaway:

[That “statistic”] comes from a study conducted over the internet at two large universities one in the Midwest and one in the South. The survey was anonymous no one’s claims were verified and terms were not clearly defined. In round numbers, a total of 5,000 women participated. Based on their responses, the authors, not the participants, determined that 1,000 had been victims of some type of non-consensual or unwanted sexual contact and — voila! — from one vaguely worded unscientific survey we suddenly arrived at a rape culture on college campuses. Tellingly, the study authors have since explicitly stated that it’s inappropriate to use their survey to make that claim. Much more comprehensive data from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics or “BJS” estimates that about one in 52.6 college women will be victims [sic] of rape or sexual assault over the course of four years. That’s far too many, but it’s a long way from one in five. The same BJS data also reveal that women in college are safer from rape than college aged women who are not enrolled in college — but the truth doesn’t serve the purposes of feminist activists or vote seeking politicians. Lies work much better and the one in five claim is tantamount to a lie.

Let me say it again: the notion of a campus “rape culture” is a grotesque lie, based on a manifestly flawed study, that the Left peddles because it allow them to control young women and destroy young men. As Glenn Reynolds likes to point out, no sentient adult actually believes this statistic because no loving parent would ever allow his or her child to go to a place that has a rate rape comparable to the rate in South Africa, one of the most sexually violent countries in the world. The only ones who believe these statistics are college administrators and the terrified female students brought to heel by these statistical lies.

According to Time, a once reputable magazine, a Pentagon study claims that, at some military installations, more than 500 women, and quite a few men, are sexually assaulted every year:

A newly released Pentagon study revealed that many sexual assaults in the U.S. military occur across the globe at a relatively small number of bases and naval ships, including some installations where more than 500 incidents occurred in a single year.

The 119-page study, conducted by Rand Corporation, surveyed American service members to uncover where troops were most at risk of sexual assault and harassment. In many cases, installations with large populations of younger, single, and more-junior-ranking service members had a greater probability of these incidents occurring.

“Each service member’s estimated risk of being sexually assaulted in the next year depends, to a surprising extent, on his or her duty assignment to a particular unit, command, and installation,” the study said.

[snip]

Rand said more than 1700,000 active duty service and Coast Guard members completed an online sexual assault and sexual harassment survey fielded in August and September 2014. More than 560,000 were invited to participate. [The actual number is 170,000 not, as Times’ typo implies, 1,700,000.]

[snip]

A total of 6,769 men and women reported assaults in the year that ended Sept. 30, up from 6,172 a year earlier. The reports came in from uniformed service members and civilian workers. It was the highest number of reported assaults since at least 2006, the last year the Pentagon has available on the data.

There are a few points to be made based upon the above.

First, assuming all those sexual assaults are rapes (which they are not), the U.S. military, made up of young men and young women in the prime of their sexual life, has a rape rate that’s lower than 4%. Keep in mind, please, that we’re repeatedly told that America’s college campuses have a rape rate of 20% to 25%. Parents, if you want to keep your young’uns safe, send them to the military, not to college.

Second, back during WWII, when women were mobilized for the war, men and women were kept strictly segregated and chaperoned. The people in charge might have had Victorian minds (like sinks, you know), but they certainly understood that, if you want to prevent rape, you don’t mix and mingle the sexes, especially when it comes to bedrooms and bathrooms.

Third, if you read the entire Time article, you’ll note something interesting — it never once defines what constitutes “sexual assault.” Only near the end does one learn that the number of “sexual assaults” claims includes everything from sexual harassment to actual rape. Depending on how a respondent to the survey defines harassment, that’s like saying that the military is filled with terribly ill people, provided that one includes in the data set of illness everything from hangnails to cancer.