Archive for September, 2008

Political Pessimism

September 29th, 2008 No comments

The house failed to pass the bill, Maybe this is ok and maybe not, I think not. The source of my pessimism is that the republicans and the democrats contradicted each other on the facts of what happened and why it didn?t pass. This gives me little confidence. Worse I don?t expect the press will call out those that are deceiving there constituents.

Categories: Economics Tags:

Compairing military deaths for Clinton and Groerge W.

September 22nd, 2008 No comments

More missleading statistics. Read the quote below. this seems to originally have come from this post. Now you might think this is fairly definitive but lets ask a few questions, The context of this seems to be deaths related to military action which seem to be the most politically relevant. The first hint at a problem with these numbers is the statement “by any cause” so this includes all active military deaths for any reason. The obvious question is , How many are dying in hostile action? Better yet here is what seems important to me.
Total deaths from hostile action.
Death rate from Hostile action.(deaths per person)
Deaths per military or political goal. ( no idea how to answer this, so I won’t try)

if you take a look at this PDF and the columns for Hostile and Terrorist. Now you know how missleading the numbers below are. From this PDF you can calculate the “Death rate from Hostile action.(deaths per person)” but you can see that it is not even close. The final question “Deaths per military or political goal.” is important clearly there has been a goal and achiving it was going to cause many more deaths than any operation during the Clinton years. So in the end the question is still was/is it worth it?

“Whatever your politics, however you lean and however you feel about
the current administration, this report is interesting.

As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is, consider
the below statistics:
The annual fatalities, by any cause, of military members while actively
serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2006:
1980 2,392 (Carter)
1981 2,380 (Reagan)
1984 1,999 (Reagan)
1988 1,819 (Reagan)
1989 1,636 (George H W)
1990 1,508 (George H W)
1991 1,787 (George H W)
1992 1,293 (George H W)
1993 1,213 (Clinton)
1994 1,075 (Clinton)
1995 2,465 (Clinton)
1996 2,318 (Clinton)
1997    817 (Clinton)
1998 2,252 (Clinton)
1999 1,984 (Clinton)
2000 1,983 (Clinton)
2001    890 (George W)
2002 1,007 (George W)
2003 1,410 (George W)
2004 1,887 (George W)
2005    919 (George W)
2006    920 (George W)
2007    899 (George W)

Clinton years (1993-2000): 14,107 deaths
George W years (2001-2007): 7,932 deaths”

Categories: Bad Stats Tags:

Pay Taxes = Normal Life

September 20th, 2008 No comments

“It’s important to pay taxes if you want to live a normal life,” said ‘Lisa’, a prostitute who spoke with the newspaper.

That’s from Sweden (no mention of patriotism), and apparently some social benefits are attracting more prostitutes to the taxed sector.  The record of income creates or enhances rights to sick-leave pay, parental leave benefits, and a pension.  Note that in Sweden it is illegal to buy sex but not to sell it.

Thanks Marginal Revolution for the link.

Categories: Wierd Tags:

Planet Money

September 20th, 2008 No comments

NPR has a new blog and podcast about economics, LINK It is the best coverage of the current economy that I have seen. It started with a special on the Sub-Prime lending collapse that aired as a This American Life episode. Episode Link. This is really worth listening to. Well they got a lot of good responses from this and it has turned into a blog/podcast for NPR that explaind the economy. It is a daily podcast I think there are now 5 episodes. All worth listening to. If you use iTunes you can subscribe here LINK

Categories: Economics Tags:


September 19th, 2008 No comments

Lisa is working on a presintation on hypermobility (double jointedness). See has lots of wierd pictures, evedntly the skin becomes very stretchable.

But better yet take a look at this great video.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Selective memory

September 17th, 2008 No comments

It seems that selective memory is often used as a criticism. I was listening to “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,”  and the question was “what 1990 teen age show was resently remade?” The contestant had no idea; I didn’t either. The hint was “zip-code,” then I knew: 90210. The contestant still didn’t know–he said he didn’t really watch tv. In fact, when given the answer he had never heard of the show. I was listening to this as I was trying to remember the code to get in the gate at my storage unit. Wouldn’t it be great if we could select what we remembered and what we didn’t? I place no value on remembering the name of the show, but I sure would like to rememer other things. This of course bring up another problem, remembering the things I don’t remember, which points out the problem that if you could select what you remember you would later realize what you didn’t need to remember, but not what you should of remembered.  This is hindsight vision that is 20/20 in only one eye.

Categories: Thought Tags: