Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Lies or Statistics?

Hi All!

I suppose I am beating a shop-worn dead horse, but on first reading, I am often annoyed by pundits who throw out vague statistics without footnotes.

There be a local "activist" and general PITA, David Morris (cut 'n paste "david morris self reliance" into Google) who is a past master at the art of hurling unfounded, startling stats at the wall in hope that some of his BS might stick before it slides to the floor..

My local favorite columnist is Joe Soucheray. Pretty damned fair talk show host too. He is on hiatus which worries me. I know he'll stay on KSTP AM1500, but I wonder if he is bent on leaving the Pioneer Press.

Paul Light, Oliver Towne (nom de plumes, of course as was the old custom) Don Boxmeyer, Larry Millett and others have been the "voices of St Paul" to this incurable native romantic.

Cut to the chase.

The Last Columnist Standing. Laura Billings. I've heard that she's something of a mid-to-late-life cure for a St. Paul native and pretty fair columnist who was intentionally left out of the aforementioned list, as he is a journalistic traitor and now works for the enemy newspaper in Minneapolis. Nick Coleman Junior, if you're interested but I hope not.

Here are the incredulous "Stats" from today's Billings column, accessible from www.twincities.com

Caveat: The course of my life does not orbit the abortion issue. This is simply a challenge to prove cited stats and could challenge pundits of all stripes advocating all issues.

"The idea [of the 'I Had an Abortion' t-shirt sold by Planned Parenthood] was to help put a human face on a choice that one in three American women will have made before the age of 45" (italics mine).

Well that explains the population explosion ;-)

"54 percent of women having abortions used contraception during the month they got pregnant."

Were I Laura's editor (if she has one) I might have suggested "conceived" or "became pregnant" to describe this apparently frivolous life event, but shouldn't Trial Lawyers, led by John Edwards, or Mike Ciresi be devouring the nasty firms which push such risky and inefective products? E.I. Lilly, watch out!

"Some 60 percent of abortions are among women who have had one or more children already."

No Way. I just can't believe that. Prove it!

I'm sure today's column will "bring it on" as fervent pro and con groups storm the battlements of the Pioneer Press (www.twincities.com) editorial page.

Just wanted to fire from the gut, as I am wont to do. Helps to start waking at 6:00am without a debilitating hangover and scooping up the paper before my wife steals and stains it with coffee.

Note to Blogitorial Board -- should I pull this? Maybe a few readers will cut and paste it before it becomes a collectors item in the "Great Lost Wog Blog" compilation due out in about 20 years.''

Fear not, readers. A thoughtful post about a great person will appear soon, one of the many vignettes I plan to publish based on the true stories of the Kings and pawns I met in treatment.



Blogger Jason said...

All of her statistics are available in a report published here.

1:38 PM  

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