Thursday, October 16, 2014
The FBI’s bogus report on mass shootings
With the FBI too now lying, the Obama Left have driven integrity out of most of the U.S. public service. Lies are the stock in trade of the Left. Reality is too inconvenient for them. Soviet disinformation was notorious and now we have Obama disinformation
It’s disheartening to see the FBI used to promote a political agenda, but that’s what we got with the bureau’s release last month of a study claiming to show a sharp rise in mass shootings, a la Newtown, Conn.
The FBI counted 160 “mass” or “active” shootings in public places from 2000 to 2013. Worse, it said these attacks rose from just one in 2000 to 17 in 2013. Media outlets worldwide gave the “news” extensive coverage.
Too bad the study is remarkably shoddy — slicing the evidence to distort the results. In fact, mass public shootings have only risen ever so slightly over the last four decades.
While the FBI study discusses “mass shootings or killings,” its graphs were filled with cases that had nothing to do with mass killings. Of the 160 cases it counted, 32 involved a gun being fired without anyone being killed. Another 35 cases involved a single murder.
It’s hard to see how the FBI can count these incidents, which make up 42 percent of its 160 cases, as “mass killings.” They plainly don’t fit the FBI’s old definition, which required four or more murders, nor even its new one of at least three murders.
And these non-mass shootings, with zero or one person killed, drive much of the purported increase in the number of attacks. If you consider cases where no one or only one person was killed, 50 came in the last seven years of the period the FBI examined and only 17 during the first seven years.
For example, in 2010, the FBI reports that there were 29 of these active shooter cases, but just nine involved more than a single fatality.
The FBI study also ignored 20 out of what should have been a total of 113 cases where at least two people were killed. For example, it missed a 2001 shooting at a Chicago bar that left two dead and 21 wounded, as well as a 2004 Columbus, Ohio, attack at a concert that left four dead. Three-quarters of the missing cases came in the first half of the study’s time period, thus again biasing the results toward finding a larger increase over time.
Another trick was the choice of 2000 as the starting date. Everybody who has studied these attacks knows that 2000 and 2001 were unusually quiet years, with few mass shootings. Thus, by starting with those years and padding the cases in later years with non-mass shooting attacks, the study’s authors knew perfectly well they would get the result they wanted.
The picture looks quite different if you use good data and a longer time period. Back in 2000, Bill Landes of the University of Chicago and I gathered data on mass public shootings from 1977 to 1999; I’ve now updated the database. Our criteria were similar to what the FBI said it would follow: non-gang attacks in public places.
Shootings that were also part of some other crime, such as a robbery, were also excluded. But we counted cases where at least two people had been murdered in these public shootings.
Overall, there has been a slight increase in deaths from mass public shootings over these 38 years, but even then the upward trend largely depends on the single year 2012, when there were 91 deaths.
To be fair, the FBI study isn’t as shoddy as what Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown has been pushing. The group was greatly embarrassed after it first claimed that there had been 74 school shootings between the Newtown tragedy in December 2012 and the end of this past school year, but the true number of school attacks in which the shooter intended to commit mass murder turned out to be only a small fraction of that, just 10.
Similar to the FBI report, Bloomberg’s group padded the numbers by classifying everything as a “Newtown type attack” — including when a Florida student defended himself with a gun from two attackers, a 40-year-old man committed suicide in a school parking lot at 2 a.m., and gang fights after hours.
But at least Bloomberg is spending his own money to manufacture “evidence” to push his gun-control agenda. The politicization of the FBI and use of taxpayer dollars to scare Americans into supporting an agenda is far more disturbing.
One in Five U.S. Residents Speaks Foreign Language at Home, Record 61.8 million
Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic speakers grew most since 2010
The Census Bureau recently released data from the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS), including languages spoken for those five years of age and older. The new data show that the number of people who speak a language other than English at home reached an all-time high of 61.8 million, up 2.2 million since 2010. The largest increases from 2010 to 2013 were for speakers of Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. One in five U.S. residents now speaks a foreign language at home. Among the findings:
In 2013, a record 61.8 million U.S. residents (native-born, legal immigrants, and illegal immigrants) spoke a language other than English at home.
The number of foreign-language speakers increased 2.2 million between 2010 and 2013. It has grown by nearly 15 million (32 percent) since 2000 and by almost 30 million since 1990 (94 percent).
The largest increases 2010 to 2013 were for speakers of Spanish (up 1.4 million, 4 percent growth), Chinese (up 220,000, 8 percent growth), Arabic (up 188,000, 22 percent growth), and Urdu (up 50,000, 13 percent growth). Urdu is the national language of Pakistan.
Languages with more than a million speakers in 2013 were Spanish (38.4 million), Chinese (three million), Tagalog (1.6 million), Vietnamese (1.4 million), French (1.3 million), and Korean and Arabic (1.1 million each). Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines.
The percentage of the U.S. population speaking a language other than English at home was 21 percent in 2013, a slight increase over 2010. In 2000, the share was 18 percent; in 1990 it was 14 percent; it was 11 percent in 1980.
Of the school-age (5 to 17) nationally, more than one in five speaks a foreign language at home. It is 44 percent in California and roughly one in three students in Texas, Nevada, and New York. But more surprisingly, it is now one in seven students in Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Nebraska and Delaware; and one out of eight students in Kansas, Utah, Minnesota, and Idaho.
Many of those who speak a foreign language at home are not immigrants. Of the nearly 62 million foreign-language speakers, 44 percent (27.2 million) were born in the United States.1
Of those who speak a foreign language at home, 25.1 million (41 percent) told the Census Bureau that they speak English less than very well.
States with the largest share of foreign-language speakers in 2013 include: California, 45 percent; New Mexico, 36 percent; Texas 35 percent; New Jersey, 30 percent; Nevada, 30 percent; New York, 30 percent; Florida, 27 percent; Arizona, 27 percent; Hawaii, 25 percent; Illinois, 23 percent; Massachusetts, 22 percent; Connecticut, 22 percent; and Rhode Island, 21 percent.
States with the largest percentage increases in foreign-language speakers 2010 to 2013 were: North Dakota, up 13 percent; Oklahoma, up 11 percent; Nevada, up 10 percent; New Hampshire, up 8 percent; Idaho, up 8 percent; Georgia, up 7 percent; Washington, up 7 percent; Oregon, up 6 percent; Massachusetts, up 6 percent; Kentucky, up 6 percent; Maryland, up 5 percent; and North Carolina, up 5 percent.
Taking a longer view, states with the largest percentage increase in foreign-language speakers 2000 to 2013 were: Nevada, up 85 percent; North Carolina, up 69 percent; Georgia, up 69 percent; Washington, up 60 percent; South Carolina, up 57 percent; Virginia, up 57 percent; Tennessee, up 54 percent; Arkansas, up 54 percent; Maryland, up 52 percent; Delaware, up 52 percent; Oklahoma, up 48 percent; Utah, up 47 percent; Idaho, up 47 percent; Nebraska, up 46 percent; Florida, up 46 percent; Alabama, up 43 percent; Texas, up 42 percent; Oregon, up 42 percent; and Kentucky, up 39 percent.
Data Source. On September 18, the Census Bureau released some of the data from the 2013 ACS. The survey reflects the U.S. population as of July 1, 2013. The ACS is by far the largest survey taken by the federal government each year and includes over two million households.2 The Census Bureau has posted some of the results from the ACS to American FactFinder.3 It has not released the public-use version of the ACS for researchers to download and analyze. However a good deal of information can be found at FactFinder. Unless otherwise indicated, the information in this analysis comes directly from FactFinder.
There are three language questions in the ACS for 2010 and 2013. The first asks whether each person in the survey speaks a language other than English at home. The second, for those who answer "yes", asks what language the person speaks at home. The third asks how well the person speaks English. Only those who speak a language at home other than English are asked about their English skills. The 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses (long form) asked almost the exact same questions.
In this Backgrounder we report some statistics for the immigrant population, referred to as the foreign-born by the Census Bureau. The foreign-born are comprised of those individuals who were not U.S. citizens at birth. They include naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents (green card holders), temporary workers, and foreign students. They do not include those born to immigrants in the United States, including to illegal immigrant parents, nor do they include those born in outlying U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico. Prior research by the Department of Homeland Security and others indicates that some 90 percent of illegal immigrants respond to the ACS.4
Time to stand back?
If Barack Obama had returned troops to Iraq six months ago, as his Administration and top military brass advised he must do, the Islamic State could have been all but destroyed. Deploying troops now is pointless as the coalition’s war planes have already run out of targets and IS fighters are vanishing into a civilian environment and preparing for a guerrilla war that neither side can win.
The part Shia 200,000-weak Iraqi army will either convert to Sunni or be slaughtered along with all the others.
Baghdad, a city of seven million, is surrounded and being pounded with suicide bombers. Coalition supplies will soon be cut as its airport is overrun. We are watching the equal of Napolean’s generalship as Iraq is ruthlessly carved up to form an Islamic caliphate with the deft precision of a surgeon’s scalpel, and at the hour the West was at its weakest.
Tactically this new war is already lost due to a President who dropped the ball and concentrated on golf, fundraisers and mid-term elections in three weeks’ time in which his Senate will almost certainly be lost to the not so sheepish Republicans.
Iraq, as a result of the coalition of the willing’s original invasion, will now cease to exist as Shia Iran licks its lips at the prospect of renewing its old war with a newly-formed Sunni State that’s ripe for the picking.
Mastermind of the ISIS caliphate, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has out shocked and awed the US, will become the new temporary Sunni Saddam Hussein, drawing new boundaries for Syria and, with Turkey’s assistance, destroying the Kurds’ hope for independence.
This war will be a benchmark for other Arab wars because al-Baghdadi has done it without an air force or navy and without spare parts or engineers for its stolen US tanks and military equipment, it has left the US breathless over its violent urgency.
The Iraqi caliphate will have a more sophisticated and determined enemy on either flank as the West rearranges its allies and caters for traditional foes, Damascus and Tehran, the only two forces with the will and the ability to contain the ISIS.
The real loser is Israel. It will now be faced with an emboldened nuclear Iran and an unsympathetic, weakened US that refuses to engage in another foreign loss.
Perhaps treacherous Turkey had the right idea; sit back and do nothing, just watch it happen. Perhaps Ankara realises that you can’t get only half involved in a war.
Anyway ISIS is doing exactly what Turkey and Saddam Hussein wanted to do, eliminate the Kurds.
The West has learnt a tough lesson in tribal Arab politics driven by manic versions of Islam and now it’s time to retreat and let the dust settle. No more decent lives should be lost fighting worthless Islamic pigs hiding in households.
The futility of encouraging Arab springs and trying to remove Arab war lords and tyrants is now clear... it was only they who held their fragile nations together.
We missed the opportunity to repel the ISIS, we were asleep, and now there is not a thing to be achieved by staying there. Bombing a few empty buildings and utes is simply not worth another public beheading of an innocent or promoting another homeland atrocity.
The West is spooked, the protected public is not used to seeing the reality of war on Utube. But this is actually how wars have always been fought and won, mass executions, rapes, beheadings, it happens and it’s shocking, yet it’s no different to any other war except that now it’s being documented in gory detail and distributed on the internet.
The protagonists want you to see them committing their atrocities, they are filming and editing them with professional production crews. It’s a masterstroke that has psychologically devastated the enemy’s will to fight. Only the under-armed Kurds have stood their ground.
The US hid the worst of its Vietnam war crimes as it threw its massive air power at an invisible enemy but in the end it needed to ignominiously escape from Saigon... it should now prepare to escape from Baghdad.
And when the dust does settle surely this time we will understand the folly of interfering in tribal Arab politics imbued with different versions of a stone-age Islam.
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Posted by JR at 1:34 AM