The Washington Post’s “Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc” Gun Control Deceit

This is Johns Hopkins, who already had to deal with his parents putting an s after his first name, and now the Bloomberg School of Public Health attaches a bogus study to his name. Poor guy.

This is Johns Hopkins, who already had to deal with his parents putting an s after his first name, and now the Bloomberg School of Public Health attaches a bogus study to his name. Poor guy.

If you want a graphic example of why climate change skeptics distrust—and are right to distrust— the studies and computer models on the subject indicating that we are doomed unless we adopt Draconian measures, look no further than the Washington Posts’ embarrassing story on a study released this week in  the American Journal of Public Health.

It is deceptive, biased, misleading and incompetent from the headline: “Gun killings fell by 40 percent after Connecticut passed this law.” The headline is designed to fool anyone so ignorant and unschooled, not to mention devoid of critical thought, to fall for the classic fallacy of “post hoc ergo propter hoc,” which means “after this, thus because of this.” The thesis of the study in question, swallowed whole by the gun-control shills on the Washington Post staff, is that because gun deaths in Connecticut fell after a mid-summer 1994 state law was passed requiring a purchasing license before a citizen could buy a handgun, the law was the reason. Of course, the rates also fell after the baseball players strike that same summer: one could make an equally valid argument that stopping baseball limits deaths by gunfire.

The story, and the study, epitomize biased journalism hyping bad research. You see, since rates of deaths by gunfire also fell after the Connecticut law in 39 states where no such laws existed, the claim that Connecticut’s limits caused that state’s drop is impossible to prove, and irresponsible to assert. Especially since… Continue reading

Pssst! Katie McDonough! If A Fetus Is A Human Being, Whether Or Not It Feels Pain When You Kill It Is Irrelevant

WOW! What a great straw man!!!

WOW! What a great straw man!!!

There  is a lot of solemn and indignant nonsense written on both sides of the abortion issue, but for mind-numbing  muddle-headedness, Salon’s Katie McDonough deserves some kind of prize. In a jaw-dropping essay titled “Fetal Pain Is A Lie: How Phony Science Took Over The Abortion Debate,” she makes such a throbbing-neon straw man argument that it should be used in textbooks as an example of the technique, beginning with the very first statement under the headline,—“New laws banning abortion after 20 weeks are based on pseudoscienceand real research proves it conclusively.

Real research “proves” nothing of the kind. The various laws banning late term abortions are based on the argument that there has to be a line where the fetus stops being treated by the law like a mass of cells with no rights or status as an individual, unless we’re ready to proceed down the slippery slope to the point where a woman gives birth, looks the kid over to see if she likes him, and bashes his brains out against the wall, legally of course, if she doesn’t.  Continue reading

Seth MacFarlane’s Outrageous Oscar Mistake (At Least, I Hope It Was A Mistake)

"The Family Guy" in a typical moment of sensitivity.

“The Family Guy” in a typical moment of sensitivity.

The viewing public was severely divided regarding “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane’s performance as Oscar host, with approximately half appreciating his trademark juvenile and politically incorrect schtick (and being impressed that the guy can sing and dance rather well too), and the rest, including the majority of TV critics, finding him boorish, amateurish and unfunny. Personally, I thought he did a reasonably competent job in an impossible assignment (unless, it seems, you are Johnny Carson or Bob Hope, who are long gone, or Billy Crystal, who is seriously past his pull date), made more so by the misconceived show he had to host.

Then I read Katie McDonough’s essay in Salon. Continue reading