In an earlier post, I suggested that the media and government may be needlessly panicking the public with flawed analysis of the danger of COVID 19.  Dr. John Ioannidis is professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University and co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center.  He has a detailed statistical analysis of what we know so far here: https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

Are we overreacting?  We usually do.

 

 

The stories that the homeless tell about their lives reveal that something far more complex than a housing shortage is at work. The tales veer from one confused and improbable situation to the next, against a backdrop of drug use, petty crime, and chaotic child-rearing. Behind this chaos lies the dissolution of those traditional social structures that once gave individuals across the economic spectrum the ability to withstand setbacks and lead sober, self-disciplined lives: marriage, parents who know how to parent, and conventional life scripts that create purpose and meaning.

Heather MacDonald of the City Journal has an amazing article about homelessness, focusing on San Francisco.  What makes Heather’s essay unique is its inclusion of the “street view” through interactions and interviews with homeless individuals.

The article is a bit long, but well worth reading.  The essay is available here: https://www.city-journal.org/san-francisco-homelessness.

 

 

Secularists, and their allies among the “progressives,” have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.  – Attorney General William Barr, University of Notre Dame, October 11, 2019

This is perhaps the best speech I have heard recently regarding the attacks on religious freedom that are now occurring daily in this country.  I strongly recommend you read the transcript of Attorney General Barr’s speech, here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-remarks-law-school-and-de-nicola-center-ethics

 

(B)oth a majority of pro-choice Americans (53%) and a majority of pro-life Americans (54%) would support a comprehensive policy compromise that provides entitlements to pregnant women, improves the adoption process for parents, permits abortion in extreme circumstances, and restricts elective abortion after the first trimester. However, members of the media were mostly interested in my finding that 96% of the 5,577 biologists who responded to me affirmed the view that a human life begins at fertilization. – Steven Andrew Jacobs, University of Chicago

Steven Andrew Jacobs received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Human Development from University of Chicago.  You can read his study here:

You can also read his discussion of how this study has been received here.

When was the last time you heard “Thou shalt not kill” or “Love thy neighbor as thyself” spoken by a politician, or media personality, or teacher, or even religious leader?

Why did this happen?  This is the question everyone asks when horrific events occur like those in Dayton and El Paso.  This is partly a search for a solution and partly a search for some semblance of control.  We hate to think that these killers cannot be identified and their crimes cannot be prevented.  But I’m not sure we really want to know the answer.

After the Las Vegas shooting last year, the New York Times published a piece, Mass Shooters Are All Different. Except for One Thing: Most Are Men.  I don’t take the NYT’s word for anything, so I decided to look into this.  Are there really no significant common factors for mass shooters?  I didn’t want to spend my time investigating the killers individually, so I did a very quick survey of reports on the topic.  (A number of these are summarized, briefly but well, at Statista.  You can also find data via FBI crime statistics and various Justice Department sources.)

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