Saturday, December 31, 2016

2015 Homicide numbers

Four years ago, I posted that 28% of the residents of the USA were responsible for 53% of the homicides in 2011. I want to revisit this using the Uniform Crime Report for 2015, so I can compare it to 2016, when those numbers come available.

According to the 2015 Uniform Crime Report from the FBI, there were a total of 14,856 homicides.

Looking at Table 16, we see that there were 5,990 homicides in cities with a population of 250,000 or more. There were 1934 homicides in cities with a population of 100,000 to 249,999. Meaning that in cities with a population of 100,000 or more, there were 7,924 homicides. That represents 53.34% of all homicides in the nation.

There are a total of 93,613,802 people who live in US cities with a population of 100,000 or more. That represents 29.13% of the population.

So 29.13% of the population of the US is responsible for 53.34% of the homicides. The homicide rate in this group is 8.46 per 100,000. The homicide rate in the remainder of the nation is 3.04 per 100,000 - nearly 1/3 as many homicides per capita as the cities.




Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Get over it

Let's say that I am a basketball fan, and my favorite team loses the big game with a score of 102 points, to your favorite team's score of 108. Your favorite team won, because under the rules of the game, you scored more points.

But wait, I claim that my team SHOULD be the winner, because they scored more times. You see, your team won because 14 of their baskets were shot from beyond the 3 point line, and 27 of them were worth 2 points, while the remaining 12 were foul shots and worth a single point. This means that your team scored 53 times. My team on the other hand scored 15 single point free throws, 31 and only 8 three point shots, meaning that my team scored 54 times.

I demand that the basketball league declare that my team is the winner. I declare that we should get rid of the 3 point shot, and use only the number of baskets to decide the winner. Of course, had that been the rule going into the game, your team's entire strategy would have been different and the game would have played out differently. Changing the rules after the game has been played so that you use hindsight to get the result I want is what I am advocating.

Ridiculous? Sure is, but that is exactly what the Democrats were pushing for with respect to the election, and in demanding that the electoral college be eliminated because you happen to not like the outcome of the election is using hindsight to change the rules after the game has been played.

The election is over, the electoral college has spoken. Hillary lost. Get over it.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Something to hide

We often hear the following quote:

If a man is hiding something, it’s because he’s got something to hide.

That is silly. Of course people have things to hide. We all do. Things to hide range from financial information like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and the balance in my bank account, all the way to personal or potentially embarrassing information like my sexual preferences, or the fact that I like to watch romantic comedies.

The point is this:
Just because I am hiding something doesn't mean that what I am hiding is illegal, immoral, or any of anyone else's business. That is why the founders felt that this right was important enough that it needed the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment to secure it.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Nation of the offended, or politics of race?

So apparently an NBA team owner referred to a player's friends as the player's "posse" and the people are in a uproar, with the player claiming that the term is a racial slur. Is there anything that isn't a racial slur?

The team owner is just as confused as I am. Weeks later, the player is still complaining. I don't see what he has to complain about, since he is known for making actual racial slurs:


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Part of the problem

My wife teaches a class at the High School level. Her class is computer based, and the students are given files to complete as part of the coursework. Unbeknownst to the students, those files have electronic tokens embedded in them as a digital watermark. Those tokens are unique to each student and to each electronic file.

Upon review, there were 200 instances of cheating committed by 20 different students, as evidenced by students turning in files that were watermarked with another student's token. Since her class is a dual enrollment class that also gives college credit, the college demanded that action be taken.

Several of the students involved are members of the National Honor Society. As a result of the cheating incident, they are being expelled from the NHS. The parents are livid. Not with the students, as you might expect, but with the schools and teachers involved. Why? Because they are "ruining my child's chance at a good college by putting this on their permanent record."

Several parents have requested parent conferences, and are claiming that this isn't cheating, but instead is delegating and "wisely using available resources."

How can teachers correct 16 years of bad parenting in the 135 hours that we have them as students in a typical school year?