Lies, damned lies, and fact checking

Came across this lovely piece of shit garbage “information” on Facebook today.

National Pro-Life Alliance The numbers don't lie. Abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States every year.
National Pro-Life Alliance
The numbers don’t lie.
Abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States every year.

Actually, the numbers DO lie but the “National Pro-Life Alliance” counts wholly on you not bothering to double check their so-called facts.

I know I stink at math but even to me, those numbers sounded pretty bogus, so I did some quick Googling. So can you. Btw, I purposely avoided the incredibly biased pro-life sites. If I wanted bullshit figures, I’d go straight to them.

For the purpose of this experiment in just how capable of googling I am, all info courtesy of the CDC. Why? Because I feel they’re *slightly* less full of shit.

Ready? Here goes:


Abortions have been and continue to be tracked by the CDC since 1969 – you can even break them down by state via Excel spreadsheet, if you should so desire.

In 2010, 765,651 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. The abortion rate for 2010 was 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years and the abortion ratio was 228 abortions per 1,000 live births.

Compared with 2009, the total number and rate of reported abortions for 2010 decreased 3%. The abortion ratio was stable, changing only 0.4%. Additionally, from 2001 to 2010 the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 9%, 10%, and 8%, respectively. Given the 3% decrease from 2009 to 2010 in the total number and rate of reported abortions, in combination with the 5% decrease that had occurred in the previous year, the overall decrease during the most recent 5-year period (2006–2010) was greater than the decrease during the previous 5-year period (2001–2005).

Women in their twenties accounted for the majority of abortions in 2010 and throughout the period of analysis. The majority of abortions in 2010 took place early in gestation:  91.9% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation, and of the abortions performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation, 71.7% were performed at ≤ 8 weeks’ gestation. In 2010, 17.7% of all abortions were medical abortions. Source: MMWR 2013;62(8).

 

You can see the info for yourself here: http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/Abortion.htm

Hmmm. That CDC number looks nothing like the one on the chart….


Accidental deaths yearly:

All unintentional injury deaths

Number of deaths: 126,438
Deaths per 100,000 population: 40.6
Cause of death rank: 5

Unintentional fall deaths

Number of deaths: 27,483
Deaths per 100,000 population: 8.8

Motor vehicle traffic deaths

Number of deaths: 33,783
Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.8

Unintentional poisoning deaths

Number of deaths: 36,280
Deaths per 100,000 population: 11.6

All easily available at the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm

Our numbers are closer, but still a tiny bit skewed.


Cancer deaths:

Number of deaths: 576,691
Deaths per 100,000 population: 185.1
Cause of death rank: 2

Also found on the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/cancer.htm

Getting closer. We’re obviously rounding on the chart.


Heart disease info, again, according to the CDC.

About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.1

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.1

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 380,000 people annually.1

See http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

Finally! Our chart has one right!!


I know, I know, it’s all about the attention-grabbing numbers that they throw up on a colorful pie chart! But, really, you should be insulted that “they” – and that’s not just the intelligence-insulting National Pro-Life Alliance, but any intelligence-insulting organization that throws bullshit up on a pretty chart – are relying on you being too stupid, too lazy, or too gullible to actually check their work.

You should feel insulted.

This whole Bergdahl mess

I’m not going to lie. The more I see and hear about this Bowe Bergdahl and his father, Robert, the more bizarre things seem. Take a look at this tweet by the father:

It’s since been taken down, but not before screengrabs were done. I naturally wanted to know who @ABalkhi is. I discovered that Twitter account purports to be the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

I admit, I’m pretty upset about the children that have died – ESPECIALLY those who have died as a result of President Obama’s love affair with drones. Drones that, yanno, don’t have the ability to know if they’re about to blow up a school or a group of children… the reason that wars should be fought on the ground, rather than in some building thousands of miles away with some computer geek at the helm. But, even as pissed off as that makes me, I cannot fathom stating things the way Bergdahl’s father did. And, how does he plan to free all Guantanamo prisoners? How would he even have that kind of power? Is he suggesting that he has a backdoor here? Again, this just makes no sense.

Maybe he’s just been a grieving father who’s pissed off about the war and his son’s capture. I hope that’s the true explanation. Grief makes us do funny things. But, there’s just something not right about this whole situation. Not even including the fact that we released 5 imprisoned operatives to their 1. And the fact that Congress was not informed ahead of time which, I was under the impression is mandatory. Yanno, unless pesky things like laws and rules just don’t apply to you.

There is much hubbub about Bergdahl leaving willingly, based on first-hand accounts. That in itself is odd. But, maybe he just lost it mentally and couldn’t take anymore so he just left. He wouldn’t be the first to have this happen, as evidence by  U.S. Army Sergeant Charles Robert Jenkins. I hear war makes people do crazy, crazy things. I sincerely hope that’s the case with Bergdahl. Tragically, there were an additional six American lives lost in the search for Bergdahl. Yet, the New York Times is now calling that into question. What’s going on here??

Villagers are claiming that Bergdahl went looking for the Taliban, even though they tried to discourage him. They thought he must be high because, why else would an American want to find the Taliban? I’m sure there will be many who claim that the Afghan villagers are not reliable. Yet, they’re deemed reliable enough when they claim our soldiers have done something wrong. Poor and uneducated does not necessarily make them liars.

And then I watch this video, and I wonder what’s really going on here.

From a parental standpoint, that video is just heartbreaking.

Maybe it really is as straight-forward as a man who was captured and, five years later, released. I genuinely hope so.

Love with conditions

There are a lot of opinions flying around the interwebs about this Bergdahl mess. If you’re not sure what it is, in a nutshell, the Obama Administration has agreed to swap five, count them five, prisoners from Guantanamo in exchange for one prisioner, a Bowe Bergdahl. There are those who think this is a wonderful idea and those who think it a terrible idea. There are quite a few calling him a deserter and some even going so far as to say that he willingly assisted terrorists.

Let’s just get out of the way right now my take on this, minus the possibility of Bergdahl being all that they’re accusing him of: From a completely non-military, common sense standpoint, it’s kind of like with kids; If you let them get away with punching their brother once and even reward them for it, what’s to stop them the next time? And what’s to keep them from doing it harder and more often? It’s truly no different here. Especially when you figure that – and this is according to my husband who was deployed to Afghanistan – most of these people are lucky if they have the equivalent of a fourth or fifth grade education so, yeah, there’s not much difference to be found.

With that being said, I cannot fathom what Berghdal’s family has been going through. As a parent, I’m glad they got their son home, but from any other standpoint, this was a horrible mistake.

Sadly, I’ve seen some claim that, if this was their son, they’d disown him. I guess that’s something that I am unable to wrap my mind around. My love doesn’t have conditions. Even if I don’t approve of what my children are doing – and I frequently don’t when they’re being complete jerks – I still love them. My love for them doesn’t fluctuate based on my approval of them. Even if they should do something horrible like become serial killers or even, yes, betray their country, I would still love them. Love with conditions is not really love at all.

Fast food strikes

Pardon me for getting political today.

This is the day that fast food workers across the nation are striking. I think it’s a beautiful thing about our country that people of a common cause can band together in an effort to try to change things, or at the very least call attention to things that need changed.

Do I agree with their efforts?? That’s a tricky one.

I don’t pretend to have answers here, although I firmly believe that the whole system needs a revamp. Yes, people all need a livable wage. Absolutely. The biggest problem with doubling minimum wage? Everything else gets doubled as well, including your double cheeseburger meal so, guess what? It’s no time at all before you’re right back in the same boat. Yep, you’re making $15 an hour but once again, you’re struggling to be able to afford that $10 cheeseburger meal. You’re now just as poor as you were when you were making $7.25, and that’s sad.

Plus, all of those professionals – like my husband (a PLS) and my mother (an RN) and my father-in-law (a PE) – who worked their asses off to get through school and get their degrees and/or licenses aren’t getting a raise just because everyone else does so, in turn, their standard of living actually goes down. And, as previously mentioned, the cost of living will jump up to make up for the loss of money by, in many cases, money-hungry corporations. Now they are, in essence, being penalized for getting an education. That’s not right either.

Here’s another thing. I screwed around in high school and, even though I went on to college, I screwed around a lot there as well and, by the time I got serious about it, I was stuck at IvyTech – no other school would take me until I proved myself – and then it wasn’t long before my grant money just ran out. That stuff doesn’t just go on forever, apparently. I also wound up with a shit ton of student loans that I basically lived off of for the entire duration of enrollment at IvyTech that I’m responsible for now. I screwed up. Big time. I had so many opportunities that I squandered. Do I deserve $15 an hour to go flip burgers some place? Not really, no. Should I have to start out at the bottom – having zero food industry experience? Yes, most definitely. Should there be a way to work up the ladder should I so desire? Darn right there should be and it should be available to all.

Of course, in order to evaluate this entire subject we must mention those money-grubbing corporation that care nothing of their employees. It’s awful and I wish we could force people to care, but we cannot. I think, instead, what we should do is find out how companies treat their workers and frequent the ones who treat them in a way that coincides with our own ideals and avoid those that do not. I’m purposely not mentioning any names here, but odds are you already know who some of those companies are.

I also firmly believe that a person should be paid what they’re worth. I also believe that they guy scraping roadkill off the side of the road should get a decent wage for doing a shit job that no one else wants to touch. Do I think that just because you take my order at the drive through that you should make $15 an hour? No. Especially not if you roll your eyes – yes, I can hear it in your voice – at my request for no bun or you throw my change at me, etc.

Another issue that no one seems to want to think about is the fact that we’ve become a society of consumers. We have become conditioned to want the next best newest greatest fastest latest whatsit. We’re all guilty of it. That is actually keeping us in debt, keeping us slaves, if you will, because no matter how much we make, as long as we’ve got that mentality, we’ll never not be poor.