Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

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Former President Ulysses S. Grant, was the last of five generals President Lincoln appointed to lead the Union army during the Civil War. While Grant is remembered as a great strategist on par with General Robert E. Lee, who commanded the Confederate army, Grant was also a drunk and had so little regard for the safety of his men that officers took to pinning the names of their troops on the back of uniforms so casualties could quickly be identified, which is where the idea for ‘dogtags’ originated.

Grant is credited with saying “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics,” when questioned about his casualty numbers, but most historians agree it was Mark Twain who popularized the expression. The phrase describes the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak or misleading arguments and to challenge a contra point of view.

Scientist are trained in the proper use of mathematical statistics. It begins with an unbiased measurement that is repeated multiple times, followed by unbiased analysis where outcomes are tabulated, corollaries are sought, and probabilities projected. For example, suppose an experiment drops an egg off an eight-foot ladder 1,000 times and 395 times the egg cracks open on impact. One might surmise that a) the results are not believable and b) conclude there is a 39.5% chance an egg dropped from a height of 8 feet cracks on impact.

However, in looking deeper into the data you discover that the scientist dropped the egg on a concrete surface 33% of the time with 100% of the eggs cracking, into a water bucket 33% of the time with 50% of the eggs cracking, and onto a pillow 33% of the time with zero eggs cracking. Now you get a different, albeit more comprehensive, conclusion.

A poorly trained scientist, or an unethical observer with an agenda wanting to convince people of the dangers of dropping eggs off ladders, might only use the results of the concrete floor tests. If they want to downplay the risks of dropping an egg off a ladder they would only use the results of the pillow tests. An honest ethical scientist or observer however, would report the results of the entire experiment, show the corollaries between impact medium and cracking eggs while noting the outcome of each individual sub-experiment.

At the other end of the spectrum, an ethically depleted, morally bankrupt statistician or observer would just make stuff up, which we sadly see more and more becoming the norm. An example of this is global warming fanatics claiming that humans are responsible for the earth warming while offering no scientific evidence and omitting data that shows Venus and Mars are also warming at the same rate as Earth. In the first assertion it seems plausible that if earth is warming humans must be responsible, (i.e., eggs on concrete), but earth’s temperature rise taken in context with other planets suggests human responsibility is not a casual factor; in fact, not even possible unless the Russian are day-tripping to Venus and the Chinese to Mars.

Four years ago my oldest son moved to Washington after graduation to work on Hillary Clinton’s campaign. For months in the run-up to the election he sent me polling data on how far ahead Clinton appeared. He was so convinced, based on the polls, Hillary would win he started looking for apartments near the White House for his post-election position in her administration. Meanwhile, I amused myself by digging into the polling data and found they were being conducted by the same clowns claiming humans are the reason earth is warming.

I cautioned my son to not trust the polling data because a) the only people being polled were those who voted in the last election and Trump was drawing a lot of first time voters, b) almost every poll interviewed a higher ratio of Democrats than Republicans and inconsistently accounted for Independents, c) the demographic of those responding to the polls was not reflective of the country, and d) the regions of U.S. polled where skewed heavily toward the northeast and west coasts, which is liberal Clinton country.

My point is this, statistics don’t lie, it’s the incompetent and unethical people distorting statistics to postulate a lie. In that sense, Mark Twain was right.

That brings me to the current COVID crisis. In previous posts I have presented evidence, with citations, that the CDC has a long history of distorting statistics to make whatever political point they’re intending. I walked readers through how the CDC skewed Ebola data to create panic then mislead the public during the SARS pandemic. I have repeatedly provided evidence of doctors and hospitals are purposely inflating COVID deaths because they net an extra $39k for each death labeled COVID-caused. I presented my evidence to the Journal of the American Medical Association, but they refused to publish my study, which is further proof the medical profession are not scientist because the scientific community welcomes ideas and thoughts to be challenged..

In a previous post I related the story a veteran told me about a conversation he had with his VA doctor; the doctor explained how if a marine shoots himself in the head they would rule the death COVID-caused because had it not been for COVID, that marine would have been able to get proper intervention. I reported the case in Minnesota where a doctor refused to certify a patient died from COVID when his death was due to trauma suffered after colliding with a bus. He was overruled and lost his license. In Colorado, a coroner who ruled a man died from alcohol poisoning was overruled by the CDC claiming it was COVID-caused because had it not been for COVID, he would not have consumed so much alcohol.

New York admits overcounting COVID deaths by 25%, and that’s on top of intentionally killing thousands more in nursing homes. Pennsylvania overcounts by 50%, Colorado by 25%, and that’s just to name a few. Unethical doctors & academics, politicians, and a complicit media have banded together with two goals, a) perpetuate and prolong a crisis that has run its course, and b) ensure President Trump is not re-elected. To accomplish this, they are willing to destroy their integrity, the economy, and the lives of millions of Americans.

The latest two examples come from Florida, where the goal of the evil triumphant is to do whatever it takes to skew the statistics to achieve their nefarious ambitions. If you had to pick any county in Florida (or the country) to recruit in your nefarious anti-American scheme, is anyone surprised it would be Broward county? This is the same county that tried to hand Florida to Al Gore in 2000 by throwing out Republican votes (i.e., the hanging chad). The same county that attempted to tip Florida for Hillary in 2016 by not counting overseas military and other Republican votes. On Thursday it was revealed that Broward county hospitals count all deaths as COVID related. During an interview, a Doctor of questionable ethics and integrity defended this policy by describing the case of a man who was struck by a car while riding his motorcycle and subsequently died.

According to the Doctor, this man died from COVID because had it not been for the pandemic, he would have been at work and not out riding his motorcycle. A more truthful answer would have been that certified the death due to COVID so he and his hospital could pass GO and collect $39K.

At this point, the medical profession has moved beyond misusing data to skew statics they can’t comprehend, now they’re just making crap up. I suppose we should excuse them somewhat, after all they are not scientists, have not been trained in the scientific method, and we know from their billing practices they’ve had little training in ethics. If you’re a Doctor and dispute these assertions, I refer you to the three preceding paragraphs.

In a case that is equally fraught with stupidity, incompetence, and unethical malfeasance, at the three coronavirus testing stations in Broward county, every single person tested was reported to be infected. Set aside for a moment the emotional and phycological devastation caused by the medical psychopaths’ purposely lying to people, especially folks with underlying health conditions, and stay with the math. If the CDC reports that nationwide only 15% of the population is infected, is it logically plausible that 100% of the people tested in Broward county test positive? Hint, the answer is no.

Of course if this were true, then we have far surpassed herd immunity and the COVID crisis is officially over – there is no one left to infect and the virus is dead so all ya-all can stop wearing masks.

Mark Twain said it best, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” We should add a caveat/corollary to that, “there dangerously unethical politicians, incompetently stupid Doctors, and a willfully nefarious media.” In the age of COVID, there are few sources of data you can trust. The truth is out there, just not were we should reliably be looking.