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Alex Jones = Embarrassment to Liberty Movement

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@John James

 The difference is literally less than 4 thousandths of one percent when you account for population.  That's what the UK has accomplished with its almost total gun ban.  A gun murder rate that is 4 thousandths of one percent better than the US.

Source?

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Clayton replied on Tue, Jan 8 2013 5:59 PM

Well, I'm consistently disappointed with "pro-gun" advocates on television. Never once has anyone ever addressed the root issue: production of security. The reason to "have a right" to own guns is in order to self-produce security, should one be unable to afford a bodyguard (which is actually insanely expensive if you need round-the-clock protection because you live in a bad neighborhood because... you're poor!)

The police are not a security services industry. Police departments have been specifically exempted from the courts of any duty to intervene to protect a citizens who is in the process of being victimized by a criminal. They have the right to intervene should they choose but they have no duty to do so. So, the police are not a security service, even in principle. Their actual function is precisely what their name states: policy enactment. The police are the operational component of government policy, nothing more or less.

And this explains the in-practice uselessness of police in terms of security services. Some departments are worse than others but even the best police departments are unable to respond in under 3 minutes to a gun incident (to which they assign highest priority), even during daylight hours, even in a business district, etc. Most residential areas at night have a good 10-15 minutes response time... if you've ever been in a home-invasion situation (I have), that 15 minutes literally feels like eternity and is more than enough time for even a rational home invader to enter, kill, take what he came for, and leave. The irrational home invader is even more terrifying... he doesn't care if the police show up, he will only be stopped with two to the chest and one to the head.

In every country - even those with ridiculous gun-control measures like Britain and Germany! - there are still lots private citizens running around with guns... they are armored truck drivers, armed premise security, private bodyguards, diplomatic security contractors, and on and on. So, the gun debate is not really about private vs. government gun-ownership. It's about mass popular gun ownership versus gun ownership only by the government and by those who are privately contracted to work for the wealthy and powerful.

But the anti-populism of the anti-gunners is rarely, if ever, mentioned. Oh well.

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ThatOldGuy:
The numbers he gave bothered me as well for those reasons, but how did you get that difference? What's the math?
Willy Truth:
Source?

I'm sure someone will find some way to whine, but all I did was take the number of murders as a percentage of population and quote the difference.  Like I said, the population ratio is roughly 5 to 1...

UK:

Pop: 63,181,775[5]

"Gun murders": 35  (I didn't check this statistic, nor the exact definition of what qualifies as a "gun murder".  This is Piers Morgan's term, and number.)

as percentage of population: 0.000055395721313622486

 

US:

Pop: 315,079,000[2]

"Gun murders": 11,458 (again, I didn't check this, it's Alex Jones' number, which Piers Morgan seemed to accept.)

as percentage of population: 0.003636548294237318

 

0.003636548294237318

- 0.000055395721313622486____

~0.0036

=

<0.004%

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Jan 8 2013 6:31 PM

Also, a couple notes:

a) Comparing British and American murder rates is useless, meaningless. There is no ceteris paribus here, so there's no way to assign causation. All you have is random facts and connecting those facts in any particular way, asbent some kind of methodology that can tease out causation, is just demagoguery.

b) The "gun murder rate" is particularly meaningless. Gun murders are no worse than knife murders or head-smashed-on-the-concrete murders. Murder is the problem. The unstated supposition is that, by reducing gun murders, we can reduce overall murder. However, this assumes the point in (a) - that restricting gun ownership will, in fact, lower the violent crime rate. When combined with the observations that AJ made - lower violent crime rates in more heavily armed parts of the US vis-a-vis less armed parts of the US, and lower overall violent crime rate in the US than in Britain - it is easy to see that this entire line of argument is a non-starter.

@JJ: I think the talking-heads would want to take the ratio between the two rates, not their absolute difference. But as I note above, it is all meaningless junk.

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Clayton:
@JJ: I think the talking-heads would want to take the ratio between the two rates, not their absolute difference.

That's what I was looking at.

 

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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Clayton:
a) Comparing British and American murder rates is useless, meaningless. There is no ceteris paribus here, so there's no way to assign causation. All you have is random facts and connecting those facts in any particular way, asbent some kind of methodology that can tease out causation, is just demagoguery.

Yeah in general that kind of goes without saying...  Either you're smart enough to understand that without it being stated, or you're too dense to follow it when it's explained to you.

 

Clayton:
b) The "gun murder rate" is particularly meaningless. Gun murders are no worse than knife murders or head-smashed-on-the-concrete murders. Murder is the problem.

That is actually a point Jones made (or at least tried to make) several times throughout the interview.

 

Clayton:
The unstated supposition is that, by reducing gun murders, we can reduce overall murder. However, this assumes the point in (a) - that restricting gun ownership will, in fact, lower the violent crime rate. When combined with the observations that AJ made - lower violent crime rates in more heavily armed parts of the US vis-a-vis less armed parts of the US, and lower overall violent crime rate in the US than in Britain - it is easy to see that this entire line of argument is a non-starter.

But "less guns" sounds so good. 

It makes perfect sense.  Because, I mean, duh, if nobody had guns, nobody would get shot.  You redneck rubes.  *elitist facepalm*

 

Clayton:
@JJ: I think the talking-heads would want to take the ratio between the two rates, not their absolute difference. But as I note above, it is all meaningless junk.

Yeah I actually thought about that too.

That way they could say the US rate is 6465% higher than the UK.  Too bad people are too clueless to even consider other instruments people use to murder each other.

 

ThatOldGuy:
That's what I was looking at.

I don't agree with that methodology because it just confuses the issue you're trying to measure.  But either way, as Clayton said it's still meaningless.  Particularly when all you have to do is look at other types of murder, other types of crime, and even overall violent crime...and the UK is horrible among the "civilized" or "developed" or "richest" or whatever else arbitrary differential people like Piers Morgan want to use to make sure those pesky third world or middle eastern countries don't push the US down on the chart for most "gun murders".

 

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Blargg replied on Wed, Jan 9 2013 12:20 AM

Morgan: "Do you understand the difference between 11,000 and 35?" (gun murders in US versus UK or something in Europe)

Why is a gun murder so heinous that we can focus entirely on them at an exclusion to all other murders, or all other causes of death? Though, Jones should have answered the question calmly, and then asked why non-gun murders were being excluded, then perhaps quoted a per-capita murder rate (since otherwise a larger population will generally have more murders).

Jones sure does poorly with this. It's unfortunate that this is just pure dessert for people who want to ban guns. I can see that Jones is not up to following Morgan's script, and won't "fall into" his questions, even though avoiding them is seen as validating them. And for the record, I dislike Jones and haven't ever listened to him before. Even his voice annoys me. And I've never owned a gun and have no plans to anytime soon (I'd probably end up harming myself with it). Even though all this I still think that Jones is on the side of the truth.

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// Undergunned?? Jones left Morgan literally speechless for almost the entire first segment. //

Yes, Alex was factual. He is well-informed, too. I meant by 'undergunned' that he was unprepared to allow Morgan enough rope to hang himself - like the gun president guy was. Almost as though he was a little fearful of not being able to refute Morgan's bogus arguments. Maybe that comes from having mostly everyone you talk to on a daily basis agree with you.

Some debating nous goes a long way. Angry is good but if you want to get anywhere in a rational debate - and let's face it, being relatively well-informed is our strength in the liberty movement - it can't be all unbridalled. We should learn from it, that's all I'm saying.

 

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Clayton replied on Wed, Jan 9 2013 1:32 AM

@jim: No, I've seen Alex in level debate with serious opponents and he's plenty capable... he had clearly consciously chosen to not debate Morgan not because he was afraid but because he had a better use of the time-segment in mind... to vent on behalf of his audience and to give Morgan a little dose of the medicine he dealt out on Pratt, etc.

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[email protected]: No, I've seen Alex in level debate with serious opponents and he's plenty capable... he had clearly consciously chosen to not debate Morgan not because he was afraid but because he had a better use of the time-segment in mind... to vent on behalf of his audience and to give Morgan a little dose of the medicine he dealt out on Pratt, etc.//

Hm. Interesting... but that, if it is true, doesn't endear me to him. To me that would make him pretty immature. I mean, if that was his strategy... to shout down his opponent with a string of facts. If he comes out of this without a change of tact, I'd be dissappointed. Because if you know your stuff and you can debate with people too, how is shouting sombody down going to bring people's attention towards your trump arguments? Maybe he managed to land some blows by talking over Morgan, but he also forfeited an entire 3rd segment. I'd say he'd be far more effective by patiently waiting for Piers Morgan - or whoever - to make his dubious point/s and then to nail them, one-by-one. This tit-for-tat, two wrongs-make-a-right angle - again, if that's what it was - is simply noise. Larry Pratt made Morgan look like the prat, and he only had to do what Morgan did to Jones... let him rant and wait your turn without yeilding to the temptation to meet fire with fire.

Perhaps I read it incorrectly, but I thought when Alex flew off the handle, it was because he couldn't help himself. It looked like a lack of self-control. I'm prepared to keep backing someone if they can learn from mistakes. But lack of self-control is - to me, anyway - still a flaw, not a virtue.

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John James:

I disagree that he was throwing red herrings.  If anything I would say it was Morgan and his cherry picked statistics questions that were meant to distract from the real issue at hand.  Jones' point is obviously that (a) bearing arms is a right, (b) the 2nd amendment is not about duck hunting, (c) in general, more guns = less crime.  And he had the overall stats to back it up.  What Morgan did was cherry pick specific instances (which are fresh in the public's mind) and attempt to make an unspoken argument and lead ignorant viewers to believe many different things that simply aren't true.

Jones made valid points, but it was at the expense of ignoring Morgan's question. "A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue." If you asked me, "How was your day?" and I said, "5+5=10" then what I'm saying isn't invalid; it's simply irrelevant. Even if I brought up something surrounding the same topic (like Jones did) and answered you with, "One day equals 24 hours" or "most people make a distinction between day and night," it's still irrelevant. How wasn't Jones committing this fallacy? He did everything except answer the man's question until 5 minutes into the debate!

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thetabularasa:
Jones made valid points, but it was at the expense of ignoring Morgan's question. "A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue."

And as I said [which you actually quoted]: If anything I would say it was Morgan and his cherry picked statistics questions that were meant to distract from the real issue at hand.

The issue is violent crime in general, or at the very least, murder.  As Clayton said, "The unstated supposition is that, by reducing gun murders, we can reduce overall murder."  As others have pointed out, the specific weapon used to murder someone is pretty much irrelevant.  But of course, Morgan has a hard on for gun bans and wants them instituted everywhere so that only his body guards can have them.  So he strategically chooses to focus on just one "factoid" that seems to support his position (the alleged number of "gun murders"), and ignore anything else, because all the other data hurts his case.  He is using the largely irrelevant statistic of gun murders (again, not even using the rate...just the actual nominal figure) as a red herring to distract attention from the original issue of violence and murder...and the fact that statistically stricter gun laws = more crime, more murders.

Just because Jones didn't lay back and let Morgan proceed with his distraction doesn't mean Jones was throwing out red herrings.  His whole effort was to keep the focus on the real issue, and not let Morgan fool viewers with his misleading selective info presentation.

 

Your example neglects to mention the part about how our conversation was about 5+5.  You left out the part where we were originally talking about if I had 5 dollars and you had 5 dollars, what we could afford to buy.  You asked "well what's 5+5?"  If I responded "how was your day"?  And you replied with "5+5=10"...obviously your statement was not the red herring.

But you can choose to focus on whatever you want I guess.

 

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abskebabs replied on Wed, Jan 9 2013 10:14 AM

I usually can only take Alex Jones in small doses. That being said I don't think that interview was as bad as the fuss being made over it. I've seen him be far more cringe-worthy in the past.

"When the King is far the people are happy."  Chinese proverb

For Alexander Zinoviev and the free market there is a shared delight:

"Where there are problems there is life."

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Well done Alex Jones.  I read the first page of this thread before watching the video, and I was expecting a lot worse.  I thought he did really well there and the buzz that followed his appearance (#1 on US Twitter trends) will bring him and the issues he raised a lot more attention.   That far outweighs any "damage" done to the reputation of the movement.  He made the CNN producer cry and caused them to abandon their plans for a debate in the third segment... CNN really screwed up and Alex played it brilliantly, as only he can.

Here are a couple of articles with some more relevant statistics than the one Morgan spouts: one and two.

Here is Ben Swann being as brilliant as ever:

Clayton and JJ have already said everything else I wanted to say.

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I loved the Jones appearance. Why go a show like Piers Morgan and be serious? No matter what you say or do, they are going to pants you (either during or after). The anti-gun crowd ALREADY thinks the pro-gun crowd are crazy baboons. Imo, Jones achieved two nice things on this interview:

1. bullying Morgan like Morgan often does to his guests

2. passing on the message that there will be a revolution if they try to take the guns... very important to shore up the base

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Clayton replied on Wed, Jan 9 2013 3:37 PM

Ben Swann deserves an award... a Nobel prize would be an insult to this man....

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Clayton:
Ben Swann deserves an award... a Nobel prize would be an insult to this man....

I noticed he set all of his Reality Check segments on his YouTube channel to "private".  I'm wondering if the station forced him to do it.  From what I saw, his segments kept getting uploaded by various channels throughout the Ron Paul campaign, and eventually he created his own channel and started hosting them himself, presumably to house them in a single, official location, and possibly to generate revenue for the station (so that they would sanction the uploading.)  I'm wondering if they revoked their approval.

An interesting tidbit about the station though...

"The reporter himself (Ben Swann) said on his facebook chat that the reason he is able to report so openly on the Paul campaign, and not face the media blackout like other channels do, is because his local Fox news is owned by Raycom Media.

According to their 'About us' page, Raycom is:

...an employee-owned company ... and owns and/or provides services for 48 television stations in 36 markets and 18 states. Raycom stations cover 12.6% of U.S. television households"

That being said, as mentioned here, the Internet finds a way smiley... Ben Swann Archive

 

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Howdy Ho Marko, I agree with you now.

Oh and this:

I of course agree with it but I think they shouldn't be so repetative...

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Marko replied on Wed, Jan 9 2013 9:34 PM

According to the UN, the US has a homicide rate of 4.2 per 1000. The UK has a homicide rate of 1.2.

That would put the homicide rate of the gun totting US well above that of the gun controlled UK.

On the other hand UK's homicide rate equals the homicide rate of Serbiaby one survey home to the second most well-armed populace after the Americans.*

So the gun-controlled Brits nonetheless manage to carry out homicide with the same frequency as do inhabitants of a gun-totting Balkan country renowned for mafia executions. Either the British are more inclined to violence than peoples in the Balkans, or else gun control does not bring down homicide.



* Albeit I don't personally believe they're actually second, there's a lot unreported ownership going on in some places that come below Serbia in the survey. Nonetheless they must be pretty well armed, eg Top 20, to show up as second.

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Marko:
According to the UN, the US has a homicide rate of 4.2 per 1000. The UK has a homicide rate of 1.2.  That would put the homicide rate of the gun totting US well above that of the gun controlled UK.

From your link:

List of countries by intentional homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants. The reliability of underlying national murder rate data may vary.[1] The legal definition of "intentional homicide" differs among countries. Intentional homicide may or may not include infanticide, assisted suicide or euthanasia. Intentional homicide demographics are affected by changes in trauma care, leading to changed lethality of violent assaults, so the intentional homicide rate may not necessarily indicate the overall level of societal violence.[2] They may also be underreported for political reasons.[3][4] Another problem for the comparability of the following figures is that some data may include attempts. In general the values in these lists should not include attempts except when mentioned otherwise.

Just one more reason these knee-jerk country comparisons are essentially meaningless.

 

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thetabularasa:

it appears that the Left got exactly what it sought out: a man that believes in gun rights while simultaneously appearing to be out of control, hence "perceived justification for eliminating gun rights because these people are nuts!" or something to that effect.

I think there is a way to tell whether this video has had a positive or negative impact. The YouTube video of it has gotten 5.5 million views (of course there are a lot more views if you count the copies and the official CNN video, so Jones has gotten a lot of exposure for the points he raised). Of those there are 18,000 likes to 2,700 dislikes. Based on that, it's a gain of 6.7 for every loss of one. That's a huge win for liberty.

 
I'd also like to say that I'm glad Jones drew a line in the sand for a revolution when they try to take our guns. Many people probably don't know where their personal line in the sand is, and Jones just helped them make it. Concerning craziness, it's good that he said that part about a new 1776 with passion and a hint of craziness, making the politicians think that the people who follow Jones might just be crazy enough to actually start a revolution unlike the cowardly British and Australians. 
 
Reagan sent B-2 bombers in attack formation towards the USSR and had them break off just before they got into Russian airspace. He did it so that they would think he just might be crazy enough to be unafraid of doing something ballsy. Alex Jones has done the same for us.
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This is what Daniel James Sanchez said about this on Facebook: People may say Alex Jones was over the top, but I disagree. Bootlicking tools like Piers Morgan need to be called out to their face for exactly what they are. The fact that Jones did that to both Morgan and the TSA on the SAME day makes him a bad-ass and a freaking hero.

 
...Alex wasn't hysterical. He was passionate and talking fast and forcefully to make the most of the opportunity. As for rudeness, manners are context-specific. In a private conversation, that certainly would have been rude. But, given that Morgan is using his enormous platform to help disarm a whole country, calling him out in the strongest, most frank terms cannot be considered rude.
 
As much as Morgan represents the establishment elite, Jones was representing tens of thousands of ordinary Americans in this televised exchange. By saying, in no uncertain terms, "NO WAY" to Morgan, he effectively said that to the establishment itself for us. Any members of the power elite who watch this exchange may get the message that Americans are serious about not being disarmed.
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Graham Wright:

Here is Ben Swann being as brilliant as ever:

 

According to this article, Swann's stats are wrong. It appears that he lifted his data wholesale from a story in the Daily Mail, without checking it.

 
The gist of the article can be summarized with this quote: "The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports defines a 'violent crime' as one of four specific offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
 
The British Home Office, by contrast, has a substantially different definition of violent crime. The British definition includes all 'crimes against the person,' including simple assaults, all robberies, and all 'sexual offenses,' as opposed to the FBI, which only counts aggravated assaults and 'forcible rapes.'
 
When you look at how this changes the meaning of 'violent crime,' it becomes clear how misleading it is to compare rates of violent crime in the US and the UK. You’re simply comparing two different sets of crimes.
 
...Due to fundamental differences in how crime is recorded and categorized, it’s impossible to compute exactly what the British violent crime rate would be if it were calculated the way the FBI does it, but if we must compare the two, my best estimate would be something like 776 violent crimes per 100,000 people. While this is still substantially higher than the rate in the United States, it’s nowhere near the 2,034 cited by Swann and the Mail.
 
...At best, Swaan is giving gun enthusiasts bad reasons to support the Second Amendment when perfectly good reasons are already available."
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While I agree that the talking heads on TV need to be called out to their faces, Alex Jones is not the right guy to do it.  The dude is a wackjob, and comes off to your average citizen as a lunatic.  It doesn't help that he also throws in references to 9/11, chem trails, etc.

Seriously, the fact that 9/11 truthers and chemtrail people were often attached to anti-Federal Reserve messages was what kept me away from the liberty movement for a LOOONNGGG time.  Jones should not be our spokesperson.  The resounding reaction I've seen to his apperance has been negative.  Jesse Ventura would be a better spokesperson, if only he would clean himself up, ha.  A strong message is the core, but you need to have a good image too to get anywhere.

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z1235 replied on Sun, Jan 13 2013 8:28 AM

Or we could just let everyone present themselves and their cases however they want and let everyone else use their brains (or not) to pick the people and the arguments that make sense to them. Sometimes AJ makes a lot of sense to me -- sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes I like his presentation/behavior, sometimes I don't. He could be a disinfo agent -- or maybe not. I'm fine with that since I'm neither marrying him nor electing him as my shepherd/leader. The liberty "movemement" doesn't need a spokesperson. 

That said, I tend to agree with Anarcho-libertarian and Daniel James Sanchez's take on the event. 

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HabbaBabba replied on Sun, Jan 13 2013 12:35 PM

Yeah personally I don't need a spokesman? And to whom do they speak? Oh that's right. People who's opinion not only doesn't matter to me, but pathetic creatures I wouldn't piss on if they were burning, but just might consider doing it if they were drowning. God forbid someone who isn't me "embarrasses" himself in front of people even he can't see and will never meet. How dare he do that to me!

Liberty movement? Bah... It's a beauty pageant.

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LogisticEarth:
Jones should not be our spokesperson.

"our"?

 

The resounding reaction I've seen to his apperance has been negative.

Well yeah, when you watch CNN's own coverage, and read Huffington Post, that's the kind of "reaction" I would expect, wouldn't you?

 

LogisticEarth:
Alex Jones is not the right guy to do it.  The dude is a wackjob, and comes off to your average citizen as a lunatic.  It doesn't help that he also throws in references to 9/11, chem trails, etc.

Um...

 

Jesse Ventura would be a better spokesperson

UM...

You do realize literally everything you just said to delegitimize Jones could be said about Ventura...right?

 

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h.k. replied on Sun, Jan 13 2013 4:26 PM

Graham Wright:

Well done Alex Jones.  I read the first page of this thread before watching the video, and I was expecting a lot worse.  I thought he did really well there and the buzz that followed his appearance (#1 on US Twitter trends) will bring him and the issues he raised a lot more attention.   That far outweighs any "damage" done to the reputation of the movement.  He made the CNN producer cry and caused them to abandon their plans for a debate in the third segment... CNN really screwed up and Alex played it brilliantly, as only he can.

Here are a couple of articles with some more relevant statistics than the one Morgan spouts: one and two.

Here is Ben Swann being as brilliant as ever:

Clayton and JJ have already said everything else I wanted to say.

 

Wow Ben Swann just knocked the heck out of Morgan.

 

Where I come from that's called Pawnage.

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Clayton replied on Sun, Jan 13 2013 4:33 PM

"our"?

You noticed this, too... LOL

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h.k. replied on Sun, Jan 13 2013 4:51 PM

Anarcho-libertarian:

Graham Wright:

Here is Ben Swann being as brilliant as ever:

 

According to this article, Swann's stats are wrong. It appears that he lifted his data wholesale from a story in the Daily Mail, without checking it.

 
The gist of the article can be summarized with this quote: "The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports defines a 'violent crime' as one of four specific offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
 
The British Home Office, by contrast, has a substantially different definition of violent crime. The British definition includes all 'crimes against the person,' including simple assaults, all robberies, and all 'sexual offenses,' as opposed to the FBI, which only counts aggravated assaults and 'forcible rapes.'
 
When you look at how this changes the meaning of 'violent crime,' it becomes clear how misleading it is to compare rates of violent crime in the US and the UK. You’re simply comparing two different sets of crimes.
 
...Due to fundamental differences in how crime is recorded and categorized, it’s impossible to compute exactly what the British violent crime rate would be if it were calculated the way the FBI does it, but if we must compare the two, my best estimate would be something like 776 violent crimes per 100,000 people. While this is still substantially higher than the rate in the United States, it’s nowhere near the 2,034 cited by Swann and the Mail.
 
...At best, Swaan is giving gun enthusiasts bad reasons to support the Second Amendment when perfectly good reasons are already available."
 

 

Right, but the gist of what he said remains intact. Thanks for the info though.

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"Facts, schmacts. You can use facts to prove anything that's even vaguely true" - Homer Simpson

Good luck with the "facts" arguments with this kind of stuff.  There are enough places that track statistics on various things that anyone can find them to prove about anything...

Also, as per the thread title, Jones is an embarrassment in general.  It is insulting to my intelligence to be constantly reminded of his "method."

If people need info from academia concerning the ongoing situation that Jones rants ignorantly about.  They can have at any of these incredibly more useful tools (I'll forgo the stuff from Rothbard since it is...here):

Propaganda and Persuasion - Sage Publications

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (because no university dare publish it...)

Leviathans: Multinational Corporations and the New Global History - Cambridge University Press

Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management - South End Press

American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission - Cambridge University Press

NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe - Routledge

Handbook of Intelligence Studies - Routledge

For Reasons of State - New Press

Propaganda and Democracy: The American Experience of Media and Mass Persuasion - Cambridge University Press

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
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"Facts, schmacts. You can use facts to prove anything that's even vaguely true" - Homer Simpson

I always wondered about Britain's violent crime rate stated at 2000 per 100k population. I know that's a wild exaggeration, as I used to live there for some time. But these are the numbers that people use, to make the case for/ against gun control. Never mind that the methology for collecting data is different from country to country. I think opponents/ proponents can do better than that.

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Clayton replied on Tue, Jan 15 2013 2:33 AM

 

@Anarcho-libertarian: That article is beating its fists at the air... it is pointless contrarianism.

1) “The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world.” --> The article "refutes" this claim by pointing out that many gun owners own more than one gun so the total number of guns in the US does not automatically translate to the number of gun-owning households. But this is just sophism... ceteris paribus, anywhere else in the world that gun ownership is legal, presumably there is the same phenomenon of many gun owners having more than one gun, thus causing the same difference between gun-households and total guns owned. Therefore, the highest number of guns per capita is prima facie evidence of the claim "highest gun ownership rate in the world" where "rate" is understood to mean the ratio of gun-households to non-gun-households. Which leads to the second rebuff of this nonsense: "rate" could just as well simply mean "per capita"... the ratio of guns to people. My bet is that this is what Swann meant.

2) “In the UK there are 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 people. …The US has a violent crime rate of 466 [violent] crimes per 100,000 residents.” --> While Swann does not point out the difference in the definition of violent crimes, I strongly doubt he has already admitted he made a mistake in citing these numbers without clarification and is issuing his correction. In any case, he did not attempt to infer from these stats that therefore guns cause less crime, which cannot be said of Piers Morgan and other anti-gun advocates who are attempting to make an ad hoc causal theory from the statistics: more guns means more crime (in particular, more multiple-victim public shootings).

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Anenome replied on Tue, Jan 15 2013 2:41 AM

Piers Morgan had to find someone easier to make look crazy than Jesse Ventura:

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Clayton replied on Tue, Jan 15 2013 2:52 AM

Also, I want to underscore the importance of what is being swept under the rug by these gun debates: the social causes of violence. We can go back to Alfred Nock, Herbert Spencer, Auberon Herbert, Frank Chodorov, Murray Rothbard, Hans Hoppe, Lew Rockwell and Roderick Long to get the simple answer: the political means... the war principle... social parasitism... rejection of the golden rule (privilege)... these are all different ways of looking at the same social phenomenon. They are all different manifestations of the same underlying moral rot. The only solution to this problem is a moral reformation put into action by the uncompromising withdrawal of all who are convicted by the moral truth of the message of peace and productivity to withdraw from the political means and to evade victimization by those who practice the political means.

Demonizing guns is typical of the externalization of a hypocritical culture. A licentious culture will blame the prostitutes. A gluttonous culture will blame the farmers and the bakers. A lazy culture will blame the productive and competitive. And so on. Our violent, hypocritical, war-worshipping culture naturally blames the guns.

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z1235 replied on Tue, Jan 15 2013 8:31 AM

And lest we forget drugs, from a link in this post by Aristophanes:

This is the [second to] last post John Noveske made on his Facebook page before he was killed:

Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold's medical records have never been made available to the public.

Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather's girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic's file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family's Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara's parents said ".... the damn doctor wouldn't take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil...")

Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
(Gareth's father could not accept his son's death and killed himself.)

Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family's detached garage.

Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

Woody __, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and "other drugs for the conditions."

Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his
New York high school.

Missing from list... 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds....

What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21...... killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az

What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24..... killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado

What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or

What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct

Roberts is the only one that I haven't heard about being on drugs of some kind.

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Clayton:

Demonizing guns is typical of the externalization of a hypocritical culture. A licentious culture will blame the prostitutes. A gluttonous culture will blame the farmers and the bakers. A lazy culture will blame the productive and competitive. And so on. Our violent, hypocritical, war-worshipping culture naturally blames the guns.

Excellent point.

rejection of the golden rule (privilege)

What do you mean by this?

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Clayton replied on Tue, Jan 15 2013 4:16 PM

What do you mean by this?

Perhaps I should have written: "rejection of the golden rule (that is, supporting a system of privilege)". Does that clarify it? The golden rule immediately implies peaceful co-existence (non-aggression)... rejection of the golden rule is an assertion of privilege... "I'm entitled to hit you over the head but you may not hit me over the head"... it is the foundation of the political means.

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Vitor replied on Tue, Jan 15 2013 6:58 PM

Here in Brazil we have a guy called Diogo Costa who was on this debate about drugs. He was extremely polite, soft spoken and made all the austrian arguments about drug  legalization.

The other guys were like "You are right, but I don't agree with you". What is quite a contradiction, Sphairon is right, people are not ready, refuse to have a libertarian stance even when it is obvious. New ideas cause a shock that breeds doublethink. 

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