Here's a racist hate meme one hears quite a bit:
"...there has been an average of 160,000 troops in Iraq during the past 22 months, and 2,112 deaths; a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers. The firearm death rate in Washington, DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. That means you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the US capital,...... than you are in Iraq ." Conclusion: "The US should pull out of Washington."
The reality is that in 2008 Washington DC had a population of 591,000 and 186 murders for a murder rate of 30 per 100,000. Thus, the assertion that underpins this is complete crap, a shining example of the cynical joke that 62.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. Moreover, the US troop death rate in Iraq is not a murder rate but the rate of deaths among troops in an occupation and they are the perps, not the victims (except in the sense that they are victims of the criminally stupid decision of the Bush Administration to invade Iraq). Just as the rate of death among armed robbers is much lower than that of their victims, for obvious reasons, the murder rate occurs among the Iraqi population, and out of the more than 20 million there when we invaded, probably around a million have been killed one way or another, according to different studies.
This is just a racist hate meme in which "Washington DC" stands as a proxy for blackness, since the city itself is predominantly black, and suggests that those black people are violent and dangerous, more so even than (gasp) "the terrorists."
I wouldn't mention this on a Taiwan blog but it keeps getting passed around Facebook and I keep seeing it. Please stop passing it around; all it does is announce that the poster is too lazy to use Google.
A local car hauls a load.
There's an election tomorrow for the local councils, township and town executives, and county chiefs. In Taichung the election was put off for a year as Taichung is about to become a municipality, meaning that we are not participating (hence my low level of focus on the election). Here's what I wrote in Dec of 2005, when the DPP got slaughtered at the county exec level:
Here's another interesting thing about this "defeat." Let's take a look at those figures for local council seats:I looked over what I wrote last time and we are still facing the same problems of the lack of localization, the black gold politics, and so on.The pan-green camp -- the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) -- followed closely behind with 24 percent of the seats.
Wow! Just 24%. Looks grim, until you look at the previous scores:1998: Blues: 52% Greens: 16%
2001: Blues: 49% Greens: 17%
2005: Blues: 47% Greens: 24%
Folks, I might be slightly math-challenged, but there's a clear trend here, and these results show a resounding 41% gain in four years. No way to spin this other than as a DPP success.
The same trend, albeit not as marked, also showed in the election for township chiefs.
Township election results were also returning a pan-blue majority. At press time, the percentage of pan-blue chiefs elected in the 319 townships stood at 55 percent, while the pan-green camp had around 11 percent.
In the last township chief elections in 2001, pan-blue chiefs secured 62 percent nationwide, while the pan-greens took only 9 percent.
Sure, it doesn't look like much...but the Greens grew about 20%. The good guys may have been slaughtered at the County Chief level, but we're inching up at the local level. The DPP needs to more aggressively pursue the gangster-businessmen combines that run the townships and towns across Taiwan, and make sure to get candidates for every seat. The results will not only be a cleaner Taiwan, but more DPP candidates elected at the local level. Of course, with the KMT in charge of so many counties now, pursuing "Black Gold" may become more difficult.
If the trend continues, the KMT and its allies will lose another 3-4% of the local council seats to control around 43% of them, with the Green camp climbing to somewhere around 30%. That trend line (and it should flatten over time) represents a sort of rough benchmark of how well the DPP should do. But that's if past trends hold, something we know won't happen. The spin on Sunday should be fun to read.
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