Chicago has most murders of any city in the country

What is important is the murder rate, but Chicago clearly has not only more murders, but a higher rate than other large cities. Chicago CBS2 has this story:

Chicago Beats New York, Los Angeles In Murders
Police Supt. Jody Weis To Take Hot City Council Hot Seat

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Chicago is the Second City in nickname and the third in population, but when it comes to murder, the city has the dubious distinction of being second to no city in America.

As CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reports, the Chicago Sun-Times pointed out on Friday that Chicago has seen 426 homicides this year through Tuesday, compared with 417 in New York and 302 in Los Angeles.

At the end of 1998, Chicago made international headlines as the U.S. "murder capital" after surpassing New York's homicide totals for the first time ever. Chicago shed that dubious distinction when murders plummeted over the last decade.

There are more than 8 million people in New York, compared to slightly under 3 million in Chicago. The population of Los Angeles exceeds that of Chicago by more than 800,000. . . .

Labels: ,


Obama campaign's "arrogance"?

With the Obama campaign already confident of a win in less than two weeks and raising well over $600 million for their campaign, John Fund discusses something that I had only heard a little about:

. . . Crain's Chicago Business reports that Mr. Obama's campaign sent a memo saying the price for access to the media area, where electrical power will be available, will be between $715 and $1,815 depending on how many phone lines and power outlets are granted. Reporters who want to cover Obama campaign officials and interview them will have to gain access to a "Press File" tent for an additional $935 per person for admission.

Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, called the price list "an outrageous pay-to-play plan that caters to national elite [media] outlets." . . .

Mr. Obama will certainly be getting the lion's share of votes from reporters who cover his campaign, but that doesn't make his media operation popular. "There is an arrogance there that I hope doesn't carry forward to any Obama White House," one reporter who travels frequently with the candidate told me. "But all the signs of trouble are already there."

Labels: , ,

Talk at noon at the University of Virginia Law School

Today I talk at noon at the University of Virginia Law School. Tomorrow I will be in Seattle to talk at noon for the lawyers chapter of the Federalist Society and will be held at something called the WAC. Both talks with touch on the bailout, though that will be the entire discussion of the talk in Seattle.



Oral argument in Lott v. Levitt

The oral argument heard before the 7th Circuit Appeals Court can be found here.

Levitt's original correction letter.


Michael Barone on Polling issues for this election

In today's WSJ:

It's not clear that race was the issue. Recently pollster Lance Tarrance and political consultant Sal Russo, who worked for Bradley's opponent George Deukmejian, have written (Mr. Tarrance in RealClearPolitics.com, and Mr. Russo on this page) that their polls got the election right and that public pollsters failed to take into account a successful Republican absentee voter drive. Blair Levin, a Democrat who worked for Bradley, has argued in the same vein in the New York Times. In Virginia, Douglas Wilder was running around 50% in the polls and his Republican opponent Marshall Coleman was well behind; yet Mr. Wilder won with 50.1% of the vote. . . .

And what about Barack Obama? In most of the presidential primaries, Sen. Obama received about the same percentage of the votes as he had in the most recent polls. The one notable exception was in New Hampshire, where Hillary Clinton's tearful moment seems to have changed many votes in the last days.

Yet there was a curious anomaly: In most primaries Mr. Obama tended to receive higher percentages in exit polls than he did from the voters. What accounts for this discrepancy?

While there is no definitive answer, it's worth noting that only about half of Americans approached to take the exit poll agree to do so (compared to 90% in Mexico and Russia). Thus it seems likely that Obama voters -- more enthusiastic about their candidate than Clinton voters by most measures (like strength of support in poll questions) -- were more willing to fill out the exit poll forms and drop them in the box. . . .

Labels: , ,

How wikipedia defines truth

The Technology Review discusses Wikipedia:

This means that the content of these articles really matters. Wikipedia's standards of inclusion--what's in and what's not--affect the work of journalists, who routinely read Wikipedia articles and then repeat the wikiclaims as "background" without bothering to cite them. These standards affect students, whose research on many topics starts (and often ends) with Wikipedia. And since I used Wikipedia to research large parts of this article, these standards are affecting you, dear reader, at this very moment. . . .

Unlike the laws of mathematics or science, wikitruth isn't based on principles such as consistency or observa bility. It's not even based on common sense or firsthand experience. Wikipedia has evolved a radically different set of epistemological standards--standards that aren't especially surprising given that the site is rooted in a Web-based community, but that should concern those of us who are interested in traditional notions of truth and accuracy. On Wikipedia, objective truth isn't all that important, actually. What makes a fact or statement fit for inclusion is that it appeared in some other publication--ideally, one that is in English and is available free online. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth," states Wikipedia's official policy on the subject. . . .

Just so long as someone someplace makes a claim about something it counts as being valid.


Justifiable homicides rising but still dramatically undercounted

USA Today has this. My problem is that so few of these cases are reported that it is hard to know whether there is an increase in the number or a slight change in the rate that they are reported.

The 391 killings by police that were ruled justifiable in 2007 were the most since 1994, FBI statistics show. The 254 killings by private individuals found to be self-defense were the most since 1997. . . .

Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck says the FBI underestimates self-defense killings by citizens because the ones that are not precipitated by felony crimes may not get counted. "Less than a third of (citizen killings) are reported," he says.

Labels: ,


Taxes in your future with a Democratic Congress

Labels: ,

Palin accessible to the media, Biden is not

From CBS news:

(COLORADO SPRINGS) It was less than two weeks ago when Sarah Palin astonished her traveling press corps by lifting the curtain (literally) and journeying to the back of her campaign plane to answer reporters’ questions for the first time after 40 days on the campaign trail. But the candidate who has been criticized for having a bunker mentality when it came to the national media can now lay legitimate claim to being more accessible than either Joe Biden or Barack Obama.

In the past two days alone, Palin has answered questions from her national press corps on three separate occasions. On Saturday, she held another plane availability, and on Sunday, she offered an impromptu press conference on the tarmac upon landing in Colorado Springs. A few minutes later, she answered even more questions from reporters during an off-the-record stop at a local ice cream shop.

By contrast, Biden hasn’t held a press conference in more than a month, and Obama hasn’t taken questions from his full traveling press corps since the end of September. John McCain—who spent most of the primary season holding what seemed like one, never-ending media availability—hasn’t done one since Sept. 23. . . .

Labels: ,


More climate change skeptics

Lorne Gunter has an interesting piece here:

the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures -- they're going down, not up.

On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to "a negative PDO" or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs -- El Ninos -- produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones -- La Ninas -- produce below average ones.
Dr. Hackbart also pointed out that periods of solar inactivity known as "solar minimums" magnify cold spells on his continent. So, given that August was the first month since 1913 in which no sunspot activity was recorded -- none -- and during which solar winds were at a 50-year low, he was not surprised that Brazilians were suffering (for them) a brutal cold snap. "This is no coincidence," he said as he scoffed at the notion that manmade carbon emissions had more impact than the sun and oceans on global climate.

Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures.

Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather -- even harvest totals and censuses --confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe.

But in order to prove the climate scaremongers' claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented -- a result of human, not natural factors -- the MWP had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann's "hockey stick," in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies.

Dr. Loehle's work helps end this deception.

Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, "It's practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling," as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an "almost exact correlation" between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost "no correlation at all with CO2." . . .

Labels: ,

New Op-ed up at Fox News: Letting felons vote

The newest piece starts off like this:

How much is your vote worth? Apparently, less than it used to be. The registration and multiple registration of so many people who shouldn’t be voting, means your vote is diluted by fraudulent votes.

There is a practical concern here. Research by one of the authors here finds that vote fraud lowers the likelihood that people’s votes will matter and thus results in few people voting.

People have heard about many of these problems.

-- ACORN has signed up 1.3 million people this year in a massive registration drive in 18 swing states, with people being reregistered dozens of times.
-- A Government Accountability Office study indicates that 3 percent of people called for jury duty from voter registration rolls are not U.S. citizens.
-- Across the country there are counties were more people are registered to vote than the adult population living there. In Indianapolis, registered voters are 5 percent more than the number of adults living in the city.

But little attention has been paid to the tens of thousands of felons who registered to vote in state after state. . . .

Labels: ,