Category Archives: The James Commentary

Short thoughts on something that caught my attention or triggered a thought.

BZN News: Random Breathalyser Testing

Logo_BZN_NewsOttawa
June 18, 2018

Contemplative Canadians reacted to Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s statement that she was “extremely disappointed” because the Senate opposed legislation granting police the power to conduct random breathalyser tests, with support for the Senate’s “upholding of Canadian values” against the “appalling assault” by Federal Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould.

Wilson-Raybould’s actions were judged as making it clear the testing really needed was electroencephalograms [EEGs] for politicians to confirm – or deny – the presence of brain activity.

EEG_After

Charity – Abbotsford $tyle

At some point Sunday afternoon person [or persons] unknown slunk onto the property of a local charitable organization and ‘donated’ their rejectamenta, dumping it beside a dumpster.

It was Sunday, the building was clearly closed and the ‘generous’ Abbotsford citizen(s) drove past two signs, one stating donations were only accepted during the hours donation drop-off is open [the hours were specified] and one stating that donation drop-off was closed.

Even if the couch, love seat and chair had not been rubbish when generously bestowed beside the charity’s dumpster, sitting overnight in the rain, wet and cold would ensure it was trashed come Monday morning.

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 Why Homeless Counts Misinform

The Longer – 2 of 2

Perhaps the phrase ‘homeless count’ causes people to assume that the purpose – and therefore design – of the homeless count is to count all the homeless and it is that erroneous assumption that leads to the utterance of utter nonsense such as:

“Earlier this year, a homeless count found a dramatic increase in homelessness across the region from three years ago, including a 79 per cent increase in Abbotsford.

Dilbert_Statistics

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Why Homeless Counts Misinform

 The Shorter – 1 of 2

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”                                                                                                                                   Mark Twain

Twain attributed the quote to British politician Disraeli but researchers have concluded that the phrase originally appeared in 1895 in an article by Leonard H. Courtney.  Ironically Mark Twain is credited with saying that “it isn’t what we don’t know that causes problems but what we know for sure – that ain’t so”.

The fault lies not with the science of statistics but with what we know about statistics that ain’t so. .

DifficultFractions

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