HOLLYWOOD CAN’T TAKE A JOKE
Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globe Awards and during his opening monologue he lambasted the degenerate culture that is Hollywood.
A lot of what he said has been obvious to the general public for years, but will the actors listen to an insider?
Probably not, but they will have to pay attention to a lack of money as ticket sales dwindle.
Fame is not necessarily synonymous with intelligence.
Anthony Hopkins knows this. He recently said actors are ‘pretty stupid’ and should avoid talking about politics and other issues.
Globe winner Michelle Williams did not heed Hopkin’s advice and talked about her abortion and how she had no regrets about it. Is that what people want to hear from an actor giving an acceptance speech?
Such a speech may attract far left ticket buyers, but what about the rest of America? It’s the same with De Niro. Many liked his acting before he opened up his trap and began yelling obscenities at the president. De Niro in particular needs to listen to Hopkins.
Kudos to Ricky Gervais for speaking truth to Hollywood.
In a rather bizarre tweet without any background context New York Times columnist Paul Krugman denies responsibility for child pornography found on his computer:
In a follow-up tweet Krugman states: “The Times is now on the case”. Apparently calling the police for a forensic review was out of the question, or something. Very odd.
Next up: Crowdstrike! Wait for it….
by Tabitha Korol
Private colleges are in financial straits, induced by their own progressive policies.
Private colleges are in serious financial trouble. According to Bloomberg, they may have to merge with others or close their doors. The seeds planted by the “homeless, tempest-tossed” academics from Frankfurt, Germany, 84 years ago, are now bearing fruit.
The private colleges are yet another casualty of the plot against American values and exceptionalism initiated by those outcasts from the Frankfurt School of Social Theory who arrived in New York, in 1935. The theorists began their long march through the Institutions, including higher education, changing the system that was among the best in the world, and poisoning the wells as they advanced. Whether fools or rogues, they soon realized that the Judeo-Christian West’s superiority could only be destroyed from within, by having their operatives join the machinery of the old institutions, and by collaborating with Third World liberation movements and other dissident minority. It would take some generations, but the prize of the most envied capitalist country in the world – America and the Free West — was worth their patience.
The learned academics within the private colleges readily complied with the new Common Core curricula, textbooks, teaching films and scripts, recognizing the Frankfurt stamp of approval. They introduced identity politics, which now requires a six-figure professional to help the children cope with the resultant tribalism and victimhood – sorely needed funds down the drain.
They welcomed new professors who spew antisemitism and anti-Americanism and stood mutely by while guest speakers with opposing opinions were jeered out of the lecture halls. The students are emerging as leftists, socialists, communists, and Islamists, decidedly ignorant in every discipline, but eagerly engaged in social justice courses, community organizing, political protests, and deadly violence to destroy the spirit of freedom and the soul of our nation. Critical Theory has taught the younger generation to break down fences before they understand why they were erected.
These are the rebels with a thousand empty causes, the socialists who will not support their universities, but who will expect compassion. Unsurprisingly, this is affecting the coffers of Academe; the alarms have been sounded.
The business of destroying American education from within is gathering momentum. As Walter E. Williams explained in Fraud in Higher Education, only 37% of white college students test as college-ready, but 70% are admitted, and only 17% of black high school graduates test as college-ready, but 58% are admitted, with most unable to read, write, and do math at 12th grade level. Forty percent of college students require developmental math and English classes at an annual cost of ~$7 billion. Only 25 percent of students who took the ACT in 2012 met the readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math and science. Students are advanced by their race, not by achievement, showing no significant improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore year. Education Secretary Betsy deVos just confirmed, “The country is in a student achievement crisis.”
Ronald Reagan famously said, ”Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Every generation must uphold the legacy of freedom and to do so, it must understand the origins of democracy, our government structure, rights and responsibilities, and methods of public engagement. But the work of the so-called Progressives (ultra Regressives) has brought the knowledge of civics and government to an all-time low. Some young people are even learning tolerance and social justice from books supplied by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an FBI-recognized global and domestic terrorism-inspiring hate group, a perfect example of the bedfellows recommended by the Frankfurt outcasts.
National pride and patriotism are slated for destruction, corroborated by history classes that use Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” which focuses on the communist’s views of America’s historic injustice, with its dubious evidence and conclusions. America is shown as colonialist oppressor of the poor and disenfranchised, with no reference to our 13th amendment to the Constitution that abolished slavery here. The students are intentionally dumbed down about America’s history, and taught to accept a whitewashed Islam and Communism. Their violence against the monuments is denial of our history and extends to disrespect and breakdown of our laws and law enforcement.
Progressives vilify our national pride and corrupt public trust so as to destroy our society and reconstruct it into another – hideous – image, with the morale or soul of the generation siphoned out. Therefore, the bulk of high-quality fiction, poetry, theater and other imaginative and inspiring texts are replaced by informational prose, newspaper and social media stories – dry topics of social studies designed to enervate the individual and discourage reading. Instead of topics that encourage and inspire, young teens read of emotional difficulties and social justice issues – topics such as teen angst, bullying and sexual harassment, underage drinking, sexual molestation, complex relationships in dysfunctional families, and suicide. These depressing social issues, irrespective of the students’ emotional maturity, may well have a direct correlation to their increased suicide rate, doubled for boys and tripled for girls. Our thirty million illiterate adults are a step toward the illiteracy of despotic regimes.
The intellectual depletion shows our 15-year-olds to be lagging behind in math at 39th of their peers in 69 other countries. These are not “cultural differences,” as math is the most concrete and easiest way to judge across cultures. Common Core math offers a “one size fits all” approach that holds the children back and thwarts autonomy. DeVos reported that eighth graders failed to meet the low standard of the ‘90s, sinking below their predecessors from two years before.
In an unexpected twist, Progressives have found some inspiration in Islam and the two are now cooperating to destroy and restructure the society that has nourished them. Common Core includes the study of LGBTQ history for a full year, with transgender organizations, activists, and websites abetting gender confusion, encouraging life-altering “treatments” that damage their bodies and mental health. This is sold as “inclusivity,” but is a step toward fully accepting and imitating the Islamic family unit of one man with four wives as young as age 7, and the approval of pedophilia. The Islamic family unit is a hotbed of dysfunction, complete with rivalry, tension, childhood rape, stealth homosexuality, blame, shame, and extreme violence.
The closer we come to emulating Islam, the further we fall from grace, from the morality of Judaism and Christianity, until we become no better than lower species. Quotes from Islam’s most famous spokesman, Ayatollah Kohomeini, provided only partially here, may be found on the Internet: Sex and Islam, http://www.truthbeknown.com/islamquotes.htm Pedophilia and Bestiality in Islam, by Jennifer King, stipulates that all Muslims are ordered to imitate Muhammad’s perfect example in thought, word and deed. The Prophet engaged in bestiality; it is not forbidden, but bathing instructions must be followed.
The traditional family, based on fidelity, is the surest bastion against the collective-hive society that is being planned for us. For this reason, schools are increasing sexualization even in Kindergarten, encouraging masturbation, sexual intimacy and intercourse. The comparison with Islamic practice is inescapable: the man has no need to develop self-control and the woman is responsible only to him, invisible, covered from head to toe and obedient under the threat of rape or death. The Progressive is coalescing with the Islamic mindset to shape the future agenda. The schools have replaced our Judeo-Christian values with a shared commitment to social causes – racism, supremacism, climate change, America’s evils, boycotting Israel, gun control, unlimited abortion, and more.
David Coleman was the architect of the Common Core standards. It was developed by a leftist-Washington-based think tank, Achieve, and funded with millions of dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for American Progress, and others, allies of the left and George Soros groups. Coleman’s vision was profoundly flawed, and parents were not consulte
Secretary of Education Betsy deVos admitted, “The results are, frankly, devastating.” Literacy and civics must be made a national priority and it is time to denounce what socialism is doing to our children. This is America’s wake-up call.
October 5, 2018
In this era of #MeToo and rampant sexual assault allegations, many media outlets, politicians, and scholars are misleading people about the prevalence of rape. They accomplish this by publicizing unscientific studies, mischaracterizing reliable ones, and making statements that have no basis in reality. Although precise figures on rape don’t exist, credible data gathered from females in the U.S. indicates that:
- about 11.5% of women say they have been the victim of acts that fit the legal definition of forcible rape.
- each year, about 0.2% of women enrolled in college explicitly state that they have been raped, but this figure grows to 1.0% if they are prompted with graphic descriptions of acts that fit the legal definition of rape.
- each year, roughly 2.1% of college women say they have been the victim of acts that fit the legal definition of rape. However, only 1.0% consider these acts to be rape.
- college-age women who are not enrolled in college are about 50% more likely to be raped than women who are enrolled in college.
- about 40% of female rape victims were first raped before the age of 18, and 79% were first raped before the age of 25.
- cases that involve “date-rape drugs” appear to be a very small portion of all rapes, but the data is uncertain.
Contrary to the claims of some reporters and notable organizations, there are no sound estimates for the portion of rape claims that are false. In fact, a widely cited study alleged to show that only 2% of rape claims are false actually shows many times more than that.
Certain preventative measures appear to be very effective at reducing the incidence of rape, but they chafe against notions of political correctness. Hence, many people ignore them, leaving more women vulnerable to rape.
Confirmation bias and poor critical thinking skills lead people to embrace or dismiss rape-related claims based merely on their personal experiences, assumptions, or prejudices. Coupled with false information that arises from across the political spectrum, there is ample opportunity for all sides to become misinformed. This article corrects the record by thoroughly documenting numerous facts about this horrid crime and ways to thwart it.
An essential part of measuring how often rape occurs is defining it. This is more complex than it may seem, because the definition of rape varies depending upon the source.
From a federal legal perspective, a law that governs the conduct of military personnel definesrape in ways that involve “force,” threats of “bodily harm,” “rendering” a victim “unconscious,” and giving someone “without the knowledge or consent of that person, a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance and thereby substantially impairing the ability of that other person to appraise or control conduct.” Beyond sexual intercourse, this also includes sexual “penetration, however slight, of the vulva or anus or mouth, of another by any part of the body or by any object….”
Others define rape in ways that are broader and more subjective. For example, a 2014 reportby the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measures the prevalence of rape by including everyone who has had sex and later said they were “unable to consent” because they were “drunk” or “high.”
The same CDC report measures “sexual violence” by including all people who have engaged in any kind of sexual activity (including kissing) because they felt “pressured in a nonphysical way.” In addition to situations like a boss “using their influence or authority over you,” this can also involve someone:
- “telling you lies.”
- “making promises about the future they knew were untrue.”
- “wearing you down by repeatedly asking for sex, or showing they were unhappy.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D–CA) cited this CDC report before the widely watched testimony of Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, claiming, “In the United States, it’s estimated by the Centers for Disease Control one in three women and one in six men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.” On the next day, Senator Cory Booker (D–NJ) said the same, while adding that “this toxic culture—this pernicious patriarchy in this country—has to stop.”
Prominent and influential people have muddled this issue by grouping together very different circumstances under blanket terms like “rape” and “sexual violence.” In contrast, this article primarily covers cases of sexual penetration that involve force, threats of force, and covertly administered drugs. This does not include situations like drunken hookups or kissing a liar.
Reports to Police Are Not Comprehensive
The FBI collects and tabulates reported cases of rape from local law enforcement agencies, but these figures don’t account for all rapes, because rape victims often don’t report these crimes. Also, local law enforcement agencies sometimes fail to properly record them.
As documented by the National Academy of Sciences in a 2014 report on rape and sexual assault, “There is ample evidence that the crimes of rape and sexual assault are substantially undercounted through police reports….” The authors cite an array of evidence for this, such as:
- a 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Justice, which found that 65% of rapes and sexual assaults were not reported to the police during 2007–2010. This figure is based on a nationally representative sample of people who said they were raped or assaulted but did not report it. Among their most important reasons for not reporting:
- 28% said they feared reprisal or getting the offender in trouble.
- 20% said they dealt with it in another way or considered it a personal matter.
- 13% said they thought the police wouldn’t help.
- 6% said they felt the incident was not important enough to report.
- 33% gave another reason or said they didn’t have a single most-important reason.
- a joint university/law enforcement investigation that began in 2009 and found thousands of untested sexual assault kits in Detroit Police storage facilities.
- a 1998 Philadelphia Inquirer article, which quoted Philadelphia police officers and other sources to show that “downgrading major offenses to minor ones to polish the image of commanders and police commissioners and make the city look safer—has been a reflex in police station houses for decades.”
The bottom line is that many sexual assaults go unrecorded and unreported. Thus, contrary to President Trump, the fact that Christine Blasey Ford or her parents didn’t “immediately” file charges with “local law enforcement” doesn’t mean that the alleged attack was not “as bad as she says.”
Scientific Surveys Can Be Accurate
Some believe that surveys can never be accurate, due to various notable failures. Others tend to believe any poll that tells them what they want to hear. Surveys are indispensable tools to discovering the truth, but an understanding of their inner workings is necessary to assess their accuracy and usefulness. The detailed facts in this section provide that knowledge for the skeptical and interested.
Because it is expensive and frequently impossible to collect information on every person in the United States, governments, scientists, and scholars often obtain such data through scientific surveys. This is true of frequently quoted government data on crime, education, employment, the economy, and an enormous array of Census data.
An important benefit of such surveys is that they can achieve considerable accuracy while polling only a tiny portion of the population. As the book Statistics for K–8 Educators states, “a national random sample of 1,000 people can accurately represent 200 million people.” The textbook Statistics: Concepts and Controversies explains why this is so:
Imagine sampling harvested corn by thrusting a scoop into a lot of corn kernels. The scoop doesn’t know whether it is surrounded by a bag of corn or by an entire truckload. As long as the corn is well mixed (so that the scoop selects a random sample), the availability of the result depends only on the size of the scoop.
A vital and widely unknown fact is that a small number of positive responses to a certain question does not undermine a poll’s validity. For example, if only 20 respondents in a survey of 1,000 women say they were raped, this result is no less credible than if 500 respondents in another survey of 1,000 women say they have been whistled at. In fact, the textbook Mind on Statistics shows that mathematical confidence in survey results actually increases when the portion of people who answer a poll question in a certain way is well below or above 50%.
More specifically, a poll with only 20 out of 1,000 respondents who say they were raped has a ±0.9 percentage point margin of sampling error with 95% confidence, while a poll with 500 out of 1,000 respondents who say they have been whistled at has a ±3.1 percentage point error. This is something that certain reporters and “fact checkers” don’t seem to understand.
However, surveys can be highly inaccurate if they don’t use random samples of respondents. This is often true of internet and mail surveys, because the people who respond to them typically differ in material ways from the people who don’t. As explained in Mind on Statistics: “Surveys that simply use those who respond voluntarily are sure to be biased in favor of those with strong opinions or with time on their hands.” The textbook then analyzes a poll of scientists that had a 34% response rate and states that “with only about a third of those contacted responding, it is inappropriate to generalize these findings” to most scientists.
A key point to realize about that poll is even though it surveyed scientists, was conducted by scientists, and was published in a prestigious journal named Science, it is not a scientific poll. In the words of a book about polling published by Pennsylvania State University Press: “Scientific polls use sampling procedures where random samples are used, that is, where each individual in the group has an equal chance of being selected into the sample, or where some variation on this pattern is used to account” for any differences.
To account for such differences, pollsters often use a process called weighting. Per the textbook American Government and Politics Today: Essentials, this involves “adding extra ‘weight’ to the responses of underrepresented groups,” For example, if 40% of respondents for a poll of registered voters are females, the pollster may place more mathematical weight on the responses of these women, because 53% of registered voters are women. Pollsters also perform weighting based on age, race, education, income, and many other variables.
Weighting, however, does not guarantee that a poll’s results are accurate. This is because respondents may differ in ways that transcend the factors that are weighted. For instance, because of their experiences, rape victims may be more apt to respond to an internet survey about sex crimes than those who have not been raped. Weighting for race, income, etc. will not necessarily correct for this.
Finally, even scientific surveys with perfectly random samples can still be inaccurate if respondents have a motive to lie and then do so. For example, unauthorized immigrants who participate in polls sometimes claim they are citizens in order to conceal the fact that they are in the U.S. illegally. This was proven by a 2013 paper in the journal Demographic Research, which compared Census Bureau survey data on citizenship to the number of naturalized citizens recorded by the U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics. The study found that certain groups of immigrants—including Mexican men of all ages, Mexican women aged 40 years and older, and immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than five years—frequently misrepresent themselves as citizens.
The 2014 CDC report mentioned above presents the results of a 12,727-person telephone survey of noninstitutionalized adults during 2011. For phone surveys, a key indicator of their randomness is their cooperation rate, which is the portion of “persons contacted who agreed to participate in the interview and who were determined to be eligible.” For this poll, the weighted cooperation rate was 83.1%.
Despite the solid methodology used for this survey, the CDC’s report of it is written in a way that can easily deceive. This is because the abstract uses the word “rape” 10 times without a hint that this includes everything from violent rapes to regretted drunken stands. Even the full report doesn’t make this clear. Instead, it uses the term “alcohol- or drug-facilitated penetration” without defining it. Does this only mean cases where predators secretly spiked the drinks of victims with alcohol or date-rape drugs? The report doesn’t say, but a file of supplementary information discloses that it includes all situations where people later felt they were “unable to consent” because they “were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out.”
Readers must dig four pages into this report before it reveals that about 11.5% of adult females say they have been the victim of acts that constitute forcible rape. Accounting for the margin of sampling error with 95% confidence, this result ranges from 10.3% to 12.7%. The study identifies cases of forcible rape by positive responses to questions about vaginal, oral, or anal sex acts done unwillingly because of physical force or threats of physical harm. These all fit with the definition of rape under federal law.
Like all surveys, this one has limitations. Among the most noteworthy are these:
- A “telephone survey might be less likely to capture some populations that could be at higher risk for victimization (e.g., persons living in nursing homes, military bases, prisons, or shelters, or those who are homeless).”
- “Victims who are involved in violent relationships or who have recently experienced severe forms of violence might be less likely to participate in surveys or might not be willing to disclose their experiences because of unresolved emotional trauma or concern for their safety, among other reasons.”
- It does not address the subject of false rape reports.
- It does not account for the fact that some younger respondents will be victimized later in life. Per correspondence from the CDC to Just Facts, “the estimates provided in the report were estimates at a single point in time and do not adjust for the possibility of future victimization.”
- This study’s definition of forcible rape doesn’t include surreptitious drugged rapes, which are arguably forcible, because victims do not willingly consume these substances.
Even so, the results of this CDC study are in the same ballpark as a 1987 study by the U.S. Department of Justice. This study used data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) during 1973 through 1982. It found that about 8% of females aged 12 years and older will be the victim of a completed or attempted rape at some point during those years. This study defined rape as “carnal knowledge through the use of force or the threat of force, including attempts. Statutory rape (without force) is excluded.” For reasons detailed below, the results of the study almost certainly underestimate the rate of rape as defined by federal law.
The prevalence of rape among college students is a hotly debated topic, and different studies about it have come to very different conclusions. The results of two nationally representative scientific surveys shine a great deal of light on the reasons for these differences and help sort out the big picture.
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice published a study of rapes and sexual assaults of college-age females during 1995 to 2013. It found that during each year an average of 0.2% of women enrolled in a college, university, trade school, or vocational school said they were raped. For college-age women not enrolled in school, the rate was 0.3%, or 50% higher than those who were enrolled.
The study was based on data from the NCVS, which polls a nationally representative sample of about 90,000 households and 160,000 people twice per year. Respondents are first interviewed in person and then via phone every 6 months for 3.5 years. The overall response rate for this study was 74%.
Unlike the CDC’s survey, this one directly asked people if they were raped. An advantage of this is that it straightforwardly measures people’s perceptions about what happened to them. A disadvantage is that people’s perceptions of rape appear to be more narrow than federal law. This may be because some people think rape only involves intercourse, while federal law states that it also covers situations like forced oral sex and penetration with a finger.
This is illustrated by a scientific survey of 4,446 college females conducted during 1997 by researchers from the U.S. Department of Justice and National Institute of Justice. The survey had a response rate of 86%, and it defined rape in precise terms, asking women if since the start of the school year someone had used force or the threat of force to sexually assault them in any of the following ways: penile-vaginal, mouth on your genitals, mouth on someone else’s genitals, penile-anal, digital-vaginal, digital-anal, object-vaginal, and object-anal. About 1.7% of the women said that others had done such things to them, but when they were asked, “Do you consider this incident to be a rape?” only 46.5% answered “Yes.”
The researchers who designed this survey also conducted a comparison survey with the same methodology except that it used the sexual assault questions posed by the NCVS. This survey found that only 0.16% of the respondents said they were raped, or about one-fifth as many who said they were raped in the primary survey. Based on these conflicting results, the authors concluded that their use of graphic questions in the primary survey “likely prompted more women who had experienced a sexual victimization to report this fact to the interviewer.” These graphic questions, which were asked before the direct question about rape, were:
- Has anyone made you have sexual intercourse by using force or threatening to harm you or someone close to you? Just so there is no mistake, by intercourse I mean putting a penis in your vagina.
- Has anyone made you have oral sex by force or threat of harm? By oral sex, I mean someone’s mouth or tongue making contact with your vagina or anus or your mouth or tongue making contact with someone else’s genitals or anus.
- Has anyone made you have anal sex by force or threat of harm? By anal sex, I mean putting a penis in your anus or rectum.
- Has anyone ever used force or threat of harm to sexually penetrate you with a foreign object? By this, I mean for example, placing a bottle or finger in your vagina or anus.
In other words, the survey described actions that fit the legal definition of rape before it asked respondents if they had been raped.
Combining the results of the studies above and assuming that the 1997 data is still roughly correct, several points emerge about the annual prevalence of rape among college-age females:
- When not prompted with graphic descriptions of acts that fit the legal definition of rape, about 0.2% of women in college say they were raped.
- When prompted with such graphic descriptions, roughly 1.0% of college women say they were raped.
- Approximately 2.1% of college women say they have been the victim of acts that fit the legal definition of rape, but only 46.5% of these women consider these acts to be rape.
- College-age women who are not enrolled in college are about 50% more likely to be raped than women who are enrolled.
Given the last of these facts, the media’s focus on college rape appears misplaced, because this issue is primarily about age, not the safety or culture of universities. Other studies point to the same conclusion. For instance, CDC’s 2014 report on sexual assault found that 40% of female rape victims were first raped before the age of 18, and 79% were first raped before the age of 25.
Likewise, a 2000 U.S. Department of Justice study of crimes reported to law enforcement in 12 states from 1991 to 1996 found that the incidence of forcible rape peaked at the ages of 14 and 15 years and remained relatively high through the age of 25:
“Date-rape drugs” or “club drugs” are a class of recreational and prescription drugs that sexual predators covertly give to their victims to disable them. They go by street names such as Roofies, Easy-Lay, Liquid X, and Special K.
These drugs are readily available in the U.S. and are often odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Hence, they can be easily slipped into drinks. Given the nature of these attacks and high-profile cases like that of Bill Cosby, the press has devoted significant attention to such crimes.
A 2016 paper in the journal Psychology of Violence notes that there are “frequent media reports and discussions of drugging on college campuses,” but knowledge of this issue is “based almost exclusively on anecdotal data.” Various scholars, including the authors of this paper, have conducted studies on this issue using data that is not nationally representative and possibly not random, because some are based on web surveys. Thus, they cannot determine the prevalence of such crimes. Nonetheless, such studies have found that:
- 7.8% of students at three U.S. colleges said they suspected or knew they were unwillingly drugged, and 14.5% of these students “experienced either unwanted sexual touching” or were “forced to have sexual intercourse” while under the influence of these drugs. This amounts to a drugged sexual assault rate of 1.1%. (Psychology of Violence, 2016)
- 19% of emergency room patients at an urban/rural hospital in England who were alleged victims of drink-spiking tested positive for drugs that they said they did not knowingly take. None of them tested positive for common date-rape drugs, and the authors determined that their “symptoms are more likely to be a result of excess alcohol.” (British Medical Journal, 2007)
- 0.6% of women at two universities said they were certain someone had sexually assaulted them after slipping them a drug, and 1.7% said they suspected this happened. (Journal of American College Health, 2010)
- 4.9% of female sexual assault complainants at four U.S. clinics tested positive for typical date-rape drugs. Most of these women had prescriptions for the drugs and had taken them “by their own accord and not received them surreptitiously.” However, it “is possible that some of the subjects who believed they were given a drug … did not report to the clinic quickly enough for our analysis to detect” it. (University of Illinois, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, 2005)
The imperfect evidence above suggests that a very small portion of rape cases involve secretly administered date-rape drugs. Similarly, a 2008 paper in the journal Trauma, Violence, & Abuse reviewed 11 studies on covert drugging and concluded:
- All but one of the studies “failed to remove voluntary consumption of alcohol and drugs in their interpretation of results.”
- “The only robust estimate,” which was a study conducted in the U.K., “shows that only 2% of instances of alleged drug-facilitated sexual assault were due to covert drug administration.”
- “Although public health campaigns focusing only on covert drug administration are laudable, they are detracting attention from the much greater risk of being sexually assaulted following voluntary drug and/or alcohol consumption.”
As a battle has raged over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, many prominent people have stated or implied that Christine Blasey Ford and the other women who have accused him of sexual assault are probably telling the truth, because false sexual assault accusations are extremely rare. Such claims appear in a broad range of articles and commentaries from media outlets like Time, ABC News, USA Today, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Vox.
To support their assertions, every one of those pieces appeals to one of two organizations:
- The American Psychological Association, which states, “Research demonstrates that false claims of sexual assault are very low—between 2 and 7 percent.”
- The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, which says that “the prevalence of false reporting is low between 2% and 10%.”
Tracing these claims back to the sources on which they depend reveals that the studies don’t state what these organizations declare. For instance, the “2%” figure comes from a study of rapes reported to police during 2000 to 2003 in Victoria, a state in southeastern Australia. Starting with the obvious, this study does not represent the U.S. or even all of Australia. Also, this is a study of rapes reported to the police, which as detailed above, are small portion of all alleged rapes. Moreover, these tend to be the most brutal cases. A 2002 study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that “59% of female rape victims whose victimization was reported to police received medical treatment, compared to 17% of victims whose crime went unreported.”
Most importantly, the Australian study says that the figure of 2% only counts cases that were “clearly categorized as a false report and the alleged victim was either charged” or warned that “she would be charged unless she dropped the complaint.” The study then states:
While this represents only a fraction of the sample, the findings will show a much larger proportion of cases where police were confident, or reasonably confident, that the allegations were false but there was no attempt to institute charges against the alleged victim.
How much larger? Beyond the 2% of rapes reported to police where the accusers were charged or threatened with charges for making false allegations, the study found that in 9.5%of the cases, members of the Criminal Investigation Unit “were confident or reasonably confident that the victim was making a false report.” The study also found that:
- 15.1% of the allegations were withdrawn.
- 46.4% of the allegations resulted in No Further Police Action.
- 21.3% of the allegations “were ‘still ongoing’ or could not be determined on the basis of the information in the case records.”
Adding together only those cases where (1) the accusers were legally imperiled for making false allegations, (2) the complaints were withdrawn, and (3) the Criminal Investigation Unit was reasonably confident that the accusers made false reports, this amounts to 27% of the reported rapes.
Adding together all cases of false, likely false, and unsubstantiated rape allegations, the total rises to 85%. Put another way, the report directly states that only 15% of rape reports resulted in charges against the accused, much less convictions. This, of course, does not mean that only 15% of the reported rapes actually occurred. By the same token, the fact that only 2% of the accusers were legally jeopardized for making false allegations does not mean that these were the only false reports.
In evaluating this “2%” claim, an academic work about “False Allegations of Sexual Assault“ calls it a “myth” and states:
There is no shortage of politicians, victim’s advocates, and news articles claiming that the nationwide false report rate for rape and sexual assault is almost nonexistent, presenting a figure of around 2%. This figure is not only inaccurate, but also it has no basis in reality. Reporting it publicly as a valid frequency rate with any empirical basis is either scientifically negligent or fraudulent.
So what is the actual rate of false rape allegations? A 2006 paper in the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling states “there is currently no way of knowing,” because:
Determining whether allegations are true or false can be extremely difficult. And, at times, the investigator will simply not have enough evidence to deem with any sufficiently small margin of error that the charges are in fact true or false.
With flagrant disregard for these facts, Snopes, an organization that claims to be “engaged in the battle against misinformation,” states that “the most recent and credible research on this topic suggests that around 5% of rape or sexual assault allegations are false.” Snopes bases this claim on a 2016 meta-analysis of seven studies, which allegedly shows that “5.2% of rape allegations were false.”
However, the meta-analysis does not say that. Instead, it states that “at least 5%” of sexual assault allegation are “confirmed false reports” and “potentially many more false report cases” exist. In fact, this paper lists four different studies that measure the frequency of “suspected” false allegations and “found false reporting rates above 40%.”
Ironically, the very first study examined in this meta-analysis is the Australian one detailed above, and the meta-analysis does not accurately represent it. The analysis says that this study found that beyond the 2% of false reports, “several more” cases were “in question” by investigators. In contrast, the study says that the number of such cases is “much larger” and doesn’t use a mealy phrase like “in question” to describe them. Again, it states that these are cases where investigators “were confident or reasonably confident that the victim was making a false report.” The analysis also mischaracterizes the 2% as “confirmed false reports of rape.” Once more, this figure only applies to cases where the accusers were charged or threatened with charges for making false allegations.
To summarize the nature of all this disinformation, media outlets and so-called fact checkers are mischaracterizing their sources, and in turn, their sources are mischaracterizing the relevant studies. This is a prime example of how the press and scholars mislead the public. It also highlights the importance of digging back to primary sources, which are those that provide “direct or firsthand evidence.”
Another common fiction surrounding the Kavanaugh nomination is that his accusers have “no motive“ to lie. This is belied by academic literature and law enforcement professionals who have identified numerous reasons why people make false allegations of rape.
For example, Linda Fairstein, former head of the Manhattan District Attorney’s sex crimes unit and “one of America’s foremost legal experts on violent crimes against women,” wrote a book titled Why Some Women Lie About Rape. In it, she details real-world cases where false accusers were motivated by “pure and simple greed,” the desire to “get back at a man for something,” and other reasons. She also notes that “sometimes there’s no real motive all, and the allegations seem to come out of thin air. Often in these cases the woman making the charges is psychologically unstable.”
Going into greater depth, a 2006 paper in the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling identifies “14 possible pathways” to false allegations of sexual harassment. In it, the authors present actual examples of false accusations fueled by motives like “financial gain,” “secondary gain from victim status,” “excusing poor performance,” and “hurting an individual or institution.”
The academic book False Allegations: Investigative and Forensic Issues in Fraudulent Reports of Crime details a host of reasons why people lie about rape and many other crimes. Examples include “jealousy,” “attention,” or building “public support or sympathy for social or political causes and beliefs.”
The last of those motives is especially relevant given the political stakes of the Kavanaugh nomination. It also speaks to the recent epidemic of fake hate crimes that feed progressive narratives.
Even though definitive data on the prevalence of rape is not available, the bulk of evidence indicates that perhaps one in 10 women in the U.S. have been forcibly raped. Add to this cases of statutory rape and attempted rape, which are not included in the data above, and the actual number may be significantly worse.
This raises the question of how to prevent rape. Beyond wholesale societal changes, there are certain actions individuals can take that appear to be very effective at reducing the risk of rape. However, they often break the boundaries of political correctness and liberal sensibilities, which makes a lot of people unwilling or afraid to discuss them.
Before delving into this, it is crucial to note that nearly all findings in this area are tentative, because they only involve associations, which cannot prove cause-and-effect. This is becausethere is always a chance that other unmeasured factors are at play. Plus, the statistical methods used to control for such factors are subject to various pitfalls.
One of the most common factors associated with rape is the voluntary consumption of alcohol and drugs. A 2014 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education explains that this topic is taboo on many college campuses, because faculty and students say it amounts to victim-blaming. Thus, some scholars who have raised this issue have been scolded and censored. Nonetheless, here are just a few of many facts that speak to this matter:
- “Alcohol use has been consistently linked to risk of sexual assault….” (Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 2015)
- “The consumption of alcohol and/or drugs … lowers a person’s inhibitions and affects their judgment, and thus renders them more susceptible to sexual assault….” (Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 2008)
- Data “from 119 schools participating in three Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study surveys” found that 72% of rape victims “experienced rape while intoxicated.” (Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 2004)
- “Data from the nationally administered 2005 Core Alcohol and Drug Survey showed that 82% of students who experienced unwanted sexual intercourse during the current academic year were under the influence of AOD [alcohol and/or other drugs] when they were victimized.” (Journal of American College Health, 2009)
- 46% of 144 female sexual assault complainants at four “regionally diverse” U.S. clinics tested positive for “illicit drugs” like “amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, or opiates.” (University of Illinois, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, 2005)
Another politically incorrect reality is that women who use weapons to resist sexual violence are far less likely to be raped or otherwise injured:
- A 2008 paper in the journal Crime & Delinquency examined 782 rapes recorded by the NCVS during 1992 to 2004. It found that resisting attempted rape with “an object, knife, or gun reduced the odds” of being raped by 91%.
- A 2014 paper in the journal Violence Against Women examined 733 rapes and 1,278 non-rape sexual assaults recorded by the NCVS during 1992 to 2002. It found that none of the 26 women who resisted these attacks with a gun, knife, or other weapon were raped or injured after she used the weapon.
- A 2008 paper in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice about rape risk reduction strategies states, “The empirical data clearly have shown that forceful resistance strategies do increase avoidance of rape without increasing the risk of injury by strangers and known perpetrators.”
Such findings seem to be lost on certain people who claim that physically resisting rape, especially with a gun, often leads to more harm.
A glaring example is Democratic Colorado state Senator Evie Hudak, who told a rape survivor it was good that she didn’t have a gun when she was raped. She said this to Amanda Collins, a woman who was raped at gunpoint in a parking garage just a few feet from a campus police station at the University of Nevada-Reno. Collins was a concealed carry permit holder but was banned by Nevada law from carrying it on campus. After she testified to the Colorado Senate against legislation that would similarly disarm college students, Hudak replied, “I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun. And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.” As documented above, the facts indicate just the opposite.
The above-cited 2008 paper found that virtually all forms of forceful resistance are associated with lower rates of rape completion—the more aggressive—the better. It states that:
- “victim resistance levels were inversely related to rape completion.”
- “nonforceful verbal resistance” like “trying to reason with the offender, pleading, begging, or crying” has “generally been found to be ineffective in avoiding rape” except in some cases of acquaintance rape.
- “forceful verbal resistance … aimed at scaring the offender and/or attracting outside help” reduced the odds of rape completion by 66%.
- “forceful physical resistance” like “punching, biting, scratching, kicking” reduced the odds of rape completion by 85%.
- using a weapon reduced the odds of rape completion by 91%.
To repeat, such findings are not an end-all, but they are suggestive. As explained in the above-cited 2014 paper, “given the impossibility of experimental research on this topic, it should be noted that our findings are necessarily based on observed associations between victim actions and assault outcomes, thereby precluding definitive conclusions about causal effects.”
Also, both the 2008 and 2014 papers challenge the notion that it is better for rape victims to “just lay back and take it” because resisting might lead to injury. In the words of the 2014 paper:
Researchers who found positive associations between injury and self-protection (SP) actions, and concluded that resistance provoked offenders into attacking victims, failed to establish whether SP actions preceded or followed the offender’s inflicting of injury…. In these studies, crimes where a victim was injured before doing something to resist were effectively treated as cases in which resistance provoked injury. In contrast, studies that established the injury-SP sequence have generally found that all or most types of resistance either reduce the risk of subsequent injury or have no net effect one way or the other….
In addition to the aforementioned fact that females are at the greatest risk of rape from their teen years through the age of 25, other correlations that are helpful for recognizing risk factors were revealed in a nationally representative survey of 4,446 college women:
- “For both completed and attempted rapes, about 9 in 10 offenders were known to the victim. Most often, a boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, classmate, friend, acquaintance, or coworker sexually victimized the women.”
- “The majority of sexual victimizations, especially rapes and physically coerced sexual contact, occurred in living quarters.”
- “51.8 percent of completed rapes took place after midnight, 36.5 percent occurred between 6 PM and midnight, and only 11.8 percent took place between 6 AM and 6 PM.”
The previously cited 2008 paper on rape risk reduction strategies examines a number of means to accomplish this goal. Among the findings:
- “Educating women how to identify and navigate different risky behaviors (e.g., alcohol and drug use, sexually coercive tactics), and situations (e.g., parties, bars, dating) coupled with learning how to use effective self-protective action when threatened or assaulted is critical to preventing rape.”
- “Anecdotal evidence abounds as to the success of self-defense training, yet there are very few empirical evaluations of this type of training on woman’s likelihood of avoiding rape…. A few studies, primarily dissertations, have provided indirect support for the efficacy of self-defense training….”
- “Rape awareness and educational programs” meant to change male mindsets “rarely work,” and “improved attitudes immediately following program participation typically rebound to preprogram levels within 2 to 5 months….”
Tom Patire, who is one of the world’s leading experts on personal protection, writes that some of the best ways to avoid rape are:
- “Keep away from isolated areas; stay on main roadways and well-lit streets; be alert to your surroundings; and be selective in choosing the people with whom you fraternize.”
- “If you do fall victim to rape, it’s important to keep your wits about you. Don’t expend all your energy on futile attempts to escape. Wait for your best moment—such as when your attacker is using his hands to pull down his pants—and then use your self-defense training, if you have any, or just hit (or kick) and run.”
- “Notify the police” if you are stalked, and “if the behavior persists or escalates, file a harassment complaint.”
With regard to self-defense training, a very practical and quickly learned martial art is Krav Maga, which is used by the Israeli Defense Forces and many law enforcement agencies. Another good option is Model Mugging, which is an intense, highly realistic, one-weekend course where women learn to fight off a padded assailant with the full force they would use in real-life situations.
Insofar as non-lethal weaponry, high-quality gel pepper sprays are inexpensive and can be legally and privately carried in most places. These two videos provide guidance on how to use them effectively.
For those who prefer a firearm, proper training is crucial. As detailed in a professional shooting magazine:
Many gun owners seem to think that the mere possession of a firearm will render them able to contend with whatever life-threatening situations the world dishes out. History tells us otherwise, supporting the fact that individuals rarely (if ever) “rise to the occasion” under stress. Instead, they generally default to the skill level they have mastered. Hence, if you want to perform when it counts, training and practice are key.
Such instruction is available at gun ranges that offer tactical training. However, in the vast majority of defensive gun uses, the defender never even fires a gun, because the criminal flees when he sees that his target is armed.
In summary, stay sober, be cautious, get trained, arm yourself—and in the event of an attack—fight with everything you have.
At a recent “get-out-the-vote” rally in Las Vegas, former first lady Michelle Obama declared that people don’t have to be informed in order to vote. All they need, she said, is to “be a citizen,” “have opinions,” and want “a say in what happens.” She emphasized, “I’ve been voting since I was 18 years old—and trust me—I didn’t know nothing about nothing at 18 years old.”
In contrast, James Madison—the father of the Constitution and primary author of the Bill of Rights—stressed that voters “must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” Failure to do this, he said, will produce government that is “a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both.”
The results of a new scientific survey indicate that voters of all ages, political parties, and genders are following Obama’s lead instead of Madison’s. Moreover, the survey shows that many voters are not only uninformed about major issues—they are positively misinformed.
Those are the findings of an annual, national poll commissioned by Just Facts, a non-profit research and educational institute. The poll was conducted by an academic research firm that used sound methodologies to assess U.S. residents who regularly vote.
While most surveys measure public opinion, this unique one measures voters’ knowledge of issues that affect their lives in tangible ways—such as education, taxes, healthcare, the national debt, pollution, government spending, Social Security, global warming, energy, and hunger. Every year, the poll includes a new question about a prevalent, controversial issue. This year, the question is about rape.
Results for All Voters
For each question, voters were offered a selection of two or more answers, one of which was true. Voters also had the opportunity to say they were unsure.
On average, voters gave the correct answer 40% of the time, gave an incorrect answer 53% of the time, and said they were unsure 7% of the time. A majority of voters gave the correct answer to only six of the 24 questions.
The highest levels of misinformation were found on questions related to child hunger, tax burdens, landfills, health insurance copayments, and Social Security finances. For these questions, 25% or less of voters provided the correct answer.
Results by Age, Gender, and Politics
The survey also recorded voters’ ages, genders, and political party preferences. This allows the poll to pinpoint segments of society that are most and least informed about specific issues.
The results show deep partisan and demographic divides, with different groups being more or less knowledgeable depending upon the questions.
In total, the rates at which voters gave the correct answers varied from a high of 47% for Republican voters to a low of 34% for Democrat voters:
- 47% for Republican voters
- 43% for males
- 42% for 35 to 64 year olds
- 41% for 18 to 34 year olds
- 38% for 65+ year olds
- 38% for third-party voters
- 37% for females
- 34% for Democrat voters
Question 1: Relative to other nations, how do you believe U.S. fourth graders rank in terms of their reading and math ability? Are they in the bottom 50% or in the top 50%?
Correct Answer: Top 50%. In international tests administered to students in dozens of nations, U.S. fourth graders rank in the top 30% of nations for reading and for math. Confusion about this issue may stem from the fact that the relative performance of U.S. students declines over time, and by the age of 15, they drop to the bottom 50% in reading and to the bottom 20% in math. This suggests that the problems of the U.S. education system may occur in the later years, not the early years, as many have claimed.
Correct answer given by 44% of all voters, 42% of Democrat voters, 46% of Republican voters, 41% of third-party voters, 47% of males, 41% of females, 52% of 18 to 34 year olds, 45% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 41% of 65+ year olds.
Question 2: On average across the United States, how much do you think public schools spend per year to educate each classroom of students? Less or more than $150,000 per classroom per year?
Correct Answer: More than $150,000. The average cost to educate a classroom of public school students is about $315,000 per year. Department of Education data shows that the average inflation-adjusted spending per public school student has risen by more than three times since 1960.
Correct answer given by 33% of all voters, 20% of Democrat voters, 44% of Republican voters, 33% of third-party voters, 39% of males, 26% of females, 35% of 18 to 34 year olds, 33% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 32% of 65+ year olds.
Question 3: In your mind, what portion of 17- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. are unqualified for military service because of weak educational skills, poor physical fitness, illegal drug usage, medical conditions, or criminal records? More or less than half?
Correct Answer: More than half. According to various agencies within the Department of Defense, two-thirds to three-quarters of all 17- to 24-year-olds are unqualified for military service because of weak educational skills, poor physical fitness, illegal drug usage, medical conditions, or criminal records.
Correct answer given by 43% of all voters, 37% of Democrat voters, 46% of Republican voters, 49% of third-party voters, 40% of males, 46% of females, 38% of 18 to 34 year olds, 45% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 40% of 65+ year olds.
Question 4: When conventional public schools are subject to school choice programs that allow students to leave for private or charter schools, do you think the children who remain in the public schools academically decline?
Correct Answer: No. At least 21 high-quality studies have been performed on the academic outcomes of students who remain in public schools that are subject to school choice programs. All but one of the studies found neutral-to-positive results, and none of the studies found negative results. This is consistent with the theory that school choice stimulates competition that helps public schools to improve.
Correct answer given by 44% of all voters, 37% of Democrat voters, 46% of Republican voters, 49% of third-party voters, 45% of males, 41% of females, 39% of 18 to 34 year olds, 46% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 40% of 65+ year olds.
Question 5: The average U.S. household spends about $29,000 per year on food, housing, and clothing combined. If we broke down all combined federal, state, and local taxes to a per household cost, do you think this would amount to more or less than an average of $29,000 per household per year?
Correct Answer: More than $29,000. In 2017, federal, state and local governments collected a combined total of $5.0 trillion in taxes or an average of $40,000 for every household in the U.S.
Correct answer given by 46% of all voters, 39% of Democrat voters, 50% of Republican voters, 58% of third-party voters, 47% of males, 45% of females, 58% of 18 to 34 year olds, 49% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 40% of 65+ year olds.
Question 6: On average, who would you say pays a greater portion of their income in federal taxes: The middle class or the upper 1% of income earners?
Correct Answer: The upper 1%. The Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. Treasury, and the Tax Policy Center have all documented that households in the top 1% of income pay an average effective federal tax rate of about 34%, while middle-income households pay about 13%. These tax rates account for nearly all income and federal taxes. Claims to the contrary—which are often voiced by politicians and the media—are based on misleading calculations that exclude large portions of people’s taxes and/or incomes.
Correct answer given by 22% of all voters, 9% of Democrat voters, 37% of Republican voters, 17% of third-party voters, 27% of males, 16% of females, 25% of 18 to 34 year olds, 24% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 18% of 65+ year olds.
Question 7: Now, changing the subject from taxes to spending, suppose we broke down all government spending to a per household cost—do you think the combined spending of federal, state and local governments amounts to more or less than $40,000 per household per year?
Correct Answer: More than $40,000. In 2017, federal, state and local governments spent a combined total of $6.6 trillionor an average of $52,000 for every household in the U.S. For reference, the average U.S. household spends about $44,000per year on food, housing, clothing, transportation, and healthcare.
Correct answer given by 44% of all voters, 38% of Democrat voters, 51% of Republican voters, 35% of third-party voters, 47% of males, 40% of females, 47% of 18 to 34 year olds, 46% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 40% of 65+ year olds.
Question 8: Do you think the federal government spends more money on social programs, such as Medicare, education, and food stamps—or does the federal government spend more money on national defense, such as the Army, Navy, and missile defense?
Correct Answer: Social programs. In 2016, 63% of federal spending was for social programs, and 18% was for national defense. In 1960, the opposite was true, and 53% of federal spending was for national defense, while 21% was for social programs.
Correct answer given by 34% of all voters, 12% of Democrat voters, 60% of Republican voters, 23% of third-party voters, 37% of males, 32% of females, 28% of 18 to 34 year olds, 33% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 37% of 65+ year olds.
Question 9: What about federal government debt? The average U.S. household owes about $122,000 in consumer debt, such as mortgages and credit cards. Thinking about all federal government debt broken down to a per household basis, do you think the average federal debt per U.S. household amounts to more or less than the average consumer debt per U.S. household?
Correct Answer: More than $122,000. Federal debt is now $21.6 trillion or $171,000 for every household in the United States. Such levels of debt can have far-reaching negative effects on wages, living standards, healthcare, and financial security.
Correct answer given by 74% of all voters, 72% of Democrat voters, 78% of Republican voters, 76% of third-party voters, 73% of males, 74% of females, 72% of 18 to 34 year olds, 78% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 67% of 65+ year olds.
Question 10: From the time that the Great Recession ended in 2009, which do you think has grown at a faster rate, the U.S. economy or the national debt?
Correct answer given by 80% of all voters, 85% of Democrat voters, 74% of Republican voters, 88% of third-party voters, 80% of males, 80% of females, 81% of 18 to 34 year olds, 79% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 81% of 65+ year olds.
Question 11: Would you say the earth has become measurably warmer since the 1980s?
Correct Answer: Yes. According to both satellite-measured data and ground-level thermometers, the earth’s average temperature has increased by about 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1980s. This increase is greater than the range of measurement uncertainty. Providing a sense of scale for this change, a temperature analysis of a glacier in Greenland found that it was about 22ºF colder during the last ice age than it is now.
Correct answer given by 67% of all voters, 95% of Democrat voters, 38% of Republican voters, 77% of third-party voters, 64% of males, 71% of females, 78% of 18 to 34 year olds, 63% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 71% of 65+ year olds.
Question 12: Again, thinking about the whole planet, do you think the number and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms have generally increased since the 1980s?
Correct Answer: No. Comprehensive global data shows that the number and intensity of cyclones and hurricanes has been roughly level for the past four-to-five decades. This data was originally published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in 2011 and updated this year. Likewise, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported: “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.” Various media outlets have spread false claims to the contrary by ignoring wide-ranging facts and cherry-picking timeframes, geographical locations, and the opinions of certain scientists.
Correct answer given by 30% of all voters, 6% of Democrat voters, 55% of Republican voters, 20% of third-party voters, 35% of males, 23% of females, 18% of 18 to 34 year olds, 36% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 22% of 65+ year olds.
Question 13: Now, just thinking about the United States, in your opinion, is the air generally more polluted than it was in the 1980s?
Correct Answer: No. EPA data shows that ambient levels of all criteria air pollutants have declined significantly since the 1980s. Criteria air pollutions are those that are deemed by the administrator of the EPA to be widespread and to “cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare….” Likewise, combined emissions of hazardous air pollutants have declined by about 50% since the 1990s. Lower pollution levels can improve human health and reduce problems like learning deficits and behavioral disorders.
Correct answer given by 54% of all voters, 44% of Democrat voters, 69% of Republican voters, 42% of third-party voters, 63% of males, 44% of females, 43% of 18 to 34 year olds, 59% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 50% of 65+ year olds.
Question 14: If the U.S. stopped recycling and buried all of its municipal trash for the next 100 years in a single landfill that was 30 feet high, how much of the nation’s land area would you think this landfill would cover? Less than 1%, 1% to less than 5%, or more than 5%?
Correct Answer: Less than 1%. At the current U.S. population growth rate and the current per-person trash production rate, the landfill would cover 0.06% of the nation’s land area. More realistically, the actual area in use will be an order of magnitude smaller, because:
- the U.S. recycles, burns, or composts 48% of its trash.
- landfills can be more than 200 feet high.
- after 30 to 50 years, landfills are often covered and used for purposes such as parks, golf courses, ski slopes, and airfields.
Correct answer given by 9% of all voters, 6% of Democrat voters, 13% of Republican voters, 6% of third-party voters, 12% of males, 5% of females, 5% of 18 to 34 year olds, 10% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 7% of 65+ year olds.
Question 15: Without government subsidies, which of these technologies do you think is the least expensive method for generating electricity? Wind turbines, solar panels, or natural gas power plants?
Correct Answer: Natural gas power plants. Determining the costs of electricity-generating technologies is complex, but data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that natural gas is considerably less expensive than wind, and wind is considerably less expensive than solar. Affordable energy has many important benefits, and for poorer people, it can mean the difference between life and death.
Correct answer given by 37% of all voters, 23% of Democrat voters, 53% of Republican voters, 35% of third-party voters, 46% of males, 26% of females, 41% of 18 to 34 year olds, 39% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 32% of 65+ year olds.
Question 16: Without government subsidies, which of these fuels do you believe is least expensive for powering automobiles? Gasoline, ethanol, or biodiesel?
Correct Answer: Gasoline. Data from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Energy Information Administration show that in 2017, the unsubsidized cost of ethanol was 32% more than gasoline, and the unsubsidized cost of biodiesel was 119% more than gasoline.
Correct answer given by 48% of all voters, 38% of Democrat voters, 61% of Republican voters, 31% of third-party voters, 53% of males, 41% of females, 40% of 18 to 34 year olds, 49% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 47% of 65+ year olds.
Question 17: Worldwide, which of these technologies generates the most electricity? Solar panels, natural gas power plants, coal power plants, or nuclear power plants?
Correct Answer: Coal power plants. Due to the low cost and widespread availability of coal, coal power plants generate about 40% of the world’s electricity, as compared to 22% for natural gas, 11% for nuclear, and 1% for solar.
Correct answer given by 34% of all voters, 32% of Democrat voters, 36% of Republican voters, 25% of third-party voters, 43% of males, 23% of females, 36% of 18 to 34 year olds, 37% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 29% of 65+ year olds.
Question 18: On an average day, what portion of U.S. households with children do you believe will have at least one child who experiences hunger? Less than 1%, 1% to 10%, or more than 10%?
Correct Answer: Less than 1%. Per the latest data from the USDA, on an average day, less than one fifth of one percent (0.14%) of households with children have a child who experiences hunger. Those who claim that child hunger is more common often falsely equate the term “food insecure” with “hunger,” but most food-insecure households never experience hunger during any point of the year.
Correct answer given by 14% of all voters, 5% of Democrat voters, 24% of Republican voters, 10% of third-party voters, 17% of males, 10% of females, 11% of 18 to 34 year olds, 14% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 14% of 65+ year olds.
Question 19: Do you think Social Security’s financial problems stem from politicians looting the program and spending the money on other programs?
Correct Answer: No. By law, all Social Security taxes and revenues can be used only for the Social Security program, and the federal government has never failed to abide by this law. What some call “looting” is actually a legal requirement (established in the original Social Security of 1935) that all of the program’s surpluses be loaned to the federal government. The government is required to pay back this money with interest, and it has been doing this since 2010. Social Security’s financial problems primarily stem from the fact that the ratio of workers paying taxes to people receiving benefits has fallen by three times since 1955 and is projected to fall further.
Correct answer given by 16% of all voters, 19% of Democrat voters, 13% of Republican voters, 12% of third-party voters, 17% of males, 14% of females, 22% of 18 to 34 year olds, 16% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 13% of 65+ year olds.
Question 20: Some policymakers are proposing that individuals be allowed to save and invest some of their Social Security taxes in personal accounts instead of paying these taxes to the Social Security program. In your view, do you think such proposals generally improve or harm the finances of the Social Security program?
Correct Answer: Improve. As shown by analyses conducted by the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and a bipartisan presidential commission, proposals to give Social Security an element of personal ownership generally strengthen the program’s finances. Although some tax revenues that would have gone to the program instead go to people’s personal retirement accounts, these tax revenues are more than offset by the savings of not paying these individuals full benefits.
Correct answer given by 24% of all voters, 10% of Democrat voters, 37% of Republican voters, 19% of third-party voters, 27% of males, 20% of females, 31% of 18 to 34 year olds, 26% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 19% of 65+ year olds.
Question 21: In 1960, governments paid for 24% of all healthcare costs in the U.S. Do you think governments now pay a greater portion or a lesser portion of all healthcare costs in the U.S.?
Correct Answer: A greater portion. In 2016, governments paid for 49% of all healthcare expenses in the United States.
Correct answer given by 55% of all voters, 43% of Democrat voters, 69% of Republican voters, 41% of third-party voters, 58% of males, 50% of females, 50% of 18 to 34 year olds, 56% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 54% of 65+ year olds.
Question 22: When health insurance copayments are high, people tend to spend less on healthcare. Do you think that this reduced spending typically has a negative impact on their health?
Correct Answer: No. Multiple studies have shown that when copayments are high, people generally spend less money on their healthcare without negatively impacting their health. This is because when people directly pay for more of their healthcare bills, they are more likely to be responsible consumers and use only those services that actually benefit their health. An exception to this rule is the poorest 6% of the population, who do experience negative effects when copayments are increased.
Correct answer given by 15% of all voters, 6% of Democrat voters, 24% of Republican voters, 10% of third-party voters, 18% of males, 12% of females, 23% of 18 to 34 year olds, 13% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 16% of 65+ year olds.
Question 23: In 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” This law uses price controls to save money in the Medicare program. Do you think these price controls will worsen Medicare patients’ access to care?
Correct Answer: Yes. As explained by Medicare’s actuaries, the price controls in the Affordable Care Act will cut Medicare prices for many medical services over the next three generations to “less than half of their level under the prior law.” The actuaries have been clear that this will likely cause “withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market” and “severe problems with beneficiary access to care.”
Correct answer given by 47% of all voters, 17% of Democrat voters, 75% of Republican voters, 56% of third-party voters, 47% of males, 47% of females, 41% of 18 to 34 year olds, 49% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 46% of 65+ year olds.
Question 24: What portion of adult females living in the U.S. say that they have been the victim of an act that fits the legal definition of rape? Less than 1%, 1% to 5%, or more than 5%?
Correct Answer: More than 5%. A nationally representative scientific survey conducted by U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that 11.5% of adult females say they have been the victim of acts that constitute forcible rape. These findings are consistent with other rigorous studies. Politicians, journalists, and activists have spread a lot of misinformation about rape in general, college rape, and false allegations of rape. A detailed analysis of the latest credible data on these topics is available here.
Correct answer given by 56% of all voters, 78% of Democrat voters, 33% of Republican voters, 65% of third-party voters, 51% of males, 61% of females, 64% of 18 to 34 year olds, 57% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 51% of 65+ year olds.
Methodology and Full Results
The survey was conducted by Triton Polling & Research, an academic research firm used by scholars, corporations, and political campaigns. The responses were obtained through live telephone surveys of 1,000 likely voters across the United States during October 2–13, 2018. This sample size is large enough to accurately represent the U.S. population. Likely voters are people who say they vote “every time there is an opportunity” or in “most” elections.
The margin of sampling error for the total pool of respondents is ±3% with at least 95% confidence. The margins of error for the subsets are 5% for Democrat voters, 5% for Republican voters, 11% for third-party voters, 4% for males, 4% for females, 10% for 18 to 34 year olds, 5% for 35 to 64 year olds, and 5% for 65+ year olds.
The survey results presented in this article are slightly weighted to match the ages and genders of likely voters. The political parties and geographic locations of the survey respondents almost precisely match the population of likely voters. Thus, there is no need for weighting based upon these variables. The complete weighted and unweighted results are available here:
Armstrong Economics Blog/Religion
Re-Posted Dec 24, 2019 by Martin Armstrong
France has banned the display of any Nativity scenes from public property which has many French quite upset that because of the large Muslim population, the very culture of France has been changed. It is interesting that normally people migrate because they want to be part of that culture. That has not been the case in Europe. Even Muslims I know who grew up in Europe before these refugees are upset. This was never part of their goals either.
When you go to Asia, even Ronald McDonald greets customers in the tradition Buddhist manner. In the case of the Refugee invasion of Europe, they have brought there own culture and even demanded that their communities should be ruled by their own set of laws not those of Western culture. This has been alienating the pre-existing Muslim community.
The US Air Force allows Menorah and Nativity scenes to be side-by-side. They have denied atheiststo display some sort of protest display which makes sense for if they believe in nothing, they have no right to protest against other’s belief systems.
It just seems that mutual respect is dying. Are we losing culture and the basis of civilization altogether? Religion was banned in Russia under Marxism. It seems we are headed to the same result because of intolerance. This idea of being so politically correct as to not offend anyone means we lose our own culture. We now even had unisex clothing so we do not offend anyone who does not like the gender into which they were born. It seems like society has just lost its mind.
Armstrong Economics Blog/Conspiracy
Re-Posted Dec 4, 2019 by Martin Armstrong
QUESTION: Are you familiar with Qanon and if so what are your thoughts.
ANSWER: No I do not believe it. That is a conspiracy theory that there is a worldwide cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who rule the world, essentially, and they control everything. They control politicians, and they control the media. They control Hollywood, and they cover up their existence, essentially. And they would have continued ruling the world, were it not for the election of President Donald Trump. I do not agree with this idea. I think it goes way over the top.
This is again using labels very loosely. Pedophilia is a sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Ephebophilia is the primary sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 13 to 17 post-puberty. Jeffrey Epstein was engaged in Ephebophilia but perhaps for reasons people have overlooked. He seems to have ensnared famous people into this act for the reason of having power over them in terms of blackmail. If he were truly a pure Ephebophilia for himself, it is unlikely he would have been so open about it bringing in people like Bill Clinton and other high profile people.
Epstein is dead BECAUSE he would have implicated so many people and most likely the prosecutor did not understand what he was stepping into. Being a simple Ephebophilia in al single personal context would have been a feather in the prosecutor’s cap. The law does not distinguish between Pedophilia and Ephebophilia. However, Epstein had way too many blackmail cards in his deck he believed provided him with protection. They came back on him for there was no way to bargain his way out after being publicly charged in such a manner. The government could NEVER put him on trial so he just had to go.
From this perspective, the plot to power is still that of an individual – Epstein. I have never encountered any group with designs of controlling the world. That is the stuff for megalomania characters in fictional action movies. So why do they have to be Satan-worshiping pedophiles is beyond me. That seems to be just a tactic to dehumanize the people they are talking about.
Pedophiles tend to be sick people, to begin with to the point I seriously doubt they would be able to even fathom controlling the world. Underage post-puberty girls/boys does not involve pedophiles – that is children like 5 to 10-year-old children. That is more of a mental disorder. I believe Epstein was probably into blackmail more than anything else for strategic reasons. I seriously doubt that if Epstein was engaged in pedophilia he would have had as many people joining him. For strategic blackmail reasons, he merely sought to get people involved in Ephebophilia and then used that perhaps to get favors and money. I seriously doubt that many can tell the difference between at 17-year-old girl and a 19-year-old just looking at them these days. So I would think he was deliberately trying to get girls under 18 to provide the means for blackmail.
I think this Qanon conspiracy is just spinning things too far. There are people out to get Trump, absolutely. But I do not see them as Satan-worshiping pedophiles, just power corrupt individuals.