Friday, June 2, 2006

Iraqis Are Safer Than Americans

Iraq is in chaos. Death and destruction are everywhere. It's the most dangerous place on the planet. That's the message we have drilled into us every day by the American media. Things may not be quite as the media reports them, however. Andrew Walden at FrontPage Mag has the data:

Iraqi civilian death statistics compiled by Rep. Steve King, R-IA, indicate that, contrary to the impression made on the evening news, Iraq actually has a lower civilian violent death rate than Washington, D.C., and pre-Katrina New Orleans. Iraq is also substantially safer than several foreign countries. After seeing media coverage of Iraqi violence King said: "I began to ask myself the question, if you were a civilian in Iraq, how could you tolerate that level of violence. What really is the level of violence?"

King calculates an annualized Iraqi civilian death rate of 27.5 per 100,000 based on U.S. military and independent statistical sources.

Ironically, Venezuela has 31.5 violent deaths per 100,000 - 14.5 percent higher than Iraq.

Venezuela is not alone in suffering at the hands of left-wing dictators or wannabe dictators: Columbia, hounded by leftist narco-guerrillas, every year loses 61.7 of its citizens to violence per every 100,000.

South Africa, led by an increasingly corrupt African National Congress loses 49.6 per 100,000 to violent deaths every year. In Jamaica-ruled for decades by the socialist People's National Party-it is 32.4.

In Russia, as the Soviet system disintegrated, the count of violent deaths-outside the Gulags-soared. In 1998 there were 30.6 homicides per 100,000 population. Three years after end of Saddam's socialist dictatorship Iraq is actually more peaceful than was Russia seven years after the end of socialist USSR.

But high murder rates are not limited to overseas leftist-ruled countries.

In Washington, D.C., it is 45.9 violent deaths per 100,000. This means civilians living in Washington D.C. .... are 63.5 percent less safe than Iraqi civilians.

Other American cities with higher violent civilian death rates than Iraq include:

Detroit: 41.8 per 100,000

Baltimore: 37.7 per 100,000

Atlanta: 34.9 per 100,000

St. Louis: 31.4 per 100,000

The American city with the highest civilian death rate was New Orleans before Katrina-with a staggering 53.1 deaths per 100,000-almost twice the death rate in Iraq.

Hudson makes the point that the foreign countries with high death rates are all ruled by leftists and the American cities with such terrible rates are all governed by Democrats. Be that as it may, it will come as a surprise to most Americans that an Iraqi is safer in his city than an American is in his. Who'd have thought that would be the case after watching the evening news.


Here's a cool site for anyone interested in cell biology. The thumbnails link to animations of the operation of several different molecular machines. I don't know which is more incredible, the structure and function of these nano-machines or the fact that there are people brilliant enough to figure them out.

Most incredible of all (literally) is that these bio-machines are the product of nothing other than blind, purposeless forces.

Thanks to Bill Dembski at Uncommon Descent for the tip.

Giving the Church a Black Eye

With Pat Robertson in full voice the Church doesn't need any more nitwits feeding ammo to its detractors, but evidently that's exactly what has recently emerged. It's a sad day for the Church if things are as Jonathan Hudson at Talk to Action claims them to be here. In a follow-up post Hudson says:

A top aide to mega-church pastor Rick Warren is advising the makers of a children's video game in which characters kill New Yorkers while shouting "Praise the Lord." When children tire of converting or killing New Yorkers, they can switch sides and command the demonic armies of the AntiChrist, and kill the conservative Christians. The real-time strategy game, slated for release in October 2006, is based on the best selling series of Left Behind novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. The web site of Left Behind Games states the involvement of Mark Carver on its Advisory Board. This web-based marketing tool also highlights his role as Executive Director of Mr. Warren's Purpose Driven Church. What appears to be going on here is an old-fashioned business practice called "endorsement by association."

We await pastor Rick Warren's (author of The Purpose Driven Life) response to attempts to associate him and his ministry with what is apparently a truly execrable video game.

Santorum's Slide

A recent Rasmussen poll shows incumbent Rick Santorum slipping well behind challenger Bob Casey in the race for the Pennsylvania senate seat, and people are wondering why. There are several reasons which come to mind, not the least of which is that Pennsylvania is a blue state which is nevertheless pro-life. In other words, a pro-life Republican running against a pro-choice Democrat will attract a lot of pro-life Catholic Democrats, but Casey is also pro-life and that neutralizes much of Santorum's cross-over appeal. Casey will get pro-life votes that Santorum would otherwise have received if any other Democrat were running.

Another major factor in Santorum's decline is that he's only getting the support of 67% of Republicans. This is an astonishing figure, but it makes sense when we remember that Santorum endorsed liberal Arlen Specter in his primary race against conservative Pat Toomey in 2004. This angered a lot of conservatives and convinced them that Santorum is not a reliable political ally. Later, Santorum voted against Tom Coburn's bill that would have substantially reduced a lot of wasteful and unnecessary spending and this further antagonized those Republicans who pay attention to such things.

There's not much Santorum can do to win the allegiance of pro-life Democrats, but he can woo back disaffected Republicans. He's only got five months to do it, though, so he better get started.