Monday, October 15, 2012

Sometimes the Numbers Say It All

English major or not, I’ve always found mathematics – essentially, the study of numbers – to be a fascinating subject. From the value of X to the uses for Pi, even a mathematical dunce like me has to understand the importance of adding two plus two together to always equal four.

(And forget those fantastical deviations of the field that try to claim otherwise. Math is a science, not an art, and therefore isn’t allowed to fudge facts in the same way. Therefore, two plus two always equals four. End of story.)

Similarly, 92% and 74% do not equal the same grade, no matter what the supremely racist Florida State Board of Education might be trying to say.

The Tampa Bay brand of CBS News reports that the board just “passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent” because “not every group is starting from the same point.”

Interpreted more intelligently, it’s easy to conclude that the politicians and administrators who voted this in simply don’t expect too much intellectual ability from certain groups as from others.

In other words, they’re racist. The proof is in the numbers.

The proof is also in the numbers coming out of federal investigations into the misusage of taxpayer funds. The Washington Guardian reports that: “The government’s spending watchdogs have already secured nearly 600 convictions and judgments against people and companies accused of misusing stimulus funds and have a whopping 1,900 investigations currently open into possible wrongdoings.” And this all from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

And how about the numbers involved in the new joint study by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit, which show no real rise in global temperatures from early 1997 to at least August 2012? Those seem pretty telling as well, despite the scandal-ridden University of East Anglia’s claims that 15 or 16 years is too short a time period to draw any rational conclusions. I suppose they’d say the same concerning the news that Antarctic sea ice is hitting record highs these days.

Though that’s not to say that numbers are always relevant, particuarly when used by liberals (who misuse just about everything: racial relations, tax-payer funds, scientific data…).

For example, just because two liberals watching the first presidential debates came up with a plan to save Big Bird that has since been named the “Million Muppet March” doesn’t mean that a million muppets will be participating… or even exist, for that matter.

The truth is that numbers don’t lie. But they can certainly be manipulated. Just ask the Obama administration any time that jobs numbers come out.

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