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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Story Problems From Hell Part III

Brit Hume is being savaged by Al Franken et. al. for the following example of poor math skills:

"...Two hundred and seventy seven U.S. soldiers have now died in Iraq, which means that, statistically speaking, U.S. soldiers have less of a chance of dying from all causes in Iraq than citizens have of being murdered in California…which is roughly the same geographical size. The most recent statistics indicate California has more than 2,300 homicides each year, which means about 6.6 murders each day. Meanwhile, U.S. troops have been in Iraq for 160 days, which means they are incurring about 1.7, including illness and accidents, each day".

Al Franken points out the omitted variable; namely, that California's population is 35 million, while we only have 120,000 troops in Iraq. Suddenly, the odds don't seem too great.

The U.P.I. reported yesterday that there have been over 18,000 evacuations of soldiers from Iraq and over 600 casualties.

Question One:

If 18,600 troops have been killed or wounded in Iraq, and there are 120,000 troops deployed, what percentage of our troops would prefer to be in California?

Question Two:

If drug dealers sell illegally-procured Oxycontin tablets to Rush Limbaugh's maid for 36 dollars a tablet, how many tablets would the drug dealer have to sell to Rush in order to buy Brit Hume a one-way ticket to Baghdad?

Brit's Statement

UPI Article on Medical Evacuations


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