Sunday, August 07, 2005

I've got a little red bullet, let's kill Saturday night

"And so it begins..."

I participate in an email list with some pretty colorful members. It's called "The Backroom", it's invitation only, and it's a spin off of the Ampex list, wherein lots of us audio and studio types talk about the finest tape machines built in the USA.

A few of the members of the back room are pretty seriously right wing, and proud to be called that. And bless their hearts, they can take a licking and keep right on ticking.

One of them posted this tonight:

It has been a little quiet here...

http://johnrlott.tripod.com/2005/08/democrats-set-up-fake-organizations-to.html

Well, it's nice to see that John Lott is up to his old tricks. Keep in mind that he's a "Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute" as you wade through the mispelling, bad grammer & punctuation, and incomplete and run-on sentences. (And dammit, as I have said recently, it really pisses me off when the Right Wingers smugly use 'Democrat' as an adjective. It really only makes them look ignorant.)

Here's some of what John says:


Democratic Leadership Council use PR firm to push more Gun Laws

A Washington based PR Firm called DCS - Internet Advocacy Group thats used by a list of who's who in the Democrat party as well as the official PR firm for the Democrat leadership Council (DLC) that Sen. Hillary Clinton is the 'Chair' member as well as reportedly hand pick DCS to do ALL of the DLC PR work.

DCS Has register a bogus 'Pro-Gun' sportsmen group in the attempt to make it appear as hunters and trap shooters are in favor of Assault weapon 'bans as well as other anti gun related issues.

By creating this made up group called The American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), who will inevitably be used in future Democrat led anti gun campaigns in the near future as so called 'expert' witnesses or a 'sane' voice of sportsmen. just so the anti gun democrats can grandstand for gun control non-issues via their willing accomplishes in the press. I'd imagine the closer we get to the '08' presidential election the more (AHSA) will be in the news.

Dick Morris , former Clinton PR man has stated numerously how the Democrats and Sen. Hillary have personally created made up Internet based advocacy groups repeatedly in the past to drum up false public support to site at their press conferences and Senate hearings, just so the Democrats will get their names put out in the news. According to Morris, During the Clinton administration there was a brainstorming group under then first lady Hillary's oversight inside the white house who did this kind of fabricated PR all the time.

So who did DCS make as the head of their bogus gun group, well none other than John Rosenthal, Co founder of Stop Handgun Violence (SHV). SHV has supported every anti-second amendment rights bill since the organizations creation.The personal pet anti gun group of the anti-gun Democrats.

The following background on all involved was uncovered.

[1.] The bogus Pro gun group: The American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) is located at: 600 Pennsylvania Ave SE, suite 200, Washington, District of Columbia 20003 As listed on their website and on their domain name registration.

Its domain name: http://www.huntersandshooters.com was registered on 25-Apr-05 by Registrant:DCS - Internet Advocacy Group, 600 Pennsylvania Ave SE,suite 200,Washington, District of Columbia

20003 As listed on DCS website and on their domain name registration.
DCS website is located here: http://dcscongressional.com/

[2.] The Democrat leadership council http://www.dlc.org/
is located at: 600 Pennsylvania Ave SE, suite 400, Washington, District of Columbia 20003 As listed on their website and on their domain name registration.

[3.] The PR Firm called DCS- Internet Advocacy Group http://dcscongressional.com/
is located at: 600 Pennsylvania Ave SE, suite 200, Washington, District of Columbia 20003

[4.] So ALL three groups:The Democrat leadership council (DLC) , DCS - Internet Advocacy Group and The American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) Are located in the same building and all three groups are pushing to take away your rights via their made up causes for the sake of getting their faces in the news.

According to Bernstein Management Corp. the Property Managements website: http://www.bernsteinmgmt.com/
Location: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Washington, DC,
Contact Number: (202) 363-6301 Austin Herndon

Please click through on the main link to get the original source for this.


Fascinating. Before we even consider this rant, return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear where we learn this from The Brady Campaign: (sorry, too tired/lazy to html the links)


The NRA has long used John Lott's work, "More Guns, Less Crime" to push for enactment of concealed handgun laws (CCW) that force police to let almost anyone carry a concealed handgun in public. But as more scholarly researchers examine Lott's work, serious questions about Lott's findings, and even his personal credibility, are emerging.

Exhaustive New Study Directly Refutes Lott's "Research"

Professor John Donohue of Stanford has recently completed an exhaustive new study that examined crime data across the country - updating the research that John Lott claimed showed concealed handgun laws reduce crime. Professor Donohue's study, published by the Brookings Institute, directly refutes Lott's findings and demonstrates that the concealed handgun laws (CCW) pushed by Lott and the NRA most likely caused more crime rather than the reduction in crime claimed by Lott. While John Lott's study covered only a short period of time, during which urban crime was already rising, Professor Donohue studied the longer impact of CCW laws. Professor Donohue joins a long list of respected scholars who have debunked Lott's study as flawed and misleading.

*www.brookings.edu/dybdocroot/press/books/chapter_1/evaluatinggunpolicy.pdf

Lott Co-Author Admits to Gaping Flaws in Study

Professor David Mustard, the co-author of Lott's study, has conceded that there were serious flaws in their study - flaws that seriously undermine the conclusions. Mustard was deposed under oath in the Ohio concealed handgun case Klein v. Leis. Mustard admitted that: 1) the study "omitted variables" which could explain that changes in the crime rate are due to reasons other than changes in CCW laws, and 2) the study did not account for many of the major factors that Mustard believes affect crime including crack cocaine, wealth, drugs and alcohol use, and police practices such as community policing. These serious flaws completely undermine Lott's findings.

Lott Claims Computer Ate His Controversial CCW Survey

In his published research analysis, John Lott has claimed that a 1997 survey he conducted found that concealed handguns deterred crime without being fired an astoundingly high 98% of the time. That claim allowed Lott to explain away the fact that extremely few self-defense uses of handguns are ever reported. But when scholars began questioning his survey results, Lott began a series of evasions that culminated in the claim that his computer had crashed and he had "lost" all the data. The University of Chicago, where Lott claims he conducted the study, has no record of it being conducted so Lott began claiming that he funded it himself (and kept no records) and that he used students to make the survey calls (though no students have been identified who participated). Indeed, no records of the survey exist at all. Lott is now facing serious questions about whether he fabricated the entire survey - raising serious questions about his ethics and credibility.

*slate.msn.com/?id=2078084

*www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/guns/lindgren.html

Lott Caught Posing as a Student to Praise Himself and His Work

Lott has recently confessed that to counter growing skepticism from researchers examining his data, he repeatedly posed as a fictitious former student of himself named "Mary Rosh" to praise and defend himself in online forums and debates with researchers. Lott has been doing this since 1999 but was caught when an internet sleuth was curious about "Mary's" extreme defense of Lott and traced the "Mary Rosh" identity back to John Lott's own computer. What else has Lott been fabricating?

*www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/030210/misc/10guns.htm

Lott Uses Fictitious Name to Push His Book on Amazon.com

John Lott has gone so far as to post a fake glowing review of his book, "More Guns Less Crime," on Amazon.com, using his phony "Mary Rosh" identity. (Lott now claims he let his young son use his computer to post the review). The fake review praises both Lott himself and his book. Amazon.com has now pulled the Mary Rosh review, but this is part of what it said:

"SAVE YOUR LIFE, READ THIS BOOK -- GREAT BUY!!!! If you want to learn about what can stop crime ... this is the book to get. It was very interesting reading and Lott writes very well. He explains things in an understandable commonsense way. I have loaned out my copy a dozen times and while it may have taken some effort to get people started on the book, once they read it no one was disappointed. If you want an emotional book, this is not the book for you. If you want a ... book that will explain the facts in a straightforward and clear way, this is the book to get. This is by far the largest most comprehensive study on crime, let alone on gun control."

Mary Rosh

Experts Challenge Lott's Research

Numerous experts have published peer-reviewed articles exposing flaws in Lott's research. Professors at John Hopkins School of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, University of Chicago, Georgetown, Emory, Carnegie-Mellon University, Northwestern, Stanford and Yale have written articles challenging Lott's research and conclusions.

*"We and others find numerous errors in Lott and Mustard's study which bias their findings, and little support for their conclusions that RTC [Right To Carry] laws reduce violent crime."
(Daniel Webster, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research)

*"One would have expected that, given the problems with Lott's model, it would have gone back to the drawing board.... [Lott] deserves failing marks for pressing policy makers to use his results despite the substantial questions that have been raised about his research. Lott's results do not provide credible evidence one way or the other."
(David Hemenway, Harvard School of Public Health in the New England Journal of Medicine)

*"If somebody had to say which way is the evidence stronger, I'd say that it's probably stronger that the [CCW] laws are increasing crime, rather than decreasing crime" said Professor John Donohue of Stanford who described Lott's work as "deeply flawed" and "misguided."
(Professor John Donohue, Stanford, in the Los Angeles Times)

*"Shall issue laws have resulted, if anything, in an increase in adult homicide rates."
(Professor Jens Ludwig, Georgetown University)

*Even gun advocate Gary Kleck found Lott's concealed carry findings implausible, and said "More likely, the declines in crime coinciding with relaxation of carry laws were largely attributable to other factors not controlled in the Lott and Mustard analysis"



Yeah, I know, not credible, since they want to pry the guns from your cold dead hands. But wait, there's more.

Here's noted Liberal and gun control advocate Michelle Malkin re: Lott:

The most disturbing charge, first raised by retired University of California, Santa Barbara professor Otis Dudley Duncan and pursued by Australian computer programmer Tim Lambert, is that Lott fabricated a study claiming that 98 percent of defensive gun uses involved mere brandishing, as opposed to shooting.

When Lott cited the statistic peripherally on page three of his book, he attributed it to "national surveys." In the second edition, he changed the citation to "a national survey that I conducted." He has also incorrectly attributed the figure to newspaper polls and Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck.

Last fall, Northwestern University law professor James Lindgren volunteered to investigate the claimed existence of Lott's 1997 telephone survey of 2,424 people. "I thought it would be exceedingly simple to establish" that the research had been done, Lindgren wrote in his report (posted online at http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/guns/lindgren.html).

It was not simple. Lott claims to have lost all of his data due to a computer crash. He financed the survey himself and kept no financial records. He has forgotten the names of the students who allegedly helped with the survey and who supposedly dialed thousands of survey respondents long-distance from their own dorm rooms using survey software Lott can't identify or produce.

Assuming the survey data was lost in a computer crash, it is still remarkable that Lott could not produce a single, contemporaneous scrap of paper proving the survey's existence, such as the research protocol or survey instrument. After Lindgren's report was published, a Minnesota gun rights activist named David Gross came forward, claiming he was surveyed in 1997. Some have said that Gross's account proves that the survey was done. I think skepticism is warranted.

Lott now admits he used a fake persona, "Mary Rosh," to post voluminous defenses of his work over the Internet. "Rosh" gushed that Lott was "the best professor that I ever had." She/he also penned an effusive review of "More Guns, Less Crime" on Amazon.com: "It was very interesting reading and Lott writes very well." (Lott claims that one of his sons posted the review in "Rosh's" name.) Just last week, "Rosh" complained on a blog comment board: "Critics such as Lambert and Lindgren ought to slink away and hide."


There's more from Michelle, it's enjoyable to see someone on the far right actually criticize someone on the, well, far right.

Here's what Mark Kleiman, UCLA Professor and invited guest to the LA Blogger Barbecue (obviously a commie) has to say:

Based on what I had read, I opined that some time ago that (1) Lott was probably making it up and (2) if so, that ought to count as a very serious -- career-ending -- instance of scientific misconduct. [Previous post and links here. Tim Lambert keeps a running box score.]

Imagine my dismay, then, when someone came forward who recalled having been one of the interview subjects for the survey in question. Lott's original accuser, James Lindgren (the same scholar who delighted the gun-rights folks by demonstrating the fraudulence of much of Michael Bellesiles's Arming America), interviewed the person and found him convincing. Lott's defenders were relieved, and announced that the controversy was over.

What a revoltin' development! If the survey had actually taken place, I had done Lott a serious injury by asserting that the balance of probabilities was against it and drawing personal conclusions about him (albeit tentatively) on that basis. It still seemed to me, as it does to others, that the 98% claim was unjustified and that Lott must surely have known that, but publishing a dubious interpretation is a long way from making up data.

It was put to me in an email that I owed Lott a retraction, and I procrastinated, trying to decide whether to eat my crow with salt & pepper only or try to dress it up with a sauce bordelaise about confidence intervals and Lott's curiously variable account of where the 98% number came from in the first place.

Then Atrios (oh, come on, you didn't really think you were going to get through a story like this without encountering Atrios, did you?) dropped the bombshell. Not only was the supposed interviewee a gun-rights activist (which Lindgren knew when finding him credible) and former NRA board member, he was the practitioner of an especially sleazy trick by which a gun-rights group appropriated the name of a gun-control group that had neglected file its annual report on time, thereby (unbeknownst to its organizers) losing its charter and leaving its name free for anyone to grab.


Tim Lambert, who did great work on this fraud, has more here:

In 1998, John Lott published a book entitled More Guns, Less Crime. In that book he presented statistical evidence that concealed-carry laws were associated with lower crime rates. My critique of his book is here.

In 2002, Ian Ayres and John Donohue analysed a more extensive data set and found that, if anything, concealed carry laws lead to more crime. Lott that using even more data confirmed the “more guns, less crime” hypothesis. Ayres and Donohue’s response (April 2003) was devastating—Lott’s data contained numerous coding errors that, when corrected, eliminated the results and, this was the second time these sorts of errors had been found in Lott’s data. My posting here has more on the coding errors and Mark Kleiman has a nice summary.

While I could go on and on about the Right Wing using any fraudulent research and data to, you know, support their already existing hypotheses, let's arrange an introduction courtesy of Brad, (also attending the Blogger Barbecue): "Pot, meet kettle":

Republicans seem to have a new found interest in the Electoral Reform movement. An article today from the extremist rightwing web publication WorldNetDaily attacks Sen. Hillary Clinton's election reform bill with quotes from several critics, but none from either Clinton or other supporters of the bill.

In Ohio, state Republican legislators are attempting to raise the cost for candidates seeking a recount after an election. While in Georgia, Republican legislators are trying to pass laws requiring voters to produce Photo ID at the polls.

And yesterday, Ohio Republican Congressman, Bob Ney, chairman of the U.S. House Administrative Committee held hearings in Columbus on the massive reported problems during the 2004 Presidential Election in the Buckeye state.

Perhaps something is suddenly causing Republicans to try and get on the offensive when it comes to the drumbeat of Election Reform now surging across America.

But it's a brand-spanking new, outta-nowhere, just-in-time-for-yesterday's-hearings, Talon News-like "Voting Rights" organization that has caught our eye for the moment.

As reported here earlier today, the U.S. House Administrative Committee hearings yesterday in Columbus featured testimony from St. Louis attorney, Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II of the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

According to Internic records, the ACVR was established on the web just last Thursday and early investigation into this group would seem to indicate that it is little more than a front group for Republican operatives with little or no interest in actual "Voting Rights" at all.

While Hearne is listed as a witness for yesterday's hearings on the U.S. Committee for House Administration website as "National Counsel, American Center for Voting Rights", there is no mention of his affiliation or extensive work for Bush/Cheney '00, '04 and other Republicans.

Hearne, a former Reagan Administration official, is the National Election Counsel to Bush-Cheney ’04 Inc. and was Missouri counsel to Bush-Cheney ‘00 Inc. As well, he was General Counsel to Republican Missouri Governor Blunt.

He is pictured, at a March 5, 2005 Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) reception in Ohio, at the bottom of this article. The RNLA is an off-shoot of the national Republican Party.

But Hearne is not the only high-level Republican operative working for the tax-exempt "non-partisan" 501(c)3 organization...

ACVR publicist, Jim Dyke -- the contact person given on a press release issued by ACVR yesterday -- is the one-time Communications Director for the Republican National Committee!


Look, if you seriously have a viewpoint, that's fine. We can argue it. But don't use ideological pinheads as your support system. Do some research, if you find contradictory evidence then analyze it, and come to conclusions. But don't hitch your wagon to someone who is an irrational zealot, it doesn't help your case.

My wife's ex-husband is a life long hunter, living in upper Wisconsin. He keeps his guns locked in cabinets, ammunition locked in other places, and only he has the key. He is a fiscal conservative, social liberal (whatever you want to do is fine so long as it doesn't infringe on my rights), and he thinks the NRA is absolutely crazy.

On an episode of West Wing, the token Republican assistant Counsel, Ainsley Hayes (Emily Proctor) delivered a really great line:

Your gun control position doesn't have anything to do with public safety, and it's certainly not about personal freedom. It's about you don't like people who do like guns.


While interesting, it's only partly true. Gun fanaticists really, really want to have guns. Whatever the reason, they are sincere. I don't like people who like guns, and that's also sincere. Guns exist to kill people. Hunting is merely a byproduct of the technology.

I don't want to kill people.

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