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Fact Check: Malcolm Gladwell’s Mythic South

As I’ve been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers over the last few days, I’ve been accumulating a sense of hokum as Gladwell tells stories and spins out anecdotes. My B.S. detector finally hit the limit with this claim (p. 169):

The triumph of a culture of honor helps to explain why the pattern of criminality [...]

George Washington Was Wrong (Religiosity, Felicity and Prosperity)

The following declaration issues forth from the Baptist church in South Somerville, Maine:

George Washington never actually said these exact words in 1789 or at any other time. What Washington actually said, in his 1789 Inaugural Address, was this:

“I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my Country [...]

NRA claim about Crime and Right-to-Carry States: Is it True? (Fact Check)

Yesterday, I noticed the recent Twitter posting of a disgraced former GOP chair:

“In right-to-carry states the violent crime rate is 24% lower than the rest of the US and the murder rate is 28% lower.”

A quick look at the latest available Uniform Crime Reports shows that this claim is not true. But I [...]

Fact Check: Does an Increase in Gun Ownership Lead to a Decrease in Crime?

Charles Manning writes yesterday:

Overall violent crime is down in the U.S., notwithstanding the steady procession of mass shootings. 2nd Amendment fanatics believe being armed accounts for a major part, if not all, of the decline. They think would-be criminals are scared of being shot by armed “law-abiding citizens.” Citizens, that is, who believe the [...]

Which States Are Most Heavily Warehousing Your DNA? Why?

This spring, the FBI expanded its practice of warehousing DNA sample data, expanding from samples of criminal convicts to samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime. As a result, the FBI has been adding new samples to its database (which goes by the names of CODIS and NDIS) at [...]