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Anti-liar

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Liars lie. As British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” So when someone fluently and quickly and unabashedly spouts out a statistic, it has a certain panache to it. It must be true, he said it so convincingly. But the days of believing tripe are gone.

Today’s lie that I will draw your attention to is this one: “Illegal immigrants are one-fifth less likely to commit a crime than native born Americans.” Huh? The speaker of that statistic was Enrique Morones on Fox’s Tucker Carlson show Wednesday night. When I heard that, I thought If that is true, then we should kick out all the Americans and keep the illegals, so that our law enforcement costs would plummet 80%. Alas, it is not true, no matter how glibly Mr. Morones’ lets it roll off his tongue.

This column is not anti-legal immigrant. I am anti-blatant liar. When an advocate cites that number, they are lying. Mr. Morones isn’t the only advocate to use that statistic, it’s pretty common. I don’t believe they are helping their cause as surely no one believes them. The “1 versus 5” number is just too fantastical, it sounds like fake news. And it is.

Here’s where they get their number from. The American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration group, did a study. They compared men they believed to be undocumented, between the age of 18 to 29 years old, who had been incarcerated (1.7%) to Americans incarcerated without a high school diploma (10.7%). There appeared to be insufficient data, such as sample size, region, proof of status and such to make that comparison, yet they did. Here we revert to Disraeli’s “damned lies” statement. It is such a preposterous comparison that it totally misstates any real value of the data. But if you want to mislead, it’s a great statistic because that gives you the 5 to 1 ratio of Americans being badder than undocumented aliens.

Now, without skewing anything, just using FBI data, there were 115,717 murders in the U.S. from 2003-2009. Criminal immigrants committed 25,064 of those, or 22%, said the FBI. Yet immigrants, legal or illegal, constitute approximately 3.5% of U.S. population.

Three states with heavy immigrant populations belie that “1 versus 5” claim as well. California, per 100,000 people, has 92 illegal immigrants imprisoned versus native Americans and legal immigrants incarceration of 74. Arizona is 69 illegals incarcerated versus 54 native Americans and legal immigrants per 100,000. New York, 169 illegals in prison compared to only 48 citizens and legal residents per 100,000. Enough with the stats.

Mr. Morones then cited a Cato Institute study to back up his statistic. Cato did a pretty good job on their study. Mr. Landgrave and Mr. Nowrasteh documented their findings well. Assuming their study to be true, illegal immigrants have an incarceration rate of about half as compared to citizen and legal immigrants. I can, as a former prosecutor, buy that. Many of those that are here “undocumented” do the best that they can to stay out of trouble. The Hispanic community also is very reluctant to call the police about crimes. So a 50% less likely to commit crime number, maybe that’s true. Maybe.

But when you hear some dope say something stupid on television, like Americans are 5 to 1 more likely to commit crime than illegals, we used to believe it. Uncle Walter didn’t lie to us, did he? But now, every side has their favorite news channel that tells the truth and the other guys are all liars. And while I grant that you can pick your news, you can’t pick your facts and go unchallenged in this day and age. Uncle Kelly and 1,000,000 other bloggers are watching.

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Jonah Goldberg throws water on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal

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Jonah Goldberg throws water on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal

In a thought-provoking piece on National Review, senior editor Jonah Goldberg took a sober look at the ever-growing fire that drives the climate change debate. In the process, he threw water on their fire, particular the one being fanned right now but incoming-Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal.

While acknowledging the science seems to support substance to the climate change debate, Goldberg points out the overstated ways in which the debate is being framed. People like Ocasio-Cortez tend to blow the alarms harder and louder than necessary and the policies that arise from their klaxon calls are usually overkill.

Climate Change Frenzy Clouds Our Judgment

https://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/climate-change-frenzy-clouds-our-judgment/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pushing a “Green New Deal.” As I’ve written 7 trillion times (give or take), progressives have wanted a “new New Deal” even before the first New Deal was over. Painting an age-old progressive idol green has nothing to do with science and everything to do with marketing.

As I suggested in the bit about the science-fiction story, I don’t think there is very much to do right now. Oh, I am very much in favor of R&D for all sorts of things. Cold fusion would be the equivalent of discovering faster-than-light travel. Personally, I am very interested in geoengineering — the science of actually fixing the problem. I am convinced the world has a low-grade fever that could get dangerously high in the future. That fever isn’t all bad by the way: E.g., it extends growing seasons and accelerates tree growth.

Whether climate change skeptics are right or not, there’s definitely reason to question the ways in which environmentalists are pushing their agenda. There’s a difference between having the debate and trying to quash it before it starts.

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Guns and Crime

Alexander Acosta is the swamp

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Alexander Acosta is the swamp

Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein served 13 months in prison. His deal brought no justice to his victims who were not even informed until after the deal was made. He was protected from federal prosecution and given every amenity possible during his stay in a private wing of his prison. All of this was made possible by Alexander Acosta, the current Labor Secretary in the Trump administration.

Epstein may have escaped justice, but Acosta should not be allowed to escape repercussions for his part in the Epstein deal. If the President ever really had intentions of draining the swamp, he should start by firing Acosta immediately.

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Entertainment and Sports

‘Ralph’ tops box office again, ‘Aquaman’ is a hit in China

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Ralph tops box office again Aquaman is a hit in China

NEW YORK (AP) — In the calm before the Christmas storm at the box office, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” remained No. 1 for the third straight week, while the upcoming DC Comics superhero film “Aquaman” arrived with a cannonball-sized splash in Chinese theaters.

For the second week in a row, no new wide releases opened in North American theaters, allowing Disney’s animated sequel to again lead domestic ticket sales with $16.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The top six films at the box office were all unchanged. Universal’s “The Grinch,” still a major draw in its fifth weekend, trailed in second with $15.2 million.

But the weekend’s biggest new arrival was in China, where Warner Bros.′ “Aquaman” debuted with $93.6 million in ticket sales. That marked a new opening-weekend record for both Warner Bros. and DC in China. Considering the checkered recent history of DC films (“Justice League,” ″Suicide Squad”), the big launch in China was a promising sign for the spinoff starring Jason Momoa.

“Adding to the success of ‘Wonder Woman,’ this is a really solid performance and portends big numbers for North America in two weeks when it opens,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “This is a movie, along with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and ‘Bumblebee’ and other movies, that’s going to give December that boost that a ‘Star Wars’ movie would give us.”

“Aquaman” will expand to 40 international countries next week and arrive in North American theaters Dec. 21.

“Aquaman” wasn’t the only big-budget holiday season release receiving a lift this week. Paramount’s “Transformers” prequel “Bumblebee” played a one-night sneak preview in 326 theaters nationwide ahead of its Dec. 21 release.

Paramount declined to share ticket figures but domestic distribution chief Kyle Davies said theaters were mostly sold out. Perhaps more importantly, the film directed by Travis Knight and starring Hailee Steinfeld aided its word of mouth with largely glowing reviews — a rarity for the “Transformers” franchise.

Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” due out Dec. 19, also helped its cause with four Golden Globe nominations Thursday, including best picture, comedy or musical, and acting nods for Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The feel-good interracial road trip period tale “Green Book” fared even better at the Globes (five nominations, including best picture, comedy or musical, and acting nods for Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen) and had good results at the box office to show for it. In its fourth week of release, “Green Book” held with a rare 0 percent drop, earning $3.9 million in 1,181 theaters. It has grossed $20 million in total.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ comic period drama “The Favourite” continued to pick up steam. The acclaimed Fox Searchlight release, starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, expanded into 91 theaters over the weekend to gross $1.4 million ($15,000 per theater).

A more traditional royal drama, “Mary Queen of Scots,” also opened strongly in limited release. The Focus Features title, starring Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I, debuted in four theaters with a robust $50,045 per-theater average. Lis Bunnell, president of distribution for Focus, said the film’s modern spin “made it resonate with audiences in a powerful way paralleling so much of what is still going on today for women.”

Also opening in limited release were “Ben Is Back,” the family addiction drama with Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges (a $20,243 per-theater average in four theaters), and the caustic pop music critique “Vox Lux,” with Natalie Portman (a $27,000 per-theater average in six theaters).

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” Universal re-released the Holocaust epic in 1,029 theaters. But it failed to turn out large crowds, grossing a modest $551,000.

Next weekend, the box office is expected to be significantly busier with the release of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” ″Once Upon a Deadpool” and Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” and “Mortal Engines.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.

1. “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” $16.1 million.

2. “The Grinch,” $15.2 million ($25.9 million international).

3. “Creed II,” $10.3 million ($5.2 million international).

4. “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald,” $6.8 million ($22 million international).

5. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” $6 million ($29.2 million international).

6. “Instant Family,” $5.6 million ($1.7 million international).

7. “Green Book,” $3.9 million.

8. “Robin Hood,” $3.6 million ($7.5 million international).

9. “Possession of Hannah Grace,” $3.2 million ($4.8 million international).

10. “Widows,” $3.1 million ($4.5 million international).

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore:

1. “Aquaman,” $93.6 million.

2. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” $29.2 million.

3. “The Grinch,” $25.9 million.

4. “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald,” $22 million.

5. “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” $18 million.

6. “Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” $8 million.

7. “Robin Hood,” $7.5 million.

8. “A Cool Fish,” $6.9 million.

9. “Door Lock,” $5.3 million.

10. “Creed II,” $5.2 million.

___

This version corrects Ali’s first name, Mahershala not Maheshala.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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