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Jul 21, 2016 Trump’s Republican National Convention speech massively distorted national crime statistics

QUOTE: When Donald Trump took the stage in Cleveland on Thursday night (July 21), he immediately made some strong comments about law and order. They were, however, in typical Trump fashion, a rather blatant distortion of the facts.

Oct 19, 2013 Scientific research has changed the world. Now it needs to change itself

QUOTE: Too many of the findings that fill the academic ether are the result of shoddy experiments or poor analysis (see article). A rule of thumb among biotechnology venture-capitalists is that half of published research cannot be replicated. Even that may be optimistic.

Aug 17, 2012 Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade, the Atlanta school disclosed Friday, adding its high-profile name to a growing list of

QUOTE: Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade, the Atlanta school disclosed Friday, adding its high-profile name to a growing list of institutions caught up in scandals over rankings pressure.

Seattle Times
May 07, 2012 No Room for Dissent in a Police Department Consumed by the Numbers

QUOTE: This, too, is Mr. Kelly’s police force, a department that can claim many victories but is consumed by a single imperative: crime and homicide rates must keep falling...There’s no definitive proof that top officials systematically manipulate crime data and set arrest quotas. But officers have stepped forward in recent years to talk of such practices in widely scattered precincts...

New York Times
Apr 19, 2012 CPI Conspiracy Theories Persist Even With Broad ChecksI

QUOTE: The [Bureau of Labor Statistics]’s price-gathering and statistical methods are standard practice from Japan to Switzerland. That hasn’t averted a lashing from critics who say the government is engaged in a campaign to hide inflation of 10 percent a year or more. Assurances by Federal Reserve policy makers that inflation remains “subdued” also haven’t deterred the skeptics.

Jul 15, 2011 Making Murder Count (Op-Ed)

QUOTE: cities pay a lot of attention to the Census Bureau’s annual population estimates, which take place between the decennial censuses. And when these come in lower than expected, many will fight hard to revise them upward...But, because the process is so politicized, it often results in significant overestimates.

New York Times
Apr 22, 2011 In a Data-Heavy Society, Being Defined by the Numbers

QUOTE: Metrics to evaluate employee potential, teamwork and salesmanship can’t and shouldn’t replace hands-on interpersonal skills and instinct… We also lose a sense of ourselves as anything but a number and a rank, and start feeling bad if our numbers don’t measure up to others.

New York Times
Jun 03, 2010 Report Warned Wal-Mart of Risks Before Bias Suit

QUOTE: More than six years before the biggest sex discrimination lawsuit in history was filed against Wal-Mart Stores, the company hired a prominent law firm to examine its vulnerability to just such a suit....found widespread gender disparities in pay and promotion at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores and urged the company to take basic steps — like posting every job opening and creating specific goals to promote women and minorities — to avoid liability.

New York Times
Apr 23, 2010 Rating Agency Data Aided Wall Street in Mortgage Deals

QUOTE: One of the mysteries of the financial crisis is how mortgage investments that turned out to be so bad earned credit ratings that made them look so good. One answer is that Wall Street was given access to the formulas behind those magic ratings — and hired away some of the very people who had devised them.

New York Times
Mar 03, 2010 New formula to give fresh look at U.S. poverty

QUOTE: The Obama administration Tuesday embraced an alternative way of defining what it means to be poor, stepping gingerly into a long-running debate over whether to revise the method that has been used to measure poverty for decades.

Washington Post
Oct 28, 2009 Probably guilty: Bad mathematics means rough justice

QUOTE: probabilistic pitfalls are not limited to crime fiction. "Statistical errors happen astonishingly often," says Ray Hill, a mathematician at the University of Salford, UK, who has given evidence in several high-profile criminal cases. "I'm always finding examples that go unnoticed in evidence statements."

New Scientist
Sep 27, 2008 Overlooked: The Littlest Evacuees

QUOTE: Within hours of hurricane Ike's landfall in Texas, San Antonio officials had compiled precise statistics about their evacuee situation...But there was one key group for which they had no figures: children.

Feb 19, 2008 Medication Under a Microscope: Studies Raise Questions About Drugs' Efficacy Against Disease

QUOTE: In addition to casting doubt on notions such as lowering cholesterol to prevent heart disease and normalizing blood sugar to protect diabetics, the studies...have also rekindled concern about whether new medications are being tested adequately before being allowed on the market.

Washington Post
Jan 29, 2008 Looking Anew at Campaign Cash and Elected Judges

QUOTE: Vernon Valentine Palmer, a law professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, could not understand how justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court could routinely hear cases involving people who had given them campaign contributions. It seemed to him a raw and simple conflict of interest.

New York Times
Jan 17, 2008 Antidepressant Studies Unpublished

QUOTE: The makers of antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil never published the results of about a third of the drug trials that they conducted to win government approval, misleading doctors and consumers about the drugs’ true effectiveness, a new analysis has found.

New York Times
Jan 09, 2008 Chicago's mixed record on school reform:Bush cites city's gains on sixth anniversary of No Child Left Behind. Critics see uneven results.

QUOTE: Nationally, [President] Bush has been touting No Child Left Behind (NCLB), crediting it with raising fourth-grade reading scores and narrowing the achievement gap between whites and minorities. Others say they're still waiting to see major results and blame the law for an increased focus on "teaching to the test" rather than giving more resources or training to underfunded schools.

Christian Science Monitor
Nov 27, 2007 In Hospice Care, Longer Lives Mean Money Lost

QUOTE: Over the last eight years, the refusal of patients to die according to actuarial schedules has led the federal government to demand that hospices exceeding reimbursement limits repay hundreds of millions of dollars to Medicare.

New York Times
Nov 13, 2007 Middle-Class Dream Eludes African American Families: Many Blacks Worse off Than Their Parents, Study Says

QUOTE: a society where the privileges of class and income most often perpetuate themselves from generation to generation, black Americans have had more difficulty than whites in transmitting those benefits to their children.

Washington Post
Oct 09, 2007 Court takes up shareholder rights: In its biggest business case of the term, the high court examines the scope of investors' rights to sue in the wake of corporate fraud.

QUOTE: Securities laws and regulations make clear that company officials directly responsible for such fraud can be sued. But what about consultants, vendors, investment bankers, lawyers, accountants, and others who may have had knowledge of the fraud and engaged in deceptive actions that helped keep it quiet?

Christian Science Monitor
Aug 15, 2007 NASA Revisions Create a Stir in The Blogosphere

QUOTE: NASA has slightly revised its record of average annual temperatures in the United States since 2000 -- modifications that researchers say are insignificant but that some conservative commentators and bloggers have seized upon to assert that global warming has been hyped as a problem.

Washington Post
Aug 03, 2007 In Iraq, death tolls often in dispute: Disparities between official and eyewitness tallies lead some Iraqis to charge the government with downplaying attacks.

QUOTE: The disparity in official numbers and the ones posted in the market... leaves many Iraqis feeling that the government is intentionally downplaying or trying to cover up the numbers of dead.

Christian Science Monitor
Jul 25, 2007 Doctors Rated but Can't Get a Second Opinion: Inaccurate Data About Physicians' Performance Can Harm Reputations

QUOTE: data-driven surveillance offers the prospect of using incentives to steer patients to care that is both effective and sensibly priced. It also raises questions about the line between responsible oversight and outright meddling in the relationship between caregivers and their patients.

Washington Post
Apr 20, 2007 Iraqi doctor who disputes official death tolls is denied visa to visit UW

QUOTE: An Iraqi doctor who made international headlines after stating that civilian deaths in the Iraq war far exceeded officially reported numbers is not being allowed to travel to North America to meet other academics .... Hagopian, who is conducting research with Lafta, believes the Bush administration is purposely blocking his travel to the United States.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Feb 21, 2007 The homeless get counted: A new national survey is expected to reveal that efforts to end chronic homelessness in the US by 2011 are behind schedule.

QUOTE: a government-led race to end chronic homelessness by 2011 is far off the pace. Despite criticisms of its accuracy and methodology, the US-mandated National Point-in-Time Survey is itself emblematic of innovative new efforts to bring America's most disaffected, disfranchised population in from the cold.

Christian Science Monitor
Jan 19, 2007 Cover Story: Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?

QUOTE: '...Waxman’s office investigated some of the crisis pregnancy centers and found that when women there asked about abortion’s health effects, 20 of 23 centers gave out false information. At 13 centers, this included characterizing the psychological effects of abortion as “severe, long-lasting and common.”'

New York Times
Nov 27, 2006 Guaranteed to Go Up: When you hear about a portfolio that goes up along with the stock market but can't go down, your first question should be: Where's the catch?

QUOTE: How about a note that pays a return pegged to Standard & Poor's 500 Index but guarantees your original investment back no matter what? Or, better yet, one that pays double or triple the index?....In mathematically complicated ways, market interest rates are built into the pricing of derivatives like puts and calls, and with higher rates the terms of a structured note can be made more appealing to the naive investor.

Nov 14, 2006 Sleazy CEOs have even more options tricks: Backdating may be just the beginning: A lot of other suspicious stuff tends to happen when companies grant options.

QUOTE: even before Lie's backdating bombshell, scholars suspected that executives were using insider information for financial gain in timing options grants and news releases. Does that make backdating just the most obviously illegal tip of an iceberg of dodgy corporate behavior? And is anyone going to get in trouble for the other stuff?

CNN/Money Magazine
Nov 08, 2006 Exit-Poll Withdrawal and Rage at the Machines

QUOTE: "the exit pollers.... Determined not to let faulty results out early, they denied themselves all contact with the outside world... Frustrated by these circumstances, the chatterers pondered their limited options and settled on an alternative game: They would complain about the election results -- in advance."

Washington Post
Oct 23, 2006 A Shorter Path to Citizenship, but Not for All

QUOTE: at least 960,000 immigrant applications (are) pending nationwide that federal officials have simply stopped counting as part of their backlog — a backlog they had pledged to eliminate by this month.

New York Times
Aug 09, 2006 Court Rules That Fans, Not Players, Own Fantasy Sports Stats

QUOTE: A federal court ruled Wednesday that publishing names and statistics of professional baseball players is protected speech, a ruling with implications for other fantasy sports leagues and videogame franchises.

PC Magazine
Aug 08, 2006 Public Pension Plans Face Billions in Shortages

QUOTE: state and local governments owe their current and future retirees roughly $375 billion more than they have committed to their pension funds...“the people they are hurting are the taxpayers, who, whether they realize it or not, are going into a form of debt."

New York Times
Jun 29, 2006 20% of U.S. Transplant Centers Are Found To Be Substandard

QUOTE: Medicare allows 20% of the 236 programs in the U.S. to stay in business despite performing too few operations or having low survival rates.

Jun 02, 2006 Senate Bill Would Add 20 Million Legal Immigrants, Report Says

QUOTE: The nation's population of legal immigrants would increase by nearly 20 million over the next decade if the recently passed Senate immigration bill becomes law, and taxpayers would spend more than $50 billion to operate a new guest-worker program and pay for extra welfare, Social Security and public health-care costs...

Washington Post
May 23, 2006 Dropout Data Raise Questions on 2 Fronts: One Side Says Problem Isn't as Dire as Thought, but Others Doubt Research

QUOTE: ...many school systems were claiming low dropout rates, even though their ninth grades were bulging with restless students eager to be elsewhere and many had disappeared by graduation time.

Washington Post
Mar 09, 2006 AdWords Addresses Click Fraud Questions

QUOTE: Google also sees a problem with all invalid clicks being called fraudulent. Many clicks happen due to other causes, like someone double-clicking on an ad.

Mar 05, 2006 Schools Avoid Class Ranking, Vexing Colleges

QUOTE: In the cat-and-mouse maneuvering over admission to prestigious colleges and universities, thousands of high schools have simply stopped providing that information, concluding it could harm the chances of their very good, but not best, students.

New York Times
Nov 20, 2005 At Metro, Some Crimes Don't Count: Statistics Exclude Incidents Handled by Local Police Departments

QUOTE: Metro transit officials undercount serious crime at the region's 86 rail stations, leaving dozens of assaults, robberies and other major incidents off the official tally they report to the system's board of directors and the public. That practice stems from a long-standing policy not to count crimes handled by law enforcement officers other than Metro's Transit Police, even if the crimes occur in a station or on a subway platform.

Washington Post
Nov 07, 2005 A Consuming Health-Care Conundrum: If human capital represents the future of the U.S., shouldn't spending on physical and mental well-being count as an investment?

QUOTE: If orthodontics is an investment in the future, why do government economists insist on calling it consumption? After all, investment by definition is spending that's supposed to provide a future payoff, while consumption by definition makes you better off today.

Aug 31, 2005 Despite more jobs, US poverty rate rises: Percentage of Americans in poverty grew for the fourth straight year, the US Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

QUOTE: ... the lack of long-term improvement is particularly troubling. "There is still a generation of no progress against poverty... we have to confront the fact that ... a rising economy no longer lifts all boats."

Christian Science Monitor
May 02, 2004 How to End Grade Inflation

QUOTE: Incorporating 'degree of difficulty' into students' G.P.A.'s would turn campuses upside down; it would eliminate faculty capriciousness precisely by factoring it would yield a world in which the average grade was never anything more or less than the middle of the scale.

New York Times
Mar 01, 2003 Which Price is Right?

QUOTE: How can we increase profits if we can't raise prices? The answer demands revolutionary thinking -- new insights about strategy and human behavior, turbocharged with software, mathematics, and rapid-fire experimentation.

Fast Company
Jan 11, 2002 Judge Rules Fingerprints Cannot Be Called a Match

QUOTE: A judge has ruled for the first time that fingerprint evidence, a virtually unassailable prosecutorial tool for 90 years, does not meet the standards set for scientific testimony...

New York Times
Jun 07, 1999 A Much Bigger Census Bill

QUOTE: ...will cost $1.7 billion in addition to the $2.9 billion already requested to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that prohibits the use of statistical sampling for apportioning Congressional seats among the states.

New York Times