Scoundrel

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Benjamin Disraeli, former Prime Minister of England in the late 19th century, lies could be classified as lies, damned lies or statistics. Those who use them, I would classify as liars, damned liars or scoundrels; statistics being the last refuge of scoundrels. I would put Mitt Romney in the last category, scoundrels, because of his fluent use of statistics to mislead. He continues to refuse to release his tax information, and he and Paul Ryan promote the Ryan budget without being specific about how they plan to balance the budget without the use of pixie dust. Mitt’s promises fall under the category of glittering generalities lacking any and all specificity. Can we take Romney at his word? No way.

Statistics part 2

Mark Twain:
” Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. (Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.)”

Benjamin Disraeli:
There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies and statistics.

Statistics have certainly gotten a bad reputation. I think that it is because they are used by scoundrels to win arguments that can’t be won any other way.

Please see Statistics

Statistics

Premiership of Benjamin Disraeli

Image via Wikipedia

Lies, damned lies, and statistics. The three kinds of lies in order of wickedness according to former prime minister of England, Benjamin Disraeli. Statistics are the last refuge of a scoundrel. According to a recent survey of scoundrels, of those responding, 78% admitted to using statistics to prove a point within the past 30 days.

Is that really true? No, it is not. I made up that survey and its results to prove a point. Statistics can be used to “prove” just about anything. And some of the unscrupulous will just make up the numbers. Because numbers are authoritative and some of us will accept them uncritically. In these times of stress and distress, what is needed is thought and discussion, not numbers (statistics) used to prove one side or the other is correct.