Incomplete analyses create misleading perceptions

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By The Staff

On May 27 in the Monitor, a commentary by Jeffry Gardner referred to President Obama as traitorous due to rhetorical remarks the President made in a welcoming statement to Mexican President Calderón at the White House. The president said in remarks, “In the 21st century, we are not defined by our borders, but by our bonds.” The president was talking about the increasing interdependence of nations, not inviting Mexican nationals across the U.S. border. Mr. Gardner proceeds to unleash some unsubstantiated statistics to prove his point about the president and the Mexican border. He claims that “nearly half of the people locked up for violent crimes in New Mexico are illegal aliens” and that “90 percent of the murder warrants issued in Albuquerque alone are for illegal aliens.” These statistics according to Mr. Gardner are from FBI and Homeland Security reports.

I checked into the Web sites for both the FBI and Homeland Security attempting to find corroboration of these references. First of all, these Web sites do not have up-to-date information. The latest complete figures they have about crime are from 2008. Secondly, there were no statistical headings such as; “Illegal aliens convicted and held in state jails,” or “Percentage of illegal aliens for whom murder warrants were issued in Albuquerque New Mexico” as Mr. Gardner suggests. Thirdly, the FBI site had an extensive disclaimer: “Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use reported figures to compile rankings for cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents.”

Mr. Gardner also claims that President Obama believes that the U.S. is the “progenitor of every single problem in the world today.” This is a product of some very creative reading of the president’s statements and writings. Just as Mr. Gardner’s crime statistics are creatively full of misinformation and innuendo designed to stir up uninformed citizens. These ideas come from the mirror image of Mr. Gardner’s fantasy Obama World, which could be called Fox World, where lies convict and misinformation sells commercial time. The president is a traitor … please! Mr. Gardner is lucky he wasn’t around when the first modern Republican president put progenitors spouting such nonsense in jail for sedition.

Paul Richardson

Los Alamos