Rush Limbaugh's Fuzzy Math

Listening to nutjob blowhard Rush Limbaugh trying to minimize the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. To do so he compared that number with the number of American citizens killed over the same period in various scenarios, such as auto accidents.
The number that I recall was the 45,000 Americans who died in the last three years due to “falling down”. Limbaugh compared this number to the roughly 2,300 soldiers killed and said essentially that instead of lamenting the deaths of 2,300+ soldiers, we should celebrate the fact that the number of soldiers killed was so low, that numbers that low were unprecedented, etcetera.
The gist, of course, was that more Americans had died by falling down in the last three years than had died in ground combat. He declared these numbers to be incredible and predictably attacked “the Liberal media” for over-reporting the number of soldiers killed as if it was a bad thing that it was reported at all.
Well, I immediately had a problem with his numbers. I don’t doubt the actual numbers he used, but I I think the conclusions he came to based on those numbers are just mind-boggling.
To see these numbers compared in proper context, we have to look at percentages of both groups of people that these numbers represent. The 45,000 Americans who died by “falling down” are 0.015% of the U.S. population (that’s one one-hundredth of a percent). The number of U.S. soldiers killed, 2,300, is a little over 1.5% (that’s one and a half percent) of the population of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. That means with the numbers compared in proper context, the soldiers are dying at a ratio of 100 to 1 compared to there Americans who died from “falling down.”
I figured this up just to illustrate how ridiculous it is to compare the two numbers. According to Rush Limbaugh’s logic, the 100 is less than the 1.
Now, let’s not be ignorant. We would expect soldiers in an armed conflict to die at a much higher rate than people at home who “fall down.” But don’t throw these ridiculous numbers at me and not expect me to look at them. The fathead might as well have minimized the number of U.S. soldiers killed by saying “more Americans died of natural causes in the last three years than soldiers have died in combat.” That comparison would not have been any more ridiculous.
Of course, I’m sure some Dittohead or meat-headed Conservative will come along and, seized by an epiphany, point out something stupid like “soldiers are American citizens, too. What does that do to your numbers, smart guy? Neener. Neener.” And when I giggle at the dumbass he’ll fall back on the old routine of “why don’t you go back to Russia, you unwashed, latte drinking, tofu eating, pot smoking, tree hugging hippie socialist fag?” Did I leave anything out? That’s usually all they have to fall back on when you confuse their atrophying brains with actual facts instead of spin, and hard reality instead of “perceived reality.”
But what else would one expect when their ideological master is a pill-popping, worthless shred of human debris like Rush Limbaugh? He is their dark lord Sauron. And as he feeds those maggots of ideas into their skulls to continue eating away at their atrophying brains, they thank him for the extra protein.

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