Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brian Lilley: Innumerate Cad

As you may recall, on the 22nd Fox News North published a story entitled Refugees go home for holidays: based on the results of a "secret government survey", FNN reporter Brian Lilley wrote that

...the majority of successful Tamil refugees travel back to Sri Lanka, raising questions about the legitimacy of their refugee status.

Of course, it turned out the number of people interviewed for the survey was a whopping 50. Furthermore, as CBC's Kady O'Malley soon discovered, the secret goverment survey was not a secret government survey at all,

...but a review of a sampling of files from Sri Lankan nationals, some of whom were formerly found to be Convention refugees, who now want to sponsor family members to come to Canada.

...and the government agency behind it, the The Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA), was quick to point out that

...[we have] no ability to state that this sample is statistically representative of any pattern that may or may not exist beyond this sample. Rather, these numbers are solely indicative of an observed pattern within the small sample reviewed.

Ah , but while the actual stats people who conducted this "file review" cautioned against generalizing beyond their sample, this hasn't stopped Mr. Lilley from generalizing beyond their sample. Employing special math techniques taught to him by Kory Teneycke, he continues to cast aspersions upon Tamil immigrants:

While the government survey of files in their Colombo office was only 50, that same office approved only 611 visas last year. So 50 out of that (8% of the total) is indeed significant.

Last year only 392 people from Sri Lanka arrived at a Canadian port of entry and claimed refugee status. When dealing with numbers in the hundreds a sampling of 50 is significant number.


But, of course, Lilley has no way of knowing that any of the 50 Tamils in the sample were among the 611/392 that came over "last year". As the CBSA email suggests, many of them could have been in Canada for considerably longer. All of which makes Lilley's percentages in the above far less "significant" than advertised.

Worse than Lilley's foray into bullshit mathematics, however, is his totally gratuitous shot at Kady O'Malley for calling him out on the matter:

The left in Canada, it seems, would rather ignore the issue than take the government to task. Over at the CBC, blogger in residence Kady O’Malley took issue with our numbers for not being statistically valid.

But of course we know they weren't statisically valid and, as I pointed out above, they still aren't. So: two displays of innumeracy sandwiching a cheap shot. The nerve of this man.

Frankly, I would travel to Ottawa and box his ears myself, but its really a long drive, and I've had a bum knee since 'Nam. And there's my trick elbow. Luckily, Kady is more than able to protect her own honour. I've met her and, while really very tiny, she's got a nasty bite.

13 comments:

WesternGrit said...

Go Kady go...

RuralSandi said...

They try to demean and threaten those that prove them wrong.

Kady is a facts nut, does her research - that scares the hell out of them.

Misinformation and lying is just so much easier than actually doing any "real" research and work.

RuralSandi said...

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

~Adolph Hitler


saw this on ScottDiatribes blog

double nickel said...

Lilley's comments are already being quoted on other blogs in an effort to disparage the people who just arrived from Sri Lanka. Asshole.

Paul S said...

And it's not like Tamils have ever played Canadians for fools before.

We allow them to openly fundraise for their terrorist Tamil Tigers so thinking they might abuse our refugee system is not an unrealistic thought.

The Tamil Tigers have been defeated but have not given up. That's why they want to regroup and replenish their bank accounts in Canada. To continue their war another day.

Besides, it would be cruel to not allow a refugee to go back home and visit their family. ;)

Gene Rayburn said...

Paul S have you ever read about the Sinhalese side of the civil war? Im not to fond of our government taking their word too seriously either. There's no good side in this conflict.

It doesn't really fit your neocon worldview. But he if you want to support a regime that brutally silences opposition be my guest.

http://www.thecommentfactory.com/as-prominent-newspaper-editor-is-murdered-sri-lankans-come-out-to-protest-media-censorship-1371/

Paul S said...

Gene, once a group has been designated a terrorist organization in Canada, ALL fundraising must cease.

Your opinion on the conflict only matters in that you are allowed to lobby for change through our democratic system. Not openly flout our criminal laws and raise money for terrorists simply because you say there are no "good sides".

Tamil terrorists don't like the laws so break them with impunity whether it is in Sri Lanka or Ontario.

From the Toronto 18 to the Tamil Tigers, and now today a new group of suspected terrorists arrested in Ottawa, we are seeing where the left's wilful blindness concerning the intentions of some immigrants is leading us.

double nickel said...

@Paul...thanks for regurgitating the Harpercon speaking notes.

Paul S said...

Yeah, respecting our criminal laws and not plotting to kill other Canadian citizens is a "Harpercon speaking note".

No wonder Liberals and their leader are MIA on the Canadian political stage.

Lenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lenny said...

It's not like white males haven't played Canadians for fools before.
We've allowed white males to molest children before, so thinking that Paul Sunstrum might be molesting children is not an unrealistic thought.
Child molesters have been defeated but haven't given up. So even if we can't prove that Paul Sunstrum is a molester it might be that he just wants to regroup and replenish his bank account to molest another day.

Gene Rayburn said...

Paul S thank you for validating my opinion. The thing is you seem to hide behind the authoritarian cloak without making decisions for yourself.

If you really looked you might not find you're on the side of the good guys.

Then again you're dense.

Paul S said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.