An opinion piece last week written by Sarnia retired Army officer Peter Clarke touched off a heated debate on The Journal’s Facebook page.
Most commenters were upset by Mr. Clarke’s assertion that Canadians should be grateful to U.S. President Donald Trump for his efforts to keep would-be jihadists out of the country.
The general consensus seemed to be: he’s entitled to his opinion but he’s wrong.
One reader, Ian Treulieb, posted a chart that allegedly showed lighting bolts kill more Americans than terrorists. I say allegedly because the statistics, originally published in The Huffington Post, seemed rather improbable.
Surprisingly, however, they proved to be accurate. Presented here is a modified version of the table, one in which I have confirmed each number and verified its source.
This table does not, it must be noted, capture terror attacks in the U.S. in 2015 and 2016, including the deadly Orlando nightclub shooting.
But that attack was perpetrated by a homegrown terrorist and does not impact the two-a-year death toll by “Islamic Jihadist immigrants,” which are the very people Trump has targeted.
Nor does it change the fact that a total of zero deaths in the U.S. caused by foreign nationals came from the seven Muslim-majority countries Trump listed in his ban.
I’m well aware that statistics can be used selectively to bolster a weak argument. There are lies, damn lies and statistics, as Mark Twain used to say. But these are solid figures.
Tragically, pathetically, they reveal that armed toddlers and school buses each kill more Americans than Islamic jihadi terrorists.
That is a real fact — not an alternative fact — one even the White House can’t spin.
And speaking of power numbers …
News releases from political parties usually make for dull reading.
But a release from Ontario Conservative leader Patrick Brown last year packed this zinger:
“Let’s pose this question I found on a Liberal math test,” Brown wrote. “If you pay 8.55 cents a kilowatt hour to produce energy in Ontario, and you sell that energy for 2.65 cents a kilowatt hour to New York, Minnesota, Manitoba, and Quebec, how much profit does Ontario make?”
The release also described Premier Kathleen Wynne as the “Minister of Economic Development for Pennsylvania.”