Well Red: Readers debate the effectiveness of traffic-light cameras and the fate of taggers

Well Red: Readers debate the effectiveness of traffic-light cameras and the fate of taggers

Poor must help themselves: As a former minister myself, I think that the councilman has a point worthy of consideration ["Former Minister, Now St. Charles Councilman, Wants to Eliminate Funding for Poor," Chad Garrison]. Jesus called on individuals to sacrifice of themselves in order to help those in need, and that each one of us has a moral obligation to do so. I worry, however, that many well-meaning people have come to the opinion that Jesus would condone Robin Hood-style "philanthropy," in which one claims to be virtuous even though the money they are giving has been forcibly taken from someone else's pocket.
Pelagius, via the Internet

Come clean, Ellisville: The reduction at Clarkson and Manchester roads is significant, but to claim that you reduced accidents at that intersection by 50 percent when you went from four to two is disingenuous, misleading and statistically insignificant ["Red-Light Cameras: Terrifying Big-Brother Surveillance Machines...Or Kind of Effective?" Nicholas Phillips]. I haven't used these intersections in a while, but have there been any changes to these intersections outside of the installation of red-light cameras? Were the lights re-timed? Why doesn't Ellisville come clean with the revenue they've taken in from these cameras, so people can judge if they are really worth it?
Misusing Statistics, via the Internet

Fade to yellow: Fellow statisticians, your arguments are cogent, well-reasoned and concisely stated. But I would like to submit another possibility: The number of accidents has decreased at this intersection simply because the population in this region has decreased, due to traffic accidents at this very intersection. The more Ellisvillians killed at Clarkson and Manchester, the less Ellisvillians there are to be killed at Clarkson and Manchester, and so the incident rate declines commensurately. If authorities wish to prevent accidents, the most expedient method would be to switch over all of Ellisville's traffic lights to permanently yellow, and then come by every few hours to clear away the debris.

Yes, the initial carnage would be massive, but in a year or two the population would be so far diminished that the probability of any two drivers being in the same intersection simultaneously approaches zero.
Honus Parker, via the Internet

Got that right: Now that's what I call regression analysis!
Yep, via the Internet

Nice shot: I say, good work! It should be open season on all taggers ["Latin King Gang Member Shot While Tagging Garage Near Fairmount Park," Chad Garrison].
Leroy Achoy, via the Internet

Compassion deficit: Leroy, you must have no children or was never a child yourself. This kid was seventeen years old. Gang member or not, that could have been me at that age or any one of our youths. Kids that age are looking for guidance and something to belong to. Are you are saying it should be a death sentence for graffiti? I seriously hope you were being sarcastic. My faith in humanity is shuddering.
Myk, via the Internet

Puppy mills are bad, really, they are: Literally, countless numbers of dogs — certainly hundreds of thousands — are held captive around the world in wretched conditions ["Humane Society Launches Campaign to Put Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act on 2010 Ballot," Aimee Levitt]. And they are being used as living, breeding machines by conscienceless breeders, facilitators and commercial retail outlets whose only concern is for their own profit.
Maureen, via the Internet

Slippery slope: The Humane Society of the United States isn't an animal-welfare organization, and they aren't an animal-protection organization like they say. The Humane Society is an extremist animal-rights organization with the same anti-animal ownership agenda as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They just go about the same agenda in a much more intelligent way than PETA does. The Humane Society isn't targeting puppy mills, but the breeding of all pets — in this case, it is dogs. This puppy-mill bill is just a foot in the door for them. The rest of the agenda will be implemented when they come back in subsequent years to limit the numbers of dogs a person can own.
David, via the Internet

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