Homemade Sin

homemade sin

Okay, I’ve been sitting here for a bit, letting this little piece of supposed wisdom “sink in,” but it’s not working very well.

Let me explain to you why a company can charge $700 for a purse made in a factory.  It’s because people are willing to pay $700 for a purse. That’s why.

Not me. I’m not an idiot and I wouldn’t pay more than about $10 for a purse, but then, I’m the type who buys one and uses it for the next 20 years.

Louis Vuitoon
Louis Vuitton purse, priced at $9,250

But that’s why they can do it. Somebody buys them. If somebody doesn’t buy them, then you can bet your sweet bippy they will have a sale.

As for the rest of that silly meme, it’s “sin” to charge $35 for a handmade purse?  Or a handmade anything?  Since when? Where? Who made that proclamation?

First off, what is a “sin”?  It’s a religious word, invented by religion, with no meaning in the secular world at all.  It doesn’t apply to business.  Jesus does not care what you charge for your handmade stuff on Etsy, I promise.

But more than that, people will pay whatever they think your stuff is worth.  Frankly, the factory made purse is probably more durable than your handmade one. They have heavier machines to do the work. In addition, there is status involved. Your Etsy purse from “JDB Corner” doesn’t have any status.  It does have a monogram, and scalloped edges, which you might think is pretty (or you might think it’s hideous). Louis Vuitton does have status, quite a lot of it. That might be some sort of statement about the values of the consumer, and Vuitton is definitely not my bag,  but that’s the way it works whether you like it or not.

Bag from JDB Corner, via Etsy, priced at $40

I think I’m probably a fairly typical consumer. I buy some stuff from places like Etsy or from local artisans. I buy some stuff that is pretty high-end, simply because I want whatever it and don’t mind paying extra to get it (for example: I have one of the nicest grain grinders made – I could have gotten a cheaper type, but I wanted the good one).  And most of the stuff I buy is in the middle of the road.

To get my dollars, you have to convince me that what you’ve got is worth what you’re asking for it.  Do that, and we’ll do business. Fail to do that, and I will go elsewhere.

I thought Joe and Nicole were all about the free market?

Cockadoodle. . .

from the FB page, Blessed Little Homestead

Roosters. Nine to ten of them.  Adults. Too adult.

Here’s the deal on roosters.

They are totally useless for anything except: 1) serving as some protection for the hens (although when the raccoon massacred ours, the rooster couldn’t stop him- they can’t see at night), 2) serving as sperm donors, and 3) crowing, which is either annoying as hell or music depending on your viewpoint (I vote for music).

I am pro-rooster.  We have one. We had two, but dispatched the older one about two months ago.

A flock of hens needs one rooster for about every 10 hens.

What you see pictured there are enough roosters for about 100 hens.

Any fewer hens than that and the roosters will start to fight because somebody is going to get left out when it comes to mating.  Any more hens, and the roosters will exhaust themselves (literally).

We once kept too many young roosters for too long. It was ignorance on our part. We knew the potential dangers, but didn’t understand how young they can be when the fighting starts.  And our chickens are one of the most docile dual-purpose breeds around. I never want to watch a young rooster being ripped apart by the older rooster ever again.

We separated them all immediately and put the excess roos in the freezer/canner the next day.

In addition to that, roosters have some sort of nasty habits.  They can be very calm and sweet when they are young. The older they get, the crankier they get, and the “cockier” they behave. They see human beings as a challenge to their authority and they guard their hens with vigor.

And they are equipped by nature with the means to inflict injury. They grow spurs on their legs.


Like that.  The pointy thing.  It is needle sharp.  And a rooster knows how to use those.  They fly at you and fling their legs up, and stab you.

If you’re an adult or older child, you get spurred in the leg.  It’s a deep puncture wound and becomes infected very easily. The rooster has been walking around in the dirt and that’s what is all over the spur.

If you’re a young child, it’s much more dangerous. You can get spurred in the face or as a worst case scenario, in the eye.

Roosters and young children are not a good mix.  Having too many roosters just exacerbates the situation.

[I have recently been informed about a really cool method of removing spurs safely.  If you’d like to know about it, contact me.]

And thinking you’re going to eat the excess roosters is, well, a sort of pipe dream.

When you buy chicken at the store, you’re getting very young chicken, maybe 7 or 8 weeks, max. When we incubate chicks here, we end up with about half cockerels and have to butcher them. They do not gain weight like the hybrid chickens that are raised by the industry, so it takes longer to get them to any size.  We typically keep them about three months, maybe a bit longer.

It’s a trade-off. The older they get, the more they weigh and the more meat we get. However, they also get tougher. So we’ve found by trial and error that 12-15 weeks works out fine for us.

Grown roosters (and old hens) are tough as shoe leather. You have to either slow cook them or pressure cook them. I use them as dog food.

At any rate, this is not an example of “homesteading.”  This is an example of newbie “homesteaders” who need to spend less time on Facebook and more time reading about raising poultry.



Nicole obviously does not bother reading the shit she posts.

The headline reads:

US Government Concerned That Homeschool Parents. . .

Only, the article itself has nothing whatever to do with the US government.  It’s about the United Kingdom.  We separated from the UK, oh, back in the last quarter of the 18th century.

Anonymous really needs to do a better job editing.  And Nicole just blithely hits “share” without bothering to read because the headline says what she wants to believe.

And she makes this generalized statement that

. . .statists think teaching your children to question the government is dangerous.

No, Nicole. “Statists” (whatever the hell that is – seems to me it’s anyone who doesn’t hate the entirety of all forms of government no matter what ) don’t think that at all.

It’s not about teaching children to question the government.  It’s about what you’re doing, which is indoctrinating your children to absolutely abhor all forms of authority from any source except you and/or Joe.

I suspect you would classify me as a “statist.” I am politically so liberal and lean so far to the left that if you push me even slightly, I’ll fall over. But I question government regularly. I want to see government be the best it can be. And we taught our child to question everything.

The comments are priceless. “One day we will take back our country.”  And Jim Miller, the sage, replies, “Take it back where?”



Cute, isn’t it?  Sweet little baby chick.

Poor little baby chick. It had the very bad luck to be purchased by the Naugler family sometime in the spring of 2014.


This may be the only sensible thing I have ever seen Nicole write about animals.  They need to get rid of the dogs.  Yep. They do. Those dogs broke into a pen and killed chicks.  That is grounds for being gone.  Nobody with livestock can have dogs around that kill livestock.

But no.  The chicks die.

Chickens, for anyone who doesn’t know about them, are probably the easiest sort of livestock for beginners to deal with. They’re easy enough to care for that lots of people have them in urban settings if their local ordinances permit.

All they need is some basic housing, a bit of chicken feed and water, a nice cozy place to lay eggs, and security so they don’t become dinner for some predator.

And there are lots of predators who very much like chicken on the menu.

It’s simple to find all sorts of advice about chickens online. There is really no excuse whatever for allowing dogs to kill not one, but two different clutches of baby chicks.

Honestly, if you can’t manage chickens, you really need to give up.

But they tried again.

bought adult hens

I am going to make some guesses here. One of the children bought the hens.  In our area, a young pullet just old enough to begin laying goes for between $10 and $15.  We could sell them all day for $10 each.

I really doubt that one of the kids spent between $80 and $100 for chickens.

I bet they were either free or at a very reduced price.

There is only one reason people sell adult hens for a reduced price.

They are old, spent hens.

Hell, we have five here right now that the Nauglers can have for free. They are approximately four years old and have quit laying altogether. They are only still alive because we’ve been too busy to take the time to butcher them.

A young pullet begins to lay eggs at around 7 months old, give or take a bit depending on the breed. She, just like most female egg-producing creatures, is born with all the eggs in her ovaries that she will ever produce. (That includes people.  When women run out of eggs, they go into menopause.)

If you butcher a hen who is currently laying, it’s an interesting thing to see.  [Warning: slightly graphic photo] The eggs are formed on a sort of string.  Little bitty things like yellow pearls (yolks) on a strand run down their backs to the cloaca (that’s where the egg comes out), getting bigger and bigger as they go along with the egg white forming around them, and then at the very last, the shell is formed, at first soft and then hardening.

And when these young pullets start to lay, they do so sort of sporadically at first, and then more regularly, but they never lay an egg every 24 hours.  Some breeds lay more eggs per year than other breeds, but the typical backyard chicken lays about four eggs a week.  And that’s when she’s young.

So at their best, the Nauglers’ eight hens might have laid 32 eggs a week, assuming that they were young enough to do that ( very doubtful) and that anyone could actually find these eggs on their massive 28 acres of land (very, very doubtful). There are two of us, and we have seven young hens laying and that is barely enough. We’ve gotten along with five, but had to do without deviled eggs for the most part and I occasionally had to buy a dozen at the store.

As hens age, they produce fewer and fewer eggs. So a two-year-old hen will lay fewer eggs than she did the year before and more than she’s going to next year.

Not only that, but the eggs get larger and larger. Little pullet eggs are tiny, and eggs from old hens are often very large.

From Blessed Little Homestead Facebook page

This is the other reason I suspect the Nauglers have old hens. A young hen doesn’t lay eggs that large.  Sometimes old hens will lay little tiny eggs (especially after molting) but mostly they are huge and get larger and fewer as she ages.

chickens adult hens

So, here are the replacements for the poor massacred chicks. Some mixed laying hens, various breeds.  Definitely not pullets.  Well-developed combs.  They’ve got some age on them.

They’re in some sort of pen, but it looks like that is in a vehicle.

Naturally, when they got them home, they allowed the chickens to “free-range,” because everyone thinks that is just so natural and wonderful and it’s simply how it’s done, isn’t it?

Well, maybe.

As I’ve mentioned, there are a lot of critters (dogs, coyotes, raccoons, possums, weasels) who very much enjoy a chicken dinner. We don’t like finding our good laying hens dead, so we house ours securely in a chicken tractor, and move them frequently, and let them “free-range” behind electric netting for their own safety.

We have a sort of unwritten contract with our livestock. They provide us with eggs, or milk, or meat or whatever it is, and in return, we make sure they get to live without fear, in a safe environment, with access to plentiful food and clean water.  We take it very seriously. Their well-being is our responsibility.

Modern chickens, like modern dairy animals, have been highly bred over the centuries and bear little resemblance to the wild jungle fowl they are descended from.  Just turning them out to run about in the woods and take care of themselves is okay until it’s not okay.

stopped eggs

They stopped collecting eggs while the children were in state custody because they were no longer on the land at all.  Nobody was there. The chickens, along with all the other animals, just fended for themselves.

They’d had these eight chickens for nine months at this point, and one of the hens managed to put together a clutch of eggs and hatch them out.  Good for her.  She did so under the worst of circumstances.

The fact that the family was “so excited” tells me this hadn’t happened before, but as I’ve said, these are old hens.

And it’s odd, but you don’t see many photos of chickens, or mention of them or photos of eggs or mention of them on the Blessed Little Homestead page. I really had to hunt to find them.  There were two photos of the newly hatched chicks with their mother, but none as they supposedly grew up.   I wonder who ate them.  I bet it’s just as hard to find their eggs as it was for me to find their photos.

This is not the optimal way, by anyone’s standards, to keep chickens for eggs.  If you just want some chickens to run around  your property and make it look all homesteady,  and hear a rooster crow from time to time, and take some farmy sustainable-looking photos for your blog so people will say, “Oh, gee, I wish I could live like you do,” well, yeah, this will work okay until something kills them all.

But if you’re trying to be “sustainable” (a basically impossible task, as we’ll talk about later), you need to do a wee bit more, and it involves some work and money.  I’m not sure that it’s possible to save any money raising chickens (for eggs).  I doubt we do. However, the luxury of farm-fresh eggs is worth it. There is a definite difference in the way the eggs look and the way that an egg, over easy, for breakfast tastes.

It’s also amazing and wonderful to incubate eggs and watch the chicks hatch and then brood them. It’s a biology lesson in styrofoam.  It would make a super experience for children, but it won’t happen at the Blessed Little Homestead for lots of reasons.

Yes, they have chickens running around their property. And yes, they probably gather a few eggs here and there.  No, they are not keeping chickens in a way that will provide that huge family with a reasonable supply of eggs.

The chickens are more of the mythology.

Now I Know My ABCs


Okay, it’s a bit over the top.  I agree totally.  And the spelling and grammar are pretty bad.

In fact, I suspect the writer is  a POE.

UPDATE: I have been informed that the writer of the piece above has some disabilities which totally explain the poor spelling and grammar. I have opted to hide the name for that reason. Apparently, the POE idea was wrong.

But what is super good news is this:

spelling lesson

1. The Naugler children are going to have an actual spelling lesson.  Do I hear “AMEN”?  I suppose that means that they will be forced to write these words, or learn them, and practice them, along with writing some sentences using “and” and “an” correctly.  But what if they don’t feel like it?

2. From this point forward, I am totally justified in critiquing and red-lining every single thing Nicole has to say in public, correcting all her usage and spelling errors.  And she has plenty.


doe with kids
photo from Blessed Little Homestead

From her blog, dated around 18 months ago or so, this is one of their does who had recently kidded. Twins.  Not uncommon, BTW. Goats often have two or three kids.

And this one is actually better than what I’ve seen since then. She’s in what appears to be a pen of some sort with some shelter, and bedding. Old blankets are not exactly the best choice, but hey, if you don’t have straw. . .

And the doe is either naturally polled (born without horns) or was properly disbudded as a kid.  That’s good.

Points subtracted for using baling twine as a collar.  How to strangle your goat in one easy lesson, unless it was made with some sort of breakaway thing on it.

I suspect from what I’ve read and from the various photos that these are Nigerian dwarf goats, more than likely not pure-bred, maybe mixed with pygmy.  They aren’t large.

pregnant goat
from FB page, Blessed Little Homestead

So, here’s a photo of the latest pregnant doe. According to Nicole, they had three does, and this is obviously not the same doe who kidded last year.


And this is a comment from one of Nicole’s clueless supporters.  Folks like this poor woman hang on her every word, as though somehow Nicole knows anything at all about what she’s doing.

Nicole and Joe have left the horns on their goats in all probability because 1) they don’t know how to remove them, and/or 2) they don’t have the equipment necessary to do the job.

Horns are terribly dangerous. They are removed for the safety of the human beings (especially children) who might be caring for/playing near the goats and for the safety of the  other goats, especially does with large udders.

It’s a big mistake to live with horned animals, even if you think they are gentle.  Disbudding kids and calves is easy and quick if you do it when they are very young. It is beyond awful if you have to saw them off when they are grown. (Horns are like fingernails, in a way, and have a blood supply.)

Anyone who raises dairy goats knows this. It’s only the clueless types who leave dairy animals horned.

From Nicole’s FB page, Blessed LIttle Homestead

Proof that they actually milked a goat.  It looks like they had about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of actual milk in that lovely plastic container. [Hint: don’t milk into plastic. It’s gross.  Milk into stainless steel.]

This is fairly typical of Nigerians. They are tiny goats and they give hardly any milk, like a hair over a quart per day. In dairy terms, this is abysmal. If you happen to be a very small family, you know, two or three people, and you aren’t particularly fond of dairy products, well, Nigerians don’t take up much space and that might work fine.

The Nauglers have 11 children.  Eleven.

How many Nigerians do you think they would need to be milking to supply their family with milk? If all three of their does were in milk at the same time (and that’s iffy indeed), that would yield a whopping three quarts of milk per day, not even a gallon, at a maximum.

In addition, the figures on dairy goat production assume that the goats are actually fed.

goats forage

“Free-range” in Nicole’s vocabulary means “we just turned them loose and they roam all over the place, including into the neighbor’s property and eat whatever the hell they want.”

Let me explain something about dairy animals. They make milk for their babies, like most mammals do. We have selectively bred them, over the centuries, to produce more milk than their babies actually need, and we take the excess.  Making milk is really hard on a dairy animal. If you’ve ever been or known a lactating  mother (breast-feeding), then you know they can eat an enormous amount of food and not gain any weight.  It takes a lot of energy to make milk.

Those little goats might make enough milk by “foraging” to feed their babies, but they simply are not going to make enough for anyone else.

A dairy cow, for example, produces about 5 to 8 gallons of milk daily.  She eats something in the neighborhood of 30 pounds of hay or grass daily. This is about six or so times as much as non-lactating cow.  She has an enormous udder. She’s also bony and looks skinny.  A healthy dairy cow has ribs you can literally see.

Contrast her with the beef cattle you often see as you drive down the road. They are huge animals, with lots of muscle, but hardly any udder at all. That’s because nobody bothers with their milk except the calf.

It’s the same way with dairy goats. They’ve been highly bred to give massive amounts of milk (for their size), and they require high-octane fuel to do it.  Oatmeal is not high-octane food.  There is almost nothing to “forage” on in Kentucky in the dead of winter. This winter is a little odd because it’s unseasonably warm, but still. . .

goat shelter
from Nicole’s FB page, Blessed Little Homestead


I suppose it’s better than nothing, which is what I think they’ve had up to now.

And one other thing, Nicole has claimed that they “make cheese” from the goat milk.  This made me laugh. It’s possible that they took their little pint of milk and stirred in a little vinegar and heated it and got some curds.  Maybe.  But they didn’t make cheddar cheese or anything even close.

One of the best reasons to milk a cow (not goats) is cheese.  And cream.  You can’t make butter from goat milk without going to a whole lot of trouble.  The fat particles are very small and it’s more or less homogenized naturally.  You don’t have to stir the cream up before you drink it. If you have a whole lot of goat milk to waste, it’s possible to churn just the milk but you’d get only a small amount of butter for your trouble.

And good cheese is hard to make without at least five or six gallons at a pop, and that’s minimum. I know you can find little kits online that purport to let you make cheese with only a gallon or two of milk, but it’s very, very hard to do that.  The reason is that the temperature of the milk has to be regulated precisely and with small amounts it fluctuates easily.  Professional cheesemakers use large stainless steel vats holding hundreds of gallons of milk, hence raising the temperature by two degrees, for instance, is easy to control.  That’s much harder to do with only a gallon of milk.

Doing anything like that on the Naugler kitchen stove (cinder blocks) is laughable.

These folks are not living sustainably by raising goats. This is one of their myths.

The Christmas Truce

Nicole OP

Here’s a Christmas present for you.  The story of the Christmas truce of WWI.

In case  you’ve never heard of the Christmas truce, it’s a sort of mythologized story about how the soldiers, on Christmas Eve and Day of 1914, just refused to fight and exchanged food and gifts and even played ball with each other.  It was all wonderful and glorious and it proves that people don’t like war.  Or something.

The quote Nicole chose for her little meme is from the Mises Institute, which is a libertarian organization that promotes very right-wing economic policies.

There’s an interesting quote in the body of the article, though.

Like many other historians, he believes that with an early end of the war in December of 1914, there probably would have been no Russian Revolution, no Communism, no Lenin, and no Stalin. Furthermore, there would have been no vicious peace imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty, and therefore, no Hitler, no Nazism and no World War II.

So, supposedly, if the soldiers had just kept singing Silent Night, and said “Fuck you” to the horrible governments that forced them to fight each other, nothing bad at all would have happened in the entirety of the next, what, fifty or so years.  Wow.

What actually happened during that magical time in 1914?

Well, here’s another piece.

And in what part of the story does our skepticism uncover pseudohistory? Not, as we might expect, in the part that portrays men peacefully shaking hands and sharing Christmas cheer; but in the part of the story that frames this as all that different from their normal day. It turns out that the 1914 Christmas Truce was only marginally more peaceful at a time in the war when fraternization — at least between the British and the Germans — was commonplace.

Turns out the whole thing was really complicated. Isn’t that surprising?  I mean, historians have written entire books about the events of those two wars (WWI and WWII) and the causes for each one. It’s impossible to reduce it to a silly meme on Facebook.

But I find the whole thing sort of interesting because the meme fits right in with the Naugler philosophy about war in general.  They are agin it.  Sort of.


Like this. Al Wilson spent 23 years in the US military. And it had “nothing to do with defending our rights.”  Nothing. It was just an “overseas battle.”

So, pretty much for Nicole’s and Joe’s entire lifetimes, war has been unnecessary and nothing but government over-reach.

WWII okay

Then, what do we make of this?  Have Nicole’s views on the subject evolved some?  Was WWI not okay but WWII was okay?  The veterans of WWII are heroes, but the veterans of the Gulf wars or Kosovo are not? Wasn’t D-Day just “an overseas battle” with Germany? Why are they “heroes” but Al Wilson is not?

Nicole, please do you and your children a favor and study a bit of history without relying solely on screeds from libertarian sources.  And while you’re at it, spend some time on the proper use of possessives.

Oh, and Merry Christmas, everyone.

Oh, Barney, We’ve Missed You So Much

So I finished up my morning real-life activities and settled down to do some online stuff and what do I see on the blog but this.


bugeye BarneySo I thought:


Well, for just a second.

Before I started laughing.






Then I did a few minutes of looking about.

First the email address.

hayes law firm

LOL  Santa Clarita, California.  Mr. Hayes practices family, divorce, and bankruptcy law.  I bet he’d be astonished to see his email address being used in an anonymous online threat.

Then the IP address.

ip address

Mr. Hayes is apparently in Frankfurt, Germany.

Or, using Occam’s Razor (go look that up, it’s your homework assignment for today), I’d say that somebody is being cute and using an IP proxy service. I’d also be willing to bet it’s not Donald A Hayes.

Face it, guys. You’re going to have to do actual work to feed yourselves. You’re not going to be able to sue me to get money.

Barney gun


Nice try, though.







From email we get this.


And the little attached message is this.


Here’s the deal, Jack, you idiot: I am making public commentary on someone else’s public statements.

You, in turn, can make public commentary on my public statements.

None of that is “harassment.”

Harassment, by definition, involves somebody actually coming to you (in person, or online, say, to your Facebook page or blog) and stalking you.  I am not doing that.  In fact, the person who has come here harassing me is you, Jack, to the point that I had to remove your comments. You’re visiting here, using a proxy IP address and impersonating an attorney in order to harass me.  And now you’re harassing me by sending unwanted emails.

Nobody has to come here and read any of this. Not you.  Not Joe. Not Nicole.



Math is Hard

math post

So math is hard.  Or Nicole thinks it is.  She “hated math.”

I think she probably also hated English and grammar, since she uses both rather poorly, but I digress.

“We use(sic) to do math workbooks.”

She thought they were “busy work.”

The problem, of course, is that math is like playing the piano or riding a bike.  It’s a skill.  You have to practice a skill to get good at it. That’s what math workbooks are.  Practice.

One other thing about math is that we don’t study it in school solely to enable us to solve an algebraic equation at age 52, after a lifetime of working as a dog groomer.  Lots of people go all the way through school and rarely use higher math again in their lives.  If they really need it, they get a calculator or a computer does it for them.

What studying math does (all those workbooks) is teach students how to think logically and clearly and orderly.  How to reason.  How to solve problems step-by-step.  How to look at, say, an area where you want to build a patio and figure out that you might need to level the ground first. And then, the next step might be to actually be able to determine when it is level. And then a further step might be to slope it very slightly so that water will not puddle in your patio but will run off.

It’s not just about knowing how to figure out, say, what level is, but how to think so that you know that getting the ground level is desirable or necessary.  How to put things in order.

Problem-solving.  A really good life skill.  Brought to you by your math workbook.

But the zinger is the second highlighted sentence.  What if you are “forced” to do math when you don’t want to, when you would rather just take a break?

What if  you are forced to wait on a difficult customer when you just don’t feel like it, and would rather go to Burger King because you’re hungry, only you don’t have $10 to do that and you absolutely have to wait on that customer to get paid so you’ll have $10 to go get that Whopper?

Or what if your boss says you simply must load that truck with boxes by noon, only you don’t feel like it, and you’d rather take a break, so you just say, “Gee, I’m gonna take a break right now and I’ll do all that later”?

One of the real weaknesses of homeschooling in general is that homeschooling parents tend to give in to this sort of thing.  In “real” school, the teacher assigns a paper to be turned in by Friday, and if you’re late, you find out that your “A” paper has now earned a measly “B” for being late.  It’s a little practice at what life is going to be like when you’re grown and holding down an actual job with real responsibilities.

Homeschool parents are prone to say, “Well, it’s okay because Aunt Rhoda visited last night and I know you had to stop working on it to play with your cousin Mikey, so you can finish it tomorrow.”

I know about this. We homeschooled for quite a few years.  It’s a problem without an easy solution.

But I digress again.

Math is hard for Nicole.  She doesn’t like it.

It shows.

meme guns

I have no idea if Ryan Muller made this meme, or if he simply shared it.  There’s nothing on it that identifies the author.

However, it’s bullshit.

Here are the actual statistics about murder, right from the official FBI website.


In case that’s hard to read, in 2014, deaths (murders) from firearms of all types totalled 8124. Murders using blunt objects as a weapon (including baseball bats)? 435.

I know Nicole thinks math is hard, but this is simple.  8124 is more than 435.  A lot more.

And I am aware that the meme creator says that baseball bats are the most frequently used weapon in “violent crimes” and death does not always result from “violent crime,” but we’ll get to his mixed statistics in a bit. The overarching theme of the meme is death.

First let’s look at the bottom two items on the charming little graph she posted.

meme guns snippet

The meme’s author doesn’t bother to tell us if this figure is for one year (one would assume that’s the case) or for an aggregate of 12 years or three years, or if it is one year, which year.  So we have to guess.

And that is sort of hard to do because neither of those numbers match up to anything on the FBI official report.

The total number of people murdered in the US in 2014 was, according to the chart above, 11961.  I did a little searching through the FBI website and found a slightly different figure of 14249, but that was “estimated.”

If you opt for a different year, the figures are similar.  None of them match the ones in the meme.  According to the meme, there were a whopping 28292 homicides in the US during some unspecified period of time.

Notice that the meme maker made the figure for “non-firearm homicides” bigger than the figure for “firearm homicides.”

Not only is this inaccurate, it is wildly inaccurate. Firearms account for the overwhelming majority of homicides in the US annually, as you can see clearly in the FBI report above. Out of 11961 murders, 8124 were people who were shot by a gun.

And handguns accounted for about 3/5 of the firearm homicides. (See? A fraction.  Scary.)

Now then. Notice the other things listed on the meme.  Smoking. Medical errors.

Let’s talk about medical errors for a second. That’s a big scary figure, isn’t it?  Gee whiz. 195000 people died from some doctor or nurse making a boo-boo. That’s bad, if true. Turns out, the meme maker cherry-picked the largest estimate he could find so he could make the scary line longer.

But even assuming it’s accurate, imagine what the statistic is for “deaths due to not having medical care for a treatable condition.”  It’s estimated that 45000 people in the US die every year simply because they have no health insurance. (And yes, that’s an estimate and as such, is subject to error.)

But suppose there weren’t any mistakes made in hospitals simply because there weren’t any hospitals?  I assure you, I’d be dead a long time ago.  Actually, I probably would never have been born.

But the larger point here is about the reason for the meme.

The guy made the meme because he wanted to make it look like hardly anyone ever gets killed by being shot.   It just almost never happens.  Why, people are dropping dead all around us, getting killed in car wrecks, and falling down, and getting lung cancer.  Guns?  Pfft.  Hardly a blip on the radar.

But you see, nobody intends to die from smoking.  Nobody says, “Gee, I’ll smoke so I can commit suicide.”  No medical person (except for the occasional serial killer) intentionally kills a patient.  Medical errors are just that: errors.

And on and on.  Not a single thing on that list is intentional except the two at the bottom: homicides.

So the meme is comparing apples and oranges.

And then in doing so, the guy cheats with his figures.

But he fooled Nicole because she isn’t good with fractions.  I would suggest that maybe she needs to get one of those math workbooks and do some work in it herself, even if it’s hard and she doesn’t feel like it.

Or maybe she could just read this.