Guest Post by David Stockman
Here’s a newsflash that CNBC didn’t mention. According to the BLS, the US economy generated a miniscule 11,000 jobs in the month of December.
Yet notwithstanding the fact that almost nobody works outside any more, the BLS fiction writers added 281,000 to their headline number to cover the “seasonal adjustment.” This is done on the apparent truism that December is generally colder than November and that workers get holiday vacations.
Of course, this December was much warmer, not colder, than average. And that’s not the only deviation from normal seasonal trends.
The Christmas selling season this year, for example, was absolutely not comparable to the ghosts of Christmas past. Bricks and mortar retail is in turmoil and in secular decline due to Amazon and its e-commerce ilk, and this trend is accelerating by the year.
So too, energy and export based sectors have been thrown for a loop in the last few months by a surging dollar and collapsing commodity prices. Likewise, construction activity has been so weak in this cycle—-and for the good reason that both commercial and residential stock is vastly overbuilt owing to two decades of cheap credit—–that its not remotely comparable to historic patterns.
Never mind. The BLS always adds the same big dollop of jobs to the December establishment survey come hell or high water. In fact, the seasonal adjustment has averaged 320,000 for the last 12 years!
Shockingly, all of the mainstream media bullshit about mass shootings is made up and false. Who is going to watch Obama’s national speech on gun control tonight? I’ll be busy taking a big, smelly dump in honor of his speech and ordering some more ammo.
Shortly after news broke of a shooting in San Bernardino (which we now know was a terrorist attack), Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit were abuzz that the events of December 2, 2015 were the “355th mass shooting” of 2015. Obviously, this was a concerning statistic–if it were actually true.
It turns out it wasn’t, and even figures on the left agree. There’s been nowhere near 355 mass shootings in 2015, and according to Mother Jones editor Mark Folman, there have been exactly four.
At Mother Jones, where I work as an editor, we have compiled an in-depth, open-source database covering more than three decades of public mass shootings. By our measure, there have been four “mass shootings” this year, including the one in San Bernardino, and at least 73 such attacks since 1982.
What explains the vastly different count? The answer is that there is no official definition for “mass shooting.” Almost all of the gun crimes behind the much larger statistic are less lethal and bear little relevance to the type of public mass murder we have just witnessed again. Including them in the same breath suggests that <href=”#wiki_number_351.3a_11.2f27.2f2015.2c_unknown.2c_2_dead_2_injured.2c_sacramento.2c_ca”>a 1 a.m. gang fight in a Sacramento restaurant, in which two were killed and two injured, is the same kind of event as a deranged man walking into a community college classroom and massacring nine and injuring nine others. Or that a late-night shooting on a street in Savannah, Ga., yesterday that injured three and killed one is in the same category as the madness that just played out in Southern California.
While all the victims are important, conflating those many other crimes with indiscriminate slaughter in public venues obscures our understanding of this complicated and growing problem. Everyone is desperate to know why these attacks happen and how we might stop them — and we can’t know, unless we collect and focus on useful data that filter out the noise.
Hat tip Hardscrabble Farmer
Guest Post by Lamar Smith
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the nation’s leading collector of climate data. Every day, NOAA analyzes vast amounts of data to predict changes to our climate, weather, oceans and coasts. The agency also publishes monthly temperature averages across the nation and compares those numbers to historical temperature records.
As the nation’s self-proclaimed authority on “environmental intelligence,” NOAA should be held to the highest scientific standards. This means their conclusions should be objective, independent of political consideration and based on all available sources of information.
In testimony before the House Science Committee, NOAA’s deputy administrator, Manson Brown, made similar remarks, noting the importance of satellite data. He said that NOAA’s ability “to deliver environmental intelligence starts with keeping the pulse of the planet, especially the atmosphere and the ocean, and this is the central capability where space-based assets come into play.” So why does NOAA leave out satellite data when it releases climate projections?
NOAA often fails to consider all available data in its determinations and climate change reports to the public. A recent study by NOAA, published in the journal Science, made “adjustments” to historical temperature records and NOAA trumpeted the findings as refuting the nearly two-decade pause in global warming. The study’s authors claimed these adjustments were supposedly based on new data and new methodology. But the study failed to include satellite data.