December 1, 2015

November ISM Manufacturing: Contraction (48.6 Percent), Down From 50.1 Pct. in Oct.; Only 5 of 18 Industries Show Growth

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 10:18 am

Given how many regional manufacturing surveys have been in contraction for some time, consider today’s news a very tardy bow to the inevitable.

From the Institute for Supply Management (bolds and most paragraph breaks added by me):

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in November for the first time in 36 months, since November 2012, while the overall economy grew for the 78th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The November PMI® registered 48.6 percent, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from the October reading of 50.1 percent.

The New Orders Index registered 48.9 percent, a decrease of 4 percentage points from the reading of 52.9 percent in October. The Production Index registered 49.2 percent, 3.7 percentage points below the October reading of 52.9 percent.

The Employment Index registered 51.3 percent, 3.7 percentage points above the October reading of 47.6 percent. The Prices Index registered 35.5 percent, a decrease of 3.5 percentage points from the October reading of 39 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the 13th consecutive month.

The New Export Orders Index registered 47.5 percent, unchanged from October, and the Imports Index registered 49 percent, up 2 percentage points from the October reading of 47 percent.

Ten out of 18 manufacturing industries reported contraction in November, with lower new orders, production and raw materials inventories accounting for the overall softness in November.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, five are reporting growth in November in the following order: Printing & Related Support Activities; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Transportation Equipment. The 10 industries reporting contraction in November — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Primary Metals; Petroleum & Coal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Computer & Electronic Products; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Chemical Products.

All three key GDP drivers — New Orders (48.9), Production (49.2), and Backlog of Orders (43.0) — are in contraction, and averaging a dismal 46.0.

Don’t know how this could have been the case, but expectations were for a still barely positive reading of 50.4 – 50.7.

Considering the negativity in various regional readings, today’s national number still seems high.



Positivity: Seeking peace and mercy, Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of Bangui

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:55 am

From Bangui in the Central African Republic:

Nov 29, 2015 / 09:20 pm (CNA).- “Bangui is today the spiritual capital of the world,” Pope Francis said as he opened the Holy Door of Bangui’s cathedral on Sunday–the first time a Pope has opened a Holy Door outside Rome.

Pope Francis proclaimed: “We all pray for peace, mercy, reconciliation, pardon, love. Throughout the Central African Republic and in all the nations of the world which suffer war, let us pray for peace. And together we all pray for love and peace. We pray together.”

The Pope opened the Holy Door in the Central African Republic’s capital before the beginning of Sunday Mass Nov. 29.
The Jubilee of Mercy does not begin until Dec. 8, but Pope Francis decided to open the Holy Door in the cathedral of Bangui as a sign of prayer and solidarity with the country.

The Central African Republic is an active warzone following the December 2012 uprising which led to the overthrow of the president. About 6,000 people have died in the conflict, with several thousands more displaced.

The rite of the opening of the Holy Door is intended to symbolize that the Church’s faithful are offered an “extraordinary path” toward salvation during the time of jubilee.

As part of the Holy Year for Mercy, holy doors for the first time will be designated in dioceses. These will be located either in the cathedral, in a church of special significance or a shrine of particular importance for pilgrimages.

Each of the four major basilicas in Rome has a holy door. These are normally sealed shut from the inside so that they cannot be opened. The doors are only opened during jubilee years so that pilgrims can enter through them in order to gain the plenary indulgence that is connected with the jubilee.

Pope Francis’ Sunday homily emphasized that the power of God’s love can overcome “unprecedented devastation.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.


Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120115)

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November 30, 2015

UNC J-School Drops Post-Civil War History and Econ Course Requirements, Has No Idea Why They’re Needed

If you think journalists’ ignorance of American history and economic fundamentals is bad now, give it a few more years.

The University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism “has updated its curriculum requirements to give students more choice and flexibility in meeting the school’s graduation requirements. The change is in response to consistent feedback the school has received from students in its annual senior survey.” You already know there’s trouble if students who haven’t been out in the real world yet are influencing the curriculum. Here’s how much trouble:



As Paris Climate Talks Loom, AP’s Borenstein Goes Full-Bore Over ‘Trying to Save’ Earth

From time to time over the past nine years, I have written about “globaloney,” a shorthand term for the pseudo-science behind “climate change,” and “globalarmism” to describe the enviro-hysteria over “global warming” and the misguided public-policy prescriptions arising from that hysteria. Since the Paris climate talks have just begun, the press hysteria has reached a fever pitch.

At the Associated Press on Sunday, Seth Borenstein, swept up in that hysteria, wrote up a perfect example of “news” coverage embodying the essence of each term. We should be foreven grateful that longtime skeptic Christopher Monckton, at the Watts Up With That blog, picked Borenstein apart, utterly destroying the AP reporter’s work, piece by piece.



Former Reporters: AP Suppressed ‘World-Changing’ Story on Israeli Peace Offer in 2009

In predictably disingenuous fashion, the Associated Press claimed in a November 18 story that “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has shined new light on the breakdown of a potentially history-altering round of 2008 peace talks.” Abbas acknowledged that Israel offered Palestinians 93.5 percent of the West Bank and other significant concessions.

The “light” isn’t “new” at all. The wire service had the news almost seven years ago, and, according to former AP reporters, refused to publish it. An AP reporter who “discovered the Israeli peace offer in early 2009, got it confirmed on the record and brought it” to the AP in Jerusalem has substantiated the assertion that it “suppressed a world-changing story for no acceptable reason.” It is perhaps the most damming validation yet that prudent people should never trust establishment press reports out of the Middle East — particularly in regards to Israel — because of their “pattern … of accepting the Palestinian narrative as truth and branding the Israelis as oppressors.”



Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (113015)

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Positivity: This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, earlier this month (HT PJ Media via Patterico):

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!

This is not a day care. This is a university!

November 29, 2015

ESPN’s 2-Year Subscriber Loss: 7 Million Homes; Viewership Losses Likely Worse

The Walt Disney Company filed its annual 10-K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

The “getaway day” timing of the filing may not be a coincidence, at least as far as its 80 percent-owned ESPN subsidiary is concerned. That’s because the report contains bad news which Disney would surely want to see downplayed. Confirming problems yours truly observed in NewsBusters posts in September and October, Clay Travis at Fox Sports’ “Outkick the Coverage” blog observed that annual subscriber revenue at the the sport network’s various entities— even before considering likely accompany advertising losses — has declined by about $700 million dollars in the past two years (HT Instapundit; links are in original; bolds are mine):



AP’s Rugaber, Despite Wednesday’s Weak Economic Data: ‘Fundamentals Remain Solid’

As yours truly noted in several posts at my home blog on Wednesday and at NewsBusters on Friday and Saturday, the torrent of pre-Thanksgiving “getaway day” economic data was largely disappointing.

That didn’t stop the Associated Press’s Chris Rugaber from pushing the “All is well” meme late Wednesday afternoon, declaring, contrary to what anyone’s eyes could see, that “the fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain solid,” that “Consumers appear relatively confident in the economy,” and that “Americans are unleashing pent-up demand for big-ticket items such as homes and cars.”



Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112915)

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Positivity: Restaurant owner thankful for fire that saved her life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Newell, Iowa:

November 22, 2015 8:00 am

Angilia Durham gives thanks for a fire that temporarily closed her new restaurant.

It may ultimately save her life.

Durham comes from Waycross, Georgia, in March, eager to open the Newell Cafe in this Buena Vista County burg.

She lands in Omaha on Easter Sunday and is robbed of $375. Things like that can happen when you’re recovering from foot surgery and hobbling on crutches, leaning on the alleged “kindness” of a stranger who helps with luggage and makes off with cash.

Lacking funds for a bus ticket north, Durham accepts a Good Samaritan’s offer of transport to Storm Lake.

“The woman was on her way from Omaha to Okoboji and she got me as far as Storm Lake,” Durham says.

A Realtor makes sure Durham makes it to Newell, where she purchases the downtown restaurant site, the adjoining laundromat and the apartment upstairs, her residence. She opens her new restaurant on May 5, her 50th birthday.

The Seattle, Washington, native changes her menu in a hurry, observing a buffet would click with customers here.

“People here want to come in and eat as much as they want and then either leave or sit and visit,” Durham says. “I made this into a buffet and the people responded. They helped me set up three tables of Crock-Pots.”

Six weeks into her new venture, the self-cleaning mechanism on her oven shorts. The fire closes Newell Cafe for five days.

Durham is treated for smoke inhalation at Loring Hospital in nearby Sac City, Iowa.

“It’s a blessing,” she says. “The X-rays showed something. I had what the doctors call inductral palinoma, or a breast tumor.”

Had her cafe not had the fire, Durham wouldn’t have suffered smoke inhalation. She wouldn’t have gotten the X-ray, which led to a diagnosis, which led to surgery in August and then chemotherapy.

“I took 11 days off after surgery in late August and reopened on Sept. 3,” she says. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 28, 2015

AP’s Rugaber Hides the Overall Decline in Thanksgiving and Black Friday Sales

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 6:30 pm

The truth about this year’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday store and online sales is out there. It’s just that Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, wasn’t interested in clearly revealing all of it.

Instead, the AP economics writer told readers about the dollar amount of this year’s and last year’s Thursday and Friday store sales, but failed to quantify the increase in online sales. People who don’t follow the economy closely likely don’t know that an increase in online sales is quite unlikely to offset a decrease in brick-and-mortar store sales. The way Rugaber wrote up his piece ensured that news of the economy’s continued malaise will remain elusive for low-information news consumers and, ultimately, low-information voters.



AP’s Boak Says New-Home Sales ‘Recovered’ In October; No They Didn’t

On Wednesday, the Associated Press’s Josh Boak added to the wire service’s collection of weak “Getaway Day” business journalism by declaring that new-home sales “recovered in October.”

No they didn’t. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000 units reported by the Census Bureau was the fourth-lowest monthly level seen this year, even well below the 521,000 and 545,000 reported in the supposedly unprecedentedly awful winter months of January and February, respectively. Boak also claimed that “Americans recovered much of their appetite for owning new homes this year,” even though current levels are at best about 70 percent of what one would expect in a pre-”new normal” healthy market.



Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112815)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

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