June 9, 2008

AP Pending Home Sales Report Avoids Naming the Percentage Increase

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:43 pm

I received this CNN e-mail this morning:

Pending home sales in April rose 6.3%, from March, but fell 13.1% from last year, according to a Realtor trade group.

Not bad. It might even be fair to say (emphasis: might) that the real estate market is on the long road back to something resembling normalcy.

The Associated Press’s J.W. Elphinstone sanitized this pretty decent news, and I’ll show you how:

NAR: US pending home sales move higher in April

Pending home sales unexpectedly rose in April to the highest reading since October, an industry group said Monday, but experts say the large proportion of distressed property sales will continue to weigh down prices.

The National Association of Realtors’ seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for existing homes rose to 88.2 from a March reading of 83.0, the lowest since the index was started in 2001. However, it’s still 13 percent below April 2007′s reading of 101.5.

Wall Street economists polled by Thomson/IFR had predicted the index would remain steady at 83.

Elphinstone managed to tell us the percentage decline from last year, but never told us the percentage increase over the previous month. The AP reporter only told us the change in the index, and left it to the reader to calculate the increase (5.2 points divided by 83.0 is 6.3%, rounded). The average reader probably won’t do the calculation, and the 13% decline will be their primary takeaway.

If you go to the realtor group’s press release, you’ll see that they had the 6.3% increase in their second paragraph. Elphinstone had to work to take it out.

Isn’t that “clever”?

Even the captioning of the pictures at the story link makes sure to mention the 13% decline in pending sales from a year ago while only saying that they “unexpectedly increased in April to the highest reading since October.” Again, the 6.3% increase is nowhere to be found.

It’s just another example of the subtle methods reporters who seem not to want relatively good economic news to get out use to obscure it.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Column of the Next Five Months: At American Thinker, Kyle-Anne Shiver Says This Is a Worldview Election

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:20 pm

Shiver didn’t use those words, but by the time you get through this excerpt from her read-the-whole-thing column, you’ll see that it’s her conclusion:

….. One of the first lessons Barack Obama learned in Chicago, doing Alinsky-style political organizing between Columbia and Harvard, was that the religious communities were where the action was.

The first real power connection that Saul Alinsky himself made in his own class-struggle efforts in the 1930s was with the Archbishop of Chicago. And it was in the churches and synagogues that Alinsky’s initial efforts to organize labor were successful.

What Obama found in Chicago churches in the 1980s, however, was not Martin Luther King’s ole time religion, the traditional Christianity of most of our ancestors, both black and white. No, what Obama found was a religion perfectly compatible with his own, already well-formed, far-left worldview.

The Black Liberation Theology of James H. Cone. Marxism emblazoned with a cross and a pulpit, pretending to use the Bible for its authority.

Before Obama even left Chicago for Harvard Law school, he had been embraced by the strange cabal of some of Chicago’s most radical and activist religious leaders, Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan and Michael Pfleger. Liberationists all.

….. After 20 years, Obama has resigned his membership at Trinity United Church of Christ. He did so after Rev. Michael Pfleger’s rants against Hillary Clinton’s white privilege made such a splash on the internet and television news.

But Obama’s attempts to distance himself now from Trinity, Wright, Pfleger, Farrakhan and Cone mean nothing to me. He can, in my mind, no more disown them now, than he could months ago.

The Black Liberation Theology of TUCC that he chose as an adult is the only religious foundation, save the Islam he learned as a young child in an Indonesian school, that Barack Obama has ever had in his life.

Discovering Black Liberation Theology in Wright’s church was the one thing that enabled Obama to see that those believing in a far left political ideology could also have religion. Obama’s mother had taught him this wasn’t the case.

Wright showed him another way, a Third Way.

And Obama seized it, has used this Third Way to catapult himself into powerful positions, and now is stunningly within reach of the most powerful political position in the world, the Presidency of the United States of America.

And wherever Obama speaks in public, strains of Black Liberation Theology are ingrained in his message.

….. (Obama’s concept of) “Collective salvation” is an idea that comes from Marxism, Liberation Theology in particular, and is absolutely antithetical to traditional Christianity. When it comes to facing God on one’s own judgment day, there is no hiding in groups, no “collective” anything.

The idea of “collective salvation” or “collective redemption” is pure Marxism; there is nothing whatsoever Christian about it.

….. Black Liberation Theology, and all Liberation Theologies, as well as every type of Marxism — whether Lenin’s, Stalin’s, Hitler’s, Mao’s, Castro’s – have all begun with appeals to the people to create a just world, or rather to create a world in keeping with that particular leader’s concept of what a just world should look like. A society that would right the wrongs inherent in God’s design and those that are manifest from age to age on account of man’s own sin.

….. The essential difference between Obama’s liberation theology and traditional Christianity would seem to be not the presence or the absence of hope.

The difference is where individuals choose to put their hope.

Will we continue to hope in God, while each working to achieve individual redemption for our own souls, and in the process make the world a slightly better place?

Or will we, in a massive protest of impatience with God’s way, choose to put our hope in the people, the movement, the collective salvation offered by Obama and his liberation theologians?

Obama is by far the furthest-left radical ever nominated by a major party. This election really is about whether voters give in to the lovely-sounding but ultimately freedom-stealing idea of government-directed “collective good,” as defined by people who won’t specifically define it for us.

Unless they are forced — which is why the cult of personality meme is so all-important to the Obama campaign. It distracts from the questions that must be asked and answered in front of the American people. Will they be?

Passage of the Day: On Inconvenient Temperatures

From Christopher Booker in the UK Sunday Telegraph (second major topic at link; bold is mine; HT Benny Peiser’s CCnet e-mail):

There is something comically forlorn about the BBC’s continued efforts to promote its frenetically one-sided belief in global warming. It was inevitably quick, for instance, to pick up on that bishop who suggested anyone who refuses to save the planet from global warming was morally comparable with Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who fathered seven children on the daughter he kept for 24 years in a dungeon. But how about these headlines?

“Globally, 2008 significantly cooler than last year”, “Global temperatures dive in May”. Not a word about this on the BBC, although they summarised two items on the Watts Up With That website run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts, reporting the latest data from Dr Roy Spencer, formerly head of climate studies for Nasa.

Based on satellite and balloon temperature readings taken at various levels up to 135,000ft, the first item showed that global temperatures in the first months of 2008 were on average between 0.4 and 0.5 degrees Celsius lower than they were at the same time in 2007. The second said that temperatures in May again fell sharply, by nearly 0.2 of a degree, bringing the drop since January 2007 to 0.77 degrees.

In other words, in just 16 months we have seen global cooling greater than the 0.7 degrees net warming recorded by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the whole of the 20th century. Yet it was on this figure more than anything else that the whole warmist theory has been based. Those IPCC computer models never predicted anything like this recent drop in temperatures.

….. Before the world commits economic suicide, it might be an idea to look at the theory again in the light of those latest temperature figures.

Booker also quotes a Lieberman-Warner cost figure of $6.7 trillion (with a “tr”) by 2050. Betcha haven’t seen that figure until now.

I’d like to “look at the theory again” long enough to throw it into the circular file. Under “globaloney.”

Don’t be surprised if, 50 years from now, objective history teaches that Al Gore was the Walter Duranty of the environmental movement. Like Duranty, Gore will probably live very well on his hype long after it has proven to be false. As Duranty never has had his Pulitzer revoked, even though he lied for years about conditions in the Soviet Union of the 1930s, Gore will likely get to keep his Nobel Prize long after his complete foolishness has become clear to all but the most willfully blind.

Positivity: Spreading the Medical Miracle

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Rexburg, Idaho:

Area family becomes March of Dimes ambassadors
Published: Monday, May 26, 2008 9:00 PM MDT

After experiencing what they would consider to be a miracle, one Rexburg family is now working to spread their story to others in hopes of offering a helping hand.

Catherine and Daniel Rawson have recently begun work as the March of Dimes Ambassadors for the Idaho Falls and Rexburg area of eastern Idaho. Deciding to volunteer their time and efforts in this capacity was a choice that came following their own experience with nearly losing a child to premature birth.

“Our son was born 16 weeks early, and that’s very, very early – it’s pretty much as early as you can be born and still survive,” said Catherine Rawson. “We feel like we’re blessed just to have him.”

Peyton Rawson was born prematurely to Catherine and Daniel last year on June 14 in Provo, Utah, and weighed 1 pound, 7 ounces at birth. After spending the first four months of his life in intensive care, Peyton finally left the hospital, but even then had to stay on oxygen until February.

“He’s alive because of the good doctors, nurses, and all the good research and technology that has come from March of Dimes,” said Catherine Rawson. “They have helped these tiny premature babies survive and thrive, and we felt like we wanted to get involved with March of Dimes.”

Now as their son’s first birthday approaches, Catherine and Daniel Rawson have committed their time to serving as ambassadors for March of Dimes to raise awareness and try to help others who may find themselves in a similar situation. As ambassadors, they focus on raising awareness of the March of Dimes and its mission, which according to their Web site, is to improve the health of babies through education, funding, and researching new ways to prevent premature births and birth defects.

“March of Dimes hasn’t had an ambassador family for this area before, so we’re just trying to get the word out for right now,” said Katherine Rawson. “Most people have heard of it, and they know it’s a charity, but they don’t really know what they do.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.