June 14, 2015

Press Takes Artificially Pumped Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales Growth As Gospel

On Thursday, the Census Bureau’s report on May retail sales said that seasonally adjusted sales came in 1.2 percent higher than April. The press almost universally cited that result as demonstrating that the economy’s rough patch earlier this year is likely over.

Yours truly and the contrarians at Zero Hedge both noted that the result is highly suspect, and doesn’t adequately reflect the raw data behind it. The business press won’t question it, because it hardly ever bothers to look at the raw data.


WashPost Hypes Study’s ‘Synthetic’ Claim That 1994 Connecticut Gun Law Saved Lives

On Friday, the Washington Post’s Jeff Guo hyped a study published in the American Journal of Public Health by four people with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study (abstract here) contends that “Connecticut’s handgun permit-to-purchase law (passed in 1994) was associated with a subsequent reduction in homicide rates” involving firearms.

Readers wondering if there is a connection to that Bloomberg, i.e., Michael, and his fierce anti-Second Amendment agenda need not wonder. There is. Two of the four authors are with the school’s Center for Gun Policy and Research — very weak research which left the Post’s Guo incomprehensively claiming that the state’s “permit to purchase” law regulating private firearms transactions seems to have saved “a lot” of lives.


Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061415)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Pope talks mercy, migrants, ministry in the air

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jun 12, 2015 / 10:39 am

Pope Francis told a group of airport chaplains that their call is to be a sign of unity and mercy for the many different faces and cultures that come through airports, including undocumented migrants and asylum seekers.

“The airport is a place of encounter for many people who travel, for work, for tourism, for other reasons; they are also points of transit for migrants and refugees, children and elderly, who need special care and attention,” the Pope said June 12.

He made his comments to participants in the International Seminar of Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplains, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

The theme of the encounter was “Evangelii gaudium: A Support for the Pastoral Care of Airport Chaplaincy.”

In his speech, Francis noted that there is a “troubling number of passengers without documents – often refugees and asylum seekers,” and lamented how they are frequently detained in airport premises “for long or short periods, sometimes without adequate spiritual and human assistance.”

Due to the diversity of people and cultures who pass through airports, the chaplaincy is called to be a place of “unity in diversity” for all categories of people, he said.

“As a big city, the airport is a cosmopolitan, multiethnic, and multi-religious environment and you, chaplains and members of the chaplaincy, are immersed in the life of this unique community,” he said, explaining that because of this, it is even more important for them to be work with docility and be “attuned” to the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis pointed to the image of the Good Shepherd as a model of how airport chaplains and those who work in the chaplaincy ought to care for the people in their ministry. …

Go here for the rest of the story.