August 3, 2015

Before We Fry Ray Tensing in the Death of Sam DuBose …

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:28 pm

… we need some clarity.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters is not providing it.

He claims, based on Tensing’s body-cam video of the incident which ended in DuBose’s death, that “Tensing ‘fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head.’”

As eager as Deters may have been to calm a situation involving a white university cop and a black man in an already tense city (Cincinnati), his announcement of this snap judgment based on the viewing of a fast-moving video should have waited.

That’s especially the case because longtime Cincinnati-area blogger extraordinaire Porkopolis has presented conclusive evidence of the following, based on detailed analysis of the body-cam video:

Prosecutor Deter’s assertion — that “Rather than being dragged by the moving car, Deters said, Tensing “fell backward after he shot [DuBose] in the head” — is incorrect.

You read that right.

Here are the Cliff’s notes of Porkopolis’s post, supported in great detail (bolds are his):

  1. Officer Ray Tensing may (jury will decide) have feared he was being dragged and thus feared for his life.
  2. The fear (from 1) may have justified use of lethal force (jury will decide).
  3. Not only may Officer Tensing have feared that he would be dragged, Officer Tensing WAS dragged as the video evidence conclusively shows.
  4. The jury will have to reconcile the fear of being dragged with the fact that he was dragged.

Porkopolis has also presented two videos from other outside sources (direct YouTube links here and here) supporting Tensing’s contention that he was dragged.

Please note that I am not commenting on the impact this direct rebuttal of one of Prosecutor Deters’ core contentions has or should have on the charges to be filed and pursued against Tensing.

I’m not in a position to evaluate, for example, whether Tensing was within the normal rules of engagement to reach into the car after DuBose turned the ignition key, or whether the offense involved should have called for Tensing to request backup or to just let DuBose drive away be be possibly apprehended later.

What I do know is this, and those of you who are defending Sam DuBose need to understand this: If you’re pulled over and then decide to flee, as DuBose did, you lose control of your destiny.

I’m NOT saying that DuBose deserved his fate; he obviously didn’t. But I’m saying that once you choose to flee, the likelhood that bad things will happen goes up exponentially.

The lesson, for kids, adults, whites, blacks and EVERYONE: For God’s sake, when pulled over, NEVER, EVER, EVER flee.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Back to the central point: As Porkopolis wrote, the primary interest here should be “Justice for Sam DuBose, Officer Ray Tensing and the People of Cincinnati.”

Joe Deters has dealt that effort a serious setback, to no one’s benefit.

Despite Weak Seasonally Adjusted Increase, June Construction Spending Was Strong

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:56 am

Here are the seasonal (at an annual rate) and raw tables.

After a tepid first quarter, raw and seasonally adjusted construction spending were both up by double-digit percentages year-over-year in May and June.

It bears watching to see if it’s reached a plateau, but no one can reasonably complain about the past two months’ reported results.

July ISM Manufacturing: 52.7 Percent, Down From 53.5; Seasonal Adjustment Games in Evidence?

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 11:40 am

From the Institute for Supply Management (bolds are mine; paragraph breaks added by me):

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in July for the 31st consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 74th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The July PMI® registered 52.7 percent, a decrease of 0.8 percentage point below the June reading of 53.5 percent. The New Orders Index registered 56.5 percent, an increase of 0.5 percentage point from the reading of 56 percent in June. The Production Index registered 56 percent, 2 percentage points above the June reading of 54 percent.

The Employment Index registered 52.7 percent, 2.8 percentage points below the June reading of 55.5 percent, reflecting growing employment levels from June but at a slower rate. Inventories of raw materials registered 49.5 percent, a decrease of 3.5 percentage points from the June reading of 53 percent. The Prices Index registered 44 percent, down 5.5 percentage points from the June reading of 49.5 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the ninth consecutive month.

Comments from the panel reflect a combination of optimism mixed with uncertainties about international markets and the impacts of the continuing decline in oil prices.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 are reporting growth in July

Five industries are reporting contraction, and two are flat.

While Production and New Orders are solidly in expansion, Backlog of Orders, the other direct future GDP indicator is at 42.5, which has to be the lowest in several years. Exports are also in contraction (48.5), which is not helpful.

I’d be tempted to say that the overall reading is okay and sufficiently expansionary despite the Backlog flag, but there’s this from Zero Hedge, which, as has been its custom, calls the credibility of seasonally adjusted results into question:

… a more than cursory look at the headline reveals something quite unpositive: the onlyreason they New Orders print came where it did, is due to seasonal adjustments.

As the chart below shows, which tracks the Manufacturing ISM New Orders history, while the seasonally adjusted New Orders datapoint was indeed the highest since 2015, the unadjusted, or one which merely reflects what respondents are saying even as they already factor in for seasonals (which goes back to the idiocy of seasonally adjusting a survey which is already subliminally adjusted) New Orders of 52.5 was the lowest print not only in 2015, but the lowest since December 2013.

Just to repeat because it bears repeating: the exact same data point can either be the highest since 2014 or the lowest since 2013 depending on whether one “seasonally adjusts” it.

Questioning how actual (i.e. not seasonally adjusted) New Orders can dive but somehow go up a bit after seasonal adjustment is quite legitimate. The silver lining is that at least the raw number is also in expansion, so it’s a matter of degree and not direction.

The real mystery is how ISM Manufacturing can remain in expansion when so many other hard-number manufacturing data points have been in contraction or mostly declining year-over-year for some time, e.g., manufacturers’ shipments and new orders (meanwhile, unfilled orders are through the roof, which may either mean that there’s a big pickup ahead or that a lot of customers are telling manufacturers to defer their work until later months). Then there’s the Fed’s Industrial Production data, where the manufacturing subset’s monthly readings declined by a combined 0.4 points in the first quarter, and only increased by a tenth of a point in the second.

One can’t help but think that ISM is mostly hearing from the firms that are doing well, and not hearing much, if anything, from those which aren’t.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (080315)

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: Nuns, guns and the Wild West – the extraordinary tale of Sr. Blandina

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Santa Fe, New Mexico:

Aug 1, 2015 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Billy the Kid, a notorious bank and stage-coach robber of the Wild West, met his match in the most unlikely of people when he met Sister Blandina Segale.

According to legend, and to Sr. Blandina’s journal and letters, one of Billy the Kid’s gang members had been shot and was on the brink of death when the doctors of Trinidad, Colo. refused to treat him. Sister decided to take him in and cared for him for three months, nursing him back to health.

But Billy the Kid (William Leroy) was still unhappy. Word got out that the outlaw was coming to town to scalp the four doctors of Trinidad in revenge. When he arrived, Sr. Blandina intervened, and convinced him to call off his mission on behalf of his man she had saved.

After that incident, Sr. Blandina and Billy the Kid became friends. She once visited him in jail, and he once called off a stage-coach robbery as soon as he realized Sister was one of the passengers.

When she wasn’t calling off outlaws, Sr. Blandina was founding schools, building hospitals, teaching and caring for orphans and the poor, and advocating for the rights of Native Americans and other minorities. All in a day’s work.

Her heroic virtue and enduring works are why her cause for sainthood was opened in New Mexico last summer, earning her the title “Servant of God” and allowing people to ask for her intercession. Since then, several documents have come to light corroborating her stories, and the necessary miracle for the next big step – beatification – seems to be well on its way. …

Go here for the rest of the story.