Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: April 24, 2012

Economic Statistics for 24 Apr 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Redbook is disappointing today, showing same-store, year-over-year retail sales up only 2.7%. In contrast to Redbook, ICSC-Goldman shows a 0.8% increase in sales over last week, with the year over rate rate up 3.6%.

New homes in March were sold at a 328,000 unit annual rate. This was slightly less than expected but was offset by large upward revisions to prior months.

The Case-Shiller Home Price composite 20 city index rose 0.2% last month, following a revised 0.1% dip the prior month. Home prices keep bouncing along the bottom. Meanwhile, the FHFA reports house prices in February rose 0.3%, following a 0.4% decline in January.

The Consumer Confidence Index fell one full point in April, to 69.2, mainly on falling income expectations.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index is down a sizable 3.9 points this month to 87.7, indicating falling confidence among institutional investors.

While manufacturing has been weakening according to other data, the Richmond Fed’s Manufacturing Index rose 7 points to 14.

~
Dale Franks
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New tone: How culpable is the news media and the left in this crime? (Update)

I ask because I have found the coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting and death to be sensationalist and, many times, based in rumor later found to be incorrect.

Or, to put a finer point on it, the coverage of the case has been anything but objective and fact based.

For instance, the original reports that said the incident was a white on black killing.  In fact, Zimmerman isn’t white.  He’s Hispanic.  ABC then published a video from the police station claiming there was no evidence of injury.  A closer look revealed ample evidence of injury, but that meme had already traveled the world twice.  MSNBC, not to be out done, made the claim that Zimmerman uttered a racial slur that was caught on the 911 tape.  Again, when examined more closely, it appeared clear that it wasn’t a racial slur at all, but a comment on the weather.

Meanwhile, the race baiters, attracted to the killing like sharks to chum, had picked up on the story as presented by the media and converged on Sanford FL, the site of the killing, to seek “justice” for Trayvon Martin.

Well, apparently some of it was served yesterday … in Mobile, AL:

Mobile police need your help to catch a mob that beat Matthew Owens so badly that he’s in critical condition.

According to police, Owens fussed at some kids playing basketball in the middle of Delmar Drive about 8:30 Saturday night. They say the kids left and a group of adults returned, armed with everything but the kitchen sink.

Police tell News 5 the suspects used chairs, pipes and paint cans to beat Owens.

Owens’ sister, Ashley Parker, saw the attack. "It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed." Parker says 20 people, all African American, attacked her brother on the front porch of his home, using "brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on."

And, according to Ms. Parker, as they were leaving something else occurred:

What Parker says happened next could make the fallout from the brutal beating even worse. As the attackers walked away, leaving Owen bleeding on the ground, Parker says one of them said "Now that’s justice for Trayvon." Trayvon Martin is the unarmed teenager police say was shot and killed February 26 by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.

The left is fond of trying to blame the right for inciting incidents of violence.  The Gabby Gifford shooting is the most recent example. 

I have to wonder if the news media who sensationalized the Martin shooting and the race hustlers who inflamed the situation are willing to take the blame for this beating?

UPDATE: Ace points to two more beatings that appear to have been motivated by the Martin case.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

British climate alarmist recants his alarmism

Interesting.  True confession time I guess

James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his “Gaia” theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being “alarmist” about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too.

Gee, we’d have never guessed.

Lovelock goes into some further detail:

“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said.

“The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said.

“The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that,” he added.

So in essence, what Lovelock is saying is a) he was wrong about his predictions and b) in actuality they really don’t know what is happening although they have this theory which isn’t panning out the way they thought it would.

Great.

So much for the value of consensus huh?

To his credit, at least, Lovelock admits to the mistake. 

Would that the rest of the alarmists had that sort of integrity.  Instead, many choose to double down and make themselves even less credible.  One wonders if Lovelock’s admission might give some others the courage to recant as well.

Oh, and Lovelock makes an important point:

Asked if he was now a climate skeptic, Lovelock told msnbc.com: “It depends what you mean by a skeptic. I’m not a denier.”

Yeah, neither am I.  I’m a skeptic.  Climate changes.  It has throughout the history of the planet.  And we’ve had periods of higher CO2 and higher temperatures in our history, neither of which could be linked to man.  Additionally:

He said human-caused carbon dioxide emissions were driving an increase in the global temperature, but added that the effect of the oceans was not well enough understood and could have a key role.

“It (the sea) could make all the difference between a hot age and an ice age,” he said.

I am skeptical of his first statement and much more likely to find credence in the second, i.e. it is the oceans of this world that drive climate change, not man.  Additionally, it seems to me that, at least to this point, the skeptic’s theory of low sensitivity of the climate to CO2 seems to be more valid than the alarmists theory of high sensitivity.  Had the alarmists been right, as Lovelock points out, we should be frying right now.

Most importantly is his admission that “twelve years is a reasonable time”.  It has provided enough time for a trend to develop that debunks the alarmist’s predictions. 

Finally Lovelock admits that which has been painfully evident to most skeptics, given the trend of those 12 years – “we don’t know what the climate is doing.”

That is correct.  And until we do we need to quit trying to make economy killing policy based on what the evidence is currently telling us is a faulty theory.

Or said another way, we need to use actual science to drive policy, not pseudo-science that supports a political agenda.

I should be able to get consensus on that, no?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO