Posts filed under “Current Affairs”

What Can Gun Control Advocates Do?

Too soon? Not this time.

Over the past decade, I have sadly observed each subsequent shooting tragedy, wondering when things would get so out bad, so out of hand that the United States would finally do something about gun violence.

I think Newton is the tragedy that puts the pro gun advocates on their heels.

I wonder: Is this the tragedy that moves US opinion away from the wild west and towards a more sane and civilized culture? Might we ever get a Supreme Court that understands a “well regulated militia” is not the same as an “heavily armed population?”

I am not sure what the solution is — what is logistically ideal or politically feasible.

I do know that if nothing is done, we can expect more Newtowns and Virginia Techs in the future . . .

Category: Current Affairs

TBP Holiday Shopping Ideas!

Its become an annual TBP tradition — each year, I pick some of the more odd & interesting things I stumble across in my travels as well as items off of my own wish list. We always get lots of good feedback about this — so following my last post mocking Black Friday numbers, just…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Current Affairs, Markets

Lone Star Swingin’?

@TBPInvictus As I was beginning to follow-up my recent post about our changing national demographics, I almost immediately came upon a state-run website that was rich with data about that particular state. As it happens, it was Texas. So, without further ado, a very quick look at the Lone Star state and its population projections….Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Politics

Let’s Keep It Small . . .

I don’t know why this tickles me so, but it just does:   via the New Yorker

Category: Current Affairs, Humor

The Problem With a Really Tiny Tent

@TBPInvictus At some point in the not-too-distant future, I intend to explore the Census Bureau’s excellent data sets on Population Projections and Voting and Registration. I hope to examine how the composition of our nation will change over the next 12 years or so (through the 2024 election). After all, I don’t want Bill O’Reilly…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Politics

Google Crisis Map: Power, Gas, Damage from Sandy Damage

Click for interactive map: Source:

Category: Current Affairs, Digital Media, Science, Web/Tech

Stormville / Long Beach After Sandy / Jersey Strong

Residents of Long Beach, N.Y., begin cleaning up from the storm

November 2, 2012By Vijai Singh and Mike Winerip


Residents of New Jersey’s iconic shore say that Hurricane Sandy will not wash away their determination to rebuild the battered coastline.

November 2, 2012By Shayla Harris


With all the destruction, personal loss and inconvenience of half the city of New York without power, there were lighthearted moments on Fifth Avenue during Monday’s storm.

November 2, 2012By Joanna Nikas

Category: Current Affairs, Video

Sandy’s Destruction of Long Island in Photos

Some pretty insane photos from around the web showing impact of Sandy on Long Island:


Superstorm Sandy washed some boats onto front yards in Woodsburgh, on Nassau’s South Shore. Photo Credit: Sender Schwartz


U.S. Coast Guard shows areas of Long Island damaged by Superstorm Sandy Photo Credit: Getty Images


A street in Long Beach covered in beach sand caused by flooding from the Superstorm Sandy. Photo Credit: Getty Images



More photos after the jump:

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Category: Current Affairs, Digital Media, Science

Fibonacci Hurricane (Sandy)

click for larger image Source: Vic LeFaber, Google+

Category: Current Affairs, Digital Media, Mathematics, Science

Addressing the BLS Truther Controversy


Friday’s BLS truther controversy was, in a word, sad. That folks now nonchalantly float claims that government agencies fudge numbers is (or should be) beyond the pale (just as it was in 1970 when Nixon did it). But it’s not. While the truther discussion has made its way into every nook and cranny of the interwebs, maybe it would be instructive to take a look at some anecdotal information that supports Friday’s allegedly contrived unemployment number.

Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal suggested early Friday that the numbers we’d gotten earlier last week on auto sales foretold a decent jobs/unemployment number, which sent me scurrying to FRED to produce a chart:

(Note: Unemployment Rate is inverted to better show correlation. Chart is current through Friday’s release)


The pattern of auto sales leading the unemployment rate is crystal clear. Great call, Joe. So, the same folks who are skeptical of the BLS must necessarily also question the sales reports of GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, BMW, and every other car manufacturer that reports monthly sales figures (i.e. all of them).

Another piece of anecdotal information that I’ve used for years now is the NFIB’s “Poor Sales” (as Single Biggest Problem) vs. the Unemployment Rate:


As of the NFIB’s most recent report, Poor Sales was cited by 20 percent of businesses as their Single Biggest Problem in their Small Business Economic Trends report.

Finally, the BLS itself goes to great pains to be transparent, and does a good job doing so. Earlier this year, their Editor’s Desk column ran a piece titled Employment Trends From Two Surveys, which very broadly discussed the two surveys from which jobs data is compiled.

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Category: Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Really, really bad calls