The nonexistent recovery

RGD readers will know that I’m very skeptical of the reliability of government economic statistics, mostly because they are a constantly moving target that mutate over time. However, a closer look at everything from TOTLL to today’s GDP Advance (3.2% annual) makes it appear as if the statistical shenanigans are growing exponentially:

I’m concerned with these numbers – quite concerned in fact. The Federal Government borrowed (and presumably spent) $462 billion in excess of tax receipts over the first three months of 2010. But PCE – personal consumption expenditures – was up $83 billion and federal spending was up only 3.5 billion.

Where did the other $375 billion go?

Into a black hole of covering existing obligations, it appears, and the final private demand GDP deficit covered by this is almost exactly 10% (GDP for the quarter is ~3.650 trillion, so $375 billion is roughly 10% of that.)

Karl Denninger isn’t the only one to notice anomalies with regards to today’s BEA release. Calculated Risk notices that Residential Investment isn’t behaving in its usual post-recessionary manner: “RI as a percent of GDP is at a new record low. And there is no reason to expect a sustained increase in RI until the excess housing inventory is absorbed. Notice that RI usually recovers very quickly coming out of a recession. This time RI is moving sideways – not a good sign for a robust recovery in 2010.”

When rape is comedy gold

The ability of the progressive white woman to stare objective reality in the face and insist it doesn’t exist never ceases to amuse:

Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning, I started to write what I thought was a very clever editorial about violence against women in Haiti. The case, I believed, was being overstated by women’s organizations in need of additional resources. Ever committed to preserving the dignity of Black men in a world which constantly stereotypes them as violent savages, I viewed this writing as yet one more opportunity to fight “the man” on behalf of my brothers. That night, before I could finish the piece, I was held on a rooftop in Haiti and raped repeatedly by one of the very men who I had spent the bulk of my life advocating for.

It hurt. The experience was almost more than I could bear. I begged him to stop. Afraid he would kill me, I pleaded with him to honor my commitment to Haiti, to him as a brother in the mutual struggle for an end to our common oppression, but to no avail. He didn’t care that I was a Malcolm X scholar. He told me to shut up, and then slapped me in the face….

I went to Haiti after the earthquake to empower Haitians to self-sufficiency. I went to remind them of the many great contributions that Afro-descendants have made to this world, and of their amazing resilience and strength as a people. Not once did I envision myself becoming a receptacle for a Black man’s rage at the white world, but that is what I became. While I take issue with my brother’s behavior, I’m grateful for the experience.

Yes, it’s always a tragedy when a sex tour goes awry…. Compounding the humor here is the way in which the grateful rapee believes it is the fault of “the [white] man” that violent, savage black men rape silly white women who believe in the myth of equality. We can only conclude from this that she believes black men and white women alike are non-sapient animals incapable of making their own decisions or controlling their own behavior. It’s probably just as well that this dimwitted woman happened to choose race relations over the environment as her cretinous crusade. She is clearly that special sort of environmental activist that ends up eaten by bears.

But, even though she avoided a career in ursine digestion, I should nevertheless like to congratulate Ms Kijera on her award-winning entry into the Peace Bride Club, for excellence in female naivete.

Forward to the past

You can always count on the fact that some idiot in authority, somewhere, is going to try to destroy the fabric of civilization:

Lord Justice Laws condemned any attempt to protect believers who take a stand on matters of conscience under the law as “irrational” and “capricious”. In comments likely to set the church on a collision course with the courts, he claimed that doing so could set Britain on the road to a “theocracy”, or religious rule. His comments came as he dismissed a legal challenge by a Christian relationship counsellor who was sacked after refusing to offer sex therapy sessions to homosexual couples because it was against his beliefs.

The views expressed by the amusingly mistitled Lord Justice Laws are largely the same views previously expressed by every totalitarian leader or bureaucrat throughout history. For it is empirically and demonstrably obvious that what is capricious and irrational are the many vagaries of present UK/EU “law”, not belief systems that have been much more clearly codified and accepted by far more people for centuries.

Every intelligent individual, religious or irreligious, should be able to see the very clear danger involved in declaring the right of the state to override conscience and that “no religious belief itself could be protected under the law ‘however long its tradition, however rich its culture'”. This is overt totalitarian madness and is a direct conceptual strike at every cherished freedom of Western civilization. If there is no room for the law to respect religious beliefs, there is no room for it to respect beliefs of any kind and it rests upon a foundation of nothing more than the law of tooth and claw. It is not only absurd, but downright backwards to claim that respecting religious beliefs would put the UK “on the road to a theocracy, which is of necessity autocratic.” Most historical theocracies have been less autocratic than the current EU, and far less autocratic than dozens of the bloodthirsty anti-religious regimes of the 20th century.

Secularists should beware of celebrating this form of superficially secular form of jurisprudence, as it isn not indicative of a movement towards a rational and progressive secular humanist society, but rather the unlimited state power formerly seen in ancient pagan societies.