Thomas Sowell often writes columns that assemble short aphorisms or comments on an almost random set of topics. It would be nice to be able to get paid for doing so, but the strategy does seve a useful purpose of allowing you to catch up when you haven't been able to blog for a few days. So here are my "Quick Hits" on recent events, offered in part because my wonderful Mother thinks I haven't blogged enough lately.
Autism and Vaccines. The lie that autism is caused by vaccinating children has hopefully been put to rest forever by the revelation that the study that demonstrated the conclusion was the product of pure and unadulterated scientific fraud. Literally the whole thing was made up. But what about the children who have died all over the world because their parents decided to believe the story? Someone needs to go to jail for a long time because of this.
Tucson Shooting. The murder of six innocents, including a nine year-old girl, and the wounding of Representative Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, has spawned a torrent of commentary trying to connect the shooting spree to right-wing rhetoric. But here is what we know so far: (1) Jared Loughner, the killer, was a severely disturbed young man, and likely a schizophrenic; and (2) if anything, his politics were leftist, not rightist. There is literally no factual connection between Loughner's heinous deed and the political right. The fact that mainstream media outlets like the New York Times have tried to make one simply shows that they are exactly what conservatives have always claimed -- propagandists for the left. It's also why they are a dying industry.
December 2010 Unemployment Drops to 9.4%. President Obama was crowing last week about the drop in the unemployment rate from 9.8% to 9.4%. Not so fast. Half of the number was due to people leaving the workforce (who thus don't count as unemployed, since they are no longer seeking work). The drop could also have been due to seasonal employment for Christmas. And 9.4% is still way above what Obama's economic advisors predicted for the result of their stimulus, as shown in the famous chart below.
Finally, in this chart from Ace of Spades HQ, it's clear that the downturn in unemployment claims has coincided with the belief, and then the reality, that the GOP would take back Congress.