Whatever the term, it all spells CRAP.

I make this bold statement after reading two articles I read. The first, about the Navy Yard shooter and his psychiatric vs. clearance background; the second, about how national unemployment figures can be massaged to present what the author wishes.

An acquaintance and I discussed the story a day or so after the tragedy. What I was told (granted, I’m getting this story second-hand, perhaps even further removed) was that, when it comes to cleared employees, it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. In other words, if you admit to having a problem, you get fired; if you get discovered, you get medically discharged (or retired). And the laws or regulations say bosses can’t accuse you of being nuts – they can only ‘suggest’ for a person to seek help. Catch-22.

The other article has lots of graphs and pointers saying, ‘this is why, etc.’ If you read their narrative and accept it at face value, then that’s all you need to know. But if you’ve read any other piece of data on the chronic unemployment subject, you see very fine and consistent cracks in this story. You know it’s been skewed, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

My intent is to influence how you see and contemplate one story or the other, by increasing the level of skepticism when you read something.