On Monday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel reluctantly acknowledged that while crime was down overall in Chicago in January, murder was up: there were 54 percent more murders this January than last.

What should we make of this? Not much. Murder rates rise and fall, and criminologists have tried forever to figure out what causes the changes, with minimal success. Moreover, when it comes to crime trends, a year shows very little, a month almost nothing.

Which is why a crime-fighting boast by the mayor earlier this month was ludicrous.