Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It's Constitution Day

If you've never read it, you should. You should also read the arguments for and against its ratification. To get a more full understanding of how it came to be, you may also want to read the Articles of Confederation.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How do you get around the Posse Comitatus Act?

Easy: first you transform all agencies into law enforcement agencies, then you equip these new law enforcement agencies with military gear, and finally, you gather them up under the control of the executive branch
We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. 
- Barack Obama 
If not Obama, then the next president, or the next. It's coming, folks. Be ready.


The ball is rolling.
The NYPD will launch a unit of 350 cops to handle both counterterrorism and protestsriding vehicles equipped with machine guns and riot gear — under a re-engineering plan to be rolled out over the coming months. 
The Strategic Response Group, or SRG, will be devoted to “advanced disorder control and counterterrorism protection,” responding to the sort of demonstrations that erupted after the Eric Garner grand jury decision and also events like the recent Paris terror attacks. 
It will be equipped and trained in ways that our normal patrol officers are not,” Commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday. 
“It will be equipped with all the extra heavy protective gear, with the long rifles and the machine guns that are unfortunately sometimes necessary in these ­instances.”

Friday, September 5, 2014

Has the economy recovered?

Last year I took a look at employment.  I watched the unemployment numbers fall with skepticism, and wondered what was really going on.  Here's a brief recap of that analysis:
I took a look at St. Louis Fed data today, both the civilian employment to population ratio and the working age civilian population.  I then combined the data into a chart of deltas with their initial values pegged to Dec-2007.  The result is the following:

What does this chart mean?  It means that whilethere are about 2.5 million fewer people employed than in 2007, but that we've also got 12.5 million more people of working age - that is, 15 million more unemployed today than we did five and a half years ago.  This is due to an increasing population that has completely given up trying to find work.  It means, that though the recession destroyed something like eight million jobs and the post recession has created around five million jobs, we've added more than twelve million non-working civilians in the same time. 

That's staggering - utterly and completely staggering.  That means - follow me here - that means that not a single working age person added to our population since 2007 is working.  We've added twelve million takers but not one new producer.  Not one.
Today I decided to revisit this.  Using the same methodology, but extending out a year further. Take a look at the updated chart.  We can unequivocally say that the number of employed people has improved.  In June, (a year after my previous analysis), we finally caught up to, and passed, Dec-07 employment.  It took 6 and a half years to recover the jobs lost in the recession.

Yet as you know that does not tell the full story, not by a long shot. This simple graph here also shows how many more people have joined us who are of working age, but not working. In fact that number has barely changed at all. 14,800,000 new takers - adults who aren't working but should be.

Here's a chart that shows this.  Virtually unchanged from a year ago. About 4% of the working aged population has simply removed itself from the pool.  BLS verifies this for us again, with 13.5 million more Americans "Not in Labor Pool" now than in 2007.

Where did they go?  Probably to their living rooms, waiting on a government check. The rest of us are, on average, making due with close to 10% lower income and substantially higher than reported inflation. (I like to use a few real items that I purchase, such as chewing gum or fast food.  Prices for Big Macs, for example, have risen about 24% since 2007.) 

More takers, less income, and less for your money. That's the real economic situation. When politicians start to pat themselves on the back over the official inflation rate or employment numbers, keep in mind how far from reality Washington DC is.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Yeah. This is the same guy who offered $100,000 for nude photos of hunter Kendall Jones because he wanted to destroy her life. Despicable.

Oh, he claims to have a regular spot on a radio show. This may be an opportunity to cause an effect.
Tell the radio station to drop him, if he truly is a regular.

Tell them you will be contacting their advertising supporters as well: