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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

How 'Bout We Do That Another Day

Say, on Comanche Day.  Or Arapaho Day.  But not on the Fourth of July.

From a letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times:
When we gather with friends and family this Independence Day to celebrate our nation's rich heritage, perhaps we too can reflect on how to expand upon our current knowledge of American history to include the stories of those who were here first and without whose histories America's story is incomplete.
And how about we reflect on the mating habits of the praying mantis on Easter?

This gal wants us to think of Indians on the day we celebrate the cutting of ties between the 13 American colonies and the king of England?

Is that warped?

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And, by the way, Independence Day is not a holiday upon which we " celebrate our nation's rich heritage."  If there is a befitting time for that, it's Thanksgiving.  You might want to get your holidays straight too.  Independence Day is the day we (of European extraction) ... declared independence.

This Is Messed Up

To cry out in anger?  To cry out in sorrow.

God have mercy:


There are no words ...

Ah, Statistics

Employment here in the USA fell last month.  The rate of unemployment fell too.

Huh?

If the rate of employment declined, doesn't that necessarily mean the rate of unemployment had to jump?

No.

There is that pesky little thingie called the denominator.  As in numerator and denominator.  From your fifth grade math fractions studies? (If only you'd paid attention.)

First, a definition or two from Wikipedia:
A fraction (from the Latin fractus, broken) is a number that can represent part of a whole. The earliest fractions were reciprocals of integers: ancient symbols representing one part of two, one part of three, one part of four, and so on.[1] A much later development were the common or "vulgar" fractions which are still used today (½, ⅝, ¾, etc.) and which consist of a numerator and a denominator, the numerator representing a number of equal parts and the denominator telling how many of those parts make up a whole. An example is 3/4, in which the numerator, 3, tells us that the fraction represents 3 equal parts, and the denominator, 4, tells us that 4 parts make up a whole.
Got it?

Now, to the unemployment numbers.  Let's look at Martinsville, Virginia, arguably the worst-hit town for layoffs and terminations in the nation, for a moment. 

I made the point on this weblog a few years ago that, based on current trends, Martinsville could be at near full employment within the next several years, despite the fact that the Southside town is losing jobs like crazy. How?  That darn denominator.  People lose their jobs; they become part of the numerator.  But as people leave Martinsville, looking for work elsewhere, they remove themselves from the denominator.

So "unemployment" in Martinsville sits at a staggering "21%."  That means that 21% of those eligible to work there are seeking work and unable to find it.  But imagine what that percentage would be if we were to add all those thousands of Martinsvillians who were thrown out of work, packed their bags, and left town.

Could the unemployment number then be 40%?

Easily.

So, if the population there continues to decline - say, to 10 people - and all ten people are employed, Martinsville is at full employment!  10/10.  Unemployment is at ZERO. Employment is at 100%!

But if that denominator remained at 16,000 (peak population in the 90's), and that numerator was at 10 (number of people currently employed), we'd have an employment rate of 0.06% (10/16000) and an unemployment rate of 99.94%. (15990/16000)

So the system doesn't count those who are not looking for work (and it can't, really). Or, as in Martinsville's case, are no longer around.  We can call them lost denominators

Employment fell.  And "unemployment" fell too.

Statistics.  Ya gotta love 'em.

Quote of the Day

From the man who knows a little something about being a slimy, lying, untrustworthy politician who would say and do anything to get elected.  With all that that implies.  Bill Clinton:

"[Robert Byrd] once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan. What does that mean? I'll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows from West Virginia. He was trying to get elected."

Yeah, a few black boys got lynched, but it was for the greater good of the Democratic Party.  So smile and be happy for him and us.  We are the better for it.

I Got News For Ya

Millions of the jobs we've lost are never coming back.  At least not until a sea-change in the way we look at our job creators takes place.  Hate the rich?  Brilliant.  They've heard you and have now taken their paychecks to China.
Weak private hiring in June shows tepid U.S. recovery
By Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

Washington (Reuters) - U.S. private payrolls rose only modestly in June and overall employment fell for the first time this year as thousands of temporary census jobs ended, indicating the economic recovery is failing to pick up steam.

The employment figures from the U.S. Labor Department on Friday followed a raft of weak reports this week on consumer spending, housing and factory activity that have heightened fears the economy could slip back into a recession. [link]
We've done this to ourselves.

We continue to do it to ourselves.

- - -

How times have changed:


Not surprising since that's where the wealth is now.

- - -

And where are we while the Chinese are taking our jobs?

Participating in "Naked Bike Rides" "championing alternative energy and body acceptance."

Christ Almighty.

The Kagan Nomination? Give Consent.

What?!  After all that you've written about this under-qualified political appointee to the United States Supreme Court, disparaging her total lack of judicial experience and equal lack of depth in courtroom proceedings, you want the senate to give her a pass?

Yes.

Now's not the time to make this fight.  The time was November, 2008.  When the dude who appointed her was running for the highest office in the land.  When it really mattered.  Everyone knew - or should have known - what was at stake.  Included in that stake was the privilege of appointing (lousy) nominees to the Court.

Obama appointed Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.  You let him.

Live with it.  Every day of your freaking life.

I Was Way Ahead of the Talking Heads

On Thursday I compared - and not in a positive way - Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, to a "Saturday Night Live" character of old. Boy, can she be a side-splitter when she hasn't anything substantive to bring to a conversation about the Constitution of the United States of America.

A laugh a minute.

Aren't we blessed.

On Friday the mainstream media recognized the same attribute in the woman (seeking desperately to find something they can praise, they settle on this) and extol her virtuous ability to yuck it up in her confirmation hearing. And, as startling as it may be, they mean for this to be a positive for her:
CBS 'Early Show' Follows ABC's Lead, Touts Kagan's SNL-Worthy Humor
By Kyle Drennen, NewsBusters

During the 'Early Wrap' segment on Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith discussed the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan with a panel of media pundits: "The almost unknown, practically under the radar, the Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, before committees this week being funny. She was downright funny."

GQ Magazine's Washington correspondent Ana Marie Cox agreed with Smith and added: "...a Saturday Night Live skit made live, in part because she looks exactly like Rachel Dratch. And it's perfect because Al Franken is on the committee. And I kept on watching like waiting for someone to burst into song or Unfrozen Caveman Senator." Radio host Jane Pratt chimed in: "Her joke was good, the Chinese food joke was good." Smith remarked: "Very funny. Sunday night, and Christmas."

On Wednesday's Good Morning America on ABC, news reader Juju Chang noted Kagan's "lively sense of humor" and later asked co-hosts George Stephanopoulos and Elizabeth Vargas "who is going to play her in the SNL skit?" Vargas replied: "I don't think they could be as funny as Elena Kagan was!" [link]
She'd be great on "Saturday Night Live."  It's been reduced to that.

For the love of God.

Four Members of the Court Will Say It's Perfectly Acceptable

And Elena Kagan will find a good joke in it too:


Three people were sitting in a lifeboat.  A gay guy, a Republican, and a ...