BLS B***S***?

Are you a jobs truther? Not buying the timely drop in the unemployment rate which benefits the incumbent? No matter, you’ll not find any smoking gun to support you. Not when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps its polling results internal. Actually, it’s the Census Bureau that conducts the Current Population Survey, otherwise known as the Household Survey, for the BLS. The BLS is constantly revising its methodology which makes comparing statistics between even just a few years unreliable at best. The Household Survey is a survey of 60,000 households  which is only about .05% of the approximately 120 million U.S. households. When one considers what is riding on these results such as the election of a President and possibly changing the course of the country, that seems to be asking a bit much of a few questions on a telephone survey of such a small sample of households.

What the BLS has done is make itself irrelevant as far as an indicator of economic activity. When they revise their methodology, they don’t go backward so any attempt at comparables is futile. I always find it interesting that we focus on the unemployment rate. If I were a politician, I think I would make the focus on the employment rate. For September, President Obama could claim that we had an employment rate of 92.2%! Doesn’t that sound much more positive? Over 90% of the potential workforce population is working. Just imagine some other areas in which +90% would be considered spectacular.

Here in Detroit, we just witnessed the best player in baseball, Miguel Cabrera, win the triple crown. He won with a .330 batting average meaning he made an out 67% of the time he stepped to the plate. And that was the best in the league! Imagine his joy if he could claim a .922 average. Oh, and his future paychecks.

The National Science Foundation has a project called “The Tree of Life” which is to identify all of the different living species on earth. So far, they have identified around 2 million. Unfortunately, that’s only about 10% of how many are estimated to exist.

Scientists now estimate there could be as many as 300 sextillion stars in the universe. That’s 23 zeros. 3 trillion times 100 billion. Seems we’ve only identified about 1 billion so far, we’re a little behind the 8 ball here.

More relevant to the upcoming election, just over 130 million people voted in the 2008 election. That’s about 64% of the electorate, higher than normal. Just imagine the pandering the candidates could do to try to attract another +28% of voters?

If you must use the BLS as a source, then I would keep it simple. Just compare what matters most, the number of people employed. January of 2009 – 142.099 million were employed. September of 2012 – 142.974 million were employed. That’s only 875,000 more jobs after nearly 4 years under President Obama. His latest claim is 5 million jobs created in just 30 months. Even CNN, of all places, says it’s a false claim and even worse with just 125,000 net jobs created.

Did the Obama administration find a way to manipulate the numbers at the BLS? Doesn’t really matter, the BLS has no credibility to begin with.

Afghanistan bombing began 11 years ago today Oct. 7, 2001

U.S. bombing strikes of Afghanistan began 11 years ago today. The narrative has always been that this was in response to the 9/11 attacks. Do even some cursory research and you’ll find a plethora of evidence supporting the fact that the U.S. had pre-planned an Afghanistan invasion prior to 9/11. Read about Operation Steppe Shield. Read “The War on Freedom” by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. Read “The Grand Chessboard” by Zbigniew Brzezinski. There’s plenty more if you’re interested. Fact is the Taliban refused to provide the stability required to develop access to the country’s natural resources which had been known about for many years despite news reports claiming this was a recent discovery. All 9/11 accomplished as far as Afghanistan is concerned is step up the timetable. When you consider the entire book of evidence it will then make sense as to why we are still in Afghanistan after so many years. You’ve been told it was simply to eradicate the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and Usama Bin Laden. That was only part of the bigger picture which is known as the “New Great Game” for the regions natural resources.

If you’re interested in finding out more, here are a few of my research sources to get you started.

7.8% Sept. 2012 unemployment number “magically” dips below 8% right on schedule

Is anyone surprised? Anyone? Of course we knew the unemployment rate would be below 8% just prior to the election. I said it in this post last December –

At any rate here is the story just released –

And here is the link to the official Bureau of Labor Statistics report for Sept. 2012 –

There you’ll see that an additional 873,000 people were employed in September compared to August. That’s the highest one month jump in 29 years! Wow! A nearly three decade high just prior to an election! What you’ll find is a slew of contradictory numbers including a ‘surprising’ drop of those not in the labor force of 211,000 reversing an increase of 581,000 just one month prior.

What to make of it? Has the economy magically boomed since last month to get Obama his coveted sub 8% unemployment number just in time? I’m not buying.

Indefinite detention of American citizens is back on

The U.S. 2nd Court of Appeals has issued a stay granting the government’s request to block a lower court’s ruling barring the indefinite detention provision in last year’s defense bill otherwise known as the N.D.A.A. (National Defense Authorization Act). Via Politico, you can read the court ruling here –

The case will now await review by a merits panel with briefs due to be filed by mid-December so a ruling will likely await until the first of the year. In the meantime, the provision stands with the governments explanation that you have nothing to worry about. Here is a quote from the decision.

For the following reasons, we conclude that the public

interest weighs in favor of granting the government’s motion for

a stay. First, in its memorandum of law in support of its

motion, the government clarifies unequivocally that, “based on

their stated activities,” plaintiffs, “journalists and

activists[,] . . . are in no danger whatsoever of ever being

captured and detained by the U.S. military.” (Mot. for Stay 1).

Second, on its face, the statute does not affect the existing

rights of United States citizens or other individuals arrested in

the United States. See NDAA § 1021(e) (“Nothing in this section

shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating

to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident

aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are

captured or arrested in the United States.”). Third, the

language of the district court’s injunction appears to go beyond

NDAA § 1021 itself and to limit the government’s authority under

the Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pub L. 107-40, 115

Stat. 224 (Sept. 18, 2011). In light of these and other factors,

see In re World Trade Ctr. Disaster Site Litig., 503 F.3d 167,

170 (2d Cir. 2007), we conclude that the interests of justice

would best be served by granting a stay of the district court’s

Did you catch that? It said “based on their stated activities”. Do you see any gray area there? This is the type of gray area that District Court Judge Katherine Forrest objected to in the N.D.A.A. itself.  The definitions are too vague and open to interpretation. In other words my stated activity may be that I’m a journalist, however, the government has the ability to deem my activities outside the scope of my stated activity and therefore detain me. The government has the authority to be judge, jury and executioner.

I also find it interesting that the same Judge Raymond J. Lohier, Jr. who participated in the three judge motions panel issuing the stay is the judge who set aside the lower court injunction blocking the indefinite detention provisions. Seems to be a conflict of interest when a judge partakes in reviewing their own decision wouldn’t you think?

Christopher Hedges is a journalist who filed the original suit protesting the expansive detention powers granted under the N.D.A.A. which you can read here –

It’s a slippery slope anytime you grant the government sweeping powers, particularly when they get to decide how it applies. Judge Forrest objected to indefinite detention during a war. Which war? The war on terrorism. When will that war end? Never. Care to have the government decide if you qualify as a threat and be able to lock you up forever without a trial, or even a charge, should they choose?