We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, April 7. 2018
Japan Just Approved a New Drug That Can Kill the Flu Virus In Just One Day
The statue-smashers go after … McKinley?
Everything causes cancer in California
Harvard declares war on Christianity
Aaron Renn's urbanophile site is usually interesting
Another good site is Science Direct
A friend is enjoying Superfreakonomics
Robots Are Coming for Our Jobs. Thank Goodness.
The fall of Milo Yiannopoulos - Exhausting adventures with a fading right-wing phenomenon
In an otherwise interesting piece in The Nation about Dostoevsky, they have to bring in Trump
Trey Gowdy: Take This Job And Shove It
Sandberg: Facebook Users Would Have To Pay To Opt Out Of Sharing Data
Number of people getting unemployment benefits falls to 44-year low
Dear Politicians: Stop Taxing Us to Death - Philadelphia’s soda tax is the latest example of government run amok.
Trump To Illegal Immigrant 'Caravan': No, You Aren't Citizens And, No, U.S. Border Is Not 'Open'
“Trump Recently Told One Confidant That He … [Has] Chosen To Simply Not Tell Kelly Things At All”
Texas IMMEDIATELY Deploys Troops to US Border, Arizona to Deploy Troops Next Week
China’s War On Christianity Now Blocking Access To Bibles
Germany Home to 11,000 Islamist Extremists, says Interior Ministry
The UK: BAN CUTLERY NOW!
Tracked: Apr 08, 09:50
Tracked: Apr 08, 09:58
Tracked: Apr 08, 10:27
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Number of people getting unemployment benefits falls to 44-year low
Continuation of the trend since 2009.
I wonder how much of that decline is just natural attrition? Once you've used up the maximum number of weeks, you're off the rolls.
So I guess Trump is at worst no better than Obama and likely be better since Obama, himself, said "those jobs (referring to manufacturing jobs in general) aren't coming back." A view supported by the Brookings Institute and MIT not to mention Nobel prize winner, Paul Krugman, who said that the markets would never recover from the initial crash of futures on election night. Yet manufacturing jobs are booming (https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-03-09/manufacturing-keeps-adding-jobs-amid-trump-s-tough-talk).
Given all that, I'd say that Trump is outperforming, especially given that we are in a rising rate environment as opposed to a falling and then an extended period of unusually low interest rates.
The HORROR!! The horror... Oh, the horror of falling unemployment.
Bird Dog: Something to celebrate, is it not?
Sure. But it's not a case of a "sudden" change, but rather a long period of hard work and recovery. Also, to continue the good news, it's important to understand the roots of the trend, along with any countervailing factors that could forestall continued economic progress.
mudbug: So I guess Trump is at worst no better than Obama and likely be better since Obama, himself, said "those jobs (referring to manufacturing jobs in general) aren't coming back."
Many of those jobs didn't come back. New jobs in manufacturing were created, often requiring new skills.
But it's not a case of a "sudden" change, ...
No one has claimed that, the recovery was slow and lethargic during the Obama years.
Many of those jobs didn't come back.
Mislead much, kiddiez?
You keep quoting that, but it's not as fair as you put out. You refuse to deal with the issue that it was the 2006 Congress, which did the final refusal to regulate the lending companies - yes, it was Bush, McCain, and Sununu who had pushed for that, not Democrats, who led the obstruction - was the primary cause of the rise in unemployment in 2008. Political actions have a delayed effect on the economy.
The effect of a president is seldom immediate, except on psychological issues of the market. Forces in play before them, and the actions of congress, have greater effect. If you dislike Trump getting credit for more than the psychological effect thus far - fair enough. You can credit congress instead. But that would be painful, I know.
Assistant Village Idiot: You keep quoting that, but it's not as fair as you put out.
Quoting what? We pointed out that the trend for those on unemployment has been downward since 2009. It's not a case of a "sudden" change associated with Trump taking office.
You seem to be replying to comments we didn't make...
Assistant Village Idiot: You refuse to deal with the issue that it was the 2006 Congress, which did the final refusal to regulate the lending companies - yes, it was Bush, McCain, and Sununu who had pushed for that, not Democrats, who led the obstruction - was the primary cause of the rise in unemployment in 2008
There's plenty of blame to go around, but the congress elected in 2006 didn't take office until 2007. The bubble grew during the period 2002-2006, and was already fully formed in 2006. By that time, the housing market was slowing with supply outstripping demand. Subprime mortgages doubled between 2004 and 2006 due to the SEC relaxing the net capital rule. During this period, the reverse engineering of the ratings systems led to a huge flow of money into the shadow markets for mortgage-backed securities. Like all market bubbles, it was demand-driven.
Assistant Village Idiot: If you dislike Trump getting credit for more than the psychological effect thus far ...
Actually, the data shows a gradual improvement in confidence about the future since 2011. If you look more closely, the difference is almost entirely due to pessimism by Republicans during the Obama Administration. A majority of Democrats have continued to be optimistic.
Take a look at subprime mortgages during the period. In 2002, subprime was about 7% of the market By 2006, it had risen to 23% with most of the growth being securitized. By 2007, the subprime market had collapsed.
As for the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they were late to the party, tried to catch up, and were left holding the bag. They were the "greater fools".
More "fake news"...
One should be used to stories of this "type" by now.
re The statue-smashers go after … McKinley?
. . . because there is always one more statue to take down . . . and the Social Justice warriors in Acosta were feeling left out of the statue outrage.
re The UK: BAN CUTLERY NOW!
It's an old story from last July and I don't know if it has been actually made into law. Still . . . it sounds like a piece from The Onion.
One wonders when the UK populace will be restricted to eating from plastic sporks?
On CA's prop 65. What really infuriates me (besides the stupidity of a law that seems to assert that all things can be made infinitely benign (warnings on plumbing fittings and plywood???)) are the judges who are so clueless that they don't understand that just because you can measure something, doesn't mean it's dangerous.
They're just as bad as Consumer's Union...frightened of death and destruction from everything we buy and touch.
They are forced to do this by a core requirement of environmental law called the Precautionary Principle, first enunciated in the "Mono Lake" case in California. In essence, the courts must presume something is harmful unless it can be proven it is not harmful. Since logically it is not possible to prove a negative, you routinely get absurd results like this.
In Logic, the Precautionary Principle is known as an "Appeal to Ignorance."
In one case I was dealing with, the issue was harm to something known as the "cave amphipod" which were presumed to be eaten by the "blind cave spider." Since this is all occurring deep underground, no one has ever seen a "cave amphipod," but since the blind cave spiders must be eating something, it was presumed that this creature must exist. It was inherent on the landowner to prove that its activities would not harm this cave amphipod. As you can imagine, that was a rather difficult task.
The law is an ass!
I would suggest that judges refrain from making law and in those cases where their decisions necessarily have that result that the state or if appropriate, that congress must take up the issue and pass a law either affirming the judges decision or negating it within 90 days.
It might also be a good idea if congress were to create a similar "Precautionary Principle" that applied to individuals and businesses that preempts the Precautionary Principle in environmental law such that the government must first prove no harm to the individual or business before they can even address the environmental issue.
Jim: They are forced to do this by a core requirement of environmental law called the Precautionary Principle, first enunciated in the "Mono Lake" case in California.
Can you cite that case?
National Audobon Society v. Superior Court, 33 Cal. 3d 419 (1983)
It is first in a line of cases judicially creating the doctrine that natural resources are subject to the "public trust," which essentially makes environmental regulation a judicial matter by saying all decisions are subject to final review by the courts. Those seeking to engage in actions must demonstrate to the courts' satisfaction that their actions will not harm public trust resources under the precautionary principle.
The public trust / precautionary principle was initially argued for by Professor Sax at Boalt Hall (U.C. Berkeley Law School). Here's an article: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/571d109b04426270152febe0/t/57ae14bf1b631b641df835d4/1471026385237/2012_Blumm_Internationalizing-PTD.pdf
The precautionary principle has now spread throughout environmental regulation and law. Google "precautionary principle," you will find tons of articles talking about its application throughout environmental and health regulations. Since logically it cannot be overcome, it is a primary arrow in the quiver of environmental organizations seeking to stop action. It is also the core argument supporting the "climate change" fallacy, where actual evidence does not support that climate change is occurring but those in disagreement must "prove" it doesn't, while those who fear it is occurring just point to computer models supporting their position, even though those models have repeatedly been shown to be flawed.
Jim: National Audobon Society v. Superior Court
The case concerns the Public Trust Doctrine, not the Precautionary Principle. The court based the decision, in part, on the California Constitution, which states that “all uses of water, including public trust uses, must conform to the standard of reasonable use.”
Jim: It is first in a line of cases judicially creating the doctrine that natural resources are subject to the "public trust," which essentially makes environmental regulation a judicial matter by saying all decisions are subject to final review by the courts.
When allocating water rights, the state must properly discharge its responsibility to the public trust, or it may be taken to task before the courts. That's how the system works.
Jim: Those seeking to engage in actions must demonstrate to the courts' satisfaction that their actions will not harm public trust resources under the precautionary principle.
No. The court found that the state should consider the public trust, "and attempt, so far as feasible, to avoid or minimize any harm to those interests." That's not the precautionary principle.
I have been doing this kind of law for 30 years, including just briefing a large appeal on the public trust and the precautionary principle and being involved in some of the cases in the previously linked article. I think I understand it.
Here's the precautionary principle test set forth in the coffee decision:
"Exemption from warning requirement
Section 25249.6- shall not apply to any of the following:
(c) An exposure for which the person responsible can show that the
exposure poses no significant risk assuming lifetime exposure at the level in
question for substances known to the state to cause cancer, based on
evidence and standards of comparable scientific validity to the evidence
and standards which form the scientific basis for the listing of such
chemical pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 25249.8. In any action
brought to enforce Section 25249.6, the burden of showing that an
exposure meets the criteria of this subdivision shall be on the defendant."
Jim: Here's the precautionary principle test set forth in the coffee decision:
But that wasn't your claim, which concerned the findings in National Audobon Society v. Superior Court.
Jim: "Exemption from warning requirement"
According to your link, if experts have determined that an agent is a significant risk, then a warning label is required — unless evidence is provided which shows otherwise. That's not the precautionary principle either.
You really don't get it, do you? Intentionally. You don't bother to read anything I called your attention to that shows you're wrong.
One more try, right from the horse's mouth, the group that files these lawsuits. California cancer warnings and the precautionary principle:
James Wheaton is the president of the nonprofit Environmental Law Foundation, which has been a plaintiff in Prop. 65 lawsuits for 18 years, including ones on acrylamide in potato chips and lead in vinegar.
"Proposition 65 has been a very effective policy. It's built on the precautionary principle: Let's issue a warning well before you reach a threshold level that causes harm. We never felt that Proposition 65 was designed to tell people what to do, but we felt people should be informed and decide how they wanted to act.
"Under federal laws, the federal government cannot take action to limit a chemical unless it has decided it is an affirmative hazard. Under most federal laws, industry doesn't want to know the level because they don't want regulation to happen. The chemical is innocent until proven guilty, and no action occurs.
"But under Prop. 65 the presumption of guilt is flipped. The company doesn't have to provide a warning for lead in baby food if the level is so low that it is not a hazard, but the company must prove that. So today, more chemicals have been given recognized safe levels under Prop. 65 than under all federal laws combined.
Jim: You don't bother to read anything I called your attention to that shows you're wrong.
Actually, we read what you said to read. You said that the National Audobon Society v. Superior Court involved the precautionary principle. It didn't. Then you said the section you quoted from Council for Education vs. Starbucks involved the precautionary principle. It didn't.
Now you say it's Proposition 65. Your case is somewhat better here. But Proposition 65 only involves labeling, and it only involves chemicals already shown to be dangerous. The precautionary principle only concerns the quantity. So if your product has lead in it, then you either have to show it is small enough in quantity not to be dangerous, or you have to label the product.
"Some would argue that, with the election of Donald Trump, the American public made the most self-destructive and irrational decision in our nation’s history. "
Sorry, that's where I stopped reading her commentary. I may re-read Dostoyevsky's C&P in the new translation but the lady's pearl clutching vapors turned her off for me.
It's nice that "pearl-clutching" has switched and applies so much more fittingly to leftists now, isn't it?
"Some would argue that, with the election of Donald Trump, the American public made the most self-destructive and irrational decision in our nation’s history."
It is ironic to see that after 8 years of Obama.
Some would argue that, with the election of Donald Trump, the American public made the most productive and rational decision in our nation’s history. Just yesterday I proudly and gleefully said to my wife as she arrived home from work; "you won't guess what Trump did today. He is ending catch and release!!!" It was barely a day before that I was equally as proud and gleeful to tell her Trump is putting NG on the border. Trump has brought joy to my life and I suspect to many lives in this country. I now look forward to the news. And another irony of life is that when Obama and his minions did something wrong/bad the press hid it from us. But they trumpet what Trump does because they actually think we out here in flyover country will be upset by the news. For the first time in my lifetime (I'm 75) the alphabet news is actually telling us truth about what our president is doing. For all the wrong reasons of courae and there lies the irony.
"Some would argue" is one of those great journalistic crutches like experts say, reports indicate, source state etc., etc.
Generally, it's a way for a writer to make their personal opinion seem like a more "collective" assessment.
An appeal to the authority of the crowd, which always has the opposite effect on me, i.e.; I assume the user of the phrase is lying.