Oh, make up your mind already!

Oh no! The Millennials can’t afford to buy houses!

Oh yeah! The Millennials will soon be buying houses!

Oh wait! It turns out that when we say the Millennials are living at home with their parents, we meant they were living in dorms!

Oh heck! The unemployment rate among Millennials is 40% — and that’s people who are actually looking for jobs (rather than going to school and living in the dorms)! I guess cancel that house-buying boom.

Meanwhile, despite AP propaganda telling us how wonderful the economy is, we have millions of people who need some form of government aid (sure, Fox News, blame the people instead of the reality they live in) and a big problem in how our “great” economy is paying for itself. The disconnect between the economy as seen from the top and as seen from anyplace up can be seen in this graph, meant to demonstrate the difference between “average” and “median” net worth. I guess that’s how we ended up with a couple millionaires arguing about which one is poorer.

I wonder how long we can keep going like this.

In Closing: your regular shot of NSA and privacy related stories; speaking of guys I’m surprised are still alive, Ahmed Chalabi; a modern sin; not sure what I think of this; and how the Dow works.

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So, another jobs report came out today. Now, remember that economists believe it takes 150-200k new jobs gained each month to keep up with new people entering the workforce. Obviously that’s an average, and also obviously June is one of those months that a disproportionate number of people get out of school and start looking for jobs. Keep that in the back of your head, even though it’s not going to get mentioned elsewhere.

In June, the United States added 288,000 jobs, roughly 10% of which were government jobs. Unemployment is down to a mere 6.1% nationally. And there’s more good news hidden behind the headline: average manufacturing workweek is above 40 hours, so theoretically factories need more workers now; long term unemployed is down to [a still depressing] ~3,100,000.

Of course there’s bad news hidden too: average workweek overall was 34.5 hours; wages aren’t up; when you include the underemployed and discouraged workers, unemployment looks more like 12.1%. Think about that: just under of 1 in 8 workers is either working part time when they want full time work, or has given up on finding work at all!

As a guy with more expertise than me summarized, it’s “meh.” Or perhaps you prefer the more technical “yawn.”

Nevertheless, Wall Street went WHEEEEE! on anticipation that the Fed might actually raise interest rates.

Oh, and it turns out that the states with the most job growth are the ones with those “job killing” higher minimum wages.


In Closing: Oh yeah, get those sweet sweet NSA and spying on Americans and the world links here; free science books; birth control Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling follow up links; problem solved!; media points out what many of us have been saying for years; apparently I’m the only one surprised that Maliki is alive and actually in charge of anything; when a red cross blanket on a gym floor is soooo much better than home [insert sad face here]; for pity sake, use seat belts and make sure the kids buckle up too; and then they wonder why the locals are pissed at them.

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Music Monday: Michael’s Crafts Customer 4 Evah

Ok, so the Supreme Court came out with an extremely narrow ruling regarding whether closely held private corporations can refuse to provide contraceptive coverage for employees. So yeah, even if I were a crafty type of person — which [Deity] knows I’m not — I won’t be going into that hobby store with the rhyming name. Except maybe to loudly announce “Oh wait! This is that place where the employees aren’t allowed to have birth control!”* and walk out.



* Ok yeah, an exaggeration I know.

In Closing: Wow; truth; veggies; workers; Oz; sneeze; military; and infrastructure.

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Only Shorties Left Alive

Ok, I know why some of you are here: to get your sweet sweet dose of NSA links.

Turns out not: There’s no shortage of STEM workers. There may, however, be a shortage of STEM workers who want to work for crappy wages.

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me: Which of these inventions is likely to be fake? Two teenage girls invent new bomb detector that could revolutionize getting around their home town, teenage boy makes browser plugin that allows you to see who a politician’s major contributors are with a simple mouse-over, or Egyptian military invents a gadget that can detect AIDS and Hepatitis C without taking blood samples? Regrettably, I cannot promise that Carl Kassel will record your voicemail message.

Sick of Politics and November is So Far Away: Pelosi thinks immigration reform is now a longshot (because hey, we can’t have a Democratic Kenyan President signing that into law or something). Republicans don’t like it when President Obama does things that President Bush and President Reagan did frequently. Maybe Senator McCain shouldn’t talk about ISIS anymore. And the Koch agenda.

A Couple Items on Abortion: Southern Beale points out that abortion restrictions don’t keep women from getting abortions, just from getting safe ones. And someone I’ve not had the chance to link to in a long time, MahaBarbara on “What If Banks, Not Abortion Clinics, Needed Buffer Zones?”

Have you ever wondered what these signs mean?: In short, the higher the number, the more dangerous it could be.

I’ve said it before: In areas where schools push the high school start time back, student traffic accidents dropped 70%. Oh yeah, and their grades improved.

Have you read this one yet?: It’s been making the rounds, just want to make sure everybody’s seen it.

And finally: A gun safety ad that doesn’t involve a made up tragedy.

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Happy Blogiversary, Judicial Edition

So, I’ve been at this 11 years. My second post was about the new Supreme Court rulings of the day, and as such, it’s only fair to bring you a breath of fresh air from the Supremes: the cops can’t just go browsing through your cell phone, even if you’ve just been arrested. In another surprisingly reasonable ruling from a different Federal court, the No Fly list is unconstitutional because there’s no due process involved.

However, a different court ruled that collecting data on the communications of citizens of the world is just fine (I have to wonder if there’s anything the international courts can do). In the meantime, the NSA debate and the resulting fallout continues vigorously. It’s important to remember that our own government isn’t the only government that thinks suspected criminals (and anyone they may talk to) have limited privacy rights.

Still, the idea that we’re all being spied upon is relatively benign compared to what happens if you are actually suspected of any sort of crime. Yes, I do mean any sort, particularly if you happen to be a person of color. Militarization of our police means more SWAT teams, more no-knock warrants, more wondering if the home invader is government sponsored, and make no mistake it also means more dead cops.

In Closing: girls; your money or your life; modern slavery; prudence; someone got paid to find out that a lot of people have no money saved; logical fallacies; help JP out; and Stay Focused.

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Music Monday: More Unnecessary “Lyrics”

M*****F******* Animals.

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Financial Fitness

Many thanks to Aldo Baker for sending this my way! Here’s the source link.

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Music Monday: Doubleshot

So I was in the car when this came on:

I liked it better than the New OrderVersion:

I felt like a hipster for knowing that New Order had once been Joy Division.

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Let the Right Shorties In


Happy Friday the Thirteenth, and Happy Honey Moon.

NSA: Aw, you know I can’t possibly go more than a few days without coming up with some NSA, spying on Americans, War on Terror,or Privacy right? Heck, they may actually have to do things the legal way.

We Don’t Need No Education: Maybe. Unless of course we do.

It’s good to be the king: Or even just the CEO. Not so good to be a serf, but that’s “same as it ever was.”

Election Follies: So much to ridicule, so little time. At least the Chicken Lady lost her bid to be a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Nevada.

Is anyone in their right mind surprised?: The DEA is playing hard ball with docs who associate themselves with medical marijuana. This is why Nevada doesn’t require a prescription. Remember: pot is still illegal under Federal law, and when all is said and done the Civil War established that Federal law will always trump state law (in that case, the state laws that said people could own other people).

Times haven’t changed: Perception has.

Maya: Zen Pencils.

And Finally: Purple Toes. More.

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Point, Counter-Point

Remember when we were told that only a good guy with a gun could stop a bad guy with a gun?

Last week, a good guy with a grain of common sense but no gun stopped a bad guy with a gun.

Yesterday, a good guy with a concealed carry license was killed by two cop-killing bad guys with guns. Instead of saving the day, he lost his life. Unfortunately this was local news for me. Oh and it’s off topic, but by the way? If you are ever trying to describe a northern section of Las Vegas, do not simply call it North Las Vegas. That’s someplace else.

Now that we’ve debunked that, what’s the real argument for carrying guns everywhere you go?

In Closing: Sure, we can serve up some more fun and interesting NSA, spying, and Snowden, and related links for you; can your smart TV be hacked?; a big leap for genetic engineering; another missive from the Duhpartment of Research; times have changed (or at least prices have); question everything; hope and change; and can anybody explain how these numbers are cost effective?

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