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July 19, 2013


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Excellent points presented in easily digestable form Emil.

Kook Watch is essential in Arizona as the ultra -right Arizona Republic party remains unchecked and a dangerous threat to the state's citizens.

Arizona will continue to operate as Kansas west but since 2010 more voters are beginning to understand that the far right Arizona Republic Party represents middle western reactionary billionaires and not the best interests of the state of Arizona.

All good points by Emil. I have watched what he points out for years. Not much has changed. Regarding " they are overemotional and intellectually lazy"
I would add that due to a lack of breeding diversity some are just not very smart among other genetic defects.

And speaking of keeping it white.

I think that link will not work seems to just take one to my e-mail.

Here's a lead in.
After years of incarcerating refugees who arrive at Australia's shores after dangerous boat trips from various places in the Middle East and Asia, the new Labor government has struck a "deal" with the poor island nation of Papua New Guinea to provide indefinite incarceration and "resettlement" with no chance for any refugee to obtain asylum in Australia. Note the numbers in the BBC article below: 17,202 arrivals in all of 2012; 15,182 so far in 2013. I would bet that various immigration "hawks" in the US Congress are applauding and watching carefully. Imagine what could be done with those nearly empty prison facilities at Guantanamo Bay? Perhaps we could ask Haiti to imprison our immigrants and asylum seekers in exchange for infrastructure development?

Australia' island solutions are nothing new, but this new policy is the most draconian ever. Until now, there was a chance that at least some refugees would be granted asylum in Australia. For some background, see this article from 10 years ago in Mother Jones:

Nice update on Linda Turley. I'd forgotten completely about her and wished it would have stayed that way! The American Thinker is a particularly odious site (just a look at its contributors is a glipse of Kookdom).
But as this link from GilbertWatch shows, Kooks love to eat their own:
And do we really want them and their weighted scores and dogwhistle issues having any say in education.

Juan Cole has a good article today too:

President O is finally becoming proactive on the Affordable Healthcare Act. One big omission: he continues to overlook the huge benefits for integrated medical records. This system is fostered by Obamacare (slow to take root because of a slew of issues) would share our medical records between primary care docs, specialists, hospitals and maybe even pharmacies. From personal experience I believe in its huge upside potential for improving care and lessening the likelihood of too many medical providers having to start at square one with new patients. This isn't a sexy subject unless your care has been compromised because you've been treated like a stranger.

Having another brain-killing exchange on Twitter after news story claims proposed apartments at First Avenue north of McDowell is "downtown."

I agree with the others who enjoyed Emil’s critique of Turley-Hanson. She follows a genre of political writers who, for me, are too preachy in a pietistic way.

Jon I visited your twitter page where there is a strange back and forth on the exact boundary of downtown Phoenix. I don’t live in Phoenix so it makes not.
However, I am posting to compliment your choice of a bola or bolo tie in your twitter photo. My Grandfather had a large collection of bolos. I only have one, the rest have disappeared.

The Real News is doing a six-part interview with Chris Hedges, and in episode 4 (America is a Tinderbox,) they discuss the options possibly available to us in this terribly oppressive oligarchy - where the electoral avenue seems to have been irretrievably co-opted. Host Paul Jay appears to be leaning with some resistance into Hedges' anarchic wind, and it ends with a sort of a teaser that episode 5 is going to get deeper into a subject that has been in some contention here at the Rogue threads - whether or not to double down on existing party structures and try to reform them (perhaps "after" the "other" is put down,) or to stand outside of it all, as Hedges asserts, and hold as an ultimate ideal to simply keep those in power afraid of the people.

I think they're being posted once a day, so episode 5 should be up tomorrow. Of course I strongly recommend starting at the beginning, Urban Poverty in America Made Me Question Everything.

(They run just under 20 minutes each.)

Thanks, Suzanne.

Jon I cant help on twitter as I dont indulge in it or facebook. Although I did like the movie. Bolo Tie? Shades of Jack Williams. As U know I got rid of ties for Phoenix cops.
Regarding Downtown, "old timers" tell me that's Washington to Vanburen and 5th avenue to 5 the Street.

Hello from Russia

Snowden in suitcase

Heading home now.

Mum's the word

55 and rainy. Loving it.

Azrebel good moves.
Need legal help let us know
we can call CDT

Egypt can look forward to a repeat:
Mummy Teeth Show That Drought Plagued Ancient Egyptian Civilization

Here is Naked Capitalism's take on the Chris Hedges interview:

Worth a read.

Rogue's "Front Page" recently held an excellent link about the increase of part-time jobs in America's workforce:

Here is an accompanying article that dovetails nicely, showing the huge increase in temp jobs (whether full- or part- time), which most economists consider a permanent, post-recessionary shift:

Here are the highlights:

* The number of temps has jumped more than 50 percent since the recession ended four years ago to nearly 2.7 million — the most on government records dating to 1990. In no other sector has hiring come close.

* Temps typically receive low pay, few benefits and scant job security. That makes them less likely to spend freely, so temp jobs don't tend to boost the economy the way permanent jobs do. More temps and contract workers also help explain why pay has barely outpaced inflation since the recession ended.

* An Associated Press survey of 37 economists in May found that three-quarters thought the increased use of temps and contract workers represented a long-standing trend.

* Companies are switching to a "just in time" workforce: you only pay them when you need them. Companies want to avoid having too many employees during a downturn, just as manufacturers want to avoid having too much inventory if demand slows.

* Even when jobs are classified as "temp to permanent," only 27 percent of such assignments lead to permanent positions.

* Temp hiring has accelerated even though the economy has 2.4 million fewer jobs than it did five years ago. Temp jobs made up about 10 percent of jobs lost to the recession. Yet they've made up nearly 20 percent of the jobs gained since the recession ended.

* A survey of companies with more than 1,000 employees by Staffing Industry Analysts found they expect 18 percent of their workforces to be made up of temps, freelancers or contract workers this year.

This is from the 5th. Obviously it has cooled down since then, but the point is that these are long-term heat and water use records:

The city's water department says 420 million gallons of water were used Sunday. That's up from last year's record of 382 million gallons.

Last Saturday's 119-degree high marked the fourth-hottest day in metro Phoenix since authorities started keeping records more than 110 years ago. Sunday's high was an only slightly less sweltering 115 degrees.

Some of Arizona's "challenges":

* Non-existent venture capital for early-stage development of technology companies.

* Technology employment and growth below U.S. averages.

* Achievement deficits in middle-school math and science performance.

Meanwhile, the state's director of economic analysis (for the Arizona Department of Administration) offers this helpful reality check to the boosters:

"Murthy noted the state’s job forecast through 2014 called for significant growth in typically low-paying jobs like food preparation that require relatively little education. Seventy-five percent of the expected openings in the next year typically require a high-school diploma or less, Murthy said."

More on Arizona when Mr. Talton rescues the post from the spam trap...

From the Naked Capitalism article:

...A good American bourgeois identity and demonstrations don’t sit well together. Students are more conservative than ever, thanks to 30 years of neoliberal indoctrination, and even if those that have more idealistic impulses would sensibly be deterred by what an arrest record would do to their job prospects, particularly if they have student debt.


Thus while Hedges is correct to point to increasing anger and dislocation in the US, I’m not optimistic that it will be channeled effectively, and if by anyone, it’s not likely to be from the deflated left. A general strike would be a galvanizing event but I don’t see how that gets done. I suspect we’ll see more and more random violence as frustrated individuals lash out. And that sort of violence will serve as the perfect pretext for more and more aggressive policing and surveillance.

I found both of these arguments, which make up the substance of Yves Smith's skepticism, interesting, for they both contain the seeds of just exactly how Hedges' tinderbox might actually ignite.

In the first, he makes the very correct observation about American bourgeois identity, and also about neoliberal indoctrination of the youth - though as to the latter this is far less so than the generation that were graduating during Reagan's ascendancy. In the first place, the middle-class (the enfranchised "bourgeoisie") is shrinking at a significant rate. As the balance tilts towards a more economically desperate demographic, this "tradition" - which only as old as the New Deal and post-WWII subsidies that created this middle-class - is going to be less and less of a factor. The Super Bowl and "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" can only do so much.

Also, as regards the students, Smith characterizes the burden of student debt as an incentive to complacency, while I would argue that if the elites are counting on this, they are fatally disregarding the anger that is building over what this for-profit educational system has wrought. These kids aren't stupid, and they know that the "cost" of education is actually the cost of providing for a massive skimming operation on top of the public good that education brings, a good that does not require profiteering to justify its operation. In short, there is grave danger of backlash there.

As to the closing paragraph above, I agree with Smith that random and disorganized violence is more America's "cup of tea," and also that it feeds the pretext for the burgeoning police state. But I would argue that that, too, has a breaking point and at some point people will begin to agree that it is not a good thing. This "debate" over Snowden clearly shows that we're not there yet, but I think we're trotting pretty quickly towards it.

One observation about the much-dismissed Occupy (and to disregard the fact that it has birthed some fine ongoing economic radicalism - debt relief, for example): While it was relatively easy to "put down," we must not forget how utterly unexpected it was. There were a couple of months of sheer joy there before the chattering class tarnished the movement.

I think one trick to avoiding the spam filter is to end your post with a sentence, not a URL or anything like a symbol. Even "That's all, folks," "Here endeth the lesson" or "Back to the saloon."

It has to be gratifying if Krugman agrees:

It’s hard to avoid the sense that greater Pittsburgh, by taking better care of its core, also improved its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. In that sense, Detroit’s disaster isn’t just about industrial decline; it’s about urban decline, which isn’t the same thing. If you like, sprawl killed Detroit, by depriving it of the kind of environment that could incubate new sources of prosperity.

Regarding Detroit and Pittsburgh, it's an interesting thesis, but take a look at the graph Krugman provides: Detroit's employment problems start about 2000, even though most of the suburbanization had occurred long before: the city's troubles started as early as the late 1950s, with accelerating suburbanization and just plain flight in response to race rioting in the 1960s; the rise of import autos occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, as did the rise of domestic auto manufacturing outside of Detroit.

So, nearly all of the fundamental changes occurred before 2000, whereas according to the chart, Detroit had been gaining jobs until 2000 (though admittedly, it isn't clear, at least to me, what the "Index" axis of the graph represents -- always regard graphs with skepticism if you can't understand the axes and scaling used).

But by far, most of Detroit's job losses (again, on the graph) seem to occur between 2006 and the end of the recession. What is really startling is the difference DURING the recession (see the grey shaded area) in job losses between Detroit and Pittsburgh. That small space of time, by far, accounts for most of the job losses shown on the graph.

So, it looks to me as if something else besides suburbanization is going on here: and even deindustrialization seems to take a back seat to simple migration during the recession (fewer residents means fewer jobs). But again, without knowing how to read that graph, it might be misleading.

I think any discussion of Detroit must contend with its extreme racial issues...

Should unrest come one never knows were it will lead. There are so many disaffected now. The government is so incompetent (did you here the US Marshals lost 2000 encrypted two-way radios?) at so many levels. Do the powers that be rely on the police and military. It seems to me the military is compromised by Christian zealots and gang-members. If I had to bet on who wins, I think my bet goes on the criminal enterprises created inside our prisons, especially if they end their race wars and realize they are on the same side of the class war.

Christians Zealots/Gang members
isnt that the same thing.

A topical post at Dark Ages America by Morris Berman -- The Existential Strain:

cal, my initial impulse was to say no, but when I think about, I'm going to say yes!

Rogue wrote:

"I think any discussion of Detroit must contend with its extreme racial issues..."

Well, interestingly enough, I don't think race has much to do with the most recent job losses. The demographics do show a long,steep, continuous decline in the percentage of the White population from the 1940 Census (91%) to the 2000 Census (12%).

But remember, according to Krugman's graph, Detroit's employment index was rising during the 1990s until 2000, after which steep declines resumed. From 2000 to 2010 the White population declined less than 2 percentage points (from 12.26% to 10.61%).

The Black population in Detroit increased from 1940 through 2000 not only as a percentage but also in absolute numbers: from roughly 145,000 to 775,000. We also see that the Black population held steady from 1990 to 2000.

After 2000, however, what you see is Black flight: the population drops precipitously, from 775,000 to 590,000 in 2010.

Fewer residents equal fewer workers and less taxes paid by residents. By 2000, most White flight had already occurred. Whereas, after 2000, the vast bulk of Black flight occurred. Since this is when all of Detroit's most recent job losses occurred (per Krugman's graph) I have to conclude that racial strife had nothing to do with the city's recent economic problems.

This says it all about Republicans in Congress:

I thought this was worth a mention:

All the controversy over pipelines may be moot. It looks as though Warren Buffett's purchase of BNSF railroad was a smart investment. From a recent AP story:

Crude Shipments By Train in Carloads Per Day (U.S.)

2009: 30

2010: 81

2011 180

2012 640

2013 925 (est.)

Canada has seen similar growth, bringing total North American crude shipments by rail from just 31 per day in 2009 to an estimated 1,400 per day this year.

(I took the per year figures for the U.S. from a sidebar graphic which appeared in the hardcopy edition I clipped.)

Are the employment numbers for the Detroit–Warren–Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area, or for the city of Detroit? This would make a huge difference.

Also, Detroit's flight of businesses to the suburbs (although parts of downtown are still viable) means a huge part of the Detroit city population lacks a convenient and timely way to reach employment centers. Transit is sadly lacking.

Rogue, Krugman's graph uses data for the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro area. By all means amplify your remarks on this point; further insights would be welcomed.

A reader has asked that I write on Detroit. I would rather have that cup pass me by. But I guess I'll do it.

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