Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gem on Jobs in the U.S.

Noni Mausa posted this on Angry Bear:

(Regarding the quote, )"There are more than enough jobs as evidenced by the want ads in 1000's of newspapers. And there is alway self-employment."

Here's the latest 50 from a local job search site. They are purely random listings, coming in the order they were added to the site.

Note the list is dominated by health aide, cleaning, waitering and gas station jobs. The pay for these runs from $8 to $12 / hour -- $15k to $22k per year if they were full time positions. Many of these in the list are part time.

There are a handful of higher paid jobs -- customer service clerk at $30k, RNs and LPNs at $25-35/hour (but the hours are limited, about half time).

I suppose someone has to do all these tasks, but none of them are anything to raise a family on, save for retirement with, or call a "career".

And as far as self-employment goes, here's a story: for decades a man worked for the town hall, polishing the brass cannon in the town square. He was very good at his work, and one day, emboldened by his prowess, he quit his job, bought a cannon and went into business for himself.

==== Fifty job ads, Nov 25 2007 ===

Automobile cleaner, Customer service agent, Moulded rubber products trimmer, Help desk technical agent,
Receptionist, Financial planner - personal finances, Customer service clerk, Customer service adviser, Custodian, Attendant for persons with disabilities - home care, Cleaning supervisor, House cleaner, Retail sales associate, Attendant for persons with disabilities - home care, Car wash attendant, Food and beverage server, Security guard, Pump attendant, Maintenance mechanic technician - industrial, Administrative assistant, Building maintenance worker, Restaurant counter attendant, Cashier, customer service, Line cook, Maid - cleaning services,
General labourer - manufacturing,
Registered nurse - public and community health, Fast-food preparer,
Waiter/waitress - food and beverage services, Propane gas attendant, Technical sales representative - wholesale, Canvasser - retail, Retail salesperson, Health aide, Cleaning services sales representative, Commercial construction painter, Floor cleaner,Registered Nurse, Licensed practical nurse, Health care aide,
Order picker, Delivery truck driver, Building exterior cleaner, Cnc (computer numerical control) programmer, Customer service cashier,
Automobile cleaner, Banquet server,
Security guard, Client care attendant - home care, Client care attendant - home care.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bush Guilty of Felony: CIA Leak Case

Former press aide blames Bush in CIA leak case
Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:13pm EST

By JoAnne Allen

WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan says in an upcoming book that he was misled by President George W. Bush and other high officials into misinforming the press about a CIA leak case that fueled debate about the Iraq war.

McClellan says he publicly exonerated former top White House aides Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby because Bush had called on him to help restore his credibility after the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"There was one problem. It was not true. I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff, and the president himself," McClellan said in an excerpt released on Tuesday.

McClellan, a long-time Bush aide, whose job as White House press secretary from 2003 to 2006 was to field questions from the press, was not available for comment.

His book "Inside the Bush White House and What's Wrong with Washington" is due out only in April, but the publisher, Public Affairs, posted the excerpt on its Web site as a teaser.

Asked about the excerpt, White House press secretary Dana Perino said: "The president has not and would not ask anyone to pass on false information."

A criminal investigation into who leaked the identity of former CIA analyst Valerie Plame reached into the ranks of top White House aides and resulted in the conviction of Libby on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in March.

Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, was sentenced to 2 1/2 year in prison. Bush commuted the sentence in July.

Plame's cover was blown after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to build its case for war.

No one was charge with criminally disclosing Plame's identity.

Rove, Bush's former White House political adviser, was investigated but not charged, in the CIA leak probe.

On the day when Libby's verdict was announced, McCllelan was asked in an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" whether he had been lied to by those involved.

He responded: I did speak directly with them and I was careful about the way I phrased it at the time, even though I believed what they had told me to be the truth." (Reporting by Joanne Allen, editing by Chris Wilson)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Certified E-Mail

Let it be known throughout the land, I received my first ever CERTIFIED e-mail today in Yahoo Mail. Will this be a turning point in web history? Soon, we can say goodbye to the possibility of some small single person startup competing against big business on the web. What comes to mind is a particular ad by IBM circa 2000 of a young kid with a chicken selling eggs competing against a major corporation, implying that online, there was no way to tell the difference. Now, perhaps a thing of the past.

The e-mail was from Build-a-Bear Workshop, so parents of young children are probably going to be the first to notice the trend.

Also see:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Example My Evangelical Friends Were Waiting For

"Why should I worry if I have nothing to hide..."

Here you go:

FBI will have anyone you call a terrorist detained, or

Man angry with son-in-law fingers him as terrorist to FBI Fri Nov 2, 8:47 AM ET

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - A man in Sweden who was angry with his daughter's husband has been charged with libel for telling the FBI that the son-in-law had links to al-Qaeda, Swedish media reported on Friday.

The man, who admitted sending the email, said he did not think the US authorities would stupid enough to believe him.

The 40-year-old son-in-law and his wife were in the process of divorcing when the husband had to travel to the United States for business.

The wife didn't want him to travel since she was sick and wanted him to help care for their children, regional daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet said without disclosing the couple's names.

When the husband refused to stay home, his father-in-law wrote an email to the FBI saying the son-in-law had links to al-Qaeda in Sweden and that he was travelling to the US to meet his contacts.

He provided information on the flight number and date of arrival in the US.

The son-in-law was arrested upon landing in Florida. He was placed in handcuffs, interrogated and placed in a cell for 11 hours before being put on a flight back to Europe, the paper said.

The FBI contacted Swedish intelligence agency Saepo, which discovered that the email tipping off the FBI had been sent from the father-in-law's computer.

The father-in-law has been charged with aggravated libel.

He has admitted sending the email, but said he didn't think "the authorities were so stupid that they would believe anything. But apparently they are."

He said he "couldn't help the US authorities' paranoid reaction".

src: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071102/od_afp/swedenjusticeterrorismoffbeat_071102124748

Impeachment in Conyer's Court!

This is absolutely amazing parliamentary play-by-play!!

Cheney Impeachment Resolution Sent to House Committee at the Washington Post

Public Education: 2nd Graders

In my kid's 2nd grade class, this really gives me pause:

1) There is a Capitalists Club (literally) for the kids. And to join, you have to sell a certain amount of Entertainment Books.

2) This week in writing they are focusing on, not poetry, but Brochures. As in, what makes a Good Brochure?

Free Trade and Exchange Rates

In some screeds I've written about free trade, I've deliberately ignored the complicating factor of exchange rate policy, in an effort to give mainstream Economics some benefit of the doubt. I'm willing to assume, for the sake of focusing the argument, that Ricardian concepts hold at some level.

But a scenario occurred to me this morning that made the exchange rate policy all the more significant. It is this. What if, after just about 100% of manufacturing (including pharmaceutical) is offshored, which might make bottom-line economic sense with the current exchange rate, the exchange rate starts to shift? What if, as is pretty well documented and understood, the Chinese have held their exchange rate artificially low, encouraging foreign capital investment, for a long enough time to dry up all remnants of capital investment in the United States? This is complicated by the fact that the US Dollar doesn't necessarily naturally float (although supposedly it does so much more freely than the Chinese Yuan).

But then, the Chinese stop artificially keeping the Yuan low. Prices skyrocket, and US Companies are paying much higher rates for the goods that are manufactured in China. In Ricardian Economics, US Companies should now start investing in capital back at home. But will they? How long will that take? Will instead the US, in order to protect all those companies that are getting screwed by the flux in exchange rate, modify its own exchange rate policy because it is politically popular to the wealthy interests (owners of Chinese capital)?

Friday, November 2, 2007

In China, Punishment Would Be Capital: CPSC

Two Heads of Product Safety Agency Accepted Trips From Manufacturer Groups

The agency's travel patterns during the Bush administration, detailed in internal agency documents, differ from those of the Clinton era. Ann Brown, who served as chairman from 1994 to 2001, traveled only at the expense of the agency or of media organizations that sponsored appearances where she announced product recalls, according to the documents provided.

For background:
Republicans Kill the Consumer Safety Product Commission

Also, previously on this blog:
Thoughts on the FDA

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Is This Where School Vouchers Will Lead?

In South's public school children are now mainly low income, the story focuses on the rise of poverty, but is it possible that there was a flight from public schools to private schools in the South?

Many Southerners say the erosion of wealth in the public schools also reveals deeply ingrained attitudes in the South, where strong legislatures, weak governors, fiscal conservatism, and racial stereotypes stymie school progress. "I don't know how many times I've heard that public schools are really for the black kids," says Neal Thigpen, a political scientist at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C.

My Posts At Angry Bear

Recent posts of mine over at Angry Bear: