Broader U-6 Jobless Rate up to 16.7%: Why the Jump? - Real Time Economics - WSJ

The comprehensive gauge of labor underutilization, known as the “U-6″ for its data classification by the Labor Department, accounts for people who have stopped looking for work or who can’t find full-time jobs....

The U-6 figure includes everyone in the official rate plus “marginally attached workers” — those who are neither working nor looking for work, but say they want a job and have looked for work recently; and people who are employed part-time for economic reasons, meaning they want full-time work but took a part-time schedule instead because that’s all they could find.

Right. It turns out there is an official Labor Department measure of "labor underutilization" that's never mentioned in the press - well, never except this time in the Wall Street Journal that I've seen - and it's a whole lot worse than the one that is mentioned, as you can see.


Hot times under the street

Paris metro body heat to help warm building - Yahoo! News

PARIS (Reuters) – The warmth generated by human bodies in the Parisian metro will help heat a public housing project in the city centre, the capital's largest owner of social housing said on Friday.

WWII propaganda posters from LIFE magazine

Chumps on the Front - WWII: Intense Propaganda Posters - Photo Gallery - LIFE

One of history's most insightful critics of propaganda, George Orwell -- himself a propagandist for the BBC during World War II -- wryly observed: "All the war propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."

Labor Day weekend

The Great Jobs Depression Worsens, and the Choice Ahead Grows Starker | TPMCafe

If there was ever a time for bold government action it is precisely now. Obama should be storming the country, demanding the largest responses to the jobs emergency in history. He and the Dems should be giving Republicans hell for their indifference to all this.

Instead, Obama is all over the map -- a mosque controversy, an Israeli-Palestinian peace talk (that may take years to complete if ever), a symbolic withdrawal from Iraq, and lots of little tax-cutting ideas.

Senate and House Democrats, meanwhile, are on the defensive. Polls even suggest Dems may lose the House and possibly even the Senate in November....



Evening light

(An iPhone picture.)

Bashing Boston, woooo

AccuWeather.com - Weather News | Earl to Bash Nantucket, Cape Cod, Boston Tonight

Tomorrow I'm going to get organized. I was going to get organized today but I was worried about Hurricane Earl. OK, not really, but it works as an excuse. 

I'm back to using Google Reader and there's a link to Reader stuff in the sidebar now, which makes more space in the main part of the blog for important stuff like this. 

I'm trying to figure out social networking. I think I maxed out on social networking sometime in the early 90s but there is a lot more of it going around these days - I clicked on a list labeled "share" today and it must have had eight or nine hundred choices. I'm thinking of starting a social networking site for weird, anti-social old men. Instead of followers we could have stalkers. Would that be cool or what? What's with the followers anyway? I don't want followers. Friends is a stretch.

You can see, I need to get organized. Tomorrow.

"Meat solutions" guys say no fair!

We can't just go around regulating stuff just because it makes you sick. What are you, some kind of wimp? Shut up and eat your meat solutions. (Yeah. Read the article.)

Beef Recall Intensifies Fight for Tighter Rules - NYTimes.com

Under federal rules, it is illegal to sell ground beef containing a more common strain of the bacteria, E. coli O157:H7, which has been responsible for thousands of illnesses, many deaths and the recall of millions of pounds of beef over the years. But federal regulators are now considering whether to give the same illegal status to at least six other E. coli strains, including O26, which can also make people violently sick.

The meat industry has opposed such a change, saying it is not needed....


Because there's nothing - nothing! - like a little high-grade military hardware for cheering sick kids up



Yeah, dude, Whigs!

The Modern Whig Party - Whig History

The writings of the Radical Whigs played a significant role in the development of the American Revolution.

Not wigs. Whigs. Really. But modern ones.

File under Health Care Reform

Survey: Employers still shifting insurance costs to workers | McClatchy

WASHINGTON — An annual survey released Thursday finds that workers are paying, on average, about $482 more for job-based family health insurance this year as companies force employees to shoulder more of the burden of health care costs.

The premium hike, up 14 percent from last year, means that workers are paying nearly all of a $495 increase in the average cost of family coverage this year....


I'm waiting for, "You can see it from space!"

Bumper-to-bumper as epic China traffic jam returns | Raw Story

BEIJING -- A huge traffic jam stretching at least 75 miles reappeared in northern China Thursday, with thousands of cargo trucks stuck in a bottleneck, state media said.

State television broadcast images of a long line of mostly cargo trucks inching slowly through Inner Mongolia on a major highway leading toward Beijing that has come to symbolize China's serious traffic problem.

Serious problem? Ya think?

Oily is as oily does

BP Says Curb on Drilling Would Imperil Payouts - NYTimes.com

BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Taxachusetts no more

2 more on ballot failed to pay tax - The Boston Globe
The campaigns of Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray and state auditor hopeful Guy Glodis scrambled yesterday to explain their tax delinquencies, just a day after state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill acknowledged that he had failed to pay as much as $15,000 in state taxes that his committee owed on interest income over the past decade.

As a public service, we're just mentioning...

Ferrari recalls 458 Italias after a spate of fires | World news | The Guardian

Ferrari recalled more than 400 luxury Italia cars today after reports that a design fault could cause them to catch fire....

After sending its engineers around the world to investigate the reports of "thermal incidents", Ferrari asked the owners of more than 1,200 of the supercars, including around 50 in Britain, to bring them in for modification work.



And none of it for the poor people, it seems

Could a Peanut Paste Called Plumpy'nut End Malnutrition? - NYTimes.com

“Poverty is a business...there’s money to be made.”

Next up

In Somali Civil War, Both Sides Embrace Pirates - NYTimes.com

For years, Somalia’s heavily armed pirate gangs seemed content to rob and hijack on the high seas and not get sucked into the messy civil war on land. Now, that may be changing, and the pirates are taking sides — both sides....

This seems to be beginning of the West’s worst Somali nightmare, with two of the country’s biggest growth industries — piracy and Islamist radicalism — joining hands.



Oh oh, the image, the image

Meghan McCain’s Dirty Sexy Politics Speed Read - The Daily Beast

The Morning After the Election

“Plans for winning? Oh, we had lots of those. My father had spent the last two years talking about nothing else—all the things he was going to do when he won, the things to fix, the war, the economy, health care. But now the talking had stopped. The rallies were finished. And I woke up in my parents’ guest apartment in Phoenix alone in bed and wearing my gold glitter dress and a smeared game face of election night makeup.” (pg 173)

Could have done just fine without that, thanks.

Because we ourselves have no friggin' idea

Gates, in Iraq, Takes the Long View - NYTimes.com

RAMADI, Iraq —On the day of a formal military ceremony marking the end of United States combat operations in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said that history had still to judge whether America’s involvement in the seven-year-old war was worth the cost.

Muslims, meanwhile, don't really care all that much

Lukewarm reaction to NY imam on Middle East tour - Yahoo! News
DUBAI (Reuters) – A heated U.S. debate over a planned Islamic center near New York's World Trade Center site is seen by Middle East media, scholars and citizens as more of a domestic American issue rather than an attack on their faith.... 
The U.S. row is perceived as much less of an affront to Islam than Switzerland's vote to ban minarets and France's moves to forbid the full face veil, observers say.
Party on.

Also Nebraska and Idaho

Heat wave is on for Western Massachusetts, impact of Hurricane Earl expected to be minimal here | masslive.com

...the impact of Hurricane Earl...should be minimal for Western Massachusetts.


Kids, hmmmph

Older people enjoy reading negative stories about young - Yahoo! News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Older people like reading negative news stories about their younger counterparts because it boosts their own self-esteem, according to a new study....

"Living in a youth centered culture, they may appreciate a boost in self-esteem. That's why they prefer the negative stories about younger people, who are seen as having a higher status in our society," said Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, of Ohio State University.


See, this is what living in the backwater part of the state can do for you that reading the New York Times simply can't

Controversy continues in Granby over a proposed gravel pit | masslive.com

GRANBY - Residents of this town will get another chance to register their feelings about a proposed gravel pit on Trompke Ave. when their select board meets on Tuesday.

Yikes, maybe Mehlman's not the only one, ya think?

Steve Schmidt, Former McCain Campaign Chief, On Mehlman Fundraiser: Same-Sex Marriage Becoming Conservative Cause

"There is a strong conservative case to be made in favor of gay marriage," former McCain campaign manager and fellow same-sex marriage fundraiser Steve Schmidt told the Huffington Post on Tuesday. "Marriage is an institution that strengthens and stabilizes society. It is an institution that has the capacity to bring profound joy and happiness to people and it is a matter of equality and keeping faith of one of the charters of the nation, the right to live your life.

"More and more conservatives are saying that opposition to gay marriage would not be a litmus test for membership in the GOP," Schmidt added. "And more conservatives are making the case that no more do you want big government conservatives in the bedroom than big government liberals telling you how to live your life."


All in the words

We've Seen This Movie Before - NYTimes.com

The formula is simple and foolproof (although those who deploy it so facilely seem to think we are all fools): If the bad act is committed by a member of a group you wish to demonize, attribute it to a community or a religion and not to the individual. But if the bad act is committed by someone whose profile, interests and agendas are uncomfortably close to your own, detach the malefactor from everything that is going on or is in the air (he came from nowhere) and characterize him as a one-off, non-generalizable, sui generis phenomenon.


Please Watch Your Step...

Photo: Phil Compton

Spare no expense

A U.S. 'legacy of waste' in Iraq - latimes.com

The shell of a prison that will never be used rises from the desert on the edge of this dusty town north of Baghdad, a hulking monument to the wasted promise of America's massive, $53-billion reconstruction effort in Iraq.

Construction began in May 2004 at a time when U.S. money was pouring into the country. It quickly ran into huge cost overruns. Violence erupted in the area, and a manager was shot dead in his office. The Iraqi government said it didn't want or need the prison. In 2007 the project was abandoned, but only after $40 million of U.S. taxpayer money had been spent.


Glenn Beck: I shouldn't have called Obama 'racist,' he's really just a liberation theology Marxist

Founded in Latin America during the 1950s and based in Christian beliefs, "liberation theology" involves the belief that the poor need to be freed from economic, political or social injustice.

Calling the theology "Marxism disguised as religion," Beck argued it goes against what most Christians believe.

"That is a direct opposite of what the gospel is talking about," he said.



I'm reading two books right now although one really doesn't count because it's a collection of short stories and so it's easy to set aside and come back to later; the other is a book about history, of which more anon. But I keep getting interrupted by other really fascinating stuff, such as this in the current New York Times Magazine:

Does Your Language Shape How You Think? - NYTimes.com

And also this, about the eggs:

Editorial Notebook - Egg Factory - NYTimes.com