Thursday, August 8, 2013
NEW YORK – Are the reports of an Obama economic recovery based on the economy creating mostly part-time jobs and on manipulated government statistics that report an artificially low unemployment number?
According to John Williams, an economist known for asserting the government reports manipulated “shadow statistics” of economic data for political purposes, the real unemployment rate for July 2013 was 23.3 percent, not the 7.4 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, the House Ways and Means Committee reported Monday that seven of every eight new employees under Obama have been part-time.
Williams, editor of the Shadow Government Statistics website, wrote that the Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicating July unemployment dropped from 7.6 percent in June to 7.4 percent in July was “meaningless.”
“The broad economic outlook has not changed, despite the heavily-distorted numbers that continue to be published by the BLS,” Williams wrote. “The unemployment rates have not dropped from peak levels due to a surge in hiring; instead, they generally have dropped because of discouraged workers being eliminated from headline labor-force accounting.”
Manipulated unemployment rates
Williams’ ShadowStats Alternative unemployment rate includes “long-term discouraged workers,” a category the Bureau of Labor Statistics removed in 1994, under the Clinton administration, from the government’s unemployment measures.
The BLS publishes six levels of unemployment, but only the headline U3 unemployment rate gets the press.
The headline number does not count the “discouraged” workers who have not looked for work in the past four weeks because they believe no jobs are available.
Williams has demonstrated that it takes an expert to truly decipher BLS unemployment statistics. For instance, in a table titled “Alternative measures of labor underutilization,” the BLS reports what is known as “U6 unemployment.”
The U6 unemployment rate is the BLS’s broadest measure. It includes those marginally attached to the labor force and the “under-employed,” those who have accepted part-time jobs but seek full-time employment. Also included are short-term discouraged workers who have not looked for work in the past year because there are no jobs to be found.
Since 1994, however, the long-term discouraged workers, those who have been discouraged for more than one year, have been excluded from all government data.
The BLS was reporting that the seasonally adjusted headline unemployment last month was only 7.4 percent, but it also said the broader U6 seasonally adjusted unemployment was 14 percent.
In his subscription newsletter, Williams has urged caution in interpreting BLS statistics:
“To the extent that there is any significance in the monthly reporting, it is that the economy is not in recovery, and that unemployment has made a new high, at a level that rivals any other downturn of the post-Great Depression era.”
Williams calculates his “ShadowStats Alternative Unemployment Rate” by adding to the BLS U6 numbers the long-term discouraged workers who have not looked for work in more than a year but still consider themselves to be unemployed.
Williams argues that his ShadowStats Alternative Unemployment measure most closely mirrors common experience.
“If you were to survey everyone in the country as to whether they were employed or unemployed, without qualification as to when they last looked for a job, the resulting unemployment rate would be close to the ShadowStats estimate,” Williams explained to WND.
The headline BLS unemployment rate has stayed relatively low because it excludes all discouraged workers, Williams argues.
As the unemployed first become discouraged and then disappear into the long-term discouraged category, they also vanish from inclusion in the headline labor force numbers. Those workers still are there, however, ready to take a job if one becomes available. They consider themselves to be unemployed, but the government’s popularly followed unemployment reporting ignores them completely.
Here is a more complete unemployment table that includes the seasonally adjusted unemployment percentages for U3 unemployment, as well as the same for U6 unemployment, followed by the ShadowStats Alternative Unemployment rate for both December 2011 and December 2012:
Increasingly, critics like Williams believe the seasonally adjusted U3 numbers reported by the BLS as the official monthly unemployment rate do not give a reliable picture of the true magnitude of unemployment in the United States.
The BLS definitions exclude from the definition of unemployed those who have grown so discouraged that they have not actively looked for work in the past year, without distinguishing those who would look for work if there were a reasonable chance they could find employment.
False job-creation numbers
The House Ways and Means report Monday noted the headlines “citing last week’s jobs report as the lowest unemployment rate in years may have been technically accurate, but they are also reminders that looks can be deceiving.”
“The reality, as you dig into the latest jobs data, reveals that few are finding the full-time work they want and need, and many are forced to accept part-time employment.”
To support its argument, the committee produced the following table drawn from Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The committee linked to an article published Sunday by Associated Press economics writer Paul Wiseman that said: “So far this year, low-paying industries have provided 61 percent of he nation’s job growth, even though these industries represent just 39 percent of overall U.S. jobs, according to Labor Department numbers analyzed by Moody’s Analytics.”
In one of the most famous events in the Bible, G-d commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son. So Abraham took his son Isaac, bound him on an altar and prepared to bring him up as a burnt offering. And then the voice of the angel called to him and told him not to harm his son.
G-d did not want human sacrifices. The peace process does.
After the bloody handshake with Arafat led to an onslaught of terrorist attacks, the Israeli left invented a new sacrifice to describe the dead Israelis murdered by their new peace partners. Korbanot Shalom. Sacrifices of peace.
Peace made the service of death into a national duty. There was no telling where or when one might be called upon to become a sacrifice for peace. It might be at a mall or at a pizzeria or while riding the bus.
The sacrifices of peace have diminished as the left has fallen out of power. The wooden altars of the Moloch of Peace stand empty and the Priests of Peace pass mournfully through international airports, studying maps, drawing up plans and calling for new sacrifices. And eventually their call is heeded.
In the spring, America’s prince of peace, the man who had thrown thousands of American soldiers with their hands tied behind their backs into the arms of the Taliban, who had sacrificed every other American ally in the region, came to Jerusalem to demand that the altars once again be raised up and the blood of peace flow over the negotiating tables.
“It can be tempting to put aside the frustrations and sacrifices that come with the pursuit of peace,” Obama told a carefully selected audience of Israeli students; some of them future sacrifices on his bloody altar of peace. “Here on Earth we must bear our responsibilities in an imperfect world. That means accepting our measure of sacrifice and struggle.”
And so the measure of sacrifice comes again. The ceremonial release of terrorists with blood on their hands began this festival of negotiations.
Netanyahu, to his credit, did it reluctantly. This is how conservative governments in Israel can be distinguished from liberal governments. The liberals eagerly rush forward to bring human sacrifices on the altar of peace and will not stop no matter how many angels cry from heaven, but the conservatives do so reluctantly, they stall for time and then sighing wearily, they build up the pagan altars of peace in sight of the ruined heap of the temple and the graves of their fathers.
If you wish to understand, step back in time and listen for a moment to Chaim Rumkowski as he delivers the infamous speech to the Jews of the Lodz Ghetto that will come to be known as the “Give Me Your Children Speech.”
“The ghetto has been struck a hard blow. They demand what is most dear to it – children and old people,” Rumkowski, the former orphanage director turned head of the Lodz Ghetto Judenraat, says. “I lived and breathed together with children. I never imagined that my own hands would be forced to make this sacrifice on the altar.”
“Yesterday, in the course of the day, I was given the order to send away more than 20,000 Jews from the ghetto, and if I did not – ‘we will do it ourselves’.”
It is this “we will do it ourselves” phrase that is the true name of the Moloch of Peace. Hear the rationalizations now from Rumkowski’s lips on September 4, 1942, addressing men and women who are doomed to death.
“We arrived at the conclusion… that however difficult it was going to be, we must take upon ourselves the carrying out of this decree,” Rumkowski said. “I must carry out this difficult and bloody operation, I must cut off limbs in order to save the body!”
Israel has chopped off quite a few limbs already. But there are more to be chopped off. That diplomatic triage is the bloody rationale of peace.
Rabin warned that if Israel did not accept an autonomous territory, then it would be forced to accept a state. Peres warned that if Israel did not accept a state in Gaza and the West Bank, it would lose Jerusalem. Sharon warned that if Israel didn’t accept the expulsion of the Jews of Gaza, it would lose everything up to the ’67 borders.
Israel accepted all these things and each of the terrible losses it sought to avert came about because of these prior concessions. The autonomous territory paved the way for a state. The loss of Gaza and the West Bank made Jerusalem next on the schedule.
And now, the Priests of Peace warn that if Israel doesn’t accept a deal that will be based on the ’67 borders and partition Jerusalem, it will be forced to accept a one-state solution that will destroy the country.
Take a walk back to the Lodz Ghetto in September and listen.
“I tried everything I knew to get the bitter sentence cancelled,” Rumkowski tells the crowd. “When it could not be cancelled, I tried to lessen the sentence. Only yesterday I ordered the registration of nine-year-old children. I wanted to save at least children from nine to ten. But they would not yield. I succeeded in one thing – to save the children over ten. Let that be our consolation in our great sorrow.”
These are the Israeli leaders who tell their people that at least they saved the ten-year-olds. All it took was a willingness to give up the children under the age of ten. They saved the larger settlements, they tell us. They saved Jerusalem. They saved Israel. They saved something. And all they had to do was give up everything.
Rumkowski became the enemy of the people he was trying to save because when you take it upon yourself to decide which of your own people should die at the hands of the enemy for the greater good; you begin to think like the enemy.
Of the more than 200,000 Jews to enter the Lodz ghetto, there were less than a thousand left in the end.
When Israeli leaders sit down to the territorial triage of diplomacy and begin contemplating which Israelis should be thrown out of their homes and how many dead are acceptable for the sake of peace, they allow the enemy into themselves and wrapping themselves in Rumkowskian nobility, they become callous to the suffering that they cause.
Now the altars rise again and the ever-diminishing amount of territory that will be saved is matched by the ever-increasing amount of sacrifices for peace that will be tolerated. In the last exchange of fire, rockets struck major Israeli cities that had not been bombed in decades. The terrorists have made the rocket into their altar and the suicide bomber into their sacrifice and Israelis make the negotiating table into an altar and the victims of terrorism into their sacrifice.
This long train of sacrifices has taken the PLO from a relic in Cyprus to a mortgage on the West Bank, Gaza and part of Jerusalem. And now another bout of sacrifices begins. There is no peace, but there are sacrifices for peace. And if this goes on, a nation will have been sacrificed on the altar of a peace that will never come.
Front Page Magazine
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani’s election was seen in the U.S. media and by the Obama administration as a moderate choice, but Rowhani’s administration is littered with men who have a history of making radical statements, according to aWall Street Journal article.
Hassan Rowhani’s inauguration as Iran’s president has renewed the Obama administration’s dreams of rapprochement with Tehran. In a Sunday statement, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed hope that “the new Iranian government will heed the will of the voters by making choices that will lead to a better life for the Iranian people.” Should the Islamic Republic choose to engage, Mr. Carney added, “it will find a willing partner in the United States.”
Mr. Rowhani has already been “making choices” that the U.S. might want to take into account before becoming a “willing partner” in dealing with the regime. Consider the Iranian president’s new cabinet, announced on Sunday. His picks were generally hailed in the American media as “reform minded or moderate technocrats” (NBC), as “more moderate” (New York Times ), or as bearers of “an olive branch to the U.S.” (New Republic).
For example, Rowhani’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi has in the past said Iran would not back down against the “arrogance” of the United States and its allies. Additionally, he said in October on Iranian state-run television, “The Americans can’t even take on the pupils of our revolution, namely Hezbollah and Hamas. How dare they even consider a plot against our nation when twice they’ve been defeated by our pupils?”
Iran’s Minister of Justice Mostafa Pourmohammadi said at a February event, “With our actions and our resistance, we have cornered the arrogance. We have severely frightened and confused the arrogance.”
Head of Iran’s Foreign Ministry Mohammed Javad Zarif has been a defender of Tehran’s campaign against Israel and of Iran’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah.
Washington free Beacon
Humanity has never and will never be able to govern itself, not in this fallen world. Tyranny and the unbridled passions of man will always win the day.
Ask yourself this very simple question. How can an imperfect humanitywho lives in an imperfect world bring about an absolutely perfect“Utopian” society? (See Romans 7:24.) The answer is a no-brainer yet extremely hard for humanity to digest: it never can. The only hope anddeliverance for humanity today is found in its wonderful Creator and Redeemer, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior today? Only He can deliver you from the oppressive tyranny of Satan and the World System. He is the only deliverer from our bondage to Sin and all its awful consequences(Romans 6:23). He has come to set at liberty the sons of men (Rom. 4:17,18, 6:14,17-18, 22; 7: 24-25; 8:2, 21; Gal. 5:1; Eph. 4:8). May it be your sincere desire to put your trust in Him today!
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
The Ignorant Fishermen Blog
In the wake of a rising tide of pro-life sentiments and sensibilities in America, the utter bankruptcy of thepro-abortion position is being revealed, especially in its more militant forms.
The pro-abortion side is now faced with:
- The beautiful reality of 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds, making clear that the fetus in the womb is really a carefully formed, developing baby. It is now impossible to deny that the little one seen with such clarity on the screen is a human life that is about to be snuffed out.
- The brutal reality of the "houses of horror" run by men like Dr. Kermit Gosnell (and others), with the unavoidable conclusions that: 1) The same doctors who killed babies in the womb had no problem killing babies outside the womb; and 2) There is virtually no moral difference between killing a 20-week-old baby in the safety of its mother’s womb and killing it seconds after it emerges from the womb.
- Moving stories from abortion survivors like Gianna Jessen. They even have their own network called TheAbortionSurvivors.com.
- A younger generation that values fairness, equality and the rights of the victim. Although this is often more gut-level rather than rational (leading to many young people getting on the wrong side of the homosexuality debate), it also explains why so many are becoming pro-life.
- Court rulings siding against Obamacare’s pro-abortion mandates.
- Undercover videos by Lila Rose and others, revealing the greed and heartlessness of abortion providers.
What has the pro-abortion side offered in response?
- Planned Parenthood dropping its “pro-choice” moniker, once considered an impregnable (no pun intended) winning concept, in favor of the hopelessly self-defeating “Your Baby Will Thank You” (but only, of course, if the baby manages to escape the Planned Parenthood clinic alive).
- Completely inane statements by the media, like this one from MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, who said: “When does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling—but not science. The problem is that many of our policymakers want to base sweeping laws on those feelings.” (Aside from the ludicrous nature of saying the parents determine when life begins—where does this kind of thinking lead?—the question remains: Which lawmakers are trying to “base sweeping laws” on feelings alone?) Yes, this was the same TV host who recently wore tampon earrings to protest the Texas abortion laws.
- Absolutely murderous statements by so-called medical ethicists, leading to outlandish headlines like this, in Britain’s Telegraph: “Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say.” (Yes, the headline really says “experts say.”) The article continues, “Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are ‘morally irrelevant’ and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.”
- Pathetic ads, like the one celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and featuring black actor Mechad Brooks. The ad was so dreadful that Eric Metaxas commented, “When I first watched this ad, I thought, this HAS to be a spoof. It employs the ugly racial stereotype of a smooth-talking [black] predator celebrating his freedom to use women at zero cost to himself: Hey, baby, hook up with me—and then go have an abortion. Are they kidding? No; this was no spoof.”
- Despicable protests in Austin, Texas, against legislators who were simply voting for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks as well as for heightened health regulations at abortion facilities. As Katie Pavlich reported, “Apparently chanting ‘hail Satan,’ ‘f*ck the church,’ ‘bro-choice’ and holding signs that say ‘hoes before embryos’ just wasn't enough for pro-abortion protestors in Texas. According to reports on the ground, police have confiscated bricks, tampons, pads and condoms protestors planned to throw at pro-life lawmakers.” The police “also confiscated jars of urine and feces.”
- Students on campus videotaped as they signed a petition to legalize “aborting” fourth-trimesterbabies (meaning already born, full-term babies—but who said college students were good at math these days?).
- The rise of the “bro-choice” movement, as young men, surely moved by altruism alone (forgive the sarcasm), are now taking a stand. As expressed by Ben Sherman, “For those of us guys who like girls—you know, like them like them—and want to have relationships with them, that may last anywhere from a few minutes to many years, we need to think about how this bill (Texas HB 2), by curtailing the bodily autonomy and sexual freedom of women, hurts us, too. We need to stand with women in their fight to control their own bodies.”
It is little wonder, then, that the pro-life tide continues to rise.
Yet a recent Pew Research poll indicates that far less Americans think abortion is an important issue today as compared to just seven years ago, with most Americans still opposed to the complete overturn of Roe v. Wade—all of which means we have our work cut out for us. And so, rather than congratulating ourselves prematurely, we need to increase our efforts to expose the bankruptcy of the pro-abortion position along with continuing to emphasize the precious sanctity of life.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at his first news conference Tuesday, Aug. 6, said his government would not discuss his country’s nuclear program with the world powers under pressure. No sooner had he spoken than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shot back: The only thing that worked in the past was pressure, so the answer now is increased pressure.
It is an open secret that what Rouhani is after is the lifting of US and European sanctions which are crippling Iran’s economy. He is not altogether unrealistic: Only last February, the Six World Powers made Tehran an offer to gradually ease sanctions if Iran stopped enriching uranium – even temporarily.
That was before he was elected. Now, Rouhani wants more dramatic concessions on sanctions to prove his worth to the Iranian people and assure them he will be alleviating their economic hardships very soon.
The Obama administration is sharply divided by the debate for and against removing sanctions. Proponents argue that Rouhani, who is perceived in the West as a moderate, should be encouraged because he may be the man to eventually persuade Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to freeze Iran’s nuclear program.
He succeeded once before, in October 2003, when he was Iran’s senior negotiator, they maintain - forgetting that Tehran was then gripped by fear that the US army, which had invaded Iraq in March of that year, would turn on next-door Iran and wipe out its nuclear program.
After a pause of less than a year, when Khamenei and Rouhani saw the US army becoming mired in Iraq and therefore no threat, they switched their nuclear weapons program back on at full power.
Judging from this precedent, Netanyahu advised a visiting delegation of 36 US Members of Congress in Jerusalem not to heed Rouhani’s demand to drop the pressure, i.e. sanctions. Nothing else works, he said.
At the same time, the prime minister, like his American guests, is well aware that pressure in the form of sanctions never slowed Iran’s race for a nuclear bomb, but rather accelerated it.
On Monday, Aug. 5, The Wall Street Journal divulged a fact know for six months to Israeli and US intelligence communities – that in mid-2014, Iran will finish building a heavy water reactor at Arak in northwestern Iran and be able to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs from the reactor’s spent fuel rods, a method used by India, Pakistan and North Korea. Plutonium for bomb-making will therefore be available sooner than enriched uranium.
However, a large surface reactor is an easier target to hit than the underground facilities at Fordo that house Iran's uranium-enrichment facilities.
This was behind the thinking of an unnamed senior Israeli official, when he commented to the media on Tuesday that Israel was capable of attacking the Iranian nuclear program on its own without American back-up – albeit less effectively than an operation by the US or with American operational support. He meant that Israel could destroy key components of Iran’s nuclear program, but not disable it entirely.
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources find in these remarks a growing acceptance in Israel’s political and military officials that President Obama’s reluctance to involve the US in military action in Syria applies equally to Iran. Netanyahu is going to great lengths to present Israel’s case to members of Congress, whom he sees as his last resort for winning Obama around. He figures that even if the US President is resolved to go easy with Rouhani and lift sanctions, Congress will block him.
This is of course no more than a holding tactic and therefore susceptible to compromise at some point.
Its weakness lies in the fact that not only is Obama balking at military options, so too is Netanyahu. The Iranians, including their new president Rouhani, who monitor every twitch of every US and Israeli political and military muscle, will understand that for now, they can keep going forward with their nuclear plans without fear of interference.
Iran has built a new rocket launch site which is likely to be used for testing ballistic missiles, The Daily Telegraph cites military analysts as saying.
According to the report, satellite images of the structure taken last month and published by IHS Jane’s Military and Security Assessments shows a 23 meters tall launch tower sitting on a launch pad. The images also shows a 125 meters long exhaust deflector.
The Telegraph quoted analysts as saying they believe it is designed to test ballistic missiles rather than launch space rockets, in spite of the new site being close to Iran’s first space center in the northern Semnan province.
The unfinished site has no storage facilities for liquid rocket fuel needed for rockets that launch satellites, which suggests it is built for ballistic missiles using solid fuel, the Telegraphquoted Jane's editor Matthew Clements as saying.
Jane's says the Shahrud site is one of three that will ultimately serve Iran's space program.
The Islamic Republic already has one space center at Semnan, 100 miles southwest of the new launching site, and is said to be building another space center in Chabahar, in the southeastern part of the country. A third launch site would seem excessive, particularly at a time of Western sanctions crippling the Iranian economy, Clements said.
"Imagery analysis of the Shahrud site suggests it will be a strategic facility used to test ballistic missiles, leaving the other two sites free to handle Iran's ambitious program of satellite launches."
Clements added there was no indication the base, located 25 miles southeast of the city of Shahrud, was a nuclear facility.
Solid fuel rockets are quicker to deploy than liquid fuel ones, Shashank Joshi, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, is quoted by the Telegraph as saying.
“If you look at why their missile program has been so slow, one reason is their difficulties with solid fuel. A testing site which helps in that regard is concerning. Testing is critical. You don’t improve missiles until you test them," Joshi said.
Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment.
The Islamic Republic has pursued ambitious goals to develop its space program in recent years. In January this year it demonstrated its missile delivery systems by launching a live monkey into space and returning it safely, officials said.
Western countries are concerned that long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to delivering nuclear warheads.
Iran's efforts to develop and test ballistic missiles and build a space launch capability have contributed to Israeli calls for pre-emptive strikes on Iranian nuclear sites and billions of dollars of US ballistic missile defense spending.