imageWe might as well start with some real news.  Latest employment data out from the Labor Department:

“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 242,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Employment gains occurred in health care and social assistance, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and private educational services. Job losses continued in mining.

Household Survey Data In February, the unemployment rate held at 4.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.8 million, was unchanged. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.6 percentage point and 831,000, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.5 percent), adult women (4.5 percent), teenagers (15.6 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (8.8 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics (5.4 percent) showed little or no change in February.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.2 million in February and has shown little movement since June. In February, these individuals accounted for 27.7 percent of the unemployed.

The employment-population ratio edged up to 59.8 percent over the month, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 62.9 percent. Both measures have increased by 0.5 percentage point since September.

These numbers always get people riled up because they figure there is always something wrong with the data because it doesn’t seem to square with experience.

One of the areas I find totally interesting is the self-employed category.

This month the figure is 8.606 million.

Once upon a time, there was no such thing in the unemployment data.  But if you look back just five years ago (the data is here), you will see the number of self employed was being estimated at about the same level:  8.573 million.

Looking back further, we see that the self-employed in 2006 was estimates at 9.576 million.

These kinds of changes in the data leave me scratching my head:  The 2006 data claimed unemployment of 4.8 % (sort of like this morning) but there were about a million more people who were self-employed in 2006.  That doesn’t square with my personal experience with folks, but that’s maybe because I live in something of a data-void.

Nevertheless, if in the past 10 years, the number of self-employed has indeed declined by a million, it shouldn’t be too long here before the once-hot SOHO market completely implodes.  Or, so the longer term view of data has us wondering.

But let me lay it out so you see the data relationship I find so interesting:

2006 the unemployment was claimed at 4.8% and selfies were 9.576 million.

2011 the unemployment was set at 8.9% while the selfies were 8.573 million.

And last month,unemployed was 4.9% while selfies were 8.50 million.

And today we have  4,9% unemployment with selfies at 8.606 million.

I don’t know why that is so interesting, but something just doesn’t feel right about this..  Can’t put my finger on it, but the futures are up and Ure’s predict blow-off top seems to be gathering a head of steam it prolly doesn’t matter.   Still, we’ll keep an eye on it from time to time and see how it works out.

Futures are up 50’ish if it matters…

“I was Embarrassed” 

TGIO (Thank God It’s Over)…

I walked over the house to reload the coffee a few minutes ago and Elaine was in fine form.

She was appalled by the utter stupidity of the latest debate which she had a who string of descriptive phrases for.

The Drudge Report headlined “Cuban Sandwich”  and pointed to the report over here.

But I had the good sense to snooze out in my lounger and sleep well past the packaged idiocy being put out of its misery by the clock.

Meantime, I’m sick of the whole mess and look forward to March 22 because that will be the day after this rank stupidity has come to an end.

A buddy of mine (not in Texas) will be coming out with his Vlad Putin for President stickers shortly.  A nice counterpoint to our own “One Clinton was Too Many” which are in design now.

Back to point, you do know that Mitt Romney was at a big venture group and that group made a lot of money in consumerism, not in core industry, right?  OF COURSE he would attack Trump on bringing back manufacturing to the USA.  What we want to know is how much of Mitt’s millions were made job-jacking (if any)?

Then there’s this:  Neocon Armchair Warhawks Panic Over Trump Foreign Policy.

It has been floating around the ‘net ever since 2014 that the Neocons would ally with Hillary Clinton, and thus reveal themselves to be what people like me have been saying for a long time:  Neocons are pro-war, non-republicans, who are only interested in their own sick little agenda.

Which is why we see stories like “Kagan Endorses Hillary: Clinton in Lockstep with Neocons.”

And if they have to climb onboard the yet-to-be-indicted pony to try and ride it with their alarmist agitprop, the WTF, that’s what they do. 

Every war needs mongers and this is a nest of ‘em.  And you see who they are throwing in with.

Maybe they haven’t read “Napolitano: Hillary Clinton Should Be ‘Terrified’ IT Guy Was Given Immunity.”

Off in the background:  Dems beware! Trump could beat Clinton: Richardson.

Spoiled, Brat-Bastard Kid Department

We see in this morning’s USA Today that the the young Kim Jong Un is sabre rattling and ordered nuclear weapons ready for use.

A little mental clarity is in order here:  He is just trying to buy his way into a third-polar poker game which sees Russia, the U.S., and China all with strategic missile systems at the ready.

What’s one more player in an already insane world?

Islands of Power

By the way, speaking of China and their Islands that they are building off in the South China Sea, did you see where the prime minister of Japan (Shinzo Abe) has stopped work on moving the US Marine base on Okinawa?

Not to put to fine a point on it, but is Abe nuts? 

There was an old game for the Mac back in 1990’s, or so, called Balance of Power.

Someone should buy Shinzo Abe a copy.

Off point completely, but the developer of Balance of Power was Chris Crawford, who accounting to Wikipedia “In 1992 Crawford withdrew from commercial game development and began experimenting with ideas for a next generation interactive storytelling system.”

I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with.  Totally unconventional thinking is something we admire and put on a pedestal here.

And from our military affairs expert, warhammer:

A cheerful Friday to you, George,

Bloomberg does a decent job outlining the perceived Chinese plan to become a peer military competitor to the U.S. of A.


Such thinking is not new by any means. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger reached out to China in the 70s in anticipation of the Dragon’s growing clout in the Far East in global economy. In the mid-90s, the USAF spent a lot of time and resources on their 2025 study, which in part outlined how China was positioned to become America’s biggest strategic nemesis by the projected year of the study’s title.

The U.S. may not have the economy nor the gumption to continue serving as a global police force. Yet China needs some serious but friendly opposition. The global impact? Europe, Israel and a few of the more rational Middle Eastern Arabic countries will likely be responsible for realizing peace in their currently messy region, which right now means containing and then defeating ISIS. Without a strong U.S. Middle Eastern presence, Russia will dominate the region. Iran will ultimately grow into a regional super power while Israel must either develop formal relations with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt or face prolonged isolation, which will result in a Fortress Israel approach.

China will need serious but sensible guidance and firm opposition as they regionally expand their influence. Initially, this may involve American military presence to drive home the point that a Chinese policy of hegemony is not an option. Japan’s military will be forces to continue its expansion in a regionally non-threatening way. Taiwan will inevitably be subsumed by their overpowering mainland cousins if the U.S. does not continue to back them with steely eyed resolve, financial aid and continuous military patronage.

What does this mean for the everyday American? Expect yearly rises in defense budgets and the accelerated development and funding of advanced strategic weaponry – to include a sizable air, land, sea (surface and subsurface) and space based drone force.

The subtext of the Bloomberg is the historic financial impact of the Dragon Rising scenario. Western defense stocks and military commodities are a sound investment for the long haul. Corporate investment in China may embrace some increasingly serious risk. The next American Commander and the U.S. Congress will jointly decide the measure of America’s ‘carrot and stick’ approach – just how much funding goes toward militarily caging-in the Chinese Dragon and how much ends up in corporate venture. This diplomatic challenge has all the makings of a classic Vegas poker game.

Back to point:  China is gaming when they claim as follows:  China Accuses the US of ‘Militarizing’ the South China Sea.

Syria:  New War-Tech Test?

When I read the headline that  Electricity supply gradually returns in Syria – state media, I jumped back to the plotline of Oceans 11.

Did the US perchance test a limited-area EMP device, or is the power melting down in Syria because the Middle East is not exactly the hotbed of SCADA and AC distribution excellence?

The truce goes on, the power goes off.   Are we to be enlightened, shortly?