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September 03, 2012


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Sir C--I was hoping you would comment on yesterday's NYT magazine piece on demographics of the current workforce.

Here's an excerpt:
..."while the men were struggling, women either continued on with their work or found new jobs as teachers, secretaries or nurses or in the service industry. Like many states, Alabama has cut government services over the last few years, but the jobs that remain are relatively stable, Sumners said. More important than the particular jobs available, which are always in flux, is a person’s willingness to adapt to a changing economy. These days that usually requires going to college or getting some job retraining, which women are generally more willing to do. Two-thirds of the students at the local community college are women, which is fairly typical of the gender breakdown in community colleges throughout the country.

“An important long-term issue is that men are not doing as well as women in keeping up with the demands of the global economy,” says Michael Greenstone, an economist at M.I.T. and director of the Hamilton Project, which has done some of the most significant research on men and unemployment. “It’s a first-order mystery for social scientists, why women have more clearly heard the message that the economy has changed and men have such a hard time hearing it or responding.”

Can you hear the echoes ringing off the floor of the GOP convention? This story focuses on job loss and gain in the suburban South, which might be the birthplace of much proposed legislation aimed at limiting a woman's control over her body and, subsequently, her career.

So many angry, old white guys in so many places (workplace, Congress, the church), and so little time.
As I've pointed out before, US women are currently the majority in the overall population, the workforce, the consumer force and the voting booth. Why aren't they flexing their collective muscle?

If there were no threat, there would be no need for a War on Women.

Sir Charles


I am definitely going to comment on that article. It was fascinating.


Sir C: I spent 25 years in the newspaper bidness, much of it covering politics (mostly state/local), and while I had my share of "D'oh!" moments, one thing I'm proud of is that I tried - tried - to keep my coverage and my paper's focused on substance. Good on ya for pointing out the continuing need.

Paula: Excellent, excellent point. The last big upheaval of the Klan in my region, in the mid-1980s, had far more to do with white men losing jobs in textile mills than anything else.

kathy a.

i can't really get very far with that liebovitch column. no, there is not a lot of freaking "joy" in this campaign.

part of it goes back to obama's last run, when it became clear that race-baiting was OK; and when the still-not-gone birthirism nutcases started the drumbeat of illegitimacy for office. someone asked a few posts ago if anyone was worried about assassination attempts, given the lies and the gun nuts? hell yeah; have been for the duration.

part of it is that since he was elected, the GOP has made a concerted effort to defeat whatever the president was for. that was the goal: make him a loser. they did this during an economic crisis that he inherited, that was created by their own. he still got some stuff done, important stuff -- out of iraq, health care, etc.

meanwhile, backstage, corporations became "people," and it became OK that unlimited anonymous bucks could buy -- all the campaigning it could buy.

this election cycle started with the clown car, each occupant more appalling than the last. that was kind of funny, in a dark and twisted way.

but the actual election is about real people and their real issues. one party wants to punish the poor and enrich the wealthy; wants more war; talks balanced budgets and deficit reduction, but the reductions would all come out of the hides of working people and poor people, kids and old people. and also, this is the party that wants to fire government workers -- the ones who help ordinary folks, 'cause government is bad -- but they think god is telling them to invade your uterus, your bedroom, your family and your life.

and that party is selling itself with lies lies lies. fabrications; falsehoods; misleading statements. racial attacks. treating women as sluts, and/or as so stupid that they cannot be trusted with their own decisions. sink or swim for the less fortunate. also, "wealth building" at all costs to the worker bees; "trickle-down" was stupid when reagan said it, so those aren't the words they are using, but the "new! improved!" label does not improve the scent. also, "welfare queens" have made a comeback, but they are not talking about those financial firms that draw their fabulous fortunes from the public while also milking the feds.

so, spare me the hot-dog fest at the white house.


Leibovich needs to take an extended trip away from beltway USA where he will find that centrism, hot dog summits and kumbaya can and will accomplish exactly jack. Foolish and useful well-paid idiot. Sorry, I'm sure he has a nice family and loves his dog. My husband and I have a long-running feud as to whether paying for NYT access is necessary. I vote a consistent no, and here's res ipsa loquitor why. Leibovich needs to read my hometown struggling paper in order to 'get it.' It's a big country Marko, and it's in serious down-to-the-wire need of careful journalistic attention. This piece was six on-line pages of wanking.

Joy? Really? A request like that, at this juncture, is false equivalence at its most decadent.

And when becky asked about concerns for the President's safety, I chose to ignore her inquiry out of fear that opening such a discussion might be unwise. However, in the Guardian yesterday [can't find a link now] was a lengthy and frightening article about the population of white supremacists in the U.S. Army, their plans, thinking and organization. Hate crimes afoot by trained haters. Yes, by all means, let's have a sauerkraut summit.

Sir Charles

kathy and nancy,

It's always nice to have one's impressions confirmed by people you like and respect.

I, too, am really uncomfortable discussing possible threats to Obama. I am guessing that the Secret Service is on top of this stuff, although the army link was a little disturbing.

kathy a.

i remember JFK being killed -- and RFK and MLK. etc. so, the scenario is not a hypothetical to me. especially in the age of semi-automatics for all.

here is the article that i think nancy is talking about. i have to say, i do not think this guy is representative of our armed services; and i think the subject was overstating both how much he revealed while in service, and the acceptance of the military. but, worrisome nonetheless.


Here's the Guardian link to the story of some of our Army's nightmare recruits: long way from 'Be all that you can be'.

Once upon a time my husband, as a then-Pentagon budget guy, had the advertising for the services on his table. Navy had the 'Dawn launch over the China Sea' to draw on. Marines always could rely on 'A few Good Men' and of course the Air Force had whatever version of 'Top Gun' was currently in play. Recruiting tools all. So when the total PR budgets got whacked, the Army staffers were the guys who made the case -- "This is gonna kill us." That was during peacetime. Not that the PR budget would now have changed a thing.

And so we see, the all-war, all-the-time-Army has to fill its quotas with too many of the misfitted. We made this situation more or less permanent unfortunately. I don't envy those charged with our missions who have been asked to do too much and for too long.

low-tech cyclist

In one of my long-defunct blogs (I think I've got three of those now), I put up a post documenting the assorted tricks Bush had pulled to be able to continue fighting the Iraq War once it turned into a lengthy occupation.

Several of these tricks were aimed at dealing with the increasing reluctance of young people to join the U.S. Army, given that they'd likely be fed into the maw of the Iraq war:

Enlarging the volunteer army is out: we've allowed violent criminals, gangbangers, skinheads and neo-Nazis, high school dropouts and persons of low I.Q. into the Army, as well as raising the maximum age for enlistment from 35 to 42, just to keep our troop strength where it is.
I think you guys can see the potential for a connection here. (Much to my surprise, none of the links are broken yet - read away.)

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