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When Obama loses even the Germans…

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 8:57 pm - July 7, 2013.
Filed under: Democratic Scandals,Obama Watch

…this is what it looks like:

Protestor signs say that Obama is Stasi 2.0

Via Zero Hedge.

The government tracks your snail mail, too

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 8:22 pm - July 7, 2013.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Post 9-11 America,War On Terror

From the New York Times last week:

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

…Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images…

…postal workers record information from the outside of letters and parcels before they are delivered. (Opening the mail would require a warrant.) … It enables the Postal Service to retrace the path of mail at the request of law enforcement. No one disputes that it is sweeping.

“In the past, mail covers were used when [ed: ordered after] you had a reason to suspect someone of a crime,” said Mark D. Rasch, who started a computer crimes unit in the fraud section of the criminal division of the Justice Department and worked on several fraud cases using mail covers. “Now it seems to be, ‘Let’s record everyone’s mail so in the future we might go back and see who you were communicating with.’ Essentially you’ve added mail covers on millions of Americans.”

So, pro or con? A reasonable trade-off of privacy for security, or another example of America Gone Horribly Wrong?

I lean to the latter view. As the NSA surveillance revelations hit, I said:

Can you imagine one of the Framers [of the Constitution] saying the following? “Having the Post Office collect data for the President on every letter that every person sends isn’t unconstitutional because the Fourth Amendment only protects the content of letters and not information on the sender and recipient, the weight of the letters (or number of pages), etc.” – I can’t.

Having said that, I do have a tad more confidence that the Post Office isn’t illegally opening and reading letters, than I do that the NSA somehow isn’t illegally reading/listening to any e-mails and phone calls they feel like.

UPDATE: From Bruce’s Twitter stream, more in the “America Gone Wrong” category:

On Jobs: Truth or Propaganda

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 8:09 pm - July 7, 2013.
Filed under: California politics,Economy,Media Bias

From Bloomberg on July 5:

Employment roared ahead in June…

Hourly earnings in the year ended in June advanced by the most since July 2011…Stocks climbed…

“Job growth is starting to hum along,” said Jonathan Basile, director of U.S. economics at Credit Suisse Holdings USA…”All of it is laying the groundwork for more spending and more jobs. This virtuous cycle is really taking hold…”

Sounds wonderful, right? Now for the reality check. From the same article:

Payrolls rose by 195,000 workers… The jobless rate stayed at 7.6 percent…

Retailers, professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality businesses led the gains… Factories reduced payrolls by 6,000…

Translation: We added bartenders, servers and beauticians; we actually lost industrial jobs.

Also recall that when Bush 43’s economic recovery created similar jobs at similar rates, the media/Democrat complex denounced it bitterly as “McJobs” and a “jobless recovery.” So, why describe it now as “roaring…humming…a virtuous cycle”?

But, to continue from the same article:

The number of part-time workers rose for the fourth month…

The underemployment rate — which includes part-time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want to work but have given up looking — rose to a four-month high of 14.3 percent in June from 13.8 percent the month before… “A lot of those people who have management experience are not finding jobs…”

In other words: After full-time jobs were lost in the recession, part-time jobs were created in the recovery. Some of that always happens, but Obama has taken it to a new level. Finally, consider this, from BloombergBusinessweek:

Why Are California’s Businesses Disappearing?

There were 1.3 million businesses in California at the end of 2012, 5.2 percent fewer than in the previous year (that’s about 73,000 fewer). To put that in perspective, Massachusetts lost 5,200 businesses, the second-highest amount…

There is no nationwide recovery, if California is still losing businesses at “recession” rates.