Tuesday, July 17, 2018

AMERICA GREAT AGAIN: Jobless Claims Hit 49 Year Low — Not Seen Since 1969!

Jobless claims throughout the United States continued to plummet in the first week of July, hitting the lowest levels seen in nearly half a century as the economy continues to roar to life under President Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress, reports Hannity.com.

According to Market Watch, new benefit claims dropped by roughly 20,000 in early July to just 214,000 applications; hitting a 49-year low and smashing expectations.

The number of people losing their jobs and seeking benefits has totaled fewer than 250,000 each week since last September. That’s an unusually low number for an unusually long time, reflecting the healthiest U.S. jobs market at least since the dot-com boom at the end of the 1990s.

“The number of claims last week was the third lowest of the current nine-year-old economic expansion that began in mid-2009,” continues Market Watch. “The last time jobless claims were consistently lower was in 1969.”

The strong economic data points to a potential disaster for Democrats heading into the 2018 midterm elections, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi bizarrely claiming the booming job market is “reckless” for American workers and middle class families.



MN: Trump tariffs boost iron mining

Taconite is a low grade iron ore

When Jim Bailey lost his oil fracking job last year, the Bemidji resident took a chance relocating his family to Hibbing, which lies in the heart of the Iron Range and its boom-or-bust economy.

Bailey and his wife, Tracy, bought the shuttered Courtyard Cafe on historic Howard Street. In December, they received some splashy company when the large BoomTown Brewery & Woodfire Grill opened a block up the road.

Not far away, cranes and cement trucks are cranking out factory additions at the pipemaker Iracore International, the truck cooling-system maker L&M Radiator and the custom manufacturer Range Steel Fabricators.

Stores also are opening, and anecdotes of a healthier economy echo across Minnesota’s Mesabi Range, an ore-rich swath that rambles for 110 miles and has seen thousands of layoffs in recent years as the taconite industry weathered a severe slump.

“Since we got here we noticed there is more activity in the area and more people in the streets,” said Tracy Bailey while dashing to serve a customer pancakes. “We have been really busy.”

The level of activity has surprised some locals, but the reason behind it is clear: The iron ore companies are healthy again. Idled plants are reopened, with 2,000 employees back to work.

With residents working again — and some of the operations expanding — people are eating out more, shopping and spending more cash in general in their communities, Phillips said. “We are having another boom to an extent,” Phillips said.

Manufacturers and iron shipping firms across the region report business has improved greatly since late 2016. They note a host of factory expansions, street repairs, fresh upticks in product orders from the big mines and taconite-laden ships leaving Duluth’s harbor.

“Last year was the largest iron ore tonnage shipped through the Port of Duluth-Superior in a decade,” said Adele Yorde, spokeswoman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.



Explaining American Leftists: Part I

Dennis Prager

As I watch a great number of my fellow Americans and virtually all of the mainstream media descend further and further into irrational and immoral hysteria — regularly calling the president of the United States and all of his supporters Nazis, white supremacists and the like; harassing Republicans where they eat, shop and live; ending family ties and lifelong friendships with people who support the president; declaring their opposition to Trump and the Republican Party the “Resistance,” as if they were American reincarnations of the French who fought real Nazis in World War II; and so on — I ask myself: What is going on? How does one explain them?

Here are some answers:

1.) Naïveté

Many Americans are naïve, about life, about good and evil, and about America. They don’t realize how rare America is and how good they have it. This mass naïveté was vividly expressed by the reaction of tens of thousands of mostly white middle-class Americans to then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, when he was campaigning in Columbia, Missouri. Obama announced, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

I frequently play the recording of Obama’s statement on my radio show not only to explain a basic difference between Right and Left — the Left believes America needs to be fundamentally transformed, while the Right thinks America needs to be incrementally improved — but also for people to hear the crowd’s reaction.

Very few contemporary American recordings are as depressing as the ecstatic and prolonged cheering the crowd gave that terrible promise from Obama. I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that had he announced a cure for cancer, the cheering could not have been louder and probably would not have been longer.

Why would middle-class Americans — people who have more affluence, more opportunity, better health, better health care and more liberty than almost anyone alive in the world today, and certainly than anyone who ever lived — thunderously applaud a call to fundamentally transform their decent country?

One answer — one of many, as we will see — is naïveté.

Earlier this year, I had a debate/dialogue with two left-wing students at the University of California, Berkeley. I thought debating left-wing students, rather than giving a speech, would accomplish two objectives: deter left-wing protesters from disrupting my appearance and enable young people at Berkeley and around the world (via the Internet) to hear differences between Right and Left clearly spelled out. Both aims were achieved.

My final question to them was “Do you believe people are basically good?” Without a moment’s pause, both students said yes.

I told them they think that way because they live in such a decent country. It is easy to remain naïve in America, where most are insulated from the suffering inflicted on so much of humanity in deeply corrupt, poverty-stricken and war-torn societies. Nevertheless, given the way humans have treated one another throughout history, and only two generations after Auschwitz, only the naïve can believe people are basically good. And since no Western religion (i.e., any religion based on the Bible) has ever posited that people are basically good, this naïveté is abetted by secularism, which allows for the pursuit of knowledge but destroys wisdom.

Only the naïve — or willfully ignorant — could equate support for Donald Trump with Nazism. Are most Israeli Jews Nazis? Are a third of America’s Jews Nazis? (Many on the Left would probably answer yes, which gives you an idea how mean and sick many on the Left are.)

2.) Boredom

Boredom, at least in our time, is the most overlooked source of evil. In the past, before people went to college and abandoned religion — the two greatest reasons there is so much moral idiocy in our time — people knew how dangerous boredom was. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” was a commonly used aphorism that wouldn’t even make sense to most young people today.

By bored I am not referring to a lack of things to do. There is more opportunity to do and experience things today than ever before. By bored I mean a deep boredom of the soul, what the French call “ennui.” This is the boredom that emanates from lack of purpose and a yearning for excitement.

The combination of affluence and secularism produces boredom as surely as the combination of hydrogen and oxygen produces water. Without affluence, people have a built-in purpose: obtaining food and shelter, supporting oneself and one’s family, etc. And religion, with or without affluence, likewise has always provided people with meaning. Without religion, therefore, purpose is often lost. Add to that the number of people who are not married and do not have children (also a result of the combination of affluence and secularism) and you remove another universal source of meaning.

A disproportionate percentage of those on the Left (not traditional liberals) do not lack for material needs, have no religion and are single and/or childless. Those left-wing screamers you see in restaurants, the left-wing mobs on campus, the left-wing “antifa” thugs and the left-wing Black Lives Matter demonstrators who close down bridges and highways do not generally consist of married people with children who attended church the previous Sunday.

These people find this lack of purpose assuaged by leftism. It provides meaning and excitement, a very heady combination.

These are a few explanations. In Part II I will offer others.



Impact of ‘zero tolerance’ on display in Texas immigration court. One after another, asylum seekers are ordered deported

Very few are real asylum seekers.  They are just seeking a lifestyle upgrade

Sitting before an immigration judge in this south Texas detention center Thursday, a Central American mother separated from her son pleaded for asylum.

“Your honor, I’m just asking for one opportunity to be here,” said the woman wearing a blue prison uniform and a red plastic rosary around her neck. “You don’t know how much pain it has caused us to be separated from our children. We’re kind of losing it.”

Judge Robert Powell’s face was stern. During the past five years, he has denied 79% of asylum cases, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

“What you’re describing is not persecution,” he said.

“I’m asking for an opportunity,” the woman replied in Spanish through an interpreter.

“I’m not here to give you an opportunity.” He ordered her deported.

Immigrant family separations on the border were supposed to end after President Trump issued an executive order June 20. A federal judge in California ordered all children be reunited with their parents in a month, and those age 5 and under within 15 days. On Thursday, the administration said up to 3,000 children have been separated — hundreds more than initially reported — and DNA testing has begun to reunite families.

Port Isabel has been designated the “primary family reunification and removal center,” but lawyers here said they have yet to see detained parents reunited.

To qualify for asylum in the U.S., immigrants must prove they fear persecution at home because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or “membership in a particular social group,” and that their government is unwilling or unable to protect them. Most of the Central American parents detained here after “zero tolerance” fled gang and domestic violence. But that’s no longer grounds for seeking asylum, according to a guidance last month from Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. Immigration courts are part of the Justice Department, so judges are following that guidance.

Because immigration courts are administrative, not criminal, immigrants are not entitled to public defenders. And so, each day, they attempt to represent themselves in hearings that sometimes last only a few minutes.

The courtrooms are empty. That’s because, like a half dozen others nationwide, the court is inside a fortified Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center. Access is restricted, and may be denied. The Times had to request to attend court hearings — which are public — 24 hours in advance. After access to the facility was approved last week, access was denied to the courtrooms when guards said the proceedings were closed, without explanation.

Detainees have little access to the outside world, including their children. It costs them 90 cents a minute to place a phone call. When they do, they can be nearly inaudible. They receive mail, but when reporters wrote to them last week, the letters were confiscated and guards questioned why they had been contacted, according to a lawyer. Lawyers also said some separated parents have been pressured into agreeing to deportation in order to reunite with their children.

UNICEF officials toured Port Isabel Thursday. A dozen pro bono lawyers visited immigrants. But they were spread thin. None represented parents at the credible fear reviews, where judges considered whether to uphold an asylum officer’s finding that they be deported.

Immigration Judge Morris Onyewuchi, a former Homeland Security lawyer appointed to the bench two years ago, questioned several parents’ appeals.

“You have children?” he asked a Honduran mother.

Yes, Elinda Aguilar said, she had three. “Two of them were with me when we got separated by immigration, the other is in Honduras,” said Aguilar, 44.

“How many times have you been to the U.S.?” the judge asked.

Aguilar said this was her first time. The judge reviewed what Aguilar had told an asylum officer: That she had fled an ex-husband who beat, raped and threatened her. “He told you he would kill you if you went with another man?” the judge said.

Yes, Aguilar replied.

The judge noted that Aguilar had reported the crimes to police, who charged her husband, although he never showed up in court. Then he announced his decision: deportation.

Aguilar looked confused. “Did the asylum officer talk to you and explain my case?” she said.

The judge said he was acting according to the law.

Although she was fleeing an abusive husband, he said, “your courts intervened and they put him through the legal process. That’s also how things work in this country.”

Aguilar knit her hands. She wasn’t leaving yet.

“I would like to know what’s going to happen to my children, the ones who came with me,” she asked the judge.

“The Department of Homeland Security will deal with that. Talk to your deportation officer,” he said. Guards led her away as she looked shocked, and brought in the next parent.

Denis Cardona, 31, told the judge he fled Honduras to the U.S. with his son Alexander.

“Where is he?” the judge asked.

“He’s here, detained, but I don’t know where,” Cardona said. “I was told he’s an hour away.”

The judge reviewed Cardona’s case. It was his first time crossing the border to the U.S. He had fled threats from the MS-13 gang after a land dispute with a cousin.

“And you did not report this to authorities in your country?” the judge said.

Yes, Cardona said, “but they didn’t listen.”

“It’s difficult for police to get where we were, and also the police do not help poor people,” he said.

Why hadn’t he told the asylum officer all that, the judge asked. Cardona said he had. He leaned his head on his hand. He looked tired.

Moments later, the judge ruled.

“This is a family dispute. This is not grounds for asylum in the United States,” he said. Deported.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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