Happy Days Ain’t Here Again

From the Economic Policy Institute:
JobWatch Bulletin, February 6, 2004
Continued high unemployment and the lack of meaningful job growth made 2003 the worst year for weekly wage growth for the typical worker since 1996 (see EPI Issue Brief Weak Recovery Claims New Victim: Workers’ Wages ). This clearly indicates that the weak labor market is now hurting employed workers as well as those looking for work.

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The Latest Hysteria

How predictable: the Bush administration and the Archdiocese of Boston, the employers of choice for baldfaced liars and child molesters, respectively, are shocked, shocked that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has said that gay people can get married.
I really don’t get it, folks. I don’t understand how allowing people who have established committed relationships, some involving the raising of children, to be bound by the legal responsibilities of marriage is a bad thing.

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Double Standard – II

By no means am I the only one who is infuriated by the incomprehensible verdict of Assault and Battery in the case of Karen (“I was picked on by my sister-in-law because I’m petite and pretty and she’s jealous”) Robidoux. Karen is the wife of Jacques Robidoux, who was convicted of first degree murder last year in the starvation death of their 10 month old baby, Samuel.
This from the Bristol County District Attorney Paul Walsh, who with his staff has been working on this case for over four years:
“This much is certain: Samuel was systematically starved to death before his first birthday by his father and his mother,” the statement said. “There is a time to temper justice with mercy. In my view, this wasn’t one of them. Individuals are responsible not only to God. Parents have legal responsibilities; feeding your kids is one of them. People have to stop making excuses. Never before in 14 years as district attorney have I been this disturbed by a verdict.”

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The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1983

After the January thaw comes the February freeze. Both are mythical events, really, or at least they are moveable events. The January thaw may take place in December or it may not take place at all, and the February freeze can put a stop to the quickenings of March. A late freeze will come this month in most years, though, and if you’re sick of winter this is the one that will break your heart.

The February freeze comes as you realize that the year at last is turning toward spring. You notice that the sun isn’t quite a winter sun anymore. It is warm these days, and it makes real shadows, which the sun of December never does. The sun gets into the trees, softening, limbering, awakening buds. At the ends of their gray branches the smallest twigs show softer colors: pink, yellow, green. The trees stretch their arms. The sun goes into the snow and begins to break it down. It gets into the frozen roads. They soften, and to a depth of an inch or so their surfaces turn to mud. The sun gets into you, too. It gets into your heart and tissues and into your thought. It prepares you for spring.

Comes the February freeze. The trees close up like traps. They freeze inside; their branches creak again. The snow that was softening goes as hard and tight as a concrete sidewalk; you can jump up and down on it. The roads that were going to mud freeze solid again, and taking a car on them is like trying to drive a train over the wrong-sized tracks.

It’s hard, when you had thought winter was ending, to have it all back again. Cheer up. You were right. The sun is warmer. The snow froze and the roads froze, but you didn’t freeze. The sun is still preparing you for spring, and soon it will be back at the snowbanks and the ice again. You were right to rejoice.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1983, page 53, author not given.

Friday Five

You have just won one million dollars:
1. Who do you call first?
My son.
2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
Plastic surgery at a posh, exclusive clinic.
3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?
Trust fund for grandkids’ private school education.
4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?
I’d offer gifts to a couple of my single friends and make a political contribution to ABB.
5. Do you invest any? If so, how?
I’d invest in my business and buy an annuity for retirement.

They should look on Cape

It’s working: the lobbying efforts of IT pros, coupled with in-company resistance by middle managers, is putting a damper on offshoring tech jobs.
Instead, some companies are now moving projects to U.S. cities where wages are 20-30% lower than in high tech centers like San Francisco.
In a recent survey commissioned by the Cape Cod Human Resources Association, it was found that salaries for managers on Cape are 25% lower than in other parts of Massachusetts.
Perhaps there’s hope for the resurrection of the Sili Sandbar.

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