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Editorial

A Chip Off the Ol' Chopping Block

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The following is an open letter to the French Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency, Francois Delattre:

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

Our countries have a long history together.  And, we Americans are not particularly gracious in granting any nation any gratitude -- or even, any latitude.

(This recalcitrance could be the result of our being a still-adolescent nation, one with inflamed hormones and short attention spans, and a terribly self-centered upbringing.)

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Our turn to sweat, cry and bleed

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A third of million new jobs were created in January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s household survey. This exceeds the quarter million job gain shown by the employer survey. Historically, these two surveys confirm one another except when unusual growth is seen. The household survey had been diverging from the employer survey by larger and larger numbers over the past year.

This divergence probably indicates exceptional growth in small business activity and among new entrepreneurs not adequately represented in the employer survey. This could be tied to the sharp growth in manufacturing jobs with 50,000 new workers added last month as reported by employers.

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People Are So Yesterday.

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Now that we've been at war with the world for some time, it appears we've branched out, moved on to war with ourselves, cut our own throats for a while.

Seems to be all the rage, refusing to be on our own side.  How else to explain all the hurry-scurry to dismantle and strike down anything worker-and-union?  The panic at HQ when the "U" word is uttered -- well, it triggers arrhythmia, gets hearts all a-flutter.

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No, No, Everything's Fine!

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It's getting harder all the time to counsel patience, to urge a happy-medium approach, to advise letting wisdom -- not more folly -- be the quiet adult in the room, not while our reality-thrashed inner child strains to be let loose, screaming wild, left shredding the whole house.

We can totter down this road again, but the trip's pretty worthless.  Scenery's not changed much, last 20 or 30 years.  Road's still strewn with broken bodies, littered with burnt dreams, stacked high with jagged-edged splinters and shards of busted hope, spirit shot from the skies.

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Checking Our Scripts and Our Voices

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The play may already be over.  In fact, it could have been over the moment you were born, before you had a thought in your head, before you learned how to read.  Everything we say, mere window dressing, just so much air we shove around.

This is more meditation on that nature-nurture, chicken-and-egg, which-caused-what business.

Low-intelligence children, it is said, are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults, according to one study at Brock University in Ontario.  There's more operating here -- and, a cycle, at that.

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272 billion reasons to feel depressed

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In case you’ve missed the good news on the corporate media; the total GDP of the US is now greater than it was before the Bush crash. Not surprisingly, President Obama gets no credit for this. Just saving the auto industry is a big deal. Let’s cut through the Republican crap on this; the loans to GM and Chrysler weren’t designed to save those companies per se.

Detroit automakers could have in theory recovered using traditional bankruptcy protections, in other words by stiffing their creditors. The problem with this “solution” is that it would have in fact killed not only GM, Chrysler and Ford; but Toyota had said flatly that they would cease North American operations under the Republican solution pushed by Mitt Romney and Senators from the southern states.

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Social Security: Some Birthday -- or Bash

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It was for $22.54, that first Social Security check, issued 72 years ago today -- January 31, 1940 -- to Ida May Fuller.  It was check number 00-000-001.  It was a long time ago, as time is reckoned here.

Some anniversary, some birthday.  Leave it to Republicans, it'll be a "Birthday Bash,"  all right -- just leave out the "Birthday."

If Republicans have their way, the agency will become a privatized corporation.  Those of us who have experienced less-than-humane treatment at the hands of health insurance companies, for example, those beacons of private, for-profit enterprises, know that profit must, will, and does occur no matter what -- no matter who's hurt.

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