protecting your property

Interesting Ways to Protect Your Property

If you’re concerned about protecting your family and your property, then you might be wondering what tools and strategies are available to you. As it happens, there are a variety of excellent methods for protecting property, and some of them are relatively inexpensive as well. With that in mind, here’s a quick overview of some of the best methods for protecting property, regardless of whether you’re looking after a home or a larger plot of land.

Fence Off Your Property

While it won’t stop the most committed people, a chain link fence can have a profound impact as a deterrent. When people have to choose between various places to rob, they’re naturally going to go after the one that requires the least amount of effort, assuming all other factors are equal. With that in mind, a chain link fence can help to protect your property while, in some cases, adding to the overall aesthetic as well. If you own a particularly large piece of property, you might want to rent a chain link fence machine, in order to ensure that the entire area is properly covered.

Get a Guard Dog

If you’re comfortable around animals, you might want to consider getting a guard dog. As with fences, a dog can serve as an excellent deterrent for burglars or robbers, as they’d much rather spend their time targeting areas that are less of a hassle. Of course, it’s important to note that a guard dog is more than just a prop, so you probably shouldn’t get one if you don’t think you can treat it with the love and respect it deserves. It’s also worth noting that even a guard dog can’t handle intruders by itself, but it can at least help keep you aware of your surroundings late at night.

Surveillance System

Digital surveillance systems have improved tremendously over the past several years, and that means they’re particularly useful for people who own large tracts of land. When it comes to managing a digital surveillance system, it’s important to make sure you have your system set up in a variety of unique locations, so that people can’t hide in angled shadows away from the cameras.

As overwhelming as it might seem to try and protect your property, there are plenty of tools out there to help streamline the process. By following this guide, you’ll hopefully have a better idea of what it is you need to do in order to make you and your family feel safe.

The November jobs report

From The Wall Street Journal:

U.S. Employers Hire at Healthy Rate in November

Unemployment rate holds at 17-year low of 4.1%

By Eric Morath | Updated December 8, 2017 | 11:03 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The economy appears to be on its firmest footing in at least a decade, with hiring picking up from earlier this year and the unemployment rate holding at a 17-year low in November.

Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 228,000 in November, the Labor Department said Friday. It was a slight slowdown from October hiring, which was boosted by a rebound from late-summer hurricanes, but was well above the pace recorded earlier this year. Revised figures showed the economy added 3,000 more jobs than previously estimated in October and September.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% last month, matching the lowest level since December 2000.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 195,000 new jobs and a 4.1% unemployment rate last month.

Slightly further down:

The one gray mark in Friday’s report was wage growth. Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers increased by a nickel last month after declining in October. Wages rose just 2.5% from a year earlier in November—near the same lackluster pace maintained since late 2015, despite a much lower unemployment rate.

Is that bad? Not when you compare it to inflation:

The core inflation rate was 1.8 percent year over year, below the Fed’s 2.0 percent target. The Federal Open Market Committee will probably wait until December before raising the fed funds rate again. Higher past core inflation rates encouraged it to raise the rate 1/4 point at its June FOMC meeting.

But the Fed prefers the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index. Its core inflation rate was 1.3 percent YOY as of September 2017. That’s from the most recent release from the Personal Income and Outlays report.

If wages rose 2.5% year-over-year, but the inflation rate was only 1.8%, then workers, on average, are seeing real gains.  They may not be much, but the Journal story was incomplete. Back to the Journal:

Central bankers, however, could be more inclined to push rates up at a slightly faster pace next year if the job market keeps cranking out strong monthly gains. In September, Fed officials forecast the unemployment rate would end this year at 4.3%, and end next year at 4.1%, meaning the job market has already hit the milestones officials thought would take an additional year to reach.

“The Fed has to be cognizant of the fact that if we run employment at 4%, inflation could rise above their 2% target,” said Gus Faucher, economist at PNC Financial Services. “If they let unemployment get too low, they may have to raise rates more aggressively, and that risks causing a recession.”

This is the kind of thing that inspired people to vote for Donald Trump. Why on God’s earth would the Federal Reserve be concerned if unemployment “get(s) too low”? If unemployment gets lower, that will put upward pressure on wages, and — hopefully — get more people off welfare.

The article also noted that U-6 was down to 7.9%, though the actual government release has U-6 at 8.0%. U-6 includes discouraged workers and those who want full-time jobs, but are stuck in part-time positions. The drop in U-6 — the number I find more important — is big, because it tells us that not only are more people finding better jobs, but that there is still room for labor force growth. U-6 at 8.0% is still three percentage points higher than U-5, which means that unemployment dropping gives hope to those stuck on part-time jobs that full-time work could become available to them. The U-5 rate of 5.0% indicates that there are more potential workers who could re-enter the workforce if economic conditions improved.

Mr Faucher’s statement indicates the problem: too many people think that the government can somehow control the economy. The Fed thinks it can, by tinkering with a couple of interest rates and the money supply, but if the Fed could do that, we’d never have recessions, would we?

The conventional wisdom is that the economy needs a certain number of unemployed workers to keep inflation down; that’s the kind of thinking which says that, hey, you being in poverty helps everybody else.

The Fed needs to just leave things alone.

All of a sudden, the left are trying to think about what motivates the right

Fresh on the heels of CNN publishing a reasonably fair and balanced story about President Trump, The New York Times tries to commit journalism:

Liberals Need to Take Their Fingers Out of Their Ears

Thomas B. Edsall | December 7, 2017

Given the triumph of contemporary conservatism, it may be time for liberals to take a look at the vulnerabilities of their own orthodoxies.

Democrats who yearn for President Trump to be taken down should examine this list of Republican strengths: victories in all three contested special elections for the House of Representatives this year; Trump’s 82 percent approval rating among Republican voters; his success with the current tax bill; his swift evisceration of key regulatory policies; the Gorsuch appointment to the Supreme Court; economic growth of over 3 percent in the last two quarters; the Dow Jones topping 24,000; and the unemployment rate dropping to 4.1 percent.

For the moment, the left is both stunned and infuriated by the vehement animosity it faces from red America, which is made up of counties that are 84 percent less dense than blue America, 37 percent less racially and ethnically diverse, and 34 percent more white.

Voters in red America are 44 percent less likely to be college graduates and 22 percent more likely to have served in the armed forces. Geographically speaking, red counties are virtually nonexistent on the West Coast and on the East Coast north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Many Democrats continue to have little understanding of their own role — often inadvertent, an unintended consequence of well-meaning behavior — in creating the conditions that make conservatives willing to support Trump and the party he is leading.

There is a lot more at the link. He points out how the left have contributed to the rise of the right, but it is his conclusion which interests me the most:

Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard, observes that “believers in liberal democracy have unilaterally disarmed in the defense of the institution” by agreeing in many cases with the premise of the Trump campaign: “that the country is a hopeless swamp.” This left Democrats “defenseless when he proposed to drain it.”

Where, Pinker asks,

are the liberals who are willing to say that liberal democracy has worked? That environmental regulations have slashed air pollutants while allowing Americans to drive more miles and burn more fuel? That social transfers have reduced poverty rates fivefold? That globalization has allowed Americans to afford more food, clothing, TVs, cars, and air-conditioners? That international organizations have prevented nuclear war, and reduced the rate of death in warfare by 90 percent? That environmental treaties are healing the hole in the ozone layer?

Pinker remains confident:

Progress always must fight headwinds. Human nature doesn’t change, and the appeal of regressive impulses is perennial. The forces of liberalism, modernity, cosmopolitanism, the open society, and Enlightenment values always have to push against our innate tribalism, authoritarianism, and thirst for vengeance. We can even recognize these instincts in ourselves, even in Trump’s cavalier remarks about the rule of law.

Pinker continues:

Over the longer run, I think the forces of modernity prevail — affluence, education, mobility, communication, and generational replacement. Trumpism, like Brexit and European populism, are old men’s movements: support drops off sharply with age.

Pinker is optimistic about the future. I hope he is right.

The problem is that even if Pinker is right, his analysis does not preclude a sustained period in which the anti-democratic right dominates American politics. There is no telling how long it will be before the movement Trump has mobilized will have run its course. Nor can we anticipate — if and when Trumpism does implode — how extensive the damage will be that Pinker’s “forces of modernity” will have to repair.

Dr Pinker and Mr Edsall are hoping for the same thing: the reduction of the will of the masses to upset the apple cart, the anti-establishment bent so common in our politics. Other than 1988, since the Depression I cannot see a non-incumbent presidential election in which the more ‘establishment’ candidate lost. It didn’t matter whether the more establishment candidate was Republican or Democrat, the American people like to change things up, and that’s bad news for people who believe in the ‘establishment.’

Being prepared for an automobile accident

Prepare for a Car Accident

The vast majority of car accidents that happen occur out of the blue. They are unforeseen occurrences that no one was prepared for. Most people were just going about their day and enjoying their life when they were involved in a car accident. While no one likes the idea of being involved in a car accident, there are a variety of benefits that come from preparing for this unforeseen circumstance. Thinking through what you would do in the case of a car accident can help you in case you are the victim of a car accident.

What is the first thing that you should do when you are involved in a car accident? The very first thing to do is check for injuries. You want to assess your own health, the health of your passengers, and the health of any pedestrians who were involved or individuals who were in other vehicles involved in the accident. It is important to get medical help right away. Call 911 yourself, or make sure someone else does.

If it is a situation where no one was badly injured, you can focus on other things. The next step is making sure that further damage will not occur. Putting cones on the street is a great way to warn others that an accident has occurred. Be careful of oncoming traffic as you get out and assess the situation.

The police should be notified in order to assess the situation. Unless it is just a small fender bender and both parties are happy to walk away without exchanging information, the police should be informed so that they can assess the situation and make any necessary documents.

The next thing to do is start documenting the situation. If you have your cell phone or something else you can use to take pictures, start snapping pictures right away. This will be especially important if you need to speak with in Oregon auto accident attorney eventually in order to file a claim or to seek compensation.

It is also advisable to get the contact information of others who were at the scene of the accident and saw what happened. It can be extremely difficult to track down passersby or others who may have witnessed what happened later on.

Going through a car accident is something that can be very traumatic. However, if you think ahead about the steps that you would take in case an accident happens, you will be better prepared to handle the situation.

Is CNN trying to become Fair and Balanced?

They actually presented a fair article about President Trump!

Donald Trump — keeper of promises

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN | Updated 6:24 AM ET, Thursday, December 7, 2017

Washington (CNN) A politician who actually does what he told voters he would do seems almost unfathomable in Washington, a town of broken promises. For Donald Trump, being a president who delivers is especially crucial, since it’s one of the golden keys to his so far unbreakable bond with supporters.

The need to live up to that image helps explain why Trump, who is under ever-increasing pressure from the Russia investigation, on Wednesday recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite the widely acknowledged risks.

It was just the latest instance of the President obstinately honoring the bumper-sticker vows he made to his ultra-loyal supporters — even those that horrify the political and foreign policy establishment, media critics and allied leaders.

On Wednesday, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, defying international fury, and promised to move the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv, a step considered too risky by his immediate predecessors.

“When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking,” Trump said in the first words of a speech on Wednesday outlining a sharp shift in Israel policy.

There’s more at the original.

The article is good, and I’d love to quote the entire thing, but, to summarize, it notes that the President has stated that the same failed assumptions and same failed strategies of the past have not worked, and continuing those failed policies will not result in success in the future.

The article also noted President Trump’s kept promises:

  • Withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement;
  • Withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership;
  • Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement;
  • Refused to recertify Iran as in compliance with the nuclear deal negotiated under President Obama;
  • Increased enforcement of immigration laws;
  • Imposed a travel ban on those coming from several nations with large Islamist movements; and
  • Renewed economic growth, with a surging stock market and GDP growth of 3.3% in the third quarter.

Not mentioned was the President’s kept promise of appointing a conservative Supreme Court justice, and appointing better lower court federal judges.

Of course, there have been some promises not yet kept, including the big one, the repeal and replacement of the wholly, laughably misnamed Affordable Care Act. Some conservatives give him a pass on this one, noting that he needed the help of Congress to do this, and just enough Republican senators voted against a proposal to do that to torpedo the legislation. I don’t give him a pass on that, because his promise of a better health care plan, one that would cover everybody, was never met by any actual proposal from the President to do just that; he left the writing of the legislation up to Congress. The promised tax cut bill is one still waiting to be kept, but the bills passed by the House and Senate, which still have to be reconciled, are bad ones, which increase the deficit and national debt.

Of course, the impetus for the article was the President’s explicit recognition of the truth, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The left and the diplomats and the professionals and foreign governments are all aghast, but Mr Trump’s very direct statement that not recognizing the truth hasn’t led to peace in the past.

In 1995, the Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act by huge, bipartisan majorities, 374-37 in the House and 93-5 in the Senate. President Clinton neither signed nor vetoed it, so it became law without his signature ten days later. Perhaps the distinguished gentlemen in the Congress knew that President Clinton would simply use his authority to issue waivers of the law, for national security reasons, but they still voted for the law, including then Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL), now excoriating Mr Trump’s decision on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

President Trump’s decision signals one thing: his Administration’s strong support for Israel. The left are appalled, of course, but the even-handed approach of President Clinton didn’t produce peace in the Middle East, and the Arab-favored foreign policy of President Obama didn’t produce a peace agreement. What Mr Trump has done won’t be any worse that that.

Custody Agreements

Going through the dissolution of a marriage is an incredibly painful experience on many levels, and the end of a marriage that involves young children is harder even still. It’s been said that a divorce is like a kind of death, with all the stages of grief that process entails. When there are young children involved, however, it’s important to remember their needs above all. While a marriage may be ending, for a child, most of life is still ahead, and their emotional needs must be protected.

Acknowledging A Custody Agreement

Couples who have gone through a divorce and made custody arrangements must know that even though the divorce is finally settled, they have to work within the confines of the law, and make note of what restrictions they have to deal with.

In the state of Illinois, for example, there is a two year rule regarding any change of custody. This time span extends from the time the divorce judgement was entered until two years later. The couple cannot make a change in their children’s custody agreement during this time unless there is a clear, imminent danger to the child’s health and welfare. This part of the statute is speaking to a situation that is not just a feeling that one of the partners in the marriage is less than an ideal mom or dad. This is really speaking to the feeling that the child may be in danger while in the parent’s care.

The Exception to the Rule

There is actually one exception to this two-year rule, and that is a situation in which one of the parents plans to marry someone who is a registered sex offender. In that case, the other parent must be notified of this change in marital status in advance, as it may be grounds for a change of custody plans before the two year limit has been reached. After two years, changing custody agreements is still complicated, but there is less drama involved.

Anyone in Illinois going through a divorce that involves children should seek the advice of experienced lawyers. There are experienced custody lawyers in Lake Bluff who are ready to help work through cases so that everyone comes out well, and the rights of children are protected. Don’t delay in seeking help, protect your children and talk to an experienced custody lawyer today.

The best story of 2017! Will Congress give the American people a Christmas present?

From The Washington Post:

Republican officials say targeting welfare programs will help spur economic growth

By Jeff Stein | December 6, 2017 | 12:52 PM

Some House Republicans believe that Congress should cut Americans off government anti-poverty programs in part to help grow the national economy.

“For us to achieve 3 percent GDP growth over the next 10 years from tax reform, we have to have welfare reform. We need people who are mentally and physically able to work to get into the workforce,” Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) said. “In my district, a lot of employers can’t find employees … Sometimes we need to force people to go to work.”

Other House Republicans similarly argued that there would be “no excuses” for poor Americans to need welfare once economic growth took hold. “Once we light this economy up, my brother, there’s going to be jobs for everybody. So there will be no excuses for anyone who can work to sit at home and not work,” Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) said. “If we pass tax reform, we have to have welfare reform. When you have a vibrant economy, there’s no reason for Americans to suffer on welfare.”

The House members’ comments reflect one aspect of the thinking that is driving congressional Republicans to say welfare reform may be the party’s biggest legislative priority in 2018. President Trump and top Republican officials have signaled prioritizing welfare cuts, including new restrictions on who can receive benefits like food stamps, housing assistance and direct cash welfare for the poor.

One key conviction underpinning their drive is that welfare programs make joining the American workforce less attractive for the poor, according to interviews with a half-dozen Republican members of Congress and conservative welfare analysts. But many economists note research that contradicts that conviction, and they say America’s social safety net is too small to play a major role in constraining economic growth.

There’s more at the original, but, coupled with increased immigration law enforcement, this could be a very good thing. Reducing the illegal immigrant population as much as possible helps to keep the available labor pool smaller, as those on welfare are forced to look for work. This increases the pressure to have wages go higher, even for the low-skilled, labor jobs.

But there is another problem:

‘Not enough jobs.’ Nine of the 30 poorest counties in U.S. are in Eastern Kentucky.

By Bill Estep | | December 03, 2017 | 11:45 AM | Updated December 6, 2017 | 10:57 AM

The poverty rates in nine Eastern Kentucky counties were among the 30 highest in the nation in 2016, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The rate in Owsley County was third-highest in the country, at 45.2 percent, the agency estimated.

The highest rate in the U.S. was in Todd County, S.D., at 48.6 percent, and next was Crowley County, Col., at 48 percent, according to the report released Thursday.

The other Kentucky counties in the group with the highest estimated poverty rates were Clay, Martin, McCreary, Knox, Lee, Bell, Knott and Harlan.

Several have been hit hard by a sharp downturn in the coal industry, which has wiped out more than two-thirds of the coal jobs in Eastern Kentucky since 2011.

The estimates illustrate the challenge as officials, educators and business people work to diversify the economy and counteract the downturn.

Read more here.

One of the real problems with the post-recession economy is that while job growth has finally picked up, not all of the job growth has been where the unemployed live. We noted, last September, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plan to build another headquarters for his company. Unfortunately, his stated criteria means that, if followed, the new Amazon headquarters will be in or near some major city, someplace where post-recession job growth has already been strong.

If (Bill and Melinda) Gates, and I assume Mr Bezos, believe that the United States should be helping the poor in other nations, shouldn’t their corporate investments in the United States be slanted to help poorer Americans? Rather than building a huge new corporate center in an urban area flush with corporate centers, Amazon should build in eastern Kentucky.

With one of the United States poorest populations — CNNMoney reported that Beattyville was recently “the poorest white town in America” — eastern Kentucky still has a decent, if now underutilized, rail network, and access to major roads via the Mountain Parkway. If Amazon were to locate in eastern Kentucky, you could be your last shilling that Governor Matt Bevin and the General Assembly would come up with the money to improve other infrastructure needs.

Both the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, and Eastern Kentucky University, in Richmond, are reasonably close, and Lexington’s Blue Grass Field, while not a large airport — thus not the cacophonous mess of Dulles or Charlotte or Philadelphia — would certainly serve Amazon’s needs. Putting Amazon’s new headquarters would lift wages and businesses all around the area, and hit the social agenda people like Mr Bezos would like to see.

There are other benefits as well: with the regions higher unemployment, Amazon workers would have fewer other options, and would be likely to stay longer; increased retention saves on job training costs, and more experienced workers are normally more productive. The far lower property costs in the region would mean that the land needed for the facilities would cost less, and lower wages in the area would mean lower construction costs.

To be sure, the same arguments could be made for other impoverished areas in the country; I write about eastern Kentucky because that’s where I live.1 But regardless whether in the Appalachians or some other less developed area, Amazon and a lot of other corporations, many run by people with liberal political views, ought to think about getting out of the wealthier places and spread their development where it would provide more jobs in areas which need more jobs.

Adding work requirements to welfare — something which President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress agreed to in 1996, but which has fallen by the wayside — is an excellent idea, but along with reducing the illegal immigrant population competing with low-skilled Americans for jobs, there needs to be a federal program to encourage economic expansion in those areas which simply do not have enough jobs for the people who would be coming off of welfare.

This is where reasonable Democrats could work with Republicans! The Appalachian Regional Commission exists “to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia,” but hasn’t been very effective:

In partnership with the states and 73 Local Development Districts (LDDs), ARC has supported 662 projects in Appalachia totaling $175.7 million. These investments have been matched by more than $257.4 million and will attract an additional $443.3 million in leveraged private investments in Appalachia. They will also create or retain more than 23,670 jobs, train and educate over 49,000 students and workers, and benefit the more than 25 million residents in Appalachia’s 420 counties.

Sorry if I’m unimpressed, but they are bragging on $876.4 million — not billion, but million — over 662 projects, or $1.32 million per project. Sorry, but that’s chicken feed! Congress needs to establish some form of incentive to get much larger private industrial investments in the area. We have previously noted that “the CEO of Braidy Industries, Craig Bouchard, announced his company would build a $1.3 billion aluminum mill (outside of) Ashland, Ky., creating 550 jobs,” thanks in large part to Kentucky’s new ‘right to work’ law. Different companies would have different reasons to relocate to the Appalachians, but the biggest one will almost always be about money. Almost all Republicans, and many Democrats, in Congress have agreed that the current 35% corporate income tax is too high,2 realizing that reducing that tax should be a major help to American businesses and job creation.3 Targeted, significant corporate tax cuts aimed at companies which invest in Appalachia could well provide the incentive for businessmen to build new industries in poorer areas.

For Congress to begin to impose new work requirements on welfare recipients is a good thing, but it must be accompanied by other actions; it’s one thing to require people to work when they are in an area in which job openings exist, and something entirely different to do so where there are no jobs.

  1. I am retired, and not looking to work for Amazon; this is not some kind of personal plea for me.
  2. No Democrats have voted for the current tax cut bill, but many have expressed that sentiment in the past.
  3. This statement does not mean that I have changed my opposition to the tax cut bill; that opposition is based on the bill increasing the deficit and the national debt.

Republican leaders are betting the #TaxBill will boost economy before 2018 and 2020 elections That's one risky gamble!

From my favorite redheaded reporter:

GOP betting tax bill will boost economy before 2018, 2020 elections

By Heather Long | December 5, 2017 | 5:00 AM EST

By the time Republicans have to face voters in November, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) predicts the economy will “be performing better.” There’s a good chance he’s right. The global economy has been on an upswing for the past year. Even before the tax bill, most experts had been predicting the momentum would continue into 2018 and 2019 with more jobs, more business investment and higher wages.

Now massive tax cuts are likely to come, too. Republicans in the House and Senate have both passed tax bills, and they are about to meet to iron out their differences and pass a final version that can go to President Trump’s desk.

Typically, the U.S. government doesn’t pump more stimulus into the economy when it’s this healthy, but that’s what the tax plan from Trump and congressional Republicans would do, at least for a year or two. The result could end up being an economy on steroids heading into the 2018 and 2020 elections. Unemployment, already at a 16-year low, could easily fall below 4 percent for the first time since the dot-com era. And growth, solidly above 3 percent in since April, could easily top 4 percent for a quarter or two next year.

The benefits of the Republican tax plan are front-loaded, most analysts say, which probably will help the GOP in the 2018 and 2020 elections. Many of the less palatable things — tax cuts that expire for the middle class after 2025, deficits expected to hit $1 trillion over a decade and probable spending cuts to the social safety net — won’t kick in until later.

Democrats have tried to cast the bill as a “scam” that is heavily titled toward the wealthy and corporations. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it the “end of the world” on Monday. But that messaging will be a hard sell if the economy is humming.

There’s more at the original, but it’s easy to see why I appreciate Miss Long’s reporting: she presented the story in an unbiased manner, telling readers what the Republicans hope to accomplish politically, their aspirations for the tax cut bill’s effects, and pointing out — further down than what I quoted — the potential downsides for the tax bill.

Miss long mentioned that the bill is expected to increase the deficit, and add up to $1.5 trillion more to the national debt, in ten years, than would have been the case without it. The greater deficit spending is the sole reason I have opposed the bill.

Recessions-HistoricalBut there’s more: as we have pointed out previously, it has been a long time since the last recession, and none of the estimates on economic growth being used factor in the probability of a recession happening.

The longest we have gone without a recession since the end of the Depression is 10 years; if we match that ten-year-span, the next recession would begin in the third quarter of 2019. Not only would that foul up the projected deficits/national debt projections, but it would torpedo whatever plans the GOP has for using the tax cut bill to their electoral advantage in 2020. For the US to go into the 2020 elections without a recession having occurred would mean that we’d have to break that ten-year-record, and go 11½ years (eleven years and two quarters) between the official end of the last recession and the next one.

Of course, that would be the case whether or not the tax cut bill is passed.

The latest bit of silliness

From Campus Reform:

Eating meat perpetuates ‘hegemonic masculinity,’ prof says

  • A Pennsylvania State University sociology professor recently argued that eating meat perpetuates “hegemonic masculinity” and “gender hegemony.”

  • Based on interviews with Argentinian vegetarians, Anne Delessio-Parson claims that women use vegetarianism to “push back against the patriarchy,” and that male vegetarians “seem more egalitarian and respectful.”

Toni Airaksinen | New York Campus Correspondent | December 4, 2017 | 10:31 AM ET

A Pennsylvania State University sociology professor recently argued that eating meat perpetuates “hegemonic masculinity” and “gender hegemony.”

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Feminist Geography, professor Anne DeLessio-Parson argues that “hegemonic masculinity implies an imperative to eat meat” and that this helps reify other power hierarchies as well.

Anyone who uses the ‘word’ reify is already on shaky intellectual ground. And “Journal of Feminist Geography”? Since when has geography become different when women are studying it, as opposed to men?

To study the link between masculinity and meat, DeLessio-Parson interviewed 23 vegetarians who live in Argentina to probe how they deal with their country’s “meat-centric” culture, finding that being vegetarian itself is a political act.

Anne Delessio Parson

Anne Delessio Parson

Vegetarians also contribute to the destabilization of the gender binary, she argued.

“The decision to become vegetarian does not itself destabilize gender, but the subsequent social interactions between vegetarian and meat-eater demand gender enactment—or resistance,” DeLessio-Parson discovered.

“Refusing meat therefore presents opportunities, in each social interaction, for the binary to be called into question,” she said, noting that women, for example, may not consider dating men who eat meat, while male vegetarians might end up spending more time in the kitchen as opposed to outside on the grill, all actions which can destabilize gender norms.

In an interview with Campus Reform, DeLessio-Parson explained that her interest in the issue arose after spending five years as a vegetarian in Argentina, where she worked with community organizations and as an English teacher.

There, she realized that vegetarianism isn’t just a lifestyle choice, but a feminist act.

There’s more at the original, but if vegetarianism “contribute(s) to the destabilization of the gender binary,” then it is clearly harmful to society. There are only two sexes, and if you don’t know that, or deny that reality, you are an idiot. Apparently, you can ‘earn’ a PhD at Penn State, and still be completely clueless.

Now, I have no objection to people choosing to be vegetarians, and, in fact, I did that for four years during the early 1980s. Personal choice is personal choice; as long as a choice doesn’t violate someone else’s rights, it’s none of our business. But Dr Delessio Parson makes me glad of one thing: having moved back to Kentucky, I won’t be paying taxes to support such idiocy at Penn State any longer!