Black Unemployment

Here is a link to a variety of unemployment and employment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

After selecting the data at which to look (check the boxes to the left in the column of descriptions, then go to the bottom of the list and click on “retrieve data”), plotting the data is easy to do – just click the “include graphs” box and then the blue “go” circle, toward the top of the form. The plots show that the overall unemployment rate and the unemployment rates in the racial/ethnic subclasses have been going down in a mainly linear fashion since January of 2010 or 2011. Most of the fall since the recession was during Obama’s administration.

Trump is correct that the unemployment rate for Blacks or African/Americans is currently 5.9 (June 2018). For once, Trump was not lying.

At the middle of the first year of his administration, July 2017, the rate was 7.1, so in a year we have seen about a one point drop, which agrees with the yearly decreases under both Obama and Trump. Whether the levels are the lowest ever, I do not know, but I do not think Trump does either.

I chose to look at the data from Trump’s administration six months in because, with a new presidency, there is a period of adjustment as policies from the former administration are phased out and the policies of the new administration are put in place.


Women’s Plight

Most women reference themselves with regard to a man. When it comes to sex, when I was young (I am 66), women were told to control themselves in order to have a male to reference to. And, even now, the combination of being responsible for children and lower earnings potential puts women in a tenuous position.

Men took for granted that they had a right to sex, even if they do not pursue the right. Male sexual drive was taken for granted. Women had no such assumption behind their sexual drives. We were faced with terror if we gave into our drives, except within highly restricted roles.

I am trying to get at the rage women often feel toward women who are sexually active. There are often deep pains involved in not giving in to a man who wants sex. For society, the sacrifice was payed back with the destruction of those women who had been sexually active.

I am afraid that there is a cultural phenomena that gives us the assumption that women use sex to use men (and a sub phenomena that sexually active women were “trying to get your husband”). It gets tiresome. The assumption is so inherent that it is almost impossible to think of a woman having sex with a man outside of marriage and to not think that she is getting something from the man other than sex.

The rage is powerful and probably below the level of consciousness. And the rage has destroyed many women’s lives. But, I believe those sacrifices made by those of us who had sex outside of marriage have led to change. Access to sex for women is more accepted, more common, than it was. We are making progress and, I believe, sexual freedom is a valid and good goal.

Trump’s Expletive

A few days ago, Trump called some countries in Africa an expletive which I will not repeat.  What a short memory he has.  Not too many years have passed since Germany – his father’s homeland – was an ‘expletive’ and created a war.  Many refugees from Germany and other parts of Europe tried to get to America to escape violence.  We did not let them all in – of which we are now ashamed.  Germany and all of Europe recovered and now have stable, prosperous democracies.

Personally, I think the future of the world belongs to Africa.  The expletives Trump mentioned are countries beset by war and turmoil – a result of the effects on the weather of climate change and of greed for mining riches from minerals used in our computing devices.   I think the countries of Africa will come out of the turmoil and rebuild their civilizations.  We will want them as friends.

Houses in the Horoscope

Houses are nouns, so the cardinal, fixed, and mutable crosses as applied to the 12 houses would be described by nouns.  Years ago, I came up with thought, reason, knowledge, and understanding as the mutable cross, but nothing for the other two crosses.  I think I have a better way now.  Cardinal associates with action, fixed with support, and mutable with curiosity. Fire houses are associated with the spirit, earth houses with the physical, air houses with the intellect, and water houses with the emotions.  Here is a quick description of the houses.

Action – The Cardinal Cross

The first house is action of the spirit. Here we find awareness and the ability to project the spirit. The fourth house is action of the emotions. Here we find to comfort and protection. The seventh house is action of the intellect. Here we find social urges and close relationships. The tenth house is action of the physical. Here we find material ambition and pragmatic achievement.

Support – The Fixed Cross

The second house is support of the physical. Here we find pleasures of the senses, as well as money and possessions.  The fifth house is support of the spirit.  Here we find leaders – who support the spirits of their followers; also we find children and other creations. The eighth house is support of the emotions. Here we find courage and the occult, as well as sex, death, and taxes. The eleventh house is support of the intellect. Here we find the people and organizations that give us verbal support – friends and groups; as well as hopes and aspiration.

Curiosity – The Mutable Cross

The third house is curiosity of the intellect. Here we find the local environment, as well as siblings, thoughts, and communications. The sixth house is curiosity of the physical. Here we find labor and health, as well as the ordering of our days. The ninth house is curiosity of the spirit. Here we find higher education, the foreign and foreigners, and religion and other belief systems. The twelfth house is curiosity of the emotions. Here we find withdrawal from the world, compassion, sorrow, and the hidden.

Tax Bill (December 2017)

The Republican tax bill (December 2017) will give most of the tax cuts to the wealthy.  I fear that the wealthy will invest a large part of their extra income into investment vehicles like the stock market – with the result that the stock market, and other such vehicles, will rise to unprecedented levels – but I am quite sure that that the rise will be a bubble.  I do not think the  stock market, or other vehicles, will be able to absorb the extra money into new business – which the Republicans are claiming will be the effect of the cut.  To grow the economy, I think we need to grow demand – from the bottom up, not the top down.  We shall see, since the bill is likely to pass.

A Little Bit More

It is an astrological truism, and consistent with my observations, that the world is made up of the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the world of spirit. We understand, through science, the physical world very well. I believe the current disbelief in science comes from our poor scientific knowledge of the mental and emotional worlds.

I have lived with the mental and emotional violence of the psychotic side of mental illness off and on for over 40 years now. (They do not call the disease madness for nothing. I am recovering, slowly, through the help of Recovery International meetings and the diet and nutritional supplements prescribed by the doctor at the Pfeiffer Medical Center. I have been working with Pfeiffer for seven years now and have been going to Recovery meetings for about 37 years. Over this time, I have been under the care of a psychiatrist at all times and I continue to take low levels of an antipsychotic and an antidepressant medicines.)

Because of my experience with the noise in my head and the violence done to me by persons trying to shut the violence down, also people I suspect were profiting from my energy, I have experienced the force of people manipulating my emotional and mental worlds. The world is full of people who manipulate mental and emotional energy – often members of religions trying to force their beliefs on others – or criminals trying to influence sports, elections, or games of chance, or – one of my more frightening thoughts – providing sensual experiences to those in prison – or writers looking for material for our media.

At the same time, scientists say there are no psychic forces that are real. A lot of people know this is not true. Also, since sexual energy is often manipulated and is powerful, many people are frightened by the movement towards “sexual freedom”, which many scientists have followed.

But, as much as there is a poor understanding of the emotional (the sexual energy falls under the emotions, as well as the spirit, in astrology) and mental worlds, we understand the physical world very well. We understand the physical world very well.

Please, please, please realize climate change is real. We are in great physical danger.

Comments on Charlottesville

While I found Trump’s Hitler-like method of gaining political support extremely ugly, I believe in our American democracy. I am on the left, and have been all of my life. Many times in my life, I have been disappointed and discouraged by our elections and the politicians elected. But every voice in our country deserves to be heard. And Trump was elected because he gave enough people a voice. He was elected by the people fair and square.

Why would there be as large a group of Americans as there are who are disaffected enough to support Trump? Well, incomes for middle and working class men are about where they were in 1968, when adjusted for inflation. Women’s incomes have improved, but many poorer families have had to have two breadwinners just to survive. I think this is cause enough. I think Trump supporters tend to be working and middle class people who (many) served in the military, raised families, believe in a god, played by the rules, and who have been left behind. Many cannot afford to retire.

Pay is a bit of a problem. Men have tended to make more than women. Why? I think that many men feel the money is because their work is worth more. But, to me, that extra money has been to provide for the bringing up of children – and to support a wife to do the work. I believe what has traditionally been an average woman’s work, the bringing up if children and maintaining of a home, is of equal value to the average men’s work. It’s just that the pay has gone to men (at great cost to women in many cases.)

Well, we have to bring up our children and maintain our homes. Women and men have been figuring out new ways to do the task over my lifetime, but in this transitional time, in the process we are often seeing a lot of pain.

Our seven day week is based on the five planets known to antiquity, plus the Lights – the Sun and the Moon. In astrology, each sign of the zodiac is ruled by a planet or Light. We are learning more about objects in our solar system all the time. As more planets have been discovered, some of the signs originally ruled by the traditional planets have been assigned new rulers. Personally, I work with composite points as well as planets. I think that soon we will have twelve verified rulers for the twelve signs. So, maybe we can transition to a twelve day week – four on, two off, four on, two off – where ‘on’ is a work day and ‘off’ is a weekend day. With two parents, the work could be split so that they work during different time periods, with each doing child care on one ‘on’ day. When the children are grown, both parents can work. Or both parents can work and pay for child care. Or one person could work while the other takes care of the home and children. For single parents, I suppose they would have to depend on child care. As a feminist, I know the current cost to women of unpaid child care. The cost can be addressed politically.

The ugliness in Charlottesville was scary, and tragic in that people were hurt and a life was lost. But- I hate to say this – the reaction of the left is full of hate toward the right. Time will pass and things will change. I cannot condone the tearing down of monuments for ideological reasons. There are of course the examples of the destruction of a huge Buddha by the Taliban and the destruction of Diego Rivera’s mural in New York by anti-communist forces. I am sure there are many other examples.

As far as I can tell, white people in the South think of themselves as the South – totally ignoring the African American part of the population. The soldiers of the Confederacy died fighting for what they believed in, their descendants would want their memories commemorated, with reason. But the memories of the African American need to be commemorated to. Rather than tearing down statues, let the South – African and European – come together to build monuments to the African American struggle.

People have a right to be racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic or sexist. We have freedom of belief in this country. However, whatever our beliefs, we are expected to obey the law, and the law says we cannot discriminate with regard to things like employment and business services to the public, on the basis of race, religion, disability, gender – I am not sure what else applies to the whole country.

If you look at the increase in household income over the last fifty years (adjusted for inflation), the 90th percentile has an obscene amount of growth compared with the 10th percentile. At the 10th percentile, I would think you would find a lot of (mainly) single parents. I think that, at the 90th percentile of household income, you often have two breadwinners working at the professional level. The large income that had been meant to maintain a family is now going to two, rather than one, person.

I think those in the upper middle class – many of whom are professionals – are being paid too much. Perhaps (I have not looked into this) the excessive pay has been part of the excessive, growing cost of medicine and higher education.

The press has pointed out just how extreme income growth has been for the top 1%. I do not have any more to comment on that or the pay of business executives, other than to tax them to high heaven. However, I think the Congress and the President and Vice-President are really underpaid, given their responsibilities.

It will take awhile for our changing way of bringing up children to work itself out through our economy. In the meantime, we have a very disaffected class of people who see types of people they had always thought of as miscreants being given rights. People who are not reaping the rewards of ‘free enterprise’. People not able to retire.