Email letters, Oct. 10, 2012

Expect strategic timing in release of October unemployment number

I predicted a number below 8 percent would be reported at this time several months ago. Learning the 7.8 percent number was identical to the number when Obama took office was not a surprise. I would have predicted that also had I bothered to come up with a specific number.

My prediction assumed Obama would need good news prior to Nov. 6 and wanted it released in October to provide a positive influence without leaving time for a legitimate challenge. The October number will be released four days before Election Day, and I anticipate the number will remain the same or drop a point or two.

A couple of brave men, Jack Welch and Rep. Allen West, were bold enough to point out the numbers don’t pass the smell test, and they have been accused of being radical conspiracy theorists. The Labor Department issued a news release stating it employs many highly trained nonpartisan economists to calculate the job figures and they are not exposed to any political interference or pressure.

I’ll be 80 in November. I moved to Hotchkiss from Arlington, Texas, 20 years ago after 40 years working as a production airframe designer engineer for a defense contractor. One gets exposed to a great number of bureaucratic organizations in both industry and government in 40 years, and one learns a few things about them. 1) The government guys are bureaucrats on steroids when compared to defense industry guys. 2) Successful bureaucratic organizations flourish and grow because they create work were none exists. 3) Successful bureaucrats operate with the goal, “Blind them with brilliance.” If that fails: “Baffle them with BS.” 4) All government departments are bureaucratic, and that includes the Labor Department. 

The first-time unemployment figures that are released weekly continue to reflect numbers that tend to indicate the unemployment number is actually getting bigger; these figures usually get revised upward later.  Government and industry reports are used to calculate an unemployment number every month. The various reports apparently have some conflicting data that necessitates some human judgment in order to arrive at the final monthly unemployment number. The number has remained consistent at 8.2 percent or higher for several months. 

Two months before the election, the number was lowered to 8.1 percent by using a random phone survey to remove a half million people from unemployed to no longer in the labor pool. One may reasonably assume the number would have increased to 8.3 percent or 8.4 percent otherwise. They have admittedly done this before to remove several million people from the labor pool or the unemployment number would be somewhere in the 11 percent to 14.5 percent range.

The following month the number was lowered to 7.8 percent by using another random survey to move more than 750,000 people from unemployed to employed at some undefined work that doesn’t get reported or show up on any payroll lists. Must be like work the president just recently decided will now qualify under the work/welfare law, which apparently includes making your bed.

I assume this is the first time they have used this sort of data to adjust a monthly unemployment number. One has to question why they didn’t try to obtain this data during the first random survey. Basic logic and grade school arithmetic shows this had to be a sampling survey statistically adjusted to get the total 1.25 million people. A random phone survey would involve at least 6 to 8 million calls, not including busy signals, which would each consume at least 5 to 10 minutes. Maybe we can’t accuse them of manipulating the number, but it is certainly a classic example of the old adage, “Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.”

This all reminded me of an old story circulated around Texas many years ago.  A government man scheduled a speech for some Indian ranch hands plus their families and other local Indians at a giant Oklahoma cattle ranch. The speech was scheduled during breeding season, so they set up a stage and podium in the empty bull pasture.

Every point the guy made was loudly responded to with “hoya, hoya, hoya” from his Indian audience. After the speech the local Indian chief escorted the government man back to his car, and the guy was thinking, “Man, I really wowed these Indians.”

About that time they approached an area where the bulls normally congregated in the pasture, and the old Indian chief cautioned the guy to watch his step there or he could step into a pile of hoya.

One has to wonder just how dumb and gullible these folks think we are?


Invest one minute in smart phone demo to invest in helping sick children

On behalf of Make-A-Wish® Colorado, I encourage local residents to join us Saturday to help raise up to $1 million to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Just one minute of your time is all it takes to help bring joy and strength to wish kids and their families.

Make-A-Wish Colorado and the no-contract cell phone provider Straight Talk Wireless are working together on this important effort, which concludes Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at select Wal-Mart stores.

For every person who completes a one-minute demo of a Straight Talk wireless Android smart phone, the company will donate $1 – up to $1 million – to Make-A-Wish. We need your help. Please think about taking the time to participate.

For a list of participating local Wal-Marts, go to


Communications Coordinator
Make-A-Wish® Colorado
Greenwood Village

DNC’s video clip of Soviet ships, Turkish aircraft an ‘act of stupidity’

I would like to know why at the Democratic National Convention this summer that part of the video presentation honoring veterans showed clips of Soviet ships and Turkish aircraft.

Is this a sign of things to come, or are the Democrats just that stupid not to know what their own military is all about?

As a retired Navy veteran, I am offended by this blatant act of stupidity. I know for whom I am voting. Do you?

Grand Junction

AP reporters could learn about ethics from National Press Photographers Association

I have perceived the reporting by AP over the last few months to be opinionated against Mitt Romney. The picture posted on the Internet Monday of Romney at the school in Virginia is just another confirmation of my perception.

Apparently the Associated Press does not subscribe to the code of ethics of the National Press Photographers Association that includes the following: “Treat all subjects with respect and dignity” and “Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects.”

I am really getting sick of the biased news articles written by the AP with no byline. I have already complained once to our local newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, about the Associated Press, and I am thinking it is past time to cancel my newspaper subscription and obtain news from an unbiased source.

Grand Junction

Sentinel’s endorsement of candidates erodes community trust

Nothing undermines the integrity of the journalists of a newspaper more than the official public endorsement of political candidates running for office by the paper’s editor. I understand that this practice is common in most newspapers. What purpose is this supposed to serve?

The Sentinel’s action in endorsing candidates and ballot issues is a disservice to the community. It is no wonder that citizens have a diminishing trust and respect for openly biased reporting that passes for journalism today.

Grand Junction


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