Saturday, June 30, 2012


(this page has just become a collection of links and ideas to be used elsewhere)

Move to TSA airport genital groping

Move to gay male TSA groping

Move to male on female “mandatory” TSA groping

Move to California and New York federal courts on male prison guards groping females – 11 circuit said violates 8 the Amendment – New York area courts I think allowed groping to avoid conflict with federal job non-discrimination statute (what would legislators who voted for that have thought?)
If the courts have been coming down on the side of barring male prison guard on female frisking on a constitutional basis, then, I can draw a very interesting parallel between that and the TSA policy and the local male police officer practice of intimately frisking women.

Move to local police male on female frisking;
Three videos of police sexually groping females with no realistic safety issue whatsoever:
They think nothing of it:
They even practice teenage boys on teenage girls:

If somebody, somewhere does not begin to oppose the steady withering away of freedom from unreasonable search, the Fourth Amendment could eventually disappear everywhere: just a version of Parkinson’s law of bureaucracies. 

A widely reported AP story at the time scanners were being introduced at the airport – “Full-body Scanners Popping Up at Courthouses” – contained this in the body:
“Angela Hellenbrand received a quick pat-down Tuesday by security guard Mike Couts at the Castle Rock courthouse about 30 miles south of Denver.  A guard in another room monitoring the full-body scans alerted Couts to an object in Hellenbrand’s left-rear pocket.  It was the paper backing of a ‘Junior Deputy Sheriff’ sticker that one of the guards had given her two young boys.”

Coming to a courthouse – or a neighborhood; or a train station or a school -- near you?

No amelioration of indignity described in Terry for a man – none at all for the horror of sexual battery for a woman;
No case yet testing police sexually battering a woman – court cannot originate, must wait for a “test case” (in case you think this has been tried before
If male police do not consider this sexual battery because "they are professionals doing a job ('we are like doctors!')", then, if their teenage daughter is frisked over every square inch by a private security guard at her high school every day that is not sexual battery because "he is a professional doing a job."
If the "professional" business had any validity, then, we would not need Terry in the first place because no indignity would be suffered by persons who are frisked because police are "professionals doing a job."
Latest comparison: by today's police "we are professionals doing a job" logic for negating any concern for what would otherwise be considered gross sexual battery, a male school principal could ethically hand spank their 15 years old daughters over their gym pants.  Most people I know would be concerned about sexual abuse if a male principal spanked a girl with a paddle -- but police should not because "he is a professional doing a job."

Move to TSA X-rated scanners;
Male sneaking to see females – children;
Can feds make exception to federal child porn law – if balance violates 4th Amendment?;
Can feds make exception to local assault or voyering laws?;
Only way for courts to address these questions is to give them cases to adjudicate.

Remember British WWII going to Shakespeare during Blitz: "They are not going to change the way we live."


I remember when I was in my twenties in Chelsea, walking in an empty back street somewhere above 14th street (had to be a weekend; there are no empty back streets in Chelsea now) with a can of soda in my jacket pocket – big and obviously heavy.  A police car passed on the other side of the street, took a take on my bulge and went on the way.

Police cannot stop everybody who might possibly have a gun.  Otherwise we don’t have a free country anymore and every adult will feel like they are living in some crazily strict high school.  That is the sense of the Fourth Amendment.

If this were a sensibly run country, when you stepped into the TSA X-ray machine you would push a toggle switch for the gender you wished to seen stripped by – your naked outline going to a remote room staffed only by your own sexes TSOs.  How high-tech would that be?

Under that sensible modus, were a sick male TSO to hear of a girls soccer team going through scanners and be caught sneaking over to the female viewing room for a look, he would certainly be arrested on multiple charges including viewing child pornography. This scenario should lay to rest any question of whether the scanners are a real strip search and whether adult males viewing children's naked outlines are really viewing child porn.
Ditto, if gay male TSOs were sensibly banned from groping every square inch of male bodies all day at the airport.  If one such snuck in to grope in incoming basketball team he would certainly be arrested for sexual battery.

The letter of the law: 4.3.14. OPPOSITE GENDER SCREENING … … B. The STSO must ensure that the following notice is provided … 1) A TSO of the same gender as the individual presents him or herself to be is not available. … … 4) Once the individual enters the WTMD, the individual must complete the screening process.

Can federal administrative law make viewing child porn at the airport not a federal crime? Arguably, that's the same as asking if Congress – which made child porn viewing a crime – can make it not a crime for TSOs at the airport?

Can federal administrative law make sexually battering a woman at the airport not a state crime? That should be like asking if Congress can make physically battering a woman not a crime for TSOs at the airport? Federal courts have not show much interest in male LEOs routinely (w/o immediate danger) frisking females as a constitutional issue [ ].  Would seem a lot harder to duck protecting women as a criminal law issue.

While legislatures are at it they can shoulder tap their local law enforcement – which currently seems to feel free to routinely sexually batter females, at least from what I read and see (videos below) on the net – though I have not seen it in person.

Officer safety? First, an arrested woman would have to do the Houdini and slip her restraints and then do the Incredible Hulk and rip aside the police car partition.  Guns may be checked for without touching anything.

Probable cause cross-gender search of a female supposedly okayed by Terry: We are professionals doing a job – we are like doctors? The indignity described by Terry that a stop-and-frisk subjects a male to is in no way ameliorated by the fact that cops are professionals doing a job. Neither does that ameliorate the harm of sexual battery. Wait for a female officer or cuff them and take them in (probable cause).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Index the official federal poverty line to the real poverty line

The official federal poverty line was based, in 1965 (or 1968), on three times the price of an emergency diet (dried beans only; no canned); about $5/day X 3 = $18,000/yr for a family of three. This was based on a 1955 study which in 1965 was not yet too far off the true mark.

I used the numbers in the MS Foundations book "Raise the Floor", table 2-3 on page 44 to come up with a minimum needs figure also based on $5/day for food but plus everything else from telephone to income tax and it came to $42,000/yr (2008 dollars) for a family of 3 -- not $18,000/yr ...

... which looking at the US Census family income charts put American poverty at 37% not 12.5% if all these families had to pay for their own medical insurance -- 26% if they all had paid for medical -- likely about 30% if I knew who had paid medical and who didn't.

I propose that some one or some organization set up a year by year index of the ratio between the official poverty line and a real minimum needs line like I derived from MS' chart. Then when some economically unenlightened essayist wants to complain that poverty has (only) stayed the same since LBJ they can easily check and see that LJB's 12.5% might have been an adjusted 15% in 1968 -- compared to today's adjusted 30% -- that poverty may have doubled since LBJ ...

... while average income doubled ...

... especially if you have been getting people used to the stagnation of median income and the 30% drop in minimum wage ...

... while average income doubled.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Must ask children because they don't tell

Children seem rarely to report even persistent molestation.  Simple solution: all children must be asked.  Once a year?

Some kind of protocol must be worked out.  Even if the method turns out not so good a detecting it will serve as a huge deterrent.  Even if a child does not tell this year because he or she may do so next year and because it will put the matter much more in the upper thoughts when the child turns adult.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A note on education to Chicago's Republi-crat mayor

Before Chicago’s Republi-crat mayor adds to many hours to public school days he might ponder what economist/political scientist S├ínchez-Jankowski says about why ghetto schools don’t work in his book “Cracks in the Pavement” after spending nine years on the ground in five New York City and Los Angeles poverty neighborhoods: the schools there did not work because too many students – and teachers – did not expect the job market to pay them enough to work when they got out.  Ergo, many feel it not worth making extra effort.

What the good professor was unaware of and what the Chicago City Council is unlikely aware of – nobody else in America seems to know – is that, as average income doubled over the last two generations due to advancing technology and management skills, the federal minimum wage by now has sunk $3.28/hr from a high of $10.53/hr in 1968 ($1.60/hr nominally). 

It took more than inadequate teaching to put 100,000 gang members on Chicago streets (per Dean Renolds).  In my reading of Venkatesh’s American Project the Taylor Homes became gang infested hell only as the minimum wage dipped below 63% of LBJ’s minimum ($5.15 nominally) in 2000).

I am not expecting Chicago’s City council to straighten out what I call America’s “post apocalyptic” labor market.  I’m just trying to point out the deep labor market sickness at the bottom of most of America’s worst troubles.  Least of all do I expect a Republi-crat to care.
FWIW; jumping to a federal minimum wage to $15/hr would add about 4% direct inflation – easily computed:
[70 million (half the workforce); $3.75/hr average raise ($15 is today’s median wage, optimistically) X 2000 hours (work year)] + [3.5 million * extra half raises for those now at or below the minimum (2009) X $3.75 X 2000 hours] = $551.25 billion altogether -- out of a GDP of $14 trillion = 3.9% direct inflation.]  * 

If a McDonald’s union could hold out for double pay they would add 33% to the price of a burger: fast food labor costs being 33%.  If McDonald’s union could do that a Target union could hold out for a raise from $10/hr (don’t know exact figure) to $15 which would add only 5% to Target’s prices: most business labor costs being more like 10%.  If the minimum any American business paid was $15/hr (Germany’s 10 percentile wage last I looked years ago) half of America would get a raise to $30,000/yr and McDonalds would do fabulously.  Which gives you an idea how little money we are talking about in absolute terms in restoring pay levels in half the American labor market.

Friday, June 8, 2012

MY REPLY to this question on Thoma's "Economist's View" blog ...

MY REPLY to this question on Thoma's "Economist's View" blog: "Can you describe how industry-wide or common labor agreements work in Germany?" ******

I am no expert on how sector wide is done in different economies. If you are studious -- you seem much more so than I -- you can look up the 1992 book "Union of Parts -- Labor Politics in Postwar Germany" by Kathleen A. Thelen (which I have on my lap but never got around to).

Of course there is the recent: "Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life" by Thomas Geoghegan.

I just know that when I saw the idea somewhere, years ago, I recognized the answer to American labor's powerlessness instantly. I had been like one of those "cross of gold" farmers reading pamphlets, trying to figure out why their world was falling apart (deflation making their mortgage payments more expensive all the time).

Sector wide's advantages are so obvious that when you see it you genuinely wonder why you never thought of it yourself (at least I did).

As far as I can see, anywhere in the first-world where it is in practice, the average person has full empowerment -- political as well economic because full unionization means equal financing to match ownership's to go with the overwhelming majority of votes. The late David Broder, dean of the Washington press corps, wrote that when he first arrived there fifty years ago the lobbyists were all union.

Anywhere in the OECD it is not the average person is screwed more all the time.
Sector wide is over half a century proven -- and -- tried even in the second world (Brazil) and third world (Indonesia).

Funniest thing is that sector wide labor agreements were instituted in post WWII Europe by INDUSTRIALISTS to prevent labor unions going on a race to the top (with each other). The welfare state -- which is what everybody over here FOOLISHLY thinks as the big economic difference between Europe and us -- was actually offered to compensate labor for putting up with sector wide agreements.

Sector wide collective bargaining ends the race to the bottom just as well. Wal-Mart had to close 88 big boxes in Germany because they could not compete paying the same wages and be benefits.

I've got a human behavior theory that males being pack hunters are somehow able to relate to the big world only on the terms the world (stupidly?) works on already. Human males seem to automatically eject any solution too original like a spent cartridge -- literally incapable consider the novel on merits alone.

Human females being individual gatherers by DNA can according to my cabdriver theory think for themselves -- are actually able to ponder a new direction on merit alone -- not because they are "receptive" but because they can think for themselves.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How sector-wide labor agreements could reshape the American labor market

If McDonald's (not to pick on one brand name) had to come to a labor agreement -- ACTUALLY IF ALL FAST FOOD businesses had to come to a common labor agreement with all employees, so called sector wide labor agreements -- the price of labor would tend to come to equilibrium where the most money would get split by labor and ownership.

A wage of $15/hr would double the take home pay of fast food labor while raising prices one-third. Fast food has the largest by far labor usage (one-third of all costs).

Other businesses tend towards one-tenth of costs.  Think Target ("Can somebody help me?")

If fast food can pay $15/hr, most any business should be able to (sounds like).

$15/hr is now the median wage in the US labor market.  Give half the country (the half at or below the median) a raise to $15/hr and McDonald's should do wonderfully.
Roughly, 90-97 percentile earners have kept the same share of income the same earners had in 1968 -- double the average income since.  This suggests that the reason for so-called "inequality" (would the average non-academic recognize that phrase -- how about something like the "post-apocalyptic American labor market"?) is not a higher-tech economy making unskilled labor worth less.  Ball players, CEOs and news anchors are not the reason for economic growth.  Robots and programs are -- humans, I suspect, retain the same economic worth relative to each other.