Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ancient Flute Found

This is totally unrelated to anything we talk about here, but it is cool.
BERLIN (AP) — A bird-bone flute unearthed in a German cave was carved some 35,000 years ago and is the oldest handcrafted musical instrument yet discovered, archaeologists say, offering the latest evidence that early modern humans in Europe had established a complex and creative culture.

A team led by University of Tuebingen archaeologist Nicholas Conard assembled the flute from 12 pieces of griffon vulture bone scattered in a small plot of the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany.

Together, the pieces comprise a 8.6-inch (22-centimeter) instrument with five holes and a notched end. Conard said the flute was 35,000 years old.

"It's unambiguously the oldest instrument in the world," Conard told The Associated Press this week. His findings were published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.

The reassembled instrument was too fragile to be played, but Conard worked with another academic to make a copy of it from the same type of bone and to play it and produce recordings of songs such as "The Star-Spangled Banner." Prehistoric flute in Germany is oldest known

Just think of people thirty-five thousand years ago, this is nearly thirty thousand years before agriculture, there were still Neanderthals running around. Emerging culturally from the animal kingdom, struggling with the elements, our earliest ancestors found the time to make music.

First somebody had to notice the pretty sound you get when you blow across an opening. Like a kid with a soda bottle, except there weren't soda bottles, somehow somebody noticed the effect of wind over a rock or tree branch and then generalized it, they figured out it wasn't magic but a principle of air against an opening. Then they applied that generalization to human breath blown over a man-made opening in a resonating chamber -- this is scientific thinking at its best, thirty-five thousand years ago, a beautiful pure example of creativity supported by abstract knowledge.

Then the second step. You can make a pretty sound blowing across an opening, but this is a bird-bone flute that plays different notes. The maker of this instrument drilled five holes in the cylinder at regular points, you cover those holes with your fingers and uncover them to change the pitch of the pretty sound. The principle here is complex, having to do with the wavelength of sounds, and I doubt these cave-men understood the Pythagorean principles involved, but somehow they had figured out, back in dim antiquity, how to vary the pitch of a woodwind instrument so that melodies could be played. This instrument does not seem significantly different from the flutes we have today, in principle.

The article mentions that the scientists intend to make a replica of the flute "and produce recordings of songs such as 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'" The melody of the Star Spangled Banner is mostly arpeggios with few passing tones, which may make it a good candidate for such a project, I'm sure that there are harder and easier tunes to play on a flute with five holes, maybe this is an easier one. At any rate, the comment suggests that the holes are placed in such a way that a performer can play the notes of diatonic Western music, and that in itself would imply that these Palaeolithic rockers were not just making pretty sounds, but might have actually had melodies, they might have had real songs that they played.

I have long thought that it would be interesting to develop a theory of psychology based on music, where an individual life is like a melody playing out over time, its fitness determined by the dynamic harmonic context that defines a note (or behavior) as sonorous or dissonant. The harmonic context, in turn, is provided by other melodies, and it all fits together, hopefully, at least the improvising musicians try to make it fit.

At any rate, if you think about the calculations that have to be done to recognize a melody you realize it is a very complicated problem. Imagine there was a database full of music files, and you wanted to find a particular one. The ideal interface would be one where you hum the melody you want into a microphone and the computer finds the file that matches it. The fact is, there is no computer program that can do that, the computation is simply too hard. But your brain can do it, even a little kid can instantly recognize a familiar melody and name it, even if it's played in a different key and on a different instrument from where it was learned. The human brain is able to analyze the waveforms, and in particular is able to identify the ratios of the frequencies of notes in relation to one another, and instantly recognize melodies -- this is an amazing thing to be able to do, and if you think about it there does not seem to be much evolutionary payoff for such an adaptation. But in the discovery of this flute and other very ancient musical instruments we see that the aptitude for music has always been part of being human.

There is something pleasing to me in considering our descent from primitive origins. It is pleasing to think of people living in small bands, cooperating to overcome the harshness of nature -- people with exactly the brains, exactly the intelligence, we have today. What did they think about all day? Were they able to speak? We can't know some things. But now we know they played music.

46 Comments:

Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Jim noted:

“You can make a pretty sound blowing across an opening, but this is a bird-bone flute that plays different notes.”

This of course begs the question, was a bird-bone flute ever used to play “Rockin’ Robin?”



Peace,

Cynthia

June 27, 2009 12:25 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

<Groan> Maybe that song is even older than we know!

JimK

June 27, 2009 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Too cool!

June 27, 2009 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of music, is that your band, The Colliders, playing tonight at the Quarry House?

June 27, 2009 3:04 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Yes, we will be playing from 9 to 11:15.

JimK

June 27, 2009 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"there does not seem to be much evolutionary payoff for such an adaptation"

Oh, I think music can help you survive.

"Just think of people thirty-five thousand years ago, this is nearly thirty thousand years before agriculture, there were still Neanderthals running around."

That's nothing. I read today that tap dancers were actually moon-walking back in the 40s.

I remember back when MJ did that on the Motown special, I went to the office the next day and the receptionist said, "I don't care what you say, thay guy is gay."

"There is something pleasing to me in considering our descent from primitive origins."

Didn't exactly happen that way but I think music should be employed more in learning.

Put something to music and it's easy to memorize it.

June 27, 2009 10:11 PM  
Blogger Working Surname said...

What makes you think it wasn't a cave-woman, Jim?

I agree with Anon -- there are certainly benefits to learning and the storage and retrieval of data when done to music.

Whether musical ability developed as a spandrel or an adaptation due to a series of mutations is another question, similar to the questions about language evolution. Fascinating stuff!

June 27, 2009 10:28 PM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Jim groaned:

"Maybe that song is even older than we know!"

Indeed. There is every reason to believe that stone-age musicians could really rock!

Rolling of course had to wait until the wheel was invented.

Peace,

Cynthia ;)

June 28, 2009 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someday quite soon, like maybe tomorrow, this mess of an economy will belong to Barack Obama and his administration.

He will own it, not his predecessor.

This is as it should be – and polls suggest that millions of Americans feel that this is already the case, their numbers increasing with each new round of the deteriorating economic news that has greeted each of Obama's months in office.

While that's not a long time, it is long enough for Americans to wonder if Obama and the ruling Democrats in Congress have answers – or whether their prescription has made things worse.

On Inauguration Day 2009, the unemployment rate stood at 7.2 percent. The federal budget deficit for 2009 was projected to be $1.2 trillion.

The federal deficit has soared, as have the unemployment figure, which stands at 9.4 percent, and rising.

Obviously, those unemployment figures that are most disturbing.

They drive every other national economic statistic in the wrong direction, inflict direct pain on American families, and signify the depth and duration of the nation's recession.

Throughout almost all of George W. Bush's two terms in office, unemployment ranged between 4 percent and 6 percent.

Four percent is historically considered by economists to be a rate approaching full employment.

Six percent is troubling, but sustainable – as long as the number is not heading upwards.

On Election Day 2008, unemployment stood at 6.1 percent.

Economists now know, officially, that the current recession began in December 2007.

The U.S. economy is cyclical and such dips in the road occur regularly, but this slowdown seemed to be qualitatively different than previous recessions.

By late November, in fact, Bush and Obama were working together to try to forestall disaster – something Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt hadn't managed to pull off in the momentous transition of 1932-1933.

Bush's and Obama's prescriptions for the financial markets were not much different.

Both believed that an emergency infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out the banks was necessary to avert disaster.

And on Nov. 24, with Bush's tacit blessing, Obama essentially began exerting some level of influence over the economy.

Moments after Bush spoke at the Treasury Department about the Citigroup bailout, Obama introduced his new economic team and expressed support for Bush's plans while describing what would be his own approach: a massive spending program designed to jump-start the economy.

"We have to make sure," the president-elect said, "that the stimulus is significant enough that it gives a jolt to the economy."

"The news this past week has made it clear that we are facing an economic crisis of historic proportions," Obama added. "If we do not act swiftly and boldly, we could lose millions of jobs next year."

June 29, 2009 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benefiting from a pliant Congress, Obama did act speedily.

Twenty-seven days after taking office, he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which called for $787 billion in spending – all of it borrowed– to stop the hemorrhaging.

"Today does not mark the end of our economic troubles," Obama said. "But it does mark the beginning of the end – the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs; to provide relief for families worried they won't be able to pay next month's bills, and to set our economy on a firmer foundation."

It hasn't yet worked out that way.

Two weeks ago, the unemployment rate went to that stunning 9.4 percent level.

Last week, at a press conference, Obama said rather casually that it would probably go over 10 percent, which has happened only once – in Reagan's first term – in the last 70 years, and which signals deep trouble for the president and his political party.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office also revealed that the federal deficit for the current fiscal year would reach $1.8 trillion.

These are stunning numbers.

This is an annual deficit that is significantly larger, even in inflation-adjusted dollars, than at any time since World War II.

Last July when the Bush administration announced that the deficit would reach $490 billion, House Budget Committee Chairman John C. Spratt, a South Carolina Democrat, said those figures confirmed "the dismal legacy of the Bush administration."

These days Spratt must adhere to the party line.

But he's a candid and sincere fellow who doesn't pretend this is a sustainable situation.

Two weeks ago, speaking in the context of a trillion-dollar-plus deficit, he said, "We could be heading into a Japanese-like recovery, which is weak and slow."

Now that it seems the real number might be closer to $2 trillion, it begs the question of whether America is headed for a North Korean-type recovery – real weak and slow.

This underscores the risk of attempting to borrow your way out of a recession: If the infusion of government cash does not have an immediately stimulative effect, the pressure on the markets of such borrowing begins to be a drag on the economy instead of a boost.

In other words, government action itself slows the natural recovery cycle.

Interestingly, this fear was expressed by both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans.

Congressional liberals called for a much larger stimulus package.

Conservative Republicans said an immediate slash in the payroll tax was the best and fastest antidote, because it would put billions of dollars in the pockets of Americans so they could buy the goods that would keep manufacturers churning out instead of laying off workers.

Obama took the advice of neither ideological wing.

A Republican senator from Arizona once reminded us that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

No, not John McCain.

It was Barry Goldwater.

We can only hope the maxim doesn't apply to economic justice as well.

June 29, 2009 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/25/maria-belen-chapur-mark-s_n_220838.html

June 29, 2009 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Golly, thanks for the advance copy of the GOP talking points for the week, Anon. Great cut and pasting without attribution, again.

Did Mr. Cannon really say this with a straight face?

Six percent [unemployment rate] is troubling, but sustainable – as long as the number is not heading upwards.

On Election Day 2008, unemployment stood at 6.1 percent.


Does he expect anyone to believe that 6.1 percent unemployment rate "stood" there and was **not** heading upwards at that time? Do these US job loss figures show unemployment standing still?

September 2008 - 284,000 jobs lost
October 2008 - 240,000 jobs lost
November 2008 - 533,000 jobs lost
December 2008 - 681,000 jobs lost
January 2009 - 598,000 jobs lost
February 2009 - 697,000 jobs lost
March 2009 - 742,000 jobs lost
April 2009 - 539,000 jobs lost
May 2009 - 345,000 jobs lost


I guess the LooseCannon and his supporter are unaware of this BLS report:

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May [2009], about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent. Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service-providing industries.

So after only a few months in office, Obama's policies have cut in half the monthly non-farm unemployment numbers. More people keeping jobs mean there's more demand for goods and service, which in turn leads to more jobs.

There's no doubt who owns the economic downfall of the 2007 recession (the "predecessor") and who will own the recovery (President Obama).

June 29, 2009 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you just don't get it, anon-B

Barry O's stimulus didn't happen fast enough and used the crisis to pass legislation to convert America to a socialist, government dependent country that will increase deficits and deplete our capacity to such an extent that our long-term survival is threatened

of course, Sir Barry O remains in office after 2012 or has congressional control after 2010

both unlikely

go get a bloody mary

June 29, 2009 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Six percent is troubling, but sustainable – as long as the number is not heading upwards.

I guess that depends on what the LooseCannon's definition of "is" is.

June 29, 2009 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're really having trouble thinking of a way to rationalize Barry O's problems

unemployment started escalating the second the B.O. was elected

businesses anticipate and it was clear that Barry was going to screw up the economic environment

even in May, Barry lost more jobs than Bush did the last two months before the election

at the time, Barry "not exactly an economic whiz" Obama was famously telling the country that unemployment would peak at 8% before his miraculous recovery began

now he's predicting 10%

those are actual families suffering from his anti-growth policies in places like Detroit and Bakersfield while you guzzle another bottle of rheumatiz medicine and cluck on about Bush and Cheney in the economically immune capital of America

keep on glubbin'

June 29, 2009 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Uh Anon, Bush was President through January, 2009.

For those too lazy to click the links I provide:

May 2009 BLS report:

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 7.0 million

Jobs lost from February 2009 - May 2009:

February 2009 - 697,000 jobs lost
March 2009 - 742,000 jobs lost
April 2009 - 539,000 jobs lost
May 2009 - 345,000 jobs lost


Total - 2,323,000 jobs lost during Obama's term

7,000,000 - 2,323,000 = 4,677,000 jobs lost during Bush's term.

Glub glub glub

June 29, 2009 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the economy started a freefall the second The Big O was elected

the decision about whether to hire or lay off workers is subjective, and when the subject was an inexperienced Keynesian becoming President, American businesses began to prepare for the worst

do you know how much debt the CBO predicted this week if B.O. gets his way?

it makes Bush budgets look balanced

sober up, anon-B

even JFK recognized you need to cut taxes on the production of income to stimulate the economy

glub it up too much and you'll vomit

June 29, 2009 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

the economy started a freefall the second The Big O was elected

Actually, the recession started in 2007, but it picked up steam and began nose-diving to Depression-era type levels last fall during Bush's term, after seven and a half years of his incompetence, malfeasance, and cronyism. Six months into Obama's term there are already signs of improvement are breaking out here and there, i.e., job losses have begun to moderate in construction and several service-providing industries.

IMHO agreeing with Limbaugh's wish for President Obama to fail to undo the damage Bush's policies have produced like you apparently do is unpatriotic and petty.

glub it up too much and you'll vomit

That sounds like the voice of experience talking. I wouldn't know.

June 30, 2009 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

do you know how much debt the CBO predicted this week if B.O. gets his way?

He's just following another of the Bush/Cheney rules of governance, namely "...deficits don't matter."

June 30, 2009 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, the recession started in 2007, but it picked up steam and began nose-diving to Depression-era type levels last fall during Bush's term, after seven and a half years of his incompetence, malfeasance, and cronyism."

Actually, most of Bush's term was a continuance of the unprecedented decades-long economic boom that began when Ronald Reagan lowered marginal tax rates.

As you showed us in your statistics above, unemployment really took off when BO was elected. Businesses started cutting in anticipation of the coming BO Jimmy Carter-style economy.

What changed in 2007 was that Democrats took control of Congress and Barney Frank started pressuring financial institutions into taking on bad loans. Now that they've got the White House too, Americans are beginning to see how hollow their howling about deficits was.

"Six months into Obama's term there are already signs of improvement are breaking out here and there, i.e., job losses have begun to moderate in construction and several service-providing industries."

Much of the stimulus that has taken effect was for unneeded construction.

Unemployment is not in line with BO's projection, indeed, far worse.

We've only just begun.

"agreeing with Limbaugh's wish for President Obama to fail to undo the damage Bush's policies have produced like you apparently do is unpatriotic and petty."

To continue to blame all the world's troubles on Bush is ignorant. The country was doing fine until Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007.

I think we've been through this before but what Bush policies have produced economic damage? As I recall, you could never explain that.

June 30, 2009 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He's just following another of the Bush/Cheney rules of governance, namely "...deficits don't matter.""

Between that and his aping Bush security policies, it's hard to see why Obama was elected.

But, of course, they begin to matter at a certain level. The numbers Obama nonchalantly tosses around are an iceberg to Bush's ice cube.

June 30, 2009 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Businesses started cutting in anticipation of the coming BO Jimmy Carter-style economy.

Cause and effect or coincidence?

Actually, businesses began cutting way back in response to falling consumer confidence. One picture is worth a thousand words. Check out the precipitous drop in consumer confidence at the end of the Bush/Cheney term in office. The nearly vertical drop in consumer confidence began in June 07 and continued for a year. Then, in October 08, the job market began nose diving too. (Note: The job market nose dive began one month after John McCain boldly but mistakenly told us the economy is "fundamentally sound.")

Cause and effect or coincidence?

June 30, 2009 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice graph, Bea. Bush's consumer confidence levels are right down there with Jimmy Carter's.

June 30, 2009 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush was in the White House for eight years

things went well for seven

no problems until Dems took over Congress

things got worse the more it looked like they'd move in to the White House too

June 30, 2009 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bush was in the White House for eight years

things went well for seven"

Which part did you like best?

9/11
Lies about an optional war.
The optional war itself.
Tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the rich in a time of war.
Trillions in new debt, and annual deficits in the half-trillion-dollar range.
The weakening of the dollar.
The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The suspension of habeas corpus.
"Enhanced interrogation"/torture/extraordinary rendition.
No bid contracts for Halliburton/Blackwater.
Presidential signing statements.
The U.S. attorney scandals.
Alienation of U.S. allies.
FISA/illegal wiretapping.
Plants in press conferences.

June 30, 2009 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the part I liked best was the economic vitality America exhibited through all those crises

the way we could shake off and contain the damage and keep expanding the prospects of our citizens was a marvel the world observed and imitated

until January 2007 when the Dems took control

man, did they screw up in record time

July 01, 2009 9:36 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Anon stated:
“the part I liked best was the economic vitality America exhibited through all those crises”

That wasn’t “economic vitality,” that was an economic bubble -- the one that George Soros started warning folks about in the late ‘90s and is now referred to as a “super bubble.” (http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/11/george-soros-the-face-of-a-prophet/ )

The bubble was fed by repealing laws that regulated the Credit Default Swap market ( http://www.todaysfinancialnews.com/investment-strategies/credit-default-swaps-a-blind-date-goes-wild-4718.html ) which led to that market creating a paper worth greater than that entire annual gross product of the planet. (http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2008/10/the_size_of_der.php )

The bubble was also fed by Alan Greenspan continuing to lower interest rates in the face of a softening economy without ever questioning why he had to keep them so low for so long. The FED is one of the major factors in creating the housing bubble, along with mortgage based securities traded by rich folks that made a feeding frenzy to get as many loans as possible – no matter the qualifications of the person getting the loan. ( http://www.npr.org/ombudsman/2008/05/the_giant_pool_of_money.html )

It wasn’t “economic vitality” at all, but rather a spending spree fed by loose regulations, greed, a belief that we had “a new economy” and unbelievably low interest rates. Well folks, the party is over, and now we have to cope with the hangover. You don’t get somethin’ for nothin’.

Have a nice day,

Cynthia

July 01, 2009 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That wasn’t “economic vitality,” that was an economic bubble -- the one that George Soros started warning folks about in the late ‘90s"

so, you think this all started with Bill Clinton, right?

"The bubble was also fed by Alan Greenspan continuing to lower interest rates in the face of a softening economy without ever questioning why he had to keep them so low for so long. The FED is one of the major factors in creating the housing bubble, along with mortgage based securities traded by rich folks that made a feeding frenzy to get as many loans as possible – no matter the qualifications of the person getting the loan."

Obama is trying to do this now. He says he wants to push mortgage rates down and has a program to refinance to lower rates so people can afford to live in their homes.

If you think it was a mistake, do you think Obama is repeating it?

mortgage securities are actually a good idea, the biggest problem is that investors weren't properly informed of the risk factor

henceforth, the investors themselves could insist on that rather than regulation

they don't have to buy them

"a spending spree fed by loose regulations,"

what kind of regulation do you suggest?

"greed,"

what greed? this is a little vague here

"a belief that we had “a new economy”"

well, what happened from 1982-2007 was unprecedented and represents a good chunk of a generation's productive life

how does one year of Democratic maleasance invalidate that?

"and unbelievably low interest rates"

the low interest rates are a worthy goal

inflation was low, raising rates during times when we suffered many catastrophes would have been a catastrophe

you could have sent more money to the bank if you felt compelled to

July 01, 2009 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Seems to me that we credit our government with more influence over the economy than it really has.

July 01, 2009 12:00 PM  
Anonymous tell it like it is, baby said...

you might be right, Robo

I know obama doesn't seem to be able to have any effect

July 01, 2009 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

AnonSibyl's greatest hits on this thread alone -- hopes Obama will fail and all the US's economic troubles will or do belong to him.

June 29, 2009 7:29 AM. "Someday quite soon, like maybe tomorrow, this mess of an economy will belong to Barack Obama and his administration...He will own it, not his predecessor."

June 29, 2009 11:51 AM Barry O's stimulus didn't happen fast enough and used the crisis to pass legislation to convert America to a socialist, government dependent country that will increase deficits and deplete our capacity to such an extent that our long-term survival is threatened

June 29, 2009 3:45 PM unemployment started escalating the second the B.O. was elected

June 29, 2009 7:33 PM the economy started a freefall the second The Big O was elected

Hmmm, or maybe not:

July 01, 2009 2:10 PM I know obama doesn't seem to be able to have any effect

As long as you're sure, Anon (eye roll)

so, you think this all started with Bill Clinton, right?

No, you think that. Unless you agree with your own earlier statement, most of Bush's term was a continuance of the unprecedented decades-long economic boom [that ended up in a series of busts] that began when Ronald Reagan started screwing our economy up.

July 02, 2009 8:14 AM  
Anonymous pong said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 02, 2009 8:58 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Try a different approach, Anon. Don't make me ban you.

JimK

July 02, 2009 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another of Anon-B's greatest misses gets worse:

"after only a few months in office, Obama's policies have cut in half the monthly non-farm unemployment numbers"

job losses increased to 467K in May, unemployment is now 9.5%, higher than it's been since immediately before the Reagan boom began in the early 80s

Sir B.O., the fabulous one-term wonder!

July 02, 2009 11:10 AM  
Anonymous what in the? said...

"Try a different approach, Anon"

didn't know that was a bad word, Jim

I guess the gay agenda has its won subculture of offense

July 02, 2009 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

job losses increased to 467K in May

No they didn't.

Job losses in May 2009 were 345,000.

Job losses in June 2009 were 467,000.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports today:

...The number of unemployed persons (14.7 million) and the unemployment rate (9.5 percent) were little changed in June. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.2 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 4.6 percentage points.

...Total nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in June (-467,000). Job losses from April to June averaged 436,000 per month, compared with losses averaging 670,000 per month from November to March.

July 02, 2009 2:21 PM  
Anonymous gee whiz said...

that's inteesting Anon-B

since Barry O was elected, average jobs lost a month have been 575K

what was that number as of George W's first June?

what was it over George W's whole presidency?

Sir BO is not doing well and looks to be a fabulous one-term wonder

he'll make a lot of money on the speech circuit

July 02, 2009 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

"Sir BO is not doing well and looks to be a fabulous one-term wonder"

Anon, your powers of prediction are well known -- anyone who doubts you can just ask President Huckabee.

July 02, 2009 3:34 PM  
Anonymous robin the boy wonder said...

as I've told you guys before, I didn't think Huck would win

I was rattling your chains, which is always amusing

he's quite a guy though and I wouldn't be surprised if it did make it one day

I understand you and George Stephanopolous really did once think John Kerry would be elected.

I understand you were serious about it.

hahahahaha

hohohohohohoho

heeheeheeheehee

Barry O, a fabulous one-term wonder

Anon-B, an amusing one-brain-cell wonder

July 02, 2009 3:54 PM  
Anonymous robin the boy wonder said...

oops!

I just noticed that last comment was attributable to the Okie from Muskogee

sorry, Anon-Bea

July 02, 2009 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I understand you and George Stephanopolous really did once think John Kerry would be elected.

Sure, there were a whole lot of people who thought that Kerry would win in 2004. I'll bet you and Brit Hume and a whole lot of other people thought McCain would win in 2008. People were wrong in both cases. So what?

Your candidate loses, you accept the reality and try to select a better candidate next time.

You think having Palin run again bodes well for your party and I wish you good luck with that!

Far from fearing Palin as a presidential candidate, at this point none could please me more. Bring it on!

Barry O, a fabulous one-term wonder

From all the recent repetition of this phrase, it's pretty obvious you're trying to turn your hope into reality. I wish you good luck with that too.

IMHO, you rattle your chains like some spooky specter, but you're the one who's scared. What will you do when Obama is reelected in 2012?

Jim's right, no liberal could dream up a right winger like you, Sybil.

July 03, 2009 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People were wrong in both cases. So what?"

You never cease to amaze, Anon-B.

The so what is that every time I say Palin, you say Huckabee.

So if you say Obama, why shouldn't I say Kerry?

It's obvious that you and other hyper-liberals fear Palin.

What else could be the obsession with the losing VP nominee?

The overkill will work to her advantage.

"you rattle your chains like some spooky specter, but you're the one who's scared. What will you do when Obama is reelected in 2012?"

I guess the same thing I'm doing now. Sad thing is the republic will have trouble maintaining its position with one term rather than two.

"Jim's right, no liberal could dream up a right winger like you, Sybil."

Oh yeah, a conservative who thinks Obama won't be re-elected.

Who'd have ever dreamt up such an outlandish character?

btw, if you want to stay up for fireworks tomorrow night, make sure the, ahem, orderly doesn't slip any pills into your gruel.

July 03, 2009 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The so what is that every time I say Palin, you say Huckabee.

IMHO, your problem is that you will say anything to try to make a point, especially statements that are not true. For example, I have 9 comments above on this thread and have never mentioned him once.

What else could be the obsession with the losing VP nominee?

It's probably similar to the tendency of drivers to slow down to look at freshly wrecked cars on the side of the road.

The overkill will work to her advantage.

Another attempted chain rattling? Oooo, I'm quaking in my boots, not! Bring her on in 2012! She'll get the votes of the few who comprise the ever-shrinking GOP base, but the GOP base isn't enough to win an election, as John McCain so ably demonstrated last year.

July 03, 2009 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John McCain never had the base. That was the problem. Remember how the only time he was leading in the polls is right after he named Palin as his running mate. The base perked up for that.

You guys all think guys like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John McCain and the Washington Post are part of the conservative base.

They're moderates and the only reason you don't recognize is because you tend toward lunacy.

July 03, 2009 7:51 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

You guys all think guys like Dick Cheney...are part of the conservative base.

They're moderates and the only reason you don't recognize is because you tend toward lunacy.


I guess that means Republicans "tend toward lunacy" or are all "moderates" since Gallup reported in June, 2009:

"Republicans named Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney as the "main person who speaks for the Republican Party today," poll results showed."

July 04, 2009 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, supporting moderates is not lunacy

thinking moderates are conservatives is lunacy

also lunacy, for that matter, is thinking you're an old spinster from a 60s sitcom

July 05, 2009 4:45 PM  

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