Monday, October 22, 2012

Science, Pseudo-science and Statistical Noise

A scientist wrote:

<   [The] Index of /Misc._Physics/SB [reports that the San Diego] courthouse tower clock records 5.2 quake


<   [A list member who was there] reports he didn't feel the quake.

<   [The writer]  wonders, are after-shocks of statistical interest?  >

My reply:

At first reading, that seems like such a strange question for a scientist to ask, but then maybe it's not.  You're simply saying after-shocks are just statistical noise, signifying nothing, right?  A 5.2 quake wouldn't be just random noise here in Massachusetts, but I can imagine it well might be in Santa Barbara.   

I'm sure you would agree that people discovering and noticing the background noise from any phenomenon of the natural world is a wonderful thing, and an opening to connect and engage them in enjoyable and even useful conversations.  

People, scientists included, evidently have a built-in need to concentrate on the noise and tease a meaningful signal out of it.  We scientists have elevated that need to a new level, inventing and using powerful techniques and tools for verifying that a signal is real, devising explanations of its meaning, verifying and coming to agreement that an explanation makes sense.  (Not always in that order.)  Scientists and lay people alike, we all seem to have built into us - perhaps even built into our wiring - a need to find that signal in the noise, and tease out its meaning.  Many of you will know of experiments that demonstrate this.

Perhaps this apparently innate urge derives from the instincts of the hunter, sitting silently and still in the forest, listening to the chorus of sounds, watching the field of movements, sensing the medley of scents, feeling every vibration of the earth, waiting for a signal or combination of signals that might indicate food or danger, tuning out the rest.  

That we all share this innate capacity is part of what makes it possible to engage with regular people, to share with them our ways of thinking, reasoning and understanding, and to share with them tools for thinking more powerfully about the natural world and about policy questions that concern it.

This innate capacity is also preyed upon by moneyed interests, who use it to rob people of their earnings and shape their political choices.  

I had a friend, "Joe", who was a compulsive gambler.  I used to count cards for him at the Blackjack Tables, and he would always leave them a bit ahead.  But then he would feel the need to prove to me that he could beat the other games as well.  Sometimes he would win at those for a while, but in the end he would always leave the casino broke.  At one table, Joe and each other player had their own private system for finding the pattern in the way the cards were dealt.  As far as I could determine, the cards were dealt as close to entirely randomly as human ingenuity could devise, but because this random pattern would repeat every 400 cards or so a computer could beat this game.  That pattern however would be far beyond the capacity of the human mind to see and remember, so they were all trying to find a simpler one.  The house even provided them with charts, tables and pencils to help them with their search for the winning formula.  

Perhaps an opposite case is that of the deniers of natural selection and global warming and their following.  The leading "deniers" include theocrats, charlatans and pseudo-scientists, many in the pay of powerful monied interests.  A crucial piece of their strategy is persuading people that if they can't sense the signal in the noise.  They then argue on religious authority that there should be no signal.  

Once persuaded, people will simply not see the signal even when it's as plain as day and carefully explained to them.  

I'm sure we all know of examples of this kind of error among scientists as well. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reply to a defender of the NRA

JohnShade, you write that "... [the] same could be said for churches, unions, civil society organizations and government. Each is an organization that exists to propagate itself before any other goal."
Please consider what you're saying. You are excusing the NRA (and no doubt other organizations and politicians in your life) with the excuse "they all do it, they're all like that, so live with it."
It is in our nature to try to understand others, other organizations and societies from the starting assumption that they are like ourselves, like the groups we know and are part of. This is very limiting. There is a whole world out there of regular people self organizing and organizing for the common good, people and groups whose essential goodness becomes invisible to you when seen through this lens.
Consider in your own life. Do you belong to a local NRA group? Is *it* "there to make money"? Are you in it to make money? Is your local church, lodge or boy scout troop, militia or oath keepers group there to make money?
If your answer is no, then why are so many of these organizations organized from the top around the principles of money, profit, self perpetuation and self-aggrandizement? If that's not what human nature dictates at a small scale, then possibly, just possibly, it isn't a universal law of nature for larger formations either.
Perhaps when you really start looking for these exceptions to the rule, from a place of accepting the possibility they exist rather than a belief that they can't, you will find some.
Your first attempts will very likely be failures and disappointments. If you've spent your adult life assuming all large organizations are corrupt and self-seeking, your skill at sorting the good from the bad is undeveloped. So promise yourself from the start that you won't give up in despair and curse the lot and go back to your old beliefs the first time you are disappointed or feel betrayed by the movement or organization whose honesty and integrity you decided to trust.
Instead, commit now, at the start of your search for honest leaders, organizations and movements, to take each disappointment as a learning moment. Commit now to seriously examining what were the signs and indications of corruption, profit-seeking and self-aggrandizement that you should have picked up on. Commit to grieving your loss and then going back to trying, to continuing your search for groups that don't display those signs and indications.
The reality is that they're all around you, but it will take real work to learn how to see and trust them. The world of free people struggling to learn how to self-organize and cooperate in small and large scale efforts is all around you. But if we're to survive and save our communities, our country, our civilization, we need to learn to see with new eyes. Know that everyone who has gone before you has had to struggle with this, and is still struggling with it.
Undoubtedly in some ways you are already part of the struggle toward this new way of seeing. But you need to learn to distinguish between those leaders and groups who would lead us in circles and pit us against each other, and those that are genuinely part of this path of transformation.
And then  teach what you've learned to your friends, your children, your neighbors and your battle buddies.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

An even deeper layer of the crisis

Another letter to the investors, posted as a comment to:


Good article, good discussion of the fantasy world of financial capital and how all the Fed's efforts to find a way out of the trap are only setting the stage for a financial panic.

Mr. Fitzgerald points to a root problem of consumers de-leveraging and corporations being afraid to invest in the real economy.  However I believe there is another deeper layer here.

The past 12 years and especially the past 4 have seen rapid increases in productivity even as wages and production have stagnated and declined.  The decline in the income of regular people - roughly the 90% - in both relative and absolute terms, taken together with their enormous debt burden and declining personal wealth, has resulted in an "accumulation trap", where any investment in economic expansion sufficient to increase employment comes up against the barrier that working people's purchasing power is insufficient to support any resulting increase in output.  With output stagnant, any investment in the "real economy" only goes into further lowering costs, especially wage costs, which drives us even deeper into the accumulation trap.  This accumulation trap is reflected also on the financial side, where claims against a stagnant real economy are proliferating.  The economic system is thus teetering on the brink of a massive implosion, which could take the form of

  #  a profound deflationary depression, which will go on until massive-scale corporate bankruptcies clear the decks for a new round of expansion, or

  #  an inflationary depression which wipes out all claims from fixed-principal instruments.

Either will come at a huge social cost.

Historically there have been three paths of escape from an accumulation trap:

  #  a World War vast enough to result in destruction of much of the world's physical capital;

  #   a revolution that liquidates the claims of all property owners on the economy; or

  #   a redistributive "New Deal" that taxes away much of the accumulated paper claims of the wealthy and allows worker organizations to win back their historic share of production, clearing the decks for a new round of the game.

A new world war would inevitably devolve into nuclear war, which would be unlikely to spare any advanced country from total destruction, and a revolution would be resisted bitterly and would almost certainly devolve into a nuclear civil war.  That leaves a new "New Deal" as not only the least destructive path in terms of lives and fortunes, but really the only one that makes any sense.  It would be a hard pill for the super-rich to swallow, but it would save the game they love, so they could play again.

Winning a New Deal would require a government, backed by an alliance of mass movements and far-thinking elements of the upper classes, with the capacity and will to force the winners of the current round of the game to turn in most of their winnings.

The current program of the Democratic Party gives lip service to this direction, but doesn't begin to go far enough to make a critical difference.  The Republican Party, representing apparently a clear consensus of the corporate rich, is committed to doing everything possible to prevent any form of government redistribution.  And we don't now have mass movements in the US capable of challenging the power of the elite in combination with dissident elements of it, such as happened in the '30's.

The outlook I fear is not good.

ps I think it unlikely that this post on this site will change any minds.  I see organizing mass movements as the only possible path for the working people.  What path makes most sense will depend on the circumstances as they unfold.  And there is no alternative to playing the game as we find it, even as the unthinkable becomes the reality that's "on the table".

Friday, October 12, 2012

Letter to the readers of Forbes

Comment to Op/Ed in Forbes, 10/11/12, by Peter Ferrara:

Obama's Real Unemployment Rate Is 14.7%, And A Recession's On The Way

Ferrara’s analysis of the unemployment situation is spot-on, and matches what we at a local unemployment group in Central Massachusetts have been seeing on the ground.

Working people here almost without exception dismiss the official statistics with contempt, and the general consensus is that the real local unemployment rate including involuntary part timers is somewhere around 20%. And yes, we have seen an uptick in people getting part time work. The mood among those over 40 is deep sullen anger and cynicism masked by fear and a sense of hopelessness. Among younger working-folk there is widespread passivity and disconnection, and a loss of belief in the value of hard work to achieve long-term goals. Truly a social disaster in the making.

Mr. Ferrara’s policy analysis however is wide of the mark. The economy cannot restart if the working people have no spending power, and our spending power is continuing to tank. The amount of money accumulated by the well to do and the corporations is in the trillions, but it won’t get invested in job-creating projects in the real economy unless there is a prospect for making a profit off those investments – which requires an expanding market. So we’re at an impasse, a classic “accumulation trap”.

I am well aware that most readers of Forbes won’t want to hear this – perhaps many of you simply can’t hear it – but the only way out of the trap we’re in is through a massive wealth transfer or liquidation of claims on wealth, far exceeding anything Obama has proposed. This can happen through a deflationary depression and mass scale corporate bankruptcies; through an inflationary depression that wipes out the value of all fixed-principal investments; through a world war that liquidates a large part of the world’s physical capital; or through confiscatory taxes, with the proceeds going to job-creating projects, wealth redistribution or both.

One way or another, one or more of these will happen. Attempting to control every degree of freedom to contain this systemic crisis as the pressure continues to build can only guarantee an uncontrolled and chaotic outcome.

I would suggest to you that the best, least dangerous option for preserving our system and your place in it is the confiscatory tax route – a new New Deal. I don’t blame you a bit for finding that highly objectionable and distasteful, but don’t let that blind you to the virtues of that path. From our point of view also it is vastly preferable to a depression or war, so you could easily make common cause with us.

Many of you still have not forgiven Franklin Roosevelt for what you saw as a betrayal by one of your own, but the truth is that at a moment much like the present one he saved the system and preserved your place in it by finding ways to release the building pressure and effect a peaceful and orderly wealth transfer sufficient to restart the economy. And through a World War - something that won't work out so well in a nuclear-armed world.

We've all shared the experience of playing Monopoly. At first everyone’s having fun.  A point comes where someone is winning - exciting for them, an engaging struggle to stop them for the rest. Then a point comes where someone has won and all that’s left is the inevitable taking of everything the other players have. At that point the winner may be having a grand old time but everyone else has had it. The saving grace in a Monopoly game is that you can always turn in all your cards and properties, reshuffle the deck and start over - or at least walk away and play another day.

Now imagine a Monopoly game where the stakes for the losers are life and death, but the winners won’t restart the game because winning feels so good. That’s kind of like where we are today. You need to ask yourselves, are you committed to saving the game itself so you can play again? Or are you more committed to holding on to being the winners of the current cycle at all costs?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Press Release on drop in unemployment rate

Stone Riley, a member of the Worcester Unemployment Action Group (WUAG), said:  "We hope that the reported decline in the unemployment rate is real, but the detail figures behind the headlines are confusing, contradictory and vague.  Even if the decline is real we note with concern that the improvement has not been shared by Black and Latino workers - a reflection of widespread discrimination in the job market along many lines, including age, CORI status, credit scores and - incredibly - duration of unemployment."

Chris Horton, a volunteer organizer for WUAG, noted: "We are deeply puzzled by the new BLS figures.  The Employer Survey found an increase in the number of jobs of 114,000.  Since the monthly increase in the adult population is about 87,000, so if we assume no big change in the proportion of people with two jobs, the decrease in the number of unemployed was maybe 27,000.   The Household Survey's 0.3% decrease in the unemployment rate translates into about 450,000 more people with jobs, which is far out of line with the Employer Survey results.

Mr. Horton continued: "The Household Survey reported a big decrease in the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs.  This again is not supported by the Employer Survey data."

Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project said: “Major indicators improved, but we cannot afford to ignore the long-term unemployed—the 40 percent of the unemployed who’ve been out of work six months or longer. They’re about to reach the edge of a real and enormous financial cliff at the end of December, when the federal extended unemployment program is slated to expire. Failure of Congress to renew the program will immediately pull the rug out from under two million unemployed Americans, an unconscionable result we cannot and should not tolerate." 

The BLS reported that "The number of … involuntary part-time workers rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September."  Mr. Horton commented: "this would mean that all of the increase in the number employed would be in this category, plus another 150,000 moving from full time to part time status involuntarily.  We have seen some increase in people finding part time jobs.  However the Employer survey shows the average workweek increasing by 0.1% over the month, with factory overtime unchanged.  Unfortunately, much as we would like to see a ray of hope, we find the results of this Household Survey to not be credible." 

"The official unemployment rate", Mr. Horton continued, "is inherently misleading in that it excludes perhaps two-thirds of those who want and would take a job.  This makes using it to identify trends inherently difficult, and helps mask the need to take the unemployment crisis as the national emergency that it is."

The Worcester Unemployment Action Group, founded in February 2012, is an all-volunteer association of unemployed working people.  Its statement of purpose describes it as “dedicated to winning an economy with well-paid socially useful work for all and decent support for the unemployed. We seek to hold public and elected officials accountable to all the people, including the unemployed.  We organize mutual support groups, public forums, demonstrations and media events, and we work to bring about changes in policies and laws.”
Please feel free to contact WUAG to request being put in touch with unemployed members who have agreed to give interviews.

Lizzie, take the gloves off! Oct. 2

Lizzie is still not taking the gloves off! I hope she’s just playing rope-a-dope and is going to come out swinging in the third round.

When Scottie says he’s so “bipartisan” for voting for the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill in 2010, she needs to go after him for stalling passage in order to loosen the regulations on some financial corporations and make it easier for banks to engage in high-risk investing.

She needs to go after Brown for his own work history. Demand a list of all his legal clients. Make it “I’ll show mine if you show yours, or shut up about it.” His list won’t look pretty.

Warren should ask about is work for Fidelity National and First American, giant title insurance/mortgage servicing companies in the country, whose subsidiaries Lender Processing Services (LPS) and DocX LLC, which were at the heart of the mortgage fraud and robosigning scandals. She should ask him if he knew that he was getting folks to sign documents were being falsified wholesale, mishandled and fraudulently signed by clerks. After his attack on her for representing a mining company, that’s fair game. Did he make a lot of money on loans he must have known were designed to fail? (See:  

Mortgage companies were routinely getting people to sign documents they may not have understood, with surprise fees and balloon payments, and rush them past the parts they thought they’d read that had been added or changed. Warren should ask him: did he knowingly do those things? How many of the loans he processed ended up in foreclosure? Did he use his clean-cut nice-guy image to suck them in?

When Scottie talks about character, she needs to keep coming back to these issues. These are questions of character!

Lizzie, we need a leader. Take the gloves off! 

Warren's Native Heritage - why is it an issue?

So what's behind Brown's attack on Elizabeth Warren for claiming Native American ancestry? Why would it matter to anyone? My family story, like half the folks I know, includes some Native ancestry. I don't care very much if it's true. It's my family story. So what? Should we keep it a secret in case we might run for public office someday?

No, this is not about Warren's heritage. Brown is crudely playing on our anger at all those "other people" who've taken advantage of the system to jump ahead of us in line. Every time we check that box in an application form for "White" or "Caucasian" we've been conditioned to feel that somehow we're being deprived of an advantage. I know it's a crock, but I can't help feeling it too. Now Brown is telling us Warren is one of the line-jumpers who's robbing us of our due!

But our problem is not the few Black or Latino folks who may have jumped ahead of us on the line. Does any paleskin here really believe you'd have an easier life with a darker skin? Seriously?

The problem is that it's so darn hard for any of us to get and keep a really good job, to pay for college for our kids, to keep up with the mortgage and loan payments. It's so hard even if you or your kid manage to finish college, and then if you lose your grip on the ladder it's so hard and humiliating to get the help you need to survive and get back on your feet.

It's a rigged game, and it's only getting worse.

Some of us are too proud to ask for help. By the time we do, we've already made a mistake that disqualifies us. Then we're egged on to blame the ones who asked for help and got it!

Or just blame Elizabeth Warren! She's rich, she's famous, she's happy and successful, her father was a janitor, so she must have cheated or done something vile to get where we should be!

Is this the best Brown has to offer us? Is that what our choice of Senator should be about?

Or should it be about who will best help and support us in making the game fairer? 

Are they gaming the life expectancy data?

First came this:

From NY Times, Dec. 9, 2010:

Life Expectancy Drops Slightly, Bucking Established Trend [AP]
"Life expectancy in the United States has dropped slightly — by about a month ... " 

From the T&G, March 17, 2011:
"ATLANTA [AP} — U.S. life expectancy has hit another all-time high, rising above 78 years. 

"Previously, the CDC said a one-month dip occurred in 2008 to 77 years and 11 months. But in Wednesday’s report, the agency corrected that to 78 years, attributing the glitch to a computer programming error. 

"Belatedly, 'we realized there’s something wrong here' in the 2008 estimate, said Ken Kochanek, a CDC statistician. 


In a New York Times article that same day, Kochanek told a reporter that after the initial estimate, in Dec. 2010, his boss had come to him saying - as I recall - This can't be right. There must be a mistake in your computer program. Go find it and fix it. And sure enough there was, and he did. 

I have searched diligently for that article.  I swear on my Mother's grave I saw it, no mistake about what was in it.  It seems to have disappeared from the Web.  Someone with access to an archive of paper copies of the Times (if anyone still keeps one, and I fear to have to say we really need to) will find it there, unless someone has gone around tearing pages out of those too!

Telegram, Sept. 23:
Life expectancy falls for less-educated Americans
Sabrina Tavernise THE NEW YORK TIMES

For generations of Americans, it was a given that children would live longer than their parents. But there is mounting evidence that this trend has reversed itself for the country's least-educated whites, an increasingly troubled group whose life expectancy has fallen by four years since 1990.
The steepest declines were for white women without a high school diploma, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008
Among developed countries, American women sank from the middle of the pack in 1970 to last place in 2010, according to the Human Mortality Database.
Three other studies, by Ahmedin Jemal, a researcher at the American Cancer Society; Jennifer Karas Montez, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at Harvard; and Richard Miech, a professor at the University of Colorado Denver, found increases in mortality rates (the ratio of deaths to a population) for the least educated Americans.

Education No Silver Bullet for Fixing the Economy!

re: Is Education a Silver Bullet for Fixing the Economy?

By Richard Kirsch
Next New Deal
August 3, 2012

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   

Everyone, from the people who run jobs training through the upper ranks of education administrators, touts education as the solution for individuals and for the economy.  The owners and administrators of the private and charter schools, the boards and administration and senior faculty at the colleges and universities, even the NEA, all urge more education as the solution to joblessness, as the beacon of hope for our children and ourselves. The politicians, who have little else to offer, go on and on about it.   Millions of laid off workers have gone back to school on borrowed money to escape the trap of job insecurity and inadequate wages.

And much of what little money the government spends on jobs goes into eduction and worker retraining. 

This drive for more education isn't completely useless; for individuals it's necessary for just staying on the treadmill. For countries, it's necessary to remain competitive.  Plus, it provides jobs for a lot of teachers, who are not surprisingly easily persuaded that what they have to offer will save the world.   I should know, I was one of them.  

But education and training are apparently no solution to the problems that are pushing us all into poverty, wage and debt slavery, and are pushing our economy ever deeper into depression.  

One conclusion we can draw is the need to reject any jobs program that is mostly training and education.  Only actual government spending to create good jobs, actions to increase minimum pay and protect worker rights on the job, or government intervention to strengthen the bargaining power of workers will do.  Not that we should be against education and training, but we must not allow them to call it job creation.  It isn't. 

The Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act is big and bold enough to mount a challenge and rally the public, which is no doubt why the corporate media have maintained a curtain of silence around it!  

That's a pretty tall order.  But life is putting the necessity for this in all of our faces.  The time for this is so long overdue that events could transform the situation very quickly.

Worcester Unemployment Rate - Sept. 20

We should have unemployment and jobs figures for Worcester, but we need a statistic better than the official "U3" unemployment rate.

The BLS issues a "U6" rate that includes many categories of unemployed and involuntary part time workers that don't get counted in the U3 rate. New grads and returning housewives who've never held a job, people taking one college course or putting in a few hours on a family business, job seekers with a small military pension, etc., plus "discouraged workers" who gave up looking less than a year before. This U6 rate is running about twice the official U3 rate nationally - 15 to 16% - but is not calculated and reported out by state, much less by metro region.

What we need is not a local version of the very-misleading official "unemployment rate" but a figure that takes the U6 rate and adds in the "long term discouraged workers" figure that the government stopped collecting in 1994. <> publishes a "Shadow Government Statistics" (SGS) unemployment rate which adds to U6 their best guess at what the long term discouraged worker rate would be using the pre-1994 definitions. THe SGS rate has been going up even as the "official rate" goes down, and is now hovering around 23% unemployment nationally. What our local U6 or SGS rate would be is anyone's guess, but most regular people I talk to guess that the "real rate" in greater Worcester is something like 20%.

Most politicians, administrators, bureaucrats and professionals that I talk to don't have a clue, which is a problem. And they mostly talk to each other. The decision makers can't make good decisions because they don't understand that we have a real unemployment disaster on our hands! 6.3% sounds like almost back to normal, right? Some Republicans are speaking the truth about this, but will they keep it up if they win in November? Or will they go back to using the U3 rate to argue that things aren't so bad after all?

We need some honesty here folks! 

What do we do if Romney steals the election?

The next great wave of popular outrage may be over a stolen election. 

Whatever we may think about Obama, he remains extremely popular among people of color and much of Labor.  Romney's popular fortunes are declining, and by Nov. 5 it may be clear that Obama has won in the court of popular opinion.  It is a near certainty that election day will be chaos as millions discover they've been purged, millions confused by misinformation and millions unable to get into inadequate or non-functional polling places.  

One scenario is that while most people believe Obama should have won, Romney is declared the winner - and Obama fairly quickly concedes.  Without an organized response, the ghettos erupt, followed by a carefully prepared and murderous wave of mass repression. 

Another Scenario:  Obama wins.  We have reports from all over the country of plans by militias and even local Republican organizations for an armed revolt in that case.

How can we organize a response to any possible outcome of the election, when we don't know what will happen?  If we wait long enough to find out it may well be too late to get ahead of the curve.  

The Liberty Tree Foundation, in an email received on Tuesday, reported that they will "... again be putting out the call for nationwide Voter Assemblies on November 7th (the day after the election) - gatherings that will serve as instant organizing platforms if there is evidence that the fall election was stolen."  

Looks like a plan to me.  What do you think?

Letter to an anti-union union member - Sept. 3

"Thrifty", perhaps you should  think long and hard about your position.  You're in a union I take it, you get union scale, you talk like someone who feels entitled to a middle class lifestyle, but do you think you will keep it if the unions get crushed - like what's happened in Ohio and Wisconsin? 

We have gotten to see what a world without unions looks like as over the past 40 years "union density" has fallen lower and lower.  It's not just union pay scale that has fallen as unions lose clout, but everyone's.  

Companies used to pay close to union scale, give workers seniority, paid holidays, sick days, pension funds and grievance procedures, just to keep the unions out.  Now they don't worry much about keeping unions out, what with the NLRB stacked against the unions, really polished union-busting outfits available for hire, and so many unemployed people waiting to take the job if someone walks off the job or gets fired for union activity.  

The new normal is "all jobs are temporary", right?  Your next job is likely to pay less than the last one.  And now you pay (plenty) for your own health care, your pension if any is a small 401K plan if you're lucky, and your grievance procedure is the chance to appeal the denial of your unemployment benefits when they lay you off and say it was for cause.

More people are sliding closer and closer to a minimum wage, a wage that won't even support a poverty lifestyle, and that minimum wage becomes worth less every year.  Children come home after college to sleep on the couch, parents die in the attic because you can't afford a good nursing home, the food becomes more and more unhealthy unless you buy organic, and the price spread between good food and what we can afford grows ever wider.  

Is that really the future you want?  Or are you too angry to care?

Letter endorsing McGovern, Sept. 2

Jim McGovern is more in touch with the views and needs of the regular folk in his district than almost anyone in the Congress. On issues of job creation and rebuilding our infrastructure, tax fairness, Green Economy investments, saving Food Stamps and the Unemployment Insurance System, defending Social Security and Medicare, ending the waste of our money and lives on unnecessary and un-winable wars and guaranteeing access to quality health care for all, Jim McGovern has been second to none.

The Worcester Unemployment Action Group has met with McGovern and found his positions and record of leadership on job creation and help for the unemployed impressive and encouraging. His responses to our Candidate Questionnaire were thoughtful, detailed and constructive. He has earned our support.

William Feegbeh by contrast responded to our questionnaire by checking all the "Yes" boxes without comment. Unfortunately we have not succeeded in setting up a conversation with him.