January 5, 2007

Jamil Hussein (Delegated) Update (Late PM: BizzyBlog Resumes Updates)

NOTE: This post was carried forward to the top because of updates late in the evening.

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The news relating to Jamil “Captain Tuttle” Hussein (last detailed previous BizzyBlog post is here) has been coming in faster than I can hope to report it, which is why I’m delegating the update to Karl at Protein Wisdom, who has the latest and greatest roundup.

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UPDATE: Gateway Pundit also has a great roundup, and some key questions.

UPDATE 2: Memeo has links to dozens of additional posts, if you are so inclined, including a link to the AP story about the threat to arrest good ol’ Jamil.

UPDATE 3: Michelle has a round-up that started yesterday afternoon and has been continually updated, including links to various posters the just-don’t-get-its who think that whether or not this guy exists is somehow the whole story won’t want to read.

UPDATE 4, 10:45 PM: There’s only so many hours in the day, people. Now that work, the employment post, and various personal items are out of the way — Eason Jordan offers a number of “dohs,” including the big enchiladas:

The AP erred in part by responding in a hot-headed, antagonistic way to questions about the existence of Jamil Hussein and the credibility of AP reports featuring comments from Captain Hussein. The AP’s harsh statements fueled the suspicions of critics and those who otherwise would give the AP the benefit of the doubt. Another mistake: the AP took too long to provide irrefutable evidence of Captain Hussein’s existence.

This doesn’t get fed unless AP does the complete-jerk routine, which it did. I mean really, AP. How hard can it be to prove the existence of a source for over 60 bleeping stories? If you think the answer is that you don’t owe readers/news users squat, I have news ….. you’re wrong.

….. Is Captain Hussein a reliable news source? While we now know he’s genuine, he was not an authorized spokesman. His critics, including his Iraqi government bosses and the U.S. military, have challenged the veracity of many of AP reports attributed to him. Many violent incidents reported by Captain Hussein via the AP were not reported by other western news organizations, raising suspicions about whether all those incidents occurred. The controversy likely will linger in this area, with third party reporting being done to determine the accuracy of Captain Hussein’s statements to the AP.

….. Since Jamil Hussein was willing to be quoted by the AP dozens of times, he should have come forward sooner to end the dispute about his existence.

In the end, the AP did the right thing — proving Jamil Hussein’s existence — but in the wrong time frame.

Nothing has been done to verify the accuracy of the dozens of uncorroborated Hussein stories. If those stories can’t be corroborated, what about AP’s conduct so far gives anyone comfort that they stand on their own? And what kind of fool or loon (see second meaning) believes that whether the guy exists is more important than whether or not “his” dozens of stories are true (because at least one is almost definitely NOT), and whether Jamil Hussein might be one of who knows how many others (named or anonymous) feeding false information to gullible people relayed to the rest of the world as if it’s the gospel truth by the world’s “leading” wire service?

Also, don’t forget the Ramadi “airstrike” that never happened, and that was only exposed when a soldier, apparently at some risk to his career, called out the BS that was reported in the LA Times. THIS is how the world should be learning about events in Iraq? I don’t think so.

People who read this blog with an open mind know that all I’ve ever wanted is the truth, and for whatever the truth is to be reported fairly and accurately. It should be perfectly obvious to anyone else interested in the truth that we’re not there yet.

UPDATE 5: Michelle points to a Patterico commenter who makes a pretty obvious but necessary point:

I also question the timing, since Malkin was OTW over and the attention level was about to increase. I seriously doubt we’ve heard all there is to know about this.

UPDATE 6: Oh, and let’s not forget that there’s an arrest warrant out for Mr. Hussein for talking to the press, which only designated people at the Ministry of Interior are allowed to do (this is, of course, standard operating procedure in any police department or military situation — if you think there’s anything sinister involved in a rule such as this, you’re admitting that you’re not operating in the realm of the real world).

Captain Ed (y’know, the guy who has so little credibility that he more than any other single person brought down the Liberal Canadian government; /sarcasm) says:

Why would they want to arrest him if he told the truth to the AP? Certainly crime is a matter of public record, and if his dozens of tips to the AP accurately describe real incidents, then they should have no real problem with his interaction with journalists. However, if he acted as a disseminator of disinformation for the purpose of undermining the Iraqi government and the American alliance, then they may have grounds for an arrest.

….. Whether Jamil Hussein actually exists is really a secondary issue. The fact that the AP used a single source for dozens of inflammatory stories about atrocities in Iraq that still have yet to find any confirmation is almost as disturbing as making the source up.

UPDATE 7: Curt is wondering why we haven’t, like, I don’t know, actually SEEN this guy yet. Oh hallowed AP (bowing), is it too impolite to ask such a brash question?

UPDATE 8: Is there anyone more clueless than Kathleen Carroll of AP? She came out with this howler today:

Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll on Friday criticized those who questioned the existence of an AP Iraq source, who was proven this week to be real, saying the scrutiny has now endangered the man’s life.

Charles at LGF points out the painfully obvious:

The Associated Press has quoted “Iraqi police Capt. Jamil Hussein” by name in more than 60 articles published on web sites and in newspapers around the world, identifying where he works and his title. But bloggers have put him in danger?

UPDATE 9: Confederate Yankee busts up a whole bunch of Jamil’s single-sources claims.

UPDATE 10: Patterico, as usual, is priceless:

Saying that “Jamil Hussein exists” ends the story is like saying there is nothing to Rathergate because Bill Burkett existed.

Usually, the fact that a media outlet actually has a source is not cause for rejoicing. Usually, the source is expected to be accurate and reliable.

Not here. For the lefty bloggers, existence ends the inquiry. Or so they hope.

Is this controversy RIP? Doubtful — VERY doubtful.

UPDATE 11, Jan. 6: As if to prove the Update 10 point, here’s more from Curt

1. Media reports about Jamil didn’t use his name as he is known at work so we had trouble finding him (Jamil Gulaim as opposed to Jamil Hussein: the initial query we got from MNFI was for “Jamil Hussein”).

2. The real issue is this: Jamil works in Al Khadra (think of Staten Island) — he’s telling the media about Al Hurriah murders (Think of Queens — it’s a different area of the city).

….. Additionally, this may very well be the same guy that the MoI had believed was the Jamil Hussein we were looking for last week but he denied that he was ever a source for the AP….

….. So hold your horses everyone.

Good advice. I’ve got to stop this post, because it’s too long already. I’ll have more when the new info reaches a reportable mass. Based on other commitments, there’s a very good chance I’ll need to “delegate” again as I did at the beginning of this post, perhaps for an extended time.

UPDATE 12, Jan. 6: Yeah, I know — But Patterico just took apart Media Matters (HT Instapundit, whose comment is “Dog Bites Man”) and its demands for apologies that aren’t due. This is very useful because it is now redundant and a waste of time to move down the ignoramus food chain (and there are so many, one wouldn’t know where to start).

BizzyBlog Post’s Stats on Deficit Reduction Subject to HamNation

Filed under: Economy,News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:51 pm

That is a very good thing.

In her latest installment of HamNation, Mary Katharine Ham uses info from this October BizzyBlog post on the deficit being cut in half three years earlier than President Bush had promised (and provided link love in return). She, uh, “Ham-mers” the new congressional majority and its formerly Mainstream Media cheerleaders (including, as Don Luskin notes, Paul “About Face” Krugman) for not being so worried about budget deficits any more.

Now go to her post, and see the video.

Bush Economy Long-Term Employment Growth Is Looking Quite ‘Clintonian’

Today’s announcement there were 167,000 net new jobs in December (196,000 counting revisions to prior months), and that the unemployment rate held steady at 4.5%, made me wonder how job growth during the Bush prosperity compares to job growth during comparable periods in the 1990s.

The answer — Pretty darn well:

BushV1990sJobGrowth2006

(The Household Survey extract was obtained by going to this page at the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] and selecting the first item, “Employment Level – Civilian Labor Force.” The Establishment Survey extract was obtained by going to this page at BLS and selecting the first item, “Total Nonfarm Employment – Seasonally Adjusted.”)

The Household Survey shows that 9.5 million more people had jobs at the end of 2006 than at the end of 2002, and over 7.5 million more than at the end of 2003. The former (Dec. 2002 – Dec. 2006) figure is just a few percent lower than the comparable one for 1996-2000, and the latter figure (Dec. 2003 – Dec. 2006) is over 8% higher than the comparable one for 1997-2000.

The Establishment Survey’s Dec. 2004 – Dec. 2006 and Dec. 2003 – Dec. 2006 employment increases are roughly 75% and 73%, respectively, of the comparable 1998-2000 and 1997-2000 increases.

This Household Survey’s larger reported increases in employment levels since 2001 or so are not often reported by the press, or emphasized much, if at all, by the Department of Labor when its monthly reports are released. Instead, the primary source for employment growth is seen to be the Establishment Survey, whose employment increases during the late 1990s usually outstripped the Household Survey.

I learned from speaking with a DOL technical person that this is because the margin of error for the total employment reported in the Household Survey is greater on month-to-month basis than it is in the Establishment Survey. On a month-to-month basis, that makes sense; you don’t need to be quite as precise in getting the unemployment rate right the nearest 0.1% as you do in reporting additional jobs created to the nearest 1,000 in an economy with over 140 million people working.

DOL/BLS has done a lot more work comparing the results of the two surveys, and actually updates their comparison every month (PDF).

If you’re looking at years instead of months, it’s pretty clear that the importance of the precision just mentioned diminishes greatly. The bottom line question is: “Really, how many jobs are being created?” I submit that over a longer time period, the Household Survey is a better indicator of total job growth. That’s because the Establishment Survey is, by definition, incomplete, as it does not pick up the self-employed or agricultural workers. The Household Survey picks those groups up, and thus better reflects the universe of all current and potential workers.

As if to confirm what is in the points I have just made, the DOL technical person I spoke to indicated to me that previously reported Establishment Survey numbers are due for a revision on February 2, when the next Employment Situation reports are released — and that revision will be upward. There was an upward revision of previous Establishment Survey numbers that added 810,000 jobs this past October that the formerly Mainstream Media virtually ignored. Without pretending to know more than I do, I get the impression that February’s might be a bit tougher to shove under the rug.

It is stunning to see how long it has taken the business press to get away from the “weak job growth” meme in the face of such obvious evidence to the contrary. There are three reasons why this is happening:

  • The BLS’s preference for the lower but more precise Employment Survey numbers.
  • The fact that reporters, like most people, focus only on the current month and not the big picture.
  • Reporters may not want to recognize or go looking for larger reported employment increases as long as there is an “R” in the White House.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: To be clear on the comparisons — The Establishment Survey increases identified were for 2- and 3-year periods, and the Household Survey increases were for 3- and 4-year periods. An apples-to-apples comparison of Household to Establishment shows the following:

HouseholdV_Estab1997_2006

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UPDATE 2: A NewBusters commenter suggests a fourth reason why the jobs numbers, and the good economy in general, isn’t getting the deserved credit — The Bush Administration hasn’t trumpeted the results. Yes and No –Yes they could have done more; No, during the 1990s, the Clinton Administration didn’t need to take special steps to promote the economic results, because the then-Mainstream Media was doing it for them. Going back further, in late 1985, the same point in Ronald Reagan’s eight years in office as we are with Bush 43, as described in this May 2005 BizzyBlog entry, the Washington Post, other major newspapers, and the then-dominant TV networks were telling us the economy was in a “slump.” That was anything but the case at the time.

Somebody Defend This

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:14 am

This is so incomprehensible (as it was when the Senate included it, and other similar madness relating to income tax returns, in last year’s immigration bill, which thankfully did not make it into law), you would think there’s something obvious that I’m missing (but I doubt it):

An agreement the Bush administration reached with Mexico on Social Security benefits would allow illegal aliens granted amnesty in the future to claim credit for the time they worked illegally.

I would really like to see someone to come in here and attempt to defend this (but I doubt anyone can).

Why this is Mexico’s concern, or even a matter to be discussed with Mexico, is a real mystery. Do we worry about our expats vesting in France’s retirement system while they’re working in Paris?

Maybe if illegals knew that they would be getting nothing towards retirement from either country’s government-sponsored retirement system, they MIGHT be more inclined to conduct themselves in a legal manner (but I doubt it).

You won’t find 10% of Americans who support this. So why is it happening?

December’s Employment Report (to be Carried Forward through Friday Morning)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:57 am

Before December Report (since January 2002):
– Total increase in employment per the Household Survey (used as basis for the unemployment rate): 9,866,000
– Total increase in employment per the Establishment Survey (new jobs number typically reported as “the” result): 5,410,000

The prelims:
The ADP Employment Report for December came in at minus-40,000 net new jobs on Wednesday.
This AP report from early in the week at MSNBC pegged expectations at 110,000 and unemployment to stay at 4.5%.
– Updated expectations after ADP’s bucket of cold water were noted as plus-100,000 here. An HSBC economist quoted here is predicting plus-70,000. Last-minute predictors came in at plus-115,000.

The actuals (Bureau of Labor Statistics press release is here):

  • Unemployment rate: 4.5% (unchanged)
  • Increase in total employment during December per the Household Survey: +303,000
  • Increase in employment during December per the Establishment Survey: +167,000
  • Revisions to the previous months’ Establishment Surveys net new jobs numbers: October – plus 7,000 (from 79,000 to 86,000); November – plus 22,000 (from 132,000 to 154,000)
  • Total increase in employment reported in the December Establishment survey: 196,000 (167 + 7 + 22)

With December Data (since January 2002):

  • Total increase in employment per the Household Survey: 10,225,000, after some revisions to seasonal adjustment factors (almost 1.6 million in the last five months!)
  • Total increase in employment per the Establishment Survey: 5,606,000

9:35 AM — Comment:

After the clearly false early warning from ADP, the employment pickup is stunning. The Household Survey employment increases continues to dwarf those of the Establishment Survey. Given the increases in real wages that have been reported in the past year or so, I think the explosive growth of the Household Survey employment number in the past four months is telling us that a lot of people who were voluntarily out of the workforce are flooding back in because they’re finding jobs with acceptable pay (by whatever definition they’re using).

It’s hard to see how anyone can be displeased with this. In fact (and I’m deliberately not looking until after I type this), it’s so good the market might think it’s TOO good, which would be pretty funny given all the talk of “slowing” that the business press continues to report. Overall, the economy continues to just keep humming along.

This report, the turnaround in the Manufacturing ISM, the continued strength of the Services ISM, and the pretty good/not great Christmas season retail results all makes me pretty confident that the GDP growth for the fourth quarter will come in at 3% or better — but these indicators have fooled me before.

10:00 AM — Comment:

From Nasdaq.com — early reading on the market’s opening –

9:40 AM — As expected, stocks stumble out of the gate as surprisingly strong jobs growth is not enough to offset reduced expectations of a Fed easing anytime soon. A profit warning in the tech sector, some notable analyst downgrades and a burgeoning sense that the market is ripe for a pullback of some sort are also contributing to the negative disposition.

Before the bell, the Labor Dept. showed that nonfarm payrolls unexpectedly rose 167K, easing worries about a weakening economy. However, with the Fed concerned that the high level of resource utilization has the potential to sustain inflation pressures, a larger than expected rise in hourly earnings, and what it can mean for Fed policy, is acting as an offset to the biggest payroll gain in eight months.

So the market is OK with employment growth, worried about wage increases, worried that the Fed isn’t going to ease rates (get used to it people; I don’t see Bernanke easing for several months at least), and is worried about earnings reports. Markets are supposed to worry; the time to get concerned is when they stop worrying, because then you get bubbles.

10:15 AM – Media reax roundup:

Associated Press at “MyWay” — turns good news into bad news as usual:

NEW YORK (AP) — A surprising surge in job creation and wages sent stock and Treasury prices falling Friday as investors saw their hopes for an interest rate cut dwindling.

The markets shuddered at the Labor Department’s report that U.S. employers increased their payrolls by 167,000 in December and boosted workers’ hourly wages by 0.5 percent.

Associated Press at Fox — clearly more factual and grounded, with one questionable dig:

Employers stepped up hiring last month, boosting payrolls by a brisk 167,000 and keeping the unemployment rate steady at a still historically low 4.5 percent. Workers’ wages grew briskly.

The latest snapshot of the nation’s employment climate, released Friday by the Labor Department, showed that the jobs market ended 2006 on a strong note and provided fresh evidence that the troubled housing and automotive sectors aren’t dragging down employment across the country.

With the economy losing momentum, though, many economists predict the jobless rate will climb this year and average around 4.9 percent.

And the evidence of “losing momentum” is, uh where?

Reuters’ Glenn Somerville came in with the facts, and found a pretty bullish analyst:

The U.S. economy added a surprisingly strong 167,000 jobs in December, according to a government report on Friday showing a jump in pay that may fan concerns by policy-makers who fear a strong job market could ignite inflation.

The Labor Department also revised hiring up for each of the two prior months from previous estimates. The unemployment rate in December was 4.5 percent, unchanged from November.

….. “The manufacturing side of the economy may be weak, but the rest of the economy is strong and that suggests that we’re probably going to see continued good economic growth in the months ahead,” said Gary Thayer, chief economist for A.G. Edwards and Sons Inc. in St. Louis.

Thayer added that he expected the Federal Reserve to keep U.S. interest rates on hold “for the foreseeable future.”

UPDATE, 5PM: Zheesh — “Stocks Fall on Hot Payroll Data”

Immigration and Entrepreneurship — How Dumb Does AP Think Its Readers Are?

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:43 am

I think the point the Associated Press is trying to make two points here:

  1. Immigrant-entrepreneurs are driving the country’s economy. Well, doh:
  2. Foreign-born entrepreneurs were behind one in four U.S. technology startups over the past decade, according to a study to be published Thursday.

    A team of researchers at Duke University estimated that 25 percent of technology and engineering companies started from 1995 to 2005 had at least one senior executive — a founder, chief executive, president or chief technology officer — born outside the United States.

    Immigrant entrepreneurs’ companies employed 450,000 workers and generated $52 billion in sales in 2005, according to the survey.

  3. We should let in every immigrant we possibly can, legal or illegal, on the off-chance that he or she might be an entrepreneur.:
  4. Their contributions to corporate coffers, employment and U.S. competitiveness in the global technology sector offer a counterpoint to the recent political debate over immigration and the economy, which largely centers on unskilled, illegal workers in low-wage jobs.

Baloney. Immigrant entrepreneurship is only a “counterpoint” if you think that anyone is considering keeping talented people out of the country through draconian immigration restrictions. The fact is that getting into the US and getting a green card is relatively easy. Getting to citizenship is another matter, but that’s a separate topic.

The “immigration debate” is almost all about finding and dealing with people who are already here illegally and keeping additional people from entering the county ….. ILLEGALLY. The immigrant-entrepreneurs AP covers in the linked article are not relevant to the debate at all.

Grip on Iraq Reality: Improving

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:25 am

From Gallup:

IraqAccuracyPoll010407

Since this was a survey of “adults,” I would suggest that a survey of “registered voters” or “likely voters” would have skewed the result towards a higher percentage saying “Inaccurate, make situation worse.” As I have said previously, I could care less what those who aren’t registered to vote think, and there is no good reason why anyone else should. If you haven’t even bothered to register to vote, you don’t have a right to exist in the court of public opinion, and should in fact be proactively excluded from it.

I’d love to ask the 32% of Dems who think the picture being painted is falsely rosy where the exposes of the “good news stories” that were made up are …..

Different ‘Degrees’ of Learning for Joyce Beatty?

Filed under: Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:20 am

Bill Sloat has couple of posts at The Daily Bellwether (here and here) questioning the educational validity of the Ph.D. held by Ohio House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty.

The questions deserve a full response from the candidate, and the school.

France Has a Homeless Problem

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:15 am

Gosh, I thought Western Europe had “solved” this, and that only the harsh, cruel, capitalist-pig USA had a homeless problem. So the “we ought to be just like them” folks won’t like this, though they’ll probably think the “solution” is a good idea:

Homeless debate enters French election campaign

PARIS, Jan 3, 2007 (AFP) – From a tent city for Paris street dwellers to a mock “ministry” for the homeless set up in a giant squat, a snowballing campaign in favour of France’s down-and-out has thrust the issue centre-stage ahead of presidential elections in April.

Spurred into action by the headline-grabbing campaign, politicians of all stripes — including the presidential frontrunners Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal — have been lining up with pledges to tackle the plight of the country’s estimated 100,000 homeless people.

In his New Year’s address to the nation, President Jacques Chirac promised the government would act in the coming weeks to create a legal right to housing — one of the key demands of a charter drawn up by the protestors.

Chirac’s government has already announced a 70-million-euro (90-million-dollar) emergency plan for the homeless and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was to outline the new “right to housing” measures to the press on Wednesday.

Assuming they mean it, which is questionable, a “right to housing” would of necessity force one of two things. The first might be the creation of (probably “special”) government “housing” (as opposed to, I suppose, “shelters,” which apparently aren’t good enough any more) to accommodate those lacking it, and the requirement that the homeless be allowed to occupy units in that housing even if they, as would be the usual case, don’t have the money. Welcome to another open-ended taxpayer raid.

The second might be to force landlords with properties for rent to take in the homeless, with the government paying the rent, regardless of whether their presence degrades the value of the property or the quality of life in the residential area involved (landlord standards for credit, criminal history, and the like that all other tenants are held to would go out the window under state coercion). This would be an open-ended taxpayer raid AND would depress rental property values.

Those two alternatives (hopefully) explain why the politicians facing election hopefully aren’t serious about turning “housing” into a “right.” If they’re serious, the potential damage to the to already-mediocre economy would be great.

Nick Saban: Another Reason Why I Don’t Follow Sports As I Used To

Filed under: Business Moves,Education — Tom @ 6:10 am

It almost seems that I could have a “Bleep You” post of the day.

If I decided to go that route, Nick Saban would receive it today. I’ll just let the guy speak for himself. Here is a chronology of comments relating to Saban taking the head coaching job at Alabama:

Nov. 27:
Saban: “When I was in college it was always about coming to the pros. This is the challenge I wanted. I had a good college job. Why would I have left that if I was going to be interested in other college jobs?

“I took this as a challenge. We certainly haven’t seen this through and gotten where we want to go and finished the job here, so why would I be interested in something else?”

Dec. 5:
Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga (after giving Saban a vote of confidence): “I am completely sold on Nick Saban. I would admit we made a mistake if we did make a mistake, but I firmly believe in Nick Saban.”

Dec. 7:
Saban: “I’m flattered that they may have been interested in me, but it never really progressed, because we just never let it progress.”

Dec. 21:
Saban: “I guess I have to say it. I’m not going to be the Alabama coach. … I don’t control what people say. I don’t control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I’m just telling you there’s no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here.”

Dec. 27:
Saban: “I’m just making a rule to never comment on something like that again because every time you comment on it, it just makes for another story. So I’m not going to comment on it five years from now, and I’m not going to comment on it next week.”

Jan. 4:
Saban: “What I realized in the last two years is that we love college coaching because of the ability that it gives you to affect people, young people. … If I knew that my heart was someplace else in what I wanted to do, I don’t think it would be fair to the [Dolphins] organization if I stayed.”

Not exactly a “his word is gold” guy, is he? But he has plenty of gold now — $32 million over 8 years at a PUBLIC institution of higher learning, which is, as I understand it, guaranteed — about the only thing about Nick Saban that is guaranteed.

There Were Fewer US Securities Class Action Suits in 2006; One Reporter Apparently Isn’t Happy about That

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:05 am

This was noted in several places a few days ago. I would think that it would be good news almost regardless of the reason. The linked article cites more aggressive regulators and prosecutors, an emphasis on identifying individuals to prosecute criminally (vs. companies to prosecute civilly), and rising and less volatile stock markets.

Oh, and one more thing ….. The US Chamber of Commerce cites the indictment of law firm Milberg Weiss on charges of paying people to be class-action plaintiffs. As I suggested in September of last year, I think this is the big factor in the drop, and possibly the biggest.

As I noted, you’d think that the reduction would be seen as a good thing. Apparently not to reporter Michael Herman, who wrote:

Investors launched 110 class action lawsuits alleging securities fraud in 2006, a 38 per cent slump from the 178 filings in 2005.

Slump?? Things that are good when they are plentiful ordinarily “slump,” like a baseball player’s year-to-year home run totals. When things like class-action suits go down, I’d like to think of it as a “serendipitous reduction.” Okay, that’s not objective. How about just plain “dropped”?

Positivity: Man Thanks Nurse Who Saved His Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Woking, Surrey, in the UK:

28/12/2006

A FORMER patient returned to St Peter’s Hospital to thank the off-duty nurse who had saved his life after he suffered a heart attack while out shopping.

Ron Every, 76, of Pyrford Woods Close, Pyrford, was in Waitrose, West Byfleet, when he collapsed at the checkout. Quick-thinking nurse Debbie Palmer from Woking was also in Waitrose doing her shopping when she heard the commotion at the tills and ran over to offer help.

“She saved my life and I will always be very grateful to her,” said Ron, when he went to thank Debbie on Friday. He visited her at St Peter’s in Chertsey where she has worked for 24 years and where he was cared for after his attack.

Debbie was able to give CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) in the supermarketstraight away to save Ron’s life. Friday was the first time that they had met since that day and he was keen to express his thanks to her.

Matron Debbie, 48, said: “I was on the second week of a fortnight’s holiday and had taken my mother, Doreen, to do some shopping. “We had just arrived at the supermarket and heard a clatter — I was worried and thought my mother had fallen over some vegetables. I turned round and saw that she was fine so I carried on with the shopping.

“I went up another aisle towards the tills and then saw a huddle of people around a man on the ground. I could see he wasn’t breathing and there was no cardiac output. I started a cardiac massage and also did mouth-to mouth. By this time Waitrose staff had called an ambulance. It seemed to be about eight to 10 minutes from when the man fell until the ambulance arrived. He went into ventricular fibrillation, he had a funny heart rhythm and the paramedics had to use defibrillators twice.

“They got a heart rhythm back and he started breathing for himself again. He was then taken to St Peter’s in the ambulance.”

Miss Palmer said that even though there would have been first aiders in the store, it was still a hard decision to make whether to start mouth-to-mouth or cardiac massage.

She said: “When people have a funny heart rhythm there is a gasping breath. This can make some people think the person is still breathing but it is not an effective breath. This is the first time I have performed mouth-to-mouth — it is not the sort of thing you do in hospital as we have equipment to help us.

“Anybody with the right sort of training could have done what I did on the day. It emphasises the fact that people who have the training really can save lives.”

Miss Palmer said she enjoyed meeting Ron at the hospital on Friday and speaking to him about what had happened. Mr Every has little recollection of what happened on the day he collapsed. He was in hospital for almost two weeks after his fall but is unable to recall the first week in hospital.