Sunday, January 27, 2019

The only truth about immigration 'reform'

I have been thinking about posting this truth for some time. I don't know why I didn't, except that I have carpal tunnel syndrome which makes it difficult to type (why my posts are so short lately).

The truth is immigration laws are never changed --  and certainly are never 'reformed' -- except to benefit employers.  Employers are happy with the situation we have now -- Trump is an employer, and has been caught numerous times profiting from it.

Neither Ms. Cruz nor the other former workers received benefits like health insurance or a pension, as other golf club employees did, Mr. Romero said. Most of his clients came into the country through Mexico, Mr. Romero said, and were originally from countries such as Mexico, Ecuador and Honduras.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Fun with guns

RtO hasn't mocked gun nuts recently. But this one has it all.

It's not surprising when the gun nuts consider that teaching gun safety is unconstitutional.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Wilbur Ross doesn't understand

And Lara Trump thinks unpaid workers should take one for their grandchildren.

All my life, I have heard the Republucan Party described as the party of rich people who do not care about he working man (or, latterly, woman).

Ain't it the truth?

Wilbur Ross, a billionaire, does not "quite undestand" why slave workers are not just taking out loans to cover their bills, since that's virtually guaranteed by the government. (He'd know about shifting respoPsibiity for debts.)

perhaps he is unaware that some workers were pretty well borrowed up before getting kicked in the teeth. Not every lender would look at them. And, in fact, as I know from my time as a pawnbroker, for people seeking small amounts of money, except for pawnbrokers, the lending system does not want to hear from borrowers who want a few hundred dollars.

Harry Hopkins made what is perhaps the profoundest  political statement in our history: "People don't eat in the long run,  they eat every day."

That's as true now as it was in 1933.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Spirit of Drancy 2

Just when you thought that Trump and his nazis couldn't sink any lower, they disprove any residual optimism.

A 16-year-old Syrian refugee who was disfigured in a bomb attack on her home has been refused a visa to get medical treatment in the US because of Donald Trump’s travel ban, the Guardian can reveal.
As long as we are in Syria let's note the Dumbo Trumpo said the USA should get out of the country because there is nothing there but "death and sand." I rather expected Trump's critics and the press to jump on that because everybody -- except perhaps Trump and his fellow graduates of the brat school his parents exiled him to -- is taught in school that Syria was part of the Fertile Crescent where agriculture was developed. Indeed, it has deserts, but it is also has had agriculture for longer than anyplace else in the world. It is a famous garden.

Trump, who because of his dyslexia and fundamental stupidity, is unable to read gets all of his information from movies, television and people talking to him. He is a perfect repository of the numbskull Americans' bottomless fund of misinformation.

And as long as we're talking about Baldy and his nazis, it was an explosion of navel gazing amongst the guardians of the press over the Steve King interview in the New York Times. Could responsible journalists simply refer to King is a racist and his syaements racist or did they have to find someone else to say so?

As a journalists I've been in the school of calling a spade a spade if you know it's a spade. Yes, King is a racist, he's always been a racist and is not known for anything else. Every supporter of his is also racist.

And as long as we are calling what they are, maybe we could stop calling the abduction of the immigrant children from their parents along the border "family separation" and start calling it what it really is, kidnapping.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Basic economics

The other day I heard a right wing publicist attack the socialist system in Venezuela because "Venezuelans cannot get shoes."  I agree that any system thar cannot get shoes on the feet of its people is seriously flawed, but for most of its history Venezuela had a capitalist economic system and are people in Venezuela could not get shoes then either.

If there is a problem in Venezuela it may be corruption, so often an outcome when a resource-rich nation lets technical entrepreneurs begin to exploit the resources before political maturity has had a chance to develop.

In rather less politically charged but equally imbecilic commentary, I noted that reporting on the most recent (December) economic statistics presented a 3% gain in average hourly wages over the year 2018 as something that American workers should feel happy about. Perhaps they do, but they might keep in mind that that the capitalist class would consider any investment that returns only 3% annually as contemptible.

The American system delivers shoes for everybody although almost all of them are flimsy anduncomfortable even when the price tags are high.

This was not always so. America was a large manufacturer of shoes. Up until about 1970 you could get well-constructed, long-wearing, comfortable shoes. They were not as cheap relative to real income as the Chinese and Brazilian footwear we are forced to wear today, but they were better bargains for most people

It is possible to get a pair of well-made American-made shoes but they'll cost you a day's pay. If you want them to be stylish as well, make that two days' pay,

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Engineering the wall

An engineer friend linked to this report about the border wall.

Still, the question remains: how could a process that solicited the best designs the world had to offer have turned out such flawed prototypes?

One possible answer is the chaos surrounding the bid submission process. CBP opened its call for proposals in March 2017, and gave potential bidders just 12 days to submit their proposals (in comparison, the industry standard is 30 days).  During those 12 days, CBP added seven amendments to its original requests for proposals, and extended the deadline just hours before the original deadline.
Imaginary problems beget imaginary solutions.

However, even a hogwire fence on slopes of over 30% is an expensive proposition.  Haleakala National Park built some of these near my former home on Maui, and it meant lots of helicopters just to get the workers in. (Hogwire fences work pretty well against hogs, who do not have opposable thumbs.)

Evidently, part of the southern border would require building on 45% slopes.


Then there is this.

A union that represents Border Patrol agents recently deleted a webpage that said building walls and fences along the border to stop illegal immigration would be “wasting taxpayer money.”

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Was she effectively ordained?

The Roman Catholic Church argued in federal court that a grammar school teacher was a "minister" of its doctrine? Hmmm.

So, was she effectively ordained?

At St. Pis X High School our religion class was very clear that only ordained priests ministered the sacraments.

At this school, the pupils received an array of life-sustaining lessons: the principal -- who fired the minster for getting cancer -- is now charged with embezzling upwards of $500,000.

Young minds are so retentive. That's why the Bishop of Nashville taught that Catholic parents who did not send their children to church school were going to Hell.

Opportunity knocks

Politico reports:

The indefinite postponement could throw a wrench in U.S.-Russia space cooperation and represents a setback for Vladimir Putin’s efforts to undermine U.S. sanctions.

The proposed visit, which was supposed to have taken place some time early this year, faced mounting backlash this week from Senate Democrats who threatened congressional action to block it in response to a Tuesday POLITICO report about plans for the visit.
This would offer a swell opportunity to back out of the disastrous Reagan Space Station/Space Shuttle boondoggle, which has cost upwards of $50 billion and a dozen lives for zero return.

Voter drive

A week into his shutdown, Trump said the unpaid gummint workers were mostly Democrats. If he wasn't correct then, he will be soon.