Posts tagged ‘immigrants’

Why Should We Accept Immigrants from Shithole Countries?

Yeah! Why not more from Norway? So I thought I would do a little homework. How many immigrate from Norway these days. In 2010 it was about 1000. Well they certainly are not in the top 100 countries and to be quite honest, I have considered immigrating to Norway. You know, better standard of living, good guaranteed retirement, free education and healthcare, better social mobility. Of course the answer to the question is in the question itself. They want a better life and opportunity, just like all our relatives did. Yeah, you too American Indians. Anybody walking across the Bearing Straights is definitely looking for something better. And of course those are just the ones we want to immigrate, people who are will to risk everything to come to a new country and start a new life.

Of course this was a racist rant from a racist little man who can’t hide how small he is. And now today, although he said it in front of lots of people who reported it, he says he did not say that. I wonder if he knows what he said or if lying is just all he does actually know. According to the Washington Post he has 1950 false statements in 347 days so far, that is 5.6 lies a day. And speaking of shithole places, why are Puerto Ricans moving to South Dakota to work at a Turkey processing plant? Both kind of qualify in my mind after we did nothing to help our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico, so they were forced to find a home in a slightly less “shithole” environment. There might be a lesson there for President DFF if he could learn which he has now proven is a lost art to him. Wouldn’t reading be a prerequisite to learning?

Some other fun facts about President DFF from the news today. He has cancelled his trip to London for the opening of the new Embassy with the excuse that it was a bad real estate deal. No, I am not kidding. Of course the real reason is that no one over there wants him in their country and would have put up some great demonstrations had he shown up. Mr. Tough guy is hiding behind his desk right now. Too bad Americans cannot take a que from the British and give him the same welcome everywhere he travels.

He also boasted that he had a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un, you remember the guy with the smaller nuclear button than he has. Define relationship. Really? What relationship? If you want to see someone who leads a country but lives in an alternate reality, read the newspaper about President DFF. And let’s just say if he did. Kim Jong-un is a murderous dictator. Maybe they could form a club with Vlad. Of course, I am not going to mention that he watched a Fox News show spewing falsehoods about the deep state and then tweets out his lack of support for the bill he does support on warrantless searches. Oh those freedom loving Republicans.

Nope, we are in really good hands with our racist, nativist, xenophobic, ignorant pathological liar of a President. I want to again thank those morons in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin for this disaster. Oh, and a special shout out to Florida, but hey, you won’t have drilling rigs off your coast will you? I think the word shithole states comes to mind, but shithole I guess is in the eye of the beholder.

Irreverent – Texas and Harvey or Lessons for the GOP

First of all before I say all kinds of irreverent things, let me said that I contributed to the Mayor of Houston’s fund for helping the victims. This is a tragedy of immense proportions and we have not seen the real suffering and struggles yet. They are our fellow Americans and all of us could have something similar happen to us, whether it is a fire, earthquake, tornado, or flood, and we all need to help each other. Okay, now for some hard and maybe unfair observations:

  • People were devastated by the flooding. Why was that when the forecast for this storm was just that, devastating? Did they just not believe it?
  • Many people were not in flood zones so flood insurance was not required so if they did not have it, and they are at risk for the whole cost of repairs, rebuilding. Should they rebuild with tax payer money if a storm similar is likely to come along again next year and do the same thing?
  • The Village Idiot in Charge visited again today for another photo op and reported, “They’re really happy with what’s going on,” he told the reporters. “It’s something that’s been very well received. Even by you guys, it’s been very well received.” Isn’t it way to early to high five, with the fact that the real recovery hasn’t even started yet, nor has the reality of the real loss set in?
  • There is an interesting story today in the NYT about the frustrations of one home owner with trying to figure out what to do next. In this case the house was flooded about halfway up the first story walls and now mildew and other fungus were setting in. Wouldn’t you think there would be a checklist for this? After Katrina wouldn’t the lessons learned tell them what documentation or inspection/pictures were necessary for help, and then what needed to be done with the drywall walls to stop the mildew, remove the damaged materials (floor, floor coverings, walls), and get on with the recover? Wouldn’t there be instructions that tell you when the water height dictates total rebuilding? I would think that.
  • Then there is the issue of recover money. Congress will have to appropriate it. When the Texas delegation demands fast money, Congress as a whole should comply, but not without reminding them how stingy they were with Sandy and made all kinds of excuses including mostly made up claims of pork. Their hypocrisy and sad cruelty should be pointed out every step of the way.
  • There will be a major rebuilding effort and there is already a shortage of workers in those trades, and many of them are filled by undocumented workers. Again, Texas and the Trump Administration’s policy on immigrant should be challenge as we have a real in your face example of how stupid and counterproductive their policies are.
  • The same might be asked about their disregard for global warming and rational planning and land use based upon global warming projections. The United States military is trying to plan for Global Warming, but “Republicans in the House of Representatives added language to Defense Department spending bills prohibiting funds from being spent to plan or prepare for climate change.” Houston with its lack of land use controls and planning for proper drainage certainly contributed to the misery there. Note that the link was written before Harvey.
  • We haven’t yet seen how the stingiest people on the planet are going to fund and pay for real recovery (Republicans in Congress). Remember that the Village Idiot in Charge went out pushing for a tax cut a day after he did a pseudo visit of the flood. We have not seen how mad people get at the slow progress that will be the reality. We have not seen the real environmental damage yet and the possible impact on living down there. And we have not seen the recriminations when people figure out they trusted their government to protect them and Republicans have ignored their responsibility to use science, not greed or ideology, to plan and develop living space.
  • Trump pledged $1M for Harvey, but he has a history of not coming through and we do not not where that is coming from. Oh, and his net worth has been estimated at $10B. So if your net worth is $1m and you give $100, you are equal to the Village Idiot in Chief. I gave $100 so am I a great person?
  • On this one I will take some heat.  People who are wading through flood waters or out there in their boats to help others are not heroes.  They are what we all are, citizens willing to pitch in.  Hero is such an over used word and demeans its real meaning.

So the bottom line here is that people should have known this was coming, Global warming and its predictions are mainstream science. Texas has had 3-500 year storms in the last year, firmly signaling the impact of a warming planet. The storm itself was well forecast so when the monumental rains came, well they were forecast. The result was just waiting to happen and people ought to be made as hell that their government allowed that they put at that kind of risk. And I think they will be. As the real recovery, not the fake photo ops, drags on, funding becomes a political football, there are going to be angry people and finger pointing through lawyers.

Then there is the GOP reckoning. Let’s just check out what they have wrong:

  • Global Warming and its impacts
  • Immigration hysteria and lack of policy to get a flow of immigrants to feed our economy
  • Debt Ceiling, Federal budget (don’t forget they wanted to slash $1B from agencies that respond to this kind of stuff), and deficit spending
  • Tax cuts
  • Government regulations to control responsible planning and growth

So here we are and the disaster in Houston and East Texas was not only predictable, but could have been so much better prepared for. But from the masterminds of Donald Trump we have ignorance and stupidity as public policy. How is that working out for you. Texas was a wakeup call. Did anyone wake up? Oh, and one last thing. Remember Republicans are in charge and the Democrats already said we should pay for recovery. This is totally on the Republicans. Can they govern.  Not so far.

Ashamed to be an American

But proud to be a Californian: Sacramento congregations pledge to shelter undocumented immigrants from raids. Now when I travel I will sew a California flag on my backpack.  At least in California we have not turned into the hate filled and immoral place much of the rest of the country is becoming.  Note I exclude here all the mayors of sanctuary cities that have stood up to this bully from Boston to Santa Fe.  Mayors, people who really have to make the cities work and take care of their people, know the real score and that all of this hate and fear generated by Trump and his gang of bullies is senseless.  Worse it is counter productive. It is scapegoating on a national scale while ignoring real fixes.

I love our Constitution and living within the ideological constructs of that great document and the principles our Founders enshrined in it (Yes, I actually have read the Federalist Papers and understand the arguments).  Donald Trump swore to defend the Constitution and it is clear he has neither read it or understands it.  We have an Administration who is shredding it in the worst way possible.  Those morons (is the word still offensive because I can find no better one?) who wear their Make America Great Hats and really are all about a White Aryan Nation, are destroying what made America great.  The latest abomination is of course The Great Negotiator’s (TGN) Executive Order on refugees.  People who have already passed “extreme” vetting are being stopped at the airports and detained.  Only Christians need apply (they have preference.  See anything unConstitutional here?)  Talk about cruel and unusual.  It is so embarrassing to say you are American these days.  I do not want to travel abroad because I am so ashamed.  Maybe we could call it an apology trip.

Think about the ban for a moment.  They banned anyone from countries we bombed and made their existence impossible.  They banned anyone from countries where many helped our military and now need a safe haven.  They banned anyone from places where only a fool would not be a refugee.  And in the name of what?  More safe shopping?  They did not ban people from countries where most of our attackers came from.  It is a dangerous world and we helped make it more dangerous and the least we can do is give people hope and a safe refuge, to be a beacon of liberty and freedom.  Now we shun them like a gated community.  All inside have special privileges.  All outside, well who cares.  They deserved their fates by not being inside.  That is who we are becoming. I wonder if TGN has read the Declaration of Independence and understands what “all men” really means or what responsibilities that statement holds us to?  No of course not.

I find what Trump and his cronies stand for un-American and immoral.  No he is not my president and no I will not follow him or show him any respect. I will not tolerate those among us who still try to legitimize him.  I will work diligently to undermine him in any way I can.  We used to be a country who shared our wealth and provided a place where anyone can succeed.  Now we shun anyone who is not Christian and pretend that we deserve our wealth while everyone else is not worthy of the same chance.  Donald Trump and his supporters disgust me.  We really do have to go into the streets.  What he has done is illegal and it cannot stand.  And we have to quit tolerating those among us who justify this abomination.  They are the real threat to America. Oh, and I thank whoever I am a Californian where as a state we will resist him and be an example for the rest of the nation.  If this is what makes us “exceptional” I want no part.

Oh, I forgot one thing:  Fuck Donald Trump and the horse he rode in on!  Shame on the people who voted for him.  We are seeing Nazi Germany being recreated in the United States through the ignorance of our citizens.

Is Europe Headed for Major Trouble?

I hope not, but I do not like the signs.  We are all familiar with the Euro crisis in Greece which is a reflection of the EU not being united to put in the supports necessary for a single currency.  This morning Greece’s ex-finance minister wrote a compelling op-ed on why the present plan will fail and yet they continue down this road.  This lack of cohesiveness will breed radicalization when those who are forced under the yoke of paying off someone else’s debt rebel.

Add to that what we are seeing with the refugee problem and the failure of Europe to come together as a unified body to deal with it.  In one East European nation we see and hear xenophobia and Christian only refugee calls by their Prime Minister and walls being built.  Clearly we need a world response to this mass immigration from the Middle East, but I am not seeing it.  While many European nations need the labor, there is still the issue of integrating a Muslim culture into European society that does not go away.  The concerns are real.

So what I see is this massive problem and zero leadership.  America is truly standing on the sidelines and with our own fear of Muslim terrorists (behind every tree), it is unlikely we will do much.  So there is this real source of unrest, racism, and xenophobia, that could roil Europe in the days to come.  What I would like to see is a real plan.  This is not just a European problem, the whole world needs to act, whether that is opening up more countries to immigration, or creating safe zones in their own countries where they can safely wait out the war.  The trouble with that is that Russia seems to want to further involve its military with Assad in Syria, and the rest of the Middle East, that could play, are wrapped up in their own sectarian messes*.

So while we are focused on the Donald who has no real plan, and some in Kentucky and the political opportunists who thinks religion should be the supreme law of the land without consideration of whose religion (didn’t we have a whole history that showed this doesn’t work?), a real crisis may be brewing in Europe.  I think maybe we ought to be paying attention.

*One might want to wonder why this large Muslim population wants to immigrate to Europe with the best economic opportunities, and why they do not want to go to some of the richer Arab nations.  Maybe they are just bad governments or maybe the Muslim culture tends to bad government.  Something to think about.

Where Reality Meets Politics

There was a story in the SF Chronicle today with the lead:

2 Central Valley Republicans buck their party on immigration vote

Okay you say, there are a lot of hispanic voters in the Central Valley of California and that is true, but there are also farmers, and farmers, as conservative as they are, get that the issue with illegal immigrants is killing their ability to farm. I live up in the foothills in an extremely conservative district and the one thing the local wine growers and other fruit growers depart from their party on is immigration. In the midwest you see the same thing with fracking. There, conservatives depart from their party on land rights and supporting big oil.

The lesson is very simple. Having nonsense views based upon lies like throwing out the immigrants, drill baby drill, or Obamacare is killing you gets quickly debunked when these conservatives are faced with the reality of their positions. It is one thing to hate in abstract. It is another when the focus of your hate actually hurts the people you care about. And so it goes with most conservative positions on about everything.

Did You Ever Wonder if We Were a Giant Ponzi Scheme?

I was reading a very good op-ed about what may be needed to be done about Muslim youths in France (no this is not about radical Muslims and the attack in Paris) and I came across this:

France has been bruised, traumatized, left reeling. The French are frightened — or more precisely, they are being frightened. The National Front has made fear its credo. It demonizes millions of immigrants as invaders who feast on welfare benefits while putting others out of work. Of course, this reasoning doesn’t hold up. As economists have pointed out, nations in the West ought to be more worried about their aging populations than about their immigrants. If a magic wand were to send all of France’s Muslim immigrants back where they came from, the nation would come to a halt economically.

The same could be said for the United States if we were to deport all our illegal immigrants as the Republican Party seems to want to do. Our economy would come to a screeching halt. It would appear that as we age and become more affluent, we need an infusion of immigrants to do the menial jobs and climb that economic ladder. Mostly their children then eschew those jobs and we need a new infusion.

Growing our economy seems to take an ever expanding consumer base. Does that frighten anyone? I see this giant pyramid of ants with more and more ants running in at the base growing the height of the pyramid, but what happens when they quit running in? What happens when those at the base die off for lack of resources? It starts to collapse. Are we, the human race that pyramid? Are we really operating a giant Ponzi scheme?

If you look at our historical growth in the world, it is about expanding populations, expanding trade, expanding wealth, and the increase in the standard of living. Can this be done with a stable population? Or is this race to the top destroying our environment, using up our nature resources, and can not be sustained forever? Is this the pressure that science fiction writers envision as the force that propels us to the stars as the model of enterprise in the movie Avator? Stephen Hawkings has opined that our search for ET may bring ET scavengers to our own front door.

It would seem that only science fiction writers address this topic. But we ought to think about it. Can we co-exist with nature and still see rising standards of living? Will automation skew this whole calculation, needing fewer ants to build the pyramid? Is the whole construct wrong? Should we leave the question “in the hands of God”? If you are an endangered species you might question his wisdom. I don’t have any answers, but I do have to wonder if we did step back and look at our wealth economy would we see house of cards? Is there another way?

Okay now I have to get back to finding a way to make a few extra bucks to support my grape habit and provide jobs for our immigrant workers.