Britain’s Farage: ‘Immigration Is the Number One Issue’ for the Public

Across the pond, UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been pounding British mainstream parties with their failure to stop the excessive immigration that has been plaguing the island with hostile Muslims and job-grabbing Eastern Europeans.

Farage has been refreshingly fearless in telling the unpleasant truths about immigration, particularly that multiculturalism has been a failure and a moratorium needs to be enacted to get a grip on the chaos. He is plain-spoken, remarking last year, “Four million net migrants in the last 13 years to Britain represents an astonishing social change, and one that people simply don’t want.”

On Tuesday, Farage held an outdoor presser near the iconic cliffs of Dover to unveil a new billboard design for the upcoming election, shown below:

The BBC was there to film the event:

FARAGE: This subject of immigration goes right to the heart of the public’s disillusion with politicians. It is all about trust. Now five years ago David Cameron said, in his contract with Britain in his manifesto, that he would reduce immigration into Britain to 1990s levels, i.e. back to tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands a year. . . When Cameron made that promise, he was being willfully dishonest, because he knew the truth, now the British public five years on know the truth, that you actually cannot have an immigration policy, you can’t set targets of any kind at all, you can’t attempt to control who comes into Britain all the while you’re members of the European Union.

Who but Nigel Farage would say without apology that immigration has fundamentally changed the social fabric and culture of the nation, and not for the better?

What a shame we don’t have a political leader like that in America.

Nigel Farage: immigration has left Britain almost unrecognisable, The Guardian, March 31, 2015

Ukip leader unveils first general election poster and makes immigration centre of the party’s campaign

Nigel Farage declared immigration has left towns and cities in Britain almost unrecognisable for many people over the last decade, as he unveiled the UK Independence party’s (Ukip) first general election poster, an image of the white cliffs of Dover with three escalators running up them.

The Ukip leader said he was making immigration the central plank of his campaign and wants the the chance to grill David Cameron on the issue at the leaders’ television debates later this week.

Standing in front of his new billboard in a pub car park in St Margaret’s Bay, near Dover, Farage moved beyond making a case that immigration puts pressure on wages, schools and hospitals to a more emotional argument that it is changing the culture of the UK.

He said immigration was the number one issue for the electorate in “all the opinion polls”, although some surveys put the NHS first among the concerns of voters.

The poster is a modification of a previous advert showing a single escalator leading up the white cliffs. It bears the slogan: “Immigration is three times higher than the Tories promised.”

Farage said immigration was having an impact on A&E services, GP appointments and primary school places. But he went on to say it was also causing a “change in our communities that has left many people in our towns and cities frankly finding it difficult to recognise the place being the same as it was 10 to 15 years ago.” Continue reading this article

Supremes Reject Students’ Free Expression to Wear American Flag Clothing in America

It’s disappointing that the Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that a Morgan Hill CA school was right to disallow American students wearing of patriotic clothing on Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday. School authorities feared the Mexican students would riot if the offending American clothing items were not removed and the patriotic students were forced to change.

On the day after the shirt altercation, the Mexicans staged a walkout from the school.

American Flag Clothing Sparks New Protest, NBC Bay Area, May 6, 2010

[. . .]The boys said the administrators called their T-shirts “incendiary” that would lead to fights on campus.

To many Mexican-American students at Live Oak, this was a big deal. They say they were offended by the five boys and others for wearing American colors on a Mexican holiday.

“I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day,” Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. “We don’t deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn’t do that on Fourth of July.”

It’s called winning through intimidation, and the case must be counted as a loss for the freedom to express American patriotism.

Supreme Court Rejects American Flag Student Speech Case, Bloomberg News, March 30, 2015

White high school students sued after an assistant principal asked them to turn their American flag shirts inside-out to prevent fights on Cinco de Mayo.

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from white high school students who sued after an assistant principal asked them to turn their American flag T-shirts inside-out to prevent fights from breaking out on Cinco de Mayo.

The justices left intact a lower court ruling that said officials at Live Oak High School in northern California had justifiable safety concerns and didn’t violate the students’ free speech rights.

The case tested what has proven to be a tricky balance between school security and the First Amendment. Live Oak officials said they had reason to worry about ethnic and gang violence at the school-sanctioned Cinco de Mayo celebration in 2010. The suing students said they shouldn’t pay the price for the possibility that others would react negatively toward their clothing.

A year earlier Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexican culture, was marred at the school by an altercation between white and Hispanic students over the display of an American flag. The school’s assistant principal, Miguel Rodriguez, acted in 2010 after hearing from students that more trouble was brewing. Continue reading this article

Amnesty Man Rubio Hints Cuba-Themed Campaign Kick-Off in Miami to Win Presidency (of USA)

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a top quisling in the Gang of Eight amnesty scheme, thinks appealing to his tribe the Cubans will be a plus for obtaining the American Presidency in 2016. It’s an odd strategy, but one which will likely find favor with the media elites.

Hey, Rubio, most Americans don’t care squat about Florida Cubans, some of whom were criminals deported by Castro in 1980 to stupid-generous America. But Rubio seems to want to play the hispanic card rather than expertise or accomplishment. Maybe he is really pitching to be the Vice President on a Republican ticket that would then include the all-important Diversity! Anyway, Rubio is young at 43 and may be strategizing for a more serious run at a later date.

Below, Senator Rubio loomed large in the Gang of Eight Senate cabal to shove their deeply flawed amnesty down America’s throat during the last session of Congress.

Rubio’s perfidy even inspired a song, The Amnesty Man:

The Miami Herald reported that Rubio is planning his announcement at Miami’s Freedom Tower (shown below in a romanticized style) which is a big deal to Cubans, but means Zero to US citizens.

As noted by the Herald, the tower houses the Cuban American Museum, so the place is meaningful to foreigners from Castro’s communist paradise.

Fox News’ Neil Cavuto made a similar characterization about the building, calling it “a powerful symbol for thousands of Cuban refugees.”

Marco Rubio may have presidential announcement date: April 13 at Freedom Tower, Miami Herald, March 27, 2015

Marco Rubio has reserved the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami for an undisclosed event April 13, which appears to be a potential, if not likely, spot for Florida’s junior senator to announce his candidacy for president.

A Rubio adviser stressed nothing has been nailed down for any kind of announcement, but the timing makes sense: Likely presidential candidate Rand Paul is expected to make things official April 7, followed by a five-day, five-state announcement tour, so Rubio presumably would not want to share the spotlight during that period.

All-but-announced candidate Jeb Bush appears to be in no rush to shift more formally into campaign mode, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made his announcement this week, and Democrat Hillary Clinton is expected to make her campaign announcement in April as well, though nothing has been set.

Rubio, 43, has been preparing for a potential presidential run for at least a year. While behind in most early polls, he has generated considerable buzz as a top-tier contender who offers the party a fresh face, foreign policy experience, charisma and substance.

The Freedom Tower is apparently one of several venues under consideration by Rubio, but it could be an ideal postcard setting to kick off a presidential campaign promoting the promise and greatness of America by the son of Cuban immigrants. Continue reading this article

LA Times: Police Department Is More Diverse, but It Doesn't Help Much

Many liberal media outlets push the propaganda that diversity is the highest good, but few do it with the ham-handed clumsiness of the Los Angeles Times. The paper has promoted topics like backward hispanic culture, unconstitutional executive amnesty and lawbreaking street vendors as if the readership should embrace behaviors that harm American law, sovereignty and culture.

The Sunday front page above the fold contained quite a zinger, touting diversity while admitting that it hasn’t had the desired effect in police-community relations, bringing only “some relief” while “distrust lingers”:

Note to la Times: diversity may be the trendy ideology du jour among liberals, but science has affirmed the hard-wired tribal nature of humans. We all prefer people who dress, speak and believe like us. When left-wingers don’t like social generalizations, they call it racism; but in the universities the study is known as sociology.

Yep, the PD is diverse and probably has plenty of non-English speakers, so complaints about alleged police misconduct can be heard multi-lingually. Progress!

Note that according to the graph below, the city of Los Angeles is only 28 percent white.

Details in the story reveal that the perfect diverse utopia has not yet been achieved in Los Angeles. Oh well!

LAPD is more diverse, but distrust in the community remains, Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2015

The sweeps came on Friday nights in South Los Angeles, often before big events like Raiders games. Police would round up young men they thought were gang members and hold them over the weekend to keep violence down, a campaign launched by then-Chief Daryl F. Gates to control “the rotten little cowards.”

Francisco McClure recalled being arrested several times, only to be released the following Monday mornings without being charged. For the young black man, the fact that most of the officers were white made the experience even more bitter.

The martial arts instructor, 50, these days sees more Latino and black faces patrolling his community of Jefferson Park, and he says the officers don’t hassle residents as much. He commends them for holding neighborhood forums and using more dashboard cameras.

But, he said, “they just cleaned up their act a little. Before it was white against blacks. Now it’s just blue against blacks.”

The Los Angeles Police Department often is cited as an example of how recruiting nonwhite officers can improve community relations. The LAPD, once a predominantly white institution, now closely mirrors the city’s demographics and is majority nonwhite — from the glass offices at headquarters to patrol cars working the beat.

There is wide agreement that the transformation has helped, turning even some longtime LAPD critics into supporters.

“The department has moved away from being an occupying force in South L.A. and East L.A. to one that interacts and is more representative of those communities,” said John Mack, a veteran civil rights leader who recently served as a police commissioner.

LAPD and community in a wary detente
But Mack and others also acknowledge that a more diverse police force has not extinguished distrust in the community it serves. Continue reading this article

Somali Feminist Promotes Islam 'Reformation'

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali women’s rights advocate, has written a new book, “Heretic, Why Islam Needs a Reformation” and has been doing the tour. She has the inconvenient honor of being on al Qaeda’s wanted poster for murder because of her truthful statements about Islam. She partnered with Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh to make a documentary showing Islam’s cruelty to women, Submission, for which Van Gogh was killed on an Amsterdam street by an angry Muslim in 2004.

One of her media appearances on the book tour was for the Daily Show, the liberal fusion of politics and comedy. Host Jon Stewart repeatedly asserted that Christianity is just as bad as Islam, even though Baptist beheadings are not a big problem and Islam’s holy book has over 100 verses urging followers to kill nonbelievers which does inspire current behavior in the Middle East and beyond.

JON STEWART: I think people single out Islam as though there is something inherently wrong with it that wasn’t wrong with other religions, so I guess my point is if Christianity went through almost the exact same process, people who thought they were purer and that created violence, so I get they sense that you think Islam is different than other religions.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI: I’m saying that Christianity went through that process of reformation and enlightenment and came to a place where the mass of Christians at least in the western world have accepted tolerance in the secular state, the separation of church and state, respect for women, respect for gays.

But Stewart is stuck on making chopper Muslims just another religious group, insisting that African Christians are beheaders too. If so, I missed it, although African Christians have been fighting back against the brutal warfare of Boko Haram jihadists, who have killed more than 1000 civilians so far this year.

It’s good that Ayaan is out there, reminding the public that Islam is a dangerous political system and not a normal religion like Christianity or Buddhism. She is an important voice of feminism telling liberals that some societies have a cultural norm of oppressing women, and Islam is one of the worst.

However, as a former Muslim and self-defined atheist, her opinion about improving Islam counts as a big fat zero among allah’s believers. In fact, she requires 24/7 security against jihad enthusiasts for being critical of Islam.

The Wall Street Journal published an essay from the author that outlines the new book. It’s nice that she says Islam needs a “reformation” but America really should think in terms of keeping historic enemies out rather than putting energy into the pipe dream of remodeling an Evil Empire of 1400 years duration. Islam needs to be quarantined within its own rather extensive lands.

Why Islam Needs a Reformation, Wall Street Journal, By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, March 20, 2015

To defeat the extremists for good, Muslims must reject those aspects of their tradition that prompt some believers to resort to oppression and holy war.

“Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence—including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics—are Muslims themselves.

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself. Continue reading this article

Amazon Explores Next Step in Automated Warehouses -- Bye Bye Human Workers!

In February, I wrote about Amazon’s new “fulfillment centers” that featured increased use of robots: “North Texas: Amazon.com Promotes Its Semi-Automated Warehouses.” Managers assured the public and new local employees that the smart machines “help” humans do the heavy lifting and boring stuff that the workers don’t want to do.

We’ve heard that kind of language before, particularly regarding a dubious “need” for immigrant workers — that they do jobs Americans don’t want to do. It was once the case that workers were paid more for difficult, dangerous or unpleasant jobs, like meatpacking (which once provided middle class jobs for citizens), but no longer. That social contract has been ripped to shreds because of the globalized forces of outsourcing and mass immigration, and smart machines are coming on strong.

These days the Amazon company depends on its amazing Kiva system of warehouse robots to locate and move goods to humans who do the picking and packing.

The History Channel explained Kiva robots:

Now Amazon is sponsoring a contest to be held in May to find a robot that can discern, grasp and pack all sorts of objects. Amazon is looking for the next money-saving automation that will cut labor costs and lessen the company’s need for human workers who require paychecks and lunch breaks.

A search of Youtube for Amazon Picking Challenge brings up an assortment of application videos like the following:

Below, today’s increasingly dexterous robots can shoot pool [Watch].

Given the expanded used of computers, robots and automation, America’s future need for immigrant workers is ZERO.

Amazon Robot Contest May Accelerate Warehouse Automation, Technology Review, By Will Knight, March 25, 2015

Robots will use the latest computer-vision and machine-learning algorithms to try to perform the work done by humans in vast fulfillment centers.

Packets of Oreos, boxes of crayons, and squeaky dog toys will test the limits of robot vision and manipulation in a competition this May. Amazon is organizing the event to spur the development of more nimble-fingered product-packing machines.

Participating robots will earn points by locating products sitting somewhere on a stack of shelves, retrieving them safely, and then packing them into cardboard shipping boxes. Robots that accidentally crush a cookie or drop a toy will have points deducted. The people whose robots earn the most points will win $25,000.

Amazon has already automated some of the work done in its vast fulfillment centers. Robots in a few locations send shelves laden with products over to human workers who then grab and package them. These mobile robots, made by Kiva Systems, a company that Amazon bought in 2012 for $678 million, reduce the distance human workers have to walk in order to find products. However, no robot can yet pick and pack products with the speed and reliability of a human. Industrial robots that are already widespread in several industries are limited to extremely precise, repetitive work in highly controlled environments. Continue reading this article

Record Number of Foreign Students Now Attend US Universities

American universities are highly invested in the globalist enterprise and ideology as shown by their policies of welcoming foreign students to the detriment of Americans. Many state schools are broke, and their practice of admitting more foreigners (and out-of-staters) is based upon those students paying full tuition rather than the subsidized in-state tuition rate: the colleges drone on about the benefits of experiencing different cultures, but it’s the dollars.

Today, foreign students are at an all time high on US campuses. Over one million international students take slots at American schools, up nearly 50 percent since 2010.

University spokespersons often claim that having lots of foreigners contributes to enriching diversity for American students, but the truth occasionally pops out, as happened in a Bloomberg article, Lure of Chinese Tuition Squeezes Out Asian-American Students, Dec 29, 2011:

In 2009, University of California administrators told the San Diego campus to reduce its number of in-state freshmen by 500 to about 3,400 and fill the spots with out-of-state and international students, said Mae Brown, the school’s admissions director. California residents pay $13,234 in annual tuition while nonresidents pay $22,878.

Another fact: the number of nonresident students enrolled at the University of California’s 10 campuses rose from 22,984 to 31,991 between 2009 and 2012, an increase of nearly 33 percent. No wonder parents residing in the highly taxed state are angry when their kids cannot get admitted to the schools they have supported financially for years.

Below, UC Berkeley, had 29.8 percent out-of-state and foreign students in its 2014 fall freshman class.

The DHS report published on Wednesday, SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) by the Numbers, has lots of informative graphs, like the national origins of foreign students:

The 300,000 students from Red China is an eye-catcher, since the People’s Republic uses the easy access to American science through sending spying students to hoover up useful facts, trends and secrets.

It’s one thing for private universities to choose the sort of students they want, but state schools need to dial back on diversity. The story following notes, “The University of California system recently announced it will cap the percentage of out-of-state and foreign undergraduate students at the Los Angeles and Berkeley campuses at the current level, 22%” but that’s not good enough. California taxpaying residents should demand a far lower percentage, say three to five percent.

International Students Stream Into U.S. Colleges, Wall Street Journal, by Miriam Jordan, March 24, 2015

American universities are enrolling unprecedented numbers of foreign students, prompted by the rise of an affluent class in China and generous scholarships offered by oil-rich Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia.

Cash-strapped public universities also are driving the trend, aggressively recruiting students from abroad, especially undergraduates who pay a premium compared with in-state students.

There are 1.13 million foreign students in the U.S., the vast majority in college-degree programs, according to a report to be released Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security. That represents a 14% increase over last year, nearly 50% more than in 2010 and 85% more than in 2005.

Students from China account for the largest share—331,371 of all international students, or 29%. Nearly 81,000 subjects of the Saudi kingdom are studying in the U.S. this school year, up from about 5,000 in 2000-01. Nearly three-quarters of Saudi students are enrolled in bachelor’s programs or English-language programs that precede starting undergraduate studies here.

Of the top five campuses for international students, two are public universities: Purdue, at No. 2, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, at No. 4. The No. 1 school is the University of Southern California, with 12,480 students, according to the report. Columbia ranks No. 3. and New York University comes in at No. 5.

Amid rising costs, shrinking state support and student resistance to tuition increases, foreign students have become crucial to many public universities. Some hire foreign consultants to recruit students overseas, while others send their own staff on scouting missions. Officials at many state universities say the higher-paying students essentially subsidize in-state students.

But the perception that foreign students, in addition to out-of-state Americans, displace state residents has fueled a backlash in some states.

The University of California system recently announced it will cap the percentage of out-of-state and foreign undergraduate students at the Los Angeles and Berkeley campuses at the current level, 22%. University of Iowa regents last year adopted a plan to tie state funding of public universities to the number of in-state students enrolled.

Brenda Nard of Salem, Ore., said she encountered many out-of-state and foreign students during her daughter’s recent college search. “You wrestle with it because you want your kids to have the most opportunity,” she said. “I understand the state needs the money yet I also wonder if it eliminates opportunities for some Oregonians.” Continue reading this article

Obama's Border Surge Invaders -- They're Back!

It’s spring and the weather is pleasant for travel from Central America to the American southwest compared with the brutal heat of summer. The illegal alien Centrals are attracted by the boatload of freebies they receive upon arrival in deluxe “detention” facilities before they are transferred to more permanent quarters where they get more free stuff and schooling for the juveniles — all on the backs of the unwilling taxpayers. Should we be surprised that Obama’s illegal alien army of future Democrats is again crossing unlawfully in the thousands?

Jessica Vaughan appeared with Neal Cavuto Tuesday to discuss the latest kiddie colonists from south of the border.

CAVUTO: New government numbers obtained by the Washington Examiner showing that more than 12,000 illegal kids already crossed since October but only a handful of them are being returned. Jessica Vaughan says that is the problem. So Jessica, just understand this is post the wave of teens and young adults who got here last summer.

VAUGHAN: That’s right, this is the number that have come since the beginning of the new fiscal year which started on October 1st and these documents show that the Border Patrol has been turning over roughly about 2000 illegal alien unaccompanied minors to ICE for release into the country every single month, which would put us on pace to see the second largest number ever to cross if this trend continues throughout the fiscal year which most people in the Border Patrol and other enforcement agencies expect to happen. This is supposedly the slow time of the year but already we have very high numbers of people coming and it shows that the surge never really stopped, it just lessened a little bit. . . . Surge Two is already in progress.

Do-gooders in McAllen Texas agree that the number of illegals has been trending up of late. Catholic Charities (which gets millions of citizens’ tax dollars to assist foreign lawbreakers) in the city promises to “meet the demand.”

In other news about unfriendlies running wild, Judicial Watch reports: New Documents Show Homeland Security Released 165,900 Convicted Criminal Aliens throughout U.S. as of April 26, 2014.

Here’s the Washington Examiner story mentioned in the video:

12,509 illegal kids already over border in second wave, just 1 in 6 returned, Washington Examiner, By Paul Bedard, March 23, 2015

The next explosion of illegal teen border crossing is in full swing, but just one-in-six are being sent home, with most of the rest settled in the United States, according to new government figures.

The U.S. Border Patrol agency reported that they have seized 12,509 illegals under age 18 since October, making it the second biggest surge in history after last year’s unprecedented movement of unaccompanied youths across the nation’s southern border.

However, when compared to the numbers of illegal kids turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it is clear that most are being “booked in” to U.S. facilities and then released — not sent home.

ICE documents provided to the Washington Examiner shows that ICE is accepting an average of 2,000 a month, meaning that the Border Patrol is returning just one of six kids to their countries, mostly Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Continue reading this article

LA Supports Vibrant ‘Pharmacies’ with Witchcraft Supplies and Santa Muerte Gear

The Los Angeles Times is quite a case study in devolutionary “outreach” to diverse new communities of immigrants. Monday’s front page pictorial story (below) featured a downtown Mexican-style farmacia catering to primitive cultural practices as if they were a normal thing to have in a major American city. The Farmacia Million Dollar offers a multi-service magic hut where customers can purchase amulets or spiritual cleansings and pray to Santa Muerte, the Saint of Death, much admired by Mexican criminals.

Below, shoppers browse Mexican witchcraft products under the watchful eye of Santa Muerte.

The more diverse LA Times of today apparently believes that all culturally based behavior is a good thing, even if criminal. One example: in December the Times celebrated scofflaw hispanic peddlers: Los Angeles Ignores Illegal Street Vendors.

Today’s diversity parable promotes no crime, but has more to do with the primitive superstitions of Mexicans who buy magic candles to protect them from harm.

If California or America needs any immigrants at all (highly questionable because of workplace automation!), they should be educated persons, not third-world illiterates. Oh well!

Downtown L.A. Drugstore Sells Folk Medicine to Bring Love, Money, Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2015

The sign above a store window at 3rd and Broadway downtown looks ordinary enough: “Rx Pharmacy.” But it’s the signs below that make many passersby do a double take.

“We make amulets and candles,” a small white sign in the corner reads, below another offering limpias, or spiritual cleansings. Under the word “Botanica,” “Templo Santa Muerte” is stenciled in black letters. Rounding the corner toward the front of Farmacia Million Dollar, visitors are greeted by rows of statues, many of the folk saint. On the door, more signs advertise card readings: “English only Sunday appointment,” one says.

Inside, everyday drugstore items such as bath washes, bar soap, water and candles line the shelves. But the bath wash and soap are for protection and windfalls, and the water is colored and sealed with a paper label offering luck or safety.

The velas — candles — along the back shelves aren’t bought for their aroma; they’re lighted in the hope of bringing users what they desire, whether love or success.

What was once primarily a drugstore several years ago is now a refuge for people seeking solutions to everyday worries and problems — including the shop’s owner as he confronts a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

At the front counter, Lizeth Venegas prepares the candles with care. For the man buying the “Come to me” candle, she dusts it with powder and then tops it with some sprinkles. Once she’s finished, she wraps it back up and hands it to him. For the woman at the counter, Venegas lines up four candles with a reventador label to help get rid of negativity in her life.

“¿Todos en tu nombre?” she asks. “All in your name?”

“Sí,” the customer responds.

“Ay mija, estás pesada,” she tells her. “You’re burdened.”

::

There are hundreds of botánicas in Southern California, serving as centers of diverse practices — spiritual, medicinal and therapeutic.

They cater to a mainly Latino clientele, some of whom fear their religious family members will find out and disapprove that they’re turning to these shops for help.

“I think often the general default is that this is satanic, and for some in the Catholic Church this would be seen as false belief,” says Patrick Polk, curator of Latin American and Caribbean Popular Arts at UCLA’s Fowler Museum. “The reality is that it’s very easy to judge other people’s religions, and those judgments tend to be shaped by presumptions and stereotypes and misrepresentations.” Continue reading this article

Ted Cruz Throws His Hat into the Ring, with Minimal Mention of Immigration

Senator Ted Cruz declared his candidacy for the Presidency on Monday in a speech given at Liberty University. It was a fine presentation of patriotic principles where he called on conservatives to rise up and “reignite the promise of America.”

He spoke extemporaneously, without the help of a teleprompter, the gadget vital to Obama maintaining the appearance of intelligence. There’s no question that Cruz is one of the brighter persons in Washington.

Cruz touched briefly upon immigration:

(TRANSCRIPT from WaPo)

Instead of the lawlessness and the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders.

(APPLAUSE)

And imagine a legal immigration system that welcomes and celebrates those who come to achieve the American dream.

Immigration enforcement is not his strongest subject.

In 2013, I spent many hours watching the markup of the Senate’s Gang of Eight amnesty bill, and Cruz was a potted plant in comparison to Senators Sessions and Grassley, who submitted 49 and 77 amendments respectively to improve the dangerously flawed legislation.

The hearing was the basis of my June 4, 2013, Vdare article, WaPo Compares Senator Sessions To George Wallace—He Must Be Doing Something Right! Following is a snip highlighting Cruz’s underwhelming performance:

The Republicans, conversely, had a number of diverse amendments.

Celebrated newbie conservative Ted Cruz of Texas wrote just five, and kept a mostly low profile in the hearing even when he showed up. He did pipe up to chastise the bill for making the illegal immigration problem worse by having no real enforcement. But he enthusiastically entered an amendment to increase H-1b tech visas by 500 percent, from 65,000 now to 325,000, which surely made Facebook founder (and cheap-labor abuser) Mark Zuckerberg smile. (Zuck needs to pinch pennies to keep up his $7-million Palo Alto house after he lost $4 billion in net worth due to the IPO flop of FB.)

Interestingly, the clip I linked to his proposal in the hearing to increase H-1b visas is still available on the Cruz Tube channel:

The Cruz amendment would have upped the annual H-1B cap from 65,000 to 325,000, or in Cruz’s words “increase it by 500 percent” as if that would be a good thing. The amendment was defeated in committee, perhaps because it would have increased the fees to businesses using foreign worker visas.

Last week’s Senate hearing focused on protecting American jobs provided plenty of evidence that the visa program for skilled STEM workers is a scam to save money for billionaires.

However, the fact of business displacing American tech workers for cheaper foreign workers has been known for years, so Cruz cannot claim ignorance.

American Workers Displaced by Cheap Foreigners Must Speak Anonymously

Tuesday’s Senate hearing focused on protecting American workers brought several experts to explain the abuse of foreign worker visas to displace citizens.

One speaker was John Miano who is seen discussing legislation in the clip below, noting “the interests of American workers, the voters, are simply ignored in the I-Squared Act.”

(See more hearing clips here and here. The entire hearing may be watched on the Senate Judiciary page.)

Hypocrite mega-billionaire Mark Zuckerburg campaigns for cheaper foreign labor while presenting himself as the noble proponent of greater connectivity for world peace. He is typical of billionaire tech moguls who screw Americans to save a few dollars.

An emblematic case was that of Southern California Edison’s layoff of 400 tech employees to be replaced by H-1b cheapie imports, and it was mentioned more than once in the hearing.

But personal stories told by laid-off Americans were missing, because they are routinely forced to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to get decent severance packages. Speaking out in public would bring down a lawyer attack.

Writer Byron York has gotten some anonymous worker stories that he has shared in an article. Too bad the public couldn’t have seen the faces of the laid-off Americans.

Silenced workers who lost jobs to H-1B visa abuse (quietly) speak out, Washington Examiner, by Byron York, March 22, 2015

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing into abuses of the H-1B skilled guest worker visa program. Lawmakers heard experts describe how the use of foreign workers has come to dominate the IT industry, with many tech giants using the program to fire well-paid current workers and replace them with workers from abroad at significantly lower pay.

“The current system to bring in high-skill guest workers … has become primarily a process for supplying lower-cost labor to the IT industry,” two experts who testified at the hearing, Howard University’s Ron Hira and Rutgers’ Hal Salzman, wrote recently. “Although a small number of workers and students are brought in as the ‘best and brightest,’ most high-skill guest workers are here to fill ordinary tech jobs at lower wages.”

Exhibit A in the abuse of H-1Bs was the case of Southern California Edison, which recently got rid of between 400 and 500 IT employees and replaced them with a smaller force of lower-paid workers brought in from overseas through the H-1B program. The original employees were making an average of about $110,000 a year, the committee heard; the replacements were brought to Southern California Edison by outsourcing firms that pay an average of between $65,000 and $75,000.

“Simply put, the H-1B program has become a cheap labor program,” Hira, author of the book Outsourcing America, testified. “To add insult to injury, Southern California Edison forced its American workers to train their H-1B replacements as a condition of receiving their severance packages.”

It was a powerful presentation, especially in light of the fact that many Republicans and Democrats in Congress do not want to address abuses of the H-1B problem but rather want to greatly increase the number of H-1B visa workers allowed into the United States.

But one voice was missing from the hearing, and that was the voice of laid-off workers. That was no accident. In addition to losing their jobs and being forced to train their foreign replacements, many fired workers are required to sign non-disparagement agreements as a condition of their severance. They are workers with families and bills to pay, and they are told that if they do not agree to remain silent, they will be terminated with cause, meaning they will receive no severance pay or other benefits and will face an even tougher search for a new job and a continued career. So they remain silent.

A longtime feature of the Capitol Hill hearing into this or that unfair practice is to hear from the victims of this or that unfair practice. The IT industry has worked to make sure that does not happen in the case of H-1B visa abuse. Still, the Judiciary Committee managed to receive testimonials from four laid-off workers, three from Southern California Edison and one from another company. So to flesh out the H-1B story with the perspective of those who are actually paying the price when H-1B visas are used to displace American workers, here are their anonymous testimonials:

Worker One:
My former company, a large utility company, replaced 220 American IT workers with H-1Bs…we would have to train them in order to receive our severance packages. This was one of the most humiliating situations that I have ever been in as an IT professional.

The whole IT department was going through the same fate as myself. Those were the longest and hardest five months of my life. Not only did I lose a work family, but I lost my job and my self-esteem. We had constant emails sent by HR that we could not talk about this situation to anyone or make posts to social media. If we did, we would be fired immediately and not get our severance.

We had jobs and there was no shortage of skilled labor that would make it necessary to bring in H-1Bs. We were let go and replaced by foreign workers who certainly weren’t skilled to take our positions.

Worker Two:
I am an IT professional and worked for Southern California Edison for over two decades. I was a loyal employee and always received outstanding reviews. A foreign worker with a H-1B visa recently replaced me.

I am the sole provider of my children. Due to a disability, finding employment at the same wage and with a work modification will be very difficult…It is an ominous possibility that in five years or less I may have no assets, suffer from severe pain and will need to go on full disability with a catastrophic decrease in income. The loss of my job may rob me of a secure retirement. Continue reading this article

Chicago: Arsonist Indian Found Guilty in Caste Killing of Three Family Members

The wheels of justice turn slowly, or so they say, and it has taken seven years for Indian immigrant Subhash Chander to get his sentence after murdering his daughter, son-in-law and grandson. The case seemed a slam-dunk in terms of evidence being quickly assembled. Less than a week after the crime, the New York Times reported that Chander confessed.

Perhaps the diversity aspect, particularly the motivation of caste differences that Indians include in their cultural baggage, made the court happy to drag the trial out for years. Why remind Americans that all diversity is not equal?

Below, convicted murderer Subhash Chander (bottom left 2008, top left today) and his victims Rajesh Kumar Arora and Monika Rani (right).

It was a terrible crime, but could have been far worse. Chander poured gasoline and lit it near the door of the young family’s apartment, but the whole building of 36 units went up in flames, leaving more than 70 individuals homeless. Residents were jumping from balconies to escape.

Prosecutor Robert Milan remarked, “It could have been one of the largest homicides in American history but for the grace of God.”

Below, the scene of the 2007 arson fire that killed three in Oak Forest, a suburb of Chicago.

Unsurprisingly, the ChiTrib referred to the culturally motivated killer from India as an “Oak Forest man.”

Oak Forest man guilty of triple murder in arson, Chicago Tribune, March 20, 2015

More than seven years after an Oak Forest couple and their 3-year-old son died in a fire at their apartment building, a Cook County jury convicted the woman’s father of setting the fire.

Subhash Chander, 64, was found guilty late Thursday by a jury of three counts of first-degree murder for spreading gasoline at the 36-unit building and igniting it — apparently out of anger that his daughter had married beneath her status in India’s caste system and without his consent, according to prosecutors.

Killed in the December 2007 blaze, which destroyed the building, 15859 LeClaire Ave., were Monika Rani, 22, who was about five months pregnant with her second child; her husband Rajesh Arora, 30; and their son, Vansh Kumar. Their bodies were found inside the building.

Chander, who lived across the street from the couple, has been held without bail at the Cook County Jail since Jan. 1, 2008, a sheriff’s department spokeswoman said. His sentencing is scheduled for April 16. He faces life imprisonment. Continue reading this article

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