Puerto Ricans Relocating to Florida Bring Possible Electoral Consequences

Hurricane Maria was a monster Category 5 storm that struck the Caribbean in mid-September and pretty much flattened Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, which wasn’t in great shape before the storm. Restoring electricity has been painfully slow, because of the totality of devastation, plus other complications like the difficulty of shipping all necessary materials to an island, compared with road transport. A recent report found 66 percent of the island residents still have no power. Around 25 percent of Puerto Ricans do not yet have access to safe drinking water.

The 2010 Census put the island’s population at over 3.7 million, but the departures for the United States have been accelerating since the hurricane: more than 168,000 have left for Florida according to a Nov. 18 New York Times article which also noted, “An additional 100,000 are booked on flights to Orlando through Dec. 31” plus more going to other cities.

Such a major transfer of Puerto Ricans may have severe electoral implications. Like other hispanics, the islanders vote largely Democrat, and when they (as American citizens) relocate to the mainland, they can vote for the presidential candidates, unlike back home. (It’s a weird situation, that derives from the United States having territories where most of the residents are US citizens — Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all have US citizenship, but American Samoa does not. Go figure.)

By law, Puerto Ricans are American citizens (!) but culturally they are foreigners from the Caribbean colonized by Spain.

More than a million Puerto Ricans already reside in Florida, and the miserable conditions on the home island will surely convince many more to relocate to the US. Who can blame them? The lights don’t work and no water comes from the tap.

Look to see Democrats work to turn Florida dependably blue by working the expanding Puerto Rican vote. In 2016, 4,617,886 Floridians voted for candidate Trump, while 4,504,975 chose Hillary Clinton — a difference of only a little over 100,000 votes.

Below, a few years ago, Puerto Ricans held Spanish-language signs demanding US statehood for the island — a really bad idea that is popular among pandering politicians.

Puerto Rico is officially a bilingual territory. Spanish is the more widely used language on the island, with English being second by a wide margin. A US Census fact sheet showed the question asking “Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons aged 5 years+ 2011-2015” gave the answer “94.7%.” So a huge influx of Puerto Ricans will bring a bigger push for America to become bilingual — if not officially, then in practice as the US is increasingly becoming hispanicized because of extreme immigration.

Fox News reported (Nov. 17) on the influx of Puerto Ricans and the resulting strain on local resources:

STEVE HARRIGAN: They are coming to Florida each week by the thousands. Florida officials say 160,000 now have arrived here in this state since the storm, settling around the Orlando area. . .

Of course the influx of tens of thousands is putting a strain on some communities here. Osceola County has now 2,500 new students. The superintendent says that is simply a massive amount to handle: she said on a typical day they might have 70 brand new students who simply show up at the door, often not speaking English and not with any transcripts. Here’s what she had to say:

DR. DEBRA PACE, OCEOLA SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: And it’s adding like like two elementary schools to our population that we were unable to plan for and project.

HARRIGAN: Suddenly two brand new schools to deal with and those schools are expensive as well: $28,000 per student that’s a $70 million dollar unbudgeted expense. The county is asking for help from state and federal agencies.

Laura Ingraham Examines California Homelessness, including the Effect of Illegal Aliens

Thanks to the Ingraham Angle show for pointing out the often overlooked problem of spreading tent cities of homeless in California. It’s painful to see the increased human suffering in one of the richest areas on earth, and Laura Ingraham nails the governmental failure.

Below, the city of Los Angeles called for a crackdown on homeless encampments in 2015, but numbers have only worsened.

LAURA INGRAHAM: California is a beautiful state — the mountains, the ocean, the desert, its entertainment, its agriculture and high-tech output are the envy of the world, and California seems to have it all. I first came here 30 years ago as a college student and thought, wow, people actually live like this: this is paradise. But let’s face it, the Golden State has changed a lot over the past three decades and a lot of that change frankly has been for the worse and a lot of it has been caused by disastrous liberal policies.

Taxes have gone up and up. Regulations have stifled small business creation. Illegal immigration has exploded here. Jerry Brown called California a sanctuary state. Electricity prices are climbing because of stupid government mandates. The mandatory $15 minimum wage is hurting low-income workers because more retailers are now moving to automation to save the money.

And we’ve seen a major squeeze on California’s middle class as the number of working poor is growing. California’s public pension systems are about $200 billion in the red. Oh and while homelessness nationwide is declining, it’s up here by three percent. By the way, sheltering and caring for the homeless cost taxpayers an estimated $80,000 per person per year. In fact, it’s so bad that some of the major cities like San Francisco, Sacramento and right here in the Los Angeles area now have what they call “permanent tent cities” or encampments, and it’s all the homeless.

She doesn’t overlook the illegal alien component of the homeless, which is substantial. In fact, the Los Angeles Times reported LA County numbers in June that “Latino homelessness shot up by 63% in the past year, a staggering number in a county that saw its overall homeless population soar by 23%, despite increasing efforts to get people off the street.”

INGRAHAM: Shirley, the issue of illegal immigration which we didn’t delve into much in this piece, but from the time that I’ve walked those same tents, there’s a lot of illegal immigrants who are homeless as well. They come here, they try to get jobs, sometimes they can’t find jobs ,and they don’t have any sponsors or families to live with, and so they live among the homeless. That is also a big problem for the state of California, and you’ve been spent enormous amount of time in these permanent encampments.

SHIRLEY HUSAR: Yes, absolutely. I tell you, Laura, the infrastructure of California is being destroyed, is being demised by Jerry Brown, Kevin de Leon and Eric Garcetti. They have personally instructed the police officers not to enforce law to allow the illegal immigrants to do so much, to cause so much damage in the homelessness.

Illegal aliens — they’re causing trouble everywhere!

New Improved Robot Does a Backflip

How fast is robotic technology moving along? To get an idea, watch a new video of the Atlas robot hop onto boxes and do a perfect backflip. Amazing.

For comparison, see the variety of robots falling over in the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge. The video is funny, but the improvement in the two years from then to now is remarkable.

The DARPA competition is put on by the US Defense Department and it is focused on using robots in hazardous rescue situations like the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Below, a diagram of the DARPA obstacle course of activities that robots must execute, like driving, opening doors and walking up stairs.

Boston Dynamics, the creator of Atlas, builds robust walking robots, like a four-legged carrier machine used to transport equipment over irregular terrain.

As a result of this technology, the world of work is being fundamentally transformed, and it would be reassuring to get a response from official Washington, but little has been seen thus far. Advanced automation and software are forecast to replace millions of American workers, so some sort of plan is needed to deal with the economic results. At the very least, a severe reduction in immigration is indicated.

Hundreds of MS-13 Gangsters Are Arrested in Crackdown

On Thursday it was announced that more than 200 MS-13 gangsters have been arrested by authorities during a six-week operation to round them up after Attorney General Jeff Sessions had promised to prioritize the Salvadoran gang several months ago.

In April, he traveled to Long Island which has suffered from worsened gang crime, exacerbated by Obama’s active encouragement of Central Americans to enter the US illegally.

Long Island had recently seen an uptick in an ongoing street war with MS-13 gangsters playing a major role, capped on April 12 by the discovery of four butchered bodies in a Central Islip park. So the AG came to the community and pledged to bring the power of the federal government to bear on the brutal Salvadoran gang.

Below, illegal alien MS-13 members were arrested for the murder of high school girls Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas in September 2016.

How violent is MS-13? At the end of the CBS report below, the reporter said her cameraman wore a vest and she stayed “in safer territory” during the arrests.

Given that violent history, it’s odd that CBS regards law enforcement applied to MS-13 foreign gangsters as “controversial.”

Inside ICE’s controversial crackdown on MS-13, CBS News, November 16, 2017

First on “CBS This Morning,” we’re getting rare access to Operation Matador, a joint law enforcement effort led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations team, to crackdown on MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, and other trans-national gangs.

Federal officials will announce Thursday a breakthrough in the fight against MS-13, a gang from El Salvador. Hundreds of accused gang members and associates are under arrest, but its violence is spreading in American neighborhoods.

CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan went to one of the deadliest battlegrounds, Long Island, New York. They’ve made 345 arrests on Long Island and in the surrounding New York City area since May.

The target of the pre-dawn raid was a suspected member of MS-13 who had illegally entered the U.S. The team of 12 immigration agents and local police expected the 20-year-old suspect to be armed.

“He entered the country illegally so – and then he went through the immigration process and a judge ordered him removed,” said Jason Molina, assistant special agent in charge.

“We know he’s an MS-13 member?” Brennan said.

“Yes. We have information, we have pictures of him actually flashing gang signs,” Molina said.
But gang membership is not a crime, and the agents did not have a criminal warrant. They only weapons they found were “either pellet guns or BB guns,” Molina said.

But Molina’s team was still able to make the arrest based on the suspect’s immigration status – part of the unique mandate of the Homeland Security investigations unit of ICE. An hour later, they nabbed a second suspect. Molina said he is an MS-13 associate.

“So his known crime is entering the country illegally?” Brennan asked.

“Correct,” Molina said.

“But that’s it at this point, that’s all you definitely know?” Brennan asked.

“That’s correct. The purpose of classifying him as a gang member or a gang associate is because once he goes in front of an immigration judge, we don’t want him to get bail, because the whole point of this operation is to get these known gang members off the street,” Molina said.


Fewer Foreign Students Attend US Colleges

The Associated Press reports that fewer foreigners are coming to the US to attend college, and the news organization apparently regards the decrease as a negative thing. Certainly many Californians would see having fewer foreign students on campus as a big plus, especially if there were also fewer out-of-staters — both groups that must pay higher tuition. Every college slot taken by a non-Californian means a state resident does not get one.

In fact, the California system of higher education is so poorly run that it has stooped to deliberate unfairness to admit more non-residents with their fat tuition checks and register fewer state residents — just the population it is supposed to serve. In 2016, the state auditor slammed the University of California for lowering standards to admit more non-residents. Young Californians must wonder why they should study hard to make good grades and high test scores when the system actively works against them. Diversity is valued, but excellence isn’t.

Years of complaints from California parents and students finally convinced the all-powerful regents to respond a tiny bit, according to a May 18, 2017 article in the Los Angeles Times: UC regents approve first limit on out-of-state and international student enrollment which specified:

Regents voted to cap nonresident undergraduate enrollment to 18% at UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside and UC Merced. Four campuses that already exceed that level — UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Irvine — will be allowed to keep but not increase the higher percentage they enroll in 2017-18.

Nonresidents currently make up 16.5% of the system’s 210,170 undergraduates.

So the “reform” from the regents let the most popular schools — UCLA and UC Berkeley — off the hook.

Below, UC Berkeley is one of the most desirable schools. In 2016 state residents made up only 67.6 percent of the admitted class — meaning a whopping 32.4 percent of the admitted freshmen a year ago were not Californians.

Interestingly, Inside Higher Ed puts the out-of-state percentage for UC Berkeley at “more than 24 percent” — so are foreign students not counted as out of state? The numbers have gotten sketchy now that there is supposed to be a limit on non-Californians. Berkeley’s Fall Enrollment Data page has a plethora of race and other information mixed up together, probably to confuse  — e.g. 24.5% white, 18.6% Chinese in 2017 plus 11.6 percent “international.”

However the bean counters slice it, Californians are getting the short end of the stick.

Plus some number of the foreigners use their presence in the country to wangle a job leading to immigration.

Anyway, here is the Los Angeles Times’ curiously upbeat position that despite the decrease of foreign students, California is still their top choice!

Enrollment of first-time foreign students dips in the U.S., but California is still No. 1, Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2017

After years of rapid growth, enrollment of first-time international students in U.S. colleges and universities dipped last year amid concerns about political uncertainty, tuition increases, visa delays and reductions in scholarship money, an annual survey found.

California remained the nation’s most popular destination for foreign students, with 157,000 coming to the state in 2016-17. They made up nearly 16% of more than 1 million international students in the United States that year, according to the survey of more than 2,000 institutions released Monday by the Institute of International Education.

Alyson L. Grunder, a deputy assistant secretary of State, said the U.S. ability to attract the world’s largest number of international students was “testament to the unmatched quality of American higher education.”

But the roughly 3% decline in new foreign students in California and nationally was the first drop the institute has recorded in the 12 years it has collected such data, and the decline appears to be deepening. The institute’s separate tally of data from about 500 colleges and universities found a 7% drop in enrollment of first-time students this fall — mostly at less-selective campuses.

Institute officials were diplomatic, and repeatedly declined to pinpoint President Trump’s hard-edged attitudes toward immigration and foreign visitors from countries he considers sponsors of terrorism.

“It really is much too soon for us yet to tell what is the definitive factor,” said Allan E. Goodman, the institute’s president. He said U.S. institutions need to redouble efforts to recruit more foreign students because they enrich campuses and collectively contributed $39 billion to the U.S. economy this past year.

“It’s a very healthy … wake-up call,” Goodman said.

Growth in foreign students is slowing

Overall, the number of international students in the United States went up by 3%, signaling a slowdown in what used to be double-digit growth. Institute officials said other countries, notably Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom, are recruiting foreign students more aggressively. Trump’s travel ban and fears of crime also appeared to be factors, they said. But only 20% of institutions surveyed in the smaller sample said international students had expressed a desire to leave the country because of the social and political climate.


Illegal Aliens Continue to Escape Deportation by Hiding in Churches

One of the immigration enforcement problems that’s still around is the situation of illegal aliens taking up residence in churches for the “sanctuary” they offer.

As it happens, the concept is fake —churches cannot set themselves up as mini Mexicos inside the United States, separate from American law. ICE officers could walk in any time and arrest the foreigners, but they don’t do so because they think it would look bad to have a Mexican moocher being dragged out with a priest squawking about the cruelty of la migra.

Many US citizens would cheer to see ICE arrests in the hypocritical churches, which are America-hating pro-Mexican institutions, but we probably won’t ever get to see that welcome sight.

Remember Elvira Arellano? She was the poster Mexican church lurker a decade ago, often holding her anchor-baby kid as a prop, as I imagined at the time to look like a ventriloquist set-up:

Fox News had a chat on the subject on Monday with Pastor Robert Jeffress who assured viewers that ICE could arrest the lawless foreigners at any time:

PASTOR JEFFRESS: I think our viewers are going to be surprised to learn that churches actually have no ability to harbor or offer sanctuary to people breaking the law. Right now, law enforcement officials can go into any church, any mosque, any synagogue and arrest those who are breaking the law, whether it be illegal immigrants, domestic terrorists or tax evaders; the only reason immigration officials aren’t doing that right now is they don’t think the optics wouldn’t look good of doing that, but right now they have the freedom to do that if they want to.

The Washington Times printed an article on Friday that precipitated the discussion:

Illegals finding unlawful sanctuary in America’s churches, Washington Times, November 10, 2017


Church World Services, a nonprofit based in New York that presses for amnesty and opposes much of President Donald Trump’s border crackdowns, knows of dozens of illegals who’ve sought sanctuary within America’s places of worship over the last few years.

Churches, in other words — at least some of them — have become an illegal’s best friend. And it’s hardly biblical; it’s hardly heavenly or humanly lawful.

From The Associated Press: “Amanda Morales sees her children off to school each day from the entrance of a gothic church, but she won’t even venture onto the sidewalk for fear of what may happen if she leaves the building where she has been a virtual prisoner for more than two months. Morales has been living in two small rooms of the Holyrood Episcopal Church at the northern edge of Manhattan since August, shortly after immigration authorities ordered her deported to her homeland of Guatemala.”

She ran to the church for safety; she’s since stayed in the church for protection from deportation. This is not a boo-hoo for Morales moment. This is a sad and outrageous reflection on how politically correct our churches have become.

And churches offering such protections are becoming more and more common in America, particularly as Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency increases its enforcement.

Morales is just one example; her kids are legal, but she’s a fugitive and could be arrested at the drop of a hat. ICE, however, views churches as safe zones — “sensitive locations,” in fact — and won’t enter to arrest and deport.

Should this change?


Trump Effect: Farmers Turn from Foreign Pickers to Automation

Farm automation has been progressing along, just like uses of smart machines in other industries, but agbots may now be getting an extra boost. Apparently President Trump’s crackdown on illegal border crossings has decreased the supply of foreign pickers, so farmers are looking more favorably at tech solutions. The transition would have happened anyway, but immigration enforcement is speeding it up a bit.

Not only are there are robot weeders, pickers and cultivators, but cows can now walk into an automated milker when they feel the need.

Agricultural automation makes immigrant farm workers obsolete.

Who will pick the strawberries without illegal immigrants? ROBOTS!

For an extra automation touch, you can listen to the Reuters article posted below being read by a robot:

As Trump targets immigrants, U.S. farm sector looks to automate, Reuters, November 9, 2017

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Convincing big U.S. dairy owners to buy robots to milk their cows – and reduce the farmhands they employ – used to be a tough sell for Steve Fried. Recently, his job has gotten easier, he says, in part because of President Donald Trump.

“I get calls on a daily basis and it typically starts with, ‘I don’t want to deal with this labor headache any more’,” said Fried, sales manager for Lely North America, which makes robotic dairy milking and feeding systems.

Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration through stepped-up arrests and border enforcement has shaken the U.S. agricultural sector, where as many as 7 in 10 farm workers are undocumented, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

In addition, Republican lawmakers in Congress have introduced legislation that would require all employers to check social security numbers against federal databases to ensure their workers are in the country legally, something that is now voluntary in all but a handful of states.

The get-tough approach “has created a great deal of anxiety,” said Tom Vilsack, chief executive of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, who was U.S. Agriculture Secretary for eight years under President Barack Obama.

The shift comes as the industry was already struggling to cope with a shrinking, aging workforce. That is ratcheting up pressure on the sector to embrace new technology.

Farmers and food companies increasingly are moving to automate dairy operations, chicken processing, crop production and harvesting. Even delicate crops such as strawberries and peaches are being considered for mechanization.

“You’d be a fool to not have a plan that moves you that way,” said Duff Bevill, who owns a vineyard management company in Sonoma County, California.


Tucker Carlson Notes the Demanding Mob of Illegal Aliens in Senate Office Building

A gaggle of illegals and their pals swarmed Capitol Hill on Thursday where they insisted on a big amnesty for DACAs and Dreamers and all their cousins ad infinitum.

The scene looked pretty rowdy, verging on unsafe, as a large crowd of angry illegal aliens loudly demanded citizenship privileges to which they have no right.

Who’s in charge of public safety in the Senate office building? After the attempted mass murder where Rep. Steve Scalise was nearly killed last summer after being shot during a baseball practice with several other Republicans and Senator Rand Paul had six ribs cracked by a neighbor a few days back, it seems like the safety of elected officials should get more consideration.

Tucker Carlson found the lack of law enforcement to be disappointing:

“A literal horde of illegal immigrants stormed Capitol Hill today — hundreds of illegal immigrants and their supporters assembled in the Hart Senate Office Building very close to right here, chanting slogans in an effort to pressure Congress to disallow the deportation of people here illegally.

Now protesting inside the Hart Building is against the law; many protestors were students cutting school, and of course an illegal immigrant participating in an illegal protest inside the US is illegal on about eight different levels. Nevertheless only 15 arrests were made, and seems unlikely anybody will be deported over this or ever for any reason because we don’t deport people in America.

Howie Carr is a Boston area radio show host, and he joins us tonight. Howie, I mean not to put too fine a point on it, but for people here illegally to show up and scream at elected American representatives about how they demand this, that or the other thing, and then no one does anything about it kind of tells you that the law is toothless now.”

Howie Carr said he didn’t get it either, and went on to cite cases of violent crime in the Boston area committed by illegal aliens, like the Cambodian who beat and robbed an elderly woman in a wheelchair.

Here’s a spare video in case of disappearance and an audio version:

Interestingly, a recent poll found support for DACA forgiveness to be dropping: less than 30 percent of Americans want to see those illegals get an amnesty.

Sharyl Attkisson Explains How the Mainstream Media Created Massive Mistrust in Itself among the Public

Sharyl Attkisson was an award-winning reporter during her career in the mainstream media, including 21 years at CBS. At some point in her time with the MSM, she found her freedom as a journalist was being compromised and she resigned to pursue an independent career.

She has written two books critical of the media: Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington (2014) and more recently The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote (2017).

Attkisson also hosts a weekly public affairs program Full Measure which is shown on Sinclair stations and can also be seen on its Youtube channel.

Illegal alien crime is a topic that has been investigated on Full Measure.

So she is a good person to do a 5-minute Prager University explanation of why we hate the media (it’s rotten) and how it got to be so mistrusted — nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the press is full of fake news according to a Harvard-Harris poll published last spring.



TRANSCRIPT (November 6, 2017):

Trust in the media is at an all-time low—and for good reason.

We in the business of journalism have exempted ourselves from the normal rules that used to govern us, and so the most egregious kinds of reporting errors are becoming more common. Formerly well-respected news organizations and experienced national reporters are making the sorts of mistakes that wouldn’t be tolerated in journalism school.

When these mistakes are corrected at all, it’s with seemingly little regret. And the corrections never get anywhere near as much attention as the original salacious—but incorrect—narrative.

How did we get here?

I discuss that in detail in my book, The Smear.

Here are three factors:

First, firewalls that once strictly separated news from opinion have been replaced by hopelessly blurred lines. Once-forbidden practices, such as editorializing within straight news reports and the inclusion of opinions as if fact, are not only tolerated—they’re encouraged. The result: It’s never been harder for Americans to separate news that’s real from news that’s not.

Example: May 14, 2016, ten days after Donald Trump became the Republican presidential nominee, the New York Times published a blockbuster article titled, “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved with Women in Private.” The story’s authors, Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey, interviewed Rowanne Lane, an ex-girlfriend of Trump’s. Her quotes made Trump sound, at best, like a jerk, and at worst, like a predator.

The reporters went so far as to provide their own quotes for the story, presenting their personal commentary as if it were established fact, writing, “This is the public treatment of some women by Mr. Trump. . . degrading, impersonal, performed.”

The problem is, the reporting wasn’t true—according to Trump’s supposed victim. Once the story was published, she publicly accused the Times of misleading her, writing a “hit piece” against Trump and putting a “negative connotation” on what—she said—was “not…a negative experience.”

No matter where you stand, this was a huge development in terms of journalism: the main source behind front-page national news discredited the entire premise of the story. Free Courses for Free Minds .com You’d expect something like that to rock the whole news organization and prompt investigations, a retraction, and re-examination of policies. Yet, I can find no record of any of that. The Times and their reporters never even apologized or printed a correction. Continue reading this article

The Self-Driving Car Edges Closer to True Autonomy

We’ve been hearing about self-driving cars for several years, but until now, there has always been a human in the driver’s seat in case anything went wrong. The latest news from Google reveals that its autonomous car, called the Waymo, is ramping up to the next level where no driver will be present at the wheel, although an employee will be present just in case for the time being.

The current Waymo car is a Chrysler Pacifica teched out with self-driving sensors and computers.

Industry flacks promoting the technology like to tout the increased safety of self-driving cars — 37,461 people were killed on US roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent over the 2015 total.

So if autonomous vehicles can make the highways less deadly, that would be a genuine improvement with all those lives being saved.

But the price is high. Driving is a major occupation in the United States with an estimated 3.5 million Americans employed as commercial drivers.

The map below shows the most common job per state in 2014, and truck driver is remarkable for its frequency.

So the approach of true self-driving vehicles is moving ever closer, which promises increased highway safety, but with substantial job loss.

And in the more automated future, it makes no sense for the government to continue to import immigrant workers from abroad.

Waymo to take on Uber and Lyft with its fleet of self-driving minivans, CNBC, November 7, 2017

● Waymo said it plans to start a ride-hailing service with its fleet of driverless Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

● Although Waymo didn’t disclose when the service would launch, the first location will be Phoenix.

Waymo goes for driverless ride-sharing from CNBC.

Waymo, formerly known as the Google Self-Driving Car Project, is getting into the ride-hailing business, but with a twist. Sometime within the next few months Waymo will start offering the public rides in driverless Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

“The vehicles will be fully self-driving,” said Waymo CEO John Krafcik. “So you have your own personal space where you can sit back and relax.”

While Krafcik has yet to say exactly when Waymo’s ride-hailing service will launch, the first metropolitan area where people will be able to order a Waymo is Phoenix, he said. The public will use an app to catch a ride just as they do for Uber and Lyft.

Initially, those ride-hailing companies may hardly notice Waymo. After all, Waymo has a small fleet of minivans and is just starting up in one city at first. By comparison, Uber dominates the ride-hailing industry, while Lyft is a distant second, though quickly adding customers around the country.

Second Measure, which tracks the ride-hailing industry by analyzing credit card data, estimates Uber has a 70 percent share of the U.S. market, while Lyft has 25 percent and other smaller services make up the remaining 5 percent.

Still, Waymo’s corporate parent, Alphabet, has deep pockets and a strategy designed to leverage eight years of developing self-driving cars. While other tech firms, many automakers, some auto suppliers, as well as Uber and Lyft are also developing self-driving vehicles, Waymo is considered to be ahead of others when it comes to taking the driver out of car and having it operate safely on public roads. . .


Watch: Behind the scenes at Waymo

Behind the scenes at Waymo’s top-secret testing site from CNBC.

Senator Tom Cotton Defines Immigration in the National Interest

My copy of Imprimis, the Hillsdale College publication, arrived in the mail a few days ago, headlined with an article by Senator Tom Cotton titled “Immigration in the National Interest.”

Senator Cotton has recently been positioning himself as a major leader in the Senate for sensible policies of immigration control and reduction, particularly with his submission of legislation with Senator Perdue of the RAISE Act — Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment. The top points include cutting legal immigration by about half, eliminating the insane Diversity Visa and reducing refugees to 50,000 annually. All of the measures would benefit American workers and improve public safety.

The proportion of foreign-born workers in the American labor force was 16.9 percent in 2016, or nearly 27 million in numerical terms according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(Note: Imprimis is a small monthly, usually with one medium-length article of a conservative nature. The content is drawn from speeches delivered to Hillsdale College hosted events — see its YouTube channel for a sampling. You can subscribe online for the free paper edition by sending your address via this link.)

In the video below, Senator Cotton’s speech starts at around 18 minutes in, following introductory comments by Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn.

Immigration in the National Interest, by Senator Tom Cotton, Imprimis, October 2017

Last year, for the first time in our nation’s history, the American people elected as president someone with no high government experience—not a senator, not a congressman, not a governor, not a cabinet secretary, not a general. They did this, I believe, because they’ve lost faith in both the competence and the intentions of our governing class—of both parties! Government now takes nearly half of every dollar we earn and bosses us around in every aspect of life, yet can’t deliver basic services well. Our working class—the “forgotten man,” to use the phrase favored by Ronald Reagan and FDR—has seen its wages stagnate, while the four richest counties in America are inside the Washington Beltway. The kids of the working class are those who chiefly fight our seemingly endless wars and police our streets, only to come in for criticism too often from the very elite who sleep under the blanket of security they provide.

Donald Trump understood these things, though I should add he didn’t cause them. His victory was more effect than cause of our present discontents. The multiplying failures and arrogance of our governing class are what created the conditions for his victory.

Immigration is probably the best example of this. President Trump deviated from Republican orthodoxy on several issues, but immigration was the defining issue in which he broke from the bipartisan conventional wisdom. For years, all Democrats and many Republicans have agreed on the outline of what’s commonly called “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is Washington code for amnesty, mass immigration, and open borders in perpetuity.

This approach was embodied most recently in the so-called Gang of Eight bill in 2013. It passed the Senate, but thankfully we killed it in the House, which I consider among my chief accomplishments in Congress so far. Two members of the Gang of Eight ran for my party’s nomination for president last year. Neither won a single statewide primary. Donald Trump denounced the bill, and he won the nomination.

Likewise, Hillary Clinton campaigned not just for mass immigration, but also on a policy of no deportations of anyone, ever, who is illegally present in our country. She also accused her opponent of racism and xenophobia. Yet Donald Trump beat her by winning states that no Republican had won since the 1980s.

Clearly, immigration was an issue of signal importance in the election. That’s because immigration is more than just another issue. It touches upon fundamental questions of citizenship, community, and identity. For too long, a bipartisan, cosmopolitan elite has dismissed the people’s legitimate concerns about these things and put its own interests above the national interest.

No one captured this sensibility better than President Obama, when he famously called himself “a citizen of the world.”  With that phrase, he revealed a deep misunderstanding of citizenship. After all, “citizen” and “city” share the same Greek root word: citizenship by definition means that you belong to a particular political community. Yet many of our elites share Mr. Obama’s sensibility. They believe that American citizenship—real, actual citizenship—is meaningless, ought not be foreclosed to anyone, and ought not be the basis for distinctions between citizens and foreigners. You might say they think American exceptionalism lies in not making exceptions when it comes to citizenship.


Mexican Toxic Sludge Contaminates San Diego Beaches and Sickens Swimmers

A massive swarm of illegal aliens has not been the only poison flowing into the US from Mexico: our unfriendly neighbor has allowed huge amounts of untreated sewage and toxic chemicals to surge north, closing beaches and causing illness in many who come in contact with the vile sludge.

Americans have spent billions of dollars to have clean water and healthy land and beaches, yet wealthy Mexico (#15 in world GDP) refuses to treat its waste adequately.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported last April that the “Imperial Beach, which stretches past the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge to the Mexican border, had portions of its shoreline off-limits to swimmers for more than a third of each year on average” (Focus: Tijuana pollution contaminates South Bay beaches at astounding rate).

Our government needs to smack the Mexicans into responsible treatment of their crud — they certainly can afford it, but would rather Uncle Sucker pick up the tab. Not with Donald Trump in charge.

WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE: There are two problems: the polluted Tijuana River flows north into the US; secondly Mexican waste that’s pumped into the ocean carries naturally into California. By law, Mexico is supposed to treat both and tell us when they don’t; officials say they’re not.

SERGE DEDINA, MAYOR OF IMPERIAL BEACH: You’ve got this plume of brown stenchy sewage. It was like a giant blob, like the blob moving forward up your beach and just filling your nostrils and everything, all your senses with the stench of raw sewage.

CHRIS HARRIS, NATIONAL BORDER CONTROL COUNCIL: Our guys understand the risks of law enforcement being shot at, being rocked, but what we won’t accept any more is working in basically a sewage or chemical waste dump.

LA JEUNESSE: The Border Patrol, surfers, anyone using this beach is exposed to Mexican waste.

HARRIS: I’ve personally got it on my arms and literally within a minute I’ve had a huge rash to the point my supervisor said go to the hospital.

LA JEUNESSE: This year 83 of 300 agents filed reports of being affected — chromium, cadmium, lead burns their boots. Swimmers immersed in e.coli get physically sick.

SWIMMER: It’s usually frothy, it stinks.

LA JEUNESSE: In February a spill in Mexico sent 250 million gallons of raw sewage and industrial waste into the US where the Tijuana River flows north over the border; 200 days a year officials closed Imperial Beach.

DEDINA: Unfortunately the United States government seems to be in the mode where everything’s fine, don’t worry about it.

LA JEUNESSE: Local cities are suing the US and Mexico.

HARRIS: Literally and pun intended, they don’t give a crap. Where’s the governor of California? Governor Brown is going around the world saving the world for the environment — God bless, but what about this environmental disaster down here?

LA JEUNESSE: So the bottom line is people are getting sick, Mexico is not poor — they have oil, have tourism, trade. It has money: officials just argue they’re choosing not to spend it on cleaning the water.

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