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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Instead of the lawlessness and the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.”
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
When Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley appeared on Fox News a few weeks ago, he said he had information from a reliable source leading the Senator to believe that a known gang member had gotten a DACA pass to stay in the country despite having a criminal record.
Now there is more information to back up Grassley’s contention that Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez was a DACA recipient despite having known gang affiliation. He is accused in the murder of four people including a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model” in North Carolina.
Rangel-Hernandez had been arrested for marijuana possession and was not deported. Even when ICE officials were notified of his criminal record, he was still allowed to remain in the US under Obama’s DACA amnesty program.
Below, murder victim and aspiring model Mirjana Puhar (left) and accused murderer Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez (right).
Furthermore, whistleblowers have alleged that Mr. Rangel-Hernandez’s DACA application was approved although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had full knowledge that he was a known gang member. This raises serious concerns about USCIS’s review and approval of other DACA applicants and points to potential vulnerabilities in the system. Therefore, we are seeking the Department’s official policy related to DACA adjudications for suspected or known gang members.
When Senator Grassley appeared on the Fox program mentioned above, he observed,
For a long period of time I and my staff have been noting, within the DHS, immigration division, there’s been a great deal of peer pressure among the adjudicators to get to Yes. In other words, if you can’t approve these people and they’re denied, we’re going to send it up the chain of command for approval. The message goes out then that we want these people not deported.
Funny how public safety counts for so little by the current administration.
The company that created Baxter, the $25,000 robot designed to do manufacturing jobs 24/7, has come up with a new machine that is smaller and capable of finer movements. So while Baxter can pack boxes and other simple movements, Sawyer’s more delicate touch allows it to perform some aspects of electronics manufacturing, for example.
The company’s artsy video with dramatic music highlights the machine’s flexible arm:
Below, Rethink Robotics co-founder Rodney Brooks poses with Sawyer (left) and Baxter (right).
The price of the new robot is reported to be $29,000 and its expected lifetime is 30,000 hours, which puts the cost at around a buck an hour plus a little electricity. What manufacturer wouldn’t snap up a bunch of the units to replace humans who take coffee breaks and expect a living wage?
A major talking point of robot builders is that the machines “help” humans rather than replace them in an integrated workplace. A recent Financial Times article about Sawyer was titled, “Robots rub shoulders with human buddies.” How reassuring.
Interestingly, that article noted, “Last year Volkswagen said it plans to use robots to cope with a shortage of new workers caused by retiring baby boomers.” One reason cited by proponents of increased immigration in this country is the idea of a labor shortage caused by the retirement of millions of the boomer generation. But employers are fine with using robots which are cheaper and more convenient.
But clearly human workers are rapidly becoming obsolete in manufacturing, which is obvious when you see modern automobile assembly lines that are entirely robotic.
Given the workplace revolution that is happening right now, America certainly doesn’t need to import millions of immigrants for future jobs that won’t exist. Oxford University researchers estimated in a 2013 report (“The Future of Employment”) that “about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk” to be replaced by smart machines.
The horrible Gang of Eight Senate bill mandated doubling legal immigration forever, and open-borders proponents would love a “compromise” of hugely increased immigration now and promised enforcement sometime at an undefined later date. But initiating a huge demographic change based on a wrong idea about labor needs would be a bad mistake because it would massively increase an angry unemployed underclass, among other social and economic problems.
Meet Sawyer, a new robot unveiled Thursday by Rethink Robotics, a Boston-based robotics company aiming to make factories more efficient, safer and more productive.
Weighing in at 41.9 lbs and standing 3.3 feet tall, the one-armed Sawyer is smaller and more flexible than Rethink’s only other robot, the double-armed Baxter, which debuted in 2012. While Baxter has helped companies do heavy duty work like loading boxes, Sawyer was created to automate more detailed, smaller tasks, like testing circuit boards and machine tending — jobs that have traditionally proven too intricate for industrial robots.
“[Baxter] gave us a tremendous base of companies that were thinking like us. We have a vision, idea and experience, but we don’t necessarily have all the answers,’” Rethink CMO Jim Lawton says of Sawyer’s development, which began in late 2013. “It’s like taking one step across the river. You can’t get there in one step, so you need to build commercially viable products as stepping stones. Eventually, you get to the other side of the river.”
Rethink’s customers have already used both robots — though Sawyer only in field tests — to perform low-level factory jobs, positions that are often menial, dangerous or undesirable. The machines are also relatively cheap: Sawyer will start at $29,000 when it’s introduced more widely this fall, while Baxter starts at $25,000; similar robots can cost several times more. The robots’ signature touch is digital “faces” that double as easy-to-use interfaces, allowing companies to get Sawyer and Baxter up-and-running within hours or days.
Together, Sawyer and Baxter are just two of the many robots fueling fears automation and other technologies are taking humans’ jobs. Rethink is used to the criticism: factory labor has long been a politically charged topic, and the seven-year-old startup has often been in the spotlight thanks to its big-name investors like Bezos Expeditions and Charles River Ventures. Rethink’s most recent funding round in January raised $26.6 million. That’s considered a significant investment in the robotics industry, which is expected to grow 12% globally every year, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Continue reading this article
What would happen if the guest worker green card provisions in the Gang of Eight bill or the Skills Act or the I-Squared became law? How would it change things?
SALZMAN: It would dramatically increase the number and we find based on those estimates that would provide enough guest workers to fill 100 percent of the jobs with perhaps 50 percent left in reserve that could then be used to backfill and replace current workers. So the current bills supply more than even what the industry says it needs to fill every new job.
SESSIONS: And you’ve written that universities graduate twice as many people with STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) each year as there are job openings in this field. Would you comment on that?
SALZMAN: Yes, I mean overall our universities are very good at providing the work force that’s needed. Current numbers suggest half to two-thirds of graduates find a job in a STEM field. And what’s important to also notice is when we do observe a shortage, as happened in the petroleum industry, you see wages go up. And when wages have gone up, student enrollments increased dramatically. In other words, students are very sensitive to the market signals about where there is demand, where wages go up and they respond, which brings up the curious question which is if there is demand out there, why haven’t we seen wages increase?
Witness Ron Hira also noted in the clip that the state of California has hired foreign workers to process unemployment insurance system.
Speaking of the formerly Golden State, I’ve been reporting for a while that California’s state universities have been admitting more foreign students because they pay full tuition, and the system needs the money. But the following item came up in the hearing and is rather shocking when you think about it:
SALZMAN: And, along the way, [increased STEM visas] will erode the nation’s innovation foundation anchored in American universities as they close their doors to U.S. students, just as the California State University system did when it decreed that its graduate programs were closed to state residents and, to increase revenue, effectively favored admissions to foreign students who now comprise over 90 percent of some STEM masters programs.
Get that? The state universities’ graduate programs are closed to state residents because foreigners pay more money, even though California parents have been supporting the system with tax dollars for years. How screwed up is that?
In addition, Senator Sessions posted a summary of the hearing:
“The day is over when high-paid immigration lobbyists can simply demand as much labor as they want at the lowest possible price.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, issued the following statement today after the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the displacement of U.S. workers through the H-1B and related guest worker programs:
“In 2013, columnist Byron York called attention to a curious and alarming fact: the same companies lobbying for more guest workers were laying off American workers in droves.
Today’s hearing called by Chairman Grassley leaves no doubt as to what is happening: large corporations are using foreign worker programs explicitly for the purpose of replacing American workers at lower wages. This is exactly what happened to hundreds of loyal workers, mothers and fathers employed by Southern California Edison. Continue reading this article
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