Saturday’s Wall Street Journal had an interesting front page story about Africans invading Europe by the thousands who are not fleeing war or even poverty, but are looking to grab a First World lifestyle. Meanwhile, Europeans pathetically rescue them and treat them like refugees when the correct response would be to turn back the boats as the Australians have done.
Otherwise, there’s a billion more back in Africa where the current batch came from.
The story focuses on Senegal, which the WSJ calls a “stable West African democracy” that is generally prosperous and has benefited from expat remittances adding to its economy. Unfortunately, the new TVs and cell phones also show the attractive wealthy lifestyle of Europe, and young men want that. They want it bad.
However, the WSJ report does not mention that Senegal is 96 percent Muslim, and when the migrants’ unrealistic dreams are not fulfilled in Europe, many will likely become angry that riches were not easily attained and may turn to crime or violent jihad against the people they invaded.
Young Men in Senegal Join Migrant Wave Despite Growing Prosperity at Home
KOTHIARY, Senegal—Less than a month after mourning a neighbor killed on the 3,000-mile migrant trail to Europe, Ibrahima Ba set off on the same treacherous road.
The 27-year-old was supposed to build a future in this stable corner of rural Africa, using money sent from his father in France to raise bulls and sell diesel fuel. But in March, as chaos in Libya eased a pathway to the Mediterranean, Mr. Ba gambled he could make a better life, selling the cattle to buy a ticket along the world’s deadliest migrant route and joining the largest global migration wave since World War II.
In April, Mr. Ba’s family mourned him, too: they believe he drowned alongside 700 migrants aboard a trawler that tipped into the sea, the worst in a series of tragedies that shocked Europe and triggered frantic diplomacy to rethink European immigration laws.
At least 1,840 have died on the crossing from Libya to Italy so far this year, following 3,200 known deaths last year, the International Organization for Migration says.
“He didn’t lack for anything, he had everything he needed,” said Mr. Ba’s mother, Awa Diop. “But he wanted to have his own means.”
Mr. Ba represents a puzzling segment of the migrant population: Unlike those fleeing war, famine or economic desperation, this group is risking rising living standards to brave banditry, starvation and stormy seas to make a better life in Europe.
Officials here say five men from this village of several thousand—which in recent years has welcomed smartphones, laptops and satellite television—are known to have perished this year. More are missing, their fate unknown. Another man leaves every week, officials say.
Senegal is a stable West African democracy, and Kothiary has profited from the currents of globalization transforming rural Africa’s more prosperous areas. Flat screen TVs and, increasingly, cars—mostly purchased with money wired home by villagers working in Europe—have reshaped what was once a settlement of mud huts. The wealth has plugged this isolated landscape of peanut farms and baobab trees into the global economy and won respect for the men who sent it.
But it has also put European living standards on real-time display, and handed young farm hands the cash to buy a ticket out. Continue reading this article
Driving a car, closing valves and walking up stairs are at the edge of what free-standing robots can do these days. In fact, a number of the bots simply fell over, and someone put together a humorous video of gravity fails during the DARPA event:
Disaster-capable robots will certainly be an improvement over sending humans into radioactive sites, as happened during the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami affecting Japan. However, the robots will likely be gradually introduced into fire fighting and some police work, which are well paid professions for humans precisely because the jobs are dangerous.
Despite the number of robots falling over, three machines completed the obstacle course successfully, which is quite impressive. The Korean Team Kaist won the $2 million first prize with its robot DRC-Hubo. The second-place finisher and winner of $1 million was Team IHMC Robotics of Pensacola, Florida with its robot Running Man. Coming in third and earning the $500,000 prize was Tartan Rescue of Pittsburgh and its robot CHIMP.
The video below of the DARPA event shows the state of the art in robots that can act in a disaster scenario that requires very advanced movements and balance. The science fiction future really is here, and society is about to be rocked. The most immediate challenge is the reduced need for human workers to produce goods and services, which is reflected now in the jobless recovery. It’s past time for more awareness and discussion among policy-makers. Certainly, first-world economies like the United States don’t need to be importing millions of immigrants, most of whom will end up being in the jobless underclass.
Two-day finals in California saw robots wielding drills and driving cars
A South Korean team has won the $2 million top prize at the finals of DARPA’s Robotic Challenge (DRC) with a transforming bipedal bot that can scoot around on wheels in its knees. The winning design from Team KAIST managed to navigate DARPA’s obstacle course in under 45 minutes, successfully completing eight natural disaster-related tasks including walking over rubble, driving a car, tripping circuit breakers, and turning valves.
The DRC was set up after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, with the aim of accelerating the development of robots that can respond to man-made or natural disasters. Twenty-three teams competed in the finals, with a dozen entering from the US, and the rest traveling from countries including Germany, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong.
The teams had been developing their robots for more than two years and have tried the challenges before. However, while previous trials gave the robots 30 minutes to complete each task, the two-day finals — staged in front of thousands of spectators in California — pushed the teams to complete all eight in less than an hour. Only three robots managed to successfully tackle them all, and the rest, well, they fell down a lot. Continue reading this article
In 2012, the FBI arrested two Pakistan-born brothers for plotting to bomb New York City, a popular target among diverse jihadists. They pleaded guilty to charges in March and on Thursday received the maximum prison sentences.
Below, Pakistani natives Raees Alam Qazi, 22, and brother, Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 32, face decades in prison.
A Florida news report on the sentencing noted the tough sentence and how Judge Beth Bloom declared, “You are terrorists — evil in your intentions and evil in your deeds and a just sentence must follow.” The reported also mentioned that this case was the 54th plot foiled since the 9/11 attacks. (The Heritage Foundation puts the number at 69 during the same time period.)
Why admit potential enemies at all? Immigration is a privilege, not a right. In WWII there was no immigration of Germans or Japanese under the Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt. Yet Washington acts as if America is not at war with hostile Islam, when hostile Islam has said in word and deed that it is at war with us.
Of course, not all Pakistani immigrants are jihadists or even support a worldwide caliphate, but it is culturally naive for our government to base its immigration policy on the idea that all diversity is equal. It isn’t.
The Qazi jihadists are naturalized citizens of the United States who resided in Florida, identified as “Broward County brothers” by the local newspaper.
Two Broward County brothers were sentenced to the maximum punishment Thursday after admitting they planned a terrorist attack on New York City landmarks and later assaulted two deputy U.S. marshals in custody.
Raees Alam Qazi, 22, who played the lead role in the conspiracy and cycled around Manhattan looking for bomb targets was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. That is three years more than he expected under the terms of his plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
His brother, Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 32, who provided support, was sentenced to a 20-year prison term, also three years more than expected.
U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom told the Pakistani-born men they had taken advantage of the benefits of U.S. citizenship to plot violence and hatred against their fellow-Americans.
“You are a terrorist, evil in nature and evil in your deeds,” Bloom told Raees Qazi in court.
The judge also chastised Sheheryar Qazi for supporting “your brother’s devotion to al-Qaida.”
The latest scheme from the Obama administration is to force diversity upon Americans at the neighborhood level using housing regulations and HUD money. Living around people you find amenable will no longer be permitted because the government will decide whether your community is diverse enough, and bureaucrats will adjust according to liberal tyranny, er values. The administration intends social engineering on a massive scale.
The framing of news reports about Obama’s diversity policy centers around race and economic class, but government low-income housing would be a convenient spot to place the increased numbers of Muslim refugees that the administration desires. There’s no reason to think the government wouldn’t go maximum diversity and no tribe is more differently cultured than Muslims.
Nothing diversifies a neighborhood — or America — like a gaggle of Middle Eastern Muslims. In fact, it is quite clear that an agenda exists to erase America, or “fundamentally transform” it, in the words of Obama. Muslim refugees are already being resettled in small towns throughout the nation so there is no escape from extreme diversity, and the housing scam is just an additional pile-on.
Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar and Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared with Stuart Varney to discuss the implications of the government mandated diversity in neighborhoods whether they want it or not.
VARNEY: It looks to me like this is an attempt to shoehorn people of color using taxpayer money into housing within wealthy white neighborhoods. You approve of this?
GOSAR: I don’t approve with it that’s why I’ve offered the amendment, Stuart, this is micro-engineering down at the Planning and Zoning level that should be left to local government. This is about what they want to make the fabric of American look like, their way or the highway.
VARNEY: Can you stop it by using the financial mechanisms within congress?
GOSAR: Absolutely that’s what we have to get good at, Stuart, by defunding the mechanism for the implementation of the rule. That’s why Congress had the power the purse and the rule wall behind it and that’s how we intend to do and this will become a big issue because if the government can supersede the local Planning and Zoning, they could do anything and that that’s why this is outright egregious. . .
This is a total overreach by this administration. . .
VARNEY: What’s the legal aspects to this, judge?
NAPOLITANO: I think there are profound constitutional implications here and they are the following: One, can the president spend discretionary funds in a manner never even contemplated by the congress when it gave him the money to spend; Two, can the president use his pen and his phone to regulate an area of government totally exclusively historically and indisputably local and not federal; Three, what to do about a president who doesn’t respect the confines of the Constitution and thinks he can social engineer things as local as who can build what building on what city block,
Look, the way they’re going to do this is to offer money to local municipalities to change the zoning laws. Now if you and I walked into a government office and said change those rules and I’ll pay for it we’d be arrested by the FBI for bribery, but when the federal government does it, the Supreme Court says it’s an acceptable way for them to to get laws changed in an area that they don’t have authority over under the Constitution. It’s reprehensible and I hope the congressman that you just had on and his colleagues will stop it.
I don’t see a racial implications here. This is an Orwellian overreach by that central government into an area exclusively in a under the control of the locals since 1791.
Does anyone else think Obama’s last few months will be like nothing we’ve seen?
The Obama administration is moving forward with regulations designed to help diversify America’s wealthier neighborhoods, drawing fire from critics who decry the proposal as executive overreach in search of an “unrealistic utopia.”
A final Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule due out this month is aimed at ending decades of deep-rooted segregation around the country.
The regulations would use grant money as an incentive for communities to build affordable housing in more affluent areas while also taking steps to upgrade poorer areas with better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as part of a gentrification of those communities.
“HUD is working with communities across the country to fulfill the promise of equal opportunity for all,” a HUD spokeswoman said. “The proposed policy seeks to break down barriers to access to opportunity in communities supported by HUD funds.”
It’s a tough sell for some conservatives. Among them is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who argued that the administration “shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.” Continue reading this article
Unlike America, China doesn’t have the problem of an uncontrolled immigration system with no Off switch to stop the inflow of unneeded workers in the automated future when human workers are far less needed to produce goods and services.
OVER the last decade, China has become, in the eyes of much of the world, a job-eating monster, consuming entire industries with its seemingly limitless supply of low-wage workers. But the reality is that China is now shifting its appetite to robots, a transition that will have significant consequences for China’s economy — and the world’s.
In 2014, Chinese factories accounted for about a quarter of the global ranks of industrial robots — a 54 percent increase over 2013. According to the International Federation of Robotics, it will have more installed manufacturing robots than any other country by 2017.
Midea, a leading manufacturer of home appliances in the heavily industrialized province of Guangdong, plans to replace 6,000 workers in its residential air-conditioning division, about a fifth of the work force, with automation by the end of the year. Foxconn, which makes consumer electronics for Apple and other companies, plans to automate about 70 percent of factory work within three years, and already has a fully robotic factory in Chengdu.
Chinese factory jobs may thus be poised to evaporate at an even faster pace than has been the case in the United States and other developed countries. That may make it significantly more difficult for China to address one of its paramount economic challenges: the need to rebalance its economy so that domestic consumption plays a far more significant role than is currently the case.
China’s economic growth has been driven not just by manufacturing exports, but also by fixed investment in things like housing, factories and infrastructure — in fact, in recent years investment has made up nearly half of its gross domestic product. Meanwhile, domestic consumer spending represents only about a third of the economic pie, or roughly half the level in the United States. Continue reading this article
Former Senator Rick Santorum appeared today on the big Fox News Sunday show with Chris Wallace who quizzed him on several issues. Santorum spoke knowledgeably about immigration, particularly when he noted that “supply and demand works” and Hillary Clinton advocates open borders because she “just wants votes.” He could have said, “The Democrats are trying to import a permanent majority of big-government voters using illegal immigration,” but didn’t.
Santorum did say that legal immigration should be decreased, which is a rare bit of sanity to hear on a major cable network. Also a plus: his energetic support of American workers.
The immigration discussion starts at 4:30 in the video following and lasts a little over two minutes:
Santorum was so-so on the kicker question of what to do with the 11 million illegal aliens already residing here, answering that his father had to wait seven years to immigrate legally, so Senator Santorum doesn’t see the need to reward illegal behavior.
He might have observed that many millions of illegals have lived and worked here for years, surviving very comfortably despite their unlawful status. A Pew Hispanic investigation a couple years back found that 63 percent of illegal aliens have lived in the United States 10 years or longer. So they do not require either work permits or full blown citizenship to get along. Instead of rewarding the foreign lawbreakers with amnesty, remove the jobs magnet and let them leave the same way they came — on their own dime.
WALLACE: You are, I think it’s fair to say, and you mention one area where you may disagree with some other Republicans, is you’re a hard-liner on immigration. You say not only that we need tougher enforcement, like a lot of other Republicans, but you say, also, that we need less fewer legal immigrants.
Here’s you talking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTORUM: Hillary Clinton and big business, they have called for a massive influx in unskilled labor. Business does it because they want to control costs. Hillary does it — well, she just wants votes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator, what would you do — because you don’t answer it there — what would you do with the 11 million people who are in this country already illegally? And don’t you run the risk, as you talk about fewer immigrants and no path to legalization, don’t you run the risk of alienating the Hispanic vote, which is the fastest growing voting bloc in America?
SANTORUM: Here’s what I would say that, I approach this as what’s the best to American workers and particularly American workers, and particularly those workers who are not doing well in America. And if we look at the fact that 35 million people have come into this country over eh last 20 years, almost all of whom, now I’m talking about legal and illegal, we have more people living in this country who are not born in this country than any time in the history of this country. Continue reading this article
National Public Radio has a fair-and-balanced piece about whether automation will put many millions of people out of work: Andrew McAfee, co-author of The Second Machine Age, says Yes and David Autor, an MIT economist, says No. The report is pretty good for less than four minutes of radio.
Machines have been taking jobs forever. Computers and software are doing things people were paid to do. They are booking airplane flights. Filing our taxes. And they are getting better all the time.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Given that computers and software are doing things lots of people used to do, like booking our airplane flights and filing our taxes and getting better all the time, it’s worth worrying about how many jobs will be left a few decades from now. David Kestenbaum with our Planet Money team reports there is real debate over that question.
DAVID KESTENBAUM, BYLINE: It’s one thing to talk about computers taking jobs, but looking out a few decades, people are talking about entire careers disappearing. If you’re listening to this story driving an 18-wheeler on I-80, this thought has probably already occurred to you.
ANDREW MCAFEE: We’ve got cars that can drive themselves on roads in traffic without mishap.
KESTENBAUM: Andrew McAfee is a professor at MIT. He’s definitely in the jobs-are-going-away camp.
MCAFEE: The accidents that Google just reported that happened with their autonomous cars happened because other people rear-ended them and swerved into them.
KESTENBAUM: Truck drivers in this country – almost 2 million jobs. Cashiers – 3 million.
MCAFEE: It turns out people like self service a lot. I don’t want to talk to somebody when I go check in at an airport. I just either download the boarding pass to my phone or walk up to a kiosk and get it.
KESTENBAUM: McAfee does not think computers will have anything like human intelligence in the near future, but he says if you just take where we are now and extrapolate, to him, it’s clear where we’re headed.
MCAFEE: Twenty or 40 years from now, I believe we will not need the labor of a lot of the people alive in order to have a very, very productive economy. In terms of the amount of human labor that you need to get the stuff out of the ground and off the farms and through the factories and into our homes and tables – next to none.
KESTENBAUM: You do not have to go far to find someone who disagrees with Andrew McAfee, just around the corner to the office of another person at the same university. Continue reading this article
Lewiston, Maine, has been a hard-hit victim of Washington’s penchant for dumping uber-diverse immigrants and refugees, and Somalis certainly fit that description. Nobody has ever said, “I’m glad thousands of Somalis moved here.”
Cliff Notes Assimilation for Somalis: newbies get quickie instruction in how to use a stove, as well as basics of American law: no polygamy, no wife-beating, no FGM — all cultural norms in the Horn of Africa.
Like other Muslims in the West, Somalis in Lewiston have resisted assimilation. In 2012, they became incensed over the mayor’s suggestion that they acculturate to America, and insisted that he resign for mentioning this nation’s basic social contract for immigrants, that they assimilate in return for being admitted. Muslim immigration has been a complete failure and should be ended immediately because of the national security threat of a historic enemy within the gates.
Now Lewiston is beginning outreach to recruit Somalis for the police department. Is law enforcement of the tribe still a problem? The article doesn’t mention that as the reason, though one has to suspect.
The Reuters reporter seems bewitched by the Somalis’ colorful clothing, which he mentioned twice. He must believe that diversity enriches us.
LEWISTON, Maine — From the Mogadishu market to the women in brightly colored veils walking their children to school, Maine’s second-largest city shows the signs of the growing Somali-American community that is making its mark on the former New England mill town.
One place in Lewiston where that growing diversity is not evident is the city’s 82-member police force, but Chief Michael Bussiere aims to change that amid an intense national debate over race and policing.
With about a quarter of his officers due to become eligible to retire in the next few years, Bussiere has begun reaching out to the region’s 7,000-strong Somali population, including many who arrived in the United States as refugees from the East African country’s long civil war.
“We have to think about who is living here now and who’s going to live here 10 years from now. We need a department that is reflective of the demographics of the community it serves,” Bussiere said during an interview at his office.
At first glance, Lewiston, a city of 36,000 people that spent decades struggling through job losses from mill closings and a shrinking population, may seem an unlikely place for such a rebirth given that Maine is among the whitest U.S. states.
According to U.S. Census data, however, 8.7 percent of Lewiston’s population identifies as black or African-American, a rate higher than any other city in the state and more than seven times the 1.2 percent state average.
The Somali population in Lewiston, as well as nearby Auburn and Portland, has been on the rise for a decade. Unlike in Minneapolis or Toronto, Canada, which also have a sizable Somali populations, many Somalis in Lewiston had originally attempted to put down roots in larger cities.
They moved Lewiston after hearing about a quieter and less expensive way of life from fellow Somali-Americans who had settled into the town.
Their mark is clear along downtown’s Lisbon Street, where shops offer Halal meat and brightly colored African clothing, as well as the evening soccer leagues that fill the city’s parks. Continue reading this article
I happened to click on Rush Limbaugh on Friday just in time to hear him chirp happily about publishing one of his patriotic Rush Revere kid books in Spanish. He has written several books about the American Revolution designed to interest the kiddies aged 10 and up in history and promote patriotism to counteract the anti-American poison they get in public school — an excellent project. But now he is going language diversity.
Limbaugh declares himself to be the Mayor of Realville because he rejects liberal fantasies of society and instead embraces the truth, whatever it is. So he says.
But he is hardly realistic about language as a cultural weapon against America. Limbaugh actually says that his book will help assimilate newcomers by allowing them to read about America’s founding in Spanish. Hello? The normal process of assimilation occurs through learning English first so a whole universe of American literature then becomes available. Is Limbaugh losing it? He has always been squishy on immigration, but this is a step into surrender: Don’t bother learning English, immigrant kids, you can observe American culture from the comfort of Spanish, no effort required, with the help of El Rushbo.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I mentioned this to you some time ago, and then it went dormant because I had to wait for the day to be able to tell you. The day has arrived. When Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, the first in a series of children’s books, ages 10 to 13, on American history first book came out, immediately people said, “You’ve got to make this book available in Espanol.”
And then the second book in the series came out, the third book in the series came out. And each time a new book came out people clamored for more, demanding more. Kids calling, “Will there be another Rush Revere book? I want more of Liberty,” blah, blah, blah. In each case we’ve always been able to answer in the affirmative and I told you that we’re working on a Spanish version of these books. And I’m here to tell you that we have pulled this off, and it is no mean feat. It’s taken quite a while to make this happen. I’m not gonna bore you with all of the things that we had to do. I’m not talking about concessions.
You have to convince people there’s a market for it. But we are here to announce that onJune the 9th we will be releasing Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, the first book in the adventure series, in Spanish. Our hope is that newly arrived legal immigrants coming to the United States will be able to learn the positive and incredible story of the founding of the greatest country on earth in an accurate and fun, involved way.
Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims overwhelming, universally popular, even among adults. We’ve had stories from people who’ve read these books — again, they’re targeted to ages 10 to 13 — who say they learned things in these books that they didn’t know, people that are parents and grandparents age. It’s been a rewarding thing, as you know. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about these books, using the vehicle of time travel to be able to take students back to seminal events in American history and put them there and enable them to talk with people like Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, I mean, the whole shebang.
And to have the books available in Spanish is something we were urged to do almost from the get-go, and so here we are. Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, Spanish edition, will be perfect for bilingual American families that want their kids to further their Spanish language skills while at the same time learning the true story of American history and being a part of exciting adventures.
So essentially we’re participating here in an effort to assimilate people into the American culture via American history and the American way of life. Really proud of this, folks. Really, really proud of this. We’re gonna be posting special announcements on June the 9th on Facebook, on all of our websites. They’re gonna start in very limited quantity in Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Amazon. You might have to search a little to find these. This is part of the marketing thing that we’ve been going through here, but we are expecting great things.
Since so many people had been asking, I just wanted to let you know that we have succeeded here and are able to make the announcement. So June 9th the first book, the inaugural book in the Rush Revere series, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims available in Espanol.
How violent has Mexico become? One indicator is that the House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz has suggested that three consulates there may need to be closed because of the danger to State Department staff from cartels and other local criminals.
Reporter William La Jeunesse discussed the details on Fox News with host Bill Hemmer:
LA JEUNESSE: Criminal gangs and cartel violence continue to plague Mexico — homicide, extortion, robbery, all remain high. A hundred US citizens were murdered, 130 kidnapped last year. Two days ago gunmen killed the congressional candidate, a politician’s now dead ahead of Sunday’s midterm elections. The State Department is actually warning that violent conflicts between rival criminal elements and/or the Mexican military can occur in all parts of the region at all times of the day that’s near the South Texas border. No highway routes through Tamaulipas are considered safe. So here’s a map and because of it some congressmen want the Secretary of State to consider closing consulates in Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Guadalajara. . .
In February the Matamoros consulate reported hundreds of firefights involving machine guns and grenade launcher explosives, Bill, partially destroying two government buildings.
HEMMER: What happens at these consulates on a daily basis and why aren’t we hearing more about it?
LA JEUNESSE: Well, number one, the consulates serve American interests in Mexico and right now they’re busier than ever because the flood of US investment which is one reason why the government is actually suppressing reporting about the violence. Congressman Jason Chaffetz says the area is not safe for tourists or diplomats.
CHAFFETZ: I wanna know from Secretary Kerry why are those consulates still open if it’s so dangerous. If we can’t properly protect them, should they close them? And if they’re not gonna close them, what are they gonna do to ensure the safety and security of Americans?
So Mexico is exploding in violence but the chaos isn’t reported because the Mexes don’t want American investment to stop. What businesses would invest in a nearly failed state?
In another recent video, Chaffetz said Mexico might be the most dangerous place on earth now, worse than the Middle East.
Nevertheless, the American border to the #1 world violence spot remains open because the administration cares zero about public safety or national security.
A new wave of cartel-fueled violence in Mexico has congressional lawmakers raising bipartisan alarm over the safety of American personnel stationed there — and questioning whether consulates in the country’s most dangerous cities should even remain open.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Homeland Security Committee member Filemon Vela, D-Texas, sent a letter Thursday to Secretary of State John Kerry seeking details “as soon as possible” on the security situation in three specific cities: Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Guadalajara.
They said lawmakers recently visited U.S. consulates in two of those cities, and learned the security situation in the area “has deteriorated to an alarming extent.”
“[W]e urge you to take all steps possible to reduce the level of violence, and to protect the lives of Americans working there,” they wrote.
Chaffetz and Vela pointedly asked for a written response addressing why the U.S. consulates in the three cities should remain open “given the level of criminal violence” there.
“I want to know from Secretary Kerry, why are those consulates still open?” Chaffetz told Fox News. “If it’s so dangerous, we can’t properly protect them — should they close them? If they’re not going to close them, what are they going to do to ensure the safety of Americans?” Continue reading this article
Smart machines, from robots to computers, are creating a tsunami of change in the workplace, yet many refuse to see the revolution and cling desperately to the old idea that jobs being swept away by technological change will be replaced by new ones.
One hint of the big change is the chart showing productivity and employment splitting several years ago, after running on a parallel track for decades:
Just a month ago the USA Today editorial staff shrieked its alarm about an imagined shortage of workers based on Boomer generation retirement (an idea popular with amnesty salesman Paul Ryan) and recommended More Immigration as the cure:
It’s time to plan for massive demographic shift. Discourage retirement; encourage immigration.
Given all that has happened in the economy recently — a decade and a half of stagnant wages, a punishing recession and a sluggish jobs recovery — the idea of a labor shortage might seem preposterous. Monthly job numbers coming out Friday won’t show any sign that one is developing.
But the data pointing to such a shortage are compelling. And a growing number of economists are urging people to look beyond the monthly reports at a broad demographic shift.
America is about to run short of workers for the simple reason that people are retiring. The oldest of the Baby Boomers are now 69 and leaving the workforce. Meanwhile, the retiree population is growing at the other end as people live longer. [. . .]
And America certainly doesn’t need more immigrants to do jobs that don’t exist now or won’t in a few years. The urban underclass is already angry at the lack of jobs and opportunity, and the government shouldn’t add millions to the ranks of the unemployable.
Now there’s another voice warning of severe social dislocation from technology, the author of a new book, A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control. The author Wendell Wallach is an ethics scholar at Yale, and he has been a critic of technological aspects of modernity. Like Martin Ford, he believes wealth redistribution is the answer to technological unemployment — but inquiring minds wonder if a more conservative cure can be created. Possible?
The technology is here. But the jobs are nowhere to be found.
Thanks to the efficiency of the internet and automated systems, productivity and GDP have grown during the last few decades, but the middle class and jobs are disappearing.
In fact, we have reached a tipping point where technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates. And if the trend continues we could face a serious crisis in the US and abroad, said Wendell Wallach, a consultant, ethicist, and scholar at the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.
Robots, 3D printing, and other emerging technologies are all fueling technological unemployment and global wealth disparity, Wallach said.
Technological unemployment is the concept of technology killing more jobs than it produces. And while the fear has been considered a Luddite fallacy for the past 200 years, it is now becoming a stark reality, he said.
“This is an unparalleled situation and one that I think could actually lead to all sorts of disruptions once the public starts to catch on that we are truly in the midst of technological unemployment,” Wallach said during a presentation at the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs on Tuesday.
And yet, there are no signs of the trend reversing. Because technology is evolving faster than ever before with little to no oversight or regulation, the likelihood of more jobs being replaced by new tech is at an all-time high, Wallach told Business Insider.
In fact, some 47% of present jobs in the United States could be computerized in the next 10 to 20 years, according to an Oxford University study published in 2013.
Traditionally, productivity, jobs, hourly wages and income all grew in unison. However, during the last 30 years GDP and productivity grew while the US median income stopped and employment flattened, Wallach writes in his new book. Technology innovation has played a significant role in this trend. Continue reading this article
Interestingly, an Atlantic article (What Jobs Will the Robots Take? January 2014) noted that self-driving vehicles were thought unworkable until very recently:
Computers that can drive cars, in particular, were never supposed to happen. Even ten years ago, many engineers said it was impossible. Navigating a crowded street isn’t mindlessly routine. It needs a deft combination of spacial awareness, soft focus, and constant anticipation–skills that are quintessentially human. But I don’t need to tell you about Google’s self-driving cars, because they’re one of the most over-covered stories in tech today.
Below, the interior of Google’s self-driving car.
The latest entrant in the self-driving car sweepstakes is Uber, once a simple ride-sharing service, based on a mobile app. But now it’s moving full speed toward robotization, as signaled by the company’s scooping up of dozens of automation experts from Carnegie Mellon.
The video following says a Barclay analyst estimated a driverless Uber car would cost 58 percent less than the regular kind — yes, and thousands fewer Uber drivers getting paychecks to spend in the economy. In addition, the same analyst thought that vehicle sales might drop by 50 percent in the next 25 years. It sounds like a major transformation of society is brewing while our political leaders snooze.
So America won’t need to import thousands of turban-wearing immigrants from Asia to drive our cabs around. Right?
People – mainly software developers at first – started leaving CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Centre (NREC) back in January. Soon, nearly a third of the department’s staff had moved around the corner to a new facility set up by Uber in a renovated chocolate factory.
All in all, 40 former NREC staff made the move. The Verge points out that some of the department’s top ranking people now work for Uber, including six out of eight of NREC’s commercialisation specialists, and Anthony Stentz, the centre’s director for the past four and a half years. Continue reading this article
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