African Overpopulation Is Revealed in Conflict over Resources

Sunday’s front page on the New York Times features an important story that looks at the perilous situation in Africa, where overpopulation’s effects are being seen in local warfare over food resources, particularly land. The farmland is becoming depleted, while a skyrocketing number of people fight over what’s available for use.

The story focuses locally on Kenya which has many of the same problems as large areas of Africa — overgrazing and overfarming caused by the growing number of hungry people lead to conflict. The drought now occurring eastern Africa accelerates the process of desertification, further reducing the available land.

The article does not mention the number of Africans who are pushed by difficult circumstances to head north to Europe, as many already have. And they come from throughout the continent.

Africa’s population growth guarantees that huge numbers of illegal migrants will continue flooding into Europe. The possibility of four billion Africans by 2100 should focus Europe on defense now before it is completely overrun.

Disappearance of Fertile Land Fuels ‘Looming Crisis’ in Africa, By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN, New York Times, July 30, 2017

LAIKIPIA, Kenya — The two elders, wearing weather-beaten cowboy hats with the strings cinched under their chins, stood at the edge of an empty farm, covering their mouths in disbelief.

Their homes — neat wooden cabins — had been smashed open. All their cattle had been stolen. So had their chickens. House after house stood vacant, without another soul around. It was as if some huge force had barreled into the village and swept away all the life.

Sioyia Lesinko Lekisio, one of the elders, had no doubts who did this. Swarms of herders from another county had invaded, attacking any farm or cattle ranch in their path, big or small, stealing livestock, ransacking homes and shooting people with high-powered assault rifles.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “They want our land.”

Kenya has a land problem. Africa itself has a land problem. The continent seems so vast and the land so open. The awesome sense of space is an inextricable part of the beauty here — the unadulter- ated vistas, the endless land. But in a way, that is an illusion.

Population swells, climate change, soil degradation, erosion, poaching, global food prices and even the benefits of affluence are exerting incredible pressure on African land. They are fueling conflicts across the continent, from Nigeria in the west to Kenya in the east — including here in Laikipia, a wildlife haven and one of Kenya’s most beautiful areas.

Large groups of people are on the move, desperate for usable land. Data from NASA satellites reveals an overwhelming degradation of agricultural land throughout Africa, with one recent study showing that more than 40 million Africans are trying to survive off land whose agricultural potential is declining.

At the same time, high birthrates and lengthening life spans mean that by the end of this century, there could be as many as four billion people on the continent, about 10 times the population 40 years ago.

It is a two-headed problem, scientists and activists say, and it could be one of the gravest challenges Africa faces: The quality of farmland in many areas is getting worse, and the number of people squeezed onto that land is rising fast.

(Continues)

Iranian Expat Observes That Germany Is Becoming Islamized

In the video below, an Iranian woman tells how she is afraid that her new country is becoming very much like the one she escaped. She asks whether the old refugees are no longer good enough and must be traded in for new ones.

When Merkel invited Syrian refugees to Germany, moochers from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe showed up looking for a handout.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open borders insanity is making Germany rather similar to the barbaric nations expats left looking for safety.

Dear Frau Merkel, I have questions, and I hope you have the answers to them. Many have warned that with Islam, terror will come to Germany, and that the people who come here, who are let into the country uncontrolled by you, will bring their wars from their home countries with them, and that they will in just as uncontrolled a way attack each other here in Germany as they do back home.

Today, on the 28th of July, 2017, again, an attack took place in Hamburg against innocent people, and again, the attacker yelled Allah Akhbar, god is great. Again, innocent people have died in the name of Allah, just as millions of people have died for 1,400 years.

Thirty-one years ago, I fled from exactly these people and came to Germany. Therefore, when I say that I see my persecutors on the streets, that is not a joke. It is a fact. As a small child I experienced the revolution in Iran; I experienced the war; I saw seen things on the streets that no child should see. Continue reading this article

‘Oakland Man’ Planned Bay Area Conflagration and Mass Murder Jihad

You’ve probably heard the jihad joke, “They blow up so fast.”

Today’s example is a young man born in Lodi and a graduate of Berkeley High School who was planning a major jihad attack in the Bay Area. Remember that Lodi has a history — it was home to a jihadist family with the principal perp, Hamid Hayat, eventually sentenced to 24 years in prison. Joe Guzzardi was writing about his home town’s jihadist diversity back in 2005: Home, Sweet, Home: Is Lodi, California A Terrorist Hot Bed?.

So we’re getting more of the dangerous second generation of muslim immigrants — born here citizens, but loyal to Islam above all. The 22-year-old Amer Sinan Alhaggagi hoped to kill 10,000 people in the Bay Area through fire and bombs according to the precepts of his religion.

Funny there hasn’t been more news coverage of this case — after all, the accused is just an “Oakland man.”

I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: Oakland man allegedly planned Bay Area terror attacks, ABC 7 News, July 24, 2017

The I-Team has uncovered new information on the terror case against a West Oakland man. Prosecutors say he was willing to die in a suicide bombing here, but that he was planning a series of attacks. It’s a story you’ll only see on ABC7.

Investigators say a West Oakland man told an undercover agent he wanted to “redefine terror” and kill 10,000 people in support of the terror group ISIS.

VIDEO: Stunning testimony from Amer Alhaggagi detention hearing

The ABC7 I-Team obtained a recording of Amer Alhaggagi’s detention hearing from December. Here are some of the most explosive accusations.

In an exclusive interview with the head of the San Francisco FBI and from federal court recordings obtained by the ABC7 I-Team, new details are emerging in the government’s terror case against Amer Sinan Alhaggagi.

Alhaggagi was arrested back in November 2016 on aggravated identity theft charges. But when he went to court a month later, his defense attorney asked for his release on bond in an unusual hearing closed to the public for a case that was ordered sealed by a federal judge. We obtained an audio recording of that detention hearing.

His defense attorney told the court the defendant was in many ways a typical American youth who might need counseling. He asked the judge to fashion a bond arrangement that would have Alhaggagi freed with electronic monitoring.

But a federal prosecutor revealed details of another case, one Alhaggagi had not been charged in, and convinced Federal Magistrate Kandis Westmore to order the defendant be held in custody.

RELATEDOakland man indicted on terrorism charges after allegedly promoting ISIS rhetoric online

On Monday, FBI Special Agent in Charge John Bennett emphatically reiterated the government’s position in an exclusive interview, telling ABC7’s Dan Noyes, “This was a case of grave importance for us. This was a clear and present danger for public safety here in the Bay Area.” Continue reading this article

Ex-Californian Touts Texas as the Conservative Dream Destination

It was amusing to see ex-Californian Paul Chabot expressing his joy at moving his family to conservative Texas — “Living in Texas is amazing!” he exclaimed during a Fox interview on Saturday:

Chabot must not have thought deeply about how California turned from a very conservative state into a very liberal one — the transformation was caused by immigration-fueled demographic change. And Texas is facing the same disintegration. Sure, it’s a conservative powerhouse now, but hispanic population is the major growth factor. Open borders, big families and the attraction of the welfare system will transform a state rapidly, as we can see from California.

The new Texan is an upbeat salesman for his product, conservative Texas, which he has monetized into a moving business called Conservative Move. But anyone considering a major relocation might want to avoid the border region because even if immigration were to end tomorrow (which it should because of automation), the remaining hispanics maintain their big-government preference for generations.

Here’s a print story about Chabot, who is quite the salesman:

California conservative flees to Texas, hopes others join him, Fox News, July 21, 2017

Are you a conservative who’s found yourself increasingly surrounded by liberals? Well, relocation to Collin County in the Red State of Texas may be just what you need to blow away your Blue State blues.

A company called Conservative Move says its aim is to help conservatives find the kind of lifestyle that suits them best. “Helping families move Right,” is the company’s slogan.

Founder Paul Chabot, 43, is a former Californian who recently told the Los Angeles Times that he and his family moved to McKinney, Texas, north of Dallas, after he became disheartened watching his native San Bernardino County become less and less conservative and more and more liberal.

“In California, it’s like the liberals can do no wrong,” Chabot told the newspaper. “No matter what we (conservatives) do, we’re beating our heads against the wall.” Continue reading this article

President Trump Preaches Law and Borders on Long Island

The Trump administration’s crackdown against the extremely violent MS-13 Salvadoran gang has been going well, with some important recent arrests. So it made sense for the president to visit Long Island on Friday, to give a speech to a largely law enforcement audience and send them well deserved accolades, as well as tout his own success.

However, President Trump’s remarks did not mention Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the AG’s earlier work on Long Island’s gang violence as well as his trip to El Salvador on Thursday to establish better international partnerships for law enforcement. So apparently Sessions is still on the outs, judging by Trump’s omission of his efforts.

In contrast, President Trump did the right thing by inviting and acknowledging crime victim parents, as he has done many times before.

Martha McCallum of Fox News interviewed the parents of Kayla Cuevas after the Long Island speech to talk about the murder of their daughter by MS-13 gangsters. Kayla and her friend were brutally beaten and slashed to death after Kayla got into a disagreement on social media with some gangsters who attended high school with them.

Below, high school girls Nisa Mickens (left) and Kayla Cuevas (right) were murdered by MS-13 gangsters.

One important cause of the worsened crime was the open borders policy of President Obama, who was not mentioned by name in the Trump speech, but was noted indirectly:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: The previous administration enacted an open-door policy to illegal migrants from Central America.  “Welcome in.  Come in, please, please.”

As a result, MS-13 surged into the country and scoured, and just absolutely destroyed, so much in front of it.  New arrivals came in and they were all made recruits of each other, and they fought with each other, and then they fought outside of each other.  And it got worse and worse, and we’ve turned that back.

In the three years before I took office, more than 150,000 unaccompanied alien minors arrived at the border and were released all throughout our country into United States’ communities — at a tremendous monetary cost to local taxpayers and also a great cost to life and safety.

Nearly 4,000 from this wave were released into Suffolk County — congratulations — including seven who are now indicted for murder.  You know about that.

In Washington, D.C. region, at least 42 alien minors from the border surge have been recently implicated in MS-13-related violence, including 19 charged in killings or attempted killings.

In fact, Obama knowingly admitted MS-13 gangsters among the “unaccompanied minors” who were admitted in the tens of thousands who at best only overwhelmed schools and social services, using resources that should have gone to needy citizens. But many foreign criminals knew an opportunity when they saw one, and therefore flooded in.

Not only does President Trump have to reconstruct the economy that the previous administration battered into submission, he also has to restore the rule of law so parents needn’t fear their kids getting murdered at school by criminal gangsters.

The whole speech follows, with transcript here:

Retail Robot Does Inventory -- So Long, Stock Boys!

In St. Louis, a midwestern grocery chain is making news with its test run of an inventory-taking robot, called Tally by its manufacturer. The machine is not unrelated to the LoweBot-type machine that guides customers to desired items in the store which the robot has filed in its database of what and where. The Tally just rolls around and counts, creating a list of what needs restocking.

The Tally robot scoots around stores to check inventory and verify prices.

The robot won’t actually be restocking the shelves because that task requires the dexterity of the human hand — for now at least. But developers are engaged in a race to build a machine that can move objects around as well as a person. Ground zero for that technology is the Amazon Robotics Challenge, an annual contest for a robot that can physically pack an order into a box for shipment (which is taking place this week, as it happens). A machine that can pick and pack like a human hand will have a lot of job-killing applications beyond the Amazon warehouse.

The Tally robot is a creation of Simbe Robotics in San Francisco. The company has a pleasantly reassuring video with a Strauss waltz playing — though there’s no mention of the jobs lost since a human with a clipboard is no longer needed.

The retail business is about to be transformed by automation, including the shopping experience for consumers, and the result will be severe job loss. Hardest-hit will be cashiers, because self-checkout is a simple technology. In May, the financial services firm Cornerstone Capital Group forecast that between 6 million to 7.5 million retail jobs are at risk of being automated over the next 10 years. What are those people supposed to do for a living when the same technological forces are knocking many other unskilled jobs? President Trump’s efforts at increasing jobs are having an effect, but the long term looks unpromising.

Eric Brynjolfsson, tech author from MIT, recently remarked about the revolution in retail (Amazon’s Move Signals End of Line for Many Cashiers, NYTimes, June 17, 2017):

“Amazon didn’t go put a robot into the bookstores and help you check out books faster. It completely reinvented bookstores. The idea of a cashier won’t be so much automated as just made irrelevant — you’ll just tell your Echo what you need, or perhaps it will anticipate what you need, and stuff will get delivered to you.”

The shopping experience that tech wizards are designing sounds pretty sterile, but it would be an improvement over sales helpers who don’t speak English well (as I reflected yesterday while shopping for manila folders at Staples).

The future will automated. To prepare for it, the least Washington could do is severely limit immigration, say by about 99 percent, because AUTOMATION MAKES IMMIGRATION OBSOLETE.

The robot invasion has begun in the grocery aisle, New York Post, July 27, 2017

A family-owned grocery chain in the Midwest is set to test an aisle-roving robot, joining technology-savvy retail behemoths like Amazon and Walmart.

The robot, named Tally, will begin scanning store aisles at three St. Louis-area Schnucks grocery stores in a six-week pilot program starting on Monday. The robot will check aisles three times a day to look for out-of-stock items and make sure items and price tags properly correspond, company officials say.

“We’re excited to see what this partnership brings,” Dave Steck, the chain’s vice president of IT and infrastructure, said in a statement on its collaboration with San Francisco-based Simbe Robotics. “This is just one of many ways that Schnucks is staying at the forefront of technology to enhance our customers’ shopping experiences.”

Schnucks — which operates more than 100 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa — will initially use the adjustable 38-inch, 30-pound robot to monitor items on store shelves but is hopeful that the robot “may open up a world of other possibilities” with the data it collects, Steck said. Continue reading this article

Robots Are the Next Generation of Farmworkers

It’s good to see traditional media connect the dots between automation and immigration, as the Los Angeles Times inadvertently did somewhat on Tuesday’s front page:

The online version of the article appeared last week, on Friday, July 21. An above-the-fold story with photo gets a lot more attention, certainly, as long as those newspaper boxes are sitting on the sidewalk.

The missing part of the message is that the machines make importing foreign farmworkers increasingly unnecessary. If fewer illegals are crossing the border because of Trump, that may hasten smart machines in the fields, but ag robots are coming sooner or later: when the machines become cheaper than human pickers, then field workers will be gone, period.

Plus, it’s long past time that Mexico etc. became more responsive to its own people’s needs, rather than pushing them north to mooch from America.

Remember,

Automation Makes Immigration Obsolete

Can we get Washington to notice that the world of work is changing fundamentally?

A new generation of farmworkers: Robots, By Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2017

Growers race to mechanize as labor pool shrinks

Driscoll’s is so secretive about its robotic strawberry picker it won’t let photographers within telephoto range of it.

But if you do get a peek, you won’t see anything humanoid or space-aged. AgroBot is still more John Deere than C-3PO — a boxy contraption moving in fits and starts, with its computer-driven sensors, graspers and cutters missing 1 in 3 berries.

Such has been the progress of ag-tech in California, where despite the adoption of drones, iPhone apps and satellite-driven sensors, the hand and knife still harvest the bulk of more than 200 crops.

Now, the $47-billion agriculture industry is trying to bring technological innovation up to warp speed before it runs out of low-wage immigrant workers.

California will have to remake its fields like it did its factories, with more machines and better-educated workers to labor beside them, or risk losing entire crops, economists say.

“California agriculture just isn’t going to look the same,” said Ed Taylor, a UC Davis rural economist. “You’re going to be hard-pressed to find crops grown as labor-intensively as they are now.”

Driscoll’s, which grows berries in nearly two dozen countries and is the world’s top berry grower, already is moving its berries to table- top troughs, where they are easier for both humans and machines to pick, as it has done over the last decade in Australia and Europe.

“We don’t see — no matter what happens — that the labor problem will be solved,” said Soren Bjorn, president of Driscoll’s of the Americas.

That’s because immigrant farmworkers in California’s agricultural heartlands are getting older and not being replaced.

(Continues)

Trump Trashing Jeff Sessions Portends Danger Ahead

President Trump has been on a Twitter and verbal tirade against Attorney General Jeff Sessions the last few days — as if dumping the AG would solve the president’s problems with the Mueller snooping expedition. It’s sad to see such anger toward one of candidate Trump’s earliest and most enthusiastic supporters.

Below, Senator Sessions spoke at Trump’s Mobile, Alabama, campaign rally on August 21, 2015.

Tucker Carlson declared on his Tuesday show that it would be “Nuts” for Trump to ditch the one man in Washington who fully supports his program of law and sovereignty. But it’s worse than that — throwing Jeff Sessions under the bus might make Trump’s vital immigration enforcement constituency take a more critical look at what the president has actually done.

Candidate Trump promised to end the DACA amnesty immediately, but instead has allowed the program to continue and add new beneficiaries who get work permits and an open door to everything America offers.

Plus, there’s been no push from the White House to get universal e-Verify through the Congress which, as a comprehensive job blocker for illegal aliens, would be a very strong preventative for unlawful entry.

Trump’s immigration enforcement failures seem more egregious in light of his rotten treatment of Jeff Sessions. And would the loss of Sessions signal a flip-flop of Trump toward mass amnesty in the near future? The establishment might cut the president more slack if he accepted the globalist agenda of open borders and diminished national sovereignty.  It’s hard to trust Trump when he can cut the strongest immigration enforcer in Washington.

TUCKER CARLSON: (1:20) Unfair to the presidency. Well the Russian investigation is certainly that — it’s unfair of the country too. The whole thing is stupid and disingenuous, as we pointed out many times, and it helps nobody that the partisans who are pushing it, so it’s easy to understand the frustration the president feels. But publicly attacking Jeff Sessions for all of that? That is nuts.

Senior White House staff thinks so too. They have asked the president to stop, so far without success. Meanwhile Sessions hasn’t said a word: his only public comment has been a press release describing his plans to crack down on sanctuary cities. That’s his job.

That’s the point here. Jeff Sessions is doing what he was hired to do, as he has done since day one. Trump ran on securing the borders: Sessions took him seriously and has worked to do that. Trump promised to end Obama’s policy of harassing local police departments: Sessions has done that too.

In an administration in which many appointees act like they have no idea what their boss ran on — ‘let’s import more refugees’ one of them said the other day — to predictable media applause, Jeff Sessions has stayed true to the ideas that got Trump elected. That’s why the left hates Jeff Sessions more than any other member of the cabinet. They are rejoicing tonight and not just because Sessions is suffering and humiliated but because the Trump coalition seems to be fracturing.

The left wants to believe — they tell you this all the time — that Trump got elected because he’s famous and voters are dumb. But that’s not what happened.

Trump got elected because he said true things that everybody else was afraid to say — namely, the American middle class is in deep trouble and elites in both parties don’t care. They’re happy to replace hurting Americans with foreign workers who will work for less and not complain. Voters knew in their bones that message was true because it is true.

Republicans in Washington absolutely hated hearing that, and they hated Trump for saying it because it implicated them — except for Jeff Sessions. Sessions agreed with that message — that’s why he endorsed Trump and left a good job in the Senate to work for him. Which is how we got to this weird and ominous moment where the one guy in Washington who actually believes in Trumpism is being forced out of his job by Trump himself. The president should remember that the ideas he ran on are bigger than he is and will remain that way.

Sewing Robot Technology Takes an Interesting Tack

Clothing manufacturers would love to economize on production with some sort of automation, but the materials used, which vary widely in terms of thickness, stretch, slickness and other qualities do not easily fit into the robot factory. The dexterity and sensitivity of the human hand has kept sewing in the human realm except for simple tasks like hemming, though not for lack of trying.

The latest contestant in the sewbot competition uses a clever approach: Seattle developer Jonathan Zornow has changed the material rather than the machine. He has created a process that will temporarily stiffen the fabric to be like a piece of cardboard, which can then be handled by a robot which inserts it into a sewing machine.

The Financial Times’ report on the subject, included below, is sensitive to the wider social implications. Garment production is a big industry in cheap labor havens like Asia and Central America, and the loss of millions of jobs to automation would be devastating. Revolutions have been fought over less.

I wrote about some of those issues in a recent issue of the Social Contract: How Automation Threatens Third World Stability.

And we know that widespread unemployment and consequent social unrest in less prosperous regions can spur mass migrations of persons in search of a first-world welfare office.

Robots and the World of Work, Financial Times, July 18 2017

ANNA NICOLAOU, FINANCIAL TIMES: Robots have transformed production of cars and planes. But the garment industry has stayed old fashioned. For decades, companies have tried to sew clothing with a robot. But the concept has mostly remained a pipe dream.

In practise, almost all of the world’s t-shirts and jeans are still made by millions of cheap workers, mostly women watching over sewing machines. The first sewing robots that have been brought to the market are expensive, running in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. With an abundance of cheap labour available in Asia, humans still make more financial sense.

But labour costs are rising in China, and political groups are campaigning to bring jobs back to the US. A new group of start-ups is now looking to upend the way clothing is made.

RAVJ KUMAR, DIRECTOR PAHLE INDIA FOUNDATION: Technology can now replace human beings in their totality, just changing basic motor force, or basic routine mental processes, but has now the potential of, with the huge amount increase in computer power, to replace or substitute complex mental and complex intelligent processes.

NICOLAOU: Jonathan Zornow, a software developer from Seattle, last year came up with what he thinks is the solution. He calls it the Sewbo. Unlike his predecessors, he wants to change fabric to work with robots, instead of vice versa.

He patented a process of drenching fabric in a liquid thermoplastic solution. It makes material like cotton as stiff as a board. The robot then sews, stitches, and shapes the fabric. Wash it off with warm water, and it comes back to life, as a t-shirt or a pair of jeans. With this method, he believes he’s made the first fully robotic garment– a t-shirt.

Mr. Zornow is now in talks with big retailers and manufacturers across China, India, and Sri Lanka to roll out the technology.

JONATHAN ZORNOW, FOUNDER OF SEWBO: This is an industry that’s very dependent on manual labour. And because of this, the supply chains have grown very long. They’ve stretched all the way around the world. I believe the average t-shirt has about 20,000 miles on it by the time it reaches the consumer, going from the cotton field, to the spinning factory, to the textile mills, to the sewing factories.

This allows people to shorten their supply chains to manufacture in a much more responsive way, and to avoid labour costs. So this is something that’s been of great interest to both American retailers and brands, as well as existing manufacturers overseas.

NICOLAOU: But economists are now wondering if these technologies will threaten the entire economic model of South Asia. As Chinese workers demand higher wages, places such as Bangladesh and Pakistan are hoping that their cheap workforces will become the world’s new workshop. The World Bank estimates South Asian countries will add more than one million workers each month for the next two decades.

Economists call this a demographic dividend, as populations grow and wages stay about a quarter of those in China. But if technology like the Sewbo take off, the jobs they’re relying on could be eliminated for good.

KUMAR: So the fear is that our so-called demographic dividend could turn into a demographic nightmare, because of all the educated, aspiring young people who would be unemployed as a result of this automation ad robotisation.

NICOLAOU: The question becomes, how much time is life? Even some of the companies building the robots say it could be 20 years before they’re adopted widely. This would give governments time to prepare, to retrain workers. But some economists warn that these countries should give up on manufacturing altogether, as the demographic nightmare looms. Anna Nicolaou, Financial Times, New York.

Automation Will Revolutionize Retail for Shoppers and Workers

A recent Wall Street Journal piece framed its robot-replacing-human story by focusing on one employee who loses her job counting cash, but is moved to a greeter position at the same wage. Since the unnamed woman is 55, her gig as human greeter will likely go to a robot when she retires, if not before, because that technology is already available.

The LoweBot hardware store machine welcomes shoppers and offers them directions about where to find their desired items.

Also, a back-office cash-counter job lost to a smart machine occurs out of the public eye, like so many others. It’s great that President Trump’s economic and trade policies are emphasizing Made in America, but the long term trend is toward more automation and fewer human workers. In addition, automation is a worse cause of factory job loss than bad trade deals.

The automated future has been sketched out by various experts. Oxford researchers forecast in 2013 that nearly half of American jobs were vulnerable to machine or software replacement within 20 years. Rice University computer scientist Moshe Vardi believes that in 30 years humans will become largely obsolete, and world joblessness will reach 50 percent. The Gartner tech advising company believes that one-third of jobs will be done by machines by 2025. Forrester Research Inc. has a more optimistic view, that there will be a net job loss of 7 percent by 2025 from automation.

The retail industry is particularly susceptible to automation, with cashiers being first on the chopping block because self-checkout is very simple technology. Six million retail jobs could be lost in the next decade.

Plus, retail is getting clobbered by Amazon, which could not function without robots and computerization.

It’s baffling how Washington can be so clueless about the revolution beginning to occur in America’s workplaces. Perhaps the Masters of the Universe are in mass denial because they cannot think of a fix, or maybe the swamp gas is just too thick for them to see what’s happening.

Not a whole lot can be done, since the market forces toward cheaper means of production are powerful. But it certainly makes sense to end immigration entirely since the need to import inexpensive foreign workers is over. In fact,

Automation Makes Immigration Obsolete.

So don’t mend it: end it.

Robots Are Replacing Workers Where You Shop, Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2017

Wal-Mart and other large retailers, under pressure from Amazon, turn to technology to do workers’ rote tasks

Last August, a 55-year-old Wal-Mart employee found out her job was being taken over by a robot. Her task was to count cash and track the accuracy of the store’s books from a desk in a windowless backroom. She earned $13 an hour.

Instead, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. started using a hulking gray machine that counts eight bills per second and 3,000 coins a minute. The Cash360 machine digitally deposits money at the bank, earning interest for Wal-Mart sooner than if sent by armored car. And the machine uses software to predict how much cash is needed on a given day to reduce excess.

“They think it will be a more efficient way to process the money,” said the employee, who has worked with Wal-Mart for a decade.

Now almost all of Wal-Mart’s 4,700 U.S. stores have a Cash360 machine, making thousands of positions obsolete. Most of the employees in those positions moved into store jobs to improve service, said a Wal-Mart spokesman. More than 500 have left the company. The store accountant displaced last August is now a greeter at the front door, where she still earns $13 an hour.

“The role of service and customer-facing associates will always be there,” said Judith McKenna, Wal-Mart’s U.S. chief operating officer. But, she added, “there are interesting developments in technology that mean those roles shift and change over time.”

Shopping is moving online, hourly wages are rising and retail profits are shrinking—a formula that pressures retailers, ranging from Wal-Mart to Tiffany & Co., to find technology that can do the rote labor of retail workers or replace them altogether.

As Amazon.com Inc. makes direct inroads into traditional retail with its plans to buy grocer Whole Foods Market  Inc., Wal-Mart and other large retailers are under renewed pressure to invest heavily to keep up.

Economists say many retail jobs are ripe for automation. A 2015 report by Citi Research, co-authored with researchers from the Oxford Martin School, found that two-thirds of U.S. retail jobs are at “high risk” of disappearing by 2030.

(Continues)

Tucker Carlson: Trump’s Trash Talk about Attorney General Sessions Harms Administration

On Thursday, Tucker Carlson criticized President Trump for his unwise bashing of the attorney general he chose, former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. Tucker was responding to the July 19 New York Times article, Citing Recusal, Trump Says He Wouldn’t Have Hired Sessions.

Senator Sessions must have seen the position of attorney general as a greater opportunity to improve law enforcement, particularly in the immigration realm which has veered into near-anarchy after eight years of open-borders Obama. Sessions likely could have kept his Senate seat indefinitely: one measure of his popularity at home is that he ran unopposed in both the primary and general election in 2014.

On March 22, General Sessions announced that the government would begin to withdraw funding from sanctuary cities that protect dangerous illegal alien criminals.  On April 28, the AG visited Long Island to offer strategies of help for law enforcement officials plagued by gang violence.

Certainly MS-13 arrests are up under the new administration, and Border Patrol agents report greater job satisfaction when allowed to perform their duties (Border Patrol union president says morale at 2-year high under Trump, Washington Times, July 17, 217). So the Sessions’ model of pro-borders law enforcement is already showing results.

It’s clear that President Trump is still angry about Sessions’ recusal, but sniping in the Fake News press is no way to treat him.

TUCKER CARLSON: (0:57) Now take a step back and you can kind of see how this all happened. The president is a 71-year-old political novice, and all of a sudden he’s the subject of a vague, open-ended federal investigation whose goal may be to imprison him and his family. Ask anyone who’s had an independent counsel on this case — and there are a lot of them here in Washington — what that’s like. It’s terrifying. The pressure is soul-distorting. You can wind up lashing out at the people around you, even maybe especially, the ones trying to help you the most.

So that’s probably what’s going on, and yet attacking Jeff Sessions was still a useless and self-destructive act. The first rule in politics, as in war, as in life: don’t shoot the friendlies. Sessions is the closest ally Trump has in this administration, one of the very few who even understands why the president won in the first place. Unlike most political appointees in Washington, Sessions made big sacrifices to work in this administration. A year ago, he’s one of the most popular people in the state of Alabama with a Senate seat he could have held forever. Many on his staff didn’t want him to endorse Donald Trump, but he did anyway, purely because he felt it was important. Continue reading this article

Kris Kobach and Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity Move Forward

Preventing voter fraud by dead people and illegal aliens in 2018 and beyond is an important project to fight against anti-sovereignty interests. We can be sure that Democrats will turn out every voter they can recruit from cemeteries and foreigner hiring halls to defeat efforts to enforce immigration law.

In charge of fixing the voter mess is the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was set up to examine how many votes are ineligible and what might be done to make elections more honest.

The pushback by some states to hand over public records to the commission has been intense. Democrats have apparently decided on privacy concerns and the claim that no voter fraud has been proven as talking points against the reform measure. Virginia’s D-Governor Terry McAuliffe refused to co-operate, saying, “This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November.”

Voter fraud does happen: the question is how common it is. Last November, Hans Von Spakovsky (co-author of Who’s Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk) opined in a Breitbart interview that “We know for a fact, from all kinds of different reports we’ve had and cases, that there are non-citizens registered and voting all over the country.” On June 19, the Washington Times headlined, Study supports Trump: 5.7 million noncitizens may have cast illegal votes.

The vice-chair of the commission, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach reflected on the scope of the problem in his remarks at the opening session on Wednesday:

KRIS KOBACH: I’ve often thought that at the very foundation of our republic are really two bedrock things — the American Constitution and the faith and reality that our elections are conducted fairly. If you take away either of those two things I believe that our republic cannot stand for long.

So for a long time there’s been lingering doubt among many Americans about the integrity and fairness of elections, and it’s not a new issue at all. If you look at the polling data, it goes back decades. Public opinion has been consistent on this, in that there is a substantial number of people who wonder if our elections are fair. A 2014 survey showed that only 40% of voters thought elections were fair to the voters which indicates that 60% either did not think so or were undecided.

We owe it to the American people if you take a hard dispassionate look at the subject. . . .

For example in my state of Kansas we’re engaged in litigation right now defending our proof of citizenship requirements at the time of registration, and we engaged in extensive fact-finding for the federal courts involved and have discovered 128 specific cases of non-citizens who either registered to vote or attempted to register to vote. . . .

You can watch a longer video (1 hour 13 minutes) on C-SPAN where the members of the commission discuss ideas of what they would like to investigate.

The long-standing support for voter IDs shown in polling may reflect the public’s suspicion about voting integrity as well as a basic desire for fairness:

Vice-Chair Kobach wrote on Wednesday about how the commission is moving along through the obstacles placed in front of it.

Kobach: A Victory for Public Information, Breitbart.com, by Kris W. Kobach, July 19, 2017

On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied temporary restraining orders (TROs) sought by the ACLU, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and others. The plaintiffs were attempting to prevent the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, of which I am Vice-Chair, from having its first meeting on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Continue reading this article

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