When the brilliant futurist, biochemistry professor and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov visited the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, he was inspired by the array of new technology to prognosticate about how American society would look five decades hence.
He was concerned about automation’s effect on society, with one problem being that of widespread boredom: “The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction.”
In 2014, we are beginning to see the effects of automation and robots on jobs of all sorts. Schools don’t train many machine tenders per se; instead numerous human jobs are quietly disappearing due to smart machines.
Asimov saw explosive population growth as dangerous to social order, as shown by his observation (not from the NYTimes article): “Democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive [overpopulation]. Convenience and decency cannot survive [overpopulation]. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears.”
[. . .] As I stood in line waiting to get into the General Electric exhibit at the 1964 fair, I found myself staring at Equitable Life’s grim sign blinking out the population of the United States, with the number (over 191,000,000) increasing by 1 every 11 seconds. During the interval which I spent inside the G.E. pavilion, the American population had increased by nearly 300 and the world’s population by 6,000.
In 2014, there is every likelihood that the world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. Boston-to-Washington, the most crowded area of its size on the earth, will have become a single city with a population of over 40,000,000. Continue reading this article
The joint has been jumping at the Nevada DMV, as thousands of unlawful foreigners have sought possession of driving authorization cards. The new year allows illegal aliens to register to receive a document that permits legal driving within the state.
As usual, greasy politicians in support claimed that the policy would increase highway safety and lead to more insured drivers. However, illegals often purchase insurance in order to register their car or get a driving permit, then cancel it a month later. Sometimes they manage to buy insurance after an accident and get away with it.
The federal Real ID Act prevents the authorization to be used for identification, but that sounds like a squishy proposition. Any business or agency that would accept a worthless Mexican matricula card would likely find the Nevada card legal enough.
A Las Vegas television piece reported that some of the illegals were not prepared to take a written test and flunked it. The excuse was made that they were just nervous because they had never been in a DMV before — poor sensitive Mexicans! The segment also called the foreigners “undocumented citizens” more than once:
His three daughters are U.S. citizens, his wife’s a U.S citizen, but he’s not. He’s still waiting on the federal government to give him that shot under comprehensive immigration reform proposals being considered in Washington, D.C.
As a result, the 44-year-old North Las Vegas resident from Mexico has been working construction jobs without a Social Security number and has been driving illegally in Las Vegas for well over a decade.
But at least part of that immigrant narrative is about to change.
On Thursday, Soto was among thousands who showed up at DMV offices across the Silver State to apply for the new driver authorization card, which allows those who are in the country illegally to drive legally.
Nevada is just the latest in a group of 11 states that are allowing these immigrants to drive. As many as 60,000 immigrants are expected to apply for the cards in the state. The process began Thursday, when Nevada’s new law took effect.
Despite widespread criticism of the driving card law, there were no protests across the state on Thursday, although some of the offices in Las Vegas became so crowded that DMV halted written tests, said DMV spokesman Kevin Malone.
REASONS BEHIND THE BILL
The intention of Senate Bill 303, which passed the state Legislature in the spring, is not only to raise millions of dollars in revenue for Nevada but also to make the state’s roads safer.
Officials say nearly all the holders of the card will have to purchase insurance for any car they operate. They must renew their driving card every year for it to remain valid. They will also have to pass DMV driving tests, which will make roads safer.
If you thought Black Friday after Thanksgiving drew crowds, you should have seen the DMV offices across the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday. Lines formed before dawn; the DMV offices didn’t open until 8 a.m. Later in the day, the wait time was an estimated hour, due primarily to people applying for the new card, DMV officials said.
So coveted is the card that Soto got up at 4:30 a.m. to get the first spot at the DMV office in North Las Vegas on Decatur Boulevard just north of the Las Vegas Beltway.
“This is going to be great, not having to worry about driving anymore, not having to look in the rearview mirror every time you start the engine,” said Soto, who has paid nearly $1,000 in fines after he was stopped by North Las Vegas police on two occasions in the past two years and could not produce a valid driver’s license. Continue reading this article
With the New Year, a pile of new law comes into effect, and the Golden State has almost exactly its share. Nationally, the states passed 40,000 bills into law and California’s new batch of 805 is pretty close to 1/50 of that number.
Nobody would accuse California of having a do-nothing legislature: the state’s Democratic lawmakers were busy bees last year, cranking out an assortment of items from the uber-liberal playbook. Governor Jerry Brown approved most, by signing 805 bills into law, while vetoing 96 in 2013.
This being Mexifornia, illegal aliens made out like bandits. An AP story dedicated a whole section of a recent article to the new laws benefiting them.
[. . .] Immigrants in the country illegally receive several new rights and protections.
It is a crime for employers to report workers to immigration authorities in retaliation for work-related complaints and for anyone to extort money from those in the country illegally by threatening to report their legal status.
Local law enforcement agencies can no longer detain immigrants for deportation if they are arrested for a minor crime and otherwise are eligible to be released from custody. Law enforcement agencies also are prohibited from requiring immigration or citizenship papers before releasing crime reports and other public records.
Immigrants who are not U.S. citizens can assist voters casting a ballot, and lawyers who are in the country illegally can be licensed to practice law.
A law granting immigrants who are in the country illegally the right to a driver’s license will take effect in 2015. [. . .]
The San Francisco Chronicle provided a fascinating sampler of 20 new California laws, illustrating the audacity of busybody liberalism unleashed:
Sacramento — California will begin 2014 with more than 800 new laws, many of which take effect New Year’s Day. The added laws run the gamut, from the controversial – such as gun-control measures and protections for transgender and undocumented people – to the lesser known about teen texting and home improvement requirements.
Some of the most talked about laws have delayed implementations, such as the $1-per-hour increase to the minimum wage that begins July 1, or new regulations allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses by Jan. 1, 2015.
Here’s a look at 20 new laws.
Gun control: Eleven new gun-control laws were signed into law in 2013, including a ban on the manufacturing or sale of large-capacity magazine conversion kits. Possession of large-capacity magazines will be banned under that law beginning July 1.
Lead bullets: A controversial law banning lead hunting ammunition will be phased in statewide by 2019 in an effort to protect wildlife from ingesting the toxic metal.
Trust Act: State and local law enforcement agencies will no longer be allowed to detain undocumented residents solely based on their immigration status, unless they have been convicted or charged with serious or violent crimes. Continue reading this article
Fewer than 0.2 percent of the 11.7 million illegal aliens in the United States were deported in 2012 for violating immigration laws, according to data released by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
“It is a drop in the bucket,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Caller. “Relative to the [agency] resources and tools they have been given to do this job, it is a record low,” said Vaughan.
Government officials say they deported a total of 368,644 people. But almost two-thirds of those people, or 235,093, were caught at the border and promptly returned to their home countries.
Only 133,551 resident illegals were picked up in the interior of the country and deported, the ICE report admitted.
But 82 percent of those residents were deported for other offenses, ICE acknowledged. Those offenses include drunk driving, assault, robbery and drug possession.
The remaining 18 percent adds up to only 20,000 illegals of the 11.7 million illegals believed to be living in the United States.
That’s only one immigration-law deportation for every 585 illegals. [. . .]
Meanwhile, liberal propaganda organs continue to pump out emotional tripe based upon the self-created problems of lawbreaking foreigners.
The opening act was a nine-year-old boy who complained of living in fear because his father might someday be caught and deported. The office janitor dad wasn’t in jail or especially in danger because of American immigration laws, but just the slight possibility of deportation was considered a cruelty worthy of sympathy by the largely hispanic audience.
The Washington Post found a similar worried little boy in order to purvey its sob story:
Below, illegal alien Jorge Penate resides in Virginia with his wife Diane and son Jason.
It’s too bad for the kid. It’s tough being 12 and knowing your father might be sent back to Guatemala — although a deportation is unlikely after all this sympathetic publicity.
Twelve-year-old Jason Penate spent the holidays hanging close by his father. They picked out a Christmas tree and decorated the front window of their Gainesville, Va., home with candy canes, and Jason tried very hard not to think about whether his father would still be here in the new year.
Jorge Penate, a Guatemalan national who came to the United States illegally in 1997, has a hearing scheduled Monday that will determine whether he can stay in the country. A drunken driving arrest two years ago launched deportation proceedings and cast his family’s future into uncertainty.
Jason wrote a letter to the immigration judge, explaining that the three days his father was detained in 2011 “were the worst days of my life” and asking not to be separated from him again. “If he does have to leave I think every day of my life is going to be the worst,” Jason wrote.
More than 1 million illegal immigrants were deported in the past three years, a record number reflecting increased enforcement efforts under the Obama administration. The crackdown has spun the lives of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens — including children like Jason — into upheaval. Continue reading this article
Why are the limits to growth as related to water supply never discussed by elected officials? Must Californians suffer increasing water restrictions and rock gardens instead of grass so that another 10 million Mexicans can be crammed in?
Washington plans on importing tens of millions of immigrants in the next decades, with no thought at all about whether the natural resources can support them.
California is enduring its driest calendar year on record, with no signs of relief coming anytime soon. In San Francisco, the city is seeing its driest year since records began during the Gold Rush year of 1849.
Although a drought emergency has not yet been officially declared, a lack of rain and snow this winter could bring catastrophic losses to California agriculture, as water allotments are slashed by state agencies.
“Soil moisture is depleted, reservoir storage is down and even if we had average rainfall statewide, we probably wouldn’t see average runoff just because soil moisture is so depleted,” California Department of Water Resources deputy drought manager Jeanine Jones said last week.
In Southern California, through Tuesday, the weather station in downtown Los Angeles had received only 3.6 inches of rain so far in 2013, according to the National Weather Service. If no more rain falls, this would make 2013 the city’s driest calendar year on record, breaking the record of the previous driest years, 1947 and 1953, when 4.08 inches fell each year.
In a typical year, Los Angeles receives 14.91 inches of rain; records in the city go back to 1877. “Many other locations around the region are approaching similar dubious record or near-record dry calendar years,” climatologist Mark Svoboda noted in the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website that tracks drought across the country.
The U.S. Drought Monitor reported that 94.25% of the state is enduring some level of drought conditions and that most of the prime agriculture area of the Central Valley is in extreme drought, the second-worst category.
How backward is Afghanistan? One measure is the fact that everyone has the same birthday, January 1, because the use of modern calendars hasn’t quite reached there yet.
It’s a mystery why anyone in Washington ever thought that nation-building had a chance in such a retro place. Liberals must have thought that killing the Taliban without also building schools etc. would have been too rude to contemplate. Now the jihadists are waiting for the promised pullout of US military so they can take over; sadly huge piles of money as well as American lives were wasted in useless efforts to advance basic civilization for Afghans. There is too much cousin marriage, belligerent tribalism, cultural misogyny and Islam for even minimal social advances to occur.
Below, Afghan women briefly experienced individual freedom and access to education, but the Taliban forced them back into bondage.
KABUL — The first day of January isn’t celebrated as the beginning of the year in Afghanistan, but since the American invasion, it’s become a new kind of holiday — a de facto birthday for thousands of Afghans who don’t know when they were born.
During protracted wars in the 1980s and ’90s, the government didn’t have a system in place to register births. Because identification cards and driver’s licenses weren’t standard in this impoverished nation, families saw no reason to record the exact dates. Government paperwork asked only for an approximate birthday on the Islamic calendar.
But when the United States and its NATO allies arrived, they brought with them a flurry of job opportunities, visa applications and Web sites that all required a specific birthday on the Roman calendar.
“Those of us who don’t know when we were born selected January first,” said a U.S. Army interpreter named Tariq, who first wrote the date on his job application with the military and would repeat it when he applied for a visa, and whenever anyone asked. “It was very easy to remember.”
Like many Afghans, Tariq, who requested that his last name not be used to avoid Taliban threats, has only a vague sense of his birthday, which coincided with the country’s collapse into civil war in the early 90s.
As Internet access became more widespread, with 3G networks advertised in the country’s major cities, the question of birthdays arose with even greater frequency. Urban Afghans were quick to create accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Gmail, all of which ask for the registrant’s date of birth.
“I have been using the first of January for every online registration and social network site,” said Nazer Hussain, 23, a recent university graduate who rattled off a list of Web sites he signed up for using his fake birthday. “In the past, people weren’t well-educated enough to keep record of birthdays.”
In the digital age, the collective birthday has become something of an inside joke here, as young Afghans send each other messages to celebrate. Continue reading this article
The Monty Python funny guys may be getting old, but they don’t want to face an early death caused by angering touchy Muslims. They are famous for tweaking religion in their 1979 comedy The Life of Brian, but there won’t be The Life of Mohammed coming any time soon.
It’s too bad, since the history of Islam is comedy gold, aside from the murders and brutal wars of conquest. Imagine the prophet’s nine-year-old wife Aisha and the possibilities for hilarious domestic misunderstandings between her and the geriatric hubby!
The excellent comic book Mohammed’s Believe It or Else! shows one approach, of illustrated stories from the prophet’s life and early Islam, plus accompanying scripture from the Koran and Hadith.
Another publication that has felt the brunt of Muslim literary criticism is the French humor magazine Charlie Hebdo which was firebombed in 2011 when it announced Mohammed would be a “guest editor” for an issue, as shown below:
Perhaps the only hope for a Mohammed comedy film is for someone to follow the example of What’s Up, Tiger Lily, in which a Japanese James Bond-type film was redubbed with a completely different dialog with hilarious results (Trailer). But there would be no entertaining visuals, like a dancing Aisha music number.
For religious film humor, we will have to stick with The Life of Brian.
One of the funniest bits, for Latin students at least, was the graffito scene: “Romani ite domum!”
During his Monty Python days he poked fun at everyone from the Establishment to Christianity.
But thanks to the threat of ‘heavily armed’ fanatics, Michael Palin has admitted there is one comedy taboo he is too scared to break- Islam.
The 70-year-old said religious sensitivities have increased so much since his comedy days it would now be impossible to make 1979 film Life of Brian – which satirised the life of Jesus – let alone laugh at Muslims.
He said: ‘Religion is more difficult to talk about. I don’t think we could do Life of Brian any more. A parody of Islam would be even harder.
‘We all saw what happened to Salman Rushdie and none of us want to get into all that. It’s a pity but that’s the way it is. There are people out there without a sense of humour and they’re heavily armed.’
In 1989, Mr Rushdie was forced into hiding after the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling for him to be killed in revenge for his novel The Satanic Verses. Continue reading this article
The Associated Press has plopped out an article that is rather curious. It worries over the idea that immigrants are increasingly living in communities of “racial isolation.” The scribbler visits California farm town Watsonville and frets that nearly everyone is Mexican and speaks Spanish. A hispanic who was the first mayor of his ethnicity observed, “It’s got a very different feel than a traditional American town.” Forty percent of town residents are foreign born and most of the business signage is in Spanish.
Below, downtown Watsonville, which is described as “like being in a small Mexican town” by a resident.
Isn’t that what liberals wanted? Haven’t they condemned assimilation as racism against poor victimized brown people? Haven’t they insisted on America becoming a bilingual Spanish-speaking country so immigrants wouldn’t have to learn English? Even though a strong majority of US voters supports English as the official language, liberals reject language assimilation. Plus, expecting immigrants to accept American values is likewise thought to be cultural arrogance on the part of the citizens.
Immigrants are taking part in the American economy to improve their material lives, and most seem happy living in ethnic and linguistic separation from the dominant culture. They came for the money, not to become Americans as previous generations of immigrants did. They have their own Spanish-language media catering to their desires and the Watsonville library has Bilingual Toddler Time. None of the Mexicans in the article seemed to be pining for inclusion in the broader society. Watsonville should be seen as a paradise by liberals who looked to immigration to make America less American, but Dr. Frankenstein doesn’t seem satisfied with his creation.
Whatever were the liberals expecting when they promoted the mass immigration of millions without assimilation? The balkanization result was totally predictable.
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (AP) — In a grassy downtown plaza, strolling musicians wearing glitzy cowboy outfits blast a mariachi song, while Spanish-speaking shoppers bustle between farm stands, sampling tart cactus leaves, sniffing roasting chilies and buying bundles of warm pork tamales.
The scene is an increasingly typical one in towns across California, where Hispanics are on pace to become the largest ethnic group next year. And Watsonville is but one of dozens of California communities where Hispanics outnumber whites.
The town of 52,000 on the picturesque Central Coast, where good soil and pleasant weather enrich crops of strawberries and lettuce, and a driven and determined low-wage workforce fuels small factories producing everything from high-end shock absorbers to handcrafted glassware.
Spanish is spoken in most homes and businesses in town, and one out of five households is linguistically isolated, meaning no one over 14 speaks English.
Rising immigration hasn’t made Watsonville more diverse; it is a community heading toward racial isolation, a growing phenomenon in a state that offers one possible look at how the nation may change as non-Hispanic whites become a minority in the coming months.
Like most U.S. towns, Watsonville has been formed by waves of immigrants, Croats, Portuguese, Filipinos and Japanese, each arriving with their own language, customs and cuisine. The current surge of Hispanics has brought a Latin American influence.
“For me, downtown Watsonville is like being in a small Mexican town,” said Oscar Rios, who was Watsonville’s first Latino mayor. “Everyone speaks Spanish. The restaurants are Mexican. It’s got a very different feel than a traditional American town.”
Rios came into office after a landmark voting rights case 25 years ago deemed Watsonville’s at-large election system discriminatory and mandated district elections to end all-white political leadership. At the time, 50 percent of the residents were Hispanic.
Today, 82 percent are either immigrants, or descendants of immigrants, mostly from Mexico but also elsewhere in Latin America. Continue reading this article
Now all of Britain faces the January opening of its national doors to Romanians and Bulgarians due to the commandment of the European Union that open borders must prevail. The newbies will all be poor and headed for the welfare offices to take advantage of the UK’s generous benefits. The Roma tribe is so backward that even Muslims think they need socialization training.
When Poland entered the EU in 2004 the diversocrats predicted only a few thousand Poles would immigrate to the UK, but the number grew to a million, so current reassurances from experts are not convincing.
Ah, diversity! England is facing even worse overpopulation, and the new residents will be jihadists, professional thieves or welfare moochers. Such is the cultural enrichment of diverse immigration, particularly when transnational organizations (i.e. the EU) order it against the wishes of local people.
Now that long-term unemployment benefits for over a million workers are about to end, the press is full of stories about Americans who cannot find jobs. It’s a fine opportunity for the liberal media to bash hard-hearted Republicans who don’t want to extend the program (which would require still more insane borrowing).
MSNBC went so far as to peg the issue to racism, that whitey needs to fork over the cash because of high black unemployment.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Michelle Marshall is one of the 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans who will lose jobless benefits Saturday.
Marshall, 56, has been out of work for a year, since she lost an administrative assistant job that paid her $44,000 per year.
She started collecting $624 each week in New Jersey unemployment benefits, but the state benefits ran out after 26 weeks. When federal benefits kicked in, she collected $521.
But Marshall will stop getting these checks next week.
That’s because Congress failed to extend the recession-era program when it passed a budget deal last week.
Federal benefits kick in after state benefits run out, and range between 14 to 47 weeks, depending on the state where a person lives.
According to government figures, the average weekly benefit check is $300.
Even the cut from the larger state check to the federal benefits was hard for Marshall. She had to consolidate her $12,000 worth of credit card debt and enroll in a mortgage assistance program.
When the benefits stop entirely, she doesn’t know what she’ll do.
“I imagine I will go apply for food stamps,” she said. “Depending how long this goes on, I might lose my car, which will impact my ability to get a job. I won’t be able to drive to interviews.” Continue reading this article
“Shanty towns spreading in Stockholm. Around Stockholm there are small shack villages populated by poor European migrants. Social agencies estimate that there are now a total of some 30 active settlements in the capital. …
Using plywood, plastic, inflatable boats and building materials some 20 shed-like buildings have been set up at Högdalen in southern Stockholm. … several of the homes have fireplaces and simple insulation. A type of home that you might associate only with a shanty town in Africa.”
On Friday, I heard a radio report about “migrant” farmworkers who live in taxpayer-subsidized housing in Watsonville, one of 24 such facilities in California. The existence of specific welfare for foreign nationals is part of the “welcoming” attitude the state has toward foreigners, which liberals regard as a sign of their moral superiority.
The immigration status of the 104 families in the facility was not mentioned, merely hinted in the audio version where we hear, “It’s harder to cross the border than it used to be.”
Below, the state’s housing units in Watsonville cost less than $400/month for non-American farmworkers while private rentals in the town are more than twice that amount.
However, from the moocher viewpoint, the cheapo housing is less than perfect because it is open to farm pickers only six months of the year. Most pack up and return to Mexico in November when they are required to leave. But the new complaint is how the education of Mexican kiddies is interrupted by the regulations which put them in two school systems every year.
Say, wouldn’t Mexican school immersion be an invaluable cultural enrichment, one that allows the kiddies to soak up their all-important raza heritage?
Despite the cultural opportunities of Mexican schooling, the Center for Farmworker Families hopes to overturn the regulation of closing the housing half the year and keep it open so eager little scholars can make more use of free-to-them American education.
The fields around Watsonville produce more than half a billion dollars in berries every year. After the raspberry vines have been cut back for winter and the strawberry fields plowed under, some farmworkers from Mexico still go back for a few months each year. At the Buena Vista Migrant Center, the end of the season means it’s time for 104 families to move out. But as Rowan Moore Gerety reports, more and more farmworker families are having second thoughts about migrating twice a year. At the Buena Vista Migrant Center, home to 104 farmworker families for six months a year, that means it’s time to move out, but more and more families are giving second thought to migrating twice a year.
“Today is our last day, the end of the program, so we’re doing inspections,” said Camp Manager Martin Gomez on November 25, checking the keys to an empty duplex. Buena Vista is one of 24 state-run camps around California, built in the 1970s to improve living conditions for migrant workers. For farmworkers living on wages of about $350 a week, it’s a pretty good deal: rent is less than $400 a month, and the camp offers free daycare. But there’s a catch: to live there, you have to move at least 50 miles away during the winter.
Rogelio Fernandez, who is headed to Michoacán for the winter, has been coming to California to pick strawberries for 38 years. He followed in the footsteps of the men in his family. “My grandfather was a bracero, my father was a bracero,” he said. Continue reading this article
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