No Pope has ever spoken to the Congress before, but the Speaker thinks that it’s fine to offer him a uniquely high honor (and violate the separation of church and state) even though the nation is still majority Protestant (52 percent, more than double the number of Catholics).
Seriously, who thinks any official from the Catholic church can claim moral authority?
The new Pope has been on the job for a year and has gotten praise for his kindness and rejection of the church’s lavish riches. Many in the press loved his first foreign trip, a visit to Lampedusa the southerly island outpost of Italy, where he welcomed Africans fleeing their homelands in search of a European lifestyle.
Allowing the Pope to address Congress is another instance of history being disregarded, specifically the fact that many of America’s early settlers came to escape the tyranny of the Vatican. One example is the Protestant Salzburgers who came to Georgia after thousands were expelled from the homes in Germany by the Catholic archbishop. In addition, the better known Puritans came to escape the Church of England, which they thought retained too many elements of Catholicism.
WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, extended a formal and open invitation Thursday to Pope Francis to address a joint meeting of Congress.
If the pontiff accepts, it would be unprecedented. No pope or religious leader that serves as a head of state has ever addressed Congress, according to the U.S. House Historian’s office.
“His address as a visiting head of state before a joint meeting of the House and Senate would honor our nation in keeping with the best traditions of our democratic institutions,” Boehner said in a statement. ” It would also offer an excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full.”
Boehner, who is Catholic, said Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his “pastoral manner and servant leadership” to reflect on matters of human dignity, freedom and social justice.
“These principles are among the fundamentals of the American idea,” Boehner said, “and though our nation sometimes fails to live up to these principles, at our best, we give them new life as we seek the common good.” Continue reading this article
House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., is scheduled to hold a high-dollar fundraiser in Silicon Valley next week — but frustrated tech donors are already grumbling about the event, disappointed by the lack of progress from House Republicans on one of their top policy priorities: immigration legislation.
According to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call, the Goodlatte fundraiser is organized by TechNet, which bills itself as the “preeminent bipartisan political network of CEOs and Seniors Executives that promotes the growth of technology-led innovation.” Suggested contribution levels for Wednesday’s round table and reception with the powerful chairman range between $10,000 and $40,000 for the Goodlatte Victory Committee.
Not every big-time tech donor, however, is ready to cut a check, because Goodlatte’s Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over immigration legislation.
“In this case, because there’s been mixed messages from the Republicans, before I write my check, I wanted some assurances that Bob Goodlatte would be prepared to discuss immigration reform and what the timetable is for immigration reform, because we’re coming down the wire here with the [midterm] elections [approaching] and we need accountability,” said Ron Conway, a top angel investor and venture capitalist, adding that he had contacted TechNet via email with his concerns.
As CQ Roll Call reported last week, Republicans are risking political retribution from their most prominent donors if they do not pursue immigration legislation — and soon.
According to Political MoneyLine, Conway and his wife have already donated more than $140,000 this cycle to Republican and Democratic candidates. That’s enough to earn them a spot just within the top 100 individual contributors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
“I’m waiting to hear back from TechNet, that they can assure us that Bob Goodlatte can give us a tangible schedule … then it’s worth it for us to cut the big checks,” Conway said. “Bob Goodlatte is a huge gatekeeper in this regard, and we need his help.” Continue reading this article
The press is full of stories about open-borders pests demanding more “humane deportations” (code for saying they want NO repatriations). The President appears amenable to going further. He used the occasion of an early St Patrick’s Day event to remark, “There’s no reason why we can’t do for this generation of immigrants what was done for a previous generation, to give them that chance.”
Of course, Irish immigrants (most of them at least historically) have come to America lawfully, but the President acts like illegal aliens’ lawbreaking entrance is the same as how many citizens’ ancestors came to this country.
Such an attitude of lawlessness at the top of our government presents a danger to all Americans from terrorists and criminals. Of course rewarding lawbreaking foreigners with work permits and protecting them from deportation is an insult to all legal immigrants who have spent thousands of dollars and dealt with lawyers to do it the right way.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today after the President requested a review of the Administration’s immigration enforcement policies for the purpose of further relaxing enforcement standards:
“It is astonishing that the President would order an ‘enforcement review’ not for the purposes of repairing enforcement but weakening it further. According to ICE’s own published statistics, the vast majority of those removed from the country have been convicted of a crime or involved with a serious crime. Illegal immigrants in the U.S. who don’t meet the Administration’s ‘priorities’—even if they come into contact with immigration enforcement—are widely exempt from federal immigration law. And approximately two-thirds of removals last year were in fact not deportations at all but were instead of apprehensions of those interdicted crossing the border. This lawlessness is a large factor in the decline of wages for Americans, immigrant and native-born, alike. President Obama should demonstrate more concern for struggling American workers of all backgrounds. Indeed, in addition to decimating current immigration law, he is pushing to double the number of foreign guest workers who companies bring in to take jobs.
This latest action further demonstrates that the Administration cannot be trusted to enforce any immigration plan from Congress. Congressional Democrats, who have helped empower this state of illegality, must be held to account for their actions.” Continue reading this article
[. . .] MR. GATES: Well, technology in general will make capital more attractive than labor over time. Software substitution, you know, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses or even, you know, whatever it is you do – (laughter).
MR. BROOKS: We wonder that too sometimes. (Laughter.)
MR. GATES: It’s progressing. And that’s going to force us to rethink how these tax structures work in order to maximize employment, you know, given that, you know, capitalism in general, over time, will create more inequality and technology, over time, will reduce demand for jobs particularly at the lower end of the skill set.
And so, you know, we have to adjust, and these things are coming fast. Twenty years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower, and I don’t think people have that in their mental model.
MR. BROOKS: So aligning the incentives in our economy to move away from taxing labor, moving to something like a progressive consumption tax is just a smart thing to do to stimulate – to have an economy that’s better aligned?
MR. GATES: Well, I think economists would have said that a progressive consumption tax is a better construct, you know, at any point in history. What I’m saying is that it’s even more important as we go forward because it – the distortion – I want to distort in the favor of labor. And so not only will we not tax labor, things like the earned income tax credit, you know, when people say we should raise the minimum wage, I think, boy, you know, I know some economists disagree. But I think, boy, I worry about what that does to job creation.
The interviewer at AEI was too polite to note that a few year back, billionaire Gates was appearing before Congress pleading that the government admit a monster stream of (cheap) foreign workers.
Below, billionaire Bill Gates visits India, the home of many of Microsoft employees.
WASHINGTON–For the second year in a row, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates ventured to Capitol Hill and urged Congress to let more foreign-born engineers work in the United States and to direct larger numbers of tax dollars to research and education.
Just as he did around the same time last year before a U.S. Senate committee, Gates on Wednesday contended America’s competitiveness in the global economy is “at risk.” He said Congress, the administration, and the next president must commit to overhauling immigration policy and encouraging both public and private research investment.
“It makes no sense to educate people in our universities, often subsidized by U.S. taxpayers, and then insist they return home,” he told the House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee during a two-hour hearing. [. . .]
How screwed up is this? An illegal alien’s miserable life is saved during last September’s terrible floods in Colorado, but the rescue wasn’t performed perfectly according to Roy Ortiz’s high standards, so he is suing every agency in sight.
Below, local first responders rescued Ortiz during the catastrophic flood. At least 1,750 people and 300 pets were saved from flood waters, so presumably police were rather busy.
The case was explored on Wednesday’s Fox News. Gretchen Carlson interviewed the litigant, and it’s obvious the well-fed Ortiz is not a born-in-America English speaker. (Spare video link here.)
At around 3:30, Carlson pursues the subject of Senor Ortiz’s immigration status:
CARLSON: And by the way, is Mr. Ortiz a US citizen? Is he here legally in this country?
LAWYER: Well, that has no bearing on anything with this case but the fact of the matter is that…
CARLSON: I think our viewers would like to know that, is he in this country legally or is he not? Is he a US citizen?
LAWYER: That has no bearing on this case and it certainly doesn’t prevent him from presenting any civil claims. That’s completely irrelevant to the matter at hand.
CARLSON: Okay, well, you told me earlier in the commercial break that you believe that he is undocumented and he is not here legally in this country. It’s an important point as we’re looking at all the details of this case. It’s an important point.
Instead of a big payout from the citizen taxpayers, how about an investigation of moocher Ortiz, such as what kind of fake identification he has. Is he using some American’s Social Security number (a felony)? Inquiring minds want to know.
A Colorado man, despite acknowledging that he’s lucky to be alive after being trapped in a submerged car, has filed an intent to sue his rescuers for half a million dollars.
Roy Ortiz filed his intent to sue the county of Boulder and his rescuers for a tentative $500,000 as a “preservative” measure, his attorney, Ed Ferszt, told ABCNews.com.
Ferszt said the county should have closed the road during floods in September. He said the first responders were also included because they did not realize Ortiz was trapped in the car until they prepared to lift it out of the water.
“He was not seen or it was assumed no one could have survived it,” Ferszt said. “No one discerned he was there.”
The incident began Sept. 12 when Ortiz was driving to work. His vehicle hit part of a washed-out road and then plunged into a creek. Continue reading this article
The business and tech press now frequently cover the approaching jobs tsunami from automation and robots, yet the immigration-obsessed Congress appears to be oblivious to the workplace revolution that will change modern society to its roots.
Surely, half of American jobs being replaced by smart machines within 20 years means that the nation’s supposed need for immigrant workers (if there ever was one) is ZERO.
Bloomberg News had a recent report that included a big scary chart of jobs on the way out, the only truly surprising item of which is that an estimated 77 percent of Bartenders (!) can be computerized away.
Really? Getting your morning joe at a robot coffee machine is one thing, but a neighborhood bar is entirely different. A good bartender is a combination banker, psychologist, jobs counselor and all-around promoter of friendly socializing.
Seriously, why go to a bar with a robot serving up drinks when it’s cheaper at home? Besides, for a newly laid-off worker, a non-human drink mixer may be an insult too far.
Who needs an army of lawyers when you have a computer?
When Minneapolis attorney William Greene faced the task of combing through 1.3 million electronic documents in a recent case, he turned to a so-called smart computer program. Three associates selected relevant documents from a smaller sample, “teaching” their reasoning to the computer. The software’s algorithms then sorted the remaining material by importance.
“We were able to get the information we needed after reviewing only 2.3 percent of the documents,” said Greene, a Minneapolis-based partner at law firm Stinson Leonard Street LLP.
Artificial intelligence has arrived in the American workplace, spawning tools that replicate human judgments that were too complicated and subtle to distill into instructions for a computer. Algorithms that “learn” from past examples relieve engineers of the need to write out every command.
The advances, coupled with mobile robots wired with this intelligence, make it likely that occupations employing almost half of today’s U.S. workers, ranging from loan officers to cab drivers and real estate agents, become possible to automate in the next decade or two, according to a study done at the University of Oxford in the U.K.
“These transitions have happened before,” said Carl Benedikt Frey, co-author of the study and a research fellow at the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology. “What’s different this time is that technological change is happening even faster, and it may affect a greater variety of jobs.”
Profound Imprint It’s a transition on the heels of an information-technology revolution that’s already left a profound imprint on employment across the globe. For both physical and mental labor, computers and robots replaced tasks that could be specified in step-by-step instructions — jobs that involved routine responsibilities that were fully understood.
What’s interesting is that Chinese Californians are beginning to understand how much they have benefited from Prop 209, under which their studious young folks are no longer bumped out of contention for top college slots by unqualified (but diverse!) hispanics and blacks. As a result, a “groundswell of Asian American opposition” is forming up against the legislation to reinstate affirmative action (according to uber-lib Daily Kos).
Asians in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond joined forces Friday to rally against a proposed Senate constitutional amendment that they said would punish their children for working hard to achieve the American Dream.
Olivia Liao, president of the Joint Chinese University Alumni Association, said Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 5 is racist because it allows public education institutions to give preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
“(Legislators) feel like the Chinese-American community isn’t paying attention to politics,” Liao said. “We are concerned citizens. We need to stand up when things are not right; we need to be heard. We shouldn’t have any (exceptions) related to race. After all, America is a free country.”
State Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, is sponsoring SCA 5, an amendment that would repeal portions of Proposition 209, which prohibited discrimination against people based on their unchangeable identities. If passed, the amendment would allow public education institutions to give preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
About 65 people — including 11 current and elected officials from San Gabriel, Monterey Park, San Marino, Claremont and Walnut — agreed that affirmative action ended with the November 1996 passage of Prop. 209. Bringing the program back, they said, would lower the ranking of the UCs and Cal States. Continue reading this article
Mexico’s vicious drug cartels and Islamic jihadists must certainly be happy to hear that throwing a couple rocks at officers will give them free entry to the United States. The reason is the instruction of the DHS for the Border Patrol to behave more gently toward violent alien invaders.
One might reasonably suspect that demands from open-borders activists that officers being physically attacked should withdraw rather than respond with self-defense. And in fact, that has been the case: U.S. border agency under pressure to reform use-of-force policies (LA Times, 2/28/14). Plus, the administration is obviously friendly to any opportunity to decrease border security to please the raza crowd.
Top administration officials have directed 21,000 border patrol officers to retreat whenever illegal immigrants throw rocks at them, and to avoid getting in front of foreign drug-smugglers’ vehicles as they head north with their drug shipments.
“Agents shall not discharge firearms in response to thrown or hurled projectiles… agents should obtain a tactical advantage in these situations, such as seeking cover or distancing themselves,” said the instructions, issued Mar. 7, under the signature of Michael Fisher, chief of U.S. Border Patrol.
Agents were also directed to keep their weapons holstered when drug smugglers drive by.
Agents can’t use guns against “a moving vehicle merely fleeing from agents,” say the instructions.
The new instructions do allow agents to use guns to defend themselves from vehicles that drive at them. “Agents shall not discharge their firearms at a moving vehicle unless the agent has a reasonable belief that… deadly force is being used against an agent,” the new instructions say.
However, the instructions also suggest that officers be penalized if they don’t step back. Agents “should not place themselves in the path of a motor vehicle or use their body to block a vehicles’s path,” according to new instructions.
The new curbs were praised by advocates for greater immigration, including Juanita Molina, director of the Border Action Network. New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, and Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, according to the Los Angeles Times. Continue reading this article
On Saturday, BookTV broadcast a discussion from James Barrat, the author of “Our Final Invention.” (Watch.) He listed a few job categories that can now be done by a smart machine: sport writers, pharmacists, postal workers, bank tellers, travel agents, manufacturing and clerical workers. Barrat noted several occupations that will soon face machine competition, including medical diagnosis, driving, piloting airplanes, space exploration and software development.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt spoke about Google’s bevy of recent robot acquisitions at the Oasis: The Montgomery Summit conference in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday. “We’re experimenting with what automation will lead to. Robots will become omnipresent in our lives in a good way,” Schmidt said, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Schmidt went on to say that he thinks automated technology will “replace a lot of the repetitive behavior in our lives.” Robotics and artificial intelligence are two arenas that Google has been heavily investing in to stay ahead of the next big technological advancements.
“The biggest thing will be artificial intelligence,” Schmidt said, per Bloomberg. “Technology is evolving from asking a question to making a relevant recommendation. It will figure out things you care about and make recommendations. That’s possible with today’s technology.”
Google has been steadily collecting robotics and artificial intelligence companies over the past several months, leading the tech press to speculate widely about a dystopian future occupied by Google-designed robots. In December, Google purchased the robotics company Boston Dynamics, which has long been a Pentagon contractor and is known for building creepily animal-like robots. Boston Dynamics was the eighth robotics company Google purchased in the past six months. Continue reading this article
In the spirit of International Women’s Day (March 8), attention should be paid to the violence women suffer at the hands of men in Mexico, our neighbor and the source of the largest number of illegal aliens here. Unfortunately, millions of these same criminally inclined, misogynous people have relocated in our country, with varying degrees of legality.
Mexicans commit crimes of violence against women when they get to America, like illegal Jose Medellin who murdered two Texas girls for the fun of it and Timoteo Rios who stabbed Tina Davila to death for her car. Gang rapes appear to be a popular activity among Mexicans active in drug crime.
Mexican women in Mexico are stuck with violent Mexican men, but they have been foisted upon the American public by a ruling class in Washington that cares nothing about public safety.
(Reuters) – So many teenage girls turned up dead in a vacant field on the outskirts of Mexico City that people nicknamed it the “women’s dumping ground.”
They began showing up in 2006, usually left among piles of garbage. Some were victims of domestic violence, others of drug gangs that have seized control of entire neighborhoods in the gritty town of Ecatepec, northeast of the capital.
The lot has since been cleared and declared an ecological reserve. But its grisly past is not forgotten and the killings have only accelerated.
Dulce Cristina Payan, 17, was one of the victims. Two years ago, armed men pulled up in a pickup truck and dragged her and her boyfriend away from the porch of her home. He was tossed from the truck within a few blocks but she was taken away and murdered, stabbed repeatedly in the face and stomach.
Her father, Pedro Payan, believes the killers belonged to La Familia, a violent drug gang operating in Ecatepec, and that Dulce Cristina was murdered when she resisted rape.
“I think my daughter defended herself, because her nails were broken, and her knuckles were scraped,” sobbed Payan, a former police officer who now sells pirated DVDs from his home to get by. “She had a strong character.”
As drug violence has escalated across Mexico in the past seven years, the rule of law has collapsed in some of the toughest cities and neighborhoods. When that happens, local gangs take control, imposing their will on residents and feeding a culture of extreme violence.
AN anti-Islam party based on the hardline views of Dutch politician Geert Wilders plans to field candidates at the next federal election, raising fears among moderate Muslims of a rise in extremism.
Mr Wilders, an influential far-right figure expected to shape the results of this year’s European elections, told followers in a video message that the Australian Liberty Alliance was being formed to “offer civil minded Australians fresh political vision and better policies”.
Policies advocated by Wilders’ Party for Freedom include deporting immigrants convicted of a crime and stopping all immigration from Islamic countries.
“Many of you are disappointed by current political parties and have had enough of politicians who sell our Western civilisation,” Mr Wilders said in his video. “Like you, good people in Europe, America, Canada have had enough of politicians who don’t share our values and foolishly declare all cultures are equal, and who lack the courage to speak the truth and say that Islam is the biggest threat to freedom today.”
Australian Liberty Alliance was registered as a not-for-profit business last month by Debbie Robinson, the president of the Q Society, an anti-Islam think tank that was responsible for bringing Mr Wilders to Australia last year. The party will be headquartered in Western Australia and is expected to be launched by Mr Wilders early next year. It is yet to be registered as a political party with the Australian Electoral Commission. Continue reading this article
On February 11, 2014, ten influential national security practitioners– including former Congressman Allen West, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz and others– sent a letter to American Conservative Union board member Cleta Mitchell, urging her and her colleagues to take action against Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, two ACU members who have for years been running influence operations against conservatives on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. She ignored it.
Both Norquist and Khan have had relationships with a bevy of individuals with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood– including jailed al-Qaeda and Brotherhood member Abdurahman Alamoudi and onetime head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Sami al-Arian– that make their participation in the American Conservative Union anathema to the organization’s supposed vision. It behooves true conservatives, Republicans–and, indeed, the American people as a whole– to resist such subversive operations and to expose and counter those who enable them. [. . .]
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