Jessica Vaughan appeared with Neal Cavuto Tuesday to discuss the latest kiddie colonists from south of the border.
CAVUTO: New government numbers obtained by the Washington Examiner showing that more than 12,000 illegal kids already crossed since October but only a handful of them are being returned. Jessica Vaughan says that is the problem. So Jessica, just understand this is post the wave of teens and young adults who got here last summer.
VAUGHAN: That’s right, this is the number that have come since the beginning of the new fiscal year which started on October 1st and these documents show that the Border Patrol has been turning over roughly about 2000 illegal alien unaccompanied minors to ICE for release into the country every single month, which would put us on pace to see the second largest number ever to cross if this trend continues throughout the fiscal year which most people in the Border Patrol and other enforcement agencies expect to happen. This is supposedly the slow time of the year but already we have very high numbers of people coming and it shows that the surge never really stopped, it just lessened a little bit. . . . Surge Two is already in progress.
The next explosion of illegal teen border crossing is in full swing, but just one-in-six are being sent home, with most of the rest settled in the United States, according to new government figures.
The U.S. Border Patrol agency reported that they have seized 12,509 illegals under age 18 since October, making it the second biggest surge in history after last year’s unprecedented movement of unaccompanied youths across the nation’s southern border.
However, when compared to the numbers of illegal kids turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it is clear that most are being “booked in” to U.S. facilities and then released — not sent home.
ICE documents provided to the Washington Examiner shows that ICE is accepting an average of 2,000 a month, meaning that the Border Patrol is returning just one of six kids to their countries, mostly Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Continue reading this article
The Los Angeles Times is quite a case study in devolutionary “outreach” to diverse new communities of immigrants. Monday’s front page pictorial story (below) featured a downtown Mexican-style farmacia catering to primitive cultural practices as if they were a normal thing to have in a major American city. The Farmacia Million Dollar offers a multi-service magic hut where customers can purchase amulets or spiritual cleansings and pray to Santa Muerte, the Saint of Death, much admired by Mexican criminals.
Below, shoppers browse Mexican witchcraft products under the watchful eye of Santa Muerte.
The more diverse LA Times of today apparently believes that all culturally based behavior is a good thing, even if criminal. One example: in December the Times celebrated scofflaw hispanic peddlers: Los Angeles Ignores Illegal Street Vendors.
Today’s diversity parable promotes no crime, but has more to do with the primitive superstitions of Mexicans who buy magic candles to protect them from harm.
The sign above a store window at 3rd and Broadway downtown looks ordinary enough: “Rx Pharmacy.” But it’s the signs below that make many passersby do a double take.
“We make amulets and candles,” a small white sign in the corner reads, below another offering limpias, or spiritual cleansings. Under the word “Botanica,” “Templo Santa Muerte” is stenciled in black letters. Rounding the corner toward the front of Farmacia Million Dollar, visitors are greeted by rows of statues, many of the folk saint. On the door, more signs advertise card readings: “English only Sunday appointment,” one says.
Inside, everyday drugstore items such as bath washes, bar soap, water and candles line the shelves. But the bath wash and soap are for protection and windfalls, and the water is colored and sealed with a paper label offering luck or safety.
The velas — candles — along the back shelves aren’t bought for their aroma; they’re lighted in the hope of bringing users what they desire, whether love or success.
What was once primarily a drugstore several years ago is now a refuge for people seeking solutions to everyday worries and problems — including the shop’s owner as he confronts a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.
At the front counter, Lizeth Venegas prepares the candles with care. For the man buying the “Come to me” candle, she dusts it with powder and then tops it with some sprinkles. Once she’s finished, she wraps it back up and hands it to him. For the woman at the counter, Venegas lines up four candles with a reventador label to help get rid of negativity in her life.
“¿Todos en tu nombre?” she asks. “All in your name?”
“Sí,” the customer responds.
“Ay mija, estás pesada,” she tells her. “You’re burdened.”
There are hundreds of botánicas in Southern California, serving as centers of diverse practices — spiritual, medicinal and therapeutic.
They cater to a mainly Latino clientele, some of whom fear their religious family members will find out and disapprove that they’re turning to these shops for help.
“I think often the general default is that this is satanic, and for some in the Catholic Church this would be seen as false belief,” says Patrick Polk, curator of Latin American and Caribbean Popular Arts at UCLA’s Fowler Museum. “The reality is that it’s very easy to judge other people’s religions, and those judgments tend to be shaped by presumptions and stereotypes and misrepresentations.” Continue reading this article
Senator Ted Cruz declared his candidacy for the Presidency on Monday in a speech given at Liberty University. It was a fine presentation of patriotic principles where he called on conservatives to rise up and “reignite the promise of America.”
He spoke extemporaneously, without the help of a teleprompter, the gadget vital to Obama maintaining the appearance of intelligence. There’s no question that Cruz is one of the brighter persons in Washington.
Instead of the lawlessness and the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders.
And imagine a legal immigration system that welcomes and celebrates those who come to achieve the American dream.
Immigration enforcement is not his strongest subject.
In 2013, I spent many hours watching the markup of the Senate’s Gang of Eight amnesty bill, and Cruz was a potted plant in comparison to Senators Sessions and Grassley, who submitted 49 and 77 amendments respectively to improve the dangerously flawed legislation.
Interestingly, the clip I linked to his proposal in the hearing to increase H-1b visas is still available on the Cruz Tube channel:
The Cruz amendment would have upped the annual H-1B cap from 65,000 to 325,000, or in Cruz’s words “increase it by 500 percent” as if that would be a good thing. The amendment was defeated in committee, perhaps because it would have increased the fees to businesses using foreign worker visas.
Hypocrite mega-billionaire Mark Zuckerburg campaigns for cheaper foreign labor while presenting himself as the noble proponent of greater connectivity for world peace. He is typical of billionaire tech moguls who screw Americans to save a few dollars.
But personal stories told by laid-off Americans were missing, because they are routinely forced to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to get decent severance packages. Speaking out in public would bring down a lawyer attack.
Writer Byron York has gotten some anonymous worker stories that he has shared in an article. Too bad the public couldn’t have seen the faces of the laid-off Americans.
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing into abuses of the H-1B skilled guest worker visa program. Lawmakers heard experts describe how the use of foreign workers has come to dominate the IT industry, with many tech giants using the program to fire well-paid current workers and replace them with workers from abroad at significantly lower pay.
“The current system to bring in high-skill guest workers … has become primarily a process for supplying lower-cost labor to the IT industry,” two experts who testified at the hearing, Howard University’s Ron Hira and Rutgers’ Hal Salzman, wrote recently. “Although a small number of workers and students are brought in as the ‘best and brightest,’ most high-skill guest workers are here to fill ordinary tech jobs at lower wages.”
Exhibit A in the abuse of H-1Bs was the case of Southern California Edison, which recently got rid of between 400 and 500 IT employees and replaced them with a smaller force of lower-paid workers brought in from overseas through the H-1B program. The original employees were making an average of about $110,000 a year, the committee heard; the replacements were brought to Southern California Edison by outsourcing firms that pay an average of between $65,000 and $75,000.
“Simply put, the H-1B program has become a cheap labor program,” Hira, author of the book Outsourcing America, testified. “To add insult to injury, Southern California Edison forced its American workers to train their H-1B replacements as a condition of receiving their severance packages.”
It was a powerful presentation, especially in light of the fact that many Republicans and Democrats in Congress do not want to address abuses of the H-1B problem but rather want to greatly increase the number of H-1B visa workers allowed into the United States.
But one voice was missing from the hearing, and that was the voice of laid-off workers. That was no accident. In addition to losing their jobs and being forced to train their foreign replacements, many fired workers are required to sign non-disparagement agreements as a condition of their severance. They are workers with families and bills to pay, and they are told that if they do not agree to remain silent, they will be terminated with cause, meaning they will receive no severance pay or other benefits and will face an even tougher search for a new job and a continued career. So they remain silent.
A longtime feature of the Capitol Hill hearing into this or that unfair practice is to hear from the victims of this or that unfair practice. The IT industry has worked to make sure that does not happen in the case of H-1B visa abuse. Still, the Judiciary Committee managed to receive testimonials from four laid-off workers, three from Southern California Edison and one from another company. So to flesh out the H-1B story with the perspective of those who are actually paying the price when H-1B visas are used to displace American workers, here are their anonymous testimonials:
My former company, a large utility company, replaced 220 American IT workers with H-1Bs…we would have to train them in order to receive our severance packages. This was one of the most humiliating situations that I have ever been in as an IT professional.
The whole IT department was going through the same fate as myself. Those were the longest and hardest five months of my life. Not only did I lose a work family, but I lost my job and my self-esteem. We had constant emails sent by HR that we could not talk about this situation to anyone or make posts to social media. If we did, we would be fired immediately and not get our severance.
We had jobs and there was no shortage of skilled labor that would make it necessary to bring in H-1Bs. We were let go and replaced by foreign workers who certainly weren’t skilled to take our positions.
I am an IT professional and worked for Southern California Edison for over two decades. I was a loyal employee and always received outstanding reviews. A foreign worker with a H-1B visa recently replaced me.
I am the sole provider of my children. Due to a disability, finding employment at the same wage and with a work modification will be very difficult…It is an ominous possibility that in five years or less I may have no assets, suffer from severe pain and will need to go on full disability with a catastrophic decrease in income. The loss of my job may rob me of a secure retirement. Continue reading this article
The wheels of justice turn slowly, or so they say, and it has taken seven years for Indian immigrant Subhash Chander to get his sentence after murdering his daughter, son-in-law and grandson. The case seemed a slam-dunk in terms of evidence being quickly assembled. Less than a week after the crime, the New York Times reported that Chander confessed.
Perhaps the diversity aspect, particularly the motivation of caste differences that Indians include in their cultural baggage, made the court happy to drag the trial out for years. Why remind Americans that all diversity is not equal?
Below, convicted murderer Subhash Chander (bottom left 2008, top left today) and his victims Rajesh Kumar Arora and Monika Rani (right).
It was a terrible crime, but could have been far worse. Chander poured gasoline and lit it near the door of the young family’s apartment, but the whole building of 36 units went up in flames, leaving more than 70 individuals homeless. Residents were jumping from balconies to escape.
Prosecutor Robert Milan remarked, “It could have been one of the largest homicides in American history but for the grace of God.”
Below, the scene of the 2007 arson fire that killed three in Oak Forest, a suburb of Chicago.
Unsurprisingly, the ChiTrib referred to the culturally motivated killer from India as an “Oak Forest man.”
More than seven years after an Oak Forest couple and their 3-year-old son died in a fire at their apartment building, a Cook County jury convicted the woman’s father of setting the fire.
Subhash Chander, 64, was found guilty late Thursday by a jury of three counts of first-degree murder for spreading gasoline at the 36-unit building and igniting it — apparently out of anger that his daughter had married beneath her status in India’s caste system and without his consent, according to prosecutors.
Killed in the December 2007 blaze, which destroyed the building, 15859 LeClaire Ave., were Monika Rani, 22, who was about five months pregnant with her second child; her husband Rajesh Arora, 30; and their son, Vansh Kumar. Their bodies were found inside the building.
Chander, who lived across the street from the couple, has been held without bail at the Cook County Jail since Jan. 1, 2008, a sheriff’s department spokeswoman said. His sentencing is scheduled for April 16. He faces life imprisonment. Continue reading this article
When Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley appeared on Fox News a few weeks ago, he said he had information from a reliable source leading the Senator to believe that a known gang member had gotten a DACA pass to stay in the country despite having a criminal record.
Now there is more information to back up Grassley’s contention that Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez was a DACA recipient despite having known gang affiliation. He is accused in the murder of four people including a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model” in North Carolina.
Rangel-Hernandez had been arrested for marijuana possession and was not deported. Even when ICE officials were notified of his criminal record, he was still allowed to remain in the US under Obama’s DACA amnesty program.
Below, murder victim and aspiring model Mirjana Puhar (left) and accused murderer Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez (right).
Furthermore, whistleblowers have alleged that Mr. Rangel-Hernandez’s DACA application was approved although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had full knowledge that he was a known gang member. This raises serious concerns about USCIS’s review and approval of other DACA applicants and points to potential vulnerabilities in the system. Therefore, we are seeking the Department’s official policy related to DACA adjudications for suspected or known gang members.
When Senator Grassley appeared on the Fox program mentioned above, he observed,
For a long period of time I and my staff have been noting, within the DHS, immigration division, there’s been a great deal of peer pressure among the adjudicators to get to Yes. In other words, if you can’t approve these people and they’re denied, we’re going to send it up the chain of command for approval. The message goes out then that we want these people not deported.
Funny how public safety counts for so little by the current administration.
The company that created Baxter, the $25,000 robot designed to do manufacturing jobs 24/7, has come up with a new machine that is smaller and capable of finer movements. So while Baxter can pack boxes and other simple movements, Sawyer’s more delicate touch allows it to perform some aspects of electronics manufacturing, for example.
The company’s artsy video with dramatic music highlights the machine’s flexible arm:
Below, Rethink Robotics co-founder Rodney Brooks poses with Sawyer (left) and Baxter (right).
The price of the new robot is reported to be $29,000 and its expected lifetime is 30,000 hours, which puts the cost at around a buck an hour plus a little electricity. What manufacturer wouldn’t snap up a bunch of the units to replace humans who take coffee breaks and expect a living wage?
A major talking point of robot builders is that the machines “help” humans rather than replace them in an integrated workplace. A recent Financial Times article about Sawyer was titled, “Robots rub shoulders with human buddies.” How reassuring.
Interestingly, that article noted, “Last year Volkswagen said it plans to use robots to cope with a shortage of new workers caused by retiring baby boomers.” One reason cited by proponents of increased immigration in this country is the idea of a labor shortage caused by the retirement of millions of the boomer generation. But employers are fine with using robots which are cheaper and more convenient.
But clearly human workers are rapidly becoming obsolete in manufacturing, which is obvious when you see modern automobile assembly lines that are entirely robotic.
Given the workplace revolution that is happening right now, America certainly doesn’t need to import millions of immigrants for future jobs that won’t exist. Oxford University researchers estimated in a 2013 report (“The Future of Employment”) that “about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk” to be replaced by smart machines.
The horrible Gang of Eight Senate bill mandated doubling legal immigration forever, and open-borders proponents would love a “compromise” of hugely increased immigration now and promised enforcement sometime at an undefined later date. But initiating a huge demographic change based on a wrong idea about labor needs would be a bad mistake because it would massively increase an angry unemployed underclass, among other social and economic problems.
Meet Sawyer, a new robot unveiled Thursday by Rethink Robotics, a Boston-based robotics company aiming to make factories more efficient, safer and more productive.
Weighing in at 41.9 lbs and standing 3.3 feet tall, the one-armed Sawyer is smaller and more flexible than Rethink’s only other robot, the double-armed Baxter, which debuted in 2012. While Baxter has helped companies do heavy duty work like loading boxes, Sawyer was created to automate more detailed, smaller tasks, like testing circuit boards and machine tending — jobs that have traditionally proven too intricate for industrial robots.
“[Baxter] gave us a tremendous base of companies that were thinking like us. We have a vision, idea and experience, but we don’t necessarily have all the answers,’” Rethink CMO Jim Lawton says of Sawyer’s development, which began in late 2013. “It’s like taking one step across the river. You can’t get there in one step, so you need to build commercially viable products as stepping stones. Eventually, you get to the other side of the river.”
Rethink’s customers have already used both robots — though Sawyer only in field tests — to perform low-level factory jobs, positions that are often menial, dangerous or undesirable. The machines are also relatively cheap: Sawyer will start at $29,000 when it’s introduced more widely this fall, while Baxter starts at $25,000; similar robots can cost several times more. The robots’ signature touch is digital “faces” that double as easy-to-use interfaces, allowing companies to get Sawyer and Baxter up-and-running within hours or days.
Together, Sawyer and Baxter are just two of the many robots fueling fears automation and other technologies are taking humans’ jobs. Rethink is used to the criticism: factory labor has long been a politically charged topic, and the seven-year-old startup has often been in the spotlight thanks to its big-name investors like Bezos Expeditions and Charles River Ventures. Rethink’s most recent funding round in January raised $26.6 million. That’s considered a significant investment in the robotics industry, which is expected to grow 12% globally every year, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Continue reading this article
What would happen if the guest worker green card provisions in the Gang of Eight bill or the Skills Act or the I-Squared became law? How would it change things?
SALZMAN: It would dramatically increase the number and we find based on those estimates that would provide enough guest workers to fill 100 percent of the jobs with perhaps 50 percent left in reserve that could then be used to backfill and replace current workers. So the current bills supply more than even what the industry says it needs to fill every new job.
SESSIONS: And you’ve written that universities graduate twice as many people with STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) each year as there are job openings in this field. Would you comment on that?
SALZMAN: Yes, I mean overall our universities are very good at providing the work force that’s needed. Current numbers suggest half to two-thirds of graduates find a job in a STEM field. And what’s important to also notice is when we do observe a shortage, as happened in the petroleum industry, you see wages go up. And when wages have gone up, student enrollments increased dramatically. In other words, students are very sensitive to the market signals about where there is demand, where wages go up and they respond, which brings up the curious question which is if there is demand out there, why haven’t we seen wages increase?
Witness Ron Hira also noted in the clip that the state of California has hired foreign workers to process unemployment insurance system.
Speaking of the formerly Golden State, I’ve been reporting for a while that California’s state universities have been admitting more foreign students because they pay full tuition, and the system needs the money. But the following item came up in the hearing and is rather shocking when you think about it:
SALZMAN: And, along the way, [increased STEM visas] will erode the nation’s innovation foundation anchored in American universities as they close their doors to U.S. students, just as the California State University system did when it decreed that its graduate programs were closed to state residents and, to increase revenue, effectively favored admissions to foreign students who now comprise over 90 percent of some STEM masters programs.
Get that? The state universities’ graduate programs are closed to state residents because foreigners pay more money, even though California parents have been supporting the system with tax dollars for years. How screwed up is that?
In addition, Senator Sessions posted a summary of the hearing:
“The day is over when high-paid immigration lobbyists can simply demand as much labor as they want at the lowest possible price.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, issued the following statement today after the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the displacement of U.S. workers through the H-1B and related guest worker programs:
“In 2013, columnist Byron York called attention to a curious and alarming fact: the same companies lobbying for more guest workers were laying off American workers in droves.
Today’s hearing called by Chairman Grassley leaves no doubt as to what is happening: large corporations are using foreign worker programs explicitly for the purpose of replacing American workers at lower wages. This is exactly what happened to hundreds of loyal workers, mothers and fathers employed by Southern California Edison. Continue reading this article
San Francisco is famous for its crazy left politics (like sanctuary and coddling diverse criminals), and the latest is a doozy. The lefty lights of the city have decided that lowering the voting age to 16 for local elections will help engage the kiddies in political struggle.
Apparently the schools are not creating sufficient cadres of young communist community organizers, who are so admired in the city.
The problem is that young people are not mature. They have protections as minors under the law because they are not capable of the responsibilities of adults. In particular, recent research has found that the teen brain is not wired up to have the full functionality of reason until around age 25. Young people are moody and impulsive, making them more susceptible to the emotional appeals that the left likes.
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — They can drive, they can work, and now a group of San Francisco city officials, including two supervisors want 16-and 17-year-olds to be eligible to vote.
San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos will introduce a measure—the first of its kind in a major U.S. city on Tuesday to do just that.
Avalos, Supervisor Eric Mar and other supporters say it will encourage civic engagement among youths and instill lifelong voting habits.
While two small cities in Maryland already have such voting laws where the teen turnout is four times of that of adults, the measure here should make interesting fodder for talk shows and web blogs because this is San Francisco after all.
But in order to pass, the Board of Supervisors would have to approve a charter amendment which would then go on the ballot for all currently eligible voters to decide. This November would be the earliest that such vote could be decided on.
This push comes from a combination of some city teens who want to take part in the voting system and the city’s progressives.
The San Francisco Youth Commission recently passed a resolution asking for the expansion of voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds. But there is also the assumption that they will make choices that will lean liberal. That’s why the measure is being pushed by the progressives—including Public Defender Jeff Adachi—who have lost ground in recent elections due to the growing moderate movement represented by Mayor Ed Lee. Continue reading this article
The fraud-friendly H-1b employment visa has been a problem for years and shows how little the government cares about protecting hard-working Americans who spent years and plenty of money acquiring skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Nevertheless, Republican Senators Hatch, Flake and Rubio are sponsoring an expansion of tech visas.
Senator Grassley is the Chair of the committee (read his Opening Statement), but he left for a vote after a while and didn’t return, leaving Senator Sessions to run the hearing. His Youtube channel posted several videos of interest.
Here is a clip of Senator Sessions, which is titled after his remark, ‘We Have No Obligation To Yield The Lust Of Big Business’ For Low-Paid Guest Workers.
Jay Palmer was the one regular American given the opportunity to speak among the experts. He told his story of being an unemployed tech worker because of his whistleblower activities in a visa fraud case. [Testimony]
Howard University Professor Ron Hira discussed the myth of the H-1b program which supposedly protects American workers against being displaced by cheaper foreigners, but instead has created a “lucrative business model” of replacement employees. [Testimony]
Rutgers Professor Hal Salzman noted that the expansion legislation would admit more foreign STEM workers than the total of new technology jobs. [Testimony]
Breitbart covered the hearing in detail.
Expert Tells Senators Massively Increasing H-1b Guest Worker Visas Would Send Message to americans Your Job Is Up for Grabs by Foreigners, Breitbart.com, March 17, 2015
At Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on H-1B guest-worker visas, one of the country’s leading experts on the high-tech guest-worker program said that with proposed legislation like the Senate’s “I-Squared” bill that would triple the number of guest-worker visas, Congress’s message to any American worker making more than $60,000 year is: “your job is up for grabs.”
Howard University Public Policy Professor Ron Hira made those remarks after referencing the $60,000 wage floor for H-1B workers and saying that it was a myth that companies pay guest-workers prevailing wages and actively look first for Americans to fill jobs that are eventually given to H-1B guest-workers who are no better qualified or specialized than the American workers they are replacing.
Rutgers University Public Policy Professor Hal Salzman mentioned that the Senate’s “I-Squared” bill would allow 180,000 H-1b visas a year even though industry lobbyists said the tech industry needed 120,000. What that means, according to Salzman, is that it would proved the industry “enough guest-workers with 50% left in reserve,” which would allow the tech industry to essentially fill all new job openings with guest-workers with enough visas leftover to replace more American workers.
“In sum, current policies and the proposed changes in high skill guest-worker visas and immigration policies that increase the supply of guest-workers are likely to accelerate the already deteriorating labor force conditions and career prospects for STEM graduates and workers,” he testified.
Hira said that Southern California Edison’s abuse of the H-1B program “is flagrant but isn’t an isolated case.” He mentioned documented cases of Disney in Florida, Cargill in Minnesota, Harley Davidson in Wisconsin, Pfizer in Connecticut, and Xerox in Rochester all having gamed the H-1B program to displace American workers. Continue reading this article
One eternal mystery is why liberals oppose trade deals that offshore US jobs to foreign nations while they ignore excessive immigration that has the same negative effect of Americans’ losing their employment. It has never made sense to me.
Lou Dobbs examined the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on his Monday show:
ED ROLLINS: The thing that needs to be discussed right up front is how many jobs it’s going to cost. It’s great to have rhetoric about the prices being lower, more jobs, all the rest of it — doesn’t ever seem to happen.
LOU DOBBS: We have never seen it happen. It is so much bull that is stacked so high — well, I don’t want to continue with the extraordinary metaphor.
House Democrats are criticizing President Obama’s administration for holding a classified briefing on trade with top administration officials, saying it’s an attempt to push a trade program in secret.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman will meet with House Democrats on Wednesday in a classified briefing to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Members will be allowed to attend the briefing on the proposed trade pact with 12 Latin American and Asian countries with one staff member who possesses an “active Secret-level or high clearance” compliant with House security rules. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) told The Hill that the administration is being “needlessly secretive.”
“Even now, when they are finally beginning to share details of the proposed deal with members of Congress, they are denying us the ability to consult with our staff or discuss details of the agreement with experts,” DeLauro told The Hill.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) condemned the classified briefing.
“Making it classified further ensures that, even if we accidentally learn something, we cannot share it. What is USTR working so hard to hide? What is the specific legal basis for all this senseless secrecy?” Doggett said to The Hill.
“Open trade should begin with open access,” Doggett said. “Members expected to vote on trade deals should be able to read the unredacted negotiating text.” Continue reading this article
Spring starts in a few days, which is always good news, but here in crowded Mexifornia, winter rainfall has been disappointingly slim. The drought is bad and getting worse because the stored water in reservoirs has become even more drained.
The LA Times piece had several recommendations including statewide water rationing now, acceleration of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 and top prioritization for long-term state water management strategies.
Of course, California has the largest number of illegal aliens, estimated at around three million, and they are all using state water.
Brown fancies himself an environmentalist, but his astounding policy of welcome toward all illegal aliens from Mexico is unsustainable regarding water supply. There is not enough water for today’s population yet Brown wants more to come.
Victor Davis Hanson is a retired classics professor as well as a fourth-generation Fresno-area farmer. He had some interesting musings about California’s odd mixture of denial about water:
California is not suffering one drought, but four. Each is a metaphor of what California has become.
The first California drought, of course, is natural. We are now in the midst of a fourth year of record low levels of snow and rain.
Californians have no idea that their state is a relatively recent construct — only 165 years old, with even less of a pedigree of accurate weather keeping. When Europeans arrived in California in the 15th and 16th centuries, they were struck by how few indigenous peoples lived in what seemed paradise — only to learn that the region was quite dry on the coast and in the interior.
Today, modern Californians have no idea of whether a four-year drought is normal, in, say, a 5,000 natural history of the region, or is aberrant — as wet years are long overdue and will return with a vengeance. That we claim to know what to expect from about 150 years of recordkeeping does not mean that we know anything about what is normal in nature’s brief millennia. Our generation may be oblivious to that fact, but our far more astute and pragmatic forefathers certainly were not.
If one studies the literature on the history and agendas of the California State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project, two observations are clear. One, our ancestors brilliantly understood that Californians always would wish to work and live in the center and south of the state. They accepted that where 75% of the population wished to live, only 25% of the state’s precipitation fell. Two, therefore they designed huge transfer projects from Northern California that was wet and sparsely settled, southward to where the state was dry and populated. They assumed that northerners wanted less water and relief from flooding, and southerners more water and security from drought, and thus their duty was to accommodate both. Continue reading this article
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