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Lebanon arrests 40 Fatah al-Islam gunnies
Today's Headlines
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-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Cyclone kills 14 on Pakistan coast
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:


Britain
Tony Blair to stand down as British PM
Tony Blair will Wednesday step down as British Prime Minister after more than a decade in power, paving the way for Gordon Brown to succeed him.

Fulfilling his promise to work to the end of his premiership, Blair, who is set to become an envoy for Mideast peace, will attend his last Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons at noon (1 p.m. GMT). The 30-minute session, pitting Blair against opposition Conservative leader David Cameron across the dispatch box for the final time, is expected to be a good-humored farewell.

But the defection of Conservative MP Quentin Davies to Blair's ruling Labour Party is likely to put an extra spring in the outgoing PM's step.

Blair will then be driven the short distance to Buckingham Palace to formally hand his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's head of state.

Minutes later Brown, who has served as Blair's finance minister throughout his 10 years in power, will travel to the palace where the queen will invite him to form a government. Then Brown, now prime minister, will be driven back to Downing Street and pose for pictures outside the famous front door of the prime ministerial offices at No. 10. He will then set to work appointing his cabinet and the rest of his government.

Blair stands down after a decade in which Labour won a party-record three straight general elections, in which peace was brought to Northern Ireland and the British economy enjoyed a record sustained boom. Prior to his re-election in 2005, Blair had vowed to serve a full third term. But political infighting within Labour ranks culminated in a political coup last year that saw him pledge to leave office early, honoring a long-standing pact to make way for Brown.

"People are hopeful there is going to be a change of mood and a change of pace very quickly," Labour lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, an outspoken critic of Blair and the Iraq war, told Reuters. "The first priority of Gordon Brown has to be recognizing the disaster of the strategy in Iraq and making plans for the withdrawal of our forces."
Posted by: Oztralian || 06/27/2007 07:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So long, Tony. I suspect your successors will not be an improvement.
Posted by: Mac || 06/27/2007 18:49 Comments || Top||

#2  > Tony Blair to stand down as British PM

Hoorah!


> Mentally ill Rocking Horse rider to become PM

OMFG!
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 06/27/2007 20:46 Comments || Top||


NHS rationing is 'necessary evil', say UK doctors
"Rationing is reduction in choice. Rationing has become a necessary evil. We need to formalise rationing to prevent an unregulated, widening, postcode-lottery of care. Government no longer has a choice."

- ALEX SMALLWOOD, British Medical Association
I believe "rationing" used to be known as "Paying your own damn medical bills". But then, Government-provided health care has always been about power over the plebiscite, never about actually caring for the health of 'the people'.
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/27/2007 00:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Universal government mandated and funded health care does not work. Period.

I wonder if Mikey Moore will add this bit to his new movie?
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 6:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Postcode lottery of care? But the moneyed already go to private practitioners and pay out of pocket for their care. Only the little people get rationed NHS care and two-year waits for urgent surgery. It was the same in Germany. Our American health insurance company sent us to private doctors saw us right away... and charged lots more. My girlfriend married to a local man had to schedule GP appointments six months out.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 7:35 Comments || Top||

#3  The American version, Hillary Care, will prohibit private health care provision; all care will go through the system so as to prevent the 'wealthy' from receiving 'unfair' health benefits. Of course government officials will have their own system because they are more equal than everybody else.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/27/2007 7:58 Comments || Top||

#4  How many failures and deaths are needed to finally show everyone that SOCIALISM DOESN'T WORK!!!!

Posted by: DarthVader || 06/27/2007 10:36 Comments || Top||

#5  It just hasn't been done right, is all.
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/27/2007 11:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Socialism to decent health care? Ya cahn't get thayuh from heahuh.
Posted by: Mac || 06/27/2007 19:01 Comments || Top||

#7  "Extortion funded treatment rationing"

It subsidises poor health choices and is funded by punishing successful people.

Socialism KILLS
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 06/27/2007 20:59 Comments || Top||


1 in 10 Britons born overseas
One in 10 people living in Britain was born overseas - a far higher proportion than previously thought, an international study group said yesterday. Record levels of immigration are rapidly changing the make-up of the population, figures released by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirmed.
Unless action is taken, ministers said recently, there is a "critical risk" that the mass immigration of recent years will fracture society.
The last census, six years ago, suggested 4.3 million people in Britain were born abroad. But the OECD's annual International Migration Outlook put the proportion in 2005 at 9.7 per cent - or about 5.8 million out of a total of 60 million. In recent years, about half a million people have come to live in Britain every 12 months. Even though this is partly offset by people leaving, the foreign-born population is growing while the British-born population is declining.
Sorta like Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany ...
The OECD attributes much of the recent increase to the decision not to impose labour market restrictions on eastern Europeans joining the EU in 2004. As a result, at least 650,000 have registered to work and many more have come as self-employed. The 4.3 million foreign-born Britons at the time of the 2001 census was itself an increase of about one million compared to 1991. The OECD said the total rose another 1.5 million in only five years - the fastest rate of growth in British history. In the late 1960s, about 75,000 people a year were accepted for citizenship but this fell to about 50,000 following new laws in 1971. The figure fell to 37,000 in 1997, but since then, there has been a spectacular increase. Unless action is taken, ministers said recently, there is a "critical risk" that the mass immigration of recent years will fracture society. Last week, the Government launched an impact forum to gauge how migration is affecting public services and community harmony. A spokesman said: "A points-based system from 2008 will help us selectively admit skilled workers where it is in the clear interests of the economy.''
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Uh Huh you Brits have been invaded. We know how you feel. Every time we turn around there's 2 million more Mexes in here. Even Bush's buddies in Midland are turning on the dumbshit, due to the fact that there are no real native Texans left in town.
Posted by: Woozle Elmeter2970 || 06/27/2007 0:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Senator Bunning (Kentucky; Hall of Fame Pitcher) has some harsh comment on the immigration bill. Not worth a post, but worth a look on this immigration post:
http://www.onenewsnow.com/2007/06/sen_bunning_amnesty_backers_sm.php
Posted by: McZoid || 06/27/2007 6:19 Comments || Top||

#3  It looks like a goodly proportion of the newcomers are now Eastern Europeans rather than Pakistanis and Indian. This will change things yet again, as these are people who appreciate freedom and democracy, and will not go on the dole... and will greatly resent the shiftless Pakistanis whom their taxes go to support.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 7:40 Comments || Top||

#4  "Theodore Dalrymple" says the shiftlessness isn't limited to (or even primarily) immigrants. He makes for gloomy reading.
Posted by: James || 06/27/2007 15:01 Comments || Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Petro-Canada joins Venezuelan oil exodus
Petro-Canada has pulled out of Venezuela by rejecting new nationalistic terms for oil projects and passing its stake in one discovery to President Hugo Chavez's government, it said on Tuesday. "We have decided not to migrate to the new commercial structure, so our working interest passes to the Venezuelan government," Petro-Canada spokeswoman Michelle Harries said. The company had a 20 percent interest in the La Ceiba discovery, which was not producing oil. It was operated by Exxon Mobil Corp., which quit its Venezuelan operations after failing to strike a deal to stay in a number of multibillion-dollar projects in the OPEC nation.

Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And, just where does Baby Hugo think he's going to have his tar refined ? The only two refineries currently processing his goo are located in the US, correct ?
Posted by: Woozle Elmeter2970 || 06/27/2007 0:50 Comments || Top||

#2  There is one in the Caribbean that can process the Venezuelan sludge, but I am not certain that it is still functional. There were indications 2 years ago that it was being looked at for closure.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 06/27/2007 1:36 Comments || Top||

#3  I have no doubt that the chinese have some use for that shit. Seems to be what he prefers anyway. I'm sure enough of the big boys will stay around and grovel at his feet to keep him in business. I don't think they're going to be breaking any production records though.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 06/27/2007 9:24 Comments || Top||

#4  I read in the WSJ yesterday that many Venezuelan petro engineers and their families have fled Venuzuela for northern Canada (Alberta).

Today I read in the WSJ that Exxon and Conoco have walked away from multibillion dollar investments in Venuzuela.

The clock is ticking on Chavez.
Posted by: JohnQC || 06/27/2007 11:35 Comments || Top||

#5  "Venezuelan sludge"
It's great for paving roads. If you've got some dirt roads to pave, be sure to give Hugo a call.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/27/2007 18:12 Comments || Top||

#6  We have a good young Venezuealan engineer working for us. Just had him an anchor baby too. Heading off to Trinidad for an assignment now though (tough duty, huh?)
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/27/2007 18:15 Comments || Top||


Venezuela now controls Conoco operations
ConocoPhillips on Tuesday said Venezuela assumed control of its operations in the country after it was unable to reach an agreement with the government over the nationalization of two multibillion-dollar oil projects. The company also said it expects to take an impairment of about $4.5 billion in the second quarter for its entire interest in its oil projects there.

It said negotiations are continuing between ConocoPhillips and Venezuelan authorities over compensation for the company's stake in the projects. Still, the company said it has preserved all its legal rights, including international arbitration.

Earlier this year, Conoco said the "historical cost-based carrying value" of its total investment in Venezuela was about $2.6 billion. It also said it would need to write down about $1.9 billion for goodwill if the assets were expropriated. However, at that time, the company said it believed the fair market value of its Venezuelan operations was substantially more than the expected $4.5 billion impairment.
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hope they installed software backdoors and doomsday viruses
Posted by: Frank G || 06/27/2007 20:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Worse than that, I hope ConocoPhillips unleashes a plague of lawyers to keep Venezuela tied up in multiple jurisdictions.
Posted by: Classical_Liberal || 06/27/2007 20:42 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
It begins: China shuts 180 food factories for tainted product
Recipient inspections and subsequent rejections must be causing pain. And this is a CNN report, so the lost face is very public indeed.
China has closed 180 food factories after inspectors found industrial chemicals being used in products from candy to seafood, state media said Wednesday.

The closures came amid a nationwide crackdown on shoddy and dangerous products launched in December that also uncovered use of recycled or expired food, the China Daily said. Formaldehyde, illegal dyes, and industrial wax were found being used to make candy, pickles, crackers and seafood, it said, citing Han Yi, an official with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, which is responsible for food safety.

"These are not isolated cases," Han, director of the administration's quality control and inspection department, was quoted as saying. Han's admission was significant because the administration has said in the past that safety violations were the work of a few rogue operators, a claim which is likely part of a strategy to protect China's billions of dollars (euros) of food exports. International concerns over China's food safety problems ballooned this year after high levels of toxins and industrial chemicals were found in exported products.

Chinese-made toothpaste has been rejected by several countries in North and South America and Asia, while Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine was blamed for dog and cat deaths in North America. Other products turned away by U.S. inspectors include toxic monkfish, frozen eel and juice made with unsafe color additives.

Han said most of the offending manufacturers were small, unlicensed food plants with fewer than 10 employees, and all had been shut down. China Daily said 75 percent of China's estimated 1 million food processing plants are small and privately owned.

According to Han, the ongoing inspections are focusing on commonly consumed food such as meat, milk, beverages, soy sauce and cooking oil. Rural areas and the suburbs -- where standards are likely less strict -- are still considered key areas for inspectors, he said.

Meanwhile, another regulating agency, China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said it closed 152,000 unlicensed food manufacturers and retailers last year for making fake and low-quality products. It also banned 15,000 tons of "unqualified food" from entering the market because it failed to meet national standards.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 13:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Any bets that equipment from those "closed" factories doesn't suddenly show up for installation at other plants that just happen to be owned by high ranking politburo political aparatchiks? One of the tainted wheat gluten production facilities approached by international inspectors was found stripped right down to the anchor bolts in its concrete floor.

The lack of transparency in China renders nearly everything they do meaningless. It is impossible to divine the actual reason behind anything they do unless it is of a blatant nature. One of the few measures we will have is whether rejected shipments continue to show up for reentry a second or third time. Especially if those rejected shipments are from the factories owned by the politburo brass.

Han said most of the offending manufacturers were small, unlicensed food plants with fewer than 10 employees, and all had been shut down. China Daily said 75 percent of China's estimated 1 million food processing plants are small and privately owned.

This is not reassuring. Such small 10 person outfits are most likely not the ones who are shipping thousands of containers full of tainted product to the West. Sounds like more of the usual window dressing Chinese opera. Let me know when they start closing some of the really big factories.
Posted by: Zenster || 06/27/2007 14:21 Comments || Top||

#2  A really scary next step is that we have been and are expanding our outsourcing of commercial aircraft parts to China. while not making light of folks getting sick from this sh!t being imported, or injuries or deaths due to crappy tires, imaging the magnitude of disaster when an wide body comes apart at altitude due to this slop.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 06/27/2007 14:38 Comments || Top||

#3  A really scary next step is that we have been and are expanding our outsourcing of commercial aircraft parts to China.

The utter folly of this goes beyong all sanity. Counterfeit Grade 5 and 8 high-strength bolts—the kind used in aircraft and high reliability applications—has been an issue for over ten years. In 1995 these fakes began flooding the American market. Of "Asian" origin, one can only speculate at how many of them were knocked off in China.

An excerpt from an article dealing with this published by the New Zealand Department of Building and Housing:

In 1999 the US government enacted the Fastener Quality Act after defective and counterfeit fasteners caused the death of nearly 400 US citizens over 15 years.

While all of these fasteners cannot be attributed solely to China, when combined with their theft of intellectual property, violation of copyrights, counterfeiting of consumer goods and incessant predation upon our corporate and military infrastructure, Beijing costs America untold BILLIONS per year.

Few people—including our politicians—seem to understand how this is a hidden cost that makes inexpensive Chinese goods far more costly than they appear to be. This unseen markup is kept from public notice by manufacturers and politicians alike who continue to profit handsomely while victims within the ranks of consumers and industry take it in the shorts.

China has yet to pay the piper for this institutionalized criminal theft. It is long past tea for them to be called on the carpet. How many more HUNDREDS of American will need to die at their hands before something is done?
Posted by: Zenster || 06/27/2007 15:32 Comments || Top||

#4  As long as there's a buck to be made, people will keep dying. See the big article today on U-Haul. The difference is, in America, you can take the bastards to court. In China? Forget it.
Posted by: gromky || 06/27/2007 15:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Globalization is a bad idea! Fat cats riding in limo's and flying in Gulfstreams while we pay the price. These are the greedy idiots that own our elected representatives as well. Hmmm. Gives me an idea.
Posted by: Natural Law || 06/27/2007 17:23 Comments || Top||

#6  Zen: an outgrowth of the fastener debacle was a program called the Unapproved Parts Program; started by the only FAA Adminstrator in recent history to have any balls, Mary Schiavo (sic?) She riled too many fiefdoms and was canned; the program was renamed The Suspected Unapproved Parts Program. www.faa.gov will get you to the SUPP page.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 06/27/2007 17:31 Comments || Top||

#7  180 out of 750,000. The problem's under control.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 06/27/2007 17:33 Comments || Top||

#8  I got news for you guys, Mexico, and prolly a host of other countries are every bit as bad. Some may even be worse. Corruption is endimic, the value of human life has been reduced below profits.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 06/27/2007 18:06 Comments || Top||

#9  Just start destroying any shipments that come in and don't pass inspection. Or mark them in a way that's indelible, and if they show up a second time, then destroy them.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 06/27/2007 20:39 Comments || Top||


"We're from Beijing; we're here to help."
long article. Excerpt:
Fang Liu, a lawyer with the Chinese police forces, packed her suitcase, waved farewell to her husband and baby daughter – and set off for South Sudan. "It was," she says solemnly, "a very long way away." Ms. Liu, today a UN police observer, was joined by 435 other ­engineers, medics, and transport specialists, ­all of them part of China's contribution to the 10,000-strong UN force charged with monitoring the peace agreement here until 2011.

The Sudan mission is the longest-ever peacekeeping mission the Chinese have joined to date – but not their only one. Playing a far more active role in UN peacekeeping than ever before, 1,809 Chinese troops, police, military observers, and others are deployed worldwide. The majority – 1,273 – are here in Africa, building roads, setting up clinics, patrolling troubled villages – and generally trying to show that China wants to be considered part of the international community when it comes to doing the right thing by this continent. The number of Chinese peacekeepers worldwide is much smaller than the number that Pakistan supplies the UN – currently 10,173 according to UN statistics – or India, which has sent 9,471 of its nationals to participate in most of the UN's 15 current missions worldwide.

But, it's more than South Africa (1,188 blue helmets) or Brazil (1,277) have in the field – and far more than the US, which, unlike 118 other countries, puts no boots on the ground. (The US does, however, provide the largest chunk of the funding for these missions – 26 percent of the total. China, in turn, provides 3 percent.)
Prolly a fair amount of the airlift as well, but I'm not an expert on that.
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "We're from Beijing; we're here to help."

Those words should suffice to chill any sane person's blood.
Posted by: Zenster || 06/27/2007 6:17 Comments || Top||


Europe
Poland-US Missile Defense Negotiations Reach Milestone
Another round of Polish-US talks on locating elements of the American missile defense shield in Poland is taking place in Washington. Deputy foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said he is satisfied with the negotiations, in which several Polish postulates have been positively reviewed.

The American side has confirmed that Polish armed forces will be receiving data from the special radar facilities of the system to be located in the neighboring Czech Republic. Additionally, Poland is to have access to missile launch programs in case of an attack on its territory.

The head of the Polish delegation underscored the United States have given consent to a military-political agreement accompanying location details of the elements of the missile defense shield in Poland. Waszczykowski implied the document would not have to have the form of an international agreement in relation to additional security guarantees. In his opinion, there could be several agreements defining the manner of American reaction in specific situations of threat to the region.

The Tuesday talks are accompanied by meetings of experts representing both sides. Another round of Polish-American negotiations on the US missile defense shield project is planned in Warsaw for end July, possibly early August.
Posted by: mrp || 06/27/2007 07:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "We've already agreed that we don't give a crap what the Russians think!"
Posted by: mojo || 06/27/2007 10:45 Comments || Top||


Jacques Chirac faces corruption charges
Former French President Jacques Chirac will meet before September 15 judges investigating a graft case of fake jobs allegedly involving members of his party during his time as Paris mayor, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Chirac will appear as an ‘assisted witness’. This means he could later become the subject of a “formal investigation” if new evidence comes to light. “He said ‘yes’ because he is responsible, he is a citizen like any other for the period that goes up until 1995. He will respond to all the questions in all the cases which concern him,” Veil said on Europe 1 radio.
Posted by: Fred || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder if France has an equivalent to the US 5th Amendment - "I decline to answer that question on the grounds it may tend to incriminate me."
Posted by: Bobby || 06/27/2007 7:40 Comments || Top||

#2  French 5th Amendment: (Thick German accent): Vi haffe ze means to make you speaaak!

Variant: To my daughter when she was learning to speak: Vi haffe ze means to make you speak!
Posted by: JFM || 06/27/2007 9:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Chirac will appear as an ‘assisted witness’.

"M. le Ver, please allow me to assist you into this courtroom..."
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/27/2007 9:37 Comments || Top||


EU slams Bulgaria over organized crime
A damning verdict is due on Bulgaria’s failure to tackle organised crime and high-level corruption in the six months since the former communist country joined the European Union.
How are they against Islamicists?
The fight against corruption is being hampered by a continued muddle over who is supposed to be leading it, while not one high-profile underworld killing has been solved, the European Commission has found.

A planned law to protect whistle-blowers has yet to be tabled and “pro-active investigations into inexplicable wealth are not yet common practice”, according to the draft report seen by The Times and due to be published Wednesday. The review was commissioned last year along with an assessment of attempts to reform judicial, government and police systems in Romania, which also became a member of the EU on January 1.

Both countries were allowed to join despite grave misgivings over corruption, organised crime and judicial independence. Despite a lack of progress in some key areas, they are set to escape financial penalties and continue to receive the generous funding that EU membership brings, The Times understands.
The Times always understands.
Bulgaria will be warned that “there is no room for complacency in the pursuit of judicial reform and the fight against terrorism". But EU officials privately fear taking drastic action that might discourage the reformers in Bucharest and Sofia.

Stanimir Vaglenov, an investigative journalist with the Sofia-based newspaper 24 Hours, said that the level of killings was set to continue. “The trouble with some Bulgarian businessmen is that you do not know where their legal business ends and where their illegal business starts. There have been at least ten such killings this year and unfortunately the forecast is for more of the same because they know no other way of doing business.”

Today’s European Commission report states: “Contract killings continue to be of great concern and in particular the most recent killings of local politicians. To date, no prosecution and conviction has taken place.”

Bulgaria will win some praise in other areas, notably its success in combatting corruption at the border and within local government. It has also set up systems to ensure the independence of judges and prosecutors. But the report adds: “In all areas, the Bulgarian authorities demonstrate good intentions. They have prepared the necessary draft laws, action plans and programmes. However, there is still a clear weakness in translating these intentions into results.”
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  International Union of Pots calls National Union of kettles black
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 06/27/2007 21:01 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Papers to be forged to gain citizenship under amnesty
The head of a Mexican forgery ring was convinced he could make phony documents that illegal aliens could use to indicate fraudulently that they were eligible for a new amnesty, says a government affidavit recounting wiretapped phone calls the man made.

Julio Leija-Sanchez, who ran a $3 million-a-year forgery operation before he was arrested in April, was expecting Congress to pass a legalization program, which he called "amnesty," and said he could forge documents to fool the U.S. government into believing illegal aliens were in the country in time to qualify for amnesty, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent said in the affidavit.

In recounting a wiretapped telephone conversation, ICE agent Jason E. Medica said he heard Mr. Leija-Sanchez tell an associate the forgery ring could "fix his papers" to meet the requirements of a legalization program such as the bill the Senate is debating today.

"When Leija-Sanchez said 'if there's an amnesty, he can fix his papers,' Leija-Sanchez was referring to the possibility of pending legislation which would allow a certain class of illegal aliens to remain in the United States, as long as they can prove a term of residency in the United States with no convictions," agent Medica wrote.

"When Leija-Sanchez said 'he can fix his papers,' he was referring to the fact that the organization could fraudulently create or alter documents to falsely prove the requisite residency period," the agent wrote.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 06/27/2007 18:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [360 views] Top|| File under:

#1  and HOW MUCH did he contribute to our economy, Ted and Harry? F*ckers
Posted by: Frank G || 06/27/2007 20:17 Comments || Top||

#2  This guy is smart. He knows what this is and is more than willing to make money off it.

Goddamn traitors in DC.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/27/2007 21:57 Comments || Top||

#3  .......all enemies, foreign and domestic.......
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 22:07 Comments || Top||


Free Press Group Wants Limits on Talk Radio
The American Civil Rights Union, an organization dedicated to protecting free speech, is blasting a liberal think tank for calling on the government to impose restrictions on talk radio.

The Center for American Progress was founded by former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff John Podesta. Along with a group called Free Press, it has recently published a study entitled "The structural imbalance of political talk radio." The study suggests that conservative talk radio has an unfair advantage that needs to be rectified by government intervention. It calls for more diversity in ownership, and says stations that fail to abide by government-mandated public-interest obligations should pay a fine to support public broadcasting.

Horace Cooper, a senior fellow with the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), says individuals already have a way to regulate talk radio. "There is a very simple way they can deal with it," he points out. "They turn to another channel."

But the Center for American Progress, says Cooper, apparently does not like that approach. "[They say] 'We're not going to leave it up to the American people to decide. We want to bring the government in and have them make these decisions,'" he insists.

Cooper says the recommendations found in the report remind him of what goes on in totalitarian regimes. "They're actually proposing that we take the ownership rights of the radio stations from the pre-existing owners and re-allocate them to other people who have approved political views," he explains. "This is a lot like what is going on in Venezuela today. This looks a lot like what used to go on in the former [Soviet] Eastern Bloc."

Cooper says the suggestions made by the Center for American Progress go way beyond the "Fairness Doctrine," which some members of Congress are trying to resurrect.

Posted by: Bobby || 06/27/2007 07:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The study suggests that conservative talk radio has an unfair advantage...

It's called popularity. If you can't beat it, regulate it!
Posted by: Raj || 06/27/2007 8:12 Comments || Top||

#2  But the Center for American Progress, says Cooper, apparently does not like that approach. "[They say] 'We're not going to leave it up to the American people to decide [what they should watch]. We want to bring the government in and have them make these decisions,'" he insists.

There - fixed it for ya. No charge.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/27/2007 8:18 Comments || Top||

#3  F*in' tranzi bastards. Talk radio is the only outlet they don't already control. Can't have non-party line opinions out there. You know the conservative blogosphere is on their radar, too.
Posted by: Spot || 06/27/2007 8:19 Comments || Top||

#4  More proof the liberals are not for free market choices and the limiting of all speech that does not fit their limited view.

You know libs, we had a revolution and killed people who tried this before. Ya damn wankers.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/27/2007 8:21 Comments || Top||

#5  I was impressed that the ACLU was actually defending conservative civil liberties for a change, until I noticed that this organization was actually the AC*R*U. Whoops. They're a right-wing answer to the ACLU, whom they regularly ding for hypocrisy and selective advocacy of only those civil liberties they approve of.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 06/27/2007 8:51 Comments || Top||

#6  Cautious respect to ACLU for speaking out against this...
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/27/2007 8:54 Comments || Top||

#7  Or, what Mitch said...
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/27/2007 8:55 Comments || Top||

#8  I always found it hilarious that liberals are outraged at conservative talk radio. Let's see...the liberals have TV, movies, newspapers, magazines, all of the modern media under the control of their sympathizers.

Conservatives have...AM Radio! And we only have that because it was essentially abandoned. But let's get a law passed saying that those AM radio stations can't practice free speech!
Posted by: gromky || 06/27/2007 9:10 Comments || Top||

#9  Oh, and don't be impressed by the ACLU. They rarely defend conservatives, and when they do, it's merely for the free publicity and to conserve a fig leaf of objectivity. "Well, they defended the KKK!" B.S. ACLU is as liberal as they come, and they cherry-pick the cases that they take.
Posted by: gromky || 06/27/2007 9:12 Comments || Top||

#10  Conservatives have AM radio.
It was the land no one wanted... until it became popular and successful.

(Is there a parallel with Israel here?)
Posted by: eLarson || 06/27/2007 9:22 Comments || Top||

#11  The ACLU?

The article is talking about the ACRU. Different org...
Posted by: eLarson || 06/27/2007 9:37 Comments || Top||

#12  (Also what Mitch said. Yeesh... it isn't even really hot yet today and my mind is starting to melt. I'm done now.)
Posted by: eLarson || 06/27/2007 9:38 Comments || Top||

#13  Let me suggest a reasoned alternative: break up the major media oligopoly. Only a dozen or so companies control all the significant media, print and broadcast, in the US. We used to have limits on how many newspapers, radio and TV stations a single company could own or control.

By all accounts, our MSM today stinks. It is no longer either competitive or market driven. So in exchange of busting up Clear Channels control of radio, we might also get, if not a breakup, then a divestment of the major media companies of large blocks of their holdings.

The limits would neither have to be draconian or unfair, say a single company could only own ONE newspaper, ONE TV station, ONE radio station, and ONE other type of publishing in a single major market.

That denies nobody access to the market, insures that market driven diversity and competition continue, and gives greater variety to the consumer.

Granted, a LOT of radio stations would have to pay Rush Limbaugh a LOT more for exclusive broadcast rights.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/27/2007 10:27 Comments || Top||

#14  I think this would be very good. After all, I don't see how they could impose this on only talk radio. Think about how it would open up the TV networks.....
Posted by: Brett || 06/27/2007 10:47 Comments || Top||

#15  I seem to remember another type of government that liked to control the media and what news the people heard. Oh that right that was the Soviet Union! Every day their mask(s) reveal a little bit more into their souls. I have a prediction that IF they do pass the fairness doctrine and somehow it is enforced we will see an explosion of underground and web-based talk radio shows. Come to think of it that might not be a bad idea? Web Radio Rantburg? “This is the Cyber Sarge hour coming to you from the WRRB studios far away from the clutches of the Federal Government. Mmmuuuuuurraaaaahhhhh!”
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 06/27/2007 10:55 Comments || Top||

#16  I always like the call for more "Diversity" in ownership. What this means is if there were more minority ownership they would air more pro govmint programming.

Playing the race card again.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 06/27/2007 10:56 Comments || Top||

#17  "Free Press Group" from the folks that brought you "Peoples Democratic Republics". George Orwell must be chuckling in the grave.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/27/2007 10:58 Comments || Top||

#18  Except that last time this was passed Brett, they didn't apply it to any other media. There's no way it'll be able to be used against the MSM.

This kind of crap is why I laugh every time a leftist calls conservatives a Nazi or Fascist. They're the Nazi's and Fascists, they're the ones that are what they supposedly hate.

And while I might have to refer to them as people, I no longer believe that the left is human, they signed it away and have become something else, but there's no humanity in what they desire.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 06/27/2007 11:00 Comments || Top||

#19  You folks are missing one point - there are no liberals, (according to the liberals). Just regular folks and right-wing wackos. There's no liberal media bias.

The regular folks need protection from the right-wingers. Haven't you noticed some of the regular folks are more worried about Bush than Dinnerjacket?
Posted by: Bobby || 06/27/2007 11:03 Comments || Top||

#20  NPR is government funded and liberal and it sucks the air out of other liberal attempts at talk radio. NPR should be defunded.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 06/27/2007 13:10 Comments || Top||

#21  Talk Radio itself is Fairness in action. Its purpose, both stated and real, is to offset the inherent liberal biases of most of the rest of the media-industrial complex.

Lefty politicians and NGOs can make all the noise they want about reviving the "fairness doctrine," but the real powers on the left, the media elite and and their academic allies, will not push it.

The last thing they want is a court test of the fairness of their own ideological outlets, the so-called mainstream media, particularly their news departments.

Such a test is inevitable if government regulators drive popular conservatives off the air.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 06/27/2007 17:09 Comments || Top||


Immigration foes succeed in delaying amendments consideration
The Senate resurrected the immigration bill that could legalize millions of unlawful immigrants Tuesday, but the delicate compromise faces the same threats that derailed it earlier this month.

The White House and Republican and Democratic architects of the bill hailed the crucial test vote that revived the legislation, and they predicted approval of the measure by week's end.

Their victory was fleeting, though, giving way just hours later to stalling tactics by GOP foes. Conservatives succeeded in delaying until Wednesday consideration of a package of amendments designed to pave the way for a final vote on the bill.

They did so by using Senate rules to insist that the entire 373-page package be read aloud, relenting only when Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., agreed to postpone action on the amendments.

The Senate is slated to consider 26 amendments, mostly from senators seeking to change key elements of the bill.

After that, the legislation must overcome another make-or-break vote as early as Thursday.
That was just the first in a series of formidable obstacles lying in the bill's path. The Senate is slated to consider 26 amendments, mostly from senators seeking to change key elements of the bill, that have the potential to either sap its support or draw new backers. After that, the legislation must overcome another make-or-break vote as early as Thursday. And there is no guarantee that it will ultimately attract enough support to pass.

Republicans and Democrats alike are deeply conflicted over the bill, which also would create a temporary worker program, strengthen border security and institute a new system for weeding out illegal immigrants from workplaces.

Masking those divides, the Senate voted 64-35 to revive the bill, which stalled earlier this month when it failed to muster the 60 votes it needed to scale procedural hurdles.

Twenty-four Republicans joined 39 Democrats and independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut to move ahead with the bill. Opposing the move were 25 Republicans, nine Democrats and independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the lead Democratic negotiator on the bill, called the vote "a major step forward for our national security, for our economy and for our humanity."

"We did the right thing today because we know the American people sent us here to act on our most urgent problems. We know they will not stand for small political factions getting in the way," Kennedy said.

On the other side, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said opponents of amnesty for illegal immigrants are being told they must vote for the bill anyway "because that's the only way we're going to create a legal system of immigration in America."

Under the bill, he said, "we're not going to get any substantial reduction in illegality, we're going to double illegality."

President Bush and his team were working intensely to rally support for the measure.

"It's a careful compromise," the president told business leaders and representatives of religious, Hispanic and agricultural communities. He said, "In a good piece of legislation like this, and a difficult piece of legislation like this, one side doesn't get everything they want."

Bush was working the phones to drum up backers, said Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was also lobbying senators.

Several senators who have been promised votes on their amendments supported moving ahead with the measure, after siding with opponents earlier this month on the test vote that stalled it.

Less clear was whether that support would hold.
Tuesday's vote suggested that key senators and White House officials had succeeded -- at least for now -- in bargaining with skeptical lawmakers for a second chance to pass the bill. Several senators who have been promised votes on their amendments, including Sens. Kit Bond, R-Mo., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., Pete Domenici, R-N.M., John Ensign, R-Nev., and Jim Webb, D-Va., supported moving ahead with the measure, after siding with opponents earlier this month on the test vote that stalled it.

Less clear was whether that support would hold. At least one Democrat who backed reviving the bill, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, publicly said he could not guarantee he would vote later to end debate and move to final passage.

Menendez is pushing for passage of his amendment to award more points in a new merit-based green card allocation system for family ties to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

Several of the Republican amendments slated for Senate votes would make the bill tougher on unlawful immigrants, while those by Democrats would make it easier on those seeking to immigrate legally based solely on family ties.

Likely to be among the first voted on is a proposal by Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison, R-Texas, to require all adult illegal immigrants to return home before gaining permanent lawful status. The bill would require only heads of households seeking green cards to do so.

Particularly worrisome to supporters, including the Bush administration, is a bipartisan amendment by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., that would change the bill's new program for weeding out illegal employees from U.S. workplaces.
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [499 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Roaring off to oblivion...
Posted by: crazyhorse || 06/27/2007 0:40 Comments || Top||

#2  On the other side, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said opponents of amnesty for illegal immigrants are being told they must vote for the bill anyway "because that's the only way we're going to create a legal system of immigration in America."

There is a perfectly legal and save (and supported by most americans) process for immigrating to the United States.

That is if you don't mind George Bush, Kennedy, and Congress pissing in your face every few years to let lawbrakers cut in line ahead of you....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/27/2007 0:46 Comments || Top||

#3  I would suggest to HorseAss Harry that he better concentrate on 2008 funding legislation, due to the fact that he & his cronies are going out for a week for July 4, then they'll be gone for the August break, 5 weeks, returning after Labor Day. The fiscal year begins anew on Oct.1 and these stooges will have nothing ready for discussion by this time, having frittered their time away on another Bush Folly.
Posted by: Woozle Elmeter2970 || 06/27/2007 0:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Just build the fricking fence and worry about the rest of the issues after the fence is built.
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 0:59 Comments || Top||

#5 
From The Hill

House GOP rebukes Senate bill
By Jackie Kucinich
June 27, 2007
House Republicans yesterday unveiled a resolution expressing their disapproval of the Senate immigration bill. It was offered by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), and simply read: “resolved the House GOP Conference disapproves of the Senate immigration bill.”

The move puts the House Republican Conference at odds with President Bush, who has endorsed the Senate bill. Hoekstra said that while he preferred not to break with the president, the language and content of the Senate bill compelled him to vocalize his opposition.
It is the second time this year that members of the House Republican Conference have publicly vocalized opposition to Bush policy. The first came last month when Reps. Ray LaHood (Ill.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) attracted the ire of White House officials for allegedly speaking to reporters about a meeting on the Iraq war between Bush and centrist Republicans.

Hoekstra said he had not spoken to Bush, but had been in contact with White House staff. The resolution went back to the floor for debate yesterday afternoon and a vote was expected after press time.

“The staff indicated that this would not be helpful,” Hoekstra said.

“I broke with the president on No Child Left Behind … I don’t like doing it,” he said. “This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.

“The Senate bill is a bad piece of public policy … you can’t overestimate the amount of frustration there is [with the bill] in the conference,” Hoekstra added.

His resolution passed the House Republican Conference by a large margin, despite the fact the Senate bill’s language has yet to be finalized.

A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he has very serious concerns about the Senate bill.

During the discussion of the measure yesterday morning, LaHood attempted to block the Hoekstra resolution but was defeated soundly by a vote of about 114-23, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

According to a source, the failure of the LaHood motion prompted Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a supporter of the Senate bill, to say that the Hoekstra resolution “demeans the House.”

Yet Flake is in the minority in his conference in his support for the measure; 100 Republicans have already joined the House Immigration Reform Caucus, a fervent anti-amnesty group.

“There’s growing momentum on the House side to have our voices registered on the Senate immigration bill,” Hoekstra said during a press conference yesterday.

Hoekstra said the amnesty provision, no matter how strict the language, was a deal-breaker for most House Republicans.

“That’s why the fundamental bill has no credibility, and basically what we are saying today is it is dead on arrival in the
House, we can’t have secret deals, this has to go through committee, it has to go in pieces,” echoed Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.). “A comprehensive bill will not pass the House.”

“The Z visa is unenforceable,” Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif) said, referring to a provision of the Senate bill that would put those in the country illegally on the path to citizenship.

During a press conference yesterday, Bush did little to help his cause when he told reporters that the bill included amnesty. White House spokesman Tony Snow issued a press release shortly thereafter stating that the president had misspoken.



Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 1:07 Comments || Top||

#6  Or this from TOM RIDGE!

First DHS secretary urges passage of immigration bill

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Friday that Congress needs to deal with the problem of immigration now and not put off the issue any longer.

“The reality is, it’s not going to go away,” said Ridge, who expressed optimism that a bipartisan solution can still be found. Doing nothing would just perpetuate the existing problems, Ridge said at a National Press Club event.

Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, is now a consultant for the Discover America Partnership, a coalition of travel industry groups that is pressing Congress to approve legislation improving U.S. entry and visa policies to increase foreign travel to the U.S.

Some of the group’s proposals may be incorporated into a Senate immigration bill that is expected to be back on the Senate floor as early as next week following a deal between Senate Democrats and Republicans announced last night.

Ridge offered public support for many of the group’s proposals during his presentation, including a $10 visa waiver transaction fee that would be paid by foreign travelers. Proceeds from the fee would be used to fund security improvements to America’s visa and entry system and to fund a sustained national coordinated campaign to promote travel to the U.S. in foreign markets.

Ridge also said his personal opinion is that the visa waiver program should be expanded to include more countries.
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 2:04 Comments || Top||

#7  Ridge also said his personal opinion is that the visa waiver program should be expanded to include more countries.

Lobbyist Ridge needs a particularly sensitive part of his anatomy "expanded".
Posted by: Zenster || 06/27/2007 6:32 Comments || Top||

#8  WARNING: read entire post before getting steamed.

A lot of these politicians have realized the truth about American prosperity. The fact is, a society where unskilled and semiskilled labor has the lifestyle and standard of living that we have seen in the last sixty years is without historical context and unsustainable. The only reason it could exist in the brief post-WWII period is that we had the only educated and trained workforce, with an intact infrastructure and physical plant, left on the planet. The reality seeped into the political class twenty or so years ago; the bulk of Americans are going to have to take a lifestyle hit, in order to still have jobs. Additionally, the type of government and union mandated job security that Americans have come to take for granted needs to go away, or we will become as stagnant as Euroland.

This expectation of high level of compensation, combined with pursuit of perfect income security that often reaches the level of theater of the absurd (fear of fear itself) is having disastrous effects on Western society economically as well as socially. And on a purely economic level, our sense of entitlement to a certain material lifestyle leaves us extremely vulnerable to emerging entrepreneurial states like India and China.

In short, the American (and European, as well) workforce needs to be exposed to competition for its services in order to restore sanity to the pay scale of workers worldwide, and to apply incentive for return of valuing things nonmaterial in day to day life to the West. This is occuring with things like offshoring, etc., but not fast enough. So the political class, in response to the business community's legitimate desire to have a labor pay scale and flexibility in labor markets that are reasonable from an historical perspective, has decided on the solution of illegal immigration.

The problem in all this is the level of cowardice that politicians have. Promoting illegal immigration is the wrong way to deal with this issue.

What should have happened was an honest approach to the problem and innovative solutions to mitigating the necessary changes in the domestic labor market. Rather than doing the right thing and having the intestinal fortitude to come out and tell the public (yes, I know, it would be the end of their career in politics, but don't most of them have enough money to live, already?) what needs to occur, they've happened upon a solution (turning a blind eye to illegal immigration) that until now they have believed was a stealth approach to dealing with the problem that would leave their careers intact - and that this illegal immigration that would slowly but inevitably ripple through the job market, effecting the necessary correction in pay scale and expectation of income security.

That is no longer the case. The American public has seen this political laziness and dishonesty for what it is. And the other downside of this solution is the trillions it will cost for social services (federal, state, and local), Medicare, and Social Security that might not be needed if an innovative solution to globalization of world labor markets could be achieved.

Sorry to be long winded - but that's my two cents.
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 7:01 Comments || Top||

#9  The Bush/Kennedy or Big Labor/US Chamber of Commerce "Strange Bedfellows" scenarios should be tip-offs that this sham legislation is a complete boondoggle. But consider this; Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), the self admitted Socialist, has better sense on this issue then does the Republican President.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 06/27/2007 7:31 Comments || Top||

#10  nmu,

I agree in principle with what you say BUT there is a much bigger problem that you are missing.

The major reason for the disparity in labor costs is that in too many countries the lower class is seen as a consumable commodity. The consumer class is too.

The pure greed factor makes it possible to buy tainted glycerin from China or slave labor from Chinese Military factories or sweat shops almost anywhere.

What you are asking for is for Americans to do away with all the non-wage costs pertaining to health and safety that are imposed on our economy, as well as lowering wages.

That is the true issue with globalization. Do you really want cheap produce from Mexico if the risk of contracting disease doubles or triples?

There is a lot more to material well being than just the wage rate in the 21st century.
Posted by: AlanC || 06/27/2007 8:05 Comments || Top||

#11  We need term limits, or something to get the political elite class, like Kennedy out of there.

Otherwise there will be blood spilling.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/27/2007 8:06 Comments || Top||

#12  nmu - that is the total and complete destruction of America and the American Dream for the God of Free Trade.

You left out the highly skilled like myself thrown away for H1B visa holding slaves and reams of 2 year wonder tech school grads hire in Chungking for $300 per year. (a lot of good that scheme did fricking Lucent.)

Lets replace all the Senators and Representatives with 3rd world slaves and see how the fuckers like it.
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 9:42 Comments || Top||

#13  Oh, and do wander out to http://www.opensecrets.org/ to see who owns your Congress-critter or Senator.
Isn't it amazing how their ethics make whores look like saints?
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 9:45 Comments || Top||

#14  STFU, Teddy. Have another drink.
Posted by: mojo || 06/27/2007 10:47 Comments || Top||

#15  We need term limits, or something to get the political elite class, like Kennedy out of there.

Otherwise There will be blood spilling.


Fixed it.
Posted by: Natural Law || 06/27/2007 11:03 Comments || Top||

#16  Darth, ABSOLUTELY right. And sign me up for part two.
Posted by: jds || 06/27/2007 13:02 Comments || Top||

#17  Alan C:

"The major reason for the disparity in labor costs is that in too many countries the lower class is seen as a consumable commodity."


Wrong. While it is the case that there are some countries which do this, for the most part workers in the rest of the world simply couldn't provide the same value as Western workers. That is changing, and as the supply of laborers to perform any given task goes up, the cost per unit MUST come down. Economics 101.


"The consumer class is too. "

Oh, boy. The one thing which ignored by those who are in denial about fact that we must expose the Western work force to wage competition IS the consumer. In effect, antiglobalists are saying "I want the government to exact laws (tariffs, taxes, regulations) that FORCE consumers to pay a lot more for goods just so that the almighty false god of income stream security can be succored for some segment of the population." That is a false choice and one which ignores other resolutions to the problem.



"The pure greed factor makes it possible to buy tainted glycerin from China or slave labor from Chinese Military factories or sweat shops almost anywhere."

There are already laws here, and a tort system, to deal with this. Enforce those laws.

"What you are asking for is for Americans to do away with all the non-wage costs pertaining to health and safety that are imposed on our economy, as well as lowering wages."

Wrong. At no point in my post did I ever say anything remotely like this, nor do I think it, in any case. Safety and labor laws should exist and be enforced here in the U.S. and all appropriate diplomatic pressure should be brought to bear to have an effect elsewhere. Also, consumers have a say in this (remember the poor ignored consumer?) and purchase goods and services accordingly.

"That is the true issue with globalization. Do you really want cheap produce from Mexico if the risk of contracting disease doubles or triples?"

This is a false choice and a straw man, at the same time. Your presumption of something which cannot be predicted with any level of certainty at all is at best a theoretical argument way out on the fringe of the envelope of this issue.


"There is a lot more to material well being than just the wage rate in the 21st century."

EXACTLY the point of my post. However, it is others (perhaps you?) who are arguing the opposite. They want to GUARANTEE by government mandate a certain income stream AND standard of living and lifestyle for Americans - a move which harms the forgotten factor, the consumer.

And they are ignoring the truly inevitable reality, which is that all workers, but particularly those in semi- and unskilled areas of the labor market, are going to have to learn going forward to get by with less material comfort like widescreen TV's, vacations, mcmansions, etc., and derive more of their satisfaction in life from things like religion, community, family, etc. These latter are the true sources of well-being - not some crazy government tax or regulation which guarantees they can buy more extraneous stuff.

The other reason that the Western work force, no matter what their skill level, needs this foreign competition is to reinstate a more universal work ehtic and respect for the status of being employed. I suspect most of the people who post here at the 'burg, yourself and 3DC included, are the type who work hard because it is in them to do so. You would work hard even if you had bulletproof job securty because that's just how you are. But huge swaths of humanity, regardless of country, are NOT like that. You have to have a system where there is the possibility of losing it all if you are lazy or incompetent to force those individuals to work. The perfect example of that not being the case is the public teacher's unions or AFSCME, where it is essentially impossible to get rid of someone no matter how lazy or incompetent they are, particularly once they have tenure. To a lesser extent, the same malaise of those institutions has infected the West generally since WWII.

By exposing people to the threat of losing their job if they don't work hard and well you raise up society at large. IMO the only way to do this at this point is to expose those who have this bad attitude to the very real possibility of losing their income stream. I wish it weren't so, but that fact is that a huge chunk of the population won't work hard unless it's the only option besides deprivation and starvation. So we have to craft a system which institutionalizes that set of incentives in order to make these people perform. By exposing these folks to global competition for their jobs, the invisible hand will be helped to do its job.

The ugly truth is, the West needs more, not less, worry about their employment status. Right now they're choking to death on too much comfort and job security, and pursuit of same has distorted our societies and laborers in some pretty awful ways. As a society this comfort level destroys work ethic, promotes laziness, inhibits entrepreneurialism, undercuts the family as an institution, and greases the skids for socialism.
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 15:27 Comments || Top||

#18  Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the lead Democratic negotiator on the bill, called the vote "a major step forward for our national security, for our economy and for our humanity."

Yes, but it would've been nice if a certain Massachusetts senator didn't forget his humanity on a hot summer night in 1969...
Posted by: The Ghost of Mary Jo Kopechne || 06/27/2007 15:28 Comments || Top||

#19  no mo uro and AlanC have both raised some very interesting points. I think that greed is pervasive in this country. To a certain extent, as Michael Douglas once said in a movie about Wall Street, "Greed is good." But it should not be allowed to compromise the integrity of our country. Right now, the integrity and the security of our country are being seriously compromised by trade with China and illegal immigration from Mexico. It is almost certainly true, as no mo uro warns, that both of these are strategies being employed by the ruling class against the working class in this country. To be fair, labor in this country has often priced themselves out of the market. The classic example is the auto industry where workers find themselves being laid off because their companies can't compete due to high labor costs. That's what you call a market correction. But it doesn't compromise national security. Besides that GM, Ford and Chrysler might have bargained a little harder instead of just giving the unions what they wanted and raising their prices to cover it. Remember inflation?

It is a damned lie when George Bush says we need immigrants to "do the work that American's won't do". In California and Arizona developers hire illegal immigrants. Just listen to the ranchero music on the radio when you drive past a construction site. I looked under a tile on my roof once to try to figure out why it was leaking and I found a Tijuana newspaper. It used to be that all the construction workers were legal Americans but no more. They've been displaced. Besides, in California we don't really need any more massive housing tracts, thank you very much. We're choking on the ones we already have.

Walk into a restaurant in California and you'll see that all the busboys and dishwashers are Mexicans. All of them. Most of the cooks too. Walk into a fast food restaurant like Jack-in-the-Box and you won't even be able to find anyone who speaks English. I went to a restaurant in Missourri last week and it felt kinda weird. Everybody there, even the kitchen help and the busboys, were white. The maids at the hotel where I stayed were white. Is that cognitive dissonance or is Bush lying? I did this kind of work myself when I was young so I know for a fact that Americans will do it. The fact is that Americans citizens in California need not apply. They've been displaced.

Think all the farmers need Mexicans to pick lettuce? I'd sacrifice lettuce for a secure border. Think about it: if the border was secured what would happen to all the cocaine? If Americans want lettuce bad enough, they'll pick it themselves and they'll pay whatever it costs. If they don't then they'll find something else to eat.

The immigrants compete not only for jobs but for housing. In Escondido, California the city council passed a law that required apartment owners to verify that their tenants were in the country legally and to evict them if they weren't. The ACLU jumped into that real quick. Lacking the resources for a protracted legal battle with the ACLU, the city council rescinded the law. Immigrant families have been known to double up or even triple up in one or two-bedroom apartments. That drives up the rents and puts American families at a disadvantage. Drive through Escondido some time and check out all the Mexican flags.

It's all a lie. Bush needs to be impeached.

After all, what did we do before all these people came here to "save us" from doing the work we didn't want to do? Years ago I had an uncle in the midwest who has since passed on who used to work for a meat packer. On a recent trip back there another uncle said a meat packer told him he didn't know what he'd do without the Mexicans. He didn't know if he'd be able to keep the business going. This is the midwest, mind you, not Calfiornia. This is a problem that is spreading to the heartland. I asked what they did before the Mexicans came. My uncle, a grizzled old veteran replied, "Well, back in the Depression and after the war, a guy was glad just to have a job. They didn't have all these give away programs."

That's what I'm talking about. Old fashioned hard work, guts, integrity. If you don't like your job you go to school and learn better. But you work and you get seriously pissed when the unions, the corporations and their pet politicians sell themselves like two-bit whores to Mexico and China.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 06/27/2007 17:13 Comments || Top||

#20  no mo uro
So you won't mind if when we run into each other some day and I discover that your theories are the ones that destroyed my family and its future.
I beat the living shit out of you and yours.
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 18:21 Comments || Top||

#21  no mo uro - I am an engineer over 50. I was one of the major drivers in much of modern cellular.
Before that my word processing/network software was used by the nation's largest law firm, a lot of fortune 500s and rumored another nation's embassy's.

If I am outsourced and replaced by H1Bs and Wage Slaves what chance to my kids have?

Riddle me that!
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 18:41 Comments || Top||

#22  Drive through Escondido some time and check out all the Mexican flags.

These people are squatters. When they get enough people in certain areas, they are going to say this is Mexico now, you get out.

I know this because I've heard from a number of illegals. They are not shy about saying it either. Of course it helps if you can speak the language.

This is well and truly an invasion, and if this demented Amnesty Bill goes all the way, there will be a massive surge. Bush knows this, the other supporters know this. Scoff if you will, but Bush and the powers that be are determined to see the SPP implemented.

SPP READ IT!
Posted by: Uninens Panda2867 || 06/27/2007 19:09 Comments || Top||

#23  If I am outsourced and replaced by H1Bs and Wage Slaves what chance to my kids have?

It isn't intended that they have a chance. Sad but true. And I am not saying this to provoke you, it just the conclusion I have reached. Greed and the lust for power are ascendant.
Posted by: Uninens Panda2867 || 06/27/2007 19:21 Comments || Top||

#24  nmu,

You just don't get it. The pricing out of American labor has only a little to do with wage rates. It has a lot to do with the regulations regarding health & safty including health insurance.

There is no OSHA in China or Mexico. There is no FDA there either.

Greed is endemic in the human species. The reason that the cheap labor is available is due to the greed of the foreign potentates be they Politburo or Capitalist.

If you can negotiate trade laws that inforce all of the health and safty standards of the US for all our world wide trading partners than globalization is great.

I'm basically a Free Market Libertarian type but even I can see that slave labor is not conducive to fair competition with a free and independent work force.

See the posts on China today and in the past about everything from Tooth Paste to bolts. How much more expensive do you think all those goodies would be if they had to follow the same rules we do irrespective of wages?

When the AFL/CIO and the Teamsters are going concerns in China then you might have a reasonable argument. But it is neither moral or fair or good long term economics to drive the American workforce down to the level of the slaves and peasants overseas.
Posted by: AlanC || 06/27/2007 19:21 Comments || Top||

#25  "nmu - that is the total and complete destruction of America and the American Dream for the God of Free Trade."

Only if your definition of the American Dream is "It is the responsibility of the government, through regulations, to make sure that anyone with some training/education who shows up to work 40-50 hours a week deserves to live comfortably and never have to spend an iota of mental energy worrying about losing their job, no matter what".

In your world, the government should still be passing tariffs and regulations to guarantee income of buggy whip manufacturers.

Free trade is imperfect, is not a god (certainly not mine), but it is an infinitely nobler concept than government intervention in the market to protect income streams, and it will be, forever. Your way just isn't as good or ethical.

Your "dream" sounds a lot more like the Soviet one than anything American. America is not about equality of outcomes, it is about equality of opportunity only. To see what happens in a society bent on the guarantee of outcomes you cravenly crave, please see dying Euroland and what the socialist, hyperregulatory, protectionist state that you seem to want does to individuals, civilizations, and nations.

Since you have an emotional, inaccurate, and dysfunctional view of what the American dream, I feel it's useful to educate you. Take the time to read the Federalist Paper on unequal incomes, markets, and entrepreneurship - I believe it's #15, but I'm not sure. I'm absolutely confident that Messrs. Jay, Hamilton, and Madison would look at your interpretation of the American Dream and find it wanting.

The American Dream will survive global competition from just fine, but certain types like yourself may not.

"You left out the highly skilled like myself thrown away for H1B visa holding slaves and reams of 2 year wonder tech school grads hire in Chungking for $300 per year. (a lot of good that scheme did fricking Lucent.) I am an engineer over 50. I was one of the major drivers in much of modern cellular. Before that my word processing/network software was used by the nation's largest law firm, a lot of fortune 500s and rumored another nation's embassy's.
"


Anecdotalization, straw man argument, and false choices - congrats, 3DC, you've hit the trifecta.

Let's first look at your assertion of being "highly skilled".

In the latter half of the 19th century, there were a few men who could repair and maintain the machines of the industrial revolution. The machines were complex, individualized, and by the standards of the era, the men who fixed them were "highly skilled." These men were called mechanics. Most cities in the northeast and upper midwest had a street call "Mechanics Street", and if you go there today you can see that they were built up with comfortable family homes.

However, over time, machines became more standardized, and easier and more streamlined to fix, and more guys got into the field. At some point, mechanics were no longer "highly skilled", but semiskilled at best. That's just how it happens. I'm not saying that mechanics nowadays don't perform a useful task, but very few could be called "highly skilled".

This is what is happening in the tech field, today. Much of what could be called "highly skilled" even 7-10 years ago isn't any more. You'll just have to deal with the fact that like the mechanics of yore, much of your field is not what it used to be.

For you to go to the government and say, "pass laws and regulations which force every American to buy my goods/services at five or ten times more than they could get it in a globally competitive market because I'm insecure about my income stream and I'm too lazy to change fields" is thuggish, criminal, and, frankly, very unmanly. You'd never tolerate any other group doing this. Do you like what the teacher's unions or AFSCME have done with the education and civil service industries? Then why is it OK for you to do essentially the same thing?

As far as the Lucent anecdote goes, it in no way represents all forays into offshoring, and their results. But hey, when you have to argue from the absolute fringe of the envelope and cherry pick a small subset of the facts to make your argument look right, well, all bets are off.


"So you won't mind if when we run into each other some day and I discover that your theories are the ones that destroyed my family and its future."

It's not possible for my theories to destroy your family or any other for that matter. The only thing that can do that is your pursuit of income security and protectionism to the point where it all comes crashing down, coupled with your inability to change with markets.

What will your children do? The answer? SOMETHING ELSE. And no, it isn't my responsibility, or the government's, or a union's, do determine what that "something else" might be. That responsibility is theirs, and theirs alone. No more medieval guild mentality, please.

I can tell you that if my children required massive government regulation and protectionism in order to have a chance to succeed in life I'd be so ashamed of them that I'd consider disowning them. If your kids need that in order to "have a chance" then perhaps they deserve to fail.

But before you start foaming at the mouth and getting spittle on your monitor, I'm willing to bet that your kids will NOT fail. Unlike their "father", they will be obliged, in a competitive field, to take their game up another notch, innovate, be entrepreneurs. Or live a lesser standard of living.

"Lets replace all the Senators and Representatives with 3rd world slaves and see how the fuckers like it."

While I would like to see many of them replaced for various reasons, vengeful maniacal anger like this isn't good for you. Seek counseling.

"I beat the living shit out of you and yours."

It's been my experience at the 'burg that while debates get heated, threats of physical violence are off limits. Threats of physical violence to a commenter's wife and kids are even more odious. I'm hoping that the moderators take note of your threats, 3DC, and take the appropriate action. But I will say that such threats coming from someone like you, who goes ballistic at the faintest inkling that he may lose his job if put into a TRULY competitive market, will not cause any sleep loss on this end.

Such threats are easy enought to make for a guy with a small mentality and an even smaller weenie doing so anonymously.

Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 20:29 Comments || Top||

#26  "If you can negotiate trade laws that inforce all of the health and safty standards of the US for all our world wide trading partners than globalization is great."

That's all I'm saying.

Look, I don't have all the answers to this globalization thing. But I do know that global labor competition is inevitable, will ultimately be a good thing, and fighting it in the emotional, thuggish way of 3DC is not the answer.

I also think that promoting illegal immigration is the WRONG way to get through the period of globalization.

Okay?
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 20:33 Comments || Top||

#27  Sometimes I wonder what situation could possibly push our country into an uprising. If this amnesty joke passes some people will get violent.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 20:43 Comments || Top||

#28  Also, ALanC, I would point out to you that the jist of poster 3DC is, in fact, about income and job security - he essentially wants the government to force you and me to pay many times more for the tech stuff he does so that he and his kids will have income security in perpetuity. Nothing there about job conditions, safety, health, etc.

Money that you and I could be spending on OUR families.

And something tells me that if we were to try to return the favor and demand that the government make him spend more of his disposable income in our own industries, he would fight it tooth and nail, and far less fairly and politely, than I have.
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 20:45 Comments || Top||

#29  "It's not possible for my theories to destroy your family or any other for that matter. The only thing that can do that is your pursuit of income security and protectionism to the point where it all comes crashing down, coupled with your inability to change with markets."

No, elite oblivion to the real economic threat to our friends and family is what could cause everything to come crashing down.

You are right that globalization is coming. But I wonder-when you and those you know are caught in it, will your attitude be so blase? I don't think it's going to be as pretty as you think.

The day when theory disconnects us from a real appreciation of what is about to happen to thousands of fellow Americans is the day when our culture is lost. I cannot cheer the hearty and pampered who sit well cushioned from disaster and tell those who are very exposed to just buck up. I know people who this immigration bill will impact very negatively and know which side of the argument I want to be on.
Posted by: Jules || 06/27/2007 21:02 Comments || Top||

#30  All my cars are US made.
I buy American when I can.
(Its kind of hard to tell these days!)

Esp. with Major corporations playing spin the bottle.

Now as to income and job security.
WHAT INCOME AND JOB SECURITY MOFO!

Mine got taken away in the huge Motorola Layoffs
When laid off with 6500 others in my building at Arlington Height the HR Fucker informed me that they would replace me with 5 Indian Engineers and 2 from Singapore!

Now I am too experienced for hiring - translated that means we want H-1B slaves so I eak out a living working contract jobs when I can find them.
I suppose it would help if I was an illegal alien or a H1B visa holder.

And my patents mean nothing because the company owns them.

And the kids college expenses -- they are in loans I might never be able to pay off. Esp. since US kids are not making too much either when they graduated these days.

Now if I was a favorite of BUSH and Kennedy - YOU KNOW AN ILLEGAL ALIEN all their schooling would be free and I would have no sword hanging over me.

My last contract was helping some firms and a college develop stuff to kill AQ snipers. What have you done?

Shove it and shut up!

Oh and the last contract it got hammered when Pelosi and Reid cut money for the war.

Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 21:04 Comments || Top||

#31  Oh and what disposable income?
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 21:06 Comments || Top||

#32  oh and to die hard free traders like nu mo uro tell me one field that a child can be educated in that will not be ripped out of his hands just as he earns the degree and given to a trained 3rd world slave?

Just one!

Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 21:19 Comments || Top||

#33  I'll go 3dc one better no mo uro I won't just punch you and I am not anonymous.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 06/27/2007 21:34 Comments || Top||

#34  Ok, you myopic little man............

Medicine.

Dentistry.

Nursing.

Dental hygiene.

Physical/occupational therapy.

Chef training.

Plumbing.

Electrician.

Mortician.

Law.

Finance.

Trucking.

Artist.

Etc., etc., etc. Those are the ones I could think of in 30 seconds.

Oh and to you commenters who recklessly fling words like "comfortable" and "elite" at me, and who accuse me of being insulated from some of the negative throes of globalization - you're so far wrong in your prejudiced assumptions that you'd be funny if you didn't sound so much like brownshirts.



Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 21:41 Comments || Top||

#35  ok so you are really young.
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 21:46 Comments || Top||

#36  "I'll go 3dc one better no mo uro I won't just punch you and I am not anonymous."

Is this what it's come to?

Death threats to myself, my children, my family, because I hold a point of view with which you disagree?

You don't even know me!

Brownshirts, indeed. If the moderators of this website approve of this sort commenting, then what was once the best news aggregator site of the WoT with good commenters (including, at least from my perspective, YOU, SPoD) has truly descended into depths from which it cannot return.

I wonder what our ideological enemies at Kos and DU would make of the threats of violence on this thread?

Have you folks lost your minds? Death threats to a stranger's children, because that stranger holds a different POV than you on global competition in labor markets?

As I said above, seek help.
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 21:51 Comments || Top||

#37  I'd feel remiss if I didn't say something:

3dc, while I agree w/you in the principles of your argument w/NMU - I disagree w/any tone of violence toward another 'Rantburger and definitely toward their kids. I'm not real familiar w/NMU but he's not a Troll that I know of.

Anyways, for my $.02 - the Fair Tax is the way to go (HR 25) - write your congresscritters.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 22:04 Comments || Top||

#38  Threats against family are a strong no-go on the Burg.

I understand people are pissed over the immigration bill. Eating our own isn't the way to solve the problem.

Debate and civil discourse, particularly between regulars, is a real must on the Burg. Thank you. AoS.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/27/2007 22:16 Comments || Top||

#39  Thanks, Steve.

Look, I'm as opposed to the bill as much as anyone here, albeit for slightly different reasons, apparently.


As you say, we're all on the same team. VDH would say that our differences, if civil, might be our biggest strength. If uncivil, not.
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 22:22 Comments || Top||

#40  Um, guys? Stick it back in your shorts, 'mkay?

Everybody knows you've got one, and nobody much cares.

Thatisall.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/27/2007 22:28 Comments || Top||

#41  Part of the challenge, from immigration and technological innovation both, is how fast and how deep the changes are coming to our economy and workforce.

I've personally experienced both sides of this issue. no mo uro, I agree with you in principle. I've reinvented my career a couple times, thanks in part to being married to someone whose income was stable, in part to my working really really hard and in part to sheer luck.

But I think maybe you underestimate the issues for workers whose jobs go away when they're in their 40s and 50s who have house, kids, dependent spouses to support. When others depend on you, or if you've worked in an industry which was regulated for a long while or dominated by very large firms (like telecomms was and is), there are structural forces that tend to keep you in a job until the bitter end - at which point it is pretty hard or maybe financially impossible to reinvent yourself. There were a whole lot of implicit and sometimes explicit promises made to white collar professionals and blue collar workers both by big corporations in the 70s and 80s. A lot of them got broken by the 90s.

Even if the economy as a whole does fine, on balance, real people can be and are hurt badly along the way.
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 22:41 Comments || Top||

#42  lotp, thank you for some civil feedback.

Truth of the matter is, I do NOT underestimate the things you talk about. The world is not a perfect place. I acknowledge that some bad things will occur. Changes in workforce geography and payscale can be highly disruptive to some families. And it is not easy to retrain mid-life for everybody. My uncle had to do it several times, without a stable spouse, and he had to work his tail off.

I acknowledge that these things will occur, which is why, three hundred or so comments above, I said that I thought this whole immigration amnesty thing is a cheap way for politicians to move along towards introducing global competition in labor markets without being honest with the American public about what needs to happen and what can ultimately be expected - geographical relocations, retraining, and diminished standard of living are INEVITABLE for some people. (Although watching the response to doing this here on this thread, I'm beginning to understand their reticence to discuss these things openly.)

The pols have shown cowardice and a lack of imagination stunning even for those in their profession. What is needed is major innovation and creativity. Dealing with the inevitable exposure of the Western work force to competition from the entire planet, and the consequences that will result, in a way that won't be catastrophic will require constant work and attention in order to minimize the hurt. Congress and W have opted for the lazy way. The amnesty bill is not the answer.

I'm absolutely certain, though, that protectionism, and the hurt it puts on consumers combined with the corrosive effects it has on the work ethic and the role of the family, is not the answer, either.
Posted by: no mo uro || 06/27/2007 23:01 Comments || Top||

#43  First - I made no death threats - I did say I might punch him... I'm getting older so that likely wouldn't even hurt.

but...

The way I calculate it is we are 300 million and rich compared to the rest of the world. Really rich. Consider $300/yr in Chungking china is okay for a tech worker (not engineer or scientist.)

Therefore, we will all be outsourced and the powers that be will be surprised as hell when nobody can buy anything they produce.

Henry Ford's genius was understanding if he and others paid their workers enough to actually buy the products then it was WIN WIN.

The way this games out to me is a complete reversal in all but name of the Civil War. We will all be the true wage slaves the TRANZIS want us to be and shortly replaced by indentured servants (1HB visas and the like) and real slaves in China's gulags. It may make the paki-kids chained to rug looms look free.

I can just see China harvesting these folks for organs when they complain too. Hell they are already doing it with "dissidents" and what is an upset worker? How better to get rid of him?

In my industry we were one of the early hi-tech dominoes to fall. This was in spite of good advice from a whole bunch of us moron engineers. The financial folks just loved selling big iron. A rollout of cellular in a city the size of say Kobe was about 2.5 billion. We had designs using different infra-structure that could have done it for maybe 20 million but there was no massive profit in that so folks shut up or were laid off.

Then Great Wall China corp designed a piece of crap cellular switch (gov subsidized) and sold it for 1/100th the cost. Motorola would buy them and relabel as Mot. They were junk but hi-profit junk. They reduced roll out costs to a Kobe size city to 1/10th (250 mil) and China was happy to keep quiet. Mot said the hell with quality, fired most of its infra-structure engineering and support staff and then lost most of its customers on low quality.

Now the gov played a part. A big greedy part. The gov didn't want the technology changed as it was based on tariffed T1/E1 etc.. lines. These earned huge monthly taxes for government.


The solution us engineers had come up with was to turn COMCAST into a cellular company and put neighborhood cells in their distribution amps and home size cells in the cable modems. Then you could seamlessly roam from the house to the neighborhood and onto highways provisioned as you pleased. Roll outs would have been very cheap. Sprint and ATT would have died in cellular. The gov would have made NOTHING in TARIFFS.

SO everybody hated us!

Same sort of problems with the great working fuel cells the engineers and scientists came up with . Panasonic made a sweetheart deal with Galvin to kill them. (I have seen Nextel phones running for weeks on an ounce of windshield washer fluid. In the same RMTR Chris Galvin complained to me that the gadgets we were inventing were weighing his belt down to mucn and causing his pants to fall off. I saw about 10 on his belt. I showed him the one on mine and said -- why are you wearing them all? He was too dumb to see what it really sounded like - a whine that we were bankrupting him)

Oh well
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 23:10 Comments || Top||

#44  People but threats against their kids and family in others mouths when no such thing was said. It was very personal.

Sorry I'll be 55 in July and I know the reality no matter how much you reinvent yourself or retrain you are going to be stuck doing a crap dead end low skill job if you can find one.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 06/27/2007 23:17 Comments || Top||

#45  Medicine.

That would account for about less than 5% of the U.S. employable population.

Dentistry.

That would be substantially lesser still, with negative growth in domestic ancillary support services.

Nursing.

The death industry is predicted to continue to hold on to its domestic market share, as doddling baby-boomers refuse to emigrate, and die in place.

Dental hygiene.

Another area of explosive domestic employment growth, with tens of millions of hygienists holding together the ageing mouths of hundreds of millions of immortal boomers.

Physical/occupational therapy.

After a good denture scrub, the boomers waddle off to some muscle therapy, so that their smiles might appear genuine.

Chef training.

Here in Dubuque, most kitchens are staffed by illegals, so this training might not be the best investment.

Plumbing.

Good work for now, so long as local licensing exists.

Electrician.

Same as above. Accounts for less than 2% of job opportunities.

Mortician.

Another outstanding death industry opportunity.

Law.

Largely a parasitic class of employment. Adds no value to the economy and subsists off of other people's earnings. There is already a vast oversupply of lawyers, which explains much of the mischief in our legal system.

Finance.

Capital markets and lending reserves have shifted overseas. Trade deficits brought about by the transference of domestic production to foreign states has moved hundreds of billions of dollars to overseas lenders, some of which are extremely hostile to American security interests and which now impose disabling constraints on our foreign and economic policy. Most employment growth in supposedly domestic financial services is in offshore satellite offices, displacing degreed American employees, and servicing retired American citizens.

Trucking.

Best not to dwell on the past. 60k a year for a long haul driver is just too much to pay, and planners have requested that Mexican drivers be permitted to drive the trucks that Americans will not drive for 18k a year.

Artist.

Now that is an occupation of high value. How did we miss it?

Don't see anything listed here about mechanical or electrical engineers, or machinists, or production specialists, or manufacturers, or craftsmen, or farmers. Quite a few opportunities for serving the dead and dying, though.
Posted by: Idols || 06/27/2007 23:39 Comments || Top||


Democrats target Cheney office funds
House Democrats, responding to Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that his office is exempt from certain national security disclosure requirements, said Tuesday they will try to strip some of his funding.

A Cheney spokeswoman said the Democrats were just playing politics.

The proposal could come up Thursday as an amendment to an annual spending bill, said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

Cheney set off protests from Democrats when he declared that his office was exempt from sections of a presidential order that executive branch offices provide data on how much material they classify and declassify.
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Cheney can afford to fund his own office - he should and tell all the rich Senators they should also fund their own offices.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 06/27/2007 13:06 Comments || Top||

#2  People who live in glass offices shouldn't throw stones.
Posted by: gorb || 06/27/2007 14:08 Comments || Top||


Immigration bill clears Senate test vote
The Senate voted Tuesday to jump-start a stalled immigration measure to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants. President Bush said the bill offered a "historic opportunity for Congress to act," and appeared optimistic about its passage by week's end.

The pivotal test-vote was 64-35 to revive the divisive legislation. It still faces formidable obstacles in the Senate, including bitter opposition by GOP conservatives and attempts by some waverers in both parties to revise its key elements.

Supporters needed 60 votes to scale procedural hurdles and return to the bill. A similar test-vote earlier this month found just 45 supporters, only seven of them Republicans. This time, 24 Republicans joined 39 Democrats and independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, to back moving ahead with the bill. Opposing the move were 25 Republicans, nine Democrats and independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., an architect of the bill, said he was proud of the vote, calling it "a major step forward for our national security, for our economy, and for our humanity."

"We did the right thing today because we know the American people sent us here to act on our most urgent problems. We know they will not stand for small political factions getting in the way," Kennedy said in a statement following the vote.

Tuesday's outcome was far from conclusive, however. The measure still must overcome another make-or-break vote as early as Thursday that will also require the backing of 60 senators. And there is no guarantee that it will ultimately attract even the simple majority it needs to pass.

The Senate was preparing to begin voting as early as Tuesday afternoon on some two dozen amendments that have the potential to either sap its support or draw new backers.

Republicans and Democrats alike are deeply conflicted over the measure, which also creates a temporary worker program, strengthens border security and institutes a new system for weeding out illegal immigrants from workplaces.

Bush has mounted an unusually personal effort to defuse Republican opposition to the bill, appearing at a Senate party lunch earlier this month and dispatching two Cabinet secretaries to take up near-constant residence on Capitol Hill to push the compromise.

He called the measure a deal worthy of support. "In a good piece of legislation like this, and a difficult piece of legislation like this, one side doesn't get everything they want," he told business leaders and representatives of religious, Hispanic and agricultural communities earlier Tuesday. "It's a careful compromise."

The vote suggested that key senators and White House officials had succeeded — at least for now — in bargaining with skeptical lawmakers for a second chance to pass the bill. Several senators who have been promised votes on their amendments, including Sens. Kit Bond, R-Mo., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., Pete Domenici, R-N.M., John Ensign, R-Nev., and Jim Webb, D-Va., switched their votes to support moving ahead with the measure.

Still, after a chaotic several weeks in which the legislation survived several near-death experiences, it remained buffeted by intraparty squabbles.

As senators were preparing for the showdown vote Tuesday morning, House Republicans meeting privately on the other side of the Capitol were plotting to register their opposition through a party resolution. The measure never saw a vote for procedural reasons, but an attempt to kill it failed overwhelmingly, signaling deep GOP skepticism.

"It's clear there's a large number of the House Republicans who have serious concerns with the Senate bill," said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the minority leader.

Several of the Republican amendments slated for upcoming Senate votes would make the bill tougher on unlawful immigrants, while those by Democrats would make it easier on those seeking to immigrate legally based solely on family ties.

Particularly worrisome to supporters, including the Bush administration, is a bipartisan amendment by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., that would change the bill's new program for weeding out illegal employees from U.S. workplaces.

---

The bill is S 1639
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., an architect of the bill, said he was proud of the vote, calling it …”


"…a major step forward for our national security,…”
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if the bill passes into law it would reduce illegal immigration by a whopping 25%. Further, it does very little to locate the half a million illegal aliens from countries that support terrorism that are currently in the US.

“…for our economy…,”
The CBO also estimates that the legalization process would cost US citizens $30 billion in just the first ten years. (A conservative estimate compared to the Heritage Foundation.)

“…and for our humanity."
Is perpetuation of second-class citizenry and denying upward mobility for millions humane?

Bottom line. The elite class pushing this legislation consider themselves as “Global Citizens” with few allegiances to national sovereignty. Their disregard for the middle class could not be more apparent. After all, they often live on estates or in gated communities with round the clock personal security. They have accumulated wealth but their greed prevents them from taming their lust. And a clear separation from the commoners maintains their insulation from the riff-raff. It’s no wonder they support this.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 06/27/2007 8:43 Comments || Top||

#2  I wrote both Senators and my Representative again today. The Senators are a waste of time but my Representative is a rock. I told all of them that this is the defining issue of this generation; it doesn't matter if we win in Iraq if we turn into Mexico at home. If this bill passes, the Republican Party is dead meat and it will be Jorge Bush who will have killed it. I hope people remember that.
Posted by: Mac || 06/27/2007 18:57 Comments || Top||

#3  I wrote all my reps last night too. Everyone should be writing their congresscritters. www.congress.org makes it simple to do, takes about 5 min's.

If you're not writing your elected reps then you're in the proverbial minus column in my book. It's like everyone I hear who bitches about whatever the topic is of the day. If we don't take the 5 min's to voice our opinion to the folks who vote then we need to quit our whining. This great experiment in self-government can only succeed if we actually execute the self-governing part.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 20:06 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
F15 missing off of Oregon Coast
U.S. Coast Guard crews searched Tuesday for a National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet fighter crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast. The single-seat aircraft, which was from the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon National Guard, went down about 1:35 p.m. about 35 nautical miles west of Cannon Beach while on a training mission, Salem-News.com reported. The jet was based at the Portland Air Base.

The fate of the pilot was not known and the cause of the accident was under investigation.

Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  God save this pilot.
Posted by: Excalibur || 06/27/2007 10:26 Comments || Top||

#2  I hope he could eject safely, but even that's brutal. I have a buddy who had to eject once. He came out over an inch shorter.
Posted by: gorb || 06/27/2007 14:07 Comments || Top||

#3  As of this morning's news, no sign of the pilot; his wingman was reported to have NOT seen a parachute. God be with him.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 06/27/2007 14:47 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Swiss set to wrap up Benazir money laundering inquiry
Posted by: Fred || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:


Power cuts in Karachi: MQM asks people not to pay bills
Posted by: Fred || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:


India seals itself off from Bangladesh
SUJATPUR, Bangladesh — Everyone knew it was out there somewhere, an invisible line that cut through a cow pasture and, at least in theory, divided one nation from another. But no one saw it as a border — it was just a lumpy field of grass, uneven from the hooves of generations of cattle, and villagers crossed back and forth without even thinking about it. Today, no one can ignore the line.

In a construction project that will eventually reach across 2,050 miles, hundreds of rivers and long stretches of forests and fields, India has been quietly sealing itself off from Bangladesh, its much poorer neighbor. Sections totaling about 1,550 miles have been built the past seven years.

In Sujatpur, a poor farming village, the frontier is now defined by two rows of 10-foot-high barbed wire barriers, the posts studded with ugly spikes the size of a toddler's fingers. A smaller fence, and miles of barbed wire coils, fill the space in between. The expanse of steel, set into concrete, spills off toward the horizon in both directions.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: John Frum || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In Sujatpur, a poor farming village, the frontier is now defined by two rows of 10-foot-high barbed wire barriers, the posts studded with ugly spikes the size of a toddler's fingers.

Ugly spikes make ducklings cry!
Posted by: Excalibur || 06/27/2007 10:27 Comments || Top||


International-UN-NGOs
Weeds and wasted lives on the farm run by UN’s rural kingpin
It looks as if no one has lived here for years. Tall, dense elephant grass grows everywhere. There is a rutted track that passes a nearly empty dam where a truck has broken down and been left to its own fate.

Sheds and barns for curing tobacco are deserted. Gates hang open and there is scant fencing. A fallen tree lies across the track. The only sign of activity is a flock of sheep owned by a neighbouring white farmer who leases the unused grazing.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum says this week in a report that there is “a plausible case for crimes against humanity” having been committed in the past seven years by Mr Mugabe’s regime.
This is the farm of Francis Nhema, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, who became chairman of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development last month. He occupied Nyamanda farm, just south of the small town of Karoi in northern Zimbabwe in 2003, a year after its owner, Chris Shepherd, and his family were driven out by lawless ruling party militias.

On its 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres), Mr Shepherd had planted 80 hectares of high-grade tobacco and 200 hectares of maize. Cattle grazed on 300 hectares.

Last year Mr Nhema managed three hectares of tobacco and ten hectares of maize.

“This year there is nothing,” said a former farm security guard, who asked to remain anonymous. “There is a small patch of soya beans. The rest is weeds. The whole 1,000 hectares are weeds.”

Mr Nhema, who is now the world’s leading international authority on global policies for the prudent management of rural and industrial resources, has never been on the farm for more than a few hours and comes once every few months, said the guard. A relative lived in the house for a while “but he knew nothing about farming”, and it is now empty, he said.

The 4,300 farms seized illegally by President Mugabe since 2000 have followed the same pattern overwhelmingly, and turned one of the most robust and enterprising agricultural industries into a model of neglect.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum says this week in a report – the first detailed study on the human rights violations against white farmers and their black workers during the land grab – that there is “a plausible case for crimes against humanity” having been committed in the past seven years by Mr Mugabe’s regime.

“There is a compelling need for these to be investigated and the perpetrators to be summarily shot charged and tried,” it says.

More than a million people living on commercial farms suffered incidents of assault, torture, being held hostage, illegal detention and death threats, it estimates. More than 10,000 farm workers are believed to have died after their removal and the consequent loss of employment, housing, nutrition and access to health-care on the farms.
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [380 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum says this week in a report – the first detailed study on the human rights violations against white farmers and their black workers during the land grab – that there is “a plausible case for crimes against humanity” having been committed in the past seven years by Mr Mugabe’s regime."

Gee, that's nice to know, fellas. Must be a great comfort to all those owners driven of their properties, and to all those starving rural workers.

Talk about a day late and a dollar short...
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 06/27/2007 8:14 Comments || Top||

#2  It is important to know that this is the left's idea of development. They hate the human race and this is what they want for each and every one of us and for the planet as a whole. That is why we must commit ourselves to being against leftism in every respect all the time forever...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 06/27/2007 10:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Failed businesman/farmer? Rabid anti-semite? Barking Moonbat? You may have a future as aun official. Sad very sad.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 06/27/2007 11:12 Comments || Top||

#4  Damn! How I be gettin a good gig like that!
Posted by: Farmin B. Hard || 06/27/2007 11:55 Comments || Top||

#5  And yet the left demands for us to pour more aid into Africa.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/27/2007 12:44 Comments || Top||

#6  It is important to know that this is the left's idea of development. They hate the human race and this is what they want for each and every one of us and for the planet as a whole.

Yes, it is. Yes, they do. And there isn't anyplace left to flee. So, the time for fighting is near, anyone that still thinks that this goat-hump can be turned around without fighting is just kidding themselves, and delaying the inevitable.

And time is not on our side.
Posted by: Natural Law || 06/27/2007 13:23 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Fat Rosie O'D Poses Baby With Ammo Belt
Posted by: McZoid || 06/27/2007 06:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [365 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How can anyone not see this is no different than the pictures of palestineian children dressed up as jihadies?

She has sold out to the dark side that uses children as weapons. She has gone from insane to being a monster.

Everyday I fear a bit more for the fate of civilization.

Posted by: kelly || 06/27/2007 10:39 Comments || Top||

#2  "Fat Rosie O'D" is a redundancy. - ed
Posted by: mojo || 06/27/2007 10:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Ms. O'Donnell has removed the photo. But it can still be seen here
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 13:22 Comments || Top||

#4  She pulled the picture. However, World Net Daily and Drudge still have it. What a hypocrite!
Posted by: McZoid || 06/27/2007 14:04 Comments || Top||

#5  Seems she's headed for one of those fashionable "celebrity meltdowns". I wonder if she's even going to check herself in for some rehab or something.
Posted by: gorb || 06/27/2007 14:05 Comments || Top||

#6  I think its cute.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 06/27/2007 14:16 Comments || Top||

#7  I'd have given almost anything to have an ammo belt like that when I was a kid.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 06/27/2007 14:33 Comments || Top||

#8  gorb: I hope not; part of the requirements for the Dreaded Celebrity Meltdown is being photographed exiting the obligatory limosine sans pantaloons.......(thank me for the mental visual later)
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 06/27/2007 14:40 Comments || Top||

#9  Anyone got an icepick I can use?
Posted by: gorb || 06/27/2007 17:28 Comments || Top||

#10 
#7: I'd have given almost anything to have an ammo belt like that when I was a kid.

I had one, the "Bullets" are painted wood, also had a "Rifle (M-1 Bolt action ) the wooden "Bullets" would load into(Single shot, no magazine) We had much fun with it (Me and my brothers, Dad was an Army Major at the time)
No "Political Correctness" bullshit around our home.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/27/2007 17:45 Comments || Top||

#11  How can anyone not see this is no different than the pictures of palestineian children dressed up as jihadies?

Well, firstly, the Palestinians use real bullets and real guns, and are genuinely prepping the kids to be Daddy's Little Jew-Killer. What's going on here, I don't know, but I doubt it's that.

I do know that if I took a picture of my kid looking like that, putting it on the internets would be the last thing I would do. Because, between the joyless expression and the sunken eyes, I'd be afraid of a little visit from the authorities. She looks like she's auditioning for Jim Henson's Heroin Babies.

What makes me fear for civilization is the comments on that site. Litteressy sux!
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 06/27/2007 18:36 Comments || Top||

#12  I thought it was cute to. According to O'fatarse her kids were dressed up in army fatigues because they were having a squirt gun fight. Looks like the moonbats who frequent her website (kind of redundant, who else would frequent her blog?) took it to the next level looking for the political message behind it all. (OMG, like, she's wearing fake bullets and stuff!)

I personally cannot stomach (no pun intended) Rosie but this is much adoo. I wish these people would just leave the kids alone, as if not having RO as a parent isn't bad enough. Very cute kid though, good choice of ammo, looks like 7.62.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 20:24 Comments || Top||

#13  Didn't she used to argue about guns with Tom Sellick. I guess Tom convinced her of his position. Maybe they will give him Bob Barker's slot.
Posted by: Super Hose || 06/27/2007 22:32 Comments || Top||


Media conglomerates in the past, panel says
Great news! Then we can forget that whole pesky Fairness Doctrine foolishness, right?

Right?
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/27/2007 00:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:


Bowling with our own
Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, is very nervous about releasing his new research, and understandably so. His five-year study shows that immigration and ethnic diversity have a devastating short- and medium-term influence on the social capital, fabric of associations, trust, and neighborliness that create and sustain communities. He fears that his work on the surprisingly negative effects of diversity will become part of the immigration debate, even though he finds that in the long run, people do forge new communities and new ties.

Putnam’s study reveals that immigration and diversity not only reduce social capital between ethnic groups, but also within the groups themselves. Trust, even for members of one’s own race, is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friendships fewer. The problem isn’t ethnic conflict or troubled racial relations, but withdrawal and isolation. Putnam writes: “In colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’—that is, to pull in like a turtle.”

In the 41 sites Putnam studied in the U.S., he found that the more diverse the neighborhood, the less residents trust neighbors. This proved true in communities large and small, from big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Boston to tiny Yakima, Washington, rural South Dakota, and the mountains of West Virginia. In diverse San Francisco and Los Angeles, about 30 percent of people say that they trust neighbors a lot. In ethnically homogeneous communities in the Dakotas, the figure is 70 percent to 80 percent.

Diversity does not produce “bad race relations,” Putnam says. Rather, people in diverse communities tend “to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.” Putnam adds a crushing footnote: his findings “may underestimate the real effect of diversity on social withdrawal.”

more at link
Posted by: Mac || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If you are a multinational corporation exploiting workers - this is an ideal worker pool. Every man an island standing alone. ..

Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 0:45 Comments || Top||

#2  President Bush, tell me again how legalizing all of these 12 million illegals is going to help my country. This Putnam guy is dead on the money, bad as he hates to admit it, and any white kid who has gone to a majority-minority school knows exactly what he is talking about.
Posted by: Mac || 06/27/2007 18:48 Comments || Top||



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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2007-06-27
  Lebanon arrests 40 Fatah al-Islam gunnies
Tue 2007-06-26
  Tony Blair to be confirmed as Middle East envoy
Mon 2007-06-25
  Boomer kills 6 UN soldiers in south Lebanon
Sun 2007-06-24
  Lal Masjid Students Free Chinese Women
Sat 2007-06-23
  Larijani admits Iran financing Hamas
Fri 2007-06-22
  Paks post reward for murdering Rushdie
Thu 2007-06-21
  Leb Army takes over Nahr al-Bared
Wed 2007-06-20
  Boom kills 78 in Baghdad
Tue 2007-06-19
  Pakistan: U.S. Missile Kills 32 Hard Boyz
Mon 2007-06-18
  Abbas' new PM outlaws Hamas
Sun 2007-06-17
  Looters raid Arafat's house, steal his Nobel Peace Prize
Sat 2007-06-16
  US launches new offensive around Baghdad
Fri 2007-06-15
  Abbas dissolves unity govt
Thu 2007-06-14
  Beirut boom kills another anti-Syrian lawmaker
Wed 2007-06-13
  Qaeda emir in Mosul banged

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