Monthly Archives: March 2013

March 31, 2013

American labor takes an ‘amnesty’ hit

Now, more Americans are treading water in the very part of the job market that is most vulnerable to immigration. Given the current economic downturn, people with advanced degrees are searching out low-skilled, low-wage jobs. Increasing competition with low-skilled immigrants would further crowd the narrow avenues of subsistence.

Senate Republicans in the “Gang of Eight” have rejected straightforward language, suggested by labor advocates as part of an amnesty proposal, that would have had visas issued “only when the employment of foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly situated workers in the United States.”

The visas at issue largely concern low-skilled workers, and some scholars say rejecting the idea amounts to a betrayal of American working people.

Professor Vernon Briggs, a Cornell labor economist, tells WND that “[a]mnesty for illegal immigrants sanctions the overt violation all of the nation’s worker protection laws.”

Briggs, who focuses on the economic impact of immigration, argues that, “[t]he toleration of illegal immigration undermines all of our labor. It rips at the social fabric. It’s a race to the bottom.”

This downward pressure on wages operates in tandem with an upward pressure on social services and welfare spending, critics complain.

“Assimilating into the welfare system,” according to Harvard economist George Borjas, is too often the trend.

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Complete text linked here.


March 30, 2013

Quick Pix: Walt Disney

Walter Elias “Walt” Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O. Disney, he was co-founder of Walt Disney Productions. Disney is particularly noted as a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created some of the world’s most well-known fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney himself provided the original voice. During his lifetime he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history

Walt Disney Wikipedia article.


Video: Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on a Government Pension

California County Administrator gets $424,000 per year in retirement – more than twice a US President. It’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on a Government Pension as the state slides toward bankruptcy.


Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi


Liberal Actors Crash and Burn at Box Office

Tina Fey has the mainstream press eating out of her manicured hand no matter what project she tackles. Fey’s Sarah Palin imitation, which news outlets used to paint the Alaska Governor as unfit for the Vice Presidency, earned her an endless stream of huzzahs whenever she makes the promotional rounds.

That hardly helped Admission, Fey’s latest comedy which scored a weak $6 million during its opening weekend. Fey’s liberal views are well known to the public, and it could be impacting her box office results.

Consider Sean Penn, an avowed leftist whose rambunctious turn in Gangster Squad seemed like the kind of part audiences would gobble up. The big-budget gangster film ended up making just $45 million during its theatrical run despite heavy promotion and limited competition.

Jim Carrey isn’t the star of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but his gonzo character is the key comic subplot, one meant to evoke the Mask star’s rubbery highlight reel. Once more, audiences stayed away in droves as Wonderstone will be lucky to crack the box office top 10 in its third week of release.

Carrey regularly uses his Twitter account to attack those who don’t agree with his points of view, culminating in this week’s attack on the late Charlon Heston over at Funny or Die. Does anyone think Carrey’s anti-gun music video, Cold Dead Hand, will help him put fannies in the seats for his future films?

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Report reflects massive drug cartel operations in Texas

When President Barack Obama announced his intention to ban assault weapons and high-capacity clips, Brownsville Police Chief Orlando C. Rodriguez said criminals would find new ways to commit crimes, like by duct-taping two clips together.

The numbers are staggering. More than 8.8 million pounds of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and meth have been seized along the Texas border in the past seven years, a recent report by the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed.

The report — released Wednesday — sheds light on how many drug seizures have been made between April 2006 and December 2012. It details what law enforcement authorities across the state face nearly every day.

Those seizures happened only in the 54 Operation Border Star counties, part of an initiative Gov. Rick Perry launched in 2007 to increase law enforcement presence and to deter crime.

“Outside of these counties, the Texas Department of Public Safety seized an additional 24,946 pounds of marijuana, 1,575 pounds of cocaine, 68 pounds of heroin, and 752 pounds of meth in 2012,” the report states.

Drug Trafficking

Cameron and Hidalgo counties are in one of the five major drug corridors in Texas, according to the report.

The Gulf Coast corridor covers both counties and north to Houston and San Antonio, and it includes U.S. Highways 281, 77 and 59, and Interstate Highways 37 and 10.

“These highways provide direct routes to and from Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth, all of which are major consolidation points for drugs and currency,” the report states.

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Complete text linked here.


3 dozen indicted in Atlanta cheating scandal

The previous state investigation in 2011 found cheating by nearly 180 educators in 44 Atlanta schools. Educators gave answers to students or changed answers on tests after they were turned in, investigators said. Teachers who tried to report it faced retaliation, creating a culture of “fear and intimidation” in the district.


In this June 13, 2011 file photo, outgoing schools superintendent, Dr. Beverly Hall, center, arrives for her last Atlanta school board meeting at the Atlanta Public Schools headquarters in Atlanta. Hall and nearly three dozen other administrators, teachers, principals and other educators were indicted Friday, March 29, 2013, in one of the nation’s largest cheating scandals.

In another embarrassing blow to Atlanta public schools, nearly three dozen former educators, including the ex-superintendent, were indicted Friday in one of the nation’s largest test cheating scandals.

Former Superintendent Beverly Hall faced charges including racketeering, false statements and theft because prosecutors said some of the bonuses she received were tied to falsified scores.

Hall retired just days before a state probe was released in 2011. She has long denied knowing about the cheating or ordering it.

During a news conference Friday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard provided examples of two students who demonstrated “the plight of many children” in the Atlanta school system. He described a third-grader who failed a benchmark exam and received the worst score in her reading class in 2006. The girl was held back, yet when she took a separate assessment test not long after, she passed with flying colors.

Howard said the girl’s mother, Justina Collins, knew something was awry, but was told by school officials that the child simply was a good test-taker. The girl is now in ninth grade, reading at a fifth-grade level.

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Complete text linked here.


Here Are the 10 Freest States in the U.S. (And the Least)

So with a better understanding of the criteria used to measure personal and economic freedom (and with a better idea of what they mean when they use the word “freedom”), here are the top 10 “freest” states in the U.S., according to “Freedom in the 50 States”:

10. Utah

9. Georgia

8. Virginia

7. Missouri

6. Idaho

Complete list linked here with full article.


MPs want immigrant ban to save British jobs

Britain should be able to block immigration from other EU countries during the current period of high unemployment, according to a group of influential MPs.


The joint chairmen of the cross party group on balanced migration say that David Cameron must do more to tackle “the elephant in the room” by restricting European immigration

In an article for The Telegraph, the joint chairmen of the cross party group on balanced migration, Frank Field, a former Labour minister, and Nicholas Soames, a former Conservative minister, say that David Cameron must do more to tackle “the elephant in the room” by restricting European immigration.

The MPs, two of the most influential politicians in the immigration debate, suggest that draconian action should now be considered “during periods of high unemployment” — such as now — to protect low-skilled British workers struggling to compete with foreigners for jobs.

One in five young British workers is currently unemployed, with about one million people aged 18 to 24 out of work.

The MPs say that Britain is still facing an influx of people at an “unsustainable level” despite Coalition action to reduce immigration.

They add that the expected wave of immigration from Bulgaria and Romania — which could lead to 50,000 people a year moving to this country from next year — means that the need to tackle the issue “could not be more stark.”

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Complete text linked here.


How Public Schools are Like the Wizard of Oz

In his book Inside American Education, conservative economist Thomas Sowell wrote: “Too often American educators are like the Wizard of Oz handing out substitutes for brains, bravery, and heart… Too many American schools are turning out students who are not only intellectually incompetent but also morally confused, emotionally alienated, and socially maladjusted.”

In a recent column I asked conservatives why their children are still in public school. The point of the column was that subjecting children to leftwing indoctrination six or more hours a day five days a week for twelve years is bound to have an effect and not the effect conservative parents would want for their children. The column got a big response—mostly positive—but I did step on a few toes. Several conservative readers became defensive and claimed they had no choice but to send their children to public school. These few responded that the alternatives I listed in my column—private schools, Christian schools, charter schools, and homeschools—will not work for them, although none of them explained why.

Over the years, I have heard all of the reasons why conservative parents feel compelled to put their children in public school, no matter how inadvisable this choice might be. Now I am going to give my side of the argument and explain why conservative parents who knowingly subject their children to twelve years of leftwing indoctrination and academic tripe need to look in a mirror and decide what is important. I will begin my explanation with a quote from Pastor Randy Booth’s essay, “Rethinking Education.” Booth writes: “Government education, because it is nearly universal, monolithic and a self-sustaining institution has more power to create our worldview and character than almost anything else in America. It strongly influences what we feel and how we will do the work of the mind (even when we don’t realize its influence). This should not be surprising when you think about it. Growing up, each week we spend two or three hours in church and thirty to forty in school.”

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Complete text linked here.


Snake Dance – The Indian Tomb

“The magic is as wide as a smile and as narrow as a wink, loud as laughter and quiet as a tear, tall as a tale and deep as emotion. So strong, it can lift the spirit. So gentle, it can touch the heart. It is the magic that begins the happily ever after.” – Unknown