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Judge Blocks Part of Trump’s Immigration Order

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No Borders No Nations
No Borders No Nations! 

As you’ve probably heard, there was another poorly thought out Executive Order signed by the Lord Emperor Tiny Hands, suddenly banning travel to the US from several countries, quickly stayed by federal judges. One wonders how much thought went into the ban, was it crafted on the toilet using a non-secured Android phone

Around the country, people gathered at airports to protest the travel ban. The Chicago Tribune reported that protesters gathered at O’Hare International Airport after more than a dozen travelers were detained. The Star Tribune reported some 100 people protesting at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport although there were no reports of people detained there. In San Francisco, The Mercury New reported hundreds gathered at San Francisco International Airport as three travelers were detained. And at Kennedy International Airport in New York, The New York Times reported that thousands protesters spread along the parking apron and on three floors of a parking deck shouting their protests.

(click here to continue reading Federal judge bars US from removing legal residents detained at Dulles | WTOP.)

A federal judge in Brooklyn came to the aid of scores of refugees and others who were trapped at airports across the United States on Saturday after an executive order signed by President Trump, which sought to keep many foreigners from entering the country, led to chaotic scenes across the globe.

The judge’s ruling blocked part of the president’s actions, preventing the government from deporting some arrivals who found themselves ensnared by the presidential order. But it stopped short of letting them into the country or issuing a broader ruling on the constitutionality of Mr. Trump’s actions.

The high-stakes legal case played out on Saturday amid global turmoil, as the executive order signed by the president on Friday afternoon slammed shut the borders of the United States for an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Massachusetts, a Syrian refugee family headed to a new life in Ohio and countless others across the world.

Mr. Trump — in office just a week — found himself accused of constitutional and legal overreach by two Iraqi immigrants, defended by the American Civil Liberties Union. Meanwhile, large crowds of protesters turned out at airports around the country to denounce Mr. Trump’s ban on the entry of refugees and people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

(click here to continue reading Judge Blocks Part of Trump’s Immigration Order – The New York Times.)

Resist (hat)
Resist (hat)

The Executive Order didn’t go through normal vetting channels, so people were on flights that were perfectly legal when they began, but became forbidden by the time they landed. Incompetent White House, or chaos by design? Only Steve Bannon knows.

It wasn’t until Friday — the day Trump signed the order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days — that career homeland security staff were allowed to see the final details of the order, a person familiar with the matter said. The result was widespread confusion across the country on Saturday as airports struggled to adjust to the new directives. In New York, two Iraqi nationals sued the federal government after they were detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and 10 others were detained as well.

The policy team at the White House developed the executive order on refugees and visas, and largely avoided the traditional interagency process that would have allowed the Justice Department and homeland security agencies to provide operational guidance, according to numerous officials who spoke to CNN on Saturday.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Department of Homeland Security leadership saw the final details shortly before the order was finalized, government officials said.
Friday night, DHS arrived at the legal interpretation that the executive order restrictions applying to seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen — did not apply to people with lawful permanent residence, generally referred to as green card holders.

The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout. That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. 

…Before the President issued the order, the White House did not seek the legal guidance of the Office of Legal Counsel, the Justice Department office that interprets the law for the executive branch. A source said the executive order did not follow the standard agency review process that’s typically overseen by the National Security Council, though the source couldn’t specifically say if that included the decision to not have the order go through the Office of Legal Counsel.

Separately, a person familiar with the matter said career officials in charge of enforcing the executive order were not fully briefed on the specifics until Friday. The officials were caught off guard by some of the specifics and raised questions about how to handle the new banned passengers on US-bound planes.

Regarding the green card holders and some of the confusion about whether they were impacted, the person familiar with the matter said if career officials had known more about the executive order earlier, some of the confusion could have been avoided and a better plan could be in place.

But even after the Friday afternoon announcement, administration officials at the White House took several hours to produce text of the action until several hours after it was signed. Adviser Kellyanne Conway even said at one point it was not going to be released before eventually it did get sent out.
Administration officials also seemed unsure at first who was covered in the action, and a list of impacted countries was only produced later on Friday night, hours after the President signed the document at the Pentagon.

(click here to continue reading Inside the confusion of the Trump executive order and travel ban – CNNPolitics.com.)

As an aside, usually I am content to read my news rather than some television talking head read it out loud to me; yet certain stories benefit from seeing live footage of the event as it unfolds. Natural disasters, perhaps, and certainly protests. Last night I flipped through all the news channels I could think of, and none had any live coverage of the raucous protests in airports around the country. Not MSNBC, PBS, CNN, BBC even. I didn’t try Fox, they were probably suggesting the protestors should all be rounded up into camps. Ironically, CNN was broadcasting its documentary on the 1980s, and as I flipped it on, Ted Turner was talking about what a disruption having a 24 hour network would be. Ironic since there was a genuine news story going on at that very moment, and CNN wasn’t broadcasting any live coverage.

Also, I was pleased that the ACLU jumped into action, and planned to give them another donation (even though I just had given them some money in December). Apparently, I wasn’t alone, as their website was being hammered by traffic…ACLU 2017 01 28 at 9 06 21 PM

ACLU 2017-01-28 at 9.06.21 PM

I’ll have to donate to them later in the week.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced Saturday evening that a federal court in New York had issued an emergency stay on President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The court’s decision, which will affect people who have been detained in airports, came after the ACLU and other activist groups filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqis who were held at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as a result of the order.

“I hope Trump enjoys losing. He’s going to lose so much we’re going to get sick and tired of his losing,” ACLU national political director Faiz Shakir told Yahoo News shortly after the decision was announced.

(click here to continue reading ACLU wins legal challenge against immigration ban: ‘Hope Trump enjoys losing’.)

Written by Seth Anderson

January 29th, 2017 at 10:57 am

Posted in government,politics

Tagged with ,

Echoes of History of The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer In Trump’s Immigration Policy

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Gustav Klimt 046.jpg
By Gustav Klimt – 1. The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. 2. Neue Galerie New York, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=153485

I watched the film version of this book, and I should probably read the book one of these days, such a fascinating story.

“The Lady in Gold” is a fascinating work, ambitious, exhaustively researched and profligately detailed. Anne-Marie O’Connor traces the convoluted history of Gustav Klimt’s dazzling gold-leaf portrait of the Jewish society beauty Adele Bloch-Bauer from its commissioning in 1903 to its sale to cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder in 2006. But the book’s title does not do justice to O’Connor’s scope, which includes the Viennese Belle Epoque, the Anschluss, the diaspora of Viennese Jews, the looting of their artwork and legal battles over its restitution, and thorny questions facing the heirs of reclaimed art.

Roughly a third of the book deals with Klimt’s “Austrian Mona Lisa,” its Nazi-era theft and its eventual return to the Bloch-Bauer heirs. The rest provides context and a milieu dense with particulars. The work teems with historical personages who lived in, visited or plundered Vienna during the tumultuous first half of the 20th century. Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Mark Twain, Joseph Goebbels and scores of others, both integral and incidental to the story of Klimt’s golden portrait of Adele, appear in O’Connor’s populous and several-branched narrative.

(click here to continue reading “The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” by Anne-Marie O’Connor – The Washington Post.)

The film was good, not great. Helen Mirren is always spot-on, but her “kid lawyer” Ryan Reynolds (playing Maria Altmann’s young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg) didn’t quite fit in the role, plus there were superfluous scenes with Katie Holmes pretending to be maternal. Still, worth watching if you haven’t seen it.

The back-story of Austrian Jews suddenly, nearly overnight, becoming part of the Third Reich is illustrative. They lost their homes, their businesses, their prized personal possessions, their lives, their freedoms. Donald Trump, and others in the Republican party, like Ted Cruz, others, want to round up and deport all the poorly documented immigrants if gods forbid, a Republican wins the Oval Office. Trump claims there are 11,000,000 people who don’t have permission to be in the US, and on January 21st, 2017, he is going to find them all and send them somewhere else, outside of the US borders, or maybe in camps like the Japanese-Americans during WW2.

Is 11,000,000 an accurate number? Are there more? Less? Probably more, and not all these folks are dishwashers, roofers and field hands. Some are middle class people, or even wealthy, there are multi-generational families involved, and many have been here for decades. In Trump’s vision, a bunch of gold-booted thugs with golden “T” armbands are going to kick in doors, smash storefront windows, and arrest all the undocumented people, without incident, without protest as Americans cheer and jeer in the streets. Will petty jealousy and unscrupulous neighbors make false claims against personal enemies? Does Trump even know what due process is? 

Trump is not a policy person, he is extremely slippery in his positions, when he even understands them, but one theme has been nearly constant: immigrants are the enemy of Trump’s Fourth Reich.

More importantly, would America (and the world) really allow this to happen in the 21st Century? 

Written by Seth Anderson

September 5th, 2016 at 11:09 am

Posted in Books,Film,politics

Tagged with ,

Declaration of Immigration was uploaded to Flickr

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18th St., Pilsen, Chicago

“We Are a Nation of Immigrants
No Inhumane Treatment
Deportation
Family Separation
Detention
No Wall
No Human Being is Illegal
National Security is used to foster Inter Ethnic Tension”

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/KAE2Wp

I took Declaration of Immigration on June 23, 2013 at 12:12PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on August 25, 2016 at 11:02PM

With nearly half its food imported, who will feed Britain after Brexit?

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Organic Tomatoes Produced in Kent
Organic Tomatoes Produced in Kent, UK.

Trump called himself “Mr. Brexit” yesterday. Funny, almost, in light of the reality of how removing E.U. immigrants is going to drastically change how Britain feeds itself. America too if the anti-immigrant brigade ever gets a modicum of power. Have you ever picked vegetables in the hot sun? It’s not work I’d do voluntarily, even if it paid above minimum wage. Trump’s anti-immigrant army will be spluttering in impotent rage if tomatoes were $50/lb, if lettuce was something you only could afford to eat over the holidays, if a hamburger cost $35 even to make it at home with store-bought ingredients. 

But then Trump’s cult has never had the ability to comprehend facts.

Courgetts (or Courgettes)
Courgetts (or Courgettes) (a/k/a Zucchini)

Anyway, back to Britain, where Carla Power writes, in part:

“Brexit” has sown deep uncertainty in Britain’s food system, which for the last 43 years has been entwined with the rest of Europe’s, relying heavily on the EU for everything from pork to peaches to farm subsidies to the labor that picks its tomatoes. Now, the country is going to have to rethink how it feeds itself, from farm to fork.

“Food is the biggest sector of engagement with Europe,” said Timothy Lang, a professor at City University London’s Center for Food Policy. “It’s hundreds of thousands of contracts, all woven into long supply chains.”

Currently, European laws regulate nearly everything that ends up on British plates: how clean a chicken should be before slaughter, how cold to keep frozen cod, who gets to call their biscuits “gluten free.”

Now, Britain will have to decide all that for itself. Some groups already have begun lobbying Prime Minister Theresa May’s new government for regulations to improve animal welfare and protect soils.

But what Britain can’t do is feed itself. The country imports more than $50 billion a year in food, or nearly half of what it eats. That’s more than double what it exports. Most wine and beef come from mainland Europe, as do about 40% of fruit and vegetables.

The future of food in Britain will depend largely on what sort of trade deals the government can strike with the European alliance it is preparing to abandon.

Germany and other European powers have made it clear that they will not grant Britain the benefits of EU membership if it leaves and that the country probably will face tariffs on many of its imports.

New tariffs on food would drive up prices and potentially change the nation’s diet.

EU membership has brought them a flexible, energetic and mobile labor force of Romanians, Bulgarians and other Eastern Europeans. While EU-born workers from outside Britain make up 6% of the country’s workforce, they account for more than a quarter of employees in the food manufacturing industry — and 95% of crop pickers.

“Every strawberry eaten at Wimbledon was picked by an Eastern European,” said John Hardman of Hops Labour Solutions, an agricultural recruitment firm in Kenilworth. “Every Brussels sprout eaten at Christmas dinner was picked by an Eastern European.”
If Britain stops free movement of EU workers, farmers may struggle to find replacements. Britons themselves don’t seem keen on the low wages and long hours in the orchards and fields.

(click here to continue reading With nearly half its food imported, who will feed Britain after ‘Brexit’? – LA Times.)

Written by Seth Anderson

August 19th, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Donald Trump Is A Joke But Nobody Is Giggling

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Donald Trump in Spy Magazine April 1988
Donald Trump in Spy Magazine April 1988

The rest of GOP expected Donald Trump to surge for a moment, then implode like all the GOP Clown Car riders in 2012.1

Trump did not, in fact, fall down, instead he exposed the chasm between GOP elites and the rubes who historically voted against their own interests. If given a choice, the GOP rank and file don’t support GOP orthodoxy as much as expected…

But as the results from Tuesday’s Nevada caucuses confirmed again, Trump has built a large constituency inside the Republican Party based on a set of positions that marry two streams of thought not typically brought together by liberal or conservative politicians.

On the one hand, his call to deport 11 million immigrants who are here illegally, his support for a ban on the entry of Muslims into the United States, his invocation of law-and-order themes and emphatic support for the police, his endorsement of even rougher treatment of terrorism suspects — all speak to an authoritarian side of Trump’s appeal that clearly resonates with many on the Republican right.

But Trump embraces positions on economics and foreign policy anathema to most conservative politicians. He is an ardent critic of recent free-trade agreements, opposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare, has been even more vocal than many Democrats in criticizing President George W. Bush and the Iraq War, and even endorses the Democrats’ long-standing call for government negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to drive down drug costs.

This mix has allowed Trump to win votes from self-described moderates and conservatives alike, but his strongest support comes from voters at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale. This was true again in Nevada, as CNN reported from an entrance poll: Trump took 57 percent of the vote from caucus-goers who did not attend college but only 37 percent from those with postgraduate degrees.

No wonder that after the Nevada results were known, Trump offered one of the most memorable sound bites of the campaign: “I love the poorly educated.”

The key lies in that rejection of conservative economic and fiscal orthodoxy (except in his endorsement of big tax cuts).

(click here to continue reading This is how Donald Trump is winning – The Washington Post.)

Don’t forget though, Trump has no real belief in anything other than the brand, “Donald Trump”, so any political rhetoric or promises should be considered suspect. He isn’t running for Supreme Dictator of the Earth, that position isn’t on the ballot.

Blow Your Own Horn Sometimes
Blow Your Own Horn Sometimes

Who is going to stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination? Maybe a Hispanic surge of Democrats?

Those victories came in spite of Trump’s derogatory statements about Mexicans, Muslims, women and plenty more groups and individuals. Pundits and politicians predicted for months that Trump would be unsuccessful and drop out, but his wins indicate large portions of the GOP base support him regardless of his comments.

In other words, everyone, including Democrats, has to grapple with the fact that Trump’s views aren’t necessarily on the fringe, including on immigration.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the only Latino Democratic senator, said he’s “never seen a greater confluence of challenges at one time” for the Latino community.

“When I look at what is happening across the landscape of the political discourse in this country and I hear the language about walls and deportation and no more birthright citizenship and the list goes on and on, I recoil thinking that we are going back to a time and place that none of us want to go to,” he said.

He said he has “learned over a lifetime that [comments about undocumented immigrants] are not about the undocumented alone, they’re about all of us,” referring to Latinos. 

The problem isn’t just with Trump, it’s also with his GOP rivals. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has called for mass deportation, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has said he would immediately end the president’s relief for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) noted Wednesday those comments represent a shift for Rubio, since he helped draft and pass a bill through the Senate a comprehensive reform bill that included assistance for the same young people.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Durbin, who was also part of the so-called “gang of eight” that wrote the comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013. 

(click here to continue reading Democrats No Longer View Donald Trump As A Joke.)

I doubt Marcobot Rubio is going to stop the Trump train:

What’s particularly interesting here is that Rubio’s new attacks on Trump remain comfortably within the boundaries of GOP orthodoxy: Obamacare is bad, being insufficiently pro-Israel is bad, being weak on terror is bad. All of those arguments will probably have some appeal to GOP voters.

But if we’ve learned anything, it’s that Trump may be succeeding in part precisely because he’s breaking out of conventional ideological categories. Trump does not proceed from the assumption that government is the problem; government mismanaged by stupid and/or corrupt elites is the problem. He is not committed to the idea that free markets and limited government are the solution to people’s economic ills. He promises to destroy Obamacare — reflexively — but he envisions a government role of some kind in making sure everyone has health care. He pledges not to touch entitlements, breaking with the sacred Paul Ryan covenant. He does not genuflect before George W. Bush’s national security greatness; he ridicules it.

Trump combines all this with an even harder line on immigration than most GOP elites can accept, one suffused with explicitly articulated xenophobia. As Michael Brendan Dougherty has shown, this odd mixture, shaped around the basic idea that the global economic order is rigged against you, often by those piously invoking “free trade,” is Trump’s formula. Trump is appealing to GOP voters by arguing that elites are cheating and failing them by rigging the system to help illegals, multi-nationals, and China and Mexico through stupid, shady global deals. Whether this is through corruption or simple incompetence — in which various villains are simply snookering our elites — varies by the day. In Trump’s telling, the incompetence of GOP elites was also glaringly obvious in Bush’s Iraq invasion.

Thus, arguably, Rubio cannot go hard at the very things that may be enabling Trump to succeed. Rubio is largely constrained into launching thoroughly conventional Republican attacks on this thoroughly unconventional politician. Rubio has not yet explained to Trump’s voters why they should prefer conventional Republican economic and foreign policy promises and doctrines to Trump’s overarching story-line, which is that our system and our elites (including Republican ones) have been playing you suckers for decades; that he gets this; and that he will bust things up and set them right.

(click here to continue reading Rubio just launched a searing attack on Trump. Here’s why it may fail. – The Washington Post.)

Forgive Yourself Trump Tower
Forgive Yourself Trump Tower

Paul Ryan and the GOP party leaders are already worried that Trump isn’t going to be a traditional Republican, they cannot control him and Trump’s mouth2 any more than the GOP elite can control the weather in July:

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, chairman of the Republican National Convention, recent vice-presidential candidate and the highest elected Republican in the country, has one goal for this year: to form a conservative policy agenda for the Republican presidential nominee to embrace.

If that nominee is Donald J. Trump, that may be a waste of time.

Panicked Republicans question whether Mr. Trump will be able to unite a Republican-controlled Congress that would normally be expected to promote and promulgate his agenda, an internal crisis nearly unheard-of in a generation of American politics. On nearly every significant issue, Mr. Trump stands in opposition to Republican orthodoxy and his party’s policy prescriptions — the very ideas that Mr. Ryan has done more than anyone else to form, refine or promote over the last decade.

Mr. Ryan’s positions embody the modern institutional Republican Party. He has been a crucial promoter of free trade on Capitol Hill, which Mr. Trump opposes. Mr. Ryan supports taking away money from Planned Parenthood — a central target of Republicans for years — while Mr. Trump has said the group provides needed care to women. Eminent domain, the right of the government to seize private property for public use? The concept is despised by Republicans. Mr. Trump, who has used eminent domain to try to demolish an older woman’s home in Atlantic City to build a parking lot, calls it “wonderful.”

There is more: Mr. Ryan is the architect of his party’s plan to rein in spending on entitlement programs, which Mr. Trump has said is the reason the party lost the White House in 2012, name-checking Mr. Ryan in his swipe. Mr. Ryan supports all forms of domestic energy development, but Mr. Trump has called for colonizing Iraq’s oil reserves through military intervention.

Mr. Trump’s signature issue — deporting millions of undocumented workers — also stands in contrast to Mr. Ryan’s belief that his party needs to change the current system to help some immigrants, and in the process attract them to the party. Not least, Mr. Trump said last week that he would be “a neutral guy” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Mr. Ryan holds the traditional Republican position of strong support for Israel.

(click here to continue reading Republican Race Puts Donald Trump and Paul Ryan on Collision Course – The New York Times.)

Headaches
Headaches

The Republicans seem afraid that Donald Trump will take their lunch money right in front of their home room teacher:

But surely the well-heeled donors within the Republican establishment who are scared of Trump running away with this thing will take care of him while the non-Trump candidates sort themselves out, right? Nope. And nope in large part because they’re scared that Donald Trump will call them mean names. These donors, Politico reported earlier this week, “worry that, if they fund higher-profile attacks, they could come under attack from Trump, who this week fired a warning shot at one of the few major donors to the anti-Trump efforts, Marlene Ricketts, tweeting that her family ‘better be careful, they have a lot to hide!’ ”

The will to stop Trump does not appear to exist, and that is pathetic. Far too many party forces are misreading the “winnowing” theory, which argues that Trump can be defeated if he is positioned in a one-on-one matchup. I think there’s merit to this theory, though less so with each passing contest and day crossed off the calendar. What this theory never entailed, though, is the idea that Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich would let Trump proceed unimpeded while they were sorting the anti-Trump process out among themselves. It is campaign malpractice for the Rubio campaign, in particular, to be holding its fire on Trump, and it’s indicative of that campaign’s glib belief that delegates will naturally funnel Rubio’s way in the long run because … because they just will.

They won’t.

(click here to continue reading Cruz and Rubio are doing nothing to stop Donald Trump..)

Footnotes:
  1. Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, et al []
  2. an independent entity []

Written by Seth Anderson

February 25th, 2016 at 11:36 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Donald Trump And His Immigrant Roundup Plan

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They Can't Deport Us All
They Can’t Deport Us All…

If Donald Trump becomes president, gods forbid, the United States as we understand it will cease to exist within four years. Or sooner. For instance, if Trump succeeds against logic, and begins rounding up immigrants, ripping apart families, destroying all sorts of businesses, we will soon become a pariah among nations. Would the nations of the world create a coalition to initiate regime change? Who knows, but it isn’t that far fetched. Our military may be larger than the rest of the world’s, but that is not built upon a firm foundation if suddenly international trade dried up.

Trump has now provided more “specifics” about his immigration plan: a forced population transfer greater than any attempted in history, greater than the French and Spanish expulsions of the Jews in 1308 and 1492; greater than the Nabka of approximately 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from British-mandate Palestine; greater than the 1.5 million Stalin consigned to Siberia and the Central Asian republics; greater than Pol Pot’s exile of 2.5 million city-dwellers to the Cambodian countryside, or the scattering of Turkey’s Assyrian Christians, which the scholar Mordechai Zaken says numbers in the millions and required 180 years to complete.  Trump has promised to move 12 million Mexicans in under two years––“so fast your head will spin.”

Only then will he start building the wall.

We Are workers not criminals
We Are workers not criminals

Last fall, the Public Religion Research Institute found that a majority of whites believe “discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.” A brand new Washington Post/ABC poll finds 57 percent of Republicans support the most massive ethnic cleansing in the annals of humanity (or, what The Washington Post blandly calls “Trump’s tough positions on immigration”).

They all want a wall, they all want to bury criminals under the jail, they all crave war, even if they are not so explicit.Pollsters at YouGov.com found that 29 percent of Americans (and 43 percent of Republicans) “would hypothetically support the military stepping in to take control from a civilian government which is beginning to violate the Constitution.” Which is quite a thing, considering that according to a 2012 Gallup poll 94 percent of Republicans consider Obamacare’s insurance-purchase mandates unconstitutional; not to mention the small technicality that the military taking control of the government for “violating the Constitution” is, in fact, violating the Constitution.

Then there is this. Evan Osnos of The New Yorker happened to be reporting on “white nationalists”—the polite term for neo-Nazis—when the Trump phenomenon began. The fortuitous coincidence ended up unfolding as a natural experiment. Osnos was able to watch in real time as his subjects embraced Trump as one of their own. Usually, such extremists judge Republicans as tweedle-dee to the Democrats’ tweedle-dum. That’s not how they saw Trump. The Daily Stormer neo-Nazi web site endorsed him, advising its readers to “vote for the first time in our lives for the one man who actually represents our interests.” The leader of a white-supremacist think tank told The New Yorker: “I don’t think Trump is a white nationalist,” although he did reflect “an unconscious vision that white people have––that their grandchildren might be a hated minority in their own country . . . he is the one person who can tap into it.”

Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance, a like-minded publication, observed: “I’m sure he would repudiate any association with people like me, but his support comes from people who are more like me than he might like to admit.”
But was Taylor correct? Asked if he would repudiate the endorsement of erstwhile Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, Trump’s response was less than resounding: “Sure, I would if that would make you feel better.”

(click here to continue reading Donald Trump and the “F-Word”—by Rick Perlstein.)

Mike Luckovich - Build A Wall
Mike Luckovich

By the way, building a Trump branded wall will not solve anything. It’s just a ridiculous premise.

Written by Seth Anderson

November 11th, 2015 at 9:44 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

The Trump Endgame is Disruption

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Washing the Trump
Washing the Trump off our shoes…

The truth is that presidential campaigns usually at this stage in the process are tedious affairs, filled with stump speeches that rarely change, and most sane people can safely ignore the process until the primary season actually begins. Donald Trump running as a candidate of the Trump Party1  has upended all that. I don’t see any plausible path for a Trump electoral college victory, thanks be Kant, but I’ll admit Trump has made the 2016 election more interesting. In a gapers block sort of way, but still, more interesting than having to wade through double speak from John Ellis Bush Bush2 and Carly Fiorina and the rest of the clown car.

Trump could change the race by stamping his image upon the Republicans in a way they cannot escape. Trump has made himself the symbol of racism against Latinos in the United States. He is absolute brand poison. Democrats are already airing television ads connecting other Republican candidates to Trump.

Another, more potent way Trump could determine the outcome of the race is by running a third-party candidacy. An independent Trump is the perfectly designed Republican-killer. He appeals to a constituency (white nativists) that forms a crucial component of the Republican base, but which bears almost no authentic support for the party’s anti-government domestic-policy agenda. He has the celebrity and money to sustain such a run. An independent Trump run would virtually eliminate any chance of Republican victory.

Republicans’ success requires the party to steer a course between these two outcomes — one damaging, the other ruinous. They must keep Trump within the party without allowing him to contaminate the party. Such an outcome is certainly possible. It will not be easy. More unnerving for Republican power brokers is the fact that the success of their project lies mainly in Trump’s hands. And what Trump is even trying to achieve is difficult to ascertain.

There are two broad possibilities that explain Trump’s campaign. The first is that he has no real plan. His presidential run is the extension of his broader public persona — a bid for attention and to carry out grudges. Trump is running to spite the reporters and pundits who predicted he would never actually enter the race. Or perhaps he started out trying to grab attention, and simply kept going. Or he actually wants to be president in some vague way, and believes or hopes the force of his personality will carry him through. Or he just hates Jeb Bush a lot — one “Trump associate” told the Washington Post that Trump “has two goals: One, to be elected president, and two, to have Jeb not be president” — and would drop out of the race if Scott Walker or Marco Rubio supplants Bush.

(click here to continue reading What Is the Trump Endgame? — NYMag.)

Fox News and its allies have created the Trump monster, and now it is ravaging their carefully crafted Potemkin villages of Tea Party supporters and rage-fiends. I guffaw. I guffaw nearly to the point of tears…

Footnotes:
  1. and sometimes as a Republican, depending []
  2. Jeb! is a strange name to give oneself – the John Ellis shortening I get, but why put your surname into your nickname? []

Written by Seth Anderson

August 31st, 2015 at 8:20 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , , ,

Some Trade-Offs of Relocating North to Canada

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City Hall
City Hall, Toronto, Ontario

Hmm. I hadn’t realized Canada was not as welcoming to immigrants as it once was. Since I was born there, I’ll always be able to get in, but you might not have such an easy time.

But for some Americans, Canada’s more liberal social and economic policies, including cradle-to-grave health care from the government, remain deeply appealing. So, too, is the draw of a country with spectacular landscapes and, in some places, more affordable real estate.

“We had no physician for three years,” said Elisabeth Burrow, an American who moved back and forth between the United States and Canada for her education and career, and now runs a food company in Fergus, Ontario, about 90 minutes from Toronto. Like Ms. Brogdon, she and her husband used their hospital’s emergency room or traveled to Toronto for care. “The Canadian system isn’t 100 percent foolproof,” she said. “There are waiting lines for some procedures, but they’re trying to address it.”

Born in New Haven, where her father was a professor of medicine at Yale, and educated after high school in the United States, Ms. Burrow now lives on a 97-acre farm, producing and selling pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts. “I can’t see moving from here,” she said. “It’s safe. I don’t lock my door. Canadians are very gracious. They say their please and thank-yous. They’re more than willing to help you.”

Ms. Burrow also highly values Canada’s less divided political culture. “I couldn’t go back to the U.S. now. I just couldn’t,” she said.

(click here to continue reading The Trade-Offs of Relocating North to Canada – NYTimes.com.)

The Myth of Trust
The Myth of Trust

So if Rick Santorum, or worse, becomes president in 2016, what will you have to do to move to Canada? Start planning now, or at least when primary season begins…

Americans who are not yet Canadian residents but hope to retire there should start planning at least two to four years in advance, allowing enough time to meet federal and provincial requirements, said David Aujla, an immigration lawyer in Victoria, British Columbia. Since 2008, the Progressive Conservative party has changed the way potential immigrants are selected, restricting the list of eligible skilled occupations to only about 30; previously most professional, technical and management occupations were acceptable, Mr. Aujla said.

Potential residents can get health coverage within three months of obtaining a work permit or permanent status. They do not have to be citizens to receive it.

To obtain a work permit, Mr. Aujla advises his older clients to attend a Canadian college or university on a student visa and obtain a degree, after which they will be given a three-year permit.

It is also possible for Americans to obtain work permits in 60 professional job categories found in the North American Free Trade Agreement. This avenue gives expedited and easy entry for those potential immigrants who have a signed employment agreement with a Canadian employer. “If you are highly skilled, age doesn’t matter at all,” said Mr. Aujla, “but it’s middle management that the government is very tough in screening.”

Alternatively, if you can prove that you have a viable business, you can apply to the government of whichever province you’ve chosen to live in. If your application is approved, it then goes to the federal government, an interview process that takes about two years, Mr. Aujla said. “There’s no age limit for business owners.”

The third category under which immigration is possible is “self-employed,” reserved for farmers, athletes and artists. “The key is to show you’ve been viable and can produce income,” which can be as low as $40,000 to $60,000 a year, Mr. Aujla said. But applicants must also prove, according to the requirements of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the country’s immigration department, that they intend to make “a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.” Someone hoping to teach piano in Toronto, the country’s largest city, might have less success winning government approval than someone willing to move to a small town in British Columbia, for example.

The 60 professional job categories are listed here http://canada.usembassy.gov/visas/doing-business-in-america/professions-covered-by-nafta.html by the way.

 They Can't Deport Us All

They Can’t Deport Us All

Written by Seth Anderson

May 15th, 2014 at 9:34 am

Posted in government

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No Borders No Nations was uploaded to Flickr

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May Day Demonstration, Haymarket, West Loop.

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/nb3rHD

I took No Borders No Nations on May 01, 2014 at 03:37PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on May 01, 2014 at 09:19PM

California Farmers Short of Labor, and Patience

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We Are workers not criminals
We Are workers not criminals

Another big fault line in the Republican Party: the Tea Party wing is rabidly anti-immigration, and they seem to be setting policy. The Agribusiness wing just wants to harvest their crops like they always have, with sketchily documented migrant workers.

California is home to an estimated 2.5 million illegal immigrants, more than in any other state. Perhaps nowhere else captures the contradictions and complications of immigration policy better than California’s Central Valley, where nearly all farmworkers are immigrants, roughly half of them living here illegally, according to estimates from agricultural economists at the University of California, Davis.

 That reality is shaping the views of agriculture business owners here, like Mr. Herrin, who cannot recall ever voting for a Democrat. In dozens of interviews, farmers and owners of related businesses said that even the current system of tacitly using illegal labor was failing to sustain them. A work force that arrived in the 1990s is aging out of heavy labor, Americans do not want the jobs, and tightened security at the border is discouraging new immigrants from arriving, they say, leaving them to struggle amid the paralysis on immigration policy. No other region may be as eager to keep immigration legislation alive.

The tension is so high that the powerful Western Growers Association, a group based in Irvine, Calif., that represents hundreds of farmers in California and Arizona, says many of its members may withhold contributions from Republicans in congressional races because of the party’s stance against a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

“We’ve had secure borders with Mexico for the last decade; we don’t have that argument at this point,” Mr. Nassif said. “Now we want people to see the real damage of not doing anything, which is a declining work force, and it means losing production to foreign countries.”

After the 2012 presidential election, as Republicans spoke enthusiastically about the need to court Latinos, Mr. Nassif was optimistic that immigration would become a top priority. But exasperation has replaced his confidence in recent months, and he said his group could withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars in congressional races in which it has usually supported Republicans.

“I can tell you if the Republicans don’t put something forward on immigration, there is going to be a very loud hue and cry from us in agriculture,” Mr. Nassif said. “We are a tremendously important part of the party, and they should not want to lose us.”

(click here to continue reading California Farmers Short of Labor, and Patience – NYTimes.com.)

Of course, if the Agribusiness wing of the GOP paid higher wages, they might be able to get some Americans to work picking crops, maybe. It is back-breaking labor, much harder than flipping burgers at the local fast food joint. And if farmers had to pay a living wage, produce would suddenly skyrocket in price, more than limes I’m guessing. Doesn’t matter anyway, the Steve “Cantaloupe” Kings of the party are opposed to any immigrant being let in.

Written by Seth Anderson

March 31st, 2014 at 8:25 am

Document Me was uploaded to Flickr

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artist(s) unknown.

Alleyway off of 18th St., Pilsen, Chicago

embiggen by clicking
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I took Document Me on June 23, 2013 at 06:39PM

Written by eggplant

December 30th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Wheat Reaping Threatened by Visa Cap

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Wheat
Wheat

Another reason for immigration reform: costs of commodities like wheat are going to be significantly higher if there aren’t enough workers come harvest time. You’d think the rural GOP from mid-America places like Iowa would be cognizant of this problem, instead of letting racists like Steve “Cantaloupe” King dictate immigration policy.

Alan Bjerga of Bloomberg reports:

Great Plains wheat-cutting teams, once filled by U.S. farm kids, now rely on foreigners for about one-third of the workers who cut grain sold to Cargill Inc. and others, according to trade group U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc. The highly skilled itinerant workers, a little-noted component of the immigration overhaul struggling through Congress this year, have become essential to the nation’s $17.9 billion wheat crop. “Wheat has a relatively short window to be harvested, so you need to have enough people available at the right time,” said Terry Kastens, a retired economics professor at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, who surveys combine operators.

Proposals in both houses of Congress to impose a cap on the number of work visas available to agricultural laborers may leave harvesters out of luck if the quota is already filled before they arrive for the season that begins in May. Rural Economies Costs would go up without the harvesters, harming rural economies, Kastens said.

One cutting crew will serve dozens of farms, helping to keep smaller operations in business by saving capital costs for farmers who then don’t need to buy their own combines, he said.

Afrikaners — South Africans of mostly European ancestry — have a special advantage because the U.S. summer months coincide with their winter, meaning they can harvest at home and then hit the road. And they speak English. They bunk with crewmates in a mobile trailer and earn a little more than $20 an hour, hauling combines that can cost $350,000 in semi-tractor trailers across the Plains with stops in dozens of fields.

(click here to continue reading Afrikaners Reaping Colorado Wheat Threatened by Visa Cap – Bloomberg.)

The Sky Is Folding Under You
The Sky Is Folding Under You

Written by Seth Anderson

August 6th, 2013 at 8:42 am

Posted in Business,politics

Tagged with , ,

Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform

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Continuous Video Recording in Progress

Continuous Recording in Progress 

This does not make me warm and fuzzy…

The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (PDF) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.

This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.

 

(click here to continue reading Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform | Threat Level | Wired.com.)

I imagine that if people hear of this proposed plan, there will be bipartisan, vehement objection to it. 

Written by Seth Anderson

May 11th, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Alabama Crops Rotting in the field

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Indian Cucumber
Indian Cucumber

Oh, Alabama. Didn’t you learn anything from the Arizona fiasco?

Alabama’s new anti-immigrant law, the nation’s harshest, went into effect last month (a few provisions have been temporarily blocked in federal court), and it is already reaping a bitter harvest of dislocation and fear. Hispanic homes are emptying, businesses are closing, employers are wondering where their workers have gone. Parents who have not yet figured out where to go are lying low and keeping children home from school.

To the law’s architects and supporters, this is excellent news. “You’re encouraging people to comply with the law on their own,” said Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, who has a side career of drafting extremist immigration legislation for states and cities, notoriously in Arizona and now in Alabama.

Alabama’s law is the biggest test yet for “attrition through enforcement,” a strategy espoused by Mr. Kobach and others to drive away large numbers of illegal immigrants without the hassle and expense of a police-state roundup. All you have to do, they say, is make life hard enough and immigrants will leave on their own. In such a scheme, panic and fear are a plus; suffering is the point.

…The problems do not stop there. Farmers are already worrying that with the exodus, crops will go unpicked. Like much of the rest of the country, Alabama needs immigrant labor, because too many native-born citizens lack the skill, the stamina and the willingness to work in the fields — even in a time of steep unemployment.

(click here to continue reading It’s What They Asked For – NYTimes.com.)

Tomato Mountain Organic
Tomato Mountain Organic

Surprising to nobody who has ever lived on a farm1 or who reads this blog- Alabama agricultural businesses are having extreme difficulty finding people to pick crops once their intolerant anti-immigration bill passed, and farm laborers fled the state.

ONEONTA, Alabama (AP) — Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama’s tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans. It hasn’t worked out: They show up late, work slower than seasoned farm hands and are ready to call it a day after lunch or by midafternoon. Some quit after a single day.In Alabama and other parts of the U.S., farmers must look beyond the nation’s borders for labor because many Americans simply don’t want the backbreaking, low-paying jobs immigrants are willing to take. Politicians who support the law say over time more unemployed Americans will fill these jobs2

Tomato farmer Wayne Smith said he has never been able to keep a staff of American workers in his 25 years of farming. “People in Alabama are not going to do this,” said Smith, who grows about 75 acres (30 hectares) of tomatoes in the northeast part of the state. “They’d work one day and then just wouldn’t show up again.” At his farm, field workers get $2 for every 25-pound (11.3-kilogram) box of tomatoes they fill. Skilled pickers can make anywhere from $200 to $300 a day, he said. Unskilled workers make much less. A crew of four Hispanics can earn about $150 each by picking 250-300 boxes of tomatoes in a day, said Jerry Spencer, of Grow Alabama, which purchases and sells locally owned produce.

A crew of 25 Americans recently picked 200 boxes — giving them each $24 for the day. It may make sense for some to stay at home. Unemployment benefits provide up to $265 a week while a minimum wage job, at $7.25 an hour for 40 hours, brings in $290. Spencer said the Americans he has linked up with farmers are not physically fit and do not work fast enough. “It’s the harshest work you can imagine doing,” Spencer said.

(click here to continue reading The Associated Press: Few Americans take immigrants’ jobs in US state.)

Let’s see, bust your ass, break your back, squatting in the hot sun and make $24 a day, or maybe more if you persevere a year or two, long enough to become skilled; or make $290 a week in an air-conditioned minimum wage job, making copies at Kinkos. Hmm, not much of a choice.

The only way banning illegal immigrants from farm labor will ever work is if either food costs to consumers jumps astronomically higher, or if minimum wage gets overturned by government fiat. I sincerely doubt the Republicans would be bold enough to eliminate minimum wage, even though they mention it every once and a while. And would you pay $17 for a single tomato? Probably not. So what’s the solution, besides allowing borders to open up? NAFTA, I guess, and more shipping of American jobs to places where $25 a day without benefits is adequate for a worker to survive.

Great plan you’ve come up with, immigrant haters in the GOP.

Footnotes:
  1. yes, I lived on a farm, but I don’t now, thanks god []
  2. despite any evidence []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 20th, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Farmers Oppose GOP Bill on Immigration

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Lets Make a Deal
Lets Make a Deal

Hmm, another crack in the GOP coalition? I don’t think Wall Street is very happy with the Tea Baggers right now, and now agribusiness is concerned too? Hmm, the election of 2012 will be interesting, won’t it?

Farmers across the country are rallying to fight a Republican-sponsored bill that would force them and all other employers to verify the legal immigration status of their workers, a move some say could imperil not only future harvests but also the agricultural community’s traditional support for conservative candidates. Blogs

The bill was proposed by Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. It would require farmers — who have long relied on a labor force of immigrants, a majority here without legal documents — to check all new hires through E-Verify, a federal database run by the Department of Homeland Security devised to ferret out illegal immigrants.

Farm laborers, required like other workers to show that they are authorized to take jobs in the United States, often present Social Security numbers and some form of picture ID. Employers, many of them labor contractors providing crews to farms, have not been required to check the information and are discouraged by antidiscrimination laws from looking at it too closely. But it is an open secret that many farmworkers’ documents are false.

“Most of our folks are Republicans,” said Paul Wenger, the president of the California Farm Bureau. “But if the Republicans do this to them without a workable worker program, it will change their voting patterns or at very least their involvement in politics.”

(click here to continue reading Farmers Oppose G.O.P. Bill on Immigration – NYTimes.com.)

Purple and White Onions

Purple and White Onions

and we’ve mentioned how difficult it is to find Americans willing to crouch in the dirt for 12 hours a day, agriculture work is not for the soft of belly and back:

…But farmers and their advocates scoff at that notion, saying that regardless of high unemployment, few American workers are willing to sign up for what are often hard, hot and long hours in the fields.

“People just don’t want to do farm work,” Mr. Wenger said. “They don’t want to pick berries. They don’t want to pick lettuce. And the pay is just as good as working at the hamburger shop or making up hotel rooms, but they just don’t want to do the work.”

Mike Carlton, director of labor relations for the Florida Fruit and Vegetables Association, agreed. He said his group monitored hiring by citrus growers, who are required to offer jobs to Americans before they can turn to the H-2A program for temporary foreign laborers.

In one sample, Mr. Carlton said, 344 Americans came forward to fill 1,800 pickers’ jobs; only eight were still working at the end of the two-month season.
Mr. Carlton said Florida growers had flocked to Washington, telling lawmakers they had glimpsed the possible impact of Mr. Smith’s proposal after a verification mandate narrowly failed in the Florida Legislature this spring. “Just the prospect of it, and some of our workers left the state,” Mr. Carlton said.

Labor shortages were also reported by Georgia growers, said Charles Hall, the executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, after lawmakers there imposed a state mandate to use E-Verify this spring.

Some of the most forceful feedback has come from Mr. Smith’s home state, where farmers have the backing of the larger Texas Business Association. The group used its clout recently to kill an immigration crackdown law in the State Legislature, even though it was supported by Gov. Rick Perry, a possible Republican presidential contender.

Written by Seth Anderson

July 31st, 2011 at 8:41 am