54 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-4-17

  1. Maybe people are wearing themselves out? I think even the anti-trump FB postings yesterday seemed to be waning.

    I spotted a handful of demonstrators on a corner in my town last night with signs reading “We are all immigrants. It was raining but they were determined.

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  2. Since Ricky’s playing golf….a short story

    This week, I had a small discussion group on the novel, The Giver, a dystopian novel where everything is regulated including memories. In trying to have them relate to deeper themes (an approach some grade 7s are cognitively able while others are not), I asked them if they could relate the novel to any world event or country. I’ve asked this question for over a decade, usually the answer is China (regulated child birth) or North Korea, but this year a girl said, “America” and an other girl quickly agreed. I expressed mild surprised and asked why the US and not China. They felt Trump was trying to control everything to make the US better in Trump’s opinion. They cited the ban on the seven countries including people who already had their green card.

    The two girls who were most vehement were of Somali and of Jamaican background but the Iraqi girl also agreed. Now the Somali and Iraqi girl both have relatives in the US and can’t visit them nor can their relatives come here (and risk of not getting home). When twelve year olds perceive America heading into a dystopian totalitarian, its time to worry.

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  3. HRW, How are the Somali and Iraqi refugees doing in Canada? I don’t know any Samalis, but I do know several Iraqis who are prospering in North Texas.

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  4. Ricky, it all depends on the individuals. I had a Somali refugee as a classmate when I went through my college nursing program. A devout Muslim, she took a liking to me, knowing I was a Christian, and called me sister. I know of another such refugee whose mind was shattered – that is all I can say, due to confidentiality. There has been some difficulty in Toronto with gangs of predominantly Somalian background; however, even there, it isn’t as if the problem is uncontrollable – Toronto has 2.6 million people to Chicago’s 2.7 million, the respective murder rates for 2016, 69:765 (and last year was unusually high for Toronto). I have met with several Iraqi refugees who seem to be doing well. I have watched with interest the progress of a refugee family from another Muslim country. The parents were both educated professionals in their country. They obtained citizenship here and now he is slowly trying to move forward with his re-education, supporting his family by driving a taxi when he isn’t in school. What the children will do remains a question, but I am everyday surrounded on the bus and on campus by young people from every part of the world, among them many Muslims. Some speak English in accents, some mix English liberally with their mother tongue as they chatter to friends, many speak with a perfect Canadian accent, and use “like” to the same exasperating extent as any other young millennial. The university recently held elections for student president – only one of the candidates running was of European descent.

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  5. It would not surprise me if recent and future changes in the US provide a real opportunity for Canada, economically, culturally, and spiritually.

    I could see high tech companies on the US West Coast moving to or expanding their operations in British Columbia and other Canadian provinces.

    If the US does curtail the H1B program, Canada will have a better chance to attract more of the brightest immigrants, particularly from South Asia.

    It seems that a high percentage of our immigrants from Southeast Asia and Africa are Christians; from South Asia not so much.

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  6. roscuro is right.

    Canada (and to a certain extent the US) are blessed with geography enabling them to screen refugees and immigrants. Most Iraqi (and other Arab) immigrants are middle class professionals or in business.

    Its more difficult to assess Somali immigration success as they arrive with varying experience — from pre-literate nomadic clans to cosmopolitan urban families from Nairobi. Many are born in Kenya (either in refugee camps or Nairobi), or Mogadishu area or Somaliland in the north. Its a difficult adjustment to arrive from a tribal society to a modern western liberal country. My Somali friends are born in Nairobi and are quite secular and middle class. Some of my Somali students claim they’re all “cousins” meaning they come from the same tribe (in Somaliland) and from what I know most of have done well after elementary school. Sometimes this type of group cohesion is helpful in the first generation immigrant experience but makes it more difficult for the second generation.

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  7. HRW, You poked holes in some of Murray’s correlations, but I have to make one of my own: Among our women, either tattoos lead to illegitimate children or illegitimate children lead to tattoos. My observations show a very strong connection. I’m just not sure which one leads to the other.

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  8. There was a story of an Iranian-Canadian who was executive at Google. Currently she’s about five months pregnant. Her mother lives in Vancouver and wanted to be in Seattle for the birth and to help out for the first few months. This is now doubtful. Google has stated they needed an open immigration policy to attract the professionals they need. One solution could be to set up an alternative office in Vancouver (or in southwestern Ontario or Ottawa where the hi-tech infrastructure is already set up). When many of the decision makers in hi-ech companies are form various countries — a global workplace is thought to be the only type of workplace. Canada, then, would be a natural place to set up business if California and Seattle are prevented from attracting the brightest and the best.

    The Iranian ban is interesting. Iranian-US relations are of course rather difficult — mostly due to history and Iranian policy in Isreal, Lebanon, Yemen, and Bahrain. However, Iranians are very nationalistic and proud of their ancient history/culture and thus to leave or immigrate means you have a severe dislike for the Iranian gov’t and the mullahs. Iranians are mostly secular and well educated. The mullahs and gov’t may involve themselves in Islamic-Arab groups in the Middle East but Iranians don’t involve themselves. They make excellent immigrants and fairly moderate in their religious adherence.

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  9. HRW and Roscuro, Our Mexican immigrants experience that same tension as it relates to group cohesion.

    Many of the Indians and the Bengalis have the following interesting family issue: The father (backed by the mother) usually tells each of the children how much to study, where they will go to school and what will be their profession. This generally results in good academic performance but frustration for the child who didn’t want to be a lawyer, an engineer, etc.

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  10. Ricky — tattoos are now mainstream, get with the times. Our grade two teacher has a whole arm done — all the single moms from the projects like him. Then again maybe you have a point.

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  11. Don’t remember where I read this, but I read that the violent protesters (or at least most of them) at Berkeley were people from outside the campus coming in to make a ruckus. I hope that is true.

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  12. I thought the election of Trump would lead to a leadership vacuum into which China would leap and Germany would reluctantly step.

    We are very early but that leadership vacuum is already obvious. China is being cautious while Trump directs his wrath at Australia, Mexico and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most of the other nations seem to have the same goals:

    1. Slowly but steadily reduce their reliance on the US as a trade partner and as a military ally.

    2. Make other security arrangements and replace the US as a trading partner with more rational nations.

    3. Evaluate if Trump is an anomaly or if he represents the future of America’s economic and military policies.

    4. Be prepared to intervene quickly in concert with as many other nations as possible to prevent a war or depression in the event of a Trumpian meltdown.

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  13. Steven Adams, the Thunder’s center also has “an arm sleeve”. However, he is both a NBA player and a Pacific Islander, two of the most tattooed groups on earth.

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  14. Its tough making a generalization about immigrant groups but those immigrants who care about education really really do. And they will pressure their kids toward medicine or engineering.

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  15. Your comments are a little overconfident but the EU, Canada, China etc reevaluating things and looking to diversify their trade. Rusdia is also reevaluating things but thats a different story.

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  16. A former Facebook friend (who does happen to be a single mom) has a tattoo sleeve. One photo she shared was showing off a gorgeous bracelet, but it look so incongruous against that sleeve.

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  17. For the first time in my lifetime, I am living right in the middle of thousands of immigrants from all over the globe. They are really like little kids in a candy store. Our public education is very good, the cost of living is low and the economic opportunities are enormous for someone who will willing to work hard and/or develop a skill. The parents are working hard, but they see how much easier it would be for the kids if they could go into one of those highly compensated fields.

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  18. Ricky, I was recently speaking to a mother of a family from South-Central Asia, whose eldest is about to complete high school. She did not like the idea of him moving to a different city for his higher education, although they clearly expect him to get a degree.
    As for the extent of who is Christian and Muslim, not all those who come from Christian sections of Africa or South East Asia are at all orthodox in their theology (I’ve heard students of Korean descent talk of their cultural Christianity with all the Western style skepticism), and there are a good amount of Christians from predominantly Islamic countries. I have mentioned serving as a waitress in a resort centre, an Arabic Baptist group, which was quite large. My father used to work with a Coptic from Egypt. I heard one of the South Asian surgeons I worked with during training say in casual conversation that he read his Bible to relax. I have recently met Christian refugees from Syria and Iranian Christians.
    I think that any society that opens its doors to the broken and needy will benefit. Certainly, the Vietnamese boat people have been good for Canada. Canada has its problems, and in some areas is displaying cognitive dissonance (assisted dying while campaigning for disability rights and prevention of senior abuse; carbon tax while trying to raise the minimum wage and income; encouraging overseas companies to develop our natural resources while also trying to restore First Nations land claims). However, I gain some encouragement when I see widespread concern for those under threat of death. I think there is Biblical reason to think that care for the poor and needy is within the interests of a nation. It is often rightly said in such discussions that (name country) is not Old Testament Israel, and therefore many of the promises made to that nation do not apply. However, Sodom wasn’t Israel either, it was a Canaanite city-state. Much has been made about the reason for Sodom’s demise. However, there is more to the story than the account in Genesis. God makes this observation on the sin of Sodom in Ezekiel 16:49-50:

    Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. {ESV]

    There is reason for Christians to think that God watches and takes note of how nations treat those who need help. It is an act of humility to reach out to those who are potentially unprofitable to a nation’s economy and potentially damaging to a nation’s culture; to say, “We are no better than they, and they could be us.” One of my prayers for my nation as we went through our most recent federal election was that Canada might be used for a blessing for those who were weak and vulnerable. I am concerned that we are missing that target in some areas, but I felt that the admission of the Syrian refugees was part of the answer to that prayer (and I didn’t vote for the current Prime Minister).

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  19. That is a good prayer, Roscuro. I agree that God often blesses those countries which are a blessing to others, particularly those in need.

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  20. Trump will now be called “The So-Called President”. He picked the name for himself.

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  21. Apparently Jeff Sessions and Trump’s other lawyers don’t return his calls on the weekends.

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  22. It seems that Chuck & Friends only care about security when they’re in charge.

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  23. This is more than likely illegal, and probably criminal. But it’s exactly the kind of example that Obama and Clinton provided for their underlings.

    If it’s not treason, it’s right up against it.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2017/02/03/federal-workers-using-encrypted-apps-to-organize-dissent-against-new-administration/

    “The weepy bureaucrats at the EPA have rallied and are now setting up their own resistance communication network within the agency. Politico reports:

    At the EPA, a small group of career employees — numbering less than a dozen so far — are using an encrypted messaging app to discuss what to do if Trump’s political appointees undermine their agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment, flout the law, or delete valuable scientific data that the agency has been collecting for years, sources told POLITICO.

    Fearing for their jobs, the employees began communicating incognito using the app Signal shortly after Trump’s inauguration. Signal, like WhatsApp and other mobile phone software, encrypts all communications, making it more difficult for hackers to gain access to them.”

    This underground resistance effort is also said to be communicating with “former Obama administration political appointees” on their plans. So you can probably expect lots of leaked exclusives about the EPA at the New York Times and the Washington Post, none of which will mention that the former President’s people are passing them the information. In fact, these people are so proud of themselves that they are already leaking their existence to the media before they’ve even done anything.”

    Imagine for a moment that Hillary Clinton had won the election and a group of partisans at Customs and Border Patrol decided to start an encrypted network to stay in contact with former Trump campaign staffers. I have little doubt this would be considered extreme and dangerous. The word “sedition” would likely appear in print somewhere. If there was any question about cutting the EPA’s budget before, there won’t be now”.
    ——————————

    Here’s the Politico link.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/federal-workers-signal-app-234510

    “Federal employees worried that President Donald Trump will gut their agencies are creating new email addresses, signing up for encrypted messaging apps and looking for other, protected ways to push back against the new administration’s agenda.

    Whether inside the Environmental Protection Agency, within the Foreign Service, on the edges of the Labor Department or beyond, employees are using new technology as well as more old-fashioned approaches — such as private face-to-face meetings — to organize letters, talk strategy, or contact media outlets and other groups to express their dissent.”

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  24. The hits to the media’s credibility, they just keep on comin’….

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/04/errors-from-the-press-are-piling-up-in-the-opening-weeks-of-the-trump-administration/

    “Journalists can’t seem to get their stories straight in the opening weeks of the Trump administration, whether in tweets or in articles where falsehoods have been spread almost daily.

    The mistakes have not just been from newer liberal news outlets such The Huffington Post or BuzzFeed, but from legacy media like Reuters, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

    What follows are several botched stories or conflicting reports since President Trump took office.”
    ————————-

    It’s almost like they’re intentionally doing it.

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  25. ts only treason if the nation is Trump and Trump is the nation but Trump is not Louis XIV. Its insubordination and employees should be disciplined according to their contract, the labour code or union contract. I’m sure you felt the same way when employees were reluctant to follow Obama’s directives.

    No conspiracy among the press just the nature of modern competition. In the rush to be the first, the press and especially cable often go to “print” before all the facts are in. I’m sure they didn’t intentionally do it when they reinforced the Trump admin’s terrorism narrative and cite a Moroccan yelling Allah Akbar as opposed to a French Canadian white supremacist or cite an attack on the Louvre (the museum) as opposed to an attack in the Louvre (a suburban shopping mall). In either case the Trump admin should wait for the dust to settle and corrections to be made before Spicer goes to the press and proclaims a mosque attack to be a reason why they should reinforce their borders (against French Canadians??)

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  26. HRW,

    Here in the US govt workers aren’t permitted to engage in partisan activities of a political nature while on official time, which is clearly happening here.

    Also, they and the former occupant of the office’s flunkies are conspiring to undermine the president and his authority, as well as acting against the best interests of the US.

    These are criminal activities, violate FEC rules, and rules to provide transparency in govt.

    They are attempting to operate a shadow govt, out of the public eye and record keeping systems. Here in America, we have standards and laws against this.

    When Sessions is approved this week, there’ll be a new sheriff in town. I hope his and Trump’s response to this is most harsh.

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  27. The truth about what federal workers in Washington do and don’t do at work can be quite shocking. Thirty five years ago you needed 4 people in a carpool to use the express lane. My wife was in such a carpool (she worked for a private firm but the other 5 were federal employees). Yes, they had to have 6 people because generally at least one and sometimes two of the federal employees didn’t come to work on any given day. Two of the ladies in the carpool worked together in a small room on some federal program that Reagan eliminated. The ladies then just came to work (as often as the average federal employee), turned out the lights, and slept all day. After about 8 months, a supervisor figured out what was going on during one of the days when the supervisor showed up for work. Another of the 6 ran a successful Amway business out of his federal office, primarily by exploiting his co-workers/subordinates.

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  28. AJ, Our mayor and his staff are illegally using encrypted apps here in Chattanooga too. They’re trying to further coverup details of affairs he’s been having with the gals he’s surrounded himself with in office. In addition, it seems he had been picked to be in Hillary’s administration, and was going to be a future governor for TN. (Who knew?!) They had big plans for him. All that’s up in smoke now. He’ll be lucky to be re-elected mayor. Husbands are ticked. So are the voters.

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  29. Linda Sarsour

    @lsarsour

    Don’t judge me by tweets taken out of context or something stupid I said 6 years ago, judge me by my CLEAR civil & human rights track record
    9:56 PM – 4 Feb 2017

    Who is Linda Sarsour? She is the co-founder of The Women’s March on Washington.

    Does that mean that Jeff Sessions, Justice Neil Gorsuch’s high school yearbook, or the robe Sen. Ted Cruz wore in college, or everything Donald Trump and Mitt Romney ever said over the course of their entire lives shouldn’t be used against them… or does the Sarsour Rule apply only to feminists?.

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  30. One of my friends worked at a large hotel. It was well known that the Room Service Manager was a pimp and a drug pusher. The Room Service job was just a front. He let the waiters do their own thing while he sold drugs and women to hotel guests. Eventually a new hotel manager fired the pimp/pusher/manager who immediately got the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to bring a lawsuit against the hotel claiming he was fired because he was black. A few months later, the man and the EEOC had dropped the suit and the pimp/pusher/manager was now employed by the EEOC. You can draw your own conclusions about what he was actually doing.

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  31. Tychicus, Much to the disappointment of Debra and myself, Donald Trump has not Tweeted anything in the last 18 hours. Under the new rule, perhaps all of his Tweets are now beyond the statute of limitations.

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  32. Ricky @1:53, sad to say, I’m not surprised. There does need to be a thorough housecleaning. My husband worked for state government for a few years. In his department there were 4 people who were called the ‘untouchables’. They had been fired a few years before, and sued for their jobs and were reinstated. They literally could not be fired for anything, as long as they showed up for work. He said they sat with feet on the desks drinking coffee and reading the news. All day, every day, the whole time he worked there. He was only there 2 or 3 years before he went back to self-employment. It ‘s saner.

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  33. I know and have known some exceedingly high quality government workers. Unfortunately, the system has a way of creating dark corners where sluggards (and worse) can hide and even be protected. Corruption is a big problem.

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  34. Kizzie, part of the problem with cutting the size of government is due to Unionization. It’s not a popular thing to say in CT—and I’m in TN now so I can say it :–) but government workers should not be unionized. It’s a conflict of interest.

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  35. And I should add, that I do not oppose unions in general. Unions have performed a very valuable function in the US. But unionizing people who really should be thinking of themselves as public servants is counterproductive. That may be part of the problem with police departments and teachers as well–however, those unions are so well-entrenched I doubt it would be possible to get them out.

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  36. Debra, It has been 19 hours. I think the “so-called judge” crack caught the attention of Ivanka and Jared. I am afraid that they have cancelled his Twitter app and he can’t get it reopened.

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  37. Hurrah! One of the grand-kids has helped the Tweeter-in-Chief get his app back.

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  38. Ha. But I need no encouragement to blame the court system. Of all our government players, I think the court system gets a relatively free pass—well until SCOTUS makes an unusually ridiculous spectacle for us to gape at. Fortunately that doesn’t happen every day.

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  39. I agree, Debra. Federal district judges do a lot of damage that doesn’t even make the news. A great deal of the destruction of the urban public schools was done by federal district judges.

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  40. The Twitterworld says he is building up to a massive retaliatory Tweet against SNL in response to their twin attacks on Trump and Spicer last night. They had some chubby woman play Spicer and it was pretty good.

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  41. Ricky – That “chubby woman” is Melissa McCarthy, currently one of the highest paid actresses. (Although, I suspect you may know that already.) She used to be heavier, but has lost about 75 lbs. over the last few years.

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  42. Aj – I realized all of what you said but those are rules of employment and thus the employees are being insubordinate. Its only treason or criminal if you are a hyper nationalist.

    I never understood the reasoning behind not allowing civil servants to unionize. Unions allow employees to counteract the power of the employer so contracts can negotiated with less of a power in balance. This would be true of both public and private sectors. I fail to see how the public sector is special in that regard.

    Workplace tales of laziness or employee manipulation happen in both public and private sectors. The public sector is no more rife with laziness as the private and nor does the private have more initiative and hard work. In my personal experience, the public sector jobs I’ve had were full of far more hard working and committed employees than the private sector. Very few teachers or other public servants I’ve met are lazy or uncommitted whereas my experience in factory work, construction, service and farm work taught me plenty about work avoidance, workplace theft, etc

    Trump needs to stop whining. Perhaps he needs a safe place — is that why he retreats to twitter? More that, he needs to respect the other branches of gov’t before they impeach him. “So-called judge” is a real judge appointed by Bush jr. Some leftist have now adopted his phrase and are calling him the “so-called president”

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  43. Kizzie, I have never seen this Melissa McCarthy person portray a woman. However, if she can play women as well as she played Sean Spicer, she must be a fine actress. I guess when they make a movie about Bruce Jenner, they should give her consideration for the lead role.

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  44. HRW, In the private sector (at least in Texas), you can fire private sector workers if they are bums or criminals or just don’t or can’t do their jobs. Firing a public sector employee is about as difficult as it was to find a sane, decent presidential candidate to vote for in the 2016 general election. Both bad public and private sector employees understand this and act accordingly.

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