34 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-6-17

  1. HuffPo gets it right, for a change…… and they agree with Trump. 🙂

    And oddly enough the comments are full of people, many from the tech industry, who also agree with Trump.


    “On the heels on its controversial immigration ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries, the Trump administration has drafted a new executive order that could actually mean higher wages for both foreign workers and Americans working in Silicon Valley. The Silicon Valley companies, of course, will not be happy if it goes into effect.

    The order aims to overhaul and limit work visas, notably the H-1B visa program. Tech companies rely on these to bring in foreign talent. Their lobbyists claim there is a “talent shortage” among Americans and thus that the industry needs more of such work visas. This is patently false. The truth is that they want an expansion of the H-1B work visa program because they want to hire cheap, immobile labor — i.e., foreign workers.

    To see how this works, note that most Silicon Valley firms sponsor their H-1B workers, who hold a temporary visa, for U.S. permanent residency (green card) under the employment-based program in immigration law. EB sponsorship renders the workers de facto indentured servants; though they have the right to move to another employer, they do not dare do so, as it would mean starting the lengthy green card process all over again.

    This immobility is of huge value to many employers, as it means that a foreign worker can’t leave them in the lurch in the midst of an urgent project. In a 2012 meeting between Google and several researchers, including myself, the firm explained the advantage of hiring foreign workers: the company can’t prevent the departure of Americans, but the foreign workers are stuck. David Swaim, an immigration lawyer who designed Texas Instruments’ immigration policy and is now in private practice, overtly urges employers to hire foreign students instead of Americans.

    This stranglehold on foreign workers enables firms to pay low wages. Academics with industry funding claim otherwise, but one can see how it makes basic economic sense: If a worker is not a free agent in the labor market, she cannot swing the best salary deal. And while the industry’s clout gives it bipartisan congressional support concerning H-1B and green card policy, Congress’s own commissioned report found that H-1B workers “received lower wages, less senior job titles, smaller signing bonuses and smaller pay and compensation increases than would be typical for the work they actually did.”

    “Another dirty little secret in all this is that the H-1B program is an enabler of rampant age discrimination in the tech industry. Age is actually one of the core issues in H-1B. Mind you, we are talking about age 35 as being “old” here, not 55. Almost all the H-1Bs are young, and younger is cheaper. And young H-1Bs are even cheaper than young Americans.

    Age gives employers an excuse to shun American applicants, on the grounds that a given job opening requires only three to five years of experience, rendering the Americans “overqualified.” Or the employer will load the job description with unnecessary requirements, making the Americans simultaneously under- and overqualified. That doesn’t leave much room, does it?”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The entry ban is a good thing for Trump to be focused on.

    He has a good chance to ultimately prevail in the courts, and it keeps him occupied.


  3. I have long hated all the various boycotts people try to have. How can a parent boycott Disney when every child’s party is based on a Disney character and their marketing is so good?
    What if Ivanka Trump’s clothing line is the only clothing to fit my body type and I like them? Now your protest against Nordstrom has caused me not to be able to get clothing I feel good in.
    The last time I think a boycott actually did any good was the Montgomery Bus Boycott for Civil Rights.
    Uber has done something to cause all of my ultra-liberal, open minded, some gay friends to delete their app from their phones and now use Lyft.
    Yesterday my most dramatic, liberal, open minded friend posted a photo of himself on FB with the caption: “When your 5 am Lyft driver to LAX is a Trump supporter”. I laughed and laughed and laughed. You just can’t boycott everything in life. Not everyone, even in LaLa Land is going to agree with you.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Conservative minds think alike. There was an interesting discussion on Twitter over the weekend among conservative writers about who is now “The Leader of the Free World”. The Prime Minister of New Zealand “won”. Yes, we have a vacuum.


  5. A little more on the irritations of Silicon Valley’s preference for foreign workers. When engineers and computer brains graduating from Cal, Stanford and Santa Clara can’t find jobs in the industry. What unskilled enough labor are they talking about?

    I know far too many skilled techy kids from even lesser vaunted schools who simply can’t get work down there (nor, come to think of it, can they afford to live there).

    In this case, of course, the foreign workers have visas, but as the above article pointed out, it’s really the same issue as undocumented aliens–employers taking advantage of their status to shortchange them AND Americans workers.

    I’m glad someone has turned a spotlight on this problem.

    BTW, India is preferred by many companies these days because prices are not as high (China is pricing itself out of the market), they speak clearer English, and India historically operates under British law systems.

    For those interested, China is becoming one of the most Christian nations in the world numbers-wise and India is increasingly hostile to Christians. Draw your own conclusions.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ricky,

    For the last time….. 🙂


    “Trump won.

    The executive branch is his to run, as he sees fit, regardless of our histrionics. Either we can be patriotic in the sense that we respect the government of the United States as it exists, or we can be oppositional to the realities of political life. It’s not unpatriotic to call Trump out for his (many) faults, fumbles, and blunders. But it is unpatriotic to start from the position of “I hate Trump and therefore this government is invalid, illegitimate, and deserving of all scorn for anything it does.”

    When David French, who flirted with running just to keep Trump from office, writes that the president’s executive order on refugees is right on substance, then the same careful thought and vetting applied to his many #NeverTrump pieces, plus the fact that a Harvard-trained constitutional lawyer who served in the military in Iraq is saying it’s kosher, should be assumed. Instead, we read how anything Trump does is bad, because Trump did it.”

    “So, for the millionth and last time.

    1.#NeverTrump is dead, because the election is over.
    2.Trump won. He is president.
    3.When the president (whoever it is) does something that supports conservative values, we should support that particular thing.
    4.We do not all have to agree on every policy move, on the substance or motives, but we can agree to disagree.
    5.Those who oppose Trump simply because he’s Trump are really opposing our form of government, demanding a “do-over” because they don’t like the outcome.
    6.Being formerly #NeverTrump and now call them as we see them is not unpatriotic or somehow compromised–or Forever Trump.

    We have to continue to support the American government and our place in the world. We cannot stop loving football because the team we hate won (did we do that with Obama?). We do not have to pick a team and cheer. We can stand for policies and principles without passing some doctrinal purity test based on our opinion of one man.

    Those like New Republic who think we ought to take the ball and go home, that somehow we can win a “do-over” and force Trump to leave office are delusional.

    If people want to be delusional, that’s fine. Just stop asking us to agree with fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well Ricky, I guess you and those anti-Trump naval gazers on Twitter you mentioned are wrong. Again. Or still.


    “Rival power designs about throwing Uncle Sam out of Asia just got more difficult – or well-nigh impossible. And that crowd sloshing in the snow of ridiculously expensive Alpine resorts will have to eat its weeks-old bubbling about America’s vanishing global leadership.

    Here is what happened.

    On a visit to Tokyo and Seoul last week, the U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (a) reaffirmed security guarantees to Japan and South Korea , (b) set the stage for an integrated American, Japanese and South Korean political, economic and military alliance, (c) opened the way for President Trump to knock heads together in Tokyo and Seoul to set aside their divisive historical grievances if they wanted Washington’s umbrella and (d) told Pyongyang that our nuke operators knew the return address for a swift and devastating response if they ever saw a wrong move on their X-band radar.

    That is a major breakthrough because no previous administration succeeded in binding these three countries in such a strong and integrated alliance. Japan was repeatedly blamed for scuttling these efforts by its allegedly defiant attitude toward Korean grievances.”

    “Building on last week’s accords, Washington has an opportunity to conclude an appropriate trade arrangement with Japan and South Korea. That would cover nearly 25 percent of the global economy and would represent by far the world’s largest free-trade area.

    Such an agreement would attract other Asia-Pacific countries to permanently anchor a decisive American political, economic and security presence in that part of the world.

    Washington’s bargaining power with China would be greatly strengthened by these events in a negotiating process that is apparently already under way.”

    Meet the new leader. Same as the old leader, the US.


  8. Thank you AJ. I am surrounded by enough Trump haters on FB and in my real life. I didn’t vote for him, but he is what we’ve got. I respect the OFFICE of the Presidency just like I did when Obama was the President. I didn’t agree with everything he did but my life was no worse for his term and I sort of feel the same way about Trump.
    I told someone yesterday that I was perfectly happy in my own little bubble and didn’t want to discuss it anymore. Being nice didn’t work so I finally yelled, “Shut up!!!”

    Liked by 4 people

  9. The rest of the Free World will not accept an infantile lunatic as its leader. As HRW and I discussed over the weekend, other free nations are looking at their hole cards and weighing their options. I still favor Merkel as the LOTFW (at least in the short run) but Kevin Williamson likes the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

    It is really sort of exciting, like starting a new business. New alliances will emerge. New leaders will step forward. Everyone would like to be a fly on the wall as the leaders of free nations trade humorous stories of their own interesting conversations with Trump.


  10. Michelle, a friend and I had this discussion yesterday. If you are a woman and want to be treated as an equal and with respect in the work force I am just not really sure wearing a costume of your genitals is the right way to go about it.


  11. I like this lady. And like the link above, it shows that the supposed loss of world leadership by the US is greatly exaggerated. And so is the idea that the Trump admin can’t work with world leaders. Both links show Trump has been actively engaging and making progress.

    Courtesy of PowerLine


  12. AJ, If you listen to the British Prime Minister, what it reveals is that she is seeking to be judged based on her ability to
    1. Protect British citizens from Trump; and
    2. Prevent or delay Trump’s destruction of NATO.

    As the rest of the free world selects a new leader, there will no doubt be other such humorous moments.


  13. Now,

    About that “so-called” judge…… 🙂

    Looks more like judicial activism than sound legal analysis.


    “Jerome Woehrle at Liberty Unyielding provides a revealing look at James Robart, the federal judge who enjoined President Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting entry to the U.S. from seven highly problematic nations. Scott has observed that Judge Robart’s opinion is nearly devoid of legal analysis. Woehrle expands on this criticism:

    Judge James Robart’s order has no legal basis, and barely pretends to. [The] order against Trump sheds little light on his thinking.”

    “Woehrle continues:

    To cover up the embarrassing weakness of Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order, reporters at the Washington Post and elsewhere have trumpeted the fact that Robart was nominally appointed by President George W. Bush. They have done this to suggest that his ruling must have merit, because otherwise he would not have ruled against a President of the same party as the man who appointed him.

    But this is misleading, since Robart is a staunchly liberal judge whose appointment was effectively forced on Bush by liberal Senator Patty Murray in 2004, when Washington State had two liberal Senators.

    How did this happen? Woehrle explains:

    Robart’s appointment as a federal judge was championed by liberal Senators like Patty Murray, who used Senatorial custom allowing senators to veto Presidential appointments of trial judges to obtain the appointment of liberal trial judges like Robart in Washington State. An April 13, 2005 press release by Murray touts Robart’s appointment as the “bipartisan” result of using a state commission to select federal trial judges in Washington, whose appointment Bush then rubberstamped.

    This Senatorial veto power, known as the “blue slip,” is an old tradition, dating back to at least 1917, that lets senators have a say on which trial judges are appointed to courts in their home state.

    On the bench, Robart has lived up to Patty Murray’s expectations. He has a history of not just liberal rulings, but oddball ones. Woehrle quotes one observer who said this about the judge:

    Judge Robart. . .is the same guy who issued [a] bizarre college sexual assault ruling. . .He ruled a falsely-accused male student could not depose or obtain relevant documents from the female student who got him expelled because that would traumatize her (never mind that it was SHE who performed a sex act on him when he was blacked out, meaning that if anyone was guilty of sexual assault it was HER). Reason’s article about it can be found here.”

    Here’s Reason’s link.


    And he’s also known for once bellowing “Black Lives Matter!” in his courtroom. Combine him, with the most overturned 9th Circuit, and you have rulings just begging to be overturned. And it will be, when the SC gets around to it.


  14. AJ, The Brexit vote was like the election of Trump, except it did not actually put a lunatic in power. What it did do was greatly reduce the leadership role of Britain among free nations. This is unfortunate as I like Prime Minister May. It makes a great deal of sense for Britain to enter into a bilateral trade deal with another nation whose leader wants to repudiate major trade deals such as NAFTA and TPP. It will be interesting to see which nations are invited to participate in Global Economic Forums in 10 years.


  15. Romans 13:1-7English Standard Version (ESV)

    Submission to the Authorities
    13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Job 38 ►

    The LORD Answers Job

    Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

    “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?

    Dress for action like a man;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.

    “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.

    Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?

    On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone,

    when the morning stars sang together
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

    “Or who shut in the sea with doors
    when it burst out from the womb,

    when I made clouds its garment
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,
    and prescribed limits for it
    and set bars and doors,

    and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
    and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

    “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
    and caused the dawn to know its place,

    that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
    and the wicked be shaken out of it?

    It is changed like clay under the seal,
    and its features stand out like a garment.

    From the wicked their light is withheld,
    and their uplifted arm is broken.

    “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?

    Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
    or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?

    Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
    Declare, if you know all this.

    “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
    and where is the place of darkness,

    that you may take it to its territory
    and that you may discern the paths to its home?

    You know, for you were born then,
    and the number of your days is great!

    “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
    or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,

    which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
    for the day of battle and war?

    What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
    or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

    “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
    and a way for the thunderbolt,

    to bring rain on a land where no man is,
    on the desert in which there is no man,

    to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
    and to make the ground sprout with grass?

    “Has the rain a father,
    or who has begotten the drops of dew?

    From whose womb did the ice come forth,
    and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?

    The waters become hard like stone,
    and the face of the deep is frozen.

    “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades
    or loose the cords of Orion?

    Can you lead forth the Mazzarothb in their season,
    or can you guide the Bear with its children?

    Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
    Can you establish their rule on the earth?

    “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
    that a flood of waters may cover you?

    Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
    and say to you, ‘Here we are’?

    Who has put wisdom in the inward partsc
    or given understanding to the mind?d

    Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
    Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,

    when the dust runs into a mass
    and the clods stick fast together?

    “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
    or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

    when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in their thicket?

    Who provides for the raven its prey,
    when its young ones cry to God for help,
    and wander about for lack of food?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is where I have to ultimately go — God’s sovereignty over all, including nations and their leaders — when I begin to pull at the bit.

    If it helps …

    Liked by 3 people

  18. We can debate policy but preferably without using personal slurs even for those we intensely dislike — and, yes, I stood convicted at times during the Obama years, but I tried to always be conscious of my words and attitudes when I wanted to go “personal.”

    It helps to pray for those in authority, to try our best to see them as people made in God’s image.

    And it helps immensely to always remember that God is doing something, we just don’t know what. But God is fully trustworthy, amen?

    Back to Job. …

    Liked by 5 people

  19. We have to remember when Romans 13 was written and to whom it was written. These were people who were encouraged by some of their leaders to not pay taxes to Rome and that the only right thing to do is rebel whenever possible. Paul is pointing out that God is the creator of government and, just like in creating the family unit, it has a particular purpose. That does not mean we have to always agree or support someone who is the head of a government. Nor does it mean God approves of what that leader is doing.

    “He is God’s servant for good.” We are not required to do evil or support evil anymore than a wife is required to do evil or a child because a spouse or parent requests it. There are plenty of people doing what is right who are not receiving commendation from government authorities.

    There are other places Paul tells his followers to respect authority and pray for those in it. Even Jesus said to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s –whether respect or taxes. Yet, he did not hesitate to speak out against the temple ‘authorities’ who were doing wrong. Of course, it was his father’s house, so he had authority to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Folks, it is entirely possible to both:

    A. Submit to a President you don’t like and obey all of his orders; and

    B. Comment on the fact that we are at one of those rare moments in history (that only occurs about every 100 years) when one nations recedes from world leadership and others are lifted up.

    However, I understand that such comments may be as disturbing to some as suggestions that Americans (as opposed to Mexicans, Indians or the H1B program) may be largely responsible for their own circumstances.

    I have enjoyed visiting with you over the years.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. As Americans we are responsible for the problems we have created for ourselves…and for other nations as well. But we must fight together. We don’t have to agree all the time, but as Christians, as families, and as a nation we must stand firm, pray, hold the line and not bolt.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. “However, I understand that such comments may be as disturbing to some as suggestions that Americans (as opposed to Mexicans, Indians or the H1B program) may be largely responsible for their own circumstances.”

    I don’t necessarily disagree with that Ricky. We are largely to blame, although our opinions may differ slightly in why that is. Many have been lazy, inattentive, selfish, and neglectful of their responsibility as Americans. But I’d argue that in large part it’s because we allowed children to be taught in schools where civics, history, and such are replaced with nonsense. They don’t know any better.

    But adding external factors like illegal immigration, H1B’s, and Indians only exacerbates the problem.

    Like with many huge issues, there’s a lot of working parts.

    And so you know, I don’t mind the Tweets for the most part. Some of it’s actually funny too.


  23. And God may be judging us — via this very administration — as we speak, we don’t know.

    But it always brings me peace to know that history unfolds in his divine providence — it also takes some of the emotional punch out of my reactions to whatever is going on.


  24. America may be on its way out, I’m one who thinks the nation (and the west) has gone a long way down this road — but I hope I’m wrong. Either way, our king rules


  25. ‘m always amused to see people tear apart a judge when s/he issues a ruling they don’t like. Both the left and right do it but its still predictable. Personally I think the judge did Trump a favour. His ban was ill-conceived and unplanned. This time out gives the administration a second chance to do it right.

    PM May became PM almost by default. After the Brexit vote, many in the Conservative party didn’t want the job — a thankless and almost impossible task to exit the EU with minimal economic repercussions and with a plan in place. The British PM has to be nice to Trump — she needs to find new trading partners especially if the EU decides to be vindictive. From what I understand, the Speaker of the House of Commons ruled that Trump would not address parliament, a privilege apparently he didn’t deserve.

    Trump tweeted that he’s the man in charge — apparently anonymous sources are saying he didn’t even read the EOs related to the immigration ban and placing Bannon on the NSC. The White House staff is still in disarray and its still amateur hour.

    Boycotts allow people to vent and express their anger. Whether they work or not is probably secondary to the venting it provides.

    Trump’s mini-vacation to his hotel in Florida resulted in the US gov’t paying Trump’s hotel to have security staff stay overnight there. Trump will make the presidency pay for him and his family — the stench of corruption is like the stench in a steel town — everybody smells but its always there so no-one notices it.

    I wonder how Romans 13 applied to those who opposed Obama? Or even more interesting, how does Romans 13 apply to people who don’t pay their taxes (i.e. Trump). From what I was taught in my youth, a biblical injunction to obey civil authorities is not a universal practise — civil disobedience (i.e. sit-ins, bus boycotts) and even armed rebellion (resistance to Nazis) is acceptable. The question then remains — at what point is it biblical to disobey a constitutional authority? And that of course is beyond my pay grade.


  26. As some may intuitively predict, I whole heartedly agree with the analysis in AJ’s first post. Its a straightforward socialist analysis. However, I’m also a realist

    Tech companies pride themselves openness, cosmopolitan attitudes, and global citizenship. Its their narrative — even if it may not be true. Thus they would oppose any ban on immigration for cultural as well as economic reasons. Given this, I can see some tech companies, moving some of their infrastructure or work to a country that embraces their narrative. One in particular is obvious;

    I don’t think Ricky would agree Canada is leading the free world as our PM isn’t a conservative voice but policy wise, the tech companies may like the narrative Canada presents.

    American and Western decline theories have been around for more than a century but I don’t see it happening quite yet. The EU and the Anglo world present two different but equally western visions to the rest of the world and both can still succeed or they can take turns being strong. Another rationale for the continued western dominance is the lack of adequate replacement — China, India, and Russia all present a culturally bound vision to the world whereas the western liberal tradition allows for greater acceptance — part of its strength actually.


  27. “It is our lot to live in perplexing & eventful Times– the Passions of men are not good Counsellors …” John Jay to William Wilberforce, 1806


  28. Ricky – Here’s a link to Melissa McCarthy’s commercial for Kia, that aired during the Super Bowl (if you haven’t seen it already). It’s pretty cute.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s