Speedbump #279

From Townhall we get Kurt Schlicter, who is a reasonably good polemicist, as polemicists go.  All goes well with his latest piece, until this point:

Things are a mess, and the Democrats are doing everything they can to make them messier. They are holding onto their precious pangolin pandemic panic like Brian Stelter grips a pie, ferociously fighting to keep hope dying by denying our kids school and millions of us a livelihood, all to eek out a win in November.

What, are we five years old, and using phonetic spelling?

THE WORD IS “EKE“, NOT “EEK”.   FFS, IT’S A WORD CONTAINING ONLY THREE LETTERS. HOW DIFFICULT CAN IT BE TO GET THEM IN THE RIGHT ORDER?

Do they even have editors at Townhall ?

Americans Second

Looks like the fix is in again:

U.S. employers keep roughly 600,000 foreign H-1B visa workers in jobs throughout the United States, according to an unprecedented report released by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.
The total number of resident H-1B workers has successfully been kept secret for decades, mainly because Fortune 500 companies do not want voters to recognize the massive outsourcing of jobs for themselves and their college graduate children.

Based on personal observation, I think that about a quarter of the above number live within a square mile of my apartment, but that’s a topic for another time.

Whenever people show faith in the powers of “the market”, I want to kick them in the balls.  Here’s why.

In the normal course of events, “the market” can and should address the problem of shortages by creating a price increase — in this case, if there are apparently not enough Americans to fill the skilled positions needed in Corporate America, the pressure is put on salaries so that existing skilled workers can change industries to take advantage of the higher wages, or (in the longer term) prospective employees can adjust their training from, say, a university-centric Women’s Studies major into an IT profession.

But that would Cost The Companies Money;  and gawd forbid that costs rise, affect the balance sheet and, most importantly of all, jeopardize executive management bonuses.  So said companies lobby the government saying, “Oh we need  skilled workers, and these lazy idle Murkins don’t wanna do the jobs so please pretty please O Benificent Government, can we import furriners to save us from going out of business?”

Whereupon Congress, whose members are all either stupid, unpatriotic or else beholden to Corporate America for campaign contributions (I know:  massive overlap) will turn around and say, “Sure thing.  Get these H-1Bs from anywhere you like — say, India or China — and just add a zero to your next contribution, will you?”

The fact that these foreign workers stay a while then go back to their home countries taking their expertise with them, is, of course, irrelevant.  (I should point out that I myself was one of the above H-1B workers back in the 1980s, except that I had skills which my sponsoring company did not possess at all, AND I was coming over as a senior executive to implement a brand new business model which I had created back in the Old Country and made successful.  Also, I stayed and became a U.S. citizen, and the rest you know.)

So “the market” works fine, mostly — except where the sticky and incompetent fingers of Gummint get placed firmly on the scale of surplus : scarcity, and the results are what we see now.

There’s another part of the article which engendered a scowl from me:

The USCIS report admits that “no unique identifier exists for all H-1B petitions in the USCIS electronic [system of record, so] we use a methodology of statistical inference.”

For those not familiar with bureaucrat-speak, “statistical inference” means “we took a wild-ass guess”.  Or, to be more polite:

For years, [DHS] has deliberately not stored [visa worker] information into their databases. They only enter selected information into the computers. That was deliberate so that no one could know what is going on. We have sent in all kinds of [Freedom of Information Act] requests, and often the response is “we don’t keep track of that.”

And to make matters still worse:

“Close to a quarter of the records — dealing with workers who often make $100,000 a year or more — there is no Social Security number.”

In other words, we let them in, and allow a situation where people don’t necessarily have to pay taxes.  How charming.  But it gets worse (and I’ve added emphasis):

The failure to track legitimate H-1B documents and workers — or to punish groups for using fake H-1B documents — is routine. For many years, business advocates have kept legislators in the dark by splitting and subdividing oversight of the visa-worker economy between the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Labor, he said.
This fragmentation has helped to minimize awareness of the scale among journalists and the public. For example, very few reporters describe the scale of the H-1B population to their readers, and most rely on talking points from business advocates who say the program brings in 65,000 or 85,000 “high skilled” workers each year when companies cannot find U.S. workers.
In reality, up to 85,000 H-1B visas are given out to companies each year, while roughly 15,000 are provided to non-profit groups, including hospitals, research centers, government agencies, and hospitals.

Now let’s add a little “China is asshole” to the mix:

The new USCIS report does not estimate the number of fake H-1B documents in circulation despite myriad cases of fraudulent work permits and made-in-China green cards.

And in India, procurement of green cards is an entire industry, catering to U.S. corporations — I’ve seen it in action at first hand.

Several years back, I posited the situation where if one won a large foreign lottery (e.g. Euromillions), whether it would be better to bring the earnings back to the U.S. and pay the 40% tax, or just to vanish into a European tax haven like Monaco with the (untaxed) millions.  My conclusion was that I wouldn’t do that, because I am of course a loyal American citizen.  As I read stuff like the above, however, I’m starting to think that “loyal American citizen” is rapidly approaching the status of “sucker”.

Change my mind.

Straight-Out Bullying

Oh, this looks like fun:

Recently Breitbart News reported that six eBay employees were named in federal charges for intimidating critics of the company with a cyberstalking terror campaign, now a recent article from the New York Times outlines how many Silicon Valley companies have been using similar intimidation tactics for years.

The Times states that Silicon Valley companies regularly employ “trust and safety” teams staffed with former police officers and national intelligence analysts. Their work includes protecting executives and intellectual property, preventing blackmail attempts, and watching out for fraud and theft. But, in some cases, Silicon Valley’s intense focus on reputation and brand can lead these teams to take excessive action.

Read the whole article for details.  Beware the Red Curtain Of Blood (RCOB) that may come over your eyes, as it did mine.

Looks like some corporate executives need a good ball-kicking.

And by the way?  The inability of law enforcement to deal with this shit properly is what enables the Tony Sopranos of this world to flourish.  And even without that, bullying only works on fearful people.

Don’t be fearful.  Just be prepared to be enraged.

Enough Already

You know, there are people in the news who really shouldn’t be, because they’ve made themselves pretty much irrelevant to the world by now.  If they ever made a contribution to society, that’s now over and I can’t see them ever doing anything of worth or value ever again.  They are the grains of beach sand in society’s bathing suit, the stones in society’s shoe, the ticks on society’s skin.  As such, I don’t want to see or read about any of the following ever again:

  • the Royal Ginger and Duchess Caringslut
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Hillary Clinton (unless she’s doing the perp walk in prison orange)
  • Bill Clinton (ditto)
  • any of the Obamas
  • George Clooney (unless he’s releasing a new Oceans movie)
  • Lena Durham
  • the entire Kardashian coven, and their assorted consorts

I will make an exception for impending imprisonment (see the Clintons above) or obituaries — maybe.

All these festering carbuncles have been in a media spotlight for too long (mostly undeservedly), and they need to disappear from it.  Hooked stick, yank off stage, toss in a dumpster somewhere, fade to black, The End.

Feel free to add your personal social irritants to the list.

Oh, And By The Way: Fuck You

If anything can bring on a RCOB Moment, bullshit like this would be in the Top 3:

NPR Advises Readers to ’Decolonize” Their Bookshelves by Removing White Authors

If I did that, all I’d be left with are books by Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.  Just so we’re clear on what’s being discussed here:

Since that pic was taken, quite a few have since been passed out to the Ungrateful Wretched Children (e.g. the Great Books collection on the right, snatched up by the Son&Heir, and on the top right, the Classic Novels, appropriated by Daughter).

If those motherfucking Commies at NPR think I’m going to “decolonize” my book collection to rid myself of “the colonialist ideas of narrative, storytelling, and literature”, I have news for them.  What they call “colonialist”, I call “classical” — they can’t just change the language to fit their little politically-correct narrative.

Well actually, they can — I just don’t have to go along with it.  And I won’t.

Here’s a thought.  If we’re going to get all purge-y and such, let’s not fuck around with bookcases.  Let’s get serious:

Just A Thought

In the wake of all the Pantifa / Black Lives Suck  Matter riots and protests and such, the airwaves and presses are full of earnest pleas to “start a national conversation” or “address the racial strife” or “deliver justice” for those whose lives have been so horribly afflicted by the daily misery of living in modern-day America.

But what if we — that is, the people who are the targets of such tropes — don’t want to have a conversation with these people anymore?  What if we look around us and see things like minority set-asides, preferential hiring- or admissions practices, creation of the various bureaucracies that purport to address all these supposed iniquities (e.g. Offices Of Race Relations, Equality Commissions, etc.), and realize that despite all these efforts, many Black people are still mired in slums, are still enslaved by criminal lifestyle, are still hobbled by sub-standard education establishments and continue to behave in ways that, in the immortal words of Chris Rock, still end up with their asses getting beaten by the cops?

What if we — we, the suffering middle classes who form the backbone of this nation — just say, “Fuck you, and your conversation.”

And before anyone gets all bent out of shape about the above, let me remind you all that when the Chink  Wuhan virus hit our shores, the people who kept this country together were not academics, or politicians, or journalists, or community organizers;  and for damn sure they were not the people now rioting and looting, nor the shadowy organizations who are organizing the unrest.  The country was kept going by people like truck drivers, doctors/nurses, supermarket workers, maintenance technicians, farmers and trash collectors, to name but a few.  Not glamorous people, not members of the “elite” set, just people who are not a part of “systemic racism”, nor of “class privilege” and especially — considering that many of them are Blacks and Hispanics themselves — are not benefactors of the so-called “White privilege”.

What if these people, these ordinary hardworking people just said to all these demands, “No.  We’re not going to pander to you anymore.”

What then?