The American people had damn near an absolute right to know this information.
“It so happens that Friday is an official Ratfcking Holiday, and a very important one. It’s June 23 or, as we who celebrate it like to call it, Smoking Gun Day. It was 45 years ago to the day that H.R. Haldeman stopped by the Oval Office and, with a tape recorder whirring merrily away in a drawer, he and Richard Nixon discussed how to get the CIA to turn off the FBI’s investigation of Watergate because that investigation was moving into “some productive areas.” They talked about ripping scabs open, and “that whole Bay of Pigs thing,” and having Walters tell Gray not to go into this thing any further, period. “All I can conclude,” Patrick Buchanan reportedly said when this tape finally came to light, “is that the old man has been shitting us.”
So, in honor of the day, The Washington Post comes up with an amazing tale of the way ratfcking is done in the modern era. It begins with a top-secret communique delivered to President Barack Obama last August.
Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race. But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.
The dynamite, she go boom.
At that point, the outlines of the Russian assault on the U.S. election were increasingly apparent. Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year. In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks.
I seem to remember this remarkable coincidence.
The piece is too long, too well reported, and too detailed to summarize in block quotes, but what it makes sadly clear is that the culture of secrecy within the intelligence community worked invariably to empower the ratfcking, rather than to hinder it.
This, right here. This is where they choked. The American people had damned close to an absolute right to the information their government already had. The most fundamental act of citizenship is the right to cast an informed vote. The idea that the Obama administration withheld the fact that the Russians were ratfcking the election in order to help elect a vulgar talking yam is a terrible condemnation of the whole No Drama Obama philosophy. Would Donald Trump have raised hell if the White House released what it knew? Of course, he would have. But, as it was, the American people went to vote with only about half of the information they needed to assess his candidacy. This was a terrible decision.”
Outsourcing Firm Infosys Discriminates in Favor of Indians, Says Lawsuit
“The multi-billion dollar outsourcing firm Infosys discriminates against whites and African-Americans while favoring Indian nationals, according to a former employee.
In a newly filed lawsuit against Infosys, former executive Erin Green, who worked at the outsourcing firm between 2011 and 2016, says the company favors Indian nationals over other racial groups:
Infosys maintains roughly 200,000 employees working in the United States. While roughly 1% of the U. S. population is of the South Asian race and national origin, roughly 93%-94% of Infosys’s United States workforce is of the South Asian national origin (primarily Indian). This disproportionately South Asian and Indian workforce, by race and national origin, is a result of Infosys’s intentional employment discrimination against individuals who are not South Asian, including discrimination in the hiring, promotion, compensation and termination of individuals.
While the lawsuit does not allege any specific abuses of the H-1B or L-1 visa, where hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals are allowed to enter the U.S. every year, Green does note that the visa was used to increase Infosys’ already large Indian workforce:
Infosys has gone to great lengths to obtain its primarily South Asian work force in the U. S., in particular by utilizing professional H-1B and L-1 work visas to bring South Asians (primarily Indians) into the United States to work in information technology (“IT”) consulting roles, as its IT consulting business model dictates, and other non-IT capacities, including to replace or supplant non-South Asians. Plaintiff’s career at Infosys exemplifies the systematic pattern of discrimination at Infosys.
White and black employees at Infosys, according to Green’s lawsuit, were hardly ever promoted and even had their evaluations downgraded compared to their Indian national counterparts.
In a more specific case in 2015, Green claims Nayak “verbally assaulted and berated” his white subordinate during a conference call, bringing the woman to tears in front of fellow colleagues and Indian nationals employed at Infosys.
Within the H-1B visa industry, young, male Indian nationals are favored than any other cohort, according to research by the Center for Immigration Studies. Nearly 70 percent of all H-1B visa-holders are from India.”
Former AG Lynch Now Questioned About Her Part in Clinton Email Investigation
“The Chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee have sent letters to four individuals, including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, seeking information about her handling of the Clinton email investigation. The letters ask about an email reportedly recovered by the FBI which some news reports have suggested might have been created by Russia.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The bipartisan inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director.
In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, one of which was said to be authored by a “Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.” Chairman Grassley then requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which has failed to respond. A month later, The Washington Post reported similar facts and provided further details about individuals involved in these communications. The Post reported that the email in question, sent by then-chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t “go too far.”
Comey was reportedly concerned that the communication would raise doubts about the investigation’s independence and began discussing plans to announce the end of the Clinton email investigation rather than simply referring it to the Department for a prosecutorial decision. Comey’s extraordinary action to announce the end of the investigation was a break from Justice Department protocol, and was later cited as justification for his removal from the FBI.”
Sanctuary Cities Protecting MS-13 Gang Members from Deportation, Says ICE
“WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is a “rather long list” of sanctuary cities across the United States that choose to release incarcerated members of the notoriously violent Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang back into U.S. communities rather than allow immigration agents to prosecute and deport them, testified a federal officer under oath before lawmakers.
“We are not asking the state of local institutions to do anything besides give us access and transfer that individual to our custody at the completion of their criminal process so we [can]…remove them from the country or prosecute them,” declared Matthew Albence, the executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, during a Senate panel hearing.
On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled, “The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership, its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Federal Efforts to End the Threat.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asked the witnesses, which included officials from various law enforcement segments of the federal government, about the role “so-called sanctuary cities” play in the problem.
Albence identified Chicago, New York, and San Francisco as being part of an extensive list of sanctuary cities that ignore federal immigration laws and are a contributing “factor” to the deadly MS-13 problem facing the United States.
“I think there are some major cities in this country where…I can’t even send my officers to go into the [local] jail to interview someone who has been arrested for a gang activity or is a known gang member. And we can’t go in there and identify that person and take an enforcement action against him. Certainly, that’s a problem,” responded the high-ranking agent from ICE, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“In many cases, we know who these individuals are. We have biometric identifiers. They’ve been arrested by the Border Patrol [USBP] or been arrested by ICE previously and removed and then re-entered the country unlawfully,” he added, later noting:
We know they’re gang members. We know they’re criminals, but if the county or the city does not allow us to get into the jail to make that final determination, to process that individual for removal and take custody of that person, then they’re released back into the community to re-victimize.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) appeared to defend Chicago’s status as a sanctuary city, blaming President Donald Trump’s administration of allegedly refusing to devote federal funds to help Chicago combat violent crimes.”
Report: Illiteracy Among Hispanic Immigrants Persists Across Generations
|| Daily Caller
“Hispanic immigrants and their children lag far behind other migrant populations in the U.S. when it comes to developing proficiency in English, according to a new analysis from a Washington immigration policy think tank.
About two-thirds of Hispanic immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least 15 years can be considered “functionally illiterate” in English, says independent public policy analyst Jason Richwine. In his report for the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative-leaning nonprofit that advocates lower levels of immigration, he looked at data from a literacy test administered to more than 8,000 Americans from 2012 and 2014 and discovered some worrying results.
Richwine found that 67 percent of first-generation Hispanics scored at the “below basic” level on the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) test of English proficiency. In contrast, just 22 percent of non-Hispanic immigrants who had been in the U.S. for at least 15 years were at the “below basic” level of literacy.
Individuals at that level possess only a simple vocabulary and sentence comprehension, and they cannot complete more complex tasks such as reading multiple pages of a document or making inferences from charts and graphs. While Hispanic immigrants, who are poorer and less educated than the overall immigrant population when they arrive in the U.S., can be expected to struggle with English comprehension, the report found that literacy problems persist beyond the first generation.
The children of Hispanic immigrants score at the 34th percentile on the PIAAC test, and 22 percent test at the “below basic” level. Performance actually worsens in the third generation: nearly a quarter — 24 percent — of the grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants failed to score above the lowest English literacy rating. Those results suggest that Hispanic immigrants, compared to the overall immigration population, may not be assimilating as well as scholars and lawmakers believe.
“The importance of English literacy cannot be overstated,” Richwine wrote. “Without language proficiency, immigrant families will find it difficult to succeed in the mainstream of American society, and high rates of English illiteracy may be a sign of poor immigrant assimilation. Policymakers should take note.”
Federal ‘OPT’ Program Rewards Companies For Hiring 330,000 Foreign College Grads in 2016 instead of citizens
“The federal government quietly helped and rewarded companies and universities which hired roughly 330,000 cheap foreign graduates in 2016 instead of hiring American graduates, many of whom are deep in debt.
The little-known “Optional Practical Training” program has grown from 91,140 new foreign job-seekers in 2009 to 329,158 new job-seekers in 2016, according to data provided by the Department of Homeland Security. That is almost a four-fold increase in seven years — and the program is growing even larger in 2017.
There is no cap on the OPT program, which quietly and semi-automatically gives work permits lasting up to three years when requested by foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities and colleges. Companies are not required to even interview Americans before hiring OPT graduates — and they get tax breaks for hiring foreigners over Americans.
“The government is enticing employers to hire foreigners instead of Americans … it is ridiculous,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies. Even the middle-class Americans who have downplayed the impact of cheap-labor immigration on blue-collar Americans should be alarmed by the government’s discrimination against their own college-graduate children, he added.
In 2014, the OPT program provided work permits to 249,998 foreign graduates, according to the data provided to Breitbart News by the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the program. Two years later, the number of new foreign graduates entering the program had risen by 32 percent up to 329,158.
The program provides a one-year work permit to all graduates. It also provides an extra one-year permit to graduates who work in a so-called high-tech “STEM” job. In 2016, officials working for former President Barack Obama extended the STEM permits from one year to two years. If only 20,000 of the 51,672 STEM workers from 2015 used Obama’s one-year extension, they would have increased the 2016 total from 329,158 up to 350,000.
That 350,000 estimate for 2016 means that the government is offering work permits to one foreign graduate for almost every two of the 800,000 young Americans who graduate from college each year with high-skilled degrees in business or medicine, science or software, math or physics.
The OPT program will likely grow to 500,000 foreign workers in 2020 unless it is killed by a pending lawsuit.
Under the new transparency rules established by DHS secretary John Kelly, DHS officials also provided Breitbart with the initial OPT numbers for 2017. That data showed the OPT program in the first half of 2017 by giving work permits to 255,412 foreign students, including 57,315 high-skill technology graduates. That half-year number for 2017 is larger than the 2014 total.
These high numbers likely understate the scale of the OPT outsourcing program, because the federal government also allows foreign students to get a one-year work permit via the “Curriculum Practical Training” program before they graduate into the OPT program. If 100,000 students used that CPT program in 2016, then the combined CPT and OPT programs delivered almost 450,000 white-collar American jobs to foreign students and graduates in 2016.
The annual inflow of new foreign OPT workers is now roughly three times larger than the annual inflow of 110,000 H-1B white-collar contract workers. However, the H-1B program offers longer visas to foreign workers, so it keeps a larger population of roughly 650,000 foreign white-collar workers in the United States, compared to roughly 35o,000 OPT workers.
The H-1B visas help companies hire foreign white-collar workers to take the place of the experienced American professionals who need decent salaries to help support and educate their children.
Who is impacted?
Many American college graduates are threatened by OPT, partly because the program allows foreign students to take any job, but also because the government grants three-year work permits to students who take “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” jobs — but those STEM jobs are very expansively described. They include:
The OPT program is also a threat to upward mobility because it is increasingly being used to outsource community college technician jobs — such as nursing — which are the primary upward path for Americans born into lower-income families. The DHS list of STEM jobs also includes more than 50 types of technical jobs, including:
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Technology/Technician … solar energy … welding … industrial production … quality control … automotive engineering … [and] biology.”
Many recent graduates were hurt long-term by the slump, according to a 2014 Pew study:
In a recent report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York went deeper and looked at underemployment among recent grads (defined as people aged 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor’s degree). The Fed researchers used data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to examine whether employed grads were in jobs that typically required a college degree, what those jobs paid, and whether they were working full- or part-time. They found that in 2012, about 44% of grads were working in jobs that didn’t require a college degree — a rate that, while about what it was in early 1990s, increased after the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Only 36% of that group were in what the researchers called “good non-college jobs” — those paying around $45,000 a year — down from around half in the 1990s. The share of underemployed recent grads in low-wage (below $25,000) jobs rose from about 15% in 1990 to more than 20%. About one-in-five (23%) underemployed recent grads were working part-time in 2011, up from 15% in 2000.
Other reports emphasize negative and positive prospects for recent college grads as the nation emerges from a decade-long slump.
Critically, the OPTs compete with new American graduates and nudge down the Americans’ starting salaries — which can have a huge impact on their lifetime earnings, say salary experts:
“Maximizing your first salary is really important because it determines your salary for the rest of your life,” says Matt Wallaert, chief scientist at GetRaised.com … “Your final salary is heavily dependent on your starting salary,” agrees Glenn Hiemstra, the founder of Futurist.com,
Moreover, many U.S. graduates are defaulting on college loan debts owed to the U.S. government because they cannot find well-paying jobs.
Joseph Palos, a high-tech graduate from Cornell University, formally objected to the OPT program in 2015. ”Companies don’t want to hire Americans and they abuse… OPT to hire cheap immobile labor instead of hiring anyone over the age of 35, especially in software or tech areas,” he wrote to a federal agency, according to a report in ComputerWorld.
Which companies hire OPTs?
Most universities and colleges hide useful data about their OPT programs from their American students, the tuition-paying parents and the voting public.
But a Breitbart search of the data revealed that Penn State posted a list of companies which hire OPT and other foreign graduates. The companies include accounting firms Deloitte & Touché LLP plus Ernst & Young, LLP, as well as Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and the GE Global Research Center in New York. Other OPT employers included Advanced Micro Devices in Sunnyvale, Calif., Intel in Arizona, Motorola in Florida, Nokia in Texas, and Microsoft in Washington State, plus Cadbury Schweppes in New Jersey, Glaxo Smith Kline in Philadelphia, Hyatt Hotels in Washington D.C., Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Penske Logistics in Ohio, and the Environmental Systems Research Institute in Redlands, Ca.
The Penn State list also includes many universities, many of which can keep cheap OPTs on the payroll for several years by converting them into H-1B employees. There are no limits on universities’ hiring of H-1Bs.
There’s not much reason to blame the companies for hiring OPTs, said Krikorian. By reducing employers’ taxes and subsidizing OPT employees’ pay with a chance to win green cards, “the government is encouraging these employers to hire foreign workers,” he said.
Who supports the OPT program?
Unsurprisingly, the semi-secret OPT program has intense behind-the-scenes support in Washington.
First, the OPT program — like the similar H-1B and H-2B programs — are strongly supported by business groups because they provide very cheap, compliant and disposable workers:
When a job is given to an OPT worker, neither the worker nor the employers have to pay Social Security or Medicare taxes. That tax break cuts the company’s salary costs for that foreign worker by roughly 23 percent.
When a foreign students seeks a job, Americans lose bargaining power to get decent wages for that jobs. Nationalwide, the extra inflow of immigrant labor annually transfers roughy $500 billion from employees to employers, accordin to data in the 2016 report on immigration by the National Acadeimes of Sciences.
The OPT jobs put the foreign graduates on the first step towards citizenship, which is a hugely valuable deferred bonus student studemt her overseas fmaily and their descedents in perpetuity. In effect, the federal government provides OPT workers a free lottery ticket for the prize of citizenship if they work for the pay and conditions set by the employer. But this is also a huge hidden subsidy for employers who hire foreigners instead of Americans because it allows employers to pay foreigners with hope of citizenship, while Americans must be paid in dollars.
Also, the OPT employers is heavily dependent on the employer to put him or her the next step on the path to citizenship, ensuring a compliant attitude despute low-pay and long hours. The next step is usually a H-1B visa, which requires the employer to ask the govrenment for the visa.
The OPT program adds a small but useful addition to the number of native-born and immigrant consumers who buy products in hte U.S. economy.”
“Democratic leaders in the House are taking heat after the party’s disappointing special-election defeat in Georgia.
Some lawmakers were quick to blame their leadership for Jon Ossoff’s defeat to Republican Karen Handel, saying the party failed to learn the 2016 lesson that running against President Trump without a positive message of your own is not enough to win elections.
“We’d better take a good, long, strong look in the mirror and realize that the problem is us, it’s the party,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said Wednesday morning as he left a closed-door meeting of the Democratic Caucus in the Capitol.
Republicans relied on a strategy of tying Ossoff to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who remains radioactive in many conservative districts.
“Those are still effective ads that hurt our candidate,” said Ryan, 43, who had challenged Pelosi for the Democratic leader spot after last November’s elections.
“Everybody knows where I stand on this. … My position hasn’t changed.”
Moulton, who beat a Democratic incumbent to win his seat, is skeptical reverse their fortunes with the same leaders in place.
“It’s not impossible, but it’s harder,” he said.
Pelosi, leaving Wednesday’s caucus meeting, declined to comment. But her spokesman defended the San Francisco liberal on Wednesday as the party’s best fundraiser, strategist and whip.”
House Dems Rip Pelosi: ‘You’d Have to Be An Idiot’ to Think Dems Could Win With Her as Leader
The finger-pointing is on in the Democratic party after Jon Ossoff failed to win the special election on Tuesday in Georgia’s sixth Congressional District. And several Democrats are looking right to the top.
According to Politico, Democratic Texas Congressman Filemon Vela said that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is at least partially to blame for Ossoff going down on Tuesday.
“Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost,” Vela said. “But she certainly is one of the reasons.”
And the Congressman also said that he believes his party could be looking at more of the same in 2018, if there is no change in leadership.
“I think you’d have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,” he said.
Vela was joined in his criticism by fellow House Democrat Seth Moulton (MA).
“Our leadership owes us an explanation,” Moulton said, in remarks reported byThe New York Times. “Personally, I think it’s time for new leadership in the party.”
Ohio’s Tim Ryan, who mounted a bid for Minority Leader last year, told the Times, “Our brand is worse than Trump.”
According to the Politico piece, Pelosi had a closed-door meeting with Congressional Democrats on Wednesday. Politico’s sources told the website that the House Minority Leader tried to spin Ossoff’s narrow defeat as a moral victory in a District which has traditionally gone red.
But ultimately, she admitted, “A loss is a loss. It is a setback.”
Hollywood Fail: Jon Ossoff Loses Georgia Congressional Election Despite Massive Celebrity Help
“Democrat Jon Ossoff lost his bid against Republican Karen Handel in Georgia’s Sixth District special congressional election Tuesday night, representing a stunning rebuke of Hollywood and the numerous celebrities who stumped for and contributed to the Democrat’s campaign.
The race to fill the seat long held by former Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), now President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, had received national media attention as Democrats used the contest as an opportunity to measure the party’s prospects to win elections in the run-up to the 2018 midterms.
Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker-turned-Democratic politician, had received a steady stream of support from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Some of the most vocal celebrity critics of President Donald Trump, including Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Fonda, and Samuel L. Jackson, donated time and money to help Ossoff’s campaign.
In April, Jackson cut a 45-second radio ad endorsing Ossoff, urging Georgia voters to “stop Donald Trump, a man who encourages racial and religious discrimination and sexism.”
Actor John Leguizamo’s assertion that democracy itself hinged on Ossoff winning underscored how desperate Hollywood was to send a resounding message of resistance to Trump’s presidency.
But Tuesday’s results were likely to prompt more soul-searching among the political left, who are still looking for their first significant post-Trump election victory.
Actress Alyssa Milano, an early Ossoff supporter, personally drove voters to polling sites for the Democrat during the April election that forced Tuesday’s runoff.
Actresses Sarah Silverman and Debra Messing attacked Ossoff’s opponent, Karen Handel, on social media in the run-up to Tuesday’s election.
Despite the belief of numerous political experts that Ossoff would fall short in the Republican-dominated district that helped send Trump to the White House, the president had earlier declared Tuesday’s election to be a matchup between “Hollywood vs. Georgia.”
Soros Legal Alum Helps Get Illegal Alien MS-13 Member Released
“An illegal alien MS-13 gang member was released by a federal judge after two immigration attorneys lobbied for his release.
U.S. District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon ordered the 17-year-old, self-admitted illegal alien MS-13 gang member be released from federal custody, despite his criminal and gang-affiliated history.
The illegal alien previously admitted to selling drugs in Honduras and witnessing multiple murders committed by fellow MS-13 members. Now, he will be allowed to live freely in the U.S.
In an interview with the Washington Post, the illegal alien spoke about how being a member of the violent MS-13 gang felt like a family:
“It was like the family I couldn’t find at home,” he said. “I thought nobody loved me. But when I found them, I said, ‘This is my family. They love me.’ ”
Older gang members gave him money, alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. But soon they demanded he sell drugs, too, including heroin and “piedra,” or crack.
“I began to see things, like them torturing people,” the teen said. “For rent. Because they belonged to another gang. Because they had screwed up somehow.”
The illegal alien gang member arrived in the U.S. as an ‘unaccompanied minor child,’ who are turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
As Breitbart Texas reported, the federal government has continued placing unaccompanied minor children in MS-13 gang hot-spots across the U.S.
One of the two attorneys who helped fight for the MS-13 gang member’s release, Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg and Rebecca Wolozin with the Legal Aid Justice Center, has ties to left-wing billionaire George Soros.
Wolozin previously worked for Soros’ Open Society Foundation as a ‘Legal Research Intern,’ according to her online resume.”
Cost Disputes Could Derail Plans To Track Foreign Departures In US Airports
“The federal government has developed a system to track foreigners leaving the country through U.S. airports, but disputes with airlines may prevent the timely application of the technology.
The new tracking system would rely on photographs taken of all passengers boarding international flights at their departure gate, allowing authorities to know with certainty whether a foreigner has left the country and where they went.
After nearly two decades spent developing technology to track individuals who enter the U.S. legally and then stay past their legal departure date, and repeated congressional mandates demanding an exit tracking system, the federal government has met resistance from airlines who don’t see the benefit of implementing it.
“Right now, there is no benefit to us. We’re not interested in adding another 10 minutes to the boarding process,” one airline official told the Wall Street Journal in Monday article.
John Wagner, who heads the program for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection agency told a congressional committee last month that DHS needs to rely on airlines to run the cameras in order to avoid an “astronomical” cost to taxpayers.
“We’re out of time and we’re out of excuses,” Wagner said. “We can’t do this without the airlines.”
Wagner also disputed the claim that the new system will inconvenience airlines, pointing out that the new technology would eliminate the necessity of checking passports.
Airline officials denied the technology would allow them to stop checking passports, saying they still have a responsibility to make sure passengers aren’t flown into other countries without identification.
The exit tracking system, which has received bipartisan support, would prevent individuals from remaining in the country illegally by having someone else exit using their passport. It would also prevent people from leaving the country undetected by using someone else’s passport.
In the past two years hundreds of thousands of people have overstayed their visas. This problem received significant congressional attention after the September 11 attacks when it was discovered several of the hijackers were in the country on expired visas.
The DHS has run a number of exit tracking pilot programs at various airports around the country. The central obstacle the department faced was determining a method to make sure individuals reported as having departed the country actually boarded the flights they were supposed to be on.
There is ample opportunity for someone to get through security and then simply leave the airport, since travelers pass through airport security checkpoints well before they reach their departure gate. The DHS successfully navigated this obstacle by developing a plan in which cameras are installed in departure gates. The cameras would scan passengers faces directly prior to boarding, the system would then cross references the images with the list of passengers who are supposed to be on the flight, confirming the individual boarded their flight.
Wagner explained that he hopes airlines will cooperate in implementing the technology but said the DHS must implement the programs with or without their cooperation. “Congress has been pretty clear about the requirement,” he told the Wall Street Journal.”
“Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game was hailed as the ultimate sign of bipartisan unity, but dozens of Democrat staffers reportedly cursed, booed, and jeered when President Donald Trump appeared on the video screen at Nationals Park to deliver a message of unity.
According to a Washington Times report, the “staffers erupted into boos, jeers and even vulgar gesticulations” while Trump was saying, “you are showing the world we will not be intimidated by threats.” One person reportedly “shouted an expletive” at Trump while others even mocked the teams when they gathered near second base in prayer.
“As you all know tonight’s game has taken on a much deeper level of meaning, beyond anything that we would have thought,” Trump said in the video. “By playing tonight, you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our democracy.”
After House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot Wednesday morning while practicing for the game with his fellow Republican teammates, leaders of both parties called for unity and civility.
Perhaps Democrats were just following their leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The House Minority Leader ended the truce hours before the game when she accused Republicans of being “sanctimonious” for expressing concern about violent left-wing rhetoric that may have motivated the shooter, a rabid hater of President Donald Trump and Republicans. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, asked at least two Representatives whether the players on the baseball diamond were Republicans or Democrats before opening fire.”
The Unhinged Lose it with the ‘Two Minute Hate’ in 1984
|| Youtube | Intellectual Takeout |
“Have you ever noticed how viral outrage regularly rips through social media? Pity the poor individual or group who suffer the burning heat of the public’s wrath. Yet, as quickly as it comes, it’s over. Then there’s a lull for a few days, and then we’re on to the next outrage.
If it troubles you, as it does with us, you might find comfort and terror in George Orwell’s “Two Minutes Hate” created in 1984. It’s not hard to see the parallels. Perhaps the most disturbing line in the whole piece is the following:
“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in.”
How true of so much of our social media outrage. If you are not denouncing whatever target has drawn the ire of the masses, you may quickly find yourself a target. But even setting that fear aside, how easily so many are drawn into outrage these days without knowing all of the facts or having a real vested interest in the issue or occurrence.
The mass psychology is all too eerie. It’s even worse when you read Orwell’s description below. Enjoy…
In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish. Even O’Brien’s heavy face was flushed. He was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out ‘Swine! Swine! Swine!’ and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen. It struck Goldstein’s nose and bounced off; the voice continued inexorably. In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair. The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.”
“In the novel (1984, I mean) there are a few obscure passages in the book-within-a-book that reveals the fundamental sci-fi principle behind the fictional world of Oceania. That scientists—economists, sociologists, psychologists—figured out all the mechanics behind political revolutions, and the Party used this knowledge to engineer a government that would never be overthrown.
Through a combination of technology, propaganda, and burning money on perpetual war, they created economic and social conditions that would forever prevent the preconditions for a revolution.
This is what makes 1984 a work of science fiction: it’s a “what if” exploration of the human condition in a world where science gives us an unusual ability, in this case the ability to control society. Orwell’s answer to this question is depressing: such an ability would first be seized by people who want to rule the world with an iron fist, and that will be the eternal end of civilization.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger on Trump: I wanted to ‘smash his face’
“Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t backing down from his public feud with President Donald Trump.
The 69-year-old former California governor and current host of “The Celebrity Apprentice” responded to Trump’s tweets last month about the reality show’s low ratings.
“I said, ‘Let’s sit on it for an hour,” said Schwarzenegger to Men’s Journal. “I called my assistant and said, ‘I think what we really should do is request a meeting and go back to New York. And then we just smash his face into the table.’
“I think people really reacted well to that response,” Schwarzenegger told the magazine of his video. “I sound more presidential and more diplomatic and more elder-statesman — that’s exactly the way Donald should be.”