May 4, 2013

NAABP (National Association for Advancement of Billionaire People) buys Gang of Eight

From the New York Times:
Tech Firms Take Lead in Lobbying on Immigration 
WASHINGTON — The television advertisement that hit the airwaves in Florida last month featured the Republican Party’s rising star, Senator Marco Rubio, boasting about his get-tough plan for border security. 
But most who watched the commercial, sponsored by a new group that calls itself Americans for a Conservative Direction, may be surprised to learn who bankrolled it: senior executives from Silicon Valley, like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, who run companies where the top employees donate mostly to Democrats. 
The advertising blitz reflects the sophisticated lobbying campaign being waged by technology companies and their executives.

You know, having one red-blue sock puppet website for Republicans and one almost identical blue-red sock puppet website for Democrats isn't really that sophisticated. I've defended Zuckerberg in the past, but he just exudes weaseliness. Sophisticated he ain't.

Granted, Aaron Sorkin's and David Fincher's reasons offered in The Social Network for depicting the Zuck as a weasel weren't that convincing, but still, you've got to admit that there's something going on if two extremely talented middle-aged filmmakers feel inspired to make a fine movie about what a weasel you are when you are only 26-years-old.

There's something about Zuckerberg that inspires animus, so the more he becomes the face of Immigration Deform, the more trouble it's in. (By the way, the comments on the NYT article are ferocious, and they aren't even very ad hominem yet.)
They have managed to secure much of what they want in the landmark immigration bill now pending in Congress, provisions that would allow them to fill thousands of vacant jobs with foreign engineers. At the same time, they have openly encouraged lawmakers to make it harder for consulting companies in India and elsewhere to provide foreign workers temporarily to this country. 
Those deals were worked out through what Senate negotiators acknowledged was extraordinary access by American technology companies to staff members who drafted the bill. The companies often learned about detailed provisions even before all the members of the so-called Gang of Eight senators who worked out the package were informed. ...
Now, along with other industry heavyweights, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the technology companies are trying to make sure the law gets passed — which explains the political-style television advertising campaign, sponsored by a group that has revealed no details about how much money it gets from its individual supporters.

What are the laws regarding obvious quid pro quos like these TV ads for Rubio and Lindsey Graham?
The industry also hopes to get more from the deal by working to remove some regulatory restrictions in the proposal, including on hiring foreign workers and firing Americans.

That should be's motto: "Firing Americans since 2013."
... Rob Jesmer, a former top Republican Senate strategist who helps run the new Zuckerberg-backed nonprofit group that sponsored the Rubio ad, insisted that his organization’s push is based on the personal convictions of the executives who donated to the cause and who believe immigration laws need to be changed. Those convictions just happen to line up with what their corporations are lobbying for as well, he said. 
“It will give a lot of people who are educated in this country who are already here a chance to remain in the United States,” Mr. Jesmer said, “and encourage entrepreneurs from all over the world to come to the United States and create jobs.”

No. It's a myth that these billionaire entrepreneurs are magnanimously bringing poor Asians to America to start companies to compete with them.

The reality is that billionaires just want code-fodder. The number of H-1B visa workers who will prove competition for the Zuckerbergs is negligible. You can see the evidence for that in a different NYT article this weekend:

From "Silicon Valley's Start-Up Machine" by Nathaniel Rich in the NYT Magazine about essayist Paul Graham's Y Combinator boot camp for entrepreneurs:
Several years ago, Paul Graham — whom everybody calls P.G. — began to film the interviews he and his partners held with prospective Y.C. inductees. When reviewing the footage, he focused on the interviews with start-ups that ultimately failed. Like any savvy marketing executive, he wanted to isolate patterns that portended ill, which he called “negative predictors.” He was already aware of a few — investors tended to be biased against older founders, for instance. “The cutoff in investors’ heads is 32,” Graham says. “After 32, they start to be a little skeptical.” And Graham knew that he had his own biases. “I can be tricked by anyone who looks like Mark Zuckerberg. There was a guy once who we funded who was terrible. I said: ‘How could he be bad? He looks like Zuckerberg!’ ” 
... But after ranking every Y.C. company by its valuation, Graham discovered a more significant correlation. “You have to go far down the list to find a C.E.O. with a strong foreign accent,” Graham told me. “Alarmingly far down — like 100th place.” I asked him to clarify. “You can sound like you’re from Russia,” he said, in the voice of an evil Soviet henchman. “It’s just fine, as long as everyone can understand you.”
This was bad news for Strikingly’s David Chen, who moved in 2005 from Guangzhou to the United States to attend high school at Houghton Academy, in upstate New York. He spoke English fluently but struggled to pronounce words like “build,” “mobile” and, most ominously, “strikingly.” Yet Chen had clearly established himself as the fledgling company’s impresario and spokesman. ... 
One week before Demo Day, Graham told the Strikingly founders that Chen’s accent was too strong. The quiet, reserved Bao — who spoke less frequently than either of his partners despite being the group’s only native English speaker — would have to deliver the pitch instead. Bao denied that he was anxious, but as he tried to memorize the pitch, he grew even quieter than usual. “I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m comfortable with public speaking,” he admitted. 

Tavon, Tavon likes his money / He makes a lot they say

Tavon White,
Black Guerilla Family bushman
From the Washington Post, a follow-up to the popular story about inmate Tavon White impregnating four guardettes:
Baltimore jail case depicts a corrupt culture driven by drugs, money and sex 
By Theresa Vargas, Ann E. Marimow and Annys Shin, Saturday, May 4, 4:12 PM 
Inside a gray brick fortress, past a barbed-wire fence, two women in prison guard uniforms traded words about their pregnancies. 
“Did he tell you we was having a son?” Tiffany Linder asked, according to court documents recounting the conversation. “Did you know about our baby?” 
Chania Brooks said she didn’t care about that baby. That was their child, not hers. 
“We having one, too,” she said. “So what?” 
The two 27-year-old correctional officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center were sparring over an inmate who prosecutors said left both women with a permanent reminder of their allegiance to him. 
To investigators, Tavon White is a thug who has been in and out of jail since he was 18, most recently on charges that he shot a fellow drug dealer four times. 
He is allegedly a high-ranking “bushman” in the Black Guerilla Family, a gang with a reputation for not just killing its enemies but also burning down their homes.
I don't think they mean
this kind of Bushman


A "high-ranking 'bushman' in the Black Guerilla Family"? (The Black Guerilla Family is the nationwide prison gang founded by Prof. Angela Davis's future death row boyfriend George Jackson at San Quentin in 1966.)

What the ...

Is this a joke?

"Bushman" was the name of the famous gorilla in the Lincoln Park Zoo. When he was rumored to be dying in 1950, 120,000 Chicagoans came to pay their respects to him in one day. Bushman is currently stuffed and on display at Chicago's Field Museum. I've seen him at least ten times. From WBEZ, the NPR station in Chicago:
Bushman the Original Gorilla
Time magazine had called him “the best known and most popular civic figure in Chicago.” Now he was dead, and the city mourned. 
His name was Bushman. He was a gorilla. ...  
Bushman eventually topped out at 6'2" and 547 pounds.

The Lord of Lincoln Park became the most famous zoo animal in the country. Bushman was featured in magazines and newsreels, on t-shirts and postcards.

I suspect somebody is pulling somebody's leg over this whole Black Guerilla Family / Black Gorilla Family confusion, which I've theorized helped inspire the fine 2011 movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But I can't say who is yanking whose chain. This sounds like a racist joke that some old white cops made up and that the nice Washington Post reporters were too refined too grasp, but what do I know?

Bushman and fan at Field Museum
Other articles in local Baltimore media say a "bushman" is either "middle-ranking" or "relatively senior" in the Black Guerilla Family. Assuming that positions within the Black Guerilla Family leadership are indeed named after famous gorillas, I wonder what the top rank in the BGF is. Perhaps Kong?

Back to the Washington Post:
But during his three years at the state-run detention center, White, 36, was allegedly a figure who commanded respect, not only from fellow inmates in jumpsuits but also from many of the women in blue collared shirts and pressed slacks guarding him. Thirteen of them allegedly smuggled cellphones and drugs inside their hair, lunches and underwear for the man they called “Bulldog” or “Tay.” One tattooed his name on her neck, another on her wrist. 
Four have carried his children. 
... Just weeks before the two pregnant guards talked about the children they were expecting, a third allegedly pondered possible names for her son. 
“What if I name the baby King?” Katera Stevenson, 24, asked in a wiretapped call to her sister recounted in the affidavit. “I like the name King. King Tavon White.” 

Maybe he'll do even better within the BGF hierarchy than his daddy Bushman Tavon has done, and someday will be known as Kong King ...
... The inmates vastly outnumber the 625 guards, who make a base salary of $35,000 to $45,000 a year but can earn considerably more through overtime. They receive five to six weeks of training before entering — without any weapons to protect themselves — what one former guard calls “a city within a city.” ...
The corruption extends far beyond the 13 women charged, the affidavit suggested, with one inmate estimating that as many as 70 percent of the corrections officers were compromised. ...
Chania Brooks’s hands were shaking. She had just seen an inmate get attacked by a fellow gang member, blood spilling from his head, the affidavit said. 
She needed advice, so she went to get it. Not from a supervisor. From White.
“I abandoned my post,” Brooks said in an intercepted call between her and White. “I said, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ I thought he was going to have to go 911.” 
Brooks has denied the charges against her, including the allegation that White fathered her child. ... 
Documents that investigators recovered from the Black Guerrilla Family detail how its new members are taught to target specific officers. Look for women, they are told, with “low self-esteem, insecurities, and certain physical attributes.” 
The manipulation of young female officers often starts with a smile or a brief conversation, said a former inmate very familiar with the gang’s tactics. Then the inmate slips the guard a few hundred bucks in exchange for bringing him a pack of cigarettes. 
“Once that door is open, you find your way in,” said the former inmate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of safety concerns. “It’s a hustle game.” 
The gang also recruits relatives, girlfriends and fellow gang members without criminal records to apply for positions as correctional officers to establish a network of operatives within the prison walls, he said. 
As many as 80 percent of correctional-officer applicants in the central region, which includes Baltimore, do not make it through the background investigation, said Binetti, the corrections spokesman. 
Among those who do, women seem to dominate. More than 60 percent of the corrections officers in Baltimore’s jails are women, Maryland officials estimate. 
By comparison, women make up 37 percent of the guards in the District, a D.C. Corrections Department spokesman said. 
Regardless of the jurisdiction, officials say, all guards receive training on how to deal with the con games they will encounter inside prisons. They are warned how easily a compliment can turn into a favor, which can turn into an obligation. 
Jon Galley, a top Maryland corrections official, said he likes to show trainees a copy of a how-to guide, confiscated from an inmate’s cell, that lays out how to win over guards. The two pages of tips include dropping a “kite,” or love note, confessing to the officer that the inmate “felt a connection to her, that she was beautiful.” ...
Soon after White was born, court records show, his father began serving a life sentence for murder, and his mother struggled with drugs. He was raised largely by his grandparents and lived for a time in McCulloh Homes, a bleak public housing project in West Baltimore, said one family member. 
His own troubles began early, court records show. He was expelled from middle school in eighth grade. By 19, he was a convicted murderer who would spend seven years behind bars. 
It isn’t clear when his alleged gang ties began. His most recent charge — attempted murder — stems from a fight with one of his “boys” over a cocaine sale in 2009, according to court documents. White was charged with firing four bullets at close range into the man’s ankle, thighs and buttocks. 
White, prosecutors said during his trial in December, wanted to make sure there was no doubt about who was in charge. 
“Lesson learned: One shot at Tavon White’s ego gets you four in the body,” Assistant State’s Attorney Katie O’Hara told a Baltimore jury as White watched calmly from the defense table. 
But White’s attorney, Melissa Phinn, raised doubts about the credibility and consistency of testimony from key witnesses, and the jury deadlocked on the attempted-murder charge. They had done the same in an earlier trial. 
Now White is awaiting a third trial, scheduled for June, at the maximum-security North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland. Last week, he pleaded not guilty in federal court to racketeering, money-laundering and drug-dealing charges. 
What his criminal history doesn’t reveal, a family member said, is the loyal grandson and doting father who attended PTA meetings, accompanied his children to church and took them to Six Flags and Sesame Place. (In January, White called his grandmother Bessie Timmons from the detention center to tick off the due dates of the guards he had impregnated, according to the affidavit.) 
In jail, he played chess and read novels, court records show. Between prison stints, he cleaned swimming pools and packed boxes for a moving company. 
That is what he was doing when he met Danielle Hall at a Wendy’s down the street from McCulloh Homes. The two moved in together and had a daughter, who is now 7. 
“Tavon will always be a good guy in my book,” said Hall’s mother, who asked not to be identified by name, because of safety concerns. She said she was floored by the allegations that White was a gang leader at the detention center but not by his appeal to so many of the female correctional officers. 
“He’s a hunk,” she said. “He’s got a mean-looking body, a body that’s all that, that says, ‘Catch me if you can.’ ” 
Jennifer Owens had her diamond ring and her flashy cars and the name of the man who had provided them tattooed on her neck, according to the indictment. The 31-year-old correctional officer, who lives in Randallstown, drove around in two ­Mercedes-Benzes allegedly financed by the gang leader, one black and one white. 
In return, she gave him two children in two years. 
“Like really, who the f--- does that?” Owens said in an intercepted call to an unidentified woman in October. She called herself dumb but also said, “I don’t regret it.” 
Several former detention center guards said White could not have run such a large criminal enterprise without the help of higher-ups, tacit or explicit. But none have been implicated. ...
The challenge will be changing the culture of a place where, according to the affidavit, the names of 14 female guards were scrawled on a wall along with the price they allegedly charged for sexual favors: $150. 
... At least one of the 13 officers charged had been accused of gang ties at the detention center before. In 2008, inmate Tashma McFadden sued officer Antonia Allison, 31, for allegedly allowing a group of inmates who belonged to the Bloods to attack him in his cell. McFadden was stabbed 32 times; Allison, who denied having gang ties, remained on the job. Allison could not be reached for comment. 
Investigators were told that White and other gang leaders had informal agreements with jail officials: They would reduce violence inside the detention center and, in exchange, officials would “turn a blind eye to contraband smuggling and actively protect White and the [Black Guerilla Family] by warning them of investigations,” according to the affidavit. 
All 13 correctional officers who are awaiting trial have been suspended without pay.

In other words, still nobody has been fired.
The case against them could take two months to lay out for a jury, prosecutors say. 
No matter what happens in court or at the jail in the months to come, one fact remains indisputable: Tavon White ensured his legacy. 
Tiffany Linder is due any day.

What is she going to name him? Emperor White?

So, what's the over-under line on how many years this kid will wind up incarcerated?

I'm just not in the right business

From the New York Times:
Karzai Says He Was Assured C.I.A. Would Continue Delivering Bags of Cash 
KABUL, Afghanistan — The C.I.A.’s station chief here met with President Hamid Karzai on Saturday, and the Afghan leader said he had been assured the agency would continue dropping off stacks of cash at his office ...

"Remarks by the President to the People of Mexico"

Remarks by the President to the People of Mexico 
Anthropology Museum 
Mexico City, Mexico 
9:29 A.M. CDT 
THE PRESIDENT:  Hola!  (Applause.)  Buenos dias!  Please, please, everybody have a seat.  It is wonderful to be back in México -- lindo y querido.  (Applause.)  I bring with me the greetings and friendship of the people of the United States, including tens of millions of proud Mexican Americans.  (Applause.) ...

Despite all the bonds and the values that we share, despite all the people who claim heritage on both sides, our attitudes sometimes are trapped in old stereotypes.  Some Americans only see the Mexico that is depicted in sensational headlines of violence and border crossings.  ... 
We're also seeing a Mexico that’s creating new prosperity:  Trading with the world.  Becoming a manufacturing powerhouse -- from Tijuana to Monterrey to Guadalajara and across the central highlands -- a global leader in automobiles and appliances and electronics, but also a center of high-tech innovation, producing the software and the hardware of our digital age.  One man in Querétaro spoke for an increasing number of Mexicans.  “There’s no reason to go abroad in search of a better life.  There are good opportunities here.”  That's what he said, and you are an example of that.

And, in fact, I see a Mexico that’s lifted millions of people from poverty.  Because of the sacrifices of generations, a majority of Mexicans now call themselves middle class, with a quality of life that your parents and grandparents could only dream of.  This includes, by the way, opportunities for women, who are proving that when you give women a chance, they will shape our destiny just as well as men, if not better.  (Applause.)

I also see in Mexico’s youth an empowered generation because of technology.  I think I see some of you tweeting right now -- (laughter) -- what’s happening.  (Laughter.)  And whether it’s harnessing social media to preserve indigenous languages, or speaking up for the future that you want, you’re making it clear that you want your voice heard.

And because of all the dynamic progress that's taking place here in Mexico, Mexico is also taking its rightful place in the world, on the world stage.  ...  Mexico has joined the ranks of the world’s largest economies.  It became the first Latin American nation to host the G20.

Just as Mexico is being transformed, so are the ties between our two countries.  As President, I’ve been guided by a basic proposition -- in this relationship there’s no senior partner or junior partner; we are two equal partners, two sovereign nations. ... 
And in the United States, we recognize our responsibilities.  We understand that much of the root cause of violence that's been happening here in Mexico, for which many so Mexicans have suffered, is the demand for illegal drugs in the United States.  And so we’ve got to continue to make progress on that front.  (Applause.) ...
And we also recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States.  (Applause.) I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms, and as President I swore an oath to uphold that right and I always will.  But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people.  That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do.  (Applause.)  So we’ll keep increasing the pressure on gun traffickers who bring illegal guns into Mexico.  We’ll keep putting these criminals where they belong -- behind bars.  
We recognize we’ve got work to do on security issues, but we also recognize our responsibility -- as a nation that believes that all people are created equal -- we believe it’s our responsibility to make sure that we treat one another with dignity and respect.  And this includes recognizing how the United States has been strengthened by the extraordinary contributions of immigrants from Mexico and by Americans of Mexican heritage.  (Applause.)

Mexican Americans enrich our communities, including my hometown of Chicago, where you can walk through neighborhoods like Pilsen, Little Village -- La Villita -- dotted with murals of Mexican patriots.  You can stop at a fonda, you can hear some mariachis, where we are inspired by the deep faith of our peoples at churches like Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We’ve got a Chicagoan in here somewhere.  (Applause.)

I reviewed William Julius Wilson's study of Little Village in Chicago for VDARE.
And we’re so grateful to Mexican Americans in every segment of our society -- for teaching our children, and running our companies, and serving with honor in our military, and making breakthroughs in science, standing up for social justice.  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told Cesar Chavez once, we are “brothers in the fight for equality.”  And, in fact, without the strong support of Latinos, including so many Mexican Americans, I would not be standing today as President of the United States.  (Applause.)  That's the truth.

And so given that is Americas heritage, given that we share a border with Mexico, given ties that run back generations, it is critical that the United States recognize the need to reform our immigration system -- (applause) -- because we are a nation of laws, but we're also a nation of immigrants.  Like every nation we have a responsibility to ensure that our laws are upheld.  But we also know that, as a nation of immigrants, the immigration system we have in the United States right now doesn’t reflect our values.  It separates families when we should be reuniting them. It’s led to millions of people to live in the shadows.  It deprives us of the talents of so many young people -- even though we know that immigrants have always been the engine of our economy, starting some of our greatest companies and pioneering new industries.

Like all those world-conquering companies founded by Mexican-Americans, like ... uh ... like ... Artie Moreno's billboard company!
That’s one of the reasons I acted to lift the shadow of deportation from what we call the DREAMers -- young people brought to the United States as children.  (Applause.)  And that’s why I’m working with our Congress to pass common-sense immigration reform this year.  (Applause.)  I'm convinced we can get it done.   Reform that continues to strengthen border security and strengthen legal immigration, so citizens don’t have to wait years to bring their families to the United States.  Reform that holds everyone accountable -- so immigrants get on the right side of the law and so immigrants are not exploited and abused.  And most of all, reform that gives millions of undocumented individuals a pathway to earn their citizenship.   And I’m optimistic that -- after years of trying -- we are going to get it done this year.  I'm absolutely convinced of it.  (Applause.)

...  Just imagine how much the students of our two countries could do together, how much we could learn from each other.  ...
You are the future.  As Nervo wrote in “La Raza de Bronce,” tu eres el sueño -- you are the dream.  (Applause.)

Viva México!   Viva los Estados Unidos!   Que Dios los bendiga!  Thank you very much.  (Applause.) 

The most surprising aspect of Obama's speech is that it didn't include the world "vibrant."

The worst thing ever: Corporate Collusion or Discrimination?

Just how different attitudes were in the past can be hard to dredge up from one's memory.

For example, today, the topic of corporate collusion -- of big companies teaming up, formally or informally, to charge consumers more or pay workers less -- is of strikingly little interest. If Exxon and Mobil want to become ExxonMobil, well, sure, why not? The free market will make sure everything comes out okay!

But it wasn't always like that. My recollection is that public suspicion of the big boys engaging in cartelization and monopolization was near-obsessive up through the 1970s in leftwing, populist, and federal government circles.

To sniff out evidence of collusion, the government had all sorts of tests, both the equivalent in discrimination law terms of "disparate treatment" (a colleague told me that at a previous job he had to submit his appointment planner to the FTC to prove that he'd never been in the same town on the same day as various counterparts at another company suspected of price-fixing with his company) and "disparate impact" (the government had all sorts of complex formulas involving market shares that it used as prima facie evidence of anti-trust violations).

In the late 1970s, I took an Economics course at Rice that presented the now-dominant view that anti-trust had been overblown and there was little to worry about from mergers & acquisitions. The professor very much believed that he was part of small vanguard of intellectual rebels dissenting from stifling orthodoxy.

I came out of the class a true believer that there was very little need for anti-cartel laws. 

But, a few things started to chip away at my faith. I read a little pre-1911 business history and a standard scene in any new industry was a meeting at hotel among all the competitors, where the most respected industry leader would open the meeting by saying, "Boys, we've got a problem: too much competition, and that leads to price-cutting. All this cut-throat competition just isn't American. Here in America, we cooperate, we get organized. So, what I'm suggesting is ..." This was not a last resort, either, it was the first thing businessmen in nascent industries did. It was, indeed, the American way.

Also, I then studied corporate strategy in MBA school. The main point of strategy is this: You know that Econ 101 example about how a wheat farmer in South Dakota is in a situation of "perfect competition" where he can't make any excess profits because he has countless competitors? Well, you don't want to be a wheat farmer in South Dakota. You want to find or concoct a situation of "imperfect competition" where you enjoy some kind of monopolistic advantage so you can make a higher return on your investment than that poor bastard in South Dakota.

Finally, I got a job and wound up doing some corporate strategy. And it turned out that, just like John D. Rockefeller had explained, competition was awful. My boss negotiated a lucrative merger with our archrival, but the Reagan Administration shot it down because customers complained that we wouldn't cut prices as desperately if the industry consolidated from three to two firms. Our customers happened to be giant corporations with lobbyists, not disorganized nobodies, so their complaints were heeded.

Yet, a dozen years later, the Democratic Administration approved the mergers of Exxon - Mobil and BP - Amoco, which would have been unthinkable to Democrats in 1974, but is largely forgotten today.

But interest in the whole topic of corporate collusion has waned significantly over the last generation. Today, the notion that companies have an interest in coordinating in various ways to make higher profits at the expense of workers and consumers sounds like, frankly, a Conspiracy Theory.  And we all know about Conspiracy Theorists, don't we?

In contrast to current complacency about cartelization and monopolization, we live in age obsessed with rooting out white racism. The real threat in 2013, it appears from reading the newspapers, is not ExxonMobil and the like, but the Ku Klux Klan

You might almost think that ExxonMobil and friends like it that way, but that would be a Conspiracy Theory, so forget I ever mentioned it.

Immigration reduction on a roll politically

From the Washington Post:
U.K. Independence Party surges in elections

LONDON — ... The anti-immigration U.K. Independence Party staged a dramatic surge Thursday in local elections in England and Wales, with results on Friday showing voters delivering a brutal whipping to the Conservatives and their junior coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats. 
Political pundits said the results represented one of the strongest showings by a non­traditional party in Britain since World War II, with the gains underscoring the rise of populist and nationalist parties across Europe. 
At the core of the party’s platform are aspirations to withdraw Britain from the European Union and impose new curbs on immigration, and the powerful showing sets U.K. Independence up to be an increasingly influential force in British politics. In recent months, its growing support in national polls had already sparked Britain’s three major parties — the Conservatives, Labor and the Liberal Democrats — to float increasingly strict proposals aimed at stemming the tide of foreigners. ...
“We have been abused by everybody, the entire establishment, and now they are shocked and stunned that we are getting over 25 percent of the vote everywhere we stand across the country,” Farage told the BBC. “This is a real sea change in British politics.” 
The performance by a party Cameron once described as being filled with “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” raised the question of whether its gains amounted to a temporary protest vote or signaled the birth of a more powerful political movement. ... 
In fact, analysts said Labor’s failure to pick up even more seats despite Britain’s prolonged economic malaise suggested that its leader, Ed Miliband, had thus far failed to put the party on a clear victory footing ahead of the 2015 general elections. It also suggested that rather than moving to the political left, a significant portion of Britons unhappy with the current Conservative-led government was instead shifting further to the right. 

This is all perfectly natural during economic hard times, and just shows how bizarre and artificial is the media push for more immigration in the U.S.

May 3, 2013

LAT: "Obama's sunny speech in Mexico raises eyebrows"

From the Los Angeles Times:
Obama's sunny speech in Mexico raises eyebrows 
The president paints an optimistic portrait of a country rising from its troubles, but many who live with the nation's violence and poverty wonder 'what Mexico was he talking about?'

By Kathleen Hennessey and Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times 
May 3, 2013, 6:08 p.m. 
MEXICO CITY — President Obama on Friday painted a sunny picture of a modern Mexico emerging from its past troubles, an attempt at rebranding that serves the political aims of both governments but clashes with the realities of a country beset by violence and poverty.  ...
The perception of a rising Mexico serves both Obama's and his counterpart's domestic agendas. Obama's push for immigration reform could be lifted by a perception that the causes of illegal immigration — poverty, violence and corrupt institutions — are easing under new Mexican leadership. 
Obama was not subtle in hitting this point, quoting an unnamed Mexican man as saying, "There's no reason to go abroad in search of a better life." The U.S. president expressed new confidence that his immigration push was on track, saying, "We are going to get it done this year. I'm absolutely convinced of it." 
Peña Nieto's reform agenda also could use a boost. After passing laws to overhaul education and telecommunications, he faces an uphill battle in opening up Mexico's energy sector, especially oil exploration, to foreign investment. Such a move has long been taboo here. 
Obama's audience responded with enthusiasm, frequently interrupting him with applause or cheers. But audience members didn't necessarily agree with his assessment. 
"How nice that he came to give inspiring speeches, but what's happening in Mexico is far from what he talked about today," said Jose Carlos Cruz, a 24-year-old graduate student in international relations who attended the speech. "A really good speech by President Obama, but what Mexico was he talking about?" 
The Mexican economy has begun to slow, and the decrease in illegal immigration is more likely a result of demographic changes, the sluggish U.S. economy and the severe dangers of crossing Mexico than of any improvements inside Mexico. 
In his speech, Obama praised a growing middle class to which the majority of Mexicans belong. Although it is true that Mexico has a strong manufacturing base that has allowed many Mexicans to prosper, economists say the middle class has been stagnant for years. The World Bank says 49% of the population lives in poverty. ...
Yet many among the several hundred people in attendance said he seemed too upbeat about their country. 
"Obama is fantastic, but I believe that today he was talking about another country, not ours," said Rosa Castro, 43, a college professor. "My question is: Who wrote Obama's speech? Enrique Peña Nieto's team?" 
Alberto Rios Lara, 26, who is studying to be an economist, said, "Obama is a great speaker; it's really impossible not to feel excited. However, the reality is different in Mexico. We need more action and fewer speeches." 

According to a recent Pew Research poll, 35% of all 116 million Mexicans would like to move to the U.S.

In a more reasonable world, as former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda pointed out in his 2011 book Manana Forever?, Americans would be moving to Mexico for pleasant retirements (my parents took a look at Lake Chapala in 1967). Castaneda offered a long list of reforms that Mexico should undertake to make Americans less adventurous than old war correspondent Fred Reed feel welcome. He felt that the single most important was that Mexicans should stop using the ethnic slur "gringo."

Something else I've noticed is that it's hard for most gringo politicians and pundits to remember that Mexico has gone through lots of economic upswings before.
In 1946, Jorge Pasquel offered Babe Ruth $1 million
to be President of the Mexican League
For example, Mexico did so well economically during WWII that the Pasquel Brothers spent a supposed $50 million in the mid-1940s attempting to build the Mexican League into a third major league baseball circuit. In early 1946, they paid 18 big league ballplayers, such as Mickey Owen, Sal Maglie, and Vern Stephens to jump their contracts for the big money of the Mexican League. This caused one of the bigger crises in baseball of that era, with the MLB playing hardball in response. The Commissioner threatened to ban for life players who disobeyed the legally dubious "reserve clause" in their contracts.

Today, 67 years later, it seems bizarre to think that the Mexican League once competed with the American League and the National League.

P.S. Most old Sports Illustrated articles are online, and they are often great. Here's Frank Graham Jr.'s "The Great Mexican War of 1946" from 1966:
[Jorge] Pasquel was 39 years old in 1946, when he and his dashing brothers (Bernardo, Mario and the twins, Gerardo and Alfonso) discovered the ramshackle Mexican League. His family had owned a prosperous cigar factory, but he made his own opportunities as a young man by marrying the daughter of Plutarco Elias Calles, President of Mexico, and having himself appointed a customs broker for the Mexican government. His career was tempestuous. He left his wife, killed a man with the pistol he always carried and made enemies as well as a fortune. 
"Pasquel liked baseball," Mickey Owen says, "and he liked being in the limelight. The league gave him a lot of publicity, and it was closely tied in with his pal Aleman's presidential campaign that spring. Raiding the big leagues was a way of showing up the yanquis." 
Pasquel became the league's president and its chief scout ...  Once, when a no-hitter was broken up in the sixth inning, Jorge summarily restored the prize to the pitcher by overruling the official scorer and calling the play an error. The crowd was as overcome by this gallant gesture as if Pasquel had redeemed a lady's chastity. It accorded him a standing ovation, while Jorge beamed in his private box.
... "When our league was struggling to get started," Pasquel said, "major league scouts came down here and stole our players. Why? Because they offered them more money. We're giving those people a dose of their own medicine." 
Pasquel stepped up his raids on the major leagues. ... Later Alfonso Pasquel visited Stan Musial in his hotel room. While Musial, who was making $13,500 a year with the Cardinals, watched in astonishment, Pasquel spread five cashier's checks, each for $10,000, on his bed. This, Pasquel told him, was merely a bonus. While Musial turned the offer over in his mind, Cardinal Manager Eddie Dyer (an old Rickey man) effectively intervened. 
"Stan, you've got two children," Dyer said. "Do you want them to hear someone say, 'There are the kids of a guy who broke a contract'?" 
Musial declined to go to Mexico, but the Pasquels scored their most dramatic coup by hijacking three other Cardinals, Pitchers Max Lanier and Fred Martin and Second Baseman Lou Klein. Lanier was the prize. Considered by some baseball men to be the best pitcher in the National League, he had a 6-0 record with St. Louis when he left for Mexico in June. ...
But the Mexican problem was beginning to solve itself. Attendance, after the novelty of new faces had run its course, quickly declined. There were heavy rains that summer. At critical moments during a night game the electricity would fail. ... Travel was arduous at best, and sometimes hazardous. Landing strips in a few towns were simply open pastures. "It was unnerving," Mickey Owen says. "Coming in for a landing we'd look out and see eight or 10 of those big black Mexican vultures waiting for us. That's one of the things I remember best about Mexico—those vultures." 
... Nor did the American players prove to be the superstars Pasquel thought he had bought. When Veracruz, which Pasquel had stocked with the best players because it was his favorite team, sank into fourth place, Jorge took matters into his own hands. He fired Owen as manager and named as Owen's successor—Jorge Pasquel! 
"It's quite possible I did a lousy job of managing," Mickey says. "But I think the main thing was that Jorge had a sneaky ambition to be the manager himself." 
Pasquel, in uniform, took his place in the third-base coaching box. When he waved his arms, which he did frequently, his 12-karat diamond ring glittered in the sun. The crowd roared its appreciation. Between innings Pasquel retired to the dugout, where a valet, a napkin draped over one arm, served him steaming cups of vegetable juices and platters of chicken or crabs. When he had finished eating, his valet produced a tooth brush, with which Jorge cleaned his teeth. At the end of 10 days, Veracruz still languished in fourth place, the cheers for its gallant leader were not so delirious, and Jorge stepped aside in favor of a man named Chili Lopez. 

The Great Firewall

A reader writes:
You'll be honored to know that my son says he can't get to your blog from Beijing, although he can sometimes get to Cochran's.

Success! America makes life worse for 2-digit IQ Americans

From the New York Times
Thanks goodness that over the last two generations we've been importing all these uneducated foreigners to compete with our own less educated fellow American citizens. Making life harder on our fellow Americans who aren't as smart as we are is the highest form of morality.

The inside story on my big wedding

My wife provides the back story on why we had such a giant wedding reception in 1987:
Of course I learned about the indirect dowry idea from my mom, especially the part about guests being expected to match the dinner/venue price. But do you remember my dad's drunken justification for spending on a big wedding? (My mom had just raided one of their IRA's for our wedding and he needed a reason not to kill her over it.) 
He finally came up with this one -  
It was the father-of-the-bride's duty to provide plenty of witnesses to help the groom remember that he got married - so his son-in-law doesn't go out for a newspaper one day and forget to come back.

Peak state theory

The theory of the Deep State is a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern concept, popular in Turkey, Italy, and Egypt, that goes back at least to the Ottoman Empire of persistent shadowy coalitions behind the nominal leader.

In turn, my theory of the Peak State is that the single most likely leader of the Deep State is the nominal ruler himself. 

For example, if the Army chief of staff overthrows the elected leader and installs himself as military dictator and then the dictator's rivals and enemies start blowing up or dropping dead of lead poisoning, well, yes, you can probably blame elements within the Deep State. 

But, it's easy to be too clever by half. For example, when exiled Filipino politician Benigno Aquino returned from exile in the U.S. in 1983 to challenge dictator Ferdinand Marcos, he was immediately shot dead on the tarmac. My brilliant conclusion at the time was that it couldn't have been Marcos -- that was too obvious!

Similarly, when Benazir Bhutto returned from exile to challenge Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, she happened to blow up. 

Oddly enough, bad things keep happening to people who displease Musharraf, even now that he's under house arrest.

From the NYT:
Gunmen killed a court prosecutor working on the murder case of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto early Friday, casting into turmoil a politically charged case that has also embroiled Pakistan’s former military leader, Pervez Musharraf.

Assailants fatally shot Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali as he was leaving his home in a suburb of the capital, Islamabad, for a court hearing in which Mr. Musharraf, who is currently under house arrest, was due to seek bail. 
... A doctor at the hospital where his body was brought said he had been shot 13 times. 
Mr. Ali represented the Federal Investigation Agency, which has implicated Mr. Musharraf in the case of Ms. Bhutto, who was assassinated in December 2007, just before the last election. Mr. Ali was also the prosecutor in the trial of seven people from the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba who have been charged with orchestrating the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. 
After a court hearing on April 30, Mr. Ali told reporters there was “solid evidence” that connected Mr. Musharraf with Ms. Bhutto’s death. Investigators had compiled evidence that “directly connect the accused” with the killing, he said. 
Mr. Ali was also involved in other prominent cases including the militant assault on the military’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi in October 2009, and the trial of militants accused of orchestrating the Mumbai attacks.

If you remember the pop quiz a reporter sprung on candidate George W. Bush in 1999: name the leaders of Taiwan, Pakistan, India, and Chechnya, Bush got Taiwan right and partial credit for Pervez:
''The new Pakistani general, he's just been elected - not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country and I think that's good news for the subcontinent.''

May 2, 2013

Uncle Ruslan's org funneled military supplies from Al-Qaeda to Chechen rebels

One of the big questions left hanging about the Bomb Brothers is how did their useless family get asylum in the U.S. despite going back and forth to the country they supposedly had to flee? Is it just that our overall immigration system is too lax on immigrants? 

That's not a good question for the "immigration reform" marketing push, so you might think an alternative answer would be getting some media love: the Tsarnaevs had rare family connections inside the American deep state that got their asylum application some special string-pulling.

But that would be a Conspiracy Theory, so we can't dream of that. 

Thus, the only reporter who seems to be following up on the deep state link is Daniel Hopsicker of Mad Cow Morning News. In "‘Uncle Ruslan’ aided terrorists from CIA official’s home," he seems to demonstrate that the Congress of Chechen International Organizations was registered in 1995 by Ruslan Tsarni (the Bomb Brother's father's brother who goes on TV to call them losers) out of the house of his father-in-law Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council then working for the RAND Corp. 

And Hopsicker has a copy of a letter suggesting that Uncle Ruslan's NGO played middleman to deliver 2,500 pairs of combat boots to Chechen rebels from the Al-Qaeda front Benevolence International. They went to Sheik Fathi, a Jordanian of Chechen descent, who had spent 10 years fighting in Afghanistan.

Since the postman would presumably deliver mail for Uncle Ruslan's operation to Mr. Fuller's mailbox, it's hard to imagine that Fuller, a Central Asian expert, was oblivious to the organization's general existence, although it's hard to say how much more deeply he was involved. 

Nor can we say for sure what side Uncle Ruslan was actually on. What Kipling called the Great Game can be played in many ways.

Let me make a general point about Conspiracy Theories, which is that almost nobody takes a reductionist approach to them. The typical Conspiracy Theorist is driven by the urge to put forward as complex, crazy, and omnipotent a conspiracy theory as possible. In contrast, the conventional wisdom is that conspiracies don't exist.

My impression, in contrast to both perspectives, is that conspiracies happen all the time, but most of them are pretty ineffectual. When all is said and done, more is said than done. 

For example, let's assume for the minute that Fuller was involved in supplying combat boots to Chechen rebels in 1996 as part of a CIA conspiracy that went All the Way to the Top, even though the Clinton Administration was also strongly on the side of Yeltsin's Russian government. Why would the U.S. government do something to hurt its ally?

Well, one reason is in case the Chechens win, then the CIA would have a connection to the winners. "Hey, we gave you those boots, remember?" 

Or, it gives the U.S. something to trade to the Russians in return for something more valuable. It's quite common for Powers to give a little aid to rebels in a rival country to strengthen their bargaining position. For example, in the 1970s Henry Kissinger agreed to the Shah of Iran's conspiracy to aid Iraqi Kurds in their rebellion against Baghdad to punish Saddam Hussein, who had Soviet ties. None of the outside conspirators really wanted the Iraqi Kurds to win and get their own state (Kurds also live in Iran and NATO member Turkey), but it was fun to use them to pester Saddam.

But then in 1975 Saddam secretly made a concession to Iran regarding the crucial border in the Persian Gulf in return for the Shah stopping his aid to the Kurdish rebels in the north of Iraq. This came as a nasty shock to Kissinger (not to mention the poor Kurds, who got hammered by an Iraqi offensive without any of the expected protection from Iran).

So, it can be useful for a rich country to funnel a little aid to some rebels even when it doesn't want them to win.

Or, it doesn't even have to be governmental -- gentlemen adventurers have been poking around in that part of the world since Lord Byron set off to free the Greeks in the 1820s.

This reductionist approach to conspiracy theories doesn't lead to all-encompassing answers to the Big Questions, but it does dredge up plausible sounding answers to interesting little questions like: How did the Tsarnaevs get asylum?

Or maybe the immigration system is just way too lax.

Dweebs think Chechens are cool, too

With the news of three additional suspects in federal custody, questions remain about the motive for the Boston Marathon bombing and whether the attack involved conspirators beyond the Tsarnaev brothers. But an account from an acquaintance of the suspects—a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth who was once romantically involved with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev himself—helps shed light on the individuals now at the center of the investigation.

The woman, who lived in the same dorm at UMass–Dartmouth as Tsarnaev during the 2011-12 academic year, told Mother Jones that she first met and had a "fleeting fling" with the bombing suspect during the fall of 2011. Around the same time, she says, she met Tsarnaev's college buddies Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, and Robel Phillipos, the men now accused of helping Tsarnaev dispose of evidence and lying to investigators after the bombing. 
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, the woman said, were part of a group of about five Russian-speaking friends at the university whom Tsarnaev was never without. 
"They all sort of idolized Jahar," she said, using the name she and others knew Tsarnaev by. "Dias was probably the one closest to him." She said that of the friends, Tsarnaev was the most popular and in touch with campus social life. "I cannot speak to the nature of their relationship because of the language barrier, however I did observe that Jahar was always the leader in his group." ...
She got to know the group, she said, while hanging around campus with them, smoking pot and listening to music. She says her romantic relationship with Tsarnaev lasted for about two weeks. "I met him standing outside a building and honestly, his face was enough to capture my heart," she explained, noting that lots of women fawned over him. "I walked right up to him and I was like, 'Oh my God, you are adorable. Can we hang out?' I'm very forward." 
Her nascent romance with Tsarnaev soon soured, though, after he invited her to come to his dorm room alone. "He wanted to go further than I did, and that made me uncomfortable, and I realized that that's not the kind of person that I wanted to be around," she says. "I don't think that's necessarily being a terrorist. I think that's just called being a hands-y teenaged boy."

Biochemical roots of immigrant terrorist anti-Americanism

From the NYT:
Boston Plot Said to Have Focused on July 4 Attack
Surviving Brother Says Suicide Attacks Were Considered 
The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings told F.B.I. interrogators that he and his brother considered suicide attacks and striking on the Fourth of July as they plotted their deadly assault, according to two law enforcement officials. 

I thought that all immigrants come to America because they love the propositions in the Declaration of Independence?
But the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators that he and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, who was killed in a shootout with the police, ultimately decided to use pressure-cooker bombs and other homemade explosive devices, the officials said. 
The brothers finished building the bombs in Tamerlan’s apartment in Cambridge, Mass., faster than they had anticipated, and so decided to accelerate their attack to the Boston Marathon on April 15, Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, from July, according to the account that Dzhokhar provided authorities. They picked the finish line of the marathon after driving around the Boston area looking for alternative sites, according to this account.

If they had been Four Lions-style Pakistanis instead of Chechens, they would have aimed for Patriots Days but not gotten their bombs finished until Independence Day.

There has been endless speculation about what could have motivated these Cambridge lads. Here, for example, is a Slate article discussing what can be learned about the Tsarnaevs from watching Mad Men, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and other premium cable serials. (Yes, I know that sounds like a parody of the ultimate Slate article, but I'm not making it up.)

In contrast, I would emphasize the effects of testosterone. Young men like to divide themselves up into teams and fight other teams. Hence, they look for reasons to take passionate sides (as spectator sports entrepreneurs long ago noticed). I touched on this in VDARE a decade ago in "Anti-Americanism Spurred by Immigration."
ANTI-AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL MECHANISM #1: the U.S. college experience can set off ugly reactions in foreigners. Perhaps the most disastrous example: the Egyptian fundamentalist ideologue Sayyid Qutb, the "Philosopher of Islamic Terror" who became "the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda," according to Paul Berman. In the New York Times March 23, 2003, Berman writes: 
"[Sayyid Qutb] even traveled to the United States in the late 1940's, enrolled at the Colorado State College of Education and earned a master's degree. In some of the accounts of Qutb's life, this trip to America is pictured as a ghastly trauma, mostly because of America's sexual freedoms, which sent him reeling back to Egypt in a mood of hatred and fear." 
It's hard to predict what will outrage visitors from other cultures. Qutb's conversion from modernizing to jihad is sometimes said to be a reaction to the lasciviousness of a church dance he attended in Greeley, Colorado! 
Perhaps the most detailed account of this alienation process at work in a foreign intellectual is John Updike's 1978 novel The Coup.  Written when Updike was at the height of his powers, it might be his most spectacular (if hyperbolic) effort. The Coup consists of the extraordinarily articulate memoirs of the revolutionary dictator of an impoverished African country. 
Colonel-President Ellellou is a fervent Muslim, Marxist, and black racist. He's perfectly aware that his three faiths are contradictory. But, since they each give him additional reasons to indulge his consuming hatred of America ("that fountainhead of obscenity and glut"), he luxuriates in them all. 
Ellellou traces his obsession with America to the four seemingly-pleasant years he spent at a liberal arts college in small-town Wisconsin in the 1950s, where he made blonde Candace the second of his Prophet-sanctioned four wives. 
How can America's openness backfire so badly? Well, American universities specialize in leftist indoctrination.  Maybe their foreign students, well, study. 
And foreigners living in America are constantly confronted with America's superiority over their homelands. It would be wonderful if every visitor to the U.S. reacted as objectively as Alexis de Tocqueville. But don't count on it. 
For instance, years later Updike's Ellellou is still driven into a rage by the thought of how well stocked a Wisconsin drugstore was compared to the shops at home: 
"Hakim's instinct was to smash, to disarray this multifaceted machine, this drugstore, so unlike the chaste and arcane pharmacies of Caillieville, where the sallow Frenchman in his lime-green smock guarded his goods behind a chest-high counter showing only a few phials of colored water." 
I sympathize. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and went to college in Houston. On any kind of rational scale, the difference between living in suburban California and suburban Texas is minimal. But so what? I was young. I missed my home. The testosterone was flowing. So I just decided I was going to hate Houston. I spent four years, objectively as enjoyable as Ellellou's, searching out reasons to despise Texas. 
If I could succumb to pointless anti-Texanism, how much more understandable is the anti-Americanism of many immigrant students?

Who has mentioned Forbes Israel's cover story on Jewish billionaires?

Ranking billionaires is increasingly to Forbes what ranking colleges is to USN&WR: a raison d'etre.

After all, billionaires get a lot of coverage in the press. According to the website's search engine, the New York Times has posted 7,590 articles containing "billionaire" over just the last 30 days.

Similarly, Jewish topics are of great interest to the press. The New York Times' search engine says the Grey Lady of journalism has posted 11,000 articles containing "Jewish" over the last 30 days. 

Now, you might think that therefore Jewish billionaires would be a particularly interesting subject for the mainstream American press. After all, the Forbes Israel cover story of a couple of weeks ago counting Jewish billionaires has proven enthralling to the American Jewish press and to the Israeli press.

But, a Google search on

forbes israel jewish billionaires

turns up distinctly limited coverage. Here's the first page from the main Google search engine (i.e., not Google News, but plain old Google Web):
  1. News for forbes israel jewish billionaires
    Sailer: Forbes Israel's list of 165 Jewish billionaires ‎- 1 day ago
    Sailer: Forbes Israel's list of 165 Jewish billionaires - Steve Sailer

    Forbes Israel boasts of power of Jewish billionaires - Mondoweiss

    Oracle CEO heads Forbes Israel list of Jewish billionaires | j. the ...

    Oracle's Ellison heads Forbes Israel list of Jewish billionaires | JTA ...

    JTA is the Jewish Telegraph Agency, a venerable wire service.
    Jewish billionaires worth $812 billion, Forbes Israel reports - Haaretz

    The Jewish Billionaires of Forbes / Jspace News

    World's 165 Jewish billionaires worth combined $812 billion | The ... › Jewish Times

    ForbesBillionaires: Who's Jewish? - World Jewish Daily

    Larry Ellison Tops $812B Forbes List of Jewish Billionaires - Forward

    Jewish billionaires worth $812 billion, Forbes Israel reports ... › Stormfront › News › Newslinks & Articles
    Apr 18, 2013 - 4 posts - 3 authors

    Forbes ranking: The world's richest Jews | JPost | Israel News

    JEWISH BILLIONAIRE'S - International Men's Organisation

    Forbes Israel ranks the world's richest Jews - Israel Hayom

    Jewish Wealth by the Numbers - Taki's Magazine

    Forbes: 11.6% of world's billionaires are Jews, totally admired by ... › Forums › Off-Topic Discussion

    Forbes Israel boasts of power of Jewish billionaires - eWallstreeter

    David Azrieli & family - Forbes

    Forbes Israel ranks world's richest Jews - Israel Business, Ynetnews › Ynetnews › Business

    ForbesBillionaires: The Richest Jews in the World / Jspace News

    Forbes IsraelJews R Still Rich | New Voices
    Apr 19, 2013 – The lovely group over at Forbes Israel (as if “ANTI-SEMITE FODDER” isn't ... The two people that founded Google are Jewish AND billionaires. 
    Forbes Israel Reveals The Richest Jews In The World | Elite Daily › Home › Front Page › Money

    'World's Jewish billionaires worth combined $812 billion' | The Ugly ...

    Oracle CEO Heads Forbes Israel List Of Jewish Billionaires - Congoo

    Jewish Billionaires - Sunray 22 B

    race/history/evolution notes: The world's richest Jews (an incomplete ...

    World's richest Jews ranked: Forbes Israel publishes annual Jewish ...
    ► 1:39
    Apr 19, 2013 - Uploaded by JewishNewsOne

      Energized Conspiracy Theorists, Here Is Your Definitive List of ...

      Top 10 Jewish Billionaires List 2012 | Jewish & Israel News ... › Spirituality/Tradition › Personalities

      Seventeen Israelis make Forbes billionaires list | The Times of Israel › Jewish Times

    Pew survey of Mexico: 40 million more Mexicans want to immigrate to U.S.

    As we've all been repeatedly informed by East Coast pundits, we don't have to worry that the Gang of Four*2's amnesty will encourage more illegal immigration because nobody in Mexico will ever want to move to America again, due to Mexico's economic awesomeosity (since everybody who knows anything about the economic history of Mexico knows that it never, ever goes through downturns, like in 1976, 1982, and 1994).

    Finally, though, the Pew Center tried asking Mexicans in Mexico rather than journalists in Georgetown.

    Via Mangan, Pew Research reports:
    Released: April 29, 2013 
    U.S. Image Rebounds in Mexico: Fewer See Better Life North of the Border, but 35% Would Migrate 
    On the eve of President Barack Obama’s visit to Mexico, the United States is enjoying a resurgence of good will among the Mexican public, with a clear majority favorably inclined toward their northern neighbor and more now expressing confidence in Obama. 
    A national opinion survey of Mexico by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 4-17 among 1,000 adults, finds that roughly two-thirds (66%) of Mexicans have a favorable opinion of the U.S. – up from 56% a year ago and dramatically higher than it was following the passage of Arizona’s restrictive immigration law in 2010, when favorable Mexican attitudes toward the United States slipped to 44%. 
    Obama also receives higher ratings than he did in recent years. ... Mexicans are also now more of the view that the U.S. takes their country’s interests into account when deciding international policy.  
    Views on Immigration 
    More than 11 million Mexicans live in the U.S., including about 6 million who are in the country illegally.1 Mexicans are divided on whether this is good or bad for their country; 44% say it is good for Mexico that many of its citizens live in the U.S., and an equal share say this is bad for Mexico. 
    About six-in-ten Mexicans (61%) say they would not move to the U.S. even if they had the means and opportunity to do so. However, a sizable minority (35%) say they would move to the U.S. if they could, including 20% who say they would emigrate without authorization.

    According to the CIA World Factbook, the population of Mexico will be 116,220,947 by mid-year. So, 35% of that is 40.7 million who want to move here if it were legal. And of those, 23 million would like to move here even if it were illegal.
    Mexicans are less likely than they were a year ago to say that people from their country who move to the U.S. have a better life there; 47% say life is better in the U.S., compared with 53% in 2012. About one-in-five (18%) say Mexicans have a worse life in the U.S., while 29% say it is neither better nor worse. However, among those who have close friends or relatives living in the U.S., 70% say these friends or relatives have achieved their goals, while just 25% believe they have been disappointed.
    Three-in-ten Mexicans say they personally know someone who went to the U.S. but returned to Mexico because the person could not find work. About a quarter (27%) know someone who has been deported or detained by the U.S. government for immigration reasons in the last 12 months.