View 729 Monday, June 18, 2012
I’ve been busy for the past few days.
On Flag Day, which is Roberta’s Birthday, our first grandson, Zaddock Russell Pournelle, was born in Washington to my son Richard and his wife Herrin.
Zaddock is a name from his mother’s family history. Russell is the middle name of my son Frank, who is the godson of the late Russell Kirk.
Mother, baby, and big sister Ruthie are doing well.
Sunday we had a friend’s wedding to attend. Much fun.
I’ll scramble to catch up, but there is a TV show I intend to watch tonight. For those who missed the pilot last Monday, tonight is the second episode of “Bunheads”, a TV series that I would have bet money I would never watch, but for one reason or another I watched the opening of the pilot last week and I’m hooked. Sutton Foster, famous on Broadway but relatively unknown on TV, is the star and is perfect in a very strange role of an aging (30 claiming to be 25) Las Vegas showgirl with classic ballet training who finds one morning that she has a terrible hangover and married to a man who has been courting her for months. He comes from a coastal California town small enough that it no longer is a movie theater, and he lives with his mother who had filled the house with kitsch. The mother was once a ballerina and now has a small ballet studio where she teaches. She used to be mother of the only eligible bachelor in the town of Paradise, and now finds herself as mother in law to someone she assumes was a pole dancer. And that’s just the first fifteen minutes.
I have no idea whether the second episode will be able to keep up with the story it began, but the cast has been great in the various complex parts, and I wouldn’t miss tonight’s episode.
Much happened in the past few days. The President has decided to implement the “Dream Act” for illegal aliens brought to the United States as “children”. He couldn’t get it through Congress back when the Democrats had a majority there, and in fact concern over what Congress might do with amnesty laws (usually known as “comprehensive immigration reform” had a great deal to do with the 2010 elections and the Democrat loss of the House. He certainly can’t get it through the present House, or the Senate for that matter, so he is going to implement it by imperial rescript, also known as decree and formally known as Executive Order; in any event without Congressional action. The implications of rule by decree are fairly large.
Obama hopes to face Romney with a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be one. This is a matter for Congress and national debate. It is a complex issue.
Assume someone brought to the United States at an early age, who has completed high school, and has no criminal record.
Item: it makes no sense to educate young people and then deport them.
Item: it’s not their fault that they are here.
Item: they don’t belong here because they are illegal.
Item: anything that looks like amnesty will be considered amnesty and attract more illegal aliens.
Surely we can all agree on all four items – and believing all of them does not lead to any single resolution.
There are some other things we can probably agree on:
Any “dream kid” convicted of a felony involving violence ought to be conducted to the border after serving an appropriate sentence. If his home country won’t accept him we should advertise: the first country to invite this chap gets $5,000.
Anyone with more than a dozen arrests involving gang activity should not be eligible for any kind of residency or citizenship program, and should be deported whenever possible.
If someone has served eight years in the US Armed Services and has an honorable discharge, that someone is eligible to apply for citizenship and ought to be encouraged to do so.
Anyone receiving a PhD in one of the hard sciences should have a citizen application attached to the diploma.
It wouldn’t take long to make up long lists of this kind, but surely the point is made? This is a matter for Congress, not for imperial rescript.
Specifically: for once I agree with deferring a matter. It is not Romney’s job to solve this problem as President. This is far greater than something that can be covered with an imperial rescript.
Greece has bought itself some time, and will play out the game, going through the motions of accepting some kind of austerity reforms. It won’t work. Any real reforms will result in riots and a new election and more delays. At some point Greece must either leave or be thrown out of the Euro and return to the drachma. It isn’t that the drachma is better than the Euro, it’s that almost anything is better than barter, and Greece has spent nearly every Euro it can get. The new Greek parliament may or may not be able to form a government, and that government may or may not be able to convince the Germans to hand Greece another boon (which will be called a loan, but some will understand that it is not likely to be repaid), and we may go through another iteration of this; but there is almost no chance that Greece will actually reform and start working again. The attraction of working 40 weeks a year and retiring at age 50 is too great. Spain, Portugal, Greece, and others have borrowed money to live beyond their means without investing any of it in schemes t hat will actually increase income. They have spent the money. The investors who loaned it to them want it back. They don’t have it and aren’t likely to earn it.
The investors then try to get their governments to bail them out. That means transferring the debt from Greece and Spain etc. to the citizens of the countries whose banks loaned money to the PIGS.
Of course no one seems to think that this story may apply to the United States, which is also living far beyond its means and not investing in the future. For years we ran an economy consisting of opening containers of goods made in China, and paying for them with money borrowed from China.
And they never catch wise.
We live in interesting times.
Chinese back doors in telecom equipment
This is an important matter. It will bite us in the ass if we are not careful.
Hardly astonishing. Most of the routers are made in China, too.
I got hit with some phishing but since I see things only in plaintext and never go to html or open attachments unless I know a lot about where things are from and from whom, I don’t expect they got me. I did go to http://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner/ and let ESET go through things, Takes about an hour and it found noting…
I note that I am now getting over 1000 spam messages a day caught in my spam filters; over 800 get caught up at the ISP level, and my own rules a filters get several hundred more. that’s every day. Some, like the mail from myself offering me a Rolex watch, come in multiples of 50 or more. Some come as fake subscriptions You need not worry: I generally find all the real subscriptions. If you want to subscribe – and you should if you haven’t – just do it. It will get to me. I have ways of weeding out the junk and keeping the real things.
But it’s bad out there…
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.