Archive for the ‘Dean’s World’ Category.

Fools Rush In – The Life of ex-President Jimmy Carter

Mirrored at Dean’s World.

For over the past 25 years former president Jimmy Carter has used the prestige of his office to stay in the news, winning a peace prize in the process. Is Carter truly motivated by the quest for peace, or is there something else making him get involved in nearly every major foreign policy issue of the last 17 years?

Before traveling to Syria this week to meet Hamas Chief Khaled Mashaal, former president Jimmy Carter spoke at American University in Cairo, where he condemned the Israeli blockade of Gaza. “It’s an atrocity what is being perpetrated as punishment on the people in Gaza. It’s a crime… I think it is an abomination that this continues to go on,” Carter said. A few days earlier Carter visited southern Israel where he met with the kin of those killed by rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza. There he referred to the Qassam rocket attacks as criminal acts.

When Israel left Gaza there was no blockade in place. Immediately after assuming control, the Palestinians began firing rockets into southern Israel – just as predicted by the Israeli settlers evicted by force from settlements in Gaza. When Hamas violently overthrew the Palestinian Authority in June 2007, the rockets rained down in earnest and the blockade was put in place. But even today when nearly a dozen rockets landed, fuel supplies are being sent to Gaza from Israel from a depot where 2 civilians were murdered by Palestinians earlier this week.

Carter refuses to accept that Israel cedes land and gets rockets in return from Hamas. It’s not perceived by Hamas as “land for peace”; it’s “land for rocket staging areas.” He sees no difference between a terrorist organization that targets civilians and a military that targets the terrorists. Instead he sees Hamas and the Israeli government as morally equivalent, unelected terrorists who slaughtered their own people in the coup last year and a government freely elected by its people as moral equals. By this logic a cop that shoots a killer to death in the line of duty is just as immoral as the killer himself.

On Friday he met Mashaal. By doing so he has elevated a terrorist organization that is sworn to the destruction of Israel, and one that has the blood of his own countrymen on his hands. Why? Because he accepts the validity of terrorist acts as a means to wage war, according to former adviser to Carter and onetime executive director of the Carter Center Ken Stein. Writing in this piece for the Middle East Quarterly:

(In his book, Peace Not Apartheid, Carter writes) “It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel,”[40] he leaves the impression that it is legitimate to engage in terrorism and suicide bombing against Israelis until Jerusalem accepts his interpretation of international law. In doing so, he ignores the fact that the performance-based formula for advancing Israeli-Palestinian talks, the so-called “Road Map” endorsed by the Quartet in 2003, required immediate cessation of terrorism.

To return to the cop analogy, it’s as if the cops must stop pursuing a murderer before the killer stops killing. It’s a naive morality that wouldn’t survive an hour in a sandbox full of preschoolers, but it’s the one Carter has followed since being thrown out of the Oval Office in 1981. But with Israel in particular, there is more to Carter’s meddling in its affairs. It starts with the fact that Carter has never forgiven American Jews for siding with Ted Kennedy during the 1980 primaries according to Stein. Beyond that,
Carter’s grievance list against Israel is long: He believes the Israeli government’s failure to withdraw fully from the West Bank is illegal and immoral; he condemns settlement construction; and he lambastes its current human rights abuse in the West Bank, which he labels “one of the worst examples of human rights abuse I know.”[5] From the time he was president, he has criticized Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land, usurpation of water rights, and retaliatory bulldozing of Palestinian houses. Such policies, he has argued, are responsible for the moribund Palestinian economy. Carter holds particular animus toward the security barrier, first proposed by the late prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin,[6] as the latest example of what he believes to be a policy of de facto annexation of the West Bank.

Carter sees the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the root of both U.S. unpopularity in the region and the wider problem of Middle East instability. Once the historic injustice done to the Palestinians is resolved, he believes, other issues plaguing U.S. foreign policy will dissipate, if not disappear.

Stein writes that Carter believes had he won re-election in 1980, he would have solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Carter possesses missionary zeal. He believes that had he won re-election, he would have succeeded in ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Numerous times during the 1980s, Carter quipped after leaving meetings with Middle Eastern or U.S. officials that, if given a chance, he could “make this happen.”

The Carter presidency was an unmitigated disaster economically as well as militarily. The rise of Islamic fascism began on Carter’s watch, and was exacerbated by Carter’s personal ineptitude as well as that of his administration. He encouraged Saddam Hussein to attack Iran in 1979. He made Iran the example that anyone with a grudge could do whatever they wanted against the United States without penalty, whether it was holding embassy personnel hostage in total disregard of international law or attacking civilians at home and abroad. The blame for 9-11 lays solely with al-Qaeda, but the Carter Administration mishandling of the Iranian revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (in which Carter’s bungled handling of the SALT I treaty led the Soviets to believe that they could get away with the invasion, followed by U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski’s recommending the supporting of the mujahadeen against the Soviets) played a critical role in the internationalization of Islamic terrorism beyond the Middle East.

Since leaving office Carter has striven to rehabilitate his legacy as one of America’s worst presidents (#11 according to this meta-survey). He could have stuck with Habitat for Humanity and lived an honorable and exemplary life proving such polls wrong in the end. But his ego wouldn’t let him. Instead the incompetence that doomed his presidency has stalked his efforts in personal diplomacy. He undercut George Bush’s senior’s efforts to drive Saddam out of Kuwait in 1991 by appealing to governments to not join the coalition he was putting together to do so. In 1993 he brokered a “get out jail free” deal with Mohammed Farah Aidid, after the firefight with his militiamen (backed by al-Qaeda we later learned) that left 18 servicemen dead and 77 wounded. The 1994 “agreement” he “brokered” in North Korea to halt its nuclear program was never taken seriously by the North Korean regime, and the regime made a dozen nukes. Given Carter’s willful ignorance to listen to members from his own party over the years as well as these failures, it’s clear that he’s not in it for peace: he’s in it for his own personal glory.

Like the neo-cons from the Ford Administration gravitated around Bush in 2000, Carter officials have glommed onto Barack Obama’s candidacy. For millions of under 35’s who don’t remember gas lines, aren’t familiar with terms like “misery index” and never saw US hostages being paraded before cameras on the nightly news every night, the Carter years are just history pages from a textbook turned very quickly at the end of the school year. For many of us who lived through it, names like Brzezinski coupled with the sight of the ex-president meeting and elevating the status of our enemies are chilling reminders of what the world would have been like had Kennedy beaten Carter in the 1980 Democratic Primaries, or better yet, if Ford hadn’t pardoned Nixon and thereby beaten Carter soundly in 1976 Election – depriving the USA of one of its worst presidents and the enemies of freedom and peace with one of their most determined champions.

Is it Faces of Meth or Faces of Addiction

Dean has given my post thumbs up for his best of archive, which I appreciate. Unfortunately I’ve had way too much experience with the sauce over my 4 decades, and at this point in my life I hate to admit that I really can’t say much about it. You want wisdom go to an AA/NA meeting and talk to someone with more sobriety under their belt than my 2,324 days.

The Problem with Pakistan

Crossposted at Dean’s World

If you haven’t already read Ali’s post on PajamasMedia, do so. Ali believes that the United States should give up on Musharraf and call for an objective international panel on Bhutto’s murder.

If the U.S. can create the conditions for such a public demonstration of the history and extent of jihadist killing and infiltration, it would arm the people of Pakistan with unerring proof about who is their real enemy. It would be a boost to their sense of survival. It would demonstrate that the US is looking out for them. They would be able to take these feelings to the polls.

Or would it simply result in Nawaz Sharif taking power and allowing the militants in Pakistan to gain more power, and perhaps even nuclear weapons?

Ali’s positions seems naive to me. If we cut off support of Musharraf and support an independent inquiry, the Pakistanis will have a change of heart about the United States and realize we’re on their side.

What is the likelihood of that happening? As Ali notes, Sharif has never had security problems because he is on the same side of the extremists. If Musharraf leaves and creates a power vacuum, isn’t Sharif – and the jihadists who support him – the one most likely to fill it?

Pakistan has always been a complicating factor in American foreign policy. It has made relations with India tougher, and since 2001 has constrained our fight in Afghanistan. Should Pakistan switch sides and cut off coalition overflights, we would have no way to supply forces in Afghanistan.

Benazir Bhutto was one of a kind. I don’t see anyone able to replace her. I’m sure that today the Joint Chiefs, the Pentagon and even the maivens of State are brainstorming what to do now that America’s policy towards Pakistan is buried in a mausoleum in Ghari Khuda Bakhsh.

More on Malaria – And Good Karma For Bill Gates

Originally posted at Dean’s World here.

Last week scientists met to discuss the eradication of Malaria. This comes just after the appearance of two articles in popular science magazines New Scientist and Scientific American.

How the World Left Malaria Off the Hook, by Fred Pearce documents the failure of the world community to stop the malarial parasite during the 1950s and 1960s. He attributes the failure to a combination of aid cuts by the US congress, overconfidence over the control of the disease and its vectors, and the demonization of DDT by environmentalist groups. Pearce notes, "environmentalists were as determined to ban DDT as doctors had once been to banish malaria. In 2001, the pesticide appeared on a list of 12
toxic industrial chemicals that were to be banned worldwide under the
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants." Fears that DDT would breed resistance were unfounded because DDT not only killed mosquitoes, it repelled them. "Roberts has also now shown that DDT is uniquely effective in banishing malaria not because it kills mosquitoes but because it repels them. He published these findings in August this year – but notes that the observations were first made in 1953 by the entomologist Robert Muirhead-Thomson. (link)"

Jeffrey Sachs takes a more political correct view of malaria, writing DDT’s "function as an insecticide in open fields (which is environmentally
unsafe and promotes resistance) also curtailed use of the chemical," while ignoring the fact that countries banned the pesticide and refused to fund its use at all in the developing world.

His solution? Free bed nets and cheap drugs. While both are part of the solution, cheap drugs such as chloroquine have been in use for decades. The result? Most malaria parasites have some degree of chloroquine resistance. While artemisinin therapy is relatively cheap, there is already concern about the development of resistance to the wormwood-based drug, so the WHO and CDC recommend its usage in combination with other anti-malarials in order to minimize resistance.

Treatment is $1/day – which doesn’t sound like much until you realize that in many regions that’s a day’s pay for a worker. However treatment consists of six doses – so that’s six days of wages for one person. If the average worker is supporting 4 people, chances are that one of them will be sick with malaria at any given time – so that theoretically leaves the worker broke after paying for malarial treatments. Jeffrey Sachs is an economist. He should have known better.

Here’s another problem. Have you ever slept under a bed net in the tropics? The holes are tiny but effective at keeping out any breeze, thereby making sleep under one uncomfortable. Since the mosquitoes that carry malaria are most active at night, insecticide-treated bed nets have been proven to significantly reduce morbidity in children. They are an important part of the fight against malaria, but they are only one weapon in an arsenal that we must deploy against a disease that kills 1,000,000 children a year and sickens as much as a tenth of the world’s population.

In Tanzania, people are extremely social and tend to meet and congregate outside at night. Burning mosquito coils and citronella candles as well as wearing repellents and protective clothing would go a long way to cutting down the incidence of malaria. Other weapons include environment management strategies that seek to change the conditions the mosquito needs in order to pass along the malaria parasite. These strategies involve the local people organizing to removing weeds from irrigation canals and clean up debris that could fill with water and provide mosquitoes places to breed: "In Kampala, brick pits, tire ruts and puddles were the predominant
sites favored by the major malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae s.l.." In Malawi, a Habitat for Humanity project where mud and thatched roof huts were replaced with houses made from brick and tile not only cut the incidence of malaria, but also respiratory illness and diarrhea in children. A study conducted jointly by Boston and Harvard Universities in conjunction with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Resources found that changes in the maize cultivation practices can control the mosquito population based on the discovery that mosquito larvae prosper on maize pollen.

All of these grassroots efforts involve the local people actively participating in their own protection instead of passively relying upon aid from the national government or international relief organizations. Because the locals are involved in their own security, they are much more likely to continue these practices after the aid money and has dried up and the attention of the international community has shifted elsewhere.

A vaccine is the Holy Grail for those fighting malaria. Currently the best candidate is RTS.S, a vaccine funded by GlaxoSmithKline and the Gates Foundation’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative. While this vaccine is only 50% effective for children under the age of 18 months, it is the first vaccine to show any significant promise at fighting the disease. As GSK CEO JP Garnier points out in an article in The Times of London, the task is complicated by the disease’s multi-stage life cycle as well as its endemicity in regions with few medical resources and riven with linguistic and religious divides.

There is a lot of finger pointing at the environmental movement and Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring that became its manifesto for succeeding in banning DDT, but Carson herself cannot be blamed for the DDT bans since she was not calling for a ban on its use in the fight against malaria, only on its use as a general pesticide for crops. While environmental groups have a responsibility to recognize their hand in the resurgence of malaria from the brink of eradication, and those who continue to call for the ban without scientific evidence to back up their claims should be held accountable for their positions, we must recognize that malaria is not really a single problem that will fall to a single solution. Instead, like cancer, it is a complex system that will only fall to a systematic and thorough approach involving all of the resources at our disposal.

Bed nets. DDT. Cheap Drugs. Grassroots efforts. A vaccine. All of these weapons and more must be brought to bear against a disease that kills a child every 30 seconds. To that end I am pleased to see Bill Gates take a personal interest in this fight. I’ll remember that the next time Windows blue-screens on me.

Thanks, Bill!

The Negro Leagues And The Men of Spring

Originally published at Dean’s World.

Being my birthplace, St. Louis has shaped me in ways that other cities and even countries have not. One of the legacies of having grown up in the suburbs of that city is a deep appreciation for baseball. For me Summer will always mean high humidity, the smell of cut grass and the play-by-play called by Jack Buck and his right-hand man, Mike Shannon, on KMOX radio.

Funny thing is that the older I get, the more I appreciate the game even as the sport loses its luster with the public because of the whining, drugged-up multimillionaires that currently populate the sport, as well as the growing popularity of other sports like basketball and football.

But, if you’ve seen Field of Dreams, you know that for those who appreciate it, baseball is more than the money, and the problems, or even the deadbeat dads who play. So when the wife came home with this, I felt like a kid again and the magic that is the game of baseball came to life:

That’s Bill “Ready” Cash’s autograph. Bill “Ready” Cash was catcher for the Philadelphia Stars of the Negro Baseball Leagues from 1943 – 1950.

Being a baseball fan in America today, it’s hard not to be fascinated by the Negro Leagues. The Negro Leagues of baseball were formed after the enactment of Jim Crow Laws made it legal to discriminate against African-Americans. Prior to that some African-Americans had played on white teams, including Bud Fowler, William Edward White and Moses Fleetwood Walker.

The history of the leagues are just as colorful as the history of baseball itself, with characters like Gus Greeley, an African-American businessman who started a baseball league in order to launder money, only to fall in love with the game and sink his fortune into it. Even Bill Veeck, who once put a midget at the plate for the St. Louis Browns, got into the act by trying to buy the Philadelphia Phillies and bring it over to the Negro Leagues. He failed when the Commissioner of Baseball moved quickly to find another buyer for the Phils.

Baseball history is first and foremost American history – of success and failure, racism and redemption. For the vile events of Jackie Robinson walking to the plate to the sounds of jeering and curses, there is the magic of Hank Aaron’s home run on April 8, 1974 when he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. Today with players from all over the world and all skin colors playing Major League Baseball, it’s easy to forget that even “Hammering Hank” Aaron regularly received death threats through the rest of his career which ended in 1976.

But before Hank Aaron, before Jackie Robinson there were men like Bill “Ready” Cash, who played the game for teams like the Philadelphia Stars just as well and in many cases better than the men who wore the uniforms of Cardinals, Yankees and Red Sox. Today he is a living legend, and I am thrilled that the Wife was able to meet him.

UPDATE: Bill has written a book, along with a local sports writer, about his experiences on and off the field. They’ve had a heck of a time finding a publisher.

This is American history and a story that deserves to reach the widest audience possible. If anyone can help, please email me ( and I’ll pass along the info.

Recent Dean’s Posts

Recent Dean’s Posts

Recent Dean’s World postings

5 Years of Sobriety

I write about it here at Dean’s World
For those of you who knew me before then, you’ll understand what an accomplishment this is.

True Mysteries: One Solved – One Not

Posted at Dean’s World here.

I love mysteries. While I don’t read much fiction, I am a huge fan of the British Detective genre that includes Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Morse, and A Touch of Frost. Mysteries are a kind of junk candy for the insatiably curious; they are intellectual challenges in which one only succeeds by failing – stories are considered “good” only if one fails to predict the ending.

Consequently I have always been interested in real-life mysteries – like what happened to Amelia Earhardt, The Marie Celeste, and Jimmy Hoffa. The demise of Judge Crater was once on that list, but apparently isn’t anymore.

It has been solved – some believe – and in a most dramatic fashion: a letter opened after the death of the 91 year old wife of one of the suspects. Judge Crater Disappearance Finally Solved

However, there is another mystery of more recent vintage that hasn’t been solved. Two years ago a pizza delivery man robbed a bank and was captured wearing a bomb locked around his neck. 40 minutes later, it exploded and killed him. There have been no clues since. Pizza Man’s Public Death Still Unsolved

Will we have to wait 70 years for the solving of this mystery? Care to speculate? Or do you have an interesting unsolved mystery you would like to share?

UPDATE: The second mystery was officially solved in February 2007 when the feds announced that the victim was actually in on the plan with his girlfriend at the time, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong.

Shooting Menezes

Posted at Dean’s World here.

When Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police on July 22, civil libertarians in the UK as well as many elements of the Left cited this action as an example of police overreaction to the events of 7/7 and 7/21. Many on the Right – including myself – believed that the police had acted properly according to the reports coming out of the British media.

Well, it turns out that they didn’t. The police lied. Menezes wasn’t wearing a heavy coat, jumping turnstiles and running from police. He was wearing a light jean jacket and following police instructions. The official report hasn’t been issued yet, but it appears that Menezes may have been gunned down in what I can only describe as cold blood.

In general I trust the police. I believe they have a tough job and would really prefer not hassling people. I believe that cops should always be given the benefit of the doubt in highly publicized cases. Why? Because they have no axe to grind. They have no political agenda to feed or organization to build. I’ve known cops. One of my gradeschool friends is a sheriff now – which I find amusing considering how many times he had run-ins with the law as a teenager. They are people, and they make mistakes.

However they are trained not to make the mistakes made by the London cops on July 22. This was no mistake – no toy gun mistaken for a pistol in a dark alley.

What happened? What was the shooter thinking? Would American cops have made similar mistakes?

There are times when cops screw up badly, and when the do, no excuses should be made. If this is such a time, then there is nothing that can be said for this mistake, no support we can offer. John Gibson seems to agree.

The Left will no doubt interpret this as the Right being silent on the matter, but what should we do? What needs to be done that isn’t being done? The police lied, and now we are finding out the truth. We will learn why the shooter acted, and if he did shoot Menezes down in cold blood than there are institutions and laws in place that will mete out justice.

The Left cannot deny that fifty+ people died on 7/7 and that two weeks later a group of individuals were attempting to repeat the atrocity. There are suicide bombers around, and the only way to stop them is to shoot them dead so that they don’t detonate their explosives and kill everyone within a 20 meter radius.

Shooting Menezes may have a chilling effect on police activity in the UK, but honestly, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe they need retraining considering how they slaughtered an innocent man and then lied about it. That doesn’t help stop terror.

Are we home yet? A recovering Democrat on being a Republican

Posted at Dean’s World here.
Normally I don’t link to Instapundit because… well… doing so is redundant since most of us read the thing.

That said, Michael Totten, writing while Reynolds is on vacation, writes about the troubles with the Democratic party and then ends:

Plenty of socially liberal people voted for George W. Bush on national security grounds. Some of us would go home again if we could.

On the other hand, some of us wouldn’t. I broke with the Democratic Party after Sept. 11, 2001, when the President prepared for war in Afghanistan and the anti-war Left summoned Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore and Ted Kennedy from the 9th Circle of Hell. The Democratic lurch to the Left after 9-11 was so hard, so anti-populist, that it got me to thinking deeply about what that party means and why it exists.

I grew up as a Democrat. My parents spent the Depression trying to survive, and as late as 1954 they were still making decisions about who got fed and who didn’t (my parents skipped meals so that the kids didn’t have to). FDR was viewed not as just a president, but as a kind of savior of the family since my father did CCC and WPA work. JFK was the first American Saint for Irish-American catholics, and I still remember his portrait next to and just slightly below the painting of the Virgin Mary. My dad was blue collar – and union – and even though his kids got educations and became white collar, I don’t think we’ve ever crossed a picket line.

However, thinking back, after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in ‘68 the Democratic Party and my parent’s view of it seemed to change. Sure we voted straight tickets, but we did more in homage to the party of Kennedy than support of its policies.

9-11 changed all that. I realized that there was one issue that trumped all others: war.

I realized that there were people who were happy to kill me and my family simply for being Americans. I realized that these people were single-minded in their determination and so brainwashed in their beliefs thatit had to be us or them – and I will do everything to make sure we survive.

Gay rights? I believe Gays have a right not to be hung or have walls collapsed upon them. Women’s Rights? I believe that women have a right to not have to walk 3 paces behind a man in a burqa. Religious Freedom? The same nutjobs that want to kill me for being an American also dynamited 2000 year old Buddhist statues and forced Hindus to convert to Islam. Freedom of Expression? You think the PMRC was bad, the Taliban banned all forms of music.

The Democrats didn’t seem to understand this, or perhaps they did and just didn’t care. After all, they had lost power, and the further from power they got the more they entertained the likes of Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky.

After all this, do you think I consider the Democratic party my home? Do you honestly believe that there is anything they can do to “bring me back?” Dean considers Hillary Clinton; I consider her a liar of the first rank who tries to sound nationalistic but can’t help but come across like a limousine liberal in love with transnationalism.

Someone bulldozed my home and built a stripmall in its place, and when that happens you realize that you can never go home again.

Internet Nostalgia: Dead Blogs

Posted at Dean’s World here.

School for The Kid is closing in. The roses have been munched by Japanese Beetles (BTW the Japanese call them “American Beetles”; since they eat beautiful things and screw all day the Japanese are probably on to something there.) The garden is starting to look beaten and the days aren’t quite as long as they were last month.

Yep, it’s time for some nostalgia.

I posted this topic last year on The Razor, and thought I would put it to Dean’s much larger audience. What is your favorite dead blog? We will posit that no posts in 6 months constitutes “death”. Link if possible.

Oh, and NO USS CluelessSDB’s blog – if only because I want some variety in the responses.

I’ll start with Zach Barbara’s Voice From the Commonwealth. I don’t know what happened to Zach: maybe the Kennedy machine is holding him hostage in a bunker under Harvard Yard. However Zach had quite the eye for issues, and his postings on “Comrade Bob” Mugabe stand as some of the best ever done on a living dictator who really, really needs to eat a bullet.

Outsourcing Cheerleaders Getting Nervous

Posted at Dean’s World here.

“The inaccurate perception that global sourcing is causing a net loss in US technology jobs is a factor in some students’ decisions not to pursue higher education in IT. It is a perception that we are working to correct,” Harris Miller, president of the IT Association of America said.

Inaccurate perception? For years Harris Miller and the IT Association of America have joined Microsoft CEO Bill Gates to push for an unlimited number of foreign IT workers into the United States, and have fought all efforts to halt or even study the flow of jobs abroad and the potential danger this poses to American security. Today there is no limit to offshoring. Companies exhort executives to ponder “What can I outsource today?” It’s gotten to the point that Gates has warned companies that they are outsourcing too much. That hasn’t stopped the lemming-like rush to offshore.

Who wants a job where “long term” means next year and stability lasts only as long as the current pay period? Who desires a job competing against an influx of nonimmigrant visa holders who make on average 25% less than you do? How about a job that requires years of training but can be sent abroad today for a fraction of your prospective salary? Would you get a degree in a field that will have completely changed by the time you graduate? Or a job whose entry level positions have been sent abroad?

While it pains me to say this, college kids aren’t stupid. Enrollment in the Computer Sciences (CS) bachelors degree programs dropped 19% in 2004, and the number majoring in CS declined by 23% overall. Kids are voting with their feet, avoiding a field that doesn’t guarantee them a wage to pay back their student loans. Dr. Ron Hira, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Rochester Institute of Technology and the chair for IEEE-USA Career & Workforce Policy, attributes this decline to one simple fact: a Computer Science degree doesn’t pay.

IT wages and salaries have been in decline for years in the USA, while they have been skyrocketing in India and China. Why? Because IT jobs are leaving the US and going to those nations. There is simply too large a pool of IT trained labor in the USA chasing after too few jobs available here. Meanwhile, Congress, through nonimmigrant visa programs such as the L-1 and H-1b, have allowed more than 1 1/2 million foreign workers into the United States, mostly men from China and India to fill positions in the IT field.

Forrest Research claims that 11 percent of American white-collar jobs, affecting 14 million people, are vulnerable to offshoring. The research arm of an offshoring firm says 540,000 service jobs moved offshore through 2004 and predicts a loss of 3.4 million positions by 2015 (source). In theory Globalization is supposed to be a win-win for both nations; in fact, Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson details how offshoring to China has led to permanent per capita real income loss. Prof. Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001, points to the decline of real wages in the United States in the 10 years after the signing of NAFTA as proof that trade with China isn’t solely to blame for this income loss.

So college students are avoiding fields that can potentially be offshored. Do you blame them? Miller, whose organization is generously supported by offshoring giants like HP, IBM and Tata, has apparently become concerned with this situation – one that he has helped create.

What’s the matter Harris, afraid you’ll run out of people to send to the unemployment line?

Oh, and before you mention the supposed benefits of offshoring jobs read this.


Just a note that this post of mine at Dean’s World has made the Daily Roundup for July 29, 2005.

a link
to a story about Conservative cartoons (hat tip Instapundit), “Laughing
at the Left”. The article goes beyond cartoons and makes some important
points about the ideological divide. Take for instance this quote:

(Chris “Day By Day”) Muir’s girlfriend, the primary model
for one of his characters, “is a total liberal.” As it happens,
the same holds true for Mallard (Fillmore) creator (Bruce) Tinsley, whose
wife is a civil rights lawyer. There’s perhaps a lesson here. “It’s
a funny thing,” Tinsley says. “All her liberal friends are incredulous
that our marriage works, but none of my conservative friends have any trouble
with it at all. They understand you can think differently about things and
still be civil to one another.”

One of my favorite quotes about civility comes from President Gerald Ford “We can
disagree without being disagreeable.” It’s a value to live by – most of
the time. I’m a firm believer that it only works when your opponent holds the
same value: when he doesn’t you must roll up your sleeves and open up a
can of Ann Coulter on their ass. That said, I too live in a “Matlin – Carville”

Part of it could be the old adage that “opposites attract” – or in
New Age speak “my yang yearns for her yin” (hmm… that doesn’t read
right). When we met 15 years ago she loved the Grateful Dead while I held them
in complete Hardcore Punk contempt (and still do. If I ever end up in Guantanamo
I expect I’ll hear “Wake Of the Flood” and “American Beauty”
until I cracked – which I reckon would take all of 15 minutes). When Jerry Garcia
died my first response was “How did they notice?”

There are serious benefits to a Liberal/Conservative marriage. First and foremost
it keeps both of us from the extremes. If she comes home with some barking moonbat
piece of tripe, I can usually shoot it down before she has wasted too much time
on it or worse, come to believe it herself. Likewise I can sound an idea or
an opinion off her and get her candid take on it before going public with it – thereby applying a level of rigor to what might otherwise have been a stupid
idea or opinion. Secondly we can intellectually spar with one another, thereby
keeping our ideas fresh and perhaps even (gasp) changing them. Finally, when
we’re together we can handle issues and situations using our different perspectives.
Because of her liberal nature she can be much more open with salesmen than I
can be. If the salesman takes advanatage of her openness, I can step in and
bitch-slap him into submission without any regard for his feelings or the validity
of his opinions. Needless to say the “Good cop – Bad cop” routine
comes in quite handy when dealing with disputes with retailers and service providers.

Then there’s parenting. Here the roles flip: I’m as free with money
for The Kid as the Carter Administration was with taxpayer money for welfare
moms. The Wife, on the other hand, is the motherly personification of the Graham-Rudman
Act. Ever had to justify buying a $3 pack of Yu-gi-oh cards for a kid that
already has hundreds? I have. With a Daddy Decision The Kid always knows
there is the Mommy Court of Appeals – and she is all too happy to exercise her
judicial perogative and overturn my decisions. Mommy establishes precedent and
there is a strong stare decisis in The House. Daddy, being the liberal
parent he is, has no sense of the importance of precedent so often finds himself

There is a definite positive dynamic in our family that is based on our differences
and it works for us. I am sure all relationships don’t have to be of the “Matlin – Carville” type to be successful, but
the article
points out some interesting reasons why such relationships are
more stable than you might expect. It also makes some important points about
humor – but I’ll have to leave that for another time.