Weekly Twitter Digest

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Jun 172017

H-1B Visas – The Joke’s On Us

 Business, Congress, Politics  Comments Off on H-1B Visas – The Joke’s On Us
Jun 162017

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 defined a non-immigrant temporary worker1 under the original H-1 visa, as:

“an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning (i) who is of distinguished merit and ability and who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform temporary services of an exceptional nature requiring such merit and ability.”

In other words, this person would have been qualified to an exceptional extent, such that no other person in the U.S. could provide the service or expertise. Of course, businesses smelled an opportunity. Continue reading »

Southern Baptists and the Alt-Right

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Jun 152017

Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines

By now, it’s pretty obvious that conservative evangelicals and the white supremacist movement (alt-right) are kith and kin. They have crawled into bed with right-wing politicians, and are the prime supporters of what remains of the Republican Party. It is no longer about religion with this group, but all about the politics, and a dark politics it is. Of course, that shouldn’t come as a big surprise, don’t forget that SBC was founded specifically to support slavery.1

Think I’m kidding? Well, let’s take a look at what’s been going at the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix this week. According to a report in The Atlantic, the leadership were divided over a resolution affirming the denomination’s opposition to white supremacy and the alt-right.  A prominent Black Pastor in the Convention, Dwight McKissic, published his resolution a few weeks ago. It reads in part: Continue reading »

Is The Left To Blame for Today’s Shootings?

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Jun 142017

I think the shooter, combined with the ready availability of guns, is to blame for today’s shooting. Of course, in their usual fashion, Republicans rush to blame anyone but themselves. Gabbie Giffords, herself a victim of an assassination attempt made a post today expressing her sorrow and support.

The ammo-sexuals didn’t receive that too well. Here are a few examples:

Continue reading »

Ducks and Congressmen – How They Differ

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Jun 142017

Today, I was contemplating the story of the shooting at the Congressional Baseball practice session (and later in the day after another workplace shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco), and something occurred to me about our priorities. Reports from the scene of the Congressional Baseball practice say something like 50 shots were fired, meaning the gunman had a relatively high-capacity magazine in what has been described as an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon.

Here’s what got me to thinking. My Grandfather’s shotgun, which came down to me and which I used for some bird hunting, was a “Sportsman” model. It gets the “Sportsman” designation because it is designed to hold only three shells at a time. This is to comply with Federal and most state laws regarding the hunting of migratory birds. (I’ve quoted Florida’s below, but North Carolina and most states have the same regulation.) Continue reading »

Weekly Twitter Digest

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Jun 102017

Christian Author Says Liberals Hate 100 Things-I Respond to Each

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Jun 082017
This entry is part of 2 in the series Say It To My Face

I know the headline comes as a surprise to you, but Right Wing Watch has called attention to an article by some Christian author who, on Charisma News, posted a list of 100 things we Liberals hate about America. I had to read the list, and, of course, since it’s me, I have to comment on it. So let’s just roll right through this list.

This is from Michael Snyder’s article. Of course this paragraph alone merits a response by itself (heck, I could probably write a post about each of his 100 things, but I don’t know if I’ll get that ambitious), but I’ll leave that for a later post. Anyway, here’s what Snyder thinks:

If we want to make America great again, we need to embrace the things that made us great in the first place. Unfortunately, the left tends to hate most of those things. In fact, many leftists will actually tell you that America was never great. These “progressives” want our nation to be fundamentally “transformed” into an entirely different place than our forefathers intended, and they plan to use big government as the tool to conduct that “transformation”.

So, for all your liberals out there…here’s what it turns out, according to Michael Snyder, you hate: Continue reading »

Jun 032017
Courtesy Nissan

Courtesy Nissan of Tampa

I’ve posted before about the unusually high number of issues I’ve had with my supposedly New 2016 Nissan Rogue. Since purchasing, they’ve had to make a number of significant repairs including, replacing one of the power lift gate cylinders, the steering column, three replacements of seat trim piece that keep braking, and those are the major items. If you’ve been following, you’ll also know my experience with Courtesy Nissan here in Tampa hasn’t been good.

I had an issue with the two front door windows. Especially on the passenger side, any push of the of the window button (up or down), resulted in a rather loud “snap” or pop. This happened consistently 100% of the time. It happened sometimes on the driver’s side. Since I’m nearing the end of my manufacturer warranty, I wanted to get this issue resolved, so this past Wednesday, I stopped by Courtesy Nissan to schedule an appointment.

I describe the symptoms to the service advisor taking my information, and the service advisor next to him broke in to say, “there’s a recall on that” (I think he meant to say service bulletin). He went on to say that something didn’t properly glued, and that he’d written a couple of service orders for that recently. As we were scheduling, I explained since I was still under warranty, I’d need a car to get back to the office. The service advisor told me they wouldn’t do that for such a quick repair, and I asked how long. He responded that it would take no more than 2 hours. I was skeptical, but agreed to an 8AM appointment this past Friday, with the understanding, I’d be out no later than 10AM.

Well, I arrived at about 7:45 Friday morning. The Service Advisor who wrote the order wasn’t in yet, but one of the others started looking, and guess what, somehow, despite coming by and being right in front of the guy, he hadn’t managed to schedule the appointment. Of course I was not a happy camper, and made that clear. They were all about, “well we’ll get you in,” but of course, that’s like how the doctor’s office “works you in.” I’d gone to the trouble to make an appointment, and expected to be in and out as promised.

Then I go into the waiting room, and it’s not long until the Service Advisor comes in to say, they need me to show them the problem…of course they claim they can’t find the problem. I knew exactly what was going on when I walked out there, and the Service Manager (always looking to be an asshole) was standing there. They were both on the driver’s side, so I walked to the passenger side, hit the button several times up and down, and said, “you mean to tell me that neither of you can hear that?” Well, it seems it wasn’t so loud when they were doing it. For crying out loud, that button is an AB switch…it’s all down, all up, or off…you can’t finesse it. Of course, then he starts the song and dance about, we’ll have to see if this is a warranty issue.

I’d had it with Richard Phelps, the Service Manager, so I just told him I didn’t understand what he got out of trying to always create an adversarial situation. I explained that the window operation wasn’t a “consumable” item, so that yes, they would fix it….and that unfortunately for them, it wouldn’t even matter if my warranty had run out, since one of their other Service Advisors had spilled the beans about it being a service bulletin issue, and that could be sure I’d looked it up, and did they want the bulletin number?

At 9AM, I go to the Service Advisor, and ask him what the diagnosis is, and how much longer, reminding him of the agreed 10AM completion time for this “simple” fix. He goes to check on it, and finally comes back to tell me I can have a loaner, and they’ll call when it’s done. Obviously, it is not the simple fix he claims, or no one had even started on the car. They finally called around 3:15 to tell me it was ready. It’s just sad. I can’t believe it is that hard to give decent auto service.

I just don’t get it. I understand that your sales person could care less what happens once you sign the paperwork. He’s made his money, but are service departments not also profit centers? Do they really imagine that, once the warranty is out, I’d take the car back to them, ever? Do they think that I’d ever consider buying another car, only to have to potentially deal with the absolute asshole who runs their service department? I’m sure I’m one customer the General Manager will be glad isn’t coming back, but I don’t see how they get to keep it up.

I’ll concede the General Manager stepped up and basically gave me a couple of free oil changes, but that hardly covers the inconvenience and bad service. His other proposed solution was to offer me a very good deal on something that might be more to my liking, such as a another Pathfinder. I got a call from one of their sales people a few times, but never with a vehicle I was interested in, and at this point, I just have a sneaking suspicion the GM would tell this tale at some sales meeting, about he got over a unsatisified customer, by selling him yet another car and making a bunch of money off that sale, and they’d all yuck it up big time. None of the deals offered seem to be “outstanding” deals to me.

Hidden Figures – A Movie Review

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Jun 022017

Hidden Figures Movie PosterAs the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers”, we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.

Director: Theodore Melfi
Writers: Allison Schroeder (screenplay), Theodore Melfi (screenplay)
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe,  Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge     Aldis Hodge

Rating: PG; Run Time: 127min; Genre:  Biography, Drama, History; Release Date: 23 December 2016 (USA)

We watched on a weekend evening a while, and both of us loved it. I hope it is something younger people see, so as to get just a taste of the discrimination and racism that existed, even a place of highly educated people, bent on keeping up a polite façade.  And besides the lessons/reminders about our past, it was just a great movie. Continue reading »

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Jun 012017

Rogue One Movie PosterAll looks lost for the Rebellion against the Empire as they learn of the existence of a new super weapon, the Death Star. Once a possible weakness in its construction is uncovered, the Rebel Alliance must set out on a desperate mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The future of the entire galaxy now rests upon its success.

Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy,John Knoll, Gary Whitta, George Lucas
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang,  Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones
Music: Michael Giacchino

Rating: PG-13; Run Time: 2h 13min; Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi; Release Date: 16 December 2016 (USA)

Lay’s not into the these, so I watched this a few Saturday’s back when he was having to work. It was definitely worth watching if you are a Star Wars fan. I’d say it beats several of last Star Wars movies. Continue reading »