RANT: I think Dick is wrong about “illegal immigration”!


By Dick Morris 09.24.2011

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In this video commentary, I discuss how the dominating issue for the GOP primaries has now become immigration. Not jobs, not the economy. Immigration. Why? What’s the answer? What are its political ramifications?

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Summarizing Dick Morris’ points:

(1) employer sanctions

(2) guest worker

(3) easy national id card

As a little L libertarian, I disagree with the underlying premise — that there is such a thing as “illegal immigration” or that the whole focus is on the wrong thing.

What’s wrong with attracting peaceful people who want to come here to work?

I guess Dick would put a giant black plastic garbage bag over the Statue of Liberty!

Perhaps, we should seek to get to the root?

We have always “welcomed” immigration. OK, maybe not so welcoming, but tolerating it. We recognized that more workers means more productivity. The transcontinental railroad was built on the bodies of Chinese and Irish immigrants.

The key issue is welfare.

No one wants to subsidize freeloaders. By “illegal immigrants” or native-born freeloaders. (We could also stand to eliminate the corporate welfare queens as well at the same time.

Now, the crime issue that Dick alludes to has it’s roots in the “(pseudo) War on (some) Drugs” and that “illegal immigrants” can be taken advantage of. That can be fixed by legalizing drugs and letting the free market apply itself to the problem. And, by a better green card system.

I’d OPEN the borders. When a NEW immigrant, or even a temporary guest worker, shows up at the border crossing, if I were “King”, there’d be a very simple entry process. Take fingerprints and DNA for a database and a high speed directory look up, criminals get arrested. A quick physical for dangerous communicable diseases. And, issue them a “green card” and a Taxpayer Identification Number. Have them watch a short welcome to the USA and send them on their way. (Maybe we could make a couple of bucks from Visa signing them up for a credit card and WalMart recruiting them for their stores. You get the idea.)

I’d also reduce the minimum wage to zero.

No employer sanctions needed. No “guest worker” program; just easy entry without welfare. No national id card required.

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HARDWARE: Don’t trust driving directions


IBM Seeks Patent On Retailer-Rigged Driving Routes
Posted by timothy on Saturday September 24, @07:46PM
from the go-here-you’ll-like-it dept.

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theodp writes

“On IBM’s Smarter Planet, you may drive further than need be to get to your destination. Big Blue’s pending patent for Determining Travel Routes by Using Fee-Based Location Preferences calls for the likes of Walmart, Starbucks, and Best Buy pay a fee in return for having your route calculation service de-optimize driving instructions to make you do a drive-by of their stores, and an additional fee if GPS tracking of your car indicates you actually took the suboptimal route. The same IBM inventors also have a patent pending for Environmental Stewardship Based on Driving Behavior, which calls for yet another fee to be assessed when a retailer-friendly-but-suboptimal route causes your vehicle to enter a congested area and produce more pollution.”

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Wow, if it’s not ONSTAR selling your data, then it’s routing you the “wrong” way.

Seems like a FTC, FCC, DOJ, FBI, and SEC might take an interest in this one.

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HARDWARE: Parking meters are a sign of a strategy


The Last Days of the Old Parking Meter


Published: September 18, 2011

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The city will remove its last decommissioned single-space parking meter in Manhattan on Monday, transportation officials said, the start of a yearlong process that will eventually eliminate all the steel-and-sludge-hued meters in the city.

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The old-fashioned, pole-mounted meter will now yield to the robotlike Meter of Tomorrow: a solar-powered box, equipped with Wi-Fi, that can handle eight parking spaces at once and can shut itself down on free-parking Sundays.

The city’s Transportation Department, which recently accelerated its meter retirement program, says the change will benefit city and citizen alike: the new meters read credit cards, speak seven languages, require less maintenance, and free up room on the sidewalk.

But the death of the classic meter also means an end to some of New York’s smaller pleasures: the satisfying clunk of a coin in its slot, the illicit thrill of finding an extra few minutes still counting down.

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This hardware upgrade demonstrates that the strategy is raising revenue; nothing else.

Parking meters were originally intended to ration limited parking so that a spot couldn’t be tied up all day.

Europeans solved this with a plastic “sundial”. The driver upon parking would put the “sundial” on the dashboard after dialing in the current time. If you cheated and dialed in a later time, then you risk a ticket. If you overstayed, then you risked a ticket.

Zero capital investment; simplicity.


Not all hardware upgrades are worth it. If you’re rationing parking spaces, you could use “sundials”. But if you’re raising revenue, then it’s not enough. The upgrade should be issuing tickets. This doesn’t.

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