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IronLionZion's Journal
IronLionZion's Journal
March 30, 2017

MEAL Team Six

Militarize everything as if people's lives depend on it.

March 30, 2017

H-1B visa applications open up next week


It's busy season for immigration lawyers. On April 3, people can start submitting H-1B visa petitions for the new fiscal year.
The popular visa, beloved by the tech industry, is a pathway for skilled foreigners to work in the U.S.

It's in high demand: Last year, the cap of 85,000 H-1B visas was reached less than a week after the application period opened up. During that time, 236,000 petitions were submitted.

When demand exceeds supply, the visas are awarded through a lottery system.

And this year, there are additional stress factors: The political environment is decidedly less welcoming to foreigners and one of the favored processing options has been put on hold.

For an additional $1,225 fee, premium processing guarantees that an H-1B petition is reviewed within 15 days (if it's selected in the lottery). According to USCIS, premium processing filings accounted for 59% of the total H-1B filings in 2016. But in March, USCIS announced it was temporarily freezing that option on April 3.

Non-premium visa petitions can take as much as eight months before they're approved, immigration lawyers say. USCIS hopes to reduce overall processing times with the temporary freeze.

"Like any other bureaucratic function, [visa petitions] pile up when there's a lot of people interested in filing and only limited resources," Robert Sakaniwa, senior associate director of advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told CNNTech.

What's Dolt 45 going to do about it? Buy American and hire American? Send our coal miners overseas for work? Switch to favor Russian workers? Tax cuts?

March 28, 2017

Facebook's 'Town Hall' is probably the best thing the social network has ever done

Like it or not, Facebook has an impact on politics. The social network contributed to President Donald Trump's successful election, as much as CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to lessen the blame on the rise of fake news.

More recently, Zuckerberg started to acknowledge Facebook's role in politics, and on Monday the social network introduced it's most impactful feature yet.

Facebook officially released a tool Monday that lets its users — all desktop and mobile users in the U.S. — easily contact their local officials. It's called "Town Hall," reminiscent of what Facebook likes to see itself as, especially in political discussion.

Here's how it works:

The update means you'll now be just clicks away from voicing your concern about what disturbs you about the Trump administration (like its attempt to quash the EPA, healthcare policy and net neutrality).

It's a good move by Facebook and follows with Zuckerberg's plan to increase civil engagement. Indeed, Zuckerberg has dedicated his 2017 to traveling to every state in America, rather than prioritize trips overseas.

The feature is integrated into the Facebook News Feed. If you choose to like or comment on a post by one of your local representatives, you'll see a way to contact your representative after the post.

Facebook also announced Monday it will launch local election reminders — for the first time ever — to get out the vote.

It's far from Facebook's first move into helping with political advocacy. Facebook released a feature in October 2016 to explain what's on users' ballots and where their candidates stand
March 26, 2017

Insane Righties Protesting In D.C. For A Pizzagate Investigation.Yes, Seriously



Donald Trump has ushered in a whole new level of crazy in this country.

During the presidential campaign, many outrageous conspiracy theories popped up on social media and alt-right sites. Some of these stories came from Russia and some came from Hillary haters just spreading fake news. But wherever they started, Trump supporters latched on like a dog with a bone.
One of those fake stories was “Pizzagate.” The theory was that Hillary and John Podesta were running a child sex ring out of a D.C. pizza joint. Because of that absurd story a man drove across the country and showed up at the pizza place with a loaded gun to “save the children.”

And believe it or not some of Trump’s supporters still believe this nonsense is real.

One of the Kings of the alt-right movement, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, came out this weekend and apologized for pushing the fake Pizzagate story. But apparently that didn’t faze the true believers.

On Saturday people from all over the country showed up in D.C. to participate in a Pizzagate rally. They are demanding that a full investigation be launched into this Hillary child sex business. Yes, really.

Fortunately there weren’t a ton of people there. But the fact that even this many people would go to D.C. for this lunacy is alarming.

Donald Trump has truly ushered in a whole new level of crazy in this country.


It's a lot of tweets and videos at the link.

Some people are idiots. Some people inspire and cultivate idiocy, plant the seeds, spread the fertilizer, and provide water and sunshine.

Can you appreciate America becoming great again? Are you sick of winning yet?

March 24, 2017

Trump Is Weeks Away From Missing His Chance to Reform Work Visas


Time is running short to reform the U.S. work visa programs.

President Donald Trump and Congress have said they want to overhaul policies that allow companies to bring employees from overseas to the U.S. But the application deadline for the most controversial visa program is the first week of April, which means new rules have to be in place for that batch of applicants or another year's worth of visas will be handed out under the existing guidelines. The current H-1B visa program has been criticized for hurting American workers and undercutting salaries.

H-1B visas were created about three decades ago to help companies bring in skilled workers from other countries when they couldn't find Americans to fill those jobs. But the program has morphed greatly from its original intent.

Americans are losing their jobs to foreign visa holders, who tend to be paid substantially less. Most of the visas don't even go to American companies, but rather overseas firms that use the program to build up operations in the U.S. India would have the most at stake in any reform.

“I think everyone agrees the system is broken,” says Neil Ruiz, an immigration expert at the Pew Research Center and former executive director of George Washington University’s Center for Law, Economics and Finance.


Democratic Senator Richard Durbin, who has tried for a decade to reform the visa program, wrote a letter to Trump this month raising the president's campaign promises to "end forever" the use of H-1Bs for cheap labor. Now Durbin is concerned that Trump won't follow through on the pledge.

"You must act immediately to prevent further harm to American workers," Durbin wrote.

There are great visuals at the link.

So, do Trump's people really want to level the playing field for American workers with visa reform or just continue to encourage racial division?

March 22, 2017

Teacher Cant Stop Smiling After Being Accused Of Having Sexual Relations With Teen


Fowlkes taught anatomy and physiology at the school, according to her school district, which announced her suspension in a statement on Monday. The school had employed her since 2014, it added.

The decision to suspend her followed school administrators on Friday receiving a report about allegations of her having relations with the teen in person and via electronic messages. Local authorities, including Child Protective Services, were promptly contacted, the district said.

Smile if you're a pedophile
March 22, 2017

Opinion: The nationalist wave in the U.S. and Europe that liberals still dont get


Far-right’s positions are being adopted by centrist parties

Geert Wilders, the nationalist candidate for prime minister of the Netherlands, lost that country’s election last week. This has brought comfort to those who opposed him and his views on immigration and immigrants. It is odd that they should be comforted.

A decade ago, it would have been difficult to imagine that someone of Wilders’s views would have won any seats in parliament. The fact that his party is now the second-largest in the Netherlands, rather than an irrelevancy, should be a mark of how greatly both the Netherlands and Euro-American civilization have changed — and an indication that this change is not temporary.

Indeed, the second-place showing of the nationalists in the Netherlands is accompanied by an interesting phenomenon. The center-right has shifted a number of its positions toward the nationalists. As we approach the French and German elections, a similar process is under way. While the right may lose elections, its positions are being adopted, at least in part, by centrist parties.

Wilders’ views are coarser than most, to be sure. He called Moroccans “pigs” and advocated closing mosques in the Netherlands. But more alarming is the inability of his enemies to grasp why Wilders has risen, and their tendency to dismiss his followers as simply racists. This comforts his critics. They feel morally superior. But paradoxically they are strengthening both Wilders and his allies in Europe and the United States.


For the well-to-do, this is a drama acted out of sight. The affluent do not live with poor immigrants, and if they know them at all, it is as servants. The well-off can afford a generous immigration system because they do not pay the price. The poor, who live in neighborhoods where immigrants live, experience economic, linguistic, and political dislocation associated with immigration, because it is the national values they were brought up with that are being battled over. It is not simply jobs at stakes. It is also their own identities as Dutchmen, Americans, or Poles that are at stake. They are who they are, and they battle to resist loss or weakening of this identity.


In other words, the nationalism issue has become a football in a growing class struggle between those who praise tolerance but do not face the pain of being tolerant, and those who see tolerance as the abandonment of all they learned as a child. I began by talking about Hitler, whom no reasonable and decent person wants to emulate. Yet, what made Hitler strong was that the elite held his followers in contempt. They had nowhere else to go, and nothing to lose. Having lost much in World War I and the Depression, they had nothing left but pride in being German. And the scorn in which they were held turned nationalism into a monstrosity.

It's worth reading the whole thing. This author brings up a lot of interesting points about the class/economic issues. The wealthy do tend to be more global in business/vacations and the types of people they know in their network. Many normal people don't have those opportunities.

I faced irrational daily racial discrimination when I worked in IT in technical roles. The nontechnical business/strategy/administrative jobs are much more diverse and less openly racist.

There does seem to be an unsettling rise in nationalism with surprise upsets like Brexit and Trump and even a far right landslide win in India on a nationalist platform.
March 21, 2017

Aides Wrestle Drill From Trumps Hands As He Tries To Remove Obama Listening Device From Skull


WASHINGTON—Rushing toward the president as he pressed the eight-inch bit into his temple, several White House aides managed to wrestle a drill from Donald Trump’s hand Monday while he attempted to remove Obama’s listening device from his skull. “Obama implanted a microphone inside my head to record everything I say!” Trump reportedly shouted shortly before three White House staffers pinned him to the floor and pried apart his fingers to seize the power tool. “You don’t understand, he can hear everything we’re saying! Obama can even hear my thoughts! I have to get it out! I can feel it! I can feel it! I can feel it!” At press time, staffers were panicking after Trump locked himself in the bathroom and began cutting his stomach open with a razor blade in an attempt to find the tracking chip he said The New York Times had put in his food.

The Onion, Satire...or is it?
March 14, 2017

Kal Penn is lifting the lid on some of the grossly racist roles hes been asked to play

Talk to any Asian or Middle Eastern actor and chances are that they’ve been asked to audition for a role that was some kind of awful stereotype of their culture. Whether it’s egregious accents, hyperbolic costumes and traits, or personalities so ill-judged that the character serves as a walking slur, many actors find themselves with no choice but to take on these roles in order to have a livelihood.

In more recent years, actors have felt more empowered to openly discuss the horrible roles they’ve been sent to audition for, and today, Kal Penn is going all in. The actor, who is currently on Designated Survivor, has been posting photos of old scripts for auditions he has done and roles he has taken, giving us a very stark glimpse into exactly how Hollywood has portrayed people of Asian descent.

I remember the first time I saw Kal Penn. He was in a 2001 movie called American Desi, about an Indian American college student who tries to distance himself from his heritage only to wind up living with a bunch of Indian dudes. (Penn’s character was Ajay, an American Indian kid obsessed with black culture, probably a conversation for another time). It was one of the few times I had seen South Asian characters treated normally and not completely mined for jokes in an American context—a rare gem. Judging by all of these crappy, accent-laden roles, it was clearly a rare gem for Kal Penn back then too.



There are good photos and tweets in the article. And it's great that people are finally talking about what many born and raised US citizens deal with every damn day of our lives. We're treated like perpetual foreigners in our own country.

March 14, 2017

Fire Island - SNL

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Hometown: Southwestern PA
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Current location: Washington, DC
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 06:36 PM
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About IronLionZion

If an H-1b has an American accent, they are probably not an H-1b. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.

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