Google on high-skilled immigration reform

Writes Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President, People Operations on Google Public Policy Blog: Google supports high-skilled immigration reform:

We have spoken out in the past about the valuable contributions highly skilled immigrants have made at Google. From developing products like Google News and Google Maps to managing our business and global marketing operations, talented foreign-born individuals have played and will continue to play a vital role at Google and throughout our economy.

Our experiences here at Google and in the tech sector show us that immigrants to the U.S. are a powerful force for entrepreneurship and innovation at every level, from startups to multinational corporations. Immigrants have founded 40 percent of companies in the tech sector that were financed by venture capital and went on to become public in the U.S., among them Yahoo, eBay, Intel, and Google. And according to a recent Kauffman Foundation study, nearly a quarter of the engineering and technology companies founded in the U.S. between 2006 and 2012 had at least one key founder who was foreign-born. In 2012, these companies employed roughly 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales.

Still, at a time when the U.S. economy needs it most, our immigration policies are stifling innovation. The 2013 cap for the H-1B visas that allow foreign high skilled talent to work temporarily in the U.S. was exhausted by June 2012, preventing tech companies from recruiting some of the world’s brightest minds.  Additionally, the severe backlog of green card applications has forced many foreign-born, U.S. educated entrepreneurs to look elsewhere to start their businesses. Other countries, like Chile and Canada, have responded with immigration policies and programs that welcome these innovators who have been turned away from the U.S.This is why we strongly support the bipartisan efforts being made to reform our high skilled immigration laws. We look forward to working with Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure that talented individuals will continue to innovate in the U.S. – a critical part of getting the economy back on track and making it stronger for the long-run.

Leonard Peikoff’s “Philosophy of Education” now available as a free online course.

WOW! This is awesome!

ARI has produced a free e-course based on Leonard Peikoff’s Philosophy of Education lectures. This course will answer the following questions.

  • What is education?
  • What is its basic purpose?
  • What subjects should children be learning in school?
  • How should these subjects be taught?
  • What can we do about the dismal state of today’s public schools?

This course presents an account of the philosophy of education from an Objectivist perspective. The course is adapted from recorded lectures that Dr. Leonard Peikoff gave at a conference for fans of Ayn Rand in 1985. Primary and secondary education are Dr. Peikoff’s focus, but many of the principles discussed apply to all levels of education.

Topics include: different theories of the basic purpose of education; how to teach thinking methods, with special emphasis on the principles of proper motivation, integration, and hierarchy; a proper curriculum; teacher’s colleges and the politics of education.

Click here to view the course outline.

Global Warming Interrupted, Part Un

From Climate watch: 2012 figures confirm global warming still stalled • The Register:

The two major US temperature databases have released their consolidated results for 2012, and as had been expected, global warming has failed to occur for approximately the fourteenth year running. One of the US agencies downgraded 2012 to tenth-hottest ever: it had been on track to rank as 9th hottest.

The tenth-hottest result comes from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the three main global databases used to assess planetary temperatures and the only one of the three not so far linked to political climate activism*.

The NOAA says that the 2012 average was 14.47±0.08°C, which makes it the tenth hottest in its records. Preliminary figures released last November ahead of the Doha carbon talks by the World Meteorological Organisation, which averages all three datasets, suggested that the year would be ninth hottest and NASA agrees. However the difference is not a big one: the projected WMO figure was 14.45°C.

However one slices it, the world has not warmed up noticeably since 1998 or so, though all three datasets show noticeable warming in the two decades prior to that.

President Obama’s Gun Control Proposal is Anti-Freedom

As expected, the White House is putting the Rahm Emanuel crisis playbook into full force after the horrific events in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.  Even if Congress is reluctant to pass any major piece of legislation on the matter, Vice President Joe Biden has already stated the White House is prepared to take nineteen executive actions in relation to gun control.  Add this to the President’s proposals to limit the capacity of magazines to ten rounds and the implementation of a new assault weapons ban–not a reinstatement of the 1994 law.  From whitehouse.gov:

Assault rifles have been used in several recent mass shootings. The shooters in Aurora and Newtown used the type of semiautomatic rifles that were the target of the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004. That ban was an important step, but manufacturers were able to circumvent the prohibition with cosmetic modifications to their weapons. Congress must reinstate and strengthen the prohibition on assault weapons.

In addition, President Obama is looking to enact further restrictions on the possession and transfer of amor piercing ammunition. While even the White House wholly abstains from connecting events like Tucson, Aurora, and Sandy Hook to this type of ammunition, it’s implied that if you’re in support of amor-piercing rounds then you’re in favor of police officers being exposed to increased levels of risk.  The mentality of both the White House and the gun-ban left is inherently driven by an anti-freedom agenda.

First, it’s important to ask, “Why stop at ten rounds of ammunition per clip?  Why not eight, or seven, maybe even six?”  The killers of Aurora and Sandy Hook selected their targets because of an overwhelming certainty that their victims would put up a low level of resistance.  In the former case, it was a dark and crowded movie theater.  In the latter case, it was an elementary school.  Regardless of what size magazines they used, they were determined to destroy and they chose those who were most vulnerable.

It’s also important to debunk the metaphysically impossible–the “assault weapon.”  Basically, the American left would have all believe that a piece of machinery, an inanimate object, a weapon, a noun, has the attributes and capabilities of a volitional consciousness, the ability to assault, a verb.  It’s perfectly legitimate to argue that these types of weapons are absurd for deer hunting but such weapons are vital for defense.  Perhaps not from a typical criminal, but from government–the institution throughout history (especially the twentieth century) which has exercised the ability and willingness to slaughter millions–whether constricted by borders or not.

This same principle can be applied to armor piercing ammunition.  In fact, the matter of ammunition is arguably more critical because of policies being implemented by the U.S. Air Force.  Last summer, Judge Andrew Napolitano published a piece about unmanned drones flying and spying above private property as part of a new domestic surveillance program.

If gun rights advocates wish to continue to bear arms then they must stop insisting on gun rights and begin insisting on their individual rights.  The second amendment is not an instrument to ensure longstanding hunting traditions, it’s to prevent a totalitarian government from rising to power.  It’s to make sure that the first amendment stays firmly seated where it is in the Constitution.  When speech is censored, the only means to communicate is through the muzzle of a gun.

Besides, if President Obama truly cared about gun violence, he would’ve gutted the Department of Justice after the Mexican government discovered that guns used in a birthday party massacre, in which the victims were mostly teenagers, were supplied courtesy of Eric Holder and the Fast and Furious program.

 

President Obama Misunderstands Ayn Rand

Writes Wendy Milling in President Obama Jabs At Ayn Rand, Knocks Himself Out – Forbes:

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, President Obama stated, “Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up.”

I’m not trying to mock the President here – he is just repeating an old propaganda line that was hatched by Rand’s opponents – but I have to ask the “adults” who claim they outgrew Rand exactly what earth-shattering insight they have learned against her solution to the problem of universals? Against her solution to the is-ought problem? To her foundation of knowledge in the axiomatic validity of sense perception? To her theory of the locus of free will? How about her theory of aesthetics?

The reason I ask is that some of these issues and questions are more than two thousand years old, and no other philosopher has been able to crack them without ultimately lapsing into self-contradiction. So if anyone fancies that they are going to show up with their cracker barrel wisdom and invalidate her philosophy, even though no professional philosopher in half a century has been able to do so, I have to wonder what special knowledge they think they have. By all means, entertain us.

Perhaps these “adults” can also explain the part about feeling misunderstood, because it is rather opaque. When most of us feel misunderstood, we just restate our line of thinking until people understand it. In all seriousness, what on earth was that about? Are we to take that as some kind of psychological confession by leftists? What is an individual with such a mentality doing in the highest office in the land?

Ayn Rand On Immigration

From Ayn Rand Answers:

What is your attitude toward immigration? Doesn’t open immigration have a negative effect on a country’s standard of living?

AYN RAND: You don’t know my conception of self interest. No one has the right to pursue his self-interest by law or by force, which is what you’re suggesting. You want to forbid immigration on the grounds that it lowers your standard of living–which isn’t true, though if it were true, you’d still have no right to close the borders. You’re not entitled to any “self-interest” that injures others, especially when you can’t prove that open immigration affects your self-interest. You can’t claim that anything others may do–for example, simply through competition–is against your self interest. But above all, aren’t you dropping a personal context? How could I advocate restricting immigration when I wouldn’t be alive today if our borders had been closed?

How are those “unclenched” fists working out for ya?

While the Department of Homeland Security is on the prowl for right-wingers and returning veterans, Iran has been assiduously plotting and executing a myriad of terrorist attacks.  According to the State Department:

“We are increasingly concerned about Iran’s support for terrorism and Hezbollah’s activities,” said Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s counterterrorism chief, adding that both appear to have stepped up their terrorist activity in the past year and “are engaging in their most active and aggressive campaign since the 1990s.” The U.S. views Hezbollah of Lebanon as a proxy of Iran.

The U.S. has accused Iran’s elite Quds Force of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington—Iran denied the charge—and the U.S. and other countries have accused Iran of backing recent plots against Western and Israeli targets in Azerbaijan, Thailand, India and Kenya. Israel has accused Hezbollah of a recent attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, though U.S. officials have only said the attack bore some hallmarks of Hezbollah.

Iran also has allowed al Qaeda members to move money and operatives through Iranian territory to South Asia, the report said. Iran has denied any connection with al Qaeda.

So much for engaging with the Mullahs…

 

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