Friday, June 30, 2017

Some Classic World War I Pictures: Fijians Join The Fight For France

“Fiji Islanders (British) ... are serving as stevedores on French transports.”CreditThe New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial, June 28, 1917
In The New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial are many untold or little told stories of World War I. You don’t have to peruse too many issues to have your assumptions overturned. This was truly a world war.
“American Soldiers in Europe. The color guard of the United States Army ambulance unit at Blackpool, England.” This issue was purchased at Haymans Tourist Shop, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, according to the stamp.CreditThe New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial, June 28, 1917
The accounts are condescending at best, if not outright racist and downright offensive. But they do illuminate how the war on the Western Front sent its tentacles to the ends of empire.
“Colored Races Helping the Allies” was the headline over a page of photographs published June 28, 1917, that included the picture above.
“Both Great Britain and France have thickly populated colonies inhabited by colored races and capable of performing all kinds of labor so that men may be released for the fighting front,” The Times said. “The tendency has been to take as few colored men as possible to Europe, but the demand for labor has been so great that considerable numbers have been imported to do the work which is usually performed by unskilled laborers, and for which women are not strong enough.”
“If the British and French governments so desired, they could easily solve the labor shortage problem by importing unlimited numbers of colored colonials. But the labor unions, especially in England, are opposed to such a policy. It is important to note that few colored men have been used as soldiers, the exceptions being mainly troops from Algeria and British India.”
Continue reading the main story
“A human episode of the great war has here been caught by the camera. A German prisoner, who probably has some knowledge which would be useful to his captors, is being interrogated by a French officer with a map in front of him. Loyal to the Fatherland, the German is endeavoring to avoid giving information which he knows will be used to his country’s detriment. Although the cross-examination is carried out politely and persistently, the prisoner is not subjected to anything in the nature of a ‘third-degree’ inquisition.” [At least while the photographer was present. — Ed.] CreditThe New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial, June 28, 1917
Times Insider is offering glimpses of some of the most memorable wartime illustrations that appeared in The New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial, on the 100th anniversary of each issue:
• A “dead town” in northern France (June 21)• Immigrants among draft registrants (June 14)• Terror on the high seas (June 7)• General Pershing asks for reprints (May 31)• A uniform out of “Star Wars” (May 24)• The Germans lose Cameroon (May 17)• Marshall Joffre captures Capitol Hill (May 10)• Aerial reconnaissance grows (May 3)• Teenage German prisoners (April 26)• French towns are liberated (April 19)• America joins the war (April 12)
Continue reading the main story

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Canada's Ruthlessly-Smart Immigration Policies

CreditJoão Fazenda
During a speech in Iowa last week, in the middle of his red-meat calls for a border wall and tougher immigration enforcement, President Trump called for something decidedly less sanguinary: “a total rewrite of our immigration system into a merit-based system.”
This is one of the few consistent positions the president has held while in office; he called for a similar reform in his State of the Union address, months before. The real surprise, though, is his source of inspiration: Canada.
If it seems weird that Mr. Trump would propose Canada as a model for anything, that’s understandable. Americans, especially conservatives, love to mock their northern neighbor: for its accent, its apologetic manners, its food (oh, poutine) — and above all, for its supposedly softheaded, pinko style of government. And no wonder: With its liberal, tattooed prime minister, its universal health care, its enthusiastic embrace of pot and gay marriage and its generous refugee policies, Canada can sometimes seem downright Scandinavian.
Yet when it comes to immigration, Canada’s policies are anything but effete. Instead, they’re ruthlessly rational, which is why Canada now claims the world’s most prosperous and successful immigrant population.
The numbers tell the tale. Last year, Canada admitted more than 320,000 newcomers — the most on record. Canada boasts one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world, about three times higher than the United States. More than 20 percent of Canadians are foreign-born; that’s almost twice the American total, even if you include undocumented migrants. And Ottawa plans to increase the number in the years ahead.
Continue reading the main story
Far from producing a backlash, Canadian voters couldn’t be happier about it. Recent polls show that 82 percent think immigration has a positive impact on the economy, and two-thirds see multiculturalism as one of Canada’s key positive features. (They rank it higher than hockey. Hockey!) Support for immigration has actually increased in recent years, despite a slow economy and the specter of terrorism. Today in Canada, the share of people who approve of the way their government handles the issue is twice as high as it is in the United States.
Given the xenophobia now sweeping the rest of the West, Canadians’ openness might seem bizarrely magnanimous. In fact, it’s a reasonable attitude rooted in national interest. Canada’s foreign-born population is more educated than that of any other country on earth. Immigrants to Canada work harder, create more businesses and typically use fewer welfare dollars than do their native-born compatriots.
Indeed, their contributions go all the way to the top. Two of the last three governors-general — Canada’s ceremonial heads of state — were born abroad (one in Haiti and one in Hong Kong), and the current cabinet has more Sikhs (four) than the cabinet of India.
But Canada’s hospitable attitude is not innate; it is, rather, the product of very hardheaded government policies. Ever since the mid-1960s, the majority of immigrants to the country (about 65 percent in 2015) have been admitted on purely economic grounds, having been evaluated under a nine-point rubric that ignores their race, religion and ethnicity and instead looks at their age, education, job skills, language ability and other attributes that define their potential contribution to the national work force.
No wonder this approach appeals to President Trump. He’s right to complain that America’s system makes no sense. The majority (about two-thirds in 2015) of immigrants to the United States are admitted under a program known as family reunification — in other words, their fate depends on whether they already have relatives in the country. Family reunification sounds nice on an emotional level (who doesn’t want to unite families?). But it’s a lousy basis for government policy, since it lets dumb luck — that is, whether some relative of yours had the good fortune to get here before you — shape the immigrant population.
The result? Well, contrary to popular myth (and Mr. Trump’s rhetoric), immigrants to the United States also outperform native-born Americans in some ways, including business creation and obedience to the law. But their achievements pale next to those of first-generation Canadians.
For example, about half of all Canadian immigrants arrive with a college degree, while the figure in the United States is just 27 percent. Immigrant children in Canadian schools read at the same level as the native born, while the gap is huge in the United States. Canadian immigrants are almost 20 percent more likely to own their own homes and 7 percent less likely to live in poverty than their American equivalents.
Mr. Trump has spoken about adopting a merit-based system before, and done nothing. And his speech in Iowa was short on specifics (he had more details on his idea for putting solar panels atop his border wall). But if he’s truly serious about reform, the president could do a lot worse than look north for answers. He wouldn’t even have to admit where he got them from. Canadians are a modest, unassuming lot, used to being overlooked and overshadowed. They won’t mind keeping his secret.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Major Cyber Attack Targets Businesses Worldwide

Life In The Computer Age?

Jury Duty Some 40 Years Ago

Steve in the Texas town of Conroe , I was called to jury duty. It was a black woman who had killed her abusive husband. When 12 of us were chosen, I was picked as jury foreman as I was the only person there with a college degree. I expected to hear "the N Word" all the time. I expected to encounter a lynch-mob mentality..Much to my pleasant surprise, just the opposite happened. The "N-word" was never mentioned. In fact, the lady's race was never discussed. Each juror was serious and somber. After a week-long trial, we found her guilty of involuntary manslaughter. We got to choose the penalty. We took into account all of the domestic abuse and degradation that she had suffered over the years. We gave her five-year's probation. If she completed the 5-year probation with no problems, her criminal record would be expunged. Sadly in California, she would have been found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 15-20 years to life.

Some Cute Pictures From The Past

#1:  Cars Were Colorful!  Most cars these days look fairly bland, but in the 50's, our cars were big, bright, and fun!

#2.  We Got Dressed Up for Birthday Parties.  And sometimes there was a pony there!

#3:  We Played in the Streets:  We didn't have to text our friends back in the day -
we'd all just come outside and get to playing!

#4:  Gas Was Very Cheap:  On some days, it was only $0.20 a gallon, and beyond that, the people at the station could also fix just about anything!

#5:  Ben Franklin 5-10 (or Woolworth's or Neisner's) Was Everything:  We loved going to these stores.  They had just about anything and everything you could think of.

#6:  If it Wasn't the Ben Franklin, it Was the A&P!

#7: Our Skates Got "Locked" with a Key.  They were also made almost entirely of
metal and very hard to skate on!

#8:  The Drive-In Was The Place to Be:  This 1950's photo from South Bend, Indiana shows how popular they were!

#9:  Car Seats Were More Like Couches:  That’s right - they were big, long,
and you could slide all the way across!

#10:  The Freezer Actually Had to be DEFROSTED!:  That's right, every month you’d have to manually defrost the freezer - sometimes took all day with a lot of scraping!.

#11:  Grandma Let Us Do Everything.  Well, maybe that hasn't changed so much,
but we LOVED eating off the beaters!

#12:  Sometimes Your Food Came On Roller Skates!  That's right - certain restaurants had "roller girls" who would zoom your food out to you!

#13:  We got DOWN (but not FUNKY) at the Sock Hop!

#14:  Sunday Drives Were A Thing:  That's right - on Sunday, many of us would load up the family car and just go cruising over to the neighbors or just around town!

#15:  There Was One TV.  And we didn't argue all night about which show to watch. There was only 1, 2, or if you were lucky, 3 stations to choose from.

#16:  The Playgrounds were VERY Different:  We'd swing from the monkey bars and often even stood on the swings and went as high as possible.  And we survived!

#17:  TV Had "Sign Off" Messages.  Remember these?  TV would go off at midnight and sometimes even go as far as playing the National Anthem.

#18: Just One Hula Hoop Wasn't Enough:  Some of us could do multiple at a time!

#19:  We didn't Text, But We Did Pass Notes!  And we were experts at not getting caught!

#20:  We Got Bottled Cokes and Loved Them:    That’s right - no cans or plastic bottles back then.  We were excited when we'd find a cooler like this to get that ice cold bottle!

Jack Waldbewohner