June 7, 2021

Posted by orrinj at 8:04 PM


A country that reversed a narrative of poverty (CS Monitor Editorial Board, June 7, 2021)

In May, for the first time, Bangladesh's average income earned per person was larger than India's. Just 14 years ago, it was half of its larger South Asian neighbor. In fact, its income grew 9% during COVID-19 while India's shrank. It now claims to be the fastest-growing economy in Asia, with a stable currency and stock market.

Despite a vulnerability to cyclones, an often-unstable democracy, and high durniti ("ill practice," meaning corruption), Bangladesh has rewritten the rules of prosperity. Its microfinance institutions like Grameen Bank have fed an entrepreneurial culture. It has cut infant mortality and illiteracy while boosting exports with industries such as textiles. Before the pandemic, it was able to cut the poverty rate by half in just 15 years. The United Nations says Bangladesh's social development is "phenomenal." In the coming decade, the country is projected to have the world's 28th largest economy.

Posted by orrinj at 8:02 PM


Exclusive: New audio of 2019 phone call reveals how Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate baseless Biden conspiracies (Matthew Chance and Marshall Cohen, 6/07/21,CNN)

During the roughly 40-minute call, Giuliani repeatedly told Yermak that Zelensky should publicly announce investigations into possible corruption by Biden in Ukraine, and into claims that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election to hurt Trump. (These separate claims are both untrue.)

"All we need from the President [Zelensky] is to say, I'm gonna put an honest prosecutor in charge, he's gonna investigate and dig up the evidence, that presently exists and is there any other evidence about involvement of the 2016 election, and then the Biden thing has to be run out," Giuliani said, according to the audio. "... Somebody in Ukraine's gotta take that seriously."

The new audio demonstrates how Giuliani aggressively cajoled the Ukrainians to do Trump's bidding. And it undermines Trump's oft-repeated assertion that "there was no quid pro quo" where Zelensky could secure US government support if he did political favors for Trump.

Posted by orrinj at 12:25 PM


New York Post caught by fact-checkers in another sloppy Hunter Biden laptop lie (Sarah K. Burris, June 07, 2021, Raw Story)

As it turns out, the secret meeting at Cafe Milano wasn't the clandestine scandal that the New York Post made it out to be.

At the time of the meeting, Hunter Biden was the chair of the World Food Program, a fundraising arm of a humanitarian effort in the United Nations. Rick Leach was the president at the time and he explained that the now-president dropped by the meeting briefly to see Alex Karloutsos, who was known as Father Alex during his service as a leader in the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States. Biden had just spoken at the White House Greek Independent Day Reception, his official schedule read.

"He and Karloutsos are personal friends who have known each other for 40 years," the Washington Post explained. "Karloutsos's wife, Xanthi, is on the board of the Beau Biden Foundation, which fights child abuse. (Beau Biden, who had an aggressive form of brain cancer, died a few weeks after this dinner.)"

Biden is a Roman Catholic and has worked with the Greek Orthodox Church throughout his life, earning the Patriarch Athenagoras Humanitarian Award in 2015.

Joe Biden "didn't even sit down. He was not part of the dinner or part of the dinner discussion," said Leach.

Karloutsos confirmed the account, saying, "That is true. It was very kind of the then VP to do so."

It's not just that the Right's bubble prevents them from knowing much, but that what they do "know" is baloney. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:20 PM


Is human consciousness creating reality?: Is the physical universe independent from us, or is it created by our minds, as suggested by scientist Robert Lanza? (PAUL RATNER, 07 June, 2021, Big Think)

Is there physical reality that is independent of us? Does objective reality exist at all? Or is the structure of everything, including time and space, created by the perceptions of those observing it? Such is the groundbreaking assertion of a new paper published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics.

The paper's authors include Robert Lanza, a stem cell and regenerative medicine expert, famous for the theory of biocentrism, which argues that consciousness is the driving force for the existence of the universe. He believes that the physical world that we perceive is not something that's separate from us but rather created by our minds as we observe it. According to his biocentric view, space and time are a byproduct of the "whirl of information" in our head that is weaved together by our mind into a coherent experience.

His new paper, co-authored by Dmitriy Podolskiy and Andrei Barvinsky, theorists in quantum gravity and quantum cosmology, shows how observers influence the structure of our reality.

Someone has to collapse the wave function...

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Covid Brings Automation to the Workplace, Killing Some Jobs (Will Knight, 6/07/21, Wired)

Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken, a fast-food chain in Ohio, hardly seems an obvious venue for cutting-edge artificial intelligence. But the company's drive-thrus are showcasing technology that reveals how the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the creep of automation into some workplaces.

Unable to find enough workers, Chuck Cooper, CEO of Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken, installed an automated voice system in many locations to take orders. The system, developed by Intel and Hi Auto, a voice recognition firm, never fails to upsell customers on fries or a drink, which Cooper says has boosted sales. At outlets with the voice system, there's no longer a need for a person to take orders at the drive-thru window. "It also never calls in sick," Cooper says.

Cooper says he thinks enhanced unemployment checks have kept some potential workers away, but he says concerns about exposure to Covid and difficulty getting child care because of the pandemic may also be factors. Still, he says, "There's no way we're going back."

Other employers, too, are deploying automation in place of workers during the pandemic. Some restaurants and supermarkets say they cannot find enough new workers to open new locations. Many businesses are keen to rehire workers as quickly as they can, but economists say the technology will remain, replacing employees in some cases.

History suggests "automation takes place faster during recessions and sticks thereafter," says Daron Acemoglu, an economist at MIT. "It should be doubly true today." Acemoglu says companies are adopting more automation partly due to staff shortages but also because it can help with new safety measures, and to improve efficiency.

Jobs human people won't do.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Can a Constitutional Monarchy Save Libya from Chaos?Sometimes one must look to the past for the right way forward. The monarchy is just the glue a shattered Libya needs (Shlomo Roiter Jesner, 6/07/21, National Interest)

The 1951 Libyan constitution offered expansive political and social freedoms to its people and sections of it wouldn't have been out of place in Western Europe. Article 11 guaranteed the rule of law, Article 21 freedom of conscience, and Article 23 freedom of the press. The parliamentary system was based on universal adult suffrage, at a time when Switzerland--that liberal beacon at the heart of Europe--didn't allow women to vote in federal elections. [...]

What Libya--and Libyans--clearly needs is something or someone--a leader, a government, something--around which to rally.

The 1951 constitution is just that.

While Gaddafi pretended that Libya was a homogenous Arab Muslim state, ignoring important ethnic, linguistic, and religious differences to the detriment of all, the 1951 constitution and the system of government it provided for--a hereditary monarchy with a representative system of government--enjoyed broad support, and continues to do so to this day.

Technocracy--as the 1951 constitution provided for--is an oft-maligned form of rule, yet it certainly has its place, particularly in times of crisis. Witness the appointment of Mario Draghi as Italian prime minister in February, for instance, which was crucial in stabilizing a political system that was teetering on the edge.

This is evidenced by nominal support for the restoration of the 1951 constitution and the monarchy among a broad mix of Libyans. Encouragingly, those campaigning for the "Return of Constitutional Legitimacy" have been genuine grassroots movements. Tribal leaders and politicians, too, are receptive to the idea of re-establishing a constitutional monarchy. Mohamed Abdelaziz, foreign minister from 2013 to 2014, called for the rule of a symbolic monarch--as in Belgium, Britain, and Spain--vowing to "take it upon himself" to push for the return of the monarchy. Far from being, as some have argued, an unviable policy option, Abdelaziz was right to argue that the monarchy's return is the best solution for the restoration of security and stability in his country.

The monarchy acted as a symbol of unity, bolstered by the popularity of King Idris and the Senussi family. It could do so again today. William H. Lewis, a specialist on the region, argued that 'Idris' political primacy was inevitable due to his acceptability among most Libyan political factions and competing groups as a compromise candidate, a political figure without any special axes to grind.

We'd have avoided our own Civil War.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


What an analysis of 377 Americans arrested or charged in the Capitol insurrection tells us (Robert A. Pape, 4/06/21, Washington Post)

Those involved are, by and large, older and more professional than right-wing protesters we have surveyed in the past. They typically have no ties to existing right-wing groups. But like earlier protesters, they are 95 percent White and 85 percent male, and many live near and among Biden supporters in blue and purple counties.

The charges have, so far, been generally in proportion to state and county populations as a whole. Only Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and Montana appear to have sent more protesters to D.C. suspected of crimes than their populations would suggest.

Nor were these insurrectionists typically from deep-red counties. Some 52 percent are from blue counties that Biden comfortably won. But by far the most interesting characteristic common to the insurrectionists' backgrounds has to do with changes in their local demographics: Counties with the most significant declines in the non-Hispanic White population are the most likely to produce insurrectionists who now face charges.

Older, whiter, maler and worried about "the coloreds" getting the welfare money they think only they deserve. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


There's a Bipartisan Way to Save $1 Trillion: Cut Benefits for the Rich (Brian Riedl, Jun. 7th, 2021, Daily Beast)

As structural budget deficits grow to trillions of dollars and politicians promise even more spending, "tax the rich" has become a progressive rallying cry. Meanwhile, conservatives typically prefer spending cuts to reduce the deficit.

There is a simple bipartisan compromise: Cut federal spending on the rich. This would accomplish both the progressive goal of increasing government redistribution from the rich to the poor, and the conservative goal of shrinking government. [...]

Critics contend that stronger income-relating of federal benefit programs will make them less popular and easier to cut. But means-tested programs have proven extraordinarily politically resilient. Since 1965, federal antipoverty spending has steadily risen from 0.5 to 4.0 percent of GDP--across Republican- and Democratic-led governments--and programs like Medicaid have been expanded with the strong support of state referenda.

Furthermore, "tax the rich" advocates should recognize that--if they are worried about maintaining wealthy families' vital support for federal programs--cutting their benefits and raising their taxes are two sides of the same coin. Both options break the link between taxes and benefits and make the programs a worse deal for the affected families. If wealthy people support Social Security because their taxes finance their future benefits, then doubling their Social Security taxes (by eliminating the payroll tax wage limit) without a corresponding benefit increase would undermine their program support just as much as a direct benefit cut. So if we're willing to tax them, it makes sense to cut their benefits first.

Upwards of $1 trillion can be saved over the decade (and significantly more after) from reducing upper-income benefits. 

Paired with universal lifetime government-funded personal accounts it obviates at least  retirement spending. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Pulisic's Extra-Time PK, Horvath's PK Save Give USA Win Over Mexico in Nations League Final (AVI CREDITOR, JUN 6, 2021, SI)

The latest chapter in the storied USA vs. Mexico rivalry was an instant classic.

The U.S. men's national team battled back from two one-goal deficits, including one just over a minute into the game, winning the first Concacaf Nations League title in extra time with a 3-2 triumph over its nemesis.

Tecatito Corona scored after 62 seconds and Mexico had a would-be second goal wiped off the board by VAR before Gio Reyna pulled even for the U.S. in the first half. In the second, Diego Lainez and Weston McKennie scored two minutes apart late to send the game to extra time at 2-2. It was there where a Christian Pulisic penalty kick following a VAR review and an Ethan Horvath PK save on Andres Guardado following another VAR review wound up being the difference on an unforgettable night in Colorado.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


The lab-leak origin claim for COVID-19 is in the news, but it's still fact-free (MICHAEL HILTZIK, JUNE 3, 2021, LA Times)

No one disputes that a lab leak is possible. Viruses have escaped from laboratories in the past, on occasion leading to human infection. But "zoonotic" transfers -- that is, from animals to humans -- are a much more common and well-documented pathway.

That's why the virological community believes that it's vastly more likely that COVID-19 spilled over from an animal host to humans.

That was the conclusion reached in a seminal paper on COVID-19's origins published in Nature in February 2020 by American, British and Australian virologists. "We do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible," they wrote.

"We cannot prove that SARS-CoV-2 [the COVID-19 virus] has a natural origin and we cannot prove that its emergence was not the result of a lab leak," the lead author of the Nature paper, Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, told me by email.

"However, while both scenarios are possible, they are not equally likely," Andersen said. "Precedence, data, and other evidence strongly favor natural emergence as a highly likely scientific theory for the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, while the lab leak remains a speculative incomplete hypothesis with no credible evidence."

Coauthor Robert F. Garry of Tulane Medical School told several colleagues during a recent webcast: "Our conclusion that it didn't leak from the lab is even stronger today than it was when we wrote the paper."

As the veteran pseudoscience debunker David Gorski sums up the contest between the lab-leak and zoonotic theories, "the likelihood of the two hypotheses is nowhere near close to equal."

What remains of the lab-leak theory is half-truths, misrepresentations, and tendentious conjecture.

The salient point remains: it just doesn't much matter.  Whether it passed to humans in a cave or in a lab, the takeaway is that when we experience outbreaks we need to follow the Asian lead and isolate/distance/mask then add in the DARPA portion where we concoct a vaccine quickly. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Why Did Healthcare Spending Decline 8.6% During a Pandemic? (Jeffrey Tucker, June 07, 2021, Real Clear Markets)

The American Hospital Association estimated that the whole industry lost $202.6 billion in revenue between March and June 2020. By July, the AHA estimated the losses would be $323 billion by year's end. 

In the first half of the year, inpatient admissions fell by 20%, while outpatient visits collapsed by 35%. Visits to the emergency room crashed too, in some places by as much as 42%. By the fall of 2020, elective surgeries were down by 90% of where they would normally be. 

Restoring out of pocket charges will similarly reduce unnecessary consumption. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Malcolm X: Why El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz Matters (Sara Kamali, April 5, 2021, Revealer)

On April 20, 1964, during the five-day Hajj, Malcolm X wrote a letter to a friend from Saudi Arabia describing his new worldview. For perhaps the first time in his life, soon-to-be-El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz regarded "every human being as a human being - neither white, black, brown, or red" as part of the "Human Family." Sunni Islam did not share what he described as the Nation of Islam's "strait-jacketed world" of white people as devils, but "already molded people of all colors into one vast family." Witnessing the confluence of Muslims around the world during the Hajj, he began to internalize the Islamic concept of umma, or a singular community of believers, originating from the Arabic root for "mother." As he and Alex Haley wrote in his autobiography, "Everything about the pilgrimage accented the Oneness of Man under God." From this perspective, because God is One, so, too, is humanity one entity. After the Hajj, he felt that skin color was no longer a valid lens by which to judge people. Rather, a person should be judged by deeds and conscious behavior, and ultimately it is one's intentions that God will judge.

One month after the Hajj, he wrote in a letter that Islam compels one "to take a stand on the side of those whose human rights are being violated, no matter what the religious persuasion of the victims is. Islam is a religion which concerns itself with the human rights of all mankind, despite race, color, or creed. It recognizes all (everyone) as part of one human family." He wrote that letter in Nigeria as he traveled the African continent to meet with political leaders. As he wrote from Ghana during the same tour, his desire for the political, cultural, and economic harmony "between the Africans of the West and the Africans of the fatherland" of all religions was not antithetical to his practice of Islam, but because of it. The interlocking inequities of Black people, Muslims and non-Muslims, were religious obligations to address.

In order to extricate Black people from the oppressive power dynamics of white institutions, Malik El-Shabazz established the secular Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) a few months after the Hajj in 1964. He founded the organization to address Black unemployment, unlivable housing conditions, voter suppression, and to "decolonize" education curricula and the media. The OAAU was patterned in "letter and spirit" after the Organization of African Unity (OAU), an organization established in 1963 to eradicate colonialism and create political and economic ties across the African continent.

Malik El-Shabazz's newfound belief in Sunni Islam compelled him to encourage other Black people, of all religious backgrounds, to stand up not only for their civil rights, but to join together in demanding their human rights. Domestically, the mission of the OAAU was to reconnect Black Americans with their African heritage, establish economic independence, and promote Black self-determination in order for Black people to have the access, benefits, and opportunities like their white counterparts. The OAAU worked for Black self-empowerment, self-defence, as well as political engagement - particularly voter registration and education. The OAAU also sought to bring charges against the U.S. government before the United Nations in violation of the human rights of the 22 million Black Americans.

Malik El-Shabazz's experiences with Sunni Islam also changed his views on women's role in organizational leadership. After the Hajj, he insisted that women were integral to the enlightenment and progression of any nation. The centrality of women in leadership positions within the OAAU was thus purposeful and included his wife Betty, his sister Ella Collins, acting chair Lynne Shifflett, Sara Mitchell, and Gloria Richardson. Indeed, these women ensured the OAAU continued after his death.

The ethos and scope of the OAAU reflected El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz's post-Hajj shift from civil rights to human rights, from a singular focus on anti-Black racism to solidarity with every person who is targeted because of their skin color and physical appearance. This is evidenced by the links he forged with leaders of non-Black marginalized communities including Asians and Asian Americans, such as Yuri Kochiyama, a Japanese American civil rights activist who befriended Malik El-Shabazz's in 1963 and who was present at the Audubon Ballroom when he was murdered.

During his final public talk, three days before his death on February 18, 1965 at Barnard College in New York City, Malik El-Shabazz articulated his global vision of solidarity: "It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a racial conflict of black against white or as a purely American problem. Rather, we are today seeing global rebellion of the oppression against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter. We are interested in practicing brotherhood with anyone really interested in living according to it."

For Malik El-Shabazz, everyone is connected through what he called the "Human Family" and is therefore is obligated to correct the "Human Problem" of racism. The sole formula to address the oppression faced by various constituencies of the Human Family consists of "real meaningful actions, sincerely motivated by a deep sense of humanism and moral responsibility." Malik El-Shabazz believed white people must exercise their privilege as allies by becoming "less vocal and more active against racism of their fellow whites." Simultaneously, leaders within communities of color "must make their own people see that with equal rights also go equal responsibilities."

Civil rights struggles are always most successful when they indict us for not living up to our own ideals. 
Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


The Yellow Peril's Second Coming (Lucas Kwong, June 3, 2021, Revealer)

During his February 7 sermon on "China in Biblical Prophecy," pastor Phil Hotsenpiller of Orange County's Influence Church shared his thoughts about the coronavirus and its relationship to the book of Revelation. "I call it the Chinese virus," Hotsenpiller told his megachurch, as a giant graphic of an American flag loomed on the screen behind him. Hotsenpiller had already declared, for his online and in-person audience, that China would catalyze the apocalypse. Now, with his congregation's rapt attention, he teased the topic for the following week's sermon: by unleashing a pandemic,  China was "setting the  stage" for Armageddon. "We're going to talk about whether it came out of a fish market or out of a laboratory," Hotsenpiller promised. His casual prejudice came after an 84-year-old Thai grandfather was murdered in San Francisco, and during a surge of anti-Asian hostility unlike anything the country has seen in decades. He preached his racism in a county that is home to the third-largest Asian American population in America, where a Chinese family was recently so terrorized by racist teens that neighbors instituted an overnight watch to guard them. But the minister showed no signs that he cared about anti-Asian violence.

Those unfamiliar with Evangelical eschatology, the study of the last days and God's ultimate plan for humanity, might be forgiven for wondering what xenophobic conspiracy theories have to do with "Biblical prophecy." Yet framing the "Chinese virus" as a step toward Armageddon exemplifies a century-old hermeneutical instinct amongst Evangelicals, one that frames "the East" as integral to the anti-God forces that will, sometime soon, spark the end of the world. The revival of this "sanctified Sinophobia," my term for Christian-inspired anti-Chinese hostility, has fueled the hatred now directed at Asians in America and around the globe.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


"Do Not Ask Me Who I Am"Foucault and neoliberalism (Samuel Clowes Huneke, The Point)

Neoliberalism, which fundamentally reshaped Western politics in the last decades of the twentieth century, encompasses a range of views, ideologies and policy prescriptions. From Thatcher and Reagan to Blair and Clinton, neoliberals on both the right and the left cut back the welfare state, lowered taxes and privatized government services. Foucault asserted that neoliberalism differed from nineteenth-century liberalism, Dean and Zamora write, in that it attempted "to extend the market and its rationality to all forms of social existence and to test and evaluate every single act of government" in relation to that market rationality. It sought in this way to unleash economic growth and to do away with the supposed inefficiencies and stifling regulations of the Keynesian state. "Our hero," wrote Washington Monthly editor Charles Peters in his 1982 article "A Neo-Liberal's Manifesto," "is the risk-taking entrepreneur." What, we might wonder, could a philosopher so critical of the workings of power have seen in the ideology of neoliberalism--an ideology that had, as Dean and Zamora point out, already been implemented with such violence in Pinochet's Chile and which has led to such devastation in our own era?

The key, according to the authors, was in Foucault's late turn to subjectivity, to how power--by which he meant the decentralized and dispersed ways that institutions and norms govern our lives--shapes and even creates identity. "The criminal," "the homosexual," "the pervert," "the madman": these, according to Foucault, are all inventions of this particular sort of power, which stemmed not from the edicts of a monarch, but from the surveillance and normative inquiries of scientists and police, doctors and bureaucrats over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. [...]

Neoliberalism, by cutting away the state, by guaranteeing a minimum of existence through a negative tax or some other universal basic income, by wielding power through a supposedly value-free economic rationality, would, in Foucault's view, do away with many of the most insidious exercises of power that characterized the modern state, the kinds of discipline that had ensnared the modern subject within a proliferation of discourse. The blending of these two strands of thought appears prominently at the conclusion of Foucault's March 21, 1979 lecture on American neoliberalism:

What appears on the horizon of this kind of [neoliberal] analysis is not at all the ideal or project of an exhaustively disciplinary society ... On the horizon of this analysis we see instead the image, idea, or theme-program of a society in which there is an optimization of systems of difference, in which the field is left open to fluctuating processes, in which minority individuals and practices are tolerated, in which action is brought to bear on the rules of the game rather than on the players, and finally in which there is an environmental type of intervention instead of the internal subjugation of individuals.

These are the words, Dean and Zamora argue, of someone who saw potential in the neoliberal project, who believed it might offer a corrective to the kinds of biopolitical, disciplining power that the welfare state had built up around the individual.

The Left's mistake was always its obsession with capitalism, which blinded it to the fact that it was part and parcel of democracy and protestantism.  It's comforting for them to add the "neo" so they can pretend they aren't just acquiescing to the Anglospheric revolutions--which were over by 1776--but it's a falsehood. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Is Thomas Sowell one of the most important thinkers of our time?'Maverick' is an outstanding intellectual biography of this prolific African-American economist (James Bradshaw, Jun 7, 2021, Mercatornet)

In a number of books on related topics - his titles included Ethnic America, Race and Culture, Conquests and Cultures and Affirmative Action Around the World -- Sowell shone a light on how educational and income disparities came to exist between different groups, and how politically successful minorities (like Irish-Americans, who dominated America's big cities as well as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church) sometimes lagged behind others in material terms while politically marginalised groups like the (Chinese diaspora in southeast Asia or the Jews of America) thrived economically and educationally.

Unsurprisingly, this did not endear him to politicians and activists who owed their positions and incomes to maintaining the view that income disparities were always the result of discrimination, which they of course maintained could only be addressed by political action.

The other profound point he makes in this regard is the best argument for reparations: the nature of black immigration--forced and enslaved--prevented that group from experiencing the typical economic/educational success that Jews, Chinese, etc. enjoyed. As he points out, more modern black immigrants from Africa and Haiti are pretty indistinguishable from white and Asian immigrants.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


More than 300 million COVID vaccine shots administered in U.S. (Rebecca Falconer, 6/07/21, Axios)

The latest CDC figures show that 41.9% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and 51.5% has received at least one dose.

The vaccination milestone comes as the U.S. has seen new infections fall to the lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic began.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


HISPANICS AND THE GLOBAL HEARTLAND (Karla and Celia López del Río 06/06/2021, New Geography)

The Heartland continues to experience an influx of Hispanic immigrant workers, as seen in the last decade. Hispanic populations increased more than three times as fast as the national population from 2010 to 2019 (19.2% compared to 6.1%). The fastest growth was in North Dakota (119%) and South Dakota (61%) and seven states saw growth of greater than 30 percent. Overall, the Hispanic population in the Heartland grew roughly 10 percent faster than the rest of the country. In Iowa, over one-third of all immigrants come from Mexico or Central America.

Hispanics are migrating to the Heartland for many different reasons. Some are leaving metro areas like Chicago or Los Angeles for states like Tennessee and Iowa for lower cost of living, affordable housing and for the chance at homeownership at an accessible purchase price.

The multifaceted Hispanic immigrant community parallels the 19th century German and other Northern European immigrants in the Heartland. Like Hispanics, the European wave of immigrants comprised different ethnicities such as European-Germans and Russian-Germans but was lumped into the same identity because they spoke the German language.[ii] German immigrants first began arriving en masse to American port cities like New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans during the 19th century. They then began moving west to become prosperous farmers in the Heartland.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Mexico President Suffers Setback in Legislative Election (Agence France-Presse, June 07, 2021)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's party lost its absolute majority in the lower house in elections Sunday, initial results indicated, in a setback to his promised "transformation" of the country. 

Liberalism is inevitable; enjoy it.