May 3rd, 2015

#4701: Good weather

Yesterday I rode the bike to work. The entirety of both rides was marred only by the last two miles home, which featured a moron behind me who drove with his brights on the entire distance. You can't adjust your mirrors on a bike the way you can in a car or truck, so I had to squint.

But the ride home wasn't even chilly, and the ride there was pleasant. I had a decent day at work, and once I was home Mrs. Fungus and I had pizza and a Miyazaki double feature: Kiki's Delivery Service and The Wind Rises.

The latter is about a lead engineer at Mistubishi in the years leading to WW2, against the backdrop of the development of the Zero. There's almost no engineering or technology in the story but it's a neat look at pre-war Japan.

Today the weather is warmer than yesterday (if cloudier) and there is absolutely nothing that I have to do, so I'm going to enjoy myself.

* * *

The economy is doing great! Think of all the jobs that are being saved or created by Obamanomics, not the 6,000 retail stores that are being closed! I mean, if you're going to be a racist then you can go ahead and think about 6,000 stores being closed, but keep that bigoted crap to yourself, Hitler.

...340 Dollar Tree and/or Family Dollar stores? How bad do things have to be before dollar stores start closing? WTF. I can understand the closure of the Build-a-Bear stores--there is only so much of a market for luxury goods such as DIY teddy bears--but the dollar store is the modern equivalent of the five-and-dime store, and those only close when things really hit the crapper.

* * *

Things like this do not help. Disney is the latest corporation to abuse the H1-B visa program.

The purpose behind the H1-B visa program is simple: it's meant to make it very easy for companies to legally hire scientists and doctors from other countries, so that if there's an expert in microtopology that Intel really wants to hire but he's Indonesian, they don't have to wait 45 years for his name to come up on the waiting list for visas. It's also meant to help companies fill positions for which they can't find qualified American workers.

But that's not how it's used--or, rather, abused, as I said above. H1-B has become a way for companies to replace expensive American workers with cheap foreign labor. Alfred costs more to employ than Hajeeb, so like many corporations Disney is hiring Hajeeb, making Alfred train him, and then getting rid of Alfred. This does two things: it depresses the wages that people in Alfred's field are paid, and it leaves Alfred's cohort without jobs.

Oh, it does one more thing: it gets Disney executives fat bonuses for cost savings.

* * *

No crime committed, no charges filed, but a de facto fine of $107,000 taken.

Guy busts his ass for thirteen years and accumulates $107,000; the IRS swoops in and says, "You deposited that money in increments of less than $10,000 to avoid reporting requirements, so we'll just take that now."

The IRS is willing to settle with the victim: they've generously offered to give him back half his money.

Half.

...this kind of thing must have the Founding Fathers turning over in their graves. Of course this crap only exists BECAUSE WAR ON DRUGS.

* * *

...so that age-estimating site, the one linked by Steven Den Beste (see yesterday's post) claims that I am various ages: 71, 87, 49, and 61. Mrs. Fungus just had to try it, and the results were approximately what I was expecting: wrong.

Oh well.