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cost millions of Americans their jobs. We’ve got some real problems here, but they’re not caused by immigrants.. Anti-immigrant sentiment in this country has always been racist, and it still is. This is what the shrinks call displaced anger, and it’s just as common as dirt. You see it all the time in families. Dad has a lousy day at work; the boss is on his case all day. He comes home and finds some excuse to clout the oldest kid on the head. You watch that kid. He’s not big enough to hit his daddy back, so he’ll go over and whack his kid brother on the head. That’s displaced anger, and you see it all the time in politics. Listen to Pat Buchanan inveigh against “Ho-zay,” and you’ll notice that those playing the blame game are so busy whipping up ill feeling that they don’t even bother to distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. Speaking of illegal immigration, in San Diego, just a pleasant stroll from Tijuana, the unemployment rate is 5.5 percent is booming, and the going rate for yardwork is five dollars an hour or less. And you would be amazed at who hires Ho-zay to do the yardwork, all the while complaining vigorously about the terrible burdens imposed by immigration. One could make an argument against immigration on environmental grounds \(although you will notice that it’s not Irish secretaries or French restauranteurs who are about to cut down the last great stand of redwoods on private property in Califorshrinking aquifersthere’s no way to argue that immigrants help any of these problems. But Professor Patricia Limerick of the University of Colorado, perhaps the best of the “new” Western historians, uses a telling analogy. Suppose you are in a lifeboat with room and supplies for ten people, and there are only seven of you. Do you want to take on three more? Not if three of those already on board have all the food and water and are rapidly guzzling and chomping their way through it. When you look at who is using up this country’s natural resources at an unnatural clip, it’s not poor immigrants who have two honies, it’s not poor immigrants who have Connecticut lawns in Arizona; it’s not poor immigrants who demand that the taxpayers subsidize their cattle operations by refusing to pay market prices for grazing permits on public land. And if you are concerned about the vanishing resources on the lifeboat called Earth, you might want to have a chat with your Republican congressman about the wisdom of cutting off funds for international family planning programs. Just a thought. MORE WORK, LESS PAY How do you feel about work? Abraham Lincoln, the last good Republican president, had this to say about it: “I never did like to work, and I don’t deny it. I’d rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laughanything but work.” Hey, he wasn’t called “Honest Abe” for nothing! These days, if you are a typical working person, you are working longer and getting less for it, and the forty-hour work week has become a joke. On average, American workers are on the job one hundred sixty hours more each year than workers were just twenty-five years ago. That’s an extra month of work each year added on to the full-time shift you’re already working. For what? Are wages up? Ha! For eighty percent of us, they’re down; you’re having to paddle faster and work longer just to stay even, and your spouse has to join you in the same rat race. Are we happier as a result, are our families better off? Hardlyour kids are in day-care or left on their own, we have no time for leisure or volunteer activities, and we’re tired all the time. Oh, they say, you workers have to work more for America to be competitive in the new global economy. Really? Germans among our main competitorswork nearly eight weeks less per year than we do, get paid more for it and enjoy better benefits. Even the Japanese, notorious workaholics, now have a shorter workweek than you do and are better rewarded. Meanwhile, our extra work has increased profits, stock values and CEO pay for the privileged few. One way to restore some fairness to our economy and some common sense to our lives is to begin to fight for our time by shortening the American work week to four days. Not only could this help working families regain some sanity, but it would create new opportunities for the unemployed and under-employed as well, and companies would benefit both by the renewed vigor of the workforce and by its increased purchasing power. CYBER-CENSORS OK, I admit I’m a fossil; I’m lost on the in formation superhighway. My idea of the Jim Hightower is a former Observer editor and Texas Agriculture Commissioner. His daily radio commentaries are broadcast nationwide, as he continues to preach the populist gospel. “interactive network” is to drop in and say “hidy” to the folks down at the Chat & Chew Cafe, and I mean a literal cafe, not a virtual one. But even I know cybernetic folly when I hear it. Like the folly of these governmental and corporate officials who think they can stop the computer transmission of information they don’t want loose, and like the cybercops who think they can simply put encryption “locks” in computers thereby stopping us from going beyond the boundaries set by The Powers That Be. Meet Julio Cesar Ardita. He is the twenty-two-year-old son of a former Argentine military officer and a computer-science student in Buenos Aires. He is the first subject of a U.S. court-ordered wiretap on an Internet computer, and he is charged with hacking into U.S. military computers, gaining access to sensitive files containing data on satellites, radiation and the whereabouts of Madonna in Argentina. OK, I made the Madonna part up, but not the rest. The point is that our top federal agents hail the indictment of Ardita as a terrific success, a case of “cybersleuthing, a glimpse of what computer crime-fighting will look like in the future.” Let’s take up a collection and buy these guys a clue. To start with, the U.S. cannot even extradite Ardita. But more importantly, what does it say about our cybernetic, defense mechanisms if they are vulnerable to a twenty-two-year old with a home computer? As Julio’s father noted: “Obviously the North Americans are not very clear on the security of their systems if a kid from South America can enter them. I would be ashamed to admit it.” The shame is that our own officials are trying to shut down your and my free-speech rights on the mistaken assumption that this will ‘stop young computer whizzes like Julio. STAR WARS, THE SEQUEL Former U.S. President John Adams said: “One useless man is a disgrace, two are called a law firm and three or more become a congress.” Oh, if Adams could only see today’s Congress! Dole and Loudspeaker of the House Newt Gingrich, this useless bunch is trying to ram through a boondoggle military project that would waste untold billions of tax dollars. The project? STAR WARS. That’s rightthe missile-defense fantasy See “Star Wars,” page 21 JIM HIGHTOWER THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13