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Give us your nerds, your geeks, your poindexters

statue of nerdity

The head of our Research division gave a talk the other day. He’s having a hard time getting our labs fully staffed because of a shortage of H-1B visas. That’s the one they call the “highly qualified” visa, though that isn’t exactly accurate; it’s technically a “specialty occupations” visa. Congress has recently throttled back on them, from a cap of 190K down to 65K.

To which I can only say — you have GOT to be fucking KIDDING me! They’re trying to jam twenty million sullen agripeasants down our throats but can’t be arsed to poach a hundred thousand of the world’s smartest people?

Our laboratories are like the U-freaking-N up in there; I assume it’s that way in research labs across the country. Lots of Indians and Chinese, but we’ve nicked a fair number of Europeans and other exotics, too. I’ve worked with dozens of them over the years. I don’t care where they come from, these people make fantastic Americans! They’re smart, enthused and grateful.

I know, I know…IT types scream bloody murder about H-1B visas. Screw ’em. Apologies if any of you are corporate IT types, but in my two-decades-and-a-bit driving a desk, I never met one that wasn’t grossly overpaid and underperforming. And arrogant about it. Bill Gates is not proof God wants half-assed incompetent computer geeks to rule the world, okay?

Brain drain on the rest of the world? Fucking A! That’s the beauty of it! Continued American hegemony by absorption. We build a country smart people want to live in and then invite them to come live in it.

So what say we propose no cap on H-1B visas. None. Send them all — we’ll take them! And make it a path to citizenship (the current visa is six years and you’re out). I think it’s a winning antidote to the racism charge that got hung ’round our necks after that stupid immigration bill fiasco. Shoot, send in the Mexican PhDs, too!

Slogans? How about, “we judge no man by the color of his skin, but of the quality of his resume”? Hm.

We’re elitists, not bigots. Hm.

Not racists — snobs!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 27, 2007, 9:50 am

Note that there is no cap on government or academic visas; it’s strictly for business hires. And, when it was the higher number, we didn’t always fill it. So we’re not talking about millions here.

Doesn’t the picture look like Roger Ebert? And, oddly, it’s not the eyes, it’s the mouth. I’ll never look at the Statue of Liberty the same again…

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: September 27, 2007, 10:39 am

I like Bill Gates. He made his fortune out of his ability to make people who accuse him of being a money-grubbing, buggy-software-writing, corporate whore use his software anyway. That’s a talent.
Courtesy of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! program on immigration: ‘Give me your tired? your poor?
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free?
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore?
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me?
I lift my lamp beside the golden door? What kind of fucking pinko-liberal-commie-foreign bastard country are we trying to run here? We don’t want tired or poor. And homeless, tempest-tossed bastards? All immigrants do is blow up our buildings, take away our jobs and suck up our welfare. Fuck that!’

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: September 27, 2007, 12:16 pm

Weas’ , Gibby,


Comment from lauraw
Time: September 27, 2007, 2:24 pm

“…sullen agripeasants”

You’re killing me.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: September 27, 2007, 2:42 pm

The New Asshole-us
(with apologies to Emma Lazarus)

Give me your grads, your nerds,
Your PhDs and post-docs, yearning for grants
The sharp-brained cream – not your nations turds.
Send these, the wisest, the best, leaving only the ants
And to the sullen agripeasants – I flip the bird.

Comment from Lokki
Time: September 27, 2007, 2:52 pm

Oh Steamboat!


Comment from Dave in Texas
Time: September 27, 2007, 3:01 pm

Some IT types, usually the mediocre to incompetent ones.

We need these workers badly, there are too many jobs to fill and not enough qualified people to fill them. Most of the H1-Bs that we hire are great people, smart, and work their butts off.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: September 27, 2007, 3:10 pm

I thought it was gone permanently, L. Nope.

“…the H1-Bs that we hire are great people, smart, and work their butts off.” -D in T-

Yes. Absolutely. 100%. We should BEG these folks to PLEASE come here.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: September 27, 2007, 5:12 pm

McGoo has scored some junk. Three cheers for McGoo!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 27, 2007, 6:06 pm

Filed under: Things You Learn While Trying to Find a Picture of Roger Ebert. Dude has had a cancer of the salivary gland; they took out a good deal of his jaw trying to get to it. He looks nothing like he used to, poor bastiche.

Roger Ebert

This picture is before. Though when he was younger, both his mouth and his glasses looked more like my Statue of Geekery.

Also, I spent a few minutes looking for that classic outtakes thing with Gene Siskel where they basically cuss at each other for ten minutes between takes. Most of the sites I hit, it was “no longer available.” Then I lost interest because I figured everybody had seen it anyway.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: September 27, 2007, 6:28 pm

Cancer of the spit gland? Ew.

What’s he wet his whistle with?

Tom Jones said it best:

I saw the shadow on the x-ray he placed on the table
I saw the test results – crap in my jaw not so fine
It was my whistle
I sand as I wet it – I guess – for the very last time
My, my, my, saliva!
Why, why, my, saliva?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: September 27, 2007, 6:29 pm


Comment from lizardbrain
Time: September 27, 2007, 8:53 pm

The Statue of Geekery reminds me of Bunsen.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: September 27, 2007, 9:33 pm

Actually, I thought it looked kinda like Drew Carey.

Comment from Dawn
Time: September 28, 2007, 12:52 am

I am off to California for a mini vacation with my hubby. We are going to a music festival at Oak Canyon Ranch in Silverado. See you guys on Sunday. 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 28, 2007, 5:34 am

Have fun, Amanecer!

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: September 29, 2007, 2:36 pm

Please critique:
If someone has a specialized skill that we need, which need cannot be filled by the pool of American citizens applying for pertinent openings, companies may sponsor qualified individuals on a work visa that lasts for five years.

If the alien pays taxes on his income from the beginning, after five years the visa will terminate, at which time the *company* will decide whether the visa should be extended (serially for two years without limit), terminated completely, or terminated with the granting of citizenship on the alien. For the last case, there may be a condition set forth that, unless the company decides otherwise, the alien-turned-citizen will have to continue working for the company for two years. Think of it of modern indentured servitude in exchange for citizenship. For a tax-paying alien, after three years he may bring over a limited number of relatives, to whom he is immediately related, whose stay will last as long as his. (And so if the visa is terminated, he and his relatives will have to leave.) If the alien becomes a citizen, his relatives may *apply* for citizenship, with the terms and stipulations as they exist for all other applicants for citizenship. (And so only the alien, through his work visa *and* through his company, may obtain a special conferral of citizenship.)

If the alien does not pay taxes on his income, after five years the visa will terminate, with no option to renew or to confer citizenship, and the alien will have to leave or be deported. Paying taxes for less than five years will do nothing; and so the alien will have to decide from the very beginning whether to pay taxes.

The taxes referred to above are taxes other than income tax. That everyone has to pay. There is no exemption, as there is for diplomats, on sales tax. (Most likely this will involve social security taxes. And so for tax-paying aliens, the alien will be considered to have begun paying his social security taxes since the beginning: and since the minimum is five years, the alien may collect social security upon conferral of citizenship should he otherwise qualify.)

If for any reason the alien’s employment with the sponsoring company is terminated for the alien’s fault, the alien will have six months to find another sponsoring company (to which the work visa will simply transfer: no need for re-application). If a sponsoring company is not found within six months, the alien (and any or all relatives brought over via his work visa) must leave or be deported. If the alien’s employment is terminated through no fault of the alien, said alien has one year.

Conviction of certain crimes should lead to an automatic termination of the visa, with the alien having to leave or be deported after satisfying whatever sentence bestowed by the court. Involvement with terrorist organizations and/or gangs should result in the state’s confiscation of all of his assets, the immediate expulsion of non-citizen relatives brought on his visa, and the most vigorous prosecution of the alien. A company complicit in such crimes of his should have its sponsoring privileges permanently banned – the ban accompanying the company’s personnel and not necessarily the company. (So that if the personnel dissolve the company and start a new one, it cannot sponsor anyone.)

Also, aliens from certain areas (Palestine, Pakistan, Muslims from India, et cetera) should have certain restrictions placed on them to ensure they do not harm our national security.

Aliens who otherwise support illegal activity, including illegal immigrants or illegal immigration, in any material way will have their visa terminated, with the alien having to leave or be deported. Actually, the government should compile a list of organizations with which such aliens — those on work visas — may not be involved. Yes, this is a violation of their freedom of assembly and whatnot, but they are not citizens and, thus, not entitled by this government to such rights. Any alien and/or company that resists or opposes this will be banned.

Bureaucrating is fun!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 29, 2007, 3:36 pm

Hahaha…didn’t the Brits find that Asians took so beautifully to bureacracy that they made the perfect civil servants?

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: September 29, 2007, 7:12 pm

Oh, we can go on and on and on and on! We take bureaucracy to an art!

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: September 29, 2007, 7:15 pm

Which reminds me: independent of the above proposal, Congress should enact a law prohibiting people of South Asian origins from becoming public servants (civil servants? what’s the equivalent in the US?). For the good of the Republic and the trees of the world, of course.

BTW, thanks for that remark, Your Grace. It explains certain (non-sexual) fantasies and tendencies of mine.

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