Topic: Bush Administraiton
Boy, Dubya is in for a real interesting trip...
The WaPo reports: "A decision two weeks ago by a U.S. consulate in India to refuse a visa to a prominent Indian scientist has triggered heated protests in that country and set off a major diplomatic flap on the eve of President Bush's first visit to India.
Goverdhan Mehta said in a written account obtained by The Washington Post that he was humiliated, accused of "hiding things" and being dishonest, and told that his work is dangerous because of its potential applications in chemical warfare. Mehta denied that his work has anything to do with weapons. He said that he would provide his passport if a visa were issued, but that he would do nothing further to obtain the document: 'If they don't want to give me a visa, so be it.'
In his written account, the scientist said that after traveling 200 miles, waiting three hours with his wife for an interview and being accused of deception, he was outraged when his accounts of his research were questioned and he was told he needed to fill out a detailed questionnaire. In his written account, the scientist said that after traveling 200 miles, waiting three hours with his wife for an interview and being accused of deception, he was outraged when his accounts of his research were questioned and he was told he needed to fill out a detailed questionnaire. 'I indicated that I have no desire to subject myself to any further humiliation and asked that our passports be returned forthwith," he wrote. The consular official, Mehta added, "stamped the passports to indicate visa refusal and returned them.'" The State Department says it "regrets" that Mehta was "upset by the visa interview process." That ought to mollify him, right?
Speaking more of W.'s trip to India:
In preparation for his big trip to South Asia W. was trumpeting the wonders of outsourcing yesterday at the Asia Society. [Inquirer] Dubya' said, "It's true that a number of Americans have lost jobs because companies have shifted operations to India. We must also recognize that India's growth is creating new opportunities for our businesses and farmers and workers." They have? Last year the U.S. had a $10.8 billion trade deficit with India. Not to worry, though, W. says, "Younger Indians are acquiring a taste for pizzas from Dominoes Pizza Hut." He probably should have added that they shouldn't expect their pizzas delivered in 30 minutes or less. What the hell is he talking about? Indians eating American junk food is going to restore all the good paying jobs that have evaporated here at home?
And eventhough India now has a middle class of 300,000 people; out numbering the total population of the U.S. they're not making anywhere as much as an American would make for the same work. No doubt, they're making a whole lot more than they could have made a few years ago, but their relatively low wages are dragging down our standard of living. This probably has something to do with why 25 million Americans, mainly working poor, had to go to soup kitchens last year. AP reports, "Those seeking food included nine million children and nearly three million senior citizens, a report from America's Second Harvest says. Ertharin Cousins, executive vice president of the group said, '36 percent of the people seeking food came from households in which at least one person had a job. About 35 percent came from households that received food stamps. 'The benefits they are receiving are not enough,' cousins said."
I can personally attest to that. When my girl friend and I were both suddenly laid off a few years back we had to live on our unemployment, which wasn't anywhere enough to pay the rent and eat too, so we tried to get food stamps but all we qualified for was $20 a month. I can't even imagine how people who are really SOL are supposed to live on what the government barely provides. And this "cost saving" bill Congress just passed that zeroed out a slew of assistance programs is going to make things a lot harder for people who are already down on their luck. Common' Congress, let's get to work on making those tax cuts for the rich permanent! That big windfall for the wealthiest 1% isn't going to trickle down all by itself!