P.S. to the Wall

I forgot to add that what I discussed in the previous post is a response to Trump’s tightening of the H1B reqs. Universities don’t want to risk hiring somebody only to find out, in the middle of the academic year, that their paperwork didn’t come through. Before, college professors’ H1Bs were expedited, so you had the paperwork before starting work. So I’m not blaming these schools in any way. 

Also, I need to add that as somebody who had a close personal experience with H1B, I don’t in the least mind people who think that in difficult times you protect your own and that these jobs should be for citizens first. What I do mind are the idiots who claim that such measures exist to help the H1B applicants themselves because having the H1B would somehow lead to their exploitation. No, it won’t help these folks to be deported against their will. It will help those who will face fewer competitors on the job market. 

I prefer honest protectionism to mealy-mouthed, insincere “I’m doing it for your good, you dummy” pronouncements. No, these measures don’t help immigrants. They help locals. And that’s ok as long as everybody is honest about it. I hate, hate, hate the people who want to use Trump to clear the field of competition while faking outrage over Trump’s position.

I also detest folks who are outraged by the border wall yet are all in favor of dramatically reducing the H1B. Their hypocrisy is extremely off-putting.

The Wall Is Already There

For the first time, some universities are warning job applicants for Assistant Professor positions that they won’t be helping them get H1B visas. This effectively means that immigrants without green cards shouldn’t apply. 

Knowing what the job market is for people entering the profession, I can’t even blame such universities.


Somehow Klara has already figured out that papa and mama require entirely different strategies of handling. When I come into her room in the morning, I hear that no, she doesn’t want any milk, and she doesn’t want to get dressed, and she really doesn’t want to get changed, and all she wants is night-night, but no, she doesn’t want any night-night, she wants Baby, no, she wants monkey, no, she doesn’t want them, she wants books, no, she doesn’t want books, etc. 

When N is the one to get her up in the morning, she cheerfully accepts the bottle, the change, the toothbrush, the clothes, and everything else. And when I ask N, “So how did it go? Was it exhausting?”, he says that it went perfectly and he has no idea what I’m complaining about.

It’s a conspiracy to make me feel inadequate.

Poisoning Minds

The way propaganda works is that you tell people what they want to hear and casually slip in one or two little things that you want them to hear. 

Let’s say you want to turn public opinion against the union at University X. What you do is join discussions that have nothing to do with the union and whose participants don’t know much and don’t care about it. And then you begin to agree with them, trying to imitate their speech patterns as much as possible.

“You are absolutely right! Trump is such a disaster for this country. And that extremely corrupt family of his? Gosh, it feels like it’s posoning the whole country with its rot. There’s this union at University X – and by the way, I’m completely a union person, and always have been – but this union, it’s completely corrupt in the worst Trumpian manner. And hey, did you see that he’s completely dismantling EPA?”

And then you do the same thing among people discussing the political situation in France, the economy of Indiana, and the results of the recent football game. 

The second time people hear of your union, they will already have a warm and fuzzy memory of a person who has really convincing beliefs and original, valuable ideas telling them the truth about this horrible union. 

I saw this unfold when the war in Ukraine started. Good, wonderful, well-meaning people were reciting outlandish propaganda at me. They had nothing against Ukraine but they were completely convinced by these smart, persuasive folks who told them everything they wanted to hear about things that really mattered to them. Unlike some silly conflict in some boring Ukraine. 

People want to belong. You agree with them on something they care about, and they will gladly repay by agreeing with you on something they don’t see as very important.