AMERICAN WORKER BESIEGED FROM ALL SIDES

first_imgEric Allie / Cagle CartoonsBy Joe GuzzardiSan Jose Chiapa is a small municipality in southern Mexico, population about 9,000. But it could soon become Mexico’s mini-version of Detroit. Automakers like Ford, General Motors and Nissan are flocking to Mexico.Audi has just completed construction on a $1.3 billion factory in San Jose Chiapa, largely because of Mexico’s low-wage scale, now more favorable than China’s, and also because it has advantageous trade agreements with global economic powers. In all, according to The Wall Street Journal, Mexico has more than 10 different free-trade agreement that give exporters duty-free access to markets that generate 60 percent of the world’s economic output.Virtually every automaker has added investment in Mexico, today home to 18 auto plants with five more on the drawing board. Mexico is now the world’s seventh-largest automobile producer, and the fourth largest exporter behind Germany, Japan and South Korea. Wall Street analysts predict that Mexico’s 3.2 million car and light truck production will increase more than 50 percent to 5 million by 2018. Auto and parts makers have earmarked more than $20 billion for future outlay in Mexico.Ford, for example, recently announced that it would move its Michigan-based assembly plant by 2018, with Mexico the likely destination. Jobs will be lost, and never recovered. During the 1980s, the Southeastern United States was the premier spot to build auto factories.  But more than six years have passed since an automaker infused new money — and created new jobs — into southern states.The effect of vanishing jobs has already been felt. Since 2008, U.S. auto jobs increased only 15 percent, while Mexico has enjoyed a 40 percent increase in similar jobs during the same period. Before Congress finalized this year’s fast-track trade deal, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said in an ominous reference to the disastrous North American Free Trade Agreement, “Bitter experience tell us that bad trade deals devastate jobs, devastate wages.”American workers, the subject of so much attention on the presidential campaign trail, seemingly have nowhere to turn. Domestic jobs continue to be outsourced overseas. Over the last few years, Mexico has become the next China as the prime destination for middle-class jobs. Opportunities that would normally come from U.S. factory construction never evolve because the plants are built offshore.Consistently high immigration is another variable that hurts American workers. A stunning Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that in May the number of foreign-born workers in the U.S. economy hit a record 25.1 million, the second highest in history, and increased by 279,000 since April. According to data included in the Census Bureau’s Household Survey, of the 279,000 new May jobs, only 1,000 went to Americans. Digging further into BLS native-born statistics finds that over the last eight years, 75 percent of all jobs have gone to foreign-born residents.As middle-skill jobs like auto worker disappear, those displaced employees must take lower-wage jobs which sets off another round of displacement and puts more downward pressure on wages. The cycle continues endlessly.For all the campaign bluster about restoring jobs, and Congress’ insistence that it prioritizes American workers above all else, nothing either candidates or incumbents have done supports their claims. And Americans have little confidence that the 2016 White House, whoever may occupy it, will be different.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

A monumental task

first_imgReality has not been kind to the large Chinese statue in Harvard Yard, but maybe virtual reality will be.A group of Harvard digital preservation experts dedicated their evenings last month capturing a three-dimensional scan of the marble monument, a gift of Harvard’s Chinese alumni on Harvard’s 300th birthday in 1936.The statue, on the west side of Widener Library, is of a tortoise-dragon figure bearing a large rectangular stele on its back. Though faded with time, the monument’s inscription extolls the virtues of culture and of learning, and praises Harvard for its role in educating the 1,000 Chinese alumni in whose name the statue was donated.The statue, called the Tercentenary Stele, has been damaged by the elements and by acid rain. Its inscription, which originally stood out against a black painted background, is barely legible.Jeffrey R. Williams, executive director of the Harvard Center Shanghai and one of the scanning project’s organizers, said concerns about the 17-foot-high gift’s condition have been growing for years. In the 1980s, Henry Lie of the Fogg Museum Conservation Department raised an alarm, saying the monument had suffered more damage in its 50 years in Cambridge than during many more years in Beijing. After his warning, the statue was covered each winter. Discussions are ongoing about further conservation measures, such as replacing the statute’s lost sign and repairing its cracked base. There have also been discussions about moving it indoors to avoid further natural damage, though its 27-ton weight would present a structural challenge for any building.Barbara Fash, director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions program at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and Alexandre Tokovinine (pictured), a Peabody researcher and lecturer on anthropology, have worked for years to master the 3-D scanning technology.“The major risk is to the inscription, which is already quite faint compared to 1936, but so far still legible,” Williams said.The scanning project, Williams said, preserves the historical record of the monument as it is now. The resulting 3-D models act much like molded and cast replicas, only preserving much greater detail in a virtual format. From the data, two-dimensional screenshots and three-dimensional physical copies can be made.To do the job, Williams contacted Barbara Fash, director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions program at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, who conceived a 3-D scanning initiative to preserve hieroglyphic writing on Maya monuments. Fash and Alexandre Tokovinine, a Peabody researcher and lecturer on anthropology, have worked for years to master the 3-D scanning technology. Tokovinine recently completed scanning the large hieroglyphic stairway at Maya ruins in Copan, Honduras, and has traveled around Central America for other scanning projects. Although the Chinese stele project falls outside their normal Maya focus, the Corpus team was pleased to put their 3-D technology to use to preserve an eroding Harvard inscription, Fash said.“The marble is eroding. [Acid rain] has softened all the edges,” Fash said. “It’s very lightly incised. The fear is that it would continue to erode away.”The Tercentenary Stele project, paid for by the Harvard China Fund, began last month with the placement of a large white tent over the monument. The scanning is best done at night to minimize interference with the scanner’s optical light system, so Fash, who directed the project, arranged for Tokovinine and two student assistants to spend evenings over two weeks conducting scans of the monument. Each scan, captured by the scanner’s high-tech cameras while attached a long boom, covered just a portion of the statue, creating approximately 700 overlapping images that were knit together by a powerful computer program into the final, complete 3-D model.The final file, Tokovinine said, is enormous, some three to four gigabytes. Tokovinine said the project is the largest monument they’ve scanned.“It’s a way for us to see how far we can push, how large an item we can scan,” Tokovinine said.The monument dates to the early 1800s and stood in the Old Summer Palace, Yuan Ming Yuan, that was razed in 1860 by French and British troops during the Second Opium War. The statue was purchased by Chinese alumni and reinscribed to mark the University’s 300th anniversary.“My hope is [that] this scanning project will lead more people to think about how we care for and honor this important piece,” Williams said. “The earliest test scans I saw before returning to Shanghai were terrific, so I am excited to see the final result.”The 3-D digital scanner project preserves the historical record of the monument as it is now, said Jeffrey R. Williams, executive director of the Harvard Center Shanghai and one of the scanning project’s organizers.last_img read more

No injury fears for Burgess ahead of North Tipp decider.

first_imgThey earned a place in the final by beating Kilruane MacDonaghs by a scoreline of 1-16 to 17 points, and will now face Nenagh Éire Óg for the top prize.Cremin says his side have had recent injury problems but all the players will be fit and available for selection come Sunday.Throw-in is at 3.30 in McDonagh Stadium on Sunday and we’ll have live updates here on Tipp FM. A large crowd is expected for the game so fans are asked to arrive early in order to avoid congestion at the turnstiles.last_img

Blue Jays’ attempted move to Pittsburgh, PNC Park for home games is foiled

first_imgThe Blue Jays’ plan to play in the Steel City has been scrapped.Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae reported late Tuesday that the Jays were heading to Pittsburgh to play their home games, sharing a park with the Pirates in 2020.  Can confirm the Blue Jays have been told they will be calling PNC Park “home” this season per MLB source. @longleysunsport was first to suggest Pittsburgh as option.— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) July 22, 2020MORE: World Series odds for 2020But not so fast: While the Bucs were inviting of the Blue Jays making a nest in the ‘Burgh, Pennsylvania government was not a fan of the idea, and on Wednesday, state health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced (per The Associated Press) that it would not allow the club in.”In recent weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Levine said in a statement obtained by the AP. “To add travelers to this region for any reason, including for professional sports events, risks residents, visitors and members of both teams.”The plan to play in Pittsburgh was the next best bet after Buffalo, N.Y., which houses the Jays’ Triple-A minor league affiliate, was seemingly eliminated early in the process.In case you’re wondering how and why two teams would have been able to play in one stadium over the course of just over two months, consider: The Blue Jays and Pirates share just seven game dates this year, making it easy for MLB to work out the kinks in the schedule.Of course, there were additional logistical issues that could have harmed both teams, including potential rainouts and travel for visiting teams. The postseason isn’t likely in either team’s immediate future, which did eliminate one potential logistical hurdle. (Sorry, Pittsburgh and Toronto fans.) Given MLB’s region-based schedule, this plan meant four divisions — the NL Central, AL Central, AL East and NL East — would have played games in Pittsburgh this year.The Blue Jays were left without a home stadium after Canada wanted no part of MLB’s plan to have teams travel back and forth between countries in the middle of a global pandemic, and reasonably so: Cases in the United States continue to rise, while Canada has flattened its curve significantly since its apex in early May.The state of Pennsylvania likewise had concerns with teams from the East Coast in coronavirus-rich areas traveling to Pennsylvania. Toronto’s enforcement of the Blue Jays staying indoors during summer training was very strict, with harsh penalties in place if players left their hotel or stadium bubble. If players were seen outside Rogers Centre, they would have been subject to a $750,000 fine and potential jail time.Pirates president Travis Williams welcomed the Blue Jays with open arms once Toronto was ousted from the north.Pirates President Travis Williams released this statement on the Blue Jays potentially playing some of their home games at PNC Park. pic.twitter.com/i1X5kBW2a7— Mike Persak (@MikeDPersak) July 20, 2020The Jays were originally scheduled to play their first home game on July 29. Scheduling updates have yet to be released.last_img read more

Narrow win for Mick at English Disability Open

first_imgCaption: Mick Horsley in action at the English Disability Open (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography). Derbyshire’s Mick Horsley won the 2018 English Disability Open by the slender margin of one stroke at The Warwickshire.Groves, from Marriott Breadsall Priory, completed 36 holes in 154, and pipped George Groves of Copthorne, Sussex. It was the second year in a row that Groves had to settle for the runner-up position.Horlsey opened with two-over par 74 on the Kings course, followed by a mixed bag in the rain on the second day on the Earls. His card included two eagles on par fives, but dropped shots pushed his score to eight-over 80.Groves, meanwhile shot 73 82, while third place went to Lewis Eccles of Grange Park, Yorkshire, with 77 82.Horsley also won the Category One handicap prize with his two-under net score. Category Two was won by Mike Wraight of Foxhills, Surrey, with a net score of two-over. The Category Three stableford was won by Ciaran Murphy of North Wilts with 57 points.The third English Disability Open was co-sanctioned by England Golf and Balasa Golf. It offered a championship for golfers of all impairments, creating one umbrella event for disabled golf in England.The event welcomed over 40 golfers, including three women.Jamie Blair, Disability Manager for England Golf, commented: “We had a fantastic two days and Mick Horsley put on a great performance to take overall title, battling the course and the wet conditions to win. It was brilliant to have the support of BALASA, the referees, the seniors section from the club and The R&A.”Next year, England Golf will take over the management of this event and making it part of their annual calendar of events. Tags: Disability Open, Mick Horsley, The Warwickshirecenter_img 31 Aug 2018 Narrow win for Mick at English Disability Open last_img read more