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3/04/09 / Habius

11:30 AM I’ve discovered a great site for watching free documentary films.

10:41 AM Immigrants are returning to China and India! (and other places too). From article:

Because immigrants are critical to the country’s long-term economic health. Despite the fact that they constitute only 12% of the U.S. population, immigrants have started 52% of Silicon Valley’s technology companies and contributed to more than 25% of our global patents. They make up 24% of the U.S. science and engineering workforce holding bachelor’s degrees and 47% of science and engineering workers who have PhDs. Immigrants have co-founded firms such as Google (GOOG), Intel (INTC), eBay (EBAY), and Yahoo! (YHOO).

Some interesting figures the author found in his research of Indian and Chinese immigrants:

  • Average age for returnees: 30 for Indians, 33 for Chinese
  • Chinese: 51% held Master’s degrees, 41% Ph.D.s; Indian: 66% Master’s, 12.1% Ph.D.s
  • Nearly a third of the Chinese and a fifth of the Indians came to the U.S. on student visas
  • A fifth of the Chinese and half the Indians entered on temporary work visas
  • Reasons for wanting to return: visa hassles, growing demand for skills in their home countries, friends and family

Friends and family played an equally strong role for 88% of Indians and 77% of Chinese. Care for aging parents was considered by 89% of Indians and 79% of Chinese to be much better in their home countries. Nearly 80% of Indians and 67% of Chinese said family values were better in their home countries.

10:41 AM Lawyers and prosecutors, I have come to believe, are soulless creatures. Those, however, who came since the Founding Fathers and perpetuated the legal system to what it is today, were evil and sinister. I am reminded of Kafka’s dark books, The Court and The Trial, and how finely they express the helplessness one feels in the world that is the law.

This morning I wasted two hours at the local court over a $300/4-point ticket which was “reduced” down to $100/2-points. For what? For taking the shoulder to make a right turn when traffic was stopped at a red light. I could see my apartment from where I was pulled over. The first thing the cop informed me of was that it’s a common problem at that intersection, so my argument was how does singling out people at random and assigning citations solve the problem? If it’s a common problem I’m not crazy for not considering it blatantly obvious what I was doing was so wrong. I wasn’t speeding, drunk, or driving recklessly, yet they gave me a standard issue ticket for “Improper passing on the right”. For a situation like that, where it wasn’t openly clear that I was committing an offense, I think a fair first charge should have been a warning.

Then I went against my first instinct and paid the citation instead of sticking with my original intention of taking it to trial. What really frustrated me was the compartmentalization of the law that each department uses as a cover. The judge said she has no jurisdiction over the number of points assigned to the offense; the city attorney said he has no authority over whether what the cop wrote in his report was correct and judicious or not. They just pass you around from one hallway to another, along with a file-runner carrying papers against you either two steps ahead or behind you at every moment. It’s a well-oiled money-sucking machine, and the worst part is there isn’t much you can do against it, other than waste more time sitting in a courtroom, waiting for your case to be called to trial. But I should have stuck to my instinct, because I still believe I was charged unfairly, and I could definitely have convinced a jury if not a judge in my favor.

It’s situations like this that just suck any sympathy one may have for any common cause, and want to put all one’s faith in capitalism and the power of money. If the system is out to get you by taking your money, you can either submit or fight back by making even more money.

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