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Reston Comcast Employees Participate in Nationwide Rally of Workers

by Dave Emke — February 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm 32 Comments

About two dozen employees of Comcast’s offices at Reston Town Center took to the streets Thursday afternoon to protest President Donald Trump’s actions on immigration. The rally was one of a number nationwide by the telecommunications company’s Technology and Product team.

Holly Bazemore, the company’s director of elastic cloud strategy and deployments, was part of the rally Thursday at the corner of New Dominion Parkway and Reston Parkway. She said shutting the nation off from immigrants would have a devastating effect on companies like Comcast.

“Diversity is what makes innovation, and innovation is what makes great products,” she said. “We’re here to say that our products wouldn’t be as wonderful without our diverse teams — we can’t [be diverse] with this immigration ban.”

Bazemore said simultaneous rallies took place outside Comcast offices in New York, Washington, Denver and the Silicon Valley, as well as at the company’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.

The employees were protesting personally, Bazemore said, not on behalf of Comcast; however, she added, the company allocated time to any workers who wished to participate in the hourlong rally.

Comcast spokesman John Demming responded to technology news website Technical.ly about the rallies:

“We understand that some of our employees are concerned and we respect their desire to express their opinions. Our primary focus is to make sure that all of our employees feel safe in their jobs, including while traveling.”

The rallying employees in Reston on Thursday received a lot of feedback, positive and negative, from passing motorists as they chanted and raised their signs, but they remained undeterred.

“We are all together for the same cause, all over the country,” said Dwarkesh Marakna, a DevOps engineer at the Reston office.

  • Willie Reston

    Cue Mike M and crew’s heads exploding in 3… 2… 1…

  • meh

    “Diversity is what makes innovation, and innovation is what makes great products,”

    I would say creativity, brilliance, and tenacity makes innovation. The United Nations is a prime example of how the most diverse workforce on the planet is anything but innovative.

    • Mike M

      Then there is the ancient story of the tower of Babel.

      • Guest

        Thank you for leading with an ad hominem attack on Comcast, immediately invalidating your argument.

        By the way, forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. And for your heavy heart, the same goes for fifty percent of medical equipment manufacturers.

        • Mike M

          Comcast services are extremely unpopular. Do you know anyone who disagrees? I don’t. I dumped them for Verizon. Verizon also suffers from oligopoly problems.

        • Mike M

          I am the descendant of immigrants. But I am slick enough to understand that my ancestors arrived at a different time. For one thing, we had not committed to such a huge welfare net. For another, they spoke the language. They were from a part of the world where they were likely to assimilate rapidly. They were legal! They were needed. Just because they got in does in no way mean that everyone who wants to come today should be able to do so. I see that mindset as reckless and naive. You L1bs stun me with your naivete. You basically argue that if someone is for tightly controlled immigration, then they are against all immigration. Nonsense! I remember the similar argument that if the government buys roads then no one can argue against them buying anything else such as healthcare. It’s logically false argumentation. Another point, Comcast employee: The countries under the new ban are NOT significant suppliers of high end engineers. For example, India is not on the list. East Europe is not on the list. For good reason. You L1bs have been walloped in this debate. Your points are junk!

          • Guest

            Wow, you really beat that strawman into submission.

            Steve Jobs was the child of Syrian immigrants.

            Got another try in you?

          • Mike M

            So, here’s your “logic.” Steve Jobs was the child of Syrian immigrants, therefore it is wrong and hateful to temporarily ban immigration from Syria. Your logic doesn’t hold up. (I won’t get into the L1beral deification of Jobs.) You have not addressed my point. Those countries are not in 2016 or even 50 years ago, significant suppliers of high-end engineers. Jobs was educated here! I hope he was grateful. If what you said was true (he was adopted), you will have to agree that Steve Jobs parents arrived at a different time. Things have changed in Syria, you may have heard. Adult leaders know that we have to live in the practical here and now. Foreigners are not entitled to streamlined access to residence in our country. We cannot afford that. It reflects a naive.”let them eat cake” mindset.

            Sorry, but you are still get clobbered in the debate, by logical standards.

          • Mike M

            My reply has been delayed or censored. So, . . .
            a) Your facts are wrong. Jobs was the illegitimate son of a Syrian and his US student-colleague. She gave the infant up for adoption to native-born Americans. Daddy skulked back to Syria for years. The MSM has been spinning this story lately.
            b) Your logic says that since Steve Jobs parents (see above) were immigrants from Syria, then it is hateful or wrong to impose a temporary ban on Syrian immigration. No logic there, even if your weren’t using “alternate facts.”
            c) Syria was not then, nor is it now a source of high-end engineering skill. (Even Jobs was trained and educated in the US.)
            d) You and your ilk are getting clobbered in this debate.

          • Guest

            Jobs’ biological mom had a conservative father who refused to allow her to marry his father because he was Muslim.

            I said nothing about hate. Logic says that you never know where the next brilliant mind or job creator will come from. You seem to be spinning your own alternative to that fact.

            Since you so strongly “hate those who commit indiscriminate mass murder in the name of their God”, ask why Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Lebanon aren’t on Trump’s ban list. Nationals of those countries inflicted just over 3,000 total deaths from terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015. Nationals of the seven countries on the ban list have inflicted zero of same during the same time.

            Next?

          • Mike M

            Right on how the press is currently spinning the “Conservative” dad. I believe the source for that story is the Syrian. Who knows? Not relevant. The dad died. The Syrian went back to Syria anyway. That much is known.

            You don’t know whence will come next brilliant mind or job creator. But logic does not tell you that compels you to never ban, even temporarily immigration from certain countries.

            On Saudi Arabia, you have a good question. I’ve been there. We are aligned and allied with those countries and I have never ever been comfortable with SA in particular. I think it is because they buy our debt. Since 9-11, I have great contempt for SA. It was reported that Obama kissed the King’s ring. Bush Jr sucked up big time. Makes me sick.

            But I don’t believe the ban was about whom we hate. The DNC and their MSM has confused you on that point. It was about whom can we confidently vet. And I didn’t put it in place. I just think the uproar is hateful nonsense.

          • Guest

            The uproar is about the legality of the ban, and as it currently stands (9th circuit freeze on those specific elements of the EO) the uproar is completely justified.

            CBP had started detaining and turning away people we had already vetted. That’s why they were issued visas. Claiming a lack of confidence is a bad argument, as shown by actual terrorist attacks coming from countries not on the ban list.

            I guess we’ll see how it shakes out in appeal.

          • Mike M

            The uproar is childish over-reaction. The 9th circuit didn’t state a reason. They will lose.

          • Guest

            The 9th circuit’s reasons are clearly and repeatedly stated in the Complaint (pages 8-13), the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (pages 4-23), and Judge Robart’s Order (pages 3-5):

            Specifically, for purposes of the entry of this TRO, the court finds that the States have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. The Executive Order adversely affects the States’ residents in areas of employment, education, business, family relations, and freedom to travel. These harms extend to the States by virtue of their roles as parens patriae of the residents living within their borders. In addition, the States themselves are harmed by virtue of the damage that implementation of the Executive Order has inflicted upon the operations and missions of their public universities and other institutions of higher learning, as well as injury to the States’ operations, tax bases, and public funds. These harms are significant and ongoing.

            So, yeah.

          • Mike M

            So, no. The court has no standing to to find that on behalf of the states. The states have no standing. Those individuals supposedly harmed would have to sue. The ruling did not address how they were harmed, nor did it address the fact that the POTUS has the Constitutional and legislative authority to exactly what he did.

          • Guest

            If your response were more than wishful thinking, the ban would be in place right now, and it’s not.

            Residents of a state can be defended by their Attorney General. The state AG can challenge legislation, including an Executive Order. A federal court can issue a restraining order against that legislation. Each document linked above says how this “ban” EO inflicts harm individually and collectively.

            You don’t understand this case, let alone the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

          • Mike M

            Yes. The Judiciary has been thoroughly corrupted. The recent panel hearing got into the merits of the order. This is decidedly outside the purview of the Judiciary. Yet they went there.

          • Guest

            You’re okay paraphrasing arguments from DOJ. You sound much less confident when you claim the judiciary is corrupt.

            Be honest. You’re anticipating collapse of this executive order and looking for someone to blame.

          • Mike M

            I think I was pretty much on topic. The Judiciary is not supposed to question or challenge or probe the merits of an Executive Order. Their job is to determine Constitutionality. The fact that their questions got into the merit reveals their corruption.

          • Guest

            You should read the legal definition of merits.

          • Mike M

            I know it well.

          • Guest

            An Executive Order doesn’t have merits. An argument has merits.

            And as you point out above, an EO is legislative authority, which the judiciary may respect but is fully empowered to review.

          • Mike M

            Legislative authority comes from Congress, not the Executive.
            When the judges got into the merits, they were asking about effectiveness and the research basis. That is absolutely not their business. That is getting into the merits of the order. Their job is to determine the question of Constitutionality. That’s all.

          • Guest

            Congress has delegated certain authority to the Executive. They’re called Executive Orders. That delegated legislative authority is why EOs have the force of law.

            That force is balanced by a judiciary empowered to review both the constitutionality and legality of an Executive Order.

            The merits of a case are the value attributed to arguments put forth in documents given to the court. The merits are NOT a value of the subject of the case, like a piece of property, or in this case the constitutionality or legality of the Executive Order. Merits do not exist independent of the case.

            Any news articles or talking heads referring to “merits of the executive order” are wrong, and are probably getting some very important civics wrong as well.

            This is like when you responded to some troll about pegging and I encouraged you to look it up, except this time you’re not looking it up.

  • Brad

    When Comcast figures out how to make simple cable TV and internet work reliably, I’ll start taking their advice on world affairs.

  • NoBanNoWall

    Question: do you seriously support the Wall? $50-$75 billion for a flimsy wall that cartels can just tunnel or ladder over? Or they can just smuggle their drugs and people into the country using planes, shipping containers, submarines, and helicopters, as they’ve been doing for a couple decades. Plus the vast majority of illegal immigrants in this country are people that have overstayed legal visas.

    Don’t get me wrong, I favor increased border security and port screening, and I think putting a couple billion toward hiring more DHS officers and implementing new technology is a much better use of our tax money. And for transparency’s sake, I voted for HRC as a vote against Trump. Awaiting your respectful reply.

    • Mike M

      Thanks for your respectful question. As a former military planner and a student of military history, I can agree that:
      a) A wall cannot by itself solve the problem.
      b) The best defense is a good offense.
      That being said, I appreciate that Trump is doing SOMETHING to beef up border security. A wall can simplify the problem. By itself, it’s not a solution. Is it worth the price tag? I don’t know. How will he pay for it. He may well cover it with tariffs on Mexico. Your questions are valid. I am among those who take trump seriously but not literally. I also know that a threat (especially if execution is initiated) can inspire change. Trump has lived his life by that credo.

      • NoBanNoWall

        Thank you for your respectful and thoughtful reply.

        Don’t you think that tariffs will just pass the price tag on to the American consumer instead? We will just have to pay more money to source our goods elsewhere – goods that would normally have come from Mexico. This is not just about avocados and Corona, either; according to US government data, Mexico is our 3rd largest supplier of goods, with almost $300 billion imported in 2015. On that scale, even a 5 or 10% (Trump mentioned as much as 20%) tariff would massively impact our economy, including small and medium-sized US manufacturing plants that import cheap intermediate goods from Mexico in order to produce their final products. It also seems to me that the ~$50 billion cost (estimates vary depending on the source) could be much better spent on infrastructure projects with wider macroeconomic benefits, on job training skills for blue colors workers whose jobs were displaced by outsourcing, on free tuition for community college or technical school tuition, on pursuing energy independence and reducing GHG emissions by supporting the domestic solar industry, or even just toward reducing our $500 billion deficit.

        I agree with some of your points, including about the utility of threats as a negotiation tactic. However, I also think that Trump’s lack of diplomatic tact needlessly strains ties with our allies and reduces his ability to negotiate with Mexico on the wall. Not going to get into an argument about Trump and racism, but very very many Mexicans do not like him for that specific reason – Mexico is very corrupt, but politicians still have to answer to public demand. Furthermore, pushing this issue may make them less likely to want to cooperate on things like renegotiating NAFTA, combating the cartels, etc. that benefit us as well. These reasons, along with the economic futility of this project and Trump’s fundraising ideas for it, lead me to think that the Wall hurts average Americans and our country’s national security.

        Thoughts? Things you agree or disagree with? Thanks for reading.

        • Mike M

          My response in the Pending queue.

  • NoBanNoWall

    Mike, thank you again for your thoughtful response.

    For now, I just want to address this statement: “I think the L-wordism is largely emotional and hateful and not consistent with the intellect.” I realize you may be directing that to other people on these forums but I would urge you to not generalize liberals, as I would not generalize conservatives or anyone else. There are many anti-intellectuals and just generally rude people on either side, but most people I think are complex individuals with unique viewpoints who. I consider myself a liberal and I have many very liberal social views, but I am also more fiscally and economically conservative and pro free market. Sometimes those two sides conflict. But I any time I have a conversation with someone from the other side, I always find it’s best for the general tone of discourse to address the best arguments of their political “side,” rather than attacking the worst arguments of that side.

    I do agree with you that smugness and superiority are a plague of each side, however. It’s something that bothered me a lot this past election and I believe it was a factor in Clinton’s electoral loss.

    I’ve got a lot going on tonight so don’t expect a thorough response
    until tomorrow – not sure if the comment section will be closed by then
    but I do intend to address your arguments on tariffs, NAFTA, Mexico, and
    China.

    • max

      I mean, a conservative, politically, is not always fiscally and economically conservative. The Republicans sure as hell have not been this ever since Reagan got the ball rolling again on deficits. What Republicans are are pro corporatism. Corporations know exactly what Republican buttons to push to always favor legislation on their side. This is why you have Republican oppose healthcare reform, environmental limitations and anything else which may limit a company from making money even if it comes at the expense of the public. They continue to hold on their views on other social issues such as same sex marriage. Hell, if you really were to get into the head of a Republican, they will spill their ingrained hatred for not only Muslims but blacks as well. Conservatives, in a nut shell, are scum.

      • Mike M

        Well done, Max. Demonize the opposition with emotion and irrationality. I am . . . unimpressed.

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