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|Economic News Analysis Summary|
|Links||jgo's Work in Progress|
|"Both the rising population and rising life expectancy give the lie to the claims of critics... that the conditions of the laboring classes were deteriorating during the Industrial Revolution." --- Robert Hessen|
|"By liberty, I understand the power which every man has over his own actions, and his right to enjoy the fruit of his labor, art, and industry, as far as by it he hurts not the society, or any member of it, by taking from any member, or by hindering him from enjoying what he himself enjoys. The fruits of a man's honest industry are the just rewards of it, ascertained to him by natural and eternal equity, as is his title to use them in a manner which he thinks fit: And thus, with the above limitations, every man is sole lord and arbiter of his own private actions and property - a character of which no man living can divest him but by usurpation, or his own consent." --- John Trenchard, Cato's Letters #62 (1721 January 20)|
2006-12-01 (5767 Kislev 10)
Dice Report: 90,439 job ads
2006-12-01 (5767 Kislev 10)
Ned Warwich _Jewish World Review_
Yasam: Motorcycle riding terror-busters
Dimitri Vassilaros _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
One CEO a-milking the tax-victims for $50M
"PNC Financial Services Group Inc. has been crunching the numbers for a partridge in a pear tree through 12 drummers drumming for more than two decades. The cost this year to buy the gifts of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' is $18,920. If John Q. Public also wants to spend money for a white elephant in the Fifth-and-Forbes corridor, it will take about $50M. And that's what it will cost Mr. Public even if he does not want to. Three PNC Plaza, a luxurious 23-story sky-scraper in downtown Pittsburgh, will have office space, a tony hotel, retail shops and, of course, pent-house condominiums. It will cost about $170M to build. But for tax purposes, the assessed value will be about $110M. Jim Rohr is the chairman and CEO of PNC, the very successful banking and financial services company. Mr. Rohr shamelessly demanded roughly $50M in public subsidies before he would break ground. And he's getting it -- $30M from the state and $18M locally in tax-increment financing (TIF). However, Rohr and PNC certainly are doing much better than the virtually bankrupt City of Pittsburgh that's handing over millions of dollars. Rohr's company reported record profits in 2005 of about $1.3G. Top executives recently were given huge bonuses. Rohr's 2005 compensation package is valued at $18M. Net profit in this year's third quarter -- one quarter -- was $1.5G."
2006-12-01 08:33PST (11:33EST) (16:33GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM manufacturing index fell from 51.2 in October to 49.5 in November, indicating slight contraction (with graph)
"The new orders index fell from 52.1% in October to 48.7 in November. The production index fell from 51.9% in the previous month to 48.5% in November. The employment index fell from 50.8% in October to 49.2%."
2006-12-01 08:41PST (11:41EST) (16:41GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US construction spending fell 1% in October
2006-12-01 10:15PST (13:15EST) (18:15GMT)
Radical leftists at Michigan State University assaulted organizer of Tancredo appearance at College of Law, slashed tires, pulled fire alarm twice in effort to suppress his views on illegal alien invasion
Rocky Mountain News
"Controversy over illegal immigration also turned violent at a College Republican event last month at Columbia University when protesters taunted a black speaker with the 'n-word' and then shut down the meeting when they stormed the stage during a speech by Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist... After police allowed people back in the building, Tancredo addressed a crowd of more than 40, stressing the issue of illegal immigration must be approached with a clear head... The congressman also emphasized the importance of a single national language, English. 'I think diversity is a great thing.', he said. 'But it becomes a negative thing when it's the only thing.'"
William H. Calhoun _Small Government Times_
Hispanics censor authors
"an all-Hispanic school board has removed all white authors from the district reading list... With the exception of a very small upper class of European descent, most Mexicans are either Amerindian or Mestizo (mostly Amerindian with a few drops of Spaniard or African blood). In short, most Hispanics are genealogically Asian, they are not Western, and they despise the West."
2006-12-01 14:20PST (17:20EST) (22:20GMT)
Declan McCullagh & Anne Broache _CNET_
FBI listen in on cellular phones even when they've been turned off
"Kaplan's opinion said that the eaves-dropping technique 'functioned whether the phone was powered on or off'. Some hand-sets can't be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set... Nextel and Samsung handsets and the Motorola Razr are especially vulnerable to software downloads that activate their microphones, said James Atkinson, a counter-surveillance consultant who has worked closely with government agencies. 'They can be remotely accessed and made to transmit room audio all the time.', he said. 'You can do that without having physical access to the phone.'"
more privacy links
Illegal aliens groomed MA governor Mitt Romney's yard
Louie Gilot _El Paso Times_
Border agents convicted by jury of violation of civil rights and tampering with evidence for shooting illegal alien in chase, may not get re-hearing
"With only about two weeks of work left in the U.S. Congress session, the hope for a promised congressional hearing into the case of 2 convicted El Paso Border Patrol agents is fading fast. 'We'll be done in Congress the week of the 11th. We're running out of time.', said Alan Knapp, the deputy chief of staff and legislative director for U.S. representative Ted Poe, R-TX."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.43%|
|"In the councils of gov't, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists & will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert & knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial & military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods & goals, so that security & liberty may prosper together... The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, & the power of money is ever present -- & is gravely to be regarded." --- Dwight D. Eisenhower 1961-01-17|
2006-12-02 (5767 Kislev 11)
2006-12-01 16:34PST (2006-12-01 19:34EST) (2006-12-02 00:34GMT)
Russ Britt _MarketWatch_
Insiders and 2nd-class stock-owners
"Now that practice is newly facing the harsh glare of scrutiny, as a major share-holder of the New York Times Co. is demanding an end to the decades-old practice at that venerable newspaper giant. These supervoting shares -- usually impossible for outside investors to get -- often are the regime in place at family-controlled firms, particularly newspaper companies that created separate, unequal share classes as a way to preserve their editorial independence. But at a time of rising share-holder [and public] dissatisfaction with big media companies, dual-class stock promises to gain visibility -- while also standing in the way of the kind of shareholder revolts and hostile takeovers that have transformed so many companies in recent years. 'Management wants the best of both worlds.', said Nell Minow, founder of the watch-dog group Corporate Library. 'They want the access to capital of the public markets and they want the control of the private markets, and dual-class allows them to get that.'"
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
So you think the computer job market is picking up?
"The industry lobbyists are lobbying Congress fast and furiously to get an increase in the yearly cap of H-1Bs issued. M$, Intel and so on claim that they just can't hire enough people. Our universities just aren't producing enough graduates in the computer area, they claim. Well, compare that to the data available on the web pages of California State University, Sacramento.
|electrical & electronic engineering||75||77||152|
Degrees to Firms
|electrical & electronic engineering||13||11.69|
|year||Civil Eng.||Computer Eng.||Computer Science||E&E Eng.||Mechanical Eng.||Total|
Mella McEwen _Midland Reporter-Telegram_
Ortloff Engineers off-shore
"The Midland engineering services firm is looking to open an office in Japan, a desire spurred by the company's experience with a Japanese engineer it hired last year. 'We wanted to hire him.', but couldn't obtain an H-1B visa for him, said John Wilkinson, Ortloff's president and chief executive officer. Now, he said, the engineer, who has a chemical engineering background, will represent Ortloff in Japan, developing business in Japan, the Far East, Southeast Asia and "perhaps as far as the Middle East.'... last year the company received a certificate of export achievement from the U.S. Department of Commerce."
Jennifer Muir _Orange County Register_
Huntington Beach police admit planting fake evidence in innocent people's vehicles
"A Huntington Beach police officer's exoneration for planting a loaded gun in a suspect's car has led to the revelation that police routinely plant evidence in unsuspecting civilians' vehicles for training exercises. Chief Kenneth Small said Friday that police plant contraband – including unloaded weapons, fake drugs and drug paraphernalia – in suspects' vehicles after they're arrested as a method of training new officers in searches. The training practice came to light Friday after a Huntington Beach man said he learned that an officer who planted a hand-gun [which he has a constitutionally recognized right to own and carry, anyway] in his car during a traffic stop was exonerated of wrong-doing... News of the training technique sparked surprise and criticism from police officials across the county, who said planting weapons in civilian vehicles is 'inappropriate' and a 'bad idea'... The training is usually done after suspects are arrested and the cars are being readied for impound, Small said... Last month he received a letter from the police department saying the officers in his complaint had been 'exonerated' of wrong-doing. Small said Friday that using a loaded weapon during training -- as Knorr testified he had done -- is against department policy, and that performing the exercise in front of Cox 'could have been done in a better way'. But he said Knorr was exonerated because the policy was not widely understood... The department doesn't have a formal protocol for using the public's vehicles in training exercises, department spokesman lieutenant Craig Junginger said. However, vehicle owners typically aren't told their cars are being used for training because they're not usually present when the training occurs, Small said... Ed Pecinovsky, bureau chief of training for the state's commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, said that no matter how careful officers are, using an arrestee's car in a training exercise is 'asking for problems'."
Indian banks don't comply with US anti-money-laundering procedures: Can't operate US branches
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
America's New Economic Problem
Mike Luwe _Orange County Register_
H-1B workers take jobs from Americans
"I worked for one of the nation's largest employers of scientists and engineers and was responsible for hiring hundreds of engineers. Overall, foreign-born engineers did not measure up to American-born and -educated engineers and scientists, primarily due to poor communications skills, both orally and in writing. Almost every work assignment now involves either documentation of design, process or procedure and working in a team environment or interfacing with clients, customers or sponsors. Most foreign workers do not do well in these assignments. So why the big push to hire foreign-born engineers and scientists? The same thing that drives illegal immigration in this country – cheap labor. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has regularly ignored the law and has exceeded the limits allowed for hiring foreign workers under the H-1B program."
2006-12-02 15:34PST (18:34EST) (23:34GMT)
15K protest VW job cuts
"Volkswagen announced 2 weeks ago it would end manufacture of its top-selling Golf at its plant in Brussels, reducing the work-force to 1,500 from some 5K. The news prompted a strike."
2006-12-03 (5767 Kislev 12)
Michael Kinsman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Internships help new high-tech grads make contacts
"Entrepreneur Aymen Ramlaoui knows engineers he can turn to when he can't figure out how to make something work. He knows marketers to call when he is exploring how to develop an audience for his product. He also knows that certain CEOs will take his calls and offer advice when he needs it. And there are venture capitalists willing to help him when he needs money. Ramlaoui sounds like he's been around for years, but he's actually an 18-year-old freshman at UC Santa Barbara who traces his vast base of business contracts to a semester internship during his junior year at High Tech High in San Diego."
2006-12-04 (5767 Kislev 13)
2006-12-04 09:24PST (12:24EST) (17:24GMT)
Robert Daniel _MarketWatch_
Stocks in Israel rebound
2006-12-04 07:45PST (10:45EST) (15:45GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Pending home sales fell 1.7% in October
William Hawkins _Examiner_
Importing poverty will weaken USA living standards
"Firms that hire illegal workers for lower wages, fewer (if any) benefits, and sometimes off the books entirely, do so to gain a competitive advantage against firms that obey the laws and only hire within the legal labor market. Honest business owners are placed in the difficult position of having to choose between emulating the unlawful behavior of rivals or risking the survival of their own companies. No one should condone a system that creates this kind of ethical dilemma... [Tax-victims] end up subsidizing the employers who hire low-wage workers."
Mike Cutler _Counter-Terrorism_
grave risks posed by the ineptitude of the USCIS
"The point is that USCIS is running an obviously fatally flawed program to naturalize aliens, where the emphasis is on the elimination of the back-log and not on making an effort to perform a cursory review of the relevant immigration files of as many as 30K cases this year alone!"
Tash Shifrin _Computer Weekly_
Indian call centre security lapses affecting UK off-shore out-sourcing decisions
"And 52% believed that the knowledge transfer that occurs, when client organisations out/source an internal process, is likely to put the client at risk, unless [even if] best practice steps are followed."
Jen Aronoff & Hannah Mitchell _Charlotte Observer_
390 lay-offs: Lenoir facing uncertain future: Broyhill plant closing ends way of life that has long been fading
"But Friday's announcement that Broyhill Furniture Industries would close its last U.S. wooden furniture plant and lay off 390 workers is the latest sign that the old way of life is no more... The company, which got its start making wooden furniture a century ago, has only two plants left, both upholstery operations, which are considered less vulnerable... Whether they had dropped out of high school, couldn't afford college or simply needed a steady pay-check, generations of Lenoir residents knew furniture jobs would be there -- and owners such as the Broyhills would take care of them. '(Furniture leaders) provided jobs for a lot of people, but also saw their role as one of being humanists, philanthropists, giving back.', said John Hawkins of the Caldwell Heritage Museum. Like other leading Lenoir furniture families, such as the Bernhardts, the Broyhills helped build a hospital and donated money to education and the arts. Numerous venues, including the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center, bear the family's name. For years, the company placed ads in local high school year-books... In 1980, the Broyhill family sold their business to St. Louis-based Interco. Now known as Furniture Brands International, the company touts how it has shifted production to Asia -- where labor is cheaper and health and environmental standards are weaker -- noting in its 2005 annual report that it has closed 31 of 57 domestic plants. More have closed since that report, including three Broyhill plants... Since 2001, Broyhill has closed 11 plants and laid off about 5,500 workers in Western North Carolina, beginning in Newton and circling ever closer to Lenoir, finally reaching the wooden furniture factories there in 2005. Along the way, the company reduced its Christmas bonuses, eliminated July 4 and Thanksgiving celebrations, and froze hourly wages, employees said... A century ago, Grand Rapids, MI, was the nation's furniture center..."
Timothy Prickett Morgan _IT Jungle_
PriceWaterhouseCoopers body shop sustains flow of IT talent shortage propaganda with report of survey of tech execs
"You need look no further than page 33 of that PwC report to see the way out. Of the executives polled, only 46% of them said that base pay was a highly effective way of compensating employees, and 27% said that other intangibles -- such as a collaborative working environment, training, access to leading edge technologies, a career path, mentoring, travel, and risk taking and innovation -- were the keys to keeping techies happy and still working for the company. Only 19% of the executives thought equity or share options motivated employees, and only 12% thought health-care and retirement benefits were highly effective as motivators, too."
PWC propaganda piece
"The survey garnered 153 responses from senior executives based in 5 principal regions: 30% Asia, 41% Europe, 23% North America, 5% the Middle East and Africa and 1% Latin America."
Karl Rove says US government is incapable of stopping invasion of illegal aliens
"I suspect that Rove's statement is based more on political considerations than policy considerations. The illegal immigration issue has Republicans between a rock and a hard place. Business interests want access to cheap labor, and the GOP would certainly like to keep itself in the good graces of the growing Hispanic voting bloc in this country, but the Republican base wants border enforcement for national security reasons, among other things. What some Republicans -- like Rove and the President -- have chosen to do is try to convince Americans that stopping illegal immigration (or even just deporting the illegals who are in this country already) is an impossibility. Because if the secure borders crowd begins to feel that truly secure borders are an impossibility they'll be more open to [non-solutions] like the President's amnesty guest worker program. Build a fence along the border, complete with 'virtual fence' components like sensors and cameras in addition to actual physical barriers. Empower local law enforcement (municipal P.D., highway patrol, etc.) to detain illegal immigrants until they can be turned over to federal authorities and encourage law enforcement offices to arrest illegals when they're found (some sort of incentive program from the feds for bringing in illegals would be good). Stream-line the legal immigration process as well as the deportation process for illegal immigrants so that getting into this country legally is easier while getting those here illegally out is easier as well."
Linda Kimball _Mens News Daily_
Deconstruction by Trans-Nationals Coming Soon
"Fonte identifies two separate, but not terribly distinct, 'ideological and philosophical' movements, each of which are working towards the ultimate goal of a 'post-constitutional', 'post-liberal', 'post-democratic', 'post-American', and post-Christian authoritarian regime. Fonte refers to these two movements as 'trans-national progressives' and the 'trans-national right'... In speaking of the NAU and trans-national corridor schemes, Congressman Ron Paul remarked, 'The real issue is national sovereignty... decisions that affect millions of Americans are not being made by those Americans... or even by their elected representatives in Congress. Instead, a handful of elites use their government connections to bypass national legislatures and ignore our Constitution (this super-high-way) will require coordinated federal and state eminent domain actions on an unprecedented scale, as literally millions of people and businesses could be displaced. The loss of whole communities is almost certain…the ultimate goal is not simply a super-high-way, but an integrated North American Union, complete with a currency, a cross-national bureaucracy, and virtually borderless travel.' ('The NAU: It's the Eleventh Hour—Get Busy' Devvy Kidd, _NewsWithViews.com_)... In his book, _The Age of Fallibility_, George Soros declared, 'The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.' Destroying the United States has become an obsession of Soros. In pursuit of his goal, he has, 'assembled an army of radical allies who have long been at war with the American system... Soros has constructed a party... unlike any in American history. It is not an American-style party... accountable to the people and subject to their will, but is more like a Leninist vanguard party, fully as conspiratorial and just as unaccountable... The SP has a dimension of which Leninists could never dream. It is a party of rebels but also a party of rulers -- a corporate unity of capital and labor. And it has insinuated itself into the heart of the American system.' (_The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party_ by David Horowitz and Richard Poe, pg 243)... Conservatives, we are in an epic battle for the survival not just of our Republic, but for our rights and freedoms under our Creator's Law. All must join this battle. None should sit on the sidelines. Only by working together can we defeat the enemies of individual liberty and save America for our children, grand-children, and future generations."
2006-12-05 (5767 Kislev 14)
2006-12-04 21:01PST (2006-12-05 00:01EST) (2006-12-05 05:01GMT)
Bambi Francisc _MarketWatch_
My-censored-Space in Red China
2006-12-05 05:40PST (08:40EST) (13:40GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Challenger says lay-off announcements up 11% in November
"Planned job reductions rose by 11% in November to 76,773 as more than 20K jobs were eliminated in the automotive sector, according to a monthly tally released on Tuesday. So far in 2006, planned lay-offs total 785,179, out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas said. That's down 19% from the 964,232 announced last year at this time... November's job reductions were down 23% from 2005 November... The auto industry announced 20,318 job reductions in November... So far in 2006, a record 151,457 jobs have been eliminated in the auto sector, breaking the previous high of 133,686 set in 2001."
2006-12-05 07:16PST (10:16EST) (15:16GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Factory orders fell 4.7% in October
2006-12-05 07:21PST (10:21EST) (15:21GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Productivity revised higher for October; Compensation lower
"Instead of rising at a 5.3% pace in the past year, unit-labor costs in the non-farm business sector were revised to a much-tamer 2.9% annual pace... Productivity in the non-farm business sector rose at a 0.2% annual pace in the third quarter, revised from no gain previously reported... instead of a 5.4% increase, unit labor costs fell 2.4%. The revision was largely due to a downward revision in wages and salaries in the second quarter, as reported in last week's report on gross domestic product. In the second quarter, real hourly compensation (that is, inflation-adjusted) fell at a 5.9% annual pace, rather than the 1.6% increase reported a month ago. In the third quarter, real hourly compensation fell 0.4%, revised from a 0.7% gain. In the past year, productivity has risen at a 1.4% annual pace, still the slowest gain in 9 years. Unit-labor costs have risen at a 2.9% annual pace, down from 3.1% in the four quarters ending in the second quarter. Real hourly compensation has risen 1% in the past year, down from 1.6% in the second quarter... In the nonfinancial sector, productivity rose 5.6% in the third quarter and is up 3.8% in the past year. Unit labor costs fell 2.7% in the third quarter and are up 0.5% in the past year. Real hourly compensation fell 0.1% in the third quarter and is up 0.9% in the past year."
Frosty Wooldridge _American Daily_
Repercussions of S2611
"As you sleep, your government plots to destroy future sustainability of your country. If John McCain, Arlen Specter, Teddy Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and George Bush sneak S2611, named the 'comprehensive immigration reform bill' into law, it's as Orwellian as it gets!... It gives blanket amnesty to illegal alien employers. It gives Carte Blanc to illegal aliens to rape our welfare system, medical care and schools. This bill completely negates the rule of law by encouraging lawlessness by forgiving past lawlessness. It creates 2 tiers of justice: one for you to abide by our laws and another for illegal aliens whereby they don't have to abide by our laws. It protects employers who attract illegals... In a nut-shell, S2611 worsens our illegal immigration crisis. If those numbskulls in the Senate would pass HR4437, we would be done with this crisis. We could get on with our lives. Our schools would be safe and uncrowded. Everyone would get back to speaking and learning English. It would stop the 'catch and release' at the border. It would make employers hire legal workers via employer sanctions. Our immigration laws work just fine; it's our president and Congress that fail our laws. HR4437 solves many problems, however, billions of dollars fly out for 'anchor babies' with terrific fiscal impact on education, healthcare, welfare and deficit spending. Congress must over-turn the misinterpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Nathan Deal (R-GA) submitted HR698 which addresses this issue, but to date Republican leaders have not allowed a vote on this bill. A simple 'Yes' vote for HR4437 in the Senate along with HR698 would create a comprehensive package for immigration reform that would solve this national dilemma within a year."
Proposed bills of possible interest
2006-12-05 07:25PST (10:25EST) (15:25GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM services index rose from 57.1% in October to 58.9% in November
Institute for Supply Management
Forestry company settles with SPLC over under-paid Guatemalans
"The proposed settlement, reached Thursday, calls for Express Forestry Inc. of Leslie to pay $220K, said Mary C. Bauer, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center's Immigrant Justice Project, who represents the workers."
Indians may get some socialist insecurity money back on return from USA
"The US is considering a pact with India to refund social security contributions by Indians on their return even if they had not worked for a requisite number of years, a top official said Tuesday... According to the India-US CEO Forum, which was formed following a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W. Bush in Washington last year, Indians contribute some $500M annually as [socialist insecurity] in the US with no benefits accruing to them."
Leonard R. Escudero _Arizona Republic_
US citizens must be taught to aim lower
"We don't need more high-tech institutions; we need a plan giving manual-labor diplomas to graduating eighth-graders. That way, our high school drop-out rate would vanish."
John Pasquarelli _Australian_
We knew Pacific rim would crack
"When it happens, images of hundreds of boatpeople from West Papua and PNG pouring ashore on our northern coastline will come as no surprise to a small band of patriotic ex-PNG hands who have been trying for years to alert Canberra to the serious threat posed by the instability of Pacific rim countries to our north. As Fiji's army neutralises and disarms police units, a coup is well on the way in that country. And this only adds to the prospect of more asylum-seekers heading for Australian shores. From Timor through West Papua and on to PNG and across the Solomons to Vanuatu, Fiji and beyond, the Pacific rim has been slowly sinking into a morass of corruption, criminality, disease and a reversion to tribalism over the past 30 years. Since 1914, Australia has spent billions of dollars and man hours on PNG alone but the return has been bitterly disappointing. Health and education programs have collapsed. AIDS is spreading out from PNG and in 10 years one in three PNG women will be HIV positive. Malaria and TB are rampant. The once excellent public hospitals in Lae and Port Moresby are a disgrace. PNG literacy rates are now lower than they were in 1975. Criminality in the Pacific rim region is surging... Canberra has not woken up to the steadily increasing influence of Taiwan and mainland China in the region, bringing with it Asian gangs who have been attracted by the easy road to Australian markets for their drugs... Disintegrating Pacific rim countries provide ideal havens and a springboard to Australia for drugs, disease, criminals, terrorists and illegal immigrants. Canberra has no idea of the huge disaster that lies ahead. Against this backdrop there are silly people who want Australia to bring in guest-workers from the Pacific rim."
Mike Cutler _Family Security Matters_
Leaderless in Washington, DC, State and Local Governments Take Control
Spencer S. Hsu _Arizona Republic_/_Washington Post_
Plan for virtual border fence has intentional gaps
"Confirming well-known problems along the Mexican border, DHS also reported that the United States had 'effective control' over only 284 miles of its 1,993-mile southern frontier as of March, up from 241 miles in 2005 October. The department set a goal of controlling 345 miles next year and the full border in 5 years. But it acknowledged not having 'a wholly satisfactory methodology' of defining 'control'... Despite a law authorizing a 700-mile physical fence on the Mexican border, the Congress and White House are pushing forward with SBInet, which would deploy a mix of fencing, vehicle barriers, sensors, cameras and other surveillance technology to create a virtual barrier along 6K miles of U.S. northern and southern borders. SBInet will cost $1.2G this year and $7.6G through 2011 on the southern border alone, DHS reported. By comparison, DHS agencies expect to spend $40.7G for border security between 2008 and 2011."
2006-12-05 14:42PST (17:42EST) (22:42GMT)
"We've all heard the stories associated with more than 400K illegal [aliens] now living in Georgia. Now, you will hear from a legal immigrant who says trying to function in Georgia the legal way is nearly impossible -- because the system doesn't recognize his paper-work. You may have been following our stories lately about how illegals have found ways to gain access to our most vulnerable public services -- all by creating fake documentation. Hector Marquez is completely legal, but tells us it has made his stay here nearly unlivable... 'We needed a chemical engineer who had knowledge of application of glass to steel and that's where Hector came in. Hector and I met in Mexico and we began the process to bring Hector to the United States legally. The process, the paper-work, took us over 2 years.', says Lakeman... 'What we have found is that Hector practically lives in a no man's land here in the United States.', says Lakeman. 'It's difficult for him to acquire a Driver's License, purchase a house, even open a bank account.'... 'I have my Mexican Driver's License and I have my Visa H-1B type, she checked my papers and said, ''No, you cannot obtain your Driver's License because you are not a citizen.''.', says Hector. Compare that to what Channel 2's under-cover cameras found at a business in Cobb County -- a broker who caters to illegal immigrants, buying them car tags that get them on the road -- never even bothering with a license... 'I talked with this lady and she said, ''Are you legal or illegal?'' and I said, ''Legal.'' She said, ''I can't help you, I'm working with illegal people.'' I said, ''What?'''... 'We knew that we needed to do it legally. The last thing we wanted to do is build a company, have 10, 20, 30 employees, then Hector's sent back to Mexico -- then where are we? Everybody's out of a job -- you just can't do it that way.', says Lakeman. State officials tell Channel 2's Dale Cardwell that Hector should have been able to get a Driver's License by presenting his Visa, but acknowledge some state employees are likely unfamiliar with what to do when presented with one. Hector's current Visa expires in 2 years."
_Family Security Matters_
Crime Pays for Illegal Aliens -- And So Do We
Jack Rasmus _Z Magazine_
Welcome to the New World Job Order: Body Shopping
"US 'free trade' policies and tax changes since 1980 have provided major incentives to corporations to dismangle the country's manufacturing base. Various studies show there is at least a 20% pay differential between new jobs created in the USA due to 'free trade' and jobs exported from the USA due to that same trade... This past October, WM, the largest employer in the U.S. with revenues of more than $310G a year, announced it was going to double the number of its workers employed part-time -- from 20% to 40% of its total work force -- while reducing full-time jobs by yet unknown thousands at the company. Given WM's total U.S. employment of 1.3M, that means 260K more WM workers will now make roughly half of what full-time employees earn. What little health and other company-paid benefits the 260K had as full-time employees will be reduced or eliminated. WM will save an estimated $3.042G a year in wages and benefits by doubling its part-time work force to 40%, for a total of 520K part-timers. WM also announced in October a 'cap' on wages that will impact many thousands more of its workers. In addition, both part-time and full-time workers will have to work erratic work schedules and be on call nights and weekends, with as little as 24-hour notice of work shift changes... The above combined actions by WM will result in a significant shift in income, from WM's employees as a group to the bottom line of the company's annual profit and loss statement. The combined total from the announced changes could easily amount to $5G a year in direct savings to the company and, in turn, in lost income to workers. It was not surprising that WM's stock price jumped by more than 10% in the days immediately following the above cost saving (and income shift) announcement... High on the list in terms of impact on workers and their incomes has been the dismantling of the manufacturing base and the shipment off-shore of 8M jobs since the 1980s. Occurring first in basic manufacturing industries in the 1980s, off-shoring subsequently spread to the tech industry in the mid-1990s and in recent years has migrated to other major sectors of the economy, such as business professional services and business 'back office' operations... The dismantling of the U.S. manufacturing base, in particular, is about to enter a new phase with the imminent exportation of at least 200K more U.S. auto industry jobs to [Red China], India, and Mexico over the next 3 years, as auto assembly and auto parts companies shut down scores of factories... Another form of corporate-driven job restructuring has been the importation of millions of skilled, professional workers over the last decade as a consequence of corporate efforts to expand the U.S. government's H-1B visa program. In the case of H-1B visas -- a kind of reverse off-shoring -- jobs are not physically exported, but are allocated to foreign professionals who are imported to the U.S.A. We're not talking about unskilled, S-1 visa workers filling entry-level, low pay, manual labor jobs in agriculture, construction, and personal services. H-1B jobs are professional-technical jobs typically paying $70K a year and up. These jobs often displace highly educated U.S. workers who have been laid off since the dot.com bust of 2000, as well as new college graduates in areas of electrical, computer, hardware-software engineering, and related disciplines. A program originating in the [mid-1950s, but split off into separate sub-categories in 1990], H-1B visas grew by 500K between 2000-2004 right through the [Clinton-Bush depression]. During that same period, for example, the communications industry in the U.S.A. lost 1M jobs while it created about 500K new jobs -- i.e., just about the total of those imported on H-1B visas. Not surprisingly, corporate elements are demanding a doubling of H-1B quotas in the new immigration bill and have proposed to expand the program to new areas, such as long-haul trucking operations... The major department store chain Mervyns announced it was terminating all full-time employees and replacing them with part-time and temporary employees... 3K workers in the HP manufacturing facility in Boise, Idaho in 2005 discovered that HP management overnight arbitrarily reclassified everyone as 'independent contractors' instead of employees. As many as 25% of the work force today in many auto and other basic manufacturing plants are temporary employees and in some factories two-thirds or more. The number of temp workers in auto are about to grow exponentially as the largest auto parts company, Delphi Corp., with 134K employees worldwide, is in the process of closing 19 of its 21 remaining plants and shedding over 40K more U.S. jobs while expanding its Mexico production (where it is currently the largest manufacturing company of any kind)... During Reagan's two terms (from 1980-1988) involuntary part-time jobs alone grew by 50% -- i.e., two and a-half times faster than full-time jobs. Also, the number of temporary supply services (i.e., temp agency) jobs tripled during the period. Actually, the numbers were much higher as temp agency jobs do not account for temp workers directly hired by companies. The latter numbers are as least as large as temps hired indirectly through agencies, according to several studies. In fact, collection of data for temp agency jobs did not even begin until the end of 1982, which eliminates the first 2 years from the temp totals for the decade. Even so, the official government estimates of temp help agency jobs show they grew by 800K during the Reagan period. About 1.6M temp jobs were actually added during this period when jobs from sources other than temp agencies are considered. When new part-time and temporary job gains are combined for the decade, a total of 6.3M new part-time/temp jobs were created. That's about 30% of the net job growth over the decade and represents a growth rate of nearly twice that of traditional jobs. A raft of independent studies in the late 1980s/early 1990s showed the continued growth of part-time/temp workers from 1988 through 1994. The studies provoked an official U.S. government response under Clinton in the form of a series of 4 ad hoc reports by the U.S. government between 1995-2000 in an effort to come up with better government data for estimating temp job growth. Despite conservative assumptions, the 4 studies showed a continued growth in the easily estimated temp agency workers, which grew to 3M by the end of the 1990s compared to the official 800M count in 1989. The reports still did not estimate company direct-hired temp workers, but did show a sharp rise in unincorporated self-employed contract workers -- like consultants, free-lancers, and other temporary work for hire occupations. By the end of the 1990s, there were 7M temp workers of various kinds and another 22.3M part-time workers... In the wake of the Bush recession of 2001, both part-time and temporary jobs surged. By 2004, part-time jobs had grown from roughly 22M in 2000 to 25.3M. Temp agency jobs similarly grew by 1M during Bush's first term and all forms of temp jobs rose to around 8.5M by mid-2004. Combined part-time and temp jobs had thus increased from a combined 29.3M in 2000 to 33.8M by 2004 -- a gain of 4.5M in just 4 years... According to government statistics, the ranks of the unincorporated self-employed had by the end of 2004 grown to 9.8M -- surging 400K a year in 2002 and 2003. The numbers are, moreover, likely conservative since they still do not account for the growth of hundreds of thousands of undocumented, 'informal' contract workers who typically are employed on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis in construction, personal services, and other 'off book' jobs. Excluding this latter category, by the end of George W. Bush's first term there were approximately 43.6M part-time, temp, and independent contract/ self-employed jobs in the U.S.A. This amounted to about 33% of the total U.S. employed non-farm work force.
The information age requires a FACT-based education
"What does FACT stand for? Flexibility, Adaptability, Creativity, and Technology are the skill sets needed for today's as well as tomorrow's jobs."
|"At the very time that economists are citing the efficiency of 'life-time' Japanese employees, American businesses are rapidly turning their labor force into temps. Discarding old ideas about the value of loyalty & continuity, many American companies now hire typists, technicians, janitors, book-keepers, artists, editors, programmers, engineers & even executives by the project, by the hour or by the piece." --- Barbara Garson 1988 _The Electronic SweatShop_ pg 226|
2006-12-06 (5767 Kislev 15)
Matt Wickenheiser _Portland Press Herald_
US senator Susan Collins grills agencies on foreign labor
"U.S. senator Susan Collins has sent letters to the heads of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Citizenship and Immigration Service, asking what their agencies have done to address problems in foreign-labor programs that were detailed in a recent Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram investigation. Collins wrote in her capacity as chairwoman of the Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. It's the first official call for answers from federal authorities since the newspaper's series ran in late September. The 3-part series detailed concerns about the H1B visa program and the permanent green-card system. H-1B visas let skilled foreign workers such as engineers, programmers and accountants work in the United States for 3 years, with a 3-year extension. Green cards let foreigners live and work here indefinitely. 'If the individuals that receive visas do not actually work at the company and the location listed on the visa applications, we have no assurance that the true purpose of the visa applicant is not to enter the U.S.A. to commit terrorist acts or to otherwise harm our citizens.', Collins wrote in both letters... Ralph W. Wyndrum Jr., president of IEEE-USA, a leading professional association for engineers, said Collins is doing 'a great service to the country' by highlighting what he called the misuse of H-1B visas, particularly in smaller states. 'IEEE-USA is pleased that Congress is starting to realize that there are significant flaws in the H-1B program, flaws that harm American workers, H1B visa holders and the U.S. economy.', Wyndrum said in an e-mailed statement. What efforts are made by the Immigration Service to uncover such 'apparent acts of deception'? What does the Immigration Service do in its processing of visa applications to determine that employers have 'legitimate and substantial business operations at the address' listed on the applications? What is the Labor Department doing to combat fraud, given the statutory division of responsibilities between that department and the Immigration Service? How is the Labor Department addressing the conclusion that its certification is a 'rubber stamp'?"
2006-12-05 18:00PST (2006-12-05 21:00EST) (2006-12-06 02:00GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
Yahoo is reorganizing, COO Dan Rosenzweig to resign, CFO Susan Decker to become head of Advertiser & Publisher Group, and Farzad Nazem to be CTO
2006-12-06 (5767 Kislev 15)
Mort Zuckerman _Jewish World Review_
The Mullah menace
2006-12-06 03:17PST (06:17EST) (11:17GMT)
John Hood _National Review_
Meet the New House Centrists
2006-12-06 08:41PST (11:41EST) (16:41GMT)
Rajesh Mahapatra _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Cisco to set up another shop in India
"Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc. will set up a center in India to support all aspects of its worldwide operations, the company's chief executive said Wednesday. CEO John Chambers also said Cisco's $1.1G India investment plan, announced in October last year, is on course and the company plans to launch a pilot manufacturing project in the South Asian country by March next year. The latest moves, including a plan to triple its work force in India to 6K employees over the next 3 to 5 years, will help Cisco sustain the momentum of its business not just in India but in markets worldwide, Chambers told reporters... The company already operates a research and development center in Bangalore."
How off-shore out-sourcing will destroy the USA
"We have, through our greed as manufactures, lost it all to the Peoples Republic of China, they make almost every thing we use here in America, automobile batteries, tires, packaging, video, audio components, cigarette lighters, electronic components, this list can go on indefinitely, this computer I am using to write this article is [Red Chinese] made, they have us right where they want us, economically. If they wanted to cripple us, all the [Red Chinese] would have to do, is stop sending us our imports, we would come to a screeching halt. They could sell to the rest of the world and ignore us... [Red China's] world over-view for the environment is impressive. The Three Rivers project will supply the [Red Chinese] the necessary electricity to build anything and resource the revitalization of the central and southern provinces... The [Red Chinese rulers] have found a way to win it all, and we just gave it to them on a platter of gold."
2006-12-07 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 449,309 in the week ending December 2, an increase of 125,748 from the previous week. There were 444,600 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending Nov. 25, an increase of 0.4 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,635,485, an increase of 560,883 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,695,927. Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending November 18."
2006-12-07 01:12PST (04:12EST) (09:12GMT)
Carolyn Pritchard _MarketWatch_
News Corp. near deal to buy back its shares currently owned by Liberty Media in exchange for shares of DirecTV and other assets
"News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch implemented a so-called poison pill, or 'share-holder rights' plan, in 2004, after John Malone's Liberty Media acquired the [$11G] stake in News Corp. A majority of share-holders voted to extend that plan in October."
2006-12-07 02:54PST (05:43EST) (10:43GMT)
Seminole tribe of Florida to buy international Hard Rock Cafe chain for $695M
2006-12-07 10:59PST (13:59EST) (18:59GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Average US household net worth up 5.8% in 2006Q3: Borrowing down
"Net worth, calculated by subtracting liabilities from assets, had increased 0.2% in the second quarter after gains of 13% in 2003, 9.7% in 2004 and 8.5% in 2005. Read the full government report. Household assets grew by $1.04T to $67T in the third quarter, while liabilities increased by $267G to $13T. Net worth rose to $54.06T... Net financial investment fell by $265G, but capital gains totaled $864G. The value of real-estate holdings increased by $120G, the smallest gain in 9 years. The value of corporate equities increased by $225G, while the value of mutual fund shares increased by $83G. Household net worth dipped slightly to 5.64 times disposable income. Owners' equity in their real estate fell to a record low 53.6% of market value from 54% in the second quarter and nearly 58% in 2000. Total debt reached 52.7% of net worth, the highest percentage since 2002. Meanwhile, non-financial borrowing in the entire economy matched the slowest growth rate in four years, rising at an annual rate of 6.7%, the same as in the second quarter. Borrowing by households grew at a 6.8% rate, the slowest in eight years. Mortgage debt and consumer credit debt decelerated. Mortgage debt increased at a 7.2% rate, also the slowest pace since 1998. Borrowing under a home-equity loan increased by about 8.4% annualized, the slowest growth in more than two years. Home-equity loans represented 10.1% of the $10.03T in outstanding mortgage debt. Consumer credit, such as credit cards, increased at a 5.7% rate in the third quarter. Borrowing by businesses increased at a 7.7% rate. Corporate debt grew at a 7.0% pace, the slowest pace this year. The deceleration mainly reflected less borrowing in the corporate bond and commercial paper markets, the Fed said. Borrowing by the federal government increased 3.3%, while borrowing by state and local governments increased at a 9.3% annual pace."
Federal Reserve Board Press Release
Consumer credit fell by $1.2G in October
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_/_San Francisco Chronicle_
Should the USA decrease its H-1B visa program?
"Though the industry says the foreign workers are needed to remedy a tech labor shortage, for most employers the attraction of H-1Bs visa holders is simply cheap labor... The [H-1B] visas granted in computer-related fields are 10 times more numerous than in the next most common tech field, electrical engineering... A Business Week article has pointed out that starting salaries for new bachelor's degree graduates in computer science and electrical engineering, adjusted for inflation, have been flat or falling in recent years. This belies the industry's claim of a labor shortage. Additional analysis at the master's degree level shows the same trend, flat wages -- contradicting the industry's claim that workers at the post-graduate level are in especially short supply. M$ founder Bill Gates is personally leading the industry's charge for more H-1B visas. Yet M$ asked its contract software developers earlier this year to take a 7-day furlough, to save money. And the firm admits that its salaries are not keeping up with inflation. Again, none of this squares with M$'s claims of a labor shortage. The hidden agenda here is industry access to cheap labor. Several university studies and 2 congressionally commissioned reports have shown that H-1B visa holders are paid less than Americans. Though the law requires H-1B holders to be paid the 'prevailing wage', the definition of that term is filled with numerous gaping loop-holes, as a 2002 congressional report showed. Yet Congress added even further loop-holes in legislation in 2004. Just think tax code, and you'll understand what I mean. The H-1B program does not require most employers to give hiring priority to qualified U.S. citizens and permanent residents. If the employer is also sponsoring the foreign worker for a green card, there is such a requirement, but again loop-holes render the rule meaningless. As prominent immigration attorney Joel Stewart has said, 'Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply.'... I, too, support facilitating the immigration of 'the best and the brightest', but very few H-1B holders in the tech field are in that league. Government data show that the vast majority make, at most, in the $60K range (Intel's median is $65K). Yet even non-techies know that the top talents in this field make more than $100K. And the vast majority of awards for innovation in the field have gone to U.S.-born workers... As senator Bob Bennett, R-UT, said after Congress enacted the H-1B program expansion in 2000, 'There were, in fact, a whole lot of [members of Congress] against it, but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign contributions, they don't want to admit that in public.' Meanwhile, a reasonable H-1B reform bill by New Jersey representative Bill Pascrell is being ignored, not only by the Republicans but also by his fellow Democrats."
more on the Cornyn's SKIL bill
guest-workers and off-shoring
2006-12-08 (5767 Kislev 17)
2006-12-08 (5767 Kislev 17)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Jews, Wake Up!
"With the publication of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group chaired by former US secretary of state James Baker III and former congressman Lee Hamilton, the debate about the war in Iraq changed. From a war for victory against Islamofascism and for democracy and freedom, the war was reduced to a conflict to be managed by appeasing the US's sworn enemies in the interests of stability and at the expense of America's allies."
2006-12-08 09:35PST (12:35EST) (17:35GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 92.1 in late November to 90.2 in early December
Dimitri Vassilaros _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
It's still gun control
Edwin Rubenstein _V Dare_
Immigrant employment continues to out-strip natives as American Worker Displacement Index continues to increase
|10-year US T-Bond||4.55%|
|"No other nation devotes as many resources ($15G in 1987) to basic research year in, year out. R&D performed in the US each year exceeds the combined totals of Japan, West Germany, France, the UK, & Sweden. No other economy contains a comparable depth, breadth, or scope of technical-industrial infra-structure that can translate basic discoveries into useful products & processes in a relatively short time. In the words of Lord Harold Lever, a former economic advisor to several British prime ministers, '[T]he US economy remains not only the most powerful economy in the world, but one of the most virile, flexible & productive...'" --- Murray Weidenbaum 1988 _Rendezvous with Reality_|
2006-12-09 (5767 Kislev 18)
Dmitri Iglitzin & STeven Hill _Los Angeles Times_
NLRB is no friend of workers
"The balance of economic power has become increasingly one-sided, and one reason is that a key institution -- the National Labor Relations Board, the country's chief arbiter of labor disputes -- remains solidly in anti-worker hands. Although a quasi-judicial entity appointed by the president and empowered to adjudicate labor disputes, the NLRB actually sets the rules that govern those disputes and thereby exerts an enormous influence over who prevails. In case after case, the Republican-dominated board has taken positions that have hurt American workers. In one recent case, the Oakwood Healthcare decision, the board found (by its usual 3-2 Republican majority) that a group of Michigan nurses are excluded from the protection of the nation's most important labor laws on the spurious grounds that they are 'supervisors', not employees. In one stroke, these workers -- and potentially tens of thousands of others -- lost the right to be in a union and to advocate collectively for workplace improvements."
2006-12-10 (5767 Kislev 19)
2006-12-10 04:00PST (07:00EST) (12:00GMT)
V. Phani Kumar _MarketWatch_
Indian bodyshops off-shoring to Malaysia
"Satyam Computer SErvices Ltd.'s announcement Thursday it plans to set up a 2K-seat software development center in Malaysia -- its largest such center outside India -- raises a question. [Does India have a shortage of bodies to shop?] The question may seem silly to those who know that only 1.3M of the country's population of nearly 1.3G bear its flag in the information technology and related service industries. But dig a little deeper and consider that these industries find only about 250K of the 3.5M engineers who graduate every year employable, or willing to join the ranks, and the argument assumes a different tone... finding employable and willing staff is getting difficult or that wage bills and attrition are keeping pace with the growth rates. The increasing wages and staff turnaround rates are what forced Satyam to look over-seas... 35% of India's population is estimated to be aged 15 or younger."
Dimitri Vassilaros _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
The rest of the story on the Middle East
Dan Stein _Desert Sun_
The costs of illegal alien invasion out-weigh any benefits
"Since immigration burst on the scene some 20 years ago, the term reform has been associated with those who believe large-scale illegal immigration is a serious problem that needs reducing. FAIR has educated the public the past 25 years on the need for true and comprehensive reform while opponents claimed a problem did not exist... As opponents learned the majority of the American public is 'pro-reform', they tried to wrap their defense of unchecked record levels of illegal immigration as being 'reform measures' when, in fact, they will deform our already broken system... Cut the numbers... No amnesty or mass guest-worker program... Protect wages and standards of living. Immigration policy should not be permitted to undermine opportunities for America's poor... Up-grade interior enforcement with strong employer penalties... Stop special-interest asylum abuse... Immigration time out. We must restore moderation to legal immigration. Beginning with the recommendations of the Jordan Commission in 1995, we need to restrict immigration consistent with stabilizing the U.S. population... Equal under the law. There should be no favoritism or discrimination against anyone because of race, color, creed, or nationality."
2006-12-11 (5767 Kislev 20)
2006-12-11 10:42PST (13:42EST) (18:42GMT)
Steve Goldstein _MarketWatch_
Brazil's Companhia Siderurgica Nacional topped Tata's bid with $11.4G offer for Corus Group steel
2006-12-11 11:17PST (14:17EST) (19:17GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Congress delivers coal & goodies to executives
"The research-and-development tax credit, a popular break that often serves as a political football, lapsed on Dec. 31. Then, efforts to revive it -- along with other expired items, such as deductions for college tuitions and for class-room supplies purchased by teachers out of their own pockets -- continually ran afoul of election-year gamesmanship, as Senate Republicans sought to tie the non-controversial measures to efforts to permanently slash the estate tax... The research credit is a bit more generous in 2007: It's expected to reduce revenues by around $16.5G over 10 years, according the Joint Committee on Taxation, which scores tax legislation. The bill also revives the deduction for state and local sales taxes for 2006, and extends it through 2007. The law allows [tax-victims] to deduct state and local sales taxes from their federal returns, rather than from state and local income taxes. &nbnsp; The measure is a top priority for taxpayers in nine states -- Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming -- that don't have a personal income tax."
2006-12-11 15:49PST (18:49EST) (23:49GMT)
Laura Mandaro & Michael Baron _MarketWatch_
DuPont plans to eliminate 1,500 jobs, close or cut back 10 sites
"With the savings from down-sizing the herbicide and nutrition parts of its agricultural businesses, it will pump $100M into seeds, a move that analyst Mark Gulley called 'terrific'."
Dimitri Vassilaros _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
Judge for yourself
Dexter Roberts & Pete Engardio _Corporate Social Responsibility Wire_/_Business Week_
Secrets, Lies and Sweat-Shops
"For more than a decade, major American retailers and name brands have answered accusations that they exploit sweat-shop labor with elaborate codes of conduct and on-site monitoring. But in [Red China] many factories have just gotten better at concealing abuses. Internal industry documents reviewed by BusinessWeek reveal that numerous [Red Chinese] factories keep double sets of books to fool auditors and distribute scripts for employees to recite if they are questioned. And a new breed of [Red Chinese] consultant has sprung up to assist companies like Beifa in evading audits. 'Tutoring and helping factories deal with audits has become an industry in [Red China].', says Tang, 34, who recently left Beifa of his own volition to start a web site for workers... [Red Chinese] export manufacturing is rife with tales of deception. The largest single source of American imports, [Red China's] factories this year are expected to ship goods to the U.S. worth $280G. American companies continually demand lower prices from their [Red Chinese] suppliers, allowing American consumers to enjoy inexpensive clothes, sneakers, and electronics. But factory managers in [Red China] complain in interviews that U.S. price pressure creates a powerful incentive to cheat on labor standards that American companies promote as a badge of responsible capitalism. These standards generally incorporate the official minimum wage, which is set by local or provincial governments and ranges from $45 to $101 a month. American companies also typically say they hew to the government-mandated workweek of 40 to 44 hours, beyond which higher overtime pay is required. These figures can be misleading, however, as the Beijing government has had only limited success in pushing local authorities to enforce [Red Chinese] labor laws. That's another reason abuses persist and factory oversight frequently fails. Some American companies now concede that the cheating is far more pervasive than they had imagined... Guarantees by multi-nationals that off-shore suppliers are meeting widely accepted codes of conduct have been important to maintaining political support in the U.S. for growing trade ties with [Red China], especially in the wake of protests by unions and antiglobalization activists. 'For many retailers, audits are a way of covering themselves.', says Auret van Heerden, chief executive of the Fair Labor Assn., a coalition of 20 apparel and sporting goods makers and retailers, including Nike, Adidas Group, Eddie Bauer, and Nordstrom. But can corporations successfully impose Western labor standards on a nation that lacks real unions and a meaningful rule of law?... Based on [Red Chinese] government figures, the average manufacturing wage in [Red China] is 64 cents an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and demographer Judith Banister of Javelin Investments, a consulting firm in Beijing. That rate assumes a 40-hour week. In fact, 60- to 100-hour weeks are common in [Red China], meaning that the real manufacturing wage is far less. Based on his own calculations from plant inspections, the veteran compliance manager estimates that employees at garment, electronics, and other export factories typically work more than 80 hours a week and make only 42 cents an hour. BusinessWeek reviewed summaries of 28 recent industry audits of [Red Chinese] factories serving U.S. customers. A few factories supplying Black & Decker, Williams-Sonoma, and other well-known brands turned up clean, the summaries show. But these facilities were the exceptions."
Ephraim Schwartz _InfoWorld_
S2691/SKIL bill on H-1B visa increased tabled until next month
2006-12-11 13:57PST (16:57EST) (21:57GMT)
Declan McCullagh & Anne Broache _CNET_
Tech executives and their lobbyists disappointed at the lack of hand-outs from congress but the public still took a beating
2006-12-12 (5767 Kislev 21)
2006-12-11 21:01PST (2006-12-12 00:01EST) (2006-12-12 05:01GMT)
Andrea Coombes _MarketWatch_
ManPOWER says hiring intentions are lower
"19% of firms surveyed said they'll be hiring in the upcoming first quarter, compared with 20% who said they intended to hire in the fourth quarter this year, according to the Manpower report. Milwaukee-based Manpower surveys about 14K U.S. companies on their hiring plans each quarter... For about 3 years, the portion of firms who said they planned to hire has hovered around 20%, but the 3 most recent Manpower surveys reveal a slow shift downward: 19% for the upcoming first quarter, down from 20% for the fourth quarter, down from 21% for the third quarter."
2006-12-11 21:02PST (2006-12-12 00:02EST) (2006-12-12 05:02GMT)
Bambi Francisco _MarketWatch_
Craigslist sticks with customer service
"Last week, [Craigslist president Jim Buckmaster] presented at the UBS Global Media conference. 'Jim made it clear that their goal is to help their users, not to maximize the company's profit.', wrote Ben Schachter, UBS Internet analyst. According to a couple reports, Buckmaster's remarks were a bit befuddling to the audience of investors. 'Their focus on the user is very real.', Schachter continued, 'the company does not fully monetize its traffic or its services. Jim noted that the $10 fee for broker-sponsored apartment listings was chosen because, it's a nice, round number.'... With 13M unique visitors, Craigslist is the #7 commerce site, behind the likes of Amazon.com, WM Stores, eBay, and Target, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. It ranks #56 among all the popular sites... 'It's about our values.', he said. Those values are 1) Give a person a break 2) Treat other people like you want to be treated.' 'Can you simultaneously pursue your value and profits.', I asked. Newmark, who describes the classified site as an online flea market, said anyone can do both. But fortunately, he's been lucky, since the site is no-frills he's not had to raise investor funds, which invariably pressures most companies to thrust some sort of business model upon themselves."
2006-12-12 05:50PST (08:50EST) (13:50GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Total October exports of $123.6G and imports of $182.5G resulted in a goods and services deficit of $58.9G, a slight drop
BEA press release
S.J. Miller _Federal Observer_
Americans tell Congress: "Put lumps of coal in Bill Gates' Christmas stocking"
"Gates' demand for massive 'high-tech' visas (known as 'Bill's SKIL Bill') fell to defeat [for now]. Their attempts to flood the US with cheap labor workers to take American jobs failed in the face of pressure on Congress by outraged Americans. Both last-minute, dark-of-the-night attempts by Texas senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson to increase H1-B high-tech [guest-work] visas were defeated in the final hours of the 109th Congress. House Majority Leader John Boehner (OH) joined the high-tech whores with his end-run attempt to hang the measure on a US-India trade bill, and was slapped in the face."
2006-12-12 11:04PST (14:04EST) (19:04GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US federal government defict fell to $75.6G in November (as compared to about $17G total federal spending from 1789 through 1902)
Chris McManes _EurekAlert_
IEEE*USA commends senator Collins for seeking answers on flawed H-1B visa program
Congress: Fence is necessary but not sufficient
Charles Murray _National Review_
Charles Murray on immigration
"Making laws about who gets to become a citizen, under what circumstances, is a legitimate function of the state. Protecting borders is a legitimate function of the state. Enforcing the law is a central function of the state. Immigration reform must begin first with enforcement of existing immigration law. If it takes a wall, so be it. And while I'm at it, I'll mention that English should be the only language in which public school classes are taught (except for teaching... a foreign language) and in which the public's business is conducted... Milton Friedman was right: You can't have both open immigration and a welfare state... I would get rid of reuniting-families provisions, get rid of the you're-a-citizen-if-you're-born-here rule, and make immigrants ineligible for all benefits and social services except public education for their children. Everybody who immigrates has to be on a citizenship track (no guest workers). And I would endorse a literacy requirement."
_St. Paul Pioneer Press_
Swift meat-packing plants in 6 states raided for employment of illegal aliens
Des Moines Register
Cedar Rapids Gazette
Free Internet press
West Central Tribune
North San Diego County Times
Rocky Mountain News
more from Rocky Mountain News
Joliet Herald News
"Swift temporarily suspended operations Tuesday at its meat-packing plant in the Texas Panhandle town of Cactus and at 6 other plants around the country after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents staged a series of immigration raids. 'Operation Wagon Train' targeted Swift plants in Texas, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Utah. ICE Agents say the crack-down is part of a program to round up illegal immigrants who have obtained jobs by stealing the identities of US citizens."
ICE received 25 arrest warrants Monday on suspicion of forgery and criminal impersonation
Crowd gathered at packing plant
"More than 100 people were at the plant by 09:20 and as another group was led from the plant people along 8th Avenue yelled to them in Spanish, telling them 'don't get down, don't worry. Tomorrow we will come and get you.'"
Crowd moved to block north exit to prevent buses and vans loaded with suspects from moving
Tancredo statement on raids
"I congratulate all law enforcement agencies involved in the successful raid... My hope at this point is that the U.S. government has the courage to prosecute the Swift & Company executives who may have been complicit in their hiring... When something of this scale happens, it's pretty likely that the plant managers were aware of it, often with the consent of management."
2006-12-13 (5767 Kislev 22)
2006-12-12 23:08PST (2006-12-13 02:08EST) (2006-12-13 07:08GMT)
Dino Perrotti _ComputerWorld_
American scientists, engineers and computer workers won a round against tech executives
"Cisco [one of the nominally American firms that actively aids oppression in Red China] has recently committed over $1G and 6K jobs to their India operation. Many other companies will follow suit... [Executives] have lost their civic pride and sense of responsibility. IOW, out-sourcing directly hurts a large [number] of American citizens and only helps the very wealthy few who control American companies... A major lobbying effort is being mobilized as you read this. K Street is currently full of tech company lobbyists who are transferring their funds from Republicans to Democrats. There will be a major battle next year between American engineering organizations and tech companies over the H-1B cap. There will be a huge push to dramatically increase the cap... Only CEOs and their wealthy board members want an increase to the H-1B cap and Congress should not be working for them. It will be tough for congress to get an increase without suffering the wrath of the voters... There is a huge pool of engineers in this country. There are displaced engineers who left the profession completely or have been under-employed. There are college graduates who are ready, willing and able, but require some time and training. But mostly, there are engineers seeking a better relationship with management. There are engineers who long for a change in the way they are treated. They yearn to be part of the team in a broader sense. They simply want control of their project and the respect they deserve. If companies went back to competing with each other for American engineers, then they would start offering these things to them, instead of finding ways to avoid confronting them. If one major tech company decided to use that approach, every engineer in the country will want to work there, regardless of pay. In addition, when engineers feel appreciated and in control of their project, they work at a very high level. When an engineer feels that he or she is just a small cog in a big machine, personal productivity slows to a crawl. Today, you'll find engineers working like robots on only small tasks, when they are capable of much more."
Roy Lawson _CoderBrigade_
Software Employment Growth and Decline
2006-12-13 02:47PST (05:47EST) (10:47GMT)
Michelle Malkin _Yahoo!_
Beware of illegal aliens seeking hazardous materials licenses
"Last week, law enforcement officials arrested an illegal alien enrolled at a Smithfield, RI, tractor-trailer training school who was trying to obtain a commercial driver's license and permit to haul hazardous materials. Not many people paid attention. You should. Illegal alien Mohammed Yusef Mullawala, 28, of Jamaica, NY, had obtained driver's licenses from New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. He was reportedly in a hurry to get a commercial driver's license and a permit to haul hazardous cargo... A joint investigation was initiated by investigators from the Rhode Island State Fusion Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force in Rhode Island, New York & New Jersey, and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement after driver's school officials became concerned about his suspicious behavior. 'His behavior was consistent with terrorist-type activity.', major Steve O'Donnell of the Rhode Island state police told the press. 'He showed no interest in learning the fine art of driving a tractor-trailer. He had no interest in learning how to back up.' Sort of like learning how to steer a plane, but not take off or land... it was alert private citizens who notified the Department of Homeland Security of Mullawala's suspicious behavior... Mullawala was here on a temporary student visa that he had overstayed... In Boston, suspected al Qaeda agent and illegal alien Nabil al-Marabh obtained a license permitting him to drive semi-trucks containing hazardous materials, including explosives and caustic materials. In Minneapolis, suspected al Qaeda operative Mohamad Elzahabi, who obtained a green card through a fake marriage, was able to obtain a commercial driver's license to drive a school bus and to haul hazardous materials -- despite FBI knowledge that Elzahabi had been tied to terrorism."
2006-12-13 (5767 Kislev 22)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
Are the rich cheap?
Devona Walker _Sarasota Herald Tribune_
Florida guest-worker numbers up 500%
"Unprecedented enforcement of the nation's immigration laws is pushing Florida growers to use guest workers at a pace not seen for 40 years... Spencer says no tomato grower has used the program since the early 1960s. His West Coast Tomato employs 400 farm-workers year-round and about 1K seasonal workers. This year, the Palmetto company has 35 guest-workers... Last year, there were about 1K guest-workers legally in the United States under the federal program -- referred to as H-2A -- with about 16 employers applying for workers. In 2006, that ballooned to about 5K with more than 70 employers applying, says Greg Schell, a Lake Worth labor attorney and farm worker advocate... All that combined to create a 'fear factor' among growers and other employers with large numbers of [illegal alien] workers, Schell said... 'Employers are really worried about these no-match letters.', Schell said. 'We've got huge numbers of applications for H-2A workers and H-2B workers. We're still trying to get our arms around the whole thing -- not knowing who they are or who they are working for, but just that they are here.'... Florida farmers are lobbying to change regulations for H2A program to make it more user-friendly. To qualify, employers must now petition for guest-workers, [allege] the shortage of domestic workers, pay for round-trip transportation, house them free of charge and pay them an elevated rate. If a grower employs both domestic and guest workers, all must be paid that same rate: $8.56 per hour."
2006-12-13 04:27PST (07:27EST) (12:27GMT)
_Greater Danbury News Times_
Trial began for former DMV worker involved in providing illegal aliens with licenses
"Jannette Rodriguez-Roman, 34, of Waterbury is accused of taking part in a scheme to sell thousands of state driver's licenses to illegal aliens and felons. Rodriguez-Roman is charged with violating the state Corrupt Organizations Racketeering Act and multiple counts of bribery, bribe receiving, conspiracy to commit bribe receiving and second-degree forgery."
2006-12-13 05:52PST (08:52EST) (13:52GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Mortgage applications at one-year high
2006-12-13 08:39PST (11:39EST) (16:39GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Retail sales increased 1% in November
census bureau press release
Chris W. Colby _Naples News_
Mistrial declared in trial of Cuban smuggler of illegal aliens because corrupt judge didn't like testimony
"n the second day of the trial in U.S. District Court in Fort Myers, Judge John E. Steele ended the trial after a U.S. Customs and Border Control agent testified that 2 people connected with the case had identified the defendant Noel Lopez as one of 2 men who had smuggled the [aliens] aboard. That testimony was contrary to the prosecutor's understanding of the agent's report and what was represented to defense attorney Joaquin Perez, Lopez's attorney, before and during the trial... All 20 of the Cuban nationals stated that they were citizens and nationals of Cuba and that they had left the island nation on Aug. 13 on a homemade boat when they ran into bad weather. The 20 Cuban migrants were released later that day after being processed and interviewed by Border Patrol agents and receiving the all-clear from the Florida Department of Health. They were then referred to local volunteer agencies for resettlement help as part of the Department of Homeland Security's Cuban Haitian Entrant Program."
2006-12-13 11:34PST (14:34EST) (19:34GMT)
_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Swift back to business as usual
"Swift & Co. meat-packing plants in Greeley and in 5 other states were running at reduced levels on Wednesday, one day after nearly 1,300 employees were arrested in a massive immigration sweep that temporarily halted operations, the company said... Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Washington said a total of 1,282 people were arrested at the plants in what the agency described as a crack-down on an identity-theft scheme. But ICE said 1,217 of the detainees were being held on immigration charges alone and only 65 were facing identity-theft or other criminal charges... The trade publication Cattle Buyers Weekly estimates Swift has the capacity to process 15,850 cattle per day and about 46K hogs per day, editor and publisher Steve Kay said."
Katie Johnson _Austin MN Daily Herald_
45 fugitive illegal aliens busted
Albert Lea Tribune
compilation: "45 illegal aliens were arrested in Austin and Albert Lea during a 4-day initiative last week called 'Operation Return to Sender'... Tim Counts, public affairs officer for ICE, said Operation Return to Sender, unlike a raid, was targeted solely at 'fugitives who have been ordered to be deported and went into hiding'... Tim Counts, ICE spokesman, there are an estimated 650K immigrant violators hiding out in the United States [for whom final orders of removal have been issued by the courts]... Of the more than 52K illegal aliens apprehended by ICE since the first teams were created in 2003, about 22,669 had criminal convictions... By the end of the fiscal 2007 year, ICE intends to have 75 fugitive operations teams, which is up from the current 50, deployed throughout the country. The operations teams apprehend more than 1K illegal aliens a week."
2006-12-13 11:41PST (14:41EST) (19:41GMT)
Rober M. Showley _San Diego Union-Tribune_
San Diego county housing prices fell by record 6.9% in November
"The median price stood at $482K, the same as in August, but off $36K from 2005 November's $518K, the all-time record. The October median was $485K... Newly built houses and condos and newly sold condo conversions fell the most, down 13.8% from 2005 November, but the $455K median was up $500 from October. The record of $527,750 was set a year ago, but analysts suspect the steep decline was likely caused by a large influx of lower-priced condo conversions... Ventura was the only other county besides San Diego with lower median prices. Orange County showed no change at $616K, and Los Angeles was up just 2.6% to $510K."
Christine De Loma _East Texas Review_
Immigration policy the focus of debate at Texas Association of Business conference
"The Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI) issued a report last month calling for state lawmakers to end property tax exemptions to businesses that knowingly employ illegal immigrants and prohibit those businesses from operating in the state for a certain time period."
sergeant Jim Greenhill _National Guard Bureau_/_eMilitary_
Operation Jump Start a success
"The extra eyes and ears provided by the National Guard -- especially in observation posts called entry identification teams -- has resulted in a drop in the numbers of illegal aliens apprehended. Border Patrol agents say that means that OJS is a success, because decreased apprehensions mean fewer people are trying to cross illegally... The Guard members are seen as a temporary measure while the Border Patrol boosts its ranks by an additional 6K agents to about 18K agents, officials say. That process takes time -- prospective agents are carefully screened, they must be trained, and they must pass a series of exams including ones designed to test their required Spanish proficiency."
Mike Cutler _Family Security Matters_
Score one for ICE arrests of illegal aliens
"these arrest operations need to be conducted routinely if the goal of deterring illegal immigration is to be realized. Illegal aliens need to be concerned constantly that they stand a good chance of being arrested by ICE. Employers similarly need to feel concerned that they, too, stand a good chance of being discovered and that they will suffer significant consequences. It is important that the illegal aliens apprehended be detained and then placed under deportation proceedings, but we need to follow what ultimately happens to them. If, as has often happened in the past, many of these aliens are simply processed for immigration hearings and then released, then many of them will most likely abscond, never to be seen again... Incredibly, the immigration reform bill that the Senate passed during the last session, S2611, would enable illegal aliens who succeeded in stealing [Socialist Insecurity Numbers, SINs] to receive Social Security benefits for having committed a felony!... unscrupulous employers can use the Basic Pilot Program as a defense to try to provide an illusion that they are complying with the immigration laws while they may realize that their employees have assumed false identities."
Dennis Ehren _Fond du Lac Reporter_
US sovereignty is in jeopardy
"For the past 20-plus years, our high-paid, self-serving Congress has done nothing to stop the invasion of illegal aliens, criminals, terrorists and drugs into America from Mexico. They are robbing, killing, swindling our welfare system, destroying our children's minds with illegal drugs, and illegally voting in elections. Terrorists are organizing in cells, planning attacks of mass destruction and deaths. All Congress sees is blanket amnesty and a partial fence that will take 10 years to build. We've been laboring under the illusion that our cagey Congress is only interested in hate-mongering and covering their corruption, scandals and incompetence. Now we know why — they're meeting in secret with foreigners and that's putting America's sovereignty in jeopardy. Last year, President Bush, Mexico's president and Canada's prime minister met in secret to hatch their envisioned North American Union Plan, a partnership of North America. Sounds like a rehashed European Union. They deviously formed special business and government teams of Americans, Mexicans and Canadians to concoct nasty surprises behind closed doors. Considering their leaders' mindsets: Open free-for-all borders, uninhibited trading between countries, new common money, unacceptable changes to our policies and laws, diverting our electrical power to Mexico, more environmental restraints and what else? Their North American Competitiveness Council is without a doubt devising ways to force the United States to adhere to the whims of global government and international law. We better start demanding our senators find out exactly what their anti-America agenda is."
2006-12-13 15:13PST (18:13EST) (23:13GMT)
_World Net Daily_
Tancredo cancelled Miami speech due to bomb threats
"'What is more 'Third World country' than threatening to bomb the place?', Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa told WTVJ-TV, in reference to bomb threats for this week's event at the Miami Rotary Club."
2006-12-13 15:39PST (18:39EST) (23:39GMT)
287-g authorizes local police to enforce immigration laws
Composite: "Only 7 such state and local agencies in the entire country are currently using the power at this time... Richard Jones, Butler County Sheriff: 'If we go into a business and business supervisors, managers, are violating federal immigration law we can enforce that law, we can use federal courts, prosecutors, the nay-sayers that have said all along, for a year and a half, he can't enforce federal law it's out of his jurisdiction that changed effective today.'... The name 287-g is actually the designation of the section of the National Immigration and Nationality Act... State and county agencies in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida and North Carolina already participate in the program, established by a 1996 law. Local authorities must complete federal training and sign an operating agreement for federal supervision before they can detain illegal immigrants. Agencies in the program also get help from federal data-bases in identifying suspected illegal immigrants."
22% of Americans pushed into early retirement
"Losing their jobs, on average about eight years early, leaves them ineligible for Social Security, unprepared for the future, and with half the savings they had expected for retirement, the study showed. Sun Life, one of Canada's largest insurers, and Harris said a survey of 701 adults in the United States showed that 22% of all retirees had been involuntarily retired several years before they had anticipated, and 69% had to change their lifestyle as a result. About 55% were ineligible for [Socialist Inecurity] when forced out of work. Lay-offs and down-sizing accounted for nearly half of all forced retirements, with illness and injury the second biggest cause. 10% of women said family obligations were the reason, while 2% of men did."
2006-12-14 (5767 Kislev 23)
2006-12-14 10:01PST (13:01EDT) (18:01GMT)
Tiffany Wright _Somerset County Daily American_
Fleetwood Folding Trailers employees worry about out-sourcing
"After almost a month Fleetwood Folding Trailers officials still have not come up with an alternative plan that would diminish thoughts of out-sourcing the company's sewing department to Texas and Mexico... Many of the employees said if their department is out-sourced they think other departments will soon follow. 'We need support from the community so they don't send our jobs to Mexico.', said Donna Nair, an employee of the company for 35 years. 'I feel once our department goes, others will, and the whole plant will be gone.'... The company, which is a division of California-based Fleetwood Enterprises, has between 50 and 54 employees in the department, Green said. The Somerset Township facility has about 520 employees."
2006-12-14 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 381,697 in the week ending December 9, a decrease of 67,160 from the previous week. There were 391,961 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending December 2, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,440,288, a decrease of 180,159 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,542,217. Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending November 25.
2006-12-14 07:21PST (10:21EST) (15:21GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Import prices rose 0.2% in November
BLS ex-im price data
Elliot Spagat _Yahoo!_/_AP_
Golden State Fence Company executives pled guilty to hiring illegal aliens
"Golden State Fence Co. will pay $4.7M. Mel Kay, 64, the company's founder, chairman and president, will forfeit $200K, and Michael McLaughlin, 42, a manager in the company's Oceanside office, will pay $100K. The 2 men admitted hiring at least 10 illegal immigrants... Hirsch said prosecutors plan to ask for 6 months behind bars for the 2 men at sentencing March 28. The maximum sentence is 5 years. Prison time is unusual in such cases. Among Golden State Fence's projects in recent years was construction of part of a 14-mile border fence in San Diego in the late 1990s... The illegal hiring took place between 1999 and 2005. U.S. immigration officials said last year that 100 employees at Golden State Fence's Riverside office were unauthorized to work, including three whom the company had been ordered not to employ after a 1999 audit by the government. Golden State, which has 750 employees, saw sales soar from $60M in 1998 to $150M in 2004, according to a biography of Kay provided by the company."
Faye Bowers _Christian Science Monitor_
Illegal alien invasion linked with identity thefts
Dana G. Smith _American Chronicle_
Pride, Prejudice, and Money Changers
"Steve Dobbins, president and CEO of Carolina Mills, who supplies thread, yarn, and textile finishing's to apparel makers (half of which go to Wal-Mart) said: 'But you can't buy anything if you're not employed. We are shopping ourselves out of jobs.'... The problem with going over-seas is the mere fact of the wage factor. According to Alan Tonelson of U.S. Business and Industrial Council, this represents the actual problem for many in the US. These companies who go over-seas 'are paying [Red Chinese] wages and selling at U.S. prices, they're not creating better living standards for America'."
Jennifer Talhelm _AP_/_Seattle Times_
Raids draw skepticism from both sides in immigration conflict
"Observers on both sides of the immigration debate were somewhat skeptical, calling Chertoff's crack-down on identity theft a new refrain in an old song. Advocates for more enforcement said they had little faith that the Bush administration would keep up the raids because the president supports a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for some of the 11M illegal immigrants in the country now. 'This is a little bit of enforcement to create a cover for amnesty.', said Steven Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors vigorous immigration enforcement. On the other side, immigrant-rights groups said the raid terrorized thousands of workers and their families but did little to the employers or the people who sold the workers the documents in the first place."
Mike Littwin _Rocky Mountain News_
ID theft is a red herring in raids on Swift
"There were 1,282 arrested - of whom 65 were charged with felonies. That's as in 65. For the math-impaired, that's 5% of those arrested. And of those 5%, not all of them were even arrested for identity theft... At the Greeley plant, they arrested 262 people. And 11 were charged with felonies. Of the 11, some were charged with re-entering the country illegally, some with identity theft."
Thomas Sloma-Williams alternate e-mail _Quality Magazine_
More of the same
"A Republican-led Congress has increased trade opportunities, encouraged economic expansion, enacted favorable tax laws that allow rapid ROI on equipment purchases, [taken measures to worsen] some worker [glut] issues and provided tax incentives for corporate R&D, to name a few accomplishments... watch for easy passage of President Bush's guest-worker program that delivers amnesty to illegal [aliens]. [Business executives who] rely on low-paying labor will benefit by this action... Many of the tax breaks that have increased spending on capital equipment, business investment and encouraged consumer spending do not expire until well after the 2008 elections... The $3.4G in spending we are projecting for 2007 continues to build on an upward tick that started more than 3 years ago..."
Dan Phillips _Reality Check_
Paleo-conservatives vs. neo-conservatives
"I will attempt to explain the origin and history of the movement now called paleo-conservatism, and how it differs from 'regular conservatism', for lack of a better term. But perhaps more importantly, what does this movement have to offer us that regular conservatism does not?... Prior to World War II, there existed a coalition often referred to now as the Old Right. The Old Right was a collection of traditionalist and libertarian politicians, writers, businessmen, scholars, etc. who composed the loyal opposition to the Left which was ascendant at the time. The ascendant Left was represented most obviously by Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. Perhaps nothing resembling a movement as we know it today existed back then, but the Old Right did what it could given the tenor of the times. The Old Right differed from the modern conservative movement in that it opposed foreign military intervention and favored a policy often derisively referred to as isolationism. The Old Right opposed American entry into World War 1 and World War 2. On that note, the most prominent organization of the Old Right was the America First Committee (AFC) which was organized to prevent US entry into WW2. (The AFC was populated by a lot of anti-war leftists as well.) The conservative argument for opposing foreign intervention and entanglements is that it is not America's responsibility to be a global policeman. Foreign adventuring necessitates big government, big spending, the sacrificing of liberties at home, and of course places American troops in harm's way. The Old Right also opposed, generally with limited political success, FDR's New Deal. They believed his New Deal programs were wasteful, not authorized by the Constitution, and ineffective and counterproductive to reviving the depressed economy. Some elements of the Old Right also opposed what they saw as a trifecta of insults to freedom and the Constitution that took place in 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment which authorized the Income Tax, the Seventeenth Amendment which mandated the direct election of Senators, and the creation of the Federal Reserve. (Tax protestors don't scold me. I am aware that many believe the Sixteenth Amendment was not passed appropriately by the States and/or doesn't authorize an individual income tax. That debate is beyond the scope of this article.) After the bombing of Pearl Harbor and American entry into the War, non-intervention fell out of favor. When the hot war ended, America was faced with a Cold War attempting to halt the global expansion of Communism and Soviet influence. The 'modern conservative movement' (MCM) as it is often called arose after WWII and after the start of the Cold War. Unlike the Old Right, the MCM supported a strong internationalist foreign policy as a means of combating the Soviet menace. Some recognized foreign intervention as inconsistent with the traditional conservative support of small government, but felt the Soviet threat warranted a temporary alteration in principles. A small contingent on the Right, led by Murray Rothbard among others, continued to resist the call for an aggressive foreign policy to contain Communism, but they were in the minority. (The merits of their argument deserve an additional column as well.)... There is a related movement called the New Right but it is not an entirely analogous term. The MCM is generally conceived as originating and coalescing in the 1950s especially around the issue of the Cold War... The New Right refers to that coalition that flourished after the Barry Goldwater campaign... Another element of the post-war anti-Communist, anti-Soviet forces were ex-leftists who had grown disillusioned with the excesses of Soviet Communism. Beginning in the 1970s [when this non-conservative first heard the terms paleo-conservative and neo-conservative...jgo] they started to leave the Democratic Party in frustration over the emergence of radical liberalism, especially the counterculture, the perceived direction of the party with the McGovern nomination, and the perceived weakness of the Democrats on foreign policy. This group included Irving Kristol and others frequently associated with the advent of neo-conservatism, a term I suspect the average reader is more familiar with... The transformation from isolationist Old Right to interventionist modern right has been much observed and commented on. The de facto adoption of political pragmatism over rigorous adherence to principles as a defining component of modern conservatism has been less commented on... So the neo-conservatives were pro-intervention, supported a social safety net, were comfortable with some government intervention in the economy but supported free-trade and liberal immigration policies and were generally socially conservative... This incident among others confirmed to the traditionalists that their suspicions had been right from the beginning; the neo-cons really were a type of leftist instead of a type of conservative, since free and easy accusations of racism are too often the first recourse of the left. The term paleo-conservative was coined around this time by either Thomas Fleming and/or Paul Gottfried originally as a joke. Paleo, as a prefix meaning old or ancient, was to designate the opposite of neo meaning new. Even though it was initially coined as a joke, the term caught on."
2006-12-14 14:03PST (17:03EST) (22:03GMT)
Lisa Lambert & Charles Abbott _Yahoo!_/_Reuters_
More Americans have been hungry or homeless in 2006
"More Americans went homeless and hungry in 2006 than the year before and children made up almost a quarter of those in emergency shelters, said a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors... The survey of 23 cities found civic and government groups received, on average, 7% more requests for food aid in 2006 than in 2005, following a 12% jump in 2005. Requests for shelter rose by an average of 9% in 2006, with requests from families with children rising by 5%. More than half the cities said family members often had to split up to stay in different shelters... The group estimated 23% of requests for emergency food assistance simply went unmet... People remained homeless for an average of 8 months in 2006, the report said. Trenton had the longest span, with those in poverty spending an average of 22 months in cars and shelters or on the street... From 2000 to 2005, the number of people using food stamps, or federal subsidies to cover groceries, increased there by 29%. Food stamps and other public nutrition programs account for 60% of the U.S. Agriculture Department's spending. The USDA said almost 11.2M U.S. households received food stamps in 2005."
David Robinson _The American_
3 Cheers for Higher Tuition
"A 2001 report (pdf) found that tuition levels at Virginia's public universities were among the highest in the nation -- and that's before this summer's relaxation of the rules. One reason tuition bills are already so high is the growing fraction of costs borne directly by students. According to the report, 'In the public sector, more than half of the added tuition revenue from 1982 to 2000 represents increases in the share of educational costs borne by students to compensate for decreases in state general fund support.' The report found that a substantial and growing fraction of students opted out of public higher education in Virginia due to its cost. That trend will only accelerate under the new rules."
Tuition & Fees
"Expanding enrollments in the 1960s and 70s permitted colleges and universities to spread fixed costs and increase total expenditures (15% per year from 1970 to 1975) while holding per student expenditure increases to 4% annually. In the decade of the 1980s, the rate of increase in tuition did not come down as fast as the CPI because -- at least in part -- students were paying a larger share of the costs of their education. In the public sector, more than half of the added tuition revenue from 1982 to 2000 represents increases in the share of educational costs borne by students to compensate for decreases in state general fund support... The state's fiscal problems in the early 1990s led to an abandonment of its long-standing policy that in-state students cover only 25% of their educational costs. The Joint Subcommittee on Higher Education Funding Policies intends to address this subject in the upcoming year."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.60%|
2006-12-15 (5767 Kislev 24)
2006-12-14 16:04PST (2006-12-14 19:04EST) (2006-12-15 00:04GMT)
Laura Mandaro _MarketWatch_
US International Trade Commission vote against steel duties puts other tariffs at risk
"A federal trade commission's decision Thursday to let lapse import tariffs on corrosion-resistant steel signals a tougher battle ahead for domestic steel-makers trying to stem the flow of low-priced imports. The six-member U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously to drop special tariffs on carbon steel flat products from Australia, Canada, France and Japan, arguing that they are no longer needed to protect U.S. steel makers. The vote means that the Commerce Department will now revoke those orders. At the same time, the panel -- evenly split between Democrats and Republicans -- backed keeping the tariffs in place on imports from Germany and South Korea, which still have the clout to hurt domestic producers. Steel makers consider corrosion-resistant steel the crown jewel of their industry because the pliable, but strong, material translates bring high profit margins. Its qualities have also made it a sought-after material for auto companies and other manufacturers, which have lobbied hard to end the duties after a steep run-up in prices... Laws governing imports are 'particularly critical because of the record imports in 2006, much of which are coming from subsidized, non-market economies such as [Red China]', said Bill Steers, a spokesman for Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal, which is the biggest North American steel producer."
Lakshmi Mittal CEO of merged Arcelor Mittal Steel
Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian-born CEO of Mittal Steel
Cross-Border Take-Overs Face Growing Opposition
Big businesses race to abrogate pension obligations
Wilbur Ross -- whose buy-out firm eliminated Bethlehem Steel and abrogated its retirees' pension agreements created International Steel less than 2 years ago -- is selling the company to Lakshmi N. Mittal, the billionaire steel tycoon, chairman & CEO of Ispat International, for $4.5G
2006-12-15 02:22PST (05:22EST) (10:22GMT)
Richard Labunski _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Honor James Madison, today, for his work in the Bill of Rights
Philadelphia Inquirer: 3rd through 12th amendments of the Bill of Rights
San Juan Islander
Galveston Daily News
El Defensor Chieftain
Hudson Sun: Bill of Rights Day may get recognition in Taxxachusetts
2006-12-15 04:49PST (07:49EST) (12:49GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Zinc supplies are quietly running out (with graph)
"Spot prices for high-grade zinc have more than tripled on the London Metal Exchange in the last two years -- and the price rally won't likely end soon with demand for the industrial metal far outpacing supplies, analysts said."
Indians received 43,176 H-1B visas
"A total of 43,167 H1-B visas were issued to Indians in the US fiscal year 2006 which ended on September 30. Stating this at a press conference here Friday, US consul general Peter Kaestner said that this was part of the 127K temporary work visas that were granted during the same period."
2006-12-15 06:34PST (09:34EST) (14:34GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US industrial output rose 0.2% in November
"Output in October was revised to be flat, down from the initial estimate of a 0.2% gain. Over the past year, industrial production has risen 3.8%."
Federal Reserve press release
_Hindu_ US embassy doubled visa generation capacity to clear back-log
2006-12-15 07:04PST (10:04EST) (15:04GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Bernanke prods Red China far too gently
2006-12-15 08:43PST (11:43EST) (16:43GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Capital flows into USA rose to $62.2G in October
Treasury department press releases
Jordan Robertson _AP_/_Long Beach Press Telegram_
More Red Chinese engineers caught stealing trade secrets
Los Angeles Times
San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Business Journal
"Two engineers were moments away from boarding a flight to [Red China] when they were singled out for what appeared to be a routine customs inspection. They didn't know FBI agents were waiting nearby, ready to examine their luggage. The contents, investigators said, were startling: Thousands of pages of trade secrets stolen from four Silicon Valley companies, including microchip blue-prints and other closely guarded documents, many marked 'Proprietary' or 'Confidential' or both. The men were arrested and their homes raided. Documents seized there allegedly revealed a plot to smuggle trade secrets to China to start a microprocessor company backed by Chinese government entities. Fei Ye, 40, a U.S. citizen from [Red China], and Ming Zhong, 39, a permanent U.S. resident from [Red China], pleaded guilty this week to the rare charge of economic espionage to benefit a foreign nation. Legal experts said Friday that the convictions -- the first of their kind -- were crucial victories for federal prosecutors... No foreign official was charged in the case, and the law does not require that the government prove complicity by foreign concerns to secure a conviction. Legal experts said if the government had evidence of foreign involvement, but not enough to charge a foreign official, some of that might have come out at trial. There's still a chance such evidence might come out in sentencing arguments... Prosecutors have been criticized for not bringing more cases under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 that allege the intent to benefit a foreign government... Some industry experts said the impact of the case against Ye and Zhong, who remain free on bail, won't be known until they are sentenced April 23. They each face up to 30 years in prison... Xiaodong Sheldon Meng, 42, a Chinese national with Canadian citizenship, was indicted on 36 felony counts, including violations of military technology export laws. Meng is accused of stealing code for software made by his former employer, Quantum3D Inc., that's used to train military fighter pilots, and trying to sell it to the Thai and Malaysian air forces and a company with ties to China's military."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.60%|
|"We all know of course that we cannot abolish all the evils in this world by statute or by the enforcement of statutes, nor can we prevent the inexorable law of nature which decrees that suffering shall follow vice, & all the evil passions & folly of mankind. Law cannot give to depravity the rewards of virtue, to indolence the rewards of industry, to indifference the rewards of ambition, or to ignorance the rewards of learning. The utmost that gov't can do is measurably to protect men, not against the wrong they do themselves but against wrong done by others & to promote the long, slow process of educating mind & character to a better knowledge & nobler standards of life & conduct. We know all this, but when we see how much misery there is in the world & instinctively cry out against it, & when we see some things that gov't may do to mitigate it, we are apt to forget how little after all it is possible for any gov't to do, & to hold the particular gov't of the time & place to a standard of responsibility which no gov't can possibly meet." --- Elihu Root 1913 _Experiments in Gov't & the Essentials of the Constitution_|
2006-12-16 (5767 Kislev 25)
Bob Chapman _GoldSeek_/_International ForeCaster_
Goldman-Sachs is at it again
"Goldman Sachs is at it again -- rigging the market. A few months ago they changed gasoline's weighting in its commodity index and gasoline plunged. Recently the stock market averages have been acting unnaturally vaulting higher without so much as any correction. This has been triggered by a mysterious reduction in margin requirements for an already over-margined hedge fund community that has cranked up the markets since October. It is purely mystical why every time the equity markets look like they are set up for a downside correction, buying comes out of nowhere to drive the market back up. There are always mysterious buyers who appear at every correction juncture. We are sure the mystery buyers are our Working Group on Financial Markets and the Fed via the repo pool. If we did that we would go to jail."
NY pub owner sentenced for smuggling Irish illegal aliens from Canada
"A New York state pub owner was sentenced to six months in prison for helping smuggle dozens of Irish illegal aliens from Canada into the United States, authorities said Friday. Bridget Campbell, 37, of Depew, NY, pleaded guilty to alien smuggling for financial gain March 2. She admitted to smuggling between 30 and 50 illegal aliens by way of Canada since 2003 December... Campbell said she received a fee of US$1,200 for each alien. As part of the sentencing, she was ordered to pay $36K."
Robert Kuttner _Boston Globe_
In Red China's pocket: US trade representatives are regularly played like violins
"The delegation, headed by treasury secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, is long on state dinners and photo ops, short on real progress... Despite the precarious condition of the U S dollar, the [Red Chinese] central bank keeps lending us dollars by the hundreds of billions, so that we can keep buying their cheap products. The more we owe them, the less leverage we have... By intervening in money markets to keep the yuan cheap, [Red China] makes its products artificially discounted... The far bigger problem is [Red China's] entire economic system... opposition leaders who keep being jailed. [Red China] is no closer to a Western style democracy than it was on the day of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989... American industry finds it too convenient to use [Red China] as a low-wage production zone to complain very much. So our government goes through the motions of protesting [Red China's] subsidies to industry, its theft of American intellectual property, its coercive demands for the transfer of sensitive technologies by US business partners and hardly bothers to protest the slave-like labor conditions in many [Red Chinese] factories. The [Red Chinese] make [unconvincing] soothing noises, not much changes, and the US-[Red China] trade imbalance keeps going through the roof... labor conditions are not even on the Paulson-Bernanke agenda. In the early 1990s, [Red China] was a lot weaker economically, we were a lot less dependent on [Red Chinese] lending, and [Red China] eagerly wanted entry into the World Trade Organizations. But three administrations Bush I, Clinton, Bush II gave up that diplomatic leverage and worked to welcome [Red China] into the WTO in exchange for mostly empty promises. Why? Because American business elites were so eager to make more deals."
2006-12-17 (5767 Kislev 26)
2006-12-16 17:09:16PST (2006-12-16 20:09:16EST) (2006-12-17 01:09:16GMT)
Bruce Finley _Denver Post_
Employers were unscathed in recent raids: New enforcement approach targets illegal aliens rather than their employers
"But the black-clad agents who stormed facilities in Colorado and in 5 other states arrested only workers, leaving the managers who hired them untouched. That's increasingly the pattern in the government's new approach: targeting workers without holding companies themselves accountable, as required by law, according to government data and interviews with experts. Fines against employers for hiring illegal workers have all but ceased, data show, though authorities recently prosecuted a handful of managers and executives successfully. Until Congress demands a worker status-verification system and enforcement that can really hold companies accountable, critics contend, millions of job-seeking illegal immigrants can't be stopped. 'It has become apparent how employers are complicit in this illegal-immigration picture.', said Doris Meissner, chief of the Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1993 to 2000, now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute. 'In a case like (the one involving Swift) where you are just arresting the workers, it demonstrates how inadequate current employer enforcement really is in reducing the availability of jobs. The plant is up and running again.', said Meissner. No charges had been filed against Swift officials Friday in the crack-down on alleged identity-theft crimes involving suspected illegal workers at slaughter-houses in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas and Utah."
Walter Hamilton _Concord Monitor_
What would you do with an extra $622K?: Wall Street bonuses are bigger than ever
This Is Money
NY Daily News
composite: "Morgan Stanley chief executive John Mack got his present this week -- grants of stock and options valued at $40M. That's a record for a Wall Street chief executive, but it's the same story all over town. At Goldman Sachs Group, employees will earn average pay of $622K this year, thanks to record annual profits of $9.4G... 'When CEOs are being paid $40M or $50M, those are mind-boggling numbers.', agreed Michael Karp, chief executive of Options Group, a New York-based company that consults on executive hiring and compensation. Overall bonuses are expected to rise 15% to 20% from last year, according to the Options Group. Investment bankers and equity traders may take home up to 25% more than last year... Bonuses are critical in part because even veteran financiers earn relatively low salaries -- on Wall Street that means no more than $250K -- and get up to 90% of their compensation from year-end bonuses... average CEO pay in 2005 was 821 times greater than a minimum-wage earner's. In 1978, the average CEO earned 78 times more than a person working for minimum wage."
Ben White & David Wighton _The Australian_
Goldman boss, Lloyd Blankfein, claims to bank on compassion
"AT 07:30 last Tuesday, an hour before Goldman Sachs was to report the most profitable year in Wall Street history... Speaking for 20 minutes without notes, he reviewed the record results in precise detail and discussed the bank's strategy for the coming year. He closed by urging some of the world's most highly paid executives to be humble in the face of such extraordinary success and to spend time with loved ones over the holidays (a directive most will almost certainly ignore)... The 52-year-old took the helm from Paulson this spring, when Goldman was at the height of its powers. Earnings soared 70% to a record $US9.5G ($12.16G) this year, largely on the strength of trading and investing strategies for which Blankfein had been responsible... [Blankfein] was the son of a postal worker and grew up in subsidised housing in Brooklyn, New York, went to a tough local school and put himself through Harvard and Harvard Law School on scholarships. His first application for work at Goldman failed. He eventually got in through the back door, becoming a gold salesman at J. Aron just before Goldman bought the commodities company... Goldman is paying an average of $US620K to its 26,500 staff this year. Blankfein will get at least $US50M and some top traders could reap even more. This bonanza comes amid growing concern about the widening gulf between rich and poor in the USA. The concern is shared by Blankfein and others at the top of Goldman, with its culture of public service and philanthropy. Blankfein, with $US500M of Goldman stock, has been known to disparage bankers who are happy just to be 'another rich guy in New York'. Like most senior Goldman executives, Blankfein avoids conspicuous displays of wealth, although he is planning to move his family to a new $US27M apartment."
2006-12-17 06:34PST (09:34EST) (14:34GMT)
Matthew Goldstein _The Street_
Goldman's ClearChannel gambit
"Goldman Sachs is raking in at least $40M for advising on the $18.7G buy-out of radio station chain Clear Channel. That's not too shabby for about 3 months worth of work. But the deal pay-out for Wall Street's premier investment firm could have been even bigger, a recent regulatory filing shows. Goldman Sachs twice tried to emerge as the primary financier for the big leveraged buyout, even though it was hired by Clear Channel in August to advise the company on finding a private equity buyer. The filing says Goldman Sachs offered to put together a debt financing package 'to facilitate the sale process, noting that no buying group would be obligated to use Goldman Sachs as its debt financing source'... With the buy-out firms looking to issue more than $20G in new debt to pay for the deal, Goldman Sachs had the potential to make $10M more in bond under-writing fees. &nbps; In the end, Goldman Sachs wasn't included in the group of banks that will provide financing for the deal."
2006-12-17 09:30PST (12:30EST) (17:30GMT)
Hernan Rozemberg _San Antonio Express-News_
Dems divided on immigration reform: Some want reform while others want to worsen the situation by creating additional guest-worker programs, amnesties and throwing the borders open
Jolayne Houtz _Buffalo NY News_
Just try complaining to a human
"Experian, Eureka and Chrysler are among the companies receiving an 'F' grade for their telephone customer service from Gethuman.com, a consumer-advocacy organization. Gethuman has released a new report card rating 500 large American companies on how they serve consumers over the phone. Nearly 85% flunked. Just 9 of the 500 earned A's: Hertz Rent A Car, Commerce Bank, Dillard's department store, retailers Lands' End and L.L. Bean, Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Hyatt Corp. and Walt Disney World... entire industries flunked Gethuman's audit, including all TV and satellite companies as well as most insurance, shipping, software and hardware companies... No hiding the zero: Callers should be able to dial 0 or say 'operator' for a human. No repeats: Callers should never have to repeat information already provided to a human or an automated system during a call. No happy talk: Companies should avoid patronizing, overly cheery computer voices and cliche phrases such as 'Your call is important to us.'... At retailer L.L. Bean, the phone hadn't even started ringing on our end when an agent answered the call. 'Providing a human option is critical to our business model.', spokesman Rich Donaldson said. Customer service representatives employed by L.L. Bean answer calls at four centers in Maine. It's costly to do business that way rather than hiring contractors or relying on automation, but Donaldson said the company views it as a long-term investment... Earning a 'B': Allstate Motor Club, Budget Rent A Car, National Car Rental, American Express Business Gold, Chase Credit Cards, Bear Stearns, ING Direct, the FBI, the White House, 1-800-Flowers.com, Bose, Eddie Bauer, Cabela's, Williams-Sonoma, Best Western, JetBlue Airways, Motel 6, Radisson, Southwest Airlines, Super 8. Earning a 'C': Ryder Rentals, U-Haul, Charles Schwab, Goldman Sachs Mutual Funds, Google AdWords, Motorola, T-Mobile Smart Access/tech support, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Hormel Foods, Tyson Foods, Timberland, Verizon fraud line, Vonage, Hampton Inn, Lufthansa, and Spirit Air."
2006-12-17 10:50PST (13:50EST) (18:50GMT)
Why teens do stupid things
"But it's not that they don't ponder the the potential consequences. In fact, a new study finds teens spend more time weighing risk than adults and in fact often overestimate the odds of a bad outcome. But the desire for acceptance among peers wins out in the decision-making process of a young mind. Cornell University researcher Valerie Reyna and Frank Farley of Temple University conducted a review of scientific studies on the topics. Compared to adults, teens take about 170 milliseconds more weighing the pros and cons of engaging in high-risk behavior, the researchers conclude. Adults scarcely think about risk, perhaps because they think they recognize risk intuitively. Teens, on the other hand, take time to mull the risk vs. benefit equation. 'IOW, more experienced decision-makers tend to rely more on fuzzy reasoning, processing situations and problems as gists [the essence of their actions] rather than weighing multiple factors.', Reyna said. Teens often decide that the benefits of risky behavior -- immediate gratification or peer acceptance -- out-weigh the risks, Reyna said. She figures its better to teach teens some 'gist-based' thinking skills, such as putting risks into general categories rather than lecturing with specific data and details."
Steve Sailer _V Dare_
Joe Bel Bruno _Ely Times & County_/_AP_
Morgan Stanley CEO, John Mack, getting $40M bonus for 2006
"Morgan Stanley Inc., the second-largest U.S. investment house, gave chief executive John Mack $40M in stock and options for 2006, reflecting the largest bonus awarded to a Wall Street CEO. Mack, 62, was awarded 461,821 stock units valued at $36.2M on December 12, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday. He was also awarded 178,945 options to buy Morgan Stanley shares, valued at about $4M."
Jack Torry _Columbus Dispatch_
Disparate incomes don't tell the whole story
"At a time when M$ founder Bill Gates has a net worth of $40.7G and US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson earned $38.8M during his final year as CEO of Goldman Sachs, there is a feeling that something is very unfair about the U.S. economy. Americans see the 38K hourly workers at Ford Motor Co. leaving well-paying jobs in favor of company buy-outs... poll conducted in September by the Pew Research Center shows that fewer than half of all Americans think they will be better off in the future. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2001, the wealthiest fifth of American households controlled 50.1% of annual income compared with 43.8% in 1967. In contrast, the poorest fifth of American households held just 3.5% of annual income, a slight drop from the 4% recorded in 1967."
2006-12-18 (5767 Kislev 27)
2006-12-18 06:42PST (09:42EST) (14:42GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Current account deficit fell to $225.6G in 2006Q3
2006-12-18 11:59PST (14:59EST) (19:59GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Home builders' confidence down in December
2006-12-18 13:41PST (16:41EST) (21:41GMT)
Greg Morcroft & Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Former CEO of FNMA and others charged with manipulation of financial reports
"Federal regulators said Monday they have filed administrative charges against former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines and other former executives claiming the trio misled share-holders and regulators and manipulated earnings to boost their bonuses. The charges are related to the mortgage giant's recent restatement of $6.3G in earnings. Along with Raines, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) charged former Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer J. Timothy Howard, and former Senior Vice President and Controller Leanne G. Spencer with 101 violations... Ofheo said it will seek civil penalties of up to $100M from the former executives, and the return of bonuses totaling up to $115M from the 3."
Phyllis Schlafly _Human Events_
Tech executives have ulterior motives regarding H-1B visas
"Cost-cutting: H-1B visa holders are paid much less than Americans. The influx of H-1B visa holders depresses the 'prevailing wage' for all computer techies and engineers. The hiring of H-1B visa holders prevents potential competition from Americans who might choose to work for other firms or start companies of their own... A technology industry coalition called Compete America gathered at Stanford University in November for a TechNet Innovation Summit, but the goal wasn't innovation. This coalition, backed by M$, Intel and other computer giants, has sent a letter to every member of Congress calling for more H-1B visas so businesses can import Indian, Pakistani and Chinese engineers to fill US jobs. H-1B visa holders cut industry costs but do nothing to improve innovation. Most innovators are Americans, and the successful immigrant entrepreneurs the industry brags about did not come here as guest workers on H-1B visas, but entered as children and were educated in U.S. universities. Current law allows industry to import 85K workers with H-1B visas a year, but industry lobbyists seek to double or triple that number. They would really like the Cornyn-Shadegg SKIL Bill -- known to engineers as the Kill Bill -- which could import 1.5M under-paid workers with H-1B visas by 2013... Nobel economist Milton Friedman labeled H-1B visas a government subsidy to enable employers to get workers at a lower wage."
Alan Caruba _Human Events_
The Russians have never stopped spying on us
"As Bill Gertz, a Washington Times reporter, notes in his latest book, _Enemies: How America's Foes Steal Our Vital Secrets -- and How We Let It Happen_, 'Today, nearly 140 nations and some 35 known and suspected terrorist groups target the United States through espionage, according to intelligence officials. Over the past several decades, foreign agents have penetrated every U.S. national security agency except the Coast Guard. That includes the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defense Department, the State Department, and the Energy Department... The CIA's once-proud Directorate of Operations has been decimated by retirements and low morale. By 2005, the agency had fewer than 1K case officers in the field. Many CIA stations had been reduced to single CIA officers who acted as little more than liaison officers with local services.'"
Christopher Banks _Human Events_
Centralized communist system always brought atrocities
Wilson P. Dizard III _Washington Technology_
DHS details on budget and staffing released on SBI
"Two Secure Border Initiative plans contain cost estimates in the $7G to $8G range for activities through 2011, which alone would serve as a head-line figure. But more important, the documents detail how SBI-Net planners arrived at those estimates. DHS officials came under fire this fall for awarding the main systems integration contract for the program to the Boeing Co. before they had completed their budget and technical plans... SBI-Net Program Manager Greg Giddens... The Dec. 1 Secure Border Strategic Plan is that plan. DHS had estimated SBI-Net spending through 2011 at $7.6G. A more detailed draft blue-print dated Dec. 4 pegged its cost through 2011 at upward of $8G... HS will expand the use of the Basic Pilot program, a voluntary system employers can use to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired workers. Basic Pilot employee queries have increased from 1M in 2005 to 1.7M in 2006, DHS said. The number of employers participating in the Basic Pilot program has increased to 11,474 from 5,899 last year, according to the report. DHS expects to expand Basic Pilot to all 7M employers in the country under pending immigration reform legislation... 'If the department can show some progress in slowing the flow [of illegal aliens] and reducing the crime along the border, they can cite those as SBI-Net successes.', he said."
Texas border watch web site stays: Delays entering data hampers enforcement
"Texas' month-long experiment with border surveillance web cameras is being touted as a success, with 221K people participating via the Internet, the state said... Immigration and Customs Enforcement's [USCIS's] data-base for tracking illegal aliens is riddled with outdated information, according to a new report from DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner. Skinner found 322 records filed past dead-line among 3,201 records examined in the Deportable Alien Control System data-base, which contains records of illegal aliens being held in detention facilities."
Ron Paul _US House of Representatives_
Original foreign policy
"How should we deal with the rest of the world in a way that best advances proper national interests, while not threatening our freedoms at home? I believe our founding fathers had it right when they argued for peace and commerce between nations, and against entangling political and military alliances. IOW, non-interventionism. Non-interventionism is not isolationism. Non-intervention simply means America does not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations. It does not we that we isolate ourselves; on the contrary, our founders advocated open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations."
_Family Security Matters_
Illegal aliens bring Taliban culture to the USA
William H. Calhoun _American Daily_
The USA is being invaded
"An ex-Army intelligence officer recently said, 'We are under attack. And it's not just Mexico. It's all Central and South American countries. It's India. It's [Red China]. It's most of the non-European world. And if we do not fight back soon, America will be third-world sewer within 30 years!'... They are backed by big business and the American government. A perfect case in point is India. The Indian Government and American corporations have been lobbying the US [government] for more H-1B visas to allow Indians to move to the United States. American companies use the H-1B to drive down American wages. An associate of mine who works for a high-tech company in California (whose name I cannot say for legal reasons) recently watched about 90% of his fellow American employees be fired from his company. They were replaced with H-1B imports from India, who were paid about one-third of what the Americans were making. GW Bush has largely supported this H-1B invasion, portraying it as sound policy. He, however, and the mainstream media always fail to mention that large companies are using the H-1B to drive down wages whereby they fire American employees and replace them with low-paid foreigners. They also fail to mention that India has the largest Muslim population, the most terrorist cells, and now the most reported cases of HIV in the world. At my friend's high-tech company in California, within a few months of the firings, 2 of the Indian employees had already spread HIV to 3 Americans, 3 of the other Indians had known ties to terrorist cells in India, and the Indians would openly speak of 'exterminating the European race'. Was any of this reported in the main-stream media? Of course not. Did any of these people serve jail time? Of course not. In essence, because of H-1B provisions, they have more 'rights' than American citizens. Nor is this incident isolated."
James Hannah _Red Orbit_
Students who delay, change their minds about majors upset university executives
"Tuition and fees at public 4-year public colleges this Fall rose $344, or 6.3%, to an average of $5,836, according to the College Board's annual 'Trends in College Pricing' report. At private 4-year colleges, published tuition and fees rose 5.9%, to an average of $22,218... Of the 1,800 first-year students who entered the University of Dayton this semester, 39% had not settled on a major. That's the highest percentage in 4 years."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.59%|
2006-12-19 (5767 Kislev 28)
Donald A. Collins _V Dare_
Figures don't lie, but liars can figure
"Mr. Lewis apparently wants us to believe that Mr. Grove and the others cited above are in the same group as the vast majority of the 30M plus uneducated masses who have come here since our immigration laws were reformed in 1965. To be sure, many of these immigrants are employed by American businesses, but often at the slave wage level. Traipsing around the world and around the US as I frequently do can be tiring, but also enlightening. The conditions I see in so many places around the planet demand serious efforts at restraint. Developing nations are often doing better, but are still sending vast numbers of their excess populations to developed countries. The Mexican government, not doing that well for its lower classes, has become hooked on the symbolic drugs of illegal alien export and illegal alien remittances, as well as over-looking real drug trafficking... as Lewis' prime example of local Denver success, Ms. Rubi-Byers became a US citizen and presumably came here legally with her student visa which permitted her to commit to further education and the success she earned. Note her parents were successful business people already, folks who could afford to send her to college. Not quite an ascent from hard scrabble poverty!... These folks Lewis lionizes in his column were committed to America and to a nation of laws that could properly protect their work. Of course, we need people of this caliber. But then, even more, so do the nations from which they emigrated. Lewis and I agree that we need a continuing stream of legal immigrants. But setting this policy correctly remains elusive and complex. Lewis cavils for more H1-Bs... Silicon Valley wants more smart Asians or others, the ones trained at Stanford, UC Berkeley, California Institute of Technology and MIT, to be able to stay here. No surprise in that attitude... But, he omits, a real cheap way to cut out American trained engineers and others technical types... we know the Chinese and many others are just as bright or brighter than our native stock and coming on strong. So what do you want to do? Would you let our brightest languish in unemployment while we train bright ethnics who may not stay beyond the term of their special visas? And when they do go home, they take knowledge of all those new advances with them. We can't stop that entirely, but we can slow it down by making the granting of these H1-Bs a matter of very careful scrutiny. However, anyone who has studied the prevalence of these special visas knows this provision and others like it have been badly abused—especially the requirement that businesses really look for qualified American techies to fill jobs before bleating for more H1-Bs... Just stopping rampant illegal immigration is only the first step toward the complete over-haul of our immigration policies. We need to start thinking in terms of need, real need, not just bodies which can make particular [business executives] rich, partly because these imported slaves onto the public rolls necessitate tax-supported services of all kinds."
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Edwin Vieira _News with Views_
Porque el Amero?
2006-12-19 07:50PST (10:50EST) (15:50GMT)
Steve Gelsi _MarketWatch_
Delta rejects US Air's buy-out offer, files Chapter 11 regorganization plan
_Family Security Matters_
Maryland plaintiffs sought in suit to stop issuance of driver licenses to illegal aliens and terrorists
2006-12-19 07:59PST (10:59EST) (15:59GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Housing starts rose 6.7% (graph)
census bureau data on new residential construction
2006-12-19 08:13PST (11:13EST) (16:13GMT)
"Rorshach" _Lone Star Times_
What is wrong with this picture?
"First off, not a single Swift manager or executive was arrested or prosecuted for knowingly hiring illegals. Swift claims that since they are a participant in the Basic Pilot program, they are free of liability for hiring illegals. But there are a few things about that program that make it much less useful than it should be..."
2006-12-19 09:35PST (12:35EST) (17:35GMT)
Robert Schroeder & Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US PPI rose 2%, core up 1.3%
Jay Ambrose _Examiner_
Sympathy for the cheated
"Just a couple of weeks ago some 20 miles up Interstate 70 from where I live in the foothills of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, a van carrying 15 people -- apparently illegal immigrants being smuggled to jobs -- crashed. Four were killed, others injured. Here is the inhumanity -- stupid laws and weak enforcement that as much as encourage long lists of such tragedies annually -- and here is what won't bring us to utopia: amnesty for the [8M to 20M] illegal aliens now in the United States or guest-worker programs."
Jim Suhr _AP_/_Kansas City Star_
Mexican national, Gabriel Ortiz-Castaneda, has been sentenced for transporting illegal aliens
Quad City Times
"He sentenced Ortiz-Castaneda to [only] 2 years and 9 months in prison on each of 21 felony counts, with the terms to run simultaneously [rather than consecutively]. Herndon also ordered Ortiz-Castaneda to spend 3 years on supervised release after the prison stint, if the man is not deported... Ortiz-Castaneda pleaded guilty September 1 to 19 counts of transporting illegal aliens and 1 count of illegally re-entering the United States -- felonies each punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $25K in fines. He also admitted using someone else's [Socialist Insecurity] card, a felony that carried a possible 5-year prison sentence and $250K in fines... Twice in 2001, federal prosecutors in Arizona charged him with illegally re-entering the U.S., netting him a total of 16 days confinement. He was charged with that federal misdemeanor again in March 2002 and spent another 10 days in jail before being arrested 5 months later with a felony re-entry count that again got him deported... Herndon will take up a similar case Thursday, when Juan Arias Ramirez is to be sentenced on 11 felony counts alleging he was transporting 11 illegal immigrants from Phoenix to Indiana and Chicago when his packed van was stopped in June in Bond County."
Nic Fildes _Independent_
Pay recovering for web developers in the UK
"They are once again one of the most sought-after IT professionals after the sudden boom in the popularity of sites such as MySpace and YouTube, as well as the increasing popularity of internet retailing and advertising. Rising broadband speeds and the emergence of multimedia applications such as blogs and podcasts has also fuelled demand for their skills. A survey by SkillsMarket and the Association of Technology Staffing companies found the average pay of a top web developer has increased by nearly a quarter over the past year."
2006-12-19 15:46PST (18:46EST) (23:46GMT)
Ramsey county MN sheriff says he won't house illegal aliens
"Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said Tuesday that the St. Paul jail would no longer house suspected illegal immigrants who have been detained by federal officials. He made the announcement after Ramsey County commissioners began a formal study of the county's policy on housing detainees... Commissioner Rafael Ortega, of St. Paul, said he wanted the county to get out of the business of holding detainees for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The county averages 60 detainees per day and received $2M from the federal government for doing so last year... Shoreview commissioner Tony Bennett, a former U.S. Marshal, said if the detainees aren't held in St. Paul, they will be sent elsewhere, possibly at a greater cost... County administrators will study the potential financial impact of turning away immigration detainees, thought to be as much as $800K next year... Jail space is a considerable issue for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, of which the immigration agency is a part. In June, the department said it needed 35K more detention beds to hold those awaiting deportation... In Ramsey County, a woman awaiting deportation to Ecuador died in the county jail. Maria Inamagua Merchan collapsed 5 weeks after being detained and later died, apparently of an undiagnosed parasitic infection."
_Calhoun GA Times_
State representative Tom Graves says a trip to the border showed the severity of the invasion of illegal aliens
"Graves spent three days in Cochise county AZ, last week, talking with residents and observing efforts by the border patrol and citizen groups to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico. With him were state representatives Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, and Martin Scott, R-Rossville, and state senator Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock. 'Cochise county has 83 miles of border with Mexico. Ten miles of that border is fenced, the other 73 is not.', Graves said. 'That fence is a wonderful deterrent to illegal aliens -- until you get to the end of it.' 'That 10-mile fence with floodlights totally cut out all drug and human smuggling.', Loudermilk said. 'However, where that fence ends, there are just some railroad ties or barbed wire fences with multiple cuts in them. They just pour across there.'... 'What we saw was evidence of an invasion on a continual basis, and that's just one county.', [Graves] said. The group plans to meet before the January 8 start of the Georgia General Assembly session [20 days from now] to discuss legislation that could lessen the lure of Georgia for smugglers of drugs and humans. 'Until the federal government does its job, what we will do is continue enacting legislation to make it less attractive for an illegal alien to live in Georgia.', Graves said."
_Free Market News Network_/_Family Security Matters_
Dangers of illegal alien drivers
"It is worth noting that illegal alien drivers are not only killing Americans and themselves. Some of the most horrific accidents are as a result of an illegal alien transporting other illegal aliens. For a few examples, see: Van stuffed full of immigrants takes deadly roll or 9 suspected illegal immigrants killed in Yuma crash or Driver in Crash Held on Smuggling Counts. In the first 2 incidents there were 21 illegal aliens in the accident vehicles. In the third there were 'only' 11 in the van, with 4 dying. The medical costs on the local community for such accidents are enormous."
Swift hiring more non-Hispanic workers after raids
Investors' Business Daily
composite: "After last week's raids at meat-packing plants, applicants were lining up to fill the vacant jobs. It's reality-check time for the theory that illegals are needed to do work that Americans shun... The Rocky Mountain News observed that the line of applicants 'was out the door' at the county employment office. One of them, Derrick Stegall, said two of his friends had been taken away in the immigration raid and he 'felt compelled to fill their rubber boots', as the paper put it. Another was Nathan Korgen, a former construction worker looking for a Swift job in production or fabrication... Fewer Hispanic immigrants are being hired to replace meat-packing workers arrested at Swift & Co. plants in Grand Island, NE, and Greeley, CO, during last week's immigration raid, union officials said Tuesday. Local 22 union president Dan Hoppes said Tuesday that 40 to 50 new workers have been hired at the Grand Island plant since the raids. 'The lion's share of those people were Caucasian.', Hoppes said... In Greeley, where Swift is head-quartered, union local president Ernie Duran said about 75 new workers have been hired -- including about 30 Caucasians, 15 Somali immigrants and 7 Hispanic immigrants, with the rest U.S.-born Hispanics. But the raid has not dissuaded Hispanic immigrants from seeking work at the plant, he said. Before the raids, roughly 90% of the Greeley plant workers were Hispanic, Duran said. It was unclear, of that 90%, how many were immigrants and how many were U.S.-born, as the union officials said they did not keep track of members' immigration status... Among the first, rancid baloney to come out of the industry was the assurance that having fewer illegal workers meant more dollars would be paid for meat products. That seems to translate this way: 'We don't knowingly hire illegal workers. However, if the illegal workers we unknowingly hire were to disappear, the legal workers hired to replace them would not work for the crummy wages and benefits that illegal workers have to take if they want to work here. Paying wages acceptable to someone who is not, indirectly or otherwise, a fugitive from the law will cut into our profits. We don't want that, so the consumer will have to make up the difference because we ain't taking a penny less than we have been getting by unknowingly hiring illegally workers – which, by the way, we never knowingly hire.' What's clear is that its upgraded compensation is drawing more non-Hispanic white job-seekers, who made up most of the new hires at Grand Island... An interesting test case is emerging from all this news. We may finally see if one of the cherished ideas of the open-borders lobby really holds up. This is the theory that illegals are hired not because they work for poverty-level wages and scant benefits, but because legal residents and American citizens wouldn't take their jobs at any reasonable price... American workers should not be passed over simply because immigrants are cheaper and employers have grown used to hiring them."
Tom Tancredo _US House of Representatives_
Tancredo calls for raids on employers of illegal aliens in other industries
"Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) today sent a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary Julie Myers to commend her for the group's leadership in the Swift & Company raids, and to expand its operations to other industries. I have already publicly commended DHS and ICE for conducting this work site enforcement at Swift.', said Tancredo, Chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. 'This kind of enforcement action by ICE has been sorely missing over the past decade and I urge you to expand such operations to other industries.'... Tancredo added, 'Many in the agriculture industry prefer to use illegal labor despite the availability of legal workers through the H-2A program, which as you know, has no cap... I believe an investigation would reveal that identity theft is rampant across many sectors and industries, not only meat packing... It strains credulity to suggest that over 1,600 illegal workers -- the 1,282 detained by ICE and the 400 dismissed by the company immediately prior to the raid -- could be employed in 6 plants without the company's management being aware of it.'"
Curran R. Kemp _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
"Both the Law of the Sea and the Antarctic Treaty need to be ignored as relics of the socialist past
2006-12-20 (5767 Kislev 29)
2006-12-20 04:12PST (07:12EST) (12:12GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Mortgage applications fell as interest rates rose
Kay Stewart _Louisville Courier-Journal_
Couple sentenced to a mere 3 months each for hiring illegal aliens
"Juan Bin Yeung, 34, received 3 months of home incarceration, and her husband, Hau Yeung, 34, was sentenced to 3 months in prison after they admitted to hiring 13 illegal [aliens] between 2005 February and 2006 February... In a similar case pending in Louisville, Heyburn yesterday accepted a guilty plea from Jian Chai Lin, 35, to a charge of knowingly hiring 10 illegal immigrants over the past year to work at his Radcliff restaurant, Golden China Buffet. As part of a plea agreement, Lin forfeited $42,788 from a restaurant bank account. Heyburn sentenced Lin's brother, Jian Tian Lin, 32, to six months, time he had already served, on Monday after he pleaded guilty to hiring illegal aliens at his brother's restaurant. The investigation into the Lins, who are in the country illegally, began after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement received a tip in May 2003 that Chinese nationals were being transported by bus and van to restaurants in the Louisville area, according to court records... Kinnicutt said the Yeungs cooperated with immigration officials who are investigating agencies in cities such as New York, Chicago and Atlanta that place illegal workers with employers around the country."
2006-12-20 (5767 Kislev 29)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
The worst worsens
John Hawkins _Human Events_
open letter to George W. Bush
"Announce that you support splitting the security measures and amnesty parts of the senate bill into 2 parts. Then say you want to support security, the wall, and tough enforcement measures now and that you want to deal with the guest-worker program[s] and other 'comprehensive' features that many members of your base find so odious later. By doing this, you can take the venom out of the illegal immigration argument by not holding secure borders hostage to an amnesty program, and yet you can still say that you support the other features that some Hispanic activists, liberals, and [executives] want... Many of the American people feel like we're treading water in Iraq. So, they're lukewarm on continuing to risk the lives of our soldiers in an effort that they believe is just delaying the inevitable. In particular, there's a distinct sense among conservatives that we're fighting with one hand tied behind our back, that our soldiers are being strait-jacketed by ridiculous rules of engagement, and that we're allowing Islamo-fascist thugs in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia along with Sadr's militia to take potshots at our troops with impunity. Moreover, Americans are looking at North Korea's nuclear weapons, Iran building nuclear weapons, Hezbollah engineering a takeover of Lebanon, and the response of the United States has been... what exactly?"
2006-12-20 (5767 Kislev 19)
Daniel Pipes _Jewish World Review_ Israel's Domestic Enemy
"Foreign states are Israel's enemy #1. With the declaration of Israeli independence in May 1948, five foreign armed forces invaded Israel. All the major wars that followed -- 1956, 1967, 1970, 1973 -- involved Israelis at war with neighboring armies, air forces, and navies. Today, the greatest threat comes from weapons of mass destruction in Iran and Syria. Egypt increasingly presents a conventional arms danger. External Palestinians are enemy #2. Eclipsed for 2 decades after 1948, they moved to center-stage with Yasir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The 1982 Lebanon war and the 1993 Oslo accords confirmed their centrality. External Palestinians remain active and menacing today, what with terrorism, missiles landing on Sderot, and a global public relations campaign of rejectionism... Israeli Muslims began inconsequentially; in 1949, they constituted a population of 111K and 9% of Israel's population. They then multiplied ten-fold, to 1.141M in 2005, 16 percent of the population. Beyond numbers, they took full advantage of Israel's open, modern society to evolve from a small, docile, and leaderless population into a robust, assertive community whose leaders include a Supreme Court justice, Salim Joubran; an ambassador, Ali Yahya; members of parliament; academics; and entrepreneurs."
_Baker County Florida Standard_
Baker Correctional Development Corporation held inaugural meeting
"Sheriff Joey Dobson won approval last month from the board of county commissioners to form the corporation and sell up to $45M in bonds to finance a new jail and administration complex... While the sheriff doesn't have a formal contract with the federal immigration and custom service (ICE), a senior management official has pledged to fill the new facility with illegal aliens that are detained by his department. In addition the county plans to continue contracting with the US Marshall Service to house their prisoners awaiting trial. 'They are currently having to haul some of theirs to Dooley County, Georgia and with the new federal courthouse in Jacksonville that should continue to be a source of revenue for us.', said Gonzalez when questioned about how the corporation would have funds to repay the bonds... Glades County took seven years to get their project off the ground and their construction is nearing completion. Sheriff Dobson hopes to see his new jail within three years and estimated that it will take 18 months to complete once ground breaking occurs. He told the unpaid, volunteer board that they could count on frequent meetings during the projects initial planning stages."
Manufacturing executives continue push for more cheap foreign labor
"The National Association of Manufacturers on December 20 announced an expanded and ambitious legislative and policy agenda to greet the incoming 110th Congress that will convene in Washington the first week of 2007 January."
_PR News Wire_/_US DoJ_
30 indicted in Operation Wagon Train
"23 illegal aliens from Marshalltown, IA, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on immigration and identity theft charges... Nearly all of the indictments allege a variety of offenses relating to the use of another person's identity to obtain employment at Swift & Company. Specifically, 21 of the individuals are charged with making a false statement or claim that they were a U.S. citizen in order to engage unlawfully in employment; use of false state identification documents to obtain employment; use of fraudulently obtained social security cards to obtain employment; and false representation of a social security number. Additionally, 10 of the above 21 individuals are also charged with aggravated identity theft and one is charged with illegally reentering the U.S. after being deported after committing an aggravated felony... On 2006 Dec. 6, six individuals previously arrested in Marshalltown were charged with offenses that include social security fraud, false representation to be a U.S. citizen, aggravated identity theft, and the use of false documents for employment purposes at Swift & Company. Another individual was indicted on similar charges on 2006 Nov. 14. These 7 individuals have appeared in court and entered pleas of not guilty. A list of their names is also attached."
Bill Jackson _Greeley Tribune_
More people are applying for work at Swift & Company
"Almost 800 people have taken out applications for jobs at Swift & Co. in the past month, but those applicants increased dramatically last week. Linda Perez, director of Weld Employment Services, said her office was seeing about 100 applicants a week from Nov. 20 up to the Dec. 12 raid on Swift's beef packing plant in Greeley, 'but we've definitely seen an increase over that since last week", Perez said Wednesday."
Ruben Navarrette _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Go after the big crooks -- employers of illegal aliens
"Christmas came early for those of us who believe that the only honest way to combat illegal immigration is to bring criminal charges against the employers who hire illegal [aliens]... Criminal prosecutions of those who hire illegal [aliens] are incredibly rare. Much too rare, if you ask me. The law should be rewritten to make it easier for the government to go after employers, even those who aren't as blatant as Golden State Fence Co. about flouting the law. And any federal crack-down shouldn't come with exemptions for the casual user -- those private citizens who have come to depend so heavily on gardeners, nannies and house-keepers... Swift & Co. executives have said they tried to work with immigration officials to prevent the raid and that -- once they became aware of ICE's interest in their work force in March -- conducted internal interviews of employees. More than 400 workers left the company. According to Swift's general counsel, at one point, ICE asked the company to stop the interviews -- which probably alerted workers that a sweep was coming."
2006-12-20 (5767 Kislev 29)
12 illegal aliens captured crossing Egypt-Israel border
"Border police and IDF soldiers captured 12 people attempting to illegally cross into Israel from Egypt a short time ago. The foreigners, 4 men and 8 women, were mostly of Chinese citizenship... They will be questioned by Israeli security services..."
Employer of illegal aliens is getting sued
"A huge meat-packing company recently busted in a federal raid for hiring illegal immigrants is being sued by former employees who claim owners conspired to keep wages down by hiring lower-paid, undocumented workers. Filed in Texas by 18 U.S. citizens who once worked for Swift & Co, the law-suit claims that company executives actively sought to locate illegal immigrants and hire them, knowing full well that it violated the immigration laws of the United States. The suit also accuses the national meat-packer of transporting, smuggling, harboring and concealing illegal immigrants. The former employees claim in their suit that Swift & Co., a multi billion-dollar operation with plants nationwide, repeatedly violated a federal racketeering law (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization [RICO] Act) by consistently engaging in an enterprise that affected commerce... The plaintiffs say that when the Swift plant opened in Cactus, hourly wages were approximately $20 but dropped to about $12 because illegal immigration has fueled the depression in wages. The law-suit demands $23M from the company."
Mike Cutler _Family Security Matters_
Department of Homeland Surrender
"If law enforcement and intelligence agencies are to be effective in their responsibilities to protect our nation from aliens engaged in criminal activities and terrorism, it is critical that our nation have the capability to track aliens who enter our country, so that we can know if and when they leave our country. It has been estimated that as many as 40% of the illegal aliens present in the United States did not run our nation's borders but rather entered the United States through ports of entry. They then either failed to depart the United States within the time they were authorized to remain, or otherwise violated the terms of their admission by accepting unauthorized employment, thereby committing a felony. It is important to remember that the terrorists who attacked our nation on 2001 September 11 all entered the United States through ports of entry. Thus, it is vital that we know the whereabouts of aliens who become the targets of investigations because it enables the agents of ICE, the FBI, DEA or other agencies to know if their quarry is even in the United States, especially if they are the targets of arrest warrants or if they must be followed to cultivate intelligence. Knowing if an individual has departed the United States or is still within our nation's borders also helps to develop a clearer picture about the travel patterns of criminals, and especially terrorists. The departure side of the equation is vital for all of these objectives. Being able to determine whether an alien has departed the United States has other implications as well. Physical presence in the United States is a component of the qualification for an alien to be eligible to naturalize. Additionally, one of the factors that determines if a nation may continue to participate in the Visa Waiver Program or, in fact, join this program, is whether the citizens of that nation tend to depart the United States in a timely fashion and not violate our laws. The President is now publicly pushing for an expansion of the Visa Waiver Program. It almost makes you wonder if the non-implementation of tracking alien departures hasn't occurred so that the President or his successor can expand the Visa Waiver Program at will. Doing so will render moot the critical factor of whether a nation's citizens tend to break our laws."
Borders monitored by Minutemen Civil Defense Corps for 3rd consecutive year
Bill Shipp _Gwinnett Daily Post_
governor Sonny Perdue and AG Thurbert Baker are looking the other way at misdeeds
"Understandably, elected officials are not often enthusiastic about delving into the official conduct of fellow public servants. If they were, governor Sonny Perdue might quickly become tired of answering embarrassing questions from his peers about everything from customized tax benefits to shaky retirement systems. Or Attorney General Thurbert Baker might become a pest demanding detailed explanations of legislators' outside income and ignored environmental-law violations. But Republican Perdue and Democrat Baker are fine team players. They don't ask, and they don't tell. If they did, the governor or the attorney general might have wondered aloud why federal officials from both parties have let us down so completely on guarding our borders and protecting the integrity of citizenship. Sonny and Thurb might even have inquired why their pals on the state Board of Regents decided long ago to treat illegal aliens just like Georgia kinfolk... 1. Do you believe a return to tarring and feathering [of corrupt government officials, a fine American tradition reaching back to the founding] might be justified for you and other public officials who make a mockery of their oath to guard the public treasury and who sneer at the Georgia constitutional provision prohibiting state-sponsored gratuities (e.g. cut-rate tuitions) for anyone, including illegal aliens? 2. Do you believe that failure to enforce immigration laws and to protect our borders should be an impeachable offense, and that persons -- even those at the highest levels -- who willfully refused to enforce those laws should be removed from office?"
James Carlini _Midwest Business_
Craving speed and creating the best is very American
"If there was real competition within the network infrastructure area, we would be using the Toyota fiber network or some other quality network with data, video and voice screaming down on gigabit speeds. Today, we should be looking at rolling out fiber to the premise (FTTP) or a wireless equivalent that can provide gigabit capability. Anything in the planning stages at this point should be looking at gigabit if not multi-gigabit speeds... Current solutions by AT&T -- Project Lightspeed or U-verse -- fall dismally short of putting America back on top. The top speed offered is 6Mbps and the future speeds are touted at 25Mbps to 30Mbps. There are intelligent industrial campuses that are looking at implementing 40 Gbps speeds today. Project Lightspeed looks more like 'Project Speedlite'... our traditional phone companies have tried to put the bureaucratic brakes on innovation and global competition to milk another couple years of profits on copper-based infrastructure that should all be replaced today... Don't sell me a painted-up stage-coach and tell me it's NASCAR."
Roy Wagner _Pensacola News Journal_
Bill Nelson no supporter of border security
|This past year senator Bill Nelson:|
|Voted on the Senate floor in favor of amendment to kill a border fence.|
|Voted in favor of bill to increase immigration and grant amnesty to illegal aliens.|
|Voted against an amendment to extend the border fence.|
|Voted on Senate floor for an amendment to weaken worker protections.|
|Voted on Senate floor against an amendment to increase worker protections.|
|Voted on Senate floor to kill an amendment to strike guest worker provisions from immigration bill (would have added an estimated 8.4M foreign workers and their dependents over the next 10 years).|
|Voted on Senate floor against an amendment to postpone guest worker amnesty program until borders secured.|
|Cosponsored bill S359 to create an amnesty for illegal agricultural workers.|
|Cosponsored bill S2109 to increase foreign-worker importation.|
|Cosponsored bill S2075 to reward illegal aliens with in-state tuition and amnesty.|
|In other recent years, senator Nelson:|
|Voted in favor of amnesty for agricultural workers in 2005.|
|Voted against an amendment to provide funding for additional Border Patrol agents in 2005.|
|Voted against an amendment to strip foreign-worker increase in 2005.|
|Voted against a McCain amendment to increase detention beds for illegal aliens in 2005.|
|Cosponsored bill S1645 to create an amnesty for illegal agricultural workers in 2003-2004.|
|Cosponsored bill S1545 to reward illegal aliens with in-state tuition and amnesty in 2003-2004.|
|I am not alone in my opposition to politicians of senator Nelson's ilk. A survey of likely voters nationally, conducted Sept. 18-24 by The Polling Company, revealed great discomfort about the rapid U.S. population growth being caused by federal immigration policies.|
|In the poll, 66% of likely American voters said they believed the population growth being caused by the present level of immigration would 'negatively impact the quality of life in America'. The majority overwhelmingly said it would worsen their quality of life.|
|This is true for: Hispanics by a 6-to-1 ratio; blacks by 9-to-1; Democrats by 7-to-1; Republicans by 14-to-1; and congested mid-Atlantic state voters by 13-to-1. Only 3% of all likely voters said they support increasing the number of immigrants...|
|Roy Wagner is a retired foreign service officer...|
2006-12-21 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 359,489 in the week ending Dec. 16, a decrease of 24,575 from the previous week. There were 359,108 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending Dec. 9, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,583,187, an increase of 145,744 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,709,414. Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Dec. 2."
2006-12-21 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US GDP 3Q growth rate revised to 2%
lengthier story with graph
BEA press releases
2006-12-21 (5767 Kislev 30)
Rosally Saltsman _Jewish World Review_
This Jew's favorite Christmas movie
Linda Thomson & Deborah Bulkeley _Deseret News_
Only 15 Mexican citizens arrested in Hyrum meat-packing plant have been indicted, so far
"Federal indictments were handed down Wednesday for 15 Mexico citizens who were among 145 people arrested in last Tuesday's raid at the Swift & Co. meat-packing plant in Hyrum. Some of those arrested are also facing state criminal charges. One indictment was sealed; the 14 others allege such crimes as identity theft, false use of a [Socialist Insecurity number, SIN], sale of citizenship papers and illegal use of documents for employment... Some are not facing criminal charges, but face deportation. Among those who were indicted in Utah Wednesday are: Araceli Anguiano-Estrada, 25; Silvia Munoz-Fuentes, 47; Samuel Beltran Flores, 19; Juan Chavez-Alvarado, 25; Jesus Estrada-Trujillo, 52; Ignacio Sanchez-Medina, 20; Juan Ocampo-Ocampo, 40; Federico Pedraza-Santa Maria, 33; Alejandro Rodriguez-Velasquez, 19. All but Anguiano-Estrada and Munoz-Fuentes are in custody... In addition, 2 other people, Eleuterio Gutierrez, 48, (a U.S. citizen and resident of Texas) and Veronica Carrillo, 41, (a Mexico citizen) were charged last week with sale of citizenship papers and aggravated identity theft. Carrillo is in custody; Gutierrez is at large... 'By tomorrow, there probably will be 78 and there may be several more', pending further investigations, said Tony Baird, chief prosecutor for the Cache County Attorney's Office... ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said information wasn't immediately available on how many had taken the option of 'voluntary removal', which does not count as a deportation, rather than face a hearing... Komis said, in general, an immigration judge considers two questions: Whether a person is removable under immigration law and if the person is eligible for relief of removal. While the most common request is by those seeking asylum from persecution in their homeland, non-permanent residents who meet several criteria may also seek relief. Those criteria include good moral character, living in the United States for at least 10 years, and demonstrating that removal would cause 'exceptional and extremely unusual hardship' for an immediate family member who is a citizen or legal permanent resident... Some groups are questioning why Swift has not had any charges brought against the company, which knew in advance of the raid and tried unsuccessfully to get a federal judge to stop it."
2006-12-21 07:26PST (10:26EST) (15:26GMT)
Steve Goldstein _MarketWatch_
Vodafone considering $13.5G bid to buy India's 4th largest mobile phone firm
Nicole C. Wong _San Jose Mercury News_
"What's 150K minus 45k? In Hewlett-Packard's world, the answer is still roughly 150K... The strategy has shattered the implicit employment contract that once bound America's companies with their workers. The technology industry titan that was started by 2 Stanford University graduates in a Palo Alto garage in 1939 had averted lay-offs for nearly 60 years. When times were lean, HP coped by spreading the financial hardships among all employees and by training workers so they would possess the new skills that the evolving market demanded... Churn is used commonly to mean all kinds of departures from companies, including voluntary resignations and those fired as well as those laid off. Looking at the intentional churn created solely by lay-offs gives insight into how much companies are controlling how their work-force changes. To some management experts, HP's intentional churn represents a dramatic cultural change for one of Silicon Valley's signature companies, whose work-place practices were once regarded as a model worldwide. [But it's not all that surprising since this change came along with the firm's abandonment of their core competency with the spin-off of Agilent.] 'HP was one of the holdouts of an older-style commitment firm.', said Diane Burton, an associate professor at MIT Sloan School of Management who has taught a popular Harvard Business School case study on HP's pre-churn workforce practices. 'Now they're treating their people as disposable workers.' Chief Executive Mark Hurd has explained the latest layoff plan as an ambitious agenda to cut back on jobs that have been putting HP at a competitive disadvantage. The company has been loaded down with too many workers in information technology, human resources and finance positions -- and not enough in revenue-generating jobs, such as sales [because he apparently mistakenly believes that creating new and better products is a cost unconnected with generation of revenue]... HP spokesman Ryan Donovan declined to comment on whether the company is cutting costs by hiring cheaper workers... Paul Oyer, an associate professor of economics at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, said [the disreputable] IBM adopted this churn strategy in the 1980s... Clair Brown, co-author of a book published in October called _Economic Turbulence: The Impact on Workers and Businesses_, examined workforce churn in the semiconductor, software, financial services, retail food and trucking sectors from 1992 to 2003. She said the amount of hiring amid layoffs was 'staggering'. 'We saw no matter what, companies had constant employment.', said Brown, an economics professor at the University of California-Berkeley. 'I saw a real sea change in these companies' willingness to take care of their workers in the 1980s and 1990s [as bodyshopping, guest-worker abuse and off-shoring soared].'... HP said it would not provide details about how the churning has changed its work-force because of competitive and confidentiality concerns [not to mention legal liability]."
Mike Cassidy: HP's big export is jobs
"Some years ago, I went around and around with Cisco on a similar issue. In fact, chief executive John Chambers while in Davos, Switzerland, made the mistake of telling a New York Times reporter that the company planned to eliminate expensive U.S. workers and replacing them with cheaper workers in India and [Red China]."
Tim Bueler _Minuteman Project_/ _California Coalition for Immigration Reform_/ _Save Our State_/ _Ted Hayes Crispus Attucks Brigade_
resolution to the city of Los Angeles
2006-12-22 (5767 Teves/Tebet 01)
2006-12-22 00:19PST (03:19EST) (08:19GMT)
Asian Human Rights Commission report paints grim picture
"The study said respect for human rights had worsened in most countries in the region and that people had become increasingly discontent over the authoritarianism of democratically elected governments and military regimes. They are distressed as extra-judicial killings, disappearances and torture continue unabated. They are also disappointed over the ineffectiveness of parliaments, judiciaries, police forces and prosecution systems to address these deficiencies, said the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in its study on 11 Asian nations, released on Thursday... It blamed the lack of respect for human rights on the absence of fair criminal justice systems in these countries. 'There is a common failure to develop a criminal justice system before which everyone is equal, everyone enjoys the equal protection of the law and every violation of rights has a remedy.', it said."
2006-12-22 (5767 Teves/Tebet 01)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Privatizing the war of ideas
"Israel of course has options other than surrendering to either Hamas or Fatah. It could defeat them. A policy aimed at victory would be based first of all on a recognition that today there is no power structure in the PA, including the PA militias, that is not a terrorist organization. It would similarly recognize that there is no such thing as a good terrorist organization. Consequently, a strategy for winning would recognize that Israel must launch a concerted campaign aimed at defeating and dismantling the PA as a whole... With its call for genocide of Jews and subjugation of all other non-Muslims, and with its demand that Muslims live under a literal interpretation of Shariah law which enslaves women and abolishes the very notion of human freedom -- jihad is an inhuman ideology. It is inherently unattractive to people who sanctify life rather than death. So central to a strategy for beating the Palestinian jihad would be an Israeli ideological assault on jihad. The unattractiveness of the notion of jihad is most apparent to the jihadists themselves... Liberal, free societies, which uphold human freedom and sanctify life, are superior to jihadist societies that do the opposite."
2006-12-22 06:30PST (09:30EST) (14:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders rose 1.9% in November: Core capital equipment orders fell for 2nd straight month
census bureau report
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Increasing inequality: The immigration dimension
Michael Riley _Carlsbad NM Current Argus_
Phoenix's woes grow
"In all, there have been 68 recent arrests at his complex, according to a police nuisance order that catalogs 253 criminal incidents ranging from drug possession to child molestation. In a city where crime is rising and traffic jams start at 15:00, Phoenix is the former upstart struggling with its new role as a major American metropolis... A mere speck of a farm town with a population of about 5,500 people in 1900, Phoenix took off with a surge of mid-century growth driven by the expansion of Cold War military bases, then again as a center of cheap real estate during the housing boom of the past 10 years... Turn-over is quick, say police, and neighbors often don't know each other. That anonymity has lured gangs into to some of the areas most expensive suburbs and turned mission-style McMansions into drug warehouses... But it's Phoenix's place as a de facto border city that may have reshaped it in the past decade more than anything else. As record numbers of illegal immigrants poured across the Arizona desert in the 1990s, the city became a warehousing hub for a nationwide network of immigrant and drug smugglers. City neighborhoods are littered with 'drop houses', where illegal [aliens] wait for transportation to cities across the country. Gun-fights sometimes erupt between rival smugglers. In 2003, Phoenix police blamed a 45% rise in homicides and a 41% rise in home invasions almost entirely on smuggling... A recent state investigation found 11 used car lots in the Phoenix metro area were laundering vehicles for human traffickers. According to Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, smugglers were paying cash for entire inventories and storing the cars on-site until they were needed. Fake liens meant that if the smugglers were caught, any confiscated vehicles were returned to the lots and used again. Corruption, gun-running, home invasions, even white slavery have all been side-effects of the smuggling, Goddard said. 'There is certainly a lot of violence. People will swoop down on the so-called safe houses that might have 20 or 30 [illegal aliens] in them, shoot the guards and take them over.', he said. 'Now the payments will go to the new group.'"
2006-12-22 07:51PST (10:51EST) (15:51GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index from 93.6 in October to 92.1 in November to 90.6 in early December to 91.7 in late December
2006-12-22 10:37PST (13:37EST) (18:37GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index up 2.2% since last year (with graph)
BEA press releases
"The government also reported that consumer spending increased 0.5% in November, while incomes increased 0.3%... Per-capita incomes rose to $32,280 per year from $32,218... With prices unchanged, inflation-adjusted spending also increased 0.5%, matching October's gain... With spending rising faster than incomes, the personal savings rate fell to negative 1% from negative 0.7% in September and October. The savings rate has been negative for 20 straight months... Inflation-adjusted, or real, spending on durable goods increased 1.6%, the biggest increase since July. Real spending on nondurable goods rose 1%. Real spending on services increased 0.1%, the smallest gain since June."
Oscar Avila _Chicago Tribune_
Arrests of illegal aliens put employers in cross-hairs
"Petrie is charged with conspiring to commit identity theft, a felony, after local police took the unusual step of investigating illegal hiring. Police said much of his work-force allegedly used phony [Socialist Insecurity numbers, SINs] to get their jobs... After years of inaction or wrist slaps, federal authorities have begun to round up illegal workers, impose million-dollar penalties and threaten executives with prison. Last week, agents arrested nearly 1,300 foreign-born workers at Swift & Co. meat-packing plants nationwide, the largest sweep in U.S. history [though none of the executives or managers were arrested or charged]. The arrests give new weight to the Department of Homeland Security's stated mission to reduce illegal immigration by going after the job magnets that bring the workers into the U.S., a campaign that has gained momentum. The number of criminal charges stemming from federal work-place raids in fiscal 2006 topped 700, quadruple the previous year's total... When Congress passed an amnesty law in 1986, law-makers were supposed to toughen penalties against employers. They didn't, and the [illegal alien] work-force has hit 7M, the Pew Hispanic Center says. [Other estimates a year or more ago place the number closer to 8M.] Now, with enforcement a top priority, immigration authorities pursued criminal charges against [only] 718 employers and workers in fiscal 2006, up from 176 in the previous year and a ten-fold jump from 2003. Agents arrested 3,667 immigrants at job sites for being in the country illegally, triple the previous year's total... This month, the owner of an Indiana construction firm was sentenced to 18 months in prison and forfeited $1.5M for employing illegal immigrants in 7 states."
Out-going U.S. Republican Senator Margaret Collins of Maine highlights concerns over H-1B visa program abuse
"Out-going U.S. Republican Senator Margaret Collins of Maine has written a letter to Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao about her concern that employers were taking advantage of lax safeguards in the H-1B process to take advantage of foreign workers and endanger American wage standards. In her December 04 letter, also copied to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] Director Emilio Gonzalez, Senator Collins says that the current safeguards are not effective enough in keeping employers from taking advantage of the system. One example she cites is that companies are filing their H-1B applicants through Maine, where wages are lower, and then re-assigning H-1B holders to regions where wages are higher."
Terence P. Jeffrey _Human Events_
Sensenbrenner sees new battles looming on immigration, guest-work, border security, and REAL government privacy and liberty violation
"The authorization legislation was very important to set a marker that Congress was serious about dealing with many of the issues that are causing the flood of illegal [aliens] coming into our country. What I can say is that we succeeded in increasing the Homeland Security appropriations bill over $2G above what the President recommended for fiscal year 2007. That includes more Border Patrol Agents. It includes more detention beds. It also includes the payment for next year's construction of fencing along the Southern border... the Border Patrol only has the capacity to train so many agents per year, and we are up to the max on that... I make no apologies for bringing the issue of illegal immigration on the national agenda. This is an issue that has been festering for over 50 years and getting worse by the day. I took a lot of hits from the business community, from the churches and from the political elites for the border-security-only bill that the House passed last December. They completely ignore what is needed to have an effective immigration-reform proposal. I go back to a commission headed by Father Theodore Hesburgh, the former president of Notre Dame University, who by his own admission is no conservative. He was named head of a blue ribbon commission by President Carter in 1979. The commission reported in 1981 to President Reagan, and Father Hesburgh stated that we must secure the border first, otherwise no immigration reform proposal will be successful. The commission came out against any form of amnesty until the border was secured because amnesty would only encourage more illegal immigrants to cross the border... I voted against Simpson-Mazzoli in 1986 and said at the time that this would make the situation worse. I asked Mr. Meese at a subcommittee hearing while the bill was being considered what would happen if we gave the amnesty and didn't secure the border. Meese said he didn't know what would happen because people who received amnesty would price themselves out of the market and there would be a flood of cheaper labor coming across the border to take those jobs. And that's what happened. Meese was right. It was a mistake... First of all, we need more ICE agents to conduct raids at work-sites... The second thing we need to do is increase the fines so that they actually act as a deterrent. The current fine is $250 per illegal immigrant worker per day. The House passed bill increases that to $5K. A $250 fine is part of the cost of doing business. If somebody gets busted hiring 500 illegal immigrant workers under the House-passed bill, that's a $25M fine. That would make front-page news everywhere in the country, and would start acting as a deterrent. We wouldn't get people to stop at red lights if the fine was $2 and no points... There is no question in my mind that the people who are benefiting from cheap labor want to have that continue, and they will stop at nothing to make sure there is not an effective law that enforces the employer sanctions that were a part of Simpson-Mazzoli and flushes the fake IDs out of the system... the word 'amnesty' is literally the third-rail in the debate on immigration. I think it will be much more difficult for either house of Congress to pass an amnesty bill as a result of the American public's literally being punched in the nose by those demonstrations that were held last spring."
Alice Lipowicz _Washington Technology_
DHS inspector general Richard L. Skinner says USCIS IT modernization plan stumbling
"'Because of repeated changes in focus and direction, USCIS has tended to duplicate previous modernization initiatives and has not demonstrated the ability to execute its planned strategy.', the inspector general's report said."
Inspector General's report (pdf)
|10-year US T-Bond||4.62%|
|"As there are persons in the world of so mean and abject a spirit, that they rather choose to owe their subsistence to the charity of others, than by industry to acquire some property of their own; so there are many more who many be called mere beggars with regard to their opinions. Through laziness and indifference about truth, they leave to others the drudgery of digging for this commodity; they can have enough at second hand to serve their occasions. Their concern is not to know what is true, but what is said and thought on such subjects; and their understanding, like their clothes, is cut according to the fashion." --- Thomas Reid 1785 _Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man_|
2006-12-23 (5767 Teves/Tebet 02)
Byron Dorgan & Sherrod Brown _Washington Post_
How Un-free Trade Has Hurt
Vicky Lovell _Institute for Women's Policy Research_
To Flood Job Market with Nurses Decrease Body Shopping and Increase Pay
"Over the late 1990s and into 2000, nurses' pay did not increase at all... When wages finally began to rise, nurses responded promptly—hospitals added 186,500 nurses between 2001 and 2003. Instead of competing for nurses by increasing pay, hospitals often turn to a combination of over-working (through mandatory over-time), contingent workers, under-staffing, and one-time hiring bonuses to meet staffing needs... a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office cited 'inadequate staffing, heavy work-loads, the increased use of over-time, a lack of sufficient support staff, and the adequacy of wages' as key factors..."
2006-12-24 (5767 Teves/Tebet 03)
Allan Horn _St. Petersburg Times_
Bush's job numbers just not adding up
"Over the past 6 years, the Department of Labor has changed its protocols for counting the unemployed at least 4 times, each time leaving more and more people without jobs in the realm of the uncounted. The Department of Labor Statistics' charts show we added 17.8M people to the ranks of the employed from 1994 until 2000. But from 2000 until conveniently before the 2004 election, we lost jobs, then started adding slowly until we had regained several million by 2005, for a net gain of about 2.6M at the beginning of 2005 over what the work force had been in 2000. Each year, the United States adds about 1.8M people to the work force from high schools and colleges, after reductions from the work force by death or retirement. This means that from 2001 until 2005 we added approximately 9M people to the work force, not counting the estimated 3M illegals each year from our southern border, or an additional 12M people, some of whom are potentially workers and others who are presumably their dependents. Meanwhile, our government has allowed corporations to cry wolf and bring in a couple million foreign workers on programs like the H-1B visa program to fill supposedly unfilled positions in engineering and computer science. I know several of the highly-educated and [formerly] well-paid people who originally held those 'unfilled positions' who were required to train their foreign replacements. These people are being told they should 'retrain' and find new jobs, despite the fact they had college degrees and years of experience in the jobs they held. Many are saying, 'Why bother? The government will just allow some foreigner to take my new job next year.' The public needs to learn the facts, and with just a few exceptions, our news media are not giving people the real facts."
Dennis Lee Wilson _Libertarian Enterprise_
Super-State North America vs. Individual Sovereignty: NAU open borders & liberty
2006-12-25 (5767 Teves/Tebet 04)
J.F. (AmVet), Nicholas F., Tom M., Jack L. (MainelyJack), Norma G., Donald H., Al C. (Burta), Jim W. (firedog), Jody H. (gaby), Richard S. (Harry Red Dog), Aaron K., Bob S. (rstar), Brenda M. _Arizona Daily Star_
Enforce American immigration laws
"it is time to enforce American immigration laws, to deport ALL scofflaw illegal aliens and for credible news sources to cease publishing the B.S. that identity-stealing illegal aliens only 'take the jobs Americans don't want to do'. It is time to prosecute employers of illegal aliens and to sieze their assests to finance the deportation of their illegal alien employees. It is time to have effective investigation and followup of the available clues to nests of infestation of illegal aliens provided any time one is apprehended, by having I.C.E. immediately conduct a raid on the addresses to which the arrested illegals were bound, simply by reading the addresses or phone numbers which they carry when arrested. It is time to start prosecuting ALL of those who harbor illegal aliens, which is a crime, whether they are family members of the 'border crosser' or not. It is time to detect, prosecute and judicially deport ALL illegal aliens. 'Voluntary departures', which allow 'border crossers' to escape prosecution for their crime, even when repeated, must be ended... Illegal Criminals-Get Out! and Stay Out! Merry Christmas... Ceasar Chavez believed illegal immigration depressed wages for migrant workers. He as was right then and he is right now. Many illegals do take jobs Americans don't want because they want a job that pays a fair wage. Illegal immigration affects most of all those of us who live in the lowest social economic strata. Stopping illegal immigration would close the gap between rich and poor by raising the standard of living of those barely surviving. The money backers of the Republican and Democratic parties benefit from illegal immigration by hiring illegals who are not union. Profits rule just as in the days of Ebeneezer Scrooge and writers such as this are sucked in... It never ceases to amaze me that the presense of illegals here in the US is not only tolerated by many, but excused and condoned... I suspect they take jobs that Americans would do but not at the cheap wages these illegals accept because of their status. Then they flood the system intended for our citizens. They use our ER's for their doctor, they drain our welfare budgets and they tax our school systems... These people know exactly what they are doing when they 'buy' (steal) a SS number. It's been my experience that they have no problem even admitting it!!! Stop the madness -arrest and deport ALL who come in illegally and make them go to the back of the line to re-enter -- LEGALLY. If for some reason they can't, oh well. It's time they fight in THEIR country for what they so blatantly fight for in THIS country... there is a huge difference between legal and illegal... I will not give one inch of my country away to this movement. If people cannot enter my country through legal means, then they must be rounded up and deported... Only the anti-Amercian star would print something so wrong just to bush their hate for this country. One would think in a city of a millon there could be a (news) paper that tells the truth... Excellent comments all. There is a big difference between legal and illegal immigrants as most of us know. The U.S. already has guest-worker programs for legal immigrants and those wanting visas to work or be students here. Why does it need reform? No Amnesty!... Fraud favors Those Who privately fund it... Yes the US government and industries are responsible for looking the other way and yes, encouraging illegal immigration. That fact does not mean that illegal immigration is excusable... No law-abiding person, immigrant or citizen, needs to worry about these raids. These raids were to seek out and arrest criminals, mostly illegal aliens... They are telling us 'we weren't aware that we were doing anything wrong by stealing somebody's identity and using it for years just so we could get work or get benefits for our extended families after crossing your borders illegally - it happens all the time in our country and nobody cares'... It's OUR country! Make the reforms work for us so we can get a livable wage to do the jobs and then there won't be any jobs available for them to offer to do for 1/3 to 1/2 less pay. As long as the U.S. contiinues to be the employment office for the Latin countries,(predominently), they have no reason to improve their OWN job situation and we will always stay in that never-ending downward spiral of our quality of life until we are just like the countries they left - only then they will have taken America and American citizens down with them! Maybe THAT is their ultimate goal... It is not our government's concern as to where illegal aliens come from. It is their job to stop them from coming, and seek them out and remove them when they find them here... begin with enforcing our current immigration laws!! No amnesty!! No guest-worker programs!! No comprehensive immigration reform -- or whatever else they want to call amnesty. The illegals have the right to be treated fairly and humanely until they are deported!! Revise the 14th Amendment, no more anchor babies!!! Secure and close our borders!! This is our country, we have the right to protect our country no matter what f'n Mexico and its leaders think/say!! Give all of the illegals a six month time span to get out of the country without facing criminal prosecution. Anyone caught illegally in the country after that time will face a minimum of six months in jail prior to being deported. During the six months, they will assist with building the fences and cleaning up the trash. Just as in Hazleton, PA... Fine landlords who rent to illegals. Fine businesses and take away their business licenses for those who employ illegals. No social benefits of any type without proof of citizenship."
Phyllis Schlafly _Town Hall_
Americans have been cheated by virtual laws
"Within hours of the news that 261 illegal immigrants had been removed from the Swift plant in Greeley, CO, U.S. citizens lined up to fill the vacated jobs. The county employment agency received 230 job applications, of which 157 were specifically for Swift. That blows the argument for the need of a guest-worker program to fill unpleasant jobs that Americans allegedly don't want to perform. Let's also take the example of WM, the store that the liberals love to hate, because it pays lower wages and benefits. In 2006 January, a new Wal-Mart store in suburban Chicago announced the availability of 325 positions for which the average pay would be $10.99 an hour. WM received an astonishing 25K applications. Another WM in Oakland, CA, received 11K applications in 2005 when it made known it had several hundred jobs open... Then on Dec. 14, the Government Accountability Office [GAO] lowered the boom on the Bush administration by releasing a report stating that the government has given up on plans to implement a system to track the entry and exit of foreign visitors. Congress ordered the creation of an entry-exit system called US-VISIT (excluding Canadians and Mexicans) back in 1996, and the terror attacks of 2001 Sept. 11, made this system imperative. Some of the Sept. 11 hijackers entered the United States legally on visas but never departed when their visas expired. It's now 2006, and we are told that an entry-exit system doesn't exist and the government has abandoned plans to create it. The government had $1.7G to develop this program, but now tells us that is not nearly enough money, so all plans are being scrapped. There's no such thing as border security without an entry-exit system because at least 30% of illegal immigrants in the United States entered the country as legal visitors and then disappeared into our population... About 1M foreign students are in the U.S. at any given time... Tracking people who come into the United States and requiring them to leave when their visas expire is an essential component of national security. Failure to implement such a system means our government doesn't care about protecting our borders. The same week as the Swift & Co. arrests and the sensational GAO report came the revelation, now widely reported, that the Bush administration has no intention whatsoever of constructing an actual fence on the U.S.-Mexico border. This is in spite of the fact that the Secure Fence Act was passed in the Fall by the Senate 80-17 and by the House 283-138, and President Bush starred in a photo-op just before the November election so we could all witness him signing it into law. Now we hear it's all a sham. We hear vague rumbles that we might get a virtual fence, but what we really got is a virtual law. Border fencing is not a total solution any more than employee verification or entry-exit tracking, but they are all necessities. President Bush must carry out his constitutional duty to 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed'."
Bill Cotterell _Tallahassee Demagogue_
Is Convergys getting its man into the Florida Department of Management Services?
"A year ago today, our front page had a big story about state employee personnel files being out-sourced to India... Department of Management Services Secretary Tom Lewis spent a lot of time working with Convergys [formerly Cincinnati Bell Information Systems]... he wound up demanding $5M in repairs from Convergys for the beleaguered People First system -- including identity-theft insurance for state employees... Besides the off-shoring of personnel files by a former Convergys sub-sub-contractor, there was that ex-con that People First hired without a background check over in Jacksonville, who got nabbed fraudulently using financial data in state personnel files. There were all those over-payments and non-payments and erroneous insurance entries that had state employees seething as they waited on help lines... Now Kevin Hyde, a lawyer from the Jacksonville firm that represents Convergys, succeeds Lewis at DMS... Hyde and governor-elect Charlie Crist earlier told Hyde's hometown newspaper, the Florida Times Union, there is no conflict of interests. Hyde said Foley & Lardner is a large firm and that he didn't personally work for Convergys. Senator Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, who succeeded Argenziano as head of the Senate committee, is not convinced. He said he contacted Crist and Senate President Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, about Hyde's confirmation by the Senate. 'It just doesn't look right.', said Lawson. 'When Convergys comes to negotiate with DMS, they'll be talking to the man who worked for them.' Hyde will be confirmed. But, fairly or not, he'll be the Secretary from Convergys."
Frosty Wooldridge _Sierra Times_
America is in the cross-hairs of incompetence
News with Views
"Hepatitis carrying food preparers at Chi Chi restaurants in Pennsylvania two years ago infected and killed several unwitting Americans. E. coli killed another American this year and infected dozens of others by the simple act of eating vegetables at Taco Bell outlets. Hundreds of cases of tuberculosis out-breaks across the United States erupted in the past year. Drunken illegal alien Mexican drivers killed hundreds of Americans in recent years. A U.S. Marine, back from Iraq, 2 weeks ago, suffered death by a drunken illegal who slammed into his car. The Marine's girlfriend died in the crash. In Denver, Justin Goodman suffered death as a drunken Mexican T-boned him at an intersection. Goodman left a wife and daughter. Another drunken illegal named Francisco Montero drove into and killed Dale Englerth near my house last fall. Englerth left a wife and several children. Colorado University quarterback John Hessler, promising NFL quarter back suffered a hit and run by two illegals that left him in a wheel-chair for life. Police Officers Don Young of Denver and Brian Jackson of Dallas suffered executions at the hands of illegal aliens. Eight Colorado coeds suffered multiple gang rapes by illegal alien Mexicans. All fled back to Mexico, save one, who now serves behind bars for 16 years at [tax-victim] expense. His victims serve a life sentence of emotional pain and degradation. There have been 2 slayings in the Cherokee National Forest during the past year, both occurring on the forest's south end. Last summer, the body of a 24-year-old was found inside a burning car near the Tennessee-Georgia line, not far from the Ocoee River. The two men arrested for the killing claimed allegiance to the Mara Salvatrucha gang, or MS-13, that began in California in the 1980s. That gang numbers 11K members operating in 33 states while distributing much of the $128G in drugs annually to America's youth. The aforementioned examples exemplify thousands of tragic American stories suffered by our citizens at the hands of illegal aliens... Tyson Chicken and Hormel Foods employ illegals. Illegals destroyed tiny Austin, Minnesota because Hormel transported them into their meat processing plants as they displaced generations of hard working American Hormel plant workers. Wages dropped from $18.00 an hour to $8.00 an hour... What do those employers share in common? They pay slave wages; they pay under the table; they lie; they cheat; they steal from law-abiding American [tax-victims]; they encourage more lawlessness."
John Bender _Ether Zone_
Whose side are the Dems on?
2006-12-26 (5767 Teves/Tebet 05)
Ken Boehm _Human Events_
Will US tax-victims now pay legal fees for illegal aliens?
"The immigration bill passed by the U.S. Senate in 2006 May [but fortunately not by the House] not only would have granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, but it would also have required an amnesty-seeker to have a lawyer and forced [tax-victims] to provide one... Giving free legal help to illegal aliens would mean a bonanza for the [tax-victim]-funded Legal Services Corporation (LSC). LSC leaders in recent years have been searching desperately for a rationale for budget increases... This year, LSC will receive $330M. Since it was founded in 1974, LSC has received more than $6G. LSC's one-year budget peaked in the mid-1990s at $415M. Its supporters have been unable to restore LSC's budget to that level because it has been constantly mired in controversy... If Congress were to lift the ban on representing illegal aliens, government-funded lawyers could not only represent such clients in amnesty cases but could do so in any other matter, opening the flood-gates for pro-immigration 'impact' litigation. Legal services lawyers have a long history of promoting illegal immigration and thwarting the enforcement of our laws in ways large and small. In September, LSC Inspector General Kirt West issued a report detailing how California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) regularly assists illegal aliens and how its record-keeping system is designed to conceal this fact. According to one CRLA employee, 'There was a clear feeling among certain CRLA staff that anyone unwilling to serve undocumented persons is a bad person.' Last year, Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) successfully stopped plans by the Lake Worth, FL, police department to warn contractors of possible civil and criminal penalties if they hired illegals at a day-labor site. Several years ago, a North Carolina legal services group sent lawyers to Mexico to drum up law-suits against American citizens."
Dimitri Vassilaros _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
A new entitlement for illegals
2006-12-26 (5767 Teves/Tebet 05)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"99% of all the things that happen in this world 'make no sense' to any given individual. Do you understand how your automobile's transmission works? [Yes] Could you repair it if something went wrong? [Yes, with the right information and tools and materials.] Do you understand how aspirin stops headaches? [Yes] How to make yogurt? [Yes] Years ago, a famous essay pointed out that nobody knows how to make a simple lead pencil. [Actually, it pointed out the great deal of cooperation needed to mine the clay, process the charcoal, cut down the trees, cut them into shape, mine and prepare the materials to make the paint, etc. economically.]... when income taxes were imposed in the early 20th century, they applied only to 'the rich' and they took a very small percentage of their income. Once the flood-gates are opened to this kind of political power, however, we have seen with the income taxes that they not only spread far beyond 'the rich', they took a serious share of even middle class incomes. Moreover, the income tax has spawned an intrusive bureaucracy, creating so much complexity and red tape that millions of ordinary citizens have to go get some accountant to fill out the forms for them -- and then sign under penalty of perjury that it was done right. If you knew how to do it right, you wouldn't have to go to somebody else to have it done, would you?"
2006-12-27 (5767 Teves/Tebet 06)
2006-12-27 11:28PST (14:28EST) (19:28GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
New home sales up 3.4% in November to annualized 1.047M; median sales price was up to $251,700
census bureau press releases
Michael Cooney _ARN NET_
Out-Sourcing Bonanza 2006
"[Red China] and other countries are starting to take some business away from perennial off-shoring giant, India... Certainly some of these issues will continue to loom large in 2007 such as H-1B levels, [Red China's] rise and out-sourced security concerns. The marriage of security and out-sourcing is always a problem, especially if the contract involves off-shoring work... a study released by Analysys International earlier this year said [Red China's] software out-sourcing services market reached $US323M in the first quarter of 2006, up almost 44% compared with the first quarter of 2005. Still security concerns dog the country's industry fledgling business... National Association of Software and Service Companies [NASSCOM] says the country's BPO services will grow 35% - 40% in fiscal year 2007 to achieve between $US8G and 8.5G vs. $6.3G in the previous fiscal year... The year began with promises that the H-1B levels would be raised by the year-end. But that push got lost in the politics of Washington, DC. The Democratic congress will likely take it up again early next year but most experts agree its scale could be significantly reduced."
Bruce Daniels _Albuquerque Journal_
6 charged with harboring illegal aliens
"Five people were arraigned in Las Cruces Tuesday... Arrested last Friday by ICE agents, with the assistance of Border Patrol agents from the Santa Teresa station, were Maria Sotelo a.k.a. Dona Maria a.k.a. Maria de los Angeles Corrales, 38; Salvador Solis, 36; Josie Solis, 30, Alonso Flores-Villa, 26; and Antonio Campa-Corrales a.k.a. Jose Bampa, 46. All were arrested in Anthony, NM, except for Flores-Villa, who was taken into custody in Fabens, Texas. Also indicted was Joseph M. Padilla, 61, who was expected to surrender to authorities next week, the news release said. The 6 were charged with conspiring to transport and harbor illegal immigrants in Dona Ana County and elsewhere in New Mexico, according to the release... Medina said that since March 2005 federal agents have made 4 criminal arrests and more than 200 administrative arrests from what he called 'stash houses' in Anthony that were connected to the alleged ring."
Sara A. Carter _Inland Valley Daily Bulletin_
Cross-roads of conflict: World Trade Bridge has changed the USA-Mexico border
Michael Kinsman _Canton Repository_
Businesses suffer if workers' feelings are ignored
"Yet in a study of how 141 employees in an unidentified public-services organization dealt with major organizational change, Fugate and his co-authors, Arizona State University professor Angelo J. Kinicki and graduate student Spencer Harrison, found that businesses can suffer if they don't deal with employees' emotional health. 'If employees have emotional reactions, and their employers don't pay attention to those reactions, they can withdraw.', Fugate says. 'They are more likely to take sick days, and if their frustration continues to grow, they will actually leave their jobs.' He says that should be a wake-up call for companies. Poor morale and heavy turn-over can be costly financial burdens for any company... But while some businesses aren't interested in the effects of negative emotions in their work forces, they are well-attuned to the benefits of good emotions, Fugate says. 'Look at a clerk at WM.', he says. 'They are expected to smile and be pleasant to customers, no matter how they feel. When emotions help companies, they are quick to accept them.' Employers who don't change on their own and learn to deal with emotions in the work-place will be forced to in the future."
2006-12-27 (5767 Teves/Tebet 06)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Dangerous obsession part 2
"They are the population of the United States, Western Europe, Japan and a few other affluent countries. How did these particular people come to possess so much more wealth than other people? They did it the old-fashioned way. They produced the wealth that they own... Have all the people in the world had an equal chance to produce wealth? No, nowhere close to an equal chance -- either in the world or within a given society."
James Carlini _Wisconsin Technology_
People are still concerned about lack of notice in firings & resignings
"I'm still getting feedback about people giving two-weeks' notice and then being told to leave that day... Your first loyalty is to yourself, your career, and your family. It has come down to that because in most cases, expert human resource consultants have told companies to get rid of people immediately when they need to do a consolidation or force reduction... By all means, if they have supported you or have helped you through some difficult times, then two weeks are in order. But I am not hearing that from people who are leaving. They either have been unrecognized for their efforts, or not given a raise that they earned, or something else happens that shatters whatever bond of company loyalty they thought they were building. Yes, you do need references, and co-workers can always give you that. As for burning bridges, when are people going to learn? If an employer has NOT recognized your work or your contributions for the last couple of years, why would they, all of the sudden, give you a glowing reference when you leave?... When it comes to leaving a job that has been less than rewarding, more people also are concerned with trying to give the boss a piece of their mind. My advice is to just leave and not waste any more time or emotion on a poor situation or with poor management. Chances are, nothing is going to change and you are better off to get out of that unhealthy environment... Good employers are out there. Don't waste your time, your energy, or your emotions on bad ones. Two-week notices are, at best, only for those employers that earn them."
2006-12-27 (5767 Teves/Tebet 06)
Walter Williams _Jewish World Review_
Re-instating the selective slavery system
"The term 'draft' is a euphemism for what is actually 'confiscation of labor services'. The Defense Department can get all the military personnel it wants on an all-volunteer basis; it could simply raise wages. Indeed, there exists a wage whereby even I would volunteer my services. The draft is needed when the military wants to pay soldiers wages lower than those earned in the non-military sector of our economy. When we did have a draft, as in 1950s, look at who was and was not drafted. The commander in chief at that time, President Dwight Eisenhower, wasn't drafted. Neither were members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Generals and other high-ranking officers weren't drafted. Who was drafted? Recruits, and it's not hard to understand why. A newly inducted recruit's pay was $68 a month. The pay of the commander in chief, Joint Chiefs of Staff, generals and other officers were many multiples higher than a recruit's pay. It's not difficult to understand why drafting recruits was necessary. Some argue that depending on an all-volunteer military is too expensive. That's wrong. The true cost of having a man in the military is what society has to forgo, what economists call opportunity costs. Say a man worked producing televisions for which he was paid $1K a month. If he's drafted, he's not producing $1K worth of televisions. The sacrificed $1K worth of televisions is part of the cost of his being in the military whether he's paid $68 a month or nothing a month... In 1959, prior to my being drafted, I drove a taxi for Yellow Cab Company in Philadelphia earning about $400 a month. In August that year, I started earning $68 a month. The military budget saw a cost of $68 as opposed to the $400 worth of taxi services society had to forgo. Simple economics suggests that if the cost of a resource is understated, there will be bias toward greater and more wasteful use of that resource... The military draft is an offense to the values of liberty, causes misallocation of resources, and there's a higher risk of getting a bunch of misfits. The all-volunteer military does none of this."
R.A. Wright _Eastern Arizona Courier_
Thanks for definition of "guest-worker"
"Since hearing the plan for treating illegal immigrants as 'guest' workers, I now have undergone a complete reversal in my understanding of the proper meaning of words. I stupidly used to believe that the definition of 'guest' as one who is 'invited'. Now I am told this is no longer correct. For instance, if a burglar breaks into my home he or she really becomes a guest who is only looking for a better life. Because he or she broke in for that reason, I must accept the obligation to provide health care, education, transportation and living quarters. I feel so much better now."
David Broder _McClatchy_/_News & Observer_
Corrections and objections, bad calls and misjudgments
Buffalo NY News
Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Spokesman Review
St. Petersburg Times
Cincinnati Post Times Star
Cincinnati Post Times Star
"An interview with Bill Gates produced a wave of protests. The M$ billionaire was in Washington to lobby for an expansion of the H-1B visa program, which provides entry for foreign-born scientists and engineers who hold job offers in the United States. Gates said the limit on their numbers was hurting America's competitive position. The letter-writers, many of whom identified themselves as un-employed or under-employed people with similar skills, claimed that the H-1B workers were taking their jobs and working at lower wages."
_Family Security Matters_
How can America avoid the corrosive effects of balkanization?
Mike Cutler _Family Security Matters_
To curb illegal invasion pressure countries of origin
"The illegal aliens who run our nation's borders are being exploited by their own governments as well as by the unscrupulous U.S. employers who profit from their hard labor. The American banks and money remitters are their silent partners and are happy to move their money from the United States to the countries from which these aliens come. The movement of money out of our country harms the economy of the United States. Employers who hire illegal aliens often fire United States citizens or resident aliens who would not tolerate the wages and conditions that desperate illegal aliens will. The employment of illegal aliens is contrary to our concept of justice and human dignity. The United States was torn in half by the Civil War. Most school children are taught that this was about slavery. What most people do not realize is that slavery was about cheap and exploitable labor. So while our nation outlawed slavery, illegal aliens now furnish the cheap and exploitable labor that prompted the use of slave labor more than 150 years ago in America."
Geoff Earle _NY Post_
Peter King zings proposals to give amnesty to illegal aliens
"Negotiators are considering scrapping a complicated proposal that would require an estimated 7M illegal immigrants [out of the 8M currently working in the USA and 20M living] in the United States to jump across the border before returning to apply to become citizens. That provision would also mean that illegals in the country for less than 2 years would not be guaranteed a slot in a guest-worker program. Congress also may nix a border fence that many conservatives say is needed to stop the flow of illegals. Legislation to build the fence passed Congress and signed by President Bush this year. But it hasn't been fully funded, and can be amended by a new law. Most Democrats oppose the fence, as does Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who prefers a virtual fence in some areas."
Tyche Hendricks _Arizona Daily Star_
New Mexico ranchers are aware that partial border barrier is likely to send illegal aliens onto their land
"The ranch's 28-mile southern and eastern boundaries lie in one of just four major stretches of the United States-Mexico border that won't be fortified with electronically monitored steel fencing under a bill signed by President Bush this fall. Because the border in Deming will remain a simple barbed-wire fence punctuated by metal obelisks from the 1880s, the illegal entrants who would have entered the United States to the east or west are likely to make their way across this pristine country instead, ranchers and immigration experts agree. 'It's like funneling cattle into a corral.', said Wendy Glenn, a long-time Arizona border rancher acquainted with the Hurts. 'It's going to push more people into the area without a fence.'... He and his brothers now manage a breeding operation with almost 5K cows on close to 700 square miles [441K acres] of creosote-dotted Chihuahuan Desert grass-land... Smugglers already are bringing record numbers of people and drugs through the area, locals said, and the Hurts said they often see breaks in the border fence and the fences on their property and land they lease from other private owners and the federal government. The additional impacts that ranchers, Indian tribes and other residents of border-lands in Arizona, California and parts of Texas now regularly face are numerous: fouled water supplies, break-ins, litter, thefts, migrant deaths and a heavy presence of the Border Patrol and volunteer militia groups... Laguna's arrest was one of roughly 1M the Border Patrol made in 2006 as its forces increased and it began fortifying the border with new technology. Some potential immigrants are arrested repeatedly before they make it across or give up trying. Even if the 700-mile fence never materializes, the Department of Homeland Security has already granted Boeing Corp. the first of what could amount to a multi-billion-dollar series of contracts for a 'virtual fence' of electronic sensors, radar and other monitoring devices along the most heavily trafficked stretches of the border."
_AP_/_Winona Daily News_
Meat-packing industry has changed
"Those jobs once paid $15.67 or more in today's dollars. Federal statistics show they pay about 30% less today... The change began in the late 1960s with 2 farmers from northern Iowa who thought up a radical departure from the industry's usual practice. Instead of sending a hanging carcass to butchers, they would cut up the animal at the meat processing plant, sending their product to super-markets as boxed beef or pork. Shipping costs dropped. High-paying butcher jobs dried up. Meat plants were run as assembly lines, with one person making the same cut over and over as the animals moved down the line. The company, Iowa Beef Processors Inc., later known as IBP, put plants in rural areas away from the unionized workforces of the cities. The company was eventually bought out by Tyson, the nation's largest meat-packer, and its practices became the industry standard... That mechanization led to one of the most contentious episodes in Minnesota's labor history, the 1985 strike at the Hormel plant in Austin, when 1,529 men and women walked off of their jobs. The strike ended in disarray 15 months later, without the pay raises workers sought. Hormel eventually hired replacement workers at lower wages and resumed operations. The union never recovered. In 1980, about 46% of meat-packers were unionized. Today, about 21% are. The wage slide that was already under way worsened. Meat-packing wages once ran 14% to 18% above the average manufacturing wage, according to James Mintert, an agricultural economist at Kansas State University. Today, it's 25% below the average manufacturing wage. 'Our packing jobs used to be very sought-after jobs in the Midwest.', said Jill Cashen, a spokeswoman for the United Food & Commercial Workers Union. 'People stood in line and hoped to get a job at the plant.'... A study last year by the Pew Research Center estimated that about 27% of all butchers and food processing workers are illegal [aliens]. Overall, immigrants make up 50% of the work-force today, according to the union."
National Film Registry announced additions for 2006
"It is estimated that 50% of the films produced before 1950, and 80% to 90% made before 1920, have disappeared forever. The Library of Congress is working to stanch those losses by recognizing, and working with many organizations to preserve, films that are 'culturally, historically or aesthetically' significant. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today added 25 motion pictures to the National Film Registry to be preserved for all time, bringing the total number of films on the registry to 450... The 2006 selections span the years 1913 to 1996 and encompass films ranging from Hollywood classics to lesser-known but still vital works... nearly 1K titles nominated by the public..."
Andrew C. Hefty _Baker county Standard_
Don't get me started
"When I was in the Marine Corps, one of my Commanding Officers had some very sage words for us. He said, 'No one wants to go to war, especially those who have to fight it.' That is still very true today. I can say with certainty that our men and women in uniform (no matter where they are located) would much rather be home with their families than in harm's way. But they do this by choice -- for you and me. Let's encourage them once in a while... the GOP hasn't yet learned its lesson. They are about to suffer even further defeat by getting their 'hand of friendship' bitten off by Democrats and by losing in 2008. This does not look good for them... I have yet to hear any valid arguments against the FairTax... When your kitchen faucet is busted and it's spewing water everywhere, which do you first: mop up the mess or shut off the water supply? Pretty easy answer. Shut off the water. Then clean up. So what's the first step in stemming the tide of illegal aliens? Secure the borders."
_WLBX Columbia SC_
Beaufort county council to vote on proposal to deter illegal aliens
WIS Columbia SC
"Companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens could lose their Beaufort County business licenses under a proposed county law set for a final vote tonight... Under the proposal, people who apply for a county business license must sign a form verifying that they do not knowingly employ or plan to hire an illegal immigrant. Licensed companies would be subject to county audits... a council committee has suggested annual audits of 25% of the roughly 5K businesses licensed with the county."
2006-12-27 15:00PST (18:00EST) (23:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
USA vs. Red China
"Christine Romans: The book opens in the introduction with sort of a mock press release from the year 2012, where you sort of outline, basically, a worst case scenario of the United States and [Red China] at economic loggerheads, with [Red China] saying they're not going to support our spend-thrift ways anymore, they're not going to buy our debt, they're selling our assets on the open market. It would be catastrophic.
Peter Navarro: I think 2012 may be too far away. It may happen sooner. And basically what the [Red Chinese] is are doing now, is as we buy things in WMs and Costcos, that money goes abroad to [Red China]. It comes right back. And they use it to buy our government bonds. They're basically financing our budget and trade deficits. And that keeps their currency artificially low so they can drive their export machine, ours high. And as soon as there's going to be conflict between [Red China] and the U.S.A., what they can do is threaten us by dumping those dollars on the market. That will drive down the value of the dollar, inflation goes up, interest rates go up. We've got big trouble.
Christine Romans: When you're talking about [Red China], you're talking about politics and economics and military. And all kinds of issues are all tied up into one. With those dollars that are being recycled, they're also modernizing their military in a way that is not transparent. We've had different issues of corporate espionage, of all kinds of issues that really don't seem to be getting the attention in Washington they should.
Peter Navarro: we have to start with what's called the [Red China] price. The [Red China] price is the ability of [Red Chinese] manufacturers to under-cut the U.S. and global competitors by 50% or more. And the question is how do they do that? And some of it is fair trade. Some of it is the fact that they have a well- disciplined labor force and they have a huge amount of labor so it keeps wages low. But the fact of the matter is, my research clearly indicates that on 4 different fronts, they're flagrantly engaging in unfair trade practices. The currency issue is the one which I think we're all familiar with, but 5 years after they've gotten into the World Trade Organization [WTO], they continue to flagrantly violate those rules with massive export subsidies and dumping. Counterfeiting and piracy is a huge issue. You know what? If you're a manufacturer and you steal intellectual property, you don't have to pay R&D, you don't have to pay marketing expenses to promote brands. That's a cost advantage as well. And, of course, the worst environmental and health and safety standards of any big country in the world, all these add up to cost advantages. It's costing the United States. And this administration, since it's taken office, has been totally focused on the Middle East. There's problems there, yes, but I believe that the economic threat from [Red China] can be worse over time and we, as a country, are not dealing with it... we have an Iran that's bent on developing nuclear weapons, which it threatens to use in the state of Israel. And even if they don't use it on Israel, it's destabilizing because it's forcing the Saudis to contemplate the same kind of thing. What's going on? The [Red Chinese] have been working with the Iranians for over a decade, giving them sophisticated weapons, nuclear technology. What do they get in exchange? They get access to oil resources. The [Red Chinese] are going in with the Saudis trying to get oil from the Saudis. They're one of the U.S.' main suppliers. They're going down to Venezuela, working with Hugo Chavez, the dictator who's anti-American. These are the kind of things that are going on and the politicians, both on Capitol Hill and in the White House, are distracted and not paying attention... [Red China] is a classic example of what we call in economics a mercantilist. They thrive on an export-driven economy. That's their whole mission. And my research clearly shows that half of the [Red China] price advantage, half of that advantage is pure, unfair trade practices that violate every international norm and standard. And the U.S., the Treasury Department says oh, they're not a currency manipulator. The Treasury Department says oh, they're not dumping. And in fact, they're doing all these things. Why? It's because the Treasury Department is worried about funding the budget deficit and they don't want to rock the [Red China] boat."
2006-12-28 (5767 Teves/Tebet 07)
2006-12-28 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 422,800 in the week ending Dec. 23, an increase of 61,231 from the previous week. There were 433,397 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending Dec. 16, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,573,174, a decrease of 4,129 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,691,842.Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Dec. 9."
2006-12-28 07:24PST (10:24EST) (15:24GMT)
Jeffry Bartash _MarketWatch_
Conference Board's consumer confidence index is up
"The percentage of consumers saying jobs are plentiful increased to 26.9% from 25.7%, while the proportion saying jobs are hard to get dropped to 21.2% from 22.1%."
2006-12-28 13:45PST (16:45EST) (21:45GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Existing home sales rose 0.6% to 6.28M but down 10.7% in the last year: Median price down 3.1% since a year ago to $218K
_World Net Daily_
Illegal alien driving under the influence killed mother and 2 children
"A suspected illegal alien from Mexico is being held in the Salt Lake County jail in lieu of $500K after running a red light and broadsiding a family of 6, killing three, on Christmas Eve. Carlos Prieto was arraigned this morning and charged with three counts of automobile homicide, three counts of driving under the influence and driving without a license. The charging documents say his blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit, KSL-TV of Salt Lake City, reported... Jail records indicate Prieto has at least two previous drunken driving arrests."
2006-12-28 (5767 Teves/Tebet 07)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Dangerous obsession part 3
Maryland man convicted of conspiracy to transport hundreds of thousands of prostitutes
"Jair Francis, age 33, of Wheaton, MD was convicted on 2006 December 19 of conspiracy to transport hundreds of women for prostitution purposes to Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens and aggravated theft... Six other defendants have pleaded guilty to their involvement in the prostitution ring and money laundering activities... According to trial evidence and court documents, the defendants conspired to employ prostitutes, the vast majority of whom were aliens unlawfully present in the United States. The defendants rented apartments and/or purchased homes in Maryland where they operated places of prostitution, and arranged to transport women from various locations in New York and New Jersey to Maryland, typically on Monday mornings, with the intent that these women engage in prostitution. They arranged to transport the women back to New York and New Jersey, typically on Sunday evenings."
Gordon Trowbridge _Detroit News_
Federal government failing workers hurt by out-sourcing
"The machine-tool designers at Tesco Technologies' Auburn Hills plant had long suspected that the Indian engineers whom they had helped train would one day take their jobs. The layoff notices, in the summer of 2004, were no surprise. But the Tesco engineers had not imagined that they would face a second opponent: the U.S. Department of Labor. When they applied for help from a federal program designed to help those unemployed because of international trade, the department first delayed, then denied their application. More than two years later, they're still waiting for benefits, despite a federal judge's ruling that the labor department officials essentially invented their reason for denying the workers' application... The Tesco case is one of dozens in recent years that have critics calling for a massive overhaul of Trade Adjustment Assistance, a 40-year-old program that is supposed to shield American workers from the downside of the global economy. Manufacturing workers who lose their jobs due to international trade are eligible for an extra two years of unemployment payments and training for a new career, even help in some cases with medical coverage or moving expenses. There is no accurate count of how many workers are denied benefits nationwide... The Tesco workers, most of them with many years in the automotive business, designed assembly line tooling for General Motors Corp., which contracted with the company. According to Mosey, beginning in the late 1990s, the workers were introduced to a group of Indian engineers, whom they trained to handle the basics of their tasks. The workers returned to India, Mosey said, where -- for lower pay -- they handled the basics of the GM work, and transmitted their designs to Auburn Hills, where the more experienced Tesco workers checked and finished them. The first U.S. layoffs came in summer 2004, Mosey said, when about 20 workers lost their jobs. Mosey said he believes others were later eliminated. As the law out-lines, Mosey applied for benefits from the Department of Labor, but twice labor officials have said the workers don't meet the law's requirements. They ruled because the workers' designs were custom-made, there were no 'directly competitive' items from over-seas, a requirement for triggering trade adjustment benefits."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.69%|
2006-12-29 (5767 Teves/Tebet 08)
William H. Calhoun _American Daily_
Illegal invasion and the US becoming a 3rd world waste-land
"Representative Tom Tancredo recently attracted the ire of the left-wing media when he made the rather pedestrian observation that Miami 'has become a third-world country'. This should not be news. Everyone I know who has been to Miami (or southern California or Arizona, for that matter) has noticed the same: the US is being transformed into a third-world cess-pool. This should be no surprise. A recent former military intelligence analyst told me, 'There currently exists a third-world invasion of America. And it is bad. Very bad. &nnbsp; If things are not stopped soon, all will be lost. America will become a third-world sewer.' Many of the ear-marks of a third world country (poverty, disease, ethnic strife, quixotic defense of a 'propositional nation', big business driving down wages with cheap labor, gangs, abundant treason, etc.) are currently widespread in the U.S.A."
2006-12-29 11:44PST (14:44EST) (19:44GMT)
David Funkhouser _Hartford Courant_
Guilford Dunkin' Donuts franchisee pleads guilty to recruiting and harboring illegal aliens
"Jose Calhelha, 47, of 8 Greenwood Lane, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two of the original seven counts he faced in his indictment last January: enticing illegal aliens to come and stay in the United States, and harboring illegal aliens, both felonies. He will forfeit $1M to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and face an additional three years supervised release as part of the deal with the office of U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison on the 2 counts. His daughter, Diana, 23, also implicated in the scheme, pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of hiring undocumented aliens. She could face up to six months in prison, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel told Judge Janet Bond Arterton she would recommend a sentence of a year of supervised release and an unspecified amount of community service. Diana Calhelha is a senior at Albertus Magnus College, majoring in international business management."
Julie Creswell _NY Times_
Golden Hellos allow executives to change jobs while foisting more risks onto production workers
"Such golden hello payments are intended to 'make the executive whole' -- in essence to treat the executive as if his career were one smooth ascent with no costly interruptions. And these multi-million-dollar payments and perks are used to draw in not only chief executives, but virtually every member of the executive suite. If 'golden parachutes' -- rich exit packages of extra cash, stock or retirement benefits -- are 'needed' at times to kick out chief executives, golden hellos are increasingly 'needed' to get them in the door... Such golden hellos are not new, but lawyers representing executives at the negotiating table are constantly coming up with quirky ways to 'make clients whole'. Matching salaries, guaranteed bonuses and millions of dollars in stock options are typical. On top of that, chief executives are made whole on lucrative pension benefits, often being credited at the new company for years of service elsewhere -- a perk rarely available to non-executive employees. These days, though, some executives are demanding that companies make up losses they may face from the sale of a home if they relocate, or that they receive price protection on losses they might incur in stock they own in the company they are leaving. The problem with make-whole payments, critics say, is that they have become so common and widespread that lesser-known chief executives from smaller companies can demand multi-million-dollar foundations on which other benefits and perks are layered. The existence of the golden hello undermines the very reason stock options and executive pensions are offered in the first place -- to encourage executives to hit performance targets and then to stick around to receive the full value of their compensation package."
2006-12-29 (5767 Teves/Tebet 08)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Dangerous obsession part 4
Ann All _IT Business Edge_
Off-shore out-sourcing fuels purchasing power in India
"Companies are looking to India not just to supply [cheap] labor to help produce their products, but also to provide a growing pool of consumers eager to buy them. According to a recent Technology Forecasters survey, the number of electronics companies manufacturing products in India will rise by 63% over the next 2 years. A more interesting figure, in our opinion: The number of firms marketing products there will rise by [only] 24% during the same period. The research firm says the number of Indian households earning at least $4,500 a year will double over the next 5 years. Income at that level will drive a 'significant' increase in spending on goods like TVs and refrigerators, it says. Out-sourcing plays a major role in the improved financial outlook for India, of course. Hewitt Associates predicts that pay levels in the country's service and manufacturing sectors will grow 12.3% to 15% in 2007, the biggest increase in Asia. It also had the region's highest average salary increase in 2006."
2006-12-29 14:11PST (17:11EST) (22:11GMT)
Jeffry Bartash _MarketWatch_
FCC approved AT&T purchase of BellSouth
|10-year US T-Bond||4.71%|
|"As this government will not enjoy the confidence of the people, but be executed by force, it will be a very expensive & burthensome government. The standing army must be numerous, & as a further support, it will be the policy of this government to multiply officers in every department: judges, collectors, tax gatherers, excisemen & the whole host of revenue officers will swarm over the land, devouring the hard earnings of the industrious." --- PA minority 1787-12-18|
2006-12-30 (5767 Teves/Tebet 09)
Simon Jones _News Blaze_
Will India destroy the United States of America?
Small Government Times
"I am a computer programmer, and have been for 15 years. I worked for a company in California for 6 years, and I was the director of one of the R&D projects. About a year ago, most of the other American employees and I were fired and replaced with people from India on H-1B and L-1 visas. The people from India were making only a fraction of what we Americans were making. I was making $110K a year; my replacement, $37K. The people under me were making about $75K; their replacements, about $29K. To keep my severance pay, I was required to stay on for an additional 6 months (after the other Americans were fired) to train the replacements. This was probably the most humiliating experience of my life. What I describe above is happening now every day. Many of my friends in high-tech have also recently been fired, and are being replaced with cheap imported labor from India or [Red China]. M$ says there is a 'high-tech shortage', which is a lie. Almost every American programmer I know is now unemployed and has been replaced by a cheap import. There is not a 'shortage'. Big business only wants more cheap labor... You would think that the Indians would be appreciative of being allowed to work in the United States, but this was very far from the case. Most of their conversations involved extreme hatred of America, Americans, and anyone of European descent."
2006-12-31 (5767 Teves/Tebet 10)
Gary Denson _Op Ed News_
America's policy on illegal alien invasion
Michael Kinsman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
After 20 years of work-place columns, a final farewell
"Before, people were laid off or fired. Now, they are down-sized. Soon, the euphemisms blossomed as companies re-engineered, realigned and right-sized... Tremendous changes were happening to the workplace of the mid-1980s, and that's one of the reasons this column was started. It was a period when annual pay raises began to flatten and employers turned to merit-based pay, the number of workers covered by private pensions declined for the first time since the 1950s and diversity concerns were driving the workplace to be more accommodating to women and minorities. Most importantly, there was a sense that the job you held today would no longer be guaranteed tomorrow, a striking departure from the previous three decades."
Walter Kirn _NY Times_
William Charles Norris b: 1911-07-14 near Red Cloud, NE d: 2006-08-21 in Bloomington, MN -- The Bleeding-Heart, Cutting-Edge Rationalist and Can-Do Optimist
People of note who died in 2006
National Medal of Technology
Paul Krugman _Rolling Stone_
"the gross domestic product is up; unemployment, at least according to official figures, is low by historical standards; and stocks have recovered much of the ground they lost in the early years of the decade, with the Dow surpassing 12K for the first time. Yet the public remains deeply unhappy with the state of the economy... The reason most Americans think the economy is fair to poor is simple: For most Americans, it really is fair to poor. Wages have failed to keep up with rising prices... The number of Americans in poverty has risen... Most Americans are little, if any, better off than they were last year and definitely worse off than they were in 2000 [and 1990]."
Bruce Fallick & Jonathan Pingle _Federal Research Board_
A Cohort-Based Model of Labor Force Participation (pdf)
Payal Banerjee _Critical Sociology_ vol32 #s2-3 pp 425-445
H-1B visa program creates an exploitative system
"Based on 40 in-depth interviews with Indian IT workers in the USA, this paper illustrates how the interplay between visa policies and flexible hiring in IT marginalizes this workforce. As a result of their fragile immigration status under H-1B visa terms, these workers are disproportionately employed as contract labor in an exploitative system of subcontracting. As an employment-based visa, the H-1B makes these workers dependent on their visa-sponsoring employers for immigration status and livelihood. The compulsion to remain employed and legal drives H-1B employees to accept severely exploitative work conditions, including wage cuts, deduction of commissions from hourly wages, lack of benefits, and frequent relocations."
Aaditya Mattoo & Randeep Rathindran _Health Affairs_ vol24 #2
How Health Insurance Inhibits Trade in Health Care
Richard B. Freeman _Federal Reserve Board of Boston_
Labor Market Imbalances: Shortages, Surpluses, or What? (pdf)
Harry Binswanger _Immigration Daily_/_Objectivist Academic Center of the Ayn Rand Institute_
"This is a defense of phasing-in open immigration into the United States. Entry into the U.S. should ultimately be free for any foreigner, with the exception of criminals, would-be terrorists, and those carrying infectious diseases. (And note: I am defending freedom of entry and residency, not the automatic granting of U.S. citizenship)."
_Sweetness & Light_
Letter details Ted Kennedy's offer to USSR (CCCP)
David C. Berliner _Teachers College Record_
Our Impoverished View of Educational Improvement
|"The opposition to bail outs is part & parcel of a broader strategy of public policy. Adhering to the principles of economic freedom requires at times specific actions & at other times forbearance. Promoting the concept of free enterprise means giving no favored treatment to any interest group or industry. It means restraining the tendency to reallocate resources from those who are entitled to them by virtue of their own ability to those who receive them by political fiat." --- Murray Weidenbaum _Rendezvous with Reality_ 1988|
|"Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect. And it is particularly pleasing to observe in the good citizenship of such as have been most distrusted & oppressed elsewhere a happy begignant policy. Equal laws, protecting equal rights, are found, as they ought to be presumed, the best guarantee of loyalty & love of country; among citizens of every religious denomination which are necessary to social harmony, & most favorable to the advancement of truth." --- James Madison 1820 August to Jacob de la Motta & Mordecai M. Noah (quoted in William J. Bennett 1997 _The Spirit of America_ pg 333)|
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