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updated: 2021-01-05
2004 September
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2004 September


Dice Report: 54,101 job ads

body shop23,875

2004-09-01 07:06PDT (09:06CDT) (10:06EDT) (14:06GMT)
Jeannine Aversa _AP_/_Chicago Tribune_
Construction Spending Hits All-Time High
census bureau report
"The rebound, which came after a June lull, meant that the value of buildings put in place clocked in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $997.2G, an all-time high level, the Commerce Department reported.   That represented a 0.4% increase over June's level."

2004-09-01 07:48PDT (09:48CDT) (10:48EDT) (14:48GMT)
Seth Sutel _AP_/_Chicago Tribune_
Manufacturing Activity Up for 15th Month
"The ISM's index for manufacturing activity stood at 59% in August, 3 percentage points below the level of 62% recorded in July and just below the level that analysts were expecting.   Any reading in the index above 50 means that manufacturing is expanding, while below 50 means activity is contracting.   The index has been above 50 since 2003 June."

2004-09-01 08:25PDT (11:25EDT) (15:25GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US manufacturing slowed growth in August: ISM index falls to 59% in August from 62% in July

2004-09-01 07:23PDT (10:23EDT) (14:23GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US construction spending rose 0.4% in July putting annual spending projection at $997G
census bureau report 2004-09-01
_AP_/_Chicago Tribune_
WTO approves fines against USA in retaliation for anti-dumping measures: Trade war heats up
San Francisco Chronicle
Boston Globe
Seattle Times
"The World Trade Organization on Tuesday authorized the European Union and 7 other leading American trading partners to impose more than $150M worth of sanctions against the U.S.A.   The ruling allows the complainants to fine the U.S.A. up to 72% of money collected from foreign exporters under the so-called Byrd amendment.   That legislation, dating from 2000, empowers Washington to hand over to U.S. companies the duties imposed on foreign firms judged to be unfairly dumping cheap goods on the U.S. market.   A statement from the 8 complainants estimated that money totaled about $240M last year.   'It is clear that the Byrd amendment is a WTO-incompatible response to dumping... and must therefore go.', said EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy.   However, the EU and the other complainants -- Japan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, South Korea and Mexico -- indicated they would hold off on imposing sanctions.   Instead, they are likely to use the threat of retaliation to press Congress for an early repeal of the legislation...   The WTO ruled the measure illegal in 2002, backing claims that it punishes exporters to the U.S.A. twice because they are fined [for dumping] first, and then those fines are passed on to their competitors." ---

Dexter Filkins & Erik Eckholm _NY Times_
Talks to Disarm Shiites Collapse
"Talks to disarm Iraqi insurgents collapsed, after a tentative peace pact was abruptly canceled by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi."

_Washington Post_
Key Findings in investigation of Hollinger International CEO Conrad M. Black: Looting of Chicago Sun-Times, Jerusalem Post, London Daily Telegraph
Accounting Web
Chicago Sun-Times
"Black and other controlling share-holders took more than $400M of the company's money since 1997, a figure amounting to 95% of the company's entire adjusted net income during the period...   The committee is suing Black, former chief operating officer David Radler and others for $1.25G in damages in federal court, where they are accused of racketeering."

Diane Lindquist _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Mexico's border factories have added 70,600 jobs in past year (graph)
"INEGI, the Mexican national statistics institute, said Monday that employment nationwide in the mostly foreign-owned export manufacturing plants rose 6.7% from 2003 June, adding 70,600 positions by the end of 2004 June.   More than 1.128M workers are now employed in the nation's maquiladora factories.   Employment was nearly flat during the last half of 2003...   Since the end of December, maquiladora employment increased by more than 15% throughout Mexico...   Since the first of the year, Tijuana has added 17,500 jobs, according to the report.   Mexicali has added 5K."

_Ziff Davis_/_Tech Republic_
Tech hiring on the rise
"Both surveys, conducted by Aon Consulting's San Jose-based Radford Surveys, looked at compensation trends and practices in the technology industry.   In one of the survey less than 20% of responding companies reported lay-offs in the second quarter of 2004 -- a 2-year low.   Aon also found that voluntary turn-over among surveyed tech companies is at 8.9%... the lowest in the history of the surveys, which date back to the mid-1980s."


2004-09-01 19:22PDT (2004-09-01 22:22EDT) (2004-09-02 02:22GMT)
US nears pact to sell nuclear reactor components to Red China
"A U.S. State Department official said sanctions, export controls and other barriers to sales have been removed, according to a report by Wall Street Journal, which cited an unnamed source.   If the dispute is settled, Westinghouse Electric, the U.S.-based unit of Britain's BNFL Group, said it expects to begin bidding to provide reactors for 1 or 2 [Red Chinese] nuclear-power plants late this year or early next year, the Journal reported.   The reactors sell for about $2.2G a pair, the Journal reported, citing Westinghouse spokesman Vaughn Gilbert.   A 1985 agreement that would have allowed U.S. nuclear power plant technology to be used in [Red China] was put on hold after the 1989-06-04 [attack on demonstrators] at Tiananmen Square.   The Clinton administration lifted some sanctions, but no reactors were sold in the wake of fears of proliferation of nuclear technology passing through [Red China] to Iran and Pakistan...   In April, [Red Chinese] Vice President Zeng Qinghong told visiting U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney that [Red China] will build 24 to 30 nuclear-power plants by 2020, at a cost of $1.5G a plant, the Journal said."

2004-09-01 21:06PDT (2004-09-02 00:06EDT) (2004-09-02 04:06GMT)
Mark Hulbert _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Look at job report details: Seasonal adjustments have a big effect
"Yet, according to Madeline Schnapp, editor of the TrimTabs Personal Income newsletter, the government's report was not nearly as negative as suggested by the head-line about just 32K jobs being created.   Using the government's own data, Schnapp calculated that 'the economy added 143K employees in 2004 July'.   The reason that the Labor Department instead reported just 32K jobs was because of the formula the government used to seasonally adjust the data...   the Commerce Department reported that personal incomes in the U.S. had grown an unexpectedly slow 0.1% during July...   Schnapp discovered in one of the report's footnotes that almost all of the slower-than-expected growth was due to a $10G reduction in federal transfer payments to states.   She argues that 'this $10.0G decline in payments to state coffers did not reduce the personal income of consumers in July, nor will it affect them any time soon.'"

2004-09-02 05:32PDT (08:32EDT) (12:32GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Q2 productivity revised down: Non-farm productivity increased only 2.5% vs. 2.9% initial estimate
alternate link
"Unit labor costs - a key gauge of inflation and profit pressures - increased at a 1.8% annual rate, down from the earlier estimate of 1.9%.   Over the past 4 quarters, the output per hour of American businesses has increased at a 4.6% rate, down from a 5.6% rate in the first quarter.   Unit labor costs [compensation per unit produced per hour] fell 0.3% over the comparable period."

2004-09-02 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment compensation insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 276,601 in the week ending August 28, an increase of 3,805 from the previous week.   There were 319,362 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending August 21, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,631,147, a decrease of 70,724 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.6% and the volume was 3,252,130."

2004-09-02 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims rose
"The number of initial claims in the week ending August 28 rose 19K to 362K.   It's the highest level since the week ended April 10...   Over the past 2 weeks, claims have spiked up by 29K...   The more reliable 4-week average of initial claims rose 6,250 to 343K.   This is the highest level since the week ended July 31...   Meanwhile, the number of Americans receiving state jobless benefits fell 5K to 2.882M in the week ending August 21.   This is the lowest level since the week ended July 10.   The 4-week moving average of continuing claims fell 4,750 to 2.89M."

2004-09-02 09:43PDT (12:43EDT) (16:43GMT)
Jennifer Waters _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Same-store sales slowed markedly in August
"Final tallies at the International Council of Shopping Centers show sales at stores open longer than a year -- a key industry metric -- climbed 1.2%.   That was less than half the growth forecast just a month ago, when the council expected a 3% pickup.   That outlook was lowered this week to 1.5%.   Sales have now disappointed in 3 consecutive months..."

Ken Belson _NY Times_
Software Service Aims to Out-Fox the Fraud Marketed as "Caller*ID": Returns a Small Measure of Privacy
"A new computerized service enables customers to create phony out-bound phone numbers in order to [protect callers' privacy]."

Amanda York _Kentucky Post_
Third-Party Hopefuls in Presidential Race
"Each must submit at least 5K valid signatures to the Kentucky Secretary of State's office by early next week.   In 2000, Kentucky's general election ballot hosted 5 third-party presidential tickets and one write-in candidate...   Mancini is working to get the Libertarian presidential ticket of Michael Badnarik and Richard Campagna on the ballot in Kentucky...   'It's unconstitutional that Michael Badnarik -- should have to go and beg people to sign petitions [while other candidates don't have to].'   Republican and Democratic candidates who want to run for state office file and pay a fee...   In the 3rd District, incumbent Republican Anne Northup and Democrat Tony Miller -- both of Louisville -- will share the ballot with George Dick, a Libertarian also of Louisville, and write-in candidate Corley Everett of Louisville...   U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, won the [6th district] seat in a special election in February.   He's now facing state Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, and with Stacy Abner, a member of the Constitution Party from Berea, and Mark Gailey, a Libertarian from Berea."


Monster Employment Index
General* Computer &
A&E Science &
Social Studies
Scientific &
102879294 2003 October
94929394 2003 November
86969288 2003 December
10211499101 2004 January
107105109110 2004 February
109106115113932004 March
1251051171171262004 April
1281051271221182004 May
136103 1411352004 June
134104  1572004 July
145117136 1712004 August
* Some of these are "industries" and others are "occupations".
e-mail questions to David Rosa
alternate source
alternate source


2004-09-03 07:18PDT (10:18EDT) (14:18GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
ISM non-manufacturing index shows slower growth for August at 58.2% vs. 64.8% in July
ISM report
"However, the employment index rose to 52.5% from 50.0%.   The prices paid index fell to 70.0% from 73.1%."

2004-09-03 09:11PDT (12:11EDT) (16:11GMT)
Chris Isidore _CNN_/_Money_
Job numbers are key to political campaigns
"Those surveyed saying jobs are 'plentiful' slumped to 18.1% from 19.7%, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' was little changed at 25.8%. "

2004-09-03 13:31PDT (16:31EDT) (20:31GMT)
Dan Gallagher _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stock purchases, sales by executives & board members suggest increased confidence to some
"Last month, executives made stock purchases worth $171M, a 76% increase from the previous month, according to the Thomson study.   Purchases came close to May's $178Mlevel, which was the highest in dollar value in the past 2 years, according to the report.   Insider selling, however, also saw a healthy climb from the previous month.   Executives sold a total of $3G in stock last month, a 71% increase from the previous month's total of $1.8G."

2004-09-03 14:06PDT (17:06EDT) (21:06GMT)
Susan Lerner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks fell Friday
"The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite tumbled 28.95 points, or 1.5%, to close at 1,844.48.   For the week, the index lost 1%.   The Dow Jones Industrial Average... closed down 30.08 points, or 0.3%, to 10,260.20, after rising as high as 10,321.   For the week however, the Dow was up 0.6%, marking its fourth consecutive week of gains.   The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index closed off 4.68 points, or 0.4%, at 1,113.63 Friday, but was up 0.5% for the week.   In one of the lightest weeks of trading for the year, volume remained thin heading into the long holiday week-end.   About 918M shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, while some 1.2G moved on the Nasdaq Stock Market.   Decliners out-numbered advancers 19 to 13 on the Big Board and 19 to 11 on the Nasdaq."

Abby Goodnough & Felicity Barringer _NY Times_
Flight Begins from Florida after Bonnie, Charley & Ahead of On-coming Frances
"More than 2.5M people along the water were asked to evacuate -- the largest number in state history."

Chris Mallon _Motley Fool_
Options accounting optional no longer
"The Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) decision to require stock option expensing ends a rather intense period of debate, accusation, and executive shirt-tearing.   I became a believer in option expensing earlier this year...   And yes, earnings will be affected across the board, sparing few companies.   However, this argument assumes investors are either too ignorant or too lazy to adjust reported earnings for option compensation costs already detailed in the footnotes.   Plus, when it comes to the economic condition of a company, option expensing doesn't change anything -- it's just accounting."


2004-09-03 17:19PDT (20:19EDT) (2004-09-04 00:19GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _Ziff Davis_
Tech jobs added in August
"More than 9K new jobs were added to the U.S. economy in August in the field of computer systems design and related services, the Labor Department said Friday...   Since last [2003] August, 36,400 new pay-roll jobs have been added in the computer systems design industry, to a total of 1.13M...   Nearly 4K jobs were added in the management and technical consulting services field, to a total of 796,100, according to the Labor Department.   And manufacturing jobs in the computer and electronic products field rose by 3,300 to 1.36M."


2004-09-05 16:18PDT (19:18EDT) (23:18GMT)
William Spain _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Record beef prices grill consumers
"Whether hormone-laden or organic, U.S. beef prices remain at record high levels.   While there are recent indications of a slow-down in demand, a continuing supply squeeze means Americans are unlikely to catch a break at the meat counter any time soon.   That would buck history: As the unofficial end of the summer barbecue season, Labor Day weekend is often when beef prices begin to retreat...   According to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which calculates the Consumer Price Index, 'choice' beef hit a record average of $4.06 a pound in July.   That's up from $3.75 per pound for all of 2003 and $2.77 in 1998...   The United States produced 2.1G pounds of beef in July, down 14% from a year earlier, according to the Agriculture Department.   Just under 2.8M cattle were slaughtered that month, down 15%, though the average weight of each rose fractionally to 1,239 pounds.   Some relief may be on the way as cattle operations try to ramp up output, but that can't be done as quickly as in many other industries.   'The production cycle is extremely long -- about 15 years -- and we are at the low point in it.', said Chris Hurt, an agricultural economist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN."

John Schwartz _NY Times_
Always on the Job, Employees Pay With Health
"Work-place stress has a measurable impact on Americans' health and costs the nation more than $300G each year."

Karen Donovan _NY Times_
Does RAND Corporation Walk the Talk on Labor Policy?
"RAND [Corporation] is not unique among government contractors in continuing to do business with the government after being found in violation of labor law."

Ken Belson _NY Times_
Citing Threats, Privacy-Respecting Entrepreneur Wants to Quit "Caller*ID" Venture
"Three days after the start-up company Star38 began offering a service that fools 'Caller*ID' systems [thus protecting callers' privacy], the founder, JJ, has decided to sell the business...   While network security consultants and some other technology professionals are known to have a cottage industry involving the use of 'Caller*ID' spoofing..."

_EU Business_
ASEAN working on trade agreements
"Under ASEAN's economic integration plan, tariffs on rubber, electronics, autos, textiles, air travel, tourism, agriculture, e-commerce, fisheries, wood and health care will be scrapped in 2007 between ASEAN's 6 more developed members -- Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.   Four other members -- Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and VietNam -- have been given until 2012 to abolish tariffs in the 11 priority sectors and to fully integrate with the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)."

Sharon Coolidge _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Prosecutor's motto is: "Lie and Deny"
"Rebecca Collins said during her 3 1/2-year sexual affair with Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen, he often reminded her of his motto: 'Lie and deny.'.   Collins - the woman at the center of the sex scandal that has rocked Hamilton County politics and ignited nearly 2 weeks of accusations and denials - said if Allen was ever caught doing something improper his first line of defense was either to lie or deny it...   'He says: ''I always get what I want.''.', Collins said in an exclusive 2-hour interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer Saturday...   Collins, the 33-year-old assistant Hamilton County prosecutor who sued her married boss claiming he sexually harassed her, said the affair started with an unwanted sexual advance."

David Nicklaus _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_
Direction of jobs data depends on who is spinning
"As some industries move work over-seas and technology causes dramatic changes in others, assembly-line workers and computer programmers have found that their old skills aren't necessarily in demand...   Workers older than 55 accounted for more than half the jobs created during the past year...   Heather Boushey, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research... Just to absorb population growth, she says, the nation needs to create 150K to 200K jobs a month.   To make a dent in the unemployment rate and reduce the ranks of discouraged workers, it would have to grow faster than that.   The average job gain over the past 3 months has been just 104K.   And this is during a period when low interest rates and last year's tax cuts should still be providing a healthy dose of stimulus."

Mary E. O'Leary _New Britain CT Herald_/_Journal Register_
Some studies paint bleak economic picture
The Organization for the Rights of American Workers
"Connecticut Voices for Children looked at state Department of Labor statistics and found the Top 10 sectors shedding jobs from 2002 to 2003 paid on average $54,066, while those adding jobs paid $39,093, with a net loss of 13,470 jobs evaporating...   Professor Fred Carstensen, of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, said another study suggests that as much as 75% of recent jobs created here pay less than $25K...   JB, a victim of out-sourcing who said his salary as a computer programmer is now half of what it was after 20 months of unemployment... is head of The Organization for the Rights of American Workers, which has a presence in 27 states and lobbies for protections against jobs shipped over-seas."

Rocky Scott _Tallahassee Democrat_
Reports paint gloomy job picture
"U.S. Department of Labor figures released Friday showed a net gain of 144K jobs in August and a dip in unemployment to 5.4% from 5.5% in July.   But job losses still average about 340K a month, and economists say at least 150K jobs a month need to be created to keep the unemployment figure from rising.   Reducing it requires from 200K to 250K new jobs each month.   Overall, 1.65M jobs have been lost since 2001 January...   Bruce Nissen, director of the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University, also painted a glum unemployment picture over the past two years, despite Florida's 4.7% unemployment rate...   Nissen says the work force (ages 20-64) grew at a 6.6% annual rate between 2001 March and 2004 July.   Had jobs been created at the same rate, he said, the number of new jobs would be 209,300 higher than the 263,500 jobs that were created.   But Warren May, a spokesman for Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, disputed Nissen's numbers...   'Not all people who move to Florida move here to take a job.   A significant number... move here to retire.'...   Nissen said of the 6 classes of jobs surveyed comparing 2002 salaries with 2003 salaries, higher-paying jobs in areas such as government and manufacturing declined as much as 3.3% while lower-paying jobs like those in retail and hospitality increased as much as 4.9%.   Nissen said Florida's jobs are 'skewed toward low-wage industries', like the service sector, retail trade, and leisure and hospitality...   The median hourly wage for Florida in 2003 was $12.52, compared with $12.71 for the southern United States and $13.62 for the country as a whole.   Randall Holcombe, an economics professor at Florida State University and senior fellow economist at the James Madison Institute, also took issue with Nissen and EPI's gloomy numbers...   increased federal spending over the past few years [has been] 'taking resources out of the economy' that should be in the private sector, Holcombe said [away from individuals' most valued uses to uses the politicians value more but most people value less].   But Jared Bernstein, an economist at EPI, said the current economic recovery flies in the face of history because it has not included a steady rate of job creation.   'We are lacking a broad-based, wage-led demand growth' in jobs, he said, noting the average median income in the United States fell by $1,500 from 2000 to 2003."

Greg Reeves _Billings Gazette_/_Lee_/_Knight Ridder_
people voting twice in Kansas & Missouri


_New Zealand Herald_
ASEAN economic ministers meeting regarding trade deal
The Age
Mainichi Daily News
Japan Today
Taiwan News
"Southeast Asian economic ministers have met counterparts from power-houses Japan and [Red China] and made progress toward liberalising trade and [hopefully] boosting business.   Ministers from the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) were also set to talk at the weekend to officials from South Korea, India, the European Union, New Zealand and Australia.   Japan and the Asean ministers agreed to open negotiations on a free-trade agreement next April, officials from both sides said...   The view that it is a non-market economy sometimes causes problems for [Red China] in trade deals."

Kimina Lyall _The Australian_
Labor Party no impediment to Australia-US trade agreement
"A Latham election win would not affect the willingness of the United States to certify the legislation establishing the Australia-US free trade agreement, federal Trade Minister Mark Vaile said yesterday, effectively diffusing the trade deal as a potential campaign issue...   Mr. Vaile was speaking on the sidelines of his meeting with Association of South-East Asian Nations economic ministers, during which they formally decided to enter negotiations for a free trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand...   Yesterday, the ASEAN economic ministers agreed to begin negotiations for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand deal in 2005, and complete them within 2 years.   The agreement would be comprehensive, and would begin focusing on services (excluding financial services), food, IT, consumer items and electronics.   A controversial push from within ASEAN to ask Australia and New Zealand to liberalise their tariffs first will be one of the subjects to be discussed during the negotiations."

Floyd Norris _International Herald Tribune_
Stock option accounting globally
"Stock option accounting has become an international battle-ground, but those wars may be nearing an end as major industrial countries move toward rules that force companies to deduct the value of options from their earnings.   But new battles may be brewing in a different but related area: taxation of the profits derived from exercising stock options.   If a worker for an international company is granted an option while working in France, has it vest while working in Australia and exercises it while working in Japan, how will those profits be taxed, and by which country?...   In general, the OECD recommended that an individual should be taxed by the countries in which he or she performed the labor for which the option was rewarded.   In most cases, it said, that would be work performed from the time the option was granted until the time it vested, even if the actual exercise of the option was several years later..."

Barb Berggoetz _Indianapolis Star_/_Arizona Republic_
Fewer students pursue MBA
"In a national survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 78% of traditional full-time, 2-year [MBA] programs reported a drop in applications this year.   It was the second straight year of decline...   The national survey found 52% of part-time MBA programs experienced an increase in applications this year, as did 74% of weekend-only programs for rising corporate managers."

Fred A. Bernstein _NY Times_
Frank Lloyd Wright Stays Busy in Buffalo
"Buffalo is taking a surprising step to lure architecture tourists: 45 years after the architect's death, 3 new Wright buildings are in the works."

Alain de Botton _NY Times_
America is the first to suggest that work could be something other than a punishment.

Dale Kasler _Sacramento Bee_
Greater output - fewer jobs?: Workers' improved productivity has firms making fewer hires
"But corporate America's ability to do more with less remains higher than the historic average and will hurt job growth in the near term, said Wells Fargo & Co. economist Sung Won Sohn...   Some companies aren't convinced that the economy is strong enough; others fret about health-care expenses and other costs associated with adding pay-roll.   Some jobs are being drained over-seas by out-sourcing - which is regarded by many companies as a means of improving productivity...   It's been that way for ages.   Some workers get hurt, others prosper.   But the long-term overall direction of the economy is up, experts say...   America was in a productivity slump through much of the 1970s and 1980s, and it showed.   Productivity increased at an average rate of a little more than 1% a year, DeLong said.   The economy suffered.   Companies were loath to hire because new workers weren't worth their weight in salary; they didn't produce enough.   And it seemed like the economy couldn't get moving for more than short bursts.   It was widely believed that unemployment couldn't fall below 6.5% without risking a new round of inflation, DeLong said.   But things changed in the 1990s.   Business invested like crazy in computers, telecommunications equipment and so on.   In a few years, the investments in technology began paying off.   Productivity grew 2.5% a year, or double what it was before.   The economy flourished.   U.S. unemployment sank to 3.8% in early 2000 - and the inflation needle barely moved...   [In 2000 & 2001] the hiring stopped but the surge in productivity didn't.   To the contrary, productivity grew more than 4% in the past 2 years.   Companies experienced an uptick in sales and profits but were able to defer hiring."

Francine Knowles _Chicago Sun-Times_
Illinois finds jobs for displaced workers
"Of workers receiving more intensive services from the state last year, the latest year for which figures are available, 83.7% of them landed new jobs, but at pay that averaged 14.7% less than at the jobs they lost.   Those results are similar to 2002, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.   In 2002, 86% of workers were re-employed, and they earned 15.3% less pay...   Exceeding the goals enabled Illinois to receive $3M in additional federal funds to assist dislocated workers in the past couple of years, said state representatives.   The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development, which works with dislocated workers, has exceeded its performance goals for 2000 through 2002, the latest city figures available, according to city representatives.   That's brought in over $1.5M in additional federal funds in a 3-year period for the city to enhance Chicago's network of services.   According to the 2001-2003 worker displacement survey released recently by the U.S. Department of Labor, 5.3M workers nationally were displaced from jobs during that time period.   57% of those who were re-employed were paid more than 20% less than their previous jobs...   'We have dislocated workers who 6 or 7 years ago we told to get into information technology...   We trained them to be computer specialists, flooded the market, and now much of that work is being out-sourced.', [the Illinois AFL-CIO's Training & Program Development director Melva Hunter] said.   'Retraining is not always realistic, particularly when you have a work force struggling through economic transition the way ours is...   You can have a wonderful system, but if jobs keep moving over-seas, it isn't going to matter.'...   job cut announcements by 672 companies over the past 3-1/2 years in Illinois affecting more than 155,950 dislocated workers...   so far this year 73 companies have made such announcements, affecting 13,906 workers in Illinois."

Jeffrey McCracken _Detroit Free Press_
US workers take a hit as pay stalls & costs rise: Job quality looms large ahead of elections
"'I had more spare money when I made $7 an hour back in the 1970s.', [said FG, a machine parts grinder operator]...   The best he can do is provide the same health-care plan, which has increased more than $1K per worker in each of the past 2 years...   Income for all Americans fell 9.2% in 2001 and 2002, according to the IRS.   The Census Bureau says median household income fell to $43,349 last year, down from about $45K in 1999.   In Michigan, household income has fallen about $900 per family in the last year -- from $45,258 to $44,358.   Since 2001, income in 34 states has fallen or remained basically flat...   Another element is what economists call 'global labor arbitrage', a fancy way of saying corporations are moving some high-wage jobs to low-wage countries...   Many of the U.S. jobs lost since 2001 have been in manufacturing.   Of the 5.3M workers who'd had the same job for at least 3 years, but then lost it between 2001 and the end of 2003, one-third lost jobs in manufacturing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics...   They grudgingly acknowledge health-care [insurance] bills are taking a toll on [the company owner], but complain that their own health-care bills are going up, even when they keep the same insurance...   A study by Watson Wyatt Worldwide of 300 of the largest U.S. corporations shows most are offering far smaller raises than in the late 1990s, a time when raises got up to 4%-5% a year.   Now they are around 3%...   A new [EPI] study says total compensation of U.S. workers has risen just 1.2% in 3 years.   The average increase during eight previous economic cycles was 9.4%...   About 11.4M people lost their jobs from 2001 to 2003.   According to the Department of Labor, about 57% of those workers who lost full-time jobs had to take a job that paid less.   About one-third took a pay cut of 20% or more..."

Barbara Yost _Arizona Republic_
Tip jars offer food for thought
"They seem to be popping up in more places...   Michael Lynn, associate professor of consumer behavior and marketing at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration... cites a possible origin in 17th-century British pubs, where bowls placed on tables and lock boxes on the walls invited donations from patrons...   With today's less-robust economy, Lynn has found customers more reluctant to pony up.   Most, he said, do so only because of social pressure.   Contributing to a tip jar is a public display, compared with simply tacking on 15% to a restaurant bill."

Louis Freedberg _San Francisco Chronicle_
Personal perspective: Unemployed? Enjoy yourself.
"Dean LaTourette and Kristine Enea. In the book, Enea and LaTourette, who both worked in high tech during its boom and bust years, say they've been 'successfully unemployed since 2001, pursuing creative interests and attempting to perfect the leisure life-style'."

_Halifax Daily News_
Job searches taking longer for senior executives
"The average job search period was 4.4 months in the second quarter, marking an unprecedented 7 consecutive quarters in which it took senior managers and executives more than 4 months to find a job, the Chicago-based company said...   Mainly, it's because of deeper background checks into potential candidates, as security concerns and new corporate governance requirements mandate greater scrutiny.   Plus, it can cost $40K US or more to replace an executive, making a failed hire a financially disastrous occurrence."


Terry Weber _Globe & Mail_
Planned US lay-offs up 6.6%
"Planned U.S. job cuts rose 6.6% in August, marking the second increase in as many months as employers remain wary over the fragile state of the current economic recovery, out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said Tuesday.   The increase put the expected number of corporate job cuts at 69,572 for the month, the highest level since February's planned 77,250 reductions...   the proposed cuts for the month were largely offset by announced plans to hire 132,105 new workers in the weeks and months ahead...   Although overall planned job cuts were up on a monthly basis, August's level still remained 7.2% below the 79,925 planned cuts announced in the same month a year earlier.   Job-cutting activity, Mr. Challenger said, now appears to be holding in the 60L-to-70K range.   That's above pre-recession levels but still 'encouraging', he said...   The financial sector saw the heaviest cuts last month, with 13,153 planned reductions.   It also leads all other industries in terms of year-to-date planned cuts."

2004-09-07 07:15PDT (10:15EDT) (14:15GMT)
Surge in lay-offs & hiring
"The survey by Challenger, Gray and Christmas found employers announced plans to cut 74,150 jobs in the up-coming months.   That's up 6.6% from July's announced lay-offs, and is the second highest monthly total since February.   Employers also announced plans to hire 132,105 in the weeks and months ahead.   But John Challenger, president of the firm, said most of those new jobs are likely seasonal and temporary.   The survey said 83,450 of the new hiring plans announced came from retailers."

2004-09-07 14:44PDT (17:44EDT) (21:44GMT)
Alistair Barr _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Hurricand Frances to cost protection rackets $3G to $10G of over $20G in damage
"Hurricane Frances, the second hurricane to hit Florida in a month, will cost insurers between $3G and $10G, according to the most recent estimates from the industry's leading catastrophe modeling firms... Charley, which killed 22 people, may end up costing insurers $6.8G, according to estimates by Property Claim Services... Together, Charley and Frances may cost insurers between $9G and $17G."

Ron Scherer _Christian Science Monitor_
Economy steady, but...
"The latest snap-shot shows an economy that has returned to a moderate economic expansion of about 3%...   According to an analysis by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the incumbent gets a boost when the unemployment rate is 5.5% or lower.   In the past when the rate was 5.6% or higher, the challenging party won...   Employment growth during the past 3-1/2 years is down 0.2% compared with the 50-year average growth of 2.2%...   While that may help over the short term, Mr. Silvia says policy-makers need to look at the growing issue of structural unemployment.   In past, he points out, the job market would respond to increases in the nation's Gross Domestic Product.   But in the second quarter, the GDP grew by 3% at a time when actual buying increased by 4%.   'When we want rugs, curtains, carpets and textiles, we go to the store to buy them, and in the past they would come from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.   But now they come from [Red China].   We have to figure out how to get people back to work in a globally competitive environment.'"

2004-09-07 07:01PDT (10:01EDT) (14:01GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US lay-off announcements up 6.6% in August
"Job reductions announced by U.S. corporations increased 6.6% in August to 74,150, a 6-month high, according to a monthly tally released Tuesday by out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas...   Financial services firms cut 13,153 jobs in August, while diversified services cut 6,340 jobs.   Retail, telecommunications, industrial goods and computer firms also cut more than 5K workers in August.   The 12-month moving average of lay-offs fell to 88,109 in August from 88,590 in July.   The moving average is little changed over the past 6 months...   Meanwhile, corporations announced plans to hire 132,105 workers over the next few months, with 63% of the expected hires coming in the retail sector.   Most hiring and firing is not announced in news releases, but the figures do give an indication of job creation and destruction in large firms.   In June, for instance, 4.3M workers were hired and 4.1M were separated from their jobs.   'There probably has never been a time when companies were this cautious to add new workers in a recovery.', Challenger said."

2004-09-07 07:30PDT (10:30EDT) (14:30GMT)
_USA Today_
Sprawl produces crawl: bigger cities have bigger traffic jams
Texas A&M report
"Los Angeles for years has had the nation's worst traffic jams, but these days even the streets and highways in small and medium cities from Brownsville, Texas, to Anchorage, to Honolulu, Hawaii, are giving rush-hour drivers fits.   Snarled traffic is costing travelers in the 85 biggest U.S. cities a whopping 3.5G hours a year, up from 700M 2 decades ago.   The problem worsened over the past 2 decades in small, medium and large cities, according to the Texas Transportation Institute's annual Urban Mobility Report released Tuesday.   The institute, part of Texas A&M University, looked at data from 1982 to 2002.   Over that period, the study recorded the greatest leap in congestion in Dallas, from 13 hours annually in 1982 for the average peak-period traveler to 61 hours annually in 2002, and in Riverside, CA, from 9 hours annually per rush-hour traveler in 1982 to 57 hours on average in 2002.   The average urban traveler was stuck in road traffic 46 hours a year in 2002, a 187% increase over the 16 hours lost in 1982...   Even in cities with the least bad congestion ó Anchorage, and Brownsville, Texas ó drivers lost 5 hours a year to traffic.   In medium-sized cities such as Honolulu it was 18 hours...   The average Los Angeles commuter spent 93 hours snarled in traffic in 2002, the most of any city in the survey.   In San Francisco-Oakland area, drivers lost 73 hours to rush-hour slow-downs.   And in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, motorists spent 67 hours stuck in traffic on average in 2002...   In 54 urban areas, traffic snarls increased 30% faster than roads could be built to alleviate them...   Roads were built fast enough to catch up to spreading populations in some cities, such as Anchorage, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Charleston, SC."

Joseph Kahn _NY Times_
Jiang Zemin May Be Set to Yield Last Powerful Post
"Jiang Zemin, [Red China's] military chief and senior leader, has told Communist Party officials that he plans to resign, 2 people with leadership connections say."

David Brooks _NY Times_
Cult of Death
"We should by now have become used to the death cult that is thriving at the fringes of the Muslim world.   This is the cult of people who are proud to declare, 'You love life, but we love death.'.   This is the cult that sent waves of defenseless children to be mowed down on the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq war, that trains kinder-gartners to become bombs, that fetishizes death, that sends people off joyfully to commit mass murder."

Tom Miles _Reuters_/_abc News_
Russians Rally Against Terrorists
"Russians massed in their hundreds of thousands Tuesday to denounce terrorism, as President Vladimir Putin rejected talks with Chechen separatists, blamed for at least 335 deaths in last week's school hostage siege.   In Moscow, tens of thousands gathered at an evening rally near Red Square in the heart of the city, streaming across a bridge with Russian and Soviet flags held high, as truck-loads of police, many with dogs, patrolled...   'Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?", [Putin] said.   'You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?'"

2004-09-07 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (23:00GMT)
Eric Chabrow _Information Week_/_Internet Week_/_TechWeb_
Appetite for H-1B Visas Is Far from Slaked
"Fiscal year 2005 hasn't even begun and already businesses have petitioned for 70% of the year's H-1B visa allotment.   As of August 18, 45,900 petitions for H-1B visas had been made, according to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services...   Computer professionals represent a large number of H-1B visa holders; other professions admitted through the program include architects, engineers, accountants, physicians, and professors...   Working and unemployed computer professionals accuse employers of laying off skilled, high-paid workers with one hand and pleading for lower-wage H-1B visa workers with the other...   Not covered by the cap are previously approved visas that are extended or modified.   Nor are foreign workers employed by exempt organizations, such as colleges and non-profit research organizations."


2004-09-07 21:04PDT (2004-09-08 00:04EDT) (04:04GMT)
ITAA finally admits IT job market continues to worsen
News Factor
Telecom Web
Info World
IDG/Computer Weekly
Internet Week
Government Technology
ITAA press release
Charlie Greenwald, ITAA contact
full ITAA report
"The U.S. high-tech work force grew by 2% last year but demand for computer programmers, tech-support specialists and other high-tech workers continues to erode, according to a survey released on Wednesday...   The total high-tech work force grew 2% to 10.5M jobs between 2003 March and 2004 March, the survey found, on top of a 4% gain for the year-earlier period.   But employers said they plan to create fewer jobs in the future.   While [according to ITAA, the lobbying arm of the nation's largest IT vendors] the economy added 1M new high-tech jobs in 2002 and 493K last year, employers anticipate creating only 230K jobs this year."

Eric Chabrow _Information Week Blog_
IT job picture grim
"More discouraging, American employers will hire 270K fewer IT workers in 2004 than they did in 2003.   The ITAA all but concedes that off-shore out-sourcing is a contributing factor."

2004-09-08 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
Matt Andrejczak _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Delta Air-Lines Dumping 7K: Expected cost cut $5G

2004-09-08 07:38PDT (10:38EDT) (14:38GMT)
Alan Greenspan _MarketWatch_
Greenspan testimony to House budget committee: Economy in traction
"The most recent data suggest that, on the whole, the expansion has regained some traction.   Consumer spending and housing starts bounced back in July after weak performances in June...   business investment remains on a solid upward trend.   In the manufacturing sector, output has continued to move up in recent months, though part of that rise likely reflected an increase in inventory investment.   In the labor market, though job gains were smaller than those of last Spring, non-farm pay-roll employment growth picked back up in August."

2004-09-08 08:06PDT (11:06EDT) (15:06GMT)
More people die from suicide than war and murder
WHO report
"Almost 1M people kill themselves each year and the number, which exceeds the death toll from murder and war, may hit 1.5M by 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said."

_Federal Reserve Board_
Beige Book
"strong demand was reported for aerospace products (Boston, Atlanta, and San Francisco), steel products (St. Louis), industrial machinery (Richmond and Chicago), and IT products (Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco)...   Boston noted deceleration in demand for software and IT services in late July and August, despite increased demand for IT hardware.


2004-09-08 11:07PDT (14:07EDT) (18:07GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Federal Reserve's Beige Book sayd growth has slowed
"The St. Louis region was characterized as 'soft', while the economy in the San Francisco district was considered to be 'solid'.   All 12 Fed districts reported the economy expanded."

2004-09-08 12:36PDT (15:36EDT) (19:36GMT)
Luisa Beltran _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Frank Quattrone sentenced to 18 months in prison, 2 years probation, plus $90K fine
"The former CSFB banker was convicted in May of obstruction of justice and witness tampering for sending a 2000-12-05 e-mail telling CSFB employees to 'clean up' their files during the investigation.   He is appealing the conviction.   Quattrone had asked U.S. District Judge Richard Owen for a sentence shorter than the 10 months to 16 months called for by federal guidelines."

Jeannine Aversa _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Fed says consumer borrowing up 6.4% in July

Mortgage delinquencies edged higher in Q2
"The Mortgage Bankers Association reported in its quarterly survey Wednesday that the seasonally adjusted percentage of mortgage payments 30 or more days past due rose in the second quarter to 4.43%, up from 4.33% in the first quarter."

_Business & Legal Reports_
45,900 petitions for H-1B visas have been received for FY2005: 70% of limit
"Typical H-1B occupations include architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, doctors and college professors."

_Washington Times_
One gene linked to higher risk of both alcoholism & depression
"Alison Goate, the Washington University School of Medicine researcher who led the study...says a variation or alteration of the CHRM2 gene influences those 4 separate conditions [combinations of susceptibility to depression and alcoholism, and is related to a type of cellular receptor involved in many important brain functions, including attention, learning, memory and cognition].   The study is published in the September issue of the journal _Human Molecular Genetics_...   Miss Goate's team analyzed DNA from 2,310 persons from 262 families in which at least three members were alcoholic.   Some members of these families were also depressed alcoholics.   Both groups had similar distinguishing characteristics in their DNA in a region on chromosome 7.   Participants with both maladies were most likely to have the genetic similarity."


2004-09-09 00:20PDT (03:20EDT) (07:20GMT) (08:20BST)
Nick Farrell _London Inquirer_
ITAA whines about GSA policy on contract oversight
Federal Computer Week
"says the government's 'Get It Right' policy in regards to IT contracts is total nonsense...   Get It Right, which is designed to prevent the cost of government projects ballooning... forces contractors to report when they are doing work that falls outside their scope...   [ITAA's spokes-person] said that while it was ok to review contracts and ensure that they are properly constructed, contractors should not be faulted if they are not."

2004-09-09 06:11PDT (09:11EDT) (13:11GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Prices for imports increased 1.7% in August
BLS report
"Prices paid for imports into the United States jumped 1.7% in August as imported petroleum surged 9.6%, the Labor Department reported Thursday.   It was the biggest increase seen in import prices in 20 months.   Import prices thus are up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis, the biggest such increase since early 2003.   Excluding petroleum, prices rose by 0.4% in August and by 3.2% in the past year.   It's the fastest increase in non-petroleum import prices in 9 years...   export prices have risen 3.9% in the past 12 months, after registering a 0.5% decline in August."

2004-09-09 06:12PDT (09:12EDT) (13:12GMT)
_USA Today_
Libertarian presidential candidate Badnarik visits Colorado
Ballot Access News
"Supporters have put Nader on the ballot in 23 states; Badnarik is on the ballot in 41 states, including Colorado.   Badnarik, a former computer programmer from Texas, is touting his party's ideals to slash the size of government and to abolish the Internal Revenue Service...   In July, a University of Minnesota poll showed Badnarik drawing the support of independents in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.   In a tight election, Badnarik could draw critical support from Bush by winning as little as 1% of the vote in key states."

Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 274,686 in the week ending September 4, a decrease of 2,969 from the previous week.   There were 322,501 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending August 28, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,605,340, a decrease of 22,093 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.5% and the volume was 3,120,553."

2004-09-09 08:06PDT (11:06EDT) (15:06GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted US unemployment insurance claims dropped 44K last week
"The [seasonally adjusted] number of workers filing for state unemployment benefits plunged by 44K in the week ended September 4 to 319K, the Labor Department said Thursday.   It was the biggest decline in initial claims since 2001 December.   It's the lowest number of new claims since the week of July 3...   Meanwhile, the 4-week average of initial claims, which smoothes out distortions caused by weather and holidays, fell by 3,750 to 339,250 in the September 4 week.   The number of former workers continuing to receive state benefits rose by 20K to 2.9M in the week ended August 28."

2004-09-09 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Peter Viles _CNN_
Borders, Illiteracy
All Available "Lou Dobbs Tonight" Transcripts
"There are new developments tonight in a human smuggling ring busted in Detroit, Michigan.   One of the suspects was released today after prosecutors there admitted they had arrested the wrong man.   However, prosecutors say the illegal aliens originated from Iraq, Jordan and other Middle Eastern countries, some 200 of them.   Two other people are in custody tonight, including an assistant ombudsman for the City of Detroit.   The remaining suspects are charged with smuggling more than 200 illegal aliens into this country over the past 3 years.   Investigators are still trying to determine whether the ring is linked to terrorism...   Jim Turner: 'One of the more shocking things that we noticed in our study is when we talked to Border Patrol agents who tell us that they capture illegals coming across our border only to find out that within days they're released on their personal bond into the United States.   In fact, last year, 20K people who came across our borders illegally and were captured from countries other than Mexico were released on their own personal bond into our country, and it wouldn't surprise you that 90% of them never showed back up for a detention hearing.   So, we have a very porous southern border.   It represents a very severe threat to the security of our country, and, with all of the reports that we're getting about al Qaeda intending to use the southern border as an access point, this kind of security gap must be closed immediately...   And as we visited one of the detention centers on the border, we noticed that the population there comes from all over the world.   There were Pakistanis in the detention center, there were Sudanese, there were people from Iraq...   I noticed the administration requested funds for 150 additional beds in their budget requests for detention facilities.'...   more than half of the working population in the City of Los Angeles is functionally illiterate...   '53% of the working age population in Los Angeles County, that's 3.8M people, have low literacy skills.'   In South Los Angeles, the low literacy rate, a staggering 84%.   Low literacy being defined as unable to read a bus schedule, follow instructions on a medicine bottle or complete a job application.   Behind the numbers, wave after wave of non-English-speaking immigrants, some of whom can't read or write in any language, and a stubbornly high drop-out rate.   Hardly a recipe for a globally competitive economy...   Julie Anders of Right to Read Foundation: 'several years ago we only had a 77% literacy rate among our work force in the United States, in comparison with other nations that have 95% and above literacy.'   Employers complain they can't find workers for high-skilled jobs, but the low wage, low scale economy is booming.   Most new jobs in the area require only limited literacy skills.   And wages for all workers, except college graduates, are falling."

Micheline Maynard _NY Times_
Delta Aims to Cut Jobs 12%, Drop a Hub and Reduce Pay

Katie Hafner _NY Times_
At Your Service (or Wits' End)
"While speech recognition by phone has come a long way, for every happy encounter with an automated system, there is a tale of frustration."

Richard Pipes _NY Times_
Give the Chechens a Land of Their Own
"Russia, the largest country on earth, can surely afford to let go of a tiny colonial dependency like Chechnya, and ought to do so without delay."

Demand for IT workers slides
"the overall size of the IT work-force grew from approximately 10.3M to 10.5M jobs from early 2003 to early 2004.   But demand for IT workers continues to drop, with hiring managers indicating that they will seek to fill approximately 270K fewer jobs over the entirety of 2004 than they did during 2003.   The ITAA annual survey placed the size of the U.S. IT work-force at 10,526,289 in the first quarter of 2004, with hiring and terminations resulting in 213,639 additional jobs...   Nearly 89% of new jobs came from non-IT companies...   Companies in industries like banking, finance, manufacturing, food service and transportation continue to provide the lion's share of IT employment, accounting for 79% of the IT work-force [suggesting that the good jobs are already gone]...   Regionally, the Northeast added the largest percentage (5%) of IT jobs.   The West actually lost IT employment (0.7%).   The South increased 4% over 2003 and remains home to the largest number of IT workers in the U.S.A., some 3,130,731.   IT employment in the Midwest edged up 2.6%.   The technical support and network system design categories saw the largest year-to-year increases in employment, up 5%.   In terms of future demand, technical support scored the largest number of jobs with approximately 67K, followed by network systems development and programming."

Vince Keenan _Las Vegas Mercury_
Remember freedom?: Libertarian candidate Badnarik stumps in Las Vegas
Ballot Access News
Badnarik for President
"Badnarik says if he were at the helm, 'the federal government would be decreasing by significant percentages'.   He also vows to veto bills that would infringe on people's constitutional rights.   'Most of what the government does is unconstitutional and I find that unconscionable...   They used to be whittling them away, now they're tearing down our rights.'...   The Libertarian platform incorporates the fiscal responsibility and regard for constitutional rights that Republicans once possessed, along with pro-civil liberties positions prized by Democrats, said Tom Hurst, a Libertarian running against Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV.   'I think it takes the best of both parties.', said Hurst, a 46-year-old physics lecturer at UNLV."

Susan Kuchinskas _Internet News_
Programmer Glut Creates Demand for Them To Be Charming
"Non-IT companies added the overwhelming majority of IT workers from 2003 to 2004 -- and they were more interested in candidates with good interpersonal skills than in those with project management or team building chops.   These findings are among the survey results by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), a trade association [and lobbying outfit] serving the information technology industry.   Its Annual Work-Force Development Survey garners responses from a random sampling of 500 hiring managers in the United States.   In the course of the survey, the ITAA found that the overall size of the IT work-force has grown slightly from 2003 to 2004, from approximately 10.3M workers to 10.5M workers, and non-IT companies represented 79% of employment for technical workers..."

Sandra Rossi & Siobhan McBride _IT World_/_ComputerWorld Today_
Stolen code high-lights dangers of off-shoring
"off-shoring providers in India, [Red China] and Argentina do not have the same standards of privacy and data protection as in Australia.   'It is partly cultural as they do not recognize intellectual property (IP) and there is very little awareness.', he said..."

Jonathan D. Epstein _Buffalo NY News_
bodyshopper CTG teams with Polaris Software Lab of Chennai in off-shoring

2004-09-09 16:51PDT (19:51EDT) (23:51GMT)
Michael Paige _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Off-shorer EDS may cut 15K to 20K jobs
"Electronic Data Systems could cut up to 20K jobs over the next 2 years as part of its plans to cut costs by about $3G, Chief Executive Michael Jordan said Thursday...   EDS, which currently employs around 122K workers in 60 countries..."

_College Grad_
Under-Employment Affects 18% of Entry Level Job Seekers in USA
"The survey found that while many recent graduates are working, they are in a job that doesn't match their degree or their skill set -- they are classically under-employed.   'What a humbling experience!', said Jonathan Coen, a 2004 May Computer Science graduate from the University of New Mexico.   'I have a very technical degree from a great university and I have had to go back to a line of work I did before I got my degree.'   Coen is not alone.   Many graduates have found themselves in similar situations -- searching for that ideal job that will fully showcase their talents."


2004-09-10 05:36PDT (08:36EDT) (12:36GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Trade deficit dropped 8.9% to $50.1G in July
BEA report
"This is the sharpest decline in the deficit since 2001 December...   The trade gap in June was revised down slightly to $55.0G, compared with the initial estimate of $55.8G, but is still the highest deficit on record.   After the first 7 months of 2004, the trade deficit is on track to surpass the record $496.5G set last year.   The deficit for the first 6 months is $339.0G, ahead of last year's pace of $289.6G.   Imports declined for the first time in eleven months, falling 1.4% to $146.0G.   Exports rose 3.0% to $95.9G to their second highest level on record after suffering their largest drop since 2001 September in the previous month."

2004-09-10 06:53PDT (09:53EDT) (13:53GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
PPI down 0.1% in August: Core intermediate goods prices rise fastest in 9 years (graph)
BLS report
"It's the second decline in the past 3 months for the PPI.   In the past 12 months, the PPI is up 3.4%, compared with a 4% gain in the twelve months ending in July.   The core PPI is up 1.5% in the past 12 months."

2004-09-10 10:40PDT (13:40EDT) (14:40GMT)
Steve Gelsi _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Disney's CEO Michael Eisner to step down in 2006

Steven Lee Myers _NY Times_
Chechnyan Women Turn to Bombs
"The participation of Chechen women in suicide attacks reflects the radicalization of a war that has turned increasingly nihilistic."

Colin L. Powell, secretary of state
Genocide in Sudan
"When we reviewed the evidence compiled by our team, we concluded - I concluded - that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility, and that genocide may still be occurring."

Anahad O'Connor _NY Times_
Cracking Under the Pressure?   It's Just the Opposite, for Some
"'If I didn't feel like I was part of something important, I wouldn't be able to do this.', he said.   Mr. Jones belongs to a rare breed of worker that psychologists have struggled to understand for decades, not for the sheer amount of stress they grapple with day to day, but for the way they flourish under it.   They are a familiar but puzzling force in the work-place, perpetually functioning in over-drive to meet a punishing schedule or a demanding boss...   psychologists who study them call them resilient, or hardy, and say they share certain backgrounds and qualities that enable them to thrive under enormous pressure...   'They find themselves more involved in their work when it gets tougher and more complicated.   They tend to think of stress as a normal part of life, rather than as something that's unfair.'...   people who cope successfully, studies have found, punch in at work with normal levels of stress hormones that climb during the day and drop sharply at night.   Their co-workers who complain of being too stressed have consistently higher levels of hormones that rarely dip very far, trapping them in a constant state of anxiety.   At the same time, resilient people seem to avoid stress-related health and psychological problems...   they all appear to have had early experiences in difficult environments that taught them how to regulate their stress levels.   They can sense when they are reaching their breaking point, and they know when to take a walk or turn off the ringer...   what allows them to prosper, psychologists say, is a strong commitment to their career, a feeling of being in control, and a tendency to view stress as a challenge rather than as a burden."

Milt Freudenheim _NY Times_
Cost of Insuring Workers' Health Increases 11.2%
"It was the fourth consecutive year of double-digit increases in health insurance premiums, which has resulted in a decline in the number of insured workers."

Paul Bloom _NY Times_
The Duel Between Body and Soul: A False Dichotomy Lives On
"In this century the great conflict between science and religion will be over psychology, and the stakes are nothing less than our souls."

Libertarians' Badnarik for President campaign released a new ad: Vote for me, Michael Badnarik.   All our freedoms, all the time.

Lesley Clark _Miami Herald_/_Tallahassee Democrat_
As a result of Democrats' suit, judge orders Nader cannot appear on Florida presidential ballot
Bill Cotterell _Tallahassee Democrat_
AP/Indianapolis Star
WCPO ballot access story
Ballot Access News
"a state judge has booted Ralph Nader off the Florida ballot.   The consumer crusader had secured a tenuous spot on the ballot after gaining the Reform Party's nomination last spring, but Circuit Judge Kevin Davey in Tallahassee issued a temporary order late Wednesday siding with Democrats, who contend the party of Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan is a shadow of its former self."

Bill Cotterell _Tallahassee Democrat_
Ballots are certified
Brian Faler _Washington Post_
"The 7 presidential candidates certified by Hood for the ballot [in Florida] were Bush, Kerry, Michael Peroutka of the Constitution Party of Florida, Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party, David Cobb of the Green Party, James Harris of the Socialist Workers Party and Walter Brown of the Socialist Party of Florida.   She also certified as U.S. Senate nominees Republican Mel Martinez, Democrat Betty Castor and Dennis Bradley of the Veterans Party of America."

2004-09-10 13:36PDT (16:36EDT) (20:36GMT)
Susan Lerner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks climb, oil futures slide below $43 per barrel
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 25 points, or 0.3%, to 10,314 rebounding from an intraday low of 10,237.   The blue chip barometer marked its fifth consecutive week of gains, climbing 0.5%.   The Nasdaq Composite Index was at its best level of the day, up 25 points, or 1.4%, to 1,895.   For the week, the Nasdaq logged a 2.7%.   The S&P 500 added 6 points, or 0.6%, to 1,124 and was up 0.9% on the week."


David Brooks _NY Times_
Politics & Professions
"According to a sample gathered by PoliticalMoneyLine in July, the number of CEOs donating funds to Bush's campaign is 5 times the number donating to Kerry's.   Professors, on the other hand, are classic paragraph people and lean Democratic.   Eleven academics gave to the Kerry campaign for every 1 who gave to Bush's.   Actors like paragraphs, too, albeit short ones.   Almost 18 actors gave to Kerry for every 1 who gave to Bush.   For self-described authors, the ratio was about 36 to 1.   Among journalists, there were 93 Kerry donors for every Bush donor.   For librarians, who must like Faulknerian, sprawling paragraphs, the ratio of Kerry to Bush donations was a whopping 223 to 1...   Data from the Center for Responsive Politics allows us to probe the emerging class alignments, but the pattern is the same...   Accountants, whose relationship with numbers verges on the erotic, are now heavily Republican.   Back in the early 1990's, accountants gave mostly to Democrats, but now they give twice as much to the party of Lincoln.   Similarly, in the early 1990's, bankers gave equally to the 2 parties.   Now they give mostly to Republicans, though one notices that employees at big banks, like Citigroup and Bank of America, are more likely to give to Democrats...   This year, lawyers gave about $81M to Democrats and about $31M to Republicans...   two-thirds of employee donations at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation went to Democrats...   the days of the starving intellectual are over.   University of California employees make up the single biggest block of Kerry donors and Harvard employees are second, topping folks from Goldman Sachs and others in the supposedly sell-out/big-money professions...   All but 1% of the campaign donations made by employees of William & Mary College went to Democrats.   In the Harvard crowd, Democrats got 96% of the dollars.   At MIT, it was 94%.   Yale is a beacon of free-thinking by comparison; 8% of its employee donations went to Republicans...   lobbyists give equally to both parties...   employees at Harrah's giving mostly to Democrats and employees at MGM Mirage giving mostly to Republicans..."


Eduardo Porter _NY Times_
Newspapers Make Good News Look Bad

_NY Times_
On the Voting Machine Makers' Tab
"As doubts have grown about the reliability of electronic voting, some of its loudest defenders have been state and local election officials with financial ties to voting machine companies."

2004-09-12 05:00PDT (08:00EDT) (12:00GMT)
_Concord NH Monitor_
Lebanon & Windsor, VT compete for federal manufacturing technology center grant
"If obtained, the $25K state community assistance grant would pay for a study of whether the former Cone-Blanchard building could house a Department of Defense national manufacturing technology 'center of excellence'.   The National Center for Precision Manufacturing would be the anchor tenant for a nano-technology-related small-business incubator..."

Frank Vinluan _Des Moines Register_
Technology jobs are rebounding slowly
"But Arun Somani, head of Iowa State University's electrical and computer engineering department, noticed the industry recovery in what he couldn't see; there are fewer graduate students in Ames this semester...   Software and information technology employs 44,930 Iowans, according to Iowa Work-Force Development.   That's a 3.1% increase compared with 2001...   [Dice] now lists more than 54K jobs - nearly twice as many as a year ago...   'Our recovery has been so slow, and it hasn't been broad-based at all.', [Ann Wagner of Iowa Work-Force Development] said."

2004-09-12 12:05PDT (15:05EDT) (19:05GMT) (20:05BST)
_The Scotsman_
Record Turn-Out, Controversy, for Hong-Kong Vote
"A record 1.7M Hong Kongers turned out today for an election that sent a fresh contingent of pro-democracy opposition politicians to the legislature.   The contest was plunged into controversy before the results were even tallied, when it emerged that polling stations ran short of ballot boxes, prompting some angry people to just give up rather than wait to vote.   Politicians from the opposition Democratic Party conceded they had probably fallen short of expectations, after 2 candidates became embroiled in campaign scandals.   One remains locked up in [Red China] after allegedly being caught with a prostitute...   TV exit polls predicted one huge headache for the government ñ victory by a veteran activist known for chanting slogans, burning flags and demanding a fuller explanation from [Red China] for its deadly military crack-down on the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement.   If 'Longhair' Leung Kwok-hung ends up inside the legislature instead of staging protests outside it, he could become a major nuisance for unpopular Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa...   Many Hong Kong voters clearly were frustrated by Beijing's recent decision ruling out full democracy in the near term despite widespread demands for universal suffrage...   Half of the 60 seats were directly elected, with 3.2M people registered to vote, while the other half were picked by less than 200K members of special interest groups such as business, law and accounting that tend to back Beijing.   Analysts had predicted pro-democracy politicians could claim 25-28 seats ñ compared with 22 in the current legislature."


2004-09-13 09:47PDT (11:47CDT) (12:47EDT) (16:47GMT)
_Dallas TX Business Journal_
U of IL study shows Dallas are has lost 30% of tech jobs
" The Dallas area -- Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Delta, Hunt, Kaufman and Rockwall counties -- has lost 30% of its technology jobs since the economic recession began in 2001, according to a new study done by the University of Illinois at Chicago.   The study, which was paid for by the Washington state branch of the Communications Workers of America, found that the Dallas-area lost 17K jobs between 2001 March and 2004 April, including 10,700 that were lost after the officials declared an end to the recession in 2001 November.   The Dallas area was left with just 39,300 tech jobs in 2004 April, the study says."

Philip P. Pan _Washington Post_/_San Francisco Chronicle_
Hong Kong democrats fail to achieve a majority
"The democrats won 18 of the 30 council seats filled by direct elections, according to official, final results announced today, but they won only seven of the other 30 seats filled by special interest groups that favor candidates who support the [Red Chinese] government...   [This will] leave them short of the majority needed to block government legislation.   Democracy activists had hoped to win at least a near majority and use it to force [Red China's] communist leaders to open talks with them about the pace of political reform in Hong Kong."

Chris Buckley _NY Times_
In recent years, hundreds of multi-national companies have set up research laboratories in Red China.

Eric Chabrow _Information Week_/_TechWeb_
Less IT Hiring Expected
"American employers will hire 270K fewer business-technology workers this year than in 2003, according to a poll of 500 hiring managers by the Information Technology Association of America [a lobbying & PR association of IT executives], providing fresh evidence that the IT-labor market continues to weaken."

_Tallahassee Democrat_
Nader is back on the ballot
"The state played its trump card in the legal dispute over Ralph Nader's position on the Florida presidential election ballot today - ordering county elections supervisors to print ballots with his name on them...   late this afternoon, the state Division of Elections sent a memo to all 67 county elections supervisors, saying the state has decided to appeal Davey's order.   An appeal by the state means an automatic stay of the injunction removing Nader from the ballot -- so he's back on again.   Unless the DCA or the Supreme Court acts in the next few days, elections supervisors will print their ballots this week and have them in the mail to absentee voters by Saturday."

Alorie Gilbert _CNET_/_Tech Republic_
RFID patent flap
"Electronic Product Code Generation 2 standard, designed to improve the compatibility of radio-frequency identification (RFID) equipment from different suppliers and iron out a number of other technical kinks.   The protocol is likely to contain certain patented technology from RFID equipment maker Intermec Technologies.   The Everett, WA, company recently demanded royalties for the use of the patents, and is suing Matrics, a rival, for allegedly infringing on some of them.   The patent infringement suit, filed in June, is pending."
Privacy links

_Reuters_/_Tech Republic_
India's software exports are set to grow 30% this fiscal year

William Welsh _Washington Technology_
State government stands behind MyFlorida contracts
"Florida officials are assuring contractors that they do not intend to dismantle the MyFlorida Alliance out-sourcing program, despite the abrupt cancellation of a major piece of that program last month.   Florida terminated an $86.7M help desk contract with Accenture Ltd. following a state auditor's report charging that the state had entered into the MyFlorida Alliance without fair and open competition or proper justification for the out-sourcing plan.   The termination heightened fears that Florida officials also would cancel 2 other major pieces of the statewide out-sourcing program: a $46.7M contract with Accenture for statewide application management services, and a $126M contract with BearingPoint Inc. for statewide data center operations...   The Florida State Technology Office signed the MyFlorida Alliance contract 2003-08-13 with Accenture of Hamilton, Bermuda [formerly Andersen Consulting which was entangled in the Enron accounting fraud], and BearingPoint of McLean, VA...   But in a report released in July, State Auditor General William Monroe said the State Technology Office, under former CIO Kim Bahrami, failed to document its decision to out-source and did not properly evaluate the bids.   The agency also failed to establish detailed contract provisions to protect state resources, Monroe said."

2004-09-13 14:47PDT (17:47EDT) (21:47GMT)
Jill Garrett _WNEP 16 TV_
Alcohol Protects Heart
"Scientists at Heidelberg University in Germany found a little alcohol has a protective effect in patients who had surgery to open up a blocked artery.   A drink or two cuts the risk of re-narrowing... American Journal of Epidemiology"


2004-09-13 17:40PDT (20:40EDT) (2004-09-14 00:40GMT)
Red Chinese Government To Open 3K Internet Cafes
"State-controlled China Unicom, which already operates 400 Internet cafes across the country, says it will start up another 200 businesses and operate an additional 2,800 cafes through franchising.   [Red China] has looked to tighten controls over the Internet in recent months, shutting down Internet bars, increasing surveillance over online activity and installing more sophisticated filters.   Chinese media say that by using a state-controlled company to run Internet cafes, the government can further tighten restrictions on access to the world wide web."

2004-09-13 17:42PDT (20:42EDT) (2004-09-14 00:42GMT)
Jackie Cohen _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Insurors cover less while charging more
"Despite raising premiums 50% over the past decade, home-owners-insurance carriers continue to scale back their coverage.   The growing list of exclusions encompasses acts of nature, wear and tear, accidents resulting from negligence and theoretically preventable incidents like dog bites...   In the best-case scenario, these items fall into optional supplemental coverage provisions with higher premiums.   In the worst case, homeowners are left to fend for themselves when damage occurs...   Bob Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America [said,] 'You need to tell your insurance agent exactly what you want covered.   Ask about what isn't covered and what the limits are.'   Hunter recommends requesting this information in writing from the agent -- or at the very least, a consumer could draft a letter saying, 'I understand from what you've told me that I'm covered for the following things...'   Armed with such a document, it becomes much easier to demand payment from the insurer...   Another type of coverage that's being dropped: building-code upgrades, which are improvements that need to be made simply because a locality amended its zoning laws after a home was built."

2004-09-13 21:01PDT (2004-09-14 00:01EDT) (2004-09-14 04:01GMT)
Andrea Coombes _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
ManPOWER: Employers don't budge on hiring
PR News Wire
Washington Times
"While twice as many employers plan to hire workers in the fourth quarter than did last year at this time, firms aren't budging from their hiring intentions for the two most recent quarters, according to the latest ManPOWER Employment Outlook survey.   20% of employers plan to add to their work force in the fourth quarter, compared with 10% last year, but the figure is unchanged from the 20% of firms who said they would hire in both the second and third quarters this year.   The seasonally adjusted net employment rate is the percentage of firms planning to hire minus those intending lay-offs.   It does not measure the number of jobs...   Manufacturers and retailers were the most optimistic about hiring.   23% of durables manufacturers expect to hire, up from 21% in the third quarter, on a seasonally adjusted basis."

2004-09-13 21:01PDT (2004-09-14 00:01EDT) (2004-09-14 04:01GMT)
Mark Hulbert _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
The VIX (volatility index) is in (graph)
"The VIX, of course, is CBOE's Volatility Index, which represents the implied market volatility of a basket of widely traded options on the S&P 500 index...   At Monday's close, for example, the VIX stood at 13.17, which is the lowest reading in over 8.5 years."

2004-09-14 00:09PDT (04:09EDT) (08:09GMT)
_AP_/_USA Today_
Car bomb near Baghdad police station kills at least 47, wounds 114
"A car bomb exploded near a police station in Baghdad early Tuesday as dozens of Iraqis were applying to join the force, killing at least 47 people and wounding 114, officials said.   In Baqouba, gunmen opened fire on a van carrying policemen home from work, killing 11 officers and a civilian."

2004-09-14 04:30PDT (07:30EDT) (11:30GMT) (12:30BST)
IETF rejects M$'s contribution to privacy-violating "Sender ID" scheme due to possible patent conflicts
"The working group charged by the IETF with looking at the standard has decided that M$'s decision to keep a possible patent application secret was unacceptable.   It was also concerned with possible incompatibilities with open source software."

2004-09-14 05:37PDT (08:37EDT) (12:37GMT)
_USA Today_
Retail sales fell 0.3% in August; Current account trade deficit reached $166.2G
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_ retail sales
census bureau report on retail sales
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_ trade deficit
BEA report on trade
"Commerce said retail sales fell 0.3% in August -- more than the 0.1% drop economists had been projecting -- but sales excluding autos rose 0.2%, matching expectations.   In a second report, the deficit in the broadest measure of trade swelled to a record high $166.2G in the second quarter of this year, up from a $147.2G deficit registered in the first quarter, the department said.   July sales were revised slightly upward.   July sales advanced 0.8% overall and 0.3% excluding autos, up from the previously reported 0.7% and 0.2% gains."

2004-09-14 12:26PDT (15:26EDT) (19:26GMT)
Allison Linn _AP_/_Yahoo!_
High-Tech Has Lost 403K Jobs
Los Angeles Times
San Francisco Chronicle
Line 56
The Hawaii Channel
San Diego Union-Tribune
"The U.S. information tech sector lost 403,300 jobs between 2001 March and this past April, and the market for tech workers remains bleak, according to a new report.   Perhaps more surprising, just over half of those jobs -- 206,300 -- were lost after experts declared the recession over in 2001 November, say the researchers from the University of Illinois-Chicago.   In all, the researchers said, the job market for high-tech workers shrank by 18.8%, to 1,743,500 over the period studied.   Researchers Snigdha Srivastava and Nik Theodore compiled the numbers using the Current Employment Statistics survey and the Current Population Survey...   the job losses were especially pronounced in San Francisco, which saw high-tech employment shrink by 49% between 2001 March and 2004 April.   Boston also suffered disproportionately, with the number of high-tech jobs falling by 34.1%.   The Seattle metropolitan area lost 10.8% of its high-tech jobs during the period, faring better than some other regions."

Jon Newberry _Cincinnati Post Times Star_
Survey says Cincinnati area job outlook among the best in USA
"Far more than half of the Cincinnati business that responded -- 57% -- said they plan to hire in the upcoming months.   Only 3% said they expect to reduce pay-rolls.   That net positive reading of 54% was the fifth best in the country, the [body shop ManPOWER] reported...   Ohio's overall net reading was 19%, and Kentucky's was just 15%...   Warren County's outlook remains strong with 40% of respondents expecting to add staff.   The net reading declined to 30%, however, compared to 40% in the previous survey.   Butler County's prospects, as before, lag the rest of the region.   The Hamilton-Fairfield area's net reading was just 7%, with 87% of the respondents expecting no change in the closing months of 2004.   Middletown's net score improved to 24%, up from 0%, as more respondents forecast added hiring and fewer predicted lay-offs.   Nationally, the Manpower survey of 16K employers indicated that hiring was expected to remain stable in the October-December period, with 28% expecting to expand and 7% planning to reduce jobs.   Seasonally adjusted, the national outlook is the same as it was in the previous two quarters."

Benedict Carey _NY Times_
Deja Vu: How it might work
"In surveys, about two-thirds of adults report having had at least one deja vu experience, and the odd sensation seems to occur most often in people with lively, frequently stimulated imaginations.   People who travel a lot are more likely to report the experiences than homebodies, for instance, and those with college or advanced degrees report having it more often than others...   Rates seem to peak in young adulthood and to fall off gradually through retirement age, when, Dr. Brown suggests, many people live daily routines that really are familiar...   deja vu appears to be more common when people are exhausted or stressed, conditions that are known to cloud short- and long-term memory...   people take in a rich banquet of information without noticing it, or noticing and simply forgetting where it came from.   [But experiments fail to address actual precognition.]"

Anahad O'Connor _NY Times_
Right ears respond more to speech, left to music
"From birth, the right ear responds more to speech, while the left ear is more attuned to music, according to the study, published in Science on September 10...   Speech is processed primarily in the left hemisphere of the brain, while music is handled largely by the right, hence the tendency to associate creativity with right-brain dominance and analytical thinking with left-brain supremacy."

_NY Times_
Wal-Mart's New Spin: If Wal-Mart wants to improve its image, it should first improve the way it does business.

Madeleine Brindley _Western Mail_/_ic Wales_
Moderate alcohol boosts recovery of heart patients after surgery
Web MD
"Researchers from Germany found that men who drank more than 6 units of alcohol a week - about 3 pints - after under-going a balloon angioplasty to open up their blocked arteries, suffered less post-operative arterial narrowing...   one unit of alcohol is the same as 8g in weight [10 ml of pure ethanol, equivalent to a small glass of wine or a pint of beer].   Those who drank little or no alcohol had more blocked arteries, poorer heart function, and a less favourable cholesterol ratio than those who drank more than 50g a week before their surgery, the research, which is published in the journal _Heart_, said.   Patients with diabetes and those who drank less than 50g of alcohol a week were significantly more likely to require a repeat angioplasty."


2004-09-15 07:34PDT (10:34EDT) (14:34GMT)
"Red Sun Beer" _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
how to estimate a software project in man-hours... if is extremely similar to the kinds of projects you have done 10 times before, and therefor requires little research, testing, & experimentation

2004-09-15 06:24PDT (09:24EDT) (13:24GMT)
_News 4 Jacksonville_
Beer in Moderation As Healthy As Wind: May Fight Diseases
"beer has anti-oxidant boosters that could help fight cancer, heart disease and diabetes...   'red wine contains about 20 times the amount of polyphenols as beer', said researcher John Trevithick, a biochemistry and kinesiology professor at the university.   Polyphenols are the compounds in plants that help prevent ultraviolet damage from the sun and make plant cell walls strong...   Even though red wine contains more polyphenols than beer, this study showed the body absorbs about equal amounts of the compound from beer and wine.   But the key is moderation.   The researchers found three beers per day would have the opposite effect.   The study, which will be published in the journal _Nonlinearity in Biology, Toxicology and Medicine_ in December, was funded by beer-makers Guinness and Labatt."

2004-09-15 07:34PDT (10:34EDT) (14:34GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
August US factory output up 0.1%: July revised up
Federal Reserve Board Report
"Industrial production rose 0.1% last month to 116.6 on the Fed's index, surpassing the pre-recession peak of 116.4 recorded in 2000 June.   Capacity utilization remained unchanged at 77.3% in August after July's initial estimate was revised upward from 77.1%...   Manufacturing output rose 0.5% in August after rising a revised 0.9% in July...   Output of high-technology industries rose 1.8% in August after increasing by 1.4% in July."

Danny Hakim _NY Times_
Car-Makers, Like Other Heavy Industry Before Them, Hinting at Defaulting on Pension Obligations
"For G.M., the nation's largest private purchaser of health services and of drugs from Viagra to Lipitor, the projected cost of providing health care benefits to current and future retirees... is a staggering $63G...   G.M. covers the health care costs of 1.1M Americans, or close to 0.5% of the total population, though fewer than 200K are active workers while the rest are retirees, children or spouses.   Not only are such costs escalating rapidly, but G.M.'s rivals, based in Japan and Germany, have virtually no retirees from their newer operations in the United States and, at home, the expenses are largely assumed by taxpayers through nationalized health care systems...   [In 1958] medical spending was about 5% of the nation's gross domestic product, compared with about 15% today.   Average spending per person on hospital care alone is up to about $1,600 from the 1965 equivalent of $318 in today's currency...   For Ford, which calculates its data further back, expenses have risen to $12,443 for every current or former worker, from about $500 in 1970, or $2,300 when adjusted for inflation."

Elana Varon _CIO_
Bill Thomas IT Off-Shoring's Friend and Enemy of Scientists, Engineers and Computer Programmers
"Thomas backs companies' right to send labor off-shore if they choose.   Because Thomas's committee is responsible for trade-related legislation, he has used his power to promote off-shoring and to quash restrictions on the practice.   One Democratic staffer on the committee (who spoke on condition of anonymity), doubts that any legislation that restricts out-sourcing will ever come up for a vote under Thomas.   Thomas's commitment to off-shoring is evident in his latest accomplishment, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004...   Last year, Thomas shepherded a free trade agreement with Singapore that allows professionals from that country to have easier access to U.S. work visas..."

? & Paul Nyhan _AP_/_Seattle Post-Intelligencer_
Hiring slump continues for many in high tech
"Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have confirmed what many high-tech workers have long suspected: The job market for technology workers remains bleak...   The U.S. information tech sector lost 403,300 jobs between 2001 March and last April, according to the report...   just over half of those jobs -- 206,300 -- were lost after experts declared the recession over in 2001 November...   the job market for high-tech workers shrank by 18.8%, to 1,743,500 over the period studied.   The Seattle metropolitan area fared better than some other regions, losing 10.8% of its high-tech jobs during the period...   Theodore, director of the university's Center for Urban Economic Development, said one factor in the staggering high-tech job losses is the familiar lament that businesses have been wary to hire because of uncertainty over how much the economy is improving.   But he also attributes some of the job losses to corporations farming out high-tech jobs to over-seas companies whose labor is cheaper."

Andrea Koncz _NACE_
Starting Salaries for New Grads
Chemical Engineering$52,539
Computer Engineering$51,297
Computer Science$49,036
Mechanical Engineering$48,578
Industrial Engineering$46,036
Civil Engineering$42,056
Economics & Finance$40,630
Liberal Arts$30,212



Thomas Stengle _DoL Employment & Training Administration_
weekly unemployment insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 248,606 in the week ending September 11, a decrease of 24,749 from the previous week.   There were 328,414 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending September 4, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,469,591, a decrease of 124,024 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.5% and the volume was 3,173,450."

2004-09-16 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims rose 16K
"The [seasonally adjusted] number of workers filing for state unemployment benefits rebounded by 16K in the week ended September 11 to 333K, the Labor Department said Thursday...   Claims in the week ended September 4 were revised to 317K, a decrease of 43K, compared with the initial estimate of 319K, a decline of 44K...   The 4-week average of initial claims, which smoothes out distortions caused by weather and holidays, held steady at 338K in the week ended September 11...   The number of former workers continuing to receive state benefits fell 3K to 2.882M in the week ending September 4.   The 4-week moving average of continuing claims fell 2,500 to 2.883M.   This is the lowest level since the week ended July 31."

2004-09-16 07:34PDT (10:34EDT) (14:34GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
CPI up 0.1% in August: Third straight month
BLS report
another look at CPI

2004-09-16 09:36PDT (12:36EDT) (16:36GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Philadelphia area manufacturing activity index down from 28.5 in August to 13.4 in September
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia report
"Still, September marked the 16th month in a row in which the index has been above zero, indicating expansion.   Readings above zero in the Philly Fed diffusion index indicate that most firms surveyed by the bank said business conditions had improved in the past month."

Stephen Labaton _NY Times_
Infineon to Pay a Fine in the Fixing of Chip Prices
"Federal prosecutors cracked a global cartel that had illegally fixed prices of memory chips in personal computers and servers for 3 years...   The American market for [DRAM] is about $5G a year...   in some instances, the computer makers passed the price increases on to consumers, and in other instances, they responded by limiting the amount memory in their computers...   A related class-action law-suit filed by the computer makers identifies the cartel's other participants as including Micron Technology, Samsung, Hynix and Nanya Technologies."

_AP_/_Tucson Citizen_
J.P.Morgan Chase re-hiring 4K, ending off-shore out-sourcing deal
"J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. says it will re-hire 4K workers whose jobs it had out-sourced to IBM, bucking a corporate trend in information technology...   J. P. Morgan said it will return the out-sourced workers to its pay-roll in January."

Susan Kuchinskas _Internet News_
California Bill "Worse Than Nothing"
"The California-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the World Privacy Forum said SB1436, the Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, could act as a model for more bad laws...   in order to trigger penalties, there must be an intent to deceive on the part of the companies installing the spyware...   'If a company is caught violating, it sets a higher standard for litigation on unfair and deceptive business practices than is enforceable.', said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum.   She said that in litigation, it's almost impossible to prove intent.   The privacy advocates complained that the bill's definition of spyware is too narrow, dealing with only a few types of spyware...   Finally, SB1436 is not based on the "fair information principles" of notice, consent, and purpose specification, as promulgated by the OECD...   The bill was opposed by the MSP Alliance, a trade organization for the managed services industry...   A spokes-person for the MSP said that it was AOL that had initially opposed the bill, but following the amendments [to weaken it], the group has no problem with it."
Privacy links

Tyler Whitley _Richmond VA Times-Dispatch_
Libertarian Michael Badnarik provides another choice for president on November 2
"Badnarik said his party offers an attractive alternative to the major parties if it could only be heard.   The message of less government, more personal freedom and lower taxes should resonate [with everyone]...   He cited a poll in which 68% of the people said they wanted the third parties and independents to participate in the debates."

Nisus Writer Express 2.0.1 released


2004-09-16 19:05PDT (22:05EDT) (2004-09-17 02:05GMT)
UAL CEO Glenn Tilton predicts as many as 6K job cuts

2004-09-17 02:53PDT (05:53EDT) (09:53GMT)
Lisa Twaronite _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Japan Financial Services Agency orders suspension at 4 Citibank branches
"Japan's Financial Services Agency on Friday ordered Citibank Japan to suspend business operations at 4 branches that deal with private banking, essentially discontinuing the bank's private banking business here, after the bank was found to have breached securities regulations...   The FSA said that after the suspension ends, it would revoke the approvals issued to those branches, essentially terminating the bank's private banking business...   Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission found evidence that Citibank officials 'made representation of misleading statements on material matters to several customers in solicitation materials with regard to the nature of structured bonds they offered through private placements', the FSA said.   It also said a Citibank employee required a client purchase bonds as a condition for granting a loan to the client in 2003 April."

Sam Dillon _NY Times_
Collapse of 60 California Charter Schools Leaves Parents & Teachers Scrambling
"After last month's disintegration of the California Charter Academy, parents are still looking for alternate schools and many teachers are looking for jobs."

Steven Greenhouse _NY Times_
Growers' Group Signs the First Union Contract for Guest-Workers
"The North Carolina Growers Association, which represents 1K farmers, signed a contract covering 8,500 Mexican workers...   the contract provides for a union hiring hall in Mexico to help supply guest workers...   it provides grievance procedures and a seniority system, which he said would effectively eliminate a black-list that prevented guest workers who complained from being rehired.   Spokesmen for the growers denied that any blacklist existed...   Under federal regulations, agricultural guest workers in North Carolina under the H-2A temporary visa program are to be paid at least $8.06 an hour, with a piece rate equal to 44% of the value of what they pick...   company would raise the price it pays its 60 growers, a move that would help raise piece rates so workers could earn $10 to $12 an hour.   Mount Olive also agreed to pay a 3% price bonus to growers who agreed to provide workers compensation coverage...   In addition, the union and growers' association said they would jointly contact the Mexican government to discuss graft, bribery and blackmail carried out by recruiters of migrant workers, especially illegal immigrants."

Neil A. Lewis _NY Times_
Two Men Indicted in Fund-Raising for Terrorists
"The 2 were charged with raising money to support terrorists and recruiting would-be terrorists to fight in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kosovo and Somalia."

Mary Williams Walsh _NY Times_
Raiding of Pension Fund to Balance Budget Sows Trouble in San Diego
"San Diego faces the possibility of a bankruptcy filing because of a short-fall in its pension fund, but the practice is commonplace among other cities."

_NY Times_
Americans report $149G of profits in tax-haven countries in 2002
"A study showing that American companies booked $149G of profits in tax-haven countries is further evidence that the tax structure is in need of repair."

Matt Busse _Lynchburg VA News & Advance_
Libertarian Presidential Candidate Badnarik Is Optimistic
"Sitting in Lynchburg College's Hall Campus Center Ballroom, Badnarik said the fact that people would vote for him simply because they don't like [better publicized candidates] is a sign of a failing political system...   'Anyone who starts off by saying I can't win is ignoring the truth.'   One of the biggest challenges the Libertarian Party faces, he said, is informing voters who might never have heard of it.   He said many Americans likely hold Libertarian views and don't know it."

_NY Times_
23,100 casualties at Antietam, MD
Civil War Casualty Counts
Civil War Statistics by Battle
http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/cwc/other/stats/warcost.htm Summary Statistics by War (dead link)
University of Houston, Digital History: comparative costs and casualties
Stats and links from 1945 to the present
"On 1862-09-17, Union forces hurled back a Confederate invasion of [NorthWestern] Maryland in the Civil War Battle of Antietam.   During the battle, 23,100 were killed, wounded or captured [some government estimates were closer to 60K]..."
war casualties (data and links)

2004-09-17 07:18PDT (10:18EDT) (14:18GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 95.9 in August to 95.8 in September

2004-09-17 15:06:21PDT (18:06:21EDT) (22:06:21GMT)
Florida Supreme Court Says Nader Must Be on Ballot
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Ballot Access News

Carl Weiser _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Smaller parties, major ambitions (table)
"Susan Kay, a political science professor at Miami University, said if the election stays close, it's conceivable the minor-party candidates could flip the state."

2004-09-17 15:21PDT (17:21EDT) (21:21GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks end mixed
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 39.97 points, or 0.4%, at 10,284.   For the week, the benchmark index slipped 0.3%.   The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.01 points, or 0.3%, to 1,910.09, boosted by gains in semiconductor shares and Internet stocks.   For the week, the Nasdaq rose 0.8%.   The S&P 500 Index was up 5.05 points at 1,128.55.   The broad gauge of U.S. stocks added 0.4% for the week.   The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks ended 0.2% lower...   Crude futures surged above $45 a barrel, with many oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico still at a halt and several days needed to assess and repair hurricane damage...   Advancers edged decliners 16 to 15 on the New York Stock Exchange, while winners and losers were evenly balanced on the Nasdaq.   Volume was heavy -- 1.4G on the Big Board, and 1.6G on the Nasdaq -- because of additional options-related expiration activity, known as quadruple witching.   Quadruple witching is when contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire."

_Business & Legal Reports_
Ajilon Consulting agrees to return illegally collected payments for visa application fees
"Ajilon Consulting, based in Towson, MD, has agreed to pay $466,483 in back wages to 202 temporary foreign workers employed as computer specialists after Department of Labor investigators said the company violated federal rules by requiring workers to reimburse the company for paying their visa application fees.   The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division in Detroit conducted an investigation of an Ajilon Consulting branch office in Southfield, Michigan, and says it found that H-1B non-immigrant workers were required to reimburse the company for paying their visa application fees.   The regulations that implement the H1-B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act require that the employer, and not the employees, pay these fees."

Leo John _NC Triangle Business Journal_
State executive issues warning on complacency about lack of tech job creation
"Once among the world's leaders in creating technology jobs, North Carolina lost almost half of its information technology companies - from 4,311 to 2,349 - to closure or relocation between 2001 and 2003, according to an NCEITA study.   Gone with those companies were 14,349 IT jobs, leaving the state with just over 200K in the sector.   The Piedmont Triad Partnership estimates the Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem area has about 980 computer-related companies and about 43K computer-related jobs."

Ruben Navarrette _Salt Lake Tribune_
Illegal Immigration
"[A recent caller to a Dallas talk radio show] said he owned a construction company, and he acknowledged that many of his best workers were Mexican immigrants.   He also said he tried to follow the law by asking for proof of legal residency but that, on at least one occasion, the [Socialist INsecurity] number he was given turned out to be phony.   That's where his story gets interesting.   The caller said that he confronted the worker and told him that the number was bogus.   Then what do you suppose the employer did?   Fire the worker?   Call immigration agents to come pick him up?   No.   It was nothing so dramatic.   The caller said he simply told the worker to bring him another number.   Two days later, the worker did so.   What's wrong with this picture?   Here you have a cut-and-dried case of fraud, and what does this employer do?   He looks for a way to keep the worker on the job.   And why?   Obviously, because he needed the worker to continue pounding nails and putting up boards.   Stories like that undermine what has long been the contention of many U.S. employers -- that they ask for all the necessary documents but sometimes get snookered with fraudulent ones...   it's not the immigrants, who often live in the shadows, work for a pittance and put up with everything from fraud to sexual harassment to theft of services from employers who don't pay them [who are reaping the rewards].   The only people making out like bandits are the employers...   who should really be picking up the tab for the care being provided [to illegal immigrants].   Answer: Employers should be [or the individuals themselves should be paying for it out of higher pay]."


James Dao _NY Times_
Florida Supreme Court Gives Nader a Spot on State Ballot
Ballot Access News
Political links

Joseph B. Treaster _NY Times_
After Being Bounced Around Florida Is Bouncing Back
"Although the 3 hurricanes that have hit Florida led to a broad economic slow-down, the glimmerings of a mini-boom are already apparent...   Early estimates suggest that total losses from the three storms could reach as high as $45G to $50G, with as much as $26G of that covered by insurance claims.   That's not the only monetary impact, of course.   Florida's $500G economy is the fifth largest in the nation and retailers and manufacturers around the country have felt the ripple effects from the disruption...   [Electricity output has fallen] over 2%.   And with the first 2 hurricanes knocking out an estimated 20K jobs..." ---

_AP_/_NY Times_
I.B.M. Settles Part of Pension Law-Suit
"I.B.M. said that it was in talks to settle a law-suit contending that a pension plan adopted by the company discriminated against 140K older workers."

Dave Kehr _NY Times_
Sony taking over MGM which took over UA in 1981
"Sony will be taking over United Artists, a brand name with a long history and a certain cachet in the movie business."

Dennis McDougal _NY Times_
Writers Guild of America, West to choose new president
"The presidential contest is between a ferocious reformer, Eric Hughes - who not only wants to fire the group's paid executives but is also assisting a legal assault on the guild's high-stakes system for settling film and television credits disputes - and the incumbent, Daniel Petrie Jr., who believes the members need institutional peace after losing 2 presidents this year under circumstances that were bizarre, even for the entertainment business...   Mr. Hughes sees the election as an epic struggle between calcified and insular big-name Hollywood writers who currently run the union and the bulk of the guild membership, who are younger and have fewer credits and little influence over a union run by well-paid lawyers and bureaucrats.   'The writers who founded the guild -- people like Dorothy Parker, Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman -- were A-list with the studios, too, but they cared about the unknowns who were still trying to get a foot-hold.', Mr. Hughes said.   'They didn't turn their guild over to a bunch of non-writers.'   Mr. Petrie, 52, one of the creators of 'Beverly Hills Cop', was appointed after Mr. Holland resigned and makes no secret that he would have preferred that his predecessor remain in office.   'I feel bad for Charles.', he said.   'I did not think he should quit.'   As for issues, Mr. Petrie sees Monday's annual meeting -- guild members who have not voted by mail will be able to cast ballots in person -- as an opportunity to unite the union against its true adversaries: the television networks, movie studios and cable operators who have not had a contract with it since the old one expired in May."

_NY Times_
They Said It Couldn't Be Done
"Nevada proved the nay-sayers wrong this month, running the first statewide election in which electronic voting machines produced paper records of votes cast.   Election officials across the country now have no excuse not to provide systems that voters can trust.   There is a growing body of evidence indicating that electronic voting machines are vulnerable to tampering and to software glitches that can skew the vote totals.   The best safeguard is a voter-verifiable paper trail, receipts that are printed out during the voting process.   Voters can view the receipts to check them against the choices they made on the computer screens.   Each receipt remains under glass and, after the vote is cast, falls into a locked box.   The receipts can be used in a recount or an audit to check the accuracy of the machine tallies...   At a May meeting of the federal Election Assistance Commission, and again at the National Association of State Election Directors' summer conference, local election officials denounced the campaign for voter-verifiable paper records."

Victoria Colliver _San Francisco Chronicle_
Hospitals around country face criticism, suits, for charging uninsured patients more than insured patients
"Hospitals across the country have come under increasing scrutiny for their practice of charging uninsured patients far more than they do insurance companies and government agencies, and sometimes using aggressive tactics to collect.   Hospitals have standard prices for their services, but insurers generally negotiate steep discounts.   In most cases, only people without health insurance are charged the full amount.   Some 48 law-suits against the not-for-profit hospital system in 23 states have been filed by Mississippi attorney Richard Scruggs and Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein in recent months."

Ruth Campbell _Odessa TX American_
Medical Center Hospital announces 16 more job cuts: 3 other jobs were reduced from full-time to part-time


Tom Zeller _NY Times_
Ready or Not (and Maybe Not), Electronic Voting Goes National
Politics links
"Whether or not the machines are ready for the election - or the electorate ready for the machines - there is no turning back."

Christopher Hawthorne _NY Times_
Red China Pulls Up the DrawBridge
"Over the summer, a number of high-profile building projects by foreign firms were halted, scaled back or savaged in the press."

Art Pine _Bloomberg_/_Boulder CO Daily Camera_
Jobs trimmed by temp labor: Former stop-gap measures have become permanent, jobs are ephemeral
"boosting over-time and hiring temporary and part-time workers to avoid adding full-time employees...   Staffing practices that were considered temporary fixes in the early 1990s now are woven into how businesses operate, said Peter Cappelli, a professor at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia...   There are 24.2M part-timers in today's work force of 131.5M people, up from 23M when the expansion began in 2001 November; the number of temporary workers rose 309K to 2.6M...   Profits of U.S. corporations soared by a third to $1.02T in 2003 from $767.3G in 2001, according to the latest Commerce Department figures.   Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 11% this year, 5 times as fast as wages, according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.   Temps are paid lower wages and don't get company benefits..."

Diana Nelson Jones _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
Risks of multi-tasking
"To do nothing at all but drive while driving seems like a Buddhist discipline these days.   For a restless people chased by time and anxiety, the easiest of ways to live is just too hard...   But some -- state legislatures, scientists who study brain function and ethicists who worry about quality of life issues -- are taking notice.   And many question what they see.   California last week became the latest state to limit cell-phone use in vehicles, making it illegal to talk on one while driving a bus.   New York state and Washington, DC, prohibit drivers' use of hand-held phones, and two bills in Harrisburg propose restrictions in school zones and school buses.   In June, New Jersey lawmakers went for broke, banning not only cell-phone use by drivers but making lawbreakers out of drivers who sneak a hand to the radio or the cup holder.   The American International Automobile Dealers association cites a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study that estimates cell-phone use contributed to 292K accidents from 1997 to 2002...   At Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, Marcel Just, director of the center and professor of psychology...is comparing a brain driving; a brain driving and having to pick lanes; and a brain driving, navigating and answering questions...   When trying to focus on several tasks, the brain does each less well than when it hones in on one, Just said...   In one study, he asked 18 right-handed subjects to decide whether two rotating 3-D objects were the same while listening to sentences.   The result was that the listening exercise reduced the brain's processing of the objects by 28% and the brain's synthesis of the sentences was reduced by 50% in the effort to process the shapes.   A just-published study at Vanderbuilt University found that, when presented with a stream of images and asked to recall them later, people can remember only 3 or 4...   David Levy, a professor in the information school at the University of Washington, says the rush of information and the speed it has fueled was addictive...   Of a similar mind is John de Graaf, national coordinator of Take Back Your Time, a program of Cornell University's Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy...   'Spend less, work less, keep out of debt, slow down, know that the best things in life aren't things.'...   People are working more hours than they should because of down-sizing and doing more than one person's work, he says."


Joseph Kahn _NY Times_
Hu Jintao Takes Full Power in Red China as Control of Military Is Transfered from Jiang Zemin

2004-09-20 04:01PDT (07:01EDT) (11:01GMT)
Griff Witte _Washington Post_/_NBC_
Economic uncertainty spreads: Understanding an historic shift in the US and worldwide work-force
"factory workers, whose ranks have declined by 5M in the past 25 years as manufacturing moved to countries with cheaper labor.   All kinds of jobs that pay in the middle range are vanishing, including computer-code crunchers, produce managers, call-center operators, travel agents and office clerks...   The people who fill them have become replaceable by machines, workers over-seas or temporary employees at home who lack benefits...   'We don't know what the next big thing will be.   When the manufacturing jobs were going away, we could tell people to look for tech jobs.   But now the tech jobs are moving away, too.', said Lori G. Kletzer, an economics professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz.   'What's the comparative advantage that America retains?   We don't have the answer to that.'...   Of the 2.7M jobs lost during [this depression], the vast majority have been restructured out of existence, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York...   The problem is, jobs at the low end don't support a middle-class life.   And many at the high end require special skills and advanced degrees...   nearly 13% of the work-force...has grown, not shrunk -- those who do jobs that are temporary, contract or on-call...   1.6M who filed [for bankruptcy] last year."

2004-09-20 07:54PDT (10:54EDT) (14:54GMT)
John Oates _The Register_
Walker Information survey says IT vendors have lost true believers
"Some 44% of respondees said they feel loyalty to the majority of their suppliers. But 30% feel trapped by some vendors and 25% are actively looking to change suppliers."

Jenny Bonilla _Duke University Chronicle_
Jagdish Bhagwati discusses need to tie human rights to international trade


2004-09-20 19:12PDT (22:12EDT) (2004-09-21 02:12GMT)
Jackie Cohen _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
New electronic check-clearing law could cost consumers
"The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, or Check 21, allows banks the option to convert checks to electronic images during the last half of processing and discard the original.   The change will eventually means billions in savings for banks, but could cost consumers during the transition.   'Banks shouldn't use this new law as an excuse to bounce more checks, charge more fees or provide customers with unequal protection depending on how their checks have been processed.', warned Jean Ann Fox, director of consumer protection for Consumer Federation of America.   Although the rules on the electronic 'substitute checks' are complicated, 'most people will notice nothing, because this all happens behind the scenes', said John Hall, a spokesman for the American Bankers Association...   'Banks will save billions under Check 21, but consumers stand to lose out unless banks adopt new policies to protect them.', said Gail Hillebrand, senior attorney with Consumers Union.   'It's never a good idea to write a check when there's no funds in the account.   But by mid-2005, consumers could be bouncing almost 7M more checks and paying an additional $170M in fees each month...   checks clear more quickly... But the law doesn't require banks to guarantee that funds become available sooner after a consumer makes a deposit.   The law gives banks the benefit of electronic processing, without extending it to consumers.'   Banks will benefit to the tune of saving over $1G annually in postage and handling, according to the Bank Administration Institute.   Another benefit: improved fraud control, since fewer checks will be traveling through the mail...   [under the law] banks don't need to ask permission to stop sending cancelled checks."

2004-09-21 06:05PDT (09:05EDT) (13:05GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US housing starts up 0.6% in August
census bureau report
"U.S. home-builders stepped up the pace of new construction in August, pushing housing starts higher by 0.6% to an annual pace of 2.0M on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Commerce Department estimated Tuesday...   Meanwhile, new construction of single-family homes increased 0.4% to a 1.667M annual rate, the most in 9 months.   Starts of apartment buildings rose 1.5%.   Building permits, meanwhile, fell 5.5% to a 1.952M annual pace.   Permits for single-family homes fell 3% to 1.538M.   Housing starts in July were revised higher to 1.988M from 1.978M, while permits also were revised higher -- to 2.066M from 2.055M in the previous estimate."

2004-09-21 07:05PDT (10:05EDT) (14:05GMT)
Irwin Kellner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Fed needs taste of real-world economics: Anecdotal data belie rate hike's inevitability, necessity
"Ignoring signs that the nation's economy remains soft with consumers mired in debt, Alan Greenspan and his merry band of central bankers are prepared to continue raising short-term interest rates until they get them where they want them...   From big-box stores to mom-and-pop outlets, most retailers will tell you that things are not at all copacetic.   They don't see why rates have to rise -- especially since many of their customers are deeply in debt and can barely afford today's purchases...   retail sales adjusted for normal seasonal variations but not for inflation have fallen in three of the past five months...   In the past 3 months, business pay-rolls increased by 313K...   Since May, the money supply has fallen as the Fed has tightened monetary policy."

2004-09-21 07:51PDT (10:51EDT) (14:51GMT)
Steve Goldstein _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Europeans cutting taxes in race for a friendlier environment for investing
"The Netherlands has proposed to lower taxes from a current nominal rate of 34.5% to 30% by 2007, a Finance Ministry spokesman said...   The Netherlands currently has one of the highest tax rates in the eurozone, with its 35% rate only slightly undercutting Germany's 38% and France's 36% nominal corporate rate...   New entrants into the European Union have an average nominal corporate tax rate of 21.5%, compared to the 31.4% rate of the 15 older EU countries and the U.S. nominal rate of 28%...   Poland cut its rate to 19% from 27%, and Ukraine got its rate down to 25% from 30%."

2004-09-21 08:01PDT (11:01EDT) (15:01GMT)
_Yahoo!_/_PR News Wire_
Why San Diego Is "Wireless Capital of the World"
San Diego Telecomm Council
"A survey of the San Diego telecommunications industry by the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, in cooperation with the San Diego Telecom Council (www.sdtelecom.org) and law firm Heller Ehrman, reveals San Diego is one of the largest and most robust centers of telecommunications research, development and innovation in the United States...   According to a study done by the state of California in 2000, San Diego had almost 500 wireless employees per 100K workers, more than Silicon Valley or Los Angeles, and the total number employed in the sector has grown steadily.   Employment in San Diego wireless firms has increased 257% in the last 10 years and the number of wireless firms has grown 150%.   Wilson described San Diego's wireless industry as 'young and hungry'.   While the industry's profile includes wireless giants such as Qualcomm, Nokia, Kyocera, Siemens, LG Infocomm and Ericsson, 80% of local wireless firms have fewer than 50 employees...   The survey highlights the diversity of San Diego's telecommunications industry, with 40% of respondents reporting revenues of $10M or less and 60% employing 50 employees or fewer, with a heavy emphasis on engineering jobs.   Customers are equally diversified -- 39% of companies sell to enterprise customers, 26% to manufacturers, 23% to the government, and 9% to consumers.   Companies of every size emphasized their technological prowess, with more than two-thirds holding one or more patents and 54% projecting they will file applications for patents during 2004.   Companies in every revenue category report robust research and development investment, with two-thirds spending 10% or more of revenue on R&D and engineering...   participants expect approximately 8% employment growth..."

Stephen Kinzer _NY Times_
Chicago Steps Up Abuse with Deployment of "Smart" Surveillance Camera System
"Police specialists here can already monitor live footage from about 2K surveillance cameras around the city, so the addition of 250 cameras under the mayor's new plan is [just one more increment to the abuse]...   Sophisticated new computer programs will immediately alert the police whenever anyone viewed by any of the cameras placed at buildings and other structures considered terrorist targets wanders aimlessly in circles, lingers outside a public building, pulls a car onto the shoulder of a highway, or leaves a package and walks away from it.   Images of those people will be highlighted in color at the city's central monitoring station...   Officials here designed the system after studying the [most abusive] video surveillance [networks in the world] in London,... Las Vegas casinos,... Army combat units...   Ron Huberman, executive director of the city's office of emergency management and communications [said] 'It's going to take us to a whole new level.'...   video images will be instantly available to dispatchers at the city's 911 emergency center, which receives about 18K calls each day.   Dispatchers will be able to tilt or zoom the cameras, some of which magnify images up to 400 times, in order to watch suspicious people and follow them from one camera's range to another's...   The surveillance network will embrace cameras placed not only by the police department, but also by a variety of city agencies including the transit, housing and aviation authorities.   Private companies that maintain their own surveillance of areas around their buildings will also be able to send their video feeds to the central control room that is being built at a fortified city building...   [The loss of privacy far outweights any perception of increased security.]   Ernest R. Jenkins, chairman of the West Side Association for Community Action [said] 'I just personally think that it's an invasion of people's privacy.'...   City officials... have raised the possibility of placing cameras in commuter and rapid transit cars and on the city's street-sweeping vehicles."

Andrew Pollack _NY Times_
Genes From Engineered Grass Spread for Miles
"In the new study, scientists with the Environmental Protection Agency found that the genetically engineered bentgrass pollinated test plants of the same species as far away as they measured - about 13 miles down-wind from a test farm in Oregon. Natural growths of wild grass of a different species were pollinated by the gene-modified grass nearly 9 miles away."

Edmund L. Andrews _NY Times_
Where Jobs Come From
"According to the Census Bureau, employment at smaller companies actually climbed more slowly than at large corporations between 1990 and 2001, the most recent year for which data is available.   The number of people working at companies with 20 to 100 employees climbed to 20.3M from 17.7M , about 13% over the 11-year period.   But the number of people at companies with more than 500 employees climbed to 57M from 43M - an increase of 32%...   Based on an intensive analysis of job flows in 1996, Mr. Acs found that most of the growth in employment came from new companies or new establishments at existing companies.   Over the long-term, Mr. Acs estimated, about half of all new jobs come from fast-growing new companies and the other half comes from expansion at existing companies...   Overall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average weekly wages are lower at small establishments - $627 at companies with 20 to 40 employees in 2003, versus $919 a week at companies with 500 employees and $1,079 a week at companies with 1K workers or more.   Likewise, small businesses have been cutting back on health insurance benefits far more than large corporations.   According to the latest study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 63% of companies with fewer than 200 employees offered health insurance benefits, compared with 99% of larger companies."

2004-09-21 10:10PDT (13:10EDT) (17:10GMT)
_Kelly Body Shop_/_Yahoo!_
US Consumers Prefer US Service
"A consumer's experience with a company's customer call center has a significant impact on their future purchasing behavior toward the company, and perceptions concerning off-shore call centers play a role.   This is according to the latest Call Center Study led by Dr. Jon Anton, of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality, in conjunction with researchers at BenchmarkPortal, Inc.   The Call Center Study was sponsored by global [body shop] Kelly Services."

2004-09-21 11:36PDT (14:36EDT) (18:36GMT)
Deshundra Jefferson _CNN_/_Money_
Starting Salaries for new Grads NACE
"Engineering majors are seeing the most cash -- though with narrow percentage changes from last year -- led by gains from chemical engineering graduates, who now earn $52,539 a year on average, up 0.3% from a year earlier.   Computer engineering graduates follow closely behind with $51,297, a 0.1% decrease from last year.   Those graduating with a degree in computer science are seeing heartier increases.   According to NACE, information sciences and systems grads earn $42,375 a year on average.   That's up 10.7% from a year earlier.   Meanwhile, computer science graduates make $49,036 a year, a gain of 4.1%."

2004-09-21 12:12PDT (15:12EDT) (19:12GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Fed raised rate a full 25 basis points again as job market remains strangled
"Fed policy-makers voted to increase the fed funds rate to 1.75% from 1.50%, the third straight meeting at which a quarter-point hike was adopted...   The Fed also raised the discount rate by a quarter percentage point, to 2.75%."

Michael Burke _Racine WI Journal Times_
county gets funds for center to turn donated patents into jobs
"The Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation, or CATI, will launch a new initiative to turn patents into jobs, the organization announced Monday.   The new effort will be helped by a $125,270 federal grant presented to CATI by Jon Dudas, U.S. Commerce Department under secretary for intellectual property...   'Many times those same technologies have other applications in noncompeting industries.', [said CATI executive director Matt Wagner]."

Bob Taft the umpteenth
Taft holds jobs cabinet meeting in Toledo
"ODJFS will develop transferable skill profiles of displaced workers... Certified for Success - Work-force training programs..."

Mike Freeman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Tech firm to lay off 140, out-source manufacturing of data-storage libraries
"Overland Storage plans to hire an outside company to manufacture its data-storage libraries...   The San Diego-based company, which reported sales of $238M last year, said the job cuts will occur over the next 9 months...   employing 185 workers locally and 235 worldwide after the manufacturing lines shut down...   Dozens of San Diego technology companies have stopped making products locally, in part because of high labor and real estate costs.   Since 2000 August, nearly 8K computer and electronics manufacturing jobs have disappeared from the county, according to the state Employment Development Department.   Overland expects to sign an out-sourcing agreement with Sanmina-SCI Corp., a San Jose-based contract manufacturer, within 30 days.   Overland's data backup systems will still be made in the United States..."

Mark Gruenberg _WorkDay Minnesota_
Job losses continue in high tech
"America's High-Tech Bust found that IT firms alone lost 197K jobs after the industry, once viewed as the driving engine of the 'new economy', collapsed in [early] 2000...   Since 2000, IT job losses were: Boston (34%), San Jose (33%), San Francisco (49%), Dallas (30%), Chicago (26%), Seattle (10.8%) and metro Washington, DC (2.5%).   Government policies contribute to the continuing high-tech/IT job loss, the report, Theodore and Courtney add.   They include continuation of liberal visa requirements, under the H1-B and L-1 visa programs, for foreign workers, and government tax breaks that encourage creation of high-tech and information technology jobs, over-seas.   The jobless U.S. IT workers are noticing that politicians have done little to stem the job loss, Courtney says."

Dan Martin _Honolulu Star Bulletin_
unemployment rate hits 13-year low, in Hawaii: 2.9% unemployment rate could translate into a skilled-labor shortage (always with the labor shortage propaganda! graph)
Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations
"Hawaii's unemployment rate dropped below 3% for the first time in 13 years in August...   2.9% last month, the lowest reading since 1991 October, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, as more and more workers found a place in Hawaii's recovering economy...   There were 18K people unemployed in Hawaii in August, and 612,700 employed.   The total labor force of 630,700 was a record for the state, the labor department said."

Jeffrey Sparshott _Washington Times_
Access Eyed for Foreign Workers through Trade Deal
"cross-border movement of professional workers.   U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick last year negotiated free-trade agreements with Chile and Singapore that created new 'temporary entry' provisions for business visitors, intra-company transfers and professionals in sales, marketing and other fields.   The language incensed some law-makers, who complained that immigration rules do not belong in trade agreements...   The Chile and Singapore provisions allow 1,400 Chileans and 5,400 Singaporeans to obtain a new category of renewable, 1-year visas to work in the United States...   The visa is available to professionals with specialized knowledge in a particular field."

Linda A. Johnson _Philadelphia Intelligencer_
Lucent cuts benefits for retires, again
Baltimore Sun
Lucent Retirees/USA Today

2004-09-21 04:32PST (07:32EST) (12:32GMT)
Deshundra Jefferson _CNN_/_Money_
Starting Salaries for New Grads
"Engineering majors are seeing the most cash -- though with narrow percentage changes from last year -- led by gains from chemical engineering graduates, who now earn $52,539 a year on average, up 0.3% from a year earlier.   Computer engineering graduates follow closely behind with $51,297, a 0.1% decrease from last year.   Those graduating with a degree in computer science are seeing heartier increases.   According to NACE, information sciences and systems grads earn $42,375 a year on average.   That's up 10.7% from a year earlier.   Meanwhile, computer science graduates make $49,036 a year, a gain of 4.1%.   If those numbers sound enticing, it's probably because computer science graduates are long over-due for a pay increase...   Business majors are also doing well.   Business administration and economics/finance graduates received a 6.2% and a 3% boost in average pay to $38,254 and $40,630, respectively.   The average starting salary for marketing grads jumped 2% to $34,712 and 1% to $41,058 for accounting majors.   Liberal arts graduates, as a whole, still occupy the lower rungs of the pay scale, but are now earning $30,212, a 3.7% year-over-year increase.   Starting pay for English majors rose to $31,113, up 8.1%; political science majors got a 3.6% increase to $32,296.   Psychology majors enjoyed a 2% increase with entry-level salaries averaging $28,230.   While that's good news for most graduates, some professions just haven't kept pace.   On the down side, entry-level pay for industrial and manufacturing engineers eased 2.2% to $46,036 and starting salaries for history majors fell 4.8% to $30,344."
Economics & Finance$40,630
Liberal Arts$30,212



2004-09-21 17:41PDT (20:41EDT) (2004-09-22 00:41GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _CNET_
Risk-taking is up in job market
"U.S. Labor Department data reveals a recent increase in the percentage of unemployed workers who voluntarily quit their jobs, the company said, and its own survey found a jump in the percentage of unemployed managers who have started their own businesses.   Over the last 2 quarters, the percentage of job seekers willing to risk starting a business grew to an average of 10%, according to the Challenger survey.   That is up from the 6.8% start-up rate averaged in 2003...   The Challenger report found that between June and August an average of 11.1% of unemployed workers voluntarily left their previous positions.   That was up from 9.2% averaged during the same period in 2003.   It was the highest 3-month figure since the July-to-September period in 2001, when job leavers accounted for an average of 12.2% of job seekers, according to Challenger, which provides out-placement services."

Twinkies Maker Files for Bankruptcy
"Interstate Bakeries Corp., the nation's largest wholesaler baker whose products include Twinkies and Wonder Bread, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Wednesday.   The company also named a new chief executive.   The electronic filing, made shortly after midnight with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City, listed assets of $1.626G and liabilities of $1.321G.   The company said it had a commitment, subject to bankruptcy court approval, from JP Morgan Chase Bank to provide $200M to pay suppliers, employees and other operating costs during the reorganization...   James R. Elsesser, who had been chairman and chief executive officer, resigned both positions effective Wednesday, and the board named Tony Alvarez as CEO, with John Suckow to be chief restructuring officer.   Both are with Alvarez & Marsal, a turn-around management firm founded and headed by Alvarez.   Leo Benatar, a member of the board, was elected to be the non-executive chairman.   [Reasons include: liquidity issues resulting from declining sales, a high fixed-cost structure, excess industry capacity, rising health-care and pension expenses, and higher costs for ingredients and energy.]"

Matthew L. Wald _NY Times_
U.S. Government Wants All Air Traveler Files for Security Test
Ziff Davis/CNET
"To test a terrorist screening system, airlines will be ordered to turn over records on every passenger carried domestically in June."

Carolyn Marshall _NY Times_
Police Pepper-Spray Torture Case Goes to Jury in California

Greg Winter _NY Times_
Legal Loop-Hole Inflates Profits in Student Loans
"The government is paying hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary subsidies to student loan companies even though the White House has the authority to cut them off."

Richard Tisei _Stoneham Sun_
Getting the economy back on track in Massachusetts
"The state's Division of Unemployment Assistance released the August unemployment figures.   The numbers showed that unemployment went up in the month of August.   The official unemployment rate in August was 5.4%, which was up from 5.3% in July.   While Massachusetts has been creating jobs, like the rest of the nation, the amount of jobs created has not made up for the jobs lost during the recession.   Massachusetts has lost 193K jobs since 2001 February...   the Greater Boston area lost more than 20% of its high technology jobs...   Massachusetts lost 24,300 high technology jobs from 2001 March to 2004 April.   Nationally, there was a loss of over 206K high technology jobs.   The report further notes that Boston ranked third, behind Dallas and San Francisco.   According to the report, many of these jobs went over-seas in out-sourcing...   the Legislature passed a $100M economic stimulus bill during this legislative session.   The intent of this bill is to make the necessary state investments in high technology and knowledge-based jobs.   This important bill signaled an effort by Massachusetts to encourage emerging technology businesses to start and grow their businesses here..."

Cyndi Roy _Woburn Advocate_
Job losses out-lined
"Researchers at the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago say Boston has lost 24,300 tech jobs - going from 71,200 to 46,900 - between 2001 March and 2004 April...   'America's High-Tech Bust'...   '"These were jobs we were supposed to have in the future.', Tim Costello of the North American Alliance for Fair Employment (NAFFE)...   The fiscal 2005 budget passed by the Legislature earlier this summer included a provision that would have prohibited out-sourcing of state work, but governor Mitt Romney vetoed the provision..."

Rick Homans _Albuquerque Tribune_
Economic development strategies result in strides in New Mexico
"The combination of hard work, a reduction in the personal income tax and capital gains taxes and innovative initiatives is paying off.   New Mexico stands as one of the top three states for new jobs, our personal income is growing faster than the national average, and economists at the University of New Mexico predict our rate of growth will outpace the nation for the next two years...   High Wage Jobs Tax Credit, which rewards businesses that pay workers at least $28K per year in rural areas and $40K per year in urban communities...   $3M to fund a new digital media initiative called ARTSLab that will help train New Mexicans for a variety of good-paying jobs in digital media technology, digital film and television production and science, medicine and computer graphics.   To help grow our pool of qualified traditional film technicians, the governor also announced a 2-phase, $2M project to train new and existing film crew technicians...   Beating out Florida and California for the right to host the X-Prize Cup, which will launch the next generation of the space industry in southern New Mexico.   Landing a feature-film production a month since Richardson took office, with more than $164M in economic impact for the state.   That money has brought well-paying jobs and much-needed business to New Mexico.   More than doubling trade with Mexico, from $116M in 2002 to $244M in 2003."

Ethan C. Nobles & Wesley Brown _Arkansas Morning News_
Arkansas Is Losing Technology Race: And this article shows their thinking is clearly years behind the pack
Arkansas Business
"about 18% of people over the age of 25 in Arkansas had at least a bachelor's degree in 2002...   McFarland said the report also states 22% of employment in the nation is in knowledge-based fields.   In Arkansas, he noted such businesses provide only 8% of the jobs in the state.   McFarland said knowledge-based and technology jobs are so vital to the economy because manufacturing - the reliable employer in the past - is in decline.   The report, states leaders in Arkansas can focus resources on developing a technology industry to replace manufacturing jobs being lost to foreign nations such as [Red China], where labor is cheap."

Computer Associates (CA) settled fraud case
"Computer Associates International Inc. agreed Wednesday to pay $225M to share-holders as part of a settlement that allows it to avoid criminal prosecution in a multi-billion dollar accounting scandal...   Steven Woghin pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and obstruction of justice."

Government still pondering BBCTech sale
"Ownership of the wholly-owned BBC subsidiary was due to be passed to German conglomerate Siemens at the beginning of September despite union resistance.   However the Department of Culture Media and Sport said that no decision would be made until the Minister had met a BECTU deputation to hear the union's views on the sell-off, and the BBC's target date was switched to October as a result...   Other out-sourcing exercises at the BBC had not been good for staff...   In the 3 years since 3sixtymedia was set up nearly two thirds of its staff had lost their jobs...   In a recent postal ballot among BECTU members in BBC Technology, 94% had voted against the sell-off in principle, despite the favourable terms and conditions package won by the union."

Malia Spencer _Santa Maria Times_
Armenta vies against Lavagino for SM mayor
"He said he would not actively pursue bringing in high-tech jobs, since those types of companies would bring an imported work-force and not 'train local folks'..."

Jim Puzzanghera _San Jose Mercury News_/_SiliconValley.com_
Tech executives and their hired guns pulled out the stops, Tuesday, in last-minute effort to fight against honest accounting for stock options
"A stock option is the right to buy a company's stock at a pre-set price in the future.   On that future date, if the price on the stock market tops the pre-set price, the option holder can sell and make a profit...   John Palafoutas, the lead lobbyist for AeA, a high-tech industry group, put the odds of passing the bill [to allow current, dishonest practices to continue] into law at 50%..."

Marcia Blomberg _Massachusetts Republican_
Career fairs offer fewer than 180 jobs
"Job fairs at the Pioneer Valley's 4 one-stop career centers, from Greenfield to Springfield, will make almost 180 jobs available to job seekers tomorrow."

Jane Mitakides & Mike Turner _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Protect fair trade
"We can begin by stopping the flow of work out of Ohio.   The out-sourcing of work paid for by American tax dollars must stop now.   We must reward companies that create jobs, not those who send them over-seas.   We must assure that workers here have access to continuing training and education to remain competitive in an ever-changing market-place...   Simplify tax codes and reward innovation.   Reduce health care costs for small businesses by allowing them to band together to buy insurance.   Reduce frivolous law-suits.   Reduce the burdensome red tape of government bureaucracy and reduce excessive paper-work.   Protect fair trade."

Miguel Helft _San Jose Mercury News_
In Denial
"'Don't worry. Silicon Valley's future is bright.'   That's what most defenders of the out-sourcing of tech jobs to over-seas destinations are saying these days...   Between 1990 and 2001, high-tech employment in the Valley grew by 138K, according to a study by Junfu Zhang, an economist at the Public Policy Institute of California...   companies that already existed in 1990 lost 120K jobs during those years.   But the losses were more than offset by the 258K jobs created by new companies.   In today's world, however, start-ups are not likely to create nearly as many jobs -- at least not here...   it would take the Valley about 30 years to create the number of jobs it was once able to create in 12.   And that's at the rate of growth we enjoyed in the 1990s, which most experts say isn't likely to come back.   In a more sluggish economy, job creation could be slower, or even non-existent."

Warren King _Seattle Times_
Glut of nurses in Seattle evident in vaccination dispute
"The Washington State Nurses Association is protesting a requirement by Virginia Mason Medical Center that nurses, along with other staff members, be immunized against influenza this year or be fired.   Association officials said the new policy, outlined in a memo circulated yesterday, takes away individuals' right to decide about their own health care and violates labor law because it was dictated without bargaining with the nurses association."

2004-09-22 09:51PDT (12:51EDT) (16:51GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Crude petroleum futures rose above $48.05 per barrel
"Crude-oil futures climbed above $48 a barrel Wednesday to trade about $1 short of a record in New York after a U.S. report said Hurricane Ivan cut imports and dragged petroleum inventories significantly lower last week, as expected...   Crude for November delivery rose $1.29, or 2.8%, to $48.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading as high as $48.40...   October unleaded gasoline also rose, adding 4.34 cents, or 3.4%, to trade at $1.333 a gallon, and October heating oil tacked on 2.71 cents, or 2%, to $1.33 a gallon.   The Energy Department reported a 9.1M-barrel drop in crude inventories for the week ended September 17, marking eight straight weekly declines in the supplies."

William Finn Bennett _North San Diego County Times_
David Dreier proposes to fight illegal immigration by violating everyone's privacy
"David Dreier, R-Glendora, introduced a bill in Congress on Tuesday that would result in high-tech Socialist INsecurity cards being issued nationwide.   The cards would contain a magnetic identity strip that prospective employers would use to access a new Department of Homeland Security data-base for information on the job applicant's true identity and legal status...   A member of a local anti-illegal immigrant group said Monday that he has serious reservations about the proposed legislation, saying he believes it is unnecessary and would expand opportunities for forgery.   Civil libertarians have long viewed the idea of a national identification card as holding the potential for the erosion of individual rights."

Julia Neyman _USA Today_
First impressions do count in the long run
"Artemio Ramirez and Mike Sunnafrank... found that assessments made in the first few minutes of meeting someone strongly influence the course the relationship will take...   Their findings, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships: Students who reported a positive impression after the initial meeting were significantly more likely to have developed a friendly relationship after 9 weeks, even if they had had only 3 minutes to make an assessment...   Predicted Outcome Value Theory"


Edmund L. Andrews _NY Times_
Deal in Congress to Keep Miniscule Tax Cuts
"Law-makers agreed to extend [$29.2G, or $146G spread over 5 years] worth of tax cuts sought by President Bush."

Jennifer 8. Lee _NY Times_
S.E.C. Opens Investigation of Accounting Problems at Quasi-Non-Governmental Organization Fannie Mae

Michel Marriott _NY Times_
From Storage, a New Fashion
"The U.S.B. flash drive -- the portable memory device also known as a thumb or key-chain drive -- has become both essential utility and fashion object."

David Pogue _NY Times_
Making Windoze More Secure?
"M$'s update does make Windoze harder for Internet miscreants to attack.   But in some ways, M$ sealed only half of the back doors."

2004-09-23 08:12PDT (11:12EDT) (15:12GMT)
Gregory Robb _MarketWatch_
Conference Board's Leading Economic Indicators Fell for Third Month
Conference Board press release
"The weakness over the last 3 months has become more widespread, the Conference Board said...   The index would signal a recession if it had a sustained, broad decline."
more Conference Board info

Thomas Stengle _DoL Employment & Training Administration_
Unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 275,103 in the week ending September 18, an increase of 24,374 from the previous week.   There were 301,217 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending September 11, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,479,663, an increase of 13,617 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 3,034,012."

Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US seasonally adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims rose 14K
Washington Times/UPI
"[Seasonally adjusted] Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 14K to 350K last week, largely because of powerful hurricanes that have walloped Florida and the Gulf Coast, the Labor Department reported Thursday...   The more-reliable 4-week moving average of first-time claims edged higher to 341K from 339K in the latest week...   Meanwhile, the number of former workers receiving unemployment benefit checks increased by 5K to 2.883M in the week ending September 11.   The 4-week moving average drifted down to 2.8815M...   Initial claims were 17K higher in the September survey week than in the August...   Economists have said initial claims in the neighborhood of 340K are consistent with monthly job gains of about 150K to 250K.   The economy needs to add about 150K jobs a month to absorb new entrants into the labor force."

Mary Sanchez _Kansas City Star_/_Fort Wayne News-Sentinel_
Time article on illegal immigration stirs discussion: Fines to employers have fallen 99% over the decade
City Journal
Washington Dispatch
KVOA Tucson
"Much of the furor surrounds the piece's contention that 3M illegal immigrants will come to the United States this year.   Time also contends there might be 15M illegal immigrants in the country [figures as high as 16M have appeared]."

Robert Redding _Washington Times_
Illegal aliens' health care costs increasing
"[Maryland state comptroller William Donald Schaefer] cited state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene numbers that show Maryland paid $44M last year for emergency care for illegal aliens.   'That's a lot of money, and you are not allowed to ask them if they are illegal.', said Mr. Schaefer, the 82-year-old former governor...   Delegate Victor R. Ramirez, Prince George's County Democrat, has said businesses that profit from illegal immigration should be responsible."

Steve Lawrence _AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed bill to give driver licenses to illegal immigrants
"would have allowed up to 2M [illegal] immigrants to drive legally...   the bill did not address his security concerns.   The bill lacked a key provision he insisted upon for months, a special identifying mark on the licenses held by illegal immigrants...   The bill required criminal background checks, finger-printing, adult sponsors and a $141 fee.   Applicants would have also provided a federal taxpayer identification card or identification card from their consulates."

2004-09-23 13:58PDT (16:58EDT) (20:58GMT)
Susan Lerner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Energy steals Wall Street spot-light
"After spiking to an intraday high of $49, the November crude contract closed up just 11 cents at $48.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.   The all-time high close for crude futures was $48.70 on August 19...   The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed near its session low, down 70.28 points, or 0.7%, to 10,038.90 while the Nasdaq Composite Index posted a fractional gain.   The Nasdaq rose 0.72 points to 1,886.43.   The S&P 500 lost 5.20 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 1,108.36."

_AP_/_Arizona Republic_
Cleveland is poorest big city in the USA
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Detroit Free Press
"With a poverty rate of 31.3% in 2003, Cleveland stands out even in [a depression devastated] Ohio: Cincinnati's was 21.1%, Toledo 20.3% and Columbus 16.5%.   The overall poverty rate in the USA was 12.7% according to the [BLS] survey released August 26...   Clevelend, which as a 12.2% unemployment rate.   That's nearly double the state rate of 6.3% in August, when the [seasonally adjusted] national rate was 5.4%."

Tom Abate _San Francisco Chronicle_
Corporate taxes have melted away: Many profitable firms were tax-free in at least 1 of the last 3 years
Los Angeles Times
Salt Lake Tribune
Washington Times
"Some of the United States' biggest, most profitable corporations saw their federal income tax rates decline over the last 3 years, thanks to recent tax cuts, according to a liberal think tank in Washington.   The 68-page report issued Wednesday by Citizens for Tax Justice arrived at its conclusions by gleaning the annual reports of 275 companies on the Fortune 500 list that shared one characteristic: All reported profits in 2001, 2003 and 2003...   82 of the companies, which collectively reported $102 billion in pretax U.S. profits, paid no income tax in at least 1 of the years; together these 82 firms collected $12.6G in tax rebates over the 3-year period...   tax breaks... helped [all surveyed] firms to reduce their effective tax rate to 17.2% in 2003 from 21.4% in 2001...   Internal Revenue Service figures show that total corporate income tax receipts fell to $128.8G in 2003, down 13.4% from 2001, when the comparable figure was $148.7G."

Steve Liesman _NBC_
The spending power of Russians has soared
St. Petersburg Times
Mowcow Times
"[Ikea's] sales are 20% ahead of last year as the company has adapted to a peculiar but surging Russian consumer market...   Russian President Vladimir Putin slashed taxes to just 13%, putting more rubles in Russians' pockets...   Disposable income, adjusted for inflation, has grown a stunnning 9% for each of the past 3 years...   Almost all transactions are in cash.   Russian consumers carry almost no debt."

_UPI_/_Washington Times_
Badnarik on ballots in Illinois & Oregon, Nader off
Ballot Access News

Ian Rollins _Hillsboro OR Argus_
Scam making driver licenses for illegal aliens results in 8 arrests
"Oregon State Police have arrested 8 people in connection with an scam they think was designed to obtain drivers licenses for thousands of illegal aliens nationwide.   Four others were indicted earlier this year.   Two have pleaded guilty and received prison sentences.   Those recently arrested include Hillsboro residents Miguel Robleto, 46, Fabio Robleto, 40, Jorge Robleto, 44, Sergio Robleto, 42, and Carlos Ayon-Esqueda, 54, as well as Manuel Santaella, 45, of Cornelius, Patricia Robleto, 24, of Tualatin, and Fernando Mendez, 33, of Albany.   All 8 appeared Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court.   All but Mendez face 120 charges or more of racketeeering, forgery, money laundering and other crimes (Mendez faces 11 of the same charges)."

_Yahoo_/_PR News Wire_
US-Red China Economic and Security Review Commission met in Akron, OH
US News Wire
USCC bios & prepared remarks
US-Red China Economic and Security Review Commission
"U.S.A manufacturers have faced a recession in 2000; high costs of doing business in the U.S.A.; product liability costs, taxes, steel tariffs in 2002 and 2003; and, the more-than-doubling in the cost of steel in 2004 (for a number of reasons, including [increased demand in Red] China)...   Just last week, World Kitchen, which manufactures cookware sold under brand names of Pyrex, Corning and Ekco, closed their 200-employee manufacturing facility in Massillon, Ohio and moved the work from there to [Red China] ...   World Kitchen discarded all of their tooling, die sets worth $40K apiece... because it was cheaper to build new equipment in [Red China] than to ship the equipment from here."

_USA Today_/_AP_
Money is no guarantee of satisfaction, but it helps
"People who make more than $75K a year are far more likely than those who make $25K or less to say are 'very satisfied' with their lives ó 56% of the higher-income group compared with 24% of the lower-income group, according to Associated Press polling."

_AP_/_Los Angeles Times_
Work-place fatalities edged up to 5,559 in 2003: 4 per 100K

_Science Daily_
Anger, Hostility And Depressive Symptems Have Been Linked to High Levels of C-Reactive Protein
"Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have discovered that otherwise healthy people who are prone to anger, hostility and mild to moderate depressive symptoms produce higher levels of a substance that promotes cardiovascular disease and stroke.   The substance, C-reactive protein (CRP), has garnered considerable attention for its role in both promoting and predicting cardiovascular disease and stroke in initially healthy people.   It is produced by the liver in response to inflammation, and inflammation has recently been shown to underlie the plaque that forms inside arteries as they clog."

James McNair _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Lou Dobbs speaks down-town against off-shoring
"More than 1K U.S. machinists attending their annual convention gave standing ovations and roars of approval Wednesday not for a labor leader or like-minded politician, but for a journalist.   Generating the cacophony was Lou Dobbs, the CNN business news anchor who has elevated his views on the off-shoring of American private-sector jobs into a national crusade.   Knowing that his remarks would strike a chord with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers members, Dobbs told the group that off-shoring -- like the wars against Iraq and terrorism -- should galvanize the American people...   While almost all apparel and electronics items are made over-seas and enter the country freely, he said some foreign markets remain closed to some U.S. goods.   And as for the off-shoring of jobs in the name of efficiency, productivity or competitiveness, Dobbs said those are code words for cheap labor."


2004-09-23 18:59PDT (21:59EDT) (2004-09-24 01:59GMT)
5 internet billionaires on Forbes list
"There are 313 U.S. billionaires, compared to 262 last year, representing the largest jump in the 22-year history of the list.   Only 50 names from the first list remain in 2004."

2004-09-24 06:25PDT (09:25EDT) (13:25GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Orders for durable goods down 0.5%: Up 6.8% excluding transportation goods
census bureau report
"Orders for computers and electronics rose 4.1% for August, while shipments increased 1%.   Most of the gains were in communications equipment."

2004-09-24 08:53PDT (11:53EDT) (15:53GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US existing home sales down again: 2.7%
National Association of Realtors report
"Existing home sales fell 2.7% in August to 6.54M units on a seasonally adjusted annual basis...   In July, sales were down 2.9% to 6.72M units from the record sales level of 6.92M units in June."

Eric Lipton _NY Times_
Islamic Scholar From Virginia Is Charged in Holy War Plot
"Ali al-Timimi was indicted on charges that in the days after the September 11 attacks he urged a group of Muslim-American men to join a holy war against the United States."

Micheline Maynard _NY Times_
US Airways to Ask Court to Cut Union Workers' Pay 23%
"US Airways also said it would reduce or stop contributions to some employee retirement plans and would end its commitment to keep 279 aircraft in its fleet."

Tim Molloy _AP_/_Yahoo!_
California OKs World's Toughest Smog Rules: Yet another reason it's hideously expensive to live and do business in the land of fruits & nuts
Los Angeles Times
"Under the regulations, the auto industry must cut exhaust from cars and light trucks by 25% and from larger trucks and sport utility vehicles by 18%.   The industry will have until 2009 to begin introducing cleaner technology, and will have until 2016 to meet the new exhaust standards.   The move by the California Air Resources Board came despite vigorous opposition from auto industry officials, who argued that the board did not have the authority to adopt such sweeping regulations and that they could not be met by current technology.   The industry has threatened to challenge the regulations in court.   Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has expressed support for the proposals and has pledged to fight any such law-suits."

2004-09-24 09:33PDT (12:33EDT) (16:33GMT)
Steve Gelsi _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
More privacy violators made wealthy
"Cogent gained as much as 49% over its offering price as the maker of finger print scanning technology began its first day as a publicly traded company Friday."
Privacy links

2004-09-24 14:08PDT (17:08EDT) (21:08GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks end lower this week
"Stocks ended lower on the week, battered by another record high price for oil, a steady stream of profit warnings from such household names as Colgate and Wendy's, with a fresh batch of down-beat revenue forecasts out of the semiconductor sector further undermining sentiment...   The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 8.34 points at 10,047.24.   On the week, the index fell 2.3%...   The Nasdaq Composite fell 6.95 points, or 0.4%, to 1,879.48...   On the week, the tech-rich index fell 1.6%.   The S&P 500 index gained 1.75 points, to 1,110.11, but fell 1.6% on the week, ending a 6-week winning streak."

Chris Gaither _Los Angeles Times_
Tallying the Woes of Electronic Balloting
more Politics links
"Election reform advocates rallied in 19 states this summer, demanding that the machines be retrofitted to produce paper ballots that could be tallied in the event of a recount.   Meanwhile, computer scientists from coast to coast have warned that the machines sometimes err in counting votes and could be easily compromised by amateur hackers intent on disrupting elections.   In either case, they say, a manual recount would be meaningless if it was based on corrupted electronic data...   members of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, the Association for Computing Machinery and hundreds of other advocates have rallied across the country in support of printers, which would cost $500 to $1K to add to each machine [but make vote manipulation more difficult]...   One survey by the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project found that optical scanners had a 1.6% error rate in U.S. presidential elections from 1988 to 2000, compared with a 2.2% error rate for electronic voting machines and 2.6% for the most common punch-card system."

Rachel Abramowitz _Los Angeles Times_
Writers' Guild members complain on-line about Hollywood executives
Writer Action
"Hollywood writers have long suffered at the bottom of the Hollywood pecking order, the only members of the film-making establishment who are so routinely fired and replaced...   A private web site, WriterAction.com, lets guild members air their feelings about the executives and producers who hire them.   It's a sort of Zagat guide to power in Hollywood, where WGA members post anonymous evaluations, grading Hollywood suits on qualities including honesty, story sense and clout.   About a year old, WriterAction.com is still in its infancy.   It is open only to verified Writers Guild members, and so far, just 400 out of 9K members have registered with the site...   WriterAction.com, stressed Writers Guild spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden, is not an official WGA website, although there is a link to it from the guild's official website, WGA.org.   WriterAction.com is the handiwork of a group of high-profile WGA members, including Steve Chivers, Ted Elliott, Katherine Fugate, Clifford Green, David Hoag, Craig Mazin, Denise P. Meyer, David Odell and Alex Sokoloff.   Elliott, Mazin and Sokoloff were earlier this week elected to the board of directors of the Writers Guild...   the site is a response to the informal Hollywood grapevine, as well as to the sophisticated online tracking boards that studios and development people keep on writers, where executives trade information on scripts.   Although these comments are highly subjective, the buzz does affect livelihoods."

James Bates _Los Angeles Times_
Directors & Studios Wrap a 3-Year Pact
"The 12,800-member Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers agreed to a new 3-year deal, which includes a boost in health-care benefits and increases in pay and residuals.   But the agreement sidesteps one of the most contentious issues for Hollywood unions: getting a bigger percentage of the studios' booming DVD revenues.   Thursday's agreement comes as Hollywood writers represented by the Writers Guild of America, West, are working without a contract.   Members of the Screen Actors Guild and its sister American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are working under an unusually short one-year agreement set to expire next year."

Ben Charny, Michael Kanellos & Ed Frauenheim _CNET_/_TechRepublic_
Big Boss is watching: Wireless companies are rolling out new GPS services for employers that can track the physical location of mobile workers.
"Cell phones are giving employers new ways to check up on employees in the field -- and raising fresh work-place privacy concerns as a result... Nextel Communications... Xora..."
Privacy links

Craig Nelson _Project USA_
Immigration lawyers funding Tancredo's opponent
"Last week's _Salt Lake Tribune_ article, 'Cannon drums on immigration despite voters', shined a light on the amount of out-of-state cash the immigration lawyer industry funneled into representative Chris Cannon's effort to remain in office."

Stephen Gordon
Lighting the fires of liberty, one monitor at a time: Badnarik Campaign Launches Improved Web Site
"More than a decade after the Libertarians became the first American political party to launch a web site, the Internet remains 'Libertarian occupied territory' -- and as the clock winds down on November's presidential election, Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik is launching 'version 2.0' of his campaign's web presence."

Stephen Gordon
Presidential candidates to debate Thursday October 7 on the West Mall of the University of Texas at Austin campus starting at 11:30
"David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate; and Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party presidential candidate, have accepted invitations for the debate.   Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader have also been invited to attend."

Lindsay Holmwood _Ohio State University Lantern_
Libertarian candidate for president, Michael Badnarik, fires up university students
"Badnarik, 50, spoke for about an hour on issues directly pertaining to college students, such as the proposed implementation of the draft by the Democrats and Republicans and his opposition to it, referring to the draft as involuntary servitude.   He also discussed his strong support of an individual's rights and less government intervention in the lives of the American people.   He illustrated his point by saying that if a college student, after leaving home, 'doesn't let mom and dad make your decisions for you, why would you let the government?'   The former computer programmer also discussed his vigorous support for putting money that is currently being spent on the U.S. government back into the pockets of the American people...   'I hope to teach people about the Constitution and re-establish the idea that the government works for us', Badnarik said, 'not the other way around.'...   His absence from the debates, he explained, is a result of fear from the Democratic and Republican parties the he will 'shatter their stranglehold of politics in DC...   They're afraid of me.   If I were allowed in the debates, I would change the course of U.S. politics forever.'"

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Indian government seeks unlimited numbers of visas via "Free" trade agreements

Show Us the Jobs
jobs, H-1B visas and related links


Brian Alexander _NY Times_
Judge Settles Long Family Feud Over Jimi Hendrix's Estate
"A Seattle judge ruled Friday that Jimi Hendrix's step-sister and her cousin had mismanaged his estate."

Toni Nathan _Lew Rockwell_
Why Are the Major Political Parties Afraid of Competition?
Debate Badnarik
Libertarian TV
Badnarik for President
"the [Libertarian Party] has been on the ballot of almost every state in the Union offering a third Presidential candidate for years...   A Zogby poll released August 30th showed Michael Badnarik performing better than any other alternative candidate among the critical block of undecided voters.   But you'd never know that to listen to radio, TV or news-paper reports.   Badnarik's web site is the third most popular Presidential web site on the Internet...   What would happen to Badnarik's support if the media mentioned him 10% of the time?   Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen.   In fact, Michael Badnarik's name has been suppressed...   was invited to appear on Fox News' 'O'Reilly Factor', but was told by the producers not to mention Badnarik's name on the air.   Earlier, Badnarik himself had been invited to appear on the show but he was cancelled the day before his appearance, without any reason given...   The American public has a right to hear discussions on ALL issues that affect them.   If all views were represented in the dialogues preceding the national election, there would be more voters participating and a better indication of what voters really wanted.   If the winning candidate could know the major concerns of the public, he/she could act upon them."


Ginger Thompson _NY Times_
Shuttling Between Nations, Latino Gangs Confound the Law
"Over the last decade gangs have spread across Central America, Mexico and the U.S.A., setting off a catastrophic crime wave."

James Johnson & John Kasarda _Charlotte Observer_
Another wave of white-collar off-shoring: Carolinas could lose 125K jobs, $5G in wages by 2015
"one study estimates that 14.1M U.S. jobs -- about 11% of the U.S. employment base -- are vulnerable to off-shore out-sourcing.   The Carolinas could lose 125K white-collar jobs and more than $5G in wages between 2000 and 2015...   Immigrants led many of the high-tech start-up that fueled our economic boom of the 1990s, and they are among the top faculty at our leading engineering schools."

Presidential Candidates to Debate Thursday 2004-09-30 at U of Miami Holiday Inn on US 1
Debate will appear on Free Market News

Bill Steigerwald _Pittsburgh Tribune-Review_
Refuse to settle for evil
"I'm so glad I don't have to struggle with the quadrennial moral dilemma faced by America's voting masses - having to choose between the lesser of two major-party evils...   This time I'll be voting for a guy named Michael Badnarik...   I trust him.   I don't need to inspect his VietNam war record, parse his speeches or worry whether he'll flip-flop on Iraq.   I know that as the Libertarian Party candidate, he'll faithfully represent every principle I care most about in our hideously over-politicized society.   Like each LP presidential candidate since the country's third-largest party was formed in 1971, Badnarik is fervently in favor of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and a foreign policy founded on non-intervention, peace and free trade."

Robert T. de la Cruz _Today_/_ABS-CBN News_
Despite economic growth jobs remain scarce in Philippines & other Asian countries
"Several Asian economies, including the Philippines, have been expanding but without the equivalent growth in employment, the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) noted in its latest economic outlook for Asia.   Ifzal Ali, chief economist of the ADB Economics and Research Department, described this recent economic trend in Asia as jobless growth.   He claimed that employment generation in the region is still lagging despite the robust 7% growth expected this year...   For one, the ADB noted that the Philippine economy, which grew 6.3% in the first half of 2004, failed to generate enough jobs for the growing work force, as seen in the high 13.7% unemployment rate and 18.5% underemployment rate in April.   The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported that the country's gross national product (GNP) in real terms steadily climbed from 3% in 2001 to 4.5% in 2003 and averaged 4.5% over the 3-year period.   The gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by an average of 4% during the same period...   'Given an average of 1.4M additions to the labor force each year, it is estimated that unemployment could reach around 6M by 2010, up from its present 5M.', the ADB said."

Margaret Price _NY Daily News_
Businesses push hard for more H-1B visas to abuse


Tom Chorneau _Miami Herald_
California government may off-shore more jobs
"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger constantly urges consumers to buy California products and keep jobs in the state, but if he follows the recommendations of his California Performance Review, the most immediate impact may be that thousands of state jobs will be out-sourced over-seas...   Many of the companies involved in shaping the CPR report have sent jobs over-seas...   J.P. Morgan Chase, has a 9-year, $451M contract to handle the state's food stamp program and uses the [foreign] call centers to handle questions from beneficiaries...   Bermuda-based Accenture [formerly Andersen Consulting before it was caught in fraud with Enron], an unpaid CPR consultant...   Indeed, a survey from the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, a labor union, found that until controversy forced some states to curtail off-shore contracts last year 48 of 50 states had sent some call center jobs over-seas...   savings for private contractors don't always get passed along to the states that hire them.   For example, the state's contract with Electronic Data Systems to process bills for Medi-Cal, the health care program for low-income Californians, has doubled in cost over the last five years, to $230M, while the number of bills processed has increased by only 37%...   Meanwhile, EDS is cutting up to 20K jobs in the United States while more than doubling its off-shore work force by the end of 2005, the Plano, Texas-based computer services firm announced earlier this month.   According to estimates from the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, EDS is already one of the nation's most aggressive exporters of high-tech jobs, having sent 20K jobs over-seas since 2001.   A company spokesman said the number is closer to 9K.   For California, however, the goal is to stimulate competition in the bureaucracy, not send jobs over-seas, said analysts from the Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank dedicated to reducing the size of government and a primary consultant to the Performance Review.   'If we were to have a requirement that none of these jobs go off-shore - let's do it, I'm willing to play by that rule.', said Carl DeMaio, Reason's director of government reorganization..."

Katherine Hobson _US News & World Report_
The biological clock on ice
"The quality and quantity of a woman's eggs decline in her late 20s and fall off rapidly after age 35.   By 40, her odds of conceiving are only about 5% per month...   the ideal client is 35 or younger...   The odds of actually conceiving are generally from 20% to 30%, but such factors as age and number of eggs stored influence success rates.   That's better than waiting until 40, to be sure, but no guarantee."

Simon English _Business Telegraph_
Google Did Evil: Confessed to Aiding Red Chinese Censorship of the Net
New Scientist
Taipei Times
"Google blocks search results that would show internet pages banned by the [Red Chinese] authorities.   Dynamic Internet Technology, a firm that monitors on-line censorship, found search requests made from computers that are linked to the internet in [Red China] are heavily edited."

2004-09-27 05:43PDT (08:43EDT) (12:43GMT)
Emily Church _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Crude petroleum tops $49 per barrel
"The bench-mark New York NYMEX crude oil contract hit a record above $49.40 [per] barrel early Monday...   The contract was last up 56 cents at $49.44 [per] barrel."

Stephen Kinzer _NY Times_
7K Acre Illinois Farm To Be Swamped by Purchasers, Nature Conservancy

Elisabeth Bumiller
Ballot Access News
Open Debates
Debate Badnarik
Badnarik for President
"President Bush and Senator John Kerry shared the same oratory teacher and debate coach at Yale University..."

Barnaby J. Feder _NY Times_
What's in the Box? RFID Tags Know That, and More
Straits Times
Information Week
Internet News
Privacy links
"IBM plans to invest $250M over the next 5 years and employ 1K people in a new business unit to support products and services related to sensor networks."

Sabra Chartrand _NY Times_
Does the Patent System Need an Overhaul?
"Two professors argue that seemingly innocuous reforms have caused a shift away from encouraging innovation in favor of exploiting patents largely for law-suits."

2004-09-27 08:06PDT (11:06EDT) (15:06GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted US new home sales up 9.4% in August: June & July revised lower
census bureau report
"Sales of new homes in the United States jumped 9.4% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.184M units, the Commerce Department estimated Monday.   It's the biggest percentage increase since 2000 December...   Meanwhile, the number of new homes sold in July was revised lower to 1.082M from the 1.134M estimated last month.   June's sales were also revised lower...   Sales are up 10.8% in the year to date."

2004-09-27 10:51PDT (13:51EDT) (17:51GMT)
Rex Crum _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Judge rules IBM must pay Compuware pre-trial costs in suit over software products and pricing practices

Sam Marsden _Scotsman_
Folic acid reduces birth defects
"Folic acid works with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells and helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in unborn babies."

Gerry McGovern _Content Management Systems Wire_
Are you too busy to think?
"I remember being constantly tired during the dotcom era, and being surrounded by people who were also tired.   I am certain that some of the mistakes that were made during the dotcom era were made because people were too tired to think clearly."

2004-09-27 14:27PDT (17:27EDT) (21:27GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
NY crude petroleum futures hit $50 per barrel: November crude was last at $49.98 per barrel

Will Knight _New Scientist_
Optical technique promises to store a terabyte on a disk
"A novel method of optical data storage could soon be used to hold a terabyte of data on a disk the size of a normal DVD, say researchers at Imperial College London, UK...   Using tracks embedded at several depths within a disk, it is possible to store more data on the highest capacity disks.   Multi-layer DVDs hold about 16GB of data, which equals about 8 hours of high quality video.   But the researchers realised that the polarity of light might also be used to encode information.   They developed a type of disk that incorporates angled ridges within the pits in order to subtly alter the polarity of the light that gets reflected.   This can be used to store 10 times' more data than is currently possible, they say...   Using the technique, the researchers think it should be possible to create disks capable of holding 250 gigabytes in a single layer.   This is enough to store 118 hours of video...   Using a 4-layer disk would mean a terabyte could be stored."

_AP_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Off-Shoring Drained Nearly $1G from Sonoma County Economy
"The loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs shipped over-seas from Sonoma County since 2000 is stripping almost $1G a year from the local economy, according to a report compiled by the county's Economic Development Board...   Center for Regional Economic Analysis at Sonoma State University for The Press Democrat.   The study found that the announced off-shoring of 2,202 jobs -- to Malaysia, Mexico, Ireland, [Red China] and Brazil -- could cause the elimination of another 3,483 jobs in the county.   'If a job is lost, spending by the firm and by the laid-off worker is reduced, which ripples through the local economy like waves from a rock dropped into a pond.', said Robert Eyler, director of the SSU center and chairman of the university's economics department."

Jodie T. Allen _US News & World Report_
Making more than money
"'Everything except employment has been pretty robust.'...   Those 3.4M jobs that the manufacturing sector has shed since Jasinowski took office in 1990 January...   But while manufacturing jobs still pay better on average than other jobs ($13K more in wages plus benefits in 2003, according to nam), their loss is not necessarily grievous -- except to the job losers.   If the economy can maintain sufficient industrial strength to protect vital U.S. interests, spawn other jobs to sustain a healthy middle class, and -- especially -- produce enough exportable stuff so we can at least begin to cover the cost of the imports we now depend on, why wax nostalgic about those tedious, even dangerous, assembly lines?...   Another concern: big costs that U.S. businesses, unlike most of their foreign competitors, have to assume -- class action law-suits, ever changing government regulations, a byzantine tax code, and, most crushingly, spiraling health costs for workers...   (But [simplifying extortion/taxation] would deprive Congress of the fun and profit it now gets from doling out tax favors to favored clientele, so don't hold your breath.)...   44% of all corporate profits now come from the financial sector.   Manufacturing's share of profits has shrunk to 10%, compared with over 50% in the 1960s."

_Omaha World-Herald_
Job-loss panic rises in Western Europe
"Suddenly jobless in a country where unemployment is at 9.8%, Zervos and 166 fellow workers were catapulted to the front of a heated debate on the steady loss of jobs to Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa."

_Contractor UK_
IT bodyshoppers attack Agency Workers Directive requiring benefits for temps & part-time workers
"The government is facing tough opposition from professional bodies of the IT industry over fears its controversial EU Agency Workers Directive could harm the contract market.   The Association of Technology Staffing companies (ATSCo) says the plan to give free-lance professionals the same benefits as permie staff is likely to damage UK competitiveness [in comparison with other countries where temps are abused]."

_Washington Times_
Mater gene that controls babies' 1st breath identified
Medical Research News
"Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center researchers have identified a master gene that controls the first breath of a new-born infant...   published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...   The master gene, called Foxa2, controls key factors that allow the lungs of a fetus to develop fully and eventually breathe air, according to senior author Dr. Jeffrey Whitsett, chief of Neonatology, Perinatal and Pulmonary Biology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.   'It was surprising to us that a single gene was able to orchestrate so many other aspects of lung function we know are critical for survival at the time of birth.', said Whitsett."


2004-09-27 17:19PDT (20:19EDT) (2004-09-28 00:19GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _CNET_
Congress weights visa changes
"Marcus Courtney, president of technology worker advocacy group WashTech, said the student exemption to H-1B visas makes no sense.   He pointed to a recent study for WashTech finding significant job losses in the technology sector and high unemployment among tech workers.   'There's not a shortage of skilled professional workers in the U.S.', Courtney said.   Critics also say guest worker visas accelerate the trend to send highly skilled work off-shore to countries such as India or the Philippines.   If the guest workers return to their native countries, 'they're better equipped to compete with us' [through the relationships they've developed, etc.], said Vin O'Neill, legislative representative for the U.S. wing of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.   IEEE-USA, which has criticized off-shoring, also opposes the student exemption proposal...   A $1K application fee for H-1B visas expired last October."

_Big News Network_
Deal Set for Commercial Space Flights
"Under terms of the $25M deal, Richard Branson -- the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. and Mojave Aerospace Ventures LLC, which owns the SpaceShipOne rocket -- will offer private citizens flights into space for about $200K each, beginning in three years, the BBC reported."

Jeffry Bartash _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Motorola to eliminate 1K jobs

Leslie Wayne _NY Times_
Sikh Group Finds Calling in Homeland Security
"One of the nation's fastest-growing security companies is owned by the Sikh Dharma community, a group of admirers of Yogi Bhajan, a spiritual leader and yoga master."

Sharon Waxman _NY Times_
Miramax Cuts Staff
"The lay-offs of 55 employees at Miramax last week on the heels of similar lay-offs last month leave the studio diminished just when [in Oscar season] it most needs muscle."

John Noble Wilford _NY Times_
Solving a Riddle Written in Silver
"Modern imaging techniques have revealed some new information about the earliest biblical passage ever found in ancient artifacts...   An archaeological discovery in 1979 revealed that the Priestly Benediction, as the verse from Numbers [Devarim] 6:24-26 is called, appeared to be the earliest biblical passage ever found in ancient artifacts.   Two tiny strips of silver, each wound tightly like a miniature scroll and bearing the inscribed words, were uncovered in a tomb outside Jerusalem...   The script, the team wrote, is indeed from the period just before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586BC by Nebuchadnezzar and the subsequent exile of Israelites in Babylonia...   they were amulets...   The report in The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research was written by Dr. Gabriel Barkay, the archaeologist at Bar-Ilan University in Israel who discovered the artifacts, and collaborators associated with Southern California's West Semitic Research Project.   The project leader is Dr. Bruce Zuckerman, a professor of Semitic languages at USC, who worked with Dr. Marilyn J. Lundberg, a Hebrew Bible specialist with the project, and Dr. Andrew G. Vaughn, a biblical historian at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.   A companion article for next month's issue of the magazine Near Eastern Archaeology describes the new technology used in the research.   The article is by the same authors, as well as Kenneth Zuckerman, Dr. Zuckerman's brother and a specialist in photographing ancient documents...   Scholars were particularly intrigued by a statement on the smaller artifact.   It reads: 'May h[e]/sh[e] be blessed by [the Name], the warrior/helper, and the rebuker of Evil.'...   Dr. Esther Eshel, a professor of the Bible at Bar-Ilan and an authority on Hebrew inscriptions, said this was the earliest example of amulets from Israel.   But she noted that the language of the benediction was similar to a blessing ('May he bless you and keep you') found on a jar from the 8th century BC...   the researchers not only published their findings in a standard print version in a journal but also as an accompanying 'digital article', a CD version of the article and the images to allow scholars to examine and manipulate the data themselves."

Abigail Zuger _NY Times_
It is the body's internal chemicals and hormones that send diseases out to strut their stuff at night.
"Fever burns in the evening.   Asthma, ulcers and certain forms of arthritis worsen at night.   Heart attacks and strokes brew in the predawn hours and often erupt after sunrise...   At night, the bronchi naturally narrow...   Researchers link the narrowing of air-ways at night to low night-time levels of 2 important hormones: cortisol (a steroid hormone) and epinephrine, a.k.a. adrenaline, which relaxes the air-ways, among its many important roles.   Both these substances reach peak levels in the blood during the day, then taper off in the evening, reaching a nadir in the post-midnight hours...   Melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep, can be 'pro-inflammatory' in asthmatics, exacerbating the clogging of breathing tubes with cells and mucus, and contributing to night-time breathing difficulties...   Other powerful substances that promote inflammation, including histamine, also rise at night...   The gag reflex that keeps large objects out of the windpipe is markedly reduced at night, and the small hairs called cilia that line the airways and rhythmically sweep tiny particles of dust and debris away from the lungs do not work as efficiently at night...   Basal acid secretion in the stomach peaks in the early hours of sleep, possibly aimed to thwart nocturnal invaders...   Morning heart attacks may begin to brew during the period of REM sleep between 4 and 6 that is associated with a rise in heart rate and metabolic activity.   The natural rise in blood pressure that occurs after awakening may further strain the heart.   Finally, the body's clotting system works most efficiently in the early morning, so that clots may form then in narrowed coronary blood vessels."

6.0 Earth-Quake Struck Central California

2004-09-28 06:00PDT (09:00EDT) (13:00GMT)
Kristen Gerencher _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Worker-paid health insurance premiums up 35.9% since 2000, employer premiums up 31.8%: Earnings up 12.4%
Washington Times
"Families USA, a non-profit group for health-care consumers, and the Lewin Group, an independent research firm...   In 26 states, workers' premium costs jumped more than 40%.   The average amount paid by workers for coverage rose from $1,433 to $1,947 from 2000 to 2004.   The total combined share of worker and employer premiums for individuals grew to $3,798 this year from $2,864 in 2000, while family premiums jumped to $9,320 from $7,028, the study found...   Families USA executive director Ron Pollack said...   'people are paying a whole lot more and getting a whole lot less.'...   14.3M people have health-care costs that exceed one-fourth of their annual earnings in 2004, up about 23% from the 11.6M who faced that ratio in 2000, the study said...   Health costs include premiums, deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance and costs for services not reimbursed by insurance companies...   About 45M Americans lack health insurance for the entire year, according to the Census Bureau.   More than 85M people were uninsured at some time from 2003 to 2004, an increase of 12.7M from 1999 to 2000, when the number of uninsured was 72.5M, Families USA found."

William M. Welch _USA Today_
Worker-paid health insurance premiums up 35.9% since 2000, employer premiums up 31.8%: Earnings up 12.4%
"the number of Americans whose health care costs exceed one-fourth of their earnings rose to 14.3M from 11.6M...   The share of employer-paid premiums for family coverage went from $5,595 to $7,373...   The number of insured Americans facing health care costs in excess of 25% of their earnings rose from 8.4M to 10.7M during the period, it said."

Stephanie Hacke _Pitt News_
Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik was grounded by hurricane, so personal assistant Jon Airheart takes the stage
"The Libertarian Party is socially liberal and economically conservative, according to Libertarian Presidential candidate Mike Badnarik's personal assistant, Jon Airheart.   'The truth is the truth, and we're not afraid to say it.', Airheart said.   'We believe that government involvement needs to end.'   The Badnarik campaign has been traveling the nation, visiting between 10 and 15 universities in the last couple of weeks.   Badnarik, who was detained in Florida by Hurricane Jeanne, did not make it to Sunday's rally.   'Young people get it', Airheart said, 'because you leave a nice house with great food and a loving mom and you go to, what, a studio apartment with a rusted Volkswagen in the driveway [and] a mini fridge with left-over bologna?   Why would you do that?   The answer is liberty.   You love Mom and Dad, but it's time to make decisions for yourself.   Does the government love you more than Mom and Dad?   The republicans want to be your daddy, and the democrats want to be your mommy.'   The Libertarian Party's first concern relating to college students is the draft...   'My personal view on it is that if people are not volunteering for the military, then they are not supporting the war that is going on.', Badnarik said in an interview conducted over the phone."

2004-09-28 07:23PDT (10:23EDT) (14:23GMT)
Irwin Kellner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
3 steps & a stumble: Trouble signs for the economy
"Three increases in the federal funds rate and 3 straight drops in the index of leading economic indicators spell trouble for both the stock market and for the U.S. economy...   Since 1915, according to Ned Davis Research, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined by an average of 17% following 3 rate hikes by the Fed...   Over the past 40 years, the index of leading economic indicators has fallen three months in a row 16 times.   Each time it was followed by slower growth in the economy; 7 of those occasions eventually turned into a recession.   On average, growth in the real gross domestic product has been cut in half in the 2 quarters following a 3-month decline in this index."

Chip Yost _9 News KUSA_
Company that developed new state computer system sent some money over-seas
"part of the $200M in tax dollars used to develop and maintain a troubled computer system went to hire 4 system engineers in India.   Electronic Data Systems, the company hired to develop and run the system for the Department of Human Services, says it also hired 150 workers in Colorado...   The system developed by EDS was supposed to help administer benefits like food stamps and Medicaid.   But since it went on line September 1, it has been the subject of a storm of complaints from county administrators across the state who say the system is flawed and causing needy families to go without their benefits."

Gwen Florio & Jim Tankersley _Rocky Mountain News_
Pete Coors gets flak over job cuts
"U.S. Senate candidate Pete Coors, running as a job creator, continues to draw fire for his brewery's having out-sourced jobs even as it seeks to import skilled foreign workers.   Coors creates jobs, but not for Americans', said Richard Armstrong, president of the National Hire American Citizens Society...   287 [jobs at Coors Brewing were off-shored] over the past 11 years...   Since 2001, Coors Brewing also has applied to hire 33 skilled foreign workers for jobs paying as much as $135,298 a year, according to a U.S. Labor Department list...   Coors also out-sourced 67 jobs in 2001 to Texas-based Electronic Data Systems Corp., which [off-shored] 12 of [them] to New Zealand."

William R. King _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
Complex Effects of In-Sourcing & Out-Sourcing: In the Balance (a pro-off-shoring lobbying piece)
"Off-shore out-sourcing often does directly cost jobs in the United States.   But it also creates greater profits, which in turn are recycled into new product development or investments that create new, generally better, jobs.   Unfortunately, these job gains are unseen [and not necessarily in the USA] while the losses are vividly apparent."

2004-09-28 09:03PDT (12:03EDT) (16:03GMT)
Anthony Mitchell _e-Commerce Times_
Off-Shore Labor Markets Impact IT Out-Sourcing
"To cope with rising demand for IT workers, [the Indian government] has promised to spend $1G to triple the number of computer science graduates from Indian institutions from 100K per year now to 300K per year by 2005...   There are currently 340K information technology engineers in India and another 210K customer service workers in the international call center and business process out-sourcing field.   The Indian Ministry of Information Technology (IMIT) and the Indian IT industry association Nasscom estimate that by 2008, there will be a demand for 1.1M IT engineers and technical support personnel in India, and an equal number of international customer service workers.   IMIT estimates that international demand for IT workers hired from India for positions in other countries will increase by 20%."

2004-09-28 07:51PDT (10:51EDT) (14:51GMT)
Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Fell in September
jobless outlook
"The survey by the business research group put its consumer confidence index at 96.8, down from a revised 98.7 reading in August...   Consumers saying jobs are 'plentiful' fell to 16.8% from 18.4%, while those who view jobs as 'hard to get' increased to 28.3% from 26.0% in August."

Libertarian candidate Badnarik should be included in debates
alternate debate coverage
Badnarik for President
"Besides being Skull and Bones frat brothers, they are both big-government establishment politicians...   Of course, they will present a plethora of promises and programs to be paid for by us.   Voters are short-changed when debate is reduced to partisan platitudes."


Rachel L. Swarns _NY Times_
Sudan Conflict Reaches U.S. Immigration Courts
"The crisis in Sudan, where communities in Darfur are being destroyed [in fighting] has begun spilling into American immigration courts."

William Safire _NY Times_
The Runaway Prosecutor
"The right of Americans, through our free press, to penetrate the workings of government is under attack."

2004-09-29 08:05PDT (11:05EDT) (15:05GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US Q2 GDP revised up to 3.3%: Core PCE price index increase remains at 1.7%
BEA press releases
"Second-quarter U.S. growth was revised higher to a 3.3% annual rate from the 2.8% previously reported, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.   It's the slowest growth in 5 quarters.   The economy grew at a 4.5% rate in the first quarter and has grown 4.8% over the past 4 quarters...   Final sales of domestic product increased 2.5%, up from 2.1% in the earlier estimate...   Net imports subtracted 1.1 percentage points from growth.   Imports grew 12.6% while exports grew 7.3%."

2004-09-29 08:13PDT (11:13EDT) (15:13GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Global economy shaky says IMF
"The IMF trimmed its forecast for global economic growth to 4.3 percent in 2005, down from a 4.4 percent rate previously estimated. The forecast for growth in 2004 was revised up to a 5.0 percent rate, the fastest in nearly 30 years. But much of this strength came in the first quarter... 'This is a soft patch, not a sink hole', Rajan declared, adding that, 'much continues to depend on a solid rebound in employment' that has not emerged yet."

2004-09-29 14:58PDT (17:58EDT) (21:58GMT)
Rex Crum _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
IBM declares $320M charge against Q3 earnings to settle pension dispute
"IBM Corp. said Wednesday it would take a $320M charge toward its Q3 earnings as part of an agreement to resolve certain claims in a law-suit brought against its pension plan.   IBM said $300M in pension benefits will be made available to plaintiffs under the deal, which still requires final approval.   The case is being heard in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.   IBM said it would appeal other claims against its cash-balance program and set a maximum liability of $1.4G, if the appeal fails."

Scott Hevanyetz _DM News_
Consumers May Avoid Firms that Have Off-Shored
"Some 65% of consumers would change their buying behavior if they learned that a company with which they were doing business used an off-shore call center... a Purdue University survey found."

Robert J. Samuelson _NewSpeak_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Joining in on the out-sourcing debate
"Especially offended were unemployed workers...   'I am a 40-year-old college-educated white male who has an electrical engineering degree.', wrote one.   'Until 3 years ago, I was a middle-class American with very few bills and loads of disposable income.   (Then) many of my college-educated friends and I were laid off from (our) software company...   the economy was starting to go into recession [in 2000], I do fault them for doing absolutely nothing for millions of jobless high-tech workers.'...   the economy needs to add 2M to 3M jobs annually to absorb new workers and reduce unemployment...   Recall that in the late 1990s companies couldn't get enough computer specialists.   The Internet boom and Y2K drove demand, says Andrew Bartels of Forrester Research.   In 2000 alone, information technology jobs rose 9.8%, to 3.37M, he says...   Now hiring has resumed, though it's hurt by off-shoring.   No one knows how many IT jobs are leaving.   Forrester estimates 102K in 2003 and 143K in 2004...   Still, Forrester expects IT jobs to grow 2% annually from 2003 to 2008...   Off-shored IT jobs represent something of an exception...   FDR prevented the Depression from getting worse, mainly by relaxing the gold standard.   In 1933, unemployment was 25%; by 1937, it was 14%.   But other policies had mixed results; some studies conclude that certain New Deal programs hurt job creation.   In any case, unemployment rebounded to 19% in 1938.   World War II ended the Depression."

Paul Craig Roberts _CounterPunch_
War, Out-Sourcing & Debt
More by Paul Craig Roberts
Norm Matloff writings archive
"Stephen Roach, chief economist for Morgan Stanley, reports that in 2003 net investment in the US business sector was 60% below the level in 2000...   In the meantime, America continues to lose high-paying jobs and entire occupations to foreigners, because US corporations outsource jobs and produce off-shore.   University of California professor Norm Matloff warns that out-sourcing and H1-B visas, which bring foreign workers into US firms, are destroying the US software engineering profession.   The shrinking computer science enrollments in American universities have finally caught the attention of the academic establishment.   Computer science departments, which should have been speaking out long ago, have been muzzled, because they are heavily dependent on research and faculty funds from the very firms whose out-sourcing practices are destroying the occupation in America.   Falling enrollments mean fewer faculty positions and graduate students.   Despite their funding being threatened by fewer enrollments, most computer science professors are unwilling to contradict their corporate benefactors' false claim that 'out-sourcing is good for America'...   Only America is stupid enough to give away its manufacturing and high tech occupations...   US universities have educated enough Indians and Chinese to fill every high tech job American firms have to offer."

Andrew G. Bostom _Front Page Magazine_
John Quincy Adams knew jihad


2004-09-30 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
Unemployment insurance weekly claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 280,863 in the week ending September 25, an increase of 5,193 from the previous week.   There were 304,968 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending September 18, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,404,827, a decrease of 68,160 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 3,001,023."

2004-09-30 06:30PDT (09:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Inflation low for 2nd straight month: consumer spending unchanged while incomes rose 0.4%
"The PCE index is up 2.1% in the past year, down from an annualized 2.4% in July.   The core PCE index remained at 1.4% for the second straight month...   the personal savings rate rose to 0.9% in August from a near-record low 0.5% in July...   In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose by [a seasonally adjusted] 18K to 369K last week."
BEA report

Dean E. Murphy _NY Times_
Instant Run-Off tested in San Francisco county board of supervisors
"Under this system, voters can choose 3 candidates for each office, ranking them in order of preference.   If no candidate wins more than 50% of the first-choice votes, the lowest-placing finishers are eliminated, and the second and, if necessary, third choices on those ballots [from the eliminated candiates] are counted until someone garners a majority.   The system removes the need for a separate run-off election, saving money and, if the recent past is a guide, increasing the number of voters who have a say in choosing the winner...   Ann Arbor, MI, abandoned it after one election [in the 1970s].   Variations of the system exist in a few places, including Cambridge, MA, where the City Council and school board are elected by proportional representation, which includes ranked-choice voting."

Elizabeth Becker _NY Times_
IMF Asks Red China to Free Its Currency From Dollar

2004-09-30 14:01PDT (17:01EDT) (21:01GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Nasdaq lost 7% in 2004 Q3
"the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worst quarterly decline in 18 months.   The Nasdaq Composite eked out a gain for the day in a quarter where the tech-rich index shed 7.4%, its worst performance since the third quarter of 2002.   The S&P 500 index closed out the session little changed as the third quarter saw the broad gauge snap a five-quarter run of gains...   The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 55.97 points at 10,080.27.   In the third quarter, the benchmark index fell 3.4%...   The Nasdaq Composite rose 2.90 points, to 1,896.84...   The S&P 500 index was off 0.22 points, at 1,114.58.   The broad gauge fell 2.3% in the third quarter."

_Houston Chronicle_
Red wine may reduce prostate cancer risk

_Science Daily_
Most Recent Common Ancester of All Humans May Have Lived Just a Few Thousand Years Ago
"In this week's issue of Nature, a Yale mathematician presents models showing that the most recent person who was a direct ancestor of all humans currently alive may have lived just a few thousand years ago...   The current paper presents more realistic mathematical and computer models.   It incorporates factors such as socially driven mating, physical barriers of geography and migration, and recorded historical events.   Although such complexities make pure mathematical analysis difficult, it was possible to integrate them into an elaborate computer simulation model.   The computer repeatedly simulated history under varying assumptions, tracking the lives, movements, and reproduction of all people who lived within the last 20K years.   These more realistic models estimate that the most recent common ancestor of mankind lived as recently as about 3K years ago, and the identical ancestors point was as recent as several thousand years ago.   The paper suggests, 'No matter the languages we speak or the color of our skin, we share ancestors who planted rice on the banks of the Yangtze, who first domesticated horses on the steppes of the Ukraine, who hunted giant sloths in the forests of North and South America, and who labored to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu..."

_Light Reading_
Lucent Off-Shoring Wave Hits Hard
"Lucent is in the midst of a steady reduction in head-count, and it's shipping hundreds of development jobs over-seas to India and [Red China], according to a wide range of sources both in and around Lucent.   Much of this is focused on Lucent's Integrated Network Services (INS) division, the wire-line networking group that was once the company's heart and soul...   So far in 2004, Lucent has hired 400 people in [Red China]; 320 people in the United States; 200 people in the Asia/Pacific region, including India; 190 people in Latin American/Caribbean; and 100 people in Europe/EMEA, according to numbers provided to Light Reading by the company today.   But these new hires are being countered by lay-offs at the same time, mostly in North America.   Analysts say the new rounds of lay-offs will total in the thousands, and could slash as much as much as 10% of Lucent's work-force from staffing levels this summer...   As of June, Lucent's head-count stood at about 32,300.   It had 35K employees at the beginning of the year, according to the company.   At its peak, Lucent had more than 100K employees."

John M. Hubbell & Mark Martin _San Francisco Chronicle_
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed 3 bills to curb off-shoring of jobs

2004-09-30 06:00PDT (09:00EDT) (13:00GMT)
Paul Murphy _Linux Insider_
Comparing Macs & Other Computers
"About a month ago, I compared the cost for Apple's desk-top, server and lap-top products to their nearest Dell equivalents and discovered that Macs generally cost less than comparable PC products.   That was a bit of surprise, but the truly astonishing thing that came out of the comparison was that Dell's product line extends marginally below Apple's at the low end, but has nothing to stack up against Apple's 17-inch PowerBook, X-Serve/X-RAID combination, or Cinema displays at the high end.   Bottom line: when you upgrade the PCs enough to allow an approximately apples to apples comparison, Apple turns out to offer both lower prices and a broader range than Dell...   based entirely on raw hardware capabilities...the Mac wins hands down...   most of the Mac people won't have upgraded their hardware in years...   It might be better, therefore, to compare the X-serve cluster to machines built using a more modern 64 bit processor like AMD's Opteron's 'Lightning', at Los Alamos National Laboratory , uses 2,816 Opterons to produce a peak of 11,264 or 4.0GFlOPS per CPU -- 30% better than the Xeons, but still 20% less than the G5s.   Thus, the basic short answer is pretty clear: level the software playing field, and the X-Serve blows everything else away, while even last year's desk-top G5s, at 3.7GFlOPS per CPU, handily beat this year's Dell servers at only 3.1GFlOPS."

2004 September

2004 August/September
Samuel C. Florman _National Society of Professional Engineers_
Action Needed from Engineers in Difficult Times
"past dislocations were, in the grand scheme of things, relatively minor.   In our technological world, engineers seemed to be always in demand, and the unemployment rate for the profession was consistently much lower than the national average.   The hall-mark of most engineering careers was, if not wealth, at least economic security.   But suddenly, while I wasn't looking, disaster had struck."

2004 September
Current Government Data Provide Limited Insight into Off-Shoring of Services
cgi link
ComputerWorld: Off-Shoring Could Stymie Tech Job Growth
US Dept. of State: Impact Unclear
"Department of Commerce data show that private sector imports of some services are growing.   For example, imports of business, professional, and technical services increased by 76.8% from $21.2G in 1997 to $37.5G in 2002.   From another perspective, Commerce's data also show that in 2002 U.S. investments in developing countries that supply off-shore services were small compared to those in developed countries and that most services produced abroad are sold primarily to non-U.S. markets.   Regarding public sector off-shoring, the total dollar value of the federal government's off-shore services contracts increased from 1999 through 2003, but the trend in the dollar value shows little change relative to all federal services contracts.   No comprehensive data or studies show the extent of services off-shoring by state governments...   Some private researchers predict that off-shoring may eliminate 100K to 500K IT jobs within the next few years..."

2004 September
Russ Harrison _Today's Engineer_
US IEEE Member Inspires Congressional Action to Study Off-Shoring
"On July 9, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a must-pass appropriations bill that allocates $2M for an independent study of the effects of off-shore out-sourcing on the economy and employment in the United States...   Some of the credit for the study should go to Ron Hira, chair of IEEE-USA's Career and Work-force Policy Committee.   Hira is increasingly recognized as a national expert on the off-shoring of high-tech jobs.   This past Spring, during an on-line interview with the Washington Post, he characterized the U.S. Department of Commerce's on-going $335K off-shoring study as being too limited to provide the kind of information that Congress really needs.   Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), who chairs the House subcommittee that provides appropriations for the Commerce Department, read the interview and asked IEEE-USA to arrange a meeting with Hira.   At the meeting, Hira described some of the adverse effects off-shoring is having on engineers and other high-tech workers in the United States.   He also suggested that a successful study would be more complicated and more costly than the on-going effort.   After meeting with Wolf, Hira collaborated with IEEE-USA on a letter outlining important topics to be covered in a comprehensive study.   Subsequently, representative Wolf added language authorizing a comprehensive off-shoring study to the House version of a FY2005 Commerce, State and Justice Departments appropriations bill."

2004 Autumn
Robert Wistrich _Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs_/_Jewish Political Studies Review_ vol16 #s3-4
Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism

2004 Autumn
John Fund _City Journal_
how to steal an election

Aretha Sims: MacroEconomic Policy Research 
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Research & Data

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