2005 August

2nd month of the 3rd quarter of the 16th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub economic depression

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updated: 2017-06-18
2005 August
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2005 August

  "You don't need to manage self-motivated people, & nearly everyone is motivated when they are doing a job they enjoy & believe in." --- Yvon Chouinard  


Constance Loizos _Private Equity News_
PGP Founder Aiming to Protect VoIP
"In 1991, [Phil] Zimmermann founded Pretty Good Privacy, which made one of the most widely used email encryption software in the world today.   Now the cryptography guru has set his sites on what he hopes is another VC-backed venture.   This time, he wants to ensure that no call using VoIP - the technology that enables people to make calls using an Internet connection - is subject to intrusion either...   'It allows secure calls.   It employs solid, working crypto, but I'm still working out Net firewall traversal problems.   Sometimes, too, it doesn't recognize when the other guy hangs up the phone...   We'll either be in the $700K seed range or, if we go for a Series A round, we'll be looking for under $5M.'...   For his new product, Zimmermann has enlisted the help, and financial backing, of some heavy hitters, including VoIP industry pioneer Jeff Pulver and Richard Clarke, the onetime national coordinator for infrastructure protection at the National Security Council.   Clarke will sit on the board of Zimmermann's new company."

Dice Report: 73,510 job ads

body shop29,949

Jim Heskett _Harvard Business School Working Knowledge_
Is There an Efficient Market in CEO Compensation?
"average CEO compensation for decades has borne little relationship to overall corporate performance in the United States...   One recent study has found that companies whose CEOs were promoted from within out-perform those that replaced their CEOs with candidates from the outside...   will a global market for talent, to the extent that it involves low-paid European and Asian talent, exert significant downward forces on CEO compensation everywhere?"
Heskett's response to responses

2005-08-01 07:10PDT (10:10EDT) (14:10GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US construction spending down 0.3% -- 4th straight month of decrease
census bureau data

2005-08-01 07:49PDT (10:49EDT) (14:49GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
ISM factory index rose from 53.8% in June to 56.5% in July: Employment index rose from 49.9% in June to 53.2% in July

2005-08-01 12:25PDT (15:25EDT) (19:25GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US treasury borrowing down from last year
"The U.S. Treasury will borrow $59G in the third quarter, down $30G from last year's borrowing and $31G less than estimated in May, the department said Monday.   It's the lowest third-quarter borrowing requirement since 2000.   For the fourth quarter, the Treasury estimates borrowing needs of $97G, which would be the lowest fourth-quarter needs since 2001."

2005-08-01 14:03PDT (17:03EDT) (21:03GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Oil at record, above $62 per barrel
"King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, who was thought to be in his 80s, died early Monday.   Saudi television reported that Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, King Fahd's half-brother, would succeed him.   Abdullah has effectively run the kingdom since Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
More hypocrisy from Harris Miller of ITAA
"ITAA's own commissioned study found that off-shoring will cause the number of IT jobs to steadily diminish...   globalization (both off-shoring and imported workers) will have the effect of the U.S. gaining jobs requiring lesser education at the cost of losing jobs requiring more education...   She had been a programmer, saw her job disappear over-seas, and then went back to school to learn to be an accounting technician (whatever that is), and got... an AA degree!   IOW, she did just what I said -- she lost a job normally requiring a bachelor's degree and got a job requiring only a community college degree.   But Abramson and Krazny thought it was wonderful.   In fact, Abramson even said it would be a 'perfect world' if everyone could emulate that woman's example."

Miranda hitti _WebMD_
Ecstasy may yield new treatments for Parkinson's
Better Humans
"Amphetamines -- especially the drug known as ecstasy -- may prompt new Parkinson's treatments, based on tests done on mice...   In Parkinson's disease, certain brain cells falter and die.   Those cells can't do their job, which is to make a chemical called dopamine [from stores of melanin]...   The mice didn't have a gene needed to transport dopamine.   The mice also got drugs that knocked out most dopamine production...   Levodopa and other drugs that affect dopamine worked [helped to correct the artificially-induced deficit].   So did several amphetamines.   That surprised the researchers, who saw the biggest results with MDMA (ecstasy)...   Mice 'are generally less sensitive' to ecstasy's toxic brain effects [than are humans], write the researchers.   [The Duke University researchers, led by Marc Caron and Raul Gainetdinov, made the discovery after testing more than 60 compounds.]"


Batman Begins
Batman Begins

19 illegal immigrants found at site of house fire
Philadelphia Daily News
"Montgomery County officials say 19 illegal immigrants from Central America were found at a large farmhouse early yesterday after a fatal fire broke out.   Police say the immigrants were turned over to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after the fire was out...   Officials are awaiting results of an autopsy on a woman found dead inside the building."

Benjamin Powell & David Skarbek _Christian Science Monitor_
Don't get into a lather over sweat-shops
"We use 'sweat-shop' to mean those foreign factories with low pay and poor health and safety standards where employees choose to work, not those where employees are coerced into working by the threat of violence.   And we admit that by Western standards, sweat-shops have abhorrently low wages and poor working conditions.   However, economists point out that alternatives to working in a sweat-shop are often much worse: scavenging through trash, prostitution, crime, or even starvation.   Economists across the political spectrum, from Paul Krugman on the left, to Walter Williams on the right, have defended sweat-shops.   Their reasoning is straightforward: People choose what they perceive to be in their best interest.   If workers voluntarily choose to work in sweat-shops, without physical coercion, it must be because sweat-shops are their best option.   Our recent research - the first economic study to compare systematically sweat-shop wages with average local wages - demonstrated this to be true...   Not only were sweat-shops superior to the dire alternatives economists usually mentioned, but they often provided a better-than-average standard of living for their workers...   While more than half of the population in most of the countries we studied lived on less than $2 per day, in 90% of the countries, working a 10-hour day in the apparel industry would lift a worker above - often far above - that standard...   In 9 of the 11 countries we surveyed, the average reported sweat-shop wages equaled or exceeded average incomes and in some cases by a large margin."

Richard Owen _BC Money_
the Government has, in practice, lost control of our borders
"The number of illegal immigrants in Britain published by the government seems to be under-estimated by a huge 300K, according to a leading research organisation.   This moves the number closer to the 1M figure, which many experts have predicted for some time and puts the cost of catering for such a high volume at what could be billions of pounds in tax payers money combined with lost tax for those working in the black economy...   hile the Home Office figures suggested illegal immigrants to exist between 310K and 570K, Migrationwatch estimated the figures to reach a colossal 870K, taking into account failed asylum seekers who had not been deported after 2001, along with the children born to illegal migrants."

2005-08-02 04:12PDT (07:12EDT) (11:12GMT)
_San Diego Union-Tribune_
victims of fatal van crash in desert not yet identified
San Jose Mercury News
"Authorities were trying to determine the identities of five people who were killed and 15 who were hurt when a van packed with suspected illegal immigrants careened out of control on a desert highway and rolled over several times...   All 20 occupants were ejected from the van, [CHP captain Tom McCreary] said...   CHP lieutenant Oscar Medellin said officers believe the van began its trip in Oaxaca, Mexido, and went to Phoenix."

Rebecca Waddingham _Greeley Tribune_
Forum on gangs drew 100
"She said eliminating gangs is about more than punishing criminals and spending tax dollars.   It's about solving the larger issues that create a base for gangs, like poverty and lack of education...   They also said closing America's borders to illegal immigrants would solve the gang problem, and every mention of busting illegal immigrants generated thunderous applause. Cooke said about 20% of Weld jail inmates are illegal immigrants."

_Barstow Desert Dispatch_/_Orange County Register_
State cops on the border?
"Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta, is pushing ahead another state approach designed to slow the tide of illegal immigration.   Called the California Border Patrol Initiative, it would create a state police force, similar to the California Highway Patrol, that would have duties similar to the U.S. Border Patrol.   The cost is estimated as high as $300M, but supporters claim that it would cut down on the millions California annually spends simply to incarcerate illegal immigrants who commit crimes, not to mention the costs of education, health care and other services the state provides to illegal immigrants."

Nicole Gaouette _Los Angeles Times_/_Fort Wayne Journal Gazette_
Feds snared 582 gang members, mostly illegal immigrants
"[Chertoff] said ICE had made 1,057 arrests since February, when the agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, announced its anti-gang initiative.   Of those, Chertoff estimated, 930 to 950 were of illegal immigrants who, he said, 'are subject to being removed'.   In addition, he said, criminal charges either have been or are expected to be filed against about 230 of those arrested.   Initially, authorities focused on Mara Salvatrucha, a violent gang commonly known as MS-13, which is rooted in Central America but has branches from Los Angeles to the Washington, DC, area.   About half the arrests were of MS-13 members, Chertoff said."

Thomas J. Fitton _GOP USA_
Border Patrol Secrets
"According to explosive documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, at a time when the United States faces an illegal immigration crisis and a war on terrorism, Bush administration officials directed Border Patrol agents to mislead the American people by withholding information about a marked increase in illegal immigration caused by President Bush's immigration agenda."

2005-08-02 11:47PDT (14:47EDT) (18:47GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Consumers spent it all as savings rate dropped to 0% and spending rose by 0.8%
"Most of gain in incomes came from small-business income and income from assets.   Labor income lagged.   Income from wages and salaries increased 0.2%, while supplements to wages increased 0.3%.   Proprietors' income advanced 2%.   Income from assets grew 1.3%, including a 1.5% increase in income from interest payments.   Income from dividends increased 0.8%.   Disposable incomes increased 0.5% in June.   With inflation rates flat, real disposable incomes increased 0.5% as well."
BEA press releases

2005-08-02 13:08PDT (16:08EDT) (20:08GMT)
Lisa Sanders & William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Red China gave up bid to buy Unocal

2005-08-02 13:20PDT (16:20EDT) (20:20GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Nasdaq posted new 4-year high
"The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 22.77 points to 2,218.15, its best close since 2001 mid-June."

2005-08-02 14:37PDT (17:37EDT) (21:37GMT)
August Cole _MarketWatch_
Price cuts boosted auto sales in the USA in July

_Work Permit_
US H-1B cap nearly filled as employers seek out non-US workers first
"On 2005 August 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that 47,395 new H1B petitions had already been filed against the fiscal year (FY) 2006 cap...   This reflects approximately 20K filings in the month of July 2005.   If new H-1B petition filings continue at this rate, the cap is likely to be reached within a few weeks.   The H-1B cap for regular cases is 65K for each fiscal year (October 1 to September 30).   However, 6,800 H1Bs are set aside for nationals of Chile and Singapore [5,400 for Singapore and 1,400 for Chile].   [An additional 10,500 visas for guest-workers from Australia, and 20K visas for foreign students with advanced degrees obtained in the USA do not fall under the H-1B cap.] Only 58,200 new H1Bs are available for the general public.   Of those, just under 11K H1Bs remain for the coming FY2006, which begins 2005 October 1 and ends on 2006 September 30.   However, the H1B filings for new H1Bs under the FY2006 quota were permitted as of 2005 April 1, 6 months in advance of the start date of the FY2006 quota [and before any attempt to recruit US citizens and permanent residents for these positions]...   About half of the 20K allotted [for those with advanced degrees obtained in the USA] for FY2005 have been used to date; while fewer of the FY2006 higher education H1Bs have been used so far, with 7,646 H1B filings either approved or pending."
newest numbers
detailed data is not yet available


  "Furthermore, as an Andersen Consulting [now Accenture] spokes-person revealed in a 1991 article in ComputerWorld, the average age of an Andersen Consulting consultant is 25 years old.   A bit of quick calculation suggests that there are either an awful lot of 16 year olds working for Andersen Consulting to balance out hordes of more experienced people in their 30s & 40s, or else most of the clients who pay $125 per hour for Andersen consultants are paying for the services of folks a year or 2 out of college." --- Janet Ruhl 1994 _The Computer Consultant's Guide_ pp 18-19  

2005-08-03 07:39PDT (10:39EDT) (14:39GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US lay-off announcements down 7% from 110,996 in June to 102,971 in July: up 48% from 2004 July
FX Street
"Nevertheless, lay-off plans are up by 18% in the year to date to 641,245, Challenger said.   At the current rate, job reductions will exceed 1M for a fifth straight year, the out-placement firm said.   Last month's lay-offs were up 48% from 2004 July.   Over the past 3 months, announcements of job cuts have totaled 296,250...   According to the latest Labor Department data, there were 4.4M separations from jobs in May -- including 1.4M lay-offs -- up about 225K from a year earlier.   At the same time, 4.7M workers were hired, up about 375K from a year earlier."

2005-08-03 09:34PDT (12:34EDT) (16:34GMT)
Parija Bhatnagar _CNN_/_Money_
Adidas bidding to buy Reebok: Will it lead to fewer alternatives or more?   Higher or lower prices?
"German sports goods manufacturer Adidas-Salomon announced Wednesday that it is buying U.S. rival Reebok in a $3.8G aimed at expanding its reach in Nike's home market...   But the deal also bodes well for the major sporting goods retailers... As industry watchers point out, sporting goods sellers typically want fewer vendors to guarantee delivery of goods and to reduce retailers' own costs... According to the NSA, total athletic footwear sales reached $14.75G last year, slightly down from $14.45G the previous year."

_Public Relations News Now_
Cincinnati USA Chamber appoints board to search for replacement for Michael Fisher
"Fisher's tenure as Chamber president has been marked by dynamic leadership since assuming the post in late January of 2001, including: Leading the development of a new regional brand, "Cincinnati USA: All together surprising," and adopted a new corporate identity- the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber - which reflects the overall regional brand and has been brought to life in the newly refurbished Chamber office space.   Formation of accelerated economic development initiatives with a focus on growing minority enterprises and high-tech firms - the Minority Business Accelerator and CincyTechUSA, respectively - which work under the umbrella of the Cincinnati USA Partnership, the regional economic development initiative supported by the Chamber.   Chairing a successful United Way campaign, raising $60.5M, with his wife Suzette in 2003.   Hosting a foreign policy speech by President Bush at Union Terminal in 2002 and the U.S./Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) talks in 2003 February.   Leading 20 area firms to explore growth opportunities in [Red China] in 2005 November."

2005-08-03 10:10PDT (13:10EDT) (17:10GMT)
Arthur Andersen LLP agrees to pay investors $25M in Global Crossing suit
"Meanwhile, the federal judge overseeing the Global Crossing securities fraud class action has given approval to a $75M settlement from Citigroup for its role as financial adviser to Global Crossing during the company's fraud, law firm Grant & Eisenhofer said in a statement...   [Arthur Andersen created spin-off Bahamas-based Accenture as news of its participation in fraud came to light.]   Global Crossing, founded by Gary Winnick, filed for bankruptcy in 2002 January after struggling with too much debt and under-sea fiber-optic cable capacity, and amid questions about its accounting practices...   The investors accused Global Crossing, former officers and directors, and advisers of falsifying financial filings to hide losses.   The lead plaintiffs, the Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, represented by Grant & Eisenhofer, claimed they lost more than $110M."

James McNair _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Appeals court reinstates nurse's age discrimination case
"'The trial court... found that (Hoffman) had failed to show that the reduction in force was a pretext for discrimination, or that (Clermont Nursing and its operator Carington Health Systems) were motivated by a discriminatory purpose in eliminating (Hoffman's) job.', the appeals court wrote.   But the higher court went on to say, 'The evidence showed that (Hoffman's) professional experience dwarfed that of Connor; thus, a reasonable jury could have inferred that (Hoffman) was more qualified for the position...   Despite the trial court's finding to the contrary, (Hoffman) established a prima facie case of age discrimination.'"

_St. Paul Pioneer Press_
Judge rules for LSI Logic in trade secrets dispute with Broadcom
San Jose Mercury News
"A Colorado judge has barred Broadcom Corp. from assigning former workers from LSI Logic Corp. to projects involving information they might have gained from their old jobs.   The court fight involving the two California-based semiconductor makers began after seven people quit LSI Logic and were hired at Broadcom.   LSI Logic filed suit in May, saying Broadcom hired its former workers to gain an unfair advantage in the semiconductor industry."
Local economy & employment data

Michal Raveh _Globes_
Demand for high-tech employees up 8% in July in Israel
"ManPOWER Israel subsidiary ManPOWER Information Technology (MIT) reports that demand for high tech employees in 2005 July was 8.1% higher than in June, and 5.6% higher than in 2004 July."

Robert J. Samuelson _Buffalo NY News_
high expectations, low inflation
"For the past 12 months, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is up only 2.5%; since 1997, annual increases average 2.4%...   Time was when an economic recovery in its third or fourth year -- and this one has run three and a half years -- would generate rising wages and prices that would choke the expansion and lead to a recession.   Between 1969 and 1981, rising inflation (peaking at 13% in 1979 and 1980) triggered 4 recessions.   Low inflation today underlies the economy's continued resilience.   It especially helps explain low long-term interest rates and, hence, the housing boom.   (As inflation falls, so do interest rates on mortgages and bonds, because there's less danger that loan payments to banks and other lenders will be made in cheaper dollars.)...   There are many theories to explain the economy's greater inflation resistance: stiffer competition, higher productivity and 'slack' in labor markets.   All may be partially true...   Similarly, higher productivity (a.k.a. efficiency) and intense import competition have reduced the prices of many manufactured goods.   In June, new car prices -- after adjustment for quality improvements - were actually 2.1% lower than 10 years earlier, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   [A partial adjustment from a price bubble in the view of some.]   As for labor-market 'slack', the theory is simple.   If there are more job seekers than jobs, supply and demand keep wage gains down.   Now, however, unemployment is only 5% -- fairly low historically.   Still, companies don't seem to be bidding up wages to attract scarce workers...   expectations have changed.   In the 1970s and early 1980s, the wage-price spiral became self-fulfilling.   Because managers and workers believed there would be inflation, there was.   Facing higher costs, companies passed them along in higher prices.   Facing higher prices, workers expected to be compensated with higher wages.   Companies obliged, fearing that they would lose good workers and knowing that they could then raise prices.   From 1975 to 1981, labor costs rose 9.4% annually, and the CPI, 9.2%.   The central legacy of the [Paul Volcker and] Alan Greenspan era at the Federal Reserve (his term ends early next year) is the suppression of this self-destructive psychology."


2005-08-03 20:06PDT (23:06EDT) (2005-08-04 03:06GMT)
Michael Hedges _Houston Chronicle_
Bush continues to push guest-worker/amnesty proposals

2005-08-04 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 259,993 in the week ending July 30, a decrease of 37,479 from the previous week.   There were 282,128 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending July 23, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,508,678, a decrease of 121,689 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.2% and the volume was 2,814,264."

2005-08-04 13:12PDT (16:12EDT) (20:12GMT)
William Spain & Dan Burrows _MarketWatch_
July retail sales increased by 3.7% in July
"Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, said in the aggregate same-store sales advanced 3.7%...   According to the ICSC, monthly chain-store sales increased 3.6%.   Although that was softer than June's 5.2% gain, it was in line with the year-to-date trend of 3.8%...   By Thomson Financial's measure, same-store sales gained 3.5%..."

Rick MacDonald _Business Week_
Was There a Real Jobs Surge in July?
"weekly initial jobless claims have been distorted by the auto retooling period in July, underlying trends in initial claims have been encouraging.   The average reading for July will likely be near 316K, compared with an average 342K level for 2004 and the 326K average reading in the first half of 2005.   The week that overlaps with the Bureau of Labor Statistics' survey week registered jobless claims of only 303K in July, compared with 316K in June and 322K in May...   The current data from the University of Michigan survey, which tends to swing with the labor market, rose to 113.5 in July from a preliminary level of 112.0, and a June reading of 113.2.   The implied 'job-strength' index from consumer confidence (the difference between 'jobs plentiful' and 'jobs hard to get' responses) was -1.3.   While this was a slight moderation from June's zero reading, this figure still remains well above the -10.9 reading seen in November, and the average reading of -11.4 in 2004 and -20 in 2003.   It also remains at one of the highest levels of the past 4 years.   Employment data in surveys from the Institute for Supply Management also revealed a continued rebound in July.   The ISM's employment data from its factory survey rebounded to 53.2, from June's 49.9 and May's 48.8, while the ISM non-manufacturing numbers remained at an impressive 56.2, from June's hefty 57.4.   Given a rough rule of thumb that each index point above 50 for the non-manufacturing employment index equates to a 50K gain in non-manufacturing pay-rolls, this data suggest a 300K rise in pay-rolls for July...   The help-wanted index for June rose to 38 from 37, although the index remains below the recent peak of 41 in January and February.   Interestingly, on-line want-ad volume doesn't appear to show a significantly different pattern.   The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series -- which made its debut in July -- was flat.   While this figure is essentially unchanged from May, it's up from 1.8M new job ads posted on-line in April.   Less encouraging was the number of announced job cuts tallied by executive-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which jumped 48% year-over-year, to a level of 103K.   This follows the 73% year-over-year jump in June, which marks the worst 2-month deterioration since 2001 December."

Gene C. Gerard _Counter Bias_
Consumer Confidence Decline Surprises Only the Bush Administration
"Americans who believe that business conditions are 'bad' increased according to the survey, as did those who responded that jobs are 'hard to get'...   Fortunately, the private employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas does report monthly on the number of jobs eliminated.   Their report released last month found that employers cut 110,996 jobs.   This was a 35% increase over the prior month, and it brought lay-offs up to their highest level since January of 2004.   Between January and June of this year, 538,274 jobs have been cut.   This is a 14% increase over the same period last year.   Last month's report by Challenger revealed that the auto industry cut 45,378 jobs.   This was the fourth month in a row that manufacturers cut jobs.   In fact, job losses in manufacturing have occurred in all but 2 of the last 12 months.   The retail industry eliminated 24,065 jobs."
Conference Board

Doug Lederman _Inside Higher Ed_
Florida's Faculty Free-for-All
"When Florida overhauled its higher education system to shift power from the State Board of Regents to boards of trustees at individual campuses in 2003, it invalidated the employment contract between the regents and the statewide union that represented 10K professors, throwing academic labor relations into disarray.   Last week, Florida's Supreme Court let stand a lower court's ruling that found the state's action to be illegal -- a decision heralded by faculty labor leaders, who vowed to try to recoup what they believed professors had lost in the intervening years...   Among the many changes wrought by the governance shift, which formally took effect on 2003 January 7, was that state officials determined that the faculty contract did not apply because the professors were no longer employed by the Board of Regents but by the individual institutions.   That decision essentially left faculty members without a contract to govern not only their pay but issues sucfh as academic freedom and grievance rights...   Two campuses, Florida State University and the University of West Florida, announced on 2003 January 7, the day the statewide contract was officially voided, that they would no longer deduct union dues from their employees' pay-check.   That prompted a legal challenge by faculty union leaders, who argued that the individual campuses' Boards of Trustees' were 'successor employers, [who] have an obligation to maintain the status quo as determined by their contracts'.   In 2004, though, the state board that adjudicates labor disputes, the Public Employees Relations Commission, ruled that the campuses were not 'successors' to the statewide Board of Regents, and therefore were not required to recognize or fulfill the terms of the existing faculty contract.   The union challenged that ruling in state court, and in 2005 February, a 3 judge panel of the Court of Appeal for the First District ruled that the employee relations commission had erred."

Michael Singer _CNET_/_Tech Republic_
Chip to prevent loading Macintosh OS X onto non-Apple machines raises objections
"Apple supplied the Intel-fitted PowerMac to members of its Apple Developer Connection, a group for software programmers.   The PowerMac includes a micro-controller known as the Trusted Platform Module -- TPM for short -- that contains a digital signature necessary in order to install the Mac OSX operating system onto the box...   The ADC source reported being able to install other operating systems like Windows and Linux onto the test box.   But it was impossible, the source said, to install software from the DVD containing the Intel-configured Mac OS onto similar x86-based [micro-computers] that lacked a TPM.   Some Mac fans disagree with Apple's desire to prevent the loading of its Intel-based OS on non-Mac boxes.   Another issue for some is that the TPM could compromise the privacy of users because of the identifying number built into the chip.   The technology could also restrict the use of some digital media by enforcing digital rights management technologies...   Participating developers received a PowerMac that runs on an Intel D915GUX mother-board powered by a Pentium 4 660 Prescott that reaches top speeds of 3.60GHz, the ADC source said."


Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
White House's Ben Bernanke says there's still slack in the labor market
"There is still some slack in labor markets, and job growth can continue at its recent trend growth rate of about 180K jobs per month [barely enough to absorb population increase, but not enough to re-absorb many of the unemployed], said Ben Bernanke, who recently became an economic advisor to President Bush after serving as a Federal Reserve board governor.   In several television interviews, Benanke said the labor market 'will stay strong for awhile'.   [But the question is: When will the labor market become strong?]"

Red China barred new foreign television channels and stepped up censorship
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
San Jose Mercury News
"[Red China] will bar new foreign television channels and step up censorship of imported programming, the Culture Ministry announced, adding to a sweeping effort to tighten the communist government's control over popular culture...   the government also will tighten controls over the 31 foreign television satellite broadcasters that hold licenses to operate in [Red China]...   The government also will ban new licenses for companies to import newspapers and magazines, electronic publications, audiovisual products and children's cartoons, the ministry said.   It said new limits will be imposed on the number of foreign copyrighted products that Chinese companies are allowed to publish."

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Beware the looming Bush Guest-Worker haymaker
"When Congress reconvenes in September, Bush wants 'action' on immigration.   As we all saw last week, what Bush wants, Bush gets...   Knuckling under to Bush, lawmakers approved a massive highway bill as well as an equally eye-popping energy bill that outrageously included tax breaks for the filthy rich oil companies.   The highway bill includes more than 6,300 projects worth in excess of $283 billion...   And an $80 billion energy bill will create $15 billion in subsidies for oil, gas and energy companies even though those industries are racking up record profits...   For nearly five years, Bush has been encouraging the Legislative branch to create a guest- worker program that provides amnesty to illegal immigrants already in the country...   In preparation for September's hard sell the White House has put together a so-called coalition of business leaders and immigration advocates absurdly and incorrectly named Americans for Border and Economic Security.   Admission to the new group will cost between $50K and $250K with the dues used to fund an all-out campaign to promote cheap labor...   With 14M Americans unable to find full-time employment, who determines what America's labor need is?...   Contemplating the Cornyn-Kyl bill, Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said: 'When it comes to immigration policy, the promises made to the immigrants invariably get kept, but the commitment to the American public to protect our borders, security, and jobs too often fall by the wayside.'"

2005-08-05 12:26PDT (15:26EDT) (19:26GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US consumer debt up $14.5G in June
"U.S. consumer credit rose in June at an annual rate of 8.2%, or $14.5G, the Federal Reserve said Friday.   It was the largest increase since October.   Revolving credit, such as credit card debt, increased by 11.5% annualized, or $7.6G, the Fed said.   Non-revolving credit, such as automobile loans, increased by 6.2%, or $6.9G."
Federal Reserve Board data

Marshall Reagle _Illinios Leader_
Making sense of CAFTA
"My perspective of America in the past six years is a simple analogy; 2 trains on single track racing towards each other at a high rate of speed.   One train is the importation of people (legal and illegal); the other the exportation of jobs to foreign countries (i.e. CAFTA and [Red China] most favored nation status).   When the trains collide, what will we, the U.S. Citizens, have?   Third world status IMO...   America's strength used to lie in our ability to manufacture products and be self-sufficient.   Today, that ability is gone, given to foreign, cheaper, government subsidized companies in an effort to achieve something incomprehensible to the average citizen...   I would like to see Congress and the Senate live on $320.00/week [minus taxes], then maybe they would understand that CAFTA and the exportation of jobs is causing the destruction of working class citizens."

E. Schwartz _InfoWorld_
Is the Department of Labor refusing to post 50K+ high tech openings?
"A very troubling story is unfolding out of the Department of Labor [DoL] over the right for U.S. workers to view, and thus apply for, more than 27,788 possible [job openings] remaining for foreign workers under the H-1B visa quota system.   The problem is the Department of Labor, to date, has not made these jobs available for viewing on their web site, according to Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild.   The DoL is stone-walling requests by organizations like his to publish on the DoL web site these openings, despite the fact that a foreign worker with a valid 2006 H-1B visa could not start employment until 2005 October 1.   Berry says that a disproportionate number of these openings are for software engineers and computer programmers...   The Department of Labor requires that U.S. employers who want to hire someone on an H-1B visa fill out what is called an LCA, Labor Condition Application.   Berry and others are calling for the DoL to post and make these LCAs searchable...   'In effect DoL has a list of 50K tech job openings in the U.S.A., but is stone-walling efforts by U.S. job seekers to obtain that list of job openings so that they can apply -- to be considered on an equal basis with foreign workers.'"

Navarette _Salt Lake Tribune_
The cost of doing jobs that Americans allegedly won't do
"Some people hate that phrase, angrily insisting that the issue isn't work ethic but wages, and that there is no job that Americans won't do if the price is right...   That's considerably less than the asking price of one of my U.S.-born readers who boasted that he would gladly pick lettuce - for $1K per week.   Even if a lettuce grower were willing to pay that, he would simply pass that cost onto the customer.   And a Cobb salad would be as pricey as caviar.   Of course, Americans won't pay those prices for produce.   They'll simply shop for less expensive alternatives, relying on fruits and vegetables imported from foreign countries.   That gives farmers little incentive to boost workers' wages.   What farmers and other employers have an incentive to do is bring in more workers.   The more workers they have at their disposal, the harder they can push them and the more they can depress wages.   That's why management loves the idea of so-called guest workers, a temporary (and thus disposable) work force...   The [Kyl & Cornyn] bill is a gift for employers...   I don't understand why law-makers insist on catering so much to employers.   Especially when human nature tells us that, the easier it is for someone to get something, the less likely he is to take care of it...   According to media reports, on July 13, he tried to keep up when the tractor, which sets the pace of the picking, suddenly sped up on orders from the foreman.   Whereas the usual speed allows workers to pick three buckets of bell peppers in 15 minutes, with time for a drink of water, the faster pace required them to pick double that in the same amount of time with no water.   Near the end of the day, Zamudio-Rodriguez complained that he wasn't feeling well.   Suddenly, he collapsed.   An ambulance was called.   En route to the hospital, Zamudio-Rodriguez died."

Yvonne Teems _Dayton Ohio Business Journal_
Demand for IT workers is sharply down from what it was early in 2000, but slightly up recently, and employers are far pickier
"After several years of slow to no hiring, the demand for IT workers by companies such as Meyer's is heating up.   But the jobs have changed since the tech boom of the late 1990s.   Having basic IT skills no longer is enough.   Companies are looking for workers that have developed a niche in the industry and are knowledgeable about nontechnology industries, such as finance and pharmaceuticals [as well as particular brand-name software and software development tools]...   But the demand has not.   Demand for IT workers in both technology and nontech businesses went from about 1.6M in 2000 to a little more than 200K in 2004, according to an ITAA survey.   [ITAA is a tech executive lobbying organization.]...   In 2004, 79% or 8.3M IT professionals worked for non-IT companies in industries such as banking, manufacturing, food service and transportation.   As technology for companies within these industries becomes more sophisticated, more IT workers will be needed to handle it, said Ann Gallaher, chief operating officer for the Greater Dayton IT Alliance."

_Cincinnati Enquirer_
Enquirer 80 index down 1.15%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks was down 3.25 points, or 1.15%, to close at 280.25.   Eleven issues were up, 66 were down and 3 were unchanged.   Leading gainers were Frisch's, up 64 cents to $24.65; LCA Vision Inc., up 46 cents to $44.28, Kendle International, up 40 cents to $19.56; Cheviot Financial Corp., up 20 cents to $11.60; and LanVision Systems Inc., up 10 cents to $2.89.   Biggest laggers were NS Group Inc., down $1.74 to $40, Wellpoint Health Networks Inc., down $1.71 to $70.92; Chiquita Brands International, down $1.69 to $27.31; Chemed Corp., down $1.67 to $42.40; and Humana Inc., down $1.47 to $42.04."

2005-08-05 13:19PDT (16:19EDT) (20:19GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Stocks fell, snapped 5-week winning streak
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 52.07 points to 10,558.03.   The Dow ended the week down 83 points, after gaining 343 points, or 3.3% over the previous 5 weeks.   The Nasdaq fell 13.41 points to 2,177.91 after posting its biggest one-day drop in 2 months on Thursday, and fell 7 points for the week.   The S&P 500 Index was off 9.44 points at 1,226.42 for a weekly loss of 8 points.   The number of declining stocks dominated advancers by a 25 to 7 margin on the NYSE and by a 20 to 10 score on the Nasdaq exchange.   Volume was 1.5G on both the Big Board and the Nasdaq."


Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Dan Sheehy: Fighting Immigration Anarchy

_eTaiwan News_
Red China charged Hong Kong reporter with spying for Taiwan Republic of China
Times of London
"Mr Ching, a China-born Hong Kong citizen - and thus a Chinese national in the eyes of Beijing - disappeared on April 22 while in southern China, where he was attempting to obtain a manuscript of interviews with a Communist Party leader purged for opposing the 1989 Tiananmen Square crack-down on student demonstrators."

Unidentified person defended against privacy violators by shooting one with a pellet gun this evening
Numerous papparazzi were lurking on a hill near a home in which a friends were holding a baby shower for a celebrity when one of the privacy violators, Brad Diaz, was hit by a pellet.   Diaz went to the hospital and was released with a Band-Aid on his leg.   "This doesn't even rise to the level of assault with a deadly weapon.", said sergeant Robert Knudson of the Lost Hills station of the Los Angeles county sheriff's department.
Los Angeles Times
Chicago Tribune

Alan Roden _Scotsman_
Plan for memorial to Robin Cook


Karen Sbrockey _Denver Post_
Between jobs, but not allowed to say "desperate"
"You're not allowed to say, 'I'm desperate!' at the Caffeinated Career Club, even though almost everyone there is over 40 and has been unemployed for many months, or even a year or more.   They are college-educated, middle-class, white-collar, experienced professionals...   They include project managers, software experts, public-relations specialists, engineers, data-base managers, mid-level administrators and technicians.   Until a week ago, when I accepted a wonderful job, I was among them, with the same dreams, goals and frustrations...   According to the Department of Labor's Job Vacancy Survey for 2003, in Colorado the chances of getting a job were better for a lifeguard or ski patrol member than for a software engineer.   There were more job openings for people who clean vehicles and equipment than for aerospace engineers or operations technicians.   Pest-control workers were in greater demand than public-relations managers.   And the available jobs came with fewer benefits...   With a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Ed has worked in the defense industry and the private manufacturing sector, and his experience includes mechanism and tooling and product testing.   He sees many job descriptions that ask for three areas of expertise rolled into one job.   'A recruiter will search coast to coast to find someone who has these qualifications and then wonder why that person won't work for $30K a year.'"

Annie Sweeney _Chicago Sun-Times_
Surviving Chicago's Slave Trade
"'We were all so... trusting.', she said."
Human Trafficking by the Numbers


Charlie McCollum _San Jose Mercury News_
Peter Jennings died at the age of 67 from lung cancer
Christian Science Monitor
New York Daily News
"Canadian-born Jennings was voted best TV anchor 5 times (more than anyone else) by the readers of the American Journalism Review."


Martin Flanagan _Scotsman_
Red Chinese aiming to take over Marconi
"Embattled telecoms group Marconi was tightlipped yesterday as speculation escalated that it was in exploratory talks with its [Red Chinese] partner, Huawei Technologies, that could lead to the takeover of the British company...   Huawei formed an alliance with Marconi earlier this year, allowing the two to sell each other's products to their respective customers."

_Los Angeles Times_/_AP_
Los Angeles county tops nation in employers but not compensation
"A new U.S. Census Bureau report being released today shows that populous Los Angeles County leads the nation with the largest number of businesses while Manhattan tops the chart with the highest average salary.   The bureau's 2003 County Business Patterns report analyzes business establishments in more than 1K industries on the national, state and local levels.   The data are used by business planners to study economic activity.   In the report, Los Angeles county [CA] had 235K businesses, followed by Cook county IL, with 128K and Manhattan, also known as New York county [NY], with 103K.   In 2003, businesses in Los Angeles county had 3.8M workers, who earned $147G.   Cook county had 2.4M employees, who made $102G, and New York City had 2M workers and a pay-roll of $148G.   Among the nation's most populous counties, Manhattan had the highest average annual salary per worker at $73K; the lowest average was in Riverside county [CA] at $29K.   Rounding out the top 5 counties with the largest number of businesses are Harris county TX, with 86K and Orange county [CA] with 83K."

James W. Brosnan _Albuquerque Tribune_
Bush signed pork-filled energy bill at Sandia National Labs: Labs help in energy research
"Sandia is spending about $82.7M this year for research on fossil fuels, renewable energy, nuclear power and energy efficiency and $48.6M on basic energy research.   Those projects include: Oil and gas exploration, improved bits, telemetry and electronics.   Engines that use solar power to heat and expand gasoline instead of burning it.   Hydrogen-powered cars of the future, metal hydrides to store hydrogen safely so that a car could run at least 300 miles before refueling.   New materials to prevent electricity leaks during transmission.   Wallace said Los Alamos would spend about $100M this year on about a dozen energy-related research projects.   They include: How to catalyze hydrogen and oxygen in fuel cells without the use of expensive platinum.   For coal gasification projects, a way to capture carbon dioxide, a green-house gas, and convert it to a liquid state for storage in underground wells.   Super-cooling materials to better conduct electricity."

2005-08-08 10:35PDT (13:35EDT) (17:35GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US house proces soared 16.5% in 2005 Q2
"Prices had increased 8.8% annualized in the first quarter, or 12.5% year-over-year, according to the latest data from the federal Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.   Quarterly gains peaked at 19.2% annualized in the third quarter of 2004."

2005-08-08 13:26PDT (16:26EDT) (20:26GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum futures closed at $63.94 per barrel
"September unleaded gasoline closed up 2.48 cents at $1.857 [per] gallon after trading as high as $1.874 -- the highest price ever for a bench-mark contract."

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Watching the Economy Crumble
"Of the new jobs, 26K (about 13%) are tax-supported government jobs.   That leaves 181K private sector jobs.   Of these private sector jobs, 177K, or 98%, are in the domestic service sector.   Here is the breakdown of the major categories: 30K food servers and bartenders, 28K health care and social assistance, 12K real estate, 6K credit intermediation, 8K transit and ground passenger transportation, 50K retail trade and 8K wholesale trade.   (There were 7K construction jobs, most of which were filled by Mexicans.)...   The items may have an American brand name, but they are mainly made off shore.   For example, 70% of Wal-Mart's goods are made in [Red China].   Where are the jobs for the 65K engineers the US graduates each year?   Where are the jobs for the physics, chemistry, and math majors?...   Everything that used to be mom and pop businesses has been replaced with chains and discount retailers...   Just try starting a small business today.   Most gasoline station/convenience stores seem to be the property of immigrant ethnic groups who acquired them with the aid of a tax=payer-financed US government loan."

2005-08-08 16:40PDT (19:40EDT) (23:40GMT)
Andrea Coombes _MarketWatch_
Money is low on the list of what baby boomers hope to inherit
"baby boomers say their parents' personal keepsakes, family stories and final instructions are more important than the oft-publicized trillions of dollars they're expected to inherit...   77% of boomers said understanding their parents' values is very important, 65% said enacting their parents' last wishes is key and 34% felt receiving their parents' sentimental treasures is very important, according to a telephone and on-line survey of about 1,200 boomers, conducted for Allianz, the insurance company, by Harris Interactive.   For this study, boomers are those 40 to 59 years old...   And 96% of boomers said their parents don't owe them an inheritance; 95% said they're not counting on an inheritance for their financial well-being.   But 73% said their parents' personal possessions are very important, and 91% said family stories are."

Ron Paul _Ron Paul Library_
Immigration and the Welfare State
"The problem of illegal immigration will not be solved easily, but we can start by recognizing that the overwhelming majority of Americans -- including immigrants -- want immigration reduced, not expanded."

Carol Kleiman _Chicago Tribune_
"You don't have to be a college graduate -- not even a 'recent' one -- to understand what's going on here [when companies say they're 'looking for recent college graduates']:   They're looking for people in their early 20s.   And yes, that is age discrimination."


2005-08-08 18:36PDT (21:36EDT) (2005-08-09 01:36GMT)
John Spence _MarketWatch_
Van Campen fund focuses on IPO market
"Van Kampen Funds Inc., a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley unveiled the IPOX-30 Index Portfolio last month.   The fund, structured as a unit investment trust, tracks an index of 30 companies that have gone public in the past 1K trading days.   'Going public changes companies dramatically, and the 'IPO effect' typically lasts for the first 3 years of trading.', said Josef Schuster, founder of IPOX Schuster, which designed the tracking index...   For inclusion in the index, companies must have a market valuation of at least $50M, and 15% of the total shares outstanding must be offered."

Deb Riechmann _AP_/_Southern Illinoisan_
Energy Bill Subsidizes Some Companies, Does Little to Ease Fuel Prices

_KVOA Tucson_
Homeland Insecurity Officials Demonstrate Abuse of RFID Tags
"Border officials are testing new radio identification tags at 5 crossings into Mexico and Canada.   The radio tags will be part of the standard registration process for entering the United States.   The wireless technology is nearly identical to that already being used to speed up passage at toll booths on many of the nation's highways."

_AP_/_Myrtle Beach_
Germany's trade surplus rose unexpectedly in June
"Germany's trade surplus rose to 16.8G euros ($20.8G) in June from 12.1G euros ($14.9G) in May, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said...   exports rose 9.8% to 68.8G euros ($85.1G) in June.   Imports also rose, climbing 8.1% to 51.9M euros ($64.2M)...   Germany's current account recorded a 10.4G euro ($12.86G) surplus in June from a revised surplus of 5.5G euros ($6.8G) in May."

Bob Egelko _San Francisco Chronicle_
WM fights to derail sex discrimination suit
"WM tried Monday to derail the nation's largest-ever discrimination suit, arguing that a single trial on the claims of 1.6M women would be neither fair nor manageable...   The trial would be a battle of statistics, and women who were paid less than some national average would get damages...   women make up two-thirds of WM's hourly employees but only one-third of its managers.   The judge also found that higher management positions were more male- dominated, that women were paid less than men in every region and in most job categories and that women take longer than men to reach management positions.   Boutrous countered that a study commissioned by WM showed no pay disparities at more than 90% of its stores and that the company-wide statistics failed to reflect thousands of local decisions on pay and promotions.   A second panel member, Judge Harry Pregerson, said the trial judge had heard experts on both sides and issued a painstaking, detailed ruling that is entitled to some deference by the appeals court.   Pregerson also said Boutrous owed Jenkins, the trial judge, an apology for the company's written brief, which criticized Jenkins' writing style and accused the judge of trampling on WM's rights."

Jennifer C. Kerr _Washington Times_
Housing prices over-power incomes
"the median price of a home in the United States rose 20% in 18 months, to $225K.   During the same period, wages for teachers, fire-fighters and nurses in most cities remained flat or increased slightly, but still fell far short of the annual salary needed to buy a home, said the report from the Center for Housing Policy.   For example, the median household income for a nurse rose 10% between 2003 and 2005, to about $36K.   For a fire-fighter, wages were flat, remaining at about $37K a year.   Those salaries don't come close to the $71K annual income needed to qualify to purchase a $225K home.   The number is based on a down payment of 10%...   The median home price in [West Palm Beach, FL] has jumped nearly 32% since 2003, to $245K.   To qualify for a mortgage, a person would need to make about $77,600 a year, up from $57,600 in 2003.   That would put a home out of reach for school-teachers and police officers in the community, whose annual salaries are in the low to mid-40s.   The gap is even greater for nurses, who make about $36K, and child care workers, whose salaries are in the low to mid-20s."

Delthia Ricks _Contra Costa Times_
US to boost avian flu vaccine stock-pile
" Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the federal government will order substantially more than the 2M doses it acquired earlier this year from French vaccine maker Sanofi-Pasteur."

Babu Ghanta _India Daily_
India eager to push off-shoring and guest-worker abuse via the WTO
"India gains a lot from services offering in the World Trade Organization.   One of the main reason India has joined the WTO is because it can benefit from WTO's open door environment in service sector.   India will submit its revised offers on services in the WTO shortly with...   'very wide' commitments in various sectors even though the revised offers from developed countries like US and EU have not been satisfactory, a top government official said Monday.   India will offer improved commitments in architechture, veterinary, business consulting, real estate, management consulting, environment, financial and telecom services, he said during discussions on services negotiations in the run-up to the Hong Kong [Red China] Ministerial conference in December."

2005-08-09 07:01PDT (10:01EDT) (14:01GMT)
Irwin Kellner _MarketWatch_
Productivity has implications for employment and profits
"The slow-down in productivity growth is good news for jobseekers -- but it's bad news for corporate profits.   The second quarter's decline in labor productivity growth shouldn't be surprising.   Efficiency is always the greatest during the first year of an economic recovery, when companies are able to produce or sell more without having to add staff.   Major advances in technology, combined with uncertainties tied to terrorism, the fighting in the Middle East, and Sarbanes-Oxley have kept hiring down, thus boosting productivity growth far above its long-term average...   From an average of 1.5% a year in the 20 years ending 1995, productivity growth doubled in the subsequent five years, then increased even further last year.   So far this year, productivity growth has slowed -- although it's still far ahead of its long-term average...   It goes without saying that more people at work mean more incomes to buy the goods and services Corporate America produces.   In turn, this should lead to even more jobs...   With income growth weak, consumers will buy only those goods they can afford."
US productivity data from BLS

2005-08-09 12:30PDT (15:30EDT) (19:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Economists say that Fed "has miles to go" in increasing interest rates
"'There are a few small changes to the statement, but none of them will offer any comfort to those believing rates are at or close to their peak.', said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics.   Rich Yamarone, head of research for Argus Research, said the FOMC will likely boost rates by at least another 1.5 percentage points before pausing, with the federal funds rate at 5% and perhaps higher...   The Fed's goal is to achieve a 'neutral' interest rate that would neither boost growth nor restrain it.   Estimates of neutrality range from 3.50% to 5.50%, depending on the inflation rate and the economy's potential growth rate."

2005-08-09 13:34PDT (16:34EDT) (20:34GMT)
Leslie Wines -MarketWatch_
US stocks close higher after Fed raises interest rates another quarter percentage point to 3.5%
"The rate increase, the tenth in a row, was widely expected following numerous unambiguous signals from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.   A phrase in the policy statement that monetary policy remains accommodative and that this 'accommodation' can be removed at a measured pace signals further rate hikes.   The Fed's policymaking committee left its post-meeting statement largely unchanged from June's statement."
Fed statement

_eGov Monitor_
CSC and Amicus reach accord on off-shore out-sourcing
"Under the deal, CSC has pledged to use cost savings made through off-shoring to train and develop its UK work-force... The key features of the agreement include:


Bryanna Bevens _V Dare_
Despite Politicians, American Revolt Against Uncontrolled Immigration Gathers Force
"immigration enforcement is supposedly a federal matter, not the responsibility of individual state governments.   In practice, however, it is the states, not the feds, who shoulder the bulk of the burden...   Another recent legislative casualty in the same session of the Judiciary Committee: ACA 6, offered by Assemblyman Mark Wyland (R-Vista).   According to the legislative digest: 'This measure would prohibit the state from issuing any driver's license, state identification card, providing in-state tuition or fees for postsecondary education, granting any voting privileges, or providing any health, social, or other state or local public benefit to any person who is neither a citizen of the United States nor an alien lawfully present in the United States...'   And ACA 20 would also have required proof http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.3622.IH:of citizenship to vote...   there is also a bill in the U.S. Congress that seeks to establish a federal civilian police force...   or militia.Just before the recess bell, Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) introduced HR3622: The Border Protection Corps Act.   If enacted, state Governors would have the authority to deputize citizens to aid law enforcement in the apprehension of illegal immigrants."

Representative Ron Paul, MD _Lew Rockwell_
Immigration and the welfare state
"The public correctly perceives that neither political party has the courage to do what is necessary to prevent further erosion of both our border security and our national identity...   the overwhelming majority of Americans -- including immigrants -- want immigration reduced, not expanded.   Amnesty for illegal immigrants is not the answer.   Millions of people who broke the law by entering, staying, and working in our country illegally should not be rewarded with a visa.   Why should law-breakers obtain a free pass, while those seeking to immigrate legally face years of paper-work and long waits for a visa?   We must end welfare state subsidies for illegal immigrants.   Some illegal immigrants -- certainly not all -- receive housing subsidies, food stamps, free medical care, and other forms of welfare.   This alienates taxpayers and breeds suspicion of immigrants, even though the majority of them work very hard.   Without a welfare state, we would know that everyone coming to America wanted to work hard and support himself."


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-NewsLetter_
Science & Engineering Degrees & Employment
"As I've said, it's ridiculous reasoning, with the absurd implication that the solution to our problem of unemployment and underemployment of engineers is to produce even more engineers...   Richard Freeman, a Harvard economics professor who has done good work in the past on topics related to H-1B.   So I read Freeman's paper, and of course it turns out that the original article did a terrible job of summarizing the paper.   The article enclosed below is much better...   It turns out that one of the biggest themes of the paper is that classical international trade theory doesn't apply well in today's world...   One of the points he stresses is that [Red China] and India, by developing a small portion of the population into S&E while allowing wages in their broader economies to stay low, can achieve the low-cost S&E that is currently bedeviling us in the U.S...   If you want American students to study S&E, make the salaries attractive, which Freeman shows in detail is not currently the case.   And if you want Americans to pursue PhDs, make that financially attractive for them too...   S&E jobs in the U.S. have been attractive to foreign nationals because the U.S. standard of living is higher than in their home countries and they generally don't have access to the U.S. jobs which pay more than S&E wages, such as lawyers.   Interestingly, Freeman states as a given that the foreign national S&E workers provide cheap labor for U.S. industry...   He does point out that by bloating the labor supply, wage growth is held down, but of course that is only part of the picture...   Considerably fewer [foreign students want to come to the USA to study] these days, mainly because job opportunities in the U.S. are so weak and opportunities back home are growing rapidly...   university production of S&E people doesn't equate to people actually working in those fields...   an engineering graduate may be working as a technician, a building inspector, a factory supervisor, etc. [or, as we have learned over the last few years, as a coffee barrista, blue jeans sales-person, janitor, etc.]...   a large portion of foreign-born S&E workers (at least at the Bachelor's degree level) came to the U.S. through a very different immigration category, namely as children via family immigration."
Freeman's paper for sale
Matloff on Foreign Graduate Students
Matloff article on H-1B ceiling increase for those with advanced degrees

2005-08-10 08:53PDT (11:53EDT) (15:53GMT)
Carlton Delfeld _Forbes_
Bring Back American Jobs And Technology
"The share of Japanese-owned productive capacity located abroad has grown from 8% in 1994, to 40% today.   The United States currently has just over 50% of its manufacturing base located off-shore.   For both Japan and America, the large outflows of direct investment, especially to China, have caused an uneasy feeling...   large Japanese multi-national corporations are busy investing in manufacturing plants at home...   Canon...plans to spend 80% of its $7.2G capital budget in Japan over the next 3 years...   [Red China] has passed America to become Japan's largest export market...   Toyota Motor produces more than 1M cars annually at 8 manufacturing plants in America and has 2 plants under construction in Texas and Tennessee...   Japanese firms have learned the drawbacks of out-sourcing: supply bottlenecks, poor infrastructure, power shortages, uneven quality, difficult inventory management and high employee turnover to name a few.   Secondly, even though [Red China's] wages are about 5% of Japan's, its increasingly sophisticated factory automation has lessened the importance of labor costs.   For advanced high tech products it accounts for only 10% to 15% of total costs.   Having manufacturing closer to home also shortens new product lead times and increases cooperation between R&D and production team, leading to a crucial edge in staying ahead of nimble competitors.   Supply lines of 2K miles [shorter than the distance between Jacksonville and San Diego or Chicago to Los Angeles] can be problematic...   Having research, development and production closer to headquarters better protects proprietary technologies.   Unfortunately, here in America the out-sourcing trend does not appear to be reversing, even in capital-intensive products.   Many of the new high tech jobs are for managers to manage the out-sourcing process...   large and growing R&D centers in [Red]China to take advantage of Beijing's cheaper pool of talent.   Given [Red China's] [and India's] disregard for intellectual property rights, perhaps American executives should pause and reconsider the long-term costs of growing out-sourcing programs.   Their off-shore R&D staff may very well walk off with proprietary knowledge and the company's future...   Whirlpool makes its high-end front loading washing machines in Germany ($32/hour labor) and ships them to the U.S. ($23/hour labor).   The reasons given by Whirlpool: a trained German work-force, available capacity and necessary technology.   Whirlpool could have produced these washing machines at their Ohio plant and saved the $50 per unit shipping costs, while creating high-wage American jobs...   40% or more of American imports from [Red China] come from American multi-nationals with China-based manufacturing plants.   Why not sell more of the stuff we make in [Red China] to China's 1.3G consumers?   If these markets are not open to American companies, let's use the leverage of access to America's vast consumer market to bust them open."

2005-08-10 05:31PDT (08:31EDT) (12:31GMT)
It Pays To Be Popular at Work
"Research at Columbia University shows that jobs, pay raises and promotions are more apt to be awarded based on a worker's charisma than on [productivity,] academic background or professional qualifications...   After 2 years and a quarter million pages of research, Tim Sanders, leadership coach at Yahoo! and author of _The Likeability Factor_, has un-locked the secrets to having a magnetic personality...   'First, they seek friendliness.   Then, they ask themselves if you are relevant to them.   Next, they ponder whether you have empathy for them.   Finally, they ask themselves if you are real -- that is, authentic and honest.   If the answers to those 4 questions are affirmative, you receive a high likeability factor.'...   greet people cheerfully...   likeability will [usually] increase with [reduced] 'functional distance', such as sitting next to someone at a party or living nearby...   Having common interests or experiences makes people feel validated and generates a sense of community and personal respect...   Relevance is strongest when the value you offer meets another person's wants and needs...   Know how that person is feeling about his or her life situation these days?   Understand what it must feel like to perform the person's tasks day after day -- be it caring for an elderly relative at home or managing a heavy workload?   Share the same emotions about key issues?...   genuineness, is consistency between your beliefs and actions.   To be true to yourself and others, you need to: Do what you want to be doing in life.   Live with purpose.   Commit to the principles of your work.   Be the same person on the outside as you are on the inside.   Be direct and honest with others."

2005-08-10 11:12PDT (14:12EDT) (18:12GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US federal deficit fell to $52.8G in July: Revenues up 13.7% so far in 2005 while outlays increased 6.1%
"The federal deficit was about $5G less than the $58G estimated by the Congressional Budget Office a week ago.   Receipts came in $1G more than expected, while outlays were $4G less than CBO projected."
monthly treasury statement

2005-08-10 12:44PDT (15:44EDT) (19:44GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum prices touch record at $65 per barrel: Closed at $64.90 per barrel

Robert J. Samuelson _Washington Post_
It Is Not a Science Gap (Yet)
"All advanced societies now depend so completely on technology that their economic might is often measured by their number of scientists and engineers.   By that indicator, America's economic power is waning.   We're producing a shrinking share of the world's technological talent...   Harvard University economist Richard Freeman...   The European Union now graduates about 50% more, and Asia is slightly ahead of us.   By Freeman's estimates, [Red China] has reached almost half the U.S. total and will easily overtake us by 2010.   Among engineers with bachelor's degrees, the gaps are already huge.   In 2001 [Red China] graduated 220K engineers, against about 60K for the United States, the National Science Foundation reports.   Freeman also documents a second worrisome reality: U.S. scientists and engineers aren't well paid, considering their skills and -- especially for PhDs -- the required time for a degree.   This means, Freeman says, that 'the job market... is too weak to attract increasing numbers of U.S. students'.   Consider some pay comparisons.   From 1990 to 2000, average incomes for engineering PhDs increased from $65K to $91K, up 41%; PhDs in natural sciences (physics, chemistry) rose from $56K to $73K, up 30%.   Meanwhile, average doctors' incomes increased from $99K to $156K, up 58%; and lawyers went from $77K to $115K, up 49%.   The true situation may be worse.   Next to other elites, scientific and engineering PhDs fare poorly.   Look at the 891 MBA recipients of the Harvard Business School's class of 2005.   At an average age of 27, they command a median starting salary of $100K.   It's true that the 2-year cost of a Harvard MBA is steep ($120K and up), and four-fifths of the students are left with debts averaging $81K.   But these new Harvard MBAs also got huge one-time bonuses; the median was $43K.   As for scientific and engineering PhDs, they typically require 7 to 8 years to finish their degrees, notes Freeman...   In 1981 American companies and laboratories accounted for 45% of research and development among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which are generally the world's richest nations.   In 2000 the U.S. share was still 44% -- despite the increase in other countries' scientists and engineers and a decline in U.S. defense research and development...   The prospect of a big pay-off compensates for mediocre pay and fuels ambition."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
On Robert Samuelson's column about the Richard Freeman paper
"Globalization's real effect will be to decimate America's middle class, as the U.S. will gain jobs requiring lesser education and skills at the expense of losing jobs requiring more education and skills.   Even a major industry study, performed by the prominent consulting firm Global Insight Inc., came to this conclusion...   I invite Samuelson to contact Intel, for instance, and ask them how many PhDs they hire per year.   He'll find that they refuse to tell him, and that's because they have something to hide: Intel, who is always bemoaning to the press that 50% of the PhDs granted by U.S. universities go to foreign students, actually hires very few PhDs.   They make the statements, of course, to get Congress to increase the yearly quota for the H-1B work visa.   Note by the way that after Intel and others made so many statements along these lines, last December Congress created a separate H-1B category for foreign workers having a Master's or PhD from a U.S. university -- and guess what, that new category is only half filled so far, belying the industry lobbyists' claim of an urgent need that the new category would not be sufficient for.   The reason we don't have more Americans pursuing a PhD in S&E is that there are major economic disincentives..., disincentives that don't apply to foreign students.   So, even Americans that do major in S&E fields for their Bachelor's degrees see that pursuing a PhD is undesirable financially."

_Wharton School Knowledge_
People Who Step Out of the Corporate World Find It Hard to Step Back In
"should confront the difficulties they face and prepare for their return to the labor force the moment they leave, says Monica McGrath, adjunct professor of management at Wharton, executive coach and co-author of the study entitled, _Back in the Game: Returning to Business after a Hiatus: Experiences and Recommendations for Women, Employers, and Universities_...   The study found that while 36% of the women who left their jobs said they were conflicted about their decision, 70% remained positive overall about the decision.   When they were asked to describe their hunt for a job after deciding to return to work, 50% said they were frustrated and 18% said the experience was depressing.   The women were 'angry about having to justify the time they took off and start over as if they had never gotten an MBA.', says McGrath...   In late 2004 and early 2005, the researchers surveyed 130 executives who had stepped out of the work-force for at least 2 years and had already returned, or were trying to do so.   Of those who responded, 83% were over 35 and 81% had an MBA.   60% had left their jobs within the last 5 years and 18% within the last 10 years.   At the time of the survey, 60% of the respondents had re-entered the work-force and 32% were actively seeking employment.   Most of the respondents -- 64% -- had planned to step out for 5 years or less, while 48% had planned to stay out for 2 years or less.   In the end, 29% stayed out for about the amount of time they had anticipated, while 28% stayed out for a shorter period and 43% stayed out longer.   A full 87% of those who initially never planned to return to work were already back on the job or looking for employment...   The survey results indicate women attempting to go back to work set out with confidence.   Then, when confronted with obstacles, they begin to suffer self-doubt, which only makes their situation worse, says McGrath.   'When they meet resistance, they are taken aback.   They are not prepared for it, and they lose confidence.   There is a difference between interviewing from power and confidence and interviewing in such a way that you feel a need to explain yourself.'"

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
National Data: Immigrants Continue To Displace Americans
"immigrants are getting a disproportionate share of new jobs.   Americans are being shouldered aside...   Hispanic employment is the best proxy we have for the month to month increases in the immigrant work-force, since about 40% of all Hispanic workers -- and an even larger share of new Hispanic workers -- are immigrants.   Hispanic employment rose by 75K, or 0.4%, in July -- compared to a 363K, or 0.3%, rise in non-Hispanic employment.   Since the start of the Bush Administration (2001 January), Hispanic employment has risen by 2.585M, or 16.0%.   Non-Hispanic employment is up by 1.720M, or 1.41%.   This is particularly shocking when you remember that Hispanics are only 15% of the work-force.   Yet they got 60% of the job growth...   VDAWDI rose to a record 114.4 in July, up from 114.3 in June and 112.5 in 2004 July.   The starting point, or base, of the index is 100.0 in 2001 January...   Average hourly earnings rose 0.4% in July, but after adjusting for inflation, average wages were virtually unchanged from 2004 July...   Foreign-born Hispanics account for 48% of all 'Plasters and stucco masons', 45% of all 'Dry-wall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers', and 31% of 'construction laborers' -- according to a recent Pew Hispanic Center report."


2005-08-11 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 267,461 in the week ending August 6, an increase of 5,819 from the previous week.   There were 291,611 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending July 30, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,475,224, a decrease of 33,668 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.2% and the volume was 2,755,373."

2005-08-11 07:35PDT (10:35EDT) (14:35GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US retail sales increased by 1.8% in July: Up 0.3% excluding auto sales increase of 6.7%

2005-08-11 09:03PDT (12:03EDT) (16:03GMT)
David Weidner _MarketWatch_
WorldCom's ex-CFO Scott Sullivan sentenced to 5 years in prison

2005-08-11 12:27PDT (15:27EDT) (19:27GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US Trade Representative and Red Chinese to negotiate about textiles next week
"David Spooner, the USTR's special textile negotiator...   The China textile negotiations will be held in San Francisco on August 16 and 17...   The textile industry wants the comprehensive deal to limit [Red Chinese] imports in more than 19 categories of apparel to close to a 7.5% growth rate per year until the end of 2008, according to Lloyd Wood, a spokesman for the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition."

2005-08-11 13:39PDT (16:39EDT) (20:39GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum at $66 per barrel has not peaked yet

Victor Davis Hanson _San Jose Mercury News_
Braceros program illustrated the limits of guest-worker plans
"Most entail guest-worker provisions that bring set numbers of temporary workers in from Mexico, attached to particular employers who can 'prove' they can't find Americans to work for them.   The problem is that we have unsuccessfully tried this approach before, from 1942 to 1964, with the braceros -- the hired 'arms' from Mexico.   Various programs to bring Mexican laborers across the border were initially small, supposedly temporary, and aimed only at alleviating war-time shortages of labor.   But some 4M braceros later, the idea of guest workers had evolved into a huge labor exchange, delivering hardworking -- and very cheap -- farm-workers to American employers, most of them large agribusiness concerns.   President Kennedy, under union pressure and shortly before his death, began to phase out the braceros.   He worried that the system was 'adversely affecting the wages, working conditions and employment opportunities of our own agricultural workers'...   Growing up in the rural San Joaquin Valley in California in the early 1960s, I remember hardworking -- but not happy -- braceros.   No one considered them 'guests' at all, but rather more like helots -- a permanent class of serfs in the fields whom the public neglected, the employer exploited and other workers resented.   To ensure that braceros went back home to Mexico after harvest, portions of their paychecks were often deposited with the Mexican government.   Today thousands of aged and disabled farmworkers are still in court trying to reclaim those stolen wages.   In fact, almost every bad immigration stereotype we have today of both Mexico and the United States -- corrupt Mexican officials, hard-nosed American contractors, labor camps and exploited workers -- crystallized during the bracero era...   Another constant, still with us today, was that cheap labor from Mexico -- at first braceros, later illegal aliens -- made it almost impossible for American farm-workers to see their own wages rise much...   There are plenty of Americans in need of work.   There are plenty of jobs begging to be filled.   The rub is that permanently mowing lawns, picking strawberries and making beds do not pay enough to support a family."


_Hard Beat News_
H-1B Visas for FY2006 Are Running Out: US advanced degree H-1Bs still plentiful
"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials are advising that the regular H-1B visa quota for fiscal year 2006 -- 2005 October 1 - 2006 September 30 -- may be filled in the next week or two...   Typical H-1B occupations include architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, doctors and college professors.   The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65K [plus 20K for those who received advanced degrees from US universities and colleges, plus 10,500 E visas for similar workers and purposes for those from Australia; only the 65K quota is approaching being filled]."

2005-08-12 04:59PDT (07:59EDT) (10:59GMT)
Kathleen Hennessy _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Water-Fall with 400 Foot Drop Rediscovered in WhiskeyTown National Recreation Area in Northern California
"There's no doubt the falls have had visitors over the years.   The Wintu Indians were probably the first, although archeologists have so far found no traces on the site.   A small band of loggers that harvested Douglas firs in the early 1950s left behind a choker cable and part of a bulldozer.   A knife blade stuck in a nearby tree indicates that others have also made the trek.   But for park officials, the falls were merely a rumor for many years, said Russ Weatherbee, the wildlife biologist credited with the find.   A couple years ago, Weatherbee was cleaning out a cabinet of old maps when he stumbled across one from the 1960s marked with a note reading 'Whiskeytown falls' near Crystal Creek."

2005-08-12 07:02PDT (10:02EDT) (14:02GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Import prices were up 1.1% in July: Fell 0.3% when fuels are excluded
"Excluding the 6.6% increase in petroleum prices, import prices fell 0.1% in July, the third consecutive decline...   Import natural-gas prices also rose 6.6% in July.   Excluding all fuels, import prices fell 0.3%, the largest decline in the 3 1/2-year history of the index...   Import prices rose 7.7% in the past 12 months, up from 7% a month ago.   Excluding the 43% rise in petroleum prices, however, import prices are up just 2.2% in the past year.   Prices of exports from the U.S., meanwhile, rose 0.1%, despite agricultural export prices falling 0.2%...   Prices of [Red Chinese] imports fell by 0.3% in July, the second decline in a row...   Despite the political heat, [Red Chinese] prices continued to fall in July and are down 1.2% in the past 12 months...   Prices of European Union imports sank 0.3%, including a record 0.8% drop in German import prices.   Prices of Japanese imports fell 0.1%.   Prices of goods from the newly industrialized nations of East Asia fell 0.8%.   All told, imports from the Pacific Rim nations dropped 0.3%, the most in the two years the data have been collected.   Prices of Canadian imports rose 1.1%.   Prices of British imports gained 0.9% and are now up 7% in the past year."
BLS data

2005-08-12 07:49PDT (10:49EDT) (14:49GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US trade deficit increased from $55.4G in May to $58.8G in June
"June's trade deficit compares with the record $60.1G deficit in February.   The deficit is on track to set a new record high this year, having totaled $342.9G for the first six months of 2005, up from $290.9G in the same period last year, when the annual trade deficit was a record $617.6G...   June's imports rose 2.1% to $165.6G, while exports remained steady at $106.8G.   Imports of goods alone rose 2.4% to a record $138.5G, as imports of capital goods and oil set new records.   The value of U.S. oil imports rose to a record $14.6G in June from $13.7G in May.   The price of a barrel of oil was $44.40, the second highest level on record.   Exports of goods alone were also unchanged as declines in agricultural products and consumer goods offset gains in industrial supplies.   Exports of civilian aircraft rose 9.1% to $2.5G.   The U.S. trade deficit with [Red China] widened to a record $17.6G in June compared with $14.1G in the same month last year.   The appetite of U.S. citizens for Chinese goods totaled $90.1G so far this year, which is up 31% from $68.5 during the first half last year, noted Chi Nguyen, economist with the National Association of Manufacturers...   The U.S. also set new record deficits with Mexico, South Central America and OPEC-member nations."
census bureau data

2005-08-12 12:30PDT (15:30EDT) (19:30GMT)
Rob Haralson _AeA_/_Business Wire_
Another tech executive lobbyist organization demands that the USA be flooded even more severely with foreign tech workers on H visas

_Los Angeles Daily Breeze_/_AP_
Jobs are more plentiful in Los Angeles, but the pay is better in New York
"A U.S. Census Bureau report released today shows Los Angeles County leads the nation with the highest number of businesses while Manhattan tops the chart with the highest average salary...   In the report, Los Angeles county had 235K businesses, followed by Cook County, IL [Chicagoland], with 128K and Manhattan, also known as New York county, with 103K...   In 2003, businesses in Los Angeles county hired 3.8M workers who earned $147G.   Meanwhile, Cook county had 2.4M employees who made $102G and New York City had 2M workers with a pay-roll of $148G.   [They don't say how pay compares to cost of living.   Nor do they report on the metropolis of Sopchoppy.]"

Patrick Thibodeau _Computerworld_
H-1B visa cap for FY 2006 reached in record time
"The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service said today that it has reached the 65K H-1B cap for the 2006 fiscal year...   As of early this month, 10,379 of those [H-1B] visas had been applied for [of the 20K visas above the 65K limit, set aside for those with advanced degrees from US colleges and universities], said Bentley...   6,800 of the [65K H-1B visas under the normal cap] have been set aside for workers of Singapore and Chile [5,400 for Singapore and 1,400 for Chile] under trade agreements [while another 10,500 E visas have been set aside for similar workers from Australia].   [USCIS also notes that petitions for new H-1B employment are not subject to the annual cap at all if the alien will be employed at an institution of higher education or a related or affiliated non-profit entity, or at a non-profit research organization or a governmental research organization.]"

Some Sunnis Oppose Federalism

2005-08-12 13:51PDT (16:51EDT) (20:51GMT)
Rex Crum _MarketWatch_
Apple stock reached 52-week high while other tech stocks fell
"Apple Computer Inc. shares reached a 52-week high in late-afternoon trading Friday, as the iPod and Mac maker bucked broad tech losses that were spurred on by Dell Inc.'s weaker than expected sales forecast.   Apple rose $2.10, or 4.8%, to close at $46.10 on volume of more than 32M shares exchanged...   Apple reported 1.18M Mac sales in its most-recent quarter, and Munster estimates that more then 35M iPods will have been shipped by the end of 2005."

_Cincinnati Enquirer_
Enquirer 80 stock index down 0.44%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks was down 1.28 points, or 0.44%, to close Friday at 282.20.   23 issues were up, 52 were down and two were unchanged.   Leading gainers were Federated Department Stores, up $1.36 to $74.92; Pomeroy, up 63 cents to $12.00; PNC Financial Services Group, up 53 cents to $56.00; Rex Stores, up 50 cents to $14.82; Toyota Motor, up 34 cents $80.   Biggest laggers were Cummins, down $1.14 to $85.64; Midland, down 92 cents to $37; Atricure, down 88 cents to $14.07; Kendle, down 86 cents to $19.10; WellPoint, down 77 cents to $72.51."

2005-08-12 13:52PDT (16:52EDT) (20:52GMT)
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
Stocks fell: Nasdaq at 4-week low
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 85.58 points, or 0.8%, at 10,600.31, after worries about weak technology sales drove index components Intel Corp. and [Ill-Begotten Monstrosities] lower.   Of the 30 Dow components, 27 closed in negative territory.   The S&P 500 Index ended down 7.42 points at 1,230.   The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 17.65 points to close at 2,156.90, a 4-week low...   For the week, the Dow rose 0.4% and the S&P 500 gained 0.3%.   The Nasdaq was down 1%...   Crude futures touched a new record shortly after noon on Friday, rising $1.15 to $67 [per] barrel, propelled by numerous recent refinery outages and continuing concern about supplies and terrorism.   Futures later backed down a bit to close up $1.06 at $66.86 [per] barrel."

2005-08-12 14:54PDT (17:54EDT) (21:54GMT)
_News Factor_
Announced Tech Lay-Offs Down for Quarter
ComputerWorld alternate link
"Job losses in the technology field accounted for 18.4% of all lay-offs announced in the first 6 months of 2005, the company said, whereas one year earlier, tech job cuts represented 13% of the 6-month total.   Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. announced last month that second-quarter technology job losses in the U.S. were down 33% from the previous quarter...   Job cuts in the computer sector totaled 20,470, or 51.5% of all technology-related job cuts in the second quarter."
Technology Job Cuts
2004 Q234,213
2005 Q159,537
2005 Q239,720

2005-08-12 12:00PDT (15:00EDT) (19:00GMT)
_Mac Observer_
Hackers run Mac OS X on Intel and AMD boxes

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
industry lobbyists continue major campaign to raise H-1B cap
"Any time you see a bunch of newspaper and magazine editorials that call on Congress to raise the H-1B, you can count on more open industry lobbying efforts to follow.   The reason, of course, is that the industry lobbyists are the ones who put the editors up to writing those editorials in the first place...   a lot of the H-1Bs with graduate degrees are post-docs at universities, which are exempt from the cap anyway...   After all the hullaballoo on this new 20K-visa category [for those with advanced degrees from US colleges & universities], it hasn't been used up after all.   Only about half have been used so far...   Ron Hira points out..., 'If they were hiring the best and brightest, that would be the first category to go.'...   Yes, the H-1B program is used to facilitate off-shoring, and yes, by swelling the labor force, H-1Bs hold down tech wages [and reduces] job opportunities for Americans.   Indeed, all the feed-back I am getting from programmers and engineers is that the only reason there has been even a slight improvement in the job market in the last year or two is the reversion of the H-1B cap from [the temporary limit of] 195K to [the normal prevailing limit of] 65K.   If the cap goes up again, the job market for Americans will go down again."


Mark Ellis _Houston Chronicle_
What we can do to stop immigration insanity
"you need only make a journey to Ben Taub Hospital or the Harris County Jail.   From either place you can witness firsthand the total and abject failure of a federal policy that wastes billions of dollars in an attempt to protect our borders and drives up local property taxes to the point of near revolt by home-owners across Texas.   We are being overwhelmed by the flow of illegal immigrants, with no evidence that we can stop it.   We can bemoan the failure of our federal government or we can become engaged at the state and local level to discourage the flow of illegals.   I'm tired of waiting on the federal government and fearful that any new policy on illegal immigration will only be a repeat of the 1986 act that granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants...   A report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates Texans spend more than $4G annually on education for illegal immigrant children and for their U.S.-born siblings...


Shirleen Holt _Lexington Kentucky Herald-Leader_
Job gaps don't need to ruin a good resume: Detours on career path are becoming the norm; employers look at how you explain them
"the last 4 years?   This was a period, after all, when people with master's degrees drove cabs.   When tech workers bounced from temp job to temp job.   When the titles 'self-employed' or 'consultant' were euphemisms for 'out of work'...   recruiters are still getting hundreds of -- or at M$, 6K -- resumes a day...   Jude Werra is a Wisconsin head-hunter best known for his semi-annual Liars Index, which tracks the number of executives who lie on their resumes, particularly about their education (about 12%)."


2005-08-14 11:52PDT (14:52EDT) (18:52GMT)
Mark Jewell _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Buy-Out Was A Long Time Coming for Reebok CEO Paul Fireman
"The uneven career path Paul Fireman took to build Reebok International Ltd. up to this month's announcement of a $3.8G purchase by Adidas-Salomon AG began turning at an industry trade show in Chicago 26 years ago.   Fireman spotted an impressive display of running shoes by Reebok, an obscure British brand bearing the name of an African gazelle.   Fireman, then 35 and coming off some setbacks in the sporting good business, bought U.S. distribution rights to the shoes for $65K...   he filled the trunk of his car with Reeboks and traveled from race to race, trying to turn runners onto shoes that at $60 a pair were then the most expensive in their market niche...   After Fireman bought Reebok's U.S. distribution rights in 1979, the brand took off when aerobics became popular in California in the early 1980s.   Fireman offered specialized aerobics shoes in 1982 that were a hit with women who liked the shoes' light weight, comfort and understated style."

_San Jose Mercury News_
More or fewer immigrants and guest-workers?   Let's get some facts adn then decide.
"The debate won't be settled until Congress agrees to shed more light on the H-1B visa program.   It should require reporting on the number, wages, educational background, job categories and length of stay of H-1B workers at each firm...   If there is a shortage of qualified tech workers here, then failing to allow foreign workers to fill the gap will only accelerate the shift of jobs over-seas and further erode American competitiveness in technology.   Shutting out highly skilled foreigners who were trained at U.S. universities, often at tax-payers' expense, would be particularly stupid.   But if H-1B visas are being used to import low-paid foreign workers for jobs that American workers easily could fill, the negative impact on the U.S. economy will be both immediate and long lasting.   Not only will U.S. engineers remain unemployed, but young people also will be discouraged from pursuing science and engineering degrees, further undermining U.S. competitiveness and leadership in technology."

Michelle Mittelstadt _Dallas Morning News_
In-State Tuition Rates for Illegal Immigrants Challenged
"Nearly 4K [illegal alien] Texas students would face a major tuition hike or loss of state financial aid if a conservative legal group successfully challenges a state law that has made college affordable for many illegal immigrants.   The Washington Legal Foundation has filed a complaint with the federal government charging that Texas is violating U.S. immigration law by allowing illegal immigrants living in the state to pay the same in-state tuition as Texas residents who are U.S. citizens...   a 'flagrant' violation of a provision in the 1996 federal immigration law that sought to discourage states from offering tuition benefits to illegal immigrants by mandating that any state doing so has to grant similar discounts to all U.S. residents...   At Houston Community College, an in-district student pays $588 a semester -- compared with $1,476 for an out-of-state student, said college spokeswoman Carole Keeney Harrington."

Scott Gray _National Ledger_
Illegal Aliens, Drugs, Violence and Open Borders

John Eckberg _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Don't Give Up On Job Search
"As summer churns toward 2005 Autumn, some are wondering whether the job market is once again showing signs of stress.   About 296,250 job cuts were announced from May through July, a high number, according to a new report from Chicago-based out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.   So far in 2005, lay-off announcements are running 4.6% ahead of last year's pace, the firm said...   'I'm concerned that we may have hit the high water mark of jobs expansion.', Challenger said.   'We've had a spate of big lay-offs announced in the last 6 weeks...   something has got to give.'...   Neuwirth has one other piece of advice, too: 'Don't believe head-hunters when they tell you that a job fit is not exactly right.'"


2005-08-15 07:35PDT (10:35EDT) (14:35GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US retail sales up 1.8% in July, auto sales up 6.7%: retail sales excluding autos up 0.3%
census bureau press release

2005-08-15 08:31PDT (11:31EDT) (15:31GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Empire State Manufacturing Index fell from 23.9 in July to 23 in August
"New orders jumped to 33.8 points in August from 19.2 in July.   This is the highest level of new orders this year...   The prices-paid index rose to 29 points in August from 21.6 in July...   The factory job market improved, with the employee index rising to 10.2 points in August from 1.4 in July.   The average work-week index rose sharply, hitting 20.5 points, its highest level in more than a year."

2005-08-15 10:56PDT (13:56EDT) (17:56GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
CBO agrees that federal debt will have a notable drop for FY2005
"Congressional budget watchers said Monday that surging tax receipts will ensure that the fiscal 2005 federal deficit comes in significantly lower than had been projected in March, but they also warned that the retirement of the baby-boom generation will put 'significant strains' on the budget in coming years.   In its annual August update to the economic and budget outlook, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit will total $331G in the fiscal year ending September 30"

2005-08-15 14:20PDT (17:20EDT) (21:20GMT)
_News Net 5_
Same nerves react to chili peppers, hot mustards and garlic
"[When the] TRPA1 [nerve membrane is activated] the result is a release of brain chemicals that stimulate blood vessel dilation and inflammation...   Garlic, sometimes called the stinking rose, belongs to the group of plants called allium, which also includes onions, leeks, chives and shallots.   All of them produce sulfur-based compounds that make them pungent.   One, called allicin, actives the set of pain sensors and is especially prominent in garlic...   Capsaicin, the chemical that gives hot peppers their heat, is currently a major ingredient in a cream used by arthritis sufferers...   baking garlic eliminated its ability to stimulate the TRPA1 channels."

Patti Connor _Fox News_/_WebMD_
Money Can Buy Happiness... Up to a Point
"Psychology has shown that richer people generally rank the overall quality of their lives more favorably than poorer people do.   At the same time, their actual happiness seems to be motivated less by their ability to buy more than by being able to keep up with those with comparable resources in their own age group (5 years older or younger), according to a new study...   The higher the income of others in one's age group, the lower one's happiness."

Lorraine Ash _Asbury Park Press_
Tech employers demand more guest-worker visas while hundreds of thousands of US tech workers remain un-employed and under-employed
"'The quality of life is much better here, so a person who comes on a visa to work can at last have a single focus on the job.', he said.   'He can work much better in the U.S. than in India because here, everything is nice and he does not have to worry about whether his family can drink the water.   He does not worry about pollution or health issues, as people must do in developing countries.'   He smiled and sat back in the Edison office of his company, NexGen Infosys, which devises and delivers information-technology solutions for other businesses...   NexGen has 75 employees — 45 in New Jersey and California and 30 in his hometown of Hyderabad...   Congress sets the caps for the number of H-1B visas that can be issued each year in the United States.   A high was reached from 2001 through 2003, when 195K H-1Bs were approved.   Starting last year, the cap went back down to 65K again, although it was just raised by another 20K.   The additional 20K must have earned at least a master's degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning...   There were between 746K and 1.14M H-1B visa holders working in the U.S. in fiscal year 2003, according to compiled statistical estimates from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security...   'Even regular processing is simply too expensive.', Prasad said.   'It once was $135, but now it varies, depending on the size of the company, between $750 and $1,500.   Including attorneys' fees, the average cost is about $2K.   Premium processing, which is what I use, costs $1K more.   We also pay even more to fly the person here and get him set up.'   [And yet, H visa applicants are not required to undergo and pass a thorough background check, which would reasonably cost $20K to $30K, so Prasad is getting a huge bargain.]...   Eileen Appelbaum, an economist, [professor at the School of Management and Labor Relations, and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University, former Director at the Economic Policy Institute] and member of a National Research Council committee that studied the impact of H-1Bs on the U.S. economy [said] 'Industry said in 2001, '''Let us have the H-1B visas and we'll do the work here, or you can say no and we'll just move the work off-shore.''' Well, they got all the H-1Bs they wanted, and they still moved work off-shore.   In 2005, that's an argument industry can't make with a straight face.'"

Rush Limbaugh
Democrats Beating GOP on Immigration

_Wall Street Journal_
Democrats Try to Out-Flank the GOP on Immigration
"In 1952, a Democratic Congress passed and Harry S. Truman signed into law the so-called Texas Proviso, which stated that employing illegal aliens would not be a violation of the law.   But a dozen years later, Texan Lyndon B. Johnson gave in to union demands and abolished the Bracero program, which allowed Mexicans to enter as 'temporary' workers to pick crops and do other jobs.   Jimmy Carter tried to repeal the Texas Proviso, but the Democratic Congress instead set up a commission to study the matter.   It was not until 1986 that Congress out-lawed the hiring of illegal aliens, a measure that has been sporadically enforced."

Australians' personal private information sold by Indian call centers
"Tens of thousands of Australians are at risk of computer fraud because their personal information is being made available illegally by workers inside call centres based in India...   The program was able to get hold of personal details through a journalist who is working under-cover and cannot be identified...   recent sting operation by Britain's Sun newspaper, which bought the bank details of 1K British people for just $7 each...   It was offered ATM numbers, passport numbers and credit card details - enough information for hackers to assume the identity of Australians on-line...   Personal details on any number of data-bases can be accessed and used for terrorist activities, which could include getting passports issued, establishing lines of credit or arranging fake IDs for people working under-cover."


June Shelp, Ken Goldstein & Linda Barrington _Conference Board_
Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series™
"The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series™ – reveals today that the number of new on-line job ads fell slightly to 1.97M in July from just over 2M in May and June.   The latest figure is still almost 10% higher than the 1.799M new on-line jobs posted in April...   Declares Ken Goldstein: '...latest readings are consistent with other labor market data, which shows the U.S. labor market is holding steady...'   The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series™ measures the number of new, first-time on-line job ads posted on more than 1,200 major Internet job boards and smaller job boards that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.   The July numbers translate into 1.33 new on-line job ads for every 100 persons in the civilian labor force (people who are employed and those actively seeing work).   The New England region, at 1.88 ads per 100 workers, continues to lead the way in the number of ads per 100 participants in the labor force.   Following closely are the Pacific Coast (1.86) and Rocky Mountain (1.84) regions.   Like The Conference Board's long running Help-Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (which has been published since 1951), the new on-line series is not a direct measure of job vacancies.   The level of ads in both print and on-line may change for reasons not related to overall job demand.   Over the years, analysts have applied various data-smoothing techniques to the Help-Wanted Advertising Index of print ads and determined that it continues to be a useful measure of the state of labor demand in the United States (see Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Economic Letter, #2005-02, 2005-01-21)."

2005-08-16 07:23PDT (10:23EDT) (14:23GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Housing starts dropped to 2.04M
census bureau data

2005-08-16 07:51PDT (11:51EDT) (15:51GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US industrial output up 0.1% in July
"U.S. industrial production rose 0.1% for its third consecutive monthly increase, the Fed said.   Capacity utilization fell slightly to 79.7% last month from a revised 79.8% in June."
Federal Reserve press release

2005-08-16 11:51PDT (14:51EDT) (18:51GMT)
US Wants Limits on Red Chinese Textile Imports
"Those shipments are up 58% so far this year, an increase that has played a big part in pushing the cost of clothing down at an annual rate of 5.9% for the three months ending in June.   American textile and clothing manufacturers blame the import flood for the loss of 26K jobs so far this year and the closing of 19 textile plants...   U.S. and [Red Chinese] textile negotiators began two days of talks in San Franciso on Tuesday.   David Spooner, the administration's special textile negotiator and head of the U.S. delegation, shook hands with Ji Wen Sun, the leader of the [Red Chinese] delegation, for the benefit of photographers before the discussions began at a hotel on Nob Hill...   Under the rules by which [Red China] was admitted to the World Trade Organization in 2001, the United States and other countries could re-impose quotas on [Red Chinese] clothing and textile imports if shipments of the [Red Chinese] products began surging once the global quotas were removed and the increase was found to be harming the domestic industry.   Under this 'safeguard' provision, the administration can cap imports in specific clothing and textile categories to growth of just 7.5% annually through 2008.   Rather than impose quotas on a category by category basis, the European Union in June negotiated a comprehensive arrangement with [Red China] that covered 10 categories and allowed growth in shipments of 8.5% to 12.5% annually through 2007."

2005-08-16 12:06PDT (15:06EDT) (19:06GMT)
_Washington Times_/_UPI_
Nano-tubes may replace transistors
"The University of California-San Diego and Clemson University researchers say specially synthesized carbon nano-tube structures exhibit electronic properties that are improved over conventional transistors used in computers.   The scientists said Y-shaped nano-tubes behave as electronic switches similar to conventional metal oxide semiconductor transistors used in modern microprocessors, digital memory and application-specific integrated circuits."

_Tucson Arizona Daily Star_/_AP_
Hispanics in USA divided on driver license issues
"6 in 10 Hispanics born in this country approve of measures to prohibit illegal immigrants from getting drivers' licenses, while two-thirds born in another country disapprove of such measures...   Almost 9 in 10 foreign-born Hispanics say immigrants strengthen the country, while two-thirds of Hispanics born in the United States feel that way, according to the poll...   Two-thirds of Hispanics in the U.S. said [illegal] migrants help the economy by providing low-cost labor.   Again, foreign-born Hispanics were more upbeat about the impact of [illegal] migrants than those born in this country.   Most Hispanics feel the number of immigrants coming in the country should stay the same or be reduced, with only a third saying the numbers should increase, according to the poll done for Pew and another done for Time Magazine.   Three-fourths in a Time poll of 503 Hispanic adults said people in the United States illegally are taking jobs that U.S. citizens don't want...   Almost half of Mexicans, 46%, surveyed in May said they would go to the U.S. if they could.   About 2 in 5 said they would be inclined to go live and work in the U.S. without authorization."

Gregory Alan Gross _San Diego Union-Tribune_
5 hurt when sedan with 15 illegal immigrants inside crashes near Jamul

Stephen Lawson _Yahoo!_/_IDG_
McAfee Boosts Wi-Fi Security
"The company's McAfee Wireless Home Network Security software automatically sets up encryption keys on Wi-Fi routers and the PCs connected to them and then rotates the keys every 3 hours, according to Stu Elefant, senior product manager for wireless and new initiatives at McAfee.   It will work with older Wi-Fi systems that use the WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) encryption system, as well as current equipment that also supports the newer WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA 2 technologies, he says.   The software will go on sale on-line next week and in stores next month...   [Without such defenses] intruders can steal information, intercept messages, and install harmful programs."

2005-08-16 07:00PDT (10:00EDT) (14:00GMT)
Brad Gibson _Mac Observer_
Apple rated #1 in Customer Satisfaction in 2005 Q2
"Apple scored a rating of 81 in the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for the second quarter to take first place.   The score was unchanged from the same quarter last year...   The overall [micro-computer] group had an average of 74 points, slightly above the overall average for all companies of 73.1."

Max Sawicky & Tom Walker & David Altig _Wall Street Journal_
Debating Job-Market Slack
"In 1997, Alan Greenspan suggested that the then-still-moderate rate of wage increases, in spite of reduced unemployment, might be due to increased job insecurity.   He cited survey results that contrasted the 37% of workers who feared losing their jobs even in the brisk labor market of the late 1990s with the mere 12% who did so at the depth of the 1981 recession.   Recently, Katharine Bradbury of the Boston Fed has argued that in the current business cycle, labor-force participation hasn't recovered as much as usual, thereby suggesting more slack in the labor market than indicated by the official unemployment rate [alone].   She over-estimates in assuming that if workers had resumed participation at their historically normal rates, all of the additional 1.6M to 5.1M returnees (depending on how one adjusts for the over-55 age group, which actually increased its participation rate compared to the historical norm) would have added to the ranks of unemployed.   Surely, if labor-force participation had expanded by an additional 5M, employment would also have expanded, though not necessarily enough to absorb 95% of the extra job seekers...   In principle, this slack extends far beyond the 4.4M BLS-designated under-employed, who are working part time due to business conditions or because they can't find full-time employment.   [And that doesn't count the millions working at below their capacity, doing jobs which requires less of them than previous employment, education and training would suggest.]...   David Altig: ' I do not think that there is any problem with too much labor demand chasing too few bodies.   I just don't think there is that much slack.   (The exception might be in high-skilled occupations, where we persistently hear anecdotal reports of scarce supplies.   I suspect, however, that this is the natural state of affairs.)'"

Vernice Few _Delta Democrat Times_
Government Aid to Illegal Aliens Is Costly
"Today, many people want something done about illegal aliens other than giving them amnesty..."

Lwurence M. Vance _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
What They Won't Tell You About Capitalism

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Shameless Shortage Shouting
"firms that scream the loudest that they need to hire H-1Bs because they lack 'qualified' U.S. citizen/permanent resident job applicants often tend to be paying their H-1Bs the lowest.   NexGen Infosys, the firm highlighted in [Lorraine Ash's _Asbury Park Press_ article, yesterday] is an excellent example of this.   Programmers Guild founder John Miano did an analysis of the entries for this firm in the Dept. of Labor H-1B data-base.   He found an average wage for H-1B computer programmers at the firm of $45,295, compared to the national median for this profession of $72,403 (OES data, Bureau of Labor Statistics)...   Recall that because the DoL data-base does not include information on education, skill sets, amount of experience, etc., one can infer under-payment of H-1Bs only in certain circumstances.   For example, if an entry in the data-base says that the wage is $75K, that does not necessarily mean that the H-1B is being paid fairly; it could be that that worker has qualifications that would get him $90K if only he could work in the open market...   I use $50K as a cut-off, because it is the average wage to new U.S. graduates in this field.   The point is that if the H-1Bs are making less than that, in spite of having experience and allegedly rare skill sets, then clearly they are being under-paid...   If the H-1Bs Prasad hires have such rare and valuable skills, how can he be paying them lower wages than even a new graduate makes?"


US July PPI up a mere 1%, the most in 9 months
"Excluding energy and food, the so-called core measure rose 0.4%, the most since January."
BLS data

_Fort Wayne News-Sentinel_
Shifting Risks and Burdens
"But the burden on society is not caused by the bikers, or even by the helmet law's repeal.   It's caused by our convoluted health care system, in which we all share the costs -- through taxation, through insurance premiums and so on -- of treating the ailments and injuries of others.   Even when those injuries occur as a result of foolish behavior.   As columnist Walter Williams sometimes says, this is not a problem of individual behavior.   It's a problem of socialism...   The biker indeed may have been reckless; nevertheless, our society has chosen, for now, to make us share the consequences."

Lou Dobbs & Casey Wian & Wolf Blitzer & Stan Grant & Bill Tucker _CNN_
Illegal Immigration, Poor Grades for Education System
"Also tonight, our public education system is completely failing millions of our high school graduates.   Only half of those applying for college have the skills necessary to succeed.   And tonight, almost 10% of the Mexican population has entered the United States illegally, crossing our broken borders and taking advantage of our failed immigration policies.   Tonight, we'll report to you why nearly half of Mexico's 100M people say they want to move to the United States, and many of them say they're willing to cross our borders illegally to do so...   Nearly half of Mexico's 106M people want out of their country.   Two surveys of Mexicans conducted in February and May of this year by the Pew Hispanic Center found 41% and 46% would go to live in the United States if they had the means and opportunity.   Incredibly, 21%, or more than 20M people, say they would be inclined to cross the border illegally...   Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies: 'What the survey showed is that educated and uneducated people both want to come to the United States, which is important, because it suggests that immigration to the U.S. isn't just an act of desperation.   And it isn't motivated by just wage differentials.   It's motivated by lots of things.'...   Instead of tapping into its massive oil reserves, Mexico has become increasingly dependent on money its citizens send home from the United States...   approaching $20G [per] year...   In the Pacific, [Red China] and Russia are displaying their rising military might in their first-ever joint military exercises.   The war games involve 10K troops, and they are meant to send a clear message to the United States...   [Red China's] [military] spending up 13%, now $30G U.S. dollars.   The Pentagon claims the real figure more than double that, $65G...   A growing fleet of nuclear and diesel submarines, more than 2500 combat aircraft, boost in communication and command systems, smarter missiles.   The Pentagon reporting more than 700 short-range missiles pointing at Taiwan, [Red China's] biggest flash point...   Only half of the students taking the ACT college admission test were found the reading comprehension skills necessary for college, less than half had adequate math skills, and barely one-quarter are ready when it comes to college's level science...   Only 56% of high school students take or exceed the recommended core curriculum for college-bound students, a number that has remained consistent for the last decade...   Richard L. Ferguson, CEO of ACT: 'You know, our really serious problem, Lou, has mostly to do with the absence of the course-taking in math and science in the high school years.'"

2005-08-17 07:15PDT (10:15EDT) (14:15GMT)
Steve Hargreaves _CNN_/_Money_
Starting Salaries for New Grads NACE 2005 Summer
Economics & Finance$44,501



2005-08-18 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 255,037 in the week ending August 13, a decrease of 14,466 from the previous week.   There were 262,936 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending August 6, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,442,962, a decrease of 24,166 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.2% and the volume was 2,732,802."

2005-08-18 10:38PDT (13:38EDT) (17:38GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Philly Fed manufacturing index rose from 9.6 in July to 17.5 in August: highest level since April

Les Chappell _Wisconsin Technology Network_
Body shop says Wisconsin tech employment has increased
"The report said companies are looking for design engineers, web development specialists, engineering technicians and technical support staff.   Many companies are hiring temporary [bodyshopped] IT help desk and support staff to be converted into full-time employees, and creating temporary [bodyshopped] and direct-hire positions for engineers...   A Thursday statement by Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman said that Wisconsin's unemployment rate for July was 4.7%, the lowest July rate in four years and a 0.3% drop from June.   The Wisconsin Labor Force Summary addendum to that statement said professional and business services jobs were now at 259,400, an increase of 1,200 from last month and 3,200 from last year [but said nothing about real software product development jobs].   This gain was primarily in administrative support and waste management, which had an increase of 4,600 from last year.   Science and technology services saw a drop of 600 from 2004 and management of companies and enterprises saw a drop of 800."

Brett Clanton _Detroit News_
Chrysler doesn't rule out futher lay-offs
"Despite a recent profit rebound, Chrysler will continue to cut costs to offset rising raw material and health care expenses and is not ruling out a reduction in its white-collar work-force, a top company official said Wednesday.   'There's going to be no massive hiring, that's for sure.', Tom LaSorda, the newly-named chief executive of Chrysler, said in a meeting with reporters at the auto-maker's Auburn Hills headquarters.   The Auburn Hills unit of DaimlerChrysler expects to reduce some costs as white-collar employees retire and are back-filled with younger workers at lower pay grades...   the company's normal annual rate of attrition among its 21,500 white-collar employees in North America is between 1.8% and 2.3%.   The move signals that Chrysler is still pinching pennies even after completing a 3-year restructuring that shed 40K jobs and that the auto-maker will rely on continuous cost-cutting to improve profits and productivity."

Petty Peck et al. _Med Page_
Long Work Days Can Be Hazardous to Workers' Health
Fox News/Web MD
"Working over-time can be a recipe for injury, according to a study here of nearly 11K workers.   The over-time workers had a 61% higher risk of injury than those putting in a normal eight-hour day...   Putting in a 12-hour day increased the risk of injury or illness by 37% and working 60 hours or more a week was associated with a 23% increase in the injury hazard rate.   The researchers analyzed responses of 10,793 Americans to the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, a survey that asks about employment history, work schedules, and sick leave.   The survey was conducted between 1987 and 2000."
Long Work Shifts for Medical Interns Create More Vehicle Accidents

John Schmid _Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel_
Stealing some roar from the Celtic Tiger: trying to mimic Ireland's tech success
"[Carlos] Santiago, who envisions UWM as a catalyst that can bolster the city's transition to a knowledge-driven economy, is scheduled to meet Irish President Mary McAleese this weekend when she becomes Ireland's first head of state to visit Milwaukee...   Each year, Ireland lures billions of dollars in investment from companies such as Apple Computer Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific Corp., IBM Corp., Intel Corp. and Amazon.com...   The Dublin government clamped down on borrowing and began to contain deficits.   Labor unions focused on pay moderation, labor peace and national competitiveness.   Corporate tax rates fell toward U.S. levels, which are low by European standards...   While Ireland has increased education spending sharply, UWM has endured successive rounds of state spending reductions.   [Tax-victims] support 25% of UWM's total operating expenses, down from over 40% 10 years ago.   [Tech firms have not covered any of the difference.]"

Ron Hira _Software Development_
Eroding Opportunities: Although it offers obvious advantages for US executives, the global IT business model based on off-shoring is not beneficial for the US work-force or our economy
"It's clear that companies are increasingly substituting low-wage IT workers in developing countries for U.S. workers...   U.S. IT services firms are increasing head-count in India at a feverish pace.   Why?   The off-shoring business model is working.   Infosys, for one, has maintained a net profit margin of 31% over the past 5 years while growing annual sales by approximately 300% to nearly $2G per year.   However, the global IT business model has a significant -- and mostly negative -- impact on U.S. IT workers.   While Bill Gates publicly laments young Americans' lack of interest in computer science careers, M$ hired only 500 net new U.S. workers between June 2003 and 2004.   During the same period, Infosys hired 11K new workers, most of them in India.   The thousand or so positions Infosys filled in the U.S. went mostly to foreigners on H-1B visas.   And according to a press release and leaked internal documents, IBM is reducing head-count in Western Europe and North America by 13K while increasing it by 14K in India."

William R. Hawkins _American Economic Alert_
Lobbyists for Red China's Interests
"Virginia Republican representative Frank Wolf sent a strongly worded letter to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, questioning the firm 'being on the pay-roll of the [Red Chinese] government' and lobbying on behalf of state-owned China National Off-shore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) in its bid to take over Unocal corporation...   The public should be shocked at the work done in Washington by American firms on behalf of over-seas interests trying to influence U.S. policy...   In the July 23 National Journal, Bara Vaida reports that Beijing is now hiring a number of 'politically connected lobbying and public relations firms to help press its message'.   On the list: Hogan & Hastson, BKSH & Associates, Brunswick Group, McDermott Will & Emery and Public Strategies.  Vaida notes that the vice chairman of Public Strategies is Mark McKinnon, who was the chief media strategist for both of President George W. Bush's presidential campaigns...   Among those groups lobbying against Hyde was the Electronic Industries Association, whose members are heavily engaged in [Red China].   Its president, former Democratic Congressman David McCurdy, called the bill 'reactionary' and argued 'we should nurture better ties with [Red China]'."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Looming Shortage of Managers
"In the late 1990s, the current hot skill sets seemed to change every 6 months -- Java, XML, TCP/IP, etc.   But they were always technical skills.   I've mentioned that the effects of globalization (off-shoring, H-1B) have been to switch demand away from the technical jobs to semi-technical jobs or non-technical 'talking' jobs, and to jobs which normally don't require a CS degree.   This was quantified in the July 25 issue of Computerworld.   The top 4 jobs were all of the system administration/technician sort...   Project management is a 'hot skill'?   The notion would have seemed ridiculous in 1998.   How could any self-respecting engineer take pride in a 'soft' skill like that, or expect to be in demand by employers?   If you didn't have work experience in a red meat skill like Java or XML, you could forget about getting a job...   'Gartner estimates 6 out of 10 corporate I.T. professionals will assume business-facing roles by 2010.'   IOW, it again says that IT is becoming a 'talking' job, not a technical one...   The project management jobs have to be filled by people who have experience with the technology, even if they don't do any technical work themselves.   Since the number of technical jobs open to Americans will be (and already has become) small, we are not producing enough Americans with technical experience to fill those project management positions.   THAT is where the pipe-line problem occurs.   To put it another way, the universities could produce tons of CS graduates, but since almost none of them would get technical jobs, there still wouldn't be the people to climb up the ladder to the project management positions."


2005-08-19 04:36PDT (07:36EDT) (11:36GMT)
Dan Vergano _Yahoo!_
Nano-tech researchers report big breah-through
USA Today
Houston Chronicle
"An advance in nano-technology may lead to the creation of artificial muscles, superstrong electric cars and wallpaper-thin electronics, researchers report...   In today's edition of the journal Science, however, scientists from the University of Texas and Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization report the creation of industry-ready sheets of materials made from nano-tubes.   Nano-tubes are tiny carbon tubes with remarkable strength that are only a few times wider than atoms.   They can also act as the semiconductors found in modern electronics...   Ray Baughman of the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson.   Self-supporting, transparent and stronger than steel or high-strength plastics, the sheets are flexible and can be heated to emit light.   A square mile of the thinnest sheets, about 2-millionths-of-an-inch thick, would weigh only about 170 pounds. In lab tests, the sheets demonstrated solar cell capabilities, using sunlight to produce electricity."

Mark Williamson _The Herald_
Can Scotland buck the recession trend?

Michael Higgins _Monterey county Herald_
Former Allstate worker says essay about same-sex marriage got him fired
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Myrtle Beach Sun News
Lexington KY Herald-Leader

_Edmonton Sun_
Contract labour slammed: Great way for executives to cut their costs, but at what price to everyone else?
"Short-term contract workers save firms millions of dollars on salaries and health care and pension benefits - normal employee perks that are rarely extended to contract staff [i.e. they cost those workers millions of dollars in salary and health care and pension benefits].   But unions and some workplace experts warn that a shift to greater use of contract employees will lead to lower living standards, reduce company loyalty and cut productivity.   And that, they say, will hurt the economy and society in the longer term as insecure workers find they can't get mortgages without a permanent job and steady income; can't put down roots or raise a family for fear their work will run out...   Leah Vosco, a political science professor at York University in Toronto [said], 'Employment uncertainty... leads to a range of stressors and strains that contribute to ill-health among individuals and problems in households and communities.'   On Monday, the CBC locked out about 5,500 members of the Canadian Media Guild.   The workers - from technicians to on-air personalities - fear that increased use of contract workers undermines job security and benefits for everyone...   'Flexibility is a convenient pseudonym for ... (making) workers bend over backward to try to find and keep a job.', said [Jim] Stanford, economist with the Canadian Auto Workers union."

Chris Mazzolini _Jacksonville, NC Daily News_
Illegal alien workers detained at Camp Lejeune
"Camp Lejeune officials detained 27 people at base gates during security checks Wednesday and another 12 at various construction sites Monday, said 1st Lt. Clark Carpenter.   The initial investigation was triggered by an anonymous tip to Lejeune's command inspectors office, Carpenter said.   Military investigators went to the site of the new primary school on Stone Street at 10:30 Monday and apprehended 5 [illegal alien] workers, Carpenter said.   Further checks at other construction sites that same day found an additional 7.   As a result, Carpenter said, the base stepped up inspections at a number of gates Wednesday."

Kathy Gurchiek _Human Resources Management_
H-1B visa applications for next fiscal year haven't quite reached limits
"Congress caps the number of visas granted at 65K annually, although in 2000 October it [temporarily] increased the cap to 195K through fiscal 2003.   The cap reverted to 65K in fiscal 2004.   The number of generally available visas is actually 58,200, because a U.S. trade agreement stipulates that 6,800 visas be set aside for workers in Chile and Singapore.   For those 58,200, this is the first time the cap has been reached before the start of the new fiscal year, which for the federal government begins 2005 October 1, and ends 2006 September 30.   In fiscal 2005, the cap was reached the first day...   Exempt from the congressional cap are petitions for new H-1B employment if the foreign worker will be employed at an institution of higher education or a related or affiliated nonprofit organization; at a nonprofit research organization; or at a governmental research organization, according to the USCIS.   Petitions for these categories may still be filed for work start dates in the current fiscal year and fiscal 2006, the USCIS said.   Also exempt are petitions for 20K visas to be used for foreign workers who have earned a master's or higher degree from a U.S. college or university.   Those visas became available in May, the same time filing procedures for the current and future fiscal years were changed.   Those visas have not been exhausted; as of August 3, 9,557 have been approved, with approval pending on another 822.   The 6,800 limit for workers in Chile and Singapore -- 5,400 for Singapore and 1,400 for Chile -- had not been reached yet, according to Bentley.   Any of these visas that go unused will be rolled into fiscal 2007 for foreign workers who had applied for the visa during fiscal 2006.   [Unmentioned are an additional 10,500 E-3 visas for similar guest-work for Australians.]"

Eli Schuster _Canadian National Post_
Two degrees, plenty of skill, no job
"According to the federal government, 93.2% of Canadians in the labour force, or 16,173,000 of you, are financially better off than [I am].   I'm unemployed.   I have a Master's Degree, but I can't find a job...   The July Labour Force Survey says there are at least 1,173,500 others across the country in my shoes, and the unemployment rate for Toronto -- 7.5% -- is higher than the national averate of 6.8%...   I know plenty of individuals such as myself -- university-educated, but not trained to perform any specific job -- who can't find work in this New Economy.   Others are underemployed, while nearly everyone else hates their job.   Even practical training isn't a guarantee of employment anymore.   A buddy of mine with a Human Resources background was recently out of work for almost two years until he found a steady gig.   Another friend, who studied web site design before the Dot-Com melt-down, was told by her instructor to never take a job for less than $30 an hour.   She eventually wound up designing web sites for between $8-$10 an hour until she left to teach English in Korea...   I studied hard, earned mostly A's in high school, and graduated with two degrees in Political Science from York University and the University of Toronto (I also wasted two years at Queen's pursuing a PhD I never finished).   Unfortunately, I'm now stuck with nearly $40K in student loan debts, and I've been declared 'over-qualified' for lots of run-of-the-mill jobs..."

_Cincinnati Enquirer_
Enquirer 80 index up 0.21%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks was up 51 points, or 0.21%, to close Friday at 281.55.   41 issues were up, 35 were down and 4 were unchanged.   Leading gainers were Dillards, up $1.49 to $22.09; Lancaster Colony, up 99 cents to $44.26; Kendle, up 91 cents to $20.77; NS Group, up 89 cents to $38.06; Cummins, up 77 cents to $85.19.   Biggest laggers were Federated Department Stores, down $1.85 to $72.35; Johnson & Johnson, down 68 cents to $63.57; Great American Financial, down 67 cents to $20.87; Hillenbrand Industries, down 59 cents to $49.76; Toyota Motor, down 42 cents to $79.20."

2005-08-19 13:33PDT (16:33EDT) (20:33GMT)
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
US stocks fall for 4th week
"The Dow ended the session at 10,559, up 4.30 points on the day.   The index earlier rose to as high as 10,626, buoyed by favorable news...   The Dow is down 0.4% from last Friday's close.   The S&P 500 ended up 0.69 point at 1,219.71, but was down 0.9% for the week.   The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.52 points to 2,135.56, for a 1% loss for the week.   Volume was moderate due to summer vacations, with 1.21G shares moving on the New York Stock Exchange, where advancers outnumbered decliners by 18 to 13.   About 1.22G shares traded in the Nasdaq market, with gainers out-numbering losers by 15 to 14."


Joe Light _Boston Globe_
After back-lash over quality of support, over-seas service calls return home
"off-shoring, sending service calls over-seas, has sparked a back-lash, many analysts say, and some companies have begun re-routing calls back to centers in the United States after receiving complaints about the quality of service.   'I haven't spoken to anyone who's been successful in our arena going over-seas.', said Al Gordon, executive vice president of customer service for Tweeter Home Entertainment Group.   'As much as these call centers try to cover the fact that they're in a different country, it becomes pretty apparent to the customer when you have an instance that requires a high degree of touch.'...   Reports by Datamonitor, a business information company, predict that although the number of out-sourced call center representatives serving off-shore accounts grew 58% between 2003 and 2005, growth will slow between 2005 and 2007, to about 40%.   By 2007, the company predicts, about 3.7% of out-sourced call center agents will serve off-shore customers, up from 2% in 2003 but still far from a stampede over-seas.   Dell Inc. used to send all of its customer service calls to India.   But in 2003 November, after a number of high-value business customers complained about the quality of service that they received, the Round Rock, TX, computer company moved calls coming from those customers back to the United States.   Calls from low-value retail customers, on the other hand, were still handled in India.   [So, individual consumers are 'low-value' but business customers are 'high-value'.]"

2005-08-20 13:30PDT (16:30EDT) (20:30GMT)
Gene J. Koprowski _Tech News World_
Tech Executives Pressing to Raise Immigration Limits for IT Talent in Face of Continuing Long-Term Un-Employment and Under-Employment of US Tech Talent
"In excess of 600K new visas have been granted during the last 5 years, many of them to foreign tech workers. 39% of H-1B visas approved were for workers in computer-related occupations, the government said [down from over 50% just a few years ago]... According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the Congress increased the cap by 20K late last year but limited those new visas to foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees. Earlier this month, 10,379 visas had been applied for under this program, the government said. The visas were approved by Congress after this year's annual cap of 65K visas was reached as of the first day of the government's fiscal year, 2004-10-01. [During the late 1990s and again in 2000 October, the quota had been temporarily increased to 195K.] Foes have argued that the H-1B visas are actually used nefariously, to ease the way for off-shoring of IT jobs, and to hold down wages for technology workers... The popularity of computer science as a major for incoming college students fell dramatically -- more than 60% between 2000 and 2004, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles [because of the drop in job security and expected real life-time earnings which has worsened since the 1980s]."


2005-08-21 05:00PDT (08:00EDT) (12:00GMT)
Gene J. Koprowski _CRM Buyer_
Government May Soon Track You by Your License Plate
"The reason for the concern in the legal and privacy-rights communities is that e-plates may expand the ability of police to track individuals by the movement of their vehicles.   A single RFID reader can identify dozens of vehicles fitted with e-plates moving at any speed at a distance of about 100 yards...   The e-plate looks just like a standard plate, but it contains an embedded chip that cannot be seen or removed.   It is self-powered with a battery life of up to 10 years."
to Privacy links

Shirleen Holt & Kristi Heim _Seattle Times_
A sober look at tech survival during the economic depression
"[Nearly 6] years after the technology bubble burst and 2 years into its recovery, the hubris that shaped the 1990s tech start-up is noticeably absent..."

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
American Media Is Waking Up To Immigration
"The Mexican government recently calculated that 20.64M Mexicans now live in the United States.   So, opening the borders, as the Wall Street Journal has long advocated, would more than triple that population.   Pew also asked Mexicans if they would be inclined to go to work legally in the U.S. in a temporary worker program, and 53% of the 2400 surveyed said 'Yes'.   That translates to 56M people (assuming they bring their underage dependents, which the Bush plan would allow).   Unfortunately, Pew didn't ask how many would stay on illegally in America after their time ran out.   But if 21% of all Mexicans are inclined to try to sneak into the U.S. that would seem to suggest a minimum number who would try to stay on illegally after their allotted years were up: about 22M...   An article by Marc Cooper in the August 12th LA Weekly called Sour Grapes| California’s farm workers’ endless struggle 40 years later shows vividly the impact of an unlimited supply of illegal aliens upon California farm workers.   Cooper [wrote]: 'Wages among California's 700K farm workers, 96% of whom are Mexican or Central American, more than half of whom are undocumented, are at best stagnant, and by most reckonings are in decline.   'With almost all workers stuck at the minimum wage of $6.75 an hour, it’s rare to find a farm worker whose annual income breaks $10,000 a year.   '''25 years ago, a worker made 12, 13, 14 cents for a bin of oranges.''', says economist Rick Mines, until recently research director at the Davis-based California Institute for Rural Studies.   '''Today that same bin pays maybe 15 or 16 cents -- in spite of 250% inflation.'''   Virtually no workers have health insurance or paid vacations.   The cyclical nature of the crops throws most out of work for 2 or more months per year.'   Why do California growers constantly need to recruit more illegal aliens from south of the border? They aren't putting more land under cultivation.   In fact, more of the Central Valley is paved over each year to accommodate the booming population.   The answer is 2-fold.   Because wages are so low, there's little need to mechanize farm work in California.   And because the state's farm work jobs are so poorly paid for the brutal conditions (three workers died of heat stroke this summer), nobody makes a career out of it if they can.   So, the growers constantly suck in to this country more (and ever less educated) illegal aliens."

No agreement was reached last week in San Francisco in the US negotiations with Red China over textiles trade.   Another round of talks has been scheduled for Beijing, RSN.

Mark Sherman & Jeff Gold _Bucks County Courier Times_
Counterfeit Items Led to 100 Arrests
"Federal authorities have arrested around 100 Asian nationals on charges of smuggling counterfeit money, drugs and cigarettes into the United States, law enforcement officials said Monday.   The arrests came as part of an under-cover investigation that led to the discovery of cargo containers filled with contraband in ports in Los Angeles and Newark, NJ, the officials said."

Natalie Gott _AP_/_abc News_
Robert A. Moog has died Sunday at his home in Asheville, NC
"A childhood interest in the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, would lead Moog to a create a career and business that tied the name Moog as tightly to synthesizers as the name Les Paul is to electric guitars...   'I'm an engineer.   I see myself as a tool-maker and the musicians are my customers.', he said in 2000...   As a Ph.D. student in engineering physics at Cornell University, Moog (rhymes with vogue) in 1964 developed his first voltage-controlled synthesizer modules with composer Herbert Deutsch.   By the end of that year, R.A. Moog Co. marketed the first commercial modular synthesizer."

Theresa Howard _USA Today_
Whirlpool has agreed to buy Maytag for more than $1.7G
"Under terms of the deal, Maytag will be acquired for $21 a share.   Whirlpool is also assuming $977M of Maytag debt...   Whirlpool's offer also includes $15M for retention of Maytag employees and $120M to Maytag if Whirlpool's deal cannot gain regulatory approval."

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
America's Lost Hegemony
Human Events
"The study brushes away concerns with the erosion of the American manufacturing, science, and engineering knowledge base by asserting that such concerns imply protectionism and that protectionism means the death of innovation...   Protectionism can be problematical for innovation...   innovation does not take place in a vacuum.   Innovation requires a material base and depends on a strong manufacturing, science and engineering foundation backed by R&D programs...   The US has no God-given comparative advantage in innovation and new technology.   We were leaders in these fields, because we were leaders in manufacturing.   We were leaders in manufacturing, because Europe and Japan destroyed themselves in wars, and the rest of the world destroyed themselves in various forms of socialism and cronyism.   America's hegemony in manufacturing, science and engineering was the product of historical circumstances.   Moreover, it occurred despite American protectionism...   The US gave away its scientific and engineering education and its agriculture...   Success with off-shore manufacturing has led to off-shore out-sourcing of research and development and now innovation itself.   As a recent report from the National Research Council recognizes, "product development and technical support follow manufacturing". One consequence for America is the loss of many manufacturing capabilities and "the increasing availability abroad of unique technologies not found in the United States".This development is taking a huge toll on America's human resources in manufacturing skills, engineering and science..."

Geoffrey Colvin _Fortune_
We've Got Immigration Policy Backwards: Low-skilled workers flood in, but we limit visas to the best and brightest

Mark Trumbull _Christian Science Monitor_
Why the economy is booming for some and flat for others
"A boom in corporate profits has not yet created a job market that makes workers feel secure, economists say.   Hiring hasn't skyrocketed.   Worse, wages are stagnant.   This paycheck squeeze may prove more worrisome than soaring oil prices and concerns over a housing bubble.   Some experts worry that wage stagnation may prove more permanent this time, because of an increasingly global market for labor...   Normally, as employees are able to produce more in each hour of work, the result is greater cash flow that can be divvied up between workers and owners or investors...   'most of the gains in the economy have gone into profits rather than wages.', says Mr. Behravesh.   The latest numbers from the Labor Department, in fact, show average weekly earnings for US workers have fallen by 0.5% in the past year, after adjusting for inflation."

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
Congress Faces Continuing Fight Over H-1B Visas
"High-tech [executive lobbying] groups will likely again push Congress to increase the H-1B visa cap, after the government said this month that it has already received enough petitions to reach the limit of 65K new visas set for the fiscal year that starts October 1...   H-1B critic Ron Hira, who is vice president of career activities at IEEE-USA, questioned claims that reaching the cap so soon indicates a need for more visas.   Hira, who is also an assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, noted that the fiscal 2006 limit has been hit before companies have even hired any new workers.   'It seems to indicate that companies are planning ahead for positions that don't exist right now, which highlights the fact that, contrary to conventional wisdom, they aren't searching for Americans first.', Hira said.   Employers aren't completely out of H-1B options.   An additional 20K visas became available in May for the current fiscal year, and a similar number will be offered in fiscal 2006.   But Congress has limited those visas to foreign workers who have advanced degrees from U.S. universities.   As of early this month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received 10,379 advanced-degree petitions for fiscal 2005 and another 8K or so for next year, according to spokesman Christopher Bentley [undermining executives' claims that they are using H-1B visas only to bring in 'the best and the brightest' with knowledge and skills beyond those of Americans].


2005-08-23 11:08PDT (14:08EDT) (18:08GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Condo market slowed in July: existing home sales fell to 7.16M
"Condo sales dropped 5% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 915K from a record 963K pace in June.   Despite the decline, it was the third-highest sales rate ever.   Condo sales had set records for 4 months in a row before July's decline.   Over the past year, condo sales are up 8.4%, more than double the 4% sales growth in single-family homes.   Overall, sales of previously owned homes (both single-family and condo units) fell 2.6% to a 7.16M annual rate in July, the industry group reported Tuesday."

2005-08-23 12:58PDT (15:58EDT) (19:58GMT)
Crude petroleum marks third day above $65 per barrel

James H. Murphy _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
Cheap foreign labor takes jobs
"First, according to Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman, 'There is no doubt that the H-1B program is a benefit to employers, enabling them to get workers at a lower wage, and to that extent, it is a subsidy.'   Corporate welfare!   The 65K basic H-1Bs have been filled already because employers fill the subsidized positions first.   By hiring H-1Bs instead of Americans, industry saves on average one-third of what it would have to pay an American ($25K a year for a programmer).   This is due to loop-holes in the H-1B prevailing wage law. There are no protections for Americans when it comes to H-1B.   The employer can sponsor a foreigner for H-1B status even if qualified U.S. workers want the job. Unlike for most employment-based permanent residence visas, to get H-1B status an employer need not prove the unavailability of a U.S. worker.   As immigration lawyer Joel Stewart put it, 'Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply.' (Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers Immigration Daily 2000 April 24)..."

Ephraim Schwartz _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
Are US workers second-string hires?   Why is the Department of Labor keeping US citizens from having equal access to more than 50K jobs?
"Why is the Department of Labor keeping US citizens from having equal access to more than 50K jobs?   Are they precluded by law [from doing] so, as a DoL spokes-person claims?   This issue is part of a controversy currently raging between the DoL and professional organizations such as the Programmers Guild about the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the Department of Immigration and Naturalization) H-1B visa quota for 2006...   The DoL requires that U.S. employers who want to hire someone on an H-1B visa first submit what is called an LCA (Labor Condition Application).   The LCA describes (briefly - sometimes just a title) the opening available.   Thus far, the department has received 51,939 LCAs.   Programmers Guild President Kim Berry and others are calling for the DoL to post these LCAs and make them searchable, so that anyone can apply for the open positions.   The cap for H-1B visas in 2006 is set at 58,200 [plus 6,800 set aside for people from Chile and Singapore -- 5,400 for Singapore and 1,400 for Chile -- for a total of 65K], but apparently, according to the USCIS web site, 22,383 visas have already been approved and 29,556 are still pending.   Berry says the DoL is 'refusing to disclose the opening to US citizens so that they may have equal opportunity to apply for and fill these US jobs'...   Employers are under no obligation to hire Americans, but the DoL should be obligated to make the information available to the public before the jobs are filled, not after, says Berry.   Norm Matloff, professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, e-mailed me that 'there is no question that the Department of Labor, ironically, is acting in a manner hostile to labor'.   I couldn't agree more...   If there is a reason why the DoL cannot post these positions, it should cite the statute.   Or better yet, help lobby for a change."

Norm Matloff _IEEE Computer Society IT Pro_
Off-Shoring: What Can Go Wrong?
PDF version
older article printed in Communications of the ACM
about ACM, IEEE, and IEEE-USA


2005-08-24 06:58PDT (09:58EDT) (13:58GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US durable goods orders fell 4.9% in July
"Orders were dragged lower by a 16.6% decrease in defense orders and a 20.2% drop in civilian aircraft.   The outlook for business investment also dimmed as core capital-goods orders fell 3.7%, the largest decline since last October...   Durable orders in June were revised to a 1.9% increase from the 2.8% rise previously estimated.   Durable-goods orders jumped 7.3% in May.   Shipments of durable goods decreased 0.1% in July after 2 straight monthly increases...   Orders for computers and other electronics decreased 5.9%.   Computer orders fell 8.3%, while communications-equipment orders dropped 7.1%.   Shipments of electronics increased 0.4%."
census bureau reports

Rob Fakey _Games Industry_
DVD standards negotiations broke down
Los Angeles Times
San Francisco Chronicle
"Talks between the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD camps have broken down once more, according to reports in the Japanese press, with the Sony and Toshiba led consortiums indefinitely suspending talks aimed at avoiding a standards war."

Steven Downes _London Times_
Lockheed Martin continues to push massive-scale privacy violation
Vive Le Canada
USA Today
Border surveillance systems, intersection systems, and additional surveillance systems being rolled out have a lot more to do with corporate welfare than defense against illegal aliens, terrorists, etc.
Privacy links

2005-08-24 09:57PDT (12:57EDT) (16:57GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
New home sales increased 6.5% in July
"Sales of new U.S. homes surged 6.5% in July to a record seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.41M, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.   The supply of new homes on the market increased 1.8% in July to a record 460K, which represents a lean four-month supply at July's sales pace.   It's the tightest inventory in relation to sales since October...   New-home sales are up 27.7% since 2004 July.   June's sales were revised lower to 1.324M from 1.374M, but it was still a record."
census bureau report

2006-08-24 12:10PDT (15:10EDT) (19:10GMT)
David Weidner _MarketWatch_
Goldman cashes in on government subsidies
"For a Wall Street bank, Goldman Sachs plays the Main Street game of government extortion like a veteran.   You know the routine: A company threatens to leave or take a fancy new plant -- and its jobs -- elsewhere unless the local yokels dish out huge tax breaks and incentives that allow them to basically locate for free in a town or state...   Last year, the investment bank cut a sweetheart deal to build a $2G, 40-story, 1,800-foot-high tower [at Ground Zero] financed by $1G in tax-exempt Liberty Bonds...   But then Goldman started getting edgy.   It worried about security.   It worried about crowds.   Traffic would be terrible.   It's dangerous, Goldman said; let's move to Midtown.   Somehow, the thinking at 80 Broad St. suddenly became: If we build it, tax-payers will come -- and pay for it.   And come they did, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and state officials agreeing to dish out an additional $600M in bonds and sweetening the deal with $150M in tax breaks.   Goldman will save $9M with the special financing, according to government estimates...   Bloomberg says Goldman will have to add 4K jobs, but those jobs won't be required until 2019.   Goldman is committing to keeping at least 9K jobs and a 'significant' portion of its trading operations down-town through 2028.   The mayor also said Goldman will funnel $8G of tax revenue into state and city coffers over the life of the deal, or about $333M annually through 2028...   the firm would make a $900K civic facilities payment -- which is to be used to maintain the surrounding neighborhood -- and spend $3.5M to create a public library.   It will pay $1M for a community center..."

Le Templar _East Valley Tribune_
Illegal entry tops crime list
"Illegal immigration is now the No. 1 federal crime in America.   One of every 3 criminal convictions in federal court last year were related to illegal immigration, according to a study by Syracuse University researchers.   Immigration enforcement officers are taking more cases to court than the FBI, the DEA and the IRS combined...   Statistics compiled by Syracuse's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse show the number of prosecutions for immigration violations nationwide nearly doubled last year, and convictions increased by 70% to 31,208.   The most dramatic change was in south Texas, where an additional 13,578 immigrationrelated convictions were obtained in a single year.   Much of the increase nationwide is driven by prosecutors bringing more misdemeanor cases against those who have crossed illegally, the study says."

Nathan Tabor _American Daily_
Legal Abortion Causes Illegal Immigration?

Eric Lipton _NY Times_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, pledges to tighten border
"Over the past decade, the number of Border Patrol agents has climbed to about 11K from 4K....   So many illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico are being caught -- 142,500 so far this fiscal year, compared with 39,555 in all of 2000 -- that thousands are released within the United States before deportation proceedings because there is not enough space at detention centers."

Don Swarthout _Christians Reviving America_
When, Mr. Chertoff, are you going to stop this invasion of illegal aliens?
"One moderate estimate puts the annual cost of illegal aliens at $15G - $20G per year...   Illegal aliens have brought 14,871 new cases of Tuberculosis into the U.S.A.   More than 57K cars have been stolen in Phoenix, AZ alone by illegal aliens.   In Los Angeles well over 90% of the outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens.   In New York City well over 90% of illegal immigrants who came in from nations which support terrorism have disappeared without a trace.   One third of all Federal Prisoners are illegal aliens."

Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Security or hysteria?
"Driving through downtown Washington, DC, a few weeks ago, I asked myself: What's happened to the character of the American people?   There were barricaded land-marks, armed guards and people waiting to be searched.   Several weeks ago, I visited downtown Philadelphia in the vicinity of Independence Hall.   Again there were barricades, armed guards and visitors waiting in line.   During the 1940s, my cousin and I, carrying our shoe-shine boxes, simply walked in and stood before the room where the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the U.S. Constitution was signed.   The only barrier was a velvet-covered rope.   Much of today's security measures are little more than a panicked response to terrorism and not likely to ever go away because Americans are coming to accept it as normal.   Melanie Scarborough's article 'The Security Pretext', in the Washington, DC-based Cato Institute's Briefing Papers (2005-06-29), argues that Americans haven't always panicked in the face of attack.   British troops burned the White House in 1814...   Since 1915, bombs have been detonated in the Capitol three times with no injuries or structural catastrophe.   Scarborough writes, 'Terrorists have already hit our national monuments.   The difference is that after those attacks, the government did not respond with hysteria.'   In an 2001 October interview, Osama bin Laden boasted, 'I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed.   The United States government will lead the American people into an unbearable hell and a choking life.'...   First, Americans must realize that we cannot produce, nor would most Americans want, an environment that is totally free from the risk of terrorist attack.   Second, improving security is important, but we must weigh the costs against the benefits of each measure.   Third, it's essential that our leaders exhibit courage...   Taking Iwo Jima cost 7K American lives and thousands wounded.   Okinawa cost the lives of 5K sailors, 7,600 soldiers and thousands more wounded.   There were no calls to cut and run and no political attacks on Presidents Roosevelt and Truman.   Instead, those losses stiffened the backbone and resolve of the American people.   But of course, back then, common sense prevailed...   I'd like to see our political leaders adopt the character of their predecessors and say that we're not going to sacrifice liberties and cower in the face of our new enemy; we're going to kill him."

2005-08-24 13:11PDT (16:11EDT) (20:11GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum futures hit new high above $67 per barrel

2005-08-24 13:42PDT (16:42EDT) (20:42GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
stocks approach 7-week low: oil at record high
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84.71 points to 10,434.87, its lowest closing level since July 7.   The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 8.34 points at 2,128.91, while the S&P 500 Index dropped 8 points to 1,209.59.   Both ended the session at their lowest levels since early July."


2005-08-24 17:20PDT (20:20EDT) (2005-08-25 00:20GMT)
Cheryl Wittenauer _AP_/_San Francisco Chronicle_
Day-dreaming and Alzheimer's disease occur in same portion of brain
"A new Washington University study shows the part of the brain used to daydream is the same where Alzheimer's disease develops -- in some people -- later in life...   Researchers at Washington University and the University of Pittsburgh used five imaging techniques to map the brains of 764 people.   The subjects fell into 3 groups -- people in their 20s, and older people with either early-stage dementia, or Alzheimer's disease.   When they compared images, they found that parts of the brain involved in musing, day-dreaming or recalling pleasant memories in young people were where evidence of Alzheimer's disease appears...   Others have confirmed these findings, including a study by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers.   They recently published a study using high school records from the 1940s to identify nearly 400 graduates.   They tracked their health status through adulthood into old age.   A higher IQ in high school reduced the risk of Alzheimer's by about half."

2005-08-25 01:48:56PDT (04:48:56EDT) (08:48:56GMT)
Mary Katharine Ham _TownHall_
Reason on the Weather Radar

2005-08-25 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 251,171 in the week ending August 20, a decrease of 5,797 from the previous week.   There were 274,433 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending August 13, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,425,839, a decrease of 11,046 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,692,183."

Kodak Trims Operations, Again: Another 1K Jobs Cut
"Eastman Kodak Co., battling a steep drop in demand for photographic film and paper, is scaling back film manufacturing in China and closing various businesses in Rochester and West Virginia, eliminating about 1K jobs.   Kodak, which is navigating a tough transition to digital photography, said Thursday it will consolidate North American color photographic paper manufacturing at factories in Windsor, Colo., and Harrow, England, by shutting down an operation in Rochester by the end of October.   It said manufacturing of consumer film products will be cut back in Xiamen, [Red China]."

Thomas Hargrove _Stories in the News_
Academic Degrees in USA
"The U.S. Department of Education reported that there were 6,967 degrees awarded for education in 2002, the most for any academic field, followed by 5,195 degrees conferred in engineering and 4,489 awarded for biological and life sciences.   Advanced degrees for English and literature have been on the decline, dropping to 1,446 recipients in 2002, down from its record of 1,672 recipients in 1976."

_The RunDown_
Graduates more likely to be unemployed than non-graduates
"The unemployment rate among last year's graduates is higher than the national average, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.   'Any spare change for a computing graduate?'   In its annual survey of graduate destinations, 5.9% of respondents who completed their first degree in 2003/4 said that they were unemployed.   While the figure is down on the previous year, when 6.2% were unemployed, it is higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.7% in the second quarter of this year.   The number of graduates who had found employment was 73.6%, up 0.9% on the previous year.   The highest proportions of graduates working were in medicine and dentistry, subjects allied to medicine and education – all had employment rates above 80%.   Graduates most likely to be unemployed were in computer science (11%), with creative arts and design, engineering and technology, and mass communications and documentation all above 8%.   Not all graduates in work had found jobs that required a degree, however.   More than a third said they were not in a graduate-level job..."

John Clare _London News Telegraph_
20K places left unfilled at universities
"One week after A-level pupils were told they faced a 'desperate scrambl' for a dwindling number of university places, Ucas, the central admissions service, admitted yesterday that more than 20K places were still unfilled at 200 institutions.   Of the 114K applicants supposedly involved in the scramble, just 6K had bothered to find a place...   In science and engineering, the situation appeared to be even more dire than in previous years, with some of the best universities in the world unable to recruit enough students with decent A-level grades to study the 'hard' subjects on which the Government says the wealth of the nation depends.   Courses at first-rate institutions with hundreds of places to spare included many in engineering plus astrophysics, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics, physics and zoology...   Andrew Haldenby, director of Reform, a radical think-tank, said there was growing evidence that higher education had reached saturation point and that young people who turned their backs on university were being economically rational.   'They know that 3 years after leaving university, 40% of graduates are in jobs that don't require graduate skills.', he said."

Patenting Nano-Technology
"Researchers from the University of Arizona and the US National Science Foundation examined nano-scale science and engineering patents at the US Patent & Trademark Office from 1976-2003.   They found that 8,630 nano-tech-related patents were issued by the US PTO in 2003 alone, an increase of 50% over the previous 3 years.   The top 5 countries represented were: US (5,228 patents), Japan (926), Germany (684), Canada (244) and France (183).   The top 5 entities winning nano-tech-related patents included 4 multi-national electronic firms and one university [system]: IBM (198 patents), Micron Technologies (129), Advanced Micro Devices (128), Intel (90) and University of California (89)."

Donna de la Cruz _AP_/_Bridgeton News_
Fort Monmouth closing
"The commission voted 7-1 to accept the Pentagon's recommendation to close the post but, with the condition, it was unclear how quickly Fort Monmouth's research and development facilities would move to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.   The shift is expected to relocate more than 4K jobs -- half of them highly, specialized science and engineering positions -- out of the post's total of 5,200, mostly civilian jobs.   Fort Monmouth's other facilities, such as the West Point Preparatory School, are to be reassigned to other installations."

Ioannis Miaoulis _Boston Globe_
Engineers don't get enough respect
"According to the US Department of Education, in 2003 only 17% of degrees from American colleges and universities were in science or engineering...   Studies tell us that we can maintain our reputation as a technological super-power if we 'produce' [and, more importantly, employ] more scientists and engineers...   Engineers are responsible for 80% to 90% of the things we deal with every day, from the cars we drive to the cellular phones we use..."

_Medical News Today_
American Chemical society honors "Heroes of Chemistry"

2005-08-25 14:02PDT (17:02EDT) (21:02GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Oil futures close at $67.49 per barrel

2005-08-25 16:02PDT (19:02EDT) (23:02GMT)
Ed Edelson _Yahoo!_/_Health Day_
Longevity Vaccine
"a hormone made by a gene called Klotho suppresses aging in mice.   It's a long way from here to there, said Dr. Makoto Kuro-o, lead author of the paper on the mouse study that appears Thursday in the on-line edition of the journal Science.   But humans do have an almost identical version of the Klotho gene that is carried by mice, and 'some studies show that variations of the Klotho gene are associated with extended life in humans.', Kuro-o said.   studies in the United States showed that people who carried 2 copies of a less-common form of the gene tended to die earlier than those who had the more common gene...   'We speculate that it blocks insulin action.', he said.   Specifically, it appears to block the insulin-like growth factor-1 pathway.   Studies have shown that blocking that pathway extends the life span of worms, flies and mice, he said, and the same may well be true of humans...   For example, high levels of the hormone have been shown to be associated with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease, he said."

J.T. Morand _Lincolnshire Review_
"The state average [aggregate ACT score] is 20.3 and the national average is 20.9...   In the rest of Illinois, the average was 53% [met or exceedd state standards] in math, 60% in reading and 53% in science."

Randy Poe & Ken Goldstein _Conference Board_
Help-Wanted Advertising Index at 39
"The Index now stands at 39, up from 38 in June.   It was 38 one year ago.   In the last 3 months, help-wanted advertising increased in 5 of the 9 U.S. regions.   Largest increases occurred in the East South Central (4.7%), Pacific (4.7%), and West North Central (2.7%) regions.   Says Ken Goldstein, The Conference Board's Labor Economist: 'The labor market indicators turned a little more positive this summer.   Print want-ad volume edged up in both June and July.   On-line volume was 10% higher in July than in April.   Initial unemployment claims also moved down a little.   However, the JOLTS data (Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey) show no change over the same period.   Job openings were essentially unchanged through June.   And the consumer appraisal of how hard it might be to find a new job was essentially at the same level in July as in May...'   On-line want-ad volume does not show a markedly different pattern.   The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series™ shows that the number of new on-line job ads fell slightly to 1.97M in July from just over 2M in May and June.   However, the latest figure is still almost 10% higher than the 1.799M new on-line jobs posted in April."
more Conference Board info


2005-08-25 18:43PDT (22:43EDT) (2005-08-26 02:43GMT)
Beth Fouhy _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Califorinia Law-Makers Ask for Declaration of Illegal Immigration Emergency
"A group of Republican law-makers on Thursday said they will introduce legislation giving governor Arnold Schwarzenegger the power to make California the third state to declare an emergency along its border with Mexico.   The law-makers said they were prompted to act by what they called the growing threat to public safety posed by illegal immigration, as well as the added costs of incarceration, education and providing health care...   Schwarzenegger has praised Arizona governor Janet Napolitano and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson for issuing emergency declarations in their states, which unlocked $3M to fight illegal border crossings...   Speaking in Mexico City, [California Assembly Speaker Fabian] Nunez [a Democrat] said that while he had not yet read the proposed legislation, he cautioned against embracing any effort that would stigmatize illegal immigrants or inflame racial tension."

Alana Roberts _In Business Las Vegas_
Employers relying on foreign workers: Talent shortage or deplorable working conditions?
"The Clark County School District has hired 51 Filipino teachers in a recent, well-publicized example of an employer turning to foreign workers...   the Filipino educators have been hired under a J-1 exchange visitor visa to work for the school district for 3 years...   the district used an international staffing agency...   Jane McAlevey, executive director of the Service Employees International Union Local 1107, said every hospital in the Las Vegas Valley hires foreign nurses.   However, some hospitals have more aggressive recruiting campaigns for foreign workers than others.   'There was a period of time in America where the Irish nurses were hot 10 years ago.', she said.   'We bled Ireland of as many nurses as we could, then about 5 years ago we began to import huge numbers of Filipino nurses.   Now the hot country for American hospitals to go raid is India.'   McAlevey said the union doesn't believe there is a shortage of hospital nurses, just that many of them are deciding to leave hospital duty due to 'deplorable conditions'.   'There are 2K more licensed nurses than there are nurses willing to work at the hospital bed-side.', she said.   'The industry takes the cheap-shot approach...'   Cheryl Persinger, a spokeswoman for University Medical Center [said] 'One-third of our nursing workforce is Filipino.'...   Cass Palmer, vice president of human resources for Boyd Gaming Corp., said... that once one foreign person comes to work in the United States it's easier for their friends and family to come over on their own.   He said they often encourage others to come over...   'We're always looking outside Las Vegas both nationally and internationally.'...   Pam Bridges, employment supervisor for the [Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada] Migration and Refugee Services program, said employers in the Las Vegas Valley have such a great demand for workers that Catholic Charities can't keep up.   The agency obtained 1K jobs for 800 clients last year.   She said there was some overlap because some of those workers were able to get more than one job."

NWA Strike: Can Body-Shopping Trend Continue?
"'Strikes in July and August!' flashes the on-line ad, a pitch to recruit replacement nurses.   'Apply now!'   When Northwest Airlines Corp. replaced its striking mechanics this past week, the move drew wide attention as a potential water-shed moment: Could an employer replace scores of its highly skilled workers wholesale?   But the reality -- hinted at by ads like this one from Healthcare Contingency Staffing Services Inc., which supplies replacement nurses to hospitals during strikes -- is that many businesses have already figured out a variety of ways to swap or substitute for employees, either to cover in a short-term crisis or permanently...   U.S. employers' moves in recent years [over the last several decades] to increase their flexibility and cut costs through out-sourcing, off-shoring, contract labor and temporary hiring.   'It's kind of humbling.', said Michael LeRoy, a professor of industrial relations at the University of Illinois who studies the use of replacement workers.   'If you ask yourself, can I be replaced, lots of times you have to answer, yeah, I can be.'...   Swissport International Ltd. [based in Zurich, Swiitzerland]... The workers hired by Swissport earn about $10 an hour, roughly half what many of the unionized airline counterparts made to do the same work.   But Northwest's carefully planned recruitment of replacement mechanics is noteworthy because the workers in question are highly skilled.   That makes them more difficult to replace.   In the past, specialized skills were one of workers' best means of job protection.   By week's end, though, Northwest was talking of giving permanent jobs to its replacements, and locking out the union.   Even as recently as 5 or 6 years ago, at the apex of [an allegedly] very tight labor market, many workers in white-collar, skilled jobs believed they were insulated from the uncertainty then enveloping workers in some relatively unskilled manufacturing businesses.   But the past few years have shown that seemingly any job -- from computer programming to architecture to reading X-rays -- can be done by somebody else cheaper, often over-seas.   It's a sign of the times, LeRoy says, that the class he teaches on employment law now includes a unit on the contingent work force, a subject that was barely a footnote a few years ago...   The 2 decades since have coincided with a dramatic decline in the number of big strikes.   There were 235 strikes that each involved more than 1K workers in 1979.   Last year, there were just 17 such walk-outs.   But some employers have continued to use replacements, or the threat of replacements, as a strike-battling strategy.   The practice has inflamed tensions in a number of strikes by nurses...   a few firms have exploited that niche, recruiting nurses from around the country, and flying them in to cities as back-up troops for hospitals and nursing homes.   By all accounts, the use of replacements has stretched out the length of the nursing strikes by allowing the hospitals to resist nurses whose bargaining position would otherwise be hard to beat.   'The whole point of a strike is to slow down operations and make it hard for a hospital to do business so they feel it's worthwhile for them to settle.', said David Schildmeier, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Nursing Association, the union representing many of that state's nurses.   'The industry is using strike-breakers as a chance to try and break the nurses.'...   The lay-offs and cut-backs made by the airlines in the past few years have left a surplus of highly qualified mechanics and other workers on the side-lines...   The slack labor market has given Northwest an opening, but one that could be short-lived, said Joseph Tracy, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.   The aircraft mechanics who have lost their jobs are only viable replacements until their skills become outdated, he said."

2005-08-25 21:01PDT (2005-08-26 00:01EDT) (04:01GMT)
_Wall Street Journal_
America needs more, not fewer, workers from over-seas

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_
H-1Bs at issue
"Over 50K H-1B visas for 2006 have been gobbled up by employers.   Ostensibly these visas are to be used only when companies can't find Americans that are qualified for the job.   So how do companies know that they won't be able to find Americans in 2006 when they haven't even advertised the jobs?   Unless employers have a crystal ball that allows them to look into the future there is a question how they could know that there won't be any Americans that could be hired in 2006, especially since they probably didn't give Americans a chance to interview for these jobs...   The DoL has been posting LCA data for the last several years, but they don't seem to be in a hurry to make the 2006 data available to the American public.   All that Kim Berry of the ProgrammersGuild asked of the DoL is for them to post the LCAs for 2006 so that qualified Americans could apply for the jobs before the H-1B arrives on our shores.   The DoL has consistently stone-walled Berry and others when they called the DoL to request the data...   employers don't have to consider American citizens before they hire H-1Bs; but if you ask any of the politicians who voted for the H-1B program they will always say that the visa is to be used only when qualified Americans can't be found."

Paul Krugman _NY Times_
Summer of Our DisContent
"American families don't care about GDP.   They care about whether jobs are available, how much those jobs pay and how that pay compares with the cost of living.   And recent GDP growth has failed to produce exceptional gains in employment, while wages for most workers haven't kept up with inflation...   the average of weekly hours worked (which remains low), and the average duration of unemployment (which remains high), suggest that the demand for labor is still weak compared with the supply...   Because employers don't have to raise wages to get workers, wages are lagging behind the cost of living.   According to Labor Department statistics, the purchasing power of an average non-supervisory worker's wage has fallen about 1.5% since the summer of 2003.   And this may under-state the pressure on many families: the cost of living has risen sharply for those whose work or family situation requires buying a lot of gasoline...   You may ask where economic growth is going, if it isn't showing up in wages.   That's easy to answer: it's going to corporate profits, to rising health care costs and to a surge in the salaries and other compensation of executives.   (Forbes reports that the combined compensation of the chief executives of America's 500 largest companies rose 54% last year.)"

Carl Bialik _Wall Street Journal_
Disagreement over Off-Shoring and Out-Sourcing Inflate Some Numbers
"[In a] 2002 October speech by Ray Bingham, who was then chief executive of semiconductor company Cadence Design Systems.   Mr. Bingham said at a technology conference, '[Red China] produces 600K engineers a year and 200K of them are electrical engineers.'...   Mr. Bingham said one source he could remember using was a CNET News.com article from 2002 July that said 700K engineers were trained yearly in [Red China].   A spokeswoman I reached at CNET said the statistic came from a group called the China Education and Research Network.   My e-mail to the Chinese group seeking more information wasn't returned...
The National Science Foundation, which tracks degrees granted in the U.S. and many other nations, says that [Red China] has been granting only about 200K degrees each year.   NSF gets the numbers from the Chinese Ministry of Education.   It is more difficult to pin down a figure for India.   That country's government last gave statistics to the NSF 15 years ago, when it issued 29K engineering degrees.   But the country has seen a boom in private engineering schools since then...
Ron Hira, professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, puts the actual number of graduates at 120K to 130K, based on his study of the question in a visit to India.   Ashish Arora, a Carnegie Mellon professor who also has studied the issue, estimates the number is closer to 200K.   A World Bank report published in 2000 estimated that 65K Indians received technical or engineering degrees in 1997 (see page 46 of that report)...
per-capita, the U.S. still graduates more engineers.   Still, it's worth pointing out that that the bulk of engineering doctoral degrees awarded in the U.S.A. go to foreign nationals, according to NSF...   NSF, which puts degrees at about 59K annually.   But those figures are for 2001.   The American Society For Engineering Education and the Engineering Workforce Commission, which conduct annual surveys of U.S. engineering schools, both have found that the number of bachelor's degrees awarded in the U.S. has surged since 1998.   The EWC says the number of degrees has climbed to 76,003 in the 2003-2004 academic year, the most since 1985-1986.   (The organizations show a few thousand more bachelor's degrees than NSF's data does in 2001, in part because they leave the definition of 'engineer' to the schools.)...
I asked Dr. Hira, of the Rochester Institute of Technology, why the inflated foreign numbers persist.   'CEOs... have nothing to lose.', he said.   'There's only an upside for them.   It deflects attention from the fact that they're off-shoring more work.   And there's no cost to them -- government is going to foot the bill [by subsidizing engineering schools].   The increase in supply of engineers is going to keep wages down.'   Dr. Heckel, of the engineering consultancy, says that lately he's received a lot of calls from journalists who seem to have been pitched articles by companies about the decline of U.S. engineers.   When one writer called recently, 'I told him the basis for that article was not valid.', he says."

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Look Out Teachers, the H-1B Visa Gang Wants Your Job
"Another teacher, Elmer Potes, admitted that he speaks broken English with a heavy accent.   Will his high-school math students, already sufficiently challenged, be able to understand him?...   The Filipino teachers are legally in the U.S. on non-immigrant H-1B visas.   And that fact begs a bigger question: did Clark County exhaust every opportunity to hire an American before traveling to the other side of the globe?...   In 2003, Arizona educators traveled to New Delhi for teachers even though the local Scottsdale Unified School District cut 175 jobs during the same period.   ['Teachers Recruited from India' Pat Kossan Arizona Republic 2003-03-22].   In 2004 June, the New York Department of Education, crying 'shortage', added 200 additional teachers from Jamaica to its staff.   The state offered 2 additional bonuses: free legal advice so that they could convert their visas into permanent residency status and free temporary housing.   In 2001 September, Cleveland hired 50 math and special education teachers from India.   This year 500 pink slips are being sent out in what the Cleveland Plain-Dealer describes as 'The first wave in what will be deep staff cuts in the school district.' ['Nearly 500 Teachers Will Be Cut' Janet Okoben & Ebony Reed, 2005-04-23]."

Mark Gladstone _Silicon Valley_
Set-back for privacy: Fierce opposition from high-tech firms
"Simitian's AB 682 -- the Identity Information Protection Act of 2005 -- had 3 main prongs: prohibits skimming or theft of information on RFID devices; ensures that future attempts by the state to use the technology would include strong security protection and encryption of personal data; and institutes the 3-year moratorium [while implications of the devices' use and abuse are considered].   The legislation, which had previously passed the Senate, is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Privacy Rights ClearingHouse...   A friend of high-tech companies, Simitian has been honored by the American Electronics Association [AeA] as its assemblyman of the year.   Still, he faced a coordinated campaign orchestrated by the tech industry.   Some companies are part of the Washington-based High-Tech Trust Coalition that's fighting the measure.   Others have hired a small cadre of lobbyists and public relations consultants to deliver their message to law-makers."
more Privacy links

Gabe Wells _Wheeling News-Register_
Illegal aliens taken into custody in Wheeling: I-70 is artery of illegal aliens
"Ohio County Sheriff Tom Burgoyne is calling Interstate 70 the 'artery of illegal aliens' after 18 illegals were taken into custody following a traffic stop early Thursday...   the driver could not speak English, and the deputy then found the remaining passengers in the back.   Burgoyne said the illegal aliens were traveling to New York, and a 17-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy were among those taken into custody.   U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service was called to the scene and took 13 of the illegal aliens into custody.   The remaining 5 were initially transported to the Northern Regional Jail, but they were picked up by INS later that day.   Burgoyne said 64 illegal aliens have been taken into custody by the Ohio County Sheriff's Department since May...   Burgoyne said he is asking for the public to report any illegal aliens found residing or working in the area."

Lou Dobbs _CNN_
Programmers Guild on Lou Dobbs
For the Cause
"U.S. employers have applied with the DoL to bring in over 50K foreign tech workers on H-1B visas to fill U.S. jobs in the next fiscal year.   The DoL does not require employers to first try to fill jobs with U.S. workers.   Since these foreign workers cannot arrive until after 2005 October 1, groups such as the Programmers Guild pleaded with DoL to make these job openings public so that U.S. workers could be given equal consideration for these openings...   A substantial portion of the foreign workers are hired by bodyshops that have no direct need for any employees.   Instead the bodyshops agressively compete for the limited jobs in the open market.   This has nothing to do with a labor or skills shortage.   In fact many employers complain of receiving too many applicants for their job openings.   DoL is funded by U.S. tax-payers and should be placing the interests of U.S. workers above those of foreign workers.   The DoL web site provides on-line application for employers to get foreign workers to fill their openings.   Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild asks, 'Why doesn't DoL make those openings searchable in real-time by U.S. job seekers?'"
Lowest-Paying Employers of H-1B Computer Workers in FY2004

2005-08-26 14:15PDT (17:15EDT) (21:15GMT)
Clint Swett _Sacramento Bee_
Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance Index rose 1.1%
"The SARTA Technology Index, created by the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance, finished the quarter at 157.25, up just 1.1% from the first quarter of 2005.   The index includes both private and publicly traded technology companies.   Overall, hiring and revenue were up but equity funding and market capitalization were down...   5.1% increase in employment over the last quarter among the 43 private companies on the roster...   Private equity funding, another component of the index, totaled $14.125M in the second quarter, down from $34.167M in the first quarter of the year.   But SARTA's Kaganovich said such funding is cyclical and pointed out that the $48.3M in funding for the first 2 quarters of 2005 handily topped the $42.2M total from a year earlier."

_Cincinnati Enquirer_
Cincinnati Enquirer 80 stock index fell 0.84%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks fell 2.33 points or 0.83% to close today at 279.69...   Leading gainers were Smithfield Foods, down 27 cents to $27.88; Peoples Community Bancorp, up 19 cents to $21.88; Frisch's Restaurants, up 10 cents to $25.10; Eagle Hospitality Properties, up 8 cents to $9.78; and Luxottica, up 7 cents to $22.61.   Biggest laggers were Cummins Inc., down $1.24 to $84.71; Midland Co., down $1.13 to $35.12; National City Corp., down 93 cents to $35.38; PNC Financial Services Group, 78 cents to $54.96; and Toyota Motor, down 73 cents to $82."

2005-08-26 13:48PDT (16:48EDT) (20:48GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Stocks close at 7-week low
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 53.34 points at 10,397.29, putting in a weekly loss of 1.5%.   The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 13.60 points to 2,120.77.   On the week, the tech-rich index dropped 0.7%.   The S&P 500 Index was off 7.27 points at 1,205.10, with the broad gauge posting a 1.2% decline on the week...   U.S. consumer sentiment sank in late August, according to media reports of proprietary research at the University of Michigan.   The UMich consumer sentiment index fell [from 96.5 in July and 92.7 in Early August] to 89.1 points in late August, reports said.   It's the first decline since May and the lowest level since May."


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
The need for a yearly cap on uninformed editorials
"What the H-1B program does is set up a system outside the market.   H-1Bs can NOT freely move about in the labor market.   They are tied to their employers for sponsorship, and even though they technically are permitted to seek another employer, in practice they don't dare do so if they are also being sponsored for a green card.   Going to a new employer would mean starting the green card process all over again, an unthinkable delay.   Even the pro-employer National Research Council (NRC) study pointed this out:   'Foreign nationals dislike [labor certification, one of the stages in obtaining a green card] because the process is so lengthy (often 3 years or longer in some areas of the country) and prevents them (on pain of having to begin the process all over again) from changing employers...' (National Research Council _Building a WorkForce for the Information Economy_ National Academies Press, 2001, pg 171; see also 'For Green Card Applicants, Waiting Is the Hardest Part; Backlog Has Put Immigrant Workers In the Dark Longer About Their Status' S. Mitra Kalita _Washington Post_ 2005-07-23)...   H-1B in fact IS about cheap labor [pdf]...   H-1Bs seemed to cause unemployment among American engineers...   The estimates of average under-payment of H-1Bs in the various studies have ranged from 15% to 33%.   Applying that to, say, a $75K position means a savings of $45K to $75K over the course of 3 years.   So why would an employer care about having to lay out $6K for fees?...   out-sourcing firms themselves admit that they rely on the H-1B program to facilitate their off-shoring work.   H-1Bs are often used as 'bridges' between off-shore and U.S.-based portions of a project.   Again see the NRC report on this (page 185), as well as a detailed academic analysis in workers 'U.S. Immigration Regulations and India's Information Technology Industry' R. Hira, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol. 71, no. 8, 2005 March, which found that the typical ratio for off-shoring projects is one H-1B for every 2 off-shore workers."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Big Companies Abuse H-1B, Too
"[In] an editorial and article from the San Jose Mercury News of 2005 August 13 [they wrote:] 'if H-1B visas are being used to import low-paid foreign workers for jobs that American workers easily could fill, the negative impact on the U.S. economy will be both immediate and long lasting.   Not only will U.S. engineers remain unemployed, but young people also will be discouraged from pursuing science and engineering degrees, further undermining U.S. competitiveness and leadership in technology.'...   labor analyst Eileen Appelbaum put it quite succinctly in an article last week: 'Industry said in 2001, '''Let us have the H-1B visas and we'll do the work here, or you can say no and we'll just move the work off-shore.'''   Well, they got all the H-1Bs they wanted, and they still moved work off-shore.   In 2005, that's an argument industry can't make with a straight face.' See that article and my commentary on the connection to age discrimination...   I've long held that virtually every tech firm, small or large, is misusing the H-1B program (and the employer-based green card programs)...   Dept. of Labor data on H-1B workers...   Note that [a firm's] submitting an LCA for N foreign workers does not necessarily mean that [it] actually [will hire] N of them.   An LCA is simply a request for permission to hire.   There is a general correlation between the 2, but not a perfect one.   In any case, though, what counts is what [the firm] stated it would pay these foreign workers who hold advanced degrees.   I first looked at those LCAs for jobs with Engineer titles.   It turned out that the median salary was only $64,480.   Compare that to the national median salary for American workers with a Master's in engineering, $82,333, and the median for an engineering PhD, $105,500.   (See reference to 2002 NSPE data.)...
Type I consists of paying H-1Bs less than Americans of comparable experience, education etc., while
Type II consists of hiring younger (thus cheaper) H-1Bs instead of older (thus more expensive Americans).   Note that both types are perfectly legal, due to huge loop-holes in the Type I case, and a total lack of applicable law in the Type II case...   (other types, e.g. getting 'more bang for your buck' by making the H-1Bs work longer hours [which has recently been found to be counter-productive].)...
I noticed that one of the openings stated that the applicant must have 'recent IT experience'.   I've seen a number of job ads like that.   This is yet another way to screen out the older workers.   If you have been out of the engineering field for a year or 2 [un-employed or under-employed], you're not 'recent'...   Sacramento Business Journal article [published 2005-05-13]: '[Intel spokesperson Gail] Dundas said unemployed U.S. techies who have complained they've been pushed out of jobs [by foreign workers] are '''typically software engineers -- we're not hiring that type'''.'   Yet the DoL data show that during 2000 October to 2003 September, Intel filed 239 separate LCAs for H-1Bs to fill a total of 7540 Software Engineer jobs.   Again, as explained earlier, LCAs do not equate to actual hires, and the data unfortunately are a bit old.   But it does suggest that Dundas's statement is not accurate."

Haydee Pavia _Sand Mountain Reporter_
Illegal aliens are giving Hispanics a bad name
"I am Hispanic and I am also tired of hearing illegal aliens' anchor babies whine about how unfair life is for Hispanics.   Ramirez must realize that by invading the U.S., illegal aliens are giving American Hispanic citizens a bad name.   Law abiding citizens of Hispanic descent are being lumped with illegal aliens by pro illegal immigration interests in order to make illegal immigration a racial or ethnic issue instead of what it is, an economic issue...   Stop whining and start by apologizing for your parents breaking our laws and join the rest of us in the fight against illegal immigration.   That's a way for you to make Hispanics look better.   Stop making excuses for law-breakers."

Dawn C. Chmielewski _Silicon Valley_
Aple hedges its bet on new Intel chips
"Freescale agreed to supply PowerPC microprocessors for orders placed through 2008-12-31 -- a year beyond Apple's planned transition to the Intel chips...   IBM is the sole supplier of the PowerPC G5 processor for Apple's current Power Mac, Xserve and iMac G5 products.   Freescale makes the G4 processor, which is used in the company's eMac, Mac mini, and portable products."


End near for EU - Red China bra wars
"Europe's 'bra wars' crisis with [Red China] could end within weeks releasing millions of garments held by customs, EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has said.   He will be tabling proposals for consideration by member states on Monday morning, and said if they were accepted all goods currently impounded could be released by the middle of September."

_Health Central_
Americans get anti-oxidants from coffee
NEPA News/Z Wire
"Americans get anti-oxidants most often not from a daily glass of wine or grape juice.   They get it from coffee, new research concludes.   And coffee leads all other foods and drinks by a huge margin...   The University of Scranton, PA study was presented August 28 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC...   They concluded that the average adult consumes 1.299 grams of antioxidants daily from coffee.   The closest competitor was tea at 294mg...   According to the Agriculture Department, the typical adult American drinks 1.64 cups of coffee daily...   The anti-oxidants in coffee are known as polyphenols...   Men who drank more than six 8-ounce cups of caffeinated coffee per day lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by about half, and women reduced their risk by nearly 30%, compared with people who did not drink coffee, according to the study in Annals of Internal Medicine."

_St. George Utah Spectrum_
Law-Maker's Plan Makes Fiscal Sense
"The result [of massive illegal immigration] is that all American citizens and legal residents pay the bill via their taxes for schools, health care and other services provided to people who, by their very presence, are breaking the law.   Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-CO, came to Southern Utah this past week to share his views of the problem...   Tancredo's plan is known as the Real Guest Act.   Under the proposal, guest workers could come to the United States -- without their families -- for 365 days out of any 2-year period.   After that 365 days, the guest workers would have to return home and get back in line to return.   The onus would be on businesses to make a good-faith effort to find current residents and citizens to fill job openings - regardless of whether the jobs are high-tech or manual labor.   If none could be found, then a guest worker could be hired for the 365 days to fulfill those duties.   Then, to ensure the rights of the guest-worker, employers would have to pay a prevailing wage and provide health care benefits."

Thomas Beaumong _Des Moines Register_
US representative Steve King proposes fence on borders
"The U.S. government should build a 10-foot-tall chain-link fence topped with razor wire along the Mexican border, U.S. representative Steve King, left, said Monday at the downtown Des Moines Marriott.   He said the 2K-mile-long fence would slow border crossings and cost about $680M to construct...   An NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll in May found that 56% of Americans thought President Bush was doing too little about immigration...   Estimates of the number of immigrants in the United States illegally range from 11M to about 14M [I have seen 8M to 16M]...   King and Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado said they want candidates running for president to have clear and aggressive plans for dealing with immigration before they begin their campaigns for Iowa's lead-off nominating caucuses...   King and Tancredo were joined Monday by about 50 supporters, representatives of immigration control groups the Minutemen and Numbers USA, and U.S. representative J.D. Hayworth, an Arizona Republican.   Also participating in the morning sessions at the downtown Des Moines Marriott hotel was Peter Gadiel, whose son James died in the 2001 September 11, terrorist attack in New York.   Gadiel said a more aggressive illegal immigration policy could have prevented the attacks.   But the main argument from King and others was that illegal immigration hurts the U.S. economy by encouraging the use of disproportionately cheap labor.   To that end, King has drafted a bill that would make employers unable to take tax deductions for the wages and benefits they pay to workers who are in the United States illegally."

2005-08-28 10:38PDT (13:38EDT) (17:38GMT)
Lauran NeerGaard _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Another reason that red-heads are vulnerable to skin cancer
"People with red hair have a chemically different type of melanin than people with dark hair...   red-heads' melanin is more vulnerable to a type of DNA-damaging stress from the sun's ultraviolet rays...   Both UVA and UVB light caused a photochemical reaction with the red-heads' pigment, called pheomelanin.   The reaction creates oxidative stress, where oxygen molecules called free radicals are formed that damage DNA and cells in ways that, over time, can accumulate to spur cancer.   In contrast, only UVB light caused that oxidative reaction with the pigment from black hair, called eumelanin, Simon reported."

2005-08-28 10:59PDT (13:59EDT) (17:59GMT)
Ryan J. Foley _San Diego Union-Tribune_
New Wisconsin Lab is Dedicated to Privacy Violation Technology
"RFID uses a computer chip the size of a grain of rice to store data, which are transmitted wirelessly by a tiny antenna to a receiver.   The chips, embedded in tags, now track pallets in warehouses and let drivers pass toll booths without stopping, but its potential is almost limitless.   To accelerate deployment, the University of Wisconsin-Madison formally opened a lab this month to study how to make RFID work 'better', leaving to others to debate the broader issues such as implementation and privacy...   More than 40 companies, including 3M Co., Kraft Foods Inc. and S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., are contributing $500K combined to start the lab, and the university is kicking in another $62K.   Other companies can pay for individual research projects, giving them access to top-notch scientists without having to fund their own lab.   In 2003, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Department of Defense ordered their top suppliers to start using RFID technology by this year.   The goal was to track products without human interaction, resulting in fewer misplaced shipments and the ability to restock store shelves as soon as a product runs out...   Researchers are looking at ways to embed the chips in the packaging rather than simply adding them as labels to the outside, allowing companies to lower costs and position tags [most unobtrusively and yet allow an optimal range]...   Other universities, including the University of Florida and the University of Arkansas, also have RFID labs as do dozens of other corporations...   And former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, recently named to the board of a company that makes chips to implant into humans, says he may put one into his arm so that doctors can know his medical history.   Federal regulators approved that use of the technology earlier this year, though few hospitals are equipped to read the chips."
Privacy links

Miguel Perez & Elizabeth Llorente _North Jersey_
Illegal Aliens Want In-State Tuition Rates & Fees
"The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act forbade states from granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants based on residency because those students would be paying less than out-of-state U.S. citizens [and withholds scholarships and grants from illegal aliens]...   'People who are here illegally should not benefit on the backs of tax-payers.', says Assemblyman Michael Carroll, R-Morristown.   'Far from being welcomed with a discount, [they] should be evicted immediately.'   New Jersey is home to an illegal [alien] population that demographic studies estimate at 350K (Pew Hispanic Center) to 500K (Seton Hall University's Institute on Work).   That's 4% to 5% of the state total...   For the class entering last Fall, the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education says, its four-year public schools received 88,467 applications but enrolled only 15,912 freshmen...   Of the 6 states with the largest immigrant populations, all but Florida and New Jersey have laws guaranteeing in-state tuition to [illegal aliens].   Both of those states have bills pending in their legislatures, New Jersey's since 2003.   The In-State Tuition Act, which would grant the lower rates to graduates of New Jersey high schools, rather than students with New Jersey addresses, has never made it out of the Senate education committee.   Apart from where they live, the toll on the students of how they live -- as foreign law-breakers -- is often lost in the debate on in-state tuition."

Antonio Planas _Las Vegas Review-Journal_
Clark County Nevada School District Recruits Teachers in Philippines
"Ramage said his district has recruited about 800 foreign-born teachers since the mid-1980s in countries such as Canada, Spain and Mexico, as well as the Philippines...   One constant complaint among teachers has been low salary.   In the past, teachers in the district were able to find cheap housing.   But with property values soaring, Hanlon said, the district becomes less attractive to teachers.   John Farley, a physics professor and director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at UNLV, said teachers with a bachelor's degree in Clark County typically start out at a salary of about $27K.   He said the district has discussed adjusting the starting pay for high-demand teachers -- such as those in the special education field -- to a level comparable with teachers who have master's degrees.   Starting salaries would then be near $38K, Farley said.   He acknowledged that even with higher starting salaries, UNLV will still not be able to churn out enough teachers for the district, which requires about 2K new teachers a year to keep up with growth."

_Law Vegas Review-Journal_
Claims of a teacher shortage are bureaucratic fraud
"But anyone who wonders what the Clark County School District's 'teacher shortage' is really all about need only read reporter Antonio Planas' Thursday account of California class-room veteran Theresa Porter's attempt to find work in our local Las Vegas schools.   Ms. Porter holds a master's degree in English literature and has 14 years of experience teaching in Japan and California.   She is licensed by the state of California to teach students whose primary language is not English -- an area where the Clark County district says it has 'high needs'...   Theresa Porter was named 'teacher of the year' in the 2004-2005 school year, beating out 140 other faculty members at the high school where she taught in Stockton, CA.   But at her interview with the Clark County School District, Ms. Porter was turned down because, all those years ago when she was starting out as a teacher, she did her student teaching at the wrong place...   This is like having Bill Gates or Steve Jobs show up offering to teach a course in entrepreneurship at the local business college, and telling them, 'Sorry, you never did complete all your required semesters of gym class in high school, did you?'   This is like refusing to give Audie Murphy his medals or allowing him to train other young recruits how to conduct themselves in combat -- because you find out he lied about his age to get into the Army...   After briefly considering a position as a long-term substitute at Rancho High School -- making $110 per day without benefits -- Ms. Porter said Tuesday she has accepted a job in Bakersfield, CA, teaching high school English to students whose primary language is not English... for $60,300 a year, plus benefits...   'The state is blocking a lot of qualified people from teaching.'...   This bureaucracy values the kinds of dull minds who are content to dutifully put in scores of make-work hours pretending that education colleges actually teach anything of value, over those who have actually excelled in real classrooms, or in the subject areas they will be expected to teach.   You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried."


William Porter _MacWorld_
First look at FileMaker Pro 8

Crude petroleum futures rise past $70 per barrel
"Crude oil futures surged past 70 dollars a barrel for the first time as Hurricane Katrina headed toward the heart of US oil and refinery operations in the Gulf of Mexico, shutting down an estimated 1M barrels of refining capacity.   The storm was advancing on an area crucial to the US energy infra-structure - off-shore oil and gas production, import terminals, pipe-line networks and numerous refining operations in the southern states of Louisiana and Mississippi."

2005-08-29 10:39PDT (13:39EDT) (17:39GMT)
Gavin Clarke _Register_
Cheap labor, not skills, are driving out-sourcing
"Just 19% of those companies polled are out-sourcing to tap their suppliers' expertise, down from 44% in the year 2000, according to Evan Data Corp (EDC).   28% said cost savings was their main reason for going out of house - up from 15%...   John Andrews, Evans chief operating officer, said: 'Huge resources are being eaten up by enterprise applications.   Back in that period [solving the Year 2000 bug] there was a skills shortage.   Enterprises have [since] been maintaining those applications and cost savings has become a huge issue on their plate.'   Unsurprisingly, out-sourcing is expected to increase.   Nearly half of respondents said their companies currently out-source less than a quarter of development while just 7% out-source more than half of the development process.   A third plan to increase their use of out-sourcing during the next year...   Nearly 80% said SOA and supply chain management projects would be out-sourced with 77% saying security would go out of house."

Froma Harrop _Tracy Press_
Stop illegal immigration by far more conscientiously and vigorously punishing employers

_Louisville KY Courier-Journal_ Losing Lunch-Time Comes Back To Haunt Us: And Talent Shortage Propaganda Continues
"58% said they skip lunch if they're too busy, and 43% say they lunch for 15 minutes or less.   And 15% said they eat lunch in their cars...   90% of 150 human resource executives said in June that their corporate performance was meeting or beating expectations and 56% said they planned to add staff in the second half of 2005.   Yet almost half -- 44% -- said they did not meet their hiring goals in the first 6 months of the year because of a lack of candidates...   The median pay of U.S. stock fund managers has climbed 48% in the past 2 years, to $460K annually."

Patrick J. Buchanan _World Net Daily_
National Emergency
"Southwestern states are being inundated by illegal aliens trashing ranches, killing cattle, committing crimes and eating up tax dollars.   The traffic in narcotics and human beings from Mexico is a national scandal and a human-rights disgrace.   What is true of New Mexico and Arizona is true of our nation, which is now home to an estimated 10M to 15M aliens who have broken our laws and broken into our country...   A president like Teddy Roosevelt would have led the Army to the border years ago.   And if Fox did not cooperate, T.R. would have gone on to Mexico City.   Nor would Ike, who deported all illegal aliens in 1953, have stood still for this being done to the country he had defended in war...   Most of these illegals come to work to send money back to their families.   They are not bad people.   But because they are predominantly young and male, they commit a disproportionate share of violent crimes...   Twice, George Bush has taken an oath to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States'.   Article IV, Section 4 of that Constitution reads, 'The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion.'   Well, we are being invaded..."

Virginia Robbins _ComputerWorld_
Fewer Computer Science Majors Is Not a Problem
" In fact, very few computer science degrees are useful to most corporations.   Corporations need accountants, marketers, and operations and manufacturing staffers who are infused with computer skills...   If we assume that a capitalist society will continue to reward innovation and protect intellectual property, then the best minds will continue to migrate to the best research centers, regardless of where one graduates."


_Salt Lake Tribune_/_Bloomberg_
Executives Fear Any Legislation Having to Do with Illegal Immigration May Cramp Their Style
Maryland Daily Record
"Some of America's biggest companies are withholding contributions to a public campaign supporting President Bush's immigration plan because they're concerned that any legislation may impose greater restrictions on hiring workers from over-seas.   'There is a reluctance to sign up for something that might turn out not to be the type of immigration reform bill we want to see.', said John Gay, who runs a coalition in support of guest-worker programs that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, First Data Corp. and Marriott International Inc.   Republican lobbyists including Ed Gillespie, the party's former national chairman, and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, are seeking to raise money for a public relations-campaign of as much as $3M to support Bush's plan.   The lobbyists are asking companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and M$ Corp. to contribute between $50K and $250K to pay for the effort...   Supporters say their concern is that Republican law-makers pushing for tighter borders on national-security grounds will pressure Bush eventually to accept a measure making it harder rather than easier to hire workers from over-seas."

2005-08-30 07:29PDT (10:29EDT) (14:29GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Consumer confidence rebounded in August
Fox News
BMO Nesbitt Burns
"The percentage of consumers that saw jobs as hard to get decreased to 23.2% from 23.8% [22.5% in 2005 June, 26% in 2004 August].   The percentage who saw jobs as plentiful rose to 23.5% this month, compared with 22.9% in July [22.5% in 2005 June, 18.4% in 2004 August].   It was the first time since 2001 October that more people said jobs were plentiful than said they were hard to get."
Conference Board

Thomas Claburn _Information Week_
Private Records Were Sold On-Line
"The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an online privacy advocacy group, on Tuesday petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to require that telecommunications carriers establish better policies and procedures to prevent customer billing records from being sold illegally online.   The group's request that the FCC establish stronger security standards governing the release of consumer proprietary network information follows a July 7 complaint against the illegal sale of consumer information by Intelligent e-Commerce Inc.   Intelligent e-Commerce operates BestPeopleSearch.com, a web site that advertises the sale of telephone records along with other sensitive personal information.   Epic charges that the company is violating the FTC Act, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and U.S. Postal Regulations.   In an update of a July 7 complaint filed Tuesday, Epic identifies an additional 40 web sites engaged in the practice of selling telephone records.   The Telecommunications Act forbids telecom companies from using or disclosing consumer proprietary network information without customer approval, unless required by law or permitted by certain exceptions...   Hoofnagle believes the FCC has to do something.   'This data can be used to track people, to figure out their associations,' he said, 'and it's a matter of time before the data is sold to a stalker who harms someone.'"
privacy Links

2005-08-30 07:56PDT (10:56EDT) (14:56GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US factory orders were down 1.9% in July
"Orders for factory goods fell 1.9% in July, after rising 0.9% in June and 4.2% in May, the government said."
census bureau data

2005-08-30 09:24PDT (12:24EDT) (16:24GMT)
Jeanne Sahadi _CNN_/_Money_
CEO compensation
"In 2004, the ratio of average CEO pay to the average pay of a production (i.e., non-management) worker was 431-to-1, up from 301-to-1 in 2003, according to 'Executive Excess', an annual report released Tuesday by the liberal research groups United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies...   In 2001, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay hit a peak of 525-to-1...   In 1990, for instance, CEOs made about 107 times more than the average worker, while in 1982, the average CEO made only 42 times more...   'Pay' in this instance refers to total compensation – including salary, bonuses, restricted stock awards, pay-outs on long-term incentives and the value of options exercised during the year...   average CEO pay – which was $11.8M in 2004..."

2005-08-30 13:31PDT (16:31EDT) (20:31GMT)
Energy futures continue to rise
"October-dated crude climbed 84 cents to $70.65 a barrel in electronic trading Wednesday morning.   September unleaded gasoline futures also were stronger, recently trading at $2.57 a gallon.   Unleaded-gasoline futures jumped more than 20% Tuesday to an all-time closing high as traders assessed damage in the Gulf of Mexico from Hurricane Katrina...   Supply concerns also boosted crude futures to a new record of $70.85 a barrel, while natural-gas prices rallied nearly 5%...   Unleaded gasoline for September delivery traded as high as $2.50 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.   It closed at $2.4745, up 41.39 cents, or 20.1%.   At the retail level, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded stood at $2.604 Tuesday, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.   That's slightly below the record $2.614 on August 22 but 39% above the $1.874 of a year ago.   At the same time, crude for October delivery climbed to an intraday high of $70.85 a barrel before closing at $69.81, up $2.61, or 3.9%."

Kurt Kleiner _New Scientist_
American Thinker
"Most published scientific research papers are wrong...   problems with experimental and statistical methods mean that there is less than a 50% chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper are true.   John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, says that small sample sizes, poor study design, researcher bias, and selective reporting and other problems combine to make most research findings false.   But even large, well-designed studies are not always right, meaning that scientists and the public have to be wary of reported findings.   'We should accept that most research findings will be refuted.   Some will be replicated and validated.   The replication process is more important than the first discovery.', Ioannidis says.   In the paper, Ioannidis does not show that any particular findings are false.   Instead, he shows statistically how the many obstacles to getting research findings right combine to make most published research wrong."
John P.A. Ioannidis: PLoS Medicine: why most published research findings are false
John P.A. Ioannidis: Pitt: why most published research findings are false (pdf)
John P.A. Ioannidis: NIH: why most published research findings are false
Simon Oxenham: Big Think: most published research findings are probably false
John P.A. Ioannidis: ResearchGate: why most published research findings are false
Alex Tabarrok: Marginal Revolution: why most published research findings are false

Diane Stafford _Kansas City Star_
Holiday retail jobs may run out of gas
"Holiday retail jobs might be scarcer this year than last if gasoline prices stay high and shoppers do more Internet shopping. So predicts the out-placement firm of Challenger Gray & Christmas... Ajilon Professional Staffing [a body shop] surveyed workers to find out what they're worried about. The results:

Neil Lebovits, Ajilon president, comments, 'It's going to take a lot to convince (American workers) we now have an enduring, strong job market.'"

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
the rest of the story on H-1B teachers in Las Vegas
"IOW, the LV district is using H-1Bs just like the tech industry does, to attain both Type I salary savings (paying an H-1B less than an American with the same qualifications) and Type II salary savings (hiring a younger, thus cheaper, H-1B instead of an older, thus more expensive, American).   And note carefully -- file this away in your mind for future use if you are at all interested in the H-1B program -- the definition of 'prevailing wage' in the H-1B regulations is tied to the job, not to the worker...   'First, it is crucial to keep in mind that prevailing wage pertains to the job, not the worker.   The employer can define the job to be Level I [0-2 years of experience] even though the worker has, say, 4 or 5 years of experience.   The employer is then hiring a more-experienced worker for the salary of someone will less experience.   As immigration lawyer Sean Olender puts it, '''This disparity often results in very experienced candidates being under-paid.'''' (Olender law office web page, last visited 2003-01-09).   This shows one of the many gaping loop-holes concerning the prevailing wage provisions in H-1B law and regulations...   Add to that an article from the Las Vegas press which ran last March (also enclosed below), with this key point: 'John Farley, a physics professor and director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at UNLV, said teachers with a bachelor's degree in Clark County typically start out at a salary of about $27K.'   Well, duh!   No wonder there is a 'shortage' of teachers!   And by the way, that award-winning teacher who was rejected by the Las Vegas district got hired in Bakersfield instead, with a salary of $60K, in spite of the fact that Bakersfield has a lower cost of living than LV."

_PR Web_
US Department of Labor Has Been Reserving 65K US Jobs for Foreign Guest-Workers
"The U.S. Department of Labor has approved applications for 65K H-1B visas.   Since the H-1B workers cannot fill the positions until after October 1st, all of these represent open U.S. jobs.   Throughout August groups have called upon DoL to publicize these openings to qualified U.S. workers.   To date DoL has declined...   The DoL has not returned these phone calls.   DoL's web site states their mission as ensuring 'that all American workers have as fulfilling and financially rewarding a career as they aspire to have and to make sure that no worker gets left behind in the limitless potential of the dynamic, global economy of this new millennium'.   Ignoring the phone calls of U.S. workers asking for equal consideration for U.S. jobs seems inconsistent with this mission.   A substantial percentage of the foreign workers are hired by bodyshops that have no direct need for the employees.   Instead the bodyshops aggressively shop their H-1B workers on the open market, directly competing with U.S. workers for the limited job openings.   The widespread use of the H-1B visa does [not] indicate a labor or skill shortage.   Many employers, including the State of California, are deluged with U.S. workers possessing the same skills as the H-1B workers."
Programmers Guild

Dice Report: 75,098 job ads

body shop30,728




US & Red China Reach No Agreement on Textiles
"U.S.-[Red Chinese] talks failed to settle a dispute Wednesday over American efforts to rein in [Red Chinese] textile imports, leaving little hope of a deal before President Hu Jintao visits Washington next week.   'It appears that it's over this week, and no agreement has been reached.', said Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, who was in Beijing...   Washington has already imposed temporary quotas limiting growth in imports of some Chinese textiles to 7.5% a year, but U.S. clothing manufacturers want broader limits...   U.S. clothing manufacturers say the flood of cheap Chinese goods since the beginning of this year have forced 19 U.S. plants to close and resulted in 26K lost jobs...   The dispute is politically sensitive at a time of soaring U.S. trade deficits with China, which last year hit $162G - an all-time record high with any country."

Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Gasoline Prices
Washington Times
"Nationally, the average per gallon price for regular gasoline is $2.50...   when we ask whether a price is high or low, we have to ask relative to what.   In 1950, a gallon of regular gasoline sold for about 30 cents; today, it's $2.50.   Are today's gasoline prices high compared to 1950? Before answering that question, we have to take into account inflation that has occurred since 1950.   Using my trusty inflation calculator, what cost 30 cents in 1950 costs $2.33 in 2005.   In real terms, that means gasoline prices today are only slightly higher, about 8%, than they were in 1950.   Up until the recent spike, gasoline prices have been considerably lower than 1950 prices...   Our true supply problem is of our own doing.   Large quantities of oil lie below the 20 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).   The amount of land proposed for oil drilling is less than 2K acres, less than 0.5% of ANWR.   The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are about 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil in ANWR.   But environmentalists' hold on Congress has prevented us from drilling for it.   They've also had success in restricting drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and off the shore of California.   Another part of our energy problem has to do with refining capacity.   Again, because of environmentalists' successful efforts, it's been 30 years since we've built a new oil refinery [and several old ones have been dismantled].   Few people realize that the U.S. is also a major oil-producing country.   After Saudi Arabia, producing 10.4M barrels a day, then Russia with 9.4M barrels, the U.S. with 8.7M barrels a day is the third-largest producer of oil.   But we could produce more.   Why aren't we?   Producers have a variety of techniques to win monopoly power and higher profits that come with that power.   What's a way for OPEC to gain more power?   I have a hypothesis, for which I have no evidence, but it ought to be tested.   If I were an OPEC big cheese, I'd easily conclude that I could restrict output and charge higher oil prices if somehow U.S. oil drilling were restricted.   I'd see U.S. environmental groups as allies, and I would make 'charitable' contributions to assist their efforts to reduce U.S. output.   Again, I have no evidence, but it's a hypothesis worth examination."

Andrea Coombes _MarketWatch_
AARP released list of top 50 employers for workers over 50

  1. Stanley Consultants Inc., Muscatine, IA
  2. Scripps Health, San Diego , CA
  3. Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Richmond, VA
  4. Deere & Company, Moline, IL
  5. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  7. First Horizon National Corporation, Memphis, TN
  8. Brevard Public Schools, Viera, FL
  9. Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT
  10. Lee Memorial Health System, Fort Myers, FL

Gail Russell Chaddock _Christian Science Monitor_
SAT Math scores set record highs (graph showing math scores having bottomed-out at 492 in 1980 while verbal scores have remained within a few points of 500 since then)
College Board
"These gains, reported Tuesday by the College Board, include all racial and ethnic groups - a 14-point rise over the past 10 years that officials attribute to access to higher-level math courses in US high schools.   Average verbal scores remained flat.   'We've pushed very hard for students to take the most rigorous courses.   Ten years ago, 37% of students who took the SAT had enrolled in precalculus; 10 years later, that's 48%.', says James Montoya, vice president of the College Board and a former admissions director at Stanford University...   This year's class of SAT takers includes both the highest level of minorities (38%) and first-generation college students (36%).   58% of first-generation college students are women -- a trend that held across ethnic lines...   states with relatively low levels of participation tend to score higher on the SAT, as only the most motivated students take the test...   The most recent release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which measures academic progress for all students, not just those who are college-bound, did not show measurable changes for 17-year-olds in a reading or mathematics assessment, although it did report significant progress in math for students aged 9 and 13."
Average SAT score in NC increased by 4 points: National sum is 1028, NC is 1010
Californians averaged 522 in math, 504 verbal (public school students averaged 521 in math, 499 verbal; parochial school students 538 in math, 541 verbal: other private 602 math, 597 verbal
Florida students averaged 498 on math, 498 verbal, 996 total; 65% took the test
IA 1204, IL 1200, ND 1195, FL (65%) 996, GA (75%) 993, SC (64%) 993, Texas 995, DC 968 (perhaps they should have the congress-critters stop re-taking the test)
29% of Ohio seniors took SAT: Average 543 math, 539 verbal
81% of New Hampshire students took SAT: 525 on both verbal and math
92% of New York students took SAT: Average 511 math, 497 verbal
75% of Pennsylvania students took SAT: Average 503 math, 501 verbal
65% of Florida students took SAT: Average 498 math, 498 verbal
50% of California students took SAT: Average 522 math, 504 verbal
4% of North Dakota students took SAT: Average 605 math, 590 verbal
(from table 3)
SAT Participation
"The number of SAT takers among the high school class of 2005 rose to an all-time high of 1,475,623.   This marks the fifteenth year in a row that the total number of test-takers has risen.   SAT volume increased by 57K students or +4% in the past year.   Over the past decade, volume increased by 408K students, or +38% -- more than twice the growth rate for graduating seniors in the United States.   According to a recent Chronicle of Higher Education report using U.S. Census Bureau data, 'the number of college students rose 15% in the decade ending in 2003'. SAT volume grew more than twice as fast -- 35% -- over that same period (1993–2003)."
Aggregate SAT Scores (graph)

Jeannine Aversa _AP_/_Yahoo!_
GDP Increased at Solid Pace in 2005 Q2
Rex Nutting at MarketWatch
"The economy grew at a 3.3% annual rate in the second quarter, slightly less than initially estimated but still a solid performance, especially given galloping energy prices.   The new reading for the gross domestic product (GDP) for the April-to-June, quarter released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, showed a tad less robust growth than the 3.4% pace first estimated for the quarter by the government a month ago...   In the second quarter, GDP climbed to $11.1T on an annualized basis, adjusted for inflation...   In the opening quarter of this year, [GDP] clocked in at a 3.8% growth rate."
BEA press release

2005-08-30 23:23:06PDT (2005-08-31 00:23:06MDT) (02:23:06EDT) (06:23:06GMT)
_Idaho Press-Tribune_
Mike Simpson says USA cannot allow illegal aliens to stay
"U.S. representative Mike Simpson took a tough stand on illegal immigration Tuesday, saying more needs to be done to seal the country's borders and that he would never support a bill that allows illegal immigrants to stay...   About 150 of the area's most powerful business and political leaders attended the forum.   'A lot of these (illegal immigrants) are good, hard-working people who come here for a better life.', Simpson said.   'But you can't reward illegal immigration.   It will make it all that much harder for people who are trying to enter the country legally.'   Simpson's strong remarks were similar to the stand Canyon County commissioners have taken on the issue -- that illegal immigration threatens the security of the United States and costs tax-payers millions in social service costs."

Kevin Buey _Deming Headlight_
Working to get order on the border
"Congressman Steve Pearce, R-NM, a member of the Homeland Security Committee...   'Ranchers and residents live in a constant state of fear as our overtaxed border control struggles to manage the important task of intercepting people who are coming here merely for jobs, while attempting to prevent bandits, drug dealers and terrorists from threatening lives and property.'...   Senator Pete Domenici, R-NM, announced a $700K allocation to build a temporary substation for Deming's U.S. Border Patrol station near Columbus...   Under-sheriff Raymond Cobos took them to the border.   'The same things.', Cobos said of reporters' questions on what citizens, ranchers, farmers, immigrants, Border Patrol agents and other enforcement agencies encounter.   Cobos explained department concerns regarding humanitarian issues -- immigrants left to fend for themselves when they are unable to keep pace with groups, others robbed by masked gunmen, and discovery of bodies of abandoned immigrants unable to continue.   There are costs for ambulance and related medical expenses -- medical investigators, notifying Mexican authorities and, when possible, families of the deceased, treatment at Mimbres Memorial Hospital of non-fatally injured immigrants and of non-residents who present themselves at the Columbus Port of Entry requiring emergency treatment.   Also outlined, Cobos said, were the violence and criminal damage perpetrated on local residents and their property, frustration of increasing crime statistics and calls and lack of manpower to immediately handle such calls.   Money that Luna County will receive from the $1.75M emergency fund Richardson promised will be used to hire and fund four to five deputies for a three-year period, plus related costs.   Sheriff Gary Ciccotelli wants a substation near Columbus to reduce response time.   Cobos took the reporters to Victoria Peak to see the wide-open land deputies and Border Patrol agents try to patrol, an area of which he said, 'When you see 100 of miles of desert with no roads, you see just how 100 agents will disappear in no time.'"

2005-08-31 10:48PDT (13:48EDT) (17:48GMT)
_NBC San Diego_
US Government Bought Predator at $14M+ To Search Border for Illegal Immigrants
"Border Patrol officials said that the agency is buying a Predator B drone from San Diego-based General Atomics...   The aircraft will be looking for human and drug smugglers along the border, said officials.   The Border Patrol will spend more than $14M on the Predator B and said that the drone will begin patrols in the next few weeks.   At first, the aircraft will only be used along the border in Arizona.   More illegal immigrants cross the border in Arizona than in any other state."

_San Pedro Valley News-Sun_
Cochise, Santa Cruz, Pima, & Yuma counties declared in state of emergency: Long Over-Due
"Governor Janet Napolitano issued the order last week to release $1.5M in state funding to Cochise, Santa Cruz, Pima and Yuma counties.   The money will be slated for helping pay for overtime used by law enforcement officers, helping to repair border fences and helping pay for costs related to illegal immigrants' deaths...   It's an action that was taken by New Mexico governor Bill Richardson only 3 days before Napolitano's action...   Why now?   Cochise County has long suffered from crime, environmental damage and deaths due to illegal immigration.   It's taxed our law enforcement, and it's taxed our county and local budgets...   It is in a state of emergency.   It has been for years..."

2005-08-31 16:35PDT (19:35EDT) (23:35GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
more record gasoline prices
"At the retail level, the average price for regular unleaded stood at an all time high of $2.619 a gallon Wednesday, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.   That's a full 40.8% above the $1.860 of a year ago.   And unleaded gasoline for September delivery climbed as high as $2.90 a gallon, a level that market has never reached before...   Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf -- home to about 25% of U.S.   oil and natural-gas production -- earlier this week, has halted the movements of 91.5% of the region's daily oil output, according to a Wednesday report from the Minerals Management Service.   For comparison, Hurricane Ivan from late last year forced the daily shut in of only 83% at the height of its impact."

Randall Burns _V Dare_
Former Editor at Christian Science Monitor Opposes Cure for Illegal Immigration
"Hughes simply can't get beyond the reliance on failed tactics like yet another amnesty -- and expansion of that modern day version of indentured servitude, guest-worker visas...   governments that systematically export their populations to America shouldn't be supported.   Bad trade deals like NAFTA have driven many people who were until recently self-sufficient farmers off the land.   Those folks deserve compensation from those most involved in their disenfranchisement (as do many Americans affected by illegal immigration).   That means the rich in the US and Latin America should surrender via taxation substantial assets they have gained during this period...   Enforcing the existing sanctions against US employers of illegals -- and directing the funds raised towards jobs and infrastructure programs in Latin America -- would leave illegal aliens no worse off than they are now, and creating jobs back home that they would be well-qualified to fill...   deportation could be done gradually.   Even after replacement of the criminal classes that have run businesses dependent on labor of illegal aliens, there would still be immediate labor needs.   It might well take some time to return the US to a high wage, high productivity economy.   Granting of temporary work permits, of varying lengths of time, could be accompanied by gradual repatriation...   (At anything like fair market value, I suspect Gates would rapidly lose interest in facilitating immigration.)...   Employers -- and investors/lenders -- should be held fully responsible for all risks and costs they create via illegal immigration.   For example all health care costs of illegal immigrants (and indirect health risks) should be paid for by their employers and the employers investors/lenders.   Employers, lenders and investors should be regarded as accomplices to any crimes committed by illegal immigrants they have facilitated.   Furthermore, lenders that lend property to illegal aliens should have their equity confiscated."

Annelena Lobb _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_/_Wall Street Journal_
"Job searches in the second quarter took 3.1 months, down from the year-earlier quarter, when it took an average of 3.8 months to find employment, according to out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas...   Executive-recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International, meanwhile, says business rose 40% this fiscal year from the previous year..."

John & Ken Cover Illegal Immigration
Tombstone Tumbleweed

2005 August

2005 August
_census bureau_
Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States of America
"Of households in the lowest income quintile in 1996, 38% were in a higher quintile in 1999; of those originally in the highest income quintile, 34% were in a lower quintile 3 years later.   About one-half (49.5%) of people who were in poverty in 1996 were not in poverty in 1999.   For people who became uninsured, the average length of time without health insurance over the 1996–1999 period was 5.6 months...   For further information about [Survey of Income and Program Participation] SIPP, and copies of these reports."

2005 August Janice L. Kephart _Center for Immigration Studies_
Immigration Benefits & Terrorism
"This report covers the immigration histories of 94 terrorists who operated in the United States between the early 1990s and 2004, including 6 of the 2001 September 11th hijackers.   Other than the hijackers, almost all of these individuals have been indicted or convicted for their crimes...   Of the 94 foreign-born terrorists who operated in the United States, the study found that about two-thirds (59) committed immigration fraud prior to or in conjunction with taking part in terrorist activity.   Of the 59 terrorists who violated the law, many committed multiple immigration violations - 79 instances in all.   Temporary visas were a common means of entering; 18 terrorists had student visas and another four had applications approved to study in the United States.   At least 17 terrorists used a visitor visa -- either tourist (B2) or business (B1)...   In 17 instances, terrorists claimed to lack proper travel documents and applied for asylum, often at a port of entry...   23 terrorists became legal permanent residents, often by marrying an American.   There were at least 9 sham marriages.   In total, 21 foreign terrorists became naturalized U.S. citizens."

2005 August
Robert W. Bednarzik _Monthly Labor Review_
ReStructuring information technology: is off-shoring a concern? (with tables & graphs)
"The number of jobs in the IT sector now stands at around 3.3M, or 2.5% of the total number of jobs. (See table 1.) Prior to the recession in 2001, the IT sector had more than 4M jobs and accounted for more than 3% of all jobs. How much of this loss is due to the business cycle down-turn and how much to off-shoring is not really known... Over the 1994–2004 period, the share of service jobs in the IT sector jumped from 33% in 1994 to 50% in 2000 and 55% in 2004, indicating perhaps that extensive off-shoring is not occurring... Since peaking in 2001, the total number of workers employed in the IT sector declined through 2003, but held steady between 2003 and 2004. Losses in the following occupations are mainly responsible: computer programmers; system analysts; hardware engineers; computer support; network administrators and analysts; computer operators; and data entry keyers. All of these illustrate continuous employment declines or have not bounced back much from the recent recession... From 1979 to 1999, roughly 30% of the people who were unemployed as a result of cheap imports in sectors other than manufacturing had not found jobs a year later."
Per cent distribution of IT-sector employment

2005 August
John William Templeton _Today's Engineer_
Technology Dream Deferred
"Nearly 20 years later, much of the nation is mired in a prolonged jobless recovery.   Many of the new jobs that are being created are located in India, [Red China] and other lower cost, over-seas locations.   For far too many Americans, the dream of economic prosperity that comes with growing numbers of high-skilled, high-wage jobs has been postponed or abandoned.   The African-American community has been particularly hard hit.   New business opportunities for people like John Henry Thompson, the Harlem native who created Lingo, the scripting language that powered the Internet in the 1980s, and Philip Emeagwali, a 1989 IEEE Gordon Bell Prize winner, seem few and far between.   The nation's increasing reliance on 'temporary' guest-worker programs coupled with off-shore out-sourcing have further reduced job opportunities for African-American technology workers.   Kevin Hinkston, a Howard University graduate and a former Hewlett Packard engineer who grew up in Oakland, reports that high-tech employers are no longer recruiting graduates from historically black colleges and universities the way they used to.   Today, Hinkston is a real estate developer."

2005 August
Lingua publica (quotes)

2005 Summer
_New Atlantis_
How We Measure Up
"As if coordinated to provoke headlines, top executives at 3 of the nation's leading technology firms recently issued bleak appraisals of the American education system, criticizing especially how American students are taught science and mathematics.   M$ Chairman Bill Gates minced no words at a summit of the nation's governors: until high schools are redesigned, he declared, 'we will keep limiting, even ruining, the lives of millions of Americans every year.' The chief executives of Intel and Cisco Systems shortly followed suit, suggesting that America's lack-luster schools will increasingly force companies to look over-seas for talent...   The United States is still pumping out tremendous numbers of new Ph.D.s in the sciences -- more, in fact, than our economy can presently absorb, as there is a well-reported dearth of jobs for newly-minted science Ph.D.s.   The same is true in engineering: According to a recent National Science Foundation report, the number of engineers graduating from U.S. schools will continue to grow into the foreseeable future, out-stripping the number of available jobs...   perhaps they are merely providing their companies with political cover and a post hoc justification for employing foreign engineers who, while not better educated than U.S. workers, are often significantly cheaper...   Two University of Pennsylvania researchers recently aggregated scores from a number of cross-national studies and found that white students in the United States, taken alone, consistently out-perform the predominantly white student populations of several other leading industrial nations.   'There is compelling evidence', they write, 'that the low scores of [black and Hispanic students] were major factors in reducing the comparative standing of the U.S. in international surveys of achievement.   If these minority students were to perform at the same level as white students, the U.S... would lead the Western G5 nations in mathematics and science, though it would still trail Japan.'"

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
coming 2005 September 16

others Coming Soon
  "If Lagash in Sumer is to be remembered for its freedom from 'the tax collectors', Egypt could be remembered as a land where tax collectors were as numerous as the 'sands of the sea', so to speak.   Because the word 'freedom' in ancient times referred to one's tax status, it is no wonder the word is not found any where in the Egyptian languages." --- Charles Adams 1993 _For Good & Evil_ pg 6  
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