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Dice Report: 83,617 job ads
2006-02-01 08:52PST (11:52EST) (16:52GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM factory index fell from 55.6 in December to 54.8 in January: Employment index fell from 53.6 to 51.3
ISM factory report
2006-02-01 13:26PST (16:26EST) (21:26GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Stocks close higher, ISM index down, construction spending was up in December
"The ISM index fell to 54.8% in January from 55.6% in December... Readings above 50 indicate expansion. Within the report, the price index, a gauge of inflation, rose to 65% from 63%. Spending on U.S. construction projects increased 1% in December, boosted by robust spending on homes, offices, stores and utilities, the Commerce Department estimated."
Miranda Hitti & Louise Chang _Web MD_
Higher IQ Scores Correlate with Better Health
"1,300 people in western Scotland... took an IQ test in 1987, when they were 56 years old. Their health was then tracked for about 16 years by researchers including the University of Glasgow's G. David Batty, PhD. As expected, the most disadvantaged participants were the most likely to die or develop a long-term illness, such as heart disease. Adjusting for participants' IQ scores tempered but didn't totally erase that risk... Batty's team also checked participants' reaction times in a computer test. Reaction times are a fairly good match for IQ scores, the researchers argue. Providing educational opportunities early in life may help bridge those health gaps, the researchers note. 'Such childhood interventions may also elicit improvements in IQ, although results are mixed.' Few studies have been done on IQ and health inequalities; Batty's team calls for that to change...'"
Al Sacco _CIO_
Tech Job Market to Grow Slowly in 2006
"In 2005, [only] 125K new technology jobs were created, according to Moody's economy.com, HireStrategy reports. Mark Zandi, economy.com's chief economist, predicts that 2006 will see the creation of [only] 217K new positions with increasing wages, making for the best year the technology industry has seen in more than half a decade. The pace of hiring growth may not compare to the 'boom' in the late 1990s, when the industry provided [only] 300K jobs a year..."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.56%|
2006-02-02 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 318,337 in the week ending Jan. 28, a decrease of 19 from the previous week. There were 364,704 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending Jan. 21, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,066,329, an increase of 21,988 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.6% and the volume was 3,263,705."
John Markoff & Warren E. Leary _New York Times_
Heavy Lobbying by Business Executives Are Behind Moves To Increase Flood of Cheap Labor and Government (i.e. Tax-Victim) Science Spending
"made the [pitch for increased government spending on science] in a series of meetings with White House officials, executives involved said Wednesday. The president's science adviser, John H. Marburger III, said Mr. Bush would request $910M for the first year of the research initiative, with a commitment to spending $50G over 10 years... What was different this year, according to a number of Capitol Hill lobbyists and Silicon Valley executives, was support on the issue by Republican corporate executives like Craig R. Barrett, the chairman of Intel, and John Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco Systems [who would rather have tax-victims pay for their research than do so themselves]... Industry officials eager to see a greater government commitment to research held a series of discussions with administration officials late last year that culminated in two meetings in the Old Executive Office Building on Dec. 13. There, a group led by Mr. Barrett and Norman R. Augustine, a former Lockheed Martin chief executive, met with Vice President Dick Cheney. A second group headed by Charles M. Vest, the former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, met with Joshua B. Bolten, director of the Office of Management and Budget... Two bills tackling this matter have recently been introduced. One is the Protect America's Competitive Edge Act, by Senators Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico; Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico; Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee; and Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland. A similar bill was introduced by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut. Several of the senators met with President Bush in December to encourage him to support the [hand-outs for academe and over-paid business executives]... [One of their propaganda pieces] called for an annual 10% increase over the next 10 years, and several executives said they now expected a rise of 7% annually, putting annual spending around twice the current level in 10 years... the president's proposal to double funds for [this pork] drew little applause from the Congressional audience on Tuesday night."
Bush is still calling for increased flood of cheap foreign labor as economic depression stretches on, accompanied by record immigration levels
2006-02-02 13:27PST (16:27EST) (21:27GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
consumer spending rose in January
"Auto sales increased another 2.7% in January to a seasonally adjusted annualized pace of 17.6M, automakers said Wednesday... And at the malls, the big retail chains' same-store sales rose by 5.2% year-over-year, the best growth in a year, the retailers reported Thursday... Gift cards -- which sold at an estimated record pace of $18.48G -- got people spending into January and often at much more than the card's value."
retail store sales
2006-02-02 13:30PST (16:30EST) (21:30GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Stocks slid, productivity report stikes inflation fears as compensation for production workers almost keeps up with inflation
"Productivity in the U.S. work-place fell at an annualized rate of 0.6% in the fourth quarter, the first decline since the first quarter of 2001, the Labor Department estimated. Unit labor costs... rose 3.5% annualized, the most in a year [but still running far behind executive compensation]."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.56%|
Resumes being abused for identity theft
"Experts say identity thieves (posing as employers) are infiltrating on-line job sites in search of valuable personal information, such as phone numbers, addresses, even [Socialist Insecurity] numbers. Anyone who posts a resume on-line is potentially at risk. It's hard to know who's responding to your resume: a real employer or a crook... Have you been offered a job and then asked to provide a scan of your driver's license?"
2006-02-03 06:55PST (09:55EST) (14:55GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 91.5 in December to 91.2 in January
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Bush still promoting guest-worker programs, and with them unstable job markets and lower standards of living in the USA
"Today Bush dropped the other shoe, and called for an outright removal of the H-1B cap... Whether or not actual legislation ever has such a feature, it is clear (as I predicted a couple of months ago) that industry plans to sneak in an H-1B expansion under the protected motherhood-flag-and-apple pie notions of innovation and competitiveness... even IEEE-USA, a putative critic of the H-1B program, has endorsed the Lieberman bill... avid students of H-1B politics will see a collection of 'the usual suspects...
* Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel. His affiliation speaks for itself, but I wish to point out is infamous remark, 'Companies can still form in Silicon Valley and be competitive around the world. It's just that they are not going to create jobs in Silicon Valley.'.
* Peter A. Freeman, the National Science Foundation's Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. The NSF has been a major proponent of the H-1B from the beginning, and actually called for the importation of foreign engineers and scientists for the express purpose of keeping salaries down... Though the [Computing Research Association (CRA)] study itself did not find there was tech labor shortage, as the industry had claimed, in Freeman's executive summary he exaggerated the study's findings.
* David Patterson, president of the ACM and a UCB professor. As I've explained many times, off-shoring and H-1B have ruined the job market for computer science graduates, which in turn threatens to destory the academic empires people like Patterson have built up. Needless to say, Bush's proposal to give academia more research funding is music to his ears, as is Bush's plan to steer more students into the tech areas...
other quick points:
* Innovation is serendipitous. You can't just sit someone down and order them to innovate. You need to have people working in the field, lots of them. If innovation is America's forte as claimed, then when you off-shore most engineering jobs, you drastically curtial innovation.
* The claim about international test scores in science and math is misleading. Kids in the states that don't have sizable impoverished student populations rank second in the world in eight-grade math scores, after Singapore. [Ditto for US-born students, while immigrants don't perform quite so well.]
* The president's plan to expand the Advanced Placement program in high schools is counterproductive. Most AP courses in science and math are not as good as the 'real' university courses they are supposed to be equivalent to. By having more students learn in AP than in the 'real' courses, they will be WEAKER in science and math, not stronger."
Michigan Journal of Law Reform article
Computer Science enrollments
Jim Puzzanghera _San Jose Mercury News_
Bush Pushes to Increase Flood of Cheap Foreign Labor into USA
"Valley companies covet [guest-worker visas] to fill jobs... high-tech workers say the visas just allow companies to hire cheaper foreign employees beholden to the firms that sponsor them... Congress tried to [hurt US science and technology workers] in 2004, exempting as many as 20K additional H-1B visas annually from the cap for foreign workers with advanced degrees from U.S. universities... High-tech lobbyists [i.e. lobbyists for high-tech executives] said they are working to resurrect an H-1B visa increase this year, possibly as part of broader immigration legislation moving through Congress... Jeff Lande, senior vice president of the Information Technology Association of America..."
Federal spending plans
"Energy Department... $4.1G for FY2007... $1.4G for the basic energy science program... $50G in new money over the next decade [or $10G per year]... R&D tax credit... about $4.6G per year... In work-force training, Bush has set the goal of giving 800K workers career-advancement accounts of up to $3K each to learn skills."
Alec Bruce _Canada East Times & Transcript_
Not all jobs are equal
"After all, the argument goes, the unemployment rate is at a 30-year low of 6.4%. Indeed, since 2002, the national economy has generated a whopping 1.3M jobs, representing a cumulative increase of 8.9%. That compares exceedingly well with our nearest and dearest trading partner, the United States, where the rise in new employment barely topped three% over the same period. In 2005, alone, all of the 287K jobs created in Canada were full-time. Meanwhile, part-time employment - characterized by unstable, often seasonal positions - fell by 32,300. In fact, since 2003, full-time employment has risen by more than six%, while the part-time segment of the job market has stagnated... Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. In its Employment Quality Index report, released earlier this week, CIBC World Markets issues a stern warning against creeping complacency in the nation's board-rooms. For while the total number of full-time jobs may be rising, so, too, is the number of low-paying ones. 'Granted, a low-quality job is better than no job, but the headline employment figures exaggerate the real strength of the Canadian labour market.', says the study's author, Benjamin Tal. 'Labour income growth has been lagging. Since 2002, real labour income has risen by an average of only 0.5% a year. Every 100K new jobs created in the economy has generated an average increase of less than 1% in real wages and salaries. Back in the late 1990s, 100K new jobs led to, on average, a 1.4% increase in real labour income.' The bottom line, Tal says, is that 'any analysis of the number of new jobs created in the economy should be complemented by a measure of their quality...' Only last year, for example, the country lost 112K good, sturdy manufacturing jobs in the auto-parts, mining and forestry segments of the industry. All tolled, the number of high-paying, full-time jobs rose by a razor thin 1.7%, compared with 3.6% among low-paying equivalents, largely in the retail, call center and personal service fields. What's worse, perhaps, is that the trend is likely to continue for some time... 'Real estate has been an important engine of recent economic activity, with the number of high quality construction jobs rising by 6.1% in 2005.'..."
Demir Barlas _Line 56_
GM Out-Sourcing Over-View
"When GM decided to put $15G worth of IT, telecommunications, and business process out-sourcing (BPO) contracts under the microscope, the idea was to consider new strategies to drive innovation. By now, however, it has become clear that GM is engaged more in a 'shifting of responsibilities than a radical redistribution of work to spur innovation', according to a research alert from AMR. That conclusion is based on the fact that GM has simply increased the out-sourcing share of EDS (which might see as much as $7G in revenue from GM over the next five years), HP ($700M over 5 years), and CapGemini, which is being tapped for application integration support. Incumbent vendors IBM, Compuware's Covisint, and Indian company Wipro are also continuing in their roles."
Chuck Baldwin _News with Views_
On president Bush's "State of the World" speech
"He might even be a nice guy. However, after listening to his State of the World speech last Tuesday, one thing is for certain: George W. Bush is a globalist! He was barely into his speech when he boldly asserted that America is proudly leading a 'world economy'. Obviously, Mr. Bush is not really interested in the U.S. economy. It may be that he doesn't even think in those terms... The 'economic recovery' Bush speaks of is mostly the new jobs of waiting tables and serving booze. In reality, America is in a job depression, all the Bush-speak notwithstanding... Mr. Bush even had the audacity to say that immigrants (translated: illegal immigrants) are necessary to America's well-being. He went so far as to say, '[T]his economy could not function without them.' I suppose Mr. Bush believes that America could not function without the Mafia dons, either! All-in-all, the speech was laced with accolades for globalism and utopianism and with calls for bigger and more intrusive government. Yes, George W. Bush might be a Republican. He might be a Texan. He might even be a nice guy. However, he is anything but a conservative!"
Tony Dolz _California Chronicle_
The End of Illegal Immigration in California Is Within Reach
"Candidates from either [major] party risk becoming vulnerable if they endorse Guest-Work Amnesty for the approximately 15M to 20M law-breaking illegal aliens and more transparently for the benefit of unethical employers, big and small, that illegally employ them. Let's be blunt, our elected representatives are not getting significant campaign contributions from under-paid illegal aliens, many of whom rely on tax-funded compensatory social services to survive. The money that is greasing the political wheels behind the blind eye to illegal immigration and the selling of a Guest-Worker Amnesty to the American people comes from the businesses that are addicted to cheap and docile illegal labor... My name is Tony Dolz. I want to represent Californians in the State Assembly. I am a foreign born Hispanic legal immigrant who attained naturalized citizenship through the legal process. I am married to a Danish born legal immigrant... One can be proud to be a legal immigrant, as my wife and I are, but it is illegal and anti-American to be an illegal immigrant. To be against illegal immigration is not to be confused with being against legal immigration. It is patriotic to demand that our elected representatives secure our borders for the safety of ALL Americans. To demand that our immigration laws be uniformly enforced and that our government act responsibly is not racist... The main cause of the deterioration of our quality of life in California, not all of which can be measured monetarily, is: The loss of jobs and the depression of wages of Americans unwilling to work for the wages of a desperate and docile illegal alien. The loss of jobs and the depression of the middle class wages of engineers, technical workers, nurses and teachers due to our government's sale of H-1B and derivative visas to cheap third world workers. Unsustainable, chaotic and exploding illegal immigrant population. The destructive and corrupting influence of $150G in drug and human trafficking at our border. The crime and human suffering at the hands of primarily illegal immigrant gangs that ensnare our youth and threaten our future."
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Job Dis-Information from the New York Times
"The export and import-competitive sectors of the US economy have been tanking for a long time. To keep the story manageable, let's just go back to 2001 January. The latest BLS pay-roll jobs report says that 2006 January is now the 61st month that the US economy has been unable to create any jobs except jobs in domestic non-tradable services, most of which are low paid. Of the 194K private sector jobs created in January, 46K were in construction (and most likely went to Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal) and 136K were in domestic services: Financial Activities (essentially credit agencies) account for 21K. Administrative & Waste Services account for 17,600. Health Care & Social Assistance account for 37,500. Waiters, Waitresses and Bartenders account for 31K. Wholesalers account for 15,100. There were 7K new jobs in manufacturing in January, but the total number of manufacturing jobs in 2006 January is 48K less than in 2005 January. Over the past 4 years, millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost. At the rate of 7K new manufacturing jobs per month, the lost manufacturing jobs over the past 5 years would not be regained for 34 years. Does anyone remember when reporters were curious? In his rosy jobs report, Vikas Bajaj does let it out of the bag that 'economists estimate that the nation needs to add roughly 150K jobs a month just to keep up with population growth' [while many suggest a range of between 150K and 250K net new jobs per month are needed to keep up with population]. That translates into 1.8M new jobs per year to stay even with population. Over the past 61 months 9.15M new jobs were necessary in order to prevent population growth from pushing up the unemployment rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest revisions, a total of 1.054M net new private sector jobs were created over the past 61 months (2001 January through 2006 January). Add the total net government jobs created over the period for a total net job creation of 2.093M jobs over the past 61 months. That figure is 7.057M jobs short of keeping up with population growth!... How can the economy possibly be at full employment if the economy is 7M jobs short of keeping up with population growth!... It is amazing to hear politicians and corporate executives blabber on about a shortage of engineers and scientists when there are now several hundred thousand unemployed American engineers. The corporate executives, whose own bonuses grow fat from replacing their American employees with foreigners who work for less, spread disinformation about 'shortages' so that Congress will give them more H-1B visas. This is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetuated on the American people. If the unemployment rate is now at essentially full employment, why only a few days ago did 25K Americans apply for 325 jobs at a new Chicago WM?... Washington based economist Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services tells it the same way (and he has been doing so longer than I have). Here is his summation of the January pay-roll jobs report: 'the familiar pattern continued with almost all job growth occurring in industries that face little or no out-sourcing or import competition: construction, health care and social services, restaurants and bars, credit agencies and wholesalers.'"
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
A Blow-Out Month... for Hispanic Workers
"The US [seasonally adjusted] unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in January, as 193K jobs were added to non-farm pay-rolls. January's job gain fell short of [economists'] expectations, which hovered just shy of 250K. Yet the [household survey] shows that those job expectations were actually exceeded. A whopping 298K new jobs were created in January -- with the vast bulk going to Hispanics, according to the household employment survey... Hispanic employment is the best proxy we have for the impact of immigration on employment... Hispanic employment rose 278K, or by 1.46% in January, while non-Hispanic employment rose 17K, or 0.01%. Not since 2003 January has Hispanic employment increased as much in a single month... Hispanic labor force participation rates rose to 69.3% from 68.4% in December -- a nearly 1 percentage point gain for a statistic that historically moves [extremely slowly]... Over the past 5 years -- 2001 January through 2006 January -- Hispanic employment rose by 3.226M or 20.0%, while non-Hispanic employment increased by 2.072M or 1.7%. The ratio of the two growth rates, which we call VDAWDI (the VDare.com American Worker Displacement Index), was a record 118.0 in January, up from 116.3 the prior month."
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Lodi Schools To Import Filipino Teachers
"In conclusion, Blankenship found that the Filipino university system is 'different' from the United States -- high school graduation occurs at the 10th grade and college is the equivalent of an Associate of Arts degree -- and that the soon-to-be U.S. teachers are unprepared for their stateside teaching responsibilities in most every respect... But is hiring inexperienced Filipino teachers the right move for U.S. schools? The results for schools that have done it are mixed. Some claim success while others, like Las Vegas and Baltimore, have had sorry outcomes. Next week, I will look at the growing trend in education to hire over-seas."
Tavia Grant _Globe & Mail_
US jobs data disappoint
Kindred Valley Times
Ely Times & County
"Planned job cuts in the U.S. topped 100K for the second straight month, employment Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. said Thursday. The auto industry posted the largest number of planned job cuts in January."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.53%|
2006-02-04 07:21PST (10:21EST) (15:21GMT)
George W. Bush
Bush Continues Push To Under-Mine USA's Competitiveness And Drive Down Living Standards
"Just 25 years ago, most Americans used type-writers instead of computers, rotary phones instead of cell phones, and bank tellers instead of ATMs. [Lose a few, win a few.] We're seeing the rise of new competitors, like [Red China] and India, who are making great strides in technology [with aid and abetment by the US government]... This initiative has 3 key elements. The first element is to double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next decade... The increased funding I have proposed will support America's [fat and happy business executives at the expense of scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and tax-victims in general. By increasing the federal debt, this programs will also give more control over the American people to the Red Chinese dictators who have been buying up US government securities.]
Mike Drummond _Charlotte Observer_
treasury secretary John Snow gives propaganda pitch at Kannapolis campus
"His remarks to local business leaders and, later, in a meeting with reporters and editors at the Observer, offered an upbeat assessment of the economy... What are your thoughts about off-shoring white collar jobs and the effect on the economy? 'That phenomenon is not having a widespread affect on jobs. The key there is to make sure U.S. institutions, financial and otherwise, can stay competitive... So it's incumbent on businesses to do the things that produce good products and services and hold the cost structures down so they can continue to reward share-holders. Look at our whole history. I'm not concerned about our ability to create jobs...' How concerned are you that service-sector jobs, which are increasing, pay less than manufacturing jobs, which are declining? Nobody was happy about the loss of their jobs. But the jobs they're applying for in the future are going to reflect more value-added products and higher compensation levels. The jobs they're looking for are going to be better jobs than the jobs they lost.' [Yes, we're going to be looking for better jobs, and getting ever worse ones, if the pattern of the last 7 years is any indication.]... Why is there a disconnect between the public's negative perception of the economy and the administration's positive perspective? I'm not sure there is a disconnect. I would dispute the premise for a couple of reasons. One, the real poll is what happens all across America. The poll is open every day... the economy is doing extraordinarily well.'... You were on the board of [Bank of India] predecessor NationsBank, and served as chief executive of rail freight company CSX Corp., with operations in Charlotte..."
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
If the economy is so good, why do we feel so bad? -- the immigration dimension
"immigrants took the job growth cream. White non-Hispanics, a group accounting for 70% of the U.S. labor force, experienced a mere 1% employment growth last year. (Table 1.) By contrast, Hispanics (a proxy for immigration because up to half are foreign-born) had a 4.7% employment growth. (Federal government statistics on immigration are lousy, but we know Central and South Americans enjoyed a 7.1% growth rate). Black non-Hispanics experienced a 2.6% employment growth rate. Asian-non-Hispanics enjoyed a 3.9% growth rate. These job growth differentials reflect not just different underlying rates of immigration, but also natural population increase. Even after adjusting for their sluggish population growth, however, whites are falling behind. In 2005 December 65.8% of non-Hispanic whites were in the labor force versus 68.5% of Hispanics. In the past 12 months, labor force participation rates have risen by 0.7 percentage points for Hispanics and 0.3 percentage points for white non-Hispanics. Conclusion: Americans, especially whites, are being crowded out... In 2005 December, the employment rate for Hispanics was 64.4%, compared to 63.4% for white non-Hispanics, and 57.7% for Black non-Hispanics. Employment rates have declined for all races and ethnicities since 2001 March. But Black non-Hispanics have suffered by far the largest declines -- a result attributable primarily to their displacement by illegal and legal Hispanic immigrants with whom they are direct competition. Had American employment rates remained at 2001 March levels, an additional 2.2M whites and 742K Blacks would be working today."
Jack Ward _News with Views_
should "anchor babies" -- children of aliens -- get automatic citizenship?
Tobias Buck _Los Angeles Times_
Cross-Border Take-Overs Face Growing Opposition
Compilation: "The obstacles faced by bidders from abroad include discriminatory laws and downright opposition against individual mergers. The latest challenge to the model stems from London-based Mittal Steel's $22.4G bid for its Luxembourger competitor Arcelor. There is a streak of the hustler in the billionaire maverick Mittal, says Peter Marsh. Lakshmi Mittal will be relaxing now in his luxurious London home, just over a week after launching an 18.6G Euro ($30G) hostile bid by his Mittal Steel company for Luxembourg-based Arcelor in an effort to build a huge steel maker with an output three times larger than its 3 closest rivals combined. Mittal, who -- up to a $4.5G deal 15 months ago to buy the USA's International Steel Group, the remains of Bethlehem after it restructured to violate pension obligations, and make his company the world's biggest steel maker -- has generally shunned publicity. Lakshmi Mittal's forays in the field started in his 20s, when he began work in his father's Calcutta steel company founded in 1952. Since then, Lakshmi Mittal has acquired a global business spanning 4 continents and 220K employees. Luxembourg and France, home to thousands of Arcelor workers, appear to be working on a concerted campaign against the deal. Luxembourg's prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, traveled to Paris on Wednesday to meet French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. 'This hostile bid by Mittal Steel calls for a reaction that is at least as hostile.', Juncker said..."
Leslie Berestein _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Discovery of tunnel adds to debate over border security
"On the surface, the stretch of U.S.-Mexico border just west of the Otay Mesa port of entry looks heavily fortified: 2 rows of tall fence with a wide strip of no man's land in between, illuminated at night by stadium-style lighting. Yet roughly 90 feet beneath the fences and lights runs the longest smuggling tunnel ever discovered along the border. The 2,400-foot passageway was discovered late last month, almost two years after its construction began. Inside sat more than two tons of marijuana. The ease with which drug traffickers had access to the United States, beneath what appears to be state-of-the art border security, has some border experts and observers questioning just how well the nation's current border-enforcement strategies are working. The question has taken on added urgency given the tunnel's discovery Jan. 24, just a week before Congress reconvened... One of the most vocal advocates of fencing, representative Duncan Hunter of El Cajon, tacked an amendment onto a House immigration reform bill passed in December that calls for 700 miles of added fencing in border states. The Republican congressman has also introduced a bill that would include a 2K-mile fence from the ocean to the Gulf of Mexico at roughly $1M a mile."
Chris O'Brien _Silicon Valley_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Hot item among tech executives: not gadget, but a propaganda book
"When Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly, a former eBay executive, isn't referring to the book on the campaign trail, he's giving out copies to friends and top supporters. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the business coalition, has stopped handing out copies of _The HP Way_ [the HP way having been abandoned by HP's Carly Fiorino] to politicians and switched to [Thomas Friedman's _The World Is Flat_]... From public conferences to academic hallways, from cubicles to executive suites, Friedman's book has become a must-read among local workers, executives and others thinking about Silicon Valley's place in a changing world economy... out-sourcing -- enabled by the Internet, high-speed fiber-optic cables and a well-trained army of engineers -- had transformed a relatively poor country like India into a tech power-house... his tutors included a who's-who of the tech elite: Jim Barksdale, Craig Barrett, Eric Schmidt, Jerry Yang, Meg Whitman [all of whom have personally gained from off-shoring while harming their employees]... Carl Guardino, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group, said he figured the book was going to be a hit beyond just the tech crowd when he saw Friedman speak at Google last spring. About 700 people attended, with the company providing books for many -- a common practice for Google [and among political propagandists]... It's taken on that role thanks to people like Brian O'Shaughnessy, a spokesman for VeriSign [a.k.a. VerySlime for their promotion of weak security] of Mountain View. He read the book and bought it for the entire VeriSign corporate communications team... And during a 'State of the Valley' conference sponsored by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network last month, several panelists throughout the day invoked Friedman's book. Peter Schwartz, a Friedman friend and chairman of the Global Business Network..."
Jon Friedman _MarketWatch_
Time Inc's difficult task is covering parent CEO, Dick Parsons
"Time Inc. has endured head-line-generating lay-offs and sagging morale. Now Time Warner's publishing division has to tackle yet another unenviable task. Fortune (business) and Time (news) have to decide what their approach will be to cover the increasingly bitter battle between billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn and Dick Parsons, aka The Boss. Depending on whose growth strategy prevails, the direction of Time Warner may be at stake."
Hope Yen _Chicago Tribune_
Rationalizations for privacy violations are "strained", notes Arlen Specter
"Attorney general Alberto Gonzales' explanations why the Bush administration did not seek court approval for domestic surveillance are 'strained and unrealistic', said the Republican senator in charge of a hearing Monday on the program. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that he believes President Bush violated a 1978 law specifically calling for a secret court to approve such monitoring [and the statute, itself, violates the constitution's requirement to establish probable cause to believe that a crime has been or is being committed before a judge issues a warrant]."
When it comes to violating privacy, US executives eagerly join in, but fiercely defend their own
Monsters & Critics
_Capital Hill Blue_
Bush has sold out Conservatives
Christian Science Monitor
"'He's conservative by temperament; many of his policy positions, such as cutting taxes, are on the right side of the political spectrum.', says John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron in Ohio. 'But he doesn't have a consistent set of conservative principles. That's what a lot of the complaint has been about, especially after the State of the Union.' Specifically, Bush's education initiative, No Child Left Behind, and the expensive new prescription-drug benefit for seniors have left many conservatives wondering whatever happened to the party's commitment to small federal government. Bush's immigrant guest-worker program also divides Republicans..."
Daniela Gerson _New York Sun_
Minutemen to Leave Posts for Senate Protest
"Hundreds of Minuteman Project volunteers are planning to abandon on Wednesday their posts at the country's borders and instead direct their energies toward the Senate. The civilian patrol group, whose members President Bush has described as 'vigilantes', will plant itself on the Senate lawn and 'invite all 100 senators to come and speak to us about the chaotic lack of immigration law enforcement', the group's founder, James Gilchrist, said... Their goal at the capital: to tell the Senate 'no' to [an additional] guest-worker program and 'no' to an amnesty. 'They will hear the message loud and clear: Law-abiding Americans are sick and tired of the flood of illegal immigrants coming across our borders.', Mr. Gilchrist said. 'It affects our economy, our jobs, our health and education systems, and every hard-working tax-paying American.'"
Lindsay Renick Mayer & Alex Miller _Glenwood Springs Post Independent_
Congress-critters wrestle over immigration
"Congress's varying degrees of political responses to immigration -- close the border, open the border, give illegal immigrants amnesty, send them all home -- are reflected among the Colorado delegates... 'There are many producers who just can't find a labor force in this country, especially for the wages that they pay.' [said John Salazar]... 'I am convinced that the McCain-Kennedy bill is an amnesty.', said former Colorado governor Richard Lamm, who had supported the 1986 legislation. He criticized the McCain-Kennedy proposal for having the same flaw as the 1986 law, which he said was a failure because the lack of strict employer sanctions meant illegal workers continued to be hired, eliminating the incentive to apply for amnesty. 'Amnesty is a big bill-board, a flashing bill-board, to the rest of the world that we don't really mean our immigration law.', Lamm said... Similar measures are proposed in a third bill, the Real Guest Act. Introduced by representative Thomas Tancredo, this legislation aims to secure the border, enforce employment laws and establish a guest worker program. It is the only bill to call for the use of military force on the border, in addition to preventing children born to illegal immigrants from [automatically] attaining U.S. citizenship... Tancredo said the ideal, but unrealistic solution, would be to 'have a world in which the economy of each country were such that people were working and able to make a life. That would end most illegal immigration, because it's economically driven.'"
Steven G. Emery _Inland Valley Daily Bulletin_
Beyond Borders: They aren't immigrants; they're just criminals
"Immigrants are those who came here legally and who go through a long process to remain here legally. I think of those entering our country illegally as criminals. I don't care what their reasons are for crossing our border illegally. I don't care why they want to work here, how they are cheated out of pay by companies or homeowners that hire them illegally. I don't care if they get hurt on the job. I don't care if they attend church. I don't care how much money they make here and is sent to Mexico. I don't care what president Fox has to say about our immigration laws. I don't care why he has made American money sent to Mexico by criminals here his number one source of income to fuel the economy of Mexico -- which is just as bad as using drug money. I don't care about day laborers who are here illegally. I don't care how much illegal aliens pay in taxes. I don't care about president Bush wanting us to allow more guest-workers in our country who will become more illegal criminals by staying here and having kids for a legal passport. What I do care about is the American middle class which is being sold down the river by this administration and big business that cares more about cheap labor than the American worker. I think Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao ought to be fired for what she said at the World Economic Forum on Future Job Growth and Global Employment, saying there is a skills gap in the American workers. That statement is nothing but a lie. The truth is America used to pay our middle-class workers a decent wage, but now we are no better than [Red China] and Latin America because many American manufacturing jobs were out-sourced out of America because of cheap labor there, and for no other reason. Now we hear GM and Ford are going to close plants, lay off thousands of workers and no one seems to care except me and the poor men and women who will loose their pensions and have to start over... build a wall around Mexico and round up every foreign-born in this country illegally and deport them and their families and not allow them to apply to come here legally for 50 years. Americans are growing tired of waiting in lines in hospitals and every other place while this country accommodates criminals who became criminals when they came to my country illegally. Thanks to the Daily Bulletin and The Sun we now know that the Mexican army is in our country, which is an act of war -- but no one in the Bush administration or Bush himself gives a darn."
_Supply- & Demand-Chain Executive_
Labor Arbitrage to Drive Down Compensation Remain Primary Aim of Off-Shore Out-Sourcing
"Labor arbitrage, the key cost-saving benefit of off-shore out-sourcing, will continue to drive off-shore sourcing decisions for the next 30 years, according to a new report released today by Everest Research Institute. This finding contradicts current industry thinking that labor arbitrage as the primary value proposition of off-shore out-sourcing will only be sustainable for another 3 to 5 years, according to the report, which covers the global sourcing market. 'Fears about rapid wage inflation and growing skills shortages in India and other off-shore markets are largely misplaced.', said Joe Fernandes, managing research director at Everest Research Institute. 'Our findings show that wages are rising for a relatively small base of workers and that shortages are cropping up only in certain skill areas. These issues will eventually work themselves out as the off-shore labor market continues to mature and expand into new geographies.'... The global off-shore market will reach upwards of $160G by 2009... demand [is expected to increase] at an approximate rate of 33% a year for the next 3 years. Jobs are moving permanently off-shore. Jobs out-sourced to an off-shore location are more likely to move to another off-shore market than return to their country of origin, as labor arbitrage is sustained by a rapidly developing and expanding off-shore market-place. Non-IT-off-shoring, which was virtually non-existent 5 years ago, will represent nearly half (45%) of the off-shore market in 3 years... While the use of third-party suppliers dominates off-shore IT services, companies prefer using 'captives' (internal cost centers or 100% subsidiary companies that serve the parent company exclusively) for off-shoring business process out-sourcing (BPO) services."
Alison Harris _Business Wire_
William Chris Brown, IBM executive with questionable ethics named CEO of TechTeam Global
"The Board of Directors of TechTeam Global has named William C. (Chris) Brown of IBM Global Services to be the company's President and Chief Executive Officer. He replaces William F. Coyro, the founder of the information technology and business process out-sourcing company, who agreed last November to step down when the Board completed a search for his successor... [Brown] currently is Vice President and head of IBM's Public Sector business transformation out-sourcing (BTO) in the Americas. As recently as 2004, he was Vice President and head of IBM's sales organization for BTO. In the late 1990s, he was the executive tapped by IBM to lead the company into worldwide application out-sourcing... 'Chris rose to the top of this elite list because of his experience and contacts in the global service industry, his proven ability to build and lead high performance teams, and his rare blend of vision and execution skills [and flexible ethics].', Mr. Cooper said... He worked with IBM for 10 years and is credited with pioneering the use of large-scale off-shoring for delivery of application management systems at IBM, for whom he also has helped secure numerous multi-hundred million dollar out-sourcing contracts. Prior to his work in out-sourcing services, Mr. Brown launched IBM's Worldwide Application Consulting Practice in 1992, his first year with the company... Before IBM, Mr. Brown was a partner in the Information Technology Consulting practice of Ernst & Young. He began his career with SYSCON Corporation, Inc., an engineering consulting firm that specialized in defense systems engineering and integration, primarily for the U.S. Navy... To introduce Mr. Brown to investors, TechTeam will host a conference call at 10:00 Eastern Time next Thursday, 2006-02-16. The call-in numbers are: 866-314-5232 for domestic callers; 617-213-8052 for international. The pass code is 28987141. TechTeam suggested that participants call 5 minutes in advance to ensure proper registration and connection. Questions and answers will be reserved for analysts and investors. The general public is welcome to listen to the call. TechTeam Global, Inc. is a worldwide provider of information technology and business process out-sourcing services to Fortune 1000 corporations, multi-national companies, product providers, small and mid-sized companies, and government entities. TechTeam offers a unique integrated computer services product that yields a flexible, total single-point-of-contact (SPOC) solution for its clients. Partnerships [i.e. conspiracies] with some of the world's [worst-in-class] corporations provide TechTeam with unique expertise and experience in providing IT support solutions, including diversified IT out-sourcing services, government technology services, IT consulting and systems integration, technical staffing, and learning services. Head-quartered in Southfield, Michigan, TechTeam also has locations in Dearborn, Michigan; Davenport, Iowa; Chantilly and Herndon, Virginia; Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Bethesda and Germantown, Maryland; Brussels and Gent, Belgium; Uxbridge, United Kingdom; Cologne, Germany; Gothenburg, Sweden; and Bucharest, Romania..."
Charles J. Murray _Design News_
Is it really so bad?
|10-year US T-Bond||4.55%|
Jesse Hiestand _Hollywood Reporter_
Anthony Pellicano was charged with wire-tapping
"Other law firms that used Pellicano declined comment or could not be reached. Greenberg Glusker's cases included disputes in which producers Aaron Russo [who ran for the Libertarian nomination for president in 2004] and, separately, Bo Zenga allegedly were subjected to wire-tapping. Zenga unsuccessfully sued Fields' client Brad Grey, now chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, over producing credits and fees on the feature film 'Scary Movie'. Prosecutors said they have evidence that at least 15 people -- including Stallone, Carradine, Herbalife co-founder Mark Hughes, journalist Anita Busch and screenwriter James Orr -- also had their lines tapped and recorded by computers secretly installed in road-side switch boxes and phone company facilities."
GM, after massive lay-offs, announced cuts in dividends & executive pay
"These actions include the following: Revised health-care benefit plan for salaried retirees in the U.S. that is expected to reduce the company's liability by about $4.8G and its annual health-care expense by almost $900M before tax; Planned restructuring of the U.S. salaried pension benefit plan; 50% reduction in the cash dividend paid to stock-holders; Significant reduction in salary for GM's chairman and senior leadership team; 50% reduction in compensation for outside board members... GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner... GM previously announced plans to reduce its North American structural costs by $6G on a running-rate basis by the end of 2006, and further plans to reduce its annual net material costs by $1G. GM signed a historic agreement with the UAW in October and announced a capacity reduction plan in November that included ceasing operations at 9 assembly, stamping and power-train facilities. Additionally, an aggressive target was recently announced to reduce global structural costs to 25% of automotive revenue by 2010 from the 2005 level of about 34% on a global basis... GM will cap its contributions to salaried retiree health-care at the level of its 2006 expenditures. The cap will take effect beginning 2007-01-01. This affects those employees and retirees who are eligible for the salaried post-retirement health-care benefit, their surviving spouses and their eligible dependents. Salaried employees who were hired after 1993-01-01, are not eligible for retiree health-care benefits, so they are not affected by these changes. When average costs exceed established limits following 2006, additional plan changes that affect cost-sharing features of program coverage will occur, effective with the start of the next calendar year. Program changes may include, but are not limited to, higher monthly contributions, deductibles, coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximums and prescription drug payments. Plan changes may be implemented in medical, dental, vision, and prescription drug plans... The adjustments are projected to reduce GM's retiree health-care (OPEB) liabilities by approximately $4.8G and cut GM's annual retiree health-care expense by approximately $900M on a full-year pre-tax basis. The majority of the OPEB liability reduction and related expense would accrue to GM's North American automotive operations. Cash savings will be limited initially, but GM expects that cash savings from this action will grow to about $200M within 5 years, and then continue to increase after that... Wagoner said the pension plan changes would not affect current retirees or surviving spouses who are drawing benefits from the Salaried Retirement Program... GM senior leadership team will reduce its salaries as follows: 50% reduction for Wagoner; 30% reduction for vice chairmen John Devine, Bob Lutz and Fritz Henderson; 10% reduction for Executive Vice President and General Counsel Thomas Gottschalk... Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327K people around the world. With global head-quarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17M GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall."
Only the American people can halt Bush's push to expand guest-worker programs
Gillian Flaccus _AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Minutemen hope to lead immigration reform
San Francisco Chronicle
Monterey County Herald
Contra Costa Times
San Jose Mercury News
Biloxi MS Sun Herald
"Jim Gilchrist can speak non-stop for more than an hour about the flood of illegal immigration that he predicts will bring America to its knees. But he can also talk warmly about his Mexican son-in-law and his half-Mexican 'grandbrat'. The distinction is not a complicated one for Gilchrist: His son-in-law is legal, while the immigrants he targets with his all-volunteer civilian border patrol, the Minuteman Project, are not... His next step is to lead a protest Wednesday on Capitol Hill against [another] proposed guest worker program, legislation that is backed by president Bush."
Stephen Dinan _World Peace Herald_
Funding for border agents falls short
"President Bush's new budget again fails to fund the entire number of Border Patrol agents mandated by Congress but for the first time includes funds for his proposed guest-worker program. The budget calls for 1,500 new U.S. Border Patrol agents and 6,700 new detention beds for illegal aliens awaiting deportation -- far more than last year's budget, but still short of the 2K new agents and 8K new beds per year that he and Congress agreed to in the 2004 December intelligence-overhaul bill... The budget includes money for 560 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention officers and agents, and 257 immigration lawyers as part of the administration's effort to return home more non-Mexican illegal aliens. The administration hopes that this will help end the 'catch-and-release' policy, under which most non-Mexicans who are caught never are deported. The 1,500 Border Patrol agents bring the total authorized to [only] 13,819 -- a 42% increase since 2001 September 11, but still at least 1K short of the number for which the 2004 December bill called... The budget proposes $134.9M and 365 staff positions for those provisions. It also includes $247M in anticipation that Congress will pass [an additional] guest-worker program."
Frosty Wooldridge _Sierra Times_
21st Century Paul Revere Ride
"On the night of 1775 April 18, Paul Revere [and 2 other average citizens] jumped on [their horses] to warn of the British troops advancing from Boston... Today, we have 21st century Paul Reveres in Chris Simcox, Jim Gilchrist, Tom Tancredo, Barbara Coe, Bonnie Eggle,... Sherri Correll, Terry Anderson, Andy Ramirez, William Gheen, Mark Edwards, Peter Gadiel, Bill and Jan Herron, D.A. King, Robert Vasquez, Glenn Spencer, Garrett Chamberlain, Ezola Foster, Pat Buchanan, Lupe Moreno, Luca Zanna, T.J. Bonner and hundreds more across the land. The fact is -- this nation suffers an invasion that will prove its destruction if not stopped. We now know, especially after the State of the Union speech, our leaders languish behind pomp and circumstance. They decay behind rhetoric while we watch our country being invaded. They fill the airwaves with words but no action. They talk about jobs but continue allowing endless millions crossing our borders without warrant -- thus ensuring stolen jobs and depressing our wages. They encourage insourcing, off-shoring and out-sourcing ad nauseam... 'Rather than creating conditions that allow American workers to fill jobs at higher wages, what the president is proposing merely converts low wage illegal aliens into low wage workers with visas.', said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform after Bush's speech. 'Our economy would have to adapt if the influx of cheap foreign labor is ended, and that is an adjustment strongly desired by a majority of Americans, whether native-born or foreign-born. The concept that our economy must be served by a permanent under-class of foreign guest workers is reprehensible and unacceptable.' The president referred to ‚'hope' repeatedly in his address. 'But there is not much hope for Americans in blue-collar work being able to hold their jobs if the guest worker proposal is adopted.', Stein said. 'Concerned citizens will not have much hope that today's illegal workers will leave the country after being given 6-year work permits, and they will simply have to hope that there is still a middle class in a few years. President Bush also talked about stronger immigration enforcement and border protection, and we might hope that after decades of broken promises that this time he really means it, but the record does not justify much hope.'"
Dena Bunis _Orange County Register_
What does federal budget have in store
"But Bush zeroes out money to reimburse states for housing illegal immigrants. And social-services grant cuts will hit the state hard... Law-makers and their staffs were poring over the four budget volumes on Monday, preparing for an onslaught from constituents."
Sam Logan & Ben Bain _International Relations & Security Network_
Street gangs are a trans-national security threat
"On 2006 February 1, Michael Lopez-Garcia pleaded guilty to brutally murdering an 82-year-old man with a machete in Corpus Christi, Texas last year. He was high on cocaine when he stabbed his elderly friend, according to prosecutors. But what really earned the case more attention from the US authorities was the MS-13 tattoo on Lopez-Garcia's back - a tattoo signaling membership in and loyalty to one of the US' most ruthless street gangs, Mara Salvatruchas. Lopez-Garcia is one of many thousands who since the early 1990s have participated in a cycle of immigration, gang membership, and deportation, the downward spiral of which has led to a real public security problem in Central America and an alarming street gang presence in many US cities... The Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang and its rival, the 18th Street gang (M-18), consist of loosely connected groups of disaffected youths banded together for protection and support. The dowry for entering this transnational family often involves murder, extortion, and drug smuggling, and its bloody tracks can be seen from Texas to Tegucigalpa... In fiscal year 1997, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) deported some 111,794 illegal aliens. Over half had been convicted of a crime in the US. It was the first time the INS had deported over 100K illegal aliens in one year."
2006-02-07 12:39PST (15:39EST) (20:39GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Consumer debt up 1.9% in December, 3% for 2005: smallest increase since 1992
Political band-wagon is beating dead horse
"Is it easier to 1) lure jobs, 2) decide how to fully use our expensive fiber optic line, 3) unravel the Dynus mess, 4) solve the never-ending parade of school levy requests or to 5) go after the Spanish-speaking men heading out at 4 and 5 a.m. to their roofing job, hands full of Mountain Dew and Twinkies just purchased from the UDF?... Butler County Auditor Kay Rogers... says she has 'heard enough about illegal aliens taking jobs and trying to open businesses in her county, and she is going to do something about it'. We don't know why her signatures were on documents possibly committing the county to millions in loans in the Dynus mess... 'These people are in our country illegally.', says Rogers. 'Yet, there are still a few companies that are willing to employ them. And some illegal aliens even obtain a vending license because of insufficient safeguards in statutory procedures. Somebody has to draw a line in the sand on these matters, and I am digging that marker right now.' No, you are trying to dig yourself out of a tricky political fight... Starting next week, Rogers will be mailing to county vendors a copy of the federal statute that deals with the penalties for hiring illegal aliens, and then ask each vendor to sign a declaration that they do not, and will not, hire any illegals. 'As of now, we can not require them to sign it, and we will advise the vendors that they will not be prohibited from obtaining a vendor's license for failing to sign the form, but we are working on trying to change those laws.', Rogers states. So what have we accomplished? This has all the teeth of Jones' bills to the feds... Hold them accountable for their actions and their workable ideas. 'Jobs are going to people who entered our country illegally.', Rogers declares, in barely contained hysteria. Most likely, though, not the auditor's job. And that's the one she's really concerned about."
Lou Dobbs & Kitty Pilgrim & Bill Tucker & Louise Schiavone _CNN_
Falling science and tech job prospects, confrontations at the USA-Mexico border, and quality products
"Nobody doubts the importance of math and science, or our need to compete... But we are not running faster when it comes to computer science. [American kids] looking at careers don't see a future in computer science, which involves engineering, programming and technical design.
Robb Cutler of the Computer Science Teachers Association: 'So there's a disconnect here. OT1H, we want to increase the amount of computing sciences we're doing, but we're not providing opportunities to train the students to go into these computer science disciplines, and [get] jobs...'
students aren't dumb. They're behaving rationally. They see programming and engineering jobs can be out-sourced to another country. The students know that the companies will import cheap foreign labor in the form of H-1B visa workers, who earn, on average, $13K less than an American worker doing the same work. The students don't see the problem as a lack of interest. They see it as a lack of opportunity.
Ron Hira, Rochester Institute of Technology & IEEE-USA: 'If there [are] not good opportunities, why would you choose a profession, a career that's fraught with risk, where your job could be off-shored, where you could be replaced, you could become obsolete? And they're voting with their feet. They've decided that this profession is not as attractive as it once was.'...
However, enrollment is on the rise, Kitty, in accounting and civil engineering...
Congress held a high-profile hearing today into the alarming rise in Mexican military incursions in this country. Law-makers say these incursions are a serious violation of the nation's sovereignty. And all this as the Mexican government continues to play down these serious incursions... the government of Mexico has assured the U.S. that a recent incident involving guns and drugs was executed by criminals dressed as Mexican soldiers, not by Mexican soldiers themselves. Despite a lack of evidence, Mexico's explanation appeared to satisfy the Department of Homeland Security. The Border Patrol chief, however, did share a video of U.S. border officers under siege, attacked and injured by rock throwers in speeding cars, a scene repeated dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Law-makers expressed grave concerns... in the most recent episode, which occurred near El Paso, Texas, heavily-armed drug runners wearing Mexican military uniforms engaged local sheriffs in a standoff before retreating south of the border. The president of the National Border Patrol Council says it's not the first time it's happened along the Mexican border.
T.J. Bonner, National Border Patrol Council: 'When you have people who are dressed in military uniforms, driving military Humvees, carrying military weapons, I would say that in all likelihood, these are people who are in the military. Mexico has not been candid with us and forthright in their assessment of some of these incidents. So, it falls upon us to protect our sovereignty.'
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says that over the past decade there have been as many as 231 border incursions by Mexicans... We've been telling you about a program on Maryland's ground-breaking health-care laws, which target WM. Tonight, those laws are facing a new court challenge. Now a retail trade group today filed federal law-suits against these new laws. These laws force WM to boost spending on employee health-care by at least 8% [rather than expect state tax-victims to bear the burden of paying for health care for WM employees]. Now the Retail Industry Leaders Associations says these laws improperly single out the retailing industry and will be harmful to retail job creation and growth. Now Maryland's laws are the first of their kind in the nation. WM dominates the U.S. retailing industry, there's no question about that. But there are still some manufacturers who have decided not to sell their products at WM. And Jim Wier is the former CEO of Simplicity Manufacturing. He made the decision to pull his company's products from WM shelves...
Jim Wier, former CEO of Simplicity Manufacturing: 'in the out-door power equipment business, there really are 2 distribution channels. One distribution channel would be what I call the big-box stores, which are the WMs, the Home Depots, the Lowes and Sears. And the second distribution channel are the independent dealers, which are about 10K family-owned businesses, often second and third-generation people built pretty much on their sweat equity. And that's a distribution channel that really needs a high-quality differentiated product in order for them to continue to exist. And there have been businessmen, just businessmen that have been loyal to us for a long time, and so, we decided that first reason to pull it out of WM was to repay that loyalty. The second reason, probably just as important, is the WM promise, if you will, or their vision was just pretty much at odds with ours. Their vision is low price always and our vision really is a high-quality, differentiated product. Our brand promise is easy. It's just that easy. And it's an easy product to use, but probably more importantly, it's a product that we want easy to buy. We want it easy for the consumer to know what -- to know the right product to buy. The dealer will explain how to set it up.'
A service-oriented marketing approach, you're telling us about. Let me ask you a quick one. How did it affect your business to turn your back on WM?
Jim Wier: 'Well, it wasn't that easy. We had about 20% of our business with WM. We met as a group, the management team and the board and we decided we thought we could make that up with the independent dealer, and we did. We got back the 20% that we had given up at WM and we got about another 25%. It worked out pretty well.'"
|10-year US T-Bond||4.57%|
Retail Industry Lobbyists Join with WM to Sue Against Health Insurance Requirements for Firms to Cover Employees Rather than Dump Costs on Tax-Victims
KUSA 9 News
"A trade group filed 2 law-suits Tuesday against 'fair share' health care laws, seeking to block state and local governments from enforcing them. But the store owners' attention is clearly on the agendas of legislatures in at least 30 states, where unions say law-makers could consider bills similar to those passed in Maryland and Suffolk County, NY. 'We certainly hope that the other states... will pause and look at what we're doing in Maryland and Suffolk County and consider that these are unwise and unlawful laws.', said Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which filed the law-suits. Unions and health care advocates are pushing for mandates patterned after the Maryland law, which requires companies with more than 10K employees in the state to spend at least 8% of pay-roll on health care or contribute the difference to the state Medicaid fund."
2006-02-08 00:05PST (03:05EST) (08:05GMT)
Japanese deliberate over royal succession
"Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has backpedalled on his plan to let a woman sit on the throne, after news that a princess was pregnant raised the possibility of the arrival of a male heir... The imperial household said Tuesday that Princess Kiko, the 39-year-old wife of the emperor's second son, is pregnant, a dream come true for opponents of female succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne. If she has a baby boy, it would be the first male born into the royal family since her own husband, Prince Akishino, in 1965. She is reportedly due in late September, just when the reformist Koizumi is set to retire... But Kawahara said shelving the bill would not help solve the fundamental problem of ensuring an heir. 'There used to be concubines in the past. In this era, however, a family would have one or two children.', he said. 'It is obvious the current law would reach an impasse even though the ideal is male-line succession.' Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako have had one child, four-year-old Princess Aiko, in nearly 13 years of marriage. Masako, 42, a US-educated former career woman, is under intense pressure to bear a boy and makes few public appearances due to stress. Conservatives have made no secret they hoped Kiko, a lifelong housewife, would have another child... An opinion poll released Monday showed 63% of Japanese favor letting a woman ascend the throne and putting her children next in line although opposition grew to 21% from 15% in November."
Mike Schneider _AP_/_Savannah Morning News_
Steve Fossett takes off in attempt at flight distance record
"Fossett's light-weight, glider-like airplane lifted off from a runway at Kennedy Space Center normally used for space shuttle landings. It hit 2 birds during take-off but wasn't damaged, said Jim Ball, a NASA manager at the Kennedy Space Center. Once it was airborne, the plane's long, flexible wings lifted slightly upward... Fossett's goal is a nearly 27K-mile trip, once around the world and then across the Atlantic again, with a landing outside London. If successful, the 3.5-day trip would break the previous airplane record of 24,987 miles set in 1986 by the Voyager aircraft piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager, as well as the balloon record of 25,361 miles set by the Breitling Orbiter 3 in 1999."
Stephen Ohlemacher _AP_/_Topeka Capital-Journal_
State tax burdens increased 41%
"State [tax-victim] burdens increased by an average of 41% from 1994 to 2004. Only Alaska saw the amount it collects per person decline. Even when the numbers are adjusted for inflation, the individual tax burdens increased in 43 states. Hawaiians paid the most to state government -- an average of $3,050 per person in 2004. Texans paid the least -- an average of $1,368. Rising education and Medicaid costs have fueled spending growth, which has led to higher taxes."
Jorge Vargas _AP_/_News & Observer_
Mexican newspaper knuckles under after attack by border gangs, wounding reporter
"The owner of a Mexican newspaper in this violent border town [Nuevo Loredo] said Tuesday there will be no more investigative coverage of drug gangs, a day after the paper's offices were sprayed with bullets and a reporter hospitalized with 5 [gun-shot wounds]. Under the new policy, El Manana will only report the basic facts of drug-related killings and will avoid mentioning names or doing any follow-up reporting... So far this year, almost a person a day has been killed in Nuevo Laredo, a city of 300K across the river from Laredo, Texas. Investigators say most of the killings are related to a battle between Mexico's top drug cartels fighting for control of its billion-dollar smuggling routes into the United States... Last April, a radio crime reporter was [murdered] in Nuevo Loredo."
Peter deFazio _Eugene Register-Guard_
Amnesty for illegal aliens won't fix immigration woes
" a nation that does not control its own borders is not secure. We need to know who is coming into our country, and we must keep out people who are not authorized to enter. With 500K or more [most estimates are between 770K and 1.5M] people entering illegally every year, the status quo is not acceptable. Prior efforts by Congress to control immigration -- including reforms enacted in 1986 and 1996 -- failed for lack of meaningful employer sanctions. As a result, undocumented workers have been used and abused, driving down wages, benefits and working conditions for all workers... House Resolution 4437... doubles the fines for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers to a minimum of $5K for a first offense and up to $40K for subsequent offenses. HR4437 also improves border security by deploying more personnel and requiring enhanced technology. The bill would end the 'catch and release' program, in which illegal immigrants caught at the border from countries other than Mexico are released once they promise to return for a court date. Not surprisingly, more than 75% never show up and remain in the country illegally. (Mexicans caught at the border are immediately deported.)... Only after improving wages and working conditions and proving that no Americans are available for the job should an employer be able to recruit guest workers. I am concerned that guest worker proposals will continue to erode the wages and working conditions of tens of millions of Americans and legal immigrants. The Commission on Immigration Reform, created in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, reported, 'Guest worker programs have depressed wages' and reduced employment opportunities for 'unskilled American workers, including recent immigrants', who can be easily 'displaced by newly entering guest workers'. Other studies, including research by the National Research Council and the liberal Economic Policy Institute, show immigrants under guest worker programs are paid 15% to 33% less than U.S. citizens, even in highly skilled jobs, driving down wages for all workers... All workers deserve the protection of labor laws. In fact, existing guest worker programs already nominally provide such protections, but they are not enforced. The lack of enforcement has reached crisis proportions. I don't believe that will magically change under a new guest worker program... Currently, more than 4M immigrants around the world are waiting for their paper-work to be processed so they can enter the U.S. legally. It will be years (in the case of Mexico and the Philippines, often 10 years or more) before they can enter the country under current quotas. Blanket amnesty for the [11M to 24M] already here illegally could delay or prevent the legal immigration of those who are complying with the law. I cannot support legislation that would hurt families following the rules."
Leonard W. Zinda _Salem Statesman Journal_
Employers should full needs of US citizens, then guest-workers
"I really don't understand why we continue to allow the penetration of our borders by illegal immigrants. Let's face it: We need to protect our borders and control immigration... If we need a guest worker program, then let's have one that is fair to all countries of the world, not just one country. The employer needing the worker should provide adequate housing, medical care, education and transportation costs for the guest worker. The salary paid to the worker shall not be more than the minimum wage set by law in that state.[!?!?] This way the employers will pay all costs associated with hiring out of country, not the citizens. Then we will see if maybe providing a living wage to our citizens is better for the employers. The guest workers must abide by all laws; if they violate a law, then they shall be immediately returned to their country of origin with the employers paying all associated costs."
2006-02-08 09:01PST (12:01EST) (17:01GMT)
Warren Ogren _Conservative Voice_
A plan for the destruction of the USA
"Those citizens in the border states who are furnishing maps and are helping illegal aliens along the way into this country, even though many of them are motivated by compassion, do not take into consideration the eventual consequence of their actions which encourages and makes easier, the invasion of this nation by illegal aliens. Over 11M now [reasonable estimates range from 11M to 24M] and mounting by the tens of thousands every year, for whom many of our misguided legislators, including the Bush administration, are now pushing for legislation to allow them full citizenship. If and when this happens, our way of life will be forever degraded... former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described 8 methods for the destruction of the United States... 'Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bi-cultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual... Invent multi-culturalism and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal, that there are no cultural differences... I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural sub-groups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities. Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% drop-out rate from high school. My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of Victimology... My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities... I would place all subjects off limits - make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of diversity'. I would find a word similar to heretic in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like racist or zenophobe halt discussion and debate... Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book _Mexifornia_. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America.'"
Robert Kelly _Salem News_
Modern law lacks ethical roots
"The point is this: If you are looking for consistency, you won't find it in American law. And it's getting worse all the time for one simple reason: America has detached itself from the ethical roots that are imbedded in the founding documents."
Michael Martinez _San Luis Obispo Tribune_
Hiring site for day labor stirs protest in California
Duluth News Tribune
Myrtle Beach Sun
Kansas City Star
"Opponents contend that the center legitimizes illegal immigrants who compose the vast majority of day laborers, an estimate not disputed by Castillo, the Catholic Charities coordinator who runs the site... illegal immigration remains a national quagmire, and some protesters have labeled the Burbank site and others like it as 'open slave markets'. 'The day labor center phenomenon is gaining popularity as a direct result of Home Depot interjecting itself as a facilitator in the creation of these facilities.', said Joseph Turner, 28, of San Bernardino, CA, an activist who a year ago founded Save Our State, a non-profit group that aggressively challenges illegal immigration and day-laborer centers. 'They are clearly aiding and abetting illegal aliens.', said Turner, who used to be a junior trader in Chicago... With a drive-through for homeowners or contractors to pick up the handymen, the center requires workers to fill out a job application but doesn't check their legal status. The site even offers a bathroom, water cooler, picnic tables and a shade awning for workers-in-waiting... More than three-fourths of the laborers are undocumented, though they are a small fraction of the overall illegal immigrant population, the [U of Illinoiss at Chicago] study said... Meanwhile, Congress is considering several immigration reforms, including requiring day-laborer centers to check for workers' legal status."
Leslie Dutton _PR Web_/_Full Disclosure_
Sheriffs Blame Feds for Prison Riots
"the Federal Government 'should pay more attention to the (illegal alien) criminals in our jails and reimburse us for the cost'... Sheriff Leroy Baca said that if they want us to do their work, they should pay for the cost... the Feds should 'focus on the criminals; it would require investing billions of dollars in their own agents to stop criminal aliens from re-entering the nation once they have been deported'. He said 70% of the criminal illegal aliens who are incarcerated in the County jails have been deported 4 and 5 times, only to return again illegally. Also appearing in the video news blog is Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona who suggests that undocumented criminals should be transferred out of the local jails to the Federal system to deal with the immigration issues. Baca has come under fire for segregating African-American and Hispanic inmates to quell the unrest. In an historical video clip, the late Sheriff Sherman Block describes how he segregated prisoners due to the over-crowding and dangerous conditions in the county jails."
Jim Moore _Ether Zone_
No News Is Bad News
"Instead of getting 'reality' or 'alternative' news, to counter the mass media pap, newspapers on the Internet will now give us the same doses of sanitized news -- but in more depth. If the honchos of the print media were smart they would either (1) take steps to free themselves from the chains of printing 'safe' or 'managed' news and become more open and rigorously independent or (2) take a 'freedom of the press' approach on the Internet (which the net is famous for) and let their papers continue catering to the parochial, non-controversial interests of their local readers... According to Gabordi, more than 400K individuals went to Tallahassee.com in January. That same month, he says, readers viewed more than 5M pages of information. And more than 80K visitors viewed more than a million minutes of viewing time. Small wonder that Gabordi is rubbing elbows with the Internet... As Gabordi himself reports, a lot of the Democrat's internet 'news' consists in shopping bargains, classified ads, police arrests, college football recruiting, a 2% raise in state workers' pay, and Governor Bush's proposed budget. All are important issues, I'm sure, if Tallahassee, with its football games, student population, state work-force, and canopy roads, was the nerve center of planet Earth. It's not. So Tallahassee residents are seldom if ever privy to what is really going on in the world around them which does, or soon will, affect us all in one way or another... The newspaper tells us absolutely nothing about how a $7T dollar debt is damaging our economy; about what [Red China's] move on the world's oil supply would do to our cost of living; about how Homeland Security is stealing our freedoms; about the danger our monetary system faces if the Euro replaces the dollar on the world market; about the administration's real reason for a possible invasion of Iran; and about how far our Constitution can be 'bent' before the law breaks down completely... We should get the facts on why this administration refuses to close our borders to illegal aliens."
2006-02-08 13:35PST (16:35EST) (21:35GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Free Enterprise Fund sues to over-turn Sarbanes-Oxley
"A free-market think tank is mounting a legal challenge to the landmark 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law, claiming the accounting board created under the act is unconstitutional. The Free Enterprise Fund argues the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees corporate auditors, violates the Constitution because it's not accountable to elected representatives... the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires enhanced financial disclosure by corporations... He cited a study showing compliance with the law has reduced the stock value of U.S. companies by $1.4T. [Wow! That's a lot of value hidden by questionable accounting.]... But the Free Enterprise Fund says the board enjoys improper governmental powers, including the ability to enforce compliance with its own standards and other federal laws by conducting inspections of accounting firms."
Jennifer A. Dlouhy _Arizona Republic_
Foes of Illegal immigration lobby against Bush's amnesty plan
"Foes of illegal immigration - including members of the volunteer border patrol group the Minuteman Project - rallied at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and urged Congress to reject President Bush's proposal to allow guest workers into the country. 'We must send a message to Washington, DC and every person in every building here that we will not stand for... a fraud amnesty bill.', said Steve Eichler, director of the Minuteman Project... [Minutemen] members are now lobbying Congress to crack down on illegal immigration through new legislation... Wednesday, critics decried Bush's guest-worker plan as nothing but an amnesty that would reward illegal immigrants. Representative Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, one of 2 law-makers who briefly joined the rally against illegal immigration, said that allowing more foreign workers into the country would depress wages overall. 'We are being told there are jobs American workers won't do.', he told the crowd. 'Americans will do any job that needs to be done as long as there is a fair and decent wage.'... A group of sheriffs from border towns in Texas also made the rounds, talking to law-makers. Representative Louie Gohmert, R-TX, who met with the border sheriffs, said it was valuable to hear first hand from 'local law enforcement who are fighting, sometimes without help, to defend our southern border. There is a war on our southern border and our sheriffs are out manned and out gunned.', Gohmert said."
Ray O'Hanlon _Irish Echo_
Immigration issue divides Irish-American congress-critters
"The 4 members of the House of Representatives who serve as co-chairs of the Ad Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs are guardians of Irish America's policy aspirations for Ireland... This partition is reflected along party lines and was clearly evident in last month's House vote on HR4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 or, as it is more commonly known, the Sensenbrenner/King bill... It was a comfortable enough margin of victory for a bill that has sent shudders through the ranks of the undocumented and those who advocate a path to legalization for millions of undocumented and illegal immigrants, perhaps as many as 40K Irish among them. Representative Peter King, one of the Republican co-chairs, was, of course one of the yea voters. So too was his fellow GOP co-chair, upstate New York representative John Sweeney. The 2 Democratic co-chairs, Richie Neal of Massachusetts and Joe Crowley, whose New York City district is home to many immigrants, voted no. Jim Walsh, author of the Walsh Visa program and who is chairman of the Friends of Ireland, voted in support of the measure. In the end, HR4437 drew support from 203 Republicans and 36 Democrats. The opposition was comprised of 164 Democrats, 17 Republicans and a sole independent... the immigration conundrum is not stirring sentiment in a way that falls neatly into party camps in the broader political sense... The president wants a guest-worker plan and sees immigrant labor as being vital to the economy. At the same time, he opposes an amnesty for the undocumented and illegal. At the same time again, Bush has not clearly defined what he believes is an amnesty... Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, a House group chaired by Colorado GOP representative Tom Tancredo. The CIRC, founded by Tancredo in 1999 May, wants to see the borders secured and tighter internal enforcement of immigration law. It wants to ensure that any proposed guest-worker program is purely temporary for each recipient of a guest worker visa. It opposes outright amnesty, earned legalization or any combination of both. The caucus also supports efforts to terminate the diversity-visa lottery and wants to reduce the overall number of immigrants admitted legally to the U.S.A. each year. The caucus currently has 81 House members on its rolls, so it is a formidable faction... 'The president must enforce our immigration laws before we consider any guest worker proposal. Until we bring law and order to our border anarchy, importing more workers into the equation is out of the question.', Tancredo stated."
Chris O'Brien _Silicon Valley_/_San Jose Mercury News_
A minority of Bay Area CEOs say they plan to hire
"Of the 549 CEOs and top executives who participated in the survey last month, [only] 42% said they planned to increase their Bay Area work-force in the next 6 months. That's up from 33% in October and the highest number since the council started conducting the quarterly survey in 2001 October [some 7 quarters after the start of the economic depression]."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.60%|
2006-02-09 03:00PST (06:00EST) (11:00GMT)
Jessica Holzer _Forbes_
CEOs Fret Over America's Work-Force While America's Un-Employed and Under-Employed Work-Force Frets Over Executives
"Notably, the executives did not look inward for solutions. When questioned whether their own policies had helped to worsen the problem, they mostly demurred. Clearly, recruiting foreign engineers adds to the supply and, thus, puts a damper on salaries. A person fresh from graduate school with a Ph.D. in operations research can make $90K at SAS Institute -- far less than the $150K-plus salaries top MBAs can command. 'Yes, fine, we need to pay more.', Steve Odland, CEO of Office Depot admitted... And that gets to the heart of their motive: get out in front of public furor over out-sourcing."
2006-02-09 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 320,001 in the week ending Feb. 4, an increase of 1,433 from the previous week. There were 347,391 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending Jan. 28, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,081,639, an increase of 29,889 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.6% and the volume was 3,296,052."
Yeh Ling-Ling _Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America_/_The Harvard Law School Record_
Examine Mexican Government's Intent before Changing Immigration Rules
"President Bush and Congressional leaders of both parties are determined to achieve de facto amnesty in 2006 for millions of illegal migrants. Why should Americans concerned with racial harmony and national unity take a close look at the social and political impacts of massive Mexican immigration? Professor Samuel P. Huntington, chairman of Harvard University's Academy for International and Area Studies, warned in 2004: 'Demographically, socially, and culturally, the reconquista (re-conquest) of the Southwest United States by Mexican immigrants is well underway... No other immigrant group in U.S. history has asserted or could assert a historical claim to U.S. territory. Mexicans and Mexican Americans can and do make that claim.' Huntington also said that 'Mexican immigration differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of 6 factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration [in the American Southwest], persistence, and historical presence.' In 2001, the pro-immigration New California Media reported that Mexico 'continues to mourn the loss of half of its territory to the U.S. in the 19th Century'... Mexico is pushing hard for amnesty and various benefits for millions of illegal Mexican migrants. Once naturalized, amnestied migrants could add tens of millions of people and future voters to the U.S. through births here and through immigration of extended families... According to the 2000 Census, the U.S. population had increased by about 13% from 1990, but those who identified themselves as Mexican had increased by 53%. In 1997, Ernest Zedillo, then-President of Mexico, declared in Chicago that 'the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders and that Mexican migrants are an important - a very important - part of it'. Is Mexico using legal as well as illegal migration to extend the Mexican nation? To quickly expand the Hispanic electorate, activists across the country have campaigned to secure the right to vote for non-citizens and actively register voters. MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan], an acronym for a Chicano student organization with chapters on many U.S. college campuses, has actively recruited Mexican-American voters. MEChA's founding constitution called for the 'liberation of our land'... The Mexican government and many Mexican American leaders have lobbied in tandem very effectively. For example, after California's voters approved Proposition 187, the 1994 ballot measure that would have denied public benefits to illegal immigrants, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and other pro-illegal groups sued to overturn it. Parts of the initiative were ruled unconstitutional in a federal district court and the measure was taken up on appeal. Before the appeal could be, Mexican President Zedillo paid a visit to California Governor Gray Davis. Subsequently, Davis decided to settle the case 'out of court' through mediation. But only the opponents of Prop 187 were invited to take part and the measure was shelved. Antonio Villaraigosa publicly thanked the Mexican president for his help in killing Prop 187... many newcomers and their U.S.-born children can be mobilized by Mexico to vote according to Mexico's interests. U.S.-born Juan Hernandez, then a member of current Mexico President Vicente Fox's cabinet, has stated: 'We are betting that the Mexican-American population in the United States...will think Mexico first.' Indeed, many American citizens of Mexican descent have run for political offices in Mexico: Manuel de la Cruz wanted to make the U.S. a Mexican electoral district when he ran for Mexico's Congress. Americans who doubt the U.S. Southwest might someday secede should heed Charles Truxillo, a Mexican-American professor at the University of New Mexico."
H.J. Cummins _Minneapolis Star-Tribune_
Not all workers are wedded to the concept of "engagement"
"The current holy grail in business management is something called 'employee engagement'. Excited and hard-working employees are healthier, stay put and generally make their businesses successful -- according not only to common sense but also to an abundance of recent research. So it took some explaining when a recent international survey by workplace consultant Towers Perrin put Japan and Italy at the bottom of employee-engagement rates, and Mexico and Brazil -- hardly global economic engines -- on the top. Basically, it appears that personal pride in our work and a belief that our input matters up the line is far from a universal value. It also appears that in this country, where it is important, things are not going well... 'What we hear is [that the Indian] work environment is grueling. Particularly as big companies out-source to countries, we're finding the workers in those countries are under enormous stress.'... The United States ranks third among the countries. Still, only 1 in 5 respondents said they feel 'highly engaged' at work."
David Perlman _San Francisco Chronicle_
Furry ancestor of T. rex allegedly found in Red China
"The primitive ancestor that lived 160M years ago was a mere 10 feet long when it was alive, compared to the monster T. rex, who measured more than 40 feet from head to tail and dominated all the dinosaurs on Earth more than 90M years later. Unlike T. rex, the smaller creature bore a striking but fragile crest atop its head, three fingers on the hands of its surprisingly long forearms and a long, slender snout... James Clark, a paleontologist at George Washington University, and Xing Xu of [Red China's] Institute of Paleontology and Paleoanthropology discovered the skeletons in a layer of rock in [Red China's] oil-rich autonomous region of Xinjiang. They are the principal authors of a report on the find appearing today in the journal Nature... They have named it 'Guanlong wucaii', 'the crowned dragon of the 5-colored rocks'."
AIG and federal government reach $1.6G settlement of fraud and bid-rigging charges
Anne C. Mulkern _Long Beach Press Telegram_
Protests in DC against amnesty/legalization of illegal aliens
"'If the president of the United States really wanted to, he could secure the border tomorrow.', representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO, told the group to loud cheers. 'He has the power to do so. He has the ability to do so. He has the resources to do so. The unfortunate, dirty truth of the matter is he has no desire to do so.' Shouting "'Stop the invasion', protesters from as far away as California, Nevada and Idaho said they'd work to force out of office anyone who voted for a bill with what President Bush calls [an additional] 'guest-worker' program. But stopping legislation that includes that provision may prove difficult, according to those involved in the negotiations. The Senate likely has the votes to pass such a bill."
Jerry Seper _Washington Times_
Mexico has hired US spin-doctor, image-maker
"Allyn & Co., whose founder, Rob Allyn, has ties to both the Bush administration and Mexican President Vicente Fox, is being paid $720K to stop what Mexican Embassy officials in Washington have described as 'Mexico bashing'... The Fox administration has criticized efforts in Congress to upgrade the government's control of the U.S.-Mexico border, including pending legislation that would authorize the construction of nearly 700 miles of high-security fencing [along a 2600 mile border] and designate illegal entry as a felony... Fox has pushed for immigration reform in favor of millions of Mexicans now living and working illegally in the United States, while President Bush is backing a guest-worker program to match migrants in this country with jobs for a set period. The guest-worker plan faces stiff opposition inside the Republican Party."
Martin Richard _Upper Cape Codder_
Illegal aliens are a risk to security
"The issue of illegal immigration has reached its tipping point. I am thankful that representative Jeff Perry has had the courage to do what is right and fair for the citizens of the Massachusetts in exposing the hypocrisy obscuring Beacon Hill... again. I also thank representatives Gomes, Atsalis, Turkington and Gifford for partnering with Perry on this extremely important issue. I find it incredible that this issue is even up for debate. Those who willfully choose to circumvent the law of the land must be prosecuted. Applying some other sort of standard to illegal immigrants sends the wrong message to immigrants who have spent many months or years waiting to enter this country legally. Moreover, it is completely unfair to force the law-abiding citizens of Massachusetts to subsidize this illegal activity. The IRS estimates illegal workers cost our country $400G in unpaid [extortion] - a number approaching the entire budget deficit for 2005... Illegal immigration represents a critical threat to our security. More than half of the 48 Islamic radicals convicted or tied to recent terrorist plots in the United States over the past decade either were themselves illegal aliens or relied on illegals to get fake IDs. By closing our eyes to this problem we are facilitating our own destruction. Our children deserve better and Beacon Hill had better listen. According to a Pew Research Study in 2003, 75% of Americans want stricter immigration reform. Here's a radical idea -- why doesn't Beacon Hill use the money, time and brain power wasted on benefits for illegal immigrants to improve education, health care and public safety for their real constituents -- the law-abiding citizens of the Commonwealth."
_PR News Wire_
Bennie G. Thompson responds to president's speech on the "war on terrorism"
"The most significant increase in the homeland security budget comes from $1.3G in taxes the President expects to collect from charging people a government fee every time they fly. Even with this added tax, the budget does not provide for enhanced screening of cargo on passenger planes. So, while those of us who fly have to go through security, the boxes in the belly of our planes will largely remain unchecked and unscreened. The budget also eliminates funding for local and state law enforcement to detain criminal illegal aliens, which is a step back in our communities' efforts to protect the border."
U of MD B-School Says Economy Is Cooling
"According to the School of Business at the University of Maryland, 'The January jobs performance clearly indicates that the economy is cooling.' Polls indicate that Americans are feeling quite anxious over the economic situation in the United States. U.S. employers continue to shed America of good jobs. U.S. job cuts topped 100K for the second month in a row, according to employment Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc..."
Katherine Rosenbeg _Victorville Daily Press_
CHP found 19 illegal aliens inside van
"Authorities found and detained 19 illegal immigrants after an anonymous caller said his cousin was taken at gun-point and forced into a van by coyotes... The caller provided officials with a license plate number and the vehicle was found around 21:51 traveling north on Interstate 15, just north of Kenwood Avenue in the Cajon Pass... Nicholas Coates, a public information officer for the San Diego Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, said his agency responded to a call for assistance from the CHP. 'We arrived on scene and took 19 people into custody. They were taken to Temecula border patrol where they were processed.', Coates said. 'Any number of things can happen to them depending on their background and criminal history.'"
2006-02-09 06:58PST (09:58EST) (14:58GMT)
Ben Aaronson & Bethan L. Jones _Lexington Minuteman_
Fugitive aliens may be processed in Lexington
"Lexington may become the final deportation stop for fugitive illegal aliens apprehended in New England. Located on the Bedford town line, the proposed facility would include 35K square feet of administrative offices, of which 5,800 will be a processing center for illegal aliens, many with extensive criminal records, who are under administrative orders for removal from the country. The center will house 3 holding cells; one for men, one for women and one for juveniles, none of which will have a bed. Under the proposal, illegal aliens who are apprehended in the area would be brought to the ICE facility in Lexington to be finger-printed, photographed and questioned before being sent to county prison to await deportation."
Kelli Hewett Taylor _Birmingham News_
7 state legislative proposals target illegal immigration
"employer verification of workers, reductions in social services and some private property seizure. 'It has been a gradual buildup - the federal government's failure to do anything that has put the states in a horrible mess.', said state representative Randy Hinshaw, D-Madison. 'People want the issue solved.' Hinshaw is sponsoring a state bill to limit nonemergency government services to illegal immigrants to reduce the tax costs... Illegal immigration concerns have increased in Alabama this year because of national media attention, increasing traffic accidents and crimes involving illegal immigrants, Hinshaw said. Senator E.B. McClain, D-Midfield, is sponsoring a bill to penalize employers who don't verify their employees' legal status with the federal government... Representative Lea Fite, D-Anniston, is proposing that employers who don't verify employee status would be guilty of an unfair trade practice if a U.S. worker or legal worker were discharged while employing an illegal worker... 'As a state, we cannot stand idly by and watch this tidal wave of illegal aliens pour into the region.', Hammon said in a news release. 'We must put in strict measures that discourage those who come here illegally from putting down roots.'"
Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
When the President Won't Protect Our Borders
"Aren't you impressed by those stand-up guys in Congress maintaining 37K troops on the South Korean border to protect that country from immigration from North Korea? At the same time, they leave our southern border with Mexico as open as a 24 hour shopping mall... Do you trust that our southern border is protected even though Time Magazine reported 7K to 10K illegal aliens crossing nightly? Of course, Bush assures you that none of them are terrorists...
As of this column, a new American 'militia' announces its presence on our Mexican border. Named 'BORDER PROJECT' by Randy McKinney, this is the newest forward defense of our borders operated by America's finest retired Navy Seals, Army Rangers, U.S. Marines and police officers. If our president won't, we will!... Our mission is to locate terrorists smuggling weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and associated nuclear material into the U.S. from Mexico... technology which enables us to send all intelligence that we obtain including; actual radiological detection readings, FLIR video footage, GPS coordinates, date and time, and live voice narration to a computer at our command center."
Doron Taussig _Philadelphia City Paper_
Illegal immigrants' tip network springs alert at rumors of arrests
2006-02-09 13:50PST (16:50EST) (21:50GMT)
Joe McDonald _Wired_/_AP_
Yahoo! still aiding Red Chinese rulers to censor
"Yahoo Inc. has provided [Red Chinese] authorities with information used to jail one of its users for 8 years, an activist group said Thursday -- the second time the U.S.-based Internet firm was accused of helping jail a Chinese user. Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Yahoo!'s Hong Kong unit provided information about Li Zhi, a man from southwestern China who was sentenced to prison in 2003 for subversion after posting comments on-line criticizing official corruption."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Silicon Valley Executives Love Thomas Friedman
"He cited the Carrier Air Conditioner example, in which Friedman points to tech firms in India now buying AC units from Carrier. I then said, 'Suppose this were to double Carrier's business. Would the number of engineers employed by Carrier double?' My friend conceded that no, Carrier probably wouldn't need any extra engineers to produce more units, and he got my point: We give up engineering jobs, which go to India, in return for what -- MAYBE some more manufacturing jobs (though it would make sense to have them go to India too). We lose the jobs requiring greater levels of education, in return for gaining jobs which need less education, a bad trade by any measure. Such a common sense point, yet until I brought it up, he had been mesmerized by Friedman... it is clear that Silicon Valley executives know thcwse power Friedman has over his readers, and decided to exploit it, using him as a PR vehicle, with him helping them sell their globalization agenda to the American public, Congress and the press. They even 'trained' him first. Very sad."
earlier issue on same topic
article which prompted revisiting the issue
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
John Stossel commentary
"John Stossel has often advocated for globalization, and strongly supports it in his column below. But as usual when journalists cite specific companies that praise off-shoring and H-1B, there is huge hypocrisy here: 'Bill Portelli, who runs the California-based company Collabnet, says out-sourcing has helped him keep his company alive in the United States. He has hired programmers in India who are paid less than half what he would have to pay American programmers. '''It doesn't cheat Americans out of jobs. If I hadn't hired the people in India, I would have had to lay people off.''', he said. He didn't end up laying any Americans off as a result of out-sourcing, because out-sourcing saved Collabnet so much money the company was able to expand in America. '''Basically I've created jobs in America. I built better products, created jobs, been able to raise salaries.''', Portelli said.'... first of all, don't be fooled by his (pseudo-)data on U.S. lay-offs. Instead, look where the NEW engineering jobs are being created in his company. Just go to their Careers web page, and then look at the 'US listings' and 'India listings' sections. Under 'Engineering' for the U.S. page, they list 1 job; for India, they list 6. In the U.S., they list 5 sales and marketing jobs, and 2 technician jobs; for India, those numbers are 2 and 1, respectively... Once again, this putative poster company for the benefits of off-shoring show why off-shoring is a net loss for U.S. society -- we lose jobs requiring higher levels of education, and gain jobs requiring lesser education. And by the way, what does Collabnet produce? Their home page says, 'CollabNet is the leading provider of distributed software development solutions. Our solutions help corporations reduce costs, increase revenues, and capture market loyalty by bringing together software development teams, regardless of geographic location', and that CollabNet's software remedies a 'lack of... tools... for distributed teams where team members work in different locations, time zones, countries and cultures.' In plain English, CollabNet produces software to aid firms to do... off-shoring. For details, see CollabNet's paper, Off-Shore Development: The SourceCast Solution. So, among other things, CollabNet is in the business of promoting off-shoring. Of course they are going to tell journalists that off-shoring is wonderful."
John Stossel's article
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
yet another deception by the Democratic Party
"I have often said that the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans on issues like H-1B and off-shoring. I always add that I am a registered Democrat. During the last presidential election, I trashed John Kerry for being duplicitous on the off-shoring issue, and have shown many times that Hillary Clinton has the same problem, as does the main wing of the Democratic Party, the DLC. To read my old postings on this, go to http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/Archive [link], and look at the files with names beginning with 'Kerry', 'Hillary' and 'Democratic'. Look in particular at http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/Archive/Hillary3.txt [link]. There you see how deceptive senator Clinton can be. Having earlier been exposed on the Lou Dobbs as being a strong ally of Tata Consultancy Services, a major player in the off-shoring of software development jobs, Clinton now rails against president Bush for not doing anything about off-shoring. But if you read carefully, you see that her criticism of Bush is for allowing the off-shoring of manufacturing jobs, not software development jobs. And if you read further, you see an Indian newspaper praising Kerry for engaging in the same deception. Now the reason I mention this is that yesterday I received a survey from the Democratic National Party. Turns out that I'm a 'Democratic leader'. Yep, the survey is titled '2006 Survey of Democratic Leaders', and says, 'The Democratic National Committee is conducting this survey to help gauge the opinions of local Party leaders on the critical issues facing our nation.' Needless to say, I've never done a thing with the party. My own congressperson, Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat, refuses to meet with me on the H-1B issue. The only thing I can figure out as to why I qualify as a 'leader' is that I once wrote an article for the DLC's magazine, now called Blueprint, and they put me on the subscriber list. Well, all of that is amusing, but what isn't amusing is Question 4 of the survey:
'4. Should the government put a high priority on stopping American manufacturing jobs from being out-sourced over-seas?
* Yes, the manufacturing jobs being lost are essential to our economy.
* No, American consumers benefit from cheaper goods made over-seas.
So, there it is again! It's only manufacturing jobs. The issue of software development jobs just isn't on the table. I don't expect this kind of survey to be fully unbiased, but this is awful."
Stephen Dinan _Washington Times_
Intra-company visas abused to circumvent limits
"One of the country's temporary work visa programs, used particularly by foreign technology workers, is being abused by companies looking to get around protections for American workers, according to a new government report. The L visa, which is intended for foreign companies who want to transfer managerial employees or workers with 'specialized knowledge' temporarily to the United States, has been abused to get around limits on other types of visas, according to the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general. Congress has capped the number of workers who can come under the H-1B visa category each year at 65K, but has not placed limits on the L-1 visa, which applies to workers with specialized knowledge. Also, the L visa does not require that workers are paid the 'prevailing wage' so that American workers are not displaced. 'Software companies appear to be using the L visa to get around H quotas', one consular post in Southeast Asia told investigators. State Department officials often are called upon to double-check information abroad. L visas have proven attractive for technology companies -- and particularly firms that out-source labor to India. Nearly 50% of the petitions received under the 'specialized knowledge' category in fiscal 2005 were for people born in India. The inspector general found that it is difficult for adjudicators at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine what constitutes a manager [or 'specialized knowledge'], particularly because companies vary in size and organization. Adjudicators also have to rely on a company's claims about its own operations, a worker's status at the time of the petition and how a worker will be used in the United States. In some cases, adjudicators said, applications were prepared by lawyers and 'were either too vague, or conversely too technical, for the adjudicator to make appropriate decisions'. Senator Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who inserted a provision into a bill to require the study, said it showed 'extensive and well-known fraud and abuse in the L visa program. When our own consular officers agree that there are problems with the L visa program, something has to be done.', he said. 'We can't have companies bypass the H-1B visas just to get around protections intended to help American workers.' The inspector general concluded that although the claims about displacing U.S. workers 'may have merit', it is not a significant national trend [i.e. while there is blatant abuse, there is not enough of it to prosecute, and not quite so much that we accept it as 'normal']. Angelica Alfonso, a spokeswoman for USCIS, said the report is accurate in saying L-1 visas are difficult to adjudicate and have 'the potential of being exploited to fraud and abuse. USCIS has provided additional guidance to minimize such vulnerabilities. In addition, in 2006, USCIS plans to conduct a benefit fraud assessment to determine the nature and extent of fraud in the L-1A non-immigrant classification.', she said. The L-1A category applies to managers and executives. The inspector general called for USCIS to come up with new ways to make sure over-seas checks are made and has given the agency 90 days to respond."
2006-02-10 06:43PST (09:43EST) (14:43GMT)
"sloan" _Tech Republic_
Is age discrimination real in IT?
R. Pinchas Winston _Torah.org_
Parshas BeShalach: A Matter of Will
"Years ago, a Torah Code was found that said: 'Know the tenth month, know 5766.' The tenth month, of course, is Teves [Tebet], the month we just finished. It was assumed that 5766 was, is, a year, this year, the one that began last Rosh Hashanah. And, quess what? That same year was found encoded in all 5 books of the Torah -- several times. Often words associated with redemption were also found clustered around the encoded date. But, when it comes to Torah codes, those that talk about redemption, and especially those that deal with the future, they are relegated to the level of 'amusing'. Well, Teves 5766 has been a big month. On the fifth of Teves, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had a stroke from which he has still not woken up. And, just like that, he has been removed from the political scene, just as Yitzchak Rabin was removed in his time. The Americans, seizing the moment that emerged from the political vacuum (with Sharon not yet dead, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not fully assume the reigns of power), went behind the Israelis' back and promised the Arabs of East Jerusalem the vote in the upcoming election. Irony of ironies. Hamas, originally funded by the Israelis to undermine PLO control, became the enemy instead of the ally. Then, in an effort to control Hamas, Sharon, at the urging of the U.S. government, worked unilaterally to shore up Fatah's political strength, to encourage the Palestinians to pursue peace through mutual acceptance of one another, at the cost of Jewish security and the lives of 10K settlers. The assumption, or rather the gamble, was that the Palestinian people could be trusted to elect a government that would be devoted to the American Road Map to peace. And, though a lot of political gambles do work in the end, in the case of this very critical one, and much to the shock of the entire Western world, it did not. Instead, by virtue of Western democracy, Hamas, which to this day does not accept the existence of the Jewish state, and who is a terrorist organization funded by Iran, the other major concern of the Israelis and the world at this point, became the 'owner' living right next door."
Martin Crutsinger _AP_/_Yahoo!_
US Trade Deficit Hit All-Time High
"The U.S. trade deficit soared to an all-time high of $725.8G in 2005, pushed upward by record imports of oil, food, cars and other consumer goods. The deficit with [Red China] hit an all-time high as did America's deficits with Japan, Europe, OPEC, Canada, Mexico and South and Central America. The Commerce Department reported Friday that the gap between what America sells abroad and what it imports rose to $725.8G last year, up by 17.5% from the previous record of $617.6G set in 2004. It marked the fourth consecutive year that America's trade deficit has set a record [as US executives have cut back domestic manufacturing and professional work in favor of off-shoring, and US consumers, many of them under-employed and un-employed have run up debt to keep going]."
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Temporary Workers: secretaries, computer programmers, professors, lawyers, and now teachers
"Principal Erik Sandstrom made a fact-finding trip, funded by the Filipino placement firm HealthQuest Enterprises, to analyze the feasibility of hiring foreign-born teachers. If hired, the new teachers would receive 3-year non-immigrant visas, most likely an H-1B, even though their teaching positions would be reviewed on a year-to-year basis. A few months ago, I wrote several columns critical of a similar undertaking in Las Vegas. Readers may recall that while Las Vegas claimed that no qualified teachers applied, it was later learned that an exceptionally talented and experienced California educator, and one time Stockton Unified 'Teacher of the Year', was rejected. What I oppose most specifically is the non-immigrant visa that makes hiring abroad as easy as 1, 2, 3...
All any employer has to do to hire abroad is declare that no American is available or qualified for the particular job he is trying to fill. That's it... further documentation or proof of his claim, while legally required, is rarely asked for...
Where things get even sweeter for the employer is that this huge over-seas labor pool is tripping over itself to get to the United States. Wages are not a factor. Whatever the salary is, it looks good to at least 75% of the worldwide market. And don't forget, coming to the U.S.A. legally on a work visa can be step number one on the road to American citizenship...
At the same time, it makes it impossible, from a wage perspective, for the American worker to compete.
Moving on to the specifics of using the non-immigrant visa in education, teachers should be aware that this is the hottest trend in hiring. More than 10K foreign born teachers are working in, to name but a few cities, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco. They are mostly teaching math, science, ESL and special education... these new instructors are often sent to 'less desirable poor and rural school districts'. IOW, poor kids get the short end of the stick -- again... A significant influx of foreign trained and educated teachers is not in the best interests of our children. Under no circumstances can teacher without U.S. class-room experience be immediately effective.
Let's get back to our earlier Econ 101 lesson. To say that America has a shortage of teachers is an incomplete sentence. An accurate statement is that would-be teachers are not willing to work under challenging class-room conditions at the current salary structure... First, teachers, especially beginning teachers, must earn... salaries that are consistent with [local] cost of living. Second, the credentialing standards must be such that talented out-of-state teachers with years of experience who want to work... can do so without having to take worthless classes and student teach... How the Filipino teachers will become credentialed without jumping through the same hoops remains a mystery even after 2 weeks of trying to get a straight answer."
_Sydney Morning Herald_
Special US guest-worker visas for Aussies
"The new visa, called an E-3, was passed by Congress last year as [an adjunct] of the free-trade agreement. It allows 10,500 Australians each year the right to work in the USA... The E-3 visa's conditions are also very lenient. Unlike normal business work visas, Australian applications are not referred to the Department of Homeland Security, a process which can take months. Although the applicant's stay in the USA must be temporary, the 2-year visas are renewable indefinitely, effectively making them the next best thing to a Green Card... spouses of E-3 holders can work, and neither spouses nor their children are counted in the 10,500. One of the few restrictions on the E-3 visa is that applicants have to be sponsored by an employer, and have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or specialised knowledge... The last US census showed there were only 78K Australians living in the USA, with about 41K working."
Jim Puzzanghera _St. Paul Pioneer Press_
Business executives lobby congress to fill their personal pockets at expense of US science and tech workers
Columbus GA Ledger-Enquirer
San Jose Mercury Propaganda
"In the first of several anticipated congressional hearings on U.S. global competitiveness, law-makers and [business executives] agreed Thursday that bold action is needed to retain the country's technological advantage [and fill executives pockets even more full then special legal privileges have been filling them in the past]..."
Mike Sunnucks _Phoenix Business Journal_
Proposals aim to protect financial privacy
"A number of proposals have been put forward at the state level aimed at restricting foreign out-sourcing and off-shoring and offering more consumer protections related to identity theft and corporate data breaches... Those plans seek to restrict companies from sending consumers' personal data to off-shore locations where it could be jeopardized. That includes financial as well as medical data and is in response to some off-shore security breaches. Arizona legislators also are considering a measure that would prohibit any state government contract work from being moved off-shore... [Bank of India formerly called Bank of America], JPMorgan Chase & Co., Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial and Washington Mutual are among the U.S. companies with a strong presence in Arizona that also have [the most egregious record of expanding] in less- expensive off-shore markets, especially in India and other Asian nations... Alan Tonelson, a research fellow with the US Business & Industry Council...said the long-term impact of financial, technical and other out-sourcing will [continue to] be lower wages and fewer benefits [and employment opportunities] for U.S. workers."
Nina Bernstein _Lakeland Ledger_
Visa enforcement showing some small signs of improvement
stocks rebound, Enquirer 80 index closes up 0.38%
"According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 35.70, or 0.33%, to 10,919.05, after losing as much as 63 points early in the session. The Enquirer 80 Index of local interest stocks rose 0.90 points, or 0.38%, to close at 289.99. 49 issues were up, 28 were down and three were unchanged. Leading gainers were Ohio Casualty Corp., up $1.65 to $30.27; Ashland, up $1.02 to $62.52; Emerson Electric, up 78 cents to $82.85; Toyota Motor, up 78 cents to $103.29; and PNC Financial Services Group, up 65 cents to $64.58. Biggest losers were Duke Realty, down 67 cents to $34.13; Humana, down 63 cents to $50.85; NS Group, down 60 cents to $40.38; Standard Register, down 52 cents to $16.44; and Chiquita Brands International, down 40 cents to $17. Broader stock indicators also reversed course to close higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.21, or 0.25%, to 1,266.99, and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 6.01, or 0.27%, to 2,261.88."
Jitters over new Fed chief cause stable stocks
"Concerns like these helped keep a lid on stock market gains this past week. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose about 0.2%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was virtually unchanged. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.2%."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.58%|
Hiawatha Bray _Boston Globe_
Battle Over Tech Guest-Worker Visas Continues UnAbated Through More Than 10 Years
"But he won't get the increase without a fight. A bid to issue 30K more H-1b visas per year passed the Senate last year, but was shot down in the House. And a New Jersey Democratic congressman has introduced a bill that could make it tougher for companies to recruit foreign-born workers. 'What President Bush wants to do...is an absurdity, and I don't accept it.', said US Representative Bill Pascrell. He wants to keep the number of visas at the current level: 65K through the regular H-1b program and another 20K under a program that targets foreigners who earn advanced degrees in US schools. At the same time, Pascrell wants tough new rules to ensure that companies don't use the H-1b program to hire foreigners and pay them less than US workers. 'People come to my town meetings in the state of New Jersey. They've lost jobs to people who get paid less.', Pascrell said. 'They're hiring these H-1bs as cheaper labor.' Companies apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services bureau to get H-1b visas for foreign-born workers with special skills... But he won't get the increase without a fight. A bid to issue 30K more H-1b visas per year passed the Senate last year, but was shot down in the House. And a New Jersey Democratic congressman has introduced a bill that could make it tougher for companies to recruit foreign-born workers. 'What President Bush wants to do...is an absurdity, and I don't accept it.', said US Representative Bill Pascrell. He wants to keep the number of visas at the current level: 65K through the regular H-1b program and another 20K under a program that targets foreigners who earn advanced degrees in US schools [10,500 under a program for workers from Australia, and unlimited numbers for intra-company temporary transfers for multi-national firms, and unlimited numbers for US local, state and federal government, non-profits, and colleges & universities]. At the same time, Pascrell wants tough new rules to ensure that companies don't use the H-1b program to hire foreigners and pay them less than US workers. 'People come to my town meetings in the state of New Jersey. They've lost jobs to people who get paid less.', Pascrell said. 'They're hiring these H-1bs as cheaper labor.' Companies apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services bureau to get H-1b visas for foreign-born workers with special skills. Analog Devices' Javorski said his company uses these visas to hire foreign-born graduates with advanced degrees in electronic engineering and other fields related to chipmaking. But he added that many of them lack training in highly specialized fields, such as his company's field of chip design and manufacturing [training which he refuses to supply to well-prepared US new-hires or current employees who would be happy to transfer into these positions]."
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Jobs News Is Even Worse Than We Thought
"Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics re-benchmarked the pay-roll jobs data back to 2000. Thanks to Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services, I have the adjusted data from 2001 January through 2006 January. If you are worried about terrorists, you don't know what worry is. Job growth over the last 5 years is the weakest on record. The US economy came up more than 7M jobs short of keeping up with population growth. That's one good reason for controlling immigration. An economy that cannot keep up with population growth should not be boosting population with heavy rates of legal and illegal immigration. Over the past five years the US economy experienced a net job loss in goods producing activities. The entire job growth was in service-providing activities -- primarily credit intermediation, health care and social assistance, waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and state and local government. US manufacturing lost 2.9M jobs, almost 17% of the manufacturing work force. The wipeout is across the board. Not a single manufacturing pay-roll classification created a single [net] new job... Communications equipment lost 43% of its work-force. Semiconductors and electronic components lost 37% of its work-force. The work-force in computers and electronic products declined 30%. Electrical equipment and appliances lost 25% of its employees. The work-force in motor vehicles and parts declined 12%. Furniture and related products lost 17% of its jobs. Apparel manufacturers lost almost half of the work force. Employment in textile mills declined 43%. Paper and paper products lost one-fifth of its jobs. The work force in plastics and rubber products declined by 15%. Even manufacturers of beverages and tobacco products experienced a 7% shrinkage in jobs. The knowledge jobs that were supposed to take the place of lost manufacturing jobs in the globalized 'new economy' never appeared. The information sector lost 17% of its jobs, with the telecommunications work force declining by 25%. Even wholesale and retail trade lost jobs. Despite massive new accounting burdens imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, accounting and bookkeeping employment shrank by 4%. Computer systems design and related lost 9% of its jobs. Today there are 209K fewer managerial and supervisory jobs than 5 years ago. In 5 years the US economy only created 70K jobs in architecture and engineering, many of which are clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance. There are several hundred thousand American engineers who are unemployed and have been for years. No student wants a degree that is nothing but a ticket to a soup line. Many engineers have written to me that they cannot even get WM jobs because their education makes them over-qualified. Off-shore out-sourcing and off-shore production have left the USA awash with unemployment among the highly educated. The low measured rate of unemployment does not include discouraged workers. Labor arbitrage has made the unemployment rate less and less a meaningful indicator. In the past unemployment resulted mainly from turnover in the labor force and recession. Recoveries pulled people back into jobs... Today the unemployment is permanent as entire occupations and industries are wiped out by labor arbitrage as corporations replace their American employees with foreign ones. Economists who look beyond political press releases estimate the US unemployment rate to be between 7% and 8.5%. There are now hundreds of thousands of Americans who will never recover their investment in their university education... No sane economist can possibly maintain that a deplorable record of merely 1.054M net new private sector jobs over 5 years is an indication of a healthy economy. The total number of private sector jobs created over the 5 year period is 500K jobs less than one year's legal and illegal immigration! (In a 2005 December Center for Immigration Studies report based on the Census Bureau's 2005 March Current Population Survey, Steven Camelot writes that there were 7.9M new immigrants between 2000 January and 2005 March.)"
Evelyn Iritani & Dawn Chmielewski _Los Angeles Times_
US Tech Executives & Immigration Sheisters Continue Push To Bring in More Cheap Labor
"Silicon Valley [executives] are among the most vocal advocates of H-1B [expansion]. For decades, these companies [flooded US job markets with cheap] engineers, computer programmers and other professionals from around the globe. Now they say they are experiencing a reverse brain drain as skilled workers flock to the booming economies of [Red China] and India... fears [of] a shortage of skilled workers in the United States are [outrageous in light of the huge glut of untapped US talent]. Ron Hira, vice president of IEEE-USA, an organization representing 225K electrical and computer engineers, said many U.S. companies don't even bother to recruit Americans because they can find foreigners willing to work longer hours for less pay. 'The bottom line is, we need to fix this program before we expand it.', said Hira, who is a professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY."
Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
H-1B employees are paid less than US citizens doing the same work despite pay parity being a condition of the visas
"IT workers admitted to the US under the H1-B visa scheme earn on average US$13K ($NZ19,200) less than their American counterparts, according to a study of US Department of Labour records released by the Centre for Immigration Studies, an independent research organisation in the USA."
Mike Meyer _Honolulu Star Bulletin_
Growing Local Talent
"Hawaii needs to grow more high-tech talent locally if it wants to keep its edge globally... Kiman Wong, general manager of digital phone at Oceanic Time Warner Cable, declared, 'We really need to grow our own. We're competing with not only the mainland, but with Asian and European countries that are cranking out top-notch technologists.'"
Richard Waters _Economist's View_
Chips embedded in US employees to track them
Institute for the Future
"An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in 2 of its employees -- the first known case in which US workers have been 'tagged' electronically as a way of identifying them. CityWatcher.com... said it was testing the technology as a way of controlling access to a room where it holds security video footage for government agencies and the police... [making sure that no one can reclaim lost privacy or hinder privacy violators.] 'There are very serious privacy and civil liberty issues of having people permanently numbered.', said Liz McIntyre, who campaigns against the use of identification technology... The technology's defenders say it is acceptable as long as it is not compulsory. But critics say any implanted device could be used to track the 'wearer' without their knowledge. VeriChip... said the implants were designed primarily for medical purposes. So far around 70 people in the US have had the implants, the company said."
Louis Uchitelle _NYTimes_
chasing full employment
Mary Jackson _New English Review_
Theodore Dalrymple on free speech
Andrea Coombes _MarketWatch_
Mixed messages in job markets
"The [seasonally adjusted] national unemployment rate inched down to 4.7%, from 4.9% in December, according to the Labor Department's January jobs report. In 2005, the national rate averaged about 5%... Economy.com projects an average of 183K new pay-roll jobs each month in 2006, compared with the average of about 174K in 2005. In the 5 years ending in 2000, the average monthly job gain was 241K, Koropeckyj said... A big unknown right now is the effect of a lower-than-normal labor force participation rate -- that's the proportion of the U.S. population working or looking for work. That rate has been unusually low for this growth phase of an economic cycle. The labor force participation rate increased quite a bit right before the recession [March 2001] and then it plummeted, and it's been pretty flat since 2003," Koropeckyj said. 'Normally, when there's a recovery, more people start entering the labor force [as] they see opportunities out there... but we're not really seeing that yet.' Presumably, those people who've spent time on the side-lines will start entering the job market again as they see increased opportunities. At that point, for the unemployment rate to stay low, the job market is 'going to have to absorb those new entrants plus all the current participants.', Koropeckyj said. But will they come back? That may depend on wages. 'Wage gains have certainly been nothing to shout about.', Gault said. After inflation, 'wages were declining last year. To attract people into the labor force, you need to see some growth in real wages to give people the incentive to come back in.', he said. 'Probably we'll see a bit better performance of wages this year. That may help to attract some people back into the labor force.' The low participation rate, some say, means that even the current job market is less rosy than it might seem at first glance. 'The unemployment rate is probably closer to 5.5% than 4.7%, if you make an adjustment for the labor force' participation rate, said Jared Bernstein, a senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think-tank in Washington, DC."
2006-02-12 19:09:29PST (22:09:29EST) (2006-02-13 03:09:29GMT)
Freeman Sawyer _Temecula Valley News_
Murrieta council member Doug McAllister's solution for illegal immigration is sound
"The good news is a plan McAllister was putting together that involved enforcement of immigration policy by Murrieta police. The bad news is the continuing difficulty in finding a city council that possesses the political courage to stand up and protect its citizens from the ever-increasing hordes¬†of illegals that swarm past our borders each and every day. As a result of the Border Patrol's 'Temecula Sweeps' project, we learned that 10% of the illegal alien population are also criminal aliens.¬†Among those who break the law by crossing into our country illegally are murderers, rapists, child sex offenders, drug smugglers and¬†terrorists... Not too long ago, an illegal alien child sex offender was successfully arrested in Murrieta after three attempts to entice a young girl into his car as she walked to school. The Murrieta Police Force handled this crime by following the letter of the law. They can and will be able to do so in the future, with or without additional officers. Illegal aliens will continue to commit crimes regardless of¬†the number of officers on the Murrieta Police Force. In¬†the long run, prevention is the better choice. City dollars spent cleaning up after the fact are higher than the dollars spent preventing crimes.¬†It is against the law for illegals to be in this country and the Murrieta Police Force needs to stop looking the other way... The existing Border Patrol policy forbids an agent from going to a Day Labor Site and investigating anyone. The Border Patrol plays no role in preventing businesses from hiring cheap labor off the books and under the table."
Multi-Nationals Hasten R&D Establishment in Red China
"The establishment of these foreign-owned R&D facilities, with their employees flowing freely in the Red Chinese job market, stimulates technological upgrades..."
More Baby Boomers Are Expected To Work Beyond 65: Job Market Is a Bust
"It's estimated that 80% of boomers plan on working beyond the traditional retirement age, Ivanic reported...¬†For boomer SAL, the job market is a bust. 'I still don't have a job and I don't have a future.', SAL said. Unemployed for the first time in years and draining her savings, the medical clinical researcher is hoping her luck will change. She's not optimistic. 'If you are a single white female, without children, between the ages of 50 and 65, you may as well be invisible.', Livingston said. Despite Livingston's struggles, the state predicts the percentage of women in the work-force will continue to increase to nearly 49%. Men are on a steady decline from 52.5% in 2002 to just over 50% in the next 6 years. In the next 6 years, it's estimated about 800K baby boomers will be leaving the job market. That gap will be filled with more than 1M younger workers entering the labor pool."
Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
Spiral of Immigration Corruption in America
"'Corruption becomes a mechanism by which Third World societies operate.', Heath Boatwright said. 'When you immigrate millions of them illegally into the United States, you create exactly the same lawlessness in our country. They feel at home because so many of their countrymen break the law with fellow illegal aliens that it is a normal continuance of their behavior in our civilization.'... When I wrote about corruption in Mexico and other Third World countries, I mentioned that citizens must bribe mail carriers or suffer their undelivered mail. In Asia, you must get your letters cancelled at the post office or they will steal stamps off your envelope. Bribery is a way of life when it comes to the police in Third World countries. When a car accident occurs in Mexico, all parties split the scene. Why? No one wants to be caught because they don't carry insurance, no licenses, have outstanding warrants or they may be carrying drugs. To give you an idea of how fast the United States careens into Third World standard operating procedure, in Greeley, Colorado last year, police recorded 270 hit and run accidents last year. Greeley, with less than 70K residents, houses the largest contingent of Mexicans in Colorado. They illegally work at the meat packing plant. They drink like fish after work. They drive. With these realities, driving on Saturday nights in Greeley places you in great danger. In Colorado's Department of Motor Vehicles, last year, two Hispanics employees gave over 200 illegal aliens Commercial Driver's Licenses and hundreds regular licenses. Those illegals couldn't read a test let alone take it or pass it with their sixth grade educations in Spanish. Yet, they drove on our highways in 50K pound 18-wheelers running at 70 miles per hour and were implicated in over 26 crashes."
WTO Rules Against Extortion Breaks for US Firms Operating Over-Seas
Top Tech News
Voice of America
San Diego Union-Tribune
First Coast News
"The long-running trade spat centers on a tax exemption that allowed U.S. exporters to exclude part of their foreign-earned income. The WTO ruled in 2002 that the measure, known as the foreign-sales corporation provision, amounted to an illegal tax subsidy. The United States claims it has fallen into line by repealing the FSC law. But Brussels says that Washington's new rules do not respect the WTO's decision because they allow tax exemptions to continue for a transition period through the end of this year. The World Trade Organization on Monday condemned tax breaks for some U.S. companies operating over-seas, saying Washington has about 3 months to bring its legislation into line. A WTO panel rejected a U.S. appeal, upholding previous judgments that the so-called Foreign Sales Corporation, or FSC, law breached global trade rules by giving illegal subsidies to some U.S. businesses... Under the law's provisions, the United States gave tax exemption to part of the income of more than 6K U.S. exporters, including corporate giants such as MSFT Corp., Boeing Co. and General Electric Co... If the United States does not comply by then, Brussels will re-impose retaliatory measures, which were suspended after the passing of the Jobs Creation Act, Mandelson's office said in a statement... Europe's 'blatant linkage of WTO disputes is a dangerous precedent', said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa."
_Wilkes Barre Times Leader_
Illegal immigrant faces deportation after Edwardsville arrest for disorderly conduct
Hamlin woman ejected from car in crash Sunday
"Monroe County Sheriff's say Crombel Cruz, of Clarkson, ran a stop sign at the intersection of Route 19 and Clarkson Townline Road in Hamlin around 5pm Sunday. Cruz struck Lester's car and Lester was ejected from the vehicle. Cruz, who is an illegal alien, fled the scene of the accident and is in jail facing several charges, including driving without a license and failure to yield."
Peter Flaherty _National Legal & Policy Center_/_US News Wire_
Anheuser-Busch challenged for hypocrisy: They tout they're American Owned, but back illegal immigration
"financial support to groups like Rainbow/PUSH and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund -- MALDEF... And a Los Angeles lawyer named Vilma Martinez, the former MALDEF president and general counsel, actually serves on the Anheuser-Busch board of directors. MALDEF may be our nation's most effective proponent of illegal immigration. Its agenda is bilingualism, multiculturalism, Hispanic separatism, open borders and, especially, an expansion of public benefits to illegal aliens. According to MALDEF annual reports, Anheuser-Busch is its largest corporate supporter. Vilma Martinez has served as an Anheuser-Busch director since 1983. From 1973 to 1983, she was MALDEF president and general counsel. During her MALDEF tenure, she enjoyed a major victory in the form of the landmark Plyler v. Doe Supreme Court case in 1982, which guaranteed a right of illegal aliens to attend public schools at taxpayer expense. In 1994, while an Anheuser-Busch director, Martinez was hired by the Los Angeles Unified School District to challenge, in state courts, Proposition 187, which would have denied certain public benefits to illegal aliens. That suit was superseded by a successful challenge to Prop 187 in federal court by -- you guessed it -- MALDEF and others."
Barbara Anderson _American Chronicle_
Illegal Immigration: Looking the Other Way
"Some of her students do not speak English. They are sent to classes every day for about 20 to 30 minutes to learn English. Their teachers may or may not even know the language of the students they are teaching. It is not required. Lorna says it doesn't matter, anyway. It is next to impossible to teach anyone a foreign language in the time allotted for these classes. She says the kids learn a lot more from just being in class and being immersed in English. Usually, one of the classmates will become a 'mentor' to the non-English speaker to help learn the language. Because the kids do not know English, they cannot grasp the concepts she is trying to teach. They take up more time than those who speak English, thereby slowing down the whole class by giving disproportionate time to them. Although Lorna suspects some are illegal aliens, she is not allowed to ask. Nobody is allowed to ask. Recently, Lorna wanted to take her class on a field trip, something the kids always enjoy. School rules [illegally] dictate that each student must have a [Socialist Insecurity] number for identification purposes. [Illegal aliens given lower fines, etc. in traffic court.]"
Linda Stern _Jackson News-Tribune_
Foreign labor still suppressing compensation in USA
Herald News Daily
Ely Times & County
"The arguments against inflation worsening include a global job market that‚Äòs holding wages down and a vigilant Federal Reserve fighting against inflation."
David A. Utter _Web Pro News_
Job Opportunities Going Inert
"I follow stories on programming jobs, and a certain pattern always follows. First the story appears, in a highly visible main-stream media, extolling the job market in the US while playing down the devastation out-sourcing has played on the domestic market for programmers. Shortly after publication, an e-mail from Dr. Norm Matloff at UC Davis arrives. To say that Dr. Matloff follows out-sourcing issues is akin to noting night follows day. Invariably, he debunks the story, frequently point by point and usually with references to where he has previously covered the so-called research associated with the story. A stroll through his newsletter archives should be required reading for any outlet reporting those studies... Unlike the C Programming job trend, ColdFusion and the job market do not have the same prospects... A cursory and unscientific search for ColdFusion, Java developer, and .NET developer returned the following lists of total results for each term, and how many of those results were for full-time positions:"
|tool||total job ads||full-time|
|Java (1st snap-shot):||7,801||3,332|
|Java (2nd snap-shot):||32,967||12,447|
Can you spare a dime?: Real Hourly Earnings Rose by Only a Dime Over More Than a Decade
"According to the latest Current State of Canadian Family Finances, families are now 'cash-strapped'. If you take out inflation, the typical worker now earns only 10 cents more per hour than they did in 1991. In addition, the time worked per week declined by about an hour and a half over the period. The result was predictable. On average, families have seen their incomes stagnate at about $55,500 during the first half of the decade."
In NC more psychiatric patients moved from treatment centers to homeless shelters
"North Carolina treated and sent 1,140 mental-health patients... to homeless shelters in 2004, compared with 763 in 2000, according to state records."
Julie Steinberg _Daily Pennsylvanian_
That Ph.D. might not be worth it: The number of people with doctorates far out-strips demand
"Getting a Ph.D. may not be worth the effort, according to a report by historian and economist Gary North. The report, published by North on a libertarian web log at lewrockwell.com, indicates that since 1969, more people have been getting their doctorates than the economy could handle, resulting in a 'Ph.D. glut'. North said that in modern society, fewer tenure-track positions are available for a growing number of doctoral students, which ultimately means wasted time and money for those who try... In 1969, there were about 30K Ph.D. graduates per year. In 2003, there were 46,024. This increase, according to North, can only forecast failure for the majority of Ph.D students looking to get tenure... from 1993 to 2003, the number of tenure-track jobs in the Ivy League -- which can lead to full professorships -- had increased by a mere 10%, while the number of non-tenure track jobs had increased by 108%. According to statistics released by the Department of Education, at Penn in 2003 there were 1,086 tenured professors, 476 professors on the tenure track and 2,864 professors on the non-tenure track... In 1993, 18% of Penn faculty were on track for tenure. In 2003, 16% were."
Gary North on the Ph.D. glut
Justin Bachman _AP_/_Fort Wayne Journal Gazette_
Americans are vague on savings needs because of uncertainty
"About a third, 37%, said they think they'll need only $500K saved, while about a quarter, 24%, said $1M. About the same number, 23%, said they don't know. But they are, apparently, confident they will be OK when they stop working. 63% said they feel 'on track' for their retirement finances and 62% said they're pretty certain they won't need to work then... The job market is brutal. Nearly any position will have takers (WM claims 25K people applied for 350 jobs at a new Chicago-area store) and your goal is all about wooing a prospective employer with that epitome of fabulosity -- you... If you know how to do what the employer needs for the new hire, tell them all about that skill set or experience."
Joy Davia _Rochester Democrat & Chronicle_
Penfield bodyshopper asserts 50% growth in 2006
"Getting high-level professionals to relocate to Rochester can be challenging. For a job-hunter, the area's job market -- which is shedding jobs more than creating them -- might out-weight the perfect job offer. 'The candidates have become incredibly smart.', said Tom Ioele, president and chief executive of Employee Relations Associates..."
Greg Aponte _Yale Daily News_
Being smashed into a few cubby-holes
"the job search process and the apparatus that facilitates it -- Undergraduate Career Services -- are slightly skewed towards certain kinds of jobs (namely finance and consulting) and present a comparative paucity of alternative opportunities... By definition, Yale students are a very talented group of young adults who are chosen for their wide range of skills and passions. The autumn job search, however, would seem to suggest otherwise. Those who attended the career fair can attest to the overwhelming preponderance of finance- and consulting-related companies that populated the Lanman Center. For anyone who was less than certain about his or her future life path, the allure of such jobs (and the apparent lack of other options) compelled me, like so many other seniors, to head straight for the corporate vortex. My dean described this phenomenon by employing a metaphor of people in a zombie-like state uncontrollably walking towards a recently arrived flying saucer, moving towards the light with blank stares and arms out-stretched. I eventually made it away from the alien spaceship alive, but with my ego slightly bruised, my prospects confused, and not without a little bit of scar tissue that inevitably results from the probing application and interview process. I'm not quite sure what happened, but I do know, without a doubt, that I was not really cut out for all those consulting jobs and that I really had no business applying for them. So why did I feel obligated to apply?... the diversity of the jobs themselves leaves something to be desired."
Joyce Lain Kennedy _Sun-Sentinel_
Creative ways to retrain and re-enter the job market
"After a successful corporate career at mid-level, I lost out to a reorganization while in my late 40s. I had no degree and decided to head to college to be retrained in a field of interest. Now in my early 50s and holding a bachelor's degree, after nearly 8 months I have yet to sew up a job offer. I feel pretty sure my problems are age-related. I have come to the conclusion that retraining is not necessarily a good investment of time or money. I wonder: retrain for what? Additional education may merely make you a better-educated unemployed person... I have completed my search and today I accepted the chief operating officer job (COO) with a medium-sized company. In the end, it was just good basics that worked, particularly personal contacts, networking and consulting. I am 60 years old with no college degree, but have fairly significant achievements. Until I made some good contacts with recruiters, I found it nearly impossible to get through the recruiter screenings to an interview... Given my choice, a permanent COO job beats the consulting grind... You have maximum traction among people who already know you personally or by reputation within your industry... Your achievements are your most important credentials... retrain to impress as an unbeatable job hunter."
Katie Nieland _Daily Nebraskan_
U of Nebraska at Lincoln to revamp Essential-/Integrated-Studies system
"In his State of the University address in September, Chancellor Harvey Perlman listed four institutional objectives that would be part of a new general education system...: skills, knowledge, responsibilities and integration... First, he said, national trends are pushing colleges and universities to find a way to measure the progress of students, which the current program can't do effectively. Secondly, some courses that are dubbed IS courses aren't filling the intent of an IS course, meaning students aren't made to engage with the coursework through oral reports, writing and projects. Other courses, Janovy said, do engage students in such a way but don't give IS credit. Lastly, he said, the Comprehensive Education Program isn't fitting the needs of some students like transfers and non-traditionals... The first objective ‚Äì skills ‚Äì encourages students to develop practical skills, including proficiency in communication, critical thinking and problem solving, among others. The knowledge section includes building comprehension of sciences, histories, mathematics, arts and other humanities studies. Students study ethical principles and engage with global issues in the responsibilities section. Finally, for the integration objective, UNL wants students to use the first objectives in new settings, questions and responsibilities... Peterson said if all students came to UNL well-rounded, then they would just have to take the courses in their major... Janovy said the new system would try to incorporate as many of the new objectives within the major as possible... Wilson said he supports a wider general education because the national trend in the job market is for workers to change careers about 3 times during their lives."
2006-02-13 16:45PST (2006-02-13 19:45EST) (2006-02-14 00:45GMT)
Paul B. Farrell _MarketWatch_
Addicted to everything!
2006-02-13 20:00PST (2006-02-13 23:00EST) (2006-02-14 04:00GMT)
Kyle Meenan _First Coast News_
Homeland Security Arrested Dozens of Illegal Aliens at Talleyrand
"Four van-loads of undocumented workers tried to get past local security; many will be likely be deported. It happened at the crack of dawn Sunday at Gate 11 of Talleyrand. The vans were from a Louisiana company, hired by a foreign ship to come aboard to do maintenance welding. According to federal officials, an alert guard sensed a problem with the credentials of a number of the men aboard the vans. The gate guard notified JSO's special Seaport Security Unit, who, in turn, called in the feds. Soon, agents from U.S. Customs Enforcement and Border Protections were on the scene reviewing papers and interviewing the men. 'And it was determined that 27 of those subjects did not have (legal) status. They were in varying stages of undocumented status here in the United States.', said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Dale Hickman. The men were processed with state of the art technology to reveal their true identities. 'They used false identification. They gave false names. So the only way to really be sure is to check their finger-prints and the scan of their eyes.', said Hickman. One man had outstanding warrants in Texas. Four of the men are now facing federal charges. Two had been deported once before. 'So they were subject to federal indictment under re-entry charges. And the other 2 subjects had false border-crossing cards and alien registration cards in their possession, and those are both violations of federal law.', said Hickman."
2006-02-14 08:02PST (11:02EST) (16:02GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US retail sales climbed 2.3% between December & January
_American Engineering Association_
In honor of the engineer during national engineers week
"Now, you are being disregarded and laid-off by the hundreds of thousands. Had you not done your job and our technologies failed in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, had we, these United States, failed to show that we can back up our will with our [engineered] might and capabilities, you would all still be in great demand. Had you failed, like so many others, Congress would shower the engineering community with money in the naive belief that money alone would breed success. The defense budget would increase and you would not suffer the pains of unemployment and underutilization. However, I would not have it any other way. I am proud to be a member of the engineering community, knowing that we function to solve problems and move on to new challenges. I am proud, and you should also be proud, to be members of a profession that has performed so outstandingly. We are still very much concerned about the crisis in engineering unemployment and under-utilization in the United States today. AEA will continue to tell others that our unemployed and under-utilized members of the engineering community must not be forgotten. We must continuously strive for a manpower balance that provides our engineers with the opportunity to pursue their careers and enhance their engineering skills and capabilities throughout a life of continued practice and professional service. We shall prevail in this endeavor."
2006-02-14 10:43PST (13:43EST) (18:43GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US Trade Representative released review of trade ties with Red China: Asserts it will take toughter stance, but no human rights provisions are apparent
Truth about Trade & Technology
"A new comprehensive review of U.S. trade policy [with Red China] released by the Bush administration on Tuesday found an 'imbalance of opportunity' between the trading partners and called for a new bipartisan strategy to correct it. 'Overall, our U.S.-[Red China] trade relationship lacks equity, durability and balance in the opportunities it provides.', said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman at a press conference releasing the report that he promised when he was nominated to his post last April. The U.S. had a record $201.6G trade deficit with [Red China] in 2005, up 24.5% from the previous year... Legislation addressing the U.S.-[Red China] trade balance has been growing more strident by the day in this election year, including legislation to revoke normal trade relations with [Red China]. The report attempts to handle growing frustration with [Red China]... 'This is a matter of fairness. The degree [Red China] opens its market to us will have an effect on the deficit.', Portman said... [Red China] should enforce intellectual property rights, allow market forces to drive economic development and open its markets to U.S. goods, Portman said."
Natalie Armstrong _abc_
US & Canadian governments break up human smuggling ring
Detroit Free Press
"Law enforcers have broken up an international ring that smuggled more than 100 people from several countries across the Canada-U.S. border and have made 17 arrests in 4 cities, officials said on Tuesday. Police said they expected further arrests in the case, after the group smuggled people from Canada to the United States and from the United States to Canada... security along the world's longest unguarded border -- some 8,890 km (5,560 miles) including the border with Alaska. 'We are alleging that over the last 2 years, this group was responsible for the majority of migrants that were smuggled into the U.S. from Canada.', said Michele Paradis, a spokeswoman with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police... 16 people were charged with alien smuggling in U.S. District Court in Detroit and are facing maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and $250K fines. 4 of them, and 7 others, also were charged under Canadian law, which carries maximum penalties of life in prison and $1M fines."
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLC
Class Action Law-Suit Against Tata America International Corporation For Requiring Workers to Hand Over Federal and State Tax Refunds
2 Mexican police chiefs gunned down
"President Vicente Fox's administration on Tuesday condemned the shooting of two police chiefs in northern Mexico and said it expected more officials to die as the government battles organized crime... The police chief of a wealthy suburb of the bustling industrial city of Monterrey was gunned down Monday, hours after the top police official of another northern Mexican community was kidnapped and [murdered]... Last week a state investigator was killed in Monterrey in an apparent road rage incident, but Garcia's slaying was the first attack of its kind in recent memory against an official in Sabinas Hidalgo."
Kristen Gelineau _Hampton Roads Daily Press_
Virginia Senate Passed Illegal Immigrant Tuition Bill
"The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would deny in-state tuition to some illegal aliens enrolling in Virginia public colleges... Emmett Hanger jr, R-Augusta, worked with [illegal] immigrant advocates on an amendment -- approved by the Senate Education and Health Committee -- that would allow in-state tuition for any illegal immigrant who:
Jenni Parker & Chad Groening _Agape Press_
Mexico not likely to reform any time soon
"Susan Tully, national field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), says she is not optimistic that Mexico's national elections this summer will do anything to change the corrupt and arrogant attitude of Mexico with regard to illegal immigration. In 2006 July, Mexicans will decide whether to stick with President Vicente Fox or turn the presidency over once again to the left-wing PRI. That group, Tully notes, is actually a communist party that 'has been in control of the major politics of Mexico for 80 years'. Fox, OTOH, came out of the party PAN, which Tully describes as 'a more conservative, non-communist party'. Unfortunately for Fox, the immigration reform activist says, the PRI still controls Mexico's Chamber of Deputies and that party has thwarted the current president's efforts to accomplish many of his aims. Tully believes when Fox leaves office after completing his six-year term -- re-election is not possible under the Mexican constitution -- little will change as far as the U.S. is concerned. 'It will not matter in terms of illegal immigration which party is in charge.', she asserts. Mexico's leaders 'are corrupt', Tully says. 'They're elitist in their thinking. They are promoting and will continue to promote illegal aliens from Mexico [coming] into the United States [of America].'"
multiple un-cited authors _Middletown Journal_
Sounding off about illegal aliens
"Regarding the editorial in Thursday's paper from the Hamilton Journal News, putting down our elected officials who are trying to put the brakes on the illegal aliens: These people are breaking the law and our system with free health care and high crime. It looks to me like the paper would promote law enforcement, instead of being on the side of people who are breaking the law and are here illegally. While I am at it, I want to say to the people who say 'we are all aliens and we all originated from foreign countries', I was born and raised in Middletown, Ohio. I have an Indian chief in my heritage, so that makes me a Native American. If people want to come to this country, that's fine. But let them come legally -- the way they are supposed to. I don't know what the big deal is with the contractors who are opposed to checking out illegal aliens. They say they are not the police. If we all look at things that way, illegal activities would be happening worse than they are now. We need to look after our own, protect our own children and your children. If we turn our heads and look the other way, what future do our American children have? Is it all that hard for building contractors or any of our businesses to ask to see a [Socialist Insecurity kkkard] and a picture ID when hiring? That takes all of 2 minutes. The only reason they are rejecting this is because they know illegals will work for less, work longer and the builders will not have to pay taxes. I think it has very little to do with being a police for illegals. I am all for what Kay Rogers and Sheriff Jones are doing. If they don't have papers, don't put them to work. About the article in the paper Sunday [alleging that] the crack-down on illegals [is] misguided: ...What we need is a stronger border patrol to prevent them from coming in to begin with. After they get here, they need to be caught and sent back to where they came from. Regarding the article saying that when illegals come here they don't pay taxes [government extortions]: They pay [extortions]. They might be working using a fake [Socialist Insecurity] number, but (in) the jobs they have, the taxes are taken out. Now what they don't do is reap the benefits from that. I don't agree with them being here illegally, but they pay [Socialist Insecurity extortion]. They pay into unemployment. They pay everything. But when they retire, they won't be able to draw that. If they get injured, they can't claim worker's comp. If they get laid off, they don't get unemployment. So they are paying into the [government extortion] system, but they'll never get anything out of the [extortion] system. I just wanted to get that correct."
2006-02-14 11:41PST (14:41EST) (19:41GMT)
Herb Greenberg _MarketWatch_
How Flir's CEO got his bonus
"With executive pay back in the headlines, you would think the days of bombastic bonuses to CEOs would be a thing of the past. Then again, you've probably never heard of Flir Systems, which makes thermal imaging systems. To earn a bonus equal to 100% of his $650K salary, CEO Earl Lewis merely needs earnings-per-share to meet a pre-determined target. Last year that target was $1.16, with a twist: For every 2.5 cents above or below the target the bonus would be 10% higher or lower than the base."
Dan Genz _Waco Tribune_
Immigration is a top issue in congressional election race
"Van Taylor says illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border was 'out of control' when he helped guard an area near El Paso with the Marines 9 years ago, and 'it's gotten worse'. The 33-year-old Iraq war veteran tells voters on the campaign trail that Congress needs someone who has served on the border to improve what he calls a broken system... both candidates propose: Building a wall along the border. Dedicating more resources to policing the border. Creating new laws that more aggressively punish illegal immigrants and limit the ability and appeal of residing illegally."
2006-02-14 13:10PST (16:10EST) (21:10GMT)
US State Department Moves To Fight Internet Censorship
"The State Department announced plans Tuesday to step up a campaign to combat efforts by foreign governments to restrict use of the Internet. At a news conference, Josette Shiner, a top State Department trade expert, called the Internet 'the greatest purveyor of news and information in history' but said too often the flow is blocked by government censors... Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky said a U.S. team was en route to [Red China] on Monday to discuss the issue with [Red Chinese] authorities. Separately, Graham characterized [Red China's] use of U.S. Internet companies to abuse its citizens' rights 'chilling and outrageous'. He mentioned Yahoo! Inc., which has been accused of helping [Red Chinese] police identify and convict a journalist who criticized human rights abuses in [Red China]."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.614%|
Foster Klug _AP_/_Yahoo!_
US State Department Says Red China Has Boosted Internet Monitoring
"A State Department official told law-makers Wednesday that [Red China's] efforts to manipulate the Internet have increased in the last year, 'sending a chilling message to Internet users'. James Keith, the State Department's senior adviser on East Asia, testified at a House International Relations subcommittee hearing at which 4 U.S. technology companies were to testify on what law-makers have said are business practices that help [Red China] crush internal dissent. [Red China's] 'effort to regulate the political and religious content of the Internet is counter to our interest, to international standards and, we argue, to [Red China's] own long-term modernization goals.', Keith said in prepared testimony. Representatives from MSFT Corp., Yahoo Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Google Inc. were expected to face hard questions at the hearing from law-makers from both political parties. Representative Chris Smith said the companies are 'enabling dictatorship' by helping [Red China] manipulate the Internet."
GW Bush battles to fulfill demands of IT executives
"About 67% -- that's $12G -- of the total Indian IT services and business process out-sourcing (BPO) exports are accounted for by the USA... about 35K Indian IT professionals are working in the US... Long-standing issues related to visas and [socialist insecurity] refunds still plague the techie in US that is getting to be a major concern for the Indo-US fraternity... The USA has a Totalization Agreement with 21 countries including Korea, Japan, Chile and Spain whereby it refunds [socialist insecurity] benefits to employees from those countries irrespective of their period of stay.... about 30K [H-1B visas go to Indians]... this year... Indian IT majors have a bank of H-1B visas [that they are not yet using]... there could be an IT worker at Wipro who wants to go on some maintenance tasks for just a month to the US. If he has to wait for 3 months to get a H-1B visa, it creates lot of problems."
Bernard McGhee _Sierra Times_
Critics of Red China Say Crack-Down Has Reached Into USA
"Peter Yuan Li was beaten, tied up, blindfolded with duct tape and robbed of two lap-top computers last week by 3 Asian men who burst into his suburban Atlanta home with a gun and knife. He and other Chinese-Americans suspect it was no ordinary robbery. Li, who works for a newspaper and web site critical of the Chinese Communist Party, is one of several people tied to [Red China's] banned Falun Gong spiritual movement who say they have been harassed and hit with break-ins in the United States by [Red Chinese] agents. They say [Red China] has carried its crackdown on dissidents to this country. FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said the bureau is looking into the attack on Li for potential civil rights violations and refused to comment on whether the [Red Chinese] government was behind it. The men who broke into Li's home near Duluth spoke Korean and Mandarin and left behind certain valuables, including a camcorder and television, but took his computers, a phone and his wallet, according to Li and the Fulton County police report. They also demanded unspecified documents and pried open two file cabinets, he said. 'What surprises me is that in the U.S. they could do such things.', said Li, a naturalized U.S. citizen who does computer work for the web site of the Falun Gong-affiliated newspaper The Epoch Times. He now has stitches across his forehead."
2006-02-15 10:33PST (13:33EST) (18:33GMT)
_AP_/_Access North Georgia_
Claudio Galvan pleaded guilty to shuttling illegal immigrants from Georgia to Tennessee to get driver licenses and fake documents
"Claudio Galvan pleaded guilty to leading a ring that shuttled illegal immigrants from the Atlanta area to Tennessee to get driver's certificates using fake documents. Galvan, an illegal immigrant himself who has been deported at least once, confessed Tuesday in a federal plea agreement to arranging trips for 'over 29 but less than 99 illegal aliens to Tennessee' from June to December last year. According to court records, Galvan charged $700 each to bring them to a testing center in Maryville to get a driver's certificate and provided them with fake documents to show Tennessee residency. It was the second ring busted by the FBI in a year using East Tennessee testing centers to get licenses or certificates. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation recently uncovered a third using testing centers in Middle Tennessee... Galvan's accomplice, Armando Rodriquez-Riveros, admitted transporting illegal immigrants to Tennessee. Both men face less than two years in prison and deportation. U.S. Magistrate Clifford Shirley sentenced five of Galvan's customers to time served, paving the way for deportation."
Scott Lanman _Bloomberg_
Ben Bernanke to testify for first time as Fed chair today
"Bernanke, 52, will hear plenty of popular sentiment from law-makers on the House Financial Services Committee today and the Senate Banking Committee tomorrow when he delivers the Fed's semi-annual policy report... Born in Augusta, Georgia, in 1953, Bernanke grew up in Dillon, South Carolina, a city of about 6,400 near the North Carolina border that's best known as the home of South of the Border, an East Coast tourist destination with Mexican-themed souvenir shops, restaurants and a 200-foot tower topped by a giant sombrero. Bernanke once waited tables there. Growing up, Bernanke's father and uncle ran a local drug-store previously owned by his Austrian immigrant grand-father, and his mother was a school-teacher-turned-home-maker. Bernanke and his friend Goldman played sports and spent hours poring over a baseball-statistics game they developed. Bernanke's thirst for knowledge was evident as a child, friends say. 'He developed that Talmudic style of learning early.', said Goldman, now 55 and a space-law attorney in Houston, referring to the study of Jewish law that involves analyzing every word at great length. 'His curiosity was very broad. It was not specifically focused on anything, although he was good in all fields.' Another friend, Harold Kornblut, said Bernanke 'could read the Torah better than the rabbi' at their synagogue. After scoring 1590 out of a possible 1600 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test, a college entrance exam, Bernanke headed 800 miles northeast to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study economics at Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor's degree, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a doctorate. It was in Massachusetts that he met his wife, Anna, after her roommate went on a blind date with Bernanke and said the two would be a better match because they were both 'nerds'. They now have a 23-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter... After MIT, the couple relocated to Stanford University, near San Francisco, where Bernanke would teach for 6 years... In 1985, Bernanke & his family moved to Princeton, New Jersey..."
2006-02-15 13:09PST (16:09EST) (21:09GMT)
Foster Klug _AP_/_San Francisco Chronicle_
Congressional committee takes tech executives to task for cooperating in Red Chinese censorship of the net
Top Tech News
Free Internet Press
Radio Free Asia
North San Diego County Times
Compilation: "House members [noted] that MSFT Corp., Yahoo Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Google Inc. sought to [rationalize] their business practices in [Red China] only after a recent crush of negative media and government attention. 'Your abhorrent actions in [Red China] are a disgrace.', said representative Tom Lantos, the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, and a Holocaust survivor. 'I simply don't understand hor your corporate leadership sleeps at night.'... 'Instead of using their power and creativity to bring openness and free speech to [Red China], they have caved into Beijing's outrageous, but predictable, demands simply for the sake of profits.', said Lantos. 'These captains of industry should have been developing new technologies to bypass the sickening censorship of government and repugnant barriers to the Internet. Instead, they enthusiastically volunteered for the [Red Chinese] censorship brigade.' Representative Jim Leach, R-IA, said Google seemingly had acted 'as a functionary of the [Red Chinese] government.'... Policies include: * filters that block objectionable foreign web sites. * regulations banning what the Chinese consider subversive and pornographic content. * requiring Internet service providers to enforce government censorship... Google, for one, urged the State Department and the US trade representative to press US concerns on censorship during talks with foreign governments... James keith, the State Department's senior adviser on East Asia, told law-makers that [Red China's] efforts to manipulate the Internate have increased in the last year... Google & MSFT said they would keep data about their Chinese users private by locating e-mail and blogging services outside [of Red China]... U.S. representative Chris Smith, who chaired the House sub-committee hearing, compared the tech company's actions to IBM's collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II. Smith, a New Jersey Republican, dismissed the claim by firms that they have to obey local laws. 'If the secret police a half century ago asked where Anne Frank was hiding, would the correct answer be to hand over the information in order to comply with local laws?', Smith asked. More than 80 dissidents and journalists have been arrested in [Red China] for posting information critical of the government on the Internet, he said. 'We must stand with the oppressed, not the oppressors.'... 'I hope that as we preach to China, we practice what we preach.', said Representative Diane Watson, a California Democrat... All the companies tried to deflect criticism by saying they could not bring reform on their own."
John W. Slagle _American Chronicle_
False Document Venders, Criminal Aliens and the Arizona Borders
"The hundreds of trails leading north from the border are littered with discarded foreign passports and identity links, true as well as assumed names... The Associated Press reported on 2006-02-10 that 7 fraudulent document rings were shut down in Phoenix, AZ, 16 people were arrested and charged with producing, selling fake IDs and other records used by illegal immigrants... A citizen reported two possible illegal aliens in the Mescal, Arizona area. The U.S. Border Patrol responded and arrested 2 individuals determined to be illegal aliens. Both subjects were entered into the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and IDENT systems. Records revealed that one individual; Francisco Alberto-Perez had an active warrant for his arrest In Tampa, Florida. IAFIS revealed that Alberto had prior arrests for Armed Kidnapping, Kidnapping False Imprisonment, Battery Domestic Violence and Cruelty to a Child. Hillsborough County, Florida confirmed a warrant and agreed to extradite. [From] 2005-10-01 through 2006-01-22, Tucson Sector Agents have arrested 8,888 aliens with criminal records in the United States. Nationwide during the same time period, CBP Border Patrol Agents arrested 36,275 criminal aliens in the United States."
Howard Fischer _Arizona Daily Star_
Arizona legislators consider and narrowly reject requirement for employers to use immigration check system
"State law-makers refused Wednesday to force employers to use an on-line system to check whether job applicants are in this country legally, instead adopting a measure crafted by the business community that one legislator said will do nothing to solve the problem. The 4-4 vote to kill SB1215, the identity check, came despite testimony from a vice president for Bar-S Foods on how his company has used a pilot federal program successfully for the last year. Marty Thompson said the system has enabled the meat packing firm to weed out would-be employees who are using fraudulent documents to get jobs... Instead, committee members voted 5-3 for SB1513 -- the alternative supported by businesses. That measure says employers could face fines for knowingly hiring [illegal aliens]. But it also says that no penalty can be assessed against companies that fill out the federal I-9 form to show what documents they have checked, keep copies of any documents submitted by applicants, and do not pay employees 'under the table' in cash. And all those things already are covered under existing federal law. 'This doesn't really seem to do anything.', said senator Paula Aboud, D-Tucson... Companies found guilty of knowingly hiring [illegal aliens] would face only civil penalties, starting at $250, though they could reach $10K for multiple violations. The committee also approved SB1216 which separately allows fines of up to $5K for companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. There appears to be little dispute that illegal immigrants are living and working in Arizona. Estimates by the Pew Center for Hispanic Studies concluded that in 2004 there were more than 500K people living in Arizona illegally, or more than one out of every 12 people here."
2006-02-15 12:48PST (15:48EST) (20:48GMT)
Lou Dobbs Continues to Train Fire on Illegal Immigration
"CNN's Lou Dobbs is garnering praise for his relentless on-air attacks on illegal immigration -- and his refusal to back down to critics. 'People across the country tune in to Lou Dobbs because they know their views on immigration will be presented.', Rosemary Jenks, director of governmental relations at NumbersUSA -- a policy group that favors reducing immigration... 'He is a hero to a lot of people.' On his CNN show 'Lou Dobbs Tonight', the life-long Republican assails the Bush administration for doing too little to stem illegal immigration. He rails against businesses for out-sourcing American jobs to other countries, and advocacy groups for [encouraging illegal immigration], and lauds officials who try to enforce immigration laws... 'To permit this continued lack of enforcement and lack of accountability on immigration laws, especially since 9/11, is inexcusable.', he declared... 'Any company that kills an American job and places it over-seas should be prohibited from doing so, either by regulation or tariffs or both.'... ratings have jumped 28% since the former host of 'Moneyline' began 'Lou Dobbs Tonight' in 2003. And he plans to continue his crusade against what he calls collusion between the White House, business executives and the Mexican government. 'If we fail as a nation of laws, the rest doesn't make one bit of difference.'"
Gabriel Garnica _Michigan News_
"I can still recall struggling with long division, algebra, trigonometry and advanced calculus as I progressed through school. Although I did well in statistics and geometry and eventually improved my math skills considerably, I was always surrounded by poor souls who never did turn the corner on math issues. If only I had been a radical [leftist] all of these years I could have avoided any problems with math! [Leftists] have found the unique ability to add and subtract from the truth as needed. For example, they add defamatory and blatant lies to their rhetoric and subtract critical information from their accusations. Despite the fact that Republicans have a long and distinguished history in civil rights, [leftists] add the lie that The Democratic Party have always been the defenders of civil rights and racial fairness and The Republicans have always been the greatest threat... [Leftists] are experts in variables and unknowns since they make everything from morality to accountability to truth a variable and leave a trail of unknowns in their wake... Likewise, [leftists] can cite research and statistics proving that all [leftists] are noble geniuses, all conservatives are evil monsters, and the only hope of mankind is the deportation of all conservatives and the importation of as many illegal aliens as possible. Notice how 'The Passion of The Christ' was a dangerous flop despite its huge popularity and 'Brokeback Mountain' is a huge success despite its relatively poor numbers in comparison... In classic calculus style, notice how [leftists] like to approach reality without ever embracing it, to approach morality without ever practicing it, and to approach common sense without ever respecting it... A [leftist] can take a 30% graduation rate and call it outstanding, a 60 on a test and call it victimization and a social majority and call it a radical fringe."
Michele Chandler _San Jose Mercury News_
Suit alleges Indian firm collected employees' tax refunds
"A citizen of India working in California filed a class action law-suit Tuesday against his India-based employer [Tata Consultancy Services], alleging that the company collected tax refunds owed to its non-U.S. citizen workers... U.S. citizens of the company, however, were not asked to sign over their returns, his law-suit alleges. Vedachalam was assigned by Tata Consultancy to work as a project manager at Target in Hayward, where he made $50K a year. From 2000 to 2005, the refunds he signed over to Tata Consultancy totaled $25K, according to the law-suit filed in San Francisco's federal district court... An official with Tata Consultancy, which has 9,500 workers in North America, said he had not seen the law-suit... If certified as a class action case, the suit would be one of the first filed against a company engaged in bringing non-U.S. citizens to the United States to work in American corporations, Tindall said. Vedachalam, 37, received an L-1 visa, which permits foreign companies to transfer workers to their U.S. subsidiaries, Tindall said. Vedachalam still works for Tata Consultancy; since 2003, he's been a project manager for 21st Century Insurance in southern California... Most of the company's workers stationed in the United States are non-U.S. citizens. It's a common practice in the technology industry, including among American-owned firms, to bring technology professionals from India and other countries to the United States, Tata Consultancy's McCabe said. Tata Consultancy also kept non-U.S. employees from being paid for vacation time they did not use and could not roll over to the following year, according to the law-suit. While all Tata Consultancy workers in the United States received 15 vacation days and could carry over five unused days to the next year, U.S citizens could get cash for any unused days, but non-citizens had to forfeit that pay, the suit said."
Dan Tynan _ComputerWorld_/_InfoWorld_/_IDG
The IT worst case scenario survival guide
"Scenario 1: Out-Sourcing Run Amok. Back in the mid-1990s, a large vending machine services company wanted to save money by centralizing its operations, so it hired a Big Five consultant to implement a $20M ERP system. Big mistake. 'Turns out, the consultant's dream was to build a management information system from scratch, because he thought he knew how to do it better than anybody else.', says Bob Price (former CEO of Control Data and author of _The Eye for Innovation: Recognizing Possibilities and Managing the Creative Enterprise_ Yale University Press, 2005). The result was a near total melt-down. Prices in the ERP system didn't match those in the catalogue, so customers refused to pay. The centralized system made it too expensive to collect from individual buyers, so revenues dropped. Mid-level managers who were never consulted about the system revolted and left in droves. The firm's president lost his job over the fiasco, and his boss, the CEO of the firm's parent company, ultimately resigned."
spin-offs from Control Data Corporation
Control Data time-line
Ben S. Bernanke _Federal Reserve Board_
Semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress
"The U.S. economy performed impressively in 2005. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased a bit more than 3%, building on the sustained expansion that gained traction in the middle of 2003. Pay-roll employment rose 2M in 2005, and the unemployment rate fell below 5%. Productivity continued to advance briskly."
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Economic hallucinations vs. reality
"Perhaps the answer is that every economic development, no matter how detrimental, is spun as if it were good news. For example, the worsening US trade deficit is spun as evidence of the fast growth of the US economy: the economy is growing so fast it can't meet its needs and must rely on imports. Declining household income is spun as an inflation fighter that keeps mortgage interest rates low. Federal budget deficits are spun as letting [tax-victims] keep and spend more of their own money. Massive lay-offs are spun as evidence that change is so rapid that the work force must constantly upgrade skills and re-educate itself... Occasionally, real information escapes the spin machine. The National Association of Manufacturers, one of out-sourcing's greatest boosters, has just released a report, US Manufacturing Innovation at Risk (pdf) by economists Joel Popkin and Kathryn Kobe. The economists find that US industry's investment in research and development is not languishing after all. It just appears to be languishing, because it is rapidly being shifted over-seas: 'Funds provided for foreign-performed R&D have grown by almost 73% between 1999 and 2003, with a 36% increase in the number of firms funding foreign R&D.' US industry is still investing in R&D after all; it is just not hiring Americans to do the R&D... As Popkin and Kobe note, new technologies, new manufacturing processes, and new designs take place where things are made. The notion that the US can lose everything else but hold on to innovation is absurd... As the Cox Commission Report made clear, there are a large number of [Red Chinese] front companies in the US for the sole purpose of collecting technology. PACE will simply be another US [tax-victim] subsidy to the rising Asian economies. The assertion that we hear every day that America is falling behind because it doesn't produce enough science, mathematics and engineering graduates is a bald-faced lie... When CEOs say they can't find American engineers, they mean they cannot find Americans who will work for [Red Chinese] or Indian wages... Many economists are bought and paid for by out-sourcers. Most of the studies claiming to prove that Americans benefit from out-sourcing are done by economic consulting firms hired by out-sourcers [or by executives and PR hacks of off-shoring and bodyshopping firms themselves]."
Elana Varon _CIO_/_IDG_/_CXO_
Staffing: The H-1B Scam
"Immigrants with H-1B visas that hold programming jobs are paid an average of $13K less per year than their native-born counterparts, according to a report by [John Miano and] the Center for Immigration Studies. Apple, MSFT and Oracle hire the most H-1B workers. Those who work for Apple are the best paid -- 75% of them earn the median wage or above for their position. At MSFT, 45% earn more than the median. Oracle's H-1B workers are the worst paid; 86% earn wages in the bottom quarter of the pay range for programming jobs."
Robert P. Murphy _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Is Free Trade (or "Free" Trade) Wrecking the USA?
|10-year US T-Bond||4.605%|
2006-02-16 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 309,062 in the week ending Feb. 11, a decrease of 12,343 from the previous week. There were 309,290 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005 [320,679 in 1999, 311,897 in 2000, 396,151 in 2001, 438,611 in 2002, 439,520 in 2003, 341,634 in 2004]. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3% during the week ending Feb. 4, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,016,195, a decrease of 56,865 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.5% and the volume was 3,216,436, [3,776,188 in 2004, 4,148,823 in 2003, 4,347,221 in 2002, 3,052,109 in 2001, 2,618,066 in 2000, 2,724,075 in 1999]."
2006-02-16 07:26PST (10:26EST) (15:26GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Housing starts up 14.5% in January; Import prices up 1.3%
"New construction of U.S. homes soared 14.5% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.276M, aided by the warmest weather of any January on record... In addition to January's strength, December's housing starts were revised higher to 1.988M from 1.933M previously... Building permits -- which are less affected by monthly weather disruptions - rose 6.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.217M. Building permits are up 3.8% since last January."
census bureau new construction report
MarketWatch story on import/export prices
BLS report on import/export prices
Dan Caterinicchia _World Peace Herald_
US tech titans kowtow to Red China
Web Pro News
Top Tech News
Composite: "Four American technology titans blinded by the massive profits they [believe they might make in the future in Red China] are helping the [Red Chinese] government suppress its citizens' freedoms to knowledge and expression on the Internet, law-makers said yesterday... Incidents that particularly angered law-makers were two cases in which Yahoo provided information to police that resulted in the imprisonment of political dissidents and that all three search engine companies agreed to censor queries to eliminate words like 'democracy'. 'These companies need to do more than show virtual back-bone; what Congress is looking for is real spine.', California representative Tom Lantos, ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said during a sub-committee hearing. 'These companies say they will change [Red China] when [Red China] has already changed them.' Representative Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican and chairman of the International Relations Africa, global human rights and international operations subcommittee, said the Internet has become 'a cyber sledge-hammer of repression of the government of [Red China]'... 'American technology and know-how is substantially enabling repressive regimes in [Red China] and elsewhere in the world to cruelly exploit and abuse their own citizens.', sub-committee chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ) said."
Rob Stein _Chicago Tribune_/_Washington Post_
Calcium & vitamin D supplements help bones a little if you take them
San Jose Mercury News
Los Angeles Times
"Supplements containing calcium and vitamin D provide only modest protection against bone fractures, according to a large government study that falls short of showing a strong advantage in taking the commonly used nutrients. The study, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, focused on 36,282 middle-age and elderly women. It found that the supplements help reduce bone thinning slightly and cut the risk of hip fractures among older women and those who take their supplements diligently. But the supplements did not reduce the risk of fractures as much as had been expected, and they provided no defense against colon cancer, as earlier research had suggested"
Elizabeth Giorgi _Minnesota Daily_
Tim Pawlenty still pushing for worsening flood of immigration and depression of science and technology career prospects for Americans
"With one of his most recent proposals, Pawlenty hopes to lobby the federal government for more H-1B visas... But if Pawlenty is successful in lobbying his proposals later this month when he visits Washington, DC, he might influence legislators to expand the number of H1-B visas that are made available each fiscal year, said Pawlenty's Director of Communications Brian McClung... Peterson said that if Pawlenty works as a lone voice he will not be successful, but if he gathers the support of other governors, business leaders and community leaders, and they all stand together on the issue, Congress will listen. Pawlenty specifically hopes to make it possible for immigrants who have studied and worked in science and technology fields to stay in the country, because Minnesota [business executives have] a demand for educated individuals in those fields [and don't want to be left with hiring US citizens], Peterson said..."
2006-02-16 10:14PST (11:14MST) (13:14EST) (18:14GMT)
Mike Sunnucks _Phoenix Business Journal_
Governor Janet Napolitano extended state of emergency at Mexican border
"Governor Janet Napolitano has extended a state of emergency order at the Mexican border allowing local government more time to spend $1.5M in state emergency funds on law enforcement and other immigration matters... Arizona has become a top entry point for illegal immigrants and drug trafficking from Mexico that is straining state and local police and prisons... Republicans have been critical of Napolitano on the immigration front saying she has come to the issue only in an election year and that her border budget plan lacks specific money for enforcement and includes funds to be dispersed by the governor. Some Republicans also favor construction of a border wall -- an idea Napolitano opposes saying it would be costly and ineffective."
Frank Katz _Red State_
Why We Must Stop Illegal Immigration and Reject Guest-Worker Amnesty Scam
"I write you now to express my dismay over your guest worker proposal and your steadfast refusal to secure our borders and deport illegal aliens. My objections to your policies are rooted in considerations of national security, economics, and culture. With respect to national security, you have spoken endlessly about the paramount importance of the war against terror and I share your concern. But with all due respect, your deliberate failure to secure the border makes a mockery of that fight. What could be more integral to the war against terror than controlling who enters this country? Indeed, it seems your administration is doing more to defend the borders of Iraq than the borders of the United States. How can you in good faith ask young Americans to make the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of Iraq, when your open border policy leaves us wide open to enemies here at home? In addition to the millions of Mexicans who have entered this country illegally to date, Secretary Chertoff admits that as many as 150K OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) were caught and then released into America last year alone. Significant numbers of these come from Middle Eastern countries with ties to terrorism. Even if one makes the generous assumption that Border Patrol apprehended as many as a third of the OTMs seeking to enter America, that means that 300K more entered without even crossing the radar of law enforcement. And it's no secret that virtually none of the additional 150K who were released ever appeared for their court date. Thus, like millions of illegal Mexicans, they are now living among us in countless communities across this nation. This is an affront not only to our national security, but also our sovereignty. It is nothing short of disgraceful that Mexico more aggressively polices its Southern border than we do ours... This illegal invasion not only jeopardizes our national security, it also poses a grave threat to the livelihood of American workers. You love to say that we need guest workers "to do the jobs that Americans won't do." With all due respect Mr. President, there are no jobs that Americans won't do. Rather, there are jobs that Americans won't do at the current wages that are being offered. As a professed believer in the merits of capitalism, you know that the proper response to this situation is for businesses to raise their wages, not hire illegals to undercut hardworking Americans. Moreover, illegal aliens are no longer limited to the fruit and vegetable fields. In fact, they are displacing Americans in the construction trades from California to Las Vegas to North Carolina. This is well paid work that Americans have eagerly sought for generations. Yet too many contractors have chosen not to hire legal Americans at $15 an hour, when they can get illegals at $10. Who suffers the most from these practices... millions of poor and working class Americans who can least afford it... The reality is that the pennies we save on each head of lettuce, are more than offset by the cost of social services spent on illegals, namely schools, hospitals, law enforcement and prisons. What's more, any monetary benefit provided by illegal aliens is further eroded by the high level of remittances they send back to Mexico. Such remittances now total approximately $15G a year and have become Mexico's second highest source of foreign currency (behind oil). Is it any wonder why the Mexican government is complicit in this illegal invasion? Every dollar sent by an illegal back to Mexico (or Guatemala or [Red China] or Russia for that matter) is a dollar not invested in American communities. The presence of millions of unskilled, uneducated workers who subsist on the margins with no loyalty to America is not a benefit to this nation... Legal immigrants who respect the process we should embrace. Those who disrespect the process we should deport... Your guest worker scheme will do nothing but encourage a never ending stream of more illegals eager to take advantage of the next amnesty or guest worker program or whatever moniker may be in fashion. We tried amnesty during the Reagan administration. Just like now, the American people were promised that it would stem the tide of illegals. That program was an abysmal failure - long on amnesty and short on enforcement. Your program offers more of the same... As for those who suggest it is impossible to deport millions of illegals, they simply ignore facts. The fact is that president Eisenhower deported more than 2M illegals in the 1950s. Certainly we can accomplish no less today. If you think they are hard to locate, I invite you to drive with me past any Home Depot or U Haul in Los Angeles. To those who contend that deportation is harsh, I would remind them that failure to deport is unfair to the millions of people who played by the rules and entered the country legally. To those who suggest that illegal aliens are simply filling a demand for workers, I would remind them that drug dealers are simply filling the demand of drug users."
James deWeese _Press of Atlantic City_
More than 1K from southern NJ join protests in Philadelphia for and against illegal immigration, and against Red China's repressive regime
"A handful of representatives from the Pennsylvania branch of the Minuteman Project, a volunteer group created to help keep illegal immigrants from crossing U.S. borders, mounted a counter protest along Market Street opposite the immigrants. Although largely drowned out by a group of Chinese Falun Gong practitioners protesting the Chinese Communist Party, the minutemen drew approval from passing vehicles and pedestrians as they hoisted signs saying, 'Honk if you support the border patrol' and 'Don't hire illegals.' 'Our borders are insecure and people in Philadelphia and the Northeast don't realize what you're going through down there.', Bucks County, PA, resident and Pennsylvania Minuteman member Susan Karpuk told a visitor from Arizona who stopped to express her support. 'We have no problem with legal immigration, and we're not just focusing on Mexicans. We're focusing on all are borders. Another 9-11 is imminent. You have no idea who's crossing the border.' Karpuk said she supported any effort to tighten borders and opposed a guest-worker program because, she said, 'We have enough people in this country to do these jobs.'... A narrow majority of New Jersey's 13 congressmen voted against HR4437 in 2005 December, splitting 8 to 5."
2006-02-16 09:52PST (12:52EST) (17:52GMT)
Phyllis Schlafly _Conservative Voice_
Is a War Going On In Texas?
"If you don't have access to Texas newspapers or the internet, you may not have heard the sensational news about the enormous cache of weapons just seized in Laredo, Texas. U.S. authorities grabbed 2 completed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), materials for making 33 more, military-style grenades, 26 grenade triggers, large quantities of AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles, 1,280 rounds of ammunition, silencers, machine gun assembly kits, 300 primers, bullet-proof vests, police scanners, sniper scopes, narcotics, and cash...
If bomb-making factories and firearms assembly plants are ordinary day-to-day business in the drug war along our southern border, the American people need to know more about it. The Val Verde County chief deputy warned that drug traffickers are helping terrorists with possible al Quaeda ties to cross the Texas-Mexico border into the United States...
We wonder what our government is doing to fulfill its duty to 'protect each of them [the states] against invasion', as called for in the U.S. Constitution, Article IV.
The Department of Homeland Security now admits that there have been 231 documented incursions by Mexican military or police, or drug or people smugglers dressed in military uniforms, during the last 10 years, including 63 in Arizona, and several Border Patrol agents have been wounded in these encounters. This admission comes after years of pretending that such incursions were just 'accidents'.
Homeland Security sent a confidential memo in January to our Border Patrol agents warning that they could be the targets of assassins hired by alien smugglers. The alert states that the contract killers will probably be members of the vicious MS-13 Mara Salvatrucha street gang (whose 17-year-old killers will be protected from capital punishment by a recent U.S Supreme Court decision)...
Representative Tom Tancredo [R-CO] reported that sheriff deputies spotted a military-style Humvee near El Paso, TX, with a mounted .50-caliber machine gun escorting a caravan of SUVs bringing illegal drugs into our country. Our out-gunned and out-manned sheriff deputies and state highway patrol couldn't do anything except take pictures. The Mexican government is unwilling or incapable of doing anything to stop the wide-open lawlessness on the Mexican side of the border. Our Border Patrol agents say they are often confronted by corrupt Mexican military units employed to protect and escort violent drug smugglers.
Meanwhile, the news media have shown us pictures of the just-discovered sophisticated 2,400-foot tunnel running under our border to a warehouse in San Diego. U.S. authorities recovered more than two tons of marijuana, and it is unclear how long the tunnel has been in operation or how many tons of drugs already passed through. The Bush Administration whines that it can't (i.e., won't) do anything to implement border security unless its guest-worker/amnesty proposal is part of the legislative package, and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff looked pathetically weak when interviewed on television by Bill O'Reilly...
In charge of protecting Americans against this war is 36-year-old Julie Myers, to whom President Bush gave a recess appointment after her Senate confirmation bogged down because of her total lack of law-enforcement experience. Her qualifications are her connections: she is the niece of former Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers and the wife of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff's chief of staff.
Representative J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) says that if you visit the border, you will find that almost everyone who lives there is armed for protection from illegals... read representative Hayworth's new book called _Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror_. He calls for a security fence, 10K border agents, enforcement of penalties on employers who hire illegal aliens, cooperation between the feds and our 700K local and state police officers to enforce our immigration laws, more detention centers to keep illegals until they can be deported, and an end to the racket of giving U.S. citizenship to babies born to illegal aliens."
Thomas Black _Bloomberg_
Fox says maquilladoras are showing some signs of life
"Mexican President Vicente Fox said the economy is benefiting from a revival in export-assembly factories along the U.S. border. The rebound coincides with accelerating growth in the U.S., the buyer of about 80% of Mexican exports. U.S. manufacturing rose for a fourth straight month in January and retail sales had their biggest gain since 2004 May. Rising demand is prompting the assembly plants along the border, known as maquiladoras, to boost production of car parts, electronics and home appliances. 'The maquiladoras are undergoing a strong resurgence.', Fox said in an interview on Feb. 14 on the presidential plane, en route to Monterrey, Mexico from Mexico City. Maquiladoras that had gone to [Red China] are now returning. They didn't find over there what they were being offered.'... GDP, the broadest [sloppiest] measure of a country's output in goods and services, expanded 2.7% in the quarter from a year ago after growing a revised 3.4% in the third quarter, the government said. The number of workers in the border factories has risen to 1.18M from a low of 1.05M 18 months ago. The factories employed a record 1.35M workers on 2000 October. Whirlpool Corp., ArvinMeritor Inc. and Sequa Corp. are among companies that said in the past year they will move production to the border plants to reduce costs. Higher taxes, rising energy costs and [false expectations for Red China] caused as many as a quarter of the maquiladoras to close between 2001 and 2003... Stronger growth in the U.S. helped propel Mexican exports to the U.S. to a record $170G in 2005. Mexico last year sold 79% of its $214G of exports to the U.S., mostly to manufacturing companies. International companies that own border plants contributed to the $17.5G in direct foreign investment Mexico lured in 2005... This month, the countries faced off over White Plains, New York hotel chain Starwood Hotels & Resort Worldwide Inc.'s ordering of a group of Cubans to abandon its Sheraton hotel in Mexico City under the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act. Mexico may apply fines as high as $466K for following the U.S. law in Mexico. Treasury Department officials said U.S. companies in Mexico must follow the law, which prohibits U.S. companies abroad from doing business with Cubans."
Tim Funk _Charlotte Observer_
"Do they side with business, which wants a guest-worker program that would include those here illegally? Or do they stand with grassroots conservatives, who say such plans reward law-breakers? Senator Jim DeMint, R-SC, says he's feeling heat from both sides... In December, the GOP-controlled House handed a victory to conservatives, passing a [mild] package of immigration reforms that made no mention of guest workers. Instead, it authorized the building of [only] 698 miles of fences along the [2600 mile long] Mexican border and required businesses to verify their workers' legal status... 'The Senate is beholden to... [business executives who] want cheap labor.', says Ron Woodard, who heads 'NC Listen' in Raleigh. 'There's no shortage of Americans who want to work. There's a shortage of Americans who want to work for $6 an hour.'... Some expect Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-TN, to court conservatives for his White House bid by introducing a bill like the one passed in the House... Representative Patrick McHenry, R-NC, of Cherryville, fears 'the Senate will create some form of amnesty without putting enough border security in place.' He and other House conservatives would rather delay the guest-worker debate. First fix the dysfunctional immigration system, he says."
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Conservatives Ignore Bob Barr At Their Peril
"Last week's annual Conservative Political Action Conference signaled the transformation of American conservatism into brownshirtism. A former Justice Department official named Viet Dinh got a standing ovation when he told the CPAC audience that the rule of law mustn't get in the way of President Bush protecting Americans from Osama bin Laden. Former Republican congressman Bob Barr, who led the House impeachment of President Bill Clinton, reminded the CPAC audience that our first loyalty is to the US Constitution, not to a leader. The question, Barr said, is not one of disloyalty to Bush, but whether America 'will remain a nation subject to, and governed by, the rule of law or the whim of men'... Only a few years ago this same group saw Barr as a conservative hero for obtaining Clinton's impeachment in the House. Obviously, CPAC's praise for Barr did not derive from Barr's stand on conservative principle that a president must be held accountable if he violates the law. In Clinton's case Barr's principles did not conflict with the blind emotions of the politically partisan conservatives demanding Clinton's impeachment. In opposing Bush's illegal behavior, Barr is simply being consistent... FISA [created] a secret court to which the president can apply for a warrant even after he has initiated spying. Complying with the law in no way handicaps spying for national security purposes. [In fact, quite a few people believe the FISA court was a couple steps too far in violating the constitution's requirement for showings of 'probably cause' and more to skeptical judges before a warrant could properly be issued before searches, seizures, arrests or surveillance could be considered proper.] The only spying handicapped by the warrant requirement is spying for illegitimate purposes, such as spying on political opponents. There are only 2 reasons for Bush to refuse to obey the law. One is that he is guilty of illegitimate spying for which no warrant would be issued by the FISA court. The other is that he is using 'national security' to create unconstitutional powers for the executive. Civil libertarian Harvey Silverglate writing in the Boston Phoenix (February 10-16) says that Bush's grab for 'sweeping, unchecked power in direct violation of a statute would open a Pandora's box of imperial possibilities'. [Bush's Real Motive] In short, it makes the president a dictator... On February 13 the American Bar Association passed a resolution belatedly asking President Bush to stop violating the law. We cannot allow the US Constitution and our rights to become a victim of terrorism.', said bar association president Michael Grecco."
_Tampa Bay's 10_
GM to close call centers in Tampa, FL; Hillsboro, OR; and Austin, TX
Composite: "IBM, which took over a contract to run the center for GM January 1st, told workers in Tampa that their 400 jobs would be gradually phased out until the facility closes in December. They will also reduce staff at a 500-person center in Austin, TX, and 620 more from a center in Hillsboro, OR. These centers handle calls and e-mails from GM car owners, dealers and prospective customers. IBM spokes-clone Jenny Galitz says the work will now go to other centers in the global network of IBM and sub-contractor Convergys, which [nominally] employs the workers."
WikiPedia: Convergys is a privacy-violation firm derived from the Cincinnati Bell local government-enforced monopoly and its privacy-violation arm, Cincinnati Bell Information Systems, together with MATRIXX/AT&T Solutions Customer Care/AT&T Transtech, DigitalThink, Intervoice, Datacom call center operations, Stream Global Services; with subsidiary operations including Infinys Rating and Billing (IRB), Dynamic Decisioning Solution (DDS), ICOMS, Customer Management Solutions
2006-02-17 06:53PST (09:53EST) (14:53GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 91.2 in January to 7.4 in February
2006-02-17 12:25PST (15:25EST) (20:25GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
PPI crept up only 0.3% in January; core PPI up 0.4%
BLS data page
Bubble in melting pot
"First, and compared to Europe, [the USA's] liberal immigration policy, a subset of which is entry permits for professionals (the famous H-1B visas)."
Florenz Ronn _ABC Melbourne_
Work to discover your work
"It started with many of our listeners asking why they, or their sons and daughters, found it so difficult to find a suitable apprenticeship... But it was the realisation that Australia is importing labour across various industries, which really got the talk-back and e-mail going... The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) President Julius Roe said: 'We have got a flexible labour force. What we haven't got is government that's prepared to stand up and defend local labour, including people who come here as immigrants, and aren't prepared to support proper training and investment to support high quality out-comes.'... 'Your work is to discover your work -- and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.', said the Buddha a long time ago. There is real work to be done by the work system."
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Corporate Treason in the Zircle & Matson Cases
"Howard Foster, a Chicago lawyer, brought the case under an ingenious legal theory based upon the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act -- RICO. He sued Zirkle, and another local operation, the Matson Fruit Company, on behalf of legal workers, alleging that their wages had been depressed by the companies' 'illegal immigrant hiring scheme'."
Paul Streitz _Magic City Morning Star_
Public Officials Aid and Abet Illegal Aliens
"Certain contracts are legally unenforceable. You cannot sell your children into slavery. You cannot make a legal contract to kill someone. The courts of the United States have not, as a rule, enforced contracts that violate the law: gambling, prostitution, drug smuggling. Being in the United States illegally is a crime. Hiring illegal aliens is a crime. But that seems to have changed. So why are the courts and the police enforcing contracts between criminal employers of illegal aliens and illegal aliens? Here is an article in Connecticut's New Britain Herald on February 15th, 'A New York man was arraigned in Orange County Court in New York Tuesday on fugitive from justice charges because he is wanted in Connecticut for failing to pay more than $200K in wages to day laborers.' According to the article, 'An extensive, joint investigation by the DOL and the New Britain State's Attorney's office revealed that Magee had failed to pay $201K in wages and $18K in interest on those wages.' But wait a minute! Isn't the Connecticut Department of Labor and the New Britain State's Attorney, aiding and abetting criminal contract? The contract is between the criminal employer and the criminal illegals to perform criminal acts, that is, work in the United States."
I have to disagree with PS, here. The workers should be paid for the work they've done AND jailed for their illegal immigration, before being deported.
News Summary for This Week
Cincinnati Enquirer 80 stock index up 0.29%
"The Enquirer 80 Index of local interest stocks closed Friday down 0.87 points, or 0.29%, at 295.79. 33 issues are up, 45 are down, and 2 are unchanged. Leading gainers were Omnicare Inc., up $1.48 to $58.33; Humana Inc., up $1.11 to $53.66; Armor Holdings, up $1.10 to $52.90; Toyota Motor Co., up 94 cents to $108.54; and Multi-Color Corp., up 67 cents to $28.20. Biggest losers were J.M. Smucker, down $4.18 to $38.25; AtriCure, down $2.32 to $8.04; PNC Financial Services Group, down 98 cents to $69.23; E.W. Scripps Co., down 89 cents to $48.99; and Emerson Electric, down 86 cents to $81.90."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.54%|
Bruce Meyerson _North San Diego County Times_
Tech executives needn't refrain from doing business in Red China to combat censorship
"By most accounts, Nike Inc. has improved work conditions at foreign-owned plants that make the company's sneakers. Yet say the word 'sweat-shop', and many people instantly think of Nike. [That's because they haven't opened their facilities to random, unannounced inspections by objective investigators.] This is the main risk that Google, Yahoo!, MSFT, and Cisco run with their [flimsy] rationalizations on how to do business [in Red China]... There was little acknowledgment that Washington's policies on [Red China] are similarly pocked with compromise and rationalization rather than unwavering principle... It's reasonable to suggest that the Chinese government, mindful of its image on the world economic stage, would rather avoid the spectacle of the public hissy fit that none of these companies seems willing to throw. While there's no guarantee that [the tech executives] wouldn't be shown the exit, such a move by [Red China] wouldn't play too well in trade negotiations."
Silla Brush _US News & World Report_
Making Love to Big Brother: Tech executives embrace rights violations for the sake of dim, far-off promises of great profits (and some quick cash straight into their own pockets)
"Four hours into a congressional hearing on American technology companies' willingness to comply with Chinese laws that stifle political dissent, representative Tom Lantos peered down at the witness table and one by one berated four of America's corporate darlings: Cisco Systems, MSFT, Yahoo! and Google. 'Can you say in English that you are ashamed of your actions?', asked the California Democrat, a Holocaust survivor, who compared their actions to American companies that did business with Nazi Germany... [The Red Chinese government] bans 'subversive' material -- including pornography, criticism of the government, and sensitive topics like Tibet and Taiwan independence -- from the country's computer networks. The government tracks every Internet service provider, and anyone operating a bulletin board system or producing journalism must keep records of all content. Internet cafes, for example, maintain logs of which web pages a user views; in 2004, the country closed 47K unlicensed Internet cafes. It is a crime in [Red China] -- which has an estimated 30K web police to monitor Internet traffic--to defame government agencies, divulge state secrets, or promote separatist movements. 49 Chinese cyberdissidents and 32 journalists and broadcasters are currently in jail, according to Reporters Without Borders... acquiesced to [Red Chinese] laws, eliminating words such as 'democracy' and 'human rights' from its blog-hosting service..."
Alan T. Saracevic _San Francisco Chronicle_
Red China + Tech Executives vs. Free Speech
"So let me get this straight. It's OK to let [Red China] into the World Trade Organization. [No!] It's OK to give them favored trade status. [No!] But it's not OK to help the [Red Chinese] government crack down on political dissent. [Right.] Sounds perfectly clear to me. That's the [consistent] message raining down on some of the tech industry's biggest [executives] in recent weeks, with Silicon Valley's Google and Yahoo! getting soaked in Congress and beyond for helping Beijing censor the Internet and crack down on dissidents. 'Your abhorrent activities in [Red China] are a disgrace.', testified representatives Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, who helped organize congressional hearings before the House International Relations Committee. 'I cannot understand how your corporate executives sleep at night.' Me neither, Tom. Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist, is serving a 10-year sentence in [Red China] for sending an e-mail to the United States about the 1994 Tiananmen Square massacre. Yahoo! helped [Red China] nail the guy. And for that, they should be ashamed. But what about McDonald's? Or Chevron? Or WM, for the love of cheap flip-flops? [Or Lockheed Martin with their surveillance systems? They should all be shamed and the executives involved driven into bankruptcy.]"
How tech execs cooperate with Red Chinese rulers
Clarence Page _Chicago Tribune_
Tear down Red China's Great FireWall
"Not a moment too soon, Congress is turning up the heat on the cozy relationship that Internet giants Google, Yahoo Inc., MSFT Corp. and Cisco Systems conduct with [Red China's] cyber-police. Top executives from the 4 firms testified last week before a House subcommittee. The most intriguing questions concerned morality. The spokesmen said that although their companies don't like [Red China's] censorship of the web, censored information is better than none. Besides, they argued, companies have to comply with the laws of the countries in which they operate. That may be. But [Red China] makes a mockery of the Internet's promise of free-flowing information by employing an estimated 30K government censors to monitor more than 100M registered Internet users among its 1.3G population. The censors' dirty work is aided by America's own Cisco Systems, which provides the hardware that gives [Red China] what experts have called the world's most sophisticated government-run Internet-filtering system. Yahoo has acknowledged that it provided information that led to the 10-year imprisonment of one of its customers, a Chinese journalist. The French-based Reporters Without Borders recently charged that Yahoo also may have provided information that led to the 8-year sentence of a Chinese dissident in 2003. Google last month launched a version of its extremely popular search engine that prevents Internet users in China from seeing content that has not been government-sanitized, regarding such sensitive subjects as the Tiananmen Square protests, the banned Falun Gong religious group and the suppression of Tibet's independence movement. MSFT shut down a blog on its popular MSN network by a Chinese journalist who was critical of the [Red Chinese] government. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, compared Yahoo's actions to alerting the Nazis to whereabouts of Anne Frank. When a MSFT executive gave subcommittee members what has become a standard response for the industry ('We comply with legally binding orders whether it's here in the U.S.A. or [Red China].'), representative Tom Lantos (D-CA), a Holocaust survivor, also heard echoes from the past. 'Well, IBM complied with legal orders when they cooperated with Nazi Germany,' Lantos said. 'Those were legal orders under the Nazi German system... Do you think that IBM during that period had something to be ashamed of?' The MSFT executive declined to answer, pleading ignorance of IBM's work with the Nazis. But Edwin Black, the author of _IBM and the Holocaust_, heard striking echoes of IBM's defense of its work with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, which provided the tools that eventually helped keep the wheels of the Holocaust running on time. 'IBM tried to be good Nazis in Germany and good Americans in the United States.', Black, the child of Holocaust survivors, told me in a telephone interview. 'Google [and the other Internet companies want] to be good Americans in the U.S.A. and good collaborators in [Red China]. They want it both ways, but there are certain things we must not do.' Smith has introduced a bill that would limit the ability of Internet companies to do business in [Red China] and other nations that the State Department judges to be repressive. That could mean, for example, moving network servers outside of [Red China], even though that would slow down Internet service in an industry that prides itself on speed. The State Department also has launched a task force to advise Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on ways to fight [Red China's] exploitation of American technology. As one who believes in the liberating powers of information technologies, I hope the Internet companies won't wait for government intrusion. I hope they will take it upon themselves to use their considerable leverage to stand up to [Red China's] cyber-censors and tear down what many are calling the 'Great Firewall' of [Red China]... [Red China] jails computer users for posting precisely the content that is protected the most in free nations -- political speech. Considerations of morality and human rights in their business dealings may sound like a foreign concept to the go-go leaders of our Internet industry. But they need to think about it. Sometimes the pursuit of profits demands too much."
Jim Puzzanghera _San Jose Mercury News_
Congressional hearings shine light on corrupt tech executives
"'These captains of industry should have been developing new technologies to bypass the sickening censorship of government and repugnant barriers to the Internet.', said representative Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo. 'Instead, they enthusiastically volunteered for the censorship brigade.'"
"Deng's heirs, aided by America's top technologists, have become adept at filtering out such cyber-flies as online references to democracy and human rights... Last week in Washington, the 3 firms [Google, Yahoo! & MSFT] and Cisco Systems, which supplies [Red China] with network hardware, got a well-deserved blasting in an over-due hearing on their off-shore behavior. Representative Christopher H. Smith, a New Jersey Republican, labeled it 'sickening'. Representative Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California, called it a 'disgrace', and pointedly asked if the [executives] had any shame... One likely source of help is greater government involvement -- likely from a new State Department Internet freedom task force and from legislation in the works that might go as far as barring technology companies from doing business in nations that don't allow free speech. If they don't want that, they ought to clean up their off-shore acts..."
Tech executives' ethics are disappointing
"Representative Christopher Smith, a New Jersey Republican, said in an opening statement for the congressional hearing that Google, Yahoo, Cisco and MSFT 'have compromised both the integrity of their product and their duties as responsible corporate citizens. They have aided and abetted the [Red Chinese] regime.' On Tuesday, Tibetan groups that agitate for an end to Chinese rule in the Asian region staged Valentine's Day protests against Google in London, Toronto and Mountain View, CA, where the company has its head-quarters. They posted their activities on noluv4google.com. 'For people who put themselves on a pedestal and say we will do no evil and then to start dealing with [Red China] under the [Red Chinese]-dictated terms, that would under-mine some of the high ground they wanted to take.', said Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business."
Myron Levin & Alan C. Miller _Los Angeles Times_
Federal Government Quietly Protects Certain Industries from Law-Suits: Federal agencies are using arcane regulations and legal opinions to shield auto-makers and others from challenges by consumers & state governments
"Parker's case and hundreds like it are behind a beefed-up roof safety standard proposed in August by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But safety regulators tucked into the proposed rule something vehicle makers have long desired: protection from future roof-crush law-suits like the one Parker filed. The surprise move seeking legal protection for automakers is one in a series of recent steps by federal agencies to shield leading industries from state regulation and civil law-suits on the grounds that they conflict with federal authority. Some of these efforts are already facing court challenges. However, through arcane regulatory actions and legal opinions, the Bush administration is providing industries with an unprecedented degree of protection at the expense of an individual's right to sue and a state's right to regulate... The highway safety agency, a branch of the Department of Transportation, is backing auto industry efforts to stop California and other states from regulating tailpipe emissions they link to global warming. The agency said last summer that any such rule would be a back-door attempt by states to encroach on federal authority to set mileage standards, and should be pre-empted. The Justice Department helped industry groups over-turn a pollution-control rule in Southern California that would have required cleaner-running buses, garbage trucks and other fleet vehicles. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has repeatedly sided with national banks to fend off enforcement of consumer protection laws passed by California, New York and other states. The agency argued that it had sole authority to regulate national banks, pre-empting state restrictions. The Food and Drug Administration issued a legal opinion last month asserting that FDA-approved labels should give pharmaceutical firms broad immunity from most types of law-suits. The agency previously had filed briefs seeking dismissal of various cases against drug companies and medical-device manufacturers. In a letter to President Bush on Thursday, representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said, 'It appears that there may have been an administration-wide directive for agencies ‚Ä¶ to limit corporate liability through the rule-making process and without the consent of Congress.'"
Lawrence Solomon _Financial Post_/_IsraPundit_
Europe is waking up as cultures collide
"The Muslims refused to assimilate. They were expelled. This was the story in Europe 400 years ago. We are watching the sequel today... Among other reforms, the French government will be free to expel immigrants after 10 years. Insular Muslim communities -- commonplace today -- are out-lawed. For immigrants to stay, they will have to demonstrate respect for French norms, such as equality between men and women... The Danes have brought in immigration laws that are stricter still, all but ending their liberal refugee program and discouraging even temporary workers. In the wake of the cartoon riots, many in Denmark, including those in government, want to see an outright ban on Muslim immigration and to have radical leaders stripped of citizenship and deported... In Germany, which pioneered the guest-worker program in Europe, a sea change has occurred. 'Multi-cultural societies have only... functioned peacefully in authoritarian states. [?!] To that extent it was a mistake for us to bring guest workers from foreign cultures into the country at the beginning of the 1960s.', said former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Germany's new Chancellor, Angela Merkel, shares his view: 'The notion of multi-culturalism has fallen apart.', she said prior to her election. 'Anyone coming here must respect our constitution and tolerate our Western and Christian roots.' The Netherlands, which has cut immigration in half since 2001, is deporting 26K rejected asylum seekers and keeping new arrivals in detention camps..."
Teresa Watanabe _Los Angeles CA Times_
Los Angeles Workers Join Fierce Debate Over Immigration: Jobs are a key issue in an area with a large Latino population and high black unemployment.
"Drexell Johnson and his Young Black Contractors of South Central Inc. are hungry for work -- and when polite requests for an opportunity are rebuffed, they're not afraid to raise a ruckus. After Johnson was cut out of a contract when Staples Center was being built, he drove to the construction site, spinning 360-degree rolls and kicking up doughnuts of dust until, he said, a bulldozer nearly ran him down. In Torrance, his group staged a mock hanging in front of an automaker's office. And earlier this month, they hauled a makeshift 'slave ship' to an Inglewood mall development to symbolize economic injustice. The tactics may seem outrageous, but they under-score the rage and frustration that Johnson and his cohorts feel about losing out to other workers in the region's construction boom. Their anger is fueled by a 14% unemployment rate among African Americans in Los Angeles, twice as high as among whites. So the news that President Bush and some members of Congress are pushing to bring more blue-collar guest workers into the country -- perhaps 400K annually -- leaves the contractors indignant...
'Train the people here. Give the people here the same opportunity you're willing to give someone out of this country.' The guest-worker proposals have reignited fierce debate -- and sharply divided the Republican Party...
in California, where immigrants make up one-third of the state's labor force, the highest percentage in the nation...
'The Democratic Party cannot afford to ignore the tension and anger among blue-collar African Americans and whites here, because they feel [immigrants] are taking their jobs.', said Kerman Maddox, a Los Angeles public relations executive who has worked on several Democratic campaigns. 'Everyone wants the emerging Latino vote, but at what expense?' Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) opposes a large-scale guest-worker program outside agriculture, fearing it will increase illegal immigration. Senator Barbara Boxer, also a California Democrat, has voiced similar fears, opposing Bush's proposal. But their constituents are strongly divided, as was demonstrated last week when activists held dueling rallies at Feinstein's Los Angeles office...
Latinos themselves are split on the issue. A Pew Hispanic Center poll last August found that 34% of American-born Latinos surveyed believed that illegal immigrants hurt the economy by driving down wages, compared with 55% who viewed them as an economic benefit by providing cheap labor. The survey found that 32% opposed [an additional] temporary-worker program, while 59% favored one...
Salinas' concerns are borne out by some research. Harvard University professor George J. Borjas, the nation's leading labor economist on immigration, has found that the immigrant influx between 1980 and 2000 lowered wages of American high school dropouts by 7.4%, for an annual loss of $1,800 on an income of $25K. The effect was worse for native-born Latinos and blacks, he said. Overall, he found that all U.S. workers suffered a 3.7% wage decline. 'You can't have a huge increase in the labor supply without having an impact on the wage structure.', said Cuban-born Borjas, adding that the data had turned around his original, more positive view of immigration. 'If one cares about the well-being of the less advantaged, having a guest-worker program to import hundreds of thousands of workers is a huge mistake.', he said. Giovanni Peri, an economist with UC Davis, says he believes that immigration doesn't help less-educated American workers -- he found their wages dropped by 2%..."
Deanna Bellandi _Belleville News Democrat_
Jim Oberweiss running for Senate
"For Oberweis that means balancing the state budget, believing in the ability of people -- not government -- to overcome their problems and defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman... Oberweis also favors reversing a state law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. He supports the death penalty, promises not to raise taxes, talks about saving money by ending government corruption and favors vouchers so children can leave public schools for private ones... Oberweis was widely criticized during that primary election for ads blaming illegal immigrants for taking Americans' jobs. The ad angered many Hispanics and split from the party line... Oberweis says he opposes taxpayer-subsidized home loans, in-state subsidized college tuition and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. 'I believe we do a disservice to the rule of law and foster disrespect for our laws when we offer rewards for illegal aliens.', Oberweis explained in answering a questionnaire for The Associated Press... Oberweis says he accepts abortion only when a mother's life is in danger... he calls Blagojevich's All Kids universal health insurance program 'a mistake'."
Jim Kouri _Voices_
Immigration Woes: Western Europe's Crime Rate Is Rising as USA's Falls
"Last year alone over 324K Brits left for greener pastures in the US and Australia. However, Britain's population continues to grow with massive immigration and their higher birthrate. Brit flight -- coupled with a lower birth rate among Britons -- will almost certainly accelerate a change in demographics... recent release from prison of thousands of violent criminals and sex offenders who are putting Britons at severe risk, according to a damning report. A high-profile study to be published later this month is expected to reveal that dangerous ex-convicts are not being screened properly before they're released, and they are not being adequately supervised in the community... 26% of people -- more than 1 in 4 -- in England and Wales had been victims of crime. The figure for Scotland was 23% and in Northern Ireland 15%. The United States had a 21% crime victimization rate. After Australia and England and Wales, the highest prevalence of crime was in Holland (25%), Sweden (25%) and Canada (24%), all higher than the United States. In fact, if one discounts crimes committed by illegal aliens -- almost 30% of American crime -- the US would show even more dramatic decreases in violence and crime... A headline in the London Daily Telegraph said it all: 'Crime Figures a Sham, Say Police'... For example, where a series of homes were burgled, they were regularly recorded as one crime. If a burglar hit 15 or 20 flats, only 1 crime was added to the statistics... The US burglary rate is less than half the English rate. And, while 53% of British burglaries occur when someone is at home, only 13% do in America."
Steve Daniels _abc_
Human Trafficking & uncovering secret brothels
"An Eyewitness News investigation is taking you inside a hidden under-ground world of slavery right here in NC. 'We re finding a relatively sophisticatd network of illegal aliens that have been brought in for prostitution.', said US Attorney Frank Whitney. He is prosecuting people charged with operating 3 local brothels... Whitney... says it is slavery in the eyes of the law."
John W. Slagle _American Chronicle_
Matricular Consular Cards vs. Visas
"The Matricular Consular Identification Card has been a general project of the Mexican government since 2003. At last count, 47 Mexican Consulate offices within the USA had issued several million of these cards. The government of Mexico is probably aware of the exact number of cards issued. A Mexican birth certificate & $30 is the only requirement. False as well as valid birth certificates are never in short supply."
Barbara Darrow _Systems Management Pipe-Line_/_CMP_/_Tech Web_
MSFT Mulls Increase in Body Shopping within USA for lowly tech support positions
"Currently, customers and partners calling support are routed to whatever call center is available. There are exceptions. Some government agencies now mandate onshore support from vendors. But as with all high-tech vendors, many of those seeking service balk at dealing with off-shore personnel, citing language issues... Rick Devenuti, senior vice president for MSFT Services and IT... The trend is to route calls on complex products -- those without highly developed knowledge bases and FAQs -- to highly trained local resources, sending support of more mature, better documented products elsewhere, she and others said."
2006-02-20 11:40:52PST (14:40:52EST) (19:40:52GMT)
Diane Alden & Theodore R. _Free Republic_
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is promoting the H-1B guest-work visa
Kent Hoover _Birmingham Business Journal_
DHS IG reports problems handling L-1 visas
Albuquerque Business Journal
"The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] approves more than 40K L-1 visas a year, mostly to workers in the information technology industry. Half of the petitions for specialized knowledge visas last year were submitted for workers from India. Critics of the program say businesses are using the visas to import cheaper labor, leading to job losses for U.S. engineers, computer scientists and IT professionals. They contend U.S. companies are using the L-1 visa program to get around caps on H-1B visas, which are temporary work visas for highly skilled workers. The inspector general's report found that immigration officials who review L-1 visa petitions 'believe they have little choice but to approve' almost all specialized knowledge petitions because the term 'is so broadly defined'. They also have have trouble confirming that a company seeking to transfer a manager or executive actually will use the employee in that capacity, according to the report... Plus, companies that petition for L-1 visas can merely be in the process of setting up an office in the United States, which opens the program to abuse by foreign companies that supply workers to U.S. companies. From 1999 to 2004, 9 of the 10 businesses that filed the most L-1 visa petitions were IT-related out-sourcing firms that specialized in workers from India, according to the report."
Jaun Mann _V Dare_
More ICE Princesses, but citizens' hands remain tied
"But with all this highly-paid female brain-power in the new ICE management team -- like Julie's assistants Marcy (Investigations), Traci (Professional Responsibility) and Cynthia (Intelligence) -- maybe someone would finally tell the public exactly how and where to report illegal aliens and criminal alien residents?... Please post this information on your refrigerator for easy access: TO REPORT AN ILLEGAL ALIEN OR CRIMINAL ALIEN RESIDENT contact the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security by calling 866-DHS-2ICE to 'report suspicious activity' 866-347-2423. You can also make a report with the DHS/ICE Investigations division in a city near you through the telephone numbers listed on the ICE web site -- http://www.ice.gov/graphics/investigations/contact.htm -- for Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) Offices, and their subordinate field offices called Resident Agent-in-Charge (RAC) and Resident Agent Offices (RAOs)."
Greg Wood _National LambdaRail_/_PR News Wire_
National LambdaRail Completes Revolutionary Nationwide Advanced Network Infrastructure
"up to 40 individual lightpaths -- each of which can transmit data at 10Gb per second"
2006-02-21 06:08PST (09:08EST) (14:08GMT)
Peter deFazio _Eagle Point News_
Phoenix Oregon News
"a nation that does not control its own borders is not secure. We need to know who is coming into our country, and we must keep out people who are not authorized to enter. With 500K or more individuals entering illegally every year, the status quo is not acceptable... undocumented workers have been used and abused, driving down wages, benefits, and working conditions for all workers. The border security legislation I voted for, HR4437, addresses this issue by requiring employers to verify a job applicant's eligibility for lawful employment with immigration and Social Security officials, rather than a cursory look at documents that can be easily forged. In addition, the bill doubles the fines for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers to a minimum of $5K for a first offense and up to $40K for subsequent offenses. HR4437 also improves border security by deploying increased personnel and requiring enhanced technology. The bill would end the 'catch and release' program, in which illegal immigrants caught at the border from countries other than Mexico (Mexicans caught at the border are already immediately deported) are released into the U.S.A. once they promise to return for a court date. Not surprisingly, over 75% never show up and remain in the country illegally... I am not convinced there is a labor shortage that requires the importation of 550K or more guest workers every year, as envisioned by the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill, which also allows family members to come along, doubling or tripling the number of new arrivals. To the extent there may be shortages in particular industries, employers could increase wages and improve working conditions to attract legal workers. Only after improving wages and working conditions and proving that no Americans are available for the job should an employer be able to recruit guest workers. I am concerned that guest worker proposals will continue to erode the wages and working conditions of tens of millions of Americans and legal immigrants. The Commission on Immigration Reform created in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, reported, 'Guest-worker programs have depressed wages' and reduced employment opportunities for 'unskilled American workers, including recent immigrants', who can be easily 'displaced by newly entering guest workers'. Other studies, including research by the National Research Council and the liberal Economic Policy Institute, show immigrants under guest worker programs are paid 15%-33% less than American citizens, even in highly skilled jobs, driving down wages for all workers... Currently, more than 4M immigrants around the world are waiting for their paper-work to be processed so they can enter the U.S.A. legally."
2006-02-21 07:13PST (10:13EST) (15:13GMT)
Irwin Kellner _MarketWatch_
Looking at interest rates
Matt Stansberry & Nate Viall _Search 400_
Aging Work-Force Re-Opens to Newbies
"The [economy] had the big crash in 2002. It started in 2001 -- Y2K was over and we started seeing lay-offs. [The 2001 Sept. 11 terrorist attacks] 9/11 and the extension of the unemployment benefits contributed to the delay in the recovery... [The big crash started with a fore-shock in 1998, followed by the primary quake at the start of 2000 as investors started shifting funds away from Y2K efforts and the dot-coms. Stock-markets peaked in 2000 March, and employment 2001 April. Experienced science and tech-workers had noticed a resistant job market throughout most of the 1990s.] We've more than doubled the percentage of players with 25 years experience or more -- operators, programmers and managers -- since 1999. The reason this age shift is occurring is because we're not hiring entry-level people... companies that were late in the planning process have no choice. If they want cheap labor they're going to have to go to the campus."
2006-02-21 15:27PST (18:27EST) (23:27GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Bush threatens to veto any legislation to block deal for UAE to operate 6 east coast sea-ports
"Congress 'ought to look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they're going to do',¬†Bush told reporters aboard Air Force One. 'But if they pass a law, I'll deal with it with a veto.' The deal would see Dubai Ports World, which is owned by the government of Dubai, take over port terminal operations from London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. P&O operates the ports of Baltimore, Miami, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia. Critics note that some of the 2001 Sept. 11, hijackers used the United Arab Emirates as a financial and operational base... The deal, which is scheduled to close March 2, has been approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS. The committee, chaired by the Treasury Department, includes representatives from the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and other agencies."
Diane Alden _News Max_
Republicans backing more H-1B visas
"Once again, power corrupts. For Tim Pawlenty, the support of the Republican establishment in a future bid for the White House is just too much temptation. In the case of Pawlenty, support for increases of H-1B visas must have been the price. If he is uneducated enough to want them for no other reason than that 3M or MSFT is asking for them, then he doesn't deserve to be president. This particular visa does nothing for out-of-work American computer engineers and programmers. Nor does it encourage our younger citizens to take up computers or engineering when they can count on being replaced by a cheaper, more compliant worker from abroad... These international companies are not giving first bid to American workers. Why should they? Foreign workers make $13K less per year than an average American computer worker. But the spin continues and so do increases in H-1B visas."
2006-02-22 04:39PST (07:39EST) (12;39GMT)
Chris Oliver _MarketWatch_
Google awaits Red Chinese thugs' verdict
"Mainland officials have completed their probe into a licensing case involving Google Inc. and its new [Red China] website, Google.cn, and will announce their findings soon. The official Xinhua News Agency, quoted an official from the Ministry of Information as saying the investigation was launched shortly after local media picked up the story earlier this week. On Tuesday the Chinese-language Beijing News reported California-based Google is operating under the same Internet content providers license as Ganji.com, a [Red Chinese] information web site. Technically, the paper said, that may be breaking the rules, as foreign companies aren't allowed to provide Internet content without an ICP license."
Ray O'Hanlon _Irish Echo_
Aussies' sweet deal: Is E-3 visa a model for the Irish?
"The program was introduced last year and has the potential to open America's doors to tens of thousands of Australians in the coming years... The visa for Australian nationals is called an E-3. It was approved by Congress in last May and the scheme allows for 10,500 visas for successful Australian applicants on an annual basis -- annual meaning the fiscal year. And it goes beyond this number in that an E-3 visa holder can bring a spouse and children to the U.S.A... While people in certain fields can apply for additional extensions, most H-1B holders must leave the U.S. after 6 years. After a year outside the country they are eligible to apply for a new visa, but given the global demand the chances of securing a new H-1B are slim. The E-3 visas are renewable every two years but of particular significance is the fact that they can be renewed indefinitely... The diversity visa lottery, often referred to as the Schumer visa program, offers a 50K visa pool annually to eligible countries but also has a set aside of 5K visas each year for a group of central American countries... Australian officials had tried to keep negotiations for the deal secret 'to prevent anti-immigration lobbyists from persuading members of the Congress to vote against it.'"
Robert Samuelson _Buffalo NY News_
Lobbyists' & propagandists' claims of science & engineering worker shortage are greatly exaggerated
Mitchell Consulting: Common Sense Views on Technology
"it's emphatically not true, as much of the alarmist commentary on America's 'competitiveness' implies, that the USA now faces crippling shortages in its technological elites. Here are some facts: In 2004, USA colleges and universities awarded a record 233,492 under-graduate S&E degrees, reports the National Science Foundation. That was up 38% from 169,726 in 1990. Within that total, some fields have expanded rapidly. Computer science degrees have doubled since 1990 to 57,405. Other fields have stagnated. Engineering degrees, 64,675 in 2004, have been roughly the same since 1990. Graduate S&E enrollments hit 327,352 in 2003, another record. Computer science graduate students have increased 60% from their low point in 1995, and engineering graduate students are up 27% since their low in 1998... native-born Americans and permanent residents have increased 13% since 2000... Only about 4% of the USA work-force consists of scientists and engineers. Having an adequate supply depends on what thousands of smart college students decide every year to do with their lives. People choose a career partly because it suits their interests. But intellectual satisfaction goes only so far. On average, American lawyers make 42% more than chemical engineers. Successful investment bankers do even better. Does anyone wonder why some budding physicists switch to Wall Street? we don't now have an S&E shortage... 'If we want more (scientists and engineers), we have to pay them better and give them better careers.', says Harvard economist Richard Freeman. The good news is that may be happening. From 1993 to 2003, the median salary of engineers with bachelor's degrees and one to five years' experience rose 34% (after inflation) to $58K, reports the NSF's Mark Regets. Among math and computer science graduates, the increase was 28% to $50K. By contrast, the average increase for non-S&E college graduates was only 7.7% to $37K. These are encouraging signs. There's a rising demand for S&E skills. That may explain higher enrollments and why this 'crisis' may be phony."
H.J. Cummins _Minneapolis Star-Tribune_
Study links time at desk with time under the weather
2006-02-23 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 269,781 in the week ending Feb. 18, a decrease of 40,252 from the previous week. There were [286,130 initial claims in 1999, 281,256 in 2000, 345,841 in 2001, 352,045 in 2002, 398,291 in 2003, 328,171 in 2004] 303,814 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending Feb. 11, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,026,527, an increase of 79,572 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.6% and the volume was 3,239,778 [2,764,594 in 1999, 2,520,055 in 2000, 3,003,753 in 2001, 4,133,800 in 2002, 4,089,902 in 2003, 3,738,056 in 2004]."
Tom Heneghan & Simon Denyer _Yahoo!_/_Reuters_
International Council for Science whines because their president failed visa background check
"its Indian-born president said he failed to get permission to enter the country on charges he was hiding information that could be used for chemical weapons. Professor Goverdhan Mehta, 62, an internationally recognized organic chemist invited to a conference by the University of Florida [at Hogtown, in the state where president Bush's brother, John E. Bush, is governor], has denied the charges and said he was rejected because he could not recall details of research he did 40 years ago... The ICSU and the U.S. embassy in New Delhi disagreed over details of the row. The embassy said it had not denied a visa but asked Mehta for more information on his work before his application can proceed... at the U.S. consulate in Chennai, in southeastern India, when he applied for a visa and was asked to prove his work could not be used for chemical weapons... Mehta, a former head of the Indian Institute of Science who has taught in the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Japan, said the consulate accused him of hiding information that could possibly be used for chemical weapons when he could not give details of his doctoral thesis. 'I did my Ph.D. 40 years ago.', he told the Deccan Herald in Bangalore, the southern Indian high-tech center where he lives. 'I told them I did not remember the topic. Science has progressed and changed completely since then.'"
Ker Than _Live Science_/_Yahoo!_
Ball Lightning Created in the Lab
"Eli Jerby and Vladimir Dikhtyar from the University of Tel Aviv in Israel created a laboratory version of ball lightning using a 'microwave drill'. The device consists of a 600-watt magnetron taken from a domestic microwave oven and uses a powerful microwave beam to bore through solid objects. The researchers aimed the beam through a pointed rod and into a solid object made from glass, silicon and other materials. The energy from the drill created a molten hot spot in the solid object; when the drill was pulled away, it dragged some of the superheated material along with it, creating a 'fire column that then collapsed into a bright fireball that floated and bounced across the ceiling of the metal enclosure'."
US to send more visa officers to Kolkata, India
"The American consulate in Kolkata is planning to bring in 2 more consular officers in the next 5 years, to facilitate processing of visa applications. The consulate would also increase the seating capacity of the waiting area inside the consular office to make the visa application process more comfortable, said Paul M Fermoile, US consular chief... Last year, 313,815 non-immigrant US visas were issued to Indians with Chennai accounting for the largest number, he said. India was among the top applicants for US visas after Mexico and South Korea, said Fermoile. In 2005, two-thirds of all temporary work visas issued by America globally were given to Indians while majority of foreign students in the US were also Indian, he said... The US government would depute 55 more personnel over the next 5 years in its consulates across India to handle the rush. Chennai would once again get more personnel than other regions owing to higher traffic from that region. The Chennai US visa office granted 120,882 visas. In 2005, about 25K visa applications received by the consulate in Kolkata, out of which 22,820 were approved."
Mark Crutsinger _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Average American Family Income Declined
Christian Science Monitor
Los Angeles Times
US News & World Report
"Average incomes after adjusting for inflation actually fell from 2001 to 2004, and the growth in net worth was the weakest in a decade, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. Many families were struggling [through the Clinton-Bush depression] and the bursting of the stock market bubble in 2000, the Fed's latest 'Survey of Consumer Finances' showed... Average family incomes, after adjusting for inflation, fell to $70,700 in 2004, a drop of 2.3% when compared with 2001. That was the weakest showing since the decline of 11.3% from 1989 to 1992, a period that also covered a recession. The average incomes had [crept up] by 17.3% in the 1998-2001 period and 12.3% from 1995 to 1998... The median family income, the point where half [of] the families made more and half made less, rose a tiny 1.6% to $43,200 in 2004 compared with 2001... The weak income adn the stock market decline in the early part of the decade, which wiped out $7T of paper wealth, had an adverse impact on family balance sheets. Net worth, the difference between assets & liabilities such as loans, rose by 6.3% in the 2001-2004 period to an average of $448,200. That gain was far below the... increases of 25.6% from 1995 to 1998 and 28.7% from 1998 to 2001... fueled by soaring stock prices... net worth actually declined by 9.9% in the 1989-1992 period..."
_Federal Reserve Board_
Recent Changes in U.S. Family Finances: Evidence from the 2001 and 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances
"The survey shows that, over the 2001‚Äì2004 period, the median value of real (inflation-adjusted) family income before taxes continued to trend up, rising 1.6%, whereas the mean value fell 2.3%. Patterns of change were mixed across demographic groups. These results stand in contrast to the strong and broad gains seen for the period between the 1998 and 2001 surveys and to the smaller but similarly broad gains between the 1995 and 1998 surveys (figure 1). Much like median income, median real family net worth in the 2001‚àí04 period increased 1.5%, but mean net worth rose 6.3%. The increase in wealth appears to have been clearest in the middle income group... The change over the 2001‚Äì04 period was strongly influenced by a 6.2% decline in the overall median amount of wages measured in the survey and a 3.6% decline in the mean (data not shown in the tables); wages represent the largest share of family income. Investment-related incomes also declined."
Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
21st Century Paul Revere Ride
"Today, in Washington, DC, we suffer a political power structure where both parties, disguised as our elected leaders, sworn to carry out our laws as provided by our U.S. Constitution, neglect their duties daily. They fail us with excuses by allowing a foreign invasion greater than the British ever dreamed. They fail Article IV Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Both parties swim in the same pool; both stick a leg into the same pair of pants; both are plied by hundreds of corporate lobbyists like Jack Abramoff with the intention of screwing American [tax-victims]; both okayed nearly a million H-1B, H-2B and L-1 visas that leave Americans standing in unemployment lines; both pretend that homeland security protects us while our own Border Patrol admits they stop only 1 in 4 illegal aliens crossing each night because they are SO under-manned; both allow the United Arab Emirates to take control of 6 of our major ports which is like allowing the fox to guard the hen house; both pretend we're winning the Iraq War when our soldiers keep getting killed in an endless bombing run by an endless line of 'insurgents' (Iraqis that want us gone) who plant an endless supply of IEDs; both parties fail us with equal excuses... The 21st Century Paul Revere Riders' major objective connects the dots for Americans of all walks of life, in small towns and big cities across America as to the dangers of unending legal and illegal immigration. Three teams of 4 bicycle riders will reach millions of Americans via 100 radio interviews, 200 local TV interviews and an estimated 400 to 500 newspaper interviews from small town dailies to big city papers. We expect to reach in excess of 50 million Americans concerning the dangers of continued immigration-driven population growth that exceeds ‚Äòcarrying capacity' within the United States. Riders on three separate routes will cover 48 state capitols on their way to Washington, DC."
2006-02-23 14:55PST (17:55EST) (22:55GMT)
Will Lester _Yahoo!_/_AP_
Nurses from 8 unions are banding together
"About 200K nurses, describing themselves as RNs Working Together, are bidding to become the first union members to form such a group -- called an industry coordinating committee -- within the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO executive council will vote on recognizing the nurses' group during its winter meeting in San Diego next week... The NLRB is considering whether nurses who occasionally oversee others or are in charge of their nursing units are technically supervisors -- a ruling that could include many nurses currently covered by their union. Such a ruling could lead to employer challenges of whether such nurses should be included in the union and covered by its contract."
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Looking in vain for "jobs Americans won't do" (graph)
"There are at least 7M illegal aliens working in the U.S.A. -- about 4.5 % of the civilian labor force. Certain occupations have abnormally high concentrations of illegals: [Unauthorized Migrants: Numbers and Characteristics (pdf) Pew Hispanic Center, by Jeffrey S. Passel 2005-06-14]; drywall/ceiling tile installers, 27%; landscaping services, 26%; roofers, 21%; maids and housekeepers, 22%; animal slaughter and processing, 20%. Yet illegals make up only 13% of hotel industry workers, 11% of restaurant and food service workers, and 10% of construction workers. Clearly millions of Americans are doing precisely the same jobs, and countless others were working in these fields before being displaced by foreign-born workers. Admittedly, these are blue collar jobs requiring little in the way of education or special skills. Yet literally millions of unlettered, unemployed natives are available to fill those slots. In 2004: 19M U.S.-born adults (25 and over) did not have a high school degree only 7.1M of them were in the labor force 684K -- nearly 10% -- were unemployed American workers in building cleaning and maintenance have an 11% unemployment rate. Similarly, 13% of native construction workers and 9% of native workers in food preparation are unemployed. [Illegals hurt Americans by John Hostettler & Lamar Smith, Washington Times 2005-12-02]."
Amanda B. Carpenter _Human Events_
Illegal immigrant advocates have threatened children of Border Security
2006-02-23 (16:18CST) (17:18EST) (22:18GMT)
Dennis Sowers _Carthage Press_
Immigration raid netted 56 at Schreiber
"US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents rrested 56 illegal aliens working in Carthage Wednesdaymorning following the execution of a criminal search warrant against Reich Installation Services, Inc. of Pewaukee, WI. The search warrant was executed at the Schreiber Foods construction site..."
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude oil prices fall on lofty US supplies
Average Starting Salaries for New Grads
NACE press relase
|Economics, Finance and Banking||$45,191|
|10-year US T-Bond||4.56%|
Dimitri Vassilaros _Pittsburgh Tribune Review_
Who will lead us?
"This republic needs a hero. Someone to galvanize the movement to stop illegal immigration. America's citizen foot soldiers are at the ready in every state, county and neighborhood waiting for their marching orders -- waiting for a someone to fill the leadership vacuum. A Gandhi, a Churchill or a Spartacus. America is seething. Frustration and anger about the invasion of more than 11M illegal aliens [estimates range from 8M to 24M] over-running the border with Mexico is as deep as the Grand Canyon and wide as America's 6 time zones. America's virtually open border policy has welcomed vicious criminal gangs, drug trafficking and hundreds of Mexican military incursions into the United States. And caused shell-shocked Border Patrol agents, unemployed Americans, depressed wages and Third World countries with the gall to accuse this melting pot of xenophobia and racism. Citizen fury is white-hot. But it is not aimed [only] at Mexico City. The blame lies inside the Beltway. Republicans want cheap labor. Democrats want new voters. Americans want their borders protected."
Paul Elias _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Virus & gene variant may be associated with prostate cancer
"The virus, closely related to one previously found only in mice, was found in cancerous prostates removed from men with a certain genetic defect. The researchers, with the University of California, San Francisco and the Cleveland Clinic, warn that they have not discovered any links between the virus and prostate cancer, but they were none the less excited about prospects for future research... Infectious disease-causing viruses are already blamed for causing some liver cancers and cervical cancer. That has planted nagging suspicions in the minds of scientists that some diseases may play important roles alongside genetics, environment and chance in causing breast, stomach and several other forms of cancer. Researchers are not sure how the virus infected people, but suspect it has been passed on genetically for thousands of years... The gene is a vital cog in the body's defense system, coding for an enzyme that helps kill invading viruses. The men with the mutated genes make fewer such enzymes than those with normal versions of the gene."
2006-02-24 06:39PST (09:39EST) (14:39GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders fell 10.2%
census bureau data
2006-02-24 09:32PST (12:32EST) (17:32GMT)
Caroline Espinosa _US News Wire_/_Numbers USA_
NumbersUSA Denounced Bush's Extension of Temporary Protected Status as Proof He Can't Be Trusted on Guest-Worker Programs
"Today, NumbersUSA decried President Bush's decision to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 300K Central Americans living in the United States. 'If the President won't ever send these guests home, why should we believe he has the ability or the will to send home the millions of guest workers he's campaigning to bring here?', said NumbersUSA Executive Director Roy Beck. 'The President has been campaigning around the country arguing that his proposed massive foreign guest worker program would work, but how is that possible if the government is incapable of making all guests go back home? By not asking the TPS guests to go home, he is sending a strong signal that his guest worker program for illegal aliens would in reality be a permanent amnesty.' The TPS program allows both temporary visa holders and illegal aliens from a country in turmoil to reside and work in the United States until the turmoil is over. The Immigration Act of 1990 created TPS and went on to specify that El Salvador would be the first to receive TPS for 18 months. Approximately 180K Salvadorans signed up for TPS. The current extension covers approximately 225K Salvadorans who came to the United States either under the initial TPS or as a result of the 2001 earthquake; and 75K Hondurans and 4K Nicaraguans who were affected by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The TPS program was never meant to be permanent, yet multiple extensions are indications that it is becoming permanent for the 304K Central Americans for whom TPS will apply for another year."
2006-02-24 09:56PST (12:56EST) (17:56GMT)
Carolyn Pritchard _MarketWatch_
Judge James Spencer declines to enjoin Research in Motion
Daniel Gilbert _Potomac News_
Illegal Immigration Forum
"A forum in the nation's capital Thursday about how municipalities should handle illegal immigration fell short of achieving cooperative discussion... 'The problem is that people are living outside the rule of law.', he said. They drive down wages for native low-skilled workers and receive more in public benefits than they pay in taxes, he said. 'As for the economic benefits of illegal immigration, it ain't there.', Camarota said."
"Temporary" worker schemes: How they really work
"Some of them been here since 2001 and some have been here since as early as 1998. That's 2 years longer than Bush's 'guest' worker scheme. Of course, no one was expecting a mass exodus if it hadn't been extended and no one would expect the administration to begin the rather difficult task of trying to deport them. This is most likely how 'temporary' worker programs would work in practice: the American public would be told that all those 'guests' would return home in 3 or 6 years. Then, year after year they'd be given extension after extension. And, of course, if we tried to deport all those 'temporary' residents, a tremendous amount of whining would result. Those who profited off their presence (banks, employers, etc.) would complain about losing money. Democrats and 'immigrant's rights groups' would stage rallies and the like, despite having agreed to the terms of the original deal. Politicians who hope to profit by being of the same race as the 'guests' would support them staying. In fact, in the current case, representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen not only pushed for the extension, they even invited El Salvador's president here. The latter thanked president Bush (U.S.) for his help. And, most likely those who were invited here as 'guests' would push for an increase in their status."
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Domenici Disgraces Italian-Americans with WISH Bill
"Is he senile? In the pay of the cheap labor lobby? Or is just a moron? Any of those three might explain Domenici's proposed immigration legislation nonsense titled Welcoming Immigrants to a Secure Homeland (WISH, S2326). One thing is absolutely clear: like most of the U.S. Senate, Domenici has lost touch with America's immigration reality... the concerns of New Mexicans -- a poll taken by the Albuquerque Journal in 2005 October found that 71% of the state's legal residents feel that illegal immigration is a serious or somewhat serious problem. They don't want illegal immigrants to receive many of the benefits typically available to citizens only such as food stamps, driver's licenses, college educations and free health care for their children. Furthermore the poll revealed that most people in New Mexico feel that illegal immigration hurts the state's economy. While a slight majority favors guest worker programs‚Äîgeneric since the survey did not spell out the details of any particular program -- a nearly equal number, 51%, favors using the military to protect the border from illegal alien crossings. [Poll: Most New Mexicans Believe Illegal Immigration is a Problem by¬† Leslie Linthicum Albuquerque Journal 2005 October 30.]"
Anna Johnson _AP_/_Chicago Sun-Times_
State re-instates Elmwood Park
"The Illinois State Board of Education re-instated a suburban Chicago school district Friday, a day after the board voted to strip the district of its funding because it had denied enrollment to a student based on immigration status. The board voted Friday to reinstate Elmwood Park District 401 pending further review after the district adopted a resolution barring school officials from denying enrollment based on a student's immigration status. The district also voted to prohibit employees from asking enrollees about their immigration status, according to ISBE. 'We hope this sends a message not only to Elmwood Park (but) to all the districts in the state of Illinois that the State Board of Education will not tolerate such practices and will take swift and severe, unfortunately, action when necessary if districts are going to engage in this practice.', ISBE Chairman Jesse Ruiz said. In December, the state put the district on probation because it had denied enrollment to a 14-year-old Ecuadorean girl who had a tourist visa. On Thursday, it unanimously voted to cut off the district's funding-- the first time since 1989 that the board had stripped its recognition of a school. State law prohibits discrimination against children seeking public education because of their immigration status, but the district has argued that allowing her to enroll would violate the terms of the tourist visa... The Ecuadorean student has since moved out of state because she was afraid the district might contact immigration authorities, ISBE attorney Irma Martinez Snopek said."
Juan R. Sanchez _US District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania_
Stollenwerk vs. Miller et al.
"The regulations for the Brady Act make disclosure of a [Socialist Insecurity] number voluntary. 28 CFR section 25.7 Querying records in the system.(a) The following search descriptors will be required in all queries of the system for purposes of a background check: (1) Name; (2) Sex; (3) Race; (4) Complete date of birth; and (5) State of residence. (b)A unique numeric identifier may also be provided to search for additional records based on exact matches by the numeric identifier. Examples of unique numeric identifiers for purposes of this system are: [Socialist Insecurity] number (to comply with Privacy Act requirements, a [Socialist Insecurity] number will not be required by the NICS to performany background check) and miscellaneous identifying numbers (e.g., military number or number assigned by Federal, state, or local authorities to an individual's record). Additional identifiers that may be requested...
In Pennsylvania disclosure is not voluntary. The seller of a handgun must collect the [Socialist Insecurity] number of the purchaser. 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111(b)(1) Duty of seller. -- No licensed importer, licensed manufacturer or licensed dealer shall sell or deliver any firearm to another person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer or licensed collector, until the conditions of subsection (a) have been satisfied and until he has: (1) For purposes of a firearm as defined in section 6102 (relating to definitions), obtained a completed application/record of sale from the potential buyer... The application/record of sale shall include the name, address, birth date, gender, race, physical description and [Socialist Insecurity] number of the purchaser... The regulations also require a uniform form for purchase of or license to carry a handgun. 37 Pa. Code § 33.114. Those regulations require the State Police to reject an incomplete form.9 Refusing to disclose a [Socialist Insecurity] number results in an incomplete form. The right of appeal from a denial is only afforded those for whom a PICS check has been performed. 37 Pa. Code § 33.121.
Stollenwerk argues the two Pennsylvania requirements for [Socialist Insecurity] numbers violate the federal Privacy Act. Section 7 of the Privacy Act states: (a)(1) It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual’s refusal to disclose his social security account number. (2) the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not applywith respect to–(A) any disclosure which is required by Federal statute, or (B) the disclosure of a social security number to any Federal, State, or local agency maintaining a system of records in existence and operating before January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was required under statue or regulation adopted prior to such date to verify the identity of an individual. (b) Any Federal, State, or local government agency which requests an individual to disclose his social security account number shall inform that individual whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it. Privacy Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-579, § 7, 88 Stat. 1896, 1909 (1974), reprinted in 5 U.S.C. § 552a note (2003). The Privacy Act was designed to discourage improper uses of [Socialist Insecurity] numbers...
The report of the Senate Committee supporting adoption of the Act states the use of [Socialist Insecurity] numbers as universal identifiers in both the public and private sectors is 'one of the most serious manifestations of privacy concerns in the Nation'. S. Rep. No. 93-1183, as reprinted in 1974 U.S.C.C.A.N. 6916, 6943.
The first question is whether the Privacy Act applies to state agencies... Section 7 of the Act, however, states '[i]t shall be unlawful for any Federal, state or local government agency to deny any individual any right, benefit or privilege...' Section 7 of Pub.L. 93-579, reprinted in 5 U.S.C. § 552a note (emphasis added). By its words, section 7 is not limited to federal agencies... The Privacy Act applies only to government agencies... The Statutes at Large prevails over the Code when the two are inconsistent. Schwier v. Cox, 340 F.3d 1284, 1288 (11th Cir. 2003) (citing Stephan v. United States, 319 U.S. 423, 426 (1943); United States v. Welden, 377 U.S. 95, 98 n.4 (1964)). The Code establishes prima facie the laws of the United States. 1 U.S.C. § 54(a). 'But the very meaning of ''prima facie'' is that the Code cannot prevail over the Statutes at Large when the two are inconsistent.' Stephan, 319 U.S. at 426 (U.S. 1943) (holding error in codification does not allow a second direct appeal in a treason case). Even where Congress has enacted a codification into positive law, the Supreme Court held a 'change of arrangement... cannot be regarded as altering the scope and purpose of the enactment.' Welden, 377 U.S. at 98; see also Darby v. Cisneros, 509 U.S. 137, 138 n.1 (1993) (referring to text from the Statutes at Large rather than the variant in the Code); U.S. Nat. Bank of Oregon v. Independent Ins. Agents of America, Inc., 508 U.S. 439, 448 (1993) (enforcing a section of a statute omitted from the Code); U.S. v. Ward, 131 F.3d 335, 340 (3d Cir. 1997) (holding error in codification does not prevent testing a defendant for HIV); Int'l Tel. & Tel. Corp. v. United States, 536 F.2d 1361, 1372 (Ct. Cl. 1976) (discrediting plaintiff's claim the section in question was a mere 'historical note'). Congress enacted section 7 of the Privacy Act, but did not direct codification. This Court is not free to disregard the plain language of the statute which forbids Federal, state and local agencies from requiring Social Security numbers to secure rights, benefits or privileges. This Court must 'give effect... to every clause and word of a statute... and be reluctant to treat statutory terms as surplusage.' Tavarez v.Klingensmith, 372 F.3d 188, 190 (3dCir. 2004) (citations omitted).
The Eleventh Circuit, having given effect to the language of section 7, turned next to the question of a private right of action. Schwier, 340 F.3d at 1289. In Schwier, the court applied the factors from Blessing v. Freestone, 520 U.S. 329, 340-41 (1997), to determine section 7 created a private right of action under section 1983. Schwier, 340 F.3d at 1289. Under Blessing, a federal right is created when Congress intends the provision to benefit the plaintiff, the right is not so vague and amorphous its enforcement would strain judicial competence, and the statute unambiguously imposes a binding obligation on the states. Schwier, 340 F.3d at 1290-91, citing Blessing, 520 U.S. at 340-41. The Schwier court held section 7 is intended to benefit individuals, is specific rather than amorphous and is mandatory. Id. I am persuaded by the reasoning of the Eleventh Circuit in Schwier because the case at hand involves the collection of [Socialist Insecurity] numbers as did Schwier, not the dissemination of the numbers...
Since Stollenwerk is not relying on section 552a(g), the limitation of section 3 to federal agencies does not apply here, only the prohibitions of section 7 apply...
States may not impose a requirement for [Socialist Insecurity] numbers in statutes enacted after 1975. Schwier, 340 F.3d at 1291; McKay v. Altobello,No. CIV.A. 96-3458, 1997WL 266717 at *5 (E.D. La. May 16, 1997)...
It is beyond cavil the legal ability to purchase or obtain a license to carry a handgun is a 'right, benefit, or privilege' (Fortunately, I need not decide which of the three it is.). Section 7(a)(1). The Defendants make no claim the Pennsylvania requirement to disclose a [Socialist Insecurity] number to purchase or for a license to carry a firearm was enacted before 1975. Nor do the Defendants claim to have advised Stollenwerk whether the disclosure was mandatory or voluntary, by what authority it was sought and what uses would be made of his Social Security number. Section 7(b). The Pennsylvania requirement for a [Socialist Insecurity] number to issue a permit to purchase a handgun or a license to carry a handgun falls within no exception to the PrivacyAct. Therefore, the State Police may not require the disclosure of an applicant's [Socialist Insecurity] number to receive the benefit, privilege or right of purchasing or carrying a handgun.
Section 7(a)... I read section 7 to force disclosure of a [Socialist Insecurity] number only when 'required by Federal statute', section 7(a)(2)(A), or pursuant to a 'system of records in existence and operating before January 1, 1975', section 7(a)(2)(B).
Complying with the strictures of section 7(b) cannot overcome the mandatory language of section 7(a): '[i]t shall be unlawful for any Federal, state or local agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege... because of such individual’s refusal to disclose his [Socialist Insecurity] account number.' Only when one of the exceptions in section 7(a)(2) applies, does the direction of section 7(b) apply. Sections 7(a) and (b) are not written in the alternative, both sections apply to federal, state and local agencies. If an agency asks for a [Socialist Insecurity] number, the agency must label the request mandatory or voluntary; a request may only be mandatory if one of the two exceptions in section 7(a) applies. Any agency which asks for a [Socialist Insecurity] number must disclose the authority by which it requests the number and what uses will be made of the number."
Enquirer 80 stock index closes 0.12% higher
"The Enquirer 80 Index of local interest stocks rose 0.36 points, or 0.12%, to close today at 295.65. 41 issues were up, 36 were down and three were unchanged. Leading gainers were Kendle International, up $1.07 to $33.58; General Cable, up $1.06 to $28.03; NS Group, up $1.03 to $42.03; Ashland Inc., up 94 cents to $66.31; and Toyota Motor, up 94 cents to $108.70. Biggest losers were LCA-Vision, down $1.68 to $45.25; Federated Department Stores, down 85 cents to $70.45; Johnson & Johnson, down 83 cents to $57.76; Humana, down 82 cents to $53.20; and Dillard's, down 80 cents to $24.96."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.57%|
2006-02-24 16:21PST (2006-02-24 19:21EST) (2005-02-25 00:21GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Bernanke says stable prices are key to a good economy
"The Fed chief also said that if [Red China] adopted a more flexible exchange rate it would benefit that country as well as the global economy."
Mark Krikorian _Center for Immigration Studies_
Guest-Worker Programs: Do They Make Sense for America?: National Press Club forum Friday 2006-03-03 12:00EST
"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter has just circulated his version of a bill to establish a vast guest-worker program that would legalize millions of illegal aliens and import an unlimited number of additional workers from abroad, in addition to unprecedented increases in legal immigration. Its passage would set the stage for a conflict with the House of Representatives, which approved a comprehensive enforcement measure in December..."
Center for Immigration Studies
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
self-serving study reaches pre-ordained conclusions: ACM stabs US computer-workers in the back
"Enclosed below are 2 articles on a new study by the Association for Computing Machinery... the ACM had an agenda here, and one could have predicted the outcome of the 'study' ahead of time. Of course, you can also predict that I consider the study to be a highly biased sham. I'll make another prediction: You're going to hear a lot about this study in the coming months or even years. The ACM is well connected, and it tells the various sectors with vested interests exactly what they want to hear... They are very, very selective about which 'experts' they cite. Even in the rare instances where they do cite someone with a dissenting opinion, the person is chosen because he is known to be mild in his criticism, or the criticism will be couched in some vague terms that it will be missed... '''The deans and the department chairs are absolutely panicked because enrollment is plummeting.'', said Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at UC Davis who is a well-known critic of visa worker programs and off-shoring in the technology industry.' In fact, it's much worse than the 14% drop in the last 2 years the Chronicle article cites, because the drop has been steady over the last 5 years. See the articles whose names begin with CSEnrollment for examples. Typically the numbers over this longer period are around 30%-40%, e.g. 2000 applicants to Carnegie-Mellon instead of 3,200 at the height of the boom. The figure for MIT is around 30% too. Our department now has about 500 majors, down from 900 at the height. We rank-and-file faculty love this, because we finally have classes of a decently small size. But deans and department chairs are horrified, because obviously numbers mean money and power. Empires are crumbling. And, after a predictable lag due to the pipe-line effect, the reduction in under-graduate numbers is now beginning to result in a reduction in graduate applicants. That makes the administrators really worried, because that hampers their ability to get research funding. Again, see the articles whose names begin with CSEnrollment for details. [The ACM report] is highly misleading, first of all because they are including job categories which are not suitable for computer science graduates, e.g. computer support jobs. (Worse, they include such a category for 2004 that didn't even exist in BLS data in earlier years.) But what is more interesting is their reporting that there has been a 50% increase in software engineering jobs since 1999. Those readers of my e-newsletter who are software engineers will consider this finding to be a cruel joke. What is really going on here? First of all, there is some statistical sleight-of-hand involved. They chose 1999 as their base, even though the numbers peaked during 2000-2001, with figures about 30% higher than 1999. Slick, huh? Also, anecdotally I'm finding more people with Software Engineer titles who really are more in marketing than technical. But beyond that, the bigger problem is that the ACM doesn't say who holds those jobs. There were 463K computer-related H-1Bs in U.S. jobs in 2002. We don't know the number now, and it's probably lower, but clearly it is still large. Remember, the visa is good for up to 6 years, so a lot of the H-1Bs hired over the last 6 years are still around. Moreover, as I've mentioned before, the evidence -- partly statistical, partly anecdotal -- has been that the percentage of new jobs filled by H-1Bs has been greatly increasing. I believe most of the new jobs are filled by H-1Bs or L-1s (the latter are apparently even more numerous, though figures are not reliable). And as even the report concedes (citing Hira), firms are using H-1Bs and L-1s as facilitators for off-shoring. Let's do a reality check here. In the last few months, our department has invited various representatives from industry to visit, to establish mutually beneficial ties. What has shocked my faculty colleagues is the candor of the industry reps regarding the off-shoring issue. They have brought it up. Some have been making statements along the lines of (a) most entry level software development jobs are going over-seas, (b) they've been advising their own children to avoid the field, and (c) they're worried about their own jobs. Related to the exodus of entry-level jobs, look at this aspect of the report, from the CNN article: 'But it said the U.S. IT sector's overall growth should out-pace that loss of jobs, expanding opportunities for those trained in fields such as software architecture, product design, project management and IT consulting.' Those are mainly jobs that people move up to after, say, 10 years in the field, after starting at the entry level. If the entry-level jobs are over-seas, then those other jobs are unattainable. You don't 'train' to be a consultant; you spend years gaining experience, building up contacts, and so on, before branching off on your own. Needless to say, the report is very pro-immigration, pro-H-1B. Some years ago, a mutual friend suggested that I and the then-ACM president join forces on fighting age discrimination in the industry. But when I told her that it was closely linked to the H-1B issue (employers hire young H-1Bs instead of older Americans), she flatly refused to get involved. She cited the 'international' nature of ACM (as well as personal reasons) for her opposition. That point is made in the report too, which is baloney. The ACM maintains a lobbying office in DC, with one of its themes being, 'Congress, you've got to do something, or we'll lose to [Red China] and India.' That's an 'international' viewpoint? So, there is no discussion of the issue of H-1B as cheap labor (which is central to H-1B), other than a brief allusion to professor Hira's comments. And even then, that statement makes it sound like the only abusers of the system are the Indian-owned companies like TCS, which is very unfair and, at least to some, racist. There is a mountain of evidence, academic and government, showing that the H-1B program is fundamentally about cheap labor, but you wouldn't know it from this 'extensive investigation' (Salon Magazine's words) from the ACM. That selectivity of evidence favorable to the ACM's agenda is evident throughout the report."
It's interesting that a greatly disproportionate number of the authors of the ACM report have names typical of India, disclosing a probability of bias. From the first page of the first chapter, the study sets up false dichotomies. Yes, executives rake off the arbitrage obtained by shaving compensation to workers in the USA, Europe and Australia, and a tiny fraction of these ill-gotten gains to other share-owners; that is one of the negatives. The off-shoring of hardware manufacture helped the Asian Pacific Rim nations develop in this field of technology, and has hindred it in the USA by reducing opportunities for US citizens, both for novices and the cutting edge. Notice, also, the biased use of the term "entrepreneurial" to refer to off-shore operations and bodyshops, while US and EU firms don't receive this positive spin-doctoring.
Both domestic bodyshopping and cross-border bodyshopping have negative consequences for US citizens. The decrease in full-time permanent career opportunities and the decrease in life-time total compensation are only two of the negatives of out-sourcing.
Tariffs, patents, copyrights, an effective military defense and domestic legal system in the USA has been more or less effective in discouraging the initiation of force and fraud. To the extent that it existed, full-bodied coinage (mostly silver with a little gold) was a positive. All of these contributed to the development of the USA as a leader in science, technology and the attendant manufacturing, i.e. in the conversion of the USA from an agricultural to an industrial economy. Without an effective defense against piracy, robbery, and theft of property, the USA would still be a primitive back-water... or a subject colony. We haven't had a real hard currency base for over a century. Under WTO we have suffered from encouragement of fraud, piracy, and dumping. The WTO has moved the world away from free and honest trade. With the expansion of WTO membership, the abuses have increased.
The Dutch multi-nationals of the 17th & 18th centuries had a checkered record, just as multi-nationals do today. While they increased innovation, offering moderate quality goods at moderate prices, they also violated others' rights. Still, the dutch invested heavily in the USA at a critical time, and, for that, deserves some degree of forgiveness. OTOH, e.g. WM, offers trashy products at prices much elevated over their quality, siphon wealth away from their poor workers and into the pockets of their major share-owners. GE siphoned resources from American workers and share-owners and transferred them to socialist India... and the pockets of the top executives. IBM has been violating people's rights since at least the 1930s, aided the Nazis in tracking their victims and continue to make strides in privacy violation, today. They engaged in shady operations to restrain trade and defrauded customers for decades in order to stifle competition. But they are perhaps best known as leading producers of user- and programmer-hostile operating systems. HP followed the WM model in going global, abandoned their core competency and turned to churning out cheap trash... and cheated their employees. MSFT cheated their suppliers and employees, leading in perma-temping in order to short employees on benefits and career development, and churning out products whose prices far exceed their quality.
Yes, as the report notes, the US led in electronics until manufacturing was off-shored in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, the US electronics profession has been engaged in the race to the bottom. The result has, indeed, been an artificial transfer of wealth away from millions in the USA into the control of a few. But one must also be mindful of inflation, which helped create millions of paper millionaires, equivalent to those owning a few thousand dollars in better times.
There has never been a software development labor shortage in the USA. I'm glad that the study mentioned Y2K because it is indicative of the idiocy in the field; sensible developers had foreseen the Y2K issue years before, and designed their programs so that it would not be a problem. It was the executive B-shool bozos and their "enterprise applications" that were still using obsolete IBM hardware and software and obsolete programming languages such as COBOL which were Y2K defective. Many experienced professionals refused to rescue such executives from their short-sightedness. Meanwhile, those executives had already begun shipping in guest-workers and off-shoring development, raising barriers to employment of Americans, including abuse of defective resume-parsers to fend off the increasing flood of applications for employment. Far from a "shortage" there was a severe glut of capable programmers and software engineers in the last half of the 1990s.
McKinsey & Company and the UN are completely unbelievable and unreliable sources for information. If they studied the matter and reported that it is brighter in the day-time than at night, I'd recommend that the assertion be carefully tested. Both have vested interests in increased bodyshopping, guest-worker abuse, and off-shoring, as do several other of the report's sources.
I'm glad to see that the ACM admits that high-end jobs in software and hardware design and development are being off-shored, and that they admit that the primary motivation is to under-cut compensation of skilled workers in the USA and Europe, transferring the difference into the pockets of the dishonest executives.
Time-shifting is a non-issue. The USA has long had many cities, and many professions which "never sleep".
Software "standards" and products focused on promoting nefarious purposes, as the report confesses on page 27 of chapter 1.
Many of the so-called IT and "engineering" degrees awarded in Red China and India are bogus programs of 2 years of less. Most of these individuals are not prepared to engage in flexible and creative problem solving, but work more by rote. Attending graduate school actually decreases an individual US citizen's net life-time earnings in the USA, due to a dearth of scholarships and grants, high interest rates for loans, low stipends, and the opportunity cost of the lost earnings during the time spent in graduate school. Similarly, other opportunities in academe have been cut back as universities have also turned away from tenure and greatly expanded bodyshopping. This also harms US students, who suffer from foreign graduate teaching assistants with inadequate Amerenglish language skills.
India and Red China have both extorted the earnings of much of their populace to concentrate investment in science and technology in an effort to compete with the USA and Europe.
Compare employment to its peak in 2001, not to 1999, as the economic depression began, becauase employment generally lags other changes in the economy. It's interesting that Mann began her study a couple years after the dysfunctionality of the science and tech job markets began to be noticeable. It's also interesting that she relies on questionable BEA data (the National Income and Product Accounts, which has been notorious in economic circles for nearly a century for counting values as disvalues and vice versa).
Yes, bodyshopping, guest-worker abuse, and off-shoring have their most noticeable effects at the margins, with most of the depression of compensation and reduction in quality and numbers of employment opportunities being less apparent. The occupation titles in table 1-8 & 1-9 are incommensurate over time. Many titles once common are missing.
ACM fails to mention the third impetus for bodyshopping, guest-worker abuse and off-shoring -- executives' desire to fill their own pockets at the expense of scientists, engineers and computer programmers. This has also driven their actions to cut investment in US citizen employees' education and training and increase investment in Red China and India. They have also been deluded by long-standing promises of huge future gains for themselves and stock-owners, which have been dangled for decades and always kept out of reach by Indian and Red Chinese government measures. As such, bodyshopping, guest-worker abuse, and off-shoring are excellent examples of problems associated with exchange based on force and fraud as opposed to free and honest trade.
The "safety net" should be funded directly from the pockets of those executives who have driven the under-employment and un-employment, the bodyshopping, guest-worker abuse, and off-shoring. Yes, many high-quality and high-income jobs have been lost in the USA, and many low-quality, low-income jobs created. There is a significant spill-over effect from tech workers when the price they pay for the technology is lower than the value received, while the price paid by executives is far lower than the value they have received.
The labs have already followed the mills. By transferring capital goods and intellectual property to Red China and India, they have taken a leap in development in such leading-edge areas as nano-technology, bio-informatics and genomics, while US professionals have been held back by a lack of resources to invest in their own advancement. The ACM report ignores that the loci of invention has already followed the loci of production. It's a fait accompli, not a theoretical future possibility.
BLS projections have historically been extremely unreliable -- especially their occupational opportunity projections -- though their historical data (including the so-called "current" surveys), based on time-tested survey methods, are relatively reliable. The occupational and industry categories used by BLS tend to cloud the picture.
Data from lobbying organizations such as ITAA, NASSCOM, the American Electronics Association (AeA), and, apparently, ACM, are completely unreliable due to the vested interests of those involved. Similarly, the data published by bodyshops, and off-shoring consultancies are worthless. Mass Lay-Off Statistics are worthless because they completely ignore the numerous small firms and smaller lay-offs by the huge firms. Multi-national firms, and their executives, which have a vested interest in the matter, also cloud the picture by conflating US and European hires with hires in Red China, India, etc. The ACM report authors also seem to be conveniently ignoring that not all IT and IT-related jobs are equal in those parts of the report where it suits their biases.
The theory of comparative advantage works where initiation of force and fraud are discouraged; that is not the case now.
"Software services" == bodyshopping. "large multi-nationals such as IBM have long had over-seas R&D facilities that were conducting software development for the company's global operations at the same time that they were under-taking localization work for their domestic markets". Thus, it is certain that the most abusive firms are those who first engaged in and still help drive the expansion of bodyshopping (Accenture -- perhaps best known for being an attempt to dodge public scorn for the fraud believed to have been committed by parent firm Anderson Consulting, IBM, MSFT, and fellow despiser of privacy, Oracle, Siemens -- perhaps best known for abuse of L-1 visas when they should have been developing their German and US employees, and for pressuring US workers to train the Indian L-1 workers on threat of loss of severance pay, Siebel, Cap Gemini... These firms were never paradigms of virtue.
Localization is one of the few legitimate software services.
"From the inception of the computer industry in the 1950s [well, actually there was significant defense-related work in the 1940s, and the report later mentions some developments in the 1940s], the United States was not only the leading center for software but also defined the global software environment because of its technology leadership, enormous market, and massive investment in IT R&D."
How much revenue was generated by US companies in the USA vs. US companies elsewhere? Windoze and MSFT Office are of generally low quality, which is why they're being supplanted by AppleWorks and Star*Office/Open Office. It's telling that you don't mention Apple's Macintosh, but it's now just a variant of BSD UNIX.
ADP, CUC, CSC, EDS, Perot are all held in scorn. IBM didn't decide to "unbundle"; it was ordered to unbundle due to practices in restraint of trade. Meanwhile, the ACM report goes out of its way to avoid mentioning Apple, Burroughs, Univac, NCR, Control Data, and Honeywell. (Burroughs and Univac merged in the mid-1980s to form Unisys, at about the same time they gave up on computer design and manufacture and shifted to UNIX boxes, and has been catering to government systems services contracting.) The closing of Control Data, Data General, Digital Equipment Corporation, the perversion of HP, the huge expansion in bodyshopping, the Y2K bust, the dot-com crash, the shift to the object-oriented approach to design and programming all came together in the Clinton-Bush economic depression. During the alleged "height of the boom" hundreds of thousands of capable programmers, analysts, and software engineers were left unemployed or scrabbling for non-technical survival jobs.
All through the period, from 1980 to the present, there was a geometric expansion of use and abuse of workers from less developed countries as executives took advantage of a propaganda campaign to drain value from the industry into their own pockets.
"[According to a totally unreliable source with vested interests in promoting bodyshopping] In 2004, US firms made up 16 of the top 20 packaged software firms when measured by revenue. All of these firms have factories, development labs, and sales scattered across the globe. But where is the employment? Of the approximately 595K workers in packaged software, the United States employs 50% of the total global employment [this doesn't match BLS industry figures by a factor of 2], while US firms sell 84% of the packaged software purchased globally."
8 of the "top 10" software firms in table 3-1 are disreputable, having demonstrated a low ethical standard. The table does not show employment of Indians in the USA. Still, the levels of Indian employment are significant and rapidly growing in both these non-Indian firms and in Indian firms which carry on the guest-worker and off-shoring trade.
It does un-employed and under-employed US tech workers little good that US executives and foreign executives of US-based firms are still getting the biggest piece of the international software revenues. Instead of whining that tax-victims in the USA have not been hit up even more by the feral federal government to fund research, the report should be suggesting that the executives who have been increasingly benefitting should invest more in research in the USA.
"The roots of India's entry into the global IT industry can be traced to its initial highly protectionist regulatory environment (Heeks 1996)." Ah, so now protectionism is great for India but not for the USA or Europe.
Body shopping has little to do with crossing national borders per se, and a lot to do with treating the workers as disposable.
India does provide a good example for the US and its states to follow in delicensing.
It is telling that MSFT's hyper-credentialism in the USA in 2005 was not so evident in their hiring in India.
Note that these firms' employment growth in India far out-strips science and tech employment growth in the USA. Where's the table with India's employment share in software products? Software product development has been losing global market share to bodyshopping, as both have been off-shored to cheap labor markets. Meanwhile, companies with the worst ethical practices have been expanding the abuse of cheap labor.
"NASSCOM indicates that only about 27% of the employees in the Indian IT industry have an under-graduate or graduate degree in computer sciences or electrical engineering. In spite of India having 247 universities and 11,549 colleges in 1997, only 7% of the student-age population attends a university (Nasscom 2005). India has 0.3 scientists and technicians per 1000 population, ranking 42 out of 62 countries as ranked by the World Bank in 1998, below [Red China] at 1.3 (ranked 25th) and Ireland at 2.0 (ranked 20th). This lack of highly educated workers may slow India's advance into higher value-added sectors of the software industry. Despite much improvement in the value-added per employee, India continues to trail the United States in this regard. In India, revenue per employee in software services has risen from $16K in 1990 to $33K in 2003. However, this is far behind the US average of $142K. This differential suggests that US workers are still more productive than those in India, probably because a significant portion of the US revenue is in software products where revenue per employee is much higher than in software services."
The lack of common sense of executives in the Red Chinese IT hardware industry is shown by the purchase in 2005 of IBM's PC division by Lenovo.
The Red Chinese government requires that foreign goods be localized, thus it is one more among numerous artificial barriers to entry of goods designed, developed and manufactured in Europe, Australia and the USA, while the Red Chinese government demands that firms based in those countries move their R&D into Red China with the promise that some day, in the far future, they will be in position to reap great profits. Thus the less ethical US executives have continued to pour investment into R&D in Red China while demanding that the US government force American tax-victims to fund more R&D in the USA, of which these executives can take personal financial advantage.
"The Japanese software and software services industry had sales of about $140G in 2004 and is the second largest single-country market in the world, accounting for 10.8% of the world's IT industry. Further, IT and software services is the fastest growing industry in Japan. In 2003, there were 5,482 information service companies employing 567,060 workers in Japan. Of these, technical positions included 240,096 system engineers, 114,479 programmers, and 7,398 researchers. The number of software engineers in all industries is about 800K. Thus, more than 40% of software engineers are working in the information/service industry (JISA 2004a). As Table 4 indicates, Japanese software imports were $2.9G in 2003. The type of software imported is specific to the nation from which it was imported. The United States is the largest source of software imports, and it overwhelmingly provides system and applications software. In contrast, the imports to Japan from [Red China] and India are mainly custom software. Japan imported $102M worth of custom software from [Red China] and $38M from India. Japan also received $262M in software services from [Red China] and another $63M from India (Umezawa 2005a)."
"In 2004, Germany accounted for 8.1% (15.4G Euros), and the United Kingdom accounted for 7.1% (13.5G Euros) of the world software market (Heng 2005). This is much smaller than the US share of 44.5% (96.6G Euros)."
Our interest is in how executives abuse low-wage environments to undertake software work for their global operations and drive down compensation in the USA, Europe and Australia, while siphoning the arbitrage into their own pockets. Given the will to invest to develop it, any skill set is available anywhere around the world. In certain cases, the real reason for off-shoring might be simply that competitors have already done it or the board of directors -- executives with personal gains to be made, themselves -- is demanding an off-shoring initiative to divert more money away from production workers in more developed countries and into their own pockets. "there are numerous anecdotes about how an executive team in the United States will demand that the over-seas operation achieve a certain head-count reduction by a clearly unrealistic date. The [irresponsible] executives will achieve the head-count goal regardless of the economic justification [or lack thereof]."
Software-intensive, high-technology start-ups based in developed nations are very important because they are on the cutting edge, introducing new kinds of products, provide the greatest risks and opportunities for earnings, so, for them to expand employment in less developed nations rather than at home greatly harms their base country. Opportunities to learn the detailed inner workings of these new products are reduced at home and increased abroad. Investment from profits is sent abroad instead of staying at home. The base of the career ladder is under-cut.
In India, Adobe has its largest physical office space outside of the United States, and the Indian operation is growing more rapidly than any other location. In 1997, Adobe established a sales office in New Delhi, India, to market its products. In 1998, it established an R&D center in New Delhi (Noida) to utilize the low-cost R&D talent available in the country. By 2005, Adobe had 3,800 employees worldwide and approximately 500 (13%) were located in India. Adobe has invested $10M in India but plans to increase that to $50M over the next two years as the R&D center grows. Adobe was perhaps the first international software company to develop a full-fledged product in India, Page Maker 7 (Rediff 2005). The Indian center has filed 25 patents in the last 4 years, an indication of the sophistication of the work it is under-taking. In 2005, Adobe acquired Macromedia, another Silicon Valley firm. Rather than consolidate Macromedia's Bangalore research operation into its own research operation in New Delhi, it is retaining and expanding the Bangalore facility which in 2005 April had 150 workers and was expected to grow to 250 by year-end 2005 (Verma 2005)." SAP, Siebel, PeopleSoft, Oracle, Siemens, Citicorp, IBM, Bank of India (formerly called Bank of America), Barclays, ING, JPMorgan Chase, etc. are just evil, with a disdain for privacy, products aimed at easing, and operations centered around, its violation.
"Their first Indian hire was a general manager who had experience working in both a Silicon Valley start-up and in India." This helps illustrate how student visas, guest-worker visas, and bodyshopping within the USA promote off-shoring. Table 4-1 clearly paints the picture of geometric growth of bodyshopping and off-shoring.
I don't see anything in chapter about the increasing flow of funds from developed countries to R&D in less developed countries. I do see a lot of nonsense. The churning out of PhDs is merely a symptom of hyper-credentialism. Researcher and research investment and research work migration, OTOH, are significant. As has been much in the news, interest in coming to the USA to study and "stay rates" have been falling recently as opportunities for employment in the USA have been reduced compared to opportunities in students' home countries. "the United States exports more research than it imports", thus bleeding intellectual capital. But see figure 5-12, and discount it a little because the info comes from the BEA, and because it stops just after the beginning of the Clinton-Bush economic depression.
"Without any connection to products or product development, it is hard to visualize good research except in the most academic sense."
Figure 5-14 (also labeled Figure 1.2) conflates GUI operating systems with the brand-name of MSFT's feeble attempt thereat, and Smalltalk is a programming language and IDE, not really a GUI operating system in the same sense that Star, Macintosh, and X-Windows are/were. They've also completely neglected Cray and Control Data (Cray had designed RISC machines, and CPUs with multiple functional units that allowed multiple simultanous operations into Control Data's hardware back in the late 1960s and began producing Cray machines with multiple vector processors in the mid-1970s, while both firms had multiple vector processor machines out by the early 1980s). Admittedly, Cray did his early work at Engineering Research Associates under Navy & other government contracts. This graph is an intrigueing attempt, but falls short on accuracy and completeness, even in the "original".
The "compromises", crimes, the violations of privacy, were those perpetrated by CardSystems of Phoenix and Citicorp, and MasterCard, not merely by those who, in turn, obtained that information from them. The news about such identity theft risk incidents has been nearly uniform in that the people from whom the information was again stolen should not have had it in the first place. Organized criminal syndicates such as CardSystems, MasterCard, Equifax, Citicorp, IBM, Lexis/Nexis, P&G, ChoicePoint, WM, and Bank of India are, indeed, serious threats to individual rights. Individuals who would make illicit use of this data, such as the executives of the aforementioned firms and various individuals in governments, may have vastly different geopolitical, cultural, and legal environments than those whose private data is being abused. Even the legendary respect for privacy by Swiss banks has been greatly eroded over the last couple decades. "The ability to commit a felony in one nation and then use the results of the felonious data collection, without suffering serious negative consequences, illustrates the limits of the reach of national laws in a networked global economy, and the refusal of governments to defend the privacy of individuals." The authors of the ACM report have confused the right to liberty, the "right to be let alone and free from intrusion" with the right to seclusion; these are somewhat separate. The analysis of the property right in information is flawed, because the owner has the right to loan information for a specific time for a particular purpose. Once it is kept beyond that time, or used for any other purpose, including passing that information on to others, the property right has been violated, and, ideally, such violation should be punished. But, because government functionaries have never had much respect for privacy, prosecutors refuse to prosecute, and judges refuse to convict even the most blatant and vicious violations.
"While individuals and even companies may bear the immediate and visible brunt of IT globalization, including loss of jobs, compromise of data, and loss of intellectual capital, the overall social impact must be evaluated for a full contextual understanding of the impact of off-shoring. In this regard, the IT issues that are addressed in this entire report have considerable consequence to the national interests [including national security] for many countries."
It's interesting, in light of chapter 6, to reflect on how little is done to check the backgrounds of students and guest-workers.
It is in the personal interest of individuals high in the educationism bureaucracies to lobby for increased government spending on them, while doing nothing for graduate assistants, adjunct faculty, students and, in general, those in fields for which they produce credentials.
Many people in the United States fear that many of the high-skill IT jobs have left the country.
"From the first days of the US computer industry in the [1940s], the United States has faced issues concerning computer education. At a national conference in 1954, science policy leaders wrung their hands over how they would find enough Ph.D. mathematicians to staff the scientific computing projects that existed." But time has shown that, for all the "talent shortage" whining, there never has been a shortage of people ready and able to do the work at a reasonable rate of compensation.
"In the initial decades after independence in 1947, India tilted its educational investment priorities in favor of higher and technical education in order to realize Nehru's vision of a state-regulated production and distribution machine. This was a period of planned economic development, designed on a Soviet model of modernization.", which is to say that some people's earnings were taken by the government and given to others, directed into government educational operations. This suppressed the costs for those who were enrolled. Over the last 100 years credentialism has increased. "During the liberalization of the 1990s, privatization in the higher education sector advanced rapidly... The private sector accounted for just 15% of the seats in engineering colleges in 1960, while today it is 86.4%... Despite the rapid expansion of higher education, enrollment in higher education in India is just 6% of the relevant age group (18-23). In comparison, countries in North America are in the 60% to 70% range, those in Europe are in the 40% to 60% range, while the Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan) are in the 33% to 55% range." But enrollments, grade inflation, credentialism, and quality of education are all dynamic, interacting factors, which makes comparisons within and among countries nearly impossible.
"1. Nearly all companies (95%) have a formal development and learning needs analysis program.
2. The most commonly used mechanisms to support continuous learning and development for employees are organizational libraries, assessment of skills/knowledge/abilities, and job postings/internal transfer systems.
3. The median number of training hours per employee per year is 40. The distribution of training hours across behavioral and technical training programs varies with level of employees. Senior employees get more behavioral training, up to 60% of the training is either on managerial topics or in interpersonal skill enhancement.
4. 98% of the companies have a formal training feed-back mechanism... India employs just 150 R&D personnel per 1M people. Among these, those holding doctorates represent just 13%, while graduates are 17%, and the remaining 70% are still under-graduates or diploma holders... While 280K engineers are produced in India every year, only 10K (less than 5%) are of top international quality."
"until recently only a very few universities [in Red China] undertook research; their most important priority was pedagogy."
Graphs show that American students are both bright and aware of changes in prospects for careers. They respond to solid, strong evidence of the changes, both through anecdotal evidence from friends and relatives, but from reports in the media, and more detailed economic indicators. All of these pointed to lower prospects just before enrollments dropped. The negative effects of bodyshopping, guest-worker abuse, off-shoring and attendant suppression of compensation are at the margins and are cumulative, disrupting careers in progress, and discouraging those marginally interested from going to the effort and expense of preparing for such unstable careers. The BLS data suggest decreased job opportunities in these fields. Bill Gates, in his tour of an extremely small number of colleges and universities, whining about non-existent shortages, mentioned that MSFT was recruiting at only 26 of the other 4400 4-year colleges and universities in the USA, and that MSFT was making offers to less than 1% of applicants, indicating that there has been a huge glut in these fields.
Jobs in software product development represent only a fraction of jobs in IT in the USA. There are many other kinds of somewhat related work that garner less respect and pay.
"the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology (Malcom et al. 2005)... report that as many as 1.5M higher education students, 1 in 12 students now studying, are in for-profit universities rather than traditional colleges and universities although only about one-sixth of the students in these for-profit institutions are enrolled in four-year-degree programs... the largest producers of baccalaureates in physical science, biological science, or engineering tend to be the large, research-oriented state universities... According to the Department of Education (as described in the AAAS-CPST study), non-traditional students have one or more of the following characteristics: delayed enrollment, part-time attendance, full-time employment, dependents, and 6 or more years to complete a degree."
"most of Western Europe, traditional computer science enrollments have dropped steeply over the past several years, though there have been modest gains in enrollment in newer IT disciplines such as telecommunications and bio-informatics." The writers of the ACM report have an odd notion of what constitutes a "bottom-up initiative", since the one they mention is driven by government ministers and top university executives. Economic theory suggests that costs of living and compensation levels would have already evened out considerably by now. "The majority of management, computer science, and information systems students tend to participate in internships in English-, French-, or Spanish-speaking countries, and, increasingly, they take internships in [Red China]."
The Indian educational system has been particularly good at helping job seekers to fake up credentials and spout the buzz-word of the day, to imitate English without actually mastering it, to promise what they cannot deliver.
All computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, and IT students need to learn more about the psychoses of business executives and managers to be prepared to defend against them. Because IT workers already engage in life-long learning, it is long past time that business executives and managers support their end by investing a reasonable amount in the development and retention of their IT workers.
If professional societies wish to represent their professional members, they should avoid aligning themselves with the interests of business executives.
US colleges and universities have been having more trouble recruiting faculty because of the reduction of tenure track positions and the proliferation of bodyshopping (i.e. reliance on cheap foreign grad student teaching assistants and adjunct faculty).
Public policy debate about off-shoring began in the 1980s as both old-line manufacturing and cutting-edge manufacturing moved over-seas, with concommittant bleeding of national security information & technology, capital equipment, and intellectual property. We were treated to periodic reports of yet another critical piece of technology having been stolen by Red Chinese spies or merely handed over. Public policy debate about bodyshopping, guest-worker abuse and off-shoring began in the United States in the mid-1990s as lobbyists for tech executives pushed through huge expansions of the H-1B guest-worker visa program. By the time Forrester came along with their report, most of the arguments had been worked through, though subtleties and connections continue to come to light. Gregory Mankiw's remarks demonstrated that he had not been paying attention, and had not examined the cluster of issues in any depth, because he talked "free trade" while promoting one-sided concessions by the USA. What's most notable in Europe was that the transition was not instantaneous; various delays were in place that slowed the loss of quality of life in Western Europe as the economies equalized.
Perhaps the most damaging aspect of these changes has been the way both Congress and business executives and many media have striven to down-play the negative consequences on production workers. Since the executives had lobbyists on retainer, and had a lot to personally gain and, of course, had control of their firms' actions, while those who have been losing are many and disorganized, it's no surprised that objections from the public and production workers have been largely ignored... except in election years when their vastly greater numbers can over-come the executives' propaganda investments.
Kerry's legislation requiring customer service people to disclose their location was more in the nature of an anti-fraud measure. Hillary Clinton glad-handed the Indian off-shoring bodyshops when they opened a facility in NY, happy, no doubt, to receive their considerable campaign contributions. Legislation counter to existing international agreements is a reasonable way to change those misguided agreements.
Note that the fees charged for guest-worker visas are far far far exceeded by the reasonable cost for conducting background checks plus processing of the applications.
Workers not only lose their jobs, and employer-provided health care insurance, but their vehicles, retirement savings, libraries, and homes.
Government training programs are jokes, comparable to offering displaced rocket scientists who had already worked on Scout, Nike, Delta, or Space Shuttle programs a few weeks of training in how to operate a plastic, compressed-air driven toy rocket. It might be an entertaining diversion from their woes, but is not a path to career continuation and growth. The government training programs do not provide the sorts of advanced education and training for displaced science and high-tech workers to overcome the executives' addictive lure of cheap foreign labor. Besides, such assistance is unconstitutional. A constitutional alternative would be to merely correct the incentives by providing sufficient tax credits/deductions to employers to hire, relocate, educate/train, and retain American employees.
Of course, degree programs are less attractive! Tuition and fees have been soaring at rates as high as 12% per year, while job prospects for US citizens in science and engineering and computer programming have plummeted. And, at the same time job prospects in India and Red China have improved, so more students in those countries are interested in staying where those opportunities are.
Yes, business executives have been too concerned with lining their own pockets rather than invest in R&D. They'd much rather lobby to have tax-victims pay the toll, and then rake off the benefits for themselves. The government should cut spending on research and educationism, shift control to education back from the federal government and state governments to local, indepedent school boards, and encourage business executives to pay for their own research out of their own personal pockets and increase the proportion of earnings that go to production workers. This will make these careers more attractive, more students will be willing to pay the costs in time and money to get advanced education, and the world will be a more beautiful place.
Yes, Red China engages in un-fair trade, subsidizing banks and tech manufacturers. Currently, the Red Chinese government has some 3000 front-businesses operating in the USA for the purpose of stealing technology, military intelligence, and intellectual property. And, yes, Red China has admitted that it engages in currency manipulation; in the scheme of things, that is a relatively minor matter. What is of more concern are their spying operations and military build-up and large holdings of US federal debt instruments, purchased with their own scrip.
The hand of the Indian government can be seen much more clearly than the ACM summary would suggest. There have been huge subsidies to the technology parks to improve infrastructure, subsidies at tax-victims throughout the rest of India. Restrictions on foreign ownership of businesses persists. Government ministers work hand-in-hand with business executives and their lobbyists to push for favorable terms in the WTO, and in trade agreements with Europe, Australia and the USA.
Both the Red Chinese and US governments have taken a series of steps to reduce personal privacy.
Ralph Z. Hallow _Washington Times_
Many issues, conflicting priorities arise at National Governors Association meeting
News & Observer
Pine Bluff Commercial
San Jose Mercury News
Monsters & Critics
William Petroski _DesMoines Register_
200 gather to discuss illegal immigration (a puff piece)
"About 26K people live in Marshalltown, and more than 3,200 are immigrants, mostly from Mexico. The immigrants primarily work in the meat-packing industry, for construction firms, and in other areas that permit entry-level employment without higher education... Patricia Hamm, an Iowa State University political scientist who came from Mexico to the United States about 25 years ago... said no one knows for certain how many [illegal] immigrant workers live in the United States... Many of the new-comers are between 18 and 35 years old, prompting a need for obstetricians, gynecologists and pediatricians because the immigrants are bringing spouses and having children, Cahill said. Many of the 366 students at Marshalltown's Woodbury Elementary School are Latino, said Principal Thomas Renze... Although it only takes about 1 year for Spanish-speaking children to develop English-language skills for social situations, it takes about 5 to 7 years for them to develop English-language skills to assure they can succeed in the class-room, Renze said..."
Mary Curtius _Denver Post_/_Los Angeles Times_
Specter immigration proposal cut down from both sides
"In a draft bill that runs more than 300 pages, senator Arlen Specter, R-PA, called for the creation of a guest-worker program that would temporarily legalize the status of millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S.A... Specter's plan includes tough law enforcement and border- security measures and would allow for an increase in some categories of legal immigration... Jack Martin, director of special programs for the Federation for American Immigration Reform...said Specter's proposal would lead to amnesty for millions of illegal workers and would increase legal immigration... Martin described the draft as containing 'basically pro-business [executive] provisions' that would guarantee a [huge] supply of [cheap] foreign workers... Others say it is wrong to legalize -- even temporarily -- the status of anyone who has entered the country illegally. In December, the House passed an immigration bill that emphasized tighter border controls and tough law enforcement measures aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants and the employers who hire them."
Slimey WM executives lobby governors to have states pick up health care costs for their under-paid employees so those executives can continue to rake in exorbitant compensation
Los Angeles Times
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Michael Kinsman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Work-place success is often linked to awareness of others' cultural expectations and subtle signals
"'They just seem to have an utter lack of understanding of what they are doing to those around them and that costs them.'... Albrecht says the external relationships are not given the full attention they deserve by Goleman's work and that social radar can play such a dramatic role in our lives that it needs to be separated out of that equation... Upward mobility and promotions are often awarded to those who have strong relationships with co-workers, Albrecht says... Even if you don't feel you are good at developing relationships with those on the job, Albrecht says you can do so through a combination of observing others in meetings and in their work and trying to understand why they act the way they do. The more information you pick up and process, the easier it is to building relationships... 'The techies see this as a bunch of crap that con artists use to get ahead.', he said."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
another self-serving "study"
"Austin Fragomen is one of the most prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S.A. His firm is the largest immigration law firm in the nation; he writes standard-setting books on immigration law practice, most notably on H-1B; and most importantly of all, he is one of the major players in lobbying efforts to get Congress to enact H-1B legislation favorable to immigration lawyers. It is most illuminating, then, to see what Fragomen told Workforce Magazine in 1996 March:
'The business community mobilized, forming American Business for Legal Immigration (ABLI), a Washington, DC-based lobbying group that represents a number of associations and employers, and commissions academic studies to support its position.'
The most salient aspect of Fragomen's remark is that the ABLI knows ahead of time that the 'academic' studies will come out in its favor...
National Academies of Science... Again, these are academics, and many, probably most, of their studies are of good quality. But in many cases, the studies are highly biased, with membership of the study panels being chosen only to present one side of the issue. I've often mentioned the NRC report, for instance. It was commissioned as part of the 1998 legislation which expanded the H-1B program, and its mandate was to investigate whether there really was a tech labor shortage, etc. The panel was stacked with representatives of MSFT, Intel and so on, and its director, Alan Merten, was an academic who sat on many boards of high-tech firms. The NRC is part of the National Academies, and its Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, which ran the study, lists as its sponsors Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, HP, Intel, MSFT, Texas Instruments, and Time-Warner Cable. With the exception of Time-Warner, all of these firms have been in the forefront of lobbying for increases in the H-1B program...
Well, now the NAS has conducted a study which claims that the reason tech firms are off-shoring so much of their work is not [for cheap labor, but because of a shortage of talent in the USA]. But what is startling about this study is the degree of blatantness in misleadingly presenting its findings... The study consists of a survey of U.S. (and European) firms [executives], asking them what reasons they have for off-shoring... they have a built-in incentive to down-play labor costs as a factor for off-shoring... What the authors have been telling the press is that they found that low wage costs over-seas were only a minor factor. Actually, they found that the survey respondents rated its importance as a 4 on a scale of 5, hardly minor! And the factor the authors claim is the major one, availability of talent, is only a 4.2...
In Bush's speech to the Asia Society, also excerpted below, he says, 'India's middle class is buying air conditioners, kitchen appliances and washing machines, and a lot of them from American companies like G.E. and Whirlpool and Westinghouse [though made in Red China]."
NAS slide presentation
Matloff's analysis of the NRC report
Marco R. della Cava _USA Today_
Americans still working more, scrimping on sleep
"this is a nation in dire need of a nap. Never before have work and play stolen more hours from the sandman... nearly half of Americans say they don't get enough sleep and roughly one-quarter get fewer than 6 hours a night. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics show a 20-year trend of Americans reporting less sleep... 'Stress and anxiety levels are at a fever pitch, which limits the avility to sleep well. And there's also more science than ever showing what a detriment that (unrested) state is to performance and health.', White says... harried Americans struggle to keep pace with daily life at a time when cellular telephones, computers and the Internet have virtually eliminated the notion of down-time... About 20% of Americans don't work [now-]traditional day-shift jobs... International law firms, data processing companies, and increasing numbers of manufacturing outfits also are [demanding] more from employees as cheap foreign labor and other factors put the squeeze on... 'Globalization is driving 'efficiency' into the American economy, but on the backs of employees.'... Sleeping on the job is one of society's enduring taboos, but it's one that may well have to fall if our economy is to remain healthy... 'it's a no-cost way to keep people happy [and healthy and productive].'... Sleep analysts concur that a 20-minute nap -- no more, no less -- works wonders for those who need a day-time pick-me-up..."
2006-02-27 06:37PST (09:27EST) (14:37GMT)
Bill Horne _Hillsboro Times Gazette_
Another intrusive government regulation
"Folks, Big Brother or big government and big corporations are messing with us again. Our federal government is preparing to, very shortly, force us to become part of a large-scale recording of personal property. First there was the registration of cars, and that was bad enough, but at least everyone has to register their cars, the rich as well as the poor, the corporations as well as the individual. But who would have thought that my wife and I would be forced to register -- with the government -- our roosters and 6 hens, using a 15-digit number on Radio Frequency Identification Tags, (RFID)... Now however, we are going to have to register our home with a 'Premises ID'. This is so we are hooked up with a 'Global Positioning System, GPS'. This is a space satellite that keeps track of where everything is at all times. In order to keep our chickens, we will have to register with the GPS and this is just to produce a few eggs and have the enjoyment of watching our chickens scratch around the yard. This law applies to all animals that 'could be consumed'. The law includes, just to mention a few of the most common animals, hogs, cows, sheep, goats, pigeons, chickens, fish, and horses... Folks, this law is being sponsored by the large corporations that feed and slaughter millions of animals, and the companies that make the animal identification equipment. These large corporations don't want any competition -- not even from me and my wife with our 6 hens. We know this is the case, because when they wrote the law, they exempted themselves. The super-large, mega-feeding operations are exempt from having to identify each individual animal. These large companies can have millions of unmarked or tagged or computer chipped animals, but you and I must electronically mark every animal we own... If you are producing millions of pounds of meat or millions of eggs, all you have to pay for is one 'premise ID'. We little people though, who they need to eliminate from competing with them, will have to pay for: #1, the registration fees; #2, the ID fees; #3, the reporting fees; #4, tags and/ or micro-chips; #5, tag readers (I understand that tag readers cost between $200 and $500 each); and #6, the software for our computers. We need the software for our computers because we must report electronically any change in our animal numbers... What happens if we don't do all of the above? Well, folks, we get fined or we have our animals seized. I would really hate to have a brood of baby chicks taken by the government before I had a chance to implant the microchips in day-old peeps. When the big companies drove me out of the hog business, that was OK. I didn't like it; but that was business. My 35-sow operation could not compete with the 15K-sow operations... The official reasoning for this law is that ‚Äúthey‚Äù claim that it is to control disease and food contamination. Common sense tells us that a few hens running loose in our yard is going to be a lot healthier than 10M chickens all jammed together into one barn. Food contamination is 'their' other reason for the law. Our small flock of chickens aren't going to contaminate anyone's food. But, on the outside chance that they did, it would only be one or two people. On the other hand, when there are nationwide meat recalls, they come from huge companies and it is usually millions of pounds of meat and millions of consumers that are affected. However, these large companies do not have to report, tag, or account for every animal, or any animal. And, don't you folks who keep a few fish in your pond think that you are exempt. No siree, you have to report your fish just like we do our chickens... Bill Horne is a professor of economics at Southern State Community College and a columnist for the Times-Gazette."
2006-02-27 08:31PST (11:31EST) (16:31GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
New home sales fell 5% in January
census bureau reports
2006-02-27 10:47PST (13:47EST) (19:47GMT)
EU sending $140M (120M Euros, 83M pounds sterling) aid to Palestinian Authority
Tom Regan _Christian Science Monitor_
Republic of China's president slaps communist running dogs in the nose, abolishes commission that was promoting Red Chinese conquest
"The president of Taiwan Monday abolished the National Unification Council, a committee ostensibly responsible for overseeing reunification with [conquest by Red China]. Reuters reports that President Chen Shui-bian had been under strong pressure from [Red China] and the United States not to abolish the committee since he announced his intention to do so last week. But he went ahead with his plans anyway. 'Taiwan has no intention of changing the status quo and firmly opposes any use of non-peaceful means that will cause the status quo to change.', Chen said after a meeting with his top national security advisers. Chen, keen to shake off Beijing's claim of sovereignty over the self-ruled island, declared the National Unification Council has 'ceased to function' and guidelines on unification have 'ceased to apply'."
2006-02-27 12:06PST (15:06EST) (20:06GMT)
John Pardon _EE Times_
Out-Sourcing, Off-Shoring, H-1B visas are bad for U.S. workers
"You asked, 'Who is telling kids to avoid engineering?'. I am telling kids to avoid engineering. I'm a software engineer and database administrator turned writer and political activist. I do not see the off-shore out-sourcing of U.S. tech jobs or use of imported non-U.S. replacement workers (H-1B and L-1s) leading to the creation of better opportunities for American IT workers. Events have indeed proven my view correct. Overall, middle class job eliminations in the U.S. have widened. Displaced U.S. technology workers and engineers rarely find work at salaries comparable to their previous pay. Many are working outside their career field if they are working at all. The IT and engineering job opportunities for Americans generally have diminished sharply. The wider U.S. white collar work-force is also increasingly affected much like the blue collar, industrial workers before them, proving that education and 'knowledge age' technical skills are irrelevant. Of course, politicians, corporate 'leaders', management, CEOs, boards of directors, lobbyists and journalists employed by large corporate media organizations perpetuate tremendous myths and obscure the true effects of the present situation. These employment policies were undertaken by American corporate leaders who were aided and abetted by American politicians. I believe that these decisions were ill-advised and ruinous representing the worst sort of opportunism, corruption, social irresponsibility and short-term thinking."
2006-02-27 12:41PST (15:41EST) (20:41GMT)
Adam Graham _Conservative Voice_
Greatest National Security Issue
"Countless thousands stream across the border. Some are criminals, some are terrorists, some have come to take advantage of our generous social services, and most are relatively harmless, albeit desperate people wanting work. You'll hear various estimates of the exact number which range from 10M-15M [reasonable estimates range from 8M to 24M], but the estimates are meaningless. We're in such bad shape that we don't know what we don't know. Bush proposes a Guest Worker program to solve the problem of illegal immigration, but misses the point. Such a program would be offered from our government's own weakness. Why go through what's guaranteed to be a complicated rigmarole to stay in American for a limited number of years when you can stay in the nation tax free indefinitely due to the nation's lax border enforcement? Although, the Bush plan promises tougher enforcement against companies that hire illegals after the passage of a Guest Worker program, we've heard it before and the point is unconvincing. We must first see some serious action on the state of illegal immigration, before any guest worker program can be considered. Without such action, those who've broken our nation's laws through illegal entry will continue to break them after a sign of weakness from this administration. When presented the problem of Illegal Immigration, the American people had simple solutions. According to a Roper ASW poll, 67% want Illegal Immigration brought to a level near zero. To do this, 78% of the American people back 'Mandatory detention and forfeiture of property, followed by deportation, for anyone here illegally' 87% believe that the government should strictly enforce laws punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants. The government enforcing the law? What a novel concept!"
2006-02-27 08:43PST (11:43EST) (16:43GMT)
Karen Tumulty _CNN_/_Time_
Bush losing support from his base
"Congressional anger over President George W. Bush's decision to allow a Dubai-owned company to operate terminals at major U.S. ports had been at a low boil for days before the White House got its first inkling of the furor: Bartlett, the presidential counselor, happened to tune in to conservative talk-show host Michael Savage on the way home from work. By the time the President moved to quash it several days later with assurances that he wouldn't have allowed the deal 'if there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the security of the United States', it was far too late to quell the Republican rebellion. 'This freight train had already left the station', says a Bush aide. 'And the President's threat to use his first-ever veto was no obstacle to its momentum.'... Only about 5% of the millions of containers that flow through the nation's ports are inspected, and there still are no standards for container locks and seals or for port-worker identification cards. The country has spent $18G on making airports more secure since 2001 Sept. 11, but it has invested only $630M to safeguard the nation's ports, even though a study last year by the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard found that almost 70 of the 361 U.S. ports are vulnerable to terrorism... 'why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard.' [Because most Americans thought that THE standard was much higher.] On the domestic front, conservatives are likely to stiffen their resistance to the guest-worker provisions in Bush's immigration plan and, with their constituents feeling the effects of a record trade deficit, could have less patience for Bush's [groveling] stance toward [Red China]."
Michael Doyle _Scripps Howard News_/_McClatchy NewsPapers_
Senate still not serious about stopping illegal immigration and protecting national security
Activists push immigration restrictions
Access North Georgia
First Coast News
"Despite leaving messages 15 times on the agency's automated phone system, King never heard back from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 'I truly believed my government was going to come on a double, because there were people living in my country illegally.', King said. 'It continually occurs to me that perhaps there's two sets of laws. It seems to me that the poor down-sucker American tax-payer who trusted in his government to protect him and his borders is applying the law differently from the importers and the campaign donors who're hiring illegal aliens.' So began King's quest to end illegal immigration, have the military guard the nation's borders and prevent workers without visas from getting jobs, thus achieving his ultimate goal -- the 'self-deportation' of millions of people in the United States illegally who King sees as a burden and threat to the country's survival. 'We're being invaded and colonized as a nation.', King said. 'It's national suicide.' Activists like King are more aggressive and abrasive than professional, well-funded national lobbies like the Federation for American Immigration Reform [FAIR], which has 70K members, and the 40K-member Americans for Immigration Control. But they echo the same arguments and make the point that U.S. citizens are ready to take the fight in their own hands, the groups and scholars say...
King's fight mirrors Kathy McKee's, the Arizona woman in her 50s who led the successful push to require people to produce proof of citizenship when registering to vote and proof of immigration status when obtaining government services, making those who fail to report people who illegally apply for aid liable to fines and jail time. The measure, known as Proposition 200, was approved by Arizona voters in 2004. 'The most significant problem is the government putting a red carpet out for them and taxpayers are paying all the costs.', McKee said in a telephone interview from her home in suburban Phoenix... McKee's argument is that Washington, bought out by business interests, penalizes U.S. workers by importing an illegal work force that citizens must care for through taxpayer-funded services -- making it, in her words, worse than slavery because 'even slave owners provided for' those working for them... no guest worker programs, no automatic citizenship to U.S.-born babies, jailing employers of what he calls 'wage thieves', and clamping down on public services to illegal immigrants...
The state House recently passed the first measure dealing with illegal immigration, which would tack a 5% surcharge on wire transfers from anyone who cannot prove they are legally in the United States. Senator Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, also has introduced a far-reaching proposal that would deny state benefits to adults who can't prove they're here legally, require law enforcement to check the immigration status of those they arrest, and prevent employers from declaring pay for illegal immigrants as a business expense on their taxes."
Liz Chandler & Danica Coto _Charlotte Observer_
Political rift starts at the border
"America's strategy to stop this illegal flow appears no match for the sheer will driving it. You can see that in Border Patrol practices and in the conflicted actions of ranchers who deal daily with the desperate wave. You can see it nationally, where nearly 11M [reasonable estimates range from 8M to 24M] illegal immigrants live and work, including an estimated 390K in NC. And you can see it in the faces of the migrants whose determination to reach America makes them risk everything... Waiting on the American side is a front line spread thin and backed by a divided nation... The Border Patrol won't say how many of its 1.2M arrests last year involved repeat offenders. But some might be caught and released 20 times before agents file deportation charges, says agent Sean King. When that happens, migrants risk prison time if they are caught again... The roots are in the Mexican peso's collapse in 1994 and the U.S. appetite for cheap labor. An estimated 40% of people in Mexico live in poverty, with the average worker making about $2 an hour. 'It's gotten a lot worse in the last 10 years.', El√≠as says. 'Now, they come in waves.'..."
_Business & Legal Reports_
Appeals Court Allows EEOC Age Discrimination Suit against Law Firm Sidley & Austin to Go Forward
"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has ruled that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has the authority to seek damages for partners the agency says a Chicago law firm discriminated against because of their age... EEOC could obtain monetary relief for partners they agency says were expelled on account of their age or forced to retire... The EEOC's lawsuit is a age-discrimination case brought, first, with respect to 31 former Sidley & Austin partners who the agency says were involuntarily downgraded and expelled from the partnership in October 1999 on account of their age, and, second, with respect to other partners who the agency says were involuntarily retired from Sidley & Austin since 1978 on account of their age under a mandatory retirement policy. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from making employment decisions affecting employees over 40, including decisions regarding the termination of employment, on the basis of age. The ADEA also prohibits such employers from utilizing policies or rules which require employees over 40 to retire when they reach a particular age."
Rich Calcaterra _Opinion Editorials_
"Through the curtain of darkness the advancing army moves. It has become a daily ritual to make another foray into the sovereign land to the north. A land that is ripe for their taking. The assault is seldom life threatening and the potential for firefights is almost non-existent. Once across the border the attackers will quickly break into even smaller bands, free to roam the country in pursuit of her treasures. The spoils will be sent back to their homelands where it will improve the lives of those left behind. The rape of the land they have infiltrated is not their concern. Their personal wealth and the boost their economies at home receive is what matters and it is of no concern that the hosts they will feed off will suffer from their deeds. Illegal immigration is at epidemic proportions with the numbers increasing daily... Yes, they are taking entry level jobs away from Americans and yes they devalue the fair wages our workers are entitled to earn. The reduced cost of illegal labor however does not necessarily mean less expensive products. Just look at the cost of a new home or the cost of a meal at your local restaurant... Yet, we have political representatives who favor granting [privileges] to the invaders. The President is looking to grant amnesty via a guest worker program that in turn gives law-breakers a gift for doing wrong. What a slap in the face for people who have entered our country legally. What message does it send them?... In addition to our own government favoring amnesty status to the border crashers we have Vincente Fox endorsing illegal immigration Actually, he is exporting his people to the states as it is to his benefit. First, the dollars being pumped back into the Mexican economy is a great incentive to keep a steady flow of workers moving north of the border. Second, he is changing the culture of America, especially our southern borders and perhaps he believes that eventually the border will eventually evaporate. A porous border bolsters his economy, lessens his population and waters down the American population along the common borders. Ironically, Vincente Fox is very strict when it comes to his own borders and does not permit unopposed border crossings from Guatemala. In essence he doesn't want to have illegal aliens within Mexico. The army of approximately 10M [reasonable estimates range from 8M to 24M] illegal aliens within our country is taxing our medical system. In fact, the increasing number of illegal aliens coming into the United States is forcing the closure of hospitals, spreading previously vanquished diseases and threatening to destroy America's prized health-care system, says a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. The Washington Times had reported there are as many as 80K illegal criminal aliens roaming the streets of the U.S.A... The infrastructure is working over-time as well. Water and Sewerage systems designed to accommodate a specific number of residents within Anytown, USA did not take into consideration a larger population dwelling in homes that were constructed to shelter a family of 4 and not a family of 14...
there is an unaccountable population feeding off your tax dollars. Feeding off a system paid for by income taxes, property taxes and school taxes. You are being robbed and don't even know it because it is invisible to most of us. It is estimated that over 300K illegal-alien women arrive pregnant each year and their children immediately qualify for citizenship. This means American taxpayers foot the bill for food, housing, medical expenses and education for these children -- up to age 18 -- in addition to paying for the mother, who is still considered an illegal alien. And their annual expense to taxpayers exceeds $109G. There has been a call for enactment of The Citizen Reform Act which will in essence amend the 14 amendment to exclude children of illegal aliens from automatic citizenship and all the benefits that come with it... we must attack this on a Federal, State and Local level. Our agencies must go after the employers who hire illegals and penalize them... Children of illegal immigrants should not be allowed to attend public schools nor should the families be benefactors of our social services and medical system unless it is life threatening. The Citizen Reform Act is necessary. If in fact the same people want to benefit from the bounties of our nation then let head back home, wait their turn and return here legally. For those illegal aliens who still decide to remain here it will be up to local police to round them up and detain them. Put up tents, don't make it too comfortable and detain them until we can bus these folks back to the border. In the long run it'll be cheaper than it is allowing them to remain here. We need to reinforce the border with smart fences, employ our military at the borders and have the willingness to fire upon illegal border crossers. Once word gets back that we take this attack seriously enough to shoot to kill then you will see less people willing to risk their lives to enter our country illegally."
Tamina Vahidy _Line 56 e-Business Executive Daily_
India's Off-Shore Pay Survey
"Bangalore offered the highest salaries, at about $15K per year. Next came Hyderabad and Pune, tied at roughly $10,600. The survey found that Indian engineers with Masters degrees in the sciences were paid an average of $19,400 while MBA holders came in at $14,200. If you do the math, this means that a U.S. company can hire 8 Indian MBAs for the salary of a single MBA graduate from a top U.S. business school [well worth one thousandth the cost of a competent engineer], or 6 Indian engineers for the salary of a single U.S. Director of Software Engineering (these figures were established by checking TopMBA.com and Salary.com)."
Barnard R. Thompson _MexiData_
Will the US-Mexico Inter-Parliamentary Meeting Be Substantive?
"Members of Congress from both the United States and Mexico will hold their 45th annual U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Group session from March 2 to 4 this year, at the idyllic recreational community of Valle de Bravo west of Mexico City... Yet the task will be formidable, especially considering what some Mexican legislators had to say recently about the postures and attitudes their delegation of 12 senators and federal deputies will take to the Valle de Bravo sessions. Here is some of what was said by deputies from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), National Action Party (PAN), Mexican Green Ecological Party (PVEM), and Convergence Party, 4 of whom participated in a televised discussion regarding the forthcoming Interparliamentary Group meetings. The 3 most pressing matters on Mexico's agenda will supposedly be opposition to the U.S. Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (HR4437, the Sensenbrenner Bill); the relining of the All-American Canal in Imperial County, California; and the extra-territorial application of U.S. laws in Mexico. Opposition to walls along the border was mentioned several times. As well, a possible topic will be claims that the right in the United States is attempting to use fears of border penetration by terrorists to damage binational relations. Other subjects will include shared homeland security goals; Mexico's long sought migration agreement with the United States -- including a guest worker's program; and the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity.¬†The latter seen as a means to spur development and growth, and thus as part of the solution to Mexican emigration... they specifically mentioned migration, border area safety and security, and the U.S. compelled eviction of 16 Cubans from a Sheraton Hotel in Mexico City on February 3... The main topic at the meetings should be the Sensenbrenner Bill, 'because it is an insult to the dignity of our country', Alvarez said. And he called U.S. representatives who voted in favor of the bill 'bigots and fascists'."
_St. Louis Post-Dispatch_/_AP_
A little dark chocolate lowers blood pressure
Firms don't invest money saved by off-shoring, guest-worker abuse & bodyshopping
"Failure to plough cost savings from out-sourcing is stunting business growth, according to research by [body shop] CapGemini. Companies that do invest these savings enjoy 10% higher productivity than the pure cost-cutters, the survey of 161 European CIOs finds. 'Productivity growth in the US in 2005 was 1.8%, but actually fell in Europe. We are winning at cost cutting but losing at productivity and need to address this issue as a matter of urgency.', says Gilles Camoin, vice-president of CapGemini Consulting. The bulk of spending -- 87 cents in every IT euro -- goes on low-value, back-office tasks such as support, infrastructure and applications management and testing/roll-out. That leaves just 5% for strategy and planning and 8% for conceptualisation and design. Despite money saved on out-sourcing these back-office tasks, strategy and planning will only see an extra 1.2% of budget over the next 2 years. The off-shoring tide shows no sign of abating. By 2008 47% of European firms will out-source or off-shore their IT, says CapGemini."
Indian tech executives & their lobbyists are pushing for end-run around Congress via trade pact
According to US software developers responding to the Indian propaganda efforts, the current cap of 65K H-1B visas, plus 20K H-1B visas for those with advanced US degrees, plus unlimited H-1B visas for those working for government, colleges, universities or non-profits, which allow technology professionals & others to work for up to 6 years in the USA, is excessive.
Larry Wheeler _Tallahassee Demagogue_
Workers & unemployed are being left behind by rising cost of living
"Daniels' story is not unusual, especially in a coastal community like Fort Myers where the median sales price for an existing single family home was $322K in 2005 October, up from $195K just 12 months earlier, according to the Florida Association of Realtors... Virtually every kind of fish in the Great Lakes is under some sort of 'don't eat' or 'caution' advisory because of contamination by mercury or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Yet 'you often find husbands in low-income households bringing home fish from the Great Lakes or a tributary', said Dave Ullrich, executive director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. Pregnant women and children are particularly sensitive to high levels of mercury in their diets... 'Many lower-income people can't even get to the lake.', Ullrich said."
Eileen Alt Powell _AP_/_Akron Beacon Journal_
103K job cuts were announced in January
"Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based out-placement firm that tracks lay-off notices, said more than 103K job cuts were announced in January, the second consecutive month with more than 100K. For all of 2005, the total exceeded 1M."
Mike Sunnucks _Phoenix Business Journal_
Arizona governor Napolitano met with Rumsfield, was refused funding for expanding National Guard presence on the border
"Napolitano, a moderate Democrat, wants the Bush administration to pay for the state to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border and federal cash for the costs of housing illegals in state prisons... The governor met with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other administration officials while in Washington for the NGA meetings and asked for federal money for border security. Napolitano communications director Jeanine L'Ecuyer said the Rumsfeld meeting 'ended without a satisfactory answer'. L'Ecuyer also said the Pentagon is telling the governor's office to ask the Department of Homeland Security for the money, and that agency is telling the state to go back to the Defense Department."
David Scott Lewis _Sand Hill_
Red China: "We're not India"
"Body shopping is almost a science in [Red China]. I've never seen a situation where HR is so critical. It's all about matching bodies to assignments. A lot of contractors are in the loop, as you might expect... In essence, workforce flexibility for an American vendor is bodyshopping for the [Red Chinese] provider. Sometimes things aren't so bad."
|10-year US T-Bond||4.59%|
Richard Brown _News & Observer_
Immigration: Pay up
"Regarding the initial installment of your Illegal Immigration -- Who Profits, Who Pays series: Pity poor landscaper 'Paul' who wonders where he would get his workers if illegal aliens were suddenly deported. 'Then where is your work force going to come from?', he asks us plaintively. The answer? The old-fashioned way -- he will have to hire workers for market wages rather than tax-[victim]-subsidized, below-market illegal alien labor. I bet his landscaping fees are perfectly in line with prevailing market rates. Why then should the pay his workers earn not be as well?"
2006-02-28 04:31PST (07:31EST) (12:31GMT)
Aude Lagorce _MarketWatch_
Cable & Wireless to halve its work-force in 5 years
2006-02-28 07:00PST (10:00EST) (15:00GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US existing home sales fell 2.8% in January to 6.56M
National Association of Realtors
2006-02-28 07:21PST (10:21EST) (15:21GMT)
Paul McDougall _Information Week_
American IT Jobs Give Bush Valuable Bargaining Chip in Talks with India
"George Bush's visit to India this week provides the perfect high-profile opportunity for the president to urge Congress to eliminate all numerical caps on H-1B foreign worker visas. [Such a move would devastate the US ecomony.] India benefits greatly from the H-1B program and would love to see it expand. Through the program, its graduates gain invaluable experience working with U.S.-based IT teams at some of the world's best run companies. As India's own IT sector grows, more and more of these workers are returning home to share that knowledge with their countrymen and start wealth-generating businesses of their own... There is [no] evidence that this country is facing a shortage of skilled IT workers... Much of India remains desperately poor, but its middle class is about the size of the entire U.S. population -- 300M. That's a significant market for U.S.-made goods and services. India needs to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers that limit access to this market in lucrative sectors like agriculture and financial services."
2006-02-28 08:26PST (11:26EST) (16:26GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US GDP revised to 1.6% annualized increase in 2005Q4
Pui-Wing Tam _Wall Street Journal_
The Market Is Hot for Cheap Foreign Labor in Silicon Valley, if they're "creative"
"A study last month by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a non-profit group representing businesses and government agencies in the area, found the nation's tech capital had a net increase in jobs in 2005 for the first time in 4 years [5 years, since peak employment in 2001 April]. Most of the growth came in the category of creative and innovation services, including firms in research and development, scientific and technical consulting and industrial design. In total, the number of Silicon Valley jobs in these areas grew 4% from 2002 to 2005, reaching 72,734. At the same time, the number of jobs in electronic-component manufacturing -- which tend to involve assembly and other repetitive tasks -- dropped 28% to 23,772, while jobs in semiconductor-equipment manufacturing fell 23% to 58,133. Overall, 14% of all the jobs in Silicon Valley today belong to a sector called core design, engineering and science. That exceeds the comparable 9.3% slice of the work force in Austin, Texas; 8.7% in Seattle; and 8.3% in San Diego, according to the study... Wages are once again creeping up, making it more expensive to do business in the already pricey area. Average annual pay in Silicon Valley hit $69,455 in 2005, up 2.7% from 2004, though it remains below the heights of the average $80K-plus that the region's workers earned in 2000, according to Joint Venture Silicon Valley... Silicon Valley has a narrower base of industries. That makes the area more vulnerable should another down-turn occur, says Steve Levy, an economist at the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto, CA."
2006-02-28 12:37PST (15:37EST) (20:37GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Oil, natural-gas futures end the month lower: Crude gains for day, natural gas nears 1-year low, gasoline up
"Crude for April delivery closed up 41 cents at $61.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, recovering from a low of $60.30. The contract lost $1.91 on Monday. Futures prices closed 9.6% below the March contract's close of $67.92 on Jan. 31. March unleaded gasoline tacked on 3.06 cents to close at $1.5556 a gallon, down 9.9% from the February contract's close at the end of last month. March heating oil rose 2.94 cents to end at $1.712 a gallon, down about 5% from the February contract's close on Jan. 31. April became the lead-month contracts for the petroleum products after the session's close. April unleaded gas finished at $1.5907 a gallon, up 4.07 cents, while April heating oil added 2.6 cents to finish at $1.7224 a gallon."
2006-02-28 08:47PST (11:47EST) (16:47GMT)
Proposals floated to require congress-critters to report food, drink and gifts... and pork
Kimberly Hefling _Pennsylvania News_
Preservationists named Gettysburg among threatened battlefield memorials
"Proposed development was one threat cited by the Civil War Preservation Trust in the naming of the 10 sites located in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Washington, DC. 'Hallowed ground, where more than 600K Americans gave their lives, is being paved over in favor of shopping malls, housing tracts and even gambling casinos.', the trust's president, James Lighthizer, said Tuesday during a news conference. Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina were blamed for some of the disrepair at Fort Morgan, AL, and 2 forts outside New Orleans. Sprawl and a lack of money have also contributed to many of the problems at the sites, Lighthizer said. The site in Glorieta Pass, NM, is referred to as the 'Gettysburg of the West' and is where Union forces were able to turn back the Confederate invasion of New Mexico. The trust blames neglect and public indifference for problems such as the weakening of a structure that served as a field hospital. The other sites are the Shenandoah Valley, Glendale, and Wilderness in VA; the Chattahoochee River line in GA; Circle Forts in Washington, DC; and Raymond, MS. The 3-day fight at Gettysburg was a tide-turning battle in 1863 that sent Confederate soldiers into retreat and left 50K casualties. It is also where President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address warning about the destruction of the nation, and asking that the troops who died there not be forgotten."
Peter Szekely _Reuters_/_abc_
AFL-CIO opposes latest guest-worker visa program proposals
"AFL-CIO leaders on Tuesday said they would reject guest worker proposals now in Congress, saying that all foreign workers who come to the United States to [worsen the labor glut] should come as permanent residents... 'To embrace the expansion of temporary guest-worker programs is to embrace the creation of an undemocratic, 2-tiered society.', AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson told a news conference... Its new policy, however, would oppose existing U.S. guest-worker programs, such as H-1B visas for foreign professional workers or H-2B visas for seasonal unskilled workers, as well as Senate proposals to expand those programs."
Dena Bunis _Orange County Register_
Feinstein says proposed immigration bills are too broad
"Senator Dianne Feinstein said today she prefers a scaled-down immigration bill that tackles one or two issues rather the sweeping reform measure the Judiciary Committee will begin considering Thursday. 'I'm very concerned that a bill that is too big is going to move and that it's going to become a real lightning rod for enormous dissent.', Feinstein told reporters... Groups on both sides of the issue have intensified their lobbying this week. The Minutemen, a group dedicated to border enforcement, sent a letter today to all 100 senators urging them to visit the border before voting on an immigration bill. The group opposes a guest-worker program, saying border security must come first. Today, a coalition of hospitality industry officials and union workers will hold a rally at Union Station near the Capitol to urge broad reform. Feinstein, D-CA, who said she does not support the House bill, which only deals with border security and enforcement, reiterated her opposition to any new guest-worker program. 'I haven''t seen a guest-worker program that I would vote for yet.', she said. Feinstein believes it's unrealistic to expect someone to come from another country with a family and after 3 or 6 years of working here be willing to go back to their home country... Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger... said the federal government must improve border security. And Schwarzenegger echoed remarks by President Bush about the need to match willing workers with employers who need employees. 'Ideally we have a perfect situation where you have people who want to work and companies that need workers. So you have supply and demand. But how do you make that work is the big challenge.', Schwarzenegger said."
Erica Werner _San Diego Union-Tribune_/_AP_
Governors resolve to increase flood of cheap labor, erect stronger walls against rain-water
San Francisco Chronicle
Casper Star Tribune
"Earlier Tuesday Schwarzenegger joined the Western Governors Association in passing a policy resolution calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform including [an additional] temporary guest worker program."
Dena Bunis _Orange County Register_/_Contra Costa Times_
Senate, House spar toward immigration act
"the only immigration legislation that has emerged from the 109th Congress -- a House bill that cracks down on illegal immigration through a series of enforcement measures... Those who vehemently oppose any guest-worker program, like representative Ed Royce, see their ace in the hole as an equally powerful House Judiciary Committee Chairman, representative James Sensenbrenner, R-WI. The enforcement bill that passed the House was a combination of a homeland security measure and Sensenbrenner's ideas. And Royce believes Sensenbrenner could win the day in conference, particularly with a committed House GOP leadership. 'I feel confident that the vast majority of the Republican House conference do not want to see an amnesty, they want to see enforcement first.', said Royce, R-CA. Royce won't rule out supporting a limited temporary guest-worker program later if he can be convinced that tougher border and interior enforcement measures are starting to work. Representative Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, said he wants to see the issues handled separately so he can vote for enforcement and against a guest-worker measure. And while he acknowledges that there may be significant support among the GOP for a temporary worker program, he believes that would hurt the party in the long run. 'They may win a legislative victory today and then lose the war by turning off so many American voters that Republicans lose the next election because 10% of the Republican voters will just sit home and not go out and vote.', said Rohrabacher... 'Everybody is talking about it.', Simpson said. 'That's the difference. Now you've got meat-packing plants, chicken plants. All of them using the [illegal aliens].'... Thursday: Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled to debate immigration bills. Will probably meet weekly until the panel can reach agreement and send a measure to the full Senate. March 27: Date Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-TN, wants to bring immigration bill to the floor."
Lisa Finn _Hamptons Independent_
Bursting At the Seams: population increase burdening schools
"Tightening the borders and guest worker programs have become popular catch phrases as East End residents struggle to confront an immigration problem that has reached epic proportions and has a staggering impact on local economies. But nowhere is the effect greater than on bursting-at-the-seams school districts, facing a dire need to expand as they strain to accommodate a burgeoning East End immigrant population. Greenport Mayor David Kapell's recent plan for a new 'immigration blind' census that aims to accurately reflect the true population of the village, including a flourishing Latino population and second-home-owners, has sparked public discourse. Speaking out are some school superintendents who agree that the most recent census, in 2000, does not give a true representation of the number of Latino or Hispanic students enrolled in their districts."
Thomas P. McKenna _Barre Montpelier Times Argus_
Illegal immigrants take unfair advantage of our system
"The Times Argus editorial by David Moats, 'Bienvenidos', endorsed violating our immigration and labor laws, supported the cheap labor lobby, and called our border with Mexico 'a geopolitical abstraction'. The 2K illegal aliens from Mexico reportedly working on Vermont dairy farms violate our immigration laws by being here and violate more laws by working, probably 'off the books'. The illegal Mexicans are paid $7-$8 dollars an hour but the living wage for a single person is at least $10.50, and many of the Mexicans have their families here -- illegally, of course. Who pays the difference between what they earn and what they need to survive? We all do. If they don't live on the farm, the illegals may be occupying subsidized housing. With no requirement to prove they are here legally, they may receive Medicaid, food stamps, and free education and school lunches for their children -- who probably require expensive English language classes. The University of Vermont extension service pays a translator to teach English to the Mexicans and Spanish to the farmers, all at taxpayer expense. Pricey emergency rooms are where illegals get their medical care and if they are injured or have babies, we all pay their bills. Virtually no illegals pay income tax and a lot of what they earn is removed from our economy and sent home to Mexico -- while the [tax-victims] subsidize them and their employers. Those employers probably do not collect and remit state, federal, Social Security, or Medicare taxes. Could your local stores get away with that? This 'cheap labor' is extremely expensive for all of us. Most illegals who drive are unlicensed and have never passed a U.S. driving test. Their cars are probably not insured or adequately maintained. This endangers everyone on our highways. Brazenly flaunting federal laws, our Secretary of Agriculture Steve Kerr, the Vermont Farm Bureau, and Saint Bernadette's Church in Bridport have colluded to bring a Mexican consulate to Vermont 3 times to issue Mexican ID cards. The FBI says those cards are not secure identification. Anyone using one is obviously an illegal alien who should be deported. Their employers and organizations and individuals who assist illegal aliens need to read the federal law they are violating (Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part VIII, USC 11324)..."
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
How the Economic News Is Spun... and Why
"the numbers I report to you come straight from official US government statistics. I do not massage the numbers or rework them in any way. I cannot assure you that the numbers are perfectly reported to, and collected by, the government, but they are the only numbers we have... When the US Department of Labor, for example, releases the monthly pay-roll jobs data, the press release will put the best spin on the data. The focus is on the aggregate number of new jobs created the previous month, for example, 150K new jobs. That sounds good.
News reporters report the press release. They do not look into the data to see what kinds of jobs have been created and what kinds are being lost. They do not look back in time and provide a net job creation number over a longer period of time. This is why the American public is unaware that higher paid jobs in export and import-competitive industries are being phased out along with engineering and other professional 'knowledge jobs' and replaced with lower paid jobs in domestic services. The replacement of higher paid jobs with lower paid jobs is one reason for the decline in median household income over the past 5 years. It is not a large decline, but it is a decline. How can it be possible for the economy to be doing well when median household income is not growing and when economic growth is based on increased consumer indebtedness? Many economists mistake off-shore out-sourcing with free trade based on comparative advantage. As a result of this mistake, ideology speaks instead of economic analysis...
two reasons for an increase in multi-national employment:
(A) multi-nationals acquired many existing smaller firms, thus raising multi-national employment but not overall employment, and
(B) many firms established foreign operations for the first time and thereby became multi-nationals...
In India, Collabnet has openings for 8 engineers, a sales engineer, a technical writer, and a tele-marketing representative. In the US, Collabnet has openings for 1 engineer, a receptionist/office assistant, and positions in marketing, sales, services, and operations. Collabnet is a perfect example of what Lou Dobbs and I report: the engineering and design jobs move abroad, and Americans are employed to sell and market the foreign made products...
business associations [lobbying organizations] have the agenda of their members. Off-shore out-sourcing reduces their labor costs and boosts their profits and performance-based bonuses. Therefore, it is natural that their association reports put a positive spin on out-sourcing. The same organizations benefit from work visas that allow them to bring foreign workers in as indentured servants to replace their more fractious and higher paid American employees. Thus, the myth of a US shortage of engineers and scientists. This myth is used to wheedle more subsidies in the form of more H-1B visas out of Congress.
Official US government reports are written to obfuscate serious problems for which the government has no solution. For example, 'The Economic Report of the President', written by the Council of Economic Advisers, blames the huge US trade deficit on the low rate of domestic savings. The report claims that if only Americans would save more of their incomes, they would not spend so much on imports, and the $726G trade gap would close. This analysis is non-sensical on its face. Off-shore out-sourcing has turned US production into imports. Americans are now dependent on off-shore production for their clothes, manufactured goods and advanced technology products. There are simply no longer domestic suppliers of many of the products on which Americans depend. Moreover, many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, having lost their jobs to off-shore out-sourcing. They are living on credit cards and struggling to make minimum payments. Median household real incomes are falling as higher paid jobs are out-sourced while Americans are relegated to lower paying jobs in domestic services. They haven't a dollar to save.
As Charles McMillion points out, the February 28 report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that all GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2005 was due to the accumulation of unsold inventory and that consumers continued to out-spend their incomes.
Matthew Spiegelman, a Conference Board economist, claims that manufacturing jobs are only slightly higher paid than domestic service jobs. He reaches this conclusion by comparing only hourly pay and by leaving out the longer manufacturing work week and the associated benefits, such as health care and pensions...
Policy reports from think tanks reflect what the donors want to hear. Truth can be 'negative' and taken as a reflection on the favored administration in power. Consider, for example, the conservative, Bruce Bartlett, who was recently fired by the National Center for Policy Analysis for writing a truthful book about George Bush's economic policies. Donors to NCPA saw Bartlett's truthful book as an attack on George Bush, their hero, and withheld $165K in donations. There were not enough Bartlett supporters to step in and fill the gap, so he was fired in order to save donations. When I held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, I saw internal memos describing the grants CSIS could receive from the George H.W. Bush administration in exchange for removing me from the Simon chair.
In America 'truth' has long been for sale. We see it in expert witness testimony, in the corrupt reports from forensic labs that send innocent people to prison, and even in policy disputes among scientists themselves. In scholarship, ideas that are too challenging to prevailing opinion have a rough row to hoe and often cannot get a hearing. Even the president of Harvard University, Larry Summers, an academic economist of some note and a former Secretary of the Treasury, was forced to resign because he offered a politically incorrect hypothesis about the relative scarcity of women in science. The few reporters and columnists who are brave or naive enough to speak out are constrained by editors who are constrained by owners and advertisers. For example, it is impermissible to examine the gaping holes in the 9/11 Commission Report."
Jim Kouri _National Ledger_
Illegal Alien Invasion: Compromise of Tech Visas (beware lots of pop-ups)
"United States immigration and State Department officials fear that their newly developed, high-tech visas are being sold on the Mexican black market... Well over 11K of these Laser Visas, issued to Mexicans for legitimate travel into the United States were reported stolen or 'lost' in just 2 border cities in 2005. Government officials claim this is a 15% jump from 2004 figures. The ATM card-sized documents, which include the legal holder's photograph and scanned fingerprints, were actually developed for use in 1998 hopefully to increase security and standardize documents used by Mexicans to cross the border since so many different types of documentation made the screening process cumbersome and confusing... Mexicans call these visa cards "Micas,"¬† which allow bearers to cross into the US without other supporting documents. The card also allows them to travel up to 25 miles inside California or Texas and they may remain in the US up to 30 days. According to figures provided by Reuters, 8,745 of the border crossing cards went astray last year in Ciudad Juarez, south of El Paso, Texas, and 3,095 in Tijuana, opposite San Diego, California. No figures were available for other cities along the -mile border. The problem got so bad that the US Embassy in Mexico City revamped its visa policy late last year, but did not inform anyone of the mounting problem. The embassy now replaces 'lost' or stolen cards with stickers placed inside passports hope this will curb the illegal market of the laser cards. The paradox is that in an effort to beef up security at the Mexican border using state-of-the-art technology, the US may have made it even easier to compromise that very security... But Tijuana police claim most of the stray visas are sold by cash-strapped holders to human traffickers in the gritty industrial city of 2 million people, on a widely used route for Mexican illegal immigrants headed for the Californian border. Recently, 7 illegal aliens from Mexico were arrested for allegedly operating a fraudulent document ring in Chicago's Little Village area. The organized crime enterprise generated approximately $2.5M a year. Found inside the residence was equipment used for making fake government documents, including: 5 high-speed computers, printers, ID card printers, scanners, laminating pouches, foil strips with security features, dozens of counterfeit identification cards, and other document-making paraphernalia. The estimated value of the seized items is approximately $10K; the street value of the software is believed to be about $100K."
Juan Mann _V Dare_
DHS dragging its heels when it comes to expedited removal of illegal aliens: Customs refuse to do jobs in alliance with Border Patrol
Joel Mowbray _Town Hall_
Palestinians' alternate reality
|10-year US T-Bond||4.55%|
Jamed R. Edwards jr _Center for Immigration Studies_
Two sides of the Same Coin: The Connection Between Illegal and Legal Immigration
"Legal and illegal immigration are inextricably related. As legal immigration levels have risen markedly since 1965, illegal immigration has increased with it. The share of the foreign-born population who are illegal aliens has risen steadily. Illegal aliens made up 21% of the foreign-born in 1980, 25% in 2000, and 28% in 2005... The level of illegal immigration is severely masked by several amnesties that legalized millions of unlawfully resident aliens. The largest amnesty was the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which legalized 3M aliens. Amnestied aliens to date have been fully eligible to sponsor additional immigrants. This has contributed to the ranks of immigrants, both legal and illegal (and often both). Many aliens who receive a permanent resident visa each year have spent years living in the United States illegally. 'Anchor babies' and 'chain migration' provide opportunities for many aliens to plant roots in the United States. Those aliens might not otherwise have done so. An overly generous legal immigration preference system, whose bias is toward relatives and against ability, sets unrealistic expectations. Many aliens who technically qualify to immigrate face the reality of back-logs and waiting lists. Amnesties, technical qualification for a visa, chain migration, and vast opportunities to come to the United States (particularly via tourist visa, the most abused visa by eventual immigrants, according to the New Immigrant Survey) all foster an 'entitlement mentality' among many foreigners [and natives]."
Women in Science
"Adjusted for IQ, quantitative skills, and working hours, jobs in science are the lowest paid in the United States."
Casey B. Mulligan _University of Chicago_
More People, More Problems: Measuring "Efficient Governance"
"more populous states regulate more activities, and these regulations contain greater detail than those of less populous states. More populous states have more pages of legislation and adopt particular laws earlier in their history... more populous countries tend to have more regulations than less populous countries. The regulation of entry, regulation of labor, and military drafts are more extensive and/or more common in countries with larger populations... [Politics/government] chooses to regulate an activity when doing so is a cheaper alternative to addressing the activity by other means... In studying cross-country differences, the authors looked at the country's employment laws index, business entry regulation index, death penalty measures, and measures of required military service... Business entry procedures and labor regulation showed the most pronounced differences, since incremental regulations in these areas cover more 'issues' that might arise in the course of economic activity. The authors suggest that smaller jurisdictions might not think it worthwhile to deal with these issues through regulation, while larger jurisdictions face enough demand to cover fixed costs of setting up regulations... developing and setting up laws has a cost that is independent of how many people the law applies to."
|"[T]he Constitution stood for the principle that contracts should be inviolable." --- John Marshall 1820|
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