|jgo Resume||Reading Room|
|jgo Econ Data & Graphs||jgo Econ News Bits|
|Economic News Analysis Summary|
|Kermit's home page||jgo Links|
|jgo's Work in Progress|
|"[N]o form of cooperation is stable when the future is not important enough relative to the present." --- Robert Axelrod 1984 _The Evolution of Cooperation_ pg 129|
2006-04-01 00:01PST (03:01EST) (08:01GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Wage growth could fuel the bears
"The always-important monthly jobs report has gained even more importance as the Fed tries to finesse a soft landing in the economy, one with moderate growth and moderate inflation. When the Federal Open Market Committee says that 'possible increases in resource utilization... have the potential to add to inflation pressures', it's talking mostly about jobs and wages. Tight labor markets could lead to higher wages, so the theory goes. And higher wages could allow potential inflation to turn into actual inflation. 'Any sign of further acceleration in earnings growth will be interpreted by some to mean the FOMC will have to take the Fed funds rate above 5%.', said Stu Hoffman, chief economist for PNC. 'A stronger-than-expected jobs report next week would provide further fuel for the bond bears.', Hoffman said. The bears pushed up long-term interest rates from 4.67% to 4.88% this week 'on fears over mounting inflationary pressures'. The impact of the March jobs report will be subdued because the Fed will have the April jobs data in hand before their next meeting."
2006-04-01 10:10PST (13:10EST) (18:10GMT)
Jim Jelter _MarketWatch_
Delphi asks government to void labor contracts made when it was part of GM: Unions threaten strikes
"Union leaders threatened to strike if auto-parts giant Delphi Corp. cancels its contract with the United Auto Workers. Standing by its earlier threat, Delphi on Friday asked a bankruptcy court on Friday to void its labor contract with the UAW after the union rejected Delphi's latest demands to cut wages and benefits. A strike would be especially hard on General Motors Corp., which relies heavily on Delphi parts to keep its assembly lines moving. Delphi, which sought Chapter 11 in October, had warned for months that if the two sides could not reach agreement by March 30, it would ask Judge Robert Drain, overseeing its bankruptcy case in New York, to toss out its contract with some 24K UAW workers. The move got a rough reception in Michigan union halls. 'Delphi's misuse of the bankruptcy procedure to circumvent the collective bargaining process and slash jobs and wages and drastically reduce health care, retirement and other hard-won benefits or eliminate them altogether is a travesty and a concern for every American.', UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Richard Shoemaker said in a statement."
Joe R. Hicks _Los Angeles Times_
Civil Rights? How about lawlessness?
"The complexities of this debate seem lost on many of the protesters. Many claim that what lies beneath reform efforts is raw racism, leading to the view that the recent protests signal a new civil rights movement. It's simply not true. This nation's civil rights movement of the 1960s broke the back of white supremacy that prevented black Americans (who were citizens) from enjoying the rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution. Undeniably, the freedoms codified by civil rights-era legislation have made life better for all Americans -- regardless of skin color, gender or national origin. Now, many Latino immigrant-rights organizers and their sympathizers seem to be saying that there is some inherent right being expressed when people sneak into the country, thumb their noses at the law and make fools out of those who wait patiently in foreign lands for visas to come to the United States. It is quite clear that many of those participating in the demonstrations have adopted the stance of the beleaguered victim, perceiving frustration about illegal immigration as racism. Some comments have been painfully ignorant. One protester said: 'I'm here to make sure that Mexicans get their freedom, their rights.' During the student protests, the American flag was only occasionally on display, while the Mexican flag was omnipresent. A student said he was waving the latter in support of La Raza (the race), while another asked why illegal immigrants were 'treated like criminals'. Perhaps he wasn't aware that crossing the U.S. border without the required visa is now, and always has been, against the law... an unchecked flow of unskilled labor drives down wages for entry-level jobs, rendering all poor Americans, including millions of teenage workers, less than competitive... The reality is that most Americans won't do entry-level labor for the meager wages often offered to [illegal alien] workers... Lawful or not, the United States cannot absorb all of the people who aspire to come here."
Michael Astor _AP_/_San Luis Obispo Tribune_
Brazil, USA & EU discuss WTO impasse
"poor nations demanded lower trade barriers and rich nations sought greater access to markets in the developing world for their manufactured products and services."
Laurence Frost _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Alcatel and Lucent announced plan to merge in $13.4G deal: 8800 jobs to be eliminated, consumers get another raw deal
"Alcatel SA and Lucent Technologies Inc. announced Sunday that the French telecommunications equipment maker had agreed to buy its U.S. rival in order to form a major new global player in the industry. About 8,800 jobs will be cut. The combined company, to be based in Paris, will have annual sales of 21G euros ($25G) -- close to the 2005 revenue posted by world #1 Cisco Systems Inc. -- and generate 1.4G euros ($1.7G) of savings within 3 years, the companies said." 2006-04-02 10:13PDT (13:13EDT) (17:13GMT)
US government ineffective at border security
NewsWatch WWTI Watertown
"Of those surveyed in a Time poll last week, 82% said they believe the government is not doing enough to keep illegal immigrants out of the country, and a large majority (75%) would deny them government services such as health care and food stamps. Half (51%) said children who are here illegally shouldn't be allowed to attend public schools. But only 1 in 4 would support making it a felony to be in the United States illegally..."
"According to census data, the number of foreign-born residents in the United States of America has reached 33M -- higher than at any point in the last century -- and at least a third of them are living in this country illegally."
Elaine Ganley _AP_/_Charlotte Observer_
Unions plan continued protests as Chirac signed employment bill: Ruling party side-lines PM Villepin
Pennsylvania Live Patriot News
|"We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is a loyalty to the American people." --- Theodore Roosevelt|
2006-04-03 04:31PDT (07:31EDT) (11:31GMT)
J.D. Hayworth & Kathryn Jean Lopez _National Review_
"It could not be much worse. Every night thousands of illegal aliens cross into Arizona. Most simply use it as a transportation hub, but many also stay to the detriment of our state. It costs Arizona about $750M to educate the children of illegal immigrants and $400M for nonreimbursed medical care. And then there is the crime and all the other social problems associated with illegal immigration. In fact, the Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that illegal immigration costs each Arizonan almost $700 a year -- a hidden tax that subsidizes illegal aliens and those who hire them. The border in Arizona is not only an environmental wasteland, but also a veritable war zone. Most people along the border are armed. The violence is staggering. In one particularly brutal instance, rival gangs of human smugglers had a rolling shoot-out along Interstate 10 in southern Arizona. Parents don't let their children play in the yard unless they are with them... and armed. Dogs are routinely poisoned. Certain roads are too dangerous to drive on after dark... Not only is the Border Patrol underfunded, understaffed, outmanned, and outgunned, but the rest of the federal government actually works to make its job harder by actually making it easier for illegals to settle into American life... one of the steps I advocate is a temporary deployment of troops to the border to establish operational control... I'd say we have already had a nightmare scenario. Could 2001/09/11 have happened without lax immigration laws and lax enforcement of those laws? Probably not. But more to the point, I think you would be hard pressed to find a single Arizonan living along the border who would not say they are living a nightmare scenario... I don't think there is [a job Americans won't do]. As I put it in the book, illegal aliens don't take jobs Americans won't; they take wages Americans won't. Americans have always done jobs that are hard, dirty, and dangerous... When I was growing up in North Carolina, a summer job like picking crops or house painting or working at a drive-in restaurant was considered a rite of passage and an essential character-forming experience that prepared young people for the responsibilities of adulthood. Illegal immigrants now fill many of those jobs, leaving many young Americans, especially minorities, out of work. Illegal immigration is one of the reasons the past few years have been some of the worst ever for teenage summer employment... In a nutshell, my beef with Vicente Fox is that he has nothing but contempt for our laws, our sovereignty, and our people... Hopefully the Senate will pull back from the brink, but I'm not optimistic. The House will once again have to act the role of the adult."
Rob Preston _Information Week_
Off-Shorers Are Coming Out of the Closet
"A Government Accountability Office report issued last week shows that 2 states -- Arizona and New Jersey -- prohibit off-shoring as part of state contracts, while most of the 43 states that off-shore work to administer at least one federal program must justify why they're doing so. For the most part, the federal government doesn't specify what can and can't be done off-shore, but it's in no hurry to publicize what it's up to outside the United States."
2006-04-03 04:32PDT (07:32EDT) (11:32GMT)
John O'Sullivan _National Review_
The Need to Unite Behind Enforcement
"That law, responding to the anxieties of two thirds of Americans in opinion polls, would have reduced illegal immigration by placing sanctions on employers who hire them and by improving border security. Of course, it has always been against the law to hire illegal aliens and to enter the United States illegally; this simple but necessary measure did no more than tell the government to enforce existing laws.
That, however, was too much for the Senate. Responding to the pressure of corporate America and the White House for cheap labor and to demands from ethnic lobbies and labor unions for cheap recruits, senators now seem likely to insist that any such enforcement law must also amnesty the [8M to 24M] illegal immigrants already here and admit more legal immigrants by [yet another] guest-worker program and higher quotas for legal immigration. IOW, the Senate will act on the following logic: In order to have fewer immigrants, we must admit more of them. In order to halt illegal immigration, we must legalize it. And in order to enforce the law, we must reward those who have broken it...
A recent study by Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies shows, for instance, that between 2000 March and 2005 March only 9% of net new adult jobs went to the native-born Americans who form 61% of the work-force -- and 1.5M discouraged Americans left that work-force altogether as a result...
In fact, there are no occupations in which immigrants form the majority of workers. Illegal aliens, despite their impact on wages, are less than 5% of the U.S. work-force and only between a quarter and third of workers even in those industries most dependent on them. Their disappearance would result not in the seizing up of the U.S. economy but in the automation of some jobs, the export of others, an increase in wages for the remainder, and so the employment of more Americans at wages higher than today..."
Michelle Mittelstadt & Sudeep Reddy _Detroit Free Press_
Legal immigration poised to surge: Senate bills could double numbers
"Some estimate that bills pending in the Senate could double the nearly 1M green cards handed out yearly, granting legal permanent residence. The United States [of America], which already welcomes more legal immigrants than any other country, would see major increases in green cards under both immigration proposals being debated in the Senate. The bills also would add tens of thousands of temporary visas for workers, from the high-tech industry to medically under-sedrved areas... others question the drive to increase legal immigration...
'There has never been a public opinion poll that indicates Americans want more immigration.', said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which opposes higher immigration...
The way the bills are worded, it's impossible to figure how much they would increase legal immigration. Judiciary Committee Republican aides say the legislation would add 500K to 550K green cards each year. That estimate is far too low, said Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations for Arlington, VA-based Numbers USA, which is lobbying against what she said would 'by far' represent the biggest increase in legal immigration in U.S. history. 'It's huge, huge, huge.', she said. 'I'm estimating it would double legal immigration.'
In 2004, the most recent year for which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has provided figures, 946,142 green cards were issued -- two-thirds for family reunification [a.k.a. chain immigration]. The Senate bills would greatly increase family-sponsored green cards, now capped at 480K annually, by exempting the spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens from the total. That is expected to add about 260K green cards annually. The bills also would boost employment-based green cards from 140K annually to 290K, and would exempt applicants' spouses and children from the cap. Foreign students would be placed on a faster track for green cards. And the Judiciary Committee bill would, for 7 years, permit an unlimited number of green cards for... jobs where the Labor Department says workers are in short supply."
"Mexico has never tried very hard to stop its citizens from slipping across our border to find jobs. The United States has never tried very hard to send them back."
L.J. Ulrich _WVU Daily Athenaeum_
"It's a lower-class job, something Americans are too good to occupy, something that rests in the bottom annals of American caste. That's what we're hearing from the old white guys on Capitol Hill. The same is true of other professions. Field workers, construction workers, carpenters, electricians -- you're all scum. Americans don't want these jobs, they say; why not rise above such filth and let the Mexicans do them? Please... Americans would fill them, but unfortunately, some employers in the Southwest have a tendency of shafting them for illegal immigrants for sub-minimum wage salaries -- if at all. It's slave labor, and American labor pays the price... still a lot cheaper for employers who are too cheap to hire their countrymen. IOW, the temporary guest-worker program enables employers to ignore Americans and hire foreigners. It's a minimal break for the Mexicans, a drastic slap in the face to American labor, a huge break for employers and just more evidence that George Bush and his Rolls-Royce Republicans are out of touch with reality... they ignore the fact that Americans don't mind being plumbers or field workers. Then, they talk about a peaceful crackdown on illegal immigration but ignore the premise of the problem. If an employer can hire an illegal immigrant for a dollar an hour, why would he bother paying minimum wage to a guest-worker, let alone market value to an American?"
Michael Doyle _Modesto Bee_
Senate to start voting on their immigration bills
"A grape grower and state Assembly candidate, [Tom Berryhill] was working Capitol Hill last week on behalf of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. Berryhill supports the bill the Senate Judiciary Committee will press upon the full Senate this week. The committee's bill includes a provision, co-written by Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein, legalizing 1.5M illegal immigrants now working on farms. Spanning 478 pages, the committee's bill is packed with other big-ticket items. For instance, it would boost the number of high-tech oriented H-1B visas to 115K annually, a 76% [actually 35%] increase that MSFT co-founder Bill Gates was promoting to law-makers in recent days."
Don Swarthout _American Daily_
Amnesty: Waving the Mexican Flag in Your Face
"If we do not have the resources to round up these Illegal Aliens, deport them or to put them in jail, how are we going to enforce making them register? What resources are we going to use to make sure that will happen? It really seems like this bill is really all about amnesty... By waving their Mexican flags in our faces the protesters seemed to say, 'We are Mexicans and we are here to take over your country. We will tell you what to do.' That is just wrong and it will not be tolerated by the majority of Americans voters. We must close our borders, without any excuses. If we don't stop this illegal immigration the cost of welfare, prison system, education and hospitalization for Illegal Aliens will continue to erode away the financial well being of the United States. If we are already out of resources, how can we keep this whole thing going? America may be in trouble already."
Felicia Benamon _American Daily_
Curtailing Illegal Immigration Is Not Difficult
"While the nation faces protests from illegal immigrants and their supporters on the right for illegals to remain in the U.S.A., Americans are saying that enough is enough... Illegals are simply breaking the laws, so when Congress meets to discuss the problem, many in the Latino community are up in arms. Just like any other country, there are laws that citizens have to obey in order for society to function properly. If you are in the U.S.A. illegally, why not make the effort to become legal? That is one way to give back to this country. Show your pride in America. Adopt America as your home country and appreciate all that she has given to you. One can still keep his heritage in tact, but if anyone is to live in America and enjoy her many blessings, they should be legal. America is a melting pot because people of varying races and backgrounds come to the U.S.A. and bring their culture, and they choose to learn about America and our way of life. Many immigrants have assimilated. That is what ties us together as a family. When there are millions of illegal immigrants who do not wish to assimilate and go about the proper way to immerse themselves in American culture, and become legal, they undoubtedly isolate themselves. Americans should not feel that, in order to bridge the divide to communicate with an exploding Latino population, that we must take Spanish... A NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll finds that 59% of Americans are against temporary-worker status for illegal immigrants. Time Magazine released a poll and found that [82%] of Americans feel the government isn't doing enough to enforce the borders... The fact is, Congress can bring up measures to control the border problem time and again, and debate the illegal immigration issue, and talk, and talk, and talk some more, (at this rate, it will probably take another 10 years before they really do anything with all the confusion going on), but something needs to be done right away!... we as a nation, are facing problems from illegal immigrants... Fake ID business booms in Los Angeles... We should simply start a deportation process to drastically reduce the number of illegal immigrants who are here. Especially illegal immigrants who are causing problems, and heavily guard the border. Immigrants who want to do the right thing would enter the U.S.A. the right way. I want to see President Bush engage Vincente Fox in conversation about paying attention to the plight of so many of the Mexican people. The U.S.A. cannot absorb the amount of illegal immigrants it has been taking in..."
_First Amendment Center_/_AP_
Flag battle flares up at Apache Junction
"Wyman's decision came a day after a group of Hispanic students at the school took down the American flag from a pole, raised the Mexican flag, then watched as [non-Hispanic] students took it down and burned it. A shoving match ensued. On March 31, emotions among students ran high. They wore Mexican and American flags to school, and some say the tension between Hispanics and whites was palpable. By the end of classes that day, Wyman declared students would not be allowed to wear flags of any kind, whether on clothing, jewelry or otherwise. He also canceled a school dance scheduled for April 1. The no-flag policy set off a firestorm of phone calls from outraged parents who said it violated students' rights of free expression. Some said it was downright unpatriotic. By late March 31, after meeting with school and district officials, Wyman reversed part of his decision. The dance was still off, but the no-flag policy was reversed."
J. Grant Swank _Michigan News_
Immigration, Illegals & Answers
"It's serious enough that the government is nabbing them and sending them elsewhere or arresting them. Contractors hire illegals. The illegals then get into military bases, not via the military employment but via jobs contracted out. These illegals may be innocent individuals just doing a job. However, first, they are illegally in America and should be deported. Second, one never knows what sleeper cell they may be attached to. Third, one never knows how an illegal can be used as a pawn by a terrorist to reek havoc on a military base or anywhere. Therefore, the government is informing media that it cannot be too careful... 'We can't let down our guard.', said representative Robin Hayes, a North Carolina Republican whose district includes Fort Bragg, home of the Army's Special Operations Command. 'The motive of these particular individuals remains unclear. However, my greatest concern is that they were able to gain access to the installation at all.' No illegals should be in place at any military base. None. Only legal citizens should be employed at a base. No illegal should be hired at an airport or nuclear power plant or power grid... The Statue of Liberty lifts her torch, not for those who come into the USA to ruin it, but the genuinely committed to maintaining a strong republic... Such sad true stories fill the books. Yet the fence between Mexico and US has yet to be started construction."
Frosty Wooldridge _American Daily_
Ten Traitors Plus One
"After breaking federal laws by barging into our country unlawfully, they demanded we change our laws to suit their purposes. They waved thousands of Mexican flags. When any army invades another country, it manifests dominance by raising its flag over the defeated nation. Think of our U.S. Marines planting Old Glory on Iwo Jima in WW2. Mexicana Airlines in their in-flight magazine, boasted, 'With all due respect, Los Angeles is ours.' Meanwhile, Mexicans succeeded in waving their flag on American soil in defiance of our sovereignty. They trampled the Stars and Stripes into the gutters of Los Angeles... Against all common sense; against any kind of sanity; against the rule of law; against every lawful citizen and legal immigrant, our corrupt and cowardly U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee caved into 500K illegals' demands in Los Angeles and passed a bill that will give illegals amnesty for their crimes as well as a right to U.S. citizenship. How low can they degrade our citizenship in our own country? The sweep of this corruption of our Congress takes my breath way. Those guilty of treason are: Arlen Specter (R-PA), DeWine (R-OH), Graham (R-SC), Brownback (R-KS), Leahy (D-VT), Kennedy (D-MA), Biden (D-DE), Kohl (D-WI), Feinstein (D-CA), Feingold (D-WI), Schumer (D-NY), Durbin (D-IL)"
Jerry W. Jackson & Tim Barker _Orlando Sentinel_
Few states are affected more profoundly by immigration than Florida
"During the past 3 years, 1 in 6 new Florida jobs has been filled by [an illegal alien], said Mark Vitner, senior economist for Wachovia Corp... A year ago, agents picked up 66 illegal immigrants working on the $60M federal court-house in Orlando. A union organizer called it 'just the tip of the iceberg'."
Teresa Borden _Oxford Ohio Press_
Millions Over-Stay Visas
"Known as visa over-stays, these visitors make up between a third and a half of the illegal immigrants in this country, according to government reports -- between 4M and [12M] people... 'Even if you succeed at the border, you're only catching 60% of the problem. I don't think that within the Congress the thinking is broad enough.', said Deborah Meyers, senior analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank that compared immigration proposals in Congress. Meyers and others say over-stays are a matter of national security: At least 3 of the terrorists linked to the 2001 September 11 attacks over-stayed their visas... Of three main agencies that deal with immigration, the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in charge of catching those who overstay their visas, has about 5,500 agents nationwide. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which secures the nation's ports and borders, has 42K employee s, including 10,143 U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Mexican border. A Senate bill approved by the Judiciary Committee this week would add 13K more Border Patrol agents... In the fiscal year ending on 2004 September 30, the most recent year for which complete figures are available, there were nearly 31M temporary entries by foreigners into the United States. That included more than 5M temporary visas granted to tourists, students, business-people, dependents of foreign workers and others. Some of those visitors entered and left the United States repeated times during the year. Visitors from countries that don't require visas also made nearly 16M entries... 'Since business is the primary culprit, they need to be the primary target of any so-called reform.', Stein said. 'Just putting more people on the border is not going to do it.'"
2006-04-03 14:50PDT (17:50EDT) (21:50GMT)
_North San Diego County Times_
"Need" for illegal alien workers is a myth
2006-04-03 06:52PDT (09:52EDT) (13:52GMT)
2006-04-03 06:52PDT (09:52EDT) (13:52GMT)
Steven Voigt _Conservative Voice_
The time for debating amnesty is over. Congress must stand for America
"I speak of a battle at the ballot box, later this year. Patriots everywhere are ready, and we will not forget Congress' actions over the next couple weeks. There are foreign flags flying in American streets. Radicals threaten that they will cause parts of California and Texas to secede. Foreign lobbyists from Central and South America seem to be getting more reception in Congress than the American people. Amid all of this, Congressmen are milling around with their hands in their pockets. Grow a spine, folks, and step up to the plate for America... To Congress - reject amnesty; no guest-worker programs; defend our border; enforce the law."
2006-04-03 07:22PDT (10:22EDT) (14:22GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US construction out-lays were up 0.8% in February: Up 7.4% since last February at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.19T
2006-04-03 08:16PDT (11:16EDT) (15:16GMT)
Enquirer 80 stock index up 0.52%
"The Enquirer 80 Index of local interest stocks rose 1.57 points, or 0.52%, to 302.54. 51 issues were up, 26 were down and three were unchanged. Leading gainers were NS Group Inc., up $1.62 to $47.65; Armor Holdings, up $1.49 to $59.78; Alderwoods Inc., up $1.47 to $19.37; Toyota Motor Co., up $1.34 to $110.24; and Emerson Electric, up $1.14 to $84.77. Biggest losers were Kendle International, down $1.12 to $32.48; Midland Co., down 73 cents to $34.25; Federated Department Stores, down 56 cents to $72.44; Chemed Corp., down 38 cents to $58.96; and Standard Register, down 36 cents to $15.13."
2006-04-03 08:40PDT (11:40EDT) (15:40GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US factory activity cooled in March: ISM index fell from 56.7 in February to 55.2 in March
Doug Edelman _American Daily_
Everyone Wants Illegal Immigration Stopped, Except...
New Media Journal
"There is overwhelming support for securing the borders with a wall, a beefed up border patrol, and the military. Americans support the curtailing of social benefits for illegals, elimination of 'anchor baby' citizenship etc. It seems like real action to stem the tide of illegal immigration would be a political no-brainer. Unfortunately the illegals have a few allies. Sad to say there are Republicans whose hunger for the support of exploitive businesses seeking cheap labor supercedes their principles, and their real constituencies get sold out to these special interests. As African-Americans are moving up the socio-economic ladder, and more of them are abandoning the liberal plantation and identifying with the conservatives, the Democrats need a new under-class of dependency to empower them. The illegal Hispanics are a gold mine if they can be legitimized into legal voters! Note the tone of their rhetoric. To a Democrat, there is no such thing as an 'illegal alien'. They're not illegal, they're 'undocumented'. They're not 'aliens', they're 'immigrants' or even to some, they're 'hard working citizens'! No! They're NOT citizens, or even immigrants... They are invaders! If they don't honor our laws and enter our borders thru the legal process they are ILLEGAL ALIENS! But the Democrats want them legitimized so they may eventually become Democrat voters. Unscrupulous businesses: Employers must pay 'what the market bears' for labor. Without illegals (who are willing to work for less, thus lowering the labor market threshold), the market demands a higher wage for the labor they need done. The corrupt Mexican Government & Vincente Fox: What a deal for Mexico! They get to export their poverty and crime problem to the USA. Then they benefit by the billions of dollars sent annually back to Mexico. What is THEIR incentive to assist us in stemming the tide? The social welfare system: As long as illegals have access to financial and medical benefits, there is a tremendous incentive for poor Mexicans to seek to flee Mexico and cash in here. So, while it is in the best interests of the nation to secure our borders and return the uninvited parasites home, there is much political pressure to wink, nod, and turn a blind eye..."
Illegal Aliens Are Under Fire
"Raymundo's fear and Palacios's defiance show how diverse the immigrant experience can be-even within one family, reports Miami Bureau Chief Arian Campo-Flores... Even those who don't share such sympathies-like the 28% of U.S.-born Latinos who consider illegals a burden on the country, according to the Pew Hispanic Center-are likely to become protective if they believe that immigrants are being demonized."
Drew McKissick _Red State_
Senate Arrogance on Immigration
"What is happening in the Senate on the immigration issue is arrogance. Plain and simple, old-fashioned, 'we know better than you do' arrogance. In the face of overwhelming public opposition to virtually every facet of the [Specter/] McCain/ Kennedy Senate bill regarding immigration reform, the Judiciary Committee, by a vote of 12 to 6, reported the bill to the full Senate... And without any serious border enforcement, much less the proposed physical barrier that could be erected along the most difficult to patrol areas of our border, the Senate bill would lead us full circle to our present situation a decade from now. This is to say nothing of the fact that, once potential border-crossers see that we're an easy touch once they actually get into the country, more of them are sure to follow... If we want to see the number of illegals increase, then give the ones that are here now amnesty and a green light towards citizenship. If we want less, then secure the border and begin penalizing the businesses that knowingly hire them. Period... Too many politicians see future political advantage in several million more poor immigrants with voter registration cards. Too many liberals see advantage to having a larger constituency to lobby on behalf of for government benefits. Too many members of the business community see the dollar signs that come with cheap labor. So how do the American people feel about all of this? According to each and every major poll on the subject, they disagree. Overwhelmingly. The various polls were conducted by Time/Warner, Quinnipiac, Gallup, NBC/Wall Street Journal and IQ Research and, while the numbers vary slightly from poll to poll, suffice it to say that an average of three-fifths to three-fourths of the American public agree on the following: They support construction of a security fence on our border; think illegals should be treated as felons; oppose giving them a path to citizenship; want employers who hire them penalized; think illegals increase the likelihood of terrorism; and think they cost [tax-victims] too much because of demands for public education and health care. A whopping 88% of Americans consider illegal immigration to be a serious problem and 71% say they would vote for Congressional candidates who would tighten immigration."
2006-04-03 16:21PDT (19:21EDT) (23:21GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Bill Thomas says USA disagreements with EU on agricultural trade are irreconcilable
"bogged down by disagreements over agricultural subsidies. The Bush administration last fall sought to jump-start the talks by offering a plan that would have required the United States and other wealthy nations to slash domestic farm subsidies and reduce tariffs on imported agricultural goods. But counter-offers from the European Union have so far failed to pass muster with U.S. officials..."
|"A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American, and the man who goes among you to trade upon your nationality is not a worthy son to live under the Stars and Stripes." --- Woodrow Wilson|
Jenny Barchfield _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Strikes Continue To Distrupt France
"Protesters have mounted ever-larger demonstrations for two months against the law, which would make it easier to fire young workers. But president Jacques Chirac signed it anyway Sunday, saying it will help France keep pace with the global economy. He offered modifications, but students and unions rejected them, saying they want the law withdrawn, not softened... Irish budget airline Ryanair canceled all its flights in and out of France... Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin devised the disputed "first job contract" as a bid to boost the economy and stem chronic youth unemployment. He maintains it would encourage hiring by allowing employers to fire workers under 26 during their first 2 years on a job without giving a reason. The measure is meant to cut a 22% unemployment rate among youths that reaches 50% in some poor, heavily immigrant neighborhoods. Villepin has cited the national statistics agency as saying it would create up to 80K new jobs at zero cost to the state."
2006-04-03 22:00PDT (2006-04-04 01:00EDT) (2006-04-04 05:00GMT)
Alan Keyes _World Net Daily_
Immigration, yes! Colonization, no!
"Accepting the presence of large numbers of people who maintain their allegiance to a foreign flag, a foreign language and a foreign culture -- and who mean to claim many of the benefits but none of the responsibilities of citizenship -- is a departure from the tradition that built this nation, and the culmination of inept policies that will end in its dissolution."
2006-04-04 04:30PDT (07:30EDT) (11:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US lay-off plans fell to 11-month low
"according to the latest tally by out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas released Tuesday. Lay-offs last month amounted to 64,975, down 26% from February's 87,437 and down 25% from March 2005's 86,396... Lay-offs for the first quarter as a whole fell by 11% from the fourth quarter to 255,878. Quarterly lay-offs were also down 11% from a year ago... In March, telecommunications companies cut 11,047, as a wave of mergers forced job reductions. Industrial goods companies cut 9,668 jobs... In the most recent government data, 1.55M lay-offs and discharges were reported in January."
2006-04-04 03:13PDT (06:13EDT) (10:13GMT)
Enquirer 80 stock index up 0.06%
"The Enquirer 80 Index of local interest stocks rose .18 points, or 0.06%, to 300.67. 32 issues were up, 44 were down and four were unchanged. Leading gainers were Kendle International, up $1.04 to $32.51; General Cable Corp., up 78 cents to $30.59; International Paper, up 50 cents to $35.22; Reed Elsevier PLC, up 49 cents to $38.59; and Lexmark International, up 47 cents to $45.73. Biggest losers were Meridian Diagnostics Inc., down $1.25 to $26; LCA Vision Inc., down $1.17 to $47.83; Harris Corp., down $1.02 to $46.32; Humana Inc., down 56 cents to $51.50; and Hillenbrand Industries, down 55 cents to $53.85."
Daniel Sneider _Arizona Star_
That's no way to treat a guest
"what is happening to the United States is only one piece, although a big one, of a much larger global picture... Singapore tries to lure 'talents', very skilled and affluent migrants, to stay permanently. But the men hauling bricks and the maids washing laundry are in a separate class of temporary guest-workers, with no chance to join their society. If a maid gets pregnant, she is shipped out within 7 days. Employers have to post bonds that must be paid should their servants break the rules and try to stay, making them play the role of migrant police. Singapore's dependence on migrant labor and its guest-worker policy may be at the extreme end but are very much on the global spectrum. The numbers are staggering. From 1980 to 2000, the number of migrants living in the developed world more t han doubled from 48M to 110M. Migrants make up an average 12% of the work force in high-income countries. About 4M migrants cross borders illegally every year... [Low fertility means falling population density, i.e. less over-crowding, improved education, more opportunity, more liberty, as was learned when plagues swept Europe in the 1300s, disrupting the roots of feudalism that had been set in place by Diocletian's edicts against mobility and restricting children to the trades and cultural standings of their parents.] But the Singapore experience -- and previous guest-worker programs like the German import of Turks -- should prompt second thoughts about going down this road. One problem is that the guests don't leave. The United States has its own experience with this in the 'bracero' program to import farm-workers and more recently with the supposedly temporary H-1B visas [abused] so extensively by the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Most troubling to me, these programs create an underclass of migrants who are never assimilated, as happened in Germany."
Noble Johns _Black News Weekly_
The illegal aliens must go: And, what parts of "illegal" do the fools in Washington, DC, not understand?
"the reality is that illegal immigration cut in the earning power of working Americans, and is just another attempt by the people in power to not share the wealth of this country. In other words, as long as we have an illegal immigration problem, you will need to work 2, sometimes 3, jobs to make ends meet... Security is tight for the summit in the beach resort whose Mayan name means 'nest of serpents'. Mexico sealed off much of the island, even imposing a naval blockade. Before getting down to business, Stupid Bush scheduled to visit the nearby ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza on Thursday morning. It was an unusual cultural diversion for a president who usually keeps a tight diplomatic schedule on foreign trips..."
Debra J. Saunders _San Francisco Chronicle_
"[Congress-critters] who support an immigration bill that would [create two additional] guest-worker [programs] and what senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), called a 'pathway to legal status' for illegal immigrants insist that they want to discourage further illegal immigration. If so, they can prove it. All they have to do is pass a law that allows for that legal pathway only after the number of illegal immigrants in America shrinks from some [24M] today to 8M, or another number that represents a true reduction in illegal immigrants. When the number of illegal immigrants dips below 8M, a trigger would allow the federal government to start proceedings to enable those illegal immigrants who otherwise have followed the rules [to] become legal residents, and eventually citizens... The problem is: Amnesty begets more illegal immigration... Krikorian believes members of Congress are promising tougher enforcement, but 'they have no intention of enforcing the immigration laws. Period... I feel conflicted. I want to welcome immigrants in America. I have met people who came here illegally and worked hard, long hours in their pursuit of the American dream. I want them to join the American family. I also know that America can absorb only so many people. The influx of illegal immigration has depressed wages for low-skilled workers [just as some guest-worker programs have been showed to depress compensation for highly-skilled workers]."
2006-04-04 07:14PDT (10:14EDT) (14:14GMT)
Carl Limbacher _News Max_
88% Say Immigration Is A Key Issue for November Elections
Doug Wrenn _Los Angeles Chronicle_
Leadership and Flag-Waving
"As soon as I aw all the TV coverage of all those little darlings who willfully abandoned their classrooms in Los Angeles, many of whom were waving Mexican flags in protest to illegal immigration reform, my gut told me that it was just a matter of time before the left would start banning the American flag, of course, to be 'tolerant' and not to 'offend' anyone. (And by the way, why isn't the American city of 'Los Angeles' called 'The Angels'?) In one Colorado school, the American flag has been banned, at least for now. In Houston, Texas, a school principle hoisted a Mexican flag... It is historically typical of the left to be cowardly and pandering; although they would have you believe they are 'open minded', 'progressive', or 'objective'. At some point in our corrosive culture, cowardice and indecisiveness merged into elitism, and is now trendy at the types of parties in which the attendees' noses and pinky fingers both extend in the same northerly direction... At some point, we forgot or abandoned what is right and wrong. Absolutes and personal accountability have been replaced by moral relativism and excessive, erroneous obsession with [pseudo-] self-esteem... Illegal immigrants are simply 'immigrants', with the word 'illegal' deliberately and deceitfully deleted, or they are 'undocumented workers'... Illegal immigrants are like any other amoral person. They interpret kindness for weakness, and you can never show them weakness. Be weak or even appear to be weak, and you will have the same situation as feeding a feral cat, it never leaves, and even becomes more demanding, more, more, more, all the time, more, nothing is ever enough. No 'thank you', just 'more', and that is precisely what we are seeing now. Years and decades of apathy, incompetence, political correct cowardice and weakness have resulted in our current illegal immigration crisis. Demands replace requests, rage replaces discontent, the simmer becomes a boil, and tens of millions replace hundreds of thousands, and keep on coming, while the boiling gets even hotter... Attention immigrants, here illegally, and those who feel a divided allegiance, take your flags back to your homeland. There is no place for them here. Either you are Americans, or you are not. You cannot assimilate into two countries. Allegiance is determined by a solid commitment to only one country."
Jessica Azulay _New Standard_
Senate Immigration Proposal Lacks Worker Protections: Law-suit high-lights the limits
"Last week, several immigrants joined a complaint filed last year alleging that the US government is violating worker protections established under NAFTA. The plaintiffs -- Edgar Peña, Guillermo Orozco, Anastacio Valdez and Rosa Hernandez -- came to the USA to work in a corn-packing plant under H-2B visas, which authorize temporary work in certain sectors. They allege that their employer, Mountain Fresh Corn, promised hourly wages of $6.26, free housing and consistent work, but that when they arrived, they worked very few hours at wages below the federal minimum wage, which is $5.14 [per] hour. They also say, according to the complaint filed on their behalf, that when they sought legal advice, the company retaliated against them by terminating their contract... The 4 new plaintiffs joined 16 other H-2B visa-holders who filed similar charges against other employers in 2005... A major barrier to court access, write the attorneys, is that legal aid services that receive federal funding through the federally chartered Legal Services Corporation (LSC) cannot represent H-1B visa holders... the workers spent months searching for a private lawyer to take the case pro bono."
Doug Hagin _American Chronicle_
The Ugly Truth about Illegal Immigration Demonstrations
"It is, in the end, about eroding and eventually destroying America's sovereignty... Can any nation really maintain its laws, security or sovereignty if it cannot control its own borders? The answer is no. No nation can survive long if its borders are laid open for anyone and everyone, to come in without regard for laws or borders... those intent on making illegal immigration acceptable and some type of new, invented 'civil right' are a direct threat to this nation's security and sovereignty. Knowing this, does it come as any sort of surprise that those demanding non-existent US borders are almost entirely on the Left?... To these people, the United States is not a beacon of liberty or goodness to the rest of the world. To them the United States is the cause of every problem in the world. Yes, they do want to destroy this nation, and they recognize that eradicating America's border is a path to that end... Groups like Aztlan, which has one purpose, to re-take the American Southwest and reunite it with Mexico... Mexica... wants not only the Southwest, but also the entire North American continent! A visit to their web site will prove extremely instructional. This group is adamant the Europeans must not only welcome illegal immigrants but must also leave the continent as well. Talk about intolerant, fascist, and racist!... Next, please consider why these defenders of illegal immigrants carried Mexican flags and chanted Viva Mexico! Why not carry American flags? Isn't their goal to allow these poor people to become Americans? Why do they wave the flag of the nation these people left? &nbnsp; Does this make any sense at all? [it seems that] the issue is many want to be here, enjoy the benefits, reap the rewards, they do not want to follow our laws, and THEN, they want to insult our country and spit on our flag when we demand they respect our laws!... Why [are] none of these protesters upset that Mexico keeps illegal aliens from enteing their country by military force?"
J.B. Williams _New Media Journal_
This Land Is Our Land... Or Is It Their Land?
"It appears that Americas open arms policy towards immigration has lost its luster after 230 years, especially after 2001/09/11. Under increasing pressure from constituents to do something about the massive illegal immigration problems at our borders, legislators begin the process of doing what they do best, nothing... You're not supposed to notice that had we enforced any of the already existing immigration laws over the last 50 years, we wouldn't be having this conversation now. Nor are you supposed to figure out that any new law they pass now, will be enforced (or not enforced) with the same vigor as the old... Meanwhile, illegal immigrants and those who support the notion of an open society where our laws, language, principles and traditions don't matter, take to the streets in protest against any effort to address illegal immigration at all... Unless I'm missing something, there is only one reasonable cure for the problem and that is to enforce the laws these people broke the moment they set foot on US soil in the first place. If you are here illegally already, what other law do we need? Did we forget to pass a law establishing our right to enforce our laws?... Since they don't care what our laws say, what difference can one more law make? If not enforced, the answer is none! And we have no reason to believe that anyone in Washington is interested in enforcing any of these laws, old or new... The guest-worker idea is designed to entice these lawless visitors into compliance. Do they look enticed by this idea to you, as they march in your city streets with signs saying 'Gringos must leave, not us'? They don't look enticed to me, by this generous offer... Enforcement is our problem and I can't even imagine another law improving the situation, much less solving it. Unless of course, someone in Washington wants to sponsor a bill that would increase the existing penalties and fund an all out search, capture and deport mission while standing the National Guard on our borders?"
Rachel Tueller _The Spectrum_
Demonstrators against Illegal Immigration Rally outside Federal Building
"'I waited to come here legally, so should everyone.', the sign read... Graves stood in line 13 hours... 'I stood in line with the U.S. Embassy for at least 4 hours just to get an interview. There wasn't a guarantee the interviewer would let me pass.', she said... 'There are 4.5G people in the world who want to come here that are poorer than Mexico. We can't absorb them. They can't all come here and certainly not all at once.', said Don, noting regulations for those who enter legally include screenings for infectious diseases, criminal background checks and proof of financial sustainability. 'When people come here illegally we don't know what we're getting'... 'We want to find out how we can stop illegal invasion, we're trying to find solutions.', she said. 'I love the Mexican people. It's not against them, it's the fact that they're getting the privileges of American citizens without paying... We don't want to see anybody hurt, but we're hurt financially. We're paying for their babies, we're paying for the childrens' [education].' 'I'm not anti-Mexican, I'm an American and I want to see things done properly.', said Larry Scott, a Santa Barbara, CA native who spent 8 years donating time as a private pilot to fly medical staff to Mexico to care for the poor."
2006-04-04 09:39PDT (12:39EDT) (16:39GMT)
Suzanne Gamboa _New York Sun_/_AP_
Majority of Senate Opposes Additional Guest-Worker Programs for Illegal Immigrants, but maneuvering continues
Olberlin Kansas Times
Cleveland Plain Dealer
San Jose Mercury News
Wesley Pruden _Jewish World Review_
Only more chaos will preserve order
"The U.S. Senate's Amnesty Caucus, the sob-sister chorus, is winning this [propaganda] match. Whether they can preserve the chaos on the border is something else. Their guest-worker bill, designed by Rube Goldberg & Associates, is a 'solution' not intended to actually solve very much, but to preserve abuses valuable to that small corporate sliver of the gringo majority."
Many Employers Favor Guest-Worker Plans, And Many Employees Oppose Them
"One camp wants to place... restrictions on illegal immigrants to allow for more jobs for American workers; opponents say that would create a worker shortage -- because most Americans wouldn't work those jobs -- and drive up prices that consumers won't pay. The other side wants a guest-worker program, which proponents say could help keep the regular flow of cheap labor and costs down. Opponents, however, believe such a program couldn't work or be enforced any better than the current system."
Ron Fink _Lompoc Record_
Stiff Penalties & Strong Enforcement Are Needed To Curb Illegal Immigration
"So, let me get this right; nearly a million Hispanic illegal aliens take several days off from jobs that they shouldn't have anyway (because of their illegal status) and their truant kids skip school to 'demonstrate their dissatisfaction with our immigration policies' and we are supposed to change our laws to accommodate them! To make matters worse, Mexico is now demanding that their government be allowed to 'help formulate new laws' in the United States. Give me a break... where was the Immigration and Naturalization Service during these gatherings? It seems to me like this was an excellent opportunity for enforcement of existing laws concerning illegal aliens."
Daniel John Sobieski _SouthWest News Herald_
A Nation of Bus-boys or Engineers
"The irony over the prominent display of company Mexican flags is that the Mexican Constitution's famous article 33 gives the Mexican government the right to expel immediately, with no right of appeal, any non-Mexican whose presence in that country is 'deemed inconvenient'... One argument is that they provide a source of cheap labor that benefits the American economy. But what might be cheap for a company may be very costly for society. Some 40% of the inmates in California prisons are illegal aliens and in addition to added law enforcement costs, illegal aliens burden our already strapped educational and health care systems... They are the foreign professionals -- from engineers to mathematicians to computer programmers -- who hope to get one of the precious few H-1B visas. That would let them come and work at U.S. technology companies such as Hotmail and Intel, themselves founded by immigrants -- legal immigrants. [Unmentioned by Sobieski are the hundreds of thousands of capable US citizen scientists, engineers and computer wranglers displaced by these cheap, mediocre H-1B guest-workers.]"
2006-04-04 10:43PDT (13:43EDT) (17:43GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Red China over-due for muscular enforcement... and this time we really sort of mean it... maybe, some day
"The United States must treat [Red China] as a 'fully accountable stakeholder' and must insist that '[Red China] play a constructive role', Stratford said... In the United States, the U.S.-[Red China] Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade will meet next week ahead of [Red Chinese] President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington in 2 weeks. In Geneva, the World Trade Organization [WTO] will conduct its first full trade policy review of [Red China] on April 19 and 21. A week ago, the United States filed a complaint against [Red China] at the World Trade Organization, charging Beijing with maintaining an illegal tariff on imported auto parts."
Bryan Virasami _New York News Day_
Mayor Bloomberg rebukes congress-critters for sham reform on immigration
"Bloomberg took aim at Congress, asking why the federal government cannot adequately control the borders. 'In this day and age, you should be able to get control of your border. You can do it with physical barriers. You can do it with people standing there. You can do it with technology or a variety of ways.', Bloomberg said at a Manhattan news conference. 'But [it's] a sham program of ''We're going to get control of our borders, thank you very much'', and then, we do nothing.'"
George W. Grayson _Fredericksburg Free-Lance/Star_
Sly Fox presses USA to care for people from Mexico, so his elite can play
"Specifically, he argued for additional visas for Mexicans to enter the United States and Canada, the expansion of guest-worker schemes, and the 'regularization' of illegal immigrants who reside throughout the continent... In a recent interview with CNN, the Mexican chief executive excoriated as 'undemocratic' the extension of a wall on [a short stretch of] the U.S.-Mexico border and called for the 'orderly, safe, and legal' north-bound flow of Mexicans, many of whom come from his home state of Guanajuato... Such rhetoric would be more convincing if Mexican officials were making a good-faith effort to up-lift the 50% of their 106M people who live in poverty... neither he nor Mexico's law-makers have advanced measures that would spur sustained growth, improve the quality of the work force, curb unemployment, and obviate the flight of Mexicans abroad... Education commands just 5.3% of its GDP and health care only 6.10%, according to the World Bank's last comparative study. A venal, 'come-back-tomorrow' bureaucracy explains the 58 days it takes to open a business in Mexico compared with 3 days in Canada, 5 days in the U.S.A., 9 days in Jamaica, and 27 days in Chile [???]. Mexico's private sector estimates that 34% of the firms in the country made 'extra official' payments to functionaries and legislators in 2004. These bribes totaled $11.2G and equaled 12% of GDP. Transparency International, a nongovernmental organization, placed Mexico in a tie with Ghana, Panama, Peru, and Turkey for 65th among 158 countries surveyed for corruption. Economic competition is constrained by the presence of inefficient, over-staffed state oil and electricity monopolies, as well as a small number of private corporations -- closely linked to government big shots -- that control telecommunications, television [just as local monopolies and national oligopolies are maintained by governments in the USA!], food processing, transportation, construction, and cement. Politicians who talk about, much less propose, trust-busting measures are as rare as a snow-fall in the Sonoran Desert."
Tom Adelstein _LXer_
"Some things just seem incongruous to me. With a pool of unemployed American technology workers willing to work at a convenience store rather than starve, [the Senate judiciary committee] has decided to allow more H-1B workers into the USA. Additionally, I also love seeing the flag of Mexico at protest rallies favoring guest-workers. Most US citizens come from the family of immigrants. My great grand-parents, for example, migrated from Germany and Italy. Asking around, no one recalls them hoisting up the flags of the Deutschland after arriving here. The worse criticism seems to revolve around my great grand-mother's pasta sauce bothering the in-laws. American companies send jobs abroad while companies like Toyota open plants in the US and hire experienced auto workers and save money. How do people explain such anomalies?... I'm discontinuing my subscription to InformationWeek. I'm also planning to boycott publications using MSFT 'Get the Facts' advertisements when I see them."
Rob Sanchez _V Dare_/_Job Destruction News-Letter_
"O" No! Dorismar Got an "O" Visa!
"'O' visas are one of the few guest-worker programs that have evaded public debate. Traditionally they have been used for a small number of aliens of 'exceptional foreign talent'. Typically these visas are granted to aliens who have received internationally recognized awards, such as the Nobel Prize. Unlike the H-1B visa, which employers use to import cheap labor for white-collar jobs, 'O' visa recipients must truly be exceptional. But, in an amazing development, an Argentine pin-up girl for Playboy Magazine, Dorismar (a.k.a. Dora Noemi Kerchen), has been approved for an 'O' visa on the argument that her good looks qualify her. (Research the question on her official web site.) This means the 'O' visa is on the verge of becoming another guest-worker visa program. The Dorismar controversy began when she was arrested at her Florida home on 2006 January 5 for violating U.S. immigration laws. Dorismar was getting ready to sign a contract to be a calendar-girl for a trucking company when she heard pounding at her front door. She found Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers handcuffing her husband. Dorismar, who was also arrested, was deported along with her husband to Buenos Aires within 8 hours... Dorismar's 'O' visa is an insult to the great scientists, businessmen, and artists from around the world that qualify for an 'O' visa. It sets a very bad precedent that can only make our immigration system an even bigger farce than it already is -- and turn the 'O' visa into a cheap labor program like H-1B."
_House Judiciary Committee_
76% of Small Business Owners Believe Employment Eligibility Verification System to Have Minimal or No Burden on Them (pdf)
2006-04-04 13:53PDT (16:53EDT) (20:53GMT)
Rex Crum _MarketWatch_
Maxtor to cut 900
Bill Reed Manufacturing & Technology News
Enough with the Engineer shortage whining (pdf)
"For the past 50 years, there have been cries of an impeding 'crisis' caused by shortages of engineers and scientists. It has not come to pass, and won't. Yet Congress, bowing at the alter of corporate donations, paid trips and bribes has done whatever it can to pass legislation that benefits America's large transnational corporations at the expense of American engineers... Industry's thirst for cheap foreign labor simply cannot be quenched. Foreign labor is the drug of choice for the captains of industry. Three organizations, in particular, have ballyhooed engineering shortages with little regard for the facts... The AeA survey resulted in billions of dollars being funneled to academia to increase and enlarge the engineering schools to produce more engineers. But the universities receiving the largesse were rejecting many Americans including minorities at the same time they were before Congress requesting additional funding and recruiting over-seas... In 1992 April, the National Science Foundation's [NSF] unofficial, boot-leg study entitled 'Future Scarcities of Scientists and Engineers: Problems and Solutions', which was produced in 1989, was discredited in a Congressional hearing because of its poor methodology, lack of peer review and the unusual distribution method used to get it to the media. The shortages projected had failed to materialize. This report was quoted extensively in representative Bruce Morrison's (D-CT) 1990 immigration hearings and was the basis for nearly tripling from 25K to 65K the number of foreign engineers and scientists allowed into the United States. From the very beginning, labor economists and statisticians -- including those inside the Science Foundation -- scoffed at the methodology of this study as seriously flawed... The RAND study reached the following conclusion: 'Altogether, the data do not portray the kind of vigorous employment and earnings prospects that would be expected to draw increasing numbers of bright and informed young people into the [science & engineering] fields.'"
James P. Pinkerton _New York News Day_
Intellectuals Have Turned Against Illegal Immigration
"For decades, ordinary Americans' concerns about illegal immigration were dismissed by the propagandists of the open-borders elite as 'racist' and 'reactionary'. When occasional eruptions of anti-illegal sentiment burst forth, as with California's Proposition 187 in 1994, the establishment united to stomp out such 'nativism' [but now the illegal aliens and their backers have openly displayed their racism and Mexican nationalism]. But, beyond the bicoastal zones where the open-borders elite wields the most influence, the illegal-immigration issue has continued to bubble up. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) is nobody's idea of an elitist or an insider - so he was free to [join the ranks of] this populist cause. Of course, Tancredo has been savaged by the main-stream media; just on Friday, The Washington Post suggested that his views on immigration were a function of his own odd mentality: It was his 'anger', the Post explained, that led to his 'obsession' with immigration. Most politicians back off in the face of such criticism, but Tancredo is out to make [a small but significant] change... Besides, finally, the ruling class is suffering dissolution; some members are even switching sides, joining the one-nation-building, border-securing revolution. Writing in the [leftist] Post, centrist columnist Robert Samuelson declared that the guest-worker program [is] a 'bad bargain' that would have the United States 'importing poverty'... The ruling class is no longer united in its open-border enthusiasm. And so, divided, the elite falls on this issue."
2006-04-04 (5766 Nissan 6)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Are Facts Obsolete?
"Former House Majority leader Dick Armey put it this way: 'Demagoguery beats data.'... People who have made up their minds and don't want to be confused by the facts are a danger to the whole society... Even institutions that are set up to pass on facts -- the media, schools, academia -- too often treat facts as expendable and use their strategic positions to filter out facts which go against their own preconceptions... [Some incidents -- not a few planned, organized and promoted by media -- are] big news to be dramatized [while others are] passed over in silence by much of the media. The net result is that the public gets filtered facts, which can create an impression the direct opposite of the truth... Those who are in the business of teaching the young, whether in the public schools or on college campuses, too often see this not as a responsibility to pass on what is known but as an opportunity to indoctrinate students with their own beliefs. Many 'educators' and the gurus who indoctrinated them actively disparage 'mere facts', which they say you can get from an almanac or encyclopedia."
Jean-Marie Godard _abc_
Riots Continue in France over Easier Firing of Younger Workers
Cinnamon Stillwell _San Francisco Chronicle_
Illegal Immigration Has Exceeded Critical Mass
"The issue of illegal immigration, while long rolling beneath the surface of American politics, [has finally been noticed by the media. What brought it to their unwilling notice was] the introduction of House Judiciary committee chairman James Sensenbrenner's (R-WI) bill, HR4437 (an earlier version as pdf), to the Senate following its passage by the house last December. The first attempt at real immigration reform [general reform] since 1986, this common-sense legislation would have made [illegal immigration] a felony, authorized additional fencing [along a small portion of the] boder and required all employers to use an electronic verification system to ensure that workers are legal residents [but stopped short of requiring thorough background checks for visa applicants or fencing either border in its entirety]... But just the idea that the United States of America might actually seek to control the flood of illegal immigrants over its southern border sent opponents into a frenzy... hundreds of thousands of demonstrators demanded nothing less than an end to American sovereignty. Far from simply opposing Sensenbrenner's bill, signs, slogans and speeches supported the immediate 'legalization' of every single illegal immigrant in the United States of America. They also eschewed the idea that future illegal immigrants should be obstructed by anything so crass as a border... America is no longer asked to give refuge to the poor, huddled masses but to allow itself to be over-run by them. A common theme in the demonstrations and school walkouts was the preponderance of Mexican flags. The irony of demanding American citizenship while holding aloft the flag of a foreign country was not lost on American viewers. The burning and desecration of American flags involved in some cases and all the racist 'gringo' rhetoric didn't help... Indeed, there's more than one way to conquer territory, and a demographic takeover is often more effective than a military one. Mexican nationalist sentiment in favor of 'reconquista' or reclaiming the southwestern United States, otherwise known as Aztlan, is no longer confined to the fringes. It has now become a popular sentiment, intoned by Hispanic politicians, professors, activists and students. The fact that it was a common theme in the recent protests points to the effectiveness of years of unchecked political indoctrination in schools and universities by groups such as the National Council of La Raza and MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil de Chicanos de Aztlan). Such are the fruits of eschewing assimilation for multiculturalism. If the unholy alliance of business interests, labor unions, liberal elements of the Catholic Church and other clergy, Hispanic organizations, civil rights groups and leftist organizations has its way, America as we know it will be a thing of the past... Big business wants to retain an unending supply of cheap labor; labor unions and church activists desire increased membership; Hispanic and civil rights organizations want U.S. [tax-victims] to continue funding illegal immigration and leftist groups seek to undermine American power by any means necessary. Joining the open-borders lobby are Democratic and Republican politicians, playing their part in search of the ever-elusive Hispanic vote, legal or otherwise... In fact, illegal immigrants do not make up the majority of workers in any occupation, and they comprise less than 5% of the U.S. work-force. Far from the claims that the country would simply collapse without illegal immigrants, American workers are quite capable of stepping up to the plate, particularly if employers were willing to pay them decent wages. Indeed, such a shift would almost certainly result in an increase in wages for all Americans. None of this information has prevented Bush from pushing his proposal for additional guest-worker visa programs, which, despite his claims to the contrary, is simply amnesty by another means. When illegal immigrants are granted work permits, residency and all the benefits of citizenship, that's amnesty. Besides, we already have guest-worker plans that puts Americans out of work (pdf) and depress wages, e.g. the H-1B visa program. Bush's proposal will simply do more of the same..."
Henry A. Rhodes 1994-04-05 Nativist and Racist Movements in the USA and their Aftermath
Allan Wall Memo from Mexico: Who is Jose Angel Gutierrez and what does he want?
US Companies Are Turning to H-1B Guest-Workers Rather than Recruiting or Retaining US Citizens
"Thousands of U.S. citizens have been replaced by H-1B visa holders, often at lower wages. Many have also had to train their replacements if they wanted to receive a severance package. The administration's Office of Management and Budget concluded in a 2005 report that the H-1B program is 'vulnerable to fraud or abuse'. The report recommended adding 'an audit function or other anti-fraud protections', and advocated requiring 'employers filing H-1B applications to test the labor market to ensure no U.S. workers are available and willing to fill the position'. (Huber's testimony and that of the 3 other witnesses.) Rather than expanding the H-1B program, as the Senate Judiciary Committee has recommended, IEEE-USA believes the permanent immigration of skilled scientists and engineers is better for our country's capacity to innovate and meet high-tech work-force demands. IEEE-USA also supports the H-1B reform legislation that representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) introduced last November."
John Miano's testimony
David Hinckley _New York Daily News_
Hispanic media rally behind illegal immigration (and so does most US non-Hispanic media)
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
shortage of (cheap) labor
"The pattern is quite familiar by now, in the following steps:
1. Industry lobbyists send a lavish press kit, and/or meet with the editorial board, of a newspaper, urging an increase in the H-1B visa cap.
2. A reporter for the newspaper, needing a quote from an employer, interviews an employer suggested by the industry lobbyists.
3. The employer tells the reporter that he needs to hire H-1Bs because he cannot find qualified [great weasel word] Americans for the job.
4. The reporter then dutifully puts that quote in the article.
5. Either Rob Sanchez in his e-news-letter, or I in mine, look up that employer in the Dept. of Labor H-1B data-base, and lo and behold, find that the employers is paying his H-1Bs below-market wages.
Sure enough, in this Dallas Morning News/Seattle Times article, we again see an employer pulling the wool over the reporters' eyes... Well, if the reporters had checked on the DoL H-1B web page they would have found that Vensiti is hiring H-1Bs as computer systems analysts in the $40K range. The highest rate they list [for Vensiti] is for a SENIOR systems analyst, at $58K. Yet even a new graduate in computer science makes over $50K per year. IOW, $40K is well below what experienced people make. Note once again that Vensiti's under-payment of its H-1Bs is almost certainly legal, due to huge loop-holes in the law and regulations. But again, my main point is that the Dallas Morning News is using Vensiti as an example of the industry lobbyists' claimed labor shortage, when in fact what Vensiti wants is cheap, below-market labor... an op-ed (curiously labeled as 'Advice') in Computerworld [written] by an employer, who again says he 'needs' H-1Bs due to a 'shortage' of qualified Americans. But of course it turns out that he's doing the same thing as Vensiti. The DoL web page shows Global Consulting [another body shop] as hiring a bunch of computer programmers in the $40K range."
Jenni Glenn & Sherry Slater _Fort Wayne Journal Gazette_
Propping up area executives and under-mining US citizen workers
Hopefully Corrupt Business Executives Will Get Penalized by Immigration Reform
"are now fighting a defensive battle against angry populist Republicans who want to seal the border and punish companies that employ illegals. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) won a standing ovation for skewering companies that profit from imported labor. 'The conservative movement can either be the voice of principle or it can be the voice of the Chamber of Commerce.', Tancredo [said]. 'But it cannot be both.'... Tancredo and his allies pose a more immediate threat to business' long-term [desire] for a steady stream of [cheap] foreign workers... A compromise is likely to include language requiring companies to confirm the legal status of all employees and prospective hires. Angelo I. Amador, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's immigration policy director, says that plan would be a bureaucratic nightmare costing employers at least $12G for compliance [but NFIB members found it far more palabable]... 'The illegal immigration lobby in the U.S.A. is big business.', says Tancredo spokesman Will Adams. 'They have an addiction to cheap labor.'"
2006-04-05 05:48PDT (08:48EDT) (12:48GMT)
Joe McAdams _Argus_
Guest-Worker Visas Under-Mine Unemployed Citizens
"Your paper's editorial support of a 57% increase in the annual H-1B visa cap created by Congress to allow technical workers to enter the United States of America is a stab in the back to all the unemployed or potential citizen technical workers of this country! Your paper is advocating the under-mining of opportunity for young graduates and unemployed U.S. citizens. These visa workers choke off opportunities for experienced and novice U.S. citizen technical workers since the visa workers are the preferred choice of the companies recruiting them, mainly because they are [cheap]. Consequently they will work for a salary which a U.S. citizen would consider unfair in the U.S. economy [with its higher costs and quality of living]. This works great for the employers, but is devastating to aspiring citizen technical workers (recent graduates or laid-off employees) whose value is under-cut by the larger worker pool... Congress today is unduly influenced by the interests of the business lobby. The well being of U.S. citizens working for wages has for decades been severely under-mined by this technical worker visa legislation. Overall the legislation has had the effect of Congress subsidizing the U.S. and global business interests at the expense of U.S. citizen workers! Economies of countries are made up of both labor and management, and justice demands some balance in the mix for their citizens!"
Rich Calcaterra _Opinion Editorials_
Invaders, Intruders, Law-Breakers. Not Guests
"What does it take to get the government at all levels to react to this crisis? I see crowds of men hanging out on street corners apparently looking for day labor. What ever happened to loitering laws? The police aren't even required to stop and disperse the large groups who are loitering... Americans did those jobs in the past and will do them if the illegals were not working them. The underground economy driving this problem is what is keeping Americans from getting the jobs being stolen from them by the illegals. It is time to get tough with the illegal invaders and with anyone who employs them... It is time we hold our elected reps accountable by voting them out. It is time we DEMAND to have our borders strengthened and also by actually enforce existing immigration laws. As for the illegals here already... Maybe we should refuse to educate, medically treat the invaders and deny citizenship to children born unto illegals. Let Mexico address their own corruption and socialist economy and have them repair it so THEY can provide the avenue that offers employment."
Louise Esola & Scott Marshall & Jo Moreland _North San Diego County Times_
Student flag ban draws criticism
"Oceanside Unified School District officials said they were inundated with phone calls Tuesday by angry people who believed incorrectly that the district had taken down all of its American flags as part of a ban to quell immigration-related protests. The district has temporarily banned individual flags brought to campus by students, but the ban does not apply to the district's American flags already on campus on flag-poles and in class-rooms, officials said Tuesday. The ban went into effect Monday, the first day back to school after the district closed its middle and high school campuses for 2 days last week in the wake of student protests against proposed federal legislation that would [increase penalties for illegal immigration]... The district's decision cannot be based on the substance of protests, but on violence or threats of violence associated with it, Shinoff said."
Thomas Sowell _Bergen Record_
Addressing Phony Arguments in the Illegal Immigration Debate
"For too long, we have bought the argument that being unfortunate entitles you to break the law. Bogus arguments are a tip-off that you wouldn't buy the real reasons for what someone is doing. Phony arguments and phony words are the nor in discussions of immigration policy. It starts with a refusal to call illegal aliens 'illegal aliens' and ends with asking for [demanding] guest-worker status for people who are not guests but gate crashers... What about all those illegal workers that we 'need'? Many of the illegals are working in agriculture, producing crops that have been in chronic surplus for decades. These surplus crops are costing the American [tax-victims] billions of dollars in government storage costs and in the inflated prices created by deliberately keeping much of this agricultural output off the market. Do we 'need' illegal workers to produce bigger surpluses? In California, surplus crops grown and harvested by illegal immigrants are often also subsidized by federal water projects which charge the farmers in dry California valleys far less than the cost to the government of providing that water -- and a fraction of what people in Los Angeles or San Francisco pay for the same amount of water. Surplus crops grown with water supplied at the [tax-victims'] expense and raised by illegal workers can be grown elsewhere with water provided free of charge from the clouds and raised by American workers paid American wages... Right now, those who are identified as illegal, whether at the border, in prisons, at traffic stops or in any of our institutions, face no penalty whatsoever. Identification is not the problem. Doing nothing is the problem."
James Pethokoukis _US News & World Report_
Pit-Falls of Baby Boomer Entrepreneurship
"becoming an entrepreneur requires the sort of 'selling skills' that many boomers may lack if they have spent years in the corporate world: [Selling] is a skill that Entre-Boomers seem to lack. Years of corporate life have taken the hustle [is that industriousness or tendency to scam and defraud?] out of their skill set, which John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, reminds us is key to entrepreneurial success. My experience with working with late-in-life entrepreneurs is an alarming over-confidence."
Marie Jon _National Ledger_
Observations from the "Ground Zero" of Illegal Immigration
"Last weekend, I watched as my state became a symbol of everything that is wrong regarding immigration... Roll that around your brain for a while: the right to stay here illegally... But here in California... it feels more like a land besieged. Last week's march by illegals and their sympathizers felt more like a storming of the gates than it did a protest... maybe, the rest of America has now been forcibly shaken awake, and made aware of a problem that has for decades been ignored, or conveniently overlooked. Ronald Reagan last dealt with the problem of illegal immigration. Reagan's way of dealing with it was to grant amnesty, and promise tougher border security. [Twenty] million people later, somebody forgot to lock the gate..."
Kathleen Parker _Orlando Sentinel_
Amerenglish Spoken Here
"That's the pinch, isn't it? The country's riches and benefits are not free for the picking -- nor are they all necessarily indigenous to the physical territory -- but are part of a national package that demands citizenship of its citizenry. Mexicans are as welcome as any other group of people -- and we all came from somewhere else, including the American Indians whose ancestors migrated from elsewhere -- but reconquering, alas, requires a military action that could get messy. A simpler, more civilized course involves taking a number, waiting in line, and signing on to the principles of assimilation, without which we will not long be a united states of anything or a worthy destination for immigrants."
McAmnesty: Over 20M Served & 250M Abused
"How did it come to this? I never thought the day would come. There is an important issue in American politics. It fires up the conservative base, and will help uplift them after a rough year. It will cause them to turn out in droves on election day. And most importantly, anywhere from 60-80% of the American public is firmly with us on this one. The issue is immigration reform. The people want illegal immigration reduced. After viewing American flags flying upside down underneath Mexican flags, the people view multiculturalism as a failure. They want assimilation. Support for conservative immigration reform is overwhelming. The poor, the middle class, men, women, all ethnic groups, Republicans, Independents, and even many Democrats are looking to the GOP majority to fix the problem... It's first down... we're on the goal line... we could just walk it in for the game winning touchdown... it's so easy... so what do [Republican leaders] do... AMNESTY!!! [i.e. leave the field and forfeit the game]... I could tolerate everything else, but hearing McCain encouraging the protesters who defiled our flag, and telling them to keep up the hard work just did it for me... The border counties have consistently among the highest poverty, crime, and disease rates. They also have the highest rates of uninsured people using government benefits. Oh, and by the way, they have the highest percentages of illegal immigrants. Contrary to the Open-Borders Lobby myth that the economy would go bankrupt without cheap labor, numerous studies have found that poor immigrants use more money in social services, than they contribute in taxes. I call that being a burden. Contrary to Larry Kudlow's thinking, the belief that you should speak English, love America, and that our country is more than just a market, and our people are more than just a factor of production, does not make you a xenophobe, racist, isolationist, nativist, demogogue, or a narrow minded commoner... it makes you an American. To paraphrase Rich Lowry, it's ironic that the people pushing for open-borders, who tend to be free market libertarians, are the same people who believe in the power of the markets to adjust for anything, except a slightly tighter supply of cheap labor. Mexico secures it's southern border better than we secure ours. It also deports foreigners who protest against the government. Make no mistake about it. Any guest-worker/amnesty plan that promises enforcement won't deliver, it'll be like 1986 all over again. Heavy on amnesty, non-existant on enforcement."
Sara A. Carter _Inland Valley Daily Bulletin_
Border Officials To Testify
"Today, in Washington, DC, legislative leaders will get an earful from law enforcement officials who insist that federal support is needed to combat the growing dangers along the Southwest border, and the Senate will continue to struggle for ways [not] to compromise on the divisive legislation... Supporters of a guest-worker program to allow illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. said Tuesday they don't have enough Senate votes to overcome objections from conservatives who oppose the measure because it amounts to an amnesty... Today, numerous sheriffs from along the U.S.-Mexico border are set to meet with Senate and House leaders to discuss the future of tough border security legislation, which passed the House in mid-December... A coalition representing sheriff's departments from all 24 counties along the Mexican border formed in mid-March as a way of focusing on growing crime and violence along the border. Coalition members insist border security legislation aimed at preventing illegal immigration with added funding for law enforcement is essential to national security... Officials from law enforcement agencies, counties and cities along the U.S.-Mexico border contend they can no longer pay the rising costs of working and living along the porous border. The majority of the responsibility should reside with the federal government, they say. California Republicans said state costs for illegal immigration reached $10G last year and that the state bears the burden of $743.3M to house, feed and provide medical care to an estimated 18K criminal illegal immigrants. It also provides parole services to an additional 5,700... 'It's pretty tough to find some rational policy when Democrats make a concerted effort to blur the line between illegal and legal immigration.', Hollingsworth said."
USCIS warns of H-1B visa hoax (pdf)
Janet Bodnar _Kiplinger_
"Plagued by a tight job market, high housing prices, credit-card debt and student loands, young people will have a tough time getting ahead -- or so the story goes."
2006-04-05 07:36PDT (10:36EDT) (14:36GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
US gasoline supply fell for 5th week: 211.8M barrels
_Valdosta State University_
"Valdosta State University's Center for International Programs will host a free Immigration Seminar on Wednesday, 2006 April 12, from 14:00 to 16:00 at the University Center Theatre... post-graduation immigration options for F-1 non-immigrant students, as well as other immigration issues that face members of the VSU and Valdosta community who work with foreign nationals. The discussion will include an overview of non-immigrant employment-based visa options, including the popular H-1B, L-1, and TN visas, as well as immigrant ('green card') options available through employment (e.g. priority worker cases, labor certification) or family relationships."
2006-04-05 07:30PDT (10:40EDT) (14:40GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM services index rose from 60.1 in February to 60.5 in March: Employment index fell from 58.2 to 54.6
2006-04-05 09:20PDT (12:20EDT) (16:20GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Second homes account for 39.9% of US sales in 2005
"Sales of vacation homes rose 16.9% to a record 1.02M, while sales of homes owned for investment purposes increased by 15.7% to a record 2.32M, the real-estate trade group said, reporting on 2 surveys. The median price of a vacation home was $204,100, up 7.4%. The median price for an investment property cost $183,500, up 24%."
2006-04-06 05:30PST (08:30EST) (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 252,767 in the week ending April 1, a decrease of 12,844 from the previous week. There were 294,994 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending March 25, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,688,741, a decrease of 61,737 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 2,959,537."
2006-04-06 06:49PDT (09:49EDT) (14:49GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted US unemployment insurance claims fell to 299K
2006-04-05 21:01PDT (2006-04-06 00:01EDT) (2006-04-06 04:01GMT)
David Weidner _MarketWatch_
Reformers won one at Morgan Stanley share-owners meeting
"On Tuesday, the [reformers] stunned one of Wall Street's biggest firms when share-holders approved a measure that would require Morgan Stanley to put out-sized severance packages -- those 2.99 times or bigger than the employee's annual salary and bonus -- to a share-holder vote. The key word is 'would'. The proposal was technically an advisory one. Though most companies follow the wishes of their owners, some don't. Halliburton Co. share-holders, for instance, voted for the same protection against these so-called golden parachutes. Dick Cheney's former company gave that plan the shot-gun. Unfortunately, Morgan Stanley isn't committing even though 432.3M shares were cast in favor of the plan and only 346.8M were voted against. In the realm of share-holder votes, that's a land-slide... Even if the Morgan Stanley board embraces the proposal, it certainly won't be retroactive. Former Chief Executive Philip Purcell isn't coming back from his spread in Park City, Utah to hand over $44M. Purcell and former co-president Stephen Crawford, who took home $32M in severance, would have had to face share-holders to cash those checks if the rule had been in place last year... But the angst against the pay-outs coupled with a rising disenchantment with excessive executive compensation made the drive easier than some expected... The Council of Institutional Investors was in favor of it. Proxy advisers such as Glass Lewis recommended it. Then, the influential California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, endorsed it."
2006-04-05 22:00PDT (2006-04-06 01:00EDT) (2006-04-06 05:00GMT)
Jane Chastain _World Net Daily_
Politically Direct: Just say, 'No!' To Bad Immigration Bills
"A bad immigration bill is worse than no bill at all! A large number of phone calls to members of the U.S. Senate are urgently needed to prevent the upper chamber of Congress from passing an outrageous immigration bill that includes a guest-worker plan favored by the president and an amnesty provision. This would weaken the tough enforcement bill passed by the House of Representatives when the two are merged. We have all the immigration laws we need on the books. The problem is they aren't being enforced. The House bill would help remedy this problem by making entering this country illegally a felony, not a simple civil violation. Presently, if you are caught breaking and entering our country, the worst thing that can happen is that you get free transportation back home. It's little more than a [tax-victim]-funded vacation. There is no harm, no foul!... Representative Steve King of Iowa put it best: 'The elite class in America is becoming a ruling class and they've made enough money by hiring cheap illegal labor. They think they have some kind of right to cheap servants ... This new ruling class of America is expanding a servant class at the expense of the middle class, the blue-collar Americans who used to be able to punch a time clock, buy a modest house and raise their families.'"
2006-04-05 19:06PDT (2006-04-05 22:06EDT) (2006-04-06 02:06GMT)
Hope Yen _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Illegal Immigration Crack-Down
alternate link at American Workers Coalition group
"The government said Wednesday it was stepping up efforts to stem illegal immigration, creating task forces in 10 cities to crack down on those who commit fraud to enter and stay in the country. The task forces bring together investigators from several agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Justice and Labor departments, to prosecute growing cases of immigration fraud. The fraud includes the use of fake [Social Insecurity] cards, drivers licenses and passports. Investigators also will seek to arrest -- and deport if warranted -- those who lie on government applications to obtain benefits such as U.S. citizenship, political asylum or a visa, said Julie Myers, assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is headed by Homeland Security... In the last two years, the number of immigration fraud investigations has jumped 54% to 3,591 cases and arrests have risen from 1,300 to 1,391, officials said. They cited the growing sophistication of technology such as high-resolution digital scanners, which make it easier to produce fraudulent documents, for the increased number of cases."
Federal grand jury indicts 9 illegal aliens
2006-04-06 08:26PDT (11:26EDT) (15:26GMT)
Katherine Hunt _MarketWatch_
30 year mortgage rates average 6.43%, highest since 2003
_American Workers Coalition_
Ill-Begotten Monstrosities hatches another scheme to require USA employees to train foreign replacements, dump those US citizens, and have a rationalization to withhold severance package
web log spot
letter from Scott Kirwin
debunking Harris Miller & ITAA
IT workers have student loans, too
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Immigration Is Boosting Profits And Cutting Wages
"Output per worker increased by 3.5% in 2004 and 2.7% last year. Yet the balance of power continued shifting from labor to capital. Not only did profits spike as a share of GDP, but real median income (pdf table A-1 pg 31) actually declined in 2003 and 2004 (the latest available year). Optimists insist that, in the long run, profits can only grow as fast as GDP. If this is true, then labor's declining income share is unsustainable, and will eventually 'self correct'. That's what we've seen historically. But the foreign-born share of the labor force -- 15% in 2005 -- is also unprecedented. Since 2001 illegals have accounted for most of immigrant labor force growth. Cheap immigrant labor induces only a nugatory increase in total native income [and negatively affected living standards]. Its biggest impact, according to Harvard economist George Borjas, is to redistribute income from native workers to employers."
2006-04-06 10:25PDT (13:25EDT) (17:25GMT)
Myra P. Saefong & Ciara Linnane _MarketWatch_
Gold futures exceed $600 per ounce, Silver over $12 per ounce
2006-04-06 14:30PDT (17:30EDT) (21:30GMT)
Unemployment rate higher for US-born than for immigrants (graph)
"[Seasonally adjusted] unemployment for native-born workers fell from 5.5% in 2004 to 5.2% last year. But the unemployment rate for those who were born elsewhere sank from 5.5% the year before last to 4.6% last year."
Laura Berman _Detroit News_
Star power pays when it's time to go out the door
"She described the drill: Quietly bring the person into the office, tell him o her that the jig is up. Every employee, she said, is offered the opportunity to pack up the coffee mugs and personal files or to opt out and let security help. Every employee gets access to out-placement and reassurances about the future. Then the employee is ushered to the door... What she meant was: Leaving the work-place you've spent 20 or 30 years in forever might be difficult. But from the company perspective, it was better -- safer, more fair -- than giving the laid-off employee a couple of days to become deeply depressed and unpredictable... In southeast Michigan, managers and executives and line workers now face sudden-death lay-offs on an unprecedented basis. Even departing executives often get a taste of unexpected humiliation on the way out -- the security guard escort out the door, no time to say goodbye. While that treatment is typical for those laid-off, it is also frequently extended to senior executives who take jobs with competitors. 'That's the way it is often done now.', says Jim Pedderson, a spokesman for Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a national outplacement firm with offices in Detroit. The final humiliations of so many laid-off employees, even at high levels, reinforce the title of New York Times business reporter Louis Uchitelle's new critique of the downsizing culture, 'The Disposable American: Lay-Offs and Their Consequence'."
Diana Hull _US News Wire_/Californians for Population Stabilization
Questions about Proposed Additional Guest-Worker Programs
2006-04-06 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (23:00GMT)
Will Lester _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Web Site Reports Executive Salaries & Pensions
"Trumka said average executive pay at a company on the Standard & Poor's 500 is already more than 400 times the average worker's wages. And many executives now get multi-million-dollar "supplemental executive retirement plans" at a time that many companies are cutting back on reliable 'defined benefit' retirement plans for workers, he said. Those retirement deals could run as high as $6.5M annually and may not reflect a company's performance, Trumka said. The AFL-CIO web site looks at 25 of the richest executive pension plans in the country, based on research done with the Corporate Library. Trumka said the Securities and Exchange Commission is pushing for more public disclosure of executive pay and other benefits, an area that has angered company investors. He noted that some companies that have cut worker retirement several times in recent years have some of the richest pension deals for their chief executive."
2006-04-07 05:29PDT (08:29EDT) (12:29GMT)
Starting Salaries for New Grads NACE
|Economics & Finance||$45,058|
2006-04-07 07:19PDT (10:19EDT) (14:19GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Wholesale inventories up 0..8%
2006-04-07 08:54PDT (11:54EDT) (15:54GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate 4.7%: Wages don't quite keep up with inflation
Sharon Gaudin _IT Management_
Who Benefits from H-1B Visas?
"Business leaders trying to push through an increase to the H-1B visa cap say the move would spur innnovation, which, in turn, would create job growth. But US IT pofessionals say nearly doubling the number of foreign workers allowed to come here would flood the market [even worse than it already has been] with cheaper labor and kick-start another wave of high-tech unemployment [and under-employment]. The Senate Judiciary committee has endorsed a move to up the number of H-1B visas given out every year from [over 85K to over 135K; well over 145K if visas for similar work are included]. The bill also says that in coming years if industry meets the cap limit, it automatically can be expanded by an additional 20%."
Congress Asked To Limit H-1B Visas
"Saying the H-1B program only encourages companies to use cheaper labor, 2 U.S. IT workers asked Congress to not increase the cap on H-1B visas. H-1B visas allow skilled foreign laborers to enter the United States each year and work. However, David Huber, a network administrator, and John Miano, a computer programmer, say companies that hire foreign workers via the H-1B program typically pay the foreign workers less than the prevailing wage the visa rules [very loosely] require."
2006-04-07 05:29PDT (08:29EDT) (12:29GMT)
Starting Salaries for New Grads NACE
"A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows employers hiring nearly 15% more recent college grads than a year ago, and a particularly strong market for most business and engineering students. It found accounting degree graduates are receiving an average starting salary of $46,188, up 5.4% from a year ago. Right behind are economics/finance graduates, who are getting average offers of $45,058, up 5.3%, and business administration/management majors, who are seeing average offers 3.9% higher than a year ago at $40,976. The group also found chemical engineering graduates getting average offers of $56,549, up 4.2%, while the average offer for computer engineer graduates is up 5.3% to $54,200... The survey found the average starting salary to liberal arts graduates stands at $30,958, which is up 2% from a year ago... It found marketing graduates have received an average offer of $37,446, down 1%, while computer science graduates fell 0.8% to $50,892... Mortgage banking, real estate, automotive engineering, software engineering, media and journalism and pharmaceutical sales are the areas that are not very hot, according to Challenger."
|Economics & Finance||$45,058|
K. Oanh Ha & Griff Palmer _San Jose Mercury News_
H-1B visa law heavily criticized: Gives highly-educated and skillled US citizens no protection from gratuitous displacement
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Contra Costa Times
"When a Sunnyvale tech company laid off the manager and most of his colleagues in its reliability testing group a year and a half ago, the manager said a few employees were spared -- younger, foreign workers on H-1B visas. The laid-off manager was infuriated that as an American citizen, he wasn't given priority over the H-1B employees. The H-1B visa program allows employers to hire skilled foreign workers [supposedly only] when there's a shortage of available American workers. 'The law does not protect American workers at all.', said Frank, a 45-year-old Chinese-American who was out of work for 5 months, and who insisted his last name and the name of his former company not be published because he fears repercussions from potential employers. 'It only helps American businesses and technology companies keep their costs low while sacrificing American work-force. That's not right.'... calls are mounting for an overhaul of Department of Labor's Foreign Labor Certification program. Critics have long charged that the foreign-worker program doesn't fulfill its primary mission: protecting American workers. They want stronger laws to preserve American jobs and argue the current system is prone to abuse and fraud. Increasingly, the federal government's reviews and audits of its own foreign-worker programs are highlighting the same shortcomings... workers and their advocates counter the visas are being used to push Americans out of jobs and depress wages. A Mercury News examination of little-known government reports and analysis of H-1B applications supports critics' charges that the program gives U.S. citizens virtually no protection from being replaced by a foreign worker. California employers who filed applications seeking to hire H-1B workers were virtually guaranteed approval. Of nearly 54K applications to hire foreign workers filed by California employers in 2005, only 114 were denied by the Foreign Labor Certification program. Not all approved applications resulted in the hiring of a foreign worker or a visa being issued. Employers are not required to prove that American workers were not available for those jobs. The Labor Condition Application requires information about the H-1B position and the wage an employer intends to pay, which must be at least the prevailing market wage. The law also doesn't require the labor department to verify that employers actually pay the wages they stipulate unless there is a complaint. Of the 3,628 H-1B applications for foreign-worker visas filed last year by companies in San Jose, only 2 were denied. In Santa Clara, 3,677 applications brought only 3 denials... In 2003, nearly 40% of the 217K H-1B petitions approved that year were for computer-related jobs... A 1996 Department of Labor report was headlined: 'The Department of Labor's Foreign Labor Certification Programs: The System is Broken and Needs to Be Fixed'. In its 2005 annual report, the Department of Labor concluded that 'reducing the susceptibility of DoL Foreign Labor Certification programs to abuse remains a challenge'. Recent investigations by the department's Office of the Inspector General 'revealed corrupt employers, labor brokers and lawyers who file fraudulent applications. The prevalence of these cases consistently demonstrates the susceptibility of the program to fraud.' In 2004, a report by the White House's Office of Management and Budget said the H-1B program is 'vulnerable to fraud or abuse'. It recommends adding anti-fraud and audit functions and 'legislative changes... to require employers to test the labor market' to recruit American workers before turning to foreign laborers... 'Companies don't need to violate the laws because of the loop-holes.', [UC-Davis Computer Science professor Norm Matloff] said. 'They can easily violate the spirit of the law. That's fraud to me.'"
2006-04-07 09:57PDT (12:57EDT) (16:57GMT)
William L. Watts & Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Martinez Immigration Bill Compromise Failed
"The compromise proposal, drafted by Republican senators Mel Martinez of Florida and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, would allow illegal immigrants who have been in the United States for more than 5 years to get on a path to legal status and citizenship without leaving the country. To qualify, immigrants that have been in the United States for 5 years would have to meet a range of additional criteria, including proof that they've held jobs for 3 years, payment of a $2K fine and all federal and state taxes, and a demonstrated knowledge of English language. They would also have to work for an additional 6 years to ensure they don't jump ahead of foreign citizens already pursuing a legal path to residency. Those who have been in the United States for 2 to 5 years would be allowed to gain temporary work visas only after temporarily exiting the country and returning through one of 19 ports of entry. Illegal immigrants who have been in the country less than two years would be allowed to apply for a temporary work visa only after returning to their home country. [It would have also greatly increased the numbers of H-1B and other guest-worker visas and also vastly increased the numbers of permanent visas that could be issued each year.]... 'Today is a good day for America. The Senate -- in a rare moment of clarity -- rejected its amnesty-now, enforcement-later approach to immigration.', said representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO 'Amnesty is a non-starter. If the Senate is serious about sending real security legislation to the President's desk this year, it must take a different approach.'"
Tony Dolz _California Chronicle_
97% of Illegal Aliens Take Jobs That Americans Want and Need
"who did these jobs before unethical employers opted to break the law by hiring a massive number of illegal aliens on the cheap? Incidentally, who is doing these jobs today in states where ethical employers are still hiring Americans, paying living wages, healthcare benefits and on-the-job accident insurance? Whereas most Americans feel great compassion for the 5G people living outside the industrialized world, anyone of who would live a better life in America; our Senators seem to place their sympathies with the crooked and influential employers that want to keep the criminal alien employees that are already working for them. If this were not the case, the illegal alien employers represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would not object to granting Guest Worker status ONLY to those who have never violated our immigration laws. Let's be honest about this. The Senate Judiciary Committee amnesty proposal is in effect an amnesty for the criminal employers who have been avoiding employer sanctions since the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)..."
_New Mexico Business Journal_
NM groups cooperate to recruit firms: Virgin Galactic to create earth-pot near Las Cruces
"It manages the Job Training Investment Program (JTIP), which reimburses companies 50% to 70% of a new employee's wages for up to 6 months, and projects like the MainStreet program, which helps transform down-towns throughout the state. One of EDD's biggest deals recently was with the United Kingdom's Virgin Galactic, which plans to establish an office in a $225M space-port near Las Cruces. Virgin will lease the property for 20 years and pay $1M a year for the first five years of its lease. In return, the state agreed to provide the financial backing for the space-port infrastructure using state and federal funds. The space-port is slated to launch its first commercial space voyages by 2010."
2006-04-07 12:16PDT (15:16EDT) (19:16GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US consumer credit up 3.4% in January, 1.8% in March
Federal Reserve press release
Vicky Davis _Idaho Eagle Forum_
Ain't dat right, Mass'r Grassley?
"Many people have wondered what the urgency was regarding so-called immigration reform... the attempt was made to rush it for a vote. It is also generally agreed that the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) department is broken and they couldn't handle the volume even if legislation passed offering effective amnesty and a path to citizenship. So what is the urgency? Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) gave us the answer in a floor speech during the immigration debate. His speech would have seemed like a non sequitur to anybody not attuned to WTO code-speak and the 'commodities' America is putting up for trade in the Doha Round that has a deadline of 2006 April 30. Grassley: 'We now have less than 4 weeks to go to meet the WTO's new April 30 deadline to reach agreement on what is referred to as modalities or, another way to put it, a road-map for how we will achieve our specific market-opening objectives in the agricultural negotiations.'... Succinctly stated, 'Services' means the jobs that people do and the people who do the jobs. IOW, the WTO reduced people to tradable commodities on the same level as tradable merchandise. This is where the definition of modalities comes into play. The modalities are the possible combinations for the trade of service people and service jobs. (Note: they refer specifically to 'natural persons' as opposed to fictitious persons in the form of corporations)... Senator Grassley is very troubled that some members of the WTO might be reconsidering the wisdom of the slave trade in exchange destroying their own agricultural markets and their ability to feed their own populations. It's not surprising that Grassley would be 'troubled'. Wealthy farmers and land-owners have always considered the slavery as a birth-right. Since the Civil War, it has been denied to them, but they got it back with the WTO GATS agreement. And therein lies the strategy for addressing the question of illegal aliens, the so-called 'guest-worker' programs, the sale of American citizenship for profit and the destruction of the lives of American citizens who are being crushed financially, emotionally and spiritually by the WTO trade agreements."
_North Platte Telegraph_
State Patrol arrested 19 illegal aliens on I-80... and released
"Nineteen illegal aliens were arrested here Tuesday morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents. In cooperation with the Nebraska State Patrol, I.C.E. arrested 17 Mexican and two Guatemalan aliens near Maxwell on Interstate 80. The aliens had been smuggled into the United States in 2 rental vehicles with Arizona plates -- a Chevy Suburban containing 14 aliens and a sedan with 5 occupants. The rental company recalled its vehicles. According to I.C.E. public relations representative Tim Counts, of the St. Paul, MN, office, the aliens were processed and released pending court appearances at the federal immigration court in Omaha. If the aliens fail to appear in federal court, arrest warrants will be ordered. Counts said each detainee is given the option of contacting the Mexican and Guatemalan Consulates in Omaha for deportation, or to go through the U.S. court system to determine if deportation is warranted. If the aliens go through the U.S. court system and deportation is ordered, the U.S. Marshal's Alien and Prisoner Transportation System, in cooperation with the Mexican Consulate, transports them to the Mexican border. During the federal fiscal year 2005-2006, that began 2005 October 1, local I.C.E. agents have apprehended 78 illegal aliens in 7 vehicles."
Raksha Varma _San Jose Business Journal_/_American Workers Coalition_
Some credit unions cater to H-1b guest-workers
"'This group is a gold mine.', says Kathleen Litman, a spokes-woman for San Jose-based Technology Credit Union, the fourth-largest credit union in Silicon Valley... 'Sun put me up in a flat, supplied me with a car for a month.', says Mr. Dani, 39. In 1996, he founded Web Professionals, a San Francisco-based web company that has a data center in Fremont and operations in Pune, India. 'I had little money. But I really needed a car. Sun helped by referring me to Tech CU... Although I had no U.S. credit history, Tech CU took my offer letter from Sun into account.' Without a credit report to rely on, Tech CU placed a stronger emphasis on Mr. Dani's education and job to grant him an auto loan. Today, Mr. Dani, a Tech CU customer for 17 years, is a member of the financial institution's private banking group."
2006-04-07 15:52PDT (18:52EDT) (22:52GMT)
top news of the week
|10-year US T-Bond||4.96%|
Phyllis Deroian _Reality Check_ (Warning: evil crawler script that gobbles up CPU cycles)
Proposed additional temporary worker visas: H-1B and H-3
"There have been regional rumblings and efforts to deal with the illegal immigration problem long before Reagan's disastrous amnesty program in 1986. But after President Bush announced his desire to create a guest-worker visa, the rumblings grew to a crescendo of arguments both for and against letting these workers stay. The arguments are not so much whether these workers are needed but whether or not to ignore the fact that they have broken our laws, and how to do it. Our legislators seem to be caught up in a new amnesty program, disguised as a worker program, because a true worker program needs no new legislation... we already have temporary worker visa classifications in place for unskilled labor... (H-2B). If this is all that we really want to do for these people, the H-2B or H-3, Agricultural worker, visas fit that description. From the USCIS website under temporary worker the overview states: Employers who wish to hire foreign workers to temporarily perform services or labor or to receive training may file an I-129 petition... Form I-129 may also be used to petition for an extension of stay or change of status for certain non-immigrant. In some cases, but not all, the employer must first get a labor certification from the Department of Labor. That is to ensure that the employer has tried to hire an American worker but couldn't and that the employer is paying the foreign worker the prevailing wage [but those requirements are extremely loose and loop-holes are plentiful]... If the United States forced employers to file for temporary visas, all [8M to 24M] current illegals could have entered the country legally. In addition, these temporary workers receive temporary drivers' licenses that expire on the date their visa expires, and tax ID numbers. Eventually this visa could be parlayed into a permanent resident visa, followed by citizenship in much the same way the H-1B visa does for skilled workers, except without acceleration as is currently being proposed. However, even if the worker is never able to adjust status, he or she has the opportunity to work in America, make American dollars to bring back to his or her family who remain in their home country. Isn't that why they are coming here? A huge advantage to this visa are that if the worker's family remains out of the United States they will most likely go home and if they don't, there is a certain amount of responsibility placed on the employer who will want to fill the job vacancy once again... Current employers of illegals have no responsibility to their workers. There is no paper-work to file with IRS or DoL, no record keeping and in most cases no insurance for the worker. What makes our legislators think that these employers are now going to fall into line and hire the guest-workers when there are literally thousands of new illegals waiting in line to take those unsecured jobs? Besides adding thousands of hours of paper-work onto the desks of already over-worked immigration officers and specialists, the guest-worker visa has so many flaws it will never work properly and will result in amendment after amendment being argued on the floor of the Congress for years to come, much like the legalization cases of the 1980s and 1990s. Congress should revisit the old immigration regulations to see what works [and what does not work] before making new ones."
Cassidy Friedman _Magic Valley Times-News_
Border Patrol agents apprehended illegal aliens
"At least a dozen illegal immigrants traveling in a Ford Expedition were tracked and followed Tuesday along Interstate 84 to a private driveway just off the interstate in Eden. After stopping, the vehicle's doors swung open and a swarm of bodies took off running across the residential neighborhood... That information ultimately led to the chase and apprehension of about half of those being pursued. After they were arrested, BP agents interrogated them to determine whether they were legally permitted in the country. It was determined that they were all illegal... Border Patrol agents found none of the aliens were felons. However, one had a misdemeanor. Another had a prior deportation on his record. They were flown Thursday to San Diego, to be released back across the border."
Steve Massey _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
My Rhetoric on Trade & Immigration Trips on Facts
2006-04-09 02:18PDT (05:18EDT) (09:18GMT)
Mike Boyer & Janice Morse Immigration furor hits home
"The debate over immigration reform has intensified to such a boiling point that even legal immigrants are feeling the heat across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky... As immigration activists plan a May 1 work boycott to illustrate the value of immigrant labor, federal law-makers are attempting to mend the nation's patch-work of immigration laws -- and people here are worrying about how the results could affect all of us... rampant illegal immigration fuels disrespect for our nation's laws, exploitation of immigrants and unfairly drives down wages for all other workers... No one really knows how many illegal immigrants live and work in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, but anecdotal evidence suggests a significant and growing number. The Census Bureau says non-U.S. citizens make up less than 2% of the population in both Kentucky and Ohio. But experts agree the Census generally under-counts immigrants -- particularly illegal aliens... Velez says there's no question what's driving the influx of immigrants: 'It's all about jobs.'"
|Source: US Census Bureau|
Chip McLean _American Daily_
Failing to Act against Illegal Immigration
"Eleven million – that's the 'official' number of illegal immigrants in the USA. The real number could be much higher, and everyday brings more, with no end in sight. [Reasonable estimates range from 8M to 24M.] In the mean-time, Nero is fiddling while Rome is burning. For too many years, our elected leaders in Washington have chosen to ignore the immigration problem, or have actually encouraged it. Now finally, as millions of Americans have awakened from their pleasant slumber... and discovered that the government has done nothing to stop this influx of illegals, DC congress-critters are suddenly making a lot of noise on Capitol Hill... Fortunately, this so-called compromise bill, that would have fixed nothing, was torpedoed by a majority of the Senate. As congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) said, 'Today is a good day for America. The Senate -- in a rare moment of clarity -- rejected its amnesty-now, enforcement-later approach to immigration.' Tancredo went on to add, 'If the Senate is serious about sending real security legislation to the President's desk this year, it must take a different approach.'"
Susan Heavey _Leading the Charge_
Boehner says: You can't begin to talk about a guest worker bill until you secure the borders
"'You can't begin to talk about a guest worker bill until you secure the borders.', he said on ABC's 'This Week...'. Otherwise, he said, 'We're going to have an endless parade of illegal immigrants here in our country... [allowing illegal immigrants to stay and work] sounds too much like amnesty for most Americans.'... But [Colorado] Republican representative Tom Tancredo, speaking on CBS's 'Face the Nation', said that any bill involving an amnesty would not pass the House."
Steve Chapman _Chicago Tribune_
Eliminate main magnet for illegal immigration: jobs.
"But neither approach will work unless we eliminate the main magnet for illegal immigration: jobs. Mexicans and other foreigners don't make huge sacrifices to come here because they like the climate in Chicago or the theme parks in Florida. They come to find jobs paying far more than they can make back home. Considering that so many people have a powerful reason to come, it's a delusion to think that [adding a paltry few more] Border Patrol agents or even a 2K-mile wall can keep them out. Even if we could seal off the entire southern border from people willing to trek across deserts to sneak in, it wouldn't be enough. About 40% of all those who are here illegally didn't come illegally... Nor will guest worker visas or 'earned legalization' reduce the pull. These programs do offer foreign job-seekers a way to stay without fear of being caught and deported, while gaining the protection of American labor regulations. But as long as many employers are willing to hire people regardless of their status, there will be a supply of illegal workers. Why would anyone want to hire an illegal worker rather than a legal one? Because they're cheaper and more compliant. As long as unscrupulous employers can get away with it, they will use illegal immigrants to their advantage... Nothing will change unless we replace the existing porous barrier with an air-tight one... The legislation being considered in Congress requires the Department of Homeland Security to create a mandatory system for verifying each employee's eligibility... The American Civil Liberties Union warns that the new system would lead to a national ID card 'linked to a massive government data-base containing sensitive, personally identifiable information about every resident in the United States', posing a serious threat to individual privacy..."
France dropped law that had made it easier to fire young workers
Monsters & Critics
David Richardson _Manchester Evening News_
Free Electron Laser zaps fat, cellulite, acne, heart disease
"The device - developed in the US - is able to heat-up fat in the body without harming the skin above it. The heated fat is then broken down and excreted by the body... The results of the research were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and surgery."
Sher Zieve _Post Chronicle_
Will Illegal Aliens Take America by Force?
"As with other recently organized marches, currently occurring and planned across the country, the marchers and protestors were illegal aliens -- [most] from Mexico. Counter-protestors were and are not seen. My guess is that this is because 1. they're too busy working, 2. the press doesn't want to report on them, or 3. they're watching the alienistas on television. The marches were and are planned and organized by radical leftist groups, which include MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan], LULAC, the Mexica Movement, International ANSWER and Open Borders [and by media]. All of these groups are demanding that those who have entered the U.S. illegally (the majority of whom are of Hispanic origin) be allowed to stay in the country and continue to receive services, be given the same rights as US citizens and that the US Congress not pass the border security act. They additionally demand the unchecked and unregulated continuation of illegals' entry into the country. This force majeure is being affected by the illegals, their revolutionary organizers and their supporters to show US law-makers that their invasion will not be stopped. And the marchers are becoming increasingly militant..."
Wes Vernon _Renew America_
Illegal Aliens and the Speech Perverters
"Oooooooooooooh! Stop speaking the plain English language. Calling a spade a spade is so mean! Once again, George Orwell's prophesy has reared its ugly head. Three U.S. journalism groups want their fellow scribes to stop using terms 'illegal immigrant', or simply 'illegal' [often used as a shorthand noun], and 'alien' when covering the immigration issue. It's 'dehumanizing', you see. That applies especially to 'illegal alien'... The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and the Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA) are leading the cry to stop saying illegals are -- well, illegal."
2006-04-10 09:30PDT (12:30EDT) (16:30GMT)
Protest Organizers Have Been Registering Illegal Aliens to Vote
"According to the leaders of the nationwide pro-illegal immigration rallies, an important part of their activities during the protests is the registration of illegal aliens to vote... Two of the groups taking the lead in the registration drive are Casa de Maryland, which is one of the major organizers of the Washington, DC rally, and La Raza, which is involved in different protests, according to their web pages. Although it's illegal for non-citizens to vote in the US, the registration process is open to fraud since registrants merely fill out applications with the help of the organizers. All they need to do is check off 'yes' in answer to the question if they are citizens. No identification documents are required. According to critics, most of those being approached for voter registration do not speak English so they are being 'guided' in the registration process by activists. According to political analyst Mike Baker, the new registrants are being urged to register as Democrats by activists involved in the protests."
2006-04-10 09:38PDT (12:38EDT) (16:38GMT)
Robert Wilonsky _Village Voice_
The Bush Doctrine: No Illegal Alien Left Behind
"Maybe it was the sea of red, white and blue -- white, mostly. Or maybe it was the strident tone of the placards: 'Immigration Yes, Invasion No', 'Wide Open to Al-Qaeda', 'They Stay We Pay', 'One Flag, One Language, One Nation'. Or maybe it was the parade float brought by a member of the Constitution Party of Texas: a ringable, portable replica of the Liberty Bell flanked by the Ten Commandments. Or maybe it was the shouting and shoving that occured briefly, away from the media and police officers. Regardless of the official tally, there were plenty of people making plenty of noise...
Though it went unmentioned in all the media reports about the event, those folks were there at the urging of Citizens for Immigraton Reform, which touts itself as 'a group of politically active citizens who recognized the great harm illegal immigration is doing to our state and country'. They were joined by otherss with the Associated Conservatives of Texas, but many were just folks who heard about the protest on KLIF-AM (570)...
They ranged in age from the toddler to the ancient; my favorite participant was the elderly woman schlepping the sign that read, 'Legal Native and Pissed Off'. If I had to carry that giant sign for two hours, I'd be pissed too. What did they want? For illegal immigrants to go home, right friggin' now. To them, any suggestion of amnesty is an act of treason; they've even turned on George Dubya and his guest-worker suggestion. (Read one sign: 'The Bush Doctrine: No Illegal Alien Left Behind'...) They want many things -- for Mexicans in this country to speak English, for starters...
Ironic that this occured the very week most 'real' Americans are looking for a way to get out of paying their taxes, but whatever. Pay up or get out, hombre... They all claimed, of course, to love immigrants. The guy with the thick Irish brogue did. The woman named Ferrari did. The black guy did. The Mexican guy did. They just want those here illegally out. Now. Pronto, a word I believe translates into English, Spanish and Italian, but you get the drift."
2006-04-10 13:14PDT (16:14EDT) (20:14GMT)
Michael Paige _MarketWatch_
NCR bought IDVelocity assets to increase their privacy-violating RFID technology ventures
"'The acquisition of IDVelocity represents a significant opportunity to expand NCR's RFID solution portfolio.', said Lee Schram, NCR senior vice president."
Some Latinos Born in the USA Oppose Illegal Immigration
"a sizable number of the ethnic group opposes the marches and strongly objects to illegal immigration. Their voices have largely been muffled by the massive protests, however... Those protesting are voicing their support of a Senate bill that would give an estimated [8M to 24M] illegal immigrants living in the country a chance for U.S. citizenship... The 71-year-old Texas native and VietNam veteran said he favors punitive measures more in line with the immigration bill passed by the U.S. House in December that would have made it a felony to be in the United States illegally. 'I'm for that 100%.', he said. 'As far as my Latino friends are concerned, they all agree on this.' A 2005 survey by the Pew Hispanic Center found that Latinos in general have favorable attitudes toward immigrants and immigration. But when it comes to illegal immigration, significant numbers have negative views of undocumented immigrants. The survey found those feelings are strongest among middle-class and middle-age U.S.-born Latinos... U.S.-born Latinos looked even less favorably toward undocumented immigrants than foreign-born Latinos. More than a third of U.S.-born Latinos said undocumented immigrants hurt the economy, compared with just 15% of foreign-born Latinos... Though 88% of foreign-born Latinos favored allowing undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship, a smaller number of U.S.-born Latinos, 78%, said undocumented immigrants should be allowed to do so."
Gene Nelson, PhD in LTE to San Jose Business Journal
advocacy for the controversial H-1B visa program harms experienced American citizens
"Your advocacy for the controversial H-1B visa program harms experienced American citizens, who are either unemployed or underemployed as a consequence of this program whose expansion was procured by corrupt lobbyists (and criminals) such as Jack Abramoff lobbying soon to be former representative Tom DeLay (R-TX). Many employers covet the pliant 'fresh young (inexpensive) blood' that the employer - designed program supplies to them. Your advocacy is also bad news for students and parents. Because the H-1B visa program has become so bloated - and employer interests have gamed the system so much since 1990, even American citizen journalists are being harmed. According to salary.com, a Reporter II (bachelor's degree with 1-4 years experience) has a median compensation of $41,012 in San Jose, CA. That pay is substantially higher than the $30,445 paid to a H-1B reporter in Raleigh, NC by American City Business Journals (ACBJ) starting on 2003 October 7. ACBJ's profitability is boosted. American citizen journalists are un-employed or under-employed. This unemployed technical professional would not be surprised to learn that the reporter who wrote such a biased article is working in the U.S. under the authority of a H-1B visa."
Credit union seeks guest-worker customers
_Laredo Morning Times_/_Z Wire_
Failure leads to another try
"Since the early 1990s, between 1.1M and 1.5M legal and illegal immigrants have entered the United States each year. The numbers dwarf those from the Great Wave (1880-1924), which saw annual numbers at about 584K per year, according to U.S. Census figures. The total number of immigrants entering each year has also quadrupled since the 1970s, when flows began to increase after the first wave of immigration reform in 1965."
Jerry Seper _Washington Times_
Arrival of aliens ousts US workers
"An Alabama employment agency that sent 70 laborers and construction workers to job sites in that state in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina says the men were sent home after just 2 weeks on the job by employers who told them 'the Mexicans had arrived' and were willing to work for less. Linda Swope, who operates Complete Employment Services Inc. in Mobile, AL, told The Washington Times last week that the workers -- whom she described as U.S. citizens, residents of Alabama and predominantly black -- had been 'urgently requested' by contractors hired to rebuild and clear devastated areas of the state, but were told to leave 3 job sites when the foreign workers showed up. 'After Katrina, our company had 70 workers on the job the first day, but the companies decided they didn't need them anymore because the Mexicans had arrived.', Mrs. Swope said. 'I assure you it is not true that Americans don't want to work. We had been told that 270 jobs might be available, and we could have filled every one of them with men from this area, most of whom lost their jobs because of the hurricane. When we told the guys they would not be needed, they actually cried... and we cried with them. This is a shame.'..."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
IEEE*USA F-4 Visa Support Will Hasten Demise of Profession
"Historically IEEE-USA is to be commended for being one of the first major professional organizations to point to the severe problems in the H-1B program. Some of its work in this regard has been quite masterful, for example their 1998 database, The Misfortune 500, a compendium of profiles of 500 engineers who could not get engineering work during the dot-com boom. Ah, those were the days... But sadly, big changes came in 2000. IEEE-USA came under heavy pressure from the IEEE parent organization, which is dominated by industry and academia and thus is highly pro-H-1B. So IEEE-USA suddenly changed its stance. It still was critical of the H-1B program, but it started extolling 'instant green cards' for foreign workers instead of H-1B visas. Their main PR person, who had been so effective, was 'temporarily' transferred to another position (of course, never to return). The Misfortune 500 web page was taken down... the parent organization threatened to take away their funding. These guys play hard-ball... Recall that employers hire H-1Bs to save on labor costs, with the savings coming in two forms: Type I savings stem from paying H-1Bs less than comparable Americans, while Type II savings come when employers hire younger (thus cheaper) H-1Bs instead of older (thus more expensive) Americans. Let's look at the impact F-4 would have. Since almost all the foreign graduates are young, F-4 would greatly expand the labor pool at the under-30 age bracket, and would thus give employers far more opportunities for Type II savings. In other words, F-4 would give employers far more opportunities to higher young people, with older engineers being the losers. It would amount to government-sponsored age discrimination. For IEEE-USA, whose old Misfortune 500 web site consisted mainly of engineers in their 40s, to endorse this legislation is unconscionable. So, F-4 would be a disaster for older (over age 35) American engineers. What about the young Americans? Recall that the attraction of H-1Bs to employers is that the H-1Bs are de facto indentured servants, effectively immobile while their green cards are pending. Well, the situation for F-4s during those 3 years would be pretty much the same. The F-4s, putting top priority on staying employed during that crucial three-year period, would be highly risk averse. They would be reluctant to switch employers, for instance, for fear that the job at the new employer may not be stable. They would accept lower salaries in hope that their employers would be more likely to retain them during lay-offs and less likely to off-shore their job. They wouldn't make waves. For all these reasons and more, they would be just as attractive to employers as are H-1Bs. Many employers would prefer hiring newly graduated F-4s instead of newly graduated Americans. So, young Americans would lose too. And clearly, the major swelling of the labor pool at the entry level would be bad news for the new American graduates... Contrast IEEE-USA's hearty endorsement of F-4 with the realistic statement by the Dept. of Professional Employees of the AFL-CIO: 'Finally, we feel compelled to briefly address changes proposed in the student visa program. Student visas were originally intended to allow foreign students to come to the U.S for one purpose-education. Changes proposed by the bill would put tens of thousands of foreign students in direct competition with our own under-graduate and graduate students for full and part time job opportunities. For our own, many U.S. students need those jobs to pay their way through school, to help pay off thousands of dollars in education loans and in many situations to gain the skills and experience necessary for a successful career. The challenges confronting them should not be made more onerous because of changes in the student visa program... Simply stated, their job opportunities will be limited both before and after graduation and their wage prospects diminished by foreign workers who, studies have shown, are paid far less than the prevailing rate.'"
Starting salaries for those with advanced degrees
Some Illegal Aliens Were Fired After Attending Demonstrations
Charles R. Smith _NewsMax_
Red China Tries to Silence Critics in the USA
"[Red China] has a new and very powerful lobbyist inside Washington, DC, and his name is George. The word inside Capitol Hill is that President Bush personally met with Senate and House leaders from both parties and demanded that they keep the ranks silent on [Red China]. The move by President Bush followed a flurry of activity over a no-bid contract awarded to Hutchison Whampoa for the operation of a sophisticated radiation detection system in the Bahamas. The president reportedly told Democrat and Republican leaders to silence critics of the deal in Congress. The problem with the no-bid contract is that Hutchison has direct links to the [Red Chinese] military. The company was considered a real threat to U.S. national security by the Bush administration when it tried to purchase the bankrupt Global Crossing communications company... The real reason that both Democrats and Republicans are silent on the Hutchison deal, and the [Red China] scandal as a whole, is because lobbyists and major corporate backers bombard them. Major companies such as Wal-Mart, Disney, Boeing and Goldman Sachs have a vested interest in seeing that no minor political tiffs such as national security, nuclear weapons proliferation and simple torture of political prisoners interrupt their [dealings with Red China]... However, Mr. Wu and Li Ka-Shing shared more than just a single trade trip to [Red China] in 1994. Wu's attendance at such high-level events becomes less of a mystery when he and his so-called America investment company come into focus. Wu, according to the official Commerce Department information sheet, was chairman of Pacific Century Group, an investment firm working to finance electric power plants inside [Red China] with U.S. money. It seems that the CEO of Pacific Century, K.S. Wu, a man well known to Senator Rockefeller, died suddenly. No Pacific Century official would comment on the departed CEO, the deals in West Virginia or his relationship with the Democratic Party. No one has ever supplied his exact cause of death. However, Li Ka-Shing knows. Li Ka-Shing appointed his son Richard Li to take over Pacific Century after K.S. Wu's mysterious passing... The engagement crowd has been preaching this line for 17 years, and so far [Red China] has not gotten any nicer, or less belligerent. In fact, [Red China] has spun or sold nuclear, chemical, biological and missile weapons technology to North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Pakistan... [Red China] has jailed dissidents, threatened Taiwan on a weekly basis and sent nuclear submarines into Japanese territorial waters. [Red China] continues to wage an economic war against America and the West using cheap -- under-priced -- goods made with slave labor... The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has issued new rules governing reality TV. The shows must be dedicated to 'constructing a harmonious socialist society... [and] must not make a hubbub about things as they please and must avoid creating stars'."
more by Charles R. Smith
2006-04-11 08:44PDT (11:44EDT) (15:44GMT)
Jim Jelter _MarketWatch_
Alcoa's record profits report lifts expectations
"Alcoa, a Dow 30 component, reported after Monday's closing bell a first-quarter net profit of 69 cents a share, up from 30 cents a year ago and far out-pacing the 51 cents a share Wall Street had been looking for."
Matt Krantz _USA Today_
Two Goldman Sach workers charged with insider trading
Walter E. Williams _Lew Rockwell_/_Future of Freedom Foundation_
Ecnomics for the citizen
Tricia Cortez _Laredo Morning Times_/_Z Wire_
Experts Challenge Labor Shortage Claims
"Former Laredo City Councilman Joe Guerra is one of many Americans who believes that the continued absorption of nearly 1.5M immigrants each year will continue to harm American workers and the country's social net... Guerra, and other economists and experts, say there is no shortage of labor in the United States, just a shortage of employers willing to pay competitive wages. The tide of legal and illegal immigration spilling into the country, if left unabated, would continue to create an oversupply of unskilled workers, drive down wages for Americans, break unions and trounce the middle class, they say. 'Illegal immigrants displace American workers, and, more often than not, keep our local wages stagnant.', Guerra said. 'That impacts our quality of life by squeezing lower- and middle-income wage earners at both ends.' Despite promises of a stronger Mexican economy when NAFTA was passed, Guerra argues that NAFTA has only made a small number of people very wealthy and has done little to support low-income workers in Mexico... Antonio J. Rodriguez, finance professor at Texas A&M International University, explains that NAFTA has made exporters richer, 'and maybe middle management'. It has also helped to keep the cost of some goods down, 'but just because some sectors benefit from trade, it does not mean that it will trickle down to the average Mexican worker and benefit the whole population.', Rodriguez said. Guerra firmly believes that increased immigration of lower-skilled and highly skilled workers will primarily benefit big business... H-1B is the engine that drives off-shoring of U.S. technology jobs over-seas. At a time of high unemployment for American computer and math workers, the high-tech industry has continued to flood the labor market with foreign workers willing to work more cheaply, they say. Additionally, Indian high-tech firms that later become established in the U.S.A. prefer to hire their fellow country-men. This type of ethnic and immigrant networking, some argue, can change the U.S. work-place over-night... 'The federal government's current immigration program primarily benefits a small minority of wealthy and powerful Americans.', writes Roy Beck in his book _The Case Against Immigration: the Moral, Economic, Social and Environmental Reasons for Reducing U.S. Immigration Back to Traditional Levels_..."
Off-Shoring Risks Patient Confidentiality
2006-04-11 17:14PDT (2006-04-11 20:14EDT) (2006-04-12 00:14GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Red China promises that one day in the not too distant future, they may give serious consideration to cracking-down on copyright violations, opening up to beef imports, and lowering barriers to medical devices and telecomm
"'Today's meeting... shows clearly that vigorous U.S. actions to stop [Red Chinese] mercantilism and to reduce the bilateral trade deficit remain distant dreams. While America's domestic manufacturers in particular continue to be victimized by [Red China's] currency manipulation, subsidies and numerous invisible trade barriers, the Bush administration continues to settle for photo-ops and tokenism.', said Alan Tonelson, a research fellow with the U.S. Business Industry Council."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Michael Lind op-ed shows even brilliant people can be misinformed
"I consider Michael Lind to be a brilliant man... But boy, did he screw up this time... Lind and his co-author Clemons basically endorse the new F-4 visa which is proposed in the current Senate immigration bill. Under F-4, foreign nationals who earn graduate degrees in tech fields at U.S. universities would get, in essence, automatic green cards. F-4 would have devastatingly adverse effects on U.S. citizen and permanent resident engineers and programmers. First, Lind's phrase, 'the Brazilianization of America', refers to a process under which high levels of immigration eradicate America's middle class, leaving a huge under-class and a small very wealthy class.
To be sure, Lind's comments about low-skilled immigration in the enclosed op-ed are consistent with that, but by allowing unlimited immigration of the young engineers, programmers and scientists in the world (there would be no cap on F-4), F-4 would decimate a major component of the middle class. Similar measures will finish off the remaining middle class.
Second, Lind, whom I admire so much for refusing to accept conventional wisdom on most topics, has embarrassingly bought into every single piece of 'conventional wisdom' that the industry and higher education lobbyists have in the lavish press kits they so widely disseminate...
Third, Lind's endorsement of the industry/academic lobby's claim of a shortage of engineers and programmers flies squarely in the face of what he has written in the past. In a 1996 piece in The New Republic, enclosed below after the op-ed, Lind wrote that while high levels of immigration is good for the Wall Street Journal crowd, 'But not so great for poor Americans. And they're not the only ones under threat. U.S. companies can legally hire 140K skilled foreign workers each year. Business lobbyists have claimed that the U.S. computer industry needs a never-ending supply of East Asian and Indian scientists because there are not enough Americans able to do the work. Really?... Why can't American industry train native and naturalized citizens for high-tech jobs?'...
the principle he expressed so well in 1996 is still true today: Americans CAN do the work; the industry just won't let them, because it considers Americans too expensive. And by the way, that 140K figure Lind cited is for green cards, not H-1B visas, and yet he now is extolling green cards...
[Lind's] employer, the New America Foundation, is run by 'usual suspects' who love to bring in foreign engineers. For openers, we have the Foundation's Chairman and CEO, Eric Benhamou, former CEO of 3-Com. Then we have Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, former CEO of Novell, and former CTO of Sun Microsystems...
This is vintage Feinstein. She makes a tiny proposal which would put no dent at all in the problem, so she can say she stood up for American tech workers, but then fully supports the major stuff that hurts them...
British and Canadian numbers have been dropping too. This has caused Britain to scramble to staunch the hemorrhage, an action not in their best interests, for the reasons given above. The main example of increased foreign enrollment is Australia, where it is a disaster. Far from the Einsteins that the starry-eyed Lind imagines these students to be, many of the students Australia has tried so hard to attract have been so weak as to be literally scandalous: Scandals have arisen in which it turned out that professors had been pressured not to fail foreign students who were doing poorly in their classes.
The irony here is that the REASON fewer tech foreign students are coming to the U.S.A. is that they understand that the long-term prospects for a tech career are lousy in the U.S.A. -- BECAUSE of the continual influx of younger foreign labor. Meanwhile, of course, job opportunities back home, in [Red China] and India, are booming. So, fewer are going abroad at all...
Who says [foreign students coming to US colleges & universities] are talented? The industry/academia lobbyists do, in order to advance their own vested interests. But it's not true... A small percentage of foreign students at U.S. universities are indeed 'the best and the brightest', and I strongly support rolling out the immigration red carpet for them. In fact, just today I was strongly arguing in a faculty meeting that our department should extend an offer to a young woman from China who recently interviewed for a faculty position with us, and who I thought was especially talented. I've done this kind of thing many times. But only a small percentage of foreign students are in that category... MOREOVER, there already [are categories] for 'the best and the brightest', the EB-1 [and O visas]...
The fact is that the influx of foreign workers into science and engineering has caused AN INTERNAL BRAIN DRAIN. American workers in this field are often discarded at age 35 because they are considered too expensive. Younger workers are hired in their place, and when the employers run out of young U.S. workers they hire young foreign workers. Lind wants to exacerbate this by bringing in a lot more young foreign workers...
[One of my former students] has a Master's in computer science and several patents to his credit, is articulate and well-liked, he continually learns new technlogy, and there was even a write-up on his work in the Wall Street Journal. But he got laid off right around that magic age of 35 (maybe a year past it), and hasn't found steady engineering work since that time. He is just one of many examples of this nature. Lind [and Clemons, in their] Beltway cocoon, [don't] understand this...
the National Science Foundation, a government agency, actually planned all this. Their idea was to bring in a mass of foreign engineers in order to hold down PhD salaries. And it worked; the salary premium for a PhD in the field of computer science is much lower than for fields which haven't had much foreign influx. Even the industry-dominated National Research Council report made this point."
Clemons & Lind: How to Lose the Brain Race
2006-04-12 05:33PDT (08:33EDT) (12:33GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US trade deficit for February dropped to $65.7G as both exports & imports fell
_New America Media_
Asian Americans' Stake
"Of the more than 11M [illegal] immigrants, 1M are from Asia. [This is consistent with reports last year that the Red Chinese government has over 3K business-fronts for espionage operations in the USA.]"
Olga G. Rodriguez _Arizona Daily Star_
Congressional Debate over Amnesty Proposals Trigger Rush of Illegal Immigration
San Diego Union-Tribune
2006-04-12 06:02PDT (09:02EDT) (13:02GMT)
Enquirer 80 stock index up 0.19%
"The Enquirer 80 Index of local interest stocks was up 0.56 points, or 0.19%, to 296.86. 35 issues were up, 38 were down and seven were unchanged. Leading gainers were Wellpoint Health Network Inc., up $1.37 to $74.05; Ashland Inc., up 83 cents to $70.04; Humana Inc., up 68 cents to $47.98; Omnicare Inc., up 61 cents to $52.11; and Federated Department Stores Inc., up 46 cents to $74.61. Biggest losers were Toyota Motor Co., down $1.07 to $113.44; Penn National Gaming, down 95 cents to $40.26; Gannett Co. Inc., down 65 cents to $58.17; Hillenbrandt Industries, down 57 cents to $50.88; and Griffon Corp., down 51 cents to $25.52."
2006-04-12 08:02PDT (11:02EDT) (15:02GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US trade deficit was 4.1% smaller in February, reaching $65.7G
Minutemen Civil Defense Corps Details Dangers of Illegal Immigration
Gerogie Anne Geyer _Ocala Star-Banner_
Inside the Illegal Immigration Debate
"It is the result of careful and cynical plans on the part of the Mexican government to develop its own constituency inside American society - and to keep it forever Mexican."
Meaghan Shaw _The Age_
Indian chef is another victim of perverse labor laws
"An Indian chef on a working visa says he was sacked from a Melbourne restaurant without notice after refusing to work a 15-hour day. RS, 28, said he was sacked from the Curry Lobby Restaurant in Collins Street on April 1 after complaining about hours and missed pay."
2006-04-12 11:17PDT (14:17EDT) (18:17GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US Government deficit widened to $85.5G in March
"The U.S. federal deficit widened to $85.5G in March compared with $71.2G in March a year ago, the Treasury Department said Wednesday."
treasury department report (pdf)
Howard Boyer _Opinion Editorial_
Economy, Democracy & Liberty
2006-04-12 15:37PDT (18:37EDT) (22:37GMT)
Canadian in USA on H-1B visa frustrated by illegal aliens' demands for amnesty
_Lansing State Journal_
Government should re-examine tax breaks when companies out-source, off-shore
"Federal-Mogul said it will close its St. Johns plant by 2008, ending 420 jobs in that community. 300 jobs will be gone by year's end, as work is transferred to Greenville, Blacksburg, VA, Mexico and [Red China]. It's a huge blow to St. Johns, the seat of Clinton County... In 2004, St. Johns granted Federal-Mogul a six-year tax abatement that meant $225K less in local tax revenue in the first year alone. That same year, the Legislature and governor Jennifer Granholm chipped in $65M in tax breaks for three Federal-Mogul plants, including the St. Johns facility. Finally, hourly employees at the plant accepted wage concessions to prevent the company's announced intentions to close the plant... Indeed, the Federal-Mogul saga should have state and community leaders wondering if any amount of tax breaks will be enough. Moreover, governments need to pursue legal ways to recoup tax breaks given to businesses that pull up stakes. It's unclear how much of a break Federal-Mogul received from the state as part of a multi-year tax abatement, but certainly local tax dollars have been diverted because of the community's wish to keep the plant open."
Lori Mitchell _WBKO_
"1996 was a year many Campbellsville residents remember all too well. But it is one they'd rather not relive. Hundreds of jobs were cut at the local Fruit of the Loom plant as a result of global competition. The news was devastating and the future looked bleak... Since the early 90s, heavy manufacturing jobs have gone to other countries by the tens of thousands... This is in part because of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In 1994, the U.S., Mexico and Canada signed a multilateral trade and investment agreement. NAFTA rules eliminated many of the existing government restrictions on how and where companies can operate. When the agreement was formed, NAFTA eliminated tariffs and other import controls on goods moving between the 3 countries. This meant suppliers could send products to be assembled in Mexico where labor is cheap, environmental protections weak, and taxes low, then send the finished product back home to sell at prices far cheaper. Despite these advantages, the effects of the trade policy continue to be controversial. 'When you can pay $.50 an hour or $1 or $2 an hour and don't have to worry about the environment, how's it ever going to be a level playing field?', said Butler County Judge Executive Hugh Evans. Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon agreed. 'It's certainly not a level playing field at this point. I think in the long run it will be, but in the short run it's been devastating to many, many people.'... The community has since attracted 12 new companies, and 9 of them are still in operation."
2006-04-12 (2006-04-12 23:50EDT) (2006-04-13 02:50GMT)
Corrupt Circuit Judge Threatened to Punish Rare Prosecutor Investigating Convergys for Privacy Violations Against State Functionaries
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
2006-04-13 05:30PST (08:30EST) (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 313,483 in the week ending April 8, an increase of 59,721 from the previous week. There were 339,709 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending April 1, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,574,685, a decrease of 101,112 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.2% and the volume was 2,809,420."
2006-04-13 05:43PDT (08:43EDT) (12:43GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted US unemployment insurance claims rose 12K to 313K
William R. Hawkins _American Economic Alert_
Foreign Governments Scheme to Take Key US Defense Technologies
"Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the SMI International Offsets and Industrial Cooperation conference in London, March 22-23. The focus of the paper I presented the first day of the conference was offsets, which are industrial compensation packages required by foreign governments as a pre-condition for purchasing defense articles and services. They include co-production, licensed production, subcontractor production, technology transfers, counter-trade, and foreign investment. The United States, as the world's largest exporter of defense systems and related items, is the target of foreign offset demands that can rob the American economy of the gains from defense trade, undermine the nation's defense industrial base by outsourcing work, and erode U.S. technological superiority. In 2003, for the first time, the total value of offsets exceeded the contracts to which they were linked. The offsets required by the foreign governments were 122% of the value of the U.S. defense exports."
2006-04-13 01:32PDT (04:32EDT) (08:32GMT)
Out-Sourcing Saves 15%
"Out-sourcing of information technology and business services delivers average cost savings of 15%, a survey found on Thursday, disproving market claims that out-sourcing can reduce costs by over 60%. After professional fees, severance pay and governance costs, savings range between 10% and 39%, with the average level at 15% when contracts are first let, according to out-sourcing advisory firm TPI. 'This research proves that the promise of massive operational savings is unrealistic when you take into account the costs of procurement and ongoing contract management.', Duncan Aitchison, TPI's managing director, said in a statement... The first 3 months of 2006 had the largest number of out-sourcing contracts ever signed in the first quarter of a year. TPI found that 83 contracts were signed, valued globally at over 18G euros ($21.9G), compared with 76 deals worth just over 13G euros over the same period last year."
2006-04-13 05:46PDT (08:46EDT) (12:46GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Import prices fell 0.4% in March
2006-04-13 05:46PDT (08:46EDT) (12:46GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Retail sales were up 0.6% in March
2006-04-13 07:12PDT (10:12EDT) (14:12GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index rose from 88.9 in March to 89.2 in early April
2006-04-13 07:13PDT (10:13EDT) (14:13GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Inventories were unchanged in February
"In the past year, sales are up 7.8%, while inventories are up 3.7%. The figures are not adjusted for [inflation]."
census bureau report
Leslie Brooks Suzukamo _St. Paul Pioneer Press_
Red Chinese software engineer indicted for software theft
World CAD Access/upFront
alternate type pad URL
"A Chinese software engineer who's been working in Minnesota on a work visa has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly stealing testing software from his former employer in Arden Hills. Tim Hongguo Tian, 39, of Blaine, was charged Tuesday with a single count of unauthorized access to a protected computer and 2 counts each of wire fraud and 'deprivation of honest services.', a federal fraud charge, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Tian will plead not guilty to all charges when he is arraigned April 19, his attorney, Frederick Goetz of Minneapolis, said. Tian faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250K fine if convicted on each of the latter four fraud charges and five years in prison and a $250K fine for the computer break-in charge. He is being held without bail by the U.S. Marshals Service. If convicted, he could be deported. Tian has been living and working in the United States for nearly 6 years. Parametric Technology Corp., which has a division in Arden Hills, hired him in 2000 May on a H-1B visa. Such visas, which are heavily used by the high-tech industry, allow companies to bring in foreign workers with special skills. PTC, based in Needham, MA, makes software to help businesses manage product development... In 2005 September, Tian asked PTC for a leave of absence to return to [Red China] because of a family emergency. But instead of going back to [Red China], he got a job at Fridley-based Medtronic Corp. as a software engineer, according to the indictment and Medtronic... On December 9, at about 23:00, Tian used his security badge to enter his office, where he logged onto the PTC computer network and down-loaded the source code for quality-testing software. He e-mailed the code, worth about $200K, to 2 personal e-mail accounts, the indictment said."
Lori Mitchell _WBKO_
"In the past, residents here relied on two major factories to keep them afloat, Odom's Tennessee Pride and the Adairville Hosiery Mill. But in 1994, around 150 workers got bad news about their futures when the sausage factory announced it was shutting its doors... the community took an even harder hit when the Hosiery Mill, Adairville's largest employer, closed down too... When Butler County Judge Executive Hugh Evans got the news that Butler County would lose its largest employer, Sumitomo, to Mexico, he worried how 800 people would feed their families... The closing also meant the county's general fund would shrink by nearly $300K due to a loss in occupational tax. 'I just don't know how long we can continue sending jobs over-seas and it's not going to affect us. It's got to eventually. I know they say the economy is good, but it's not too good in this area.'"
_Kansas City Business News_
Is Apple Merely Tainted or Rotten to the Core?: Off-Shoring 3K Jobs to India
"Apple Software is gearing up to hire 1,500 IT professionals for its Bangalore-based center by 2006 year end, and it will increase the staff count to a total of 3K workers by the end of year 2007. Apple's Indian Software Out-Sourcing facility worth $14G will be the company's [3rd] support centre outside California [others having been established in Austin, TX and in Canada]. RMZ would create a 151K square feet setting for company's first Software Out-Sourcing venture in the 1st phase and another 150K square feet in the 2nd one."
Harold Meyerson _InFoRum_
Worry about your job
"let me call your attention to an article in the March-April issue of Foreign Affairs by Princeton University economist Alan Blinder... 'The total number of current U.S. service-sector jobs that will be susceptible to off-shoring in the electronic future is 2 to 3 times the total number of current manufacturing jobs (which is about 14M).'... Between 2001 and 2004, median household income inched up by a meager 1.6%, even as productivity was expanding at a robust 11.7%. The broadly shared prosperity that characterized our economy in the 3 decades following World War 2 is now dead as a dodo. Also dying, if not yet also kaput, is the comforting notion that a good education is the best defense against the ravages of globalization... A study last year by economists J. Bradford Jensen of the Institute for International Economics and Lori Kletzer of the University of California at Santa Cruz demonstrates that it's the more highly skilled service-sector workers who are likely to have tradable jobs. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the proportion of jobs in the United States that require a college degree will rise by a measly one percentage point -- from 26.9% in 2002 to 27.9% in 2012 -- during this decade..."
2006-04-14 06:29PDT (09:29EDT) (13:29GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US industrial production up 0.6% in March, Capacity utilization at 81.3%
Federal Reserve data
Victor Davis Hanson _Chicago Tribune_
Illegal Immigrants and English
"'Undocumented worker', for example, is the politically correct synonym for 'illegal alien'. It implies that those who have crossed the border without the proper documentation have neither broken the law nor are of any different status than American citizens. But it is an inaccurate term. Not all those who come here illegally are working. And most never had, or even applied for, immigration documents. IOW, there really are millions here illegally. They are not aliens from another planet, but aliens in the literal sense -- simply not lawful residents of this country. 'Guest-workers', as well, is an inexact, euphemistic term. After all, invited company is rarely asked to wash their hosts' dishes. 'Imported laborer' or 'contracted worker' would be more accurate. Far better than guest worker, such terms convey the commercial nature of the arrangement. Even more precise would be 'imported low-wage laborer', to take into account the critical issue of wages. Even the old, crude label bracero -- 'the arms' -- better reflected the reality of low-paid, brutal labor than does guest worker. Those who object to fortifying the border like to say that building a fence would be akin to putting up a Berlin Wall. The inaccurate image this conjures is enough to send shivers up our collective spines -- as if we are heartless Cold War Stalinists with machine-gunners on turrets. And when it comes to stigmatizing their opponents, those who object to strict border enforcement use the term 'anti-immigrant' instead of 'anti-illegal immigrant'. Most Americans do not object to the millions who come here lawfully. So those who see benefits in illegal immigration try to blur the line between illegal and legal. Also, note that 'anti-immigrant' is preferable to 'anti-immigration', because the former personalizes the issue -- as if their opponents are hostile to individuals rather than to the flawed policies that brought them here. Indeed, at their worst, those who deny the serious problems of illegal immigration employ words like 'nativist' to describe their opponents, thus characterizing them as xenophobes rather than people interested in upholding the law. Nativist, however, is an empty charge, since there are more illegal and legal immigrants here (some 30M, or almost 10% of our present population) than at any time in U.S. history. The even harsher word 'racist' also is sometimes evoked in the debate. A purported 'white America' secretly fears a 'brown invasion'. But worry over losing control of our borders troubles Americans of all races, including millions of Hispanic-Americans. Most African-Americans and Asian-Americans oppose illegal immigration for a variety of reasons--from the driving down of wages of lower-paid American workers to the allowing of Mexican citizens to cut ahead in the immigration line. No doubt were there 1K Chinese illegal aliens arriving in boats each day on the coast of California, many of our present protesters would be calling on the Coast Guard to protect our shores. The most peculiar term used by some Hispanic extremists is 'La Raza', meaning 'The Race'. It alone in the debate really is linguistically a racialist term that identifies a particular group not by its origin, language or religion but by its supposed racial exceptionalism. That there is still an organization called the National Council of La Raza is surreal in our pluralistic society."
2006-04-14 06:19PDT (09:16EDT) (13:16GMT)
John O'Sullivan _National Review_
"No Illegal Alien Will Be Left Behind"
"Democrats strongly backed the marches which were actually organized by the usual hard-Left suspects responsible for the anti-war and anti-Bush campaigns... The White House also supports the marches. President Bush took time out while talking to students at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies to praise the marchers for expressing 'discontent' democratically. Much of corporate America goes along -- some businesses closed down to allow their Hispanic workers to participate. And all over the U.S. schools are giving their pupils 'credits' for playing truant in order to show approval of law-breaking and open borders... they are self-evidently directed against most congressional Republicans (supported by a discreet minority of Democrats) who... want to enforce border security without either a guest-worker program or a massive amnesty for illegals... Almost all polls have shown over years that about two thirds of the voters favor lower immigration levels overall, and are increasingly worried about impact of immigration on both economy and society. They are sometimes prepared to go along with highly moderate versions of guest-worker and amnesty as part of much tougher enforcement legislation, on the lines of the House bill proposed by representative Jim Sensebrenner -- provided that the illegals meet a number of strict standards -- learning English, paying stiff fines and back taxes, returning home to join the line for entry, and so on. But they are in general firmly opposed to illegal immigration, want to see it stopped, and worry about its impact on lower-paid Americans and the social fabric of American society. So the marches are, in effect, directed against the voters... If one listens carefully to the rhetoric of the marchers and their organizers, they deny the right of Congress and the voters to control immigration, to expel illegal immigrants, or even to place any conditions on their remaining... So the division represented in these marches pits the marchers, backed by the White House, both party leaderships, corporate America, and the organized multicultural Left, against the voters, supported by a narrow majority of Republicans and a small minority of Democrats in Congress... In Congress the details of the legislation will become better known as the legislators debate it -- and those details will alarm the voters far more than any demonstration... the [Senate] bill would cost the American [tax-victim] tens of billions of dollars in extra food aid and Medicaid costs alone. It would grant a green card and path to citizenship to any illegal alien who had been employed for any 3 of the last 5 years in the U.S.A... [the Senate] bill would not prohibit rapists and other violent criminals from getting amnesty and U.S. citizenship. A former immigration advisor to the Attorney General, Kris Kobach, added in the New York Post that it would replace all the existing immigration judges with lawyers drawn from the notoriously pro-illegal immigration bar -- thus ensuring that any border-line case would be decided in favor of the illegal alien."
Indians riot in Bangalore over death of actor, 5 more killed
"According to media reports, rioting by fans, mourning the death of Kannada film icon Rajkumar, would have cost the technology hub of Bangalore around $160M, with software firms losing $40M in revenues. TV Mohandas Pai, chief financial officer at Infosys Technologies Ltd, said his company lost $4M on Thursday, when mobs brought work to a stand-still in the city. The violence by tens of thousands of fans mourning the 77-year-old actor left at least 5 people dead, and disrupted work in the country's silicon capital that is also home to MSFT Corp and IBM."
2006-04-14 12:09PDT (15:09EDT) (19:09GMT)
John Shinal _MarketWatch_
Infosys profit rose 20% as sales surged: Indian body shop to pay special dividend
"The Bangalore, India-based firm also said it would pay several dividends in cash and stock to its shareholders, including investors who own its American depositary shares (INFY)... Along with Indian-based rivals like Wipro Ltd. (WIT), Infosys is gaining customers in part due to its low-cost employees, who do the same [kinds of] work as their U.S.A.-based counterparts for a fraction of the wages [benefits, on-the-job injury & harm insurance, and regulations]."
Claire Duffett _Central NY Business Journal_
"In 2005, the average starting salary for an SU graduate was $36,800, up from $34,700 in 2004, Cahill says. The increase came after several years of decline, with average salaries of $34,851 in 2001, $34,705 in 2002, and $33,679 in 2003. Students who graduate from the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science earn the highest starting salaries, roughly $50K, followed by business and information-technology (IT) students, who start at about $44K. Liberal Arts students start at around $34K, while students graduating from The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications have the lowest starting salaries, at about $31K, Cahill says. Karen McGee, director of the Newhouse Career Development Center, notes that $31K is a substantial increase over the previous average starting salary of about $28K... About 50% of students in management, engineering, and IT have jobs before graduation, while only about 15% of students in The College of Arts & Sciences have jobs by May, he explains. "
Sharon Gaudin _IT Management_
H-1B Visas Are a Cog in Off-Shoring Machine
"9 out of the 10 top companies requesting permission to file for H-1B visas are off-shoring companies according to John Miano... non-US programmers working here on H-1B visas are paid less than their American counterparts -- $13K less... 'It's a giant scam going on here.', says Miano, a board member with the Programmers' Guild who testified before a house sub-committee on immigration this month. 'With H-1B, the label is they need highly skilled workers to promote US industry. If you look at it, this has very little to do with that. This is the engine for off-shoring.', adds Miano... 'In reality, this is what's driving off-shoring... They can't move jobs out of this country unless they have these visas. They bring them here to let them learn the work and then they move it to India where it can be done a whole lot cheaper. If a company wants to move jobs out of this country, fine. See yah. Do it and I'll do business with another company. But to buy off Congress to get these visa workers is wrong.'..."
Anthony Gregory _Lew Rockwell_
Exploiting the Workers
|10-year US T-Bond||5.04%|
Floyd Norris _New York Times_
Unemployment rate doesn't tell whole story (graph)
"In the summer of 1983, the United States was just starting to come out of a brutal recession and the unemployment rate was 9.4%, twice what it is now in a recovery that has gone on for more than 4 years. But men in the prime of their working lives -- 35 to 64 -- were more likely to have jobs in the summer of 1983 than their successors in that age group are to have jobs now."
Som Vishwakarma _Patna Daily_
Rote Learning -- India's Biggest Curse
"Currently, the Indian system is designed to identify rote-based learning as 'merit' and reward the rote-learners with top-notch marks in all kinds of entrance exams and schools... a 'tota' can score top notch marks in an IIT/REC entrance exam, get a 'position' as a scientist in say ISRO/BHEL/BARC based on 'merit' but they will do almost zero original research. A 'tota' can recite all knowledge in the world but he or she cannot be creative and build [based on] that knowledge. I don't recall a single IIT'ian (either a student or a professor) winning the Nobel science prize. I don't see good quality research coming from any IIT, REC, IISc or an Indian research institute. If you cannot enhance knowledge, it will start decaying. Historically, leadership in cutting edge technology has been the biggest advantage a civilization/culture has had to make itself prosperous and to protect itself from invaders... Why does India not value creativity, originality and innovation? Why do we have weak patent laws, why don't we produce original movies, create original IT products, create original cars et cetera? Why does the 'merit' that so many Indians cherish and fight for in the Mandal agitation is not merit at all but a reward for rote learning? The reason is that since time immemorial we have not given importance to creativity and original thinking. We kept on glorifying the past experts in a field and tried to become an expert by repeating verbatim what the past experts said."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
On Datamation article on Miano study
"Anderson claims that the LCA wages reported by the employers are actually less than what the employers are paying. That statement sounds funny just to read it aloud, and in fact the LCAs track well with the actual wage data. For example, the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles of the LCA wage data are similar to those in the actual wage data in the annual H-1B reports published by the federal Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Also, the census data show an under-payment similar to what Miano found in the LCA data... If they are so valuable, why are [H-1B guest-workers] paid so little? I'm not referring to the LCA data here, but rather BCIS' data, which Anderson considers the 'real' data. The vast majority of H-1Bs in the computer field are making less than the national median. Connect the dots [between H-1B visa programs and off-shoring]?!?! They've already been connected! The off-shoring firms have stated it themselves, and professor Ron Hira of the Rochester Institute of Technology has done a statistical study on it. [Protections against displacement of US workers] apply only to a minuscule category of H-1B employers. The DoL says only 50 out of 50K employers are affected [by lay-off/displacement protections]... [The prevailing wage law is a sham], filled with loop-holes. One loop-hole which is very relevant here is that an employer can pay a Bachelor's level salary, for instance, to someone who has a Master's degree; see my university law journal article for details. At Intel, which says all its H-1Bs have Master's degrees or PhDs, the median H-1B salary is $64,480, while the national medians for engineers with Master's degrees is $82,333 and $105,500 for a PhD. (Note that this is a mixture of what I call Type I and Type II salary savings.)"
Ryan Setliff _Lew Rockwell_
Henry Clay: Corrupt American Architect of Mercantilism and Protectionism?
Sean Sullivan _Metro West Daily_
Several Slaves Fought on the Lexington Green
"Examining the history surrounding the events of 1775 April 19, is much like looking at a centuries-old painting... Little is known even of Lexington's Prince Estabrook, perhaps the most well-known African American colonial combatant of that day... On the eve of the Lexington and Concord battles, slaves were few and far between... Framingham's Peter Salem was a former slave who took part in the fighting alongside militiamen in Concord, just a few miles west from where Estabrook had been wounded hours earlier. The British found the gathering militia force in Concord far greater in numbers than the Lexington fighters, and soon began their harried retreat back to Boston. At the later Battle of Bunker Hill, some accounts credit Salem with the shot that killed Major John Pitcairn, the British officer in command during the Lexington April 19 skirmish. Pompey Blackman, like Estabrook a Lexington resident, was another African American member of the force... There were roughly six slaves in Lexington at the time of the Lexington and Concord battles, said Price... Within those ranks, he added, were both slaves and freemen."
2006-04-17 07:44PDT (10:44EDT) (14:44GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Foreign capital flows into the USA rose to $86.9G
"Net foreign purchases of U.S. financial assets were $99.5G, while U.S. owners purchased a net $12.6G in foreign financial securities. Net foreign capital inflows were revised higher to $69.1G in January."
2006-04-17 13:09PDT (16:09EDT) (20:09GMT)
Shawn Langlois _MarketWatch_
Boeing to cut 900 jobs in Wichita
"After the lay-offs, the site will still employ about 2,700 workers by the start of next year, the company said."
2006-04-17 13:29PDT (16:29EDT) (20:29GMT)
Ciara Linnane _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum prices up, ascribed to worries over Iran's nuclear weapons program and bellicosity
"Crude-oil futures closed at a seven and a half-month high of $70.40 [per] barrel Monday... Crude for May delivery added $1.08, trading as high as $70.45 a barrel shortly before the close, bringing it near the all-time high for a front-month contract of $70.85 set on August 30... Gasoline for May delivery was last up 1.41 cents at $2.122 a gallon, after touching $2.127 a gallon, the contract's highest-ever level. Rounding out the energy action, heating-oil futures closed up 3.9 cents to $2.0229 a gallon, while natural gas gained 44.2 to $7.577 per million British thermal units."
Bill Cotterell _Tallahassee Demagogue_
State employees, whose personnel records were sent to India, flood state legislators' e-mail-boxes with messages asking for raises to at least keep up with inflation
"Putting a ton of messages on a legislator's desk is usually a good form of persuasion - but not when they come from state employees, using state computers. 'It's killing us.', representative Curtis Richardson, D-Tallahassee, said Monday. 'It's a form e-mail, not even individual e-mail messages. I've had members coming up to me, saying, Curtis, call 'em off... 'Members sometimes get offended about employees using the e-mail system at work.', said [representative Al Lawson]. 'There's too much on the line right now for them to provoke the members.' Representative Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, had received 923 of the messages by 14:00. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees started it with a mass message to state employees, urging them to speak up for pay raises that beat a 3.6% inflation rate. AFSCME, which represents nearly 100K state office workers and laborers, provided a list of major budget players -- including governor 'Jeb' Bush -- and a model message text with space for personalizing. Representative Marti Coley, R-Marianna, said the Senate version of the budget calls for a 2.5% pay raise, while the House budgeted 2%. She said she hopes House-Senate budget negotiators can improve on that, 'but 4% is probably not going to be reached'."
2006-04-17 14:06PDT (17:06EDT) (21:06GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Home builders index fell to 50
2006-04-17 12:17PDT (15:17EDT) (19:17GMT)
Battle of Lexington Re-Enacted on Town Green
"The Battle of Lexington was the first skirmish of the Revolutionary War. 77 Minutemen were instructed by Captain John Parker, 'Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.' The Minutemen stood their ground against British forces when a shot was fired, its source is unknown. A fight ensued and when it was over 8 Americans were dead, 10 were wounded and the Revolutionary War had essentially begun."
Bill West _Front Page Magazine_
Immigration Deja Voodoo: We already have guest-worker programs
"history is not on the side of the Government working out the details when it comes to immigration reform and control. What we do historically have, and have had for many years, is... a guest worker program. That is the 'H' Temporary Worker visa. Seldom in the current clamor over illegal alien workers and legalization and 'guest workers' is the existing 'H' visa program even mentioned. It should be. In fact, the 'H' visa program should be in the forefront of this debate since the 'H' visa system itself, over the years, has been the subject of considerable controversy. 'H' visas traditionally have been used by many high-tech employers, especially in recent years employers like computer engineering firms, to bring in well educated foreign technicians, engineers and scientists who, while on paper are paid the equivalent of their US counterparts, in reality are paid less. This brand of white-collar corporate fraud has not been aggressively investigated by INS in the past and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) currently, thanks primarily due to lack of manpower and other investigative priorities set by management. Congress has essentially ignored this issue. Therefore, this 'H' visa abuse became widespread and mostly ignored. That does not mean the 'H' visa system could not be made to work. Like any system, given the proper resources, fine-tuning and oversight, it could be significantly improved. And, it should be noted, the 'H' visa program is not solely for high-technology employers and well-educated employees, something that is often mis-portrayed the few times the 'H' program actually does come into the guest worker debate. A review of the 'H' visa system reveals that it is actually quite broad. The H-1B category, the most common one encountered, covers 'specialty occupation' workers. H-1C is for nurses. H-2A is for temporary agricultural workers. H-2B is for other temporary workers, both skilled and unskilled. [We also have TN and E-3 and L guest-work visas.] Quite arguably, existing immigration law provides for a temporary worker visa mechanism that covers virtually every employment situation that might arise. Why then aren't all those US employers who hire all those illegal aliens simply using the existing legal visa system to bring in the temporary foreign workers they, and their politician and advocacy organization supporters, so vociferously claim are needed to make the US economy work? Perhaps the simple answer to that question lies in the fact the 'H' visa process requires forms to be filled out and adjudicated, time to pass, fees to be paid and, probably most importantly, a legitimate employer to pay standard US wages and provide standard US benefits to those 'H' visa employee beneficiaries. The system is somewhat cumbersome to make it work. But, there is a process already in place and could be utilized by employers who chose to do things legally... is there really incentive for US employers to participate absent strong enforcement sanctions (refer to that 2005 October article mentioned above) and what's the difference between these programs and the existing 'H' visa program other than the possibility of leading to permanent residence and US citizenship?"
2006-04-18 06:35PDT (09:35EDT) (13;35GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
PPI core increase is tame
BLS PPI info
2006-04-18 07:03PDT (10:03EDT) (14:03GMT)
Ciara Linnane _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum touches Nymex high at $70.55
"Crude for May delivery was up 15 cents at $70.55 [per] barrel. The contract touched a high of $70.88 in electronic trade overnight. Gasoline futures rose 0.4 cents to $2.1735 [per] gallon, heating oil dipped 0.3 cents to $2.02 [per] gallon and natural gas was up 12.3 cents at $7.7 per million British thermal units."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Harris Miller, candidate for US Senate in Virginia, Anti-Worker
"When Harris Miller, former president of the industry lobbying group ITAA, first announced his intention to run for the Senate, I said, 'Miller has consistently used tactics which most people would consider under-handed.' I gave a couple of examples of such tactics, and could have given a lot more. At the time, a lot of programmer and engineer activists thought that Miller would be highly vulnerable due to his support of H-1B and off-shoring. But they forget that he's a PR guy, an extremely skilled one. You can see it in the second enclosure below, where he deflects the questions quite deftly. Miller's ITAA membership consisted of some of the largest firms involving off-shoring, so West's claim is really absurd. Miller has made hundreds of public statements in favor of off-shoring. For instance, in his testimony to Congress on 2004 March 5, he said, 'My members believe out-sourcing -- rather than trying to build and retain a substantial in-house capability -- remains the most effective strategy for conducting a wide variety of IT operations.' Here is a quote from The Economist 2003 December 11: 'Many companies have not yet taken anything like full advantage of off-shoring. Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), a lobby group, says that off-shore locations have so far captured just 3-4% of all American companies' out-sourcing. The bulk remains onshore in the hands of big firms such as... of off-shoring (see chart 2). Mr Harris [sic] says some big companies have told him that up to 40% of their out-sourcing business could end up off-shore. That suggests the industry still has a long way to grow.' Keep in mind that the ITAA worked hard to defeat bills in state legislatures that would mandate that state government work be done in the U.S.A. (HR Magazine 2004 May) Remember how off-shoring was an issue in the 2004 presidential election? Miller made it clear that the ITAA was opposed to it being an issue. Here is some interesting material from the New York Times, 2004 January 20: '...We know that candidates in both parties have last-minute changes of heart when they have to go out in front of the general electorate.' Did you catch that last sentence? Miller has the nerve to castigate politicians who do what the voters want!... Miller has also opposed having H-1B employers give hiring priority to American workers. (CNet News 2005 January 20) Etc., etc. Well, enough quotes of Miller. Clearly, the web abounds with them. Nice to see the DPE of the AFL/CIO speaking out, as seen in the [Washington Post article]."
Michael D. Shear: Washington Post
Teddy: Raising Kaine
"He failed to give answers (satisfactory or otherwise) to concerns about his anti-worker, pro-[executive] lobbying past, and blew past questions asking for details on many of his answers... he sternly conceals his dismal record in dismantling employment for hundreds of thousands of American middle class workers (what one researcher termed 'deleting American workers'). Actually, I almost think he would be better as a candidate for Governor than for Senator, but, when this was hinted at, his supporters became angry. While it was a reasonably enjoyable morning, the truth is, he seemed a practiced schmoozer, not a deep thinker -- as my grandmother used to say, 'a mile wide and an inch deep'."
2006-04-18 09:05PDT (12:05EDT) (16:05GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
March housing starts lowest in a year
"The pace of U.S. construction of new houses fell 7.8% in March, with the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.96M units marking the lowest level in a year, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday."
Q & A with WashTech's Marcus Courtney
"If an immigration reform [bill] is to pass Congress, my expectation is they will most likely have some kind of provision in that bill to expand the H-1B visa cap. The ideal outcome is that we can begin generating enough grass-roots activities among people in the tech community to get in touch with their member of Congress to let them know that they oppose any H-1B visa increase as part of the immigration reform. That is not the bill to be addressing the issues surrounding the H-1B visa. The H-1B program is not about immigration; it's a guest worker program. It's dealing with technology and the immigration brought about between Mexico and the United States and not between the United States and Southeast Asia, where predominately the majority of H-1B visa holders come from. The H-1B visa is a specialty visa designed to fill spot market labor shortages for employers in very niche skills in the computer industry. It's a little bit broader than just technology, but predominantly it's the technology industry that uses this visa. When you look at the demand for high-tech workers in the country, there are more workers seeking jobs than jobs available..."
Miranda Hitti _Fox_
Mediterranean Diet May Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Med Page Today
Composite: "The finding, published in the early online addition of Annals of Neurology, comes from a study of 2,258 older adults in New York. At the study's start, participants were in their 70s, on average, and none had dementia. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in seniors. Participants took a 61-item survey about the foods they typically ate. They also took a battery of tests every 1.5 years for 4 years to screen for Alzheimer's. Those tests covered mental skills including memory, language, and reasoning. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals; high intake of unsaturated fatty acids (mostly olive oil), but a low intake of saturated fatty acids; a moderately high intake of fish; a low to moderate intake of dairy products (mostly cheese or yogurt); a low intake of meat and poultry; and a regular but moderate intake of alcohol, primarily wine and with meals."
2006-04-18 12:45PDT (15:45EDT) (19:45GMT)
Steve Goldstein & Ciara Linnane _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum futures set record
"Crude-oil futures closed at a record $71.35 [per] barrel Tuesday as continued concerns about a possible military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran bolstered prices."
_Business & Legal Reports_
NJ employers ordered to pay $650K for H-1B violations
"One Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ordered Home Mortgage Company of America Inc., in Hamburg, NJ, and its president, Roland David, to pay $513,036 in back wages and $84K in penalties and disqualified them from participating in the H-1B visa program for 2 years for willfully failed to pay 14 foreign workers the prevailing wages required by law. In another decision, an ALJ found that Priority I Software Solutions, Cinnaminson, NJ, and president, Anthony Corradetti, failed to pay 2 foreign workers the prevailing wage. Corradetti was held personally liable for $54,054 in back wages."
ITPAA grants weasel award to senate hopeful Harris Miller
"The Information Technology Professionals Association of America (ITPAA), a high-tech advocacy group based in Wilmington, Delaware has handed out its first Weasel Award of 2006 to Senate hopeful Harris Miller (Democrat) of Virginia. The organization, representing over 1,200 professionals nationally, presents the award to business and political leaders that it believes betrays the trust of the American people and threatens America's standing in the technology sector. Scott Kirwin, leader of the organization, states that as head of the high-tech industry lobby group ITAA, 'Miller lobbied tirelessly for laws making it easier to off-shore jobs, and fought every effort to stem the erosion of America's dominance in the technology field. He also lobbied to drive down salaries and wages by dumping foreign workers into the domestic job market under the H-1b and L-1 visa programs.' The Federation for American Immigration Reform reports that millions of trained foreigners have entered the US under the H-1b and L-1 visas, taking jobs for 25-50% less than similarly skilled Americans. 'Harris Miller worked hard for a constituency of foreign nationals. That constituency can't vote for him in the June 13th Virginia primary, but those his policies hurt can.'... Previous winners of the award include Bill Gates for his support of the H-1b visa program during a time of declining enrollment in Computer Science programs, and senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for her statements supporting out-sourcing on a trip to India while publicly criticizing it at home."
2006-04-18 15:08PDT (18:08EDT) (22:08GMT)
Mark Stevenson _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Mexico Is Harsh To Illegal Immigrants
"Considered felons by the government, these migrants fear detention, rape and robbery. Police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers simply take their money... the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Central Americans in Mexico suffer mostly in silence... Mexico provides few protections for migrants on its own soil. The issue simply isn't on the country's political agenda, perhaps because migrants make up only 0.5% of the population, or about 500K people -- compared with 12% in the United States... The number of undocumented migrants detained in Mexico almost doubled from 138,061 in 2002 to 240,269 last year. 42% were Guatemalan, 33% Honduran and most of the rest Salvadoran."
Christine Joiner _Taunton Gazette_
It was the shot heard 'round the world, but who is listening?: The battles that began our fight for independence at Lexington and Concord.
"In Concord and surrounding towns, troops of Minutemen assemble at sunrise to recreate the 'line of march' to the Old North Bridge. It was there that the American army and the Redcoats had their first face off, starting the American Revolution which gave us our 'freedom', said Pamela Mount."
Joel Mowbray _Town Hall_
federal government in bed with sponsor of terrorism?
|10-year US T-Bond||4.97%|
2006-04-18 17:49PDT (2006-04-18 20:49EDT) (2006-04-19 00:49GMT)
CEOs cash in: How many are really worth $100M?
"At least a dozen chief executive officers received $100M or more last year as part of an overall surge in pay that began in the 1990s. In 2005, the median package among the nation's 100 largest companies soared 25% to $17.9M, dwarfing the 3.1% average gain by typical U.S. workers. Some top athletes and entertainers make similar amounts, of course. But their worth is determined by ticket sales, not by how many cronies they can appoint to committees that set their pay... What's more, top executives are pulling in several hundred times the pay of rank-and-file workers after decades when that ratio stayed in the range of 50 to 75. This level of compensation shows how little input the owners of companies -- the share-holders -- have in management decisions. It also undermines employee morale and invites a political back-lash..."
2006-04-19 03:56PDT (06:56EDT) (10:56GMT)
K. Jones _Yahoo!_/_USA Today_
Legal Immigrants Pay a High Price to Stay in USA
"It is a slap in the face after everything that we have been through to think that illegal immigrants could gain citizenship faster than we could, especially considering they contribute nothing in the way of taxes, and they enjoy benefits we hold dear in this country, such as education and health care."
2006-04-19 07:16PDT (10:16EDT) (14:16GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
March core CPI increased most in a year
Audra Ang _Yahoo!_/_AP_
Yahoo! helping Red China violate rights again
Casper Star Tribune
"Yahoo Inc. turned over a draft e-mail from one of its users to [Red Chinese] authorities, who used the information to jail the man on subversion charges, according to the verdict from his 2003 trial released Wednesday by a rights group. It was the third time the U.S.-based Internet company has been accused of helping put a Chinese user in prison."
Mike Stobbe _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Death Rate Declined in USA
"the annual number of deaths in the country dropped by about 50K in 2004 -- the largest such decline in more than 60 years. Drops in the death rates for heart disease, cancer and stroke accounted for most of the surprising development, health officials said. Overall, age-adjusted death rates fell to a record low of 801 deaths per 100K population in 2004, down from almost 833 deaths per 100K in 2003... U.S. life expectancy had inched up again, to a record high of 77.9 years. The total number of U.S. deaths recorded for 2004 was 2,398,343, according to preliminary mortality data released by the National Center for Health Statistics. That represents a 2% decline from the 2,448,288 recorded for 2003... The last drop in deaths of this magnitude occurred in 1944, when the number of deaths dropped about 48K from the previous year, he said."
2006-04-19 10:07PDT (13:07EDT) (17:07GMT)
Ted O'Callahan _Fox_/_Inc._
Amid Immigration Debate, Executives Push for more H-1B Visas
Georgia Governor Signed Law To Discourage Illegal Immigration
"The law requires verification that adults seeking many state-administered benefits are in the country legally. It sanctions employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and mandates that companies with state contracts check the immigration status of employees. The law also requires police to check the immigration status of people they arrest. The measure is believed to be the first comprehensive immigration package to make it through a statehouse this session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of the new law's provisions will not take effect until 2007 July 1."
Farm Union Recruits, Places Legal & Illegal Immigrants & Non-Immigrant Guest-Workers
"The muscular 59-year-old grandfather [Baldemar Velasquez] heads the Toledo, Ohio-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee [FLOC], composed of about 8K [illegal alien] workers and another 6K Mexicans recruited for short-term work... In a recent case in North Carolina, the union won a $1.4M law-suit on behalf of workers who suffered illegal pay deductions. Never before has a U.S. union represented workers brought into the country under the H-2A temporary visa program."
David Brunner _Purdue Exponent_
Decision Needed To Curb Illegal Immigration
"Well, here we are, almost five years after the worst attack on U.S. soil and there are still more than 12M illegal immigrants living, working and reaping in the U.S., and the House and the Senate can still not agree on significant immigrant legislation. I can't believe this. This is probably the single most important legislative process concerning our national security, and our two representative functions of government cannot come to agreement and cannot come to action..."
Felicia Benamon _Mens News Daily_
Congressman Tom Tancredo: Standing Out from the Fray
2006-04-19 12:03PDT (15:03EDT) (19:03GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum futures closed at record above $72 per barrel
2006-04-19 16:57PDT (19:57EDT) (23:57GMT)
Mike Wilson & Mike Stobbe _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Mumps hit 15 states in the midwest: More vaccine promised
"In the worst out-break in nearly 20 years, mumps cases are spilling out of Iowa, popping up in at least seven other Midwestern states and perhaps seven more -- leading to promises of extra vaccine from the U.S. stock-pile. There are no deaths and few hospitalizations being reported from the disease, which health officials say might have been helped by air travel. But the nation's federal health agency said Wednesday it's the largest outbreak in almost two decades with more than 1K cases and it's expected to keep growing... More than 800 of the cases are in Iowa. The CDCP has pledged to provide 25K doses of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to the state from the agency's stockpile. And Merck & Co., the vaccine maker, is giving another 25K doses to the CDC for distribution to other states, Gerberding said in a briefing in Atlanta."
Alan Gottlieb Second Amendment Foundation
Second Amendment Foundation Celebrates Patriots' Day
"The Second Amendment Foundation today urges all Americans to celebrate Patriots' Day, the 231st anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord that ignited the American Revolution and led to the addition of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. On this date in 1775 America's Colonial Militia laid the foundation for our Second Amendment, resisting an effort by British troops to seize their firearms [and ammunition]. British forces paid dearly for that attempted gun grab, and the world learned just how valuable our forefathers considered their right to keep and bear arms. The principle those courageous militia irregulars defended is as important today as it was at Concord Bridge and on the Lexington village green. There are times today when the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms is the deciding factor between public safety and anarchy; between life and death. After 5 long years of revolution, it should be no mystery to anyone why our Founding Fathers made a specific point of including a guarantee in our Constitution that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. History has shown time and again that the right to bear arms in this country insures the right of self-defense and self-preservation. It protects our personal liberty, and has often provided the only means for private citizens to defend their homes, families, businesses and neighborhoods."
Lee Benson _Deseret Morning News_
Mexican Reconquista Sentiment Runs Deep
"Native Utahn David Timmins makes it clear up front that he has no personal issue with Mexico or the Mexican people. During a well-traveled career as a U.S. foreign service officer, he lived for a time in Mexico and says he enjoyed his posting there immensely... 'Mexicans see the Western U.S. as part of Mexico that was stolen from them 150 years ago.', he says. 'They believe this with all their heart.' It's his view that the thousands flooding across the border every month don't see themselves illegally immigrating into a foreign land... 'I lived in Mexico 20 years ago', says Timmins, referring to his days as an embassy worker in Hermosillo in the late 1980s, 'and during that time I reported without much attention being paid in Washington on the evolving Mexican government policy of passively promoting illegal immigration as part of a deliberate and long-range strategy to regain control of the border and mountain states it lost during the Mexican War of 1847-48... I was visiting the Museum of National History in Mexico City where I observed a class of perhaps 40 10-year-old school kids sitting on the ground in front of a huge mosaic map that was labeled Mexico Integral, or Greater Mexico. Their teacher expounded on how the Norteamericanos stole half of Mexico in 1847. The map showed Mexico to include Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, most of Idaho, and Oregon and Washington up to the Alaska panhandle.' Timmins explains that, in addition to what the United States gained in 1847, Mexico also believes part of the territory sold to America by France in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 actually belonged to Spain, which by extension means Mexico... 'They have an undeclared policy to retake by infiltration what they lost by infiltration.', he says, comparing the large numbers of Mexicans currently streaming into U.S. territory to the large numbers of Americans who once poured into then Mexican-held strongholds in Texas, California and elsewhere; Americans who eventually turned their collective might into majority rule."
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Main-stream media white-washes role of immigration in drop-out rates
"Time magazine's 2006 April 17 cover story on high school drop-outs... 'an increasing number of researchers are saying that nearly 1 out of 3 public high school students won't graduate'... drop-out rates for young whites have declined by over 50% in the past 3 decades, and are in the single digits. The really astonishing statistic, unemphasized by Time: the large fraction of Hispanics lacking a high school degree or its equivalent. In [Educationist] jargon, the percentage of 16- to 24-year olds who are out of school and who have not earned a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) degree is called the status drop-out rate. Status drop-out rates in 2003 were as follows: White, non-Hispanics: 6.3%; Black, non-Hispanics: 10.9%; Hispanics: 23.9%... Consider the data presented in a recent study of [the Evolution of the Mexican-Born Work-Force in the United States of America] by Harvard economists George Borjas and Lawrence Katz.
|Natives of USA:||67.3%||8.7%|
|Mexican immigrants:||94.6%||63.0%Non-Mexican immigrants:||84.4%||17.0%|
|10-year US T-Bond||5.03%|
2006-04-20 05:30PST (08:30EST) (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 267,921 in the week ending April 15, a decrease of 46,438 from the previous week. There were 285,657 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending April 8, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,516,880, a decrease of 54,276 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,731,177."
Diana West _Decatur Daily Democrat_
Illegal Aliens Are Bad for Our Character
"If a Virginia landscape company recently examined by The Washington Post is any measure, not enough. The company offers $7.74 per hour (less than my neighbors pay enterprising teens for the same hard work), and Americans, the company says, aren't applying. Rather than raise wages, thus following elementary rules of supply and demand, the company relies, like many businesses, on what the Post almost snobbishly dubs 'imported labor'. The report continues: 'Significantly higher wages might work (to attract US laborers), but that increase would be passed on to unhappy consumers, forcing Americans to give up under-$10 manicures and $15-per-hour paint and lawn jobs.' Horrors. What next -- higher green fees? Pricey lettuce? Not for nothing did Patrick Henry say, give me cheap produce or give me death. In what might be called a paean to peons, the New York Daily News recently celebrated the illegal-alien economy... The 'under-ground economy' is actually the back-bone of the 3-career family: working Dad, working Mom and working Nanny... The impact of immigration law enforcement, then, goes beyond national security and cultural identity: It goes to the heart of the American family. Without the 'undocumented nanny' to fall back on, many middle-class parents would have to stay home. Such a shift would have untold repercussions, not least of which would be on the little one. Without two-career parental largesse, he might actually grow into the kind of teenager who is willing to work hard and cheap -- busing tables, washing cars, working construction and cutting grass. In short, the model young citizen."
7 managers of pallet firm arrested for employing illegal aliens
Phoenix Business Journal
Cincinnati Post Times Star
York PA Dispatch
Hanover/Gettysburg Evening Sun
Leesville Daily Leader
Albany Times Union
Frankfort IN Times
San Diego Union-Tribune
"IFCO Systems North America, Inc. (IFCO), the largest pallet services company in the United States headquartered in Houston, TX. Yesterday, ICE agents arrested 7 current and former manages of IFCO pursuant to criminal complaints issued in the Northern District of New York. All these individuals are charged with conspiring to transport, harbor, and encourage and induce illegal aliens to reside in the United States for commercial advantage and private financial gain, in violation of Title 8, USC Section 1324 (a). The conspiracy charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250K for each alien with respect to whom the violation takes place. Two other IFCO employees were arrested on criminal charges relating to fraudulent documents. In addition to the criminal arrests, ICE agents yesterday conducted 'consent' searches or executed criminal search warrants at more than 40 IFCO plants and related locations in 26 states that resulted in the apprehension of approximately 1,187 illegal alien IFCO employees. Three of the criminal search warrants were executed at residences in Guilderland, NY, where IFCO was allegedly housing illegal alien employees... Those arrested yesterday [include] Robert Belvin... Abelino 'Lino' Chicas... James Rice... William 'Billy' Hoskins... Michael Ames... Dario Salzano... Scott Dodge... Vincente Araus-Rivera... Ovidio Umana... It is important to note that criminal complaints contain mere allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law."
2006-04-20 08:10PDT (11:10EDT) (15:10GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US leading economic indicators fell 0.1% in March
Rebecca Clarren _Oregonian_
Visa plan doesn't give comfort to un-employed and under-employed tech workers
"Despite a resume that boasts 20 years' experience, a 4.0 grade-point average and a master's degree in software design and development, Lake Oswego resident MB can't find a job. The 44-year-old software developer hasn't had full-time work since 2001. He's not alone -- most of his friends in the high-tech sector have moved out of Oregon. While the industry is recovering from the 2001 recession, according to the state economist's most recent forecast, the computer and electronic product manufacturing sector is expected to lose about 3K jobs from 2006 to 2011."
California Employment Law Violations Rising
"A fast-growing violation of California labor law involves denying over-time pay or misclassifying employees as exempt from over-time pay. Unexempt employees may be paid hourly, salary or by commission. Employees who work over 8 hours per day may qualify for over-time pay of one and half times the regular hourly wage and working over 12 hours per day qualifies for two times the regular wage. California also has separate over-time pay laws for certain industries. Computer programmers must earn more than $47.81 per hour in order to be exempt from over-time pay. Commissioned employees and salaried employees may also qualify for over-time pay if they meet certain conditions. Another major law violation is harassment and discrimination in the work-place. Harassment and discrimination come in many forms and according to Federal laws, it is unlawful to discriminate based on race, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or pregnancy. California has a high rate of immigrant employees, many have Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or green cards or are working with H-1, H-1B or H-2 Visas."
Illegal Immigrant Strike Called Off Due To Expectation of Embarrassing Ineffectuality
S. Texas Border Watcher Blames Amnesty Talk For Illegals Surge
"the Texas Minutemen have also helped the Border Patrol catch a lot of 'coyotes', the guides [smugglers] who bring the illegal aliens across."
Robin Lloyd _Fox_
Amygdala connected differently in men & women: Men respond more emotionally to external environment, while women respond more to internal environment
"For men, the cluster 'talks with' brain regions that help them respond to sensors for what's going on outside the body, such as the visual cortex and an area that coordinates motor actions. For women, the cluster communicates with brain regions that help them respond to sensors inside the body, such as the insular cortex and hypothalamus. These areas tune in to and regulate women's hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and respiration. 'Throughout evolution, women have had to deal with a number of internal stressors, such as child-birth, that men haven't had to experience.', said study co-author Larry Cahill of the University of California, Irvine... The finding, published in the recent issue of the journal NeuroImage, could help researchers learn more about sex-related differences in anxiety, autism, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. The new study focused on activity in the amygdala, a cluster of neurons found on both sides of the brain and involved for both sexes in hormone and other involuntary functions, as well as emotions and perception."
2006-04-20 12:14PDT (15:14EDT) (19:14GMT)
Keepers of the Flame:
"On Monday, we celebrated Patriots Day... Patriots Day is a special holiday in the state and the City of Boston to remember the events leading up to the American Revolution. A highlight of the events is a reenactment of Paul Revere's (and William Dawes') legendary ride in the early hours of 1775 April 18, toward Lexington to warn of approaching British troops. During the following 2 days the American Revolution began with first shots exchanged between the British Redcoats and the Minutemen at Lexington and Concord on 1775 April 19 and 20... people come from all over the country to see the commemoration of these events... Long after the Revolution, John Adams struggled with the question, who will write the history of the Revolution? Having had a major role in guiding that Revolution, and being such a key figure in so many of the actual evens, no doubt Adams was concerned about how historians would memorialize the events leading up to the war and the Revolution itself. He wondered who would write it, and who would cherish and preserve it, or to put it another way, who would be the 'Keepers of the Flame'."
Erich Veyhl _Lincoln Journal_
Revisionism Hides Unconstitutional Taking of Property
"When I first saw the headline 'The other history of the Revolution's Battle Road' in 'Patriots Day 2006: The Guide' I thought it might tell the story of the National Park Service (NPS) seizing private property for what is now the Minuteman Park in Lexington, Lincoln and Concord. Instead it was another unquestioning white-wash based on NPS's local 'Chief of Interpretation' Lou Sideris. Nowhere are we told that the NPS took the land by eminent domain from 150 home-owners, small businesses and farmers in a brutal battle beginning in the late 1950s and lasting for decades despite the promises that property would not be taken. Nowhere are we told of the nationally-reported battle disrupting the towns for 3 years following the NPS 1988 expansion plan to 1) take land and another 3 dozen homes extending from Lexington to the North Bridge in Concord, 2) forcibly remove those families renting their former homes back from the government, and 3) close down 4 miles of the major Lexington Road route between Lexington and Concord to turn it into a dirt path -- all accompanied by continuous NPS abuse and dishonesty that no one should be subjected to. Nowhere are we told that Concord had already preserved the North Bridge or that most of the 1775 fighting enroute to Boston began in Arlington -- and that Minuteman Park was intended by the politically well-connected as a barrier between themselves and Hanscom AFB following WWII... The institutionalized, cynically dishonest revisionist 'history' from NPS and its apologists, hiding their own actions of abuse and broken promises, has been an on-going insult on top of injury for decades, not just at Minuteman, but across the nation where the pattern repeats. Do you have any idea how the victims feel when they read such white-washes, especially those whose lives were ruined? That this has been perpetrated in the name of commemorating the American Revolution is morally obscene. Reporters unfamiliar with local history should do some research before naively echoing official PR from an arrogant Federal bureaucracy."
James Thorner _St. Petersburg Times_
Construction price increases driven by oil & cement
"Despite temporary shortages in some trades, construction workers remain plentiful and labor costs tame. The cost of concrete and cement may be spiking again, but prices for other vital building materials such as steel, lumber and gypsum are falling or about to fall... Cement is likewise shooting up as demand outstrips supply. Its price rose 12 percent last year. The world is making plenty of cement, Simonson said. Even [Red China], whose building boom is blamed for driving up cement prices, exports part of its cement production. The trick has been finding the ships, trains and ports to handle such a narrowly profitable bulk commodity. That has created a headache for builders who rely on the material for everything from concrete block in houses to prefabricated slabs in apartment buildings... STEEL: After a 50 percent price spike whacked builders in 2004, prices rolled back 4% last year. Prices this year should stay flat or fall slightly. PVC PIPE: This plumbing mainstay, created from natural gas, doubled in price in some places last year... GYPSUM: This main component of dry wall and other plaster products saw huge run-ups in 2004 and 2005. Prices should edge lower this year as factories boost production and housing demand slows. LUMBER AND PLYWOOD: Prices have fallen the past 18 months, helping prop up home construction, the largest consumer of these building materials. The trend should continue. CEMENT: After lobbying from the construction industry, the United States dropped import duties this month on Mexican cement from $26 to $3 per metric ton, but quotas on the foreign cement remain. Construction demand has overwhelmed stagnant domestic supply. Public aversion to noise and dirt has constrained construction of concrete plants. Expect price volatility to continue."
Battle at Jason Russell House to Be Re-Enacted Sunday
"The Jason Russell House was the site of the bloodiest skirmishes of the opening day of the American Revolution. The quiet road, now Massachusetts Avenue, was 'battle road' on 1775 April 19, a site of fierce combat during the British retreat from Concord and Lexington to Boston. The road was one of the strategic locations of the day. On that 'fateful day', men of Menotomy village who were old or disabled stayed by the roadway to take advantage of their position behind stonewalls. During the British retreat, they were joined by minute men and militia [from] Beverly, Lynn, Needham, Billerica, Dedham and Danvers. Russell directed his family to safer homes nearby. He began strengthening the stonewall barricades with bundles of shingles from his barn so that he would have good cover to fire at the fleeing British. When the British were nearing his farm, a neighbor urged Russell to seek safety himself. He refused."
Constance Neville _Lexington Historical Society_
"Thank you so much to all who made our Midnight Ride of Paul Revere re-enactment a wonderful production. It just keeps getting better all the time. Firstly, to the terrific cast: Marvin Antonoff as our tourist-prologue person, Rev. Dr. Peter Meek as Jonas Clarke, Colin Godfrey as Samuel Adams, James Fenske as John Hancock, William Poole as Sergeant Munroe, Jodi Oberto as Dorothy Quincy, Jane Morse as Aunt Lydia, Paul Duvall as Corporal Samuel Sanderson, Dan Higgins as Private Enoch Wellington, Henry Stevenson as Corporal John Munroe, Donna Nichols as Lucy Clarke and Henry Liu as Captain John Parker. Portraying Paul Revere this year was Matthew Johnson and William Dawes was Christopher Tobin. Our heartfelt appreciation goes also to all the critical behind-the-scenes (or maybe just not quite so visible) folks such as our Clarke children, Carlo Bertazzoni (in charge of the crowd control pickets and historical interpreters), Charles Vail (stage manager), Mario DiCarlo, Helen DiCarlo and Richard Reale (for the National Lancers), Tom Fenn (Belfry ringer) and Susan Rockwell, Director and co-executive producer with William Poole.
[Jonas Parker was born 1722-02-06 and married Lucy Monroe. They were grand-parents when he died on the morning of 1775-04-19 at age 53, one of the first fatalities in the skirmish on Lexington Green with British forces there to seize the arms and ammunition stores of the people of Lexington. The militia were commanded by captain John Parker, his cousin. Jonas Parker jr stood next to his father in the line of battle. In the minute-man lines, Jedediah Munroe, armed with his musket and a sword brought from Scotland by his ancestors, was shot down before he could raise his musket, as was Robert Munroe. John and Ebenezer Munroe each got off a shot, although Ebenezer took an arm wound and a grazing wound across a cheek before he managed to fire. Jonas Parker, badly wounded and lying on the ground, took careful aim and fired, and reached into his hat for a musket-ball and a flint. But the on-rushing light infantrymen were on him before he could begin reloading and one of them bayoneted him to death. Isaac Muzzy was shot down and killed in the lines. Jonathon Harrington was shot down there, but crawled a hundred yards under the eyes of his wife and 8-year old son to die on his door-step.]"
encyclopedia article from answers.com
Barnes & Noble
Thomas Sowell _Baltimore MD Sun_
Demonstrations by illegal aliens display the ugly reality
Real Clear Politics
Freedom 1590 Seattle WA
|10-year US T-Bond||5.04%|
_Zee News_/_Daily News & Analysis_
US plans new web site to ease filing of H-1B applications
"He hoped that there would be granting of more H-1b visas to the Indian applicants after civil nuclear bill gets through in US Congress."
Joy Davia _Rochester Democrat & Chronicle_
Rochester area job market is still stagnant
"DA, 55, was one of 128 people recently laid off by ITT Industries Inc. -- a growing company that last year became the eighth-largest private business locally... The March data, released Thursday, shows that the unemployment rate stayed steady at 5%, and the number of jobless people dipped slightly from 26,500 in March 2005 to 26,200... The labor force shrank by 4,800 people to 527,300 workers in the past year. Local experts have explained this continued discrepancy by saying the stagnant job market might have prompted people to leave the area, go back to school, retire or stop their job hunt... The biggest culprit continues to be Eastman Kodak Co. The industry category dominated by the down-sizing company lost 4,100 positions in the last year. That is higher than any other industry category, according to local data, which includes Monroe, Orleans, Livingston, Ontario and Wayne counties... [Body shopping] jumped by 600 workers from February to March, she added."
Connecticut Pay-Rolls Down by 4,300 in March
"Employment in Connecticut was 1.66M in March, with the largest gain in the educational and health services sector, up 700. Financial activities, and professional and business services, were each up by 600."
Jerry Gleeson _Journal News_
March unemployment fell to 3.9% in NY
"Rockland was tied last month with Albany and Saratoga counties for the third-lowest unemployment in the state. And February's jobless rate of 4.1% in Rockland was down from 4.7% a year earlier. Job growth in the Westchester-Rockland-Putnam region was more muted. The number of jobs in March grew by 7,200 year over year, an increase of 1.3%. It was the biggest jobs number for the month of March, according to Labor Department data going back to 1990. It was also the biggest percentage increase since 2004 December, although the region has seen job growth in the 2% to 3% range from the middle of 1998 through the middle of 2000. 'This is still kind of a jobless recovery, not as much so as in the early part of the expansion.', Mount Vernon economist Tom Spitznas said... In Rockland, however, the number of people walking into Tomorrow's Work-place for help dropped from 1,795 in 2004 to 1,403 in 2005, Weisberg said. The first-quarter numbers were flat... The employment picture regionally still outshone that of neighboring New York City and the state. The city's rate of 5.5% was down a bit from 5.6%. Statewide, joblessness fell slightly as well, from 5.1% to 5%. In the Lower Hudson Valley, employment growth in construction and related fields remained strong last month. About 1,900 jobs were added in the three counties, a 6.1% increase. Financial activities, including credit and insurance employment, added 1,500 jobs, a 4.1% increase. Professional and business services added 1,700 positions, a 2.5% increase. Educational and health services added 1,600 jobs, a 1.5% increase. In the loss column, leisure and hospitality employment was down by 800 jobs, a 2.1% decrease. Manufacturing lost 600 jobs, a 1.8% drop... Westchester's unemployment rate stood at 4.1%, the same as in March 2005. Putnam's rate was 3.7%, down from 3.8%. Some Rockland job hunters said they still struggle to get work."
2006-04-21 14:48PDT (17:48EDT) (21:48GMT)
Tom Elias _Ridgecrest Daily Independent_
Immigration Proposals Might Favor Asians over Latinos
"The package now most likely to pass figures to include provisions for vastly expanding fences along some parts of the Mexican border. It will also beef up the Border Patrol. And it will impose time limits on so-called guest workers, compelling them to return home after three or five or six years and stay there awhile before coming back into the United States. Okay, that last will only apply if it's enforced, and similar immigration time limits never have been... the law will also likely provide a big increase in the number of "uniquely qualified" guest workers who can come here legally, upping the limit from [85,000] a year to [135,000], with an option of increasing the flow by 20% yearly without going back to Congress for permission... the vast majority of immigrants in this program, called the H1-B plan, come from Asian countries like the Phillippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India. An H1-B increase was eagerly sought by high technology companies and had little trouble getting inserted into several versions of the reform bill amid fears that this country might somehow lose its leadership role in electronics if companies like Intel and Cisco Systems are forced to hire American citizens or permanent legal residents rather than Asian imports. That's a scare tactic the high tech lobby has used non-stop since the mid-1990s to get ever higher numbers of H1-B visas, which allow foreigners into the United States for 6 years... At the same time, the way will likely be eased for tens of thousands more skilled Asian workers to enter and take jobs that several American engineering organizations have long maintained should go to citizens. The reason high-tech companies push this, according to those groups: Skilled Asians gladly work for significantly lower wages than U.S. citizens. Any new law will also mostly likely set up an F-4 visa class for students getting advanced degrees in science, math, engineering and computer technology. Upon completing their studies, the students would get permanent residence and eventual citizenship if they pay a $1K fee and find a job in their field. No one can be sure what new risks may arise from these new rules which would apply significantly to H1-B and F-4 immigrants originating in countries with large Muslim populations. What is known is that obscure, existing rules that allow preferred immigration status for clergy serving existing H1-B immigrants have already led to anti-American preaching in mosques across this country. The radical Islamic imam arrested last year in Lodi for allegedly plotting terrorist acts arrived here on just such a visa. The basic reality, of course, is that guest workers coming in on H1-B visas are as likely to stay on as braceros ever were, and that there is essentially nothing to force either H1-Bs or guest farm workers to leave when their visas expire."
2006-04-21 14:48PDT (17:48EDT) (21:48GMT)
CAIR backs down from suit of anti-CAIR web site
"In a stunning set-back, the Council on American-Islamic Relations' defamation suit against Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR has been dismissed with prejudice."
|10-year US T-Bond||5.01%|
Diplomats won't talk to police
"Two [Red Chinese] diplomats have refused to answer questions from police about their ties to a businessman indicted on visa fraud charges, according to sources. Zhang Jian, 51, president of a business consulting firm in Tokyo's Chuo Ward, is suspected of arranging fake visas for dozens of illegal [Red Chinese] immigrants since 1999 and making 100M yen in the process. The businessman, a leader of a group campaigning for [Red China]-Taiwan unification, was arrested last month on suspicion of helping a [Red Chinese] national get a work visa for Japan using a phony employment report... Before opening an office in Chuo Ward, Zhang ran a legal consultation office in the [Red Chinese] embassy.."
Roy Lawson _Freedomcast_
IT Jobs Report, 2006Q1
Oscar Avila _Chicago Tribune_/_American Workers Coalition_
Just like Reps within their party & Dems within theirs, Whites are split and Blacks are split over illegal immigration
"He's sympathetic to the marchers, but Daniels says illegal immigrants undercut Englewood residents by flooding the market with workers willing to take less money. 'Let me tell you what the mind-set of the African-American is when they see those marches: ''They are here to replace us.''', Daniels said... African-Americans have profound disagreements about where they belong in the debate. In Chicago, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Nation of Islam and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which traditionally has targeted black neighborhoods, all have backed a May 1 march for legalization, saying the plight of any marginalized worker should concern the black community. In the editorial pages of black newspapers and in neighborhood conversations, however, a growing segment of African-Americans is raising doubts about supporting immigrants, especially lawbreakers, who are often competitors for low-wage jobs. Researchers have identified a link between increased immigration and unemployment and falling wages among some U.S.-born workers... Mexico President Vicente Fox outraged U.S. civil rights groups when he said immigrants take jobs that 'not even blacks want to do'. Closer to home, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin warned about an influx of Mexican workers coming to rebuild his city. Rev. Anthony Williams, pastor at St. Stephens Evangelical Lutheran Church in Englewood, said he resents immigrants comparing themselves to black civil rights activists... 'The issue is nobody is above the law. Our country has laws in how you enter this country.' Williams is so passionate that he is working informally with the Chicago Minuteman Project, an off-shoot of a volunteer group that patrols the U.S.-Mexico border and advocates stricter immigration enforcement. It is the jobs issue that troubles African-Americans most. A Pew Hispanic Center poll released last month found that 41% of African-American respondents in Chicago said they had lost a job to an immigrant compared with 15% of white, non-Hispanic respondents... Of course, Daniels said, they might have taken the jobs if wages were higher. And the wages probably dropped because the contractor's all-Hispanic crew jumped on the offer, he said. Harvard University professor George Borjas released a report in 2004 that found that African-American wages fell 4.5% -- a larger drop than among white workers -- during an immigration boom between 1980 and 2000."
2006-04-23 05:51PDT (08:51EDT) (12:51GMT)
_Agence France Presse_/_American Workers Coalition_
Immigration from Eastern Europe has depressed compensation, made UK workers more easily brow-beaten
"The influx has allowed employers to fill jobs more easily and kept wages from climbing high, according to the study published in papers like The Sunday Times and The Independent on Sunday... Peter Spencer, chief economic advisor to the E and Y Item Club, quoted by The Independent on Sunday. 'They have rejuvenated our work-force and made it much more mobile [much more willing to relocate at their own expense and more willing to be body-shopped.' But the immigrants have also made it harder for Britons. 'The UK worker who loses his or her job is finding it much harder to find a new one, particularly if they want as high a wage.', Spencer said... a rise in unemployment has come with the inflow..."
2006-04-24 13:48PDT (16:48EDT) (20:48GMT)
John Shinal _MarketWatch_
Ben Charny _eWeek_
Former Computer Associates executive Sanjay Kumar to plead guilty to fraud charges today
"Sanjay Kumar, former head of IT management firm CA, is expected to plead guilty April 24 to a number of financial fraud charges resulting from a $2.2G corporate accounting scandal that rocked the company in 2004, according to press reports... behind closed doors, Kumar and Richards were... fabricating financial results by back-dating contracts, according to evidence that's part of the case. In one alleged instance, Kumar is to have personally back-dated a contract, flying to Paris to do so, then destroying the potential evidence... The former executives to plead guilty to charges related to the case include Stephen Woghin, CA's former general counsel; Ira Zar, a former chief financial officer; and 2 finance vice presidents, David Kaplan and David Rivard."
Paul McDougall _Information Week_
Displaced Programmers Declared Eligible for Federal Training: Off-Shoring to Increase
"the Department of Labor -- in a note published this month in the Federal Register -- said that 4 employees of IT services vendor Computer Sciences Corp. that were laid off in 2003 from a facility in East Hartford, CT, are eligible to apply for benefits under the Trade Adjustment Act. The act provides a number of relief measures for workers who've lost their jobs to cut-rate foreign competition, including extended unemployment payments, federally funded retraining, and relocation allowances... In January, trade court judge Nicholas Tsoucalas ordered the department to revisit the case, noting that, '[the Department of] Labor's interpretation of the law, that software code must be embodied on a physical medium to be an article under the Trade Act, is arbitrary and capricious'... The ruling could ultimately affect thousands of U.S. IT workers who claim they're out of work due to the outsourcing of hi-tech jobs to India, [Red China], and other emerging countries where programmers are paid as much as 80% less than their American counterparts. 'We think this case will have wider implications.', says attorney Neil Ellis, who represented the CSC workers. Indeed, a number of U.S. tech services vendors, including IBM, EDS and CSC, have been quietly trimming domestic manpower while ramping up operations in India. In March, IBM said it would move all business solutions development to the country and add tens of thousands of new positions there over the next several years. Also in March, CSC -- which is priming itself for a sale -- said it would cut 5K jobs in the West over the next two years. At the same time, CSC said it plans to add between 5K and 7K workers in India over the same period. EDS says it wants a 10-fold increase in its Indian staff-from the current 3K to more than 30K by 2008."
Ed Gubbins _Telephony_
Firearms owners & librarians unite against Bells
"The SavetheInterNet.com Coalition includes InterNet pioneer and Google executive Vint Cerf, Gun Owners of America, political action group Moveon.org, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Consumer Federation of America, American Library Association and others."
Telecomm rife with disconnects between CEO pay & performance
"Of 11 companies identified by TCL as having the biggest disconnect between shareholder returns and CEO compensation, 4 -- or more than a third -- were telecom companies: AT&T, BellSouth, Lucent Technologies and Verizon Communications. No other industry had nearly as much representation on the list."
Defend Colorado Now
Initiative to amend Colorado Constitution to limit government benefits to illegal aliens.
_International Labor Communications Association_
CWA Lobbying Against Increase in H-1B Visas
"The resolution also blasted GOP President George W. Bush's plan to expand all guest-worker programs as part of immigration reform, and said all immigrant workers to the U.S. should be provided a path to legalization."
Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Marcus Courtney of WashTech Opposes H-1B Increase & Seeks Aid for Workers Adversely Affected by Guest-Worker Programs & Off-Shoring
2006-04-25 08:43PDT (11:43EDT) (15:43GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Conference Board's US Consumer Confidence Index Returned to Levels of Two Years into the On-Going Depression
Conference Board data
2006-04-25 08:47PDT (11:47EDT) (15:47GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
March existing home sales were up 0.3%
National Association of Realtors report
Unions Split Over Guest-Worker Proposals
Greg Avery averyg(at)dailycamera.com _Scripps Howard_
Executives quietly continue push to increase immigration flood
"Former Colorado governor Dick Lamm, the head of the University of Denver's Institute for Public Policy Studies and the chairman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said agricultural employers came to him complaining about the crack-down when he was governor [in the 1980s]... Pressure not to enforce border security and employment laws won out and illegal immigration problems got worse, not better. Lamm places a large share of the blame on American businesses. 'I think it's a race to the bottom, and I think it's very much a detriment to the poor.', Lamm said. 'Businesses want to bring this cheap labor in and have yours and my family pay to educate their kids and pay for their medical care.' Lamm is skeptical that employers are as hard-pressed to verify their employees status as many say. Estimates suggest 40% of illegal immigrants are paid off the books and many of the rest claim enough dependents that they are not taxed, Lamm said."
Peter Cohen _PlayList Magazine_
"Berkeley on iTunes U" available to the public
"Apple's iTunes U program enables colleges and universities to post audio and video educational content on-line. While some universities restrict access to posted content specifically to their students and faculty, the University of California, Berkeley has done one better -- it's announced that Berkeley on iTunes U is available to the public, as well as all UC Berkeley students."
Cathy Keen _UF News_
Higher gasoline prices caused dip in Florida Consumer Confidence
"Rising gas prices were the likely cause of a two-point dip in consumer confidence in April to 89, following a four-point hike in March, University of Florida economists report. 'Increasingly, consumer confidence seems to be driven by the price of gasoline.', said Chris McCarty, director of the survey research center at UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. 'The rise in confidence last month appears to have been a lagged reaction to lower gas prices in February. But we have more than made up for those drops in the past 2 months, and gas prices are headed upward as the summer traveling season approaches.' Like the previous month's rise, the decline in April was broad-based. All 5 of the index components fell. The largest drop was in perceptions of U.S. business conditions over the next 5 years, which dropped four points to 79. Each of the other 4 components fell by 2 points; expectations about U.S. business conditions over the next year, to 79; perceptions of personal finances now compared with a year ago, to 87; perceptions of personal finances a year from now, to 94; and perceptions of whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items, to 104. Overall, the index is two points lower than at the same time last year... For a variety of reasons, McCarty said he expects to see consumer confidence to decline further this year. In addition to the negative effects of rising energy prices and higher levels of debt, a slow-down in the housing market is likely, he said... The research center conducts the Florida Consumer Attitude survey monthly. Respondents are 18 or older and live in households telephoned randomly. The preliminary index for April was conducted from 408 responses. The error rate is plus or minus 5%."
Florida Research and Economic Data-Base (FRED)
"Hannibal" _Ars Technica_
Sizing up the international competition
"Gary Gereffi and Vivek Wadhwa noticed that hysterical press stories about the impending loss of America's high-tech edge to these two rapidly advancing Asian competitors routinely state that in 2004, Indian under-graduate programs produced 350K engineers and [Red Chinese] under-graduate programs produced 600K. These numbers persist, and the aforementioned Business Week article seems to be drawing on them for its claim that... Note that an Inside HigherEd article on the professors' report quotes Wadhwa as tracing those numbers to as far back as 2002, and even then they weren't right... most of the alarmist reports count unaccredited and sub-baccalaureate technical degrees (two- and three-year certificate programs in electronics, computer science, or any other technical field) along with accredited bachelors degrees when figuring the numbers for India and China, but when doing the totals for America they only count figures for accredited bachelors degrees. And even the, the numbers still aren't right. If you actually decide to compare apples to apples, the Duke report shows that the numbers for each country look [like this]... America generates a much higher number of engineers per capita than either of these two countries... just how many of our science and technology graduate students are American vs. foreign, and much more importantly, how many of that latter group stay in the States after graduation and contribute to the American economy. Anecdotally, the majority of science and technology graduate students at the top- and mid-tier schools are foreign-born. This in itself is not only not a problem, but it's a major boon to the USA if the best and the brightest from other countries come here to get an education and then stay here to live, work, buy, sell, create wealth, and pay taxes. When they start heading back home to do all those things, though, then we're in trouble. [And we're also in trouble if the reasons more American students are not in these programs have a lot to do with economic incentives against pursuing graduate degrees, including direct costs, opportunity costs, and expected life-time earnings.]... If there isn't a real shortage, then it's strictly a way for American companies to bring in cheap labor at lower wages by dangling the promise of a green card in front of potential hires. This kind of activity exerts a downward pressure on wages across the entire field and ultimately prices American labor out of the market... The cost of the green card to the employer is much less than the cost of the American worker's insurance coverage, plus the foreign worker is obligated to work for the employer for a set period if she wants to get the promised green card. This is a win-win for the employer and the H-1B worker, but not for the American employee, to whom the green card is worth exactly US$0. The American has been priced out of the market because the H-1B will sell her labor at what amounts to a steep discount in exchange for a green card. The example above is a bit contrived, and there more nuances involved, but it should give you a general idea of [one way that] the H-1B program can, in some specific sectors (but by no means all), artificially depress wages on the open labor market by making a green card and citizenship factors in price-setting activity. So when American university students look at the compensation levels for programming jobs and opt for pre-law instead, artificially depressed labor prices are partly to blame... First, sounding the alarm because a team from Russia won a programming competition is like getting all worked up because a guy from Ethiopia won the New York City Marathon or a Norwegian won a skiing competition. Russians and Eastern Europeans just tend to do really well at this sort of thing, for whatever reason. So the best way to beat the Russians at math competitions may be for the American team to add a few vowel-challenged last names to its own roster. Either that, or the Americans could actually practice more... If you really want to know why the foreigners beat us, take a look at this paragraph: 'It's not that foreign students are any smarter, say U.S. university leaders. They just have relentless discipline. The team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which finished first last year and fifth this year, uses past participants to train each successive team. ''We pile up experience year after year.'', says coach Yong Yu. The team practices year-round and puts in three hours a day during the months before the contest. U.S. teams typically spend much less time preparing.' So what kind of grand, sweeping generalizations about the state of American education can we draw from this? How about, 'teams that practice more for international competitions tend to do better'."
Today is government extortion freedom day
2006-04-25 21:02PDT (2006-04-26 00:02EDT) (2006-04-26 04:02GMT)
John C. Dvorak _MarketWatch_
Battle over DVD formats will continue to be fierce
"Blu-ray holds 25GB per layer and HD-DVD only 15... Blu-ray [is] considered superior from a technology stand-point. HD-DVD is more backward compatible in both the user side and the manufacturing side... I have switched sides on this technology at least 5 times... One fly-in-the ointment may be some sort of combo-player that can take both formats. Neither side wants to see this which means they are just asking for a fight to the death. And, in fact, the license arrangements may prevent any combo-drive from being released... There may be some restraint of trade legal-action in the works..."
2006-04-26 08:29PDT (11:29EDT) (15:29GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders up 6.1% in March
2006-04-26 09:09PDT (12:09EDT) (16:09GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
New home sales increased 13.8%
Peter Cohen _MacWorld_
Seagate announces 750GB Barracuda disk drive
"The newest Barracuda 7200/10 model comes in capacities ranging from 200GB to 750GB and features support for Ultra ATA/100 and SATA interfaces with either 8MB or 16MB of data cache buffer."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
The "Einstein argument"
"[USA Today published a column by Lezlee Westine] the head of TechNet, an industry [executive] lobbying firm, and Scott McNealy, who just stepped down as head of Sun. Let's look at their version of the 'Einstein argument' in support of employer sponsorship of foreign tech workers... Aside from the fact that Grove and Brin were not H-1Bs or equivalents, and Grove and Khosla provided only business acumen to their firms, and aside from the from that Grove was NOT one of the founders of Intel, the key point is that none of those 3 companies [cited] has been pivotal in the industry's development. None of them had a product superior to those of other firms. The industry would have done just as well without them, and in Intel's case, the industry would have done better without Intel. And the reason McNealy stepped down is that Sun is a disaster. Google is fun to use, with its cute logo, etc., but its search engine isn't any better than the others... '[Red China] and India are graduating hundreds of thousands of engineers each year.' Those figures are wrong. For example, they count technicians as 'engineers'. Even more importantly, we are not [fully employing] the engineers that we have, so it's irrelevant [how many the USA or other nations produce]... [McNealy & Westine assert:] 'If we can't find professionals to do the job here in the USA, many will simply move the job to the qualified workers over-seas.' Eileen Appelbaum answered this one best: 'Industry said in 2001, ''Let us have the H-1B visas and we'll do the work here, or you can say no and we'll just move the work off-shore. Well, they got all the H-1Bs they wanted, and they still moved work off-shore. In 2005, that's an argument industry can't make with a straight face.'''... the firms themselves admit that they use H-1B as a vehicle to facilitate off-shoring, and would find it very difficult to off-shore without it. See also professor Ron Hira's research which quantifies this, with the typical arrangement being that a firm puts one H-1B on-shore for every 2 workers off-shore... go to NFAP's web page. Do you see anywhere on the page where you can contribute to this 'non-profit organization'? No, NFAP has plenty of funding of its own, thank you. And it almost certainly is coming from [executives] that want to hire cheap foreign labor, and from the American Immigration Lawyers Association."
2006-04-26 13:05PDT (16:05EDT) (20:05GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Fed says housing slowing in most regions
_Federal Reserve Board_
S. Mitra Kalita _Washington Post_
Skilled immigrants and their executive employers turn to K street lobbyists while under-employed and un-employed US citizen tech workers don't have the funds to compete
"High-Tech Workers Awaiting Green Cards Hire Lobbyists, Hit the Hill... Aman Kapoor, who works for Florida State University [a.k.a. Felonious State University due to their belligerent violation of the federal Privacy Act of 1974]... Although their numbers are far smaller -- fewer than 2M Indians live in the United States, according to the 2000 Census -- the group is among the more affluent immigrant communities. And because their numbers are smaller than those of Hispanics, they are trying to focus on other ways they can exert power -- through their wealth, their positions of influence in the high-tech and business communities, and their alliances with more established advocacy groups such as one for Indian physicians and an Indian political action committee."
2006-04-26 14:52:20PDT (17:52:20EDT) (21:52:20GMT)
James Webb _American Workers Coalition_
Out-Sourcing Is Bad and Must Be Stopped
"1) politics as usual in Washington needs to end; 2) regular people, not rich lobbyists, need to come first; 3) outsourcing of American jobs is bad and must be stopped; 4) the big oil companies need to be slapped with a wind-fall profits tax, and 5) the war in Iraq - which he opposed since 2002 - must end as soon as possible."
2006-04-27 05:30PST (08:30EST) (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 290,473 in the week ending April 22, an increase of 22,126 from the previous week. There were 299,891 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending April 15, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,490,714, a decrease of 14,169 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the [insured unemployment] rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,612,500."
Godfrey Sullivan _ComputerWorld_
Hyperion CEO eyes ethics
less graphical link
"I believe that if you set conservative guidance and you follow that, you'll keep people in bounds. When you set growth targets that are too aggressive for your business -- when you live in denial and say, 'I wish we were going faster, therefore, I'll just set the bar high and then we'll chase that bar' -- you really force people out onto the ethical edge. They'll do whatever it takes to close a deal; they'll treat a customer the wrong way. Somebody in the day-to-day business will make the wrong decision because they've been pushed to the edge or pushed over the edge. The #1 thing a CEO can do to maintain ethical guardrails and make sure you're doing the right thing for the customer -- which, by default, is the right thing for the share-holders -- is to set conservative guidance and then exceed it... [Scott McNealy] has resisted lay-offs. He takes that stuff personally, and he has a tremendous amount of pride in the Sun culture. I can see where a cost restructuring would be very difficult. When you've started a company, you feel an awful lot of personal responsibility for those people... [Symantec is a major Hyperion customer. Did the recent news about the IRS hitting Symantec with a US$1G tax bill, saying it under-priced intellectual property licensed to its Irish subsidiaries, affect Hyperion in any way?] The #1 thing that a vendor like us can do to help a company in terms of their financial practices is really identifying variances. If you have a variance, and it looks too good to be true, it probably is. A lot of companies that have moved IP off-shore and established shared services centers in Europe and all that have done so on a well-defined path over the last 10 years. So we'll be watching this tax bill with Symantec very carefully from the stand-point that many technology companies have taken similar actions to move IP offshore and therefore benefit from lower tax rates... We've kind of got the old-fashioned IP treatment -- it's all domestic, and we pay 37% taxes on our revenue. But we watch cases like this because we're a global company, and global tax law is something that affects all of us... To move IP without real operations is not an accepted tax practice... We have about 100 people in Minsk, [Belarus], that came to us through the Brio acquisition; we have big development centers in Stamford, [CT], and California; and we have another in Bangalore, [India]. So for about two years now we've done follow-the-sun programming, and it has absolutely changed the way we build. We do a lot of business in [Red China]. We have about 40 employees in Beijing and Shanghai. Of course we do business with all the multinationals that do business there, but we're also starting to see a lot of [Red Chinese] companies that are going from being government-owned to privatization, on their way to public offerings. They're going through a massive transformation over a very short period of time, and they're using our tools to help plan and manage the business. It's hard to separate H-1B from the geopolitical issues. From a geopolitical stand-point, we're cutting off our nose to spite our face in terms of having security constraints around students who want to come study here be so tight. We have massive brand power here in higher education. For us to be overly restrictive around H-1B, especially in the student world, is just asking for new brands to be created some other place where people can go to get what they used to get here. From an H-1B stand-point, we can always use more technical talent from other parts of the world. When we try to hire a chief architect in Stamford, you'd be amazed at how long that search goes and how hard it is to find someone. It goes back to the education question, and it's a huge, complex issue. In the meantime, we ought to be letting more and more H-1Bs through... It's hard to connect the dots between the high demand for great technical people and the unemployed IT professionals. It's a complete mystery to me."
Kathleen Pender _San Francisco Chronicle_
Complex Labor Economics
"Increase the supply of anything, in this case labor, and the price, in this case wages, will generally fall. Yet in our complex, mobile economy, the real-life answer is not so simple... Over the long run, Borjas and Katz estimate that immigration had virtually no impact on the average U.S. wage and depressed wages for native-born high-school drop-outs by only 4.8%... Between 1970 and 2000, the percentage of Mexican-born workers in the U.S. labor force swelled from 0.4% to 4%... If you took out Mexicans, a large percentage of immigrants were highly educated workers from other parts of the world (think engineers on H-1B visas). Without the Mexican influx, he says, the average wage for all workers would have been unchanged over the long run. The average wage for college graduates would have fallen by 1.2%. The average wage for high school drop-outs would have actually risen by 2.2%. 'Every Ph.D. buys a lot of services that low-skilled people provide.', like gardening and dry-walling, says Katz.
How did the authors get these numbers? Using census data from 1970 through 2000, they divided workers into 4 education groups: no high school, high school graduate, some college and college graduate. They subdivided these groups into 8 age groups, a proxy for years of work experience. Then they looked at wage trends for each of these 32 cells and compared it with the native and immigrant supply of labor in each cell. (Census data includes an estimate of illegal immigrants.) What they found: When there is a 10% increase in immigration in one cell, the wages of natives in that cell fall 3% to 4% on average... The biggest group of immigrants came from Mexico, and about 60% of Mexican immigrants lack a high school diploma, compared with roughly 9% of U.S.-born workers...
David Card of UC Berkeley, found that immigration had no impact on wages. Card noted that recent immigrants have come largely from countries like Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam and El Salvador, which supply relatively low-education immigrants. If immigrants were driving down the wages of low-skilled workers [he reasoned], the wage gap between low- and high-skilled workers would be the greatest in cities with large immigrant populations. Card looked at the wage differential between workers with and without a high school diploma in each of the largest 175 U.S. cities. Next, he looked at the fraction of immigrant dropouts in each city's adult population. If immigrants were depressing the wages of low-skilled workers [he further asserted], there would be a positive correlation between these 2 data points. But Card found no correlation. Borjas has criticized Card's findings, saying Card found no correlation because low-skilled natives, faced with increased competition from immigrants, can simply move...
Card disagrees: '...If there's any mobility, it's among the higher educated.' Borjas, in a rejoinder, says businesses know that immigration reduces wages, which is why they are lobbying for increased immigration. 'Why would employers care if immigration didn't affect wages?', Borjas says. Card says there's no guarantee that limiting immigration will raise wages of native-born drop-outs [and that's true]. If the United States were to cut off immigration from Mexico, 'a whole range of jobs will just disappear', he says [which does not follow, though some labor will be replaced by investment in technological substitutes, but increasing demand for engineers, machinists, mold-makers, etc.]... you are not going to export the cleaning of your house to [Red China].' [Katz] says. 'If you had to pay more for house-keepers, some people would pay more, some would clean their own houses. We have incorporated that into our estimates. That's why a 10% increase in immigration drives down wages 3%, not 10%.'...
'We should have an immigration (policy) that attempts to equalize the wage gap, not make it worse. I think it's very foolish to grant any kind of amnesty unless we fix the illegal immigration problem first.', Borjas adds... The gap between those with and without a college education has grown by 30% to 40% over the past 25 years, he says."
Diane Stafford _Kansas City Star_
Employers Dance Through HUGE Immigration Loop-Holes And Continue to Whine
2006-04-27 13:46PDT (16:46EDT) (20:46GMT)
Jesse Jarnow _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Circuit Bending Fest Turns Old Toys to New Purposes
"Enterprising geeks prodded the toys' exposed innards with alligator clips, soldering irons, and potentiometers... Part performance art, part basement science, circuit bending is the creative rewiring of battery-powered electronics, ranging from Game Boys to Speak-n-Spells to talking teddy bears... performances, installations, and workshops. Hundreds of attendees streamed through the former bank, including participants from England, Germany, Italy, and Japan... Loud Objects, the trio who opened last week's festival, elegantly brought a circuit to noisy life on an overhead projector. Shotaro Nakano of Japan, meanwhile, modified a breathalyzer test into a new kind of wind instrument. Slugging beer, he blew into the device, the sound morphing with the alcohol on his breath. In the context of Bent, the use of drums and bass by Minneapolis's Mystery Palace, a raw indie rock trio who employed modified keyboards, was positively radical... As companies like Apple and Sony continually restrict users' rights with digital rights management systems, circuit bending is a powerful reminder that consumers can do what they wish with consumer electronics — even if it means breaking them. While the instruments haven't yet had their 'RockIt', the 1983 Herbie Hancock hit that propelled turntables to the mainstream, it might not be far away: Nine Inch Nails' leader Trent Reznor recently invited Ghazala backstage for a consultation. For now, circuit bending remains non-commercial, but the seeds have been planted."
Victor Davis Hanson _San Jose Mercury News_
Illegal Immigrants Must Agree To Close Borders and Assimilate
"U.S. citizenship asks immigrants to make linguistic, political and social concessions... Those who now march professing their desire to become Americans must quickly learn the English language, as have hundreds of past immigrant groups. As American citizens, new-comers must also realize that no nation can remain sovereign without controllable borders. So Americans would hope that they also would support border enforcement of their new country. Employer sanctions, more guards and a barrier will start to end the present unworkable system that led to their own ambiguous status in the first place."
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Immigration, Minimum Wage and Economics
"We are a mobile society. Flows of capital and labor among U.S. cities distribute the impact of immigration throughout the country. But if immigrants gravitate to cities with above-average wage growth, there would be appear to be a positive correlation between immigration and wages even though the influx of foreign workers may keep wages lower than they would otherwise be. Similarly, low-skilled natives are apt to shun high immigration cities, or leave them in search of better opportunities elsewhere. As economist George Borjas has demonstrated, a comprehensive accounting of immigration’s impact on the U.S. labor market requires a national rather than a local perspective—and does indeed show that immigration drives down wages. [The Evolution Of The Mexican-Born Workforce In The United States (pdf), National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, 2005 April]... Borjas does disaggregate by educational level, finding the drag on native wages greatest at the top and bottom of the education spectrum..."
2006-04-28 06:36PDT (09:36EDT) (13:36GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US GDP rose 4.8% in 2006Q1: Business investment up 14.3%
"In nominal terms, GDP rose to $13.02T annualized."
2006-04-28 07:21PDT (10:21EDT) (14:21GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index dropped from 89.2 earlier in the month to 87.4
2006-04-28 07:43PDT (10:43EDT) (14:43GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Smallest quarterly increase in compensation to workers in 7 years
"The employment cost index, considered one of the best gauges for tracking labor-cost pressures, moderated in the first quarter to a 0.6% increase, down from a 0.8% pace in the last 3 months of 2005."
Jeff Young _Burlington Free Press_
"My first legislative work was with the original Simpson-Mazzoli Bill in the mid-1980s which granted nearly 3M illegals amnesty... Nothing being said in Washington today will give anyone a clue to the real issues. And it isn't a Republican or Democrat issue, as both parties, either alone or in concert, have managed to make a mess of immigration and completely obscure its realities. Our first priority must be to gain control. Currently, we have little control and what we have is arbitrary and sometimes even cruel. If we do not secure our borders then we must accept the fact that millions will come to this country each year whether we like it or not. But like all issues, illegal immigration is tied to other hot issues such as illegal drugs. A very large percentage of the illegal drugs that come into this country also come across the same porous border that the migrants come across; in addition, there are weapons, money, sex slaves, and kidnapped children to mention just a few... The southern border has 11K Border Patrolmen, less than 2K are on duty at any one time (the border is over 3K miles long). In comparison the New York City police department has 33K personnel... Just like our borders, how committed are we to law enforcement and security? Many politicians have stated that employer sanctions is a failed policy, but they didn't tell you that in a state like Florida only one investigator was working on employer sanctions in the entire state... There is a reason why Americans don't want these jobs. In the late 1980s we had an amnesty for nearly 3M illegals. We made certain conditions that each migrant had to reach to become legal. I can tell you (and so can anyone else who worked in immigration then) that that program fostered the worst fraud... The jobs they left were taken by the next illegal migrant and it never stops. That is because most of the large employers of illegals don't want to pay competitive wages and health benefits and they don't want employees that complain. A guest worker program will not work, because the jobs that are filled today by illegals will not be applied for by any employers who will be giving their employees the same rights as all the other legal workers in the USA. We have engendered a permanent slave class of millions of people who have no rights and cannot claim the protection of the law..."
2006-04-27 22:00PDT (01:00EDT) (05:00GMT)
Ilana Mercer _World Net Daily_
"'The majority has little say in the business of governance -- they've merely elected politicians who've been awarded carte blanche to do as they please. The tyranny exercised by well-entrenched minorities over unorganized majorities.', in Lomasky's words, now that's the Hobbesian democracy Kennedy has exulted... I'm a troublesome scribe with a love of the English idiom and an annoying attachment to the American ideas of limited government and self-governance. You wouldn't want to import too many such subversives, who'll agitate for a return to the values that made this place great, if only fleetingly... Mind you, people of early American probity, to paraphrase Mary McGrory, are carefully weeded out by contemporary America's immigration policies. These select for low moral character by rewarding unacceptable risk-taking and law-breaking -- an undesirable feature that'll be further refined by the imminent passing of the [Specter] amnesty bill... The H-1B visa, for one, is a temporary work permit – and also a route to acquiring legal permanent resident status. However, if one loses the job with the sponsoring company, the visa holder must leave the U.S.A. within 10 days. What responsible, caring, family man would subject his dependants to such insecurity and upheaval?... they have the wherewithal -- intellectual and moral -- to weigh opportunity costs and plan for the future, rather than say 'manana' to tomorrow and live for today. Unhip perhaps, but certainly the kind of people America could do with. Another peculiarity of the policies being discussed is the emphasis on family reunification, as opposed skills relevant to the American economy. Other countries like Canada look to the occupation, facility with the official language, age, and education of the candidate. Not the United States [of America]. Since 1965, with no real debate or voter participation, Congress replaced the national-origin immigration criterion (which ensured newcomers reinforced the historical majority) with an all-nations-are-equal multicultural quota system, which effectively resulted in an emphasis on mass importation of people from the Third World. The new influx was no longer expected to acculturate to liberal democratic Judeo-Christian traditions. With family 'reunification' superseding all other considerations, immigration has become an economic drain -- as demonstrated, for example, by Harvard's George Borjas... Small extended families, however, are not the norm among most immigrant families. Birth rates being what they are in the Third World, one qualified legal immigrant from, say, Africa is a ticket for an entire tribe. The initial entrant -- the meal ticket -- integrates and pays his way; the rest remain, more often than not, unassimilable and welfare dependent. With millions of new arrivals each year, the problem of overcrowding, especially in major cities, cannot be overlooked. The exclusive emphasis of late on border security in the immigration debate has helped open-border advocates immensely."
Gary Clouser _Belleville News-Democrat_
"The illegal immigrants are neither guests nor undocumented workers. They are illegal aliens, who intentionally violate U.S. law. The employers who hire the illegal aliens are aiding and abetting lawbreakers, while seeking unfair advantage over their law-abiding competition. There is an existing legal process for immigration and applying for citizenship. Rewarding illegal aliens with citizenship is the wrong solution. Instead, any illegal alien should be disqualified for any future consideration for citizenship. President Bush's guest-worker program is the opposite of what the U.S.A. should be doing. That plan and a road map for those here illegally to become citizens is, in effect, a thin veil for amnesty, which will only encourage the increased invasion. The only worse idea is that of the Democratic leadership, whose solution to the illegal alien problem is to suddenly make them legal. The situation is so out of control that the U.S. government can only guess how many millions of illegal aliens are already here. Whatever the count, that number is still misleadingly small, because the children of the illegal aliens automatically become citizens if they are born in the U.S.A. The illegal aliens and their children place a huge financial burden on governmental services and institutions, such as law enforcement, medical, social and educational."
We Want To Work
"The 'We Want to Work' campaign, which says President Bush's proposed Guest Worker Program does not serve the best interest of the black community, kicks off its national movement today in Los Angeles with a peaceful march scheduled to begin at noon at the Harambee Farmer's Market lot and travel north on Crenshaw to the Employment Development Department's unemployment office. Bush is promoting [an additional] guest-worker program as a way to match willing foreign workers with willing employers when no Americans can be found to fill the job. According to a press release, the We Want to Work march will 'direct attention to the transparency of the illegal immigration issue and send a resounding message to state and federal legislature that black men in America want to work'."
_Sioux City Journal_
Verizon cutting 569 jobs in Sergeant Bluff
"Jobs also are being eliminated in Greenville, SC, Springfield, MO, and Austin, TX. The down-sizing comes roughly a year after Verizon's purchase of MCI for $8.5G..."
_Sioux City Journal_
Protesters criticize $83M pension for Pfizer CEO
George W. Grayson _Front Page Magazine_
Feathering Their Casas
"'Show me a politician who is poor and I will show you a poor politician.' -- Carlos Hank González... President Vicente Fox ($236,693) makes more than the leaders of France ($95,658), the U.K. ($211,434), and Canada ($75,582). Although they are in session only a few months a year, Mexican deputies take home at least $148K -- substantially more than their counterparts in France ($78K), Germany ($105K), and congressmen throughout Latin America. At the end of the three-year term, Mexican deputies voted themselves a $28K 'leaving-office bonus'. Members of the 32 state legislatures ($60,632) earn on average twice the amount earned by U.S. state legislators ($28,261). The salaries and bonuses of the law-makers in Baja California ($158,149), Guerrero ($129,630), and Guanajuato ($111,358) exceed the salaries of legislators in California ($110,880), the District of Columbia ($92,500), Michigan ($79,650), and New York ($79,500)... These same politicians turn a blind eye to the fact that, when petroleum earnings are excluded, Mexico collects taxes equivalent to 9.7% of GDP -- a figure on par with Haiti. In addition, the policy makers (1) spend painfully little on education and health-care programs crucial to spurring social mobility and job opportunities, (2) acquiesce in barriers to opening businesses in their country, and (3) profit from a level of corruption that would have made a Tammany Hall precinct captain blush -- with $11.2G flowing to law-makers in 2004 alone. In mid-February 2006, a delegation of Mexican officials jetted to Washington to condemn pending U.S. immigration legislation. Many of these politicians turn the air blue with virulent criticism of U.S. immigration policy while they vote themselves princely salaries and lavish fringe benefits. Even as they feather their own nests, they demand that decision makers above the Rio Grande take responsibility for their citizens who are grossly neglected by Mexico's elite. They urge the United States to assume responsibility for their countrymen who cannot find opportunities at home. Specifically, they call for an expanded guest-worker program, an increase in the number of visas, and the 'regularization' -- a euphemism for amnesty -- of the status of Mexicans residing illegally north of the Rio Grande... In , Mexico spent $1,415 per student in elementary and secondary schools, which was slightly below out-lays by the Slovak Republic ($1,732), Poland ($1,988), Hungary ($2,352), and the Czech Republic ($2,541), but well below South Korea ($3,644), Greece ($3,696), and Ireland ($3,976). The U.S. figure was $7,397 and the OECD average was $5,162. Only Poland ($3,222), Greece ($3,402), and Turkey ($4,121) earmarked less than Mexico ($4,688) on post-secondary education for which the OECD average was $9,509 ($20,358 for the U.S.A.)..."
John O'Sullivan _National Review_
Porous borders are both cause and effect of irrational immigration policies
"All this was not only timely; it was powerfully symbolic. What it symbolized, however, was not the tough enforcement of immigration law but its colander-like leaky ineffectiveness. For even before Chertoff had spoken (but not before the shrewd blogger, Michelle Malkin, had predicted it), four-fifths of the illegals arrested [in the IFCO raids] had been released. 275 of them were deported. The rest were sent away in return for a promise to return for a court hearing. Many, probably most, will now disappear. And since the government's computers were 'down' at the time, their brush with immigration enforcement may not even be officially recorded... in the years 1995, 1996, and 1997, there were between 10K and 18K work site arrests of illegals annually. In the same years about 1K employers were served notices of fines for employing them. Under the Bush administration, worksite arrests fell to 159 in 2004 when there was also the princely total of three notices of intent to fine served on employers... work site arrests under Bush have fallen from Clintonian levels by something like 97% -- even though [the terrorist attack of 2001] September 11 occurred in the mean-time... dramatic relaxation of internal enforcement explains the rapidly rising estimate of immigrants living and working illegally in the U.S.A. In the last year it has risen by more than a million. For if people know that they are likely to be safe from enforcement once they escape the border area and reach L.A. or Chicago, then they will keep trying even if they were caught and returned to their country of origin any number of times. Porous borders are not only the cause of uncontrolled immigration; they are its result. You cannot control the borders, however many patrols you hire or fences you build, if you grant an effective pardon to anyone who gets a hundred miles inland... Bush administration officials just rounded up 1,187 illegals precisely because they thought it would be a popular move and thus likely to smooth the path of an unpopular amnesty law. Second, the U.S.A. currently deports (or insists on the 'voluntary departure' of) about 1.2M people annually. Most of these are people apprehended and returned at the border. But about 100K illegal immigrants are removed from the interior of the U.S.A. every year... Yet as Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies has shown in several studies, the happy truth is that mass deportation of millions is not necessary to solve the problem. If the law were enforced more uniformly -- rather than with the current 159 worksite raids and three employer fines annually -- then the news of this would spread. This law enforcement would send a message to those considering illegal entry into the U.S.A. that they could no longer depend on legal immunity and secure employment once they reached the interior. They would now have an incentive to remain at home... Only thousands would be deported, but millions would either quietly leave or, where possible, regularize their position."
Mac Johnson _One Republic_
A Day Without Illegal Immigrants Would Be a Good Start
_Arkansas Democrat Gazette_
Tyson to shut 9 plants in support of illegal immigrant demonstrations
"Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest meat [processor], will close 5 of its 9 U.S. beef plants and 4 of 6 pork plants Monday as it expects many workers will attend immigration rallies... Cargill Inc., the second-largest U.S. beef packer, said earlier this week that some of its plants would close... The meat industry relies on [illegal] immigrant labor and is concerned about a bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives that would declare illegal immigrants [and their employers] felons."
Myung Oak Kim _Rocky Mountain News_
Crowd Chants "Tancredo": Want Some Government Services Denied to Illegal Aliens
|10-year US T-Bond||5.07%|
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Sona Shah Is One of My Heroes
"Sona Shah is one of my heroes. The vast majority of programmers who have been displaced by the H-1B program have simply taken the easy (though painful) way out, which is to write off their extensive education and years of experience as bad investments and then move on to some other kind of work. But not Sona. She brought a law-suit against her former employer, ADP Wilco, and has gotten her local congressman to introduce a pretty good H-1B reform bill. She does not wilt when facing the rich and powerful. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is the founder and former board member of the company Sona is suing. Sona also engaged in a 'debate' with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on CNN over the H-1B issue, and made him look pretty foolish... The current immigration bills in the Senate contain not only highly irresponsible increases in the yearly H-1B caps, but also the establishment of an absolutely devastating new F-4 visa category, which would basically give free green cards to young foreign graduates of U.S. universities, with no cap at all. This would give the industry access to cheap labor beyond their wildest dreams... Though many people are focused on the much better-known H-1B provisions in the Senate bills, as I have said, F-4 is even worse. I certainly hope that no 'deal' is struck in which Congress does some mild scaling back on its H-1B expansion plans in return for engineering and immigration reform groups giving their acceptance of F-4. That would be a huge net loss."
"My name is Sona Shah.
I'm an Indian American who lost my job at my American employer, ADPWilco, to the twin issues of guest-worker abuse and out-sourcing.
For the past 8 years I've been fighting two class action law-suits against ADPWilco on behalf of both the American citizens at my former employer who were denied work and training opportunity, as well as the foreign guest-workers who were denied equal pay.
I've testified before Congress and worked with my legislator, Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. for reform legislation such as HR4378.
Please contact me if you've suffered from guest-worker visa abuse or out-sourcing and wish to lobby Congress for reform. I've had success at multiple levels and offer sharing methods and supporting you in a similar fight. The solution to our mutual problems lies with direct legislative contact. I hope to put you in touch with your legislators to seek this reform.
Our current objective is to oppose the expansions presented in the current Senate immigration bills and push for sponsorship of reform legislation. Over the next few weeks we are organizing Congressional lobbying trips in Washington DC as well as in your local districts.
Please e-mail me at
|"The idea is king." --- Lynda Obst 1996 _Hello, He Lied_ pg 58|
|jgo Resume||Reading Room|
|jgo Econ Data & Graphs||jgo Econ News Bits|
|Economic News Analysis Summary|
|Kermit's home page||jgo Links|
|jgo's Work in Progress|