2006 June

3rd month of the 2nd quarter of the 17th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub economic depression

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updated: 2015-12-29
2006 June
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Batman Begins
Batman Begins

2006 June

Third month of the 2nd quarter of the 7th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression

  "Windows is often put down as not being a real 'operating system'..." --- Mark Nelson 1992 _Serial Communications: A C++ Developer's Guide_ pg 386  



2006-06-01 04:30PDT (07:30EST) (11:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Lay-off announcements fell to lowest level since 2000: down 35%
"Corporations' planned job reductions fell by 10% in May to 53,716, the lowest level since 2000 November, a monthly count by out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas shows.   Planned job cuts were down 35% from the 82,283 announced in May 2005.   So far in 2006, major companies have announced 369,282 job cuts, down 14% from the first 5 months of 2005.   The total doesn't include some 4K to 5K job reductions announced by Sun Microsystems late Wednesday after the Challenger report was compiled.   'If the low numbers continue to hold, it would mark a return to pre-recession job-cut levels, which averaged about 54K from 1998 through 2000.', Challenger said...   In May, the computer industry topped the list of job-cutting industries with 7,306, the bulk of them arising from a merger...   In the most recent government data, 1.24M lay-offs and discharges were reported in March."

2006-06-01 05:30PDT (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 292,105 in the week ending May 27, an increase of 14,700 from the previous week.   There were 304,306 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending May 20, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,209,100, a decrease of 28,877 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,361,073."

_View from Silicon Valley_
Employment Charge
"Never mind the dot-com boom, there are fewer total jobs today in Santa Clara county than in 1996!"

2006-06-01 06:53PDT (09:53EDT) (13:53GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Productivity index revised, 3.7% increase in 2006 Q1

2006-06-01 08:21PDT (11:21EDT) (15:21GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US home prices rose 12.5% last year, but just 2% in 2006 Q1

2006-06-01 08:48PDT (11:48EDT) (15:48GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM factory index fell to 54.4 in May
The employment index fell from 55.8 in April to 52.9 in May.

USCIS has almost reached H-1B Cap (pdf)
"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for fiscal year 2007 (FY2007).   The 'final receipt date' for H-1B petitions subject to the FY2007 annual cap was 2006 May 26.   Affected H1B petitions received on that date will be subject to the random selection process described below.   H-1B petitions subject to the FY2007 annual cap [and not covered by the plethora of exemptions] that are received by USCIS after the 'final receipt date' will be rejected.   Additional information regarding the specific number of H-1B petitions processed...   Cap and Set Asides: Congress has established an annual fiscal year limitation of 65K on the number of available H-1B visas, commonly referred to as the 'H-1B cap'.   Under the terms of the legislation implementing the United States-Chile and United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreements, 6,800 of the [base] 65K available H-1B visas are annually set aside for the Chile/Singapore H-1B1 program [5,400 for Singapore and 1,400 for Chile].   As a result of reserving 6,800 H-1B1 visas for FY2007, the H-1B cap for that fiscal year is 58,200.   However, USCIS has added back to the H-1B cap 6,100 unused FY2006 H-1B1 visas, for a total of 64,300, as described below...   As directed by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, the first 20K H-1B petitions filed on behalf of aliens with U.S.-earned master's or higher degrees will be exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas.   For FY2007, USCIS has received approximately 5,830 exempt petitions.   USCIS also notes that petitions for new H-1B employment are exempt from the annual cap if the aliens will be employed at institutions of higher education or a related or affiliated non-profit entities, or at non-profit research organizations or governmental research organizations.   Thus, petitions for these exempt H-1B categories may be filed for work dates starting in FY2006 or FY2007."
USCIS still fails to conduct thorough, feet-on-the-ground background checks on applicants (pdf)

2006-06-01 09:03PDT (12:03EDT) (16:03GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US construction spending was down 0.1% in May, 1.1% in April

2006-06-01 10:09PDT (13:09EDT) (17:09GMT)
Jennifer Waters _MarketWatch_
Same-store retail sales were up in May

Petty Noonan _Wall Street Journal_
Americans Want Choice in Political Candidates
Family Security Matters
Baxter Bulletin
"the 2 [entrenched and government-sustained] parties no longer offer the people the choice they want and deserve.   Sometimes it's said they are too much alike -- Tweedledum and Tweedledee.   Sometimes it's said they're too polarizing...   The Perot experience seemed to put an end to third-party fever.   But I think it's coming back, I think it's going to grow, and I think the force behind it is unique in our history...   The problem is not that the 2 parties are polarized.   In many ways they're closer than ever.   The problem is that the parties in Washington, and the people on the ground in America, are polarized.   There is an increasing and profound distance between the rulers of both parties and the people -- between the elites and the grunts, between those in power and those who put them there...   On the ground in America, people worry terribly -- really, there are people who actually worry about it every day -- about endless, weird, gushing government spending...   On the ground in America, regular people worry about the changes wrought by the biggest wave of immigration in our history, much of it illegal and therefore wholly connected to the needs of the immigrant and wholly unconnected to the agreed-upon needs of our nation.   Americans worry about the myriad implications of the collapse of the American border.   But Washington doesn't...   There is a widespread sense in America -- a conviction, actually -- that we are not safe in the age of terror.   That the port, the local power plant, even the local school, are not protected.   Is Washington worried about this?   Not so you'd notice.   They're only worried about seeming unconcerned."

2006-06-01 04:30PDT (07:30EDT) (11:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Challenger surrvey reports lay-off announcements down 35% from a year ago, 10% since last month to 53,716
Political GateWay
Washington Times
composite: "Corporations' planned job reductions fell by 10% in May to 53,716, the lowest level since 2000 November, a monthly count by out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas shows. That marks the lowest total since the 44,152 job cuts announced in 2000 November. Planned job cuts were down 35% from the 82,283 announced in 2005 May. So far in 2006, major companies have announced 369,282 job cuts, down 14% from the first 5 months of 2005. The total doesn't include some 4K to 5K job reductions announced by Sun Microsystems late Wednesday after the Challenger report was compiled... 'If the low numbers continue to hold, it would mark a return to pre-recession job-cut levels, which averaged about 54K from 1998 through 2000.', Challenger said... So far this year, employers have announced 369,282 job cuts, down 14% from the 427,278 job cuts in the first 5 months of 2005. Currently, job cuts are averaging 73,856 per month. In contrast, last year's 12-month average was 89,338. Employers in the automotive industry, which leads all other sectors this year with 57,175 job cuts, announced only 1,443 in May. In May, the computer industry topped the list of job-cutting industries with 7,306, the bulk of them arising from a merger. And that's without the Sun cuts... In the most recent government data, 1.24M lay-offs and discharges were reported in March [under their program for tracking mass lay-offs at very large firms]."

Ashlee Vance _Register_
Ernst & Young auditor's lap-top loss exposed 243K Expedia/hotels.com customers' personal private data, including credit card info
Computer World
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Washington Times
composite: "Hotels.com joins the likes of Sun Microsystems, IBM, Cisco, BP and Nokia, which have all had their employees' data exposed by Ernst & Young, as revealed here in a series of exclusive stories.   The Register can again exclusively confirm the loss of the Hotels.com customer information after having received a copy of a letter mailed out jointly by the web site and Ernst & Young.   A Hotels.com spokesman also confirmed the data breach, saying Ernst & Young notified the company of the lap-top loss on May 3...   Ernst & Young in February also lost 4 laptops in Miami when its workers decided to leave their systems in a hotel conference room while they went out for lunch.   Major media outlets have so far ignored the Ernst & Young laptop incidents, although they were quick to follow on our confirmation of a Fidelity data breach that saw 200K HP workers have their information exposed.   On Thursday, the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan company reported that 1.3M customers are in danger of ID theft, after an IT consultant lost hardware containing sensitive data.   On May 22, the data of 26.5M U.S. veterans and their spouses was stolen from a government employee who brought work home via a laptop.   The day before that, it was discovered that hackers had possessed yearlong access to Ohio University servers.   In April, it was discovered that a University of Southern California hacker gained access to the information of [prospective] students."


2006-06-02 08:20PDT (11:20EDT) (15:20GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US factory orders fell 1.8% in April: non-durable goods orders rose 1.2%
census bureau data

2006-06-02 10:33PDT (13:33EDT) (17:33GMT)
Announced lay-offs increased 42% in May
"Employers announced 82,283 job cuts in May, compared to 57,861 in April, according to a monthly report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. May job cuts rose 12% from the year-ago period. So far this year, 427,278 job cuts have been announced, 4.6% more than the 5-month total of 408,392 last year, the report said. Computer companies -- which reported 17,886 cuts, or about one-fifth of the monthly total -- led the rise in May, while the transportation industry ranked second with 7,339 announced job cuts. Weakness in the European economy contributed to the May computer cuts, the report said, adding that companies in other industries can expect to encounter similar challenges..."


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Regarding EE Times article on the myth of the Red Chinese & Indian eingineers
"Recently I posted and commented on an op-ed in the Washington Post by educator Gerald Bracey, in which he pointed out that the supposedly 'well-known fact' that [Red China] and India graduate far more engineers per year than does the U.S.A. is a basically an urban myth.   Bracey referred to a study at Duke University which also debunked this myth...   And employers should look hard at salaries, Wadhwa said.   In Duke's case, 30% to 40% of students in its master's of engineering management program accept jobs outside the profession.   'If the money was there in engineering, you bet these kids would be getting into engineering.', he said.   This is key.   Recall that even at MIT, the nation's premiere engineering school, about a third of the under-graduates in engineering say that they consider engineering to be like a liberal arts major, meaning that they expect to go into non-engineering careers.   Who can blame them?   True engineering not only doesn't pay as well as some alternatives, but just as importantly careers in engineering are highly risky, due to off-shoring, H-1B, age discrimination and so on.   Rather than worry about out-sourcing -- a reality in any case -- U.S. universities and industry should focus on which skills are needed and how to develop them, Wadhwa said.   Expertise in fields like systems biology and genomics will give the U.S.A. a long-term edge, he said.   This is unrealistic.   There is no real reason why [Red China] and India cannot develop expertise in these fields.   This same person said that lack of creativity is an obstacle in [Red China].   I agree with that on average, but [Red China] is such a huge country that it does have its share of innovators (if the [Red Chinese] government and industry is willing to seek them out, which may be a question mark).   Note carefully that even though I agree with most of Mr. Wadhwa's findings, it's important to keep in mind that he has his own sources of major bias.   See the second URL I listed above for details.   Nevertheless, his findings are indeed correct.   In the end, the question is irrelevant.   How can it possibly be relevant how many engineers [Red China] and India is producing relative to the U.S.A. when we are not using the engineers we already have?   The same U.S. firms that try this scare tactic that the U.S.A. doesn't have enough engineers are at the same time laying thousands of engineers off."
Sheila Riley EE Times USA Holds It's Own vs. Red China's and India's Engineer Grads

"tanveer1979" _SlashDot_
Apple Pulling Out of India
composite: "Barely 3 months after it commenced India operations, Apple has decided to pull out of its software operations from Bangalore...   Apple had set itself a hiring target of 600 by the year-end.   After a gala induction ceremony on April 17, the operations team went to Transworks for training.   Some of the managers were about to leave for the USA for further training when they were asked to stay put.   Apple had hired about 30 people for its subsidiary, Apple Services India Pvt Ltd.   At a meeting on May 29, Apple announced its decision to lay off all its employees."

Road Rage may be Intermittent Explosive Disorder: 16M may have IED
Philadelphia Inquirer
Florida Sun-Sentinel
Chicago Tribune
"'Road rage, especially if it's frequent enough, is probably a part of IED, which is much more prevalent than people thought.', said Dr. Emil Coccaro of the University of Chicago.   A new study of more than 9K people found that 4% had IED.   Harvard Medical School epidemiologist Ronald Kessler said he was 'blown away by how many people meet criteria' for IED.   He described it as 'mind-boggling' that its prevalence hadn't been recognized sooner.   Intermittent explosive disorder, an imbalance in brain chemicals, affects up to one in 20 people — more men than women.   It is far worse than just having a bad temper...   More than 80% of those with IED also have some type of mood, anxiety, impulse control or substance use disorder.   The type of road rage linked to IED can be controlled with medication and therapy...   The first anger attack is usually seen around 14 years of age.   Kessler said anger is usually the first problem — then people can become anxious, depressed, hostile or alcoholic later in life.   While 60% of people with IED seek professional treatment for a mood or substance problem, only 29% receive treatment for their anger."

Dean Takahashi _San Jose Mercury News_
How Intel wasted billions
St. Paul Pioneer press


Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
May Jobs: Hispanics Gain & Whites Lose
"This is happening, or course, because Hispanic immigrants are cheaper than U.S.-born workers.   Many are paid off the books, freeing their employers of the onerous burden of pay-roll taxes and unemployment compensation...   In May the number of unemployed Hispanics fell by 74K, or 6.7%; unemployed Blacks fell by 83K, or by 5.1%.   But the white unemployment count rose by 19K persons, or by 0.4%.   Although the White unemployment rate in May (4.1%) was below that of Hispanics (5.0%) and Blacks (8.9%), the gap is obviously narrowing...   From 2001 January to 2006 May Hispanic employment rose by 3.423M, or 21.5%, while non-Hispanic employment increased by 2.777M, or 2.3%.   The ratio of the growth rates, which we call VDAWDI (the V-Dare.com American Worker Displacement Index) rose to a record 118.5 in May from 118.3 the prior month."
May employment gains by racial group
Race/ EthnicityChangePerCent Change

_Epoch Times international_/_Reuters_
Weak Employment Stats May Mean Fed Taking a Break for Slow Economy
"Friday's anemic jobs report shows why investors should be careful what they wish for...   Hardly surprising then that stock index futures initially bolted higher Friday morning when the U.S. Labor Department reported that only [a seasonally adjusted] 75K jobs were added to U.S. non-farm pay-rolls in May -- or 100K jobs short of what Wall Street had forecast...   In fact, earnings growth is expected to slow sharply this quarter.   Earnings of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index are expected to grow just 7.2% in the second quarter, down from growth of more than 14% in the first quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.   What's more, expectations for second-quarter profit growth have been diminishing in recent weeks after peaking at 7.7% in early May.   That's not the best of signs...   The drop in the monthly jobless rate followed a report on Thursday showing that planned lay-offs fell 10% in May to the lowest level in 5.5 years, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an employment consulting firm."

Michael Hampton _HomeLand Stupidity_
DHS committee: RFID offers no security

Rich Heintz _California Job Journal_
IT Come-Back
"More people than ever are employed in information technology, according to an analysis by Information Week magazine.   The publication calculated that 3.472M IT workers were employed through the end of the first quarter – about 17K more than the 4th quarter of 2005...   Tech-sector job cuts announced in the first quarter were 40% lower than the same quarter a year ago.   It was the 4th consecutive quarter in which tech cuts were below the previous year's level, according to a tech-sector report by out-placement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc...   California maintains its title as tech employment capital of the US.   California continues to offer more jobs (904,920) and better pay (averaging $90,554 annually) than any other state, according to AeA [a lobbying organization for electronics executives]...   Mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the telecom industry, have been a driving factor behind tech-sector job cuts for several quarters, and the first quarter of 2006 was no exception.   Nearly half (43%) of the job cuts this year in all sectors resulted from mergers, and 88% of those merger cuts occurred in telecommunications...   AeA also found that high-tech growth was fairly widespread, including overall electronics manufacturing, which had been particularly hard hit in the dot.com implosion.   Software and services, such as systems design, showed growth, while chip making was up slightly.   Computer and peripheral manufacturing slipped somewhat.   Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York top the list of highest-paying metro areas for tech professionals, according to Dice, which reported salaries in Silicon Valley averaged $85,600, topping all other regions.   The most sought-after skills, based on job postings, include C and C++."


Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
The Death of Engineering
Baltimore Chronicle
2006-06-05 08:17PDT (11:17EDT) (15:17GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM services index for USA increased more slowly in May
more on ISM services indes
ISM press release
"Employment activity in the non-manufacturing sector increased at a faster rate in May compared to April.   This was the 22nd consecutive monthly increase in non-manufacturing employment.   ISM's Non-Manufacturing Employment Index for May is 58%, a rise of 1.5 percentage points from the 56.5% reported in April.   Eleven industries are reporting increased employment, 3 report a decrease, and 3 indicate employment is unchanged from April. Comments from respondents include: 'Using more temporary administrative support versus hiring'; 'Reduction in employment level due to completion of jobs'; 'Adding seasonal help'; and 'Demand for services increased'.   The industries reporting the highest rates of growth in employment in May are: Agriculture; Legal Services; Transportation; Utilities; Retail Trade; and Insurance. The 3 industries reporting a reduction in employment in May are: Entertainment; Finance & Banking; and Communication."
Employment% Higher% Same% LowerIndex

Michael Hampton _HomeLand Stupidity_
What is an essential government service?

2006-06-05 13:18PDT (16:18EDT) (20:18GMT)
Maria Hegstad _Medill News Service_/_MarketWatch_
MSFT courts -- and flies -- law-makers and their staffs
"In 2002, approaching a final deal with the Justice Department in its anti-trust case, MSFT flew one of Virginia Republican senator John Warner's staffers to Seattle.   During the 2-day tour of MSFT's campus, Chris DeLacy was briefed on the case.   DeLacy's visit came one month before MSFT and the federal government announced a settlement in the antitrust case that had dogged the company for more than a decade.   Paying for congressional travel is considered by some to be a form of lobbying, but one less closely watched than campaign contributions or the public disclosure forms.   Lobbying has come under intense scrutiny since the arrest of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe public officials, fraud and tax evasion.   Members of Congress and their staff members took about 23K trips worth $48.9M paid for by private interests between 2000 January 01 through 2005 June 30, according to an analysis of congressional travel documents compiled by Medill News Service, American Public Media and the Center for Public Integrity...   The office of senator Michael Crapo, R-ID, took the most trips at MSFT's expense -- 4 -- between 2000 and 2002, when the federal anti-trust case settled.   Staffers for Republican senators Larry Craig of Idaho, Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Trent Lott of Mississippi each accepted 3 trips from MSFT.   Lott then was Senate Republican leader, and Hatch chaired the Judiciary Committee until 2001 June.   Before 1998 MSFT contributed little to political campaigns, and most donations went to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' web site.   But in 2000, the year Bush was elected, more than 60% of MSFT's $4.5M political spending went to Republicans...   in 2000 February... MSFT treated staffers for 7 senators to trips costing more than $18,900...   In 2000 April, when a court-appointed mediator announced settlement talks had failed, the Justice Department called for MSFT to be broken apart.   That same month, MSFT spent more than $14K to bring 10 congressional travelers to Seattle.   Again, most visitors listed purposes like 'campus visit' or 'educational'."
Drug industry prescribes to Congressional power trips

Michael Cooney _Network World_
Senate proposes increasing already excessive H-1B limits again, controversy rages on as media sheds little light

Kent Hoover _Kansas City Business Journal_
Lobbyists for business executives praise Senate for nefarious increase in already-excessive H-1B cap


2006-06-06 05:34:15PDT (08:34:15EDT) (12:34:15GMT)
_New Ratings_
US fed unlikely to hike rates in 2006: Consumer Confidence Down
Casual Living
"The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in April, declined in May to 103.2, down from 109.8 in April.   The Present Situation Index also decreased to 132.5 from 136.2, while the Expectations Index fell to 83.7 from 92.3...   Consumers claiming conditions are 'good' declined to 28.0% from 29.7%.   Those claiming conditions are 'bad' edged up to 15.4% from 15.1%.   Labor market conditions were also less favorable.   Those saying jobs are 'plentiful' decreased to 28.6% from 29.4%, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' increased to 20.5% from 19.7%...   Those expecting more jobs to become available in the coming months decreased to 14.6% from 15.4% in April.   Those expecting fewer jobs rose to 18.2% from 16.3%.   The proportion of consumers anticipating their incomes to increase in the months ahead declined to 16.6% from 18.0%."

2006-06-06 06:55PDT (09:55EDT) (13:55GMT)
Jennifer Openshaw _MarketWatch_
6 signs that executives are not working for stock-owners
"I was stunned.   Here is one of the most widely held companies with one of America's most recognized brands thumbing its nose at share-holders.   Here is a Chairman/CEO making some $37M last year, almost $10M of it in direct cash compensation, thumbing his nose at his owners.   Never mind that stock in his company has lost 16% of its value in the last 5 years while he earned a reported $245M and, during that same period, arch-competitor Lowe's stock rose 77%.   And if he's thumbing his nose at his owners, what must he think of his customers?"

Michael Cooney _Network World_
India to get $6G boost by Ill-Begotten Monstrosities

Marilyn Geewax _Cox News Service_/_Oxford Press_
US Supremes rule workers can sue companies for racketeering for hiring illegal aliens
"Last June, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that Mohawk Industries Inc., based in Calhoun, GA, could be sued under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO...   In its one-paragraph decision, the court said the appeals court should reconsider the case in light of a separate opinion issued Monday.   In that case, the justices voted 8-1 to throw out a portion of a law-suit accusing National Steel Supply Inc. of under-paying New York City taxes.   The company's competitor, Ideal Steel Supply Corp., said it lost sales as a consequence of being under-sold.   But the justices said Ideal Steel Supply could not use a RICO law-suit to recover damages because it had not suffered 'direct' injury.   In the Mohawk case, filed in 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, employees said the company's hiring of thousands of illegal immigrants was the 'proximate cause' of their own lower wages.   [My Merriam-Webster says 'proximate' means 'very near, close'...jgo]...   Under RICO, the question for the courts would be whether Mohawk and its recruiters formed a separate 'enterprise' that was a racket [ignoring the fact that the corporation can be a racket or corrupt organization in and of itself].   The company says that merely having a contract with another company, namely a recruiter, does not constitute creation of an enterprise...   The Supreme Court didn't directly settle the RICO issue, but said only that the Mohawk case was being sent back to the appeals court 'for further consideration in light of' the ruling in the New York City case...   The Bush administration, which has been pushing for immigration reform, sided with the workers before the Supreme Court."

2006-06-06 09:54PDT (11:54EDT) (15:54GMT)
_WSN Milwaukee_
CEO Turn-Over Hits New Record
Washington Times
"Out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported Tuesday that a record 148 CEOs left their jobs in May, topping the record of 139 set back in January.   According to the Challenger report, 17% of those who left were lured away either by other companies or the challenge of going it alone.   One notable departure was that of Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson, who left to become Treasury Secretary...   Health care continued to provide the most announcements of CEO turnover, with 25 executives leaving their positions in May.   For the year, 98 health care CEOs have departed..."


2006-06-07 12:15PDT (15:15EDT) (19:15GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US consumer credit rose 5.9% in April

_Conference Board_/_PR News Wire_
Conference Board brings breadth of experience to examination of maturing work-force
"Building on more than 25 years of research on older workers in the work-place, The Conference Board, currently celebrating its 90th anniversary, is launching an expanded maturing workforce research initiative.   The effort received generous support from the Atlantic Philanthropies USA, Inc., in the form of a 3-year, $2M grant to study the inclusion and engagement of late-career workers in corporations and not-for-profit organizations.   The Conference Board will examine the practices and policies of major employers and business community leaders and related concerns and needs of today's mature workforce.   The Conference Board plans to share promising practices for creating and maintaining a workforce inclusive of all generations.   Some 64M baby boomers active in the U.S. labor force are poised to retire in large numbers by the end of this decade."

Walter E. Williams _Town Hall_
On John Stossel's book _Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity_
Capitalism Magazine
"Niger's population density is 9 people per square kilometer; however, population density in the United States is 28 per square kilometer, Japan 340, the Netherlands 484, and Hong Kong 6,621...   First, since 1992 there's been a loss of 391M jobs; however, during those years, America created 411M new jobs, for a net gain of 20M.   A Dartmouth University Tuck School of Business study found that companies that send jobs abroad ended up hiring twice as many workers at home.   Most new jobs created are higher-paid."

S&P 5001,256.15
10-year US T-Bond5.03%
crude oil70.82

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.


2006-06-07 23:34PDT (2006-06-08 02:34EDT) (2006-06-08 06:34GMT)
Ilya Garger _MarketWatch_
Japanese officials talk down stock market drop

2006-06-08 05:30PDT (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 258,854 in the week ending June 3, a decrease of 33,794 from the previous week.   There were 289,914 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending May 27, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,168,542, a decrease of 28,597 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.8% and the volume was 2,342,313."

2006-06-08 05:33PDT (08:33EDT) (12:33GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted US unemployment insurance claims down 35K to 302K: seasonally adjusted continuing claims down 5K to 2.42M

Danica Kirka _Ely Times & County_/_AP_ Around the workd, al-Zarqawi death praised
Monterey County Herald
"Coalition forces killed al-Qaida terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and one of his key lieutenants, spiritual adviser sheik Abdel-Rahman [and half a dozen others], yesterday, June 7, at about 6:15 in the evening.   This happened in an air-strike which was conducted against an identified, isolated safe-house."

Laura Smith _Guardian_
Time-Line: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

2006-06-08 10:25PDT (13:25EDT) (17:25GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Debt of individuals in USA increased by 11% in 2006 Q1
News Max
Federal Reserve Board data release

Fred Cederholm _Baltimore Chronicle_
Thinking About Privacy
Privacy links

Paul Joseph Watson _Prison Planet_
Documentary-maker Alex Jones Claims He Was Detained on Orders from Bilderbergers

2006-06-08 14:23PDT (17:23EDT) (21:23GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
House Majority Leader Boehner vows quick work on pension change bill
"Since March, house & Senate negotiators have been working to resolve differences between 2 very different versions of the complicated legislation, which is designed to shore up the federal agency that being saddled by under-funding of corporate pension plans.   Around 44M Americans have defined-benefit pensions, which pay retirees a fixed amount based on length of service and salary history.   But pensions are underfunded by around $450G, and the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which is funded by corporate premiums and investments, is running a deficit of more than $22G.   Law-makers have been arguing over how tough to make rules that would require companies with underfunded pension plans to make up their short-falls.   Airlines have lobbied law-makers to preserve a Senate-passed provision that would let them make up the gap over 20 years, rather than the 7 years required of other companies."

A. Abbott _Nature_ vol441 #7094
EU Science Fund Encourages Age Discrimination

John Mauldin _Free-Market News Network_
It's All About the Numbers (with graphs)


Doug Palmer _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
US trade deficit increased by 2.5%, but more slowly than expected
MarketWatch alert
MarketWatch article
"The U.S. trade deficit widened less than expected in April to $63.4G, as oil import prices surged close to historic highs and U.S. exports turned in a near record performance, a government report showed on Friday...   In the first 4 months of this year, the trade gap totaled $254.2G, on pace to surpass the record of $716.7G set for all of last year."

2006-06-09 05:39PDT (08:39EDT) (12:39GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US import prices up 1.6% in May, Export prices up 0.7%
BLS data

David Lazarus _San Francisco Chronicle_
Bank of India: Train your replacement or you get no severance pay
Mike Hofman: Inc
Colbert Low: iTechTips
Slash Dot
"Bank of [India, formerly called Bank of America] has been steadily moving thousands of tech jobs to India.   The latest to go are about 100 positions that handle BofA's internal tech support.   While many of the bank's Bay Area techies accept the inevitability of their jobs heading abroad, what rankles them is the fact that, in many cases, they're being told they have to first train the Indians who are getting their gigs...   Shirley Norton, a BofA spokeswoman, confirmed that while workers aren't being explicitly told they have to train their replacements or risk losing severance pay, they are being instructed that severance pay is contingent on satisfactorily completing their jobs.   Completing their jobs, in turn, can include training replacements from India, she said...   Making workers train someone from India to take their jobs away isn't unique to [BofI].   Other U.S. companies reportedly have done the same in recent years...   'It caused us to make a greater commitment to our associates.', [Barbara deSoer, BofI's CTO] said.   'It caused us to make a larger commitment to explaining the context of changes happening in the marketplace in advance of (changes) happening.'   But it apparently didn't cause BofA to stop doing it...   'They're very open about it.', he said.   'They're here to learn our jobs and then leave.   Some go back to India, and some settle in Charlotte, where the headquarters is.'   Why would [BofI] hire Indians to work in the United States?   'Because they don't actually work for Bank of [India].', the engineer replied.   'They work for Infosys Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services, which are both in India.   They do the work at half the cost of what a U.S. worker gets paid.'...   In 2004, [BofI] opened a subsidiary in India to process transactions and handle other operations.   It now employs about 2K workers at 3 different sites...   [BofI's] increasing reliance on Indian workers was made evident in a 40-minute presentation given last year to some of the bank's U.S. tech employees.   [BofI] distributed DVDs of the presentation to managers companywide in April as part of a new program called Culture Connections.   One of the DVDs made its way into my hands this week, along with supporting materials provided to managers.   The DVD shows a roomful of about a dozen bank employees being told by a blond-haired American manager (who is wearing purple, Indian-looking clothes) that the presentation will assist them in 'understanding the Indian culture and who the Indian is'.   This is important, the manager continues, because of 'the dependency we have on our teammates who are either here in the U.S. who come from India, or who we interact with on a daily basis who reside in India'.   She then introduces the presenter, Shiva Subramaniam, who has traveled from India to give an overview of India's culture, including how the country has 'specific gods for specific concepts', and how 'it's almost impossible to look at an Indian and not associate him with the game of cricket'.   He shows a series of slides during the presentation.   Clearly visible at the bottom of the screen are the words 'Tata Consultancy Services'...   Norton confirmed that nearly all of [BofI's] 200K workers are expected to sit through the presentation."
LCAs for H-1B by Infosys and Tata (TCS) – starting at under $20K for BS or equivalent to nominally work out of their phony front-offices in Quincy, MA and Rockville, MD

_Blogging Stocks_
US House approved bill to allow Bells to deliver TV programming
Corilyn Shropshire Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Dawson Bell Detroit Free Press
Philadelphia Inquirer
Jim Abrams _AP_/ Houston Chronicle
Todd Weiss ComputerWorld

2006-06-09 14:44PDT (17:44EDT) (21:44GMT)
August Cole _MarketWatch_
Delphi, GM and UAW reach broad buy-out agreement as executives try to weasel out of obligations to current and former employees
"And the New York bankruptcy court over-seeing Delphi's turnaround has adjourned hearings on union labor contracts and health care benefits until August 11 so that the 3 parties can keep negotiations going.   In May, the UAW's Delphi members gave the union leadership the go-ahead to authorize a strike if their contracts were broken."

Frank Levy _Cato Institute_
Education and inequality in the creative age

Ed Enoch _Hattiesburg MS American_
Jones county junior college received $1.6M from US DoL
"The college will use the H1B grant to train individuals in food service industries like restaurants and casinos, Whitehead said.   The grant also will be used to train machinist and technicians for companies that manufacture heavy equipment, Whitehead said."

S&P 5001,252.30
10-year US T-Bond4.98%
crude oil71.63

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
SF Chron Bank of India [formerly Bank of America]: "Train your replacement or no severance package"
"Quite a bit has been written on the subject of U.S. firms laying off their American workers, replacing them with foreign nationals, and requiring the laid-off Americans to train their replacements.   But the [San Francisco Chronicle column from yesterday, 2006-06-09] is the most detailed analysis I've seen, an excellent piece.   I have some material to add.   First of all, compare what has been happening with the [BofI] now in this regard to what they told the public earlier, as reported in Michael Liedtke 'BofA Tech Workers Fear Jobs Heading Off to India' Contra Costa Times 1997 April 27: Bank of [India's] technology center is in the early stages of an unsettling cost-cutting experiment.   The San Francisco-based bank is asking its computer engineers in Concord to undermine their own job security by helping to train potential replacment workers imported from India before shipping an untold number of positions over-seas...   The bank also maintains none of its Concord emloyees will be dropped from the pay-roll if the pilot program with the India workers proves to be a success.
That latter statement by the bank proved to be false.   After completion of the out-sourcing program, the bank did indeed lay off its IT workers in Concord and elsewhere in 2002, as reported in Jim Gardner 'Bank job: You're Fired, Now Go Train Your Replacement' San Francisco Business Times 2002 November 22:
Spreading some pre-holiday cheer, Bank of America this week announced that it is cutting 900 tech positions -- with the twist that some layoff victims have to help train replacements if they want to get severance pay...   The job cuts, 232 of them in the Bay Area, come as BofA is out-sourcing an increasing amount of tech work abroad, particularly to India.   That has earned the Charlotte, NC-based institution the nickname of Bank of India among disgruntled soon-to-be-ex-employees.   Sure enough, dozens of Indian tech workers have been visiting BofA's major tech centers in Concord, Jacksonville, FL, and other cities around the country recently.   They're getting training on work they'll do back at home for about half what departing employees are paid.   The bank confirms that some laid-off workers are being required to help train new ones (and not speak to the media) as a condition of receiving severance.
Actually, the above report was not accurate in one respect.   It states that all of the foreign nationals involved would do the work abroad.   As the article below points out (and as was the case at the time the earlier reports were written), off-shoring projects are typically hybrids.   The typical ratio is 1 foreign national on-shore (working under an H-1B or L-1 visa) for every 2 workers off-shore.   For an academic study of this business model, see Ron Hira 'U.S. Immigration Regulations and India's Information Technology Industry' Technological Forecasting & Social Change 71 (2004) pp 837-854.   The author below asks why part of the BofA [Bank of India] project is located in the U.S.A.   The reply given by the BofA engineer didn't really answer the question.   Instead, the real cause is that communications problems can really cripple off-shored projects, so there must be a large physical presence on-shore to make it work.   Much has been written on this; see for example
N. Matloff 'Off-shoring: What Can Go Wrong?' IT Professional 2005 July/August and the references listed there.   This point about the role of the H-1B visa in the off-shoring process is highly relevant today.   Hidden in the bill on illegal immigration passed recently by the Senate are provisions which would comprise the most aggressive expansion of the H-1B program in its history.   (The bill is now awaiting conference with the House, but even if that large bill fails, a separate bill with the same provisions regarding H-1B has already been introduced.)   The industry lobbyists have always threatened, 'Either Congress gives us more H-1Bs or we'll have to move the work off-shore', when in fact the H-1B program is used to FACILITATE moving the work off-shore.   Again, the work is best done onshore.   But even in that case the firms still want to minimize labor costs.   Most H-1Bs work in entirely-onshore projects.   Though the industry lobbyists (and the politicians) like to dismiss the evidence that H-1Bs are paid less than comparable U.S. citizens and permanent residents as 'anecdotal', it is an established, well-studied [and well-documented] fact, shown in several university studies and 2 government reports.   And concerning the case at hand, the under-payment of H-1Bs working on Bank of America projects was documented in detail by the Programmers Guild.   See their report, How to Underpay H-1B Workers.   Note that this under-payment of H-1Bs is perfectly legal.   The law requires that H-1Bs be paid prevailing wage, but the law and regulations define that term in such a way that it is riddled with huge loop-holes.   It is NOT a problem of enforcement, as politicians like to claim.   They like this, as it then takes them off the hook.   They can lay the blame on the executive branch when in fact the blame is on Congress itself.   The sad truth is that Congress has been bought off by the industry on these issues.   In rare moments of candor, politicians have openly admitted this.   After the H-1B increase in 2000 passed the Senate by a 96-1 vote, senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) remarked, 'Once it's clear (the visa bill) is going to get through, everybody signs up so nobody can be in the position of being accused of being against high tech.
There were, in fact, a whole lot of folks against it, but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign contributions, they don't want to admit that in public' (Carolyn Lochhead 'Bill to Boost Tech Visas Sails Through Congress: Clinton Expected to Sign Popular Measure' San Francisco Chronicle 2000 October 4).   Representative Tom Davis (R-VA), said, 'This is not a popular bill with the public.   It's popular with theCEOs...   This is a very important issue for the high-tech executives who give the money' ('Committee To Address Bill Eliminating H-1B Cap' National Journal Technology Daily 2000 May 5 and Lars-Erik Nelson 'Pols Are Going Overboard On Visa Program' New York Daily News 2000 May 3).   Representative Davis was chair of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.   See also the Salon Magazine article on MSFT lobbying on H-1B and the revelations found by the WashTech union and more from WashTech. The Salon piece discusses the huge sums MSFT spends on lobbying, and quotes a Democratic Party official as saying, in essence, that the Democrats in the Senate voted for the H-1B increase simply at Bill Gates' urging, without any data to back him up.   The fact is that starting salaries for new computer science graduates have been flat since 1999, obviously belying the industry's claim of a shortage.   (See the data on the Bachelor's level in the BusinessWeek column and see my CIS article for the Master's level.) The WashTech expose's are fascinating.   MSFT had told Congress that it was trying really hard to keep its development work in Redmond, and if only Congress would increase the H-1B cap, MSFT wouldn't have to off-shore the work.   But WashTech found an internal presentation showing that MSFT was in fact planning to off-shore as much work as possible.   Also, MSFT claimed it needed H-1Bs because it couldn't find enough Americans to fill its developer positions, when in fact MSFT had recently asked its contractors who do development to take a week's furlough, to save on costs.   It's nice to see articles like the one below (the Chronicle has run a number of excellent pieces by Carrie Kirby on H-1B over the years), but politicians of both parties refuse to do anything about it.   Senator Feinstein, for instance, has occasionally tried to introduce minor amendments to H-1B legislation, but has generally been quite happy to toe the industry party line.   ('This engineer labor shortage is an indictment of our failing educational system' etc.)   She refuses to meet with the Programmers Guild."

Nikhil Rao _HomeLand Stupidity_
Citizens' Health Care Working Group is the Road to Serfdom

Robert Walker _Chicago Sun-Times_
US executives asking for pay-roll tax cuts to create new jobs
"First, the jobs picture is a lot worse than the unemployment rate suggests.   A lot of 'discouraged workers' have dropped out of the labor force.   The Center for American Politics, for example, reports that the unemployment rate in March would have been '7.0% if the same share of the population was unemployed today as at the beginning of the business cycle'.   In fact, unemployment is more widespread than commonly believed.   More than 70M adults are not in the labor force, meaning that they are not actively seeking work.   But many of them might seek work if jobs were more readily available, pay was higher or working conditions more flexible...   Estimates vary, but as many as 50 million American jobs could, conceivably, be out-sourced over-seas.   Citing the loss of 2.9M manufacturing jobs in the last 5 years, conservative economist Paul Craig Roberts opined that, 'The only safe jobs are in domestic services that require a 'hands-on' presence, such as barbers, hospital orderlies and waitresses.'   Working Americans are justly concerned.   Over the past 3 decades they have witnessed firsthand the collapse of industries and the loss of jobs.   And they know with painful certainty that a weak job market has contributed to a drop in real wages for many workers and made it easier for employers to curb health insurance benefits or freeze pension plans.   They don't take much solace from corporate profit margins or a rising stock market...   People today are a little savvier about what matters.   The economy could be doing quite nicely, but for the vast majority of Americans, creating more jobs is what really matters."


Norm Matloff _Programmer List_

Ralph W. Wyndrum jr _Mass High Tech_
H-1B program is not an appropriate answer to continuing glut of skilled workers
"Too often, however, our citizens don't even know of job openings filled by H-1B workers because the law doesn't require their availability to be posted... Thousands of U.S. citizens have been replaced by H-1B holders, often at lower wages. In the first quarter of 2005, despite persistent unemployment among New England's high-tech workforce, companies in the 6 New England states received permission to hire 19,197 H-1B workers. The administration's Office of Management and Budget [OMB] concluded in a 2005 report that the H-1B program is 'vulnerable to fraud or abuse'..."


2006-06-12 10:49PDT (13:49EDT) (17:49GMT)
William Jud _Magic City Morning Star_
_Who is the US Senate Working For
"Recent legislative actions in Washington, DC, raise the question of just who the U.S. Senate is working for.   It obviously is not the American people who voted the Senators into office.   A bill to permanently repeal the Death Tax was voted down 57-41 in a motion to invoke cloture.   Sixty votes were needed to let the bill advance...   The Senate Immigration bill is straight out of the United Nations' Agenda 21 plan for ruling the world.   There is Amnesty for all the Illegal Aliens lawbreakers who are here in violation of our Immigration laws.   The Senate is trying hard to convince voters that it's not Amnesty, but that is what the Senate bill provides...   Illegal Aliens would get Amnesty and so would their employers.   There will be no penalty assessed against businesses that now employ Illegal Aliens.   All is forgiven.   When Mexican Illegal Aliens demand higher wages the Senate bill allows employers to import more foreign workers to replace the Mexican workers.   After a very few years, immigrant Mexicans will go on unemployment and their jobs will be filled by more new people imported from Somalia or Ethiopia or Sudan.   Gone are the days when the world's best and brightest people came to America and created a 'brain drain' in foreign nations.   Now the Senate wants to open our doors to the poorest, uneducated, and least productive foreigners who will depress our national excellence just by being here.   Under the Senate bill, Illegal Aliens farm workers may not be fired and must be paid prevailing wage, which is more than many American farm workers are paid.   Illegal Aliens' kids who go to college would pay in-state tuition, which is not available to children of American citizens who attend college in a state where their parents do not reside.   President Bush and Congress have still greater ambitions.   Our American borders are to be dissolved as these United States merge with Mexico and Canada to form a new nation, the North American Union, with a new currency, the Amero, based upon the Euro currency of the European Union.   The problem of Illegal Immigration from Mexico would be solved immediately by redefinition, by allowing unlimited migration within the North American Union just as movement of people is now unimpeded state-to-state within the United States.   Immigration would apply only to people entering from outside of the North American Union.   There is a requirement for 'Harmonization' of the laws of these United States with the laws of Canada and Mexico.   Harmonization will replace our Constitutional government with a new merged set of laws including laws from a Fascist nation, Mexico, and a Socialist nation, Canada.   Regional governing bodies will be created that have jurisdiction over the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court.   All privately owned firearms will be confiscated.   Latinos will become a huge Protected Minority receiving top priority in employment, education, social services and government handouts.   Negroes fret about demotion to Second-Class Minority...   U.S. Senators, members of the House of Representatives, and President Bush all swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.   Obviously they are not doing so."

2006-06-12 11:34PDT (14:34EDT) (18:34GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Federal government deficit increased from $35.4G in 2005 May to $42.9G in 2006 May
"Receipts in May were up 26% from 152.7G a year ago to $192.7G. Outlays were up 25% from $188.1G last year to $235.5G."
US government treasury and extortion department

Jerome R. Corsi _Human Events_
Bush Administragion Quietly Plans CAFTA Super-High-Way
"Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA [CAFTA] Super Highway, 4 football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S.A. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, TX, to the Canadian border north of Duluth, MN.   Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman's Union in the process.   The Mexican trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation's most modern highway straight into the heart of America.   The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only electronically by the new 'SENTRI' system.   The first customs stop will be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3M to the U.S. [tax-victims] in Kansas City.   As incredible as this plan may seem to some readers, the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment of the NAFTA Super Highway is ready to begin construction next year.   Various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores of private NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway, despite the lack of comment on the plan by President Bush.   The American public is largely asleep to this key piece of the coming 'North American Union' that government planners in the new trilateral region of United States, Canada and Mexico are about to drive into reality.   Just examine the following websites to get a feel for the magnitude of NAFTA Super Highway planning that has been going on without any new congressional legislation directly authorizing the construction of the planned international corridor through the center of the country.   NASCO, the North America SuperCorridor Coalition Inc., is a 'non-profit organization dedicated to developing the world's first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America'.   Where does that sentence say anything about the USA?   Still, NASCO has received $2.5M in ear-marks from the U.S. Department of Transportation..."

John M. Miano _Colosseum Builders_
Test of H-1B enforcement
"My test of the DoL's new enforcement powers gave the results one would expect.   I filed a complaint against iGate Mastech with the Wage and Hour division alleging they were not complying with the good faith recruitment requirements for H-1B dependent employers.   I submitted 130 job postings containing statements of
* 'We provide GC Sponsorship and we do prefer H1B holders who may be interested in working with IGATE.'
* 'Only looking for H-1B visas and should be willing to transfer'
* 'Looking for a Strong .Net Developer with the following skill sets, only H-1 B holder apply, and should be willing to transfer H-1B .'
* 'Only H-1s Apply , and should be willing to transfer H-1 B'
* 'Only H1 visa transfers - please do not waste your time, we...'
The DoL responded they would not investigate because I had not provided enough evidence of a violation."


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Poorly Researched Information Week article
"One would think that an article that has such a sure-of-itself title as Why We Need the H-1B would be more carefully researched.   Unfortunately, it consists mainly of a series of anecdotes and quotes -- and not even balanced quotes.   In fact, the article is horribly unbalanced.   The author cites only 2 authoritative critics of the H-1B program (Courtney and the CIS), but quotes 7 people from the industry lobbying side (the NSF; MSFT; HP; immigration attorney Cohen; [body shop] Hudson; Dofasco).   I'm not saying that this reporter is [necessarily] deliberately biased, but she is just plain lazy.

    I would point out the following:
  1. It's not just the CIS study which showed that the H-1Bs are generally paid less than Americans.   There have been several university studies (including my own), and 2 congressionally commissioned reports.   See my university law journal article (pdf) for an analysis of all the studies.
  2. I don't think the author talked to [Marcus Courtney] very much, because her quote of him is not representative.   Yes, there is some violation of the H-1B law, but the main under-payment of H-1Bs is [usually] done in full compliance with the law.   It's a matter of loop-holes, huge ones.   Even one of the congressionally commissioned reports I mentioned above showed this: Some employers said that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage.   See the point?   The law on H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards was basically written by industry lobbyists; recall the statement by immigration attorney Joel Stewart about the green card law: 'Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply' (Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers Immigration Daily 2000 April 24).   Once again -- THE PROBLEM IS THE LOOP-HOLES IN THE LAW, WHICH THE INDUSTRY PUT THERE.
  3. It's not just the 'shady' firms which are under-paying the H-1Bs.   It's the big ones too.   See my analysis of the Intel H-1B data in my CIS article (link below).
  4. We have no shortage of Americans with Master's and PhDs (pdf).   The same employers that are complaining that we don't have enough are busy laying off lots of Americans with Master's and PhDs.   Starting salaries for new Master's graduates in computer science and electrical engineering have been FLAT since 1999.   If there's such a shortage, why aren't salaries going up?
  5. As to the claimed job-creating activities of the H-1Bs, there are plenty of U.S. citizens and permanent residents you could put in those same jobs, and have the same job-creating effects.
  6. MSFT's lobbying is a disgrace.   They say that they can't find enough software developers to hire, yet Courtney discovered that MSFT had ordered all its contractors in software development to take a week's furlough, to save money.
  7. The H-1B program is used to FACILITATE off-shoring, not AVOID it.   The typical ratio for a project being one H-1B on-shore for every 2 off-shore.   (See Ron Hira "U.S. Immigration Regulations and India's Information Technology Industry" Technological Forecasting & Social Change 71 (2004) pp 837-854.)
  8. The article warns, 'Not every highly skilled techie over-seas considers the United States the best place to work', meaning that we risk losing all this foreign talent.   What the author fails to realize is that the H-1B visa program is causing an INTERNAL brain drain, as talented Americans get replaced by H-1Bs.

2006-06-13 06:10PDT (09:10EDT) (13:10GMT)
Irwin Kellner _MarketWatch_
Why so many people sometimes prefer inflation to the alternatives

2006-06-13 06:52PDT (09:52EDT) (13:52GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US retail sales increased 0.1%, neglecting autos increased 0.5%
census bureau report

2006-06-13 07:05PDT (10:05EDT) (13:05GMT)
Aude Lagorce _MarketWatch_
Mittal continues to attempt hostile take-over of Arcelor steel
" The lobbying for control of European steel-maker Arcelor SA accelerated on Tuesday as Mittal Steel said it expects core earnings to rise by more than $4G in the next 3 years and revealed a business plan previously seen by Arcelor management only.   Mittal, the world's largest steel-maker, said it expects 2006 operating profit to rise 26% to $7.3G in 2006 and to $9.9G in 2008, excluding the potential acquisition of Arcelor, saying 'recent global demand growth, coupled with improved market-oriented behavior by suppliers, had led to the emergence of a more stable operating environment.'   Mittal, which is controlled by London-based billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, is determined to acquire Arcelor, its nearest rival, despite having been rebuffed twice in the past 4 months.   Its latest cash-and-stock offer is currently worth about $27.1G."

2006-06-13 07:40PDT (10:40EDT) (14:40GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US PPI rose 0.2% in May, core prices up 0.3%
"In the past year, the PPI is up 4.5%, the fastest year-over-year gain since January. The core PPI is up 1.5% in the past year, matching the lowest year-over-year gain of the year."
BLS data

Caffeine makes us more likely to agree with persuasive arguments
New Scientist
Los Angeles Times
Pak Tribune
"Australian researchers from the University of Queensland found caffeine makes us more likely to agree with persuasive arguments.   Participants were asked their attitudes about voluntary euthanasia before and after reading persuasive arguments against their initial beliefs.   Before they read the arguments they drank orange juice either without caffeine or with the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee.   Results show those who consumed caffeine had increased agreement with the arguments, greater message-related thinking, and better argument recall...   Researchers with Kaiser Permanente Medical Care program in Oakland, California, analyzed data from 330 participants with cirrhosis, including 199 with alcoholic cirrhosis.   They found for every cup of coffee they drank per day, participants were 22-percent less likely to develop alcoholic cirrhosis.   Results also show drinking coffee was linked to slightly reducing the risk of other types of cirrhosis."

Lorinda Bullock _Baltimore Times_
Misguided Debate over Illegal Aliens Ignores Other Threats to US Citizens
Washington Journal
Louisiana Weekly
"As the Black community debates whether Hispanic immigrant workers create competition for jobs with low-income African-Americans, the president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists says too little attention is being paid to educated immigrants taking high-tech jobs away from middle- and upper-class African-Americans...   Under the H-1B visa, immigrant workers can stay in the U.S. for up to 6 years or even 10 years in some cases.   After the first year of the visa, they aren't counted into the annual quota, allowing a new wave of immigrants to enter the country.   Lucy said the increasing number of Blacks earning degrees in technology and engineering don't need to worry about competition from Mexico, but from other countries.   'It's much more dramatic at the high wages.', he said.   'These are the jobs that are going to India and Pakistan.'...   A 2004 study by George J. Borjas, a Harvard University professor of Economics and Social Policy [reported that] Although the 1980-2000 immigrant influx lowered the wage of White workers by 3.5% and of Asians by only 3.1%, it reduced the wage of Blacks by 4.5% and that of Hispanics by 5.0%.   The adverse impact of immigration, therefore, is largest for the most disadvantaged native-born minorities, the study said...   Alfred A. Young Jr., a researcher and assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan, said Black resentment toward immigrants when it comes to labor issues is nothing new.   Of the hundreds of young men he's interviewed in southeastern Michigan and Chicago, he found there was no direct competition with immigrants for jobs, but instead young, Black men would not and could not work for the wages immigrants accepted.   'These [Black] guys say it doesn't make sense.', Young said.   Even members of the Hispanic community, such as Flavia Jimenez, an immigration policy analyst with the National Council of La Raza, a leading national Hispanic rights group, agrees the low wages immigrant workers accept hurts everyone-including the immigrants.   'Big corporations are taking advantage of workers overall.   Because of the illegal status of the undocumented workers, they hire them for fewer wages, lowering, of course, the wages for African-American workers.', Jimenez said...   A new study from the Census said that 45% of the reconstruction workers in New Orleans are Hispanic and at least two-thirds of them came after Hurricane Katrina."

_Wash Tech_
Jobless "Recovery" Continues in Tech Labor Market (graph)
Dr. Dobb's Journal
Information Week
"Between 2001 March and 2004 March, the IT industry eliminated approximately 402,800 jobs, more than half of which were shed during a time when the nation was officially experiencing an economic recovery, which [according to NBER] started in 2001 November.   Overall the high-tech industry experienced extreme employment volatility between 2003 April and 2006 February, a period during which only 76,300 jobs were added nationwide.   All told, the sector has recouped less than one-quarter of the IT jobs lost earlier in the decade.

Charles Hurt _Washington Times_
House Republicans hit Senate immigration proposal
"The Senate's immigration-reform bill grants broad amnesty to illegal aliens and is even worse than previously thought...   Allowing illegals to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal work, for instance, is 'outrageous', said Mr. Sensenbrenner...   a last-minute amendment that requires the U.S. to consult with Mexican officials before commencement of any fence construction along the border...   Representative Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, said he met last week with a group of hotel executives from Marriott International Inc. who favor increased immigration to bring them more cheap labor to work as hotel maids.   He told them about the consultation requirement...   The provision was inserted in the bill moments before it was voted on at the behest of senator Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat...   the bill allows for the discounted in-state tuition rates at state colleges and universities for illegal aliens who reside in those states.   Meanwhile, legal immigrants and citizens who reside outside that state must still pay the full price...   the bill grants complete amnesty to employers who have illegally hired the millions of aliens and provided the magnet that drew them here in the first place..."

Michael F. Cannon _Cato Institute_
AMA: Protectionist to the Core

S&P 5001,223.69
10-year US T-Bond4.96%
crude oil68.56

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.


2006-06-14 05:44PDT (08:44EDT) (12:44GMT)
Joel Bainerman _EE Times_
Tower Semiconductor set to make privacy violating RFID chips for Alien Technology
Privacy links

2006-06-14 06:27PDT (09:27EDT) (13:27GMT)
Bob Lewis _AP_/_Twin Lakes Times_
James Webb defeated dishonest lobbyist Harris Miller in the Senate primary in Virginia
Fauquier Times-Democrat/Citizen
Chicago Tribune
Seattle Times
Houston Chronicle
Navy Times
Arizona Republic
Loudoun Times-Mirror
Shenandoah Valley News Leader
Baltimore Sun
San Luis Obispo Tribune
Charlottesville Daily Progress
Washington Times
Home Town Channel
Red State
"Webb won 53% of the vote in Virginia's primary Tuesday, defeating Harris miller, a wealthy [lobbyist] and long-time Democrat activist who out-spent him nearly 2 to 1...   Miller, 54, put nearly $1M of his own money into the campaign...   In a televised debate, Webb called Miller 'the anti-Christ of out-sourcing', accusing him of pushing Internet industry jobs over-seas."

2006-06-14 07:14PDT (10:14EDT) (14:14GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
CPI up 0.4% in May, core up 0.3%
BLS data

Tom Yager _InfoWorld_
Why Apple snubs its open source geeks
"My readers don't gaze at my torch or carry others'.   They're too busy lighting new ones.   It strikes me as odd that anyone at Apple could fail to connect with that ideal or see its economic practicality.   Before consummate wealth and success, Steve Jobs was the poster boy for that misunderstood fraction-of-a-fraction to which my erstwhile handlers referred.   Jobs was odd man out for being inventive, curious, tenacious, fearless, opinionated, and insatiable.   These ingredients make an innovator.   Jobs built a company, then a culture, and then a product line that reflected the future he was certain would unfold, and he was determined to get there first.   Jobs had the audacity to behave as though his dreams represented the certain future, and he was blessed with just enough money, patience, and raw materials (including open source) to prove his point."

2006-06-14 11:41PDT (14:41EDT) (18:41GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Fed's Beige Book shows sign of economic slowing
Beige Book

Business activity at information technology service firms grew at a steady pace in the Boston and San Francisco Districts, and firms in both Districts indicated an increase in hiring activity.   Demand for health-care and professional services was vigorous in the San Francisco District, while demand for professional services in the Dallas District was "typical"...
1. Boston
Manufacturers and software and information technology services firms indicate that revenues are up solidly from a year ago, with many manufacturers reporting double-digit gains.   Companies in the [bodyshopping] industry also report steady revenue growth...   Labor markets continue to tighten in New England, with various professional and technical positions reportedly difficult to fill; pay rates, however, are not said to be accelerating.   Many business contacts continue to express concern about high or rising input costs, but report mixed success in raising their own prices...   Among the strong performers are firms in the medical supplies, semiconductor, aerospace, and information technology equipment industries...   Most manufacturers report little change in their U.S. head-counts, apart from selective additions in professional, technical, and sales positions.   Financial and supply-chain management positions are said to be hard to fill [as they should be]...   Some manufacturers are investing to expand their product development or production, while others are implementing IT system upgrades or installing more modern equipment...   Business is steady for responding First District [bodyshops].   Most contacts describe business in the first 2 months of Q2 as "pretty good" or "consistent", reporting revenue growth in the low- to mid-single digit range.   One contact says that, while business has been strong in Q2, there has been "no rapid-fire growth".   Another reports that revenues are currently up 6% over last year, but have shown "no real growth since February".   Only one respondent reports year-over-year revenue growth in the double digits [which is also as it should be].   At the other extreme, a contact indicates that his firm's revenues are down 50% from last year due to structural changes within the firm and the region's increasing cost of doing business...   All contacts note an increase in demand for permanent labor and a shift in the role of staffing companies away from the "temp" side to more comprehensive staffing services, including human resources and project management services [ANYTHING TO AVOID BROKERING PERMANENT PLACEMENTS OF US CITIZENS].   Contacts expect more of the same for the remainder of the year -- steady demand for staffing services coupled with a continued tightening in the supply of skilled labor, resulting in increasing pay rates and bill rates.   Business appears to be growing steadily at software and IT services companies [i.e. bodyshops] in the First District, with firms reporting year-over-year quarterly revenue increases ranging from low single digits to 14% in the most recent quarter.   Contacts state that the market is competitive and, as a result, the majority have kept their prices unchanged.   Two software companies report that the increased use of off-shoring within the software and IT services industry has made it "imperative to have a component of off-shoring" priced in to remain competitive.   [TRANSLATION: WHATEVER YOU DO, AVOID HIRING US CITIZENS!]   Most software and IT services firms are increasing their head-counts between 5% and 10%.   All firms with plans to hire report a tightening in the labor market in New England, especially for technical positions.   Several firms note increased turnover and upward pressure on wages as employees now have more job opportunities.   Respondents report annual wage increases between 3% and 10%.   Most software and IT services contacts indicate they are holding capital spending fairly level; however, a few have increased outlays to expand facilities and upgrade equipment.   First District software and information technology firms expect either steady or accelerated growth for their companies in the third quarter.   Two companies say the biggest challenge to growth is finding people to fill open positions at reasonable cost...
12. San Francisco
Upward wage pressures were moderate overall, but wage increases remained rapid for workers with specialized skills in the construction, health-care, information technology, and financial services sectors.   More generally, contacts reported healthy hiring activity, although the pace of hiring has slowed in parts of California...   Sales and hiring activity grew further for providers of technology services, although the employment outlook in this sector was clouded slightly by a report of reduced use of [bodyshopping]...

David Kelly _Los Angeles Times_
Student has sued school district on 1st amendment grounds when, after a pro-illegal immigration demonstration, his application for an anti-illegal immigration event was denied
"When a school assembly in Mira Loma turned into a virtual rally supporting illegal immigrants, a frustrated JD asked permission to hold his own demonstration.   The Jurupa Valley High School senior carefully typed up an agenda with speakers and topics to be covered and gave it to school officials.   They denied his request, citing fears that a protest could lead to violence.   Annoyed yet undeterred, 18-year-old JD tried to organize an off-campus rally in March but was suspended for 3 days for handing out fliers about it on school property.   He was also told he couldn't wear a T-shirt with anti-illegal immigrant slogan emblazoned on the front.   JD, of Mira Loma, responded last week with a $25K law-suit against the Jurupa Unified School District, saying his free speech rights had been violated and his reputation damaged.   He wants an apology, the suspension erased from his record and an acknowledgment that the school was wrong...   Richard Ackerman, JD's attorney, said the school muzzled JD out of fear that he would be controversial.   At the same time, he said, they allowed MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan], a Latino student club, to organize the school rally supporting... illegal immigrants."

2006-06-14 13:22PDT (16:22EDT) (20:22GMT)
Michael Paige _MarketWatch_
Bodyshopping revenue up 6% in 2005
"Technology services revenue rose 6% worldwide last year, with International Business Machines Corp. continuing to dominate the market even though its growth lagged the industry average, according to preliminary results of a study released on Tuesday.   The industry's revenue rose to $624.4G in 2005, up from $588.9G the preceding year, according to a study by industry researcher Gartner.   While the out-sourcing-service segment traditionally has been "the key growth area" for the global tech-services market, 2005 witness a shift, according to Kathryn Hale, a Gartner research vice president...   Spending by the healthcare industry rose 8.7% to $19.4G, the research firm said.   Financial-services companies continued to represent the biggest market for tech services, with revenue from the industry gaining 7% to $141.3G last year...   Ill-Begotten Monstrosities claimed a 7.6% share of the market and by far remained the leader.   However, Big Blue's market share slipped from 7.8% in 2004 and its revenue from the segment rose a less-than-average 2.5% to $47.36G from $46.21G the prior year, according to the study.   Of the top 6 vendors, only Accenture Ltd. and Computer Sciences Corp. enjoyed revenue growth that outpaced the overall market average, Gartner said.   Accenture [formerly Andersen Consulting before being involved in the Enron fraud] claimed a 2.6% market share in 2005, up from 2.4% the previous year, and its services revenue jumped 13.1% to $15.99G from $14.14G, the study showed.   CSC saw its slice of the market remain unchanged at 2.3%, while revenue increased 6.1% to $14.58G from $13.74G, Gartner said."

Linda Markus Daniels _World Tech Wire_
Focus on Illegal Immigration Is Over-Shadowing Need to Stem Excess of Tech Guest-Workers

Kenneth R. Timmerman _News Max_
Immigration System Penetrated, Corrupt According to Whistle-Blower
"The U.S. immigration system is so broken that it can't be fixed, a former top security official at the Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) told NewsMax in an exclusive interview.   'Internal corruption at USCIS is so pervasive that hostile foreign governments have penetrated the agency.', said Michael J. Maxwell, who was forced to resign as chief of the USCIS Office of Security and Investigation earlier this year.   'Terrorists and organized crime are gaming the immigration system with impunity.   Taken together, these 3 elements form the perfect storm.', Maxwell said...   A just-released report from the DHS Office of Inspector General revealed that 45,008 aliens from countries on the U.S. list of state-sponsors of terror (SST) or from countries that protected terrorist organizations and their members were released into the general public between 2001 and 2005, even though immigration officers couldn't confirm their identities...   The report estimated that 85% of those released aliens 'will abscond', even if deportation orders are issued...   individuals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, whose identities could not be verified and who could be working for terrorist groups, have been granted green cards or even citizenship, Maxwell added.   'The release of these OTMs [other than Mexicans] poses particular risks.', the Inspector General report said.   The report cited a recent U.S. intelligence assessment indicating that 'terrorist organizations... believe illegal entry into the U.S. is more advantageous than legal entry for operations reasons.'   Since 2001, the number of OTMs arrested for illegally entering this country has jumped by 27% to more than 145K per year.   From 2001 through the first half of 2005, 605,210 'OTM' aliens were arrested for violating U.S. immigration laws.   But a lack of beds at detention facilities and other factors compelled the government to release 51% of them into the general population, while awaiting an immigration hearing on their final status."

Steven M. Suranovic _International Econ_
International Trade Theory and Policy: Measuring Protectionism chapter20 section1
"Generally speaking, average tariff rates are less than 20% in most countries, although they are often quite a bit higher for agricultural commodities.   In the most developed countries, average tariffs are less than 10%, and often less than 5%...   Canada is listed above with a simple average tariff of 7.1%.   However, Canada's trade-weighted average, in contrast, is a mere 0.9%...   It is often claimed that average tariffs in the US were raised to almost 60% by the Smoot-Hawley tariff act of 1930.   This figure, although correct, represents the average tariff on dutiable imports only.   Thus, the figure somewhat overstates the true degree of protection.   In comparison, the trade-weighted average tariff in subsequent years rose only as high as 24.8% in 1932, after which tariff rates fell."
US Tariff Policy: Historical Notes chapter20 section3 (with graph)

S&P 5001,230.04
10-year US T-Bond5.05%
crude oil69.62

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.


2006-06-15 05:30PDT (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 284,137 in the week ending June 10, an increase of 23,908 from the previous week.   There were 315,938 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending June 3, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,230,627, an increase of 66,718 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,432,328."

2006-06-15 05:43PDT (08:43EDT) (12:43GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims fell to 4-month los of 295K

2006-06-15 06:10PDT (09:10EDT) (13:10GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Flow of capital into USA fell to $46.7G in April
"U.S. investors bought $11.9G in foreign-issued securities in April, down from $19.1G in March.   [Red China] increased its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities in April, to $323.2G.   In March, [Red Chinese] investors held $321.2G.   Japan remained the largest holder of Treasurys, meanwhile, with $639.2G compared to $637.3G in March."

2006-06-15 07:08PDT (10:08EDT) (14:08GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US industrial output fell 0.1% in May: Utilization also down
"Capacity utilization fell 0.2 percentage point from 81.9% in the previous month to stand at 81.7% in May.   This also marked the first decline since January...   Industrial production was up 4.3% in the past year...   Semiconductor production rose by 0.3%, while consumer equipment rose 0.7%...   The production of business equipment fell 0.2% after rising 2.1% in April."

Robert Longley _about_
CBO says costs of S2611 are extremely high
CBO report on S2611 (pdf)
Scripps Howard
Mike Franc Human Events
Michael Doyle Philadelphia Daily News
Michael Doyle Sacramento Bee
National Center for Policy Analysis
Hispanic Business
Amanda B. Carpenter Human Events
June Kronholz Wall Street Journal
June Kronholz Pocono PA Record
Guy Adams Renew America
Kate O'Beirne National Review
Guy Adams Conservative Voice
Jeff Sessions Human Events
Alan Reynolds Human Events part 2
Robert Rector Heritage Foundation
Alan Reynolds Washington Times
Robert Rector Front Page Magazine
George Conway National Review
Edwin S. Rubenstein V Dare
"Intellpuke" Free Internet Press
Brit Hume Fox
Robert J. Samuelson State
Robert Rector Heritage Foundation response to Alan Reynolds
Steven Camarota Center for Immigration Studies/News by US
Steven Camarota Center for Immigration Studies/American Daily

Steve Quayle _Coast To Coast AM_
Corrupt Supremes, in a 5-4 decision, declare no-knock break-ins by government thugs acceptable: Guest-worker program & off-shoring have decreased employment opportunities and compensation for the USA's best and brightest
Houston Chronicle
"The court's 5-member majority said that police blunders should not result in 'a get-out-of-jail-free card' for defendants...   Four justices, including Alito and Roberts, would have given prosecutors a more sweeping victory but did not have the vote of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a moderate conservative...   [In the past] The court has endorsed longer waits, of 15 seconds to 20 seconds [after knocking and announcing themselves before breaking in]...   'It weakens, perhaps destroys, much of the practical value of the Constitution's knock-and-announce protection.', Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for himself and Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg...   The case is Hudson v. Michigan, 04-1360."

M. Cohn _Red Herring_
IT Labor market stumbling: Less than one-quarter of technology jobs lost since recession have been recovered as depression continues
"Only 76,300 new IT jobs have been added since 2003 April.   The report, prepared by the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois, Chicago, for the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech), an affiliate of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) labor union, found that between 2001 March and 2004 March, the IT industry shed about 402,800 jobs.   Only a fraction of those jobs have been recovered...   'In terms of what you're seeing with the drop in unemployment levels, it's clear that you're finding high-tech workers have either dropped completely out of the tech market or are off the unemployment rolls, or they are taking jobs below their skill level with less pay.', said Marcus Courtney, president of WashTech/CWA.   He sees the off-shore out-sourcing trend as a major culprit.   'It's clear that the continuing expansion of companies sending jobs over-seas is hurting job creation in the high-tech industry.', said Mr. Courtney...   He believes the H1B visa program for bringing in tech workers from other countries will undermine companies hiring domestically in the U.S.A. and undermine wages.   'The H-1B visa program provides a lack of worker protections around wages and allows employers to pay less than the market rate for domestic workers.', said Mr. Courtney.   'It is increasing the competition in the labor market for the fewer and fewer jobs that are being created.'   At a press conference Wednesday describing the report, Evelyn Walton, a 54-year-old worker from Los Angeles with 35 years in the tech industry, described her struggles after being laid off from Compaq Computer in 2001 April after working at Locus Computing, Platinum Technology, and Computer Associates.   'I spent 2 to 3 years looking for a new job with precious few contacts [back from employment agents or hiring managers].', she said.   'They [said they] thought I was over-qualified and that I would leave at the first chance of a better job.'"

_Federation for American Immigration Reform_
FAIR's Top 10 List of Worst Provisions of the Senate's Specter-Kennedy-Bush-Martinez-McCain Guest-Worker Amnesty Bill
10. Allows illegal aliens to claim Social Security benefits for work performed illegally.
9. Creates new foreign student visa programs (F-4) with a direct path to legal permanent residence status and citizenship.
8. Requires consultation with the Mexican government before construction of fencing along the border.
7. Allows states to give illegal aliens in-state tuition benefits that they can deny to citizens who live in other states.
6. Gives the Department of Homeland Security the discretion to waive fines for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.
5. Increases the number of employment-based immigrants admitted to the U.S.A. each year by more than 400%.
4. Admits 1.5M agricultural guest-workers with a direct path to legal permanent residence status and citizenship.
3. Admits hundreds of thousands of unskilled guest-workers through a new guest-worker program and gives them a direct path to legal permanent residence and citizenship.
2. Grants amnesty to family members of illegal aliens who live outside the country.
1. Grants amnesty to millions (nobody really knows how many millions) of illegal aliens living in the U.S.A.

_Inter Press Service Italy-
Scientific Diaspora Could Worsen Brain Glut
One US estimate suggests 900K information technology (IT) professionals entered the USA labour market between 1990 and 2000 under the H-1B temporary visa..."

S&P 5001,256.16
10-year US T-Bond5.10%
crude oil68.93

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.


2006-06-15 17:33PDT (2006-06-15 20:33EDT) (2006-06-16 00:33GMT)
Michael Paige _MarketWatch_
The unethical Bill Gates to give up day-to-day role at the defective sofware producing MSFT
"Ray Ozzie takes on chief software architect position...   After 2008 June, Gates will continue to serve as chairman and an adviser on key development projects at the company he co-founded with childhood friend Paul Allen over 3 decades ago...   Craig Mundie, also a chief technical officer [CTO], would immediate assume the new role of chief research and strategy officer.   He will work closely with Gates to take on responsibility for technology research and incubation efforts.   Mundie, 56, will additionally work with Brad Smith, general counsel, on the company's intellectual property policy work...   In 2000, Steve Ballmer took on the role of chief executive [CEO]...   [Unfortunately, no one has been appointed to reform illegal and unethical personnel practices.]"

2006-06-16 06:42PDT (09:42EDT) (13:42GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US balance of payments deficit down slightly from $223.1G in 2005Q4 to $208.7G in 2006Q1
BEA report

2006-06-16 07:35PDT (10:35EDT) (14:35GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index rose from 79.1 in May to 82.4 in early June after having peaked at 96.5 in 2005 July

Jim Memmott _Rochester Democrat & Chronicle_
Best and brightest US citizen workers lost in immigration fight
Ocean county Observer

2006-06-16 12:47PDT (15:47EDT) (19:47GMT)
Amy Hoak _MarketWatch_
US housing boom biggest since 1890
"The recent housing boom is the biggest the United States has ever seen, but its underlying reasons may have been psychological, economist Robert J. Shiller said on Friday.   New data also suggest the market might be at the end of a cycle, he added.   The only time since 1890 that compares to the recent residential real estate market is just after World War II, the Yale University professor said during a presentation on U.S. home prices, held at Standard & Poor's in New York and broadcast to journalists on the web."

Gautam Chakravorthy _Bloomberg_
Infosys plans to hire more in US and Red China
"Infosys Technologies Ltd., India's second-biggest software company, plans to hire as many as 300 graduates in the U.S.A. to more than double the work-force in its biggest market, said Chief Executive Officer Nandan Nilekani.   Infosys expects the number of workers at its U.S. consulting business to rise to about 500 in the 'next few years', Nilekani said yesterday in an interview in Tokyo at the World Economic Forum...   Infosys is aiming to expand its operations in the U.S., where it gets about 65% of sales, and trying to overcome visa restrictions limiting the number of employees it can locate over-seas...   The company had 52,715 workers worldwide at the end of March, according to Bloomberg data.   Infosys has 6 centers in the U.S.A., including those in Phoenix, AZ, and Fremont, CA, that provide customer support and marketing of its services.   Infosys's customers include ABN Amro Holding NV and MSFT Corp...   Infosys co-founder and Deputy Managing Director Kris Gopalakrishnan said on April 17 the company plans to double the number of workers in [Red China] to 1K this year because of a 'challenging environment' for recruiting in India.   Tata Consultancy aims to increase the number of its employees in [Red China] to 5K by 2010, from about 400 now, Girija Pande, head of the Mumbai-based company's Asia and Pacific operations, said on April 20...   Nilekani said Infosys's operating margins won't narrow because of rising Indian wages, which make up 12% to 14% of revenue.   The 10% to 14% annual gain in Indian wages accounts for an increase in costs of 1.6% to 1.8% each year, he said."

Nikhil Rao _HomeLand Stupidity_
The American Medical Association [AMA]: Another enemy of liberty

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
WSJ notes difficulty of off-shoring while touting for the execs
"Compete America, a group of major industry lobbyists, has placed [a] June 14 Wall Street Journal article on its web page.   In PR lingo, this is a 'placement', meaning that they succeeded in getting the press to run an article favorable to them.   This is a large part of industry lobbyists' jobs.   They send expensive press kits to reporters, meet with newspaper editorial boards and so on, all in an effort to get support from the press for their cause.   They can then tell Congress, 'See, the press recognizes that we are right, so you [Congress] should pass the legislation we want.'   In order to make it easier for Congress to get the point, they collect all the 'placements' in handy locations on their web site...   given the complete lack of quotes from the other side of the issue, and language along the lines of 'Duh, of course Congress should do what the [industry executives say]', I think it's a pretty safe bet...   this one is highly ironic.   I've been saying for years that the industry's claim that there will be a wholesale move of tech development off-shore is incorrect, as it is just too difficult to do on a large scale.   One really needs the physical presence on a day-to-day basis, for the informal interactions, etc.   Well, in the...article, we see the tech industry saying the same thing.   This is very significant, as the industry has been saying, 'If Congress does not give us more H-1B visa workers, we'll be forced to move the work off-shore.'   That's always been a phony threat anyway, used to distract attention from the industry's real goal in using H-1Bs, the importation of cheap labor.

Now in this article, the industry finally admits it -- a lot of the work simply cannot be moved off-shore effectively.   They are even using the same phrasing that I have been using.   For example, consider this excerpt from the enclosed article:   Messrs. Barrett, McNealy and Gates all say that it helps to have a concentration of researchers in the same place, where they can interact over the water cooler and at the baseball game, as well as on the computer screen.   This is similar to what I said, for instance, in my IT Professional article: Ed Frauenheim, a journalist who covers the tech industry, once spent a day 'shadowing' an engineer at a Silicon Valley company.   He was surprised to see how much work was done serendipitously, in the office hallways.   This should be no surprise to any IT manager.   Good software development requires constant informal interaction among developers and managers, being able to go down the hall to talk face-to-face on the spur of the moment.   The enclosed article does have one very brief reference to the fact that there is in fact another side to the H-1B story: The limits are favored by labor unions and others who [note that] foreign workers [have taken] jobs from U.S. citizens -- although tech companies say the visas are used only for jobs when 'qualified' Americans are unavailable. The H-1B visa (except for a minuscule special category) has no requirement that [capable] Americans be given priority in hiring (and during layoffs, in retention).   I don't know which tech companies the author is referring to here, but 1 of his prime 2 poster companies in this article, Sun Microsystems, is certainly NOT one of them.   Indeed, Sun has stated publicly that it does not give Americans priority (Santiglia v. Sun Microsystems, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges, Case No. 2003-LCA-2, pages 9 and 206; San Francisco Chronicle 2002 June 25).   This, BTW, directly contradicts what Sun told the Senate when it urged Congress to increase the H-1B cap in 1998 (Testimony of Kenneth M. Alvares, Vice President, Human Resources Corporate Executive Officer Sun Microsystems, Inc., Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, 1998 February 25).   IOW, both MSFT and Sun have a habit of telling Congress one thing while doing exactly the opposite.   Thus it's very disappointing to see the author here so readily accept what these 2 firms say, while dismissing out of hand what the H-1B critics say.   Had he checked, for example, he would have found that 2 congressionally commissioned reports, as well as a number of university studies, have firmly established that H-1Bs are often paid less than Americans.   Sun's comments about advanced degrees is another case of blatant hypocrisy.   The author doesn't question Sun's claim that there aren't enough Americans with advanced degrees.   He should have asked Sun how many Americans with advanced degrees it has laid off; it's a large number, illustrating how the H-1B program is causing an internal brain drain in the U.S.A."

S&P 5001,251.54
10-year US T-Bond5.13%
crude oil70.20

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.


Jerry Seper _Washington Times_
Canada to beef up security against terror
"Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday announced new measures to help increase his country's capability to detect and respond to potential terrorist attacks, committing $254M over the next 2 years to bolster Canada's transportation systems."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Inheritance Extortion redux


Joe Young _Militant_
Cops in Canada arrest 15 in anti-terror raids

_Palm Beach Post_
Itching to move to America? Buy a business
"Foreigners who promise to purchase businesses that could create U.S. jobs and pump money into the economy can get non-immigrant investor visas, known as E2.   The number of E2 visas approved has steadily grown, with 28,290 issued last year, up 40% from 1997, according to the State Department.   The businesses are usually clustered in metropolitan areas in states such as Florida, which is attracting British nationals with E2 visas...   Immigration lawyers say most businesses are purchased for more than $100K."

Ron Harris _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_
Visas now let some 200K guest-workers into the USA
"More than 200K come to work, among them research scientists, hotel maids, university professors, truck drivers, doctors, landscape workers, engineers, cooks, computer programmers, waiters, registered nurses and horseradish harvesters...   Workers' organizations and some academics who have studied the programs say the process is flawed.   They say companies, particularly those that hire foreign workers for technical jobs, are using the process to bring in cheap foreign labor that holds down American workers' salaries and in some cases replaces American workers.   Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis, says that by bringing in foreign workers, companies have held starting salaries flat or driven them down over the past 5 years for electrical engineers, computer programmers and computer engineers.   John Miano, a Summit, NJ, computer programming consultant and founder of a guild that represents Internet-technology workers, says salaries for the highly skilled workers brought in under H-1B visa program, the most widely used temporary worker program, earn an average of $13K less than comparable U.S. workers.   Even worse, he said, some companies use the programs to help move American jobs over-seas...   American workers are training the Indian workers brought in under temporary work visas in the company's San Francisco area offices.   After the Indian workers are sufficiently trained, they will return home to take up their new tasks and the Americans' jobs will be phased out, [Bank of India, formerly called Bank of America] said...   Last month, a judge in Berkeley, CA, refused to lower the 8-year prison sentence of a prominent, 69-year-old land-lord who used the temporary-worker program for highly skilled workers to bring in women and young girls who became sex slaves.   In Georgia, Deep Sai Consulting Inc., in Lawrenceville, pleaded guilty 7 years ago of harboring 43 illegal immigrants after it used the program to bring in foreign nationals from India...   Washington University hires about 450 foreign nationals under a temporary-worker program, and brings in between 80 and 100 additional people under the program each year, said Kathy Steiner-Lang, director of the office for International Students and Scholars."


_PR Web_/Programmers Guild Programmers Guild Has Filed 380 Discrimination Complaints Against H-1B Employers
American Workers Coalition
EE Times
Information Week
eMedia Wire
Network World
Extreme Tech
IT World
Line 56
So Cal Tech
NorthWest Innovation
"As special interests pressure the Senate to lift the cap on H-1B visas, the Programmers Guild has filed complaints against over 300 companies whose help wanted ads discriminate against Americans, denying U.S. workers even equal access to U.S. jobs.   The Programmers Guild has filed employment discrimination complaints against over 300 employers this year.   These actions, including case number 197-19-120, are being filed with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related discrimination.   The complaints allege that the companies have discriminated against U.S. workers in job postings that express preference towards hiring foreign workers on H-1B visas.   Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, U.S. Workers, those legally entitled to work in the United States, are a protected class.   It is illegal to discriminate against U.S. workers on the basis of immigration status...   The Law Offices of Rajiv S. Khanna posted a warning to employers on its website to stop running such ads, bolstering the legitimacy of the Guild's charges...

In addition to this 'Americans need not apply' discrimination, many H-1B job postings are for employment arrangements that amount to the sale of visas and green cards.   'We have postings for arrangements where the ''employee'' finds his own work and the ''employer'' takes a cut of the earnings.   Many ''high-tech companies'' obtaining H-1B visas operate out of apartments and Mailboxes Etc.', according to Miano.   Many of the ads include free training and interview preparation.   Dozens of such ads can be seen at Sulekha...   Ironically the U.S. government collects a fee from each H-1B visa, ostensibly to retrain displaced Americans.   But rarely is such training available to skilled workers such as TC.   Jones County Junior College in Mississippi, for example, is using an H-1B grant to train workers for jobs in food service industries like restaurants and casinos.   The Senate Immigration Reform Bill expands the H-1B program but addresses none of the problems, such hiring H-1Bs without first recruiting Americans.   The U.S. Department of Labor is reserving [85K] U.S. tech jobs exclusively for foreign workers to fill in 2006 October, refusing to allow Americans to apply in the mean time.   The Department of Labor, Foreign Labor Certification at (202) 693-3010 has not returned our calls in this matter...   The Programmers Guild advocates for the interests of U.S. computer programmers and other tech workers.   The Guild supports Congressman Pascrell's HR4378, which would amend H-1B legislation to require employers to first recruit U.S. workers, along with other protections."
How to file a complaint to the US department of justice or the wage and hour division of the department of labor

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
EE Times article on H-1B wages

Eric Chabrow _Information Week_
Phillip Bond, former under-secretary of Commerce, has replaced Harris Miller at ITAA
"Bond has been senior VP for government relations [i.e. chief lobbyist] at the on-line career site Monster Worldwide and general manager of its government solutions unit...   Bond served as undersecretary in the first 4 years of the Bush administration, which included a stint as chief of staff to Commerce Secretary Donald Evans.   The under-secretary for technology over-sees operations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST], the Office of Technology Policy [OTP], and the National Technical Information Service [NTIS]."

Jerome R. Corsi _Human Events_
North American Union Will Try to Trump US Supreme Court
"Right now, Chapter 11 of the NAFTA agreement allows a private NAFTA foreign investor to sue the U.S. government if the investor believes a state or federal law damages the investor's NAFTA business."

David Roman _Dr. Dobb's Journal_
H-1B Pay Drags Down All Salaries (graph)
"Immigrant engineers with H-1B visas may be earning up to 23% less on average than American engineers with similar jobs, according to documents filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.   Salary data from Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) lends credence to arguments that lower compensation paid to H-1B workers suppresses the wages of other electronics professionals...   LCA 'wage rate' and 'prevailing wage' data are not actual salaries.   But the average salaries calculated by EE Times based on that data indicate that employers are paying H-1B workers less than Bureau of Labor Statistics wage estimates.   That's illegal, according to the Department of Labor, which administers the H-1B program.   The department requires an employer to pay H-1B workers the same as other workers with similar skills and qualifications, or the prevailing wage, whichever is higher.   'There are plenty of studies, including my own, that show this disparity in wages.', said Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, who writes frequently on immigration, employment and H-1B visa issues.   Lower salaries undermine employers' contention that they need H-1B workers to fill jobs for which Americans can't be found, Matloff said.   'Otherwise, salaries would be rising.'...   The average annual wage or salary for electronics engineers was $69,851 in the LCAs, or 9.8% less than the $77,450 mean annual-wage estimate determined by the BLS OES survey.   The LCA average for electrical engineers was $63,268, or 14.7% less than the OES survey's $74,220 mean.   And the LCA average for computer hardware engineers was $64,426, or 23.3% less than the $84,010 average found by the OES survey.   (A detailed comparison of LCA-based and OES salaries can be found in this week's By the Numbers, page 26.)...   Employers say the visas allow them to hire needed talent; detractors say it puts U.S. citizens out of work, engenders fraud and promotes exploitation of immigrants.   'I work with those H-1Bs, and as far as I know they are getting half of what we get.', said Shahid Sheikh, a senior software developer with TAC Worldwide in Jacksonville, FL.   'I get a normal salary.   I get $80K a year.   They get a maximum $40K a year.'   Sheikh, who worked under an H-1B visa when he emigrated from Bangladesh 12 years ago, said the program is 'filled with fraud and cheating'.   He was naturalized [became a US citizen] about 2 years ago."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
"First and foremost, the author here correctly notes that Stuart Anderson, a pro-industry [executive] writer (more on him later), challenged John Miano's published study on the LCA data, on the grounds that the 'wage rate' column in the data is not necessarily the wage paid.   The author also correctly quotes me as saying that statistically speaking, the LCA data is in fact sound.   But the 'So there!' tone in the final quote of me is taken a bit out of context, and does not convey the point I was making, which was that the percentiles one sees in the LCA data are reasonably close to those for the BCIS (INS) and census data, both of which are based on actual wages.   The other important point is that the LCAs allow you [to] see what each firm considers to be prevailing wage, often quite low.   For instance, one often sees firms in the LCA claiming that a programmer's prevailing wage is $40K, in spite of the fact that the average wage for even new graduates is over $50K, and much higher for experienced workers.   Keep in mind that in most cases this is perfectly legal, due to the huge loop-holes in the law.   To me, this is one of the major values of the LCA data, in that it shows how huge the loop-holes are...   the definition of prevailing wage in the law and the regulations is quite different from what's in the BLS data that the author refers to here, for various reasons.   First, the BLS data referred to here give the median wage for all people in the given occupation, whereas the prevailing law and regulations allow the employer to define prevailing wage according to experience level.   Since most H-1Bs have just a few years of experience, the employer can get a prevailing wage level much lower than the BLS value.   This is one of the major ways in which employers save money by hiring H-1Bs; recall that I call this Type II savings.   In addition, the employer can use a much finer occupational [pay grade] system than the BLS uses.   This gives rise to odd occupational titles, such as Associate Software Engineer, which can be exploited by the employer.   There are many other things an employer can do.   For example, prevailing wage is defined in terms of the job, not the worker.   So, if the employer has a job which requires only a Bachelor's degree but hires an H-1B with a Master's, the employer gets a Master's worker for the price of a Bachelor's.   The author (or likely his editor) left out an important point in the following passage:
  Lower salaries undermine employers' contention that they need H-1B workers to fill jobs for which Americans can't be found, Matloff said.   'Otherwise, salaries would be rising.'   What I had pointed out was that starting salaries (adjusted for inflation) for new graduates in the field have been flat since 1999, counter-indicating a shortage...   Hopefully you, the reader, immediately detected the deceit in Intel's technically correct but highly misleading statement here.   If not, please reread what I wrote above.   I [have already] made an analysis of Intel's wages...   Basically, Intel was $20-40K below the medians...   Virtually Anderson's entire career has been devoted to promoting H-1B and off-shoring.   He wrote pro-H-1B reports for a group called Empower America and for the ITAA, one of the main industry groups lobbying for expansion of the H-1B program since 1997.   He went to work for then-Senate Spencer Abraham and was the author of Abraham's H-1B expansion bill which was enacted in 2000.   He then went to work for the BCIS (INS), and now has again formed his own think tank to promulgate the industry [executives'] views.   [Displacement of US citizens by guest-workers and off-shoring is] hardly a myth when major employers such as the [Bank of India, formerly called Bank of America] and Siemens admit to doing it...   H-1B is used to facilitate off-shoring...   In addition, here is a great rejoinder ('Searching for Skills' Lorraine Ash, Gannett News Service, in the Asbury Park Press 2005 August 15): But Eileen Appelbaum, an economist and member of a National Research Council committee that studied the impact of H-1Bs on the U.S. economy, does not accept the way the H-1B option is typically framed: One can have an H-1B worker in an American job, or lose that job to exportation.   '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.''', she said.   '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.'   Another industry line: Less than 3% of Intel's employees hold H-1B visas, and more than 50% of its 99K workers worldwide are in the United States.   That 3% figure includes all their non-technical people, i.e. the clerks, the book-keepers, the sales and marketing people, etc.   If you look only at engineers, the figure is considerably higher.   IBM's total of 2,500 H-1Bs pales next to the company's 43K employees in India.   Again, those are not 43K engineers in India.   The number of engineers in India is probably comparable to the number of H-1Bs in the U.S.A.   The author and EE Times [and Dr. Dobbs?] are to be commended for doing their own analysis of the H-1B data.   I forgot to comment on the section of the article which cited Jeremy Leonard.   Leonard's analysis here is odd, to say the least.   The number of H-1B visas issued for high-tech occupations is too few to affect the salaries of the larger U.S. labor force, according to Jeremy Leonard, chief economist at American Sentinel University. By 2004, a total of 139K H-1B visas were issued for information technology professionals, a broad classification that includes computer occupations and engineers.   The word 'by' here apparently means that by 2004 the number of visas had declined to 139K.   But the H-1B visa is good for 6 years (or more, under exceptions), so large numbers of workers who had been issued visas earlier were still in the work-force in 2004.   For example, just in FY2001 alone, visas were issued to 191,397 workers in the Computer-Related Applications category, and to 40,388 workers in the Architecture, Engineering and Surveying category.   That's just 2001.   One must then add the figures for the years 2000 and 2002-2005 in order to compare to Leonard's jobs figure for 2005 (see below).   Of course, there are other issues here, e.g. the possible exit of some of the H-1Bs and the fact that the Architecture, Engineering and Surveying is not just engineering and a lot of engineering should not be considered IT.   But it is certainly clear that Leonard's 139K is way, way too low.   And keep in mind that then there are lots of L-1 visa holders on top of that.   'In comparison, the U.S. IT labor force, using a relatively narrow definition, numbers about 3M.', Leonard said.   That's not narrow at all; it's too broad.   The 2005 OES data that he uses, for instance, gives 79K computer hardware engineers, 275K EEs, 776K software engineers, 99K data-base administrators, 492K system administrators, 26K computer scientists and 389K programmers, for a total of 2.1M.   He's including all the technicians, call center workers and so on, which are jobs which are ineligible for the H-1B program because they don't normally require a Bachelor's degree. While U.S. electronics industry employment levels and pay increases both trail boom-year levels (see 'Jobs data spurs debate' in By the Numbers, 2006 June 12, page 30), H-1B visas are not to blame, Leonard said.   BLS data shows a 23.3% increase in hardware engineering jobs from 2000 to 2005, and a 5.1% increase in electronics engineering jobs over that span.   That 23.3% figure is very misleading, as it is for a small category.   In 2000, there were 64K computer hardware engineer jobs but 286K EEs, while in 2005 those numbers were 79K and 275K.   The totals were 350K and 354K, essentially the same.   'So employment in these occupations certainly hasn't declined due to H-1B visas.', he said.   Leonard appears not to realize that these jobs numbers he's quoting INCLUDE jobs held by H-1Bs and L-1s.   One can't tell anything at all about the impact of H-1B by looking at numbers of jobs.   The fact is that we had about the same numbers of jobs in 2005 as in 2000 (see above), while the numbers of H-1Bs in the country has increased by an estimated 26%, with an even greater increase in L-1.   (See my recent CIS article.)"

2006-06-19 11:33PDT (14:33EDT) (18:33GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Housing market index fell to 11-year low
"The mood of U.S. home builders fell for the 6th straight month to an 11-year low in June, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday.   The NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index dropped 4 points to 42, the lowest since 1995 April.   May's reading was revised up from 45 to 46.   Readings under 50 indicate most builders think business conditions are unfavorable.   The index was at 68 in October and peaked at 72 in June.   The index has declined in 10 of the past 12 months, falling by a total of 30 points, matching the largest year-over-year plunge in the 21-year history of the index."

Spencer S. Hsu & Kari Lydersen _Washington Post_
Illegal Hiring Is Rarely Penalized
"Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95% by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department.   The number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 in 1999 to 4 in 2003, and fines collected declined from $3.6M to $212K, according to federal statistics.   In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies.   In 2004, it issued fine notices to 3.   The government's steady retreat from workplace enforcement in the 20 years since it became illegal to hire undocumented workers is the result of fierce political pressure from business lobbies, immigrant rights groups and members of Congress, according to law enforcement veterans.   Punishing employers also was de-emphasized as the government recognized that it lacks the tools to do the job well, and as the Department of Homeland Security shifted resources to combat terrorism."
Drudge Report

Lorinda Bullock _New America Media_
High Tech Immigrants Threaten Black Jobs
"As the Black community debates whether Hispanic immigrant workers create competition for jobs with low-income African-Americans, the president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists says too little attention is being paid to educated immigrants taking high-tech jobs away from middle- and upper-class African-Americans.   'That is much more of a threat to us than picking lettuce.', said William Lucy, president and founder of the labor group...   Under the H-1B visa, immigrant workers can stay in the U.S. for up to 6 years or even 10 years in some cases.   After the first year of the visa, they aren't counted into the annual quota, allowing a new wave of immigrants to enter the country.   Lucy said the increasing number of Blacks earning degrees in technology and engineering don't need to worry about competition from Mexico, but from other countries...   Recent data from the Department of Labor shows that despite the creation of 138K new jobs in April, the overall Black unemployment rate is 9.4%, well above the national unemployment rate of 4.7%.   One newly-created group, Choose Black America, believes that unlawful immigration can exacerbate that gap...   Even members of the Hispanic community, such as Flavia Jimenez, an immigration policy analyst with the National Council of La Raza, a leading national Hispanic rights group, agrees the low wages immigrant workers accept hurts everyone-including the immigrants."

James M. Pethokoukis _US News & World Report_
Wary middle class feels the dual burdens of uncertainty and risk
"the president's approval rating stands at 38%. And a whopping 67% of 1,002 adults surveyed last month by the Gallup Organization said they were 'dissatisfied' with the state of the union.   Another recent Gallup Poll found 64% of respondents thought the economy was either 'only fair' or 'poor'...   former House Speaker Newt Gingrich thinks the middle-class malaise runs far deeper and may well have its explanation in the nature of today's economy.   In a global economic reality of out-sourcing, off-shoring, and increasing automation, Gingrich says, 'If you're really smart, you're apprehensive.'.   SN sure is.   A 28-year-old computer programmer from Orange County, CA, SN was laid off in April by hard-drive maker Western Digital when his group got out-sourced to Asia.   SN had done all the right things, keeping his skills up to date and working in a growth industry.   So, 8 days later, he found a job with LifeScript, an on-line nutritional advisory company.   But it is his 6th different job since 2001, and while SN would seem perfectly adapted to dealing with a high-velocity economy, he craves steadiness.   'I would love to have job stability, but I don't think it exists anymore like it did for our parents, working for 40 years at the same place.', he says...   Data from the Federal Reserve for 2001 to 2004 show that median family income rose just 1.6% during that period, compared with 9.5% during 1998 to 2001...   'I think what people are feeling is a fundamental economic insecurity.', says Yale University political scientist Jacob Hacker.   'And what those polls are really saying is that our country isn't doing well and families aren't doing well.'   That resonates with Mike Parker, a 65-year-old journeyman electrician at DaimlerChrysler's Sterling Heights, MI, assembly plant.   'People are scared, absolutely scared.', he says...   Hacker calls this transfer of responsibility from government and corporations to individuals 'the great risk shift', also the title of his book due out in October...   Between 1983 and 2004, according to the Labor Department, the median years of job tenure with the current employer for male workers 25 and over dropped from 5.9 years to 5.1 years [14%].   For male workers 35 to 44, tenure dropped from 7.3 years to 5.2 years [29%].   For male workers 45 to 54, tenure dropped from 12.8 years to 9.6 years [25%]...   'what has increased even more quickly is how far people slip down the ladder when they lose their footing.', Hacker says.   According to his research, [pre-government-extortion] family income volatility peaked in the early to mid-1990s at a level between 4 and 5 times as high as its level in the early 1970s.   Although volatility fell during the strong economy of late 1990s, it remained well above 1970s levels, and it's on the rise again.   'I just analyzed the 2002 data.', he says.   'Family income volatility increased by 50% over the past 2 years, so it is now 3 times its early-1970s level.'   Hacker says the median decline in income for families that suffer a drop has increased from more than 25% in the 1970s to about 40% today.   Moreover, research by Princeton University economist Henry Farber found that people who lost their jobs after the Internet bubble popped -- and then found new ones -- earned on average 13% less in their new positions...   Right now, as Republican Gingrich sees it, the only choices being given people like Burns by policy-makers is 'happy talk from the right and more unions and bureaucracy from the left'...   [and the author concludes the article with asinine socialist schemes which would make the economy worse -- just as they stretched out the great depression of the 1930s -- and more idiotic 'happy talk']"

Brett Clanton _Detroit News_
Delphi has offered buy-outs of $35K to $140K to 8K workers
"Under a deal reached in March, Delphi said it would offer up to $35K to 13K UAW workers who are near or eligible to retire. That program was expanded this month to include cash buyout offers, ranging from $40K to $140K, to 10K more UAW workers with fewer than 26 years on the job.   Last week, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said more than 8,500 UAW workers at Delphi have signed up for the offers, and another 25K workers have signed up for a similar program at GM."

S&P 5001,240.14
10-year US T-Bond5.15%
crude oil69.55

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-06-20 - 140 Days Until Congressional Election

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
How the Pros Work the Immigration System
"As Rob Sanchez and I have often reminded readers of our respective e-news-letters, the H-1B program does not require employers to give any kind of employment priority -- hiring, or in the case of a lay-off, retention -- to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.   (There is an exceptional 'H-1B-dependent' category, but it is minuscule.)   But it's one thing to not give priority to Americans, and quite another to actually exclude them.   The latter would presumably be (reverse) discrimination on the basis of immigration status, which is illegal.   Such exclusion is commonplace.   It is usually hidden, but in a surprising number of cases it is overt.   Those of us who study this issue have seen it for years.   The Programmers Guild has filed individual complaints with the DoJ in the past.   In 2000, for instance, the Adea Group announced that, 'We are currently focusing on professionals with H-1B visas because they most likely have the level of experience we need for mission-critical projects and a sense of urgency in securing new employment if they have been recently laid off' (emphasis added); IOW, they wanted to hire laid-off H-1Bs who were desperate to stay in the U.S., an interesting job qualification.   DoJ ordered Adea to cease and desist.   But what the Guild has done now is much smarter.   They have accumulated hundreds of such cases, and filed complaints against them en masse, which brings much more attention...   By contrast, the employer-sponsored green card process does have such a requirement.   However, it is easily circumvented.   The current set of regulations for doing this is called PERM, which has been in existence now about a year or so.   As is typical, DoL's original formulation of PERM actually had some protections in it for U.S. workers, such as some restriction [against] over-specifying job requirements so that only the foreign worker qualifies for the job, but forceful lobbying by the immigration attorneys caused DoL to emasculate the provisions.   So, as always, one can [still] circumvent the U.S. recruitment requirement fully legally.   As immigration attorney Joel Stewart infamously said, 'Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply'   (Joel Stewart 'Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers' Immigration Daily, 2000 April 24).   Recently Programmers Guild president Kim Berry pointed out an example of Stewart's 'arsenal' at work, in an advice column in Immigration Daily.   There [an immigration attorney] openly states (hey, this is just between us attorneys, right?) that his client does have a qualified American applicant but wants to hire the foreign worker.   Stewart then replies, suggesting a number of extra hoops the employer can make the American applicant jump through.   I suspect that if this were Stewart's client, he'd have various other solutions as well."
Immigration Daily Q&A with Joel Stewart
We are doing perm labor certs for 6 special ed teachers.   We have been able to eliminate all applicants except one.   They do not want to hire this person, but at this point she appears qualified and has good references.   Can we still file 5 of the applications, or will all 6 suffer because of the one qualified applicant.   We used the same ads and recruitment for all 6 teachers.

Answer by Joel Stewart:
Special Ed Teachers -- What do you mean she APPEARS qualified?   Is she also AVAILABLE?   You can ask her to assist you to confirm her qualifications...   you can also do some 'digging' in her background...   why does she want the job?   There is a shortage of special ed teachers...   is she not employed now?   If not, why not?   Why does she want YOUR job and not another job?   I think there are a lot of issues you can investigate before you throw in the towel on this one.   In the final analysis, if you have 6 positions, you can hire the 5 aliens and the 1 US worker.   Another option is to consider whether the US worker is interested in the special ed job as a permanent position...   what does her resume state about her intentions?   Does she want a job with more responsibility?   Perhaps the employer has a different, more challenging job for her?

2006-06-20 08:43PDT (11:43EDT) (15:43GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US housing starts rose 5% in May: building permits fell 2.1% to 30-month low (with graph)
census bureau report

2006-06-20 09:53PDT (12:53EDT) (16:53GMT)
marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_
2006-06-20 12:32PDT (15:32EDT) (19:32GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Red China bargaining with Saudi Arabia to develop strategic petroleum reserve
"Crude futures closed lower Tuesday for a second session in a row with traders wary of this week's update on U.S. petroleum supplies as well as reports that [Red China's] working with Saudi Arabia to develop a strategic oil reserve and a forecast of strong global energy demand for the next 2 decades."

2006-06-20 14:13PDT (17:13EDT) (21:13GMT)
Current Cap Count for Non-Immigrant Worker Visas
"The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, which took effect on 2005 May 5, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY2005 and for future fiscal years.   The Act also makes available 20K new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution...   H-1B Cap 58,200 cap reached 2006-05-26...   H-1B Advanced Degree Cap 20K... 7,324 Date of Last Count 2006-06-09 [leaving 12,676 unclaimed]...   Through 2006 May, 301 H-1B1s counted against the FY2006 H-1B1 cap. The combined statutory limit is 6,800 per year. Based on the H-1B1 usage to date, USCIS has reasonably projected that 700 H-1B1 visa numbers will be used in FY2006. The projected number of 6,100 unused H-1B1 visas for FY2006 has been incorporated and applied to the FY2007 H-1B cap...   [Thus demonstrating that the total H-1B cap was not exhausted for FY2006, nor has it yet been exhausted for FY2007...jgo]"

Richard Gluyas _Australian_
Banking back-lash as jobs go off-shore
"White-collar unions have ramped up their campaign against the off-shoring of jobs, releasing a survey showing 82% of Australians would consider switching if their bank was sacking local workers and sending jobs off-shore.   The McNair survey of 501 people, which also found that 90% of respondents would choose a business that stored its information locally, was undertaken to highlight the potential damage to an organisation's reputation from relocating functions to lower-cost countries..."

Steve Ulfelder _ComputerWorld_
How top employers keep IT staffers happy
"The keys are careful hiring, a commitment to promoting from within, tireless training and -- perhaps most important -- challenging projects that offer workers the chance to handle hot technologies.   Great benefits don't hurt, either."

Arthur Robertson _Herald_
Executives becoming aware of loss of customer satisfaction from off-shoring
"At last some bosses have realised that off-shoring call-centre work was a stupid suggestion, even if it was reckoned that it would provide a cost saving for UK-based companies.   Why, then, does Nick Horler, managing director of Powergen, say in the announcement that his company is pulling the plug on the over-seas call centres that he is 'simply not prepared to achieve savings at the risk of customer satisfaction'?   That is exactly what Powergen and others did when deciding to invest in this ridiculous, cost-saving, customer-frustrating exercise."

_Sunday Mail_
People object to having their personal private data sent off-shore
"The Combined Services Union research found 85% of people surveyed believed the Government should make it compulsory for companies to disclose when data is stored in a foreign country...   The research showed 89% believed the Government should act to protect Australian workers from losing jobs because work is sent off-shore, 85% believed the Government should require all financial institutions to disclose whether they store customer information over-seas and 90% said they would choose a business that stored their information in Australia rather than over-seas."

Bay Buchanan _Team America_
Executives pour cash into Chris Cannon's campaign coffers: Chris Cannon was the floor manager of the 2000 October 3 move to increase H-1b cap to 195K visas per year
"I have never seen anything like it.   Once you are within 20 days of an election, law requires that candidates give almost a daily accounting of contributions to the FEC.   Chris Cannon's reports are shocking!   Corporate America is pouring money into his campaign -- to the tune of over $140K in just 10 days!   And all this just further exposing the depth of hypocrisy of this candidate.   With one hand, Congressman Cannon is campaigning on a platform of never having supported amnesty and having never encouraged illegal immigration -- a tough on immigration guy!   Then, with his other hand, he is out panhandling every beneficiary of the cheap illegal labor known to man.   The duplicity is not to be believed!   Don't get me wrong -- we are not discouraged -- just a little shocked.   It's like reading all about drug deals—then actually witnessing one.   It shakes you up!   Well, we are witnessing the corporate purchase of a Congressman and it is alarming -- even for this old pro.   Let me name just of a few of his recent corporate donors: Home Depot, Inc; United Parcel Services Inc; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc; Walt Disney Productions; Independent Community Bankers of America; National Restaurant Association; Hotel PAC; National Roofing Contractors, US Chamber, American Express; California Farm Bureau; Dairy Farmers; International Council of Shopping Centers; National Rural Letter Carriers; and Western Growers.   Do you get the picture?   They're the ones living off the illegal workers -- one way or another.   Washington is selling out the country to them!   While their power is daunting and wealth immeasurable, we have to stop them!   And there are signs we are making progress.   We forced Cannon to go to the big boys for a bail-out.   He is one week away from a primary battle against a complete novice and he is in full panic!   And you and I -- we are responsible for that.   But we haven't beat Cannon yet.   Our ad guaranteed that immigration would be the defining issue of the race and has caught Cannon in his web of lies.   And, thanks to your generosity, we are now up again this week -- on both of the major radio stations—throughout the day!   As money comes in this week we will strengthen that buy even further right up to Election Day!   Any contribution you send will go right to this cause.   And to extend our reach even further we have managed to get an enormous amount of free media—newspaper stories and radio interviews.   We definitely have Cannon on the ropes—his internal polls must show that.   Otherwise, there is no way the powers that be would orchestrate such a sudden massive dumping of cash into his campaign.   Corporate America knows what we know—a defeat for Cannon will jeopardize their agenda something terribly.   And remember that agenda includes amnesty for themselves, as well as their workers.   Beating Cannon is going to be tough—but we always knew that.   I just have to believe that if we can reach enough of the voters and expose the truth about Cannon's role in this immigration crisis, they will have the fortitude to hold him accountable, and throw him out of office.   Thanks for your help in taking the battle right into the backyard of a Congressman."

Russell Redmond _CMP Tech Search_
Push and Pull in US IT Job Market
"All the news about over-seas out-sourcing, slow or no job growth, more H-1B visas, pressures on high-tech salaries, etc., is making it tough to get a read on where things may be headed.   Although unemployment in the U.S. IT sector stands at roughly 3% to 4%, more than 400K tech jobs were lost between 2001 and 2004, and less than 20% have been regained since then, according to [a report by Information Week...   [But] unemployment levels are misleading because many IT workers who were cut loose in recent years aren't looking for jobs anymore or have taken lesser jobs, the report said.   No doubt, 2 big factors heightening job competition for U.S. tech workers are off-shoring by IT companies and the hiring of temp foreign workers...   And as CRN research director (and economist) John Roberts points out, roughly 3M foreign workers could be competing with U.S. workers for IT jobs in the United States over the next 10 years if Congress approves a Senate proposal to hike the number of H-1B visas 10-fold in that time span.   Roberts also notes that a rise in H-1B tech workers could curtail income growth for U.S. IT professionals..."

Jame Lampman _Christian Science Monitor_
Despite economic depression and multiple disasters, American philanthropy continues to increase (with graphs)
"the $7.4G Americans gave for disaster relief is only half of a $15G increase in charitable giving [in 2005].   According to Giving USA Foundation, which released its 2005 report Tuesday, disaster relief is but 3% of total giving -- which grew to an estimated $260.3G.   The report and other recent surveys paint a healthy picture for US non-profits.   Overall, Americans gave 6% more last year than in 2004...   Close to 60% of US charitable groups reported growth -- even before adding relief donations.   That's the highest percentage in 5 years...   Human services -- which had experienced funding declines for 3 years -- registered a huge 32.3% jump, to $25.4G, including $3.3G in disaster relief.   Gifts of $2.4T to the American Red Cross topped the list.   Aid for environment and animal welfare grew a strong 16.4%...   The Giving USA report covers contributions from 4 sources: individuals, bequests, foundations, and corporations.   Individuals always represent the largest group, and in 2005 gave 77%, or $199G...   While corporations are the smallest donor group, usually accounting for 5%, corporate donations in 2005 rose an unprecedented 22.5%, to $13.8G.   (They grew by only 1.6% in 2004.)"

_Service Employees International Union_
SEIU has joined a major class action suit against college hospitals for colluding to depress compensation to nurses
"Major class action law-suits were filed today against national hospital corporations in 4 cities – Chicago, Memphis, San Antonio, and Albany, NY -- alleging that they have colluded illegally to hold down nurse wages.   The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was invited to join with the Washington, DC law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC in announcing the suits because of the work the Nurse Alliance of SEIU did to help expose the wage issues that led to today's filings...   The Nurse Alliance, which has more than 84K nurse members in 23 states, is seeking to work with hospitals to improve inadequate nurse wages and difficult working conditions that have driven RNs from the beside and led to a shortage of nurses who are willing to work in hospitals.   In 2004, more than 500K nurses chose to work outside of the nursing profession, despite an anticipated need of more than one million nurses by 2014."

_Conference Board_/_PR News Wire_
On-Line Help-Wanted Advertising Increased in May
Conference Board
Kansas City Info Zine
On-Line Media Daily
Rochester Business Daily
"New on-line job ads increased in May to 2,354,500, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series(TM).   The May level was 91,800, or 4% above the previous month and followed a sharp decline in April.   Despite the increase, the number of new ads for on-line jobs in May was lower than in March, which was the month with the highest count since The Conference Board launched the Help-Wanted OnLine Data series in 2005 April.   In May, there were 1.57 on-line job ads per 100 persons in the U.S. labor force, compared with 1.51 in 2006 April and 1.60 in March.   Over the year 2005 May to 2006 May, new on-line job ads increased 17.4%, an increase that is consistent with the rise seen in other labor market indicators during the same period.   'May is typically a month with strong [recruiting] activity as students are graduating around the country.   Therefore, it is somewhat surprising that the count for May was lower than in March.', said Gad Levanon, Economist at The Conference Board.   'This might point to some continued slowing in hiring that is consistent with weak government measures of employment, hiring and vacancies in April and especially weak employment growth in May.   Other labor market indicators, including employment related questions from our Consumer Confidence Index, are also providing signals of a weakening job market in recent months.'...   Adjusting job ads for the size of the local labor force, San Diego with 3.66 job ads per 100 persons in the labor force leads the way among the 52 metropolitan areas for which data is published separately.   Other metropolitan areas with a large number of ads per 100 persons in the labor force were concentrated on the east and west coasts and include San Francisco (3.48) Seattle-Tacoma (3.58), Boston (3.50) and Washington DC (3.26).   In May, the Detroit metropolitan area, with less than one on-line job ad per 100 persons in the labor force (0.83), had the lowest number of ads adjusted for the labor force."

2006-06-20 07:55PDT (10:55EDT) (14:55GMT)
_USA Today_
Hazleton Pennsylvania poised for crack-down on illegal aliens

2006-06-21 - 139 Days Until Congressional Election

Paul M. Weyrich _American Daily_
Immigration Impasse -- Change Unlikely until after Elections

Tom Yager _InfoWorld_
Tech careers are on the wrong track: Discounting ingenuity makes it impossible to retain an impassioned work-force
"I'm concerned that we're drifting from that target, that we're treating newcomers as interchangeable cogs with narrowly defined skills.   This present-day mind-set sanctions learning the trade by skipping apprenticeship and leaping straight into coding or certification, as if rote knowledge were all that's required to excel.   Basic competence is valued above creativity, imagination, and communication skills."

Tom Bevan _Yahoo!_
Senate Immigration Perversion Proposal Better Off Dead

John Stossel _Real Clear Politics_
Prison for You, but Not for Me
"All too often, officials protect themselves and their families from the punishments they set up for the rest of us.   Using drugs might be a crime for you, but it's a joke for someone named Bush or Clinton.   Our rulers make laws to control and punish you and your family for doing the very acts they flaunted in their youth."
While reading this one I was thinking about Kennedy-clan congress-critter recently given a slap on the wrist, of Hillary & Livingstone's 900 Privacy Act violations, of Reno & Clinton & Horiuchi & Whitcombe and the massacre near Waco in 1993, of Gates & Ellison & McNealy & Rodgers & Barrett & Miller and the whole "tech talent shortage" scam, of the murder of Lonnie Causseaux, of the Enron/Andersen/Accenture fraud, of leveraged buy-outs and attendant pension fund raids.

_US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee_
Is the Department of Labor Doing Enough to Protect U.S. Workers? (pdf)

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Inheritance Extortion part 3

S&P 5001,252.20
10-year US T-Bond5.03%
crude oil70.30

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-06-22 - 138 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-06-21 21:15PDT (2006-06-22 00:15EDT) (2006-06-22 04:15GMT)
Susan Boyer _Asheville Citizen-Times_
Senate immigration bill insults our intelligence
"Polls show when it comes to illegal immigration, a majority of Americans want 3 things: border security first, no rewards for illegal behavior (amnesty) and English as our official language.   The [bill] recently passed [by the] senate... ensures none of the above.   It is a shameful fraud.   The border security measures are not only grossly inadequate, they are a sham.   The bill adds [a mere] 1K new border agents this year, eventually increasing the number to 14K, but not until 2011 [while last year's estimates of needed staffing was 38K].   Construction of 370 miles of fence leaves 80% of the border still unsecured.   Technology can help but that's years away, too.   Further, these measures can be negated simply by the next Congress defunding them."

2006-06-22 05:30PDT (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 276,508 in the week ending June 17, a decrease of 9,316 from the previous week.   There were 289,831 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending June 10, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,233,976, an increase of 6,948 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,395,982."

Noel Gibeson _Free-Market News Network_
So what's wrong with militarizing the border?
"I love immigrants.   And I have first generation immigrants in my immediate family -- legal immigrants.   But illegal immigrants commit a crime when they enter the country without proper documentation and then have the audacity to demand 'justice' (read amnesty) once they are here.   They are responsible for transporting large quantities of illegal drugs (they are called 'mules') into this country.   And where goes the illicit drug trade there comes the associated violent crime along with it.   In the last few years the Arizona-Mexican border area has experienced a dramatic surge in violent crime associated with illegal aliens and the drug trade."

_Santa Cruz Sentinel_
House getting tough on illegal immigration
"most voters back a much tougher approach to illegal immigration... most Americans favor deporting illegal immigrants and finding an effective way to keep people out in the first place, such as building a wall along the border with Mexico... voters see the Senate bill as equivalent to amnesty, which they oppose... Even in [leftist] Santa Cruz County, for instance, the vast majority of letters to this newspaper have favored a much tougher approach to immigration than the Senate legislation would impose... Colorado Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo is the leader of a 101-member House caucus that supports tougher border security and enforcement. Tancredo told reporters this week that a get-tough stance on immigration is 'an issue we can run on and win in November'."

Philip J. LaVelle _San Diego Union-Tribune_
California governor Schwarzenegger toured border
"By the end of July, up to 1,200 Guard troops are to be deployed along California's stretch of the border at the request of President Bush, a Guard spokesman said.   The governor said he felt comfortable ordering them to the border after initial reluctance...   This is a rare instance where Schwarzenegger -- running for re-election against Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides -- is in general agreement with Bush on an important policy matter...   'President Bush has failed for 6 years to secure the border...   Governor Schwarzenegger should have been working on getting his friend President Bush to fund increased border security called for in the 2004 Intelligence Reform Act.'...   After landing and greeting troops, Schwarzenegger told reporters that his flight 'reinforced my belief that the federal government has to do much more to secure our borders.   It's extremely important for them to take this seriously, that we need more manpower, we need more infrastructure in order to secure our borders, because we have to do everything that we can to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants, stop the flow of the human trafficking, drug smuggling and also the potential of terrorism.', he said."

Alan Choate _Daily Herald_
Alan Keyes pushes for leadership change
"Two candidates for Utah's 3rd Congressional District -- Republican John Jacob and the Constitution Party's Jim Noorlander -- were well received, and a spokes-woman for the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps urged people to vote for change in Congress.   But Keyes was the big draw, and he accused national leaders -- even President George Bush -- of putting the acquisition of power and narrow economic interests above "defending the institutions of liberty.'   If that's the case, he said, 'it is time to let them go.   The situation is so far out of control, we don't even know how far it is out of control.', Keyes said, citing the wildly disparate estimates of how many people are in the country illegally.   'If you don't control who comes across the border, your laws and regulations don't mean anything.   We have the right to defend our borders and not ask Mexico for its permission...   You cannot have freedom in principle if you don't defend it in fact.'   Keyes served as a diplomat under former President Ronald Reagan and ran for president as a Republican in 1996 and 2000."

Lisa Hoffman _Scripps Howard_
Under Surveillance: Government cameras proliferate
"A Scripps Howard News Service tally found that at least 200 towns and cities in 37 states now employ video cameras -- or are in the process of doing so -- to watch sidewalks, parks, schools, buses, buildings and similar community locales.   That number excludes the approximately 110 other municipalities that use traffic cameras to catch speeders and red-light runners...   virtually no one is keeping track of the use of these security devices long associated with authoritarian regimes...   absence of local, state or federal laws that specifically govern police-video surveillance of Americans, suspected of no crime, as they go about their daily business.   Equally rare are enforceable regulations on such matters as who or what can be watched, how long images can be kept, who can see and share them, where a person's 'zone of privacy' begins [at my nose, toes and rear], and what recourse and punishments exist if that privacy is abused...   'The technology is way ahead of the law.', said James Ross, assistant criminal justice professor at the State University of New York-Brockport and an authority on privacy and security issues...   Now available, and being installed in several cities, are devices that can record in near-total darkness and are so powerful they can read a license plate up to a mile away or words on a cigarette pack 100 yards distant...   In Britain, one of the world's most watched countries, a government study released in February found that the estimated 4.2M cameras arrayed across that nation have done little to reduce crime in the decade they have been in use.   As a result, officials there have decided not to install any more cameras.   In 2000, a University of Cincinnati study came to a similar conclusion, finding that crime in Cincinnati dropped initially after the 8 cameras were deployed but then rebounded.   In Minneapolis, overall crime actually increased a bit during the 11 months after cameras were installed, according to a May 10 report by city of St. Paul's mayor's office.   And St. Petersburg, FL, police officials said images from cameras there had not 'been successfully used in prosecution' of any crime in 15 years, according to researcher Nestel's study."
Privacy links

2006-06-22 11:52PDT (14:52EDT) (18:52GMT)
_USA Today_
FBI said data brikers probably act illegally
"Despite use of private data brokers by federal and local law enforcement agencies, the FBI said Thursday that practices by such companies to gather Americans' private telephone records without warrants or subpoenas are almost certainly illegal...   Elaine N. Lammert, the bureau's deputy general counsel for its investigative law branch, told Congress: 'There are compelling reasons for the government to believe that these operations violate federal law.'   Internal corporate documents turned over to Congress by some data brokers include e-mails in which workers described efforts to impersonate targets of investigations to trick telephone carriers into revealing private calling records...   Lammert said one data broker, in a test, obtained the FBI's own telephone records, prompting bureau-wide warnings about the risks to undercover agents...   The AP reported Tuesday that numerous federal and local law enforcement agencies have bypassed subpoenas and warrants designed to protect civil liberties and gathered Americans' phone records from data brokers, which nearly always turned over the information for free."

2006-06-22 12:28PDT (15:28EDT) (19:28GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Average USA CEO made 262 times average of other workers
"Last year, the average CEO was paid $10.9 million a year, or 262 times an average worker's earnings of $41,861, the Economic Policy Institute said Wednesday.   The research group also found a CEO earned more in one workday in 2005 than an average worker earned in 52 weeks.   The group includes salary, bonuses, stock options and other payments in its definition of CEO pay...   securities regulators have proposed heightened disclosure of CEO compensation to empower investors to reign in undeserving corporate chiefs.   CEO pay relative to workers' pay has grown steadily since at least the 1960s, the institute says.   In 1965, CEOs of major U.S. companies earned 24 times more than the average worker.   In 1978, corporate chiefs earned 35 times more than workers and in 1989, 71 times more.   The ratio hit 300 at the end of the recovery in 2000, the group said."

Dolline Hatchett & David James _Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration_
Labor Department Urges Immigration Sub-Committee to Adopt GAO Recommendations on H-1B Labor Provisions

Charles Peck _Conference Board_
Salary Increases Will Stay Below 4% for 4th Consecutive Year

2006-06-22 16:05PDT (19:05EDT) (23:05GMT)
Kristen Gerencher _MarketWatch_
Income of primary-care doctors fell 10% over 8 years: Shortage propaganda rachets up
"Between 1995 and 2003, physicians' net income fell about 7% after adjusting for inflation, and primary-care doctors saw their real wages drop more than 10% in that time, according to a report from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), a non-partisan research organization in Washington.   Physicians' professional counterparts such as lawyers and engineers saw a 7% inflation-adjusted gain over those 8 years.   Flat or declining Medicare reimbursements and payments from private health insurers are a major contributor to lower physician earnings, the report said.   Falling take-home pay may explain why fewer doctors are willing to perform charity care or volunteer to serve on hospital committees.   While physicians aren't hurting for money -- their net income was $203K on average in 2003...   After adjusting for inflation, primary-care doctors earned $121,262 in 2003 compared with $135,036 in 1995...   Surgical specialists' income dropped 8.2%, though they are the highest paid of all doctors with a median income of $272,000 in 2003, the report said.   That's 29% higher than medical specialists and 86% higher than primary-care doctors...   Medical specialists such as cardiologists and gastroenterologists, who lost only 2.1% in income in the 8 years, are more protected because they've benefited from the growth in procedures and tests..."

Eric Chabrow _Dr. Dobb's Journal_/_CMP_
GAO Says Thousands of H-1B Guest-Workers Are Under-Paid
ZD Net
Device Software Optimization/ CMP
EE Times/ CMP
Information Week
"The Government Accountability Office [GAO], the investigative arm of Congress, found that the Labor Department certified 3,229 H-1B visa applications from from 2002 January to 2005 September, even though the wage the employer promised to pay on the application was lower than the prevailing salary for that occupation.   GAO didn't specify which occupation.   In one example from fiscal year 2005, the wage the employer agreed to pay was $55,000 a year, though the prevailing rate for that job was $75,000—a 37% difference.   In examples from the 3 previous fiscal years, the difference between the employer wage rate and the prevailing salary ranged from 9% to 40%...   from 2000 to 2005 the government approved nearly 1.57M petitions, the vast majority being renewals of H-1B visa holders already working in the United States.   GAO's analysis shows that the government approved 96% of petitions.   Still, GAO recommended that the Labor Department improve its checks of employers' applications...   IT jobs represented 2 of the top 5 occupations for H-1B visa petitions: 674,805 for systems analysts and programs and 58,429 for other computer-related occupations.   Other top 5 occupations seeking H-1B visas: college professors and researchers, 94,685; accountants and auditors, 68,256; and electrical and electronics engineers, 65,974...   The GAO report also revealed that the government upheld very few complaints by Americans claiming they were displaced by H-1B workers [and refused to consider many].   From 2000 through 2005, the Justice department discriminatory conduct in 6 of the 97 investigations closed and assessed $7,200 in penalties."
GAO report
full report

2006-06-22 14:22PST (17:22EST) (21:22GMT)
_CBS2 Chicago_/_Chicago Sun-Times_
Illegal alien charged with home invasion, unlawful restraint and attempted rape

Chris D. McManes _IEEE USA_
IEEE-USA urges congress to fix flawed H-1B program
"IEEE-USA President Dr. Ralph W. Wyndrum, Jr. said: 'Even a casual glance at these applications would have revealed problems, but those in charge lacked the authority to spot these problems.   Implementation of the H-1B program fails every test of the principles its advocates have asserted.   Employers can and do give preference to H-1Bs over U.S. workers.   Employers who choose to do so can easily manipulate the system to pay below-market wages.   And the program accelerates the off-shoring of high-skilled jobs by training people who then become our over-seas competition.   Bringing in the [very] best and brightest and keeping them here should be the goal of the program, but the H-1B program now does not serve that purpose.'   According to IEEE-USA, the GAO affirms what independent observers and the government already know: the H-1B program has little over-sight, and statutory changes are necessary to ensure it serves the national interest.   The program can be fixed, but only by Congress.   The GAO shows that the key enforcement mechanism to prevent adverse effects on U.S. and foreign workers, the Labor Condition Application process, doesn't work.   The GAO report also provides specific recommendations that should be implemented immediately, but the report does not go far enough to fix the H-1B program so that it functions as Congress intended."

S&P 5001,245.60
10-year US T-Bond5.20%
crude oil70.84

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-06-23 - 137 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-06-23 08:10PDT (11:10EDT) (15:10GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders fell 0.3% in May

Ker Than _Fox_
British Medical Journal report says cellular phone use increases risk of being struck by lightning

Robert Klein Engler _American Daily_
A view from the border: Why the MinuteMan Project is important
"At points along the U.S.A./Mexican border, members of the Minuteman Project keep watch.   They ask that our immigration laws be enforced and want to inform the public about the harm illegal immigration does to our nation.   They are not vigilantes, but they are vigilant.   Caught between the forces of big business on the one hand, and the open border lobby on the other hand, members of the Minuteman Project are among the few who rise above the desolate terrain of the border and see the truth about illegal immigration..."

_Choose Black America_/_PR News Wire_
Choose Black America applauds House leadership for choosing to listen to Americans on immigration
"Choose Black America, a national coalition of American blacks who support enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, commended the decision by the leadership of the House of Representatives to hold field hearings later this summer...   'It is a refreshing change to business-as-usual in Washington that the House of Representatives is prepared to go around the country and listen to the voices of the American people.', said Frank Morris, chairman of Choose Black America.   'They've heard from the high-priced lobbyists for cheap labor interests and from millions of illegal aliens who marched in the streets to demand that they be rewarded for having broken the law.   Now members of Congress and the media will have a chance to hear directly from the American people about how mass illegal immigration is affecting their lives and what they want done.'   Choose Black America was formed because black citizens of America have been disproportionately harmed by mass illegal immigration and fear seeing their interests further decimated by the amnesty legislation that was approved by the Senate."

Ellen E. Schultz & Theo Francis _Wall Street Journal_
As Workers' Pensions Wither, Those for Executives Flourish: Companies run up big IOUs to grant bosses a lucrative benefit
"The pension plans for its rank-and-file U.S. workers are over-stuffed with cash, containing about $9G more than is needed to meet their obligations for years to come.   Another of GM's pension programs, however, saddles the company with a liability of $1.4G.   These pensions are for its executives...   Boosted by surging pay and rich formulas, executive pension obligations exceed $1G at some companies.   Besides GM, they include General Electric Co. (a $3.5G liability); AT&T Inc. ($1.8G); Exxon Mobil Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. (about $1.3G each); and Bank of America Corp. and Pfizer Inc. (about $1.1G apiece).   Benefits for executives now account for a significant share of pension obligations in the U.S.A., an average of 8% at the companies above.   Sometimes a company's obligation for a single executive's pension approaches $100M.   These liabilities are largely hidden, because corporations don't distinguish them from overall pension obligations in their federal financial filings.   As a result, the savings that companies make by curtailing pensions for regular retirees -- which have totaled billions of dollars in recent years -- can mask a rising cost of benefits for executives.   Executive pensions, even when they won't be paid till years from now, drag down earnings today.   And they do so in a way that's disproportionate to their size, because they aren't funded with dedicated assets.   One reason executive pensions have grown so large is that they are linked to ballooning overall executive compensation."

Dave Montgomery _Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram_
Schedule unveiled for "field hearings" on immigration proposals
"House leaders scheduled a July 7 hearing in Laredo on border security, as well as other sessions in Arizona and California from mid-July until mid-August."

S&P 5001,244.50
10-year US T-Bond5.23%
crude oil70.87

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-06-24 - 136 Days Until Congressional Election

Elan Journo _Chicago IL Sun-Times_/_Ayn Rand Institute_
Diplomacy Only Has Encouraged North Korea's Belligerence
"There is only one solution to the 'North Korea problem': the United States and its allies must abandon the suicidal policy of appeasement."

John M. Miano _Colosseum Builders_
Observations on the House Judiciary hearing on the topic: "Is the Department of Labor Doing Enough to Protect U.S. Workers?"

  1. The DoL's treatment of "obvious errors and omissions".   The GAO report pointed out a number of cases where there were obvious errors but the DoL's automated process approved the LCA anyaway.
  2. The DoL has just started to audit previous "willful violators" within the past month.
  3. In short, these 2 issues are areas where the DoL could do more but has not.   However, this is trivial.   So what if 4K more LCAs since 2002 had been rejected if the DoL's computer program did some more validation?   Still that means 99% of the LCAs are approved.   Yes, they could do more validation; it wouldn't take much effort; but it wouldn't change much either.
      If the DoL changes it computer program, this is what happens:
    1. Employer submits LCA with wage of $40K and prevailing wage of $50K.
    2. DoL, following the GAO recommendations, rejects it.
    3. Employer resubmits the LCA with the wage of $40K but puts down the prevailing wage is $25K.
    4. The DoL has to approve the LCA.
    This doesn't change anything,
  4. Jackson-Lee (the only D who showed up) was trying to make the point that if the DoL is not doing everything in its power already there was no need to increase its powers.
  5. Most of the Congressmen on the committee have no idea that the statute limits the power of DoL to investigate.   Nor do they understand why dancer instructors can get H-1B visas.
  6. The GAO report noted that the DoL now investigates complaints.   However, as my testimony pointed out, they do not seem eager to do so.   My submission of 130 job ads from one company stating "H-1B Workers Only" or "H-1B workers preferred" to support an allegation of failing to recruit U.S. workers in good faith was rejected as being "insufficient evidence" of a violation.
  7. Most telling quote in the report: "Labor uses education as the primary method of promoting employer compliance with the H-1B program."
  8. The report notes that few discrimination complaints filed with the Justice Department found violations.   These are the types of complaints I am filing right now.   I will say that I have submitted a number of them in the past and only did not result in a settlement.   (Funny how you can't remember the number of successes but know the number of failures.   Also makes me wonder if the 6 successes were all mine.)
    I wish we had more details here to know the nature of the complaints.
    I suspect that many of the unsuccessful complaints are filed by people who are fired and replaced by H-1B workers.   They say to themselves, "How could this possibly happen in America."   So they file a complaint.
    Unfortunately, such firings are usually perfectly legal and their is nothing the DoJ can do.   I suspect that is the reason for the low success rate on this path.
    One casually reading the report might get the impression that most complaints are filed by disgruntled U.S. workers who blame their job loss on H-1B.
    FWIW... I have over 300 of these same types of complaints in the pipe-line and I expect to succeed in nearly all of them.   There may be a few that the situation will be as the employer always claims, "I really hire Americans but we got a new person in HR and she created this ad from ads she saw..." and that turns out to be exactly what happened.   (Yeh, right.)
    The report notes that none of these cases actually went to trial.   That is my experience as well.   All of our successes came from settlements before trial.   I doubt any of the 300 here will go to trial either.
    1. The bottom line is the GAO recommends:
    2. Removing the restrictions on enforcement.
    3. Have USCIS share its data.
    Both of these are in my H-1B study and in my testimony.
--- end of John Miano's observations ---

2006-06-25 - 135 Days Until Congressional Election

Scot Pitzer _Gettysburg Times_
USA population to reach 300M in 2006
American Daily
"Latinos -- immigrants and those born in this country -- are driving the population growth.   They accounted for almost half the increase last year, more than any other ethnic or racial group.   White non-Hispanics, who make up about two-thirds of the population, accounted for less than one-fifth of the increase...   When the population reached 200 million in 1967, there was no accurate tally of U.S. Hispanics.   The first effort to count Hispanics came in the 1970 census, and the results were dubious.   The Census Bureau counted about 9.6 million Latinos, a little less than 5% of the population.   The bureau acknowledged that the figure was inflated in the Midwest and South because some people who checked the box saying they were 'Central or South American' thought that designation meant they were from the central or southern United States."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Congressional hearing is misleading and harmful
"As I've explained many times, concerning the problem of employers paying H-1Bs below-market wages, there is almost nothing that the Dept. of Labor (DoL) can do to protect U.S. workers, because the basic problem is the loop-holes in the law itself.   The definition of the legally-required prevailing wage allows figures which are well below market levels.   IOW, the organizers of the hearing are fundamentally incorrect in their implicit theme that the problems of the H-1B program are due mainly to lack of aggressive enforcement of the law.   It is basically a loop-hole problem, not an enforcement problem.   So when the GAO report presented at this hearing says that the law is being obeyed 99.7% of the time, that's an irrelevant statement, because the law is so riddled with loop-holes that it is useless.   So, the basic theme of the hearing was pointless in the first place.   But worse than that, it gave the industry lobbyists a major opportunity to strengthen their case.   Yes, it will STRENGTHEN the industry lobbyists' case, though of course not legitimately; again careful readers of this e-newsletter know why: As I explained above, the GAO report presented at this hearing and highlighted in the press reports is irrelevant.   But it's even worse than irrelevant, because it is manna from heaven for the industry lobbyists.   They can now say, 'See, the critics of H-1B were screaming for nothing.   Only 0.3% of the employers are abusing the system; 99.7% of the employers are playing by the rules.'   Again, that's completely misleading, because those rules themselves are the problem.   But the industry lobbyists will claim vindication.   The saddest part of this is that a number of activist programmers who've worked to reform H-1B mistakenly think they've won a victory.   The listservs and chat rooms of the activist programmers have been cackling with joy over the 'victory' this hearing gave them, but they don't understand that the industry lobbyists, not they, are the victors.   The industry lobbyists will send a one-sentence summary of the GAO report, with the figure 99.7% highlighted, to every office on Capitol Hill.   As I said (sorry to be so repetitive), that 99.7% figure is egregiously misleading, but Congress will happily accept it, as will the press.   Indeed, it is certainly possible that the industry lobbyists planned things this way.   If I had been advising them and if I didn't have any scruples, I certainly would have suggested this as a sure-fire way to get the H-1B critics off Congress' back.   It would be guaranteed to work, because the clerks at DoL are not supposed to approve an H-1B Labor Condition Application (LCA) if the wage to be paid (item C in the LCA form) is less than the officially defined prevailing wage (item E); it's a purely mechanical procedure.   Sure, a clerk will miss it in a small number of cases, but the procedure guarantees that you'll have a success rate very near 100%.   What a plan!   The GAO announces a near-100% compliance rate, and so Congress can say, 'It is now proved that H-1Bs are paid as much as Americans, so we can expand the program' -- thereby completely side-stepping the real problems.   It's funny.   If I tell someone that big corporations and some wealthy individuals pay rather little in taxes, he won't say that the IRS isn't enforcing the law well enough.   He will readily understand that the problem is the gaping loop-holes in the tax code, rather than weak enforcement.   It's the same with H-1B -- i.e. the problem is loop-holes, [AND] enforcement -- but no matter how often Rob Sanchez and I repeat this simple fact in our respective e-newsletter, people just don't get it.   And WHY don't they get it?   I believe that the answer is that people tend to naively trust Congress.   No matter how much they hear about corruption, they still assume that Congress would not be THAT corrupt as to enact laws which allow employers to bring in cheap labor to replace U.S. citizens and permanent residents.   And yet that is exactly what Congress has done.   And it is indeed due to corruption, the campaign contributions by the industry lobbyists.   Amazingly, some members of Congress have even publicly admitted it.   And GAO should know better.   In their 2003 report, they said, 'Some employers said that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage.'   Get it?   They paid H-1Bs less than Americans but not less than the [official] prevailing wage.   IOW, the prevailing wage is not the market wage, again due to huge loop-holes.   Yet the GAO testimony this week mentions nothing about this absolutely key finding that they had made earlier.   I'm not saying this is deliberate deception on the GAO's part.   The GAO does have a reputation for impartiality, though there was some evidence of some political pressure by the industry in the 2003 study, I doubt that that was at work here.   Instead, it was just sloppiness.   The clearest, most succinct illustration of the loop-holes in the prevailing wage law remains How to Under-Pay H-1B Workers by John Miano, founder of the Programmers Guild and 1 of the 4 witnesses in the hearing.   I highly recommend it.   It shows how an employer can pay an H-1B $39K for a job that Americans normally get paid $70K-$90K for -- yet be in full compliance of the law.   Note once again that it is not just the small firms that under-pay the H-1Bs.   The above web page is for [Bank of India, formerly called Bank of America] workers.   [Also see] my analysis of Intel's saving money by hiring H-1Bs...   Miano has done outstanding work on the wage issue, but the scope of this hearing served to totally obscure that work.   He did mention in his testimony that a major problem was loop-holes in the legal definition of prevailing wage, but this was clearly lost on the press...   The GAO report, sadly, eclipsed Miano's testimony.   I should point out that even though it is perfectly legal to pay an H-1B below market wages, and it is perfectly legal to hire an H-1B without making any attempt to recruit U.S. citizen/permanent resident workers, it is NOT legal to say you prefer or even insist on H-1B applicants.   Miano and the Guild recently filed a complaint in the Dept. of Justice on this, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out...   One interesting part of Miano's notes is the point about representative Jackson-Lee (D-Texas).   She has been one of the staunchest supports of the industry's view on H-1B in the House, but I must say that she has out-done herself here.   As I have been saying throughout this posting, giving the DoL more enforcement powers would have almost no value, but Jackson-Lee does not want to throw American workers even that tiny bone.   Amazing.   Lee would seem to have a number of reasons to back the industry on H-1B: she reportedly had strong ties to Enron; her predecessor had made enemies of Enron and the business community by opposing NAFTA; and her husband is a high-ranking administrator at the University of Houston (academia is a huge source of support for H-1B).   By the way, though she is African-American and she portrays herself as a fighter in support of black people, she has refused the entreaties of black leaders who point out to her that black engineers are being harmed by the H-1B program."
hearing testimony

Duncan Adams _Roanoke Times_
Shortage or surplus?
"For [several] decades, engineering trade associations, the National Science Foundation and engineering firms have cited or predicted a critical shortage of engineers and other scientists in the United States.   Studies have warned that the nation's prominence as the globe's innovator is at risk.   Two prominent Roanoke firms say they struggle to recruit engineers...   Aside from shortages that might exist in certain regions or engineering fields, when empiricism prevails over emotion and politics, the evidence appears to poke holes in the idea of a current shortage...   'Many people have looked for evidence of a current shortage of engineers and they haven't been able to find any real signs of that evidence.', said Michael Teitelbaum, a demographer for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation...   Doyle regularly participates in national chief executive officer round tables, including one last month, that are organized by the American Council of Engineering Companies...   Doyle said typical annual salaries in Roanoke for entry-level engineers with bachelor's degrees are in the neighborhood of $45K...   During a forum last month, William Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering, said starting salaries for engineers seem generally stable -- neither rising dramatically, implying a shortage, nor falling, implying an oversupply.   Wulf said the U.S.A. probably has enough engineers in sum, counting 70K to 75K graduates each year and foreign-born engineers on H-1B visas."

2006-06-26 - 134 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-06-25 21:01PDT (2006-06-26 00:01EDT) (2006-06-26 04:01GMT)
Herb Greenberg _MarketWatch_
I want more detail in financial reports from Apple
"Apple has chosen to report segment results pretty much the way it always has: by breaking out operating profits by the regions in which it operates, not products, for which it only gives sales; it also breaks out the operating profits for its retail stores.   That may have been fine when most of Apple's sales came from Macintosh computers, making a separate breakout for analytical purposes irrelevant, Renck says.   But computer sales now trail sales of iPods, which as of the first 6 months of Apple's fiscal year accounted for 46% of total revenue.   Furthermore, in its SEC filings the company in recent years has changed its description to include 'music products and services' as a separate part of its business organization.   Renck, in one of his reports, is more direct: 'Apple clearly has its feet in 2 separate and distinct business models, namely computer manufacturing and software creation and the consumer electronics industry.'...   Renck goes so far as to say he believes Apple should do a separate breakout for computers, iPods, music-related products, peripherals and software and service...   Finance Chief Peter Oppenheimer responded to one, saying, 'Our competitors would just love to know what our specific gross margins are... and we just don't want to help them.'"

2006-06-26 07:15PDT (10:15EDT) (14:15GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
New home sales rose 4.6% to 1.234M in May

2006-06-26 07:22PDT (10:22EDT) (14:22GMT)
Aude Lagorce _MarketWatch_
Arcelor board agrees to take-over by Mittal Steel for $33.65G
"Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian-born CEO of Mittal Steel, emerged victorious from an epic 9-hour Arcelor board meeting on Sunday, having successfully wrestled the European steelmaker from Russia's Severstal and won over a management team originally bitterly opposed to a deal...   The combined group, to be domiciled and headquartered in Luxembourg, will be named Arcelor Mittal.   Luxembourg-based Arcelor and Mittal have agreed a $33.65G (26.9G euro) takeover deal to create a global giant 3 times the size of its nearest rival, Nippon Steel of Japan, and with control over 10% of the global steel market."

Mike Langberg _San Jose Mercury News_/_Silicon Valley_
Tech visas come with obligations for tech executives
Lexington Herald-Leader
Kansas City Star
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Bradenton Herald
Duluth News Tribune
Biloxi Sun-Herald
"Many U.S. engineers believe the H-1B program is nothing more than a back door for greedy corporate bosses to get low-cost workers who can be quickly sent home if they complain...   Also in DC, the H-1B process is getting new scrutiny.   The Government Accountability Office [GAO], the investigative arm of Congress, released a report last week criticizing federal agencies for lax enforcement of H-1B rules.   The IEEE-USA, a group representing engineers, seized on the GAO report as further evidence the H-1B program is a failure...   Norman S. Matloff, a professor of computer science at UC-Davis and a long-time H-1B critic, counters that claims of low un-employment among engineers don't count under-employment.   For example, many Silicon Valley professionals were driven out of the tech industry during the down-turn from 2001 to 2004.   A former software engineer now working as a teacher or a real estate agent doesn't count in the statistics, and may be making significantly less money.   Current engineering vacancies could reflect employers unwilling to hire older engineers, even if they've retrained themselves, when the companies can hold out for the alternative of cheaper H-1B labor.   The AFL-CIO, in a February position paper, argued that H-1Bs and other loop-holes allow employers 'to turn permanent jobs into temporary jobs...   As a result, working conditions for all professional workers have suffered: pressures caused by employer exploitation of professional guest workers coupled with increases in out-sourcing continue to have a chilling effect on any real wage increases for professionals, even those not directly or immediately impacted.'...   immigration laws don't require H-1B employers to disclose sufficient data...   Legally, H-1B visa holders are free to take other jobs in the United States, and some do.   But any H-1B hoping for a green card, the much-sought-after ticket to permanent residence, must restart the application process if they switch employers.   Given the glacial pace of green-card approvals, this can create a de facto obligation to stay put.   Last week's report by the GAO said the U.S. Department of Labor isn't doing enough to verify even the minimal protections built into the current H-1B law.   From 2002 January through 2005 September, the GAO reported, the Labor Department approved 99.5% of the 960,563 applications it received for H-1Bs -- a suspiciously high number."

Mike Godfrey _Extortion News_
US is not extortion-competitive Intel's Barrett says
Town Hall
"To be competitive in the global market-place, US tax policy needs to focus on offering tax treatment that is comparable to, if not more favourable, than that which is offered by other nations competing for investments, according to Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel, the semiconductor manufacturer.   Testifying last week at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on international tax policy, Barrett observed that the US tax system has become uncompetitive in comparison to the many countries which offer 'very significant incentive packages and have highly favourable tax systems', particularly in Asia.   Barrett pointed out that Malaysia provides a 10-year tax holiday, and tax depreciation for capital building and equipment costs equal to 160% of their cost.   He also noted other countries with considerable tax advantages, including: Ireland, with its 12.5% corporate tax rate and a 20% research tax credit; Israel, with a capital grant of up to 20%, a 10% tax rate and a 2-year tax holiday; and [Red China], which grants a 5-year tax holiday, followed by 50% of the normal tax rate for 5 more years."

Jerome R. Corsi _Human Events_
Controversy Erupts Over NASCO and the NAFTA Super-High-Way
"Last Thursday in a radio interview with the 55KRC Morning Show in Cincinnati, Tiffany Melvin, executive director of North America's SuperCorridor Coalition...   What is NASCO?   It is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization that functions as a trade association and sometimes lobbying group for the public and private entities that are members.   NASCO is an acronym for North America's SuperCorridor Coalition, which is the official title of the organization. According to the group's web site, NASCO is 'dedicated to developing the world's first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America.'   Specifically, NASCO supports the corridor that encompasses Interstate Highways 35, 29 and 94, and 'the significant east/west connectors to those highways in Canada, the United States, and Mexico'.   That NASCO is organized around promoting NAFTA trade is obvious..."

Phyllis Schlafly _Human Events_
It's Hard to Make Sense of Pence Guest-Worker Proposal
"Despite the consistent failure of all guest-worker plans (e.g., France), representative Mike Pence (R-IN) is peddling a new plan to import foreign workers who really are guests and really do go home.   Pence has turned his back on the 88% of Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted that the United States must achieve border security first, because Americans will be cheated on border security if Congress passes a 'comprehensive' bill.   The Pence plan tries to avoid the amnesty label by requiring illegal immigrants now in the U.S. to make what he calls 'a quick trip across the border' to Mexico or Canada to pick up a new W visa.   A foreigner could get a W visa only if a U.S. employer certifies that a job awaits him.   Pence's plan calls for setting up privately financed offices outside the U.S.A., with the cutesy title Ellis Island Centers, to hand out the new W visas, which he claims would be more efficient than government bureaucracy.   Business would, indeed, be more efficient than government in importing more foreign workers.   Having private employment agencies distribute the W visas would put the fox in charge of the chicken coop.   Private industry has a built-in incentive to import as much cheap labor as possible."

Athena Kerry _V Dare_
Bloomberg Finally Recognized that Immigration and Guest-Workers Depress Compensation

2006-06-27 - 133 Days Until Congressional Election

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Telling an article by its headline
"Reporters don't normally choose the headlines for their articles/columns, but whoever chose this one, it is an interesting choice (Tech Visas Come with Obligation for Valley Leaders).   It apparently refers to the last paragraph of the piece, which says: To keep that agenda on track, valley companies should balance their demand for H-1Bs with a commitment to making the program more transparent.   They should also support clearly visible programs to retain and retrain their existing employees, so we can accept at face value their requests for more temporary foreign workers. This, in both content and tone, is by far the most critical passage on H-1B ever to be written by a Mercury journalist.   Though the Merc admits to having a pro-H-1B bias, it has occasionally run some good articles on the topic, and former columnist Dan Gilmore wrote a least one related column, but the sharp wording here is surprising, to say the least.   The AeA paper is the mythology here.   I have a critique of it.   They [employers of H-1Bs] DO play by the rules, but do NOT pay market wages.   The problem is that the rules themselves are riddled with loop-holes, which allow employers to LEGALLY pay well below market wages.   The clearest, most succinct illustration of the loop-holes in the prevailing wage law remains How to Underpay H-1B Workers by John Miano, founder of the Programmers Guild and 1 of the 4 witnesses in the hearing.   I highly recommend it.   It shows how an employer can pay an H-1B $39K for a job that Americans normally get paid $70K-$90K for -- yet be in full compliance of the law.   My [Michigan Journal of Law Reform] article discusses this further.   This is an unfortunate statement on the author's part.   Several of the studies use the census data, which show exactly how much the worker is being paid.   Also, the INS/USCIS data, which are based on actual wages, show the under-payment too.   It's really too bad that the author here allowed it to become a 'he said, she said' thing, because the question CAN be settled satisfactorily...   The DoL is required to approve an H-1B application if the wage to be paid is at least the 'prevailing wage' [as defined in the statute].   Again, the prevailing wage can be absurdly low [under that definition], but the DoL has no choice but to approve the application, just as the police officer would have no choice but to let those drivers zoom 80 mph by your house.   So OF COURSE almost all of the applications are approved; the 99.5% figure is non-news.   In the Programmers Guild case study I mentioned earlier, in which H-1Bs were paid $39K for work normally paying $70K-$90K, these H-1Bs would be in that 99.5% category too.   In their 2003 report, the GAO said, 'Some employers said that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage.'   Get it?   They paid H-1Bs less than Americans but not less than the prevailing wage.   In other words, the prevailing wage is not the market wage, again due to huge loop-holes.     Silicon Valley's tech leaders have a broader immigration agenda with some laudable objectives, such as making it easier for bright foreign students to study at U.S. universities and for those students to remain when they graduate.   Ouch!   This is the F-4 visa proposal, which I criticized in my recent CIS article.   In his e-mail message to me in which he requested an interview, the author seemed to like my article, saying 'your article in May for CIS seems to rebut several of AeA's assertions'.   Apparently I wasn't so convincing after all.   :-)   There is nothing in the proposed law which says that the foreign students have to be bright.   Some of them are outstanding talents, of course, but we already have a special visa for them, and the vast majority of the foreign students are NOT of the 'best and brightest' caliber.   Under the proposal, any tech foreign graduate student at San Jose State University, for instance, would in essence get an automatic green card.   I'm sure there are SOME excellent foreign students at SJSU, but clearly the vast majority are NOT top talents.   F-4 would be just as pernicious as H-1B, as I explain in my article.   But the big guns in Silicon Valley are pushing for it, which may be the reason why Langberg's column was palatable to the Mercury News.   Even so, I applaud the Merc for running it."

2006-06-27 07:18PDT (10:18EDT) (14:18GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Existing-home sales fell 1.2% to 6.67M in May
"The median sales price increased 6% in the past 12 months to $230K...   Sales of existing homes in April were revised to lower to 6.75M from 6.76M."

Nikhil Rao _HomeLand Stupidity_
How free should the medical market be?

Rob Katz _World Resources Institute_
Tata announces $2K car to be out by 2008
"The styling and designing of the car have been completed and prototypes are being tested in the plant.   It will be a rear engine, 4-5 seat, 4-door car with about a 30 horsepower engine."

Jim Kouri _American Chronicle_
California Employers of Illegal Aliens Face Law-Suits for Unfair Business Practices
Opinion Editorials
Post Chronicle
Central Valley Business Times
"For years, employers in California have known that they could hire illegal aliens without having to worry very much about as far as being prosecuted for breaking the law.   Soon, however, they may have something serious to worry about: their competitors taking legal action against them.   According to legal experts, a Californian civil law includes a provision for a company that knowingly employs illegal aliens to be sued by competitors who have suffered economic damages as a result of such an illegal practice.   When a construction company, for instance, uses minimum wage workers who are illegal aliens to under-bid competitors in order to secure work contracts, those companies who hire Americans and legal green card immigrants and pay fair wages will be able to sue the illegal aliens' employer in a court of law.   As a result, dozens of scofflaw employers may soon find themselves in court as defendants.   David Klehm, an Orange County attorney and founder of the IllegalEmployers.org web-site, together with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), a Washington, DC-based public interest law center affiliated with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), are planning to file law-suits against companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens.   The law-suits will be brought against businesses that hire illegals by a battery of lawyers who can best be described as Minutemen of the courts.   The suits -- some to be filed as early as this summer -- will seek restitution, damages and market protections on behalf of law-abiding small and medium-sized business owners who obey the law and use due diligence to identify illegal aliens who submit phony identification documents.   Also, while the plaintiffs may be small to medium-sized companies, the defendents in these suits may be large corporations."

2006-06-28 - 132 Days Until Congressional Election

Tom Yager _InfoWorld_
The tech workers' contract to nowhere
"An ugly truth about the IT job market is that opportunists too often dominate it.   Honest employers and job candidates suffer because they're forced to compete with cut-throats.   Black-hat employers see workers through the lens of the recession -- as property to be loaded, spent, and replaced like rounds in a Gatling gun.   Black-hat workers see themselves through the lens of the dot-com heyday -- demigods who could write their own tickets with junior college skills...   I'm not damning all of them, just the boiler-room operations where staff changes faster than the seasons and where the brass ring is churning candidates through as many positions in as short a time as possible...   If the agency decides that your prospect would be more profitable to rent than to sell, you might never know the worker put in for your position...   Agencies and employers use the contract-to-hire scam to pull in top-rung permanent workers with the promise that if they prove themselves worthy during the contract period -- it's described as a sort of probation -- there's a good chance they'll be hired.   That good chance is next to no chance, but a worker who isn’t wise to the scheme will sweat blood, volunteer unpaid over-time, and carry a company-issued cell phone to earn that upgrade to permanence.   A contract extension is held out as being one giant step closer to full employment.   It's actually a sure sign that there is no permanent position...   Good people and good employers are out there in more than satisfactory numbers.   If employers want those good people, the surest way to get them is to list and interview for positions themselves."

2006-06-27 23:04PDT (2006-06-28 02:04EDT) (2006-06-28 06:04GMT)
Craig Tenbroek & Phil Ireland _North San Diego County Times_
Vista council approved day-laborer law unanimously
"The ordinance, which takes effect July 28, will require those who hire off-site day laborers to register with the city, display a certificate in their car windows, and present written terms of employment to workers...   City Attorney Darold Pieper said the 'whole thrust' of the ordinance was that it would protect workers from unscrupulous employers."

2006-06-27 19:44PDT (2006-06-27 22:44EDT) (2006-06-28 02:44GMT)
Carl J. Schramm _USA Today_
Capitalism spreads freedom... even as democracy falters
"With the Fourth of July approaching, many politicians and pundits have been asking: What would the Founders do in our situation?...   Smith's great revelation was that political freedom would most likely emerge and persist under conditions of economic freedom, what we now call capitalism.   Our democratic system as defined in our Constitution incorporated respect for this economic system.   Like Smith's invisible hand in the market, the Framers saw an invisible hand in our politics.   They believed that, if allowed to work freely, these hands together would shape America into the land where invention, creativity and entrepreneurial activity would flourish.   There would be no danger of an aristocracy of wealth because the instruments of financial success were available to every person...   Indeed, research from the University of Maryland and Census Bureau shows that net jobs created by businesses less than 5 years old exceeded 20% per year during the 1980s and 1990s (equating to millions of jobs), while jobs created by more mature businesses remained essentially flat.   Even so, what do we do now in the face of a new enemy to freedom, driven by a notion that our democratic way should be eliminated?   More than the export of democracy, it is the export of entrepreneurial capitalism that can produce a new birth of peace and freedom around our globe.   Entrepreneurial capitalism is based on individual invention, and because wealth comes from one's own initiative, it advances human dignity.   And here is the good news.   Virtually every country, whatever its political system, wants to embrace it.   They have seen the success of the American economy.   It has been said [by Frederic Bastiat] that when goods cross borders, armies don't.   Today, [Red China] and India are the world's 2 largest countries [being dragged kicking and screaming] toward entrepreneurial capitalism.   They are the example and test of that thesis.   Several decades ago, their armies clashed.   Now no one talks of war, only of their economic emergence.   Capitalism has promoted peace and, in [Red China], better -- though still inadequate -- respect for rights.   If, with our assistance, Adam Smith's entrepreneurial capitalism were to become ubiquitous, the cross-border investment in the success of our brothers and sisters around the world, and theirs in us, would cause people everywhere to see the futility of ancient struggles, whether based on plunder, conquest or theocratic fervor.   In the insight of our invisible founder is the secret for achieving a future of global peace."

2006-06-28 10:10PDT (13:10EDT) (17:10GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Mortgage applications reach a 4-year low

2006-06-29 - 131 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-06-28 17:50PDT (2006-06-28 20:50EDT) (2006-06-29 00:50GMT)
William Spain _MarketWatch_
Disney taps John Pepper, former P&G CEO as chairman
"Walt Disney Co.'s board has elected John Pepper Jr., former chief executive and chairman of Procter & Gamble Co., to be non-executive chairman of the entertainment company, effective January 1, company officials said Wednesday.   Pepper, who was named a Disney director in 2005 December, will succeed former senator George Mitchell, who has held the chairman slot since March of 2004.   With the departure of Mitchell, a Disney director since 1995, the company steps further from a past linked to Michael Eisner, the company's embattled ex-CEO.   Mitchell, who served as a U.S. senator from 1980 to 1995, was brought in to replace Eisner, who was stripped of the chairmanship in March of 2004.   See full story.   In 2004, Disney's board voted to split the positions of chairman and CEO, reducing the power of Eisner, who, at that time, had led the company for 20 years...   Last March, Disney's board named Robert Iger CEO.   At least one Disney employee proffered Steve Jobs, a Disney director, Pixar's co-founder and CEO of Apple Computer Inc., as a possible option to fill the position of chairman.   Jobs controlled more than 6% of Disney's stock, or 138M shares, at the time of a May filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

2006-06-28 21:01PDT (2006-06-29 00:01ET) (2006-06-29 04:01GMT)
David Weidner _MarketWatch_
Warren Buffet Is No Saint
"For nearly 50 years, Buffett has been one of the steeliest, most secretive, and most image-conscious operators in American business.   The 75-year-old is giving away his wealth?   Yes, but slowly, over time.   He is not putting his or his family's welfare at risk and will not miss any meals, even if he chooses only to famously dine on his burgers and Cherry Coke.   Not that they can't go hand in hand, but Buffett is a businessman, not a saint...   Long after the public turned on smoking and health, Buffett infamously explained his investment in the tobacco business: 'It costs a penny to make.   Sell it for a dollar.   It's addictive.   And there's fantastic brand loyalty.'   It's also a huge health problem in the regions where his philanthropy will now flow.   Buffett, the son of a congressman, has reneged on contracts in dire times.   His companies eschew disclosure.   He has been constrained by the forces of economics that we all face, and he has made hard choices.   The most glaring of Buffett's transgressions occurred 6 days after 2001 Sept. 11.   Earlier that year, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway had agreed to pay more than 70% of face value for $500M in bonds issued by bankrupt finance company Finova Group.   He broke the contract after 9/11 by invoking an 'act of war' clause in his contract, citing the World Trade Center attacks less than a week earlier.   It was that decision, to not honor an agreement at a time when the country needed to come together, that for me solidified the notion that Buffett was not, after all, an outsider, but the coldest of Wall Street operators to the core.   As Roger Lowenstein once wrote, 'Wall Street's modern financiers have got rich by exploiting their control of the public's money: their essential trick has been to take in -- and sell out -- the public at opportune moments.'   Warren Buffett did that in the days following 2001 Sept. 11.   That was not the only time Buffett has been ruthless in his business dealings.   From his early years in the 1960s, Buffett has favored managers who slash costs, often through lay-offs, to shine up his investments...   Berkshire Hathaway was founded as a textile company, and Buffett closed the last mill in 1985, a route followed with many of his textile investments that have faced over-seas labor-cost pressure.   [So, he's neither consistently dishonest nor consistently honest...jgo]"

2006-06-29 05:30PDT (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 285,688 in the week ending June 24, an increase of 8,551 from the previous week.   There were 286,681 initial claims in the comparable week in 2005.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending June 17, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,226,108, an increase of 69,214 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,404,688.'

2006-06-29 07:56PDT (10:56EDT) (14:56GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
GDP revised to a 5.6% increase in 2006 Q1: Corporate profits up 28.5% in past year
"Meanwhile, nominal compensation of employees rose 5.7%.   Employees' share of national income fell to 63.5%, the lowest share since 1968.   While the GDP deflator was revised lower to 3.1% from 3.3%, core consumer price inflation measures were unrevised.   Core consumer price inflation rose at a 2.0% annual rate during the quarter, down from 2.4% in the 4th quarter.   Core inflation has risen 1.9% in the past year, at the high end of the Fed's comfort zone.   Core inflation has accelerated in the second quarter."

2006-06-29 13:35PDT (16:35EDT) (20:35GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
Apple internal probe found stock-option irregularities
"an internal investigation has discovered irregularities related to the issuance of certain stock-option grants made between 1997 and 2001.   Apple said one of the grants in question was to Chief Executive Steve Jobs, but that it was subsequently cancelled and resulted in no financial gain to Jobs.   A special committee of Apple's outside directors has hired independent counsel to perform an investigation and the company has informed the Securities and Exchange Commission."

2006-06-29 13:54PDT (16:54EDT) (20:54GMT)
Greg Robb & Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Fed raised interest rates for 17th time, to 5.25%

Ron Paul _US House of Representatives_
Why are Americans so angry?

Nikhil Rao _HomeLand Stupidity_
Why doesn't the AMA just call themselves a union already?

S&P 5001,272.87
10-year US T-Bond5.20%
crude oil73.52

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

2006-06-30 - 130 Days Until Congressional Election

2006-06-30 07:43PDT (10:43EDT) (14:43GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Inflation keeps workers running in place as income, prices and spending rose 0.4%

2006-06-30 07:50PDT (10:50EDT) (14:50GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index increased from 79.1 in May to 82.4 in early June to 84.9 in late June

2006-06-30 13:09PDT (16:09EDT) (20:09GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
In May foreigners held $6.9T in federal debt instruments

Kevin McCandless _Cybercast News Service_
Warning as UK considers amnesty for illegal immigrants

Lawyers Say Spy Agency Sought US Call Records before 2001-09-11
Privacy links

Deirdre Gregg _Puget Sound Business Journal_
Law firms mull off-shoring

Dice Report: 89,476 job ads

body shop35,513


S&P 5001,270.20
10-year US T-Bond5.14%
crude oil73.93

I usually get this info from MarketWatch, which gets them from BigCharts.

  "I am delighted to be the Senator from Punjab as well as from New York." --- Hillary Clinton 2005-06-09  


2006 June
_USCIS Today_
USCIS Naturalizes Military Members Serving in Iraq
"USCIS naturalized more than 200 soldiers, sailors and Marines during 2 naturalization ceremonies in Iraq in early May.   This is the 4th trip that USCIS personnel have made to the region to naturalize members of the U.S. military serving in harm's way.   During a May 12th ceremony held at Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, 123 soldiers took the Oath of Allegiance and became American citizens.   Three days later, 73 soldiers, one sailor and 9 Marines became U.S. citizens at Camp Victory in Baghdad.   The service members naturalized came from 70 different countries.   Because of recent changes to the law governing U.S. citizenship, USCIS is able to conduct naturalization interviews and ceremonies over-seas exclusively for U.S. military service members.   Last year, USCIS employees interviewed and naturalized 1,006 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines at US military installations worldwide.   [Imagine that. They did something right for a change...jgo]"
Fact Sheet on Military Naturalizations 2006-06-14
"Since President George W. Bush signed the Expedited Naturalization Executive Order on 2002 July 3, USCIS has naturalized more than 20K service members.   In all, more than 35K service members have filed for expedited naturalization.   During fiscal years 2004 and 2005, more than 7,500 and 6K service members became United States Citizens, respectively.   In 2004 October, USCIS began hosting the first over-seas military naturalization ceremonies since the Korean War.   During FY2005, 1,006 service members became Citizens while serving on active duty outside of the United States.   USCIS has granted posthumous citizenship to 75 service members stemming from the War on Terror.   There are currently more than 40K members of the U.S. military who are eligible to apply for naturalization."

2006 June
Mary Kent & Robert Lalasz _Population Reference Bureau_
Speaking English in the USA

2006 June
Snigdha Srivastava & Nik Theodore _University of Chicago Center for Urban Economic Development_
Information Technology Labor Markets Are Rebounding Slowly (pdf)
"Between 2001 March ([which NBER declared to be] the beginning of the recession) and 2001 November ([which NBER declared to be the] end of the recession), the IT industry (defined to include the following North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes: NAICS 5112 (Software Publishers); NAICS 5180 (ISPs, Web Search Portals, and Data Processing); and NAICS 5415 (Computer Systems Design and Related Services)) shed (187,100) jobs, or 8.7% of total employment.   Moreover, the industry fared no better throughout most of the recovery.   By 2002 March (one year after the start of the recession) IT industry employment had declined by more than 270K jobs.   Significant losses continued such that by 2003 March IT industry employment had fallen by an additional 113K jobs.   Technology sector employment losses slowed by 2004 March, though the industry still suffered a decline of 12,500 jobs during the previous 12-month period.   All told, these mounting losses have meant that the IT industry lost – 395,600 jobs between 2001 March and 2004 March – 208,500 (53%) of which were lost during the economic recovery...   IT employment declined in 23 of 24 months between 2001 April and 2003 March, during which time 383,100 jobs were lost in the IT industry."

2006 June

top 500 fastest super computers LinPack bench-mark
fastest computers LinPack bench-mark

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Other Movies Coming Soon
Batman Begins
Batman Begins

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