2007 February

2nd month of the 1st quarter of the 18th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub economic depression

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updated: 2018-06-20
2007 February
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  "He loved his country partly because it was his own country, but mostly because it was a free country; & he burned with a zeal for its advancement, prosperity, & glory, because he saw in such, the advancement, prosperity & glory, of human liberty, human right & human nature." --- Abraham Lincoln (quote in Harry V. Jaffa 1994 _Original Intent & the Framers of the Constitution_ dedication)  



captain William Scott's flag for the Republic of Texas.

2007 February

2nd month of the 1st quarter of the 8th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression

  "If, from the more wretched parts of the Old World, we look at those which are in an advanced stage in improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner & crevice of industry & grasping the spoil of the multitude.   Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue & taxation.   It watches prosperity as its prey & permits none to escape without tribute." --- Thomas Paine 1792 February  



2007-01-31 16:11PST (2007-01-31 19:11EST) (2007-02-01 00:11GMT)
Rex Crum _MarketWatch_
Kevin Rollins resigned and Michael Dell is CEO again

2007-01-31 18:07PST (2007-01-31 21:07EST) (2007-02-01 02:07GMT)
W.J. Golz _National Academy of Engineering_
Out-Sourcing: Should Public Universities Use American Taxes to Build a Foreign Labor Pool for Multi-National Corporations?
additional discussion and links

2007-02-01 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 359,752 in the week ending January 27, a decrease of 7,787 from the previous week.   There were 318,805 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending January 20, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,115,065, an increase of 189,084 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 3,051,709.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending January 13."

2007-02-01 05:46PST (08:46EST) (13:46GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Lay-off announcements rose 15% in January to 62,975 CGC reports
Information Week/CMP
FX Street
Fox 28 South Bend IN
"Big corporations announced 15.2% more lay-offs in January than in December, but the total was down 39.1% from 103,466 this time a year ago, according to an unscientific tally of job-cut announcements released Thursday by out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.   Planned job reductions rose from 54,643 in December to 62,975 in January.   Lay-offs totaled 103,466 last January, the highest reading of 2006, Challenger Gray reported.   The figures are not seasonally adjusted.   The latest job cuts were led by reductions of 9,275 in the telecommunications industry, while pharmaceutical companies announced 8,279 cuts.   Both Motorola Inc. and Pfizer Inc. responded to disappointing earnings with lay-off announcements in January.   Employers announced plans to hire 7,889 workers in January, led by the utility, entertainment and leisure sectors."

2007-02-01 07:18PST (10:18EST) (15:18GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted pending homes sales increased 4.9% in December

2007-02-01 07:39PST (10:39EST) (15:39GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Incomes and spending slowed in December
"Core inflation, meanwhile, rose an unexpectedly low 0.1%, the second straight month of relatively stable prices excluding food and energy.   Head-line inflation rose 0.4% in December, backed by a 0.9% gain in prices of nondurable goods, such as energy goods.   Real, or inflation-adjusted, consumer spending rose 0.3% during the month, following gains of 0.5% in the previous 2 months.   For all of the fourth quarter, real spending rose at a robust 4.4% annual rate.   Real disposable incomes rose 0.2%, the weakest growth since May...   In nominal terms, incomes rose 0.5%, while spending increased 0.7%, the largest since July.   Those gains were largely in line with the expectations of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.   Economists expected core inflation to rise 0.2%, rather than 0.1%.   With real spending rising faster than real disposable incomes, the personal savings rate fell to negative 1.2%, the lowest since August.   For all of 2006, the savings rate was negative 1%, the lowest annual savings rate since 1933.   Real spending on durable goods increased 1.2% in December.   Other reports showed strong spending on autos and electronics, such as TVs and games.   Real spending on nondurable goods rose 0.6%.   Real spending on services was flat.   Nominal employee compensation rose 0.6% in December, the best in 3 months.   Nominal wages rose 0.6%, while nominal supplements to wages rose 0.5%.   Nominal proprietors' income was unchanged.   Income from assets rose 0.2%.   [Government extortion] increased 0.7%."
BEA press releases

2007-02-01 08:18PST (11:18EST) (16:18GMT)
Steve Goldstein _MarketWatch_
AstraZeneca to cut 3K jobs as profits climb 17%

2007-02-01 10:00PST (13:00EST) (18:00GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM index fell to 49.3, indicating a contraction in manufacturing in January
ISM press release

2007-02-01 12:00PST (15:00EST) (20:00GMT)
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Channel Research News_/_CMP_
Federal government divided on protecting or violating patient privacy
"In a Government Accountability Office report released on Thursday, the GAO says that while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a number of 'collective initiatives' to address key privacy issues, there's no clearly defined strategy to bring all those efforts together in protecting the privacy of electronic patient data.   In its report, the GAO recommends that HHS 'define and implement an overall privacy approach that identifies mile-stones for integrating the outcomes of its initiatives, ensures key privacy principles are fully addressed, and addresses challenges associated with the nationwide exchange of health information.'...   HHS officials bristled at those recommendations..."

Jim Tolbert _PR News Wire_
Career College Association selected Harris Miller as CEO
"The Career College Association (CCA) is today proud to announce that Harris Miller will be its new CEO/President, effective this month.   For 11 years, Mr. Miller was President of the Information Technology Association of America, the leading trade association representing the IT [executives]...   He previously served as Legislative Assistant to the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives, was Legislative Director for former senator John Durkin (D-NH), and was Deputy Director of Congressional Relations for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management...   He served on the Board of Directors of ITT Educational Services, Inc. for 6 years...   The Career College Association (CCA) is a voluntary membership organization of private postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges and universities that provide career-specific educational programs.   CCA has more than 1,300 members that educate and support over 1M students each year for employment in over 200 occupational fields.   CCA member institutions provide the full range of higher education programs: short-term certificate and diploma programs, 2- and 4-year associate and baccalaureate degree programs, and masters and doctoral degree programs."

Noah Haglund _Charleston Post and Courier_
38 illegal aliens arrested
"A sweep of Charleston and other South Carolina coastal areas netted dozens of illegal immigrants, including a man wanted in Mexico for murder, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.   The 2-day operation concluded Wednesday, drawing in 38 people from Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala and China, ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said.   The effort targeted people illegally in the country who have been convicted of other crimes as well as people who ignored previous deportation orders."

2007-02-01 (5767 Shevat/Shebat 14)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
Who will speak for the Jews?


2007-02-01 15:30PST (2007-02-01 18:30EST) (2007-02-02 00:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US senate passed hike in minimum wage to $7.25 with small business breaks and higher extortion on executive compensation packages
"The bill, approved on a 94-3 vote in the late afternoon, would increase the minimum wage from the current $5.15 in 3 steps over 2 years, but it also includes tax breaks for small businesses that weren't part of the minimum-wage bill approved last month by the House.   The bill would also raise taxes on executive deferred compensation over $1M a year...   Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-NV, said he would hold onto the bill temporarily rather than sending it immediately to the House while speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, and other House leaders decide what they want to do next...   Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, acknowledged that House Democrats would suffer some 'heart-burn' because it's going to be either a higher minimum wage with the tax breaks or no bill at all."

2007-02-02 07:33PST (10:33EST) (15:33GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 98.0 early in January to 96.9 points in late January
"The index is well above the 91.7 level in December.   The index is still at its highest level in 2 years.   Lower gas prices and a stronger labor market pushed confidence higher in the new year, researchers said...   The current-conditions index fell to 111.3 points in late January from 112.5 earlier in the month.   This is up from 108.1 in December.   The expectations index fell to 87.6 in late January.   The index is still above December's level of 81.2."

2007-02-02 09:25PST (12:25EST) (17:25GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US factory orders rose 2.4% in December

2007-02-02 13:35PST (16:35EST) (21:35GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
USA filed case with WTO against Red China for export subsidies
FX Street
Just Style
"[Red China] is illegally subsidizing hundreds of billions of dollars of exports to the United States, the Bush administration charged Friday, as it filed a mammoth unfair trade case against Beijing.   'We are committed to challenging [Red China's] WTO-inconsistent practices that harm American workers and businesses.', said U.S.   Trade Representative Susan Schwab in a prepared statement.   '[Red China's] use of market-distorting subsidies creates an uneven playing field and subverts [Red China's] own efforts to foster consumption-led growth.', Schwab said.   The U.S.A. is seeking WTO-sponsored talks with [Red China] to end the subsidies, including basic tax laws and other tools, which the U.S.A. says are illegal and provide incentives for foreign investors in [Red China] and their Chinese partners to export to the United States.   [Red Chinese] law contains a series of measures that reduce taxes and other payments owed to the government by exporters.   They violate a number of WTO rules, including the explicit prohibition of export subsidies.   The companies who qualify for using these subsidies account for nearly 60% of [Red China's] exports of factory goods in 2005, including steel, wood and paper, the USTR said.   Pressure has been mounting on the White House from Congress and U.S. manufacturers to take action to counter the growing bilateral trade gap, which some experts say may hit a record $240G in 2006...   Other subsidy programs targeted by the U.S.A. provide incentives for [Red Chinese] companies to purchase domestic equipment, instead of buying from U.S.A. exporters.   The U.S.A. did not mention the low value of [Red China's] currency, which some experts believe is significantly under-valued and [Red China's] biggest export subsidy...   The U.S.A. has only brought 2 other cases to the WTO against [Red China].   The only pending case is a joint U.S., European and Canadian complaint against [Red China's] tariffs on auto parts.   The first complaint, involving value-added tax rebates that the U.S.A. said discriminated against U.S. semiconductors, was settled."

Kirsty Barnes _In Pharma Technologist_
Pfizer plans to double off-shore out-sourcing

2007-02-02 (5767 Shevat/Shebat 14)
Diana West _Jewish World Review_
Denial is an ugly thing that we urgently need to confront
"Surely it is Mr. Ahmadinejad who should be concerned about the reaction from the world's sole super-power to findings of Iranian complicity in American combat deaths, and not vice versa...   This same ostrich-like viewpoint drives administration policy on the Palestinian Authority, which hinges on the contrafactual belief that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is a 'moderate'."

S&P 5001,448.39
10-year US T-Bond4.83%
crude oil59.02
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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

  "Bit by bit, day by day, we are being seduced by politicians promising security as they take away our sovereignty, promising prosperity as they gnaw away at our privacy." --- Steve Forbes 1999-02-17 _Wired_  



2007-02-02 20:48:17PST (2007-02-02 23:48:17EST) (2007-02-03 04:48:18GMT)
Thomas Elias _Pasadena Star News_
Tech executives drive push for more H-1B guest-worker visas
Whittier Daily News
Ridgecrest CA Daily Independent
"Technology [executives] who like to hire skilled workers cheaply suffered a big disappointment last Fall, when Congress never quite got around to acting on their request to almost double the number of H1-B immigration visas issued each year.   But the high-tech lobby doesn't give up easily.   Even though the H1-B increase they sought bogged down amid debates over other proposed guest worker programs, companies like M$, Intel, Qualcomm and others started knocking on congressional doors the moment this year's session began...   About 20% eventually obtain permanent resident status and get green cards, some industry sources say.   The rub: Many American citizen engineers and computer programmers claim they've been laid off and replaced by foreign H1-B workers willing to accept far lower wages [and benefits].   It's a dispute that's raged for at least 12 years...   'There are an estimated 10M people in the domestic information technology work force.', Jeff Lande, senior vice president of the Information Technology Association of America, told a reporter.   'Maybe 30K of those come from H1-B.   It's a drop in the bucket.'   Huh?   If companies have been hiring 32K [guest-workers] a year for at least 10 years (more in the 2 years during that span when the quota was raised [and over 100K in each of the last 2 years, according to records obtained by CNN from USCIS]), how can there only be 30K now working?   Their claim doesn't compute.   But this doesn't stop the highest profile executives in high technology, the masters of companies that dominate the world computer and software trades, from making their claims in Congress.   When they visit the Capitol, their paths are often paved with campaign donations before they arrive.   M$ chairman Bill Gates was one industry lobbyist last year...   But on the other side are American workers who contend they are often phased out in favor of lower-paid foreigners as a way to cut costs.   In one congressional hearing, a 34-year-old programmer used her cell phone to dial up a number in a help-wanted ad, telling the employer 'I'm an American citizen and I'm looking for a job like this.'   The response, which brought gasps from listening congressmen, 'Sorry, but that job's been set aside for an H1-B employee.'   Something is seriously amiss if companies are setting aside jobs for foreign workers at the same time they claim they can't find enough Americans to fill those same jobs.   But Congress refused last year to pass the so-called 'Defend the American Dream' bill which would require companies to offer jobs first to American workers and compel audits to make sure guest workers are paid the same as citizens holding equivalent jobs in the same companies.   The idea of this plan is to eliminate the economic incentive companies now have for giving foreign workers preference.   But the campaign contributions of high-tech companies will almost surely again prevent this plan from ever becoming law.   And yet, there is little question something is needed, both to prevent exploitation of highly-skilled foreign workers and to assure that highly-trained Americans get the first crack at jobs here."

Casey Junkins _Wheeling News-Register_/_Intelligencer_
Commercial development expected to generate 5K jobs
"As work continues on various businesses at The Highlands development in Ohio county, local officials anticipate 5K jobs to open up as the project grows...   'Word of mouth travels faster than anything else, so we are doing everything we can to let people know that our employers are going to be hiring...   If having open jobs is a problem, it is a good problem to have, as opposed to not having available jobs.'   The impact of 5K new jobs likely will bring people to the area, added West Virginia University professor of Economics George Hammond.   'Adding 4K to 5K jobs to the Wheeling MSA will have quite an impact on the economy, and I believe the impact will be a positive one.', Hammond said, noting he believes the Wheeling MSA will be able to accommodate the new positions.   'In 2006 November, the unemployment rate for the Wheeling MSA was 4.9%, while the unemployment rate for the Weirton/Steubenville MSA -- consisting of Hancock and Brooke counties in West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio -- was 6.7%.   There are significant numbers of people in the area looking for jobs, and because employers at The Highlands draw from both of these MSAs, as well as Washington County in Pennsylvania, there should not be much of a problem filling the jobs they will provide.'...   There currently are 1,800 people employed at The Highlands, with an additional 800 expected by the end of this year."

2007-02-03 14:52PST (17:52EST) (22:52GMT)
Jeff deYoung _Farm & Ranch_
US beef cattle increase on hold, but mandatory country of origin labeling could start in 2007
"Cow and heifer slaughter have been up in recent months, John Lawrence, Iowa State University Extension livestock marketing economist, told producers at the recent 4-State Beef Conference.   Beef cow slaughter was up 17.9% from a year ago, although Lawrence says very few cows were sent to town in 2005 because the industry was in the expansion phase of the cattle cycle...   Lawrence said he expects mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) to be implemented somewhat sooner than planned.   After the program passed as part of the 2002 farm bill, mandatory usage was pushed back 3 times, eventually settling on 2008.   With a Democrat-controlled Congress, he believes COOL could be on the fast track to implementation as early as late 2007."

2007-02-03 15:36PST (18:36EST) (23:36GMT)
Max Baucus _Prairie Star_
As chair of Finance, how can I help my 900K bosses in the Big Sky Country?
"I'll fight to make sure COOL (country of origin labeling law) is implemented correctly, that our wheat and barley producers have an adequate safety net, and fix the problems with the Conservation Security Program."

Becky Yerak _Chicago Tribune_
Bank of India to eliminate 49 Chicago tech jobs as part of plan to eliminate 550 additional US positions, including 250 tech workers
"The Charlotte-based financial institution, the nation's second-biggest bank, announced earlier this week that it will eliminate 550 U.S. jobs, including 250 in technology operations.   Bank of [India] has about 3,700 workers in the Chicago area.   It's at least the third time in recent weeks that banking industry workers have faced lay-offs, both locally and nationally.   On Wednesday Harris Bank announced it was cutting 250 U.S. jobs, mostly in the Chicago area, as part of a plan by its Canadian parent, BMO Financial Group, to lay off 1K workers in a wide range of operations.   Also, about 500 Chicago-area workers at LaSalle Bank Corp., the city's second-biggest bank, and other ABN Amro Bank NV businesses will lose their jobs by mid-2007 as the Dutch-owned company looks to cut costs.   Those cuts are among 900 lay-offs ABN Amro plans to make in North America."

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Meet John Miano, founder of the Programmers Guild
"John Miano launched the Programmers Guild, an advocacy group, in 1998, concerned about foreign workers replacing programmers like himself.   Miano earned a law degree in 2005 and is building a legal practice suing companies that violate H-1B rules by hiring foreign workers without considering U.S. job candidates...   American programmers shouldn't just complain about their jobs disappearing.   'Get a back-bone and stand up.', he tells IT professionals.   'Don't train the H-1B replacements your employers bring in.   Get up and walk out.'   If you want job security, 'become a plumber or electrician.   They're paid well and require skills you can't off-shore.'   Miano, 45, enjoys playing classical compositions on the ivories.   'I'm a music snob.', he admits.   But he also thinks musical talent runs through techie veins.   'I've never met a good programmer who doesn't play an instrument.'"


2007-02-03 22:01PST (2007-02-04 01:01EST) (2007-02-04 06:01GMT)
Marion Lloyd & Jenalia Moreno _Houston Chronicle_
Mexican remittances have reached $25G in 2006
"The estimated figure represents a 25% increase over 2005 and a nearly 80% surge since 2003, the Inter-American Development Bank, or IDB, said in its report. &nnbsp; Remittances have surpassed tourism as Mexico's second-largest source of foreign revenue, helping support more than 4M Mexican families, said the Washington-based bank, which lends to 26 member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.   Oil is Mexico's largest foreign revenue producer."

Jan Herron & S.J. Miller _Federal Observer_
Americans want new blood in presidency, not retreads
"Despite consistent polls showing that 70%-80% of Americans want immigration laws enforced and the border secured, most 2008 Presidential hopefuls pay no attention to Americans at all...   Retreads carefully evade mentioning the damage done to middle and low-income Americans by the illegal alien invasion...   mericans aren't fooled by this whining and sniveling either.   They know that the Retreads' calls for "civility" are aimed only at Americans who disagree with their illegal alien amnesty plan, and their real meaning is, 'Shut up, because we don't want to hear it.   We've made the decision and you have nothing to say about it.'   Retreads weren't calling for 'civility' when 100K illegal aliens shut down the Chicago Loop at Friday rush hour waving their Mexican flags demanding 'rights' and telling Americans 'This is our land -- go back to Europe.'...   Retreads may fool themselves but they don't deceive Americans.   That's why the average American voter is ecstatic that Congressmen Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo have entered the 2008 Presidential race.   They know these 3 statesmen will insist that the immigration issue (both legal and illegal) be recognized and addressed as a top issue in the Republican Party's platform.   Three cheers to Hunter, Paul and Tancredo!"

Denise Trowbridge _Columbus Dispatch_
Positions go unfilled despite pool of available talent
Red Orbit
"U.S. businesses [executives] increasingly say they can't find the skilled workers they need, while millions of skilled workers say they can't find a job...   Even though he has a master's degree in computer science and decades of experience working for Fortune 500 companies, he quit his job search after 2 years of looking.   'I decided to throw in the towel and accept the fact that I was involuntarily retired.', he said.   In central Ohio, 68% of businesses said they couldn't fill jobs because they couldn't find people with the right skills or work experience, according to Community Research Partners a non-profit economic research group in Columbus.   Yet, about 28K workers in Franklin County -- many with education, experience and technical skills -- can't find a job.   Nationally, 8.1M people are unemployed...   LK holds a doctorate in biotechnology, has years of lab experience and has had research published in prestigious journals.   She's been looking for full-time work for 6 years.   'There is no skill shortage.', she said.   'I probably know 20 people with Ph.D.s in biology, chemistry, et cetera, and none of them can even get an interview.'...   Businesses have created an "artificial" talent shortage with short-sighted employment practices and inefficient use of the existing work force, said Norm Matloff, computer science professor at the University of California-Davis, in testimony to Congress about technology labor shortages.   The underlying driver is money.   'When a business says shortage, they really mean they are finding it difficult to obtain labor at the wage they are accustomed to paying.', said Richard DeKaser, chief economist at National City Bank.   Ohio businesses are definitely 'not willing overall to pay for skills that are in short supply', said Kathlene Tarsitano, general manager of Express Personnel Services, a staffing and recruiting company in Columbus.   About 23% of central Ohio employers said they had difficulty filling jobs because of the pay they were offering, according to Community Research Partners.   Industry doesn't apply the 'basic laws of supply and demand to salaries', said Paul Kostek, former president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.   A company that under-pays 'will sit around and wonder why they can't find people and say it must be due to a skill shortage', he said...   But employers who offer more generous benefits seem to be avoiding skill shortages altogether.   Ohio Health, which runs eight hospitals including Grant Medical Center and Riverside Methodist, launched a program in 2002 to pay 100% of nursing-school tuition costs for its full- and part-time employees...   Businesses also have grown pickier.   'Companies are very rigid in who they are going to hire, and it's gotten steadily worse.', Tarsitano said.   'They would rather go with nobody than someone with comparable and transferable skills that they could train.   They've cut their pool of applicants to none.'...   Why?   Training budgets have been replaced with a 'hit-theground-running attitude', Heneman said.   Companies spend 50 times more recruiting a candidate than they do training them after they're hired, according to Deloitte Research.   Only 37% of central Ohio companies provide general skills training beyond an initial orientation...   In 1997, the average American worker produced $70,200 [inflation-adjusted] worth of work...   In 2005, it was $82,700...   Central Ohio employers expect shortages in health care, information technology, architecture, engineering, sales, and business and financial operations in the next year.   Even so, these jobs will only yield a small number of openings every year.   Occupations with lower pay and fewer skill requirements will provide significantly more jobs, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.   For instance, for every one job opening for a network systems data analyst, Ohio will have 20 openings for retail sales-people."

Matt Wickenheiser _Portland ME Press Herald_
Weapons-maker going full bore
"LaPerriere said that GD Saco is the 'center of manufacturing excellence' for GD's Armament and Technical Products division...   The company has invested between $2.5M and $3M in equipment each year since GD acquired it [in 2000]...   Robotic machines feed the billets into the forge, where the metal glows orange, heated to 2,100 degrees.   It's then worked into the hammer forge...   While the company wants to hire more workers, it can't find any skilled tradesman in the local labor pool.   So LaPerriere said he hires unskilled workers and trains them.   The jobs pay an average $18 an hour, plus benefits, and it's an incentive shop -- productive workers can put in 8 hours and take home pay for up to 12 hours.   'Give me someone who has passion, who has desire to do what we do, and I can train them to run a machine.', he said."


2007-02-04 21:55PST (2007-02-05 00:55EST) (2007-02-05 05:55GMT)
Derek Strong _Norman Transcript_
Local legislators get many bills into the mix
"Representative Randy Terrill (R-Moore) has introduced tax legislation...   Terrill has introduced a bill, HB1804, that would change Oklahoma immigration laws in 5 key areas.   One provision involves identity theft.   Under Terrill's bill, those seeking Oklahoma identification would have to prove they are citizens of the United States.   Citizenship status would be printed on the identification making it easier to see who is here illegally.   A second provision deals with voter fraud.   It would require polling places to check citizenship status of voters befre they are allowed to vote.   This would cut down on voter fraud, Terrill said.   Another provision would terminate state assistance, such as income support, to all illegal [aliens].   Terrill said he does not want to see tax money going to people who choose to come here illegally.   Terrill's bill would make it a state crime to be in Oklahoma illegally, allowing state and local authorities to detain illegal aliens and keep them until arrangements could be made for deportation.   Terrill said the added work shouldn't be a problem because of federal grants."

2007-02-04 22:04PST (01:04EST) (06:04GMT)
Peter Brimelow _MarketWatch_
Golden suspicions

Sharon Lam _St. Petersburg Times_
Skerritt column was misleading about illegal aliens
"In his most recent column concerning the 13-year old girl who ran away to Mexico with her 17 year old boyfriend, the title to the article suggests the parents are just poor migrants (which suggests they are here legally) worried about their daughter.   It becomes apparent the parents and the daughter are illegal aliens (not undocumented migrants) from Mexico who are putting everything on the line by reporting their runaway daughter because now they possibly could be deported.   Mr. Skerritt asks his readers to feel sorry for these people.   Unbelievable!   The parents brought the child here nine years ago, and she had no choice.   The parents, however, did have a choice and they chose to disrespect America's sovereignty and to break our laws by entering illegally.   Surely, they knew if they were caught they would be returned home.   Since arriving nine years ago they still need an interpreter because they speak little English.   So much for assimilation."

Cyrus Hadadi _DiamondBack On-Line_
Illegal remedy
"The non-partisan Education Trust gave [the University of Maryland] an overall grade of 'D' for minority and low-income student access to higher education, only months after the National Center for Public Policy and Education gave the university an 'F' for affordability.   Just last week, a few days before the beginning of Black History Mongh, a Board of Regents report found that the high cost of college is the primary barrier to black males' enrollment and success at the university.   Black students 'who'd like to go to college aren't going, not because of their abilities, but because of a lack of resources', stated report co-chair Orlan Johnson.   In light of these unfortunate findings, the fact that the university chose to enroll and grant in-state tuition status to a self-professed illegal alien, as reported in the January 31 issue of The DiamondBack, is an egregious breach of justice."

John Leo _City Journal_
Free Inquiry?   Not on Campus
"In October, for instance, a student mob stormed a Columbia University stage, shutting down speeches by 2 members of the Minutemen, an anti-illegal-immigration group.   The students shouted: 'They have no right to speak!'   Campus opponents of Congressman Tom Tancredo, an illegal-immigration foe, set off fire alarms at Georgetown to disrupt his planned speech, and their counterparts at Michigan State roughed up his student backers.   Conservative activist David Horowitz, black conservative columnist Star Parker, and Daniel Pipes, an outspoken critic of Islamism, frequently find themselves shouted down or disrupted on campus.   School officials seem to have little more interest in free speech.   At Columbia this Fall, officials turned away most of a large crowd gathered to hear former PLO terrorist-turned-anti-jihadist Walid Shoebat, citing security worries..."

2007-02-05 07:24PST (10:24EST) (15:24GMT)
Steve MacFarlane _Consumer Reports_/_Business Wire_/_AMFA National_
Consumer Reports calls out-sourcing air-craft maintenance "an accident waiting to happen"
"The 2007 March issue of Consumer Reports includes a feature article titled, 'An accident waiting to happen? Out-Sourcing Raises Air-Safety Concerns.'   In the article, representative James Oberstar (D-MN), House transportation committee chairman, says that out-sourced aircraft maintenance is 'not being done with the same oversight' as maintenance performed by airline employees. 'It's a recipe for failure.', he concludes.   'Consumer Reports' research findings strongly match what we've been warning the public and government officials about for a number of years.', according to Steve MacFarlane, assistant national director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA). 'It's gratifying to see such credible outside sources as Consumer Reports and representative Oberstar validating these important concerns.'  Among the consumer research magazine's findings: 'Airlines that out-source more tend to have more delays.'   'Much of the [out-sourced] work is being done by unlicensed mechanics.'   'Arrests at some [out-sourced] repair shops have snared terrorism suspects and [illegal aliens], who were subsequently deported.'   Out-sourced aircraft repair shops 'are less subject to oversight than in-house [the airlines' own] shops, with fewer screening programs and fewer inspections... At the same time, the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] is reducing actual inspections of airlines.'   A U.S. Department of Transportation report stated that 'the FAA never inspected approximately 1,400 non-certificated repair facilities, including 104 foreign facilities'."

2007-02-05 07:36PST (10:36EST) (15:36GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
ISM services index rose from 56.7 in December to 59 in January: Employment index went from 51.8 in October to 51.9 in November to 53.2 in December to 51.7 in January
ISM press release
"'More requests for services, particularly off-shoring.' (Professional, Scientific & Technical Services)"

_Land Line_
4 truck drivers were arrested last week for smuggling 21 illegal aliens
"Agents watched groups of 3 men getting into the cab of Genaro Tapia-Saldana's tractor at the Petro Truck Stop in Anthony, TX, on Jan. 27.   The agents said 3 Mexican men told them they had crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S.A. the day before near downtown El Paso.   Also on Jan. 27, agents said they saw 3 men acting nervous as they climbed into a truck driven by Joel Victoria-Michaca, at a Petro truck stop in Vinton, TX.   The agency's news release said Victoria-Michaca told the agents he agreed to take the men to Dallas for $1,200.   A few days later, the task force arrested truck driver Osvaldo Rodriguez Fierro on Feb. 4 in Anthony, TX, for allegedly hauling six illegal aliens who had paid $2,400 each to be smuggled to Los Angeles...   Madgalena Estrada-Collazo, 44, of El Paso, was arrested Jan. 28 when sheriff's deputies found 3 Mexican men riding in her 1998 Ford Expedition as the group headed to Phoenix.   In an unrelated case, Kristo Ivanov, a 70-year-old former circus acrobat, admitted last week that he helped 870 illegal aliens enter the U.S.A. from 2001 through 2006 by preparing visas for individuals he knew wouldn't work as circus performers.   The Department of Justice said the Bulgarian native came to the U.S.A. in 1980 while working as an acrobat for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus before forming his own circus booking agency in Florida."

Wilson P. Dizard _GCN_
Analysts are split on Transportation Worker Identification Credential
"The continued uncertainty about TWIC's technology choice comes on the heels of TSA awarding a $70M contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. to deploy the cards by establishing enrollment centers.   The centers will collect biographic information and finger-prints to conduct a security threat assessment and produce the biometric credential...   If the credentials' authentication measures fail, the cards will revert to a flash-pass mode and provide minimal security, sources close to the program have said.   When that happens, illegal aliens and terrorists could use the TWIC cards to obtain 'Real ID' driver's licenses, the sources said."

Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Politics and immigration create an unholy alliance
"It is not that these illegal aliens do the work American's won't do, it is simply a matter of illegal aliens being willing to work for substandard wages under substandard conditions.   If Americans will toil in coal mines, steel foundries or construction sites, drive garbage trucks, don firefighter gear and race into burning buildings to try to rescue total strangers, or put a badge in their pocket and a firearm on their hip and chase armed and dangerous criminals down dark alleyways, then I would submit that there is no job an American won't do, provided that they can support themselves and their families when they get paid."

Mark Lowry _American Chronicle_
When will the invasion of illegal aliens wake the sleeping giant?
"Today, threat to our freedom is from elected officials who would destroy American Sovereignty, eliminate our constitutional freedoms without our consent and replace it with one world government.   That's a pretty big chore, Dr. G. Brock Chisolm said: 'To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men, their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas.'"

_Business Week_
Off-Shore Out-Sourcing: Where's Uncle Sam?

Mark Lowry _American Chronicle_
America funds illegal alien invasion, slavery and prostitution with welfare

_Liberty Papers_
Where are the federal government spending cuts?

David Bacon _Tom Paine_
Corraling and entrenching an under-class
"From 1942 to 1964, the Bracero Program recruited temporary immigrants.   They were exploited, cheated, and deported if they tried to go on strike.   Growers pitted them against workers already in the country to drive down wages.   César Chávez, Ernesto Galarza and Bert Corona all campaigned to get the program repealed.   Advocates of today's programs do everything they can to avoid association with the bitter 'bracero' label.   They used 'guest-worker' until that name also developed an ill repute.   Now they prefer other euphemisms -- 'essential workers', or just 'new workers'.   We don't live in a magical world, however.   You can't clean up an unpleasant reality by renaming it.   Current guest worker programs allow labor contractors to maintain blacklists of workers who work slowly or demand rights.   Anyone who makes trouble doesn't get rehired to work in the U.S.A. again.   Public interest lawyers spend years in court, trying just to get back wages for cheated immigrants.   The Department of Labor almost never decertifies a contractor for this abuse.   Guest workers labor under the employer's thumb.   Standing up for a union or minimum wage is risky.   Under current programs, and in the new Congressional proposals, if workers lose their jobs they must leave, making deportation a punishment for being unemployed.   No one gets unemployment insurance, disability or workers' compensation payments.   Companies save money and avoid bad publicity by sending injured workers back home, where health-care is virtually unavailable."

2007-02-05 (5767 Shevat/Shebat 17)
Andrew Klavan _Jewish World Review_
Is Hollywood too timid for the war on jihad?

S&P 5001,446.99
10-year US T-Bond4.81%
crude oil58.74
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shore Out-Sourcing e-News-Letter_
UCB conference "Globalization Comes Home"
"The first speaker, Dwight Jaffee of UCB's Haas School of Business, gave a pro-off-shoring talk.   I'll say more about him below, as he is the only one whose talk I attended that spoke on the tech sector.   (His research partner Cynthia Kroll spoke later, but I thought I could spend my time better elsewhere than to attend it.)   In the talks I attended, the speakers were pretty balanced, about half of them supporting globalization and about half criticizing it.   The most engaging talks were by Berch Berberoglu of UNLV and Michael Schulman of NC State.   Berberoglu, I take it, is well-known as a sociologist.   He's very flamboyant and pretty extreme in his politics [i.e. he's a flaming radical leftist], but one need not agree with him to find him interesting.   He certainly got in some good zingers against Big Business.   Halfway in his talk, though, Alan Rugman of Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, rose and pompously said to Berberoglu, 'Everything you're saying is rubbish!'   It was incredibly rude, and the audience, whether sympathetic to Berberoglu or not, defended Berberoglu at the end of the talk by giving him a much warmer round of applause than anyone else got.   Schulman gave a very touching and well-researched slide show on the adverse effects of globalization on poor black women in NC.   During the discussion that ensued, which went well beyond this particular context, Ram Mudambi of Temple University's Fox School of Business and Management, stood up and passionately defended globalism, using GM auto workers as his focus.   He raised his voice as he said, 'Those auto workers didn't DESERVE to get $18 per hour!   They had NO RIGHT to make that much!'   I agree that manual labor should largely be done abroad, but to use moral terms like 'deserve' is way over the top, IMO.   Now, back to Jaffee.   Some of you will recall that he, Kroll and Ashok Bardhan, all of the Haas School, caused quite a stir a couple of years ago when they talked about 12M U.S. jobs being up for grabs because of globalization.   Subsequently they released reports in the opposite direction, saying that globalization would probably not be a problem after all.   Jaffee said obliquely that his group had been asked to look at these issues, which makes one wonder if the asking was done by the Haas School's corporate sponsors who didn't like the theme of their earlier research.   Jaffee basically told the same story that one sees in the ACM globalization study that I've reported on in the past.   (Recall that David Patterson, the ACM president at the time, is a professor at UCB.)   The message is that total employment in the 'Computer and Math' sector is the same today as in 1999 [though thousands of new people have prepared for these fields].   During the Q&A period, I pointed out that (a) the number of H-1Bs, L-1s etc.   increased a lot since 1999, so the number of jobs available to Americans is way down, and (b) the technical jobs are declining while the 'talking jobs' (sales, marketing, etc.) are increasing.   I also pointed to the many former software engineers I know now working in jobs as real estate appraisers and the like, and I raised the age discrimination issue.   He took notes as I was speaking, which I appreciated, but his answers were quite disappointing.   The worst was on H-1B; he asked me, 'Wait a minute, I don't understand, are you actually saying you OPPOSE the immigration law?'   [Existing or proposed?...jgo]   When I said I did, and mentioned the academic and government studies showing that H-1Bs are paid less than Americans, he was incredulous: 'This is amazing. Everyone I talk to says we need to INCREASE the number of visas.'   Again, who is he talking to?   He also said that immigration laws prevent under-payment.   (I asked whether the tax code has loop-holes, and he said sure, so I said it's the same with H-1B, which he accepted).   On the age issue, he said that the engineers displaced by H-1Bs 'obviously don't have the skills'.   I said, 'No, no, they're too expensive.'   This is the second time in recent months that I've seen an economist make such a statement (the other was my UCD colleague, Giovanni Peri), which is amazing to me -- don't economists look at costs anymore?   Jaffee gave the usual response -- retraining.   I asked, 'Retraining for WHAT?   Do you want them to retrain to be real estate appaisers?'   He [said], emphatically, 'YES'.   He also said that wages had gone up in the sector.   I replied that if all the Assistant Professors at UCB were suddenly be fired, then mean wage would go up on campus even though no one's salary would go up a penny; the same effect holds when the low-level jobs go abroad.   He understood and conceded the point.   I might have added that if UCB were to lay him off from his professor job and then rehire him as a Haas recuiter, he would still be employed in the education sector, and thus shouldn't take this coarse data so seriously.   Well, now you see why I didn't have the heart to attend Kroll's talk."

2007-02-06 07:04PST (10:04EST) (15:04GMT)
Jim Williamson _Texarkana Gazette_
Quorum Court to mull English as Sevier county's official language
"The purpose of the resolution is to encourage the local Hispanic population to speak English...   Tollett said she surveyed 22 new business and churches.   According to her tally, the majority of the new Hispanic business owners speak little or no English...   Tallman attended a recent seminar along with law enforcement officials from Sevier County conducted by the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials from Texarkana.   According to information gathered at the seminar, those officials said about 50% of the Hispanics in Sevier county are illegal...   He said Pilgrim's Pride, a chicken processing company in De Queen, which employs Hispanics, has difficulty verifying if they are legal residents.   Authorities say the quality of counterfeit documents has improved.   Tallman said ICE officials will assist communities in documenting Hispanics as legal residents of the U.S.A. using a different computer information network than what is available to local law enforcement agencies.   Brenda Stewart, executive vice president of the De Queen/Sevier Chamber of Commerce, attended the meeting.   She said Hispanic businesses are suspicious of a chamber of commerce...   She said reports show less than 10% of the Hispanics 'ever hope to become citizens'.   'They're here as guest workers and it allows them to stay for 2 years.   How do you know they've been here for 2 years or 20 years?', Tallman asked, suggesting that falsified documents are difficult to prove...   Stewart, who is also an EMT, said emergency medical problems can be aggravated when a non-English speaking Hispanic is ill or injured."

2007-02-06 11:26PST (14:26EST) (19:26GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Economists predict many lay-offs coming in home-building (with graph)
"Between 2005 December and 2006 December, the number of building permits for new homes plunged 23.5%, while spending on residential construction projects fell by 12.4%.   But over that time, employment in residential construction fell by just 1.4% from 3.38 million to 3.34M.   The drop of 47K home-building jobs in 2006 is a big change from the 638K added in the previous 3 years, but it's much less than the 100K that were reported as lost before the Labor Department released revisions to last year's employment data.   Two economists think construction employment will plunge this year as many of the homes started last year are finished.   It typically takes 6 months for a new home to go from the ground-breaking to the final steps of construction [compared to about 2 months in the 1940s].   The latest data show 1.26M homes were still under construction in December...   Rosenberg estimates that employment in residential construction will fall about 20% in 2007, or about 600K jobs.   In essence, the number of jobs in home-building will return to 2002 levels as the pace of home building does.   In addition, of some 3M manufacturing jobs tied directly to housing, about 10% will disappear, Rosenberg estimated.   All told, that's about 900K jobs likely to be lost this year, and it doesn't include a large number of threatened jobs in real estate, mortgage banking and other housing-related fields.   Many of those workers would find employment in other sectors, including nonresidential construction, but the net impact could be enough to take the unemployment rate to 5% by the end of the year, Rosenberg said.   Construction workers make $20.51 an hour, on average, about 20% more than the average worker."

Amanda Paulson _Christian Science Monitor_
A larger share of US workers will have minimal reading skills in 2030 than today (with graph)
"The reason: Most baby boomers will be retiring and a large wave of less-educated immigrants will be moving into the work-force.   This downward shift in reading and math skills suggests a huge challenge for educators and policy-makers in the future, according to a new report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS)...   A combination of immigration and population growth means that the share of the population that is Hispanic is expected to grow from 14% in 2005 to more than 20% by 2030.   More than half of the immigrant Hispanics lack a high school diploma."

Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
The diverse "alien nation"
"A recent ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) newsletter that highlights an investigation of Swift and Company, one of the biggest processors of fresh beef and pork, has received a lot of fanfare.   So far nearly 1,300 employees were arrested on immigration charges.   According to the newsletter, 274 of these illegal aliens have been charged with criminal violations, including reentry after deportation and/or crimes related to identity theft...   The fact that Sudan and Ethiopia were the nations of citizenship for at least a few of the illegal aliens who were arrested raises another issue.   Those 2 countries are heavily involved in terrorism...   Furthermore, it makes it clear that illegal aliens from 'Special Interest' countries are operating within our nation's borders and represent a potential threat.   (A Special Interest country is a country that has been identified as being involved in terrorism.)...   We also know that there are training camps in the so-called 'Three Corners Region' of Brazil that are being operated by Hamas and Hezbollah...   These millions of illegal aliens make a huge haystack in which the criminal and terrorists can easily hide.   This is another reason why the Guest-Worker Amnesty program advocated by the President and members of both houses of Congress from both political parties keeps me awake at night."

_Cattle Network_
Lemmon Livestock raised almost $6K for R-CALF USA: M-COOL on the agenda
Dakota Voice
"[John West] spoke to the crowd about the many issues R-CALF USA continues to work on, including animal identification, Beef Check-off reform, marketing concerns, mandatory country-of-origin labeling, (M-COOL), health and safety issues regarding import standards, Canada's problems with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), as well as USDA's proposal to open the border to older Canadian cattle."

Nick Corcodilos _InfoWorld_
Garbage picking resumes: the 2% solution
"It's hard to feel sorry for companies crying about the Great Talent Shortage when you see them garbage-picking for resumes.   The problem starts at the top, with the board of directors: that corporate crew responsible for long-term governance and policy...   At the stock-holder's meeting, the chairman pounds his fist on the podium and proclaims, 'People are our most important asset!'.   Meanwhile, down in the HR department, a personnel jockey is shoving resumes through a scanner like so many soup cans at the grocery check-out.   Has the chairman been down there lately?...   The chairman watches a personnel jockey devote hour after hour scrolling through 1,500 resumes that she bought for $1,100.   Monster.com allows her a month to do the sorting.   (For $7K, she can devote a whole year to review 20K resumes.)   Monster's revenues are $300M, up 33%.   It's stock is at 51, up 40%.   The chairman is impressed.   But the likelihood that the personnel jockey will fill a position through Monster is about 3%; 2% on CareerBuilder; and 1% on HotJobs (CareerXroads).   While 35 cents a resume ain't bad, the total cost of dumpster diving for hires all the year long is another question -- one for the board of directors...   Everyone's been cataloged, sorted, and ready for job offers.   HR has invested billions in the data base ($1.3G in 2006 alone, according to IDC) -- and continues to.   (That's why you never get a call back from that company you applied to last week...)...   Managers are dying for good hires. HR is busy 'recruiting'..."
Passive employers
Talent shortage myth
Artificial candidate shortages

Michael E. Telzrow _New American_
The true costs of cheap labor

David Hubler _Federal Computer Week_
ITAA and CRITA announce conspiracy
"The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) and the Council of Regional Information Technology Associations (CRITA) today announced an alliance they said will enhance the ability of thousands of technology [executives] to reach governments and markets at the local, state, federal and global levels...   Joan Myers of the North Carolina Technology Association. She is CRITA's president and CEO."

Ron Schneiderman _Electronic Design_
Playing politics with technology
"'This Congress has a lot of unfinished business.', says Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) President and CEO Dave McCurdy...   The biggest item on the industry's political [lobbying] agenda is R&D tax credits.   The EIA's McCurdy says research is 'at the top of the list' of his several hundred member companies.   'For the last 2 years, both sides of the aisle [of Congress] have been telling the high-tech industry [executives] they support extending the R&D tax credit.', McCurdy says.   'Yet time and again, we've seen political gamesmanship trump sound public policy.'   The AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association) is making the same pitch.   'While other countries are aggressively courting R&D with lucrative tax benefits, the U.S.A. has allowed the R&D tax credit to expire for nearly a year.', says AeA President and CEO William T. Archey.   As a result, some deserving projects don't get funded, or they're moved over-seas.   The AeA also has high hopes for support from the new Senate for improved education in math and science, an increase in the federal R&D budget, and visa reform.   High on the IEEE-USA's political to-do list is [getting and] keeping U.S. EEs employed.   The IEEE's Washington, DC-based lobbying group says legislation pending before Congress would authorize enough visas for highly-skilled workers to fill every computing and engineering job created in the United States over the next decade and still have 630K visas left over.   This may kick start another hard look at immigration reform in high-tech jobs.   Congress has been passing or talking about 'big science' legislation for more than a decade, mostly without seeking the advice of engineers or scientists...   And what are the chances of developing a national strategy on off-shoring?   Not much, probably, but with more high-tech companies looking off-shore to reduce their labor costs, increase market access, and look for new governmental economic incentives, engineers might be well advised to start looking more closely at their own careers in anticipation of making some tough, creative choices down the road...   The one that gets mentioned a lot, but doesn't seem to get much traction is accountability, most recently on the heels of reports of cost overruns and mismanagement by contractors coming out of the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security."

Todd J. Gillman & Sudeep Reddy _KHOU_/_Dallas Morning News_
Funding for mere 700-mile fence along some some 8,607 miles of border fell short
"President Bush's budget includes enough money to build only half the U.S.A.-Mexico border fence Congress demanded last fall, leaving supporters of a 700-mile barrier seething Monday and immigration advocates shrugging that it was just an election-year ploy.   With 75 miles of fencing already in place, the $1G in extra money proposed for border infrastructure would be used to build 150 miles of fence by the end of this year and 370 miles by the time Bush leaves office in early 2009, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said.   That's far less than the 700 miles Congress approved last Fall and Bush signed into law...   The president's budget [proposal]... Eliminates the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which this year provided $651M to states and counties to help defray jail costs for illegal immigrants arrested in connection with crimes other than immigration violations.   Texas got $26.5M in 2005, of which a third went to counties.   Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and other Texas lawmakers say they would fight to restore the funding, as they have in years past.   The chairman of the House Border Caucus, representative Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, noted that it's a 'perennial' cut Mr. Bush tries to make and said the lobbying has already begun to ensure the funding continues.   'It is not for the border counties -- with a much smaller tax base -- to do pro bono work on behalf of the entire nation.', he said."

James A. Morrissey _Textile World_
Battle starting over trade promotion authority (TPA)/fast-track authority

Allan Wall _V Dare_
Why are Mexico's congressmen negotiating US border and immigration policy at the US capitol?
"On 2007 February 5th, it was announced in the Mexican media that 3 members of the Mexican Congress would be traveling to Washington to work with Hispanic and other members of the U.S. Congress to craft changes in U.S. immigration [law].   The 3 Mexican congressmen, one from each of the 3 major parties, plan to fly from Mexico City to Washington on February 6th (Tuesday).   On Wednesday (February the 7th) they are scheduled to meet with both Democratic and Republican congressional representatives.   On Thursday the 8th the Mexican congressmen are to meet with U.S. representatives Joe Baca, Luis B. Gutierrez, Hilda Solis and Nancy Pelosi.   The goal is work toward a migratory accord before the U.S. presidential elections advance any further."


2007-02-06 17:06PST (2007-02-06 20:06EST) (2007-02-07 01:06GMT)
Jerome R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
DHS officials admit lying aobut jailed border agents
"A Department of Homeland Security official admitted today the agency misled Congress when it contended it possessed investigative reports proving Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean confessed guilt and declared they 'wanted to shoot some Mexicans' prior to the incident that led to their imprisonment.   The admission came during the testimony of DHS Inspector General Richard L. Skinner before the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, according to Michael Green, press secretary for representative John Culberson, R-TX...   Under questioning by Culberson, Skinner admitted DHS did not in fact have investigative reports to back up the claims: 'The person who told you that misinformed you.', Skinner reportedly replied.   This prompted a startled and angry response from Culberson, who charged Skinner's office with lying to the Texas congressmen and painting Ramos and Compean as dirty cops...   Poe said it 'explains why DHS has been stonewalling Congress.   DHS didn't turn over the reports to us to back up their September 26 accusations for one simple reason -- the reports never existed.', the Texas congressman said."
National Border Patrol Council rebuttal to Sutton (pdf)
National Border Patrol Council

2007-02-07 05:41PST (08:41EST) (13:41GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Productivity increased 3% in 2006Q4 while unit labor costs rose only 1.7% (with graph)
"Real hourly compensation increased 7.1% as consumer prices fell 2.2%...   Compared with the same quarter a year ago, productivity was up 2.1%, while unit labor costs rose 2.8%.   For all of 2006, productivity rose 2.1%, the slowest annual increase in 10 years.   Unit labor costs rose 3.2%, the most since 2000.   Productivity averaged about 2.7% annually from 1948 to 1970, then slowed to 1.6% from 1971 to 1995.   Since then, productivity has grown about 2.5% annually.   Productivity has slowed in the past few years.   One of the big debates in the economy is whether that slowing is structural or related to the business cycle.   If it's structural, Americans will have to get used to slower growth.   If it's cyclical, then the long-term speed limit of the economy could stay above 3%.   In the manufacturing sector, productivity rose 2.2% in the fourth quarter, with unit labor costs rising 5% and real hourly compensation up 9.8%.   For 2006, manufacturing productivity rose 3.9%, unit labor costs rose 0.2% and real hourly compensation increased 0.9%...   Through the third quarter, nonfinancial productivity had risen 3.2% year-on-year, with unit labor costs up 1.1%.   Real hourly compensation had advanced 1%."
BLS table of contents on productivity and costs

John C. Dvorak _MarketWatch_
Intellectual Property
"The negative attitude over DRM is best expressed in the Wikipedia entry for DRM, 'Technologies to give content providers control over redistribution and access to material...' And indeed, that is exactly what this is all about -- restriction. Whereas in the 1960s if you bought a 45 R.P.M. top 40 hit you could play it on any record player. You could take it to parties and play it. You could play it at the school dance. You could copy it to your tape recorder even."
And you can still play a CD on any CD player, take it to parties and play it, play it at the school dance, and make a back-up on tape.
What you should not be doing is making copies and passing them around to others who make copies and pass them around.

Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
America's immigration circus
"On 2006 May 11, I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations at a hearing entitled, 'Visa Over-Stays: Can We Bar the Terrorist Door?'   This was an important hearing because it is estimated that perhaps as many as 40% of the illegal aliens present in the United States did not run our nation's borders, but rather entered our country legally and then went on, in one way or another, to violate the terms of their admission to the United States.   Some of those illegal aliens simply over-stayed the period of time for which they were admitted.   Some of those illegal aliens worked illegally.   Other illegal aliens who entered in this fashion became involved in criminal activities and a number of them went on to commit terrorist attacks against our nation and our citizens as we saw on 2001 September 11.   Incredibly, our nation has no way of knowing how many aliens who are lawfully admitted into the United States fail to depart the United States.   The reason is simple.   Even after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on US-VISIT, the much vaunted program that was supposed to use biometrics to track the comings and goings of non-immigrant aliens in the United States, US-VISIT is no longer making departure control a priority and may, in fact, never implement this side of the equation!...   In order to participate in the Visa Waiver Program, it would have to be determined that citizens of a country are unlikely to over-stay the period of time for which they were admitted into the United States when they were admitted as non-immigrants.   That requirement has been dropped because to put it simply, we don't know who stays and who leaves!   Aliens entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program often out-number aliens who come from countries whose citizens are required to obtain visas before coming.   The visa requirement can help our nation better defend itself by keeping out terrorists and criminals.   Seper's article, however, calls into the question just how thorough our consular officials are in deciding whether to issue visas to prospective visitors. &nnbsp; According to the article, for roughly 5 years, as many as 870 aliens succeeded in gaming the system to gain visas to enter the U.S.A.   This is the result of one fraud ring that was involved in this scam.   According to the article, this operation began in 2001, the year of the worst terrorist attack ever committed on our nation's soil.   Yet hundreds of aliens were able to procure fraudulent visas in order to enter our country for years after that attack!...   Where are those 870 illegal aliens right now?...   In point of fact, fraud permeates the immigration system.   This has been documented many times..."

_China Post_/_Reuters_
Asia expected to enjoy highest pay hikes in 2007
IBN Live
New Zealand Herald
"Real wage increases, which represent workers' annual salary rises after taking inflation into account, are expected to climb an average 3.6% in Asia this year, a 50% jump from 2.4% in 2006, according to a survey by human resources firm ECA International.   Robust economic growth has turned Asia into one of the fastest-growing millionaires club in the world as private bankers flock to the region, and as banks such as Merrill Lynch/Capgemini bet that the wealth of Asian millionaires may hit US$10.6T in 2010...   Workers in India are set to enjoy the sharpest jump in real wages across the globe this year at 7%.   Workers in Indonesia and [Red China] come in a close second and third, with real wage increases forecasted at about 6%.   In comparison, salaries for workers in Slovakia may grow by 3.5% in real terms this year -- the fastest expected pace of growth outside Asia -- while American workers may only see their wages inch up 1.1%."

Timothy Chui & Jeffrey Tam _Hong Kong Standard_
Brain-drain fear on low real wage rise
"A projected 1.5% rise in real wages for SAR workers this year due to rising inflation, coupled with a rapidly narrowing salary gap between Hong Kong and the mainland, has fueled fears of an accelerating northbound migration of management talent...   According to ECA's latest survey, the salary differential between Hong Kong and the mainland has continued to narrow.   It shows that while the average senior manager in the mainland earned just over a third of what his or her counterpart earned in the SAR in 2002, this difference narrowed to about 50% last year...   He said recent economic performance has resulted in higher annual wage increases in Asia, with increases forecast to be 50% higher compared with last year, and well above the global average of 2.2%.   Economic growth in the region has placed a premium on skilled workers, producing talent shortages that further drive up salary increases, he said.   Businesses benefiting from [Red China's] low labor costs have encouraged moving manufacturing to countries such as Cambodia and VietNam as rising wages impact on current business models, Quane added.   Of the 45 countries surveyed by ECA, the top 5 real wage increases were all centered in Asia with forecasts for Indian real salary increases at 7%.   Workers in Indonesia and the mainland are both expected to see 6% increases, while the Philippines and Thailand are expected to see real wage rises of 4%.   Hong Kong's projected real wage increase of 1.5% ranks the city at 33 out of 45 countries and territories...   'There's a trend of mainland Chinese CEOs favoring Hong Kong executives because of their international exposure, negotiation, ethics and communication skills...'"

2007-02-07 08:44PST (11:44EST) (16:44GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Federal budget surplus for January estimated by CBO at $40G: Federal deficit for FY2007Q1 estimated at $40G
FX Street
CBO monthly budget review

2007-02-07 12:26PST (15:26EST) (20:26GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Consumer debt growth slowed to 3% annualized ($6G) in December

Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten _Manufacturing.net_
Nanotechnology is no small matter
"Most agree that the U.S.A. will increasingly lose ground to lower-wage countries in what has typically been the more transient sectors of manufacturing, such as apparel -- simple, low-skill manufacturing.   [And we've also lost ground in high-skill manufacturing.]   Likewise, many contend the U.S.A. will maintain its leadership position the leader in high-tech, highly skilled manufacturing -- and at the forefront of that is likely to be nano...   According to a 2006 September report from the American Electronics Association (AeA) [a lobbying group for tech executives], high-tech manufacturing employment in the U.S.A. added 33,100 net jobs between 2006 January and June, raising total employment to 1.37M jobs, a 2.5% increase in the sector.   Meanwhile, according to data from Lux Research, by 2014, 10M manufacturing jobs worldwide will involve nanotechnology, comprising 11% of the total manufacturing jobs...   A study conducted by Lux entitled 'Sizing Nanotechnology's Value Chain', notes sales of products incorporating emerging nanotechnology will increase from less than 0.1% of global manufacturing output in 2004 to 15% in 2014, totaling $2.6T...   Indeed, the key to continued success in this market will be access to a highly skilled work-force, according to Josh James, Senior Manager of Research and Industry Analysis [and Propaganda] for the AeA...   'If we continue to out-source simple manufacturing, we lose a foundation and create opportunities for the competition to enter the market.', said Thomas Roemer, Assistant Professor of Innovation, Technology and Operations Management at the Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego.   'Ten years from now, there's a very good chance that [Red Chinese] cars will be in the market.', he said, citing the example of Honda's simple beginnings of building small motorcycles, developing into a major auto manufacturer 50 years later.   'We cannot just give up on manufacturing in the country.'   Dan Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, agrees that more basic forms of manufacturing shouldn't be ignored...   Meckstroth suggests the manufacturing industry focus on higher-end and value-added technologies and focus less on low-cost and low-wage assembly.   He foresees a shift toward more high-skilled manufacturing, but not necessarily high-tech manufacturing."

Ephraim Schwartz _InfoWorld_
Kerry and Kennedy withdrew guest-work amendment to minimum wage legislation

M.E. Sprengelmeyer _Rocky Mountain News_
Tom Tancredo has handed leadership of the Immigration Reform Caucus to Brian Bilbray
"Espinosa said it was similar to the way representative Lamar Smith, R-TX, encouraged Tancredo to take a higher-profile role on the immigration issue 8 years ago...   The caucus started with just 16 members, but its ranks grew to just over 100 by the end of 2005, when Congress was in the middle of an emotional fight over border security and various proposed immigration reforms."

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Federal government IT funding to increase only 2.6% in 2008

Terence P. Jeffrey _Human Events_
Mr. Security's Amnesty
Town Hall
"What are the chances George Steinbrenner, owner of Rudy Giuliani's favorite baseball team, could be persuaded to replace the physical barriers around Yankee Stadium with virtual ones, based on the premise that cameras and sensors could do a better job than actual walls and fences in keeping people out of the stadium when they had not paid for a ticket?   Come to think about it, when he was developing his reputation as a no-nonsense, law-and-order mayor of New York City, did Rudy Giuliani convert the city jails to open spaces where prisoners were monitored via remote TV and guards were dispatched to chase them down only when the cameras showed them making a run for it?   Don't think so.   So why is Rudy Giuliani, the security candidate, calling for a 'technological fence' to stop illegal aliens from running into the United States?   The answer: Mr. Security is not serious about border security...   In an era when terrorists are seeking to kill Americans on American soil, and when analysts at Bear Stearns have estimated that there may be 20M illegal aliens already in the United States, it would be irresponsible for the government not to secure the border as thoroughly as possible...   Giuliani: '...the point that Mel was making was, we need a technological fence.   We need to be able to photograph people, observe them, see them, know who's there, record them.'   Sure, why not do all those things -- on the Mexico-facing side of a very real fence?   In fact, The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized 700 miles of double-fencing along the 2K-mile-long U.S.A.-Mexico border, would do all the things Giuliani's 'technological fence' would do, and one more thing: It would put an actual barrier in front of would-be intruders.   The law specifically mandates 'at least 2 layers of reinforced fencing' and 'the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras and sensors'.   So, why not build a barrier like this 'all across' our border?...   'It doesn't mean amnesty.', said Giuliani.   That's George W. Bush-talk for: Yes, it does mean amnesty."
transcript of Sean Hannity interview of Rudy Giuliani
Fox transcript of Sean Hannity interview of Rudy Giuliani

Robert Curry _View from 1776_
The Scottish Enlightenment: Educating America's Founders


2007-02-07 21:30PST (2007-02-08 00:30EST) (2007-02-08 05:30GMT)
Anne Krishnan _Charlotte News & Observer_
Teradata is bringing work back on-shore
"The Dayton, OH company laid off 40 to 50 of its 140 Raleigh workers in early 2004 and shipped development over-seas...   Today, Teradata has reversed course.   It has brought the product development back to Raleigh and is returning its head count here to 2003 levels.   As companies continue to look over-seas to boost their bottom lines, Teradata's experience is a cautionary tale that the decision to off-shore can sometimes be costlier than expected.   The failed off-shoring venture has delayed the next generation of Teradata's customer relationship [i.e. customer privacy violation] software by about 2 years, said Hidalgo, the company's top executive in Raleigh.   'The core lesson we learned is everything that is related to new development, new ideas, core intellectual property, needs to remain close to the company and close to the geography.', he said...   In July, Hidalgo ended the relationship with the Indian contractors and started hiring in Raleigh and Toronto.   Teradata is back to about 120 employees in Raleigh, including a handful of workers who had been laid off, after sinking as low as 70 workers last summer.   Hidalgo wants to add 10 to 15 more by the end of March...   The Raleigh office relies on about 50 company employees in India and [Red China] for product support."

2007-02-08 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 337,323 in the week ending February 3, a decrease of 22,744 from the previous week.   There were 321,527 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3% during the week ending January 27, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,983,238, a decrease of 120,243 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 3,074,962.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending January 20."

2007-02-08 08:25PST (11:25EST) (16:25GMT)
Laura Mandaro _MarketWatch_
Eastman Kodak has increased lay-off plans to 30K

2007-02-08 08:29PST (11:29EST) (16:29GMT)
Robert Oak _DailyKos_
Did Gates lie about H-1B pay?
American Workers Coalition
Network World
"'Only 3.3%, or 40 employees, of the 1,202 total green card applications submitted by M$ had wages above $100k.', Oak writes.   'In fact, more applications, 8.3%, or 92 employees, were paid salaries below $60k. Most of the job titles of the 1,202 applications were Software Engineer, an entry-level job indicator.   The median salary for all was $71k, well below the $100k that Bill Gates touted in his claim of a great shortage of ''talent'' in America (read cheap, controllable and young).'...   As for the bit about 'no U.S. candidates', it is simply a lie."

Are Indian and Red Chinese engineers up to the global challenge?
"Ron Hira, assistant professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and an expert in off-shore out-sourcing and industrial policy, is one of those who are concerned.   'I think engineers contribute in a large degree to US productivity and competitiveness—for one thing, about 65% of American R&D is done in the manufacturing sector.', he says.   Yet Hira observes a pervasive attitude that if US companies can buy something cheaper in [Red China] or India, that's good because it helps the bottom line.   'It is much better to design and manufacture things here because of the local spill-over benefits' such as job creation and entrepreneurship by engineers themselves.   Those off-shore engineers may be plentiful, but are they better?   'The discussion on engineering resources has focused far too much on quantity rather than quality.', says Hira.   For example, he notes that major business groups like the Business RoundTable have recommended that the US double its number of engineering graduates.   However, this would require huge government resources, since engineering education is heavily subsidized.   Instead, Hira suggests we think more about how we differentiate our students from what can be taught in India or [Red China].   'If my cousins in India can do the same work for one-fifth of the salary, then companies will begin hiring them instead of me.', says Hira.   'We need to figure out what's going to stay and what's going to go, and what skills are needed for those jobs.'   Does our existing pool of engineers have the skills for today’s jobs?   'If technological change is moving faster, as most people claim, then the obsolescence cycles are probably getting shorter.', says Hira.   Quoting William A. Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Hira notes that the half-life of an engineer has gotten shorter.   This means that continuing education is more critical for engineers than ever before.   But the support mechanism of company subsidies has been largely dismantled because employees stay in jobs for shorter durations and companies no longer see benefit in paying tuition.   It also means that companies, when they can, likely favor recent graduates over mid-career or older ones."

_News Max_
Women react positively to androstadienone in sweat
Scientific American
composite: "They said the study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, represents the first direct evidence that people secrete a scent that influences the hormones of the opposite sex.   The study focused on androstadienone, considered a male chemical signal.   Previous research had established that a whiff of it affected women's mood, sexual and physiological arousal and brain activation.   A derivative of testosterone, it is found in male sweat as well as in saliva and semen.   It smells somewhat musky.   The researchers exposed 21 subjects to 30 milligrams of androstadienone and to yeast, which is not in sweat but has a similar olfactory sensation.   The participants took 20 sniffs of each in 2 separate trials.   The researchers measured physiological vital signs like body temperature, skin conductance, ear pulse, blood pressure, respiratory function and cardiac rate throughout the experiment.   They also measured mood and sexual arousal by checking the levels of cortisol, a hormone that has been associated with arousal and mood, in saliva samples.   The results: smelling the androstadienone increased positive mood, total physiological arousal and sexual arousal, which grew with longer exposure.   The researchers also found a significant rise in cortisol levels from the sweat component, as compared with the yeast, beginning within 15 minutes of exposure and continuing for up to an hour.   Cortisol is secreted by the body to help maintain proper arousal and sense of well-being, respond to stress and other functions."

2007-02-08 08:40PST (11:40EST) (16:40GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Wholesale inventories fell 0.5% in December
census bureau reports

Peter Elstrom _Business Week_
H-1B guest-work visas may work against the USA
"Indian out-sourcers [bodyshops] file the most applications for temporary H-1B visas.   Are they using them to train staff for jobs abroad?...   But a review of new information from the federal government suggests that the companies benefiting most from the temporary worker program aren't U.S. companies at all.   Rather, they appear to be Indian out-sourcing firms, which often hire workers from India to train in the U.S. before returning home to work.   Data for the fiscal year 2006, which ended last September, show that 7 of the top 10 applicants for H-1B visas are Indian companies.   Giants Infosys Technologies (INFY) and Wipro (WIT) took the top 2 spots, with 22,600 and 19,400 applications, respectively.   The company with the third most applications is Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH), which is based in Teaneck, NJ, but has most of its operations in India.   All 3 companies provide services to U.S. companies from India, including technology support and back-office processing.   The only other U.S. companies among the top 10 are the accounting and consulting firm Deloitte & Touche and consultancy Accenture (ACN) [both bodyshops].   They rank seventh and ninth, with 8K and 7K applications, respectively...   the effect in some cases may be to facilitate moving jobs abroad...   Ron Hira, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, says it appears that Indian firms may be using their H-1Bs to bring in workers from their home countries to make them more effective at out-sourcing jobs in India.   'The visa program serves a good purpose when it brings in the best and the brightest.', says Hira, who is on leave at the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute and crunched the recently released visa data to compile the list of top applicants.   He says that as recently as 1998 eight of the top 10 H-1B visa applicants were U.S. companies.   'It serves a bad purpose when it's used to facilitate [off-shore] out-sourcing.'...   Wipro has more than 4K employees in the U.S.A., and roughly 2,500 are on H-1B visas.   About 1K new temporary workers come to the country each year, while 1K rotate back to India, with improved skills to serve clients...   the temporary visa program includes no requirement that companies in the U.S.A. try to hire American employees before they turn to foreign workers...   Government officials acknowledge that companies that want to give preference to workers from other countries could theoretically do so.   'There's nothing built into the law to stop that.', says Hernandez."

Greg Neft _KSL_
Utah legislature looking at new immigration bill
"Under House Bill 437, life might be difficult for the undocumented. Representative Chris Herrod, Provo: 'The main part of the bill is taking away any benefits that illegal aliens have from the state.'...   Herrod says he's enforcing the rule of law and being fair to those who have followed the rules."

Gary Poole _Wallowa County Chieftain_
Neither US government nor Mexican government are seriously trying to stem flow of illegal aliens
"Mexico's schools graduate only about 25% from high school; the system is corrupted and it's efficiency sabotaged by the powerful teacher's union; starting a business in Mexico is an expensive, time consuming nightmare -- 58 days compared with 5 in the USA.   Along with this they have over regulation on hiring and firing and work hours.   Mexico's leaders have relied on low wage, low tech manufacturing to provide jobs.   [Red China] now has a practical monopoly on that field.   Farms there were placed under a communal arrangement in 1917.   That program was supposedly discontinued in 1992 but the political power structure has not allowed actual change.   A step toward solution would be to insist that Mexico honor its NAFTA agreement by ending state monopolies and simplifying business procedures; that it get rid of stifling tax and labor laws; that it decentralize and update its educational system: that it allow farmers the land rights they should have had after 1992.On our own side of the border, the employers who routinely exploit this labor source need to reap the appropriate legal consequences.   Those who illegally enter need be told that his act of breaking of our laws will not be forgiven nor rewarded by citizenship; that usurping social security numbers is a form of identity theft and will be treated as such; that faked and forged identities are also a form of identity theft and will be treated accordingly."

_Arizona Star_
Citizenship Oath/Affirmation
"Oath of citizenship: I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;   that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;   that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;   that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law;   that I will perform non-combatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;   that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;   and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.   In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature."

_Corruption Chronicles_
Reporting employers of illegal aliens
"We Hire Aliens has become so popular that it receives an estimated 1M hits a month and a major newspaper recently published an article about it.   The San Diego California native who created the site 2 years ago, says he did it because illegal immigrants were destroying his home-town while the federal government looked the other way."

_Lahontan Valley News_
REAL ID Act is an outlandish, bureaucratic boondoggle that violates US citizens' privacy
"So if you think your last visit to the DMV was unpleasant, next year's appointment may be a nightmare.   Imagine the chaos that will follow the more than 1 million individuals who will show up at DMV offices around the state to renew their licenses if they even have a birth certificate and [Socialist Insecurity kkkard] and remember to bring it.   If you don't already have these documents, it might be a good idea to start making arrangements to get them now if you want to drive a car or get on an airplane next year...   The cost of compliance in Nevada would be about $66M over the next 4 years, according to the AP."

_Court TV_
Woman sentenced to a year in prison for smuggling Mexican children into USA
"Brenda Aguirre, 25, of Phoenix, was accused of trying to enter the United States with the children April 2 at the Douglas border crossing.   She claimed the children were hers and that they were U.S. citizens.   But officials determined the children, ages 3 and 5, were Mexican and that Aguirre was to receive $500 for bringing them across the border."

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
CEOs don't expect much from IT or CIOs, and tech workers have low opinions of executives
"Nearly six-in-ten CEOs say they are satisfied or very satisfied with the performance of their companies' IT, yet most admit they don't expect their CIOs to be proactive about process improvement, business innovation, or effectively managing IT assets, according to the survey, which polled 71 CEOs at firms with more than $100M in revenue...   In fact, most CIOs themselves admit that they play it safe...   CEOs need to education themselves about IT..."

2007-02-08 15:38PST (18:38EST) (23:38GMT)
O. Kay Henderson _Radio Iowa_
Mitt Romney quizzed about immigration
"'I love immigration.   I love legal immigrants coming into our country.', Romney told the crowd at Rube's Steakhouse in Montour.   'My guess is everybody in this room is a descendant of an immigrant or an immigrant himself.   So we love immigration as Americans.   Immigration brings us education, new cultures, ideas, innovative talent.   It's wonderful to have legal immigration.   I don't like illegal immigration.'   The man who questioned Romney specifically asked whether Romney supported construction of a fence along the southern U.S. border.   Romney replied that it is important to secure the border.   'Make sure that we have a clear, defined border between ourselves and places that want to bring people in illegally.', Romney said.   '...That's not enough, just securing the border.   In my opinion, we need to do one thing more, at least, and that is to have an employment verification system.'   Romney envisions a tamper-proof I.D. card that would let businesses know whether the person is in the country legally.   'Then if that employer hires that person, we treat that employer just like someone who doesn't pay their taxes.', Romney said.   Romney argued, though, that American businesses need 'skilled' immigrants.   'If you're so lucky to be in India, let's say, and you've done real well in school and you've gotten a scholarship to come to Iowa State to study...   you're going to get a Ph.D, the only condition... is once you've got your degree, you've got to go home.   IMO if you've got a Ph.D from Iowa State, we'd like you to stay.', Romney says.   'We'll staple a green card to your diploma.'"

Roxana Hegeman _AP_/_Hutchinson_
Suspected human smugglers indicted

Cliff Judy _KBSD_
Flat tire busts human traffickers
"the victims had their shoes, cash and personal belongings taken from them to keep them from fleeing.   They were then held at gun-point and told they would have their fingers, hands or ears cut off -- or they could be shot, if they didn't come up with $2,000 ransom money.   The 2 men charged are 29-year-old Ramiro Alapizco-Valenzuela and 27-year-old Rene Cota-Beltran.   Each faces one count of conspiracy to take hostages, one count of taking hostages, one count of conspiracy to knowingly transport aliens unlawfully in the United States, and one count of knowingly transporting aliens unlawfully in the United States.   Alapizco-Valenzuela is also charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported...   The 2 men could face life in prison without parole and a fine of up to $250K for each of the crimes."


2007-02-08 10:53PST (2007-02-08 22:53EST) (2007-02-09 03:53GMT)
Laredo's back roads
"Nearly a year after NewsChannel 5 found back roads that drug smugglers and illegal aliens were using to bypass Border Patrol Checkpoints we return to check it out.   In the past 10 months, the Border Patrol added a checkpoint on Callahan Road to stop the flow of contraband.   But 2 other roads, F.M. 2050 and FM 2050, can still be easily used to bypass any checkpoints.   Another road well known to drug traffickers is Old Mines Road.   It starts in Laredo as a paved road, but later turns to caliche before coming to an end in Carrizo Springs.   Bypassing check-points alltogether.   Only now, Border Patrol agents frequently travel this road, looking for people breaking the road."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
on Vivek Wadhwa column
"The main message in the enclosed column is something on which I am in full agreement with him -- we should facilitate the immigration of the world's 'best and brightest'.   I'm pleased to see that he also is careful to point out that mere possession of a graduate degree in a tech field does not mean one is the best and the brightest, which is again what I say too.   Yet his message will still be misunderstood...   It is certainly not the case for those immigrant entrepreneurs whose main business is to off-shore work that would have been done in the U.S.A., for instance...   One might argue that patents are a better measure.   I would disagree on this too, but even if one takes it as a reasonable measure, Vivek's own data show that immigrants don't have a higher rate of patenting than the natives, which contradicts the notion that the foreign engineers tend to be the best and the brightest.   If they were (and if one believes patents are a good measure), then their level of patenting should be much higher than the natives...   Vivek has said that he would appreciate people adding thoughtful reader comments."
Duke university report
Case study of under-payment of H-1B visa-holders
Vivek Wadhwa _Business Week_
Let's keep skilled immigrants in the USA

2007-02-09 11:22PST (14:22EST) (19:22GMT)
Alcatel-Lucent plans to cut 12,500 jobs

_Pegasus News_
Judge sentences 3rd man for helping illegal aliens get work
"Shariq Ahmed Khan, 44, was sentenced today to 33 months in prison by U.S. District Judge John McBryde, following his conviction in October by a federal jury on various charges related to his participation in a conspiracy to obtain documents for illegal aliens by fraud.   Co-defendant Syed S. Shahabuddin, 40, pled guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor aliens and was sentenced today to five years probation and ordered to pay a $20K fine.   Also, Sunny Khanna, who pled guilty in September to aiding and abetting fraud and misuse of documents, was sentenced last month to 18 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a $10K fine.   Khanna's sentence was a downward departure from the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines in recognition of his assistance in the prosecution of his co-defendants.   Sunny Khanna, 48, is a former resident of Colleyville but now resides in Irving.   Shariq Ahmed Khan is a resident of Colleyville and Syed S. Shahabuddin is a resident of Naperville, IL."

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Revolving door deportations show feds are either clueless or evil

Neal Sandler _Red Herring_
Israeli tech jobs rose 20% last year
"The report by Job Info noted that demand for software engineers rose 11%.   Demand in certain market segments like Java and real-time programmers climbed 38% and 25%, respectively."

"dave" _Programmers Guild_
A brief history of the development of the H-1B visa to betray American workers

Average Starting Salaries for New Grads
Computer Science$51,070
Mechanical Engineering$54,587
Chemical Engineering$60,054
Civil Engineering$47,145
EE Engineering$54,599


  "In a local area, Tit for Tat individuals may meet each other often enough to prosper from mutual cooperation, even though calculations that take into account only the global frequency in the total population might suggest that they are below the 'knife-edge' critical frequency.   If this happens, Tit for Tat individuals, cooperating with one another in cosy little local enclaves, may prosper so well that they grow from small local clusters into larger local clusters.   These local clusters may grow so large that they spread out into other areas, areas that had hitherto been dominated, numerically, by individuals playing Always Defect." --- Richard Dawkins 1976 & 1989 _The Selfish Gene_ pg 219  



_Dallas/Fort Worth Star-Telegram_
Colleyville man gets prison for visa scheme
"Shariq Ahmed Khan, 44, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 33 months in prison for his role in the scheme.   His co-defendant, Syed S. Shahabuddin, 40, of Illinois also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 5 years probation and ordered to pay a $20K fine.   Sunny Khanna, 48, of Irving, who aided prosecutors in the case, received 18 months in prison in January, officials said.   Officials say Khanna ran Reference Data Consulting and Recruiting in Bedford until the company forfeited its charter in 2001 for failing to pay taxes.   Khanna and his associates Shahabuddin and Khan continued to illegally submit 95 H-1B petitions for work visas to Immigration and Naturalization Services for people from Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and Yemen, officials said."

2007-02-10 10:00PST (13:00EST) (18:00GMT)
John Lillpop _Conservative Voice_
Is Bush no longer fit for command?
"Does George W. Bush ever read objective news about the impact that 'good-hearted, hard-working' illegal aliens are having in America?...
* 40% of workers in Los Angeles County work for cash and pay no taxes, because they are predominantly illegal aliens without green cards.
* 95% of murder warrants issued in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
* 75% of those on the 'most wanted' list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
* Over 67% of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal aliens (Mexican births paid for by U.S. [tax-victims].)
* Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are here illegally.
* Over 300K illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
* 50% of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border, according to FBI reports.
* 60% of all occupants in HUD properties are illegal aliens.
* 21 radio stations in Los Angeles are Spanish-language.
* In Los Angeles County, 5.1M people speak English, while 3.9M speak Spanish.
* Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare.
* In 1997, the net cost of immigration to American [tax-victims] was $70G.   The life-time fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services received) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a negative number.
* 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.
The big question: Has George W. Bush suffered an emotional or mental break-down making him unfit -- or MORE unfit -- for office?   How else to explain Bush's mindless drive to destroy America?"

2007-02-10 13:17PST (16:17EST) (21:17GMT)
_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Juan Balderas-Orosco pled guilty to smuggling women for prostitution
USA Today
Kansas City Star
"The Austin and Oklahoma City operations run by Juan Balderas-Orosco, 34, were part of a larger ring that included brothels in 13 cities in Texas and across the nation, including New York City, Las Vegas and Atlanta, according to documents filed with his plea on Friday...   Balderas-Orosco, 34, pleaded guilty to federal charges of transportation for prostitution, importation of illegal aliens, importation of illegal aliens and conspiracy to smuggle, transport and harbor illegal aliens.   He faces a maximum prison sentence of 30 years."

Ed Lewis _The People's Voice_
Out of the Darkness, part 2
"English is our language, no matter how many criminals enter our land as illegal aliens, staying out of our culture by demanding their own languages and beliefs be honored as though they are American people, or how many have allegedly become naturalized 14th Amendment 'citizens' of the United States while denying our common language and culture."

Stephen P. Clark _Stamford Advocate_
Danbury government accused of promoting the smuggling of illegal aliens
"A group advocating stricter immigration rules asked federal officials this week to conduct a criminal investigation of the city of Danbury and its residents for housing and employment policies that it believes promote illegal immigration and violate federal immigration laws...   'The city of Danbury has become one large illegal smuggling, employment and housing operation.', Paul Streitz, founder and co-director of the group, said in a statement.   'This is racketeering.   It is coordinating various operations with one intent: to displace resident citizens with illegals.'"


Richard Coltharp _Alamogordo Daily News_
Local Minuteman opposes both illegal invasion and excessive immigration
"Milburn is concerned about the impact the sheer number of illegals is having, and will have, on the United States in the coming years...   'We sit back about 6 to 10 miles from the border with our lawn chairs.', Milburn says.   'One time we saw 5 different groups crossing.   Other times we'll sit there for 10 hours and not see anything.   If we see anything, we call the Border Patrol.'...   He says the Border Patrol credits the Minutemen with reducing illegal entries and drug trafficking by 20%.   'Did you know that, in 2005 alone, this country spent, on services for illegals, $25G?', he says, citing government sources provided by Al Garza, the national director of the Minutemen.   'That includes housing, welfare, education and medical.'   He lists as one example the busloads of children who come across the border from Las Palomas, Mexico, to attend school in Luna County, NM.   He cites a source that 800 illegals a day receive medical service at Thomason Hospital in El Paso...   'They are exploiting those poor people so much.', Milburn says of coyotes who receive $2K to $10K to smuggle people inside U.S. borders.   'If we could keep from hiring illegals, the problem would not be so bad.'...   But Milburn says only 2% to 3% of illegals are working in agriculture.   It's the chicken plants, meat packing plants and furniture factories in the interior U.S.A. where the vast majority are working, he says...   But he also believes ICE is severely under-manned...   'We don't need a new law as far as I'm concerned.', he says.   'We just need our current laws enforced.'"

Diane Jennings _Family Badge_/_Dallas Morning News_
After raid on illegal alien employer, Swift, Cactus police department replaced/reorganized
Belleville News Democrat
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Robert Weisman _Boston Globe_
Cross-border bodyshopping continues to expand
"Vendors have sprung up from Boston to Bangalore to Belarus to take the hand-off of business processes, and the industry is attracting private equity.   Last week, Charlestown's Keane Inc., a pioneer in an earlier era of domestic out-sourcing, agreed to be acquired for $854M by a smaller California company with the bulk of its employees in India.   The transaction was financed by Citigroup Venture Capital International, which sees the pace of out-sourcing picking up...   'Over the years, Americans have been told, rightfully, they would have to move up the ladder on education.', said Norm Matloff, computer science professor at the University of California at Davis.   'The problem is there's nowhere to move up the ladder anymore.   Once you have the ability to off-shore intellectual activities such as software development and financial auditing, education isn't going to help.'...   But the parceling out is accompanied by pain that does not always show up in economic statistics.   Despite government-funded retraining programs that have sprouted across the country, workers displaced by out-sourcing frequently end up in lower-paying jobs where their core skills aren't utilized, said Matloff, citing laid-off software engineers in Silicon Valley who have become real estate appraisers.   'You're going to see more and more of that.', he said.   'This may have a positive impact on the GDP.   The question is to whom is this positive impact going to go.   It will be a boon to top executives and stock-holders, but not to the US middle class.'"

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
Dr. Faust at Harvard
"First, colleges simply are not judged upon how well they educate under-graduates.   When I was applying, it was well known that grade inflation was out of control at Stanford; UC Berkeley was notorious for enormous lecture hall classes taught by inept grad students with incomprehensible accents.   A friend who started at homely Cal State Northridge, then transferred to UC San Diego and on to UC Berkeley in pursuit of a more glamorous degree, told me the quality of instruction fell with each step up the ladder of cachet.   Yet, Stanford's and Berkeley's renown have only increased...   Nonetheless, there may be one thing Harvard can't afford: to be honest about what it is really selling.   Summers, with his talk of IQ bell curves, came perilously close to spilling the beans, so he had to go.   What students are actually buying from Harvard is not so much a Harvard education as Harvard's certification that, as high school seniors, they were among the country's best and brightest.   (A Harvard degree doesn't add much distinction over just getting in, because 96% of Harvard freshmen graduate.)   There are, however, potentially much quicker and cheaper ways to certify such things than to spend 4 years and $185K at Harvard—for example, IQ tests.   So Harvard needs to uphold the myth that what makes Harvard graduates special is the ineffably marvelous education they obtained on the hallowed shores of the Charles River."

Dino Perrotti _Computer World_
Round 3 in H-1B battle: USA's tech workers vs. Democrats
"American engineers may have one indomitable defense in this brawl.   They have the moral high ground.   It's hard to beat a fighter who's fighting for a just cause.   Many government reports have reported continuing abuse and corruption within the H-1B visa program.   Many victims of abuse and experts in the field have testified to congress about such abuses in the system.   Millions of Americans empathize with this battle as part of a larger war on the middle-class.   It will be difficult for politicians to face their voters, debating in favor of blindly expanding this program."


2007-02-12 05:52PST (08:52EST) (13;52GMT)
Bill Horne _Hillsboro OH Times-Gazette_
Too much foreign dependency
"What bothers me is that as each year passes we seem to rely more and more heavily on foreign companies for our supplies.   Currently, we import 80% to 90% of our steel, most of our ammunition is imported as well, as is our oil and weapons and all sort of miscellaneous stuff.   There was a time when our automobile companies could switch from producing cars and trucks to military vehicles immediately.   I don't know whether all the foreign companies producing cars on our soil can do this now or not or if we even want them to be able to do this.   There was a time when our government made sure that we had about 2 years of food, mostly grain, stored in reserve.   We don't do this any more.   We even have companies that use foreign workers to feed the troops that we have in combat.   I have this horrible thought about what could happen if all of these foreign workers who feed our soldiers decided to go home or went on strike...   I would love to tell the WTO to go fly a kite.   But I can't because they are the new world rulers...   These trade talks were not about who is going to trade with whom.   They were about our conditions of surrender...   Farming is beginning to go the way of our steel, and glass, and plastic, and shoe, and clothing, and tool, and auto industries.   The big corporations do not care about any country; they just want to make money.   And, I know that some of you are going to tell me that getting cheap stuff from [Red China] is a good thing.   But it is not a good thing if I have nothing to trade and must borrow to pay for this communist garbage.   We used to have a farm policy, but it is being disassembled in huge chunks.   It would be nice if we could supply ourselves with steel, food, ammunition, and weapons.   IOW, it would be a good thing if we could take care of ourselves."

2007-02-12 07:23:10PST (10:23:10EST) (15:23:10GMT)
Aoife White _Long Beach Press Telegram_
Airbus and Boeing battle it out via WTO
Aviation Week
"In its 2006 November 15, WTO filing, the U.S.A. claimed the EU's subsidies to Airbus harmed Boeing's business between 2001 and 2005. The European Union said it filed a written defense with the World Trade Organization on Friday against U.S. claims that it gave unfair subsidies to Airbus that damaged rival plane manufacturer Boeing Co... The EU officials will file their own allegations against U.S. state and federal 'massive subsidization' of Boeing in March, when the WTO panel will hear European and American lawyers discuss the U.S. claims. The EU says that the U.S.A. has covered up 'unprecedented prohibited production subsidies in Washington State' for the 787 and other Boeing commercial aircraft... Boeing spokesman Charlie Miller said Thursday that Airbus benefits from $1.5G in launch aid. But the EU said that the launch aid was a government loan, with EU nations advancing money to Airbus to help it develop new planes. Airbus, which is controlled by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., repays the money as it sells the aircraft. For the A320, Airbus repaid far more than it received. EU officials also said Airbus receives just a tenth of the research funding Boeing gets from the U.S. government and claim that other forms of aid -- such as subsidies local governments give to develop sites -- are covered by the EU's own strict rules that forbid subsidies favoring one company over rivals. The EU is challenging several U.S. subsidies given to Boeing by individual states, including a $4G tax break and infrastructure package from Washington state and $900M worth of tax breaks and subsidized bonds from Kansas. It also claims Boeing benefits from $15G from federal research programs."

2007-02-12 10:32PST (13:32EST) (18:32GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Bush, Trade Representative Susan Schwab seeking renewed fast-track authority

2007-02-12 07:36PST (10:36EST) (15:36GMT)
Victor Godinez _Dallas Morning News_
Dallas area may lose 60K jobs from off-shoring by 2015
"The Brookings researchers are projecting anywhere from 49K to 57K Dallas-area jobs lost to other countries over an 11-year period.   According to the Texas Workforce Commission, more than 51K jobs were created in the region last year alone.   But Mr. Wial said that while the losses will be moderate and job creation is a given, the new jobs don't always sprout up in the same regions the old jobs were in.   'Just because the software engineer jobs are being lost in Dallas, doesn't mean that the jobs that are being created are being created in Dallas.', he said.   The losses are also likely to be more pronounced in certain specialties such as software engineering, data entry and computer programming.   The Brookings report found that job losses due to off-shoring in those professions are likely to reach between 17% and 20%."

Donnelle Eller _Des Moines Register_
High-tech jobs allegedly abound in Iowa, but why aren't employers actively recruiting?
"Sireesha Suryadevara came to Iowa from Los Angeles in October to work as a software developer for GCommerce in Des Moines.     She has pitched the idea of moving to Iowa to friends, family members and former co-workers...   A tech company new to Des Moines -- BayTPS -- needs a couple of dozen electronic detectives who will help the California company find on-line users who illegally down-load clients' music, movies, TV shows and other materials.   But the jobs -- paying $21K to $70K annually...   Leeann Jacobson, president of the Technology Association of Iowa, who added that about 80% of its 200 members are looking for workers...   He was recruited at Principal after meeting a computer contract worker for the Des Moines company in a martial arts class.   'I just stumbled into it.', said the Marion native...   who will be an IT applications analyst...   the state is investing $800K in BayTSP, which has promised to create 75 jobs that pay an average of $47,840 annually.   The company has pledged to invest about $1.4M in its Des Moines operations."
Nick Farrell _Inquirer_
Large numbers of unemployed software developers pan-handilng

Grant Gross _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
Groups call for e-voting paper trail

Nicole C. Wong _San Jose Mercury News_
Santa Clara county to lose 24% of computer jobs by 2015
"Robert Atkinson, a co-author of the report and president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation...   The San Jose area, defined as Santa Clara County, is projected to lose 20% to 24% of the computer programming, software engineering and data-entry jobs it had in 2004.   No other region is expected to lose a larger percentage.   Overall, San Jose is expected to lose 26K to 36,658 jobs due to off-shoring, amounting to 3.1% to 4.3% of the 852,510 jobs existing in 2004.   That puts the valley in the top 5 of vulnerable metro areas, along with San Francisco (defined as San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties); Boulder, CO; Lowell, MA; and Stamford, CT.   At least 17% of computer programming, software engineering and data entry jobs were likely to be off-shored in these IT-concentrated metropolitan areas, including Bergen-Passaic and Newark in NJ; Boston; Boulder, CO; Danbury, Stamford and Hartford in CT; Minneapolis; Orange County, San Francisco and San Jose in CA and Wilmington, DE.   According to the report, IT service jobs accounted for about 7% of the valley's employment in 2004, compared with only 2.2% nationwide...   The forecast loss of 4.3% of the valley's 2004 jobs over 11 years breaks down to 3,333, or 0.4% a year...   But Carl Guardino, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, called the impact more than 'moderate'."
"The contents of the new report discussed below are not very new.   And from my point of view especially, the report makes the usual mistakes: the report claims that the solutions are more education, more innovation and more retraining.   I've discussed before why these won't work, so I won't do so here...   [The Democrats' stand is to] Support Big Business on off-shoring and H-1B just like the Republicans, but offer more government help for business and workers than the Republicans generally do.   The bottom line, of course, is the same."

_North Texas e-News_
Khan & Shahabuddin sentenced for forging docs for illegal aliens
"Shariq Ahmed Khan, 44, was sentenced to 33 months in prison...   Co-defendant Syed S. Shahabuddin, 40, pled guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor aliens and was sentenced today to five years probation and ordered to pay a $20K fine.   Their co-defendant, Sunny Khanna, who pled guilty in September to aiding and abetting fraud and misuse of documents, was sentenced last month to 18 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a $10K fine.   Khanna's sentence was a downward departure from the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines in recognition of his assistance in the prosecution of his co-defendants.   Sunny Khanna was the registered agent and Vice President for Reference Data Consulting and Recruiting Inc. (RDCR).   RDCR forfeited its charter on 2001 March 23, for failing to pay its franchise tax.   However, RDCR continued to file H-1B petitions with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), many of which were in fact approved.   Sunny Khanna appears as the signing official for all of the H-1B petitions (Form I-129).   The beneficiaries of the petitions filed by Sunny Khanna were mainly from Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and Yemen.   RDCR submitted approximately 95 petitions with the INS for H-1B visas.   On 2002 December 18, the American Consulate in Chennai, India returned one of the H1-B petitions submitted by the defendant, Sunny Khanna, after it was determined during an interview that the beneficiary admitted that the documentation in support of the visa was counterfeit."

2007-02-12 11:37PST (14:37EST) (19:37GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Treasury department estimate of federal government surplus increased to $38.2G in January
"Receipts rose 13% year-over-year to a record $260.6G, while outlays increased 6% to $222.4G, the Treasury said.   Individual income tax receipts totaled $154.5G in January.   Corporate income tax receipts were $10.9G.   For the first 4 months of the 2007 fiscal year, the deficit was $42.2G, about 57.2% lower than the $98.4G deficit in the same period in the previous fiscal year.   For all of 2007, the CBO estimates a shortfall of about $200G, narrower than the $248G deficit in fiscal 2006."

John W. Lillpop _Post Chronicle_
America needs a repeat of "Operation Wet-Back"
Canada Free Press

Steve Smith _V Dare_
US Chamber of Executive Communists urging country on Rome's path to disaster
"The irony: US Chamber of Commerce is America’s biggest advocate of immigration, both legal and illegal.   Senior Vice-President and Counselor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Arthur J. Rothkopf, appeared at the ETS press conference and his name is on the press release.   Strange, they put out a report warning of dire consequences for America because of their own immigration policies -- which they continue to advocate...   WE NEED TO CUT IMMIGRATION -- not continue on the path to our own destruction."

Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Federal government priority on clearing immigration back-log poses grave danger
"a recent report noted that an estimated 30K aliens were naturalized last year without the adjudicators having access to the relating immigration files that may have contained derogatory information about them...   the entire immigration system represents a major link in the chain called 'National Security'...   Naturalized citizens have risen to high positions throughout our government and within the military.   Some have also held the highest security clearances and on a few number of instances, made use of those clearances to engage in espionage.   Still, It is not that native born citizens have not also exhibited such duplicitous conduct that concerns me the most, it is that our nation's leaders should recognize the true value and significance of United States citizenship.   When Richard Mueller, the Director of the FBI, testified about so-called sleeper agents, he was specifically addressing the issue of aliens who gain entry into our country, intent on committing acts of terror (or espionage).   These aliens hide in our communities and take pedestrian jobs, so as not to call attention to themselves.   United States citizenship represents the ultimate camouflage for such a sleeper agent.   The time has come for the government to hire an adequate number of special agents who can conduct background investigations and not just background checks.   An investigation requires that an agent knock on doors and make inquiries, whereas a background check generally just entails running a name and finger-prints through a computer data-base...   the transcript of a hearing that was conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on 2000 September 7 entitled, 'Justice Department Inspector General's Investigation of Citizenship USA'...   'INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, in part because of a backlog of applications, initiated the Citizenship USA program, which ran from 1995 September to 1996 September.   Previously the INS granted citizenship to 300K to 400K aliens per year, but under CUSA that increased to 1.1M cases, 3 times the previous pace.   About two-thirds of the CUSA cases were granted during the second half of the program, from 1996 March to September...   To achieve production goals, the INS management sacrificed the quality of adjudications.   The recordkeeping system collapsed under the strain.   Applicants who were ineligible because of criminal records, or because they fraudulently obtained green cards, were granted citizenship because the INS was moving too fast to check their records...   INS naturalized more than 180K aliens without doing finger-print checks.   In addition, more than 80K aliens had finger-print checks that generated criminal records, but they were naturalized anyway.   Of the individuals with confirmed criminal records, DoJ selected 6,300 of the most serious cases for denaturalization...   KPMG also did a sample file review and reported in 1998 February that more than 90% of all CUSA cases were adjudicated improperly, including more than 70% with defective or non-existent finger-print checks.   The study concluded that a bare minimum of 11,500 individuals, and perhaps many more, were naturalized despite their disqualifying criminal records...'   It is because of these failings that I am also gravely concerned about any Guest Worker Amnesty program.   Our government could not even begin to effectively administer such a huge program and create even a shred of integrity."

2007-02-12 12:50PST (15:50EST) (20:50GMT)
John Letzing _MarketWatch_
International Intellectual Property Alliance released list of world's worst-offender nations
"In addition to [Red China] and Russia, other countries considered the worst and recommended to be placed on a 'Priority Watch List' include Mexico, Venezuela, Israel and Canada [Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and Ukraine]."
cover letter accompanying filing with office of the US Trade Representative

Brian Darling _Eastern Michigan Universith Echo_
Congress must consider history before considering immigration changes

Steve King _Washington Times_
Attrition solution to illegal alien invasion

John W. Lillpop _News Blaze_
Deport them all... including the anchor babies!
Student Operated Press

Frosty Wooldridge _American Daily_
Accelerating impoverishment of the formerly middle class

Kay B. Day _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Mission Implausible

Angelo Conti _Rockford Register Star_
Stop unneeded laws and enforce essential ones

Bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Agriculture and Food Sovereignty
"Like WTO agreements, FTA negotiating goals are formed by corporations working closely with government officials."

Nipa Piboontanasawat & Yanping Li _Bloomberg_
USA has another $15.9G trade deficit with Red China in January
"[Red China's] trade surplus widened to $15.9G in January as exports gained by the most in 17 months, adding pressure on the government to let the yuan rise faster.   The gap, reported by the customs bureau on its web site today, swelled by 65% from a year earlier.   It was the fifth highest on record..."

Debarati Guha _Deutsche Welle_
brief history of South Asians living in Germany
"...In 2000, the German chancellor Gerhard Schröder announced a 'green card' programme for 'IT' specialists which was countered by right-wing forces in the CDU/CSU opposition which launched a campaign that soon became known as 'Kinder statt Inder' ('children instead of Indians').   The hostility from within Germany and also the restriction of the green card validity to five years deterred many Indian computer specialists from migrating to Germany.   Nonetheless, a significant number of young Indian professionals did choose to come and brought along their families.   There are approximately 43K Indian citizens living in Germany, as well as over 10K Bangladeshis currently living in Germany, on top of the many thousands of second-generation South Asians who were born in the country..."

2007-02-12 (5767 Shevat/Shebat 24)
Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Should I blow the whistle?

S&P 5001,433.37
10-year US T-Bond4.80%
crude oil57.81
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Robert Atchison report on off-shoring

2007-02-13 03:33PST (06:33EST) (11:33GMT)
Wall Streeters want protection from foreign rivals
USA Today
"When Main Street jobs go over-seas, Wall Street generally shrugs.   The typical response from the nation's financial elite is that people who have lost work should tough it out and acquire new skills.   Now the tables may be turning, as Wall Street ponders its own potential job losses.   Foreign companies are increasingly bypassing New York and listing their shares on overseas markets.   If the trend continues, it could mean the migration of high-paying investment banking jobs.   The horror!   Faced with this threat, Wall Street and its political supporters have sprung into action, commissioning studies and urging that the government help by easing post-Enron accounting regulations, adopting law-suit reform and pre-empting state banking regulations...   Before Wall Street gets any relief from Washington, it should consider lowering its fees and expectations of exorbitant profits and bonuses.   According to the New York comptroller's office, the average Wall Street bonus was a record-smashing $137,580 last year, hardly a sign of an industry in distress.   The pleas coming from Wall Street are akin to the National Association of Realtors arguing that the down-turn in housing requires government action to help brokers."

2007-02-13 08:06PST (11:06EST) (16:06GMT)
Walter Updegrave & Kate Ashford _Money_/_Yahoo!_
Think you're insured? Maybe not: Protection rackets in action
"scattered state-level evidence suggests that insurers may be taking a harder line.   In Michigan, for instance, complaints against insurers are up 16% over 2001, while in Connecticut, justified complaints against health insurers (those considered to have validity by regulators) have risen more than 60% since 2000.   Enforcement action is up too: In Texas last year the number of cases against insurers increased 21% compared with 1999.   Current head-lines, meanwhile, leave a strong impression.   For starters, there's the ongoing Hurricane Katrina saga, in which companies like Nationwide, State Farm and USAA debate thousands of plaintiffs on such existential issues as whether the damage to the Gulf Coast was due to flooding, which typically isn't covered, or wind, which is.   In California, meanwhile, Blue Cross recently settled more than 60 cases in which policyholders claimed their coverage had been unfairly voided, and regulators slapped both Blue Cross and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan with six-figure fines for wrongful rescissions.   (The carriers say they're working with state regulators to improve their practices.)   Against this contentious backdrop, it's ironic that insurers are thriving.   Big public health carriers have been posting 20%-plus gains in earnings, and property/casualty companies (which cover, for example, autos and homes) are more profitable than ever.   Or maybe it's not so ironic.   A study this January by Robert Hunter, a former insurance commissioner of Texas, now the insurance director of the Consumer Federation of America, shows that property/casualty insurers are paying out less in claims relative to the premiums they collect than at any time in the past 20 years.   That's partly due to smart underwriting and higher premiums, which have jumped 100% or more in some coastal markets over the past few years.   But lower claims pay-outs also play a role.   Hunter, along with a chorus of consumer advocates, attributes some of that to increasingly aggressive claims management across the industry.   More bare knuckles in the claims department, more battles with consumers...   But it sounds right to Santa Fe plaintiffs attorney David Berardinelli.   Berardinelli is the author of _From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves_, a book based on some 12,500 PowerPoint slides that fell into his hands during a law-suit against Allstate Insurance Co.   The slides had been presented to Allstate between 1992 and 1997 by management consultant McKinsey & Co. as part of an over-haul (the Claim Core Process Redesign) of the insurer's claims handling process.   Much of the presentation encourages Allstate to adopt a hard-nosed approach to claims...   Allstate wasn't the only insurer to ask management consultants to help revamp claims processing, say several former claims adjusters.   McKinsey helped State Farm with the program known as ACE, or Advancing Claims Excellence, and Accenture advised Farmers Insurance, which had a claims program called ACME, short for Achieving Claims Management Excellence.   (McKinsey and Accenture [formerly Andersen Consulting before their involvement in the Enron fraud] would not comment on their role, citing confidentiality.)   One thing is not in dispute: All 3 insurers have made startling progress in lowering their claims pay-out ratios since they engaged the consultants.   At Allstate, claims paid fell from 87.2% of premiums charged in 1992 to 43.5% last year, according to the CFA's Hunter.   At State Farm the ratio dropped from 77.5% in 1994 to 66.6% in 2005 (the most recent figure available), while at Farmers it fell from 74.7% in 2001 to 56.9%."

2007-02-13 11:15PST (14:15EST) (19:15GMT)
Dan Looker _Agriculture_
Charles Grassley sees tighter USDA budget for farm bill
"Mandatory country of origin labeling [COOL], something in the last farm bill that Congress later delayed.   'I'm very much for the consumer knowing where his food comes from in the same way a T-shirt has to be labeled if it comes from another country.', Grassley said."

2007-02-13 11:46PST (14:46EST) (19:46GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US trade deficit increased to $61.2G in December
"for all of 2006, the U.S. trade deficit amounted to a record $763.6G, wider by 6.5% from [what it was in calendar year] 2005...   The trade gap with [Red China] rose to a record $232.5G last year, up from $201.5G in 2005.   The U.S. also set record trade deficits with Japan and Mexico in 2006."
BEA reports

"Lady Liberty" _National Ledger_
White House lacks sincerity concerning border security
Free Market News

_Monsters and Critics_
Bank of India rewards illegal aliens with kkkredit kkkards
Programmers Guild
"Illegal aliens can get credit cards in the United States of America thanks to Bank of [India, which was once called Bank of] America."
Americans for Legal Immigration PAC
Illegal immigration boycott
Boycott Bank of India [formerly known as Bank of America]

_Old Atlantic LightHouse_
Kennedy & McCain rode income inequality wave

Mark Krikorian _National Review_
Reactions to Karl Rove's remarks about illegal aliens

_American Daily_
Anchor babies
News by Us


2007-02-13 16:29PST (2007-02-13 19:29EST) (2007-02-14 00:29GMT)
_World Net Daily_
18 year old Utah murderer was Bosnian Muslim: Cops say off-duty cop stopped rampage
Court TV
All Head-Line News
Sierra Times
Jawa Report
composite: "The 18-year-old gunman who killed 5 people in a crowded Utah shopping mall was a Bosnian Muslim refugee who was prepared to kill many more, say investigators.   An off-duty police officer having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his wife was credited today with cornering Sulejmen Talovic, exchanging fire with him until other officers arrived to shoot and kill the gunman.   The trench-coated teen-ager wanted to 'to kill a large number of people' and probably would have killed many more if not for the off-duty officer, Police Chief Chris Burbank said.   Talovic's aunt, Ajka Onerovic, on Tuesday appeared briefly on the Salt Lake City television station KSL and said that relatives had no idea why the young man attacked so many strangers."

2007-02-13 22:18PST (2007-02-14 01:18EST) (2007-02-14 06:18GMT)
Barbara Habenbaugh _USA Today_
What's up with the slow growth in production workers' pay?
"That's because economists aren't sure why wages haven't increased at a faster pace even though the labor market is [allegedly] tight.   A tight labor market is often a precursor to a big pick-up in pay as employers enter into bidding wars to attract and retain workers.   Adjusted for inflation, average hourly earnings for non-supervisory workers rose 1.7% in December from a year earlier, according to the government.   While earnings rose five consecutive months through December and are rising at the fastest rate in years, economists say they aren't sure why the gains haven't been larger given the jobless rate, at 4.5% in December, is near a 5-year low...   Technological innovation and increased trade have meant jobs that used to only be able to be performed in the USA can now be done abroad.   That means that for many professions, a low jobless rate in the USA may not result in higher wages if there is surplus of available workers worldwide...   Big increases in the cost of benefits, particularly for health care, have given employers less money to increase wages.   Benefits account for 30% of total compensation given to workers, according to the Labor Department.   Employer costs for health insurance premiums rose 7.7% in 2006, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.   Although that was the smallest gain since 1999, it was still far larger than the overall inflation rate."

2007-02-13 16:40PST (2007-02-13 19:40EST) (2007-02-14 00:40GMT)
John Letzing _MarketWatch_
Privacy-disdaining Oracle pours $1.08G into India's I-flex Solutions body shop

2007-02-13 21:47PST (2007-02-14 00:47EST) (2007-02-14 05:47GMT)
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
"Presumably clinical research IS part of Wyeth core business, and as the article points out, THAT'S going off-shore.   I'm sure that all the drug companies have R&D centers abroad, and that over time their scope there will only increase.   The same is true for GE.   In fact, here is a quote from the Chemical and Engineering News, which GE has chosen to highlight on GE's 'Careers India' employment web page, 'New R&D Center in Bangalore is integral to corporate goal of growth by innovation.   General Electric does not try to conceal it and is actually very proud of it.   Yet few people know that GE's second-largest research center is located in Bangalore, in southern India.   This fact may evoke images of poorly paid technicians performing tedious and repetitive tasks in substandard facilities.   But the John F. Welch Technology Center, inaugurated in 2000 September, raises the bench-mark on what constitutes a world-class industrial laboratory.   The research center was initially conceived in the late '90s as a GE Plastics lab by Jean M. Heuschen, who was then a senior executive at GE Plastics.   Its mandate was broadened to become an integral part of GE's corporate R&D when John F. Welch jr, then chairman and chief executive officer, heard of the project in the summer of 1999.   The Bangalore facility now hosts research on GE technologies from nanotechnology to advanced propulsion.' All this sounds like GE's core business to me.   And did you catch that reference to 'advanced propulsion'?   Sure contradicts Fuller's claim about 'jet engines' above, doesn't it?...   We will not just lose jobs.   The promoters of off-shoring are correct when they tell you we'll gain jobs too.   But what they are not saying is that the net result, as I've said before, is that we will lose the jobs requiring higher levels of education and deeper intellectual skills, while gaining jobs that are not so intellectually demanding and are basically what I call 'the talking jobs'.   The industry-commissioned report by Global Insight confirms this to some extent."

Tom Krisher _Yahoo!_
DaimlerChrysler plans to cut 13K jobs, 9K production workers in USA, 2K in Canada, plus 1K salaried employees in 2007 and again in 2008
USA Today

2007-02-14 08:13PST (11:13EST) (16:13GMT)
Dow Industrials reached record 12,730

2007-02-14 08:33PST (11:33EST) (16:33GMT)
Elizabeth Cohen & Amy Burkholder _CNN_
Loving with all of your brain
"By studying MRI brain scans of people newly in love, scientists are learning a lot about the science of love: Why love is so powerful, and why being rejected is so horribly painful.   In a group of experiments, Dr. Lucy Brown, a professor in the department of neurology and neuroscience at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and her colleagues did MRI brain scans on college students who were in the throes of new love.   While being scanned, the students looked at a photo of their beloved.   The scientists found that the caudate area of the brain -- which is involved in cravings -- became very active.   Another area that lit up: the ventral tegmental, which produces dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter that affects pleasure and motivation.   Dr. Brown said scientists believe that when you fall in love, the ventral tegmental floods the caudate with dopamine.   The caudate then sends signals for more dopamine.   'The more dopamine you get, the more of a high you feel.', Dr. Brown says.   Or as her colleague, Dr. Helen Fisher put it: When you fall in love, 'exactly the same system becomes active as when you take cocaine.   You can feel intense elation when you're in love.   You can feel intense elation when you're high on cocaine.'...   Brains in love and brains in lust don't look too much alike.   In studies when researchers showed erotic photos to people as they underwent brain scans, they found activity in the hypothalamus and amygdala areas of the brain.   The hypothalamus controls drives like hunger and thirst and the amygdala handles arousal, among other things...   At some point, the 2 do become linked.   People in love have elevated levels of dopamine.   Lots of dopamine, in turn, triggers the production of testosterone, which is responsible for the sex drive in both men and women...   'The men had quite a bit more activity in the brain region that integrates visual stimuli...'...   The scientists found that women in love had more activity than men in the areas of the brain that govern memories...   Again, the scientists performed MRI's while these students looked at photos of the objects of their affection.   This time, the results were different, Dr. Brown says.   The insular cortex, the part of the brain that experiences physical pain, became very active."

2007-02-14 08:54PST (11:54EST) (16:54GMT)
Polya Lesova _MarketWatch_
Red China and India are out; Taiwan and South Korea are in
"Fund managers are reducing exposure in China and India, where tightening concerns are rising, and investing more assets in Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand, according to Merrill Lynch's latest monthly survey of Pacific Rim fund managers."

K.C. Jones _EE Times_/_CMP_
Electronics Industry Association engages in more fraudulent talent shortage whining
Electronics Supply & Manufacturing
Information Week

Roy Clancy _Calgary Sun_
Time runs out for family
"In fact, workers in this country enjoyed 45 minutes less time each work day with their families in 2005 than a couple of decades ago.   That might not sound like much, but it adds up to 195 fewer hours spent with family over a 260-day work year.   That's the equivalent of five 40-hour work weeks...   In fact, Turcotte’s study found all age groups are working longer hours at the expense of family time."

Mark Niesse _Honolulu Star Bulletin_
Governor Linda Lingle making head-way stumping for $30M high-tech development package

2007-02-14 12:03PST (15:03EST) (20:03GMT)
John C. Dvorak _MarketWatch_
_Wisconsin Ag Connection_
Cattle producers welcome senate intervention in USDA's proposed OTM rule
North Texas e-News
"The U.S.A. should not allow OTM [over 30 months of age] Canadian cattle or beef into the United States until the U.S.A. additionally implements country-of-origin labeling (COOL) to mitigate the financial harm that will inevitably befall U.S. cattle producers, and that likely will be more severe than what USDA will predict."

S&P 5001,455.30
10-year US T-Bond4.73%
crude oil58.00
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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


2007-02-15 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 361,198 in the week ending February 10, an increase of 22,218 from the previous week.   There were 310,078 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending February 3, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,087,055, an increase of 105,654 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 3,006,942.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending January 27."

2007-02-15 07:50PST (10:50EST) (15:50GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US received net $11G out-flow of capital investments in December
"The U.S.A. recorded an out-flow of $11G in December, compared with an in-flow of $70.5G in November, the Treasury said.   The U.S. economy has required big in-flows of capital of about $70G every month to fund its large current account deficit, which totaled $225.6G in the third quarter -- about 6.8% of GDP...   The out-flow resulted from total sales of $42.5G in securities by private investors, partially offset by $31.5G in purchases by official institutions.   U.S. residents purchased a net $47.4G in long-term foreign securities.   Net long-term capital in-flows, meanwhile, fell to $15.6G in December from $84.9G in November.   This marked the lowest in-flow since 2002 January.   Foreign private investors sold stocks in December, and they bought fewer Treasury bonds and corporate bonds.   Foreign central banks bought a record amount of government agency bonds to close out 2006.   Overall, foreign private investors bought $39G in long-term securities in December, compared with $115.7G in November.   They purchased only $4.5G in Treasury bonds and notes in December, compared with $33.1 in the previous month, according to the data.   Foreign private investors sold $11.1G in equities in December, after having purchased $9.1G in November.   Foreign official institutions bought a record $15.5G in government agency bonds, up from $4G in the previous month."

2007-02-15 09:48PST (12:48EST) (17:48GMT)
Greg Robb & Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
USA's industrial output fell sharply, import prices fell 1.2% in January
"Capacity utilization fell to 81.2% in January from 81.8% in December.   This is the lowest level since last February.   The Fed had been worrying about high rates of capacity utilization feeding into inflation...   Industrial production is up 2.6% in the past 12 months, the slowest growth since 2005 September...   Output of high-technology goods rose 1.7%. "

2007-02-15 11:01PST (14:01EST) (19:01GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Home-builders' confidence index rose from 30 in January to 40 in February
"The NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index rose to 40 in February from 35 in January.   It's the highest since 2006 June. The index had fallen to a 15-year low of 30 in September.   A year ago, the index was at 56.   The index has been below 50 for 10 months.   In the 1989-92 housing slow-down, the index was below 50 for 36 consecutive months; it took 18 months for the index to go from 40 to 50."

2007-02-15 11:19PST (14:19EST) (19:19GMT)
_Prairie Star_
R-CALF USA's 8th convention deemed a success
Dakota Voice
"Additionally, Jim Korkow, owner of Korkow Rodeos in Pierre, SD, was honored by the Cattlemen's Competitive Market Project (CCMP) for his on-going work to promote USA-Raised Beef.   'Jim has gone ‘above and beyond’ to promote USA Raised Beef and to help educate the public about country-of-origin labeling [COOL].', said Carrie Stadheim, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, another R-CALF USA affiliate organization."

Mary Lou Pickel _Atlanta Journal & Constitution_
Vocational school linked to sale of visas
alternate link
follow-up article
Gwinnett Daily Post
Atlanta Business Journal
"Two men who run a vocational school in Norcross were charged with immigration document fraud for selling visas for at least $10K, according to a federal indictment unsealed today.   Sheng Feng Sun, 45, of Roswell, and Sang Hun Oh, 35, of Norcross, were arrested Thursday and will appear before a federal magistrate Thursday evening.   The men pretended 3 foreigners worked at their school, according to federal prosecutors.   They applied for H-1B visas for the workers and charged them money in exchange, according to an indictment by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia."
Job Destruction News-Letter article and DoJ press release

Sarah _Somewhere Along the Way_
To H-1B or not to H-1B

John Lillpop _Conservative Voice_
Bush's Border baloney
"Specifically, Lt. Gen. Abboud Gambar, Iraqi commander of Baghdad security, has announced that Iraq would close its borders with Syria and Iran...   Imagine that, actually taking action to keep enemies out during time of war.   This could actually mean that Iraq is finally getting serious about defeating the insurgents, thereby bringing some civility to this hellhole."

Salynn Boyles _Web MD_

"Researchers found that women who ate less than 12 ounces of fish or other sea-food a week while pregnant were more likely to have children with verbal and other developmental delays than women who ate more than 12 ounces each week.   The findings challenge guide-lines from the FDA that advise pregnant women to limit their weekly sea-food consumption to 12 ounces, or about 2 average meals.   The FDA advisory stemmed from concerns that eating more fish could impair brain development by exposing developing fetuses to dangerously high levels of mercury.   But sea-food is also a major dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids [and protein], which are critical for brain development.   The new findings suggest that, for developing brains, the risks of limiting sea-food consumption outweigh the benefits of such a limit, the NIH's Joseph R. Hibbeln, MD, tells WebMD...   After adjusting for 28 separate potential risk factors for delayed development, Hibbeln and colleagues concluded that children born to women who ate 12 ounces or less were at increased risk for low verbal IQ and other developmental problems, compared with those who ate more than 12 ounces a week.   They also concluded that eating more than 12 ounces of fish a week during pregnancy 'benefited a child's neurodevelopment' -- or brain development.   'We did not find compliance with the advisory [to limit sea-food consumption] to be of any benefit.', Hibbeln says.   'In contrast, we found that compliance with the advisory was associated with harm, specifically with regard to verbal development.', he says...   Gary J. Myers, MD, suggests there is little science to back up the FDA's recommendation to limit seafood consumption while pregnant. [Joseph R. Hibbeln 2007-02-17 _Lancet_ vol 369 pp 578-585]"

2007-02-15 15:00PST (18:00EST) (23:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Christine Romans _CNN_
Red Chinese mischief
Lou Dobbs: "Engaging communist China on trade has always been presented by this administration to the American people as a way to build a democracy and forge closer ties with China.   But the cost of those failed foreign policy objectives has been huge trade deficits, the loss of millions of American jobs..."
Christine Romans: "He's an outraged furniture maker who says White House trade policy with China has failed.   So he's appealing to Congress for a level playing field.   The House Ways and Means Committee heard complains of pirated DVDs, school text-books, prescription drugs, a pegged currency, steel subsidies.   Overall, a system rigged against U.S. manufacturers and their workers."
Frank Vargo, NAM: "We have too large a trade deficit.   We have too large a trade deficit with [Red China].   And we should not put up with WTO inconsistent practices like these subsidies."
Christine Romans: "In fact, since [Red China] entered the WTO 5 years ago, its exports only accelerated.   Last year's trade deficit topped $232G.   Author James Mann calls it The China Fantasy, the idea this our trade policies are changing [Red China] and that will lead to political liberalization."
James Mann: "That would be nice if it were true."
Christine Romans: "While the American people are sold the idea that trade will change communist China, it's not the American people who benefit."
James Mann: "It benefits most, above all, the elites.   It benefits the [executives of] American companies that want to either trade with [Red China] or to invest in China."
Christine Romans: "Meanwhile, [Red China] uses those American trade dollars to forge alliances around the world with regimes at odds with U.S. goals."...
James Mann: "The fantasy is that trade with [Red China] and investment in [Red China] are going to lead to any kind of fundamental change in its political system.   It's not."...
Lou Dobbs: "We are supposed to make [Red China] more like us, I think.   Yet we can go through -- There is Starbucks, what you call the Starbucks fallacy.   There is Google.   All of the technology companies that have basically sold their souls to do business there."
James Mann: "...It's a kind of vanity.   We think that if a country has McDonald's and Starbucks in it it's become like us.   It's not a new fantasy.   Go way back over 50 or 60 years, there was an American senator who said we're going to make Shanghai just like Kansas City.   It never quite turns out that way."...
James Mann: "Well, it's still got a Leninist political system.   Its economy changed a lot...   It makes people nervous to acknowledge this is a one-party state.   It is."
Lou Dobbs: "You fundamentally point out that economics will not determine the political system of China.   Anymore than economics determine the political system, the creation of the United States...   That it is politics, the political system that will determine the future of these countries.   What are your -- what is your forecast?   What is your outlook for the relationship between the United States and communist China?"
JamesMann: "I think that the political system, there may be small scale changes.   There are small scale changes now.   But it's going to remain an authoritarian political system for decades."


2007-02-15 17:07PST (2007-02-15 20:06EST) (2007-02-16 01:06GMT)
Mary Ann Dutton _Sulphur Daily News_
Guest-workers allege mistreatment
"In a press conference held in Sulphur on Thursday, the Alliance of Guest Workers for Dignity spokesman Saket Soni was the voice of 30 plus Mexican guest workers, all here in the U.S.A. legally, gathered beside him.   'Close to 100 Mexican gues workers have been trapped for months in Westlake after their employer illegally confiscated their passports.', Soni said.   'These workers were recruited under false pretenses and transported to the U.S.A. where they have been subjected to humiliating conditions and treatment.'...   Prior to arriving in Sulphur, organizers and workers alerted the U.S. Attoney General, U.S. Department of Justice, F.B.I., and other state and local law enforcement agencies."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Off-shoring role of H-1b program
"as was noted in the 2000 congressionally-commissioned NRC report, many off-shoring companies use the H-1B program to FACILITATE off-shoring.   Then professor Ronil (Ron) Hira of the Rochester Institute of Technology quantfied it in a path-breaking 2004 study, finding that typical ratio is 1::2 of on-shore to off-shore personnel on a given project.   IOW, for every 2 people working off-shore on a project, these 2 workers are interactiing with a third person who works on-shore under an H-1B visa.   (Ronil Hira, 'U.S. Immigration Regulations and India's Information Technology Industry' Technological Forecasting & Social Change 2004.)   That one person on-shore may be a trainee, as highlighted in the article enclosed below, or may be acting as a liasion between the U.S. client and the off-shore workers.   So, this has been known for several years, and is something I've cited a lot, in this e-news-letter and elsewhere.   But this [Peter Elstrom H-1B guest-work visas may work against the USA a recent Business Week article] is the first mention I've seen in a major media outlet...   Those U.S.-based firms certainly don't occupy the moral high ground here.   The program is widely abused by all firms, large and small, U.S.-based and foreign-based.  
In the vast majority of the cases, the goal is cheap labor.   This has been shown in 2 congressionally-commissioned reports and several university studies.   See my analysis for Intel, for example...     I too support bringing in 'the best and the brightest', but the way the article is portraying it here makes it sound like that's exactly what the program is accomplishing for the U.S.-based firms.   I know that professor Hira does not believe that, and in fact the data show it's not true.   Only a tiny fraction of the H-1Bs are 'the best and the brightest'...  
The prevailing wage law is riddled with gaping loop-holes, so much so that it renders the law useless.   One can severely under-pay the H-1Bs and yet still be in full compliance with the law.   Again, look at my analysis of the Intel H-1B salaries to get an idea of how much money is saved by Intel when they hired H-1Bs.  
Note too that the permanent visa program, though requiring that hiring preference be given to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, has its own huge loop-holes in this regard.   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)...  
the word 'innovation' was studied and deliberate.   The word has become the Buzzword of 2007 in Congress on this topic.   These PR ('government relations') people are the best in the business.   They know what sells, and this year 'innovation' sells.   But the fact is that the vast majority of H-1Bs do nothing for innovation; they are ordinary people doing ordinary work...   You'll see it used by all the lobbyists this year.   And, the House Committee on Science and Technology has just created a new sub-committee on... yep, Innovation.   The minute I heard that the sub-committee had been created with that name, I knew that this would be a vehicle for promoting expansion of H-1B, as well as the establishment of yet another new tech work visa, the F-4.   The sub-committee's chair, representative David Wu, 'represents' an Oregon district which is dominated by Intel and other tech firms [and their executives].   He has already stated that his agenda is to expand H-1B and bring in yet another new tech work visa, the F-4...  
the whole thing is a distraction from the central issue, which is cheap labor.   If H-1B law had a REAL provision in it regarding prevailing wage, neither the U.S.-based nor the foreign-based firms would find it attractive to hire the H-1Bs.   And there IS an easy solution to prevailing wage question.   It was proposed by WashTech and is in the excellent bill introduced last year by representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ).   But the people in Congress, definitely including Pascrell's fellow Democrats, won't touch that bill, precisely because it IS a solution."

2007-02-16 07:14PST (10:14EST) (15:14GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Housing starts plunged 37.8% (with graph)
census bureau report

Lee Ann O'Neal _Tennessean_
Majority of Tennessee's Hispanics were not born in the USA: Construction boom brought many to mid-state
"More than half of Tennessee's Hispanics were born in a country other than the United States, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Thursday.   The figure places the Volunteer State fifth in the country in percentage of the Hispanic population that is foreign-born.   Tennessee also stands in contrast to the national picture, as most Hispanics living in the U.S. were born in this country.   In all, the number of foreign-born Hispanics in Tennessee grew from 59,098 in 2000 to 89,124 in 2004, census figures show...   Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Maryland are the only states with higher percentages of foreign-born Hispanics.   14 states were not included because they have fewer than 100K Hispanic residents...   [Hispanics are] 3% of the [TN's] population.   According to 2004 census figures, 165,155 Tennessee residents were Hispanic...   Still, the influx of Hispanics, particularly those in the country illegally, has prompted contentious debate -- in the Midstate and throughout the country -- over the strain on public resources and the need for tougher laws to curtail unlawful immigration...   Almost 39% of Hispanics nationally speak English less than 'very well', according to the report."

2007-02-16 07:54PST (10:54EST) (15:54GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
PPI fell 0.6% in January, core up 0.2%
BLS data

2007-02-16 08:21PST (11:21EST) (16:21GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index changed from 91.7 in December to 96.9 in January to 93.3 in early February

2007-02-16 11:09PST (14:09EST) (19:09GMT)
_Prairie Star_
Senators move to implement COOL
"Congress passed the Country-of-Origin Labeling law in 2002, requiring retailers to notify consumers of the country-of-origin of beef, pork, lamb, produce, peanuts and seafood.   Yet, through a series of back room deals, riders have been added to 'must-pass legislation' that delayed the implementation of the law, according to the Montana Farmers Union.   The current deadline has postponed implementation to as late as 2008 September 30.   The only exception has been seafood."

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Is totalization a trap?   Don't ask the Socialist Insecurity Abomination

_Power Line_
NFL refused Border Patrol recruiting ad
Town Hall
Washington Times

_Post Chronicle_
"Simcox continues, 'The President, Congress and Homeland Security Officials are responsible for the crime they allow and should be held accountable.   President Bush should tear down the fence around the White House, install the virtual fence he is so fond of and replace his cabinet with guest-workers to show Americans how effective such a plan would be.'"

Robert Adler, inventor of 1956 Zenith "Space Command" TV remote-control, died Thursday 2007-02-15 at age 93
Shannon Dininny: Seattle WA Times
"Mr. Adler was a prolific inventor, earning more than 180 U.S. patents."
2012-05-22: Eugene Polley, inventor of 1955 Zenith "Flash-Matic" TV remote-control, died Sunday 2012-05-20 at age 96
Brian Slodysko: Los Angeles CA Times
Margalit Fox: NYTimes
When Was It Invented

R. Pinchas Winston _Torah.org_
Man, What an Angel

Melissa Wilson _Gwinnett Daily Post_
Visa fraud scheme uncovered
"According to the indictment, Sheng Feng Sun, aka Joe Sun, 45, of Roswell and Sang Hun Oh, aka Michael Oh, 35, of Norcross, were involved in a money laundering and fraudulent visa scheme to sell, for a fee of $10K, non-immigrant visas to non-qualifying aliens from 2003 May until January.   Sun and Oh worked for Edgewood College, a vocational school in Norcross.   Sun was the college's principal officer and sole registered agent and Oh worked as the financial and accounting agent."

Hugh Hewitt _Town Hall_
White flag Republicans vs. Victory Caucus

2007-02-16 (5767 Shevat/Shebat 28)
R. Berel Wein _Jewish World Review_
Law & order -- and eternity

S&P 5001,455.54
10-year US T-Bond4.69%
crude oil59.39
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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

  "In his _Narrative of a Journey into Khorashan_, published in 1825, James B. Fraser vividly described the pervasive tyranny & poverty he found in the East.   The naive European, he wrote, is quite unprepared for 'the mass of misery, filth & ruins which the best of these cities present to his gaze.   Frazer [sic] concluded that 'the principal direct check to improvement & prosperity in Persia is the insecurity of life, limb & property, arising from the nature of the gov't...   This must always repress the efforts of industry; for no man will work to produce what he may be deprived of the next hour.'" --- Tom Bethell 1994 April "The Mother of All Rights" _Reason_ pg 42  



Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Computing center electricity bills have doubled between 2000 and 2005 (with graph)
"A jump in the number of servers -- especially lower-end servers costing less than $25K -- accounts for 90% of the additional power consumption, says the study's author, Jonathan Koomey, a consulting professor at Stanford University and a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   The study was commissioned by Advanced Micro Devices, which is touting its energy-efficient processors.   Only 5% to 8% of the increase in data center electricity consumption is attributed to power use per unit...   The total electricity bill to operate data center servers and related infrastructure equipment in the United States was $2.7G in 2005, compared with $1.3G in 2000.   Worldwide, the total bill was $7.2G in 2005, compared with $3.2G in 2000.   Looked at differently, U.S. data center power consumption in 2005 was equivalent to about five 1GW power plants, or five typical nuclear or coal power plants, Koomey says.   Data center servers consumed 0.6% of all electricity in the United States in 2005.   When auxiliary infrastructure equipment, including network and cooling gear, is thrown in, that figure jumps to 1.2%, about the same percentage consumption as for televisions...   In 2000, U.S. data centers housed about 5.6M servers, of which 4.9M were low end, 663K were midrange, and 23K were high end.   By 2005, U.S. data centers housed 10.3M servers, of which 9.9M were low end, 387K were mid-range, and 22,200 were high end.   Worldwide in 2000, data centers housed about 14.1M servers, of which 12.2M were low end, 1.8M were midrange, and 66K were high end.   By 2005, data centers worldwide housed about 27.3M servers, of which nearly 26M were low end, 1.3M were mid-range, and 59K were high end."

J.B. Williams _Small Government Times_
Why is border security dubbed "anti-immigrant"?

2007-02-17 09:30PST (12:30EST) (17:30GMT)
Christine dell'Amore _UPI_
Scientists tackle questions of taste
Los Angeles Times
Science Daily encyclopedia
composite: "Why do some of us abhor broccoli or adore garlic?   If you can't stand black coffee, chances are good that you also turn up your nose at bitter-tasting grapefruit juice, broccoli, spinach, green tea or soy products.   You may be a genetic 'super-taster' -- with more specialized taste buds on the tip of your tongue than the average person.   Mice without ATP receptors were not able to taste, but mice lacking serotonin receptors were.   This leads Kinnamon to believe serotonin may act as an signaling aide for ATP as it talks with the nervous system.   Kinnamon also noted depressed people sometimes experience a depressed ability to taste.   Arthur L. Fox and colleagues discovered in the 1930s that a person's ability to taste a bitter compound called phenylthiocarbamide, or PTC, was controlled by the presence of a gene.   Even 'non-tasters' still have active PTC receptors.   These days, a related, but equally bitter, compound called 6-n-propylthiouracil (known as PROP for short) is used in research to determine sensitivity to bitter taste.   About 25% of people (so-called super-tasters) find PROP unbearably bitter.   Another 25% (nontasters) can't taste PROP at all.   The remaining 50% just find PROP moderately repugnant.   Researchers have identified a taste gene, called TAS2R38, that's responsible for these differences in response to PROP as well as our perception of certain other foods.   People with the super-taster version of the gene have a greater number of specialized structures, called fungiform papillae, on the tip of the tongue.   Whatever version of TAS2R38 someone has, it's true to say that many people, young and old, don't like vegetables.   In evolutionary terms, that makes some sense.   Plants produce natural bitter pesticides to protect themselves from being eaten, and sometimes these substances are toxic.   No wonder humans have evolved to instinctively avoid very bitter foods.   Luckily, the amounts of these natural toxins found in fruits and vegetables aren't harmful to us.   Some super-tasters find sweet foods too sweet, and very fatty foods unpalatable.   And super-tasters generally find scotch and beer undrinkable, so perhaps they are less likely to become alcoholics.   Salt helps to block the bitter taste of foods, so a pinch of salt or a salty condiment on bitter vegetables might do the trick.   A dash of soy sauce or a sprinkle of garlic salt on spinach can work wonders.   Lightly steaming broccoli, cauliflower and other bitter vegetables can help to make them more palatable than when they are eaten raw.   Sometimes a little bit of fat helps.   Stir-fry vegetables in a dash of flavorful olive or sesame oil, or add avocado to a salad of deep green spinach to help take the edge off the taste.   You can also opt for less bitter, but no less nutritious, vegetables such as sweet carrots or mild baby bok choy.   Or try sneaking finely diced, sautéed vegetables into soups, stews, casseroles or a meat-loaf where their strong flavors will be less noticeable.   Broccoli contains the compound glucoraphanin, leading to an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane."

Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
See, I told you so
Accuracy in Media

Donald A. Collins _V Dare_
Compean and Ramos
"But big money both in Mexico and in the US wants less enforcement on our borders.   This was the perfect way to send that message...   The obvious starting point: release the agents immediately, on bail, pending a full investigation of the case -- which may well lead far higher than Johnny Sutton, the US Attorney in Texas or the Department of Homeland Security."
National Border Patrol Council rebuttal to Sutton (pdf)
National Border Patrol Council


Dena Bunis _Orange County Register_
Open borders and amnesty are navigating passage
"'Representative' Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, leads the House panel, and senator Edward Kennedy, D-MA, heads the Senate sub-committee...   Lofgren: 'People have strong views on this subject.   I think that the section of the Republican caucus that Mr. (Tom) Tancredo (R-CO) seems to speak for seems very adamant about their opposition to [excessive] immigration, and I don't expect that he and I are likely to find common ground...   Whatever we do on H-1Bs we're going to make sure that it does not adversely affect American workers.'"

Sam Hemingway _Burlington Free Press_
Vermont governor's family employs illegal aliens
Boston Globe
"A dairy farm run by relatives of governor Jim Douglas employs 4 [illegal aliens from Mexico].   Ted Foster said the 1,537-acre, 380-cow Foster Brothers Farm began using immigrant labor 4 years ago..."

Hugh R. Morley _Bergen NJ Record_
North Jersey deal helps Indian conglomerate grow: Cognizant among worst abusers of H-1B visa program
"New Delhi-based GHCL Ltd. paid $35M for the manufacturer of bed linens, uniforms and other textile products.   The 90-year-old company, which filed for bankruptcy in August, makes goods for the textile rental, health care and apparel markets.   It has operations in Canada, Mexico and Asia and factories in Cambodia and Mexico, as well as 8 U.S. warehouses...   GHCL Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Dalmia...
Misuse of visas
For years, foreign workers have come to the U.S.A. on temporary H-1b visas to work in industries [allegedly] short of skilled workers.   But a Rochester Institute of Technology professor says the program is being misused to send American work abroad.   And he says Teaneck's Cognizant Technology Solutions is one of the main culprits.   Ron Hira, a professor of public policy, studied U.S. Labor Department data to estimate which companies request the most H-1b visas.   He concluded that 15 of the top 20 applicants are involved in out-sourcing U.S. jobs abroad.   Cognizant -- which has 70% of its workers abroad, mostly in India -- filed the third-highest number of applications, Hira said.   First and second on the list were the Indian companies Infosys Technologies Limited and Wipro Limited...   the visas are now used for 'knowledge transfer'.   Out-sourcing companies bring foreign workers to the U.S.A., teach them to do an American job and then send them back home, transferring the job there at the same time, he said.   'The rationale that's been made for expanding the H-1b program -- and for having it in the first place -- is to keep jobs here.', he said.   'And this sort of turns the whole thing on its head.'...   Washington DC-based Brookings Institution... using 2004 data, concluded that [Bergen & Passaic] counties are likely to see 18% to 21% of data entry keying positions off-shored by 2015.   That's 385 to 450 jobs.   The same percentage of computer programmers and software programmers are likely to go, for a combined total of 970 to 1,130 jobs.   14% to 17% of book-keeping, accounting and auditing clerks could see their jobs go abroad, or 1,390 to 1,690 jobs.   And similar percentages of the region's 12,320 positions for customer service representatives could be shipped out.   That's 1700 to 2100."

Rob Sawyer _Ventura County Star_
Country of origin labeling is COOL
"here's something we can do right now, with little muss or fuss: Require country-of-origin labeling by gasoline refiners and retailers.   If we are really serious about distinguishing between friend and foe, why aren't we doing this right now?   Were I to pass 2 gas stations -- one advertising that its gasoline came from oil purchased from Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, and the other that its products were from Norway, Great Britain and the United States -- I would most certainly patronize the latter, even if its prices were higher."

John Sakamoto _Toronto Star_
Men are hard-wired to ignore wives
Medical News Today
composite: "Reactance: the tendency of a man to do the opposite of what his spouse asks him to.   A new study suggests that when a man fails to help clean the house, 'his poor performance might be related to a subconscious tendency to resist doing anything his wife wants'.   Participants were asked to name a significant person they perceived as controlling their lives, and another who just wanted them to have fun.   Then they were asked to discern words from jumbled letters on a computer screen while the names of the people they had mentioned were flashed subliminally.   Subjects performed better when exposed to the name of the person who wanted them to have fun than when exposed to the controlling individual's name.   Further testing found that study participants who were more reactant responded more strongly to the subliminal cues and had a wider performance gap."
Society of Experimental Social Psychology
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

2007-02-18 10:00PST (13:00EST) (18:00GMT)
Sharon McNary _Press-Enterprise_
Inland Republicans reject amnesty for illegal aliens
"Was it a tourist visa?   Some raised their hands.   A student visa?   A few more hands rose.   'Was it Visa C?   As in Coyote?', he laughed.   More than half of the 170 people who packed the parish hall at Our Queen of Angels Catholic Church to hear about the church's stance on immigration policy raised their hands.   Even though many at the meeting are not entitled to vote, 120 of them wrote letters to representative Ken Calvert, R-Corona, on Monday night asking him to support changes in federal immigration laws, said Miriam Padilla, an organizer with Inland Congregations United for Change...   Both 'representative' Joe Baca, D-Rialto, who is part of the new House majority, and the Hispanic caucus he heads, support a rewrite...   [Baca] declined to be interviewed...   But representative Darrell Issa, R-Vista, said a broad legalization would be unacceptable to residents of his district, which includes Temecula and Murrieta.   'Democrats are asking for new immigrants, en masse, to be allowed to disproportionately come from Mexico and be citizens.', he said.   'Representative' Mary Bono, R-Palm Springs, the target of numerous demonstrations last year protesting her support of an enforcement-oriented immigration bill, said she receives hundreds of letters opposing amnesty each week.   Bono said she supports a "robust guest-worker program" that would permit people who are in the country illegally to receive work permits but not automatic permanent residency or citizenship...   Congress is more likely to pass piece-meal measures...   Pew Hispanic Center estimates for 2005: 11.1M illegal aliens in the USA; 2.5M to 2.7M illegal immigrants in California; 215K illegal aliens in Riverside and San Bernardino counties."

2007-02-19 (5767 Adar 01)

Lauren Pack _Hamilton Journal News_
Butler county sheriff Richard K. Jones says: Close the borders
Middletown Journal
"The sheriff is an outspoken advocate for immigration policy reform, a hot-button issue in the nation, and he said people helping frame a new immigration reform law got an earful from the 12 sheriffs serving on the committee.   Among the suggestions made by Jones was closing all immigration for a period of time until illegal immigration enforcement can be addressed.   'Close the borders for legal immigration, until we can get a handle on illegal immigration.', Jones said.   'Not forever.   But maybe a moratorium for 12 months until we get the illegals under control.'   Jones said the committee also stressed the need for more training of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.   'I think there will be amnesty in the new bill [from Kennedy and McCain].   It may have a different name, but it will be amnesty.   You know American people aren't stupid -- they know what amnesty is, no matter what name you give it.'   Jones said illegal immigration is taking jobs away from Americans, filling up jail cells and adding to the drug problem in this country."

2007-02-19 07:30PST (10:30EST) (15:30GMT)
_Apple Insider_
Steve Jobs blasted teachers' unions at conference
"Apple chief executive Steve Jobs lashed out at teachers unions during an education reform conference on Friday, claiming that no amount of technology in the classroom would better public schools until principals had authorization to fire bad teachers.   Speaking alongside Dell founder and recently reappointed chief executive Michael Dell at the Austin, Texas-based conference, the Associated Press reports that Jobs focused on comparing schools to businesses with principals serving as CEOs...   Jobs said the problem with U.S. institutions is that they have become unionized to a point where ridding public schools of poor teachers is prohibited.   'This unionization and life-time employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy.', he said...   Dell, who reportedly sat quietly with his hands folded in his lap during Jobs' tirade, responded by saying that unions were created because employers were treating his employees unfairly."

Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Debunking the guest-worker myth
"Whenever you read articles concerning terrorists, whether it is because they had killed a bunch of innocent victims or because they were thwarted by law enforcement before they could carry out deadly attacks, virtually every one of them was described by the job he held up until his arrest.   Some of these criminals and suspected terrorists have been employed as ice cream truck drivers, cab drivers, teachers and professors; even a school bus driver in Canada who used his position to recruit teenage boys.   Terrorists do not hide in basements or attics.   They do not dig a hole in the ground.   They embed themselves in our country, moving among us, hiding in plain sight...   Last year, USCIS, the agency that would administer the Guest-Worker Amnesty Program advocated by Secretary Chertoff, managed to 'lose' more than 111K immigration files relating to aliens seeking various immigration benefits.   These files are virtual dossiers that contain all sorts of relevant information that is critical to the adjudication process.   Yet, in an effort to clear their tremendous back-log, the USCIS blithely naturalized 30K aliens without those critical files.   The bottom line is that [another] Guest-Worker Program will do nothing to enhance national security but would, in fact, provide many more opportunities for terrorists and criminals to secure official identity documents in false names.   A Guest-Worker Amnesty Program would not take the pressure off the border at all.   On the contrary, pressure would be greatly increased as many more aliens would be convinced that if they can only get themselves on our land, we will ultimately reward them with legal status, the ability to work in the United States and the ability to send money back to their relatives back home.   This is why the Amnesty of 1986 resulted in the greatest influx of illegal aliens in the history of our nation.   Incidentally, once an alien has lawful status in the United States, he will no longer be desirable to unscrupulous employers who hire illegal aliens.   They hire illegal aliens because they know that they can get away with paying them substandard wages under substandard and often illegally hazardous circumstances.   Once an alien has lawful authority to live and work in the United States and demands fair pay and conditions, the employer will most likely replace him or her with a new illegal alien."

John W. Lillpop _Post Chronicle_
America is under attack from within: US casualties
"U.S. House Final Tally: Jihadists 246, U.S. Troops 182"

Cliff Kincaid _National Ledger_
North American Union conspiracy exposed
Accuracy in Media
"Robert Pastor, a former official of the Carter Administration and director of the Center for North American Studies at American University (CNAS), made the remarks at an all-day February 16 conference devoted to the development of a North American legal system...   Pastor said that he favors a 'North American Community', not a formal union of the 3 countries, and several speakers at the conference ridiculed the idea of protecting America's borders and suggested that American citizenship was an outmoded concept...   The conference, conducted in cooperation with the American Society of International Law, an organization affiliated with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, was held at the American University Washington College of Law...   Pastor acknowledged that the U.S. Government doesn't want to enforce its immigration laws...   One of the main concerns of conservatives, who have formed a 'Coalition to Block the North American Union', has been the lack of congressional interest and oversight.   They are backing a bill introduced by representative Virgil Goode (R-VA) to put Congress on record against a North American Union...   Pastor is associated by conservatives with President Jimmy Carter's treaty, opposed by then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, which transferred control of the Panama Canal away from the U.S.A. to the Panamanian government.   Pastor was National Security Advisor for Latin America under Carter.

Luke Plunkett _Kotaku_
Tech industry life-style drives insomniac development East, Far East
"Pfeiffer remembers it, none too fondly, as an 'endless sea of work'.   Deciding a break was in order, the 2 decided on a trip to [Red China].   'It was one of the best vacations I ever had.', enthuses Pfeiffer.   'Everything was actually different, interesting and new...   the Chinese people were exceptionally nice to us.'   Traveling to Beijing, Shanghai and X'ian, the trip was 'an absolute blast', and was just what was needed to help get over the hassles of work...   back to the USA...   Working around the clock, for 6 and sometimes even 7 days a week...   Finding himself trapped in a seemingly infinite cycle of long days and working nights, Pfeiffer began to question the sanity of an industry that relies on work conditions rarely seen elsewhere in the Western world...   'When people work 16 hour days weeks on end, you may get 12 hours of work done on the first day, 10 on the second... but eventually the effective work completed per day drops below a standard 8 hour day.'   To be fair to Insomniac it's an industry-wide concern (recent EA and Activision lawsuits only serving to highlight this), but when nearly every major studio is forced into these conditions by the external pressures of the business, what you gonna do?...   He soon learned that [Red China] has laws in place that make such work conditions as he was enduring at home illegal.   Work days there can be no longer than 11 hours, and employees are only legally allowed to work 36 hours of over-time a month.   'There are places in the US games industry where the base work week is 50 hours and that doesn't even start to account for the extended periods of crunch time.', he says.   'In [Red China], you couldn't legally run a shop that way.   And heck, who wants to live their lives that way?'"

_Baxter Bulletin_
Tancredo and Paul top network poll in the 3rd round

David Warren _Real Clear Politics_
helping Iran think

Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Ethics of torture

2007-02-20 (5767 Adar 02)

Radley Balko _Fox_
Ron Paul

Georgina Brennan _Irish Voice_
Irish lobby for amnesty for illegal aliens: Senators roll out the same old reprehensible immigration perversion blarney
"'I want for the Irish what every other country has, visas.   We don't want to take visas from anyone else, we just want to be able to come to this country legally to continue the Irish American legacy.', [Niall o'Dowd] said."

_Delaware News Journal_
Banking on illegal aliens deserves some public scrutiny

_Liberty Papers_
Ron Paul

Chris Dumond _Middletown Journal_
Area employers disingenuously whine of a "war for talent" to fill jobs
"The survey of employers, conducted by the Applied Research Center at Miami University Middletown on behalf of the Workforce One Investment Board of Southwest Ohio, found that 46% of the 1,245 employers surveyed [claimed to have] trouble finding 'qualified' applicants with 'adequate' experience... Reasons for hiring problems that turned up most often in the survey included a 'shortage' of 'qualified' candidates, 'undesirable' openings, non-competitive pay, a plethora of 'unqualified' or 'unskilled' labor and poor work attitudes.   John Nelson, the business unit human resources manager at International Paper's technology center in Loveland... also the Workforce One board chairman...   Other survey results showed that 38% of those who responded had a net increase in employees last year.   Another 24% reported a net decrease in employment.   Nearly half expected to hire this year.   [No definitions were provided for 'qualified', 'adequate', 'undesirable', 'harder to find', 'shortage', or 'unskilled'.]"
SW Ohio WorkForce feed-back
Applied Research Center contact info

2007-02-20 (5767 Adar 02)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Priceless politics

2007-02-21 (5767 Adar 03)

_IS Survivor_
Psychopathic CEOs
Fast Company
composite: "A 71-year-old professor emeritus from the University of British Columbia, remains virtually unknown in the business realm.   But he's renowned in his own field: criminal psychology.   Robert Hare is the creator of the Psychopathy Checklist.   The 20-item personality evaluation has exerted enormous influence in its quarter-century history.   It's the standard tool for making clinical diagnoses of psychopaths -- the 1% of the general population that isn't burdened by conscience.   Psychopaths have a profound lack of empathy.   They use other people callously and remorselessly for their own ends.   They seduce victims with a hypnotic charm that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con artists, and heartless manipulators.   Easily bored, they crave constant stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life 'games' they can win -- and take pleasure from their power over other people...   [Hare] created the P-Scan, a test widely used by police departments to screen new recruits for psychopathy...   Hare began by talking about Mafia hit men and sex offenders, whose photos were projected on a large screen behind him.   But then those images were replaced by pictures of top executives from WorldCom, which had just declared bankruptcy, and Enron, which imploded only months earlier...   The average Psychopathy Checklist score for incarcerated male offenders in North America is 23.3, out of a possible 40.   A score of around 20 qualifies as 'moderately psychopathic'.   Only 1% of the general population would score 30 or above, which is 'highly psychopathic', the range for the most violent offenders.   Hare has said that the typical citizen would score a 3 or 4, while anything below that is 'sliding into sainthood'...   B-Scan, a personality test that companies can use to spot job candidates who may have an MBA but lack a conscience...   Psychopaths succeed in conventional society in large measure because few of us grasp that they are fundamentally different from ourselves.   We assume that they, too, care about other people's feelings.   This makes it easier for them to "play" us.   Although they lack empathy, they develop an actor's expertise in evoking ours.   While they don't care about us, 'they have an element of emotional intelligence, of being able to see our emotions very clearly and manipulate them', says Michael Maccoby, a psychotherapist who has consulted for major corporations.   Psychopaths are typically very likable.   They make us believe that they reciprocate our loyalty and friendship.   When we realize that they were conning us all along, we feel betrayed and foolish...   Dr. Hare has reached a disturbing conclusion: Many CEOs are border-line or more-than-border-line psychopaths.   He suggests that boards of directors should screen CEO candidates for psychopathy -- the absence of empathy, compassion, remorse and guilt.   I hope it never happens.   In the modern world of business, if boards of directors were to apply the Psychopathy Checklist to CEO candidates, many would use it to identify those best suited for the job.   They'd use it, that is, to systematically exclude candidates exhibiting capabilities for empathy, compassion, remorse and guilt.   Even their self-perceived obligation to the law is limited to a comparison between the cost of compliance and the cost of the fines for non-compliance.   If you leave, where will you go, when managers are, in increasing proportions, behaving psychopathically to compete with each other?"

2007-02-20 23:29PST (2007-02-21 02:29EST) (2007-02-21 07:29GMT)
Dennis Cauchon _USA Today_
Government employees have cushier pensions than private sector
"As the first wave of 79M baby boomers heads to retirement, the nation is dividing into 2 classes of workers: those who have government benefits and those who don't.   The gap is accelerating in every way -- pensions, medical benefits, retirement ages.   Retired government workers are twice as likely to get a pension as their counterparts in the private sector, and the typical benefit is far more generous.   The nation's 6M retired civil servants -- teachers, police, administrators, laborers -- received a median benefit of $17,640 in 2005, according to the Congressional Research Service.   11M private-sector retirees covered by traditional pensions got $7,692.   Governments' generosity could have serious consequences for [tax-victims] and pensioners.   Some states -- including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia -- have troubled retirement systems that may require huge tax increases, spending cuts or even defaulting on promised benefits.   The U.S. government has a bigger unfunded liability for military and civil servant retirement benefits ($4.7T) than it does for [Socialist Insecurity] ($4.6T).   The pension gap will continue to widen because governments pump far more money into employee pensions than companies do.   Civil servants earn an average of $12.38 an hour in benefits, about $5 an hour more than private-sector workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   The difference was just $2.70 an hour in 1995...   Only 18% of private workers now have traditional defined benefit pension plans, compared with more than 80% of government employees...   A typical full-time state or local government worker made $78,853 in wages and benefits in the third quarter of 2006, $25,771 more than a typical private-sector worker, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.   The difference was $7,604 in 2000.   The compensation advantage holds true for all types of public workers, from teachers to laborers and managers.   Better benefits for government workers is the biggest reason for the growing compensation gap."

2007-02-21 09:44PST (12:44EST) (17:44GMT)
Hendrick Sybrandy _Officer_/_7 News_
Denver area sheriffs want federal funds for dealing with foreign in-mates
"They say the government is required by law to help defray those costs but that the payments to local counties have been withheld for the past few years. 'It's just ironic.', Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said Tuesday during a press conference with other county sheriffs. 'At a time when the federal government continues to push more responsibility for immigration and border security on to local government, at the same time, they're cutting the funding.'   It costs roughly $70 a day to feed and care for jail inmates in Colorado. Adams county currently houses an average of 200 illegal aliens who've been arrested for various crimes. For several years, counties like Adams relied on the State Criminal Aliens Assistance Program (SCAAP), but Sheriff Doug Darr said the well has now run dry... 'We incur costs borne because the federal government is not doing its job of keeping the borders secure.', representative Buffie McFadyen (D) said. 'We want to be reimbursed for doing the federal government's job.'"

2007-02-21 16:52PST (19:52EST) (2005-02-22 00:52GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
High-profile lay-offs might not spell continued economic doom: Small cracks are developing
"'Big lay-offs cause people to wonder if the economy is beginning to slip into a slow-down.', said John Challenger, whose out-placement firm, Challenger Gray & Christmas, tracks monthly lay-off announcements by big U.S. companies.   'Lay-offs at these big iconic companies create more fear and more worry.'   Challenger will tally up February's lay-off announcements on March 1.   Despite the fear induced by the headlines and the tragedy experienced by individuals and communities, most economists say the national labor market is healthy.   That is, outside of the recessionary housing and auto sectors, which are still bleeding jobs...  In 2001, for example, gross job gains dropped by 2.65M, while gross job losses rose by 2.30M."

_St. George Spectrum_
Utah needs study of impact of illegal aliens
"The debate rages on after the first ever state-funded study on the economic impact of undocumented immigrants was revealed in 2006 December. The financial analysis was done in Texas and specifically evaluated the influence of an estimated 1.6M illegal aliens -- about 6% of that state's population. Now Utah is in a position to do a study of its own -- and it should. While the Texas Controller, Carolyn Strayhorn, said the study findings showed that illegal immigrants put in about $420M more into Lone Star State coffers than they took out in 2005, critics say the study was flawed for not taking into account that Texas does not have an income tax, and therefore, did not account for unreported cash wages. Furthermore, that undocumented immigrants actually cost [tax-victims] $3.7G annually, critics said... Utah's foreign-born population grew 21.6% between 2000 and 2005 -- to an estimated 192,916 persons - according to data from the American Community Survey."

Mark Lowry _American Chronicle_
Illegal aliens: Facts and lies

Sher Zieve _News by Us_
Another US government attempt to sell a Border Patrol agent down the river
American Daily
Washington Times

Allan J. Ashinoff _American Chronicle_
Fallacies of hope for Compean and Ramos
Fed Up with PC
National Border Patrol Council rebuttal to Sutton (pdf)
National Border Patrol Council

_Investor's Business Daily_
Let's make a deal for Compean and Ramos
National Border Patrol Council rebuttal to Sutton (pdf)
National Border Patrol Council

Michelle Pirraglia _Suffolk Life_/_Z Wire_
School districts' costs for illegal aliens

_All American Politics_
Dye & Fein join Ron Paul presidential exploratory committee

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_
Excel Electronics investigated for H-1B visa fraud in Michigan
Rob Sanchez's Job Destruction News-Letter and Norm Matloff's H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter (organized by rahcn)
Job Destruction News-Letter Archive
"More H-1B fraud to report but this time it's in Michigan.   A company called Excel Electrocircuit hired five H-1B engineers at prevailing salaries.   Seems legit -- except for one thing -- the H-1Bs had to pay a monthly kick-back to the company.   Excel used this scheme to cook the books in order to make it appear like they were paying a legal prevailing salary.   Their foreign workers took the hit by bringing home less pay than was reported to the DoL.   How much less and for how long is not clear.   Excel is being fined $10,500 and must pay $34K in back wages.   In addition to the fines Excel will be barred from the H-1B program for a year...   If the monetary penalty seems like on a slap on the wrist, consider the one year ban.   I asked the DoL if Excel would be barred from using contractors that use H-1B and/or L-1 visa holders but they didn't know the answer!   In practical terms this means that Excel can't hire H-1Bs directly but they can probably get away with using bodyshops like Tata and Infosys; that is assuming they have to hire somebody within the next year.   About the only thing the one year sanction accomplishes is that it will prevent Excel from ripping off their H-1Bs as much as the bodyshops...   I used the data-base at H1B.info to look at some of Excel's LCAs.   Most of them are signed by Paresh Shah and Janak Patel.   If there is poetic justice to this story it is that Indians at Excel were ripping off Indian H-1Bs, and the H-1Bs got their revenge."

Cynthia Leonor Garza _Houston Chronicle_
Cheap Spanish-literate teachers wanted: Texas schools increasingly recruit in Mexico

2007-02-21 (5767 Adar 03)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
Government intervention begets more government intervention

David T. Pyne _Ether Zone_
GOP Prospects

2007-02-21 (5767 Adar 03)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Plausible ideas bordering on lunacy

2007-02-21 (5767 Adar 03)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Priceless politics part 2

2007-02-22 (5767 Adar 04)

2007-02-22 05:30PDT (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 306,719 in the week ending Feb. 17, a decrease of 56,281 from the previous week.   There were 269,571 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3% during the week ending February 10, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,998,199, a decrease of 81,410 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 3,017,838.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending February 3."

Jim Kozubek _New Hampshire Union Leader_
Phyllis Schlafly criticized GOP for policies that harm middle class
"Schlafly rebuked the Republican Party for supporting globalization and open-door immigration policies that she said have hurt the middle class.   'The multi-nationals see the world as a single economy, and look for the cheapest labor they can get.', she said.   'Big money wants cheap labor, and it is depressing wages in this country.' NAFTA, CAFTA and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America [SPP] have, among other 'free' trade policies, led to the export of millions of manufacturing and technology jobs, while immigration policies let more than a million people into the country on H-1B and L-1 visas, she said."

Sumner Lemon _IDG_/_MacWorld_
Apple and Cisco have reached agreement on use of name iPhone
Kansas City Star
USA Today
Ziff Davis/CNET

2007-02-22 00:23PST (03:23EST) (08:23GMT)
Ada Pema _Harvard Crimson_
Harvard administrators lobby to push H-1B opening day back to June to accommodate academic calendar and foreign students
"Harvard’s academic calendar has left many seniors unable to file the necessary paper-work before federal dead-lines.   Gross said at the dinner meeting last night that Harvard is working with representatives in Washington to try to get the opening date for visa applications 'pushed for later'.   Seniors are currently expected to submit applications to the government beginning April 1, but most final grades at Harvard don’t come in until the end of May, meaning that international students are beginning the process at a later date than their counterparts at other colleges.   To be eligible for the H-1B, applicants must submit a letter from their school certifying the successful completion of graduation requirements...   'We cannot violate any rules of the Faculty but we do want to get a visa to everyone that we can.'"

"bigjolly" _Lone Star Times_
Executives swept up with illegal aliens
NBC 10 Philadelphia
KLAS Las Vegas
WTAE Pittsburgh
News 4 Jacksonville
Washington Times
"In another success story in the effort to decrease problems in the US caused by illegal aliens, customs officials today raided RCI, a janitorial services company.   Three top officials of a nationwide cleaning service were charged Thursday with fraud and tax crimes as part of an ongoing federal investigation that also netted hundreds of illegal immigrants in 18 states.   The illegal immigrants were working as janitors for Nevada-based Rosenbaum-Cunningham International, Inc., or RCI, a cleaning contractor for businesses.   The workers were swept up early Thursday in 63 locations nationwide, including restaurants such as the House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, ESPN Zone, Planet Hollywood, and others, according to a law enforcement official.   RCI co-owners Richard M. Rosenbaum and Edward Scott Cunningham and controller Christina Flocken face criminal fraud, immigration and tax charges in the 23-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, MI."

2007-02-22 08:17PST (11:17EST) (16:17GMT)
Roger King _KOEL_
Cedar Falls restaurant owner sentenced to prison for hiring illegal aliens
"A Cedar Falls restaurant owner accused of hiring illegal aliens to work at his business has been ordered to prison after once again failing to show up for his sentencing.   Thirty-two-year-old Julio Zapala-Urbina had pleaded guilty in June of last year to harboring an illegal alien for profit.   Zapala-Urbina was part owner of Julio's Restaurant and Cantina in Cedar Falls, and the owner of 2 other Julio's restaurants in Missouri.   Last April, immigration officials raided the Cedar Falls business and arrested 11 illegal aliens..."

2007-02-22 10:00PST (13:00EST) (18:00GMT)
Joel Turtel _Conservative Voice_
Why do I need you, government man?

Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Cost of illegal alien crime and incarcertaion far out-weighs costs to keep them out

_Liberty Papers_
Ron Paul won't get media coverage

2007-02-22 14:07PST (17:07EST) (22:07GMT)
Monica Rhor _AP_/_Houston Chronicle_
Bill denying US citizenship to babies of illegal aliens might initiate scramble to shift costs
"About 3 of every 4 births at public hospitals in Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth are to illegal immigrant mothers, officials estimate.   The mothers' obstetrics costs are covered through a special Medicaid program.   As U.S. citizens, the babies qualify for Medicaid for the first year of their life or CHIPS coverage.   If the infants are denied automatic citizenship, however, thousands might not qualify for those state and federal reimbursement programs -- saddling the public hospitals with the extra costs [unless the federal government ends requirement for them to serve all who call on them], said King Hillier, vice president of public policy and government relations with the Harris County Hospital District, which includes Houston...   In 2005, Harris County officials estimate, the district treated 57,072 illegal immigrants -- about 20% of all patients.   The total cost for treating illegal immigrants was $128M, but the hospital district received only $28M in reimbursements from the federal and state governments.   The patients paid about $3M.   The hospital district was left with the rest of the bill: $97M, or 14% of the district's total operating expenses.   Only 8.8% of those patients were treated in the emergency room; the rest went to outpatient clinics or community health centers.   Of the patients who were illegal immigrants, 84% were women; and most were pregnant women receiving prenatal or maternity care.   Approximately 8K babies were born to illegal immigrants in the Harris County Hospital District last year.   At Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, about 11K births were to illegal immigrants...   A federal reimbursement program that began in 2005 distributes $250M each year for emergency care for illegal immigrants.   In 2005, Texas got about $47M.   But the program does not compensate the hospitals for out-patient treatment for chronically ill patients or preventive and prenatal care."

_Insurance News Net_
In UPI-Zogby poll American say, "No Medicare for illegal aliens"
"Some 73.6% of those asked said illegal aliens should be barred from Medicaid benefits while 15.8% said those people should have access to Medicaid.   Nearly all -- 92.4% -- of self-described Republicans said illegal aliens shouldn't have access to Medicaid while 4.8% said they should.   Among Democrats, 52.4% said no to Medicaid access by illegal aliens and 28.7% said the services should be made available to them."

_AP_/_Belleville News Democrat_
Murder suspect and victim used fake IDs to work at Triumph Foods
Wichita Eagle
"Francisco Ruben Morales Ramos, 20, has been charged with second-degree murder.   Police said Ramos admitted to being an illegal immigrant.   Court documents and Triumph officials said he used the name Edgardo L. Matos at the pork plant...   St. Joseph officials tied employees' legal status to other job-creation standards in its tax incentive package, requiring regular employment reports and a certification that the company 'has not knowingly employed any illegal aliens' and complied with federal law to examine documents to verify employees' legal status...   Triumph employs about 2,300 people, about 42% of whom are Hispanic, Lilly said."

_Fin 24_
Glimmer of light: WTO treaty grid-locked
"Leading developing countries, which must agree to cut tariffs on industrial goods and free up services' markets, say the EU and the USA must first give ground in farm goods trade.   After meeting negotiators involved in the WTO's so-called Doha Round of talks, a Global Services Coalition pushing for an across-the-board deal covering their sector, agriculture and goods tariffs said there was at least new 'energy' in the talks.   But one of the group's leaders, J. Robert Vastine, president of the US Coalition of Service [bodyshops] Industries, said the position in the talks on freer trade in services [cross-border bodyshopping] was 'pretty grim' with delegations sticking to offers they made 2 years ago."

_Post Chronicle_
Kennedy & McCain still up to no good with illegal alien amnesty bill
Hot Air
Free Market News
Washington Times
"Senators and lobbyists are putting the final touches on a [reprehensible immigration-law perversion] bill that includes an [even] easier citizenship path for illegal aliens and weaker enforcement provisions than were in the highly criticized legislation that the Senate approved last year.   Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who ardently supports citizenship rights for illegals, will introduce the bill as early as next week, according to Senate sources knowledgeable about the negotiations.   If the Senate Judiciary Committee can make quick work of the bill, it could be ready for floor action in April.   Mr. Kennedy drafted this year's bill with help from senator John McCain, Arizona Republican, and outside lobbyists.   Mr. McCain and the outside groups share Mr. Kennedy's support for increased immigration and leniency for illegals already in the country.   Among the most active participants have been the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.   Both groups support giving current illegals a path to citizenship and increasing the flow of foreign workers into the country...   In particular, EWIC and the chamber have taken a leading role in drafting the section of the bill dealing with work-site enforcement, Senate staffers say...   Last week, aides and Republicans said, Mr. Specter, Mr. Brownback and others were invited to a meeting where they got their first briefing on the nearly completed bill.   Other Republicans invited included senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Mel Martinez of Florida."

Bob McTeer _National Center for Policy Analysis_
Freedom of choice

2007-02-22 (5767 Adar 04)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Priceless politics part 3

2007-02-23 (5767 Adar 05)

2007-02-23 (5767 Adar 05)
R. David Aaron _Jewish World Review_
Your Sacred Self Worth
"The Kabbalah teaches that the Jewish proclamation that 'G-d is one' really means that G-d is non-dual.   One is the opposite of many; it is limited.   Non-dual is free of the confines of 'one' or 'many'.   Therefore, G-d is beyond you, me and everyone else in this world, yet mysteriously within us as well...   Because G-d is absolutely one [non-dual] He is free to be manifest as 100% beyond us and yet also as 100% within us...   It is only when we describe Divine truth with our limited language that we have difficulty understanding the paradoxes.   The Kabbalah metaphorically describes that there are '2 faces to the one G-d' -- the face, or aspect, of transcendence and the face of imminence.   The aspect of Divine transcendence is identified with the power of masculinity and is referred to in Jewish texts as, 'The Holy One, Blessed Be He'.   The aspect of Divine immanence is identified with the power of femininity and is referred to as the Shechina, meaning 'The Divine Presence' or 'Indwelling Spirit'."

Dave Eberhart _News Max_
Regarding John Stossel on unreasoning fear
"The less than newsworthy truth of the matter, says Stossel, is that we don't have to reach for the exotic to get a reality-world grip on the top-ranked dangers lurking for us.   'It's boring stuff like driving, smoking cigarettes, eating too much, behaving recklessly.', Stossel says...   'It turns out that what we worry about is often different from what's most likely to hurt us.'"

Lynn Franco _Conference Board_
US job satisfaction has declined for 2 decades
Live Science
"Today, less than half of all Americans say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61% twenty years ago...   Less than 39% of workers under the age of 25 are satisfied with their employment situation...   Job satisfaction levels, however, tend to rise as hours worked per week increase, but begin to recede at 60 or more hours.   Not surprisingly, workers who expect to be in their current position a year from now are much more satisfied than those who foresee themselves working elsewhere.   Consumers rated bonus plans and promotion policies as the least satisfactory benefits of employment, with less than 23% claiming they are satisfied with their company's policies.   Satisfaction is also low for performance review processes, work-load, work/life balance, communication channels and potential for future growth."

S&P 5001,451.19
10-year US T-Bond4.68%
crude oil61.14
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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

  "The current generation of retirees is enjoying a prosperity unknown to previous generations... unlikely ever to return again.   This prosperity does not derive from hard work & savings in years gone by.   Rather, today's retired people are living on... people now working -- the baby boomers in particular.   The way it's currently set up, [Socialist Insecurity] is a lot like a chain letter -- with the baby boomers holding the broken end of the chain." --- Dorcas R. Hardy & C. Colburn Hardy 1991 _Social Insecurity_ pp 27-28 (quoted in Marshall N. Carter & William G. Shipman 1996 _Promises to Keep_ pp 19-20  


2007-02-24 (5767 Adar 06)

Gary Ater (with research by Gene A. Nelson, PhD) _American Chronicle_
Behind the Abramoff scandal

_India Daily_
"The root cause of [bodyshopping, i.e.] out-sourcing and H-1B abuse is [lack of respect] for scientists and engineers..."

2007-02-24 04:35PST (07:35EST) (12:35GMT)
Record numbers in deep poverty in USA
"Based on the latest available US census data from 2005, the McClatchy Newspapers analysis found that almost 16M Americans live in 'deep or severe poverty' defined as a family of 4 with 2 children earning less than $9,903 -- one half the federal poverty line figure.   For individuals the 'deep poverty' threshold was an income under $5,080 dollars [per] year...   the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26% from 2000 to 2005...   56% faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period...   the median household income for working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for 5 straight years...   43% of the nation's 37M poor people into deep poverty...   It quoted an American Journal of Preventive Medicine study as having found that since 2000, the number of severely poor -- far below basic poverty terms -- in the United States has grown 'more than any other segment of the population'...   US social programs are minimal compared to those of western Europe and Canada."

Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Good-bye to the American dream
"Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain have created an unholy alliance to force a Guest Worker Amnesty bill through the Senate that will give United States citizenship to illegal aliens and create a bureaucratic nightmare that will endanger national security.   Those who support this proposal have much to gain.   This is all about under-cutting wages for United States citizens and resident aliens.   This is about providing immigration lawyers with a potentially limitless supply of clients.   This is about providing political leverage to various advocacy groups who favor open borders...   On September 1 of last year I was invited to travel to Dubuque, Iowa to testify at a field hearing called by representative F. James Sensenbrenner, then Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.   The hearing was entitled, 'Is the Reid-Kennedy Bill a Repeat of the Failed Amnesty of 1986?'   Joining me at the witness table were 3 other witnesses including senator Charles Grassley.   His appearance was particularly note-worthy because he had been an advocate for the abysmal Amnesty of 1986.   You can read the transcript of that hearing and watch a video of the proceedings.   If ever there was a time for the citizens of our nation to be heard, the time is NOW!"

2007-02-25 (5767 Adar 07)

2007-02-25 10:00PST (13:00EST) (18:00GMT)
Chuck Baldwin _Conservative Voice_
The red carpet is out for illegal aliens

2007-02-25 10:00PST (13:00EST) (18:00GMT)
Allan Wall _Conservative Voice_
Why Mexican emergency rooms are not swamped
V Dare
"So not only does our [federal] government refuse to control the border, it also makes hospitals treat illegal aliens for free.   Did I say free?   I meant free for the aliens, not for the hospitals, some of which are going out of business...   Interestingly enough , there is something superficially similar to EMTALA in Mexican law -- Article 36 of the Ley General de Salud.   It stipulates that health care providers, public or private, must charge Mexicans in accordance with their socioeconomic level and even exempt them if they are unable to pay.   As for foreigners who come to Mexico for the primary purpose of receiving medical treatment (as some do), they must be charged at the full rate, except in cases of emergency."

Guy W. Farmer _Nevada Appeal_
Bush immigration law perversion is a step in the wrong direction

Dena Bunis _Orange County Register_
Readers are weighing in on immigration law reform and perversion

Shirley Regsdale _Des Moines Register_
Marshalltown to host summit on immigration
"The event will include sessions on the rights and responsibilities of individuals and employers, and immigration enforcement and policy...   William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, a political action committee, said the organization's Iowa members aren't impressed by the meat-packing plant raids or calls for reform.   'The raids are mostly for show.', Gheen said.   'When they get the numbers of illegal aliens below 5M, then we can talk about immigration reform and guest-worker programs.'   Gheen cites recent polls that show that 4 of 5 Americans want the law to be enforced, companies fined for hiring illegal workers, U.S. borders secured and illegal immigrants given no benefits except emergency care.   'If we do that, they'll begin to leave.', Gheen said.   'If we don't, and we let them stay, no wall or army will be able to turn back the next 20M who crash the border, leaving most Americans to endure a quality of life similar to Sao Paulo or Tijuana.'"

Chas Sisk & Janell Ross _Tennessean_
Pace of immigration is irritating
"The Nashville area's immigrant population has grown from fewer than 18K people in 1990 to an estimated 84K today.   Foreign-born people make up 7% of the metro area's population, up from 2% in 1990.   The overwhelming majority of newcomers have been Hispanic.   Many live in households where no one over 13 can speak English well enough to be comfortable communicating with others.   There are about 8,700 of these linguistically isolated, Spanish-speaking households in the Nashville metropolitan area.   Nearly 6K of these homes are in Davidson County...   Since the mid-1970s more than 20K people granted political asylum by the United States resettled in Nashville...   In 2 counties outside the city, English-first laws have passed.   They require the use of English in city or other official business, and in one case the law applies to signs in public rights of way.   But the laws allow compliance with federal laws requiring courts to make translators available, schools to offer help for non-English speakers and emergency communications to be in whatever language is necessary...   A Middle Tennessee State University poll released Friday found that just 50% of Tennesseans support [an additional] guest-worker program -- about 15 percentage points less than Americans as a whole...   But respondents' attitudes are complicated, said Ken Blake, director of the MTSU poll.   While 50% of Tennesseans said they oppose a guest-worker program, 54% also said that if such a program existed, it should include a pathway to citizenship."

Andy Selepak _Post Chronicle_
Feds bust illegal alien prostitution ring

_Boston Globe_/_AP_
Illegal aliens often have fake IDs
"It's believed that most of the estimated 2K Mexicans who work on Vermont dairy farms are in the U.S. illegally, placing them among [8M to 24M] illegal aliens, half of them from Mexico."

_American Daily_
Malicious or clueless idiots: Mexican government objects to secure US border

Paul Craig Roberts _Baltimore Chronicle_
Many economists are blind to off-shoring's negative impact (with graphs)
"The problem in 21st century America is not a lack of educated people, but a lack of jobs for educated people.   Many American software engineers and IT professionals have been forced by jobs offshoring to abandon their professions.   The 2006 November 6, issue of Chemical & Engineering News reports that 'the percentage of American Chemical Society member chemists in the domestic work-force who did not have full-time jobs as of March of this year was 8.7%'."

_Lubbock TX Avalanche-Journal_/_AP_
Convergys takes steps to retain employees at foreign call centers
"An employee of Convergys Corp., a global leader in call-center out-sourcing [off-shoring], speaks with a client, in Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi, India.   Convergys, a Cincinnati-based company that has some 74K employees in 33 countries, has made efforts to reduce turn-over in its call centers...   Convergys, which also operates a call center in Lubbock, said turn-over has dropped significantly -- by double-digit percentages in some areas using the system -- in a business in which attrition typically ranges from 35% to 70%...   [Convergys] is adopting the 'early warning system' throughout its operations...   Tata Consultancy Services, India's largest software company, says it keeps retention high among its some 83,500 employees with a strong career management program that offers continuing education and training, job rotations so employees learn new skills, and opportunities to advance in the company's global operations."
Convergys median salaries by city
WikiPedia: Convergys is a privacy-violation firm derived from the Cincinnati Bell local government-enforced monopoly and its privacy-violation arm, Cincinnati Bell Information Systems, together with MATRIXX/AT&T Solutions Customer Care/AT&T Transtech, DigitalThink, Intervoice, Datacom call center operations, Stream Global Services; with subsidiary operations including Infinys Rating and Billing (IRB), Dynamic Decisioning Solution (DDS), ICOMS, Customer Management Solutions

2007-02-26 (5767 Adar 08)

Jon Stokes _Ars Technica_
Bill Gates makes bogus case for more cheap foreign labor

_Slash Dot_
How to keep the USA competitive

Linda H. Peterson _ComputerWorld_
More visas and fewer jobs is bad policy

Marc L. Songini _ComputerWorld_
WM quickness to install RFID in stores, slowness to install it in distribution centers demonstrates their priority is to abuse customers

Tom Abate _San Francisco Chronicle_
Tech executives conspire, joined by congress-critter

Molly Hennessy-Fiske _Florida Sun-Sentinel_
Fed facilitates wire transfers out of the USA by illegal aliens
"Dubbed Directo a Mexico, the Federal Reserve-sponsored service allows customers without [Socialist Insecurity] numbers to wire money through the Fed system to Mexico's central bank at little cost.   In September, the Fed expanded the remittance program by allowing immigrants, legal or not, to open accounts at participating banks and credit unions in the U.S. or Mexico.   About 27K transfers are made through the program each month."

2007-02-26 08:27PST (11:27EST) (16:27GMT)
Lynn Franco _Conference Board_
Americans hate their jobs more than ever
Live Science
"Today, less than half of all Americans say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61% 20 years ago... &nbnsp; Consumers rated bonus plans and promotion policies as the least satisfactory benefits of employment, with less than 23% claiming they are satisfied with their company's policies.   Satisfaction is also low for performance review processes, work-load, work/life balance, communication channels and potential for future growth...   As expected, the lowest level of job satisfaction is exhibited among workers earning $15K or less per year.   Workers whose earnings exceed $50K per year, at 52%, are the most satisfied with their employment situation."

_Bradenton Herald_
Boy Scouts: 97 years of good turns
"British Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scout movement.   Scouting's first manual was both written and illustrated by Baden-Powell in 1908.   The early American troops took their cues from Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys, because there was no semblance of a national movement in the United States.   The YMCA men, who started most of the early troops, saw Boy Scouting merely as a promising adjunct to their programs for boys.   Millionaire Chicago publisher William Dickson Boyce became involved in Scouting in 1909.   He was visiting London in August of that year.   One evening, the city was enshrouded in pea-soup fog.   Boyce lost his bearings in the murk and was approached by a boy of about 12 carrying a lantern, who offered to guide him to the address he was seeking.   When Boyce produced a shilling, the boy replied, 'No, sir, I am a Scout.   Scouts do not accept tips for good turns.'   The unknown Scout took Boyce to British Scout headquarters.   From that moment forward, Boyce's interest in Scouting grew.   Boyce came home determined to start Boy Scouting in America.   He apparently knew nothing of the troops already operating, or of the YMCA's promotion of Scouting.   On 1910 February 8, Boyce filed incorporation papers for the Boy Scouts of America in the District of Columbia.   The purpose, he said, 'Shall be to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are in common use by Boy Scouts.'"

Ron Paul _CNN_
Ron Paul on Lou Dobbs talking about immigration

2007-02-26 (5767 Adar 08)
Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Free ride?

2007-02-27 (5767 Adar 09)

2007-02-27 07:46PST (10:46EST) (15:46GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Durable-goods orders dropped 7.8% in January
census bureau data

Marc Ramirez _Seattle Times_
Flood of cheap tech labor from India is having its effects
"Seattle is one of numerous U.S. cities -- Houston, Chicago, San Francisco -- with thriving Asian Indian populations and music scenes.   A 2002 Census report estimated the number of Asian Indians in King County at more than 17K, but some estimates put the number at more than 20K.   (The number of Asian Indians in the U.S.A. more than doubled to nearly 1.7M between 1990 and 2000, the nation's fastest-growing ethnic group.)   But what sets Seattle apart, says New York DJ Rekha Malhotra, who did a guest stint for I Heart Shiva last year, is what she calls 'the M$ factor'.   While some estimate that Asian Indians comprise as much as 30% of the company's overall work-force, it's the sizeable number of first-generation Indians temporarily employed here on H-1B visas that lend the scene authenticity and a role as cultural comfort zone.   (According to multi-cultural marketing firm Ameredia, Asian Indians receive half of the H-1B temporary work visas issued annually by the U.S.A.)   Adds tech writer Natarajan, who leads the Seattle chapter of the Network of Indian Professionals: 'They're not expecting to be here long, so it's home away from home.'   Wadan, a native of Punjab, came to the U.S. when he was 12..."

Peter Elstrom _Business Week_
Rehashed ideas in immigration debate
"Most people talk about the economic impact of immigration as if there were only one kind, whether it's good or bad.   Paul Samuelson, the Nobel Prize-winning economist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that's a big mistake, one that can lead to misguided public policy.   One important distinction, Samuelson says, is that wealthier Americans tend to benefit from the current wave of immigration while poorer Americans tend to suffer.   A farmer in California may benefit from the inexpensive labor of illegal immigrants, while a construction worker in Texas sees fewer jobs and lower pay.   A well-off suburban family may get lower-priced house cleaning or lawn care, while an engineering student has fewer companies offering positions.   'There are obviously great advantages to the winners socio-economically to have immigrants doing work cheaply.', says Samuelson."

2007-02-27 (5767 Adar 09)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Jihad's campus collaborators

2007-02-27 (5767 Adar 09)
Dennis Prager _Jewish World Review_
George Soros and the problem of self-hating Hebrews

2007-02-27 (5767 Adar 09)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
High court and low politics


2007-02-28 (5767 Adar 10)

2007-02-28 06:19PST (09:19EST) (14:19GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
20064Q GDP revised down to an anemic growth rate of 2.2%
BEA releases

2007-02-28 07:30PST (10:30EST) (15:30GMT)
David M. Walker _GAO_
Some Best Practices and Strategies for Engaging and Retaining Older Workers (brief)
full report

2007-02-28 11:58PST (14:58EST) (19:58GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
New home sales plunged to a seasonally adjusted 937K in January (with graph)
census bureau press releases

Daneen G. Peterson _American Chronicle_
Treason Abounds
"If you continue to believe that the illegal alien invasion is the biggest threat to America, you will never understand that there is something far more dangerous to our country called the 'Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America' (SPP).   As bad as the illegal alien situation is...you will learn that this nation is in dire peril far exceeding the illegal alien problem...   As for how the machinations of the CFR have remained unnoticed...in 1991 in Baden-Baden, Germany, David Rockefeller gloatingly said: 'We're grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years.   It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years.   But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government.'...   CFR member Richard N. Gardner, who in a 1974 Foreign Affairs article titled 'The Hard Road to World Order' wrote: 'an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.'   And what does David Rockefeller say about his work? 'Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interest of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- one world, if you will.   If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.'...   In a speech given on 1954 February 23, Senator William Jenner warned America: 'Outwardly we have a Constitutional government.   We have operating within our government and political system, another body representing another form of government, a bureaucratic elite which believes our Constitution is outmoded.'   In fact, the Constitution is far more than 'outmoded', according to President Bush who rebuffed GOP leaders' request to soft pedal some parts of the 'Patriot Act' by saying: 'I don't give a goddamn...   I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief.   Do it my way.'   Then, responding to an aide who stated: 'There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.'   Bush screamed back: 'Stop throwing the constitution in my face...   It's just a goddamned piece of paper!'"
"Americans just want us to solve America's problems of health and safety & not be concerned if they can be constitutionally justified...   Why, if we had to do that we could not pass most of the laws we enact around here." --- John Glenn 1996-07-16

2007-02-28 (5767 Adar 10)
Rabbi Yonason Goldson _Jewish World Review_
First printed Torah commentary

2007-02-28 (5767 Adar 10)
Chani Kurtz _Jewish World Review_
Who stole the hamantaschen from the cookie jar?

2007-02-28 (5767 Adar 10)
Huffington Puffington Post edits, erases comments
Michelle Malkin

2007-02-28 (5767 Adar 10)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Democracy or Liberty

  "I thank God I have a head, an heart & hands which if once fully exerted alltogether, will succeed in the world as well as those of the mean spirited, low minded, fawning obsequious scoundrels who have long hoped, that my integrity would be an obstacle in my way, & enable them to out strip me in the face.   But what I want in comparison of them, of villainy & servility, I will make up in industry & capacity.   If I don't they shall laugh & triumph.   I will not willingly see block-heads, whom I have a right to despise, elevated above me, & insolently triumphing over me.   Nor shall knavery, through any negligence of mine, get the better of honesty, nor ignorance of knowledge, nor folly of wisdom, nor vide of virtue.   I must intreat you, my dear partner in all the joys & sorrows, prosperity & adversity of my life, to take a part with me in the struggle." --- John Adams 1774-07-01 to Abigail Adams (quoted in William J. Bennett 1997 _The Spirit of America_ pp 289-290)  


2007 February
Ronald Corradin _Mechanical Engineering_
Women and Enginerring
"Women don't become engineers because they look at what it takes; they look at what it gives them, and they look elsewhere.   Engineering is a bad career choice.   What with salary compression, out-sourcing, few promotions, no job security, and a lack of non-trivial continuing education, it's a wonder any American wants to be an engineer.   The real issue in engineering careers is the huge number of foreign engineers we import under the H-1B visa program.   Their numbers overwhelm the number of women and non-Asian-American minorities in engineering...   since 1972, the percentage of bachelor's degrees awarded to women in engineering has grown from 1% to over 15%."

Proposed Bills 2007

  "The 20th century divides neatly at 2 points: 1914 & 1945.   The 1st date marked the start of the so-called Great War -- 1 of the most absurd conflicts in human history.   These 4 years of combat left 10M dead & many more maimed & stunted.   They also took a prosperous & improving Europe & left it prostrate.   The tragedy lay in the stupidity of kings, politicians & generals who sought & misfought the conflict, & in the gullible vanity of people who thought war was a party -- a kaleidoscope of handsome uniforms, masculine courage, feminine admiration, dress parades, & the light-heartedness of immortal youth." --- David S. Landes 1999 _The Wealth & Poverty of Nations_ pg 465 (citing Len Deighton _Blood, Tears & Folly_)  

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